Sages Vasishtha Vs. Visvamitra and their ‘Ahankaras’ (Egos)

There was a fine interplay of Satvika, Rajasvika and Tamasika Gunas in respect of two illustrious Sages Vasishta and Visvamitra in the context of King Harischandra, son of Trisanku of Solar dynasity. The King had no issues and prayed to Lord Varuna who granted a boon on the condition that his son would be given away by way of Human Sacirifice (Naramedha). The son Rahul grew from stage to stage and at each could be to buy a boy for riches and sacrifice him.The King purchased a boy named Sunasepha from his very poor parents and readied him for the Sacrifice. Sage Visvamitra objected and as the King and Vasishtha did not heed, the ‘Varuna’ Manthra was given to Sunasepha by Visvamitra and thus the boy was rescued and Vauna’s indebteness to the King was dissolved. But the enmity between the two Sages was snowballed. Vasishtha cursed Visvamitra to become a crane and the latter cursed the former to become a Sarasa or an Adi bird. Both the birds quarrelled with each other for long on the same tree on the banks of Manasarovara. As Devas informed of the two birds, Lord Brahma relieved them of their mutual curses of the Sages and sought to bring about a reproachment of both the Great Sages.

Sri V.D.N.Rao and Shri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham presents the Essence of Puranas in English, condensed by Sri. V.D.N.Rao, devotee of Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam. Compiled, Composed and Interpreted by V.D.N.Rao, Former General Manager, India Trade Promotion Organisation, Pragati Maidan, New Delhi Ministry of Commerce, Govt. of India The author can be contacted at