|7 Manifestation of Chandra Deva and portrayal of his Vamsha|
It was stated that Maharshi Atri performed Tapasya for thousand Divya (Divya) years and pushed up his virility upward in his physique during that period; that magnificent deposit got materialised in the form of drops from his eyes and spread out the outstanding illumination all over the Ten Directions. Realising this unprecedented development, Brahma Deva enabled it to take the Swarupa of Chandra Deva who was provided a chariot to travel across the entire Universe. Chandra was seated in the chariot and made twenty one full circles from Prithvi to the Great Samudra. In the process, the unique radiance when it touched Bhumi created ‘Anna’ (Food grains) and variations like seeds, ‘Aoushadhis’ (herbal medicines), water and Brahmanas whom he made the Chief. He also organised a mammoth Rajasuya Yagna, which was attended by the ‘Who’s Who’ of the Universe, besides lakhs of Brahmanas to whom ‘dakshinas’- Cash money and gifts were given in abundance; nine illustrious Women of universal repute arrived to serve to Chandra viz. Sini, Kuhu, Dyuti, Pushti, Prabha, Vasu, Kirti, Dhruti and Lakshmi. At the end of the Yagna, when Chandra was given ‘Avabhruta Snaan’ (Sacred bathing at the time of the Principal Sacrifice), he was worshipped by all the Devas and Rishis and he displayed extraordinary humility and honesty. But in course of time, he changed his attitude due to conceit, might and prosperity and committed the greatest sin of enticing his Guru’s wife Devi Tara and both of them lived together, despite Brihaspati’s warnings. Devas and Maharshis tried their best to prevent such an ugly siutation. Brahma himself chided his nasty and highly immoral activities and intervened but already Tara got pregnant; when confronted by Brahma, Tara confirmed that the child to be born was of Chandra’s only. Brihaspati insisted that Tara’s derlivery must not be in his residence and when born, Chandra named the child as Budha whom Brahma appointed as a ful-fledged Graha (Planet) as he was a highly accomplished Vidwan of Vedas and Shastras completely devoid of Chandra’s arrogance and selfishness; Budha’s placement on the Sky was right opposite that of Chandra and understandably so!
Budha’s son was Pururava who was a highly virtuous King and Apsara Urvashi enticed him and gave birth to Ayu, Amaavasu and six other sons. In the lineage of Amaavasu was born Jahnu who performed Sarpa Yagna; Devi Ganga approached Jahnu with a proposal to wed him and flooded the Yagna Shaala but Jahnu desired to marry Kaveri the daughter of Yavanaashva. Since Ganga insisted to marry Jahnu, he got tired of her and drank her up; the Maharshis present begged of Jahnu who agreed to revive her as his daughter and that was why the River was known as Jahnavi. Pururava’s another son was Ayu and Ayu’s eldest son was the famed Nahusha, who performed ninty nine Aswamedha Yagnas and nearly got the eligibility to Indratva. In fact, Brahma appointed Nahusha as proxy Indra, since Indra killed Vritrasura a Brahmana with the help of the backbone of Maharshi Dadhichi converted as Vajraadutha and disappeared as a fugitive in a lotus stem in Manasarovara. Nahusha gradually became arrogant and egoistic and asked Sachi Devi to serve him as his keep. Sachi Devi wanted to escape Nahusha and on his insistence asked Nahusha to come to her house by his own carrier as Iravata used to go to her by Indra and thus Nahusha also should come to her by his own distinct Carrier. Nahusha pushed aside a Palki of Maharshis and commanded Agastya Muni to lift the Palki quickly; Nahusha said Sarpa Sarpa, meaning thereby Quick Quick. Agastya Muni felt that not only Nahusha blatantly took away his Palki and even had the audacity say Sapa Sarpa to the Muni to reach Sachi Devi’s home. Agastya Muni purposively misunderstood Nahusha’s Sarpa Sarpa and converted Nahusha as an Ajagara (python) and dropped and cursed the arrogant Nahusha from Indraloka to the thick forests in Bhuloka. On praying the Muni, Nahusha got a reprieve in the next Yuga when Yudhister would provide relief to the Ajagara’. When in Dwapara Yuga Pandavas were suffering ‘Aranyavasa’ following Yudhishter’s losing fake chess game and one day in the Forest life Draupadi longed for a Saugandhika flower in a pond and asked Bhima to fetch to her; it was at that time the Ajagara coiled Bhima’s body and when Draupadi ran for Bhima’s rescue, Yudhistara gave correct replies to the difficult questions asked by the Ajagara, then Nahusha got Shapa Vimochana (Relief from Agastya’s curse). As Nahusha got his python’s form, Agastya helped Sachi Devi to search for Indra who hid himself in a lotus stem in Manasa Sarovara and brought Indra back to Swarga and sought Brahma’s exoneration of committing Brahmahatya dosha, on the ground that though by birth Vritrasura was a Brahmana, he was an unpardonable demon responsible to commit countless killings of thousands of innocent persons.
In the centuries-long ancestry of Kuru Vamsha, King Shantanu bore the brunt of the Kaurava dynasty as its key- figure. He and Devi Ganga gave birth to Deva vrata, popularly called Bhishma Pitamaha. He was so named since took a unique vow of celibacy and against the institution of marriage to facilitate the wedding of his father’s deep desire to wed Satyavati alias ‘Matsyagandhi’ renamed by Maharshi Parashara as ‘Yojanagandhi’; ther Maharshi took fancy for her while crossing a River as she-a fisherwoman- yielded to the Maharshi’s request and he granted the boons to her that her body smell of fish would change to that of a Yojana-wide fragrance, that her virginity would be intact and that she would be the Queen a famous King.
As a result of this happening, a Vishnu Swarupa was born to Satyavati and Parashara as the most reputed Maharshi Veda Vyasa who had the singular distinction of scripting Ashtaadasha Maha Puranas, countless other Scriptures and of course the Immotal Epic, Maha Bharata. It was against this background that Shantanu fell for Satyavati who insisted that in the event of her wedding to the King Shantanu, neither his elderson Devavrata nor his progeny should claim rights of Kingship to the throne of Kaurava dynasty and thus the fierce vow taken by Satyavrata which got him the renown of Bhishma. Subsequently, Shantanu’s son was named Vichitraveerya died an untimely death and as there was a threat of non- incumbency to the dynasty throne, Bhishma was invited to copulate his cousin’s wives as per the exceptionally approved Niyoga Practice in vogue then; as a result, Vichitraveerya’s widows Ambika and Ambalika begot Dhritarashtra (born blind as Ambika closed her eyes in the union out of fright of Veda Vyas) and Pandu (since Ambalika got pale out of horror at the sight of the Maharshi); both the women planned to depute their maid and normal and virtuous Vidura was born to her in the third attempt). Dhritarashtra married Gandhari and gave birth to hundred sons headed by Duryodhana and Pandu’s wife Kunti gave birth to Yudhishtara from the Amsha of Yama Dharma, Bhima from the Amsha of Vayudeva and Arjun from the Amsha of Indra while Kunti bore a child even before her marriage by the Amsha of Surya Deva but out of fear left the child in a floating basket in a water flow which was found by a childless woman called Radha and brought him up thus known as Radheya or Karna since he was born with Karna-kundalas or ear-rings. As the Kauravas and Pandavas grew up with mutual ill feelings, fanned by Dhritarashtra on one side and Shri Krishna siding the virtuous Pandavas on the other, an inevitable Maha Bharata Battle climaxed and ended with bloodbath of Good and Evil forces with Krishna Bhagavan assumed a historic role, exemplifying his assurance of: Paritraanaaya SaadhunaamVinaashaaya Dushkrutaam, Dharma Samsthaapanaart -haaya Sambhavaami Yugey Yugey!.
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