7    Surya and Surya Vamsha

In the context of the current Manu called Vaiwasvata, Daksha Prajapati had given seventeen of his daughters to Maharshi Kashyapa and Aditi gave birth to Vaivasvan              (Surya Deva) and other Devatas, Diti to Daityas, Danu to Danavaas and so on.Vaivaswan gave birth to Vaivaswata Manu, Yamadharma Raja, Yamuna, and Ashwini Kumars from Sanjana Devi (daughter of Vishvakarma) and Saavarni Prajapati the future Manu and Shani Deva from Chhayaa Devi, the shadow created by Sanjana Devi. Vaivaswata Manu had nine sons among whom Ikshwaku the eldest was the most famed followed by Naabhaga; since this Manu performed one Yagna with the desire of begetting a daughter, Ila was born and wedded Budha and they gave birth to Puru. From Naabhaga the lineage included Ambarisha, and Raivata. An interesting episode was that Raivata along with his daughter Revati visited Brahma who was then enjoying Gandharva Songs and by the time Brahma asked for the purpose of their visit and got the reply from Raivata that he desired to secure suitable husband to Revati, Brahma suggested the name of Balarama (Krishna’s elder brother) and by the time Raivata and Revati returned to their Kingdom, they found themselves strangers as they discovered that a full Yuga lapsed from Treta Yuga to Dwapara Yuga and destiny brought Balarama and Revati together although Revati is older to Balarama by a full yuga! In the Ikshvaku Vamsa, there was another illustrious King called Kuvalaashva whose Kingdom was for long pestered by a powerful Daitya named Dundhu who secured boons of invincibility under water. The King instructed his hundred strong sons to drench out water from the Ocean-banks and pulled out the Daitya, who when exposed out of water lost his invincibility and was killed; the King’s war tactics were stated to be unprecedented. Mandhata, Purukutsa and Muchukunda were the other famous sons of in the Vamsha. Mandhata Chakravarti was reputed to have built the ancient Temple of Omkareswara Linga near Ujjain near Narmada River as also discovered Manasa Sarovara on Himalayas and Jambu Dwipa thereunder. Muchukunda was stated to have slept off through Kalpaas in Dwapara Yuga in Yoga Nidra in a mountain cave; Krishna enticed into the cave a Yavana King-an associate of Jarasandha the father-in-law of Kamsa whom Krishna killed-and made him face the tired eyes of Muchukunda and the powerful rays of his vision burnt the Yavana!                                                                                                                      

In Purukutsa’ lineage was a King named Tridhanva  whose son Satyavrata as a Prince kidnapped a commoners’s daughter who was about to be married and this created a great social resentment and the King banished the Prince him out of the Kingdom on the advice of Sage Vasishtha the Raja Guru. The Prince adopted the ways of a Chandala and took to excessive drinking and immoral life-style. However, when Maharshi Vishwamitra went away on a long time Tapasya, his wife and children fell on days of misfortune and utter poverty and the Prince as a chandala took care of the Sage’s family; once he stole away the Sacrificial cow of one Yagna being done by Vasishtha, killed it and fed the cow’s meat to Vishwamitras’s family to lessen the pangs of their hunger and unsuspectingly the Sage’s wife and children ate the cow meat.Vasishtha discovered that the Prince stole the Yagnya Pashu, killed it and ate the cow meat and even fed it to the Sage’s wife and family. Vasishtha further cursed the Prince for three kinds of serious sins viz steatling a cow, killing it and feeding its meat to a Brahmana family of a Great Sage Vishvamitra. Out of gratitude, Vishwamitra on return from his long Tapasya asked Satyavrata for a boon and the latter desired to visit Indra loka but in his mortal body. By the power of his Tapasya Viswamitra no doubt made the request of Satyavrata possible and sent him upto Swarga –dwara but the gates of Swarga did not open up and as a retaliation the Maharshi created a Trishanka Swarga nearby the original Swarga  and fulfilled Vasishtha’s curse to Satyavrata as Trishanka or  the latter committed  three sins viz. to kidnap a bride and adopt a corrupt life; to steal a Sacrificial Cow, kill it and to let a Rishi’s family to eat;  and finally desired Vishwamitra to seek and fulfil an absurd boon of reaching a human body to reach heavens!

King Satyavrata’s son was Harischandra who unlike his father was a Symbol of Virtue, Truthfulness and Sacrifice. He was harassed by Vishwamitra to such an extent on flimsy grounds that he lost his Kingdom and his personal freedom, besides selling off  his wife and son, leading to abject poverty and son’s death; it was his destiny which finally let his son get back life and secure Swarga to himself and his wife.  

 It was in Harischandra’s lineage that King Sagara ruled ; he was born with poison (Sa + Gara) as his step-mother, tried to poison his mother during the latter’s pregnancy and his father was short lived due to immoral life. As his mother tried to immolate herself, Sage Ourvi rescued her into his Ashram and after bringing up the child, the Sage taught him Veda Vedangaas and martial arts and made him an expert in warfare, besides teaching him ‘Agneyastra’. Sagara regained his throne after defeating his several enemies like Haihayas, Shakas, Yavanaas and others. He performed Ashwamedha Yagna to celebrate his victories. His mentor Sage Ourvi offered two choices to the King’s two wives: one to secure sixty thousand sons or just one who would be the next King; one wife opted for a single son and another to have lot of sons. The Sage offered a fruit with one seed and a pumpkin with 60,000 seeds; the wife with one seed delivered Asamanjas (and his son is Anshuman) and another who desired lot of sons gave several embriyos. Thus along the Sacrificial Horse, the sixty thousand Sagara Putras were despatched and as suddenly it disappeared dug of the sea shores to search for it; hence the name of Saagara as dug-up of deep sea by Sagara Putras. In the process of digging up, Sage Kapila was found by the sons in Tapasya underneath the Sea and having suspected him to have robbed the horse, insulted him and man-handled. Kapila Muni opened up his fiery eyes and all the Sagara Putras were converted as ash! As the misadventure took place, Anshuman pleaded mercy to the dead sons of Sagara and the kind Kapila Muni gave the boon of redemption of the dead souls provided the Holy River of Ganges could flow all over the place where the ashes of the dead were purified. Anshuman and his son Dilip tried Tapasya but failed.

It was Bhagiratha that finally succeeded through relentless Tapasya to Bhagavans Ganesha, Vishnu, Shiva and Devi Ganga herself. Since Bhagirath was wholly instrumental in this most distinguishing act, Ganga Devi came to be reputed as Bhaagirathi.

In the long lineage of Bhagirath in the Surya Vamsha that followed, the illustrious personalities included Raghu, Aja, Dasharatha and the Epic Hero Shri Rama who stood tall in the Immortal Ramayana. Such was the most glorious chapter of Surya Vamsha and Ikshvaaku Vamsha which dominated the Global Scene in the History of Mankind through the two significant Satya and Treta Yugas!


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