Bal Kanda 5 - The Story of Ganga
Deepak M R is a professional writer and trainer. He has a rich work experience of more than 25 years in varies fields that include training, education, and consulting.
He is author of the novel Abhimanyu - the warrior prince (Bloomsbury, 2021). He is also once of the contributing authors in the anthologies Unsung Valour and Aryaa and has written Kindle eBook Mahabharata Tales: Justice for Draupadi and other stories.
Rama used the Manava astra and struck Maricha, who went flying a 100 yojanas away and became unconscious. Using the Agneya weapon, Rama struck Subahu, making him fall. Using the Vayavya weapon, Rama blew away the rakshasa hordes. In this way, Rama achieved his goal of protecting Vishwamitra’s ashrama by killing all the demons.
Having accomplished their task, the two princes bowed before Vishwamitra and asked him what they should do next. The sage then told the princes that they should accompany him to King Janaka’s kingdom in Mithila to attend the sacrifice being conducted by the king. He told them about a great bow that Janaka had received from the Gods.
On the journey, Vishwamitra told them his story. He narrated how the sage Chuli was served by a nymph Somada, the daughter of Urvashi. When the pleased sage asked her for a boon, she wanted a son from him. Through his powers, the sage gave her a son known as Brahmadatta. The King Kushanabha, whose daughters were deformed by Vayu were married to the sage. After the marriage their deformities were cured.
King Kushanabha then got the putrakameshti yajna performed and obtained a son named Gadhi. Vishwamitra was none other than Gadhi’s son, and since he came from the lineage of Kusha, he was known as Kaushika. His sister Satyavati left for heaven and manifested as a river named Kaushiki. Vishwamitra who was fond of his sister stayed on the banks of the Kaushiki and lived there.
The princes continued along their journey, and Rama asked Vishwamitra to narrate the story of Ganga. Vishwamitra told the princes how Ganga was the elder daughter of Himalaya. His second daughter was Uma, who was married to the destroyer Shiva. When Shiva and Uma had a union, their energy was so powerful that the Gods were scared. They were worried about how the energy could be sustained by the world.
Shiva then decided not to proceed with the union and released his energy and seed on earth. To save the earth, Agni entered the energy creating Mount Shweta. But Uma was angry with the Gods since they stopped her from having a union with Shiva. So, she cursed the Gods that they would not be able to produce any offspring.
The Gods who were worried went to Brahma to seek a solution. Then as per Brahma’s words, Agni released the energy of Shiva into Ganga. The river Ganga then deposited the energy on the foothills of the Himalaya. By the power of the energy, many minerals, including gold, were produced.
The embryo created when the energy from Agni entered Ganga was born as a child. The Kritikkas nurtured the child, and it was known as Kartikeya. The child grew up to be known as Skanda and became the general of the Gods.
Vishwamitra then narrated the story of how Ganga came to earth. Sagara who was the king of Ayodhya got a boon from sage Bhrigu. His elder wife gave birth to the king’s heir, Asmanja. His second wife gave birth to a gourd from which 60,000 sons were born. Asmanja grew up to be an evil man and was banished from the kingdom. He had a son named Amshuman, who was respected by everyone.
Once King Sagara decided to perform a yajna. Just before the yajna, Indra stole the sacrificial horse. Sagara’s 60,000 sons then set out to find the horse. They began to dig the earth and slaughtered animals and other beings that lived under the earth. The scared beings went to Brahma, who told them that all that was going on was ordained. Vishnu had been born on earth as the sage Kapila, and he would put an end to the arrogance of Sagara’s sons.
…. to be continued