Kings of Mithila. Legend of Nimi, the son of Ikshwaku. Birth of Janaka. Sacrifice of Siradhwaja. Origin of Sita. Descendants of Kusadhwaja. Kriti the last of the Maithila princes.
THE son of Ikshwaku, who was named Nimi 1, instituted a sacrifice that was to endure for a thousand years, and applied to Vasishtha to offer the oblations. Vasishtha in answer said, that he had been preengaged by Indra for five hundred years, but that if the Raja, would wait for some time, he would come and officiate as superintending priest. The king made no answer, and Vasishtha went away, supposing that he had assented. When the sage had completed the performance of the ceremonies he had conducted for Indra, he returned with all speed to Nimi, purposing to render him the like office. When he arrived, however, and found that Nimi had retained Gautama and other priests to minister at his sacrifice, he was much displeased, and pronounced upon the king, who was then asleep, a curse to this effect, that since he had not intimated his intention, but transferred to Gautama the duty he had first entrusted to himself, Vasishtha, Nimi should thenceforth cease to exist in a corporeal form. When Nimi woke, and knew what had happened, he in return denounced as an imprecation upon his unjust preceptor, that he also should lose his bodily existence, as the punishment of uttering a curse upon him without previously communicating with him. Nimi then abandoned his bodily condition. The spirit of Vasishtha also leaving his body, was united with the spirits of Mitra and Varuna for a season, until, through their passion for the nymph Urvasi, the sage was born again in a different shape. The
orpse of Nimi was preserved from decay by being embalmed with fragrant oils and resins, and it remained as entire as if it were immortal 2. When the sacrifice
was concluded, the priests applied to the gods, who had come to receive their portions, that they would confer a blessing upon the author of the sacrifice. The gods were willing to restore him to bodily life, but Nimi declined its acceptance, saying, "O deities, who are the alleviators of all worldly suffering, there is not in the world a deeper cause of distress than the separation of soul and body: it is therefore my wish to dwell in the eyes of all beings, but never more to resume a corporeal shape!" To this desire the gods assented, and Nimi was placed by them in the eyes of all living creatures; in consequence of which their eyelids are ever opening and shutting.
As Nimi left no successor, the Munis, apprehensive of the consequences of the earth being without a ruler, agitated the body of the prince, and produced from it a prince who was called Janaka, from being born without a progenitor. In consequence of his father being without a body (videha), he was termed also Vaideha, the son of the bodiless; and the further received the name of Mithi, from having been produced by agitation (mathana) 3. The son of Janaka was Udavasu;
his son was Nandivarddhana; his son was Suketu; his son was Devarata; his son was Vrihaduktha; his son was Mahavirya; his son was Satyadhriti; his son was Dhrishtaketu; his son was Haryyaswa; his son was Maru; his son was Pratibandhaka; his son was Kritaratha; his son was Krita; his son was Vibudha; his son was Mahadhriti; his son was Kritirata; his son was Maharoman; his son was Suvarnaroman; his son was Hraswaroman; his son was Siradhwaja.
Siradhwaja ploughing the ground, to prepare it for a sacrifice which he instituted in order to obtain progeny, there sprang up in the furrow a damsel, who became his daughter Sita 4. The brother of Siradhwaja was Kusadhwaja, who was king of Kasi 5; he had a son also, named Bhanumat 6. The son of Bhanumat was Satadyumna; his son was suchi; his son was Urjjavaha; his son was satyadhwaja; his son was Kuni 7; his son was Anjana; his son was Ritujit; his son was Arishtanemi 8; his son was srutayus; his son was Suparswa; his son was Sanjaya 9; his son was Kshemari 10; his son was Anenas 11; his son was Minaratha 12; his son was Satyaratha; his son was Satyarathi 13; his son was Upagu 14; his son was sruta 15; his son was Saswata 16; his son was Sudhanwan; his son was Subhasa; his son was Susruta 17; his son was Jaya; his son was Vijaya; his son was Rita; his son was Sunaya 18; his son was Vitahavya;
his son was Dhriti; his son was Bahulaswa; his son was Kriti, with whom terminated the family of Janaka. These are the kings of Mithila, who for the most part will be 19 proficient in spiritual knowledge 20.