Sons of Pururavas. Descendants of Amavasu. Indra born as Gadhi. Legend of Richika and Satyavati. Birth of Jamadagni and Viswamitra. Parasurama the son of the former. Legend( of Parasurama.) Sunahsephas and others the sons of Viswamitra, forming the Kausika race.
PURURAVAS had six sons, ayus, Dhimat, Amavasu, Viswavasu, satayus, and srutayus 1. The son of Amavasu was Bhima 2; his son was Kanchana 3; his son was Suhotra 4, whose son was Jahnu. This prince, whilst performing a sacrifice, saw the whole of the place overflowed by the waters of the Ganges. Highly offended at this intrusion, his eyes red with anger, he united the spirit of sacrifice with himself, by the power of his devotion, and drank up the river. The gods and sages upon this came to him, and appeased his indignation, and reobtained Ganga from him, in the capacity of his daughter (whence she is called Jahnavi) 5.
The son of Jahnu was Sumantu 6; his son was Ajaka; his son was Valakaswa 7; his son was Kusa 8, who had four sons, Kusamba, Kusanabha, Amurttaya, and Amavasu 9. Kusamba, being desirous of a son, engaged in devout penance to obtain one who should be equal to Indra. Observing the intensity of his devotions, Indra was alarmed lest a prince of power like his own should be engendered, and determined therefore to take upon himself the character of Kusamba s son 10. He was accordingly born as Gadhi, of the race of Kusa Kausika(). Gadhi had a daughter named Satyavati. Richika, of the descendants of Bhrigu, demanded her in marriage. The king was very unwilling to give his daughter to a peevish old Brahman, and demanded of him, as the nuptial present, a thousand fleet horses, whose colour should be white, with one black ear. Richika having propitiated Varuna, the god of ocean, obtained from him, at the holy place called Aswatirtha, a thousand such steeds; and giving them to the king, espoused his daughter 11.
In order to effect the birth of a son, Richika 12 prepared a dish of rice, barley, and pulse, with butter and milk, for his wife to eat; and at her
request he consecrated a similar mixture for her mother, by partaking of which she should give birth to a prince of martial prowess. Leaving both dishes with his wife, after describing particularly which was intended for her, and which for her mother, the sage went forth to the forests. When the time arrived for the food to be eaten, the queen said to Satyavati, Daughter", all persons wish their children to be possessed of excellent qualities, and would be mortified to see them surpassed by the merits of their mother s brother. It will be desirable for you, therefore, to give me the mess your husband has set apart for you, and to eat of that intended for me; for the son which it is to procure me is destined to be the monarch of the whole world, whilst that which your dish would give you must be a Brahman, alike devoid of affluence, valour, and power." Satyavati agreed to her mother s proposal, and they exchanged messes.
When Richika returned home, and beheld Satyavati, he said to her, "Sinful woman, what hast thou done! I view thy body of a fearful appearance. Of a surety thou hast eaten the consecrated food which was prepared for thy mother: thou hast done wrong. In that food I had infused the properties of power and strength and heroism; in thine, the qualities suited to a Brahman, gentleness, knowledge, and resignation. In consequence of having reversed my plans, thy son shall follow a warrior s propensities, and use weapons, and fight, and slay. Thy mother s son shall be born with the inclinations of a Brahman, and be addicted to peace and piety." Satyavati, hearing this, fell at her husband s feet, and said, "My lord, I have done this thing through ignorance; have compassion on me; let me not have a son such as thou hast foretold: if such there must be, let it be my grandson, not my son." The Muni, relenting at her distress, replied, "So let it be." Accordingly in due season she gave birth to Jamadagni; and her mother brought forth Viswamitra. Satyavati afterwards became the Kausiki river 13. Jamadagni married Renuka, the daughter of Renu, of the
family of Ikshwaku, and had by her the destroyer of the Kshatriya race, Parasurama, who was a portion of Narayana, the spiritual guide of the universe 14.
LEGEND OF PARASURAMA.
(From the Mahabharata.)
Jamadagni" (the son of Richika 15) was a pious sage, who by the fervour of his devotions, whilst engaged in holy study, obtained entire possession of the Vedas. Having gone to king Prasenajit, he demanded in marriage his daughter Renuka, and the king gave her unto him. The descendant of Bhrigu conducted the princess to his hermitage, and dwelt with her there, and she was contented to partake in his ascetic life. They had four sons, and then a fifth, who was Jamadagnya, the last but not the least of the brethren, Once when her sons were all absent, to gather the fruits on which they fed, Renuka, who was exact in the discharge of all her duties, went forth to bathe. On her way to the stream she beheld Chitraratha, the prince of Mrittikavati, with a garland of lotuses on his neck, sporting with his queen in the water, and she felt envious of their felicity. Defiled by unworthy thoughts, wetted but not purified by the stream, she returned disquieted to the hermitage, and her husband perceived her agitation. Beholding her fallen from perfection, and shorn of the lustre of her sanctity, Jamadagni reproved her, and was exceeding wroth. Upon this there came her sons from the wood, first the eldest, Rumanwat, then Sushena, then Vasu, and then Viswavasu; and each, as he entered, was successively commanded by his father to put his mother to death; but amazed, and influenced by natural affection, neither of them made any reply: therefore Jamadagni was angry, and cursed them, and they
came as idiots, and lost all
understanding, and were like unto beasts or birds. Lastly, Rama returned to the hermitage, when the mighty and holy Jamadagni said unto him, Kill thy mother, who has sinned; and do it, son, without repining. Rama accordingly took up his axe, and struck off his mother s head; whereupon the wrath of the illustrious and mighty Jamadagni was assuaged, and he was pleased with his son, and said, Since thou hast obeyed my commands, and done what was hard to be performed, demand from me whatever blessings thou wilt, and thy desires shall be all fulfilled. Then Rama begged of his father these boons; the restoration of his mother to life, with forgetfulness of her having been slain, and purification from all defilement; the return of his brothers to their natural condition; and, for himself, invincibility in single combat, and length of days: and all these did his father bestow.
"It happened on one occasion, that, during the absence of the Rishi s sons, the mighty monarch Karttavirya, the sovereign of the Haihaya tribe, endowed by the favour of Dattatreya with a thousand arms, and a golden chariot that went wheresoever he willed it to go, came to the hermitage 16 of Jamadagni, where the wife of the sage received him with all proper respect. The king, inflated with the pride of valour, made no return to her hospitality, but carried off with him by violence the calf of the milch cow of the sacred oblation 17, and cast down the tall trees surrounding the hermitage. When Rama returned, his father told him what had chanced, and he saw the cow in affliction, and he was filled with wrath. Taking up his splendid bow 18, Bhargava, the slayer of hostile heroes, assailed Karttavirya, who had now become subject to
the power of death, and overthrew him in battle. With sharp arrows Rama cut off his thousand arms, and the king perished. The sons of Karttavirya, to revenge his death, attacked the hermitage of Jamadagni, when Rama was away, and slew the pious and unresisting sage, who called repeatedly, but fruitlessly, upon his valiant son. They then departed; and when Rama returned, bearing fuel from the thickets, he found his father lifeless, and thus bewailed his unmerited fate: Father, in resentment of my actions have you been murdered by wretches as foolish as they are base! by the sons of Karttavirya are you struck down, as a deer in the forest by the huntsman s shafts! Ill have you deserved such a death; you who have ever trodden the path of virtue, and never offered wrong to any created thing! How great is the crime that they have committed, in slaying with their deadly shafts an old man like you, wholly occupied with pious cares, and engaging not in strife! Much have they to boast of to their fellows and their friends, that they have shamelessly slain a solitary hermit, incapable of contending in arms! Thus lamenting, bitterly and repeatedly, Rama performed his father s last obsequies, and lighted his funeral pile. He then made a vow that he would extirpate the whole Kshatriya race. In fulfilment of this purpose he took up his arms, and with remorseless and fatal rage singly destroyed in fight the sons of Karttavirya; and after them, whatever Kshatriyas he encountered, Rama,
e first of warriors, likewise slew. Thrice seven times did the clear the earth of the Kshatriya caste 19; and he filled with their blood the five large lakes of Samanta panchaka, from which he offered libations to the race of Bhrigu. There did he behold his sire again, and the son of Richika beheld his son, and told him what to do. Offering a solemn sacrifice to the king of the gods, Jamadagnya presented the earth to the ministering priests. To Kasyapa he gave the altar made of gold, ten fathoms in length, and nine in height 20. With the permission of Kasyapa, the Brahmans divided it in pieces amongst them, and they were thence
called Khandavayana Brahmans. Having given the earth to Kasyapa, the hero of immeasurable prowess retired to the Mahendra mountain, where he still resides: and in this manner was there enmity between him and the race of Kshatriyas, and thus was the whole earth conquered by Rama 21."
The son of Viswamitra was sunahsephas, the descendant of Bhrigu, given by the gods, and thence named Devarata 22. Viswamitra had
other sons also, amongst whom the most celebrated were Madhuchhandas, Kritajaya, Devadeva, Ashtaka, Kachchapa, and Harita; these founded many families, all of whom were known by the name of Kausikas, and intermarried with the families of various Rishis 23.