In the previous episode, we had witnessed the all-important “Matsya-Avatara” of Bhagawan Vishnu, wherein Bhagawan had incarnated in the form of a huge fish, to protect the Vedas, along with Satyavrata and the Sapta-Rishis, amidst a raging natural disaster (Pralaya). With the details of the Matsya-Avatara, Sage Sukhaachaarya concludes the eighth “Skandha” of the Shrimad Bhaagawatha Puraana. Now as we move on with the nineth “Skandha”, we digress a little bit from what we’ve discussed so far, with regards to the “Manu” dynasty and the various kings who came as part of this. We are now going to witness some important details of the “Soorya-Vamsa” (Dynasty of Bhagawan Soorya). We’re going to witness how it began and who are the prominent people who were part of this great “Soorya-Vamsa”. I shall explain this in a brief, with all the people who came as successive generations. Readers should take notes and remember the “family tree” correctly.
We’ve already witnessed in our earlier episode about some details of Bhagawan Bramha. It all starts from Bhagawan Brahma only, who is the universal creator. Bhagawan Bramha had a son by name Marichi. This Marichi gets married to a girl by name Daakshaayani. Kashyapa was born to this couple. This Kashyapa gets married to Aditi and their son was none other than Bhagawan Soorya (Sun God), who is also referred to as “Vivasvaan”. This Vivasvaan gets married to Sanya and obtains a son by name “Shraadha Deva”, who’s story was described during the recently concluded Matsya-Avatara. This Shraadha-Deva in turn marries a woman by name Shraddha, and obtains a son by name Ikshvaaku.
The moment we hear the name “Ikshvaaku”, all of us would remember one great personality in all of our Indian scriptures, about whom we’ve done our first project as part of this blog series as well – He’s none other than Bhagawan Rama himself! Yes! Bhagawan Rama comes under the dynasty of King Ikshvaaku. It is to be understood by readers that Bhagawan Rama was the 35’th king of this great Ikshvaaku dynasty, with the first king being King Ikshvaaku himself. This is the reason why we often say that Bhagawan Rama belongs to the “Soorya-Vamsa”. It is to be understood here from the family tree explained above, that King Ikshvaaku is a direct product of the Soorya-Vamsa and Bhagawan Rama follows this same family generation. Now, this Ikshvaaku too has children and it continues as the “Brishadva Charitra”. King Sariyaathi was subsequently born as part of the Ikshvaaku Dynasty. Subsequently Naabhaaga was born and it was to this Naabhaaga, King Ambareesha takes birth as his son.
This is a very important “Charithra” in the Shrimad Bhaagawatha Puraana wherein, many important lessons are to be learnt and witnessed as part of this “Ambareesha Charithra”. We shall witness this “Ambareesha Charithra” in a bit of detail. If we’re able to understand the importance of the two days called “Ekadashi” and “Dvaadashi”, it is only because of King Ambareesha. He was a righteous and a selfless king, who believed that all the property that he possessed was all Bhagawan’s, and not his at any point in time. As a king, Ambareesha believed that his sole purpose was to protect his people, rather than amassing wealth, name and fame for himself. We can imagine how great a king was this Ambareesha!
King Ambareesha thus, had an important routine in his life – To fast during every “Ekaadashi” day, which is the eleventh day of every month. The subsequent day is “Dvaadashi”, the twelfth day, wherein he had a practice that he first offers food to a guest (Athiti) and only then he breaks his fast. Readers should remember the arithmetic behind calculating the duration of the day here. We’ve already discussed this in our earlier episodes as well, when we were discussing the divisions of time. According to the time calculation, a person who is fasting for the entire day of the “Ekaadashi”, should break his / her fast by around 8:30 AM the next day, which is the “Dvaadashi day”. This is the normal rule, as per the calculation of the “Naazhigai’s”.
After hearing this, we might immediately argue here – “Oh! My breakfast time every day is at 8:30 AM only! So what’s so different in this?” 😊 It is to be understood that Sage Sukhaachaarya and King Ambareesha are talking about the “fasting” schedule and not the daily food schedule! Nowadays, it is very rare to see people fasting on the “Ekaadashi” day! This arithmetic is only for those very few people who follow it! Also in the present day, doctors are advising that we split our diet into eight different slots! Normally we have three meals a day as a norm. But now, even that is increasing from three to eight! It’s amusing when we see such changes happening!
Anyway, now coming back to the story here, King Ambareesha thus has this important routine of fasting during the “Ekaadashi” day and subsequently breaking his fast on the “Dvaadashi” day by offering food to a guest who visits him. Once as King Ambareesha is going about this routine, something very unique happens! What is that unique experience which King Ambareesha encounters and how does he manage it? An interesting accord awaits us in the next episode! Stay tuned! 😊