In the previous episode, we had witnessed the family lineage of Sage Bruhu and how his wife, Puloma, was abducted by Raakshasa Puloma. Agni Bhagawan tried to come to the defence of Puloma, however, the Raakshasa was over-smart in claiming rights over Sage Bruhu’s wife. Finally, as Chavana Maharishi was taking birth from Puloma’s womb, he made sure that even while he was a newborn baby, he unleashed a plume of powerful fire that destroyed Raakshasa Puloma then and there! This saved his mother from a great disaster. Upon knowing all what had happened, Sage Bruhu was extremely happy with his son, and eventually he became a great sage like his father. Chavana Maharishi got married to Sukanya and gave birth to Pramati. Pramati got married later on and gave birth to Ruru. As Ruru grows up, he was about to get married to “Pramaadvara”. This Pramaadvara was the daughter of Sage Sthoolakesha.
As the marriage events were getting planned systematically as per the due procedure, Pramaadvara and Ruru were excited and were eagerly waiting for the big event. However, as the marriage date came closer, Pramaadvara was bit by a snake. The snake was so poisonous that she was about to die any moment. Upon seeing his daughter being bit by a snake, Sage Sthoolakesha cried helplessly. Her fiance, Ruru was also extremely sad that his would-be is going to die because of this unfortunate happening. As these people were crying helplessly, the Devas (Celestial Beings) came down to console them. As they were doing so, they gave a solution to this problem. The Devas explained to Sage Sthoolakesha thus, “Oh great Sage! It is very bitter to see such great sages crying in pain and sadness. There’s one way to save Pramaadvara’s life – You should give up half of your lifespan to her, and with this, she can survive this snake bite! If you’re ready to sacrifice your life for your daughter, she would again get up and shall be able to live a happy life with Ruru!”
As the Devas explain thus, Sage Sthoolakesha was more than ready to do whatever is asked for! He immediately accepted the solution wholeheartedly and gave away half of his lifespan to his daughter. With this, Pramaadvara got up unscathed! Henceforth, subsequently all the marriage arrangements continued in full swing and Ruru was a happy man too! The marriage too takes place with lot of grandeur, blessed by Indra and all the Devas together. As the couple gets married thus, Ruru was simmering with anger within. He felt disgusted with snakes henceforth, since his wife had been a victim of one! Hence, whenever and wherever Ruru sees a snake crawling around, he would make sure that the snake is immediately killed without any question being asked. He wanted to take vengeance on the snake community for the gross injustice meted out to his dear wife.
As days, months and years passed by, Ruru’s mindset never changed. In fact, the vengeance towards snakes only increased day after day. Many snakes had to die in the hands of Ruru over the years and this continued unabated. Now Ruru and Pramaadvara had a baby together and this baby is none other than Sage Sunaka. Sage Sunaka in turn had a son by name Shounaka. We’ve already witnessed some excerpts about Sage Sunaka and Sage Shounaka earlier, isn’t it? This is how the entire family lineage panned out to be!
To summarize the lineage once again – Sage Bruhu and Puloma had a son, who was none other than “Chavana Maharishi”. Chavana Maharishi got married to Sukanya and gave birth to Pramati. This Pramati and Gritachi got married and gave birth to Ruru. Now Ruru and Pramaadvara got married and gave birth to Sage Sunaka. Sage Sunaka got married and gave birth to Sage Shounaka. It is this same Sage Shounaka who is sitting amidst the banks of Naimishaaranya and listening to the entire story of Mahabharata. Sage Pouranika was narrating the entire Mahabharata text to a group of great sages at Naimishaaranya, and again, we’ve witnessed all this earlier. One amongst the many great sages who is sitting and listening to the Mahabharata text was Sage Shounaka.
As Sage Vyaasa explains all this as part of the “Puloma Parva”, he quickly goes back to Ruru again. We’ve already seen how Ruru was taking vengeance towards all the snakes and was trying to kill whichever snake came in his vicinity, isn’t it? One fine day, Ruru spots a water-snake crawling its way across. As usual, Ruru was spot on! He decided to take that snake down immediately. He thus took out a huge wooden stick and rushed towards the water-snake with great anger. At the time when Ruru was about to give a decisive blow to the snake, it interrupted him with a message thus, “Oh Ruru! I’m Dundubha and I’m not a poisonous snake like you think! Moreover, instead of killing that particular snake which harmed your wife, why are you killing each and every snake that you see here and there? Isn’t it wrong on your part to do it? Just because your wife was harmed by some snake, what fault did I do to be killed by you treacherously? Hence, instead of targeting other snakes, try to look for the one that bit your wife!”
As Ruru listens to Dundubha, he was initially surprised! How can a snake talk like a human being? This itself was a shocker to Ruru. However, making up his mind, Ruru asked Dundubha back thus, “Oh Dundubha! Now where would I go searching for that one particular snake that harmed my wife? As I keep killing snake after snake, that particular snake would also come up one day and I shall kill him. This is how I believe I should go about it. Moreover, you are a snake with fangs. Why shouldn’t I kill you? Give me one valid reason for me not killing you!” As Dundubha listens to the threatening accord of Ruru, he starts giving his flashback story! Now what is that flashback story and how relevant is that to the present context(s) that we’re discussing here? Let’s wait for the next episode to find out! Stay tuned! 🙂