Episode # 65 – Birth of Sage Aasthika – An important landmark event for the snakes!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed Garuda being successful in his pursuit of obtaining the divine “Amrita”. The main purpose here is to release his mother Vinata from the clutches of Kadru. In the meanwhile, Bhagawan Vishnu was also impressed with Garuda’s relentless pursuit and He offered Garuda the permanent position at Vaikunta, of being Bhagawan’s official vehicle. Buoyed by this success, Garuda was speeding towards his mother as Indra stops him in the middle – He was the one who initially gave the divine “Amrita” pot to Garuda, however, Indra realized that he’s doing a big mistake here! Thus, Indra rushed towards Garuda and alerts him of the potential danger that is about to take place if the “Amrita” is distributed to the snakes. He alerts Garuda as to how these snakes would misuse the powerful effects of the “Amrita”, and how there is an existential threat to the entire world because of them. Normally itself, the snakes are a set of arrogant creatures, and on top of this, if they end up consuming the “Amrita”, their arrogance would breach all threshold levels! Realizing what Indra’s concern was, Garuda too agreed in-principle. However, Garuda has to free his mother. How does he proceed now? He makes a plan – He asks Indra to follow him closely, but without being noticed by anyone. He would keep the “Amrita” pot in front of the snakes, tempt them, and with it, get his mother released from Kadru. As this happens in the backdrop, Indra should pick up the “Amrita” pot and vanish from there immediately! This would ensure Garuda’s agenda to be satisfied, as well as Indra’s concern to be nullified. 

Agreeing to this deal, Indra and Garuda come along together. Garuda gives the “Amrita” pot to the snakes, which makes them very happy! Garuda uses this happiness to get his mother released, and as per the plan, Indra vanishes along with the “Amrita” pot, before the snakes come back! Upon seeing this, the snakes understood that they were being tricked by Garuda! Now here comes a bigger problem! The snakes were furious on Garuda, because he planned a heist against them. They prepared themselves to attack him left, right and center. However, the snakes recalled their mother’s wickedness and how she cursed them. That curse was lingering in their minds over and over again, and this led to their confidence being reduced. Perhaps, if the snakes attack Garuda, will Garuda sound the death knell to all of them? This was the fear that was gripping the snakes! Moreover, the snakes also knew that Garuda was cheated by Kadru. Garuda’s mother, Vinata was tricked the same way by Kadru and was made her slave. “Karma” bounces back immediately, isn’t it? Now it is the snakes’ turn to be cheated and enslaved! Thinking all of these, the snakes decided to let Garuda free. One mistake from the snakes’ end and one mistake from Garuda’s end neutralized each other! Thus, Garuda flew away scot-free, and his mother Vinata also was freed from the slavery of Kadru! 

Now all what we’ve witnessed till now in terms of Garuda, Kadru, Vinata, etc. were all sub-stories! 🙂 Why did we see all these stories here? It is to emphasize one phrase of the sloka that says Kadru’s sons (the snakes) were bearing a curse that they would encounter mass death due to a “Sarpa Yaaga” that is going to be conducted by a king! However, there is a shining light at the end of the tunnel for the snakes – That light is none other than Sage Aasthika. This Sage Aasthika is going to be born as the son to Sage Jarath-Kaaru and Snake Vaasuki’s sister. Thus, going back to the place where we left – Sage Jarath-Kaaru had initially put forth few conditions to the “Pitru-Devatas”, isn’t it? We’ve witnessed this earlier. The conditions were very simple – Sage Jarath-Kaaru should get a fiance who would also bare the same name as his. Secondly, he would not go in search of her. Rather, she should come in search of him. Only then he would get married. However, with the divine grace of the “Pitru-Devatas”, both these conditions get satisfied, and with this, the marriage happens. It is to this marriage, Sage Aasthika was born. 

Meanwhile, Snake Vaasuki was also worried about the fate of the snakes, along with himself. However, Bhagawan Brahma appeared in front of him and assured him thus, “Oh Vaasuki! I completely understand your concern! However, there is nothing to be worried. There is a great sage by name “Jarath-Kaaru”. You give your sister in marriage to this sage. The child that is going to be born to this couple is going to be an extraordinary sage himself, and is going to be an embodiment of extreme “Tejas” (Power of intense penance). This sage would be able to release all of you from Kadru’s curse. He would protect all of you from falling into King Janame-Jaya’s “Sarpa-Yaaga”. Thus, as per Bhagawan Brahma’s words, Sage Jarath-Kaaru marries snake Vaasuki’s sister and with this, Sage Aasthika is born. This is again, one side of the story. 

On the other hand, now we again go into the place wherein King Janame-Jaya is all set to begin the “Sarpa-Yaaga”. We’ve witnessed the background to this too, isn’t it? We’ve seen how King Janame-Jaya was motivated to go after the snakes, especially Snake Takshaka who was responsible for his father, King Parikshit’s death. So for today, let us recollect all these instances and let us get ready for the Sarpa-Yaaga of King Janame-Jaya. We shall witness in the next episode, how the “Sarpa-Yaaga” began and what happened next! Stay tuned! 🙂 

Published by Dr. Jeayaram

Holds a PhD in Management Psychology from Universite Paris Saclay, Paris, France. Also an Asst. Professor of Human Resources management at International School of Business & Media, Pune, India. A professional South Indian classical musician (singer) performing concerts. Through this blog, I'm trying to bring out the richness of Indian culture & values and I request your support and feedbacks in making this humble effort a success!!

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