In the previous episode, we had witnessed the Paandavas getting some vital information from Sage Vyaasa before onboarding the raft to cross over the River Ganges. This is precisely the time when Chitra-Rasa comes to fight the Paandavas and finally comes to terms with them. It is Chitra-Rasa who suggested that the Paandavas take Sage Dhoumya along with them while they go to the Paanchaala Desha. As both Chitra-Rasa and Arjuna exchanged pleasantries and gifts with each other, Chitra-Rasa explains an important story to Arjuna and Co. All this comes under the “Chaitra-Rasa Parva” only. I had missed out mentioning this story in our earlier episodes, but I was waiting for the right context to narrate it. Now let us witness this story that Chaitra-Rasa is explaining, and then we shall proceed further on how the Paandavas reach Paanchaala Desha.
This story commences with an accord on Bhagawan Soorya (Sun God). Soorya Bhagawan had a daughter by name “Tapati”. In fact, this story talks about this Tapati a lot and is then going to branch into Sage Vasishta’s importance and significance. Many of us might know that Sage Vasishta and Sage Vishwamitra had a perennial fight with each other. Sage Vishwamitra was extremely jealous of Sage Vasishta because he possessed the holy cow called “Nandini” or “Kaamadenu”. Sage Vishwamitra wanted to prove his might by abducting the Nandini cow, but he failed in that heist attempt. Following this, a huge fight broke out between Sage Vishwamitra and Sage Vasishta. However, Sage Vasishta proved to the world why he is an extremely powerful “Brahma-Rishi” with extreme amount of “Tapo-Bhalam”. He made Sage Vishwamitra run for his money! Unable to bare this insult from Sage Vasishta, Sage Vishwamitra approached someone by name “Kalmaasha-Paada”. This Kalmaasha-Paada was such a cruel person by nature and according to Sage Vishwamitra’s instruction, Kalmaasha-Paada attacked Sage Vasishta again and at the end, he consumed all the hundred children of Sage Vasishta. Upon seeing this, Sage Vasishta cursed Kalmaasha-Paada very badly and he had to undergo a very tough life after that.
One of such sons of Sage Vasishta who were eaten by this Kalmaasha-Paada was none other than Sage Shakti. Sage Shakti’s wife was Adrishyanti. Kalmaasha-Paada attacked and consumed Sage Vasishta’s sons at a time when Adrishyanti was carrying. As Kalmaasha-Paada consumed all of them, including Adrishyanti, her baby inside the womb was asking questions from within! For whatever things that were being talked about outside, the baby asked the question “Why”! It was repeatedly proclaiming that the sole purpose of it’s birth in this world is to attain “Moksha” and nothing else. This intention is summed up by the phrase called “Paraasu” in Sanskrit. It is this phrase that the baby was chanting all the time as it was born. This is why the baby obtained the name “Paraashara”. We’ve already witnessed the story of Sage Veda-Vyaasa who was in turn born to Sage Paraashara. However, we’re now witnessing how Sage Paraashara was born.
Thus, we can witness here that Sage Vasishtaachaarya’s son was Sage Shakti. Sage Shakti’s son was Sage Paraashara and Sage Paraashara’s son was none other than Sage Veda-Vyaasa. Thus, this is the famed lineage of the great sages who were instrumental in documenting all what we’re witnessing now – The “Ithihaasas” and the “Puraanas”. Now we might have a question in our mind – Why are we suddenly witnessing all these stories? Isn’t it out of context? Why is Chitra-Rasa narrating these stories now to Arjuna at a time when the Paandavas were hurrying towards the Paanchaala Desha for the “Svayamvara” event? The answers to these questions lie in the next episode! There is a purpose behind why these stories are being narrated at this point! Stay tuned to understand this purpose! 🙂