Episode # 474 – Sage Rishyashringa – How was he responsible for the growth of the “Ikshvaku Kula”?

In the previous episode, we had witnessed the continuation of the detailed accord on how Mother Ganga descended to the earth’s surface – Thanks to King Bhageeratha’s extraordinary efforts and penance. We’ve witnessed that Mother Ganga transcended to the earth and followed King Bhageeratha’s chariot, which went all the way from the Himalayan Mountains to the eastern coastline of our Bhaarata Desha, covering a distance of over 2,000 kilometers in total. On the way, the river passed through Jambu Maharishi’s ears and this led to Mother Ganga obtaining the divine name “Jaanhavi”. Thus, Ganga, Jaanhavi, Alakananda, Bhaageerathi, Deva-Strothas, etc. are divine names of our holy Ganga river in India. As Mother Ganga came down to the earth thus, King Bhageeratha sprinkled the water over the burnt ashes of his 60,000 ancestors, as per Sage Kapilachaarya’s instruction, and with this, all of them came back to life. Eventually, with the divine “Anugraha” of Sage Kapilachaarya and with the significance of the holy waters of Mother Ganga, these 60,000 people attained the highest “Moksha” as well. 

This is why it is widely believed that if we take a holy dip in the River Ganga, all our sins will be washed away and we would become pure. When we say that “we would get pure”, I mean to say that our “Atman” will get purified, along with our “Deham” (Physical body). Thus, with both getting purified simultaneously, we would get a step closer to attaining the highest “Moksha” at the end of this birth. Hence, readers should make it a point that we should take the holy dip in the River Ganga atleast once in our lifetime, and this is very important. This is exactly what Sage Naarada is also advising Yudishtra too, as they embark on the “Teertha Yatra”. Moving on thus, the storyline shifts to two different rivers – “Nanda” and “Apara-Nanda”. These two rivers originate from an important mountain range and this is where we’re going to travel to at this moment! Sage Naarada gives a beautiful explanation about this place, which is also associated with a great Rishi. Now let us witness this in a bit of a detail here. 

As Sage Naarada takes a deviation now, he talks about an important sage by name Sage Vibaandaka. Sage Vibaandaka’s son is none other than Sage Rishyashringa. Sage Rishyashringa, as he grows up in his life, marries Shaanta Devi, who was Sage Romapaada’s daughter. All this is happening in the “Anga Desha”, which is close to the city of Ayodhya. We’re currently witnessing some stories from the “Ikshvaaku Dynasty” isn’t it? King Sagara, King Amsuman, King Dileepa, King Bhageeratha, etc. belong to this important dynasty, wherein all of them have ruled Ayodhya at various points in time, before King Dasharata and Bhagawan Rama. Thus, coming back to the context here, Sage Rishyashringa is living with his wife, Shaanta Devi in his ashram, as once upon a time, the entire Anga Desha was suffering from extreme drought conditions! There was not even a single drop of rain and the entire country became dry, without even basic food production. People thus started to struggle even for basic food and water. As days and months passed by, the king of Anga Desha came to understand from his ministers that only if Sage Rishyashringa’s divine feet touch the soil of Anga Desha, this drought condition will come to an end. 

Hence, the King of Anga Desha requests Sage Rishyshringa to pay a visit to his territory. He immediately refused, as he was in deep penance and also, he hasn’t visited a town / city for a long time. Hence, Sage Rishyashringa was hesitant to come to Anga Desha immediately. However, with the repeated persuasion by the ministers of Anga Desha, Sage Rishyashringa finally agreed. Thus, as expected, when Sage Rishyashringa set his feet on the soil of Anga Desha, rains started to lash the entire territory and with this, the drought situation was brought under control! Thus, Sage Rishyashringa is a very divine person, and it is with the same Sage Rishyashringa only, the famed “Putra-Kaameshti-Yaaga” also took place under the leadership of King Dasharata, which resulted in the divine incarnation of Bhagawan Rama, Lakshmana, Bharata and Shatrughna.

Thus, Sage Naarada is narrating here about the significance of Sage Rishyashringa and how he has been instrumental in the growth of the “Ikshvaaku Dynasty” as well. So for today, we shall understand up to this point, and this story is not going to end here. Sage Naarada is narrating an accord about Sage Rishyashringa, to arrive at another important point here. We shall witness what is this point in the next episode! 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 Bharatidhasan Institute of Management (BIM) Trichy, 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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