In the previous episode, we had witnessed Sage Maarkandeya concluding one important accord that involved a discussion between Sage Gautama and King Pruthu. This discussion was on the context of King Pruthu praising King Gautama, which did not go well with the latter. Sage Gautama retaliated by saying that these praises are befitting only for Indra and not for any other person living in this world. However, King Pruthu stood his ground and justified his stance. There was a debate as to who is better – Indra or any other king ruling in this world in a righteous way. Finally, as Sage Sanaka, Sanatkumara, etc. intervened, the debate came to an end, and with this, Sage Gautama bestowed his divine “Anugraha” on King Pruthu. Thus, the point that we should understand here is that Sage Maarkandeya is explaining all this to make Yudishtra understand the significance of being a king and how righteous and responsible he has to be. Sage Maarkandeya explains thus, “Oh Yudishtra! Very soon you’re going to be a king again! You should learn all these lessons and understand the significance of adorning the throne! You should execute your responsibilities in the most righteous manner and this is what will make you a “Dharma-Atma”!
Moving on thus, Sage Maarkandeya moves on to explain about King Vaivasvatha Manu, who was the first king in this world, created directly by Bhagawan Brahma while creating the entire world step by step. As the discussion is now about kings and what are the significances that a king should possess, we’ve witnessed some important points pertaining to King Pruthu, and now about King Vaivasvatha Manu. It is during this time period did Bhagawan Vishnu incarnate in the “Matsya-Avatara” (Fish). This is what Sage Maarkandeya is going to explain here. One day, King Vaivasvatha Manu goes to the river bank to perform his regular “Tarpanam” during the evening time. This king had another name called “Satyavrata”. As he was taking the water in his palms to offer his “Tarpanam”, there was a small fish that got caught amidst his fingers! Amazed and surprised by this, King Satyavrata looks at the fish and admires its beauty. As he is thinking of letting the fish back into the water, the fish starts talking! The fish says thus, “Oh King Satyavrata! As you’re seeing me, I’m a tiny fish. I came into your palms seeking refuge. If you leave me back into the river, there are huge whales and sharks and they might kill and eat me as their prey. Hence, I request you to protect me somehow!”
As King Satyavrata hears this from the little fish, he is initially surprised! How can a tiny fish talk like this? Anyway, King Satyavrata decides to obey the words of the fish and assures it protection. Assuring thus, King Satyavrata transfers the little fish into his vessel (“Kamandalam”) with which he is performing his “Tarpanam”. However to his surprise, the moment the fish entered into the vessel, it started growing and it occupied the entire container. Now the fish talks to King Satyavrata thus, “Oh Satyavrata! I think I’m unable to fit myself into this small container of yours. You should maybe put me into a bigger container, so that I can be comfortable!” As Satyavrata looks into the container, he gets surprised! How come this fish grew so quickly? Satyavrata obeys the fish’s request and transfers it into a bigger container. However, more surprises are waiting for King Satyavrata! As he does so, the fish immediately starts growing once again and now fills up the entire container! Upon seeing this, King Satyavrata couldn’t believe his eyes! How can a fish mysteriously grow bigger and bigger as per the size of the container? Thus, King Satyavrata decided that this fish cannot be accommodated inside a container or a vessel. This requires a bigger pond maybe! Thinking thus, King Satyavrata carries the fish to a nearby pond and leaves it there. However, the fish starts growing to an enormous level and fills up the pond with its size! Again the pond wasn’t sufficient! Now King Satyavrata takes it into River Ganges and again, the entire river from one bank to the other end was completely occupied.
Subsequently, King Satyavrata understood that this is a mysterious fish and even a river is not sufficient to hold it. Hence, he makes an effort to transfer it into the ocean. Even there, the entire ocean gets filled up with the fish! Unable to believe what is happening, King Satyavrata falls down and bows down in front of the fish and asks thus, “Oh! I’m sure you’re not an ordinary fish by any means. I’ve seen fishes, but never had seen one that grows so quickly and massively within a split of a second! Please reveal to me your real form! Who are you? What do you want from me?” As King Satyavrata asks thus, the fish is going to now reveal its real form. Now who is this fish really? What does he want from King Satyavrata? Let us wait and witness in the next episode! Stay tuned! 🙂