Tuesday, 6 November 2012

27. Ikshvaaku's lineage detailed.

       On the next morning King Janaka told his royal priest(ராஜகுரு) sage Shataananda  "My younger brother  Kushadhvaja is ruling from the auspicious city  Saankaasya, which, you know is a  city surrounded by the River Ikshumati as a natural moat, where an army of able soldiers are stationed and guarding all around.  My brother presides over that city as if he is sitting in the Pushpaka Viman of the richly-rich god Kubera.  The waters of the River Ikshumati would taste like the sweet sugarcane juice. That apart, the city is surrounded by the plantations of citrus grapefruits that are famous for health keeping.
      "I wish to see him, as he is the nominated benefactor of this Vedic-ritual of mine, and he too shall become a rejoicer in partaking the joyousness of this marriage"
       Comment: Kushadhvaja supplied a whole lot of paraphernalia for this Vedic-ritual of Janaka from his auspicious city Saankaasya, and hence he was the benefactor of the ritual.
End Comment.
        On hearing that, Shataananda summoned some competent envoys whom Janaka briefed suitably and ordered to proceed to his brother's place.
      On arriving in the city Saankaasya those envoys went to the  king Kushadhvaja and informed him of  what happened at Mithila about Rama's breaking of Shiva's bow. Then they conveyed  the point of view of Janaka regarding marriages of four daughters.
     COMMENT: The viewpoint of Janaka was to offset the problem of marriages of both the daughters of his brother Kushadhvaja.  Dasharatha had four sons and Janaka conceived  a quadruple alliance with him, where Janaka had two daughters and his brother Kushadhvaja had two.
End Comment.
       King Kushadhvaja proceeded pronto to Mithila as desired by his brother Janaka.  Both the brothers with unlimited refulgence, after assuming their high seats at the court of the King Janaka, sent for Sudaamana, one of the distinguished ministers and told him "Oh, minister plenipotentiary, please proceed immediately to the king Dasharatha,  and invite him, his sons and his Vedic-celebrants to come over here."   Accordingly Sudaamana went to the King Dasharatha and told him "Your Majesty, His Majesty,  the sovereign of Mithila from the heritage of Videha kings is poised for seeking an audience with your Majesty with all your sons and with your Majesty's  royal-priest Vashishta and other mentors."
      King Dasharatha, along with his kinsmen and the assemblages of sages came to the place where Janaka was.  He then addressed the King Janaka  "Oh, exalted king Janaka, you already appreciated that this godly sage Vashishta is godlike to the bloodline of Ikshvaku-s, and in all our affairs he is our friend, philosopher and guide.  If the Sage Vishwamitra, along with all the other great sages present here give their assent, this equanimous Vashishta will narrate about my bloodline, lineally."  And, to the nod of Vishwamitra, Dasharatha fell silent and then the godly and sententious sage Vashishta started to chronicle the bloodline 
      "The timeless, changeless and imperishable God Brahma, begot  Mariichi, and Kaashyapa was the son of Mariichi, and the Sun was begotten from Kaashyapa, and Manu is said to be the son of the Sun.
      "Manu is the earliest Prajaapati and Ikshvaaku was the son of Manu, and that Ikshvaaku was the first king of Ayodhya.  The son of Ikshvaaku was the legendary Kukshi, and the famous Vikukshi  was the son of Kukshi.  From that most brilliant and courageous Vikukshi, Baana emerged as son, and the highly refulgent and valinat Anaranya was the son of Baana. Pruthu was the son of Anaranya, and Trishanku was Pruthu's son, and the highly renowned Dhundumaara happened to be the son of Trishanku.  Dhundumaara begot a highly glorious and a speediest charioteer Yuvanaashva as son, and Mandhaata emerged as the son of Yuvanaashva.
      Comment: Some read the name Yuvanaashva or Yavanaashva as a title of Dhundumaara.
End Comment.      
      "Maandhaata engendered the highly noble Susandhi as son, and Susandhi fathered two sons, namely Dhruvasandhi and Prasenajit.  From Dhruvasandhi, an illustrious one named as Bharata was begotten, and Bharata begot a highly effulgent son named as Asita.  Kings like Haihaya-s, Taalajanghaa-s, and the valiant Shashabindu-s have become adversaries  and kings in hostility to Asita, and  he had to wage a war with them.
      "Unfortunately Asita was defeated and dethroned and then he reached Himalayas along with his two wives.  Asita, with his meagre forces in Himalayas drew nigh of his Time there.  At the time of his demise both  his wives were pregnant, and one of the two wives administered toxic food to the other for abortion; it is however, not clear who poisoned whom.
      "There was a saint named Cyavana, the heir of Sage Bhrigu, who in fascination with the best and the beautiful mountains of the Himalayas, took shelter there.  One of the two wives of Asita came there desirous of a best son, and reverenced the sage who was godly in his glow.  Another queen Kaalindi had  also come to the sage, and she too reverenced him.  That sage spoke to her who received poison from her co-wife regarding the birth of her son.
      COMMENT: There are variations in reading these lines.  While some say that Kaalindi is one who 'gave' toxic food to her sister, while some others say that Kaalindi is the one who 'received' the poisoned food. Here taking the kaalindi ca 'Kaalindi also...' it is said that 'Kaalindi is one who administered poison...' Since she is also pregnant, coupled with the guilt of poisoning, hence the use of ca, she too came to the sage.
End Comment.
      " 'Oh, highly fortunate lady, a very good and a very mighty son is there in your womb.  Soon you will give birth to a highly vigorous and refulgent son and that illustrious one will take birth with toxicity, but there is no need to worry.'  On reverencing Sage Cyavana, that queen gave birth to a son who became Sagara, the emperor.
      Parable: When king Asita passed away, his queen and this Sagara's mother wanted to commit self-immolation, but this Sage Cyavana dissuaded her from it, and took her to his hermitage.  When she gave birth to Sagara, Sage Cyavana reared him up and taught him all of the archery (aagneya astra Fire-missile etc.), kingcraft and scriptures.  When Sagara asked for the details about his father, Cyavana told him all the legends of Asita and his conflicts with yavana-s, and shaka-s.  Sagara became furious at Haihaya-s, Taalajanghaa-s, and the valiant Shashabindu-s, warred  with them and drove them out of the country.  While doing so, Sagara made yavana-s tonsured, shaka-s or so-called Scythians, as half-tonsured, and paarada-s as shaggy haired ones, thus stripping of their Kshatriya-hood.  Taking the nearness of name paarada to Persia, it is said that the kings repulsed by Sagara taken domicile in the Middle East and a aaryan or a aa riaan is Airan or present day Iran, and age-old are Indo-Iranian links.  Further, the word Asia has its own nearness to the name of king Asita.
      "From Sagara it is Asamanja and from Asamanja it is Amshuman, and from Amshuman it is Diliipa, and the son of Diliipa is Bhageeratha.  From Bhageeratha it is Kakutstha, from Kakutstha it is Raghu, and Raghu's son is the great resplendent Pravriddha, who was reduced to a human flesh eater, and he is also known as Kalmashapaada;  and from him, i.e. Pravriddha, Shankana was born.
     COMMENT: This Pravriddha was really a great king in this lineage, but somewhat arrogant.  So, at one time he was subjected to the fury of Vashishta and became a man-eating demon.  But he too got his mystic powers.  When he was trying to issue a counter-curse to Vashishta, by taking water into his hand, his wife Madayanti dissuaded him to not to counter the all-powerful Vashishta.  He, on listening to his wife, dropped that water taken for cursing, onto his own feet.  Then his accursed water blemished him via his feet.  Hence, he is also termed as Kalmashapaada.
End Comment.
      "Shankana's son is Sudarshana, and from Sudarshana it is Agnivarsna.  And Shiigraga was the son of Agnivarsna, and Shiighraga's son was Maru and from Maru it was Prashushruka, and Ambariisha was the son of Prashushruka.  Ambariisha's son was Nahusha, the emperor and Yayaati is the son of Nahusha, and Naabhaaga was born to Yayaati.
     COMMENT: These names Nahusha and Yayaati also occur in other Puraana-s, indicating them in earlier eras to Ramayana period.
End Comment.
      "Aja was Naabhaaga's son and from Aja, this Dasharatha is manifest, and from this Dasharatha, these brothers, Rama and Lakshmana are born.
      "Oh, King Janaka, it is thus evident that from the beginning this bloodline of Ikshvaaku-s is spotlessly immaculate, immensely impeccable, indomitable, and irreproachable, and in respect of these kings born in this line of blood, oh, king Janaka, I espouse that it will be meetly of you to offer your seemly daughters to this seemly pair of Rama and Lakshmana." 

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