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Sri Rama hearing about Vishwamitra

(Ref: Valmiki Ramayana - Bala Kanda - 31 to 34)

Sri Rama with VishwamitraMeditation: I meditate on Sri Rama camping on the bank of river Sona at Girivraja and hearing about the lineage of sage Vishwamitra.

Events:
1. Sage Vishwamitra deciding to leave Siddhashrama: After the completion of his yagna, sage Vishwamitra decides to leave Siddhashrama forever and go to the Himalayas on the northern bank of river Ganga (where his main hermitage was there).

2. Sri Rama starting his journey towards Mithila: The sages tell Rama to join them in their journey to Mithila to see a mighty bow of king Janaka. The sages say that king Janaka obtained that bow from his forefathers, who in turn got it through the performance of a Vedic ritual. The bow is so powerful that it cannot be lifted by anyone, either devas, gandharvas, asuras or human beings. King Janaka is performing a Vedic ritual and the bow is being worshipped there. Sage Vishwamitra bids farewell to the forest deities, and the animals and birds that followed them lovingly for some distance. The sages start their journey with hundred carts.

3. Sri Rama camping on the bank of river Sona: When the sun was setting in the west, they come to the bank of river Sona and camp there. The sages take bath and kindle the oblation fire. Then Sri Rama and others sits around sage Vishwamitra. Sri Rama enquires about that story of the place with charming woodlands where they were camping.

4. Sage Vishwamitra telling about Kusha and his lineage: Sage Vishwamitra narrates the story of Kusha (which is related to the history of that place). Kusha was a sage-like person possessing ascesis of high order. He had four sons named Kushambha, Kushanabha, Asurtarajasa and Vasu. Kusha instructed his sons to uphold the dharma of the kshatriyas and establish their rulership. The four sons built four cities. Kushambha built the city called Mahodaya, Asurtarajasa built the city called Dharmaranya and Vasu built the city called Girivraja. The place where they are camping is the land of king Vasu which is surrounded by five mountains. River Magadhi flows through that place and makes it rich in farmlands.

5. Sage Vishwamitra narrating the story of the daughters of king Kushanabha: King Kushanabha had a hundred daughters through a celestial named Ghritachi. They were very beautiful. One day when they were singing, dancing and playing musical instruments in the garden, the Wind god was attracted towards them. He proposed them to become his wife. When the girls refused saying that they cannot do anything without the consent of their father, the Wind god became angry, entered their limbs and disfigured them. The girls repeated this to their father. The king became sad but praised the daughters for the quality of forgiveness.

6. Sage Vishwamitra narrating the story of Brahmadatta: Sage Vishwamitra then narrates the story of Brahmadatta who restored the beauty of the girls. A great sage named Chuli was performing asceticism. He was served by a gandharva female named Somada who was the daughter of Urmila. Chuli became pleased with her service and wanted to fulfill any wish she had. Somada asked for a son of great asceticism. However since she was not married, she requested Chuli to bestow a son through his ascetic power. Sage Chuli bestowed her with a great son who became renowned as Brahmadatta. King Brahmadatta ruled the city named Kampilya. King Kushanabha married her hundred daughters to Brahmadatta. During marriage, as king Brahmadatta took the palm of each daughter, they were healed of their disfigurement and attained their former beauty.

7. Sage Vishwamitra telling about his own dynasty: When king Brahmadatta left after marriage, king Kushanabha performed a Vedic ritual to beget a son named Gadhi who will achieve great renown. Sage Vishwamitra tells that he is the son of Gadhi. Also, since he is born in the dynasty of Kusha, he is known as Kaushiki. Sage Vishwamitra then tells about his elder sister named Satyavati who undertook great vows. Satyavati was married to sage Ruchika. After her husband departed, she went to heaven with her body. Then, for the welfare of human beings she flowed down as river Kaushiki in the Himalayan region. Vishwamitra tells that he was residing in the Himalayas on the bank of river Kaushiki (his sister). Only for a short period he stayed at Siddhashrama to undertake a yagna. Now that his yagna is accomplished he is returning to his hermitage in the Himalayas.

Pilgrimage:

Rajgir, Nalanda district, Bihar Girivraja is identified with Rajgir in the Nalanda district of Bihar.


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