Vishwamitra Ashram (Canto 38)

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Vishwamitra Ashram
( Canto 38)

One of the Manas Putra (Mind–Born-Son) of Bramha was Kusha. His son was Kushanabha and his grandson was Gadhi. Gadhi’s daughter’s name was Satyavati. Satyavati was married to sage Ruchika from the race of Bhrugu.

Sage Ruchika wanted a Brahmin son, so he gave his wife Satyavati a Charu (sacrificial offering). Satyavati’s mother wanted a Kshatriya son, so he gave another Charu for his mother in law. In haste Satyavati interchanged Charus. Satyavati’s mother gave birth to Vishwamitra Son of Kshatriya with the qualities of a Brahmin, while Satyavati gave birth to Jamdagni a Bramhin with the qualities of Kshatriya.

Vishvamitra was a valiant warrior and in a very short time he became a Samrat, King of Kings. Once he went for hunting. He was feeling thirsty. He noticed a hermitage. It was of Sage Vasishtha. Being noon time, Sage Vasishatha offered Vishvamitra lunch. Vishwamitra said, “Thank you very much for your hospitality but I am not alone, I have my entire army consisting of elephants and horses. Vasishtha was firm on his invitation and ultimately Samrat Vishvmitra accepted the invitation.

Vasishtha went to Kamdhenu and requested her to provide food for everybody. In a moment she created a Majestic Palace. She built separate dining rooms for the King, for his knights, for his army, for his horses and elephants. She decorated the whole place. She made plates and bowls. She cooked sumptuous food for everyone. Everyone was well fed and taken care of. Samrat Vishwamitra was surprised. He asked the secret of this miracle. Vasishtha said it is was no miracle or magic, it was the Kamdhenu. Vishwamitra longed for Kamdhenu. He offered his untold wealth in exchange of Kamdhenu.

Vasishtha was steadfast and very politely declined his offer, by saying “You are a Samrat, you are a giver, you cannot take from Bramhins. Proud, Vishwamitra, said,” Oh! Yes, if I am a king, then I can forcibly snatch her away from you”. He ordered his army to run off with Kamdhenu. Kamdhenu allowed the kings troops to pull her for some time. Once her patience was over, she finished Samrat Vishvamitra’s entire army, even before the mighty Samrat Vishvamitra could bat his eyelid.

Vishwamitra realised that Bramhins have great mystic and spiritual powers than Kshatriya’s. He left his kingdom to do Tapasya. It is here in Gokarna the enraged Samrat Vishwamitra undertook deep penance for several ages to please Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva bestowed on him the knowledge of celestial weaponry to destroy Vashishtha and his hermitage. Vishwamitra only succeeded in destroying the hermitage and not Sage Vasishtha. He realised that power obtained by penance was far greater than the physical power. This is the hermitage and Shivalinga of Vishvamitra, where even today, sinister are afraid to go inside the temple.