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Anshuman goes in search of ritual horse

Anshuman goes in search of ritual horse
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On getting upset that his sons who went long time ago to fetch the ritual horse, but could not trace it and as a result the Ashvamedha Ritual could...

On getting upset that his sons who went long time ago to fetch the ritual horse, but could not trace it and as a result the Ashvamedha Ritual could not be completed, Sagara asked his grandson Anshuman to proceed in search of his paternal uncles and also the stolen horse. Wearing a bow and arrow Anshuman journeyed on the same pathway that was excavated by his uncles inside the earth. On entering the earth, he found one of the four gigantic elephants. He circumambulating the elephant Anshuman enquired about the ritual horse, its abductors and about his uncles. The elephant positively responded and assured him that he would accomplish his aim soon. Later he found the other three gigantic elephants on the way in the other directions. Anshuman proceeded further as directed by them and with their blessings, and found on the way the place where his uncles were rendered as heaps of ashes. On seeing the condition of his uncles Anshuman broke down and wept for their death. Anshuman also found nearby the grazing ritual horse. Having decided to first and foremost offer obsequies waters to the departed souls of Sagara, Anshuman searched for water nearby".

"Despite his vigorous search for water, and when he could not find the same, Anshuman started thinking as to what to do next. Then he saw Garatmanth, the Eagle Chariot of Lord Vishnu, and also the maternal uncle of his father and sixty thousand paternal uncles. Garatmanth also saw Anshuman and told him not to worry because the death of his paternal uncles was worthwhile to the three worlds. Garatmanth also told him that it was Kapila the infinite sage who was none other than Lord Vishnu himself, with uncontrollable anger on sons of Sagara for their transgressions, burnt down in to heaps of ashes. He told Anshuman to desist from weeping".

Garatmanth tutored Anshuman to bring River Ganga

Vishvamitra continued his narration of the legend of Sagara and said: "Garatmanth told Anshuman that it was not proper on his part to offer the ordinary obsequies waters to the departed souls and instead fetch holy water from virtuous rivers like River Ganga. He also told Anshuman that if only the River Ganga water drenches the ash of his uncles, they will be able to go to heaven. Garatmanth suggested him to proceed from there with the ritual horse and enable in completion of the Ashvamedha Ritual being performed by his grandfather. Accordingly, Anshuman went with the horse and briefed everything to his grandfather who was under the vow of ritual, including the need to fetch River Ganga. Despite totally occupied in deep mourning Sagara completed the Vedic Ritual in its totality. On completion Sagara went to his capital and engaged himself with the thought of ways and means to bring River Ganga and having no clue ruled his kingdom for thirty thousand years till he left for heaven". Thus, Sage Vishvamitra continued his narration about the ancestors of Rama.

Bhagiratha brings River Ganga to earth

"After the death of Sagara, despite the request of ministers and subjects of that kingdom, that Anshuman should succeed his grandfather, he made his son Dileep as emperor and left for forests for penance. As part of his penance Anshuman spent thirty-two thousand years desiring the descent of River Ganga to the earth. Ultimately, he passed away without achieving and left for heaven. Then King Dileep too was worried as to how he would be able to fetch Ganga on to the earth from heaven. He too was not able to accomplish the task. He gave birth to a son who later became renowned as Bhagiratha. King Dileep performed innumerable Vedic Rituals and ruled his kingdom for thirty thousand years and finally made his son Bhagiratha as his successor and passed away. The righteous kingly-sage Bhagiratha was childless. He delegated the kingdom to the custody of his ministers and left for Mount Gokarna for great penance lasting for a thousand years aiming at alighting Ganga River on earth. Then pleased with his penance Lord Brahma appeared to Bhagiratha and told him that he was delighted of his penance and hence he may ask for a boon".

"Bhagiratha requested Brahma that he should be blessed that all the sons of Sagara shall get obsequies waters by him. He also requested Brahma that the great souls of sons of Sagara were drenched with the waters of River Ganga to enable them to go to heaven. Yet another request Bhagiratha made was that he should be blessed with an offspring to sustain the Ikshvakas dynasty. Brahma conceded all his prayers but not without a rider. He said if River Ganga alights on earth from sky, then, God Shiva alone is capable to sustain its force and hence it is advised that Bhagiratha prays Shiva to do so. Thus, saying Brahma, after agreeing for the alighting of River Ganga designated Lord Shiva to bear the burden of the onrush of Ganga, left for his abode".

Ganga descends to earth through Shiva's head

"As suggested by Brahma, Bhagiratha prayed for the mercy of Lord Shiva for one year. Delighted with Bhagirath's prayers Lord Shiva agreed to fulfill his desire and promised to sustain River Ganga's force on his head. Then Ganga assuming an unbearable form and an intolerable speed, plunged from the sky onto the auspicious head of Shiva. On noticing River Ganga in that form and getting enraged Lord Shiva decided to fix her in his head-hair. Having got into Shiva head-hair Ganga became a detainee there for several years and rendered incapable in the absence of an outlet, to come out, and reeled round and round there. On observing this Bhagiratha again did amazing penance in favor of Shiva for which he was delighted and appeared to Bhagiratha. He then released Ganga from his head into Bindu Lake in Himalayas in small quantities. From there seven streams emerged out of it and started flowing on earth. It followed Bhagiratha and on the way while advancing it inundated the place where sage Jahnav was performing ritual".

Jahnav consumes entire Ganga water

"On seeing Ganga inundating his field of Vedic Ritual sage Jahnav became annoyed and on deciding to put an end to River Ganga's audacity, swallowed all the water of Ganga in just a minute. Then the sages, Devatas and Gandharvas who were following Ganga on its way were highly stunned. They all started worshiping Jahnav with a request to let Ganga out from his stomach. Jahnav then released Ganga through both of his ears. Thus, Ganga became his daughter and renowned as Jahnavi after the name of sage Jahnav. Later Ganga followed Bhagiratha Chariot and reached the ocean. There from she flown to the underground and to accomplish the mission of Bhagiratha drenched and inundated the heap of ashes of Sagara's sixty thousand sons enabling them to go to heaven".

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