Satyaharischandra’s story

October 4, 2007 RENU

One day in heaven Lord Indra asks: who among the Iksvaku kings is most truthful? Vasista, guru of Iksvakus(Ramas dynasty which ruled Ayodhya), names his disciple Hariscandra as being absolutely committed to truth, but his rival Visvamitra disagrees. He says he would give 1/2 of his merits acquired from ascetic practices if he cant prove it. To prove, he devices various strategies to force Haris to lie. He tricks Hariscandra into performing Bahusuvarna sacrifice & asks as daksina (gift), a very high pile of gold. After collecting the gift, he leaves it with Haris for safekeeping & goes home. Then he creates wild animals, which cause immense fear among people, forcing Haris to hunt. When Haris kills a boar created by him, viswamitra gets mad & creates 2untouchable girls to entertain Haris & ask him to marry them. But he refuses b’cos he, as been born into suryavamsa would go to hell if he does that. He says he would rather give up his throne than marrying them. Imm’ly viswamitra asks for the throne & gets it. Then he demands the earlier gift of gold which Haris already returned it to him. Surprised Haris tries to explain, but sage accuses angrily of going back on his promise. Haris seeks 48days to repay the loan & goes to Kashi along with his wife chandramati, son Lohitasva, minister Satyakirti. Viswamitra sends his disciple Naksitrika to stay with them & collect gold from Haris. At Kashi, following Candramati’s suggestion, he sells her to a Brahmin. Naksitrika’s demand for allowance for days he had to spend in Haris’s company experiencing many hardships compels Haris to sell himself to an untouchable who employs him as burial ground guard to collect rent from its users. Soon thereafter, Lohitasva dies from snakebite in forest, where he was collecting firewood along with his friends. Grief stricken Candramati brings her sons body to burial ground in the night, since her masters wouldn’t’ allow her to leave before finishing her housework. Haris seeing his sons corpe 1st collapses, but wouldn’t let her cremate the body, if she is unable to give the rent. When a reluctant Candramati returns to get the rent, Visvamitra has the prince of Kashi killed & placed on her path. When she hears the cry of young prince, she delusionally thinks that her own son was calling her & walks towards the source of sound. She is captured by the soldiers & brought to the king of Kashi, who finds her guilty & sentences her to death. Haris, being Virabahuka’s slave, is asked to cut her head & he is determined to do just the same, refusing Visvamitra’s seductive offers. When Haris raises the axe, Gods, led by Siva, appear. Visvamitra praises Haris’s commitment to truth, returns kingdom to Haris, gives him merit he promised.


Entry Filed under: Moral stories

One Comment Add your own

  • 1. Geethanjali.P  |  September 14, 2008 at 12:29 pm

    It should have been appropriate to at least mention the names of the persons who gave birth to a great ethical personality like SATYA HARISCHANDRA.

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