Ramayana Summary Ch. 3


It was during this time that the legendary king of the Solar dynasty, Trisanku, was on the throne. Trisanku was so in love with the beauty of his own body that he couldn’t stand the thought of leaving it behind when he died. Instead, he wanted to go to heaven while still in his own body.

When he asked his teacher, Vasishtha, for help making his wish come true, Vasishtha told him to stop trying to do what couldn’t be done. The King was unsatisfied with the answer he received from Vasishtha, so he went to the sage’s sons to ask for their assistance. They were furious because their father had told them to accomplish something that was impossible. They made fun of their father’s vanity and told him to leave them alone.

King Trisanku was adamant about not giving up his goal, and he explained to Vasishta’s children that because they and their father lacked the merit necessary to assist him, he would have to locate others who had more capabilites. When the sons of Vasishtha were finally pushed to their breaking point, they exclaimed, “Be you a chandala.”
The curse started to take effect, and when Trisanku woke up the following morning, he was a completely different person. He was untouchable, hideous in appearance, and dressed in filthy clothing.

His ministers as well as the common people were unable to recognize him. After being exiled from his kingdom, he traveled the land, hungry and exhausted, coming dangerously close to death until fate led him to Viswamitra’s ashrama.
The sage’s heart was affected by the look of the king, and as a result, he enquired: “Aren’t you King Trisanku?” “Why have you found yourself in this difficult situation?” “Whose bad luck is it?”

After recounting all that had taken place, he knelt at the feet of the wise man and said, “I have always been a just monarch who has never strayed from the dharmic way of doing things.” I have not sinned, and I have not caused anybody harm.”My preceptor and his kids have abandoned me and spoken ill of me, which is why I am here before you in this state.”
Viswamitra felt compassion for the king, who had been turned into a chandala as a result of a curse. This was Viswamitra’s worst flaw; he was impetuous and often overpowered by feelings like wrath, pity, and love. This was also Viswamitra’s greatest vulnerability.

He made the monarch delighted with his kind remarks, which were as follows: “O, King, I have heard tales of the justice you administered. I give you shelter; do not be scared. I will make the arrangements for the sacrifice that will allow you to go to paradise in the body that you now occupy. “And in this exact chandala shape, you will make it to paradise in spite of the curse cast upon you by your Guru.” “You can be certain of this fact.”

And he organised an extraordinary yaga, the likes of which had never been seen before.
Viswamitra gave instructions to his pupils, stating that all of the sages and their students should be invited to the yaga that was being planned. All of the rishis gave their assent to attending the meeting because they were afraid of the consequences of responding “no” to what was essentially an order.

But the sons of Vasishtha refused the offer and made fun of a yaga where the priest was an ancient Kshatriya and the yajaman was a stinky chandala.
This comment made Viswamitra very angry. He swore that Vasishtha’s sons would die and be reborn for seven generations in a family that ate dog meat.
After then, the wise man started the yaga.
Viswamitra talked about how great Trisanku was and then asked the other rishis for help getting Trisanku’s body to go to heaven.

The attendees of the yaga gave their support, being well aware of the powerful abilities and explosive temper of the wise man, and the yaga continued as planned. It had progressed to the point that invocations were made to the gods, asking them to come down and take the sacrifices. But no god appeared. It was clearly obvious that Viswamitra’s yaga had been unsuccessful. And the rishis who had been present at the ceremony couldn’t help but chuckle to themselves at the sight of Viswamitra’s humiliation.

Viswamitra, raging with fury, held the ladle of ghee over the flames and screamed, “I will punish you!” ” O Trisanku, look at this place and see my might. All of the power that I have gained is now being transferred to you for your benefit. If my sufferings have any significance at all, they should elevate you to paradise in your physical body. It makes no difference to me if the Devas reject the sacrifices I make for them. King Trisanku! Ascend!”

At these words, a miracle happened. Trisanku, although still inhabiting his chandala form, suddenly ascended into the heavens, much to the surprise of all who had gathered. The power of Viswamitra’s tapas was revealed to the world.
Trisanku reached Swarga. However, Indra immediately shoved him down screaming, “Who are you, trying to go into paradise wearing the shape of a chandala?” “You idiot, you have brought the wrath of your preceptor upon yourself; descend farther.”

Trisanku was hurled from heaven with his head facing downward while pleading for Viswamitra to save him.
After witnessing this, Viswamitra was completely overcome with wrath. He yelled at Trisanku because he was so intent on teaching the gods a valuable lesson.
Put a halt to it! Put a halt to that! And to everyone’s surprise, Trisanku’s fall to the ground came to an abrupt halt, and he halted in the middle of the air, sparkling like a star.

As a second Brahma, Viswamitra started to build a new starry horizon in the south, as well as a new Indra and new Devas.
Concerned about their own preeminence, the Devas finally came to their senses and begged Viswamitra to refrain from his actions. They said that “Trisanku should be allowed to remain where he is at the moment.” Let the other stars that you created shine for all of the time, much like the renown and glory that you have earned.
“Learn to control your temper, and you may count on our friendship.”

Viswamitra, pleased with the submission and just as readily appeased as he might have been agitated, began the process of his creative endeavors. But his extraordinary exploits had used up all of the power that he had accrued as a result of his self-denial up to that point, and he discovered that he needed to start all over again.
Viswamitra kept living a life of austerity until he got to Pushkara, which was in the west.
Over the course of several years, the punishing tapas continued, but just as it was ready to yield fruit, he was once again provoked to rage by something that transpired, and he lost his composure and cursed his own kids. Soon after he had fully recovered, he made the strong decision to never again give in to his wrath, and he went back to practicing tapas.
After a long period of self-denial, Brahma and the other gods made an appearance in front of him and said, “O Kausika! The tapas have produced fruit. “You have graduated from the ranks of kings and have attained the status of a true rishi.”

Brahma then went back to his home after having blessed Viswamitra in this way.
This was another thing that didn’t meet his expectations. Even though he was already respected as a rishi, he aspired to get to the level of a Brahma rishi and be on the same footing with Vasishtha. It was a useless admission, just like the power rockets that Vasishtha’s Brahmadanda had eaten.
As a result, he came to the conclusion that he should continue his tapas while making them even more strenuous than before.
This did not suit well with the Devas. They sent the heavenly princess Menaka to try to win him over with her beauty and charm.
She traveled to Pushkara, the place where Viswamitra was doing penance, and there she performed music in an effort to win his attention with a thousand deft strokes of elegance and beauty. When Viswamitra saw her, he was awestruck by the beauty of the woman. His promise was violated, and for the next 10 years he lived in a dream of happiness, completely oblivious to the lofty standards he had set for himself.

When he finally came to his senses, he looked at the scared and sorrowful Menaka and told her that he would not curse her. He explained that it was his own stupidity that caused the situation and not her fault; she was simply following the commands of her master when she tried to seduce him. And with a heavy heart, he made his way to the Himalayas to pick up where he left off with his shattered tapas.

There, he practiced strict tapas for a thousand years, during which time he learned to master his senses.
Brahma made an appearance in front of Viswamitra at the behest of the gods, and he talked to him in such a kind manner: “My son, I am honored to have you join us as a Maharishi.” “I bestow upon you that honorable title and the sanctity that comes along with it because I am pleased with the soulfulness of your tapas.”
Viswamitra, who was unaffected by either his elation or his dismay, folded his hands in reverence before the Father of the Universe and inquired as to whether the blessing represented victory over the senses.

The Creator replied, “No way!” and then said, “Try to control your senses instead, you tiger among munis!”
Viswamitra was determined to win the ultimate victory, so he put himself through another thousand years of even more difficult tapas. This made the Devas even more confused.
Indra beckoned the celestial maiden Rambha to come to him, and he commanded her, as an essential act of service to the gods, to employ all of her skill in order to captivate Viswamitra, allure and distract him from his tapas. Indra’s goal was to prevent Viswamitra from accomplishing what he had set out to do. She was very scared, but Indra made her feel better by telling her that she wouldn’t be left alone and that the God of Love and the Spirit of Springtime would go with her. Both of them would help her.

She went to the place where Viswamitra was doing his tapas, against her will, and as soon as she stepped within the boundaries of the hermitage, the forest broke into a verdant display of splendor, the gentle breeze from the south carried the sweet fragrance of flowers, and kokilas began to sing. Both Love and Spring were there to lend a helping hand to Beauty. Viswamitra opened his eyes after being startled by tremors he hadn’t felt for long time and saw a ravishing damsel who smiled at him. She seemed to be the very essence of spring with her flowers, smell, and singing.
At this vision of soft voluptuousness, a white heat of anger surged through him as he recognized in it another temptation thrown in his way by the envious gods. He then cursed the temptress, saying, “O Rambha, for trying to tempt me, who is trying to control anger and desire, may you be frozen in stone for ten thousand years.”

But this angry outburst made him realise how far away he was from reaching his goal. So, he reluctantly left the Himalayan jungles and went to the east to find a peaceful and quiet place to perform his tapas.
There, he controlled his breathing, stopped thinking about the concerns of this world, and did exercises so strenuous that smoke and flames sprang from his body and engulfed everything around him. The gods were in a state of fear at this point, and they prayed to Brahma for help. Brahma then came before him once again and hailed him as Brahma Rishi: “I bow to you, Brahma Rishi, because you have earned my respect.” May the Lord bless your life. Viswamitra felt joy in his heart.
But he responded with a humble question: “How can I be satisfied until I hear from Vasishtha’s lips that I am a Brahma Rishi?”

Vasishtha flashed Viswamitra a grin as he recalled their battle and conversed with him as follows: “You have finally attained the reward for all of your hard work and sacrifice.” “My brother, there is no doubt about it: you are a Brahma Rishi.” There was happiness for everyone involved.

This was the tale of the wise man who appeared out of nowhere at Dasaratha’s court.

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