King Sagara

Topics: Shiva, Ganges, Yoga Pages: 3 (1063 words) Published: December 27, 2012
KING Sagara waited in vain for the return of the princes who had gone in search of the sacrificial horse. After some days he called his grandson, Amsuman, and said: "I am anxious to know what has happened to the princes who went to Patala. You are brave; go thither, well-armed and find out what has happened and come back crowned with success." Amsuman went closely following the path of the princes and reached the nether world where he saw and paid salutations to the mighty elephants standing guard at the four quarters. These guardians of the quarters uttered encouraging words and said he would succeed in his mission. When in due course Amsuman entered and went round Patala he was delighted when he found the sacrificial horse grazing contentedly there, but was perplexed and distressed when he saw heaps of ashes all over the place. Could they be all that remained of his valiant uncles? Garuda, the bird-king, brother of Sumati, Sagara's second wife, who chanced to be there told Amsuman: "Those ash heaps are all that is left of the sixty thousand sons of Sagara who were consumed by the wrathful glance of Sage Kapila. Dear child, take the horse and complete the yaga. If these ashes are to be watered according to custom so that the souls of the princes may rest in peace, Ganga should be brought down here from the land of the Devas." Amsuman rushed home with the horse and told the king all that he had found and learnt. Sagara was immersed in sorrow at the fate that had overtaken his sons. However, the horse having been brought back, he completed the yaga. Grieving over his lost sons and despairing of ever bringing Ganga down to the nether world, he died disconsolate. According to the Ramayana, Sagara lived for 30,000 years. Figures like 30,000 and 60,000 need not confuse us. Thirty thousand may mean either a very large number or just thirty. If we so like, we may take these figures literally. Amsuman succeeded Sagara as King of Ayodhya and was, in turn, succeeded by...
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