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Vishvamitra And The Creation Of Trishanku

Vishvamitra And The Creation Of Trishanku

Vishvamitra’s generosity was very famous and continues to be famous even today. We have come to an understanding of this personality’s ever giving quality through various stories. One such story is very enthralling. Trishanku, the ruler of Ayodhya, a very capable king and an intelligent human being once wondered to himself why only souls are allowed to enter heaven. Why can’t humans in their all flesh form become a part of heaven? He went to Vashishtha and begged him to send Trishanku to the heavenly abode while he was still alive. Vashishtha knew very well that he could not do such a task. Heaven was a place one entered after serving good all their life. He refused this demand of Trishanku and asked him to leave this thought.

Trishanku wanted to visit heaven more desperately now and decided to go to Vashishtha’s hundred sons and request help. The sons were very angry after they learned that their father had refused him this request. They cursed Trisanku to be a Chandala. A chandala is a person who deals with corpses and originates from Hindu literature. He is often considered to be from a backward background and according to older customs even an untouchable. He immediately turned into a person whose body was covered in ashes. He wore black clothes and iron jewellery. He was almost unrecognizable and hence his subjects did not believe him. He was driven out of his own kingdom.

Trishanku roamed from place to place looking for a way to visit heaven before his death. It was as if his prayers were answered. He came across sage Vishvamitra when he was in exile. Vishvamitra, being the ever giving sage, agreed to help him and take him to heaven. He arranged for a massive sacrifice and ritual in order to make peace with the gods and get Trishanku what he wanted. This all was in an attempt to get Trishanku into heaven in the body of a human being. None of the gods came to the Yagya and accepted the sacrifice. This meant that they did not allow such a thing to happen and disrupt the entire system of the universe, birth and death. Vishvamitra was very angry at this insult and he used his strong yogic powers along with a strong might to get Trishanku into heaven. He used his ladle which is used to pour ghee into the Havankunda to raise Trishanku up to the gates of heaven.

Trishanku kept rising and finally reached the gates of heaven. Lord Indra denied entry to Trishanku into heaven as it was against the pre-decided order and norms. He told Trishanku that he will have to return to the face of the earth and wait to be eligible for heaven in the right form. Trishanku started falling rapidly and a calm Vishvamitra requested and pleaded with the gods to make some amends. They were not going to allow entry to Trishanku and that was final.

Vishvamitra had given a word and he never failed at it. Keeping this in mind he announced that he will be creating whole different heaven for Trishanku. He started creating heaven with the help of his powerful mantras. He had almost completed the creation of Trishanku’s heaven when Lord Brahma commanded him to stop this action immediately. He did not know what he was leading to and had to be stopped by the gods. He begged the gods to give him a way out. Since he had already promised Trishanku, he had to deliver on his word. He asked for permission from the gods to let Trishanku stay within the stars. He got to live in his heaven but upside down. A certain version of this story also says that he turned into a constellation. The name of that constellation is Crux.

Vishvamitra used up all his mantras and Tapasya in giving this alternate heaven to Trishanku and had to start his penance and prayers towards becoming a Brahmarishi and an equal with Vashishtha once again.

Click here to read about Menaka And Rambha – Vishvamitra’s Test Of Dedication.

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