Puranic encyclopaedia

by Vettam Mani | 1975 | 609,556 words | ISBN-10: 0842608222

This page describes the Story of Anga included the Puranic encyclopaedia by Vettam Mani that was translated into English in 1975. The Puranas have for centuries profoundly influenced Indian life and Culture and are defined by their characteristic features (panca-lakshana, literally, ‘the five characteristics of a Purana’).

Story of Aṅga

The kingdom ruled by King Aṅga. Other details:

The Dynasty.

The first King of the Aṅga dynasty was Aṅga the son of Bali. Anagābhu, Draviratha, Dharmaratha, Romapāda (Lomapāda), Caturaṅga, Pṛthulākṣa, Bṛhadratha, Bṛhanmanas, Jayadratha, Vijaya, Dṛḍhavrata, Satyakarmā, Atiratha, Karṇa, Vṛṣasena and others were kings of this dynasty. Karṇa was the adopted son of Atiratha. During the period of the Mahābhārata, Kings of the Atiratha family were under the sway of the Candra vaṃśa (Lunar dynasty) kings such as Dhṛtarāṣṭra and Pāṇḍu. (For further informations see the word Atiratha).

How Karṇa became the king of Aṅga.

A contest in archery and the wielding of other weapons was going on in Hastināpura, the competitors being the Kauravas and the Pāṇḍavas. The status of Karṇa, who appeared on the side of the Kauravas, was questioned by the Pāṇḍavas on the occasion and Duryodhana, who always stood on his dignity, anointed Karṇa as the King of Aṅga, on the spot. (Mahābhārata, Ādi Parva, Chapter 136).

Drought in the kingdom of Aṅga.

Lomapāda (Romapāda) the king of Aṅga once deceived a hermit Brahmin. So all the Brahmins quitted the country and thereafter there was no rainfall in the country for several years. The sages of the country began to think on the means of bringing about rain. One day they approached the King and told him that the only way to get rain was to bring the great hermit Ṛṣyaśṛṅga to the country.

Once Kaśyapa happened to see Urvaśī and he had seminal flow. The sperm fell in a river. A deer swallowed it along with the water it drank. It gave birth to a human child with horns on the head. This child was called Ṛṣyaśṛṅga. It was brought up by a hermit called Vibhāṇḍaka in his hut. Ṛṣyaśṛṅga had never seen women and by virtue of this, there occurred rainfall wherever he went. The King Lomapāda sent some courtesans to the forest to attract Ṛṣyaśṛṅga, who following them arrived at the court of Lomapāda the King of Aṅga and the King gave Ṛṣyaśṛṅga, as a gift, his daughter Śāntā. Thus the country got rain. This Lomapāda was a friend of Daśaratha. (Mahābhārata, Araṇya Parva, Chapters 110 to 113).

How the Kingdom got the name Aṅga.

One opinion is that the Kingdom got its name from the King Aṅga who ruled over it. Another opinion is that the king got his name from the country he ruled. However there is a story revealing how the country came to be called Aṅga.

In the realm of God, preliminary steps were being taken for making Śrī Parameśvara wed Pārvatī. According to the instructions of Devendra, Kāmadeva (the Lord of Love—Cupid) was trying to break the meditation of Śiva and when Śiva opened his third eye, fire emitted from it and Anaṅga (Kāmadeva) was burned to ashes. It was in the country of Aṅga that the ashes of the 'aṅga' (Body) of Kāmadeva fell and from that day onwards the country came to be called Aṅga and Kāmadeva, 'Anaṅga' (without body). (Vālmīki Rāmāyaṇa, Bālakāṇḍa, Sarga 26).

Other informations.

(1) It is mentioned in the Hindi Dictionary, 'Śabda Sāgara' that the kingdom of Aṅga embracing Bhagatpur and Muṃger in Bihar had its capital at Campāpurī and that the country had often stretched from Vaidyanāthanāma to Bhuvaneśvar.

(2) Arjuna had visited the Kingdom of Aṅga also during his pilgrimage. (Mahābhārata, Ādi Parva, Chapter 219, Stanza 9).

(3) The King of Aṅga was present at the sacrifice of Rājasūya (Royal consecration) celebrated by Dharmaputra, when the Pāṇḍavas were living at Indraprastha. (Mahābhārata, Sabhā Parva, Chapter 52, Stanza 16).

(4) On one occasion Śrī Kṛṣṇa defeated the Aṅgas in a battle. (Mahābhārata, Droṇa Parva, Chapter 11, Stanza 15).

(5) Paraśurāma had defeated the Aṅgas once. (Mahābhārata, Droṇa Parva, Chapter 7, Stanza 12).

(6) In the battle of Kurukṣetra between the Pāṇḍavas and the Kauravas, on the sixteenth day of the battle, the heroes of Aṅga made an onslaught on Arjuna. (Mahābhārata, Karṇa Parva, Chapter 17, Stanza 12).

(7) The Aṅgas attacked the armies of Dhṛṣṭadyumna and the King of Pāñcāla. (Mahābhārata, Karṇa Parva, Chapter 22, Stanza 2).

(8) A low caste man from Aṅga attacked Bhīma, who killed the man and his elephant. (Mahābhārata, Droṇa Parva, Chapter 26, Stanzas 14 to 17).

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: