Puranic encyclopaedia

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

This page describes the Story of Jantu 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 Jantu

General information.

A King of the Pūru dynasty. It is mentioned in Agni Purāṇa, Chapter 278, that he was the son of the King Somaka and father of the King Vṛṣatanu.

Jantu born again.

Somaka had hundred wives. But only one of them gave birth to a child. That child was Jantu. He was a pet of all the hundred wives. Once Jantu was bitten by an ant. All the hundred queens began crying and shouting and all ran to him. Hearing the tumult in the women’s apartment of the palace, the King and the minister ran to that place. When the tumult was over the King began to think. "It is better to have no sons at all, than to have only one son. There are hundred queens. But none of them bears a child. Is there a solution for this?"

At last the King summoned his family-priests and consulted them. The decision of the priests was that if the King should sacrifice his only son, then all his wives would become pregnant and all would give birth to children, and that among the sons thus born, Jantu also would be reborn. The mother of Jantu did not look at this project with favour. "How can we be sure that Jantu also will be there among the sons to be born, after his death?" She was worried by this thought. The priests consoled her and said that there will be a golden mole on the left flank of Jantu. Finally the mother agreed to their plan. Sacrificial dais was arranged. Sacrificial fire for holy offerings was prepared. The priests tore the child into pieces and offered them as oblation in the fire. When the sacrifice was finished, all the hundred queens became pregnant. Each of them gave birth to a child. As the priests had predicted, there was a golden mole on the left flank of the child delivered by the mother of Jantu. (Mahābhārata Vana Parva, Chapters 127 and 128).

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