Puranic encyclopaedia

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

This page describes the Story of Vishvamitra 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 Viśvāmitra

A royal hermit of immense attainments.


Descended from Brahmā in the following order Brahmā—AtriCandraBudhaPurūravas -VijayaHotrakaJahnuPuruBalākaAjakaKuśaKuśanābhaGādhiViśvāmitra.


Six beautiful daughters were born to Kuśanābha the son of King Kuśa. The hermit Brahmadatta married them. After this a son named Gādhi was born to Kuśanābha. Two children named Satyavatī and Viśvāmitra were born to Gādhi. Satyavatī was married to Ṛcīka; As he was born in the family of the famous king Kuśa, Viśvāmitra got the name Kauśika also. His kingdom was Kānyakubja. (Vālmīki Rāmāyaṇa, Bāla Kāṇḍa, Sarga 34).

Becoming a hermit.

Viśvāmitra and Vasiṣṭha were two hermits who were hostile to each other throughout their lives. A quarrel with Vasiṣṭha, persuaded Viśvāmitra to become a hermit.

(Vālmīki Rāmāyaṇa, Bāla Kāṇḍa, Sarga 51).

The hermit Vasiṣṭha erected his hermitage and did penance in the country of Viśvāmitra. Once, while engaged in hunting Viśvāmitra saw Nandinī in the hermitage of Vasiṣṭha, and wanted to have her. In the battle which ensued between Vasiṣṭha and Viśvāmitra, the hermit Vasiṣṭha came out victorious. The ashamed Viśvāmitra gave up his kingdom and went to forest to do penance. Viśvāmitra became a royal hermit of great attainments. There were constant confrontations between the Rājarṣi and the Brahmarṣi (King-hermit and Brahmin-hermit). (For the detailed story of the quarrels between Viśvāmitra and Vasiṣṭha see under Vasiṣṭha, para 2).

Viśvāmitra and Hariścandra.

The histories of Viśvāmitra, Vasiṣṭha and Hariścandra are intertwined as a triple string. Viśvāmitra made Hariścandra, the most renowned of the men of veracity, go begging.

Hariścandra and Viśvāmitra. Their history begins from King Triśaṅku of the Solar dynasty.

Formerly the name of Triśaṅku was Satyavrata. Aruṇa was the father of Satyavrata. When Aruṇa was reigning the prince Satyavrata was leading a wicked life. He once entered the wedding hall of a Brahmin and carried away the bride by force. When the king knew this, he expelled the prince from the palace. Vasiṣṭha, as the family priest, was behind the cruelty on the part of the king towards his son. It was because of this that Viśvāmitra crossed the path of Satyavrata.

Satyavrata went to the forest and lived like a low-caste man. King Aruṇa repented his rashness. Entrusting his kingdom to Vasiṣṭha, Aruṇa went to the forest to do penance. For twelve years there was no rain in the country. Famine broke out. Viśvāmitra’s wife and three children were in great difficulty. The hermit had been engaged in penance. So the wife of the hermit decided to sell the middle son for the sake of maintaining the rest and started for the market with her children. On the way Satyavrata met them and learned the whole story. He told her not to sell the child. He agreed to give them food till the arrival of Viśvāmitra. The agreement was that he would tie the meat, obtained by hunting, to a tree outside the hermitage, every day. Satyavrata carried out the promise. One day he did not get anything from hunting. He caught hold of Vasiṣṭha’s cow which had been grazing in the forest and killed it and gave its flesh to the family of Viśvāmitra. On coming to know this Vasiṣṭha cursed him and changed his form into that of a caṇḍāla (low-caste). Moreover, as he had incurred three sins such as stealing of a bride, anger of father and cow-slaughter, he came to be called Triśaṅku from that day onwards. Weighed down by these sins, he tried to commit suicide. Devī appeared before him and gave him back his original form and his kingdom.

After the death of Aruṇa, Triśaṅku assumed the reign. Hariścandra was his son. After giving the country to his son, Triśaṅku requested Vasiṣṭha to perform the sacrifice to send him to heaven bodily. Vasiṣṭha said that it was impossible for him. Vasiṣṭha’s enemy Viśvāmitra took up the task. He lifted Triśaṅku bodily, up to heaven. But he was denied admittance in heaven and so Viśvāmitra created an artificial heaven between the earth and heaven and made Triśaṅku stay there.

Viśvāmitra was keeping up hostile attitude towards the kings of the Solar dynasty. In reality it was not the hostility towards the Solar dynasty, but it was his enmity against Vasiṣṭha. Viśvāmitra did not like Vasiṣṭha’s being the family-priest of the kings of the Solar dynasty. So Viśvāmitra kept up an attitude of antipathy towards them. This is the background of the quarrel between Hariścandra and Viśvāmitra.

Hariścandra took Candramatī, the daughter of Śibi, as his first wife. Besides her, he had ninetynine wives. But they had no children. At last according to the advice of Vasiṣṭha he went to the basin of the Ganges and did penance before Varuṇa. Viśvāmitra did not like this. Varuṇa appeared and said that Hariścandra would get a son. The king had promised that he would give his son as a sacrificial animal to Varuṇa.

Candramatī became pregnant and delivered a son. He was named Rohitāśva. Even after the lapse of a month, the son was not given to Varuṇa. On several occasions Varuṇa demanded the child; and Hariścandra would give some excuses. Finally the king agreed to hand him over to Varuṇa at the age of eleven after his Upanayana (investiture with the Brahma string). The boy completed his tenth year. Preparations were being made in the palace, for Upanayana, when Varuṇa arrived. The prince, who was aware of the fact that his father would sacrifice him after his Upanayana, ran away from the palace at night. Varuṇa asked the king to hand over the boy to him. The king was in great perplexity. Varuṇa cursed the king that he would catch the disease called Jalodara (dropsy). Thus the king became a sick man. Rohitāśva heard from travellers that his father was ill. On many occasions he wanted to return to the palace. But Indra appeared before him in the form of a Brahmin and dissuaded him from going to the palace.

Hariścandra called Vasiṣṭha and asked him to suggest a remedy for this woe and misery. Vasiṣṭha advised him to fulfil somehow or other, the promise made to Varuṇa. The hermit continued. "Sons are of ten types. A son bought for price also is included in this. So it is enough if a son is bought for price and is sacrificed. Some Brahmin may be found, who will be willing to sell his son. If you please Varuṇa thus, you will be cured."

The King was delighted to hear this. He instructed his minister to find out any Brahmin who was willing to sell his son. A greedy Brahmin was found out. His name was Ajīgarta. He had three sons. He was prepared to sell the second son, Śunaśśepha. The minister agreed to give him hundred cows in return.

Up to this time Viśvāmitra had been waging only a shadow war against the Kings of the Solar dynasty. From this moment he entered the scene of war. The minister bought Śunaśśepha and brought him to the palace. Viśvāmitra also arrived at the palace. He sympathised with Śunaśśepha who was crying pitiably. He asked the King to release the boy, and gave a warning that if the boy was not set free, the sacrifice would be obstructed. The King said that he was doing so to get recovery from illness, that he would give Viśvāmitra a good deal of wealth, and requested him not to cause any hindrance to the sacrifice. These words and the misery of the boy kindled the anger of Viśvāmitra. He called Śunaśśepha and taught him Varuṇamantra (spell) and told him to repeat the mantra when he was lying on the slaughter-stone and that he would escape death. Śunaśśepha did as he was told. Varuṇa became pleased with him and appearing before the King said, "Leave Śunaśśepha and perform the sacrifice. You will get recovery." Saying so Varuṇa disappeared. Immediately the King was cured of his disease. At the order of the King Śunaśśepha was set free. The sound 'Jaya Jaya' (victory) reverberated in the sacrificial hall. Śunaśśepha got up and asked. "Oh great men. Who is my father now? Some said that it was Ajīgarta. Some others argued that it was Hariścandra. Some said that it was Varuṇa." At this time Vasiṣṭha stood up and said. "Oh, great men, please stop arguing. I shall give reply in accordance with the convention of Vedas. When he bargained on the price of his son and received the cost Ajīgarta lost his paternity. Thenceforward Hariścandra who bought the boy became his father. From the moment he had issued orders to bind the boy and place him on the slaughter-stone, he also had lost his paternity. The claim of Varuṇa to his paternity, because the boy had been saved from death by him, does not hold good. Any god will be pleased, when praised and glorified with great laudatory mantras and will confer upon the supplicant wealth, life, cow, land, salvation etc. There is nothing unusual in this. But it was Viśvāmitra who taught him the Varuṇa-spell in his pitiable and dangerous situation. So Viśvāmitra alone has claim to the boy’s paternity."

Those who were present, accepted this decision. Immediately Viśvāmitra took Śunaśśepha with him and went to his hermitage. Hearing about the recovery of the King, Rohitāśva returned to the palace from the forest. Hariścandra received him with tears of joy. The King, with his wife and son led a happy life and ruled over his subjects with justice and truth. At this time, Hariścandra (of Kakutstha’s family) accepting Vasiṣṭha as the main priest performed the famous sacrifice of Rājasūya (Royal) consecration with ceremonies and festivities. With this the fame of Hariścandra spread far and wide.

At this point begins the next stage of confrontation between Viśvāmitra and Hariścandra. Vasiṣṭha once reached heaven. Viśvāmitra also reached there at the same time. The devas greeted both honourably. But Viśvāmitra saw that Vasiṣṭha was shown some partiality. This was unpalatable to Viśvāmitra, who asked Vasiṣṭha. "What excellence have you, more than I?" Vasiṣṭha replied. 'Have you not heard about Hariścandra, the King of the Solar dynasty? It is the noblest dynasty in the world. The familypriesthood of this dynasty also is laudable. My disciple Hariścandra of that royal family has recently performed the sacrifice of Rājasūya. I was the Supreme priest of the function. This is a covetable position not attainable to many. Moreover, there is none in the world, more truthful, firm of character, more charitable and more liberal than Hariścandra. This is a fact."

Viśvāmitra got up angrily and aruged that Hariścandra was not truthful. He staked all the fruits of his penance to prove this. From that day onwards Viśvāmitra began to make moves to instigate Hariścandra to deviate from the path of truth.

Once Hariścandra, while he was hunting, met a lonely woman in the forest. She was moaning. The King asked why she was lamenting. She replied. "Oh King. I am Siddhirūpiṇī (a goddess who helps people to attain anything). Viśvāmitra is doing penance to possess me. I request you to protect me." The King promised her to see that she was not subjected to the molestation of Viśvāmitra any longer. After that Hariścandra went to the hermitage of Viśvāmitra and made an enquiry. He then asked the hermit to stop penance, as his severe, intense, penance was harmful to many people in the country. The King returned to the palace. Viśvāmitra got angry and stood up. Up to this time only a cold war existed between them. Hostility became open now.

Viśvāmitra began to make moves against Hariścandra quickly. He changed a fierce asura into a hog and sent it to the garden of Hariścandra. The hog destroyed the garden. All the attempts made by the guards to drive the hog away ended in failure. They informed the King. The King mounted on a horse and with weapons started for the garden. Without paying any heed to the arrows of the King, the hog ran away. The King began to chase it. The hog seemed to be near. Then it was away, then in front of the King and suddenly it appeared behind him. Then it would disappear instantly. In this manner the hog played around the King. After a while, the King was separated from his army and was entrapped, all alone, in a thick forest. He did not find any way out. He lost his way in the forest. As he was thus walking slowly, he saw a stream of pure water in front of him. Both the King and the horse drank from the stream. As he was standing thus without knowing the way to return home, Viśvāmitra went to him in the guise of an old Brahmin.

The King honoured the old man, and told him that he was Hariścandra, the King of Ayodhyā, and that by chasing a hog which destroyed his garden, he had reached the forest. He continued telling the old Brahmin who had helped him. "You might have heard that Hariścandra, the King of Ayodhyā, had performed the sacrifice Rājasūya. I am that same King. It is my vow to give anybody what he asks for. If you want money or anything for sacrifice or for any other purpose, just come to Ayodhyā. I will give you whatever you want." The old man was pleased. He told the King that the jungle-stream flowed through a holy place and that it would be better to offer the gift after taking a bath in the river. The King purified himself by bathing in the river and then said. "Sir, I am ready to offer gifts. State your needs. It is my vow to give what is requested. At the time of the Rājasūya I acted so towards all of you and took a vow that I would do so in future also. I am glad because I have met you on the bank of this holy stream. So tell me quickly what you want."

Brahmin:—"Oh King, I have heard about your fame. Moreover there is nobody in the world equal to Hariścandra, born of the Solar dynasty, the son of Triśaṅku in liberality. Such is the opinion of hermit Vasiṣṭha. There is nothing more to know about you, oh, King, who is such a man of liberality. I have only one desire. The marriage of my son is being conducted. I do not possess enough money for the marriage. I want only a help for the same." The King thought it to be a very simple request, and promised to give the required amount. Viśvāmitra by illusion customary to Gandharvas created a young man and a young woman, and showed them to the King saying that they were his son and daughter. Then the Brahmin who was delighted by the promise, showed the King the way to the palace. After making all arrangements for the marriage, Viśvāmitra approached King Hariścandra. The King asked him what amount he required. "Give me your kingdom with all the elephants, horses, chariots, jewels and wealth in it", said Viśvāmitra. The King who had been led to this deception by Viśvāmitra, having no go, agreed. Thus Viśvāmitra obtained the kingdom and everything that Hariścandra possessed. It is conventional that whenever a gift is given to Brahmins, a dakṣiṇā (monetary gift) also should be given along with it. Otherwise the gift will be futile. The King asked the Brahmin what he wanted as dakṣiṇā. He demanded two and a half Bhāras of gold as dakṣiṇā. The King agreed to give that also. But where to get this amount from, since he had lost his kingdom and everything? Having sunk deep in misery due to the deceit of Viśvāmitra, the King sat on the soil, cursing his fate. Seeing this, the queen ran to him and cried. While he was telling his wife every thing, Viśvāmitra came there and said:

Viśvāmitra:—"Hariscandra! According to the gift hand over your country and everything instantly. I must have the dakṣiṇā of two and a half Bhāras of gold also just now."

Hariścandra:—"Sir! According to my promise receive everything now. We are leaving the country instantly. But since I have given you everything that I had, how can I give you dakṣiṇā? Everything I had, has become yours. The amount for dakṣiṇā has yet to be procured. So receive the gift now. The dakṣiṇā shall be given as early as possible."

After giving everything to the hermit, the King left the country with only the cloth he had been wearing. His wife and child followed him. The hermit also followed the King compelling him to give him the dakṣiṇā. The King told him that only after paying this debt would he eat any food, and that he would pay the amount within a month. Viśvāmitra, unwillingly agreed to this.

With his wife Candramatī and his young son, Hariścandra reached Kāśī. After a month Viśvāmitra came to Kāśī for the amount of dakṣiṇā. Finding no go, Candramatī said to her husband. "My Lord! sell me to some one and clear off this debt." The King with tears agreed to this proposal. Because of their woe and misery, both fell on the ground and fainted. The child sat near them hungry and crying. Viśvāmitra stood near them compelling them to pay the amount. When Hariścandra came to himself, he sold his beloved wife to a Brahmin in the village close by. The Brahmin who bought Candramatī was Viśvāmitra. Hariścandra was not aware of this. After counting out a crore of gold pieces in a cloth and placing it on the ground Viśvāmitra caught hold of Candramatī by her hair and dragged her away. He bought the crying child also paying its price. The Brahmin led the mother and the child, beating and dragging them along, like animals. They disappeared from the sight of the King.

Viśvāmitra again came before Hariścandra and asked for the money. Hariścandra gave Viśvāmitra, all the money he got. The hermit was not satisfied. Viśvāmitra said that the money given, was not an adequate amount as dakṣiṇā when the importance of the great sacrifice Rājasūya was considered and that if he was to get the full benefit of the sacrifice he had to satisfy him by giving him the requisite amount. The King accepted everything the hermit said without any objection. Viśvāmitra compelled him for payment. The King requested for time. Viśvāmitra allowed time till sunset that day.

As soon as Viśvāmitra had gone Hariścandra walked on with bent head, calling out. "Does anybody want me? Will anybody buy me for price?" Instantly Yamadharma came there as an outcaste and bought Hariścandra. The name of the outcaste was Pravīra. He bought Hariścandra to guard the funeral ground and to collect tax on dead bodies. Viśvāmitra quickly ran to the place. The outcaste gave Viśvāmitra ten yojanas of land which yielded jewels, in the region of Prayāga and severed his connection. Viśvāmitra went on his way. The outcaste King took Hariścandra to the funeral ground. Day and night Hariścandra had to guard the entrance of the funeral ground.

At this juncture Hariścandra’s son died of snake bite, while he was playing with other children on the bank of the Ganges. His mother Candramatī fainted and fell down, the moment she heard about it. As soon as she recovered, she lamented over the death of her son for a long time. Then she requested her master for permission to go and see the dead body of her son. But she was not given permission. She repeatedly pleaded crying all the while. Then the Brahmin, her master, got angry and said. "You slave! If your son it dead, let him be dead. Is it any loss to you? It is my money that is lost. You go and do your work. If not I will operate this whip well on you. Remember that. You know the biting pain of this whip. Stop wailing and lamenting."

Candramatī persisted in her request to allow her to go and see the dead body of her son. Not only did he refuse to allow her to see the dead body of her son, but also beat her. With tears she turned to her duties. It was night. The Brahmin took his meals and lay down to sleep. Candramatī was sitting at his feet massaging his legs. When it was nearly midnight that stone-hearted old Brahmin said. "Now you may go. Complete the funeral and return before dawn. Your usual work in the morning should not be left undone. If so, you know the consequences."

Hearing these words, Candramatī ran to the place where the dead body of her son lay. The son lay on the grass dead and stiff, with the face and body turned blue due to poison. She saw that face in the flash of a lightning. She cried aloud. Hearing the cry people of the neighbouring houses ran to the spot. Candramatī did not give any reply to their questions Some thought her to be a ghost. Some wanted to kill her. Some caught her by the hair. Some struck at her. At last they tied her with a rope and dragged her to the funeral place. They asked Hariścandra who was standing there, to cut her into pieces. He refused to kill a woman. The outcaste King came there and giving Hariścandra a big sword asked him again and again to cut her into pieces. Candramatī and Hariścandra did not recognize each other. At last, finding it difficult to disobey his master, Hariścandra raised the sword to cut her.

Then Candramatī shouted. "You outcaste. My son is lying dead on the bank of the Ganges near this town. Let me bring his body and cremate it. Allow me this much time. After that I will come and sit here to be cut into pieces by you." Hariścandra agreed to it. Crying all the way Candramatī went to the bank of the Ganges and brought the dead body of her son to the cremation place. Seeing her pitiable condition Hariścandra went close to the dead body and removing the shroud looked at the corpse. Because of poison the body of the child was blue and ugly and as Hariścandra and Candramatī had undergone so thorough a change they did not recognize each other. But from her lamentation and talk, he understood that the woman was his wife Candramatī. He also cried aloud. Candramatī recognized her husband. Still Hariścandra said that if the child was cremated without collecting the usual fee, it would be deceiving his master. At last both of them decided to commit suicide before the night ended.

Without loss of time Hariścandra gathered half-burned fire-wood, and built a pile big enough to burn the child’s body and for them to jump into it. He laid the child on it and set fire to it. Hariścandra and Candramatī stood with closed eyes ready to jump into the burning fire. Then Brahmā appeared there and prevented them from jumping into the fire. Indra and the Devas showered Amṛta (Ambrosia). The child came to life and got out of the fire. The King and the queen regained their shining bodies and royal garments and ornaments. The outcaste who was the master of Hariścandra was really, Dharmadeva. All the Devas blessed Hariścandra and Viśvāmitra returned the kingdom to the truthful Hariścandra. Their subjects were overjoyed at the return of their King and queen. After that Rohita was anointed as the King of Ayodhyā and the Devas went with Hariścandra to heaven. (Devī Bhāgavata, Skandha 7).

Viśvāmitra and the brothers Rāma and Lakṣmaṇa.

See under Rāma, Paras 5, 6, 7 and 8.

Weapon Training.

Viśvāmitra had proficiency in wielding all types of weapons. He taught Rāma and Lakṣmaṇa all that he knew about weapons. See under Astra.

Cursing Rambhā.

Once Viśvāmitra was doing very severe penance. Indra feared him. So wishing to hinder the penance of Viśvāmitra somehow Indra called Rambhā to him and said to her. "Rambhā, you dress well and dance before Viśvāmitra. Somehow his penance must be hindered. I shall take the form of a cuckoo, and help you by singing."

Indra and Rambhā reached the forest of penance. The cuckoo began to sing and there was the atmosphere of spring season. Rambhā danced before Viśvāmitra. The concentration of the hermit was broken. The hermit got angry and cursed Rambhā and changed her into a rock. She entreated for redemption from the curse. The hermit told her that after ten thousand years a Brahmin named Bhūritejas would touch the rock, by which touch she would get her original form. (Vālmīki Rāmāyaṇa, Bālakāṇḍa, Sarga 64).

Viśvāmitra and Triśaṅku.

See under Triśaṅku.

Viśvāmitra and Menakā.

See under Śakuntalā and Kadalīgarbhā.

Cursing Vidyutprabhā.

Once Viśvāmitra did penance to obtain the position of Kubera, who employed the celestial maid Vidyutprabhā to obstruct the penance of Viśvāmitra. She came to the forest in which Viśvāmitra was doing penance and tried to entice the hermit by her beauty. But when she saw that her beauty did not attract the hermit, she assumed a fearful form. Seeing this form, the hermit cursed her. "You shall retain this fearful form and live like a giantess." She requested for redemption. The hermit said that when Śrīdatta, the son of Kālanemi, touched her hair she would be redeemed from the curse.

After many years Kālanemi was born in the country of Mālava as the son of a brahmin named Yajñasena. A son named Śrīdatta was born to this Kālanemi. Once Śrīdatta happened to see this giantess in a forest and caught hold of her by the hair. Instantly she got her original form. (Kathāsaritsāgara, Kathāmukhalambaka, Taraṅga 2).

Stealing the flesh of a dog.

Once, at the end of Tretā Yuga and the beginning of Dvāpara Yuga, there was no rain for twelve years. Famine prevailed every-where. The people were in utter want and misery. Hermits left their hermitages and wandered about. In a crowd Viśvāmitra lost his wife and children and entered a forest and travelled all alone. He entered the hut of a low-caste (Paraya) and begged for food. But none of them even talked to him. He again requested for something to eat. Nobody cared for him. The hermit fell on the veranda due to weakness.

Viśvāmitra saw in the hut some decayed flesh and intestine of a dog placed in a corner of the kitchen. He decided to steal some of it to appease his hunger. The Caṇḍālas slept when the night advanced. But the lord of the house lay pretending to sleep. Viśvāmitra slowly entered the kitchen, and opened the pot in which the intestine of the dog was kept. The owner of the house asked, "Who is that?" Viśvāmitra replied that he had stolen because of his hunger. The eyes of the caṇḍāla were filled with tears because of pity. He said:

"dog is lower than jackal, that is what men say, of all the parts of its body, the lowest is its posterior."

Though he said so, he felt glad since he had given Viśvāmitra food. (Mahābhārata Śānti Parva, Chapter 141).

Cursing the river Sarasvatī.

See under Vasiṣṭha, para 2, sub-para 5.


Viśvāmitra had many sons. Their names are given in Chapter 4, Anuśāsana Parva.

Viśvāmitra and Ṛgveda.

Ṛgveda, Maṇdala 5, was composed by the Viśvāmitra-family. Variations are observed in the two versions of statements about Viśvāmitra, occurring in Ṛgveda and the Purāṇas. The confrontations between Vasiṣṭha and Viśvāmitra occur in Ṛgveda also. The last four sections of Sūkta 15 of Ṛgveda, Maṇḍala 3, Anuvāka 4, are meant to scold Vasiṣṭha. Here Viśvāmitra curses Vasiṣṭha’s family in various ways. In the 'Annotations of Sāyaṇa', mention is made that the disciples of Vasiṣṭha freed Viśvāmitra from the vow of silence, and that instantly these mantras (chants) dawned in his mind. Though the enmity between Vasiṣṭha and Viśvāmitra is seen in Ṛgveda, such elaborate stories as seen in the Purāṇas do not occur in Ṛgveda. But Viśvāmitra procured a prominent place in Ṛgveda because this hermit rescued Sudāsa from danger and forded him across rivers, and took Śunaśśepha as his son. Of these two incidents the first is not given much importance in the Purāṇas. Though the second one occurs in the Purāṇas, the version is different from that of Ṛgveda. From this it is presumed that the stories taken from Ṛgveda underwent a thorough change before they appeared in the Purāṇas.

Other details.

(i) The famous hermit Gālava was the son and disciple of Viśvāmitra. (For further details see under Gālava).

(ii) It was Viśvāmitra who lighted the torch for Kalmāṣapāda in his quarrel with Vasiṣṭha. (See under Kalmāṣapāda).

(iii) Viśvāmitra earned Brahminhood by tapas (penance). (Mahābhārata Śalya Parva, Chapter 40, Stanza 12).

(iv) Mention is made in Mahābhārata, Ādi Parva, Chapter 122, Stanza 51, that Viśvāmitra was present at the birth festival of Arjuna.

(v) Kalmāṣapāda killed all the sons of Vasiṣṭha because of the persuasion of Viśvāmitra. (Mahābhārata Ādi Parva, Chapter 175, Stanza 41).

(vi) It was at a place on the bank of the river Kauśikī that Viśvāmitra got Brahminhood. (Mahābhārata Vana Parva, Chapter 87, Stanza 13).

(vii) Viśvāmitra and his sons once performed a sacrifice at the forest Utpala. (Mahābhārata Vana Parva, Chapter 87, Stanza 15).

(viii) Viśvāmitra once drank soma (a liquor) with Indra at a place called Kanyākubja. After that it was proclaimed that Viśvāmitra was no longer a Kṣatriya but a Brahmin. (Mahābhārata Vana Parva, Chapter 87, Stanza 17).

(ix) Once Dharmadeva came in the guise of Vasiṣṭha and tested Viśvāmitra, who remained there with food on his head for hundred years. (See under Gālava, para 3)

(x) During the time of the Bhārata-battle Viśvāmitra entered the battle-field and compelled Droṇa to stop the battle forthwith. (Mahābhārata Droṇa Parva, Chapter 190, Stanza 35).

(xi) Viśvāmitra was considered the most prominent of the hermits of the Northern countries. (Mahābhārata Śānti Parva, Chapter 208, Stanza 33).

(xii) Viśvāmitra was one of the hermits who visited Bhīṣma on his bed of arrows. (Mahābhārata Anuśāsana Parva, Chapter 26, Stanza 5).

(xiii) Once Viśvāmitra talked about the dangers of bribery to Vṛṣādarbhi. (Mahābhārata Anuśāsana Parva, Chapter 93, Stanza 43).

(xiv) Once Viśvāmitra explained the secrets of duty. (Mahābhārata Anuśāsana Parva, Chapter 126, Stanza 35).

(xv) Viśvāmitra was one of the hermits who cursed Sāmba to give birth to an iron pestle, when the end of the Vṛṣṇi dynasty drew near. (Mahābhārata Mausala Parva, Chapter 1, Stanza 15).

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: