Animal Kingdom (Tiryak) in Epics

by Saranya P.S | 2019 | 51,616 words | ISBN-10: 8190396315 | ISBN-13: 9788190396318

An English study the Animal Kingdom (Tiryak) in Epics.—The present thesis is based entirely on Ramayana and Mahabharata although an attempt is made to analytically compare the Animal kingdom with Mriga-pakshi-shastra—‘The ancient Indian science of of Animals and Birds’....

Chapter 6.5 - Astikopakhyana—The narrative of Astika

In this Upakhyana, giving a boon to Astika, the serpent said,

“Anybody who daily chants the Asthi, Arthiman and Sunitha incantations will never be afraid of serpents.”

Making the various styles and expressions of the chants, the serpent continued: From the Nagakanyaka called Jaratkaru, an ascetic named Astika was born. I now remember the one who rescued the serpents from the serpents’ inn. Most fortunate serpents don't be afraid of me. Highly venomous serpents, run away and you will be blessed. At the end of the Yajna by Janamejaya, you were a boon. Reminisce that boon. Any serpent that does not go away after hearing the words of oath of Astika, his hood will be fragmented into a hundred pieces like his own hood.[1]

The stories of the sarpayajna and serpents and their safety created deep impressions in the minds of people. Even today in the villages in Central India the illiterate villagers and cowardly societies recite the name of King Janamejaya and Takshaka, the king of serpents, to save themselves from the fury and venom of the serpents. They practise different kinds of chants and incantations. This in fact adds some shine to the ancient traditions.

Footnotes and references:


Mahabharata , Anushasanaparva 58.24-26

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