Trisanku and his incomplete success

The stories of Vishwamitra’s quality of extending a helping hand to all and sundry who approach him for help is a warning to those who are doing sincere sadhana to realise the highest goal.

Published: 27th January 2019 05:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 27th January 2019 10:19 AM   |  A+A-

The stories of Vishwamitra’s quality of extending a helping hand to all and sundry who approach him for help is a warning to those who are doing sincere sadhana to realise the highest goal. The obstacles can come in any form. The rishis and brahmanas accepted the request of Vishwamitra to do a fire sacrifice to help the king of the Ikshwaku dynasty, Trisanku, ascend heaven directly even though he had lost all his lustre of a Kshatriya king owing to the curses of Vasishtha’s sons.

When it was time for the gods to come and take their share of the sacrifice at the close of the yagna, none came. If they had come and accepted the offerings, the yagna would bear fruit and Trisanku would ascend heaven in his gross physical body, which had been rendered even more impure by the cures. Vishwamitra was very angry and he used the power of his own austerities to make Trisanku enter heaven. He lifted the ladle used for offering ghee into the yagna and commanded Trisanku to enter heaven. Trisanku began ascending when Indra stopped him and said, “You have the curse of your teacher on you. You have no place in heaven. Go back to earth.”

Trisanku shouted out for help to Vishwamitra, and began falling towards the earth. Enraged, Vishwamitra commanded him to stop where he was. With the power of his tapas, he created another universe with all the planets, a sun, the Saptarshi Mandala and the other constellations. In raging anger, a whole parallel universe appeared in the southern direction. Out of anger, he created gods too and planned to create an Indra also. “If it does not happen, let my world be without an Indra,” he commanded. Seeing the sage’s anger, the gods and rishis adopted a conciliatory tone, “O sage, you know that Trisanku has lost all his goodness owing to his teacher’s curse.

He does not deserve to enter heaven physically.” Hearing this, Vishwamitra cooled down a little bit and said, “If that be so, grant it that Trisanku may remain the way he is now and let the universe created by me ever remain as long as this big universe created by Lord Brahma exists.” “So be it,” said the gods and Trisanku exists in the same way, head downward, surrounded by the universe and constellations created for him. The story is a symbol of wasted efforts. When the proper rules of good behaviour and propriety are not followed and yet if the person hankers after success, he may seem to get it, but it is not complete. The author is Sevak, Chinmaya Mission, Tiruchi; email: brni.sharanyachaitanya@;

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