Wednesday, February 17, 2016

The Mahabharata: Citraratha

The following is from a work-in-progress called The Mahabharata: a Book Report, in which I'm slowly reading through the Hindu epic poem The Mahabharata, and writing a book report on what I read. 

At their mother’s suggestion, the Pandavas decided to travel to the kingdom of Pancala.  Along the way, they bumped into a king named Citraratha, who got really mad and attacked the princes.  Arjuna defended his brothers with the powerful Fire Weapon.  When the fighting was over, Citraratha and Arjuna exchanged gifts.  Citraratha got the Fire Weapon; Arjuna got the power to see everything everywhere.

When asked why he attacked the princes, Citraratha said it was because they had no fire, no offering, and no household priest.  A successful king, he said, must have a priest to handle religious observances.  Then Citraratha told Arjuna a bunch of stories, all of which hi-lighted the need for a household priest.  The Pandavas asked Citraratha if he could maybe recommend a good household priest.  He recommended a guy named Dhaumya, so Arjuna hired him.  Then the Pandavas continued their journey to Pancala.

Pancala was a real kingdom in ancient India.

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