Wednesday, March 2, 2016

The Mahabharata: Hariscandra

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 the housewarming party for the Pandava’s awesome new palace hall, the seer Narada told king Yudhisthira of a very good king from the past, whose name was Hariscandra.  Though he died long ago, Hariscandra lives forever in the hall of the god Indra.  In his life, Hariscandra became more than a king—he became an emperor.  After he’d conquered the seven continents of the Earth, he performed a great sacrifice, and bestowed generous riches upon the priests and Brahmins.

Narada said that king Yudhisthira could follow the path of the great Hariscandra, becoming a king of kings, if he too performed the proper deeds, sacrifices, and religious rites.  Indeed, Yudhisthira was a very good king, perhaps on his way to becoming a great king.  He is described as “Best of all experts in dharma, Yudhisthira showed kindness to all his subjects and worked for the benefit of all, with no discrimination.  So the people flourished under his paternal care, and no one hated him; hence he was known as Ajatasatra, ‘Man without enemies.’”

King Hariscandra.

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