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Archive for August, 2009

The power of a Mantra

Once upon a time Ayodhya was ruled by a king by name Dhruvasindhu. He had two wives, the first, Manorama and the second Leelavathi. While Manorama was full of goodness, Leelavati was a shrew. Leelavati had a son Shatrujit. Exactly a month after Shatrujit was born, Manorama gave birth to a son, Sudharshan.
One day the king went hunting and was killed by a lion. While Ayodhya was mourning for its lost king, Shatrujit’s maternal grandfather Yuthajit insisted that Shatrujit be made king as soon as possible. Manorama’s father Veerasena was against this and wanted Sudharshan to be made the king. Both the men went to war in which Veerasena was killed. Yuthajit now proclaimed that his grandson Shatrujit would be the king.
Fearing death, Manorama left with her son with the help of a minister in the pretext of attending the last rites of her father. She reached Rishi Bharadwaj’s ashram and told him the happenings of the kingdom. The hermit said that she could stay in his ashram and that she would be safe there.
Soon Shatrujit was made king officially and his grandfather who had heard that Manorama and her son were at the Bharadwaj ashram, came along with his troop to kill Sudharshan, but the hermit sent them away.
Meanwhile, the hermit educated Sudharshan in the vedas, archery and warfare. One day while playing with other children of hermits, Sudharshan heard a boy call out to another boy, which Sudharshan understood as a mantra and began meditating with the mantra on his lips. One day while he was meditating on the river bank, the Goddess Ambika appeared before him. She also presented him with a few weapons. At the moment a few messengers of the king of Kashi happened to see Sudharshan and were impressed by his looks. They went back to their kingdom and told princess Sasikala about the man they had met. Meanwhile, the goddess appeared in her dreams and said that she should marry Sudharshan. The princess was overjoyed at this. The king came to know of his daughter’s desire and arranged for a Swayamvar. When Sudharshan arrived in Kashi with his mother along with rishi Bharadwaj, the other princes were annoyed. Yuthajit had arrived with Shatrujit and wanted Sashikala as his grandson’s bride. He decided to kill him.
But the king of Kashi expecting all this got his daughter married to Sudharshan secretly. The princes of other kingdoms were enraged by this and they joined with Yuthajit and went to war with Sudharshan. In the ensuing war, Sudharshan won. It is believed that the Goddess too participated in this war. Sudharshan returned to Ayodhya with his wife and mother and ruled his kingdom for a long time. According to mythology a mantra is so powerful that even if pronounced irregularly, the benefits are manifold. In the case of Sudharshan, his uttering the mantra unknowingly won him his kingdom and the blessing of the omnipotent Goddess.

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