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Keshidhwaja – The Story of Kesidhwaja and Khandikya

The story of Kesidhwaja and Khandikya is mentioned in the Vishnu Purana. Keshidhwaja was the son of Kritadhwaja. Khandikya was the cousin of Keshidhwaja. Both were interested in spiritual pursuits and famous for their spiritual knowledge. But they both nurtured hostilities and Khandikya was finally driven out from the kingdom.

In the forest, Khandikya concentrated on spiritual pursuits and attained immense knowledge from nature and seekers of true wisdom who roamed in the forest.

Once Kesidhwaja went to the forest perform a yajna but an unfortunate incident happened. A milch cow of Kesidhwaja was killed by a tiger during the yajna. This was considered as a great sin. Kesidhwaja wanted redemption of sin.

None of the saints were able to help Kesidhwaja. Finally one sage suggested that only Khandikya could help him.

Kesidhwaja went to the forest in search of Khandikya. Friends of Khandikya advised him to kill Kesidhwaja and take revenge.

But Khandikya decided against it and decided to help Kesidhwaja and narrated how to overcome the sin associated with the killing of a cow.

Kesidhwaja later returned and offered his kingdom to Khandikya.

But Khandikya did not take the kingdom instead asked for spiritual knowledge from Kesidhwaja.

Kesidhwaja then taught the nature of ignorance and benefits of contemplative devotion to Khandikya.