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Story - Birth Of Sage Astika Who Stopped Snake Sacrifice In The Mahabharata

The story of the birth of Sage Astika is found in the Mahabharata and several Puranas. It was Sage Astika who stopped the snake sacrifice conducted by King Janamejaya to avenge the death of King Parikshit.

Legend has it that Kadru, mother of Nagas, once hatched a devious plan to entrap Vinita, the mother of Garuda, and make her a slave. Some of the nagas headed by Vasuki objected to the plan and did not participate in it.

Kadru cursed all those nagas who disobeyed her to fall into yagna fire of Janamejaya.

The cursed nagas took the help of Brahma.

Brahma told the nagas that Vasuki has a sister named Jaratkaru and she should be given in marriage to a Sage of same name and a son born of the union will rescue the nagas. The nagas went to Sage Jaratkaru who agreed to marry Vasuki’s sister.

The sage put a condition that if she disobeys him then he will abandon her.

The couple led a happy life for several years.

One afternoon, the sage felt very sleepy and decided to take a nap.

He asked his wife not to disturb him.

The sage slept on for several hours and the sun went down. The wife was worried her husband would miss the evening prayers.

So she woke him up.

The sage was angry for disturbing his sleep and ordered her to leave.

Then she reminded the sage that the purpose of their marriage has not been yet fulfilled.

Sage Jaratkaru then told her that it is already in her womb.

She returned to her brother Vasuki.

In due course of time Jaratkaru gave birth to the brilliant Astika.