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Story Of King Mandhata Of Solar Dynasty In Hindu Religion

Mandhata was a king of the solar dynasty in Hindu religion and he was renowned for his piety, tolerance and devotion. Bhagavata Purana (Skanda IX, chapter 6.25-37) recounts an unusual legend about the birth of King Mandhata.

His father, Yavanasva, had a hundred queens but no children. A group of sages performed a ritual for him in which water in a jar was made potent by the recitation of sacred mantras to be given to the queens to help conception. During the course of the ritual, on night, Yavanasva, became very thirsty and drank the consecrated water. To his horror, he became pregnant and after a ten-month period a child emerged from the right side of his pelvic region. The child was left in the forest, but was protected by the gods. For feeding it, Indra, the king of Devas, inserted his own finger (dripping with nectar) into its mouth, saying mamdhata (feed from me), which gave the child its name as Mandhata.

Ascending the throne after his father, Mandhata developed into one of the noblest kings. It is said that once, when there was no rain for three successive years, in order for the rain to resume, a sudra had to be killed on account of performing a Vedic sacrifice. Mandhata, refusing to accept this solution, asked the sages for an alternative method. The sages suggested the observance of Padma Ekadashi, fasting and prayer on on Ekadashi (eleventh lunar day) of the bright half of the month of Bhadrapada. Mandhata prescribed the said vow for all this subjects and it rained (Padma Purana, Uttarakhanda, chapter 57).

King Ambarisha, an ardent devotee of Bhagavan Vishnu and strict observer of Ekadashi fasting, was the son of Mandhata (Bhagavata Purana IX 6.38).

The Mahabharata has several references to Mandhata. It is said that Bhagavan Vishnu, disguised as Indra, instructed Mandhata on good governance (Mahabharata Shanti Parva). Mandhata imbibed the principles of governance also from Utatthya, son of sage Angiras (Mahabharata, Shanti Parva). Brihaspati instructed him on the greatness of the gift of cows as per Anusasana Parva in Mahabharata. Mandhata was the foremost amongst the kings who completely prohibited the use of meat and alcohol.