--> Skip to main content

Story Of Anushman Who Went In Search Of The Sons Of King Sagara

 Once upon a time in the ancient kingdom of Ayodhya, King Sagara sent his sixty thousand sons to retrieve a sacrificial horse stolen by the envious king of the netherworld. However, after some time had passed, the sons did not return, leaving King Sagara deeply worried. He turned to his grandson, Anshuman, the son of his eldest son Asmanjas, who had renounced worldly affairs to devote his life to worshipping Lord Vishnu, recognizing Him as the ultimate truth.

Obeying his grandfather's command, Anshuman set out on a quest to find his uncles and the sacrificial horse. He carefully retraced the path taken by his uncles, traversing through dense forests and across vast landscapes. His journey led him to a surreal and mystical realm where he encountered three majestic elephants of different hues—blue, white, and red—each standing steadfast, holding the earth on their mighty tusks.

Anshuman, with great reverence, bowed down before the blue elephant, seeking guidance. The blue elephant, with a gentle voice, advised him to maintain politeness and respectfulness in his encounters and directed him towards the white elephant. The white elephant, in turn, pointed him towards the red elephant. Anshuman understood that these three elephants were not ordinary beings; they were the cosmic pillars that supported the earth, and their movements could cause earthquakes and tremors.

The red elephant, recognizing Anshuman’s determination and humility, guided him to the ashram of the great sage Kapila, where Anshuman finally saw the sacrificial horse tied near the hermitage. Approaching the sage with utmost devotion, Anshuman prostrated himself on the ground, humbly inquiring about the fate of his uncles.

Sage Kapila, observing Anshuman's sincerity and devotion, was pleased. He revealed the tragic fate of the sons of Sagara, explaining that they had mistakenly accused him of theft and, in their arrogance, tried to attack him. In his divine wrath, the sage had reduced them to ashes. Pointing to a pile of ashes, Kapila told Anshuman that these were the remains of his unfortunate uncles.

Kapila then imparted a crucial piece of wisdom to Anshuman: the souls of his uncles could only attain salvation if the sacred river Ganga was brought down from the heavens to wash over their ashes. Anshuman, though heartbroken by the fate of his uncles, was determined to fulfill this divine mission to ensure their liberation.

Thus, Anshuman returned to Ayodhya with the sacrificial horse, resolved to undertake the penance required to bring the holy Ganga to the earth, a task that would eventually be completed by his descendants. Through his devotion, perseverance, and respect for the divine, Anshuman set an example for future generations, embodying the virtues of humility and determination in the face of insurmountable odds.

This story is found in the Bengali Krittibasi Ramayana.