--> Skip to main content

The Story of Soudasa – Son of Bhagiratha

Bhagiratha was the revered ruler of Ayodhya, renowned for his wisdom and valor. He had a son named Soudasa, who would later become the central figure in a tale of transformation and redemption.

One fateful day, Soudasa ventured into the dense forest for a hunting expedition. As he stealthily moved through the wilderness, he encountered two tigers. Unbeknownst to him, these were not ordinary tigers but a Rakshasa (demon) and a Rakshasi (demoness) in disguise. In an instinctive act of self-defense, Soudasa killed one of the tigers, which happened to be the Rakshasa. The Rakshasi, upon seeing her slain husband, vowed revenge against the prince for killing her innocent partner.

Haunted by this encounter, Soudasa sought the counsel of the wise sage Vashistha. He narrated the entire incident to the sage and expressed his fear of the Rakshasi's ominous threat. Vashistha, with his profound knowledge and spiritual insight, advised the king to perform an Ashwamedha Yagya, a powerful ritual meant to absolve him of his sins and bring peace.

Meanwhile, the cunning Rakshasi devised a devious plan to exact her revenge. She transformed herself into the likeness of Vashistha and approached Soudasa, demanding to be served meat. Unaware of the deception, Soudasa instructed his cook to prepare the meal. The Rakshasi then took on the form of the cook and maliciously prepared human flesh, which was served to the sage.

When Vashistha was served the abhorrent meal, his fury knew no bounds. He immediately realized the heinous act and cursed Soudasa to become a Rakshasa himself. He decreed that only the sight of the sacred river Ganga would relieve him of this dreadful curse.

The curse took effect, and Soudasa was transformed into a fearsome demon. He roamed the earth, tormented by his new form and longing for redemption. Years passed, and one day, as fate would have it, Soudasa stumbled upon the river Ganga. As he approached, a few droplets of the holy water sprinkled onto his monstrous form. Instantly, the curse was lifted, and Soudasa was freed from his demonic state.

Such was the profound power of the Ganga, the river of salvation. Transformed and purified, Soudasa ascended to heaven, his soul cleansed and his spirit at peace. This tale serves as a testament to the redemptive power of devotion, the sanctity of the Ganga, and the enduring hope for salvation even in the direst of circumstances.