Bhakti of King Ambarisha
In the Srimad Bhagavatam, King Ambarisha is described as a Rajarshi or a Royal Sage.
His biography best describes the term Rajarshi .
His piety lies beyond mere description or depiction.
King Pariskshit longs to hear his story for his unparalleled devotion for the Supreme Lord, Sri Hari is famous among the great ascetics and devotees.
King Parikshit ruled over the entire planet.
Although he established his supremacy over all the islands, its luxuries, wealth, power, people and other things, he did not consider his own position.
Instead, he perceived everything that he owned, nothing but vague elements of a dream.
He was a Jnani as well as a Bhakta.
Along with having soft emotions exclusively for the Lord, King Ambarisha possessed a strong understanding of the Vedic Scriptures.
Hence, he becomes a perfect example of a pure devotee of the Lord.
Devotees of the Lord not only possess devotion, but also knowledge.
So, due to his immaculate grasp on the Vedic teachings, he very well understood the law of impermanence.
Therefore, he fixed his mind on the changeless, his deity.
He would day and night contemplate on the Lotus feet of Vasudeva, his cherished deity.
King Ambarisha’s Devotion
Least interested in wealth, luxuries, power, name and fame, King Amabarisha would consider everything material as a chunk of earth, perishable.
King Ambarisha spent his time in Manas Seva and Smarana (Mental Service and Remembrance of the Lord).
His lotus mouth always sprinkled the nectar of the Lord’s divine pastimes.
He swept the altar of the Lord and would perform excellent services for the pleasure of the Lord alone.
Day in and day out, his ears would engage in Hari Katha rendered by elevated priests and sages.
His taste buds, extremely well trained and controlled, would only seek to consume the Lord’s Prasadam.
Just like devotion is his very breath, he would encourage his citizens to chant the holy names of the Lord.
In his reign, devotees went for pilgrimages with ease.
Most times the royal servitors would sanctify the roads and construct suitable roadways so that devotees face no difficulties on their pilgrimage.
His devotion prospered under the noble advice of revered sages like Sage Vasistha and others.
Yes, Sage Vasishta was his spiritual preceptor, as King Ambarisha was from the Solar Dynasty
King Ambarisha Performs a Sacrifice
On the advice of great ascetics like Vasista, Asita, Gautama and others, king Ambarisha performed significant horse sacrifices for the Lord’s pleasure.
He did nothing for his own satisfaction.
The magnanimous ritual instilled awe and reverence in the hearts of the localities.
Other men and women looked at the huge sacrificial fire, blazing in the Kunda without blinking their eyes.
They resemble the Devatas as in the Shastras, it is said that Devatas never wink their eyes.
Their hair stood in surprise as King Ambarisha whole heartedly engaged in the sacrifices.
Every person developed an urge to become a devotee of the Lord, influenced by the eagerness of the King to satisfy the Lord.
Indeed, the piety of King Ambarisha influenced each and every soul on the globe and on the celestial planes.
Sri Narayana Blesses Ambarisha
This sacrifice had great spiritual significance.
With each Ahooti made, the King consciously gave up his attachment.
Others might consider this to be an austere gesture.
But, with much ease King Amabarisha surrendered his attachment for house, family, kingdom, army, jewellery, people, wife, children, friends, wealth, etc.
The fact that everything is transitory and unreal dawned upon him with strengthened fervour by the Will of Sri Hari.
As a result, Sri Hari blessed the pious King with his own Sudarshana Chakra.
This meant, whenever the cloud of danger surrounded the King, the Lord’s Sudarshana Chakra would appear and perish the evil.
The Sudarshana chakra, in other words, was at the service of Ambarisha.
There is an Interesting Story of Sage Durvasa and King Ambarisha.
It is popular among the devotee circle.
The story goes to tell the Supremacy of Pure devotion over all religious and social beliefs.
It establishes King Ambarisha as the most elevated devotee.
Dwadashi Fast of King Ambarisha
King Ambarisha along with his chaste, pious and devotional wife observed Ekadashi fasts which falls on the 11th day of either fortnight of a lunar month.
They made a vow to fast on this day, for a year.
On his third day of the fast, (which means one day before Ekadashi, on Ekadashi and on Dwadashi) , an unusual event happened.
As usual the King along with his wife bathed in the sacred waters of River Kalindi, in the forest of Madhuvana.
They purified themselves and appeared before the altar of the Lord.
Now, King Ambarisha bathed his deity, following the rules prescribed in the Vedic Scriptures.
He did his deity seva which included applying sandalwood pastes, scented perfumes and decorating the Lord with jewellery and enchanting forest flowers.
With one pointed attention and devotion the king sang hymns in praise of the Lord.
As part of his fasting routine, the king invited learned Brahmanas and gave away in charity 60-crore cows abundant with milk, beauty, youth and color.
Also, he graciously complimented them with horned calves.
Their Gold plated horns, silver plated hoofs and silk robes, all signify the King’s large heartedness, generosity and detachment from matter.
Firstly, he offered the Brahmanas with Satvik Prasadam.
All kinds of dishes were served and everything to their linking like sufficient Dakshina was presented to them.
The satisfied Brahmana’s endowed the King with their blessings and permitted him to conclude his fast.
The king followed their orders and was about to partake in the first morsel of Prasadam.
However, Sage Durvasa unexpectedly appeared at the scene.
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