Prithu Maharaja’s Family
Prithu was a descendant of Dhruva Maharaja, a king of the Atreya Vamsa.
This is because there is a mention of Dhruva being adopted by the sage.
This clan has seen many kings ascend the throne, among whom, King Vena was famously known for his atrocious reign.
King Vena was the son of king Anka. His mother was Queen Sunitha who was the daughter of Yamaraja, the God of death.
Unlike other kings, King Vena did not believe in religiosity. He rose to fame for his atrocities.
Obstructing all Dharmic Yajnas, slaughtering cows and torturing noble men became his regular activities.
Traumatized by the constant harm done to the ascetic community, a group of sages retired to the forest.
But, before they did that they found it best to inform their King, who was however, not worth any respect.
Yet they paid a visit to the kingdom and said: “For a whole hundred years we sages are retiring to the forests to perform severe austerities. “
The sages were compassionate towards ignorant beings.
So, out of concern, they warned the king to follow Dharma which might otherwise invite destruction for the entire kingdom.
But, only if intelligence had dawned upon the king would he have paid heed to the noble advice.
So, after the group of sages left the palace, in their absence, the ruthless King proclaimed himself as God.
Birth of King Prithu
The ignorant King Vena, infuriated the powerful Sages. As a result he was slain by their Yogic powers. Within a second his body fell lifeless on the ground.
This ended the reign of atrocities for the sage community.
However, the calamity had not stopped yet, as the throne was left empty.
Unfortunately, there was no heir to rule the kingdom.
So, the benevolent sages did a Vedic churning process to give rise to a mighty, pious ruler.
They chanted Vedic mantras and through a procedure churned the body of King Vena.
After the negative vibrations, in the form of dwarf species, were ejected from the king’s body, a bright golden flame emitted.
From the right arm of the corpse of King Vena, Prithu Maharaja, an incarnation of the Supreme Lord Vishnu emerged.
Prithu maharaj was unlike his father.
Extremely pious and godly, he earned fame through his generous charity and love for his subjects.
The common folks of villages compose songs in praise of Prithu Maharaja.
They say: “His faith and ideologies stand like the gigantic mountains which never budge.
He displays qualities like that of God.
He is generous like mother earth who donates everything to people without them asking for it.
There is none other like him as he is the epitome of compassion, valor, and righteousness.
We have never witnessed any such being with such exceptional qualities on earth.”
Such was his glory.
Boomidevi gets angry with Prithu
Though the reign of righteousness had begun, the kingdom of Prithu Maharaja experienced prolonged famine.
Bhoomadevi, could yet not forgive the kingdom of King Vena.
She felt great pain.
So, she refused to grant her assets like medicinal herbs, grains, raw materials for clothing, etc to Prithu Maharaja, with the intent that the son has to pay for the father’s folly.
So, she presented barren lands in return for all the crimes King Vena committed.
But, King Prithu was unlike his father.
His very appearance was divine.
He was born with celestial gifts like a Kavach or protecting shield. He held the stick of righteousness.
In Spite of his exalted qualities, Bhoomidevi did not show benevolence and the poor subjects of the kingdom were inflicted by famine.
Rapidly, people started growing wearier and death rates increased in his kingdom.
Prithu Maharaja chases Bhoomidevi
Prithu Maharaj decided to tear open Earth and benedict his subjects with food for their survival, for they were not party to his father’s crimes.
So, He started chasing Boomidevi who disguised herself as a cow.
She assumed the form of a cow and ran insanely to escape the King’s wrath.
After chasing for a while, the cow turned to the King and said: “Oh you wanted to kill me just because I refuse to open my granaries for your kingdom.
To get rid of this famine, killing me will have adverse effects on your subjects.
Instead only a well-thought approach will bear desired results.
Hence, I warn you that you must think over your decision. I have a proposal for you.
If you promise to protect me and allow me to live, then I shall render my services in the form of milk.”
Immediately Prithu Maharaj accepted the proposal and promised to safeguard Bhoomidevi as his own daughter.
Thus, under the reign of Prithu Maharaj, the guardian of Bhoomidevi, none of the evil forces could reap.
He was the torchbearer of Dharma, wherein earth saw a prosperous age of Dharmic activities.
Devatas receive gifts from Prithu Maharaja.
To distribute gifts on the occasion of this new ceremony of adopting Bhoomidevi as his daughter, King Prithu invoked
Swaayambhuvamanu who assumed the form of a calf.
He became the first to receive the cow’s milk which had properties of grains and vegetation.
He used his hands as the collecting vessel.
Proceedingly, King Prithu the Rsis led by Chandra deva.
They too drank the ambrosial milk fed by Bhoomidevi.
They placed Vedas as the vessel to collect Devotion towards God.
Next, to consume the nectarean milk was Indra accompanied by other Devatas.
They came down as calves and drank the milk of Bhoomidevi to attain the nectar of life, Amrita.
The Pitrus (ancestors) escorted by Yamadharmaraja as their leader, received Swadha devi as a gift in silver vessels.
Swadha devi is the wife of Agni Bhagawan.
She is invoked when performing fire sacrifices for the Pitrus (ancestors).
She delivers them the ritualistic food offered by their relatives to satiate their hunger.
On the other hand, fire sacrifices for the Devatas invokes Swaha Devi, the second wife of Agni Bhagawan.
Later, the chief representative of Nagas of Naga Loka with their cavities opened, collected the venom in the form of milk.
Venom is ambrosia for the Nagas and hence they were gifted with this boon.
Next, the Asuras headed by Virochana assumed the form of a calf.
They drank the milk which blessed them with Maya (illusory powers) in iron vessels.
So, Prithu Maharaj became the greatest among rulers as he fulfilled the desires of all creatures on this planet and beyond.
All salutations to this great king, whose wondrous story endows one’s children, grand-children and great grandchildren with happiness, till the time the sun exists.
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