The Story of Prithu Maharaj

story of king prithu

Prithu’s forefathers

King Anga pined for a son. So, he conducted a yajna to have one.

Yet, no god appeared to accept his offerings.

Dejected, Anga asked his priests for a remedy.

They then advised him to please lord Vishnu.

This shall effortlessly fulfill their purpose.

Accordingly, the priests chanted Vishnu mantras.

Soon, a god wearing white robes appeared.

He carried a golden bowl of kheer.

The king offered the kheer to his wife Sunitha.

Eventually, a son named Vena was born to them.

The rule of nature

According to scriptures, the daughter usually inherits her paternal side while the son, his maternal house.

In this regard, Vena’s mother Sunitha was the daughter of Death personified.

Hence Vena completely followed his maternal grandfather.

At a tender age, he mercilessly hunted innocent deer.

In anger, he even killed his companions.

At his very sight his subjects would yell, “Here comes cruel Vena.”

Anga’s retirement

Now, King Anga remained worried for his son.

He tried to reform him but to no avail.

Anga was the lord’s devotee.

So he took the events in good light as a means to his salvation.

He thus developed detachment and retired to the woods for penance.

Nature of King Vena

The sages had no other choice but to crown Vena as the next king.

After gaining power, Vena grew crueler.

He imposed a ban on Yajna and rituals.

Vena was a hardcore atheist and he humiliated rishis.

Ultimately the rishis burnt the atrocious king with a tumultuous roar.

Churning of Vena’s body

In the absence of a ruler, the land was easy prey to bandits.

So the sages conducted an experiment on Vena’s corpse.

Moreover, they decided to preserve the Dhruva race, since those kings were very potent.

Birth of Bahuk

First, they churned Vena’s thighs, resulting in a dwarf named Bahuk.

It was dark like a crow and represented all of Vena’s sins.

The sages called him “Nishid”.

Thus Bahuk initiated the Nishad race.

Mostly, the Nishad race steals, hunts. owing to Vena’s misdeeds.

Hence their access is only limited to the forest.

Birth of King Prithu

Now Vena’s body was pure.

Hence, the rishis churned his right arm.

A handsome prince and woman emerged.

The prince was none other than Prithu, the empowered incarnation of Lord Vishnu while the woman was Archi, Goddess Lakshmi’s expansion.

Later both got married and Prithu ascended the throne.

Prithu chases the Earth

Under Vena’s rule, the nation suffered from famine.

So, the subjects approached Prithu and posed their problem.

Prithu closely inspected the case and saw that the earth failed to cooperate.

So, he lifted his bow and arrow to punish her.

The earth assumed the form of a cow and ran in fear.

Finally, she asked Prithu-

“Why do you wish to kill me”

Prithu replied-

“Whenever we performed yajnas, you promptly took your share.

But in return, you did not yield sufficient grains.

The earth said- “Oh king, All edibles created by lord Brahma were used up by sinners.

Vena used them for sense-gratification.

For a long time, these grains are suppressed within me; hence they have lost their nourishing properties.

You need to revitalize them by chanting authentic mantras.”

Accordingly, Prithu implemented her suggestion.

Thus, the earth satisfied all his subjects and stood true to her words.

On seeing the earth’s commitment, fatherly love arose in Prithu.

Since then, he accepted the Earth as his daughter.

In his honor, the earth is known as ‘Prithvi’.

The rise of Agriculture

Prithu ploughed the fields and cultivated herbs.

He started agriculture and ensured a proper supply of rainwater.

Alongside, he established towns and looked after his subjects.

Since Prithu Maharaj established a utopian province, he is also known as the earliest king.

Prithu fights with Indra

Prithu Maharaja conducted 99 Ashwamedha Yajna in Brahmavarta.

Only the 100th Yajna remained.

But when Indra got the news he was deeply disturbed.

Indra is also known as Shatakritu (who has completed 100 Ashwamedha yajnas).

Naturally, he couldn’t see someone who could match his status.

How did the cult of bogus sages begin?

Indra promptly foiled his plans.

He stole the sacrificial horse disguised as a bogus sage.

Since then, a cult of bogus sages began.

Prithu Maharaj sent his son Vijitasva to retrieve the horse.

But again, Indra put on a disguise and stole the horse.

In the name of religion, he hid his crime.

Valuing his appearance, his life was spared.

Vijitasva retrieved the horse every time with the aid of Maharishi Atri.

Finally, Prithu Maharaj attacked Indra.

Immediately, his priests stopped him and said-

“You are the host, so don’t pollute your hands.

We shall chant mantras which shall automatically suck him into the fire.

Lord Brahma appears

So saying as the sages murmured mantras. Immediately Lord Brahma appeared and stopped them.-

“On one side you call the gods. Or the other side, you kill their very king. How can you do this?” He told Prithu “You are already a devotee. What is the need to perform so many yajnas? The Lord is already pleased with you.

Thus Brahma ordered Prithu Maharaj to drop his plan. Prithu Maharaj obeyed his orders. Thus his Yajna stopped at 99.

Lord Vishnu appears

Lord Vishnu appeared to bless Prithu. He brought Indra along with him and sweetened their relationship.

He also added- “Because I am impressed by your nature, You shall very soon see the four Kumaras who are very rare to behold.”

Thereafter Prithu Maharaj worshipped the Lord’s Lotus feet.

Usually, Lord Vishnu never placed his foot on earth, but His love for Prithu was so great that he did so for the very first time.

While doing so, He lost his balance and held His vehicle Garuda for support.

On seeing the lord behave affectionately, Prithu was moved.

Thus Prithu Maharaj displayed signs of ecstasy.

Prithu Maharaj asked the lord- “I want to associate with pure devotees”

On seeing Prithu’s love for devotees, the Lord said- “Oh king, May you remain ever absorbed in devotional mellows.”

The reign of King Prithu

Prithu was very kind and loving to his subjects.

Besides solving their problems, he was also their inner guide.

He called all his subjects and instructed them as follows-

“Oh, subjects, Worship the Lord enthusiastically with your mind, words, and deeds.

Respect Vaishnavas.

Follow their instructions.”

King Prithu was an ideal king and he propelled his subjects spiritually.

The Brahmanas praised him- “Just as Prahlad cleansed the sins of his father Hiranyakasipu, your actions have redeemed your ancestor, Vena.

The four Kumaras arrived.

Prithu Maharaj washed their feet and sprinkled the water on his head. The Kumaras then instructed the king- “Always remain absorbed in devotion. Or else man degrades to the level of stones and trees

Oh king, always worship Lord Krishna and avoid bad association.”

Thereafter The kumara brothers left.

After ruling for long, Prithu Maharaj retired to the forest and quit his body through Yoga.

Benefits of reading King Prithu’s story

Those who read this tale three times acquire fame, the illiterate become great scholars.

Reading King Prithu’s life averts all misfortune.

Thanks for reading!