Chapter 21: The Dynasty of Bharata: the Story of Rantideva
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    Welcome, Guest · RSS 2019-07-19, 11:33 AM

    Chapter 21: The Dynasty of Bharata: the Story of Rantideva

    (1) The son of Vyâsadeva said: 'From Manyu, the son of Vitatha [the name Bharadvâja carried because he was given to Bharata], there were the sons Brihatkshatra, Jaya, Mahâvîrya, Nara and Garga. Nara had a son called Sankriti. (2) From Sankriti there were Guru and Rantideva, oh scion of Pându. The glories of Rantideva are sung in this world and the next. (3-5) Subsisting on that what fate provided he [Rantideva] took pleasure in distributing to others whatever grain of food he had. Being very poor he with all his family members lived most soberly and had to suffer a lot. One morning when forty-eight days had passed and he even was deprived of drinking water, he happened to receive water and different foodstuffs prepared with ghee and milk. While the family was shaky because of the thirst and hunger they suffered, that very moment a brahmin guest arrived who also liked to eat. (6) Rantideva conceived of the Lord as residing in each and everyone [see B.G. 5: 18] and thus he with great respect and faith gave him his share of the food. After the brahmin had eaten he departed. (7) When he had divided the food for the family and was just about to eat, someone else arrived, a s'ûdra, whom he, thinking of the Lord, gave the food that was reserved for him, the king. (8) After the s'ûdra had left yet another guest arrived who was surrounded by dogs. He  said: 'Oh King, please provide me and my hungry dogs with food!'

    (9) He, the one in power, honored them with his obeisances and with great respect gave all the food that was left over to the dogs and their master. (10) Of the food only the drinking water remained and that too had to satisfy some outcaste who, arriving there when the king was about to drink, asked him: 'I am just lowborn, but please give me some water!'

    (11) Hearing the pitiable words of the exhausted man he, being deeply moved, compassionately spoke the following nectarean words: (12) 'I do not desire to attain the greatness of the eight perfections of the Supreme Lord [siddhis] or the cessation of repeated births. I accept all hardship in my staying among all the embodied living beings so that they are freed from their unhappiness. (13) Handing over my water to save this poor soul struggling for his life, I am freed from all the hunger, thirst, fatigue and shaking of my body, as also from all the poverty, distress, lamentation, depression and bewilderment!' (14) Thus expressing himself that sober, kindhearted ruler gave the drinking water to the outcaste, even though he himself was on the verge of death because of his thirst. (15) Then the controllers of the three worlds, the gods who grant those who desire the fruits all results, manifested themselves before him in their true identities because they [in their previous appearances in the form of the brahmin, the man with the dogs, the s'ûdra and the outcaste] all had been creations of the illusory energy of Vishnu. (16) Being true to them as someone without material aspirations for any benefit or possessions [see B.G. 7: 20], he offered them his obeisances while he concentrated his mind upon Vâsudeva, the Supreme Lord as the ultimate goal. (17) Because he who had nothing in mind but being of service focussed his consciousness on the Supreme Controller oh King, the illusory energy of the [three] material qualities meant nothing more to him than a dream [see also B.G. 7: 14 and 9: 34]. (18) All the ones associated with his lead, all the followers of Rantideva, became first-class [bhakti] yogis fully devoted to Lord Nârâyana [see also B.G. 6: 47].

    (19-20) From Garga [see verse 1] there was S'ini and his son was Gârgya from whom despite of his kshatriya birth an entire line of brahmins originated. From Mahâvîrya there was Duritakshaya whose sons were named Trayyâruni, Kavi and Pushkarâruni. They all acquired in this line the position of brahmins. Brihatkshatra's son Hastî founded the city of Hastinâpura [now Delhi]. (21) Ajamîdha, Dvimîdha and Purumîdha became the sons of Hastî. Ajamîdha's descendants were headed by Priyamedha. They were all brahmins. (22) From Ajamîdha there was Brihadishu, his son was Brihaddhanu, Brihatkâya succeeded him and he fathered a son called Jayadratha. (23) His son was Vis'ada from whom Syenajit was born. Rucirâs'va, Dridhahanu, Kâs'ya and Vatsa were the sons of Syenajit. (24) Rucirâs'va's son was Pâra and from him Prithusena and Nîpa were born. Nîpa generated hundred sons. (25) He had Brahmadatta with his wife Kritvî, who was the daughter of S'uka [not the one speaking this Bhâgavatam]. That son was a yogi who with his wife Sarasvatî produced a son called Vishvaksena. (26) By him [Vishvaksena] was according to the instruction of the rishi Jaigîshavya a description of yoga [a so-called tantra] compiled. He begot a son called Udaksena who became the father of Bhallâtha. These descendants were called the Brihadishus. (27) Yavînara the son of Dvimîdha had a son called Kritimân. He fathered a memorable son called Satyadhriti whose son Dridhanemi was the father of Supârs'va. (28-29) Supârs'va had Sumati whose son Sannatimân had one called Kritî. He received from Lord Brahmâ the mystic power and taught six samhitâs of Prâcyasâma verses [from the Sâma Veda]. From him Nîpa could take his birth who brought Udgrâyudha into the world. Udgrâyudha's son was called Kshemya and from him next Suvîra appeared. Suvîra then had the son Ripuñjaya. (30) His son was named Bahuratha. Purumîdha [the younger brother of Dvimîdha] was without a son. Ajamîdha had with his wife Nalinî the son Nîla who on his turn begot S'ânti. (31-33) S'ânti's son Sus'ânti had the son Puruja. Arka was his son and from him Bharmyâs'va was born. He had five sons: Mudgala, the eldest one, Yavînara, Brihadvis'va, Kâmpilla and Sañjaya. He told them: 'My sons, since you all have the competence, please take care of the five states.' They thus received the name the Pañcâlas [after the five states]. From Mudgala there was a line consisting of brahmins that was known as Maudgalya. (34) Mudgala, Bharmyâs'va's son was the father of a non-identical twin, one male and one female. The boy was called Divodâsa and the girl was named Ahalyâ. S'atânanda was born from her marriage with Gautama [these are names that are also mentioned in the Ramâyana]. (35) From him there was a son called Satyadhriti, who was an expert in archery. S'aradvân, who was his son, gave life to a male and female child. Simply by seeing Urvasî his semen had fallen on a clump of s'ara grass. The children were a great blessing. (36) During a hunt wandering around king S'ântanu saw the twin. Out of compassion he then took them home. The boy he called Kripa and the girl Kripî. She later became Dronâcârya's wife.'