Thursday, April 23, 2015

A-Z April Challenge 2015: T for TRISHANKU SWARGA

T for Trishanku
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King Trishanku had not expected this of his guru, Sage Vasishta. Wasn’t the guru supposed to aid a king in becoming the greatest? Explore unchartered territories? Why had Sage Vasishta refused him? Trishanku fumed, as he walked up and down the throne room, wondering how to deal with the situation.

His chief minister walked in just then, great excitement on his face. “Pranam Maharaj! I have just found the solution. Why can’t we approach Sage Vishwamitra?” He lowered his voice as if even the walls of the palace had ears. “Vishwamitra, I believe, is ready to do anything that Vasishta says is not possible.”

Trishanku’s bowed head rose up in enthusiasm. “Is that so? Get my chariot ready. I will visit Sage Vishwamitra immediately.”

Vishwamitra didn’t even bother to find out exactly what Trishanku sought. He only heard that his adversary hadn’t been able to grant the king his wish and immediately insisted that he, Vishwamitra, could do it.

Trishanku’s happiness knew no bounds. He promised the sage a lot of riches before telling him what he exactly wanted. “I am in the last stage of my life, O Sage. I would like to enter Heaven with my body.”

Vishwamitra was startled when he heard clearly what the king had to say. Enter the heavens with his physical body? Such a thing was unheard of. But then, a cunning light entered Vishwamitra’s eyes. What if he did manage to do it? Send Trishanku to Heaven in his physical body? Vasishta would definitely have to accept him as Brahmarishi, in that case.

And thus began the powerful yagna that went on for days. All the beings from various realms came to the earth, to Vishwamitra’s ashram to find out what was happening that was shaking up the whole universe. Trishanku was exhilarated as he imagined himself sitting amidst the Devas, maybe on Lord Indra’s right.

Suddenly, Trishanku rose up into the air so speedily and reached the gates of Heaven. The guard stopped the king from entering the gates. Two Devas who had been keeping a watch on Indra’s behalf, came out and pushed the king away forcefully. So much so, that Trishanku began falling towards the earth, upside down.

Vishwamitra, who had been watching the scene from the yagnasthal, raised his hand and uttered a mantra. Trishanku stopped in mid-space, hanging upside down. That’s when Vishwamitra created a parallel heaven for the king. He had made a promise to Trishanku. How could he not keep it? This heaven came to be called Trishanku Swarga.

NOTE; Till today, Trishanku Swarga means a place which is neither in Heaven nor on Earth.

Glossary:

Guru – Teacher
Brahmarishi – The greatest of sages
Yagna – Fire sacrifice
Ashram – Hermitage
Devas - Demi-Gods
Yagnasthal – The place where the fire sacrifice is conducted




Check out some of my favourite bloggers who are also participating in A-Z April Challenge 2015

Eloquent Articulation by Inderpreet Kaur Uppal
I Luv Fiction by Ruchi Singh

34 comments:

  1. This was such an interesting read. I did not know this story. Thanks for sharing. :)
    *Shantala @ ShanayaTales*

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    1. Thank you so much Shanaya! Glad to bring new stories from our epics to people :D

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  2. so its kinda like limbo? neither good nor bad?

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    1. Thank you for stopping by Pam! Yeah, 'limbo' it is - neither here nor there. Not sure about the good or bad though. It must be strange hanging upside down, I feel. :)

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  3. A story of overweening ambition and arrogance, so well told! I enjoyed reading it, Sundari! Maybe you should bring out a book of all these little gems!

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    1. Awwww! Thank you Deepti. Seriously considering publishing it and offering it for free on Amazon under my name. Will help with marketing my other books hopefully! What do you think? :)
      Of course, I will need to do a lot of rewriting ;)

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  4. Loved the story. People imagining themselves to be in fake heaven are also said to be in Trishanku swargam

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    1. Thank you for stopping by Lata :) Yeah, that's true

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  5. I did not know this at all. Thanks for sharing this Sundari.

    I surely will be bookmarking your blog so that once I have kids they get to read mythology through your words :)

    I mean it!

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    1. Awwww! That's so sweet :D Thank you Soumya! Looks like I will need to add more stories now - for the sake of your kids

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  6. I read about this in a book about Ramayana. Sage Vishwamitra was so bent upon proving his worth to Vasishta that he promised the impossible to Trishanku. Wonderful narration and I've learnt so much about mythological tales from your blog. Thank you :)

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  7. A heaven of his own is cool. But I guess it would have been cooler if he had been turned right side up. Nice story. I had never heard of this one.

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    1. I am sure! Glad to bring you a story that you haven't heard of before Cynthia. Thank you :)

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  8. Thank you Sundari for reminding me of yet another story that I love from Indian Mythology. Trishanku Swarga is a common usage even today. So powerful is this story.

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  9. Sometimes what we desire simply can't be achieved. Destiny can't be manipulated. Nicely narrated.

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  10. Something akin to catch 22 situation where no one likes to be in. Great story.

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  11. Got his own personal Heaven? That's one way to do it! :D

    @TarkabarkaHolgy from
    Multicolored Diary - Epics from A to Z
    MopDog - 26 Ways to Die in Medieval Hungary

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    1. LOL! For sure. Thank you for stopping by Tarkabarka Holgy :)

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  12. I love this story to teach kids about the value of humility and also to know what to ask for when it comes to wishes and prayers :)

    *Shailaja/Alternate Angles/A-Z*

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  13. Oh! I vaguely remember this story. But was not aware of the existence of Trishanku Swarg. So except him, nobody is in that swarg!! Interesting!

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    1. Thank you Shilpa! I don't think anyone else was there. But then, it was his choice :)

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  14. More like suspended in purgatory! Did not know the story behind trishanku..

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    1. Very true! Thank you for stopping by Ahana :)

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  15. Oh! So that's how this happened! I hadn't heard of this story.

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    1. Thank you for stopping by Chicky! And glad you got to know something new :)

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  16. that's a wonderful story. I had never heard this one before.

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    1. Thank you so much Rajlakshmi! So glad I could bring you something that you weren't aware of :)

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