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