Sukhdev says, ” Once Shraddha Dev Manu sneezed violently. From his nostrils, a son was born. He was named Ikshvaku. Ikshvaku had one hundred sons. Vikukshi, Nimi and Dandak were the eldest three of them.
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1.)Vikukshi :- Once, Ikshvaku sent his eldest son Vikukshi to collect tubers for the offerings to be made to their ancestors. Vikukshi collected sacred Shash tubers. But, he himself was feeling tired and hungry, so he ate one of them. He gave the remaining tubers to his father. King Ikshvaku gave those tubers to Guru Vashishtha for offering to the ancestors. Vashishtha informed the king that the tubers were defiled and not fit for offerings. Thus told by Vashishtha, Ikshvaku learned the deed of his son and expelled him out of his kingdom in anger. Vikukshi passed his life in exile and returned home only after the death of his father. He became famous as Shashad.
2.)Puranajay :- Puranajay was the son of Vikukshi. He is also famous as ‘Indravah’ and ‘Kakutsth.’ A fierce battle had taken place between the gods and the demons.In the battle, the gods had sought the help from Puranajay. But Puranajay stipulated that he would fight only when Indra agreed to become his vehicle. From God’s inspiration, Indra took the guise of a big and heavy ox and bore Puranajay on his back. When Puranajay rode on the ox and trained his divine bow and arrows, all the gods prayed to him. Since, Puranajay had taken seat near ox’s hump, he came to be known as Kakutsth. Puranajay fought a fierce battle with the demons. Thus in no time Puranajay defeated the demons and captured their towns, wealth, luxuries and every other thing and gave them to Indra. Since, Indra had acted as his vehicle, hence Puranajay is also known as Indravah.
3.)Yuvnashva :- In the lineage of Puranajay, had occurred a king named Yuvnashva. He had no son, so in desperation he gave up his kingdom and, accompanied by his queens, came to stay in the forest. There he organized a grand Yagya, Indrayag with a desire of a son and in the auspices of the great sages. The Yagya lasted day and night. But during the Yagya, Yuvanashva felt extremely thirsty and without giving a thought he drank some of the water from urn that had been sanctified with mantras. Since, the water was meant to produce a child, Yuvanashva begot a child with auspicious signs. Immediately after birth the child began to cry for milk. So to quieten him Indra put his index finger in the child’s mouth. Since then, the child got the name Mandhata. Mandhata became a great emperor. He was also known as Trasdasyu because big robbers like Ravana had an inherent fear of him. Mandhata had deep self-learnings, still he organized many grand Yagyas. Mandhata had three sons- Purykuts, Ambarish (second) and Muchkund. He had fifty daughters also. All of them were married to the sage Saurabhi.
4.)Trishanku :- In this lineage of Mandhata there occurred a king named Satyavrat. He was renamed as Trishanku. Though by the curse of his father and the teacher, he had become a Chandal (an untouchable person) yet by the power of his penance, sage Vishwamitra helped him reach heaven with the body. But the jealous gods pushed down poor Satyavrat from the heaven. He was falling headlong while Maharishi Vishwamitra supported and fixed him in mid sky, hence he got the name Trishanku.
5.)Harishchandra :- He was the son of Trishanku. For him, two great sages Vishwamitra and Vashishta had cursed each other and acquired bird forms and kept on fighting for many years. Harishchandra had no son. With a desire to have a son, Harishchandra worshiped Varun Dev. By the grace of Varuna, he got a son named Rohit. Caught in the love for his son, Harishchandra forgot to organize Yagya to pay his thanks to Varuna. Rohit too had fled to the forest to save his life when he learned that his father wished to sacrifice him. He stayed there for long. Back there in the kingdom Harishchandra acquired a deadly disease of Dropsy as a result of Varuna’s anger. Having learnt about his father’s illness, Rohit tried five times to return to the kingdom, but every time Indra forebode him. Thus he stayed in the forest for six years. But in the seventh year he bought the middle son of Ajigart and took him to the kingdom to be used as a votive animal. There he handed the boy over to his father. Thereafter, king Harishchandra organized a grand Yagya and pleased Varuna. Pleased by their unshakable faith in truthfulness sage Vishwamitra blessed Harishchandra and his wife and preached them about metaphysical knowledge.
6.)Sagar :- In the lineage of Rohit later on, had occurred a King Bahuk. Unfortunately, he met an untimely death. One of his widowed wife got ready to be immolated with her husband’s pyre. She was pregnant then, so the sage Aurv prevented her from getting Sati. When her fellow queens learnt about her pregnancy, they fed her with poisoned food. But the poison proved ineffective on the unborn baby. The baby was born in due course with poison, so he came to be known as Sagar. Sagar had a great reputation as the King. He had sixty thousand sons. He had also resolved to organize one hundred Ashwamegh Yagyas. His ninety-nine Yagyas completed without hassles, but during the hundredth Yagya, Indra stole the horse and tethered it in the hermitage of the sage Kapila. Sagar’s sixty thousand sons set out in search of the horse, but could not find it anywhere on earth.
At last, they reached the hermitage of the sage Kapila. Before that, with their enormous power, they had dug out huge pits, which filled with water and formed the sea. The sea derived its Hindi Synonym Sagar from Sagar. When those sixty thousand princes saw that the Yagya horse was Tethered in Kapila’s hermitage, they began to abuse the sage. Disturbed by the noise, the sage Kapila opened his eyes, and instantaneously all the sixty thousand princes got incinerated. It was Anshuman, the grandson of Sagar, who pacified sage Kapila with his politeness and brought back the horse. He also discovered the ashes of his ancestors. Sage Kapila told Anshumana that the salvation of his ancestors would be possible only if touched by Gangaji, (the sacred Ganges). Since then, all the kings in Sagar’s lineage observed severe penance to bring the Ganges on earth for the salvation of their ancestors.
7.)Bhagirath :- First of all, king Anshuman observed hard penance. But even after many years of penance he could not succeed in his efforts. His son Dileep also observed sever penance, but his efforts too, could not succeed. Bhagirath was the son of Dileep. After Dileep, Bhagirath started severe penance. After many years of penance, Bhagirath succeeded in pleasing the Ganges. She appeared before him and asked him to seek a boon. Bhagiratha requested the Ganges to arrive on earth. The Ganges accepted his wish, but put a question as to who would support her when she fell on earth from the heaven. Bhagiratha then began his penance again to please Lord Shiva so that He could support the Ganges on earth. Lord Shiva accepted Bhagirath prays and supported the Ganges on his head. Thereafter He moved on the path shown by Bhagirath with sacred Ganges following. Thus, the sacred Ganges reached at the place where ashes of Bhagirath ancestors were lying. The holy waters of the Ganges washed the ashes to the confluence at Ganga Sagar. By the mere touch of Ganges’ holy water, Bhagirath ancestors received salvation.
Michsah, Khatvanga, Dhirghbahu, Raghu
After Bhagirath many great kings like Michsah, Khatvanga, Dhirghbahu, Raghu etc. occurred in the Ikshvaku dynasty. Raghu’s son was Aja and his son was Dashrath. It was in the home of King Dashrath, and by the prayer of the gods, that Lord Sri Hari took birth as four sons of Dashrath.
Description of Lord Rama’s Plays
8.)Description of Lord Rama’s Plays :- Sukhdev says, ” Parikshit, to keep the words of his father, Lord Rama abdicated the entire kingdom and took exile in the forest. Staying in the forest Lord Rama protected many sages, and helped them complete their religious rituals successfully. He slayed many formidable demons there. But, for cutting the nose and ears of Shurpanakha, the sister of demon king Ravana, He had to bear the separation of his wife sita.
Rama had won Sita as his wife in a swayamvar in Janakpur. In his teenage, sage Vishwamitra had taken Rama and Lakshmana with him to his hermitage to guard his religious proceedings against the demons. Rama and Lakshmana had killed many demons then. It was during this period that the swayamvar was organized in Janakpur. Lakshmi, the better half of Lord Vishnu, had herself appeared as Sita in Janakpur. Sage Vishwamitra himself taken Rama and Lakshmana to the swayamvar. Many more brave and strong kings and princes had gathered there. But no one could train the Bow of Lord Shiva as per the condition of the swayamvar. It was only Rama, who not only lifted the bow but trained it also. In the process of training, the bow broke with a loud noise. Thus Lord Rama won Sita as His wife.
But during the exile the demon king Ravana deceitfully abducted Sita to avenge the insult of his sister Surpanakha. Thereafter, the circumstances favored Lord Rama and He soon found out the whereabouts of Sita. With a huge army of monkeys and bears, Lord Rama reached the seashore there He prayed to the sea to make way for Him. But the sea did not pay heed to his prayers, so angrily He got ready to evaporate the sea. Thus frightened, the sea revealed to Him the way to make a bridge over it. Lord Rama then built a bridge over the sea and landed in Lanka. A fierce battle followed in which Lord Rama and Lakshman together slayed the demon king Ravana, his brother Kumbhakarna and Meghnad, the son of Ravana.
Thus, they got Sita free from Ravana’s captivity. Crowning Vibhishan, the brother of Ravana as the King of Lanka, they returned to Ayodhya on Pushpaka Vimana. Brahma Rishis crowned Rama as the king of Ayodhya. All the three worlds became happier, healthier and wealthier. Bharata, Lakshmana, Shatrughan and Hanumanji stayed forever in the service of Lord Rama always following the moral dictates and put an example for the world of high morals. As a king, Lord Rama also organized Ashwamegh Yagya.