Bhagawatam 212: Emperor Anga begins a Yagna to obtain progeny

We have to compulsorily listen to every name in Bhagawatam. Here through the names, all the different times that occur during day and also during night are explained. Even those time slots that take place when we are asleep at night are also detailed. Only when all names are heard in detail it amounts to understanding Bhagawatam.

Anga’s wife was Suneetha. They had a son named Vena, who was wicked by nature. Upset with the son’s wicked nature, father Anga, who was of a saintly nature, left the kingdom and went away into the forests.

The words of Maharishis are as powerful as thunderbolt! Angered with Vena’s wicked ways, they cursed him. As a result of this curse, Vena died. With Vena’s death, the kingdom was without a king. With the absence of a leader, thieves and dacoits moved about freely within the kingdom. The kingdom became unruly and citizens suffered.

Maharishis who observed this chaotic situation, pondered about the solution. They then churned the hands of Vena. From these hands emerged Prithu, a partial incarnation of Narayana”.

Maitreya Maharishi said to Vidura that Prithu was the first emperor to regulate the kingdom and its administration.

Vidura questioned, “O revered one, Emperor Anga was a repository of every noble trait. He was an epitome of generosity and kindness. He held Vedic scholars in high esteem. He was broad-mined. Heart-broken at the atrocious deeds of his son, this noble king left the kingdom and went into the forests. What could be the reason for him to beget such a wicked son?

Maharishis are firmly established in righteousness. They are eternally dedicated towards protection of people. What was the reason for such Maharishis to curse King Vena? What were his sins?

Nāvadhyeyaḥ prajā-pālaḥ prajābhir aghavān api

Yad asau loka-pālānāṁ bibharty ojaḥ sva-tejasā

Even if the king, the protector of the citizens, commits any mistake the citizens do not have the right to insult him. This is because the King, due to his might, has the radiance of Guardian-deities.

I am therefore desirous of knowing about the atrocities committed by Suneetha’s son Vena. O Maharishi, you are well versed in past, present and future. Please enlighten me.”

Maitreya Maharishi replied, “The saintly emperor Anga performed the meritorious Ashwamedha Yagna. The Devatas did not attend the Yagna even though the priests invoked them through proper procedures. The astonished priests said to the king, “O Emperor, with total dedication and without any faults we have conducted the Yagna and made the required offerings to the Devatas. With absolute discipline we have chanted all mantras in proper sequence. Our chanting is perfect, powerful and defect-free.

Na vidāmeha devānāṁ helanaṁ vayam av api

Yan na gṛhanti bhāgān svān ye devāḥ karma-sākia

Yet, the Devatas who play a significant role in Vedic rituals (vaidika karma) are not coming forward to accept their share of yagna offerings. We are at a loss to understand what could have gone wrong”.

Emperor Anga was deeply distressed upon hearing this. He wanted to consult the assembly and find the reason for the unhappiness of the Devatas. Taking permission from the priests, he broke his silence.

He addressed the assembly and said, “Members of this assembly, in this Yagna, Devatas are not coming forward to accept the offerings made to them. What is my mistake? Please enlighten me of it.”

The assembled priests and others replied, “O emperor, you have not committed even the slightest mistake with respect to this Yagna. However, your sin from your previous birth has become an obstacle for begetting progeny in this birth.

O emperor! Kindly heed our advice. With this you will be blessed with virtuous progeny and your desire will be fulfilled. You will be blessed with auspiciousness. It is Srihari who accepts the Yagna offerings. Therefore, with the intent of obtaining a son worship Him through Yagna. He will bless you with a son. When the Supreme Lord Srihari is invoked and worshipped, automatically all Devatas come and accept their share of Yagna offerings. Your desire will be fulfilled. Srihari blesses his devotees by rewarding them with objects of their desire. The result for worshipping Lord Srihari will be in accordance with the intent behind the worship”.

Deciding that King Anga should be blessed with a son, the priests now began a Yagna to propitiate Srihari.

Srihari is the Self who resides in every being. He is also the embodiment of Yagna. To Him, they offered Purodāśa, a paste made by frying rice flour in ghee, into the Yagna fire. Then, from that fire pit there appeared a celestial being. He was wearing golden garlands and pure clean clothing. In His hand was a golden vessel containing the sweet dish pāyasam.

With the permission of the priests, Emperor Anga accepted this dish with his joined palms and smelt it. In great happiness, he gave it to his wife.

With great devotion and reverence Suneetha accepted this offering and ate it. Shortly thereafter she conceived through her husband”.

Pradyumnāya namah.

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