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Long, long time ago in india ruled a king called Janmayjay. He was a bold warrior, a wise man, and a noble soul. He was a descendant of valiant Pandavas.
The great battle of Mahabharata left several casualties for generations to come. One such casualty was to the Pandavas themselves. One day, a furious warrior named Ashwathama who was from the enemy side of Kauravas had infiltrated their camp and killed all the Pandavas’ sons. The only remaining heir was Parikshit, who was still in the womb of his widowed mother Uttara, the daughter-in-law of the great archer, Arjuna (third Pandava).
Janmayjay was the son of Parikshit. He had three brothers – Shrutsen, Ugrasen, and Bhimsen. Together they ruled india from their capital city of Hastinapur for several years until a dog cursed them.
This is the story of that curse. Once upon a time, King Janmayjay was performing a Yajna with his three brothers when a small dog ventured inside. Seeing the dog in the auspicious site, the king’s brothers rushed to capture it. They held the dog and beat it mercilessly. The dog started crying and somehow managed to escape the clutches of the men.
Bleeding profusely, it went to its mother. Now, the dog was not just any stray dog. It was the son of a bitch, who belonged to Gods.
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When she saw her son crying and wounded, she was worried and asked, “What is the matter, son? Why are you crying? Who beat you?”
The small dog cried, “Oh mother! It was the king’s brothers who beat me.”
The bitch was concerned and asked strictly, “Surely, you must have done something terrible to deserve this punishment.”
Tears in its eye, the dog replied, “No mother! I did not do anything. I just ventured inside the site where they were performing the Yajna. But I did not look at the sacred fire or lick or touch anything. The king’s brothers beat me without any reason.”
Hearing these words, the bitch was furious and stormed into the Yajna site.
She screamed, “Listen, o king! My son was beaten by your brothers. May I ask the reason for this severe punishment it when it did not look toward the sacred fire, or lick or touch anything?” The king and his brother were lost for words.
Enraged with this injustice meted out to her son, the bitch cursed, “You have punished my son without any crime. I curse you that you will be consumed by a sudden fright.”
When the king heard these words from the bitch of Gods, he started trembling. Somehow he managed to finish the Yajna. But as soon as he returned to Hastinapur, he started a massive search for a learned astrologer throughout his kingdom that could prevent this curse. Many applicants came but the king was not certain of their wisdom and power to prevent the cursed calamity.
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One day, he was hunting in a forest when he saw a beautiful, calm hermitage (ashram) of a sage near the river. Pleased at this serene site, he went inside to pay respect to the sage.
The hermitage was the adobe of a sage called Rishi Shrutshrava. Janmayjay greeted the sage with folded hands when he saw a young ascetic sitting next to the sage. The young man was deep in meditation. When the king enquired, the sage replied that the young man was his son called Somshrava. Janmayjay was impressed by the young man’s knowledge and learning and decided to appoint him as his astrologer.
He bowed to Rishi Shrutshrava and said, “My lord! May I have your permission to take your son to the city? I would like to appoint him as my astrologer.”
The sage replied, “Dear king! My son is an esteemed ascetic. He can calm all calamities that are going to strike a person, except for the words that have come out of Lord Shiva. But he has a secret oath. If a Brahman asks him for a boon, then he will not refuse. If this condition is acceptable to you, then you have my permission to take him along.”
Janmayjay readily agreed and returned to Hastinapur with Somshrava. He called his brothers and told them, “My dear brothers, I would like you to meet my new astrologer, Somshrava, the son of Rishi Shrutsharva. Please make him welcome. From today, you must obey his every word without a question.” The brothers agreed gladly.
Reassured and calmed by the presence of the sage, the king and his brothers started planning for an invasion into another kingdom called Takshilapur.
King Janmayjay’s Curse – Hindu Mythology Stories
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