Divodasa and Vitahavya (Haihaya)

Mahabharata Anusasana Parva Section 30 : This story was narrated by Bhishma to Yudhisthira.

Divodasa was a King of Kasi. His father was Sudeva and his grandfather was Haryaswa.

Vitahavya, the Haiheya had a 100 sons through 10 wives. They attacked Kasi during the time of Haryaswa, killed him went back to their own country.  Then Sudeva was crowned king. Vitahavya’s sons attacked and defeated him also. So, when Divodasa became the king of Kasi (Varanasi, Benares), he took Indra’s advice and fortified it.

Vitahavya Haihaya and his brother Talajangha, the sons of Vatsa (of Vatsa Desa), were of the race of Saryati, who was the son of Manu (Vaiwaswatha). (Saryati was the great-grandfather of Raivata, who was the father-in-law of Balarama, Sri Krishna’s brother.)

“The territories of Divodasa were full of Brahmanas and Kshatriyas, and abounded with Vaisyas and Sudras. And they teemed with articles and provisions of every kind, and were adorned with shops and marts swelling with prosperity. Those territories, O best of kings, stretched northwards from the banks of Ganga to the southern banks of Gomati, and resembled a second Amravati (the city of Indra). ”

The Haihayas once again attacked Kasi. It was as fierce as a DevaAsura Yuddham.

“King Divodasa fought the enemy for a thousand days at the end of which, having lost a number of followers and animals, he became exceedingly distressed. King Divodasa, having lost his army and seeing his treasury exhausted, left his capital and fled away. Repairing to the delightful retreat of Bharadwaja endued with great wisdom the king, O chastiser of foes joining his hands in reverence, sought the Rishi’s protection.” He was all that was left of his race.

Bharadwja reassured him and performed a Yajna on his behalf. He then gave Divodasa a son called Pratarddana who was 13 years old. With his Yogic powers he directed all the energies of the universe as well as his own into Pratarddana. He dressed him as a prince for battle and gave him to the relieved and happy Divodasa.

Pratarddana crossed the Ganga and slaughtered the sons of Vitahavya in battle. Then Vitahavya ran to the asrama of Bhrgu.

Pratarddana followed him to Bhrgu asrama and requested Bhrgu Mharashi to hand over Vitahavya. To protect Vitahavya, Bhrgu said that there were no kings and only brahmans in his asrama.

Pratarddana respected Bhrgu and feeling pleased that his might had robbed the king Vitahavya of the caste of his birth and considering his duty to his father Divodasa as done, he returned to Kasi.

Now Vitahavya became a brahman. He was already a master of the Vedas and now he composed some Veda Mantras. His son, the handsome, Ghrtasmada was also a Vedic Rishi and composed some Veda Mantras.

“Once on a time the Daityas afflicted Gritasmada much, believing him to be none else than Indra. With regard to that high-souled Rishi, one foremost of Srutis in the Rks goes like this viz., “He with whom Gritsamada stays, O Brahmana, is held in high respect by all Brahmanas”. Endued with great intelligence, Gritsamada become a Rishi in the observance of Brahmacharya.”  Gritsamada had a son of the name of Sutejas. Sutejas had a son of the name of Varchas, and the son of Varchas was known by the name of Vihavya. Vihavya had a son of his loins who was named Vitatya and Vitatya had a son of name Satya. Satya had a son of name Santa. Santa had a son, viz., the Rishi Sravas. Sravas begot a son named Tama. Tama begot a son named Prakasa, who was a very superior Brahmana. Prakasa had a son named Vagindra who was the foremost of all silent reciters of sacred Mantras. Vagindra begot a son named Pramati who was a complete master of all the Vedas and their branches. Pramati begot upon the Apsara Ghritachi a son who was named Ruru. Ruru begot a son upon his spouse Pramadvara. That son was the Rishi Sunaka. Sunaka begot a son who is named Saunaka.”

Saunaka is the Rshi who heard the SivaPurana from Suta Romaharshana.

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