The bright yellow flames were reaching up high like they were trying to touch the sky, they were blazing such that other animals feared and run away to the jungles. The Sage Uttanka with many brahmins were chanting the sacred mantras and pouring more and more Ghee, the purified butter, with sacred herbs. There were thousands and thousands of innocent crying Nagas-the serpents being thrown into the fire roasting them alive turning them into the ashes. That was a Sarpsatra-The great snake sacrifice to destroy entire Naga breed from the earth. The immolating flames were killing the snakes and cobras instantly which was the job given to the Agni- the fire god, who was also known for his purifying nature, to assassin the whole breed into the coals and ashes. The host emperor of the great Bharatvarsa (India)- Janmejay-Son of King Parikshit and grandson of Abhimanyu and great grandson of Arjuna was taking his revenge to the entire Naga breed of serpents as the Naga king Takhshaka killed his father Parikshit. Emperor Janmejay was strong determined to destroy whole breed of Nagas and hence was pouring Ghee with sacred herbs fiercely like a warrior was moving his sword to slay his foes.
“STOP THIS MEANINGLESS AND ENDLESS ACT” a young boy shouted when the soldiers were about to throw the Naga king Takshak into the Yagna Vedi-fire pit.
King Janmejay looked upon surprisingly to find out who claimed the emperor’s actions meaningless. Whole sacrificial ground was amazed by boy’s courage to oppose the emperor’s actions.
“Who are you” Janmejay asked. “I am Astik, son of sage Jaratkaru and Devi Manasa-sister of Naga king Vasuki so I am not favoring anyone.”
“Why are you opposing the Sarpasatra?” asked Janmejay.
“Because it is never-ending cycle of revenge, why are you planting the seeds of enmity for next generations that your grandfather did?” said Astika.
“What hostility my grandfather the Great Pandav Arjuna sown? He wouldn’t have made any mistakes.” said Janmejay.
“He did, my lord ! by burning the dwellings of millions of Nagas living with themselves in the Khandav van which is called Indraprastha now.” replied Astik.
“O great king you need to know when the cycle of hostility will stop, I reckons never because enmity only could be won by love. You are unknown that you are also half Naga and half human.” Astik continued.
“Me A half NAGA!!!!! STOP THE SACRIFICE.” The words of the emperor of great India echoed in the Yagna hall and the snakes stopped being thrown into the scorching fire.
“O great sage! Please narrate me the story of my great ancestors and the great descendants of Bharata-The great king on after him this great country is called Bharatvarsha.
“I am happy for the mankind and the Nagas for avoiding generation long hostility.” said Astik.
“ Rajan! Please ask sage Vaishampayan the pupil of Krushna Dwaipayan Vyas to narrate you an epic called Bharat. Bharat has been evolved by sage Vaishampayan from original epic Jaya written by Krushna Dwaipayan Vyas who is also called Maharshi Vedvyas.” Continued Astik.
“O mperor of entire greater Bharatvarsh! May you find your all answers within and learn peace, love and humility from the consequences of war sprouted from five enemies within which are Kam-lust, Krodh-rage, Lobh-greed, Moh-attachment and Ahankar-ego.” Astik showered his blessings onto Janmejay and Sarpsatra-the great serpent killing mission withdrawn.
Sage Vaishampayan narrated Bharat-the story of great descendants of the emperor Bharat. With much of delight, Janamejay won his enemies within and found the peace.
- The core story of Mahabharat is called Jaya which was written by Maharshi Vedvyas.
- Jaya was expanded by Sage Vaishampayan, the version called Bharat.
Bharat was turned into Mahabharat with total 100,000 verses centuries later with more stories added into.
Dear readers I am starting a series of Mahabharat retelling of my own version please give me your feedback and share if you like it.