63(A). Uparichara (alias) Vasu

“Vaishampaayana said, ‘There was a king of the name of Uparichara. That monarch was devoted to Dharma. He was very much addicted also to hunting. That king of the Paurava race, also known as Vasu, conquered the excellent and delightful kingdom of Chedi (roughly in the Bundelkhand division of Madhya Pradesh regions to the south of river Yamuna along the river Ken) under instructions from (Lord) Indra. Sometime after, the king (Uparichara) gave up the use of weapons and, staying in a undisturbed retreat, practised the most severe Tapas. Devas with (Lord) Indra at their head once approached the monarch (Uparichara) during this period, believing that he (Uparichara) sought the headship of Devas (Head of Devas is Lord Indra), by those severe Tapas of his. Devas, becoming objects of his sight, by soft speeches succeeded in winning him away from his severe Tapas.’

“Devas said, ‘O lord of the earth (Uparichara), you should take care so that Dharma may not sustain a decline on earth! Protected by you, Dharma itself will in return protect the universe.’

“(Lord) Indra said, ‘O king (Uparichara), protect Dharma on earth attentively and rigidly. Following Dharma, you shall, for all time, see (in after life) many sacred regions (Punya Loka in Sanskrit). Though I am of Heaven, and you are of earth, yet are you my friend and dear to me. O king of men (Uparichara), you stay in that region on earth which is delightful, and abounds in animals, is sacred, full of wealth and corn, is well-protected like heaven, which is of agreeable climate, graced with every object of enjoyment, and blessed with fertility. O monarch of Chedi (Uparichara), this your territory (Chedi kingdom) is full of riches, of gems and precious stones, and contains, besides, much mineral wealth. The cities and towns of this region are all devoted to Dharma; the people are honest and contented; they never lie even in joke. Sons never divide their wealth with their fathers and are ever mindful of the welfare of their parents. Lean cattle are never attached to the plough or the cart or engaged in carrying merchandise; on the other hand, they are well-fed and fattened. In Chedi, all varnas are always engaged in their respective professions. Let nothing be unknown to you that happens in the three worlds. I shall give you a crystal chariot (Sphatika Vimanam in Sanskrit) such as Devas alone are capable of carrying the chariot through mid air. You alone, of all mortals on earth, riding on that best of chariots, shall travel through mid-air like a Deva endued with a physical body. I shall also give you a triumphal garland (Vaijayanti Maalaa in Sanskrit) of unfading lotuses, with which on, in battle, you shall not be wounded by weapons. O king (Uparichara), this blessed and incomparable garland, widely known on Earth as Indra’s garland, shall be your distinctive badge.

“Vaishampaayana continued, ‘The slayer of Vritra (Lord Indra) also gave the king, for his gratification, a bamboo pole (Vaishnavi in Sanskrit) for protecting the honest and the peaceful. After the expiry of a year, the king (Uparichara) planted it in the ground for the purpose of worshipping the giver thereof, viz., Shakra (Lord Indra). O monarch (Janamejaya), from that time onwards all kings, following Vasu’s example, began to plant a pole for the celebration of (Lord) Indra’s worship. After erecting the pole, they decorated it with golden cloth, scents, garlands and various ornaments. The Deva Vasava (Lord Indra) is worshipped in due form with such garlands and ornaments. The Deva (Lord Indra), for the gratification of the Mahatma Vasu, assuming the form of a swan, came himself to accept the worship thus offered. The Deva, seeing the auspicious worship thus made by Vasu, that first of monarchs, was delighted, and said to him, ‘Those men, and kings also, who will worship me and joyously observe this festival of mine like the king of Chedi, shall have wealth and victory for their countries and kingdom. Their cities also shall expand and be ever in joy.’

“King Vasu was thus blessed by the pleased Maghavat (Lord Indra), the Mahatma, Chief of Devas. Indeed, those men who cause this festivity of Shakra (Lord Indra) to be observed with gifts of land, of gems and precious stones, become the respected of the world. King Vasu, the lord of Chedis gifting boons and performing great yagnas and observing the festivity of Shakra, was much respected by (Lord) Indra. From Chedi, he (Uparichara) ruled the whole world as per Dharma. For the gratification of (Lord) Indra, Vasu, the lord of the Chedis, observed the festivity of (Lord) Indra.

“Vasu had five sons of great energy and immeasurable skills. The emperor (Saamraada in Sanskrit) installed his sons as governors of various provinces.

“His son Brihadratha who was a Maharatha was installed in Magadha. Another son of his was Pratyagraha; and another, Kushaamba, who was also called Manivaahana. The two others were Maavella, and Yadu of great skill and invincible in battle.

“O monarch (Janamejaya), these were the sons of that Rajarishi (Uparichara) of mighty energy (Tejas in Sanskrit). The five sons of Vasu planted kingdoms and towns after their own names and founded separate dynasties that lasted for long ages.

SUMMARY:

Vaishampaayana narrates about a Chedi king named Uparichara also known as Vasu belonging to the race of Pooru; Vasu had five children who later established their own empires that lasted long.

SRIMAD MAHABHARATA > AADI PARVA > AADIVAMSHAAVATARANA PARVA > CHAPTER 63(A) – UPARICHARA (ALIAS) VASU

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