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|Note: In the previous post, we read about how Indra deserted Takshaka when he realised the power of sacrifice. Furthermore, once the Hotri started taking Takshaka’s name while pouring the libations, Takshaka lost his senses and was pulled towards the sacrificial fire. When he was pulled near enough to the fire, the Ritwiks urged the king to grant Astika whatever boon he requests.
In this post, we will find out what the child-sage, Astika, asked Janamejaya.
When Takshaka was about to fall into the sacrificial fire, Astika said, “O Janamejaya, if you want to grant me a book then I ask for this sacrifice to end. Let no more snakes fall into the fire.”
Astika’s words surprised and made Janamejaya unhappy. He replied, “O illustrious one, I urge you – please do not ask for this sacrifice to end. Ask for anything else. I will give you as much gold, silver, cattle, or any other possessions you desire.”
Astika replied, “I do not want gold, silver, or cattle. O king, let this sacrifice come to an end so that my maternal relatives may find relief.”
Janamejaya, seeing Astika’s resolve, repeatedly urged him to ask for something else. He said several times, “O best of Brahmanas, ask for some other boon. Be blessed O great one, ask for anything else.”
However, Astika did not change his mind. The only boon he wanted was to stop the sacrifice. After some time, the Sadasyas of the sacrifice, who were all well-versed in the Vedas, said in unison, “Let the Brahmana receive his boon!”
|Note: In the next post, we will find out if Janamejaya Grants Astika his boon and what happens to Takshaka.
Next Post: Janamejaya Grants Astika’s Boon