Rishi Jaratkaru Places Some Conditions for Getting Married

An 11th-century, Pala period, statue of the serpent lady, Jaratkaru

Table of Contents (The Complete Mahabharata in Simple English)

Previous Post: Rishi Jaratkaru Meets his Pitris

Note: In the previous post, we read that Jaratkaru’s ancestors were upset with him for dedicating his life to ascetic practices instead of getting married and having children to further their ancestral line.

In this post, we will read about his ancestors’ request and Jaratkaru’s response.

When Jaratkaru asked his ancestors how he could serve them, they replied, “O child, get married and try to extend our lineage. The merit one gets by becoming a father cannot be obtained through virtue or ascetic practices. Therefore, set your heart on getting married and having offspring. This way, you will perform an act of great merit for yourself and us.”

Jaratkaru replied, “Even though I do not wish to marry or earn wealth, I will marry for your welfare.”

Jaratkaru continued, “I will marry a woman according to the ordinances of the shastras, however, the name of my bride should be the same as mine, and her friends and relations should willingly give her in marriage to a poor man like me. I give you my word, O ancestors, that if I am able to meet such a woman, I will get married and raise children for your redemption, so you may rejoice and proceed to the eternal regions.” 

Having said this, Jaratkaru continued with his journey and wandered to different places in search of a wife. One day, he went to a forest and prayed three times, in a faint voice, for a wife. 

Shortly after that, Vasuki (the great and noble serpent) offered his sister in marriage to the rishi. However, Jaratkaru hesitated. He wanted to know if her name was the same as his. He asked Vasuki, “Tell me the truth, what is the name of your sister?”

Vasuki replied, “O Jaratkaru, this is my younger sister. Her name is Jaratkaru. I give her in marriage to you because we have waited for this day when I could marry her to you.

Thus the rishi Jaratkaru and Vasuki Naga’s sister, also called Jaratkaru, got married according to proper rites.

Note: In the next post, we will read about the birth of Jaratkaru’s son, Astika.

Table of Contents (The Complete Mahabharata in Simple English)

Next Post: Jaratkaru’s Son Astika — the Saviour of Serpents