Previous Post: Astika Reaches the Location of the Snake Sacrifice
|Note: In the previous post, we read about how Astika reached the location of the snake sacrifice and spoke words of adoration for Janamejaya, the Ritwiks, Sadasyas, and Agni Deva.
In this post, we will find out how Janamejaya responded to Astika’s words.
After Astika adored and gratified the king and other participants of the sacrifice, positive signs and indications started manifesting all around. Janamejaya noticed these signs and said, “although this boy is still a child, he speaks like a wise old man. I think he’s very wise.”
Janamejaya turned to the Ritwiks and Sadasyas and said, “I Brahmanas, I wish to give this wise child a boon. Please give me the permission to do so.”
The Sadasyas replied, “A brahmana, even if he’s a boy, deserves the respect of kings, and his learned child deserves it even more so. This boy certainly deserves to have his desires fulfilled by you, but not before this sacrificial fire captures Takshaka.”
But Janamejaya, who was very keen on giving the child a boon, ignored the brahmanas’ advice and said to Astika, “Ask for a boon.”
The Hotri of the sacrifice was very displeased and immediately said, “Takshaka has not yet been captured in the sacrificial fire.”
|Note: On a surface level it might seem that Janamejaya’s ego was gratified by Astika’s praise and he decided to give the child a boon. But that wasn’t the case. Janamejaya had sufficient control over his ego. He paid attention to the positive signs (Nimitas) that manifested around him and also saw the nobility, wisdom, and splendour of the little sage.
The Mahabharata doesn’t mention the Nimitas, but they could be signs like a sudden cool breeze, a sudden appearance of a certain bird or animal, maybe a flower or fruit falling when the child was speaking, perhaps a sweet smell that seems to come out of nowhere, or other similar signs. I have not read the Atharva Veda personally, but I’ve been told that it describes various positive and negative Nimitas. While we’re on the topic of Nimitas, I’d also like to add something I heard from a wise sadhaka. He said that one should pay attention to Nimitas only after one’s consciousness has become sufficiently elevated and one’s will-power is strong. In this case, the Nimitas work as helpful signs, but if a person who doesn’t have a well-developed will power and an elevated consciousness pays excessive attention to Nimitas then there’s a good chance they will become even weaker and fall into a state of confusion.
In the next post, we will find out if Takshaka is pulled into the sacrificial fire or is saved.
Next Post: Takshaka Appears in the Sky