Table of Contents (The Complete Mahabharata in Simple English)

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Note: In the previous post, we read about how Takshaka killed King Parikshit, by deception, just as the sun was setting on the seventh day after the curse.

In this post, we’ll read about the coronation and marriage of Parikshit’s son, Janamejaya.

King Parikshit’s last rites were performed by his ministers and the royal priest. The citizens mourned the king’s death and made the eldest son of Parikshit, the next king, and gave that noble child, the name Janamejaya.

Even though Janamejaya was still a minor, he was very wise and, with the help of his counsellors and priest, he ruled the kingdom with dharma like his heroic great-grandfather, Yudhishthira.

Once the ministers were convinced that Janamejaya was capable of keeping the enemies under check, they approached the king of Kasi, Suvarnavarman, to seek a marital alliance for their young king, Janamejaya, with the princess of Kasi. Suvarnavarman made due inquiries about Janamejaya and, once he was satisfied, agreed to the alliance.

The princess of Kasi, Vapushthama, married Janamejaya, the hero of the Kuru race, with the ordained rites of marriage. Janamejaya was very glad to have married Vapushthama, and Vapushthama too, having obtained a desirable husband, showered him with lots of affection. 

After the wedding they wandered amidst flowery fields, woods, and expanses of water gratifying their hearts with pleasure. Janamejaya, passed his time in pleasure just like his ancestor Pururavas had in the past, after marrying the celestial maiden Urvasi.

Note: At this point, I want to step back and remind you that we’re midway in the Astika (sub) Parva of the Adi Parva. The Astika Parva began when the ascetics of Naimisha Forest wanted to know more about Astika, the child-sage who would save the snakes in Janamejaya’s snake sacrifice. However, before getting to the snake sacrifice, it was necessary to understand all the events that led to the sacrifice and to Astika’s birth.

To explain all these events, the narrative took a detour into the past when Rishi Jaratkaru met his Pitris (souls of deceased ancestors). They were in a miserable state because he did want want to marry and give birth to children. This event is important because Jaratkaru’s Pitris convince him to marry. Eventually, he will marry Vasuki’s sister, also called Jaratkaru, and their son, Astika, would save the serpents in Janamejaya’s snake sacrifice.

How, we still didn’t know why the snake sacrifice would take place. That was explaining in Garuda’s story where Sage Kasyapa’s wife, Kadru, cursed her snake sons for not obeying her command to make the celestial horse, Uchchaihsravas’ tail, black. 

The third link in the chain is the question: why did Janamejaya perform the snake sacrifice? The answer to that question is still emerging. All we know till now is that the king of snakes, Takshaka, had used deceit to kill Janamejaya’s father.

In the next post, we will once again come to the scene where Rishi Jaratkaru meets his Pitris.

Table of Contents (The Complete Mahabharata in Simple English)

Next Post: Rishi Jaratkaru Meets His Pitris