Sunday, July 30, 2017

37. The Story of Tapati and Samparana

The Gandharva  then pointed out to Arjuna that he and his brothers lacked three things.

First, though they had completed their studies, they were yet to get married.

Second, they were not following any Ashram (way of life) While their life of Brahmacharyam (bachelorhood) was over, they had not yet entered Grahastashram (the married life).

Third, they were without the guide of a priest (Guru).

The Gandharva  said that he lost to Arjuna in the fight because Arjuna was not married while the Gandharva himself was under the grip of anger at having been humiliated in front of his wife.  

The Gandharva  would defeat a married man but if the married man had a priest to guide him, the Gandharva won’t be able to defeat him. That was the power of having a priest as a guide, he said.

He then narrated the story of Samvarana, one of Arjuna’s ancestors. Samvarana, the son of Riksha, once met Tapati, the daughter of Surya, the Sun God. in the forests and instantly fell in love with her.  

When Samvarana expressed his love to Tapati, she said that she had also fallen in love with him but that he should seek her father’s consent for having her as his wife.

After Tapati went away, Samvarana became unconscious, unable to bear the separation.  His minister came to him and helped him gain consciousness by sprinkling water on him.

When the minister advised Samvarana to return to his kingdom, the king refused to come. He sat there in penance prating to Surya. He also prayed to Vasishta, the Guru of his kingdom, to help him.

Sage Vasishta appeared before him on the 12th day and offered to help him.

Vasishta went to Surya and asked him to give his daughter Tapati in marriage to Samvarana, after apprising Surya of Samvarana's virtues.  

Surya was pleased. He said that he had always considered Samvarana to be a prospective groom for his daughter. He  handed over Tapati to Vasishta and requested him to get her married to Samvarana

Accordingly, Vasishta performed the marriage of Tapati with Samvarana.

Vasishta having been the Guru of Samvarana’s ancestors came to the help of Samvarana, said the Gandharva.  The ancestors of the Pandavas were able to perform grand sacrifices by having Vasishta as their priest, the Gandharva added

After marrying Tapati, Samvarana remained in the forest for 12 years. He did not visit his capital even once. There were no rains in the kingdom for these 12 years. Affected by the severe drought, people began to leave the country. 

Seeing the plight of the people affected by the drought, Vasishta came to Samvarana and asked him to return to his capital.

After Samvarana returned to his capital, it began to rain and the drought came to an end. To express his gratitude to Indra for blessing his kingdom with rain and ending the drought, Samparana, in the company of his wife Tapati, performed a sacrifice for 12 years.

Kuru was born to Samvarana and Tapati.  It was after him that Arjuna’s ancestors began to be called Kauravas (the descendants of Kuru), said the Gandharva. the Gandharva 

The Gandharva advised Arjuna to have a learned Brahmin as his priest to accomplish great things.

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