Vasishta 3

Though he is a scholar well versed in all the shastras, he should lead a simple life always thinking of and engagedin activities which would promote the welfare of the subjects. His role is the most important in all the activitieswhich take place in the land.
For this very reason it is said"'Vedavit Vidan Brahmano Rashtragopah Purohitah'. The royal priest has been givena pride of place in the scheme of things in a land. He is regarded as the protector of life and property of the land.He was to observe and try to find solutions even to the most ticklish of problems arising during the course ofadminisration. Under the guidance of sage Vasishta, the kings of the solar clan shone as bright as the sun. Theirrule was as pleasant as the moon beam to their subjects. There was no pain, misery or want in their empire.

Emperor Dileepa was one of the greatest in the line. His queen was Sudakshina. Both of them were righteous. One thingwas worrying them. They had no children to continue the solar line.

One day the emperor and his queen came to Vasishta's ashram to find a solution to their problem. They made obeisanceto the sage. The sage received them fittingly.

After the usual exchange of courtesies Dileepa said," O great Brahmarshi, we come to you for solutions to our problems.We are very sad that we have been blessed with children to continue our line. Why are we accursed this way? Whatcould be the reason for this sad state? Please bless us so that we can get children."
Vasishta found the reason why the king had no children with the help of his divine insight. He said,"O great king,once while you were returning from heaven after rendering help to devendra, the divine cow Kamadhenu was standing under Kalpataru. You were deep in thought and you did not notice the divine cow and offered no obeisance to the heavenlycow. She was angyr and as a result she cursed you. You do not have children on account of that curse. Now if you workship Nandini, Kamadhenu's daughter, you are sure to get a son."

As suggested by sage Vasihsta, Sudakshina and Dileepa worshipped Nandini, in Vasishta's ashram. As a result, the royal couple got a son and he was named Raghu. Thus Vasishta's advice helped the royal solar family to avert apossible disaster.

Emperor Raghu ruled righteously for a number of years and after him Aja, his son ascended the throne. Indumathiwas his queen. She was infinitely good. But as bad luck would have it, she passed away when she was still young.Aja loved her dearly and her untimely death brought him great sorrow. He lost all interest in ruling the country.He was ready to die. Sage Vasishta came to know about the king's plight and went to the palace. He met the king and triedto console him. He said,"O revered king, no one can escape from the cycle of births and deaths. If you commit suicide,Indumathi will not come back to life. Death is the law of nature and no one can escape from it. The wise believethat even a short span of life is a great boon to humans. Even if a person lives for a short span it is a greatthing. Souls always try to escape from human bodies. This is what men of wisdom say. We try to keep the souls inour bodies by keeping the bodies healthy. Therefore, O king grieve not too much and resume your work and never keep awayfrom your assigned duty of administering the land."

Vasishta used to visit the king only when there was urgency. Most of the time he would ne in his ashram engagedin tapas and study and teaching his disciples.

Once when sage Vasishta was in his ashram a king by name Visvaratha or Kaushika came to see him. He was returninghome form a military campaign. He made obeisance to the sage and said,"O great sage, I am returning from a successfulmilitary campaign. I came here to have your darshan and be blessed."

Vasishta was very much impressed by the king's reverential attitude and after the usual exchange of courtesies, hegave the king a few suggestions as to how to rule well. The sage decided to entertain the king and his men and said,"Rajan, you are my guests for the day. Kindly have lunch in the ashram and have some rest before you leave for yourcapital."

The king was surprised and he asked the sage in disbelief,"O revered sage, where are you going to get food enoughfor my men in this ashram" You will be putting the inmates of the ashram to unnecessary inconvenience. It is mygreat fortune to have had your darshan and blessings. May your blessings be on me. Serving food for so many peoplemay be a big burden on you." But Vasishta would not leave the king at that. He pressed th king to accept his hospitality.Vashishta and Arundhathi said,"Matah Shabale, ayahi," meaning mother Shabale come here." To the surprise of theking and his men the divine Shabale came and stood before the holy couple. She had an imposing appeareance - head,eyes, ears, tail and udders were attractive. She had a divine awe inspiring look. There were moon shaped patchesall over her body. On her body there were signs of having been workshipped that morning - a garland of fresh flowersround her neck and marks of kumkum, turmeric and sandal paste on her forehead and these had enhanced her beauty.At Vasishta's rewuest, the divine cow created delicious food items of various types in a matter of minutes. Everyonewas feeling extremely happy. The king thought "The divine cow satisfies all that her possessor desires. Why shouldn'tI, the emperor, have it for myself?" He came to the sage and expressed his desire. He promised to offer thousandsof great cows in return for Shabale, but the sage did not agree to part with the divine Shalabe. The king's wickeddesire become uncontrollable and he decided to take the cow away. Mercy incarnate Vasishta stood calmy and withoutprotesting.

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