Indian thought and culture are considered the best in the world. For that reason our culture, our customs and practisesour way of thinking, Sanskrit language and the noble thoughts found in the Vedas have been appreciated all over theworld. Our country achieved this sanctity and became a beacon to the world as a result of the great work of our allknowing rishis. They lived in secluded forests and did tapas for the good of the world. They led a life of renunciationand deep meditation, successfully trying to unravel the secrets of life and finding out solutions to problems faced by the people. They knew how ordinary people in social situations, thought, felt and acted, yet they were detatched. Kings and emperors used to go to them seeking solution to their problems. As the saying goes "Rshayah satyavaiash"they were lovers of truth.
The Vedas were revealed to them when they were in a state of tranquility, or in a state of samadhi. On the basis ofthe truths revealed in these vedic mantras they showed the world how to live according to dharma(Righteousness).Such great sages were found in thousands and Viswamitra was one of the most famed amonf them.
Long long ago a great person was born out of the power of Brahma. Vaidarbhi was his wife. The couple, had four sonscalled Kushambha, Kushanabha, Adhoortharajasa and Vasu. The four princes ruled over the land very efficiently and righteously after their father.
Kushanabha did not have children for a long time and therefore he performed Putrakameshti yaga. During the yagna hisfather appeared before him and said, "My dear son, you will get a great and righteous son. Name him Gadhi. So sayinghe disappeared. Incourse or time Kushanabha had a son and he was named Gadhi.
Gadhi married a princess and the couple got a child who was named Satyavathi. When she came of age she was given inmarriage to a sage by name Ruhika. Satyavathi was a devoted wife and Ruhika was pleased with her devotion and one dayhe said to her,"Arye,Satyavathi, I am pleased with you;ask for anything you desire and you will get it." Satyavathidid not ask for anything except saying."So be it". Then she went to her mother and told what transpired between herand her husband. Her mother said,"My dear Ruhika is a great sage. I want to have a good son. In the same way you tooask for a great son".
Satyavathi again went to her husband and asked him to grant her a great son. Ruhika gladly agreed and he took someholy rice(Charu) and invoked some divine power and gave it to both mother and daughter.
Influenced by her mother's words, Satyavathi thought,"The charu given to me by my husband must be really very good.Let my mother eat the best rice. I will eat what is given to my mother" So saying she exchanged the two balls of riceand gave hers to her mother. As a result of this, the child she should have borne began to grow in the womb of thequeen of king Gadhi and the child the queen should have borne was delivered by the queen's daughter.
When the queen(mother of Satyavathi) was pregnant her person shone with extraordinary brightness. It appeared as thoughthe sun-god himself made her body his home. Without any problem, one day she gave birth to a lustrous cute child.The child was named Viswaratha. When he grew up to be a young man, he married five princesses by name Hemavathi, Sheelavathi,Dhrshadwathi, Renu and madhavi. By then Gathi had become old and he renounced his claim and made viswaratha the kingand went to the forest to lead a peaceful last lap of his life.
Viswaratha was a very good king. He was courteous and kind. He had a great scholar who was an expert in all the shastrasas his royal priest.He used to perform agnihotra and other rituals prescibed by the shastras sincerly.
Viswaratha was an expert in the art of warfare. He could wield hundereds of weapons with telling effect. He knew howto make weapons invincible by giving them divine power by invoking names of gods through chosen mantras. such weaponsare called astras. Viswaratha was an adept in the use of astras. He was unbeatable in weilding the mace, in wrestling,fighting in water and eye-fighting.