Encyclopedia for Epics of Ancient India

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MANDHATRI. [Source: Dowson's Classical Dictionary of Hindu Mythology] A king, son of Yuvanaswa, of the race of Ikshwaku, and author of a hymn in the Rigveda. The Harivansa and some of the Puranas make Mandhatri to have been born in a natural way from his mother Gauri, but the Vishnu and Bhagavata Puranas tell an extraordinary story about his birth, which is probably based on a forced derivation of his name. Yuvanaswa had no son, which grieved him much. Some holy sages near whom he lived instituted a religious rite to procure progeny for him. On night they placed a consecrated vessel of water upon an altar as part of their ceremony, and the water became endowed with prolific energy. Yuvanaswa woke up in the night thirsty, and finding the water, he drank it. So he conceived, and in due time a child came forth from his right side. The sages then asked who would suckle the child, whereupon Indra appeared, gave his finger for the child to suck, and said, "He shall suck me,' mama yam dhasyati. These words were contracted, and the boy was named Mandhatri. When he grew up he had three sons and fifty daughters. An old sage named Saubhari came to Mandhatri and asked that one might be given him to wife. Unwilling to give one to so old and emaciated a man, but yet afraid to refuse, the king temporised, but at length yielded to the sage's request that the matter might be left to the choice of the girls. Saubhari then assumed a handsome form, and there was such a contention for him that he had the whole fifty, and he provided for them a row of crystal palaces in a most beautiful garden.

Modern Languages MLLL-4993. Indian Epics. Laura Gibbs, Ph.D. The textual material made available at this website is licensed under a Creative Commons License. You must give the original author credit. You may not use this work for commercial purposes. If you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you may distribute the resulting work only under a license identical to this one. No claims are made regarding the status of images used at this website; if you own the copyright privileges to any of these images and believe your copyright privileges have been violated, please contact the webmaster. Page last updated: October 16, 2007 12:22 PM