Faith

Kadru’s curse

The Mahabharata tells us the story of Vinata and Kadru, who were married to sage Kashyapa. When Vinata bets that the tail of the horse Uchaisravas is white, Kadru tricks her by asking her sons, who are snakes, to coil around the horse’s tail to make it appear black. Some of the snakes refuse, and Kadru curses them. There is a connection between this story and the story of Janamejaya’s sacrifice, said V.S. Karunakarachariar in a discourse.

Janamejaya was the son of Parikshit. Parikshit was the son of Abhimanyu and the grandson of Arjuna. Parikshit was in the forest one day, hunting. He approached a sage for water and food. The meditating sage did not respond. Angered, Parikshit picked up a dead snake and draped it round the sage’s neck. The sage’s son cursed Parikshit, and said that he would die due to a bite by the snake Takshaka. Given a week to live, Parikshit asked sage Suka to narrate Krishna’s exploits, and thus was born Srimad Bhagavatam. At the end of the week, Takshaka bit him and Parikshit died. His son Janamejaya accepted this as fate and went about his duties as his father’s successor. But he later learnt that Takshaka went beyond what was required of him. As Takshaka was going to carry out the curse against Parikshit, he met a Brahmin called Kashyapa, who could revive anyone who died of snake bite by reciting the Garuda mantra. Takshaka wanted to retain his reputation as a fearsome snake. So, he gave the Brahmin more than the reward he would have got if he had saved the king. Thus, Takshaka deprived Parikshit a chance of saving his life. When Janamejaya came to know this, he performed a sarpa yaga to burn snakes. The snakes cursed by Kadru fell into the fire. So here is the connection between Kadru’s curse and Janamejaya’s yaga.

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Printable version | Mar 31, 2020 8:14:09 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/faith/kadrus-curse/article31166768.ece

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