Harischandra’s narrative has always piqued my curiosity. The tale will remain as long as the importance of truth endures. It brings light into our lives. Yudhishtira was able to overcome his difficulties because of this storey. Again, it was this storey that showed Gandhiji the way to truth. This storey can be found in the Vedas, the Puranas, poetry, and play. It began in the Vedas, proceeded through the Puranas, and culminated in poetic torrents, enriching the lives of our people.,
The mythological story of King Satya Harishchandra
King Satya Harishchandra lived in Treta Yug. He was a good king who was well-known for his excellent works. He is known as the epitome of truthfulness.
Everyone was happy and rich during his reign. He had a son named Rohitashva and a wife named Shaivya (also known as Taramati).
He was once chasing a deer through the woods. Suddenly, he heard a woman scream, “Save Me!” Hearing this, he moves in the direction of the sound, which is an illusion generated by Vighnaraja, the Lord of Obstacles.
In reality, Vighnaraja is attempting to obstruct Sage Vishwamitra’s meditation (Tapasya).
When he saw King Harishchandra, he (Vighnaraja) took over his body and began assaulting the sage to annoy him (sage). As a result, Vishwamitra lost all of the knowledge he had obtained through his Tapasya (meditation).
As a result, Sage Vishwamitra was filled with hatred and anger. Suddenly, the king regained his composure and apologised for his error.
Vishwamitra, the Sage, told him:
If you, O king, fulfil all of your responsibilities as a king, I come before you as a Brahmana requesting for something: please grant me my desired gift.
Hearing this, Harishchandra was overjoyed and assured him (Vishwamitra) that he would give him whatever he desired, be it silver, wealth, body, life, kingdom, riches, or anything else.
Vishwamitra then instructs him to give Dakshina (gift) for his Rajasuya Yajna first. The king inquires about his wishes for the donation.
Except for his own body, his wife, and his son, Vishwamitra told him to sacrifice everything he had.
The monarch cheerfully donated his realm, army, and everything he owned to Sage Vishwamitra.
Harishchandra, who had given away his entire empire, had no Dakshina to give. He requested Vishwamitra to hold off on paying it for a month.
Harishchandra, a man who kept his word, abandoned his kingdom and travelled to Kashi with his wife Shaivya and son Rohitashwa. He couldn’t make any money in Kashi. The one-month period was concluding. To get the money, his wife asked him to sell her as a slave. Shaivya was sold to a Brahmin by Harishchandra. Her son began to cry as she was going to leave with the Brahmin.
Harishchandra asked the Brahmin to purchase Rohitashwa as well. The Brahmin nodded in agreement. But the money was insufficient to pay the Dakshina, so Harishchandra sold himself to a chandala as a slave (a person who works in a cremation ground). He compensated Vishwamitra and went to work in the crematory.
Shaivya worked as a servant in the house of a Brahmin. When Rohitshwa was plucking flowers for the Brahmin, he was bitten by a snake and killed. Shaivya accompanied her son’s body to the crematory. She met Harishchandra there. He was heartbroken to learn that his only son had died.
He asked Shaivya to do the cremation because he didn’t have any money. Haishchandra, who was compelled by duty, couldn’t bury the deceased without paying a tax. Shaivya was a devout woman who did not want her husband to abandon his responsibilities.
She stated, “My only thing is this old sari that I am currently wearing. Please consider half of it as a tax.” Harishchandra reluctantly agreed to wear the sari. They too chose to offer up their lives in the pyre of their son’s cremation.
Vishnu arrived with all the other gods when Shaivya tore her saree. The chandala, who was actually Yama, revealed his true self and resurrected Rohitashwa. Harishchandra and his family were successful in passing the exam since they had shown tremendous morality and righteousness.
They were blessed by all the gods. Harischandra agreed to accompany Indra to paradise. However, he declined, claiming that he could not go to paradise while his subjects suffered.
He requested that Indra transport all of his subjects to the afterlife. Indra stated that it was impossible since people are sent to either paradise or hell based on their actions. Harishchandra declared that he would offer all of his qualities to his citizens, allowing them to enter heaven while he bore the penalties of their misdeeds.
The gods were ecstatic to see Harischandra’s devotion to his subjects. They took all of Ayodhya’s citizens to paradise. Meanwhile, Vishwamitra repopulated Ayodhya and installed Rohitshwa as king.