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ṚCĪKA I - ऋचीक

See also:  ṚCĪKA I (AJĪGARTA) , ṚCĪKA II , ṚCĪKA III , ऋचीक , ऋचीक II.
King Hariścandra who was distressed by having no children, propitiated god Varuṇa. Varuṇa blessed him saying that a son would be born to him. But the condition was that the child should be sacrificed to Varuṇa. When the child was born, Hariścandra did not like to sacrifice the boy. The sage Viśvāmitra suggested that instead of sacrificing his own son it would be enough if he bought another boy and sacrificed him. Accordingly, Hariścandra sent his minister to find out and purchase a Brahmin boy for the sacrifice. At that time there lived in Ayodhyā a greedy Brahmin named Ajīgarta. He had three sons. In the course of his search, the minister came across this needy Brahmin and asked him whether he was willing to sell one of his three sons. He continued: “Why should you be in this wretched state of poverty and misery? Sell one of your sons and you will get 100 cows as the price”. The minister's words and the price offered for the son made a deep impression on the Brahmin's mind. He thought: “It is impossible for me to earn 100 cows. Even if it were possible how long would it take? If I sell him I shall get hundred cows at once. What a lucky chance! The loss of a son is nothing.” So thinking, he sold his son Śunaśśepha. (For the rest of the story, see the word “Śunaśśepha”.) [Devī Bhāgavata, Skandhas 7, 8].
King Hariścandra who was distressed by having no children, propitiated god Varuṇa. Varuṇa blessed him saying that a son would be born to him. But the condition was that the child should be sacrificed to Varuṇa. When the child was born, Hariścandra did not like to sacrifice the boy. The sage Viśvāmitra suggested that instead of sacrificing his own son it would be enough if he bought another boy and sacrificed him. Accordingly, Hariścandra sent his minister to find out and purchase a Brahmin boy for the sacrifice. At that time there lived in Ayodhyā a greedy Brahmin named Ajīgarta. He had three sons. In the course of his search, the minister came across this needy Brahmin and asked him whether he was willing to sell one of his three sons. He continued: “Why should you be in this wretched state of poverty and misery? Sell one of your sons and you will get 100 cows as the price”. The minister's words and the price offered for the son made a deep impression on the Brahmin's mind. He thought: “It is impossible for me to earn 100 cows. Even if it were possible how long would it take? If I sell him I shall get hundred cows at once. What a lucky chance! The loss of a son is nothing.” So thinking, he sold his son Śunaśśepha. For the rest of the story, see the word “Śunaśśepha”. [Devī Bhāgavata, Skandhas 7, 8].

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