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ṚTUPARṆA - ऋतुपर्ण

See also:  ऋतुपर्ण , ऋतुपर्ण II.
A king of the Ikṣvāku dynasty. 1. Genealogy. From Viṣṇu were descended in the following order-Brahmā-Kaśyapa-Vivasvān-Vaivasvata Manu- Ikṣvāku-Vikukṣi- Śaśāda-Purañjaya- Kākutstha-Anenas- Pṛthulāśva-Prasenajit- Yuvanāśva-Māndhātā- Purukutsa- Trasadasyu-Anaraṇya-Aryaśva-Vasumanas-Sutanvā- Trayyāruṇa-Satyavrata (Triśaṅku)-Hariścandra- Rohitāśva-Harita-Cuñcu-Sudeva-Bharuka-Sagara- Asamañjasa-Aṁśumān-Bhagīratha- Śrutanābha-Sindhudvīpa- Ayutāyus-Ṛtuparṇa.
2) Other Details.
i) Nala's incognito life. While Nala was wandering in the dense forest after leaving Damayantī, he was bitten by the serpent, Karkoṭaka. His complexion turned blue owing to the effect of the poison. Karkoṭaka gave him a garment by wearing which Nala could regain his form. As advised by Karkoṭaka, Nala went to the palace of Ṛtuparṇa, king of Ayodhyā, assuming the name Bāhuka. He lived there as the chief charioteer of the king. He had mastered the art “Aśvahṛdaya” by which he could drive the chariot-horses with astonishing speed. Ṛtuparṇa appointed him as his chief charioteer and gave him two assistants, Vārṣṇeya and Jīvala. [M.B., Araṇya Parva, Chapter 67].
(ii) Ṛtuparṇa and the second marriage of Damayanti.
Damayantī came to know that Nala was living in Ṛtuparṇa's palace, through the messenger Parṇāda. She sent a secret mesage to Ayodhyā through a Brāhmaṇa named Sudeva that her second marriage was fixed for the next day and that Ṛtuparṇa should attend the ceremony. Ṛtuparṇa started at once with Bāhuka as his charioteer. On the way, Ṛtuparṇa's cloak happened to fall down from the chariot. At once he asked Nala to stop the chariot. But he told him that within a moment, the chariot had covered a distance of one yojana from the place where the cloak fell. They saw a tree in the forest which was heavily laden with fruit. Ṛtuparṇa was able to tell at a glance, the exact number of leaves and fruits on that tree. He told Nala that he was able to do so with the help of the art “Akṣahṛdaya” and he taught it to Nala. In return for it, Nala taught the king the art of Aśvahṛdaya. At last they reached the city of Vidarbha. Damayantī managed to recognize Nala even in his disguise. Ṛtuparṇa who was happy over the reunion of Nala and Damayantī returned to Ayodhyā on the next day. [M.B. Vana Parva, Chapter 77].

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