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See also:  AITAREYA I , ऐतरेय

Puranic Encyclopaedia  | English | 
Son of Sage, Māṇḍuki by his first wife, Itarā. Being the son of Itarā he came to be called Aitareya. As a boy he was very pious and used to chant the mantra “Namo Bhagavate Vāsudevāya” frequently. But he was a shy and silent boy and his father mistook his silence to be a sign of stupidity. Dissatisfied with him and being desirous of having learned sons, Māṇḍuki married another woman named Piṅgā and had four sons by her who all became very learned. Once Itarā called her son and told him that his father regarded him as an unworthy son and was often twitting her using insulting words for having given birth to so unworthy a son. She then told him of her resolve to sacrifice her life. Aitareya then made an enlightening discourse to her and dissuaded her from her determination to commit suicide. Some time later Lord Viṣṇu appeared before them and blessed the mother and son. On the advice of Viṣṇu Aitareya participated in the yajña conducted by Hari- medhya at Koṭitīrtha and there he made a learned speech on the Vedas. Harimedhya was so pleased with him that he gave his daughter in marriage to him. [See Skanda Purāṇa, Chapters 1, 2 and 42].

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