|Chapter II - 7||Home | Index | Previous | Next|
Next day, Yudhishtira called the family priest Kripacharya and performed the rite of Jatha-karma (first cleansing) to the infant. He satisfied the Brahmins by gifts of various costly jewels. The scholars and priests blessed the child and returned home.
On the third day, Yudhishtira called to his presence renowned astrologers as well as famous palmists and soothsayers, for, he was very eager to know whether the fair name of the kingdom and its culture would be safe in the hands of the prince who had come to carry the burden of the state. He received them at the palace with traditional hospitality; they were given appropriate seats in the hall; they were offered scents and silks.
The king bowed before them and joining his palms in reverential adoration, he prostrated before them, and prayed, "O wise men who know the past, present and future! Examine the horoscope of the infant that is born, calculate the positions of stars and constellations, and the planetary influences that will guide his life and tell me how the future will be shaped." He noted the exact time of birth and placed the note on a golden plate, before them.
The Pundits took that note and drew up the plan of planetary positions and studied it with great care. They communicated to one another their increasing joy as they began to draw conclusions; they were in great joy themselves; they could not get words to express their amazement.
The doyen of the group, a great Pundit, at last rose and addressed king Yudhishtira thus, "Maharaja! I have till this day examined well nigh thousands of horoscopes and prepared concerned plans of the zodiacs and constellations. But, I must admit, I have never yet come across a more auspicious grouping than is indicated in this horoscope. Here, all the signs of good augury have assembled in one moment, the moment of this prince's birth. The moment indicates the state of Vishnu Himself! All the virtues will gather in this child. Why describe each glory separately? The great Manu has again come into your dynasty."
Yudhishtira was happy that the dynasty had such good fortune. He was indeed overpowered by joy. He folded his palms and bent low before the scholars who had given him such good news. "This family is lucky to claim such a gem as its scion, through the blessings of elders and of pundits like you as well as the blessings of the Lord who is our guardian. You say that the boy will develop all virtues and will accumulate fame. But, of what use is all that, if he has not acquired the quality of reverence towards Pundits, Sadhus and Brahmins? Please look into the horoscope once again and tell me whether he will have that reverence."
The leader of the group of astrologers replied: "You need entertain no doubt on that score. He will revere and serve the Gods and the Brahmins. He will perform many Yajnas and Yagas prescribed in the ancient texts. He will earn the glory that your ancestor Bharatha won. He will celebrate even the Aswamedha. He will spread the fame of this line all over the world. He will win all things that Gods or men covet. He will outdistance all those who have gone before him." They extolled him thus in various ways to their heart's content. They stopped because they were nervous to recount all the excellences; they feared they might be charged with exaggeration and flattery if they continued to detail the conclusions they had drawn from the horoscope of the baby.