2 Rakshashas

2 Rakshashas Once, out hunting, he comes across two rakshasas in a forest. The rakshasas have eaten up all the animals of the forest, assuming the form of tigers. Saudasa kills one of the rakshasas and the other vows revenge. Years later Saudasa becomes the king of Ayodhya and he, under the protection of Vasishtha, conducts an ashwamedha that lasts several years. On the last day of the sacrifice, the rakshasa finds his opportunity. He assumes the form of Vasishtha and coming to Saudasa tells him that since it is the concluding day of the sacrifice he would like meat to be served to him in his meal. The king instructs his cooks to cook meat, but they are confused. Meat for Vasishtha – they are not able to understand that. The rakshasa takes advantage of the confusion of the cooks and entering the kitchen in the guise of one of them, prepares not just meat, but human flesh itself, and brings this along with the rest of the meal to the king. Saudasa with great devotion offers the meal to Vasishtha and the sage, recognising the flesh, curses the king and changes him into a rakshasa for the sin of offering him a meal fit only for rakshasas. The king, in a fury at the injustice of it, also takes up water in his palm and empowering it with mantras, gets ready to curse Vasishtha too in turn. But queen Madayanti stops him from this sin, telling him that he shouldn’t curse a brahmana. Since the empowered water cannot be wasted, she requests him to sprinkle it on his own feet. He does it – and his feet turn spotted. It is then Saudasa gets the name Kalmashapada, says the Uttarakanda. Kalmashapada means spotted-feet. Vasishtha does offer release to the king from the curse – at the end of twelve years. But there is no reason why this should have satisfied him. For no fault of his a rash Vasishtha had taken away twelve years of his life and turned the mighty Ikshwaku into such a wretched creature. It is possible that as rakshasa nature took over, as he sank into spiritual darkness, he began seeking revenge and ate up all the sons of Vasishtha. Cited from website: A woman of Ayodya. ...The sage then directed the king to return to his kingdom and pay due respect to Brahmana. Kalmasha-pada begged Vasishtha to give him offspring. He promised to do so, and being solicited by the king to beget an heir to the throne, the queen became pregnant by him and brought forth a son at the end of twelve years. Cited from Website: Encylcopedia

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