Story of Aswasiras as narrated by Sriman Narayana as Sri Varaha to Bhumidevi.


Once Bhumi Devi wanted to know how the King Aswasiras merged with Lord Sriman Narayana. She asked the Lord to explain it Himself, so he narrated this story to her. Aswasiras literally meaning the head of horse was the name of a pious King. He had all his senses under control, and was a dharmika and Sathyavrtha.

He did many yagyas and dharmic deeds. Once Sage Kapila accompanied by sage Jaigishavya visited the King. He honoured them reverentially and offered his prayers to them. They too blessed him, then he addressed the sages and said that there is a question that is nagging his mind and wanted that to be cleared by the sages, having been permitted he put forward his question to them. He asked how to attain salvation ? and How to have sakshatkara of Sriman Narayana.

This question of the king who was well read and proficient in Vedas and sastras was considered by the sages to be lacking in practice of religious austerities! So sage Kapila said when Sriman Narayana himself is standing before him why he is unable to identify Him? Puzzled King took this answer of the seer to be in the lighter vein and told them that he knew that the sages are highly accomplished and are endowed with many powers but he could not get convinced that they are themselves Sriman Narayana!

He politely put this doubt across to the seers, immediately Sage Kapila using his powers transformed himself as Sriman Narayana and Jaigishavya as Garuda.

The king prostrated before them said though he may have seen the powers of their austerities now still he is not convinced as the lord of creation Brahma is seated always in the lotus that sprang from the navel of Vishnu! Hearing this Sage Kapila smiled and conjured up the image that showed the lotus and Lord Brahma seated upon it through Jaigishavya.

He also showed all components of creation within his palace quarters. Again King Aswasiras told them that he remains unconvinced about this and pleaded with them to grant them real knowledge of supreme. Immediately sage withdrew his spell and told him that Sriman Narayana is Omnipotent and Omnipresent and every component of creation is within His vibhuti.

It is impossible for a mortal to apprehend that eternal one within his limited knowledge. Saying this he narrated another story to the King, he said that once Sage Raimya and King Vasu approached Brahma and told him to explain the concept of Brahman, and Brhaspati told them anyone who performed their duty without attachment can obtain that knowledge. He further narrated an incident to them.

Once a devote Brahmin named Sanyaman descendant of Atri Maharishi on his way to his guru’s asram encountered a fowler who used to capture birds and keep some of them captive and also eat some of them for food!

Sage told him that he is a sinner by capturing these birds that are innocent and tormenting them. To his surprise he replied that he was born as a Fowler and anyone doing his duty that has occurred to him naturally without attaching himself to the deed or its result would attract no sin. Saying so he took the sage to a clearing near the forest and put a huge iron net upon two wooden blocks and urged the Brahmana to use his mantra siddhi to create fire in those wooden blocks!

The brahmana too did as he was told and flames sprang up on those wooden blocks. After a while he saw glowing flames in each of the square on the iron mesh! Now the fowler addressed the Brahmana and asked him which of those fires are the real ones and added if he extinguishes any of these flames from the mesh could he put out the fire?

The Brahmin said it is not possible as long as the origin of that fire that is found in the wooden block is put out after removing the net! The fowler said that Lord is also like that He is the primordial source and every component of creation including himself and the Brahmin are his creation and none can exist without Him, and He can be apprehended if one stays detached from worldly affairs and does one’s duty dispassionately.

Having understood the purport of karma, the Brahmin retired to the forest and contemplated upon the eternal truth and attained supreme knowledge.

Thus telling this story Brhaspathi explained the concept of Brahman to Raimya and King Vasu. These stories again cleard the doubt of Aswasiras and who later contemplated upon the eternal truth and attained the abode of Sriman Narayana.