Dowson's Classical Dictionary
of Hindu Mythology] A king,
son of Yuvanaswa, of the race of Ikshwaku, and author of a hymn in the
Rigveda. The Harivansa and some of the Puranas make Mandhatri to have
been born in a natural way from his mother Gauri, but the Vishnu and
Bhagavata Puranas tell an extraordinary story about his birth, which
is probably based on a forced derivation of his name. Yuvanaswa had no
son, which grieved him much. Some holy sages near whom he lived instituted
a religious rite to procure progeny for him. On night they placed a consecrated
vessel of water upon an altar as part of their ceremony, and the water
became endowed with prolific energy. Yuvanaswa woke up in the night thirsty,
and finding the water, he drank it. So he conceived, and in due time
a child came forth from his right side. The sages then asked who would
suckle the child, whereupon Indra appeared, gave his finger for the child
to suck, and said, "He shall suck me,' mama yam
dhasyati. These words were contracted, and the boy was named Mandhatri.
When he grew up he had three sons and fifty daughters. An old sage named Saubhari
came to Mandhatri and asked that one might be given him to wife. Unwilling to
give one to so old and emaciated a man, but yet afraid to refuse, the king temporised,
but at length yielded to the sage's request that the matter might be left to
the choice of the girls. Saubhari then assumed a handsome form, and there was
such a contention for him that he had the whole fifty, and he provided for them
a row of crystal palaces in a most beautiful garden.
Languages MLLL-4993. Indian Epics. Laura Gibbs, Ph.D.
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