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MANKANAKA. The story of Mankanaka is told in the The Mahabharata, Book 9: Shalya Parva, translated by Kisari Mohan Ganguli [1883-1896]. From Sacred Texts Archive:

Listen now to a great feat of Mankanaka, who had from his youth led the life of a brahmacari. While employed in performing his ablutions in the river, he beheld (one day), O Bharata, a woman of faultless limbs and fair brows, bathing in the river at will, her person uncovered. At this sight, O monarch, the vital seed of the Rishi fell unto the Sarasvati. The great ascetic took it up and placed it within his earthen pot. Kept within that vessel, the fluid became divided into seven parts. From those seven portions were born seven Rishis from whom sprang the (nine and forty) Maruts. The seven Rishis were named Vayuvega, Vayuhan, Vayumandala, Vayujata, Vayuretas, and Vayuchakra of great energy. Thus were born these progenitors of the diverse Maruts. Hear now a more wonderful thing, O king, a fact exceedingly marvellous on Earth, about the conduct of the great Rishi, which is well known in the three worlds. In days of yore, after Mankanaka had become crowned with success, O king, his hand, on one occasion, became pierced with a Kusa blade. Thereupon, a vegetable juice came out of the wound (and not red blood). Seeing that vegetable juice, the Rishi became filled with joy and danced about on the spot. Seeing him dance, all mobile and immobile creatures, O hero, stupefied by his energy, began to dance. Then the gods with Brahman at their head, and the Rishis possessed of wealth of asceticism, O king, all went to Mahadeva and informed him of the act of the Rishi (Mankanaka). And they said unto him, 'It behoveth thee, O god, to do that which may prevent the Rishi from dancing!' Then Mahadeva, seeing the Rishi filled with great joy, and moved by the desire of doing good unto the gods, addressed him, saying, 'Why, O Brahmana, dost thou dance in this way, acquainted as thou art with thy duties? What grave cause is there for such joy of thine, O sage, that, an ascetic as thou art, O best of Brahmanas, and walking as thou dost along the path of virtue, thou shouldst act in this way?'

"The Rishi said, 'Why, seest thou not, O Brahmana, that a vegetable juice is flowing from this wound of mine? Seeing this, O lord, I am dancing in great joy!' Laughing at the Rishi who was stupefied by passion, the god said, 'I do not, O Brahmana, at all wonder at this! Behold me!' Having said this unto that foremost of Rishis, Mahadeva of great intelligence struck his thumb with the end of one of his fingers. Thereupon, O king, ashes, white as snow, came out of that wound. Seeing this, the Rishi became ashamed, O monarch, and fell at the feet of the god. He understood the god to be none else than Mahadeva. Filled with wonder, he said, 'I do not think that thou art any one else than Rudra, that great and Supreme being! O wielder of the trident, thou art the refuge of this universe consisting of gods and Asuras! The wise say that this universe hath been created by thee! At the universal destruction, everything once more enters thee! Thou art incapable of being known by the gods, how then canst thou be known by me? All forms of being that are in the universe are seen in thee! The gods with Brahman at their head worship thy boon giving self, O sinless one! Thou art everything! Thou art the creator of the gods and it was thou who hadst caused them to be created! Through thy grace, the gods pass their time in joy and perfect fearlessness!' Having praised Mahadeva in this manner, the Rishi bowed to him, 'Let not this absence of gravity, ridiculous in the extreme, that I displayed, O god, destroy my ascetic merit! I pray to thee for this!' The god, with a cheerful heart, once more said unto him 'Let thy asceticism increase a thousandfold, O Brahmana, through my grace! I shall also always dwell with thee in this asylum! For the man that will worship me in the tirtha Sapta-Saraswat there will be nothing unattainable here or hereafter. Without doubt, such a one shall go to the region called Saraswat (in heaven) after death!' Even this is the history of Mankanaka of abundant energy. He was a son begotten by the god of wind upon (the lady) Sukanya."

Modern Languages MLLL-4993. Indian Epics. Laura Gibbs, Ph.D. The textual material made available at this website is licensed under a Creative Commons License. You must give the original author credit. You may not use this work for commercial purposes. If you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you may distribute the resulting work only under a license identical to this one. No claims are made regarding the status of images used at this website; if you own the copyright privileges to any of these images and believe your copyright privileges have been violated, please contact the webmaster. Page last updated: October 16, 2007 12:22 PM