Encyclopedia for Epics of Ancient India

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MUDGALA. [Source: Dowson's Classical Dictionary of Hindu Mythology] A Vedic Rishi from whom the Maudgalya Brahmans sprang. There were several other Brahmans named Mudgala. A sage of this name is recorded in the Mahabharata to have "lived a life of poverty, piety, and self-restraint, offering hospitality to thousands of Brahmanas, according to his humble means, with the grain which he gleaned like a pigeon, and which (like the widow of Zarephath's oil) never underwent diminution, or rather increased again, when it was required." The choleric sage Durvasas went to test the patience of Mudgala, and six times devoured all the food which his host possessed without ruffling his temper. Durvasas in his admiration declared that Mudgala would go bodily to heaven, and the messenger of the gods arrived with his heavenly car. The sage, before accepting the invitation, desired to be informed of the joys and ills of heaven. After hearing a full explanation, he found that the enjoyments of heaven must come to a close, so he declared that "he had no desire for heaven, and would seek only that eternal abode where there is no sorrow, nor distress, nor change." He dismissed the messenger of the gods, and began to practice ascetic virtues, becoming indifferent to praise and blame, regarding clods, gold, stones, and gold as alike. Pure knowledge led to fixed contemplation; and that again imparted strength and complete comprehension, whereby he obtained supreme eternal perfection in the nature of quietude (nirvana).

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