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Purana Encyclopedia[सम्पाद्यताम्]

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पृष्ठभागोऽयं यन्त्रेण केनचित् काले काले मार्जयित्वा यथास्रोतः परिवर्तयिष्यते। तेन मा भूदत्र शोधनसम्भ्रमः। सज्जनैः मूलमेव शोध्यताम्।


1) General information. Akṛtavraṇa was a great sage of erudition and was a disciple of Paraśurāma. He is ex- tolled in the Purāṇas and it is said that Sūta who recited first the story of Mahābhārata to an assembly of sages in the forest of Naimiśa was a disciple of Akṛtavraṇa. (Skandha 12 of Bhāgavata).

2) How he became a disciple of Paraśurāma. Para urāma was returning after obtaining arrows from Lord Śiva after pleasing him by fierce penance. He was walking briskly through the dense forests anxious to be at the side of his preceptors to get their blessings. As he passed a great cave he heard a moan and on getting to the site of the sound found a brahmin boy being attacked by a tiger. The tiger immediately fell dead by an arrow from Paraśurāma. Lo! the tiger turned into a gandharva freed now from a curse because of which he was for years living as a tiger. The gandharva bowed down respect- fully and thanked the sage for giving him relief and left the place. The brahmin boy fell down at the feet of Paraśurāma and said, “Great Lord, because of you I have now become Akṛtavraṇa meaning one who has not received any wound. (Akṛta=not having secured. Vraṇa=wound). I shall, therefore, be your disciple for- ever hereafter”. From that day onwards he never left Paraśurāma but followed him as his disciple.

3) Other details. (1) In the story of Mahābhārata we find Akṛtavraṇa in several different contexts appearing on behalf of Paraśurāma. It was Akṛtavraṇa who told Dharmaputra the life and exploits of Paraśurāma during the exile of the Pāṇḍavas in the forests. (Chapters 115 to 117, Vana Parva, M.B.).

(2) In Chapter 83 of Udyoga Parva we read about Akṛtavraṇa meeting Śrī Kṛṣṇa while the latter was going to Hastināpura.

(3) In Chapter 173 of Udyoga Parva we read about Akṛtavraṇa detailing the history of the Kaurava dynasty to Duryodhana.

(4) Akṛtavraṇa has played a very important role in the story of Ambā, daughter of the King of Kāśī. Ambā along with her two sisters, Ambikā and Ambālikā, were brought down to Hastināpura by Bhīṣma for his brother Vicitravīrya to marry. But on knowing that Ambā had mentally chosen Sālva as her husband, Bhīṣma allowed her to go back to Sālva. But on her return to Sālva he refused to accept her and she came back to Hastināpura. Bhīṣma then requested Vicitravīrya to accept her as his wife which, unfortunately, Vicitravīrya also refused to do. Ambā then turned to Bhīṣma and besought him to marry her which, much to his regret, he could not do because of his vow of celibacy. Thus forsaken by all, all her sweetness turned into bitter hatred towards Bhīṣma and she remained alive thereafter only to kill Bhīṣma. But even the foremost of warriors were not willing to antagonise Bhīṣma and so her appeal to help was not heeded by any. It was then that Hotravāha her grandfather on the maternal side met her and directed her to Paraśurāma. When she went to Paraśurāma it was Akṛtavraṇa who received her and on hearing her sorrowful tale encouraged her to seek vengeance on Bhīṣma. Again it was he who persuaded Paraśurāma to champion her cause and go for a fight against Bhīṣma. During the fight Akṛtavraṇa acted as charioteer to Paraśurāma. (Śloka 9, Chapter 179, Udyoga Parva, M.B.).

(5) Akṛtavraṇa was one of the many sages who were lying on a bed of arrows during the great Kurukṣetra battle. (Śloka 8, Chapter 26, Anuśāsana Parva, M.B.).

*5th word in right half of page 21 (+offset) in original book.

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