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Significance of Sapta Saraswat: Mahabharat Katha

This sto­ry appears in the Shalya par­va of the Mahab­harath when Janame­jaya asks about the sig­nif­i­cance of Saraswati and the thirtha Sap­ta Saraswat. King Mankana­ka, bon to Vayu and Sukanya, was pierced in his hand by a blade of kusa grass (holy grass). A veg­etable liq­uid oozed out of his fin­ger instead of blood. Excit­ed about this mirac­u­lous occur­rence, Mankana­ka start­ed to dance with joy. His enery was so over­whelm­ing that all being, ani­mate and inan­i­mate began to dance with him. Unable to bear this ener­gy, the God approached Lord Shi­va, Mahade­va who was the great­est dancer. With the view of help­ing the Gods, Shi­va asked Mankana­ka the rea­son for his joy. Mankana­ka showed the veg­etable juice com­ing out of his fin­gers. Mahade­va told the king that this was no mir­a­cle and showed His own hand. Snow white ash­es came out of Mahade­va’s fin­gers. With his ego sev­er­ly punc­tured and hum­bled by Shi­va, the king bowed down and prayed that he may be for­giv­en. He praised Mahade­va about his omni pres­ence and sur­ren­dered to Him. Mahade­va blessed that those that would take bath in the Saraswat will attain a region in the heav­en by the same name.

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