Harischandra

Hindu - A king. Son of Trishanku. Father of Rohitaswa. He had a hundred wives but no children so he prayed to Varuna and was granted a son. Varuna demanded the boy as a sacrifice but Harischandra kept postponing the rite. When the boy came of age, he hid in the forest and eventually persuaded a Brahmin to sacrifice his son, Sunah-sepa, in his place in exchange for several herds of cattle. When the boy prayed to the gods, he was saved from execution and the dropsy from which he had long suffered was cured. To mitigate an offence to the sage Vishvamitra, Harischandra handed over all his possessions, including his wife and son. He was then sold as a slave to Chandala. When his son died of snakebite, Harischandra and his wife proposed to die on his funeral pyre but the gods intervened. Rohitaswa was restored to life and took the throne so that his parents could reap the reward of their piety and go to heaven where Indra had prepared their own heaven for them. In some accounts, called Harischandra.

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