The son of Maharaja Amsuman was Dilipa, who tried to bring the Ganges to this world but who died without success. Bhagiratha, the son of Dilipa, was determined to bring the Ganges to the material world, and for this purpose he underwent severe austerities. Mother Ganges, being fully satisfied by his austerities, made herself visible to him, wanting to give him a benediction. Bhagiratha then asked her to deliver his forefathers. Although mother Ganges agreed to come down to earth, she made two conditions: first, she wanted some suitable male to be able to control her waves; second, although all sinful men would be freed from sinful reactions by bathing in the Ganges, mother Ganges did not want to keep all these sinful reactions. These two conditions were subject matters for consideration. Bhagiratha replied to mother Ganges, “The Personality of Godhead Lord Siva will be completely able to control the waves of your water, and when pure devotees bathe in your water, the sinful reactions left by sinful men will be counteracted.” Bhagiratha then performed austerities to satisfy Lord Siva, who is called Asutosa because he is naturally satisfied very easily. Lord Siva agreed to Bhagiratha’s proposal to check the force of the Ganges. In this way, simply by the touch of the Ganges, Bhagiratha’s forefathers were delivered and allowed to go to the heavenly planets.
The son of Bhagiratha was Sruta, the son of Sruta was Nabha, and Nabha’s son was Sindhudvipa. The son of Sindhudvipa was Ayutayu, and the son of Ayutayu was Rtuparna, who was a friend of Nala. Rtuparna gave Nala the art of gambling and learned from him the art of asva-vidya. The son of Rtuparna was known as Sarvakama, the son of Sarvakama was Sudasa, and his son was Saudasa. The wife of Saudasa was named Damayanti or Madayanti, and Saudasa was also known as Kalmasapada. Because of some defect in his fruitive activities, Saudasa was cursed by Vasistha to become a Raksasa. While walking through the forest, he saw a brahmana engaged in sex with his wife, and because he had become a Raksasa he wanted to devour the brahmana. Although the brahmana’s wife pleaded with him in many ways, Saudasa devoured the brahmana, and the wife therefore cursed him, saying, “As soon as you engage in sex you will die.” After twelve years, therefore, even though Saudasa was released from the curse of Vasistha Muni, he remained sonless. At that time, with Saudasa’s permission, Vasistha impregnated Saudasa’s wife, Madayanti. Because Madayanti bore the child for many years but still could not give birth, Vasistha struck her abdomen with a stone, and thus a son was born. The son was named Asmaka.
The son of Asmaka was known as Balika. He was protected from the curse of Parasurama because of being surrounded by many women, and therefore he is also known as Narikavaca. When the entire world was devoid of ksatriyas, he became the original father of more ksatriyas. He is therefore sometimes called Mulaka. From Balika, Dasaratha was born, from Dasaratha came Aidavidi, and from Aidavidi came Visvasaha. The son of Visvasaha was Maharaja Khatvanga. Maharaja Khatvanga joined the demigods in fighting the demons and was victorious, and the demigods therefore wanted to give him a benediction. But when the King inquired how long he would live and understood that his life would last only a few seconds more, he immediately left the heavenly planets and returned to his own abode by airplane. He could understand that everything in this material world is insignificant, and thus he fully engaged in worshiping the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Hari.
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