Vartantu

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Vartantu (4360 BC) was an Indian sage, (Also known as Bartrend or Vartrend) who had a big ashrama in Bharuch for education of children in the kingdom of Raghu II, son of Dilip II and grandfather of Lord Rama. [1]

Significance as in Festival of Vijay Dashami[edit]

There is a very popular tale of Rishi Vartantu, that has its importance for the festival Vijay Dashami still popularly celebrated in India, during months of October–November.

The tale goes like this -

In the city of Paithan, there lived a Brahmin named Devdutta. He had an intelligent son called Kautsa. Kautsa had gone to Sage Vartantu who lived in Bharuch to study the Vedas. There he acquired immense knowledge, learnt the fourteen Vidyas from Sage Vartantu and became an expert in all the sciences. Later when Kautsa expressed his desire to give him his fees (guru dakshina) for teaching him, Sage Vartantu said, "You have become so learned. The happiness that I get from it is my fees." But Kautsa felt that if he did not give any guru dakshina, the knowledge that he had gained would not bear any fruit. Also it was his earnest desire. Finally, Sage Vartantu asked Kautsa to bring fourteen crores (140 million) of gold coins. While doing so he imposed a condition that all the coins must be brought from the same place.

As he wandered, he came across a Brahmin who told him to go to Ayodhya and meet Raghu Raja (King). Raghu Raja was an ancestor of Lord Rama. He was very generous. It is from his name that the Surya Vansha came to be called as Raghu Vansha. Raghu Raja was a great achiever. He himself decided to wage a war against Lord Kuber:The king of Lanka: Elder brother of Ravana and obtain the required wealth. He asked Kautsa to decide upon an auspicious day for the war. Accordingly it was planned on Ashwin Shudh Navmi. However, without any war Lord Indra filled the trees of Shami and Apta with gold coins, at the outskirts of Ayodhya. The people of Ayodhya informed the king of the miracle. The king (Raghu Raja) handed over all of the gold coins to Kautsa.

Kautsa then went and offered all of the gold coins to his guru (Sage Vartantu). But the number of coins was far more than fourteen crores. Sage Vartantu asked Kautsa to take back all the excess coins. When Kautsa took them back to Raghu Raja he said, "This wealth has been obtained for you. You take it back". To which Kautsa replied, "I wanted only fourteen crores of gold coins to offer to my guru. I don’t need these. I study the Vedas, I will not take even one of these." Raghu Raja thought that it was against his religion to take back what he had given in charity. Hence, he went and kept all the gold coins near the trees at the outskirts of Ayodhya, where he had initially found them. This was the day of Dashmi. The people of the village crossed the borders and worshiped the trees. They exchanged gold coins amongst themselves.  [2]

Till today this tradition is prevalent. Today people express happiness by exchanging the leaves of the apta tree as symbol of the gold coins.

This story has a hidden meaning to it.

It teaches us to share whatever we have with each other. The one who gives also gets something. We too have something to exchange, as much valuable as the leaves exchanged during dasara and that is, our hearts.

Vartantu Gotra[edit]

The word "gotra" signifies "lineage" in Hindu religion. Each gotra takes the name of a famous Rishi or sage who was the patrilineal forebearer of that clan. Descendants of Rishi Vartantu are classified under Vartantu Gotra.

See also[edit]

References[edit]