hariścandraḥ हरिश्चन्द्रः

Definition: हरिश्चन्द्रः Name of a king of the solar dynasty. [He was the son of Triśaṅku and was famous for his liberality, probity, and unflinching adherence to truth. On one occasion his family-priest Vasiṣṭha commended his qualities in the presence of Viśvāmitra, who refused to believe them. A quarrel thereupon ensued, and it was at last decided that Viśvāmitra should himself test the king. The sage accordingly subjected him to the most crucial test with a view to see if he could not be but once made to swerve from his plighted word. The king, however, stood the test with exemplary courage, adhering to his word though he had to forego the kingdom, to sell off his wife and son, and at last, even his own self to a low-caste man, and-as the last test, as it were, of his truthfulness and courage--to be even ready to put his own wife to death as a witch! Viśāmitra thereupon acknowledged himself vanquished, and the worthy king was elevated along with his subjects to heaven.]


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