An ogress (pishachi) discovered the baby there. She abducted the boy and left her own son in his place. She then brought home the abducted boy and proudly displayed him to her husband.
“You have been very stupid,” said the husband, “The brahmana Koshakara is learned and powerful. He will see through your deception and will impose a curse on us. You had better return his son.”
The son of the ogress felt cold, lying there no the courtyard. He began to wail and Dharmishtha marvelled that her dumb son could now speak. She called her husband to come and witness this miracle. Koshakara immediately realised that this was not their son. But he told his wife, “Do not get so excited. A spirit has entered our son’s body and is wailing. He will soon revert to normal again.”
But Koshakara used some powerful mantras (incantations) to bind down the strange son.
The ogress returned the abducted son to Koshakara’s house. But since the brahmana had bound down her son with the use of powerful incantations, she could not retrieve her own baby.
Both sons began to grow, Koshakara named his own son Nishakara and the ogress’ son Divakara. The boys became seven years of age and Koshakara began to teach them the Vedas. Nishakara was however not at all clever and Koshakara got tired of teaching such a stupid son. The neighbours also remarked on Nishakara’s stupidity. Koshkara found a disused well and flung Nishakara into it. Then he covered up the mouth of the well with a huge stone, Naturally, he did not tell Dharmishtha what he had done. His wife assumed that the boy had got lost.
Nishakara spent many years inside the well. There was fruit tree which grew inside the well. So that he did not starve. Ten years passed.
“Who has covered up the mouth of the well with a stone?” she remarked to herself.
‘Mother, it is father who did it.” answered Nishakara from inside the well.
Dharmishtha was very surprised at hearing these words. She removed the stone and rescued her son. She brought him back to Koshakara. And Nishakara told his parents his amazing story.
In an earlier life, he used to be brahmana named Virndaraka. But he committed many sins. After spending some time in hell, he was born as a tiger. But the tiger was also a sinner. So Nishakara spent some more time in hell before being born as a donkey. The donkey committed many sins. Nishakaka again spent time in hell and was reborn as a bird. The bird was also a sinner and Nishakara went back to hell again. He was next born as a bull. The sins of the bull took it to hell. Therafter, Nishakara was born as the son of Koshakara, but he was born as jatismara, that is, he remembered the incidents of his earlier births. The ten years inside the well had made him penitent and with penitence had come speech and bearing. He would now perform penance for his sons and devote himself to the pursuance of the righteous path.
Such was the wonderful story of Nishakara.
There is nothing so sacred as devotion to Vishnu, Vishnu is like a raft that keeps one afloat in the ocean of miseries that is the world. Yama himself avoids devotees of Vishnu. All religious rites are pointless unless there if faith in Vishnu.
The Vamana Purana is sacred because it describes the glories of Vishnu. Reading one shloka of this Purana is better than donating a lot of alms, or visiting several tirthas and performing yajnas.
“Narada, I have recited the Vamana Purana for you,” said Pulastya. “Treasure what you have heard. There is one injunction. Never divulge what you have heard to those who do not worship Vishnu.”
One of the subjects we have glossed over is a detailed description of the various tirthas that Prahlada visited. Wouldn’t you like to read the entire text of the Vamana Purana and find out for yourselves about these numerous tirthas?