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File:Dharmaraj and animandavya.jpg
Dharmaraj and the sage Animandavya

Mandavya (Sanskrit: माण्डव्य) was a sage, who according to Hinduism, was wrongly punished by the king by being impaled. This occurred as the chief of a band of robbers had hidden their stolen goods in a corner of his hermitage when he was in deep contemplation. So the guards of the king of that region came in search of the robbers and asked the sage about their whereabouts. The sage did not answer for he was meditating and he was wrongly assumed to have stolen the goods. The guards punished the robbers and the sage by putting him on the stake. Everyone else died except Mandavya. Other sages came in the form of birds to look at him and asked him why he was thus. When Mandavya began to speak the guards saw him alive and informed the king. The king begged pardon from the sage and tried to free him, but they were unable to remove the stake from his body. So Mandavya came to be known as Ani-Mandavya (Mandavya with a stake within).

After being freed, Ani-Mandavya began to do austerities still with the stake within. And with these penances he could travel celestial regions. Once he went to the region of Yama (Dharma) and questioned him about his punishment. Lord Yama gave the answer that he was punished for having tortured insects and bees in his childhood, by piercing them with blades of grass. In response, Mandavya cursed the Yama, as his punishment exceeded the sins committed as an ignorant child. Therefore, he cursed him to be born in the mortal world. He was born as Vidura, the wise, to the servant maid of Ambika, wife of King Vichitravirya, named Parishrami, who was offered by her to Sage Vyasa in place of Ambika.[1] Mandavya is a bhargava gotrakar rishi. It is written in Matsy purana verses १९५.२१.


  1. [1] Archived April 8, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
Mandavya Temple
Mandavya Rishi Temple in Damkada Tansen Nepal