(Last Updated on : 30/03/2010)
As mentioned in the Puranas, Nidagha was a son of Pulastya and disciple of Ribhu. To him Ribhu willingly communicated perfect knowledge. The house of Pulastya was at Viranagara, which was situated on the banks of the Devika River.
In a beautiful grove adjoining to the stream, the pupil of Ribhu, Nidagha, was familiar with devotional practices. When a thousand divine years had elapsed, Ribhu went to the city of Pulastya, to visit his disciple. One day when Viswadevas was standing at the doorway, at the end of a sacrifice to the Viswadevas, he was seen by his scholar, who hastened to present him the usual offering, or Arghya, and conducted him into the house. When his hands and feet were washed and he was seated, Nidagha invited him respectfully to eat.
Ribhu asked Nidagha what food is there in the house for he is not fond of indifferent viands. Nidagha replied that there are cakes of meal, rice, barley, and pulse in the house and requested the sage what he liked. Ribhu asked that he would like to have rice boiled with sugar, wheaten cakes, and milk with curds and molasses.
Nidagha, ordered his wife to prepare food for the sage. His wife in obedience to her husband's commands, prepared sweet and spicy food, and set it before the Brahman; and Nidagha, having stood before him until he had eaten of the meal, which he had desired, thus respectfully addressed him.
Nidagha then questioned Ribhu if he had eaten sufficiently, and with pleasure. He asked the Sage if his mind is received contentment from the food. Nidagha asked where the sage resides and where he is going.
After finishing his meal, Ribhu said that he did not like being questioned about his meal. When the earthly element is parched by fire, then hunger is engendered and thirst is produced and when the moisture of the body has been absorbed by internal or digestive heat. Hunger and thirst are the functions of the body, and satisfaction must always be afforded Ribhu by that by which they are removed; for when hunger is Ribhu no longer sensible, pleasure and contentment of mind are faculties of the intellect ask their condition of the mind then, for man is not affected by them. Therefore the mind, which properly judges of what is or is not sweet are impressed with the notion of identity, and that, this effect of identity tends to liberation. After hearing all these words Nidagha came to know of the ultimate truth.