(Last Updated on : 24/09/2009)
In the Mahabharata
and the Puranas
, it is mentioned that Rantideva is a pious and benevolent king of the lunar race and progeny of Bharata.
Rantideva, a virtuous king who fasted for forty-eight days was tested by demigods headed by Brahma
. The demigods came in the disguise of a Brahmana, then a Sudra, and finally as a Chandala. Each of the god begged portions of the food that the king was to use to break his fast. Finally they left him without even water to drink. As because he tolerated all this, he received the blessings of the Supreme Lord.
Rantideva possessed enormous wealth. He was very religious, and charitable and profuse in his sacrifices. He had about two lakhs cooks to prepare food for the beggars and poor people. Rantideva had two thousand head of cattle slaughtered daily for use in his kitchen, and that he fed innumerable beggars daily with food.
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