(Last Updated on : 17/05/2011)
Sagara, a king of the Solar Dynasty, having ascended to the throne thought of re-establishing the power and glory of Kosala
. To accomplish it he formed a strong and huge army and attacked his father's enemies. Having fought fiercefully he defeated them in several battles. Sagara even went out to annihilate the non-Aryans who were allied with the Haihayas. He was however prevented from doing so because of the intervention of sage Vasista. Although Sagara spared their lives he also punished them by subjugating them under an interdict. Thus even being originally pure Kshatriya
they were now forced to turn impure.
Sagara established himself as the lord of India and the southern sea having conquered immense battles. Desirous of performing a horse sacrifice, Sagara let loose a horse with few princes and a powerful army. Passing through many countries, the horse finally arrived in Bengal. Here it was seized by a Dravidian chief and fastened in the hermitage of the great sage Kapila
. The princes and the army traced down the horse and charged Kapila of the theft of the sacrificial beast. Later the whole army fell victim to the wrath of Kapila and suffered a dreadful loss in a battle that followed. Upon receiving the news of the defeat of the army, Sagara immediately sent his grandson Ansuman to Kapila. The young prince escorted by an army approached the great sage. Conveying his grandfather's obeisance the young prince propitiated him with prayers. He also defeated the enemies and returned to Ayodhya
with the horse. Later the sacrifice was performed with great celebrations.
Sagara was much admired ruler, but he was satisfied in his personal life. He had spent most of his life battling and in wars. Even his two queens, Kesini, princess of Vidarbha and Sumati did not bear any child. Dejected, he left the whole kingdom to the ministers and went to stay with sage Bhrigu in the Himalaya. There along with his queens he practised penance. Sage Bhrigu bequeath the queens with a drug each. Through the medication Kesini bore a son to Sagara. Sumati also bore him many sons. The eldest prince of Kesinin Asamanjas grew up to be a wicked boy. He oppressed and disrespected the people in various ways. On receiving complaints from the citizens, Sagara banished him from the kingdom. Although the prince reformed after the exile he was not accepted back in the kingdom. His son Ansuman was then crowned. King Sagara later went into religious retirement. He had gloriously ruled over fifty years and abandoned his kingdom in a highly prosperous state.