Uparichara Vasu

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Uparichara Vasu was the son of King Krtaka and a descendant of Kuru(2) of the Puru Dynasty. He lived in Dvapara Yuga. He was a contemporary of the Kuru king Shantanu. He was devoted to Truth and Virtue. His name derives from "upari", meaning "upwards", and "chara", meaning "going", i.e. "the one who goes upwards always".[1]This meaning arises from his flying chariot.

Uparichara Vasu
FamilyPuru Dynasty (Descendant of Kuru), Krtaka (Father)■ Girika (spouse)
ChildrenBrihadratha (Maharatha), Pratyagraha, Kusamva (Manivahana), Mavella, Yadu, Matsya and Matsyagandha or Parimalagandha (Satyavati)

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He is described in the Mahabharata, (1:63) and (12:338). One day, he decided to give up rulership of his kingdom and decided to do penance to please Lord Indra. He made severe penance. and Indra and devas appeared before him, promising him eternal friendship and great bliss in heaven, also giving him a garland which was made of Lotuses of Kalpaka Vrksha. This was given in a mark of friendship between Indra and Vasu. By the blessings of Indra, Vasu conquered the Chedi Kingdom, then he returned to his kingdom. There was a river named Suktimati (Ken) which flowed in his capital; hence the capital was named Suktimati.

The neighbouring mountain, Kolahala was once maddened by lust and attacked this river, blocking her path. The river sought the protection of Uparichara Vasu, who split the mountain with a kick, allowing the river to pass through. By the union of the mountain and the river, a boy and a girl were born. The boy was made Commander-in-Chief of Vasu's army; the girl, Girika, was married to Vasu. At the due time, Girika bathed preparatory to conceiving a child, and told her husband that the time was right. However, when Vasu and Girika were out in the palace gardens, The Pitrs (ancestors) of Vasu appeared before him and commanded him to slay the running deer. He could not disobey their words, and set out for a hunt to slay the deer. [2]

Full of thoughts of Girika as he travelled the beautiful forest, the king's seed, which he was anxious not to waste, was caught by him on a leaf. Having consecrated the seed with mantras, he called on a passing hawk, asking it to carry the seed to Girika as it was her time to conceive. On its way, the hawk was interrupted by another, who mistook the leaf for a piece of meat. In their fighting, the seed fell into the river Yamuna, where lived a beautiful Apsara named Adrika, who was at the time in the form of a fish, having been cursed by Brahma. Adrika swallowed the seed; nine months later, some fishermen of Vasu's kingdom caught the fish, and took from her belly two human children, a boy and a girl. Adrika, having been told by Brahma that, on giving birth to two human children in her fish form, she would be released from her curse, resumed the form of an Apsara and ascended to the celestial realm. The fishermen took the children to Vasu; the king chose the boy to be raised in his household, and gave the girl to a fisherman named Dasaraj. [2]

The girl was named Matsyagandha which means "the one who smells of fish"; due to her upbringing, she retained this characteristic for a time. She was Satyavati, who later married Shantanu and who was the mother of Sage Veda Vyasa, and thus the great-grandmother of the Pandavas and Kauravas. The boy was named Matsya because he was born out of a fish; he founded the Matsya Kingdom. His descendant was Virata who founded the kingdom's capital Viratanagara.

Vasu and Girika had five sons: Brihadratha (Maharatha), father of Jarasandha, the prince of Magadha Kingdom; Pratyagraha, the prince of the Chedi Kingdom, whose descendant was Shishupala; Kusamva (Manivahana); Mavella; and Yadu.


  1. J. P. Mittal (2006). History of Ancient India (A New Version)Volume 2 of History of Ancient India: A New Version. Atlantic Publishers & Dist. ISBN 8126906162. Retrieved 2020-10-13. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  2. 2.0 2.1 Alf Hiltebeitel (2011). Dharma: Its Early History in Law, Religion, and Narrative. USA: Oxford University Press. p. 354-355. ISBN 978-0195394238. Retrieved 2020-10-09. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  • The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa Translated into English Prose, Bharata Press, Calcutta (1883–1896)

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