HARICHAND Hari Chand was praised for his generosity. Without the Guru, he could not comprehend the Indiscriminating Lord. The Lord Himself causes one to err and also instructs him. (Gauri M. l, p. 224) That Hari Chand, the king and master of the world, did not comprehend the Writ of the Lord. If he had known the demerit of generosity, then why could he sell himself in the market? (PrabbaU M. l, p. 1344) The king Harish Chandra (generally known as Hari Chand) was the twenty-eighth king of the solar dynasty; and son of Trishanku.
His capital was Patna. He was famous for his generosity and truthfulness. He had to face great odds because of his righteousness and remaining steadfast to his words. Once his preceptor Vishwamitra got angry with him and in his absence completed the ceremonies of his sacrificial feast through another Brahmin. Because of this, Vishwamitra wanted to punish him.
Since the king was a great donor and true to his words, Vishwamitra through a stratagem, got all his kingdom and property in charity. In this state of destitution, he left his kingdom with his queen and son. Vishwamitra still persisted that the gift was not yet completed. For this the king had to sell himself, his wife and son. He himself had to perform the duties of a Chandala in a graveyard.
The queen became the sweepress in the house of a Brahmin. Her son Rohit was bitten by a snake and she took it to the cemetery for cremation, where she recognised her husband as a Chandala. Both of them resolved to die upon the funeral pyre of their son. Then the gods appeared on the scene along with Vishwamitra and the period of oppression ended.
Rohit was then made the successor and the king and queen departed to heaven along with their subjects and tne city. Narada induced Harish Chandra to boast his merits, whereupon, because of the ego the city began its downward course, which was arrested on the repentance by the king. It is said t-h-at till today the kingand his followers dwell in an aerial city\’ which according to the tradition is still visible occasionally in mid-air.
1. Kohli, Surindar Singh (ed), Dictionary of Mythological References in Guru Granth Sahib, 1993