Indian Mythology (by ApamNapat)

Dhirghatamas - Son of Utathya


Dhirghatamas was the son of the Rishi Utathya, by his wife Mamata. His name means "one who is enveloped in perpetual darkness". Utathya's younger brother Brihaspati desired his sister-in-law Mamata. When he approached her, she rejected his advances, as she was already pregnant. The unborn child also chided Brihaspati, but Brihaspati could not control his desire. Since the fetus had interrupted a moment of pleasure for him, Brihaspati cursed that child to be born blind. This was the story behind the birth of the Rishi Dhirghatamas.

Although he was blind, he was very learned. He married a woman named Pradweshi. The sage Gautama (not Gautama) was his son. He was cast away by his fellow Rishis, for they did not like his practices ([Maha:1.105]) says that he followed the practices taught to him by Surabhi's son, but does not detail them). His wife also abandoned him, and his evil sons, at the behest of their mother, cast him into the river Ganga, tied to a raft.

He was saved by a King named Vali, who was childless. As per the ancient rites, he wanted the sage to father children upon his queen Sudeshna. She however, knowing that the sage was old and blind, sent her nurse instead. The Rishi begat upon that woman eleven children, with Kakshivat being the eldest. When the King came to know of his queen's deception, he forced her to go to the Rishi in person. She then begat five children named Anga, Vanga, Kalinga, Pundra and Suhma. This was how the Rishi Dhirghatamas perpetuated the line of King Vali.

This incident is narrated here by Bhishma to Satyavati as precedent for perpetuating the race of Kurus with the help of sage Vyasa.

Last Modified At: Tue Oct 19 22:43:07 2004