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Janmejay / जनमेजय

  • Janmejay was the son of Parikshit by his wife Madravati, brother of Bhimsen, Ugrasen and Shrutsen, grandson of Abhimanyu and great-grandson of the Pandav prince Arjun.
  • Being still an infant at the time of his father's death, the kingdom was ruled by Parikshit's ministers. When he came of age, Janmejay was crowned king. He soon mastered statecraft and became skilled in archery which he learnt from Kripacharya.
  • Janmejay married Vapushtama, daughter of the king of Kashi and had by her two sons, Shatanik and Shankukarn.
  • Once, Janmejay and his brothers were performing a sacrifice at Kurukshetra. His brothers beat an offspring of Sarma without any provocation,. upon which Janmejay was cursed by her.
  • Janmejay then requested the help of sage Shrutshrava to liberated him from-his curse. On the latter's advice, his son Somshrava, performed a sacrifice, as a result of which Janmejay was released from Sarma's curse.
  • Janmejay returned to Hastinapur. On learning from sage Uttank that his father was killed by a serpent, Janmejay felt his anger rising not only against Takshak who had bitten his father, but the whole serpent race, and proceeded to destroy the entire race by performing the serpent sacrifice.
  • Vasuki then sent his sister Mansa's son Astik to stop the sacrifice. When Astik arrived at the sacrificial hall, Janmejay received him with respect and promised to gran his desire.
  • Astik asked for the sacrifice to be stopped. After lengthy discussions, Janmejay finally relented, having given his word, and the sacrifice had to be stopped.