Janamejaya a Kuru ruler ruled during the Middle Vedic era in the 12th or 11th century BCE.
Together with his predecessor Parikshit, he was crucial in the development of the conventional srauta ritual, the collection of Vedic hymns into collections, and the consolidation of the Kuru state, which made the Kuru realm the preeminent political and cultural hub of northern Iron Age India.
Much late Vedic literature refers to Janamejaya as a renowned monarch and conqueror. According to the Aitareya Brahmana, Tura Kavasheya, his priest, anointed him with the great Indraanointing, which is why his descendants bear the name Tur.
The Shatapatha Brahmana relates that Indrota Daivapa Shaunaka, a priest, performed an Ashvamedha (horse sacrifice) for him in a location known as Sandvat.
King Parikshit’s son Janamejaya had a number of brothers, including Bhimasena, Ugrasena, and Rutasena.
Parikshit, his father, is dated by H.C. Raychaudhuri to the ninth century BC.
According to Michael Witzel, the appearance of Black and Red ware in the Punjab and West & South parts of North India, which has an archaeological date of 1180 BCE, is consistent with the Prikita dynasty.
H. C. Raychaudhuri, a historian, observes that there are two pairs of Parikshit and Janamejayas in epic and Puranic genealogies.
According to Raychaudhuri, the second Janamejaya story is more accurately described as the Vedic king, whereas the evidence on the first is lacking and contradictory.
The authenticity of four copper-plate grant inscriptions that were allegedly awarded under Janamejaya’s rule was later established by historians after they were shown to be fraudulent.
According to Puranic Literature
According to the Mahabharata (I.95.85), he was the child of King Parikshit and Queen Madravati.
He was the great-grandson of the legendary warrior Abhimanyu and the great-grandson of Arjuna, the Mahbhrata’s gallant warrior hero.
He and Vaishampayana had a disagreement, according to the Matsya Purana and the Vayu Purana. He may have abdicated as a result, and his son Shatanika took his place. Vyasa also related the Devi Bhagavata Purana to him.
Death Of Janamejaya’s Father
Parikshit, Janamejaya’s father, presided over the nation for 60 years in a highly illustrious manner. Parikshit once grew really thirsty and exhausted while hunting in the forest.
He requested a Sage by the name of Amka for some water while looking for water.
Since he was in deep meditation, amka missed the King’s plea. But the King, interpreting the sage’s quiet for arrogance, threw a dead snake around his neck in a fit of rage before leaving.
However, Parikshit was killed by Takshaka, king of the Nagas, within seven days of the incident as a result of the curse placed on him by Gavijta, son of sage Amka.
Janamejaya’s father passed away when he was still a young child. Thus, his ministers conducted the late king’s obsequies.
After that, Janamejaya was anointed King at a fortunate period. He quickly attained statecraft mastery.
Kpcrya was the one who taught Dhanurvidy. He quickly established a reputation for being a capable administrator.
Snake sacrifice, or Sarpa Satra
After his father Parikshit died, Emperor Janamejaya came to the throne of Hastinapura. The only member of the House of Pandu, Parikshit, was said to have perished from a snakebite.
He had been cursed by a sage to die in this way, and Takshak, the serpent-chieftain, had completed the spell.
Because of the serpents’ behavior, Janamejaya harbored bitter animosity toward them and made the decision to eradicate them completely.
He made an effort to do this by offering a massive sacrifice known as a Sarpa Satra that would kill all serpents in existence.
A wise man named Astika, who was around the age of a boy, intervened at that point. His father was a Brahmin, while Manasa, his mother, was a Naga.
In order to rescue the imprisoned Takshaka at the time, Janamejaya had to pay attention to the wise Astika’s advice.
He also put a halt to all hostility towards the Nagas and stopped their massacre (1,56). After that, the Nagas and Kurus coexisted peacefully.
On the banks of the Arind River at Bardan, today is known as Parham, a degenerate version of Parikshitgarh, the mass sacrifice was initiated.
Parikshit Kund, a masonry tank (reservoir) that was allegedly constructed by Emperor Janamejaya to identify the location of the sacrificial pit, is still visible in the Mainpuri region.
Gowdvana is the name for this. A very huge and tall Khera has been discovered nearby, containing the remains of a fort and some stone carvings.
It is alleged to have existed during the reign of Emperor Parikshit.
According to a well-known local tale, because of the benefits of that sacrifice, snakes are still considered harmless in this location and the surrounding area.