Story of Devapi & Shantanu when Parjanya did not rain for many years

According to the Brihaddevata of Shaunaka, when Devapi abdicated the throne in favour of Shantanu and left for the forest, the realm of Kuru suffered from severe drought for twelve years, as Parjanya did not rain. Finally, Shantanu along with his subjects went to the forest and offered him the Kuru throne, which he declined. Instead, he agreed to become Shantanu’s purohita (priest) and conduct a yajna (sacrifice) for him to produce rain. Shantanu by his brahmin ministers, was the displeasure of the gods because of Shantanu’s ascending the throne in place of his elder brother, a violation of the law of primogeniture. When a wily minister of Shantanu heard this, he dispatched a number of heretics to the forest, who perverted the simple-minded prince Devapi in anti-Vedic doctrines. When the Brahmins sent by Shantanu came to the forest to offer him the throne, he advanced arguments contrary to the precepts of the Vedas. As a result, Brahmins declared him degraded and unfit to rule, whereupon there was rain.

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