As per the Adi Parva of Mahabharata, Chapter 106 & 107, the story of Mandavya Rishi is narrated.
he was given a punishment by the soldiers of a (KING ?) , and thus made to sit on a stake. Due to his austerity, he wasn't killed and thus through the power of his tapa went to Yamaloka, questioning the reason for his punishment. Yamarãja cites his childhood acts whence he use to kill insects and thus the punishment. The rishi gets angry and curses Yamarãja, to have given punishment more than derserved, thee shall be born on Earth. And thus Vidura (of Mahabharata) is born.
Now, here starts the doubt part
Manu Smriti (MS) 9.249.
When a king punishes an innocent (man), his guilt is considered as great as when he sets free a guilty man; but (he acquires) merit when he punishes (justly).
So, even if the soldiers might have adjudicated the punishment for the Rishi, the credit or responsibility shall fall onto the King only.
So, as per the above MS verse, the King himself becomes guilty of the crime of punishing an innocent.
And surely, the Rishi, as great as Mandavya, must be aware of this Dharma, and thus, logically, before proceeding to punish the Yamaraja, he should have given appropriate punishment to the king. (That's my understanding of this situation)
Thus here, are my questions:-
- Does scriptures explicitly mention the name of this King. I remember hearing his name in that Shri Krishna TV soap, but can't place it in my memory.
- Did the king deserved to be punished? Why or why not wasn't the King punished as per Dharma? If punished, how was he punished?
- Which other scriptures or local folkloric Puranic stories maybe, describe this incident, albeit with some variations maybe? (Because, in some other articles the stake is not able to pierce through the rishi due to his penance powers, while in others the stake does pierce through, rendering him to be called as ani-Mandavya.)