By Swami Harshananda
A sage by name Māṇḍavya was once falsely accused of stealing and was put to death on a spear by the king. But, since he was innocent and had accumulated extraordinary powers by austerities, he did not die. When this was noticed, the king was frightened and got him released. He broke the spear but its ‘aṇi’ or point was firmly imbibed in the sage’s body. Hence he came to be known as Aṇimāṇḍavya.
Since he had once killed flies as a child, he was taken to the world of Yama after death. But he protested saying that the sin committed by children below fourteen years belongs to their parents. For his mistake of forcing the sage to go to his world, Yama was cursed to be born in the human world. He was born as Vidura (of Mahabharata).
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore