Bāhudā

(‘that which gives arm’)

The ancient sages of India strove to maintain the highest standards of ethical purity in their personal life as well as social life. Śaṅkha and Likhita, the brothers whose Smṛti has earned a place for itself in the dharmaśāstra literature, were men of such sterling character. Once Likhita, the younger brother, went to the hermitage of Śaṅkha and ate some fruits from the garden without his prior permission. He realized the mistake which amounted to stealing and confessed the same to Śaṅkha. Śaṅkha sent him to the king Sudyumna. The king cut off his arms as a punishment. Likhita returned to Śaṅkha who approved of the punishment, but directed him to take a bath in the nearby river. When Likhita did so, he regained his arms. Since then, the river got the name ‘Bāhudā,’ ‘that which gave arms’. It is identified with a river near Ayodhyā.

See also ŚAṄKHA and LIKHITA.