IT is an error to think that it is easy for a person to lead a life of
chastity if he is brought up in complete ignorance of sensual pleasures. Virtue guarded
only by ignorance is very insecure as illustrated by the following story. It is told in
the Ramayana also, but not in the same detail.
Vibhandaka who was resplendent like Brahma, the Creator, lived with his
son Rishyasringa in a forest. The latter had not come across any mortal, man or woman,
except his father.
The country of Anga was once afflicted with a dire famine. Crops had
withered for want of rain and men perished for lack of food. All living things were in
distress. Romapada, the king of the country, approached the brahmanas to advise him of
some means of saving the kingdom from famine.
The brahmanas replied: "Best of kings, there is a young sage
called Rishyasringa who lives a life of perfect chastity. Invite him to our kingdom. He
has won the power, by his austerities, of bringing rain and plenty wherever he goes."