Srimad bhagavata by Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyāsa

CANTO NINE Chapter One King Sudyumna Becomes a Woman


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Chapter One King Sudyumna Becomes a Woman

1. King Pariksit said: My lord, Sukadeva Gosvami, you have elaborately described all the periods of the various Manus and, within those periods, the wonderful activities of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who has unlimited potency. I am fortunate to have heard all of this from you.

2-3. Satyavrata, the saintly king of Dravidadesa who received spiritual knowledge at the end of the last millennium by the grace of the Supreme, later became Vaivasvata Manu, the son of Vivasvan, in the next manvantara [period of Manu]. I have received this knowledge from you. I also understand that such kings as Iksvaku were his sons, as you have already explained.

4. O greatly fortunate Sukadeva Gosvami, O great brahmana, kindly describe to us separately the dynasties and characteristics of all those kings, for we are always eager to hear such topics from you.

5. Kindly tell us about the abilities of all the celebrated kings born in the dynasty of Vaivasvata Manu, including those who have already passed, those who may appear in the future, and those who exist at present.

6. Suta Gosvami said: When Sukadeva Gosvami, the greatest knower of religious principles, was thus requested by Maharaja Pariksit in the assembly of all the scholars learned in Vedic knowledge, he then proceeded to speak.

7. Sukadeva Gosvami continued: O King, subduer of your enemies, now hear from me in great detail about the dynasty of Manu. I shall explain as much as possible, although one could not say everything about it, even in hundreds of years.

8. The transcendental Supreme Person, the Supersoul of all living entities, who are in different statuses of life, high and low, existed at the end of the millennium, when neither this manifested cosmos nor anything else but Him existed.

9. O King Pariksit, from the navel of the Supreme Personality of Godhead was generated a golden lotus, on which the four-faced Lord Brahma took his birth.

10. From the mind of Lord Brahma, Marici took birth, and from the semen of Marici, Kasyapa appeared from the womb of the daughter of Daksa Maharaja. From Kasyapa, by the womb of Aditi, Vivasvan took birth.

11-12. O King, best of the Bharata dynasty, from Vivasvan, by the womb of Samjna, Sraddhadeva Manu was born. Sraddhadeva Manu, having conquered his senses, begot ten sons in the womb of his wife, Sraddha. The names of these sons were Iksvaku, Nrga, Saryati, Dista, Dhrsta, Karusaka, Narisyanta, Prsadhra, Nabhaga and Kavi.

13. Manu at first had no sons. Therefore, in order to get a son for him, the great saint Vasistha, who was very powerful in spiritual knowledge, performed a sacrifice to satisfy the demigods Mitra and Varuna.

14. During that sacrifice, Sraddha, Manu's wife, who was observing the vow of subsisting only by drinking milk, approached the priest offering the sacrifice, offered obeisances to him and begged for a daughter.

15. Told by the chief priest "Now offer oblations," the person in charge of oblations took clarified butter to offer. He then remembered the request of Manu's wife and performed the sacrifice while chanting the word vasat.

16. Manu had begun that sacrifice for the sake of getting a son, but because the priest was diverted by the request of Manu's wife, a daughter named Ila was born. Upon seeing the daughter, Manu was not very satisfied. Thus he spoke to his guru, Vasistha, as follows.

17. My lord, all of you are expert in chanting the Vedic mantras. How then has the result been opposite to the one desired? This is a matter for lamentation. There should not have been such a reversal of the results of the Vedic mantras.

18. You are all self-controlled, well balanced in mind, and aware of the Absolute Truth. And because of austerities and penances you are completely cleansed of all material contamination. Your words, like those of the demigods, are never baffled. Then how is it possible that your determination has failed?

19. The most powerful great-grandfather Vasistha, after hearing these words of Manu, understood the discrepancy on the part of the priest. Thus he spoke as follows to the son of the sun-god.

20. This discrepancy in the objective is due to your priest's deviation from the original purpose. However, by my own prowess I shall give you a good son.

21. Sukadeva Gosvami said: O King Pariksit, after the most famous and powerful Vasistha made this decision, he offered prayers to the Supreme Person, Visnu, to transform Ila into a male.

22. The Supreme Personality of Godhead, the supreme controller, being pleased with Vasistha, gave him the benediction he desired. Thus Ila was transformed into a very fine male named Sudyumna.

23-24. O King Pariksit, that hero Sudyumna, accompanied by a few ministers and associates and riding on a horse brought from Sindhupradesa, once went into the forest to hunt. He wore armor and was decorated with bows and arrows, and he was very beautiful. While following the animals and killing them, he reached the northern part of the forest.

25. There in the north, at the bottom of Mount Meru, is a forest known as Sukumara where Lord Siva always enjoys with Uma. Sudyumna entered that forest.

26. O King Pariksit, as soon as Sudyumna, who was expert in subduing enemies, entered the forest, he saw himself transformed into a female and his horse transformed into a mare.

27. When his followers also saw their identities transformed and their sex reversed, they were all very morose and just looked at one another.

28. Maharaja Pariksit said: O most powerful brahmana, why was this place so empowered, and who made it so powerful? Kindly answer this question, for I am very eager to hear about this.

29. Sukadeva Gosvami answered: Great saintly persons who strictly observed the spiritual rules and regulations and whose own effulgence dissipated all the darkness of all directions once came to see Lord Siva in that forest.

30. When the goddess Ambika saw the great saintly persons, she was very much ashamed because at that time she was naked. She immediately got up from the lap of her husband and tried to cover her breast.

31. Seeing Lord Siva and Parvati engaged in sexual affairs, all the great saintly persons immediately desisted from going further and departed for the asrama of Nara-Narayana.

32. Thereupon, just to please his wife, Lord Siva said, "Any male entering this place shall immediately become a female!"

33. Since that time, no male had entered that forest. But now King Sudyumna, having been transformed into a female, began to walk with his associates from one forest to another.

34. Sudyumna had been transformed into the best of beautiful women who excite sexual desire and was surrounded by other women. Upon seeing this beautiful woman loitering near his asrama, Budha, the son of the moon, immediately desired to enjoy her.

35. The beautiful woman also desired to accept Budha, the son of the king of the moon, as her husband. Thus Budha begot in her womb a son named Pururava.

36. I heard from reliable sources that King Sudyumna, the son of Manu, having thus achieved femininity, remembered his familial spiritual master, Vasistha.

37. Upon seeing Sudyumna's deplorable condition, Vasistha was very much aggrieved. Desiring for Sudyumna to regain his maleness, Vasistha again began to worship Lord Sankara [Siva].

38-39. O King Pariksit, Lord Siva was pleased with Vasistha. Therefore, to satisfy him and to keep his own word to Parvati, Lord Siva said to that saintly person, "Your disciple Sudyumna may remain a male for one month and a female for the next. In this way he may rule the world as he likes."

40. Thus being favored by the spiritual master, according to the words of Lord Siva, Sudyumna regained his desired maleness every alternate month and in this way ruled the kingdom, although the citizens were not satisfied with this.

41. O King, Sudyumna had three very pious sons, named Utkala, Gaya and Vimala, who became the kings of the Daksina-patha.

42. Thereafter, when the time was ripe, when Sudyumna, the king of the world, was sufficiently old, he delivered the entire kingdom to his son Pururava and entered the forest.

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