Srimad bhagavata by Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyāsa

Chapter Seventeen The Dynasties of the Sons of Pururava


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Chapter Seventeen The Dynasties of the Sons of Pururava

1-3. Sukadeva Gosvami said: From Pururava came a son named Ayu, whose very powerful sons were Nahusa, Ksatravrddha, Raji, Rabha and Anena. O Maharaja Pariksit, now hear about the dynasty of Ksatravrddha. Ksatravrddha's son was Suhotra, who had three sons, named Kasya, Kusa and Grtsamada. From Grtsamada came Sunaka, and from him came Saunaka, the great saint, the best of those conversant with the Rg Veda.

4. The son of Kasya was Kasi, and his son was Rastra, the father of Dirghatama. Dirghatama had a son named Dhanvantari, who was the inaugurator of the medical science and an incarnation of Lord Vasudeva, the enjoyer of the results of sacrifices. One who remembers the name of Dhanvantari can be released from all disease.

5. The son of Dhanvantari was Ketuman, and his son was Bhimaratha. The son of Bhimaratha was Divodasa, and the son of Divodasa was Dyuman, also known as Pratardana.

6. Dyuman was also known as Satrujit, Vatsa, Rtadhvaja and Kuvalayasva. From him were born Alarka and other sons.

7. Alarka, the son of Dyuman, reigned over the earth for sixty-six thousand years, my dear King Pariksit. No one other than him has reigned over the earth for so long as a young man.

8. From Alarka came a son named Santati, and his son was Sunitha. The son of Sunitha was Niketana, the son of Niketana was Dharmaketu, and the son of Dharmaketu was Satyaketu.

9. O King Pariksit, from Satyaketu came a son named Dhrstaketu, and from Dhrstaketu came Sukumara, the emperor of the entire world. From Sukumara came a son named Vitihotra; from Vitihotra, Bharga; and from Bharga, Bhargabhumi.

10. O Maharaja Pariksit, all of these kings were descendants of Kasi, and they could also be called descendants of Ksatravrddha. The son of Rabha was Rabhasa, from Rabhasa came Gambhira, and from Gambhira came a son named Akriya.

11. The son of Akriya was known as Brahmavit, O King. Now hear about the descendants of Anena. From Anena came a son named Suddha, and his son was Suci. The son of Suci was Dharmasarathi, also called Citrakrt.

12. From Citrakrt was born a son named Santaraja, a self-realized soul who performed all kinds of Vedic ritualistic ceremonies and therefore did not beget any progeny. The sons of Raji were five hundred, all very powerful.

13. On the request of the demigods, Raji killed the demons and thus returned the kingdom of heaven to Lord Indra. But Indra, fearing such demons as Prahlada, returned the kingdom of heaven to Raji and surrendered himself at Raji's lotus feet.

14. Upon Raji's death, Indra begged Raji's sons for the return of the heavenly planet. They did not return it, however, although they agreed to return Indra's shares in ritualistic ceremonies.

15. Thereafter, Brhaspati, the spiritual master of the demigods, offered oblations in the fire so that the sons of Raji would fall from moral principles. When they fell, Lord Indra killed them easily because of their degradation. Not a single one of them remained alive.

16. From Kusa, the grandson of Ksatravrddha, was born a son named Prati. The son of Prati was Sanjaya, and the son of Sanjaya was Jaya. From Jaya, Krta was born, and from Krta, King Haryabala.

17. From Haryabala came a son named Sahadeva, and from Sahadeva came Hina. The son of Hina was Jayasena, and the son of Jayasena was Sankrti. The son of Sankrti was the powerful and expert fighter named Jaya. These kings were the members of the Ksatravrddha dynasty. Now let me describe to you the dynasty of Nahusa.

Chapter Eighteen King Yayati Regains His Youth

1. Sukadeva Gosvami said: O King Pariksit, as the embodied soul has six senses, King Nahusa had six sons, named Yati, Yayati, Samyati, Ayati, Viyati and Krti.

2. When one enters the post of king or head of the government, one cannot understand the meaning of self-realization. Knowing this, Yati, the eldest son of Nahusa, did not accept the power to rule, although it was offered by his father.

3. Because Nahusa, the father of Yayati, molested Indra's wife, Saci, who then complained to Agastya and other brahmanas, these saintly brahmanas cursed Nabusa to fall from the heavenly planets and be degraded to the status of a python. Consequently, Yayati became the king.

4. King Yayati had four younger brothers, whom he allowed to rule the four directions. Yayati himself married Devayani, the daughter of Sukracarya, and Sarmistha, the daughter of Vrsaparva, and ruled the entire earth.

5. Maharaja Pariksit said: Sukracarya was a very powerful brahmana, and Maharaja Yayati was a ksatriya. Therefore I am curious to know how there occurred this pratiloma marriage between a ksatriya and a brahmana.

6-7. Sukadeva Gosvami said: One day Vrsaparva's daughter Sarmistha, who was innocent but angry by nature, was walking with Devayani, the daughter of Sukracarya, and with thousands of friends, in the palace garden. The garden was full of lotuses and trees of flowers and fruits and was inhabited by sweetly singing birds and bumblebees.

8. When the young, lotus-eyed girls came to the bank of a reservoir of water, they wanted to enjoy by bathing. Thus they left their clothing on the bank and began sporting, throwing water on one another.

9. While sporting in the water, the girls suddenly saw Lord Siva passing by, seated on the back of his bull with his wife, Parvati. Ashamed because they were naked, the girls quickly got out of the water and covered themselves with their garments.

10. Sarmistha unknowingly put Devayani's dress on her own body, thus angering Devayani, who then spoke as follows.

11. Oh, just see the activities of this servant-maid Sarmistha! Disregarding all etiquette, she has put on my dress, just like a dog snatching clarified butter meant for use in a sacrifice.

12-14. We are among the qualified brahmanas, who are accepted as the face of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The brahmanas have created the entire universe by their austerity, and they always keep the Absolute Truth within the core of their hearts. They have directed the path of good fortune, the path of Vedic civilization, and because they are the only worshipable objects within this world, they are offered prayers and worshiped even by the great demigods, the directors of the various planets, and even by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the Supersoul, the supreme purifier, the husband of the goddess of fortune. And we are even more respectable because we are in the dynasty of Bhrgu. Yet although this woman's father, being among the demons, is our disciple, she has put on my dress, exactly like a sudra taking charge of Vedic knowledge.

15. Sukadeva Gosvami said: When thus rebuked in cruel words, Sarmistha was very angry. Breathing heavily like a serpent and biting her lower lip with her teeth, she spoke to the daughter of Sukracarya as follows.

16. You beggar, since you don't understand your position, why should you unnecessarily talk so much? Don't all of you wait at our house, depending on us for your livelihood like crows?

17. Using such unkind words, Sarmistha rebuked Devayani, the daughter of Sukracarya. In anger, she took away Devayani's garments and threw Devayani into a well.

18. After throwing Devayani into the well, Sarmistha went home. Meanwhile, King Yayati, while engaged in a hunting excursion, went to the well to drink water and by chance saw Devayani.

19. Seeing Devayani naked in the well, King Yayati immediately gave her his upper cloth. Being very kind to her, he caught her hand with his own and lifted her out.

20-21. With words saturated with love and affection, Devayani said to King Yayati: O great hero, O King, conqueror of the cities of your enemies, by accepting my hand you have accepted me as your married wife. Let me not be touched by others, for our relationship as husband and wife has been made possible by providence, not by any human being.

22. Because of falling in the well, I met you. Indeed, this has been arranged by providence. After I cursed Kaca, the son of the learned scholar Brhaspati, he cursed me by saying that I would not have a brahmana for a husband. Therefore, O mighty-armed one, there is no possibility of my becoming the wife of a brahmana.

23. Sukadeva Gosvami continued: Because such a marriage is not sanctioned by regular scriptures, King Yayati did not like it, but because it was arranged by providence and because he was attracted by Devayani's beauty, he accepted her request.

24. Thereafter, when the learned King returned to his palace, Devayani returned home crying and told her father, Sukracarya, about all that had happened because of Sarmistha. She told how she had been thrown into the well but was saved by the King.

25. As Sukracarya listened to what had happened to Devayani, his mind was very much aggrieved. Condemning the profession of priesthood and praising the profession of uncha-vrtti [collecting grains from the fields], he left home with his daughter.

26. King Vrsaparva understood that Sukracarya was coming to chastise or curse him. Consequently, before Sukracarya came to his house, Vrsaparva went out and fell down in the street at the feet of his guru and satisfied him, checking his wrath.

27. The powerful Sukracarya was angry for a few moments, but upon being satisfied he said to Vrsaparva: My dear King, kindly fulfill the desire of Devayani, for she is my daughter and in this world I cannot give her up or neglect her.

28. After hearing Sukracarya's request, Vrsaparva agreed to fulfill Devayani's desire, and he awaited her words. Devayani then expressed her desire as follows: "Whenever I marry by the order of my father, my friend Sarmistha must go with me as my maidservant, along with her friends."

29. Vrsaparva wisely thought that Sukracarya's displeasure would bring danger and that his pleasure would bring material gain. Therefore he carried out Sukracarya's order and served him like a slave. He gave his daughter Sarmistha to Devayani, and Sarmistha served Devayani like a slave, along with thousands of other women.

30. When Sukracarya gave Devayani in marriage to Yayati, he had Sarmistha go with her, but he warned the King, "My dear King, never allow this girl Sarmistha to lie with you in your bed."

31. O King Pariksit, upon seeing Devayani with a nice son, Sarmistha once approached King Yayati at the appropriate time for conception. In a secluded place, she requested the King, the husband of her friend Devayani, to enable her to have a son also.

32. When Princess Sarmistha begged King Yayati for a son, the King was certainly aware of the principles of religion, and therefore he agreed to fulfill her desire. Although he remembered the warning of Sukracarya, he thought of this union as the desire of the Supreme, and thus he had sex with Sarmistha.

33. Devayani gave birth to Yadu and Turvasu, and Sarmistha gave birth to Druhyu, Anu and Puru.

34. When the proud Devayani understood from outside sources that Sarmistha was pregnant by her husband, she was frenzied with anger. Thus she departed for her father's house.

35. King Yayati, who was very lusty, followed his wife, caught her and tried to appease her by speaking pleasing words and massaging her feet, but he could not satisfy her by any means.

36. Sukracarya was extremely angry. "You untruthful fool, lusting after women! You have done a great wrong," he said. "I therefore curse you to be attacked and disfigured by old age and invalidity."

37. King Yayati said, "O learned, worshipable brahmana, I have not yet satisfied my lusty desires with your daughter." Sukracarya then replied, "You may exchange your old age with someone who will agree to transfer his youth to you."

38. When Yayati received this benediction from Sukracarya, he requested his eldest son: My dear son Yadu, please give me your youth in exchange for my old age and invalidity.

39. My dear son, I am not yet satisfied in my sexual desires. But if you are kind to me, you can take the old age given by your maternal grandfather, and I may take your youth so that I may enjoy life for a few years more.

40. Yadu replied: My dear father, you have already achieved old age, although you also were a young man. But I do not welcome your old age and invalidity, for unless one enjoys material happiness, one cannot attain renunciation.

41. O Maharaja Pariksit, Yayati similarly requested his sons Turvasu, Druhyu and Anu to exchange their youth for his old age, but because they were unaware of religious principles, they thought that their flickering youth was eternal, and therefore they refused to carry out their father's order.

42. King Yayati then requested Puru, who was younger than these three brothers but more qualified, "My dear son, do not be disobedient like your elder brothers, for that is not your duty."

43. Puru replied: O Your Majesty, who in this world can repay his debt to his father? By the mercy of one's father, one gets the human form of life, which can enable one to become an associate of the Supreme Lord.

44. A son who acts by anticipating what his father wants him to do is first class, one who acts upon receiving his father's order is second class, and one who executes his father's order irreverently is third class. But a son who refuses his father's order is like his father's stool.

45. Sukadeva Gosvami said: In this way, O Maharaja Pariksit, the son named Puru was very pleased to accept the old age of his father, Yayati, who took the youth of his son and enjoyed this material world as he required.

46. Thereafter, King Yayati became the ruler of the entire world, consisting of seven islands, and ruled the citizens exactly like a father. Because he had taken the youth of his son, his senses were unimpaired, and he enjoyed as much material happiness as he desired.

47. In secluded places, engaging her mind, words, body and various paraphernalia, Devayani, the dear wife of Maharaja Yayati, always brought her husband the greatest possible transcendental bliss.

48. King Yayati performed various sacrifices, in which he offered abundant gifts to the brahmanas to satisfy the Supreme Lord, Hari, who is the reservoir of all the demigods and the object of all Vedic knowledge.

49. The Supreme Lord, Vasudeva, who created the cosmic manifestation, exhibits Himself as all-pervading, like the sky that holds clouds. And when the creation is annihilated, everything enters into the Supreme Lord, Visnu, and varieties are no longer manifested.

50. Without material desires, Maharaja Yayati worshiped the Supreme Lord, who is situated in everyone's heart as Narayana and is invisible to material eyes, although existing everywhere.

51. Although Maharaja Yayati was the king of the entire world and he engaged his mind and five senses in enjoying material possessions for one thousand years, he was unable to be satisfied.

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