sábado, 17 de abril de 2010


Contenido - Contents

Fotos de ART OF KRISHNA del álbum Fotos del muro

Dedicated to Romapada swami
"Most artwork courtesy of the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International. www.krishna.com"

Añadida el 18 de abril

Añadida el 19 de abril

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Cargado el 20 de marzo, 2010
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2010-05-02 Yesterday's archery practice with the boys of Krsna Valley and today's wedding: Citta Hari P and Bn. Ildiko


P1060275 por kepfenyek.

P1060276 por kepfenyek.


P1060277 por kepfenyek.


Ananya: (sáns. vaiëòava). no tener ningún otro objetivo; determinado; no dedicado a nada más.

Ananya: (sáns. vaiëòava). having no other object; undistracted; devoted to only one worhipable Lord, no one else.

Ananya Bhakti

Ananya-bhakti: (sáns. vaiëòava). devoción pura o exclusiva; devoción que no está mezclada con ningún otro deseo; devoción que tiene a Ärî Kèëòa como único objetivo.

Ananya-bhakti: (sáns. vaiëòava). exclusive or pure devotion; devotion which is not mixed with any other desires and has no objective other than Ärî Kèëòa.


Narration | Translation

Adi Parva 1 aadiparva.n
Sabha Parva 2 sabhaaparva.n
Sabha Parva 3 vanaparva.n
Sabha Parva 4 viraaTaparva.n
Udyoga Parva 5 udyogaparva.n
Bhisma Parva 6 bhiishhmaparva.n
7 droNaparva.n
Karna Parva 8 karNaparva.n
Salya Parva 9 shalyaparva.n
Sauptika Parva 10 sauptikaparva.n
Stree Parva 11 striiparva.n
Shanti Parva 12 shaa.ntiparva.n
Anushasana Parva 13 anushaasanaparva.n
Ashvamedha Parva 14 ashvamedhikaparva.n
Ashramvasika Parva 15 aashramavaasikaparva.n
Mausala Parva 16 mausalaparva.n
Mahaprasthanika Parva 17 mahaaprasthaanikaparva.n

18 svargaarohaNaparva.n

1 Adi Parva AP 59 - AP 77

AP 59

Vaisampayana continued:

After conversing with the Supreme Personality of Godhead Narayana, the demigods headed by Lord Indra agreed to descend to the earth by expanding a portion of themselves. Indra instructed all the denizens of heaven and departed from the abode of Lord Narayana.

The celestial denizens thereupon began to successively descend from heaven to earth to destroy their wicked foes and save all the worlds. O tiger among kings, the residents of heaven thus took their birth accordingly in the dynasties of godly sages and kings and began to slay the wicked Danavas, man-eating Raksasas, cruel spirits, magical snakes, and various others creatures who devoured men alive.

O best of the Bharatas, so powerful were these descended gods, even in their childhood, that they could not be killed either by the evil Danavas and Raksasas or by other cruel invaders.

King Janamejaya said:

I wish to hear now the truth about the origin of the gods and demons, the Gandharavas and Apsaras, as well as all types of human beings and the Yaksas and Raksasas. Indeed, I would like to hear you explain the origin of all living beings, from the very beginning, for you are a knower of all things.

Vaisampayana replied:

First offering my obeisances unto the self-born creator of our universe, I shall gladly explain to you in full how the demigods and all other creatures and planets appear and disappear by the will of the Lord.

It is well known that from the mind of Brahma six great sages take birth. Known as Brahma's "mental sons," their names are Marici, Atri, Angira, Pulastya, Pulaha, and Kratu. Marici's son is Kasyapa, who begot many varieties of creatures in his thirteen celestial wives, who were all daughters of Daksa.

The names of these thirteen ladies are Aditi, Diti, Danu, Kala, Anayu, Simhika, Muni, Krodha, Prava, Arista, Vinata, Kapila, and Kadru, who was surely the daughter of Daksa. From these women arose a powerful and unending descent of sons and grandsons, etc.

Aditi is the first wife, and she gave birth to the twelve godly Adityas, who rule the cosmos. O king, I shall now tell you their names. The twelve Adityas are Dhata, Mitra, Aryama, Indra, Varuna, Amsa, Bhaga, Vivasvan, Pusa, Savita, Tvasta, and Visnu. Although Lord Visnu appears as the youngest and smallest son of Aditi, He is actually the greatest of all, being the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

[Aditi had a sister named Diti, but unfortunately the sons of Diti were not godly. Rather they were the most wicked of creatures.] Diti had one famous son named Hiranya-kasipu (who threatened the entire universe until Lord Visnu appeared and killed him), and he begot five sons. The eldest was Prahlada (surprisingly a great saint and pure devotee of the Lord). Then came Samhrada, Anuhrada, and finally Sibi and Baskala.

Prahlada had three well-known sons named Virocana, Kumbha, and Nikumbha. Virocana's son was the uniquely powerful Bali, and Bali's celebrated son was the great demon named Bana.

Diti's sister Danu had forty famous sons, her first- born being King Vipracitti of widespread fame. Also known to be sons of Danu are Sambara, Namuci, Puloma, Asiloma, Kesi, Durjaya, Ayahsira, Asvasira, the mighty Ayahsanku, Gaganamurdha, Vegavan, Ketuman, Svar-bhanu, Asva, Asvapati, Vrsaparva, Ajaka, Asvagriva, Suksma, the powerful Tuhunda, Isrpa, Ekacakra, Virupaksa, Hara, Ahara, Nicandra, Nikumbha, Kupatha, Kapatha, Sarabha, Salabha, Surya, and Candra. All these sons of Danu and their descendants are known as the Danavas. (he demigods Surya and Candra [the sun and moon], who were born among the gods, are different personalities.)

O king, there are an additional ten sons of Danu who are celebrated for their great strength and stamina. In fact they are considered to be the best of the Danavas, and their names are Ekaksa, Mrtapa, the heroic Pralamba, Naraka, Vatapi, Satrutapana, the mighty demon Satha, Gavistha, Danayu, and Dirghajihva, or the "long-tongued." O Bharata, the sons and grandsons of these Danavas are practically innumerable.

Danu's sister Simhika gave birth to a son named Rahu, who always harasses the sun and moon. She had other sons named Sucandra, Candrahanta, and Candravimardana.

Simhika's sister Krura had innumerable sons and grandsons, who, being demonic by nature, cruelly cut down their enemies. The very name Krura means "cruel," and all the descendants of Krodha were known as the Krodha-vasas, or the slaves of fury.

Krodha's sister Anayu had four sons who were prominent among the demonic Asuras. These four sons were Viksara, Bala, Vira, and the great asura Vrtra.

Anayu's sister Kala, or the"lady of time," gave birth to prominent sons who were as deadly as time itself. They became highly celebrated in the world for their unusual strength, and among all the demons they were specially known to punish their enemies. These sons of Kala were renowned as Vinasana, Krodha, Krodhahanta, and Krodhasatru,

Sukra, son of the primeval sage Bhrgu, became the head priest of all the Asuras. Sukra had four sons, who also became sacrificial priests of the demons: Tvastavara, Atri, and two others who were expert in chanting mantras. These four sons of Sukra were as brilliant as the sun, and they taught their students about the world of Brahma, the creator.

Thus have I explained the origin of those bold and powerful demonic beings known as the Asuras, and I have also explained the origin of the Suras, the godly beings. This factual account comes from the ancient histories called the Puranas. These Suras and Asuras had so many descendants that it is simply not possible, O king, to name all of them, for they are virtually unlimited.

[I will conclude by briefly mentioning the children of the other wives of Kasyapa, all of whom gave birth to extraordinary progeny. These powerful women were all granddaughters of the creator, Brahma, and they helped create the variegated population of the universe.]

Vinata gave birth to Garuda and Aruna, as well as Tarksya, Aristanemi, Aruni, and Varuni. Counted among the mighty children of Kadru are Sesa, Ananta, Vasuki, Taksaka the serpent, Kurma, and Kulika.

[Muni begot sixteen godly beings endowed with musical and artistic ability beyond human experience, and their names are:] Bhimasena, Ugrasena, Suparna, Varuna, Gopati, Dhrtarastra, Suryavarca, Patravan, Arkaparna, the well-known Prayuta, Bhima, the illustrious ruler Citraratha who knew all things, and Salisira. Pradyumna, O king, is the fourteenth, Kali the fifteenth, and the sixteenth is Narada. These are the sixteen godly Gandharvasrs20up6 \chftn rootnote rs20 up6 \chftn deva-gandharvah born to the celestial lady named Muni.

I shall now describe other creatures, O Bharata. Prava gave birth to these daughters: Anavadya, Anuvasa, Anuna, Aruna, Priya, Anupa, Subhaga, and Bhasi. Like her sister Muni, Prava also gave birth to godly Gandharvas, and their names were Siddha, Purna, Barhi, the illustrious Purnasa, Brahmacari, Ratiguna, Suparna, Visvavasu, Bhanu, and Sucandra.

The very fortunate goddess Prava is also known to have given birth to a distinctly pious race of celestial pleasure maidens known as Apsaras, by her contact with a heavenly sage. These Apsaras were known as Alambusa, Misrakesi, Vidyutparna, Tulanagha, Aruna, Raksita, the very charming Rambha, Asita, Subahu, Suvrata, Subhuja, and Supriya. Atibahu, the well known Haha and Ahuhu, and Tumburu have been recorded as four very prominent Gandharvas.

According to the authoritative Puranas, Kapila is the progenitrix of the brahmanas, cows, Gandharavas, and Apsaras, and also of celestial nectar.

Thus I have explained to you the origin of all created beings, including a description of the Gandharavas, Apsaras, serpents, birds, and heavenly beings such as the Rudras and Maruts. I have explained the origin of the wealth-giving cows and of the brahmanas who are ever engaged in pious work.

Those who are not envious should always hear and teach this universal history, for it will increase our piety, prosperity, and duration of life, and we shall be happy by hearing it. Indeed, one who, in the company of learned brahmanas, systematically studies this narration of the universal lineage will obtain fine children, wealth, and fame, and after death he will go to a brilliant destination.

AP 60

Sri Vaisampayana said:

It is well known that six great sages took birth from the mind of Lord Brahma and became his sons. Lord Siva too, within his very powerful mind, conceived eleven celebrated sons named Mrgavyadha, Sarva, the famous Nirrti, Ajaikapat, Ahibudhnya, the great warrior Pinaki, Dahana, Isvara, the illustrious Kapali, Sthanu, and the most powerful Bhava. These eleven are known as the Rudras.

The six sons of Brahma are known to be Marici, Angira, Atri, Pulastya, Pulaha, and Kratu, all great and powerful sages. Of these, Angira had three sons, Brhaspati, Uttathya, and Samvarta, who are known throughout the universe. All three steadily upheld their religious vows.

O ruler of men, it is heard from authorities that Atri had many sons and that they were all great, self-realized sages, at peace with themselves and learned in the Vedic science.

From Pulastya came Raksasas, monkeys, and Kinnaras. From Pulaha, the deer, lions, tigers, and Kimpurusas originated. From Kratu came sons equal to their father, wholly devoted to a disciplined search for spiritual truth. They became companions of the Sun and were celebrated throughout the three worlds.

O protector of the earth, the exalted seer Daksa took birth from the right thumb of Brahma. Thus he who was destined to beget many children became the child of the creator. The wife of the great soul Daksa took birth from Brahma's left thumb, and the thoughtful husband begot in her fifty lotus-eyed daughters, all of whom had flawless limbs. Having lost his sons to the spiritual path, Daksa the progenitor made his young daughters the object of his affection. He offered ten of these girls in sacred mariage to the demigod Dharma, twenty-seven to Indu, lord of the heavenly moon, and he married thirteen daughters to Kasyapa, O king, with all the divine rites.

Hear from me now as I name the ten young ladies who became the wives of Dharma, who are known to be Kirti, Laksmi, Dhrti, Medha, Pusti, Sraddha, Kriya, Buddhi, Lajja, and Mati. They are the doors to dharma, or virtue, as ordained by the self-existent creator, for their names indicate, respectively, glory, fortune, determination, intelligence, nutrition, faith, endeavor, reason, modesty, and awareness.

It is widely known in this world that Soma, the Moon, has twenty-seven wives, who brilliantly keep their vows. Engaged in coordinating the passage of time, the wives of Soma are governesses of the lunar mansions and regulate the livelihood of all the world's creatures.

Lord Brahma, the thoughtful creator, had Prajapati the progenitor as his son, and Prajapati had eight sons, known as the Vasus. I shall tell you about them in detail: they are Dhara, Dhruva, Soma, Aha, Anila, Anala, Pratyusa, and Prabhasa. Dhumra is the mother of Dhara and Dhruva, who was learned in the spiritual science. Soma, lord of the moon, was born to Manasvini; Anila, lord of the wind, was born to Svasa; Aha was the son of Rata; Anala, the deity of fire, was born from Sandili; Pratyusa and Prabhasa were both born from the womb of Prabhata.

The sons of Dhara were Dravina and Huta-havyavaha, and the Lord of time, who drives on this world, appeared as the son of Dhruva. Soma's son was the radiant Varca, who begot in Manohara three sons, named Sisira, Prana, and Ramana. Jyoti is known to be the son of Aha, and so are Srama, Santa, and Muni. Agni's son is the handsome Kumara, who made his abode in a thicket of reeds. Agni's other sons are Sakha, Visakha, and Naigamesa, who is the youngest. Since Kumara was reared by Krttika, he is also known as Kartikeya.

The wife of the wind was Siva, and by the wind she bore two sons named Purojava and Avijnata-gati. It is known by authorities that Pratyusa fathered a saintly son named Devala, and Devala begot two forebearing sons, both of them thoughtful and wise.

The sister of Brhaspati was an excellent woman who achieved perfection in mystic yoga and then wandered about the entire universe as a brahmacarini, observing a vow of celibacy. She finally became the wife of Prabhasa, the eighth Vasu, and they begot the exalted Visvakarma, the forefather of artisans, the creator of thousands of arts and crafts, and the architect of the gods. As the greatest of craftsmen, he fashioned all types of ornaments and even celestial airships for the gods. Human beings still earn their livelihoods from the skills introduced by that great soul. Thus wise workers always honor the undying Visvakarma.

Splitting Brahma's right breast, Dharma lord of virtue appeared in a human like form meant to give joy to the world. His three prominent sons, Peace, Desire, and Joy, are attractive to all people, and they sustain the world by their power. Desire's wife was Affection, and the wife of Peace was Attainment; Delight became the wife of Joy, and all creatures have depended on these great personalities. Marici's son is Kasyapa, and Kasyapa begot both the Suras and Asuras. Thus, O tiger of kings, Kasyapa is the origin of the world's creatures. Savita's wife is the exalted Tvastri, who assumed the form of a mare and gave birth in the heavenly sky to the twin Asvins.

O monarch, Aditi had twelve sons headed by Lord Indra. The youngest was Lord Visnu, in whom all the worlds reside.

These are the thirty-three principle demigods, and I shall now relate to you their lineage, their associates, their diverse communities, and their families.

Know that the Rudras, Sadhyas, Maruts, and Vasus are each an individual community of gods, and so are the descendants of Bhrgu and the Visva-devas. The mighty Garuda, son of Vinata, his brother Aruna, and the lordly Brhaspati are all counted among the Adityas. All the herbs and quadrapeds, along with the twin Asvins, are counted among the Guhyakas. O king, the divisions of demigods are thus recited in sequence, and a person who so recites them is liberated from all sins.

Piercing the heart of Brahma, the blessed sage Bhrgu came out. The son of Bhrgu is the learned scholar Sukra, a sage's son who became the presiding deity of a planet. Engaged directly by Lord Brahma, he orbits the universe and watches over rain and drought, danger and safety, for the maintanence of all the world's creatures. A master teacher and practitioner of the yoga system, wise and fixed in his vows of celibacy and possessed of superb intelligence, he became the guru of both the demons and the gods. When Bhrgu's son was thus engaged by the creator for the sustenance of the world, Bhrgu then begot another faultless son named Cyavana, who was brilliant in austerity, thoroughly religious, and deeply thoughtful. It is this son, O Bharata, who angrily fell from the womb to save his mother.

Arusi was the daughter of Manu, and she became the wife of the thoughtful Cyavana. Breaking open her thigh, Aurva took birth as her son, and he was an exceptional ascetic of great power, endowed with fine qualities even as a child.

Aurva's son was Rcika, and his son was Jamadagni. The great soul Jamadagni had four sons. Parasurama, although the youngest, was not the least in His qualities, for He was expert in all weapons and missles, and with His supreme controlling power He brought doom to all the warriors on the earth.

Aurva had a hundred sons who came after Jamadagni. They had thousands of sons and thus widely expanded the line of Bhrgu. Brahma had two other sons who still exert a visible influence on this world. Known as Dhata and Vidhata, they are situated with Manu. The sister of these two is the beautiful Goddess of Fortune, Laksmi, who dwells in a lotus flower. Her mind-born sons are celestial horses that roam the heavens.

Begotten by Sukra, the goddess Jyestha became the wife of Varuna, and know that she gave birth to a son Bala and a spirituous beverage that delights the Suras.

When the the world's creatures, in their lust for food, began to eat one another, there arose irreligion, which is the ruination of all beings. Irreligion took Nirrti, Calamity, as his wife, and thus the Raksasas, man-eating demons, are also called Nairrtas. Calamity had three loathsome sons known as Fear, Terror, and Death, who ends all creatures.

The goddess Tamra gave birth to five children, who are known throughout the universe as Kaki, Syeni, Bhasi, Dhrtarastri, and Suki. Kaki gave birth to the owls, and Syeni to the hawks, eagles, and other birds of prey. Bhasi begot the vultures and other scavenger birds, O king, and the lovely Dhrtarastri begot the swans, geese, and cakra-vakas.

O knower of justice, thoughtful Suki, endowed with sublime qualities and glorified with all good attributes, gave birth to the colorful parrots. Also, from within herself she gave birth to nine angry daughters named Mrgi, Mrgamanda, Hari, Bhadramana, Matangi, Sarduli, Sveta, Surabhi, and the famous Surasa, endowed with all good qualities. All of the deer took birth as offspring of Mrgi, O son of the greatest king, and from Mrgamanda came the bears, marsh deer, and yaks.

Bhadramana bore as her son the mighty elephant Airavata, who became the elephant of the gods, and the offspring of Hari were varieties of agile monkeys. Sarduli gave birth to the lions and tigers, O Bharata, as well to all the panthers, leopards, and other spotted cats.

O king, the offspring of Matangi are the elephants, and Sveta gave birth to Sveta, known to be the swift and mighty elephant who stands in a quarter of the sky. Similarly, O king, Surabhi gave birth to two daughters: Rohini and the highly regarded Gandharvi. The cows then took birth from within Rohini, and the horses became sons of Gandharvi. Surasa bore the serpents, and Kadru brought forth the snakes, while Anala gave birth to the seven kinds of trees that bear round fruits. Suki was the daughter of Anala, and Surasa was the daughter of Kadru.

Syeni was the wife of Aruna, and she gave birth to two heroic and mighty sons named Sampati and Jatayu. Two illustrious sons were also born to Vinata: Garuda and Aruna.

O lord of men, I have now explained to you in detail the origin of all the great divisions of creatures. O best of the wise, a person who seriously listens to this narration is purified of sin, obtains complete knowledge, and discovers the highest goal of life.

AP 61

King Janamejaya said:

My lord, I would like to hear systematically and in truth about the birth and activities of demigods, Danavas, Yaksas, Raksasas, and other great-spirited beings who incarnated on the earth in the midst of mankind.

Sri Vaisampayana said:

The denizens of higher worlds did in fact appear among human beings, O lord of men, and among them I shall first fully explain the descent of the Danavas.

The Danava leader known as Vipracitti incarnated on the earth as King Jarasandha. O king, Diti's son, known as Hiranyakasipu, took birth in human society as King Sisupala. Samhrada, the younger brother of Prahlada Maharaja, took birth as Salya, the illustrious leader of the Bahlikas. The mighty Anuhrada, Prahlada Maharaja's youngest brother, took birth as the lordly King Dhrstaketu. O king, the celebrated descendant of Diti, Sibi, appeared on the earth as King Druma. The prominent Asura named Baskala became Bhagadatta, a lord among men.

O king, there were five mighty Asuras named Ayahsira, Asvasira, Ayahsanku, Gaganamurdha, and Vegavan; these took birth as most exalted kings, becoming the great rulers of Kekaya.

Another well known and powerful Asura, Ketuman, incarnated on the earth as King Amitauja. The great and handsome Asura who was celebrated as Svarbhanu took birth on the earth as the fierce monarch Ugrasena. The great and handsome Asura who was celebrated as Asva became the courageous and invincible King Asoka. His younger brother named Asvapati, a descendent of Diti, became King Hardikya, a ruler of men.

The great and hansome Asura who was celebrated as Vrsaparva became the earthly King Dirghaprajna. O king, the younger brother of Vrsaparva, Ajaka, became celebrated on earth as King Malla. The mighty Asura named Asvagriva became the earthly King Rocamana. Celebrated Suksma, of intelligence and fame, achieved fame on the earth as the ruler Brhanta.

The prominent Asura named Tuhunda incarnated on earth as the famous King Senabindu. The strongest of the Asuras, named Isrpa, was widely known on earth as King Papajit. The great Asura called Ekacakra became celebrated in this world as Prativindhya, and the great Asura and wonderful fighter named Virupaksa, in the line of Diti, became well known on earth as King Citravarma.

The illustrious Danava named Hara, who could sweep away his enemies, took birth as Suvastu, a leader of men. The powerful Ahara, who could destroy whole armies of his enemies, became glorified on the earth as King Bahlika. The leading Asura named Nicandra, whose face was as handsome as the moon, became the opulent king named Munjakesa. The intelligent Nikumbha, undefeated in battle, took birth on earth as illustrious King Devadhipa.

The great Asura son of Diti, Sarabha, lived among the humankind as the saintly King Paurava. He who was Salabha the Second among the Asuras became Prahrada, the Bahlika king. Candra, senior in the line of Diti and handsome as the moon, became an important and saintly king named Rsika. Know that the prominent Asura who was widely known as Mrtapa subsequently became King Pascimanupaka, O best of kings. The great Asura known as the mighty Gavistha came to earth as King Drumasena.

The great and opulent Asura known as Mayura became celebrated as the earthly ruler Visva. His younger brother Suparna became Kalakirti, a ruler of the world. The eminent Asura Candrahanta became the saintly monarch Sunaka, a leader of men. The great Asura Candra-vinasana became the saintly monarch Janaki, a leader of men.

O son of the Kurus, the Danava leader called Dirghajihva became an earthly ruler known as Kasiraja, and Graha, Simhi's son, who harassed both the sun and the moon, appeared again as Kratha, a ruler of mankind. The mighty Asura named Viksara, eldest of Anayu's four sons, became King Vasumitra, and the second son after Viksara, O king, was a great Asura who became the well-known king of Pamsu.

The illustrious Asura named Balavira became a ruler of men named Paundramatsyaka. O king, the great Asura celebrated as Vrtra became the saintly King Maniman. His younger brother, the Asura Krodhahanta, became famous on earth as King Danda. Another highly praised Asura named Krodhavardhana appeared in this world as King Dandadhara. Of Kalaka's sons, eight took birth as earthly kings and ruled with the courage of tigers, O tiger of a king.

The oldest of the eight Kaleyas was a grand Asura who took birth as the opulent ruler of Magadha, King Jayatsena. The second son, equal to Lord Indra, became the opulent King Aprajita. O king, the third was a grand Asura with mighty arms, and he took birth on earth as a Nisada ruler with frightening prowess. The fourth son of this clan became celebrated as Sreniman, eminent among saintly kings. The fifth was a great and distinguished Asura who became famous as Mahauja, a warrior who was punishing in combat. The sixth was a great and learned Asura who gained prominence as Abhiru, eminent among all saintly kings. The seventh from that group became King Samudrasena, famous everywhere on the water-bounded earth as an expert in morality and practical action. O king, the eighth of the Kaleyas was the virtuous Brhat, who, though fiery in battle, worked for the welfare of all beings.

I have already described to you a group known as the Krodhavasas and they also took birth on the earth as heroic kings. Their names were Nandika, Karnavesta, Siddhartha, Kitaka, Suvira, Subahu, Mahavira, Bahlika, Krodha, Vicitya, Surasa, opulent King Nila, King Viradhama, and King Bhumipala, O Kuru prince. There were still others: Dantavaktra, Durjaya, and Rukmi, a tiger of a king, and another king named Janamejaya; Asadha, Vayuvega, and Bhuriteja, Ekalavya; Sumitra, Vatadhana, and Gomukha; the kings of Karusaka, Ksemadhurti, Srutayu, Uddhava, and Brhatsena; Ksema Ugratirtha, Kuhara, the king of Kalinga, Matiman, and, O ruler of men, the famous Isvara. Maharaja, it was thus from the host of Krodhavasas that this crowd of illustrious and mighty monarchs took birth on the earth.

He who was born in this world as King Devaka, equal in splendor to the king of gods, formerly was the chief ruler of the Gandharvas. O Bharata, know that from a portion of Brhaspati, the illustrious sage and priest of the gods Drona was born as the son of Bharadvaja without having entered a woman's womb. O tiger amoung kings, Drona was the best of archers and the greatest teacher of all kinds of weapons. He enjoyed wide fame and wielded extraordinary power. This exalted individual took birth among men, and Vedic scholars recognize his proficiency in the Dhanur Veda, the military science, and in the original Veda as well. Indeed, his feats were like those of Indra, and he caused his family to flourish.

Then, O Bharata, from portions of Lord Siva, and the lord of death, and personified lust and anger-- all mixed into one-- the lotus-eyed son of Drona took birth in this world. Known as Asvatthama, he was a hero and was painful to his enemies.

Because of the curse of Vasista, as well as a command from Indra, the eight Vasus took birth from the womb of Ganga as royal sons of King Santanu. The youngest of them was the wise and eloquent Bhisma, who brought security to the House of Kuru. A knower of the Veda, he could destroy an entire enemy and its allies. So powerful was Bhisma, that best of enlightened men, that he even fought with Lord Parasurama, the incarnation of Godhead who appeared in this world as a descendent of Bhrgu.

O king, know that from the host of Rudras a superhuman sage by the name of Krpa took birth in this world. Know too that all the faults of the Dvapara Age became personified in King Sakuni, who appeared in this world as a Maha-ratha, a warrior of the highest caliber who could torment his foes in battle.

Satyaki, who was true to his word, who uplifted the Vrsni clan, and who punished his foes in battle, came from the host of wind-gods, known as the Maruts, and the saintly King Drupada, a master of weapons, O king, came from the same godly host and took birth in the world of men. Know, O king, that the incomparable King Krtavarma, distinguished among the warrior class, also came from the lords of the wind. And from that same host of wind-gods, another fierce warrior took birth-- the saintly king Virata, who blazed like fire in the kingdom of his enemies.

Arista's son, famous as Hamsa, expanded the Kuru dynasty when he took birth as Gandharvapati. O king, the long-armed and mighty Dhrtarastra appeared as the son of the learned sage Krsna-dvaipayana, and although he possessed the eye of knowledge, by his mother's error he was born blind. His younger brother was the widely known Pandu, a pure-hearted and truthful king of great strength and stamina. The most exalted son of sage Atri-- indeed the best of sons-- took birth in this world as saintly Vidura, the wisest of men.

From a portion of Kali, who degrades all humankind, evil-minded Duryodhana took birth, full of evil schemes and destined to create infamy for the House of Kuru. Envious of the entire world, this personification of strife, this very lowest of men, laid all the world to waste when he ignited a raging inferno of war that consumed countless creatures.

All the brothers of Duryodhana had been sons of Pulastya, and they now took birth as human beings. They numbered one hundred and were headed by Duhsasana. All were wont to perform acts of cruelty-- men such as Durmukha and Duhsaha, and others who will not be mentioned here, O best of the Bharatas. As sons of Pulastya they became the constant companions of Duryodhana.

On the other hand, O king, know that King Yudhisthira took birth in this world as a portion of Justice, Bhimasena as a portion of the Wind, and Arjuna as a portion of the king of gods. Portions of the twin Asvins appeared as Nakula and Sahadeva, who possessed an incomparable beauty that attracted the entire world.

He who was formerly Suvarca, the heroic son of the Moon, became Arjuna's most celebrated son, Abhimanyu. And know that the Maha-ratha Dhrstadyumna, a warrior of the highest category, was a portion of Fire, and that Sikhandi, O king, who was both male and female, was born from the race of Raksasas. O best of the Bharatas, you should also know that the five sons of Draupadi came from the celestial group called the Visvedevas. Morever, you may know that Karna, the Maha-ratha warrior born with armor built into his body, was a unique portion of the day-making god of the sun.

However, He who is the God of all gods, the eternal Lord Narayana, also descended to earth, appearing among human beings as a powerful prince named Vasudeva. The divine Sesa appeared as the almighty Baladeva. Know too, O king, that Sanat-kumara appeared as the mighty Pradyumna. Many other celestial denizens also took birth in the family of Vasudeva through their empowered expansions and caused that holy family to flourish.

I have already described the community of celestial maidens called Apsaras. By the order of Indra, a pure segment of these was born on earth, and those sixteen thousand pure-hearted goddesses became the wives of Lord Narayana. For the sake of loving service, a special portion of the Goddess of Fortune took birth from a sacrificial altar and appeared on the surface of the earth as a faultless virgin in the family of King Drupada. She was neither too short nor very tall, and her body bore the exquisite fragrance of a blue lotus. Her eyes were wide and soft like lotus petals, her thighs were handsomely shaped, and her hair was long and dark. Her entire body was endowed with auspicious and charming signs, as lovely as the invaluable Vaidurya gem, and in private moments and places she captured the mind of the five best men in the world, the sons of Pandu.

Two goddessess, the personifications of Success and Determination, took birth as the mothers of those five men and were known as Kunti and Madri. Another goddess, who was the personified Thoughtfulness, took birth as Gandhari, the daughter of King Subala.

O king, I have now described to you the descent to this world of empowered portions of the gods, demons, Gandharvas, Apsaras, and of the Raksasas, who rose up on this earth as monarchs mad for war. To counter them great souls also rose up on earth and took their birth in the noble dynasty of the Yadus.

This narration of the empowered incarnations should be heard without envy, for the sincere listener will achieve fortune, fame, good children, and victory. One who hears of the empowered incarnation of gods, Gandharvas, and Raksasas, and thus fully understands how living beings appear and dissapear in this world, is said to possess true wisdom and never falls down under the weight of worldly pains.

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King Janamejaya said:

O brahmana, I have now heard from you a full description of how the gods, demons, and Raksasas, along with the Gandharvas and Apsaras, descended to this earth. Now O learned one, in the presence of all the saintly sages I wish to hear from you about the Kuru dynasty, from its very beginning.

Sri Vaisampayana said:

A hero named Duhsanta helped to establish the old Paurava dynasty, and his domain, noble Bharata, extended to the four ends of the earth. Holding sway over the four quarters of the earth, this lord of men gained unquestioned victory on all the ocean-bounded lands. A devastator of enemies, Duhsanta enjoyed sovereignty over all nations, whether settled by uncultured Mlecchas, forest dwellers, or civilized followers of varnasrama, for he ruled all land between the jewel-bearing seas.

So rich and giving was the earth when Duhsanta ruled, that people did not have to labor to plow the earth or dig mines; not a single sinful man existed when Duhsanta was king; men begot children with noble aims, and not out of lust. When he was king, O tiger among men, people enjoyed rendering service, they delighted in virtue, and thus their goodness and prosperity increased. My son, no fear of thieves existed, nor was there even the slightest fear of hunger or crippling disease when he was lord of the country. Teachers, rulers, merchants, farmers, and workers all took pleasure in their own duties, for they understood that their labor was a sacrifice unto God. They did not covet the things of their neighbor. All the citizens found factual shelter in the king and thus lived without the slightest fear. Rain poured down in its due season, food grains were plentiful, and the world was wealthy with jewels and gems. All resources were present in profusion.

Duhsanta was an extraordinarly powerful warrior; his youthful body seemed built of thunderbolts. With his two arms he could drag the Mandara Mountain with its forests and groves. In archery and in club- and sword-fighting, whether on the back of an elephant or horse, he was fully accomplished. In strength he was like a second Visnu, in splendor like the sun, as unshakeable as the ocean, and as tolerant as the earth. The people rejoiced in his rule, for he brought peace and happiness to both the cities and the country. He thus lived in a learned society where people considered spiritual principles and virtue to be their highest priority.

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Sri Vaisampayana continued:

Once this mighty-armed king went to the dense forest accompanied by an imposing formation of troops and military vehicles and surrounded by hundreds of cavalry and elephants. Hundreds of warriors bearing swords and lances, with clubs and maces in their hands, and others brandishing javelins and spears, covered him at all times. These fighting men roared like lions, and as their sound mixed with the stirring blasts of the conchshells, the deep rumbling of drums, the warning rattle of chariot wheels, the trumpeting of battle elephants, the proud whinnying of war-horses, the excited talk of the men, and the sounds of warriors slapping their bulging arms, a joyful tumult arose as the monarch went splendidly forward.

On the roof gardens of fine palaces, ladies of the capital watched the heroic king whose deeds had brought him glory. Being fascinated by all the genuine beauty and splendor of their king, who was equal to Indra, who slew any man who harmed the citizens, and who stopped even mighty elephants in their tracks, the crowds of aristocratic ladies thought him to be a second thunderbolt-wielding Indra, and thus they remarked to one another, "This monarch is like a tiger among men, for his prowess in battle is amazing. Those who dare wish us ill will meet the strength of his arms and will cease to exist."

Speaking thus, the women praised the king with love and released showers of flowers upon his head. As leading brahmanas on all sides joyously praised his righteous rule with their poetic hymns, Duhsanta departed for the forest to hunt wild game. For long distances the people of the town and country followed him, until at last the king bid them farewell, whereupon they returned to their homes. As Lord Visnu rides atop Garuda, the ruler of the abundant earth surged forward upon his chariot filling both heaven and earth with its threatening sound.

Riding along, the wise Duhsanta beheld a forest that resembled the Nandana woods of heaven, for it was filled with lovely Arka and Bilva bushes and Khadira trees, and crowded with excellent fruit trees like Kapittha and Dhava. It was a vast forest with occasional high mountain plateaus that spread for many tens of miles, on rolling, rocky soil. Though without a trace of man or water, the forest was filled with deer and many fearful forest creatures.

With his servant, soldiers, and mounts, Duhsanta, a tigerlike man, brought devastation to that forest, slaying varieties of fearsome beasts. He brought down many packs of tigers who came within reach of his arrows, breaking them apart with his shafts. This bull among men pierced some from afar with arrows, and he cut down with a single sword those deadly beasts who rushed near him. He brought down some wild bull antelopes with his lance, for he was the strongest of men. He knew the science of whirling a club in combat, and he moved about the forest with immeasurable courage. With javelins, swords, clubs, maces, and spears he roamed here and there, killing wild forest beasts and birds of prey. With his fighting men so fond of battle, the wonderfully powerful king wrought havoc in that great and wild forest and the big beasts abandoned it.

Herds of animals, their flocks dispersed, their leaders slain, cried out again and again in desperation. Already emaciated for lack of water, they went to the dry rivers, their hearts overcome by exertion, and fell down in a faint. Afflicted with hunger and thirst, exausted and fallen on the earth, they were immediately eaten by the starving warriors. Some ate the animals raw while others took the time to cook and cut the meat.

Several mighty and maddened elephants, wounded by weapons, curled up their trunks and quickly fled in fear. Passing urine and stool and streaming blood, these savage and noble elephants trampled many warriors as they fled. Covered by the rain of arrows, which poured down from that cloud of military might, the forest was conspicuously filled with harmless buffalo, for the king had cut down the great and dangerous beasts.

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Sri Vaisampayana continued:

Thereupon, having slain thousands of great beasts, the king, with his numerous mounts, entered another forest in search of big game. Hunger and thirst were a problem now, and upon reaching the end of the forest, he came to a wide desert. But this king alone, with his extraordinary stamina and dedicated army, crossed that barren land and came to another large forest that was filled with excellent hermitages, a forest so lovely that it filled the king's mind with jubilation and his eyes with joy and affection. Cool breezes wafted all about, and flowering trees grew in lush profusion. There were rich green meadows and the melodious songs of soaring birds. All around that large forest land were elderly trees, whose spreading branches offered refreshing shade. Flowering creepers hummed with busy six-footed bees; a surpassing beauty permeated the land.

In this forest there was not a single tree that did not give fruit or flower, nor was there a tree with thorns, nor one that did not swarm with joyous bumblebees. There were blossoming flowers of all seasons on the trees, and the meadowland was exceedingly green and lush. Birds filled the sky with song, and fruits adorned every nook and corner of the woods. The great archer could not but enter such a supremely enchanting forest.

As if to welcome him, the wind shook the flower-bearing trees, which poured down a rainbow shower of fragrant blossoms again and again. Garbed in garments of many-colored flowers, vibrant with the sweet melodies of the soaring birds, the glorious trees happily reached out to the sky. Amid their shoots, bent low with the weight of flowering blooms, birds cried out their sweet cries, and bees hummed softly.

The mighty king contemplated the delicate art of the forest, the numerous areas adorned with outpourings of flowers, interlaced with creepers that curled into natural cottages that delighted the mind. Seeing all this the monarch became light-hearted and jubilant.

Bright as Indra's banner, the forest shone with flower-burdened trees whose colorful branches clasped around one another. Comfortably cool and fragrant, the wind blew about the forest, approaching the trees as if to enjoy their embrace, and wafting away their flowery pollen. This enchanting woodland was endowed with so many agreeable qualities, and the king gazed upon it all. Growing on the rich soil of a river valley, the luscious groves stood tall and bright like banners floating on high masts.

Looking upon that forest with its jubilant birds, the king noticed an excellent and most pleasant hermitage that immediately captured his mind. Filled with a rich assortment of trees and bright with the blazing of sacrificial fires, the hermitage was peopled by celestial Valakhilya sages and communities of saintly scholars. Carpets of flowers spread all about, and to host the flames of sacrifice, there were many large temples graciously set on the broad river banks of the Malini River, whose water was pure and full of pleasure and whose colorful canopy of song-birds added charm to the forest wherein ascetics lived. In the sublime ambience of that hermitage, vicious beasts of prey and gentle deer lived together in peace. When he saw all this, the king's heart knew great happiness.

As the handsome warrior king drew near the hermitage, it shone like the spiritual world, so thoroughly charming was that abode of saints. He beheld a river of the purest water firmly embracing the hermitage, flowing like the life-giving mother of all living things. She bore flowers and bubbles down her wavey currents, and Cakravaka birds sported on her sandy banks. She gave life to the Kinnaras who resided there, and to the monkeys and bears that knew her waters.

Sacred mantras sounded over her currents, and her brilliant sandy shores were a sporting ground for bull elephants, tigers, and lordly snakes. Seeing the stature of the hermitage, and of the river that enclosed it, that ruler of men decided to enter. As the holy abode of Nara and Narayana is beautified by the sacred Ganges, so was that hermitage bejeweled by the Malini River with her lovely isles and banks. The king entered the great forest retreat, which was alive with the cries of maddened peacocks.

Having come to a hermitage that resembled the celestial gardens of Citraratha, King Duhsanta, ruler of the earth, realized that it was the home of a most exalted saint named Kanva. The king was eager to see the great ascetic Kanva, of the line of Kasyapa, knowing that he possessed all good qualities and an indescribeable effulgence.

Placing his chariot and horses and infantry guard at the entrance to the forest retreat, the king said to his men, "I shall go see the peaceful sage Kanva, whose wealth is austerity. Stay here until I return, [for it is not proper to approach a holy man with soldiers and weapons]."

Simply by approaching the wooded retreat, which seemed like a celestial garden, the king forgot his hunger and thirst and experienced instead a deep satisfaction and joy. Putting aside all the visible traces of kingship, the monarch went forward to the sublime hermitage with only a counselor and priest to accompany him, eager to behold the saint whose accumlated austerities were inexhaustible.

As he observed the hermitage, like unto a second world of Brahma, with the sweet humming of bees and the songs of variegated flocks of birds, the king then heard the most learned brahmanas precisely chanting the Rg Veda in the midst of sacrificial performances. The hermitage was further glorified by learned scholars who knew the entire science of sacrifice and who executed it with the utmost sequential precision. These sages were staunch and rigidly regulated in their habits, and their knowledge was immeasureable. The very best scholars of the Atharva Veda, who were fully certified by the sacrificial experts, chanted the Samhita hymns with exact meter, sequence, and inflection.

Other brahmanas beautifully chanted the hymns of spiritual purification, and with such vibrant, auspicious sounds in the air, the handsome hermitage indeed resembled the world of the creator. Here were scholars who specialized in methodologies of sanctifying sacrifices, others who had mastered the sequences and phonetics of the science of sound, others who possessed a full and logical comprehension of the categorical analysis of the universe, and others who were doctors of all the Vedas.

There were also scholars who had mastered conjunction and compounding as well as the contextual significance of language; others had advanced knowledge of the societal division of labor; and others practiced the religious principles of spiritual liberation. There were scholars who were inclined to precise argumentation, who had learned to establish a thesis, discard unsound challenges to this thesis, and then reach a perfect conclusion of knowledge of the Absolute Truth. The best of worldly scholars were also present, and the hermitage resounded all around with the sounds of learning and knowledge.

Everywhere he turned, the great warrior saw learned and self-controled sages who were strict in their vows, devoted to the chanting of mantras and dediciated to the performance of sacrifice, each sage perfect in his field. Seeing the beautiful varieties of seats and chairs, lovingly crafted with flowers, the king of the earth was astonished. As he watched the learned brahamanas worship in the temples dedicated to the Supreme Lord and His powerful representatives, the best of rulers felt that he was standing on the planet of Brahma the creator. As he studied this brilliant asrama, which was protected from all sorts of evil by the austerities of Kanva and endowed with all the beauty and wealth of the ascetic life, he was still not satiated and wanted to see more. Accompanied still by his counselor and priest, the great warrior then entered the temple of Kanva, which was surrounded on all sides by saints and ascetics who had taken mighty vows. This special sanctum was secluded, pure, and extremely enchanting.

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Sri Vaisampayana continued:

Thereafter the mighty-armed King Duhsanta left his few advisers behind and went on alone. But upon reaching the secluded temple, he did not see the saint Kanva. Finding the asrama empty, he cried out, "Is anyone here?" and his voice thundered through the woods.

Hearing the king, a gorgeous maiden, as lovely as the Goddess of Fortune, came out of the asrama wearing the dress of a female ascetic. Seeing King Duhsanta, the black-eyed maiden immediately said, "Welcome to our asrama," and received him with honor. She honored him with a proper seat, water to wash his feet, and other gracious paraphernalia. O king, she then inquired about the monarch's health and well-being. After properly honoring the king and sincerely inquiring about his health, she smiled shyly and said, "Please tell me how we can serve you."

Having been properly received by that maiden of sweet words and gentle voice, and observing now that each of her limbs was perfectly shaped, the king said unto her, "I have come here to worship the exalted saint Kanva. Good woman, where has the great one gone? Please tell me, O lovely lady."

Sakuntala said:

The great one is my father, and he has left the asrama to gather fruits. Kindly wait a moment, for he will be back soon and then you will see him.

Sri Vaisampayana said:

Not finding the sage present and being thus greeted instead by the tender virgin Sakuntala, King Duhsanta could not help but notice that she was a beautiful young lady with raised hips and a fascinating smile. Her youthful body, purified by austerity and self-control, was radiant and gorgeous. Thus the king said to her, "O lovely maiden, who are you, and who is taking care of you? Why have you come to this forest? You are so lovely and kind. Tell me where you have come from, my fair one. Good woman, just by seeing you, my heart has been stolen. I would like to know more about you; so please speak to me, lovely lady."

Thus addressed by the king in that spiritual dwelling, the young virgin smiled and spoke in a gentle voice, "I am considered to be the daughter of the illustrious sage Kanva, who is an advanced and determined ascetic, famous for his knowledge of religious principles."

King Duhsanta said:

The blessed saint Kanva Muni practices strict celibacy, and thus the entire world worships him. Dharma himself might deviate from his religious path, but not that sage of rigid vows. How then could you possibly be his daughter, lovely maiden? I am very skeptical about your statement, so please remove my doubt.

Sakuntala said:

O king, please listen and I will tell you how I came to know the story of my birth and how I became the daughter of this great celibate sage. A saintly brahmana once visited this asrama and, like you, was surprised to hear that I was Kanva's daugher. He asked Kanva about my birth. Please hear, O king, for I will now repeat what the illustrious Kanva said to him:

"Once in the past the powerful ascetic Visvamitra was performing severe austerities that greatly disturbed Lord Indra, who reflected, `By his austerities this Visvamitra has become surcharged with so much power that he may push me from my ruling position and take my place.' Indra thus became frightened and called the heavenly pleasure maiden, `Menaka,' and said to her, `Dear Menaka, you have so many divine qualities that you are the best of the Apsaras. O kind woman, please help me! Listen to what I am about to tell you.

"The great ascetic Visvamitra, who shines like the sun, constantly practices the most frightening austerities, and thus he makes my heart shake. Dear Menaka, O thin-waisted girl, Visvamitra has caused a predicament that you must solve. He is so strict and unyielding in his austerities that he is virtually invincible. Yet he must not cause me to fall from my position! Approach him and incite him with desire for you. Break his austerities! Do me this great favor.

"O shapely one, with your beauty and youth, with the sweet movements of your body, and with your fascinating smile and speech, you must attract Visvamitra and stop him from performing his austerities.

Lovely Menaka replied:

As a great personality you know very well that he too is a personality of tremendous power, and because he is constantly engaged in the most difficult austerities he has a terrible temper. When even you are so worried about his power and austerity, and his bad temper, how can I not worry? That great soul is so powerful that he even stole the beloved children of the almighty sage Vasista. Just see the strength and tenacity of Visvamitra! He was born first as a warrior but became a brahmana by force. To keep himself clean, he created a huge river, the Kausiki, which is difficult to cross, and which people now consider to be one of the most sacred rivers in the world. Formerly when that great soul was experiencing difficult times, the saintly and religious King Matanga, who had become a hunter, maintained Visvamitra's wife. When Visvamitra's time of scarcity was over and he again went to his own asrama, he changed the name of his river to the Para. Being grateful to Matanga, Visvamitra then engaged him in such a powerful sacrifice that even you, O lord of the gods, had to come in fear and drink the Soma at that rite.up6 \chftn rootnote rs20up6 \chftn Matanga, also known as Trisanka, aspired to ascend to heaven in his mortal body. He first requested the sage Vasistha to perform a great sacrifice for him, and when Vasistha refused, Trisanka next appealed to Vasistha's one hundred sonsr228rs20 , who not only refused him but cursed him to become a hunter. Visvamitra took up Trisanka's cause, performed the sacrifice, and invited all the demigods who refused to come. Angered by their refusal, Visvamitra personally transported Trisanka to heaven by his own power. When the demigods again threw him down head-first, Visvamitra checked his fall and kept him suspened in the sky, where Trisanka formed the Southern Cross constellation.

Angry with the demigods, he simply created his own constellations with a wealth of stars, headed by the all-important Sravana.

I am very much afraid of a person who can perform such deeds. O mighty Indra, tell me how I should conduct myself so that Visvamitra does not become furious and burn me to ashes. With his power he can set fire to the planets; he can shake the entire earth by stamping his foot, and if he wished, he could squeeze mighty Mount Meru into a little ball and set it spinning.

How can a young woman like me simply go up and touch a sage who has conquered his senses and whose austerities have practically turned him into a blazing fire? How can one like me dare touch a man whose mouth is like a raging fire and whose tongue is like fatal time? O best of the gods, the pupils of his eyes loom as large as the sun and moon. The lord of death, the god of the moon, the great sages and Sadhyas, the Visvedevas, the Valakhilyas-- all creatures are frightened by his power. How, then, can a young womenup6 \chftn rootnote rs20 rs18up6 \chftn in my position not be frightened?

Yet, O lord of the gods, now that you have so ordered me, how can I not approach that sage? But please, O king of the Devas, think about my safety! For your own sake see that I am protected as I go to carry out my mission.

O lord, it will be excellent if the wind-god scatters my dress and exposes me as I frolic in front of the sage. Morever, by your mercy, let Manmatha, the agitating god of love, personally assist me. So too, as I begin to seduce the sage, a wonderfully fragrant wind should blow over us.

Indra agreed to all that Menaka requested, and as soon as he had made the proper arrangements she went to the hermitage of Visvamitra.

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Sri Sakuntala continued Kanva's story:

Thus addressed by the Apsara maiden, Lord Indra gave appropriate instructions to the ever-moving Wind, and Menaka immediately departed with him. Upon her arrival, the shapely Menaka, still apprehensive, beheld the sage who had burned up his sins by austerities, and even as she looked on, Visvamitra was executing even more austerities.

She offered him respectful greetings and then began to play within his vision. As planned, the Wind blew away her dress, which was as bright as the shining moon. As the wind revealed her celestial complexion, she quickly fell to the ground and clung to her dress, smiling bashfully. As she anxiously grabbed at her cloth, Menaka appeared bewildered, unable to cover herself, and the best of sages clearly saw the indescribeable beauty of her youthful form.

Beholding the quality of her body, the exalted brahmana yearned to unite with her and thus fell under the control of sex desire. He then invited her to join him, and she, of flawless form, gladly accepted. For a long time, the two of them played together in the woods and enjoyed the pleasure of sex as they wished. Their long affair went by as if it were but a single day.

Upon a lovely Himalayan plateau, near the river Malini, the sage begot in Menaka a daughter named Sakuntala. As soon as the child was born, Menaka abandoned her on the bank of the Malini. Her duty done, she quickly returned to Indra's opulent planet. Seeing the infant lying helpless in a lonely forest filled with lions and tigers, a group of birds carefully protected her on all sides. The birds were determined that meat-craving beasts not harm the child, and so they stayed there and carefully guarded Menaka's daughter.

I, Kanva, went to that riverbank to cleanse myself and saw the infant girl lying there, protected only by the birds in that beautiful, lonely forest. Taking her with me, I brought her up as my own daughter.

According to religious principles, there are three kinds of fathers: first, the one who begets the child; second, the one who saves the child's life; and third, the one who feeds and maintains the child. Because this girl was so well protected by the birds (who are known as Sakunta), I gave her the name Sakuntala.

Thus, O gentle sage, you should know that Sakuntala is actually my daughter, and in her own innocent mind Sakuntala has accepted me as her father.

[Sakuntala concluded:]

That is how Kanva explained my birth to a great sage who had asked him about it. O ruler of men, you should thus know me to be Kanva's daughter. I fully accept Kanva as my father, for I have never known my other father.

I have now explained to you the story of my birth, O king, exactly as I heard it from my father.


King Duhsanta said:

Judging from your words, fine lady, it is very clear that you are actually a king's daughter. Become my wife, O maiden of lovely hips. Just tell me what I can do for you. On this very day I shall bring you garlands of gold, the finest garments, earrings, and anklets, and glowing gems from many different countries. O most beautiful woman, I shall bring you lockets and bracelets and precious skins. Just be my wife, lovely girl, and this very day let my entire kingdom be yours.

My dear shy one, the Gandharva marriage, which takes place out of love, without consulting the parents, is considered the best form of wedlock for men and women of the royal class. Therefore, O beautiful one, with lovely thighs as soft and round as a banana tree, come to me by the Gandharva rite.

Sri Sakuntala said:

Dear king, my father has just now gone from the hermitage to gather some fruit. Please, wait a short time, and he will personally bestow me upon you.

Duhsanta said:

O innocent girl of shapely form, I want you to accept me. Know that I stand here only for you, for my mind has already gone to you. One must be a true friend to oneself, for everyone must achieve his own goal in life. Therefore, by the laws of God, you should give yourself to me now.

After all, religious codes recognize eight kinds of marriage, which, in brief, are the Brahma, the Daiva, the Arsa, the Prajapatya, the Asura, the Gandharva, the Raksasa, and finally the Paisaca. Manu, Brahma's son, has described the relative virtues of these different forms of marriage, and he states that the first four are recommended for brahmanas. You should also know that the first six are considered proper for those in the royal order, O faultless one. For kings, even the Raksasa marriage is approved, and the Asura marriage is authorized for Vaisyas and Sudras. Of the five, three are proper and two improper.

The Paisaca and Asura marriages are never to be practiced by those in the royal order. It is by following these rules that we know our duty and the proper means of practicing virtue.

Please don't worry. I assure you that for kings the Gandharva and Raksasa marriages are perfectly in accord with religious principles. Either separately or in combination, both forms of marriage may be performed. There is thus no doubt about it. O lovely lady, I desire you and you also desire me. Now, by your own choice, please be my wife by the Gandharva marriage.

Sri Sakuntala said:

If this is actually the path of virtue (since we are both of the royal order), and if I am truly my own master when it comes to offering myself to a man, then, O best of the Purus, hear my proposal. My lord, promise me in truth that you will grant what I now beg of you in this secluded place. If I marry you, the son who is born to me will be your successor as king. Pledge to me in truth, great king, that my son will be the crown prince. If it will be thus, Duhsanta, then I will unite with you at once.

Sri Vaisampayana said:

Without even considering the issue, the king replied to her, "Of course I will do it! And I shall take you to my own city, sweet-smiling one, for you deserve to be a king's wife. O shapely woman, I tell you this is the truth."

Having thus spoken to Sakuntala, who walked with faultless grace, the saintly king took her by the hand and according to the sacred law he lay down with her, and then comforted her and departed alone, for there was no proper conveyance to carry a delicate woman such a long way to the king's city. But he said to her again and again, "My sweet-smiling one, for you alone I shall send an escort of infantry, horses, chariots, and elephants. With such a royal entourage I shall bring you to my home."

O Janamejaya, promising her in this way the king departed, but in his mind he worried about the girl's powerful father, Kanva. The sage had not returned and the monarch purposely did not wait for him.

"When that exalted ascetic hears the news, what will he do?" worried the king. Continuously turning the matter over in his mind, Duhsanta retraced his journey and entered his own city.

But a minute after Duhsanta had left the hermitage Kanva returned. Sakuntala, feeling shy and embarrassed, did not go to greet him. But by means of his great austerities Kanva had divine knowledge, and he knew all that she had done. Through spiritual vision he saw that the marriage had actually taken place in accord with religious principles, just as Duhsanta had stated, and therefore the great sage was pleased with his daughter. He said to her, "What you of royal descent have done today, uniting with a man without my blessing, is not against the law of God. It is said that for the royal order the Gandharva marriage is the best, wherein a man and woman who love each other unite in a secluded place without ritual or mantra. My dear Sakuntala, you have accepted a deeply religious man as your husband. Duhsanta is a great soul and the finest of men, and he loves you. I know that a great and mighty soul will take birth in this world as your son, and he will rule all the water-bounded earth. When that great soul sets out to establish justice in the world, his circle of influence will extend everywhere unimpeded, for his circle will be the world."

Sakuntala then put down her father's load, carefully laid out the fruit he had gathered, and devotedly washed his feet. Then when he had rested she said to the thoughtful sage, "I have chosen Duhsanta, the best of men, as my husband. Now I beg you father, bestow your mercy upon him and his counselors."

Kanva Muni said:

I am already kindly disposed toward him for your sake, my lovely daughter, and so now for his sake, take from me a benediction, whatever you desire.

Sri Vaisampayana said:

Sakuntala strongly desired Duhsanta's good, and she chose as her own boon that her husband's Paurava dynasty be ever devoted to God's will and that by the Lord's grace it not fall from kingship.

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Sri Vaisampayana said:

When King Duhsanta had returned to his city, after making clear promises to the lovely Sakuntala, she bore his seed for three full years and finally gave birth to a male child of immeasurable strength, a boy as bright as burning fire, handsome and generous-- a true son of Duhsanta, O King Janamejaya. The wise Kanva personally performed the purificatory ceremonies for the child's birth, and other ceremonies designed to bless him throughout his life. The saintly grandfather knew well the process of purification, and the ceremonies he performed would cause the child to prosper in every way.

The child had bright white and well crowned teeth, and his hands were auspiciously marked with cakrasrs18up6 \chftn rootnote rs20 up6 \chftn Circular markings , and he had a large handsome head and great strength. He grew very quickly and was resplendant like a child of the gods.

When the boy reached his sixth year, he began to capture tigers, lions, wild boar, elephants, and buffalo and tie them to the trees around Kanva's hermitage. He would climb up on these animals and playfully subdue them and then run all around them. Thereupon the resident's of Kanva's hermitage gave him a name. "Let him be called Sarva-damana," they said, "because he tames everything." The child became known as Sarva-damana, and he was endowed with courage, stamina, and power.

Observing the child's superhuman feats, and knowing his strength, the saintly Kanva said to Sakuntala, "It is time for him to be coronated as the young king, the official successor to the throne." Kanva then said to his disciples, "Sakuntala is blessed with all the marks of a good wife. You must quickly take her and her child from this hermitage and deliver them immediately to her husband. It does not look proper when women reside for a long time with their relatives. Such an extended stay spoils their fame, character, and moral principles. Therefore take her without delay to her husband."

"So be it," said the powerful sages, and they departed for Hastinapura, placing Sakuntala and her child in front of them. Taking her lotus-eyed son, who resembled a child of the gods, the radiant mother finally left the beautiful forest where she had been raised and where she had known Duhsanta.

Sakuntala and her saintly escort arrived in Hatinapura. She was admitted to the royal palace and brought before the king with her young child, who shone like the morning sun. Seeing her husband sitting on the royal throne, as brilliant as the lord of heaven, she felt the greatest joy and bowed her head. After properly honoring him, she said, "This is your son, O king. You should now consecrate him as your successor."

Sakuntala then turned to her son and said, "Offer your respects to this faithful king, for he is your father." Having said this to her son, she stood with head bowed in humility, and the young child placed his hands together in prayerful salutation and respectfully greeted the king. The boy's eyes opened wide with happiness, and he stared at his beloved father. But when the son of Sakuntala went and embraced the king, he froze at his son's touch and sat stiffly on his throne.

"Be kind!" said the mother.

But the king, learned in the principles of religion, had seen something that filled him with dread. Anxiously pondering the situation, he replied, "O lovely woman, please tell me your purpose in coming here. Because you have a young child, I shall certainly try to help you."

Sakuntala said:

Be kind to us, great king! I shall tell you why we have come, O best of men. You begot in me this child, who is like a young god on earth. Now king, you must do unto him as you promised. O fortunate one, remember the promise you made to me when we joined together at the hermitage of Kanva Muni.

Hearing these words from his wife and remembering all that had happened, the king said, "I do not remember. Whose woman are you, O polluted ascetic? I do not recall having any connection with you, either in the realm of religion or romance or business. You may go or stay as you desire. Now do as you wish!"

When that beautiful, intelligent woman was spoken to in that way, she flushed with shame and simply stood there stunned, nearly unconscious with grief, as motionless as the trunk of a tree. Her eyes then turned copper-red with anger, and her lovely curved lips trembled with fury. From the corners of her eyes she shot fiery glances at the king, as if to burn him to ashes. Almost wild with anger, she gained control of herself and concealed her expressions of rage, holding in check the fiery power accumulated by a lifetime of austerity. Filled with pain and outrage, she stopped for a moment and thought over the situation. Then, boldly staring at her husband, she angrily spoke these words.

[Sri Sakuntala said:]

You do know, Maharaja, so why do you speak like that? Why do you say so indifferently that you don't know, as if you were nothing more than a degraded man? Your heart knows what is true and what is false in this matter, and you, my good man, are certainly a witness to your heart. Do not, therefore, degrade your own soul. A person who presents himself as one thing when he is really another is a thief who robs himself of his own soul. Being lost to himself, what sin will such a man not commit?

Perhaps you think that we were alone when you loved me, that there was no witness; but are you not aware of the omniscient Lord, the source of all who dwells within our hearts? He who knows all that evil men do? Do you dare torture others in His presence?

Having committed sin a man thinks, "No one knows what I have done." But the demigods know, and so indeed does the Lord within his heart. The sun and moon, wind and fire, heaven and earth, the heart, the lord of death, day and night, dawn and dusk, and the god of justice-- all of them know what men do.

The Supreme Lord resides in everyone's heart, and He is the witness of our acts, the knower of all that we do on the field of the body. If He is satisfied with our acts, then even the lord of death, who is born of the sun, will pardon us and take away the wrong we have done. But if a man is so stubbornly foolish that he will not satisfy the Lord, then Yama, lord of death, drags away the wrongdoer for all the sin he has committed. If a man degrades himself by giving his word and then acting otherwise, even the gods will not help him, for his own soul could do him no good.

You should be happy and think, "My wife loves me so much that she came without waiting for a royal escort." Do not instead humiliate me in this way, for I accepted you as the lord of my life. Your own wife has come and is now standing before you, but you will not honor her with a proper welcome and gifts, as would any decent man.

As I stand here in your court, why do you ignore me as if I were an ordinary woman? I am not crying out into a void; I am speaking to you, my husband, so why do you not hear me? If you will not heed my words, even when I beg you like this, then, Duhsanta, on this very day your head will burst into a hundred pieces!

It is within his wife that a husband enters and takes birth again from her womb in the form of his son. Since ancient times, scholars recognized this and therefore they named the wife jaya, the source of birth.

When a man approaches his wife and begets a child, he delivers his departed forefathers by creating a future generation of his family line. Indeed the son saves his father from the hell named Put, and thus the creator has called a son putra.

She is a true wife who is expert in household duties. She is a true wife who bears good children. She is a true wife whose husband is her life. She is a true wife whose vow to her man is unbroken.

A faithful wife is half of her man. A faithful wife is the very best friend to her husband. A faithful wife brings morality, joy, and prosperity to the home. A faithful wife is the one who cares till the last breath.

Men with good wives observe the holy days. Men with good wives know how to manage a home. Men with good wives rejoice in God's kindness. Men with good wives know abundance and beauty.

Wives who speak to their husbands with love are dear friends in solitude. They are like fathers when it is time for religious duties to be performed, and they are the most affectionate mothers when their man is in pain.

Even when a man journeys through the darkest wilderness, he finds rest and comfort in his wife. He who has a good wife is a man to be trusted. Thus a good and faithful wife is the best path for a man of this world.

A devoted wife ever accompanies her husband, even to the next world, and in all sorts of tribulation, for they share a single destiny. If the wife is first to pass away, she waits in the next world for her husband. And when the man is first to die, a saintly wife follows after him. It is for all these reasons, O king, that one should take the hand of a woman in marriage, for a husband obtains a a true friend in this world and in the life to come.

Because a father is born again through his son, a man brings himself to life when he brings a son into this world. Therefore he should see his wife, who is mother to his son, as his own mother. When a father beholds his son, whom he begot in his devoted wife, he rejoices, for it is as if he beholds his own face in a mirror. Heaven is assured to him for the good he does unto his family.

Intelligent men who burn in the anguish and anxiety of this world rejoice and find relief in their good wives, just as those tormented by heat are relieved by cool water. An intelligent man, even when enraged, will not speak unkindly to the woman who loves him, for he clearly sees that his affection, his love, and his virtue all depend on his wife.

Loving women are eternally the sacred field in which one's good progeny arise. What power do even the saintly ones have to create progeny without a caring woman? When a son, while running about and covered with dust from the earth, comes and embraces his father's limbs, what more is there for a father to relish? When your own son who loves you comes to you, anxious to see your love, how can you possibly frown and reject him? Even the tiny ants care for their eggs and do not break them. Being so learned in the principles of religion, how could you not care for your own son?

The pleasure one feels at the touch of fine garments, affectionate women, or cool water cannot compare to the pleasure one feels by the touch of one's son when the child comes to embrace his parent. As a brahmana is best among the two-legged beings, a cow most valuable among four-legged creatures, and a the guru best among those who are heavy with knowledge, so of all kinds of touch the touch of one's own son is best. This beautiful boy is your son; let him touch you! There is no worldly happiness equal to the touch of one's son.

After three full years of pregnancy, I gave birth to this boy, O emperor, and he will destroy all of your grief. At the time of his birth, O Puru king, a celestial voice declared that he will perform a hundred horse sacrifices.

We actually see that when men have traveled to other villages and then return to their homes, they immediately take their children upon their lap, and kiss their heads and rejoice. You know very well that at the birth ceremony for sons, the twice-born recite these verses from the holy Vedas:

"You arise from all of my limbs, for you are born of my heart. You are my very self whom I call my son; may you live for a century of autumns.

"My own strength and nourishment depend on you, for in you rests the unbroken line of our family. Therefore, my beloved, live most happily for a century of autumns."

Duhsanta, this child was born from your limbs. Man has come from man. You must see my son as your own self, just as you see your own reflection in the clear water of a lake. As families pass on the perpetual fire within their house and from it ignite the sacred fire of sacrifice, so has this child come from you. Though you are one, Duhsanta, you have now become two, for you have a son.

Drawn away by a deer as you chased about on the hunt, you, O king, approached me, a virgin girl, in the religious home of her father.

Of all the heavenly Apsaras, the finest are Urvasi, Purvacitta, Sahajanya, Menaka, Visvaci, and Ghrtaci. Of these, the one named Menaka, born of Brahma, is the best. Coming all the way from heaven to earth, she united with Visvamitra and bore me as her child. The Apsara Menaka gave birth to me on a Himalayan peak, and then the heartless woman abandoned me there and went away, as if I were another's child. Oh, what evil work have I done in my past life that I should be rejected by my own parents in infancy, and now by you, my husband!

All right, if you reject me I shall go to a hermitage, but it is not right for you to reject this child who is born of you, whom you brought to this world.

Duhsanta said:

I do not recognize the son born to you, Sakuntala. Women are known to speak lies, so who will have faith in your words? Your mother, Menaka, was but a merciless courtesan who cast you down on a Himalayan peak as if you were a withered garland. And was not your father also merciless? Visvamitra was born from a royal mother, but he gave in to his personal desires and became greedy for the status of a brahmana.

Even granting that Menaka is the best of the Apsaras and that your father is the best of the great sages, how can you, a loose woman who runs after men, claim to be their child? You are not embarrassed to speak words that people will simply not believe. Especially in my presence, you dare to speak in that way. It is best that you leave, O false ascetic!

What are you in comparison to the great and mighty sage who begot you, or to that famed Apsara Menaka? You are clearly a wretched woman who has taken the dress of an ascetic. You say that your son is a six year-old boy, but his body is too large to be that age, and he is already very strong, stronger than a mere child. In such a short time, how could he have grown up as high and sturdy as the trunk of a Sala tree? All that you say, O ascetic, is a mystery to me. I do not recognize you. You may go where you will!

AP 69

Sri Sakuntala said:

O king, you notice other people's faults, even when they are as tiny as mustard seeds. Your own faults are as big as bael fruits, but even seeing them, you cannot see. Menaka is accepted among the thirty demigods; indeed, these thirty even follow after Menaka. My birth is higher than yours, Duhsanta.

You walk on the earth, O king, while I wander the heavens. You should try to understand that the difference between us is like that between the mighty Mount Meru and a tiny mustard seed. I travel at will to the homes of Indra, Kuvera, Yamaraja, and Varuna. O king, behold my influence!

That which I am about to state is the truth, O sinless man, and I speak it to teach you something, not because I hate or envy you. Hear my words, and forgive any offense on my part.

As long as a homely man does not see his face in the mirror, he thinks himself more handsome than others. But when he actually sees his ill-formed face in a mirror, he understands that he, and not others, is the homely one. One who is actually beautiful does not belittle anyone. But one who speaks too much and in a nasty way, constantly injuring others, is an offender. When a fool hears people speaking good and evil words, he prefers to take the evil words, just as a pig eagerly eats excrement. A wise person, hearing people speak good and evil words, takes the good words, just as a swan extracts precious milk from water.

When a good person criticizes others, he feels remorse, but when a wicked person criticizes others, he feels great satisfaction. When pious people offer respect to the wise and elderly, they experience pleasure, but a fool feels pleasure by reviling the pious. Those who do not see the faults in others live happily, but the pleasure of fools is to always look for such faults. Even when berated by others, the saintly speak well of their critics. Yet there is nothing more ridiculous in this world than a wicked person who accuses saintly people of being wicked.

A man who has fallen from truth and virtue and who is like an angry, venemous snake disturbs even an atheist. How much anxiety, then, does he cause a firm believer in God?

When a man begets a son like this boy and then treats him with contempt, the gods in heaven destroy his opulence, and he fails to achieve the worlds of the blessed. Our forefathers say that a son is the foundation of the family tree and that he is our first duty. Therefore, one should never reject his own son. Manu has said that in addition to the son one begets with his wife, there are five other kinds of sons: those obtained as a gift, purchased, raised, adopted, and begotten in other women.

Sons are like sturdy ships of righteousness, for as soon as they are born they bring their fathers virtue and fame, fill their minds with love, and save their forefathers who have fallen into hell. O tiger among men, surely it is not right for you to reject your own son. O lord of the earth, you must now protect religion, truth, and your own soul! O lion of kings, do not practice deceit!

Better than a hundred wells is a single pond, and religious sacrifice is better than a hundred ponds. Better than a hundred sacrifices is a single son. Yet truth, O king, is to be chosen over a hundred sons. Honesty was placed on a scale opposite one thousand horse sacrifices, and honesty was found to be greater. Learning all the Vedas and bathing in all the sacred waters may or may not, be equal to speaking the truth.

There is no higher virtue than speaking the truth, for there is nothing higher than the truth. And nothing in this world is more bitter than deceit. O king, to speak the truth is to stand with God, and therefore our willingness to tell each other the truth is the highest covenant. Do not break your covenant, O king; rather, may you be united with truth!

But if you are so fond of telling lies, and do not believe in the value of honesty, then I shall go, for I will not unite with someone like you. And even without you, Duhsanta, my son will rule over the earth, whose four directions are crowned by the King of Mountains.

Sri Vaisampayana said:

Having spoken these words, Sakuntala began to leave. But then, even as Duhsanta sat there surrounded by his priests, ministers, teachers, and counselors, an invisible voice spoke out to the king:

"The mother is the vessel in which the father begets his son. The son cannot be separated from the father, for he is of his father. Care for your son, Duhsanta! Be not unkind to Sakuntala!

"The son who bears the father's seed will lift up his father from the abode of the lord of death. It is you, O king, who planted the seed of this child. Sakuntala has spoken the truth.

"When a wife gives birth to a son, her own body is made into two. Therefore, Duhsanta, take care of your son born of Sakuntala. What man is so bereft of goodness and fortune that while living he would give up a living son? O descendent of Puru, care for this great soul who is the son of Sakuntala and Duhsanta. By our command, you are to care for this child. Therefore let your son be known by the name Bharata.up6 \chftn rootnote rs20up6 \chftn "You must care for him" in Sanskrit: bhartavyo 'yam tvaya, hence Bharata.


Hearing this command and declaration, which came from the celestial denizens, the Paurava king was filled with joy, and he said to his priest and counselors, "Gentlemen, heed this declaration made by a messenger of the gods! Now I freely acknowledge this boy to be my own beloved son. Had I accepted my son simply on his mother's words, or even on my own, people would have doubted the purity and circumstances of his birth, which would have ruined his life as a king. [I spoke, therefore, as I did knowing that the gods themselves would send their messenger to defend the daughter of Menaka and her powerful son. I acted as I did so that I could honor my promise to my wife that her son would be king and to avoid a great scandal that would have forced me to give up my family.]"

Now that the messenger of the gods had cleared the name of his son, the jubilant king, his heart ecstatic, took his son within his arms and kissed his head and embraced him with tender affection. Learned brahmanas heartily welcomed the child, and the royal poets praised him. The king indeed felt the greatest joy by the touch of his beloved son.

The king knew well the principles of religion, and in accord with those principles he bestowed full honors upon his wife. To pacify her wounded heart he said, "O goddess, my union with you was unknown to the people, and therefore after lengthy reflection I acted as I did in order to establish your purity. People might have thought I was captivated by your feminine charm and thus united with you. [The public demands that a king act for the welfare of all, that he choose a wife who will serve the people and give him a worthy son. They would never accept as queen one chosen by a king's lust, nor would they even consider as crown-prince a child born from that lust. I cannot give up my duties as king, in the line of my forefathers, for the world depends on us, and so I would have lost my family. I had already chosen this child of ours to be the next king, and I desperately searched for a way both to save our relationship and to preserve the kingdom for our son.]

"O beautiful-eyed one, O most saintly woman, even if in your anger you spoke the most painful words to me, you did so because of your love. Therefore all is forgotten."

O Bharata, having spoken thus to his beloved queen, Duhsanta sincerely honored her with garments, and food, and drink. Thereupon King Duhsanta consecrated the son of Sakuntala as Prince Bharata, successor to the throne.

As the glowing sun circles wide in the heavens, so did the celebrated chariot of the great soul Bharata circle wide in this world. As his great, unconquered chariot thundered through the land, he brought light and the rule of law to all people.

Controlling the regional rulers of the earth, he brought them under a unified and harmonious rule, at the same time practicing the principles of the saints. Thus he won for himself the very pinnacle of fame. This king was a true emperor, a mighty warrior who ruled the whole earth, and he performed many religious sacrifices like those of Indra himself, lord of the Maruts. Like Daksa before him, he engaged the sage Kanva to officiate at a sacrifice in which fabulous gifts were presented to all who participated, even to common people who came as spectators. The wealthy king initiated a horse sacrifice at which valuable milking cows were widely distributed. Indeed, King Bharata gave billions of cows to Kanva Muni alone.

From King Bharata springs the fame of the glorious Bharata dynasty, in which appeared many famous and ancient kings who took the name of Bharata. In fact, in the line of King Bharata there were many mighty kings who were as noble and powerful as the gods themselves. So devoted were these kings to the Supreme Lord that they were accepted by the people as genuine representatives of God on earth. It is not possible to mention all of their names, for the great Bharata kings cannot be counted. But I shall mention the most important among them, O Bharata-- kings of extraordinary good fortune, who shone like gods on earth, fiercely devoted to truth and rectitude.

AP 70

Sri Vaisampayana said:

O sinless king, I shall now describe to you the pious, auspicious, and glorious dynasty that begins with the progenitor Daksa and continues through Manu, the law-giver born of the sun. This is the dynasty of Bharata, Kuru, Puru, Ajamidha, the Yadavas, the Pauravas, and all the Bharata kings. I shall describe the entire lineage, for this will bring fortune, fame, and long life to all who hear.

Authorities still recall that in ancient times Praceta had ten sons who were supreme in power, all of them having the potency of great sages. Yet despite their great strength, they were burned up by a fire that shot down from a cloud.

From them, Pracetasa Daksa took birth, and from Daksa, the grandfather of the world, all creatures arose, O tiger of men. Daksa was a brilliant thinker, and by his intercourse with Virini he was able to beget a thousand sons, who, like their father, were strictly adherent to their religious vows. When these thousand sons were gathered together, however, the great saint Narada taught them the highest transcendental knowledge. By Narada's mercy they corrrectly understood the temporary nature of this world and thus fixed their minds on spiritual salvation. Therefore they did not follow their father in his career of begetting progeny, but rather renounced the material world entirely.

Then the progenitor, Daksa, still desiring to populate the world, begot fifty daughters. Daksa gave ten daughters to the demigod Dharma, thirteen to Kasyapa, and twenty-seven, who were meant to help conduct material time, to the lord of the moon.

Kasyapa, son of Marici, begot in Aditi, the best of his thirteen wives, the Adityas, headed by Lord Indra, and also Vivasvan, who rules the sun. Yama, lord of death, took birth as the son of Vivasvan, and Martanda appeared as the son of Yama. The wise Manu, lord of men, took birth as the son of Martanda. The descendents of Manu became famous as the Manavas, or the race of men, for it is from Manu that teachers, warriors, and others of the human species had their origins.

At the beginning, O king, there was cooperation among the brahmana teachers and the ksatriya rulers of this race, and the brahmana descendents of Manu preserved the book of knowledge, the Veda, with its branches, so that the rulers would know how to govern.

Manu had ten sons who were powerful and highly devoted to the sacred duties of kingship. Their names were Vena, Dhrsnu, Narisyanta, Nabhaga, Iksvaku, Kurusa, and Saryati, with Ila as the eighth, Prsadhna the ninth, and Nabhagarista the tenth. We have heard that Manu had fifty other sons of the warrior class who took birth on the earth. Unfortunately, they fought with one another and all perished.

Thereafter, the wise Pururava took birth from Ila. We have heard from authorities that Ila was both Pururava's mother and father. The illustrious Pururava became the lord of thirteen ocean islands, and although he was a human being he was surrounded and assisted by nonhuman beings. Intoxicated by his strength, Pururava waged war against learned brahmanas and took away their jewels as they cried out in protest. Sanat-kumara then descended from the planet of the creator, O king, and explained to the monarch the proper relationship between teachers and rulers. But the proud king would not hear of it, and at this the great sages became enraged and cursed the king, who instantly perished. Overcome by greed, the unfortunate monarch lost his mind in the madness of power.

It was the mighty Pururava who, while staying in the Gandharva planet with Urvasi, brought to earth the three fires especially recommended for use in sacrifice. Six sons were born to this son of Ila through his connection with the goddess Urvasi, and their names were Ayus, Dhiman, Amavasu, Drdhayus, Vanayus, and Srutayus.

Scholars report that Ayus had several sons by Svarbhanavi, and their names are Nahusa, Vrddha-sarma, Raji, Rambha, and Anenasa. Of these, Nahusa, son of Ayus, was a wise ruler of the earth who found strength in his devotion to truth. He thus ruled a very great kingdom according to the sacred law. So powerful was this king that he ruled and protected the forefathers, sages, brahmanas, Gandharvas, serpents, and Raksasas, as well as the earthly teachers and kings. Slaying thieves by the multitude, he forced the sages to give him taxes and carry him on their backs. Defeating the denizens of heaven by his power, austerity, daring, and stamina, he ruled like Indra, lord of heaven.

Nahusa begot six sons in Priyavasa, and their names are Yati, Yayati, Samyati, Ayati, Panca, and Uddhava. Of these, Yayati, son of Nahusa, became emperor of the world and derived great strength from his devotion to truth. He ruled the world and offered sacrifice to the Supreme Lord with various types of ceremonies. Always devout, he worshiped with extraordinary energy the God-conscious kings who preceded him, the Lord Himself, and the Lord's empowered representatives, the demigods, who rule the universe. Yayati was never defeated, and he was particularly merciful to all creatures.

He begot in Devayani and Sarmistha, O king, great warrior sons who were glorified by all good qualities. From Devayani, Yadu and Turvasu took birth, and from Sarmistha, Druhyu, Anu, and Puru were born. Strictly following dharma, the sacred law, he ruled his subjects for what seemed like endless years, O king, until this son of Nahusa was suddenly faced with a most horrible old age that robbed him of his beauty. Overwhelmed by age, the king spoke these words to his sons Yadu, Puru, Turvasu, Druhyu, and Anu, O Bharata: "My dear sons, I want to enjoy my life with youthful vigor, fulfilling my lusty desires as a young man, with young ladies. Please help me."

His eldest son, Yadu, son of Devayani, then said, "What is to be done for you, and what can we do with our youth?"

Yayati said to him, "Please accept my old age so that I can enjoy sense gratification with your youth. While I was performing long sacrifices the sage Usana cursed me, and now although I strongly desire to enjoy women, I am bereft of the power to enjoy and am therefore suffering, my dear sons. One of you should rule the kingdom with my old body, and I will be able to fulfill my desires with a new and youthful body."

Yayati's sons, headed by Yadu, refused to take their father's old age, but then the youngest son, Puru, whose great strength came from his devotion to truth, said to his father, "O king, go and enjoy with my young body and experience the pleasures of youth. I shall accept your old age and by your command govern the kingdom ."

[Yayati's ultimate goal was not material pleasure, nor was he a sinful man. He had wanted to satisfy his desires so that he could finish his stay in the material world and go back to the spiritual world, and at the end he would return his youth to Puru with many other blessings.]

Now, taking strength from the many austerities he had performed in his life, the saintly king invested his old age in his son Puru, who was a great soul. Thus the king took to youthful enjoyment with Puru's youth, and Puru ruled the kingdom with Yayati's old age. And at the end of a thousand years the unconquerable Yayati, who still had not satisfied his desires, said to his son Puru, "In you I now have a rightful heir. You are the son who will carry on the dynasty. It will be known as the Paurava dynasty after you, my son, and it will be glorified throughout the world."

That tiger among kings then consecrated Puru as the permanent ruler of the kingdom, and after a long duration of time Yayati at last succumbed to the inexorable rule of time.

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King Janamejaya said:

How did my ancestor Yayati, who was tenth in line from the Prajapati, marry Sukra's daughter, who was most difficult to win as a wife? O best of brahmanas, I wish to hear of this in detail. Also, please tell me, in order, of the kings who continued the dynasty of King Puru.

Sri Vaisampayana replied:

Yayati was a saintly king who shone as if he were the king of gods. Both Sukra and Vrsaparva selected him as their son-in-law. Because you have inquired, I shall now describe to you how that happened, and how there was union between lovely Devayani and Yayati, son of Nahusa.

A serious conflict once arose between the godly Suras and their foes the Asuras over who would rule the three worlds and all their moving and non-moving creatures. [Victory would depend on superior technology, for the supremely subtle Vedic science depended on competent sages who could manage its almost inconceivable intricacies.]

The gods, therefore, eager for victory, selected the son of Angira Muni as their priest, and the Asuras chose the learned Sukra. These two brahmanas, both masters of Vedic rites, always opposed one another in a deep and bitter rivalry.

When the gods and demons met in battle, the gods slew their demonic foes, but so expert was Sukra that by the strength of his knowledge he was able to bring back to life all the demonic Danavas, who then rose up and again waged war upon the Suras. At the height of this battle, the Asuras gained the advantage and began to slay the gods, but their priest, Brhaspati, for all his vast learning, could not revive them because he did not know the science of revival that Sukra knew so well. Seeing this, the gods felt the greatest despair.

Shaken by fear of the learned Sukra, they said to Kaca, the eldest son of Brhaspati, "Please help us, for we have always helped you, and perform for us the greatest act of friendship. The science of revival rests with Sukra, a brahmana of unfathomable power. Go to him and bring us that knowledge as quickly as possible, and you will partake in all our shares. You can find Sukra near the residence of King Vrsaparva. There he protects the Danavas, but he will not protect others. You are still quite young and will be able to win the favor of that exalted sage and also of his beloved daughter Devayani. There is no one but you who can win their favor, and as soon as you satisfy Devayani with your character, skill, kindness, behavior, and self-control, you will surely obtain that science."

"So be it," said Kaca, son of Brhaspati, and as the gods honored him, he departed for the kingdom of Vrsaparva. O king, thus sent on a serious mission by the gods, he went with haste to the city of the Asura king, and upon seeing Sukra he spoke these words: "Sir, please accept me as your faithful student. My name is Kaca, and I am the grandson of the sage Angira, and the son of Brhaspati himself. I shall practice strict celibacy under you, my g uru. O brahmana, please allow me to study with you for a thousand years."

[Although Brhaspati and Sukra stood on opposing sides, they were both liberal brahmanas, committed to the same noble culture, and thus Sukra replied,] "Kaca, you are most welcome here. I accept your request. In fact, I must honor you, for you are worthy of honor, and so too must I honor your father, Brhaspati."

Vaisampayana said:

"So be it!" said Kaca to Sukra, and he accepted the strict vow of celibacy enjoined by Sukra, son of Kavi. Kaca accepted the vow for the time he had promised, O Bharata, and he strove to win the favor of his teacher and his teacher's daughter Devayani. Kaca was at the height of his youth, and he satisfied her by singing, dancing, and playing on musical instruments. O Bharata, Devayani was a virgin in the full bloom of her youth, and Kaca satisfied and delighted her with flowers, fruits, and errands. Devayani would lovingly sing along with him, and when they were alone together she would happily wait on the young brahmana who strictly kept his vow of celibacy.

In this way, five hundred years passed while Kaca practiced his vow, until one day some wicked Danavas came to know that he was actually Kaca, the son of their enemies' priest. Seeing him alone and herding the cows in a lonely forest, they could not control their anger. Out of hatred for Brhaspati, and with a desire to protect the secret science, they killed Kaca, hacked his body into pieces the size of sesame seeds, and fed the pieces to the local jackals.

Thereafter, the cows returned to their home without their herdsman, O Bharata, and seeing them return from the forest without Kaca, Devayani at once spoke up to her father, "My lord, the sun has already set, and the sacred fire has not been ignited. The cows have come home by themselves, dear father, and no one has seen Kaca. It's clear that he has died, daddy, or else someone has killed him! I tell you the truth-- without Kaca I cannot live!"

Sukra replied:

If he is dead, then I shall now call him here and bring him back to life.

Sri Vaisampayana said:

Sukra then applied his knowledge of revival and called Kaca. Called by his teacher, Kaca suudenly appeared there unharmed. He had been saved by the very science he had come to learn.

His teacher's daughter asked him what had happened. He replied, "I was murdered," and explained what had happened. Some time later, Devayani happened to ask him to gather flowers for her, and the brahmana Kaca again went to the forest. The Danavas again spied him there and murdered him a second time, burning his body and grounding the remains and ashes into a fine powder, which they dissolved in wine. Then they offered the drink to Sukra, and he unwittingly drank it.

When Kaca did not return, Devayani again spoke to her father, "Father, Kaca went to gather flowers for me, and now he is not to be seen."

Sukra replied:

My daughter, Kaca, son of Brhaspati, has gone to the world of the departed. He was brought back to life by scientific means, but now he has been killed again. What can I do?

Devayani, do not be so sad and do not cry. A lady of your stature and religious education should not lament for a mortal man. All the demigods and the entire universe must submit to the temporary nature of the material body.

Devayani said:

But the most senior sage Angira is his grandfather, and the great ascetic Brhaspati is his father. How will I not not lament for one who is the son and grandson of sages? Why should I not cry?

Kaca strictly followed his vow of celibacy and made austerity his only wealth. He was so alert and expert in everything he did. O father, the beautiful Kaca is the one I love, and therefore I shall stop eating and follow his path unto death.

Sukra replied:

The Asuras undoubtedly envy me, for they have murdered my sinless disciple. Those wrathful Danavas praise me with their prayers, but their real desire is to ruin my position as a brahmana. Let there be an end to this sinful crime! They have murdered a brahmana, and such a heinous act will burn anyone, even Indra himself, to ashes.

Vaisampayana said:

Urged on by Devayani, the great and learned sage, with great energy, again called Kaca, son of Brhaspati. Thus summoned by the science known to his guru, Kaca slowly began to call out from within his teacher's belly. Sukra asked him, "O brahmana, tell me how you have come to reside in my belly."

Kaca said:

By your mercy, my memory has not abandoned me. I remember everything, exactly as it happened. It appears that my austerities are not finished, for I must tolerate this horrible inconvenience.

O learned Sukra, after killing me, burning my body, and grinding it into powder, the Asuras gave me to you in a cup of wine. But with you present here, how can the mystic power of the demons overcome that of a brahmana?

Sukra said:

My dear child, what must I do now to please you? Kaca can only live by my death. Devayani, now that Kaca is inside of me, he can only appear again by splitting my stomach.

Devayani said:

There are two sorrows that would surely burn me up like fire: the death of Kaca and your destruction. If Kaca dies, I will have no peace in this world, and if you are destroyed I shall be unable to live.

Sukra said:

O son of Brhaspati, you have achieved the greatest success, for as you have been kind to Devayani she now adores you. Take from me now the science of revival-- if, that is, you are not Indra himself disguised as Kaca. No one else but a brahmana can come out of my stomach alive, for I would take such trouble only for a brahmana who can then revive me. You are the only one whom I can so trust. Therefore, take the science. Become my son and bring me back to life, just as I bring you back to life. Dear child, once I have departed from this body and you possess this science, be very careful to do everything properly and honestly, having received this science from your g uru.

Vaisampayana said:

Kaca received the entire science from his guru, and then, splitting his teacher's stomach, emerged from his right side. As the waxing moon finally appears in its full splendor, so did Kaca appear in a most beautiful form. Seeing his guru, so full of Vedic science, fallen dead, Kaca, who had perfectly assimilated the Vedic science, at once revived him. Kaca then saluted his guru and said to him, "The guru is the giver of the highest knowledge, and he is the most precious of all treasures that one can possess. Therefore those who do not honor their worshipable guru surely go to the sinful worlds called Apratistha, where there is no opportunity for happiness."

Vaimsampayana said:

By drinking wine, the learned Sukra had suffered a terrible loss of consciousness, and in that deluded state he had drunk the remnants of Kaca. Seeing now the handsome Kaca before him, he fully realized the evil effects of drinking liquor. The exalted Sukra then stood up in anger and made this solemn declaration:

"From this day on, if a brahmana is so foolish and bewildered that he dares to drink liquor, then it will be understood that he has deviated from his religious principles and is destroying the very tradition he is meant to teach. He will be condemned in this world and in the next. Let the gods, the saintly brahmanas who are faithful to their teachers, and all people of the world hear and witness the moral code I now ordain. The religious principle I have spoken is a boundary and limit for brahmanas throughout the universe."

Having uttered those words, the great soul Sukra, an unfathomable treasure among the ascetics, then called together the Danavas, whose wits had been deranged by destiny, and spoke to them these words:

"I tell you, Danavas, that you have the brains of children. Kaca is now a perfected sage, for he has obtained the invaluable science of revival, and he will live by my side. He is a self-realized soul whose power is virtually equal to that of Lord Brahma."

After living for a thousand years at the side of his g uru, Kaca received permission to leave and prepared to return to the abode of the gods.

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Sri Vaisampayana replied,

His vow complete, and having been released by his guru, Kaca was about to depart for the abode of the gods when Devayani spoke to him.

"O grandson of saintly Angira, by your noble work and family, by your knowledge, austerity, and self-control, you shine among men. Just as my father reveres your grandfather, illustrious and saintly Angira, so do I in turn revere and honor your father, Brhaspati. Knowing this well, please also remember, O ascetic, how properly I behaved with you while you observed your vow of celibacy. Now that you have completed your vow and obtained the science you so much sought, you should love me as I love you. Take my hand in proper marriage, with due chanting of the sacred hymns."

Kaca replied,

My dear lady of flawless limbs, just as I must always honor and worship your father as my lord, so must I honor you even more, for you are more dear to your father, the exalted son of Bhrgu, than his very life. You are the daughter of my guru, and by all religious principles, O pure one, I must always worship you. Just as I am to honor your father, Sukra, so am I to honor you exactly in that way. Therefore, Devayani, you should not make such proposals to me.

Devayani said:

O best of brahmanas, you are not my son, but rather the grandson of my father's guru. Therefore I must honor and worship you. Do you not remember the love I showed you when the Asuras repeatedly killed you, and ever since that time? You know that I have treated you with the greatest friendship and affection. Knowing religious principles, you cannot abandon the very one who has so faultlessly loved and worshiped you.

Kaca said:

You, who so beautifully keep your vows, are now commanding me with an order that should not be given. O tender-browed woman, be merciful to me, for I worship you above my own guru. O fiery woman, whose face is as bright as the moon, I have dwelled in the very same place as you, good lady, within Sukra's body, and therefore by the principles of religion you are my sister. O radiant woman, please, therefore, do not speak to me of marriage. I have lived here happily and there is no bitterness within me.

I take your leave, for I must go. Wish me well on my journey and remember me with kindness, for in the course of our talks I have not violated the principles of religion, which we hold in common. Always worship my guru attentively and without neglect.

Devayani said:

If you are so anxious for piety, or to enjoy another woman, that you now refuse me, then, Kaca, I declare that the knowledge you have acquired will never work for you!

Kaca said:

I refused you because you are the daughter of my guru, not to offend you in any way. Morever, your father gave me permission to return to my home. But go ahead and curse me if you like! I speak the religious principles of sages, Devayani, and it was improper of you to curse me now, whether for motives of love or piety. I therefore now declare that your desire will never be fulfilled. No son of a sage will ever take your hand in marriage. You said to me, "The knowledge will never work for you," and by your curse it will be so, but the knowledge will certainly work for that person to whom I teach it.

Vaisampayana said:

Having spoken thus to Devayani, Kaca, the most prominent of the twice-born, quickly went to the abode of Indra, lord of the demigods. Carefully observing his arrival, the demigods, headed by Indra, joyfully spoke to Kaca, having duly honored his father, Brhaspati: "Because you have performed a most wonderful feat on our behalf, your fame will never die, and you will become a full shareholder in the opulence of the gods."

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Sri Vaisampayana replied:

When Kaca returned with his acquired knowledge, the celestial denizens rejoiced. O best of the Bharatas, learning the science from Kaca, they fulfilled their purpose. Assembled together they said to Lord Indra, "Now is the time for you to show your courage. You who shatter evil cities must now conquer the enemies." Thus addressed by the assembled demigods, Indra replied, "So be it!" and set out on his mission.

He noticed some women in a forest. [The girls were bathing,] and transforming himself into a wind, Indra mixed and scattered all the clothes of those young virgin girls as they sported in the charming woods that resembled the celestial garden of Citraratha. Coming out of the water, each girl picked up clothes from the spot where she had left hers. The leaders of the girls were Devayani, daughter of Sukra, and Sarmistha, daughter of Vrsaparva, the Asura king to whom Sukra was priest. Not knowing that Lord Indra had mixed up their clothes, Sarmistha mistakenly grabbed the garments of Devayani. A quarrel between Devayani and Sarmistha immediately broke out over the clothes, O best of kings.

Devayani said:

Why do you take my clothes when you are supposed to be my disciple? Have you no proper manners, O child of a demon? Such behavior will do you no good.

Sarmistha said:

When my father is sitting upon his throne or lying down at his leisure, your father stands humbly beneath him and incessantly offers him praises and recites his heroic deeds. You are the daughter of one who begs, offers praises, and accepts in charity, whereas I am the daughter of one who is praised, gives in charity, and does not beg from anyone. Unarmed and alone, you tremble before me, who am a king's daughter, ready and able to use weapons. Find someone to fight with, beggar girl; I do not count you a worthy foe.

Sri Vaisampayana said:

Devayani stood up as tall as she could and clung to her garments, but Sarmistha threw her into a well and returned to her father's city. She knew very well that her friend would die in the well, but Sarmistha's mind, overcome by violent anger, was set on sin, and without any concern for Devayani she went to her home.

Soon after, Yayati, son of Nahusa, arrived in the area eagerly hunting wild beasts. His charioteer and horses were exhausted, and he personally suffered from thirst. Looking down that same well the son of Nahusa saw it had gone dry, but at the well's bottom he saw a young girl as radiant as the flames of a fire. Seeing the maiden, with the complexion of a goddess, fallen in the well, the greatest of kings inquired from her in a very charming voice meant to console her.

"Who are you with your bright red nails, your dark complexion, and your elegant earrings made of the brightest gems? O learned woman, why do you go on so, brooding and breathing such heavy sighs? How did such a lovely young lady fall into this well covered with branches and grass? Whose daughter are you and who is looking after you? Please tell me everything!"

Sri Devayani said:

He who raised up the Asuras with his science when they were slain by the demigods-- that very Sukra is my father. But he does not know that I am here. Here is my right hand, O king, with bright red nails. Take hold of me and lift me out, for I think you are a man of noble birth. Just by seeing you, I know that you are a very peaceful and powerful man and doubtlessly very famous. Therefore, you must lift me out of this well into which I have fallen.

Sri Vaisampayana said:

Knowing the woman to be a brahmana, and taking her right hand, the son of Nahusa quickly lifted her out of the hole. Having easily rescued her from the well, King Yayati said,

"Good woman, you are free to go now, for there is no more danger to you."

At these words Devayani replied to the king, "Please take me away with you quickly! I have fallen in love with you. You accepted my hand, and therefore by the sacred law you are meant to be my husband."

Thus addressed, the king said, "But dear lady, I am born in a family of kings, and you are the daughter of a brahmana. Thus it is not fitting that you join with me. Your father, Sukra, is the spiritual master of the entire world. This entire situation therefore frightens me. O gracious woman, this is not proper for you."

Devayani replied:

"[I have been cursed by Kaca, and I cannot marry a brahmana.] But if on my word you will not accept me today, O king, then I shall request you from my father, and later you will learn of his decision. Now you may take your leave."

King Yayati took leave of that shapely woman and returned to his own city. When the son of Nahusa had departed, the innocent Devayani stood under the shelter of a tree and cried in anguish. When many hours had passed and she did not return home, her powerful father called for his daughter's maidservant and said, "Madam, please bring at once my sweet-smiling daughter Devayani."

As soon as she was so addressed, the maidservant quickly went to fetch her, carefully visiting all the places Devayani had gone that day with her girlfriends.

At last the maidservant found her standing alone in terrible distress, exhausted and weeping, and said, "My fair lady, what are you are doing here? Tell me quickly, for your father has sent for you."

Thus addressed, Devayani told her nurse, who was named Ghurnika, of the evil act committed by Sarmistha.

Devayani said:

"Go quickly, Ghurnika, and explain everything to my father. Tell him that from now on I shall not enter the city of Sarmistha's father, Vrsaparva."

Sri Vaisampayana said:

Ghurnika went immediately to the palace of the Asura king, and upon seeing the sage Sukra she blurted out in great anxiety, "O great and wise one, I must inform you that your daughter Devayani was violently attacked in the forest by Sarmistha, the daughter of Vrsaparva."

Hearing this, Sukra immediately left the palace and in great anguish began to follow the path of his child into the forest. Finding his daughter Devayani in the woods, Sukra embraced her in his arms and sadly said to her, "By their own mistakes all people beget their own joy and sorrow. I think you must have done something wrong, and therefore someone took revenge on you."

Devayani said:

Whether this suffering is deserved or not, listen carefully to what Sarmistha, daughter of Vrsaparva, said to me! It is certainly the truth, I suppose, when she said that you are the hired singer of the Asuras! Those are the sharp and cruel words that Sarmistha, daughter of Vrsaparva, spoke to me with her raging red eyes-- "You are the daughter of one who flatters, begs, and accepts in charity, but I am the daughter of one who is always praised, who gives in charity, and who accepts from no one!" That is what she said to me again and again, that Sarmistha, daughter of Vrsaparva, so full of ugly pride, and her eyes all red with anger.

My dear father, if I am the daughter of one who flatters and lives on charity, then it is better I go and seek the favor of Sarmistha.

The learned Sukra said:

My beautiful one, you are not the daughter of one who flatters and lives on charity. Devayani, you are the daughter of one who need flatter no one, for your father is praised by all. Vrsaparva knows that, and so does Lord Indra, as well as King Yayati, son of Nahusa. They all know that the inconceivable Brahman, the Absolute One that rules this world, is the source of my strength.

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The learned Sukra continued:

Devayani, you should understand clearly that a man who can always tolerate insulting words from his rivals can win everything in life. One who restrains his anger when it strains forth, just as one controls a horse, is said by saints to be a competent conductor of his life, not he who lets loose the reins. Please understand, Devayani, that one who repels the attack of anger with peace and self-control can thereby gain everything in life. One who rejects the rush of anger with forgiveness, as a snake rejects old skin, is the true enjoyer of life. One who fully contains his anger and tolerates insulting words, who though suffering does not make others suffer, is certain to achieve the actual goal of life.

Of two men-- one who performs a sacrificial offering every month for one hundred years, and another who is never angry at anyone-- the man who is free of anger is the greater. A wise person must not imitate the fighting that goes on bewteen foolish boys and girls who do not know what is truly strength and weakness.

Sri Devayani said:

My dear father, I may be a young girl, but I know the meaning of religious principles, and I also know the strength of tolerance, as well as the weakness in insulting others. But my point is this: one who desires to teach and help others should not tolerate improper behavior on the part of a student. Therefore, I no longer care to live among those whose behavior is so impure and disordered. A learned person should not live among those of wicked minds who blaspheme the proper conduct and noble descent of others. Authorities say that the best place to live is among saintly persons who appreciate noble conduct and birth in a religious family.

The daughter of Vrsaparva spoke the cruelest and most dreadful words! In all the three worlds I do not think anyone more abominable than one who worships the opulence of his enemy, being deprived himself of opulence.

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Sri Vaisampayana said:

Thereupon Sukra, exalted among the Bhrgus, angrily approached Vrsaparva, and without deliberating further, he said, "Irreligion does not produce its effect immediately, as if it were a cow. If we do not see the reaction to injustice in the perpetrator, we shall certainly see it in his children or grandchildren. But sin will certainly bear its fruit, like heavy food that must act in the belly!

"You arranged to kill Kaca, a descendant of Angira who never offended you, who was a religious scholar, and who was always eager to serve. You dared to kill him while he was a guest in my house!

"Because of the killing of that innocent boy, and especially now because of an attempt to kill my very own daughter, I tell you this, Vrsaparva, that I shall reject you and your company! I shall not be able to reside in your country, O king, and live with you. Indeed, O Daitya, do you know me to be a mere fool who speaks nonsense? Is that why you do not control your offenses but instead ignore them?

King Vrsaparva said:

O Bhargava, I know that neither injustice nor false speech can ever be found in you. Rather, you are the abode of justice and truth. Please, sir, be meciful to us. If you abandon us now and go away, O Bhargava, we shall have no other recourse but to throw ourselves in the sea.

The learned Sukra said:

Then go and jump in the sea, or run wherever you like, Asuras! I am unable to tolerate this unkindness to my daughter, for she is my beloved child. If you want me to remain, then you must obtain the blessings of Devayani, for she is my very life. Remember, as Brhaspati maintains the well-being of the demigods, so I maintain all of you.

King Vrsaparva said:

O Bhargava, whatever wealth the Asura kings possess in this world, whether in elephants, cows, or horses, you are its actual master, as you are my own master.

The learned Sukra said:

I am the master of whatever wealth the Daitya kings possess, O great Asura, if Devayani is pleased upon you.

Sri Devayani said:

My dear father, if you are actually the master of the king's wealth, then, O Bhargava, I wish to hear it not from you, but rather let the king himself say it.

King Vrsaparva said:

Good woman, your father is always worthy of my highest praise and honor. O sweet-smiling girl, anything at all that you desire, even if it is rare and difficult to obtain, I shall give to you at once.

Sri Devayani said:

My desire is that Sarmistha, along witha thousand maidens, become my menial servant, and that wherever my father may send me to be married, Sarmistha will follow me there to continue her service.

King Vrsaparva commanded a female attendent, "You, there, arise and bring Sarmistha at once! Whatever Devayani desires must be immediately provided."

Sri Vaisampayana said:

The nurse then went to Sarmistha and said, "Get up, fair maiden, for you must now act for the welfare of your kind. The great brahmana is about to reject all his Asura disciples because he is disturbed about what happened to Devayani. Whatever she may now desire, you are to perform it immediately, O innocent one.

Sarmistha replied,

Yes, whatever she may want I must now do. Sukra and Devayani must not go away because of me.

Sri Vaisampayana said:

On her father's order, Sarmistha, surrounded by a thousand handmaidens and sitting in a palanquin, then quickly left the city and came before Devayani.

Sarmistha said:

I am now your servant, and I shall wait upon you with these thousand handmaidens. I shall follow you wherever your father may send you to be married.

Devayani said:

Since I am the daughter of one who flatters and begs and lives on charity, how will you, the daughter of one who is flattered, be my menial servant?

Sarmistha said:

By whatever means, I must act for the welfare of my suffering kin. Therefore, I shall follow you wherever your father may send you.

Sri Vaisampayana said:

O best of kings, when the daughter of Vrsaparva had thus sworn to become her menial servant, Devayani then spoke to her father, "My dear father, O best of the twice-born, I am now satisfied and I will enter the city. Your deep knowledge and the power of your science will never fail."

Thus addressed by his daughter, the illustrious Sukra, the best of the twice-born, joyfully entered the city and was honored by all the demons.

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Sri Vaisampayana said:

A long time later, O excellent king, the fair-skinned Devayani went out with Sarmistha to the very same woods to play, each of the two bringing a thousand handmaidens. Reaching the same place as before, Devayani began to walk about and do whatever she liked, feeling very happy in the company of all her girlfriends. All of them joyfully played in the woods, drinking sweet honey that exuded from spring flowers, eating varieties of good food, and chewing the forest fruits. And again King Yayati, the son of Nahusa, happened to arrive there in his pursuit of wild game. Coming to the same spot as before, drawn by fatigue he searched for good water to drink.

There he saw Devayani and Sarmistha, and all their women, adorned with celestial jewels and frolicking about the forest. He watched the sweet-smiling Devayani, with her incomparable beauty, as she sat among the lovely women. He noticed that Sarmistha was engaged in serving Devayani by massaging her feet and attending on her in various ways.

Yayati said:

May I ask you two girls, who are surrounded by two thousand other girls, about your names and families?

Devayani said:

I shall tell you, O king, and believe my words. The guru of the Asuras is known to be Sukra, and you may know me to be his daughter. This other girl is my friend and servant, and she waits on me wherever I go. She is Sarmistha, the daughter of the demon king Vrsaparva.

Yayati said:

I am most curious to know how this girl of lovely complexion, the daughter of the Asura king, is your friend and menial servant.

Devayani said:

Everything follows its destiny, O tiger of men, so you may consider this to be an arrangement of fate. Do not trouble yourself with elaborate explanations. Your beauty and dress are that of a king, and your speech that of a learned man. What is your name, where are you from, and who is your father? Kindly tell me.

Yayati said:

As a celibate student I was privileged to hear and learn all of the Vedas. I am a king and a king's son, widely known as Yayati.

Devayani said:

What is your purpose in coming to this land, O king? Was it your desire to take some lotuses from the lakes, or were you rather hunting for game?

Yayati said:

I was out in search of wild game, fair maiden, and I came here looking for water to drink. You have asked me many questions, now kindly permit me to go on my way.

Devayani said:

I with my servant Sarmistha and my two thousand hand-maidens, am subservient to you. I wish all good unto you, and I ask that you become my friend and my husband.

Yayati said:

Please understand, O daugher of Sukra, that I do not deserve you. O passionate woman, Devayani, kings cannot marry into your father's family.

Devayani said:

The kingly class was created together with the brahmanas, and the kings and teachers are meant to work together in cooperation. Dear son of Nahusa, you are a sage and a sage's son. Please, marry me.

Yayati said:

All four social divisions arise from the single body of the Supreme Lord, but they have different duties and religious principles because of their different levels of purity and spiritual knowledge. Of the four divisions the brahmanas are the best.

Devayani said:

O son of Nahusa, not a single man had ever touched my hand until you took hold of me. You were the first, and therefore I have chosen you. How could any other man ever touch my hand? I am a thoughtful woman, and I have already been taken hold of by a sage's son, who is himself a sage, and that is you!

Yayati said:

An experienced person knows that a brahmana is more dangerous than an angry, poisonous snake or a fire blazing on all sides.

Devayani said:

O leader of men, how can you say that a brahmana is more dangerous than an angry, poisonous snake or a fire blazing on all sides?

Yayati said:

A poisonous snake kills one man, and a sword kills one man, but a brahmana, when angered, destroys a kingdom with all its cities. Therefore, O timid one, I consider a brahmana to be more dangerous. Hence, I shall not marry you, my fine lady, unless your father gives you to me.

Devayani said:

Then marry me when my father bestows me upon you, for I have chosen you, O king, as my husband. There is no danger for a man who does not ask for a woman, but accepts her when she is freely offered.

Vaisampayana said:

Devayani then quickly sent a message to her father, and the moment he heard the news Sukra came to see the king. When Yayati saw that the great Sukra had arrived, the ruler of the earth bowed down to the learned brahmana and received him with folded hands and prayerful words of greeting.

Devayani said:

Dear father, this king is the son of Nahusa, and when I was trapped in the well he took my hand. With all due obeisances unto you, please give me to him, for I shall not select any other man in the entire world as my husband.

Sukra said:

O heroic one, my beloved daughter has chosen you as her husband; I now give her to you and ask that you accept her as your queen, O son of Nahusa.

Yayati said:

O Bhargava, I beg of you one boon, that this great violation of dharma, my marriage with a woman of superior status, not taint me with sin, O brahmana.

Sukra said:

I release you from this breach of law. Be satisfied now to marry this girl. In this sacred union there should be no hesitation, for I shall remove from you any taint of sin. By the sacred rules of dharma, take as your wife this slender, lovely Devayani, for together you will achieve the greatest pleasure. This young girl Sarmistha, the daughter of Vrsaparva, will also go with you. You must always honor her in every way, O king, but you are not to call her to your bed.

Vaisampayana said:

At these words, Yayati respectfully circumambulated the sage, and with the permission of that great soul he joyfully returned to his city.

AP 77

Sri Vaisampayana said:

Upon reaching his city, which shone in splendor like the city of the great Indra, Yayati entered his palace and settled his new wife Devayani in the women's quarters. With Devayani's permission, he constructed a house near a small grove of Asoka trees and there he settled the daughter of Vrsaparva, who lived in the midst of her thousand maidservants. Yayati treated Sarmistha with much respect and gave the Asura princess an equal portion of fine garments, food, and drink.

For many years the royal son of Nahusa enjoyed his life with Devayani, passing his days as joyfully as a god. When her proper season had come, the shapely Devayani became pregnant for the first time and gave birth to a boy. After a thousand years had passed, Sarmistha, the daughter of Vrsaparva, saw that she had also reached the full maturity of her youth and that her season for begetting had come. She began to think, "My fertile season has come, but I have not chosen a husband."

Sarmistha then freed her mind of lust and envy, bathed, adorned herself with all her best jewels, and went out to the grove. Holding onto the branch of an Asoka tree that was covered with clusters of new blossoms, she studied her face in a mirror, yearning to see the man she would love as her husband. Feeling very lonely and confused, she said, "O Asoka tree, your name means that you have no sorrow, so why will you not help me who am filled with sorrow? Quickly, make me have the same name as you by showing me the face of my lover." Having thus spoken, Sarmistha paused and then said,

"My season for begetting has come, but I have not chosen a husband. What is happening to me, and what should I do? And what can I do, that things be rightly done? Devayani has given birth to a son, but I have reached my full youth for nothing. Devayani simply chose the king as her husband, and it came to pass. I am going to do the exact same thing! I will also choose him as my husband. The king must give me the fruit of a son. That is my conclusion. Would he agree, even now, to come and see me in private?"

At that time, the king happened to come out of his palace and went walking near the Asoka grove. He reached the spot where Sarmistha was standing and stood in front of her. Seeing him alone in that secluded place, Sarmistha went right up to the king with a beautiful smile on her lips, and folding her hands in supplication she said, "Who dares touch a woman who resides in the house of Soma, Indra, Visnu, Yama, or Varuna, or indeed in your house, O son of Nahusa? No man will approach me! O king, you have always known me to be an attractive woman, of royal descent and faithful conduct. Now I beg you, I beseech you for your mercy. O lord of men, give me a child, for it is my season.

Yayati said:

I know you as the faultless Daitya girl whose behavior has always been ideal. As far as your physical beauty is concerned, I do not see a flaw the size of a needle point. But when I took away Devayani, the learned Sukra said, "Do not call the daughter of Vrsaparva to your bed."

Sarmistha said:

O king, words spoken in jest do no serious harm, even when less than the truth, nor do words spoken to women or at the time of a wedding or when life is about to be lost or when all one's fortune is being stolen. In these five circumstances, speaking less than the truth is not a sin. O lord of men, if a person is called as a witness and speaks falsely, then he is said to be false and fallen. A lie will damage one who speaks it to those joined with him in a common purpose.

King Yayati said:

A king has to be a model for all other people, and if he speaks falsely his position will be lost. Even if I come to suffer the greatest misfortune, I do not dare act falsely.

Sarmistha said:

It is generally considered that a girl's own husband and the husband of her best friend are very close in her eyes. When her best girl friend is married, it is almost like her own marriage. Thus, since my best friend has chosen you as her husband, it is natural that I do also.

King Yayati said:

I have taken a sacred vow to give charity to those who beg it from me, and now you are begging from me. All right, then, tell me what I can do to please you.

Sarmistha said:

Save me from irreligion, O king , and keep me on the path of virtue. If in this life I could become the mother of your child, I would then practice the most noble principles of virtue. O king , three persons-- a wife, a servant, and a son-- do not keep separate property, but rather live under the protection of the husband, the master, and the father. Whatever these three acquire is of the same patrimony.

I am the humble servant of Devayani, a descendent of Bhrgu, and she in turn is under your control. Therefore, O king , you should care for me also. Oh, please accept me!

Sri Vaisampayana said:

When addressed in this way, the king was convinced that she was correct, and he honored Sarmistha and taught her the sacred law for begetting, so that she might prepare. After he had approached Sarmistha for union and taken her as much as he desired, they earnestly honored one another and departed as they had come.

By that contact Sarmistha, with her lovely smile and charming brows, obtained her first pregnancy from the highest of kings. In due time, O king, that lotus-eyed woman gave birth to a lotus-eyed son who shone like a child of the gods.

Mahabharata H.J. Resnik

01 - Adi Parva I - II - Maharaja Shantanu Marries the Celestial Ganga
09 - Salya Parva - The Death of Salya
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