Chapter 1: King Sudyumna Becomes a Woman
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    Welcome, Guest · RSS 2018-11-17, 3:30 AM

    Chapter 1: King Sudyumna Becomes a Woman

    (1) The king said: 'I have listened to your descriptions of all the periods of the Manus and the wonderful actions performed by the Lord of Unlimited Potency during those periods. (2-3) He who was known by the name of Satyavrata, the saintly king and ruler of Dravidades'a, received spiritual knowledge at the end of the previous day of Brahmâ, by rendering service to the Original Person [the Purusha]. I heard from you how he, as a son of Vivasvân [the sun god], thus became the Manu. You have spoken about his many sons: the kings headed by Ikshvâku [8.13: 1]. (4) Oh brahmin, please describe to us always eager to listen to your stories, the dynasties of those kings and what characterized them oh greatly fortunate one. (5) Please tell us about all those pious and celebrated souls who were there before us, who will be there after us and who live at present with us.'

    (6) S'rî Sûta said: "After Parîkchit thus in the assembly of all the brahmin followers had requested this, the powerful S'uka, the one most learned in the dharma, gave a reply. (7) S'rî S'uka said: 'Oh subduer of the enemies, I will now tell you the most important about the dynasty of Manu, because not even a hundred years would be enough to do this extensively. (8) When the Supersoul, who is the Original Transcendental Person of all higher and lower forms of life, found Himself at the end of the kalpa, outside of Him nothing of this universe or anything else existed. (9) From His navel a golden lotus generated upon which oh King, the selfborn one with his four heads appeared [Lord Brahmâ, see also 3.8]. (10) Marîci appeared from Brahmâ's mind and Kas'yapa was there from him. He on his turn begot in Aditi, the daughter of Daksha, a son: Visvasvân [see also 6.6: 38-39]. (11-12) Vivasvân begot in Samjñâ, Manu S'râddhadeva who with his wife S'râddhâ from his sense control fathered ten sons whom he gave the names Ikshvâku, Nriga, S'aryâti, Dishtha, Dhrishtha, Karûshaka, Narishyanta, Prishadhra, Nabhaga and the mighty Kavi. (13) He, the Manu, at first had no sons, but the great personality, the powerful Vasishthha, performed a sacrifice for the demigods Mitra and Varuna that would bring him sons. (14) But S'râddhâ, Manu's wife who as prescribed observed a payo vrata [vow of drinking only, see 8.16], approached with obeisances the performing priest during the sacrifice and begged him for a daughter. (15) The ritvik in charge [the adhvaryu] told the priest performing the oblations [the hota] to engage with this in mind, whereupon the brahmin took the ghee and recited the mantra vashath ['unto the Living Being'].

    (16) With that transgression of the performing priest a daughter was born named Ilâ ['the libation']. When Manu saw her he most dissatisfied said to his guru: (17) 'Oh my lord, what is this? As a result of the actions of you transcendentalists, there is alas this painful deviation. This rebellion against the Absolute Truth never should have happened! (18) How could you, versed in Vedic knowledge, connected and austere of whom all impurities were burned away, deviate from your decision? Since when are the demigods of false promises?'

    (19) Having heard what he said, the most powerful one, their great-grandfather Vasishthha who had understanding for the mistake the performing priest had made, spoke to [Manu] the son of the sun god. (20) 'This unexpected result was the consequence of the wrong action of your priest. I will employ however my power to give you a nice son!'

    (21) With that decision oh King, the renown powerful master Vasishthha offered prayers to the Original Person with the wish that Ilâ turned into a man. (22) Pleased by him the Supreme Controller Hari granted the desired benediction so that Ilâ became a nice man who was called Sudyumna. (23-24) One day Sudyumna was on a hunting trip in the forest oh King and was accompanied by a couple of associates. While riding a horse from Sindhuprades'a he went north in pursuit of the game. For the occasion the hero was equiped with a beautiful bow with remarkable arrows and an armor.  (25) At the foot of mount Meru he happened to enter the Sukumâra forest where the mighty Lord S'iva is enjoying with his wife Umâ. (26) Having entered there oh ruler of man, Sudyumna, the pre-eminent hero, saw himself changed into a woman and his horse into a mare [see also 5.17: 15]. (27) All his companions were also changed into the opposite sex and seeing each other like this they got very depressed.'

    (28) The honorable king [Parîkchit] said: 'How can that realm have this quality? How came this about oh mighty one? This is what we very much would like to hear you deliberate on.'

    (29) S'rî S'uka answered: 'Saints fixed in their vows dispelling the darkness in every direction, once came there to see the Lord of the Mountain, S'iva. (30) Ambikâ [Durgâ] who sat naked on her husband's lap was most ashamed when she saw them. Quickly she got up and covered her breasts. (31) The saints seeing the two enjoying sexual intercourse desisted from proceeding further and departed immediately for the âs'rama of Nara-Nârâyana. (32) Because of this the mighty Lord wishing to please his sweetheart said: 'Anyone who enters this place will turn into a woman on the spot!' (33) Ever since males in particular do not enter that forest whereabout she [Sudyumna] in the company of her associates [now] wandered about from stretch to stretch. (34) When she as a most exciting woman, thus surrounded by other women was loitering near his âs'rama, the powerful Budha [the son of the moon and deity of Mercury] wished to enjoy her. (35) She also longed to have him, the beautiful son of king Soma, for her husband and thus she from him gave birth to a son named Purûravâ. (36) I've heard that Sudyumna who thus as a king born from Manu had achieved the female status, [then] remembered Vasishthha, the preceptor of the family. (37) The merciful sage seeing him in that condition was very aggrieved. He desired the return of his maleness and began to pray to Lord S'ankara [S'iva]. (38-39) S'iva being pleased with him oh servant of the state, in order to keep his promise [to Umâ] and to show the sage his love, said: 'This disciple of your line will one month be a female and the next month be a male. Sudyumna may with this arrangement [then] rule the world as he likes.' (40) With this settlement he by the mercy of the âcârya acquired the desired maleness and ruled over the entire world, even though the citizens were not quite happy with it. (41) From Sudyumna three sons were born listening to the names of Utkala, Gaya and Vimala oh King. They became kings over the southern realm and were very religious. (42) Thereafter, when the time was ripe, the master of the kingdom who was so mighty, handed the world over to his son Purûravâ and left for the forest.'