Chapter 18: King Yayâti Regains his Youth
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    Welcome, Guest · RSS 2019-07-19, 2:45 AM
    Chapter 18: King Yayâti Regains his Youth
    (1) S'rî S'uka said: 'Just like an embodied soul having six senses [with the mind as the sixth] there were from king Nahusha [another son of Purûravâ's son Âyu] six sons: Yati, Yayâti, Samyâti, Âyati, Viyati and Kriti. (2) The eldest son Yati did not accept the kingdom offered by his father, for he knew what that entails. A person who enters such a position cannot seriously engage in self-realization. (3) When his father by the brahmins was forced to abdicate for having offended Indra's wife S'acî and he hence had degraded to the level of a python [a 'goat-swallower'], Yayâti became the king. (4) He allowed his four younger brothers to rule the different directions. Yayâti thus ruling the world married with the daughters [Devayânî] of S'ukrâcârya and [S'armishthhâ of] Vrishaparvâ.'

    (5) The king said: 'The mighty seer S'ukrâcârya was a brahmin while Yayâti belonged to the kshatriya class. How could there, against the customs, be a [pratiloma] marriage of a brahmin [daughter] with a kshatriya?' [anuloma, the other way around, was more common].

    (6-7) S'rî S'uka said: 'One day Vrishaparvâ's daughter named S'armishthhâ, an innocent girl with a passionate character, was together with the daughter of the guru Devayânî and with thousands of friends. They walked in the palace garden full of blossoming trees that had sand banks with lotus flowers buzzing with the sweet sounds of bumblebees. (8) When the lotus-eyed girls arrived at the side of the lake situated there, they gave up their dresses on the bank and began sporting in the water by splashing one another.  (9) They [suddenly] saw Lord S'iva passing by seated on his bull together with the goddess [Pârvatî]. The young girls quickly got out of the water and full of shame covered themselves with their garments. (10) Without noticing it S'armishthhâ put on the clothes of the guru's daughter as if they were her own, whereupon Devayânî irritated said this: (11) 'Now look how she like a maid-servant acts without any manners. She just like a dog going for the ghee for a sacrifice has put on the garment that was meant for me! (12-14) Of us descendants of Bhrigu better than the rest by whose austerity this entire world was created, of us who are the face of the Personality of Transcendence and by whose piety the light of the right path is known, of us unto whom the masters of the world, the enlightened ones of control and even the Supreme Lord, the Purifying Supersoul and Husband of the Goddess, are offering prayers, she, whose demoniac father is a disciple of our father, has put on what was meant to be worn by us. It is as if an unchaste s'udra tries to master the Vedas!'

    (15) S'armishthhâ thus rebuked breathed heavily like a trampled serpent and said very angrily biting her lip to the guru's daughter: (16) 'What a nonsense, you beggar! You do not know your place. Is not it you who waits outside our house [for food] like the crows do?'

    (17) With these unkind words rebuking her S'armishthhâ angrily took the garments away from the virtuous daughter of the spiritual teacher and pushed her into a well. (18) As she went home Yayâti, who wandered around for a hunt, happened to arrive at the spot and, thursting for water, discovered her in the well. (19) Because she sat there completely naked, the king gave her his upper garment and most kindly put his hand into hers to pull her out. (20-21) The daughter of Us'anâ [or S'ukrâcârya, see also B.G. 10: 37] with words full of love and kindness said to the hero: 'Oh King, with you taking my hand, oh conqueror of the cities of the enemy, you have accepted my hand! May it not be touched by anyone else but by you because the relationship between you and me that we have now, was arranged by providence oh hero and not by man! (22) Having landed in this well I learned about your goodness. [Please know that] no qualified brahmin can become my husband oh strong-armed one, because Kaca, the son of Brihaspati whom I have cursed in the past, pronounced a curse against it [*].'

    (23) Yayâti did not like what had been arranged by providence, but thinking for himself however he, attracted to her, agreed to her proposal. (24) After the king had left she, having returned home, in tears wisely told everything to her father, recounting all that S'armishthhâ had done and what had happened thereafter. (25) The mighty thinker was most unhappy about it. He condemned the priesthood, praised the activity of collecting grains [uñcha-vritti, see 7.11: 16 and 7.12: 17-19] and left his residence together with his daughter. (26) King Vrishaparvâ understanding that his spiritual master acted in resistance, propitiated him by prostrating on the road with his head at his feet. (27) The mighty son of Bhrigu, who could not be angry for longer than a minute, then said to his disciple: 'I cannot ignore her, please fulfill her desire oh King!'

    (28) With his consent to settle matters [as demanded] Devayânî expressed her desire: 'To whomever my father gives me away in marriage, she [S'armishthhâ] must accompany me as my follower.'

    (29) S'armishthhâ together with her friends by the father being given to Devayânî understood the danger [of the âcârya leaving] and also what the benefit was of his respectability, and therefore served her with the thousands of other women as a servant. (30) When he gave his daughter [Devayânî] to [Yayâti] the descendant of Nahusha, S'ukrâcârya said to him: 'Oh King, never ever allow S'armishthhâ into your bed!'

    (31) S'armishthhâ [however] who [later on] saw that Us'anâ's daughter had nice children, asked him at an opportune moment in a secluded place, whether he as the husband of her girlfriend would not like her as a faithful wife. (32) Remembering what S'ukra had said when he gave his advice for a situation like this, he who by the princess was requested to have children with her, then decided from his sense of duty and respect for the principles of religion, to give in to her [compare B.G. 7: 11]. (33) Devayânî gave birth to Yadu and Turvasu. S'armishthhâ, the daughter of Vrishaparvâ, had Druhyu, Anu and Pûru. (34) When Devayâni was informed that S'armishthhâ was pregnant of her protector she boiling with anger proudly returned to her father's house. (35) Following his sweetheart, his great desire, he tried to appease her with meaningful words and massaging her feet, but it was in vain. (36) S'ukra said angrily to him: 'You womanizing, deceitful man. May you oh fool, be afflicted by the disfigurement of the human body because of age.'

    (37) S'rî Yayâti said: 'As yet my lust with your daughter has not been satisfied oh brahmin!'

    [S'ukra replied:] 'For as long as you are lusty you may exchange your old age for the youth of someone willing to consent to that.'

    (38) He thus got the opportunity to change places with his eldest son. He asked him: 'Oh Yadu, beloved son, please give me your youth in exchange for this old age! (39) I am not yet satisfied in my sensual needs, my dear son. When you take upon yourself the burden of old age that your grandfather [S'ukra] wished me, I can enjoy life a few years more [see also 7.5: 30].'

    (40) S'rî Yadu said: 'I am not happy to accept your old age while you remain youthful. A person [like me] will never become free from material desires without [having had] the experience of bodily happiness [see also 7.12: 9-11 and B.G. 4: 13]!'

    (41) The father requested Turvasu, Druhyu and Anu oh son of Bharata, but they refused to accept because they, not conversant with the true nature [of the soul], took their temporality for something permanent. (42) He asked Pûru who was younger but better qualified. He said to him: 'You my dear son, would not turn me down like your older brothers did, would you?'

    (43) S'rî Pûru said: 'Who oh King, oh best one among the people, gets in this world the chance to repay his father for the body that he gave? It is by his mercy that one may enjoy a higher life. (44) He who acts in respect of his father's wishes is the best one, he who acts on his command is but mediocre and low-class is he who acts irreverently but he who defies his father's words is like his stool.'

    (45) Pûru was thus pleased to accept the burden of old age of his father while his father was pleased with the satisfaction of his youthful desires that he asked for oh ruler of man. (46) He [Yayâti] as the master of the seven continents ruled like a father over his subjects and enjoyed to his heart's content the material happiness without any frustration of his senses. (47) Devayânî on top of that provided her beloved husband as his sweetheart in private twenty-four hours a day divine bliss with all of her body, mind and words and everything that belongs to it. (48) With different rituals worshiping Hari, the Personality of Sacrifice, the Godhead and Reservoir of all Divinity and Object of all Vedic knowledge, Yayâti was of an abundant charity. (49) Then the complete of the in Himself created world appears - just like a mass of clouds in the sky - as a diversity of [life] forms and then again it is of no manifestation, like it concerned a creation of the mind as in a dream [see also B.G. 7: 24-25]. (50) Placing only Him in his heart, Lord Vâsudeva, the One Nârâyana who exists within each but is visible to no one, he free from desire worshiped the Supreme Master. (51) Thus for a thousand years with his mind and his five senses being engaged in a notion of worldly happiness he, the master of the entire world, because of his devious senses nevertheless could not find satisfaction.'