See for the online version with illustrations, music and links to the previous translation:



"The Story of the Fortunate One"

Third revised version 2012







Chapter 1 King Sudyumna Becomes a Woman

Chapter 2 The Dynasties of Six of the Sons of Manu

Chapter 3 The Marriage of S'ukanyā and Cyavana Muni

Chapter 4 Ambarīsha Mahārāja Offended by Durvāsā Muni

Chapter 5 Durvāsā Saved: the Cakra-prayers of Ambarīsha

Chapter 6 The Downfall of Saubhari Muni

Chapter 7 The Descendants of King Māndhātā

Chapter 8 The Sons of Sagara Meet Lord Kapiladeva

Chapter 9 The Dynasty of Ams'umān

Chapter 10 The Pastimes of Lord Rāmacandra

Chapter 11 Lord Rāmacandra Rules the World

Chapter 12 The Dynasty of Kus'a, the Son of Lord Rāmacandra

Chapter 13 The Story of Nimi and the Dynasty of his Son Mithila.

Chapter 14 King Purūravā Enchanted by Urvas'ī

Chapter 15 Paras'urāma, the Lord's Warrior Incarnation

Chapter 16 How Lord Paras'urāma Came to Destroy the Ruling Class Twenty-one Times

Chapter 17 The Dynasties of the Sons of Purūravā

Chapter 18 King Yayāti Regains his Youth

Chapter 19 King Yayāti Achieves Liberation: the Goats of Lust

Chapter 20 The Dynasty of Pūru up to Bharata

Chapter 21 The Dynasty of Bharata: the Story of Rantideva

Chapter 22 The Descendants of Ajamīdha: the Pāndavas and Kauravas

Chapter 23 The Dynasties of the Sons of Yayāti: the Appearance of Lord Krishna

Chapter 24 The Yadu and Vrishni Dynasties, Prithā and the Glory of Lord Krishna



This book relates the story of the Lord and His incarnations since the earliest records of Vedic history, the history of the original culture of knowledge of India. It is verily the Krishna 'bible' [in Sanskrit called a samhitā] of the Hindu universe. The Bhagavad Gītā relates to this book the way in Christianity the sermon on the mountain, by Lord Jesus, relates to the full Bible. It has about 18.000 verses contained in 335 chapters and consists of 12 subdivisions of books that are called Cantos. These books together tell the complete history of the Vedic culture and cover the essence of the classical collections of stories called the Purānas. This specific collection of Vedic stories is considered the most important one of all the great eighteen classical Purānas of India. It includes the cream of the Vedic knowledge compiled from all the Vedic literatures, as also the story of the life of Lord Krishna in full (Canto 10). Lord Krishna constitutes a watershed in history between the old Vedic culture and the 'modern' political culture of a continuous word struggle, in which the rule of state no longer automatically is led by the spiritual order. The book tells the story of His birth, His youth, all wonderful proofs of His divine nature and His superhuman feats of defeating all kinds of demons, up to the great Mahābhārata war at Kurukshetra. In this war the Vedic culture fell down to be replaced by the fragmented religiosity we these days call Hinduism. This leading Purāna, also called the 'perfect Purāna', is a brilliant story that has been brought to the West by S'rīla A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda (1896-1977). He was a Caitanya Vaishnava, a bhakti (devotional) monk of Lord Vishnu [the name for the transcendental form of Lord Krishna]. We owe him much gratitude. He undertook the daring task of enlightening the materialist westerners, the advanced philosophers and theologians, in order to help them to overcome the perils and loneliness of impersonalism and the philosophy of emptiness.

The representative of Vishnu on earth is named the Fortunate One in this book. We know Him specifically by the names of Lord Rāma and Lord Krishna. The Fortunate One is the Lord who is known by His different forms or incarnations, the so-called avatāras. But also the devotees are part of His reality and are also called bhāgavata when they are of pure devotion. On top of that the book is also called bhāgavata. Thus there is the Lord in His many appearances, the devotee with as many faces, and the book. They are all called bhāgavata or fortunate. The word bhāga means fortune or luck, while the term bhaga refers to gracious lord, happiness and wealth. To be fortunate Vedically means to be of the opulence, or to carry, or live by, the fullness of God's riches, beauty, fame, power, knowledge and detachment.

The writer of this book is named Krishna Dvaipāyana Vyāsadeva, and is also known as Bādarāyana. He is the Lord, the Bhagavān or venerable one among the philosophers, who in India assembled all the holy texts. He compiled the Vedas, four basic scriptures also known as the s'ruti meaning ‘that what is heard’, containing the basic wisdom, the mantras for the rituals and the hymns. The Purānas together with the Itihāsas (the separate stories) belong to the so-called smriti, ‘that what is remembered’. This knowledge is sometimes considered a fifth Veda. Vyāsa also wrote the book titled Mahābhārata. It is considered the greatest epic poem in the world. It describes the history (Itihāsa) of the great fall the Vedic culture once made, this culture based on spiritual knowledge. The Bhagavad Gītā is the most important part of it. Vyāsa also wrote the rest of the eighteen great story books (the Purānas) of India as also the Brahma-sūtra, his masterpiece on the Absolute Truth. Vyāsa was a grandfather of the Kuru dynasty. He lived a very long time. His long duration of life enabled him to write the story of the Fortunate One and all the other books. He had a son called S'ukadeva who handed down the message of this holy story book, in the presence of other sages, to another member of the family, Emperor Parīkshit, who had difficulty respecting the classical wisdom. This emperor is in this book, presented in the form of a frame story, present as a model for us normal people who seek their stability in wisdom. This knowledge was by S'uka conveyed to him in disciplic succession (paramparā) for the sake of  the science of devotional service (bhakti), to be taught by those who teach by example (the ācāryas). Swami A. C. Bhaktivedanta Prabhupāda, from this disciplic succession was commissioned to disseminate this book in the West. He realized this together with his pupils (known as the Hare Krishnas of ISKCON), with a verse by verse commented series of books covering the entire Bhāgavatam. This site offers not all these texts but it does offer, under the Creative Commons Copyright, an as-it-is translation, independent from ISKCON, of the verses in a concatenated accessible form, complete with the Sanskrit original version and a dictionary covering the terms used in the book, the previous version, a reading in mp3's and 74 bhajans for performing the necessary chanting alone and in association. This text is regularly updated and maintained by us. As a devotee I as the translator, the undersigned, received my instructions for devotional service in the temples of ISKCON, as also elsewhere. My predecessor in this duty in the Netherlands was S'rī Hayes'var das (Hendrik van Teylingen, 1938-1998), who was initiated by Prabhupāda. He covered most of the formal ISKCON translations into Dutch.
For the translation of this internet version were consulted the translations of C.L Goswami, M.A., Sāstrī (from the Gītā Press, Gorakhpur), the paramparā [disciplic succession] version of S'rīla Vishvanātha Cakravarti Thhākura and the later version of this book by S'rīla A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda. The latter translators as ācāryas of the age-old Indian Vaishnava tradition, are representatives of a culture of reformation of the devotion for God or bhakti, the way it has been practiced in India since the 16th. century. This reformation asserts that the false authority of the caste system and single dry book knowledge is to be rejected. S'rī Krishna Caitanya, also called Caitanya Mahāprabhu (1486-1534), the avatāra [an incarnation of the Lord] who heralded this reform, restored the original purpose of developing devotion unto the person of God. He endeavored in particular for the dissemination of the two main sacred scriptures expounding on that devotion in relation to Krishna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. These scriptures are the Bhagavad Gītā and this Bhāgavata Purāna, which is also called the S'rīmad Bhāgavatam. From this scripture all the Vaishnava teachers of example derived, and still derive, their wisdom for the purpose of the instruction and shaping of their exemplary devotion. The word for word translations as also the full text and commentaries of this book were studied within and without the Hare Krishna temples where the teaching of this culture takes place. 

The purpose of the translation is first of all to make this glorious text available to a wider audience over the Internet. Since the Bible, the Koran and numerous other holy texts are readily available, the translator, the undersigned, meant that this book could not stay behind on the shelf of his own bookcase as a token of material possessiveness. When we started with this endeavor in the year 2000 there was no proper web presentation of this book. Knowledge not shared is knowledge lost, and certainly this type of knowledge, which stresses the yoga of non-possessiveness and devotion as one of its leading principles, could not be left out. The version of Swami Prabhupāda is very extensive covering some 2400 pages of plain fine printed text, including his commentaries. And these covered only the first ten Cantos. The remaining two Cantos were posthumously translated, commented and published by his pupils in full respect of his spirit.

I thus was faced with two daring challenges: one was to concatenate the text, or make a readable running narrative, of the book that had been dissected and commented to the single word. The second challenge was to put it into a language that would befit the 21st. century with all its modern and postmodern experience and digital progress of the present cultural order of the world, without losing anything of its original verses. Thus another verse to verse as-it-is translation came about in which Vishvanātha's, Prabhupāda's and Sāstrī's words were pruned, retranslated and set to the understanding and realization of today. This realization, in my case, originated directly from the disciplic line of succession of the Vaishnava line of ācāryas, as also from a realization of the total field of Indian philosophy of enlightenment and yoga discipline, as was brought to the West by also non-Vaishnava gurus and maintained by their pupils. Therefore the author has to express his gratitude also to all these great heroes who dared to face the adamantine of western philosophy with all its doubts, concreticism and skepticism. In particular the pupils of Prabhupāda, members of the renounced order (sannyāsīs) who instructed the author in the independence and maturity of the philosophy of the bhakti-yogis of Lord Caitanya, need to be mentioned. I was already initiated in India by a non-Vaishnava guru who gave me the name Swami Anand Aadhar ('teacher of the foundation of happiness'). That name the Krishna community converted into Anand Aadhar Prabhu ('master of the foundation of happiness'), without further ceremonies of Vaishnava initiation (apart from a basic training). With the name Anand Aadhar I am a withdrawn devotee, a so-called vānaprashta, who does his devotional service independently in the silence and modesty of his local adaptations of the philosophy.

In most cases the word for word translations and grammatical directions of S'rīla A.C. Bhaktivedānta Swami Prabhupāda/ISKCON, Vishvanātha Cakravarti Thhākura and C.L. Goswami M.A., Sāstrī, have been followed as they were used in their translations. I have checked them with the help of the Monier-Williams Sanskrit Dictionary [see the file of the terms used]. In footnotes and between square brackets [ ] sometimes a little comment and extra info is given to accommodate the reader when the original text is drawing from a more experienced approach. Terms in italics are explained in the glossary (the lexicon) ( On the internetsite of this book, my - from ISKCON independent - version directly links to the version of Prabhupāda at each verse, together with my own previous version, so that it is possible to retrace at any moment what we, Sakhya Devi Dāsī, who faithfully always assisted me for more than 23 years in the duty, and I, this servant of the Lord, have done with the text. It was realized in accordance with the scientific tradition of the Vaishnava community.

For the copyright on this translation and the podcast spoken version of the book, the so-called Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License has been chosen. This means that one is free to copy, distribute and alter the text on the condition of attribution (refer to the name of Anand Aadhar and to my website URL Furthermore the resulting work can only be distributed under the same or similar license to this one and one also may not use the text for commercial purposes. For all other usage one will have to contact the translator.

With love and devotion,
Anand Aadhar Prabhu,
Sakhya Devi Dāsī, 
Enschede, The Netherlands, January 24, 2024

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 Brahmā, by rendering service to the Original Person [the Purusha]. I heard from you how he, as a son of Vivasvān [the sun god], thus became the Manu. You have spoken about his many sons: the kings headed by Ikshvāku [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'rī Sūta said: "After Parīkchit thus in the assembly of the brahmin followers had requested this, the powerful S'uka, the one most learned in the dharma, gave a reply. (7) S'rī S'uka said: 'Oh subduer of the enemies, now hear from me 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 originated upon which, oh King, the selfborn one with his four heads appeared [Lord Brahmā, see also 3.8]. (10) Marīci appeared from Brahmā's mind and Kas'yapa was there from him. He in his turn begot in Aditi, the daughter of Daksha, a son: Vivasvān [see also 6.6: 38-39]. (11-12) Vivasvān begot in Samjńā, Manu S'rāddhadeva who, with his wife S'rāddhā, from his sense control fathered ten sons whom he gave the names Ikshvāku, Nriga, S'aryāti, Dishtha, Dhrishtha, Karūshaka, 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'rāddhā, 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 Ilā ['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. However, I will employ 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 Ilā turned into a man. (22) Pleased by him the Supreme Controller Hari granted the desired benediction so that Ilā became a nice man who was called Sudyumna. (23-24) One day Sudyumna was on a hunting trip in the forest, oh King, being 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 equipped with a beautiful bow with very special arrows and an armor.  (25) At the foot of mount Meru he happened to enter the Sukumāra forest where the mighty Lord S'iva is enjoying life with his wife Umā. (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 [Parīkchit] said: 'How can that realm have this quality? How came this about, oh mighty one? We would very much like to hear you deliberate about this.'

(29) S'rī S'uka answered: 'Saints, who fixed in their vows dispelled the darkness in every direction, once came there to see the Lord of the Mountain, S'iva. (30) Ambikā [Durgā], who sat naked on her husband's lap, was most ashamed when she saw them. She quickly got up and covered her breasts.  (31) The saints seeing the two enjoying sexual intercourse, desisted from proceeding further and departed immediately for the ās'rama of Nara-Nārāyana. (32) Because of this the mighty Lord wishing to please his beloved said: 'Anyone who enters this place will turn into a woman on the spot!' (33) Males in particular since then do not enter that forest, whereabout she [Sudyumna] in the company of her associates thereafter wandered from stretch to stretch. (34) When she as a most exciting woman, thus surrounded by other women was loitering near his ās'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 Purūravā. (36) I 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 wanted his maleness to return 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 Umā] 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 ācārya 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 Purūravā and left for the forest.'


Chapter 2: The Dynasties of Six of the Sons of Manu

(1) S'rī S'uka said: 'After Sudyumna, thus had disappeared, Vaivasvata Manu, his father desiring a(nother) son, executed austerities at the Yamunā for a hundred years. (2) After for the purpose of offspring having worshiped the Godhead, Lord Hari, Manu begot ten sons who were like him and of whom the eldest was named Ikshvāku [see also 8.13: 2-3]. (3) Prishadhra was among the sons of Manu by his guru ordered to herd cows. For that purpose he had taken the vow of vīrāsana ['to stand prepared with a sword'] to protect them at night [see also 4.6: 38]. (4) One night when it was raining, a tiger entered the land of the cowshed. Out of fear all the cows lying down, got up and spread all around the field. (5-6) When the strong animal seized one of the cows, it began to cry out of distress and fear. Prishadhra, hearing the screaming, took his sword and hastily followed the sound, but because the clouds covered the stars that night, he mistook the cow for the tiger and by mistake cut off its head. (7) The tiger, also being hit by the sword, had its ear cut off and fled most afraid, leaving a blood trail. (8) Prishadhra thinking that he had killed the tiger, to his dismay discovered the next morning that he being a hero, with his sword had killed the cow. (9) The family preceptor [Vasishthha] cursed him for the unintended sinful deed saying: 'Having acted like a s'ūdra, you cannot belong to the kshatriyas. Because of that unholy deed it is your karma to become a s'ūdra.' (10) The hero thus being cursed by his guru, accepted the words with folded hands and took the vow of celibacy the way the sages want it. (11-13) Exclusively devoted to Vāsudeva, the Supreme Lord and Soul of all, the Transcendence and Purity in person, he was equal and kindhearted towards all living beings. Freed from attachments, peaceful within and self-controlled, he was, free from possessions, of a vision in which he could accept whatever that was available for his physical needs, the way it for the benefit of the soul was arranged by His grace. Always with his mind focussed on the Supreme Self within and thus fully absorbed being satisfied in spiritual realization, he traveled all over the earth appearing to others as if he were deaf, dumb and blind. (14) After thus being engaged, he entered the forest and, as a saint, achieved the ultimate transcendental goal the moment he out there ran into a forest fire that he allowed to consume himself [see also B.G. 4: 9].

(15) Another son, Kavi [or Vasumān], the youngest one, had no attachments to material pleasures. After giving up his father's kingdom along with his friends, he, still a young man, entered the forest and reached the transcendental world by always keeping the effulgent Supreme Person in his heart.

(16) From the son of Manu Karūsha [or Tarūsha] there was a dynasty of kshatriyas called the Kārūshas who, as kings of the northern realm, were highly religious protectors of the brahminical culture.

(17) From Dhrishtha [or Shrishtha] a caste of kshatriyas originated who, in the world having achieved the position of brahmins, were named the Dhārshthas. From Nriga there was the succession of first Sumati, Bhūtajyoti and thereafter Vasu. (18) From Vasu's son Pratīka there was one named Oghavān ['the uninterrupted tradition'] who fathered another son named Oghavān who had a daughter who also carried that name: Oghavatī. She married Sudars'ana.

(19) From Narishyanta there was Citrasena, Riksha was his son and he begot Mīdhvān. Mīdhvān's son was Pūrna and Indrasena was Pūrna's son. (20) Because of Indrasena there was Vītihotra, from him there was Satyas'ravā, Urus'ravā was his son and Devadatta was his son. (21) Devadatta's son became the most powerful Agnives'ya, who was Agni in person. He was a mahārishi, a great saint, also known as Kānīna and Jātūkarnya. (22) From Agnives'ya a dynasty of brahmins came forth known as the Āgnives'yāyanas. Oh King, I have thus described the descendants of Narishyanta, let me now tell you about Dishtha's dynasty.

(23-24) Dishtha's son was Nābhāga [not to confuse with his uncles Nabhaga or the Nābhāga who was also called Nriga]. He, by contrast, answered to the vocation of the vais'yas [a merchant, see 7.11: 23]. His son was Bhalandana and from him there was Vatsaprīti. His son was named Prāms'u and Pramati was his son. Khanitra is known as Pramati's successor. He in his turn was succeeded by Cākshusha and his son was Vivims'ati. (25) Vivims'ati's son was Rambha and his son, Khanīnetra, was most religious. From him there was the scion Karandhama, oh great King. (26) Avīkshit was his son and his son, Marutta, became emperor. The great mystic Samvarta, the son of Angirā, engaged him in performing a yajńa. (27) The like of Marutta's sacrifice has never been observed since, because all that he used was made of gold and everything that he had was of the greatest beauty. (28) Indra was delighted to drink the soma-rasa, the brahmins were generously compensated, the Maruts [the demigods of the wind] offered foodstuffs, and all the gods of the universe were part of the assembly. (29) Dama was Marutta's son and from him there was a son with the power to expand the kingdom: Rājyavardhana. From his son Sudhriti a son was born named Nara. (30) Nara's son was called Kevala and he fathered Dhundhumān. Vegavān was there because of him and Vegavān's son Budha had Trinabindu for his son who was a great king. (31) Alambushā accepted him as her husband. She was an adorable goddess, a girl from heaven and a reservoir of all good qualities, who gave birth to a couple of sons and a daughter named Ilavilā. (32) Vis'ravā, was a saint and master of yoga. He received transcendental knowledge from his father and begot Kuvera in Ilavilā: he who brings wealth. (33) Vis'āla, S'ūnyabandhu and Dhūmraketu were the sons of Trinabindu. Vis'āla built a city named Vais'ālī and founded  a dynasty.  (34) Hemacandra was his son who fathered one called Dhūmrāksha. From his son Samyama there were [two sons called] Kris'ās'va and Devaja. (35-36) From Kris'ās'va there was a son named Somadatta. By worshiping the best one of all, the Lord of all Praises, the Original Person [Vishnu] in an as'vamedha sacrifice, he achieved the supreme destination where all the masters of yoga have their refuge. A son of Somadatta named Sumati thereupon begot a son called Janamejaya. All these kings of Vais'ālī sustained the reputation of King Trinabindu.'


Chapter 3: The Marriage of Sukanyā and Cyavana Muni

(1) S'rī S'uka said: 'The son of Manu, king S'aryāti, was a highly developed brahmin who for that reason gave instructions on the functions to be performed on the second day in the arena of sacrifice of the descendants of Angirā. (2) He had a lotus-eyed daughter called Sukanyā, with whom he went to the forest to visit the ās'rama of the sage Cyavana. (3) While she in the company of her friends was collecting fruits and flowers from the trees, she saw in an anthill some kind of two shining lights [compare 7.3: 15-16]. (4) As the young girl, ignorantly trying, with a thorn poked in the light objects, there oozed blood from them. (5) The guards being startled stood nailed to the ground, so that the king, who saw what had happened, had to address his surprised men. (6) 'Alas, we have done something wrong in approaching the enlightened sage. We have, with this action of one of us, evidently violated his ās'rama!'

(7) Sukanyā said afraid to her father: 'It was me who, unaware of what I was doing, with a thorn have pierced two shiny things.'

(8) When king S'aryāti heard his daughter say this, he was of the greatest concern to appease the sage who happened to reside quietly in the anthill. (9) Understanding what was needed to set things right he, in order to leave, with the greatest trouble handed over his daughter to the muni and then returned home with his permission. (10) Sukanyā, after having Cyavana for her husband, had understanding for him who remained very grumpy with her. She tried to please him by acting attentively according to his wishes. (11) When some time had passed this way, the two As'vins ['the healers of heaven'] reached the ās'rama. Offering them his respects the sage said: 'Please give me youthfulness, oh masters! (12) I know you cannot drink any soma, but I will offer you a pot full of soma-rasa when you give me the strength and beauty that is so desirable to young women.'

(13) 'So be it' the two great healers said confirming the scholar. 'Just dive into this lake. That will make you perfect.'

(14) The aged man with his gray hair, loose skin and frail body, the veins of which one could see, after thus being addressed, was by the As'vins helped into the lake. (15) When the three of them reappeared from the lake they were of the greatest beauty a woman could wish for: with lotus garlands, earrings, similar features and nice clothes. (16) After the young beauty saw them, the chaste woman could not tell who of them was her husband, for they were all equally beautiful, radiating like the sun, and thus she resorted to the As'vins. (17) Pleased with the strength of her faith they pointed out her husband and thereupon, taking leave of the sage, returned to the heavenly worlds in their celestial chariot. (18) King S'aryāti, who wishing to perform a yajńa had left for Cyavana's ās'rama, as a consequence saw a man at his daughter's side who radiated like the sun. (19) But the king, after she had paid her respect, gave his daughter not his blessings because he was not at all pleased with her: (20) 'What do you think you are doing? Are you now cheating on your husband, the great sage honored by all the people? Have you, because he's decrepit of age, oh unfaithful one, not deeming him very attractive, given up on him and taken this man, this street beggar, for a lover? (21) Are you out of your mind? In keeping this lover you, as a daughter from the most respectable family, are a disgrace to the entire dynasty. You are shamelessly throwing your father and also your husband into the deepest darkness.'

(22) She laughed and said with a smile to her father who was thus rebuking her: 'Oh father, this one here is your son-in-law, the son of Bhrigu!'

(23) She described to her father the entire story how his age had changed and he had acquired his beauty, whereupon he, utterly pleased and surprised, embraced his daughter. (24) Cyavana Muni with his spiritual power enabled the great man to perform the soma sacrifice and delivered the As'vins the pot full of the soma-rasa they could not drink themselves. (25) Indra full of indignation angrily took up his thunderbolt to kill him immediately, but the man of Bhrigu paralyzed the arm of Indra that held the thunderbolt. (26) With the permission of all [the demigods] there was ever since a full cup of soma-rasa for the As'vins, who as physicians, before this happened, were excluded from a share in the soma-yajńa.

(27) Uttānabarhi, Ānarta and Bhūrishena were the three sons begotten by S'aryāti. Ānarta thereupon fathered Revata. (28) After in the ocean [on an island near the cost] having built a town called Kus'asthalī [Dvārakā], he lived materially happy ruling regions like Ānarta and others, oh subduer of enemies. A hundred fine sons were born because of him. Kakudmī was the eldest of them. (29) Kakudmī took his daughter Revatī to Brahmā's abode beyond the modes, to ask the Almighty One for a husband for the girl. (30) Because the original teacher of the universe was engaged in enjoying the music of the Gandharvas he had no time for him at all, but as soon as it was over Kakudmī, after offering his obeisances, could submit his desire to him. (31) The all-powerful Lord had to laugh about what he heard and said to him: 'Alas, oh King, whosoever you had in mind [as a suitable husband for your daughter] has disappeared a long time ago! (32) We do not hear anymore about them nor about their sons, grandsons, descendants or dynasties because [while you were waiting here] a period of three times nine mahāyugas has passed! (33) Go therefore to Lord Baladeva. He constitutes a most powerful aspect of the God of Gods [Lord Vishnu]. Give Him, the Excellence of Man, your excellent daughter, oh King. (34) The Supreme Lord, the Eternal Well-wisher who diminishes the burden of the world, the virtue of hearing and singing in person, has now descended together with this partial aspect of Him [see also 5.25].' (35) The king, after paying the Unborn One his respects, returned with these directions to his residence that was abandoned by [the offspring of] his brothers. Afraid of ghosts they had spread in all directions. (36) After handing his perfectly shaped daughter over to the most powerful one, Lord Baladeva, the king went to Badarikās'rama, the place of Nara-Nārāyana, to perform austerities there.'


Chapter 4: Ambarīsha Mahārāja Offended by Durvāsā Muni

(1) S'rī S'uka said: 'Nābhāga, the learned youngest son of Nabhaga [see 9.1: 11-12, not the uncle also called Nriga nor the Nābhāga of Dishtha, see 9.2: 23], returning from a celibate life, received [as his share of the kingdom, the care for] his father because his elder brothers [already] had divided the property [among themselves].

'Oh, my brothers' [he said] 'What is the share you have reserved for me?'

'We allot you our father as your share [they answered].'

[He then said to his father:] 'Oh father, my elder brothers have not given me my share!'

[The father thereupon replied:] 'My son, do not take heed of that! (3) The so highly intelligent descendants of Angirā [see 6.6: 19] are today performing a sacrifice, but on every sixth day that they do this, oh learned one, they will fall in illusion with their self-interested actions. (4-5) Therefore go to them and recite for those great souls two Vedic hymns relating to the God of the Universe [Vais'vadeva, the Supreme Lord]. After resuming their own course, they will hand the wealth over to you they received from their sacrifice.'

Doing what his father had told him they gave him the proceeds of the yajńa before they returned to their heavenly places. (6) As he was collecting his riches, some person with a black countenance who had arrived from the north said to him: 'All these riches remaining from the sacrifice belong to me!'

[He replied:] 'They are all mine, the sages have handed them over to me!'

[The black man said:] 'Let us, concerning this matter, head for the son of Manu, your father, and ask him', and thus he inquired with his father as was proposed.

(8) [Father Nabhaga said:] 'Everything that remains from the sacrifice is by the sages considered a share for Lord S'iva, thus they have once decided [during the sacrifice of Daksha]. He is the demigod who deserves it all.'

Nābhāga offered him [S'iva] his obeisances and said: 'As my father said: everything from the sacrificial arena belongs to you, oh Lord [see 3.12: 6-14]. Oh saintly one, let me bow my head to you, I beg your pardon.'

(10) [Lord S'iva said:] 'All that your father said is true and also what you are saying is the truth. Let me, the knower of the mantras, grant you the spiritual knowledge that is transcendental and eternal. (11) Please take all the riches. I give you all that has been offered to me', and having spoken thus Rudra, the great lord and guardian of the dharma, vanished. (12) Anyone who with great attention remembers this in the morning and in the evening, becomes a scholar: he will become a knower of the mantras and the supreme destination, and thus be a self-realized soul. (13) From Nābhāga the most exalted and highly celebrated devotee Ambarīsha was born. A curse of a brahmin against him failed: it never could touch him.'

The king [Parīkchit] said: 'Oh lordship, I would like to hear about him, that king who was so intelligent that the most insurmountable power of a brahmin's measure could not affect him.'

S'rī S'uka said: 'Ambarīsha, the man of great fortune, after achieving an unlimited opulence on this earth consisting of the seven continents, meant that all that is so rarely obtained by many a ruler is as the riches one imagines in a dream: coming to one's senses it is all gone. It is the reason because of which a man falls in ignorance. (17) Unto Vāsudeva, the Supreme Personality, unto the devotees as also unto the saints, he had achieved the reverence and devotion, in the transcendence of which one takes this entire universe for something as insignificant as a piece of stone. (18-20) He was sure to fix his mind on the lotus feet of Krishna, to use his words to describe the qualities of [the Lord of] Vaikunthha, to use his hands for matters as cleaning the Lord's temple and to engage his ears in listening to the transcendental talks about the Infallible One. He used his eyes to look at the deities, the temples and buildings of Mukunda, he used his body to be in touch with the bodies of the devotees, he used his nose to smell the fragrance of the tulsī leaves on the lotus flower formed by His feet and used his tongue to relish the food that is offered to Him. By using his legs to walk to the Lord's holy places, by using his head to bow down to the feet of Hrishīkes'a and by engaging his senses more in being a servant of Him than a servant of his lusty desires, he was alike the ones who seek their refuge in being attached to the Lord Glorified in the Scriptures [like Prahlāda e.g.]. (21) Thus in his prescribed duties always being of sacrifice unto the Transcendence, the Original Enjoyer of the Sacrifice, the Supreme Lord Beyond the Senses, he exercised all the different forms of devotional service and ruled, under the guidance of His faithfully devoted scholars, this planet earth [see also 5.18: 12 and B.G. 5: 29]. (22) With horse sacrifices executed by brahmins like Vasishthha, Asita and Gautama, he worshiped, in all places where the Sarasvatī river flowed through the desert countries, the Lord of Sacrifice, the Supreme Controller, with great opulence and all the prescribed paraphernalia and remuneration. (23) During the sacrificial ceremonies before the deities the finely dressed members of the assembly, the priests and the other functionaries could be recognized as the ever vigilant demigods. (24) A heavenly existence as cherished by the demigods, was not a thing desired by his citizens who were accustomed to hearing and chanting the glories of Uttamas'loka, the Lord hailed in the Verses. (25) Persons accustomed to having Mukunda in their hearts rarely desire the perfections of the great ones because such aspirations go at the cost of the happiness of being in one's constitutional position of rendering service [see siddhis]. (26-27) He, the king who in bhakti-yoga being engaged in austerities, in his constitutional activities unto the Lord satisfied all sorts of desires, thus step by step gave it up to fix his mind upon temporal matters as having a home, a wife, children, friends and relatives, a good elephant, a nice chariot and fine horses and durable goods like having jewels, ornaments, a nice outfit and such, and a never empty treasury. (28) Pleased with his unalloyed devotional service, the Lord gave him His cakra [disc weapon] that protects the devotees but is so fearful to the ones opposing Him [see also 7.9: 43 and B.G. 9: 31]. (29) Aspiring to worship Krishna together with his equally qualified queen, the king observed the vow of dvādas'ī [fasting on certain lunar days] for a whole year. (30) At the end of that vow he in the month Kārtika [Oct. - Nov.] for three nights observed a complete fast [with one meal during the day] whereupon he, after taking a bath in the Yamunā, worshiped Lord Krishna in Madhuvana [a part of the Vrindāvana area]. (31-32) With all paraphernalia for doing puja he, according to the rules, bathed the deity and dressed it with nice clothing and ornaments, fragrant flower garlands and other means of service, in his [mahābhisheka] worship of the greatly fortunate Lord Kes'ava and the brahmins that he performed with a mind filled with divine love and devotion. (33-35) After having donated to the brahmin sages, the scholars who had arrived at his place, sixty crores of nicely decorated, young and beautiful cows, equipped with gold covered horns and silver plated hooves, full udders and with calves at their side, he firstly sumptuously fed them with the most heavenly, delicious food. When he to the full of their satisfaction and with their permission next ended his own fasting and was about to observe the concluding ceremony, they all of a sudden were confronted with an unexpected visit of the mighty sage Durvāsā. (36) Despite having appeared there uninvited, the king showed his respect by standing up and offering him a seat. Thereupon he asked him, with all regards having fallen at his feet, whether he would like to eat something. (37) He gladly accepted that request and went, in order to perform the necessary rituals, to the Yamunā to dip into the auspicious water and meditate on the Supreme Brahman. (38) That, with half a muhūrta [24 minutes] left before the end of the dvādas'ī fast that was observed, made the king together with the brahmins wonder what would be the appropriate notion of dharma for the precarious situation he had ran into: (39-40) 'Both failing to respect the brahmin sage and not to break with the fast of dvādas'ī at the right time is an offense. What now is the best thing to do? What would be irreligious and what not? So let me touch water only, so that I correctly may conclude the vow, because, oh scholars, the act of drinking water is considered to be indeed both eating and not eating.'

The great king drank water and then, with his mind turned to the Infallible One, waited for the brahmin mystic to return, oh best of the Kurus. (42) After Durvāsā had finished the rituals at the bank of the Yamunā and returned, he was well received by the king, but he discovered by his insight what had taken place. (43) Trembling with anger he, with a tightened face frowning and also hungry, addressed the offender who stood there with folded hands. (44) 'Alas has this one here, this 'love of the people', in his madness about his opulence, for everyone to see, violated the dharma! No devotee of Vishnu at all, he thinks he is the Lord Himself! (45) Unexpectedly arriving here, I was by this man invited to be his guest, but now he has taken food without sharing it with me. I will show you directly what the consequence is!'

Speaking thus he, red with anger, pulled a bunch of hair out of his head and created a demon for him resembling the fire at the end of time. (47) As the demon approached him, with a trident blazing with fire in his hand and a footstep that made the earth tremble, the king, seeing him in front, did not move an inch from the spot [compare 6.17: 28]. (48) The way it by the Original Person of the Supersoul was arranged for the protection of His devotees, the cakra [that Ambarīsha had received, see verse 28] like a fire burned to ashes that angry serpent of a created demon [see also B.G. 18: 66]. (49) Seeing that his attempt had failed and that the disc was coming after him, Durvāsā in great fear ran wherever he could, looking for a refuge to save his life. (50) When the muni saw the disc, that chariot wheel of the Lord, closely behind his back, he quickly, like a snake pursued by the flames of a highly blazing forest fire, ran to mount Meru to enter a cave there. (51) But in whatever direction Durvāsā fled - of the sky, the earth's surface, in caves, in seas or to all the worlds up to heaven -, he saw the unbearable Sudars'ana cakra ['His immediate fearful presence']. (52) Without a protector he, with a constant fear in his heart, was looking everywhere  for someone to give shelter. At last he approached Lord Brahmā [and prayed]: 'Oh my Lord, oh Selfborn One, save me from this invincible fire!'

Lord Brahmā said: 'At the end of my lifetime [a dvi-parārdha, see 3.11: 33] when His pastimes have ended, the Lord of the End Time [Vishnu], the Self of Time, with a single movement of His eyebrows will destroy this universe including my heavenly abode. I, Lord S'iva, Daksha, Bhrigu and the other sages, as also the rulers of man, the rulers of the living beings and the rulers of the demigods, all carry out His orders and together bow, for the salvation of all living beings, our heads in surrender to the principle regulating our lives.'

Durvāsā who, scorched by Vishnu's cakra, was turned down by Lord Brahmā, [next] for his shelter went to the one who always resides on Kailāsa [Lord S'iva]. (56) S'rī S'ankara [S'iva] said: 'My dear one, we have no power over the Supreme One, the Transcendence in Person with whom I, the other living beings and even Lord Brahmā wander around within the countless universes that, together with us, at times arise and then are destroyed again. (57-59) I, Sanat and the other Kumāras, Nārada, the great Unborn Lord, Kapila, Vyāsadeva, Devala [the great sage], Yamarāja, Āsuri [the saint], Marīci and other masters of perfect knowledge headed by him, have learned to know the limits of all there is to know, but none of us can fully comprehend His illusory energy [of māyā] and that what is covered by it. The weapon of the Controller of the Universe [the cakra] is even for us difficult to handle, and you should therefore seek your refuge with the Lord who will certainly bestow upon you His happiness and fortune.'

Durvāsā, disappointed, thereafter went to the abode of the Supreme Lord known as Vaikunthha, where He as S'rīnivāsa, the Master of the Abode, lives together with the goddess of fortune. (61) Scorched by the fire of the invincible weapon he fell down at His lotus, feet trembling all over, and said: 'Oh Infallible and Unlimited One, oh Desire of the Saintly Ones, oh Master, offer me, this great offender, protection, oh Well-wisher of the Entire Universe! (62) Not knowing about Your inconceivable prowess I have committed a great offense at the feet of someone dear to Your Lordship. Please be so kind to do whatever is needed to counteract an offense like this, oh Vidhāta, Lord of Regulation, by the pronunciation of whose name a person can even be delivered from hell.'

The Supreme Lord said: 'Precisely, oh brahmin, I am not self-willed, I am fully committed to My bhaktas. My heart is controlled by devotees free from material desires. Even a devotee of My devotee is dear to Me.  (64) I, their ultimate destination, take without My saintly devotees no interest in the blissful essence or the elevation of My opulences [see om pūrnam]. (65) How could I give up on those who, taking shelter with Me, gave up their wife, house, children, relatives, their lives, wealth and promotion to a superior position? (66) The way a gentle husband acts according to the wishes of a chaste and devoted wife, I am controlled by pure and equal minded pious souls [see also 7.9: 43] who, in their hearts firmly being attached to Me, engage in devotional service. (67) Devoted to Me they do not hanker for the completeness [the pūrnam] of the four types of liberation they automatically achieve by simply being of service. Why would they care about other matters that are all lost over time? (68) Pure devotees are always in My heart and I am always in theirs. They know nothing outside of Me and I do not have the least interest outside of them [see also B.G. 9: 29]. (69) Let Me now tell you how you can protect yourself in this matter. Oh scholar, listen attentively to what I have to tell you. With this action of yours you have violated yourself. Waste no time any longer and go forthwith to him [Ambarīsha] because of whom all this took place. As you can see, the power applied against a devotee turns against the one guilty thereof. (70) Penance and knowledge bring learned souls the greatest welfare, but practiced by an obstinate person they result in the opposite. (71) Oh brahmin, I wish you all the happiness of the world, go therefore to the king, the son of Nābhāga, to satisfy that great personality. Then there will be peace.'


Chapter 5: Durvāsā Saved: the Cakra-prayers of Ambarīsha

(1) S'rī S'uka said: 'Durvāsā ['the difficulty of residing'] who being harassed by the cakra thus was instructed by the Lord, approached Ambarīsha and clasped sorrowfully his lotus feet. (2) Seeing him thus engaged in touching his feet, Ambarīsha felt ashamed and therefore offered, most embarrassed as he was in his mercy, prayers to the  [disc] weapon of the Lord [see also 6.8: 23]. (3) Ambarīsha said: 'You are the fire, the supreme power of the sun and the moon. You are the master of all the luminaries, the waters, the earth, the sky, the air and the senses and their objects. (4) Oh direct presence and auspicious vision [or Sudars'ana], you with your thousands of spokes I offer my obeisances, oh love of the Infallible One. You are the defeat of all weapons, please be favorable unto this brahmin, oh ruler of the world. (5) You are the dharma, the original nature and the religion, you are the reality and the truth, you are the sacrifice and the enjoyer of the sacrifice who maintains the worlds. You are the soul of all and the prowess of the Transcendental Supreme Personality. (6) All my respects for you, the auspicious center of spin, the measure for the complete of nature who are like a fire of destruction to the unenlightened souls who lack in pious conduct. You, the keeper of the three worlds with a wonderful effulgence, are of a supreme goodness and act as fast as the mind I try to voice. (7) By your strength, which carries all religiousness, the darkness is dissipated and all directions are illuminated. Your glories are unsurpassable for the great personalities, oh master of speech; your manifestation comprises all things manifest and unmanifest, superior and lower. (8) When you are sent to the fighters of the Daityas and Dānavas by the Transcendental Personality, oh indefatigable one, you, staying on the battlefield, never tire to sever their arms and bellies, necks, thighs and legs. (9) You, oh protector of the universe, are engaged by the all-powerful Wielder of the Mace [Lord Vishnu] to defeat the wicked ones. Please be so good and have mercy with this scholar and therewith also have mercy with us and our dynasty! (10) If there is charity, if the worship of the deity and the duties are properly performed, and if our dynasty is blessed by the scholars, may this brahmin then be free from having to burn [with you]? (11) When the one Supreme Lord, the reservoir of all qualities, is satisfied about us, may then from His love as the true self of all living beings, this twice-born soul be spared from the fire?'

(12) S'rī S'uka said: 'After the disc weapon of the Lord named Sudars'ana thus was being prayed to by the king, it, because of his petitioning, stopped to harass the scholar from all sides.  (13) Durvāsā, being freed from the heat of the fire of the weapon, most contented then praised the king, that ruler of the earth, with the best wishes. (14) He said: 'Today I have seen the greatness of the servants of the Eternal One. Despite the wrong I perpetrated, you, oh King, have prayed for my welfare! (15) What indeed would be too difficult or impossible to forsake, for those saintly, great souls, who managed to achieve the leader Hari, the Supreme Lord of the Devotees? (16) By simply hearing the holy name of Him whose lotus feet are the holy places [the temples etc.], a person becomes purified. What else would there remain for devotees to engage in? (17) Oh King, by what you did in response to my offenses, you, by being so very kind, have favored me very much and have thus saved my life!'

(18) The king had been fasting when Durvāsā returned. Wishing to please him, he fell at his feet and fed him sumptuously. (19) After having eaten from the different foodstuffs that, catering to every taste, were offered with the greatest care, he thus fully being satisfied said to the king: 'Please join and eat with me', and thus proved his respect. (20) [He continued:] 'I am very happy with your mercy. Seeing you, a pure devotee with his intelligence fixed on the Lord and touching your feet, talking to you and enjoying your hospitality, I am much obliged. (21) The purity of the things you have done, will for ever be sung by the damsels of heaven; the world will never tire to sing the glory of your supreme virtue!'

(22) S'rī S'uka continued: 'Thus glorifying the king, Durvāsā, being satisfied in all respects, took permission to leave that place. Ascending to heaven he reached the abode of Brahmā where ulterior motives have no place. (23) With the great muni not returning, a whole year passed in which the king, wishing to see him again, had restricted himself to drinking water only. (24) Upon Durvāsā's return Ambarīsha offered him the best food that was available and would befit a brahmin. Seeing how the sage had been released from the sin, he understood that he also owed his strength to his devotion to the Supreme One [see also B.G. 6: 47]. (25) Thus being blessed with all good qualities, the king, with the many duties he observed, was of devotion to the Supersoul, the Supreme Spirit and Vāsudeva, actions from which [one realizes that] the higher one climbs the deeper one falls [compare 6.17: 28].'

(26) S'rī S'uka said: 'Ambarīsha, as the wisest one, divided his kingdom among his equally qualified sons, entered the forest to fix his mind on the True Self of Vāsudeva, and thus vanquished the waves [the gunas] of the ocean of matter. (27) Either by praising and reading this pious story or by regularly meditating on it, one becomes a devotee of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. (28) It is the mercy of Lord Vishnu that everyone who hears about the character of this great soul Ambarīsha will find liberation through his devotion.' 



Chapter 6: The Downfall of Saubhari Muni

(1) S'rī S'uka said: 'The three sons of Ambarīsha [see previous chapters] were Virūpa, Ketumān and S'ambhu. From Virūpa there was Prishadas'va and from him there was a son called Rathītara. (2) Rathītara had no sons and therefore [sage] Angirā was requested to beget children with his [Rathītara's] wife. That led to the birth of ['kshetra jāta'-] sons with brahminical qualities. (3) Being born from his wife these sons belonged to his family. They were remembered as the dynasty of Angirā and were among the sons of Rathītara most prominent because they, being born under that circumstance, were considered double-born [brahmins of mixed caste]. (4) When Manu once sneezed, the son Ikshvāku was born from his nose [see also 8.13]. Vikukshi, Nimi and Dandakā were the most prominent among the hundred sons whom he begot. (5) Twenty-five of them became kings in Āryāvarta in the east [in the Himalaya and Vindhya mountains], oh King, as also [did twenty-five of them] in the west [of that region]. Three of them ruled in the middle region, while the rest of the sons ruled over other places. (6) He, king Ikshvāku, once during ashthaka-s'rāddha [offerings to the forefathers made in January, February and March] ordered his son: 'Oh Vikukshi, bring me pure flesh [as acquired by hunting]. Go for it right now without delay.'

(7) And so he went to the forest to kill animals suitable for the oblations, but when he was fatigued and hungry the hero forgetfully [about the fact that the flesh was meant for the sacrifices] ate a rabbit [*]. (8) He offered what had remained to his father who in his turn asked their guru [Vasishthha] to purify it. He replied: 'All this is polluted and unfit for use.'

(9) Thus being informed by the spiritual master, the ruler understood what his son had done. Out of anger that he had violated the vidhi, he consequently sent him out of the country. (10) The king had a conversation with the scholar. In accordance with what he told him he thereupon, living as a yogi, gave up his vehicle of time [his body] and thus achieved the supreme position. (11) After the withdrawal of his father, Vikukshi returned to rule over this planet earth. He worshiped the Lord with different yajńas and became celebrated as Sas'āda ['the rabbit-eater']. (12) Purańjaya ['the conqueror of the residence'] was his son. He was also known as Indravāha ['carried by Indra'] and Kakutstha ['sitting on the hump of a bull']. Hear now about what he has done to receive these names. (13) There had been a devastating war, a fight between the gods and the demons, in which his supreme assistance as a hero was accepted by the godly souls who had been defeated by the Daityas. (14) By the order of the God of Gods Lord Vishnu, the Supersoul and Master of the Entire Creation, Indra in the form of a great bull became engaged in his [Purańjaya's] service as his carrier. (15-16) He, well-equipped with a first-class bow taking up the sharpest arrows, was praised [by the demigods], mounted it and sat on the hump, prepared to fight. Favored by the power of Vishnu, the Original Person and Supersoul, he, surrounded by the servants of heaven, then laid siege to the Daitya residence on the western side. (17) A battle took place between him and the demons that was so aggressive that it made one's hair stand on end. All the Daityas who approached him in the fight he sent to Yamarāja with his arrows. (18) Confronted with his shower of arrows that was as fierce as the fire at the end of time, the Daityas, who were slaughtered and dispersed, fled away to return to their places. (19) Conquering over them he, the saintly king, turned all their wealth and wives over to the carrier of the thunderbolt [Indra]. That gave him his names.

(20) From Purańjaya there was a son called Anenā, his son was Prithu and the son that he begot was Vis'vagandhi who in his turn had a son called Candra, whose son was called Yuvanās'va. (21) S'rāvasta was his son and he built a town called S'rāvastī. By S'rāvasta next Brihadas'va was begotten and from him there was Kuvalayās'va. (22) He was of a great power. Together with the twenty-one thousand sons that surrounded him, he for the satisfaction of sage Utanka killed a demon named Dhundhu. (23-24) He was thus known as Dhundhumāra ['the killer of Dhundhu']. All but three of his sons had been burned by the fire from the mouth of Dhundhu. The only ones that remained alive were Dridhās'va, Kapilās'va and Bhadrās'va, oh son of Bharata. Dridhās'va's son was Haryas'va and the renown Nikumbha was his son. (25) Nikumbha's son was Bahulās'va and his son was Kris'ās'va. Senajit succeeded him and from him Yuvanās'va was born. Yuvanās'va had no sons and retired [together with his wives] to the forest. (26) Living together with his hundred wives he was depressed so that the sages, very merciful with him, with the greatest care began a [fertility] ceremony known as Indra-yajńa. (27) One night he, being very thirsty, entered the sacrificial arena. Seeing all the brahmins fast asleep, he drank  from the sanctified water himself [instead of keeping it for his women]. (28) After they [in the morning] all woke up and next found the water pot empty, oh prabhu, they inquired who was responsible for drinking the water that was meant for giving birth to a child. (29) Understanding that it by providence was drank by the king, they all prayed to the Supreme Lord saying: 'Alas, the power of God is what rules!' (30) And so, lo and behold, after due course of time, the lower abdomen of king Yuvanās'va opened itself at the right side from which a son was born [with all the qualities characterizing] a good king. (31) Who now would supply the child with milk? It was crying that much thirsting for it that king Indra said: 'Do not cry my child, just drink from me' and thereupon gave it his index-finger to suck. (32) It was the mercy of the divine scholars that the father did not die because of the baby he gave birth to. Yuvanās'va later on achieved the perfection of life by doing tapas in that same place. (33-34) Dear King, Indra gave the child the name Trasaddasyu ['the fear of the rogues']. Crooks like Rāvana and such, were afraid of him. Yuvanās'va's son Māndhātā by the power of the Infallible One thus could rule the surface of the earth with its seven continents as the one and only master. (35-36) He also in full awareness of the [Super]soul worshiped Yajńa, the Lord of Sacrifices, the God and Supersoul of everyone elevated above the sensual plane. This happened in sacrificial ceremonies that were attended by all the godly people whom he rewarded with large donations. The ingredients, the mantras and the regulative principles, the worship and the worshiper as also the priests in their dharma of proceeding according to the time and place, all together contributed to assure that the interest of the true self was done justice. (37) For all the places mentioned, that stretch from where the sun rises above the horizon to everywhere it sets, one speaks about the field of action of Yuvanās'va's son, Māndhātā.

(38) The ruler [Māndhātā] begot in the daughter Bindumatī of a king called S'as'abindu [the sons] Purukutsa, Ambarīsha and Mucukunda, who was a great yogi. Their fifty sisters accepted sage Saubhari as their husband. (39-40) He [Saubhari], performing an uncommon austerity in being submerged in the depth of the Yamunā river, saw in his penance how a big fish was enjoying sexual matters. Thus being sexually awakened the scholar begged the king [Māndhātā] for a single daughter. The king said: 'You may marry a daughter of mine, oh brahmin, if that is what she chooses.'

(41-42) He thought to himself: 'Women do not like me, I'm too old, I'm not attractive to them. I am wrinkled, have gray hair and a head tremor. I will be rejected! Let me make it so that my body is desirable to the women of heaven, not to mention the daughters of the worldly kings!' Thus was the resolve of the mystic. (43) The sage, being announced by an envoy, was admitted into the quarters of the princesses that were opulent in every respect. There he was accepted by all the fifty princesses as their single husband. (44) A great quarrel rose among them when they, being attracted to him, gave up their friendship by saying things like: 'This man is the right person for me, not for you.' (45-46) He, as a result of his austerity knowing many a mantra, enjoyed with his wives an unlimited opulence with everything that one could wish for: all kinds of finely furnished houses and quarters, parks, the clearest water in ponds amidst fragrant gardens, costly bedding and furniture, clothing and ornaments. There were bathing places, palatable dishes, there was sandalwood paste and a dress-up with garlands and decorations of all men and women who in constant glee were accompanied by the song of birds, bumblebees and professional singers. (47) The ruler over the seven continents [Māndhātā] was struck with wonder when he saw Saubhari's family life, because of which he no longer could pride himself on being the emperor of the world blessed with all opulence. (48) Saubhari though, who was always engaged in the happiness and diversity of the material affairs of his household, could not find satisfaction in his enjoyment, just like a fire cannot that is fueled with fat. (49) One day, sitting down and wondering how his straying away from the true self could have taken place, the expert in many mantras saw that it had been caused by a couple of copulating fish: (50) 'Alas, see how I, who was such a great ascetic, fell down. I, so observant and strict to the vow, was distracted from the spiritual life that I practiced for so long. Just because of the thing aquatics do under water! (51) He who seeks liberation must give it up to associate with those who are loose in their sexual morals. He should in every respect avoid it to give free reign to his external senses. He should live alone in a secluded place and fix his mind on the lotus feet of the Unlimited Lord. And if he seeks [intimate] association, he should associate with like-minded souls of detachment. (52) As a renunciate I was, all alone under water, associating with fish (!) and thus acquired fifty wives, not mentioning the five thousand [grand]children I begot. I see no end to all my duties here and in the hereafter that are occupying my mind, for I, under the influence of the basic qualities of matter being motivated for my own interest, lost myself in the material enjoyment.'

(53) Thus [regretfully] living at home he in due course of time became detached and situated in the renounced order of life. He went to the forest and was followed by all his wives, for he was their object of worship. (54) In his penance there being of the severest austerity conducive to self-realization, he, conversant now with the fires of the personal self, engaged himself with the Supreme Self. (55) Oh Mahārāja, the wives who saw their husband progressing spiritually, managed under that influence to follow him, just like the flames do with a fire that extinguishes [compare B.G. 9: 32].'

*: To this there is a quote from the Brahma-vaivarta Purāna so said S'rī Caitanya Mahāprabhu:

as'vamedham gavālambham
sannyāsam pala-paitrikam
devarena sutotpattim
kalau pańca vivarjayet

"In this age of Kali, five acts are forbidden: the offering of a horse in sacrifice, the offering of a cow in sacrifice, the acceptance of the order of sannyāsa, the offering of oblations of flesh to the forefathers, and a man's begetting children in his brother's wife."


Chapter 7: The Descendants of King Māndhātā

(1)  S'rī S'uka said: 'The most prominent son of Māndhātā named Ambarīsha [after the Ambarīsha of Nābhāga, see 9.4: 13], was accepted by his grandfather Yuvanās'va as his son and he had a son called Yauvanās'va who in his turn had a son named Hārīta. These [three descendants, Ambarisha, Yauvanās'va and Hārīta,] became the most prominent members of  the Māndhātā dynasty. (2) Purukutsa [another son of Māndhātā] was taken to the lower regions by his wife Narmadā upon the order of the king of the serpents [Vāsuki]. She had been given to him in marriage by her serpent brothers. (3) He, empowered by Lord Vishnu, killed the Gandharvas there who deserved it to be punished [because of their enmity]. From the serpents he [therefore] received the benediction that they who remember this incident are protected against snakes.

(4) The son of Purukutsa named Trasaddasyu [named after the other one 9.6: 32-34] was the father of Anaranya. His son carried the name Haryas'va [after 9.6: 23-24]. From him there was Prāruna and Prāruna's son was Tribandhana. (5-6) From Tribandhana there was a son named Satyavrata [after the Manu, see 8.24: 10], who, being cursed by his father [for kidnapping a brahmin daughter at her marriage], had acquired the status of an outcaste [candāla] and thus was called Tris'anku ['afraid of the heavens']. By the prowess of Kaus'ika [sage Vis'vāmitra] he went to heaven [still present in his body] where he, having fallen down because of the demigods, [half way during his fall] by the sage's supreme power acquired a fixed position. In that position he today still can be seen hanging down with his head from the sky [in the form of a constellation]. (7) Tris'anku's son was Haris'candra because of whom there existed a great quarrel between Vis'vāmitra and Vasishthha in which the two for many years were [like two] birds [*]. (8) He was very morose  because he had no successor. On the advise of Nārada he took shelter of Varuna whom he asked: 'Oh lord, may there be a son from my loins?'

(9) Oh Mahārāja, then he said: 'And if there is a son, I will sacrifice him to you, if you want'. Varuna accepted that offer and a son was born who was named Rohita ['to the blood'].

(10) Varuna thus said to him: 'A son was born. Will you offer him as a sacrifice to me?' Haris'candra then replied: 'An animal is sacrificed when ten days have passed [since its birth]. Then it is considered fit for being sacrificed.'

(11) Ten days later he returned and said: 'Be now of sacrifice then!' Haris'candra said: 'When the teeth of an animal have appeared, it will be fit for being sacrificed.'

(12) When the teeth had grown Varuna said: 'Sacrifice now!', whereupon Haris'candra replied: 'When he loses his [milk] teeth, then he will be fit.'

(13) 'The teeth of the animal have fallen out.' Varuna said, 'be of sacrifice now!' The reply was: 'Only when the teeth of the 'sacrificial animal' have grown back it is pure!'

(14) After they had grown back Varuna said: 'You offer now!' Haris'candra then said: 'When he can defend himself as a warrior with a shield, oh King, then this 'sacrificial animal' will be pure.'

(15) With his mind thus controlled by the affection for his son, he cheated the god with words about the time [that it would take] and made him wait. (16) Rohita, aware of what his father intended to do, trying to save his life, took his bow and arrows and left for the forest. (17) When he heard that his father because of Varuna was plagued with dropsy and had grown a large belly, Rohita wanted to return to the capital, but Indra denied him to go there. (18) Indra ordered him to travel around the world to visit holy places and sites of pilgrimage. Thereafter he lived in the forest for one year. (19) Again and again, for a second, a third, a fourth and a fifth year, Indra appeared before him in the form of an old brahmin and told him the same. (20) The sixth year that Rohita wandered in the forest, he went to the capital where he bought Ajīgarta's second son S'unahs'epha to serve as the 'animal of sacrifice'. He offered him to his father while bringing his obeisances. (21) After the [worldly life of the] man in the yajńa [**] was sacrificed to Varuna and the other demigods, Haris'candra was freed from the dropsy and became famous as one of the great persons of history. (22) Vis'vāmitra was during the sacrifice offering the oblations [the hotā], the self-realized Jamadagni led the recitations of the [Yajur Veda] mantras [as the adhvaryu], Vasishthha was the leading brahmin [the brahmā] and Ayāsya recited the [Sāma Veda] hymns [as the udgātā]. (23) Indra was very pleased and gave him a golden chariot. I will give an account of the glories of S'unahs'epha when I describe the sons of Vis'vāmitra.

(24) It pleased Vis'vāmitra very much to see truthfulness, solidity and forbearance in the ruler [Haris'candra] and his wife and therefore he granted them the imperishable knowledge. (25-26) [The ruler] managed to put an end to his ignorance through a specific process of meditation in which he gave up his material ambition. He merged his mind with the earth, the earth with the water, the water with the fire, the fire with the air and the air with the sky. Next he merged the sky with the cause of manifestation and this false ego [this ahankāra] he merged with the totality of matter. Finally he merged that completeness [of the mahat-tattva] with the spiritual knowledge in all its branches. Thus completely freed from being bound materially he, through loving self-realization and liberating transcendental bliss, remained with the Imperceptible and Inconceivable One.'

*: Prabhupāda comments: 'Vis'vāmitra and Vasishthha were always inimical. Formerly, Vis'vāmitra was a kshatriya, and by undergoing severe austerities he wanted to become a brāhmana, but Vasishthha would not agree to accept him. In this way there was always disagreement between the two. Later, however, Vasishthha accepted him because of Vis'vāmitra's quality of forgiveness. Once Haris'candra performed a yajńa to which Vis'vāmitra was the priest, but Vis'vāmitra, being angry with Haris'candra, took away all his possessions, claiming them as a contribution of dakshinā. Vasishthha however, did not like this, and therefore a fight arose between Vasishthha and Vis'vāmitra. The fighting became so severe that each of them cursed the other. One of them said, "May you become a bird," and the other said, "May you become a duck." Thus both of them became birds and continued fighting for many years because of Haris'candra.'

**: Sacrificing a human being has to be considered here as something nonviolent since the vidhi preaches compassion and non-violence with all living creatures (dayā or ahimsā). The Bhāgavatam certainly condemns the sacrifice of human lives by the story of Jada Bharata [see 5.9: 17]. The context here suggests, and from the later verse about this 9.16: 31-32 it appears to be so, that because Haris'candra had been the cause of a fight between the sages Vis'vāmitra and Vasishthha, the sacrifice of a human being meant that some man had to give up his worldly existence to serve the sages in their reconcilliation. The heir to the throne, the most likely candidate for the job, could not give up his worldly responsibility and thus another man was chartered to take that duty upon him.


Chapter 8: The Sons of Sagara Meet Lord Kapiladeva

(1) S'rī S'uka said: 'Harita was the son of King Rohita [see previous chapter] and his son Campa built a city called Campāpurī. After him there was Sudeva who also had a son called Vijaya. (2) Bharuka was the son of Vijaya, he had one called Vrika and Vrika had Bāhuka as his son, of whom all the land he owned was taken by his enemies so that the king had to enter the forest with his wife. (3) When he died of old age his queen wanted to die with him, but sage Aurva, understanding that she was pregnant with a son in her womb, forbade it. (4) The co-wives who knew this gave her poison with her food, but with that poison Sagara ['with poison'] was born who became an emperor of great repute. His sons were responsible for [leading the Ganges to the] ocean [that was therefore called Sāgara]. (5-6) He did not kill the antisocial elements [Tālajanghas, or tree-people], nor the ones opposing [the Yavanas, also: invaders like the Muslims and the Europeans], the godless ones [the S'akās], the ruffians [Haihayas] and the barbarians [Barbaras]. He instead, following the orders of the guru, allowed them to appear in odd dresses, shaved clean and wearing mustaches. Some [he accepted as appearing] with loose hair, being half shaven, without any underwear or not being clad at all. (7) Following the words of Aurva he, being of yoga with the Supersoul, worshiped the Lord, the Original Self and Controller of all Vedic knowledge and all enlightened souls, with horse sacrifices. One day he discovered that the horse that was used for the sacrifice had been stolen by Purandara [Indra, see also 4.19: 17]. (8) The proud sons born from Sumati [a wife of Sagara] thereupon, on the instruction of their father, all together searched throughout the entire country for the horse. (9-10) In the northeastern direction they saw the horse near the ās'rama of Kapila. They said: 'Now we know where that horse thief lives with his eyes closed. Kill him, kill that sinner!' The sixty thousand men of Sagara thus raised their weapons and approached him. That very moment the muni opened his eyes. (11) With their minds stolen [by Indra] and in offense with such a great personality [as Kapila, see also 3.25-33], their bodies self-ignited instantly and turned to ashes. (12) It is not the viewpoint of the sages to say that the sons of the emperor burned to ashes on the spot because of the anger of the muni, for how could in the self of him [Him] who always resides in goodness and by whose grace the entire universe is purified, the mode of ignorance manifest itself so that anger could rise? How can earthly dust pollute the ether? (13) How can with him who so thoroughly explained the world in analytical terms [see 3.25-33] and who is present in this world as a boat for the seeker to cross over the ocean of nescience that is so hard to overcome in one's mortal existence, how can there be a sense of distinction between friend and foe with such a learned person elevated in transcendence [for such a one is always jubilant: prasannātmā]?

(14) He who was born from Kes'inī [another wife of Sagara] was called Asamańjasa. This prince fathered a son known as Ams'umān who always served his grandfather to the best of his ability. (15-16) In a former life Asamańjasa had been a yogi, so he could remember, who had fallen from the path of yoga because of bad association. In this life [not tolerating any association] he therefore personally proved himself in a most disturbing way. Once sporting with his relatives he, acting most offensively, had thrown all the boys into the river the Sarayū. He thus caused his family a lot of grief. (17) Because of these deeds he was banished by his father who gave up his affection for him. By the power of his yoga he then showed the boys [to their parents] and went away. (18) Oh King, all the inhabitants of Ayodhyā were astounded to see their sons having returned again. The king was therefore truly sorry [that his son was absent].

(19) The king ordered Ams'umān [Asamańjasa's son] to search for the horse [that was stolen by Indra]. He went after it and followed the path his uncles reportedly had taken. Thus he found the horse near a pile of ashes. (20) When the great yogi saw the Transcendental Lord, [the Vishnu avatāra] known as Kapila, sitting there, he prostrated himself and attentively offered prayers with folded hands.

(21) Ams'umān said: 'No one among us living beings, is able to envision You as the Transcendental Person. Up to the present day not even Lord Brahmā is able to fathom You. And by whatever meditation or guesswork would others be able to do so, we creatures of the material world who, mistaking the body for the [real] self, are groping in the dark [see also B.G. 7: 27]? (22) The consciousness of those people who, under the influence of the three modes [the gunas, see also B.G. 14: 5], revere the body, is obscured by the deluding material energy. They see, also when they sleep, nothing but those basic qualities. Those who only have eyes for the external world cannot know You who reside within the body. (23) How can I, this fool of matter, keep You in mind who are full of spiritual knowledge, You who are heeded by Sanandana and other sages free from the contaminating and bewildering illusion of the material diversity that is caused by the gunas [see B.G. 14: 26 & 2: 45]? (24) Oh Peaceful One, I offer You, the Original Person, my obeisances, You who, free from a specific name and form, are transcendental to both the manifest and non-manifest material energies but, in order to distribute the transcendental knowledge, have assumed a material body that is characterized by fruitive actions in relation to the modes of nature. (25) Those whose minds are bewildered by lust, greed, envy and illusion, wander around in this world and take their hearth and home, these products of Your material energy, for real. (26) Oh Supreme Lord, by simply seeing You this hard and tight knot of our illusion today has been broken, this bewildered state because of which one in one's sensuality, oh Soul of all living beings, is ruled by lust and selfishness.'

(27) S'rī S'uka said: 'Oh master of man, the great sage and Supreme Lord Kapila this way having been glorified, with a mind filled with mercy told Ams'umān the following. (28) The Supreme Lord said: 'Take this horse, My son, it is the sacrificial animal of your grandfather, but for your forefathers who burned to ashes, there is no other way to be saved but by Ganges water.' (29) After having circumambulated Him and having bowed down to His satisfaction, he brought the horse back to Sagara, whereupon with that animal the ceremony was completed. (30) After delivering his kingdom to Ams'umān he [Sagara], being freed from his material bonds, attained the supreme destination by following the path delineated by Aurva.'

Chapter 9: The Dynasty of Ams'umān

(1) S'rī S'uka said: 'Ams'umān for a long time doing penance with a desire to bring down the Ganges, was unsuccessful and died in due course of time. (2) His son Dilīpa did, just like his father, not succeed and was also defeated by time. Thereafter Dilīpa's son Bhagīratha performed severe austerities. (3) The goddess [mother Ganga] appeared to him and said: 'I am very pleased with you and will answer your prayers.' With that being said seeing his purpose served [that the Ganges would wash away the ashes, see 9.8: 28], the king bowed down.

(4) [Mother Ganga proceeded:] 'Who can sustain the force of my waves when I descend upon this earth? Oh master of men, not being sustained I will split her open and land in Rasātala [the lower worlds]! (5) There is another reason I cannot move towards the earth. Please consider this, oh King: when I have to wash away the sins of the people who purify themselves with my water, to whom should I turn with those sins?'

(6) S'rī Bhagīratha said: 'The saintly forsakers of the world who are peaceful and expert in the regulative principles and purify all the world, will take away the sinfulness you thus accumulate because they, as they bathe in your water, carry within themselves the Vanquisher of all Sins, the Lord [see also 1.13: 10 and 6.1: 15]. (7) The god of destruction, Rudra, will sustain your force, for he is of all the embodied beings the Self in which [or with which], like with the threads of a piece of cloth, the entire length and width of the universe is interwoven [*].'

(8) After this was said, the ruler propitiated the godhead with his penances. This did not take very long. Very soon, oh King, Lord S'iva became satisfied with him [with Bhagīratha **]. (9) 'So be it', Lord S'iva said, who is always auspicious to all. Having been addressed by the king he then with great attention took upon him the burden of the Ganges water that is pure because of Vishnu's feet [see also 5.17]. (10) He, Bhagīratha, the saintly king, brought her, who could purify the entire universe, to the place where the bodies of his forefathers were reduced to ashes. (11) Leading the way in a chariot moving at the speed of the wind, he was followed by her. She thus blessed all the countries [they passed] until she flowed over the burned sons of Sagara. (12) Even though the sons of Sagara were condemned for having offended a brahmin, they, by her water just touching their remains, went to heaven. (13) If Sagara's sons, whose bodies burned to ashes, went to heaven after they came in touch with [the Ganges], then what would her effect be upon those who, determined in vows, with faith and devotion worship that goddess? (14) What was described here is not such a great miracle, for the water of the Ganges, which originates from the feet of Anantadeva [the 'Eternal Godhead'], puts an end to a worldly existence. (15) Saintly people who by their faith have minds that follow the path of goodness [Vishnu], find purification despite the difficulty to escape from the three modes of nature. They attain the divine Self immediately.

(16-17) From the loins of Bhagīratha a son was born named S'ruta, from him there was Nābha - different from the one I mentioned before [see 5.3] - and from Nābha Sindhudvīpa was born from whom thereafter Ayutāyu was born. His son Ritūparna was a friend of Nala. He received from Nala knowledge about the art of training horses in exchange for gambling secrets. Ritūparna had a son called Sarvakāma. (18) From him there was Sudāsa whose son [Saudāsa] ascended the throne as the husband of Damayantī. He was also known, so one says, as Mitrasaha and Kalmāshapāda. Because of his [bad] karma he had no children. One day he was cursed by Vasishthha to become a man-eater [a Rākshasa].'

(19) The king said: 'Please tell me, if it is not a secret, for what reason the spiritual master cursed this great soul Saudāsa. That is what I would like to know.'

(20-21) S'rī S'uka said: 'In the past Saudāsa one day wandered around and killed a Rākshasa, but he let his brother go. This brother wanted revenge. With evil intentions posing as the king's cook he presented his spiritual master [Vasishthha] who came to dinner, the flesh of a human being that he had cooked. (22) The mighty master checking his food, immediately found it unfit for consumption and most angrily cursed the king with: 'Because of this you will become a man-eater!' (23-24) When the sage discovered that the Rākshasa was to blame, he for twelve years performed penance [for having unjustly cursed the king]. Saudāsa had taken a palmful of water in order to curse his guru, but his wife Madayantī prevented it. He then spilled the water that was potent with the [s'apa] mantra over his legs, whereupon the king saw that all directions, the sky and the surface of the earth were teeming with living beings. (25) After he had developed the propensities of a Rākshasa he obtained a black spot on his leg [because of which he was known as Kalmāshapāda]. Living in the forest he [once] saw a brahmin couple having sexual intercourse. (26-27) Because he was hungry he seized the brahmin whereupon his wife said: 'You must be very unhappy, poor and hungry indeed, but a Rākshasa you are not! You are actually a great warrior from the Ikshvāku dynasty, the husband of Madayantī. Oh hero, it does not become you to act against the dharma. Please release my husband, this twice-born soul whose desire to get a son has not yet been fulfilled. (28) Oh King, this human body is there to serve the completeness of the Supreme Being. Thus seen, the killing of him, oh hero, would equal the destruction of all that virtue! (29) This man is a brāhmana well versed in the Veda who, austere, of good behavior and endowed with all good qualities, wants to worship the Absolute Truth, the Supreme Personality who, because of His attributes, is known as the true Self in the heart of all living beings. (30) How can he, this brahmin and best of all sages, deserve it to be killed by you with your knowledge of the dharma, by you who are the best of all saintly kings, oh master of the state? It is like a father killing his son! (31) He is a saint free from sin, a speaker of the Absolute Truth. How can you, who are appreciated in the highest circles, have the heart to kill him? That is tantamount to killing an unborn child or a cow! (32) I am mortified, I cannot live without him for a second. If you want to eat him, then eat me instead.'

(33) While she was pleading and lamenting this pitiably as a woman missing her protector, he, Saudāsa, condemned by the curse, devoured him like a tiger does its prey. (34) The moment the wife of the brāhmana, the chaste woman, saw that the man who was about to impregnate her was eaten by the Rākshasa, she cried loudly from the depth of her heart and pronounced angrily a curse against the king. (35) 'Because you have devoured the husband of a woman aching for intercourse, you, oh sinner, will suffer the curse of also finding death when you try to impregnate a woman, you traitor of civilization!'

(36) After this way cursing Mitrasaha ['indulgent toward friends' or Saudāsa] she, being devoted to be with her husband, found her destination by stepping into the fire that burned the bones of her husband. (37) When Saudāsa twelve years later was released [from the curse of Vasishthha] and tried to make love to his wife, he was checked by the queen who reminded him of the curse of the brāhmanī. (38) Thus he henceforward had to forget about being physically happy with his wife and, as ordained by fate, therefore remained childless. Vasishthha then got the permission to beget a child in Madayantī, his wife. (39) She not delivering carried the child for seven years in her womb. [With Vasishthha] striking her abdomen with a stone, a son was born who for that reason was called As'maka ['by a stone']. (40) From As'maka Bālika was born. This child was protected [against Lord Paras'urāma] by a human shield consisting of women and was named thereafter [Nārīkavaca]. When there were no rulers anymore [because Lord Paras'urāma had killed them all] he became known as Mūlaka ['the root of'], the progenitor of the kshatriyas. (41) From Bālika there was a son named Das'aratha, his son was Aidavidi and from him there was king Vis'vasaha who fathered Khathvānga who became emperor. (42-43) On the request of the demigods he most fiercely killed the Daityas in battle, after which he, coming home and knowing that he had only a second to live longer, fixed his mind by praying: 'Neither the earth, my kingdom nor my dearest wife, neither my sons and daughters nor my opulence or life, are as worshipable to me as the members of the brahmin community who enjoy the respect of my family [***]. (44) Not even as a child I was attracted or enjoying that what goes against the dharma, nor did I at any time consider anything [or anybody] else as being more substantial than the Lord Hailed in the Scriptures, Uttamas'loka. (45) The demigods granted me the boon that I could have whatever I wanted, but that claim over the three worlds I could not accept. All that I desire in this world is to be fully absorbed in the Supreme Lord [compare B.G. 9: 34]. (46) The godly souls are by their senses and minds distracted [because of the modes] and do not know the Dearmost Eternal One of the Soul, who always resides in their hearts. What then is to be expected of others [see B.G. 18: 55]? (47) Let me therefore surrender myself to Him, the One Soul who created the universe, and in loving service give up my attachment to matters brought about by the so very powerful material modes, matters that are like Ghandarva towns [or castles in the air].'

(48) Thus being determined, by an intelligence firmly in the grip of Nārāyana, he gave up all his ignorant, on different matters founded, love and thus became situated in his original position of loving service [his so-called svarūpa]. (49) That what is known as the Supreme Brahman that defies all description, is not something impersonal or empty, as one might think. It is the Supreme Lord Vāsudeva about whom the devotees are singing [see also 1.2: 11].'

*: S'rīla Prabhupāda quotes: Lord S'iva is described in the Brahma-samhitā (5.45):
kshīram yathā dadhi vikāra-vis'esha-yogāt
sanjāyate na hi tatah prithag asti hetoh
yah s'ambhutām api tathā samupaiti kāryād
govindam ādi-purusham tam aham bhajāmi

"Milk changes into yogurt when mixed with a yogurt culture, but actually yogurt is constitutionally nothing but milk. Similarly, Govinda, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, assumes the form of Lord S'iva for the special purpose of material transactions. I offer my obeisances at Lord Govinda's lotus feet."

**: Lord S'iva is also called Ās'utosha: quickly pleased.

***: The Vaishnava daily expresses his respects for the brahminical culture in his offerings, by worshiping the Lord with this prayer:

namo brāhmanya-devāya
go brāhmana-hitāya ca
jagad-dhitāya krishnāya
govindāya namo namah

"I offer my respectful obeisances to the Supreme Absolute Truth, Krishna, who is the well-wisher of the cows and the brāhmanas as well as the living entities in general. I offer my repeated obeisances to Govinda, who is the pleasure reservoir for all the senses." 


Chapter 10: The Pastimes of Lord Rāmacandra

(1) S'rī S'uka said: 'From Khathvānga there was Dīrghabāhu, from him the renown and dexterous Raghu was born, from whose son Aja the great king Das'aratha was born. (2) Upon the prayers of the God-conscious souls the Absolute Truth took birth from his loins in four forms: the Supreme Lord in person along with three of His expansions. They, appearing as four sons, were known as Rāma, Lakshmana, Bharata and S'atrughna. (3) Oh King, you heard again and again the descriptions by many seers and knowers of the truth of His transcendental exploits as the husband of Sītā [*, compare B.G. 4: 34]. (4-5) Obedient to His father He left the kingdom behind and wandered together with His beloved [Sītā] from forest to forest on His two lotus feet that were as tender as the palm of a hand. This He did in the company of Hanumān and Lakshmana who took away the pain of His path. He was separated from His sweetheart Sītā [by Rāvana] because He had disfigured S'ūrpanakhā [the sister of Rāvana]. Over the ocean that was afraid of His eyebrows He raised in anger, a bridge was built [to Lankā, the residence of Rāvana], after which He, the king of Ayodhyā, like a forest fire destroyed the envious ones. May the mercy be upon us of Him who in sage Vis'vāmitra's arena of sacrifice, in the presence of Lakshmana, killed the great chiefs of the Rākshasas who headed by Mārīca wandered in the dark. 

(6-7) It was He who, among all the heroes in the world who were gathered in the hall where Sītā would select her husband, took up the mighty bow of S'iva that had to be carried by three hundred men. Fastening the string, oh King, and bending it, He broke the bow in two the way a baby elephant breaks a stick of sugarcane. By that victory he won the divine girl named Sītā who with her qualities, behavior, age and limbs was a perfect match for Him, she, the Goddess of Fortune, who had acquired a position on His chest. On His way home with her, He met and defeated the deep-rooted pride of Bhrigupati [Paras'urāma] who three times [seven, thus twenty one times] had rid the earth of the seed of the [burden of unrighteous] rulers [see 9.16]. (8) Bowing His head to the command of His father, who in his attachment had made a promise to his wife that Rāma had to abandon the kingdom, residence, opulence, His relatives and friends, He with his wife left to live in the forest like a liberated soul [**]. (9) Living there He, as He wandered around, met with great difficulties. He maimed the body of the sister of the Rākshasa [Rāvana] because she had a [by lust] spoiled mind. Thereupon He, with His invincible bow and arrows in His hands, had to kill the fourteen-thousand of her many friends headed by Khara, Tris'ira and Dūshana.

(10) Oh king, when the ten-headed Rāvana heard the stories about Sītā, it stirred his heart and made him lust after seeing her. [The demon] Mārīca then lured Rāma away from their stay in the form of a golden deer that was killed by Him with a sharp arrow, just as S'iva killed Daksha [with an ax, see 4.5: 22]. (11) While He and His brother were in the forest, the unprotected daughter of the king of Videha [or Janaka] was kidnapped by the most wicked Rākshasa, like he was a tiger. Rāma then wandering around like a man who, attracted to women, is in distress over being separated from his wife, thus gave an example [in this s'ringāra rasa] of where attachment all leads to. (12) After having performed the funeral rites for him who had died for His sake [the eagle Jathāyu], He killed Kabandha [a headless monster] and became friends with the leaders of the monkey hordes so that He, informed by them about Sītā, could deliver her. He whose feet are worshiped by Brahmā and S'iva, but appeared as a normal man, next killed Vāli [a wicked brother of Sugrīva]. Then He, accompanied by the monkey soldiers, proceeded to the shore of the ocean. (13) The [god of the] ocean, silent with fear because of His angry glance - from which all the crocodiles and sharks were agitated -, carried, in assuming a personal form, on his head all that was needed to worship Him and said, upon reaching the lotus feet, the following: (14) 'We, the dull-minded, are truly not capable, oh Supreme One, to  know You as the one Original Person and Supreme Master of all Universes who resides in the core of the heart. For the God-conscious souls are the result of Your goodness, the controllers of the people have resulted from Your passion, while the rulers of the material elements sprang from Your mode of ignorance. But You, oh Lord, are the Master over all these modes. (15) You may cross [my waters] as You like! Just conquer that son of Vis'ravā called Rāvana who is like urine to the three worlds and thus regain Your wife, oh hero. Build a bridge here and Your fame will spread. In the future the great kings and heroes from all directions will glorify You for it.'

(16) After the Master of the Raghu dynasty with all sorts of mountain peaks complete with trees and plants, that were transported by hand by the mighty monkeys, had constructed a bridge in the ocean [***], He, helped by the directions of Vibhīshana [a virtuous brother of Rāvana], together with the soldiers led by Sugrīva, Nīla and Hanumān, set foot on [the island of] Lankā that just before had been set afire [by Hanumān's tail]. (17) There the houses of pleasure, granaries, treasuries, palace doors and city gates, assembly houses, turrets and [even the] pigeon houses were taken by force and dismantled by the Vānara [monkey] leaders who, just like an elephant herd, turned the squares and crossroads with all their flags and golden water pots on the rooftops, into one swirling river. (18) When the master of the Rākshasas saw that, he summoned Nikumbha, Kumbha, Dhūmrāksha, Durmukha, Surāntaka, Narāntaka and others to fight, and also called for his son Indrajit, his followers Prahasta, Atikāya, Vikampana and finally for Kumbhakarna [his mighty brother, see 4.1: 37, 7.1: 44 and 7.10: 36]. (19) All the Rākshasa soldiers with their hard to defeat swords, lances, bows, barbed missiles and spears, firebrands, javelins and scimitars [a curved sword], lined up in front of Him who was surrounded by Sugrīva, Lakshmana, Hanumān, Gandhamāda, Nīla, Angada, Riksha, Panasa and others.

(20) The commanders of the soldiers of the Ruler of the Raghu dynasty [Rāma], together hurried forward to fight the enemy followers of Rāvana, moving on foot and seated on elephants, chariots and horses, who, condemned by the anger of mother Sītā, were out of luck in the battle. With trees, mountain peaks, clubs and arrows they were all killed by the [monkey] warriors lead by Angada and others. (21) The Rākshasa leader seeing that his forces were defeated, thereupon fuming with anger drove his vehicle towards the brilliantly radiating Rāma who, seated on the shining chariot of Indra that Mātali [the driver] had brought, struck him with the sharpest arrows. (22) Rāma said to him: 'You scum of the earth, since you, oh criminal, like a dog have kidnapped My helpless wife, I, as Time itself, as someone not failing in His heroism, will personally punish you today for that shameless act, you abominable evildoer [see also B.G. 16: 6-18]!'

(23) Thus rebuking him He released the arrow He had fixed on His bow, and that arrow pierced his heart like a thunderbolt. Vomiting blood from his ten mouths he fell down from his heavenly vehicle. His men then roared: 'Alas, what has happened to us?', just like pious people do when they fall down [see also B.G. 9: 21]. (24) Thereafter the many thousands of wives of the demons, headed by Mandodarī [Rāvana's wife], came out of Lankā and lamented upon approaching [their dead husbands]. (25) Embracing their beloved ones and their friends, who were all killed by Lakshmana's arrows, they beat their breasts and cried pitiably, which [to the victors] was pleasant to hear: (26) 'Oh alas, now he has been killed who protected all of us! Oh Rāvana, cause of our cries, to whom must the state of Lankā, bereft of your good self, turn for shelter, now it is defeated by the enemy? (27) Oh greatest patron, under the spell of lusty desires you, not knowing the influence of mother Sītā, have arrived at a situation like this. (28) Because of what you did, oh glory of the dynasty, we and the state of Lankā are now without a protector, your body is there as fodder for the vultures and your soul is destined for hell [compare B.G. 16: 19].'

(29) S'rī S'uka said: 'Vibhīshana with the approval of the King of Kosala [Rāma] performed for the family the funeral rites that for a deceased one have to be observed in order to save him from hell. (30) The Supreme Lord thereupon found His sweetheart [Sītā] back in an as'oka forest, sitting in a small cottage at the foot of a s'ims'apā [as'oka] tree. Sick from being separated from Him she was emaciated. (31) Rāma, seeing the poor plight of His sweetheart, was filled with compassion. When she saw her beloved, her lotus-like mouth was overwhelmed with a great joy. (32) The Supreme Lord put Vibhīshana in charge of the rule over Lankā's Rākshasas for the duration of a kalpa. He placed Sītā on His vehicle and then Himself ascended  together with Hanumān and the brothers [Lakshmana and Sugrīva the commander] to return to His home town [Ayodhyā] and conclude the period of the vow [that He would stay away for fourteen years]. (33) To celebrate His uncommon activities He on His way was showered with a choice of fragrant flowers offered by the higher class and was joyfully praised by the seer of the Absolute Truth [Brahmā] and those belonging to him. (34) Lord Rāmacandra, the One of Great Compassion, was very sorry to hear that His brother Bharata was lying down on a kus'a mat, had matted locks, ate barley cooked in cow's urine and had covered Himself with tree bark. (35-38) Bharata, hearing about His arrival, took the two sandals on His head [that Rāma had left behind on the throne to represent Him] and came, accompanied by all citizens, the ministers and the priests, to welcome His eldest brother. Departing from His camp Nandigrāma, He was accompanied by songs, the sounds of musical instruments, the constant recitation of mantras performed by brahmins, by gold embroidered flags on golden chariots that were pulled by the most beautiful, with gold caparisoned horses, and by soldiers in gold covered armor. Approaching in procession with nicely dressed courtesans and servants, as also with soldiers on foot and everything else that would befit a royal reception, like the wealth of all kinds of jewelry, He fell down at the lotus feet with an ecstatic love that softened the core of His [ascetic] heart and filled His eyes with tears. (39-40) Placing the two slippers before His brother, He stood with folded hands and tears in His eyes. He thereupon was embraced by Rāma who, bathing Him with the water from His eyes, held Him in His arms for a long time. Rāma, Lakshmana and Sītā together offered the scholars and the others worthy of worship personally their obeisances and also received these in return from all the citizens. (41) Seeing their Lord returning after so many years, the citizens of Kosala waved with their upper garments, offered Him garlands and began to dance in great jubilation. (42-43) The sandals were carried by Bharata, the whisk and luxurious fan were carried by Vibhīshana and Sugrīva, a white parasol was carried by the son of  the wind god [Hanumān] and the bow and two quivers were carried by S'atrughna. Sītā held the waterpot with water from the holy places, Angada held the sword made of gold and the King of the Rikshas [Jāmbavān, the leader of the bears who also participated in the war] held the shield, oh King. (44) Sitting on Kuvera's heavenly chariot [the 'Pushpaka' captured from Rāvana] He, the Supreme Lord devotedly being worshiped by the women and the reciters, oh King, appeared as brilliant as the moon risen among the planets.

(45-46) After properly being welcomed by His brother He was festively received in the city of Ayodhyā. Upon entering the royal palace He paid mother Kaikeyī, His other stepmothers and His own mother [Kaus'alyā] His respects. The spiritual teachers, friends of their age and the youngsters, were all of worship and their welcome was returned befittingly by Rāma, the princess of the Videhas [Sītā] and Lakshmana. (47) The mothers reviving like bodies awakening from sleep, while keeping their sons on their lap, wetted them with a continuous flow of tears in letting go of their grief [over having been separated for so long]. (48) According to the vidhi the matted locks were shaven off by the family priest [Vashishthha] and the elders of the family, after which, with the water of the four oceans and other paraphernalia, a bathing ceremony was performed like it was done for King Indra [see 6: 13]. (49) Thus having been fully bathed, nicely dressed, decorated and garlanded, He shone brightly with His brothers and His wife. (50) Pleased with the surrender [of His brother] He accepted the throne offered to Him as also the citizens who, serving according to their nature with their status orientations [varnās'rama identity, see B.G. 4: 13], all deserved His protection for that quality. Rāma was therein just like a father and was by them therefore also accepted as their father.

(51) Although this all happened in Tretā-yuga, the period became like Satya-yuga because of Rāma's presence as the ruling king who with His full respect of dharma made all living beings happy [see also 12.3: 15]. (52) The forests, the rivers, the hills and the mountains, the lands, the islands, the oceans and the seas, offered all the living beings all they could wish for, oh best of the Bharatas. (53) During the period that Rāma, the Lord in the Beyond, was king, there was no suffering [due to oneself, others and nature], no disease, old age, bereavement, distress, lamentation, fear and exhaustion, nor an unwanted death. (54) Having sworn that He would not take another woman [for reasons of principle He separated from Sītā, see next chapter] He, as a saintly king pure in His character and dharma, by His personal dutifulness was an example, [in particular] for the householders. (55) Sītā, in loving service of her husband, was, because of her good character, always humble and submissive. Being chaste and afraid [to make mistakes], she bashfully with understanding for her husband's position captivated His mind.'

*: This and the next chapter are a summary of Vālmīki's Rāmāyana, the original scripture describing the st0ry of Rāma.

**: Prabhupāda explains: 'Mahārāja Das'aratha had three wives. One of them, Kaikeyī, served him very pleasingly, and he therefore wanted to give her a benediction. Kaikeyī, however, said that she would ask for the benediction when it was necessary. At the time of the coronation of Prince Rāmacandra, Kaikeyī requested her husband to enthrone her son Bharata and send Rāmacandra to the forest. Mahārāja Das'aratha, being bound by his promise, ordered Rāmacandra to go to the forest, according to the dictation of his beloved.'  

***: This bridge is today still present in the form of a narrow passage of land close to the surface of the ocean between Lanka and India. It is called the Adam's Bridge and consists of a chain of shoals, c.18 miles (30 km) long [see picture and article].

Chapter 11: Lord Rāmacandra Rules the World

(1) S'rī S'uka said: 'The Supreme Lord Rāmacandra, the heart and soul of all the demigods, accepted an ācārya and performed sacrifices with the greatest opulence. Thus He [factually] was worshiping Himself by Himself [see also 4.31: 14]. (2) The hotā priest [the one offering oblations] He gave the entire east, the brahmā priest [supervising the proceedings] received the southern side from His Lordship, the adhvaryu priest [who chants the Yajur mantras preparing the sacrifice] got the entire west and the northern side went to the udgātā priest [singing the Sāma Veda hymns]. (3) Departing from the notion that the brahmins who are free from material desires deserve the complete of the earth, He gave the teacher of example, the ācārya, the rest of whatever land there was in between the regions. (4) What this way remained for Himself were His personal ornaments and garments, while for the queen, the daughter of the king of Videha, only her nose ring remained. (5) But when the brahmins saw how much He cared for them as their Lord, their hearts melted, so that they, most pleased with Him, honored Him with prayers. They returned everything they had received from Him and said: (6) 'What did You not give us, oh Supreme Lord, oh Master of the universe? With You entering the core of our hearts You dissipate, with Your effulgence, the darkness of our ignorance. (7) Our obeisances unto You Rāmacandra, oh Lord of the transcendentalists, oh best of all persons of fame, whose lotus feet are worshiped by those who are free from violence, oh You whose intelligence is never clouded by anxiety.'

(8) Curious about the public opinion, Rāma one night walked unnoticed in disguise and heard someone speak who was referring to His wife [Sītā]. (9) 'I cannot maintain you any longer because you are an impure, unchaste woman going to another man's house. And I will not, like someone henpecked, accept you again as Rāma did with Sītā!' (10) Apprehensive of folk who say anything that comes to mind, who do not know where to stop and have a poor fund of knowledge, she [Sītā] was abandoned by her husband. Thereupon she went to the hermitage of Prācetasa [Vālmīki Muni]. (11) She being pregnant [when she left Rāma], delivered there after some time a twin, two boys who from the sage who performed the birth rituals received the names Kus'a and Lava ['from the grass' and 'what is cut off']. (12) Also Lakshmana had two sons: Angada and Citraketu [named after 6.14-17]. Bharata, oh great ruler, had two sons who were named Taksha and Pushkala. (13-14) Subāhu and S'rutasena were fathered by S'atrughna. Bharata, who brought all directions under His control, in His conquest had to kill millions of Gandharvas [or obstinate rebels] and offered all their riches to the king [Rāma]. The Rākshasa listening to the name of Lavana, a son of Madhu, was killed by S'atrughna in the great forest of Madhuvana, where He established the great town known as Mathurā. (15) Sītā, who being sent away by her husband kept meditating on Rāma's feet, entrusted her sons to the sage and entered the earth. (16) When Rāma, the Supreme Lord, heard about this He, remembering her qualities in the different circumstances, could not check His grief, however much He tried to ban it in meditation. (17) Such an attraction between husband and wife constitutes a universal source of anxiety. When this is even true for the great controllers, then what about the common man who is fixed on a household existence? (18) After she went to heaven, the Lord observed strict celibacy and performed a ceremony, an Agnihotra [fire] sacrifice, that was continued for thirteen thousand years without interruption. (19) Rāma [concluding His earthly stay] placed His lotus feet, which were pierced by the thorns of the Dandakāranya forest [the forest of His exile], in the hearts of those who remembered Him and then entered the [beyond of the] Light of the Soul [of the ātma-jyoti, His heavenly abode Vaikunthha].

(20) The Lord of the Raghu dynasty [Rāma], who assumed a [spiritual] body for the purpose of His pastimes, had, with no one being greater or equal to Him, [personally] no need for all this honor of the prayers of the godly souls, the killing of the Rākshasas, building a bridge over the ocean and His bow and arrows, nor was He in need of the monkeys to assist Him in defeating the enemy [compare B.G. 3: 20-26]. (21) Let me surrender myself to Him, that Master of the Raghu dynasty whose spotless fame to the present day, as good as the cloth that covers the elephant of victory, is celebrated in royal assemblies and by the sages in all directions, to Him whose lotus feet, which vanquish all sin, are worshiped by the helmets of earthly kings and the gods of heaven. (22) He to whom the people of Kosala were looking up and who they wanted to touch, was by them all, whether they ate and slept with Him, or respected Him as a servant, followed to the place for which He left and where all [bhakti] yoga practitioners go [see also B.G. 4: 9]. (23) Anyone who hears about the activities of Lord Rāma and is filled with compassion towards others, oh King, will be liberated from the clutches of karma.'

(24) The king asked: 'How did He, the Supreme Lord, Rāma, relate to His brothers who were His personal expansions, and how did they and also His people, His subjects, behave towards Him, their Controller?'

(25) The son of Vyāsadeva said: 'After accepting the throne He, the Lord of the universe, ordered His younger brothers to conquer the world [*], while He Himself gave audience to His people, looking after the capital with other assistants. (26) The streets were sprinkled with perfumed water and the musth of the elephants. It was the highest and greatest delight to see Him, their Master and Ruler, personally present. (27) The palaces, the palace gates, the assembly houses, the platforms and the temples and such, were adorned with golden water pots and flags. (28)  [When He appeared] one turned it into a festival with reception gates, tapestries, garlands, betel nut, flowers and fruits, banana trees, colorful flags and mirrors. (29) Wherever He passed, the locals, carrying their articles of worship, approached Him to receive His blessings and said: 'Oh Lord, please maintain this land that You recovered like before [in the form of Lord Varāha].' (30) The men and women in the city thereafter, desirous to see their king, the Lord with the lotus eyes, returning after such a long time, left their homes to get on the rooftops of the greater mansions, satisfy their hungry eyes and shower Him with flowers. (31-34) He thereafter entered His family home that by His ancestors had been turned into an unfathomable treasury filled with the most costly goods. The doorposts were of coral, the pillars lining up on the polished marakata [emerald] floors were of vaidūrya stone and there were dazzling marble walls. All sorts of flowers and flags could be seen as also draperies, pearls and the most valuable effulgent gems. With all the desirable beauty that increased everyone's joy and with the many bunches of flowers, fragrant incense and lamps, the men and women there, whose physical beauty competed with their jewelry, appeared like demigods. (35) The Supreme Lord Rāma [lit.: 'joy'], the most excellent one delighting in devotion, to His full satisfaction personally enjoyed [His life] there with His dearest wife Sītā. (36) With the people meditating on His lotus feet, He for many years enjoyed all the pleasures of life, on their proper time, without running into trouble with the dharma.'

*: S'rī Caitanya Mahāprabhu said to this Rāma mission of conquering of the world: 'prithivīte āche yata nagarādi grāma sarvatra pracāra haibe mora nāma'; A pure devotee, therefore, must execute the order of the Lord and must not gratify his senses by remaining stagnant in one place, falsely proud, thinking that, because he does not leave Vrindāvana but chants in a solitary place, he has become a great devotee. He also said: 'yāre dekha, tāre kaha 'krishna'-upades'a'; every devotee, therefore, should spread Krishna consciousness by preaching, asking whomever he meets to accept the order of the Supreme Personality of Godhead [Cc. Madhya 7.128].

Chapter 12: The Dynasty of Kus'a, the Son of Lord Rāmacandra

(1) S'rī S'uka said: 'From Kus'a [the son of Lord Rāma] there was Atithi, and from him there was Nishadha. Nishadha's son was Nabha, Pundarīka was fathered by him and Kshemadhanvā became his son. (2) Devānīka was the son of Kshemadhanvā, his son was Anīha who had a son called Pāriyātra. Pāriyātra's son was Balasthala who had a son called Vajranābha. Vajranābha was born from the effulgence of the sun god. (3-4) From Sagana [the son of Vajranābha] there was a son called Vidhriti from whose loins the son Hiranyanābha was born who became a teacher of yoga in the line of Jaimini. Yājńavalkya of Kos'ala as a disciple studied under his lead the spiritual practice [ādhyātma yoga, see 6.15: 12-15]: the most elevated yoga of becoming a seer who can cut through the material knots in the heart. (5) From Pushpa, the son of Hiranyanābha, Dhruvasandhi was born from whom there was Sudars'ana. Agnivarna was born from him, his son was named S'īghra and Maru was his son. (6) This person still exists in Kalāpa-grāma ['bundle of communities'] as a perfected soul of yoga [a siddha]. He, remaining there, at the end of Kali-yuga will beget a [second] son in order to revive the lost dynasty of the sun god. (7) The son he had was Prasus'ruta, who fathered Sandhi from whose loins there was a son called Amarshana. From Amarshana's son Mahasvān the person of Vis'vabāhu took birth. (8) From him there was Prasenajit from whom next Takshaka would take birth. From Takshaka there was Brihadbala, who was killed by your father in a fight.

(9) All these kings of the Ikshvāku dynasty are dead and gone. Now listen to the kings to be born in the future. After Brihadbala there will be a son named Brihadrana. (10) Brihadrana's son will be Ūrukriya, from him Vatsavriddha will take birth, Prativyoma will be his son and he will beget Bhānu, whose son Divāka will be a great military commander. (11) Sahadeva, who will be born from him, will beget a great hero: Brihadas'va who will beget the son Bhānumān. The son of Bhānumān will be Pratīkās'va who will father the son Supratīka. (12) Marudeva will be born thereafter, and his son will be called Sunakshatra. Next there will be Pushkara whose son Antariksha will have a son called Sutapā whose son will be Amitrajit. (13) Brihadrāja will father the son Barhi. Kritańjaya, who will be born from him, will have a son called Ranańjaya and from him Sańjaya will take birth. (14) From him S'ākya will be born, whose son will be the memorable S'uddhoda. He will be the father of Lāngala from whom Prasenajit will be born, who in his turn will father Kshudraka. (15) Ranaka will take birth from him, Suratha will be the next son, and the one of him named Sumitra will end the line of all these kings in the Brihadbala dynasty. (16) With Sumitra as the last king to appear of all these descendants of Ikshvāku in the future, the dynasty will end in Kali-yuga.'


Chapter 13: The Story of Nimi and the Dynasty of his Son Mithila

(1) S'rī S'uka said: 'Nimi [see 9.6: 4], the son of Ikshvāku, planned a sacrifice and appointed Vasishthha to be the priest. But he said: 'I am already engaged by Lord Indra, oh Mahārāja. (2) When I have finished that sacrifice I will return. Wait till then'. Nimi remained silent and Vasishthha performed the sacrifice for Indra. (3) When the guru did not return for a long time Nimi thought: 'Life is but short' and inaugurated the sacrifice with another self-realized soul as the officiating priest.

(4) Having finished the ceremonies the guru upon his return discovered that  his instructions were ignored and so he pronounced a curse: 'May the embodiment of Nimi who thinks he is such a great pundit, fall down!'

(5) Nimi in his turn cursed the guru who had lost his way with: 'And may your embodiment, that with your greed is so poorly aware of the dharma, fall down too!'

(6) Nimi, fully conversant with the spiritual knowledge as he was, thus had to give up his body. Vasishthha, the great-grandfather [died also but] took with [the seed of] Mitra and Varuna  [again] birth through Urvas'ī [the heavenly courtesan whom they saw, see also 6.18: 5-6]. (7) Preserving Nimi's body in fragrant substances, the great sages in conclusion of the Satra sacrifice [a longstanding Soma sacrifice, see sattra] addressed the gathering of demigods as follows: (8) 'If you are content with us, then please, if you can, make the body of the king come alive!' After the demigods had responded in confirmation Nimi [as a spirit] said: 'Do not bind me to a physical frame! (9) Afraid to be falsely united, sages do not wish to be in touch that way. Absorbed in thoughts about the Lord, they are [to their opinion sufficiently] of devotional service at the lotus feet [see bhajan]. (10) I do not wish to assume a material body that inevitably dies again, for such a body is everywhere - like it is with fish living in the water -  the cause of distress, lamentation and fear [see also 1.13: 47 and B.G. 9: 3].' 

(11) The demigods said: 'Live as you like without a material body and be, with your presence in a spiritual body, in the eyes of the normally embodied human being, then manifested or not manifested to your desire.'

(12) Afraid that for the common man this would result in a state of chaos, the great seers churned the deceased body of Nimi and thus a son was born [compare: 4.14: 43 and 4.15: 1]. (13) Because of his uncommon birth he was called Janaka, because he was born from Videha [from Nimi who was without a body] he became known as Vaideha ['free from a body'], because he was born from the churning he was called Mithila and because of this the city he founded was called Mithilā. (14) From him there was a son named Udāvasu, from him Nandivardhana was born, he had a son named Suketu and Devarāta was his son, oh great ruler. (15) Devarāta begot Brihadratha, Mahāvīrya was his son and he fathered Sudhriti who had a son named Dhrishthaketu. He got Haryas'va as his son who was succeeded by Maru. (16) Maru's son was Pratīpaka and Kritaratha was born from him. Devamīdha was his son who had one called Vis'ruta who fathered Mahādhriti. (17) Kritirāta followed and from him there was  the son Mahāromā whose son Svarnaromā begot a son called Hrasvaromā. (18) S'īradhvaja [also called Janaka] was born from him. He for the performance of sacrifices plowed the earth with the front part of his plow [or s'īra] and thus the daughter Sītādevī was born [the wife of Rāma, Sītā means 'furrow']. That was why he was known as S'īradhvaja. (19) Kus'adhvaja was S'īradhvaja's son and his son was king Dharmadhvaja who had two sons named Kritadhvaja and Mitadhvaja. (20-21) Kritadhvaja had a son named Kes'idhvaja and Mitadhvaja's son was Khāndikya, oh King. Kritadhvaja's son was an expert in the science of transcendence and Khāndikya was an expert in Vedic rituals. Khāndikya fled because he feared Kes'idhvaja. From Bhānumān, Kes'idhvaja's son, there was the son S'atadyumna. (22) S'uci was his son and from him the son Sanadvāja was born. Ūrjaketu, his son, fathered Aja who got a son called Purujit. (23) He also had a son, Arishthanemi. From his son S'rutāyu there was Supārs'vaka who fathered Citraratha whose son Kshemādhi became the king of Mithilā. (24) His son named Samaratha had one named Satyaratha. He fathered Upaguru who begot Upagupta. Upagupta was a partial expansion of Agni [the god of fire]. (25) His son Vasvananta had a son called Yuyudha. He had a son called Subhāshana and his son was S'ruta. He begot Jaya and Jaya fathered Vijaya. Vijaya's son was Rita. (26) His son was S'unaka, then Vītahavya was born who had a son called Dhriti. Dhriti begot the son Bahulās'va and from him there was Kriti who had a son called Mahāvas'ī. (27) Oh King, these kings are the descendants of Mithila who by the grace of the Lord of Yoga were all true knowers of the soul. They all found liberation from the worldly duality, even though they stayed at home.'


Chapter 14: King Purūravā Enchanted by Urvas'ī

(1) S'rī S'uka said: 'Hear now then, oh King [after the stories about the dynasty of the sun god] about the moon dynasty, for to listen to the sanctifying descriptions of the dynasty of kings headed by Aila [Purūravā], is a glorious thing. (2) Dhātu [the 'original element' or Lord Brahmā] appeared on the lotus that was produced from the navel of Vishnu, He with the thousands of heads. Dhātu had a son called Atri who had the same qualities as his father. (3) From Atri's tears of jubilation a son called Soma was born who was an embodiment of the nectar of immortality [see also 4.1: 15]. He was by Brahmā appointed as the supreme authority over the scholars, the medicinal herbs and the luminaries [see also B.G. 10: 21 and 6.6: 23]. (4) After he had conquered the three worlds, he performed a Rājasūya-sacrifice and kidnapped in his arrogance with force Tārā, the wife of Brihaspati. (5) Despite a repeated request of the spiritual master of the godly souls, he in his conceit did not release her, as a consequence of which a conflict arose between the Suras and the Dānavas. (6) Because of S'ukra's ['semen', the spiritual master of the Asuras] enmity towards Brihaspati he, together with the Asuras, chose the side of the moon god. S'iva though took, together with the host of ghosts following him, out of affection for the side of [Brihaspati,] the son of  the spiritual teacher [Angirā, one of the seven sages]. (7) The great Indra followed by all the different demigods, joined the spiritual master [Brihaspati]. The fight that ensued - just because of Tārā [Brihaspati's wife] - brought great destruction over the Suras and Asuras. (8) When the creator of the universe, Lord Brahmā, was fully informed about this by Angirā, he severely chastised Soma and delivered Tārā unto her husband, who discovered that she was pregnant.

(9) [Brihaspati said to her:] 'You foolish woman, deliver now! Deliver immediately from that womb that was my domain. Despite having been impregnated by another man I shall not burn you to ashes, unfaithful as you are, because you were a woman in want of a child.'

(10) Tārā, deeply ashamed, delivered a child that had a golden effulgence. That made Brihaspati and Soma both desire the child. (11) 'It is mine, not yours!' so they exclaimed fighting over the child. The sages and the gods asked Tārā questions, but she in her embarrassment could not say a thing.

(12) The child got angry and said to its mother: 'Why all this shame? Why are you not saying anything? Tell me immediately, oh unchaste lady, what you have done wrong!'

(13) Lord Brahmā took her separate, put her at ease and asked her about the details, upon which she admitted hesitantly: 'This child belongs to Soma'. Soma then immediately took charge of it. (14) Oh King, when the child because of its profound intelligence received from Lord Brahmā the name Budha, the god of the moon was in great jubilation that he had gotten such a son. (15-16) As I said before [in 9.1], from his [Budha's] loins Purūravā was born from the womb of Ilā. When Urvas'ī [see also 9.13: 6] in Indra's court heard Nārada speak about Purūravā's beauty, qualities, magnanimity, behavior, wealth and power, the devī was struck by the arrows of Cupid and approached him. (17-18) Because of the curse of Mitra and Varuna the woman had descended to the human world. Seeing there that the best of all men was as beautiful as Cupid, she approached him self-controlled. As soon as he, the king, saw the divine woman, he with goose bumps addressed her enthused with sweet words and bright eyes. (19) The honorable king said: 'Be welcome, o supreme beauty, please be seated, what can I do for you? Keep me company and share my bed for many, many years!'

(20) Urvas'ī said: 'What woman would not be attracted by the sight and thought of you, oh beautiful man, and desist from enjoying your chest in intimate love [see also 7.9: 45]? (21) These two lambs, oh King, have fallen and need your protection, oh honorable host. In the company of a superior husband so one says, a woman may enjoy in love. (22) Oh hero of mine, that what is prepared with ghee shall be my food, and I do not want to see you naked at any other time than during intercourse.'

That is settled then', so promised the great soul. (23) 'Just look at your beauty and poise! No one on earth is as attractive as you are. Who can withstand a goddess like you who personally has descended among the human beings?'

(24) He, the best among the human beings, enjoyed, in the most exquisite places and pleasure gardens like Caitraratha, with her whatever there was to enjoy to his desire [see also 5.16: 13-14]. (25) Making love with the goddess he enjoyed it for many nights and days to be with her and smell the stimulating lotus saffron fragrance of her face.

(26) Indra not seeing Urvas'ī [around] told the singers of heaven: 'Without Urvas'ī my abode is not as beautiful'. (27) Thus they in the dead of night assembled in the dark to steal away the two lambs that Urvas'ī as a wife had entrusted to the king. (28) When she heard the two cry [that she treated like her sons], as they were lead away, she said: 'My life is stolen away by this bad husband who considers himself a hero but is not a real man! (29) Confiding in him who during the day appears to be a man but at night fearfully keeps himself silent as a woman, thieves have stolen away my two sons.'

(30) Pierced by the arrows of her words he, like an elephant fired up, angrily in the dark took up a sword and went after them, without putting his clothes on. (31) After they [the Gandharvas], gave up the lambs, they lit up the place with a light as bright as  lightening. Urvas'ī thus could see her husband returning naked with the two lambs in his hands... [and thus she left him]. (32) Purūravā not seeing his wife in bed any longer, got very sad. Being too much attached to her he got distraught and lamenting began to roam the earth [looking for her]. (33) He spotted Urvas'ī in Kurukshetra [a place of pilgrimage, see also B.G. 1: 1] at the Sarasvatī together with five companions. Happy and smiling all over Purūravā addressed her with sweet words: (34) 'Ah my wife, do not leave, stay, oh cruel one! You should not have given up on me because I failed to make you happy thus far. Let us talk a little. (35) This good body of mine, led far, far away from home by you, will drop dead on the spot, oh devī, and the foxes and vultures will eat it, if it is not worthy of your grace!'

(36) Urvas'ī said: 'You are a man, do not adhere to death! Do not let these foxes of the senses eat you up. You cannot always count on the friendship of women. They can be like wolves in matters of the heart. (37) Beware of them, women are merciless [when men forsake their duty, see B.G. 1: 40]. They are cunning, hard to handle, do whatever pleases them and put you as a faithful husband and brother down for the smallest reason, so one says. (38) They establish false hopes in the one unsuspecting, run away from their well-wishers, always desire for newer and newer things, are easily allured and are real captains of independence [if they have to]. (39) At the end of every year your good self may count on one night only in order to make love with me, my husband, so that you, one after the other, will have children in this world, my dear [see also 6.18: 38-42].'

(40) Seeing that Urvas'ī was pregnant he returned to his palace. At the end of the year he then at that very spot [at Kurukshetra] saw Urvas'ī again, who had become the mother of a hero. (41) Obtaining her association he, delighting in her company, in great jubilation reunited with her. After the night had passed Urvas'ī said to the poor-hearted fellow, who was afflicted by the thought of being separated from her: (42) 'Go and take shelter of the singers of heaven, the Gandharvas. When you satisfy them with prayers they will bring me to you.' His [agnisthālī] fire pot, oh King, then gave him the idea that Urvas'ī was really walking with him through the forest. (43) After he returned from the forest and had given up the fire pot, he at home began to meditate the entire night. During that time Tretā-yuga was about to begin and before his mind's eye the three [trikānda principles of the Vedas] were revealed [of upāsanā: sacrifice, song and prayer; karma: fruitive labor and jńāna: spiritual knowledge]. (44-45) Going to where he had left his fire pot he discovered that at that spot an As'vattha had sprouted from the inside of a s'amī tree. He used the wood to make two sticks [for creating fire] whereupon he, the master of the kingdom, with mantras [*], in his desire to be with Urvas'ī, meditated on her as the lower stick, with himself as the upper one and that what was between them as the child he had begotten. (46) From the friction a fire was born that, as the son of the king together with the three letter combination A, U and M [the Pranava], in its three forms stood for the complete of the Vedic practice [of being born from one's physical father,  from one's spiritual master and from one's own practice of offering - which is represented by the three sacrificial fires called Āhavanīya, Gārhapatya and Dākashināgni]. (47) He who wanted to be with Urvas'ī thus worshiped the Controller of the Sacrifices, the Supreme Personality of Godhead beyond the senses who is the Lord, the Reservoir of all Demigods [see also B.G. 3: 10]. (48) Formerly [during Satya-yuga] all verbal [Vedic, atharva] expressions were covered with one mantra only, knowing the Pranava of omkāra, Nārāyana was the only god, there was only one fire and there was only one varna [the class called hamsa **]. (49) This is how with Purūravā at the onset of Tretā-yuga, the [before mentioned] threefold Vedic order came about [of being born by karma, upāsana and jńāna], oh ruler of man. By simply generating the sacrificial fire as his son, the king achieved the heavenly abode of the Gandharvas.'

*: In this context are mentioned the mantra's: 's'amī-garbhād agnim mantha' 'from within the s'amī the fire is churned' and 'urvas'yām urasi purūravāh': 'by Urvas'ī the best of Purūravā.' 

**:  In Satya-yuga, Lord Nārāyana was worshiped by meditation (krite yad dhyayāto vishnum): everyone meditated and achieved success contemplating Lord Vishnu, Nārāyana. In the next yuga, Tretā-yuga, the performance of yajńa began (tretāyām yajato mukhaih). In Dvāpara-yuga the Lord is worshiped as a king, while in Kali-yuga the Lord is there as his own devotee [a covered or channa-avatāra] to lead in devotion.


Chapter 15: Paras'urāma, the Lord's Warrior Incarnation

(1) The son of Vyāsadeva said: 'From Urvas'ī's womb six sons were born who were begotten by Purūravā, oh ruler of man: Āyu, S'rutāyu, Satyāyu, Raya, Vijaya and Jaya. (2-3) S'rutāyu had a son named Vasumān, Satyāyu also had one called S'rutańjaya, from Raya there was a son called Eka and from Jaya there was a son called Amita. Bhīma was the son of Vijaya after whom Kāńcana was born as his son. From Hotraka, Kāńcana's son, there was the son Jahnu who drank the water of the Ganges in one sip. (4) Puru was begotten by Jahnu [see 1.12: 15 & 3.8: 1] and from him next Balāka and his son Ajaka appeared. Kus'a followed from whose loins the four sons Kus'āmbu, Tanaya, Vasu and Kus'anābha were born who were succeeded by Gādhi, the son of Kus'āmbu. (5-6) From Gādhi there was the daughter Satyavatī who by the brahmin Ricīka was asked to be his wife, but not considering him fit king Gādhi said to that son of Bhrigu: 'Please deliver me as a dowry for this daughter of the Kus'a dynasty that we belong to, one thousand horses as brilliant as the light of the moon with each one black ear.' (7) With that being said the sage understood what he had in mind. He went to the abode of Varuna from where he brought and delivered the horses. Then he married the beautiful daughter. (8) He, as a seer, was by his wife and his mother-in-law, who each wanted a son, requested to cook a preparation, that he with mantras offered to them [to his wife with a brāhmana mantra and to his mother-in-law with a kshatriya mantra]. Then the muni went away for a bath. (9) Meanwhile, Satyavatī was by her mother asked to give the oblation that was meant for her, because she thought it was the better one of the two. She handed it over to her while she herself ate her mother's oblation.

(10) Learning about this the sage said to his wife: 'You did something very wrong! Now your son will be a fierce, punitive personality while your brother will be a scholar in spiritual science!'

(11) Satyavatī beseeched him that it would not be so and thus the son of Bhrigu said: 'Then the son of your son will be that way!' Thereafter Jamadagni was born.

(12-13) She [Satyavatī] later became the great and sacred Kaus'ikī [a river] that purifies the entire world. Jamadagni married Renukā, the daughter of Renu. She with the seer of Bhrigu gave birth to many sons of whom Vasumān was the eldest. The renown Paras'urāma [also known as Rāma] was the youngest son. (14) He [Paras'urāma] who twenty-one times acted as the annihilator of the Haihaya dynasty and thus freed the earth from all her kshatriyas, is called an [ams'a] incarnation of Vāsudeva. (15) The earth's burden of the arrogant governing class that, covered by passion and ignorance, lacked in respect for the brahminical rule, was removed by him. He killed them despite the fact that they had committed no great offense [see also 1.11: 34].'

(16) The honorable king said: 'What was, of those degraded nobles out of control, the offense committed unto the Supreme Lord because of which time and again the dynasty was annihilated?

(17-19) The son of Vyāsa said: 'The king of the Haihayas, Kārtavīryārjuna, the best of the kshatriyas, had developed a thousand arms in upholding the worship of Dattātreya who is a plenary portion of Nārāyana. He who was the fear of his enemies could not be defeated, was sharp-witted, most attractive, influential, powerful, renown and physically very strong. Because of his yogic control he had acquired qualities like the perfections of the animā-siddhi and such, and he tirelessly traveled all over the world like a whirlwind. (20) When he one day surrounded by beautiful women enjoyed the water of the Revā [the Narmadā], he, overly proud of being decorated with the garland of victory, with his arms stopped the flow of the river. (21) The conceited hero called Ten-head [Rāvana] could not bear that influence because the water, which moved upstream from his actions, had inundated his camp. (22) Rāvana, who insulted him [the king] in the presence of the women, was without much difficulty arrested by him, held in custody in [their capital] Māhishmatī and then released again as if it concerned a monkey.

(23) Once, during a hunt, alone in the forest wandering aimlessly, he [Kārtavīryārjuna] entered the ās'rama of Jamadagni muni. (24) The sage on the basis of his austerity could, because of his cow of plenty [kāmadhenu], offer everything that was needed to that god of man together with his soldiers, ministers and the rest of his retinue. (25) When the king saw what this wealth, which exceeded his personal opulence, all meant, he could not really appreciate it. He and his Haihayas then developed the desire to possess that cow of sacrifice. (26) In his conceit he encouraged his men to take away the sage's cow of plenty and bring her together with her calf to Māhishmatī, while it was crying because of the violence. (27) After the king was gone Paras'urāma, upon returning to the ās'rama [of his father], heard about that nefarious act and got as angry as a snake trampled upon. (28) Unable to tolerate what had happened, he took up a ghastly chopper, a quiver, a bow and a shield, and went after them like a lion attacking an elephant. (29) As the king entered the capital, he saw the best of the Bhrigus coming after him in fury, carrying a bow, arrows and a chopper as his weapons. His skin was covered with a black deerskin, he had matted locks and radiated like sunshine. (30) He sent seventeen akshauhinīs [*] with elephants, chariots, horses and infantry, with swords, arrows, lances, slings and weapons of fire, but Paras'urāma, the Lord and Master, most fiercely killed them all by himself. (31) He, as the greatest expert in handling the chopper, killed, as fast as the wind and as speedy as the mind, the enemy troops from whom here and there the arms, legs and shoulders fell to the ground, together with the drivers of the elephants and the horses that had been slain. (32) Seeing his soldiers, fallen by the axe and the arrows of Rāma, lying scattered with their shields, flags, bows and dead bodies in the mud and the blood on the field, Haihaya [Kārtavīryārjuna] rushed over there in fury. (33) Kārtavīryārjuna then fixed with his five hundred arms simultaneously as many arrows on as many bows in order to kill Rāma, but he, as the best fighter of all the ones armed, shot them all to pieces with his arrows using one bow only. (34) The king attacked again, with rocks and trees he had uprooted with his hands, but, as he was rushing forwards on the battlefield, all his arms were cut off with great force by Paras'urāma's razor-sharp axe, like they were the hoods of snakes. (35-36) After his arms had been cut off, the mountain peak that was his head was severed. As soon as their father was killed his ten thousand sons fled away in fear. Fetching the sacrificial cow and calf that had suffered badly, the Killer of All False Heroism returned to his father's hermitage and handed them over to him. (37) Rāma described to his father and brothers everything that he had done. After hearing it Jamadagni spoke as follows:

(38) 'Rāma, oh Rāma, mighty hero, you have committed a sin by unnecessarily killing that god of man who embodies all the demigods. (39) We are brahmins, my dear one, people who because of their forgiveness have achieved a position of respect. It is by this quality that the god who is the spiritual master of the universe [Lord Brahmā] has achieved his position as the supreme authority. (40) By forgiveness the splendor, happiness and success of the religious practice shines as brilliant as the sun. The Supreme Lord Hari, our Controller, becomes quickly pleased with those who are forgiving. (41) To kill a king who is famous as an emperor is worse than killing a brahmin. Therefore wash away that sin my best one, by respecting the holy places in the consciousness of the Infallible One.'

*: The Mahābhārata describes an akshauhinī in the Ādi parva, chapter two: "One chariot, one elephant, five infantry soldiers and three horses are called a patti by those who are learned in the science. The wise also know that a senāmukha is three times what a patti is. Three senāmukhas are known as one gulma, three gulmas are called a gana, and three ganas are called a vāhinī. Three vāhinīs have been referred to by the learned as a pritanā, three pritanās equal one camū, and three camūs equal one anīkinī. The wise refer to ten anīkinīs as one akshauhinī. The chariots of an akshauhinī have been calculated at 21.870 by those who know the science of such calculations, oh best of the twice-born, and the number of elephants is the same. The number of infantry soldiers is 109.350, and the number of horses is 65.610. This is called an akshauhinī." 


Chapter 16: How Lord Paras'urāma Came to Destroy the Ruling Class Twenty-one Times

(1) S'rī S'uka said: 'Oh son of the Kuru dynasty, Paras'urāma, thus by his father being advised, said: 'So be it!', whereupon he for a year traveled to all the holy places. Then he returned to the ās'rama. (2) When Renukā [his mother] one day went to the bank of the Ganges, she saw the king of the Gandharvas [see also 9.14: 31]. He was garlanded with lotus flowers and sported with the girls of heaven, the Apsaras. (3) She observed his affairs as she went to the river to fetch some water. Slightly drawn to Citraratha, she forgot the time of the fire sacrifice. (4) Realizing that she had neglected the time, she, upon returning, was afraid to be cursed by the sage and stood with folded hands before him, having put the water pot in front of him. (5) The sage understood she had deviated from the rule and became angry with his wife. He said: 'Remove her my sons, she's full of sin', but the sons did not carry out his order.  (6) Rāma, who through his meditation and austerity was fully aware of the prowess of the sage [and confided perfectly in his authority], in response to the encouragement of his father immediately terminated his mother and all his brothers. (7) When Jamadagni thus being pleased asked him what benediction he would like, he said: 'Give those whom we have lost their life back without them remembering their punishment!' (8) Soon they all rose happily and alive, like they had awakened from deep sleep, since Rāma had executed the punishing of his kin in the full awareness of the power of his father's austerity.

(9) The sons of Kārtavīryārjuna [9.15: 17], oh King, [meanwhile] could not have peace with the remembrance of their father being defeated by the superior power of Paras'urāma. (10) When Rāma one day with his brothers was away from the ās'rama in the forest, they, seeking revenge, took the opportunity to approach their residence. (11) Finding the muni sitting at the fireplace fully absorbed in contemplating the Supreme One Praised in the Verses, they, determined to do evil, killed him. (12) Being most cruel towards the poor and unprotected mother of Rāma who begged for the life of her husband, they, those 'kshatriya' brothers, violently cut his head off and took it away. (13) Renukā, the chaste wife down in tears grieving, stroke her body with her hands and cried loudly: 'Oh Rāma, oh Rāma, my dear son!' (14) Hearing the sound of that most sad cry 'Oh Rāma', they [Rāma and his brothers] from far away, hastened back to the ās'rama where they saw that their father had been murdered. (15) Bewildered by the shock, they all lamented and angrily, depressed, sad and indignified cried: 'Oh father, oh saint, you who are such an example of dharma have now departed for heaven and left us behind!' (16) Thus bewailing their father, Paras'urāma entrusted the body to his brothers and personally took up the ax, determined to put an end to the kshatriyas. (17) Rāma went to Māhishmatī, [the capital] that was bereft of all glory because a brahmin had been killed. There he in the middle of the town made a great pile of the heads he severed from their bodies. (18-19) Their blood formed a terrible river that brought fear to all the rulers who defied the brahminical culture. Because the kshatriyas, the royal class, had killed his father, he acted to their detriment and twenty-one times over wiped them off the earth. He as a master of war thus at Samanta-pańcaka created nine lakes filled with blood instead of water [see also B.G. 4: 7].

(20) Joining his father's head with his body he kept him on kus'a grass and worshiped with sacrifices the Godhead, the True Self and inspiration of all the demigods. (21-22) The hotā priest he gave the eastern direction, the brahmā priest he gave the southern direction, the adhvaryu he gave the western side and the udgātā received the north [compare 9.11: 2]. The others and Kas'yapa Muni he assigned the different corners and the middle Āryāvarta portion [*] he gave to the upadrashthā priest who supervises the mantras. The assisting sadasya priests received whatever remained. (23) When he thereafter took a bath, he, on the bank of the major stream that was the Sarasvatī, was cleansed of all impurities [remaining from killing the kshatriyas] and radiated like a cloudless sun [see also B.G. 3: 9]. (24) Because of Paras'urāma's worship, Jamadagni regained his body with all the symptoms of consciousness and became the seventh seer in the constellation of the seven sages [see 8.13: 5, linked to the saptarshi-mandala stars around the polestar]. (25) Paras'urāma, the son of Jamadagni who is also the Supreme Lord with the lotus petal eyes, will be a propounder of Vedic knowledge in the next period of Manu, oh King [as one of the seven sages, see 8.13: 15-16]. (26) He who in peace with the intelligence has given up the clout, still today can be found in the hills of Mahendra and is worshiped and revered for his character and activities by all the perfected souls, the singers of heaven and the venerable souls. (27) This is how the Soul of the Universe, the Supreme Lord Hari, the Controller who appeared as an incarnation in the Bhrigu dynasty and killed the rulers of man many times, relieved the earth of its great burden.

(28) From Gādhi's loins [see 9.15: 4-5] a most powerful personality [Vis'vāmitra] was born. He, as perfect as a fire, gave up the kshatriya position and achieved the quality of a brahmin by performing austerities [see 7.11: 35 and footnote at 9.7: 7]. (29) Vis'vāmitra also had sons: one hundred-and-one of them, oh ruler. Because the middle one carried the name Madhucchandā they as a group were called the Madhucchandās. (30) He accepted S'unahs'epha, the son of Ajīgarta, who with the name of Devarāta ['saved by the demigods'] appeared in the Bhrigu-dynasty, as his own son. He ordered his other sons to accept him as the eldest one. (31) He was the one who was sold as the 'man-animal' for the yajńa of king Haris'candra. After offering prayers to the demigods headed by Lord Brahmā he was released from being bound like an animal [see 9.7: 20]. (32) Stemming from the line of Bhrigu he was advanced in spirituality and was therefore protected by the godly souls involved in the sacrifice for the gods. S'unas'epha was for that reason in the dynasty of Gādhi also celebrated as Devarāta. (33) The [fifty] eldest Madhucchandās could not very well accept the fact [that he would be the eldest brother] and were all cursed by the muni who got angry. He said: 'May all of you bad sons become mlecchas [**]!' (34) It was Madhucchandā who, together with the rest of the fifty sons, then said: 'We will conform to whatever would please you in this matter, oh father!' (35) They accepted him [Devarāta], a seer of mantras, as the eldest and said to him: 'We will all follow you.' Vis'vāmitra told the sons: 'You sons will all have sons because you favored my honor as a father of [worthy] sons. (36) He, Devarāta, is a son of mine, just like you are, oh Kus'ikas [***], please obey him.' And there were many other sons: Ashthaka, Hārīta, Jaya, Kratumān and more. (37) Let it thus be clear what the branches of the dynasty of Kaus'ika are according to the different positions that were obtained by the sons of Vis'vāmitra [the ones obedient, the ones disobedient and the ones adopted].'

*: The tract of land in India between the Himalaya Mountains and the Vindhya Hills is called Āryāvarta.

**: Mlecchas are people opposed to the Vedas, non-Aryans that are also known as the meat-eaters that Lord Kalki will slay at the end of Kali-yuga. 

***: 'One of Kaus'ika' is another name for Vis'vāmitra and his sons, see also 6.8: 38.

Chapter 17: The Dynasties of the Sons of Purūravā

(1-3) The son of Vyāsa said: 'From one son of Purūravā named Āyu [see 9.15: 1], there were the powerful sons Nahusha, Kshatravriddha, Rajī, Rābha and Anenā. Oh royal ruler, hear now about the dynasty of Kshatravriddha. From Kshatravriddha's son Suhotra there were three sons: Kās'ya, Kus'a and Gritsamada. From Gritsamada there was S'unaka and from him S'aunaka appeared, a muni who excelled in the sacred [Rig Veda] verses. (4) Kās'i, the son of Kās'ya, begot Rāshthra who in his turn fathered Dīrghatama. From Dīrghatama there was Dhanvantari who was an incarnation of Vāsudeva, the Enjoyer of Sacrifices. He was the founder of Ayurvedic medicine. When one remembers Him, all disease can be overcome [see also 8.8]. (5) From his son Ketumān a son took birth named Bhīmaratha and from him there was Divodāsa, whose son Dyumān was also known as Pratardana. (6) He was also known by the names S'atrujit, Vatsa, Ritadhvaja and Kuvalayās'va. From him there were Alarka and other sons. (7) Oh King, no one but Alarka ruled the earth for sixty-six thousand years like a young man. (8) From Alarka's loins Santati was born, from him Sunītha was born, his son was Niketana and Niketana's son was Dharmaketu who fathered Satyaketu. (9) Dhrishthaketu thereafter begot Sukumāra who ruled the entire planet. Vītihotra was his son and Bharga who was born from him fathered a son named Bhārgabhūmi, oh ruler of man.

(10) I have thus described all descendants born in the dynasty of Kās'i who belong to the line of Kshatravriddha. From [Kshatravriddha's brother] Rābha a son was born called Rabhasa. From him Gambhīra appeared and Akriya was his son. (11) The descendant who took birth from him was called Brahmavit. Now hear about the descendants of Anenā. There was a son called S'uddha from whom S'uci was born who had a son called Citrakrit, who was also known as Dharmasārathi. (12) From him S'āntaraja was born who performed all kinds of Vedic rituals. He was a self-realized soul [and the line ended with him]. From Rajī there were five-hundred sons who were most powerful. (13) Rajī, who on the request of the godly souls killed the demons, returned the heavenly kingdom back to Indra, the king of heaven. But Indra, afraid of the enmity of Prahlāda and others, gave it back [to the demons] and clasped Rajī's feet in surrender. (14) When their father passed away, the great Indra requested Rajī's sons to return the heavenly kingdom. They did not do that and gave him a share of the offerings. (15) The spiritual master [Brihaspati] offered oblations in the fire so that Indra could kill all of Rajī's sons who had fallen from the path of righteousness. None of them remained alive. (16) From Kus'a, Kshatravriddha's grandson, Prati was born. His son called Sańjaya had a son named Jaya who fathered the son Krita from whose loins next king Haryabala was born. (17) From Sahadeva, who was his son, Hīna was born. His son Jayasena fathered Sankriti. Sankriti also had a son named Jaya who was a dutiful kshatriya and a mighty warrior. These were all the kings in the [Āyu] dynasty of Kshatravriddha, now hear from me about the descendants of Nahusha.' 


Chapter 18: King Yayāti Regains his Youth

(1) S'rī 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 Purūravā's son Āyu] six sons: Yati, Yayāti, Samyāti, Āyati, 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'acī and he hence had degraded to the level of a python [a 'goat-swallower'], Yayāti became the king. (4) He allowed his four younger brothers to rule the different directions. Yayāti, thus ruling the world, married the daughters [Devayānī] of S'ukrācārya and [S'armishthhā of] Vrishaparvā.'

(5) The king said: 'The mighty seer S'ukrācārya was a brahmin, while Yayāti 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'rī S'uka said: 'One day Vrishaparvā's daughter named S'armishthhā, an innocent girl with a passionate character, was together with the daughter of the guru Devayānī and with thousands of friends. They walked in the palace garden full of blossoming trees where sand banks were found 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 [Pārvatī]. The young girls quickly got out of the water and full of shame covered themselves with their garments. (10) Without noticing it S'armishthhā put on the clothes of the guru's daughter, as if they were her own, whereupon Devayānī 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 meant 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 souls 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 like an unchaste s'udra trying to master the Vedas!'

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

(17) With these harsh words rebuking her S'armishthhā angrily took the garments away from the virtuous daughter of the spiritual teacher and pushed her into a well. (18) As she went home Yayāti, who wandered around for a hunt, happened to arrive at the spot and, thirsty 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'anā [or S'ukrācārya, 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 [*].'

Yayāti did not like what had been arranged by providence, however, thinking for himself he, being 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'armishthhā 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 [uńcha-vritti, see 7.11: 16 and 7.12: 17-19] and left his residence together with his daughter. (26) King Vrishaparvā understanding that his spiritual master acted out of protest, 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] Devayānī expressed her desire: 'To whomever my father gives me away in marriage, she [S'armishthhā] must accompany me as my follower.'

(29) S'armishthhā, who together with her friends by the father was given to Devayānī, understood the danger [of the ācārya leaving] and also what the benefit was of his respectability, and therefore served her together with the thousands of other women as a maidservant. (30) When he gave his daughter [Devayānī] to [Yayāti] the descendant of Nahusha, S'ukrācārya said to him: 'Oh King, never ever allow S'armishthhā into your bed!'

(31) S'armishthhā [however] who [later on] saw that Us'anā'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) [Even though] remembering what S'ukra had said when he gave his advice for a situation like this, he who by this princess was requested to have children with her, then decided, from his sense of duty [as a ruler] and respect for the principles of religion [in support of that], to give in to her [compare B.G. 7: 11]. (33) Devayānī gave birth to Yadu and Turvasu. S'armishthhā, the daughter of Vrishaparvā, had Druhyu, Anu and Pūru. (34) When Devayānī was informed that S'armishthhā 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 by 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 disfigurement of your body because of old age.'

(37) S'rī Yayāti 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 accept 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'rī 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 Pūru 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'rī Pūru said: 'Who, oh King, oh best 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) Pūru was thus pleased to accept the burden of old age of his father, while his father was pleased with the satisfaction of the youthful desires of his son he had asked for, oh ruler of man. (46) He [Yayāti], 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) Devayānī as his sweetheart, on top of that provided her beloved husband in private, twenty-four hours a day, divine bliss with all her body, mind and words and everything belonging 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, Yayāti was of an abundant charity. (49) In Him the complete of creation appears in all its diversity - just like a mass of clouds appears in the sky - and then again there is no manifestation at all, like it concerned an illusion created by the mind in a dream [see also B.G. 7: 24-25]. (50) Placing only Him in his heart, Lord Vāsudeva, the One Nārāyana who exists within each but is visible to no one, he worshiped free from desire the Supreme Master. (51) Even though he this way for a thousand years with his mind and his five senses was engaged in a notion of worldly happiness he, the master of the entire world, because of his devious senses could not find satisfaction.'

*: Swāmi Prabhupāda explains: 'Kaca, the son of the learned celestial priest Brihaspati, had been a student of S'ukrācarya, from whom he had learned the art of reviving a man who has died untimely. This art, called mrita-sańjīvanī, was especially used during wartime. When there was a war, soldiers would certainly die untimely, but if a soldier's body was intact, he could be brought back to life again by this art of mrita-sańjīvanī. This art was known to S'ukrācārya and many others, and Kaca, the son of Brihaspati, became S'ukrācārya's student to learn it. Devayānī desired to have Kaca as her husband, but Kaca, out of regard for S'ukrācarya, looked upon the guru's daughter as a respectable superior and therefore refused to marry her. Devayānī angrily cursed Kaca by saying that although he had learned the art of mrita-sańjīvanī from her father, it would be useless. When cursed in this way, Kaca retaliated by cursing Devayānī never to have a husband who was a brāhmana.'


Chapter 19: King Yayāti Achieves Liberation: the Goats of Lust

(1) S'rī S'uka said: 'He [Yayāti] who, being moved by lust, thus was ruled by women, for the sake of his well-being acted against it with intelligence. In resignation he narrated the following story to his wife [Devayānī].

(2) 'Oh daughter of S'ukra, please listen to this tale about someone in this world behaving like me, someone adhering to his class and because of whom the sober souls of the forest [they who retired] are repentant. (3) There was a goat in the forest searching for some food for his cherished self. He happened to meet a she-goat that as a consequence of her own actions had fallen into a well. (4) Motivated for lust the he-goat thought of a way to free her. With the tip of his horns he then engaged in digging into the earth around the well. (5-6) She thus got out of the well. The he-goat thought she had nice hips and she from her side fancied him as a sexual partner too, just as all the other she-goats did that were looking on. Stout, with a nice beard being a first class seed donor and master lover, that he-goat, the number one goat of them all, forgot himself completely like someone haunted. As the only male enjoying the great number of them, he was always overwhelmed by his lusts [compare 6.5: 6-20]. (7) When the she-goat he had freed from the well saw him, her beloved, engaged in delighting with another one, she could not tolerate that. (8) She considered him a lusty, cruel-hearted pretender, a friend to the occasion who is only interested in sensual matters. Aggrieved she gave him up to return to her former master. (9) Controlled by her, the he-goat in pain followed her miserably and tried to pacify her on the road with utterances that goats are used to practice, but he could not satisfy her. (10) Some brahmin, who was the master of the she-goat, angrily cut off the he-goat's dangling testicles. Later on though the expert yogi reattached them out of self-interest.

(11) Oh dearest wife, the he-goat with his testicles restored, for many, many years enjoyed the she-goat he had saved from the well, but up to the present day his lusty desires are not satisfied. (12) I am a poor miser just like that. In the company of you with your beautiful eyebrows I am tied in love and I could as yet, bewildered as I am by your outer appearance, [therefore] not be of self-realization [compare 3.30: 6-12, 4.25: 56, 4.28: 17, 5.4: 18, 7.14 and 8.16: 9]. (13) The mind of someone who is a victim of lust cannot find satisfaction in all the food grains, barley, gold, animals and women of this world. (14) The lust of the lusty will never ever be pacified by enjoyment, it will only increase, just like a fire that again and again is fed with butter. (15) When someone does not want to teach anybody a lesson, nor wants to act at the detriment of any living being, for such a person, who is of an equal vision towards all, all directions will appear equally happy [see also B.G. 2: 56, 2: 71, & 4: 10]. (16) The desire that is so difficult to forsake for ignorant people, that root cause of all tribulation that is not so quickly overcome, should be given up by the one seeking happiness. (17) One should not [even just like that] sit close to one's mother, to one's sister or one's daughter, because the senses in combination are so strong that they even will agitate the most learned soul. (18) Even though I for a thousand years without interruption enjoyed the gratification of my senses, that desire still develops constantly. (19) I will therefore give up on these desires and fix my mind on the Absolute Truth. Free from duality and without falsely identifying myself, I [thus] will wander with the [freedom of the] animals in nature. (20) As one perceives and listens [to one's desires], one should know them to be of a temporary nature. One should not give them any further thought or strive for them. He who is mindful of the fact that they lead to the prolongation of a worldly existence and to forgetfulness about the real self, is a self-realized soul [see also B.G. 2: 13].'

(21) 'After the son of Nahusha had said this to his wife, he, being freed from desires, accepted his old age and gave Pūru his youth back [see 9.18: 45]. (22) He made [of his other, faithful sons] Druhyu king over the southeastern direction, Yadu over the southern side, Turvasu over the western part and Anu over the north. (23) The entire planet's riches and wealth he placed under the control of Pūru as the most admirable soul of all citizens. He crowned him emperor over his elder brothers and, thus having arranged his affairs, left for the forest. (24) All those years he without interruption had enjoyed life with his six ways of engagement [with his senses and mind]. That he all gave up in a single moment [see also 2.4: 18], just like a bird that leaves its nest when its wings have grown. (25) Doing this he was instantly freed from all his attachments and was free from [the influence of] the three modes, now that he derived from his original self [see also 1.2: 17]. Pure in his transcendence he achieved the Absolute Truth of Vāsudeva, his destination as a confident associate of the Supreme Lord. (26) When Devayānī heard the story [about the he-goat and his she-goats] that for a laugh was presented in the exchange of love between husband and wife, she saw that it referred to [her] self-realization. (27-28) She understood that living with friends and relatives, who are all subjected to the control of the rigid laws of nature [Time], is like associating with travelers at a water place. It is a creation [according to one's karma] of the Lord's illusory potency. The daughter of S'ukrācārya gave up all her attachments in this dreamlike world, fixed her mind fully on Lord Krishna and shook off the worries about her self [about both her gross and subtle nature, the linga]. (29) I offer You my obeisances, oh Supreme Lord Vāsudeva, Creator of All, who resides in all beings and abodes. My respects for You who, in perfect peace, are the Greatest of All!'


Chapter 20: The Dynasty of Pūru up to Bharata

(1) The son of Vyāsadeva said: 'I shall now describe the dynasty of Pūru in which you were born, oh son of Bharata. From the saintly kings of that dynasty many brahmin dynasties originated. (2) From Pūru the son Janamejaya appeared, Pracinvān was his son and from him there was Pravīra from whom next Manusyu appeared. He in his turn fathered Cārupada. (3) The son appearing from him was Sudyu who had a son named Bahugava. From Bahugava Samyāti was born who had a son named Ahamyāti. His son was called Raudrās'va. (4-5) Just like the ten senses [of action and perception] originated from the primal force of the universal self, [with him] from an Apsara girl known as Ghritācī ten sons were born: Riteyu, Kaksheyu, Sthandileyu, Kriteyuka, Jaleyu, Sannateyu, Dharmeyu, Satyeyu, Vrateyu and Vaneyu who was the youngest. (6) From Riteyu a son named Rantināva appeared and his three sons, oh ruler of man, were Sumati, Dhruva and Apratiratha. Kanva was Apratiratha's son. (7) From him there was Medhātithi from whom there were Praskanna and others who were all twice-born souls [brahmins]. From Sumati there was Rebhi and his son was called Dushmanta.

(8-9) Dushmanta one day went hunting and arrived at the ās'rama of Kanva. There he saw a woman sitting who radiated with a beauty like that of the goddess of fortune. Seeing her he immediately felt himself strongly drawn towards this manifestation of divine feminine beauty. In the company of some of his soldiers he then addressed that finest of all ladies. (10) Exhilarated by her presence he was relieved of the fatigue of his hunting excursion. Driven by lusty feelings, he smilingly asked with pleasing words: (11) 'Who are you, oh lotus petal-eyed lady? Who do you belong to, oh beauty of my heart and what are your intentions, all by yourself being here in the forest? (12) You appear to be of royal blood. You can count on it that I, as a descendant of Pūru, oh raving beauty, never outside of the dharma think of enjoying whatever!'

(13) S'rī S'akuntalā said: 'I was born from Vis'vāmitra and was by Menakā [my mother] left behind in this forest. Kanva the mighty saint, knows everything about it! Oh my hero, what can I do for you? (14) Please come and sit next to me, oh lotus-eyed soul, accept my humble service. Please eat from the nīvārā ['of a virgin'] rice that I have to offer and stay here if you want to.'

(15) S'rī Dushmanta answered: 'This, oh beautiful eyebrows, befits your position of being born in the family of Vis'vāmitra. It is indeed so that the daughters of a royal family personally choose a suitable husband.'

(16) The king, well aware of what would befit the time and place, said yes and then married, according to the rules of dharma, with S'akuntalā the gandharva way [of mutual consent]. (17) Unerring in his virility the saintly king deposited his semen in the queen and turned back to his residence in the morning. In due course of time she then gave birth to a son. (18) Kanva Muni executed in the forest the prescribed ceremonies for the child. The boy later on became known for having captured with great force a lion and having played with it. (19) [His mother S'akuntalā,] the best of women, took him who as a partial expansion of the Lord was of an insurmountable strength, with her to her husband [Dushmanta]. (20) When the king did not accept them as his wife and son, while they had done nothing wrong, for everyone to hear there was a loud sound from the sky. An incorporeal voice declared: (21) 'The mother is like a bellows to the son of the father who begot him. He therefore belongs to the father. Just take care of your son, oh Dushmanta, and do not offend S'akuntalā! (22) Oh King, he who discharged the semen is by the son saved from the punishment of  Yamarāja [death]. S'akuntalā, who said that you are the one who fathered the child, has spoken the truth.'

(23) After his father had passed away, the son became an emperor of great fame and glory who was celebrated as a partial representation of the Lord on earth [see also B.G. 10: 41]. (24-26) He carried the mark of the cakra on his right hand and the mark of the lotus whorl on the soles of his feet. Because he was of worship with a grand ritualistic ceremony he received the position of the lord and master over the entire world. He used fifty-five horses for performing sacrifices from the mouth of the Ganges up to its source. For that purpose he appointed the son of Mamatā as the priest. In the same way he proceeded at the bank of the Yamunā where he bound [the as'vamedha plate of honor to] seventy-eight horses of sacrifice. He who was called Bharata, the son of Dushmanta, established his fire of sacrifice in the best possible way, gave away a fortune in charity and divided a badva [13.084] cows among the brahmins present. (27) The son of Dushmanta, who astonished all the kings by bringing together for these yajńas three-thousand three-hundred horses, [thus] surpassed the opulence of the demigods and gained [the favor of] the spiritual master [the Lord]. (28) During the sacrifice at Mashnāra he in charity donated fourteen lakhs of fine black elephants with the whitest tusks, that were covered with golden ornaments. (29) Just as one cannot seize the heavenly worlds by the strength of one's arms, it is impossible for any ruler in the past or the future to equal the exalted activities of Bharata. (30) When he conquered the directions, he killed all the barbarian rulers who opposed the brahminical culture, like the Kirātas [Africans], the Hūnān [the Huns], the Yavanas [the Greek] the Paundras [the wild men of south Bihar and Bengal], the Kankas [the Scandinavians?], the Khas'ās [the Mongolians] and the S'akas [the Tartars]. (31) In the past, when the Asuras had conquered the demigods and they returned to the lower worlds [Rasātala], all the wives and daughters of the godly souls had been transported to the nether worlds, but he brought all of them and their associates back to their original places. (32) Sending his troops and circulating his instructions in all directions, for twenty-seven thousand years heaven and earth provided whatever his subjects desired. (33) He, the emperor, the ruler over all rulers and places, who was impeccable with the achievements of his power, the realm and the order of state, [in the end considered] all of his life false and thus he ceased to enjoy them. (34) He, oh master of man, had three wives, daughters of Vidarbha who were most pleasing and suitable. But afraid that they would be rejected by him, because their sons were not as perfect as their father, they killed them. (35) Thus being frustrated in generating offspring, he performed a marut-stoma sacrifice to beget sons. The Maruts thereupon presented him Bharadvāja.

(36) Brihaspati [the scholar and priest of the demigods who was his father, in the past] felt attracted to his brother's pregnant wife and wanted to make love to her. But when the son in the womb forbade him to engage that way, he cursed him and discharged his semen anyway. (37) For Mamatā [the mother], who out of fear to be abandoned by her husband [Utathya] wanted to get rid of the child, was at its name-giving ceremony the following verse pronounced by the God-conscious souls: (38) 'Oh foolish woman, take care of this child that has two fathers.' [She thereupon said:] 'Oh Brihaspati, maintain it yourself, although it has another father!' With both the parents having turned away from the child by saying these words, the child consequently was called Bharadvāja ['a burden for both']. (39) Even though she by the God-conscious souls was encouraged to maintain the child, the mother still rejected it, for she thought that, in the light of what had happened, it had no purpose in life. It was maintained by the Maruts who gave it [to Bharata] when the dynasty was unfulfilled.' 


Chapter 21: The Dynasty of Bharata: the Story of Rantideva

(1) The son of Vyāsadeva said: 'From Manyu, the son of Vitatha [the name Bharadvāja carried because he was given to Bharata], there were the sons Brihatkshatra, Jaya, Mahāvīrya, Nara and Garga. Nara had a son called Sankriti. (2) From Sankriti there were Guru and Rantideva, oh scion of Pāndu. The glories of Rantideva are sung in this world and the next. (3-5) Subsisting on that what fate provided he [Rantideva] took pleasure in distributing to others whatever grain of food he had. Being very poor he with all his family members lived most soberly and had to suffer a lot. One morning, when forty-eight days had passed and he even was deprived of drinking water, he happened to receive water and different foodstuffs prepared with ghee and milk. While the family was shaky because of the thirst and hunger they suffered, that very moment a brahmin guest arrived who also liked to eat. (6) Rantideva conceived of the Lord as residing in each and everyone [see B.G. 5: 18] and thus he, with great respect and faith, gave him his share of the food. After the brahmin had eaten, he departed. (7) When he had divided the food for the family and was just about to eat, someone else arrived, a s'ūdra, whom he, thinking of the Lord, gave the food that was reserved for him, the king. (8) After the s'ūdra had left, yet another guest arrived who was surrounded by dogs. He said: 'Oh King, please provide me and my hungry dogs with food!'

(9) He, the one in power, honored them with his obeisances, and with great respect gave all the food that was left over to the dogs and their master. (10) After the food, only the drinking water remained, and that too had to satisfy some outcaste who, arriving there when the king was about to drink, asked him: 'I am just lowborn, but please give me some water!'

(11) Hearing the pitiable words of the exhausted man he, being deeply moved, compassionately spoke the following nectarean words: (12) 'I do not desire to attain the greatness of the eight perfections of the Supreme Lord [siddhis] nor the cessation of repeated births. I accept all hardship in my staying among all the embodied living beings, so that they are freed from their unhappiness. (13) Giving away my water to save this poor soul struggling for his life, I am freed from all the hunger, thirst, fatigue and shaking of my body, as also from all the poverty, distress, lamentation, depression and bewilderment!' (14) Thus expressing himself, that sober, kindhearted ruler gave the drinking water to the outcaste, even though he himself was on the verge of death because of his thirst. (15) Thereupon the controllers of the three worlds manifested themselves before him in their true identities, the gods who grant those who desire the fruits of all results, because they [in their previous appearances in the form of the brahmin, the man with the dogs, the s'ūdra and the outcaste] all had been creations of the illusory energy of Vishnu. (16) Being true to them as someone without material aspirations for any benefit or possessions [see B.G. 7: 20], he offered them his obeisances while he concentrated his mind upon Vāsudeva, the Supreme Lord as the ultimate goal. (17) Because he, having nothing in mind but being of service, had focussed his consciousness on the Supreme Controller, oh King, the illusory energy of the [three] material qualities meant nothing more to him than a dream [see also B.G. 7: 14 and 9: 34]. (18) All those associated with his lead, all the followers of Rantideva, became first-class [bhakti] yogis fully devoted to Lord Nārāyana [see also B.G. 6: 47].

(19-20) From Garga [see verse 1] there was S'ini and his son was Gārgya from whom, despite his kshatriya birth, an entire line of brahmins originated. From Mahāvīrya there was Duritakshaya whose sons were named Trayyāruni, Kavi and Pushkarāruni. They in this line all acquired the position of brahmins. Brihatkshatra's son Hastī founded the city of Hastināpura [now Delhi]. (21) Ajamīdha, Dvimīdha and Purumīdha became the sons of Hastī. Ajamīdha's descendants were headed by Priyamedha. They were all brahmins. (22) From Ajamīdha there was Brihadishu, his son was Brihaddhanu, Brihatkāya succeeded him and he fathered a son called Jayadratha. (23) His son was Vis'ada from whom Syenajit was born. Rucirās'va, Dridhahanu, Kās'ya and Vatsa were the sons of Syenajit. (24) Rucirās'va's son was Pāra and from him Prithusena and Nīpa were born. Nīpa generated hundred sons. (25) He had Brahmadatta with his wife Kritvī, who was the daughter of S'uka [not the one speaking this Bhāgavatam]. That son was a yogi who with his wife Sarasvatī produced a son called Vishvaksena. (26) By him [Vishvaksena] was, according to the instruction of the rishi Jaigīshavya, a description of yoga [a so-called tantra] compiled. He begot a son called Udaksena who became the father of Bhallātha. These descendants were called the Brihadishus. (27) Yavīnara the son of Dvimīdha had a son called Kritimān. He fathered a memorable son called Satyadhriti whose son Dridhanemi was the father of Supārs'va. (28-29) Supārs'va had Sumati whose son Sannatimān had one called Kritī. He received from Lord Brahmā the mystic power and taught six samhitās of Prācyasāma verses [from the Sāma Veda]. From him Nīpa could take his birth who brought Udgrāyudha into the world. Udgrāyudha's son was called Kshemya and from him next Suvīra appeared. Suvīra then had the son Ripuńjaya. (30) His son was named Bahuratha. Purumīdha [the younger brother of Dvimīdha] was without a son. Ajamīdha had with his wife Nalinī the son Nīla who in his turn begot S'ānti. (31-33) S'ānti's son Sus'ānti had the son Puruja. Arka was his son and from him Bharmyās'va was born. He had five sons: Mudgala, the eldest one, Yavīnara, Brihadvis'va, Kāmpilla and Sańjaya. He told them: 'My sons, since you all have the competence, please take care of my five states.' They thus received the name the Pańcālas [after the five states]. From Mudgala there was a line consisting of brahmins that was known as Maudgalya. (34) Mudgala, Bharmyās'va's son, was the father of a non-identical twin, one male and one female. The boy was called Divodāsa and the girl was named Ahalyā. S'atānanda was born from her marriage with Gautama [these are names that are also mentioned in the Ramāyana]. (35) From him there was a son called Satyadhriti, who was an expert in archery. S'aradvān, who was his son, gave life to a male and female child. Simply by seeing Urvas'ī his semen had fallen on a clump of s'ara grass. The children were a great blessing. (36) Wandering around during a hunt king S'āntanu saw the twin. Out of compassion he then took them home. The boy he called Kripa and the girl Kripī. She later became Dronācārya's wife.'


Chapter 22: The Descendants of Ajamīdha: the Pāndavas and Kauravas

(1) S'rī S'uka said: 'Mitrāyu was  born from Divodāsa and his sons, oh protector of man, were Cyavana, Sudāsa, Sahadeva and Somaka. Somaka next was the father of Jantu. (2) From him there were a hundred sons and Prishata was the youngest of them. Prishata begot Drupada who was opulent in every way.  (3) Draupadī [the wife of the Pāndavas] was fathered by Drupada. His sons were headed by Dhrishthadyumna who begot Dhrishthaketu. All these descendants of Bharmyās'va [9.21: 31-33] are known as the Pāńcālas.

(4-5) Riksha was another son begotten by Ajamīdha. He fathered Samvarana who with his wife Tapatī, the daughter of the sun god, gave birth to Kuru  [see family-tree], the king of Kurukshetra. Parīkshi, Sudhanu, Jahnu and Nishadha were the sons of Kuru. Sudhanu fathered Suhotra and he begot [another] Cyavana. Kriti was born from his loins. (6) Uparicara Vasu was born because of Kritī. His sons who were headed by Brihadratha were Kus'āmba, Matsya, Pratyagra, Cedipa and others. They all ruled the state of Cedi. (7) Brihadratha gave life to Kus'āgra who begot Rishabha. He in his turn fathered Satyahita who had a son called Pushpavān whose son was Jahu. (8) Brihadratha begot with a second wife he had a son in two halves who, because the mother rejected them, by Jarā [the daughter of Time, see also 4.27: 19] playfully were united while she said: 'Come alive, come alive'. Thus a son called Jarāsandha ['Jarā's hermaphrodite'] was born [who later became a vital enemy of Lord Krishna]. (9) He [Jarāsandha] gave life to Sahadeva whose son Somāpi fathered S'rutas'ravā. Parīkshi [another son of Kuru] had no children while Jahnu begot a son named Suratha. (10) From him there was Vidūratha who brought Sārvabauma into the world. He had Jayasena and his son Rādhika gave life to Ayutāyu. (11) Ayutāyu became the father of Akrodhana who had a son named Devātithi. He brought Riksha into the world who had a son called Dilīpa and because of him the son Pratīpa appeared. (12-13) From him the sons Devāpi, S'āntanu and Bāhlīka appeared. It was Devāpi, the eldest one, who rejected his father's realm and left for the forest so that S'āntanu became the king. He in a previous life had been the celebrated Mahābhisha. Whomever was touched by him with his hands attained youth, however old that person would be. (14-15) Because one primarily by the touch of his hands was purified, he was known as S'āntanu. When Indra, the king of heaven, for twelve years had not showered any rain in his kingdom, his brahmins told him: 'You are at fault for preceding your older brother [Devāpi] in enjoying the kingdom [and are thus a so-called parivettā]. For the full development of your homestead and kingdom, immediately return the realm to him.'

(16-17) Thus being advised by the brahmins he asked Devāpi to take charge of the kingdom, but from what he replied became clear that he had given up on the Vedas. That had happened because the brahmins in the past, on the instigation of  S'āntanu's minister, had prompted him with words that went against the Vedic instructions. When that was said [and S'āntanu finally accepted the realm] the demigod showered the rains. Devāpi thereupon sought his refuge in the village of Kalāpa where he took up the practice of yoga [in which he is still engaged today]. (18-19) After the Soma dynasty in Kali-yuga has disappeared, it will [by him] at the beginning of the next one, Satya-yuga, be re-established. Bāhlīka [S'āntanu's brother] begot Somadatta and from him there were Bhūri, Bhūris'ravā and S'ala. S'āntanu begot in his wife Gangā the self-realized great devotee and scholar Bhīshma [see also 1.9], who is the best defender of the dharma. (20) By him, the foremost of all warriors, even Paras'urāma - to his own satisfaction - was defeated in a fight [*]. From the womb of [Satyavatī] the daughter of Dāsa [a fisherman **] S'āntanu brought about the son Citrāngada. (21-24) Citrāngada was killed by a Gandharva carrying the same name. Vicitravīrya was a younger brother of Citrāngada. The sage Parās'ara gave with his mother [Satyavatī, previous to her marriage to S'āntanu] life to a direct expansion of the Lord, a great muni who protected the Vedas: Krishna Dvaipāyana Vyāsadeva [also called Bādarāyana], from whom I [S'ukadeva] was born. With him I studied this [Bhāgavatam] thoroughly. He, the [partial] incarnation of the Lord, rejected his pupils Paila and others. But me, his son who was far removed from sense gratification, he taught this supreme literature of confidential knowledge. Vicitravīrya later on married the two daughters of Kās'īrāja called Ambikā and Ambālikā who by force were brought from the arena of selection. But because he was too attached in his heart to the both of them he died of an infection with tuberculosis. (25) With no offspring from the half-brother, Vyāsadeva was instructed by [in devarena sutotpatti, see footnote 9.6] his mother [Satyavatī] to father sons: Dhritarāshthra, Pāndu [with respectively Ambikā and Ambālikā] and also a son named Vidura [whom he begot with Vicitravīrya's maidservant, see also 1: 13]. (26) From Gāndhārī, the wife of Dhritarāshthra, a hundred sons were born, oh protector of man. Duryodhana was the eldest. There was also a daughter called Duhs'alā.

(27-28) Pāndu had to restrain his sexual life because of a curse, and therefore the great [Pāndava] heroes, the three sons [Bhīma and Arjuna who were] headed by Yudhishthhira, were begotten with [his wife] Kuntī by Dharma [the god of piety], Anila [the god of the wind] and Indra [not mentioning Karna who was brought forth by the sun god]. Nakula and Sahadeva were begotten by the two As'vins [Nāsatya and Dasra] in the womb of Mādrī. From these five brothers [with Draupadī] five sons were born: your uncles. (29) Yudhishthhira had the son Prativindhya, Bhīma had S'rutasena, from Arjuna came S'rutakīrti and from Nakula S'atānīka appeared. (30-31) Sahadeva, oh King, had S'rutakarmā. Yudhishthhira furthermore had the son Devaka with Pauravī and Bhīma had Ghathotkaca with Hidimbā and Sarvagata with Kālī. Sahadeva fathered the son Suhotra with Vijayā, the daughter of the Himalayan king [Pārvatī]. (32) Nakula had with Karenumatī a son named Naramitra and Arjuna begot the son Irāvān together with Ulupī [a Nāga daughter] and the son Babhruvāhana with the princess of Manipura. Even though he was Arjuna's son, Abhruvāhana was adopted by the father-in-law [because of a condition he set for the marriage].

(33) Your father Abhimanyu was born from Subhadrā [Krishna's sister wed to Arjuna]. He was a great hero who defeated all atirathas ['those who can oppose a thousand charioteers']. You have taken birth from Uttarā because of him. (34) With the annihilation of the Kuru dynasty As'vatthāmā also tried to put you to death with the heat of the brahmāstra weapon, but by the mercy of Lord Krishna you were saved from ending that way [see 1.8]. (35) Your sons, my best one, with Janamejaya first and then S'rutasena, Bhīmasena and Ugrasena, are all greatly powerful. (36) When Janamejaya learns that you have died because of Takshaka, he in great anger will offer all snakes during a fire sacrifice. (37) After having conquered each and every part of the world, he will appoint Tura, the son of Kalasha, for his priest and be of sacrifice in as'vamedha offerings, for which he will be celebrated as Turuga-medhashāth ['performer of many horse-sacrifices']. (38) S'atānīka, his son, will under Yājńavalkya thoroughly study the three Vedas, as also the way to put the spiritual knowledge into practice [with ceremonies]. He will realize the military art [from Kripācārya] and with S'aunaka he will arrive at the realization of the transcendental truth. (39) His son Sahasrānīka will have one carrying the name As'vamedhaja who will beget Asīmakrishna who will have a son called Nemicakra. (40) With Hastināpura flooded by the river [the Ganges], he [Nemicakra] from sheer necessity will live at Kaus'āmbī, whereafter from his son called Citraratha there will be the son S'uciratha. (41) From him there will also be a son, Vrishthimān, because of whom next Sushena will take his birth, an emperor. His son Sunītha will have one called Nricakshu and he will father Sukhīnala. (42) Pariplava will be his son and from Sunaya succeeding him Medhāvī will appear. Nripańjaya will be his son and he will beget Dūrva from whose loins Timi will take birth. (43) From Timi the son Brihadratha will appear from whose son Sudāsa the son S'atānīka will be given life. S'atānīka will have a son called Durdamana and his son will be Mahīnara. (44-45) Dandapāni, fathered by him, will give life to Nimi because of whom Kshemaka will take birth. With Kshemaka closing the row as the monarch this dynasty will end, this source of brahmins and kshatriyas that is respected by the seers and the godly souls in Kali-yuga. In the future there will be next the kings of Māgadha. Let me tell you about them.

(46-48) Sahadeva [the son of Jarāsandha] will beget the son Mārjāri. S'rutas'ravā will be his son, Yutāyu will be his successor and his son Niramitra will father Sunakshatra. Sunakshatra will be the father of Brihatsena and his son Karmajit will have the son Sutańjaya from whose loins Vipra will be born who will give life to a son called S'uci. Kshema, who is born thereafter, will have the son Suvrata from whom Dharmasūtra will appear. His son Sama will beget Dyumatsena who is succeeded by Sumati from whose loins Subala will take birth. (49) From Sunītha [Subala's son] Satyajit will be brought into the world and from his son Vis'vajit there will be a son called Ripuńjaya. The line of Brihadratha, in which all these kings are born, will last a thousand years.'

(Picture: family tree from Kuru up to the Pāndavas)

*: The fight between Paras'urāma and Bhīshmadeva concerns three daughters of Kas'īrāja - Ambikā, Ambālikā and Ambā - who were forcibly abducted by Bhīshmadeva on behalf of his brother Vicitravīrya. Ambā thought that Bhīshmadeva would marry her and became attached to him, but Bhīshmadeva refused to marry her for he had taken the vow of brahmacarya. Ambā therefore approached Bhīshmadeva's military spiritual master, Paras'urāma, who instructed Bhīshma to marry her. Bhīshmadeva refused and therefore Paras'urāma fought with him to force him to accept the marriage. But Paras'urāma was defeated and he was pleased with Bhīshma.

**: Satyavatī was actually the daughter of Uparicara Vasu from the womb of a fisherwoman known as Matsyagarbhā. Later on Satyavatī was raised by a fisherman. 


Chapter 23: The Dynasties of the Sons of Yayāti: the Appearance of Lord Krishna

(1) S'rī S'uka said: 'From Anu [the fourth son of Yayāti, see 9.17, 9.18 & 9.19] there were the three sons Sabhānara, Cakshu and Pareshnu. From Sabhānara thereafter Kālanara was born, and from him followed a son called Srińjaya. (2) From Janamejaya [succeeding him] there was a son Mahās'āla who fathered Mahāmanā. Us'īnara and Titikshu were the two sons of Mahāmanā. (3-4) S'ibi, Vara, Krimi and Daksha were the four sons fathered by Us'īnara. Vrishādarbha, Sudhīra, Madra and the self-realized Kekaya were the four sons who took birth from the loins of S'ibi. Titikshu had one called Rushadratha from whom Homa was born who begot Sutapā. Bali was Sutapā's son. (5) Anga, Vanga, Kalinga, Suhma, Pundra and Odra were known as the sons, who were born from the seed of Dīrghatamā impregnating the wife of the great conqueror Bali. (6) It were their names that were given to the six states they created in the east [of India]. Anga gave life to Khalapāna, and from him thereafter Diviratha appeared. (7-10) From his son Dharmaratha, Citraratha was born who was celebrated as Romapāda. Romapāda had no children, and thus his friend Das'aratha offered him S'āntā, his own daughter [for adoption]. She then married Rishyas'ringa [a hermit who lived in the forest, see also 8.13: 15-16]. Because the god [Indra] did not shower any rains Rishyas'ringa, with the help of dancing and singing courtesans, was drawn with music and bewildered with embraces and worship. On behalf of king Das'aratha, who had no sons, he [Rishyas'ringa] held a marutvān [son giving] sacrifice so that he would get children [as well as the rain, see B.G. 3: 14]. He who was without sons thus got offspring [four sons]. Romapāda got the son Caturanga who gave life to Prithulāksha. (11) Brihadratha, Brihatkarmā and Brihadbhānu were his sons. From the eldest one [Brihadratha] Brihanmanā appeared from whom there was a son named Jayadratha. (12) His son Vijaya was born from the womb of Sambhūti. He next had the son Dhriti, and from him Dhritavrata took his birth. Dhritavrata fathered Satkarmā who gave life to the son Adhiratha. (13) One day enjoying at the bank of the Ganges Adhiratha found a baby in a basket. It was abandoned by Kuntī because it was born before she was married. Being sonless he adopted it as his son [Karna]. (14) Oh master of the universe, Vrishasena was Karna's son. From Druhyu [Yayāti's third son] there was a son called Babhru who next begot Setu. (15) Ārabdha, who was fathered by him, had the son Gāndhāra who begot Dharma. He in his turn had the son Dhrita, and from Dhrita there was the son Durmada who gave life to the son Pracetā, who had a hundred sons. (16) Those kings [called the Pracetās] accepted the jurisdiction over the north, the uncivilized areas of Mlecchades'a [of the barbarians]. Turvasu [Yayāti's second son] had the son Vahni, and he fathered Bharga who begot the son Bhānumān. (17) His son Tribhānu, also had one. He was the magnanimous Karandhama. His son was called Maruta. He had no sons and adopted a Paurava [Dushmanta, see also 9.20: 7] as his son. (18-19) Dushmanta turned back to his clan [the Purus] because he aspired the throne.

From Yayāti's first son Yadu there was a dynasty, oh best of the humans, that I will now describe to you. Oh ruler of man, to hear about the Yadu dynasty is something highly pious that vanquishes all sin[-ful reactions] in human society. Anyone simply hearing this is freed from all [the consequences of] sin.  (20-21) The Supreme Lord [Krishna], the Supersoul, descended in this dynasty looking just like a human being [see also 1.2: 11]. Yadu fathered four sons who carried the names Sahasrajit, Kroshthā, Nala and Ripu. S'atajit, the one first born, begot the sons Mahāhaya, Renuhaya and Haihaya. (22) Dharma was the son of Haihaya, and his son Netra was the father of Kunti [not Kuntī]. Sohańji was the son of Kunti, and he begot Mahishmān who had the son Bhadrasenaka. (23) Durmada and Dhanaka were the sons begotten by Bhadrasena, and Dhanaka gave life to the sons Kritavīrya, Kritāgni, Kritavarmā and Kritaujā. (24) From Kritavīrya there was Arjuna [Kārtavīryārjuna] who became emperor over the seven continents. From Lord Dattātreya, an [ams'a-] incarnation of the Supreme Personality, he obtained all the great qualities [the eight siddhis] of yoga [see also 9.15, 10.73 & 12.3]. (25) No one on earth could equal Kārtavīrya's qualities of sacrifice, charity, austerity, mystic potency, education, strength and mercy. (26) [Under his rule] for eighty-five thousand years the six forms of pleasure [as derived from the senses and  the mind] were enjoyed with an undiminished strength, continuous opulence and unfailing memory. (27) In the fight [against Paras'urāma] only five of his thousands of sons remained alive: Jayadhvaja, S'ūrasena, Vrishabha, Madhu and Ūrjita. (28) Jayadhvaja begot the son Tālajangha who next gave life to a hundred sons. They formed a clan of  kshatriyas, known as the Tālajanghas, who were destroyed by the great power [that Mahārāja Sagara] received from sage Aurva [see 9.8: 3-7]. (29) Tālajangha's eldest son Vītihotra, fathered the son Madhu who [also] had a hundred sons. From the well-known eldest one called Vrishni, there was the dynasty [carrying that name].

(30-31) Oh King, the Yādava, Mādhava and Vrishni dynasties [of Lord Krishna's ancestors] received their names from their leading personalities. Yadu's son Kroshthā begot a son called Vrijinavān. His son was Svāhita, who next gave life to the son Vishadgu, who became the father of Citraratha. Citraratha gave life to S'as'abindu, a great yogi, who became a highly fortunate personality who, undefeated as an emperor, enjoyed all the fourteen kinds of great riches [*]. (32) S'as'abindu had ten thousand wives, and in them the greatly famous soul begot ten thousand lakhs [**] of sons [and grandsons]. (33) From them we but know six as the foremost. Prithus'ravā [one of them] had a son with the name Dharma. Us'anā, his son, performed a hundred as'vamedha sacrifices. (34) Us'anā's son Rucaka had five sons named Purujit, Rukma, Rukmeshu, Prithu and Jyāmagha. Please hear now about them. (35-36) Jyāmagha was issueless but he nevertheless was afraid to accept another wife because of his wife S'aibyā. He [one day] took a sensual girl from the camp of an enemy clan home, whereupon S'aibyā, who saw the girl sitting on her seat on the chariot, very angrily said to her husband: 'Who is this you have allowed to sit upon my seat on the chariot, you cheater?'

'She's your daughter-in-law' he then told her. Thereupon she with a smile said to her husband:

(37) 'I am sterile and have no co-wife, how can she then be my daughter-in-law?'

'My Queen', [he replied,] 'This girl will be very suitable for the
son you will give birth to!'

(38) With the demigods and ancestors consenting to that [after being propitiated by Jyāmagha], S'aibyā got pregnant and in due course of time gave birth to a son. That son was the auspicious, well-known Vidharba, who later married the virtuous girl who was accepted as the daughter-in-law.'

*: In the Mārkandeya Purāna the fourteen kinds of great jewels of an emperor are described as follows: (1) an elephant, (2) a horse, (3) a chariot, (4) a wife, (5) arrows, (6) a reservoir of wealth, (7) a garland, (8) valuable costumes, (9) trees, (10) a spear, (11) a noose, (12) jewels, (13) an umbrella, and (14) regulative principles.

**: One lakh is one hundred thousand.

Chapter 24: The Yadu and Vrishni Dynasties, Prithā and the Glory of Lord Krishna

(1) S'rī S'uka said: 'Vidarbha [the son of the Yadu Jyāmagha] begot in her [the girl brought by his father, see 9.23: 35-38] the two sons Kus'a and Kratha and a third one called Romapāda [also, see 9.23: 7-10] who was the favorite of the Vidarbha dynasty. (2) Romapāda's son was Babhru, he gave life to Kriti who begot Us'ika, who had the son Cedi  [see also 9.22: 6], from whom Damaghosha [the father of S'is'upāla] and other protectors of man were born. (3-4) From Kratha there was a son born called Kunti who begot Vrishni, from whom next Nirvriti took his birth. From his loins the one named Das'ārha was born. He fathered a son called Vyoma, who begot Jīmūta. Jīmūta had  the son Vikriti, who had a son called Bhīmaratha, and his son Navaratha had the son Das'aratha. (5) [Das'aratha's son] S'akuni fathered Karambhi, who begot a son called Devarāta. His son was Devakshatra, and from him there was Madhu, who had the son Kuruvas'a who gave life to Anu. (6-8) From Puruhotra, the son of Anu, there was Ayu. Ayu fathered the son Sātvata and he had seven sons called Bhajamāna, Bhaji, Divya, Vrishni, Devāvridha, Andhaka and Mahābhoja, oh worthy friend. From Bhajamāna there were with one wife the sons Nimloci, Kinkana and Dhrishthi, and with another wife there were also three sons: S'atājit, Sahasrājit and Ayutājit, oh master. (9) From Devāvridha there was the son Babhru and about the two of them two verses are recited by the elder generation. 'We heard from others and also saw with our own eyes the following: (10-11) Babhru was the best among the human beings and Devāvridha equalled the demigods', and: 'Because of Babhru and Devāvridha all the fourteen thousand sixty-five persons [who appeared after them] have achieved immortality.' In the dynasty of Mahābhoja, who was a most pious soul, there were the rulers called the Bhoja kings.

(12) From Vrishni [the son of Sātvata] the sons Sumitra and Yudhājit appeared, oh subduer of the enemies. S'ini and Anamitra then took birth [from Yudhājit], and from Anamitra the son Nighna appeared. (13) Nighna fathered the sons Satrājit and Prasena. Anamitra had another son who was also called S'ini, and Satyaka was his son. (14) Yuyudhāna was fathered by Satyaka. His son was Jaya, and from him there was Kuni, whose son was Yugandhara. Another son of Anamitra was Vrishni. (15) S'vaphalka and Citraratha were the sons of Vrishni. Akrūra was by S'vaphalka begotten in Gāndinī. He was the eldest of twelve other most celebrated sons: (16-18) Āsanga, Sārameya, Mridura, Mriduvit, Giri, Dharmavriddha, Sukarmā, Kshetropeksha, Arimardana; S'atrughna, Gandhamāda and Pratibāhu. Next to these twelve sons there was also a daughter called Sucārā. From Akrūra there were two sons named Devavān and Upadeva. Citraratha had many sons, beginning with Prithu and Vidūratha, who are known as the sons of Vrishni.

(19) Kukura, Bhajamāna, S'uci and Kambalabarhisha [were the sons of Andhaka, see 6-8]. Kukura had a son called Vahni from whom Vilomā was born. (20) His son Kapotaromā had the son Anu, who had a friend called Tumburu [a famous Gandharva, a musician]. From Andhaka [Anu's son] there was Dundubhi, who gave life to Avidyota, who fathered a son called Punarvasu. (21-23) From him there were Āhuka and Āhukī, a son and a daughter. From Āhuka there were the sons Devaka and Ugrasena. Devaka had four sons: Devavān, Upadeva, Sudeva and Devavardhana. There were also seven daughters, o protector of man: S'āntidevā, Upadevā, S'rīdevā, Devarakshitā, Sahadevā, Devakī and Dhritadevā, who was the eldest. Vasudeva [Kṛṣṇa's father] married them. (24) Kamsa, Sunāmā, Nyagrodha, Kanka, S'anku, Suhū, Rāshthrapāla, Dhrishthi and Tushthimān were the sons of Ugrasena. (25) Ugrasena's daughters Kamsā, Kamsavatī, Kankā, S'ūrabhū and Rāshthrapālikā, became the wives of the younger brothers of Vasudeva.

(26) Vidūratha [the son of Citraratha] begot S'ūra, who had a son called Bhajamāna from whose loins S'ini was born. S'ini fathered the son called Bhoja, and his son is known as Hridika. (27) His sons were called Devamīdha, S'atadhanu and Kritavarmā. From Devamīdha there was [another son called] S'ūra, who had a wife named Mārishā. (28-31) With her he begot ten perfect sons: Vasudeva, Devabhāga, Devas'ravā, Ānaka, Srińjaya, S'yāmaka, Kanka, S'amīka, Vatsaka and Vrika. When Vasudeva took his birth, he was welcomed by the godly souls with the sounds of kettledrums. He is also called Ānakadundubhi  ['kettle drum beaten'] because he provided the Lord's [Lord Krishna, Vāsudeva] place of birth. S'ūra's daughters, Prithā [the mother of Arjuna who was Krishna's nephew and friend] S'rutadevā, S'rutakīrti, S'rutas'ravā and Rājādhidevī, were Vasudeva's five sisters. Father S'ūra gave Prithā to a childless friend called Kunti [therefore she is also known as Kuntī].

(32) She received from Durvāsā, whom she had pleased, the knowledge to call for any demigod. Just to examine that potency she, that pious soul, summoned the sun god. (33) When she saw the godhead appearing before her, she was very surprised and said: 'Forgive me, oh godhead, please return, I only engaged this way to check out what it would do!'

(34) [The sun god answered:] 'In order not to be fruitless in your encounter with a godhead, I shall give you a son in your womb and arrange it so, oh my beauty, that you will not be defiled.'

(35) With this promise the sun god made her pregnant and returned to his heavenly abode. Directly thereafter a child was born that looked like a second sun god. (36) Afraid of what the people might think she greatly sorry gave up that child [named Karna: 'the ear'] by letting it go in the water of the river [in a basket, see also 9.23: 13]. Pāndu, your pious and chivalrous great-grandfather, was the one who [later on] married her.

(37) From the marriage of S'rutadevā [Kuntī's sister] with Vriddhas'armā, the king of Karūsha, the son Dantavakra was born. Dantavakra was the [incarnation of the] one who became a son of Diti [called Hiranyāksha], after having been cursed by the sages [by the Kumāras, see Jaya and Vijaya]. (38) Dhrishthaketu, the king of Kekaya, married [Kuntī's sister] S'rutakīrti with whom he had five sons of whom Santardana was the eldest. (39) Rājādhidevī [another sister of Kuntī] married Jayasena and gave birth to two sons [named Vinda and Anuvinda]. S'rutas'ravā married Damaghosha, the king of Cedi. (40) S'is'upāla was her son. His birth I already described to you [7.1: 46; 7.10: 38]. Devabhāga [one of Vasudeva's brothers] had [the sons] Citraketu and Brihadbala with the wife Kamsā. (41) Devas'ravā fathered with Kamsavatī the sons Suvīra and Ishumān. Kanka together with his wife Kankā gave life to the sons Baka, Satyajit and Purujit. (42) Srińjaya had together with Rāshthrapālikā sons of whom Vrisha and Durmarshana were the eldest. S'yāmaka gave together with S'ūrabhūmi life to the sons Harikes'a and Hiranyāksha. (43) Vatsaka fathered Vrika and other sons together with his wife Mis'rakes'ī, a girl of heaven. Vrika with his wife Durvākshī had sons that were headed by Taksha, Pushkara and S'āla. (44) S'amīka together with Sudāmanī gave life to sons who were headed by Sumitra and Arjunapāla. Ānaka together with his wife Karnikā brought two sons into the world who were called Ritadhāmā and Jaya.

(45) The wives of Ānakadundubhi [Vasudeva, see also 21-23] were first of all Devakī and then Pauravī, Rohinī, Bhadrā, Madirā, Rocanā and Ilā. (46) The sons who were begotten by Vasudeva in Rohinī were Krita, the eldest son, and Bala, Gada, Sārana, Durmada, Vipula, Dhruva and others. (47-48) Bhūta, the eldest son, Subhadra, Bhadrabāhu, Durmada and Bhadra belonged to the twelve sons Pauravī gave birth to. Nanda, Upananda, Kritaka, S'ūra and others were the sons of Madirā, while Kaus'alyā [Bhadrā] gave birth to only one son named Kes'ī. (49) Vasudeva begot in Rocanā the sons Hasta, Hemāngada and others. In Ilā he begot the sons, with Uruvalka as the eldest one, who were the leading personalities of the Yadu dynasty. (50) Ānakadundubhi begot in Dhritadevā one son: Viprishthha, while Pras'ama, Prasita and others were the sons he had with S'āntidevā, oh King. (51) With Upadevā there were ten sons headed by Rājanya, Kalpa and Varsha. Vasu, Hamsa and Suvams'a and others were the six sons [Vasudeva had] with S'rīdevā. (52) With his wife Devarakshitā he also gave life to nine sons of whom Gadā was the first one. With Sahadevā Vasudeva fathered eight sons. (53-55) These sons, headed by S'ruta and Pravara [or Pauvara], were of the same dharma as the Vasus [they were their incarnations]. Vasudeva begot in Devakī eight highly qualified sons: Kīrtimān, Sushena, Bhadrasena, Riju, Sammardana, Bhadra and [Bhagavān] Sankarshana, the serpent controller [the ruler of the ego, see 3.26: 25]. The eighth one to appear from them was [svayam] the Lord in person [Lord Krishna]. Subhadrā [His sister], as you know, is your so greatly fortunate grandmother, oh King.

(56) Whenever and wherever there is a decline in dharma and an increase of sinful activities, then, at that time, the Supreme Lord, the Supreme Master Hari, will manifest Himself [see B.G. 4: 7]. (57) The Lord's compassion with the fallen souls is the only reason for Him to take birth and engage in action, oh great leader. He is the Original Master in the Beyond, the Witness who is the Supreme Self [see also B.G. 8: 4]. (58) He mercifully endeavors to put an end to the deluding influence of material existence, to the māyā of the [repeated] birth, maintenance and death of the living entities, so that they can attain their true self [so that they can return home, back to Godhead, see B.G. 15: 7 and 13: 20-24]. (59) He strives to remove all the great military forces from this world by making the demoniac rulers, who call themselves kings, march against each other [see also 1.11: 35, 3.3 and 7.9: 43]. (60) The activities that the Supreme Lord, the killer of Madhu, performed together with Sankarshana [Balarāma], are beyond the comprehension of even the minds of the greatest controllers of enlightenment [Brahmā and S'iva]. (61) He displayed His pious activities just to show the devotees His mercy and dispel the darkness of the misery and lamentation of those who are born in this age of Kali. (62) He whose ears are only once gladdened by the truth of hearing with folded hands about His glories - that thus makes those ears the best of all the holy places -, is liberated from his strong desire for karmic activities. (63-64) He who always endeavored with the assistance of the praiseworthy Kurus, Srińjayas, Pāndavas, Bhojas, Vrishnis, Andhakas, Madhus, S'ūrasenas and Das'ārhas, pleased human society with His affectionate smiles, His instructions, His magnanimous, heroic pastimes and His personal form that is so attractive in every respect. (65) All men and women [of Vrindāvana] who could never get enough of  the sight of His face and forehead, which are so brilliantly decorated with the shark-shaped earrings in His beautiful ears, they who imbibed His smiles of enjoyment that are a never ending festival to the eye, all got angry with their own eyes when they but blinked [see also B.G. 7: 3]! (66) After taking birth He left His father's house and brought prosperity to Vraja [and Vrindāvana]. He killed many demons there, He accepted thousands of fine women as His wives and fathered hundreds of sons. He, the Supreme Personality, was of worship with many sacrificial ceremonies and expanded, with that respect for the Vedic rituals, His glory among the people [the householders, see also B.G. 4: 8]. (67) On the battlefield [of Kurukshetra] He put an end to the great burden of Kuru personalities on this earth, by arranging a quarrel among them. Under His supervision all the profit-minded rulers were destroyed, to the occasion of which He declared [to Arjuna] what in life would be the victory of conquering [of being devoted, see Gītā]. Finally, after giving transcendental instructions to Uddhava [see 3.2, 3.4: 29, eleventh canto], He returned to His heavenly abode.'

(Picture: family tree from Purūravā up to Krishna)

Thus the ninth Canto of the S'rīmad Bhāgavatam ends named: Liberation.


Translation: Anand Aadhar Prabhu,

Production: the Filognostic Association of The Order of Time, with special thanks to Sakhya Devi Dasi for proofreading and correcting the manuscript.

©2009 Anand Aadhar
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