Essence Of Maha Bhagavatha Purana

Bhagvat Purana

Lineage of King Pururava

 King Pururuva had four sons, Ayu, Srutayu, Jaya, and Vijaya. Ayu in turn begot Yati, Yayati  and four other sons- notably Kshatravardhana whose fifth generation son was Saunaka Muni. Yati was cursed by Indra to become a snake and thus Yayati was the next King and his progeny were Yadu, Turvasau, Dhurhyu, Anu and Puru. Pururuva’s youngest son-Vijay-had important names in his clan like Jahnu who drank River Ganges in a sip, Puru, Gadhi and his daughter Satyavati married to Richika and their son Jamadagni whose son was Parasurama.

 Pururava’s clan through generations included the son of Sumati, Dushyanta  who was married to Shakuntala and their famed son Bharata. King Yayati, a Kshatriya by birth was married to Devayani,  a Brahman and the daughter of Sage Sukracharya-the Guru of Rakshasas. This kind of wedding is known as Pratiloma, viz. a Brahmana Maiden wedding a Kshatriaya as against  ‘Anuloma’ the vice-versa. The King also married Sarmishtha, the daughter of  King Vrishaparva. Once when both the wives were bathing in a lake, Lord Siva and Parvati  passed by and in hurry Sarmishtha coverd herself up mistakenly by the garment of Devayani, who rebuked the former.The reaction of Devayani was devastating referring to Caste relationships. Also, Devayani approached her father who reprimanded King Yayati and the King Vrishaparva. Sukracharya demanded that hence forth Sarmishta should be Devayani’s slave and forbade Sarmishtha in Yayati’s bed. In course of time Devayani got a child. Once when Yayati found Sarmishtha crying in a well in the garden; he sympathised with her, invited her into bed and she was concieved too.This infuriated Devayani as also Sukracharya and the latter cursed Yati to become old and impotent.As the King begged of the Sage’s pardon, the Guru said that if any body could exchange youth with the King’s old age, then the curse be waived. Yayati asked his sons one by one, but they argued that it was an absurd proposal; finally, the youngest son Puru accepted  the request of his father. This was how, Pururava’s youth was revived thanks to his son Puru’s sacrifice. In this context, the Veda Base stated: Uttamas chinthitam kuryat, Proktha-kari thu Madhyamat, Adham’o-sraddhaya kuryat, Akartha Uccharitam Pithuh. ( A son who anticipates father’s wish to fulfill is First class, one who takes action to his instruction is second class but who refuses compliance is no-class!

In the Puru Vamsa, Dushyanta was born to Sumati.He visited the Hermitage of Sage Kanva  and found a pretty maiden Shakuntala  who was abandoned by Menaka, the Celestial Danseuse born after her affair with Visvamitra. Dushyantha and Menaka were wedded as per the Gandharva Marriage Rule. After giving birth to a son named Bharata, Shakunthala took the permission of Sage Kanva and approached King Bharata, but due to a curse of memory loss, Bharata was not prepared to accept the wedding. A heavenly voice was heard that Shakuntala was indeed his wife. After his father’s demise, Bharatha performed Horse Sacrifice and after defeating several Kingdoms, declared himself as an Emperor. He had three wives but as their sons did not resemble him they  killed them! Bharat performed ‘Marut Stoma’ and the Demi-God Maruts presented him a son, named Bharadwaja. In the dynasty of Bharata, there was King Rantideva who was popular for charity. Once  when food stuffs were available and they were about to eat, there came a Brahmana for charity; Rantideva gave away half of his share to the guest but soon the rest had to be given away to a beggar, to his dogs and a chandala.; he felt happy that he was able to overcome hunger and thirst in the process and Trimurthis appeared before him and blessed him with Salvation. It was to this illustrious lineage was born to Kuru the ancestor of Pandavas and Kauravas. From Kuru came Shantanu who was married to River Ganges and begot Bhishma and through his second wife Satyavati, a fisherman’s daughter, begot Vichitraveerya. As the latter was sick, Vedavyasa requested to bless the birth of King Kasi’s daughters Ambika and Ambalika as also of a Dasi or Sudri. While Ambika begot King Dhritharashtra,  Ambalika gave birth to Pandu, and Sudri gave birth to Vidura. Dhritarashtra and Gandhari gave birth to hundred Kauravas headed by Duryodhana while Pandu married to Kunti who sought the help of Lord Yamaraja  to bless the birth of Dharmaraja, Vayu to bless the birth of Bhima, Indra to bless the birth of Arjuna, and Aswani Devatahs to bless the births of Nakula and Sahadeva. The long lineage from King Yadu through Surasena to Krishna and Balarama was also interesting. King Surasena gave birth to Vasudeva and Kunthi. To Vasudeva and Devaki were born to Krishna and Balaram.  Pandavas were born to Kunthi.
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