King Vena misdirected and redeemed- both Vena and Pruthu of lofty virtue

InPrajapati Anga of Atri Vamsha, a defender of Dharma (Virtue) and an erudite scholar of Shastras was married to Sunitha who also was a follower of virtue and tradition. They were blessed with a son of high virtue called Vena, who on becoming a King, came under the evil influence of a Muni who followed a Devata called ‘Arhan’ followed a vicious and immoral way of life and used to preach his ‘Praja’ (Subjects) not to perform Homas and Yagnas, nor indulge in charities, Vratas and Tirtha Yatras.

In fact, he declared that he was Vishnu, Rudra, Brahma, Indra and Devas. The Rishis and Brahmanas were highly upset and undertook a huge procession to the King saying that a King was expected to guide and enforce Dharma, Nyaya (Justice) and discipline but instead Vena Kumar was getting self-opinionated by the day. The King shouted angrily that he was Dharma, Nyaya and Punya himself and that he could destroy Earth, throw it under water and break open the skies, if need be! The Rishis and Common men of the Kingdom forced their way to the King, surrounded him, forcibly overpowered and battered him. They screamed and asked him: ‘Nishida’ or ‘sit down’ and since then called him ‘Nishida!’ They rubbed his left thigh with force and out emerged streams of evil Beings like Nishadas, Kirathas, Bheels, Nahalakas, Bhramars, Pulinds and Mlecchas and Rishis were relieved that the King was relieved of sinners from his body. Then they rubbed the King’s right hand forcibly and initially came out profuse sweat but later on materialised a ‘Maha Purush’-a Unique Personality-who was magnificent like ‘Twelve Adityas’, with a natural Headgear of rare jewels and brilliant diamond ear-rings, armoured with Dhanush (Bow) and Divya Banas (Arrows) and a ‘Kavacha’(Body Shield)! The congregation of Rishis named him King Pruthu and many called him ‘Rajaraja’. Amidst recitations of Vedas, Rishis performed ‘Abhisheka’ or ‘Mangala Snaana’ (Sacred Bathing) and Lord Brahma Himself descended to witness the Celebrations and blessed him to herald a Golden Era where the Kingdom was full of propitiousness and Virtue but devoid of ‘Akals’ (Famines), diseases, untimely deaths, robberies and discontentment anywhere: na durbhiksham na cha Vyadhirnakaala maranam Nrinaam, Sarvey sukhena jeevanti lokaa Dharma paraayanaah! / 

In the past, when Praja or common persons saved ‘Anna Beej’ (Dhanya/ Crop Seeds), Prithvi finished the seeds and there was fufore since the seeds stored as security for the future were unavailable. King Pruthu became angry since the Praja was upset and pulled out his bow and arrows and ran behind the Prithvi who took the form of a Cow and ran to Brahma, Vishnu and Rudra but they did not come to her rescue and finally approached King Pruthu himself. Prithvi in the form of a Cow said that she was a woman and would not do any good to punish her but Pruthu replied that since Prithvi transgressed her limits of decency by destroying the seeds and since it was the responsibility of saving the Praja, he as the King would have to punish her. Prithvi then compromised and conceded her mistake and agreed to give away the seeds back so that crops were revived again; but Prithvi made a request to Pruthu to level the mountain tops which also could be harnessed for developing crops and instantly did so; in this context when there was interaction between Earth which was earlier called ‘Medini’ and King Pruthu, Earth was eversince called as Prithvi! Since then when Prithvi was controlled and regulated by the efforts of King Pruthu, there were plentiful crops and the resultant prosperity, health and contentment; also plenty of mountain top levelling done by King Pruthu facilitated Gandharvas to sing sonorous songs and Apsaras to dance in praise of the Creator!

 Before marriage, Sunita used to generally assist her father Mrityu and spend a carefree life in the company of her friends. Once she visited a forest and found a Gandarva Kumar called Sushankha and started teasing him while he was in Tapasya. In fact, she repeated the routine of teasing him and even beating him on his back; he admonished her and went away. Sunita confessed to her father as to how she behaved badly with the Gandharva boy and how he controlled his anger. Presuming that her father’s silence was an approval of her action, Sunita repeated her mischief with the Gandharva boy once again and the latter this time gave a ‘shaap’ (Curse); he said that whenever she would get married she would give birth to a notorious and misdirected boy who would harass the world as an evil King! This time Sunita really got frightened and reported the entire happening again to father Mrityu. As advised by her father, Sunita did highly repentant and severe Tapasya to Vishnu. While moving about along with her companions, Apsara Rambha found Sunita performing Tapasya and got the full background of Gandharva boy’s curse from Sunita’s friends. She advised Sunita not to worry much as Lord Srihari whom she was meditating sincerely was indeed kind and would certainly find a way out from the mess that she got into. She further said that there were indeed certain dormant qualities in Sunita’s family background of Mrityu Deva which should be promoted and nurtured further instead of brooding over what happened: such noble qualities were Rupa (Good Feature), Shiela (Character), Satya (Truth), ‘Aryata’ / ‘Sadachara’ (Good and noble Tradition), Dharma (Virtue), Satitva (Gentle feminity), Dhrudhata (Strength of Mind), Sahasa (Moral courage), Mangalagaan (Ability to sing auspitious songs), Kavya kushalata (cleverness of action), ‘Kamabhavaka Aadhikya’( excessive feelings of passion) and Ability of Sweet Conversation. Having said this, Rambha bestowed ‘Vidyabala’ (strength of knowledge. Thus boosting Sunita’s morale, Rambha enabled Sunita’s meeting with Atri Putra (Anga) and Sunita and performed ‘Gaandharva Vivaha’. As far as Anga was concerned, he performed Tapasya to Vishnu and secured a boon of begetting a son of the qualities of Indra and was looking for a suitable wife like Sunita, as recommended by Rambha. Thus an excellent boy was born, who was named Vena.

Padma Purana Home   Next: Daanasand Tirtha Yatras-Grihastas to perform Punya karyas together

Back to the News Page