Chapter Fourteen
King Purūravā Enchanted by Urvaśī
The summary of this Fourteenth Chapter is given as follows. This chapter describes Soma and how he kidnapped the wife of Bṛhaspati and begot in her womb a son named Budha. Budha begot Purūravā, who begot six sons, headed by Āyu, in the womb of Urvaśī.
Lord Brahmā was born from the lotus that sprouted from the navel of Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu. Brahmā had a son named Atri, and Atri’s son was Soma, the king of all drugs and stars. Soma became the conqueror of the entire universe, and, being inflated with pride, he kidnapped Tārā, who was the wife of Bṛhaspati, the spiritual master of the demigods. A great fight ensued between the demigods and the asuras, but Brahmā rescued Bṛhaspati’s wife from the clutches of Soma and returned her to her husband, thus stopping the fighting. In the womb of Tārā, Soma begot a son named Budha, who later begot in the womb of Ilā a son named Aila, or Purūravā. Urvaśī was captivated by Purūravā’s beauty, and therefore she lived with him for some time, but when she left his company he became almost like a madman. While traveling all over the world, he met Urvaśī again at Kurukṣetra, but she agreed to join with him for only one night in a year.
One year later, Purūravā saw Urvaśī at Kurukṣetra and was glad to be with her for one night, but when he thought of her leaving him again, he was overwhelmed by grief. Urvaśī then advised Purūravā to worship the Gandharvas. Being satisfied with Purūravā, the Gandharvas gave him a woman known as Agnisthālī. Purūravā mistook Agnisthālī for Urvaśī, but while he was wandering in the forest his misunderstanding was cleared, and he immediately gave up her company. After returning home and meditating upon Urvaśī all night, he wanted to perform a Vedic ritualistic ceremony to satisfy his desire. Thereafter he went to the same place where he had left Agnisthālī, and there he saw that from the womb of a śamī tree had come an aśvattha tree. Purūravā made two sticks from this tree and thus produced a fire. By such a fire one can satisfy all lusty desires. The fire was considered the son of Purūravā. In Satya-yuga there was only one social division, called haṁsa; there were no divisions of varṇa like brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya and śūdra. The Veda was the oṁkāra. The various demigods were not worshiped, for only the Supreme Personality of Godhead was the worshipable Deity.
śrī-śuka uvāca
athātaḥ śrūyatāṁ rājan
vaṁśaḥ somasya pāvanaḥ
yasminn ailādayo bhūpāḥ
kīrtyante puṇya-kīrtayaḥ
śrī-śukaḥ uvāca—Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī said; atha—now (after hearing the history of the dynasty of the sun); ataḥ—therefore; śrūyatām—just hear from me; rājan—O King (Mahārāja Parīkṣit); vaṁśaḥ—the dynasty; somasya—of the moon-god; pāvanaḥ—which is purifying to hear about; yasmin—in which (dynasty); aila-ādayaḥ—headed by Aila (Purūravā); bhūpāḥ—kings; kīrtyante—are described; puṇya-kīrtayaḥ—persons of whom it is glorious to hear.
Śrīla Śukadeva Gosvāmī said to Mahārāja Parīkṣit: O King, thus far you have heard the description of the dynasty of the sun-god. Now hear the most glorious and purifying description of the dynasty of the moon-god. This description mentions kings like Aila [Purūravā] of whom it is glorious to hear.
sahasra-śirasaḥ puṁso
jātasyāsīt suto dhātur
atriḥ pitṛ-samo guṇaiḥ
sahasra-śirasaḥ—who has thousands of heads; puṁsaḥ—of Lord Viṣṇu (Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu); nābhi-hrada-saroruhāt—from the lotus produced from the lake of the navel; jātasya—who appeared; āsīt—there was; sutaḥ—a son; dhātuḥ—of Lord Brahmā; atriḥ—by the name Atri; pitṛ-samaḥ—like his father; guṇaiḥ—qualified.
Lord Viṣṇu [Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu] is also known as Sahasra-śīrṣā Puruṣa. From the lake of His navel sprang a lotus, on which Lord Brahmā was generated. Atri, the son of Lord Brahmā, was as qualified as his father.
tasya dṛgbhyo ’bhavat putraḥ
somo ’mṛtamayaḥ kila
brahmaṇā kalpitaḥ patiḥ
tasya—of him, Atri, the son of Brahmā; dṛgbhyaḥ—from the tears of jubilation from the eyes; abhavat—was born; putraḥ—a son; somaḥ—the moon-god; amṛta-mayaḥ—full of soothing rays; kila—indeed; vipra—of the brāhmaṇas; oṣadhi—of the drugs; uḍu-gaṇānām—and of the luminaries; brahmaṇā—by Lord Brahmā; kalpitaḥ—was appointed or designated; patiḥ—the supreme director.
From Atri’s tears of jubilation was born a son named Soma, the moon, who was full of soothing rays. Lord Brahmā appointed him the director of the brāhmaṇas, drugs and luminaries.
According to the Vedic description, Soma, the moon-god, was born from the mind of the Supreme Personality of Godhead (candramā manaso jātaḥ). But here we find that Soma was born from the tears in the eyes of Atri. This appears contradictory to the Vedic information, but actually it is not, for this birth of the moon is understood to have taken place in another millennium. When tears appear in the eyes because of jubilation, the tears are soothing. Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura says, dṛgbhya ānandāśrubhya ata evāmṛtamayaḥ: “Here the word dṛgbhyaḥ means ‘from tears of jubilation.’ Therefore the moon-god is called amṛtamayaḥ, ‘full of soothing rays.’ ” In the Fourth Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (4.1.15) we find this verse:
This verse describes that Anasūyā, the wife of Atri Ṛṣi, bore three sons—Soma, Durvāsā and Dattātreya. It is said that at the time of conception Anasūyā was impregnated by the tears of Atri.
so ’yajad rājasūyena
vijitya bhuvana-trayam
patnīṁ bṛhaspater darpāt
tārāṁ nāmāharad balāt
saḥ—he, Soma; ayajat—performed; rājasūyena—the sacrifice known as Rājasūya; vijitya—after conquering; bhuvana-trayam—the three worlds (Svarga, Martya and Pātāla); patnīm—the wife; bṛhaspateḥ—of Bṛhaspati, the spiritual master of the demigods; darpāt—out of pride; tārāmTārā; nāma—by name; aharat—took away; balāt—by force.
After conquering the three worlds [the upper, middle and lower planetary systems], Soma, the moon-god, performed a great sacrifice known as the Rājasūya-yajña. Because he was very much puffed up, he forcibly kidnapped Bṛhaspati’s wife, whose name was Tārā.
yadā sa deva-guruṇā
yācito ’bhīkṣṇaśo madāt
nātyajat tat-kṛte jajñe
yadā—when; saḥ—he (Soma, the moon-god); deva-guruṇā—by the spiritual master of the demigods, Bṛhaspati; yācitaḥ—was begged; abhīkṣṇaśaḥ—again and again; madāt—because of false pride; na—not; atyajat—did deliver; tat-kṛte—because of this; jajñe—there was; sura-dānava—between the demigods and the demons; vigrahaḥ—a fight.
Although requested again and again by Bṛhaspati, the spiritual master of the demigods, Soma did not return Tārā. This was due to his false pride. Consequently, a fight ensued between the demigods and the demons.
śukro bṛhaspater dveṣād
agrahīt sāsuroḍupam
haro guru-sutaṁ snehāt
śukraḥ—the demigod named Śukra; bṛhaspateḥ—unto Bṛhaspati; dveṣāt—because of enmity; agrahīt—took; sa-asura—with the demons; uḍupam—the side of the moon-god; haraḥ—Lord Śiva; guru-sutam—the side of his spiritual master’s son; snehāt—because of affection; sarva-bhūta-gaṇa-āvṛtaḥ—accompanied by all kinds of ghosts and hobgoblins.
Because of enmity between Bṛhaspati and Śukra, Śukra took the side of the moon-god and was joined by the demons. But Lord Śiva, because of affection for the son of his spiritual master, joined the side of Bṛhaspati and was accompanied by all the ghosts and hobgoblins.
The moon-god is one of the demigods, but to fight against the other demigods he took the assistance of the demons. Śukra, being an enemy of Bṛhaspati, also joined the moon-god to retaliate in wrath against Bṛhaspati. To counteract this situation, Lord Śiva, who was affectionate toward Bṛhaspati, joined Bṛhaspati. The father of Bṛhaspati was Aṅgirā, from whom Lord Śiva had received knowledge. Therefore Lord Śiva had some affection for Bṛhaspati and joined his side in this fight. Śrīdhara Svāmī remarks, aṅgirasaḥ sakāśāt prāpta-vidyo hara iti prasiddhaḥ: “Lord Śiva is well known to have received knowledge from Aṅgirā.”
mahendro gurum anvayāt
surāsura-vināśo ’bhūt
samaras tārakāmayaḥ
sarva-deva-gaṇa—by all the different demigods; upetaḥ—joined; mahendraḥMahendra, the King of heaven, Indra; gurum—his spiritual master; anvayāt—followed; sura—of the demigods; asura—and of the demons; vināśaḥ—causing destruction; abhūt—there was; samaraḥ—a fight; tārakā-mayaḥ—simply because of Tārā, a woman, the wife of Bṛhaspati.
King Indra, accompanied by all kinds of demigods, joined the side of Bṛhaspati. Thus there was a great fight, destroying both demons and demigods, only for the sake of Tārā, Bṛhaspati’s wife.
nivedito ’thāṅgirasā
somaṁ nirbhartsya viśva-kṛt
tārāṁ sva-bhartre prāyacchad
antarvatnīm avait patiḥ
niveditaḥ—being fully informed; atha—thus; aṅgirasā—by Aṅgirā Muni; somam—the moon-god; nirbhartsya—chastising severely; viśva-kṛt—Lord Brahmā; tārāmTārā, the wife of Bṛhaspati; sva-bhartre—unto her husband; prāyacchat—delivered; antarvatnīm—pregnant; avait—could understand; patiḥ—the husband (Bṛhaspati).
When Lord Brahmā was fully informed by Aṅgirā about the entire incident, he severely chastised the moon-god, Soma. Thus Lord Brahmā delivered Tārā to her husband, who could then understand that she was pregnant.
tyaja tyajāśu duṣprajñe
mat-kṣetrād āhitaṁ paraiḥ
nāhaṁ tvāṁ bhasmasāt kuryāṁ
striyaṁ sāntānike ’sati
tyaja—deliver; tyaja—deliver; āśu—immediately; duṣprajñe—you foolish woman; mat-kṣetrāt—from the womb meant for me to impregnate; āhitam—begotten; paraiḥ—by others; na—not; aham—I; tvām—you; bhasmasāt—burnt to ashes; kuryām—shall make; striyam—because you are a woman; sāntānike—wanting a child; asati—although you are unchaste.
Bṛhaspati said: You foolish woman, your womb, which was meant for me to impregnate, has been impregnated by someone other than me. Immediately deliver your child! Immediately deliver it! Be assured that after the child is delivered, I shall not burn you to ashes. I know that although you are unchaste, you wanted a son. Therefore I shall not punish you.
Tārā was married to Bṛhaspati, and therefore as a chaste woman she should have been impregnated by him. But instead she preferred to be impregnated by Soma, the moon-god, and therefore she was unchaste. Although Bṛhaspati accepted Tārā from Brahmā, when he saw that she was pregnant he wanted her to deliver a son immediately. Tārā certainly very much feared her husband, and she thought she might be punished after giving birth. Thus Bṛhaspati assured her that he would not punish her, for although she was unchaste and had become pregnant illicitly, she wanted a son.
tatyāja vrīḍitā tārā
kumāraṁ kanaka-prabham
spṛhām āṅgirasaś cakre
kumāre soma eva ca
tatyāja—gave delivery; vrīḍitā—being very much ashamed; tārāTārā, the wife of Bṛhaspati; kumāram—to a child; kanaka-prabham—having a bodily effulgence like gold; spṛhām—aspiration; āṅgirasaḥBṛhaspati; cakre—made; kumāre—unto the child; somaḥ—the moon-god; eva—indeed; ca—also.
Śukadeva Gosvāmī continued: By Bṛhaspati’s order, Tārā, who was very much ashamed, immediately gave birth to the child, who was very beautiful, with a golden bodily hue. Both Bṛhaspati and the moon-god, Soma, desired the beautiful child.
mamāyaṁ na tavety uccais
tasmin vivadamānayoḥ
papracchur ṛṣayo devā
naivoce vrīḍitā tu sā
mama—mine; ayam—this (child); na—not; tava—yours; iti—thus; uccaiḥ—very loudly; tasmin—for the child; vivadamānayoḥ—when the two parties were fighting; papracchuḥ—inquired (from Tārā); ṛṣayaḥ—all the saintly persons; devāḥ—all the demigods; na—not; eva—indeed; uce—said anything; vrīḍitā—being ashamed; tu—indeed; Tārā.
Fighting again broke out between Bṛhaspati and the moon-god, both of whom claimed, “This is my child, not yours!” All the saints and demigods present asked Tārā whose child the newborn baby actually was, but because she was ashamed she could not immediately answer.
kumāro mātaraṁ prāha
kupito ’līka-lajjayā
kiṁ na vacasy asad-vṛtte
ātmāvadyaṁ vadāśu me
kumāraḥ—the child; mātaram—unto his mother; prāha—said; kupitaḥ—being very angry; alīka—unnecessary; lajjayā—with shame; kim—why; na—not; vacasi—you say; asat-vṛtte—O unchaste woman; ātma-avadyam—the fault you have committed; vada—say; āśu—immediately; me—unto me.
The child then became very angry and demanded that his mother immediately tell the truth. “You unchaste woman,” he said, “what is the use of your unnecessary shame? Why do you not admit your fault? Immediately tell me about your faulty behavior.”
brahmā tāṁ raha āhūya
samaprākṣīc ca sāntvayan
somasyety āha śanakaiḥ
somas taṁ tāvad agrahīt
brahmā—Lord Brahmā; tām—unto her, Tārā; rahaḥ—in a secluded place; āhūya—putting her; samaprākṣīt—inquired in detail; ca—and; sāntvayan—pacifying; somasya—this son belongs to Soma, the moon-god; iti—thus; āha—she replied; śanakaiḥ—very slowly; somaḥSoma; tam—the child; tāvat—immediately; agrahīt—took charge of.
Lord Brahmā then brought Tārā to a secluded place, and after pacifying her he asked to whom the child actually belonged. She replied very slowly, “This is the son of Soma, the moon-god.” Then the moon-god immediately took charge of the child.
tasyātma-yonir akṛta
budha ity abhidhāṁ nṛpa
buddhyā gambhīrayā yena
putreṇāpoḍurāṇ mudam
tasya—of the child; ātma-yoniḥ—Lord Brahmā; akṛta—made; budhaḥBudha; iti—thus; abhidhām—the name; nṛpa—O King Parīkṣit; buddhyā—by intelligence; gambhīrayā—very deeply situated; yena—by whom; putreṇa—by such a son; āpa—he got; uḍurāṭ—the moon-god; mudam—jubilation.
O Mahārāja Parīkṣit, when Lord Brahmā saw that the child was deeply intelligent, he gave the child the name Budha. The moon-god, the ruler of the stars, enjoyed great jubilation because of this son.
TEXTS 15–16
tataḥ purūravā jajñe
ilāyāṁ ya udāhṛtaḥ
tasya rūpa-guṇaudārya-
gīyamānān surarṣiṇā
tad-antikam upeyāya
devī smara-śarārditā
tataḥ—from him (Budha); purūravāḥ—the son named Purūravā; jajñe—was born; ilāyām—in the womb of Ilā; yaḥ—one who; udāhṛtaḥ—has already been described (in the beginning of the Ninth Canto); tasya—his (Purūravā’s); rūpa—beauty; guṇa—qualities; audārya—magnanimity; śīla—behavior; draviṇa—wealth; vikramān—power; śrutvā—by hearing; urvaśī—the celestial woman named Urvaśī; indra-bhavane—in the court of King Indra; gīyamānān—when they were being described; sura-ṛṣiṇā—by Nārada; tat-antikam—near him; upeyāya—approached; devīUrvaśī; smara-śara—by the arrows of Cupid; arditā—being stricken.
Thereafter, from Budha, through the womb of Ilā, a son was born named Purūravā, who was described in the beginning of the Ninth Canto. When his beauty, personal qualities, magnanimity, behavior, wealth and power were described by Nārada in the court of Lord Indra, the celestial woman Urvaśī was attracted to him. Pierced by the arrow of Cupid, she thus approached him.
TEXTS 17–18
mitrā-varuṇayoḥ śāpād
āpannā nara-lokatām
niśamya puruṣa-śreṣṭhaṁ
kandarpam iva rūpiṇam
dhṛtiṁ viṣṭabhya lalanā
upatasthe tad-antike
sa tāṁ vilokya nṛpatir
uvāca ślakṣṇayā vācā
devīṁ hṛṣṭa-tanūruhaḥ
mitrā-varuṇayoḥ—of Mitra and Varuṇa; śāpāt—by the curse; āpannā—having obtained; nara-lokatām—the habits of a human being; niśamya—thus seeing; puruṣa-śreṣṭham—the best of males; kandarpam iva—like Cupid; rūpiṇam—having beauty; dhṛtim—patience, forbearance; viṣṭabhya—accepting; lalanā—that woman; upatasthe—approached; tat-antike—near to him; saḥ—he, Purūravā; tām—her; vilokya—by seeing; nṛpatiḥ—the King; harṣeṇa—with great jubilation; utphulla-locanaḥ—whose eyes became very bright; uvāca—said; ślakṣṇayā—very mild; vācā—by words; devīm—unto the demigoddess; hṛṣṭa-tanūruhaḥ—the hairs on whose body were standing in jubilation.
Having been cursed by Mitra and Varuṇa, the celestial woman Urvaśī had acquired the habits of a human being. Therefore, upon seeing Purūravā, the best of males, whose beauty resembled that of Cupid, she controlled herself and then approached him. When King Purūravā saw Urvaśī, his eyes became jubilant in the ecstasy of joy, and the hairs on his body stood on end. With mild, pleasing words, he spoke to her as follows.
svāgataṁ te varārohe
āsyatāṁ karavāma kim
saṁramasva mayā sākaṁ
ratir nau śāśvatīḥ samāḥ
śrī-rājā uvāca—the King (Purūravā) said; svāgatam—welcome; te—unto you; varārohe—O best of beautiful women; āsyatām—kindly take your seat; karavāma kim—what can I do for you; saṁramasva—just become my companion; mayā sākam—with me; ratiḥ—a sexual relationship; nau—between us; śāśvatīḥ samāḥ—for many years.
King Purūravā said: O most beautiful woman, you are welcome. Please sit here and tell me what I can do for you. You may enjoy with me as long as you desire. Let us pass our life happily in a sexual relationship.
urvaśy uvāca
kasyās tvayi na sajjeta
mano dṛṣṭiś ca sundara
yad-aṅgāntaram āsādya
cyavate ha riraṁsayā
urvaśī uvācaUrvaśī replied; kasyāḥ—of which woman; tvayi—unto you; na—not; sajjeta—would become attracted; manaḥ—the mind; dṛṣṭiḥ ca—and sight; sundara—O most beautiful man; yat-aṅgāntaram—whose chest; āsādya—enjoying; cyavate—gives up; ha—indeed; riraṁsayā—for sexual enjoyment.
Urvaśī replied: O most handsome man, who is the woman whose mind and sight would not be attracted by you? If a woman takes shelter of your chest, she cannot refuse to enjoy with you in a sexual relationship.
When a beautiful man and a beautiful woman unite together and embrace one another, how within these three worlds can they check their sexual relationship? Therefore Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (7.9.45) says, yan maithunādi-gṛhamedhi-sukhaṁ hi tuccham.
etāv uraṇakau rājan
nyāsau rakṣasva mānada
saṁraṁsye bhavatā sākaṁ
ślāghyaḥ strīṇāṁ varaḥ smṛtaḥ
etau—to these two; uraṇakau—lambs; rājan—O King Purūravā; nyāsau—who have fallen down; rakṣasva—please give protection; māna-da—O one who gives all honor to a guest or visitor; saṁraṁsye—I shall enjoy sexual union; bhavatā sākam—in your company; ślāghyaḥ—superior; strīṇām—of a woman; varaḥ—husband; smṛtaḥ—it is said.
My dear King Purūravā, please give protection to these two lambs, who have fallen down with me. Although I belong to the heavenly planets and you belong to earth, I shall certainly enjoy sexual union with you. I have no objection to accepting you as my husband, for you are superior in every respect.
As stated in the Brahma-saṁhitā (5.40), yasya prabhā prabhavato jagad-aṇḍa-koṭi-koṭiṣv aśeṣa-vasudhādi-vibhūti-bhinnam. There are various planets and various atmospheres within this universe. The atmosphere of the heavenly planet from which Urvaśī descended after being cursed by Mitra and Varuṇa was different from the atmosphere of this earth. Indeed, the inhabitants of the heavenly planets are certainly far superior to the inhabitants of earth. Nonetheless, Urvaśī agreed to remain the consort of Purūravā, although she belonged to a superior community. A woman who finds a man with superior qualities may accept such a man as her husband. Similarly, if a man finds a woman who is from an inferior family but who has good qualities, he can accept such a brilliant wife, as advised by Śrī Cāṇakya Paṇḍita (strī-ratnaṁ duṣkulād api). The combination of male and female is worthwhile if the qualities of both are on an equal level.
ghṛtaṁ me vīra bhakṣyaṁ syān
nekṣe tvānyatra maithunāt
vivāsasaṁ tat tatheti
pratipede mahāmanāḥ
ghṛtam—clarified butter or nectar; me—my; vīra—O hero; bhakṣyam—eatable; syāt—shall be; na—not; īkṣe—I shall see; tvā—you; anyatra—any other time; maithunāt—except at the time of sexual intercourse; vivāsasam—without any dress (naked); tat—that; tathā iti—shall be like that; pratipede—promised; mahāmanāḥ—King Purūravā.
Urvaśī said: “My dear hero, only preparations made in ghee [clarified butter] will be my eatables, and I shall not want to see you naked at any time, except at the time of sexual intercourse.” The great-minded King Purūravā accepted these proposals.
aho rūpam aho bhāvo
ko na seveta manujo
devīṁ tvāṁ svayam āgatām
aho—wonderful; rūpam—beauty; aho—wonderful; bhāvaḥ—postures; nara-loka—in human society or on the planet earth; vimohanam—so attractive; kaḥ—who; na—not; seveta—can accept; manujaḥ—among human beings; devīm—a demigoddess; tvām—like you; svayam āgatām—who has personally arrived.
Purūravā replied: O beautiful one, your beauty is wonderful and your gestures are also wonderful. Indeed, you are attractive to all human society. Therefore, since you have come of your own accord from the heavenly planets, who on earth would not agree to serve a demigoddess such as you.
It appears from the words of Urvaśī that the standard of living, eating, behavior and speech are all different on the heavenly planets from the standards on this planet earth. The inhabitants of the heavenly planets do not eat such abominable things as meat and eggs; everything they eat is prepared in clarified butter. Nor do they like to see either men or women naked, except at the time of sexual intercourse. To live naked or almost naked is uncivilized, but on this planet earth it has now become fashionable to dress half naked, and sometimes those like hippies live completely naked. Indeed, there are many clubs and societies for this purpose. Such conduct is not allowed, however, on the heavenly planets. The inhabitants of the heavenly planets, aside from being very beautiful, both in complexion and bodily features, are well behaved and long-living, and they eat first-class food in goodness. These are some of the distinctions between the inhabitants of the heavenly planets and the inhabitants of earth.
tayā sa puruṣa-śreṣṭho
ramayantyā yathārhataḥ
reme sura-vihāreṣu
kāmaṁ caitrarathādiṣu
tayā—with her; saḥ—he; puruṣa-śreṣṭhaḥ—the best of human beings (Purūravā); ramayantyā—enjoying; yathā-arhataḥ—as far as possible; reme—enjoyed; sura-vihāreṣu—in places resembling the heavenly parks; kāmam—according to his desire; caitraratha-ādiṣu—in the best gardens, like Caitraratha.
Śukadeva Gosvāmī continued: The best of human beings, Purūravā, began freely enjoying the company of Urvaśī, who engaged in sexual activities with him in many celestial places, such as Caitraratha and Nandana-kānana, where the demigods enjoy.
ramamāṇas tayā devyā
mumude ’har-gaṇān bahūn
ramamāṇaḥ—enjoying sex; tayā—with her; devyā—the heavenly goddess; padma—of a lotus; kiñjalka—like the saffron; gandhayā—the fragrance of whom; tat-mukha—her beautiful face; āmoda—by the fragrance; muṣitaḥ—being enlivened more and more; mumude—enjoyed life; ahaḥ-gaṇān—days after days; bahūn—many.
Urvaśī’s body was as fragrant as the saffron of a lotus. Being enlivened by the fragrance of her face and body, Purūravā enjoyed her company for many days with great jubilation.
apaśyann urvaśīm indro
gandharvān samacodayat
urvaśī-rahitaṁ mahyam
āsthānaṁ nātiśobhate
apaśyan—without seeing; urvaśīmUrvaśī; indraḥ—the King of the heavenly planet; gandharvān—unto the Gandharvas; samacodayat—instructed; urvaśī-rahitam—without Urvaśī; mahyam—my; āsthānam—place; na—not; atiśobhate—appears beautiful.
Not seeing Urvaśī in his assembly, the King of heaven, Lord Indra, said, “Without Urvaśī my assembly is no longer beautiful.” Considering this, he requested the Gandharvas to bring her back to his heavenly planet.
te upetya mahā-rātre
tamasi pratyupasthite
urvaśyā uraṇau jahrur
nyastau rājani jāyayā
te—they, the Gandharvas; upetya—coming there; mahā-rātre—in the dead of night; tamasi—when the darkness; pratyupasthite—appeared; urvaśyā—by Urvaśī; uraṇau—two lambs; jahruḥ—stole; nyastau—given in charge; rājani—unto the King; jāyayā—by his wife, Urvaśī.
Thus the Gandharvas came to earth, and at midnight, when everything was dark, they appeared in the house of Purūravā and stole the two lambs entrusted to the King by his wife, Urvaśī.
“The dead of night” refers to midnight. The mahā-niśā is described in this smṛti-mantra: mahā-niśā dve ghaṭike rātrer madhyama-yāmayoḥ, “Twelve o’clock midnight is called the dead of night.”
niśamyākranditaṁ devī
putrayor nīyamānayoḥ
hatāsmy ahaṁ kunāthena
napuṁsā vīra-māninā
niśamya—by hearing; ākranditam—crying (because of being stolen); devīUrvaśī; putrayoḥ—of those two lambs, which she treated as sons; nīyamānayoḥ—as they were being taken away; hatā—killed; asmi—am; aham—I; ku-nāthena—under the protection of a bad husband; na-puṁsā—by the eunuch; vīra-māninā—although considering himself a hero.
Urvaśī treated the two lambs like her own sons. Therefore, when they were being taken by the Gandharvas and began crying, Urvaśī heard them and rebuked her husband. “Now I am being killed,” she said, “under the protection of an unworthy husband, who is a coward and a eunuch although he thinks himself a great hero.
yad-viśrambhād ahaṁ naṣṭā
hṛtāpatyā ca dasyubhiḥ
yaḥ śete niśi santrasto
yathā nārī divā pumān
yat-viśrambhāt—because of depending upon whom; aham—I (am); naṣṭā—lost; hṛta-apatyā—bereft of my two sons, the lambs; ca—also; dasyubhiḥ—by the plunderers; yaḥ—he who (my so-called husband); śete—lies down; niśi—at night; santrastaḥ—being afraid; yathā—as; nārī—a woman; divā—during the daytime; pumān—male.
“Because I depended on him, the plunderers have deprived me of my two sons the lambs, and therefore I am now lost. My husband lies down at night in fear, exactly like a woman, although he appears to be a man during the day.”
iti vāk-sāyakair biddhaḥ
pratottrair iva kuñjaraḥ
niśi nistriṁśam ādāya
vivastro ’bhyadravad ruṣā
iti—thus; vāk-sāyakaiḥ—by the arrows of strong words; biddhaḥ—being pierced; pratottraiḥ—by the goads; iva—like; kuñjaraḥ—an elephant; niśi—in the night; nistriṁśam—a sword; ādāya—taking in hand; vivastraḥ—naked; abhyadravat—went out; ruṣā—in anger.
Purūravā, stricken by the sharp words of Urvaśī like an elephant struck by its driver’s pointed rod, became very angry. Not even dressing himself properly, he took a sword in hand and went out naked into the night to follow the Gandharvas who had stolen the lambs.
te visṛjyoraṇau tatra
vyadyotanta sma vidyutaḥ
ādāya meṣāv āyāntaṁ
nagnam aikṣata sā patim
te—they, the Gandharvas; visṛjya—after giving up; uraṇau—the two lambs; tatra—on the spot; vyadyotanta sma—illuminated; vidyutaḥ—shining like lightning; ādāya—taking in hand; meṣau—the two lambs; āyāntam—returning; nagnam—naked; aikṣata—saw; Urvaśī; patim—her husband.
After giving up the two lambs, the Gandharvas shone brightly like lightning, thus illuminating the house of Purūravā. Urvaśī then saw her husband returning with the lambs in hand, but he was naked, and therefore she left.
ailo ’pi śayane jāyām
apaśyan vimanā iva
tac-citto vihvalaḥ śocan
babhrāmonmattavan mahīm
ailaḥ—Purūravā; api—also; śayane—on the bedstead; jāyām—his wife; apaśyan—not seeing; vimanāḥ—morose; iva—like that; tat-cittaḥ—being too much attached to her; vihvalaḥ—disturbed in mind; śocan—lamenting; babhrāma—traveled; unmatta-vat—like a madman; mahīm—on the earth.
No longer seeing Urvaśī on his bed, Purūravā was most aggrieved. Because of his great attraction for her, he was very much disturbed. Thus, lamenting, he began traveling about the earth like a madman.
sa tāṁ vīkṣya kurukṣetre
sarasvatyāṁ ca tat-sakhīḥ
pañca prahṛṣṭa-vadanaḥ
prāha sūktaṁ purūravāḥ
saḥ—he, Purūravā; tāmUrvaśī; vīkṣya—observing; kurukṣetre—at the place known as Kurukṣetra; sarasvatyām—on the bank of the Sarasvatī; ca—also; tat-sakhīḥ—her companions; pañca—five; prahṛṣṭa-vadanaḥ—being very happy and smiling; prāha—said; sūktam—sweet words; purūravāḥ—King Purūravā.
Once during his travels all over the world, Purūravā saw Urvaśī, accompanied by five companions, on the bank of the Sarasvatī at Kurukṣetra. With jubilation in his face, he then spoke to her in sweet words as follows.
aho jāye tiṣṭha tiṣṭha
ghore na tyaktum arhasi
māṁ tvam adyāpy anirvṛtya
vacāṁsi kṛṇavāvahai
aho—hello; jāye—O my dear wife; tiṣṭha tiṣṭha—kindly stay, stay; ghore—O most cruel one; na—not; tyaktum—to give up; arhasi—you ought; mām—me; tvam—you; adya api—until now; anirvṛtya—having not gotten any happiness from me; vacāṁsi—some words; kṛṇavāvahai—let us talk for some time.
O my dear wife, O most cruel one, kindly stay, kindly stay. I know that I have never made you happy until now, but you should not give me up for that reason. This is not proper for you. Even if you have decided to give up my company, let us nonetheless talk for some time.
sudeho ’yaṁ pataty atra
devi dūraṁ hṛtas tvayā
khādanty enaṁ vṛkā gṛdhrās
tvat-prasādasya nāspadam
su-dehaḥ—very beautiful body; ayam—this; patati—will now fall down; atra—on the spot; devi—O Urvaśī; dūram—far, far away from home; hṛtaḥ—taken away; tvayā—by you; khādanti—they will eat; enam—this (body); vṛkāḥ—foxes; gṛdhrāḥ—vultures; tvat—your; prasādasya—in mercy; na—not; āspadam—suitable.
O goddess, now that you have refused me, my beautiful body will fall down here, and because it is unsuitable for your pleasure, it will be eaten by foxes and vultures.
urvaśy uvāca
mā mṛthāḥ puruṣo ’si tvaṁ
mā sma tvādyur vṛkā ime
kvāpi sakhyaṁ na vai strīṇāṁ
vṛkāṇāṁ hṛdayaṁ yathā
urvaśī uvācaUrvaśī said; —do not; mṛthāḥ—give up your life; puruṣaḥ—male; asi—are; tvam—you; sma—do not allow it; tvā—unto you; adyuḥ—may eat; vṛkāḥ—the foxes; ime—these senses (do not be under the control of your senses); kva api—anywhere; sakhyam—friendship; na—not; vai—indeed; strīṇām—of women; vṛkāṇām—of the foxes; hṛdayam—the heart; yathā—as.
Urvaśī said: My dear King, you are a man, a hero. Don’t be impatient and give up your life. Be sober and don’t allow the senses to overcome you like foxes. Don’t let the foxes eat you. In other words, you should not be controlled by your senses. Rather, you should know that the heart of a woman is like that of a fox. There is no use making friendship with women.
Cāṇakya Paṇḍita has advised, viśvāso naiva kartavyaḥ strīṣu rāja-kuleṣu ca: “Never place your faith in a woman or a politician.” Unless elevated to spiritual consciousness, everyone is conditioned and fallen, what to speak of women, who are less intelligent than men. Women have been compared to śūdras and vaiśyas (striyo vaiśyās tathā śūdrāḥ). On the spiritual platform, however, when one is elevated to the platform of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, whether one is a man, woman, śūdra or whatever, everyone is equal. Otherwise, Urvaśī, who was a woman herself and who knew the nature of women, said that a woman’s heart is like that of a sly fox. If a man cannot control his senses, he becomes a victim of such sly foxes. But if one can control the senses, there is no chance of his being victimized by sly, foxlike women. Cāṇakya Paṇḍita has also advised that if one has a wife like a sly fox, he must immediately give up his life at home and go to the forest.
mātā yasya gṛhe nāsti
bhāryā cāpriya-vādinī
araṇyaṁ tena gantavyaṁ
yathāraṇyaṁ tathā gṛham
(Cāṇakya-śloka 57)
Kṛṣṇa conscious gṛhasthas must be very careful of the sly fox woman. If the wife at home is obedient and follows her husband in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, the home is welcome. Otherwise one should give up one’s home and go to the forest.
(Bhāg. 7.5.5)
One should go to the forest and take shelter of the lotus feet of Hari, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
striyo hy akaruṇāḥ krūrā
durmarṣāḥ priya-sāhasāḥ
ghnanty alpārthe ’pi viśrabdhaṁ
patiṁ bhrātaram apy uta
striyaḥ—women; hi—indeed; akaruṇāḥ—merciless; krūrāḥ—cunning; durmarṣāḥ—intolerant; priya-sāhasāḥ—for their own pleasure they can do anything; ghnanti—they kill; alpa-arthe—for a slight reason; api—indeed; viśrabdham—faithful; patim—husband; bhrātaram—brother; api—also; uta—it is said.
Women as a class are merciless and cunning. They cannot tolerate even a slight offense. For their own pleasure they can do anything irreligious, and therefore they do not fear killing even a faithful husband or brother.
King Purūravā was greatly attached to Urvaśī. Yet despite his faithfulness to her, she had left him. Now, considering that the King was wasting his rarely achieved human form of life, Urvaśī frankly explained the nature of a woman. Because of her nature, a woman can respond to even a slight offense from her husband by not only leaving him but even killing him if required. To say nothing of her husband, she can even kill her brother. That is a woman’s nature. Therefore, in the material world, unless women are trained to be chaste and faithful to their husbands, there cannot be peace or prosperity in society.
ajñeṣu tyakta-sauhṛdāḥ
navaṁ navam abhīpsantyaḥ
puṁścalyaḥ svaira-vṛttayaḥ
vidhāya—by establishing; alīka—false; viśrambham—faithfulness; ajñeṣu—unto the foolish men; tyakta-sauhṛdāḥ—who have given up the company of well-wishers; navam—new; navam—new; abhīpsantyaḥ—desiring; puṁścalyaḥ—women very easily allured by other men; svaira—independently; vṛttayaḥ—professional.
Women are very easily seduced by men. Therefore, polluted women give up the friendship of a man who is their well-wisher and establish false friendship among fools. Indeed, they seek newer and newer friends, one after another.
Because women are easily seduced, the Manu-saṁhitā enjoins that they should not be given freedom. A woman must always be protected, either by her father, by her husband, or by her elderly son. If women are given freedom to mingle with men like equals, which they now claim to be, they cannot keep their propriety. The nature of a woman, as personally described by Urvaśī, is to establish false friendship with someone and then seek new male companions, one after another, even if this means giving up the company of a sincere well-wisher.
saṁvatsarānte hi bhavān
eka-rātraṁ mayeśvaraḥ
raṁsyaty apatyāni ca te
bhaviṣyanty aparāṇi bhoḥ
saṁvatsara-ante—at the end of every year; hi—indeed; bhavān—your good self; eka-rātram—one night only; mayā—with me; īśvaraḥ—my husband; raṁsyati—will enjoy sex life; apatyāni—children; ca—also; te—your; bhaviṣyanti—will generate; aparāṇi—others, one after another; bhoḥ—O my dear King.
O my dear King, you will be able to enjoy with me as my husband at the end of every year, for one night only. In this way you will have other children, one after another.
Although Urvaśī had adversely explained the nature of woman, Mahārāja Purūravā was very much attached to her, and therefore she wanted to give the King some concession by agreeing to be his wife for one night at the end of each year.
antarvatnīm upālakṣya
devīṁ sa prayayau purīm
punas tatra gato ’bdānte
urvaśīṁ vīra-mātaram
antarvatnīm—pregnant; upālakṣya—by observing; devīmUrvaśī; saḥ—he, King Purūravā; prayayau—returned; purīm—to his palace; punaḥ—again; tatra—at that very spot; gataḥ—went; abda-ante—at the end of the year; urvaśīmUrvaśī; vīra-mātaram—the mother of one kṣatriya son.
Understanding that Urvaśī was pregnant, Purūravā returned to his palace. At the end of the year, there at Kurukṣetra, he again obtained the association of Urvaśī, who was then the mother of a heroic son.
upalabhya mudā yuktaḥ
samuvāsa tayā niśām
athainam urvaśī prāha
kṛpaṇaṁ virahāturam
upalabhya—getting the association; mudā—in great jubilation; yuktaḥ—being united; samuvāsa—enjoyed her company in sex; tayā—with her; niśām—that night; atha—thereafter; enam—unto King Purūravā; urvaśī—the woman named Urvaśī; prāha—said; kṛpaṇam—to he who was poor-hearted; viraha-āturam—afflicted by the thought of separation.
Having regained Urvaśī at the end of the year, King Purūravā was most jubilant, and he enjoyed her company in sex for one night. But then he was very sorry at the thought of separation from her, so Urvaśī spoke to him as follows.
gandharvān upadhāvemāṁs
tubhyaṁ dāsyanti mām iti
tasya saṁstuvatas tuṣṭā
agni-sthālīṁ dadur nṛpa
urvaśīṁ manyamānas tāṁ
so ’budhyata caran vane
gandharvān—unto the Gandharvas; upadhāva—go take shelter; imān—these; tubhyam—unto you; dāsyanti—will deliver; mām iti—exactly like me, or me factually; tasya—by him; saṁstuvataḥ—offering prayers; tuṣṭāḥ—being satisfied; agni-sthālīm—a girl produced from fire; daduḥ—delivered; nṛpa—O King; urvaśīmUrvaśī; manya-mānaḥ—thinking; tām—her; saḥ—he (Purūravā); abudhyata—understood factually; caran—while walking; vane—in the forest.
Urvaśī said: “My dear King, seek shelter of the Gandharvas, for they will be able to deliver me to you again.” In accordance with these words, the King satisfied the Gandharvas by prayers, and the Gandharvas, being pleased with him, gave him an Agnisthālī girl who looked exactly like Urvaśī. Thinking that the girl was Urvaśī, the King began walking with her in the forest, but later he could understand that she was not Urvaśī but Agnisthālī.
Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura remarks that Purūravā was very lusty. Immediately after getting the Agnisthālī girl, he wanted to have sex with her, but during sexual intercourse he could understand that the girl was Agnisthālī, not Urvaśī. This indicates that every man attached to a particular woman knows the particular characteristics of that woman during sex life. Thus Purūravā understood during sexual intercourse that the Agnisthālī girl was not Urvaśī.
sthālīṁ nyasya vane gatvā
gṛhān ādhyāyato niśi
tretāyāṁ sampravṛttāyāṁ
manasi trayy avartata
sthālīm—the woman Agnisthālī; nyasya—immediately giving up; vane—in the forest; gatvā—on returning; gṛhān—at home; ādhyāyataḥ—began to meditate; niśi—the whole night; tretāyām—when the Tretā millennium; sampravṛttāyām—was just on the point of beginning; manasi—in his mind; trayī—the principles of the three Vedas; avartata—became revealed.
King Purūravā then left Agnisthālī in the forest and returned home, where he meditated all night upon Urvaśī. In the course of his meditation, the Tretā millennium began, and therefore the principles of the three Vedas, including the process of performing yajña to fulfill fruitive activities, appeared within his heart.
It is said, tretāyāṁ yajato makhaiḥ: in Tretā-yuga, if one performed yajñas, he would get the results of those yajñas. By performing viṣṇu-yajña specifically, one could even achieve the lotus feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Of course, yajña is intended to please the Supreme Personality of Godhead. While Purūravā was meditating upon Urvaśī, the Tretā-yuga began, and therefore the Vedic yajñas were revealed in his heart. But Purūravā was a materialistic man, especially interested in enjoying the senses. Yajñas for enjoyment of the senses are called karma-kāṇḍīya-yajñas. Therefore, he decided to perform karma-kāṇḍīya-yajñas to fulfill his lusty desires. In other words, karma-kāṇḍīya-yajñas are meant for sensuous persons, whereas yajña should actually be performed to please the Supreme Personality of Godhead. To please the Supreme Personality of Godhead in Kali-yuga, the saṅkīrtana-yajña is recommended. Yajñaiḥ saṅkīrtana-prāyair yajanti hi sumedhasaḥ [SB 11.5.32]. Only those who are very intelligent take to saṅkīrtana-yajña to fulfill all their desires, material and spiritual, whereas those who are lusty for sense enjoyment perform karma-kāṇḍīya-yajñas.
TEXTS 44–45
sthālī-sthānaṁ gato ’śvatthaṁ
śamī-garbhaṁ vilakṣya saḥ
tena dve araṇī kṛtvā
urvaśīṁ mantrato dhyāyann
adharāraṇim uttarām
ātmānam ubhayor madhye
yat tat prajananaṁ prabhuḥ
sthālī-sthānam—the place where Agnisthālī was left; gataḥ—going there; aśvattham—an aśvattha tree; śamī-garbham—produced from the womb of the śamī tree; vilakṣya—seeing; saḥ—he, Purūravā; tena—from that; dve—two; araṇī—pieces of wood required for igniting a fire for sacrifice; kṛtvā—making; urvaśī-loka-kāmyayā—desiring to go to the planet where Urvaśī was present; urvaśīmUrvaśī; mantrataḥ—by chanting the required mantra; dhyāyan—meditating upon; adhara—lower; araṇimaraṇi wood; uttarām—and the upper one; ātmānam—himself; ubhayoḥ madhye—in between the two; yat tat—that which (he meditated upon); prajananam—as a son; prabhuḥ—the King.
When the process of fruitive yajña became manifest within his heart, King Purūravā went to the same spot where he had left Agnisthālī. There he saw that from the womb of a śamī tree, an aśvattha tree had grown. He then took a piece of wood from that tree and made it into two araṇis. Desiring to go to the planet where Urvaśī resided, he chanted mantras, meditating upon the lower araṇi as Urvaśī, the upper one as himself, and the piece of wood between them as his son. In this way he began to ignite a fire.
The Vedic fire for performing yajña was not ignited with ordinary matches or similar devices. Rather, the Vedic sacrificial fire was ignited by the araṇis, or two sacred pieces of wood, which produced fire by friction with a third. Such a fire is necessary for the performance of yajña. If successful, a yajña will fulfill the desire of its performer. Thus Purūravā took advantage of the process of yajña to fulfill his lusty desires. He thought of the lower araṇi as Urvaśī, the upper one as himself, and the middle one as his son. A relevant Vedic mantra quoted herein by Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura is śamī-garbhād agniṁ mantha. A similar mantra is urvaśyām urasi purūravāḥ. Purūravā wanted to have children continuously by the womb of Urvaśī. His only ambition was to have sex life with Urvaśī and thereby get a son. In other words, he had so much lust in his heart that even while performing yajña he thought of Urvaśī, instead of thinking of the master of yajña, Yajñeśvara, Lord Viṣṇu.
tasya nirmanthanāj jāto
jāta-vedā vibhāvasuḥ
trayyā sa vidyayā rājñā
putratve kalpitas tri-vṛt
tasya—of Purūravā; nirmanthanāt—because of interaction; jātaḥ—was born; jāta-vedāḥ—meant for material enjoyment according to the Vedic principles; vibhāvasuḥ—a fire; trayyā—following the Vedic principles; saḥ—the fire; vidyayā—by such a process; rājñā—by the King; putratve—a son’s being born; kalpitaḥ—it so became; tri-vṛt—the three letters a-u-m combined together as oṁ.
From Purūravā’s rubbing of the araṇis came a fire. By such a fire one can achieve all success in material enjoyment and be purified in seminal birth, initiation and in the performance of sacrifice, which are invoked with the combined letters a-u-m. Thus the fire was considered the son of King Purūravā.
According to the Vedic process, one can get a son through semen (śukra), one can get a bona fide disciple through initiation (sāvitra), or one can get a son or disciple through the fire of sacrifice (yajña). Thus when Mahārāja Purūravā generated the fire by rubbing the araṇis, the fire became his son. Either by semen, by initiation or by yajña one may get a son. The Vedic mantra oṁkāra, or praṇava, consisting of the letters a-u-m, can call each of these three methods into existence. Therefore the words nirmanthanāj jātaḥ indicate that by the rubbing of the araṇis a son was born.
tenāyajata yajñeśaṁ
bhagavantam adhokṣajam
urvaśī-lokam anvicchan
sarva-devamayaṁ harim
tena—by generating such a fire; ayajata—he worshiped; yajña-īśam—the master or enjoyer of the yajña; bhagavantam—the Supreme Personality of Godhead; adhokṣajam—beyond the perception of the senses; urvaśī-lokam—to the planet where Urvaśī was staying; anvicchan—although desiring to go; sarva-deva-mayam—the reservoir of all demigods; harim—the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
By means of that fire, Purūravā, who desired to go to the planet where Urvaśī resided, performed a sacrifice, by which he satisfied the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Hari, the enjoyer of the results of sacrifice. Thus he worshiped the Lord, who is beyond the perception of the senses and is the reservoir of all the demigods.
As stated in Bhagavad-gītā, bhoktāraṁ yajña-tapasāṁ sarva-loka-maheśvaram: [Bg. 5.29] any loka, or planet, to which one wants to go is the property of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the enjoyer of the performance of sacrifice. The purpose of yajña is to satisfy the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In this age, as we have explained many times, the yajña of chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra is the only sacrifice that can satisfy the Supreme Lord. When the Lord is satisfied, one can fulfill any desire, material or spiritual. Bhagavad-gītā (3.14) also says, yajñād bhavati parjanyaḥ: by offering sacrifices to Lord Viṣṇu, one can have sufficient rainfall. When there is sufficient rainfall, the earth becomes fit to produce everything (sama-kāma-dughā mahī). If one can utilize the land properly, one can get all the necessities of life from the land, including food grains, fruits, flowers and vegetables. Everything one gets for material wealth is produced from the earth, and therefore it is said, sarva-kāma-dughā mahī (Bhāg. 1.10.4). Everything is possible by performing yajña. Therefore although Purūravā desired something material, he factually performed yajña to please the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The Lord is adhokṣaja, beyond the perception of Purūravā and everyone else. Consequently, some kind of yajña must be performed to fulfill the desires of the living entity. Yajñas can be performed in human society only when society is divided by varṇāśrama-dharma into four varṇas and four āśramas. Without such a regulative process, no one can perform yajñas, and without the performance of yajñas, no material plans can make human society happy at any time. Everyone should therefore be induced to perform yajñas. In this age of Kali, the yajña recommended is saṅkīrtana, the individual or collective chanting of the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra. This will bring the fulfillment of all necessities for human society.
eka eva purā vedaḥ
praṇavaḥ sarva-vāṅmayaḥ
devo nārāyaṇo nānya
eko ’gnir varṇa eva ca
ekaḥ—only one; eva—indeed; purā—formerly; vedaḥ—book of transcendental knowledge; praṇavaḥoṁkāra; sarva-vāk-mayaḥ—consisting of all Vedic mantras; devaḥ—the Lord, God; nārāyaṇaḥ—only Nārāyaṇa (was worshipable in the Satya-yuga); na anyaḥ—no other; ekaḥ agniḥ—one division only for agni; varṇaḥ—order of life; eva ca—and certainly.
In the Satya-yuga, the first millennium, all the Vedic mantras were included in one mantrapraṇava, the root of all Vedic mantras. In other words, the Atharva Veda alone was the source of all Vedic knowledge. The Supreme Personality of Godhead Nārāyaṇa was the only worshipable Deity; there was no recommendation for worship of the demigods. Fire was one only, and the only order of life in human society was known as haṁsa.
In Satya-yuga there was only one Veda, not four. Later, before the beginning of Kali-yuga, this one Veda, the Atharva Veda (or, some say, the Yajur Veda), was divided into four—Sāma, Yajur, Ṛg and Atharva—for the facility of human society. In Satya-yuga the only mantra was oṁkāra (oṁ tat sat). The same name oṁkāra is manifest in the mantra Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare. Unless one is a brāhmaṇa, one cannot utter oṁkāra and get the desired result. But in Kali-yuga almost everyone is a śūdra, unfit for pronouncing the praṇava, oṁkāra. Therefore the śāstras have recommended the chanting of the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra. Oṁkāra is a mantra, or mahā-mantra, and Hare Kṛṣṇa is also a mahā-mantra. The purpose of pronouncing oṁkāra is to address the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vāsudeva (oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya). And the purpose of chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra is the same. Hare: “O energy of the Lord!” Kṛṣṇa: “O Lord Kṛṣṇa!” Hare: “O energy of the Lord!” Rāma: “O Supreme Lord, O supreme enjoyer!” The only worshipable Lord is Hari, who is the goal of the Vedas (vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyaḥ [Bg. 15.15]). By worshiping the demigods, one worships the different parts of the Lord, just as one might water the branches and twigs of a tree. But worshiping Nārāyaṇa, the all-inclusive Supreme Personality of Godhead, is like pouring water on the root of the tree, thus supplying water to the trunk, branches, twigs, leaves and so on. In Satya-yuga people knew how to fulfill the necessities of life simply by worshiping Nārāyaṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The same purpose can be served in this age of Kali by the chanting of the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, as recommended in the Bhāgavatam. Kīrtanād eva kṛṣṇasya mukta-saṅgaḥ paraṁ vrajet. Simply by chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, one becomes free from the bondage of material existence and thus becomes eligible to return home, back to Godhead.
purūravasa evāsīt
trayī tretā-mukhe nṛpa
agninā prajayā rājā
lokaṁ gāndharvam eyivān
purūravasaḥ—from King Purūravā; eva—thus; āsīt—there was; trayī—the Vedic principles of karma, jñāna and upāsanā; tretā-mukhe—in the beginning of the Tretā-yuga; nṛpa—O King Parīkṣit; agninā—simply by generating the fire of sacrifice; prajayā—by his son; rājā—King Purūravā; lokam—to the planet; gāndharvam—of the Gandharvas; eyivān—achieved.
O Mahārāja Parīkṣit, at the beginning of Tretā-yuga, King Purūravā inaugurated a karma-kāṇḍa sacrifice. Thus Purūravā, who considered the yajñic fire his son, was able to go to Gandharvaloka as he desired.
In Satya-yuga, Lord Nārāyaṇa was worshiped by meditation (kṛte yad dhyāyato viṣṇum). Indeed, everyone always meditated upon Lord Viṣṇu, Nārāyaṇa, and achieved every success by this process of meditation. In the next yuga, Tretā-yuga, the performance of yajña began (tretāyāṁ yajato mukhaiḥ). Therefore this verse says, trayī tretā-mukhe. Ritualistic ceremonies are generally called fruitive activities. Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura says that in Tretā-yuga, beginning in the Svāyambhuva-manvantara, ritualistic fruitive activities were similarly manifested from Priyavrata, etc.
Thus end the Bhaktivedanta purports of the Ninth Canto, Fourteenth Chapter, of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, entitled “King Purūravā Enchanted by Urvaśī.”

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