pitra datta devayanyai
sarmistha sanuga tada
svanam tat sankatam viksya
tad-arthasya ca gauravam
devayanim paryacarat
stri-sahasrena dasavat
pitraby the father; dattagiven; devayanyaiunto Devayani, the daughter of Sukracarya; sarmisthathe daughter of Vrsaparva; sa-anugawith her friends; tadaat that time; svanamof his own; tatthat; sankatamdangerous position; viksyaobserving; tatfrom him; arthasyaof the benefit; caalso; gauravamthe greatness; devayanimunto Devayani; paryacaratserved; stri-sahasrenawith thousands of other women; dasa-vatacting as a slave.
Vrsaparva wisely thought that Sukracaryas displeasure would bring danger and that his pleasure would bring material gain. Therefore he carried out Sukracaryas order and served him like a slave. He gave his daughter Sarmistha to Devayani, and Sarmistha served Devayani like a slave, along with thousands of other women.
In the beginning of these affairs concerning Sarmistha and Devayani, we saw that Sarmistha had many friends. Now these friends became maidservants of Devayani. When a girl married a ksatriya king, it was customary for all her girl friends to go with her to her husbands house. For instance, when Vasudeva married Devaki, the mother of Krsna, he married all six of her sisters, and she also had many friends who accompanied her. A king would maintain not only his wife but also the many friends and maidservants of his wife. Some of these maidservants would become pregnant and give birth to children. Such children were accepted as dasi-putra, the sons of the maidservants, and the king would maintain them. The female population is always greater than the male, but since a woman needs to be protected by a man, the king would maintain many girls, who acted either as friends or as maidservants of the queen. In the history of Krsnas household life we find that Krsna married 16,108 wives. These were not maidservants but direct queens, and Krsna expanded Himself into 16,108 forms to maintain different establishments for each and every wife. This is not possible for ordinary men. Therefore although the kings had to maintain many, many servants and wives, not all of them had different establishments.

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