Chapter Eighteen
King Yayāti Regains His Youth
This chapter gives the history of King Yayāti, the son of Nahuṣa. Among Yayāti’s five sons, the youngest son, Pūru, accepted Yayāti’s invalidity.
When Nahuṣa, who had six sons, was cursed to become a python, his eldest son, Yati, took sannyāsa, and therefore the next son, Yayāti, was enthroned as king. By providence, Yayāti married the daughter of Śukrācārya. Śukrācārya was a brāhmaṇa and Yayāti a kṣatriya, but Yayāti married her nonetheless. Śukrācārya’s daughter, named Devayānī, had a girl friend named Śarmiṣṭhā, who was the daughter of Vṛṣaparvā. King Yayāti married Śarmiṣṭhā also. The history of this marriage is as follows. Once Śarmiṣṭhā was sporting in the water with thousands of her girl friends, and Devayānī was also there. When the young girls saw Lord Śiva, seated on his bull with Umā, they immediately dressed themselves, but Śarmiṣṭhā mistakenly put on Devayānī’s clothes. Devayānī, being very angry, rebuked Śarmiṣṭhā, who also became very angry and responded by rebuking Devayānī and throwing her into a well. By chance, King Yayāti came to that well to drink water, and he found Devayānī and rescued her. Thus Devayānī accepted Mahārāja Yayāti as her husband. Thereafter, Devayānī, crying loudly, told her father about Śarmiṣṭhā’s behavior. Upon hearing of this incident, Śukrācārya was very angry and wanted to chastise Vṛṣaparvā, Śarmiṣṭhā’s father. Vṛṣaparvā, however, satisfied Śukrācārya by offering Śarmiṣṭhā as Devayānī’s maidservant. Thus Śarmiṣṭhā, as the maidservant of Devayānī, also went to the house of Devayānī’s husband. When Śarmiṣṭhā found her friend Devayānī with a son she also desired to have a son. Therefore, at the proper time for conception, she also requested Mahārāja Yayāti for sex. When Śarmiṣṭhā became pregnant also, Devayānī was very envious. In great anger, she immediately left for her father’s house and told her father everything. Śukrācārya again became angry and cursed Mahārāja Yayāti to become old, but when Yayāti begged Śukrācārya to be merciful to him, Śukrācārya gave him the benediction that he could transfer his old age and invalidity to some young man. Yayāti exchanged his old age for the youth of his youngest son, Pūru, and thus he was able to enjoy with young girls.
TEXT 1
śrī-śuka uvāca
yatir yayātiḥ saṁyātir
āyatir viyatiḥ kṛtiḥ
ṣaḍ ime nahuṣasyāsann
indriyāṇīva dehinaḥ
SYNONYMS
śrī-śukaḥ uvāca—Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī said; yatiḥYati; yayātiḥ—Yayāti; saṁyātiḥSaṁyāti; āyatiḥ—Āyati; viyatiḥViyati; kṛtiḥKṛti; ṣaṭ—six; ime—all of them; nahuṣasya—of King Nahuṣa; āsan—were; indriyāṇi—the (six) senses; iva—like; dehinaḥ—of an embodied soul.
TRANSLATION
Śukadeva Gosvāmī said: O King Parīkṣit, as the embodied soul has six senses, King Nahuṣa had six sons, named Yati, Yayāti, Saṁyāti, Āyati, Viyati and Kṛti.
TEXT 2
rājyaṁ naicchad yatiḥ pitrā
dattaṁ tat-pariṇāmavit
yatra praviṣṭaḥ puruṣa
ātmānaṁ nāvabudhyate
SYNONYMS
rājyam—the kingdom; na aicchat—did not accept; yatiḥ—the eldest son, Yati; pitrā—by his father; dattam—offered; tat-pariṇāma-vit—knowing the result of becoming powerful as a king; yatra—wherein; praviṣṭaḥ—having entered; puruṣaḥ—such a person; ātmānam—self-realization; na—not; avabudhyate—will take seriously and understand.
TRANSLATION
When one enters the post of king or head of the government, one cannot understand the meaning of self-realization. Knowing this, Yati, the eldest son of Nahuṣa, did not accept the power to rule, although it was offered by his father.
PURPORT
Self-realization is the prime objective of human civilization, and it is regarded seriously by those who are situated in the mode of goodness and have developed the brahminical qualities. Kṣatriyas are generally endowed with material qualities conducive to gaining material wealth and enjoying sense gratification, but those who are spiritually advanced are not interested in material opulence. Indeed, they accept only the bare necessities for a life of spiritual advancement in self-realization. It is specifically mentioned here that if one enters political life, especially in the modern day, one looses the chance for human perfection. Nonetheless, one can attain the highest perfection if one hears Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. This hearing is described as nityaṁ bhāgavata-sevayā [SB 1.2.18]. Mahārāja Parīkṣit was involved in politics, but because at the end of his life he heard Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam from Śukadeva Gosvāmī, he attained perfection very easily. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu has therefore suggested:
sthāne sthitāḥ śruti-gatāṁ tanu-vāṅ-manobhir
ye prāyaśo ’jita jito ’py asi tais tri-lokyām
(Bhāg. 10.14.3)
Regardless of whether one is in the mode of passion, ignorance or goodness, if one regularly hears Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam from the self-realized soul, one is freed from the bondage of material involvement.
TEXT 3
pitari bhraṁśite sthānād
indrāṇyā dharṣaṇād dvijaiḥ
prāpite ’jagaratvaṁ vai
yayātir abhavan nṛpaḥ
SYNONYMS
pitari—when his father; bhraṁśite—was caused to fall down; sthānāt—from the heavenly planets; indrāṇyāḥ—of Śacī, the wife of Indra; dharṣaṇāt—from offending; dvijaiḥ—by them (upon her lodging a complaint with the brāhmaṇas); prāpite—being degraded to; ajagaratvam—the life of a snake; vai—indeed; yayātiḥ—the son named Yayāti; abhavat—became; nṛpaḥ—the king.
TRANSLATION
Because Nahuṣa, the father of Yayāti, molested Indra’s wife, Śacī, who then complained to Agastya and other brāhmaṇas, these saintly brāhmaṇas cursed Nahuṣa to fall from the heavenly planets and be degraded to the status of a python. Consequently, Yayāti became the king.
TEXT 4
catasṛṣv ādiśad dikṣu
bhrātṝn bhrātā yavīyasaḥ
kṛta-dāro jugoporvīṁ
kāvyasya vṛṣaparvaṇaḥ
SYNONYMS
catasṛṣu—over the four; ādiśat—allowed to rule; dikṣu—directions; bhrātṝn—four brothers; bhrātā—Yayāti; yavīyasaḥ—young; kṛta-dāraḥ—married; jugopa—ruled; ūrvīm—the world; kāvyasya—the daughter of Śukrācārya; vṛṣaparvaṇaḥ—the daughter of Vṛṣaparvā.
TRANSLATION
King Yayāti had four younger brothers, whom he allowed to rule the four directions. Yayāti himself married Devayānī, the daughter of Śukrācārya, and Śarmiṣṭhā, the daughter of Vṛṣaparvā, and ruled the entire earth.
TEXT 5
śrī-rājovāca
brahmarṣir bhagavān kāvyaḥ
kṣatra-bandhuś ca nāhuṣaḥ
rājanya-viprayoḥ kasmād
vivāhaḥ pratilomakaḥ
SYNONYMS
śrī-rājā uvācaMahārāja Parīkṣit inquired; brahma-ṛṣiḥ—the best of the brāhmaṇas; bhagavān—very powerful; kāvyaḥ—Śukrācārya; kṣatra-bandhuḥ—belonged to the kṣatriya class; ca—also; nāhuṣaḥ—King Yayāti; rājanya-viprayoḥ—of a brāhmaṇa and a kṣatriya; kasmāt—how; vivāhaḥ—a marital relationship; pratilomakaḥ—against the customary regulative principles.
TRANSLATION
Mahārāja Parīkṣit said: Śukrācārya was a very powerful brāhmaṇa, and Mahārāja Yayāti was a kṣatriya. Therefore I am curious to know how there occurred this pratiloma marriage between a kṣatriya and a brāhmaṇa.
PURPORT
According to the Vedic system, marriages between kṣatriyas and kṣatriyas or between brāhmaṇas and brāhmaṇas are the general custom. If marriages sometimes take place between different classes, these marriages are of two types, namely anuloma and pratiloma. Anuloma, marriage between a brāhmaṇa and the daughter of a kṣatriya, is permissible, but pratiloma, marriage between a kṣatriya and the daughter of a brāhmaṇa, is not generally allowed. Therefore Mahārāja Parīkṣit was curious about how Śukrācārya, a powerful brāhmaṇa, could accept the principle of pratiloma. Mahārāja Parīkṣit was eager to know the cause for this uncommon marriage.
TEXTS 6–7
śrī-śuka uvāca
ekadā dānavendrasya
śarmiṣṭhā nāma kanyakā
sakhī-sahasra-saṁyuktā
guru-putryā ca bhāminī
devayānyā purodyāne
puṣpita-druma-saṅkule
vyacarat kala-gītāli-
nalinī-puline ’balā
SYNONYMS
śrī-śukaḥ uvāca—Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī said; ekadā—once upon a time; dānava-indrasya—of Vṛṣaparvā; śarmiṣṭhā—Śarmiṣṭhā; nāma—by name; kanyakā—a daughter; sakhī-sahasra-saṁyuktā—accompanied by thousands of friends; guru-putryā—with the daughter of the guru, Śukrācārya; ca—also; bhāminī—very easily irritated; devayānyā—with Devayānī; pura-udyāne—within the palace garden; puṣpita—full of flowers; druma—with nice trees; saṅkule—congested; vyacarat—was walking; kala-gīta—with very sweet sounds; ali—with bumblebees; nalinī—with lotuses; puline—in such a garden; abalā—innocent.
TRANSLATION
Śukadeva Gosvāmī said: One day Vṛṣaparvā’s daughter Śarmiṣṭhā, who was innocent but angry by nature, was walking with Devayānī, the daughter of Śukrācārya, and with thousands of friends, in the palace garden. The garden was full of lotuses and trees of flowers and fruits and was inhabited by sweetly singing birds and bumblebees.
TEXT 8
tā jalāśayam āsādya
kanyāḥ kamala-locanāḥ
tīre nyasya dukūlāni
vijahruḥ siñcatīr mithaḥ
SYNONYMS
tāḥ—they; jala-āśayam—to the lakeside; āsādya—coming; kanyāḥ—all the girls; kamala-locanāḥ—with eyes like lotus petals; tīre—on the bank; nyasya—giving up; dukūlāni—their dresses; vijahruḥ—began to sport; siñcatīḥ—throwing water; mithaḥ—on one another.
TRANSLATION
When the young, lotus-eyed girls came to the bank of a reservoir of water, they wanted to enjoy by bathing. Thus they left their clothing on the bank and began sporting, throwing water on one another.
TEXT 9
vīkṣya vrajantaṁ giriśaṁ
saha devyā vṛṣa-sthitam
sahasottīrya vāsāṁsi
paryadhur vrīḍitāḥ striyaḥ
SYNONYMS
vīkṣya—seeing; vrajantam—passing by; giriśam—Lord Śiva; saha—with; devyāPārvatī, the wife of Lord Śiva; vṛṣa-sthitam—seated upon his bull; sahasā—quickly; uttīrya—getting out of the water; vāsāṁsi—garments; paryadhuḥ—put on the body; vrīḍitāḥ—being ashamed; striyaḥ—the young girls.
TRANSLATION
While sporting in the water, the girls suddenly saw Lord Śiva passing by, seated on the back of his bull with his wife, Pārvatī. Ashamed because they were naked, the girls quickly got out of the water and covered themselves with their garments.
TEXT 10
śarmiṣṭhājānatī vāso
guru-putryāḥ samavyayat
svīyaṁ matvā prakupitā
devayānīdam abravīt
SYNONYMS
śarmiṣṭhā—the daughter of Vṛṣaparvā; ajānatī—without knowledge; vāsaḥ—the dress; guru-putryāḥ—of Devayānī, the daughter of the guru; samavyayat—put on the body; svīyam—her own; matvā—thinking; prakupitā—irritated and angry; devayānī—the daughter of Śukrācārya; idam—this; abravīt—said.
TRANSLATION
Śarmiṣṭhā unknowingly put Devayānī’s dress on her own body, thus angering Devayānī, who then spoke as follows.
TEXT 11
aho nirīkṣyatām asyā
dāsyāḥ karma hy asāmpratam
asmad-dhāryaṁ dhṛtavatī
śunīva havir adhvare
SYNONYMS
aho—alas; nirīkṣyatām—just see; asyāḥ—of her (Śarmiṣṭhā); dāsyāḥ—just like our servant; karma—activities; hi—indeed; asāmpratam—without any etiquette; asmat-dhāryam—the garment meant for me; dhṛtavatī—she has put on; śunī iva—like a dog; haviḥ—clarified butter; adhvare—meant for offering in the sacrifice.
TRANSLATION
Oh, just see the activities of this servant-maid Śarmiṣṭhā! Disregarding all etiquette, she has put on my dress, just like a dog snatching clarified butter meant for use in a sacrifice.
TEXTS 12–14
yair idaṁ tapasā sṛṣṭaṁ
mukhaṁ puṁsaḥ parasya ye
dhāryate yair iha jyotiḥ
śivaḥ panthāḥ pradarśitaḥ
yān vandanty upatiṣṭhante
loka-nāthāḥ sureśvarāḥ
bhagavān api viśvātmā
pāvanaḥ śrī-niketanaḥ
vayaṁ tatrāpi bhṛgavaḥ
śiṣyo ’syā naḥ pitāsuraḥ
asmad-dhāryaṁ dhṛtavatī
śūdro vedam ivāsatī
SYNONYMS
yaiḥ—by which persons; idam—this entire universe; tapasā—by austerity; sṛṣṭam—was created; mukham—the face; puṁsaḥ—of the Supreme Person; parasya—transcendental; ye—those who (are); dhāryate—is always born; yaiḥ—by which persons; iha—here; jyotiḥ—the brahmajyoti, the effulgence of the Supreme Lord; śivaḥ—auspicious; panthāḥ—way; pradarśitaḥ—is directed; yān—to whom; vandanti—offer prayers; upatiṣṭhante—honor and follow; loka-nāthāḥ—the directors of the various planets; sura-īśvarāḥ—the demigods; bhagavān—the Supreme Personality of Godhead; api—even; viśva-ātmā—the Supersoul; pāvanaḥ—the purifier; śrī-niketanaḥ—the husband of the goddess of fortune; vayam—we (are); tatra api—even greater than other brāhmaṇas; bhṛgavaḥ—descendants of Bhṛgu; śiṣyaḥ—disciple; asyāḥ—of her; naḥ—our; pitā—father; asuraḥ—belong to the demoniac group; asmat-dhāryam—meant to be worn by us; dhṛtavatī—she has put on; śūdraḥ—a non-brāhmaṇa worker; vedam—the Vedas; iva—like; asatī—unchaste.
TRANSLATION
We are among the qualified brāhmaṇas, who are accepted as the face of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The brāhmaṇas have created the entire universe by their austerity, and they always keep the Absolute Truth within the core of their hearts. They have directed the path of good fortune, the path of Vedic civilization, and because they are the only worshipable objects within this world, they are offered prayers and worshiped even by the great demigods, the directors of the various planets, and even by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the Supersoul, the supreme purifier, the husband of the goddess of fortune. And we are even more respectable because we are in the dynasty of Bhṛgu. Yet although this woman’s father, being among the demons, is our disciple, she has put on my dress, exactly like a śūdra taking charge of Vedic knowledge.
TEXT 15
evaṁ kṣipantīṁ śarmiṣṭhā
guru-putrīm abhāṣata
ruṣā śvasanty uraṅgīva
dharṣitā daṣṭa-dacchadā
SYNONYMS
evam—thus; kṣipantīm—chastising; śarmiṣṭhā—the daughter of Vṛṣaparvā; guru-putrīm—unto the daughter of the guru, Śukrācārya; abhāṣata—said; ruṣā—being very angry; śvasantī—breathing very heavily; uraṅgī iva—like a serpent; dharṣitā—offended, trampled; daṣṭa-dat-chadā—biting her lip with her teeth.
TRANSLATION
Śukadeva Gosvāmī said: When thus rebuked in cruel words, Śarmiṣṭhā was very angry. Breathing heavily like a serpent and biting her lower lip with her teeth, she spoke to the daughter of Śukrācārya as follows.
TEXT 16
ātma-vṛttam avijñāya
katthase bahu bhikṣuki
kiṁ na pratīkṣase ’smākaṁ
gṛhān balibhujo yathā
SYNONYMS
ātma-vṛttam—one’s own position; avijñāya—without understanding; katthase—you are talking madly; bahu—so much; bhikṣuki—beggar; kim—whether; na—not; pratīkṣase—you wait; asmākam—our; gṛhān—at the house; balibhujaḥ—crows; yathā—like.
TRANSLATION
You beggar, since you don’t understand your position, why should you unnecessarily talk so much? Don’t all of you wait at our house, depending on us for your livelihood like crows?
PURPORT
Crows have no independent life; they fully depend on the remnants of foodstuffs thrown by householders into the garbage tank. Therefore, because a brāhmaṇa depends on his disciples, when Śarmiṣṭhā was heavily rebuked by Devayānī she charged Devayānī with belonging to a family of crowlike beggars. It is the nature of women to fight verbally at even a slight provocation. As we see from this incident, this has been their nature for a long, long time.
TEXT 17
evaṁ-vidhaiḥ suparuṣaiḥ
kṣiptvācārya-sutāṁ satīm
śarmiṣṭhā prākṣipat kūpe
vāsaś cādāya manyunā
SYNONYMS
evam-vidhaiḥ—such; su-paruṣaiḥ—by unkind words; kṣiptvā—after chastising; ācārya-sutām—the daughter of Śukrācārya; satīmDevayānī; śarmiṣṭhā—Śarmiṣṭhā; prākṣipat—threw (her); kūpe—into a well; vāsaḥ—the garments; ca—and; ādāya—taking away; manyunā—because of anger.
TRANSLATION
Using such unkind words, Śarmiṣṭhā rebuked Devayānī, the daughter of Śukrācārya. In anger, she took away Devayānī’s garments and threw Devayānī into a well.
TEXT 18
tasyāṁ gatāyāṁ sva-gṛhaṁ
yayātir mṛgayāṁ caran
prāpto yadṛcchayā kūpe
jalārthī tāṁ dadarśa ha
SYNONYMS
tasyām—when she; gatāyām—went; sva-gṛham—to her home; yayātiḥ—King Yayāti; mṛgayām—hunting; caran—wandering; prāptaḥ—arrived; yadṛcchayā—by chance; kūpe—in the well; jala-arthī—desiring to drink water; tām—her (Devayānī); dadarśa—saw; ha—indeed.
TRANSLATION
After throwing Devayānī into the well, Śarmiṣṭhā went home. Meanwhile, King Yayāti, while engaged in a hunting excursion, went to the well to drink water and by chance saw Devayānī.
TEXT 19
dattvā svam uttaraṁ vāsas
tasyai rājā vivāsase
gṛhītvā pāṇinā pāṇim
ujjahāra dayā-paraḥ
SYNONYMS
dattvā—giving; svam—his own; uttaram—upper; vāsaḥ—cloth; tasyai—unto her (Devayānī); rājā—the King; vivāsase—because she was naked; gṛhītvā—catching; pāṇinā—with his hand; pāṇim—her hand; ujjahāra—delivered; dayā-paraḥ—being very kind.
TRANSLATION
Seeing Devayānī naked in the well, King Yayāti immediately gave her his upper cloth. Being very kind to her, he caught her hand with his own and lifted her out.
TEXTS 20–21
taṁ vīram āhauśanasī
prema-nirbharayā girā
rājaṁs tvayā gṛhīto me
pāṇiḥ para-purañjaya
hasta-grāho ’paro mā bhūd
gṛhītāyās tvayā hi me
eṣa īśa-kṛto vīra
sambandho nau na pauruṣaḥ
SYNONYMS
tam—unto him; vīram—Yayāti; āha—said; auśanasī—the daughter of Uśanā Kavi, Śukrācārya; prema-nirbharayā—saturated with love and kindness; girā—by such words; rājan—O King; tvayā—by you; gṛhītaḥ—accepted; me—my; pāṇiḥ—hand; para-purañjaya—the conqueror of the kingdoms of others; hasta-grāhaḥ—he who accepted my hand; aparaḥ—another; —may not; bhūt—become; gṛhītāyāḥ—accepted; tvayā—by you; hi—indeed; me—of me; eṣaḥ—this; īśa-kṛtaḥ—arranged by providence; vīra—O great hero; sambandhaḥ—relationship; nau—our; na—not; pauruṣaḥ—anything man-made.
TRANSLATION
With words saturated with love and affection, Devayānī said to King Yayāti: O great hero, O King, conqueror of the cities of your enemies, by accepting my hand you have accepted me as your married wife. Let me not be touched by others, for our relationship as husband and wife has been made possible by providence, not by any human being.
PURPORT
While taking Devayānī out of the well, King Yayāti must certainly have appreciated her youthful beauty, and therefore he might have asked her which caste she belonged to. Thus Devayānī would have immediately replied, “We are already married because you have accepted my hand.” Uniting the hands of the bride and bridegroom is a system perpetually existing in all societies. Therefore, as soon as Yayāti accepted Devayānī’s hand, they could be regarded as married. Because Devayānī was enamored with the hero Yayāti, she requested him not to change his mind and let another come to marry her.
TEXT 22
yad idaṁ kūpa-magnāyā
bhavato darśanaṁ mama
na brāhmaṇo me bhavitā
hasta-grāho mahā-bhuja
kacasya bārhaspatyasya
śāpād yam aśapaṁ purā
SYNONYMS
yat—because of; idam—this; kūpa-magnāyāḥ—fallen in the well; bhavataḥ—of your good self; darśanam—meeting; mama—with me; na—not; brāhmaṇaḥ—a qualified brāhmaṇa; me—my; bhavitā—will become; hasta-grāhaḥ—husband; mahā-bhuja—O great mighty-armed one; kacasya—of Kaca; bārhaspatyasya—the son of the learned brāhmaṇa and celestial priest Bṛhaspati; śāpāt—because of the curse; yam—whom; aśapam—I cursed; purā—in the past.
TRANSLATION
Because of falling in the well, I met you. Indeed, this has been arranged by providence. After I cursed Kaca, the son of the learned scholar Bṛhaspati, he cursed me by saying that I would not have a brāhmaṇa for a husband. Therefore, O mighty-armed one, there is no possibility of my becoming the wife of a brāhmaṇa.
PURPORT
Kaca, the son of the learned celestial priest Bṛhaspati, had been a student of Śukrācārya, from whom he had learned the art of reviving a man who has died untimely. This art, called mṛta-sañjīvanī, 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 to life again by this art of mṛta-sañjīvanī. This art was known to Śukrācārya and many others, and Kaca, the son of Bṛhaspati, became Śukrācārya’s student to learn it. Devayānī desired to have Kaca as her husband, but Kaca, out of regard for Śukrācārya, 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 mṛta-sañjīvanī 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 brāhmaṇa. Because Devayānī liked Yayāti, who was a kṣatriya, she requested him to accept her as his bona fide wife. Although this would be pratiloma-vivāha, a marriage between the daughter of a high family and the son of a lower family, she explained that this arrangement was made by providence.
TEXT 23
yayātir anabhipretaṁ
daivopahṛtam ātmanaḥ
manas tu tad-gataṁ buddhvā
pratijagrāha tad-vacaḥ
SYNONYMS
yayātiḥ—King Yayāti; anabhipretam—not liked; daiva-upahṛtam—brought about by providential arrangements; ātmanaḥ—his personal interest; manaḥ—mind; tu—however; tat-gatam—being attracted to her; buddhvā—by such intelligence; pratijagrāha—accepted; tat-vacaḥ—the words of Devayānī.
TRANSLATION
Śukadeva Gosvāmī continued: Because such a marriage is not sanctioned by regular scriptures, King Yayāti did not like it, but because it was arranged by providence and because he was attracted by Devayānī’s beauty, he accepted her request.
PURPORT
According to the Vedic system, the parents would consider the horoscopes of the boy and girl who were to be married. If according to astrological calculations the boy and girl were compatible in every respect, the match was called yoṭaka and the marriage would be accepted. Even fifty years ago, this system was current in Hindu society. Regardless of the affluence of the boy or the personal beauty of the girl, without this astrological compatibility the marriage would not take place. A person is born in one of three categories, known as deva-gaṇa, manuṣya-gaṇa and rakṣasa-gaṇa. In different parts of the universe there are demigods and demons, and in human society also some people resemble demigods whereas others resemble demons. If according to astrological calculations there was conflict between a godly and a demoniac nature, the marriage would not take place. Similarly, there were calculations of pratiloma and anuloma. The central idea is that if the boy and girl were on an equal level the marriage would be happy, whereas inequality would lead to unhappiness. Because care is no longer taken in marriage, we now find many divorces. Indeed, divorce has now become a common affair, although formerly one’s marriage would continue lifelong, and the affection between husband and wife was so great that the wife would voluntarily die when her husband died or would remain a faithful widow throughout her entire life. Now, of course, this is no longer possible, for human society has fallen to the level of animal society. Marriage now takes place simply by agreement. Dāmpatye ’bhirucir hetuḥ (Bhāg. 12.2.3). The word abhiruci means “agreement.” If the boy and girl simply agree to marry, the marriage takes place. But when the Vedic system is not rigidly observed, marriage frequently ends in divorce.
TEXT 24
gate rājani sā dhīre
tatra sma rudatī pituḥ
nyavedayat tataḥ sarvam
uktaṁ śarmiṣṭhayā kṛtam
SYNONYMS
gate rājani—after the departure of the King; —she (Devayānī); dhīre—learned; tatra sma—returning to her home; rudatī—crying; pituḥ—before her father; nyavedayat—submitted; tataḥ—thereafter; sarvam—all; uktam—mentioned; śarmiṣṭhayā—by Śarmiṣṭhā; kṛtam—done.
TRANSLATION
Thereafter, when the learned King returned to his palace, Devayānī returned home crying and told her father, Śukrācārya, about all that had happened because of Śarmiṣṭhā. She told how she had been thrown into the well but was saved by the King.
TEXT 25
durmanā bhagavān kāvyaḥ
paurohityaṁ vigarhayan
stuvan vṛttiṁ ca kāpotīṁ
duhitrā sa yayau purāt
SYNONYMS
durmanāḥ—being very unhappy; bhagavān—the most powerful; kāvyaḥ—Śukrācārya; paurohityam—the business of priesthood; vigarhayan—condemning; stuvan—praising; vṛttim—the profession; ca—and; kāpotīm—of collecting grains from the field; duhitrā—with his daughter; saḥ—he (Śukrācārya); yayau—went; purāt—from his own residence.
TRANSLATION
As Śukrācārya listened to what had happened to Devayānī, his mind was very much aggrieved. Condemning the profession of priesthood and praising the profession of uñcha-vṛtti [collecting grains from the fields], he left home with his daughter.
PURPORT
When a brāhmaṇa adopts the profession of a kapota, or pigeon, he lives by collecting grains from the field. This is called uñcha-vṛtti. A brāhmaṇa who takes to this uñcha-vṛtti profession is called first class because he depends completely on the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and does not beg from anyone. Although the profession of begging is allowed for a brāhmaṇa or sannyāsī, one does better if he can avoid such a profession and completely depend on the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead for maintenance. Śukrācārya was certainly very sorry that because of his daughter’s complaint he had to go to his disciple to beg some mercy, which he was obliged to do because he had accepted the profession of priesthood. In his heart, Śukrācārya did not like his profession, but since he had accepted it, he was obliged to go unwillingly to his disciple to settle the grievance submitted by his daughter.
TEXT 26
vṛṣaparvā tam ājñāya
pratyanīka-vivakṣitam
guruṁ prasādayan mūrdhnā
pādayoḥ patitaḥ pathi
SYNONYMS
vṛṣaparvā—the King of the demons; tam ājñāya—understanding the motive of Śukrācārya; pratyanīka—some curse; vivakṣitam—desiring to speak; gurum—his spiritual master, Śukrācārya; prasādayat—he satisfied immediately; mūrdhnā—with his head; pādayoḥ—at the feet; patitaḥ—fell down; pathi—on the road.
TRANSLATION
King Vṛṣaparvā understood that Śukrācārya was coming to chastise or curse him. Consequently, before Śukrācārya came to his house, Vṛṣaparvā went out and fell down in the street at the feet of his guru and satisfied him, checking his wrath.
TEXT 27
kṣaṇārdha-manyur bhagavān
śiṣyaṁ vyācaṣṭa bhārgavaḥ
kāmo ’syāḥ kriyatāṁ rājan
naināṁ tyaktum ihotsahe
SYNONYMS
kṣaṇa-ardha—lasting only a few moments; manyuḥ—whose anger; bhagavān—the most powerful; śiṣyam—unto his disciple, Vṛṣaparvā; vyācaṣṭa—said; bhārgavaḥ—Śukrācārya, the descendant of Bhṛgu; kāmaḥ—the desire; asyāḥ—of this Devayānī; kriyatām—please fulfill; rājan—O King; na—not; enām—this girl; tyaktum—to give up; iha—in this world; utsahe—I am able.
TRANSLATION
The powerful Śukrācārya was angry for a few moments, but upon being satisfied he said to Vṛṣaparvā: My dear King, kindly fulfill the desire of Devayānī, for she is my daughter and in this world I cannot give her up or neglect her.
PURPORT
Sometimes a great personality like Śukrācārya cannot neglect sons and daughters, for sons and daughters are by nature dependent on their father and the father has affection for them. Although Śukrācārya knew that the quarrel between Devayānī and Śarmiṣṭhā was childish, as Devayānī’s father he had to side with his daughter. He did not like to do this, but he was obliged to because of affection. He plainly admitted that although he should not have asked the King for mercy for his daughter, because of affection he could not avoid doing so.
TEXT 28
tathety avasthite prāha
devayānī manogatam
pitrā dattā yato yāsye
sānugā yātu mām anu
SYNONYMS
tathā iti—when King Vṛṣaparvā agreed to Śukrācārya’s proposal; avasthite—the situation being settled in this way; prāha—said; devayānī—the daughter of Śukrācārya; manogatam—her desire; pitrā—by the father; dattā—given; yataḥ—to whomever; yāsye—I shall go; sa-anugā—with her friends; yātu—shall go; mām anu—as my follower or servant.
TRANSLATION
After hearing Śukrācārya’s request, Vṛṣaparvā agreed to fulfill Devayānī’s desire, and he awaited her words. Devayānī then expressed her desire as follows: “Whenever I marry by the order of my father, my friend Śarmiṣṭhā must go with me as my maidservant, along with her friends.”
TEXT 29
pitrā dattā devayānyai
śarmiṣṭhā sānugā tadā
svānāṁ tat saṅkaṭaṁ vīkṣya
tad-arthasya ca gauravam
devayānīṁ paryacarat
strī-sahasreṇa dāsavat
SYNONYMS
pitrā—by the father; dattā—given; devayānyai—unto Devayānī, the daughter of Śukrācārya; śarmiṣṭhā—the daughter of Vṛṣaparvā; sa-anugā—with her friends; tadā—at that time; svānām—of his own; tat—that; saṅkaṭam—dangerous position; vīkṣya—observing; tat—from him; arthasya—of the benefit; ca—also; gauravam—the greatness; devayānīm—unto Devayānī; paryacarat—served; strī-sahasreṇa—with thousands of other women; dāsa-vat—acting as a slave.
TRANSLATION
Vṛṣaparvā wisely thought that Śukrācārya’s displeasure would bring danger and that his pleasure would bring material gain. Therefore he carried out Śukrācārya’s order and served him like a slave. He gave his daughter Śarmiṣṭhā to Devayānī, and Śarmiṣṭhā served Devayānī like a slave, along with thousands of other women.
PURPORT
In the beginning of these affairs concerning Śarmiṣṭhā and Devayānī, we saw that Śarmiṣṭhā had many friends. Now these friends became maidservants of Devayānī. When a girl married a kṣatriya king, it was customary for all her girl friends to go with her to her husband’s house. For instance, when Vasudeva married Devakī, the mother of Kṛṣṇa, 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 dāsī-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 Kṛṣṇa’s household life we find that Kṛṣṇa married 16,108 wives. These were not maidservants but direct queens, and Kṛṣṇa 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.
TEXT 30
nāhuṣāya sutāṁ dattvā
saha śarmiṣṭhayośanā
tam āha rājañ charmiṣṭhām
ādhās talpe na karhicit
SYNONYMS
nāhuṣāya—unto King Yayāti, the descendant of Nahuṣa; sutām—his daughter; dattvā—giving in marriage; saha—with; śarmiṣṭhayā—Śarmiṣṭhā, the daughter of Vṛṣaparvā and servant of Devayānī; uśanā—Śukrācārya; tam—unto him (King Yayāti); āha—said; rājan—my dear King; śarmiṣṭhām—Śarmiṣṭhā, the daughter of Vṛṣaparvā; ādhāḥ—allow; talpe—on your bed; na—not; karhicit—at any time.
TRANSLATION
When Śukrācārya gave Devayānī in marriage to Yayāti, he had Śarmiṣṭhā go with her, but he warned the King, “My dear King, never allow this girl Śarmiṣṭhā to lie with you in your bed.”
TEXT 31
vilokyauśanasīṁ rājañ
charmiṣṭhā suprajāṁ kvacit
tam eva vavre rahasi
sakhyāḥ patim ṛtau satī
SYNONYMS
vilokya—by seeing; auśanasīmDevayānī, the daughter of Śukrācārya; rājan—O King Parīkṣit; śarmiṣṭhā—the daughter of Vṛṣaparvā; su-prajām—possessing nice children; kvacit—at some time; tam—him (King Yayāti); eva—indeed; vavre—requested; rahasi—in a secluded place; sakhyāḥ—of her friend; patim—the husband; ṛtau—at the appropriate time; satī—being in that position.
TRANSLATION
O King Parīkṣit, upon seeing Devayānī with a nice son, Śarmiṣṭhā once approached King Yayāti at the appropriate time for conception. In a secluded place, she requested the King, the husband of her friend Devayānī, to enable her to have a son also.
TEXT 32
rāja-putryārthito ’patye
dharmaṁ cāvekṣya dharmavit
smarañ chukra-vacaḥ kāle
diṣṭam evābhyapadyata
SYNONYMS
rāja-putryā—by Śarmiṣṭhā, who was the daughter of a king; arthitaḥ—being requested; apatye—for a son; dharmam—religious principles; ca—as well as; avekṣya—considering; dharma-vit—aware of all religious principles; smaran—remembering; śukra-vacaḥ—the warning of Śukrācārya; kāle—at the time; diṣṭam—circumstantially; eva—indeed; abhyapadyata—accepted (to fulfill the desire of Śarmiṣṭhā).
TRANSLATION
When Princess Śarmiṣṭhā begged King Yayāti for a son, the King was certainly aware of the principles of religion, and therefore he agreed to fulfill her desire. Although he remembered the warning of Śukrācārya, he thought of this union as the desire of the Supreme, and thus he had sex with Śarmiṣṭhā.
PURPORT
King Yayāti was completely aware of the duty of a kṣatriya. When a kṣatriya is approached by a woman, he cannot deny her. This is a religious principle. Consequently, when Dharmarāja, Yudhiṣṭhira, saw Arjuna unhappy after Arjuna returned from Dvārakā, he asked whether Arjuna had refused a woman who had begged for a son. Although Mahārāja Yayāti remembered Śukrācārya’s warning, he could not refuse Śarmiṣṭhā. He thought it wise to give her a son, and thus he had sexual intercourse with her after her menstrual period. This kind of lust is not against religious principles. As stated in Bhagavad-gītā (7.11), dharmāviruddho bhūteṣu kāmo ’smi: sex life not contrary to the principles of religion is sanctioned by Kṛṣṇa. Because Śarmiṣṭhā, the daughter of a king, had begged Yayāti for a son, their combination was not lust but an act of religion.
TEXT 33
yaduṁ ca turvasuṁ caiva
devayānī vyajāyata
druhyuṁ cānuṁ ca pūruṁ ca
śarmiṣṭhā vārṣaparvaṇī
SYNONYMS
yadumYadu; ca—and; turvasum—Turvasu; ca eva—as well as; devayānī—the daughter of Śukrācārya; vyajāyata—gave birth to; druhyum—Druhyu; ca—and; anumAnu; ca—also; pūrumPūru; ca—also; śarmiṣṭhā—Śarmiṣṭhā; vārṣaparvaṇī—the daughter of Vṛṣaparvā.
TRANSLATION
Devayānī gave birth to Yadu and Turvasu, and Śarmiṣṭhā gave birth to Druhyu, Anu and Pūru.
TEXT 34
garbha-sambhavam āsuryā
bhartur vijñāya māninī
devayānī pitur gehaṁ
yayau krodha-vimūrchitā
SYNONYMS
garbha-sambhavam—pregnancy; āsuryāḥ—of Śarmiṣṭhā; bhartuḥ—made possible by her husband; vijñāya—knowing (from the brāhmaṇa astrologers); māninī—being very proud; devayānī—the daughter of Śukrācārya; pituḥ—of her father; geham—to the house; yayau—departed; krodha-vimūrchitā—frenzied because of anger.
TRANSLATION
When the proud Devayānī understood from outside sources that Śarmiṣṭhā was pregnant by her husband, she was frenzied with anger. Thus she departed for her father’s house.
TEXT 35
priyām anugataḥ kāmī
vacobhir upamantrayan
na prasādayituṁ śeke
pāda-saṁvāhanādibhiḥ
SYNONYMS
priyām—his beloved wife; anugataḥ—following; kāmī—very, very lusty; vacobhiḥ—by great words; upamantrayan—appeasing; na—not; prasādayitum—to appease; śeke—was able; pāda-saṁvāhana-ādibhiḥ—even by massaging her feet.
TRANSLATION
King Yayāti, who was very lusty, followed his wife, caught her and tried to appease her by speaking pleasing words and massaging her feet, but he could not satisfy her by any means.
TEXT 36
śukras tam āha kupitaḥ
strī-kāmānṛta-pūruṣa
tvāṁ jarā viśatāṁ manda
virūpa-karaṇī nṛṇām
SYNONYMS
śukraḥ—Śukrācārya; tam—unto him (King Yayāti); āha—said; kupitaḥ—being very angry at him; strī-kāma—O you who have lusty desires for women; anṛta-pūruṣa—O untruthful person; tvām—unto you; jarā—old age, invalidity; viśatām—may enter; manda—you fool; virūpa-karaṇī—which disfigures; nṛṇām—the bodies of human beings.
TRANSLATION
Śukrācārya was extremely angry. “You untruthful fool, lusting after women! You have done a great wrong,” he said. “I therefore curse you to be attacked and disfigured by old age and invalidity.”
TEXT 37
śrī-yayātir uvāca
atṛpto ’smy adya kāmānāṁ
brahman duhitari sma te
vyatyasyatāṁ yathā-kāmaṁ
vayasā yo ’bhidhāsyati
SYNONYMS
śrī-yayātiḥ uvāca—King Yayāti said; atṛptaḥ—unsatisfied; asmi—I am; adya—till now; kāmānām—to satisfy my lusty desires; brahman—O learned brāhmaṇa; duhitari—in connection with the daughter; sma—in the past; te—your; vyatyasyatām—just exchange; yathā-kāmam—as long as you are lusty; vayasā—with youth; yaḥ abhidhāsyati—of one who agrees to exchange your old age for his youth.
TRANSLATION
King Yayāti said, “O learned, worshipable brāhmaṇa, I have not yet satisfied my lusty desires with your daughter.” Śukrācārya then replied, “You may exchange your old age with someone who will agree to transfer his youth to you.”
PURPORT
When King Yayāti said that he had not yet satisfied his lusty desires with Śukrācārya’s daughter, Śukrācārya saw that it was against the interests of his own daughter for Yayāti to continue in old age and invalidity, for certainly his lusty daughter would not be satisfied. Therefore Śukrācārya blessed his son-in-law by saying that he could exchange his old age for someone else’s youth. He indicated that if Yayāti’s son would exchange his youth for Yayāti’s old age, Yayāti could continue to enjoy sex with Devayānī.
TEXT 38
iti labdha-vyavasthānaḥ
putraṁ jyeṣṭham avocata
yado tāta pratīcchemāṁ
jarāṁ dehi nijaṁ vayaḥ
SYNONYMS
iti—thus; labdha-vyavasthānaḥ—getting the opportunity to exchange his old age; putram—unto his son; jyeṣṭham—the eldest; avocata—he requested; yado—O Yadu; tāta—you are my beloved son; pratīccha—kindly exchange; imām—this; jarām—invalidity; dehi—and give; nijam—your own; vayaḥ—youth.
TRANSLATION
When Yayāti received this benediction from Śukrācārya, he requested his eldest son: My dear son Yadu, please give me your youth in exchange for my old age and invalidity.
TEXT 39
mātāmaha-kṛtāṁ vatsa
na tṛpto viṣayeṣv aham
vayasā bhavadīyena
raṁsye katipayāḥ samāḥ
SYNONYMS
mātāmaha-kṛtām—given by your maternal grandfather, Śukrācārya; vatsa—my dear son; na—not; tṛptaḥ—satisfied; viṣayeṣu—in sex life, sense gratification; aham—I (am); vayasā—by age; bhavadīyena—of your good self; raṁsye—I shall enjoy sex life; katipayāḥ—for a few; samāḥ—years.
TRANSLATION
My dear son, I am not yet satisfied in my sexual desires. But if you are kind to me, you can take the old age given by your maternal grandfather, and I may take your youth so that I may enjoy life for a few years more.
PURPORT
This is the nature of lusty desires. In Bhagavad-gītā (7.20) it is said, kāmais tais tair hṛta jñānāḥ: when one is too attached to sense gratification, he actually loses his sense. The word hṛta jñānāḥ refers to one who has lost his sense. Here is an example: the father shamelessly asked his son to exchange youth for old age. Of course, the entire world is under such illusion. Therefore it is said that everyone is pramattaḥ, or exclusively mad. Nūnaṁ pramattaḥ kurute vikarma: [SB 5.5.4] when one becomes almost like a madman, he indulges in sex and sense gratification. Sex and sense gratification can be controlled, however, and one achieves perfection when he has no desires for sex. This is possible only when one is fully Kṛṣṇa conscious.
yadavadhi mama cetaḥ kṛṣṇa-pādāravinde
nava-nava-rasa-dhāmany udyataṁ rantum āsīt
tadavadhi bata nārī-saṅgame smaryamāne
bhavati mukha-vikāraḥ suṣṭhu-niṣṭhīvanaṁ ca
“Since I have been engaged in the transcendental loving service of Kṛṣṇa, realizing ever-new pleasure in Him, whenever I think of sex pleasure, I spit at the thought, and my lips curl with distaste.” Sexual desire can be stopped only when one is fully Kṛṣṇa conscious, and not otherwise. As long as one has desires for sex, one must change his body and transmigrate from one body to another to enjoy sex in different species or forms. But although the forms may differ, the business of sex is the same. Therefore it is said, punaḥ punaś carvita-carvaṇānām [SB 7.5.30]. Those who are very much attached to sex transmigrate from one body to another, with the same business of “chewing the chewed,” tasting sex enjoyment as a dog, sex enjoyment as a hog, sex enjoyment as a demigod, and so on.
TEXT 40
śrī-yadur uvāca
notsahe jarasā sthātum
antarā prāptayā tava
aviditvā sukhaṁ grāmyaṁ
vaitṛṣṇyaṁ naiti pūruṣaḥ
SYNONYMS
śrī-yaduḥ uvācaYadu, the eldest son to Yayāti, replied; na utsahe—I am not enthusiastic; jarasā—with your old age and invalidity; sthātum—to remain; antarā—while in youth; prāptayā—accepted; tava—your; aviditvā—without experiencing; sukham—happiness; grāmyam—material or bodily; vaitṛṣṇyam—indifference to material enjoyment; na—does not; eti—attain; pūruṣaḥ—a person.
TRANSLATION
Yadu replied: My dear father, you have already achieved old age, although you also were a young man. But I do not welcome your old age and invalidity, for unless one enjoys material happiness, one cannot attain renunciation.
PURPORT
Renunciation of material enjoyment is the ultimate goal of human life. Therefore the varṇāśrama institution is most scientific. It aims at giving one the facility to return home, back to Godhead, which one cannot do without completely renouncing all connections with the material world. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu said, niṣkiñcanasya bhagavad-bhajanonmukhasya: one who wants to go back home, back to Godhead, must be niṣkiñcana, free from all affinity for material enjoyment. Brahmaṇy upaśamāśrayam: unless one is fully renounced, one cannot engage in devotional service or stay in Brahman. Devotional service is rendered on the Brahman platform. Therefore, unless one attains the Brahman platform, or spiritual platform, one cannot engage in devotional service; or, in other words, a person engaged in devotional service is already on the Brahman platform.
māṁ ca yo ’vyabhicāreṇa
bhakti-yogena sevate
sa guṇān samatītyaitān
brahma-bhūyāya kalpate
“One who engages in full devotional service, who does not fall down in any circumstance, at once transcends the modes of material nature and thus comes to the level of Brahman.” (Bg. 14.26) If one attains devotional service, therefore, he is certainly liberated. Generally, unless one enjoys material happiness, one cannot attain renunciation. Varṇāśrama therefore gives the opportunity for gradual elevation. Yadu, the son of Mahārāja Yayāti, explained that he was unable to give up his youth, for he wanted to use it to attain the renounced order in the future.
Mahārāja Yadu was different from his brothers. As stated in the next verse, turvasuś coditaḥ pitrā druhyuś cānuś ca bhārata/ pratyācakhyur adharmajñāḥ. Mahārāja Yadu’s brothers refused to accept their father’s proposal because they were not completely aware of dharma. To accept orders that follow religious principles, especially the orders of one’s father, is very important. Therefore when the brothers of Mahārāja Yadu refused their father’s order, this was certainly irreligious. Mahārāja Yadu’s refusal, however, was religious. As stated in the Tenth Canto, yadoś ca dharma-śīlāya: Mahārāja Yadu was completely aware of the principles of religion. The ultimate principle of religion is to engage oneself in devotional service to the Lord. Mahārāja Yadu was very eager to engage himself in the Lord’s service, but there was an impediment: during youth the material desire to enjoy the material senses is certainly present, and unless one fully satisfies these lusty desires in youth, there is a chance of one’s being disturbed in rendering service to the Lord. We have actually seen that many sannyāsīs who accept sannyāsa prematurely, not having satisfied their material desires, fall down because they are disturbed. Therefore the general process is to go through gṛhastha life and vānaprastha life and finally come to sannyāsa and devote oneself completely to the service of the Lord. Mahārāja Yadu was ready to accept his father’s order and exchange youth for old age because he was confident that the youth taken by his father would be returned. But because this exchange would delay his complete engagement in devotional service, he did not want to accept his father’s old age, for he was eager to achieve freedom from disturbances. Moreover, among the descendants of Yadu would be Lord Kṛṣṇa. Therefore, because Yadu was eager to see the Lord’s appearance in his dynasty as soon as possible, Yadu refused to accept his father’s proposal. This was not irreligious, however, because Yadu’s purpose was to serve the Lord. Because Yadu was a faithful servant of the Lord, Lord Kṛṣṇa appeared in his dynasty. As confirmed in the prayers of Kuntī, yadoḥ priyasyānvavāye. Yadu was very dear to Kṛṣṇa, who was therefore eager to descend in Yadu’s dynasty. In conclusion, Mahārāja Yadu should not be considered adharma jña, ignorant of religious principles, as the next verse designates his brothers. He was like the four Sanakas (catuḥ-sana), who refused the order of their father, Brahmā, for the sake of a better cause. Because the four Kumāras wanted to engage themselves completely in the service of the Lord as brahmacārīs, their refusal to obey their father’s order was not irreligious.
TEXT 41
turvasuś coditaḥ pitrā
druhyuś cānuś ca bhārata
pratyācakhyur adharmajñā
hy anitye nitya-buddhayaḥ
SYNONYMS
turvasuḥ—Turvasu, another son; coditaḥ—requested; pitrā—by the father (to exchange old age and invalidity for his youth); druhyuḥ—Druhyu, another son; ca—and; anuḥAnu, another son; ca—also; bhārata—O King Parīkṣit; pratyācakhyuḥ—refused to accept; adharma-jñāḥ—because they did not know religious principles; hi—indeed; a-nitye—temporary youth; nitya-buddhayaḥ—thinking to be permanent.
TRANSLATION
O Mahārāja Parīkṣit, Yayāti similarly requested his sons Turvasu, Druhyu and Anu to exchange their youth for his old age, but because they were unaware of religious principles, they thought that their flickering youth was eternal, and therefore they refused to carry out their father’s order.
TEXT 42
apṛcchat tanayaṁ pūruṁ
vayasonaṁ guṇādhikam
na tvam agrajavad vatsa
māṁ pratyākhyātum arhasi
SYNONYMS
apṛcchat—requested; tanayam—the son; pūrumPūru; vayasā—by age; ūnam—although younger; guṇa-adhikam—better than the others by quality; na—not; tvam—you; agraja-vat—like your older brothers; vatsa—my dear son; mām—me; pratyākhyātum—to refuse; arhasi—ought.
TRANSLATION
King Yayāti then requested Pūru, who was younger than these three brothers but more qualified, “My dear son, do not be disobedient like your elder brothers, for that is not your duty.”
TEXT 43
śrī-pūrur uvāca
ko nu loke manuṣyendra
pitur ātma-kṛtaḥ pumān
pratikartuṁ kṣamo yasya
prasādād vindate param
SYNONYMS
śrī-pūruḥ uvācaPūru said; kaḥ—what; nu—indeed; loke—in this world; manuṣya-indra—O Your Majesty, best of human beings; pituḥ—the father; ātma-kṛtaḥ—who has given this body; pumān—a person; pratikartum—to repay; kṣamaḥ—is able; yasya—of whom; prasādāt—by the mercy; vindate—one enjoys; param—superior life.
TRANSLATION
Pūru replied: O Your Majesty, who in this world can repay his debt to his father? By the mercy of one’s father, one gets the human form of life, which can enable one to become an associate of the Supreme Lord.
PURPORT
The father gives the seed of the body, and this seed gradually grows and develops until one ultimately attains the developed human body, with consciousness higher than that of the animals. In the human body one can be elevated to the higher planets, and, furthermore, if one cultivates Kṛṣṇa consciousness, one can return home, back to Godhead. This important human body is obtained by the grace of the father, and therefore everyone is indebted to his father. Of course, in other lives one also gets a father and mother; even cats and dogs have fathers and mothers. But in the human form of life the father and mother can award their son the greatest benediction by teaching him to become a devotee. When one becomes a devotee, he achieves the greatest benediction because he completely averts the repetition of birth and death. Therefore the father who trains his child in Kṛṣṇa consciousness is the most benevolent father in this world. It is said:
Everyone gets a father and mother, but if one gets the benediction of Kṛṣṇa and guru, he can conquer material nature and return home, back to Godhead.
TEXT 44
uttamaś cintitaṁ kuryāt
prokta-kārī tu madhyamaḥ
adhamo ’śraddhayā kuryād
akartoccaritaṁ pituḥ
SYNONYMS
uttamaḥ—the best; cintitam—considering the father’s idea; kuryāt—acts accordingly; prokta-kārī—one who acts on the order of the father; tu—indeed; madhyamaḥ—mediocre; adhamaḥ—lower class; aśraddhayā—without any faith; kuryāt—acts; akartā—unwilling to do; uccaritam—like stool; pituḥ—of the father.
TRANSLATION
A son who acts by anticipating what his father wants him to do is first class, one who acts upon receiving his father’s order is second class, and one who executes his father’s order irreverently is third class. But a son who refuses his father’s order is like his father’s stool.
PURPORT
Pūru, Yayāti’s last son, immediately accepted his father’s proposal, for although he was the youngest, he was very qualified. Pūru thought, “I should have accepted my father’s proposal before he asked, but I did not. Therefore I am not a first-class son. I am second class. But I do not wish to become the lowest type of son, who is compared to his father’s stool.” One Indian poet has spoken of putra and mūtra. putra means “son,” and mūtra means “urine.” Both a son and urine come from the same genitals. If a son is an obedient devotee of the Lord he is called putra, or a real son; otherwise, if he is not learned and is not a devotee, a son is nothing better than urine.
TEXT 45
iti pramuditaḥ pūruḥ
pratyagṛhṇāj jarāṁ pituḥ
so ’pi tad-vayasā kāmān
yathāvaj jujuṣe nṛpa
SYNONYMS
iti—in this way; pramuditaḥ—very pleased; pūruḥPūru; pratyagṛhṇāt—accepted; jarām—the old age and invalidity; pituḥ—of his father; saḥ—that father (Yayāti); api—also; tat-vayasā—by the youth of his son; kāmān—all desires; yathā-vat—as required; jujuṣe—satisfied; nṛpa—O Mahārāja Parīkṣit.
TRANSLATION
Śukadeva Gosvāmī said: In this way, O Mahārāja Parīkṣit, the son named Pūru was very pleased to accept the old age of his father, Yayāti, who took the youth of his son and enjoyed this material world as he required.
TEXT 46
sapta-dvīpa-patiḥ saṁyak
pitṛvat pālayan prajāḥ
yathopajoṣaṁ viṣayāñ
jujuṣe ’vyāhatendriyaḥ
SYNONYMS
sapta-dvīpa-patiḥ—the master of the entire world, consisting of seven islands; saṁyak—completely; pitṛ-vat—exactly like a father; pālayan—ruling; prajāḥ—the subjects; yathā-upajoṣam—as much as he wanted; viṣayān—material happiness; jujuṣe—enjoyed; avyāhata—without being disturbed; indriyaḥ—his senses.
TRANSLATION
Thereafter, King Yayāti became the ruler of the entire world, consisting of seven islands, and ruled the citizens exactly like a father. Because he had taken the youth of his son, his senses were unimpaired, and he enjoyed as much material happiness as he desired.
TEXT 47
devayāny apy anudinaṁ
mano-vāg-deha-vastubhiḥ
preyasaḥ paramāṁ prītim
uvāha preyasī rahaḥ
SYNONYMS
devayānīMahārāja Yayāti’s wife, the daughter of Śukrācārya; api—also; anudinam—twenty-four hours, day after day; manaḥ-vāk—by her mind and words; deha—body; vastubhiḥ—with all requisite things; preyasaḥ—of her beloved husband; paramām—transcendental; prītim—bliss; uvāha—executed; preyasī—very dear to her husband; rahaḥ—in seclusion, without any disturbance.
TRANSLATION
In secluded places, engaging her mind, words, body and various paraphernalia, Devayānī, the dear wife of Mahārāja Yayāti, always brought her husband the greatest possible transcendental bliss.
TEXT 48
ayajad yajña-puruṣaṁ
kratubhir bhūri-dakṣiṇaiḥ
sarva-devamayaṁ devaṁ
sarva-vedamayaṁ harim
SYNONYMS
ayajat—worshiped; yajña-puruṣam—the yajña-puruṣa, the Lord; kratubhiḥ—by performing various sacrifices; bhūri-dakṣiṇaiḥ—giving abundant gifts to the brāhmaṇas; sarva-deva-mayam—the reservoir of all the demigods; devam—the Supreme Lord; sarva-veda-mayam—the ultimate object of all Vedic knowledge; harim—the Lord, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
TRANSLATION
King Yayāti performed various sacrifices, in which he offered abundant gifts to the brāhmaṇas to satisfy the Supreme Lord, Hari, who is the reservoir of all the demigods and the object of all Vedic knowledge.
TEXT 49
yasminn idaṁ viracitaṁ
vyomnīva jaladāvaliḥ
nāneva bhāti nābhāti
svapna-māyā-manorathaḥ
SYNONYMS
yasmin—in whom; idam—this entire cosmic manifestation; viracitam—created; vyomni—in the sky; iva—just like; jalada-āvaliḥ—clouds; nānā iva—as if in different varieties; bhāti—is manifested; na ābhāti—is unmanifested; svapna-māyā—illusion, like a dream; manaḥ-rathaḥ—created to be traversed by the chariot of the mind.
TRANSLATION
The Supreme Lord, Vāsudeva, who created the cosmic manifestation, exhibits Himself as all-pervading, like the sky that holds clouds. And when the creation is annihilated, everything enters into the Supreme Lord, Viṣṇu, and varieties are no longer manifested.
PURPORT
As stated by the Lord Himself in Bhagavad-gītā (7.19):
“After many births and deaths, he who is actually in knowledge surrenders unto Me, knowing Me to be the cause of all causes and all that is. Such a great soul is very rare.” The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vāsudeva, is one with the Supreme Brahman, the Supreme Absolute Truth. Everything is in Him in the beginning, and at the end all manifestations enter into Him. He is situated in everyone’s heart (sarvasya cāhaṁ hṛdi sanniviṣṭaḥ). And from Him everything has emanated (janmādy asya yataḥ [SB 1.1.1]). All material manifestations, however, are temporary. The word svapna means “dreams,” māyā means “illusion,” and manoratha means “mental creations.” Dreams, illusions and mental creations are temporary. Similarly, all material creation is temporary, but Vāsudeva, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is the eternal Absolute Truth.
TEXT 50
tam eva hṛdi vinyasya
vāsudevaṁ guhāśayam
nārāyaṇam aṇīyāṁsaṁ
nirāśīr ayajat prabhum
SYNONYMS
tam eva—Him only; hṛdi—within the heart; vinyasya—placing; vāsudevam—Lord Vāsudeva; guha-āśayam—who exists in everyone’s heart; nārāyaṇam—who is Nārāyaṇa, or an expansion of Nārāyaṇa; aṇīyāṁsam—invisible to material eyes, although existing everywhere; nirāśīḥ—Yayāti, without any material desires; ayajat—worshiped; prabhum—the Supreme Lord.
TRANSLATION
Without material desires, Mahārāja Yayāti worshiped the Supreme Lord, who is situated in everyone’s heart as Nārāyaṇa and is invisible to material eyes, although existing everywhere.
PURPORT
King Yayāti, although externally seeming very fond of material enjoyment, was internally thinking of becoming an eternal servant of the Lord.
TEXT 51
evaṁ varṣa-sahasrāṇi
manaḥ-ṣaṣṭhair manaḥ-sukham
vidadhāno ’pi nātṛpyat
sārva-bhaumaḥ kad-indriyaiḥ
SYNONYMS
evam—in this way; varṣa-sahasrāṇi—for one thousand years; manaḥ-ṣaṣṭhaiḥ—by the mind and five knowledge-acquiring senses; manaḥ-sukham—temporary happiness created by the mind; vidadhānaḥ—executing; api—although; na atṛpyat—could not be satisfied; sārva-bhaumaḥ—although he was the king of the entire world; kat-indriyaiḥ—because of possessing impure senses.
TRANSLATION
Although Mahārāja Yayāti was the king of the entire world and he engaged his mind and five senses in enjoying material possessions for one thousand years, he was unable to be satisfied.
PURPORT
The kad-indriya, or unpurified senses, can be purified if one engages the senses and the mind in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Sarvopādhi-vinirmuktaṁ tat-paratvena nirmalam [Cc. Madhya 19.170]. One must be freed from all designations. When one identifies himself with the material world, his senses are impure. But when one achieves spiritual realization and identifies himself as a servant of the Lord, his senses are purified immediately. Engagement of the purified senses in the service of the Lord is called bhakti. Hṛṣīkeṇa hṛṣīkeśa-sevanaṁ bhaktir ucyate. One may enjoy the senses for many thousands of years, but unless one purifies the senses, one cannot be happy.
Thus end the Bhaktivedanta purports of the Ninth Canto, Eighteenth Chapter, of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, entitled “King Yayāti Regains His Youth.”

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