TEXT 22
reto-dhah putro nayati
naradeva yama-ksayat
tvam casya dhata garbhasya
satyam aha sakuntala
SYNONYMS
retah-dhah—a person who discharges semen; putrah—the son; nayati—saves; nara-deva—O King (Maharaja Dusmanta); yama-ksayat—from punishment by Yamaraja, or from the custody of Yamaraja; tvam—your good self; ca—and; asya—of this child; dhata—the creator; garbhasya—of the embryo; satyam—truthfully; aha—said; sakuntala—your wife, Sakuntala.
TRANSLATION
O King Dusmanta, he who discharges semen is the actual father, and his son saves him from the custody of Yamaraja. You are the actual procreator of this child. Indeed, Sakuntala is speaking the truth.
PURPORT
Upon hearing the omen, Maharaja Dusmanta accepted his wife and child. According to Vedic smrti:
Because a son delivers his father from punishment in the hell called put, the son is called putra. According to this principle, when there is a disagreement between the father and mother, it is the father, not the mother, who is delivered by the son. But if the wife is faithful and firmly adherent to her husband, when the father is delivered the mother is also delivered. Consequently, there is no such thing as divorce in the Vedic literature. A wife is always trained to be chaste and faithful to her husband, for this helps her achieve deliverance from any abominable material condition. This verse clearly says, putro nayati naradeva yama-ksayat: “The son saves his father from the custody of Yamaraja.” It never says, putro nayati mataram: “The son saves his mother.” The seed-giving father is delivered, not the storekeeper mother. Consequently, husband and wife should not separate under any condition, for if they have a child whom they raise to be a Vaisnava, he can save both the father and mother from the custody of Yamaraja and punishment in hellish life.

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