The Dynasty of Pūru
This chapter describes the history of Pūru and his descendant Duṣmanta. The son of Pūru was Janamejaya, and his son was Pracinvān. The sons and grandsons in the line of Pracinvān, one after another, were Pravīra, Manusyu, Cārupada, Sudyu, Bahugava, Saṁyāti, Ahaṁyāti and Raudrāśva. Raudrāśva had ten sons—Ṛteyu, Kakṣeyu, Sthaṇḍileyu, Kṛteyuka, Jaleyu, Sannateyu, Dharmeyu, Satyeyu, Vrateyu and Vaneyu. The son of Ṛteyu was Rantināva, who had three sons—Sumati, Dhruva and Apratiratha. The son of Apratiratha was Kaṇva, and Kaṇva’s son was Medhātithi. The sons of Medhātithi, headed by Praskanna, were all brāhmaṇas. The son of Rantināva named Sumati had a son named Rebhi, and his son was Duṣmanta.
While hunting in the forest, Duṣmanta once approached the āśrama of Mahāṛṣi Kaṇva, where he saw an extremely beautiful woman and became attracted to her. That woman was the daughter of Viśvāmitra, and her name was Śakuntalā. Her mother was Menakā, who had left her in the forest, where Kaṇva Muni found her. Kaṇva Muni brought her to his āśrama, where he raised and maintained her. When Śakuntalā accepted Mahārāja Duṣmanta as her husband, he married her according to the gāndharva-vidhi. Śakuntalā later became pregnant by her husband, who left her in the āśrama of Kaṇva Muni and returned to his kingdom.
In due course of time, Śakuntalā gave birth to a Vaiṣṇava son, but Duṣmanta, having returned to the capital, forgot what had taken place. Therefore, when Śakuntalā approached him with her newly born child, Mahārāja Duṣmanta refused to accept them as his wife and son. Later, however, after a mysterious omen, the King accepted them. After Mahārāja Duṣmanta’s death, Bharata, the son of Śakuntalā, was enthroned. He performed many great sacrifices, in which he gave great riches in charity to the brāhmaṇas. This chapter ends by describing the birth of Bharadvāja and how Mahārāja Bharata accepted Bharadvāja as his son.
pūror vaṁśaṁ pravakṣyāmi
yatra jāto ’si bhārata
yatra rājarṣayo vaṁśyā
brahma-vaṁśyāś ca jajñire
śrī-bādarāyaṇiḥ uvāca—Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī said; pūroḥ vaṁśam—the dynasty of Mahārāja Pūru; pravakṣyāmi—now I shall narrate; yatra—in which dynasty; jātaḥ asi—you were born; bhārata—O Mahārāja Parīkṣit, descendant of Mahārāja Bharata; yatra—in which dynasty; rāja-ṛṣayaḥ—all the kings were saintly; vaṁśyāḥ—one after another; brahma-vaṁśyāḥ—many brāhmaṇa dynasties; ca—also; jajñire—grew up.
Śukadeva Gosvāmī said: O Mahārāja Parīkṣit, descendant of Mahārāja Bharata, I shall now describe the dynasty of Pūru, in which you were born, in which many saintly kings appeared, and from which many dynasties of brāhmaṇas began.
There are many historical instances by which we can understand that from kṣatriyas many brāhmaṇas have been born and that from brāhmaṇas many kṣatriyas have been born. The Lord Himself says in Bhagavad-gītā (4.13), cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭaṁ guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ: “According to the three modes of material nature and the work ascribed to them, the four divisions of human society were created by Me.” Therefore, regardless of the family in which one takes birth, when one is qualified with the symptoms of a particular section, he is to be described accordingly. Yal-lakṣaṇaṁ proktam. One’s place in the varṇa divisions of society is determined according to one’s symptoms or qualities. This is maintained everywhere in the śāstra. Birth is a secondary consideration; the first consideration is one’s qualities and activities.
janamejayo hy abhūt pūroḥ
pracinvāṁs tat-sutas tataḥ
pravīro ’tha manusyur vai
tasmāc cārupado ’bhavat
janamejayaḥ—King Janamejaya; hi—indeed; abhūt—appeared; pūroḥ—from Pūru; pracinvān—Pracinvān; tat—his (Janamejaya’s); sutaḥ—son; tataḥ—from him (Pracinvān); pravīraḥ—Pravīra; atha—thereafter; manusyuḥ—Pravīra’s son Manusyu; vai—indeed; tasmāt—from him (Manusyu); cārupadaḥ—King Cārupada; abhavat—appeared.
King Janamejaya was born of this dynasty of Pūru. Janamejaya’s son was Pracinvān, and his son was Pravīra. Thereafter, Pravīra’s son was Manusyu, and from Manusyu came the son named Cārupada.
tasya sudyur abhūt putras
tasmād bahugavas tataḥ
raudrāśvas tat-sutaḥ smṛtaḥ
tasya—of him (Cārupada); sudyuḥ—by the name Sudyu; abhūt—appeared; putraḥ—a son; tasmāt—from him (Sudyu); bahugavaḥ—a son named Bahugava; tataḥ—from him; saṁyātiḥ—a son named Saṁyāti; tasya—and from him; ahaṁyātiḥ—a son named Ahaṁyāti; raudrāśvaḥ—Raudrāśva; tat-sutaḥ—his son; smṛtaḥ—well known.
The son of Cārupada was Sudyu, and the son of Sudyu was Bahugava. Bahugava’s son was Saṁyāti. From Saṁyāti came a son named Ahaṁyāti, from whom Raudrāśva was born.
ṛteyus tasya kakṣeyuḥ
jaleyuḥ sannateyuś ca
daśaite ’psarasaḥ putrā
vaneyuś cāvamaḥ smṛtaḥ
ṛteyuḥ—Ṛteyu; tasya—of him (Raudrāśva); kakṣeyuḥ—Kakṣeyu; sthaṇḍileyuḥ—Sthaṇḍileyu; kṛteyukaḥ—Kṛteyuka; jaleyuḥ—Jaleyu; sannateyuḥ—Sannateyu; ca—also; dharma—Dharmeyu; satya—Satyeyu; vrateyavaḥ—and Vrateyu; daśa—ten; ete—all of them; apsarasaḥ—born of an Apsarā; putrāḥ—sons; vaneyuḥ—the son named Vaneyu; ca—and; avamaḥ—the youngest; smṛtaḥ—known; ghṛtācyām—Ghṛtācī; indriyāṇi iva—exactly like the ten senses; mukhyasya—of the living force; jagat-ātmanaḥ—the living force of the entire universe.
Raudrāśva had ten sons, named Ṛteyu, Kakṣeyu, Sthaṇḍileyu, Kṛteyuka, Jaleyu, Sannateyu, Dharmeyu, Satyeyu, Vrateyu and Vaneyu. Of these ten sons, Vaneyu was the youngest. As the ten senses, which are products of the universal life, act under the control of life, these ten sons of Raudrāśva acted under Raudrāśva’s full control. All of them were born of the Apsarā named Ghṛtācī.
ṛteyo rantināvo ’bhūt
trayas tasyātmajā nṛpa
sumatir dhruvo ’pratirathaḥ
ṛteyoḥ—from the son named Ṛteyu; rantināvaḥ—the son named Rantināva; abhūt—appeared; trayaḥ—three; tasya—his (Rantināva’s); ātmajāḥ—sons; nṛpa—O King; sumatiḥ—Sumati; dhruvaḥ—Dhruva; apratirathaḥ—Apratiratha; kaṇvaḥ—Kaṇva; apratiratha-ātmajaḥ—the son of Apratiratha.
Ṛteyu had a son named Rantināva, who had three sons, named Sumati, Dhruva and Apratiratha. Apratiratha had only one son, whose name was Kaṇva.
tasya medhātithis tasmāt
putro ’bhūt sumate rebhir
duṣmantas tat-suto mataḥ
tasya—of him (Kaṇva); medhātithiḥ—a son named Medhātithi; tasmāt—from him (Medhātithi); praskanna-ādyāḥ—sons headed by Praskanna; dvijātayaḥ—all brāhmaṇas; putraḥ—a son; abhūt—there was; sumateḥ—from Sumati; rebhiḥ—Rebhi; duṣmantaḥ—Mahārāja Duṣmanta; tat-sutaḥ—the son of Rebhi; mataḥ—is well-known.
The son of Kaṇva was Medhātithi, whose sons, all brāhmaṇas, were headed by Praskanna. The son of Rantināva named Sumati had a son named Rebhi. Mahārāja Duṣmanta is well known as the son of Rebhi.
duṣmanto mṛgayāṁ yātaḥ
maṇḍayantīṁ ramām iva
vilokya sadyo mumuhe
deva-māyām iva striyam
babhāṣe tāṁ varārohāṁ
bhaṭaiḥ katipayair vṛtaḥ
duṣmantaḥ—Mahārāja Duṣmanta; mṛgayām yātaḥ—when he went hunting; kaṇva-āśrama-padam—to the residence of Kaṇva; gataḥ—he came; tatra—there; āsīnām—a woman sitting; sva-prabhayā—by her own beauty; maṇḍayantīm—illuminating; ramām iva—exactly like the goddess of fortune; vilokya—by observing; sadyaḥ—immediately; mumuhe—he became enchanted; deva-māyām iva—exactly like the illusory energy of the Lord; striyam—a beautiful woman; babhāṣe—he addressed; tām—her (the woman); vara-ārohām—who was the best of beautiful women; bhaṭaiḥ—by soldiers; katipayaiḥ—a few; vṛtaḥ—surrounded.
Once when King Duṣmanta went to the forest to hunt and was very much fatigued, he approached the residence of Kaṇva Muni. There he saw a most beautiful woman who looked exactly like the goddess of fortune and who sat there illuminating the entire āśrama by her effulgence. The King was naturally attracted by her beauty, and therefore he approached her, accompanied by some of his soldiers, and spoke to her.
prahasañ ślakṣṇayā girā
tat-darśana-pramuditaḥ—being very much enlivened by seeing the beautiful woman; sannivṛtta-pariśramaḥ—being relieved of the fatigue of the hunting excursion; papraccha—he inquired from her; kāma-santaptaḥ—being agitated by lusty desires; prahasan—in a joking mood; ślakṣṇayā—very beautiful and pleasing; girā—with words.
Seeing the beautiful woman, the King was very much enlivened, and the fatigue of his hunting excursion was relieved. He was of course very much attracted because of lusty desires, and thus he inquired from her as follows, in a joking mood.
kā tvaṁ kamala-patrākṣi
kiṁ svic cikīrṣitaṁ tatra
bhavatyā nirjane vane
kā—who; tvam—are you; kamala-patra-akṣi—O beautiful woman with eyes like the petals of a lotus; kasya asi—with whom are you related; hṛdayam-game—O most beautiful one, pleasing to the heart; kim svit—what kind of business; cikīrṣitam—is being thought of; tatra—there; bhavatyāḥ—by you; nirjane—solitary; vane—in the forest.
O beautiful lotus-eyed woman, who are you? Whose daughter are you? What purpose do you have in this solitary forest? Why are you staying here?
vedmy ahaṁ tvāṁ sumadhyame
na hi cetaḥ pauravāṇām
adharme ramate kvacit
vyaktam—it appears; rājanya-tanayām—the daughter of a kṣatriya; vedmi—can realize; aham—I; tvām—your good self; su-madhyame—O most beautiful; na—not; hi—indeed; cetaḥ—the mind; pauravāṇām—of persons who have taken birth in the Pūru dynasty; adharme—in irreligion; ramate—enjoys; kvacit—at any time.
O most beautiful one, it appears to my mind that you must be the daughter of a kṣatriya. Because I belong to the Pūru dynasty, my mind never endeavors to enjoy anything irreligiously.
Mahārāja Duṣmanta indirectly expressed his desire to marry Śakuntalā, for she appeared to his mind to be the daughter of some kṣatriya king.
tyaktā menakayā vane
vedaitad bhagavān kaṇvo
vīra kiṁ karavāma te
śrī-śakuntalā uvāca—Śrī Śakuntalā replied; viśvāmitra-ātmajā—the daughter of Viśvāmitra; eva—indeed; aham—I (am); tyaktā—left; menakayā—by Menakā; vane—in the forest; veda—knows; etat—all these incidents; bhagavān—the most powerful saintly person; kaṇvaḥ—Kaṇva Muni; vīra—O hero; kim—what; karavāma—can I do; te—for you.
Śakuntalā said: I am the daughter of Viśvāmitra. My mother, Menakā, left me in the forest. O hero, the most powerful saint Kaṇva Muni knows all about this. Now let me know, how may I serve you?
Śakuntalā informed Mahārāja Duṣmanta that although she never saw or knew her father or mother, Kaṇva Muni knew everything about her, and she had heard from him that she was the daughter of Viśvāmitra and that her mother was Menakā, who had left her in the forest.
āsyatāṁ hy aravindākṣa
gṛhyatām arhaṇaṁ ca naḥ
bhujyatāṁ santi nīvārā
uṣyatāṁ yadi rocate
āsyatām—please come sit here; hi—indeed; aravinda-akṣa—O great hero with eyes like the petals of a lotus; gṛhyatām—please accept; arhaṇam—humble reception; ca—and; naḥ—our; bhujyatām—please eat; santi—what there is in stock; nīvārāḥ—nīvārā rice; uṣyatām—stay here; yadi—if; rocate—you so desire.
O King with eyes like the petals of a lotus, kindly come sit down and accept whatever reception we can offer. We have a supply of nīvārā rice that you may kindly take. And if you so desire, stay here without hesitation.
upapannam idaṁ subhru
svayaṁ hi vṛṇute rājñāṁ
kanyakāḥ sadṛśaṁ varam
śrī-duṣmantaḥ uvāca—King Duṣmanta replied; upapannam—just befitting your position; idam—this; su-bhru—O Śakuntalā, with beautiful eyebrows; jātāyāḥ—because of your birth; kuśika-anvaye—in the family of Viśvāmitra; svayam—personally; hi—indeed; vṛṇute—select; rājñām—of a royal family; kanyakāḥ—daughters; sadṛśam—on an equal level; varam—husbands.
King Duṣmanta replied: O Śakuntalā, with beautiful eyebrows, you have taken your birth in the family of the great saint Viśvāmitra, and your reception is quite worthy of your family. Aside from this, the daughters of a king generally select their own husbands.
In her reception of Mahārāja Duṣmanta, Śakuntalā clearly said, “Your Majesty may stay here, and you may accept whatever reception I can offer.” Thus she indicated that she wanted Mahārāja Duṣmanta as her husband. As far as Mahārāja Duṣmanta was concerned, he desired Śakuntalā as his wife from the very beginning, as soon as he saw her, so the agreement to unite as husband and wife was natural. To induce Śakuntalā to accept the marriage, Mahārāja Duṣmanta reminded her that as the daughter of a king she could select her husband in an open assembly. In the history of Āryan civilization there have been many instances in which famous princesses have selected their husbands in open competitions. For example, it was in such a competition that Sītādevī accepted Lord Rāmacandra as her husband and that Draupadī accepted Arjuna, and there are many other instances. So marriage by agreement or by selecting one’s own husband in an open competition is allowed. There are eight kinds of marriage, of which marriage by agreement is called gāndharva marriage. Generally the parents select the husband or wife for their daughter or son, but gāndharva marriage takes place by personal selection. Still, although marriage by personal selection or by agreement took place in the past, we find no such thing as divorce by disagreement. Of course, divorce by disagreement took place among low-class men, but marriage by agreement was found even in the very highest classes, especially in the royal kṣatriya families. Mahārāja Duṣmanta’s acceptance of Śakuntalā as his wife was sanctioned by Vedic culture. How the marriage took place is described in the next verse.
om ity ukte yathā-dharmam
om iti ukte—by reciting the Vedic praṇava, invoking the Supreme Personality of Godhead to witness the marriage; yathā-dharmam—exactly according to the principles of religion (because Nārāyaṇa becomes the witness in an ordinary religious marriage also); upayeme—he married; śakuntalām—the girl Śakuntalā; gāndharva-vidhinā—by the regulative principle of the Gandharvas, without deviation from religious principles; rājā—Mahārāja Duṣmanta; deśa-kāla-vidhāna-vit—completely aware of duties according to time, position and objective.
When Śakuntalā responded to Mahārāja Duṣmanta’s proposal with silence, the agreement was complete. Then the King, who knew the laws of marriage, immediately married her by chanting the Vedic praṇava [oṁkāra], in accordance with the marriage ceremony as performed among the Gandharvas.
The oṁkāra, praṇava, is the Supreme Personality of Godhead represented by letters. Bhagavad-gītā says that the letters a-u-m, combined together as oṁ, represent the Supreme Lord. Religious principles are meant to invoke the blessings and mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, who says in Bhagavad-gītā that He is personally present in sexual desires that are not contrary to religious principles. The word vidhinā means, “according to religious principles.” The association of men and women according to religious principles is allowed in the Vedic culture. In our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement we allow marriage on the basis of religious principles, but the sexual combination of men and women as friends is irreligious and is not allowed.
mahiṣyāṁ vīryam ādadhe
śvo-bhūte sva-puraṁ yātaḥ
kālenāsūta sā sutam
amogha-vīryaḥ—a person who discharges semen without being baffled, or, in other words, who must beget a child; rāja-ṛṣiḥ—the saintly King Duṣmanta; mahiṣyām—into the Queen, Śakuntalā (after her marriage, Śakuntalā became the Queen); vīryam—semen; ādadhe—placed; śvaḥ-bhūte—in the morning; sva-puram—to his own place; yātaḥ—returned; kālena—in due course of time; asūta—gave birth; sā—she (Śakuntalā); sutam—to a son.
King Duṣmanta, who never discharged semen without a result, placed his semen at night in the womb of his Queen, Śakuntalā, and in the morning he returned to his palace. Thereafter, in due course of time, Śakuntalā gave birth to a son.
kaṇvaḥ kumārasya vane
cakre samucitāḥ kriyāḥ
baddhvā mṛgendraṁ tarasā
krīḍati sma sa bālakaḥ
kaṇvaḥ—Kaṇva Muni; kumārasya—of the son born of Śakuntalā; vane—in the forest; cakre—executed; samucitāḥ—prescribed; kriyāḥ—ritualistic ceremonies; baddhvā—capturing; mṛga-indram—a lion; tarasā—by force; krīḍati—playing; sma—in the past; saḥ—he; bālakaḥ—the child.
In the forest, Kaṇva Muni performed all the ritualistic ceremonies concerning the newborn child. Later, the boy became so powerful that he would capture a lion and play with it.
bhartur antikam āgamat
tam—him; duratyaya-vikrāntam—whose strength was insurmountable; ādāya—taking with her; pramadā-uttamā—the best of women, Śakuntalā; hareḥ—of God; aṁśa-aṁśa-sambhūtam—a partial plenary incarnation; bhartuḥ antikam—unto her husband; āgamat—approached.
Śakuntalā, the best of beautiful women, along with her son, whose strength was insurmountable and who was a partial expansion of the Supreme Godhead, approached her husband, Duṣmanta.
yadā na jagṛhe rājā
khe vāg āhāśarīriṇī
yadā—when; na—not; jagṛhe—accepted; rājā—the King (Duṣmanta); bhāryā-putrau—his real son and real wife; aninditau—not abominable, not accused by anyone; śṛṇvatām—while hearing; sarva-bhūtānām—all the people; khe—in the sky; vāk—a sound vibration; āha—declared; aśarīriṇī—without a body.
When the King refused to accept his wife and son, who were both irreproachable, an unembodied voice spoke from the sky as an omen and was heard by everyone present.
Mahārāja Duṣmanta knew that Śakuntalā and the boy were his own wife and son, but because they came from outside and were unknown to the citizens, he at first declined to accept them. Śakuntalā, however, was so chaste that an omen from the sky declared the truth so that others could hear. When everyone heard from the omen that Śakuntalā and her child were truly the King’s wife and son, the King gladly accepted them.
mātā bhastrā pituḥ putro
yena jātaḥ sa eva saḥ
bharasva putraṁ duṣmanta
mātā—the mother; bhastrā—just like the skin of a bellows containing air; pituḥ—of the father; putraḥ—the son; yena—by whom; jātaḥ—one is born; saḥ—the father; eva—indeed; saḥ—the son; bharasva—just maintain; putram—your son; duṣmanta—O Mahārāja Duṣmanta; mā—do not; avamaṁsthāḥ—insult; śakuntalām—Śakuntalā.
The voice said: O Mahārāja Duṣmanta, a son actually belongs to his father, whereas the mother is only a container, like the skin of a bellows. According to Vedic injunctions, the father is born as the son. Therefore, maintain your own son and do not insult Śakuntalā.
According to the Vedic injunction ātmā vai putra-nāmāsi, the father becomes the son. The mother is simply like a storekeeper, because the seed of the child is placed in her womb, but it is the father who is responsible for maintaining the son. In Bhagavad-gītā the Lord says that He is the seed-giving father of all living entities (ahaṁ bīja-pradaḥ pitā), and therefore He is responsible for maintaining them. This is also confirmed in the Vedas. Eko bahūnāṁ yo vidadhāti kāmān: although God is one, He maintains all living entities with their necessities for life. The living entities in different forms are sons of the Lord, and therefore the father, the Supreme Lord, supplies them food according to their different bodies. The small ant is supplied a grain of sugar, and the elephant is supplied tons of food, but everyone is able to eat. Therefore there is no question of overpopulation. Because the father, Kṛṣṇa, is fully opulent, there is no scarcity of food, and because there is no scarcity, the propaganda of overpopulation is only a myth. Actually one suffers for want of food when material nature, under the order of the father, refuses to supply him food. It is the living entity’s position that determines whether food will be supplied or not. When a diseased person is forbidden to eat, this does not mean that there is a scarcity of food; rather, the diseased person requires the treatment of not being supplied with food. In Bhagavad-gītā (7.10) the Lord also says, bījaṁ māṁ sama-bhūtānām: “I am the seed of all living entities.” A particular type of seed is sown within the earth, and then a particular type of tree or plant comes out. The mother resembles the earth, and when a particular type of seed is sown by the father, a particular type of body takes birth.
reto-dhāḥ putro nayati
tvaṁ cāsya dhātā garbhasya
satyam āha śakuntalā
retaḥ-dhāḥ—a person who discharges semen; putraḥ—the son; nayati—saves; nara-deva—O King (Mahārāja Duṣmanta); yama-kṣayāt—from punishment by Yamarāja, or from the custody of Yamarāja; tvam—your good self; ca—and; asya—of this child; dhātā—the creator; garbhasya—of the embryo; satyam—truthfully; āha—said; śakuntalā—your wife, Śakuntalā.
O King Duṣmanta, he who discharges semen is the actual father, and his son saves him from the custody of Yamarāja. You are the actual procreator of this child. Indeed, Śakuntalā is speaking the truth.
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-kṣayāt: “The son saves his father from the custody of Yamarāja.” It never says, putro nayati mātaram: “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 Vaiṣṇava, he can save both the father and mother from the custody of Yamarāja and punishment in hellish life.
pitary uparate so ’pi
mahimā gīyate tasya
harer aṁśa-bhuvo bhuvi
pitari—after his father; uparate—passed away; saḥ—the King’s son; api—also; cakravartī—the emperor; mahā-yaśāḥ—very famous; mahimā—glories; gīyate—are glorified; tasya—his; hareḥ—of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; aṁśa-bhuvaḥ—a partial representation; bhuvi—upon this earth.
Śukadeva Gosvāmī said: When Mahārāja Duṣmanta passed away from this earth, his son became the emperor of the world, the proprietor of the seven islands. He is referred to as a partial representation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead in this world.
Anyone extraordinarily powerful must be considered a partial representation of the opulence of the Supreme Godhead. Therefore when the son of Mahārāja Duṣmanta became the emperor of the entire world, he was celebrated in this way.
cakraṁ dakṣiṇa-haste ’sya
padma-kośo ’sya pādayoḥ
so ’bhiṣikto ’dhirāḍ vibhuḥ
gaṅgāyām anu vājibhiḥ
yamunām anu ca prabhuḥ
babandha pradadad vasu
bharatasya hi dauṣmanter
agniḥ sācī-guṇe citaḥ
sahasraṁ badvaśo yasmin
brāhmaṇā gā vibhejire
cakram—the mark of Kṛṣṇa’s disc; dakṣiṇa-haste—on the palm of the right hand; asya—of him (Bharata); padma-kośaḥ—the mark of the whorl of a lotus; asya—of him; pādayoḥ—on the soles of the feet; īje—worshiped the Supreme Personality of Godhead; mahā-abhiṣekeṇa—by a grand Vedic ritualistic ceremony; saḥ—he (Mahārāja Bharata); abhiṣiktaḥ—being promoted; adhirāṭ—to the topmost position of a ruler; vibhuḥ—the master of everything; pañca-pañcāśatā—fifty-five; medhyaiḥ—fit for sacrifices; gaṅgāyām anu—from the mouth of the Ganges to the source; vājibhiḥ—with horses; māmateyam—the great sage Bhṛgu; purodhāya—making him the great priest; yamunām—on the bank of the Yamunā; anu—in regular order; ca—also; prabhuḥ—the supreme master, Mahārāja Bharata; aṣṭa-saptati—seventy-eight; medhya-aśvān—horses fit for sacrifice; babandha—he bound; pradadat—gave in charity; vasu—riches; bharatasya—of Mahārāja Bharata; hi—indeed; dauṣmanteḥ—the son of Mahārāja Duṣmanta; agniḥ—the sacrificial fire; sācī-guṇe—on an excellent site; citaḥ—established; sahasram—thousands; badvaśaḥ—by the number of one badva (one badva equals 13,084); yasmin—in which sacrifices; brāhmaṇāḥ—all the brāhmaṇas present; gāḥ—the cows; vibhejire—received their respective share.
Mahārāja Bharata, the son of Duṣmanta, had the mark of Lord Kṛṣṇa’s disc on the palm of his right hand, and he had the mark of a lotus whorl on the soles of his feet. By worshiping the Supreme Personality of Godhead with a grand ritualistic ceremony, he became the emperor and master of the entire world. Then, under the priesthood of Māmateya, Bhṛgu Muni, he performed fifty-five horse sacrifices on the bank of the Ganges, beginning from its mouth and ending at its source, and seventy-eight horse sacrifices on the bank of the Yamunā, beginning from the confluence at Prayāga and ending at the source. He established the sacrificial fire on an excellent site, and he distributed great wealth to the brāhmaṇas. Indeed, he distributed so many cows that each of thousands of brāhmaṇas had one badva [13,084] as his share.
As indicated here by the words dauṣmanter agniḥ sācī-guṇe citaḥ, Bharata, the son of Mahārāja Duṣmanta, arranged for many ritualistic ceremonies all over the world, especially all over India on the banks of the Ganges and Yamunā, from the mouth to the source, and all such sacrifices were performed in very distinguished places. As stated in Bhagavad-gītā (3.9), yajñārthāt karmaṇo ’nyatra loko ’yaṁ karma-bandhanaḥ: “Work done as a sacrifice for Viṣṇu has to be performed, otherwise work binds one to this material world.” Everyone should engage in the performance of yajña, and the sacrificial fire should be ignited everywhere, the entire purpose being to make people happy, prosperous and progressive in spiritual life. Of course, these things were possible before the beginning of Kali-yuga because there were qualified brāhmaṇas who could perform such yajñas. For the present, however, the Brahma-vaivarta Purāṇa enjoins:
“In this age of Kali, five acts are forbidden: offering a horse in sacrifice, offering a cow in sacrifice, accepting the order of sannyāsa, offering oblations of flesh to the forefathers, and begetting children in the wife of one’s brother.” In this age, such yajñas as the aśvamedha-yajña and gomedha-yajña are impossible to perform because there are neither sufficient riches nor qualified brāhmaṇas. This verse says, māmateyaṁ purodhāya: Mahārāja Bharata engaged the son of Mamatā, Bhṛgu Muni, to take charge of performing this yajña. Now, however, such brāhmaṇas are impossible to find. Therefore the śāstras recommend, yajñaiḥ saṅkīrtana-prāyair yajanti hi sumedhasaḥ: those who are intelligent should perform the saṅkīrtana-yajña inaugurated by Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.
“In this age of Kali, people endowed with sufficient intelligence will worship the Lord, who is accompanied by His associates, by performance of saṅkīrtana-yajña.” (Bhāg. 11.5.32) Yajña must be performed, for otherwise people will be entangled in sinful activities and will suffer immensely. Therefore the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement has taken charge of introducing the chanting of Hare Kṛṣṇa all over the world. This Hare Kṛṣṇa movement is also yajña, but without the difficulties involved in securing paraphernalia and qualified brāhmaṇas. This congregational chanting can be performed anywhere and everywhere. If people somehow or other assemble together and are induced to chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare, all the purposes of yajña will be fulfilled. The first purpose is that there must be sufficient rain, for without rain there cannot be any produce (annād bhavanti bhūtāni parjanyād anna-sambhavaḥ). All our necessities can be produced simply by rainfall (kāmaṁ vavarṣa parjanyaḥ [SB 1.10.4]), and the earth is the original source of all necessities (sarva-kāma-dughā mahī). In conclusion, therefore, in this age of Kali people all over the world should refrain from the four principles of sinful life—illicit sex, meat-eating, intoxication and gambling—and in a pure state of existence should perform the simple yajña of chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra. Then the earth will certainly produce all the necessities for life, and people will be happy economically, politically, socially, religiously and culturally. Everything will be in proper order.
trayas-triṁśac-chataṁ hy aśvān
baddhvā vismāpayan nṛpān
dauṣmantir atyagān māyāṁ
devānāṁ gurum āyayau
trayaḥ—three; triṁśat—thirty; śatam—hundred; hi—indeed; aśvān—horses; baddhvā—arresting in the yajña; vismāpayan—astonishing; nṛpān—all other kings; dauṣmantiḥ—the son of Mahārāja Duṣmanta; atyagāt—surpassed; māyām—material opulences; devānām—of the demigods; gurum—the supreme spiritual master; āyayau—achieved.
Bharata, the son of Mahārāja Duṣmanta, bound thirty-three hundred horses for those sacrifices, and thus he astonished all other kings. He surpassed even the opulence of the demigods, for he achieved the supreme spiritual master, Hari.
One who achieves the lotus feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead certainly surpasses all material wealth, even that of the demigods in the heavenly planets. Yaṁ labdhvā cāparaṁ lābhaṁ manyate nādhikaṁ tataḥ. The achievement of the lotus feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the most exalted achievement in life.
mṛgāñ chukla-dataḥ kṛṣṇān
adāt karmaṇi maṣṇāre
mṛgān—first-class elephants; śukla-dataḥ—with very white tusks; kṛṣṇān—with black bodies; hiraṇyena—with gold ornaments; parīvṛtān—completely covered; adāt—give in charity; karmaṇi—in the sacrifice; maṣṇāre—by the name Maṣṇāra, or in the place known as Maṣṇāra; niyutāni—lakhs (one lakh equals one hundred thousand); caturdaśa—fourteen.
When Mahārāja Bharata performed the sacrifice known as Maṣṇāra [or a sacrifice in the place known as Maṣṇāra], he gave in charity fourteen lakhs of excellent elephants with white tusks and black bodies, completely covered with golden ornaments.
bharatasya mahat karma
na pūrve nāpare nṛpāḥ
naivāpur naiva prāpsyanti
bāhubhyāṁ tridivaṁ yathā
bharatasya—of Mahārāja Bharata, the son of Mahārāja Duṣmanta; mahat—very great, exalted; karma—activities; na—neither; pūrve—previously; na—nor; apare—after his time; nṛpāḥ—kings as a class; na—neither; eva—certainly; āpuḥ—attained; na—nor; eva—certainly; prāpsyanti—will get; bāhubhyām—by the strength of his arms; tri-divam—the heavenly planets; yathā—as.
As one cannot approach the heavenly planets simply by the strength of his arms (for who can touch the heavenly planets with his hands?), one cannot imitate the wonderful activities of Mahārāja Bharata. No one could perform such activities in the past, nor will anyone be able to do so in the future.
pauṇḍrān kaṅkān khaśāñ chakān
mlecchān dig-vijaye ’khilān
kirāta—the black people called Kirātas (mostly the Africans); hūṇān—the Huns, the tribes from the far north; yavanān—the meat-eaters; pauṇḍrān—the Pauṇḍras; kaṅkān—the Kaṅkas; khaśān—the Mongolians; śakān—the Śakas; abrahmaṇya—against the brahminical culture; nṛpān—kings; ca—and; ahan—he killed; mlecchān—such atheists, who had no respect for Vedic civilization; dik-vijaye—while conquering all directions; akhilān—all of them.
When Mahārāja Bharata was on tour, he defeated or killed all the Kirātas, Hūṇas, Yavanas, Pauṇḍras, Kaṅkas, Khaśas, Śakas and the kings who were opposed to the Vedic principles of brahminical culture.
jitvā purāsurā devān
ye rasaukāṁsi bhejire
deva-striyo rasāṁ nītāḥ
prāṇibhiḥ punar āharat
jitvā—conquering; purā—formerly; asurāḥ—the demons; devān—the demigods; ye—all who; rasa-okāṁsi—in the lower planetary system known as Rasātala; bhejire—took shelter; deva-striyaḥ—the wives and daughters of the demigods; rasām—in the lower planetary system; nītāḥ—were brought; prāṇibhiḥ—with their own dear associates; punaḥ—again; āharat—brought back to their original places.
Formerly, after conquering the demigods, all the demons had taken shelter in the lower planetary system known as Rasātala and had brought all the wives and daughters of the demigods there also. Mahārāja Bharata, however, rescued all those women, along with their associates, from the clutches of the demons, and he returned them to the demigods.
sarvān kāmān duduhatuḥ
prajānāṁ tasya rodasī
dikṣu cakram avartayat
sarvān kāmān—all necessities or desirable things; duduhatuḥ—fulfilled; prajānām—of the subjects; tasya—his; rodasī—this earth and the heavenly planets; samāḥ—years; tri-nava-sāhasrīḥ—three times nine thousand (that is, twenty-seven thousand); dikṣu—in all directions; cakram—soldiers or orders; avartayat—circulated.
Mahārāja Bharata provided all necessities for his subjects, both on this earth and in the heavenly planets, for twenty-seven thousand years. He circulated his orders and distributed his soldiers in all directions.
sa saṁrāḍ loka-pālākhyam
aiśvaryam adhirāṭ śriyam
cakraṁ cāskhalitaṁ prāṇān
mṛṣety upararāma ha
saḥ—he (Mahārāja Bharata); saṁrāṭ—the emperor; loka-pāla-ākhyam—known as the ruler of all the lokas, or planets; aiśvaryam—such opulences; adhirāṭ—thoroughly in power; śriyam—kingdom; cakram—soldiers or orders; ca—and; askhalitam—without failure; prāṇān—life or sons and family; mṛṣā—all false; iti—thus; upararāma—ceased to enjoy; ha—in the past.
As the ruler of the entire universe, Emperor Bharata had the opulences of a great kingdom and unconquerable soldiers. His sons and family had seemed to him to be his entire life. But finally he thought of all this as an impediment to spiritual advancement, and therefore he ceased from enjoying it.
Mahārāja Bharata had incomparable opulence in sovereignty, soldiers, sons, daughters and everything for material enjoyment, but when he realized that all such material opulences were useless for spiritual advancement, he retired from material enjoyment. The Vedic civilization enjoins that after a certain age, following in the footsteps of Mahārāja Bharata, one should cease to enjoy material opulences and should take the order of vānaprastha.
tasyāsan nṛpa vaidarbhyaḥ
patnyas tisraḥ susammatāḥ
jaghnus tyāga-bhayāt putrān
tasya—of him (Mahārāja Bharata); āsan—there were; nṛpa—O King (Mahārāja Parīkṣit); vaidarbhyaḥ—daughters of Vidarbha; patnyaḥ—wives; tisraḥ—three; su-sammatāḥ—very pleasing and suitable; jaghnuḥ—killed; tyāga-bhayāt—fearing rejection; putrān—their sons; na anurūpāḥ—not exactly like the father; iti—like this; īrite—considering.
O King Parīkṣit, Mahārāja Bharata had three pleasing wives, who were daughters of the King of Vidarbha. When all three of them bore children who did not resemble the King, these wives thought that he would consider them unfaithful queens and reject them, and therefore they killed their own sons.
tasyaivaṁ vitathe vaṁśe
tad-arthaṁ yajataḥ sutam
tasya—his (Mahārāja Bharata’s); evam—thus; vitathe—being baffled; vaṁśe—in generating progeny; tat-artham—to get sons; yajataḥ—performing sacrifices; sutam—a son; marut-stomena—by performing a marut-stoma sacrifice; marutaḥ—the demigods named the Maruts; bharadvājam—Bharadvāja; upādaduḥ—presented.
The King, his attempt for progeny frustrated in this way, performed a sacrifice named marut-stoma to get a son. The demigods known as the Maruts, being fully satisfied with him, then presented him a son named Bharadvāja.
pravṛtto vārito garbhaṁ
śaptvā vīryam upāsṛjat
antaḥ-vatnyām—pregnant; bhrātṛ-patnyām—with the brother’s wife; maithunāya—desiring sexual enjoyment; bṛhaspatiḥ—the demigod named Bṛhaspati; pravṛttaḥ—so inclined; vāritaḥ—when forbidden to do so; garbham—the son within the abdomen; śaptvā—by cursing; vīryam—semen; upāsṛjat—discharged.
When the demigod named Bṛhaspati was attracted by his brother’s wife, Mamatā, who at that time was pregnant, he desired to have sexual relations with her. The son within her womb forbid this, but Bṛhaspati cursed him and forcibly discharged semen into the womb of Mamatā.
The sex impulse is so strong in this material world that even Bṛhaspati, who is supposed to be the priest of the demigods and a very learned scholar, wanted to have a sexual relationship with his brother’s pregnant wife. This can happen even in the society of the higher demigods, so what to speak of human society? The sex impulse is so strong that it can agitate even a learned personality like Bṛhaspati.
taṁ tyaktu-kāmāṁ mamatāṁ
ślokam enaṁ surā jaguḥ
tam—that newly born baby; tyaktu-kāmām—who was trying to avoid; mamatām—unto Mamatā; bhartuḥ tyāga-viśaṅkitām—very much afraid of being forsaken by her husband because of giving birth to an illegitimate son; nāma-nirvācanam—a name-giving ceremony, or nāma-karaṇa; tasya—to the child; ślokam—verse; enam—this; surāḥ—the demigods; jaguḥ—enunciated.
Mamatā very much feared being forsaken by her husband for giving birth to an illegitimate son, and therefore she considered giving up the child. But then the demigods solved the problem by enunciating a name for the child.
According to Vedic scripture, whenever a child is born there are some ceremonies known as jāta-karma and nāma-karaṇa, in which learned brāhmaṇas, immediately after the birth of the child, make a horoscope according to astrological calculations. But the child to which Mamatā gave birth was begotten by Bṛhaspati irreligiously, for although Mamatā was the wife of Utathya, Bṛhaspati made her pregnant by force. Therefore Bṛhaspati became bhartā. According to Vedic culture, a wife is considered the property of her husband, and a son born by illicit sex is called dvāja. The common word still current in Hindu society for such a son is doglā, which refers to a son not begotten by the husband of his mother. In such a situation, it is difficult to give the child a name according to proper regulative principles. Mamatā, therefore, was perplexed, but the demigods gave the child the appropriate name Bharadvāja, which indicated that the child born illegitimately should be maintained by both Mamatā and Bṛhaspati.
mūḍhe bhara dvājam imaṁ
bhara dvājaṁ bṛhaspate
yātau yad uktvā pitarau
bharadvājas tatas tv ayam
mūḍhe—O foolish woman; bhara—just maintain; dvājam—although born by an illicit connection between two; imam—this child; bhara—maintain; dvājam—although born by an illicit connection between two; bṛhaspate—O Bṛhaspati; yātau—left; yat—because; uktvā—having said; pitarau—both the father and mother; bharadvājaḥ—by the name Bharadvāja; tataḥ—thereafter; tu—indeed; ayam—this child.
Bṛhaspati said to Mamatā, “You foolish woman, although this child was born from the wife of one man through the semen discharged by another, you should maintain him.” Upon hearing this, Mamatā replied, “O Bṛhaspati, you maintain him!” After speaking in this way, Bṛhaspati and Mamatā both left. Thus the child was known as Bharadvāja.
codyamānā surair evaṁ
matvā vitatham ātmajam
vyasṛjan maruto ’bibhran
datto ’yaṁ vitathe ’nvaye
codyamānā—although Mamatā was encouraged (to maintain the child); suraiḥ—by the demigods; evam—in this way; matvā—considering; vitatham—purposeless; ātmajam—her own child; vyasṛjat—rejected; marutaḥ—the demigods known as the Maruts; abibhran—maintained (the child); dattaḥ—the same child was given; ayam—this; vitathe—was disappointed; anvaye—when the dynasty of Mahārāja Bharata.
Although encouraged by the demigods to maintain the child, Mamatā considered him useless because of his illicit birth, and therefore she left him. Consequently, the demigods known as the Maruts maintained the child, and when Mahārāja Bharata was disappointed for want of a child, this child was given to him as his son.
From this verse it is understood that those who are rejected from the higher planetary system are given a chance to take birth in the most exalted families on this planet earth.
Thus end the Bhaktivedanta purports of the Ninth Canto, Twentieth Chapter, of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, entitled “The Dynasty of Pūru.”
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