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Chapter 17: Yayati, Devayani, Sharmishtha, Yadu and Puru

Posted by Arun Mohan ~ on ~ 0 comments

Sharmistha, the daughter of asura king, Vrishparva and Devayani, daughter of asura guru, Shukra were friends. But one day they fought each other. The incident that led the fight was just a mistake. Both of them were taking bath in a forest pond, suddenly a wind came and their dresses displaced. After the bath, Devayani first came and wore Sarmishtha’s clothes by mistake. The enraged Sharmistha called Devayani a thief and she also called her father a begger. Sharmistha then pushed Devayani into an unused well. Thinking that Devayani was dead, Sharmistha went to her palace.

At that time, Yayati happened to come there tired after his hunting. He heard a girl’s cry from the well. Yayati rescued her and during the rescue, Yayati hold the Devayani’s hand. After the rescue, Devayani requested Yayati to marry her since it was for the first time, a man held her by the right hand with sun as witness. Yayati turned down her request and went away. Devayani then went later in the evening with weeping eyes and informed the events to Shukra. Shukra promised Devayani that he would teach the Asura princess a lesson. He went to Vrishaparva and informed him to punish his daughter by becoming the maid of Devayani otherwise he will leave the kingdom. Vrishparva had no choice, so he agreed. Since without shukra, they can’t conduct yagnas and it will result in loss of power for asuras.

Later Devayani convinced Yayati, by stating the quotes of scriptures. Yayati, a chandra-vamsi came to Shukra’s hermitage and married Yayati with the blessings from Shukra. Yayati took Devayani to his kingdom. Devayani was also accompanied by his maid, Sarmishtha to the Kingdom. One day the king Yayati suddenly fell in love with Sharmistha. Unlike Devayani, Sharmistha was from royal clan and it may the reason for their love and both married secretly and even had children - Druhyu, Anu and Puru. Earlier, devayani had given birth to Yadu and Turvasu. Sharmistha managed to convince Devayani by saying that her lover was a palace guard.

But One day, Devayani inquired about their father to the three sons of Sharmistha. They referred Yayati as father. Devayani was shocked and she left the palace and went to her father's hermitage. The angry Shukra cursed Yayati to become old and impotent. Yayati suddenly turned old man. He begged for mercy. But Devayani becomes sad and said his father to withdraw his cure and to give back her young husband. But Shukra can’t withdraw it and the only solution for him is to modify his curse. He asked Yayati that he will only regain his youth if any of his sons agree to take this curse on his behalf.Yayati turned to his elder son, Yadu (son of Devayani) and said to take this curse. But he refused it by saying that it is against dharma to renounce son before father. Yayati then turned to Puru (son of Sharmistha), his youngest son to take this curse. He agreed and took the curse. Suddenly Puru turned old man with a stick on his hand. After that, Yayati again enjoyed the youth with his wives. After several years, Yayati realized that youth and virility does not provide satisfaction of life and he feel sorry about Puru, who became the victim of his curse.He also found wealth does give peace and it can be achieved only by a mental poise beyond likes and dislikes.He went to Puru and then said to take back his youth.

At last the time came for announcing the next heir of Yayati’s kingdom. Yayati declared Puru as his successor. Since Puru suffered a lot in his life for his father. But the king denied his elder son Yadu to become the king, since he refused his father for suffering curse. He not only denied the heir, but also cursed him that none of his descendants will become a king. An angry Yadu left the kingdom and went to Mathura, which is the place of Naga People, where he married Dhumravarna’s daughters and they bore children for Yadu. The Nagas of Mathura had no king and they are following the system of consensus. Yadu became the ruler of Mathura without the title of king. The children of Yadu (Turvasu, Drahyu and Anu) established several tribes including Yavanas, Bhojas and Mleechas. The descendants of Yadu were later known in the name of Yadavas. Lord Krishna and Lord Balarama were born in the Yadava clan. So he does not become a king, but only a kingmaker. The Puru clan later became the famous Kuru clan. Kauravas and the Pandavas were descended from the Kuru clan.

The Ancestory from Brihaspati / Chandra to King Dushyanta.

Ailas Dynasty (Chandravanshis)


King /Husband
Wife
Heir
01
Brihaspati/ Chandra
Tara
Budha
02
Budha
Ila
Pururavas
03
Pururavas
Urvashi
Ayus
04
Ayus
Swarbhanu
Nahusha
05
Nahusha
Viraja
Yayati
06
Yayati
Sharmistha
Puru

Puru Dynasty


King
Wife
Heir
01
Puru
Kausalya
Janamejaya
02
Janamejaya
Anatha
Pracheenwantha
03
Pracheenwantha
Asmaki
Samyati
04
Samyati
Varangi
Ahamyati
05
Ahamyati
Bhanumathi
SaarvaBhouma
06
SaarvaBhouma
Sunanda
Jayatsena
07
Jayatsena
Susravasa
Suracheena
08
Suracheena
Maryada
Ariha
09
Ariha
Aangi
MahaBhouma
10
MahaBhouma
Suyagnya
Ayuthanayi
11
Ayuthanayi
Kama
Akrodhana
12
Akrodhana
Ramba
Devathithi
13
Devathithi
Maryada
Ruchika
14
Ruchika
Sudeva
Ruksha
15
Ruksha
Jwala
Mathinaara
16
Mathinaara
Saraswati
Trisa
17
Trisa
Kalindi
Ilina
18
Ilina
Rathantara
Dushyanta


The curse of Yayati resulted in sowing the seeds for Kurukshetra war much before generations. The son’s obedience is an important factor in Yayati’s story which later after generations it is evident in Bhishma’s sacrifice for his own marital life to permit his old father to remarry.


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