King Yayati Regains His Youth
This chapter gives the history of King Yayati, the son of Nahusa. Among Yayati's five sons, the youngest son, Puru, accepted Yayati's invalidity.
When Nahusa, who had six sons, was cursed to become a python, his eldest son, Yati, took sannyasa, and therefore the next son, Yayati, was enthroned as king. By providence, Yayati married the daughter of Sukracarya. Sukracarya was a brahmana and Yayati a ksatriya, but Yayati married her nonetheless. Sukracarya's daughter, named Devayani, had a girl friend named Sarmistha, who was the daughter of Vrsaparva. King Yayati married Sarmistha also. The history of this marriage is as follows. Once Sarmistha was sporting in the water with thousands of her girl friends, and Devayani was also there. When the young girls saw Lord Siva, seated on his bull with Uma, they immediately dressed themselves, but Sarmistha mistakenly put on Devayani's clothes. Devayani, being very angry, rebuked Sarmistha, who also became very angry and responded by rebuking Devayani and throwing her into a well. By chance, King Yayati came to that well to drink water, and he found Devayani and rescued her. Thus Devayani accepted Maharaja Yayati as her husband. Thereafter, Devayani, crying loudly, told her father about Sarmistha's behavior. Upon hearing of this incident, Sukracarya was very angry and wanted to chastise Vrsaparva, Sarmistha's father. Vrsaparva, however, satisfied Sukracarya by offering Sarmistha as Devayani's maidservant. Thus Sarmistha, as the maidservant of Devayani, also went to the house of Devayani's husband. When Sarmistha found her friend Devayani with a son she also desired to have a son. Therefore, at the proper time for conception, she also requested Maharaja Yayati for sex. When Sarmistha became pregnant also, Devayani was very envious. In great anger, she immediately left for her father's house and told her father everything. Sukracarya again became angry and cursed Maharaja Yayati to become old, but when Yayati begged Sukracarya to be merciful to him, Sukracarya gave him the benediction that he could transfer his old age and invalidity to some young man. Yayati exchanged his old age for the youth of his youngest son, Puru, and thus he was able to enjoy with young girls.
yatir yayatih samyatir
ayatir viyatih krtih
sad ime nahusasyasann
sri-sukah uvaca--Sri Sukadeva Gosvami said; yatih--Yati; yayatih--Yayati; samyatih--Samyati; ayatih--Ayati; viyatih--Viyati; krtih--Krti; sat--six; ime--all of them; nahusasya--of King Nahusa; asan--were; indriyani--the (six) senses; iva--like; dehinah--of an embodied soul.
Sukadeva Gosvami said: O King Pariksit, as the embodied soul has six senses, King Nahusa had six sons, named Yati, Yayati, Samyati, Ayati, Viyati and Krti.
rajyam naicchad yatih pitra
yatra pravistah purusa
rajyam--the kingdom; na aicchat--did not accept; yatih--the eldest son, Yati; pitra--by his father; dattam--offered; tat-parinama-vit--knowing the result of becoming powerful as a king; yatra--wherein; pravistah--having entered; purusah--such a person; atmanam--self-realization; na--not; avabudhyate--will take seriously and understand.
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 Nahusa, did not accept the power to rule, although it was offered by his father.
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. Ksatriyas 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 Srimad-Bhagavatam. This hearing is described as nityam bhagavata-sevaya. Maharaja Pariksit was involved in politics, but because at the end of his life he heard Srimad-Bhagavatam from Sukadeva Gosvami, he attained perfection very easily. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has therefore suggested:
sthane sthitah sruti-gatam tanu-van-manobhir
ye prayaso 'jita jito 'py asi tais tri-lokyam
Regardless of whether one is in the mode of passion, ignorance or goodness, if one regularly hears Srimad-Bhagavatam from the self-realized soul, one is freed from the bondage of material involvement.
pitari bhramsite sthanad
indranya dharsanad dvijaih
prapite 'jagaratvam vai
yayatir abhavan nrpah
pitari--when his father; bhramsite--was caused to fall down; sthanat--from the heavenly planets; indranyah--of Saci, the wife of Indra; dharsanat--from offending; dvijaih--by them (upon her lodging a complaint with the brahmanas); prapite--being degraded to; ajagaratvam--the life of a snake; vai--indeed; yayatih--the son named Yayati; abhavat--became; nrpah--the king.
Because Nahusa, the father of Yayati, molested Indra's wife, Saci, who then complained to Agastya and other brahmanas, these saintly brahmanas cursed Nahusa to fall from the heavenly planets and be degraded to the status of a python. Consequently, Yayati became the king.
catasrsv adisad diksu
bhratrn bhrata yaviyasah
catasrsu--over the four; adisat--allowed to rule; diksu--directions; bhratrn--four brothers; bhrata--Yayati; yaviyasah--young; krta-darah--married; jugopa--ruled; urvim--the world; kavyasya--the daughter of Sukracarya; vrsaparvanah--the daughter of Vrsaparva.
King Yayati had four younger brothers, whom he allowed to rule the four directions. Yayati himself married Devayani, the daughter of Sukracarya, and Sarmistha, the daughter of Vrsaparva, and ruled the entire earth.
brahmarsir bhagavan kavyah
ksatra-bandhus ca nahusah
sri-raja uvaca--Maharaja Pariksit inquired; brahma-rsih--the best of the brahmanas; bhagavan--very powerful; kavyah--Sukracarya; ksatra-bandhuh--belonged to the ksatriya class; ca--also; nahusah--King Yayati; rajanya-viprayoh--of a brahmana and a ksatriya; kasmat--how; vivahah--a marital relationship; pratilomakah--against the customary regulative principles.
Maharaja Pariksit said: Sukracarya was a very powerful brahmana, and Maharaja Yayati was a ksatriya. Therefore I am curious to know how there occurred this pratiloma marriage between a ksatriya and a brahmana.
According to the Vedic system, marriages between ksatriyas and ksatriyas or between brahmanas and brahmanas 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 brahmana and the daughter of a ksatriya, is permissible, but pratiloma, marriage between a ksatriya and the daughter of a brahmana, is not generally allowed. Therefore Maharaja Pariksit was curious about how Sukracarya, a powerful brahmana, could accept the principle of pratiloma. Maharaja Pariksit was eager to know the cause for this uncommon marriage.
sarmistha nama kanyaka
guru-putrya ca bhamini
sri-sukah uvaca--Sri Sukadeva Gosvami said; ekada--once upon a time; danava-indrasya--of Vrsaparva; sarmistha--Sarmistha; nama--by name; kanyaka--a daughter; sakhi-sahasra-samyukta--accompanied by thousands of friends; guru-putrya--with the daughter of the guru, Sukracarya; ca--also; bhamini--very easily irritated; devayanya--with Devayani; pura-udyane--within the palace garden; puspita--full of flowers; druma--with nice trees; sankule--congested; vyacarat--was walking; kala-gita--with very sweet sounds; ali--with bumblebees; nalini--with lotuses; puline--in such a garden; abala--innocent.
Sukadeva Gosvami said: One day Vrsaparva's daughter Sarmistha, who was innocent but angry by nature, was walking with Devayani, the daughter of Sukracarya, 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.
ta jalasayam asadya
tire nyasya dukulani
vijahruh sincatir mithah
tah--they; jala-asayam--to the lakeside; asadya--coming; kanyah--all the girls; kamala-locanah--with eyes like lotus petals; tire--on the bank; nyasya--giving up; dukulani--their dresses; vijahruh--began to sport; sincatih--throwing water; mithah--on one another.
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.
viksya vrajantam girisam
saha devya vrsa-sthitam
paryadhur vriditah striyah
viksya--seeing; vrajantam--passing by; girisam--Lord Siva; saha--with; devya--Parvati, the wife of Lord Siva; vrsa-sthitam--seated upon his bull; sahasa--quickly; uttirya--getting out of the water; vasamsi--garments; paryadhuh--put on the body; vriditah--being ashamed; striyah--the young girls.
While sporting in the water, the girls suddenly saw Lord Siva passing by, seated on the back of his bull with his wife, Parvati. Ashamed because they were naked, the girls quickly got out of the water and covered themselves with their garments.
sviyam matva prakupita
sarmistha--the daughter of Vrsaparva; ajanati--without knowledge; vasah--the dress; guru-putryah--of Devayani, the daughter of the guru; samavyayat--put on the body; sviyam--her own; matva--thinking; prakupita--irritated and angry; devayani--the daughter of Sukracarya; idam--this; abravit--said.
Sarmistha unknowingly put Devayani's dress on her own body, thus angering Devayani, who then spoke as follows.
aho niriksyatam asya
dasyah karma hy asampratam
suniva havir adhvare
aho--alas; niriksyatam--just see; asyah--of her (Sarmistha); dasyah--just like our servant; karma--activities; hi--indeed; asampratam--without any etiquette; asmat-dharyam--the garment meant for me; dhrtavati--she has put on; suni iva--like a dog; havih--clarified butter; adhvare--meant for offering in the sacrifice.
Oh, just see the activities of this servant-maid Sarmistha! Disregarding all etiquette, she has put on my dress, just like a dog snatching clarified butter meant for use in a sacrifice.
yair idam tapasa srstam
mukham pumsah parasya ye
dharyate yair iha jyotih
sivah panthah pradarsitah
yan vandanty upatisthante
bhagavan api visvatma
vayam tatrapi bhrgavah
sisyo 'sya nah pitasurah
sudro vedam ivasati
yaih--by which persons; idam--this entire universe; tapasa--by austerity; srstam--was created; mukham--the face; pumsah--of the Supreme Person; parasya--transcendental; ye--those who (are); dharyate--is always born; yaih--by which persons; iha--here; jyotih--the brahmajyoti, the effulgence of the Supreme Lord; sivah--auspicious; panthah--way; pradarsitah--is directed; yan--to whom; vandanti--offer prayers; upatisthante--honor and follow; loka-nathah--the directors of the various planets; sura-isvarah--the demigods; bhagavan--the Supreme Personality of Godhead; api--even; visva-atma--the Supersoul; pavanah--the purifier; sri-niketanah--the husband of the goddess of fortune; vayam--we (are); tatra api--even greater than other brahmanas; bhrgavah--descendants of Bhrgu; sisyah--disciple; asyah--of her; nah--our; pita--father; asurah--belong to the demoniac group; asmat-dharyam--meant to be worn by us; dhrtavati--she has put on; sudrah--a non-brahmana worker; vedam--the Vedas; iva--like; asati--unchaste.
We are among the qualified brahmanas, who are accepted as the face of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The brahmanas 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 Bhrgu. Yet although this woman's father, being among the demons, is our disciple, she has put on my dress, exactly like a sudra taking charge of Vedic knowledge.
evam ksipantim sarmistha
rusa svasanty urangiva
evam--thus; ksipantim--chastising; sarmistha--the daughter of Vrsaparva; guru-putrim--unto the daughter of the guru, Sukracarya; abhasata--said; rusa--being very angry; svasanti--breathing very heavily; urangi iva--like a serpent; dharsita--offended, trampled; dasta-dat-chada--biting her lip with her teeth.
Sukadeva Gosvami said: When thus rebuked in cruel words, Sarmistha was very angry. Breathing heavily like a serpent and biting her lower lip with her teeth, she spoke to the daughter of Sukracarya as follows.
katthase bahu bhiksuki
kim na pratiksase 'smakam
grhan balibhujo yatha
atma-vrttam--one's own position; avijnaya--without understanding; katthase--you are talking madly; bahu--so much; bhiksuki--beggar; kim--whether; na--not; pratiksase--you wait; asmakam--our; grhan--at the house; balibhujah--crows; yatha--like.
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?
Crows have no independent life; they fully depend on the remnants of foodstuffs thrown by householders into the garbage tank. Therefore, because a brahmana depends on his disciples, when Sarmistha was heavily rebuked by Devayani she charged Devayani 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.
sarmistha praksipat kupe
vasas cadaya manyuna
evam-vidhaih--such; su-parusaih--by unkind words; ksiptva--after chastising; acarya-sutam--the daughter of Sukracarya; satim--Devayani; sarmistha--Sarmistha; praksipat--threw (her); kupe--into a well; vasah--the garments; ca--and; adaya--taking away; manyuna--because of anger.
Using such unkind words, Sarmistha rebuked Devayani, the daughter of Sukracarya. In anger, she took away Devayani's garments and threw Devayani into a well.
tasyam gatayam sva-grham
yayatir mrgayam caran
prapto yadrcchaya kupe
jalarthi tam dadarsa ha
tasyam--when she; gatayam--went; sva-grham--to her home; yayatih--King Yayati; mrgayam--hunting; caran--wandering; praptah--arrived; yadrcchaya--by chance; kupe--in the well; jala-arthi--desiring to drink water; tam--her (Devayani); dadarsa--saw; ha--indeed.
After throwing Devayani into the well, Sarmistha went home. Meanwhile, King Yayati, while engaged in a hunting excursion, went to the well to drink water and by chance saw Devayani.
dattva svam uttaram vasas
tasyai raja vivasase
grhitva panina panim
dattva--giving; svam--his own; uttaram--upper; vasah--cloth; tasyai--unto her (Devayani); raja--the King; vivasase--because she was naked; grhitva--catching; panina--with his hand; panim--her hand; ujjahara--delivered; daya-parah--being very kind.
Seeing Devayani naked in the well, King Yayati immediately gave her his upper cloth. Being very kind to her, he caught her hand with his own and lifted her out.
tam viram ahausanasi
rajams tvaya grhito me
hasta-graho 'paro ma bhud
grhitayas tvaya hi me
esa isa-krto vira
sambandho nau na paurusah
tam--unto him; viram--Yayati; aha--said; ausanasi--the daughter of Usana Kavi, Sukracarya; prema-nirbharaya--saturated with love and kindness; gira--by such words; rajan--O King; tvaya--by you; grhitah--accepted; me--my; panih--hand; para-puranjaya--the conqueror of the kingdoms of others; hasta-grahah--he who accepted my hand; aparah--another; ma--may not; bhut--become; grhitayah--accepted; tvaya--by you; hi--indeed; me--of me; esah--this; isa-krtah--arranged by providence; vira--O great hero; sambandhah--relationship; nau--our; na--not; paurusah--anything man-made.
With words saturated with love and affection, Devayani said to King Yayati: 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.
While taking Devayani out of the well, King Yayati must certainly have appreciated her youthful beauty, and therefore he might have asked her which caste she belonged to. Thus Devayani 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 Yayati accepted Devayani's hand, they could be regarded as married. Because Devayani was enamored with the hero Yayati, she requested him not to change his mind and let another come to marry her.
yad idam kupa-magnaya
bhavato darsanam mama
na brahmano me bhavita
sapad yam asapam pura
yat--because of; idam--this; kupa-magnayah--fallen in the well; bhavatah--of your good self; darsanam--meeting; mama--with me; na--not; brahmanah--a qualified brahmana; me--my; bhavita--will become; hasta-grahah--husband; maha-bhuja--O great mighty-armed one; kacasya--of Kaca; barhaspatyasya--the son of the learned brahmana and celestial priest Brhaspati; sapat--because of the curse; yam--whom; asapam--I cursed; pura--in the past.
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 Brhaspati, he cursed me by saying that I would not have a brahmana for a husband. Therefore, O mighty-armed one, there is no possibility of my becoming the wife of a brahmana.
Kaca, the son of the learned celestial priest Brhaspati, had been a student of Sukracarya, from whom he had learned the art of reviving a man who has died untimely. This art, called mrta-sanjivani, 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 mrta-sanjivani. This art was known to Sukracarya and many others, and Kaca, the son of Brhaspati, became Sukracarya's student to learn it. Devayani desired to have Kaca as her husband, but Kaca, out of regard for Sukracarya, looked upon the guru's daughter as a respectable superior and therefore refused to marry her. Devayani angrily cursed Kaca by saying that although he had learned the art of mrta-sanjivani from her father, it would be useless. When cursed in this way, Kaca retaliated by cursing Devayani never to have a husband who was a brahmana. Because Devayani liked Yayati, who was a ksatriya, she requested him to accept her as his bona fide wife. Although this would be pratiloma-vivaha, 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.
manas tu tad-gatam buddhva
yayatih--King Yayati; anabhipretam--not liked; daiva-upahrtam--brought about by providential arrangements; atmanah--his personal interest; manah--mind; tu--however; tat-gatam--being attracted to her; buddhva--by such intelligence; pratijagraha--accepted; tat-vacah--the words of Devayani.
Sukadeva Gosvami continued: Because such a marriage is not sanctioned by regular scriptures, King Yayati did not like it, but because it was arranged by providence and because he was attracted by Devayani's beauty, he accepted her request.
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 yotaka 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-gana, manusya-gana and raksasa-gana. 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. Dampatye 'bhirucir hetuh (Bhag. 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.
gate rajani sa dhire
tatra sma rudati pituh
nyavedayat tatah sarvam
uktam sarmisthaya krtam
gate rajani--after the departure of the King; sa--she (Devayani); dhire--learned; tatra sma--returning to her home; rudati--crying; pituh--before her father; nyavedayat--submitted; tatah--thereafter; sarvam--all; uktam--mentioned; sarmisthaya--by Sarmistha; krtam--done.
Thereafter, when the learned King returned to his palace, Devayani returned home crying and told her father, Sukracarya, about all that had happened because of Sarmistha. She told how she had been thrown into the well but was saved by the King.
durmana bhagavan kavyah
stuvan vrttim ca kapotim
duhitra sa yayau purat
durmanah--being very unhappy; bhagavan--the most powerful; kavyah--Sukracarya; paurohityam--the business of priesthood; vigarhayan--condemning; stuvan--praising; vrttim--the profession; ca--and; kapotim--of collecting grains from the field; duhitra--with his daughter; sah--he (Sukracarya); yayau--went; purat--from his own residence.
As Sukracarya listened to what had happened to Devayani, his mind was very much aggrieved. Condemning the profession of priesthood and praising the profession of uncha-vrtti [collecting grains from the fields], he left home with his daughter.
When a brahmana adopts the profession of a kapota, or pigeon, he lives by collecting grains from the field. This is called uncha-vrtti. A brahmana who takes to this uncha-vrtti 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 brahmana or sannyasi, one does better if he can avoid such a profession and completely depend on the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead for maintenance. Sukracarya 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, Sukracarya 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.
vrsaparva tam ajnaya
gurum prasadayan murdhna
padayoh patitah pathi
vrsaparva--the King of the demons; tam ajnaya--understanding the motive of Sukracarya; pratyanika--some curse; vivaksitam--desiring to speak; gurum--his spiritual master, Sukracarya; prasadayat--he satisfied immediately; murdhna--with his head; padayoh--at the feet; patitah--fell down; pathi--on the road.
King Vrsaparva understood that Sukracarya was coming to chastise or curse him. Consequently, before Sukracarya came to his house, Vrsaparva went out and fell down in the street at the feet of his guru and satisfied him, checking his wrath.
sisyam vyacasta bhargavah
kamo 'syah kriyatam rajan
nainam tyaktum ihotsahe
ksana-ardha--lasting only a few moments; manyuh--whose anger; bhagavan--the most powerful; sisyam--unto his disciple, Vrsaparva; vyacasta--said; bhargavah--Sukracarya, the descendant of Bhrgu; kamah--the desire; asyah--of this Devayani; kriyatam--please fulfill; rajan--O King; na--not; enam--this girl; tyaktum--to give up; iha--in this world; utsahe--I am able.
The powerful Sukracarya was angry for a few moments, but upon being satisfied he said to Vrsaparva: My dear King, kindly fulfill the desire of Devayani, for she is my daughter and in this world I cannot give her up or neglect her.
Sometimes a great personality like Sukracarya cannot neglect sons and daughters, for sons and daughters are by nature dependent on their father and the father has affection for them. Although Sukracarya knew that the quarrel between Devayani and Sarmistha was childish, as Devayani'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.
tathety avasthite praha
pitra datta yato yasye
sanuga yatu mam anu
tatha iti--when King Vrsaparva agreed to Sukracarya's proposal; avasthite--the situation being settled in this way; praha--said; devayani--the daughter of Sukracarya; manogatam--her desire; pitra--by the father; datta--given; yatah--to whomever; yasye--I shall go; sa-anuga--with her friends; yatu--shall go; mam anu--as my follower or servant.
After hearing Sukracarya's request, Vrsaparva agreed to fulfill Devayani's desire, and he awaited her words. Devayani then expressed her desire as follows: "Whenever I marry by the order of my father, my friend Sarmistha must go with me as my maidservant, along with her friends."
pitra datta devayanyai
sarmistha sanuga tada
svanam tat sankatam viksya
tad-arthasya ca gauravam
pitra--by the father; datta--given; devayanyai--unto Devayani, the daughter of Sukracarya; sarmistha--the daughter of Vrsaparva; sa-anuga--with her friends; tada--at that time; svanam--of his own; tat--that; sankatam--dangerous position; viksya--observing; tat--from him; arthasya--of the benefit; ca--also; gauravam--the greatness; devayanim--unto Devayani; paryacarat--served; stri-sahasrena--with thousands of other women; dasa-vat--acting as a slave.
Vrsaparva wisely thought that Sukracarya's displeasure would bring danger and that his pleasure would bring material gain. Therefore he carried out Sukracarya's order and served him like a slave. He gave his daughter Sarmistha to Devayani, and Sarmistha served Devayani like a slave, along with thousands of other women.
In the beginning of these affairs concerning Sarmistha and Devayani, we saw that Sarmistha had many friends. Now these friends became maidservants of Devayani. When a girl married a ksatriya king, it was customary for all her girl friends to go with her to her husband's house. For instance, when Vasudeva married Devaki, the mother of Krsna, he married all six of her sisters, and she also had many friends who accompanied her. A king would maintain not only his wife but also the many friends and maidservants of his wife. Some of these maidservants would become pregnant and give birth to children. Such children were accepted as dasi-putra, the sons of the maidservants, and the king would maintain them. The female population is always greater than the male, but since a woman needs to be protected by a man, the king would maintain many girls, who acted either as friends or as maidservants of the queen. In the history of Krsna's household life we find that Krsna married 16,108 wives. These were not maidservants but direct queens, and Krsna expanded Himself into 16,108 forms to maintain different establishments for each and every wife. This is not possible for ordinary men. Therefore although the kings had to maintain many, many servants and wives, not all of them had different establishments.
nahusaya sutam dattva
tam aha rajan charmistham
adhas talpe na karhicit
nahusaya--unto King Yayati, the descendant of Nahusa; sutam--his daughter; dattva--giving in marriage; saha--with; sarmisthaya--Sarmistha, the daughter of Vrsaparva and servant of Devayani; usana--Sukracarya; tam--unto him (King Yayati); aha--said; rajan--my dear King; sarmistham--Sarmistha, the daughter of Vrsaparva; adhah--allow; talpe--on your bed; na--not; karhicit--at any time.
When Sukracarya gave Devayani in marriage to Yayati, he had Sarmistha go with her, but he warned the King, "My dear King, never allow this girl Sarmistha to lie with you in your bed."
charmistha suprajam kvacit
tam eva vavre rahasi
sakhyah patim rtau sati
vilokya--by seeing; ausanasim--Devayani, the daughter of Sukracarya; rajan--O King Pariksit; sarmistha--the daughter of Vrsaparva; su-prajam--possessing nice children; kvacit--at some time; tam--him (King Yayati); eva--indeed; vavre--requested; rahasi--in a secluded place; sakhyah--of her friend; patim--the husband; rtau--at the appropriate time; sati--being in that position.
O King Pariksit, upon seeing Devayani with a nice son, Sarmistha once approached King Yayati at the appropriate time for conception. In a secluded place, she requested the King, the husband of her friend Devayani, to enable her to have a son also.
dharmam caveksya dharmavit
smaran chukra-vacah kale
raja-putrya--by Sarmistha, who was the daughter of a king; arthitah--being requested; apatye--for a son; dharmam--religious principles; ca--as well as; aveksya--considering; dharma-vit--aware of all religious principles; smaran--remembering; sukra-vacah--the warning of Sukracarya; kale--at the time; distam--circumstantially; eva--indeed; abhyapadyata--accepted (to fulfill the desire of Sarmistha).
When Princess Sarmistha begged King Yayati 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 Sukracarya, he thought of this union as the desire of the Supreme, and thus he had sex with Sarmistha.
King Yayati was completely aware of the duty of a ksatriya. When a ksatriya is approached by a woman, he cannot deny her. This is a religious principle. Consequently, when Dharmaraja, Yudhisthira, saw Arjuna unhappy after Arjuna returned from Dvaraka, he asked whether Arjuna had refused a woman who had begged for a son. Although Maharaja Yayati remembered Sukracarya's warning, he could not refuse Sarmistha. 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-gita (7.11), dharmaviruddho bhutesu kamo 'smi: sex life not contrary to the principles of religion is sanctioned by Krsna. Because Sarmistha, the daughter of a king, had begged Yayati for a son, their combination was not lust but an act of religion.
yadum ca turvasum caiva
druhyum canum ca purum ca
yadum--Yadu; ca--and; turvasum--Turvasu; ca eva--as well as; devayani--the daughter of Sukracarya; vyajayata--gave birth to; druhyum--Druhyu; ca--and; anum--Anu; ca--also; purum--Puru; ca--also; sarmistha--Sarmistha; varsaparvani--the daughter of Vrsaparva.
Devayani gave birth to Yadu and Turvasu, and Sarmistha gave birth to Druhyu, Anu and Puru.
bhartur vijnaya manini
devayani pitur geham
garbha-sambhavam--pregnancy; asuryah--of Sarmistha; bhartuh--made possible by her husband; vijnaya--knowing (from the brahmana astrologers); manini--being very proud; devayani--the daughter of Sukracarya; pituh--of her father; geham--to the house; yayau--departed; krodha-vimurchita--frenzied because of anger.
When the proud Devayani understood from outside sources that Sarmistha was pregnant by her husband, she was frenzied with anger. Thus she departed for her father's house.
priyam anugatah kami
na prasadayitum seke
priyam--his beloved wife; anugatah--following; kami--very, very lusty; vacobhih--by great words; upamantrayan--appeasing; na--not; prasadayitum--to appease; seke--was able; pada-samvahana-adibhih--even by massaging her feet.
King Yayati, 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.
sukras tam aha kupitah
tvam jara visatam manda
sukrah--Sukracarya; tam--unto him (King Yayati); aha--said; kupitah--being very angry at him; stri-kama--O you who have lusty desires for women; anrta-purusa--O untruthful person; tvam--unto you; jara--old age, invalidity; visatam--may enter; manda--you fool; virupa-karani--which disfigures; nrnam--the bodies of human beings.
Sukracarya 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."
atrpto 'smy adya kamanam
brahman duhitari sma te
vayasa yo 'bhidhasyati
sri-yayatih uvaca--King Yayati said; atrptah--unsatisfied; asmi--I am; adya--till now; kamanam--to satisfy my lusty desires; brahman--O learned brahmana; duhitari--in connection with the daughter; sma--in the past; te--your; vyatyasyatam--just exchange; yatha-kamam--as long as you are lusty; vayasa--with youth; yah abhidhasyati--of one who agrees to exchange your old age for his youth.
King Yayati said, "O learned, worshipable brahmana, I have not yet satisfied my lusty desires with your daughter." Sukracarya then replied, "You may exchange your old age with someone who will agree to transfer his youth to you."
When King Yayati said that he had not yet satisfied his lusty desires with Sukracarya's daughter, Sukracarya saw that it was against the interests of his own daughter for Yayati to continue in old age and invalidity, for certainly his lusty daughter would not be satisfied. Therefore Sukracarya blessed his son-in-law by saying that he could exchange his old age for someone else's youth. He indicated that if Yayati's son would exchange his youth for Yayati's old age, Yayati could continue to enjoy sex with Devayani.
putram jyestham avocata
yado tata praticchemam
jaram dehi nijam vayah
iti--thus; labdha-vyavasthanah--getting the opportunity to exchange his old age; putram--unto his son; jyestham--the eldest; avocata--he requested; yado--O Yadu; tata--you are my beloved son; praticcha--kindly exchange; imam--this; jaram--invalidity; dehi--and give; nijam--your own; vayah--youth.
When Yayati received this benediction from Sukracarya, he requested his eldest son: My dear son Yadu, please give me your youth in exchange for my old age and invalidity.
na trpto visayesv aham
ramsye katipayah samah
matamaha-krtam--given by your maternal grandfather, Sukracarya; vatsa--my dear son; na--not; trptah--satisfied; visayesu--in sex life, sense gratification; aham--I (am); vayasa--by age; bhavadiyena--of your good self; ramsye--I shall enjoy sex life; katipayah--for a few; samah--years.
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.
This is the nature of lusty desires. In Bhagavad-gita (7.20) it is said, kamais tais tair hrta jnanah: when one is too attached to sense gratification, he actually loses his sense. The word hrta jnanah 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 pramattah, or exclusively mad. Nunam pramattah kurute vikarma: 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 Krsna conscious.
yadavadhi mama cetah krsna-padaravinde
nava-nava-rasa-dhamany udyatam rantum asit
tadavadhi bata nari-sangame smaryamane
bhavati mukha-vikarah susthu-nisthivanam ca
"Since I have been engaged in the transcendental loving service of Krsna, 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 Krsna 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, punah punas carvita-carvananam. 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.
notsahe jarasa sthatum
antara praptaya tava
aviditva sukham gramyam
vaitrsnyam naiti purusah
sri-yaduh uvaca--Yadu, the eldest son to Yayati, replied; na utsahe--I am not enthusiastic; jarasa--with your old age and invalidity; sthatum--to remain; antara--while in youth; praptaya--accepted; tava--your; aviditva--without experiencing; sukham--happiness; gramyam--material or bodily; vaitrsnyam--indifference to material enjoyment; na--does not; eti--attain; purusah--a person.
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.
Renunciation of material enjoyment is the ultimate goal of human life. Therefore the varnasrama 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. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu said, niskincanasya bhagavad-bhajanonmukhasya: one who wants to go back home, back to Godhead, must be niskincana, free from all affinity for material enjoyment. Brahmany upasamasrayam: 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.
mam ca yo 'vyabhicarena
sa gunan samatityaitan
"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. Varnasrama therefore gives the opportunity for gradual elevation. Yadu, the son of Maharaja Yayati, explained that he was unable to give up his youth, for he wanted to use it to attain the renounced order in the future.
Maharaja Yadu was different from his brothers. As stated in the next verse, turvasus coditah pitra druhyus canus ca bharata. pratyacakhyur adharmajnah. Maharaja 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 Maharaja Yadu refused their father's order, this was certainly irreligious. Maharaja Yadu's refusal, however, was religious. As stated in the Tenth Canto, yados ca dharma-silaya: Maharaja Yadu was completely aware of the principles of religion. The ultimate principle of religion is to engage oneself in devotional service to the Lord. Maharaja 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 sannyasis who accept sannyasa prematurely, not having satisfied their material desires, fall down because they are disturbed. Therefore the general process is to go through grhastha life and vanaprastha life and finally come to sannyasa and devote oneself completely to the service of the Lord. Maharaja 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 Krsna. 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 Krsna appeared in his dynasty. As confirmed in the prayers of Kunti, yadoh priyasyanvavaye. Yadu was very dear to Krsna, who was therefore eager to descend in Yadu's dynasty. In conclusion, Maharaja Yadu should not be considered adharma jna, ignorant of religious principles, as the next verse designates his brothers. He was like the four Sanakas (catuh-sana), who refused the order of their father, Brahma, for the sake of a better cause. Because the four Kumaras wanted to engage themselves completely in the service of the Lord as brahmacaris, their refusal to obey their father's order was not irreligious.
turvasus coditah pitra
druhyus canus ca bharata
hy anitye nitya-buddhayah
turvasuh--Turvasu, another son; coditah--requested; pitra--by the father (to exchange old age and invalidity for his youth); druhyuh--Druhyu, another son; ca--and; anuh--Anu, another son; ca--also; bharata--O King Pariksit; pratyacakhyuh--refused to accept; adharma-jnah--because they did not know religious principles; hi--indeed; a-nitye--temporary youth; nitya-buddhayah--thinking to be permanent.
O Maharaja Pariksit, Yayati 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.
aprcchat tanayam purum
na tvam agrajavad vatsa
mam pratyakhyatum arhasi
aprcchat--requested; tanayam--the son; purum--Puru; vayasa--by age; unam--although younger; guna-adhikam--better than the others by quality; na--not; tvam--you; agraja-vat--like your older brothers; vatsa--my dear son; mam--me; pratyakhyatum--to refuse; arhasi--ought.
King Yayati then requested Puru, 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."
ko nu loke manusyendra
pitur atma-krtah puman
pratikartum ksamo yasya
prasadad vindate param
sri-puruh uvaca--Puru said; kah--what; nu--indeed; loke--in this world; manusya-indra--O Your Majesty, best of human beings; pituh--the father; atma-krtah--who has given this body; puman--a person; pratikartum--to repay; ksamah--is able; yasya--of whom; prasadat--by the mercy; vindate--one enjoys; param--superior life.
Puru 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.
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 Krsna 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 Krsna consciousness is the most benevolent father in this world. It is said:
janame janame sabe pita mata paya
krsna guru nahi mile bhaja hari ei
Everyone gets a father and mother, but if one gets the benediction of Krsna and guru, he can conquer material nature and return home, back to Godhead.
uttamas cintitam kuryat
prokta-kari tu madhyamah
adhamo 'sraddhaya kuryad
uttamah--the best; cintitam--considering the father's idea; kuryat--acts accordingly; prokta-kari--one who acts on the order of the father; tu--indeed; madhyamah--mediocre; adhamah--lower class; asraddhaya--without any faith; kuryat--acts; akarta--unwilling to do; uccaritam--like stool; pituh--of the father.
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.
Puru, Yayati's last son, immediately accepted his father's proposal, for although he was the youngest, he was very qualified. Puru 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 mutra. putra means "son," and mutra 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.
iti pramuditah puruh
pratyagrhnaj jaram pituh
so 'pi tad-vayasa kaman
yathavaj jujuse nrpa
iti--in this way; pramuditah--very pleased; puruh--Puru; pratyagrhnat--accepted; jaram--the old age and invalidity; pituh--of his father; sah--that father (Yayati); api--also; tat-vayasa--by the youth of his son; kaman--all desires; yatha-vat--as required; jujuse--satisfied; nrpa--O Maharaja Pariksit.
Sukadeva Gosvami said: In this way, O Maharaja Pariksit, the son named Puru was very pleased to accept the old age of his father, Yayati, who took the youth of his son and enjoyed this material world as he required.
pitrvat palayan prajah
sapta-dvipa-patih--the master of the entire world, consisting of seven islands; samyak--completely; pitr-vat--exactly like a father; palayan--ruling; prajah--the subjects; yatha-upajosam--as much as he wanted; visayan--material happiness; jujuse--enjoyed; avyahata--without being disturbed; indriyah--his senses.
Thereafter, King Yayati 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.
devayany apy anudinam
preyasah paramam pritim
uvaha preyasi rahah
devayani--Maharaja Yayati's wife, the daughter of Sukracarya; api--also; anudinam--twenty-four hours, day after day; manah-vak--by her mind and words; deha--body; vastubhih--with all requisite things; preyasah--of her beloved husband; paramam--transcendental; pritim--bliss; uvaha--executed; preyasi--very dear to her husband; rahah--in seclusion, without any disturbance.
In secluded places, engaging her mind, words, body and various paraphernalia, Devayani, the dear wife of Maharaja Yayati, always brought her husband the greatest possible transcendental bliss.
ayajat--worshiped; yajna-purusam--the yajna-purusa, the Lord; kratubhih--by performing various sacrifices; bhuri-daksinaih--giving abundant gifts to the brahmanas; 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.
King Yayati performed various sacrifices, in which he offered abundant gifts to the brahmanas to satisfy the Supreme Lord, Hari, who is the reservoir of all the demigods and the object of all Vedic knowledge.
yasminn idam viracitam
naneva bhati nabhati
yasmin--in whom; idam--this entire cosmic manifestation; viracitam--created; vyomni--in the sky; iva--just like; jalada-avalih--clouds; nana iva--as if in different varieties; bhati--is manifested; na abhati--is unmanifested; svapna-maya--illusion, like a dream; manah-rathah--created to be traversed by the chariot of the mind.
The Supreme Lord, Vasudeva, 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, Visnu, and varieties are no longer manifested.
As stated by the Lord Himself in Bhagavad-gita (7.19):
bahunam janmanam ante
jnanavan mam prapadyate
vasudevah sarvam iti
sa mahatma sudurlabhah
"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, Vasudeva, 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 caham hrdi sannivistah). And from Him everything has emanated (janmady asya yatah). All material manifestations, however, are temporary. The word svapna means "dreams," maya means "illusion," and manoratha means "mental creations." Dreams, illusions and mental creations are temporary. Similarly, all material creation is temporary, but Vasudeva, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is the eternal Absolute Truth.
tam eva hrdi vinyasya
nirasir ayajat prabhum
tam eva--Him only; hrdi--within the heart; vinyasya--placing; vasudevam--Lord Vasudeva; guha-asayam--who exists in everyone's heart; narayanam--who is Narayana, or an expansion of Narayana; aniyamsam--invisible to material eyes, although existing everywhere; nirasih--Yayati, without any material desires; ayajat--worshiped; prabhum--the Supreme Lord.
Without material desires, Maharaja Yayati worshiped the Supreme Lord, who is situated in everyone's heart as Narayana and is invisible to material eyes, although existing everywhere.
King Yayati, although externally seeming very fond of material enjoyment, was internally thinking of becoming an eternal servant of the Lord.
vidadhano 'pi natrpyat
evam--in this way; varsa-sahasrani--for one thousand years; manah-sasthaih--by the mind and five knowledge-acquiring senses; manah-sukham--temporary happiness created by the mind; vidadhanah--executing; api--although; na atrpyat--could not be satisfied; sarva-bhaumah--although he was the king of the entire world; kat-indriyaih--because of possessing impure senses.
Although Maharaja Yayati 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.
The kad-indriya, or unpurified senses, can be purified if one engages the senses and the mind in Krsna consciousness. Sarvopadhi-vinirmuktam tat-paratvena nirmalam. 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. Hrsikena hrsikesa-sevanam 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 Srimad-Bhagavatam, entitled "King Yayati Regains His Youth."