Friday, February 22, 2008

Adi Parva - Sambhava Parva 21

"Vaisampayana said, 'The excellent monarch Yayati, the son of Nahusha,
having received Puru's youth, became exceedingly gratified. And with it
he once more began to indulge in his favourite pursuits to the full
extent of his desires and to the limit of his powers, according to
seasons, so as to derive the greatest pleasure therefrom. And, O king, in
nothing that he did, he acted against the precepts of his religion as
behoved him well. He gratified the gods by his sacrifices; the pitris, by
Sraddhas; the poor, by his charities; all excellent Brahmanas, by
fulfilling their desires; all persons entitled to the rites of
hospitality, with food and drink; the Vaisyas, by protection; and the
Sudras, by kindness. And the king repressed all criminals by proper
punishments. And Yayati, gratifying all sections of his subjects,
protected them virtuously like another Indra. And the monarch possessed
of the prowess of a lion, with youth and every object of enjoyment under
control, enjoyed unlimited happiness without transgressing the precepts
of religion. And the king became very happy in thus being able to enjoy
all the excellent objects of his desires. And he was only sorry when he
thought that those thousand years would come to an end. And having
obtained youth for a thousand years, the king acquainted with the
mysteries of time, and watching proper Kalas and Kashthas sported with
(the celestial damsel) Viswachi, sometimes in the beautiful garden of
Indra, sometimes in Alaka (the city of Kuvera), and sometimes on the
summit of the mountain Meru on the north. And when the virtuous monarch
saw that the thousand years were full, he summoned his son, Puru, and
addressed him thus, 'O oppressor of foes, with thy youth, O son, I have
enjoyed the pleasures of life, each according to its season to the full
extent of my desires, to the limit of my powers. Our desires, however,
are never gratified by indulgence. On the other hand, with indulgence,
they only flame up like fire with libations of sacrificial butter. If a
single person were owner of everything on Earth--all her yields of paddy
and barley, her silver, gold, and gems, her animals and women, he would
not still be content. Thirst of enjoyment, therefore, should be given up.
Indeed, true happiness belongeth to them that have cast off their thirst
for worldly objects--a thirst which is difficult to be thrown off by the
wicked and the sinful, which faileth not with the failing life, and which
is truly the fatal disease of man. My heart hath for a full thousand
years been fixed upon the objects of desires. My thirst for these,
however, increaseth day by day without abating. Therefore, I shall cast
it off, and fixing my mind on Brahma I shall pass the rest of my days
with the innocent deer in the forest peacefully and with no heart for any
worldly objects. And O Puru, I have been exceedingly gratified with thee!
Prosperity be thine! Receive back this thy youth! Receive thou also my
kingdom. Thou art, indeed, that son of mine who has done me the greatest

"Vaisampayana continued, 'Then Yayati, the son of Nahusha, received back
his decrepitude. And his son Puru received back his own youth. And Yayati
was desirous of installing Puru, his youngest son, on the throne. But the
four orders, with the Brahmanas at their head, then addressed the monarch
thus, 'O king, how shall thou bestow thy kingdom on Puru, passing over
thy eldest son Yadu born of Devayani, and, therefore, the grandson of the
great Sukra? Indeed, Yadu is thy eldest son; after him hath been born
Turvasu; and of Sarmishtha's sons, the first is Drahyu, then Anu and then
Puru. How doth the youngest deserve the throne, passing all his elder
brothers over? This we represent to thee! O, conform to virtuous

"Yayati then said, 'Ye four orders with Brahmanas at their head, hear my
words as to why my kingdom should not be given to my eldest son. My
commands have been disobeyed by my eldest son, Yadu. The wise say that he
is no son who disobeyeth his father. That son, however, who doth the
bidding of his parents, who seeketh their good, who is agreeable to them,
is indeed, the best of sons. I have been disregarded by Yadu and by
Turvasu, too. Much I have been disregarded by Drahyu and by Anu also. By
Puru alone hath my word been obeyed. By him have I been much regarded.
Therefore, the youngest shall be my heir. He took my decrepitude. Indeed,
Puru is my friend. He did what was so agreeable to me. It hath also been
commanded by Sukra himself, the son of Kavi, that, that son of mine who
should obey me will become king after me and bring the whole Earth under
his sway. I, therefore, beseech thee, let Puru be installed on the

"The people then said, 'True it is, O king, that, that son who is
accomplished and who seeketh the good of his parents, deserveth
prosperity even if he be the youngest. Therefore, doth Puru, who hath
done the good, deserve the crown. And as Sukra himself hath commanded it,
we have nothing to say to it.'

"Vaisampayana continued., 'The son of Nahusha, thus addressed by the
contented people, then installed his son, Puru, on the throne. And having
bestowed his kingdom on Puru, the monarch performed the initiatory
ceremonies for retiring into the woods. And soon after he left his
capital, followed by Brahmanas and ascetics.

"The sons of Yadu are known by the name of the Yadavas: while those of
Turvasu have come to be called the Yavanas. And the sons of Drahyu are
the Bhojas, while those of Anu, the Mlechchhas. The progeny of Puru,
however, are the Pauravas, amongst whom, O monarch, thou art born, in
order to rule for a thousand years with thy passions under complete

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