Friday, 24 June 2011


On being enquired by Bheeshma about the reason why Sati gave up her life, Sage Pulastya narrated the following tale ----
Once, Daksha Prajapati had organised a grand yagya in which he had invited everybody except Lord Shiva. This Yagya was presided over by four prominent sages---Vashishth, Angika, Vrihaspati and Narad. Sati went to attend the yagya despite Lord Shiva's reluctance to send her. After reaching there she asked Daksha about the reason why he had not invited Lord Shiva.

Daksha said---"Your husband is unworthy of being in the company of other deities, because of his abhorrent appearance. He smears ashes on his body and wanders through the cremation grounds. In the name of clothes, your husband puts on tiger's skin. A garland of skulls keep on hanging down his neck. All species of serpents coil around his body. Do you think he is eligible to sit in the company of the deities? Your husband had brought great shame on me and this is the reason why I did not invite him."

Sati could no more listen to her husband's criticism and gave up her life by jumping into the oblation-fire.When the news of Sati's death reached Lord Shiva, he became extremely furious and sent his ganas to avenge her death. The Ganas went and created havoc at the oblation-site.After the death of Sati, Lord Shiva became a recluse and lost all interest in his life. His mind was preoccupied by nothing else but the thoughts of her beloved.One day, Sage Narad informed Lord Shiva about Sati's rebirth as the daughter of Himvan and Mena. Lord Shiva became extremely pleased by this good news. Eventually, he reunited with her eternal consort Parvati.


 Bheeshma requested Sage Pulastya to explain how different entities like the deities, demons and serpents came into being.

Pulastya replied---Having failed in his repeated attempts of increasing population by the means of 'sankalpa' Daksha Prajapati was left with no option but to take the help of copulative creation. He begot sixty daughters from his wife named Virini. In course of time ten of them were married to Dharma whose names were---Arundhati, Vasu, Jami, Lamba, Bhanu, Marutvati, Sankalpa, Muhurta, Saadhya and Vishwa.Vishwa gave birth to Vishwadeva, while Saadhyaa was the mother of Saddhya.

 Marutvati gave birth to Marutvan. Vasu had eight sons who became famous as the Vasus---yourself (Bheeshma), Dhruv, Soma, Dhar, Anil, Anal, Pratyush and Prabhas. Bhanu had a son by the same name i.e. Bhanu. Mahurta begot deities, who were the lords of auspicious moments. Lamba gave birth to Ghosh while Jami had a daughter named Nagvithi. Arundhati became the mother of all the creatures of this world. As far as the offspring of eight Vasus are concerned, 'you' (Bheeshma) have four sons--Shant, Vaitand, Samb and Munibabhru. Dhruv had a son named Kaal. While Soma was the father of Varcha. Dhar had two sons--Dravin and Havyavaah. Anil had three sons--- Pran, Raman and Shishir.

Anal also had three sons---Shakh, Upshakh and Naigameya. Pratyush had a son named Deval, who later on became a famous sage. Prabhas was the father of Prajapati Vishwakarma--the architect of the deities.
The names of the eleven Rudras are---Ajaikpad, Ahirbudhnya, Virupaksh, Raivat, Har, Bahuroop, Trayambak, Savitra, Jayant, Pinaki and Aparajit. All of them are said to be the lords of the Ganas and have all together 84 crore progenies known as the Rudraganas.

Sage Kashyap had thirteen wives---Aditi, Diti, Danu, Arishta, Sursa, Surabhi, Vinta, Tamra, Krodhvasha, Ira, Kadru, Khasa and Muni. Kashyap had two sons from Diti---Hiranyakashipu and Hiranyaksha. Hiranyakashipu had four sons---Prahlad, Anuhlad, Sanhlad and Hlad. Prahlad also had four sons---One of them was Virochan. Virochan was the father of Bali. Vanasur, who had one thousand arms, was the eldest son of Bali.Hiranyaksha had four sons, who themselves had 27 crore sons and grandsons in all. Kashyap had begotten one hundred sons from Danu, among whom Viprachitti was the most powerful.Viprachitti had fourteen sons from Sinhika---Sainhikeya (Rahu), Kansa, Shankh, Nala, Vatapi, Ilwal, Namuchi, Khasrima, Anjan, Narak, Kaalnaabh, Parmanu, Kalpavirya and Dhanuvanshavivardhan.

Kashyap also had six daughters from Tamra--Shuki, Shyeni, Bhasi, Gridhi, Sugridhi and Shuchi. All six of them gave birth to various species of birds. Shuki was the mother of Parrots and Owls. Shyeni gave birth to hawks while Bhasi was the mother of ospreys (a large fish eating birds.) Gridhi gave birth to Vultures and Sugridhi was the mother of pigeons. Shuchi was the mother of cranes, Swans and other similar aquatic birds. Vinita was the mother of Garuda and Arun---Supreme among birds. Arun was the father of Sampati and Jatayu.Sursa was the mother of the serpents and had given birth to one thousand snakes. Similarly, Kadru gave birth to one thousand cobras.Surabhi, one of the thirteen wives of Kashyap had given birth to cows, buffaloes as well as beautiful women. Muni was the mother of the celestial damsels --apsaras. Arishta gave birth to Kinnars and Gandharvas. Ira was the mother of various vegetation like grass, trees, creepers and bushes.
Khasa gave birth to crore of Rakshashas (monsters) and Yakshas.Kashyap had also begotten forty-nine Marudganas from Diti.


 Bheeshma requested Sage Pulastya to describe how all the Marudganas came into existence.

Pulastya replied--- All the sons and grandsons of Diti had perished in the battle fought between the deities and demons. Diti---the mother of daityas (demons) wanted to take revenge, so she started doing a penance at the bank of river Saraswati, which lasted for 100 years.Being pleased by her austere penance Sage Kashyap arrived and expressed his desire to bless her with a boon. Diti wanted a mighty son who could kill Indra. Sage Kashyap then implanted his sperms in Diti's womb and instructed her to remain there (where she had been doing penance) for 100 years. He also instructed her on various do's and don'ts which a pregnant woman is expected to observe. Diti agreed to follow his instructions.Mean while, Indra got wind of her pregnancy and became scared. He wanted to destroy the foetus at any cost, so he arrived at the place where Diti was staying. He had disguised himself to avoid being recognized by Diti. He engaged himself in her servitude, waiting for an opportune moment to destroy the foetus.

This way, ninety-nine years had passed and only three days were remaining after which Diti was expected to give birth to a son. As the inevitable day approached nearer, Indra started becoming restless.One day, Diti was very tired and fell down asleep. Her hair was untied and her head had stooped down while she was sleeping, just opposite to the instructions Kashyap had given to her. Finding the moment opportune, Indra entered into Diti's womb and cut the foetus into seven pieces with his Vajra. The seven fragments of foetus instantaneously got transformed into seven infants and started wailing. Indra became furious and once again he attacked them with his vajra and severed them into seven pieces each. But to Indra's sheer amazement, there were 49 infants, all wailing loudly. He tried to stop them from crying by shouting 'Marud' (don't cry), but to no avail.

Indra realized that the infants had attained immortality on account of the 'Pournamasi Vrata', which Diti had devoutly observed during the course of her penance. Indra named the infants as Marudganas and blessed them. He then begged for Diti's forgiveness and took her along with the Marudganas to heaven. The Marudganas, despite being born in the clans of demons, never associated with them and hence were revered even by the deities.Bheeshma expressed his curiosity to know about the detailed description of all the fourteen manvantars. Pulastya said--The first manvantar was called Swayambhuva, named after Swayambhuva- Manu. Yamya was the prominent deity of this manvantar. Marichi and other six prominent sages were the Saptarishis of this manvantar. Swayambhuva- Manu had ten sons---Aaghnigha, Agnibahu, Vibhu, Savan, Jyotishman, Dyutiman, Havya, Medha, Medhatithi and Vasu.

The second manvantar was named after Swarochish--Manu. Swarochish--Manu had four sons--Nabh, Nabhasya, Prasriti and Bhavan. Tushit was the prominent deity of this second manvantar. Dattatreya, Atri, Chyavan, Stanba, Pran, Kashyap and Vrihaspati were the saptarishis of this manvantar.

The third manvantar was called Autam and derived its name from Autami Manu, who had ten sons--Isha, Urj, Tanuj, Shuchi, Shukra, Madhu, Madhav, Nabhasya, Nabh and Saha, Bhanusangyak was the prominent deity of this manvantar. Sage Urj and other six sages were the saptarishis then.

The fourth manvantar was called Taamas--named after Taamas-manu, who also had ten sons like his predecessor. The names of his sons were--Akalmash, Tapodhanva, Tapomool, Tapodhan, Taporashi, Tapasya, Sutapasya, Parantap, Tapobhagi and Tapoyogi. Kavi, Prithu, Agni, Akapi, Kapi, Janya and Dhama were the Saptarishis of this manvantar, while Saadhyagana was the prominent deity.

The fifth manvantar was called Raivat--named after Raivat Manu, who had ten sons as well--Varun, Tatvadarshi, chitiman, Havyap, Kavi, Mukt, Nirutsuk, Satva, Vimoh and Prakashak, Bhutrajaa and Prakriti were the two prominent deities of this manvantar and the names of the saptarishis were--Devabahu, Subahu, Parjanya, Somap, Muni, Hiranyaroma and Saptashva.

Next arrived the sixth manvantar---Chakshush. This Manvantar derived its name from Chakshush--Manu, who had ten sons and among whom Ruru was the most prominent one. Lekh, Ribhu, Prithagbhoot, Varimool and Divau were the prominent deities of this manvantar. The names of Saptarishis were--Bhrigu, Sudhama, Viraj, Vishnu, Narad, Vivaswan and Abhimani.

The present manvantar, which is the seventh in order, is called Vaivaswat. The Saptarishis of this manvantar are---Atri, Vashishth, Kashyap, Gautam--yogi, Bhardwaj, Vishwamitra and Jamdagni.
The eighth manvantar will be called Savarnya and will be named after Savarni Manu, Savarni Manu will have ten sons---Dhriti, Variyan, Yavasu, Suvarna, Dhrishti, Charishnu, Aadya, Sumati, Vasu and Shukra. The Saptarishis of this manvantar will be--Ashwatthama, Rishyashringa, Kaushikya, Galav, Shatanand, Kaashyap and Parashuram.

The nineth manvantar will be named after Ruchi--Manu and will be called Rauchya manvantar. Ruchi--manu will have a son named Rauchya.
The tenth manvantar will be called Bhautya and will derive its name from Bhautya Manu--Son of Bhuti.

The eleventh, twelfth, thirteenth and fourteenth manvantars will be named after Merusavarni, Ribhu, Veetdhama and Vishkvasen Manus respectively.

All these fourteen Manus successively rule this world for the total period of 1000 Chaturyugas. At the end of Kalpa each of them unite with Lord Brahma.


Bheeshma enquired Sage Pulastya about the mighty King Prithu upon whom the earth was named as Prithvi.

Sage Pulastya replied---Anga-Prajapati was the descendant of Swayambhuva Manu and Sunitha was his wife. In course of time, Sunitha gave birth to a son, who was named Ven. After growing up, Ven turned out to be an extremely irreligious person and used to spend his time committing all sorts of immoral deeds. The sages tried to bring him to the virtuous path but to no avail. They became furious and cursed Ven as the result of which he died. The sages then churned his dead body, which resulted into the manifestation of a mean caste called Mlechchha. They kept on churning his body and in the process, an extremely virtuous entity manifested from the right hand of Ven. He held various weapons like mace, bow and arrows in his hands. He was none other than Prithu--the embodiment of Lord Vishnu.

After being crowned as a king, Prithu was saddened to see the prevalence of immorality throughout the length and breadth of earth. The lack of virtuosity and religiousness among the inhabitants of earth made him extremely furious. He decided to destroy the earth. The earth became scared and fled in the guise of a cow. Prithu chased her wherever she went. At last, the cow halted at a place as she had got tired. To save her life, the cow agreed to fulfill all the desires of Prithu. Prithu then milked the cow, which later on got transformed into cereals. Similarly all the deities, ancestors and other human-beings milked the cow and received numerous invaluable things.

Prithu was a just king. Peace and prosperity prevailed during his reign. People were religious and free from any kind of sorrow. The earth is named after him as Prithvi.Sage Pulastya then went on to give a detailed description of Surya dynasty---Vivaswan (Surya) had three queens---Sangya, Ragyi and Prabha. Ragyi had a son named Raivat while Somgya was the mother of Vaivaswat--Manu, Yama and Yamuna. Once, Sangya being unable to bear the extreme radiance of Surya created a superficial entity from her body and instructed her to act as Surya's wife in her absence. The name of this superficial woman was chhaya, who had two sons and two daughters from Surya. The names of her sons were Saavarna--Manu and Shanaishchar, while the names of her daughters were Tapti and Vishti.

Shanaishchar became immortal as a planet while Yamuna and Tapti became rivers. Vaivaswat Manu had ten sons among whom 'Ila' was the eldest. After appointing Ila as his successor, Vaivaswat, manu went to do penance.Once, Ila transformed into a woman after tresspassing a forest where Lord Shiva and Parvati were enjoying privacy. It was Lord Shiva's curse that any male who ventured in to that forbidden forest would become a woman. Later on, Buddh became enchanted by Ila's beauty and married her.

Meanwhile, when Ila did not return to his kingdom, his brother Ikshvaku went in search of him. Ikshvaku reached the outskirts of the same forest but did not enter it. He managed to please Shiva by his devotion. When Lord Shiva appeared, Ikshvaku requested him to make Ila a man once again. Shiva told him that it was impossible but assured him by saying "If you perform an Ashwamedha yagya and donate all the virtue thus acquired to me, then your brother will be able to live as a man for one month. But, after one month he will again become a woman. Thus, his form will keep on changing every alternate months."

Meanwhile Ila gave birth to four sons among whom Utkal, Gaya and Haritashwa were prominent. This way, Ila became the source from which the lineage of chandra sprouted.Ikshvaku ruled over Madhya-desh. He had one hundred sons, all of whom ruled the territories situated north of Meru Mountain. Ikshvaku also had one hundred and fourteen more sons, who ruled over the areas situated south of Meru.Kakusttha was Ikshvaku's grand-son. Kakusttha had a son named Suyodhan. Some other prominent kings coming from this lineage were--Prithu, Vrihadashwa, Kuwalashva, Purukutsu, Dharmasetu, Muchukund, Tridhanva, Traidharun, Satyavrat and Satyarath.

The most truthful king Harishchandra was Satyarath's son and Rohit was his son. Famous kings like Raghu, Dilip Aja, Dirghabahu and Prajapati-Dasharath were the descendants of Ikshvaku. Dasharath had four sons among whom Sri Ram was the eldest and who had killed the demon king Ravana. Ram had two sons--Lav and Kush.

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