सनातन धर्म भूमिका

Meaning of "Yayati"







In General

A noble and eminent King of Chandravamsa

Genealogy : From Visnu were descended in the following order: Brahma Atri Candra Budha Pururavas Ayus Nahusa Yayati. Sage Atri had three sons Candra, Durvasas and Dattatreya by his wife Anasuya. Candra's son was Budha, Budha's son was Pururavas, Pururavas's son was Ayus; Ayus's son was Nahusa who had six sons Yati, Yayati, Sarhyati, Ayati, Ayati and Dhruva. Yayati had two wives, Devayani and Sarmistha. Two sons, Yadu and Turvasu, were born to Devayani. Of them, Yadu became the founder of Yaduvamsa. Sarmistha had three sons who were Druhyu, Anudruhyu and Puru. The Puruvamsa of which Pandavas are descendents traces its origin to Puru.


Sharmishta, the daughter of Daitya king Vrsaparva and Devayani, the daughter of Daitya Guru Sukracharya were very good friends. One day while they were taking bath in a river, their cloth kept in the river bank was blown away by strong wind. Some how they caught hold of the dress, but some of the dress worn by Devayani was that of Sharmishta and some of the cloth worn by Sharmishta was that of Devayani. Sharmishta Devayani blamed each other; at the end of the quarrel sharmishta pushed Devayani and Devayani fell into a well. Sharmishta and servent girls thought Devayani is dead and quetly went to palace.

By sheer luck of Devayani, the Chandravamsa prince Yayati happen to came to the place while hunting and heared the cry of Devayani and rescued her. Yayati offered to marry the beautiful Devayani. Devayani accepted the offer, but before that she met her father Sukracharya and told him about the cruel thing that did on her by Sharmishta. Sukracharya became furious and was about to curse the Daitya king and leave his palace. At this instance Vrsaparva, the king and father of Sharmishta came to Sukra and offered to do anything to apologies to him and his race for his daughter's misconduct. Sukra told the king that to forgive the sin committed by Sharmishta she had to serve Devayani with her 1000 maids. Finding no other way, Vrsaparva yielded to the condition. Soon Sarmistha and her 1000 maids became sevents of Devayani. When Devayani after marriage went to Yayati’s palace, Sharmishta and her 1000 servents followed Devayani.

Yayati made arrangements for Devayani's residence in his own palace while Sarmistha and other servents were put up in Askavanika, an out house. In due course, Devayani gave birth to two sons. The sight of the children roused the motherly instincts of Sarmistha who spent years of miserable life as a servent. Sarmistha tried her best to lure Yayati, she succeded in that and become mother of three children from Yayati.

Once, Devayani’s sons happened to play with Sharmishta’s sons. The children of Devayanai then told to their mother that the other three children played with them the day were also by their father. Devayani enquired the matter, got convinced of the fact and became furious; she immediately went to Asuraloka and informed her father Sukra about the illegitimate act of her husband. On hearing it, the sage cursed Yayati so that he may fell a victim to the infirmities of old age. Yayati requested Sukra to withdraw the curse, since he had not enjoyed or contended with the full extend of his young age. Sukra was obliged and told Yayati that he can exchange the old age if one of his sons would accept his old age for their youth.

Yayati asked his eldest son Yadu for his youthfulness. But the latter was not prepared to exchange it for his father's old age. Next the father approached his younger sons, Turvasu, Druhyu, and Anudruhyu, with the same request, but all of them in turn refused to oblige him. Puru, the youngest son of him in Sharmishta wholeheartedly accepted his father's old age in exchange for his youth and went to the forest as an old man.

Yayati began his second youthful life with his two wives. After a thousand years he found himself never contendended with sensual pleasure; he felt sorry for his son Puru and returned the youthfulness back to Puru and anointed him as the King. Yayati yearned for a full spiritual life and went to forest for Tapas.

Yayati spent many years living in the company of sages, and feeding on fruits, roots, etc. and became a rishi.

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Word Sanskrit IAST In General Veda Purana