by Manmatha Nath Dutt | 1897 | 293,872 words | ISBN-10: 8178542188 | ISBN-13: 9788178542188
This page is entitled “account of pururava” and represents Chapter 26 of the first book (‘Adi Parva’) of the Harivamsa (English translation in Prose). The Harivamsha Purana narrates the lineage and life-story of Krishna (Hari). Although not officially mentioned in the list of Puranas, this book includes topics such as geology, creation theory, time (manvantaras), ancient historical legends and accounts of royal dynasties.
2. He was conversant with the knowledge of Brahman and powerful and the enemies could not defeat him in battle. That king kept up perpetual fire in his house and celebrated many sacrifices.
3. He was truthful, pious and highly handsome. He had an entire control over his sexual appetites. At that time there was none in the three worlds equal to him in glory.
4. Having cast off her pride the illustrious Urvashi selected, as her lord, that forgiving and pious king conversant with the knowledge of Brahman.
5-7. O descendant of Bharata, the king Pururava lived with Urvashi at the charming Caitraratha garden for ten years, on the banks of the river Mandakini for five years, in the city of Alaka for five years, in the forest of Vadari for six, in the best of gardens Nandana for seven, in the province of Uttara kuru where the trees bear fruits whenever desired for eight, at the foot of the mount Gandhamadana for ten and on the summit of the North Sumeru for eight years.
8. In these most beautiful gardens resorted to by the gods the king Pururava sported most delightedly with Urvashi.
10-11. His seven sons were all high-souled and like the sons of the gods born in the celestial region. They were named Ayu, Dhiman, Amavasu, the pious-souled Vishvayu, Shrutayu, Dridayu, Valayu and Shatayu. They were all given birth to by Urvashi.
13. Vaishampayana said:—Having been imprecated with a curse by Brahma and abiding by the time the most beautiful Urvashi came to a man, the son of Ila.
14. In order to free herself from the curse Urvashi made a contract with the king saying "O king, I shall not see you naked and you should associate with me whenever you will find me filled with desire.
15. Two lambs should always be kept near my bed and you should always live on a small quantity of clarified butter during the day.
16. O king, if you satisfy this contract and as long as you will remain true to it so long I shall live with you. This is our contract."
17. The king satisfied all her conditions. Thus under the influence of a curse, that damsel, out of reverence towards Pururava, lived with him at the above-mentioned places for fifty-nine years. On account of Urvashi’s living with a man all the Gandharvas were filled with anxiety.
19. The Gandharvas said:—"O you great ones, concert some measure, by which that best of damsels Urvashi, the ornament of the celestial region, may come back to the gods".
21. As soon as the king will violate that contract Urvashi will forsake him. I know full well how that king will be divorced from Urvashi.
22. I shall therefore depart with a companion for accomplishing your work." Having said this the highly illustrious (Gandharva) repaired to the city of Pratisthana.
23. Having reached there during the night he pilfered away a lamb. That damsel, of beautiful smiles, was like a mother to that pair of lambs.
24. Hearing of the arrival of the Gandharva and understanding that the hour of the termination of the curse had come, that illustrious (damsel) said to the king, "Who has stolen away one of my sons"?
25. Although thus accosted by her he did not get up for he was naked, thinking "If the goddess beholds me without any raiment on then the terms of our contract will be cancelled".
26. Thereupon the Gandharvas again stole away the other lamb. When the second was carried away the damsel said to the son of Ila. "
27-29. O king, O lord, who is stealing away my sons as if I have none to look after me?" Thus addressed the king, although he had no cloth on, ran away in search of the lambs. In the meantime the Gandharvas created lightnings. When the king was going out of the place lighted up by lightnings she, all on a sudden, saw him naked. Beholding him thus without any cloth on that Apsara, coursing at her will, went away.
30. Beholding the pair of lambs left there the king took them and came to his house. (On his return), he did not see Urvashi and greatly stricken with grief began to bewail.
31-32. He travelled over the entire earth in search of her. Then the highly powerful king saw her bathing at a tank called Haimavati at the sacred shrine of Plaksha in the province of Kurukshetra. That beautiful damsel was sporting with five other Apsaras.
33-34. Beholding her thus sport the king, filled with mighty sorrow, began to bewail. Seeing the king at a distance Urvashi too said to her companions. "This is the foremost of men with whom I lived for some time." Saying this she pointed out the king to them.
35-37. O king, the Apsaras then grew anxious lest she might go back. The king then addressed her in sweet words saying:—"O cruel lady, you may show yourself cruel in words but remain my wife at heart." Urvashi then said to the son of Ila, "O lord, through you I have become enciente. Forsooth within a year all your sons will be born. O king live with me for one night more".
38. Hearing this the highly illustrious king was pleased and returned to his own city. After the expiration of a year Urvashi again came to him.
39. The highly illustrious king lived with her for one night. Thereupon Urvashi said to the son of Ila:—"The Gandharvas will confer a boon on you.
40. O king, beg of them a boon and tell them that you want equal beauty with the high-souled Gandharvas".
41. Then the king prayed for a boon from the Gandharvas and they too said "so be it." Thereupon filling a bag with fire the Gandharvas said to him:—"
42. O king, having celebrated a Yajna with this fire you will attain to our region." Thereupon taking the princes with him the king left for his city.
44. Beholding that fig tree of Sami species he was stricken with surprise. He then communicated to the Gandharvas the destruction of fire.
45-46. Hearing the whole story they ordered for a piece of wood to enkindle it. Then taking a piece of wood from the fig tree, churning the fire duly and worshipping the gods with various Yajnas there with, he attained the region of the Gandharvas.
47. Having obtained the boon from the Gandharvas he placed Treta fire. The fire was at first one. The son of Ila divided it into three.
48-49. So powerful was that foremost of men the royal son of Ila. The greatly illustrious king Pururava reigned in the city of Pratishthana situate on the northern bank of the Ganges in the Province of Prayaga, so highly spoken of by the Rishis.
Footnotes and references:
The three sacred fires collectively or the southern, household and sacrificial fires.