The Shiva Purana

by J. L. Shastri | 1970 | 616,585 words

This page relates “description of the nine sons of and the race of vaivasvata manu” as found in the Shiva-purana, which, in Hinduism, represents one of the eighteen Mahapuranas. This work eulogizes Lord Shiva as the supreme deity, besides topics such as cosmology and philosophy. It is written in Sanskrit and claims to be a redaction of an original text consisting of 100,000 metrical verses.

Chapter 36 - The description of the nine sons of and the race of Vaivasvata Manu

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Sūta said:—

1. Nine sons all equal to him were born of Vaivasvata Manu. Later they became very lofty, bold and devoted to the virtues of Kṣatriyas.

2. They were Ikṣvāku, Śibi, Nābhāga, Dhṛṣṭa, Śaryāti, Nariṣyanta, Nabhaga, Karūṣa and Priyavrata.

3-5. Desirous of sons, Manu the patriarch performed a sacrifice. O great sage, when no sons were born as a result of the sacrifice, the famous Ilā was born, wearing divine garments, bedecked in divine ornaments and with a divine body. Manu the chastiser addressed her as Ilā and said “Follow me”. Ilā replied to him.

Ilā said:—

6. She spoke these words to the patriarch desirous of a son—“O foremost among the eloquent, I am born of the parts of Mitra and Varuṇa.

7-9. I am approaching them. I shall never be interested in sinful things.” After saying this, the chaste lady approached Mitra and Varuṇa and spoke with palms joined in reverence “O great sages, I am born in the sacrifice of Manu through your parts. I have come to you. Please tell me. What I can do for you. O lords create other sons so that your race may flourish.”

Sūta said:—

10. When the chaste lady born in the sacrifice of Manu said, the sages Mitra and Varuna spoke thus respectfully.

Mitra and Varuṇa said:—

11. O virtuous beautiful lady of fair complexion, both of us are pleased with your self-control, humility and truth.

12. O blessed lady, you will attain our fame. You alone will become the son establishing the family of Manu.

13. You will be famous in the three worlds as Sudyumna, beloved of the universe, virtuous in conduct and enhancer of the race of Manu.

Sūta said:—

14. On hearing that she returned to her father’s presence. On the way, getting an opportunity, Budha invited her for sexual intercourse.

15. King Purūravas was born of her out of the union with Budha. O intelligent one, this son was the handsome and intelligent man who later became the husband of Urvaśī.

16. After bearing the son Purūravas she became Sudyumna as a result of Śiva’s grace.

17. Sudyumna had three very virtuous heirs Utkala, Gaya and the powerful Vinatāśva.

18. O brahmin, O great sage, Utkala was assigned the country Utkala;[1] Vinatāśva was given the territories on the West and Gaya was given Gayā and the eastern territories.

19. O dear, when Manu passed away, the earth was divided into ten regions.

20-24. Ikṣvāku the eldest son got the central territory. At the instance of Vasiṣṭha, Sudyumna gave the virtuous territory Pratiṣṭhāna[2] to Purūravas. O great sages, Sudyumna had the characteristics of both man and woman. The Śakas were the sons of Nariṣyanta. Nabhaga’s son Ambarīṣa got the region Bāhlaka[3] and so was known as Bāhleya. Śaryāti had a son and a daughter. The son was known as Ānarta and the daughter as Sukanyā who later became the wife of Cyavana. Ānarta’s son was Raibhya known also as Raivata.

25. In the territory[4] of Ānarta he got the city Kuśasthalī which was extremely brilliant and was the seventh among seven cities.

26. He had a hundred sons of whom the eldest and the most excellent was Kakudmin. He was brilliant, strong, virtuous and a protector of brahmins.

27. A daughter Revatī was born to Kakudmin. She was endowed with great beauty, She was another Lakṣmī.

28. The king Kakudmin the lord of all went to Brahma’s region near Brahmā, accompanied by his daughter in order to ask him about a suitable bridegroom for her.

29. While dance and music was going on, he stood there waiting for a moment near Brahmā.

30. Although it was only a Muhūrta in Brahmā’s region many Yugas had passed by. But O sages, the king Kakudmin did not know anything about it.

31. Then he bowed to Brahmā the great Ātmari, humbly and with palms joined in reverence told him about his mission.

32. On hearing his purpose the patriarch Brahmā laughed. Addressing the great king Kakudmin, he said.

Brahmā said:—

33. Listen, O King Kakudmin, O lord of the earth, son of Raibhya, to my words with attention. I shall tell you the truth particularly.

34. All those bridegrooms you had in view have been killed by the efflux of time. Even their family is extinct. Time is the devourer of everything.

35. O king, your city too has been destroyed by Puṇyajanas, the Rākṣasas. It is now the twenty-eighth Dvāpara Yuga and the city has been rebuilt by Kṛṣṇa.

36. In the name of Dvāravatī because it has many entrances, it is very beautiful. It is protected by the Bhojas, Vṛṣṇis and Andhakas with Kṛṣṇa as their leader.

37. O king, now go there and give this daughter of yours to Baladeva the son of Vasudeva.

Sūta said:—

38. Thus commanded, the king bowed to him and went to that city. On realising that many Yugas had elapsed he was surprised along with his daughter.

39. Then he gave his daughter, the youthful maiden, Revatī to Bala the brother of Kṛṣṇa in conformity with the Śāstric rituals.

40. Then he, the great lord, went to the celestial summit of Meru and propitiated Śiva observing penance.

The sages said:—

41. Raivata stayed in Brahmā’s region for many Yugas. He returned to the mortal world as a young man. This is my great doubt.

Sūta said:—

42. O sages, near Brahmā there is no old age, hunger, thirst, aberration or premature death to any one.

43. Therefore the king did not attain old age or death, nor his daughter. After consulting Brahmā about the bridegroom he returned still a young man.

44. Going to the divine city Dvāravatī[5] rebuilt by Kṛṣṇa, he got his daughter married to Bala.

45. Hundred sons were born to that virtuous great lord. Through many wives Kṛṣṇa too had innumerable sons.

46. The family of the two noble souls was very great. All the Kṣatriyas in every quarter became delighted and virtuous.

47. Thus the race of Śaryāti has been narrated to you. O brahmins, I shall succinctly mention the details of others too. Listen attentively.

48. Nābhāga had a son Dhṛṣṭa. After establishing the Kṣatriya race and performing the brahminical rites he attained brahminhood.

49. Dhṛṣṭa’s race originally Kṣatriya became brahmin family on the earth. Karūṣa’s descendants the Kārūṣas were Kṣatriyas, insubjugable in war.

50. Nṛga who was also a son of Manu was a liberal donor of riches to brahmins and of cows.

51. Once due to an error in his charitable gift of a cow, prompted by his own sins and crooked intellect, he became a chameleon and was redeemed by Śrīkṛṣṇa.

52. An excellent son was born to him named Prayāti, the knower of virtues. This I have heard from Vyāsa and have now briefly mentioned to you.

53. Pṛṣadhra, a son of Manu was made the keeper of cows by his preceptor. During the nights, observing the posture of heroes, he diligently looked after the cows.

54. Once a tiger entered the cowshed to attack the cows. On hearing the shrieks of the cows he woke up. Strong that he was he seized a sword to kill it and started.

55. On seeing the lord armed with a sword the frightened tiger slipped away. Not knowing it and mistaking a reddish brown cow as the tiger he hit it with his sword on its head.

56. Due to rain and gust of wind in the night he was deluded. Thinking, that the tiger had been killed he returned to his place.

57. When the night dawned into day he got up and went there. He saw only the cow killed and not the tiger. He felt dejected.

58. On hearing about the incident and realising that he had committed a sin unconsciously and not wilfully, the preceptor cursed him—“Become a Śūdra, not a Kṣatriya.”

59. On being cursed by his preceptor, the family priest out of anger, Pṛṣadhra started from there and went to the great forest.

60. Dejected by sufferings he became detached and practised Yoga. He burnt himself in conflagration and attained the greatest goal.

61. Kavi, son of Manu, was highly intelligent due to Śiva’s blessings. After enjoying divine pleasures here he attained the rare salvation hereafter.

Notes on the nine sons of Vaivasvata Manu:

There is no consensus of opinion in the Purāṇas about the names. Pargiter who collated the Puranic texts on the topic suggested the following names Ikṣvāku, Nābhāga, Dhṛṣṭa, Śaryāti, Nariṣyanta, Karūṣa, Prāṃśu, Nābhānediṣṭa and Pṛṣadhra. Śp agrees in respect of the first five but it substitutes Śibi, Nābhāga (Dvitīya) and Priyavrata Prāṃśu for Nābhānediṣṭa and Pṛṣaghra (?). Probably the second Nābnhāga is identical with Nābhanediṣṭa. The identification of Śibi and Priyavraya (?) with Prāṃśu Prṛṣadha (?) is doubtful.

Footnotes and references:


It is modern Orissa.


Here Pratiṣṭhāna is Prayāga but the Purāṇas are not agreed upon its locus. Some place it on the north and some on the east side of the Ganges. Others place it on the north bank of the Yamunā.

There is another Pratiṣthāna=Paiṭhan in the Aurangabad District of the former Hyderabad State.


Bāhlaka is identical with modern Balkh in the northern part of Afghānistan. Sec KM Ch. XVII.


It is identical with Gujrat and part of Malavā. Its chief city was Kuśasthalī also called Dvārakā.


See P. 1229 note 90.

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