The Agni Purana

by N. Gangadharan | 1954 | 360,691 words | ISBN-10: 8120803590 | ISBN-13: 9788120803596

This page describes Description of the Lunar race (somavamsha) which is chapter 274 of the English translation of the Agni Purana, one of the eighteen major puranas dealing with all topics concerning ancient Indian culture, tradition and sciences. Containing roughly 15,000 Sanskrit metrical verses, subjects contained in the Agni-Purana include cosmology, philosophy, architecture, iconography, economics, diplomacy, pilgrimage guides, ancient geography, gemology, ayurveda, etc.

Chapter 274 - Description of the Lunar race (somavaṃśa)

Fire-god said:

1. I shall describe the Lunar race [i.e., somavaṃśa]. It would destroy the sin of one who reads it. Brahmā was born from the navel-lotus of (Lord) Viṣṇu. (Sage) Atri was the son of Brahmā. (Soma was born) from Atri.

2-5. Soma performed the Rājasūya (sacrifice) and gave away (the suzerainty over) the three worlds as the fees (for the priest). When the final (bathing) was finished, the wives of the mortals who desired to look at his (beautiful) form served him being tormented by the arrows of the god of love. (Goddess) Lakṣmī deserted (lord) Nārāyaṇa. Sinīvālī, Dyuti, Puṣṭi, Prabhā, Kuhū, Kīrti, Vasu and Dhṛti respectively deserted Kardama, Vibhāvasu, the undecaying Dhātā, Prabhākara, Haviṣmān, (the husband) Jayanta, Mārīca Kaśyapa and (husband) Nandī and entertained Soma alone then.

6-7. Soma also bestowed his affection on them as if they were his wives. The husbands of these (women) were not able to curse him or (punish him) with the weapons, although he had done a misdeed, as he had obtained suzerainty over the seven worlds by means of his penance.

8-10. Being influenced by their submission his mind faltered. Soma seduced hastily the glorious Tārā, the wife of Bṛhaspati (the preceptor of the celestials) and thus insulted the son of Aṅgiras (Bṛhaspati). On account of this (incident) there was the battle well-known as Tārakāmaya (involving the celestials) between the celestials and the demons causing great destruction to the world. Brahmā (intervened and) prevailed upon Uśanas (preceptor of the demons) (to shed his wrath) and entrusted Tārā to (the care of) Aṅgiras (Bṛhaspati).

11. Guru (Bṛhaspati) finding her pregnant said to her “Shed the child in the womb”. The child that was delivered was effulgent and said “I am the son of Moon”.

12-13. Thus Budha was born from Soma. Purūravas was his son. The nymph Urvaśī deserted heaven and was enamoured of him. O Great sage! The king spent fifty-nine years with her.

14. There was only one fire in days of yore which was made into three by him.[1] Purūravas practised yoga and reached the world of the Gandharvas.

15. Urvaśī (wife of Purūravas) gave birth to the kings Āyus, Dṛḍhāyus, Aśvāyus, Ghanāyus, Dhṛtimān, Vasu, Divijāta and Śatāyus[2].

16-19. Nahuṣa, Vṛddhaśarman, Raji, Darbha and Vipāpmā were the sons of Āyus. Raji had a hundred sons known as Rājeyas. Raji having obtained a boon from (Lord) Viṣṇu killed the demons on the request of the celestials. He gave the status of a son to Indra and bestowed his kingdom on him and ascended the heavens (to fight with the demons). But the kingdom of Indra was usurped by the wicked sons of Raji. Bṛhaspati deluded the sons of Raji and restored that (kingdom) to Indra by means of performing the appeasing (rites) of the planets. Then they (the sons of Raji) became the followers of their own dharma.

20. Nahuṣa had seven sons—Yati, Yayāti, Uttama, Udbhava, Pañcaka, Śaryāti and Meghapālaka.

21-23. Yati, even as a boy, contemplated on (Lord) Viṣṇu and attained Him. Then Devayānī, the daughter to Śukra (the preceptor of the demons), became the wife of Yayāti. Then Śarmiṣṭhā, the daughter of Vṛṣaparva (became the wife) of Yayāti and had five sons. Devayānī gave birth to Yadu and Turvasu. Śarmiṣṭhā, the daughter of Vṛṣaparva (gave birth) to Druhya, Anu and Pūru. Yadu and Pūru, among them, (became) the founders of dynasties.

Footnotes and references:


For a detailed account see Vi. P. IV. 6. 77-94.


Sons are said to be only six in the Purāṇas and MBh.—Āyu, Dhīmān, Amāvasu, Dṛḍhāyu, and Śatāyu. See MBh. Ādi. 75.24-25.

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