The Bhagavata Purana

by G. V. Tagare | 1950 | ISBN-10: 8120838203 | ISBN-13: 9788120838208

This page describes Married Life of Kardama and Devahuti which is chapter 23 of the English translation of the Bhagavata Purana, one of the eighteen major puranas containing roughly 18,000 metrical verses. Topics include ancient Indian history, religion, philosophy, geography, mythology, etc. The text has been interpreted by various schools of philosophy. This is the twenty-third chapter of the Third Skandha of the Bhagavatapurana.

Chapter 23 - Married Life of Kardama and Devahūti

1. When the parents of Devahūti departed, the pious lady who was expert in reading the inward thoughts of her husband, always attended upon him affectionately as the goddess Pārvatī did for Śiva, the Lord of the world.

2-3. Having given up passion, fraud, hatred, avarice, objectionable behaviour and pride, she who was very alert and was always ready (to serve Kardama), gave satisfaction to her brilliant husband by her confidence (in him), her physical and mental purity, respectfulness, self-control, service, sincere affection and sweet speech.

4-5. The eminent divine sage was verily overwhelmed with affection (favour) for that daughter of Manu and spoke in words choked with intense love to Devahūti—Devahūti who was devoutly attached to him and was expecting great blessings from her husband whom she considered more powerful than destiny (or a deity). She was greatly emaciated and weak by rigid observance of the vow (of serving her husband) for a long period.

Kardama said:

6. “Oh daughter of Manu, I am today highly pleased by your respectful, excellent service and intense devotion. To every being possessing a body, one’s own person is extremely dear and worthy of being cared for. You, however, have not spared it (your body) as you wasted it over for me (in my service).

7. Just have a look at the blessings of the Almighty Lord secured by me who have been thoroughly devoted to my path of righteousness—blessings secured by the dint of my penance, meditation, Vidyā, and concentration of mind. These blessings which transcend fear and sorrow, have been achieved by you by your service to me. I give you the divine insight.

8. Of what merit are other pleasures, the desires (expectations) about which are foiled by the (slightest frowning) bend of the eyebrow of Lord Viṣṇu of immense powers? You have achieved your object. Enjoy the rich heavenly pleasures which accrue to you by your observance of the path of virtue—pleasures unattainable even to kings who covet for them.”[1]

9. Realising that Kardama who spoke thus was proficient in all yoga-māyā and Vidyās, the lady (Devahūti) became free from anxieties. With her face beaming with smiles and slightly bashful looks, she spoke in words faltering with love and modesty.

Devahūti said:

10. “Oh eminent Brāhmaṇa, I am happy to know that all this (described by you) is within your powers—you who are the master of the unfailing powers of Yoga-māyā, my lord. (I request) that there should be at least one contact with your person which has been promised by you, oh Lord. To beget a child from a great husband (like you) is a blessing to virtuous women.

11. Oh Lord, for that purpose (be pleased to) arrange for the necessary materials as per prescription (in the Kāma- Śāstra). My body which has been tormented by (sexual) passion provoked by you and which has been emaciated with excessive desire for sexual enjoyment, will thereby become fit for it. Therefore think of a suitable mansion.”

Maitreya said:

12. Kardama resorted to meditation for fulfilling the desired object of his beloved. He created an aerial mansion capable of going as per the occupant’s will, oh Vidura.

13. It was a heavenly structure yielding all desired objects, decked with all (nine kinds of) costly jewels. (In it) all kinds of riches and prosperity were ever-increasing. It was beautified by columns of precious stones.

14. (It was) furnished with heavenly articles (like furniture and utensils). It was pleasant in all seasons. It was decorated with various kinds of silken buntings and flags.

15. (It was beautified) with garlands of flowers of variegated colours with swarms of sweetly humming bees hovering around them, and with fine cotton and silken clothes.

16. (It appeared beautiful as) it was furnished with separate beds, cots, fans and seats in each of the storeys constructed one above the other.

17. It appeared very attractive on account of the various works of art arranged and exhibited at different places and with its emerald floors and daises of coral.

18. It shone with its doors of red coral, thresholds and panels of diamonds. On its tops of blue sapphires were set gold pitchers.

19. The excellent rubies set in its walls of diamonds appeared like eyes of the aerial car. It was also furnished with wonderful canopies of variegated colours and costly arches of gold.

20. At various places it was filled with the warbling and cooing of swans and pigeons which mistook artificial birds as real ones like themselves and flew to them.

21. It was provided with play-grounds, sleeping apartments, places for enjoyment, quadrangles and outer yards constructed for enjoyment at will, so much so that it appeared wonderful to (Kardama) its maker.

22. Kardama who knew the inner thoughts of all beings spoke of his own accord to Devahūti who was not much pleased at heart to look at that type of mansion.

23. “Oh timid lady, take bath in this pool of water and get in this heavenly mansion. This sacred pool which is created by Viṣṇu, blesses men with all desired boons (objects).”

24-25. In compliance of the order of her husband the lotus-eyed lady who wore a dirty garment and had the hair on head tangled and her body covered with dust and discoloured breasts, entered the sacred waters of the pool in the Sarasvatī (wherein lived auspicious acquatic animals).

26. (When she took a plunge) under the waters of the pool she saw in a house a thousand maids, all of youthful age and fragrant like lotus.

27. Seeing her, those girls at once stood up and respectfully folding their hands said, “We are your servants. Please order us what we should do for you.”

28. With costly materials necessary for bath, the respectful damsels made her take bath and gave her two new clean silken garments to wear.

29. (They gave her) very valuable brilliant ornaments according to her liking; they served her food of all excellent qualities and nectar-like (sweet and) stimulant drink.

30. In the mirror she saw herself wearing a garland of flowers, dressed in fine garments, her body very clean and decorated with auspicious marks and greatly respected by the girl attendants.

31. (She saw herself) bathed and washed from head (to foot), beautified with all kinds of ornaments, wearing gold pendants round her necks and gold bangles (on her hands) and with tinkling gold ornaments.

32. (She put on) gold girdle studded with many jewels around her hips, and with very costly necklace of pearls and was decorated with auspicious (marks and designs drawn in) saffron etc.

33. Devahūti whose face looked very beautiful by her excellent rows of teeth, well-shaped eyebrows, with her beautiful affectionate side glances of eyes which rivalled with lotus (in beauty) and with her dark blue hair (dangling on her forehead).

34. When she remembered her beloved husband, the foremost among the sages, she found herself there with a thousand girls where Prajāpati Kardama was sitting.

35. Seeing that she was in front of her husband and surrounded by thousand maids, and seeing the power of his Yoga, she was confused with wonder (doubted what it all meant).

36-37. Oh Vidura, the sage in whom love for Devahūti was aroused made her ascend in the aerial car (Vimāna)—Devahūti who washed herself clean in the bath and became resplendent as a new person and appeared in her original pre-marriage beauty with her attractive breasts covered (and hence concealed from view)[2].

38. In that aerial mansion, he whose greatness (or freedom) was not diminished and who was loved by his wife and whose person was attended upon by Vidyādhara damsels, shone like the extremely beautiful moon surrounded by stars and with full blown night lotuses around him in the sky[3].

39. With that aerial car, Kardama who was praised by Siddhas and was accompanied by a bevy of jewel-like (extremely beautiful) damsels, enjoyed like Kubera for a long time in the valleys of mount Meru, the foremost amongst the Kulaparvatas[4] which are the places of enjoyment for the eight protectors of the world (lokapāla). The valleys of mount Meru were enjoyable on account of gentle breeze, a friend of the god of Love. They were full of the echoes of the cataracts of the heavenly river.

40. He enjoyed himself with his beautiful wife in celestial gardens like Vaiśrambhaka, Surasana, Nandana, Puṣpabhadraka, Caitrarathya and in the Mānasa lake.

41. With his spacious, resplendant aerial car which could move anywhere according to the occupants’ will, he travelled freely all over worlds like a wind, surpassing other gods.

42. What is difficult to attain for men of boundless mental powers who have resorted to the sacred feet of Hari who destroys the calamity of Saṃsāra.

43. Having shown to his wife the sphere of the earth full of wonders on account of all the arrangement of continents etc. the great Yogin returned to his hermitage.

44. Dividing himself into nine[5], the sage enjoyed the beautiful daughter of Manu who was eager for sexual happiness. He enjoyed with her for a number of years as if it was but a short period.

45. In the aerial car, lying with her beautiful hushand on the excellent bed which increased her love and pleasure, she was not aware of the time passed.

46. A hundred years rolled away like a moment while the couple who were passionately eager for sexual pleasure were thus enjoying themselves by the force of their Yogic powers.

47. Due to his intense love (for her) he regarded her as his half. He who could read inner wishes of all (and hence knew her desire to have many children) was competent to satisfy them. The sage who realised his own Self[6], divided himself into nine parts and deposited his semen in her.

48. Hence Devahūti gave birth to female children immediately on the same day. All of them were beautiful in all their limbs in every respect and they gave out the fragrance of red lotus.

49-50. At that time the beautiful[7] virtuous wife anticipated that her husband was about to renounce the householder’s life (and to become a Saṃnyāsin). Though she was overcome with fear and pain, she smiled outwardly. She was scratching the ground with her foot beautiful with gem-like nails. With her head hung down (in modesty) she spoke soft winning words, controlling frequently her tears.

Devahūti saidL

51. Your worship has fulfilled every promise that you gave to me. You however should give me protection[8] (against fear from misery of Saṃsāra) as I have resorted to you.

52. Oh Brāhmaṇa, your daughters will themselves have to find out suitable husbands. When you proceed to the forest as a recluse, there should be someone (a son) to relieve me of my sorrow[9].

53. Oh Lord, I have given up (every thought about) the supreme self. It is enough that I have spent this much time (life) in satisfying the cravings of my senses.

54. I who am attached to the objects of senses, have associated myself with you (for that satisfaction) without realizing your higher (and real) Self. However let this association lead to my protection (i.e. liberation from Saṃsāra).

55. The Association with the wicked formed through ignorance is the cause of the Saṃsāra. That very association if formed with the good ones, leads to non-attachment to Saṃsāra.

56. A person whose action does not contribute to the righteous path (dharma) or to non-attachment or to the service (worship) of the sacred feet of Hari, is meant as good as dead though physically alive.

57. As a matter of fact, I am completely deceived by the Māyā of the Lord, for, though I have (by marriage) obtained you who can give me liberation, I did not cherish any desire for it (liberation).

Footnotes and references:


nṛpa-vikriyābhiḥ: (i) Men with the perverted notions of themselves being kings.—Bhāvāratha Dīpikā

(ii) By kings who perform Aśvamedha and other sacriñces specially prescribed for them—Bhāvārtha-dīpikā-prakāśa


v.l.—stanam—adj. qualifying rūpam [rūpa]: ‘beauty of the charming breasts which were covered etc.


Bhāvāratha Dīpikā brings out full comparison as follows: Sage Kardama=the full moon; Spacious aerial mansion = the sky; beautiful maiḍs around him the stars; fully bloomed night-lotus = the lotus-like eyes of the maids.

utkaca...ganavān—surrounded by a bevy of maiḍs of beautiful hair: who gave pleasure—Subodhinī Padaratnāvalī gives a more erotic explanation.


Principal mountains viz., Mahendra, Malaya, Sahya, Śuktimān, Ṛkṣa, Vindhya and PāriyātraASD. 364.


Intending to beget nine children.—Bhāgavata Candrikā


VC. and Bhāvārtha-dīpikā-prakāśa explain that due to his knowledge of the Supreme Self, Kardama was not so much attached to Devahūti as she was to him so intensely. Consequently Devahūti's contribution was the greater at the time of conception. This resulted in the birth of all female children.


uśatī—Desirous of having a son (Padaratnāvalī, Bhāvārtha-dīpikā-prakāśa).


abhayam [abhaya]—(i) a son to protect me (Padaratnāvalī).

(ii) Forgiveness for the request I am making again (Kramasandarbha.).


viśokāya—To advise and guide me in real knowledge as begetting daughters does not amount to repaying the debt of forefathers, stay till a son is born—Bhāvāratha Dīpikā

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