The Bhagavata Purana

by G. V. Tagare | 1950 | 780,972 words | ISBN-10: 8120838203 | ISBN-13: 9788120838208

This page describes The Royal Dynasties of Pancala, Magadha and Kuru which is chapter 22 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-second chapter of the Ninth Skandha of the Bhagavatapurana.

Chapter 22 - The Royal Dynasties of Pāñcāla, Magadha and Kuru


[Full title: The History of the Lunar Race.—The Royal Dynasties of Pāñcāla, Magadha and Kuru]

This chapter gives the genealogies of the following branches of the lunar race:

1a. Pāñcālas—South Pāñcālas

Ajamīḍha—>Bṛhadiṣu—>Bṛhaddhanus—>Bṛhatkāya—>Jayadratha Viśada<—Senajit—>Rucirāśva—>Pṛthuṣena—>Para—>Nīpa—>Brahmadatta—>Viṣvaksena—>Udaksvana—>Bhallāda.

1b. Pāñcālas—North Pāñcālas

Ajamīḍha—>Nalini—>Nīla—>Śānti—>Suśānti—>Puruja—>Arka—>Bharmyāśva—>Mudgala—>Divodāsa—>Mitreyu—>Cyavana—>Sudās—> Sahadeva—>Somaka—>Jantu—>Pṛṣata—>Drupada

ii. Magadha

Vasu Uparicara—>Bṛhadratha—>Kuśāgra—>Ṛṣabha—>Puṣpavān—> Satyahita—>Jahu—>Jarāsandha—>Sahadeva—>Somāpi

iii. Pauravas

Bharata adopted Bharadvāja and named him ‘Vitatha’—> Manyu—> Bṛhatkṣatra—>Hastin [*Dvimīḍha*]—>Ajamīḍha—>Ṛkṣa—>Saṃvarana—>Kuru—>Parīkṣit I—>Jahnu—> Suratha—> Vidūratha—> Sārvabhauma—>Jayasena—>Rādhika—> Ayuta—> Krodhana—> Devātithi—> Ṛṣya—> Dilīpa—>Pratīpa—>Śantanu—> Vicitravīrya—> Dhṛtarāṣṭra—> Yudhiṣṭhira—> (Abhimanyu)—>Parīkṣit II (the remaining line is a prediction).

iv. * Dvimīḍhas*

Dvimīḍha—> Yavīnara—>Kṛtimān—> Satyadhṛti—> Dṛḍhanemi—> Supārśva—>Sumati—>Sannatimān—>Kṛti—>Nīpa—>Ugrāyudha—>Kṣemya—>Suvīra—>Ripuñjaya—>Bahuratha.

Śrī Śuka said:

1-2. From Divodāsa was born Mitreyu, whose sons were Cyavana, Sudāsa, Sahadeva and Somaka. Somaka had a hundred sons of whom Jantu was the eldest, and Pṛṣata, the youngest. His son was Drupada whose daughter was Draupadī, and sons were Dhṛṣṭadyumna and others.

3. From Dhṛṣṭadyumna appeared Dhṛṣṭaketu. These are the descendants of Bharmyāśva, also known as Pāñcālakas or Pāñcāla. Ajamīḍha had another son Ṛkṣa from whom was born Saṃvaraṇa.

4. Saṃvaraṇa begot on Tapatī, the daughter of the Sun-god, Kuru, the Lord of the Kurukṣetra. Kuru had Parīkṣit (the first, an ancestor of the hearer of the Bh. P.) Sudhanu, Jahnu and Niṣadhāśva as his sons.

5. From Sudhanu was born Suhotra whose son was Cyavana, his son was Kṛti, the father of Uparicara Vasu. From him were born Bṛhadratha and other sons.

6. (Out of them) Kuśāmba, Matsya, Pratyagra, Cedipa and others were the rulers of the Cedi country (Modern Bundelkhand and the region roundabout). From Bṛhadratha was born Kuśāgra whose son was Ṛṣabha.

7. Ṛṣabha begot Satyahita, whose son was Puṣpavān. His son was Jahu. Bṛhadratha had two parts (of a child) born by another wife.

8. Those parts were thrown away by the mother. A demoness Jarā, out of sport had joined them muttering the words ‘Live! Live. And lo! A son called Jarāsandha (one joined by Jarā) appeared.

9. Of him was born Sahadeva whose son was Somāpī, who begot Śrutaśravas. (Out of the sons of Kuru) Parīkṣit was childless. The son of Jahnu was Suratha.

10. Suratha’s son was Vidūratha, from whom was born Sārvabhauma. His son was Jayasena, whose son was Rādhika; from whom appeared Ayuta.

11. From him sprang up Krodhana whose son was Devātithi. His son was Ṛṣya, from whom was born Dilīpa. He had a son Pratīpa.

12. He (Pratīpa) had three sons—Devāpi, Śantanu and Bālhīka. Devāpi abdicated his ancestral throne and repaired to forest (for his spiritual advancement).

13-14. (After Devāpi’s departure to forest) Śantanu who was formerly designated as Mahābhiṣa (a great physician), came to the throne. Whomsoever he touched with his hand—even if he be old—got rejuvenated again. And the old man got immediate and complete relief (from all ailments). By virtue of this (miraculous) gift, he was called Śantanu. When the rain-god did not rain for twelve years in his kingdom,

15. Śantanu was advised by Brāhmaṇas that inasmuch as he, though a younger brother, enjoyed the kingship (superseding his elder brother) and had become a parivettā[1] (a usurper), and for the prosperity of the capital and the kingdom, he should immediately restore the kingdom to his elder brother, Devāpi (when alone it will rain).

16. When thus addressed (advised) by Brāhmaṇas, he conciliated him (Devāpi) and persuaded him to accept the kingdom. Devāpi, however, was made to go astray from the path of Vedas by the words of Brāhmaṇas who were deputed by his ministers (especially by his minister (Aśmarāva).

17. When Devāpi spoke blasphemously about the Vedas (and their teachings), the god Indra released the showers (as Devāpi proved apostate to the Vedic religion, and ceased to have a right to rule). Devāpi (realized his mistake and adopted the path of yoga and resorted to Kalāpagrāma.

18-20. When Lunar race gets extinct in the Kali age, he will (re-) establish it at the advent of the next age. From Bāhlīka was born Somadatta who had three sons viz. Bhūri, Bhūriśravas and Śala. Śantanu’s son by Gaṅgā was the self-controlled Bhīṣma who was the most eminent among all the experts in dharma-śāstra, a great devotee of the Lord, a wise and learned person, a leader of a battalion of warriors by Whom even Parśurāma (his preceptor in the science of arms) was pleased with his art and skill in fighting, Śantanu begot on Satyavatī[2], the daughter of the chief of Dāśas, a son called Citrāṅgada.

21. Her younger son was Vicitra-vīrya. Citrāṅgada was killed (in a duel with a Gandharva, called Citrāṅgada). Through her, from Parāśara, descended directly a digit or a ray of Lord Hari as her son (in the person of Kṛṣṇa Dvaipāyana).

22-24. The sage Kṛṣṇa Dvaipāyana is the protector of the Vedas from whom I learnt this Śrīmad Bhāgavata. In super- session of his own disciples such as Paila and others (vide Supra 1.4.21-22), the venerable sage Bādarāyaṇa preferred me, his son, as I was very serene by nature and recited (taught) to me this esoteric and sacred text (viz. the Bhāgavata Purāṇa. Then Vicitravīrya married two princesses of Kāśī, Ambā and Ambālikā both of whom were taken away by force (by Bhīṣma) from their svayaṃvara. Vicitravīrya was too much attached to them, and caught pthysis and died (in his youth).

25. When requested by his mother[3] (Satyavatī), Bādarāyaṇa (Vyāsa) procreated from the fields (i.e. wives) of his childless brother (Vicitravīrya)—Dhṛtarāṣṭra, Pāṇḍu and Vidura[4].

26. Dhṛtarāṣṭra had a hundred sons by his wife Gāndhārī. Of them, Duryodhana was the eldest. They had also a daughter, by name Duḥśalā.

27. To Pāṇḍu who was prohibited from sexual intercourse by a curse, three great (chariot-) warriors, the eldest of whom was Yudhiṣṭhira (Bhīma and Arjuna being the next two) were procreated on Kuntī from Dharma (the god Yamadharma), the wind-god and Indra.

28. Nakula and Sahadeva were born from (the loins of Aśvinī-kumāras) through Mādrī (Pāṇḍu’s second wife). Draupadī had five sons,) one from each of her five husbands)—all of them your uncles (or who were the manes in their former life).

29-31. (Through Draupadī) Prativindhya was born from Yudhiṣṭhira; Śrutasena, from Bhīma; Śrutakīrti from Arjuna, Śatānīka from Nakula. Śrutakarmā was the son of Sahadeva. The other sons of the Pāṇḍavas were as follows: Yudhiṣṭhira begot Devaka on Pauravī; Bhīma had Ghaṭotkaca by Hiḍimbā and Sarvagata by Kālī. Vijayā, the daughter of Parvata, gave birth to a son Suhotra from Sahadeva.

32. Nakula begot Nirāmitra on Kareṇumatī. So also Arjuna had Irāvān from Ulūpī and Babhruvāhana by (Citrāṅgadā) the princess of the Maṇipura king. But he was adopted as a son by his (maternal) grandfather (as that was the condition precedent of the marriage, technically called putrikāsuta)[5]

33. Your father Abhimanyu was born of Subhadrā. He was a hero who vanquished all ati-rathis (a chariot-warrior who defeats innumerable enemies on the battlefield). You are born of Uttarā from him.

34. When all the Kauravas were slain, (Aśvatthāman) the son of Droṇa discharged the missile called Brahmāstra. You were rescued alive from the god of death by the spiritual prowess of Lord Kṛṣṇa.

35. Oh child! You have the following four sons, the eldest of whom is Janamejaya, the rest being Śrutasena, Bhīmasena and Ugrasena—all of whom are valiant.

36. Knowing that you have met death from Takṣaka’s bite, he (Janamejaya) will get enraged, and will commit as oblations to fire, serpents in the serpent-sacrifice.

37. Having conquered the earth on all sides, and appointing Tura, the son of Kavaṣa, as the sacrificial priest, Janamejaya, the performer of aśvamedha (horse-sacrifice), will worship the Lord by performance of many sacrifices.

38. Janamejaya’s son Śatānīka will learn the three Vedas as well as the knowledge of religious rites from Yājñavalkya, the technique of the use of missiles (from Kṛpa), and the knowledge about the self (the spiritual science) from Śaunaka.

39. His son will be Sahasrānīka whose son will be Aśvamedhaja; his son will be Asīma-Kṛṣṇa, whose son will be Nemicakra.

40. When Hastināpura will be washed away by the floods of the river (Gaṅgā), he will settle down at Kauśāmbī (Kosam, near Allahabad). He will have Citraratha as his son, of whom a son Kaviratha will be born.

41. From Kaviratha will appear Vṛṣṭimān (as the son) from whom will be born king Mahīpati. Sunītha will be his son. He will have a son Nṛcakṣus whose son will be Sukhīnala.

42. His son will be Pariplava, whose son will be Medhāvī who will have Sunaya as his son. Thence will be born Nṛpañjaya, from whom will be Dūrva, who will beget Timi.

43. From Timi will be born Bṛhadratha whose son will be Sudāsa, the father of Śatānīka. From Śatānīka will spring Durdamana whose son will be Bahīnara.

44. His son will be Daṇḍapāṇi who will beget Nimi. From him will be born king Kṣemaka. In this way the lineage of Brāhmaṇa-cum-Kṣatriya (Lunar race from which Brāhmaṇa and Kṣatriya races started) which has been honoured and praised by gods and sages has been described to you.

45. When the lunar race reaches king Kṣemaka, it will be extinct in the Kali age. Now I shall describe to you the future kings of the Magadha country.

46. The son of Sahadeva (Jarāsandha’ successor—son) will be Mārjāri whose son will be Śrutaśravas. Thence will be Ayutāyu, whose son will be Niramitra.

47. His son will be Sunakṣatra, from whom will be born Bṛhatsena—his son will be Karmajit. Thence will be Sṛtañjaya, from whom will appear Vipra, the father of Śuci.

48. Then will follow Kṣema whose son will be Suvrata. His son will be born Dharmasūtra whose son will be Śama. Thence will be Dyumatsena from whom will be born Sumati, whose son will be Subala.

49. Thence will be Sunītha of whom Satyajit, the father of Viśvajit will be born. From Viśvajit will be born Ripuñjaya. The kings of Bṛhadratha dynasty will reign for one thousand years.

Footnotes and references:


Bhāvāratha Dīpikā quotes the following definition of Parivettā from a Smṛti text:

dārā'gnihotra-saṃyogaṃ kurute yo'graje sthite /
parivettā sa vijñeyaḥ, parivittis tu pūrvajaḥ //

He who accepts a wife or Agnihotra (fire-worship) before his elder brother does so, is called parivettā and the brother so superseded Parivitti.


According to Mahābhārata Adi 63.50-69 she was the daughter of king Uparicara Vasu (vide V.5 above) developed in the womb of a celestial nymph Ārdrikā, cursed to be a female fish. She was brought up by the chief of fishermen and known as ‘Satyavatī’ due to her uprightness and moral virtues.


Bhāvāratha Dīpikā quotes a religious injunction that one has to comply with such requests when instructed by elders.


Vidura’s mother was not Vicitravīrya’s wife, but a maid servant of the widowed queen Ambikā who deputed her as her substitute to Vyāsa —Mahābhārata Ādi 1.94-96.


Bhāgavata Candrikā, Bālaprabodhini, Bhaktamanorañjanī Bhāvārtha-dīpikā-prakāśa quote the condition:

abhrātṛkām pradāsyāmi tubhyaṃ kanyām alaṅkṛtām /
asyāṃ yo jāyate putraḥ sa me putro bhaviṣyati //

‘I give in marriage my daughter duly decorated with ornaments, on condition that, as she has no brother, the son that will be born to her will be my son.

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