The Brahma Purana (abridged)

19,470 words

The Brahma Purana (Brahma Purāņa) is one of the major eighteen Mahapuranas, a genre of Hindu religious texts. It is divided into two parts: 1) the Purvabhaga and 2) the Uttarabhaga. The first part narrates the story behind the creation of the cosmos, details the life and deeds of Rama and Krishna. The second part contains the details about t...

Vaivasvata Manu’s Children

Vaivasvata Manu had no children and he arranged for a sacrifice so that he might have a son. Nine sons were born as a result of this sacrifice. Their names were Ikshvaku, Nabhaga, Dhrishta, Sharyati, Narishyanta, Pramshu, Rishta, Karusha and Prishadhra. Manu also made an offering to the two gods Mitra and Varuna. As a result of this offering, a daughter named Ila was born.

Buddha was the son of Chandra, and Buddha and Ila had a son named Pururava. Subsequently, thanks to a boon conferred on her by Mitra and Varuna, Ila became a man named Sudyumna. Sudyumna’s sons were Utkala, Gaya and Vinatashva. Utkala ruled in Orissa, Gaya in the region that is also called Gaya, and Vinatashva in the west.

Sudyumna was not entitled to rule since he had earlier been a woman. He lived in the city known as Pratishthana. Pururava inherited this later on.

When Vaivasvata Manu died, his ten sons divided up the earth amongst themselves. Ikshvaku ruled in the central regions. He had a hundred sons, the eldest of whom was named Vikukshi. Vikukshi came to be known as Shashada. Thereby hangs a tale.

Ikshvaku wanted to organize a sacrifice and he sent his son Vikukshi to the forest to fetch some meat for the sacrifice. While hunting for game, Vikushi felt very hungry and ate up some of the meat. This was a sacrilege and the sage Vashishtha advised Ikshvaku to banish Vikukshi from his kingdom. Because the meat that he had eaten had been the meat of a rabbit (shashaka), Vikukshi came to be known as Shashada.

But after Ikshvaku died, Vikukshi returned to his father’s kingdom and began to rule there. This was the kingdom of Ayodhya. One of Vikukshi’s sons was Kakutstha, and Rama of Ramayana fame was born in this line.

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