The Brahmanda Purana

by G.V. Tagare | 1958 | 319,243 words | ISBN-10: 8120838246 | ISBN-13: 9788120838246

This page describes the ikshvaku dynasty (vamsha) which is Chapter 63 of the English translation of the Brahmanda Purana: one of the oldest puranas including common Puranic elements such as cosmogony, genealogy, ethics, geography and yoga. Traditionally, the Brahmandapurana is said to consist of 12,000 verses metrical Sanskrit verses.

Chapter 63 - The Ikṣvāku dynasty (vaṃśa)

Note: vide Vā.P. chapter 88.

Sūta said:—

1. When Raivata, otherwise known as Kakudmin, went to that world (of Brahmā), his city, Kuśasthalī, was completely over-run and captured by Puṇyajanas (Yakṣas) and Rākṣasas.

2. The hundred brothers of that virtuous and noble-souled king were afflicted by arrows. Therefore, they fled in every direction due to fear.

3. O excellent Brāhmaṇas, the dynasty of these Kṣatriyas who fled due to excessive fright, is very great. They are present in different places.[1]

4. They are well-known in all the quarters as Śaryātas. They are righteous. The line of Dhṛṣṭa is called Dhārṣṭika. All the members were bold and aggressive in battle.

5-6. That clan of those noble-souled Kṣatriyas consisted of three thousand (families). Nabhāga’s heir was the hero named Nābhāga. Ambarīṣa was the son of Nābhāga. His son was Virūpa. Pṛṣadaśva was the son of Virūpa and his son was Rathītara.

7. These were born of Kṣatriyas but are remembered as having become Aṅgiras. The excellent members of Rathītara family were Brāhmaṇas as well as Kṣatriyas.

8. Formerly, when Manu sneezed, Ikṣvāku was born. Ikṣvāku[2] had a hundred sons who distributed much wealth as religious gifts.

9. Vikukṣi, Nimi and Daṇḍa, these three were the most excellent among them. He had fifty sons, the chief of whom was Śakuni.

10-11. They were the kings protecting Uttarāpatha Northern territory. Forty-eight of them, the father of whom was Virāṭa were the defenders of Dakṣiṇāpatha (Southern territory), in the Southern quarter.

Once, at the performance of the Aṣṭaka[3] (a kind of Śrāddha), Ikṣvāku commanded Vikukṣi thus.

The King said:—

12. “Fetch flesh for the sake of Śrāddha, O highly powerful one, after killing animals. The Śrāddha of Aṣṭaka has to be performed by me surely.”

13. At the instance of the intelligent one, he went for hunting. After killing thousands of animals, the powerful prince became tired.

14-15. Vikukṣi who had gone for hunting, ate a rabbit. When Vikukṣi returned with the meat and his army, the king urged Vasiṣṭha saying “Let the meat be sprinkled (with holy water)”. Vasiṣṭha said “So be it”. On being urged thus the meat was duly presented by the king. On seeing the meat polluted, Vasiṣṭha became angry and spoke to him:—

16-13. “This meat has been defiled by your son, O king. By eating the rabbit, O king of great splendour, the meat cannot remain unpolluted. O sinless one, rabbit has been eaten earlier by this wicked fellow. Therefore, O excellent king, this meat intended to be offered to the Pitṛs is defiled”.

Thereupon, Ikṣvāku became furious and spoke this to Vikukṣi:

19-21. “Directed by me in connection with the holy rite of the Manes, you went for hunting. But you ate the flesh of the rabbit in the forest earlier to-day. You have been unkind (in this context), Hence, I am banishing you. Go anywhere else along with your own fate”.

Thus he was abandoned by Ikṣvāku. He came to be known by the name Śaśāda (one who eats rabbit). Later, the son became extremely virtuous. When Ikṣvāku passed away he got the entire Earth at the instance of Vasiṣṭha. He became the ruler of Ayodhyā.

22-23. Urged and guided by Vasiṣṭha, he ruled over the kingdom for some time. Even when he was ruling over the kingdom, the king was fully afflicted by this sin. After some time, he fell into the hell, having waves of urine and faeces. After reading this anecdote, a learned man should understand (its implications). He should not eat anything against the Veclic injunction.

24. Learned men explain the etymological meaning of Māṃsa[4] (flesh) thus:—

(The being) whose flesh I am eating here shall eat me (Māṃ—me, sa—he bkakṣayitā—shall eat) in the next birth. This is the Māṃsatva (state of being flesh) of meat.

25-26. Śaśāda’s heir was a heroic king named Kakutstha. Formerly, there was the Āḍibaka[5] fight. In it Indra took the form of a bull. This king seated himself on the hump of the bull (Indra). (Kakut—hump, tstha—occupant) and won the war. Hence, he is remembered as Kakutstha.[6]

Kakutstha’s son was Anenas and Pṛthu was the son of Anenas.

27-28. Dṛṣadaśva was the son of Pṛthu. The powerful (king) Andhra (came) after him. Yuvanāśva was the successor of Andhra. Śrāvasta was born as his son. Śrāvasta became a king by whom the city of Śrāvastī [Mod. Sahet-Mahet on the Rapti River in Oudh U.P] was founded. Śrāvasta’s heir was Bṛhadaśva of great renown.

29. Bṛhadaśva’s son was renowned as Kuvalāśva. This king later on came to be known as Dhundhumāra since he slew the demon Dhundhu.

The sages requested:—

30. We wish to hear in detail, O sage of great intelligence, how Dhundhu was killed, on account of which Kuvalāśva came to be called Dhundhumāra.

Sūta replied:—

31-33. Kuvalāśva had twenty-one thousand sons. All of them were experts in different lores. They were strong and unassailable. All of them were righteous. They performed sacrifices and distributed plenty of monetary gifts. Bṛhadaśva the elderly ruler enthroned Kuvalāśva in that realm. Kuvalāśva was very powerful, excellent and virtuous. After transferring the royal position and splendour to his son, the king entered the forest.

34. Uttaṅka the Brahminical sage, prevented the great king Bṛhadaśva who was brave, excellent and virtuous, from going to the forest.

Uttaṅka said:—

35. “The duty of protecting people should be carried out by you. It behoves you to do it. O king, I am unable to perform penance unperturbed.

36. Near the precincts of my hermitage, on the other side of Meru, the ocean is filled with sand, O king.

37-38. A great Asura named Dhundhu is lying underground there hidden by the sands. He cannot be killed by the Devas. He has a huge body and is very powerful. He is the son of Rākṣasa Madhu. After performing terrible penance, he stays there for the destruction of the people.

39. When he exhales at the end of a year, the ground there quakes and shakes along with the forests.

40-41. A great column of dust is raised by the air exhaled by him. It envelops the path of the sun. The Earthquake continues for a week. It is extremely terrifying, as it is accompanied by sparks, flames and fumes. Hence, O king, I am unable to stay within my hermitage.[7]

42. Resist him, O king of great powerful arms, with a desire for the welfare of the worlds. Your brilliant splendour is already great. Viṣṇu will develop it further by contribution of h is own splendour.

43. Indeed, you alone are capable of slaying him, O lord of the Earth. Let the worlds become happy and relieved with that Asura slain.

44-45. O sinless one, formerly, a boon had been granted to me (that you would help me by killing him). Indeed, Dhundhu of excessive virility and power, cannot be over-powered completely by any one of insignificant brilliance or even by rulers of the Earth, though they may fight with him for hundreds of years. His prowess and strength is very great, difficult to be approached even by the Devas”.

46. On being told thus by the ṇoble-souled Uttaṅka, that saintly king gave him Kuvalāśva for the task of warding off Dhundhu.

47. “O holy lord, I have laid down my arms. This is my son, O excellent Brāhmaṇa. He will undoubtedly become the slayer of Dhundhu”.

48. He ordered his son to carry out the task of slaying Dhunḍhu with any step. The king of praiseworthy holy rites, went to the forest itself for the sake of penance.

49-51. Abiding by the order of his father, Kuvalāśva accompanied by his twenty-one thousand sons and Uttaṅka proceeded ahead for resisting Dhundhu. Lord Viṣṇu entered him with his own divine splendour. When, being urged by Uttaṅka and with a desire for the welfare of the world, the unassailable king marched out, there arose a great din and commotion in the sky.

52. “This king shall become Dhundhumāra (slayer of Dhundhu) with effect from today”: The Devas showered him all round with divine flowers.

53-55. Then the divine Dundubhis (war-drums) were sounded loudly.

The heroic lion among men went along with his sons and dug up the vast inexhaustible ocean filled with sands. Dhundhu who had concealed himself beneath the sands, was found out by his sons who were digging the sands on the Western side.

That infuriated Asura appeared to upset the worlds by means of fire coming out of his mouth.

56. By means of his Yogic power that great and excellent Asura let flow water like the great ocean blending its currents and waves together at the time of moon-rise.

57-60a. All his sons were burnt down completely; only three survived that battle.

Then that king of enormous strength and great splendour approached that immensely mighty Rākṣasa Dhundhu who killed h is kinsmen. The king, O dear one, who was a Yogin, suppressed his forceful flood of water let loose by him my means of his Yogic power and subdued fire by means of water. In the end the king killed that aquatic demon of huge body, by means of his prowess. After accomplishing his task the king pointed the Rākṣasa to Uttaṅka.

60b-63. Uttaṅka granted boon to that noble-souled king that the more he gave as gifts the more would be his wealth ever lasting. The other boons he granted were the invincibility (in battle) by the enemies, perpetual interest in Dharma and never-ending residence in the heaven. He granted the everlasting worlds in heaven to his sons who were killed by the demon.

Out of the three of his sons who survived, the eldest is called Dṛḍhāśva. Bhadrāśva and Kapilāśva are remembered as the younger ones. Dṛḍhāśva is known as Dhaundhumāri (i.e. son of Dhundhumāra) and Haryaśva was his son.

64. Haryaśva’s son was Nikumbha who was always devoted to the duties of a Kṣatriya. Saṃhatāśva, who was an expert in battle, was the son of Nikumbha.

65-66. Kṛśāśva and Akṛtāśva were the two sons of Saṃhatāśva. His wife was the chaste Haimavatī and his mother Dṛṣadvatī was well-known in the three worlds. His (?) son was Prasenajit. Yuvanāśva, his son, was famous in the three worlds.

67. His wife Gaurī was an extremely virtuous and chaste lady. But she was cursed by her husband and was converted into the river Bāhudā[8].

68. Her son Gaurika (i.e. son of Gaurī) became an emperor. Māndhātṛ, the son of Yuvanāśva, was a king who conquered the three worlds.

69-72. In this context the Brāhmaṇas well-versed in the Purāṇas cite the following stanza:—

The entire space where the sun rises and establishes itself is called the territory of Māndhātā, son of Yuvanāśva.

His wife was the daughter of Citraratha (?) and Śaśabindu. She was a chaste lady named Bindumatī. In beauty she was unrivalled on the Earth. This chaste lady was the eldest sister of ten thousand brothers. Lord Māndhātā begot of her three sons viz. Purukutsa, Arnbarīṣa and Mucukunda who was well-known.

73. Another Yuvanāśva is remembered as the heir of Ambarīṣa. He was born of Narmadā. Sambhūta was his son.

74. The valorous Anaraṇya was the bosom-born son of Sambhūta. He was killed by Rāvaṇa by whom all the three worlds had been conquered before.

75. (Defective text) Tenadṛśya (?) (prob. Trasadasyu) was the son of Anaraṇya[9]. Haryaśva was Trasadasyu’s son. King Sumati was born of Dṛṣadvatī and Haryaśva.)

76. His son was a virtuous king named Tridhanvā. The son of Tridhanvā was the scholarly lord Trayyāruṇi.

77-79. A son of great strength named Satyavrata was born to him. After killing the heaven-dwellers (?), Vidrabha’s wife was abducted by him. This sin was committed by that intelligent one out of lust, strength and great delight, forcibly out of delusion and due to the power of the inevitable future. This was done by him when the Mantras of the wedding ceremony had not been concluded.[10] His father Trayyāruṇa banished him because he had been sinful.

80-81. Becoming infuriated with him, he exclaimed many times “This is disgrace and degradation”.

He asked his father again and again, “I am alone. Where shall I go?”.

The father told him, “Go and. live along with Cāṇḍālas, O defiler of the family. With you as my son, I am not a seeker of a son now. Although I seek sons, they should not be like you”.

82. On being told thus, he went out of the city at the instance of the lord, the king. Vasiṣṭha, the exalted sage, did not prevent him from going.

83. Satyavrata who was intelligent and bold, lived near the abodes of Cāṇḍālas on being abandoned by his father. His father went to the forest.

84. On account of this sin, Indra did not shower rain in that country for full twelve years.

85. Viśvāmitra, a sage of great penance, left his wife in the territory of that king and performed extensive penance in the marshy shores of the Sea.

86. His wife tied her own bosom-born middle son with a rope round his neck and offered him for sale in exchange for a hundred cows. She wanted to sell him in order to sustain and bring up the remaining sons.

87-88. The excellent king of holy rites and virtuous soul saw the son of the great sage tied round the neck and offered for sale. Thereupon, he released him.

For the sake of satisfying Viśvāmitra and arousing his sympathy, Satyavrata, of great intellect, sustained him and brought him up too.

89. That boy who had been tied round the neck became a sage of great penance named Gālava. That Kauśika (one belonging to the family of Kuśika) was redeemed by that heroic king.

90. On account of his (?) holy vow, devotion, mercy and solemn declaration, the king who adhered to rules of discipline, sustained Viśvāmitra’s wife also.

91. He used to kill deer, boars, buffaloes and aquatic beings and bring their meat near the hermitage of Viśvāmitra.

92-93. At the instance of sage Vasiṣṭha Satyavrata’s father undertook Upāṃśuvrata (a secret vow) and for that purpose took initiation extending to twelve years. When the king went to the forest, Vasiṣṭha protected Ayodhyā, the harem and the whole realm from the evil contact and injustice arising from Satya-vrata.

94. On account of his childishness as well as due to the force of inevitable future, Satyavrata bore a grudge against Vasiṣṭha due to grief.

95. When Satyavrata was banished from the realm by the father, Sage Vasiṣṭha did not prevent this, due to a specific reason.

96. The conclusion of the wedding Mantras shall be only at the seventh step (Saptapadi). Thinking thus Satyavrata abducted her (?) at the seventh step.

97. “Despite being conversant with Dharmas, Vasiṣṭha wishes for fresh chanting of the Mantras”,—saying thus Satyavrata became angry with Vasiṣṭha, in his mind.

98. The Saintly lord Vasiṣṭha performed penance for their welfare. But Satyavratra did not understand his secret vow.

99. The fury of his noble-souled father was excessively directed to his son. Therefore, Indra did not shower rain for twelve years.

100-101. “Atonement can be made in the family by me if I take up initiation which is very difficult to undertake on the earth now”. So thought Vasiṣṭha. He did not prevent the banishment of the son by the father thinking thus—“when he passes away, I shall crown him”. In the meantime that king of potentiality undertook initiation extending to twelve years.

102-103. When there was no meat readily available, the son of the king espied the divine cow of the noble-souled Vasiṣṭha that milked everyone of desires of devotees.

The most excellent one among powerful ones, who was hungry due to fatigue, adopted the policy of thieves and killed the cow on account of his anger (towards Vasiṣṭha) and delusion too. He himself made the sons of Viśvāmitra eat the meat. On hearing about it, Vasiṣṭha cast him off. The holy lord Vasiṣṭha said thus to the prince.

106-103. “If you had not already had three sins, O base one among men, I would have made you fall down, O cruel one, after inflicting another sin.

You have committed sins in three ways viz.—“You made your father dissatisfied, you killed the cow of your preceptor, you made use of what had not been sacrificed by the sprinkling of holy water.”

Thus the sage of great power of penance saw the three sins (Śaṅkus) and called him Triśaṅku. Therefore, the king is remembered as Triśaṅku.

109-112. Viśvāmitra who returned (from his penance) became delighted with Triśaṅku because he had sustained his wife (during the absence of the sage). He granted him a boon. When he was pressed to choose a boon the prince chose him as his preceptor and requested for this boon—“I shall go to heaven along with this physical body.” When there was a danger of draught extending to twelve years, the sage crowned him in his hereditary kingdom. Even as the Devas as well as Vasiṣṭha were watching, the lordly saint Viśvāmitra made him ascend heaven.

113-114. It was all the more surprising because it happened even as Vasiṣṭha was watching. In this context persons well-versed in the Purāṇas cite this stanza:

“Due to Viśvāmitra’s favour and on account of the blessing of that intelligent sage, Triśaṅku of great splendour shines in heaven alone with the Devas.

115. His wife named Satyavratā, born of the family of Kaikeyas, gave birth to Hariścandra, a sinless son.

116. King Hariścandra is well known as Traiśaṅkava (son of Triśaṅku). As a performer of Rājasūya sacrifice, he became famous as an Emperor.

117. Hariścandra had a heroic and powerful son named Rohita. Harita was the son of Rohita and Cañcu is mentioned as the son of Harita.

118. Vinaya and Sudeva were the two sons of Cañcu. Sudeva was the conqueror of all Kṣatriyas. Hence, he is remembered as Vijaya.

119. Ruruka was his son. He was a king proficient in details regarding Dharma and Wealth (Artha). Vṛka was the son of Ruruka and Bāhu was born of him.

120. Since that king indulged in vice, he was dethroned by the Haihayas, Tālajaṅghas, Śakas, Yavanas, Kāmbojas, Pāradas and Pahlavas.

121. Even when the Yuga was conducive to the development of virtue, that king was not much of a righteous person. Sagara was the son of Bāhu. He was born along with poison.[11]

122-123. It was at the hermitage of Bhṛgu that he was born. He was protected by Aurva. After acquiring the Āgneya Astra (a missile the deity of which is fire-god) from the grandson of Bḥrgu (viz. Aurva) king Sagara went over the whole of the Earth and killed Tālajaṅghas and Haihayas. The unerring king repudiated the Dharma (code of conduct etc.) of the Śakas and Pahlavas.

124-125. (Sagara) who was conversant with the real Dharma cast out the Dharma of the Kṣatriyas called (Pāradas) i.e. excommunicated them from Kṣatriya-hooḍ.

The sages enquired:—

How was the king Sagara born along with poison? What for did the infuriated king who never committed a fault banish them from the hereditary and traditional codes of conduct of Śakas and others who were Kṣatriyas of great prowess?

Sūta explained:—

126. It has already been mentioned that the kingdom of Bāhu who indulged in vice, had been formerly seized by the Haihayas and Tālajaṅghas who came along with the Śakas.

127. The Yavanas, Pāraḍas, Kāmbojas. Pahlavas (and śakas), these five clans (of kings) attacked for and on behalf of the Haihayas.

128. When he had been deprived of his kingdom, Bāhu renounced his abode and entered the forest. Accompanied by h is wife, the noble-souled king performed a penance.

129. Once that king, though disabled, went to fetch water. On account of old age and weakness, he passed away in. the middle.

130. His wife, a member of the family of Yadu, was pregnant and she had gone after him. Poison had been administered to her by her co-wife with a desire to kill the child in the womb.

131. She lit the funeral pyre of her husband and got on to it. On seeing her, Aurva, the grand-son of Bḥṭgu, made her desist from it out of mercy.

132. She gave birth to the child developed in her womb along with the poison. She gave birth to a righteous son named Sagara who became very powerful.

133. Aurva performed Jātakarman and other post-natal holy rites of the noble-souled prince. He taught him Vedas and Sacred scriptures. Thereafter, he taught him how to discharge missiles and miraculous weapons.

134. After that the king determined to exterminate the Śakas, Yavanas, Kāmbojas, Pāradas, and Pahlavas.

135. On being hit, hurt and killed by the noble-souled, heroic Sagara, all of them sought refuge in Vasiṣṭha, desirous of shelter.

136. On seeing them filled with humility, the great sage granted them freedom from fear and restrained Sagara.

137. Remembering his own vow and on hearing the prescriptive words of; his preceptor, Sagara struck off their customary observances of caste and other characteristics, and made them change their guise and garments.

138-139.[12] He shaved half of the heads of Śakas and discharged them. He shaved off the heads of Yavanas and Kāmbojas completely. The Pāradas were compelled to keep their hairs dishevelled and the Pahlavas were made to grow their moustache and beard. All of them were deprived of the study of the Vedas and the utterance of the Vaṣaṭkāra Mantras, by that noble-souled king.

140-141. The Śakas, Yavanas, Kāmbojas, Pahlavas, Pāradas, Kalisparśas, Māhiṣikas, Dārvas, Colas and Khaśas—the customary observations of their castes and conventions of all these groups of Kṣatriyas were prohibited formerly by the noble-souled Sagara at the instance of Vasiṣṭha.

142. After conquering the whole of the Earth by means of righteous victory, the king took initiation for the horse sacrifice and made the sacrificial horse go round the world.

143. As he made it go round, the horse was stolen away near the shore of the South-Eastern Ocean and made to enter beneath the earth.

144-145. The king got that place completely dug up by his sons. Digging up the bed of the great ocean, they met with the primordial being, Lord Viṣṇu. in the form of Kapila, the lord Hari, Kṛṣṇa, the lord of subjects, lord Haṃsa, lord Nārāyaṇa.

146. After coming within the path of his vision and being afflicted by its fiery splendour, all those princes were burned; only four sons survived.

147. They were Barhiketu, Suketu, Dharmaratha and the heroic Pañcajana. They perpetuated the line of the lord.

148-150. Hari, Nārāyaṇa granted him boons viz—everlasting status to his race, ability to perform hundred horse sacrifices, the all pervading ocean as a son, and the eternal residence in heaven.

Fetching the horse with him, the ocean, the lord of rivers, saluted him. By that activity of his, he got the name Sāgara.

After getting back the sacrificial horse from the ocean, the king performed horse-sacrifices again and again making up the total of one hundred.

151-152. His sixty thousand sons were burned by the anger of the lord Kapila. We have heard that the noble-souled sixty thousand sons entered the brilliant lustre of Nārāyaṇa.

The Sages asked:—

153. Tell us by what procedure were the numerous, highly mighty and valorous sons of Sagara, sixty thousand in number were born.

Sūta replied:—

154. Sagara had two wives who had dispelled their sins by means of their penance. The elder of the two was the daughter of Vidarbha named Keśinī.

155. His younger wife was the daughter of Ariṣṭanemī. She was extremely virtuous and unparalleled in beauty throughout the world.

156-159a. On being propitiated by means of austerities, the lordly sage Aurva granted them these boons viz.—One of them would give birth to a desired son who would perpetuate the line and the second would give birth to sixty thousand sons.

On hearing the words of the sage, Keśinī chose the single excellent son who would perpetuate the line, O king, in the assembly. Sumati, the sister of Suparṇa, of exalted good fortune, delightedly chose the sixty thousand sons.

159b-160. As time passed on, the eider queen gave birth to the eldest son of Sagara well known by the name of Asamañja, the scion of the family of Kakutstha. Sumati of great renown gave birth to a pot-gourd like the lump of foetus.

161. The sixty thousand sons emerged from the gourdlike lump of foetus. He then placed them (the pieces of the foetus) in the pot filled with ghee.

162-163. The king engaged as many nurses (as there were pieces) in. order to nurture them individually. Thereafter, in nine months, all those sons of exalted fortune fully developed comfortably increasing the pleasure of Sagara. After a long time, they entered the prime of youth.

164-165. The other son of Sagara born of Keśinī was Barhiketu of great strength well known as Asamañja. Since he was engaged against the interests of citizens, he was banished from the city by his father. The heroic son of Asamañja was named Aṃśumān.

166. His noble-souled son was well known as Dilīpa. Bhagīratha, a hero of great splendour, was born of Dilīpa.

167. It was by him that Gaṅgā, the most excellent of all rivers, rendered splendid by aerial chariots, was brought here (in this world) and assigned the status of his daughter by the lord of Suras (Brahmā).

168-169. In this context, persons well-versed in the Purāṇas cite this verse. “By means of his active endeavour Bhagīratha brought Gaṅgā to the Earth. Hence Gaṅgā is called Bhāgīrathī by those excellent persons who are conversant with genealogy.” Bhagīratha’s son was named Śruta.

170. Nābhāga was his heir. He was always engaged in virtuous activities. Ambarīṣa was his son and Sindhudvīpa was the next king.

171-172. It is well known that persons of yore conversant with the Purāṇas and genealogy sing thus:—‘The Earth protected by the arms of Ambarīṣa, son of Nābhāga became perfectly free from the three distresses”. Ayutāyu was the heroic son of Sindhudvīpa.

173. Ṛtuparṇa of great renown was the heir of Ayutāyu. This strong king who was conversant with the divine Mantra Akṣahṛdaya (the heart of dice) was a friend of Nala.

174. Two Nalas of steadfast holy vows are well known in the Purāṇas: the one, the son of Vīrasena and the other the prominent member of the family of Ikṣvāku.

175. Sarvakāma, the lord of the people, was the son of Ṛtuparṇa. King Sudāsa, his son, became a friend of Indra.

176. Sudāsa’s son, the king named Saudāsa became well-known as Kalmāṣapāda. He is known by the name Mitrasaha also.

177. For the perpetuation of the line of Ikṣvāku, Vasiṣṭha of great brilliance, begot Aśmaka of the wife of Kalmāṣapāda.

178-179. Mūlaka was the bosom-born son of Aśmaka. In this context too they cite this, concerning king Mūlaka:—

“Indeed, because he was afraid of Paraśurāma, that king remained surrounded by women. Desirous of protection, the lord who was devoid of robes had women for his coat of mail.

180. The righteous-souled king Śataratha is remembered as the son of Mūlaka. Iḍaviḍa, the powerful king, was born of Śataratha.

181. The valorous Kṛtavarmā was the glorious son of Iḍaviḍa. His son Viśvasaha was born of Putrīkasī (?).

182-183. Dilīpa[13] was his son. He became well known as Khaṭvāṅga. Having attained a span of life extending to a Muhūrta, he returned from Heaven and combined the three worlds on account of his intelligence and truthfulness. Dīrghabāhu was his son. Raghu was born of him.

184. Aja was the son of Raghu. The heroic king named Daśaratha was born of him. He was the delighter of the members of the family of Ikṣvāku.

185. Rāma, Bharata, Śatrughna and Lakṣmaṇa of great strength were the sons of Daśaratha. Rāma was heroic, conversant with Dharma and well-known in the worlds.

186. Śatrughna went to Madhuvana and killed Lavaṇa, son of Madhu. There the city of Mathurā was founded by Śatrughna.

187. Subāhu and Śūrasena were the sons of Śatrughna. They were born of the princess of Videha. They ruled over the city of Mathura.

188. Aṅgada and Candraketu were the two sons of Lakṣmaṇa. Their territories at the border of the Himalaya mountain were very prosperous and flourishing.

189. In the territory of Kārāpatha (?) the city of Aṅgada was called Aṅgada. Candracakra, the splendid city of Candraketu is well known.

190. The heroic Takṣa and Puṣkara were the sons of Bharata. The cities of those two noble souls were situated in the realm of the Gandharvas.

191. The city of Takṣa was well known in all the quarters by the name of Takṣaśilā. The city of the heroic Puṣkara was well known as Puṣkarāvatī.

192. Those people who are conversant with the Purāṇas sing this Gāthā (lyrical verse). It concerns Rāma. It consists of facts due to the greatness of that intelligent one.

193-195. “Rāma was dark-complexioned and youthful. He had red eyes and bright face. He was a person of few words. His arms extended as far as his knees. He had splendid face, leonine shoulders and long brawny arms. He ruled over the kingdom for ten thousand years.

In his kingdom the sound of the chanting of Mantras of Ṛk, Sāman and Yajus as well as that of—“Let it be given, let it be enjoyed” was incessant and unbroken.

While living in Janasthāna (Nasik in Maharashtra) Rāma accomplished a task of the Devas.

195. Earlier, proceeding in search of Sītā’s whereabouts, Rāma the bull among men (the powerful leader), the king of great fame slew (Rāvaṇa) the descendant of Pulastya, the demon who had committed sins.

197. He had Sattva (purest) qualities (or he had great inherent strength). He was richly endowed with good qualities. He shone with his own brilliance. Thus Rāma, the son of Daśaratha, shone surpassing the sun and fire.

198. The two sons of that powerful king were like him. They are well known as Kuśa and Lava. Understand their territories.

199. Kośala was the kingdom of Kuśa and his city was Kuśasthalī.[14] This beautiful city was built by him on the sides and ridges of the Vindhya mountain.

200. Uttarakośala was the kingdom of the noble-souled Lava. His city Śrāvastī is well known in all the worlds.

Understand the line of Kuśa.

201. Atithi, the virtuous-soulcd son of Kuśa was fond of entertaining guests. The famous king named Niṣadha was the son of Atithi.

202. Nalawas the son of Niṣadha. Nabhas was the son of Nala. Puṇḍarīka was the son of Nabhas and Kṣemadhanvan is remembered as the king after him.

203. The valorous king Devānīka was the son of Kṣemadhanvan. Lord Ahīnagu was the son of Devānīka.

204. Ahīnagu’s heir was Pāriyātra of great fame. Dala was his son. King Bala was born of him.

205. The noble-souled son of Bala was Ulūka.[15] Vajranābha was his son and his son was Śaṅkhaṇa.

206. Śaṅkhaṇa’s son was a scholar well known as Vyuṣitāśva. It is said that king Viśvasaha was the son of Vyuṣitāśva.

207. Hiraṇyanābha alias Kauśalya (belonging to Kośala) was his most excellent son. In the Prācya Sāman Mantras, he is remembered as the disciple of Pauṣyañji.[16]

208. He learned five hundred Saṃhitās from Pauṣyañji. Yoga was learnt from him by the intelligent Yājñavalkya.

209. Puṣpa (Puṣya), his son, was a scholar. His son was Dhruvasandhi. Sudarśana was his son. Agnivarṇa was born of Sudarśana.

210-211. Śīghra was the son of Agnivarṇa, Maru is remembered as the son of Śīghra. Maru practised Yogic exercises and stayed in Kalāpagrāma.

This lord was the person who made the Kṣatriyas function in the twenty-first Prayuga (? subsidiary Yuga).

Prabhusuta (Prasuśruta-Vā.P.) was the son of Maru and Susandhi was his son.

212. Susandhi’s son was Marṣa (Amarṣa?) otherwise known by the name of Sahasvān. The son of Sahasvān was a king named Viśrutavān.

213-216. King Bṛhadbala was the son of Viśrutavān.

These are the sons and heirs of Ikṣvāku. They are remembered to be hundreds in number. Those who were very important have been recounted on account of their importance.

If a person reads this creation of Āditya Vivasvān (the sun) he becomes endowed with children. He attains Sāyujya merging with Manu, the son of Vivasvān, who is known as Lord Śrāddhadeva and who grants nourishment to the subjects.

He shall be rid of his sins and Rajas qualities. He shall become long-lived. He shall never swerve from the righteous path.

Footnotes and references:


VV. 3-7. Though the present chapter deals mainly with the Ikṣvāku dynasty, these verses mention the dynastic list in the pre-Yayāti period i.e. before Circa 3000 B.C. as per Vedic Age p. 276 (BVB=Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Bombay).

Thus Śaryātas ruled in Ānarta (Gujarat and part of Malwa) with its capital at Kuśasthalī or Dwarka (De, 7), Dhārṣṭikas ruled over Vāhīka (between the Bias and Sutlej) in Panjab (De, 15). The descendants of Nābhāga were probably in the midlands of the Gangetic doab, but their special feature was the attainment of Brahminhood as Aṅgirasas, indicating the fluidity of caste system of that period.


From V. 8, the author describes the dynasty of Ikṣvāku. His three sons Vikukṣi, Nimi and Daṇḍa founded dynasties at Ayodhyā (U.P.), Videha (Bihar) and Daṇḍaka (North Deccan).


Aṣṭaka is a Śrāddha performed on the 8th day of the dark halves of the months of Mārgaśīrṣa, Pauṣa, Māgha, Phālguṇa (Āśvalāyana Gr.S. II.4.1), but most other Gṛhya sūtras regard the first three as the Aṣṭaka days. Flesh is to be offered to Pitṛs in this Śrāddha (Gobhila Gr.S.III. 10.48). Hence, Ikṣvāku’s order to Vikukṣi to bring flesh vide v. 12. Now, no flesh is served in Śrāddha.


A popular etymology—a special feature of this Purāṇa. But this is a quotation from Manu V.55.


Āḍibaka—The deadly combat fought by Vasiṣṭha and Viśvāmitra after assuming the form of Āḍi and Baka (two aquatic birds). Devas and Asuras fought with each other after taking sides of Vasiṣṭha and Viśvāmitra.


Kālidāsa, however, explains the epithet Kakutstha (as ‘one who occupies a prominent place among kings’, vide Raghuvaṃśa VI.71 Ikṣvākuvaṃśyaḥ kakudaṃ nṛpāṇām kakutstha ityāhitalaksaṇobhūt.


B.C. Law regards this legend as a natural phenomenon. He conjectures that this volcanic pit near the western sea was sub-merged with sea water and the volcanic action ceased by the efforts of Kuvalāśva (Tribes in Ancient India, p. 126), while Pargiter regards this as a shallow sand-filled sea in Rajasthan which prevented Aryan expansion (AIHT. pp. 260-61).


mod. Burha-Rāptī, a feeder of Rāptī river in Oudh.


The Text tenadṛśyonaraṇyaya is wrong. Identical verse Vā.P. 88.75 reads Trasadasyonaraṇyasya—Trasadasyu was the son of Anaraṇya.


Vide verse No. 96 below.


Sa-gara (with poison): The etymology of the King’s name.


VV. 138-139 describe the ways of hair-dressing etc. of these tribes.


This is Dilīpa II. Dilīpa I was the father of Bhagīratha (see v. 166).


De identifies it with Ujjain but our text locates it on the ridges of the Vindhya mountain.


Vā.P.88.205 calls him Auṅkha while in the AIHT list of Ayodhyā kings (p. 149) he is recorded as Uktha.


Pauṣyañji—a teacher of Sāma-veḍa. He was a disciple of Sukarman Jaimini. He taught 500 branches of Sāmaveda (PCK—Prācīna carita kośa 1.9.624).

It is seen that most of the kings in this chapter are listed in Pargiter’s AIHT, pp.145-149.

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