The Padma Purana

by N.A. Deshpande | 1951 | 1,261,945 words | ISBN-10: 8120838297 | ISBN-13: 9788120838291

This page describes description of the solar race (adityavamsha or suryavamsha) which is chapter 8 of the English translation of the Padma Purana, one of the largest Mahapuranas, detailling ancient Indian society, traditions, geography, as well as religious pilgrimages (yatra) to sacred places (tirthas). This is the eighth chapter of the Srishti-khanda (section on creation) of the Padma Purana, which contains six books total consisting of at least 50,000 Sanskrit metrical verses.

Disclaimer: These are translations of Sanskrit texts and are not necessarily approved by everyone associated with the traditions connected to these texts. Consult the source and original scripture in case of doubt.

Chapter 8 - Description of the Solar Race (Ādityavaṃśa or Sūryavaṃśa)

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Bhīṣma said:

1. It is heard that the earth was formerly enjoyed by many kings. They are (called) Pārthiva on account of their connection with the earth; but on account of (its) connection with whom is the Pṛthvī (earth) so called?

2. Why is the earth given that technical name? Tell me why it has the name Gau, or why it is (called) Bhū?

Pulastya said:

3. Formerly Aṅga by name was the Prajāpati of the Kṛtayuga. He married Mṛtyu’s extremely ugly daughter named Sunīthā. Her son was Vena.

4-12. This king was attached to wickedness, and was lustful and powerful. He did unrighteous things to people, and took away others’ wives. Though entreated by the great sages for his success and for the (good of the) world, he, of an impure mind, did not grant them safety. The sinless brāhmaṇas distressed with the fear of anarchy, having killed him, with a curse, forcibly churned his body. From that body, being churned, the Mlecha [Mleccha?] tribes, dark like collyrium, due to the (presence of) the mother’s portion in the body were created. Due to the contact of the father’s portion, from the right hand of the body a pious son, full of divine lustre, doing righteous things, and with a bow, an arrow, a mace and gems, an armour and armlets, named Pṛthu, who was Viṣṇu himself, was born. Being consecrated by the brāhmaṇas, and having practised a very difficult penance, he, due to Viṣṇu’s boon, became the lord of all. Seeing the earth without sacred study, without oblation to deities, and void of righteous behaviour, he, of unlimited valour, was, through anger, quite ready to pierce it with his arrow. Then the earth, taking up the form of a cow, was about to flee.

13. Pṛthu, having a bow and arrows, pursued her. Then remaining in one place, she said: “What should I do?”

14. Pṛthu also uttered (these) words: “O you of righteous vow, give quickly what is desired by the world—immobile and mobile”.

15. The earth said: “All right”. Then king Pṛthu, making Svāyambhuva Manu the calf, milked her (milk in the pot) in his hand.

16. That milk turned into food on which the creatures subsist. Then the earth was milked by the sages, when Soma was the calf.

17-18. Vācaspati (then) milked her (lit. became the milkman); Veda was the pot, and penance the milk. Then the gods milked her when Marut was the milkman. Indra became the calf and mighty power was the milk. The pot of the gods was golden and that of the Pitṛs was silvery.

19-21. The god of death milked her when Yama was the calf and Svadhā the milk. The pot of the serpents was a hole and Takṣaka was the calf, and poison was the milk. And Dhṛtarāṣṭra and the demons too, milked her (taking the milk) in an iron pot, the milk being the trickery harassing the enemies. The calf was Virocana, the son of Prahlāda. The milkman then was Trimūrdhan, who promoted deceit.

22. O king, the Yakṣas desiring to conceal themselves, also milked the earth in ancient days, making Vivasvān, having the gem, the calf.

23. The groups of evil spirits and fiends milked the earth, marrow and clotted blood (being the milk). Raupyanābha was the milkman and Sumālin the calf.

24. The Gandharvas again, along with the groups of the celestial nymphs milked the earth, making Citraratha (Gandharva) the calf, and the fragrances in the lotus-petal (the milk).

25. Vararuci, the expert in Atharva Veda milked the cow. The mountains also milked her with various jewels (as the milk).

26. Mountain Meru milked (her with) divine herbs (as the milk). The Himālaya was the calf and the pot was made of mountains.

27. The trees also milked the (milk of the) earth, into the pot made from the Palāsa tree; the cut-off sprouts were the milk and Sāla full of flowers and woods was the milkman.

28. And the fig-tree, the lord of all trees and woods, was the calf. Thus others also milked the earth according to their desire.

29. While Pṛthu was ruling, there prevailed longevity, wealth, and happiness. There was no poverty, and also no sick person, no poor person and no sinner.

30. When Pṛthu was ruling, there were no calamities; there was no misfortune; people not having sorrow or grief, were ever joyful.

31. Having uprooted, with the end of his bow, the big mountains, he, with the desire to do good to the people, made the terrestrial globe (i.e. the earth) even.

32-33. There were no inaccessible cities or villages; men did not die with weapons in their hands; there was no sorrow, and science of politics was honoured; men were given to piety when Pṛthu was ruling. I have narrated to you, in the manner mentioned (above), (which were) the pots, which was the milk (etc.).

34-35. He, the wise one, gave those whatever they liked, when all were giving importance to sacrifice (or, when all were giving i.e. pouring wealth into sacrifice). I have (thus) told you, O highly intelligent one, that since the earth became the daughter of Pṛthu, she accordingly was known by the wise to be Pṛthivi.

Bhīṣma said:

36. O brāhmaṇa, tell me in due order, about the entire solar dynasty [Ādityavaṃśa or Sūryavaṃśa]; please also explain (to me) the lunar dynasty [Somavaṃśa or Candravaṃśa], O you who know the truth.

Pulastya said:

37. Formerly Vivasvān was born to Aditi from Kaśyapa. He had three daughters: Saṃjñā, Rājñi and Prabhā.

38. Raivata’s daughter Rājñi gave birth to a son (called) Revata. Prabhā gave birth to Prabhāta and Saṃjñā to Manu.

39-40. The twins Yama and Yamunā were also born (to Saṃjñā). Then unable to bear Vivasvān’s lustre, she, the beautiful daughter of Tvaṣṭṛ, produced from her own body, a blameless lady, Chāyā by name.

41-42. To her, who stood before her saying; “what should I do?” she said: “O beautiful Chāyā, you serve my husband, nourish my children with motherly affection” Saying “All right” she of a righteous vow, went to god (Vivasvān) for sensual enjoyment.

43-45. The god too, taking her to be Saṃjñā, longed for her with regard, (and) generated Sāvarṇi Manu resembling Manu (the son of Saṃjñā) in form due to his having complexion similar to that of Vaivasvata Manu. Then in due order he generated a daughter by name Tapatī, on Chāyā, the daughter of Tvaṣṭṛ, taking her to be Saṃjñā. Chāyā loved her son Manu more.

46. The former Manu (i.e. the elder one) did not tolerate it. So Yama, violent with anger, and raising his right foot, threatened (her).

47. Chāyā too, cursed Yama: “This one foot will be full of worms and pus, and blood will ooze from it.”

48-49. Insulted by this curse, Yama told his father: “O god, mother has angrily cursed me without any reason. Due to child-like nature, I raised my foot a little. O lord, even though warded off by Manu, she gave me a curse.

50-52. Probably she is not our mother, since she is partial in her love.” God (Vivasvān) also said in return to Yama: “O highly intelligent one, what should I do? Who does not get misery after happiness? Or (rather), the flow of karma is difficult to be resisted even by Bhava, then what about other creatures? A cock will eat the worms on your leg. This leg of yours will be lame and charming.”

53-54. Thus addressed and consoled, he, through detachment, and subsisting on fruits, foam and wind, and propitiating Brahmā, practised, for myriads of years, a severe penance at Puṣkara Tīrtha. The lotus-born one was pleased by the power of his penance.

55. He asked for the lordship of the world and for the eternal world of Pitṛs, and putting to test this world full of piety and impiety.

56. O innocent one, he thus obtained the lordship of the world, the supremacy over the Pitṛs and over piety and impiety.

57. Vivasvān then having come to know that act of Saṃjñā, went to Tvaṣṭṛ and angrily reported it to him.

58-60. Then Tvaṣṭṛ said these kind words to him: “O remover of darkness, not being able to bear your severe lustre, she came to me here, I, fearing you, kept her off, O lord of the sky. ‘Since you have come to me here without your intention being known (by your husband), please do not enter my house’.

61. Thus addresed, she the blameless one, quickly went to the Maru country and taking the form of a mare, lived on the earth.

62-66. “Therefore, show favour to me if I deserve it. Putting you on a machine I shall take off your lustre and will make your appearance delightful to the eyes of the world, O lord.” When the Sun said to him, “All right”, he separated the Sun’s lustre from him, and fashioned from it Viṣṇu’s disk, and also Rudra’s trident and Indra’s bolt (all) capable of destroying the demons and the friends. Tvaṣṭṛ made the Sun’s form matchless and having a thousand rays, (but) without feet. He could not see the form of the feet of the Sun. Even now nobody should ever fashion the (Sun’s image with) feet.

67. He, the most sinful one, who fashions it, reaches a censured condition, and contracts leprosy, known to be miserable in this world.

68. Therefore one, desiring religious merit and sensual enjoyments, should never fashion in pictures and temples the feet of the intelligent lord of lords.

69-70. Then the love-striken lord of gods going to the earth in the guise of a horse and endowed with great lustre, had oral coitus with her; and the mind of Saṃjñā, afflicted by fear, became agitated.

71. Suspecting him to be a stranger, she threw out (his semen) through her nostrils. We have heard that from that semen Aśvins were born.

72. They became known as Dasra (wonder-workers) and Nāsatya (truthful) (due to their being born) from the nostrils.

73. Full of joy, he went to the heaven with his wife in an aeroplane. Sāvarṇya Manu also is even now practising penance on Meru.

74. Śani also, due to the power of his penance, attained equality with the planets, and Yamunā and Tapatī became rivers.

75. Similarly, Viṣṭhi too, of a terrible form, settled in the form of time. Vaivasvata Manu too had ten sons.

76-77. Out of them Ila was the first who was born as a result of a sacrifice performed to obtain a male issue. (The ten sons were:) Ikṣvāku, Kuśanābha, Ariṣṭa and Dhṛṣṭa, Nariṣyanta, Karūṣa, and very powerful Śaryāti, Pṛṣadhra, and Nābhāga; all these were divine men.

78. Manu, having first consecrated his righteous son Ila, went to the Puṣkara penance-grove for (practising) penance.

79. For his success Brahmā, the giver of boons, came there, (and said to him:) “Well-being to you, O Mānaveya; ask for a boon”.

80-81. Then he said to the lotus-born god, having lotuslike eyes: “O lotus-born, lord, let all the righteous kings, the lords on the earth, be under my control, through your favour”. Saying “Let it be so”, the lord of gods vanished there only.

82-85. Then coming (back) to Ayodhyā, he lived as before. Then, once, Ila, Manu’s son, seated in a chariot, moved out on this earth, rich with kings, for the fulfilment of an object, and roaming overall regions and subduing kings; and he, the brave one, being attracted, went to Śaṅkara’s great grove called Śaravaṇa, full of desire-yielding creepers and trees, in which, Śiva, lord of gods, having the crescent moon on his head, sports with Umā. Formerly a convention was fixed about that Śaravaṇa:

86. “Whatever called male enters our grove, all that, within a radius of ten yojanas, will turn into a female.”

87. Not knowing this convention, king Ila entered Śaravaṇa, (and) instantly became a woman, and the same moment (his) horse turned into a mare.

88-91. And while in the female body, he forgot everything that he did as a man; he became a slender lady called llā, having plump, raised and compact breasts, raised hips and loins, having long and dark eyes like lotus-leaves, having a face like the full moon, having plump, raised and long arms, and dark, curly and fine hair, of a charming face and talking sweetly and indistinctly, of a slender shape, with a fair complexion, and having thin, reddish, sprout-like nails, having bow-like eyebrows, and with a gait concealing (i.e. superior to) that of a swan.

92-94. The beautiful young woman, wandering in the forest, thought: ‘Who would be my father, or brother, or mother here? To which husband am I given? For how many years am I (living) on the earth?’ While thinking (thus), she, a lady of an excellent complexion, was seen by (Budha), the son of Soma, with his mind seized by the figure of Ilā. Budha, oppressed by love, tried to secure her.

95-96. He, of a distinguished form, bald-headed, entered the grove with a water-pot and a book, a bamboo-stick in his hand, having a ring of kuśa-grass and a shovel, with a brāhmaṇa’s form, having a tuft of hair, reciting Veda, wearing earrings, accompanied by young boys and having sacred fuel, flowers, kuśa grass and water.

97-100. At that time, having looked into it, he hastily concealing himself in a bower outside the grove, called that Ilā, and it was, as it were, an unexpected taunt (for her). “Leaving the service of my sacred fire, where have you gone? Now the time for your sport is over, O you of large hips, come on; why are you confused? This evening time is here, the time for diversion. Having besmeared ground, adorn my house with flowers”.

101. She said: “O you having penance as your wealth, I have forgotten all th is. Tell me all about myself, about you—my husband, and my family, O sinless one.”

102. Budha said to that slender lady: “O you ofexcellent complxion, you are Ilā, and I am known as passionate Budha, well-versed in many lores.

103-105. I am born in the family of the brilliant one (i.e. Soma); my father is the chief of the brāhmaṇas.” After these words uttered by him, she entered Buddha’s abode, full of jewelled pillars, fashioned with divine illusion. Ilā, having remained in that house regarded herself to be blessed. ‘Oh! wonderful are the vow, the figure, the wealth and the family of this my lord’.

106. And Ilā sported with him in the forest for a long time, in the house full of all enjoyments as in Indra’s residence.

107. Then the king’s brothers, the sons of Manu, Ikṣvāku and others, looking for him, came to that Śaravaṇa.

108. Then they all saw an excellent mare, shining with rays shooting from the points of gems, standing in front of them.

109-110. Recognising her, all of them were amazed. ‘This is the horse, Candraprabha by name, of that magnanimous one. Why has he turned into an excellent mare?’ Then they asked Maitrāvaruṇi (i.e. Vasiṣṭha), their priest (about it).

111. “O you best among the contemplative sages, tell us, as to what this extraordinary appearance is”. Vasiṣṭha too, knowing all that bymeans of his divine intuition, said:

112-114. “Formerly in the Śaravaṇa a stipulation was laid down by Śambhu’s wife: The man who would enter this grove will become a woman. This horse also, along with the king, turned into a female. Propitiating the trident-holder (i.e. Śiva), make such an effort that this Ilā will (again) turn into a man resembling Kubera.”

115. With various eulogies they praised Pārvatī and the highest lord (Śiva). They (two) said: “Severe is the stipulation.

116. What indeed is proper? Having given us that fruit which will accrue through Īkṣvāku’s horse-sacrifice the brave one will undoubtedly be a low man (kiṃpuruṣa?).”

117. Saying “All right”, all those sons of Vaivasvata went (from that place). After the performance of the horse-sacrifice, Ilā became a low man.

118-119. The brave one became a man for one month, and a woman for another. Remaining in the house of Budha, Ilā became pregnant, and gave birth to a son endowed with many good qualities. Budha, having generated that Pūru, again went to heaven.

120. Then, after Ilā’s name that region became (i.e. came to be called) ‘Ilāvṛta’. King Ila born in the lunar and solar families, increased his family.

121. Similarly Purūravas, who increased the family was born from Pūru. And king Ikṣvāku was said to (belong to) the solar race.

122-126. Ila is called Sudyumna in his low man’s condition. Again, three victorious sons were born to Sudyumna: Utkala, and Gaya, and powerful Haritāśva. The city of Utkala is Utkalā by name; that of Gaya is Gayā; (to its) south, along with the Kuru-country is said to be the region of Haritāśva. Having consecrated his son Purūravas, as the king, he went to Ilāvṛta to enjoy (there) for a divine year, subsisting on fruits. Ikṣvāku, the eldest son, got the Madhyadeśa (as his kingdom). Śuka of great strength was the son of Nariṣyanta. Ambarīṣa was born from Nābhāga.

127. Dhṛṣṭa had three sons: Dhṛṣṭaketu, Svadharman and the valorous Raṇadhṛṣṭa. Śaryāti’s son was Ānarta, and his daughter was Sukanyā.

128. Brave Rocamāna was the son of Ānarta; his country was Ānarta, and (capital) city was Kuśasthalī.

129. Rocamāna’s son was Reva, and from Reva was born Raivata; his other name was Kakudmin; he was the eldest among (Reva’s) sons.

130. Revatī was his daughter; she is known to be the wife of (Bala-) Rāma; and from Karūṣā, were born Kārūṣas, well-known on the earth.

131. Pṛṣadhra became a Śūdra as a result of a cow’s slaughter, due to his preceptor’s curse. Ikṣvāku’s sons named Vikukṣi, Nimi, Daṇḍaka were pre-eminant among his hundred sons.

132. His other fifty sons became best kings to the north of Meru.

133. Forty-eight out of the hundred were known to be the kings to the south of Meru.

134. From the eldest son was born Kakutstha. His son was Suyodhana. His son was Pṛthu. Viśva was the son of that Pṛthu.

135. His (Viśva’s) son was Ārdra; from him was born Yuvanāśva.

136. Yuvanāśva’s valourous son was Śāvasta, by whom was set up Śāvastī in the Aṅga country, O prince.

Bṛhadaśva was born of Śāvasta, and from Bṛhadaśva Kuvalāśva was born.

137-138. He became (i.e. came to be called) Dhundhumāra for having formerly killed the demon Dhundhu. He had three sons; Dṛḍhāśva and Ghṛṇi, and the brave Kapilāśva was also the famous son of Dhundhumāra. Dṛḍhāśva’s son was Pramoda, and his son was Haryaśva.

139. Haryaśva’s son was Nikumbha, and from him was born Saṃhatāśva. Akṛtāśva and Raṇāśva were the two sons of Saṃhatāśva.

140-141. Raṇāśva’s son was Yuvanāśva and from him was born Māndhātr. Purukutsa and king Dharmasetu, well known Mucukunda and the brave Śakramitra were born from Māndhātṛ. Dussaha, Narmadā’s husband, was the son of Purukutsa.

142. His (Dussaha’s) son was Sambhūti; from him was born Tridhanvan; the son born to Tridhanvan is known as Trayyāruṇa.

143. His son was Satyavrata; his son was known to be Satyaratha; his son was Hariścandra; Rohita was born from Hariścandra.

144. Vṛka was born from Rohita, and Bāhu from Vṛka. Sagara who was a very religious king was his son.

145. Sagara had two wives; Prabhā and Bhānumati. In olden days they propitiated Aurvāgni (the sub-marine fire).

146. Aurva, pleased with them, granted them an excellent boon as desired by them.

147. One asked for sixty thousand sons; the other chose a son continuing the race. Prabhā chose many sons, Bhānumatī chose one son, viz. Asamañjasa.

148. Prabhā, of the Yadu family, gave birth to sixty thousand sons, who pursuing the (Aśvamedha) horse dug the earth and were burnt in a group by Viṣṇu.

149-150. The well known son of Asamañjasa was Aṃśumān; his son was Dilīpa; from him Bhagīratha was born, who, by performing a penance brought down the Ganges (known) as Bhāgīrathī (after him) (to the earth). Bhagīratha’s son was the well-known Nābhāga.

151. Nābhāga’s son, was Ambarīṣa; from him Sindhudvīpa was born; his son was Ayutāyu, and from his Ṛtuparṇa was born.

152. His son was Kalmāṣapāda. Sarvakarman is known to have been born to him. His son was Anaraṇya; his son was Nighna.

153. Nighna had two sons: Anamitra and Raghūttama. Anamitra went to the forest after having destroyed his enemies.

154. From Raghu was born Dilīpa and from Dilīpa Aja was born. Dīrghabāhu was born from Aja and from him (Dīrghabāhu) Prajāpāla was born.

155. From him was born Daśaratha; he had four sons, of the nature of Nārāyaṇa, and Rāma was his eldest son.

156. He destroyed Rāvaṇa and increased the race of Raghus. Vālmīki, the best of the Bhārgavas, composed his biography.

157. His son was Kuśa by name, who increased the Ikṣvāku-race. Atithi was born from Kuśa and Niṣadha was his (Atithi’s) son.

158. From Niṣadha was born Nala; from him was born Nabhas. From Nabhas Puṇḍarīka was born and from him Kṣemadhanvan was born.

159. His son was the brave Devānīka; his son was Ahīnagu; Sahasrāśva was born from him.

160. From him (Sahasrāśva) was born Candrāvaloka and from him Tārāpīḍa was born. His son was Candragiri, whose son was Candra.

161-162. From him was born Śrutāyu, who was killed in the Bhārata war; in his family two Nalas only were particularly famous: the son of Vīrasena and the king Naiṣadha, i.e. the son of Niṣadha. These were the kings in Vivasvat’s race, who gave rich presents. (Thus) the important kings in the Ikṣvāku race have been described.

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