The Vishnu Purana (abridged)

27,616 words

The Vishnu Purana (Viṣṇu Purāṇa) is a religious Hindu text and one of the (most important) eighteen Mahapuranas. It is also known as Puranaratna ("gem of Puranas"). Presented as a dialogue between Parashara and his disciple Maitreya, the major topics discussed include creation, stories of battles fought between asuras and devas, the Avat...

Dynasties

There were many great people inthe line of Manu. The first in this line was Brahma. In the beginning of creation, Vishnu in his form of Brahman came out of brahmanda. From Brahma’s fingers was born Daksha Prajapati. Daksha’s daughter was Aditi, Aditi’s son was Surya and Surya’s son was Manu. Because Manu wanted a son, he prayed to the gods Mitra and Varuna. From the yajna that was done, a daughter named Ila came out. But Manu had really wanted a son. So, for a while, Ila became a son called Sudyumna.

Chandra’s son was Budha. Sudyumna was one day wandering around Budha’s ashrama as the girl Ila. Budha married her and they had a son called Pururava. After Pururava was born, Sudyumna peformed sacrifices so as to become a man again. Once he became a man, he had three sons called Utkala, Gaya and Vinata.

In this dynasty there was a king called Marutta. Marutta performed a wonderful yajna. No such yajna has been performed ever since. Every article used in the cermony was made of gold. Indra drank a lot of soma juice and was satisfied. So were the brahmanas. It was the gods who served the food.

Further down the family tree there was a king called Sharyati. Sharyati had a daughter named Sukanya. Sukanaya was married to the sage Chyavana. Sharyati also had a son named Anarta and Anarta had a son named Revata. Revata had one hundred sons, the eldest being Kakudmi. Kakudmi’s daughter was Revati. Kakudmi did not know who to marry off this beautiful daughter to. He decided to go to Brahmaloka to ask for Brahma’s advice. When he reached Brahmaloka, the gandharvas were singing and Kakudmi decided to listen to the songs for a while. When the songs were finished, he asked Brahma whom he should get Revati married to.

`”What is your opinion?” ,asked Brahma.

Kakudmi named several kings who the thought might be good husbands for Revati. But Brahma told him that while he had been listening to the songs in Brahmaloka, several thousand years had passed on earth. These kings and their sons and grandsons were all dead. In fact, Kakudmi’s captial Kushasthali was now a city called Dvaraka. And Vishnu had been born as Baladeva there. There could be no better husband for Revati.

Kakudmi returned to earth and found that men were now much shorter than they used to be. He married Revati off to Baladeva. But Revati was very tall. So with his plough, Baladeva pulled Revati down to the right size.

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