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...

Shantanu And Devapi

In the line of Kuru there used to be a king known as Pratipa. Pratipa had three sons, Devapi, Shantanu and Vahlika. Devapi left for the forest when he was very young and Shantanu became king.

For twelve years there was no rain in Shantanu’s kingdom. To find out why, King Shantanu called all the brahmanas. The brahmanas explained that this was happening because Devapi should rightfully have been the king. An elder son is the person who should rule, unless of course the elder son happens to be an outright sinner. To make the rains come, it was thus imperative that Devapi should be brought back as king.

Shantanu had a minister named Ashmasari. This minster sent a preacher to Devapi in the forest. The preacher preached against the Vedas. Slowly the preacher turned Devapi’s mind away from the holy texts. When the brahmanas and Shantanu went to the forest to offer the kingdom to Devapi, they found that Devapi was saying various things that were against the Vedas. Devapi had thus become a sinner and the kingdom was not offered to him. Shantanu continued to be the kinga nd now it rained.

Shantanu and Ganga married and they had a son called Bhishma. Shantanu also married Satyavati and had two sons called Vichitravirya and Chitrangada. Dhritarashtra and Pandu were descended from Vichitravirya. The five sons of Pandu, the Pandanvas, married Droupadi and Droupadi’s sons were Prativindhya, Sutasoma, Shrutakiriti, Shantanika and Shrutakarma. The Pandavas had other sons as well. Yudhishthira married Youdheyi and had a son called Dvaka. Bhima married Hidimba and had a son called Ghatotkacha. He also married Kashi and had a son called Sarvatraga. Nakula married Karenumati and had a son called Nirmitra. Sahadeva married Vijaya and had a son called Suhotra. Arjuna had many wives. From Ulupi he had a son called Iravan, from Chitrangada he had a son called Babhruvahana and from Subhadra he had a son called Abhimanyu.

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