by Horace Hayman Wilson | 1840 | 287,946 words | ISBN-10: 8171102127
The English translation of the Vishnu Purana. This is a primary sacred text of the Vaishnava branch of Hinduism. It is one of the eighteen greater Puranas, a branch of sacred Vedic literature which was first committed to writing during the first millennium of the common era. Like most of the other Puranas, this is a complete narrative from the cr...
KROṢṬRI, the son of Yadu, had a son named Vrijinīvat; his son was Svāhī; his son was Ruṣadru; his son was Citraratha; his son was Śaśavindu, who was lord of the fourteen great gems; he had a hundred thousand wives and a million of sons. The most renowned of them were Prithuyaśas, Prithukarman, Prithujaya, Prithukīrtti, Prithudāna, and Prithuśravas. The son of the last of these six was Tamas; his son was Uśanas, who celebrated a hundred sacrifices of the horse; his son was Śiteyus; his son was Rukmakavaca; his son was Parāvrit, who lead five sons, Rukméshu, Prithurukman, Jyāmagha, Pālita, and Harita. To this day the following verse relating to Jyāmagha is repeated: “Of all the husbands submissive to their wives, who have been or who will be, the most eminent is the king Jyāmagha, who was the husband of Śaivyā.” Śaivyā was barren; but Jyāmagha was so much afraid of her, that he did not take any other wife. On one occasion the king, after a desperate conflict with elephants and horse, defeated a powerful foe, who abandoning wife, children, kin, army, treasure, and dominion, fled. When the enemy was put to flight, Jyāmagha beheld a lovely princess left alone, and exclaiming, “Save me, father! Save me, brother!” as her large eyes rolled wildly with affright. The king was struck by her beauty, and penetrated with affection for her, and said to himself, “This is fortunate; I have no children, and am the husband of a sterile bride; this maiden has fallen into my hands to rear up to me posterity: I will espouse her; but first I will take her in my car, and convey her to my palace, where I must request the coñcurrence of the queen in these nuptials.” Accordingly he took the princess into his chariot, and returned to his own capital.
When Jyāmagha's approach was announced, Śaivyā came to the palace gate, attended by the ministers, the courtiers, and the citizens, to welcome the victorious monarch: but when she beheld the maiden standing on the left hand of the king, her lips swelled and slightly quivered with resentment, and she said to Jyāmagha, “Who is this light-hearted damsel that is with you in the chariot?” The king unprepared with a reply, made answer precipitately, through fear of his queen; “This is my daughter-in-law.” “I have never had a son,” rejoined Śaivyā, “and you have no other children. Of what son of yours then is this girl the wife?” The king disconcerted by the jealousy and anger which the words of Śaivyā displayed, made this reply to her in order to prevent further contention; “She is the young bride of the future son whom thou shalt bring forth.” Hearing this, Śaivyā smiled gently, and said, “So be it;” and the king entered into his great palace.
In consequence of this conversation regarding the birth of a son having taken place in an auspicious conjunction, aspect, and season, the queen, although passed the time of women, became shortly afterwards pregnant, and bore a son. His father named him Vidarbha, and married him to the damsel he had brought home. They had three sons, Kratha, Kaiśika, and Romapāda. The son of Romapāda was Babhru, and his son was Dhriti. The son of Kaiśika was Chedi, whose descendants were called the Chaidya kings. The son of Kratha was Kunti; his son was Vṛṣṇi; his son was Nirvriti; his son was Dasārha; his son was Vyoman; his son was Jīmūta; his son was Vikriti; his son was Bhīmaratha; his son was Navaratha; his son was Daśaratha; his son was Śakuni; his son was Karambhi; his son was Devarāta; his son was Devakṣatra; his son was Madhu; his son was Anavaratha; his son was Kuruvatsa; his son was Anuratha; his son was Puruhotra; his son was Aṃśu; his son was Satwata, from whom the princes of this house were termed Sātwatas. This was the progeny of Jyāmagha; by listening to the account of whom, a man is purified from his sins.
Footnotes and references:
In the Brāhma P. and Hari V. we have two families from Kroṣṭri; one which is much the same as that of the text; the other makes short work of a long story, as we shall again notice.
Śānti: Kūrma. Svāha: Matsya. Triśaṅku Liṅga.
Viṣānsu: Agni. Riṣabha: Liṅga. Kuśika: Kūrma. Ruśeku: Bhāgavata.
Or articles the best of their kind; seven animate, and seven inanimate; a wife, a priest, a general, a charioteer, a horse, an elephant, and a body of foot soldiers; or, instead of the last three, an executioner, an encomiast, a reader of the Vedas; and a chariot, an umbrella, a jewel, a sword, a shield, a banner, and a treasure.
The text states this in plain prose, but the Vāyu quotes a verse which makes out but a hundred hundred or 10,000 sons.
The Matsya has the first, third, and fifth of our text, and Prithudharma, Prithukīrtti, and Prithumat. The Kūrma has also six names, but makes as many successions.
Suyajña: Agni, Brāhma, Matsya. Dharma: Bhāgavata.
Uṣat: Brāhma, Hari V.
Śitīkṣu: Agni. Śineyus: Brāhma. Purujit: Bhāgavata. The Vāyu has Maruta and Kambalavarhiṣ, brothers, instead.
Considerable variety prevails here. The Brāhma and Hari V. have Marutta the Rājarṣi (a gross blunder, see p. 352), Kambalavarhiṣ, Śataprasūti, Rukmakavaca: the Agni—Marutta, Kambalavarhiṣ, Rukmeshu: whilst the Bhāgavata makes Rucaka son of Uśanas, and father to the five princes who in the text are the grandsons of Rukmakavaca.
The Bhāgavata has Rukmeshu, Rukman, Jyāmagha, Prithu, and Purujit. The p. 421 Vāyu reads the two last names Parigha and Hari. The Brāhma and Hari V. insert Parajit as the father of the five named as in the text.
Most of the other authorities mention that the elder of the five brothers, Rukmeshu, succeeded his father in the sovereignty; and that the second, Prithurukman, remained in his brother's service. Pālita and Harita were set over Videha (Liṅga) or Tirhut, and Jyāmagha went forth to settle where he might: according to the Vāyu he conquered Madhyadeśa (the country along the Narmadā), Mekalā, and the Śuktimat mountains. So the Brāhma P. states that he established himself along the Rikṣavat mountain, and dwelt in Śuktimati. He names his son, as we shall see, Vidarbha: the country so called is Berar, and amongst his descendants we have the Chaidyas or princes of Boghelkand, and Chandail, and Dasārha, more correctly perhaps Dasarṇa, Chattisgher; so that this story of Jyāmagha's adventures appears to allude to the first settlement of the Yādava tribes along the Narmadā, more to the south and west than before.
The Bhāgavata has Kuśa; the Matsya, Kauśika: all the authorities agree in specifying three sons.
Vastu: Vāyu. Kriti: Agni.
Āhuti: Vāyu. Iti: Padma. Dyuti: Matsya. Bhriti: Kūrma. This latter is singular in carrying on the line of Romapāda for twelve generations farther.
The Bhāgavata, however, makes the princes of Chedi continuous from Romapāda; as, Babhru, Dhriti, Uśīka, Chedi—the Chaidyas, amongst whom were Damaghoṣa and Śiśupāla.
Dhṛṣṭa: Vāyu. Dhṛṣṭi: Matsya,
Nivritti: Vāyu. Nidhriti: Agni. The Brāhma makes three sons, Avanta, Daśārha, and Balivṛṣahan. In the Liṅga it is said of Dasārha that he was ‘destroyer of the host of copper (faced; European?) foes.’
Nararatha: Brāhma, Hari V.
Driḍharatha: Agni. Devarāta: Liṅga.
Soma: Liṅga. Devanakṣatra: Padma.
There is great variety in the succeeding appellations: p. 423