Puranic encyclopaedia

by Vettam Mani | 1975 | 609,556 words | ISBN-10: 0842608222

This page describes the Story of Unmada included the Puranic encyclopaedia by Vettam Mani that was translated into English in 1975. The Puranas have for centuries profoundly influenced Indian life and Culture and are defined by their characteristic features (panca-lakshana, literally, ‘the five characteristics of a Purana’).

Story of Unmadā

A celestial woman.

Became a woman by the curse of Uravaśī.

Haṃsa, the King of Gandharvas (semi-gods) had a general of the army called Durmada. He was a dangler. He had an eye on Urvaśī. She was the wife of Purūravas a famous King. On several occasions Durmada followed Urvaśī, with lustful desire. He had expressed his amour for her on several occasions. But Urvaśī did not pay any heed to his words.

One day Purūravas and Urvaśī were present in the durbar of Indra. Purūravas and Urvaśī had signalled a rendezvous for that night at the corner of the Nandana Park. Durmada understood this. He called a celestial woman named Unmadā to his side. They made a plan and accordingly Unmadā disguised herself as Urvaśī and Durmada took the guise of Purūravas and both of them entered Nandana park. Purūravas went to Unmadā and conjugated with her. In the same way Urvaśī received Durmada, mistaking him for Purūravas. After the conjugation Durmada laughed loud as if he had played a trick on Urvaśī. Urvaśī understood everything. Purūravas also arrived there. Urvaśī cursed Durmada to take birth in the earth as a Rākṣasa and cursed Unmadā to be born in the earth as the daughter of a King and she said that at that time she would love one man and become the wife of another man. The aggrieved Durmada and Unmadā prayed for liberation from the curse. Urvaśī gave them liberation thus:—"This Durmada will be born as the son of Unmadā. Seeing the death of her husband and son, she would jump into fire. After that she will enter heaven. Durmada will be killed by the sword of an enemy and will obtain heaven." According to this curse Durmada was born as the son of Dīrghajaṅgha, the emperor of Hiraṇyapura, under the name Pingākṣa and Unmadā was born as the daughter of the King of Videha. Her name was Hariṇī (Brahmāṇḍa Purāṇa, Chapter 3).

The marriage and death of Hariṇī.

Hariṇī grew up to be a young woman Once Piṅgākṣa growing lustful took Hariṇī and went through the sky. She cried aloud for a long time. Piṅgākṣa, the asura, left her in a wild forest. At that time a King named Vasumanas came by that way hunting. He killed Piṅgākṣa and then having heard the story of Hariṇī got her on the horse called Jīmūta and sent her to Videha (Mithilā). Her father was much pleased at getting her back. He wanted to give her in marriage to Vasumanas. The date of the marriage was fixed. Invitations were sent to many Kings. Among them there was a king named Bhadraśreṇya, who took her by force and went away. There was a fierce battle between the two Kings, Bhadraśreṇya and Vasumanas and Vasumanas was defeated. Seeing this Divodāsa, the King of Kāśī, attacked Bhadraśreṇya. Though Divodāsa defeated Bhadraśreṇya, he did not like to harm the beaten King. So he returned to his kingdom. Bhadraśreṇya took Hariṇī to his palace and married her. A son was born to her and he was named Durmada. This was the same Durmada who had taken birth and died as Piṅgākṣa and who had been born again as the son of Hariṇī. This Durmada took by force the daughter of his uncle called Citrāṅgī and a child was born to them. Bhadraśreṇya again engaged in a battle with Divodāsa, the King of Kāśī, and was defeated. Then his son Durmada got into the battlefield and he also was defeated.

When all this news reached Vasumanas, the King of Ayodhyā, he became jealous of Bhadraśreṇya. A battle was fought between them in which Vasumanas was defeated. But a fierce battle was fought again in which Bhadraśreṇya and his son Durmada were killed. Durmada obtained heaven. Stricken with grief at the death of her husband and son, Hariṇī got into fire and went to heaven. (Brahmāṇḍa Purāṇa, Chapter 3).

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