Puranic encyclopaedia

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

This page describes the Story of Yadu 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 Yadu

The founder of Yādava Vaṃśa or Yadu Vaṃśa.


From Viṣṇu were descended in the following order:—BrahmāAtriCandraBudhaPurūravasĀyusNahuṣaYayātiYadu.

Yadu Vaṃśa (Yādava Vaṃśa).

The origin of Yadu Vaṃśa is from Atri. Candra, Durvāsas and Dattātreya Muni were the sons of Atri by Anasūyā. Budha was born to Candra, Purūravas was born to Budha, Āyus was born to Purūravas, and Nahuṣa was born to Āyus. Two children, Āyati and Yayāti were born to Nahuṣa. Yayāti had two wives, Śarmiṣṭhā and Devayānī. Three sons, Druhyu, Anudruhyu and Pūru were born to Śarmiṣṭhā. The Pūru vaṃśa takes its origin from Pūru. Yayāti had two sons by Devayānī. They were Yadu and Turvasu. The descendants of Yadu are the Yādavas.

Four sons, Sahasrajit, Kroṣṭā, Nala and Ripu were born to Yadu. Sahasrajit had a son, Śatajit. Three sons Mahābhaya, Veṇuhaya and Hehaya were born to Śatajit. Of them Hehaya became famous under the name of Ekavīra and founded the Hehaya vaṃśa. The Hehayas and Bhārgavas were on terms of enmity. Dharma was born to Hehaya, and Kunti or Kuṇi was born to Dharma. Kuṇi had four sons—Sadājit, Māhiṣmān, Bhadrasena and Durdama. Dhanaka was the son of Bhadrasena and Dhanaka had four sons—Kṛtavīrya, Kṛtāgni, Kṛtavarmā and Kṛtaujas. Of them, Kṛtavīrya who was the eldest, was the father of Kārtavīryārjuna. From here, Yadu vaṃśa continues from Kārtavīryārjuna. He had five sons, Jayadhvaja, Śūrasena, Vṛṣabha, Madhu and Ūrjjita. Vṛṣṇi was the son of Madhu, the fourth of them. From this point, Yadu vaṃśa continues from Vṛṣṇi. Yādava vaṃśa from this stage is also known as Vṛṣṇi vaṃśa. Vṛṣṇi had four sons—Sumitra, Yudhājit, Vasu and Sārvabhauma. Yadu vaṃśa continues from Yudhājit. He had two sons, Śini and Nimna. Śini’s son was Satyaka and Satyaka’s son was Sātyaki. Sātyaki had another name, Yuyudhāna. Jaya was Sātyaki’s son. Kuṇi was the son of Jaya, Anamitra was the son of Kuṇi and Pṛśni was the son of Anamitra. Pṛśni’s sons were Citraratha and Śvaphalka. Viḍūratha and Kukūra were born to Citraratha. Śūra was the son of Viḍūratha. Śini was the son of Śūra, Bhoja was the son of Śini, Hṛdīka was the son of Bhoja. Four sons, Devavāha, Gadādhanvā, Kṛtaparvā and Śūra, were born to Hṛdīka. Śūra married Māriṣā and their children were Vasu, Devabhāga, Devaśravas, Ānaka. Sṛñjaya, Kākānīka, Śyāmaka, Vatsa, Kavūka and Vasudeva. Vasudeva married Devakī, the sister of Kaṃsa. Śrī Kṛṣṇa was their son. Pradyumna was the son of Śrī Kṛṣṇa. Aniruddha was the son of Pradyumna and Vajra was the son of Aniruddha. The last known link of that branch of Yadu vaṃśa was Vajra.

Kaṃsa also belonged to Yadu vaṃśa. Kukūra who was the brother of Viḍūratha was the ancestor of Kaṃsa. Ugrasena who was a lineal descendant of Kukūra, was the father of Kaṃsa. The Purāṇas mention Devakī, the mother of Śrī Kṛṣṇa as Kaṃsa’s sister. But in fact she was not his direct sister. Ugrasena, Kaṃsa’s father, had a brother named Devaka. This Devaka had three sons, Devāpa, Upadeva and Sudeva. Devakī, Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s mother was the daughter of Devāpa. Devakī had six sisters who were—Śrutadevā, Śāntidevā, Upadevā, Śrīdevā, Devarakṣitā and Sahadevā.

Akrūra who went to Ambāḍi also belonged to another branch of Yadu vaṃśa. Pṛśni who was of the ninth generation from Vṛṣṇi, had two sons—Citraratha and Śvaphalka. Akrūra was the son of Śvaphalka.

Other details about Yadu Vaṃśa

(i) Once Yayāti wanted his son Yadu to transfer the latter’s youthfulness to Yayāti. The son refused to oblige the father who therefore pronounced a curse that Yadu’s descendants would not enjoy kingship. (For detailed story, see under Yayāti).

(ii) Yadu’s descendants are called Yādavas. (Mahābhārata Ādi Parva, Chapter 95, Verse 10).

(iii) Yadu was the son of Devayānī and the grandson of Śukrācārya. Although Yadu was a hero, he was dullwitted. He did not obey his father. He used to despise his father and brothers. His capital city was Hastināpura. He became dull-witted after the loss of his kingdom by the curse of his father. (Mahābhārata Udyoga Parva, Chapter 149).

The end of Yadu Vaṃśa.

Śrī Kṛṣṇa was one of the most important members of the Yadu Vaṃśa. That family continued only for 36 years more after the end of the Bhārata Yuddha. At the end of the thirtysix years, evil omens began to appear in Dvārakā. Whirlwinds began to blow furiously. Frightened birds began to fly helterskelter. Rivers began to flow upwards. The whole land was enveloped in mist. Comets continued to drop from heaven, scattering sparks of fire. The sun’s disc was eclipsed with clouds of dust.

At that time, one day, the sages Viśvāmitra, Kaṇva and Nārada happened to come to Dvārakā. A band of Yādavas, under the leadership of Sāmba, gathered round the sages to make fun of them. They dressed Sāmba like a pregnant woman and asked the sages what child "she" would bear. The enraged sages replied that the "Child" would be an iron pestle which would be the cause of the death of all the Yādavas. Besides, they added that, with the exception of Rāma, (Balabhadra Rāma) and Kṛṣṇa, the whole of Yādava Vaṃśa would come to ruin.

Next day Sāmba did give birth to an iron pestle. The frightened Yādavas recalled the curse of the sages. They reported the matter to their king. The king, in deep gloom, had the pestle filed into dust and ordered his men to throw the dust into the sea.

People recalled Gāndhārī’s curse on Śrī Kṛṣṇa after the Bhārata Yuddha. The curse was that the family of Śrī Kṛṣṇa who was the cause of all mischief, would be wiped out within a period of 36 years.

At that time, women began to be stolen from Dvārakā every night by a dark woman monster. Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s weapon, Cakra slipped out of Kṛṣṇa’s grip and rose up to heaven, in the very presence of the Vṛṣṇis. Seeing these evil omens, the alarmed Vṛṣṇis and Andhakas began to leave the place on a pilgrimage. They reached the shore of Prabhāsa tīrtha. The Uddhavas parted company with the Yādavas there. Nobody prevented the Uddhavas. Śrī Kṛṣṇa who saw that the end of the Yādavas was approaching, also kept silent. The Yādava leaders in despair, took to drinking. Intoxicated by drinking they began to quarrel. The particles of the iron pestle thrown into the sea, were carried and deposited on the shore by the waves. They began to sprout into a kind of grass. The blades of this grass soon transformed themselves into iron pestles. The Yādavas pulled them out and began attacking each other with them. Most of them were beaten to death by their own kinsfolk. Śrī Kṛṣṇa who was in a state of trance in "Yogāsana", was hit on his toe by an arrow shot by a hunter and he fell into Samādhi. Balabhadra Rāma renounced his body and went to Pātāla.

After that the sea advanced and submerged the whole of Dvārakā. (Mahābhārata Mausala Parva).

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