Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana Book 9 Chapter 18:18-30

Book 9: Chapter 18

Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana: Book 9: Chapter 18: Verses 18-30
The story of Yayati

When Sarmistha had left for her home, Yayati, who had been wandering in search of game, arrived there by chance. Being desirous of water, he looked into the well and descried her (Devayani)--so the tradition goes. Giving to the naked girl the piece of cloth covering the upper part of his body, the kind-hearted king lifted her out, grasping (her) hand by his own. Devayani, (the daughter of the sage Usana) spoke to the hero in a language full of love (as follows):--"O king, the conqueror of (your) enemy's cities ! my hand has been accepted by you. Indeed, let none else take my hand, now that I have been accepted by you. This union of ours, O valiant king, has been brought about by Providence and is not man-made inasmuch as this sight of yours has been vouchsafed to me while I was clinging to a well. A Brahmana is not destined to be my husband, thanks to the imprecation of Kaca (the son of the sage Brhaspati)-Kaca, whom I had cursed* on a former occasion, O long-armed one !"Recognizing the connection as having been pre-ordained by fate, even though it was not (at all) acceptable to him (inasmuch as it was against the recognized code of ethics), and perceiving his mind too (which could not lean towards unrighteousness) drawn towards her, Yayati agreed to her proposal. [1] On the valiant king having departed, Devayani (too) repaired from the garden to her father, weeping (all the way), and forthwith related to him all that had been said and done by Sarmistha. Condemning the vocation of a priest and praising the way of life of a pigeon (that gleans grains of corn lying scattered in a field where the harvest has been reaped and lives on such gleanings alone), that glorious sage, Kavya (Sukracarya), went out of the city (the capital of Vrsaparva), sad at heart, alongwith his daughter (Devayani). Concluding him to have hostile intentions (of bringing victory to the gods), and anxious to placate the preceptor, Vrsaparva fell (prostrate) at his feet on the road. The worshipful Sukracarya (a scion of Bhrgu), whose anger lasts but half a moment, gently said to his disciple, "Let Devayani's wish (condition) be fulfilled, 0 king ! I am unable to ignore her". When Vrsaparva remained standing, (even) after uttering the words, "So be it !" , Devayani declared what was in her mind, saying, "Given away by my father, whithersoever I go, let Sarmistha follow me with (all) her companions." Perceiving the danger to her own people from the exit of Sukracarya and the magnitude of good expected from his staying over, Sarmistha waited upon Devayani like a menial alongwith her thousand female companions. Giving away to Yayati (son of Nahusa) his daughter alongwith Sarmistha, the sage Usana (Sukracarya) said to him, "0 king ! let not Sarmistha ever share your bed."



  1. Kaca was receiving instruction in the science of reviving the dead from Sukracarya at the latter's house. While he was returning home after finishing his course of instruction, Devayani wooed him, but was refused by Kaca on the ground of herbeing like a sister to him. Devayani thereupon pronounced an imprecation on him that the instruction received by him woulld bear no fruit. Kaca too utterd a counter-curse on Devayani, saying that no brahmana would takee her to wife

Related Articles