Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana Book 9 Chapter 1:21-42

Book 9: Chapter 1

Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana: Book 9: Chapter 1: Verses 21-42
The story of King Sudyumna, son of Vaivaswata Manu

Thus resolved, 0 king, the glorious sage (Vasistha) of extraordinary fame, extolled Lord Visnu (the most ancient Person) with the desire of transforming I la into a male child. Pleased with him, the almighty Lord Sri Hari bestowed on the sage Vasistha the desired boon (of manhood for Ila). (And) thereby Ha (the daughter of Vaivaswata Manu) became Sudyumna, the foremost of men. taking up a charming bow land most wonderful arrows and protected by an armour, and surrounded (accompanied) by a few followers, the hero (Sudyumna) rod a hunting on oneoccasion,O great king, through a forest on (the back of) a horse of the saindhava breed(peculiar to Sindha) and proceeded in pursuit of a game in a northerly direction The aforesaid prince, it is said, entered a forest at the foot of Mount Meru, where Lord Rudra ws carrying on (amorous) sports with (His divine Spouse) Goddess Uma (parvati). the himsel (turned into) a woman and his horse (into) a mare, O protector of human beings. Similarly all his followers felt disconcerted to see the transformation of their sex, and sarted at one another. The king(pariksit) submitted : How could there be a land possessed of such a (wonderful) potecy (of cchanging the sex of an individual as soon as one entered it) and whom was it renderd such O worshipful sage? (Kindly) answer fully this quesstion (of ours); (for) great is our curiosity (about it).[1] ( Sri Suka continued : Once upon a time sages of sacred vows repaired to that land (of Ilavrta) in order to see Lord Siva (who ordinarily lives on Mount Kailasa), driving away darkness as well as (all other) light from the quarters (by their superior splendour). Much abashed to see them, Goddess Parvati (the Mother of the universe), who was uncovered (at that time) sprang immediately from the lap of Her Consort (Lord Siva) and put on Her raiment at once. Observing the fond union of the (divine) Couple, engaged in (amorous) sports, the sages too withdrew from that forest and proceeded to the hermitage of (the divine sages) Nara and Narayana (which is altogether free even from such outward display of sexuality, the very sight of which is tabooed in the eyes of celibates and ascetics). Thereupon, in His eagerness to please His beloved in Spouse (who was greatly disturbed in mind by-having been seen in dishabille by other males), Lord Siva uttered the following (words):-"Whatever male enters this reserve shall (forthwith) become a woman." From that time onward indeed males shun that forest. Sudyumna, for his part, who was (now) transformed into a (young) woman, roamed about from forest to forest in the company of her attendants (also likewise transformed). Perceiving that excellent young woman roaming in the precincts of his hermitage, surrounded (accompanied) by (other young) women, the glorious god Budha (son of the moon-god, presiding over the planet of the same name, now known as Mercury) conceived a passion for her. That pretty damsel (of charming brows) also (in her turn) coveted the said son of King Soma for her husband. (And) he begot a son, (known as) Pururava through her. Having thus attained the form of a woman, King Sudyumna, son of Vaivaswata Manu, remembered the sage Vasistha, the preceptor of his race: so have we heard. (Thought of by her and instantly appearing in person before her by dint of Yoga,) the sage was sore oppressed with pity to see that (changed) condition of Sudyumna and desiring the latter's (restoration to) manhood, (mentally) approached (prayed to) Lord Sankara. Pleased with the sage (Vasistha) and in order to secure his gratification and (at the same time) to justify (maintain the truth of) His utterance*, the Lord (Sankara) spoke as follows, 0 protector of the people:- "Sudyumna, born in the family of your proteges (the solar race) shall be a male for one month and a female during another (by turns). Let him protect the earth with pleasure according to this arrangement." Having regained manhood, the object of his desire, (of course subject to this condition) by the grace of his preceptor, Sudyumna protected the earth (as its ruler). (Since, however, he remained in hiding out of shame every other month,) the people did not approve of him. Three sons-Utkala, Gaya and Vimala-were born to him, O Pariksit ! They became rulers of the southern region (the Deccan) and were (great) lovers of virtue. Then, in the ripeness of time King Sudyumna, the ruler of Pratisthana (the modern Jhusi, a town situated near the confluence of the holy Ganga and Yamuna, on the left bank of the Ganga, opposite to Allahabad) retired to the forest, relinquishing (the sovereignty of) the earth in favour of his son Pururava (begotten by Budha through his feminine form).

Thus ends the first discourse, forming part of the story of Ila, in Book

Nine of the great and glorious Bhagavata-Purana, otherwise known as the Paramahamsa-Samhita.



  1. The pedigree of the sage Suka has been Clearly delineated in the following well-known couplet in praise off Vedavyasa;-- II bow to that storehouse of asceticism, the sinless Vedavyasa, the great grandson of the sage Vasistha, grandson o Sakti (vasistha's son), son of Prasara (son of Sakti) and father of Suka.

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