The Vishnu Purana, translated by Horace Hayman Wilson, , at sacred-texts.com
p. 346 p. 347
Dynasties of kings. Origin of the solar dynasty from Brahmá. Sons of the Manu Vaivaswata. Transformations of Ilá or Sudyumna. Descendants of the sons of Vaivaswat; those of Nedisht́ha. Greatness of Marutta. Kings of Vaiśálí. Descendants of Śaryáti. Legend of Raivata; his daughter Revatí married to Balaráma.
MAITREYA.--Venerable preceptor, you have explained to me the perpetual and occasional ceremonies which are to be performed by those righteous individuals who are diligent in their devotions; and you have also described to me the duties which devolve upon the several castes, and on the different orders of the human race. I have now to request you will relate to me the dynasties of the kings who have ruled over the earth 1.
PARÁŚARA.--I will repeat to you, Maitreya, an account of the family of Manu, commencing with Brahmá, and graced by a number of religious, magnanimous, and heroic princes. Of which it is said, "The lineage of him shall never be extinct, who daily calls to mind the race of
[paragraph continues] Manu, originating with Brahmá 2." Listen therefore, Maitreya, to the entire series of the princes of this family, by which all sin shall be effaced.
Before the evolution of the mundane egg, existed Brahmá, who was Hirańyagarbha, the form of that supreme Brahma which consists of Vishńu as identical with the Rig, Yajur, and Sáma Vedas; the primeval, uncreated cause of all worlds. From the right thumb of Brahmá was born the patriarch Daksha 3; his daughter was Aditi, who was the mother of the sun. The Manu Vaivaswata was the son of the celestial luminary; and his sons were Ikshwáku, Nriga, Dhrisht́a, Śaryáti, Narishyanta, Pránśu, Nábhága, Nedisht́a, Karúsha, and Prishadhra 4.
[paragraph continues] Before their birth, the Manu being desirous of sons, offered a sacrifice for that purpose to Mitra and Varuńa; but the rite being deranged, through an irregularity of the ministering priest, a daughter, Ilá, was produced 5. Through the favour of the two divinities, however, her sex
was changed, and she became a man, named Sudyumna. At a subsequent period, in consequence of becoming subject to the effects of a malediction once pronounced by Śiva, Sudyumna was again transformed to a woman in the vicinity of the hermitage of Budha, the son of the deity of the moon. Budha saw and espoused her, and had by her a son named Purúravas. After his birth, the illustrious Rishis, desirous of restoring Sudyumna to his sex, prayed to the mighty Vishńu, who is the essence of the four Vedas, of mind, of every thing, and of nothing; and who is in the form of the sacrificial male; and through his favour Ilá once more became Sudyumna, in which character he had three sons, Utkala, Gaya, and Vinata 6.
In consequence of his having been formerly a female, Sudyumna was excluded from any share in his paternal dominions; but his father, at the suggestion of Vaśisht́ha, bestowed upon him the city Pratisht́hána 7, and he gave it to Purúravas.
Of the other sons of the Manu, Prishadhra, in consequence of the crime of killing a cow, was degraded to the condition of a Śúdra 8. From Karúsha descended the mighty warriors termed Kárúshas (the sovereigns of the north 9). The son of Nedisht́ha, named Nábhága, became
a Vaiśya 10: his son was Bhalandana 11; whose son was the celebrated Vatsaprí 12: his son was Pránsu; whose son was Prajáni 13; whose son was Khanitra 14; whose son was the very valiant Chakshupa 15; whose son was Vinśa 16; whose son was Vivinśati 17; whose son was Khaninetra; whose son was the powerful, wealthy, and valiant Karandhama 18; whose son was Avikshi (or Avikshit 19); whose son was the mighty Marutta, of whom this well known verse is recited; "There never was beheld on earth a sacrifice equal to the sacrifice of Marutta: all the implements
and utensils were made of gold. Indra was intoxicated with the libations of Soma juice, and the Brahmans were enraptured with the magnificent donations they received. The winds of heaven encompassed the rite as guards, and the assembled gods attended to behold it 20." Marutta was a Chakravarttí, or universal monarch: he had a son named Narishyanta 21; his son was Dama 22; his son was Rájyavarddhana; his son was Sudhriti; his son was Nara; his son was Kevala; his son was Bandhumat; his son was Vegavat; his son was Budha 23; his son was Trinavindu, who had a daughter named Ilavilá 24. The celestial nymph Alambushá becoming enamoured of Trińavindu, bore him a son named Viśála, by whom the city Vaisáli was founded 25.
The son of the first king of Vaiśálí was Hemachandra; his son was Suchandra; his son was Dhúmráśwa; his son was Srinjaya 26; his son was Sahadeva 27; his son was Kriśáśwa; his son was Somadatta, who celebrated ten times the sacrifice of a horse; his son was Janamejaya; and his son was Sumati 28. These were the kings of Vaiśálí; of whom it is said, "By the favour of Trińavindu all the monarchs of Vaiśálí were long lived, magnanimous, equitable, and valiant."
Śaryáti, the fourth son of the Manu, had a daughter named Sukanyá, who was married to the holy sage Chyavana 29: he had also a righteous son, called Ánartta. The son of the latter was Revata 30, who ruled over
the country called after his father Ánartta, and dwelt at the capital denominated Kuśasthalí 31. The son of this prince was Raivata or Kakudmín, the eldest of a hundred brethren. He had a very lovely daughter, and not finding any one worthy of her hand, he repaired with her to the region of Brahmá to consult the god where a fit bridegroom was to be met with. When he arrived, the quiristers Háhá, Húhú, and others, were singing before Brahmá; and Raivata, waiting till they had finished, imagined the ages that elapsed during their performance to be but as a moment. At the end of their singing, Raivata prostrated himself before Brahmá, and explained his errand. "Whom should you wish for a son-in-law?" demanded Brahmá; and the king mentioned to him various persons with whom he could be well pleased. Nodding his head gently, and graciously smiling, Brahmá said to him, "Of those whom you have named the third or fourth generation no longer survives, for many successions of ages have passed away whilst you were listening to our songsters: now upon earth the twenty-eighth great age of the present Manu is nearly finished, and the Kali period is at hand. You must therefore bestow this virgin gem upon some other husband, for you are now alone, and your friends, your ministers, servants, wife, kinsmen, armies, and treasures, have long since been swept away by the hand of time." Overcome with astonishment and alarm, the Rája then said to Brahmá, "Since I am thus circumstanced, do thou, lord, tell me unto whom the maiden shall be given:" and the creator of the world, whose throne is the lotus, thus benignantly replied to the prince, as he stood bowed and humble before him: "The being of whose commencement, course, and termination, we are ignorant; the unborn and omnipresent essence of all things; he whose real and infinite nature and essence we do not know--is the supreme Vishńu. He is time, made up of moments and hours and years; whose influence is the source of perpetual change. He is the universal form of all things, from birth to death. He is
eternal, without name or shape. Through the favour of that imperishable being am I the agent of his power in creation: through his anger is Rudra the destroyer of the world: and the cause of preservation, Purusha, proceeds also from him. The unborn having assumed my person creates the world; in his own essence he provides for its duration; in the form of Rudra he devours all things; and with the body of Ananta he upholds them. Impersonated as Indra and the other gods he is the guardian of mankind; and as the sun and moon he disperses darkness. Taking upon himself the nature of fire he bestows warmth and maturity; and in the condition of the earth nourishes all beings. As one with air he gives activity to existence; and as one with water he satisfies all wants: whilst in the state of ether, associated with universal aggregation, he furnishes space for all objects. He is at once the creator, and that which is created; the preserver, and that which is preserved; the destroyer, and, as one with all things, that which is destroyed; and, as the indestructible, he is distinct from these three vicissitudes. In him is the world; he is the world; and he, the primeval self-born, is again present in the world. That mighty Vishńu, who is paramount over all beings, is now in a portion of himself upon the earth. That city Kuśasthalí which was formerly your capital, and rivalled the city of the immortals, is now known as Dwáraka 32, and there reigns a portion of that divine being in the person of Baladeva; to him, who appears as a man, present her as a wife: he is a worthy bridegroom for this excellent damsel, and she is a suitable bride for him."
Being thus instructed by the lotus-born divinity, Raivata returned with his daughter to earth, where he found the race of men dwindled in stature, reduced in vigour, and enfeebled in intellect. Repairing to the city of Kuśasthalí, which he found much altered, the wise monarch bestowed his unequalled daughter on the wielder of the ploughshare, whose breast was as fair and radiant as crystal. Beholding the damsel
of excessively lofty height, the chief, whose banner is a palm-tree, shortened her with the end of his ploughshare, and she became his wife. Balaráma having espoused, agreeably to the ritual, Revatí, the daughter of Raivata, the king retired to the mountain Himálaya, and ended his days in devout austerities 33.
347:1 The complete series of the different dynasties is found elsewhere only in the Váyu, the Brahmáńd́a (which is the same), the Matsya, and the Bhágavata Puráńas. The Bráhma P. and the Hari Vanśa, the Agni, Linga, Kúrma, and Garud́a Puráńas have lists of various extent, but none beyond the families of Páńd́u and Krishńa. The Márkańd́eya contains an account of a few of the kings of the solar dynasty alone; and the Padma, of a part of the solar and lunar princes only, besides accounts of individuals. In the Rámáyańa, Mahábhárata, and in the other Puráńas, occasional short genealogies and notices of individual princes occur. In general there is a tolerable conformity, but this is not invariably the case, as we shall have occasion to observe.
348:2 In the historical passages of all the Puráńas in which such occur, and especially in the Vishńu and Váyu, verses, apparently the fragments of a more ancient narrative, are frequently cited. It may also be noticed, as a peculiarity of this part of the Puráńa, that the narration is in prose.
348:3 Daksha is elsewhere said to have been one of the mind-born sons of Brahmá, or to have been the son of the Prachetasas: see p. 115. n. 5.
348:4 According to the nomenclature sometimes followed, and as we shall have reason to conclude intended in this place, there are ten sons of Manu. The commentator regards them, however, as but nine, considering Nabhága-nedisht́a but one name, or Nedisht́a the father of Nábhága. The number is generally stated to be nine, although there is some variety in the names, particularly in this name, which occurs Nábhágadisht́a, Nábhágarisht́ha; and also separated, as Nábhága, Nabhaga, or Nabhága; Nedisht́a, Disht́a, and Arisht́a: the latter, as in the Kúrma, distinctly stated, ###. Again, ### Bráhma P. The commentator on the Hari Vanśa quotes the Vedas for Nábhágadisht́a: ### but the name occurs as Nábhánedisht́ha in the Aitareya Bráhmańa of the Rigveda, where a story is told of his being excluded from all share of his inheritance, on the plea of his being wholly devoted to a religious life. See also As. Res. VIII. 384. The name as ordinarily written, Na-bhága, 'no-share,' has nevertheless an obvious connexion with the legend. The name of Nriga is found only in our text, the Padma, and the Bhágavata: the Váyu has Najava. Pránśu is also the reading of the Váyu and Agni, but not of the rest, which have Veńa, Vanya, Dańd́a, Kuśanábha or Kavi, in its place. The Mahábhárata, Adi P., p. 113, has Veńa, Dhrishńu, Narishyanta, Nábhága, Ikshwáku, Kárúsha, Śaryáti, Ilá, Prishadhra, and Nábhágárisht́a. The Padma P., in the Pátála Khańd́a, says there were 'ten,' and names them Ikshwáku, Nriga, Disht́a, Dhrisht́a, Karúsha, Śaryáti, Narishyanta, Prishadhra, Nábhága, and Kavi.
349:5 'That sacrifice being wrongly offered, through the improper invocations of the Hotri.' It is also read 'frustrated.' This is rather a brief and obscure allusion to what appears to be an ancient legend, and one that has undergone various modifications. According to the Matsya, no change of sex took place in the first instance. The eldest son of Manu was Ida or Ila, whom his father appointed sovereign of the seven Dwípas. In his progress round his dominions, Ila came to the forest of Śambhu or Śiva; entering into which, he was changed to a female, Ilá, agreeably to a promise made formerly by Śiva to Párvatí, who had been once unseasonably broken in upon by some sages, that such a transformation should be inflicted on every male who trespassed upon the sacred grove. After a season, the brothers of Ila sought for him, and finding him thus metamorphosed, applied to Vaśisht́ha, their father's priest, to know the cause. He explained it to them, and directed them to worship Śiva and his bride. They did so, accordingly; and it was announced by the deities, that, upon the performance of an Aśwamedha by Ikshwáku, Ila should become a Kimpurusha, named Sudyumna, and that he should be a male one month, and a female another month, alternately. The Váyu, which is followed by most of the other authorities, states, that upon Manu's offering their share of the sacrifice to Mitra and Varuńa, instead of a boy, a girl was born: according to the Vedas. Manu desired her to follow him; whence her name Ilá (from ila or id́a, 'come'. There, however, Manu propitiates Mitra and Varuńa, and the girl Ilá is changed into the boy Ila or Sudyumna by their favour: as the Márkańd́eya. Sudyumna's subsequent change to a female again, is told much as in the Matsya; but his being alternately male and female is not mentioned in the Váyu any more than it is in our text. The Bhágavata agrees in that respect with the Matsya, but it has evidently embellished the earlier part of the legend by the introduction of another character, Śraddhá, the wife of the Manu. It is said that it was by her instigation, as she was desirous of having a girl, that the ministering Brahmans altered the purpose of the rite, in consequence of which a girl, instead of a boy, was born. The similarity of the name has induced the learned author of the Origin of Pagan Idolatry to conceive that he has found the Ila of the Hindus in the Il or Ilus of the Phœnicians. "The Phœnician Il is the masculine Ila of the Hindus and Indo-Scythæ, and Ila was a title of Manu or Buddha, who was preserved in the ark at the time of the deluge:" I. 156: and he thence concludes that Ila must be Noah; whilst other circumstances in his Phœnician history identify p. 350 him with Abraham. I. 159. Again; "Ilus or Il is a regular Cuthic name of Buddha, which the Phœnicians, I have no doubt, brought with them; for Buddha or Manu, in the character of Ina, is said to have married his own daughter, who is described as the offspring of an ancient personage that was preserved in an ark at the time of the deluge." I. 223. Now whatever connexion there may be between the names of Ila, Il, Ilus, Ilium, Ilá 'the earth,' and Ilos 'slime,' there is no very obvious resemblance between the Pauráńik legends of Ilá and the Mosaic record; nor do the former authorize the particulars of Ina stated by Mr. Faber, on the authority probably of Col. Wilford. The Manu Satyavrata, who was preserved in the ark, is never called Ila, nor is he the father of Ilá. Buddha was not so preserved, nor is Ila ever a title of Buddha. Budha (not Buddha), the husband of Ilá, never appears as her father, nor is he a Manu, nor is she the daughter of any ancient personage preserved in an ark. There is not therefore, as far as I am aware, any circumstance in the history of Ila or Ilá which can identify either with Abraham or Noah.
350:6 The Matsya calls the name of the third Haritáśwa; the Váyu &c., Vinatáśwa; the Márkańd́eya, Vinaya; and the Bhágavata, Vimala. All but the last agree in stating that Utkala (Orissa) and Gaya in Behar are named after the two first. The Matsya calls the third the sovereign of the east, along with the Kauravas; the Váyu makes him king of the west. The Bhágavata calls them all three rulers of the south.
350:7 The authorities agree in this location of Sudyumna. Pratisht́hána was situated on the eastern side of the confluence of the Ganges and Jumna; the country between which rivers was the territory of the direct male descendants of Vaivaswata. In the Hari Vaasa it is said that he p. 351 reigned in Pratisht́hána, having killed Dhrisht́aka, Ambarísha, and Dańd́a. M. Langlois had no doubt 79-4: in his copy, as he renders it, 'Il donna naissance à trois enfans;' though, as he observes, Hamilton had called these the sons of Ikshwáku. The Bráhma P. has not this passage, nor does the commentator on the Hari Vanśa give any explanation; neither does any thing of the kind occur elsewhere. We have however, subsequently in the text, Dańd́a named as a son of Ikshwáku; and in the Padma P., Srisht́i Khańd́a, and in the Uttara Khańd́a of the Rámáyáńa, we have a detailed narrative of Dańd́a, the son of Ikshwáku, whose country was laid waste by an imprecation of Bhárgava, whose daughter that prince had violated. His kingdom became in consequence the Dańd́aka forest. The Mahábhárata, Dána Dharma, alludes to the same story. If therefore the preferable reading of the Hari Vanśa be Suta, 'son,' it is at variance with all other authorities. At the same time it must be admitted, that the same work is singular in asserting any collision between Dańd́a and his brothers and Sudyumna, and the passage seems to have grown out of that careless and ignorant compilation which the Hari Vanśa so perpetually presents. It is not improbably a gratuitous perversion of this passage in the Matsya; 'Ambarísha was the son of Nábhága; and Dhrisht́a had three sons.'
351:8 This story has been modified apparently at different periods, according to a progressive horror of the crime. Our text simply states the fact. The Váyu says he was hungry, and not only killed, but ate the cow of his spiritual preceptor, Chyavana. In the Márkańd́eya he is described as being out a hunting, and killing the cow of the father of Bábhravya, mistaking it for a Gavaya or Gayal. The Bhágavata, as usual, improves upon the story, and says that Prishadhra was appointed by his Guru Vaśisht́ha to protect his cattle. In the night a tiger made his way into the fold, and the prince in his haste, and in the dark, killed the cow upon which he had fastened, instead of the tiger. In all the authorities the effect is the same, and the imprecation of the offended sage degraded Prishadhra to the caste of a Śúdra. According to the Bhágavata, the prince led a life of devotion, and perishing in the flame of a forest, obtained final liberation. The obvious purport of this legend, and of some that follow, is to account for the origin of the different castes from one common ancestor.
351:9 The Bhágavata also places the Kárúshas in the north; but the country of the Kárúshas is usually placed upon the Parípátra or Vindhya mountains (see p. 186. n. 13).
352:10 The Váyu has Nábhága, the son of Arisht́a; the Márkańd́eya has, the son of Disht́a; the Bhágavata also calls him the son of Disht́a. According to that authority, he became a Vaiśya by his actions. The other Puráńas generally agree that the descendants of this person became Vaiśyas; but the Matsya and Váyu do not notice it. The Márkańd́eya details a story of Nábhága's carrying off and marrying the daughter of a Vaiśya; in consequence of which he was degraded, it is said, to the same caste, and deprived of his share of the patrimonial sovereignty, which his son and successor recovered. The Bráhma P. and Hari Vanśa assert that two sons of Nábhágárisht́a again became Brahmans; but the duties of royalty imply the Kshatriya caste of his posterity; and the commentator on our text observes that the son of Nábhága was born before his father's degradation, and consequently the race continued Kshatriya; an assertion unsupported by any authority, and it must therefore appear that .a race of Vaiśya princes was recognised by early traditions.
352:11 Bhanandana: Bhágavata.
352:12 Vatsapríti: Bhágavata. Vatsasrí: Márkańd́eya. The latter has a story of the destruction of the Daitya Kujámbha by Vidúratha, the father of Sunandá, the wife a of Vatsasrí. The Váyu has Sahasrári.
352:13 Pramati: Bhágavata.
352:14 According to the Márkańd́eya, the priests of the royal family conspired against this prince, and were put to death by his ministers.
352:15 Chakshusha: Bhágavata.
352:16 Víra: Márkańd́eya.
352:17 Rambha precedes Vivinśati: Bhágav.
352:18 Baláśwa or Balakáśwa or Subaláśwa, according to the Márkańd́eya, which explains his name Karandhama to denote his creation of an army, when besieged by his revolted tributaries, by breathing on his hands.
352:19 Both forms occur, as the commentator observes. The Márkańd́eya has a long story of this prince's carrying off the daughter of Viśála, king of Vaidiśa. Being attacked and captured by his confederated rivals, he was rescued by his father, but was so much mortified by his disgrace, that he vowed never to marry nor reign. The princess, also becoming an ascetic, met with him in the woods, and they were finally espoused; but Avikshit kept his other vow, and relinquished his succession in favour of his son, who succeeded to the kingdoms of both Karandhama and Viśála,
353:20 Most of our authorities quote the same words, with or without addition. The Váyu adds, that the sacrifice was conducted by Samvartta, whom the Bhágavata terms a Yogi, the son of Angiras; and that Vrihaspati was so jealous of the splendour of the rite, that a great quarrel ensued between him and Samvartta. How it involved the king is not told, but apparently in consequence, Marutta, with his kindred and friends, was taken by Samvartta to heaven. According to the Márkańd́eya, Marutta was so named from the paternal benediction, 'May the winds be thine,' or 'be propitious to thee.' He reigned, agreeably to that record, 85000 years.
353:21 Omitted in the Bhágavata.
353:22 A rather chivalric and curious story is told of Dama in the Márkańd́eya. His bride Sumaná, daughter of the king Daśárha, was rescued by him from his rivals. One of them, Bapushmat, afterwards killed Marutta, who had retired into the woods, after relinquishing his crown to his son. Dama in retaliation killed Bapushmat, and made the Pińd́a, or obsequial offering to his father, of his flesh: with the remainder he fed the Brahmans of Rákshasa origin: such were the kings of the solar race.
353:23 The Bhágavata has Bandhavat, Oghavat, and Bandha.
353:24 The Váyu and Bhágavata both add that she was the wife of Viśravas, and mother of Kuvera. In the Linga P. she is said to have been the wife of Pulastya, and mother of Viśravas. The weight of authority is in favour of the former statement. See p. 83. n. 5.
353:25 The Bhágavata names three sons, Viśála, Śúnyabandhu, and Dhúmaketu. Vaiśálí is a city of considerable renown in Indian tradition, but its site is a subject of some uncertainty. Part of the difficulty arises from confounding it with Viśálá, another name of Ujayin; ### Hemachandra. Also in the Megha Dúta; 'Having arrived at Avanti, proceed to the illustrious city before indicated, p. 354 Viśálá.' 'To the city Ujjayiní, named Viśálá. Comment. Vaiśálí however appears to be very differently situated. According to the Buddhists, amongst whom it is celebrated as a chief seat of the labours of Śákhya and his first disciples, it is the same as Prayága or Allahabad; but the Rámáyańa (I. 45) places it much lower down, on the north bank of the Ganges, nearly opposite to the mouth of the Sone; and it was therefore in the modern district of Sáran, as Hamilton (Genealogies of the Hindus) conjectured. In the fourth century it was known to the Chinese traveller Fa-hian as Phi-she-li, on the right bank of the Gandak, not far from its confluence with the Ganges. Account of the Foe-küe-ki: Trans. R. As. Soc. no. IX. p. 128.
354:26 Dhumráksha and Samyama: Bhágavata.
354:27 The text is clear enough; but, as elsewhere noticed (Hindu Theatre, II. 296), the commentator on the Bhágavata interprets the parallel passage, very differently, or 'Kriśáśwa with Devaja,' or, as some copies read, Devaka or Daivata, as if there were two sons of Samyama.
354:28 The Bhágavata changes the order of these two, making Janamejaya the son of Sumati; or Pramati, Váyu. Sumati, king of Vaiśálí, is made cotemporary with Ráma: Rámáyańa, I.47. 17. The dynasty of Vaiśála kings is found only in our text, the Váyu, and Bhágavata. Hamilton places them from 1920 to 1240 B. C.; but the latter is incompatible with the date he assigns to Ráma, of 1700 B. C. The co-temporary existence of Sumati and Ráma, however, is rather unintelligible, as, according to our lists, the former is the thirty-fourth, and the latter the sixtieth, from Vaivaswata Manu.
354:29 The circumstances of their marriage, of Chyavana's appropriating a share of offerings to the Aswiní Kumáras, and of sis quarrel with Indra in consequence, are old in detail in the Bhágavata and Padma Puráńas.
354:30 In most of the other Puráńas, Reva or Raiva. The Linga and Matsya insert Rochamána before him; and the Bhágavata adds to Ánartta, Uttánavarhish and Bhúrisheńa.
355:31 The Bhágavata ascribes the foundation of Kuśasthalí to Revata, who built it, it is said, within the sea. The subsequent legend shews that it was the same, or on the same spot, as Dwáraká; and Ánartta was therefore part of Cutch or Guzerat. See p. 190. n. 77.
356:32 So called from its many Dwáras or gateways: ### Váyu.
357:33 The object of this legend, which is told by most of the authorities, is obviously to account for the anachronism of making Balaráma cotemporary with Raivata; the one early in the Treta age, and the other at the close of the Dwápara.