Part - 3

COPULATIVE CREATIONS

Markandeya says- Brahma created one thousand couples from his mouth in the beginning of creation. These couples were radiant and possessed virtuous qualities (Saatvik). Once again, Brahmaji created one thousand couples from his chest but this time they possessed the quality of Rajas. This phenomenon was repeated for the second time and once again one thousand couples manifested themselves from his chest. These couples were both Rajas as well as Taamasik by nature. At last Brahma created one thousand more couples from both his legs. These couples were completely Taamasik by nature. The couples started copulating and this process has been continuing since then.' 'Brahma now became worried as to how to accommodate such a large number of people. Initially, these people used to roam about every where, as there were no permanent residences to accomodate them. At the arrival of Treta Yuga, they developed attachment and started living in houses. Subsequently they started living in various types of abodes- Pura, village, Dronimukha, Shakhanagar, Kharvatak, Drami, Gram and Sanghosh etc.'

DAKSHA'S LINEAGE

Markandeya says- 'Brahma on seeing that inspite of all his creations the population was not increasing, he decided to create his Manasputras. These Manasputras were created merely by his wish. Their names were Bhrigu, Pulastya, Pulaha, Kratu, Angira, Marichi, Daksha, Atri and Vashishta. After this, he first created the ferocious Rudra and then Sankalpa and Dharma. But all these people were very virtuous, knowledgeable and unaffected by worldly desires. They showed their disinclination towards the purpose for which they have been created by Brahma i.e. increasing the population. Brahma became very furious in his anger and created an entity whose half portion resembled a man's body while the remaining half resembled that of a woman.
Brahma instructed that entity to bisect his body into two distinct forms of a man and a woman. The entity followed Brahma's instruction and this way Swayambhu Manu and Shatrupa came into being. Manu accepted Shatrupa as his wife. Two sons were born to them- Priyavrata and Uttanpada. Apart from these two sons, two daughters were also born to them- Akuti and Prasuti. Prasuti was married to Daksha while Akuti was married to Ruchi. Twenty-four daughters were born to Daksha and Prasuti out of which thirteen of them were married to Dharma. The remaining eleven daughters were married to sages like Bhrigu, Mahadev, Marichi, Angira, Atri etc.'
'Dharma fathered Kama from Shraddha. Shri gave birth to Darpa, Dhriti and Niyama. Tushti gave birth to Santosh, Pushti to Lobha, Medha to Shrut, Kriya to Dand, Buddhi to Bodh, Lajja to Vinay, Vapra to Vyavasaay, Shanti to Kshema, Siddhi to Sukh and Kirti gave birth to Yash. Kama, the son of Dharma was the father of Atihrishta.'
'Himsa- the wife of Adharma gave birth to Anrita. Anrita was married to Nirriti. Two sons named Narak and Bhaya and two daughters named Maya and Vedana were born to them.'
'Maya gave birth to Mrityu, whereas Dukha was born as a result of Narak's marriage with Vedana. Five children were born to Mrityu- Vyadhi, Jara, Shoka, Trishna and Krodha. All of them were very irreligious by nature and they never got an opportunity get married and have progenies.'
'Mrityu's wife- Nirriti is also known by the name of Alakshmi. Altogether fourteen sons were born to them. All these fourteen sons of Mrityu dwell in the organs of human beings, during the time of destruction. Out of these fourteen sons, ten dwell in the sense organs of human beings and the eleventh son dwells in the mind. They influence the sense organs and the mind of a man in a negative way by means of attachment and anger. The twelfth son exists in the form of arrogance. The thirteenth son- Apar adversely affects the intelligence of a man.
The fourteenth son- Duhsah resides in the house of males. Duhsah is naked, always hungry, his mouth facing downwards and caws like the crow.

DESCENDANTS OF DUHSAH

Markandeya says- 'Nirmashti, the wife of Duhsah was the daughter of Yama. Altogether sixteen children were born to Duhsah and Nirmashti. Out of them eight were sons and the remaining eight were daughters. The name of the sons were- Dantakrishti, Tathokti, Parivarta, Angadhruka, Shakuni, Ganda, Pranrati, Garbhaha and Sasyaha while the names of the daughters were Niyojika, Virodhini, Swayamaharini, Bhramani, Rituharika, Smritihara, Beejhara and Vidveshini. Dantakrishti causes the teeth of the child to make a grinding sound. Tathokti is commonly used while men are conversing by saying, 'So be it' (TATHASTU). Parivarta becomes happy by establishing an alien foetus in the womb of women. Angadhruka causes the organs of human beings to throb and enables him to express the emotions of joy and sorrow. Shakuni resides in the bodies of birds like crow and animals like dog or fox.'
'Ganda destroys all the virtues. Garbhaha destroys the foetus in the womb of a woman while Sasyaha destroys all kinds of wealth.'
'Among the daughters, Niyojika encourages a man to have illicit relationship and also to steal the wealth of others. Virodhini causes differences between husband and wife and also among the family members. Swayamaharini destroys the prosperity of a man. Bhramani causes restlessness and anger in the heart of a man living at one place for a long time. Rituharika destroys the menstrual cycle of women. Smritiharika causes loss of memory. Beejhara destroys the sexual powers of a man and woman. Dweshini causes jealousy in the heart of a man and woman. Altogether 38 children were born to all the 16 children of Duhsah and Nirmashti. All of them were wicked and caused miseries to people.'

THE CREATION OF RUDRAS

Markandeya says- 'Now I am going to tell you about Rudrasarga. One of the eight sons of Brahma started wailing after being created from his (Brahma) body. Brahma asked him as to why he was crying. The crying child requested Brahma to give him a name. Brahma named him as Rudra since he was wailing at the time of his birth. But even after getting his name, the child's wailing did not stop. He wailed for seven times and as a result seven more children were manifested from his cries. Brahma named these seven children as Bhava, Sharva, Ishaan, Pashupati, Bheem, Ugra and Mahadev. He also gave them abodes so that they could live. The following eight things respectively symbolize the forms of all these eight rudras- Sun, water, earth, fire, air, sky, Dikshit Brahmin and Soma. All these eight rudras were also given their respective wives who were Suvarchala, Uma, Vikeshi, Swadha, Swaha, Dik, Diksha and Rohini.'
'The eight sons of all the eight rudras are Shanaishwar, Shukra, Lohitaang, Manojav, Skand, Sarg, Santaan and Buddh respectively.'
'Rudra had accepted Sati as his wife. Sati gave up her life because her father Daksha had shown disrespect to her husband- Rudra. Sati took her second birth as Parvati, the daughter of Himavaan. Mainak was her brother. Bhava married Parvati. Khyaati was Bhrigu's wife. They had two children- Dhata and Vidhaata. Lakshmi was the consort of Narayana. Meru had two daughters- Aayati and Niyati. Both of them were married to Dhata and Vidhaata respectively. Each one of them had two sons. Aayati had named her son as Pran while Niyati named her son as Mrikandu. The same Mrikandu is my (Markandeya) father. My mother's name is Manaswini and my son's name is Vedashira.'
'Sambhuti- the wife of Marichi gave birth to Paurnmaas. Smriti- the wife of Marichi gave birth to four daughters- Siniwali, Kuhu, Raka and Anumati.' 'Ansuya, the wife of sage Atri gave birth to three sons- Soma, Durvaasa and Dattatreya. Dutt and Dambholi were born to Preeti, the wife of Pulastya. He became famous as Agastya during the time of Swayambhuva Manavantar.'
'Three sons- Kardam, Arvaveera and Sahishnu were born to Kshama, the wife of Pulaha. Sannati, the wife of Ritu gave birth to 60,000 Balkhilyaganas. Urja- the wife of Vashishta gave birth to seven sons- Raja, Gatra, Urdhwabahu, Sabal, Anagh, Sutapa and Shukra. These seven are famous as the Saptarishis.'
'Agni was married to Swaha. Three sons were born to them- Paavak, Pavaman and Shuchi.'

THE VARIOUS MANAVANTARS

MANIFESTATION OF THE SUN GOD (ADITYA) AND THE VEDAS

Markandeya says- 'After Brahma came out from that egg, Rigveda manifested from his first mouth. From the mouth facing south, manifested the Yajurveda. After that, Samaveda manifested from his mouth facing west. In the end, Atharvaveda came out from the mouth facing north. The Rigveda symbolises the Rajo Guna while the Yajurveda symbolises the Satva Guna. Samaveda comprises of Tamo Guna whereas Atharvaveda is the mixture of Satva and Tamo Guna. The manifestation of the Vedas had illuminated the whole atmosphere. But the manifestation of Omkar overlapped their radiance and covered all the Vedas.
At last, the radiance of the Vedas got united with that of the Omkar. The Rigveda symbolises the form of Brahma during the period of creation while Yajurveda symbolises Lord Vishnu during the whole period of nurturing. Samaveda is symbolical of Rudra at the time of annihilation.

LORD BRAHMA EULOGISES SURYA

Markandeya says- 'In the beginning of the creation, Surya shed unbearable amount of heat. This made the process of creation very difficult. Lord Brahma became worried. He thought- 'Due to the extreme heat of the Sun, all the water on this earth is getting evaporated. If this continues to happen then how would the creatures survive?'
Lord Brahma eulogised Surya to please him. He said- 'I make salutations to Surya who is the object of contemplation of great sages, who is the source of all energy. O Surya! It is only because of you that I can create, nurture and annihilate. You are the protector of this universe created from the Panchatatvas. Please subdue your radiance so that I can commence my creation.'
Vivasvaan Surya became very pleased by Brahma's eulogy and subdued his radiance. Thus, it became possible for Lord Brahma to begin his creation. He created the deities, demons, human beings, animals, vegetation etc. in the same way as he had done in earlier Kalpas.

PROGENIES OF KASHYAP PRAJAPATI AND ADITI'S EULOGY OF DIWAKAR

Markandeya says- 'Lord Brahma, after having created the universe divided the earth into various islands. He also created the oceans and the mountains. Marichi, the son of Brahma was the father of Kashyap. Kashyap was married to the ten daughters of Daksha. He had numerous sons from them like the deities, the demons and many creatures like reptiles. Aditi was the mother of the deities, Diti of the demons, Danu of the Daanavas (monsters). Vinata gave birth to Garud and Arun. Ravasa was the mother of Yakshas and the Rakshasas, Kadru of the Nagas. Muni was the mother of Gandharvas. Krodha was the mother of Kulyaava Ganas, Rishta of Apsaras. Ira was the mother of the elephants and Taamra was the mother of Shyeni. Ila gave birth to all the vegetation while Pradha gave birth to the insects. The earth was inhabited with the progenies of Aditi's sons.
Lord Brahma had made the deities masters of all the three worlds. This decision of Brahma had made the Daityas, Daanavas and Rakshasas very angry. They got united and started causing obstacles in the path of the deities. A great battle was fought between the deities and the demons in which the deities were defeated. Aditi, the mother of the deities became very sad. She did a rigorous penance to please the Sun god. She observed fasts and eulogised the Sun god for most of her time. At last, the Sun god appeared before her but she could not bear his radiance which was so powerful that she could not even open her eyes. She requested him to subdue his power so that she could see him.

ADITI GIVES BIRTH TO ADITYA

Markandeya says- 'After being pleased by the eulogy of Aditi, the Sun shed its radiance and became sombre. Now, Aditi could see him. She said- 'O lord! Be pleased upon me. The Daityas and the Daanavas have captured all the three worlds from my sons. I request you to take birth as my son and defeat the demons.'
The Sun god agreed to take birth as her son. In course of time, Aditi became pregnant. She engaged herself in religious activities so that she could become a mother of a virtuous child. Seeing his pregnant wife observing fasts, Kashyap became very angry. He said- 'It is not proper for a pregnant woman to observe fast as it may prove to be harmful to the foetus. Why are you trying to destroy it?' Aditi replied- 'I am not trying to destroy my foetus. After taking birth, our child will destroy our enemies.'
In her anger, Aditi released her foetus. Kashyap started chanting the mantras of Rigveda. In a very short time, her child came out from that foetus. A heavenly voice was heard which said- 'O sage! Since you have called this foetus, Maarit, therefore your son would be famously known as Maartand.' After the birth of Maartand, the morale of the deities was boosted up. Indra challenged the demons. A tremendous battle ensued between both the sides. Maartand glanced towards the demons as a result of which they were charred to death. The deities were pleased and eulogised Maartand. At last, the deities regained their territories they had lost to the demons.

VISHWAKARMA EULOGISES THE SUN GOD

Markandeya says- 'Vishwakarma had married his daughter Sangya to the Sun-god. But being unable to face the unbearable radiance of the Sun, she went to do penance after instructing her shadow to perform the duties of an ideal wife on her behalf. Ultimately, she returned back to her husband only after Vishwakarma had subdued the radiance of the Sun god. Vishwakarma then eulogised the Sun god by saying- I make salutations to the Sun god whose existence is beneficial for the whole universe. I make salutations to one whose own origin remains a mystery and who enables our eyes to see. I make salutations to the Sun god who destroys the darkness and who lightens up the whole world.'

RAJYAVARDHAN'S SUBJECTS EULOGISE THE SUN GOD FOR THEIR KING'S LONG LIFE

Kraustuki says- 'O lord! Enlighten us on the greatness of Bhaskar.'
Markandeya replied- 'There was a king named Rajyavardhan. His subjects were very happy and satisfied under his rule. They were free from all the diseases. Rajyavardhan ruled for 7,000 long years. His wife was Maanini. One day, while Maanini was applying oil on his head, she saw a grey hair. She became very sad and started crying. A drop of tear fell on the king. He asked the queen as to why she was crying. The queen told him about the reason. The king laughingly said- 'I am fully satisfied by my rule of 7,000 years. The grey hair on my head is an indication that I must now abandon my worldly life and become a recluse. This would be more appropriate for me.'
When his subjects came to know about his decision, they became sad. But nothing could make the king change his mind. He decided to become a recluse after appointing his son as his successor. The king called the astrologers for consultation. The astrologers advised the king to change his mind. But Rajyavardhan did not listen to them.
At last, his subjects decided to eulogise the Sun god and demand a long life for their king. All of them started worshipping the Sun god. A Gandharva whose name was Sudama appeared before them and instructed them to go to a forest named GuhaVishaal and continue their penance. All of them went to the forest as per the instruction of the Gandharva. There was a beautiful temple of Lord Bhaskar in the forest. They worshipped Surya and eulogised him. Their worship continued for three months after which the Sun god became pleased and appeared before them. Lord Bhaskar asked them to demand any boon. He said- 'O Brahmin! Demand anything you wish.' All of them said- 'O lord! If you are really pleased with us, then bless our King Rajyavardhan with a long life. Please bless him with an eternal youth and a life free from all the deities. We want our king to live for 10,000 years. The Sun god blessed them by saying- 'So be it'.
After receiving the boons, all of them came to the king's palace and narrated the whole story. The queen was very pleased but the king was worried. The queen was surprised at the king's sadness even after getting such good news. The king replied- 'What is the use of remaining alive for 10,000 years? You won't be alive then. Will I be able to enjoy my life in your absence? Will not the deaths of my sons, my grandsons and my near and dear ones make me sad? The boon of myself enjoying life for 10,000 years will actually prove to be a curse.'
The queen sadly said- 'Whatever you have said is true. I could not understand this fact because of my ignorance. Now, you must do your duty, as the boon of the Sun god is not going to go in vain. The king decided to go to the Mountain- Prabhriti and do penance. He wanted to receive a boon from Sun god, which enabled all his subjects and his relatives to remain alive as long as he lived. The queen also decided to move along with the king. Both of them did an austere penance. The Sun god appeared before them and blessed them. Thus, Rajyavardhan lived for 10,000 years along with his subjects.

MAARTANDADEV AND HIS DESCENDANTS

Markandeya says- 'Maartandadev had a son named Manu. The seventh Manavantar in which we are living is named after him. Manu had many sons among whom Narishyant, Naabhaag, Prishadhna and Drisht were the rulers of different kingdoms. Manu had performed a special Yagya named Mitravarun with the desire of having more sons. But after the Yagya, a daughter was born to him and who was named Ila. Manu then requested Mitravarun to transform that girl into a boy, if he was really pleased with him. Both the deities blessed Manu and instantly that girl was transformed into a boy. He was named Sudryumna.
One day, Sudryumna had gone to the forest for hunting. Incidentally, because of the wrath of Goddess Parvati, he again got transformed into a lady. At that time, he was married to Buddh and a son named Pururava was born to them. Later on, he regained his body of the male. This time, he became the father of Utkal, Vinay and Gaya. All these three sons were very just rulers. Pururava was made the king of Pratisthanpur.

MANIFESTATION OF THE SUN GOD (ADITYA) AND THE VEDAS

Markandeya says- 'After Brahma came out from that egg, Rigveda manifested from his first mouth. From the mouth facing south, manifested the Yajurveda. After that, Samaveda manifested from his mouth facing west. In the end, Atharvaveda came out from the mouth facing north. The Rigveda symbolises the Rajo Guna while the Yajurveda symbolises the Satva Guna. Samaveda comprises of Tamo Guna whereas Atharvaveda is the mixture of Satva and Tamo Guna. The manifestation of the Vedas had illuminated the whole atmosphere. But the manifestation of Omkar overlapped their radiance and covered all the Vedas.
At last, the radiance of the Vedas got united with that of the Omkar. The Rigveda symbolises the form of Brahma during the period of creation while Yajurveda
symbolises Lord Vishnu during the whole period of nurturing. Samaveda is symbolical of Rudra at the time of annihilation.

LORD BRAHMA EULOGISES SURYA

Markandeya says- 'In the beginning of the creation, Surya shed unbearable amount of heat. This made the process of creation very difficult. Lord Brahma became worried. He thought- 'Due to the extreme heat of the Sun, all the water on this earth is getting evaporated. If this continues to happen then how would the creatures survive?'
Lord Brahma eulogised Surya to please him. He said- 'I make salutations to Surya who is the object of contemplation of great sages, who is the source of all energy. O Surya! It is only because of you that I can create, nurture and annihilate. You are the protector of this universe created from the Panchatatvas. Please subdue your radiance so that I can commence my creation.'
Vivasvaan Surya became very pleased by Brahma's eulogy and subdued his radiance. Thus, it became possible for Lord Brahma to begin his creation. He created the deities, demons, human beings, animals, vegetation etc. in the same way as he had done in earlier Kalpas.

PROGENIES OF KASHYAP PRAJAPATI AND ADITI'S EULOGY OF DIWAKAR

Markandeya says- 'Lord Brahma, after having created the universe divided the earth into various islands. He also created the oceans and the mountains. Marichi, the son of Brahma was the father of Kashyap. Kashyap was married to the ten daughters of Daksha. He had numerous sons from them like the deities, the demons and many creatures like reptiles. Aditi was the mother of the deities, Diti of the demons, Danu of the Daanavas (monsters). Vinata gave birth to Garud and Arun. Ravasa was the mother of Yakshas and the Rakshasas, Kadru of the Nagas. Muni was the mother of Gandharvas. Krodha was the mother of Kulyaava Ganas, Rishta of Apsaras. Ira was the mother of the elephants and Taamra was the mother of Shyeni. Ila gave birth to all the vegetation while Pradha gave birth to the insects. The earth was inhabited with the progenies of Aditi's sons.
Lord Brahma had made the deities masters of all the three worlds. This decision of Brahma had made the Daityas, Daanavas and Rakshasas very angry. They got united and started causing obstacles in the path of the deities. A great battle was fought between the deities and the demons in which the deities were defeated. Aditi, the mother of the deities became very sad. She did a rigorous penance to please the Sun god. She observed fasts and eulogised the Sun god for most of her time. At last, the Sun god appeared before her but she could not bear his radiance which was so powerful that she could not even open her eyes. She requested him to subdue his power so that she could see him.

ADITI GIVES BIRTH TO ADITYA

Markandeya says- 'After being pleased by the eulogy of Aditi, the Sun shed its radiance and became sombre. Now, Aditi could see him. She said- 'O lord! Be pleased upon me. The Daityas and the Daanavas have captured all the three worlds from my sons. I request you to take birth as my son and defeat the demons.'

The Sun god agreed to take birth as her son. In course of time, Aditi became pregnant. She engaged herself in religious activities so that she could become a mother of a virtuous child. Seeing his pregnant wife observing fasts, Kashyap became very angry. He said- 'It is not proper for a pregnant woman to observe fast as it may prove to be harmful to the foetus. Why are you trying to destroy it?' Aditi replied- 'I am not trying to destroy my foetus. After taking birth, our child will destroy our enemies.'
In her anger, Aditi released her foetus. Kashyap started chanting the mantras of Rigveda. In a very short time, her child came out from that foetus. A heavenly voice was heard which said- 'O sage! Since you have called this foetus, Maarit, therefore your son would be famously known as Maartand.' After the birth of Maartand, the morale of the deities was boosted up. Indra challenged the demons. A tremendous battle ensued between both the sides. Maartand glanced towards the demons as a result of which they were charred to death. The deities were pleased and eulogised Maartand. At last, the deities regained their territories they had lost to the demons.

VISHWAKARMA EULOGISES THE SUN GOD

Markandeya says- 'Vishwakarma had married his daughter Sangya to the Sun-god. But being unable to face the unbearable radiance of the Sun, she went to do penance after instructing her shadow to perform the duties of an ideal wife on her behalf. Ultimately, she returned back to her husband only after Vishwakarma had subdued the radiance of the Sun god. Vishwakarma then eulogised the Sun god by saying- I make salutations to the Sun god whose existence is beneficial for the whole universe. I make salutations to one whose own origin remains a mystery and who enables our eyes to see. I make salutations to the Sun god who destroys the darkness and who lightens up the whole world.'

RAJYAVARDHAN'S SUBJECTS EULOGISE THE SUN GOD FOR THEIR KING'S LONG LIFE

Kraustuki says- 'O lord! Enlighten us on the greatness of Bhaskar.'
Markandeya replied- 'There was a king named Rajyavardhan. His subjects were very happy and satisfied under his rule. They were free from all the diseases. Rajyavardhan ruled for 7,000 long years. His wife was Maanini. One day, while Maanini was applying oil on his head, she saw a grey hair. She became very sad and started crying. A drop of tear fell on the king. He asked the queen as to why she was crying. The queen told him about the reason. The king laughingly said- 'I am fully satisfied by my rule of 7,000 years. The grey hair on my head is an indication that I must now abandon my worldly life and become a recluse. This would be more appropriate for me.'
When his subjects came to know about his decision, they became sad. But nothing could make the king change his mind. He decided to become a recluse after appointing his son as his successor. The king called the astrologers for consultation. The astrologers advised the king to change his mind. But Rajyavardhan did not listen to them.
At last, his subjects decided to eulogise the Sun god and demand a long life for their king. All of them started worshipping the Sun god. A Gandharva whose name was Sudama appeared before them and instructed them to go to a forest named GuhaVishaal and continue their penance. All of them went to the forest as per the instruction of the Gandharva. There was a beautiful temple of Lord Bhaskar in the forest. They worshipped Surya and eulogised him. Their worship continued for three months after which the Sun god became pleased and appeared before them. Lord Bhaskar asked them to demand any boon. He said- 'O Brahmin! Demand anything you wish.' All of them said- 'O lord! If you are really pleased with us, then bless our King Rajyavardhan with a long life. Please bless him with an eternal youth and a life free from all the deities. We want our king to live for 10,000 years. The Sun god blessed them by saying- 'So be it'.
After receiving the boons, all of them came to the king's palace and narrated the whole story. The queen was very pleased but the king was worried. The queen was surprised at the king's sadness even after getting such good news. The king replied- 'What is the use of remaining alive for 10,000 years? You won't be alive then. Will I be able to enjoy my life in your absence? Will not the deaths of my sons, my grandsons and my near and dear ones make me sad? The boon of myself enjoying life for 10,000 years will actually prove to be a curse.'
The queen sadly said- 'Whatever you have said is true. I could not understand this fact because of my ignorance. Now, you must do your duty, as the boon of the Sun god is not going to go in vain. The king decided to go to the Mountain- Prabhriti and do penance. He wanted to receive a boon from Sun god, which enabled all his subjects and his relatives to remain alive as long as he lived. The queen also decided to move along with the king. Both of them did an austere penance. The Sun god appeared before them and blessed them. Thus, Rajyavardhan lived for 10,000 years along with his subjects.

MAARTANDADEV AND HIS DESCENDANTS

Markandeya says- 'Maartandadev had a son named Manu. The seventh Manavantar in which we are living is named after him. Manu had many sons among whom Narishyant, Naabhaag, Prishadhna and Drisht were the rulers of different kingdoms. Manu had performed a special Yagya named Mitravarun with the desire of having more sons. But after the Yagya, a daughter was born to him and who was named Ila. Manu then requested Mitravarun to transform that girl into a boy, if he was really pleased with him. Both the deities blessed Manu and instantly that girl was transformed into a boy. He was named Sudryumna.
One day, Sudryumna had gone to the forest for hunting. Incidentally, because of the wrath of Goddess Parvati, he again got transformed into a lady. At that time, he was married to Buddh and a son named Pururava was born to them. Later on, he regained his body of the male. This time, he became the father of Utkal, Vinay and Gaya. All these three sons were very just rulers. Pururava was made the king of Pratisthanpur.

FAMOUS MYTHOLOGICAL TALES

KING PRISHADHNA

King Prishadhna was the son of Manu. One day, he had gone to the forest on a hunting spree. He killed a cow by mistake. This cow belonged to an Agnihotri Brahmin who was performing a Yagya. The Brahmin became very furious and cursed Prishadhna to become a Shudra. King Prishadhna too became angry and he wanted to retaliate. He took some water in his hand and was just about to curse the Brahmin, just then the Brahmin's father Mauli arrived. He warned both of them against cursing each other. He said- 'Anger decreases the life span of a man. It also destroys the knowledge and makes a man, a destitute. An angry person can neither be virtuous nor he can accumulate wealth. Even if the king had killed the cow deliberately, he is worthy of being shown compassion. But if he has committed this sin out of his ignorance, then certainly, he is not fit to be cursed. Therefore, O son! Don't curse the king. The cow must have died because of her own past Karmas.'
King Prishadhna made salutations to the Agnihotri Brahmin and said in a loud voice- 'Be pleased on me. I did not kill the cow deliberately. It only happened by mistake. The Brahmin replied- 'O king! I have never spoken a lie in my life. Even my curse which I have given to you will not go in vain.' Sage Mauli took his son to his hermitage. In course of time, Prishadhna became a Shudra due to the curse.

PRINCE NAABHAAG

Markandeya says- 'Naabhaag was the son of King Dishta. One day, he saw a beautiful woman who was the daughter of a Vaishya. He was very enchanted by her beauty and wanted to marry her. He went to the Vaishya and expressed his desire. The Vaishya was terrified at the prospect of facing the wrath of the king. He said- 'You belong to a royal family whereas I am a poor man. There is no match between both of us. Why do you insist on marrying my daughter?'
Naabhaag was not amused at the Vaishya's reply. He threatened to give up his life if he was not married. The Vaishya went to the king and narrated the whole story. The king consulted his ministers and the Brahmins. The Brahmin said- 'Prince Naabhaag should first marry a woman within his own caste, only then he can marry the Vaishya's daughter otherwise he would be committing a grave sin.
Naabhaag was not satisfied by the Brahmins' decision. He decided to forcibly abduct the Vaishya's daughter. The Vaishya went to the king and sought his help. The king gave death punishment to Naabhaag. Hearing of this punishment, Naabhaag went into hiding. The royal army went in search of him and finally found him. Then a tough battle was fought and ultimately, Naabhaag was victorious. The king himself came forward to fight with Naabhaag. As the battle was going on, sage Naarad appeared and requested the king to stop fighting. He said- 'O king! Please stop this battle. Being a Kshatriya, it is not proper for you to fight a battle with a Vaishya, which your son has become after abducting a Vaishya girl. He is not entitled to fight with you.
'

CURSE OF SAGE PRAMATI

Markandeya says- 'The king stopped fighting at the request of Naarad. Naabhaag married the Vaishya girl. After the marriage, the king ordered Naabhaag to follow a Vaishya's occupation. Naabhaag got engaged in activities like animal husbandry and agriculture. With the passage of time, a son was born and who was named Bhalandan. When he grew up, his mother entrusted him the job of looking after the cows. Bhalandan knew nothing about the job he was entrusted with. He went to sage Neep and told his problem. Sage Neep understood everything and taught him the nuances of handling various weapons as a result of which, he became a master in this art. After this, Bhalandan went to Vasuraat, the son of Pitravya and demanded his share in the kingdom of his great-grandfather. Vasuraat refused to give anything by saying- 'Being the son of a Vaishya, you are not entitled to become a king.' Bhalandan became very angry and attacked Vasuraat with a huge army. In this battle, Vasuraat was defeated. Now, Bhalandan had control over the entire earth. He returned to his father, Naabhaag in order to hand over the reign of the kingdom, he had won in the battle. But Naabhaag refused to take anything by saying - 'I have been cursed by my father to become a Vaishya. I cannot go against his wishes by taking over the responsibility of a king as this would disturb the peace of my ancestors who are in heaven and even I would not attain liberation. The second thing is that you have won this kingdom by your power and strength. It will not be proper for me to rule over this kingdom.'
Suprabha, the wife of Naabhaag was listening to their conversation. She could not stop laughing. She said- 'You are not a Vaishya, because I too belong to a Kshatriya family. During ancient times, a king named Sudev had a friend- Nala. One day both of them went to the forest to hunt. In the forest, Nala saw sage Pramati's wife and became enchanted by her immense beauty. He wanted to marry he and tried to forcibly abduct her. Being a chaste woman, Pramati's wife started shouting for help. Sage Pramati heard her screams and arrived at the site. He became enraged when he saw Nala trying to abduct his wife and King Sudev doing nothing to protect her. Pramati requested King Sudev to protect his wife from Nala. King Sudev lied to sage Pramati about his caste, to help his friend- Nala. He said- 'I cannot help you because I am a Vaishya. You must go to any Kshatriya to take help. Sage Pramati was exasperated. He fumed- 'You will certainly become a Vaishya as you have lied to me about your caste.
'

AGASTYA'S BROTHER CURSES KRIPAVATI

Markandeya says- 'The king stopped fighting at the request of Naarad. Naabhaag married the Vaishya girl. After the marriage, the king ordered Naabhaag to follow a Vaishya's occupation. Naabhaag got engaged in activities like animal husbandry and agriculture. With the passage of time, a son was born and who was named Bhalandan. When he grew up, his mother entrusted him the job of looking after the cows. Bhalandan knew nothing about the job he was entrusted with. He went to sage Neep and told his problem. Sage Neep understood everything and taught him the nuances of handling various weapons as a result of which, he became a master in this art.
After this, Bhalandan went to Vasuraat, the son of Pitravya and demanded his share in the kingdom of his great-grandfather. Vasuraat refused to give anything by saying- 'Being the son of a Vaishya, you are not entitled to become a king.' Bhalandan became very angry and attacked Vasuraat with a huge army. In this battle, Vasuraat was defeated. Now, Bhalandan had control over the entire earth. He returned to his father, Naabhaag in order to hand over the reign of the kingdom, he had won in the battle. But Naabhaag refused to take anything by saying - 'I have been cursed by my father to become a Vaishya. I cannot go against his wishes by taking over the responsibility of a king as this would disturb the peace of my ancestors who are in heaven and even I would not attain liberation. The second thing is that you have won this kingdom by your power and strength. It will not be proper for me to rule over this kingdom.'
Suprabha, the wife of Naabhaag was listening to their conversation. She could not stop laughing. She said- 'You are not a Vaishya, because I too belong to a Kshatriya family. During ancient times, a king named Sudev had a friend- Nala. One day both of them went to the forest to hunt. In the forest, Nala saw sage Pramati's wife and became enchanted by her immense beauty. He wanted to marry he and tried to forcibly abduct her. Being a chaste woman, Pramati's wife started shouting for help. Sage Pramati heard her screams and arrived at the site. He became enraged when he saw Nala trying to abduct his wife and King Sudev doing nothing to protect her. Pramati requested King Sudev to protect his wife from Nala. King Sudev lied to sage Pramati about his caste, to help his friend- Nala. He said- 'I cannot help you because I am a Vaishya. You must go to any Kshatriya to take help. Sage Pramati was exasperated. He fumed- 'You will certainly become a Vaishya as you have lied to me about your caste.
'

BHALANDAN AND VATSAPRI

Naabhaag told his wife- 'I would never accept the kingdom for the second time, which I had relinquished at the instruction of my father. He then instructed his son to rule over the kingdom he had won. Following his father's instructions, Bhalandan started ruling over his kingdom. Later on, he got married and begot a son named Vatsapri. Vatsapri was married to Saunanda when he attained youth-hood. Vatsapri married her after killing the demon Kujrimbha.
There was a king named Vidurath. He had two sons whose names were Suniti and Sumati. One day, while Vidurath was having his usual walk, he saw a large pit. He became very curious. Just then, a sage arrived at the scene whose name was Suvrat. Pointing his finger towards the pit, the king asked Suvrat as to what it was. The sage said- 'A demon by the name of Kujrimbha lives inside this pit. He controls all the events, which occur on this earth and in heaven. He possesses a mace called Sunand and which was made by Vishwakarma. This large pit which you see is the result of the assault, he made with his mace. This demon is very cruel and wicked. He torments the deities and destroys the oblation sites of the sages. There is one very peculiar characteristic related with his mace. The mace would become powerless if touched by a woman. But this is only a temporary change because it regains its power the next day. But this fact is unknown to the demon. After saying this, sage Suvrat went on his way.
King Vidurath returned to his palace and consulted his ministers. His daughter, Mudaavati was listening to their conversation. One day, the demon abducted Mudaavati. The king sent both his sons accompanied by a huge army to bring her back but the demon defeated them. The king made a declaration that he will marry his daughter to anybody who brings back his daughter and sons from the clutches of the demon.
Hearing his declaration, Vatsapri came to Vidurath and said- 'Give me your permission. I will bring back your daughter and your sons after releasing them from the clutches of the demon.' Vidurath gave the permission. Vatsapri entered into the nether land through that large pit. A tremendous battle ensued between him and the demon. This battle continued for three days. On the final day of the battle, the demon tried to take the help of his mace and went to grab hold of it. But sensing that the demon was going to pick up the mace, she immediately touched the mace as a result of which it became powerless. Being unaware of this happening, the demon attacked Vatsapri with that powerless mace. But he could not harm Vatsapri. Ultimately, Vatsapri was successful in killing the demon.
Vatsapri released all three of them- Suniti, Sumati and Mudaavati from the demon's captivity and brought them back to the king's palace. After the death of the demon, Sheshnaag acquired the mace. Mudaavati's name was later changed to Sunanda, after that mace. King Vidurath became very pleased and married Mudaavati to Vatsapri.

THE KINGDOMS OF PRANSHU, PRAJAATI AND KHANITRA

Markandeya says- 'Sunanda gave birth to 12 sons. Their names were Pranshu, Praveer, Shoor, Suchakra, Vikram, Krama, Bala, Balaak, Chand, Prachand, Suvikram and Swarup. After growing up, Pranshu became the king. Pranshu had a son named Prajaati. Prajaati had five sons among whom Khanitra was one of them. Khanitra became a mighty king and was very famous for his religiousness and virtuosity. He distributed the kingdoms among his brothers. Shauri was made the king of the eastern region, Udavasu of the southern region, Muni of the western region while Mahaarathi was made the king of northern region.
One day, a minister of Shauri, Vishwavedi instigated him against his brother Khanitra by saying- 'O king! You must try to capture your brother's kingdom as your kingdom is too small for your descendants to rule over. A time may come when your descendants would be forced to choose agriculture as their occupation because the continuous distribution of your kingdom among your progenies would leave almost nothing for them.'
Shauri said- 'My brother is so kind to me. Why should I cheat him like that?' The minister said- 'The duty of the king is only to look after the kingdom's interest. The relation should not come in the way.' At last, the minister was successful in convincing him. After sometime, the wicked minister also influenced the rest of his brothers. Ultimately, King Khanitra was left all alone as all of his ministers and even his sons were misguided by Vishwavedi. Vishwavedi appointed four priests of Khanitra as the supervisor of Yagyas. One day, while the priests were performing Yagya, four ogresses appeared from the sacrificial fire and tried to attack King Khanitra. But they could not harm him because of his virtuous character. They then turned towards Vishwavedi and the priests and killed all of them. Thus, Vishwavedi bore the fruits of evil deeds.