Biographies | Men
Read also MBH-Stories-Yayaati; Yayaati's Story in Padm Puraan, 2/11;
Yayaati was the 5th King in Lunar race - Chandramaa > Budh > Pururavaa > Aayu > Nahush > Yayaati. He was the son of Raajaa Nahush (Pururavaa's grandson). According to Padm Puraan, 2/11, Yayaati ruled for 80,000 years. Both Nahush and Yayaati did 100 Ashwamedh Yagya, that is why both were given opportunity to become Indra. Yayaati did 100 Vaajpeya Yagya also. Yayaati did a Yagya for 100,000 years - it means that he lived for more than 100,000 years and he was living in Sat Yug. After doing Ashwamedh Yagya Yayaati lived for 20,000 years more.
He was married to Shukraachaarya's daughter Devayaanee and had Daitya Raj Vrishparvaa's daughter Sharmishthaa along with Devayaanee. Read the stories of his marriage to Devayaanee and his sons below. He had a daughter also named Maadhavee. Read her story in MBH-Stories-Gaalav
Once he was out in the forest for hunting. He got thirsty, so he looked for a well. He found a well. That well was dry but he found a girl in that dry well. She was without clothes. So he threw his cloth to cover herself and took her out. She was Devayaanee - the daughter of Daitya Guru Shukraachaarya. Daitya Raaj Vrishparvaa's daughter Sharmishthaa had pushed her in this well out of a quarrel. After coming out of the well she said to the King - "Hey Raajan, I don't want anybody else to see me in this condition in which you have seen me here, so I request you to marry me." Yayaati knew that this marriage was not according to Dharm but he took it as his destiny and he married her.
As a result of the quarrel (read Devayaanee and Sharmishthaa about their quarrel), Devayaanee asked Raajaa Vrishparvaa that Sharmishthaa should serve her the whole life with her 100 maids. So as Devayaanee married Yayaati, Sharmishthaa also went with her along with her 100 maids. Shukraachaarya Jee warned Yayaati not to take Sharmishthaa to his bed.
Now Yayaati and Devayaanee had a son, so Sharmishthaa also expressed her desire to Yayaati to have a son. Yayaati considered it according to Dharm so they also had a son. After some time Devayaanee had three sons and Sharmishthaa had two sons. When Devayaanee came to know about this she got very angry and went to her father's house. When Yayaati heard of her leaving him, he also followed her to her father's house. He explained the situation to Devayaanee and Shukraachaarya Jee but Shukraachaarya Jee told him that if his daughter was not happy with him, he could not be happy, so he gave him Shaap that "he should get that kind of old look in which a person looks ugly". Yayaati told him that this would affect his daughter also. At this Shukraachaarya said "OK, you can exchange your old age with somebody, if at all somebody is ready to give you his own youth".
Yayaati came back to his kingdom with a sad heart, called his eldest son Yadu and told him the whole account. He also told him that he would give his kingdom to that son who would exchange his youth with his old age. Yadu clearly refused to do it so Yayaati cursed him that he and his descendents will never rule the kingdom. His other three sons also refused to comply with his request. But his youngest son Puru (Sharmishthaa's son) said - "Father, Son is the reflection of his father. If the son did not help his father in his bad times, that son's life is useless. I am ready to exchange my youth with your old age." Hearing this Yayaati got very pleased with him, and exchanged his old age with his youth.
After this he enjoyed his life for long time. Later he got tired and realized that
pleasure is not in enjoying them, but in abandoning them. So he returned his son's
youth to him, took back his old age, appointed Puru the King of his kingdom and
went to forest. His both wives also went with him. This story of Puru's assuming
Yayaati's decrepitude is first told in the Mahaabhaarat.
Padm Puraan states this story in a different manner. Yayaati had so much Punya that Indra got scared of him. He thought if he himself would invite Yayaati to Swarg, maybe he would not aspire for his Indra Lok, so he invited Yayaati to heaven. He sent Maatali, his charioteer, to fetch his guest. On their way they held a philosophical discussion, which made such an impression on Yayaati that, when he returned to earth, he, by his virtuous administration, rendered all his subjects exempt from passion and decay. So when he comes back to Prithvi, he brings the changes in the society, so that nobody dies.
Yam complained to Indra that men no longer died, and so Indra sent Kaam Dev, god of love, and his daughter, Ashrubindumatee, to excite a passion in the breasts of Yayati. He became enamored, and in order to become a fit husband for his youthful charmer he made application to his sons for an exchange of their youth and his decrepitude. His all sons refused to exchange his decrepitude but Puru. Yayaati borrows his manly vigor and gives his own old age to him.
After awhile the youthful bride, at the instigation of Indra, persuaded her husband to return to Heaven, and he then restored to Puru his youth. The Bhaagavat Puraan and the Hari Vansh tell the story, but with variations. According to Hari Vansh, Yayaati received a celestial Vimaan from Indra, by means of which he conquered the Earth in six nights and subdued even the gods themselves. This Vimaan, then, descended to his successors, but was lost by Jamamejaya through the curse of the sage Gaargya.
Yayaati, after restoring his youth to Puru, retired to forest with his wife and gave himself up to mortification. Abstaining from food, he died and ascended to heaven. He and his five sons are all called Raajarshis.
Yayaati Goes to Swarg and Falls From Swarg
He has contributed hymns to Rig Ved Sanhitaa also.
Created by Sushma Gupta On 5/27/04
Modified on 05/03/13