Mahaabhaarat | Stories

1-Aadi Parv, 76-93
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Story of Yayaati-1

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Story of Yayaati-1
Ch   76-80
Branched from   G-1-Beginning-1     Page-1    Page-2     Page-3

Yayaati is the character of Bhaagvat Puraan but he is mentioned in Mahaabhaarat also. Yayaati was the son of Raajaa Nahush (Pururavaa's grandson). He had two wives - Devayaanee (Daitya Guru Shukraachaaraya Jee's daughter) and Sharmishthaa (Daitya Raaj Vrishparvaa's daughter). He had five sons - two from Devayaanee and three from Sharmishthaa - Yadu and Turvasu from Devayaanee; and Druhyu, Anu, Puru from Sharmishthaa. Among the five sons Yadu was the eldest in whose Vansh Krishn was born (Yaadav Vansh). From Sharmishthaa he had Druhyu, Anu and Puru on whose name Paurav Vansh continued. Thus only Yadu and Puru extended their families. He is said to have a daughter also, named Maadhavee, whom he gave to Gaalav Muni when he came to beg him for 800 white horses each with with one ear black to give them to Vishwaamitra as Guru Dakshinaa. (see Story of Gaalav Muni-2)

Kach is Cursed and Devayaanee Meets Yayaati

Janamejaya said - "Tell me, how Yayaati, 10th from Prajaapati, took the daughter of Shukra, Devayaanee, as his wife and about other kings." Vaishampaayan Jee said - "Yayaati was like Indra himself. I tell you about how Shukra and Vrishparvaa  bestowed their daughters on him. In olden days Devtaa and Asur used to fight to get sovereignty over the three worlds. The Devtaa appointed Angiraa's son Brihaspati as their Guru for performing their sacrificial rites; and Asur appointed Shukra to do he same for them. Now whoever Asur were killed in the battle, Shukra revived them with his knowledge of Sanjeevanee. Devtaa were also killed but Brihaspati could not revive them, because he did not have that knowledge - Sanjeevanee Vidyaa. Devtaa were very sad seeing this.

So Devtaa went to the eldest son of Brihaspati, Kach, and requested him to go to Shukra to learn the knowledge by which he was reviving Asur. He could find Shukra in the court of Vrishparvaa., King of Daitya. Since he was younger in age so he was capable of respecting him easily. He could adore his beautiful daughter Devayaanee also. By gratifying Devayaanee he could obtain that knowledge easily. Kach soon went there and found Shukra in Vrishparvaa's court. He said to him - "I am the grandson of Angiraa, the son of Brihaspati, and my name is Kach. Being a disciple of yours, I will practice Brahmcharya for 1,000 years. Please command me."

Kach Learns Sanjeevanee Vidyaa

Shukraachaarya said - "I accept you. I will treat you with respect and by doing this I will pay my respect to Brihaspati." Thus Kach started serving his Guru and his daughter. Soon he won the heart of Devayaanee by giving her flowers and fruits and rendering his services. After 500 years, Daanav came to know about the intentions of Kach. They became angry and they thought to kill him. One day when he was grazing Shukra's cows, they killed him, cut his body into pieces and gave those pieces to jackals and wolves. In the evening all cows returned but without Kach. Devayaanee was very worried about him, she said - "Father, Kach is not back, either he is lost or is dead. I tell you the truth that I can't live without him." Shukra said - "Don't worry, I will revive him by saying "Let this one come." Shukra used his Vidyaa and Kach appeared before him with a happy face. Devayaanee asked him - "Why are you late?" Kach said - "I was dead. When I was coming home, I sat under a banyan tree. Cows were also there. That some Asur came and asked me  - "Who are you?" I replied - "I am the son of Brihaspati." As soon as they heard it, they killed me, cut my body into pieces and threw them to jackals and wolves. After that they went back happily, but as Guru Jee has called me, I am here before you."

Another day, when Kach again went to graze cows and was collecting flowers, Daanav saw him, ground him into a paste and mixed it with the water of the ocean. So he did not return home on time. Devayaanee again went to her father and requested him to revive him. Shukra had revived him, he again appeared and told everything what happened to him. Daanav killed him third time, burned him to ashes, mixed his ashes in the wine and the wine was given to Shukra. When Kach didn't come, Devayaanee again complained her father - "Father, Kach was sent to gather flowers, he has not come back yet, I tell you the truth that I will not live without him." Shukra said - "I think he has gone to Yam Lok. I have been reviving him but still he is being slain frequently, what can I do?" Devayaanee said - "Why shouldn't I grieve for him who is such a gracious man? I am going to starve to follow him."

At this Shukra got very sad, he called him loudly - "Certainly these Asur want to injure me by killing him who is staying with me. Crime of killing a Braahman will even burn Indra himself. O Kach where are you?" Now Kach was dead and was in the stomach of his Guru, he could not have come out like that, so he replied from there - "O Guru Jee, Be kind to me. Please treat me like your dear son." Shukra asked in surprise - "How did you enter my stomach?" Kach replied - "By your grace I still remember things. My virtues are also not destroyed that is why I am able to suffer this intolerable pain. Asur burnt me to ashes, mixed it with wine and gave that wine to you to drink."

Hearing this Shukra said to his daughter - "You can get your Kach back now only after my death. There is no other way for him to come out of my stomach except after ripping it out." Devayaanee got very sad hearing this. She loved both of them and could not live without both of them. Shukra said to Kach - "You have won, because Devayaanee loves you very much. Take the Sanjeevanee Vidyaa from me if you are not Indra in the form of Kach. Nobody can come out of my stomach alive and a Braahman must not be killed, so you accept this Vidyaa from me and start a new life as my son. After receiving this Vidyaa from me you should behave gracefully."

So after learning that Vidyaa, Kach came out ripping out Shukra's stomach. Then he revived his Guru with the Vidyaa he learned from him. Shukra understanding the evils of drinking wine said - "Whoever Braahman will drink from today he will lose all his virtues and will be a sinner of killing Braahman. Then he said to Daanav - "Kach has been successful in learning the Vidyaa and now has become as powerful as Brahmaa." Vaishampaayan Jee said - "Kach lived with Shukra for 1,000 years and then he went to his home after taking permission from his Guru.

Devayaanee Curses Kach

Vaishampaayan Jee said - "As Kach was about to go to his home, Devayaanee said - "You are very learned. As Rishi Angiraa is regarded by my father, I regard your father. Recollect my behavior towards you during your stay here. Now your vow of Brahmcharya is over. Now please marry me." Kach said - "I respect you as I do your father. You are dearer to the life of my Guru, and as the daughter of my Guru you are worthy of my worship." Devayaanee said - "You are the son of my father's Guru's son, that is why you deserve my regards. When you were killed several times, recollect my love to you. It is not good to abandon me without any fault. I love you very much." Kach said - "Please, Do not drag me on to a sinful path. You deserve greater regard than my Guru. Wherever you have lived, I have also lived there. With this relationship you are my sister. We have passed these days very amiably and in a very good understanding. Now please let me go home. Remember me always and take care of my Guru."

At this, Devayaanee said - "If you will go leaving me like this then this knowledge will not be fruitful to you." Kach said - "I refused this offer because you are the daughter of my Guru, and not because that you have any fault. Besides, my Guru has also not issued any order in this regard. Curse me if you wish to do so, but I do not deserve your curse. Still you have cursed me out of passion, not of duty that is why your desire will not be fulfilled. No Rishi will accept your hand ever. And regarding the loss of my knowledge, let it be so, but it will be fruitful to him to whoever I will impart it."

Vaishampaayan Jee said - "After saying this, Kach went to his home and Devtaa got very happy to see him back and declared that he would also get share with them in sacrificial offerings."

Devayaanee and Sharmishthaa's Quarrel

Vaishampaayan Jee said - "Devtaa got very happy to see Kach back. They learnt the science from him and achieved their objective. Kach said to Devtaa - "Now you can fight with Asur fearlessly." So Maghaavat went to fight with Asur, that he saw some maidens on his way playing in a lake of Chitrarath's garden. He changed himself into wind and mixed up all their clothes. When the girls got tired they came out of the water and proceeded to wear their clothes. Since the clothes were mixed up, by mistake Sharmishthaa wore Devayaanee's clothes. At this Devayaanee said - "O Asur's daughter, You have worn my clothes being my disciple. You have not behaved properly, so nothing good will happen to you." At this Sharmishthaa said - "Your father always sits on a lower seat and looks with a downcast look as if he is only a hired chanter of praise of my father. You are a beggar woman. I can harm you in any way I like, while you cannot. You are not equal to me."

Vaishampaayan Jee said - "At this Devayaanee started pulling her clothes from Sharmishthaa's body, and Sharmishthaa threw her in a well and went home thinking that she was dead.

Devayaanee Meets Yayaati

As Sharmishthaa left, Yayaati, the son of King Nahush, came there. He was out in the forest for hunting. He got very thirsty, so he looked for a well to drink water. He found a well. That well was dry but as he looked down he found a girl in that dry well. Yayaati asked her softly - "Who are you? Why do you weep and how did you fall down in this well?" Devayaanee replied - "I am the daughter of Shukraachaaraya who brings back Asur to life. He does not know about me. This is my right hand. Please take me out." Yayaati took her out of the well knowing her a Braahman's daughter and went away to his palace.

After Yayaati went away Devayaanee came to Vrishparvaa's palace where she saw her father sitting there. She spoke angrily - "O Father, Your Devayaanee has been ill-treated by Sharmishthaa in the forest." Hearing this Shukra immediately went out to woods in search of her. He found her in woods, he spoke to her - "Whatever happens, happens to oneself because of his one's own faults. You should also have some fault because of which this has happened." Devayaanee said - "Listen to it carefully whether it is a mistake or not, what Sharmishthaa told me. "You are only a hired chanter of the praises of the Asur king." And she called me "you are a daughter of the one who is always hired for chanting praise of others or the one who accepts alms; and I am the daughter who is praised and who gives alms." So Father, If I am the daughter of a chanter of praise and the one who accepts alms, then I must praise her to receive her grace."

Shukra said - "O dear daughter, You are not the daughter of a chanter of praise or of the one who accepts alms or gifts, but who is adored by all. Vrishparvaa himself knows about it, Indra knows it, Yayaati knows it. I make rains for the good of all people." Vaishampaayan said - "By such words, Shukra tried to pacify his daughter."

Shukra continued - "Who has even a little mind should not speak evil about others. Who doesn't give rise to anger, he wins everything. Boys and girls quarrel with each other because they cannot discriminate between right and wrong, but the wise never imitate them." Devayaanee said - "I know everything but a disciple should never insult his Guru and because of this reason, I do not want to live in such a country where people behave in this way."

Vaishampaayan Jee said - "Shukra himself got angry hearing this, so he went to Vrishparvaa and spoke to him without weighing his words - "Sinful actions give fruits in due course of time, may be in one's own life, in his son's life, or in one's grandson's life, but sins must bear their fruits. You killed Kach while he was living with me, and your daughter insulted my daughter, I leave you and your relatives."

Vrishparvaa said - "I have never insulted you. Be kind to me. Without you we will go into the depths of ocean, and we will not be able to stand anywhere." Shukra said - "Whether you go to the depths of the sea or you fly all around, I don't care; but I cannot tolerate my daughter's grief. You may try to please her. As Brihaspati does good to Indra, I also do the same for you." Vrishparvaa said - "You are the master of all our belongings." Shukra said - "If it is true then go and pacify Devayaanee." Shukra then went to Devayaanee and told her everything. Devayaanee said - "If this is true then let the King himself should come here and say all this to me."

Vrishparvaa went to Devayaanee and said - "Whatever you want I will give it to you however difficult it is." Devayaanee said - "If this is so, I wish that Sharmishthaa should wait upon me with her 1,000 maids, and she should follow me wherever I go." A maid told this to Sharmishthaa, and Sharmishthaa got ready to do whatever Devayaanee said for her. Both Shukra and Devayaanee must not leave this court because of her fault. She immediately came out of her palace with her 1,000 maids and said to Devayaanee - "I am all yours." Devayaanee said - "But I am a daughter of who chants your father's praise and accepts alms, how can you be my waiting maid?" Sharmishthaa replied - "One must do everything for the comfort of one's relatives. I will do whatever you say."

Then Devayaanee was satisfied and she entered Asur's capital where she was worshipped honorably.


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Created by Sushma Gupta On 03/09/02
Modified on 12/05/12