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Srimad Bhagavatam (Bhagavata Purana) :: Conto 9

King Yayati Regains His Youth

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Srimad Bhagavatam » Conto 9   

 King Yayati Regains His Youth

(1) S'rî S'uka said: 'Of king Nahusha [another son of Purûravâ's son Âyu] were there just like the six senses [the mind as the sixth] of an embodied soul, the six of Yati, Yayâti, Samyâti, Âyati, Viyati and Kriti. (2) The eldest son Yati, knowing what assuming power entails, did not accept the kingdom offered by his father, [with the argument that] the person who enters such a position cannot be serious in self-realization. (3) When his father by the brahmins was forced to leave his elevated position because of having offended Indra's wife S'acî and he had degraded to the life of a snake, became Yayâti the king. (4) The four brothers younger than him he allowed to rule the different directions. Yayâti so ruling the world married with the daughters [Devayânî] of S'ukrâcârya and [S'armishthhâ of] Vrishaparvâ.'

(5) The king said: 'The mighty seer S'ukrâcârya was a brahmin while Yayâti belonged to the kshatriya class; how could there against the customs be a [pratiloma] marriage of a brahmin [daughter] with a kshatriya?' [anuloma, the other way around, was more common].

(6-7) S'rî S'uka said: 'One day was Vrishaparvâ's daughter named S'armishthhâ, a girl with a high-strung character, together with thousands of friends and the daughter of the guru Devayânî, as innocent as she was, walking in the palace garden that, full of lotus flowers and crammed with blossoming trees, nicely buzzed of the bumblebees. (8) All the lotus-eyed girls arriving at the side of the lake there gave their dresses up on the bank and began sporting in the water splashing one another. (9) Seeing Lord S'iva pass by with the goddess [Pârvatî] seated on his bull got the young girls quickly out of the water ashamed covering themselves with their garments. (10) S'armishthhâ unknowingly put on as her own the dress of the guru's daughter upon which Devayânî irritated said this: (11) 'Alas see how she, like a maid-servant, acts against the etiquette. Just like a dog after the ghee for a sacrifice has she put on the garment that was meant for me! (12-14) Of those by whose austerity this entire world was created, of those who are the face of the Personality of Transcendence and of whose piety the light of the right path is known, of those unto whom the masters of the world, the enlightened of control and even the Supreme Lord, the Purifying Supersoul and Husband of the Goddess are offering prayers, of us descendants of Bhrigu better than the rest has she, whose cloudy father is a disciple of our father, like a low-class laborer put on what was meant to be worn by us - it is alike someone unchaste who tries to master the Vedas!'

(15) S'armishthhâ thus rebuked breathed heavily like a trampled serpent and said very angry biting her lip to the guru's daughter: (16) 'What a nonsense, you beggar! You don't know your place. Isn't it you who waits outside our house [for food] like the crows do?'

(17) With these unkind words took S'armishthhâ after her reprimand angrily the garments of the virtuous daughter of the spiritual teacher away and threw she her into a well. (18) As she went home happened Yayâti, wandering around for a hunt, to arrive there and discovered he, thursting for water, her in the well. (19) Untying his upper garment reached the king down to her being naked and put he his hand into hers in his kindness to pull her out. (20-21) Unto him, the hero, said the daughter of the thinker of the heat [Us'anâ or S'ukrâcârya, see also B.G. 10: 37] with words full of love and kindness: 'O King by your taking my hand have you, o conqueror of all other kingdoms, accepted my hand! May it not be touched by anyone else but by you because the relationship between you and me, that what we by providence now have o hero, is not something arranged by man! (22) Because of me having landed in this well have I learned to know your goodness; [please know that] no qualified brahmin can become my husband o stong-armed one, because Kaca, the son of Brihaspati, in the past pronounced a curse against it because I had cursed him [*].'

(23) Yayâti did not like what by God had been arranged, but thinking for himself however abided he, attracted to her, by what she told him. (24) After the king had left submitted she, having returned home, in tears everything to her father, recounting everything that S'armishthhâ had done and what was said thereafter. (25) The mighty thinker was very unhappy about it and condemning the priesthood and praising the business of collecting the grains [uñcha-vritti, see 7.11: 16 and 7.12: 17-19] left he with his daughter his residence. (26) Vrishaparvâ understanding that his spiritual master did so for chiding or cursing him, propitiated him by meeting him halfway and prostrating at the feet. (27) The mighty son of Bhrigu, whose anger wouldn't last but for a minute, then said to his disciple: 'Please fulfill her desire, o King, for as long as I live I'll not be able to give up on this girl!'

(28) With his consent to settle matters expressed Devayânî her desire: 'To whomever my father gives me, I will go, with my servant [S'armishthhâ] and her friends.'

(29) At the time wisely understanding the danger as well as the benefit of the greatness of him [his âcârya], gave the father S'armishthhâ along with her friends to Devayânî so that she with the thousands of other women would take care of Devayânî as her servant. (30) Giving the descendant of Nahusha his daughter in marriage together with S'armishthhâ said Us'anâ to him: 'O King, never ever allow S'armishthhâ into your bed!'

(31) When S'armishthhâ [however later on] saw Us'anâ's daughter having nice children, asked she him at an opportune moment in a secluded place, whether he as the husband of her girl-friend wouldn't like her as a faithful wife. (32) Remembering what S'ukra had said in his direction for a time like this, decided he, on the request of that princess to have a son with her, from his own sense of duty and the general principles of religion to give in to her [compare B.G. 7: 11]. (33) Yadu and Turvasu as well were the ones who Devayânî gave birth to and Druhyu, Anu and Pûru were there from S'armishthhâ, the daughter of Vrishaparvâ. (34) Finding out that S'armishthhâ was pregnant from him left Devayânî, boiling with anger, proud as she was for her father's house. (35) Following his sweetheart, his great desire, tried he to propitiate her with meaningful words but he couldn't even appease her massaging her feet. (36) S'ukra angry with him said: 'You womanizing, deceitful man, may you fool enter the old of age that disfigures the human body.'

(37) S'rî Yayâti said: 'As yet has my lust not been satisfied with your daughter, o brahmin!'

[S'ukra replied:] 'For as long as you are lusty may you exchange the memorable of you with the youth of someone willing to take your place.'

(38) Thus took he the opportunity to change place requesting the eldest son: 'O Yadu, beloved son, please give me your youth in exchange for this old age! (39) With what the father of your mother gave me, my dear son, am I not satisfied in my sensual needs, let me by the good of your age enjoy life for a few more years!' [see also 7.5: 30]

(40) S'rî Yadu said: 'I'm not happy with accepting your old age while you remain in youth. Without [having had] the experience of bodily happiness will a person [like me] never become indifferent about material pleasures!' [see also: 7.12: 9-11 and B.G 4: 13]

(41) The father requested Turvasu, Druhyu and Anu, o son of Bharata, but they refused to accept because they, not knowing the true nature [of the soul], took their temporality for something permanent. (42) He asked Pûru even though he was a younger son, saying to him: 'You my dear son, are of a better fiber, you wouldn't, like your older brothers did, refuse me.'

(43) S'rî Pûru said: 'Who o King, best among the people, has in this world the chance to repay the father who gave him his body, for it is by his mercy that he may enjoy a higher life. (44) He who acts in respect of his father's wishes is the best, he who acts on his command is but mediocre and low class is he who acts without faith, but like stool is he who defies his father's words.'

(45) This way was it entirely Pûru's pleasure to accept the burden of old age of his father, the father who was most contented with all the desires belonging to the youth of his son that he had asked for, o ruler of man. (46) As the master of the entirety of the seven continents ruled he like a father over his subjects, enjoying as much as he wanted the material happiness without any impairment of his senses. (47) Devayânî also served for twenty-four hours a day as the dearest of her beloved in all privacy him with all her body, mind and words and everything thereto to bring him divine bliss. (48) Worshiping with different rituals Hari, the Personality of Sacrifice, the God and Reservoir of All Divinity and Object of All Vedic knowledge, was Yayâti of an abundant charity. (49) Like a mass of clouds in the sky appears the entire, in Himself, created world at one time as a diversity of life forms, and then at other times is it of no manifestation, like it was a creation of the mind as in a dream [see also B.G. 7: 24-25]. (50) Certain of Him, Lord Vâsudeva in his heart, the One Nârâyana existing within each but visible to no one, worshiped he free from desire the Supreme Master. (51) Although he thus for a period of thousand years proceeded with the mind and the five senses in an idea of worldy happiness, could he, impure in his sensuality, not be satisfied, even though he was the ruler of all.'

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SOURCE: Translation: Anand Aadhar Prabhu, http://bhagavata.org/

Production: the Filognostic Association of The Order of Time, with special thanks to Sakhya Devi Dasi for proofreading and correcting the manuscript. http://theorderoftime.com/info/guests-friends.html

The sourcetexts, illustrations and music to this translation one can find following the links from: http://bhagavata.org/