Śrīmad Devi Bhāgavatam | Book 7 Chapter 1



Chapter I

On the Solar and Lunar Kings

1-5. Sūta said:

Glad to hear the excellent divine stories of the Solar and Lunar races, the virtuous King Janamejaya, the son of Parīksit, again asked:

“O Lord! I am now very eager to hear the increase of the two lines of Kings.

O Sinless One! You know everything. So kindly describe, in detail, the pure histories, capable to destroy sins, of the kings and their characters.

The kings of the Lunar and the Solar races were great Bhaktas of the Highest Śaktī, Śrī Bhagavatī Devī; this I have heard.

O Muni! Who wants not to hear further on the glorious stories of the Bhaktas of the Śrī Devī?”

When the Rājaṛṣī asked thus, the Muni Kṛṣṇa Dvaipāyana, the son of Satyavatī began to narrate gladly the several deeds of the Kings.

6-13. O King! I am now narrating to you in detail the origin, etc., of the Lunar and the Solar dynasties as well as of other kings in their connection. Hear attentively.

The four-faced Brahmā sprang from the navel of Viṣṇu; engaged in practising Tapasyā, he began to worship the Mahā Devī Durgā, extremely hard to conceive.

Mahā Devī, pleased at his worship, granted boon to Brahmā; Brahmā, the Grandsire of all the Lokas on thus getting the boon, became ready to create the world; but he could not create all on a sudden the human beings.

Though the creation was eternally fashioned by the Paramātmā Bhagavatī, the four-faced Brahmā thinking over in his mind variously, could not quickly spread it out and accomplish it as a veritable fact.

Therefore He, the Prajāpati, first created mentally the seven mind-born sons. These were known by the names of Marīchi, Atri, Angirā, Pulastya, Pulaha, Kratu and Vaṣiṣṭha.

Next sprang Rudra from the anger of Prajāpati, Nārada from his lap; Dakṣa from his right thumb. Thus Sanaka and the other Riṣis were also his mind-born sons.

O King! The wife of Dakṣa was born from the left thumb of Prajāpati; this all-beautiful daughter is well known in all the Purāṇas by the name of Vīriṇī and Asiknī.

Nārada, the chief of the Devarṣis, was born, on some other occasion in her womb.

14-17. Janamejaya said:

“O Brāhman! A great doubt arises in me to hear that the great ascetic Nārada was born of Dakṣa in the womb of Vīriṇī. The Muni Nārada indeed, was the son of Brahmā;

moreover he was the foremost of the ascetics and especially endowed with the knowledge of Dharma;

how, then, can he be born of the womb of the Daksha's wife Vīriṇī.

Well, if that be so, then describe, in detail, that wonderful story of the birth of Nārada in the womb of Vīriṇī.

18-31. “O Muni! Under whose curse, the high-souled Nārada though very wise, had to leave his first body and be born again.”

Vyāsa said:  

O King, Brahmā, the Self-born, with a view to create offspring, ordered first Dakṣa:

“Go and multiply innumerable children for the increase of the world.”

Thus ordered by his father the Prajāpati Dakṣa produced five thousand powerful and heroic sons in the womb of Vīriṇī.

Seeing all the sons of Dakṣa, desirous to multiply, the Devarṣi Nārada urged on, as it were, by Fate, began to laugh at them:

How do you desire to multiply when you know not the dimensions and capacity of earth; so you will, no doubt, be put to ridicule and laughter.

Rather, if you proceed on work, knowing beforehand the earth's capacity, your efforts will be fruitful. Otherwise, your attempt will no doubt, end in failures.

Alas! You are awfully illiterate! Not knowing the dimensions of the world, you are ready to multiply your progeny; how, then, can you meet with success!

Vyāsa said:

O King! Hearing, all on a sudden, these words, Haryaśva and other sons began to speak with each other:

“What this Muni has told, is very true. Let us then ascertain the earth's dimensions; we can easily multiply afterwards.”

Thus saying, they all went out to reconnoitre the earth.

Thus excited at Nārada's words, some went eastward, some southwards, some towards the north and some went to west all simultaneously and, as they liked, to make a survey of the earth.

When the sons went away, Dakṣa became exceedingly sorry on their absence. Bent again on multiplying, he begat other sons; those sons again wanted to procreate.

Seeing them, Nārada again laughed and said:-

Alas! What fools are you! Not knowing the dimensions of the earth, why are you ready to procreate?

They were deluded by Nārada's words, took them as true, and went out as their elder brothers did.

Not being able to see those sons, Prajāpati Dakṣa became very sorrowful for them and cursed Nārada in rage.

32-38. Dakṣa said:

“O Evil-minded One! You have destroyed my sons; so be yourself destroyed; you will have to be born in the womb for your sin in causing the death of my sons; you have caused my sons to go abroad; so you must be born as my son.”

Thus cursed by Dakṣa, Nārada had to take his birth in the womb of Vīriṇī. I heard also that the Prajāpati Dakṣa begat afterwards sixty daughters in her womb.

O King! Dakṣa, the great knower of Dharma, then gave up the sorrows for his sons and married his thirteen daughters to the high-souled Kaśyapa, ten daughters to Dharma, twenty-seven daughters to the Moon, two to Bhrigu, four to Ariṣṭanemi, two to Kriśāśva and the remaining two to Angirā.

Their sons and grandsons, the Devas and Dānavas, became powerful but antagonistic towards each other. All of them were heroes and very Māyāvis; so, deluded by their greed and jealousy, they quarrelled amongst each other.

Here ends the First Chapter in the Seventh Book on the beginning of the narrative of the Solar and the Lunar lines of kings in the Mahā Purāṇam Śrīmad Devī Bhāgavatam of 18,000 verses by Mahāṛṣi Veda Vyāsa.