Śrīmad Devi Bhāgavatam | Book 8 Chapter 4



Chapter IV

On the narration of the family of Priyavrata

1-28. The Ṛiṣi Nārāyaṇa said:

The eldest son of Svāyambhūva, Priyavrata served always his father and was very truthful.

He married the daughter of the Prajāpati Viśva Karma, the exceedingly lovely and beautiful Barhiṣmatī, resembling like him, adorned with modesty, good nature and various other qualifications.

He begat ten sons, very spiritual and well qualified and one daughter named Ūrjasvatī. This daughter was the youngest of all.

The names of the ten sons are respectively:

(1) Āgnīdhra, (2) Idhmajibha, (3) Jajñabāhu, (4) Mahāvīra, (5) Rukmaśukra (Hiraṇyaretā), (6) Ghritapriṣṭha, (7) Savana, (8) Medhātithi, (9) Vītihotra and (10)Kavi.

The name “Agni” was attached to each of the above names.

Out of these ten, the three sons named Kavi, Savana, and Mahāvīra were indifferent and dispassionate to the world. In due time, these became extremely free from all desires and they were proficient in Ātmavidyā (Self-Knowledge).

They were all Ūrdharetā (of perpetual chastity; who has subdued all their passions) and took gladly to the Paramahamsa Dharma.

Priyavrata had by his other wife three sons, named Uttama, Tāmasa, and Raivata. These were all widely known; each of them in due time became endowed with great prowess and splendour and became the Lord of one Manvantara.

Priyavrata, the son of Svāyambhūva, the King-Emperor enjoyed with his sons and relatives, this earth for eleven Arvuda years; the wonder was this, that he lived so long and there was seen no decay in his strength as regards his body or his senses.

Once on an occasion, the King observed that when the sun appeared on the horizon and got up, one part of the earth was illumined and the remaining part was enveloped in darkness.

Seeing this discrepancy, he thought over for a long time and exclaimed:

“What! Will the Darkness be seen in my kingdom, while I am reigning? This can never be. I will stop this by my Yogic powers.”

Thus thinking, the King Priyavrata mounted on a luminous chariot, as big as the Sun, to illumine the whole world and circumambulated round the earth seven times.

Whatever portion of the earth was trodden by the wheel on each occasion there an ocean was created. Thus the seven oceans had their origins. And the portion of the earth, that was included within the ruts, became the seven islands (Dvīpas).

O Child! Now hear about the seven Dvīpas and the seven Oceans:

The first is the Jambu Dvīpa; the second is Plakṣa, the third is Śalmalī; the fourth is the Kuśa Dvīpa; the fifth is Krauncha; the sixth is the Śaka Dvīpa; and the seventh is the Puṣkara Dvīpa.

The second Dvīpa Plakṣa is twice the first Jambu Dvīpa and so on; each succeeding Dvīpa is twice as large as its previous one.

Now hear the names of the oceans:

The first ocean is named Ksāroda (the salt water ocean); the second is Ikṣurasa (the sugarcane ocean); the third is Surā (the wine ocean), the fourth is Ghritoda (the clarified butter ocean) the fifth is Kṣīroda (the ocean of milk); the sixth is Dadhi Maṇḍa (the ocean of curds); and the seventh is that of the ordinary water.

The Jambu Dvīpa is surrounded by Kṣīra Samudra. The King Priyavrata made his son Āgnīdhra, the lord of this Dvīpa. He gave to his Idhmajibha, the Plakṣa Dvīpa surrounded by Ikṣu Sāgara; so he gave to Jajñabāhu the Śalmalī Dvīpa surrounded by Surā Sāgara and he gave the lordship of Kuśa Dvīpa to Hiraṇyaretā.

Then he gave to his powerful son Ghritapriṣṭha the Krauncha Dvīpa surrounded by Kṣīra Samudra and to his son Medhātithi the Śāka Dvīpa surrounded by Dadhimaṇḍa Sāgara.

Finally he gave to his Vītihotra, the Puṣkara Dvīpa surrounded by the ordinary water.

Thus distributing duly amongst his sons, the separate divisions of the earth, he married his daughter, the youngest Ūrjasvatī to the Bhagavān Uśanā. In the womb of Ūrjasvatī the Bhagavān Śukrāchārya had his famous daughter Devayānī.

O Child! Thus giving the charge of each Dvīpa to each of his sons and marrying his daughters to the worthy hands, he reached Viveka (discrimination) and adopted the path of Yoga.

Here ends the Fourth Chapter of the Eighth Book on the narration of the family of Priyavrata in the Mahā Purāṇam, Śrīmad Devī Bhāgavatam of 18,000 verses by Mahāṛṣi Veda Vyāsa.