In the previous episode, we had witnessed an interesting relationship between Sage Vishwamitra and Parasurama. We witnessed how King Gaadi’s wife and daughter played spoilsport with each other with the “Payasam” given by Sage Richeeka and how Gaadhi’s wife delivers a “Kshatrya” child, but with immense Brahmin capabilities. This child was none other than Sage Vishwamitra. Although being a “Kshatrya” by birth, he had the keen interest of being a great Brahmin Sage, and thus undertook severe penance. Finally, Sage Vishwamitra succeeded to obtain the great “Brahma-Rishi” title from Sage Vashishtaachaarya himself! On the other hand, Satyavati, Gaadhi’s daughter delivers the male child by name Jamadagni, who in turn had a child by name Parasurama. Although being a Brahmin boy by birth, Parasurama had all the qualities of a “Kshatrya” prince and was an epitome of anger and immense strength! Thus we can see from this story that Sage Vishwamitra and Parasurama were relatives to each other!
As Sage Sukhaachaarya narrates this relationship to King Parikshit thus, he now moves on with the other finer details of the “Chandra-Vamsa”. Now he is going to talk about another king who was very prominent in the “Chandra-Vamsa”, called Yayaati. King Yayaati was a very righteous king and his eldest son was Yadhu. King Yayaati’s youngest son was Puru. Thus we can see here that those successive generations of people who came after Yadhu were called “Yaadavas” and it is part of this generation, Bhagawan Krishna took birth. This is why we often refer Bhagawan Krishna as “Yadu-kula tilaka”, which means, Bhagawan Krishna is the leader in the Yadu’s dynasty. On the other hand, those people who successively were born after Puru, were called “Paandavas”. Thus we can see here that as part of this great “Chandra-Vamsa”, Bhagawan Krishna incarnates, along with the Paandavas as well.
Now having understood this much, let us witness a brief run-up to Bhagawan Krishna’s divine birth. As I had already mentioned earlier, King Yayaati’s eldest son was Yadhu. This King Yayaati enjoyed an extremely long youth stage in his life and he was enjoying all possible desires associated with it. However, he was not very satisfied with it. He was so driven by the pleasures of youth, such as romance, sex, etc. and he wasn’t satisfied with how much ever pleasures he obtained during his youth time. This is where, we’ve to be careful too. If we have some desires in our life, how do we try and come out of them? In the modern-day magazines and write-ups, many people opine that if we’ve to get rid of desires, it is best to experience as much pleasures as possible that are derived out of these desires, so as to get satisfied once and for all! This view, according to me, is a wrong way of looking at it. For instance, if there is a fire burning with a huge flame, do we go and add more and more camphor into it, so as to put it out? If we do so, we would be the greatest fools on earth, isn’t it? If we’ve to put out the fire, we’ve to take to other measures, rather than igniting it further and further! Our desires too are like this wild fire. As we add more and more camphor and wooden sticks into the fire, it is only going to burn more. Similarly, if we’re going to experience more and more pleasures arising out of the desires that we have, we’re never going to come out of them! Instead, we’ve to develop a strong mind-control in such a way that we keep away from these desires. For instance, if a person is an alcohol addict, would we give him more and more alcohol to make him come out of the menace? The answer is “no”, isn’t it? Thus, it is upto us to develop self-control and this is how we can get rid of our desires.
This is exactly where this King Yayaati got entangled into! He was driven by more and more sexual pleasures that he was totally addicted to it. He wanted more and more of it. Hence, he goes to his eldest son Yadhu and tries to strike a ridiculous deal thus, “Oh son! Since I’m getting older gradually as years pass by, I would like to exchange your youth days with my older days! Would you like to accept this deal and transfer your youth days to me?” As expected, Yayaati found this deal to be totally stupid and ridiculous from his father, and thus refused to accept the deal. Disappointed thus, King Yayaati curses his eldest son that since he has refused to accept this deal, he is now termed unfit to take over the reins of the kingdom! Thus, Yadhu becomes a popper, although being the eldest son. Now, King Yayaati comes to his youngest son, Puru, with the same deal. However, Puru was compassionate towards his father and accepted the deal. He thus transfers his youth to his father and takes the old-age of his father on to himself. This pleased King Yayaati and thus, coronates Puru as his successor. This is why we see that King Puru ruled the Hastinapura kingdom for a long time, which in turn came to King Paandu and then subsequently to the Paandavas after the great Mahabharata war.
In this generation of King Yayaati, there were subsequent people who take birth. One such person was Kukura and Ugrasena. We’ve to remember two “sub-Vamsas” here – The “Kukura-Vamsa” and the “Bhajamaana-Vamsa”. In this “Kukura-Vamsa”, Devaka and Ugrasena take birth. This Devaka obtains four sons and seven daughters. Thus, one of the seven daughters of Devaka was none other than Devaki, who is Bhagawan Krishna’s mother! This should be remembered very carefully by readers here. Thus, we can see that Devaki was part of this “Kukura-Vamsa”. Now we’ve to see the other side. King Ugrasena had nine sons and five daughters. The eldest son of King Ugrasena was none other than Kamsa. Here, we should understand that, Ugrasena and Devaka were brothers. Devaka’s daughter was Devaki and Ugrasena’s son was Kamsa. Thus, we should understand from this relationship that Devaki was the cousin sister of Kamsa.Now, if we look at the “Bhajamaana-Vamsa”, King Bhajamaana had a son by name Surasena. King Surasena had ten sons and five daughters. The eldest son of Surasena was none other than Vasudeva, who was Bhagawan Krishna’s father!
With this, we’ve seen the family background and details of the generations of both Devaki and Vasudeva. So for today, let us understand this family background thoroughly. Readers might get confused with too many names being employed here. Hence, I request all of you to take down notes and draw a “family tree”, so as to correctly understand who is related to whom and who is the son / daughter to whom. So, let us do this meticulously today and we shall wait till the next episode to move on with Bhagawan Krishna’s interesting birth incidents! Stay tuned! 😊