Canto 9: LiberationChapter 14: King Pururava Enchanted by Urvasi

Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Srimad Bhagavatam

SB 9.14 Summary

SB 9.14.1: Srila Sukadeva Gosvami said to Maharaja Pariksit: O King, thus far you have heard the description of the dynasty of the sun-god. Now hear the most glorious and purifying description of the dynasty of the moon-god. This description mentions kings like Aila [Pururava] of whom it is glorious to hear.

SB 9.14.2: Lord Visnu [Garbhodakasayi Visnu] is also known as Sahasra-sirsa Purusa. From the lake of His navel sprang a lotus, on which Lord Brahma was generated. Atri, the son of Lord Brahma, was as qualified as his father.

SB 9.14.3: From Atri's tears of jubilation was born a son named Soma, the moon, who was full of soothing rays. Lord Brahma appointed him the director of the brahmanas, drugs and luminaries.

SB 9.14.4: After conquering the three worlds [the upper, middle and lower planetary systems], Soma, the moon-god, performed a great sacrifice known as the Rajasuya-yajna. Because he was very much puffed up, he forcibly kidnapped Brhaspati's wife, whose name was Tara.

SB 9.14.5: Although requested again and again by Brhaspati, the spiritual master of the demigods, Soma did not return Tara. This was due to his false pride. Consequently, a fight ensued between the demigods and the demons.

SB 9.14.6: Because of enmity between Brhaspati and Sukra, Sukra took the side of the moon-god and was joined by the demons. But Lord Siva, because of affection for the son of his spiritual master, joined the side of Brhaspati and was accompanied by all the ghosts and hobgoblins.

SB 9.14.7: King Indra, accompanied by all kinds of demigods, joined the side of Brhaspati. Thus there was a great fight, destroying both demons and demigods, only for the sake of Tara, Brhaspati's wife.

SB 9.14.8: When Lord Brahma was fully informed by Angira about the entire incident, he severely chastised the moon-god, Soma. Thus Lord Brahma delivered Tara to her husband, who could then understand that she was pregnant.

SB 9.14.9: Brhaspati said: You foolish woman, your womb, which was meant for me to impregnate, has been impregnated by someone other than me. Immediately deliver your child! Immediately deliver it! Be assured that after the child is delivered, I shall not burn you to ashes. I know that although you are unchaste, you wanted a son. Therefore I shall not punish you.

SB 9.14.10: Sukadeva Gosvami continued: By Brhaspati's order, Tara, who was very much ashamed, immediately gave birth to the child, who was very beautiful, with a golden bodily hue. Both Brhaspati and the moon-god, Soma, desired the beautiful child.

SB 9.14.11: Fighting again broke out between Brhaspati and the moon-god, both of whom claimed, "This is my child, not yours!" All the saints and demigods present asked Tara whose child the newborn baby actually was, but because she was ashamed she could not immediately answer.

SB 9.14.12: The child then became very angry and demanded that his mother immediately tell the truth. "You unchaste woman," he said, "what is the use of your unnecessary shame? Why do you not admit your fault? Immediately tell me about your faulty behavior."

SB 9.14.13: Lord Brahma then brought Tara to a secluded place, and after pacifying her he asked to whom the child actually belonged. She replied very slowly, "This is the son of Soma, the moon-god." Then the moon-god immediately took charge of the child.

SB 9.14.14: O Maharaja Pariksit, when Lord Brahma saw that the child was deeply intelligent, he gave the child the name Budha. The moon-god, the ruler of the stars, enjoyed great jubilation because of this son.

SB 9.14.15-16: Thereafter, from Budha, through the womb of Ila, a son was born named Pururava, who was described in the beginning of the Ninth Canto. When his beauty, personal qualities, magnanimity, behavior, wealth and power were described by Narada in the court of Lord Indra, the celestial woman Urvasi was attracted to him. Pierced by the arrow of Cupid, she thus approached him.

SB 9.14.17-18: Having been cursed by Mitra and Varuna, the celestial woman Urvasi had acquired the habits of a human being. Therefore, upon seeing Pururava, the best of males, whose beauty resembled that of Cupid, she controlled herself and then approached him. When King Pururava saw Urvasi, his eyes became jubilant in the ecstasy of joy, and the hairs on his body stood on end. With mild, pleasing words, he spoke to her as follows.

SB 9.14.19: King Pururava said: O most beautiful woman, you are welcome. Please sit here and tell me what I can do for you. You may enjoy with me as long as you desire. Let us pass our life happily in a sexual relationship.

SB 9.14.20: Urvasi replied: O most handsome man, who is the woman whose mind and sight would not be attracted by you? If a woman takes shelter of your chest, she cannot refuse to enjoy with you in a sexual relationship.

SB 9.14.21: My dear King Pururava, please give protection to these two lambs, who have fallen down with me. Although I belong to the heavenly planets and you belong to earth, I shall certainly enjoy sexual union with you. I have no objection to accepting you as my husband, for you are superior in every respect.

SB 9.14.22: Urvasi said: "My dear hero, only preparations made in ghee [clarified butter] will be my eatables, and I shall not want to see you naked at any time, except at the time of sexual intercourse." The great-minded King Pururava accepted these proposals.

SB 9.14.23: Pururava replied: O beautiful one, your beauty is wonderful and your gestures are also wonderful. Indeed, you are attractive to all human society. Therefore, since you have come of your own accord from the heavenly planets, who on earth would not agree to serve a demigoddess such as you.

SB 9.14.24: Sukadeva Gosvami continued: The best of human beings, Pururava, began freely enjoying the company of Urvasi, who engaged in sexual activities with him in many celestial places, such as Caitraratha and Nandana-kanana, where the demigods enjoy.

SB 9.14.25: Urvasi's body was as fragrant as the saffron of a lotus. Being enlivened by the fragrance of her face and body, Pururava enjoyed her company for many days with great jubilation.

SB 9.14.26: Not seeing Urvasi in his assembly, the King of heaven, Lord Indra, said, "Without Urvasi my assembly is no longer beautiful." Considering this, he requested the Gandharvas to bring her back to his heavenly planet.

SB 9.14.27: Thus the Gandharvas came to earth, and at midnight, when everything was dark, they appeared in the house of Pururava and stole the two lambs entrusted to the King by his wife, Urvasi.

SB 9.14.28: Urvasi treated the two lambs like her own sons. Therefore, when they were being taken by the Gandharvas and began crying, Urvasi heard them and rebuked her husband. "Now I am being killed," she said, "under the protection of an unworthy husband, who is a coward and a eunuch although he thinks himself a great hero.

SB 9.14.29: "Because I depended on him, the plunderers have deprived me of my two sons the lambs, and therefore I am now lost. My husband lies down at night in fear, exactly like a woman, although he appears to be a man during the day."

SB 9.14.30: Pururava, stricken by the sharp words of Urvasi like an elephant struck by its driver's pointed rod, became very angry. Not even dressing himself properly, he took a sword in hand and went out naked into the night to follow the Gandharvas who had stolen the lambs.

SB 9.14.31: After giving up the two lambs, the Gandharvas shone brightly like lightning, thus illuminating the house of Pururava. Urvasi then saw her husband returning with the lambs in hand, but he was naked, and therefore she left.

SB 9.14.32: No longer seeing Urvasi on his bed, Pururava was most aggrieved. Because of his great attraction for her, he was very much disturbed. Thus, lamenting, he began traveling about the earth like a madman.

SB 9.14.33: Once during his travels all over the world, Pururava saw Urvasi, accompanied by five companions, on the bank of the Sarasvati at Kuruksetra. With jubilation in his face, he then spoke to her in sweet words as follows.

SB 9.14.34: O my dear wife, O most cruel one, kindly stay, kindly stay. I know that I have never made you happy until now, but you should not give me up for that reason. This is not proper for you. Even if you have decided to give up my company, let us nonetheless talk for some time.

SB 9.14.35: O goddess, now that you have refused me, my beautiful body will fall down here, and because it is unsuitable for your pleasure, it will be eaten by foxes and vultures.

SB 9.14.36: Urvasi said: My dear King, you are a man, a hero. Don't be impatient and give up your life. Be sober and don't allow the senses to overcome you like foxes. Don't let the foxes eat you. In other words, you should not be controlled by your senses. Rather, you should know that the heart of a woman is like that of a fox. There is no use making friendship with women.

SB 9.14.37: Women as a class are merciless and cunning. They cannot tolerate even a slight offense. For their own pleasure they can do anything irreligious, and therefore they do not fear killing even a faithful husband or brother.

SB 9.14.38: Women are very easily seduced by men. Therefore, polluted women give up the friendship of a man who is their well-wisher and establish false friendship among fools. Indeed, they seek newer and newer friends, one after another.

SB 9.14.39: O my dear King, you will be able to enjoy with me as my husband at the end of every year, for one night only. In this way you will have other children, one after another.

SB 9.14.40: Understanding that Urvasi was pregnant, Pururava returned to his palace. At the end of the year, there at Kuruksetra, he again obtained the association of Urvasi, who was then the mother of a heroic son.

SB 9.14.41: Having regained Urvasi at the end of the year, King Pururava was most jubilant, and he enjoyed her company in sex for one night. But then he was very sorry at the thought of separation from her, so Urvasi spoke to him as follows.

SB 9.14.42: Urvasi said: "My dear King, seek shelter of the Gandharvas, for they will be able to deliver me to you again." In accordance with these words, the King satisfied the Gandharvas by prayers, and the Gandharvas, being pleased with him, gave him an Agnisthali girl who looked exactly like Urvasi. Thinking that the girl was Urvasi, the King began walking with her in the forest, but later he could understand that she was not Urvasi but Agnisthali.

SB 9.14.43: King Pururava then left Agnisthali in the forest and returned home, where he meditated all night upon Urvasi. In the course of his meditation, the Treta millennium began, and therefore the principles of the three Vedas, including the process of performing yajna to fulfill fruitive activities, appeared within his heart.

SB 9.14.44-45: When the process of fruitive yajna became manifest within his heart, King Pururava went to the same spot where he had left Agnisthali. There he saw that from the womb of a sami tree, an asvattha tree had grown. He then took a piece of wood from that tree and made it into two aranis. Desiring to go to the planet where Urvasi resided, he chanted mantras, meditating upon the lower arani as Urvasi, the upper one as himself, and the piece of wood between them as his son. In this way he began to ignite a fire.

SB 9.14.46: From Pururava's rubbing of the aranis came a fire. By such a fire one can achieve all success in material enjoyment and be purified in seminal birth, initiation and in the performance of sacrifice, which are invoked with the combined letters a-u-m. Thus the fire was considered the son of King Pururava.

SB 9.14.47: By means of that fire, Pururava, who desired to go to the planet where Urvasi resided, performed a sacrifice, by which he satisfied the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Hari, the enjoyer of the results of sacrifice. Thus he worshiped the Lord, who is beyond the perception of the senses and is the reservoir of all the demigods.

SB 9.14.48: In the Satya-yuga, the first millennium, all the Vedic mantras were included in one mantra -- pranava, the root of all Vedic mantras. In other words, the Atharva Veda alone was the source of all Vedic knowledge. The Supreme Personality of Godhead Narayana was the only worshipable Deity; there was no recommendation for worship of the demigods. Fire was one only, and the only order of life in human society was known as hamsa.

SB 9.14.49: O Maharaja Pariksit, at the beginning of Treta-yuga, King Pururava inaugurated a karma-kanda sacrifice. Thus Pururava, who considered the yajnic fire his son, was able to go to Gandharvaloka as he desired.

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His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Founder Acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness