A prominent king of Candra Vamsa (lunar race).
1. Origin of Candra Vamsa and birth.
Descending in order from
The dynasty which came from Candra was called the Candra Vamsa. Though Budha was the first king of Candravamsa it was Pururavas who became celebrated. The story of the birth of #Pururavas is given below.
Brahma in the beginning deputed the sage Atri for the work of creation. Atri started the penance called anuttara to acquire sufficient power for creation. After some years Saccidananda Brahma with an aura of lustre reflected in the heart of that pure and serene soul. In sheer ecstasy tears rolled down his cheeks and the glittering flow of water was lustfully drunk by the zones taking the form of women with a view to producing progenies. They became pregnant but were unable to bear the embryo of Atri and so they threw them away. Brahma took them all and made thern into one armoured youth and took him in his chariot to his land. Then the brahmarsis requested Brahma to make him their lord. When the rsis, devas, gandharvas and nymphs praised him reciting Samaveda the majestic lustre of the youth increased. It was from this that ausadhas (medicines) originated and that is why Candra is considered to be the lord of medicines, dvija and Vedasvarupa. The Candramandala is full of chemicals. It increases and decreases according to the white half and black half of the moon-based month.
Daksa gave in marriage to Candra twentyseven beautiful maidens. Then Candra did penance meditating on Visnu for ten thousand Kalpas. Visnu pleased by his penance asked him to name a boon and Candra said:
“When I perform a yaga in svarga all the devas like Brahma should come in person to my yajnasala and take the yajnabhaga. Sulapani should remain as a watchman at my Rajasuya.”
Accordingly with the blessing of Visnu, Candra conducted the yagjna in which Atri, Bhrgu, Brahma, Visnu, Devas, Vasus, Maruts and Visvadevas took part. Candra gave as yajnga-fees to Rtviks all the three worlds. The yaga was complete and when Candra rose up after a bath nine devis fell in love with the amorous beauty of Candra. Laksmi, wife of Visrru, Sinivali, wife of Kardama, Dyuti, wife of Vibhavasu, Pusti, wife of Dhata, Prabha, wife of Surya, Kuhu, wife of Havisman, Kirti, wife of Jayanta, Amsumali wife of Kasyapa and Dhrti wife of Nanda, abandoned their husbands and went with Candra.
Candra treated them all as his own wives and gave them erotic pleasure to their hearts’ content. Those who saw this non-virtuous act stood dumbfounded unable to curse Candra.
Attracted by the dazzling brilliance of Candra Tara, wife of Brhaspati, went with him. Enraged at this, Brhaspati joining with other devas prepared for a fight against Candra. Devas took sides and by the mediation of Indra a conference of both the parties was held and Tara was sent back to Brhaspati. Tara was pregnant then and Tara confessed that the child in her womb was that of Candra. So when that child was born Candra took it away and named it Budha. Brahma and other rsis gave Budha a seat among the planets.
Budha married Ila and they got a son named Pururavas. (See under Ila).
After that Budha performed a hundred Asvamedhayajnas. He then enjoyed world prosperity as lord of Saptadvipa living in the beautiful Himadrisringa worshipping Brahma.
(Chapter 12, Bhaga 3, h’adma Purana).
2) Testing Pururavas and the curse.
Pururavas by his brilliance performed a hundred Asvamedhayagas and lived in glory at Himadrisringa. Great demons like Kesi became his servants. Urvasi attracted by his beauty became his wife. While he was living like that Dharma, Artha and Kama went in disguise to his palace to test him. He received them all well but paid more attention to Dharma. Artha and Kama got angry and cursed him. Artha cursed him saying that he would be ruined by his greed and Kama cursed him saying he would go mad by being separated from Urvasi. Hearing. that Dharma blessed him thus : “You will live long leading a virtuous life. Your race will increase and remain in glory till the end of the moon and the stars. The insanity caused by your passion for Urvasi would end by the end of sixty years. That celestial maiden would remain then with you for one Manvantara.”
(Chapter 12, Bhaga 3, Padma Purana).
Pururavas used to visit Indra daily.
One day while he was going through air wellarmed with a bow and arrows he saw a demon named Kesi carrying away by force Urvasi and Citralekha and after defeating Kesi in a fight recovered the nymphs and gave them back to Indra. Indra praised Pururavas and in his honour a drama, Laksmi svayamvara, was enacted by Urvasi, Menaka and others. Urvasi taking the part of Laksmi started to dance but seeing Pururavas before her she became lustful and made wrong steps. Narada who was present at the function got angry and cursed her
“You will forget all you have learnt. Not only that, you will live as a creeper separated from Pururavas for a period of sixty years.”
(For details see tinder Urvasi).
Padma Purana says that it was Bharata who cursed Urvasi. This story is slightly different from that found in the other Puranas.
3) Sons of Pururavas.
Urvasi got eight sons of Pururavas named Ayus, Drdhayus, Vasyayus, Danayus, Vrttiman, Vasu, Divijata and Subahu. Of these Ayus became the propagator of the dynasty. Of the sons born to Ayus five sons, Nahusa, Vrddhasarma, Raji, Dambha and Vipapma became celebrities. A hundred sons were born to Raji. They were called Rajeyas.
(Chapter 12, Bhaga 3, Padma Purana).
Some Puranas state that Pururavas had six sons while some state that he had seven sons.
4) Other details. The following references are made about him in the Mahabharata.
(i) Once Pururavas stole the wealth of some brahmins. The brahmins took Sanatkumara along with them and made representations to the king. Pururavas did not give back their wealth. The brahmins cursed him and as a result the prosperity of the King waned. Then Pururavas brought down from svarga three Agnis and performed a yajna and thus regained his lost splendour and prosperity.
(Chapter 75, Adi Parva).
(ii) Pururavas got six sons of Urvasi named Ayus, Dhiman, Amavasu, Drdhayus, Vanayus and Satayus.
(iii) Once he asked Vayu the wind-god about the origin of the four castes and the superiority of the brahmins over other castes.
(Sloka 3, Chapter 72, Santi Parva).
(iv) At another time he discussed about yajna purohitas with Kasyapa.
(Chapter 73, Santi Parva).
(v) Iksvaku gave Pururavas a sword which in his old age he gave to his son Ayus.
(Chapter 166, Santi Parva).
(vi) He once declared that one can attain svarga by the blessings of brahmins. (Sloka 31, Chapter 6, Anusasana Parva).
(vii) Pururavas was famous as a donor of cows. (Sloka 26, Chapter 76, Anusasana Parva).
(vii) Pururavas never ate meat. (Sloka 65, Chapter 111, Anusasana Parva).
Meaning of the word Pururava:
|पुरूरवस्||adj.||purUravas||crying much or loudly|
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