Friday, June 4, 2010

The Obedience of Puru

There was once a King called Yayati, and because of evil doing he became very ill, and although he was not really old yet he seemed to be a very aged man.His hair had turned white, he had wrinkles on his face, he could not walk about easily or enjoy anything. He was very unhappy and also sorry that he had done wrong. A Brahmana told him that if he could get one of his sons to take his old age, to become old instead of him, he might again enjoy youth and health. If his son would agree to this, after a thousand years his son might again have his youth, and would also have as reward great fame, long life, and many children.

The King Yayati had five sons. He called his eldest son and said: "O child, through the curse of wrong doing I have become as if I were old. I still desire the joys of youth; will you O Yadu, take upon yourself my old age for a thousand years? When the thousand years are over, I will take back my age and weakness and return to you your youth and strength." But Yadu refused and said: "Many things are not pleasant in old age; you have other sons, O King, ask some other son". And Yadu turned away from his father.

Then King Yayati asked his next son, Turvasu the same question. He answered:

"O father, I do not like old age," and also refused and turned away. Then Yayati asked his third son Druhyu, if he would give him his youth. But Druhyu said: "When one is old one cannot enjoy anything, either riding or elephants or any other pleasure; therefore I do not wish to have your old age." And he also turned away. The King then asked his fourth son and said: "O Anu, take my weakness for a thousand years and give me your strength." But Anu answered: "Those that are old are like children; they are not pure and cannot offer sacrifice at the proper time, therefore I do not like to take upon myself your old age." And Anu went away also.

Then there was only one son remaining, Puru, Yayati's youngest son. Yayati turned to him and said: "O Puru, you are my youngest and dearest son; will you take my old age upon you and let me have your youth?" Puru, hearing the words of the King, saluted him with great humility and said: "O great King, I shall do as you wish; I will take your old age and weakness and will give you my youth."

And so it happened; Yayati became once more young and strong and Puru became weak and old. This lasted for a thousand years. During this time Yayati enjoyed youth and strength. He ruled his subjects well, he pleased the Gods, and protected the weak. At length the thousand years came to an end, and Yayati then sent for Puru and said: 'O my son, with the strength that you gave me I have enjoyed life and all pleasures, but I have also learnt that to be free from desire is the only true happiness. O Puru my joy in you is great. May you be happy, take back your own youth. I shall pass the rest of my days in the forest. Receive my kingdom; you are indeed my son for you have obeyed my wish." Thus Puru took back his youth and Yayati again became an old man. Yayati then wanted to put Puru who was his youngest son on the throne. But some of the people came to him and said: "O lord, it is not right that you should pass over your eldest son, and the others, and place your youngest son on the throne. You should act according to the rules of religion".

Then Yayati said: "Listen all of you, of the four castes, why my kingdom should not be given to my eldest son. My commands were disobeyed by my eldest son, as also by the others. Wise men say that the son who disobeys his father is no son at all. The son who obeys the commands of his father and mother, who is humble, and wishes well to his parents, and who loves them, he is the best of sons, Yadu and Turvasu, Druhyu and Anu did not do what I wished. Puru alone obeyed my commands, and I have been honoured and respected by him; therefore though he is the youngest, yet should he be made King". The Brahmana and the other castes and all the people said: 'It is true, O King, that the son who does the will of his father and mother deserves to be made King, although he is the youngest". And Yayati went to live in the forest and gave the kingdom to Puru.

No comments:

Post a Comment;
pls visit above sites and write your comments.