Encyclopedia for Epics of Ancient India

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DEVAYANI. [Source: Dowson's Classical Dictionary of Hindu Mythology] Daughter of Sukra, priest of the Daityas. She fell in love with her father's pupil Kacha, son of Brihaspati, but he rejected her advances. She cursed him, and in return he cursed her, that she, a Brahman's daughter, should marry a Kshatriya. Devayani was companion to Sarmishtha, daughter of the king of the Daityas. One day they went to bathe, and the god Vayu changed their clothes. When they were dressed, they began to quarrel about the change, and Devayani spoke "with a scowl so bitter that Sarmishtha slapped her face, and pushed her into a dry well." She was rescued by King Yayati, who took her home to her father. Sukra, at his daughter's vehement persuasion, demanded satisfaction from Sarmishtha's father, the Daitya king. He conceded Devayani's demand, that upon her marriage Sarmishtha should be given to her for a servant. Devayani married King Yayati, a Kshatriya, and Sarmishtha became her servant. Subsequently Yayati became enamoured of Sarmishtha, and she bore him a son, the discovery of which so enraged Devayani that she parted from her husband, and went home to her father, having borne two sons, Yadu and Turvasa or Turvasu. Her father, Sukra, cursed Yayati with the infirmity of old age, but afterwards offered to transfer it to any one of Yayati's sons who would submit to receive it. Yadu, the eldest, and progenitor of the Yadavas, refused, and so did all the other sorts, with the exception of Sarmishtha's youngest son, Puru. Those who refused were cursed by their father, that their posterity should never possess dominion; but Puru, who bore his father's curse for a thousand years, succeeded his father as monarch, and was the ancestor of the Pandavas and Kauravas.

Modern Languages MLLL-4993. Indian Epics. Laura Gibbs, Ph.D. The textual material made available at this website is licensed under a Creative Commons License. You must give the original author credit. You may not use this work for commercial purposes. If you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you may distribute the resulting work only under a license identical to this one. No claims are made regarding the status of images used at this website; if you own the copyright privileges to any of these images and believe your copyright privileges have been violated, please contact the webmaster. Page last updated: October 16, 2007 12:22 PM