The Mahabharata/Book 1: Adi Parva/Section LXXXV
(Sambhava Parva continued)
"Vaisampayana said, 'The excellent monarch Yayati, the son of Nahusha, having received Puru's youth, became exceedingly gratified. And with it he once more began to indulge in his favourite pursuits to the full extent of his desires and to the limit of his powers, according to seasons, so as to derive the greatest pleasure therefrom. And, O king, in nothing that he did, he acted against the precepts of his religion as behoved him well. He gratified the gods by his sacrifices; the pitris, by Sraddhas; the poor, by his charities; all excellent Brahmanas, by fulfilling their desires; all persons entitled to the rites of hospitality, with food and drink; the Vaisyas, by protection; and the Sudras, by kindness. And the king repressed all criminals by proper punishments. And Yayati, gratifying all sections of his subjects, protected them virtuously like another Indra. And the monarch possessed of the prowess of a lion, with youth and every object of enjoyment under control, enjoyed unlimited happiness without transgressing the precepts of religion. And the king became very happy in thus being able to enjoy all the excellent objects of his desires. And he was only sorry when he thought that those thousand years would come to an end. And having obtained youth for a thousand years, the king acquainted with the mysteries of time, and watching proper Kalas and Kashthas sported with (the celestial damsel) Viswachi, sometimes in the beautiful garden of Indra, sometimes in Alaka (the city of Kuvera), and sometimes on the summit of the mountain Meru on the north. And when the virtuous monarch saw that the thousand years were full, he summoned his son, Puru, and addressed him thus, 'O oppressor of foes, with thy youth, O son, I have enjoyed the pleasures of life, each according to its season to the full extent of my desires, to the limit of my powers. Our desires, however, are never gratified by indulgence. On the other hand, with indulgence, they only flame up like fire with libations of sacrificial butter. If a single person were owner of everything on Earth--all her yields of paddy and barley, her silver, gold, and gems, her animals and women, he would not still be content. Thirst of enjoyment, therefore, should be given up. Indeed, true happiness belongeth to them that have cast off their thirst for worldly objects--a thirst which is difficult to be thrown off by the wicked and the sinful, which faileth not with the failing life, and which is truly the fatal disease of man. My heart hath for a full thousand years been fixed upon the objects of desires. My thirst for these, however, increaseth day by day without abating. Therefore, I shall cast it off, and fixing my mind on Brahma I shall pass the rest of my days with the innocent deer in the forest peacefully and with no heart for any worldly objects. And O Puru, I have been exceedingly gratified with thee!
[paragraph continues] Prosperity be thine! Receive back this thy youth! Receive thou also my kingdom. Thou art, indeed, that son of mine who has done me the greatest services.'
"Vaisampayana continued, 'Then Yayati, the son of Nahusha, received back his decrepitude. And his son Puru received back his own youth. And Yayati was desirous of installing Puru, his youngest son, on the throne. But the four orders, with the Brahmanas at their head, then addressed the monarch thus, 'O king, how shall thou bestow thy kingdom on Puru, passing over thy eldest son Yadu born of Devayani, and, therefore, the grandson of the great Sukra? Indeed, Yadu is thy eldest son; after him hath been born Turvasu; and of Sarmishtha's sons, the first is Drahyu, then Anu and then Puru. How doth the youngest deserve the throne, passing all his elder brothers over? This we represent to thee! O, conform to virtuous practice.'
"Yayati then said, 'Ye four orders with Brahmanas at their head, hear my words as to why my kingdom should not be given to my eldest son. My commands have been disobeyed by my eldest son, Yadu. The wise say that he is no son who disobeyeth his father. That son, however, who doth the bidding of his parents, who seeketh their good, who is agreeable to them, is indeed, the best of sons. I have been disregarded by Yadu and by Turvasu, too. Much I have been disregarded by Drahyu and by Anu also. By Puru alone hath my word been obeyed. By him have I been much regarded. Therefore, the youngest shall be my heir. He took my decrepitude. Indeed, Puru is my friend. He did what was so agreeable to me. It hath also been commanded by Sukra himself, the son of Kavi, that, that son of mine who should obey me will become king after me and bring the whole Earth under his sway. I, therefore, beseech thee, let Puru be installed on the throne.'
"The people then said, 'True it is, O king, that, that son who is accomplished and who seeketh the good of his parents, deserveth prosperity even if he be the youngest. Therefore, doth Puru, who hath done the good, deserve the crown. And as Sukra himself hath commanded it, we have nothing to say to it.'
"Vaisampayana continued., 'The son of Nahusha, thus addressed by the contented people, then installed his son, Puru, on the throne. And having bestowed his kingdom on Puru, the monarch performed the initiatory ceremonies for retiring into the woods. And soon after he left his capital, followed by Brahmanas and ascetics.
"The sons of Yadu are known by the name of the Yadavas: while those of Turvasu have come to be called the Yavanas. And the sons of Drahyu are the Bhojas, while those of Anu, the Mlechchhas. The progeny of Puru, however, are the Pauravas, amongst whom, O monarch, thou art born, in order to rule for a thousand years with thy passions under complete control.'"
Next: Section LXXXVI