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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > All Scriptures By Acharyas > Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura > Brahmana & Vaishnava > Worldly People > The Family descent of Vetahavya

The family descent of Vitahavya:

(1) Brahma, (2) Manu, (3) Ikshvaku, (4) Nimi, (5) Janaka, (6) Udavasu, (7) Nandivardhana, (8) Suketu, (9) Devarata, (10) Brihadratha, (11) Mahavirya, (12) Sudhriti, (13) Dhrishtaketu, (14) Haryashva, (15) Maru, (16) Pratipa, (17) Kritaratha, (18) Devamidha, (19) Vishruta, (20) Mahadhriti, (21) Kritirata, (22) Maharoma, (23) Svarnaroma, (24) Hrasvaroma, (25) Shiradhvaja, (26) Krishadhvaja, (27) Dharmadhvaja, (28) Kritadhvaja, (29) Keshidhvaja, (30) Bhanuman, (31) Shatadyumna, (32) Shuci, (33) Sanadvaja, (34) Urjaketu, (35) Purujit, (36) Arishtanemi, (37) Shrutayu, (38) Suparshva, (39) Citraratha, (40) Kshemadhi, (41) Samaratha, (42) Satyaratha, (43) Upaguru, (44) Upagupta, (45) Vasvananta, (46) Yuyurvan, (47) Subhashana, (48) Shruta, (49) Jaya, (50) Vijaya, (51) Rita, (52) Shunaka, (53) Vitahavya, (54) Dhriti, (55) Bahulashva, and (56) Kriti. “All these kings of the dynasty of Mithila were completely in knowledge of their spiritual identity. Thus, by the grace of the supreme master of yoga, even though staying at home, they were liberated from the duality of material existence.”

This passage of Shrimad Bhagavatam does not mention the Gritsamada brahmana dynasty coming from Vitahavya, as described in the Mahabharata. Vitahavya is also addressed in the Shrimad Bhagavatam as Shaunaka Rishi.

The Karusha kshatriyas descended from Karusha, the son of Manu, and the Dharshta kshatriyas, who descended from Dhrishta, the brother of Karusha, attained the position of brahmanas. This is confirmed in the Shrimad Bhagavatam (9.2.16-17) as follows:

karushan manavad asan        karushah kshatra-jatayah

dhrishtad dharshtam abhut kshatram        brahma-bhuyam gatam kshitau

“From Karusha, another son of Manu, came the Karusha dynasty, a family of kshatriyas. From the son of Manu named Dhrishta came a kshatriya caste called Dharshta, whose members achieved the position of brahmanas in this world.” In his commentary on this verse, Shridhara Svami has written that the word brahma-bhuyam means “the position of brahmanas.”

Devadatta was the tenth descendant from Narishyanta, the son of Manu. The son of the kshatriya Devadatta was Agniveshyayana, who became a maharshi-brahmana, thus inaugerating a dynasty of brahmanas.

As stated in the Shrimad Bhagavatam (9.2.19-22):

citraseno narishyantad        rikshas tasya suto 'bhavat

tasya midhvams tatah purna        indrasenas tu tat-sutah

vitihotras tv indrasenat        tasya satyashrava abhut

urushravah sutas tasya        devadattas tato 'bhavat

tato 'gniveshyo bhagavan        agnih svayam abhut sutah

kanina iti vikhyato        jatukarnyo mahan rishih

tato brahma-kulam jatam        agniveshyayanam nripa

(1) Narishyanta, (2) Citrasena, (3) Riksha, (4) Midhvan, (5) Purna, (6) Indrasena, (7) Vitihotra, (8) Satyashrava, (9) Urushrava, (10) Devadatta, and (11) Agniveshya. The fire-god Agni himself appeared as Agniveshya, the son of Devadatta. This son, who was a celebrated saint, was well known as Kanina and Jatukarnya. O King, from Agniveshya came a brahminical dynasty known as Agniveshyayana.”

Jahnu Muni took birth as the son of Hotra of the Candra dynasty. His dynasty is listed in the Shrimad Bhagavatam (9.15.1-4) as follows:

ailasya corvashi-garbhat        shad asann atmaja nripa

ayuh shrutayuh satyayu        rayo 'tha vijayo jayah

shrutayor vasuman putrah        satyayosh ca shrutanjayah

rayasya suta ekash ca        jayasya tanayo 'mitah

bhimas tu vijayasyatha        kancano hotrakas tatah

tasya jahnuh suto gangam        gandushi-kritya yo 'pibat

jahnos tu purus tasyatha        balakash catmajo 'jakah

tatah kushah kushasyapi        kushambus tanayo vasuh

kushanabhash ca catvaro        gadhir asit kushambujah

(1) Candra, (2) Budha, (3) Pururava, (4) Ayu, Shrutayu, Satyayu, Raya, Vijaya and Jaya, (5) Vijaya's son Bhima, (6) Kancana, (7) Hotraka, (8) Jahnu, (9) Puru, (10) Balaka, (11) Ajaka, (12) Kusha, (13) Kushambu, or Kaushika, and (14) Gadhi.

Kshatravriddha was the son of Ayuraja, of the Candra dynasty. The son of Ayuraja was Suhotra, whose son was Gritsamada. From Gritsamada came Shunaka, and from him came Shaunaka, the great saint, the best of those conversant with the Rig Veda. This is stated in the Shrimad Bhagavatam (9.17.3) as follows:

kashyah kusho gritsamada        iti gritsamadad abhut

shunakah shaunako yasya        bahvrica-pravaro munih

“[Suhotra had three sons, named] Kashya, Kusha and Gritsamada. From Gritsamada came Shunaka, and from him came Shaunaka, the great saint, the best of those conversant with the Rig Veda.” In the dynasty of Puru, the yougest son of Maharaja Yayati of the Candra dynasty, Kanva Rishi was born. His son was named Medhatithi, from whom the Praskanna brahmana dynasty came. This is confirmed in the Shrimad Bhagavatam (9.20.1-7) as follows:

puror vamsham pravakshyami        yatra jato 'si bharata

yatra rajarshayo vamshya        brahma-vamshyash ca jajnire

janamejayo hy abhut puroh        pracinvams tat-sutas tatah

praviro 'tha manusyur vai        tasmac carupado 'bhavat

tasya sudyur abhut putras        tasmad bahugavas tatah

samyatis tasyahamyati        raudrashvas tat-sutah smritah

riteyus tasya kaksheyuh        sthandileyuh kriteyukah

jaleyuh sannateyush ca        dharma-satya-vrateyavah

dashaite 'psarasah putra        vaneyush cavamah smritah

ghritacyam indriyaniva        mukhyasya jagad-atmanah

riteyo rantinavo 'bhut        trayas tasyatmaja nripa

sumatir dhruvo 'pratirathah        kanvo 'pratirathatmajah

tasya medhatithis tasmat        praskannadya dvijatayah

putro 'bhut sumate rebhir        dushmantas tat-suto matah

“O Maharaja Parikshit, descendant of Maharaja Bharata, I shall now describe the dynasty of Puru, in which you were born, in which many saintly kings appeared, and from which many dynasties of brahmanas began: (1) Puru, (2) Janamejaya, (3) Pracinvan, (4) Pravira, (5) Manusyu, (6) Carupada, (7) Sudyu, (8) Bahugava, (9) Samyati, (10) Ahamyati, (11) Raudrashva, (12) Riteyu, (13) Rantinava, (14) Apratiratha, (15) Kanva, (16) Medhatithi, and (17) Praskanna and other brahmanas. The son of Rantinava named Sumati had a son named Rebhi. Maharaja Dushmanta is well known as the son of Rebhi.”

Maharaja Bharata, the son of Dushmanta, had no descendants, therefore the Maruts gave Bharadvaja to Bharata as his adopted son. Bharadvaja was born as the fallen son of Brihaspati in the womb of Mamata, the wife of Utathya. Thereafter, as the adopted son of Bharata, Bharadvaja became known as Vitanva. The son of Bharadvaja was Manyu, whose sons were Brihatkshatra, Jaya, Mahavirya, Nara, and Garga. The son of Nara was Sankriti, whose sons were Guru and Rantideva. The son of Garga was Shini, who had a son named Gargya. Here is another example of a kshatriya giving birth to brahmanas. This is described in the Shrimad Bhagavatam (9.21.19-21, 30, 31, 33) as follows:

gargac chinis tato gargyah        kshatrad brahma hy avartata

duritakshayo mahaviryat        tasya trayyarunih kavih

pushkararunir ity atra        ye brahmana-gatim gatah

brihatkshatrasya putro 'bhud        dhasti yad-dhastinapuram

ajamidho dvimidhash ca        purumidhash ca hastinah

ajamidhasya vamshyah syuh        priyamedhadayo dvijah

nalinyam ajamidhasya        nilah shantis tu tat-sutah

shanteh sushantis tat-putrah        purujo 'rkas tato 'bhavat

bharmyashvas tanayas tasya        pancasan mudgaladayah

mudgalad brahma-nirvrittam        gotram maudgalya-samjnitam

“From Garga came a son named Shini, and his son was Gargya. Although Gargya was a kshatriya, there came from him a generation of brahmanas. From Mahavirya came a son named Duritakshaya, whose sons were Trayyaruni, Kavi and Pushkararuni. Although these sons of Duritakshaya took birth in a dynasty of kshatriyas, they too attained the position of brahmanas. Brihatkshatra had a son named Hasti, who established the city of Hastinapura [now New Delhi]. From King Hasti came three sons, named Ajamidha, Dvimidha and Purumidha. The descendants of Ajamidha, headed by Priyamedha, all achieved the position of brahmanas.

“Ajamidha had a son named Nila by his wife known as Nalini, and the son of Nila was Shanti. The son of Shanti was Sushanti, the son of Sushanti was Puruja, and the son of Puruja was Arka. From Arka came Bharmyashva, and from Bharmyashva came five sons, headed by Mudgala. From Mudgala came a dynasty of brahmanas known as Maudgalya.”

Maharaja Nabhi, the son of Priyavrata, had a son named Rishabha. Rishabhadeva begot one hundred sons in the womb of His wife, who was given to Him by the King of heaven, Indra. Bharata and his next nine younger brothers became the kings of the nine varshas. Nine sons headed by Kavi and Havi, known as the Nava-yogendras, became Vaishnavas. The other eighty-one sons became brahmanas.

This is confirmed in the Shrimad Bhagavatam (5.4.13) as follows:

yaviyamsa ekashitir jayanteyah pitur adesha-kara maha-shalina maha-shrotriya yajna-shilah karma-vishuddha brahmana babhuvuh.

“In addition to these nineteen sons mentioned above, there were eighty-one younger ones, all born of Rishabhadeva and Jayanti. According to the order of their father, they became well cultured, well behaved, very pure in their activities and expert in Vedic knowledge and the performance of Vedic rituals. Thus they all became perfectly qualified brahmanas.”

It is explained in the Hari-vamsha (Hari-vamsha-parva 11.9):

nabhagadishta-putrau dvau        vaishyau brahmanatam gatau.

“Nabhaga and the son of Dista, although vaishyas, both became brahmanas.”

According to their individual natures, among the sons of Gritsamada there were brahmanas headed by Shaunaka as well as kshatriyas, vaishyas, and shudras. This is stated in the following words from the Hari-vamsha (Hari-vamsha-parva 29.7-8):

putro gritsamadasyapi        shunako yasya shaunakah

brahmanah kshatriyash caiva        vaishyah shudras tathaiva ca

In his commentary on this verse, Nilakantha says: gritsamada-santatau shunakadayo brahmana anye kshatriyadayash ca shudrantah putra jatah-“Among the offspring of Gritsamada, some, headed by Shunaka, were brahmanas, some were kshatriyas, some were vaishyas, and some were shudras.”

Apart from his five kshatriya sons, Bali Maharaja also had sons who founded brahmana dynasties. This is explained in the Hari-vamsha (Hari-vamsha-parva 31.33-35) as follows:

maha-yogi sa tu balir        abhuta nripatih pura

putran utpadayam asa        panca vamsha-karan bhuvi

angah prathamato jajne        vangah suhmas tathaiva ca

pundrah kalingash ca tatha        baleyam kshatram ucyate

baleya brahmanash caiva        tasya vamsha-kara bhuvi

“Bali Maharaja was a great yogi who became a king long ago. He begot five sons in order to increase the population of the earth.

“The first of his five sons was named Anga, the second was Vanga, the third Suhma, the fourth Pundra, and the fifth was Kalinga. These sons were known as Baleya kshatriyas.

“In the dynasty of Bali there were also Baleya brahmanas, who increased their descendants on the earth.”

The sons of the great sage Kashyapa were divided into various varnas according to their nature. One can find ample evidence of this in the historical scriptures. It is not a fact that only one born in the family of a brahmana is a brahmana and those qualified as brahmanas by initiation and behavior are not brahmanas. This has been adequately confirmed by the above-quoted evidence. Even if the truth remains covered due to insufficient study of the shastras and intense selfishness, it will certainly become apparent in due course of time.

In this age of Kali there is often no respect for the truth among persons who are blinded by selfishness. Rather, disqualified persons are rewarded. Anyway, if after seeing all this evidence someone's selfishness is even slightly reduced, it will yield some kind of auspicious result in the world. By its own concocted arguments, an unqualified community can never put real obstacles on the path of qualified brahmanas.

The Brahma-sutra's (1.3.28) statement: ata eva ca nityatvam-“Therefore it is also eternal,” has been explained as proving that the statements of the Vedas are eternal and the disiciplic succession of brahmanas, who represent the demigods, is also eternal. Although brahmanas are “visible demigods,” they are nevertheless eternal servants of Lord Vishnu. The brahmanas' eternal source of knowledge is the Vedas. By studying the Vedas, they realize that they are eternal and become situated in the eternal devotional service of the Lord. Many persons become brahmana even though they were not born in families of brahmanas engaged in studying the Vedas. In order to confirm this statement, Shrila Jayatirthapada, in the sixth generation from Shrimad Anandatirtha Madhvacarya, has cited vrishcika-tanduli-nyaya, the logic of “the scorpion and the rice,” in his Shruta-prakashika commentary as follows: brahmanad eva brahmana iti niyamasya kvacid anyathatvopapatte vrishcika-tanduliyakadi-vad iti.

When the seed of one scorpion is placed in the womb of another scorpion, a scorpion is born-this is the general law of nature. Yet sometimes it is seen that scorpions or other insects are born from rice. Although in this case the placement of seed is not seen, the inconceivable potency of the Absolute Truth, which makes the impossible possible, brings about the scorpions' appearance. Great sages like Vashishtha, Agastya, Rishyashringa, and Vyasadeva were not brahmanas by ordinary standards. Later, however, their descendants, being fully conversant with transcendental knowledge, became recognised as self-realized brahmana Vaishnavas.

The various scriptural references describing the qualifications of brahmanas and showing respect for brahmanas refer to both seminal brahmanas and those who have become brahmanas by initiation. These references from scriptures on karma, jnana, and bhakti do not refer only to seminal brahmanas. In no case are brahmanas by initiation disregarded. Although in the opinion of some scriptures there is no possibility of becoming an initiated brahmana unless one is a seminal brahmana, this restriction was imposed only because of narrow-minded social traditions. When this narrow-mindedness is given up by deep research and higher education, then the entire world will be illuminated by the glories of the eternal Aryan culture. Then we will understand how futile is the attempt of frogs to fill the universe with the sound of their croaking.