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Budha, the son of Tara
King Pururava enchanted by Urvashi.
After describing the dynasty of the sun-god, Shukadeva Gosvami next spoke about the Soma-vamsha. Atri was the son of Lord Brahma, and when his tears of jubilation impregnated his wife Anasuya, Soma (the moon), who emanates very soothing rays, was born. Lord Brahma appointed Soma the director of the brahmanas, drugs and herbs, and the luminaries.
After conquering the three worlds, Soma performed the Rajasuya-sacrifice. However, his great power and influence caused him to become very proud. Once, he forcibly kidnapped the wife of Brihaspati, who was named Tara. Even though Brihaspati repeatedly requested Soma to return his wife, the puffed-up moon-god refused to do so, and as a result, a great fight took place between the demigods and the demons.
Because of perpetual enmity toward Brihaspati, Sukra took Soma’s side, and thus all of the demons followed suit. Due to affection for Brihaspati, who was the son of his spiritual master, Angira, Lord Shiva joined the side of the demigods, who all came to the aid of their preceptor.
In this way, simply for the sake of Tara, the demigods and demons began destroying each other. When Angira went and informed Lord Brahma about the seriousness of the situation, the grandsire severely chastised Soma. Lord Brahma was thus able to quell the fighting, but when he delivered Tara to Brihaspati, the preceptor of the demigods could understand that she was pregnant.
Because of this, Brihaspati chastised his wife: “You foolish woman! Your womb, which was meant for me, has been impregnated by someone else. But, if you immediately deliver your child, you can rest assured that I shall not burn you to ashes. Although you are unchaste, having desired to be impregnated by Soma, since you were impelled by a great urge to have a son, I will not punish you.”
After receiving her husband’s order, Tara, who was very much ashamed, immediately delivered a child having a very beautiful, golden-hued body. However, because both Brihaspati and Soma wanted this wonderful boy, fighting again broke out between them, as both of them claimed, “This is my child, not yours.”
All of the demigods and rishis present there requested Tara to disclose the name of the real father, but due to shame, she could not reply. At this, the child became very angry and demanded, “You unchaste woman, what is the use of your unnecessary shame? Admit your fault, and immediately disclose the origin of my birth.”
Lord Brahma then brought Tara to a secluded place, and after pacifying her, he inquired about the identity of the child’s real father. In reply, Tara said very slowly, “This is the son of Soma, the moon-god.”
At this, Soma immediately took charge of the child, and when Lord Brahma saw how intelligent the boy was, he gave him the name Budha. The moon-god raised his son with great happiness, and later on, Budha begot a son named Pururava, through the womb of Ila, as previously described.
Due to the curse of Mitra and Varuna, the celestial woman Urvashi acquired the habits of a human being. When Narada described Pururava’s beauty, magnanimity, good qualities and character, in the court of Indra, Urvashi became attracted to him. Thus pierced by Cupid’s arrow, she came to where Pururava, the best of males, whose beauty resembled that of Cupid, was staying. As soon as King Pururava saw Urvashi, his eyes shone with ecstasy and the hair on his body stood up on end.
With mild and pleasing words, he addressed her: “O most beautiful woman, you are welcome. Please sit here and tell me what I can do for you. You should feel free to enjoy life with me as long as you desire. Indeed, let us pass our life happily together, united in conjugal bliss.”
Urvashi replied, “O most handsome man, who is the woman whose mind and sight would not be attracted by you? Any woman whom you embraced could never refuse to enjoy sexual union with you. Although I am a resident of heaven, and you belong to this earth, I shall certainly accept you as my husband, for you are superior in every respect. My only request is that you give protection to these two lambs that have also fallen down with me. In addition, you must agree to give me only food prepared with ghee, and I must never see you naked at any time, except during sexual intercourse.”
King Pururava agreed to these conditions by saying, “O beautiful one, your exquisite loveliness and feminine gestures are indeed wonderful and all-attractive. Since you have come of your own accord from the heavenly planets, who on earth would not agree to serve such a demigoddess as you?”
Thereafter, Pururava began freely enjoying life along with Urvashi, and because his mind was so attracted to her, he could not understand how the days and nights were coming or going. Together they engaged in sexual affairs in many celestial places, such as the Chaitraratha and Nandana gardens, which are the pleasure grounds of the demigods, and yet, Pururava never found true satisfaction from such insignificant pleasures. For many days, Pururava, who was highly enlivened by the fragrance of Urvashi’s body, which was like the saffron of a lotus-flower, continued to enjoy her company with great jubilation.
After some time, when King Indra saw her missing form his assembly, he thought, “Without Urvashi, my royal court no longer looks beautiful” and so he requested the Gandharvas to bring her back to the heavenly planets.
At midnight, when all was dark, the Gandharvas came to Pururava’s house and stole the two lambs that Urvashi had entrusted to him. Urvashi had treated these lambs as her very dear sons. When she heard them crying, while being carried away by the Gandharvas, she rebuked her husband by saying, “I have foolishly placed myself under the protection of an unworthy husband, who is a coward and a eunuch, although he thinks himself to be a great hero. I depended upon him, but these plunderers have carried away my two sons, so that now all is lost. Although he appears to be a man during the daytime, my cowardly husband lies down fearfully at night, just like a woman.”
Being pierced by these sharp words, like an elephant struck with its driver’s pointed rod, Pururava angrily got up from bed and picked up his sword, without even bothering to cover himself properly. As he went outside, the Gandharvas let the lambs go free, and then they illuminated all directions like lightning. When Pururava returned with the lambs, Urvashi could see that he was naked, and so, according to their previous agreement, she left him, then and there.
As Urvashi departed, Pururava ran after her, although naked, crying out, “My dear wife, please wait. O cruel one, cannot you stop so that we may talk for some time? Why are you killing me like this?”
Due to strong attachment, Pururava searched all over the earth for Urvashi, lamenting in this way, like a madman. Then, once, in the course of his travels, Pururava saw Urvashi in the company of five of her friends, on the banks of the River Sarasvati at Kurukshetra.
In great jubilation, he said, “My dear wife, O most cruel one, please stay here. I know that I never made you happy, but you should not give me up for that reason. Even if you have decided to give up my company, let us nonetheless talk for some time.”
“O goddess, now that you have refused me, my handsome body will fall down on this spot, and because it is unsuitable for your pleasure, it will be eaten by the foxes and vultures.”
Urvashi replied, “My dear King, you are a great hero and so do not impatiently give up your life. Become sober and do not allow your fox-like senses to overcome you. Rather, try to understand this fact- because the heart of a woman is like that of a fox, there is no use in making friendship with them. As a rule, women are merciless and cunning, and they cannot tolerate even the slightest offense. Indeed, for their own pleasure they can do anything sinful, and thus they do not fear killing even their own brother or faithful husband. Because women are easily seduced, they are often seen to give up the association of a man who is their real well-wisher, to make false friendship with fools. In fact, such unchaste women seek newer and newer companions, one after another.”
“My dear King, you will be able to enjoy me as my husband, for just one night at the end of every year. In this way, you will be able to have children, one after another.”
Considering Pururava to be wasting his valuable human form of life, Urvashi had frankly explained to him the nature of women. And yet, in consideration of Pururava’s great attachment for her, Urvashi also agreed to give him some concession.
Understanding that Urvashi was pregnant, Pururava returned home. Then, at the end of the year, at Kurukshetra, he again met Urvashi, who was now the mother of a heroic son. Pururava jubilantly enjoyed sexual relations with her for one night, but then, at the time of separation, he became very sad.
Urvashi then advised, “My dear King, take shelter of the Gandharvas, for they have the power to deliver me to you once again.”
Thereafter, Pururava was able to satisfy the Gandharvas with his prayers, and so they presented to him an Agnisthali girl (a girl produced from fire) who exactly resembled Urvashi. Believing her to be his wife, Pururava enjoyed walking with her in the forest, but then later on, during sexual intercourse, he could understand that she was not Urvashi. Pururava left the Agnisthali girl in the forest and then returned home, where he meditated all night upon Urvashi.
In the course of his meditation, Treta-yuga began, and thus the Vedic principles of karma-kandiya (fruitive sacrifice) appeared within his heart. Pururava then returned to where he had deserted the Agnisthali girl, and there he saw that from the womb of a shami tree, an ashvattha tree had grown.
Pururava took a piece of wood from that tree and made two arani sticks, to be used for igniting a sacrificial fire. Desiring to go to Urvashi’s planet, Pururava chanted the required mantras while meditating upon the lower arani as Urvashi, the upper one as himself, and the piece of wood between them as his son. In this way, he began igniting a fire by rubbing the sticks together. Then, with that fire, which he considered to be his son, he performed a sacrifice whereby he satisfied the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
In Satya-yuga, all of the Vedic mantras were included in the pranavah omkara, and the only worshipable Deity was Lord Narayana. There was no recommendation for worshiping the demigods, and the single order of life was known as hamsa. In the beginning of Treta-yuga, King Pururava inaugurated a karma-kanda sacrifice, and thus he became eligible to go to Gandharvaloka as he had desired.