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Pururava / पुरूरवा

  • Pururava was a beneficent and pious king, son of Budh by Ila and grandson of Som.
  • Once, the Apsara Urvashi came down from Svarg, having incurred the imprecation of the Adityas, Mitra and Varun.
  • On earth, Pururava and she became enamoured of each other, and she agreed to live with him upon certain conditions.
  • The nymph said that she had two lambs which she loved as children. They had to be kept near her bedside and never carried away.
  • Pururava had also to take care never to be seen by her undressed, and clarified butter alone must be her food.
  • The king agreed to all these stipulations and the couple lived happily for a few years. But the inhabitants of Svarg were anxious for the return of Urvashi and knowing the compact made with Pururava, the Gandharvs came by night and stole her lambs.
  • Pururava was undressed and so at first refrained from pursuing the robbers, but the cries of Urvashi impelled him to seize his sword and rush after them.
  • The Gandharvs then brought a vivid flash of lightening to the chamber which displayed the person of Pururava. So the charm was broken and Urvashi disappeared.
  • Pururava wandered about demented in search of her and at length found her at Kurukshetra. Urvashi declared herself pregnant and told him to come there again at the end of a year, when she would deliver to him a son and remain with him for one night.
  • Pururava, thus comforted, returned to his capital. At the end of the year he went to the appointed place and received from Urvashi his eldest son, Ayu.
  • The annual interviews were repeated until she had borne him five more sons, viz. Dhiman, Amavasu, Dridhayu, Vanayu and Shatayu.
  • She then told him that the Gandharvs had determined to grant him any boon he might desire. His desire was to pass his life with Urvashi.
  • The Gandharvs then brought him a vessel with fire and asked him to take the fire, and, according to the precepts of the Veds, divide it into three fires. Then, fixing his mind upon the idea of living with Urvashi, he must offer oblations and he would assuredly obtain his wishes. He did not immediately obey this command, but eventually he fulfilled it in an emblematic way, and obtained a seat in the sphere of the Gandharvs, and was no more separated from his love.