सनातन धर्म भूमिका

Meaning of "Sharmishta"







In General

Wife of Yayati and daughter of good mannered Daitya king Vrsaparva. Sarmistha had three sons from Yayati: Druhyu, Anudruhyu and Puru. The Puruvamsa of which Pandavas are descendents traces its origin to Puru.


Devayani, the daughter of Sukracharya and Sharmishta were very good child hood friends. One day they were enjoying a bath in a river with their maids, after leaving their clothes on the bank of the river. At that time Devendra who came that way, transformed himself into a strong wind and carried all the clothes to a place and put all of them in a heap. Seeing this, the girls rushed out of the water and in the hurried confusion in snatching their garments Devayani and Sarmistha happened to put on each other's clothes. A quarrel took place between them on this mistake and the angry Sarmistha pushed Devayani into an unused well. Thinking that Devayani might have lost life, Sarmistha and her maids went back to the palace.

At this time, Yayati, a king of the lunar dynasty happened to come there heared the cry of a girl from an unused well. After rescuing Devayan and enquiring about her identity and the circumstances in which she fell into the well, he returned to his palace Devayani sent her maid Ghurnika to her father and informed him about her mishap. The faiher, sage Sukra became angry towards Vrsaparva, and came down from Daityaloka and settled down in the forest with his daughter.

At this instance Vrsaparva, the king and father of Sharmishta came to Sukra and offered to do anything to apologies to him and his race for his daughter's misconduct. Sukra told the king that to forgive the sin committed by Sharmishta she had to serve Devayani with her 1000 maids. Finding no other way, Vrsaparva yielded to the condition. Soon Sarmistha and her 1000 maids became sevents of Devayani. When Devayani after marriage went to Yayati’s palace, Sharmishta and her 1000 servents followed Devayani.

Yayati made arrangements for Devayani's residence in his own palace while Sarmistha and other servents were put up in Askavanika, an out house. In due course, Devayani gave birth to two sons. The sight of the children roused the motherly instincts of Sarmistha who spent years of miserable life as a servent. Sarmistha tried her best to lure Yayati, she succeded in that and become mother of three children from Yayati.

Once, Devayani’s sons happened to play with Sharmishta’s sons. The children of Devayanai then told to their mother that the other three children played with them the day were also by their father. Devayani enquired the matter, got convinced of the fact and became furious; she immediately went to Asuraloka and informed her father Sukra about the illegitimate act of her husband. On hearing it, the sage cursed Yayati so that he may fell a victim to the infirmities of old age. Yayati requested Sukra to withdraw the curse, since he had not enjoyed or contended with the full extend of his young age. Sukra was obliged and told Yayati that he can exchange the old age if one of his sons would accept his old age for their youth.

Yayati asked his eldest son Yadu for his youthfulness. But the latter was not prepared to exchange it for his father's old age. Next the father approached his younger sons, Turvasu, Druhyu, and Anudruhyu, with the same request, but all of them in turn refused to oblige him. Puru, the youngest son of him in Sharmishta wholeheartedly accepted his father's old age in exchange for his youth and went to the forest as an old man.

From that day Yayati began his second youthful life with his two wives. After a thousand years he found himself never contendended with sensual pleasure; he felt sorry for his son Puru and returned the youthfulness back to Puru and anointed him as the King. Yayati yearned for a full spiritual life and went to forest for Tapas

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Word Sanskrit IAST In General Veda Purana