Yayati

From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Yayāti has become famous in Vedāntic literature for his statement that desires can never be quenched by trying to satisfy them.[1] He was a king of the Candravanśa,[2] the son of another celebrated king Nahuṣa, and queen Virajā. He had two wives, Devayānī and Śarmiṣṭhā. He had five sons named:

  1. Anu
  2. Yadu
  3. Turvasu
  4. Druhyu
  5. Puru

Once, due to the curse of the sage Śukrācārya, Yayāti lost his youth and became old. However the sage had also given him the boon that he could exchange his old-age with the youth of a young man. When Yayāti requested his sons to exchange their youth, all refused except Puru. After enjoying all the pleasures of life for many years Yayāti found out the truth that lust could never be satiated by enjoyment. He then gave back the youth to prince Puru, crowned him as the king and left for tapas.


References

  1. Mahābhārata, Ādiparva, 85.12
  2. Candravanśa means lunar race.
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore