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King Yayati Story - Who Transferred Old Age To His Son

Yayati, son of Nahusha, was an eminent king of the lunar dynasty. He was so wise, just and righteous that his realm was free from passion and decay.

Once, while he was returning from the hunt, he heard a wail from a well. He went to help and rescued a girl who, however became enamored of him and disclosed herself as Devayani, daughter of Shukracharya, the teacher of demons.
King Yayati Story - Who Transferred Old Age To His Son
She explained that she had been pushed into the well by Sharmistha, daughter of the king of demons. In order to appease Shukracharya for the insult perpetuated on Devayani, the demon king had to surrender his daughter Sharmistha to work as a servant of Devayani. 

Devayani prevailed upon her father to give her in marriage to Yayati. 

Both the maidens (Devayani and her servant Sharmistha) went with Yadu to his palace.

Two sons, Yadu and Turvasu, were born to Devayani and Yayati, of whom Yadu became the founder of the Yadava dynasty.

Later, however, Yayati, succumbed to the charms of the maid Sharmishta, who bore him three sons, Druhya, Anudruhya and Puru.

Devayani was highly incensed at coming to know of the infidelity of her husband and in anger returned to the household of her father, Shukracharya.

The enraged Shukracharya cursed Yayati with premature old age, at which the penitent Yayati begged to be condoned for his offense. Shukracharya relented and decreed that he could transfer his old age to another who was willing to accept it.

Only, Puru, the third son of Sharmistha, accepted the old age of his father, who, thereby, regained his youth. After leading a life of lust for a thousand years, Yayati realized that lust was never quenched. He got back his old age from his son Puru and made him the king. He then lived a life of piety and renunciation and ultimately ascended to heaven.

The dutiful son Puru became the founder of the Paurava dynasty to which belonged the Bharatas, Kauravas and Pandavas.




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