- Religion and Philosophy»
Where the senses lead the ignorant man?
Yayathi saves Devayani!
The story of king Yayadhi and Devayani!
Does anybody find the earthly life appealing or interesting? Sadly, the answer would be a big NO. In spite of varieties of sceneries, varieties of sounds, varieties of tastes, none find the earthly life as better. Especially in the case of present day world, there is only strife and distress everywhere. Why? Man is after transitory fulfillments through the ephemeral senses. Sceneries do not appeal us all the time, nor the songs. If one thinks that association with the opposite gender gives them happiness, it is pure illusion and nothing else. Since we rely on false phenomenal world, we are unable to reap lasting joy or happiness through any of the sensory organs! Then what is the remedy? Wisdom alone can enlighten us towards the real goal of human life.
We have seen that generations of ancestors have tried the worldly route for enjoyments. Many Emperors who possessed enormous wealth and retinue could not achieve the satisfaction through the mysterious senses. Here, I am reminded of a beautiful story from Bagawatham. There was a renowned king called “Yayadi”, He was always interested in the company of beautiful damsels. He married a beautiful daughter of one recluse. One day the king happened to roam through the forest. He heard a sweet voice calling from a deep well. She has fallen down a deep well which was not visible and there was no parapet to prevent accidental fall. The King peeped inside and saw the beautiful girl calling for help. Yayadi immediately pulled her from the well with his hand. She expressed thankfulness and said, “You have touched my hand and pulled me up. The scriptures say that whoever holds the hand of a lady is bound to marry her. Though the king was not averse to marry her and he wanted to take the permission of her father. His father was none other than preceptor of the demons.
The king got a conditional approval from the preceptor that he should not forsake her at any time. Actuallly, the girl Devayani was pushed inside the well by the daughter of demon king. Yayadi has rescued her. Devayani has not returned to the hermitage and his father was searching for her. She told her father that the daughter of demon king pushed her inside the well. The preceptor got angry and went to the demon king with his daughter and narrated the events. He said, I cannot remain in your kingdom anymore. My daughter has suffered disrespect at the hands of your daughter. The king pleaded pardon from Devayani, who said that your daughter must accompany me as a ‘maid’ after my marriage to the King Yayadi. Thus, Sharmishta, the daughter of demon king accompanied Devayani as a servant maid. The King led a happy life in the company of Devayani.
The couple had three sons. One day Yayadi saw that Sharmishta was the daughter of the demon king. He heard her story. To pacify her, he married her in secrecy and had two sons from her. Devayani came to know about the illegal connection of her husband with Sharmista. She immediately contacted her father and revealed the secret marriage of the king with Sharmishta. The preceptor immediately cursed the king Yayadi. You will lose your youthfulness and become senile. At once, the king become a old man with hair turned white with sagging body. He fell down on the feet of the preceptor and begged for pardon and remedy. Out of compassion, the preceptor told the king that any of your sons can exchange their youthfulness with you, taking the senility of the king. None of his sons except the last son agreed for this fateful exchange. But the last son agreed to exchange his youthfulness with the king. He embraced his father and the king became youthful. The last son becomes old. The king enjoyed the carnal pleasures for many years on earth as well as with some celestial girl.
Only after many years, the king realized that the craving of pleasure is insatiable. He begged his son to exchange his senility with him and the son became young. This story clearly shows us that the senses enslave the mind and bring only distress at the end. Hence we should select good things over pleasures. This is termed as “Shreyas and Preyas in Sanskrit language. The wise one select good things whereas the ignorant select pleasures!