YUVANASVA – A king who got pregnant

Yuvanasva was a king who had a hundred wives but no children. In the Vishnu and Bhagavata Puranas Yuvanasva went into the forest to seek help from asce­tics. Yuvanasva found a group of brahmins who promised him sons if he did a special ritual sacrifice, the Indradaivata yaga. It involved collecting energy from their mantras in a jug of water as the rituals were performed each day. One day Yuvanasva was thirsty and made the mistake of drinking from the jug of water that was storing the mantras to bring … Continue reading

RENUKA – A princess who married a sage

Renuka’s story has many troubling elements. She was a princess (and thus a ksatriya) married to the brahmin Jamdagni. She gave birth to an avatara (incar­nation) of Vishnu, Parasu-Rama, whom her husband commanded to kill her. She was brought back to life. In one version she was raped by King Kartaviryarjuna, who stole her divine cow Sushila and then had her husband killed. Then she sent her son, the youngest with the ax (Parasu-Rama), on twenty-one military expe­ditions to slaughter as many ks’atriyas as possible. Renuka jumped into the funeral … Continue reading