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 him children. Yuvanasva became pregnant and after ten lunar months gave birth to a child. Mandhata (or Madhatri) was born from the pregnancy of his father, Yuvanasva. But the ministers of his king­dom advised that he abandon the child in the forest. Although that was done, Mandhata was nourished by sucking milk from his own toe—an idea credited to Indra, whose mantra had produced the child. When Mandhata reached manhood, he became a great and powerful king. There were many allusions in other stories to his virtue and wisdom

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