Ancestry of Yayati

Yayati was a Puranic king and the son of king Nahusha. He was a great scholar of Vedas. He had two wives, Devyani and Sharmishtha. Devyani was the daughter of Shukracharya, the priest of Asuras. Sharmishtha was the daughter of the Demon King Vrishparva. Sharmishtha was a friend and servant of Devyani.


Yayati dynasty :

Yayati got two sons from Devyani :


1. Yadu and

2. Turvasu.

Yayati also got three sons from Sharmishtha :


1. Druhyu

2. Anu and

3. Puru.

The descendants of Yadu are called Yadavvanshi in which was born Krishna, the founder of Jat sangha.


Genealogical tables of Yayati dynasty are reproduced below from “Todd’s Rajasthan based on Agni Puran.


Yadu — Turvasu — Puru — Druhyu — Anu


Druhya and Anu are not prominently mentioned in the Puranas. At places they are not mentioned at all.


Swami Omanand Sarswati writes :


Yayati had five sons, all of whom were the best Rajarshi. Among them were the great and powerful son Yadu and the youngest son was named Puru , who has increased our lineage. He was born from the womb of Sharmishtha, daughter of Vrishaparva.


Yadu was the son of Devayani and the great-grandfather of Shukracharya, Mahatejasvi. He was the originator of Yaduvansh, he was dull and very arrogant, he insulted all the Kshatriyas. He used to insult his father or brothers as well, so his father Yayati got angry and declared him from the state. Yayati, the brothers of Yadu, who had supported him, also denied those other sons with the authority.


Subsequently, the younger son Puru , the obedient, who was under him , placed him on the throne by the Nripa superior Yayati. This proves that even if the eldest son is arrogant, he does not get the state and younger sons also become eligible to get the state by serving older men.


Thus the descent of Kaurava Pandavas has gone from Puru . From Yadu, the descent of Yogiraj Shri Krishna ji etc. is gone. The dynasty of many famous republics has gone from one of the sons of Yayati to Anu .

Story of Yayati :

One day as Devyani and Sharmishtha along with the hoard of servants were amusing themselves in a park, King Yayati happened to pass by. Devyani had been secretly in love with Yayati as he had once rescued her from a dry well. Devyani and Sharmishtha introduced themselves to him and Devyani confessed to being in love with him and asked him to marry her. Yayati said, "Unless your father gives you to me in marriage I will not accept you as my wife." Shukracharya gave in to his daughter's request and agreed to give her away in marriage to King Yayati. As dowry he gave away Sharmishtha. He however warned Yayati that he should never let Sharmishtha share his bed.


Sharmishtha was given a place to live in a shaded glade called Ashok Vatika. One day Yayati happened to pass by Ashok Vatika where Sharmishtha lived. Seeing him, Sharmishtha confessed that she too was in love with the king and wanted him to marry her. She told him that she belonged to a royal family and Yayati could marry her. Yayti agreed and they wed in secret. They continued to meet and hid the fact from Devyani that they were married.


When Devyani came to know about the relationship of Yayati and Sharmishtha and their three sons she felt shocked and betrayed. Devyani went away to her father's house. Shukracharya was displeased with the king, and cursed that he would lose his youth and become an old man immediately.


As soon as Shukracharya uttered his curse Yayati became an old man. Shukracharya also said that his curse once uttered could not be taken back and added that the only concession he could give was that if Yayati wanted he could give his old age to someone and take their youth from them. Yayati was relieved at the reprieve he was given and confident that his sons would willingly exchange their youth with him. Yayati went back to his kingdom. Yayati requested all his five sons one by one to give their youth to him to enjoy the worldly happiness. All the sons except Puru rejected his demand. So Yayati took the youth of Puru and enjoyed all the subjects. Puru became the successor King of Yayati.


Yayatik is mentioned by Panini in Ashtadhyayi.


Association with present Jat gotras :


Ram Sarup Joon writes. Many names in the Genealogical tables of Yayati are associated with present Jat gotras. Some examples are Ushinar, Shishu Bhadra, Tak or Takshak, Satoti, Krishan or Kushana from the Yadhu branch; Dushyanta, Bharat, Bhardwaja, Hasti, Ajmirh, Kaushik, Gadh and Vishwamitra of Puru branch; Seth, Arh, Gandhi, Gaindhu and Gandhar of the Ardas branch.


Names given in the genealogical tables include only the important personages. Other Jat gotras maybe associated with names not included. It shows that majority of Jats belong to the Yayati dynasty. The five branches of Yayati dominated the whole of Northern India, Central Asia and some European countries. European scholars have known these conquerors as of Yayati dynasty. They are remembered by different names in different countries such as Yayati, Ayati, Yati, Yuti, Yeuchi, Jutes, Jeets, Jati, Gatae, Goth etc.


Quite a few names cut of the tables are associated with the area around Haridwar, called Shiv Ki Jata. Buddha married Ikshvaku’s sister Ahilya in this area. Rishi Vishwa Mitra’s son Gadh performed ‘tapasya’ here.

Bhagirath brought the River Ganges into the plains in this area and as legend goes, when Jhanu Rakshash (demon) drank it all, he cut open his thigh and released the Ganga River.

Actually Jhanu is also mentioned in the tables, and, as a ruler, must have opposed or disturbed the project of bringing the Ganga to the plains.

Shiv ji married Sati and Parbati in this area. This is the land where the Yayati dynasty prospered and expanded. The Puru dynasty had their capital in this area. Excavations in the area should lead to important revelations.


Jats the descendants of Yayati :


Dalip Singh Ahlawat writes that Yayati is the epi-person of Jats. Due to this reason Yayat-Yat-Jat is used for this vansh. In practice we have been calling Jats as Chandravanshi in place of Yayat-Vansh. Many of the Jat Gotras are derived from five sons of Yayati and seven gotras from sons of Virabhadra.

Dalip Singh Ahlawat writes that Yayati was the ruler of Jambudwipa (Asia). The traces of Yayati rule are present historically. There is a place called Jajpur about 10 km from Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh, where one finds ruins of ancient fort known as "Yayati ke Kot" means the forts of Yayati. Similarly there is a well near Sambhar lake in Rajasthan known by the name of Devyani ka Kuan in which Devyani was pushed into the well due to enmity and Yayati had rescued her from that dry well.


According to Thakur Deshraj, The Chandravanshi Aryans of India had habitations in Iran which were known as Jatali. Majority of them were gyatiwadi (republics). He has refered General Cunninngham who has mentioned the presence of Yayati Vanshi Jats in Jatali. Yayati was son of Nahusha. This province got the name Jatali being the habitation of Jats. The language of these Jats is Jadgali (alternate names, Jatgali, Jatki, Jat).


Emperor Yayati, who was one of the ancestors of the Pandavas, venerated his ancestors with intense devotion.


History of Jat Veers : Dalip Singh Ahlawat , p. 185 :


The northern boundary and the Narmada river form the southern boundary. In fact, this country belongs to the Aryans who were called Chandravanshi or Yadu, Druhayu, Turvasu, Kuru and Puru. Almost all of them adopted the principles of Lord Krishna. So in time, they all started being called Jats. The Puranas of all these dynasties have condemned it clearly and vaguely. Either he did not accept the nobility of Brahmins from the beginning or he became almost all Buddhist during the Buddhist period. Wahlik, Takshaka, Kushan, Shiva, Malla, Kshudrak (Shudrak), Nav, etc. All the dynasties which are named in the Mahabharat and the Buddhist period are the heirs (branches) of these Yadu, Druhayu, Kuru and Purus.


The Jats, descendants of the Emperor Yayatiputra Yadu and the Yadavas, ruled this land for nearly one billion ninety-four million years. The descendants of Yadu were known as Yadu for some time, but due to the word 'Y' in the language, 'Y' was called Jadu-Jaddu-Jattu-Jat . Some people started to call themselves 'Yayat' (Yayate: Putra: Yayata:), which when 'Jajat' is imminent with two synapses nearby, one is destroyed. So caste and Jat happened. In the third century, Japan had authority over these pilgrimages (Encyclopaedia Nagari Pr. P. 467). These are the Adi Kshatriyas of Yayati who are called Jats today. Shuddhapur was not considered in the absence of Indian grammar. Therefore, listening to Yado as pronounced Yado , due to femininity in Sanskrit,Jewish began to say, which then changed Locommans Jews are. The Jew is born by birth, not by karma. This theory also belongs to the Indian stream. Jesus himself was a Jew. Current Christianity is only a new version of Judaism. It is clear from the Bible study that this is just an incomplete translation of the Indian world.


It has now been proved that the people of Germany, England, Scotland , Norway , Sweden , Russia , Czechoslovakia etc. means that the whole of Europe and Asia is a family of Yayati's grandchildren. The Jambudweep , today called Asia, was ruled by the Jats.

Rule of Yayati :


Dalip Singh Ahlawat wrote .... Yayati Maharaj was the emperor of Jambudweep. Jambuadweep understand today's Asia. This was from Mongolia to Syria and from Siberia to India. Including all the countries in between it was called Jambudweep . The ruins of the fort of Jaipur place, three miles from Kanpur , are still famous under the name 'Yayati Ke Kot'. There is a well called 'Devayani' near Sambhar lake in Rajasthan in which Sharmishtha pushed the Devayani in a different way, which Yayati took out. Thus the symbols of the state of Yayati exist even today.


Puru , the son of Maharaja Yayati, was a servant and obedient to his father, that is why Yayati gave the kingdom charge to Puru. But even the remaining sons were not deprived of the state. The partition was as follows -


1. South of Yadu : (which includes Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and Kutch adjoining these provinces).


2. Turvusu is part of the West : (which today includes Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan, Egypt, Libya, Algeria, Turkey, Greece).


3. Druhayu : is divided into southeast.


4. Anu : Gave the portion of the answer (it has all the countries in Uttaradigachi) to Anu . China , Mongolia , Russia , Siberia , North Pole etc. are all in it from today's Himalayan Mountains.


5. Puru : Anointed Puru to the rank of Emperor, placing elder brothers under him and went into the Yayati forest. Yadavs were born Yadav Kshatriyas. The child of Turvasu is called Yavan. The son of Druhayu became famous as Bhoj . Anu was born to the Mlechcha castes. The Paurav dynasty ran from Puru.


When we read the description of the ancient habitat of the Jats, the river Kubha (Kabul) and the worm (Kurram) have its western borders, the eastern border of Tibet, the Jagjartis and the Axus river.


Yayati :


According to Hinduism, Yayati was a Puranic king. He was the son of King Nahush and his wife Ashoksundari, daughter of Shiva and Parvati, and he was one of the ancestors of Pandav's and Yadav's. He had five brothers: Yati, Samyati, Ayati, Viyati and Kriti, although they were the children of Virajas, daughter of the Pitris. Yayati had conquered the whole world and was the Chakravarti Samrat ("Universal Monarch" or "World Emperor"). He married Devayani and took Sharmishtha, daughter of king Vrishparva and maid of Devayani as his mistress on her request. Devayani was the daughter of Shukracharya, the priest of the Asuras (the demons). After hearing of his relationship with Sharmishtha, Devayani complains to her father Shukracharya, who in turn curses Yayati to old age in the prime of life, but later allows him to exchange it with his son, Puru. His story finds mention in the Mahabharat-Adi Parva and also Bhagavat Puran.


Genealogy and early life :

Brahma's son was Atri, a Brahmarshi. Atri's son was Chandra, the Moon god. Chandra gave rise to the lunar dynasty or the Chandravanshi Dynasty. Chandra's son was Budha. Budha had a son with Manu's daughter Ila. Ila's son was Pururavas, who studied under Sage Kashyap. Pururavas ruled over the city of Pratishthan. He married Apsara Urvashi and had many sons, of whom Ayus was the eldest. Ayus completed his education from Sage Chyavan (chavan was son of Bhrigu Rishi and Chavan had invented chavanprash) and married the Asura princess Prabha. Ayus's son was Nahush who was educated by the Sage Vashisth.


Upon Indra's loss of power, the gods asked Nahush to be the new Indra. Nahush ruled over the three worlds with the guidance of Sage Brihaspati for 100,000 years. Nahush's sons headed by Yati and Yayati were educated by thousands of Brahmarshis and the gods who used to wait upon their father. Nahush eventually became arrogant and was punished severely. Indra was once more reinstated as the King of Gods.


The Mahabharat mentions about Yayati's achievements. He performed 100 Rajsuya, 100 Ashwamedh's, 100 Vajapeyas, 1000 Atiratras, 1000 Pundarikas and innumerable Agnishthomas and Chaturmasyas. He gave away mountains of gold and billions of cows to Brahman's.


The story :


The story of Yayati appears in the nineteenth chapter of book nine of the Bhagavat Puran.

Yayati's father, Nahush is transformed into a python by a curse uttered by the sages as punishment for his arrogance. Yayati's elder brother, Yati, is initially given the kingdom, but turns it down and instead becomes an ascetic. Yayati then becomes king in his place and prospers so greatly that he is able to conquer the whole world. He appoints his four younger brothers to rule the world's cardinal directions.


One day Sharmishtha, daughter of the Danav king Vrishparva and Devayani, daughter of the Daitya sage Shukracharya, go with Sharmishtha's retinue to bathe in a forest pool not far from their home. After bathing, Sharmishtha confuses Devayani's sari with hers and puts it on instead. Devayani returns, scolds Sharmishtha for her mistake and belittles her with the jibe that she is the daughter of Shukracharya (Shukracharya being a sage and high priest and indeed the guru of all the Asuras - no mere employee) as Vrishparva's and their Kingdom lives on his blessings. This slur on herself and her father Vrishparva infuriates Sharmishtha. With the help of her servants, Sharmishtha throws Devayani into a well and leaves the forest with her retinue. Later Yayati, son of Nahush, comes to the well for water and helps Devayani to climb out of it.

Devayani resolves to make Sharmishtha her servant in revenge for trying to kill her by throwing her into the well. Sharmishtha's father, Vrishparva agrees to this, since he fears that the continued security of his kingdom would be in doubt without the sage counsel of Devayani's father Shukracharya. Sharmishtha also agrees to this to save the kingdom and becomes Devayani's maidservant.


Some days later Devayani goes on a picnic in the forest with her servants (including Sharmishtha). There she again meets Yayati, who is out hunting. Yayati finds himself attracted by Sharmishtha's beauty, asks Devayani about her. Devayani observed this, introduced Sharmishtha as her slave and also claimed that he should become her husband as he has held her hand while helping her out of the well. Yayati fears Shukracharya, and tells Devayani that he will marry her only if his father agrees. Yayati presumed that it is not Dharma for a King to marry a Brahmin girl.


This time she brings him to her father and tells him that she would like to marry Yayati. Shukracharya gives his consent and tells Yayati that he should take care of Sharmishtha too (as she is a princess, by birth) although he shouldn't maintain a physical relationship with her. Yayati marries Devayani and looks after her well.


After a long while, Sharmishtha comes to Yayati and requests him to give her a child. He refuses and says that, if he were to do so, he could not face the wrath of Shukracharya. Nevertheless, Sharmishtha manages finally to convince him, saying that it would be against Dharma if he were to refuse her request; he being the king, it is his responsibility to ensure the needs of the citizens and she is desperate to have a child. He reluctantly agrees and they begin a relationship, in the hopes that she will conceive. In due course, Devayani gives birth to two sons Yadu and Turvasu while Sharmishtha begets three sons Druhyu, Anu and Puru.


Eventually Devayani learns of her husband's affair with Sharmishtha and complains to her father. Enraged at his son-in-law's disobedience, Shukracharya curses Yayati with premature old age in punishment for inflicting such pain upon his daughter. However on learning Sharmishta's desire to become a mother, he later relents, telling Yayati that if he can persuade one of his (Yayati's) sons to swap ages with him he will be able to escape the curse and regain his lost youth for a while. Yayati asks his sons if one of them will give up his youth to rejuvenate his father, but all refuse except the youngest, Puru (one of his sons by Sharmishtha). In grateful recognition of Puru's filial devotion, Yayati makes him his legitimate heir and it is from the line of Puru - later King Puru - that the 'Kuru vamsha' (Kuru dynasty) later arises.

In the words of the story, Yayati enjoys all the pleasures of the senses 'for a thousand years' and, by experiencing passion to the full, comes to realise its utter futility, saying: "Know this for certain... not all the food, wealth and women of the world can appease the lust of a single man of uncontrolled senses. Craving for sense-pleasures is not removed but aggravated by indulgence even as ghee poured into fire increases it....One who aspires to peace and happiness should instantly renounce craving and seek instead that which neither grows old, nor ceases - no matter how old the body may become." Having found wisdom by following the road of excess, Yayati gratefully returns the youth of his son Puru and takes back his old age in return, renouncing the world to spend his remaining days as a forest ascetic. His spiritual practices are, at long last, blessed with success and, alone in the deep woods, he is rewarded with ascension to svarga - the heavenly realm of the righteous, ruled by Indra, that is but one step below the ultimate liberation of moksh.


Chariot of Yayati :

The Vayu Purana, the Brahmand Puran, the Shiv Puran and the Harivamsh Puran mention that Yayati possessed a divine chariot which could travel in any direction unimpeded. It is variously mentioned that Yayati acquired it from Shukracharya, Indra or from Shiv.


The Harivamsh Puran mentions that with the speed of this chariot, Yayati was able to conquer the earth and the heavens in merely six days. He had also vanquished the Asuras many times. Yayati gave this chariot to his youngest son, Puru who succeeded his father as king. The chariot became a family heirloom among the descendants of Puru. The chariot however vanished due to a curse incurred by the Paurav King Janamejay when he slew a Brahman in his hatred. Many years later, Indra once more gave that same chariot to King Vasu Uparichar, another descendant of Puru. Uparichar's grandson, Jarasandh of Magadh, inherited that chariot. Jarasandh was eventually defeated and slain by the Bhim who gave the chariot to his cousin, Lord Krishna.


Descendants :


Children of Devayani :

• Yadu gave rise to Yadu vansh, and one of his descendants is Krishna.

• Turvasu and his descendants formed the Yavan Kingdom

• Madhavi married four times and had one son with each husband. She married Haryyashwa, who founded the from Iksu (sanskrit), Pali: Okkaka dynasty (Sanskrit; iksvaku, from Sanskrit iksu; Pali: Okkaka); Divodas, King of Kashi; Ushinara, Bhoja King of Kashi and the Maharishi Vishwamitr. With the Ikshvaku King Haryyashwa, she had a son named Vasumanas who became a wealthy king and practised charity. With Divodasa, the King of Kasi, she had the mighty warrior King Pratarddan who acquired weapons from Sage Bharadwaj and defeated the Haihayas and the Videhas in battle. With the Bhoj King Ushinar, she had Shibi, who became a Chakravartin Samrat and conquered the world, practised Dharm and charity. With Sage Vishwamitr, Madhavi had a son named Ashtak, who became famous for performing sacrifices and charity. The four sons of Madhavi didn't like Yayati's self-righteousness, but each one used their powers to send Yayati to heaven. Madhavi herself lost interest in marriage and performed penances in the forest for the rest of her life. Madhavi's four sons, after ruling their kingdoms, joined their mother and lived with her in the forest until her death.


Sons of Sharmishtha :

• Druhyu and his descendants, the Vaibhoja Vansha, are believed to have formed the Twipra Kingdom.

• Anu gave rise to a Mleccha tribe, Tushars (Tukharas), with their kingdom located in the north west of India as per the epic Mahabharata. (Mbh 1:85) Further on Kekay, a warrior on the Pandav side into whose chariot Bhim got during the fighting on the sixth day. As per Bhagavat Puran the Usinars, the Sibi, the Madras, and the Kekays were the direct descendants of Anu. Sibi or Sivi is stated to be son of Usinara.

• King Puru

Another one of his descendants (through Puru) was King Bharat, son of King Dushyant and Shakuntala, and after whom, India's ancient name Bharatvarsh was kept. Further descendants were part of the Kuru Kingdom, including Shantanu, Dhirashtra, Pandu, Yudhishthir, Abhimanyu and Parikshit.