The story of Yayaati, the son of the great Nahusha and Priyamvada, is well known. He after ruling his kingdom for many years, without deviating from the path of Dharma, made Puuru the chakravarti. Then he took Vaanaprasthaashramam and went to tapoovanaas. There he did many ghora tapaas, yagnyaa, yaagaadi kratus. He satisfied the agnideva with Havis and his Pitrudevataas with his punya karmaas. He did great tapas for a thousand years. He did tapas remaining as niraahaara for around 30 yrs. Then he did tapas for 1 year being in between Panchaagnis having Vaayubhakshana. For 1 year he did tapas staying under water, standing on 1 leg. After many such years of tapas, he went to deva looka in a divya vimaana.
He took the poojaas of many great devarshis there. After a long stay there, he went to Brahmalookam and took the poojas of brahmarshis. Then finally he reached Indra loka. Indra, who is well-known for his divya vaibhavam, Himself recieved Yayaati and gave arghya paadyaas. Indra after doing athaavidhi atithi satkaaram to Yayaati, told him “O great punyaatma! What immense tapas did you do to have recieved poojaas by Brahmarshis and Devarshis! Your punyaas are immense and it is not possible for me sing all your great deeds”. Listening to this Yayaati got little Ahankaar. He said “O Indra deva! True. Sura, Daitya, Yaksha, Raakshasa, Nara, Khechera, Sidda, Munis tapas are not equal to mine.” Indra got unimpressed by the vaakyaas of Yayaati. He said “In your tapoobhimaanam, you insulted the tapas of the great maharshis. You are not fit to be here. Go back to Bhulokam and remove your darpam and come back”. Yayaati immediately realized his mistake and pleaded Indra “O great Indra! The very moment I insulted great rishis, all by tapas-shakti was lost. In addition to this, please do not make me got to Bhulokam again. Please grant me permission to stay in the sassaangatyam of good people in Sat-Bhuvanam”. Indra seeing the pashchaattapam of Yayaati sent him to Sat-Bhuvanam.
Yayaati, repenting for his mistake, stayed in Sat-Bhuvanam and slowly regained his tapas-shakti. Once the dauhitraas of Yayaati — Ashtaka, Pratardana, Vasumanta, Ausinara and Shibi, in course of time, reached Sat-Bhuvanam. They saw a man with divya tejas and was brightly glowing with tapas-shakti (they saw Yayaati). They approached him and asked his details. Yayaati told his entire story. He told them about Indra’s shaapam and continued “One must never speak low of an uttama. Dambham, darpam, abhimaanam, krodham and paarushyam, in what ever small quantities, are more dangerous than ghora Vishaagni. It destroys hard-earned punyaas due to many years of tapas”. Realizing that the person was their grandfather, the five dauhitraas did namaskaars to Yayaati. Yayaati then taught them Dharmopadeshaas — about Paralokam, sarva gnyaana sampatti, sakala raaja dharmaas, satgati-durgati swaroopas, varnaashrama dharmaas and jeeva garbhoptatti.
Morals in the story:
- Even a small sentence or act done due to ahankaar is enough to destroy huge punya raashis. Even for a person as great as Yayaati, one small paarushya vaakyam melted his punya raashis.
- The importance and power of tapas is well portrayed in the story.
- One must be very very careful while talking about great people. Indra was angry on Yayaati since he spoke low about rishis.
- A sajjana never does a mistake. Even if he does, he immediately repents and never repeats it. He does not feel shy to openly tell others his mistake and help them not repeat it. This sat-guna is clearly showed by Yayaati.
- Sat-saangatyam is the first step to reach God. Hence Yayaati asked Indra to grant him that.
Search Terms: Yayati, Yayaathi, Yayathi, Indra