Saturday, December 17, 2022

Vishnu Purana, tr. by Bibek Debroy

Vishnu Purana, translated by Bibek Debroy

A book that stays close to its definition

Why was Drupada, father-in-law of the Pandavas and Draupadi’s father, called a Panchala? Because one of Puru’s descendants was Haryashva, who had five sons — Mudgala, Srinjaya, Brihadishu, Yavinara, and Kampilya. So confident was Haryashva in his five sons’ valour that he declared that these five alone were capable of protecting the kingdom. Thus, these five brothers came to be known as Panchalas.

Or why was the capital of the Kurus called Hastinapura? Because one of Puru’s descendants was Hasti, and who established the city of Hastinapura. Both nuggets of information come to you in the 19th chapter of the 4th part of the Vishnu Purana.

King Rituparna was a descendant of Bhagiratha; the same Bhagiratha who brought down Ganga from the heavens. Karna’s foster father was Atiratha. He found the infant Karna floating on the Ganga, took him home, and was raised by him and his wife, Radha. It turns out that Atiratha was one of Anu’s descendants. Anu was one of Yayati’s sons. This is described in the 4th chapter of the 4th part of the Vishnu Purana.