Descendants of Priyavrata, the eldest son of Swayambhuva Manu: his ten sons: three adopt a religious life; the others become kings of the seven Dwipas, or isles, of the earth. Agnidhra, king of Jambu dwipa, divides it into nine portions, which he distributes amongst his sons. Nabhi, king of the south, succeeded by Rishabha; and he by Bharata: India named after him Bharata: his descendants reign during the Swayambhuva Manwantara.
Maitreya. You have related to me, venerable preceptor, most fully, all that I was curious to hear respecting the creation of the world; but there is a part of the subject which I am desirous again to have described. You stated that Priyavrata and Uttanapada were the sons of Swayambhuva Manu, and you repeated the story of Dhruva, the son of Uttanapada: you made no mention of the descendants of Priyavrata, and it is an account of his family that I beg you will kindly communicate to me.
Parasara. Priyavrata married Kamya, the daughter of the patriarch Kardama 1, and had by her two daughters, Samrat and Kukshi, and ten
sons, wise, valiant, modest, and dutiful, named Agnidhra, Agnibahu, Vapushmat, Dyutimat, Medha, Medhatithi, Bhavya, Savala, Putra, and the tenth was Jyotishmat 2, illustrious by nature as by name. These were the sons of Priyavrata, famous for strength and prowess. Of these, three, or Medha, Putra, and Agnibahu, adopted a religious life: remembering the occurrences of a prior existence, they did not covet dominion, but diligently practised the rites of devotion in due season, wholly disinterested, and looking for no reward.
Priyavrata having divided the earth into seven continents, gave them respectively to his other seven sons 3. To Agnidhra he gave Jambu dwipa; to Medhatithi he gave Plaksha dwipa: he installed Vapushmat in the sovereignty over the Dwipa of Salmali; and made Jyotishmat king of Kusa dwipa: he appointed Dyutimat to rule over Krauncha dwipa; Bhavya to reign over Saka dwipa; and Savala he nominated the monarch of the Dwipa of Pushkara.
Agnidhra, the king of Jambu dwipa, had nine sons, equal in splendour to the patriarchs: they were named Nabhi, Kimpurusha, Harivarsha, Ilavrita, Ramya, Hiranvat, Kuru, Bhadraswa, and Ketumala 4, who was a prince ever active in the practice of piety.
Hear next, Maitreya, in what manner Agnidhra apportioned Jambu dwipa amongst his nine sons. He gave to Nabhi the country called Hima, south of the Himavat, or snowy mountains. The country of Hemakuta he gave to Kimpurusha; and to Harivarsha, the country of
[paragraph continues] Nishadha. The region in the centre of which mount Meru is situated he conferred on Ilavrita; and to Ramya, the countries lying between it and the Nila mountain. To Hiranvat his father gave the country lying to the north of it, called sweta; and, on the north of the sweta mountains, the country bounded by the sringavan range he gave to Kuru. The countries on the east of Meru he assigned to Bhadraswa; and Gandhamadana, which lay west of it, he gave to Ketumala 5. Having installed his sons sovereigns in these several regions, the pious king Agnidhra retired to a life of penance at the holy place of pilgrimage, salagrama 6.
The eight Varshas, or countries, Kimpurusha and the rest, are places of perfect enjoyment, where happiness is spontaneous and uninterrupted. In them there is no vicissitude, nor the dread of decrepitude or death: there is no distinction of virtue or vice, nor difference of degree as better or worse, nor any of the effects produced in this region by the revolutions of ages.
Nabhi, who had for his portion the country of Himahwa, had by his queen Meru the magnanimous Rishabha; and he had a hundred sons, the eldest of whom was Bharata. Rishabha having ruled with equity and wisdom, and celebrated many sacrificial rites, resigned the sovereignty of the earth to the heroic Bharata, and, retiring to the hermitage of Pulastya, adopted the life of an anchoret, practising religious penance, and performing all prescribed ceremonies, until, emaciated by his austerities, so as to be but a collection of skin and fibres, he put a pebble in his mouth, and naked went the way of all flesh 7. The country was
termed Bharata from the time that it was relinquished to Bharata by his father, on his retiring to the woods 8.
Bharata, having religiously discharged the duties of his station, consigned the kingdom to his son Sumati, a most virtuous prince; and, engaging in devout practices, abandoned his life at the holy place, salagrama: he was afterwards born again as a Brahman, in a distinguished family of ascetics. I shall hereafter relate to you his history.
From the illustrious Sumati was born Indradyumna: his son was Parameshthin: his son was Pratihara, who had a celebrated son, named
[paragraph continues] Pratihartta: his son was Bhava, who begot Udgitha, who begot Prastara; whose son was Prithu. The son of Prithu was Nakta: his son was Gaya: his son was Nara; whose son was Virat. The valiant son of Virat was Dhimat, who begot Mahanta; whose son was Manasyu; whose son was Twashtri: his son was Viraja: his son was Raja: his son was satajit, who had a hundred sons, of whom Viswagjyotish was the eldest 9. Under these princes, Bharata varsha (India) was divided into nine portions (to be hereafter particularized); and their descendants successively held possession of the country for seventy one periods of the aggregate of the four ages (or for the reign of a Manu).
This was the creation of Swayambhuva Manu, by which the earth was peopled, when he presided over the first Manwantara, in the Kalpa of Varaha.