Indian Mythology (by ApamNapat)

Ruru - Grandson of Chyavana


Ruru was the grandson of the sage Chyavana. He was the son of Pramati and Ghritachi. He was betrothed to a maiden named Pramadvara, who was the daughter of Menaka and the king of the Gandharvas (his name is not mentioned). This girl had been abandoned by her parents and had been brought up by a Rishi called Sthulakesa. (Refer to [Maha:1.8]).

Unfortunately, just a few days before the marriage was to be performed, Pramadvara was bitten by a serpent while playing with her friends. She, who was more beautiful than the Apsaras in life, became pityful to behold on her death. Her adoptive father was plunged in grief. When her fiance Ruru beheld her, he was so overcome with sorrow, that he fled from that scene.

When he reached a secluded spot in the forest, he began to shout like a man possessed by spirits. He shouted, "Alas! The beautifu Primadvara who was dearer to me than my life is no more. If I have ever performed severe austerities, If I have ever done deeds that brought merit to my ancestors. If I have always followed the path of truth, may the Gods bring my beloved back to life!"

While he was lamenting his betrothed death, a messenger from the Gods arrived. He said, "Ruru. Know that the time of your fiance Primadvara had come to an end on earth. There is no use in your uttering these imprecations. They will not bring her back to life. However, the Gods have given you other means. You have been blessed with a long life. If you are willing to give up half your life for her, she will rise up from the dead."

Ruru gladly consented. The the messenger went to the abode of Yama and said, "The Gods have ordered that Primadvara should be brought back to life. In return, take half of Ruru's lifespan and be content."

Ruru married Primadvara, who had been restored from death to him and spent many happy years with her. He never forgot that a serpent was the reason he had almost lost her, so he became the mortal enemy of all serpents. If he ever chanced upon one, he would immediately destroy it.

One day he saw an old snake of Dundhuba species (this species is non-poisonous). He was about to kill it, but the snake convinced him of the folly of his actions. The snake was really a Rishi, who had played a prank on his close friend, for which he was cursed to become a snake. The Rishi was also delivered from his curse, which was to end when he met a descendant of Chyavana.

The gist of the Rishi's advice was that the power to punish is vested only in the Kshatriyas. A Brahmana must never give way to anger. You should not condemn a whole clan for a fault committed by some members of it etc. (Note: It is useful to compare this with the snake-sacrifice of Janamejaya. He was allowed to revenge himself on snakes because he was a king, with the duty of upholding Dharma in his dominion. The same right does not apply to Ruru).

Last Modified At: Mon May 30 14:35:14 2005