Parashar says- ” With the help of Dhruva, his wife gave birth to two sons- Sishti and Bhavya. Sishti had five sons- Ripu, Ripunjay, Vipra, Vikal and Vrikteja. Ripu had a brilliant son Chakshush. Chakshush had a son Manu. Manu had sons- Puru, Kuru, Shatadyumna, Tapasvi, Satyavan, Suchi, Agnishtome, Atiratra, Sudyumna and Abhimanyu. Kuru had sons- Anga, Suman, Khyati, Kratu, Angira and Shivi. Anga had a son named Vena. The sages had churned the right hand of Vena to produce a son named Vainya. He later on became renowned as Prithu. He had even milked the earth for the benefit of his subjects.”
Maitreya says- “Why did the sages churn Vena’s hand? What was their purpose of getting Prithu?”
Parashar says- “Mrityu had his first child as a daughter named Sunitha who was married to Anga. Sunitha had given birth to Vena. Vena had all the faults of his maternal grandfather Mrityu and hence was devil-like in nature.” At the time of his coronation, Vena had declared- “I am the God and the Yagya Purusha. Hence, in future, no one shall perform Yagyas and donate Dakshaina.” The sages praised him and said- “O king! We speak about the benefit of you and your subjects. Through grand Yagyas, we shall worship omnipotent Lord Hari. Thus pleased, he will grant all your desires. O king! In the kingdom of which kings, Lord Hari is worshipped as the presiding deity of Yagyas, He fulfils all their desires.”
Vena said- “Who is greater than me and even venerable, whom you regard as the presiding deity of the Yagyas? All the deities like Brahma; Vishnu, Mahesh, Indra, Vayu etc. are present in the body of the king. Hence, the king has all the virtues of these deities. Therefore, do what I say. Such as a woman’s duty is to serve her husband, similarly it is your duty of all of you to obey my dictate.”
The sages tried to convince Vena repeatedly but in vain. At last, when he did not agree to their proposal, the sages killed him. Immediately after killing the king, the sages saw the clouds of dust rising all around. It was revealed to them upon enquiry that the subjects of a king-less kingdom have resorted to plundering and looting each other and it was because of that stampede that clouds of dust were rising.
The sages then churned the thighs of issue-less king and produced an ugly black man. He was feeling excited and asked the sages what he should do? The sages asked him to Nishid (sit down); hence he came to be known as Nishad. His progeny came to be known as Nishadgana. Appearance of Nishad did away with all the sins of Vena. The sages then churned Vena’s right hand and produced prowessive Prithu whose body was radiating like fire. As soon as he appeared, bow and arrow and shield of Lord Shiva descended from heaven and all the subjects felt extreme joy. With the birth of such a pious son, Vena attained a position in the heaven.
For the coronation of Prithu, Brahma himself had appeared there with the water from all the rivers and oceans, all kinds of gems and along with all the deities. Presence of chakra in right hand of Prithu pleased Brahma. This chakra of Lord Vishnu is present in the hands of extremely dominating kings. Such a king remains unaffected even by the gods.
Thus occupying the royal throne, King Prithu was a boon for his subjects. He was so religious that the seas and mountains paved way for him. His flag always remained fresh and new. Even there was no need to sow the seeds; the earth herself provided all the cereals. Cows gave milk spontaneously and every leaf of all the trees in the kingdom was full of honey.
Immediately after his appearance, King Prithu organised a grand Yagya. At the time of Somabhishek (bathing with grape-wine) during the Yagya, a man and a woman appeared from the earth. The sages advised them to pray King Prithu. With folded hands they asked that the king had arrived moments before them. His reputation had not spread far and wide. Why should then they pray such a king? The sage said that they should pray the king for the great achievements he would attain in future. King Prithu thought that it was because of merits that a man becomes praiseworthy. ‘Hence I will do exactly the same things that this couple would recite during the prayers’ thought the king. Thus during the later course, king Prithu planted those virtues firmly in his conscience and ruled the earth. During his rule, he performed many great Yagyas.
During the anarchy of his father’s regime, all the vegetation had been destroyed from all over the earth. There was nothing for the subjects to satisfy their hunger with. So, they approached him and said- “O great king! Due to the anarchy of your father’s regime, the earth had annihilated all the cereals within her. Your subjects have no choice but to starve. Kindly protect us from this condition.”
Pitiable condition of the subjects infuriated king Prithu. Taking the divine weapons of Lord Shiva, he ran after the earth. In guise of the cow, the earth ran in all the three worlds but wherever she went she found Prithu still chasing her. Thus shivering with fear, she ultimately appeared before him and said- “O king! Don’t you see the sin in killing a helpless woman.” Prithu said- “If killing a wretched person benefits scores of other people, there is no sin doing so.” The earth said- “You want to kill me in the interest of your subjects but think what will be the base of the subject then?” Prithu said- “You need not worry about that. I will myself support my subjects.” These words frightened the earth. She greeted the king and said- “O king! All the tasks started with a distinct purpose reach their completion successfully, so I am telling you a way out of the present condition. Do then, as you desire. I can give out all the herbs and cereals that I have annihilated in the form of milk. So, for the benefit of the subjects, kindly produce such a calf for which I can give milk spontaneously with motherly feelings. You then provide me with a plain surface everywhere so that I can produce milk that is the seed of all the cereals and herbs.”
King Prithu then uprooted many great mountains with his bow and arrow and stowed them at a single place. Before that there was no distinct demarcation of village, towns, cities etc. because of the plain surface of the earth and there was no distinct sequence of cereals, cows, agriculture and trade. All this systems started from the time of Prithu. Since then people began to populate those parts of the earth that were plain.
For the benefit of his subjects, King Pritu himself milked all the cereals from earth making Swayambhu Manu a calf. It is the cereals that still sustain the entire population of the world. Since then King Prithu came to be known as the father of earth because he had spared her life.