The lineage of Puru grew as Puru, Janmejaya, Prachinvan, Praveer, Manasyu, Abhayad, Sudayu, Bahugat, Sanyati, Ahamyati, Raudrashva. Raudrashva had ten sons among whom Riteshu was the most prominent. Riteshu had three sons among whom Apratirath was most prominent. Lineage of Apratirath is as follows- Apratirath, Aileen, Dushyant and Bharata. King Dushyant had fallen in love with Shakuntala, the daughter of sage Vishwamitra and apsara Menaka.
They got married secretly in the forest and after a few days, King Dushyant returned to his kingdom promising Shakuntala that he would call her as soon as he reached his palace. He had given Shakuntala his ring as a memento. But while Shakuntala was crossing the river on her way to the palace, the ring slipped from her finger and was swallowed by a fish. In the absence of the ring, King Dushyant refused to identify Shakuntala. So, she returned to the hermitage of sage Vishwamitra and gave birth to a child who later on became famous as Bharata.
Bharata had been very prowessive since his childhood. His first meeting with King Dushyant was also very dramatical. It is said that once King Dushyant was hunting in the forest and he saw a boy who was counting the teeth of a lion. Impressed by the bravery of the boy, the king enquired about his parentage and reached the hermitage where sage Vishwamitra narrated him the whole story. Meanwhile a fisherman had also recovered the ring from the fish and handed it to the king who had thus recalled the whole story. In the hermitage, King Dushyant came to see Shakuntala and he candidly accepted her and his son Bharata. Bharata had three queens and nine children. Since none of the children resembled him in features, he expressed his doubts about their paternity. Fearing the wrath of Bharata, his queens killed all the children. Then with a desire to have a son, Bharata organised a Marutsoma Yagya. As a result he got Bharadwaj as his son. Bharadwaj’s second name was Vitath. His lineage grew as follows- Vitath, Manyu.
Manyu had many sons like Brihatkshatra, Mahaveer, Nara, Garg etc. Their lineage grew as follows Nara, Sanskriti, Gurupreeti and Rantidev. Garg had a son Shini who became famous as Gargya and Shainya also. Mahaveer lineage is as follows- Durukshay, Trayyaruni, Pushkarinya and Kapi. In the lineage of Brihatkshatra occurred a king Hasti who founded the city of Hastinapur. Hasti had three sons- Ajmirh, Dwijmirh and Purumirh. Among the sons of Ajmirh were included Panchals and a daughter Ahilya. Ahilya was married to sage Gautam. They had a son Shatanand. Satyaghriti was the son of Shatanand. Once Satyaghriti happened to sight the extremely amorous and beautiful apsara Urvashi. Her mere sight was enough to cause the ejaculation of his semen, which fell on a reed and divided into two parts. From these two parts were born a boy Krip and a girl Kripi. King Shantanu discovered Krip and Kripi in the forest and brought them to his palace. In later course, Kripi was married to Dronacharya, the teacher of Kauravas and Pandavas. Ashwatthama was the son of Dronacharya. One of the kings named Kuru in the lineage of Ajmirh established the sacred region of Kurukshetra.
DESCRIPTION OF KURU VANSH
In the lineage of Kuru, there occurred a King Prateep. He had three sons- Devapi, Shantanu and Vahlik. Devapi had taken an abode in the forest in his childhood. Hence Shantanu came to become a king after their father Prateep.
Once in the kingdom of King Shantanu, there was no rainfall for twelve years. Perplexed by the continuous drought-like situation, Shantanu consulted learned Brahmins. Brahmins informed him that he had no genuine right on the kingdom, which in fact belonged to his brother Devapi.
They also told him that as long as Devapi was not fallen from his supreme position, the drought would continue. Alternatively, handing over the kingdom to Devapi might also result in the end of the drought. Then Shantanu’s minister Ashmasari appointed certain Brahmins who always spoke in anti-Vedas ways. Their continuous preaching disinclined Devapi’s mind from Vedas. On the other hand one day, King Shantanu proceeded towards the forest along with Brahmins and his courtiers to hand over the kingdom to Devapi. There the Brahmins tried to convince Devapi to accept the onus of the kingdom. They were sighting anecdotes from the Vedas to corroborate their argument. But Devapi criticised Vedas and spoke in anti-religious ways. At that Brahmins instructed the king to return to the kingdom, as there was no use to convince Devapi. They also assured Shantanu that since Devapi had been disinclined from Vedas, he had lost his right to the kingdom and the famine would also come to an end.
Shantanu’s younger brother Vahlik had a son Somadutta. Bhuri, Bhurishrava and Shalya were the sons of Somadutta. In later course Shantanu got married to Ganga and had a son Bhisma. From his second wife Satyavati, Shantanu had two sons- Chitrangad and Vichitraveerya. Chitrangad was killed by a Gandharva whereas younger Vichitraveerya was married to the princesses of Kashi, Ambika and Ambalika. He was so busy in carnal pleasures with his two wives that soon he contracted tuberculosis and died. Despite their indulgence in carnal pleasures, Ambika and Ambalika could not bear a child from Vichitraveerya. Hence in order to continue their lineage, Satyavati inspired Ambika and Ambalika to appear naked before Veda Vyasa and beget a child. Since Ambika closed her eyes while she appeared naked before Veda Vyasa, she begot a blind son, Dhritarashtra. Similarly, Ambalika grew pale when she appeared naked before Veda Vyasa. Hence she begot a son Pandu who was congenitally afflicted with jaundice. Not satisfied by the outcome, Satyavati once again persuaded Ambika and Ambalika to appear naked before Veda Vyasa. But the queens sent a maidservant Vinita before Veda Vyasa. Vinita appeared naked before Veda Vyasa without any fear or shyness. Hence she begot an extremely wise son Vidura. In later course Dhritarashtra got married to Gandhari, the princess of Kandahar whereas Pandu received two wives Kunti, the daughter of Shoorsen and Madri, the princess of Madra. Dhritarashtra had one hundred sons and a daughter Dushala. Duryodhan was the eldest among the one hundred sons of Dhritarashtra. Pandu on the other hand had five sons among whom Yudhisthira was the eldest.
All the five sons of Pandu were born with the help of five gods- Dharma, Vayu, Indra and Ashwini Kumars because Pandu was carrying a curse that he would die if he ever tried to copulate. Pandu’s five sons- Yudhisthira, Bhima, Arjuna, Nakul and Sahadev came to be known as Pandavas. Five Pandavas were married to Draupadi, the daughter of Panchal King Drupad. From Draupadi each of the Pandavas had a son. Their names were Prativindya from Yudhisthira, Shrutsen from Bhima, Shrutkirti from Arjuna, Shrutaneek from Nakul and Shrutkarma from Sahadev. Besides them Yudhisthira had a son Devak from Yaudheyi. From Hidimba, Bhima had a son Ghatotkachch and from Kashi a son Sarvak. From Vijaya, Sahadev had a son Suhotra whereas from Renumati, Nakul had a son Nirmitra. Arjuna was the most prowessive among the Pandavas. Apart from Draupadi he had three more wives- Ulupi who belonged to the Nagas, Chitrangada, the princess of Manipur and Subhadra, the sister of Lord Krishna. From these three wives Arjuna had three sons-Iravan from Ulupi, Vabhruvahan from Chitrangada and Abhimanyu from Subhadra. In the battle of Mahabharata all these sons of the Pandavas fought valiantly and sacrificed their lives. It was Abhimanyu’s son Parikshit who continued the lineage of Pandavas and ruled the earth till right now.