The sixth Manu was Chakshusha. One of Chakshusha‘s descendants was the great king Pirthu, the son of Vena. Chakshusha had a son named Uru and Uru had a son named Anga. Agna maried Sunitha, and they had a son named Vena. Vena was evil and when he became the king, he started to oppress the world and his subjects. The sages had no option but to kill Vena. The sages then began to knead Vena‘s dead body. When the right arm of the dead body was kneaded, Prithu was born. He emerged fully grown and with a bow and several arrows held in this hand. He as also dressed in invincible armour. Such was Prithu‘s radiance that he blazed like the flaming sun.
The sages interrupted Lomaharshana. ―How came Vena to be evil?‖ they asked. ―And if Vena was evil, why wasn‘t Prithu evil as well?‖ they asked. Vena‘s mother was Sunitha and Sunitha was the daughter of Mrityu was really evil. Right from his birth, Vena tended to associate with this maternal grandfather and thus picked up evil ways. He stopped believing in the Vedas . In fact, when he become king, Vena instructed that all yajnas should cease in his kingdom. There was no need to pray to the gods. The only person who was deserving of worship was Vena himself. The sages tried to persuade Vena to give up his evil ways and bring him back to the righteous path, but Vena refused to listen. It was then that the sages slew Vena.
But Vena had no son. Who would be king in his place? There had to be a king, otherwise the kingdom would degenerate into anarchy. To obtain a son, the sages started to knead the dead body. When the left arm was kneaded, a dwarf was born as a result of the kneading. The dwarf was dark in complexion and exceedingly ugly. ―Sit,‖ the sages told the dwarf, ―nishida.‖ (The word nishida means ‗to sit‘). All the evil that was in Vena‘s body went into the body of the dwarf and the dead body was cleansed of all evil. The dwarf came to acquire the name of nishada from the word nishida. His descendants were also known by the same name and became a race of hunters and fishermen. They lived in the Vindhya mountains. Thus, when the dead body was kneaded again, there was no more evil left and Prithu came to be righteous. The word prithu means plump. Since Vena‘s right palm was fairly plump and since Vena‘s son was born when the right palm was kneaded, the son acquired the name of Prithu. The sages arranged for Prithu‘s coronation. The waters of all the rivers and all the oceans were brought for this ceremony. All the gods graced the occasion by their presence. Thus it was that Prithu came to rule over the entire earth. He ruled well and his subjects prospered. The earth yielded an abundant supply or foodgrains. The cows were full of milk.
It was at the time that Brahma organised a yajna. Two classes of people known as the sutas and the magadhas were born from this yajna. They were actually cross-breeds. The sutas were, for example, the offspring of kshatriya fathers and brahmana mothers. The sages asked the sutas and the magadhas to compose and sing songs in praise of the great king Prithu. Even since that day, the sutas and the magadhas became raconteurs who sung songs in praise of kings. The sutas were asked to live in the region known a Anupa and the magadhas in the region known as Magadha.
However, Prithu‘s subjects still did not possess any specific occupations. They therefore went to their king and said, ―Please tell us how we may make a living.‖
To achieve this end, Prithu decided to level out the earth. But the earth was scared and, adopting the form of a cow, started to flee. This angered Prithu and he pursued the earth with his bow in his hand. Wherever in the three worlds the earth fled to. Prithu followed. He was determined to kill the earth.
Finally, the earth sought refuge with Prithu himself. ―Please do not kill me,‖ she said. ―I am a woman and killing a woman is a crime. Besides, if you kill me, how will your subjects make a living? I have a better idea. I have adopted the form of cow. Milk me instead and your objective will be attained.‖
Prithu did what the earth had asked him to. He milked the earth. As a result of this milking, seeds of foodgrains emerged and people could make a living out of these. Prithu also used his bow to level out the earth. Villages and cities could now be built in the plains. Earlier, these had been unknown. Agriculture, animal husbandry and trade had also been unknown earlier.
It was after Prithu that the earth came to be known as prithivi. This milking of the earth was in addition to the original milking of the earth that Brahma had performed. In fact, the earth was milked once in every manvantara.