(Last Updated on : 16/02/2009)
Devayani is the name of daughter of a Brahman priest called Sukra. She fell in love with her father's student Kanju. But, when Devayani felt her advances rejected, she turned into a soured and bad tempered lady with malicious character.
It is said that one day Devayani went to jungle with Sarmishta, daughter of the Raja of the Daityas and some other young damsel. After reaching a pleasant pool they all threw off their garments and went into the water to bathe. At that time Vayu, the god of the wind was passing by that place. When Vayu saw their clothes upon the bank he mingled them up together. When Devayani and other damsels came out of the water, Devayani and Sarmishta by mistake put on each others' clothes and quarrelled. At last Sarmishta pushed Devayani into a well and left her there.
At that time a Raja named Yayati was hunting in the forest. He then discovered her in the well and got Devayani out from it. When Devayani met her maid after that she said she would never enter the city again. Devayani's father Sukra went to the Raja of the Daityas to ask for an apology from him for his daughter's conduct.
But Devayani said to the Raja that she would be satisfied upon one condition that when her father gets her married, Sarmishta shall be given to her as a servant. Raja agreed at this and Devayani had afterwards the daily attendance of Sarmishta and her maids. Devayani got married to the Raja Yayati with the permission from her father. Sukra called his son in law and warned him not even to touch Sarmishta.
But, Sarmishta took her revenge after two or three years by stealing away Yayati's affections. After some time a son was born to Yayati and Devayani and they named him as Yadu. It was at this time that Sarmishta met Yayati secretly and requested for a son by him. He was scared and refused. But using her wits she made the king Yayati for agreeing for her proposal and son called Druhyu was born to them. Devayani came to know about the birth of a child to Sarmishta but did not know that Yayati was the child's father. Years passed by and Devayani begot another child called Thurvasu and Sarmishta gave birth to two sons called Anudruhyu and Pooru.
Once day, when Devayani and the king came to the palace garden, Sarmishta's three sons had also come there. Devayani could find a striking similarity of the children of Sarmishta with King Yayati. She called them and asked the name of their father. They informed without any hesitation that the king Yayati himself is their father.
At this, Devayani got angered very much and returned back to sage Sukra and informed him all the happenings. Sukra got infuriated and cursed that Yayati should become an old man. By this time, Yayati reached there and craved for his pardon. Sukra then told him that Yayati can exchange his old man status for 100 years, if any one willingly exchanges it for his youth. Yayati came back and called each of his sons and requested them to exchange their youth with him. Only Pooru agreed. Yayati then lived for 100 years as king. After him Pooru became the king.