In Hindu mythology, Devayani (Sanskrit: देवयानी, Devayānī) was a daughter of Shukracharya, Daitya guru and his wife Jayanti, daughter of Indra.[2][3] She was married to Yayati, and gave birth to two sons — Yadu and Turvasu.[4] Before her marriage, she once fell in love with Brihaspati's son, Kacha. However, he refused to marry her.

Devyani being rescued from the well by Yayati, painting by BP Banerjee.
AffiliationKuru queen
Personal information
ChildrenYadu, Turvasu, Madhavi

Love for KachaEdit

Kacha was the son of Brihaspati. He was sent by Devas to Sukra's ashram to learn about Mrita Sanjeevani mantra. Shukra accepted him as his student. However, the Danavas didn’t like this. They wanted to kill him. They tried to kill him twice but on both occasions, Shukracharya revives him at the request of her daughter Devyani. Devyani was secretly in love with Kacha.

Third-time Danavas killed him in a different way. They burned his body and the ashes were mixed with liquor. When Devayani found Kacha missing again, she complained to her father. Sukra got to know that Kacha's body was in the liquor which was to be consumed by the Danavas, he quickly consumed all the liquor so that he can bring kacha in his stomach. He was in a dilemma as if he revives Kacha then Shukra would die. So Sukra taught Kacha sanjeevani mantra. Kacha was revived and taken out by piercing Sukra’s stomach and with the mantra, he, in turn, revives his teacher.

After achieving his goal, Kacha was about to leave the gurukul. Devayani expressed her love and proposed to him. Kacha told that he came out of her father’s womb and hence Sukra becomes his father. So he considered Devyani as a sister. Devayani didn’t buy this line and disappointed she cursed him that the Vidya he had learnt won’t work for him. In turn, Kacha cursed her back to marry outside the Brahmin family. After the incident they parted their ways and never met again.[5]

Scuffle with SharmișthaEdit

Sharmishtha was the daughter of Vrisaparva, the Danava king, for whom Shukracharya was an adviser. One day Sharmishtha, daughter of the Danava king Vrishparva and Devayani, daughter of the Daitya sage Shukracharya, go with Sharmishtha's retinue to bathe in a forest pool not far from their home. After bathing, Sharmishtha confuses Devayani's sari with hers and puts it on instead. Devayani returns, scolds Sharmishtha for her mistake and belittles her with the jibe that she is the daughter of Shukracharya (Shukracharya being a sage and high priest and indeed the guru of all the Asuras - no mere employee) as Vrishparva's and their Kingdom lives on his blessings. This slur on herself and her father Vrishparva infuriates Sharmishtha with the help of her servants throws the naked Devayani into a well and leaves the forest with her retinue. Later Yayati, son of Nahusha, comes to the well for water and helps Devayani to climb out of it.[6][7]

When Devyani comes back to her father, she narrates the whole story and demands that Sharmishtha along with other asura girls serve her as a maid, which Vrishparva has to agree for he doesn't want to offend Shukracharya.[8]


Devayani standing besides Yayati, questions Sharmishtha

Some days later Devayani goes to a picnic in the forest along with her Sharmishtha and other servants. There Yayati comes for hunting and they meet again. This time she brings him to her father and tells him that they would like to marry. Shukracharya gives his consent and tells Yayati that he should take care of Sharmista too as she was a princess but shouldn't have nuptial relation with her. Yayati marries Devayani and looks after her well.[9]

Yayati sired two sons, Yadu and Thurvasu with Devyani. Unknown to her he was in a relationship with Sharmista and had three sons with her, Dhruhyu, Anu and Puru. When Devayani learns of this she leaves him and returns to her father's place. Shukracharya curses him with premature old age. However, on Yayati's insistence, he agrees to reduce the curse on the condition that Yayati can swap his old age with the youth of any of his young sons. Yayati swaps his youth with his 5th son Puru.[10]


  1. ^ Contradictory to this, Devi Bhagavata Purana mentions Urjjasvati as Jayanti's mother.
  2. ^ Puranic Encyclopedia: a comprehensive dictionary with special reference to the epic and Puranic literature, Vettam Mani, Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi, 1975, p. 760.
  3. ^ Dikshitar, V. R. Ramachandra (31 January 1996). The Purana Index. Motilal Banarsidass Publishe. ISBN 978-81-208-1273-4.
  4. ^ Mayank Srivastava. "Devayani, Yayati, Sharmishtha, Puru , A Story of friendship and hostility". (in Hindi). Archived from the original on 14 July 2020. Retrieved 7 May 2020.
  5. ^ Chandrakant, Kamala (1972). Kacha and Devayani: A Tale from the Mahabharata. India Book House. ISBN 978-81-7508-172-7. Archived from the original on 12 October 2020. Retrieved 14 September 2020.
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 9 February 2018. Retrieved 22 January 2018.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ Sattar, Arshia (4 January 2018). "Caste above friendship". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 1 September 2020.
  8. ^ Mani, Vettam (1975). Puranic encyclopaedia : a comprehensive dictionary with special reference to the epic and Puranic literature. Robarts - University of Toronto. Delhi : Motilal Banarsidass. p. 215.
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 9 February 2018. Retrieved 22 January 2018.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^ Garg, Ashutosh (2020). Indra: The Saga of Purandar. Manjul Publishing. ISBN 978-93-89647-75-4.

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