As per Valmiki Ramayana, Yadu was cursed so that his race will not intermingle with lunar dynasty. But Subhadra was married to Arjuna of lunar race?

You are an intractable Rakshasa born to me as a warrior, O You who dost disregard my behests 1 You shalt never be king 1 Since you have set me at nought, who am your sire and your spiritual director, you shalt beget terrible Rakshasas and Yatudhanas! Assuredly, O You of perverse soul, your race shall not intermingle with the issue of the lunar race and will resemble you in conduct.

Mahabharata Adi Parva, where Yayati's story is narrated doesn't mention the intermingling part or of Rakshasas.

Is there any other references for this or an explanation for Subhadra's marriage, Krishna born as Rakshasa? Or, Ramayana is just one off?

  • This could be an interpolation. Uttara Kanda has several such interpolations. Commented Oct 21, 2023 at 6:11
  • 1
    Uttara Khanda is 100% valid, not an interpolation. "rakshasa" curse to yadavas was leveraged by krishna for exhibiting supernatural powers which human avatar like rama did not exhibit.
    – ekAntika
    Commented Oct 21, 2023 at 10:04
  • @mImAMsaka - this chapter was removed from Critical edition of Valmiki Ramayana because it is not present in several manuscripts of Uttara Kanda. Commented Oct 21, 2023 at 11:53
  • @GokulRenjith - not necessary that if something is missing in manuscripts, it is an interpolation. It can be looked from other perspective as well - scriptures were taken down as notes by disciples, it is quite possible that one bright student captured this but others failed to capture. This chapter is very much archaic in content as yadava-rakshasa curse is mentioned in some puranic versions also. Of course, something like a bhavishya purana chapter on victoria, akbar, etc. is definitely an interpolation.
    – ekAntika
    Commented Oct 21, 2023 at 15:00
  • 1
    I have given an answer hinduism.stackexchange.com/a/58463/24460, you may check if you're interested. @ekAntika Thanks🙏
    – Bingming
    Commented Mar 2 at 21:51

1 Answer 1


H.P Shastri's translation of the relevant ślokas is inaccurate, based on improper interpretation. The actual ślokas are saying nothing about intermarriage b/w the descendants of Yadu and those of Candravaṁśa. These are the relevant ślokas which are spoken by Yayāti to Yadu-

rākṣasastavaṁ mayā jātaḥ kṣatrarūpo durāsadaḥ /
pratihaṁsi mamājñā tvaṁ prajārthe viphalo bhava //
pitaraṁ gurubhūtaṁ māṁ yasmāt tvamavamanyase /
rākṣasān yātudhānāṁstava janayiṣyasi dāruṇān //
na tu somakulotpanno vaṁśe sthāsyati durmateḥ /
vaṁśo'pi bhavatastulyo durvinīto bhaviṣyati //
~ Uttarakāṇḍa (59.14-16)

Goldman et al. provided the following Eng. translation.

  1. "In you, I have given birth to an incorrigible rākṣasa in the form of a son. Since you disobeyed my command, you shall have no power over the people."
  2. "Since, you disregarded me, your father, who is your guru, you shall father fearsome rākṣasas who are yātudhānas,"
  3. "And, durmati prince, your lineage, arising from the Somakula, will not endure. For your descendants will be as durvinīta as you are."

In the Notes, elucidation by the traditional commentaries (comms.) is mentioned-

14- tvaṁ prajārthe viphalo bhāva (you shall have no power over the people) literally is "you be useless or ineffectual on behalf of the subjects." These ślokas mean that Yadu will be deprived of succession to the throne (of Candravaṁśa). The comm. Tilaka points that Yadu will be useless w.r.t the purpose that's characterized by the lordship of people. The meaning, Tilaka continues, is that Yadu will be deprived of the rulership of kingdom. (prajārthe prajānām ādhipatyalakṣaṇe prayojane viphalo bhāva / rājyādhipatyarahito bhavety arthaḥ - Tilaka). The comms. Amṛtakataka & Bhuṣaṇa take the term prajā in its sense of 'offspring' and see it as referring specifically to a son. According to these comms., the expression means that Yadu will be ineffectual, i.e. to say, deprived of any purpose w.r.t that thing, i.e., kingship, which is to be received from one's father by his son (prajayā putreṇa pituḥ sakāśāt prāpyārtho rājyādi lakṣaṇarūpas tasmin viphala uktaprayojanarahita ity arthaḥ - Bhuṣaṇa ; Amṛtakataka similarly).

16- na tu somakulotpanno vaṁśaḥ sthāsyati (And... your lineage, arising from the Somakula will not endure). The comms. Amṛtakataka and Tilaka add the term santānaḥ, to serve as subject for the verb sthāsyati. This lends the line the sense "the line of descendants of you [who are durmati] will not be established in the lineage born of the Somakula." According to comm. Tilaka, the meaning of the śloka is that those descendants of Yadu who're not rākṣasas will be merely Kṣatriyas but will not be consecrated to the position of kingship of Somavaṁśa. This, according to Tilaka, is because they will be as durvinīta as Yadu himself. (yo 'py arākṣasas tava santānaḥ so 'py kṣatriyamātram eva na tu somavaṁṣarājapadābhiṣiktaḥ / bhavattulya durvinītatvād iti bhāvaḥ). This explanation appears to conform to the Mahābhārata's version, in which Yayāti announces that he wouldn't appoint Yadu as the king, and instead choose his younger brother Puru as the successor to the throne of Candravaṁśa, because Yadu had disobeyed him. (Ādi Parva 85.23-27). Later, it's also stated that from Yadu came the Yādavas and from Puru came the Pauravas (Ādi Parva 85.34). Pauravas became rulers of Somakula after Puru. Yadu found his own dynasty, becoming progenitor of Yādavas in Mathurā & Dvārakā.

So, I hope it's clear now that not all Yaduvaṁśīs are rākṣasas and the above ślokas don't talk about the intermarriage of Yaduvaṁśīs and the other Somavaṁśīs. Also, on a side note, Arjuna-Subhadrā wasn't the first union b/w Pauravas & Yaduvaṁśīs, for Arjuna's mother Pṛthā (Kuntī) was also a Yaduvaṁśī, being biological daughter of Śūrasena & sister of Vasudeva.

The numbering of the ślokas from Vālmīki Rāmāyaṇa & Mahābhārata, follows Gītā Press.

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