Pratishthanapura: Capital of Satavahanas and of Sudyumna / Ila

Source : Vishnu Puranam : Skanda 4 : Adhyaya 1

If you take a look at the map below, you can see Pratishthana (Now Paithan) close to Janasthana in Dandakaranya, to the north of Kishkinda. Janasthana is the place where Sri Rama single handedly fought and killed 14000 rakshasas including Trisira while he was searching for Sita Devi. But that is a story for later.

The story for today is from the Vishnu Puranam. The time is before the flood of the Matsya Avataram. The King is Dravidisvara Satyavrata manu (aka Vaivaswatha Manu), the ancestor of Sri Rama.

He had a daughter called Ila, who was born before his sons, Ikshwáku, Nriga, Dhrisht́a, Śaryáti, Narishyanta, Pránśu, Nábhága, Nedisht́a, Karúsha, and Prishadhra. While praying Mitra and Varuna for a son, Satyavrata made a mistake in the procedure. That is why he was blessed with a daughter called Ila. He then entreated them so much that they kindly converted Ila into a prince called Sudyumna.

But one day, Sudyumna entered a forest sacred to Uma Devi, where no men were allowed to enter. So he turned into Ila again. At that time Budha, the son of Candra, saw Ila and married her. They had a wonderful son called Pururavas.

The rishis then prayed Sri Maha Vishnu and asked for Ila to become Sudyumna again. And so it came to be. As Sudyumna, he had 3 sons, Utkala, Gaya, and Vinata.

In the interim, Satyavrata had not given any part of his kingdom to princess Ila. So Vasishtha spoke to Satyavrata Vaivaswatha and on his suggestion, Sudyumna was given Pratishthana. Sudyumna gave that kingdom to Pururavas, the son of Budha and Ila.

(It is also said that Pratisht́hána was situated on the eastern side of the confluence of the Ganges and Jumna; the country between which rivers was the territory of the direct male descendants of Vaivaswata.)

“Pratishthana, the Satavahana capital, lies just beyond the northern border of the Ahmadnagar district.
The region on the north of the Godavari, now included in the Aurangabad District, was known by the name of Mulaka. This country together with its capital Pratishthana is mentioned in the Pali literature.” (Source)

Map Author : Jijith N.R.

According to the Matsya Puranam, the eldest son of Manu was Ida or Ila, whom his father appointed sovereign of the Sapta (Seven) Dwípas (Islands). In his progress round his dominions, Ila came to the forest of Śambhu where he was changed to a female, Ilá., as per a promise made formerly by Śiva to Párvatí, that any man who trespassed upon the sacred grove, would become a woman. After a season, the brothers of Ila looked for him, and asked Vaśisht́ha, their father’s priest, what to do. He asked them to worship Śiva and Uma. Siva and Parvathi said that if the Aśwamedha was performed by Ikshwáku, Ila would become a Kimpurusha, named Sudyumna, and that he should be a male one month, and a female another month, alternately.

The Váyu Purana states that upon Manu’s offering their share of the sacrifice to Mitra and Varuńa, instead of a boy, a girl was born according to the Vedas. Manu desired her to follow him whence her name beacame Ilá (from ila or id́a, ‘come’.) Manu propitiated Mitra and Varuńa, and the girl Ilá is changed into the boy Ila or Sudyumna by their favour.

In the Márkańd́eya Purana Sudyumna’s subsequent change to a female again, is told as in the Matsya; but his being alternately male and female is not mentioned in the Váyu.

As per The Bhágavatam Śraddhá, the wife of the Manu wanted a girl, and the Brahmans altered the purpose of the rite for her sake.

Authorship and Copyright Notice : All Rights Reserved.

All Rights for the Image Vest with the Source.