Ruru – Pramadvara

A lovely story of undying love told in the Pauloma Parva of the Mahabharata.

Cyavana (Bhrugu‘s son) and his wife Sukanya (Saryati’s daughter) had a son called Pramati. Pramati’s son Ruru fell in love with the beautiful Pramadvara, the daughter abondoned by Menaka, the Apsara and Viswavasu, the Gandharva Raja (King). Pramadvara was raised by Rishi Sthulakesa, much as Sakuntala was raised by Kanva.

Their wedding was fixed on the day of the Varga Daivata Nakshatram (Purva Phalguni). The poor maiden stepped on a snake (Naga) and turned hideous and died of snake-bite. “And Swastyatreya, Mahajana, Kushika, Sankhamekhala, Uddalaka, Katha, and Sweta of great renown, Bharadwaja, Kaunakutsya, Arshtishena, Gautama, Pramati, and Pramati’s son Ruru, and other inhabitants of the forest, came there.” …

Ruru went off by himself and lamented uncontrollably. Then a messenger from heaven appeared and gave him a solution. He said that if Ruru gave up half his life-duration (ayu) to Pramadvara, then she would live!. Ruru did this so happily and the Doota (messenger) talked to Yama Dharmaraja and arranged the transfer of half his ayu to Pramadvara and brought her back to life.

Ruru was very angry with the Nagas thenceforth and killed one whenever he saw one.

Pramadvara, abandoned by her real parents, found great love in her husband and foster father. Another thing that is nice to note is that Sthulakesa a Brahman Rishi raised the Kshatriya-Apasara girl, Pramadvara and married her to a brahman. Another antar-jatheeya vivah. (Inter-caste marriage).

Here also the marriage was fixed by nakshatra alone and not by horoscopes. Rama and Sita were married in the Uttara Phalguni Nakshatram and Ruru Pramadvara in the Poorva Phalguni Nakshatram.

Ruru and Pramadvara had a son called Sunaka, whose son Saunaka performed a 1000-varsha yajna in Naimisaranya at the beginning of Kaliyuga. Saunaka is the one who heard the Mahabharatam, Bhagavatam and  SivaPuranam from Suta and his son Ugrasrava.

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