Yayati was one of the ancestors of the Pandavas. He had never known defeat'. He followed
the dictates of the sastras, adored the gods and venerated his ancestors with in tense
devotion. He became famous as a ruler devoted to the welfare of his subjects.
But as has already bee n told, he became
prematurely old by the curse of Sukra- charya for having wronged his wife Devayani. In the
words of the poet of the Mahabharata:
"Yayati attained that old age
whichdestroys beauty and brings on miseries." It is need less to describe the misery
of youth suddenly blighted into age, where the horrors of loss are accentuated by pangs of
Yayati, who found himself suddenly an old man,
was still haunted by the desire for sensual enjoyment. He had five beautiful sons, all
virtuous and accomplished. 'Yayati called them and appealed piteously to their affection:
"Thecurse of your grandfatherSukracharya
has made me unexpectedly and pre- maturely old. I have not had my fill of the joys of
life; for, not knowing what was in store for me ' I lived a life of restraint, denying
myself even lawful pleasures.