A Kshatriya Cannot Refuse A Woman

Srimad Bhagavatam 09.18.30-32 - A Kshatriya Cannot Refuse A Woman (download mp3)
by Jagannath Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty

SB 9.18.30
nahusaya sutam dattva
saha sarmisthayosana
tam aha rajañ charmistham
adhas talpe na karhicit

When Sukracarya gave Devayani in marriage to Yayati, he had Sarmistha go with her, but he warned the King, "My dear King, never allow this girl Sarmistha to lie with you in your bed."

SB 9.18.31
vilokyausanasim rajañ
charmistha suprajam kvacit
tam eva vavre rahasi
sakhyah patim rtau sati

O King Pariksit, upon seeing Devayani with a nice son, Sarmistha once approached King Yayati at the appropriate time for conception. In a secluded place, she requested the King, the husband of her friend Devayani, to enable her to have a son also.

SB 9.18.32
raja-putryarthito 'patye
dharmam caveksya dharmavit
smarañ chukra-vacah kale
distam evabhyapadyata

When Princess Sarmistha begged King Yayati for a son, the King was certainly aware of the principles of religion, and therefore he agreed to fulfill her desire. Although he remembered the warning of Sukracarya, he thought of this union as the desire of the Supreme, and thus he had sex with Sarmistha.

King Yayati was completely aware of the duty of a ksatriya. When a ksatriya is approached by a woman, he cannot deny her. This is a religious principle. Consequently, when Dharmaraja, Yudhisthira, saw Arjuna unhappy after Arjuna returned from Dvaraka, he asked whether Arjuna had refused a woman who had begged for a son. Although Maharaja Yayati remembered Sukracarya's warning, he could not refuse Sarmistha. He thought it wise to give her a son, and thus he had sexual intercourse with her after her menstrual period. This kind of lust is not against religious principles. As stated in Bhagavad-gita (7.11), dharmaviruddho bhutesu kamo 'smi: sex life not contrary to the principles of religion is sanctioned by Krsna. Because Sarmistha, the daughter of a king, had begged Yayati for a son, their combination was not lust but an act of religion.