The Origin of Cities

Seeing her fulfilling everyone’s desires with her milk, Emperor Pṛthu fell in love with the Earth Goddess. But since he had taken her milk, she seemed like a mother to him, and it felt wrong to express his love in a romantic way. Even then, since he had threatened to punish her, it also felt wrong to love her like a mother. Finally, he realized that she was like his daughter, and he expressed this love to her with great affection.

Remembering that she had asked him to make her surface more level for the sake of agriculture, the Emperor stuck the mountaintops with arrows. They crumbled, and the earth became much more level.

The All-Attractive Son of Vena then turned his fatherly attention to the practical welfare of his people, who lived in a disorganized fashion, scattered here and there. He gave them places to live, organized into cooperative units: small villages, larger towns with markets, and large cities with bustling commercial centers. He also made fortresses with barracks to house the soldiers and protect farmers and animals in the pastures. And he built mining villages near the mountains, where miners dug for gold, silver, and other metals.

Previous to Pṛthu, planning of towns, villages and so on was unheard of. People simply lived wherever they liked, without fear. But after the calamities initiated by Vena, Pṛthu introduced these social structures to help people protect one another.

– Excerpt from an early draft of Part 4 of
Beautiful Tales of the All-Attractive
A translation of Śrīmad Bhāgavatam’s fourth canto
[4.18.28- 32]
By Vraja Kishor []
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