Swayambhuv Manu’s second son Priyavrata was a great devotee to God, He performed a great service to divine sage, Devarshi Narada and thereby received ultimate knowledge. He had freed himself completely from the worldly attachment, his father Swayambhuv Manu, However, thought that Priyavrata had a very good character and that he should be made the king,
Priyavrata found himself in a great trouble. He was, if fact, a yogi, who rejoiced in his self- knowledge. He thought, if he is engaged in royal duties, he will have no time for his devotion. So, he decided not to accept the responsibility. Since he thought devotion to God to be the most important duty, he decided to commit the sin of disobeying the father.
Manu’s father Lord Brahma, however, always has the sole object of increasing the population of the world. When he saw Priyavrata to be indifferent from carrying out the obligation of domestic life, he came to impress upon him. With folded hands everybody greeted Lord Brahma. Lord Brahma then said to Priyavrata- listen son, I m going to tell you something very important. Listen carefully. Even myself your father Manu and Devarshi Narada are leading lives as desired by God. What are the works that we have to do, the amount of suffering that we have to undergo, the amount of fear that we have to receive, all this is determined by God. As an animal tied with a rope moves, likewise we all are tied by God’s desire. Even if someone abandons the domestic life and proceeds for forest, the knot still remains. Those who are knowledgeable or who rejoice in their self-knowledge, what harm can be done to them by the Grihasthashram, the domestic stage of life?
So O Son! Take shelter in the feet of God; enjoy the stately pleasures given by God and then having been unaccompanied fix yourself in your self- form.
‘As You Please’ said Priyavrata and accepted Lord Brahma’s order.
Fixing his attention towards the feet of God and to honour the order of the elders, Priyavrata started ruling the state. In spite of being among the worldly pleasure and family, he always remained unattached.
There is another story about Priyavrata according to which he noticed darkness over half of the earth. So, he resolved that there should be light all over the earth. He mounted a glittering chariot and drove it after the sun in the speed alike. Due to his devotion towards God, he had been so powerful that he completed seven parikramas(circumambulations) of the earth. The wheels of his chariot made out seven tracks that subsequently became seven oceans and seven islands. Priyavrata gifted the kingly state of one island each to his seven sons.
When finally he was fed up enjoying the worldly pleasure of domestic life he thought- ‘curse on me ! I am still drawn towards worldly pleasure’ . he then abandoned his wives and devoting himself to the thought of God proceeded towards the way described by Devarshi Narada slowly having renounced the world he fixed himself in his self- form.