Srimad-Bhagavatam: Canto 9 - Chapter 1 - Verse 3


बस्त एको वने कश्चिद् विचिन्वन् प्रियमात्मन: ।ददर्श कूपे पतितां स्वकर्मवशगामजाम् ॥ ३ ॥


basta eko vane kaścidvicinvan priyam ātmanaḥdadarśa kūpe patitāṁsva-karma-vaśagām ajām


While wandering in the forest, eating to satisfy his senses, a he-goat by chance approached a well, in which he saw a she-goat standing helplessly, having fallen into it by the influence of the results of fruitive activities.


Here Mahārāja Yayāti compares himself to a he-goat and Devayānī to a she-goat and describes the nature of man and woman. Like a he-goat, a man searches for sense gratification, wandering here and there, and a woman without the shelter of a man or husband is like a she-goat that has fallen into a well. Without being cared for by a man, a woman cannot be happy. Indeed, she is just like a she-goat that has fallen into a well and is struggling for existence. Therefore a woman must take shelter of her father, as Devayānī did when under the care of Śukrācārya, and then the father must give the daughter in charity to a suitable man, or a suitable man should help the woman by placing her under the care of a husband. This is shown vividly by the life of Devayānī. When King Yayāti delivered Devayānī from the well, she felt great relief and requested Yayāti to accept her as his wife. But when Mahārāja Yayāti accepted Devayānī, he became too attached and had sex life not only with her but with others, like Śarmiṣṭhā. Yet still he was dissatisfied. Therefore one should retire by force from such family life as Yayāti’s. When one is fully convinced of the degrading nature of worldly family life, one should completely renounce this way of life, take sannyāsa, and engage himself fully in the service of the Lord. Then one’s life will be successful.