Asuras

Created by Jijith Nadumuri at 23 Jul 2011 08:25 and updated at 23 Jul 2011 08:25

VISHNU PURANA NOUN

vp.1.5 pervaded his body; and thence the demons (the Asuras) were first born, issuing from his thigh. Brahma then abandoned that form which was, composed of the rudiment of darkness, and which, being deserted by him, became night. Continuing to create, but assuming a different. shape, he experienced pleasure; and thence from his mouth proceeded the gods, endowed with the quality of goodness. The form abandoned by him, became day, in which the good quality predominates; and hence by day the gods are most powerful, and by night the demons. He next adopted another person, in which the rudiment of goodness also prevailed; and thinking of himself, as the father of the world, the progenitors (the Pitris) were born from his side. The body, when he abandoned, it, became the Sandhya (or evening twilight), the interval between day and night. Brahma then assumed another person, pervaded by the quality of foulness; and from this, men, in whom foulness (or passion) predominates, were produced. Quickly abandoning that body, it became morning twilight, or the dawn. At the appearance of this light of day, men feel most vigour; while the progenitors are most powerful in the evening season. In this manner, Maitreya, Jyotsna (dawn), Ratri (night), Ahar (day), and Sandhya (evening), are the four bodies of Brahma invested by the three qualities 15.
vp.1.9 us, who have fled to thee: oh lord of all, protect us with thy great power, in union with the goddess who is thy strength 6." Hari, the creator of the universe, being thus prayed to by the prostrate divinities, smiled, and thus spake: "With renovated energy, oh gods, I will restore your strength. Do you act as I enjoin. Let all the gods, associated with the Asuras, cast all sorts of medicinal herbs into the sea of milk; and then taking the mountain Mandara for the churning stick, the serpent Vasuki for the rope, churn the ocean together for ambrosia; depending upon my aid. To secure the assistance of the Daityas, you must be at peace with them, and engage to give them an equal portion of the fruit of your associated toil; promising them, that by drinking the Amrita that shall be produced from the agitated ocean, they shall become mighty and immortal. I will take care that the enemies of the gods shall not partake of the precious draught; that they shall share in the labour alone."
vp.1.17 According to the commands of his father, Prahlada was conducted by the Daityas back to the house of his Guru; where, assiduous in attendance on his preceptor, he constantly improved in wisdom. After a considerable time had elapsed, the sovereign of the Asuras sent for him again; and on his arrival in his presence, desired him to recite some poetical composition. Prahlada immediately began, "May he from whom matter and soul originate, from whom all that moves or is unconscious proceeds, he who is the cause of all this creation, Vishnu, be favourable unto us!" On hearing which, Hiranyakasipu exclaimed, "Kill the wretch! he is not fit to live, who is a traitor to his friends, a burning brand to his own race!" and his attendants, obedient to his orders, snatched up their weapons, and rushed in crowds upon Prahlada, to destroy him. The prince calmly looked upon them, and said, Daityas", as truly as Vishnu is present in your weapons and in my body, so truly shall those weapons fail to harm me:" and accordingly, although struck heavily and repeatedly by hundreds of the Daityas, the prince felt not the least pain, and his strength was ever renewed. His father then endeavoured to persuade him to refrain from glorifying his enemy, and promised him immunity if the would not be so foolish as to persevere but Prahlada replied, that he felt no fear as long as his immortal guardian against all dangers was present in his mind, the recollection of whom was alone sufficient to dissipate all
vp.1.18 hen, I implore thee, let these, the priests of the Asuras, be now restored to life." Thus having prayed, the Brahmans immediately rose up, uninjured and rejoicing; and bowing respectfully to Prahlada, they blessed him, and said, "Excellent prince, may thy days be many; irresistible be thy prowess; and power and wealth and posterity be thine." Having thus spoken, they withdrew, and went and told the king of the Daityas all that had passed.
vp.1.19 "It is true that I have been instructed in all these matters by my venerable preceptor, and I have learnt them, but I cannot in all approve them. It is said that conciliation, gifts, punishment, and sowing dissension are the means of securing friends (or overcoming foes) 1; but I, father be not angry know neither friends nor foes; and where no object is to be accomplished, the means of effecting it are superfluous. It were idle to talk of friend or foe in Govinda, who is the supreme soul, lord of the world, consisting of the world, and who is identical with all beings. The divine Vishnu is in thee, father, in me, and in all every where else; and hence how can I speak of friend or foe, as distinct from myself? It is therefore waste of time to cultivate such tedious and unprofitable sciences, which are but false knowledge, and all our energies should be dedicated to the acquirement of true wisdom. The notion that ignorance is knowledge arises, father, from ignorance. Does not the child, king of the Asuras, imagine the fire fly to be a spark of fire. That is active duty, which is not for our bondage; that is knowledge, which is for our liberation: all other duty is good only unto weariness; all other knowledge is only the cleverness of an artist. Knowing this, I look upon all such acquirement as profitless. That which is really profitable hear me, oh mighty monarch, thus prostrate before thee, proclaim. He who cares not for dominion, he who cares not for wealth, shall
vp.2.5 Below the seven Patalas is the form of Vishnu, proceeding from the quality of darkness, which is called sesha 4, the excellencies of which neither Daityas nor Danavas can fully enumerate. This being is called Ananta by the spirits of heaven, and is worshipped by sages and by gods. He has a thousand heads, which are embellished with the pure and visible mystic sign 5: and the thousand jewels in his crests give light to all the regions. For the benefit of the world he: deprives the Asuras of their strength. He rolls his eyes fiercely, as if intoxicated. He wears a single ear ring, a diadem, and wreath upon each brow; and shines like the white mountains topped with flame. He is clothed in purple raiment, and ornamented with a white necklace, and looks like another Kailasa, with the heavenly Ganga flowing down its precipices. In one hand he holds a plough, and in the other a pestle; and he is attended by Varuni (the goddess of wine), who is his own embodied radiance. From his mouths, at the end of the Kalpa, proceeds the venomed fire that, impersonated as Rudra, who is one with Balarama, devours the three worlds.
vp.3.18 The delusions of the false teacher paused not with the conversion of the Daityas to the Jaina and Bauddha heresies, but with various erroneous tenets he prevailed upon others to apostatize, until the whole were led astray, and deserted the doctrines and observances inculcated by the three Vedas. Some then spake evil of the sacred books; some blasphemed the gods; some treated sacrifices and other devotional ceremonies with scorn; and others calumniated the Brahmans. "The precepts," they cried, "that lead to the injury of animal life (as in sacrifices) are highly reprehensible. To say that casting butter into flame is productive of reward, is mere childishness. If Indra, after having obtained godhead by multiplied rites, is fed upon the wood used as fuel in holy fire, he is lower than a brute, which feeds at least upon leaves. If an animal slaughtered in religious worship is thereby raised to heaven, would it not be expedient for a man who institutes a sacrifice to kill his own father for a victim? If that which is eaten by one at a sraddha gives satisfaction to another, it must be unnecessary for one who resides at a distance to bring food for presentation in person 6." "First, then, let it be determined what may be (rationally) believed by mankind, and then," said their preceptor, "you will find that felicity may be expected from my instructions. The words of authority do not, mighty Asuras, fall from heaven: the text that has reason is alone to be acknowledged by me, and
vp.4.2 In the Treta age a violent war 11 broke out between the gods and the Asuras, in which the former were vanquished. They consequently had recourse to Vishnu for assistance, and propitiated him by their adorations. The eternal ruler of the universe, Narayana, had compassion upon them, and said, "What you desire is known unto me. Hear how your wishes shall be fulfilled. There is an illustrious prince named Puranjaya, the son of a royal sage; into his person I will infuse a portion of myself, and having descended upon earth I will in his person subdue all your enemies. Do you therefore endeavour to secure the aid
vp.4.4 [paragraph continues] (having women for armour) 12. The son of Mulaka was Dasaratha; his son was Ilavila; his son was Viswasaha; his son was Khatwanga, called also Dilipa 13, who in a battle between the gods and the Asuras, being called by the former to their succour, killed a number of the latter. Having thus acquired the friendship of the deities in heaven, they desired him to demand a boon. He said to them, "If a boon is to be accepted by me, then tell me, as a favour, what is the duration of my life." "The length of your life is but an hour," the gods replied. On which, Khatwanga, who was swift of motion, descended in his easy gliding chariot to the world of mortals. Arrived there, he prayed, and said, "If my own soul has never been dearer to me than the sacred Brahmans; if I have never deviated from the discharge of my duty; if I have never regarded gods, men, animals, vegetables, all created things, as different from the imperishable; then may I, with unswerving step, attain to that divine being on whom holy sages meditate!" Having thus spoken, he was united with that supreme being, who is Vasudeva; with that elder of all the gods, who is abstract existence, and whose form cannot be described. Thus he obtained absorption, according to this stanza, which was repeated formerly by the seven Rishis; "Like unto Khatwanga will be no one upon earth, who having come from heaven, and dwelt an hour amongst men, became united with the three worlds by his liberality and knowledge
vp.4.6 Kings of the lunar dynasty. Origin of Soma, or the moon: he carries off Tara, the wife of Vrihaspati: war between the gods and Asuras in consequence: appeased by Brahma. Birth of Budha: married to Ila, daughter of Vaivaswata. Legend of his son Pururavas, and the nymph Urvasi: the former institutes offerings with fire: ascends to the sphere of the Gandharbas.
vp.4.13 Being thus excited by his brother, Balarama engaged resolutely in the enterprise; but satadhanwan, being aware of their hostile designs, repaired to Kritavarman, and required his assistance. Kritavarman, however, declined to assist him, pleading his inability to engage in a conflict with both Baladeva and Krishna. satadhanwan thus disappointed, applied to Akrura; but he said, "You must have recourse to some other protector. How should I be able to defend you? There is no one even amongst the immortals, whose praises are celebrated throughout the universe, who is capable of contending with the wielder of the discus, at the stamp of whose foot the three worlds tremble; whose hand makes the wives of the Asuras widows, whose weapons no host, however mighty, can resist: no one is capable of encountering the wielder of the ploughshare, who annihilates the prowess of his enemies by the glances of his eyes, that roll with the joys of wine; and whose vast ploughshare manifests his might, by seizing and exterminating the most formidable foes." "Since this is the case," replied satadhanwan, "and you are unable to assist me, at least accept and take care of this jewel." "I will do so," answered Akrura, "if you promise that even in the last extremity you will not divulge its being in my possession." To this satadhanwan agreed, and Akrura took the jewel; and the former mounting a very swift mare, one that could travel a hundred leagues a day, fled from Dwaraka.
vp.5.1 The unborn, universal Hari, having heard with his mental ear these eulogiums, was pleased, and thus spake to Brahma: "Tell me, Brahma, what you and the gods desire: speak boldly, certain of success." Brahma, beholding the divine, universal form of Hari, quickly prostrated himself, and again renewed his praises. Glory" to thee, the thousand formed, the thousand armed, the many visaged, many footed; to thee, the illimitable author of creation, preservation, and destruction; most subtile of the subtile, most vast of the great: to thee, who art nature, intellect, and consciousness; and who art other spirit even than the spiritual root of those principles 22. Do thou shew favour upon us. Behold, lord, this earth, oppressed by mighty Asuras, and shaken to her mountain basements, comes to thee, who art her invincible defender, to be relieved from her burden. Behold me, Indra, the Aswins, Varuna, and Yama, the Rudras, the Vasus, the suns, the winds, fire, and all other celestials, prepared to execute whatever thou shalt will that we shall do. Do thou, in whom there is no imperfection, O sovereign of the deities, give thy orders to thy servants: lo, we are ready."
vp.5.1 [paragraph continues] Let all the gods also, in their own portions, go down to earth, and wage war with the haughty Asuras, who are there incorporate, and who shall every one of them be destroyed. Doubt not of this: they shall perish before the withering glance of mine eyes. This my (black) hair shall be impersonated in the eighth conception of the wife of Vasudeva, Devaki, who is like a goddess; and shall slay Kansa, who is the demon Kalanemi." Thus having spoken, Hari disappeared; and the gods bowing to him, though invisible, returned to the summit of mount Meru, from whence they descended upon earth.
vp.5.4 Kansa, much troubled in mind, summoned all his principal Asuras, Pralamba, Kesin, and the rest, and said to them, "O valiant chiefs, Pralamba, Kesin, Dhenuka, Putana, Arishta, and all the rest of you, hear my words. The vile and contemptible denizens of heaven are assiduously plotting against my life, for they dread my prowess: but, heroes, I hold them of no account. What can the impotent Indra, or the ascetic Hara, perform? or what can Hari accomplish, except the murder of his foes by fraud? What have we to fear from the adityas, the Vasus, the Agnis, or any others of the immortals, who have all been vanquished by my resistless arms? Have I not seen the king of the gods, when he had ventured into the conflict, quickly retreat from the field, receiving my shafts upon his back, not bravely upon his breast? When in resentment he withheld the fertilizing showers from my kingdom, did not my arrows compel the clouds to part with their waters, as much as were required? Are not all the monarchs of the earth in terror of my prowess, and subject to my orders, save only Jarasandha my sire 1? Now, chiefs of the Daitya race, it is my determination to inflict still deeper degradation upon these evil minded and unprincipled gods. Let therefore every man who is notorious for liberality (in gifts to gods and Brahmans), every man who is remarkable for his celebration of sacrifices, be put to death, that thus the gods shall be deprived of the means by which they subsist. the goddess who has
vp.5.23 Having burnt up the iniquitous Yavana, and beholding the foe of Madhu, Muchukunda asked him who he was. "I am born," he replied, "in the lunar race, in the tribe of Yadu, and am the son of Vasudeva." Muchukunda, recollecting the prophecy of old Garga, fell down before the lord of all, Hari, saying, "Thou art known, supreme lord, to be a portion of Vishnu; for it was said of old by Garga, that at the end of the twenty eighth Dwapara age Hari would be born in the family of Yadu. Thou art he, without doubt, the benefactor of mankind; for thy glory I am unable to endure. Thy words are of deeper tone than the muttering of the rain cloud; and earth sinks down beneath the pressure of thy feet. As in the battle between the gods and demons the Asuras were unable to sustain my lustre, so even am I incapable of bearing thy radiance. Thou alone art the refuge of every living being who has lighted on the world. Do thou, who art the alleviator of all distress, shew favour upon me, and remove from me all that is evil. Thou art the oceans, the mountains, the rivers, the forests: thou art earth, sky, air, water, and fire: thou art mind, intelligence, the unevolved principle, the vital airs, the lord of life the soul; all that is beyond the soul; the all pervading; exempt from the vicissitudes of birth; devoid of sensible
vp.5.38 religious penances, standing in water, and meditating on the eternal spirit, for many years. In consequence of the overthrow of the Asuras, there was a great festival on the summit of Meru: on their way to which, Rambha, Tilottama, and hundreds and thousands of beautiful nymphs, saw the ascetic Ashtavakra, and they praised and hymned him for his devotions. They bowed down before him, and eulogized him, as he was immersed up to his throat in water, his hair twisted in a braid. So they sang in honour of him whatever they thought would be most agreeable to that most eminent of Brahmans. Ashtavakra at last said to them, I am well pleased with you, illustrious damsels; whatever you wish for, ask of me, and I will give it you, however difficult it may be of attainment. Then all those nymphs, Rambha, Tilottama, and others, recorded in the Vedas, replied, It is enough for us that thou art pleased; what need we aught else, venerable Brahman? But some amongst them said, If, exalted sir, you are indeed pleased with us, then grant us a husband, the best of men, and sovereign of the Brahmans. So be it, replied Ashtavakra, and thereupon came up from the waters. When the nymphs beheld him coming out of the water, and saw that he was very ugly, and crooked in eight places, they could not restrain their merriment, but laughed aloud. The Muni was very angry, and cursed them, and said, Since you have been so impertinent as to laugh at my deformity, I denounce upon you this

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