Brahman

Created by Jijith Nadumuri at 23 Jul 2011 09:55 and updated at 23 Jul 2011 09:55

VISHNU PURANA NOUN

vp.1.1 Maitreya said, Master! I have been instructed by you in the whole of the Vedas, and in the institutes of law and of sacred science: through your favour, other men, even though they be my foes, cannot accuse me of having been remiss in the acquirement of knowledge. I am now desirous, oh thou who art profound in piety! to hear from thee, how this world was, and how in future it will be? what is its substance, oh Brahman, and whence proceeded animate and inanimate things? into what has it been resolved, and into what will its dissolution again occur? how were the elements manifested? whence proceeded the gods and other beings? what are the situation and extent of the oceans and the
vp.1.2 excellent natural abode of Vishnu in the form of Brahma; and there Vishnu, the lord of the universe, whose essence is inscrutable, assumed a perceptible form, and even he himself abided in it in the character of Brahma 31. Its womb, vast as the mountain Meru, was composed of the mountains; and the mighty oceans were the waters that filled its cavity. In that egg, O Brahman, were the continents and seas and mountains, the planets and divisions of the universe, the gods, the demons, and mankind. And this egg was externally invested by seven natural envelopes, or by water, air, fire, ether, and Ahankara the origin of the elements, each tenfold the extent of that which it invested; next came the principle of Intelligence; and, finally, the whole was surrounded by the indiscrete Principle: resembling thus the cocoa nut, filled interiorly with pulp, and exteriorly covered by husk and rind.
vp.1.3 Brahma is said to be born: a familiar phrase, to signify his manifestation; and, as the peculiar measure of his presence, a hundred of his years is said to constitute his life: that period is also called Param, and the half of it, Pararddham 2. I have already declared to you, oh sinless Brahman, that Time is a form of Vishnu: hear now how it is applied to measure the duration of Brahma, and of all other sentient beings, as well as of those which are unconscious, as the mountains, oceans, and the like.
vp.1.5 Maitreya. Now unfold to me, Brahman, how this deity created the gods, sages, progenitors, demons, men, animals, trees, and the rest, that abide on earth, in heaven, or in the waters: how Brahma at creation made the world with the qualities, the characteristics, and the forms of things 1.
vp.1.7 Maitreya. Tell me, Brahman, what is the essential nature of these revolutions, perpetual preservation, perpetual creation, and perpetual destruction.
vp.1.8 In the beginning of the Kalpa, as Brahma purposed to create a son, who should be like himself, a youth of a purple complexion 2 appeared, crying with a low cry, and running about 3. Brahma, when he beheld him thus afflicted, said to him, "Why dost thou weep?" "Give me a name," replied the boy. Rudra" be thy name," rejoined the great father of all creatures: "be composed; desist from tears." But, thus addressed, the boy still wept seven times, and Brahma therefore gave to him seven other denominations; and to these eight persons regions and wives and posterity belong. The eight manifestations, then, are named Rudra, Bhava, sarva, Isana, Pasupati, Bhima, Ugra, and Mahadeva, which were given to them by their great progenitor. He also assigned to them their respective stations, the sun, water, earth, air, fire, ether, the ministrant Brahman, and the moon; for these are their several forms 4. The wives
vp.1.8 ery where. Govinda is the ocean; Lakshmi its shore. Lakshmi is the consort of Indra Indrani(); Madhusudana is Devendra. The holder of the discus Vishnu() is Yama (the regent of Tartarus); the lotus throned goddess is his dusky spouse Dhumorna(). sri is wealth; sridhara Vishnu() is himself the god of riches Kuvera(). Lakshmi, illustrious Brahman, is Gauri; and Kesava, is the deity of ocean Varuna(). sri is the host of heaven Devasena(); the deity of war, her lord, is Hari. The wielder of the mace is resistance; the power to oppose is sri. Lakshmi is the Kashtha and the Kala; Hari the Nimesha and the Muhurtta. Lakshmi is the light; and Hari, who is all, and lord of all, the lamp. She, the mother of the world, is the creeping vine; and Vishnu the tree round which she clings. She is the night; the god who is armed with the mace and discus is the day. He, the bestower of blessings, is the bridegroom; the lotus throned goddess is the bride.
vp.1.8 "Then the mighty and incomprehensible deity, being pleased, said to his bride, thus agitated; and speaking; Slender waisted queen of the gods, thou knowest not the purport of what thou sayest; but I know it, oh thou with large eyes, for the holy declare all things by meditation. By thy perplexity this day are all the gods, with Mahendra and all the three worlds, utterly confounded. In my sacrifice, those who worship me, repeat my praises, and chant the Rathantara song of the Sama veda; my priests worship me in the sacrifice of true wisdom, where no officiating Brahman is needed; and in this they offer me my portion. Devi spake; The lord is the root of all, and assuredly, in every assemblage of the female world, praises or hides himself at will. Mahadeva spake; Queen of the gods, I praise not myself: approach, and behold whom I shall create for the purpose of claiming my share of the rite.
vp.1.9 Having thus spoken, the Brahman went his way; and the king of the gods, remounting his elephant, returned to his capital Amaravati. Thenceforward, Maitreya, the three worlds and sakra lost their vigour, and all vegetable products, plants, and herbs were withered and died; sacrifices were no longer offered; devout exercises no longer practised; men were no more addicted to charity, or any moral or religious obligation;
vp.1.9 Thus, Brahman, have I narrated to thee, in answer to thy question, how Lakshmi, formerly the daughter of Bhrigu, sprang from the sea of milk; and misfortune shall never visit those amongst mankind who daily recite the praises of Lakshmi uttered by Indra, which are the origin and cause of all prosperity.
vp.1.12 Vishnu said to Dhruva; "The object of thy devotions has in truth been attained, in that thou hast seen me; for the sight of me, young prince, is never unproductive. Ask therefore of me what boon thou desirest; for men in whose sight I appear obtain all their wishes." To this, Dhruva answered; Lord" god of all creatures, who abidest in the hearts of all, how should the wish that I cherish be unknown to thee? I will confess unto thee the hope that my presumptuous heart has entertained; a hope that it would be difficult to gratify, but that nothing is difficult when thou, creator of the world, art pleased. Through thy favour, Indra reigns over the three worlds. The sister queen of my mother has said to me, loudly and arrogantly, The royal throne is not for one who is not born of me; and I now solicit of the support of the universe an exalted station, superior to all others, and one that shall endure for ever." Vishnu said to him; "The station that thou askest thou shalt obtain; for I was satisfied with thee of old in a prior existence. Thou wast formerly a Brahman, whose thoughts were ever devoted to me, ever dutiful to thy parents, and observant of thy duties. In course of time a prince became thy friend, who was in the period of youth, indulged in all sensual pleasures, .and was of handsome appearance and elegant form. Beholding, in consequence of associating with him, his affluence, you formed the desire that you might be subsequently born as the son of a king; and,
vp.1.15 nymph requested his permission to return to heaven; but the Muni, still fondly attached to her, prevailed upon her to remain for some time longer; and the graceful damsel continued to reside for another hundred years, and delight the great sage by her fascinations. Then again she preferred her suit to be allowed to return to the abodes of the gods; and again the Muni desired her to remain. At the expiration of more than a century the nymph once more said to him, with a smiling countenance, Brahman, I depart; but the Muni, detaining the fine eyed damsel, replied, Nay, stay yet a little; you will go hence for a long period. Afraid of incurring an imprecation, the graceful nymph continued with the sage for nearly two hundred years more, repeatedly asking his permission to go to the region of the king of the gods, but as often desired by him to remain. Dreading to be cursed by him, and excelling in amiable manners, well knowing also the pain that is inflicted by separation from an object of affection, she did not quit the Muni, whose mind, wholly subdued by love, became every day more strongly attached to her.
vp.1.15 "On one occasion the sage was going forth from their cottage in a great hurry. The nymph asked him where he was going. The day, he replied, is drawing fast to a close: I must perform the Sandhya worship, or a duty will be neglected. The nymph smiled mirthfully as she rejoined, Why do you talk, grave sir, of this day drawing to a close: your day is a day of many years, a day that must be a marvel to all: explain what this means. The Muni said, Fair damsel, you came to the river side at dawn; I beheld you then, and you then entered my hermitage. It is now the revolution of evening, and the day is gone. What is the meaning of this laughter? Tell me the truth. Pramlocha. answered, You say rightly, venerable Brahman, that I came hither at morning dawn, but several hundred years have passed since the time of my arrival. This is the truth. The Muni, on hearing this, was seized with astonishment, and asked her how long he had enjoyed her society: to which the nymph replied, that they had lived together nine hundred and seven years, six months, and three days. The Muni asked her if she spoke the truth, or if she was in jest; for it appeared to him that
vp.1.15 Maitreya. Narrate to me, venerable Brahman, at length, the birth of the gods, Titans, Gandharbas, serpents, and goblins.
vp.1.17 to him, "Repeat, boy, in substance, and agreeably, what during the period of your studies you have acquired." "Hear, sire," replied Prahlada, "what in obedience to your commands I will repeat, the substance of all I have learned: listen attentively to that which wholly occupies my thoughts. I have learned to adore him who is without beginning, middle, or end, increase or diminution; the imperishable lord of the world, the universal cause of causes." On hearing these words, the sovereign of the Daityas, his eyes red with wrath, and lip swollen with indignation, turned to the preceptor of his son, and said, "Vile Brahman, what is this preposterous commendation of my foe, that, in disrespect to me, you have taught this boy to utter?" King" of the Daityas," replied the Guru, "it is not worthy of you to give way to passion: that which your son has uttered, he has not been taught by me." "By whom then," said Hiranyakasipu to the lad, "by whom has this lesson, boy, been taught you? your teacher denies that it proceeds from him." Vishnu", father," answered Prahlada, "is the instructor of the whole world: what else should any one teach or learn, save him the supreme spirit?" Blockhead"," exclaimed the king, "who is this Vishnu, whose name you thus reiterate so impertinently before me, who am the sovereign of the three worlds?" "The glory of Vishnu," replied Prahlada, "is to be meditated upon by the devout; it cannot be described: he is the supreme lord, who is all things, and from
vp.1.21 These were the children of Kasyapa, whether movable or stationary, whose descendants multiplied infinitely through successive generations 22. This creation, oh Brahman, took place in the second or Swarochisha Manwantara. In the present or Vaivaswata Manwantara, Brahma being engaged at the great sacrifice instituted by Varuna, the creation of progeny, as it is called, occurred; for he begot, as his sons, the seven Rishis, who were formerly mind engendered; and was himself the grand sire of the Gandharbas, serpents, Danavas, and gods 23.
vp.1.22 All these monarchs, and whatever others may be invested with authority by the mighty Vishnu, as instruments for the preservation of the world; all the kings who have been, and all who shall be; are all, most worthy Brahman, but portions of the universal Vishnu. The rulers of the gods, the rulers of the Daityas, the rulers of the Danavas, and the rulers of all malignant spirits; the chief amongst beasts, amongst birds, amongst men, amongst serpents; the best of trees, of mountains, of planets; either those that now are, or that shall hereafter be, the most exalted of their kind; are but portions of the universal Vishnu. The power of protecting created things, the preservation of the world, resides with no other than Hari, the lord of all. He is the creator, who creates the world; he, the eternal, preserves it in its existence; and he, the destroyer, destroys it; invested severally with the attributes of foulness, goodness, and gloom. By a fourfold manifestation does Janarddana operate in creation, preservation, and destruction. In one portion, as Brahma, the invisible assumes a visible form; in another portion he, as Marichi and the rest, is the progenitor of all creatures; his third portion is time; his fourth is all beings: and thus he becomes quadruple in creation, invested with the quality of passion. In the preservation of the world he is, in one portion, Vishnu; in another portion he is Manu and the other patriarchs; he is time in a third; and all beings in a fourth
vp.1.22 tion: and thus, endowed with the property of goodness, Purushottama preserves the world. When he assumes the property of darkness, at the end of all things, the unborn deity becomes in one portion Rudra; in another, the destroying fire; in a third, time; and in a fourth, all beings: and thus, in a quadruple form, he is the destroyer of the world. This, Brahman, is the fourfold condition of the deity at all seasons.
vp.1.22 are the four energies of Janarddana that are exerted for universal dissolution. In the beginning and the duration of the world, until the period of its end, creation is the work of Brahma, the patriarchs, and living animals. Brahma creates in the beginning; then the patriarchs beget progeny; and then animals incessantly multiply their kinds: but Brahma is not the active agent in creation, independent of time; neither are the patriarchs, nor living animals. So, in the periods of creation and of dissolution, the four portions of the god of gods are equally essential. Whatever, oh Brahman, is engendered by any living being, the body of Hari is cooperative in the birth of that being; so whatever destroys any existing thing, movable or stationary, at any time, is the destroying form of Janarddana as Rudra. Thus Janarddana is the creator, the preserver, and the destroyer of the whole world being threefold in the several seasons of creation, preservation, and destruction, according to his assumption of the three qualities: but his highest glory 3 is detached from all qualities; for the fourfold essence of the supreme spirit is composed of true wisdom, pervades all things, is only to be appreciated by itself, and admits of no similitude.
vp.1.22 There are two states of this Brahma; one with, and one without shape; one perishable, and one imperishable; which are inherent in all beings. The imperishable is the supreme being; the perishable is all the world. The blaze of fire burning on one spot diffuses light and heat around; so the world is nothing more than the manifested energy of the supreme Brahma: and inasmuch, Maitreya, as the light and heat are stronger or feebler as we are near to the fire, or far off from it, so the energy of the supreme is more or less intense in the beings that are less or more remote from him. Brahma, Vishnu, and siva are the most powerful energies of god; next to them are the inferior deities, then the attendant spirits, then men, then animals, birds, insects, vegetables; each becoming more and more feeble as they are farther from their primitive source. In this way, illustrious Brahman, this whole world, although in essence imperishable and eternal, appears and disappears, as if it was subject to birth and death.
vp.1.22 Thus, Brahman, has the first portion of this Purana been duly revealed to you: listening to which, expiates all offences. The man who hears this Purana obtains the fruit of bathing in the Pushkara lake 11 for twelve years, in the month of Kartik. The gods bestow upon him who hears this work the dignity of a divine sage, of a patriarch, or of a spirit of heaven.
vp.2.1 Bharata, having religiously discharged the duties of his station, consigned the kingdom to his son Sumati, a most virtuous prince; and, engaging in devout practices, abandoned his life at the holy place, salagrama: he was afterwards born again as a Brahman, in a distinguished family of ascetics. I shall hereafter relate to you his history.
vp.2.2 Maitreya. You have related to me, Brahman, the creation of Swayambhuva; I am now desirous to hear from you a description of the earth: how many are its oceans and islands, its kingdoms and its mountains, its forests and rivers and the cities of the gods, its dimensions, its contents, its nature, and its form.
vp.2.4 the Treta (or silver) age. In the five Dwipas, worthy Brahman, from Plaksha to saka, the length of life is five thousand years, and religious merit is divided amongst the several castes and orders of the people. The castes are called aryaka, Kuru, Vivasa, and Bhavi, corresponding severally with Brahman, Kshetriya, Vaisya, and sudra. In this Dwipa is a large fig tree (F. religiosa), of similar size as the Jambu tree of Jambu dwipa; and this Dwipa is called Plaksha, after the name of the tree. Hari, who is all, and the creator of all, is worshipped in this continent in the form of Soma (the moon). Plaksha dwipa is surrounded, as by a disc, by the sea of molasses, of the same extent as the land. Such, Maitreya, is a brief description of Plaksha dwipa.
vp.2.4 by the Siddhas and Gandharbas, the wind from which, as produced by its fluttering leaves, diffuses delight. The sacred lands of this continent are peopled by the four castes. Its seven holy rivers, that wash away all sin, are the Sukumari, Kumari, Nalini, Dhenuka, Ikshu, Venuka, and Gabhasti. There are also hundreds and thousands of minor streams and mountains in this Dwipa: and the inhabitants of Jalada and the other divisions drink of those waters with pleasure, after they have returned to earth from Indra s heaven. In those seven districts there is no dereliction of virtue; there is no contention; there is no deviation from rectitude. The caste of Mriga is that of the Brahman; the Magadha, of the Kshetriya; the Manasa, of the Vaisya; and the Mandaga of the sudra: and by these Vishnu is devoutly worshipped as the sun, with appropriate ceremonies. saka dwipa is encircled by the sea of milk, as by an armlet, and the sea is of the same breadth as the continent which it embraces 2
vp.2.6 [paragraph continues] Rodha hell (or that of obstruction). The murderer of a Brahman, stealer of gold, or drinker of wine, goes to the Sukara (swine) hell; as does any one who associates with them. The murderer of a man of the second or third castes, and one who is guilty of adultery with the wife of his spiritual teacher, is sentenced to the Tala (padlock) hell: and one who holds incestuous intercourse with a sister, or murders an ambassador, to Taptakumbha (or the hell of heated caldrons). The seller of his wife, a gaoler, a horsedealer, and one who deserts his adherents, falls into the Taptaloha (red hot iron) hell. He who commits incest with a daughter in law or a daughter is cast into the Mahajwala hell (or that of great flame): and he who is disrespectful to his spiritual guide, who is abusive to his betters, who reviles the Vedas, or who sells them 4, who associates with women in a prohibited degree, into the Lavana (salt) hell. A thief and a contemner of prescribed observances falls into Vimohana (the place of bewildering). He who hates his father, the Brahmans, and the gods, or who spoils precious gems, is punished in the Krimibhaksha hell (where worms are his food): and he who practises magic rites for the harm of others, in the hell called Krimisa (that of insects). The vile wretch who eats his meal before offering food to the gods, to the manes, or to guests, falls into the hell called Lalabhaksha (where saliva is given for food). The maker of arrows is
vp.2.6 to the Vedhaka (piercing) hell: and the maker of lances, swords, and other weapons, to the dreadful hell called Visasana (murderous). He who takes unlawful gifts goes to the Adhomukha (or head inverted) hell; as does one who offers sacrifices to improper objects, and an observer of the stars (for the prediction of events). He who eats by himself sweetmeats mixed with his rice 5, and a Brahman who vends Lac, flesh, liquors, sesamum, or salt, or one who commits violence, fall into the hell (where matter flows, or) Puyavaha; as do they who rear cats, cocks, goats, dogs, hogs, or birds. Public performers 6, fishermen, the follower of one born in adultery, a poisoner,
vp.2.7 Maitreya. The sphere of the whole earth has been described to me by you, excellent Brahman, and I am now desirous to hear an account of the other spheres above the world, the Bhuvar loka and the rest, and the situation and the dimensions of the celestial luminaries.
vp.2.11 The sovereign sun, oh Brahman, the cause of day and night, perpetually revolves, affording delight to the gods, to the progenitors, and to mankind. Cherished by the Sushumna ray of the sun 3, the moon is fed to the full in the fortnight of its growth; and in the fortnight of its wane the ambrosia of its substance is perpetually drunk by the immortals, until the last day of the half month, when the two remaining digits are drunk by the progenitors: hence these two orders of beings are nourished
vp.2.12 nature? How can reality be predicated of that which is subject to change, and reassumes no more its original character? Earth is fabricated into a jar; the jar is divided into two halves; the halves are broken to pieces; the pieces become dust; the dust becomes atoms. Say, is this reality? though it be so understood by man, whose self knowledge is impeded by his own acts. Hence, Brahman, except discriminative knowledge, there is nothing any where, or at any time, that is real. Such knowledge is but one, although it appear manifold, as diversified by the various consequences of our own acts. Knowledge perfect, pure, free from pain, and detaching the affections from all that causes affliction; knowledge single and eternal is the supreme Vasudeva, besides whom there is nothing. The truth has been thus communicated to you by me; that knowledge which is truth; from which all that differs is false. That information, however, which is of a temporal and worldly nature has also been imparted to you; the sacrifice, the victim, the fire, the priests, the acid juice, the gods, the desire for heaven, the path pursued by acts of devotion and the rest, and the worlds that are their consequences, have been displayed to you. In that universe which I have described, he for ever migrates who is subject to the influence of works; but he who knows Vasudeva to be eternal, immutable, and of one unchanging, universal form, may continue to perform them 8, as thereby he enters into the deity.
vp.2.13 Maitreya. Reverend sir 1, all that I asked of you has been thoroughly explained; namely, the situation of the earth, oceans, mountains, rivers, and planetary bodies; the system of the three worlds, of which Vishnu is the stay. The great end of life has also been expounded by you, and the preeminence of holy knowledge. It now remains that you fulfil the promise you made some time since 2, of relating to me the story of king Bharata, and how it happened that a monarch like him, residing constantly at the sacred place salagrama, and engaged in devotion, with his mind ever applied to Vasudeva, should have failed, through time sanctity of the shrine, and the efficacy of his abstractions, to obtain final emancipation; how it was that he was born again as a Brahman; and what was done by the magnanimous Bharata in that capacity: all this it is fit that you inform me.
vp.2.13 In consequence of this predominant feeling at such a season, he was born again, in the Jambumarga forests, as a deer 5, with the faculty of recollecting his former life; which recollection inspiring a distaste for the world, he left his mother, and again repaired to the holy place salagrama. Subsisting there upon dry grass and leaves, he atoned for the acts which had led to his being born in such a condition; and upon his death he was next born as a Brahman, still retaining the memory of his prior existence. He was born in a pious and eminent family of ascetics, who were rigid observers of devotional rites. Possessed of all true wisdom, and acquainted with the essence of all sacred writings, he beheld soul as contradistinguished from matter Prakriti(). Embued with knowledge of self, he beheld the gods and all other beings as in reality the same. It did not happen to him to undergo investiture with the Brahmanical thread, nor to read the Vedas with a spiritual preceptor, nor to perform ceremonies, nor to study the scriptures. Whenever spoken to, he replied incoherently and in ungrammatical and unpolished
vp.2.13 speech. His person was unclean, and he was clad in dirty garments. Saliva dribbled from his mouth, and he was treated with contempt by all the people. Regard for the consideration of the world is fatal to the success of devotion. The ascetic who is despised of men attains the end of his abstractions. Let therefore a holy man pursue the path of the righteous, without murmuring; and though men contemn him, avoid association with mankind. This, the counsel of Hiranyagarbha 6, did the Brahman call to mind, and hence assumed the appearance of a crazy ideot in the eyes of the world. His food was raw pulse, potherbs, wild fruit, and grains of corn. Whatever came in his way he ate, as part of a necessary, but temporary infliction 7. Upon his father s death he was set to work in the fields by his brothers and his nephews, and fed by them with vile food; and as he was firm and stout of make, and a simpleton in outward act, he was the slave of every one that chose to employ him, receiving sustenance alone for his hire.
vp.2.13 The head servant of the king of Sauvira, looking upon him as an indolent, untaught Brahman, thought him a fit person to work without pay (and took him into his master s service to assist in carrying the palankin.)
vp.2.13 The king having ascended his litter, on one occasion, was proceeding to the hermitage of Kapila, on the banks of the Ikshumati river 8, to consult the sage, to whom the virtues leading to liberation were known, what was most desirable in a world abounding with care and sorrow. Amongst those who by order of his head servant had been compelled gratuitously to carry the litter was the Brahman, who had been equally pressed into this duty, and who, endowed with the only universal knowledge, and remembering his former existence, bore the burden as the means of expiating the faults for which he was desirous to atone. Fixing his eyes upon the pole, he went tardily along, whilst the other
vp.2.13 bearers moved with alacrity; and the king, feeling the litter carried unevenly, called out, "Ho bearers! what is this? Keep equal pace together." Still it proceeded unsteadily, and the Raja again exclaimed, "What is this? how irregularly are you going!" When this had repeatedly occurred, the palankin bearers at last replied to the king, "It is this man, who lags in his pace." "How is this?" said the prince to the Brahman, "are you weary? You have carried your burden but a little way; are you unable to bear fatigue? and yet you look robust." The Brahman answered and said, "It is not I who am robust, nor is it by me that your palankin is carried. I am not wearied, prince, nor am I incapable of fatigue." The king replied, "I clearly see that you are stout, and that the palankin is borne by you; and the carriage of a burden is wearisome to all persons." "First tell me," said the Brahman, "what it is of me that you have clearly seen 9, and then you may distinguish my properties as strong or weak. The assertion that you behold the palankin borne by me, or placed on me, is untrue. Listen, prince, to what I have to remark. The place of both the feet is the ground; the legs are supported by the feet; the thighs rest upon the legs; and the belly reposes on the thighs; the chest is supported by the belly; and the arms and shoulders are propped up by the chest: the palankin is borne upon the shoulders, and how can it be considered as my burden? This body which is seated in the palankin
vp.2.13 Having thus spoken, the Brahman was silent, and went on bearing the palankin; but the king leaped out of it, and hastened to prostrate himself at his feet; saying, "Have compassion on me, Brahman, and cast aside the palankin; and tell me who thou art, thus disguised under the appearance of a fool." The Brahman answered and said, "Hear me, Raja,. Who I am it is not possible to say: arrival at any place is for the sake of fruition; and enjoyment of pleasure, or endurance of pain, is the cause of the production of the body. A living being assumes a corporeal form to reap the results of virtue or vice. The universal cause of all living creatures is virtue or vice: why therefore inquire the cause (of my being the person I appear)." The king said, "Undoubtedly virtue and vice are the causes of all existent effects, and migration into several bodies is for the purpose of receiving their consequences; but with respect to what you have asserted, that it is not possible for you to tell me who you are, that is a matter which I am desirous to hear explained. How can it be impossible, Brahman, for any one to declare himself to be that which he is? There can be no detriment to one s self from applying to it the word I." The Brahman said, "It is true that there is no wrong done to that which is one s self by the application to it of the word I; but the term is characteristic of error, of conceiving that to be the self (or soul) which is not self or soul. The tongue articulates the word I,
vp.2.14 Parasara. Having heard these remarks, full of profound truth, the king was highly pleased with the Brahman, and respectfully thus addressed him: "What you have said is no doubt the truth; but in listening to it my mind is much disturbed. You have shewn that to be discriminative wisdom which exists in all creatures, and which is the great principle that is distinct from plastic nature; but the assertions I do not bear the palankin the palankin does not rest upon me the body, by which the vehicle is conveyed, is different from me the conditions of elementary beings are influenced by acts, through the influence of the qualities, and the qualities are the principles of action; what sort of positions are these. Upon these doctrines entering into my ears, my mind, which is anxious to investigate the truth, is lost in perplexity. It was my purpose, illustrious sage, to have gone to Kapila Rishi, to inquire of him what in this life was the most desirable object: but now that I have heard from you such words, my mind turns to you, to become acquainted with the great end of life. The Rishi Kapila is a portion of the mighty and universal Vishnu, who has come down upon earth to dissipate delusion; and surely it is he who, in kindness to me, has thus manifested himself to me in all that you have said. To me, thus suppliant, then, explain what is the best of all things; for thou art an ocean overflowing with the waters of divine wisdom." The Brahman replied to the king, "You,
vp.2.15 Parasara continued. Having terminated these remarks, the Brahman repeated to the silent and meditating prince a tale illustrative of the doctrines of unity. "Listen, prince," he proceeded, "to what was formerly uttered by Ribhu, imparting holy knowledge to the Brahman Nidagha. Ribhu was a son of the supreme Brahma, who, from his innate disposition, was of a holy character, and acquainted with true wisdom. Nidagha, the son of Pulastya, was his disciple; and to him Ribhu communicated willingly perfect knowledge, not doubting of his being fully confirmed in the doctrines of unity, when he had been thus instructed.
vp.2.15 Ribhu". Tell me, illustrious Brahman, what food there is in your house; for I am not fond of indifferent viands.
vp.2.15 "Having thus spoken, the wife of Nidagha, in obedience to her husband s commands, prepared sweet and savoury food, and set it before the Brahman; and Nidagha, having stood before him until he had eaten of the meal which he had desired, thus reverentially addressed him:
vp.2.15 Nidagha". Have you eaten sufficiently, and with pleasure, great Brahman? and has your mind received contentment from your food? Where is your present residence? whither do you purpose going? and whence, holy sir, have you now come?
vp.2.15 Ribhu". A hungry man, Brahman, must needs be satisfied when he has finished his meal. Why should you inquire if my hunger has been appeased? When the earthy element is parched by fire, then hunger is engendered; and thirst is produced when the moisture of the body has been absorbed (by internal or digestive heat). Hunger and thirst are the functions of the body, and satisfaction must always be afforded me by that by which they are removed; for when hunger is no longer sensible, pleasure and contentment of mind are faculties of the intellect: ask their condition of the mind then, for man is not affected by them. For your three other questions, Where I dwell? Whither I go? and Whence I come? hear this reply. Man (the soul of man) goes every where, and penetrates every where, like the ether; and is it rational to inquire where it is? or whence or whither thou goest? I neither am going nor coming, nor is my dwelling in any one place; nor art thou, thou; nor are others, others; nor am I, I. If you wonder what reply I should make to your inquiry why I made any distinction between sweetened and unsweetened food, you shall hear my explanation. What is there that is really sweet or not sweet to one eating a meal? That which is sweet, is no longer so when it occasions the sense of repletion; and that which is not sweet, becomes sweet when a man (being very hungry) fancies that it is so. What food is there that first, middle, and last is equally grateful. As a house built of clay is
vp.2.15 "Having heard these words, conveying the substance of ultimate truth, Nidagha fell at the feet of his visitor, and said, Shew favour unto me, illustrious Brahman, and tell me who it is that for my good has come hither, and by whose words the infatuation of my mind is dissipated. To this, Ribhu answered, I am Ribhu, your preceptor, come hither to communicate to you true wisdom; and having declared to you what that is, I shall depart. Know this whole universe to be the one undivided nature of the supreme spirit, entitled Vasudeva. Thus having spoken, and receiving the prostrate homage of Nidagha, rendered with fervent faith, Ribhu went his way."
vp.2.16 "AFTER the expiration of another thousand years, Ribhu again repaired to the city where Nidagha dwelt, to instruct him farther in true wisdom. When he arrived near the town, he beheld a prince entering into it, with a splendid retinue; and his pupil Nidagha standing afar off, avoiding the crowd; his throat shrivelled with starvation, and bearing from the thicket fuel and holy grass. Ribhu approached him, and saluting him reverentially (as if he was a stranger) demanded why he was standing in such a retired spot. Nidagha replied, There is a great crowd of people attending the entrance of the king into the town, and I am staying here to avoid it. Tell me, excellent Brahman, said Ribhu, for I believe that thou art wise, which is here the king, and which is any other man. The king, answered Nidagha, is he who is seated on the fierce and stately elephant, vast as a mountain peak; the others are his attendants. You have shewn me, observed Ribhu, at one moment the elephant and the king, without noticing any peculiar characteristic by which they may be distinguished. Tell me, venerable sir, is there any difference between them? for I am desirous to know which is here the elephant, which is the king. The elephant, answered Nidagha, is underneath; the king is above him. Who is not aware, Brahman, of the relation between that which bears and that which is borne? To this Ribhu rejoined, Still explain to me, according to what I know of it, this matter: what is it that is
vp.2.16 meant by the word underneath, and what is it that is termed above? As soon as he had uttered this, Nidagha jumped upon Ribhu, and said, Here is my answer to the question you have asked: I am above, like the Raja.; you are underneath, like the elephant. This example, Brahman, is intended for your information. Very well, said Ribhu, you, it seems, are as it were the Raja, and I am like the elephant; but come now do you tell me which of us two is you; which is I.
vp.2.16 "When Nidagha heard these words, he immediately fell at the feet o the stranger, and said, Of a surety thou art my saintly preceptor Ribhu the mind of no other person is so fully imbued with the doctrines of unity as that of my teacher, and hence I know that thou art he. To this Ribhu replied, I am your preceptor, by name Ribhu, who, pleased with: the dutiful attention he has received, has come to Nidagha to give him instruction: for this purpose have I briefly intimated to you divine truth, the essence of which is the non duality of all. Having thus spoken to Nidagha, the Brahman Ribhu went away, leaving his disciple profoundly impressed, by his instructions, with belief in unity. He beheld all beings thenceforth as the same with himself, and, perfect in holy knowledge, obtained final liberation.
vp.2.16 Parasara resumed. The king, being thus instructed, opened his eyes to truth, and abandoned the notion of distinct existence: whilst the Brahman, who, through the recollection of his former lives, had acquired perfect knowledge, obtained now exemption from future birth. Whoever narrates or listens to the lessons inculcated in the dialogue between Bharata and the king, has his mind enlightened, mistakes not the nature of individuality, and in the course of his migrations becomes fitted for ultimate emancipation.
vp.3.2 Maitreya. You have recapitulated to me, most excellent Brahman, the particulars of the past Manwantaras; now give me some account of those which are to come.
vp.3.2 An entire Kalpa, oh Brahman, is said to comprise a thousand ages, or fourteen Manwantaras 13; and it is succeeded by a night of similar duration; during which, he who wears the form of Brahma, Janarddana, the substance of all things, the lord of all, and creator of all, involved in his own illusions, and having swallowed up the three spheres, sleeps upon the serpent sesha, amidst the ocean 14. Being after that awake, he, who is the universal soul, again creates all things as they were before, in combination with the property of foulness (or activity): and in a portion of his essence, associated with the property of goodness, he, as the Manus, the kings, the gods, and their Indras, as well as the seven Rishis, is the preserver of the world. In what manner Vishnu, who is characterised by the attribute of providence during the four ages, effected their preservation, I will next, Maitreya, explain.
vp.3.2 Thus, Brahman, I have described to you the true nature of that great being who is all things, and besides whom there is no other existent thing, nor has there been, nor will there be, either here or elsewhere. I have also enumerated to you the Manwantaras, and those who preside over them. What else do you wish to hear?
vp.3.4 There was but one Yajur veda; but dividing this into four parts, Vyasa instituted the sacrificial rite that is administered by four kinds of priests: in which it was the duty of the Adhwaryu to recite the prayers Yajush() (or direct the ceremony); of the Hotri, to repeat the hymns Richas(); of the Udgatri, to chaunt other hymns Sama(); and of the Brahman, to pronounce the formul called Atharva. Then the Muni, having collected together the hymns called Richas, compiled the Rigveda; with the prayers and directions termed Yajushas he formed the Yajur veda; with those called Sama, Sama veda; and with the Atharvas he composed the rules of all the ceremonies suited to kings, and the function of the Brahman agreeably to practice 5.
vp.3.5 It had been formerly agreed by the Munis, that any one of them who, at a certain time, did not join an assembly held on mount Meru should incur the guilt of killing a Brahman, within a period of seven nights 2. Vaisampayana alone failed to keep the appointment, and consequently killed, by an accidental kick with his foot, the child of his sister. He then addressed his scholars, and desired them to perform the penance expiatory of Brahmanicide on his behalf. Without any hesitation Yajnawalkya refused, and said, "How shall I engage in penance with these miserable and inefficient Brahmans?" On which his Guru, being incensed, commanded him to relinquish all that he had learnt from him. "You speak contemptuously," he observed, "of these young Brahmans, but of what use is a disciple who disobeys my commands?" "I spoke," replied Yajnawalkya, "in perfect faith; but as to what I have read from you, I have had enough: it is no more than this (acting as if he would eject it from his stomach); when he brought up the texts of the Yajush in substance stained with blood. He then departed. The other scholars of Vaisampayana, transforming themselves to partridges Tittiri(), picked
vp.3.6 There are three kinds of Rishis, or inspired sages; royal Rishis, or princes who have adopted a life of devotion, as Viswamitra; divine Rishis, or sages who are demigods also, as Narada; and Brahman Rishis, or sages who are the sons of Brahma, or Brahmans, as Vasishtha and others.
vp.3.7 Maitreya. You have indeed related to me, most excellent Brahman, all that I asked of you; but I am desirous to hear one thing which you have not touched on. This universe, composed of seven zones, with its seven subterrestrial regions, and seven spheres this whole egg of Brahma. is every where swarming with living creatures, large or small, with smaller and smallest, and larger and largest; so that there is not the eighth part of an inch in which they do not abound. Now all these are captives in the chains of acts, and at the end of their existence become slaves to the power of Yama, by whom they are sentenced to painful punishments. Released from these inflictions, they are again born in the condition of gods, men, or the like: and thus living beings, as the sastras apprise us, perpetually revolve. Now the question I have to ask, and which you are so well able to answer, is, by what acts men may free themselves from subjection to Yama?
vp.3.7 Bhishma said to the prince, "There formerly came on a visit to me a friend of mine, a Brahman, from the Kalinga country, who told me that he had once proposed this question to a holy Muni, who retained the recollection of his former births, and by whom what was, and what will be, was accurately told. Being importuned by me, who placed implicit faith in his words, to repeat what that pious personage had imparted to him, he at last communicated it to me; and what he related I have never met with elsewhere.
vp.3.7 "Having, then, on one occasion, put to him the same question which you have asked, the Kalinga Brahman recalled the story that had been told him by the Muni the great mystery that had been revealed to him by the pious sage, who remembered his former existence a dialogue that occurred between Yama and one of his ministers.
vp.3.7 Such, said the Kalinga Brahman, were the instructions communicated by the deity of justice, the son of the sun, to his servants, as they were repeated to me by that holy personage, and as I have related them to you, chief of the house of Kuru Bhishma(). So also, Nakula, I have faithfully communicated to you all I heard from my pious friend, when he came from his country of Kalinga to visit me. I have thus explained to you, as was fitting, that there is no protection in the ocean of the world except Vishnu; and that the servants and ministers of Yama, the king of the dead himself, and his tortures, are all unavailing against one who places his reliance on that divinity."
vp.3.8 who is attentive to established observances, and follows the duties prescribed for his caste. The Brahman, the Kshatriya, the Vaisya, and the sudra, who attends to the rules enjoined his caste, best worships Vishnu. Kesava is most pleased with him who does good to others; who never utters abuse, calumny, or untruth; who never covets another s wife or another s wealth, and who bears ill will towards none; who neither beats nor slays any animate or inanimate thing; who is ever diligent in the service of the gods, of the. Brahmans, and of his spiritual preceptor; who is always desirous of the welfare of all creatures, of his children, and of his own soul; in whose pure heart no pleasure is derived from the imperfections of love and hatred. The man, oh monarch, who conforms to the duties enjoined by scriptural authority for every caste and condition of life, is he who best worships Vishnu: there is no other mode."
vp.3.8 Aurva having thus spoken, Sagara said to him, "Tell me then, venerable Brahman, what are the duties of caste and condition 2: I am desirous of knowing them." To which Aurva answered and said, "Attentively listen to the duties which I shall describe as those severally of the Brahman, the Kshatriya, the Vaisya, and the sudra. The Brahman should make gifts, should worship the gods with sacrifices, should be assiduous in studying the Vedas, should perform ablutions and libations with water, and should preserve the sacred flame. For the sake of subsistence he may offer sacrifices on behalf of others, and may instruct them in the sastras; and he may accept presents of a liberal description in a becoming manner (or from respectable persons, and at an appropriate season). He must ever seek to promote the good of others, and do evil unto none; for the best riches of a Brahman are universal benevolence. He should look upon the jewels of another person as if they
vp.3.8 were pebbles; and should, at proper periods, procreate offspring by his wife. These are the duties of a Brahman.
vp.3.8 "In times of distress the peculiar functions of the castes may be modified, as you shall hear. A Brahman may follow the occupations of a Kshatriya or a Vaisya; the Kshatriya may adopt those of the Vaisya; and the Vaisya those of the Kshatriya: but these two last should never descend to the functions of the sudra, if it be possible to avoid them 4; and if that be not possible, they must at least shun the functions of the mined castes. I will now, Raja, relate to you the duties of the several asramas or conditions of life."
vp.3.9 and possessions, enter the fourth order 6. Let him forego the three objects of human existence (pleasure, wealth, and virtue), whether secular or religious, and, indifferent to friends, be the friend of all living beings. Let him, occupied with devotion, abstain from wrong, in act, word, or thought, to all creatures, human or brute; and equally avoid attachment to any. Let him reside but for one night in a village, and not more than five nights at a time in a city; and let him so abide, that good will, and not animosity, may be engendered. Let him, for the support of existence, apply for alms at the houses of the three first castes, at the time when the fires have been extinguished, and people have eaten. Let the wandering mendicant call nothing his own, and suppress desire, anger, covetousness, pride, and folly. The sage who gives no cause for alarm to living beings need never apprehend any danger from them. Having deposited the sacrificial fire in his own person, the Brahman feeds the vital flame, with the butter that is collected as alms, through the altar of his mouth; and by means of his spiritual fire he proceeds to his own proper abode. But the twice born man 7, who seeks for liberation, and is pure of heart, and whose mind is perfected by self investigation, secures the sphere of Brahma, which is tranquil, and is as a bright flame that emits not smoke."
vp.3.10 Sagara then addressed Aurva, and said, "You have described to me, venerable Brahman, the duties of the four orders and of the four castes. I am now desirous to hear from you the religious institutes which men should individually observe, whether they be invariable, occasional, or voluntary. Describe these to me; for all things are known, chief of Bhrigu s race, unto you." To this Aurva replied, "I will communicate to you, oh king, that which you have asked, the invariable and occasional rites which men should perform: do you attend.
vp.3.10 "When a son is born, let his father perform for him the ceremonies proper on the birth of a child, and all other initiatory rites, as well as a sraddha, which is a source of prosperity. Let him feed a couple of Brahmans, seated with their faces to the east; and according to his means offer sacrifices to the gods and progenitors. Let him present to the manes 1 balls of meat mixed with curds, barley, and jujubes, with the part of his hand sacred to the gods, or with that sacred to Prajapati 2. Let a Brahman perform such a sraddha, with all its offerings and circumambulations, on every occasion of good fortune 3.
vp.3.10 "Next, upon the tenth day after birth, let the father give a name to his child; the first term of which shall be the appellation of a god, the second of a man, as sarman or Varman; the former being the appropriate designation of a Brahman, the latter of a warrior; whilst Gupta
vp.3.11 "A householder should also at the perpetual sraddha entertain another Brahman, who is of his own country, whose family and observances are known, and who performs the five sacramental rites. He is likewise to present to a Brahman learned in the Vedas four handfulls of food, set apart with the exclamation Hanta; and he is to give to a mendicant religious student three handfulls of rice, or according to his pleasure when he has ample means. These, with the addition of the mendicant before described, are to be considered as guests; and he who treats these four descriptions of persons with hospitality acquits himself of the debt due to his fellow men. The guest who departs disappointed from any house, and proceeds elsewhere, transfers his sins to the owner of that mansion, and takes away with him such a householder s merits. Brahma, Prajapati, Indra, fire, the Vasus, the sun, are present in the person of a
vp.3.12 himself in an empty house 3. Let him keep remote from hair, bones, thorns, filth, remnants of offerings, ashes, chaff, and earth 4 wet with water in which another has bathed. Let him not receive the protection of the unworthy, nor attach himself to the dishonest. Let him not approach a beast of prey; and let him not tarry long when he has risen from sleep. Let him not lie in bed when he is awake, nor encounter fatigue when it is time to rest. A prudent man will avoid, even at a distance, animals with tusks and horns; and he will shun exposure to frost, to wind, and to sunshine. A man must neither bathe, nor sleep, nor rinse his mouth whilst he is naked 5: he must not wash his mouth, or perform any sacred rite, with his waistband unfastened: and he must not offer oblations to fire, nor sacrifice to the gods, nor wash his mouth, nor salute a Brahman, nor utter a prayer, with only one garment on. Let him never associate with immoral persons: half an instant is the limit for the intercourse of the righteous with them. A wise man will never engage in a dispute with either his superiors or inferiors: controversy and marriage are to be permitted only between equals. Let not a prudent man enter into contention: let him avoid uprofitable enmity. A small loss may be endured; but he should shun the wealth that is acquired by hostility.
vp.3.13 Aurva continued. "The bathing of a father without disrobing is enjoined when a son is born; and he is to celebrate the ceremony proper for the event, which is the sraddha offered upon joyous occasions 1. With composed mind, and thinking on nothing else, the Brahman should offer worship to both the gods and progenitors, and should respectfully circumambulate, keeping Brahmans on his left hand, and give them food. Standing with his face to the east, he should present, with the
vp.3.13 [paragraph continues] The former class of relatives may use beds, but they must still refrain from unguents and flowers, and must observe continence, after the ashes and bones have been collected (until the mourning is over). When the deceased is a child, or one who is abroad, or who has been degraded, or a spiritual preceptor, the period of uncleanness is but brief, and the ceremonies with fire and water are discretional. The food of a family in which a kinsman is deceased is not to be partaken of for ten days 8; and during that period, gifts, acceptance, sacrifice, and sacred study are suspended. The term of impurity for a Brahman is ten days; for a Kshatriya, twelve; for a Vaisya, half a month; and a whole month for a sudra 9. On the first day after uncleanness ceases, the nearest relation of the deceased should feed Brahmans at his pleasure, but in uneven numbers, and offer to the deceased a ball of rice upon holy grass placed near the residue of the food that has been eaten. After the guests have been fed, the mourner, according to his caste, is to touch water, a weapon, a goad, or a staff, as he is purified by such contact. He may then resume the duties prescribed for his caste, and follow the avocation ordinarily pursued by its members.
vp.3.14 land, conveyances, wealth, or any valuable presents; or who, with faith and humility, entertains them with food, according to his means, at proper seasons. If he cannot afford to give them dressed food, he must, in proportion to his ability, present them with unboiled grain, or such gifts, however trifling, as he can bestow. Should he be utterly unable even to do this, he must give to some eminent Brahman, bowing at the same time before him, sesamum seeds adhering to the tips of his fingers, and sprinkle water to us, from the palms of his hands, upon the ground; or he must gather, as he may, fodder for a day, and give it to a cow; by which he will, if firm in faith, yield us satisfaction. If nothing of this kind is practicable, he must go to a forest, and lift up his arms to the sun and other regents of the spheres, and say aloud I have no money, nor property, nor grain, nor any thing whatever it for an ancestral offering. Bowing therefore to my ancestors, I hope the progenitors will be satisfied with these arms tossed up in the air in devotion. These are the words of the Pitris themselves; and he who endeavours, with such means as he may possess, to fulfil their wishes, performs the ancestral rite called a sraddha."
vp.3.15 Aurva proceeded. "Hear next, oh prince, what description of Brahman should be fed at ancestral ceremonies. he should be one studied in various triplets of the Rich and Yajur Vedas 1; one who is acquainted with the six supplementary sciences of the Vedas 2; one who understands the Vedas; one who practises the duties they enjoin 3; one who exercises penance; a chanter of the principal Sama veda 4, an officiating priest, a sister s son, a daughter s son, a son in law, a father in law, a maternal uncle, an ascetic, a Brahman who maintains the five fires, a pupil, a kinsman; one who reverences his parents. A man should first employ the Brahmans first specified in the principal obsequial
vp.3.15 "A false friend, a man with ugly nails or black teeth, a ravisher, a Brahman who neglects the service of fire and sacred study, a vender of the Soma plant, a man accused of any crime, a thief, a calumniator, a Brahman who conducts religious ceremonies for the vulgar; one who instructs his servant in holy writ, or is instructed in it by his servant; the husband of a woman who has been formerly betrothed to another; a man who is undutiful to his parents; the protector of the husband of a woman of the servile caste, or the husband of a woman of the servile caste; and a Brahman who ministers to idols are not proper persons to be invited to au ancestral offering 5. On the first day let a judicious man invite eminent teachers of the Vedas, and other Brahmans; and according to their directions determine what is to be dedicated to the gods, and what to the Pitris. Associated with the Brahmans, let the institutor of an obsequial rite abstain from anger and incontinence. He who having eaten himself in a sraddha, and fed Brahmans, and appointed them to their sacred offices, is guilty of incontinence, thereby sentences his progenitors to shameful suffering. In the first place, the Brahmans before described are to be invited; but those holy men who come to the house without an invitation are also to be entertained. The guests are to be reverently received with water for their feet, and the like; and the entertainer, holding holy grass in his hand, is to place them, after they have
vp.4.4 In consequence of the curse of Vasishtha, the Raja became a cannibal every sixth watch of the day for twelve years, and in that state wandered through the forests, and devoured multitudes of men. On one occasion he beheld a holy person engaged in dalliance with his wife. As soon as they saw his terrific form, they were frightened, and endeavoured to escape; but the regal Rakshasa overtook and seized the husband. The wife of the Brahman then also desisted from flight, and earnestly entreated the savage to spare her lord, exclaiming, "Thou, Mitrasaha, art the pride of the royal house of Ikshwaku, not a malignant fiend! it is not in thy nature, who knowest the characters of women, to carry off and devour my husband." But all was in vain, and, regardless of her reiterated supplications, he ate the Brahman, as a tiger devours a deer. The Brahman s wife, furious with wrath, then addressed the Raja, and said, "Since you have barbarously disturbed the joys of a wedded pair, and killed my husband, your death shall be the consequence of your associating with your queen." So saying, she entered the flames.
vp.4.6 Maitreya. You have given me, reverend preceptor, an account of the kings of the dynasty of the sun: I am now desirous to hear a description of the princes who trace their lineage from the moon, and whose race is still celebrated for glorious deeds. Thou art able to relate it to me, Brahman, if thou wilt so favour me.
vp.4.7 The son of Jahnu was Sumantu 6; his son was Ajaka; his son was Valakaswa 7; his son was Kusa 8, who had four sons, Kusamba, Kusanabha, Amurttaya, and Amavasu 9. Kusamba, being desirous of a son, engaged in devout penance to obtain one who should be equal to Indra. Observing the intensity of his devotions, Indra was alarmed lest a prince of power like his own should be engendered, and determined therefore to take upon himself the character of Kusamba s son 10. He was accordingly born as Gadhi, of the race of Kusa Kausika(). Gadhi had a daughter named Satyavati. Richika, of the descendants of Bhrigu, demanded her in marriage. The king was very unwilling to give his daughter to a peevish old Brahman, and demanded of him, as the nuptial present, a thousand fleet horses, whose colour should be white, with one black ear. Richika having propitiated Varuna, the god of ocean, obtained from him, at the holy place called Aswatirtha, a thousand such steeds; and giving them to the king, espoused his daughter 11.
vp.4.7 request he consecrated a similar mixture for her mother, by partaking of which she should give birth to a prince of martial prowess. Leaving both dishes with his wife, after describing particularly which was intended for her, and which for her mother, the sage went forth to the forests. When the time arrived for the food to be eaten, the queen said to Satyavati, Daughter", all persons wish their children to be possessed of excellent qualities, and would be mortified to see them surpassed by the merits of their mother s brother. It will be desirable for you, therefore, to give me the mess your husband has set apart for you, and to eat of that intended for me; for the son which it is to procure me is destined to be the monarch of the whole world, whilst that which your dish would give you must be a Brahman, alike devoid of affluence, valour, and power." Satyavati agreed to her mother s proposal, and they exchanged messes.
vp.4.7 When Richika returned home, and beheld Satyavati, he said to her, "Sinful woman, what hast thou done! I view thy body of a fearful appearance. Of a surety thou hast eaten the consecrated food which was prepared for thy mother: thou hast done wrong. In that food I had infused the properties of power and strength and heroism; in thine, the qualities suited to a Brahman, gentleness, knowledge, and resignation. In consequence of having reversed my plans, thy son shall follow a warrior s propensities, and use weapons, and fight, and slay. Thy mother s son shall be born with the inclinations of a Brahman, and be addicted to peace and piety." Satyavati, hearing this, fell at her husband s feet, and said, "My lord, I have done this thing through ignorance; have compassion on me; let me not have a son such as thou hast foretold: if such there must be, let it be my grandson, not my son." The Muni, relenting at her distress, replied, "So let it be." Accordingly in due season she gave birth to Jamadagni; and her mother brought forth Viswamitra. Satyavati afterwards became the Kausiki river 13. Jamadagni married Renuka, the daughter of Renu, of the
vp.4.19 was Sini 19, and their descendants called Gargyas and sainyas, although Kshatriyas by birth, became Brahmans 20. The son of Mahaviryya was Urukshaya 21, who had three sons, Trayyaruna, Pushkarin, and Kapi 22; the last of whom became a Brahman. The son of Vrihatkshatra was Suhotra 23, whose son was Hastin, who founded the city of
vp.4.24 will have eight sons, Sumalya and others, who will reign after Mahapadma; and he and his sons 19 will govern for a hundred years. The Brahman Kautilya will root out the nine Nandas 20
vp.4.24 the world will be wholly depraved. Then property alone will confer rank; wealth will be the only source of devotion; passion will be the sole bond of union between the sexes; falsehood will be the only means of success in litigation; and women will be objects merely of sensual gratification. Earth will be venerated but for its mineral treasures 77; the Brahmanical thread will constitute a Brahman; external types (as the staff and red garb) will be the only distinctions of the several orders of life; dishonesty will be the universal means of subsistence; weakness will be the cause of dependance; menace and presumption will be substituted for learning; liberality will be devotion; simple ablution will be purification 78; mutual assent will be marriage; fine clothes will be dignity 79; and water afar off will be esteemed a holy spring. Amidst all castes he who is the strongest will reign over a principality thus vitiated by many faults. The people, unable to bear the heavy burdens imposed upon them by their avaricious sovereigns, will take refuge amongst the valleys of the mountains, and will be glad to feed upon wild honey, herbs, roots, fruits, flowers, and leaves: their only covering will be the bark of trees, and they will be exposed to the cold, and wind, and sun, and rain. No man s life will exceed three and twenty years. Thus in the Kali age shall decay constantly proceed, until the human race approaches its annihilation.
vp.4.24 portion of that divine being who exists of his own spiritual nature in the character of Brahma, and who is the beginning and the end, and who comprehends all things, shall descend upon earth: he will be born in the family of Vishnuyasas, an eminent Brahman of Sambhala village, as Kalki, endowed with the eight superhuman faculties. By his irresistible might he will destroy all the Mlechchhas and thieves, and all whose minds are devoted to iniquity. He will then reestablish righteousness upon earth; and the minds of those who live at the end of the Kali age shall be awakened, and shall be as pellucid as crystal. The men who are thus changed by virtue of that peculiar time shall be as the seeds of human beings, and shall give birth to a race who shall follow the laws of the Krita age, or age of purity. As it is said; "When the sun and moon, and the lunar asterism Tishya, and the planet Jupiter, are in one mansion, the Krita age shall return 80."
vp.4.24 Thus age after age Brahmans, Kshatriyas, Vaisyas, and sudras, excellent Brahman, men of great souls, have passed away by thousands; whose names and tribes and families I have not enumerated to you, from their great number, and the repetition of appellations it would involve. Two persons, Devapi of the race of Puru, and Maru of the family of Ikshwaku, through the force of devotion continue alive throughout the whole four ages, residing at the village of Kalapa: they will return hither in the beginning of the Krita age, and, becoming members of the family of the Manu, give origin to the Kshatriya dynasties 84. In this manner the earth is possessed through every series of the three first ages, the Krita, Treta, and Dwapara, by the sons of the Manu; and some remain in the Kali age, to serve as the rudiments of renewed generations, in the same way as Devapi and Maru are still in existence.
vp.5.16 the death of Kesin, and glorified the amiable god with the lotus eyes. Narada the Brahman, invisible, seated in a cloud, beheld the fall of Kesin, and delightedly exclaimed, "Well done, lord of the universe, who in thy sports hast destroyed Kesin, the oppressor of the denizens of heaven! Curious to behold this great combat between a man and a horse such a one as was never before heard of I have come from heaven. Wonderful are the works that thou hast done, in thy descent upon the earth! they have excited my astonishment; but this, above all, has given me pleasure. Indra and the gods lived in dread of this horse, who tossed his mane, and neighed, and looked down upon the clouds. For this, that thou hast slain the impious Kesin, thou shalt be known in the world by the name of Kesava 2. Farewell: I will now depart. I shall meet thee again, conqueror of Kesin, in two days more, in conflict with Kansa. When the son of Ugrasena, with his followers, shall have been slain, then, upholder of the earth, will earth s burdens have been lightened by thee. Many are the battles of the kings that I have to see, in which thou shalt be renowned. I will now depart, Govinda. A great deed, and acceptable to the gods, has been done by thee. I have been much delighted with thee, and now take my leave." When Narada had gone, Krishna, not in any way surprised, returned with the Gopas to Gokula; the sole object of the eyes of the women of Vraja 3.
vp.5.23 Parasara. syala having called Gargya the Brahman, whilst at the cow pens, impotent, in an assembly of the Yadavas, they all laughed; at which he was highly offended, and repaired to the shores of the western sea, where he engaged in arduous penance to obtain a son, who should be a terror to the tribe of Yadu. Propitiating Mahadeva, and living upon iron sand for twelve years, the deity at last was pleased with him, and gave him the desired boon. The king of the Yavanas, who was childless, became the friend of Gargya; and the latter begot a son by his wife, who was as black as a bee, and was thence called Kalayavana 1. The Yavana king having placed his son, whose breast was as hard as the point of the thunderbolt, upon the throne, retired to the woods. Inflated with conceit of his prowess, Kalayavana demanded of Narada who were the most mighty heroes on earth. To which the sage answered, "The Yadavas." Accordingly Kalayavana assembled many myriads of Mlechchhas and barbarians 2, and with a vast armament of
vp.5.32 Maitreya. HOW happened it, venerable Brahman, that a contest on account of Usha arose between siva and Krishna? and in what manner did Hari cut off the thousand arms of Bana? This, illustrious sir, thou art able to narrate.
vp.5.34 Parasara. Hear, excellent Brahman, with reverent attention, an account of the burning of Varanasi by Krishna, in the course of his relieving the burdens of the earth.
vp.5.35 Maitreya. I have a great desire to hear, excellent Brahman, some further account of the exploits of Balarama. You have related to me his dragging the Yamuna, and other mighty deeds, but you can tell me, venerable sir, some other of his acts.
vp.5.37 Daruka, being thus instructed, prostrated himself again and again before Krishna, and walked round him repeatedly, and then departed as he had been desired; and having conducted Arjuna to Dwaravati, the intelligent servant of Krishna established Vajra as king. The divine Govinda then, having concentrated in himself that supreme spirit which is one with Vasudeva, was identified with all beings 14. Respecting the words of the Brahman, the imprecation of Durvasas 15, the illustrious
vp.5.38 Then Jishnu was sorely distressed, and lamented bitterly, exclaiming, Alas! alas! I am deserted by my lord!" and he wept: and in that instant the bow and heavenly arms, his car and steeds, perished entirely, like a donation to an unlearned Brahman. "Resistless," said he, "are the decrees of fate, by whom feebleness has been inflicted upon me, deprived of my illustrious friend, and victory given to the base. These two arms are mine; mine, is this fist; this is my place; I am Arjuna: but without that righteous aid all these are pithless. The valour of Arjuna, the strength of Bhima, was all his work; and without him I am overcome by peasants: it cannot be from any other cause." So saying, Arjuna went to the city of Mathura, and there installed the Yadava prince, Vajra, as its king. There he beheld Vyasa, who was living in a wood, and he approached the sage, and saluted him respectfully. The Muni surveyed him for some time, as he lay prostrate at his feet, and said to him, "How is it that I see you thus shorn of your lustre? Have you been guilty of illicit intercourse with women, or of the death of a Brahman? or have you suffered some grievous disappointment? that you are so dejected. Have your prayers for progeny, or other good gifts, proved fruitless? or
vp.5.38 "In former times a Brahman, named Ashtavakra 9, was pursuing his
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
vp.6.5 THE wise man having investigated the three kinds of worldly pain, or mental and bodily affliction and the like 1, and having acquired true wisdom, and detachment from human objects, obtains final dissolution. The first of the three pains, or adhyatmika, is of two kinds, bodily and mental. Bodily pain is of many kinds, as you shall hear. Affections of the head, catarrh, fever, cholic, fistula, spleen, hemorrhoids, intumescence, sickness, ophthalmia, dysentery, leprosy, and many other diseases, constitute bodily affliction. Mental sufferings are love, anger, fear, hate, covetousness, stupefaction, despair, sorrow, malice, disdain, jealousy, envy, and many other passions which are engendered in the mind. These and various other afflictions, mental or corporeal, are comprised, under the class of worldly sufferings, which is called adhyatmika (natural and inseparable). That pain to which, excellent Brahman, the term adhibhautika (natural, but incidental) is applied, is every kind of evil which is inflicted (from without) upon men by beasts, birds, men, goblins, snakes, fiends, or reptiles; and the pain that is termed adhidaivika (or superhuman) is the work of cold, heat, wind, rain, lightning, and other (atmospherical phenomena). Affliction, Maitreya, is multiplied in thousands of shapes in the progress of conception, birth, decay, disease, death, and hell. The tender (and subtile) animal exists in the embryo, surrounded by abundant filth, floating in water, and distorted in its
vp.6.6 Maitreya. Tell me first, Brahman, who Khandikya was, and who was Kesidhwaja; and how it happened that a conversation relating to the practice of Yoga occurred between them.
vp.6.8 in the duties of the several tribes, and in other obligations; the nature of active life, and discontinuance of action; and the derivation of all that exists from works. There is nothing else, venerable Brahman, that I have to inquire of you; and forgive me if your answers to my questions have imposed upon you any fatigue. Pardon me the trouble that I have given you, through that amiable quality of the virtuous which makes no distinction between a disciple and a child.

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