Created by Jijith Nadumuri at 22 Jul 2011 17:07 and updated at 22 Jul 2011 17:07


vp.1.1 Invocation. Maitreya inquires of his teacher, Parasara, the origin and nature of the universe. Parasara performs a rite to destroy the demons: reproved by Vasishtha, he desists: Pulastya appears, and bestows upon him divine knowledge: he repeats the Vishnu Purana. Vishnu the origin, existence, and end of all things.
vp.1.1 Maitreya 10, having saluted him reverentially, thus addressed Parasara, the excellent sage, the grandson of Vasishtha, who was versed in traditional history, and the Puranas; who was acquainted with the Vedas, and the branches of science dependent upon them; and skilled in law and philosophy; and who had performed the morning rites of devotion.
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.1.1 Parasara replied, Well inquired, pious Maitreya. You recall to my recollection that which was of old narrated by my father s father, Vasishtha. I had heard that my father had been devoured by a Rakshas employed by Viswamitra: violent anger seized me, and I commenced a sacrifice for the destruction of the Rakshasas: hundreds of them were reduced to ashes by the rite, when, as they were about to be entirely extirpated, my grandfather Vasishtha thus spake to me: Enough, my child; let thy wrath be appeased: the Rakshasas are not culpable: thy father s death was the work of destiny. Anger is the passion of fools; it becometh not a wise man. By whom, it may be asked, is any one killed? Every man reaps the consequences of his own acts. Anger, my son, is the destruction of all that man obtains by arduous exertions, of fame, and of devout austerities; and prevents the attainment of heaven or of emancipation. The chief sages always shun wrath: he not thou, my child, subject to its influence. Let no more of these unoffending spirits of darkness be consumed. Mercy is the might of the righteous 12.
vp.1.3 Maitreya. How can creative agency be attributed to that Brahma, who is without qualities, illimitable, pure, and free from imperfection?
vp.1.4 Maitreya. Tell me, mighty sage, how, in the commencement of the (present) Kalpa, Narayana, who is named Brahma, created all existent things 1.
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.1.5 Parasara. I will explain to you, Maitreya, listen attentively, how this deity, the lord of all, created the gods and other beings.
vp.1.5 Maitreya. Thou hast briefly related to me, Muni, the creation of the gods and other beings: I am desirous, chief of sages, to hear from thee a more ample account of their creation.
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.1.6 Maitreya. Thou hast briefly noticed, illustrious sage, the creation termed Arvaksrotas, or that of mankind: now explain to me more fully how Brahma accomplished it; how he created the four different castes; what duties he assigned to the Brahmans and the rest 1.
vp.1.7 Maitreya. Tell me, Brahman, what is the essential nature of these revolutions, perpetual preservation, perpetual creation, and perpetual destruction.
vp.1.7 termed the Brahma dissolution, occurs when the sovereign of the world reclines in sleep. In the second, the mundane egg resolves into the primary element, from whence it was derived. Absolute non existence of the world is the absorption of the sage, through knowledge, into supreme spirit. Perpetual destruction is the constant disappearance, day and night, of all that are born. The productions of Prakriti form the creation that is termed the elemental Prakrita(). That which ensues after a (minor) dissolution is called ephemeral creation: and the daily generation of living things is termed, by those who are versed in the Puranas, constant creation. In this manner the mighty Vishnu, whose essence is the elements, abides in all bodies, and brings about production, existence, and dissolution. The faculties of Vishnu to create, to preserve, and to destroy, operate successively, Maitreya, in all corporeal beings and at all seasons; and he who frees himself from the influence of these three faculties, which are essentially composed of the three qualities (goodness, foulness, and darkness), goes to the supreme sphere, from whence he never again returns.
vp.1.8 Maitreya. It is commonly said that the goddess sri was born from the sea of milk, when it was churned for ambrosia; how then can you say that she was the daughter of Bhrigu by Khyati.
vp.1.8 eternal, imperishable; in like manner as he is all pervading, so also is she, oh best of Brahmans, omnipresent. Vishnu is meaning; she is speech. Hari is polity Naya(); she is prudence Niti(). Vishnu is understanding; she is intellect. He is righteousness; she is devotion. He is the creator; she is creation. sri is the earth; Hari the support of it. The deity is content; the eternal Lakshmi is resignation. He is desire; sri is wish. He is sacrifice; she is sacrificial donation Dakshina(). The goddess is the invocation which attends the oblation; Janarddana is the oblation. Lakshmi is the chamber where the females are present (at a religious ceremony); Madhusudana the apartment of the males of the family. Lakshmi is the altar; Hari the stake (to which the victim is bound). sri is the fuel; Hari the holy grass Kusa(). He is the personified Sama veda; the goddess, lotus throned, is the tone of its chanting. Lakshmi is the prayer of oblation Swaha(); Vasudeva, the lord of the world, is the sacrificial fire. Sauri Vishnu() is sankara (siva); and sri is the bride of siva Gauri(). Kesava, oh Maitreya, is the sun; and his radiance is the lotus seated goddess. Vishnu is the tribe of progenitors Pitrigana(); Padma. is their bride Swadha(), the eternal bestower of nutriment. sri is the heavens; Vishnu, who is one with all things, is wide extended space. The lord of sri is the moon; she is his unfading light. She is called the moving principle of the world; he, the wind which bloweth
vp.1.9 Parasara. But with respect to the question thou hast asked me, Maitreya, relating to the history of sri, hear from me the tale as it was told to me by Marichi.
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 Parasara proceeded. Thus, Maitreya, in former times the goddess sri conferred these boons upon the king of the gods, being pleased by his adorations; but her first birth was as the daughter of Bhrigu by Khyati: it was at a subsequent period that she was produced from the sea, at the churning of the ocean by the demons and the gods, to obtain ambrosia 11. For in like manner as the lord of the world, the god of gods, Janarddana, descends amongst mankind (in various shapes), so does his coadjutrix sri. Thus when Hari was born as a dwarf, the son of Aditi, Lakshmi appeared from a lotus (as Padma, or Kamala); when he was born as Rama, of the race of Bhrigu (or Parasurama), she was Dharani; when he was Raghava Ramachandra(), she was Sita; and when he was Krishna, she became Rukmini. In the other descents of Vishnu, she is his associate. If he takes a celestial form, she appears as divine; if a mortal, she becomes a mortal too, transforming her own person agreeably to whatever character it pleases Vishnu to put on. Whosoever hears this
vp.1.10 Maitreya. Thou hast narrated to me, great Muni, all that I asked of thee: now resume the account of the creation subsequently to Bhrigu.
vp.1.13 Maitreya. Best of Munis, tell me why was the right hand of Vena rubbed by the holy sages, in consequence of which the heroic Prithu was produced.
vp.1.14 Maitreya. You can inform me, great sage, why the magnanimous Prachetasas engaged in penance in the waters of the sea.
vp.1.14 Maitreya. The excellent praises that the Prachetasas addressed to Vishnu, whilst they stood in the deep, you, oh best of Munis, are qualified to repeat to me.
vp.1.14 Parasara. Hear, Maitreya, the hymn which the Prachetasas, as they stood in the waters of the sea, sang of old to Govinda, their nature being identified with him:
vp.1.15 the Rishi came forth from the pores of her skin in drops of perspiration. The trees received the living dews, and the winds collected them into one mass. "This," said Soma, "I matured by my rays, and gradually it increased in size, till the exhalation that had rested on the tree tops became the lovely girl named Marisha. The trees will give her to you, Prachetasas: let your indignation be appeased. She is the progeny of Kandu, the child of Pramlocha, the nursling of the trees, the daughter of the wind and of the moon. The holy Kandu, after the interruption of his pious exercises, went, excellent princes, to the region of Vishnu, termed Purushottama, where, Maitreya 2, with his whole mind he devoted himself to the adoration of Hari; standing fixed, with uplifted arms, and repeating the prayers that comprehend the essence of divine truth 3."
vp.1.15 Maitreya. Daksha, as I have formerly heard, was born from the right thumb of Brahma: tell me, great Muni, how he was regenerate as the son of the Prachetasas. Considerable perplexity also arises in my mind, how he, who, as the son of Marisha, was the grandson of Soma, could be also his father in law.
vp.1.15 Maitreya. Narrate to me, venerable Brahman, at length, the birth of the gods, Titans, Gandharbas, serpents, and goblins.
vp.1.15 Then, Maitreya, the wise patriarch, it is handed down to us, being anxious to people the world, created sixty daughters of the daughter of Virana 11; ten of whom he gave to Dharma, thirteen to Kasyapa, and twenty seven to Soma, four to Arishtanemi, two to Bahuputra, two to Angiras, and two to Krisaswa. I will tell you their names. Arundhati, Vasu, Yami, Lamba, Bhanu, Marutwati, Sankalpa, Muhurtta, Sadhya, and Viswa were the ten wives of Dharma 12, and bore him the following
vp.1.15 These classes of thirty three divinities 27 are born again at the end of a thousand ages, according to their own pleasure; and their appearance and disappearance is here spoken of as birth and death: but, Maitreya, these divine personages exist age after age in the same manner as the sun sets and rises again.
vp.1.16 Inquiries of Maitreya respecting the history of Prahlada.
vp.1.16 Maitreya. Venerable Muni, you have described to me the races of human beings, and the eternal Vishnu, the cause of this world; but who was this mighty Prahlada, of whom you have last spoken; whom fire could not burn; who died not, when pierced by weapons; at whose presence in the waters earth trembled, shaken by his movements, even though in bonds; and who, overwhelmed with rocks, remained unhurt. I am desirous to hear an account of the unequalled might of that sage worshipper of Vishnu, to whose marvellous history you have alluded. Why was he assailed by the weapons of the sons of Diti? why was so righteous a person thrown into the sea? wherefore was he overwhelmed with rocks? why bitten by venomous snakes? why hurled from the mountain crest? why cast into the flames? why was he made a mark for the tusks of the elephants of the spheres? wherefore was the blast of death directed against him by the enemies of the gods? why did the priests of the Daityas practise ceremonies for his destruction? why were the thousand illusions of Samvara exercised upon him? and for what purpose was deadly poison administered to him by the servants of the king, but which was innocuous as food to his sagacious son? All this I am anxious to hear: the history of the magnanimous Prahlada; a legend of great marvels. Not that it is a wonder that he should have been uninjured by the Daityas; for who can injure the man that fixes his whole heart on Vishnu? but it is strange that such inveterate hatred
vp.1.17 Parasara. Listen, Maitreya, to the story of the wise and magnanimous Prahlada, whose adventures are ever interesting and instructive. Hiranyakasipu, the son of Diti, had formerly brought the three worlds under his authority, confiding in a boon bestowed upon him by Brahma 1. He had usurped the sovereignty of Indra, and exercised of himself the functions of the sun, of air, of the lord of waters, of fire, and of the moon. He himself was the god of riches; he was the judge of the dead; and he appropriated to himself, without reserve, all that was offered in sacrifice to the gods. The deities therefore, flying from their seats in heaven, wandered, through fear of the Daitya, upon the earth, disguised in mortal shapes. Having conquered the three worlds, he was inflated with pride, and, eulogized by the Gandharbas, enjoyed whatever he desired. The Gandharbas, the Siddhas, and the snake gods all attended upon the mighty Hiranyakasipu, as he sat at the banquet. The Siddhas delighted stood before him, some playing on musical instruments, some singing songs in his praise, and others shouting cries of victory; whilst the nymphs of heaven danced gracefully in the crystal palace, where the Asura with pleasure quaffed the inebriating cup.
vp.1.20 Such, Maitreya, was the Daitya Prahlada, the wise and faithful worshipper of Vishnu, of whom you wished to hear; and such was his miraculous power. Whoever listens to the history of Prahlada is immediately cleansed from his sins: the iniquities that he commits, by night or by day, shall be expiated by once hearing, or once reading, the history of Prahlada. The perusal of this history on the day of full moon, of new moon, or on the eighth or twelfth day of the lunation 3,
vp.1.22 Maitreya. But, Muni, describe to me fully the four varieties of the condition of Brahma, and what is the supreme condition 4.
vp.1.22 Parasara. That, Maitreya, which is the cause of a thing is called the means of effecting it; and that which it is the desire of the soul to accomplish is the thing to be effected. The operations of the Yogi who is desirous of liberation, as suppression of breath and the like, are his means: the end is the supreme Brahma, whence he returns to the world no more. Essentially connected with, and dependant upon, the means employed for emancipation by the Yogi, is discriminative knowledge; and this is the first variety of the condition of Brahma 5. The second
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 Maitreya. Tell me in what manner Vishnu bears the whole world, abiding in his nature, characterised by ornaments and weapons.
vp.2.1 Maitreya. You have related to me, venerable preceptor, most fully, all that I was curious to hear respecting the creation of the world; but there is a part of the subject which I am desirous again to have described. You stated that Priyavrata and Uttanapada were the sons of Swayambhuva Manu, and you repeated the story of Dhruva, the son of Uttanapada: you made no mention of the descendants of Priyavrata, and it is an account of his family that I beg you will kindly communicate to me.
vp.2.1 Hear next, Maitreya, in what manner Agnidhra apportioned Jambu dwipa amongst his nine sons. He gave to Nabhi the country called Hima, south of the Himavat, or snowy mountains. The country of Hemakuta he gave to Kimpurusha; and to Harivarsha, the country of
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.2.2 Parasara. You shall hear, Maitreya, a brief account of the earth from me: a full detail I could not give you in a century.
vp.2.2 In the country of Bhadraswa, Vishnu resides as Hayasira (the horse headed); in Ketumala, as Varaha (the boar); in Bharata, as the tortoise Kurma(); in Kuru, as the fish Matsya(); in his universal form, every where; for Hari pervades all places: he, Maitreya, is the supporter of all things; he is all things. In the eight realms of Kimpurusha and the rest (or all exclusive of Bharata) there is no sorrow, nor weariness, nor anxiety, nor hunger, nor apprehension; their inhabitants are exempt from all infirmity and pain, and live in uninterrupted enjoyment for ten or twelve thousand years. Indra never sends rain upon them, for the earth abounds with water. In those places there is no distinction of Krita, Treta, or any succession of ages. In each of these Varshas there are respectively seven principal ranges of mountains, from which, oh best of Brahmans, hundreds of rivers take their rise.
vp.2.3 I have thus briefly described to you, Maitreya, the nine divisions of Jambu dwipa, which is a hundred thousand Yojanas in extent, and which is encircled, as if by a bracelet, by the ocean of salt water, of similar dimensions.
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 Such, Maitreya, is the earth, which with its continents, mountains, oceans, and exterior shell, is fifty crores (five hundred millions) of
vp.2.5 Parasara. The extent of the surface of the earth has been thus described to you, Maitreya. Its depth below the surface is said to be seventy thousand Yojanas, each of the seven regions of Patala extending downwards ten thousand. These seven, worthy Muni, are called Atala, Vitala, Nitala, Gabhastimat, Mahatala, Sutala, and Patala 1. Their soil is severally white, black, purple, yellow, sandy, stony, and of gold. They are embellished with magnificent palaces, in which dwell numerous Danavas, Daityas, Yakshas, and great snake gods. The Muni Narada, after his return from those regions to the skies 2, declared amongst the celestials that Patala was much more delightful than Indra s heaven. "What," exclaimed the sage, "can be compared to Patala, where the Nagas are decorated with brilliant and beautiful and pleasure shedding jewels? who will not delight in Patala, where the lovely daughters of the Daityas and Danavas wander about, fascinating even the most austere; where the rays of the sun diffuse light, and not heat, by day; and where the moon shines by night for illumination, not for cold; where the sons of Danu, happy in the enjoyment of delicious viands and strong wines, know not how time passes? There are beautiful groves and streams and lakes where the lotus blows; and the skies are resonant with the Koil s song. Splendid ornaments, fragrant perfumes, rich unguents, the blended music of the lute and pipe and tabor; these and many other enjoyments are the common portion of
vp.2.6 downwards, behold the sufferings of those in hell 10. The various stages of existence, Maitreya, are inanimate things, fish, birds, animals, men, holy men, gods, and liberated spirits; each in succession a thousand degrees superior to that which precedes it: and through these stages the beings that are either in heaven or in hell are destined to proceed, until final emancipation be obtained 11. That sinner goes to Naraka who neglects the due expiation of his guilt.
vp.2.6 For, Maitreya, suitable acts of expiation have been enjoined by the great sages for every kind of crime 12. Arduous penances for great sins, trifling ones for minor offences, have been propounded by Swayambhuva and others: but reliance upon Krishna is far better than any such expiatory acts, as religious austerity, or the like. Let any one who repents of the sin of which he may have been culpable have recourse to this best of all expiations, remembrance of Hari 13: by addressing his thoughts to Narayana at dawn, at night, at sunset, and midday, a man shall be quickly cleansed from all guilt: the whole heap of worldly sorrows is dispersed by meditating on Hari; and his worshipper, looking upon heavenly fruition as an impediment to felicity, obtains final emancipation. He
vp.2.6 Heaven (or Swarga) is that which delights the mind; hell (or Naraka) is that which gives it pain: hence vice is called hell; virtue is called heaven 14. The selfsame thing is applicable to the production of pleasure or pain, of malice or of anger. Whence then can it be considered as essentially the same with either? That which at one time is a source of enjoyment, becomes at another the cause of suffering; and the same thing may at different seasons excite wrath, or conciliate favour. It follows, then, that nothing is in itself either pleasurable or painful; and pleasure and pain, and the like, are merely definitions of various states of mind. That which alone is truth is wisdom; but wisdom may be the cause of confinement to existence; for all this universe is wisdom, there is nothing different from it; and consequently, Maitreya, you are to conclude that both knowledge and ignorance are comprised in wisdom 15.
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.2.7 Parasara. The sphere of the earth (or Bhur loka), comprehending its oceans, mountains, and rivers, extends as far as it is illuminated by the rays of the sun and moon; and to the same extent, both in diameter and circumference, the sphere of the sky Bhuvar( loka) spreads above it (as far upwards as to the planetary sphere, or Swar loka) 1. The solar orb is situated a hundred thousand leagues from the earth; and that of the moon an equal distance from the sun. At the same interval above the moon occurs the orbit of all the lunar constellations. The planet Budha Mercury() is two hundred thousand leagues above the lunar mansions. sukra Venus() is at the same distance from Mercury. Angaraka Mars() is as far above Venus; and the priest of the gods Vrihaspati(, or Jupiter) as far from Mars: whilst Saturn Sani() is two hundred and fifty thousand leagues beyond Jupiter. The sphere of the seven Rishis Ursa( Major) is a hundred thousand leagues above Saturn; and at a similar height above the seven Rishis is Dhruva (the pole star), the pivot or axis of the whole planetary circle. Such, Maitreya, is the elevation of the three spheres Bhur(, Bhuvar, Swar) which form the region of the consequences of works. The region of works is here (or in the land of Bharata) 2.
vp.2.7 Wherever earthy substance exists, which may be traversed by the feet, that constitutes the sphere of the earth, the dimensions of which I have already recounted to you. The region that extends from the earth to the sun, in which the Siddhas and other celestial beings move, is the atmospheric sphere, which also I have described. The interval between the sun and Dhruva, extending fourteen hundred thousand leagues, is called by those who are acquainted with the system of the universe the heavenly sphere. These three spheres are termed transitory: the three highest, Jana, Tapa, and Satya, are styled durable 4: Maharloka, as situated between the two, has also a mixed character; for although it is deserted at the end of the Kalpa, it is not destroyed. These seven spheres, together with the Patalas, forming the extent of the whole world, I have thus, Maitreya, explained to you.
vp.2.8 The glorious sun, Maitreya, darts like an arrow on his southern course, attended by the constellations of the Zodiac. He causes the difference between day and night, and is the divine vehicle and path of the sages who have overcome the inflictions of the world. Whilst the sun, who is the discriminator of all hours, shines in one continent in midday, in the opposite Dwipas, Maitreya, it will be midnight: rising and setting are at all seasons, and are always (relatively) opposed in the different cardinal and intermediate points of the horizon. When the sun becomes visible to any people, to them he is said to rise; when he disappears from their
vp.2.9 pieces by the wind, then watery stores descend, bland, and freed front every impurity by the sweetening process of time. The sun, Maitreya, exhales watery fluids from four sources, seas, rivers, the earth, and living creatures. The water that the sun has drawn up from the Ganga of the skies he quickly pours down with his rays, and without a cloud; and men who are touched by this pure rain are cleansed from the soil of sin, and never see hell: this is termed celestial ablution. That rain which falls whilst the sun is shining, and without a cloud in the sky, is the water of the heavenly Ganges, shed by the solar rays. If, however, rain falls from a bright and cloudless sky whilst the sun is in the mansion of Krittika and the other asterisms counted by odd numbers, as the third, fifth, &c., the water, although that of the Ganga of the sky, is scattered, by the elephants of the quarters, not by the rays of the sun: it is only when such rain falls, and the sun is in the even asterisms, that it is distributed by his beams 4.
vp.2.10 In this manner, Maitreya, a troop of seven celestial beings, supported by the energy of Vishnu, occupies during the several months the orb of the sun. The sage celebrates his praise, and the Gandharba sings, and the nymph dances before him: the Rakshas attends upon his steps, the serpent harnesses his steeds, and the Yaksha trims the reins: the numerous pigmy sages, the Balakhilyas, ever surround his chariot. The whole troop of seven, attached to the sun s car, are the agents in the distribution of cold, heat, and rain, at their respective seasons.
vp.2.11 Maitreya. You have related to me, holy preceptor, the seven classes of beings who are ever present in the solar orb, and are the causes of heat and cold: you have also described to me their individual functions, sustained by the energy of Vishnu: but you have not told me the duty of the sun himself; for if, as you say, the seven beings in his sphere are the causes of heat, cold, and rain, how can it be also true, as you have before mentioned, that rain proceeds from the sun? or how can it be asserted that the sun rises, reaches the meridian, or sets, if these situations be the act of the collective seven.
vp.2.11 Parasara. I will explain to you, Maitreya, the subject of your inquiry. The sun, though identified with the seven beings in his orb, is distinct from them as their chief. The entire and mighty energy of Vishnu, which is called the three Vedas, or Rich, Yajush, and Saman, is that which enlightens the world, and destroys its iniquity. It is that also which, during the continuance of things, is present as Vishnu, actively engaged in the preservation of the universe, and abiding as the three Vedas within the sun. The solar luminary, that appears in every month, is nothing else than that very supreme energy of Vishnu which is composed of the three Vedas, influencing the motions of the planet; for the Richas (the hymns of the Rig veda) shine in the morning, the prayers of the Yajush at noon, and the Vrihadrathantara and other portions of the Saman in the afternoon. This triple impersonation of Vishnu, distinguished by the titles of the three Vedas, is the energy of Vishnu, which influences the positions of the sun 1.
vp.2.11 by the sun. The moisture of the earth, which the sun attracts by his rays, he again parts with for the fertilization of the grain, and the nutriment of all terrestrial creatures; and consequently the sun is the source of subsistence to every class of living things, to gods, progenitors, mankind, and the rest. The sun, Maitreya, satisfies the wants of the gods for a fortnight (at a time); those of the progenitors once a month; and those of men and other animals daily.
vp.2.12 Parasara. The chariot of the moon has three wheels, and is drawn by ten horses, of the whiteness of the Jasmine, five on the right half (of the yoke), five on the left. It moves along the asterisms, divided into ranges, as before described; and, in like manner as the sun, is upheld by Dhruva; the cords that fasten it being tightened or relaxed in the same way, as it proceeds on its course. The horses of the moon, sprung from the bosom of the waters 1, drag the car for a whole Kalpa, as do the coursers of the sun. The radiant sun supplies the moon, when reduced by the draughts of the gods to a single Kala, with a single ray; and in the same proportion as the ruler of the night was exhausted by the celestials, it is replenished by the sun, the plunderer of the waters: for the gods, Maitreya, drink the nectar and ambrosia accumulated in the moon during half the month, and from this being their food they are immortal. Thirty six thousand three hundred and thirty three divinities drink the lunar ambrosia. When two digits remain, the moon enters the orbit of the sun, and abides in the ray called Ama; whence the period is termed Amavasya. In that orbit the moon is immersed for a day and night in the water; thence it enters the branches and shoots of the trees; and thence goes to the sun. Consequently any one who cuts off a branch, or casts down a leaf, when the moon is in the trees (the day of its rising invisible), is guilty of Brahmanicide. When the remaining portion of the
vp.2.12 I have thus described to you, Maitreya, the chariots of the nine planets, all which are fastened to Dhruva by aerial cords. The orbs of all the planets, asterisms, and stars are attached to Dhruva, and travel accordingly in their proper orbits, being kept in their places by their respective bands of air. As many as are the stars, so many are the chains of air that secure them to Dhruva; and as they turn round, they cause the pole star also to revolve. In the same manner as the oil man himself, going round, causes the spindle to revolve, so the planets travel round, suspended by cords of air, which are circling round a (whirling) centre. The air, which is called Pravaha, is so termed because it bears along the planets, which turn round, like a disc of fire, driven by the aerial wheel 6.
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 Parasara. The illustrious monarch of the earth resided, Maitreya, for a considerable period at salagrama, his thoughts being wholly dedicated to god, and his conduct distinguished by kindness and every virtue, until he had effected, in the highest degree, the entire control over his mind. The Raja was ever repeating the names, Yajnesa, Achyuta, Govinda, Madhava, Ananta, Kesava, Krishna, Vishnu, Hrishikesa; nothing else did be utter, even in his dreams; nor upon anything but those names, and their import, did he ever meditate. He accepted fuel, flowers, and holy grass, for the worship of the deity, but
vp.3.1 Maitreya. The disposition of the earth and of the ocean, and the system of the sun and the planets, the creation of the gods and the rest, the origin of the Rishis, the generation of the four castes, the production of brute creatures, and the narratives of Dhruva and Prahlada, have been fully related by thee, my venerable preceptor. I am now desirous to hear from you the series of all the Manwantaras, as well as an account of those who preside over the respective periods, with sakra, the king of the gods, at their head.
vp.3.1 Parasara. I will repeat to you, Maitreya, in their order, the different Manwantaras; those which are past, and those which are to come.
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.3.3 Maitreya. I have learnt from you, in due order, how this world is Vishnu; how it is in Vishnu; how it is from Vishnu: nothing further is to be known: but I should desire to hear how the Vedas were divided, in different ages, by that great being, in the form of Veda vyasa? who were the Vyasas of their respective eras? and what were the branches into which the Vedas were distributed?
vp.3.3 Parasara. The branches of the great tree of the Vedas are so numerous, Maitreya, that it is impossible to describe them at length. I will give you a summary account of them.
vp.3.4 Parasara. The original Veda, in four parts, consisted of one hundred thousand stanzas; and from it sacrifice of ten kinds 1, the accomplisher of all desires, proceeded. In the twenty eighth Dwapara age my son Vyasa separated the four portions of the Veda into four Vedas. In the same manner as the Vedas were arranged by him, as Vedavyasa, so were they divided in former periods by all the preceding Vyasas, and by myself: and the branches into which they were subdivided by him were the same into which they had been distributed in every aggregate of the four ages. Know, Maitreya, the Vyasa called Krishna Dwaipayana to be the deity Narayana; for who else on this earth could have composed the Mahabharata 2? Into what portions the Vedas were arranged by my magnanimous son, in the Dwapara age, you shall hear.
vp.3.6 YOU shall now hear, Maitreya, how Jaimini, the pupil of Vyasa, divided the branches of the Sama veda. The son of Jaimini was Sumantu, and his son was Sukarman, who both studied the same Sanhita under Jaimini 1. The latter composed the Sahasra Sanhita (or compilation of a thousand hymns, &c.), which he taught to two disciples, Hiranyanabha, also named Kausalya (or of Kosala), and Paushyinji 2. Fifteen disciples of the latter were the authors of as many Sanhitas: they were called the northern chaunters of the Saman. As many more, also the disciples of Hiranyanabha, were termed the eastern chaunters of the Saman, founding an equal number of schools. Lokakshi, Kuthumi, Kushidi, and Langali were the pupils of Paushyinji; and by them and their disciples many other branches were formed. Whilst another scholar of Hiranyanabha, named Kriti, taught twenty four Sanhitas to as many pupils; and by them, again, was the Sama veda divided into numerous branches 3.
vp.3.6 acquainted with the Puranas enumerate eighteen, or the Brahma, Padma, Vaishnava, saiva, Bhagavata, Naradiya, Markandeya, agneya, Bhavishyat, Brahma Vaivartta, Lainga, Varaha, Skanda, Vamana, Kaurmma, Matsya, Garuda, Brahmanda. The creation of the world, and its successive reproductions, the genealogies of the patriarchs and kings, the periods of the Manus, and the transactions of the royal dynasties, are narrated in all these Puranas. This Purana which I have repeated to you, Maitreya, is called the Vaishnava, and is next in the series to the Padma; and in every part of it, in its narratives of primary and subsidiary creation, of families, and of periods, the mighty Vishnu is declared in this Purana 7.
vp.3.6 I have thus related to you, Maitreya, the circumstances relating to the Vedas, which you desired to hear. Of what else do you wish to be informed?
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.3.8 Maitreya. Inform me, venerable teacher, how the supreme deity, the lord of the universe, Vishnu, is worshipped by those who are desirous of overcoming the world; and what advantages are reaped by men, assiduous in his adoration, from the propitiated Govinda.
vp.3.17 Maitreya. You have told me, venerable sir, that an ancestral rite is not to be looked upon by certain persons, amongst whom you mentioned such as were apostates. I am desirous to learn whom you intended by that appellation; what practices bestow such a title upon a man; and what is the character of the individual to whom you alluded.
vp.3.18 Thus, Maitreya, you are to understand that those who have seceded from their original belief are said to be naked, because they have thrown off the garment of the Vedas. According to the law there are four conditions or orders of men (of the three first castes), the religious student, the householder, the hermit, and the mendicant. There is no fifth state; and the unrighteous man who relinquishes the order of the householder, and does not become either an anchoret or a mendicant, is also a naked (seceder). The man who neglects his permanent observances for one day and night, being able to perform them, incurs thereby sin for one day; and should he omit them, not being in trouble, for a fortnight, he can be purified only by arduous expiation. The virtuous must stop to gaze upon the sun after looking upon a person who has allowed a year to elapse without the observance of the perpetual ceremonies; and they must bathe with their clothes on should they have touched him: but for the individual himself no expiation has been declared. There is no sinner upon earth more culpable than one in whose dwelling the gods, progenitors, and spirits, are left to sigh unworshipped. Let not a man associate, in residence, sitting, or society, with him whose person or whose house has been blasted by the sighs of the gods, progenitors, and spirits. Conversation, interchange of civilities, or association with a man who for a twelvemonth has not discharged his
vp.3.18 Such, Maitreya, is the sin of conversing with a heretic, and such are the expiatory effects of bathing after the solemn sacrifice of a horse, as I have narrated them to you. Let therefore a man carefully avoid the discourse or contact of an unbeliever, especially at seasons of devotion, and when engaged in the performance of religious rites preparatory to a sacrifice. If it be necessary that a wise man should look at the sun, after beholding one who has neglected his domestic ceremonies for a month, how much greater need must there be of expiation after encountering one who has wholly abandoned the Vedas? one who is supported by infidels, or who disputes the doctrines of holy writ? Let not a person treat with even the civility of speech, heretics, those who do forbidden acts, pretended saints, scoundrels, sceptics 11, and hypocrites. Intercourse with such iniquitous wretches, even at a distance, all association with schismatics, defiles; let a man therefore carefully avoid them.
vp.3.18 These, Maitreya, are the persons called naked, the meaning of which term you desired to have explained. Their very looks vitiate the performance of an ancestral oblation; speaking to then destroys religious merit for a whole day. These are the unrighteous heretics to whom a man must not give shelter, and speaking to whom effaces whatever merit he may that day have obtained. Men, indeed, fall into hell as the consequence of only conversing with those who unprofitably assume the twisted hair, and shaven crown; with those who feed without offering food to gods, spirits, and guests; and those who are excluded from the presentation of cakes, and libations of water, to the manes.
vp.4.1 Maitreya. Venerable preceptor, you have explained to me the perpetual and occasional ceremonies which are to be performed by those righteous individuals who are diligent in their devotions; and you have also described to me the duties which devolve upon the several castes, and on the different orders of the human race. I have now to request you will relate to me the dynasties of the kings who have ruled over the earth 1.
vp.4.1 Parasara. I will repeat to you, Maitreya, an account of the family of Manu, commencing with Brahma, and graced by a number of religious, magnanimous, and heroic princes. Of which it is said, "The lineage of him shall never be extinct, who daily calls to mind the race of
vp.4.1 [paragraph continues] Manu, originating with Brahma 2." Listen therefore, Maitreya, to the entire series of the princes of this family, by which all sin shall be effaced.
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.4.6 Parasara. You shall hear from me, Maitreya, an account of the illustrious family of the moon, which has produced many celebrated rulers of the earth; a race adorned by the regal qualities of strength, valour, magnificence, prudence, and activity; and enumerating amongst its monarchs Nahusha, Yayati, Kartaviryarjuna, and others equally renowned. That race will I describe to you: do you attend.
vp.4.15 Maitreya. Most eminent of all who cultivate piety, I am curious to hear from you, and you are able to explain to me, how it happened that the same being who when killed by Vishnu as Hiranyakasipu and Ravana obtained enjoyments which, though scarcely attainable by the immortals, were but temporary, should have been absorbed into the eternal Hari when slain by him in the person of sisupala.
vp.4.24 I have now given you a summary account of the sovereigns of the earth; to recapitulate the whole would be impossible even in a hundred lives. These and other kings, who with perishable frames have possessed this ever during world, and who, blinded with deceptive notions of individual occupation, have indulged the feeling that suggests, "This earth is mine it is my son s it belongs to my dynasty," have all passed away. So, many who reigned before them, many who succeeded them, and many who are yet to come, have ceased, or will cease, to be. Earth laughs, as if smiling with autumnal flowers, to behold her kings unable to effect the subjugation of themselves. I will repeat to you, Maitreya, the stanzas that were chanted by Earth, and which the Muni Asita communicated to Janaka, whose banner was virtue. "How great is the folly of princes, who are endowed with the faculty of reason, to cherish
vp.4.24 These were the verses, Maitreya, which Earth recited, and by listening to which ambition fades away like snow before the sun. I have now related to you the whole account of the descendants of the Manu; amongst whom have flourished kings endowed with a portion of Vishnu, engaged in the preservation of the earth. Whoever shall listen reverently and with faith to this narrative, proceeding from the posterity of Manu, shall be purified entirely from all his sins, and, with the perfect possession of his faculties, shall live in unequalled affluence, plenty, and prosperity. He who has heard of the races of the sun and moon, of Ikshwaku., Jahnu, Mandhatri, Sagara, and Raghu, who have all perished; of Yayati, Nahusha, and their posterity, who are no more; of kings of great might, resistless valour, and unbounded wealth, who have been overcome by still more powerful time, and are now only a tale; he will learn wisdom, and forbear to call either children, or wife, or house, or
vp.5.1 Maitreya. 1 You have related to me a full account of all the different dynasties of kings, and of their successive transactions. I wish
vp.5.1 Parasara. I will relate to you, Maitreya, the account which you
vp.5.27 Maitreya. How, Muni, happened it that the hero Pradyumna was carried away by Sambara? and in what manner was the mighty Sambara killed by Pradyumna?
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 Maitreya. Of a truth the divine sauri, having assumed a mortal body, performed great achievements in his easy victories over sakra and siva, and all their attendant divinities. I am now desirous to hear from you, illustrious sage, what other mighty exploit the humiliator of the prowess of the celestials performed.
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.5.35 Parasara. Attend, Maitreya, to the achievements performed by Rama, who is the eternal, illimitable sesha, the upholder of the earth. At the choice of a husband by the daughter of Duryodhana, the princess was carried off by the hero samba, the son of Jambavati. Being pursued by Duryodhana, Karna, Bhishma, Drona, and other celebrated chiefs, who were incensed at his audacity, he was defeated, and taken prisoner. When the Yadavas heard of the occurrence, their wrath was kindled against Duryodhana and his associates, and they prepared to take up arms against them; but Baladeva, in accents interrupted by the effects of ebriety, forbade them, and said, "I will go alone to the sons of Kuru; they will liberate samba at my request." Accordingly he went to the elephant styled city Hastinapura(), but took up his abode in a grove without the town, which he did not enter. When Duryodhana and the rest heard that he had arrived there, they sent him a cow, a present of fruits and flowers, and water. Bala received the offering in the customary form, and said to the Kauravas, Ugrasena" commands you to set samba at liberty." When Duryodhana, Karna, Bhishma, Drona, and the others, heard this, they were very angry; and Bahlika and other friends of the Kauravas, who looked upon the Yadu race as not entitled to regal dignity, said to the wielder of the club, "What is this, Balabhadra, that thou hast uttered? What Yadava shall give orders to the chiefs of the family of Kuru? If Ugrasena issues
vp.5.36 HEAR also, Maitreya, another exploit performed by the mighty Balarama. The great Asura, the foe of the friends of the gods, Naraka, had a friend of exceeding prowess in the monkey named Dwivida, who was animated by implacable hostility against the deities, and vowed to revenge on the whole of them the destruction of Naraka by Krishna, at the instigation of the king of the celestials, by preventing sacrifices, and effecting the annihilation of the mortal sphere. Blinded by ignorance, he accordingly interrupted all religious rites, subverted all righteous observances, and occasioned the death of living beings: he set fire to the forests, to villages, and to towns: sometimes he overwhelmed cities and hamlets with falling rocks; or lifting up mountains in the waters, he cast them into the ocean: then taking his place amidst the deep, he agitated the waves, until the foaming sea rose above its confines, and swept away the villages and cities situated upon its shores. Dwivida also, who could assume what shape he would, enlarged his bulk to an immense size, and rolling and tumbling and trampling amidst the corn fields, he crushed and spoiled the harvests. The whole world, disordered by this iniquitous monkey, was deprived of sacred study and religious rites, and was greatly afflicted.
vp.5.37 Maitreya. Tell me how Janarddana effected the destruction of his own race under the plea of Brahmanical imprecation, and in what manner he relinquished his mortal body 3.
vp.5.38 I have thus narrated to you, Maitreya, in detail, the actions of Vasudeva, when he was born in the race of Yadu.
vp.6.1 Maitreya. You have narrated to me, illustrious sage, the creation of the world, the genealogies of the patriarchs, the duration of the Manwantaras, and the dynasties of princes, in detail. I am now desirous to hear from you an account of the dissolution of the world, the season of total destruction, and that which occurs at the expiration of a Kalpa 1.
vp.6.1 Parasara. Hear from me, Maitreya, exactly the circumstances of the end of all things, and the dissolution that occurs either at the expiration of a Kalpa, or that which takes place at the close of the life of Brahma. A month of mortals is a day and night of the progenitors: a year of mortals is a day and night of the gods. Twice a thousand aggregates of the four ages is a day and night of Brahma 2. The four ages are the Krita, Treta, Dwapara, and Kali; comprehending together twelve thousand years of the gods. There are infinite successions of these four ages, of a similar description, the first of which is always called the Krita, and the last the Kali. In the first, the Krita, is that age which is created by Brahma; in the last, which is the Kali age, a dissolution of the world occurs.
vp.6.1 Maitreya. Venerable sir, you are able to give me a description of the nature of the Kali age, in which four footed virtue 3 suffers total extinction.
vp.6.1 Parasara. Hear, Maitreya, an account of the nature of the Kali age, respecting which you have inquired, and which is now close at hand.
vp.6.1 Oppressed by famine and taxation, men will desert their native lands, and go to those countries which are fit for coarser grains 11. The path of the Vedas being obliterated, and men having deviated into heresy, iniquity will flourish, and the duration of life will therefore decrease. In consequence of horrible penances not enjoined by scripture, and of the vices of the rulers, children will die in their infancy. Women will bear children at the age of five, six, or seven years; and men beget them when they are eight, nine, or ten. A man will be grey when he is twelve; and no one will exceed twenty years of life 12. Men will possess little sense, vigour, or virtue, and will therefore perish in a very brief period. In proportion as heresy extends, so, Maitreya, shall the progress of the Kali age be estimated by the wise. In proportion as the number of the pious, who adhere to the lessons of the Vedas, diminishes as the efforts of individuals who cultivate virtue relax as the first of males becomes no longer the object of sacrifices as respect for the teachers of the Vedas declines and as regard is acknowledged for the disseminators
vp.6.1 In the Kali age, Maitreya, men, corrupted by unbelievers, will refrain from adoring Vishnu, the lord of sacrifice, the creator and lord of all; and will say, "Of what authority are the Vedas? what are gods or Brahmans? what need is there of purification with water?" Then will the clouds yield scanty rain: then will the corn be light in ear, and the grain will be poor, and of little sap: garments will be mostly made of the fibres of the San 14: the principal of trees will be the Sami 15: the prevailing caste will be the sudra: millet will be the more common grain: the milk in use will be chiefly that of goats: unguents will be made of Usira grass. The mother and father in law will be venerated in place of parents; and a man s friends will be his brother in law, or one who has a wanton wife. Men will say, "Who has a father? who has a mother? each one is born according to his deeds:" and therefore they will look upon a wife s or husband s parents as their own. Endowed with little sense, men, subject to all the infirmities of mind, speech, and body, will daily commit sins; and every thing that is calculated to afflict beings, vicious, impure, and wretched, will be generated in the Kali age. Then shall some places follow a separate duty 16, devoid of holy study, oblations to fire, and invocations of the gods 17. Then, in the
vp.6.2 UPON this subject, Maitreya, you shall hear what the wise Vyasa has related, as it is communicated truly by me.
vp.6.2 The Munis then saluted and praised Vyasa, and, being freed by him from uncertainty, departed as they came. To you also, excellent Maitreya, have I imparted this secret, this one great virtue of the otherwise vicious Kali age. The dissolution of the world, and the aggregation of the elements, I will now describe to you 1.
vp.6.3 Maitreya. Tell me, excellent master, what is the enumeration of a Pararddha, the expiration of two of which is the period of elemental dissolution 2.
vp.6.3 Parasara. A Pararddha, Maitreya, is that number which occurs in the eighteenth place of figures, enumerated according to the rule of decimal notation 3. At the end of twice that period elemental dissolution
vp.6.4 WHEN the waters have reached the region of the seven Rishis, and the whole of the three worlds is one ocean, they stop. The breath of Vishnu becomes a strong wind, which blows for more than a hundred years, until all the clouds are dispersed. The wind is then reabsorbed, and he of whom all things are made, the lord by whom all things exist, he who is inconceivable, without beginning of the universe, reposes, sleeping upon sesha, in the midst of the deep. The creator, Hari, sleeps upon the ocean, in the form of Brahma glorified by Sanaka And the saints who had gone to the Janaloka, and contemplated by the holy inhabitants of Brahmaloka, anxious for final liberation involved in mystic slumber, the celestial personification of his own illusions, and meditating on his own ineffable spirit, which is called Vasudeva. This, Maitreya, is the dissolution termed incidental, because Hari, in the form of Brahma, sleeps there, as its incidental cause.
vp.6.4 I have thus described to you the intermediate dissolution of the world, occurring at the end of every Kalpa. I will now, Maitreya, describe to you elemental dissolution. When by dearth and fire all the worlds and Patalas are withered up, and the modifications of Mahat and other products of nature are by the will of Krishna destroyed, the progress of
vp.6.4 [paragraph continues] The period of two Pararddhas, as I have described it to you, Maitreya, is called a day of that potent Vishnu; and whilst the products of nature are merged into their source, nature into spirit, and that into the supreme, that period is termed his night, and is of equal duration with his day. But, in fact, to that eternal supreme spirit there is neither day nor night, and these distinctions are only figuratively applied to the almighty. I have thus explained to you the nature of elemental dissolution, and will now expound to you which is final 3.
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.6.5 But not in hell alone do the souls of the deceased undergo pain: there is no cessation even in heaven; for its temporary inhabitant is ever tormented with the prospect of descending again to earth. Again is he liable to conception and to birth; he is merged again into the embryo, and repairs to it when about to be born; then he dies, as soon as born, or in infancy, or in youth, or in manhood, or in old age. Death, sooner or later, is inevitable. As long as he lives he is immersed in manifold afflictions, like the seed of the cotton amidst the down that is to be spun into thread. In acquiring, losing, and preserving wealth there are many griefs; and so there are in the misfortunes of our friends. Whatever is produced that is most acceptable to man, that, Maitreya, becomes a seed whence springs the tree of sorrow. Wife, children, servants, house, lands, riches, contribute much more to the misery than to the happiness of mankind. Where could man, scorched by the fires of the sun of this world, look for felicity, were it not for the shade afforded by the tree of emancipation? Attainment of the divine being is considered by the wise as the remedy of the threefold class of ills that beset the different stages of life, conception, birth, and decay, as characterized by that only happiness which effaces all other kinds of felicity, however abundant, and as being absolute and final 3.
vp.6.6 Maitreya. Reverend teacher, I am desirous of being informed what is meant by the term meditation Yoga(), by understanding which I may behold the supreme being, the upholder of the universe.
vp.6.6 Parasara. I will repeat to you, Maitreya, the explanation formerly given by Kesidhwaja to the magnanimous Khandikya, also called Janaka.
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 Conclusion of the dialogue between Parasara and Maitreya. Recapitulation of the contents of the Vishnu Purana: merit of hearing it: how handed down. Praises of Vishnu. Concluding prayer.
vp.6.8 I HAVE now explained to you, Maitreya, the third kind of worldly dissolution, or that which is absolute and final, which is, liberation and resolution into eternal spirit 1. I have related to you primary and secondary creation, the families of the patriarchs, the periods of the Manwantaras, and the genealogical histories (of the kings). I have repeated to you, in short, who were desirous of hearing it, the imperishable Vaishnava Purana, which is destructive of all sins, the most excellent of all holy writings, and the means of attaining the great end of man. If there is any thing else you wish to hear, propose your question, and I will answer it.
vp.6.8 Maitreya. Holy teacher, you have indeed related to me all that I wished to know, and I have listened to it with pious attention. I have nothing further to inquire. The doubts inseparable from the mind of man have all been resolved by you, and through your instructions I am acquainted with the origin, duration, and end of all things; with Vishnu in his collective fourfold form 2; his three energies 3; and with the three modes of apprehending the object of contemplation 4. Of all this have I acquired a knowledge through your favour, and nothing else is worthy to be known, when it is once understood that Vishnu and this world are not mutually distinct. Great Muni, I have obtained through your kindness all I desired, the dissipation of my doubts, since you have instructed me
vp.6.8 This Purana, originally composed by the Rishi Narayana(), was communicated by Brahma to Ribhu; he related it to Priyavrata, by whom it was imparted to Bhaguri. Bhaguri recited it to Tamasitra 6, and he to Dadicha, who gave it to Saraswata. From the last Bhrigu received it, who imparted it to Purukutsa, and he taught it to Narmada. The goddess delivered it to Dhritarashtra the Naga king, and to Purana of the same race, by whom it was repeated to their monarch Vasuki. Vasuki communicated it to Vatsa, and he to aswatara, from whom it successively proceeded to Kambala and Elapatra. When the Muni Vedasiras descended to Patala, he there received the whole Purana from these Nagas, and communicated it to Pramati. Pramati consigned it to the wise Jatukarna, and he taught it to many other holy persons. Through the blessing of Vasishtha it came to my knowledge, and I have now, Maitreya, faithfully imparted it to you. You will teach it, at the end of the Kali age, to samika 7. Whoever hears this great mystery, which removes the contamination of the Kali, shall be freed from all his sins. He who hears this every day acquits himself of his daily obligations to ancestors, gods, and men. The great and rarely attainable merit that a man acquires by the gift of a brown cow, he derives from hearing ten chapters of this Purana 8. He who hears the entire Purana, contemplating in his mind Achyuta, who is all things, and of whom all things are made; who is the stay of the whole world, the

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