Created by Jijith Nadumuri at 24 Jul 2011 15:40 and updated at 24 Jul 2011 15:40


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 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.1.2 Prayer of Parasara to Vishnu. Successive narration of the Vishnu Purana. Explanation of Vasudeva: his existence before creation: his first manifestations. Description of Pradhana or the chief principle of things. Cosmogony. Of Prakrita, or material creation; of time; of the active cause. Developement of effects; Mahat; Ahankara; Tanmatras; elements; objects of sense; senses; of the mundane egg. Vishnu the same as Brahma the creator; Vishnu the preserver; Rudra the destroyer.
vp.1.2 Parasara said, Glory to the unchangeable, holy, eternal, supreme Vishnu, of one universal nature, the mighty over all: to him who is Hiranygarbha, Hari, and sankara 1, the creator, the preserver, and destroyer of
vp.1.3 Parasara. The essential properties of existent things are objects of observation, of which no foreknowledge is attainable; and creation, and hundreds of properties, belong to Brahma, as inseparable parts of his essence, as heat, oh chief of sages, is inherent in fire 1. Hear then how
vp.1.4 Parasara. In what manner the divine Brahma, who is one with Narayana, created progeny, and is thence named the lord of progeny Prajapati(), the lord god, you shall hear.
vp.1.4 Parasara. The auspicious supporter of the world, being thus hymned by the earth, emitted a low murmuring sound, like the chanting of the Sama veda; and the mighty boar, whose eyes were like the lotus, and whose body, vast as the Nila mountain, was of the dark colour of the lotus leaves 6, uplifted upon his ample tusks the earth from the lowest regions. As he reared up his head, the waters shed from his brow purified the great sages, Sanandana and others, residing in the sphere of the saints. Through the indentations made by his hoofs, the waters rushed into the lower worlds with a thundering noise. Before his breath, the pious denizens of Janaloka were scattered, and the Munis sought for shelter amongst the bristles upon the scriptural body of the boar, trembling
vp.1.4 Parasara. The supreme being thus eulogized, upholding the earth, raised it quickly, and placed it on the summit of the ocean, where it floats like a mighty vessel, and from its expansive surface does not sink beneath the waters. Then, having levelled the earth, the great eternal deity divided it into portions, by mountains: he who never wills in vain, created, by his irresistible power, those mountains again upon the earth which had been consumed at the destruction of the world. Having then divided the earth into seven great portions or continents, as it was before, he constructed in like manner the four (lower) spheres, earth, sky, heaven, and the sphere of the sages Maharloka(). Thus Hari, the four faced god, invested with the quality of activity, and taking the form of Brahma, accomplished the creation: but he Brahma() is only the instrumental cause of things to be created; the things that are capable of being created arise from nature as a common material cause: with exception of one instrumental cause alone, there is no need of any other cause, for (imperceptible) substance becomes perceptible substance according to the powers with which it is originally imbued.
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 Parasara. Created beings, although they are destroyed (in their individual forms) at the periods of dissolution, yet, being affected by the good or evil acts of former existence, they are never exempted from their consequences; and when Brahma creates the world anew, they are the progeny of his will, in the fourfold condition of gods, men, animals, or inanimate things. Brahma then, being desirous of creating the four orders of beings, termed gods, demons, progenitors, and men, collected his mind into itself 14. Whilst thus concentrated, the quality of darkness
vp.1.6 Parasara. Formerly, oh best of Brahmans, when the truth meditating Brahma was desirous of creating the world, there sprang from his mouth beings especially endowed with the quality of goodness; others from his breast, pervaded by the quality of foulness; others from his thighs, in whom foulness and darkness prevailed; and others from his feet, in whom the quality of darkness predominated. These were, in succession, beings of the several castes, Brahmans, Kshetriyas, Vaisyas, and sudras, produced from the mouth, the breast, the thighs, and the feet of Brahma 2. These he created for the performance of sacrifices, the four castes being the fit instruments of their celebration. By sacrifices, oh thou who knowest the truth, the gods are nourished; and by the rain which they bestow, mankind are supported 3: and thus sacrifices, the source of happiness, are performed by pious men, attached to their duties, attentive to prescribed obligations, and walking in the paths of virtue. Men acquire (by them) heavenly fruition, or final felicity: they go, after death, to whatever sphere they aspire to, as the consequence of their human
vp.1.7 Parasara. From Brahma, continuing to meditate, were born mind engendered progeny, with forms and faculties derived from his corporeal nature; embodied spirits, produced from the person of that all wise deity. All these beings, front the gods to inanimate things, appeared as I have related to you 1, being the abode of the three qualities: but as they did not multiply themselves, Brahma created other mind born sons, like himself; namely, Bhrigu, Pulastya, Pulaha, Kratu, Angiras, Marichi, Daksha, Atri, and Vasishtha: these are the nine Brahmas (or Brahma rishis) celebrated in the Puranas 2. Sanandana and the other sons of
vp.1.7 Parasara. Madhusudana, whose essence is incomprehensible, in the forms of these (patriarchs and Manus), is the author of the uninterrupted vicissitudes of creation, preservation, and destruction. The dissolution of all things is of four kinds; Naimittika, occasional; Prakritika, elemental; Atyantika, absolute; Nitya, perpetual 15: The first, also
vp.1.8 Parasara. I have described to you, oh great Muni, the creation of Brahma, in which the quality of darkness prevailed. I will now explain to you the creation of Rudra 1.
vp.1.8 Parasara. sri, the bride of Vishnu, the mother of the world, is
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 Parasara continued. The gods, having heard this prayer uttered by Brahma, bowed down, and cried, "Be favourable to us; be present to our sight: we bow down to that glorious nature which the mighty Brahma does not know; that which is thy nature, oh imperishable, in whom the universe abides." Then the gods having ended, Vrihaspati and the divine Rishis thus prayed: "We bow down to the being entitled to adoration; who is the first object of sacrifice; who was before the first of things; the creator of the creator of the world; the undefinable: oh lord of all that has been or is to be; imperishable type of sacrifice; have pity upon thy worshippers; appear to them, prostrate before thee. Here is Brahma; here is Trilochana (the three eyed siva), with the Rudras; Pusha, (the sun), with the adityas; and Fire, with all the mighty luminaries: here are the sons of Aswini (the two Aswini Kumaras), the Vasus and all the winds, the Sadhyas, the Viswadevas, and Indra the king of the gods: all of whom bow lowly before thee: all the tribes of the immortals, vanquished by the demon host, have fled to thee for succour."
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 Parasara. Lakshmi, the bride of Vishnu, was the daughter of Bhrigu by Khyati. They had also two sons, Dhatri and Vidhatri, who married the two daughters of the illustrious Meru, ayati and Niryati; and had by them each a son, named Prana and Mrikanda. The son of the latter was Markandeya, from whom Vedasiras was born 1. The son of Prana was named Dyutimat, and his son was Rajavat; after whom, the race of Bhrigu became infinitely multiplied.
vp.1.11 Parasara continued. I mentioned to you, that the Manu Swayambhuva had two heroic and pious sons, Priyavrata and Uttanapada. Of these two, the latter had a son whom he dearly loved, Uttama, by his favourite wife Suruchi. By his queen, named Suniti, to whom he was less attached, he also had a son, called Dhruva 1. Observing his brother Uttama on the lap of his father, as he was seated upon his throne, Dhruva was desirous of ascending to the same place; but as Suruchi was present, the Raja did not gratify the desire of his son, respectfully wishing to be taken on his father s knee. Beholding the child of her rival thus anxious to be placed on his father s lap, and her own son already seated there, Suruchi thus addressed the boy: "Why, child, do you vainly indulge in such presumptuous hopes? You are born from a different mother, and are no son of mine, that you should aspire inconsiderately to a station fit for the excellent Uttama alone. It is true you are the son of the Raja, but I have not given you birth. This regal throne, the seat of the king of kings, is suited to my son only; why should you aspire to its occupation? why idly cherish such lofty ambition, as if you were my son? do you forget that you are but the offspring of Suniti."
vp.1.13 Parasara. The sons of Dhruva, by his wife sambhu, were Bhavya and Slishti. Suchchaya, the wife of the latter, was the mother of five virtuous sons, Ripu, Ripunjaya, Vipra, Vrikala, and Vrikatejas. The son of Ripu, by Vrihati, was the illustrious Chakshusha, who begot the Manu Chakshusha on Pushkarini, of the family of Varuna, the daughter of the venerable patriarch Anaranya. The Manu had, by his wife Navala, the daughter of the patriarch Vairaja, ten noble sons, Uru, Pura, Satadyumna, Tapaswi, Satyavak, Kavi, Agnishtoma, Atiratra, Sudyumna, and Abhimanyu. The wife of Uru, agneyi, bore six excellent sons, Anga, Sumanas, Swati, Kratu, Angiras, and siva. Anga had, by his wife Sunitha, only one son, named Vena, whose right arm was rubbed by the Rishis, for the purpose of producing from it progeny. From the arm of Vena, thus rubbed, sprang a celebrated monarch, named Prithu, by whom, in olden time, the earth was milked for the advantage of mankind 1.
vp.1.13 Parasara. Sunitha was originally the daughter of Mrityu, by whom she was given to Anga to wife. She bore him Vena, who inherited the evil propensities of his maternal grandfather. When he was inaugurated by the Rishis monarch of the earth, he caused. it to be every where proclaimed, that no worship should be performed, no oblations offered, no gifts bestowed upon the Brahmans. "I, the king," said he, "am the lord of sacrifice; for who but I am entitled to the oblations." The Rishis, respectfully approaching the sovereign, addressed him in melodious accents, and said, "Gracious prince, we salute you; hear what we have to represent. For the preservation of your kingdom and your life, and for the benefit of all your subjects, permit us to worship Hari, the lord of all sacrifice, the god of gods, with solemn and protracted rites 2; a portion of the fruit of which will revert to you 3. Vishnu, the god of oblations, being propitiated with sacrifice by us, will grant you, oh king, all your desires. Those princes have all their wishes gratified, in whose realms Hari, the lord of sacrifice, is adored with sacrificial rites." "Who," exclaimed Vena, "is superior to me? who besides me is entitled to worship? who is this Hari, whom you style the lord of sacrifice? Brahma, Janarddana. sambhu, Indra, Vayu, Ravi (the sun), Hutabhuk
vp.1.14 Parasara. The sons of Prachinaverhis were originally informed by their father, who had been appointed as a patriarch, and whose mind was intent on multiplying mankind, that the had been respectfully enjoined by Brahma, the god of gods, to labour to this end, and that he had promised obedience: "now therefore," continued he, "do you, my sons, to oblige me, diligently promote the increase of the people, for the orders of the father of all creatures are entitled to respect." The sons of the king, having heard their father s words, replied, "So be it;" but they then inquired of him, as he could best explain it, by what means they might accomplish the augmentation of mankind. He said to them; "Whoever worships Vishnu, the bestower of good, attains undoubtedly the object of his desires: there is no other mode. What further can I tell you? Adore therefore Govinda, who is Hari, the lord of all beings, in order to effect the increase of the human race, if you wish to succeed.
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 Parasara. Birth and death are constant in all creatures: Rishis and sages, possessing divine vision, are not perplexed by this. Daksha and the other eminent Munis are present in every age, and in the interval of destruction cease to be 7: of this the wise man entertains no doubt. Amongst them of old there was neither senior nor junior; rigorous penance and acquired power were the sole causes of any difference of degree amongst these more than human beings.
vp.1.15 Parasara. In what manner Daksha created living creatures, as commanded by Brahma, you shall hear. In the first place he willed into existence the deities, the Rishis, the quiristers of heaven, the Titans, and the snake gods. Finding that his will born progeny did not multiply themselves, he determined, in order to secure their increase, to establish sexual intercourse as the means of multiplication. For this purpose he espoused Asikni, the daughter of the patriarch Virana 8, a damsel addicted to devout practices, the eminent supportress of the world. By her the great father of mankind begot five thousand mighty sons, through whom he expected the world should be peopled. Narada, the divine Rishi, observing them desirous to multiply posterity, approached them, and addressed them in a friendly tone: "Illustrious Haryaswas, it is evident that your intention is to beget posterity; but first consider this: why should you, who, like fools, know not the middle, the height, and depth of the world 9, propagate offspring? When your intellect is no more obstructed by interval, height, or depth, then how, fools, shall ye not all behold the term of the universe?" Having heard the words of Narada, the sons of Daksha dispersed themselves through the regions, and to the present day have not returned; as rivers that lose themselves in the ocean come back no more.
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.1.22 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 Parasara. Having offered salutation to the mighty and indescribable Vishnu, I repeat to you what was formerly related to me by Vasishtha. The glorious Hari wears the pure soul of the world, undefiled, and void of qualities, as the Kaustubha gem. The chief principle of things Pradhana() is seated on the eternal, as the Srivatsa mark. Intellect abides in Madhava, in the form of his mace. The lord Iswara() supports egotism Ahankara() in its twofold division, into elements and organs of sense, in the emblems of his conch shell and his bow. In his hand Vishnu holds, in the form of his discus, the mind, whose thoughts (like the weapon) fly swifter than the winds. The necklace of the deity Vaijayanti, composed of five precious gems 8, is the aggregate of the five elemental rudiments. Janarddana bears, in his numerous shafts, the faculties both of action and of perception. The bright sword of Achyuta is holy wisdom, concealed at some seasons in the scabbard of ignorance. In this manner soul, nature, intellect, egotism, the elements, the senses, mind, ignorance, and wisdom, are all assembled in the person of Hrishikesa. Hari, in a delusive form, embodies the shapeless elements of the world, as his weapons and his ornaments, for the salvation of mankind 9. Pundarikaksha, the lord of all, assumes nature, with all its products, soul and all the world. All that is wisdom, all that is ignorance, all that is, all that is not, all that is everlasting, is centred in the destroyer of Madhu,
vp.2.1 Parasara. Priyavrata married Kamya, the daughter of the patriarch Kardama 1, and had by her two daughters, Samrat and Kukshi, and ten
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.2.5 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 Parasara. I will now, great Muni, give you an account of the hells which are situated beneath the earth and beneath the waters 1, and into which sinners are finally sent.
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.2.8 Parasara. Having thus described to you the system of the world in general, I will now explain to you the dimensions and situations of the sun and other luminaries.
vp.2.10 Parasara. Between the extreme northern and southern points the sun has to traverse in a year one hundred and eighty degrees, ascending and descending 1. His car is presided over by divine adityas, Rishis, heavenly singers and nymphs, Yakshas, serpents, and Rakshasas (one of each being placed in it in every month). The aditya Dhatri, the sage Pulastya, the Gandharba Tumburu, the nymph Kratusthala, the Yaksha Rathakrit, the serpent Vasuki, and the Rakshas Heti, always reside in the sun s car, in the month of Madhu or Chaitra, as its seven guardians. In Vaisakha or Madhava the seven are aryamat, Pulaha, Narada, Punjikasthali, Rathaujas, Kachanira, and Praheti. In suchi or Jyeshtha they are Mitra, Atri, Haha, Mena, Rathaswana, Takshaka, and Paurusheya. In the month sukra or ashadha they are Varuna, Vasishtha, Huhu, Sahajanya, Rathachitra, Naga, and Budha. In the month Nabhas (or Sravana) they are Indra, Angiras, Viswavasu, Pramlocha, srotas, and Elapatra (the name of both serpent and Rakshas). In the month Bhadrapada they are Vivaswat, Bhrigu, Ugrasena, Anumlocha, apurana, sankhapala, and Vyaghra. In the month of aswin they are Pushan, Gautama, Suruchi, Ghritachi, Sushena, Dhananjaya, and Vata. In the month of Kartik they are Parjanya, Bharadwaja, (another) Viswavasu, Viswachi, Senajit, Airavata, and Chapa. In Agrahayana or Margasirsha they are Ansu, Kasyapa, Chitrasena, Urvasi, Tarkshya, Mahapadma, and Vidyut. In the month of Pausha, Bhaga, Kratu, Urnayu, Purvachitti,
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.2.12 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.2.13 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.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.2.16 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.3.1 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 Parasara. Sanjna, the daughter of Viswakarman, was the wife of the sun, and bore him three children, the Manu Vaivaswata(), Yama, and the goddess Yami (or the Yamuna river). Unable to endure the fervours of her lord, Sanjna gave him Chhaya 1 as his handmaid, and repaired to the forests to practise devout exercises. The sun, supposing Chhaya to be his wife Sanjna, begot by her three other children, sanaischara Saturn(), another Manu Savarni(), and a daughter Tapati (the Tapti river). Chhaya, upon one occasion, being offended with Yama 2, the son of Sanjna, denounced an imprecation upon him, and thereby revealed to Yama and to the sun that she was not in truth Sanjna, the mother of the former. Being further informed by Chhaya that his wife had gone to the wilderness, the sun beheld her by the eye of meditation engaged in austerities, in the figure of a mare (in the region of Uttara Kuru). Metamorphosing himself into a horse, he rejoined his wife, and begot three other children, the two aswins and Revanta, and
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.3.4 This vast original tree of the Vedas, having been divided by him into four principal stems, soon branched out into an extensive forest. In the first place, Paila divided the Rig veda, and gave the two Sanhitas (or collections of hymns) to Indrapramati and to Bashkali. Bashkali 6 subdivided his Sanhita into four, which he gave to his disciples Baudhya, Agnimathara, Yajnawalkya, and Parasara; and they taught these secondary shoots from the primitive branch. Indrapramati imparted his Sanhita to his son Mandukeya, and it thence descended through successive generations, as well as disciples 7. Vedamitra, called also sakalya, studied the same Sanhita, but he divided it into five Sanhitas, which he distributed amongst as many disciples, named severally Mudgala, Goswalu, Vatsya, saliya, and sisira 8. Sakapurni made a different division of the original Sanhita into three portions, and added a glossary Nirukta(), constituting a fourth 9. The three Sanhitas were given to his three pupils, Krauncha,
vp.3.5 Parasara. Of the tree of the Yajur veda there are twenty seven branches, which Vaisampayana, the pupil of Vyasa, compiled, and taught to as many disciples 1. Amongst these, Yajnawalkya, the son of Brahmarata, was distinguished for piety and obedience to his preceptor.
vp.3.7 Parasara. This question, excellent Muni, was once asked by Nakula 1 of his grandfather Bhishma; and I will repeat to you the reply made by the latter.
vp.3.7 I have thus, resumed Parasara, related to you what you wished to hear, and what was said by the son of Vivaswat 3. What else do you wish to hear?
vp.3.8 Parasara. The question you have asked was formerly put by Sagara to Aurva 1. I will repeat to you his reply.
vp.3.17 Parasara. Thus, in former days, spake the holy Aurva to the illustrious monarch Sagara, when he inquired concerning the usages proper to be practised by mankind; and thus I have explained to you the whole of those observances against which no one ought to transgress.
vp.3.17 Parasara. The Rig, Yajur, and Sama Vedas constitute the triple covering of the several castes, and the sinner who throws this off is said to be naked (or apostate). The three Vedas are the raiment of all the orders of men, and when that is discarded they are left bare 1. On this subject hear what I heard my grandfather, the pious Vasishtha, relate to the magnanimous Bhishma:
vp.3.18 Parasara. After this, the great delusion, having proceeded to earth, beheld the Daityas engaged in ascetic penances upon the banks of the Narmada river 1; and approaching them in the semblance of a naked mendicant, with his head shaven, and carrying a bunch of peacock s feathers 2, he thus addressed them in gentle accents: "Ho, lords of the Daitya race! wherefor is it that you practise these acts of penance? is it with a view to recompense in this world, or in another?" Sage"," replied the Daityas, "we pursue these devotions to obtain a reward hereafter; why should you make such an inquiry?" "If you are desirous of final emancipation," answered the seeming ascetic, "attend to my words, for you are worthy of a revelation which is the door to ultimate felicity. The duties that I will teach you are the secret path to liberation; there are none beyond or superior to them: by following them you shall obtain either heaven or exemption from future existence. You, mighty beings, are deserving of such lofty doctrine." By such persuasions, and by many specious arguments, did this delusive being mislead the Daityas from the tenets of the Vedas; teaching that the same thing might be for the sake of virtue and of vice; might be, and might not be; might or might not contribute to liberation; might be the
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.4.2 Parasara. Whilst Kakudmin, surnamed Raivata, was absent on his visit to the region of Brahma, the evil spirits or Rakshasas named Punyajanas destroyed his capital Kusasthali. His hundred brothers, through dread of these foes, fled in different directions; and the Kshatriyas, their descendants, settled in many countries 1.
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 Parasara. When the divine author of the creation, preservation, and destruction of the universe accomplished the death of Hiranyakasipu, he assumed a body composed of the figures of a lion and a man, so that Hiranyakasipu was not aware that his destroyer was Vishnu: although therefore the quality of purity, derived from exceeding merit, had been attained, yet his mind was perplexed by the predominance of the property of passion; and the consequence of that intermixture was, that he reaped, as the result of his death by the hands of Vishnu, only unlimited power and enjoyment upon earth, as Dasanana, the sovereign of the three spheres; he did not obtain absorption into the supreme spirit, that is without beginning or end, because his mind was not wholly dedicated to that sole object. So also Dasanana being entirely subject to the passion of love, and engrossed completely by the thoughts of Janaki, could not comprehend that the son of Dasaratha whom he beheld was in reality the divine Achyuta. At the moment of his death he was impressed with the notion that his adversary was a mortal, and therefore the fruit he derived from being slain by Vishnu was confined to his birth in the illustrious family of the kings of Chedi, and the exercise of extensive dominion. In this situation many circumstances brought the names of Vishnu to his notice, and on all these occasions the enmity that had accumulated through successive births influenced his
vp.4.16 Parasara. I shall now summarily give you an account of the descendants of Turvasu.
vp.5.1 Parasara. I will relate to you, Maitreya, the account which you
vp.5.22 Parasara. The mighty Kansa had married the two daughters of Jarasandha, one named Asti, the other Prapti. Jarasandha was king of Magadha, and a very powerful prince 1; who, when he heard that Krishna had killed his son in law, was much incensed, and, collecting a large force, marched against Mathura, determined to put the Yadavas and Krishna to the sword. Accordingly he invested the city with three and twenty numerous divisions of his forces 2. Rama and Janarddana sallied from the town with a slender, but resolute force, and fought bravely with the armies of Magadha. The two youthful leaders prudently resolved to have recourse to their ancient weapons, and accordingly the bow of Hari, with two quivers filled with exhaustless arrows, and the mace called Kaumodaki, and the ploughshare of Balabhadra, as well as the club Saunanda, descended at a wish from heaven. Armed with these weapons, they speedily discomfited the king of Magadha and his hosts, and reentered the city in triumph.
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.5.27 Parasara. When Pradyumna was but six days old, he was stolen from the lying in chamber by Sambara, terrible as death; for the demon foreknew that Pradyumna, if he lived, would be his destroyer. Taking away the boy, Sambara cast him into the ocean, swarming with monsters, into a whirlpool of roaring waves, the haunt of the huge creatures of the deep. A large fish swallowed the child, but he died not, and was born anew from its belly 1: for that fish, with others, was caught by the fishermen, and delivered by them to the great Asura Sambara. His wife Mayadevi, the mistress of his household, superintended the operations of the cooks, and saw, when the fish was cut open, a beautiful child, looking like a new shoot of the blighted tree of love. Whilst wondering who this should be, and how he could have got into the belly of the fish, Narada came to satisfy her curiosity, and said to the graceful dame, "This is the son of him by whom the whole world is created and destroyed, the son of Vishnu, who was stolen by Sambara from the lying in chamber, and tossed by him into the sea, where he was swallowed by the fish. He is now in thy power; do thou, beautiful woman, tenderly rear this jewel of mankind." Thus counselled by Narada, Mayadevi took charge of the boy, and carefully reared him from childhood, being fascinated by the beauty of his person. Her affection became still more impassioned when he was decorated with the bloom of adolescence. The gracefully moving Mayavati then,
vp.5.32 Parasara. I have enumerated to you Pradyumna and the other sons of Rukmini. Satyabhama bore Bhanu and Bhairika. The sons of Rohini were Diptimat, Tamrapakshi, and others. The powerful samba and other sons were born of Jambavati. Bhadravinda and other valiant youths were the sons of Nagnajiti. saivya (or Mitravinda) had several sons, of whom Sangramajit was the chief. Vrika and others were begotten by Hari on Madri. Lakshmana had Gatravat and others: and sruta and others were the sons of Kalindi 1. Krishna had sons also by his other wives, in all one hundred and eighty thousand. The eldest of the whole was Pradyumna, the son of Rukmini: his son was Aniruddha, from whom Vraja was born: his mother was Usha, the daughter of Bana, and grand daughter of Bali, whom Aniruddha won in war. On that occasion a fierce battle took place between Hari and sankara, in which the thousand arms of Bana were lopped away by the discus of the former.
vp.5.32 Parasara. Usha, the daughter of Bana, having seen Parvati sporting with her lord, sambhu, was inspired with a wish for similar dalliance. The beautiful Gauri, who knows the hearts of all, said to Usha, "Do not grieve; you shall have a husband." "But when will this be?" thought Usha to herself, "or who will be my lord?" On which Parvati continued; "He who shall appear to you, princess, in a dream on the twelfth lunation of the light half of Vaisakha, he will be your husband."
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 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.5.37 Parasara. At the holy place Pindaraka 4, Viswamitra, Kanwa, and the great sage Narada, were observed by some boys of the Yadu tribe. Giddy with youth, and influenced by predestined results, they dressed and adorned Samba, the son of Jambavati, as a damsel, and conducting her to the sages, they addressed them with the usual marks of reverence, and said, "What child will this female, the wife of Babhru, who is
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 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.6.3 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.6.6 Parasara. I will repeat to you, Maitreya, the explanation formerly given by Kesidhwaja to the magnanimous Khandikya, also called Janaka.
vp.6.6 Parasara. There was Janaka, named Dharmadhwaja, who had two sons, Amitadhwaja and Kritadhwaja; and the latter was a king ever intent upon existent supreme spirit: his son was the celebrated Kesidhwaja. The son of Amitadhwaja was Janaka, called Khandikya 2.
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 Parasara. I have related to you this Purana, which is equal to the Vedas in sanctity, and by hearing which all faults and sins whatever are expiated. In this have been described to you the primary and secondary creation, the families of the patriarchs, the Manwantaras, the regal dynasties; the gods, Daityas, Gandharbas, serpents, Rakshasas, Yakshas, Vidyadharas, Siddhas, and heavenly nymphs; Munis endowed with spiritual wisdom, and practisers of devotion; the distinctions of the four castes, and the actions of the most eminent amongst men; holy places on the earth, holy rivers and oceans, sacred mountains, and legends of the truly wise; the duties of the different tribes, and the observances enjoined by the Vedas. By hearing this, all sins are at once obliterated. In this also the glorious Hari has been revealed, the cause of the creation, preservation, and destruction of the world; the soul of all things, and himself all things: by the repetition of whose name man is undoubtedly liberated from all sins, which fly like wolves that are frightened by a lion. The repetition of his name with devout faith is the best remover of all sins, destroying them as fire purifies the metal from the dross. The stain of the Kali age, which ensures to men sharp punishments in hell, is at once effaced by a single invocation of Hari. He who is all that is, the whole egg of Brahma, with Hiranyagarbha, Indra, Rudra, the adityas, the Aswins, the winds, the Kinnaras, the Vasus, the Sadhyas,

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