Vedas

Created by Sreeja Jijith at 03 Aug 2011 10:05 and updated at 03 Aug 2011 10:05

VISHNU PURANA NOUN

vp.1.1 Having adored Vishnu 7, the lord of all, and paid reverence to Brahma and the rest 8; having also saluted the spiritual preceptor 9; I will narrate a Purana equal in sanctity to the Vedas.
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 mountains, the earth, the sun, and the planets? what are the families of the gods and others, the Manus, the periods called Manwantaras, those termed Kalpas, and their subdivisions, and the four ages: the events that happen at the close of a Kalpa, and the terminations of the several ages 11: the histories, oh great Muni, of the gods, the sages, and kings; and how the Vedas were divided into branches (or schools), after they had been arranged by Vyasa: the duties of the Brahmans, and the other tribes, as well as of those who pass through the different orders of life? All these things I wish to hear from you, grandson of Vasishtha. Incline thy thoughts benevolently towards me, that I may, through thy favour, be informed of all I desire to know.
vp.1.2 that principle all things were invested in the period subsequent to the last dissolution of the universe, and prior to creation 15. For Brahmans learned in the Vedas, and teaching truly their doctrines, explain such
vp.1.4 earth, and being desirous to raise it up, created another form for that purpose; and as in preceding Kalpas he had assumed the shape of a fish or a tortoise, so in this he took the figure of a boar. Having adopted a form composed of the sacrifices of the Vedas 3, for the preservation of the whole earth, the eternal, supreme, and universal soul, the great progenitor of created beings, eulogized by Sanaka and the other
vp.1.4 t; who is the universe; the sinless lord of sacrifice 4; triumph. Thou art sacrifice; thou art the oblation; thou art the mystic Omkara; thou art the sacrificial fires; thou art the Vedas, and their dependent sciences; thou art, Hari, the object of all worship 5. The sun, the stars, the planets, the whole world; all that is formless, or that has form; all that is visible, or invisible; all, Purushottama, that I have said,
vp.1.4 The Yogis. Triumph, lord of lords supreme; Kesava, sovereign of the earth, the wielder of the mace, the shell, the discus, and the sword: cause of production, destruction, and existence. Thou Art, oh god: there is no other supreme condition, but thou. Thou, lord, art the person of sacrifice: for thy feet are the Vedas; thy tusks are the stake to which the victim is bound; in thy teeth are the offerings; thy mouth is the altar; thy tongue is the fire; and the hairs of thy body are the sacrificial grass. Thine eyes, oh omnipotent, are day and night; thy head is the seat of all, the place of Brahma; thy mane is all the hymns of the Vedas; thy nostrils are all oblations: oh thou, whose snout is the ladle of oblation; whose deep voice is the chanting of the Sama veda; whose body is the hall of sacrifice; whose joints are the different ceremonies; and whose ears have the properties of both voluntary and obligatory rites 7: do thou, who art eternal, who art in size a mountain, be propitious. We acknowledge thee, who hast traversed the world, oh universal form, to be the beginning, the continuance, and the destruction of all things: thou art the supreme god. Have pity on us, oh lord of conscious and unconscious beings. The orb of the earth is seen seated on the tip of thy tusks, as if thou hadst been sporting amidst a lake where the lotus floats, and hadst borne away the leaves covered with soil. The space between heaven and earth is occupied by thy body, oh thou of unequalled
vp.1.5 Vishnu as Brahma creates the world. General characteristics of creation. Brahma meditates, and gives origin to, immovable things, animals, gods, men. Specific creation of nine kinds; Mahat, Tanmatra, Aindriya, inanimate objects, animals, gods, men, Anugraha, and Kaumara. More particular account of creation. Origin of different orders of beings from Brahma s body under different conditions; and of the Vedas from his mouths. All things created again as they existed in a former Kalpa.
vp.1.5 And the creator displayed infinite variety in the objects of sense, in the properties of living things, and in the forms of bodies: he determined in the beginning, by the authority of the Vedas, the names and forms and functions of all creatures, and of the gods; and the names and appropriate offices of the Rishis, as they also are read in the Vedas. In like manner as the products of the seasons designate in periodical revolution the return of the same season, so do the same circumstances indicate the recurrence of the same Yuga, or age; and thus, in the beginning of each Kalpa, does Brahma repeatedly create the world, possessing the power that is derived from the will to create, and assisted by the natural and essential faculty of the object to be created.
vp.1.6 use: but there are fourteen kinds which may be offered in sacrifice; they are, rice, barley, Masha, wheat, millet, and sesamum; Priyangu is the seventh, and kulattha, pulse, the eighth: the others are, Syamaka, a sort of panic; Nivara, uncultivated rice; Jarttila, wild sesamum; Gaveduka (coix); Markata, wild panic; and (a plant called) the seed or barley of the Bambu Venu( yava). These, cultivated or wild, are the fourteen grains that were produced for purposes of offering in sacrifice; and sacrifice (the cause of rain) is their origin also: they again, with sacrifice, are the great cause of the perpetuation of the human race, as those understand who can discriminate cause and effect. Thence sacrifices were offered daily; the performance of which, oh best of Munis, is of essential service to mankind, and expiates the offences of those by whom they are observed. Those, however, in whose hearts the dross of sin derived from Time Kala() was still more developed, assented not to sacrifices, but reviled both them and all that resulted from them, the gods, and the followers of the Vedas. Those abusers of the Vedas, of evil disposition and conduct, and seceders from the path of enjoined duties, were plunged in wickedness 8.
vp.1.6 [paragraph continues] Kshetriyas who fly not from the field. The region of the winds is assigned to the Vaisyas who are diligent in their occupations and submissive. sudras are elevated to the sphere of the Gandharbas. Those Brahmans who lead religious lives go to the world of the eighty eight thousand saints: and that of the seven Rishis is the seat of pious anchorets and hermits. The world of ancestors is that of respectable householders: and the region of Brahma is the asylum of religious mendicants 10. The imperishable region of the Yogis is the highest seat of Vishnu, where they perpetually meditate upon the supreme being, with minds intent on him alone: the sphere where they reside, the gods themselves cannot behold. The sun, the moon, the planets, shall repeatedly be, and cease to be; but those who internally repeat the mystic adoration of the divinity, shall never know decay. For those who neglect their duties, who revile the Vedas, and obstruct religious rites, the places assigned after death are the terrific regions of darkness, of deep gloom, of fear, and of great terror; the fearful hell of sharp swords, the hell of scourges and of a waveless sea.
vp.1.9 great knowledge, mystic knowledge, and spiritual knowledge 9; which confers eternal liberation. Thou art the science of reasoning, the three Vedas, the arts and sciences 10: thou art moral and political science. The world is peopled by thee with pleasing or displeasing forms. Who else than thou, oh goddess, is seated on that person of the god of gods, the wielder of the mace, which is made up of sacrifice, and contemplated by holy ascetics? Abandoned by thee, the three worlds were on the brink of ruin; but they have been reanimated by thee. From thy propitious gaze, oh mighty goddess, men obtain wives, children, dwellings, friends, harvests, wealth. Health and strength, power, victory, happiness, are easy of attainment to those upon whom thou smilest. Thou art the mother of all beings, as the god of gods, Hari, is their father; and this world, whether animate or inanimate, is pervaded by thee and Vishnu. Oh thou who purifiest all things, forsake not our treasures, our granaries, our dwellings, our dependants, our persons, our wives: abandon not our children, our friends, our lineage, our jewels, oh thou who abidest on the bosom of the god of gods. They whom thou desertest are forsaken by truth, by purity, and goodness, by every amiable and excellent quality; whilst the base and worthless upon whom thou lookest favourably become immediately endowed with all excellent qualifications, with families, and with power. He on whom thy countenance is turned is honourable, amiable,
vp.1.12 exclaimed, "the lord is contented with my devotions, let this be my reward, that I may know how to praise him as I wish. How can I, a child, pronounce his praises, whose abode is unknown to Brahma and to others learned in the Vedas? My heart is overflowing with devotion to thee: oh lord, grant me the faculty worthily to lay mine adorations at thy feet."
vp.1.12 derived, and all oblations, and curds, and ghee, and animals of either class (domestic or wild). From thee the Rig Veda, the Sama, the metres of the Vedas, and the Yajur Veda are born. Horses, and cows having teeth in one jaw only 5, proceed from thee; and from thee come goats, sheep, deer. Brahmans sprang from thy mouth; warriors from thy arms; Vaisyas from thy thighs; and sudras from thy feet. From thine eyes come the sun; from thine ears, the wind; and from thy mind, the moon: the vital airs from thy central vein; and fire from thy mouth: the sky from thy navel; and heaven from thy head: the regions from thine ears; the earth from thy feet. All this world was derived from thee. As the wide spreading Nyagrodha (Indian fig) tree is compressed in a small seed 6, so, at the time of dissolution, the whole universe is comprehended in thee as its germ. As the Nyagrodha germinates from the seed, and becomes first a shoot, and then rises into loftiness, so the created world proceeds from thee, and expands into magnitude. As the bark and leaves of the Plantain tree are to be seen in its stem, so thou art the stem of the universe, and all things are visible in thee. The faculties of the intellect, that are the cause of pleasure and of pain, abide in thee as one with all existence; but the sources of pleasure and of pain, singly or blended, do not exist in thee, who art exempt from all qualities 7. Salutation to thee, the subtile rudiment, which, being single, becomes
vp.1.15 "When the Muni, princes, had heard these words, and knew that it was the truth, he began to reproach himself bitterly, exclaiming, Fie, fie upon me; my penance has been interrupted; the treasure of the learned and the pious has been stolen from me; my judgment has been blinded: this woman has been created by some one to beguile me: Brahma is beyond the reach of those agitated by the waves of infirmity 1. I had subdued my passions, and was about to attain divine knowledge. This was foreseen by him by whom this girl has been sent hither. Fie on the passion that has obstructed my devotions. All the austerities that would have led to acquisition of the wisdom of the Vedas have been rendered of no avail by passion that is the road to hell. The pious sage, having thus reviled himself, turned to the nymph, who was sitting nigh, and said to her, Go, deceitful girl, whither thou wilt: thou hast performed the office assigned thee by the monarch of the gods, of disturbing my penance by thy fascinations. I will not reduce thee to ashes by the fire of my wrath. Seven paces together is sufficient for the friendship of the virtuous, but thou and I have dwelt together. And in truth what fault hast thou committed? why should I be wroth with thee? The sin is wholly mine, in that I could not subdue my passions: yet fie upon thee, who, to gain favour with Indra, hast disturbed my devotions; vile bundle of delusion.
vp.1.19 and piled them over him for many thousand miles: but he, still with mind undisturbed, thus offered daily praise to Vishnu, lying at the bottom of the sea, under the mountain heap. Glory" to thee, god of the lotus eye: glory to thee, most excellent of spiritual things: glory to thee, soul of all worlds: glory to thee, wielder of the sharp discus: glory to the best of Brahmans; to the friend of Brahmans and of kine; to Krishna, the preserver of the world: to Govinda be glory. To him who, as Brahma, creates the universe; who in its existence is its preserver; be praise. To thee, who at the end of the Kalpa takest the form of Rudra; to thee, who art triform; be adoration. Thou, Achyuta, art the gods, Yakshas, demons, saints, serpents, choristers and dancers of heaven, goblins, evil spirits, men, animals, birds, insects, reptiles, plants, and stones, earth, water, fire, sky, wind, sound, touch, taste, colour, flavour, mind, intellect, soul, time, and the qualities of nature: thou art all these, and the chief object of them all. Thou art knowledge and ignorance, truth and falsehood, poison and ambrosia. Thou art the performance and discontinuance of acts 4: thou art the acts which the Vedas enjoin: thou art the enjoyer of the fruit of all acts, and the means by which they are accomplished. Thou, Vishnu, who art the soul of all, art the fruit of all acts of piety. Thy universal diffusion, indicating might and goodness, is in me, in others, in all creatures, in all worlds. Holy
vp.1.22 of sages, of saints, of truth: whose form is all worlds; first born before all the first born; the supporter of all beings, himself self sustained: who exists in manifold forms, as gods, men, and animals; and is thence the sovereign lord of all, eternal: whose shape is all visible things; who is without shape or form: who is celebrated in the Vedanta as the Rich, Yajush, Sama, and Atharva Vedas, inspired history, and sacred science. The Vedas, and their divisions; the institutes of Manu and other lawgivers; traditional scriptures, and religious manuals 10; poems, and all that is said or sung; are the body of the mighty Vishnu, assuming the form of sound. All kinds of substances, with or without shape, here or elsewhere, are the body of Vishnu. I am Hari. All that I behold is Janarddana; cause and effect are from none other than him. The man who knows these truths shall never again experience the afflictions of worldly existence.
vp.2.4 [paragraph continues] There is neither virtue nor vice, killer nor slain: there is no jealousy, envy, fear, hatred, covetousness, nor any moral defect: neither is there truth or falsehood. Food is spontaneously produced there, and all the inhabitants feed upon viands of every flavour. Men there are indeed of the same nature with gods, and of the same form and habits. There is no distinction of caste or order; there are no fixed institutes; nor are rites performed for the sake of advantage. The three Vedas, the Puranas, ethics, and polity, and the laws of service, are unknown. Pushkara is in fact, in both its divisions, a terrestrial paradise, where time yields happiness to all its inhabitants, who are exempt from sickness and decay. A Nyagrodha tree Ficus( indica) grows on this Dwipa, which is the especial abode of Brahma, and he resides in it, adored by the gods and demons. Pushkara is surrounded by the sea of fresh water, which is of equal extent with the continent it invests 4.
vp.2.6 [paragraph continues] Rodha hell (or that of obstruction). The murderer of a Brahman, stealer of gold, or drinker of wine, goes to the Sukara (swine) hell; as does any one who associates with them. The murderer of a man of the second or third castes, and one who is guilty of adultery with the wife of his spiritual teacher, is sentenced to the Tala (padlock) hell: and one who holds incestuous intercourse with a sister, or murders an ambassador, to Taptakumbha (or the hell of heated caldrons). The seller of his wife, a gaoler, a horsedealer, and one who deserts his adherents, falls into the Taptaloha (red hot iron) hell. He who commits incest with a daughter in law or a daughter is cast into the Mahajwala hell (or that of great flame): and he who is disrespectful to his spiritual guide, who is abusive to his betters, who reviles the Vedas, or who sells them 4, who associates with women in a prohibited degree, into the Lavana (salt) hell. A thief and a contemner of prescribed observances falls into Vimohana (the place of bewildering). He who hates his father, the Brahmans, and the gods, or who spoils precious gems, is punished in the Krimibhaksha hell (where worms are his food): and he who practises magic rites for the harm of others, in the hell called Krimisa (that of insects). The vile wretch who eats his meal before offering food to the gods, to the manes, or to guests, falls into the hell called Lalabhaksha (where saliva is given for food). The maker of arrows is
vp.2.8 [paragraph continues] The two halves of the yoke are of the same length respectively as the two axles (the longer and the shorter). The short axle, with the short yoke, are supported by the pole star: the end of the longer axle, to which the wheel of the car is attached, moves on the Manasa mountain 5. The seven horses of the sun s car are the metres of the Vedas, Gayatri, Vrihati, Ushnih, Jayati, Trishtubh, Anushtubh, and Pankti.
vp.2.8 The night is called Usha, and the day is denominated Vyushta, and the interval between them is called Sandhya. On the occurrence of the awful Sandhya, the terrific fiends termed Mandehas attempt to devour the sun; for Brahma denounced this curse upon them, that, without the power to perish, they should die every day (and revive by night), and therefore a fierce contest occurs daily between them and the sun 12. At this season pious Brahmans scatter water, purified by the mystical Omkara, and consecrated by the Gayatri 13; and by this water, as by a thunderbolt, the foul fiends are consumed. When the first oblation is offered with solemn invocations in the morning rite 14, the thousand rayed deity shines forth with unclouded splendour. Omkara is Vishnu the mighty, the substance of the three Vedas, the lord of speech; and by its enunciation those Rakshasas are destroyed. The sun is a principal part of Vishnu, and light is his immutable essence, the active manifestation of which is excited by the mystic syllable Om. Light effused by the utterance of Omkara becomes radiant, and burns up entirely the Rakshasas called Mandehas. The performance of the Sandhya (the morning) sacrifice must never therefore be delayed, for he who neglects it is guilty of the murder of the sun. Protected thus by the Brahmans and the pigmy sages called Balakhilyas, the sun goes on his course to give light to the world.
vp.2.8 [paragraph continues] Rishis, the offerers of oblations with fire, reverencing the Vedas, after whose injunctions creation commenced, and who were discharging the duties of ministrant priests: for as the worlds are destroyed and renewed, they institute new rules of conduct, and reestablish the interrupted ritual of the Vedas. Mutually descending from each other, progenitor springing from descendant, and descendant from progenitor, in the alternating succession of births, they repeatedly appear in different housed and races along with their posterity, devout practices and instituted observances, residing to the south of the solar orb, as long as the moon and stars endure 22.
vp.2.9 who take the law for their light perform daily sacrifices, and through them give nourishment to the gods. And thus sacrifices, the Vedas, the font castes, with the Brahmans at their head, all the residences of the gods, all the tribes of animals, the whole world, all are supported by the rains by which food is produced. But the rain is evolved by the sun; the sun is sustained by Dhruva; and Dhruva is supported by the celestial porpoise shaped sphere, which is one with Narayana. Narayana, the primeval existent, and eternally enduring, seated in the heart of the stellar sphere, is the supporter of all beings.
vp.2.11 The sun distinct from, and supreme over, the attendants on his car: identical with the three Vedas and with Vishnu: his functions.
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 Thus the energy of Vishnu, made up of the three Vedas, and derived from the property of goodness, presides in the sun, along with the seven beings belonging to it; and through the presence of this power the planet shines with intense radiance, dispersing with his beams the darkness that spreads over the whole world: and hence the Munis praise him, the quiristers and nymphs of heaven sing and dance before him, and fierce spirits and holy sages attend upon his path. Vishnu, in the form of his active energy, never either rises or sets, and is at once the. sevenfold sun and distinct from it. In the same manner as a man approaching a mirror, placed upon a stand, beholds in it his own image, so the energy (or reflection) of Vishnu is never disjoined (from the sun s car, which is the stand of the mirror), but remains month by month in the sun (as in the mirror), which is there stationed.
vp.2.13 In consequence of this predominant feeling at such a season, he was born again, in the Jambumarga forests, as a deer 5, with the faculty of recollecting his former life; which recollection inspiring a distaste for the world, he left his mother, and again repaired to the holy place salagrama. Subsisting there upon dry grass and leaves, he atoned for the acts which had led to his being born in such a condition; and upon his death he was next born as a Brahman, still retaining the memory of his prior existence. He was born in a pious and eminent family of ascetics, who were rigid observers of devotional rites. Possessed of all true wisdom, and acquainted with the essence of all sacred writings, he beheld soul as contradistinguished from matter Prakriti(). Embued with knowledge of self, he beheld the gods and all other beings as in reality the same. It did not happen to him to undergo investiture with the Brahmanical thread, nor to read the Vedas with a spiritual preceptor, nor to perform ceremonies, nor to study the scriptures. Whenever spoken to, he replied incoherently and in ungrammatical and unpolished
vp.2.14 considered best, as well as those which are the great ends (or truths) of life. To him who, by the worship of the gods, seeks for wealth, prosperity, children, or dominion, each of these is respectively best. Best is the rite or sacrifice, that is rewarded with heavenly pleasures. Best is that which yields the best recompense, although it be not solicited. Self contemplation, ever practised by devout ascetics, is to them the best. But best of all is the identification of soul with the supreme spirit. Hundreds and thousands of conditions may be called the best; but these are not the great and true ends of life. Hear what those are. Wealth cannot be the true end of life, for it may be relinquished through virtue, and its characteristic property is expenditure for the gratification of desire. If a son were final truth, that would be equally applicable to a different source; for the son that is to one the great end of life, becomes the father of another. Final or supreme truth, therefore, would not exist in this world, as in all these cases those objects which are so denominated are the effects of causes, and consequently are not finite. If the acquisition of sovereignty were designated by the character of being the great end of all, then finite ends would sometimes be, and sometimes cease to be. If you suppose that the objects to be effected by sacrificial rites, performed according to the rules of the Rik, Yajur, and Sama Vedas, be the great end of life, attend to what I have
vp.3.2 At the end of every four ages there is a disappearance of the Vedas, and it is the province of the seven Rishis to come down upon earth from heaven to give them currency again. In every Krita age the Manu (of the period) is the legislator or author of the body of law, the Smriti: the
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.3.3 Twenty eight times have the Vedas been arranged by the great Rishis in the Vaivaswata Manwantara in the Dwapara age, and consequently eight and twenty Vyasas have passed away; by whom, in their respective periods, the Veda has been divided into four. In the first Dwapara age the distribution was made by Swayambhu Brahma() himself; in the second, the arranger of the Veda Veda( vyasa) was Prajapati (or Manu); in the third, Usanas; in the fourth, Vrihaspati; in the fifth, Savitri; in the sixth, Mrityu Death(, or Yama); in the seventh, Indra; in the eighth, Vasishtha; in the ninth, Saraswata; in the tenth, Tridhaman; in
vp.3.3 The syllable Om is defined to be the eternal monosyllabic Brahma 4. The word Brahma is derived from the root Vriha (to increase), because it is infinite (spirit), and because it is the cause by which the Vedas (and
vp.3.3 all things) are developed. Glory to Brahma, who is addressed by that mystic word, associated eternally with the triple universe 5, and who is one with the four Vedas. Glory to Brahma, who, alike in the destruction and renovation of the world, is called the great and mysterious cause of the intellectual principle Mahat(); who is without limit in time or space, and exempt from diminution or decay; in whom (as connected with the property of darkness) originates worldly illusion; and in whom resides the end of soul (fruition or liberation), through the properties of light and of activity (or goodness and foulness). He is the refuge of those who are versed in the Sankhya philosophy; of those who have acquired control over their thoughts and passions. He is the invisible, imperishable Brahma; varying in form, invariable in substance; the chief principle, self engendered; who is said to illuminate the caverns of the heart; who is indivisible, radiant, undecaying, multiform. To that supreme Brahma be for ever adoration.
vp.3.3 That form of Vasudeva, who is the same with supreme spirit, which is Brahma, and which, although diversified as threefold, is identical, is the lord, who is conceived by those that contemplate variety in creation to be distinct in all creatures. He, composed of the Rik, Sauna, and Yajur Vedas, is at the same time their essence, as he is the soul of all embodied spirits. He, distinguished as consisting of the Vedas, creates the Vedas, and divides them by many subdivisions into branches: he is the author of those branches: he is those aggregated branches; for he, the eternal lord, is the essence of true knowledge.
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 When Vyasa was enjoined by Brahma to arrange the Vedas in different books, he took four persons, well read in those works, as his disciples. He appointed Paila reader of the Rich 3; Vaisampayana of
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 Yajnawalkya, who was perfect in ascetic practices, addressed himself strenuously to the sun, being anxious to recover possession of the texts of the Yajush. Glory" to the sun," he exclaimed, "the gate of liberation, the fountain of bright radiance, the triple source of splendour, as the Rig, the Yajur, and the Sama Vedas. Glory to him, who, as fire and the moon, is one with the cause of the universe: to the sun, that is charged with radiant heat, and with the Sushumna ray (by which the moon is fed with light): to him who is one with the notion of time, and all its divisions of hours, minutes, and seconds: to him who is to be
vp.3.6 [paragraph continues] saulkayani, and Pippalada. Pathya had three pupils, Jajali, Kumudadi, and saunaka; and by all these were separate branches instituted. saunaka having divided his Sanhita into two, gave one to Babhru, and the other to Saindhavayana; and from them sprang two schools, the Saindhavas and Munjakesas 4. The principal subjects of difference in the Sanhitas of the Atharva veda are the five Kalpas or ceremonials: the Nakshatra Kalpa, or rules for worshipping the planets; the Vaitana Kalpa, or rules for oblations, according to the Vedas generally; the Sanhita Kalpa, or rules for sacrifices, according to different schools; the angirasa Kalpa, incantations and prayers for the destruction of foes and the like; and the Santi Kalpa, or prayers for averting evil 5.
vp.3.6 The four Vedas, the six Angas (or subsidiary portions of the Vedas, viz. siksha, rules of reciting the prayers, the accents and tones to be observed; Kalpa, ritual; Vyakarana, grammar; Nirukta, glossarial comment; Chhandas, metre; and Jyotish, (astronomy), with Mimansa (theology), Nyaya (logic), Dharma (the institutes of law), and the Puranas, constitute the fourteen principal branches of knowledge: or they are considered as eighteen, with the addition of these four; the ayur veda, medical science (as taught by Dhanwantari); Dhanur veda, the science of archery or arms, taught by Bhrigu; Gandharba veda, or the drama, and the arts of music, dancing, &c., of which the Muni Bharata was the author; and the Artha sastram, or science of government, as laid down first by Vrihaspati.
vp.3.6 I have thus described to you the branches of the Vedas, and their subdivisions; the persons by whom they were made; and the reason why they were made (or the limited capacities of mankind). The same branches are instituted in the different Manwantaras. The primitive Veda, that of the progenitor of all things, is eternal: these branches are but its modifications (or Vikalpas).
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.3.8 Aurva having thus spoken, Sagara said to him, "Tell me then, venerable Brahman, what are the duties of caste and condition 2: I am desirous of knowing them." To which Aurva answered and said, "Attentively listen to the duties which I shall describe as those severally of the Brahman, the Kshatriya, the Vaisya, and the sudra. The Brahman should make gifts, should worship the gods with sacrifices, should be assiduous in studying the Vedas, should perform ablutions and libations with water, and should preserve the sacred flame. For the sake of subsistence he may offer sacrifices on behalf of others, and may instruct them in the sastras; and he may accept presents of a liberal description in a becoming manner (or from respectable persons, and at an appropriate season). He must ever seek to promote the good of others, and do evil unto none; for the best riches of a Brahman are universal benevolence. He should look upon the jewels of another person as if they
vp.3.9 Aurva continued. "When the youth has been invested with the thread of his caste, let him diligently prosecute the study of the Vedas, in the house of his preceptor, with an attentive spirit, and leading a life of continence. He is to wait upon his Guru, assiduously observant of purificatory practices, and the Veda is to be acquired by him, whilst he is regular in the performance of religious rites. In the morning Sandhya he is first to salute the sun; in the evening, fire; and then to address his preceptor with respect. He must stand when his master is standing; move when he is walking; and sit beneath him when he is seated: he must never sit, nor walk, nor stand when his teacher does the reverse. When desired by him, let him read the Veda attentively, placed before his preceptor; and let him eat the food he has collected as alms, when permitted by his teacher 1. Let him bathe in water which has first been used for his preceptor s ablutions; and every morning bring fuel and water, and whatsoever else may be required.
vp.3.9 householder secures heaven by the faithful discharge of these obligations. There are those who subsist upon alms, and lead an erratic life of self denial, at the end of the term during which they have kept house. They wander over the world to see the earth, and perform their ablutions, with rites enjoined by the Vedas, at sacred shrines: houseless, and without food, and resting for the night at the dwelling at which they arrive in the evening. The householder is to them a constant refuge and parent: it is his duty to give them a welcome, and to address them with kindness; and to provide them, whenever they come to his house, with a bed, a seat, and food. A guest disappointed by a householder, who turns away from his door, transfers to the latter all his own misdeeds, and bears away his religious merit 4. In the house of a good man, contumely, arrogance, hypocrisy, repining, contradiction, and violence are annihilated: and the householder who fully performs this his chief duty of hospitality is released from every kind of bondage, and obtains the highest of stations after death.
vp.3.11 "A householder should also at the perpetual sraddha entertain another Brahman, who is of his own country, whose family and observances are known, and who performs the five sacramental rites. He is likewise to present to a Brahman learned in the Vedas four handfulls of food, set apart with the exclamation Hanta; and he is to give to a mendicant religious student three handfulls of rice, or according to his pleasure when he has ample means. These, with the addition of the mendicant before described, are to be considered as guests; and he who treats these four descriptions of persons with hospitality acquits himself of the debt due to his fellow men. The guest who departs disappointed from any house, and proceeds elsewhere, transfers his sins to the owner of that mansion, and takes away with him such a householder s merits. Brahma, Prajapati, Indra, fire, the Vasus, the sun, are present in the person of a
vp.3.12 "Let not a man treat women with disrespect, nor let him put entire faith in them. Let him not deal impatiently with them, nor set them over matters of importance. A man who is attentive to the duties of his station will not go forth from his house without saluting the chaplets, flowers, gems, clarified butter, and venerable persons in it. At proper seasons he will salute respectfully the places where four roads meet, when engaged in offering oblations with fire. Let him liberally relieve the virtuous who are poor, and reverence those who are learned in the Vedas. He who is a worshipper of the gods and sages, who gives cakes and water to the manes, and who exercises hospitality, obtains the highest regions after death. He who speaks wisely, moderately, and kindly, goes to those worlds which are the inexhaustible sources of happiness. He who is intelligent, modest, devout, and who reverences wisdom, his superiors, and the aged, goes to heaven.
vp.3.12 "On the days called Parvas, on periods of impurity, upon unseasonable thunder, and the occurrence of eclipses or atmospheric portents, a wise man must desist from the study of the Vedas 7. The pious man who suppresses anger and envy, who is benevolent to all, and allays the fears of others, secures, as the least of his rewards, enjoyment in Swarga. A man should carry an umbrella, as a defence against sun and rain; he should bear a staff when he goes by night, or through a wood; and he should walk in shoes, if he desires to keep his body from harm. As he goes along he should not look up, nor about him, nor afar off, but keep his eyes upon the ground to the extent of a couple of yards.
vp.3.15 Aurva proceeded. "Hear next, oh prince, what description of Brahman should be fed at ancestral ceremonies. he should be one studied in various triplets of the Rich and Yajur Vedas 1; one who is acquainted with the six supplementary sciences of the Vedas 2; one who understands the Vedas; one who practises the duties they enjoin 3; one who exercises penance; a chanter of the principal Sama veda 4, an officiating priest, a sister s son, a daughter s son, a son in law, a father in law, a maternal uncle, an ascetic, a Brahman who maintains the five fires, a pupil, a kinsman; one who reverences his parents. A man should first employ the Brahmans first specified in the principal obsequial
vp.3.15 "A false friend, a man with ugly nails or black teeth, a ravisher, a Brahman who neglects the service of fire and sacred study, a vender of the Soma plant, a man accused of any crime, a thief, a calumniator, a Brahman who conducts religious ceremonies for the vulgar; one who instructs his servant in holy writ, or is instructed in it by his servant; the husband of a woman who has been formerly betrothed to another; a man who is undutiful to his parents; the protector of the husband of a woman of the servile caste, or the husband of a woman of the servile caste; and a Brahman who ministers to idols are not proper persons to be invited to au ancestral offering 5. On the first day let a judicious man invite eminent teachers of the Vedas, and other Brahmans; and according to their directions determine what is to be dedicated to the gods, and what to the Pitris. Associated with the Brahmans, let the institutor of an obsequial rite abstain from anger and incontinence. He who having eaten himself in a sraddha, and fed Brahmans, and appointed them to their sacred offices, is guilty of incontinence, thereby sentences his progenitors to shameful suffering. In the first place, the Brahmans before described are to be invited; but those holy men who come to the house without an invitation are also to be entertained. The guests are to be reverently received with water for their feet, and the like; and the entertainer, holding holy grass in his hand, is to place them, after they have
vp.3.17 Of heretics, or those who reject the authority of the Vedas: their origin, as described by Vasishtha to Bhishma: the gods, defeated by the Daityas, praise Vishnu: an illusory being, or Buddha, produced from his body.
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.3.17 When the mighty Vishnu heard their request, he emitted from his body an illusory form, which he gave to the gods, and thus spake This deceptive vision shall wholly beguile the Daityas, so that, being led astray from the path of the Vedas, they may be put to death; for all gods, demons, or others, who shall be opposed to the authority of the Veda, shall perish by my might, whilst exercised for the preservation of the world. Go then, and fear not: let this delusive vision precede you; it shall this day be of great service unto you, oh gods!"
vp.3.18 Buddha goes to the earth, and teaches the Daityas to contemn the Vedas: his sceptical doctrines: his prohibition of animal sacrifices. Meaning of the term Bauddha. Jainas and Bauddhas; their tenets. The Daityas lose their power, and are overcome by the gods. Meaning of the term Nagna. Consequences of neglect of duty. Story of satadhanu and his wife saivya. Communion with heretics to be shunned.
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.3.18 The foes of the gods being thus induced to apostatize from the religion of the Vedas, by the delusive person sent by Vishnu, became in their turn teachers of the same heresies, and perverted others; and these, again, communicating their principles to others, by whom they were still further disseminated, the Vedas were in a short time deserted by most of the Daitya race. Then the same deluder, putting on garments of a red colour, assuming a benevolent aspect, and speaking in soft and agreeable tones, addressed others of the same family, and said to them, "If; mighty demons, you cherish a desire either for heaven or for final repose, desist from the iniquitous massacre of animals (for sacrifice), and hear from me what you should do. Know that all that exists is composed of discriminative knowledge. Understand my words, for they have been uttered by the wise. This world subsists without support, and engaged in the pursuit of error, which it mistakes for knowledge, as well as vitiated by passion and the rest, revolves in the straits of existence." In this manner, exclaiming to them, "Know!" Budhyadwam(), and they replying, "It is known" Budhyate(), these Daityas were induced by the
vp.3.18 arch deceiver to deviate from their religious duties (and become Bauddhas), by his repeated arguments and variously urged persuasions 5, When they had abandoned their own faith, they persuaded others to do the same, and the heresy spread, and many deserted the practices enjoined by the Vedas and the laws.
vp.3.18 The delusions of the false teacher paused not with the conversion of the Daityas to the Jaina and Bauddha heresies, but with various erroneous tenets he prevailed upon others to apostatize, until the whole were led astray, and deserted the doctrines and observances inculcated by the three Vedas. Some then spake evil of the sacred books; some blasphemed the gods; some treated sacrifices and other devotional ceremonies with scorn; and others calumniated the Brahmans. "The precepts," they cried, "that lead to the injury of animal life (as in sacrifices) are highly reprehensible. To say that casting butter into flame is productive of reward, is mere childishness. If Indra, after having obtained godhead by multiplied rites, is fed upon the wood used as fuel in holy fire, he is lower than a brute, which feeds at least upon leaves. If an animal slaughtered in religious worship is thereby raised to heaven, would it not be expedient for a man who institutes a sacrifice to kill his own father for a victim? If that which is eaten by one at a sraddha gives satisfaction to another, it must be unnecessary for one who resides at a distance to bring food for presentation in person 6." "First, then, let it be determined what may be (rationally) believed by mankind, and then," said their preceptor, "you will find that felicity may be expected from my instructions. The words of authority do not, mighty Asuras, fall from heaven: the text that has reason is alone to be acknowledged by me, and
vp.3.18 lessons the Daityas were perverted, so that not one of them admitted the authority of the Vedas.
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 religious duties, is productive of equality of guilt; and the person who eats in the house of such a man, or sits down with him, or sleeps on the same couch with him, becomes like him instantaneously. Again; he who takes his food without shewing reverence to the gods, progenitors, spirits, and guests, commits sin. How great is his sin! The Brahmans, and men of the other castes, who turn their faces away from their proper duties, become heretics, and are classed with those who relinquish pious works. Remaining in a place where there is too great an intermixture of the four castes is detrimental to the character of the righteous. Men fall into hell who converse with one who takes his food without offering a portion to the gods, the sages, the manes, spirits, and guests. Let therefore a prudent person carefully avoid the conversation, or the contact, and the like, of those heretics who are rendered impure by their desertion of the three Vedas. The ancestral rite, although performed with zeal and faith, pleases neither gods nor progenitors if it be looked upon by apostates.
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.4.1 Before the evolution of the mundane egg, existed Brahma, who was Hiranyagarbha, the form of that supreme Brahma which consists of Vishnu as identical with the Rig, Yajur, and Sama Vedas; the primeval, uncreated cause of all worlds. From the right thumb of Brahma was born the patriarch Daksha 3; his daughter was Aditi, who was the mother of the sun. The Manu Vaivaswata was the son of the celestial luminary; and his sons were Ikshwaku, Nriga, Dhrishta, saryati, Narishyanta, Pransu, Nabhaga, Nedishta, Karusha, and Prishadhra 4.
vp.4.1 was changed, and she became a man, named Sudyumna. At a subsequent period, in consequence of becoming subject to the effects of a malediction once pronounced by siva, Sudyumna was again transformed to a woman in the vicinity of the hermitage of Budha, the son of the deity of the moon. Budha saw and espoused her, and had by her a son named Pururavas. After his birth, the illustrious Rishis, desirous of restoring Sudyumna to his sex, prayed to the mighty Vishnu, who is the essence of the four Vedas, of mind, of every thing, and of nothing; and who is in the form of the sacrificial male; and through his favour Ila once more became Sudyumna, in which character he had three sons, Utkala, Gaya, and Vinata 6.
vp.4.2 The devout sage Saubhari, learned in the Vedas, had spent twelve years immersed in a piece of water; the sovereign of the fish in which, named Sammada, of large bulk, had a very numerous progeny. His children and his grandchildren were wont to frolic around him in all
vp.4.3 Saubhari and his wives adopt an ascetic life. Descendants of Mandhatri. Legend of Narmada and Purukutsa. Legend of Trisanku. Bahu driven from his kingdom by the Haihayas and Talajanghas. Birth of Sagara: he conquers the barbarians, imposes upon them distinguishing usages, and excludes them from offerings to fire, and the study of the Vedas.
vp.4.3 offerer of many sacrifices, the destroyer of his foes, a universal emperor, is in thy womb; think not of committing so desperate an act!" Accordingly, in obedience to his injunctions, she relinquished her intention. The sage then conducted, her to his abode, and after some time a very splendid boy was there born. Along with him the poison that had been given to his mother was expelled; and Aurva, after performing the ceremonies required at birth, gave him on that account the name of Sagara (from Sa, with, and Gara, poison The same holy sage celebrated his investure with the cord of his class, instructed him fully in the Vedas, and taught him the use of arms, especially those of fire, called after Bhargava.
vp.4.3 family priest of Sagara, for protection. Vasishtha regarding them as annihilated (or deprived of power), though living, thus spake to Sagara: "Enough, enough, my son, pursue no farther these objects of your wrath, whom you may look upon as no more. In order to fulfil your vow I have separated them from affinity to the regenerate tribes, and from the duties of their castes." Sagara, in compliance with the injunctions of his spiritual guide, contented himself therefore with imposing upon the vanquished nations peculiar distinguishing marks. He made the Yavanas 16 shave their heads entirely; the sakas he compelled to shave (the upper) half of their heads; the Paradas wore their hair long; and the Pahnavas let their beards grow, in obedience to his commands 17. Them also, and other Kshatriya races, he deprived of the established usages of oblations to fire and the study of the Vedas; and thus separated from religious rites, and abandoned by the Brahmans, these different tribes became Mlechchhas. Sagara, after the recovery of his kingdom, reigned over the seven zoned earth with undisputed dominion 18.
vp.4.6 When the year had expired, Urvasi and the monarch met at Kurukshetra, and she consigned to him his first born ayus; and these annual interviews were repeated, until she had borne to him five sons. She then said to Pururavas, "Through regard for me, all the Gandharbas have expressed their joint purpose to bestow upon my lord their benediction: let him therefore demand a boon." The Raja replied, "My enemies are all destroyed, my faculties are all entire; I have friends and kindred, armies and treasures: there is nothing which I may not obtain except living in the same region with my Urvasi. My only desire therefore is, to pass my life with her." When he had thus spoken, the Gandharbas brought to Pururavas a vessel with fire, and said to him, "Take this fire, and, according to the precepts of the Vedas, divide it into three fires; then fixing your mind upon the idea of living with Urvasi, offer oblations, and you shall assuredly obtain your wishes." The Raja took the brasier, and departed, and came to a forest. Then he began to reflect that he had committed a great folly in bringing away the vessel of fire instead of his bride; and leaving the vessel in the wood, he went disconsolate to his palace. In the middle of the night he awoke, and considered that the Gandharbas had given him the brasier to enable him to obtain the felicity of living with Urvasi, and that it was absurd in him to have left it by the way. Resolving therefore to recover it, he rose, and went to the place
vp.4.6 [paragraph continues] Gayatri 5. Having thence elicited fire, he made it threefold, according to the injunctions of the Vedas, and offered oblations with it, proposing as the end of the ceremony reunion with Urvasi. In this way, celebrating many sacrifices agreeably to the form in which offerings are presented with fire, Pururavas obtained a seat in the sphere of the Gandharbas, and was no more separated from his beloved. Thus fire, that was at first but one, was made threefold in the present Manwantara by the son of Ila 6.
vp.4.7 Jamadagni" (the son of Richika 15) was a pious sage, who by the fervour of his devotions, whilst engaged in holy study, obtained entire possession of the Vedas. Having gone to king Prasenajit, he demanded in marriage his daughter Renuka, and the king gave her unto him. The descendant of Bhrigu conducted the princess to his hermitage, and dwelt with her there, and she was contented to partake in his ascetic life. They had four sons, and then a fifth, who was Jamadagnya, the last but not the least of the brethren, Once when her sons were all absent, to gather the fruits on which they fed, Renuka, who was exact in the discharge of all her duties, went forth to bathe. On her way to the stream she beheld Chitraratha, the prince of Mrittikavati, with a garland of lotuses on his neck, sporting with his queen in the water, and she felt envious of their felicity. Defiled by unworthy thoughts, wetted but not purified by the stream, she returned disquieted to the hermitage, and her husband perceived her agitation. Beholding her fallen from perfection, and shorn of the lustre of her sanctity, Jamadagni reproved her, and was exceeding wroth. Upon this there came her sons from the wood, first the eldest, Rumanwat, then Sushena, then Vasu, and then Viswavasu; and each, as he entered, was successively commanded by his father to put his mother to death; but amazed, and influenced by natural affection, neither of them made any reply: therefore Jamadagni was angry, and cursed them, and they
vp.4.9 Descendants of Raji, son of ayus: Indra resigns his throne to him: claimed after his death by his sons, who apostatize from the religion of the Vedas, and are destroyed by Indra. Descendants of Pratikshatra, son of Kshatravriddha.
vp.4.9 place, and said to him, "Cannot you give me a little of the sacrificial butter, even if it were no bigger than a jujube, for I am in want of sustenance?" "If," replied Vrihaspati, "I had been applied to by you before, I could have done any thing for you that you wished; as it is, I will endeavour and restore you in a few days to your sovereignty." So saying, he commenced a sacrifice for the purpose of increasing the might of Indra, and of leading the sons of Raji into error, and so effecting their downfall 1. Misled by their mental fascination, the princes became enemies of the Brahmans, regardless of their duties, and contemners of the precepts of the Vedas; and thus devoid of morality and religion, they were slain by Indra, who by the assistance of the priest of the gods resumed his place in heaven. Whoever hears this story shall retain for ever his proper place, and shall never be guilty of wicked acts.
vp.4.20 In the kingdom over which santanu ruled there was no rain for twelve years. Apprehensive that the country would become a desert, the king assembled the Brahmans, and asked them why no rain fell, and what fault he had committed. They told him that he was as it were a younger brother married before an elder, for he was in the enjoyment of the earth, which was the right of his elder brother Devapi. "What then am I to do?" said the Raja: to which they replied, "Until the gods shall be displeased with Devapi, by his declining from the path of righteousness, the kingdom is his, and to him therefore you should resign it." When the minister of the king, Asmarisarin, heard this, he collected a number of ascetics who taught doctrines opposed to those of the Vedas, and sent them into the forest; where meeting with Devapi, they perverted the understanding of the simple minded prince, and led him to adopt heretical notions. In the meantime, santanu being much distressed to think that he had been guilty of the offence intimated by the Brahmans, sent them before him into the woods, and then proceeded thither himself, to restore the kingdom to his elder brother. When the Brahmans arrived at the hermitage of Devapi, they informed him, that, according to the doctrines of the Vedas, succession to a kingdom was the right of the elder brother: but he entered into discussion with them, and in various ways advanced arguments which had the defect of being contrary to the precepts of the Vedas.
vp.4.20 the Brahmans heard this, they turned to santanu, and said, "Come hither, Raja; you need give yourself no further trouble in this matter; the dearth is at an end: this man is fallen from his state, for he has uttered words of disrespect to the authority of the eternal, untreated Veda; and when the elder brother is degraded, there is no sin in the prior espousals of his junior." santanu thereupon returned to his capital, and administered the government as before; and his elder brother Devapi being degraded from his caste by repeating doctrines contrary to the Vedas, Indra poured down abundant rain, which was followed by plentiful harvests 2.
vp.4.21 I WILL now enumerate the kings who, will reign in future periods 1. The present monarch, Parikshit 2, will have four sons, Janamejaya, srutasena, Ugrasena, and Bhimasena 3. The son of Janamejaya will be satanika 4, who will study the Vedas under Yajnawalkya, and military science with Kripa; but becoming dissatisfied with sensual enjoyments, he will acquire spiritual knowledge from the instructions of saunaka, and ultimately obtain salvation. His son will be Aswamedhadatta (a son given by the gods in reward for the sacrifice of a horse 5); his son will be Asima krishna 6; his son will be Nichakra 7, who will remove the capital to Kausambi, in consequence of Hastinapura being washed away by the Ganges; his son will be Ushna 8; his son will be Chitraratha; his son
vp.4.24 Future kings of Magadha. Five princes of the line of Pradyota. Ten saisunagas. Nine Nandas. Ten Mauryas. Ten sungas. Four Kanwas. Thirty andhrabhrityas. Kings of various tribes and castes, and periods of their rule. Ascendancy of barbarians. Different races in different regions. Period of universal iniquity and decay. Coming of Vishnu as Kalki. Destruction of the wicked, and restoration of the practices of the Vedas. End of the Kali, and return of the Krita, age. Duration of the Kali. Verses chanted by Earth, and communicated by Asita to Janaka. End of the fourth book.
vp.4.24 When the practices taught by the Vedas and the institutes of law shall nearly have ceased, and the close of the Kali age shall be nigh, a
vp.5.1 essential end of both; who, alike devoid and possessed of form, art the twofold Brahma 10; smallest of the least, and largest of the large; all, and knowing all things; that spirit which is language; that spirit which is supreme; that which is Brahma, and of which Brahma is composed! Thou art the Rich, the Yajush, the Saman, and the Atharvan Vedas. Thou art accentuation, ritual, signification, metre, and astronomy; history, tradition, grammar, theology, logic, and law: thou who art inscrutable. Thou art the doctrine that investigates the distinctions between soul, and life, and body, and matter endowed with qualities 11; and that doctrine is nothing else but thy nature inherent in and presiding over it 12. Thou art imperceptible, indescribable, inconceivable; without name, or colour, or hands, or feet; pure, eternal, and infinite. Thou hearest without ears, and seest without eyes. Thou art one and multiform. Thou movest without feet; thou seizest without hands. Thou knowest all, but art not by all to be known 13. He who beholds thee as the most subtile of atoms, not substantially existent, puts an end to ignorance; and final emancipation is the reward of that wise man whose understanding cherishes nothing other than thee in the form of supreme delight 14. Thou art the common centre of all 15, the protector of the
vp.5.2 THE nurse of the universe, Jagaddhatri, thus enjoined by the god of gods, conveyed the six several embryos into the womb of Devaki 1, and transferred the seventh after a season to that of Rohini; after which, Hari, for the benefit of the three regions, became incarnate as the conception of the former princess, and Yoganidra as that of Yasoda, exactly as the supreme Vishnu had commanded. When the portion of Vishnu had become incorporate upon earth, the planetary bodies moved in brilliant order in the heavens, and the seasons were regular and genial. No person could bear to gaze upon Devaki, from the light that invested her; and those who contemplated her radiance felt their minds disturbed. The gods, invisible to mortals, celebrated her praises continually from the time that Vishnu was contained in her person. "Thou," said the divinities, "art that Prakriti, infinite and subtile, which formerly bore Brahma in its womb: then wast thou the goddess of speech, the energy of the creator of the universe, and the parent of the Vedas. Thou, eternal being, comprising in thy substance the essence of all created things, wast identical with creation: thou wast the parent of the triform sacrifice, becoming the germ of all things: thou art sacrifice, whence all fruit proceeds: thou art the wood, whose attrition engenders fire. As Aditi, thou art the parent of the gods; as Diti, thou art the mother of the Daityas, their foes. Thou art light, whence day is begotten: thou art humility, the
vp.5.17 AKRURA, having set off in his quick travelling car, proceeded to visit Krishna at the pastures of Nanda; and, as he went along, he congratulated himself on his superior good fortune, in having an opportunity of beholding a descended portion of the deity. "Now," thought he, "has my life borne fruit; my night is followed by the dawn of day; since I shall see the countenance of Vishnu, whose eyes are like the expanded leaf of the lotus. I shall behold that lotus eyed aspect of Vishnu, which, when seen only in imagination, takes away the sins of men. I shall to day behold that glory of glories, the mouth of Vishnu, whence proceeded the Vedas, and all their dependant sciences. I shall see the sovereign of the world, by whom the world is sustained; who is worshipped as the best of males, as the male of sacrifice in sacrificial rites. I shall see Kesava, who is without beginning or end; by worshipping whom with a hundred sacrifices, Indra obtained the sovereignty over the gods. That Hari, whose nature is unknown to Brahma, Indra, Rudra, the Aswins, the Vasus, adityas, and Maruts, will this day touch my body. The soul of all, the knower of all, he who is all, and is present in all, he who is permanent, undecaying, all pervading, will converse with me. He, the unborn, who has preserved the world in the various forms of a fish, a tortoise, a boar, a horse 1, a lion, will this day speak to me. Now the lord of the earth, who assumes shapes at will, has taken upon him the condition of
vp.5.38 religious penances, standing in water, and meditating on the eternal spirit, for many years. In consequence of the overthrow of the Asuras, there was a great festival on the summit of Meru: on their way to which, Rambha, Tilottama, and hundreds and thousands of beautiful nymphs, saw the ascetic Ashtavakra, and they praised and hymned him for his devotions. They bowed down before him, and eulogized him, as he was immersed up to his throat in water, his hair twisted in a braid. So they sang in honour of him whatever they thought would be most agreeable to that most eminent of Brahmans. Ashtavakra at last said to them, I am well pleased with you, illustrious damsels; whatever you wish for, ask of me, and I will give it you, however difficult it may be of attainment. Then all those nymphs, Rambha, Tilottama, and others, recorded in the Vedas, replied, It is enough for us that thou art pleased; what need we aught else, venerable Brahman? But some amongst them said, If, exalted sir, you are indeed pleased with us, then grant us a husband, the best of men, and sovereign of the Brahmans. So be it, replied Ashtavakra, and thereupon came up from the waters. When the nymphs beheld him coming out of the water, and saw that he was very ugly, and crooked in eight places, they could not restrain their merriment, but laughed aloud. The Muni was very angry, and cursed them, and said, Since you have been so impertinent as to laugh at my deformity, I denounce upon you this
vp.6.1 The observance of caste, order, and institutes will not prevail in the Kali age, nor will that of the ceremonial enjoined by the Sama, Rik, and Yajur Vedas. Marriages in this age will not be conformable to the ritual, nor will the rules that connect the spiritual preceptor and his disciple be in force. The laws that regulate the conduct of husband and wife will be disregarded, and oblations to the gods with fire no longer be offered. In whatever family he may be born, a powerful and rich man will be held entitled to espouse maidens of every tribe. A regenerate man will be initiated in any way whatever, and such acts of penance as may be performed will be unattended by any results 4. Every text will be scripture that people choose to think so 5: all gods will be gods to them that worship them; and all orders of life will be common alike to all persons. In the Kali age, fasting, austerity, liberality, practised according to the pleasure of those by whom they are observed, will constitute righteousness. Pride of wealth will be inspired by very insignificant possessions. Pride of beauty will be prompted by (no other personal charm than fine) hair. Gold, jewels, diamonds, clothes, will all have perished, and then hair will be the only ornament with which women can decorate themselves. Wives will desert their husbands, when they lose their property; and they only who are wealthy will be considered by women as their lords. He who gives away much money will be the master of men;
vp.6.1 Youths, although disregarding the rules of studentship, will study the Vedas. Householders will neither sacrifice nor practise becoming liberality. Anchorets will subsist upon food accepted from rustics; and mendicants will be influenced by regard for friends and associates 8. Princes, instead of protecting, will plunder their subjects; and, under the pretext of levying customs, will rob merchants of their property. In
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 reward which a man obtains in the Krita by abstract meditation, in the Treta by sacrifice, in the Dwapara by adoration, he receives in the Kali by merely reciting the name of Kesava. In the Kali age a man displays the most exalted virtue by very little exertion; therefore, pious sages, who know what virtue is, I was pleased with the Kali age. Formerly the Vedas were to be acquired by the twice born through the diligent observance of self denial; and it was their duty to celebrate sacrifices conformably to the ritual. Then idle prayers, idle feasts, and fruitless ceremonies, were practised but to mislead the twice born; for although observed by them devoutly, yet, in consequence of some irregularity in their celebration, sin was incurred in all their works, and what they ate, or what they drank, did not effect the fulfilment of their desires. In all their objects the twice born enjoyed no independence, and they attained their respective spheres only with exceeding pain. The sudra, on the contrary, more fortunate than they, reaches his assigned station by rendering them service, and performing merely the sacrifice of preparing food, in which no rules determine what may or may not be eaten, what may or may not be drunk. Therefore, most excellent sages, is the sudra fortunate.
vp.6.4 dissolved in the waters that surround it, with its seven zones, seven oceans, seven regions, and their mountains. The investure of water is drunk up by fire: the stratum of fire is absorbed by that of air: air blends itself with ether: the primary element of egotism devours the ether, and is itself taken up by intellect, which, along with all these, is seized upon by nature Prakriti(). Equilibrium of the three properties, without excess or deficiency, is called nature Prakriti(), origin Hetu(), the chief principle Pradhana(), cause Karana(), supreme Param(). This Prakriti is essentially the same, whether discrete or indiscrete; only that which is discrete is finally lost or absorbed in the indiscrete. Spirit also, which is one, pure, imperishable, eternal, all pervading, is a portion of that supreme spirit which is all things. That spirit which is other than (embodied) spirit, in which there are no attributes of name, species, or the like which is one with all wisdom, and is to be understood as sole existence that is Brahma, infinite glory, supreme spirit, supreme power, Vishnu, all that is; from whence the perfect sage returns no more. Nature Prakriti(), which I have described to you as being essentially both discrete and indiscrete, and spirit (which is united with body), both resolve into supreme spirit. Supreme spirit is the upholder of all things, and the ruler of all things, and is glorified in the Vedas and in the Vedanta by the name of Vishnu.
vp.6.4 Works, as enjoined by the Vedas, are of two kinds, active Pravritta() and quiescent Nivritta(); by both of which the universal person is worshipped by mankind. He, the lord of sacrifice, the male of sacrifice, the most excellent male, is worshipped by men in the active mode by rites enjoined in the Rik, Yajur, and Sama Vedas. The soul of wisdom, the person of wisdom, Vishnu, the giver of emancipation, is worshipped by sages in the quiescent form, through meditative devotion. The exhaustless Vishnu is whatever thing that is designated by long, short, or prolated syllables, or that which is without a name. He is that which is discrete, and that which is indiscrete: he is exhaustless spirit, supreme spirit, universal spirit, Hari, the wearer of universal forms. Nature, whether discrete or indiscrete, is absorbed into him, and (detached) spirit also merges into the all diffusive and unobstructed spirit.
vp.6.5 knowledge and works. Knowledge is of two kinds, that which is derived from scripture, and that which is derived from reflection. Brahma that is the word is composed of scripture; Brahma that is supreme is produced of reflection 5. Ignorance is utter darkness, in which knowledge, obtained through any sense (as that of hearing), shines like a lamp; but the knowledge that is derived from reflection breaks upon the obscurity like the sun. What has been said by Manu, when appealing to the meaning of the Vedas with respect to this subject, I will repeat to you. There are two (forms of) spirit (or god), the spirit which is the word, and the spirit which is supreme. He who is thoroughly imbued with the word of god obtains supreme spirit 6. The Atharva Veda also states that there are two kinds of knowledge; by the one, which is the supreme, god is attained; the other is that which consists of the Rich and other Vedas 7. That which is imperceptible, undecaying, inconceivable, unborn, inexhaustible, indescribable; which has neither form, nor hands, nor feet; which is almighty, omnipresent, eternal; the cause of all things, and without cause; permeating all, itself unpenetrated, and from which all things proceed; that is the object which the wise behold, that is Brahma, that is the supreme state, that is the subject of contemplation to those who desire liberation, that is the thing spoken of by the Vedas, the infinitely subtile, supreme condition of Vishnu. That essence of the
vp.6.5 supreme is defined by the term Bhagavat 8: the word Bhagavat is the denomination of that primeval and eternal god: and he who fully understands the meaning of that expression, is possessed of holy wisdom, the sum and substance of the three Vedas. The word Bhagavat is a convenient form to be used in the adoration of that supreme being, to whom no term is applicable; and therefore Bhagavat expresses that supreme spirit, which is individual, almighty, and the cause of causes of all things. The letter Bh implies the cherisher and supporter of the universe. By ga is understood the leader, impeller, or creator. The dissyllable Bhaga indicates the six properties, dominion, might, glory, splendour, wisdom, and dispassion. The purport of the letter va is that elemental spirit in which all beings exist, and which exists in all beings 9. And thus this great word Bhagavan is the name of Vasudeva, who is one with the supreme Brahma, and of no one else. This word therefore, which is the general denomination of an adorable object, is not used in reference to the supreme in a general, but a special signification. When applied to any other (thing or person) it is used in its customary or general import. In the latter case it may purport one who knows the origin and end and revolutions of beings, and what is wisdom, what ignorance. In the former it denotes wisdom, energy, power, dominion, might, glory, without end, and without defect.
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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