Created by Jijith Nadumuri at 22 Jul 2011 10:01 and updated at 22 Jul 2011 10:01


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 May that Vishnu, who is the existent, imperishable, Brahma, who is Iswara 3, who is spirit 4; who with the three qualities 5 is the cause of creation, preservation, and destruction; who is the parent of nature, intellect, and the other ingredients of the universe 6; be to us the bestower of understanding, wealth, and final emancipation.
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 Now truly all that was told me formerly by Vasishtha, and by the wise Palastya, has been brought to my recollection by your questions, and I will relate to you the whole, even all you have asked. Listen to the complete compendium of the Puranas, according to its tenour. The world was produced from Vishnu: it exists in him: he is the cause of its continuance and cessation: he is the world 16.
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.1.2 the world: to Vasudeva, the liberator of his worshippers: to him, whose essence is both single and manifold; who is both subtile and corporeal, indiscrete and discrete: to Vishnu, the cause of final emancipation 2, Glory to the supreme Vishnu, the cause of the creation, existence, and end of this world; who is the root of the world, and who consists of the world 3.
vp.1.2 Having glorified him who is the support of all things; who is the smallest of the small 4; who is in all created things; the unchanged, imperishable 5 Purushottama 6; who is one with true wisdom, as truly known 7; eternal and incorrupt; and who is known through false appearances by the nature of visible objects 8: having bowed to Vishnu, the
vp.1.2 Who can describe him who is not to be apprehended by the senses: who is the best of all things; the supreme soul, self existent: who is devoid of all the distinguishing characteristics of complexion, caste, or the like; and is exempt front birth, vicissitude, death, or decay: who is always, and alone: who exists every where, and in whom all things here exist; and who is thence named Vasudeva 10? He is Brahma 11, supreme, lord, eternal, unborn, imperishable, undecaying; of one essence; ever pure as free from defects. He, that Brahma, was all things; comprehending in his own nature the indiscrete and discrete. He then existed in the forms of Purusha and of Kala. Purusha (spirit) is the first form, of the supreme; next proceeded two other forms, the discrete and indiscrete; and Kala (time) was the last. These four Pradhana (primary or crude matter), Purusha (spirit), Vyakta (visible substance), and Kala (time) the wise consider to be the pure and supreme condition of Vishnu 12. These four forms, in their due proportions, are the causes of
vp.1.2 the production of the phenomena of creation, preservation, and destruction. Vishnu being thus discrete and indiscrete substance, spirit, and time, sports like a playful boy, as you shall learn by listening to his frolics 13.
vp.1.2 passages as the following as intending the production of the chief principle Pradhana(). "There was neither day nor night, nor sky nor earth, nor darkness nor light, nor any other thing, save only One, unapprehensible by intellect, or That which is Brahma and Puman (spirit) and Pradhana (matter) 16." The two forms which are other than the essence of unmodified Vishnu, are Pradhana (matter) and Purusha (spirit); and his other form, by which those two are connected or separated, is called Kala (time) 17. When discrete substance is aggregated in crude nature, as in a foregone dissolution, that dissolution is termed elemental Prakrita(). The deity as Time is without beginning, and his end is not known; and from him the revolutions of creation, continuance, and dissolution unintermittingly succeed: for when, in the latter season, the equilibrium of the qualities Pradhana() exists, and spirit Puman() is detached from matter, then the form of Vishnu which is Time abides 18. Then the
vp.1.2 the thing to be agitated; being present in the essence of matter, both when it is contracted and expanded 20. Vishnu, supreme over the supreme, is of the nature of discrete forms in the atomic productions, Brahma and the rest (gods, men, &c.)
vp.1.2 excellent natural abode of Vishnu in the form of Brahma; and there Vishnu, the lord of the universe, whose essence is inscrutable, assumed a perceptible form, and even he himself abided in it in the character of Brahma 31. Its womb, vast as the mountain Meru, was composed of the mountains; and the mighty oceans were the waters that filled its cavity. In that egg, O Brahman, were the continents and seas and mountains, the planets and divisions of the universe, the gods, the demons, and mankind. And this egg was externally invested by seven natural envelopes, or by water, air, fire, ether, and Ahankara the origin of the elements, each tenfold the extent of that which it invested; next came the principle of Intelligence; and, finally, the whole was surrounded by the indiscrete Principle: resembling thus the cocoa nut, filled interiorly with pulp, and exteriorly covered by husk and rind.
vp.1.2 Affecting then the quality of activity, Hari, the lord of all, himself becoming Brahma, engaged in the creation of the universe. Vishnu with the quality of goodness, and of immeasurable power, preserves created things through successive ages, until the close of the period termed a Kalpa; when the same mighty deity, Janarddana 32, invested with the quality of darkness, assumes the awful form of Rudra, and swallows up the universe. Having thus devoured all things, and converted the world into one vast ocean, the Supreme reposes upon his mighty serpent couch amidst the deep: he awakes after a season, and again, as Brahma, becomes the author of creation.
vp.1.2 Thus the one only god, Janarddana, takes the designation of Brahma, Vishnu, and siva, accordingly as he creates, preserves, or destroys 33.
vp.1.2 [paragraph continues] Vishnu as creator, creates himself; as preserver, preserves himself; as destroyer, destroys himself at the end of all things. This world of earth, air, fire, water, ether, the senses, and the mind; all that is termed spirit 34, that also is the lord of all elements, the universal form, and imperishable: hence he is the cause of creation, preservation, and destruction; and the subject of the vicissitudes inherent in elementary nature 35. He is the object and author of creation: he preserves, destroys, and is preserved. He, Vishnu, as Brahma, and as all other beings, is infinite form: he is the supreme, the giver of all good, the fountain of all happiness 36.
vp.1.3 Brahma is said to be born: a familiar phrase, to signify his manifestation; and, as the peculiar measure of his presence, a hundred of his years is said to constitute his life: that period is also called Param, and the half of it, Pararddham 2. I have already declared to you, oh sinless Brahman, that Time is a form of Vishnu: hear now how it is applied to measure the duration of Brahma, and of all other sentient beings, as well as of those which are unconscious, as the mountains, oceans, and the like.
vp.1.4 Prithivi Earth(). Hail to thee, who art all creatures; to thee, the holder of the mace and shell: elevate me now from this place, as thou hast upraised me in days of old. From thee have I proceeded; of thee do I consist; as do the skies, and all other existing things. Hail to thee, spirit of the supreme spirit; to thee, soul of soul; to thee, who art discrete and indiscrete matter; who art one with the elements and with time. Thou art the creator of all things, their preserver, and their destroyer, in the forms, oh lord, of Brahma, Vishnu, and Rudra, at the seasons of creation, duration, and dissolution. When thou hast devoured all things, thou reposest on the ocean that sweeps over the world, meditated upon, oh Govinda, by the wise. No one knoweth thy true nature, and the gods adore thee only in the forms it bath pleased thee to assume. They who are desirous of final liberation, worship thee as the supreme Brahma; and who that adores not Vasudeva, shall obtain emancipation? Whatever may be apprehended by the mind, whatever may be perceived by the senses, whatever may he discerned by the intellect, all is but a form of thee. I am of thee, upheld by thee; thou art my creator, and to thee I fly for refuge: hence, in this universe, Madhavi (the bride of Madhava or Vishnu) is my designation. Triumph to the essence of all wisdom, to the unchangeable, the imperishable: triumph to the eternal; to the indiscrete, to the essence of discrete things: to him who is both cause and
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.1.6 nature. The beings who were created by Brahma, of these four castes, were at first endowed with righteousness and perfect faith; they abode wherever they pleased, unchecked by any impediment; their hearts were free from guile; they were pure, made free from soil, by observance of sacred institutes. In their sanctified minds Hari dwelt; and they were filled with perfect wisdom, by which they contemplated the glory of Vishnu 4. After a while (after the Treta age had continued for some period), that portion of Hari which has been described as one with Kala (time) infused into created beings sin, as yet feeble though formidable, or passion and the like: the impediment of soul s liberation, the seed of iniquity, sprung from darkness and desire. The innate perfectness of human nature was then no more evolved: the eight kinds of perfection, Rasollasa and the rest, were impaired 5; and these being enfeebled, and sin gaining strength, mortals were afflicted with pain, arising from susceptibility to contrasts, as heat and cold, and the like. They therefore constructed places of refuge, protected by trees, by mountains, or by water; surrounded them by a ditch or a wall, and formed villages and cities; and in them erected appropriate dwellings, as defences against the sun and the cold 6. Having thus provided security against
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.1.7 a son Anrita (falsehood), and a daughter Nikriti (immorality): they intermarried, and had two sons, Bhaya (fear) and Naraka (hell); and twins to them, two daughters, Maya (deceit) and Vedana (torture), who became their wives. The son of Bhaya and Maya was the destroyer of living creatures, or Mrityu (death); and Dukha (pain) was the offspring of Naraka and Vedana. The children of Mrityu were Vyadhi (disease), Jara (decay), Soka (sorrow), Trishna (greediness), and Krodha (wrath). These are all called the inflictors of misery, and are characterised as the progeny of Vice Adharma(). They are all without wives, without posterity, without the faculty to procreate; they are the terrific forms of Vishnu, and perpetually operate as causes of the destruction of this world. On the contrary, Daksha and the other Rishis, the elders of mankind, tend perpetually to influence its renovation: whilst the Manus and their sons, the heroes endowed with mighty power, and treading in the path of truth, as constantly contribute to its preservation.
vp.1.7 termed the Brahma dissolution, occurs when the sovereign of the world reclines in sleep. In the second, the mundane egg resolves into the primary element, from whence it was derived. Absolute non existence of the world is the absorption of the sage, through knowledge, into supreme spirit. Perpetual destruction is the constant disappearance, day and night, of all that are born. The productions of Prakriti form the creation that is termed the elemental Prakrita(). That which ensues after a (minor) dissolution is called ephemeral creation: and the daily generation of living things is termed, by those who are versed in the Puranas, constant creation. In this manner the mighty Vishnu, whose essence is the elements, abides in all bodies, and brings about production, existence, and dissolution. The faculties of Vishnu to create, to preserve, and to destroy, operate successively, Maitreya, in all corporeal beings and at all seasons; and he who frees himself from the influence of these three faculties, which are essentially composed of the three qualities (goodness, foulness, and darkness), goes to the supreme sphere, from whence he never again returns.
vp.1.8 Origin of Rudra: his becoming eight Rudras: their wives and children. The posterity of Bhrigu. Account of sri in conjunction with Vishnu. Sacrifice of Daksha.
vp.1.8 Parasara. sri, the bride of Vishnu, the mother of the world, is
vp.1.8 eternal, imperishable; in like manner as he is all pervading, so also is she, oh best of Brahmans, omnipresent. Vishnu is meaning; she is speech. Hari is polity Naya(); she is prudence Niti(). Vishnu is understanding; she is intellect. He is righteousness; she is devotion. He is the creator; she is creation. sri is the earth; Hari the support of it. The deity is content; the eternal Lakshmi is resignation. He is desire; sri is wish. He is sacrifice; she is sacrificial donation Dakshina(). The goddess is the invocation which attends the oblation; Janarddana is the oblation. Lakshmi is the chamber where the females are present (at a religious ceremony); Madhusudana the apartment of the males of the family. Lakshmi is the altar; Hari the stake (to which the victim is bound). sri is the fuel; Hari the holy grass Kusa(). He is the personified Sama veda; the goddess, lotus throned, is the tone of its chanting. Lakshmi is the prayer of oblation Swaha(); Vasudeva, the lord of the world, is the sacrificial fire. Sauri Vishnu() is sankara (siva); and sri is the bride of siva Gauri(). Kesava, oh Maitreya, is the sun; and his radiance is the lotus seated goddess. Vishnu is the tribe of progenitors Pitrigana(); Padma. is their bride Swadha(), the eternal bestower of nutriment. sri is the heavens; Vishnu, who is one with all things, is wide extended space. The lord of sri is the moon; she is his unfading light. She is called the moving principle of the world; he, the wind which bloweth
vp.1.8 ery where. Govinda is the ocean; Lakshmi its shore. Lakshmi is the consort of Indra Indrani(); Madhusudana is Devendra. The holder of the discus Vishnu() is Yama (the regent of Tartarus); the lotus throned goddess is his dusky spouse Dhumorna(). sri is wealth; sridhara Vishnu() is himself the god of riches Kuvera(). Lakshmi, illustrious Brahman, is Gauri; and Kesava, is the deity of ocean Varuna(). sri is the host of heaven Devasena(); the deity of war, her lord, is Hari. The wielder of the mace is resistance; the power to oppose is sri. Lakshmi is the Kashtha and the Kala; Hari the Nimesha and the Muhurtta. Lakshmi is the light; and Hari, who is all, and lord of all, the lamp. She, the mother of the world, is the creeping vine; and Vishnu the tree round which she clings. She is the night; the god who is armed with the mace and discus is the day. He, the bestower of blessings, is the bridegroom; the lotus throned goddess is the bride.
vp.1.8 r to sankara, this sacrifice of Daksha will not be completed. Daksha spake; I offer, in a golden cup, this entire oblation, which has been consecrated by many prayers, as an offering ever due to the unequalled Vishnu, the sovereign lord of all 3.
vp.1.9 Legend of Lakshmi. Durvasas gives a garland to Indra: he treats it disrespectfully, and is cursed by the Muni. The power of the gods impaired: they are oppressed by the Danavas, and have recourse to Vishnu. The churning of the ocean. Praises of sri.
vp.1.9 The three regions being thus wholly divested of prosperity, and deprived of energy, the Danavas and sons of Diti, the enemies of the gods, who were incapable of steadiness, and agitated by ambition, put forth their strength against the gods. They engaged in war with the feeble and unfortunate divinities; and Indra and the rest, being overcome in fight, fled for refuge to Brahma, preceded by the god of flame Hutasana(). When the great father of the universe had heard all that had come to pass, he said to the deities, "Repair for protection to the god of high and low; the tamer of the demons; the causeless cause of creation, preservation, and destruction; the progenitor of the progenitors; the immortal, unconquerable Vishnu; the cause of matter and spirit, of his unengendered products; the remover of the grief of all who humble themselves before him: he will give you aid." Having thus spoken to the deities, Brahma proceeded along with them to the northern shore of the sea of milk; and with reverential words thus prayed to the supreme Hari:
vp.1.9 sages anxious to be free; in whom are not the qualities of goodness, foulness, or darkness, that belong to undeveloped nature. May that purest of all pure spirits this day be propitious to us. May that Hari be propitious to us, whose inherent might is not an object of the progressive chain of moments or of days, that make up time. May he who is called the supreme god, who is not in need of assistance, Hari, the soul of all embodied substance, be favourable unto us. May that Hari, who is both cause and effect; who is the cause of cause, the effect of effect; he who is the effect of successive effect; who is the effect of the effect of the effect himself; the product of the effect of the effect of the effect, or elemental substance; to him I bow 5. The cause of the cause; the cause of the cause of the cause; the cause of them all; to him I bow. To him who is the enjoyer and thing to be enjoyed; the creator and thing to be created; who is the agent and the effect; to that supreme being I bow. The infinite nature of Vishnu is pure, intelligent, perpetual, unborn, undecayable, inexhaustible, inscrutable, immutable; it is neither gross nor subtile, nor capable of being defined: to that ever holy nature of Vishnu I bow. To him whose faculty to create the universe abides in but a part of but the ten millionth part of him; to him who is one with the inexhaustible supreme spirit, I bow: and to the glorious nature of the supreme Vishnu, which nor gods, nor sages, nor I, nor sankara
vp.1.9 rehend; that nature which the Yogis, after incessant effort, effacing both moral merit and demerit, behold to be contemplated in the mystical monosyllable Om: the supreme glory of Vishnu, who is the first of all; of whom, one only god, the triple energy is the same with Brahma, Vishnu, and siva: oh lord of all, great soul of all, asylum of all, undecayable, have pity upon thy servants; oh Vishnu, be manifest unto us."
vp.1.9 Thus prayed to, the supreme deity, the mighty holder of the conch and discus, shewed himself to them: and beholding the lord of gods, bearing a shell, a discus, and a mace, the assemblage of primeval form, and radiant with embodied light, Pitamaha and the other deities, their eyes moistened with rapture, first paid him homage, and then thus addressed him: "Repeated salutation to thee, who art indefinable: thou art Brahma; thou art the wielder of the Pinaka bow (siva); thou art Indra; thou art fire, air, the god of waters, the sun, the king of death Yama(), the Vasus, the Maruts (the winds), the Sadhyas, and Viswadevas. This assembly of divinities, that now has come before thee, thou art; for, the creator of the world, thou art every where. Thou art the sacrifice, the prayer of oblation, the mystic syllable Om, the sovereign of all creatures: thou art all that is to be known, or to be unknown: oh universal soul, the whole world consists of thee. We, discomfited by the Daityas, have fled to thee, oh Vishnu, for refuge. Spirit of all, have compassion upon us; defend us with thy mighty power. There will be affliction, desire, trouble, and grief, until thy protection is obtained: but thou art the remover of all sins. Do thou then, oh pure of spirit, shew favour unto
vp.1.9 e goddess, the queen of the universal world. The sea of milk in person presented her with a wreath of never fading flowers; and the artist of the gods Viswakarma() decorated her person with heavenly ornaments. Thus bathed, attired, and adorned, the goddess, in the view of the celestials, cast herself upon the breast of Hari; and there reclining, turned her eyes upon the deities, who were inspired with rapture by her gaze. Not so the Daityas, who, with Viprachitti at their head, were filled with indignation, as Vishnu turned away from them, and they were abandoned by the goddess of prosperity Lakshmi(.)
vp.1.9 The powerful and indignant Daityas then forcibly seized the Amrita cup, that was in the hand of Dhanwantari: but Vishnu, assuming a female form, fascinated and deluded them; and recovering the Amrita
vp.1.9 "I bow down to sri, the mother of all beings, seated on her lotus throne, with eyes like full blown lotuses, reclining on the breast of Vishnu. Thou art Siddhi (superhuman power): thou art Swadha and Swaha: thou art ambrosia Sudha(), the purifier of the universe: thou art evening, night, and dawn: thou art power, faith, intellect: thou art the goddess of letters Saraswati(). Thou, beautiful goddess, art knowledge of devotion,
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.1.9 osperous, wise, and of exalted birth; a hero of irresistible prowess: but all his merits and his advantages are converted into worthlessness from whom, beloved of Vishnu, mother of the world, thou avertest thy face. The tongues of Brahma, are unequal to celebrate thy excellence. Be propitious to me, oh goddess, lotus eyed, and never forsake me more."
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 Legend of Dhruva, the son of Uttanapada: he is unkindly treated by his father s second wife: applies to his mother: her advice: he resolves to engage in religious exercises: sees the seven Rishis, who recommend him to propitiate Vishnu.
vp.1.11 Dhruva said; "Excellent sages, I wish not for riches, neither do I want dominion: I aspire to such a station as no one before me has attained. Tell me what I must do to effect this object; how I may reach an elevation superior to all other dignities." The Rishis severally thus replied. Marichi said; "The best of stations is not within the reach of men who fail to propitiate Govinda. Do thou, prince, worship the undecaying Achyuta()." Atri said; "He with whom the first of spirits, Janarddana, is pleased, obtains imperishable dignity. I declare unto you the truth." Angiras said; "If you desire an exalted station, worship that Govinda in whom, immutable and undecaying, all that is, exists." Pulastya said; "He who adores the divine Hari, the supreme soul, supreme glory, who is the supreme Brahma, obtains what is difficult of attainment, eternal liberation." "When that Janarddana," observed Kratu, "who in sacrifices is the soul of sacrifice, and who in abstract contemplation is supreme spirit, is pleased, there is nothing man may not acquire." Pulaha said; Indra", having worshipped" the lord of the world, obtained the dignity of king of the celestials. Do thou adore, pious youth, that Vishnu, the lord of sacrifice." "Any thing, child, that the mind covets," exclaimed Vasishtha, "may be obtained by propitiating
vp.1.11 [paragraph continues] Vishnu, even though it he the station that is the most excellent in the three worlds."
vp.1.11 Dhruva replied to them; "You have told me, humbly bending before you, what deity is to be propitiated: now inform me what prayer is to he meditated by me, that will offer him gratification. May the great Rishis, looking upon me with favour, instruct me how I am to propitiate the god." The Rishis answered; Prince", thou deservest to hear how the adoration of Vishnu has been performed by those who have been devoted to his service. The mind must first be made to forsake all external impressions, and a man must then fix it steadily on that being in whom the world is. By him whose thoughts are thus concentrated on one only object, and wholly filled by it; whose spirit is firmly under control; the prayer that we shall repeat to thee is to be inaudibly recited: Om! glory to Vasudeva, whose essence is divine wisdom; whose form is inscrutable, or is manifest as Brahma, Vishnu, and siva 2. This prayer, which was formerly uttered by your grandsire, the Manu Swayambhuva, and propitiated by which, Vishnu conferred upon him the prosperity he desired, and which was unequalled in the three worlds, is to be recited by thee. Do thou constantly repeat this prayer, for the gratification of Govinda."
vp.1.12 Dhruva commences a course of religious austerities. Unsuccessful attempts of Indra and his ministers to distract Dhruva s attention: they appeal to Vishnu, who allays their fears, and appears to Dhruva. Dhruva praises Vishnu, and is raised to the skies as the pole star.
vp.1.12 THE prince, having received these instructions, respectfully saluted the sages, and departed from the forest, fully confiding in the accomplishment of his purposes. He repaired to the holy place, on the banks of the Yamuna, called Madhu or Madhuvana, the grove of Madhu, after the demon of that name, who formerly abided there. satrughna (the younger brother of Rama) having slain the Rakshas Lavana, the son of Madhu, founded a city on the spot, which was named Mathura. At this holy shrine, the purifier from all sin, which enjoyed the presence of the sanctifying god of gods, Dhruva performed penance, as enjoined by Marichi and the sages: he contemplated Vishnu, the sovereign of all the gods, seated in himself. Whilst his mind was wholly absorbed in meditation, the mighty Hari, identical with all beings and with all natures, (took possession of his heart.) Vishnu being thus present in his mind, the earth, the supporter of elemental life, could not sustain the weight of the ascetic. As he stood upon his left foot, one hemisphere bent beneath him; and when he stood upon his right, the other half of the earth sank down. When he touched the earth with his toes, it shook with all its mountains, and the rivers and the seas were troubled, and the gods partook of the universal agitation.
vp.1.12 But Dhruva, being wholly intent on seeing Vishnu, beheld not his mother weeping in his presence, and calling upon him; and the illusion, crying out, "Fly, fly, my child, the hideous spirits of ill are crowding into this dreadful forest with uplifted weapons," quickly disappeared. Then advanced frightful Rakshasas, wielding terrible arms, and with countenances emitting fiery flame; and nocturnal fiends thronged around the prince, uttering fearful noises, and whirling and tossing their threatening weapons. Hundreds of jackals, from whose mouths gushed flame 1 as they devoured their prey, were howling aloud, to appal the boy, wholly engrossed by meditation. The goblins called out, "Kill him, kill him; cut him to pieces; eat him, eat him;" and monsters, with the faces of lions and camels and crocodiles, roared and yelled with horrible cries, to terrify the prince. But all these uncouth spectres, appalling cries, and threatening weapons, made no impression upon his senses, whose mind was completely intent on Govinda. The son of the monarch of the earth, engrossed by one only idea, beheld uninterruptedly Vishnu seated in his soul, and saw no other object.
vp.1.12 the devotions of the boy, they assembled and repaired for succour to Hari, the origin of the world, who is without beginning or end; and thus addressed him: God" of gods, sovereign of the world, god supreme, and infinite spirit, distressed by the austerities of Dhruva, we have come to thee for protection. As the moon increases in his orb day by day, so this youth advances incessantly towards superhuman power by his devotions. Terrified by the ascetic practices of the son of Uttanapada, we have come to thee for succour. Do thou allay the fervour of his meditations. We know not to what station he aspires: to the throne of Indra, the regency of the solar or lunar sphere, or to the sovereignty of riches or of the deep. Have compassion on us, lord; remove this affliction from Our breasts; divert the son of Uttanapada from persevering in his penance." Vishnu replied to the gods; "The lad desireth neither the rank of Indra, nor the solar orb, nor the sovereignty of wealth or of the ocean: all that he solicits, I will grant. Return therefore, deities, to your mansions as ye list, and be no more alarmed: I will put an end to the penance of the boy, whose mind is immersed in deep contemplation."
vp.1.12 Vishnu said to Dhruva; "The object of thy devotions has in truth been attained, in that thou hast seen me; for the sight of me, young prince, is never unproductive. Ask therefore of me what boon thou desirest; for men in whose sight I appear obtain all their wishes." To this, Dhruva answered; Lord" god of all creatures, who abidest in the hearts of all, how should the wish that I cherish be unknown to thee? I will confess unto thee the hope that my presumptuous heart has entertained; a hope that it would be difficult to gratify, but that nothing is difficult when thou, creator of the world, art pleased. Through thy favour, Indra reigns over the three worlds. The sister queen of my mother has said to me, loudly and arrogantly, The royal throne is not for one who is not born of me; and I now solicit of the support of the universe an exalted station, superior to all others, and one that shall endure for ever." Vishnu said to him; "The station that thou askest thou shalt obtain; for I was satisfied with thee of old in a prior existence. Thou wast formerly a Brahman, whose thoughts were ever devoted to me, ever dutiful to thy parents, and observant of thy duties. In course of time a prince became thy friend, who was in the period of youth, indulged in all sensual pleasures, .and was of handsome appearance and elegant form. Beholding, in consequence of associating with him, his affluence, you formed the desire that you might be subsequently born as the son of a king; and,
vp.1.13 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.1.13 There then fell from the sky the primitive bow (of Mahadeva) named Ajagava, and celestial arrows, and panoply from heaven. At the birth of Prithu all living creatures rejoiced; and Vena, delivered by his being born from the hell named Put, ascended to the realms above. The seas and rivers, bringing jewels from their depths, and water to perform the ablutions of his installation, appeared. The great parent of all, Brahma, with the gods and the descendants of Angiras (the fires), and with all things animate or inanimate, assembled and performed the ceremony of consecrating the son of Vena. Beholding in his right hand the (mark of the) discus of Vishnu, Brahma recognised a portion of that divinity in Prithu, and was much pleased; for the mark of Vishnu s discus is visible in the hand of one who is born to be a universal emperor 5, one whose power is invincible even by the gods.
vp.1.13 This Earth, the mother, the nurse, the receptacle, and nourisher of all existent things, was produced from the sole of the foot of Vishnu. And thus was born the mighty Prithu, the heroic son of Vena, who was the lord of the earth, and who, from conciliating the affections of the people, was the first ruler to whom the title of Raja was ascribed. Whoever shall recite this story of the birth of Prithu, the son of Vena, shall never suffer any retribution for the evil he may have committed: and such is the virtue of the tale of Prithu s birth, that those who hear it repeated shall be relieved from affliction.
vp.1.14 Descendants of Prithu. Legend of the Prachetasas: they are desired by their father to multiply mankind, by worshipping Vishnu: they plunge into the sea, and meditate on and praise him: he appears, and grants their wishes.
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 Maitreya. The excellent praises that the Prachetasas addressed to Vishnu, whilst they stood in the deep, you, oh best of Munis, are qualified to repeat to me.
vp.1.14 "We bow to him whose glory is the perpetual theme of every speech; him first, him last; the supreme lord of the boundless world; who is primeval light; who is without his like; indivisible and infinite; the origin of all existent things, movable or stationary. To that supreme being who is one with time, whose first forms, though he be without form, are day and evening and night, be adoration. Glory to him, the life of all living things, who is the same with the moon, the receptacle of ambrosia, drunk daily by the gods and progenitors: to him who is one with the sun, the cause of heat and cold and rain, who dissipates the gloom, and illuminates the sky with his radiance: to him who is one with earth, all pervading, and the asylum of smell and other objects of sense, supporting the whole world by its solidity. We adore that form of the deity Hari which is water, the womb of the world, the seed of all living beings. Glory to the mouth of the gods, the eater of the Havya; to the eater of the Kavya, the mouth of the progenitors; to Vishnu, who is identical with fire; to him who is one with air, the origin of ether, existing as the five vital airs in the body, causing constant vital action; to him who is identical with the atmosphere, pure, illimitable, shapeless,
vp.1.14 separating all creatures. Glory to Krishna, who is Brahma in the form of sensible objects, who is ever the direction of the faculties of sense. We offer salutation to that supreme Hari who is one with the senses, both subtle and substantial, the recipient of all impressions, the root of all knowledge: to the universal soul, who, as internal intellect, delivers the impressions received by the senses to soul: to him who has the properties of Prakriti; in whom, without end, rest all things; from whom all things proceed; and who is that into which all things resolve. We worship that Purushottama, the god who is pure spirit, and who, without qualities, is ignorantly considered as endowed with qualities. We adore that supreme Brahma, the ultimate condition of Vishnu, unproductive, unborn, pure, void of qualities, and free from accidents; who is neither high nor low, neither bulky nor minute, has neither shape, nor colour, nor shadow, nor substance, nor affection, nor body; who is neither etherial nor susceptible of contact, smell, or taste; who has neither eyes, nor ears, nor motion, nor speech, nor breath, nor mind, nor name, nor race, nor enjoyment, nor splendour; who is without cause, without fear, without error, without fault, undecaying, immortal, free from passion, without sound, imperceptible, inactive, independent of place or time, detached from all investing properties; but (illusively) exercising irresistible might, and identified with all beings, dependent upon none.
vp.1.14 ory to that nature of Vishnu which tongue can not tell, nor has eye beheld."
vp.1.14 Thus glorifying Vishnu, and intent in meditation on him, the Prachetasas passed ten thousand years of austerity in the vast ocean; on which Hari, being pleased with them, appeared to them amidst the waters, of the complexion of the full blown lotus leaf. Beholding him mounted on the king of birds, Garuda, the Prachetasas bowed down their heads in devout homage; when Vishnu said to them, "Receive the boon you have desired; for I, the giver of good, am content with you, and am present." The Prachetasas replied to him with reverence, and told him that the cause of their devotions was the command of their father to effect the multiplication of mankind. The god, having accordingly granted to them the object of their prayers, disappeared, and they came up from the water.
vp.1.15 the Rishi came forth from the pores of her skin in drops of perspiration. The trees received the living dews, and the winds collected them into one mass. "This," said Soma, "I matured by my rays, and gradually it increased in size, till the exhalation that had rested on the tree tops became the lovely girl named Marisha. The trees will give her to you, Prachetasas: let your indignation be appeased. She is the progeny of Kandu, the child of Pramlocha, the nursling of the trees, the daughter of the wind and of the moon. The holy Kandu, after the interruption of his pious exercises, went, excellent princes, to the region of Vishnu, termed Purushottama, where, Maitreya 2, with his whole mind he devoted himself to the adoration of Hari; standing fixed, with uplifted arms, and repeating the prayers that comprehend the essence of divine truth 3."
vp.1.15 prayers, by inaudibly reciting which the pious Kandu propitiated Kesava." On which Soma repeated as follows: Vishnu is beyond the boundary of all things: he is the infinite: he is beyond that which is boundless: he is above all that is above: he exists as finite truth: he is the object of the Veda; the limit of elemental being; unappreciable by the senses; possessed of illimitable might: he is the cause of cause; the cause of the cause of cause; the cause of finite cause; and in effects, he, both as every object and agent, preserves the universe: he is Brahma the lord; Brahma all beings; Brahma the progenitor of all beings; the imperishable: he is the eternal, undecaying, unborn Brahma, incapable of increase or diminution: Purushottama is the everlasting, untreated, immutable Brahma. May the imperfections of my nature be annihilated through his favour. Reciting this eulogium, the essence of divine truth, and propitiating Kesava, Kandu obtained final emancipation.
vp.1.15 "Who Marisha was of old I will also relate to you, as the recital of her meritorious acts will be beneficial to you. She was the widow of a prince, and left childless at her husband s death: she therefore zealously worshipped Vishnu, who, being gratified by her adoration, appeared to her, and desired her to demand a boon; on which she revealed to him the wishes of her heart. I have been a widow, lord, she exclaimed, even from my infancy, and my birth has been in vain: unfortunate have I been, and of little use, oh sovereign of the world. Now therefore I pray thee that in succeeding births I may have honourable husbands, and a son equal to a patriarch amongst men: may I be possessed of affluence and beauty: may I he pleasing in the sight of all: and may I be born out of the ordinary course. Grant these prayers, oh thou who art propitious to the devout. Hrishikesa, the god of gods, the supreme giver of all blessings, thus prayed to, raised her from her prostrate attitude, and said, In another life you shall have ten husbands of mighty prowess, and renowned for glorious acts; and you shall have a son magnanimous and valiant, distinguished by the rank of a patriarch, from whom the various races of men shall multiply, and by whose posterity the universe shall be filled. You, virtuous lady, shall be of marvellous birth, and you shall be endowed with grace and loveliness, delighting the
vp.1.15 The daughters of Daksha who were married to Kasyapa were Aditi, Diti, Danu, Arishta, Surasa, Surabhi, Vinata, Tamra, Krodhavasa, Ida, Khasa, Kadru, and Muni 19; whose progeny I will describe to you. There were twelve celebrated deities in a former Manwantara, called Tushitas 20, who, upon the approach of the present period, or in the reign of the last Manu, Chakshusha, assembled, and said to one another, "Come, let us quickly enter into the womb of Aditi, that we may be born in the next Manwantara, for thereby we shall again enjoy the rank of gods:" and accordingly they were born the sons of Kasyapa, the son of Marichi, by Aditi, the daughter of Daksha; thence named the twelve adityas; whose appellations were respectively, Vishnu, sakra, aryaman, Dhuti, Twashtri, Pushan, Vivaswat, Savitri, Mitra, Varuna, Ansa, and Bhaga 21. These, who in the Chakshusha Manwantara were the gods called Tushitas, were called the twelve adityas in the Manwantara of Vaivaswata.
vp.1.15 [paragraph continues] Sinka, the wife of Viprachitti. Hiranyakasipu was the father of four mighty sons, Anuhlada, Hlada, the wise Prahlada, and the heroic Sanhlada, the augmentor of the Daitya race 28. Amongst these, the illustrious Prahlada, looking on all things with indifference, devoted his whole faith to Janarddana. The flames that were lighted by the king of the Daityas consumed not him, in whose heart Vasudeva was cherished; and all the earth trembled when, bound with bonds, he moved amidst the waters of the ocean. His firm body, fortified by a mind engrossed by Achyuta, was unwounded by the weapons hurled on him by order of the Daitya monarch; and the serpents sent to destroy him breathed their venomous flames upon him in vain. Overwhelmed with rocks, he yet remained unhurt; for he never forgot Vishnu, and the recollection of the deity was his armour of proof. Hurled from on high by the king of the Daityas, residing in Swerga, earth received him unharmed. The wind sent into his body to wither him up was itself annihilated by him, in whom Madhusudana was present. The fierce elephants of the spheres broke their tusks, and vailed their pride, against the firm breast which the lord of the Daityas had ordered them to assault. The ministrant priests of the monarch were baffled in all their rites for the destruction of one so steadily attached to Govinda: and the thousand delusions of the fraudulent Samvara, counteracted by the discus of Krishna, were practised without
vp.1.16 Maitreya. Venerable Muni, you have described to me the races of human beings, and the eternal Vishnu, the cause of this world; but who was this mighty Prahlada, of whom you have last spoken; whom fire could not burn; who died not, when pierced by weapons; at whose presence in the waters earth trembled, shaken by his movements, even though in bonds; and who, overwhelmed with rocks, remained unhurt. I am desirous to hear an account of the unequalled might of that sage worshipper of Vishnu, to whose marvellous history you have alluded. Why was he assailed by the weapons of the sons of Diti? why was so righteous a person thrown into the sea? wherefore was he overwhelmed with rocks? why bitten by venomous snakes? why hurled from the mountain crest? why cast into the flames? why was he made a mark for the tusks of the elephants of the spheres? wherefore was the blast of death directed against him by the enemies of the gods? why did the priests of the Daityas practise ceremonies for his destruction? why were the thousand illusions of Samvara exercised upon him? and for what purpose was deadly poison administered to him by the servants of the king, but which was innocuous as food to his sagacious son? All this I am anxious to hear: the history of the magnanimous Prahlada; a legend of great marvels. Not that it is a wonder that he should have been uninjured by the Daityas; for who can injure the man that fixes his whole heart on Vishnu? but it is strange that such inveterate hatred
vp.1.16 should have been shewn, by his own kin, to one so virtuous, so unweariedly occupied in worshipping Vishnu. You can explain to me for what reason the sons of Diti offered violence to one so pious, so illustrious, so attached to Vishnu, so free from guile. Generous enemies wage no war with such as he was, full of sanctity and every excellence; how should his own father thus behave towards him? Tell me therefore, most illustrious Muni, the whole story in detail: I wish to hear the entire narrative of the sovereign of the Daitya race.
vp.1.17 Legend of Prahlada. Hiranyakasipu, the sovereign of the universe: the gods dispersed or in servitude to him: Prahlada, his son, remains devoted to Vishnu: questioned by his father, he praises Vishnu: Hiranyakasipu orders him to be put to death, but in vain: his repeated deliverance: he teaches his companions to adore Vishnu.?
vp.1.17 to him, "Repeat, boy, in substance, and agreeably, what during the period of your studies you have acquired." "Hear, sire," replied Prahlada, "what in obedience to your commands I will repeat, the substance of all I have learned: listen attentively to that which wholly occupies my thoughts. I have learned to adore him who is without beginning, middle, or end, increase or diminution; the imperishable lord of the world, the universal cause of causes." On hearing these words, the sovereign of the Daityas, his eyes red with wrath, and lip swollen with indignation, turned to the preceptor of his son, and said, "Vile Brahman, what is this preposterous commendation of my foe, that, in disrespect to me, you have taught this boy to utter?" King" of the Daityas," replied the Guru, "it is not worthy of you to give way to passion: that which your son has uttered, he has not been taught by me." "By whom then," said Hiranyakasipu to the lad, "by whom has this lesson, boy, been taught you? your teacher denies that it proceeds from him." Vishnu", father," answered Prahlada, "is the instructor of the whole world: what else should any one teach or learn, save him the supreme spirit?" Blockhead"," exclaimed the king, "who is this Vishnu, whose name you thus reiterate so impertinently before me, who am the sovereign of the three worlds?" "The glory of Vishnu," replied Prahlada, "is to be meditated upon by the devout; it cannot be described: he is the supreme lord, who is all things, and from
vp.1.17 om all things proceed." To this the king rejoined, "Are you desirous of death, fool, that you give the title of supreme lord to any one whilst I survive?" Vishnu", who is Brahma," said Prahlada, "is the creator and protector, not of me alone, but of all human beings, and even, father, of you: he is the supreme lord of all. Why should you, sire, be offended?" Hiranyakasipu then exclaimed, "What evil spirit has entered into the breast of this silly boy, that thus, like one possessed, he utters such profanity?" "Not into my heart alone," said Prahlada, "has Vishnu entered, but he pervades all the regions of the universe, and by his omnipresence influences the conduct of all beings, mine, fattier, and thine 2." "Away with the wretch!" cried
vp.1.17 According to the commands of his father, Prahlada was conducted by the Daityas back to the house of his Guru; where, assiduous in attendance on his preceptor, he constantly improved in wisdom. After a considerable time had elapsed, the sovereign of the Asuras sent for him again; and on his arrival in his presence, desired him to recite some poetical composition. Prahlada immediately began, "May he from whom matter and soul originate, from whom all that moves or is unconscious proceeds, he who is the cause of all this creation, Vishnu, be favourable unto us!" On hearing which, Hiranyakasipu exclaimed, "Kill the wretch! he is not fit to live, who is a traitor to his friends, a burning brand to his own race!" and his attendants, obedient to his orders, snatched up their weapons, and rushed in crowds upon Prahlada, to destroy him. The prince calmly looked upon them, and said, Daityas", as truly as Vishnu is present in your weapons and in my body, so truly shall those weapons fail to harm me:" and accordingly, although struck heavily and repeatedly by hundreds of the Daityas, the prince felt not the least pain, and his strength was ever renewed. His father then endeavoured to persuade him to refrain from glorifying his enemy, and promised him immunity if the would not be so foolish as to persevere but Prahlada replied, that he felt no fear as long as his immortal guardian against all dangers was present in his mind, the recollection of whom was alone sufficient to dissipate all
vp.1.17 takes to himself a wife introduces only so much misery into his bosom; for as many as are the cherished affections of a living creature, so many are the thorns of anxiety implanted in his heart; and he who has large possessions in his house is haunted, wherever he goes, with the apprehension that they may be lost or burnt or stolen. Thus there is great pain in being born: for the dying man there are the tortures of the judge of the deceased, and of passing again into the womb. If you conclude that there is little enjoyment in the embryo state, you must then admit that the world is made up of pain. Verily I say unto you, that in this ocean of the world, this sea of many sorrows, Vishnu is your only hope. If ye say, you know nothing of this; we are children; embodied spirit in bodies is eternal; birth, youth, decay, are the properties of the body, not of the soul 5. But it is in this way that we deceive ourselves. I am yet a child; but it is my purpose to exert myself when I am a youth. I am yet a youth; but when I become old I will do what is needful for the good of my soul. I am now old, and all my duties are to be fulfilled. How shall I, now that my faculties fail me, do what was left undone when my strength was unimpaired? In this manner do men, whilst their minds are distracted by sensual pleasures, ever propose, and never attain final beatitude: they die thirsting 6. Devoted in childhood to play, and in youth to pleasure, ignorant and impotent they find that old age
vp.1.17 of the conditions of infancy, youth, or age, strive incessantly to be freed. This, then, is what I declare unto you; and since you know that it is not untrue, do you, out of regard to me, call to your minds Vishnu, the liberator from all bondage. What difficulty is there in thinking upon him, who, when remembered, bestows prosperity; and by recalling whom to memory, day and night, all sin is cleansed away? Let all your thoughts and affections be fixed on him, who is present in all beings, and you shall laugh at every care. The whole world is suffering under a triple affliction 7. What wise man would feel hatred towards beings who are objects of compassion? If fortune be propitious to them, and I am unable to partake of the like enjoyments, yet wherefore should I cherish malignity towards those who are more prosperous than myself: I should rather sympathise with their happiness; for the suppression of malignant feelings is of itself a reward 8. If beings are hostile, and indulge in hatred, they are objects of pity to the wise, as encompassed by profound delusion. These are the reasons for repressing hate, which are adapted to the capacities of those who see the deity distinct from his creatures. Hear, briefly, what influences those who have approached the truth. This whole world is but a manifestation of Vishnu, who is identical with all things; and it is therefore to be regarded by the wise as not differing from, but as the same with themselves. Let us therefore lay aside
vp.1.17 by the infirmities of human nature; by bodily sickness and disease 9, or hatred, envy, malice, passion, or desire; which nothing shall molest, and which every one who fixes his whole heart on Kesava shall enjoy. Verily I say unto you, that you shall have no satisfaction in various revolutions through this treacherous world, but that you will obtain placidity for ever by propitiating Vishnu, whose adoration is perfect calm. What here is difficult of attainment, when he is pleased? Wealth, pleasure, virtue, are things of little moment. Precious is the fruit that you shall gather, be assured, from the exhaustless store of the tree of true wisdom."
vp.1.18 Thus spoken to by the youth, the priests of the Daitya sovereign were incensed, and instantly had recourse to magic incantations, by which a female form, enwreathed with fiery flame, was engendered: she was of fearful aspect, and the earth was parched beneath her tread, as she approached Prahlada, and smote him with a fiery trident on the breast. In vain! for the weapon fell, broken into a hundred pieces, upon the ground. Against the breast in which the imperishable Hari resides the thunderbolt would be shivered, much more should such a weapon be split in pieces. The magic being, then directed against the virtuous prince by the wicked priest, turned upon them, and, having quickly destroyed them, disappeared. But Prahlada, beholding them perish, hastily appealed to Krishna, the eternal, for succour, and said, "Oh Janarddana! who art every where, the creator and substance of the world, preserve these Brahmans from this magical and insupportable fire. As thou art Vishnu, present in all creatures, and the protector of the world, so let these priests be restored to life. If, whilst devoted to the omnipresent Vishnu, I think no sinful resentment against my foes, let these priests be restored to life. If those who have come to slay me, those by whom poison was given me, the fire that would have burned, the elephants that would have crushed, and snakes that would have stung me, have been regarded by me as friends; if I have been unshaken in soul, and am without fault in thy sight;
vp.1.19 Dialogue between Prahlada and his father: he is cast from the top of the palace unhurt: baffles the incantations of Samvara: he is thrown fettered into the sea: he praises Vishnu.
vp.1.19 "It is true that I have been instructed in all these matters by my venerable preceptor, and I have learnt them, but I cannot in all approve them. It is said that conciliation, gifts, punishment, and sowing dissension are the means of securing friends (or overcoming foes) 1; but I, father be not angry know neither friends nor foes; and where no object is to be accomplished, the means of effecting it are superfluous. It were idle to talk of friend or foe in Govinda, who is the supreme soul, lord of the world, consisting of the world, and who is identical with all beings. The divine Vishnu is in thee, father, in me, and in all every where else; and hence how can I speak of friend or foe, as distinct from myself? It is therefore waste of time to cultivate such tedious and unprofitable sciences, which are but false knowledge, and all our energies should be dedicated to the acquirement of true wisdom. The notion that ignorance is knowledge arises, father, from ignorance. Does not the child, king of the Asuras, imagine the fire fly to be a spark of fire. That is active duty, which is not for our bondage; that is knowledge, which is for our liberation: all other duty is good only unto weariness; all other knowledge is only the cleverness of an artist. Knowing this, I look upon all such acquirement as profitless. That which is really profitable hear me, oh mighty monarch, thus prostrate before thee, proclaim. He who cares not for dominion, he who cares not for wealth, shall
vp.1.19 same. Gods, men, animals, birds, reptiles, all are but forms of one eternal Vishnu, existing as it were detached from himself. By him who knows this, all the existing world, fixed or movable, is to be regarded as identical with himself, as proceeding alike from Vishnu, assuming a universal form. When this is known, the glorious god of all, who is without beginning or end, is pleased; and when he is pleased, there is an end of affliction."
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.1.19 glory to that imperishable form which, soul of all, is another manifestation 7 of thy might, the asylum of all qualities, existing in all creatures. I salute her, the supreme goddess, who is beyond the senses; whom the mind, the tongue, cannot define; who is to be distinguished alone by the wisdom of the truly wise. Om! salutation to Vasudeva: to him who is the eternal lord; he from whom nothing is distinct; he who is distinct from all. Glory be to the great spirit again and again: to him who is without name or shape; who sole is to be known by adoration; whom, in the forms manifested in his descents upon earth, the dwellers in heaven adore; for they behold not his inscrutable nature. I glorify the supreme deity Vishnu, the universal witness, who seated internally, beholds the good and ill of all. Glory to that Vishnu from whom this world is not distinct. May he, ever to be meditated upon as the beginning of the universe, have compassion upon me: may he, the supporter of all, in whom every thing is warped and woven 8, undecaying, imperishable, have compassion upon me. Glory, again and again, to that being to whom all returns, from whom all proceeds; who is all, and in whom all things are: to him whom I also am; for he is every where; and through whom all things are from me. I am all things: all things are in me, who am everlasting. I am undecayable, ever enduring, the receptacle of the spirit of the supreme. Brahma is my name; the supreme soul, that is before all things,
vp.1.20 Vishnu appears to Prahlada. Hiranyakasipu relents, and is reconciled to his son: he is put to death by Vishnu as the Nrisinha. Prahlada becomes king of the Daityas: his posterity: fruit of hearing his story.
vp.1.20 THUS meditating upon Vishnu, as identical with his own spirit, Prahlada became as one with him, and finally regarded himself as the divinity: he forgot entirely his own individuality, and was conscious of nothing else than his being the inexhaustible, eternal, supreme soul; and in consequence of the efficacy of this conviction of identity, the imperishable Vishnu, whose essence is wisdom, became present in his heart, which was wholly purified from sin. As soon as, through the force of his contemplation, Prahlada had become one with Vishnu, the bonds with which he was bound burst instantly asunder; the ocean was violently uplifted; and the monsters of the deep were alarmed; earth with all her forests and mountains trembled; and the prince, putting aside the rocks which the demons had piled Upon him, came forth from out the main. When he beheld the outer world again, and contemplated earth and heaven, he remembered who he was, and recognised himself to be Prahlada; and again he hymned Purushottama, who is without beginning or end; his mind being steadily and undeviatingly addressed to the object of his prayers, and his speech, thoughts, and acts being firmly under control. "Om! glory to the end of all: to thee, lord, who art subtile and substantial; mutable and immutable; perceptible and imperceptible; divisible and indivisible; indefinable and definable; the subject of attributes, and void of attributes; abiding in qualities, though they abide not in thee; morphous and
vp.1.20 Whilst with mind intent on Vishnu, he thus pronounced his praises, the divinity, clad in yellow robes, suddenly appeared before him. Startled at the sight, with hesitating speech Prahlada pronounced repeated salutations to Vishnu, and said, "Oh thou who removest all worldly grief, Kesava, be propitious unto me; again sanctify me, Achyuta, by thy sight." The deity replied, "I am pleased with the faithful attachment thou hast shown to me: demand from me, Prahlada, whatever thou desirest." Prahlada replied, "In all the thousand births through which I may be doomed to pass, may my faith in thee, Achyuta, never know decay; may passion, as fixed as that which the worldly minded feel for sensual pleasures, ever animate my heart, always devoted unto thee." Bhagavan answered, "Thou hast already devotion unto me, and ever shalt have it: now choose some boon, whatever is in thy wish." Prahlada then said, "I have been hated, for that I assiduously proclaimed thy praise: do thou, oh lord, pardon in my father this sin that he hath committed. Weapons have been hurled against me; I have been thrown into the flames; I have been bitten by venomous snakes; and poison has been mixed with my food; I have been bound and cast into the sea; and heavy rocks have been heaped upon me: but all this, and whatever ill beside has been wrought against me; whatever wickedness has been done to me, because I put my faith in thee; all, through thy mercy, has been suffered by me unharmed: and do thou therefore
vp.1.20 free my father from this iniquity." To this application Vishnu replied, "All this shall be unto thee, through my favour: but I give thee another boon: demand it, son of the Asura." Prahlada answered and said, "All my desires, oh lord, have been fulfilled by the boon that thou hast granted, that my faith in thee shall never know decay. Wealth, virtue, love, are as nothing; for even liberation is in his reach whose faith is firm in thee, root of the universal world." Vishnu said, "Since thy heart is filled immovably with trust in me, thou shalt, through my blessing, attain freedom from existence." Thus saying, Vishnu vanished from his sight; and Prahlada repaired to his father, and bowed down before him. His father
vp.1.20 kissed him on the forehead 1, and embraced him, and shed tears, and said, "Dost thou live, my son?" And the great Asura repented of his former cruelty, and treated him with kindness: and Prahlada, fulfilling his duties like any other youth, continued diligent in the service of his preceptor and his father. After his father had been put to death by Vishnu in the form of the man lion 2, Prahlada became the sovereign of the Daityas; and possessing the splendours of royalty consequent upon his piety, exercised extensive sway, and was blessed with a numerous progeny. At the expiration of an authority which was the reward of his meritorious acts, he was freed from the consequences of moral merit or demerit, and obtained, through meditation on the deity, final exemption from existence.
vp.1.20 Such, Maitreya, was the Daitya Prahlada, the wise and faithful worshipper of Vishnu, of whom you wished to hear; and such was his miraculous power. Whoever listens to the history of Prahlada is immediately cleansed from his sins: the iniquities that he commits, by night or by day, shall be expiated by once hearing, or once reading, the history of Prahlada. The perusal of this history on the day of full moon, of new moon, or on the eighth or twelfth day of the lunation 3,
vp.1.20 shall yield fruit equal to the donation of a cow 4. As Vishnu protected Prahlada in all the calamities to which he was exposed, so shall the deity protect him who listens constantly to the tale.
vp.1.22 Dominion over different provinces of creation assigned to different beings. Universality of Vishnu. Four varieties of spiritual contemplation. Two conditions of spirit. The perceptible attributes of Vishnu types of his imperceptible properties. Vishnu every thing. Merit of hearing the first book of the Vishnu Purana.
vp.1.22 WHEN Prithu was installed in the government of the earth, the great father of the spheres established sovereignties in other parts of the creation. Soma was appointed monarch of the stars and planets, of Brahmans and of plants, of sacrifices and of penance. Vaisravana was made king over kings; and Varuna, over the waters. Vishnu was the chief of the adityas; Pavaka, of the Vasus; Daksha, of the patriarchs; Vasava, of the winds. To Prahlada was assigned dominion over the Daityas and Danavas; and Yama, the king of justice, was appointed the monarch of the Manes Pitris(). Airavata was made the king of elephants; Garuda, of birds; Indra, of the gods. Uchchaisravas was the chief of horses; Vrishabha, of kine. sesha became the snake king; the lion, the monarch of the beasts; and the sovereign of the trees was the holy fig tree 1. Having thus fixed the limits of each authority, the great progenitor Brahma stationed rulers for the protection of the different quarters of the world: he made Sudhanwan, the son of the patriarch Viraja, the regent of the east; Sankhapada, the son of the patriarch Kardama, of the south; the immortal Ketumat, the son of Rajas, regent of the west; and Hiranyaroman, the son of the patriarch Parjanya, regent of the north 2. By these the whole earth, with its seven continents and its
vp.1.22 All these monarchs, and whatever others may be invested with authority by the mighty Vishnu, as instruments for the preservation of the world; all the kings who have been, and all who shall be; are all, most worthy Brahman, but portions of the universal Vishnu. The rulers of the gods, the rulers of the Daityas, the rulers of the Danavas, and the rulers of all malignant spirits; the chief amongst beasts, amongst birds, amongst men, amongst serpents; the best of trees, of mountains, of planets; either those that now are, or that shall hereafter be, the most exalted of their kind; are but portions of the universal Vishnu. The power of protecting created things, the preservation of the world, resides with no other than Hari, the lord of all. He is the creator, who creates the world; he, the eternal, preserves it in its existence; and he, the destroyer, destroys it; invested severally with the attributes of foulness, goodness, and gloom. By a fourfold manifestation does Janarddana operate in creation, preservation, and destruction. In one portion, as Brahma, the invisible assumes a visible form; in another portion he, as Marichi and the rest, is the progenitor of all creatures; his third portion is time; his fourth is all beings: and thus he becomes quadruple in creation, invested with the quality of passion. In the preservation of the world he is, in one portion, Vishnu; in another portion he is Manu and the other patriarchs; he is time in a third; and all beings in a fourth
vp.1.22 Brahma, Daksha, time, and all creatures are the four energies of Hari, which are the causes of creation. Vishnu, Manu and the rest, time, and all creatures are the four energies of Vishnu, which are the causes of duration. Rudra, the destroying fire, time, and all creatures
vp.1.22 sort is the knowledge that is to be acquired by the Yogi whose end is escape from suffering, or eternal felicity. The third kind is the ascertainment of the identity of the end and the means, the rejection of the notion of duality. The last kind is the removal of whatever differences may have been conceived by the three first varieties of knowledge, and the consequent contemplation of the true essence of soul. The supreme condition of Vishnu, who is one with wisdom, is the knowledge of truth; which requires no exercise; which is not to be taught; which is internally diffused; which is unequalled; the object of which is self illumination; which is simply existent, and is not to be defined; which is tranquil, fearless, pure; which is not the theme of reasoning; which stands in need of no support 6. Those Yogis who, by the annihilation of ignorance, are resolved into this fourfold Brahma, lose the seminal property, and can no longer germinate in the ploughed field of worldly existence. This is the supreme condition, that is called Vishnu, perfect,
vp.1.22 There are two states of this Brahma; one with, and one without shape; one perishable, and one imperishable; which are inherent in all beings. The imperishable is the supreme being; the perishable is all the world. The blaze of fire burning on one spot diffuses light and heat around; so the world is nothing more than the manifested energy of the supreme Brahma: and inasmuch, Maitreya, as the light and heat are stronger or feebler as we are near to the fire, or far off from it, so the energy of the supreme is more or less intense in the beings that are less or more remote from him. Brahma, Vishnu, and siva are the most powerful energies of god; next to them are the inferior deities, then the attendant spirits, then men, then animals, birds, insects, vegetables; each becoming more and more feeble as they are farther from their primitive source. In this way, illustrious Brahman, this whole world, although in essence imperishable and eternal, appears and disappears, as if it was subject to birth and death.
vp.1.22 The supreme condition of Brahma, which is meditated by the Yogis in the commencement of their abstraction, as invested with form, is Vishnu, composed of all the divine energies, and the essence of Brahma, with whom the mystic union that is sought, and which is accompanied by suitable elements, is effected 7 by the devotee whose whole mind is addressed to that object. This Hari, who is the most immediate of all the energies of Brahma, is his embodied shape, composed entirely of his essence; and in him therefore is the whole world interwoven; and from him, and in him, is the universe; and he, the supreme lord of all, comprising all that is perishable and imperishable, bears upon him all material and spiritual existence, identified in nature with his ornaments and weapons.
vp.1.22 Maitreya. Tell me in what manner Vishnu bears the whole world, abiding in his nature, characterised by ornaments and weapons.
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.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.2.2 Description of the earth. The seven Dwipas and seven seas. Jambu dwipa. Mount Meru: its extent and boundaries. Extent of Ilavrita. Groves, lakes, and branches of Meru. Cities of the gods. Rivers. The forms of Vishnu worshipped in different Varshas.
vp.2.2 is enclosed by the river Ganges, which, issuing from the foot of Vishnu, and washing the lunar orb, falls here from the skies 11, and, after encircling the city, divides into four mighty rivers, flowing in opposite directions. These rivers are the sita, the Alakananda, the Chakshu, and the Bhadra. The first, falling upon the tops of the inferior mountains, on the east side of Meru, flows over their crests, and passes through the country of Bhadraswa to the ocean: the Alakananda flows south, to the country of Bharata, and, dividing into seven rivers on the way, falls into the sea: the Chakshu falls into the sea, after traversing all the western mountains, and passing through the country of Ketumala: and the
vp.2.2 and Kailasa extend, east and west, eighty Yojanas in breadth, from sea to sea. Nishadha and Pariyatra are the limitative mountains on the west, stretching, like those on the east, between the Nila and Nishadha ranges: and the mountains Trisringa and Jarudhi are the northern limits of Meru, extending, east and west, between the two seas 14. Thus I have repeated to you the mountains described by great sages as the boundary mountains, situated in pairs, on each of the four sides of Meru. Those also, which have been mentioned as the filament mountains (or spurs), sitanta and the rest, are exceedingly delightful. The vallies embosomed amongst them are the favourite resorts of the Siddhas and Charanas: and there are situated upon them agreeable forests, and pleasant cities, embellished with the palaces of Vishnu, Lakshmi, Agni, Surya, and other deities, and peopled by celestial spirits; whilst the Yakshas, Rakshasas, Daityas, and Danavas pursue their pastimes in the vales. These, in short, are the regions of Paradise, or Swarga, the seats of the righteous, and where the wicked do not arrive even after a hundred births.
vp.2.2 In the country of Bhadraswa, Vishnu resides as Hayasira (the horse headed); in Ketumala, as Varaha (the boar); in Bharata, as the tortoise Kurma(); in Kuru, as the fish Matsya(); in his universal form, every where; for Hari pervades all places: he, Maitreya, is the supporter of all things; he is all things. In the eight realms of Kimpurusha and the rest (or all exclusive of Bharata) there is no sorrow, nor weariness, nor anxiety, nor hunger, nor apprehension; their inhabitants are exempt from all infirmity and pain, and live in uninterrupted enjoyment for ten or twelve thousand years. Indra never sends rain upon them, for the earth abounds with water. In those places there is no distinction of Krita, Treta, or any succession of ages. In each of these Varshas there are respectively seven principal ranges of mountains, from which, oh best of Brahmans, hundreds of rivers take their rise.
vp.2.3 In the Bharata varsha it is that the succession of four Yugas, or ages, the Krita, the Treta, the Dwapara, and Kali, takes place; that pious ascetics engage in rigorous penance; that devout men offer sacrifices; and that gifts are distributed; all for the sake of another world. In Jambu dwipa, Vishnu, consisting of sacrifice, is worshipped, as the male of sacrificial rites, with sacrificial ceremonies: he is adored under other forms elsewhere. Bharata is therefore the best of the divisions of Jambu dwipa, because it is the land of works: the others are places of enjoyment alone. It is only after many thousand births, and the aggregation of much merit, that living beings are sometimes born in Bharata as men. The gods themselves exclaim, "Happy are those who are born, even from the condition of gods, as men in Bharata varsha, as that is the way to the pleasures of Paradise, or the greater blessing of final liberation. Happy are they who, consigning all the unheeded rewards of their acts to the supreme and eternal Vishnu, obtain existence in that land of works, as their path to him. We know not, when the acts that have obtained us heaven shall have been fully recompensed 7, where we shall renew corporeal confinement; but we know that those men are fortunate who are born with perfect faculties 8 in Bharata varsha."
vp.2.4 The hero Vapushmat was king of the next or salmala dwipa, whose seven sons also gave designations to seven Varshas, or divisions. Their names were sweta, Harita, Jimuta, Rohita, Vaidyuta, Manasa, and Suprabha. The Ikshu sea is encompassed by the continent of Salmala, which is twice its extent. There are seven principal mountain ranges, abounding in precious gems, and dividing the Varshas from each other; and there are also seven chief rivers. The mountains are called Kumuda, Unnata, Valahaka, Drona, fertile in medicinal herbs, Kanka, Mahisha, and Kakkudwat. The rivers are Yauni, Toya, Vitrishna, Chandra, sukla, Vimochani, and Nivritti; all whose waters cleanse away sins. The Brahmans, Kshetriyas, Vaisyas, and sudras of this Dwipa, called severally Kapilas, Arunas, Pitas, and Rohitas (or tawny, purple, yellow, and red), worship the imperishable soul of all things, Vishnu, in the form of Vayu (wind), with pious rites, and enjoy frequent association with the gods. A large salmali (silk cotton) tree grows in this Dwipa, and gives it its name. The Dwipa is surrounded by the Sura sea (sea of wine), of the same extent as itself.
vp.2.4 The sea of Ghrita is encompassed by Krauncha dwipa, which is twice as large as Kusa dwipa. The king of this Dwipa was Dyutiman, whose sons, and the seven Varshas named after them, were Kusala, Mallaga, Ushna, Pivara, Andhakaraka, Muni, and Dundubhi. The seven boundary mountains, pleasing to gods and celestial spirits, are Krauncha, Vamana, Andhakaraka, Devavrit, Pundarikavan, Dundubhi, and Mahasaila; each of which is in succession twice as lofty as the series that precedes it, in the same manner as each Dwipa is twice as extensive as the one before it. The inhabitants reside there without apprehension, associating with the bands of divinities. The Brahmans are called Pushkaras; the Kshetriyas, Pushkalas: the Vaisyas are termed Dhanyas; and the sudras, Tishyas. They drink of countless streams, of which the principal are denominated Gauri, Kumudwati, Sandhya, Ratri, Manojava, Kshanti, and Pundarika. The divine Vishnu, the protector of mankind, is worshipped there by the people, with holy rites, in the form of Rudra. Krauncha is surrounded by the sea of curds, of a similar extent; and that again is encompassed by saka dwipa.
vp.2.4 by the Siddhas and Gandharbas, the wind from which, as produced by its fluttering leaves, diffuses delight. The sacred lands of this continent are peopled by the four castes. Its seven holy rivers, that wash away all sin, are the Sukumari, Kumari, Nalini, Dhenuka, Ikshu, Venuka, and Gabhasti. There are also hundreds and thousands of minor streams and mountains in this Dwipa: and the inhabitants of Jalada and the other divisions drink of those waters with pleasure, after they have returned to earth from Indra s heaven. In those seven districts there is no dereliction of virtue; there is no contention; there is no deviation from rectitude. The caste of Mriga is that of the Brahman; the Magadha, of the Kshetriya; the Manasa, of the Vaisya; and the Mandaga of the sudra: and by these Vishnu is devoutly worshipped as the sun, with appropriate ceremonies. saka dwipa is encircled by the sea of milk, as by an armlet, and the sea is of the same breadth as the continent which it embraces 2
vp.2.5 Below the seven Patalas is the form of Vishnu, proceeding from the quality of darkness, which is called sesha 4, the excellencies of which neither Daityas nor Danavas can fully enumerate. This being is called Ananta by the spirits of heaven, and is worshipped by sages and by gods. He has a thousand heads, which are embellished with the pure and visible mystic sign 5: and the thousand jewels in his crests give light to all the regions. For the benefit of the world he: deprives the Asuras of their strength. He rolls his eyes fiercely, as if intoxicated. He wears a single ear ring, a diadem, and wreath upon each brow; and shines like the white mountains topped with flame. He is clothed in purple raiment, and ornamented with a white necklace, and looks like another Kailasa, with the heavenly Ganga flowing down its precipices. In one hand he holds a plough, and in the other a pestle; and he is attended by Varuni (the goddess of wine), who is his own embodied radiance. From his mouths, at the end of the Kalpa, proceeds the venomed fire that, impersonated as Rudra, who is one with Balarama, devours the three worlds.
vp.2.6 Of the different hells or divisions of Naraka, below Patala: the crimes punished in them respectively: efficacy of expiation: meditation on Vishnu the most effective expiation.
vp.2.6 whose mind is devoted to Hari in silent prayer, burnt offering, or adoration, is impatient even of the glory of the king of the gods. Of what avail is ascent to the summit of heaven, if it is necessary to return from thence to earth. How different is the meditation on Vasudeva, which is the seed of eternal freedom. Hence, Muni, the man who thinks of Vishnu, day and night, goes not to Naraka after death, for all his sins are atoned for.
vp.2.7 Extent and situation of the seven spheres, viz. earth, sky, planets, Mahar loka, Janaloka, Tapo loka, and Satya loka. Of the egg of Brahma, and its elementary envelopes. Of the influence of the energy of Vishnu.
vp.2.7 it encloses; and the last is encircled by the chief Principle, Pradhana 6, which is infinite, and its extent cannot be enumerated: it is therefore called the boundless and illimitable cause of all existing things, supreme nature, or Prakriti; the cause of all mundane eggs, of which there are thousands and tens of thousands, and millions and thousands of millions, such as has been described 7. Within Pradhana resides Soul, diffusive, conscious, and self irradiating, as fire is inherent in flint 8, or sesamum oil in its seed. Nature Pradhana() and soul Puman() are both of the character of dependants, and are encompassed by the energy of Vishnu, which is one with the soul of the world, and which is the cause of the separation of those two (soul and nature) at the period of dissolution; of their aggregation in the continuance of things; and of their combination at the season of creation 9. In the same manner as the wind ruffles the surface of the water in a hundred bubbles, which of themselves are inert, so the energy of Vishnu influences the world, consisting of inert nature and soul. Again, as a tree, consisting of root, stem, and branches, springs from a primitive seed, and produces other seeds, whence grow other trees analogous to the first in species, product, and origin, so from the first unexpanded germ (of nature, or Pradhana) spring Mahat Intellect()
vp.2.7 and the other rudiments of things; from them proceed the grosser elements; and from them men and gods, who are succeeded by sons and the sons of sons. In the growth of a tree from the seed, no detriment occurs to the parent plant, neither is there any waste of beings by the generation of others. In like manner as space and time and the rest are the cause of the tree (through the materiality of the seed), so the divine Hari is the cause of all things by successive developements (through the materiality of nature) 10. As all the parts of the future plant, existing in the seed of rice, or the root, the culm, the leaf, the shoot, the stem, the bud, the fruit, the milk, the grain, the chaff, the ear, spontaneously evolve when they are in approximation with the subsidiary means of growth (or earth and water), so gods, men, and other beings, involved in many actions (or necessarily existing in those states which are the consequences of good or evil acts), become manifested only in their full growth, through the influence of the energy of Vishnu.
vp.2.7 This Vishnu is the supreme spirit Brahma(), from whence all this world proceeds, who is the world, by whom the world subsists, and in whom it will be resolved. That spirit (or Brahma) is the supreme state of Vishnu, which is the essence of all that is visible or invisible; with which all that is, is identical; and whence all animate and inanimate existence is derived. He is primary nature: he, in a perceptible form, is the world: and in him all finally melts; through him all things endure. He is the performer of the rites of devotion: he is the rite: he is the fruit which it bestows: he is the implements by which it is performed. There is nothing besides the illimitable Hari.
vp.2.8 Description of the sun: his chariot; its two axles: his horses. The cities of the regents of the cardinal points. The sun s course: nature of his rays: his path along the ecliptic. Length of day and night. Divisions of time: equinoxes and solstices, months, years, the cyclical Yuga, or age of five years. Northern and southern declinations. Saints on the Lokaloka mountain. Celestial paths of the Pitris, gods, Vishnu. Origin of Ganga, and separation, on the top of Meru, into four great rivers.
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 The space between the seven Rishis and Dhruva 26, the third region of the sky, is the splendid celestial path of Vishnu Vishnupada(), and the abode of those sanctified ascetics who are cleansed from every soil, and in whom virtue and vice are annihilated. This is that excellent place of Vishnu to which those repair in whom all sources of pain are extinct, in consequence of the cessation of the consequences of piety or iniquity, and where they never sorrow more. There abide Dharma, Dhruva, and other spectators of the world, radiant with the superhuman faculties of Vishnu, acquired through religious meditation; and there are fastened and inwoven to all that is, and all that shall ever be, animate or inanimate. The seat of Vishnu is contemplated by the wisdom of the Yogis, identified with supreme light, as the radiant eye of heaven. In this portion of the heavens the splendid Dhruva is stationed, and serves for the pivot of the atmosphere. On Dhruva rest the seven great planets, and on them depend the clouds. The rains are suspended in the clouds, and from the rains come the water which is the nutriment and delight of all, the gods and the rest; and they, the gods, who are the receivers of oblations, being nourished by burnt offerings, cause the rain to fall for the support of created beings. This sacred station of Vishnu, therefore, is the support of the three worlds, as it is the source of rain.
vp.2.8 From that third region of the atmosphere, or seat of Vishnu, proceeds the stream that washes away all sin, the river Ganga, embrowned with the unguents of the nymphs of heaven, who have sported in her waters. Having her source in the nail of the great toe of Vishnu s left foot, Dhruva 27 receives her, and sustains her day and night devoutly on his head; and thence the seven Rishis practise the exercises of austerity in her waters, wreathing their braided locks with her waves. The orb of the moon, encompassed by her accumulated current, derives augmented lustre from her contact. Falling from on high, as she issues from the moon; she alights on the summit of Meru, and thence flows to the four
vp.2.8 quarters of the earth, for its purification. The sita, Alakananda, Chakshu, and Bhadra are four branches of but one river, divided according to the regions towards which it proceeds. The branch that is known as the Alakananda was borne affectionately by Mahadeva, upon his head, for more than a hundred years, and was the river which raised to heaven the sinful sons of Sagara, by washing their ashes 28. The offences of any man who bathes in this river are immediately expiated, and unprecedented virtue is engendered. Its waters, offered by sons to their ancestors in faith for three years, yield to the latter rarely attainable gratification. Men of the twice born orders, who offer sacrifice in this river to the lord of sacrifice, Purushottama, obtain whatever they desire, either here or in heaven. Saints who are purified from all soil by bathing in its waters, and whose minds are intent on Kesava, acquire thereby final liberation. This sacred stream, heard of, desired, seen, touched, bathed in, or hymned, day by day, sanctifies all beings; and those who, even at a distance of a hundred leagues, exclaim Ganga", Ganga," atone for the sins committed during three previous lives. The place whence this river proceeds, for the purification of the three worlds, is the third division of the celestial regions, the seat of Vishnu.
vp.2.10 [paragraph continues] Arishtanemi, Karkotaka, and Sphurja are the seven who abide in the orb of the sun, the glorious spirits who scatter light throughout the universe. In the month of Magha the seven who are in the sun are Twashtri, Jamadagni, Dhritarashtra, Tilottama, Ritajit, Kambala, and Brahmapeta. Those who abide in the sun in the month Phalguna are Vishnu, Visvamitra, Suryaverchchas, Rambha, Satyajit, Aswatara, and Yajnapeta.
vp.2.10 In this manner, Maitreya, a troop of seven celestial beings, supported by the energy of Vishnu, occupies during the several months the orb of the sun. The sage celebrates his praise, and the Gandharba sings, and the nymph dances before him: the Rakshas attends upon his steps, the serpent harnesses his steeds, and the Yaksha trims the reins: the numerous pigmy sages, the Balakhilyas, ever surround his chariot. The whole troop of seven, attached to the sun s car, are the agents in the distribution of cold, heat, and rain, at their respective seasons.
vp.2.11 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 Maitreya. You have related to me, holy preceptor, the seven classes of beings who are ever present in the solar orb, and are the causes of heat and cold: you have also described to me their individual functions, sustained by the energy of Vishnu: but you have not told me the duty of the sun himself; for if, as you say, the seven beings in his sphere are the causes of heat, cold, and rain, how can it be also true, as you have before mentioned, that rain proceeds from the sun? or how can it be asserted that the sun rises, reaches the meridian, or sets, if these situations be the act of the collective seven.
vp.2.11 Parasara. I will explain to you, Maitreya, the subject of your inquiry. The sun, though identified with the seven beings in his orb, is distinct from them as their chief. The entire and mighty energy of Vishnu, which is called the three Vedas, or Rich, Yajush, and Saman, is that which enlightens the world, and destroys its iniquity. It is that also which, during the continuance of things, is present as Vishnu, actively engaged in the preservation of the universe, and abiding as the three Vedas within the sun. The solar luminary, that appears in every month, is nothing else than that very supreme energy of Vishnu which is composed of the three Vedas, influencing the motions of the planet; for the Richas (the hymns of the Rig veda) shine in the morning, the prayers of the Yajush at noon, and the Vrihadrathantara and other portions of the Saman in the afternoon. This triple impersonation of Vishnu, distinguished by the titles of the three Vedas, is the energy of Vishnu, which influences the positions of the sun 1.
vp.2.11 But this triple energy of Vishnu is not limited to the sun alone, for Brahma, Purusha Vishnu(), and Rudra are also made up of the same triform essence. In creation it is Brahma, consisting of the Rig veda in preservation it is Vishnu, composed of the Yajur veda; and in destruction Rudra, formed of the Sama veda, the utterance of which is consequently inauspicious 2.
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.2.12 From the waters, which are the body of Vishnu, was produced the lotus shaped earth, with its seas and mountains. The stars are Vishnu; the worlds are Vishnu; forests, mountains, regions, rivers, oceans are Vishnu: he is all that is, all that is not. He, the lord, is identical with knowledge, through which he is all forms, but is not a substance. You must conceive therefore mountains, oceans, and all the diversities of earth and the rest, are the illusions of the apprehension. When knowledge is pure, real, universal, independent of works, and exempt from defect, then the varieties of substance, which are the fruit of the tree of desire, cease to exist in matter. For what is substance? Where is the thing that is devoid of beginning, middle, and end, of one uniform
vp.2.13 Maitreya. Reverend sir 1, all that I asked of you has been thoroughly explained; namely, the situation of the earth, oceans, mountains, rivers, and planetary bodies; the system of the three worlds, of which Vishnu is the stay. The great end of life has also been expounded by you, and the preeminence of holy knowledge. It now remains that you fulfil the promise you made some time since 2, of relating to me the story of king Bharata, and how it happened that a monarch like him, residing constantly at the sacred place salagrama, and engaged in devotion, with his mind ever applied to Vasudeva, should have failed, through time sanctity of the shrine, and the efficacy of his abstractions, to obtain final emancipation; how it was that he was born again as a Brahman; and what was done by the magnanimous Bharata in that capacity: all this it is fit that you inform me.
vp.2.13 Parasara. The illustrious monarch of the earth resided, Maitreya, for a considerable period at salagrama, his thoughts being wholly dedicated to god, and his conduct distinguished by kindness and every virtue, until he had effected, in the highest degree, the entire control over his mind. The Raja was ever repeating the names, Yajnesa, Achyuta, Govinda, Madhava, Ananta, Kesava, Krishna, Vishnu, Hrishikesa; nothing else did be utter, even in his dreams; nor upon anything but those names, and their import, did he ever meditate. He accepted fuel, flowers, and holy grass, for the worship of the deity, but
vp.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.2.16 "In like manner do thou, oh king, who knowest what duty is, regarding equally friend or foe, consider yourself as one with all that exists in the world. Even as the same sky is apparently diversified as white or blue, so Soul, which is in truth but one, appears to erroneous vision distinct in different persons. That One, which here is all things, is Achyuta Vishnu(); than whom there is none other. He is I; he is thou; he is all: this universe is his form. Abandon the error of distinction."

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