Vishnu 2

Created by Jijith Nadumuri at 22 Jul 2011 10:02 and updated at 22 Jul 2011 10:02

VISHNU PURANA NOUN

Continued from Page 1

vp.3.1 Account of the several Manus and Manwantaras. Swarochisha the second Manu: the divinities, the Indra, the seven Rishis of his period, and his sons. Similar details of Auttami, Tamasa, Raivata, Chakshusha, and Vaivaswata. The forms of Vishnu, as the preserver, in each Manwantara. The meaning of Vishnu.
vp.3.1 These four Manus, Swarochisha, Auttami, Tamasa, and Raivata, were all descended from Priyavrata, who, in consequence of propitiating Vishnu by his devotions, obtained these rulers of the Manwantaras for his posterity.
vp.3.1 The unequalled energy of Vishnu combining with the quality of goodness, and effecting the preservation of created things, presides over all the Manwantaras in the form of a divinity. Of a portion of that divinity Yajna was born in the Swayambhuva Manwantara, the will begotten progeny of akuti 21. When the Swarochisha Manwantara had arrived, that divine Yajna was born as Ajita, along with the Tushita gods, the sons of Tushita. In the third Manwantara, Tushita was again born of Satya, as Satya, along with the class of deities so denominated. In the next period, Satya became Hari, along with the Haris, the
vp.3.1 children of Hari. The excellent Hari was again born in the Raivata Manwantara, of Sambhuti, as Manasa, along with the gods called Abhutarajasas. In the next period, Vishnu was born of Vikunthi, as Vaikuntha, along with the deities called Vaikunthas. In the present Manwantara, Vishnu was again born as Vamana, the son of Kasyapa by Aditi. With three paces he subdued the worlds, and gave them, freed from all embarrassment, to Purandara 22. These are the seven persons by whom, in the several Manwantaras, created beings have been protected. Because this whole world has been pervaded by the energy of the deity, he is entitled Vishnu, from the root Vis, to enter or pervade; for all the gods, the Manus, the seven Rishis, the sons of the Manus, the Indras the sovereigns of the gods, all are but the impersonated might of Vishnu.
vp.3.2 Of the seven future Manus and Manwantaras. Story of Sanjna and Chhaya, wives of the sun. Savarni, son of Chhaya, the eighth Manu. His successors, with the divinities, &c. of their respective periods. Appearance of Vishnu in each of the four Yugas.
vp.3.2 then brought Sanjna back to his own dwelling. To diminish his intensity, Viswakarman placed the luminary on his lathe, to grind off some of his effulgence; and in this manner reduced it an eighth, for more than that was inseparable 3. The parts of the divine Vaishnava splendour, residing in the sun, that were filed off by Viswakarman, fell blazing down upon the earth, and the artist constructed of them the discus of Vishnu, the trident of siva, the weapon 4 of the god of wealth, the lance of Kartikeya, and the weapons of the other gods: all these Viswakarman fabricated from the superfluous rays of the sun 5.
vp.3.2 The son of Chhaya, who was called also a Manu, was denominated Savarni 6, from being of the same caste Savarna() as his elder brother, the Manu Vaivaswata. He presides over the ensuing or eighth Manwantara; the particulars of which, and the following, I will now relate. In the period in which Savarni shall be the Manu, the classes of the gods will be Sutapas, Amitabhas, and Mukhyas; twenty one of each. The seven Rishis will be Diptimat, Galava, Rama, Kripa, Drauni; my son Vyasa will be the sixth, and the seventh will be Rishyasringa 7. The Indra will be Bali, the sinless son of Virochana, who through the favour of Vishnu is actually sovereign of part of Patala. The royal progeny of Savarni will be Virajas, Arvarivas, Nirmoha, and others.
vp.3.2 In the eleventh Manwantara the Manu will be Dharma savarni: the principal classes of gods will be the Vihangamas, Kamagamas, and Nirmanaratis, each thirty in number 9; of whom Vrisha will be the Indra: the Rishis will be Nischara, Agnitejas, Vapushman, Vishnu, aruni, Havishman, and Anagha: the kings of the earth, and sons of the Manu, will be Savarga, Sarvadharma, Devanika, and others.
vp.3.2 An entire Kalpa, oh Brahman, is said to comprise a thousand ages, or fourteen Manwantaras 13; and it is succeeded by a night of similar duration; during which, he who wears the form of Brahma, Janarddana, the substance of all things, the lord of all, and creator of all, involved in his own illusions, and having swallowed up the three spheres, sleeps upon the serpent sesha, amidst the ocean 14. Being after that awake, he, who is the universal soul, again creates all things as they were before, in combination with the property of foulness (or activity): and in a portion of his essence, associated with the property of goodness, he, as the Manus, the kings, the gods, and their Indras, as well as the seven Rishis, is the preserver of the world. In what manner Vishnu, who is characterised by the attribute of providence during the four ages, effected their preservation, I will next, Maitreya, explain.
vp.3.2 In the Krita age, Vishnu, in the form of Kapila and other inspired teachers, assiduous for the benefit of all creatures, imparts to them true wisdom. In the Treta age he restrains the wicked, in the form of a universal monarch, and protects the three worlds 15. In the Dwapara age, in the person of Veda vyasa, he divides the one Veda into four, and
vp.3.3 Maitreya. I have learnt from you, in due order, how this world is Vishnu; how it is in Vishnu; how it is from Vishnu: nothing further is to be known: but I should desire to hear how the Vedas were divided, in different ages, by that great being, in the form of Veda vyasa? who were the Vyasas of their respective eras? and what were the branches into which the Vedas were distributed?
vp.3.3 In every Dwapara (or third) age, Vishnu, in the person of Vyasa, in order to promote the good of mankind, divides the Veda, which is properly but one, into many portions: observing the limited perseverance, energy, and application of mortals, he makes the Veda fourfold, to adapt it to their capacities; and the bodily form which he assumes, in order to effect that classification, is known by the name of Veda vyasa. Of the different Vyasas in the present Manwantara 1, and the branches which they have taught, you shall have an account.
vp.3.5 meditated upon as the visible form of Vishnu, as the impersonation of the mystic Om: to him who nourishes the troops of the gods, having filled the moon with his rays; who feeds the Pitris with nectar and ambrosia, and who nourishes mankind with rain; who pours down or absorbs the waters in the time of the rains, of cold, and of heat. Glory be to Brahma, the sun, in the form of the three seasons: he who alone is the dispeller of the darkness of this earth, of which he is the sovereign lord: to the god who is clad in the raiment of purity be adoration. Glory to the sun, until whose rising man is incapable of devout acts, and water does not purify, and touched by whose rays the world is fitted for religious rites: to him who is the centre and source of purification. Glory to Savitri, to Surya, to Bhaskara, to Vivaswat, to aditya, to the first born of gods or demons. I adore the eye of the universe, borne in a golden car, whose banners scatter ambrosia."
vp.3.6 Accomplished in the purport of the Puranas, Vyasa compiled a Pauranik Sanhita, consisting of historical and legendary traditions, prayers and hymns, and sacred chronology 6. He had a distinguished disciple, Suta, also termed Romaharshana, and to him the great Muni communicated the Puranas. Suta had six scholars, Sumati, Agnivarchas, Mitrayu, sansapayana, Akritavrana, who is also called Kasyapa, and Savarni. The three last composed three fundamental Sanhitas; and Romaharshana himself compiled a fourth, called Romaharshanika. The substance of which four Sanhitas is collected into this Vishnu() Purana.
vp.3.6 acquainted with the Puranas enumerate eighteen, or the Brahma, Padma, Vaishnava, saiva, Bhagavata, Naradiya, Markandeya, agneya, Bhavishyat, Brahma Vaivartta, Lainga, Varaha, Skanda, Vamana, Kaurmma, Matsya, Garuda, Brahmanda. The creation of the world, and its successive reproductions, the genealogies of the patriarchs and kings, the periods of the Manus, and the transactions of the royal dynasties, are narrated in all these Puranas. This Purana which I have repeated to you, Maitreya, is called the Vaishnava, and is next in the series to the Padma; and in every part of it, in its narratives of primary and subsidiary creation, of families, and of periods, the mighty Vishnu is declared in this Purana 7.
vp.3.7 By what means men are exempted from the authority of Yama, as narrated by Bhishma to Nakula. Dialogue between Yama and one of his attendants. Worshippers of Vishnu not subject to Yama. How they are to be known.
vp.3.7 Yama" beholding one of his servants with his noose in his hand, whispered to him, and said, Keep clear of the worshippers of Madhusudana. I am the lord of all men, the Vaishnavas excepted. I was appointed by Brahma, who is reverenced by all the immortals, to restrain mankind, and regulate the consequences of good and evil in the universe. But be who obeys Hari, as his spiritual guide, is here independent of me; for Vishnu is of power to govern and control me. As gold is one substance still, however diversified as bracelets, tiaras, or earrings, so Hari is one and the same, although modified in the forms of gods, animals, and man. As the drops of water, raised by wind from the earth, sink into the earth again when the wind subsides, so the varieties of gods, men, and animals, which have been detached by the agitation of the qualities, are reunited, when that disturbance ceases, with the eternal. He who through holy knowledge diligently adores the lotus foot of that Hari, who is reverenced by the gods, is released from all the bonds of sin; and you must avoid him as you would avoid fire fed with oil.
vp.3.7 "Having heard these injunctions of Yama, the messenger addressed the lord of righteousness, and said, Tell me, master, how am I to distinguish the worshipper of Hari, who is the protector of all beings? Yama replied, You are to consider the worshipper of Vishnu, him who never deviates from the duties prescribed to his caste; who looks with equal indifference upon friend or enemy; who takes,; nothing (that is not his own), nor injures any being. Know that person of unblemished mind to be a worshipper of Vishnu. Know him to be a devout worshipper of Hari, who has placed Janarddana in his pure mind, which has been freed from fascination, and whose soul is undefiled by the soil of the Kali age. Know that excellent man to be a worshipper of Vishnu, who, looking upon gold in secret, holds that which is another s wealth but as grass, and devotes all his thoughts to the lord. Pure is he as a mountain
vp.3.7 of clear crystal; for how can Vishnu abide in the hearts of men with malice and envy, and other evil passions? the glowing heat of fire abides not in a cluster of the cooling rays of the moon. He who lives pure in thought, free from malice, contented, leading a holy life, feeling tenderness for all creatures, speaking wisely and kindly, humble and sincere, has Vasudeva ever present in his heart. As the young Sal tree by its beauty declares the excellence of the juices which it has imbibed from the earth, so when the eternal has taken up his abode in the bosom of any one, that man is lovely amidst the beings of this world. Depart, my servant, quickly from those men whose sins have been dispersed by moral and religious merit 2, whose minds are daily dedicated to the imperceptible deity, and who are exempt from pride, uncharitableness, and malice. In the heart in which the divine Hari, who is without beginning or end, abides, armed with a sword, a shell, and a mace, sin cannot remain; for it cannot coexist with that which destroys it, as darkness cannot continue in the world when the sun is shining. The eternal makes not his abode in the heart of that man who covets another s wealth, who injures living creatures, who speaks harshness and untruth, who is proud of his iniquity, and whose mind is evil. Janarddana occupies not his thoughts who envies another s prosperity, who calumniates the virtuous, who never sacrifices nor bestows gifts upon the pious, who is blinded by the
vp.3.7 erty of darkness. That vile wretch is no worshipper of Vishnu, who through avarice is unkind to his nearest friends and relations, to his wife, children, parents, and dependants. The brute like man whose thoughts are evil, who is addicted to unrighteous acts, who ever seeks the society of the wicked, and suffers no day to pass without the perpetration of crime, is no worshipper of Vasudeva. Do you proceed afar off from those in whose hearts Ananta is enshrined;
vp.3.7 from him whose sanctified understanding conceives the supreme male and ruler, Vasudeva, as one with his votary, and with all this world. Avoid those holy persons who are constantly invoking the lotus eyed Vasudeva, Vishnu, the supporter of the earth, the immortal wielder of the discus and the shell, the asylum of the world. Come not into the sight of him in whose heart the imperishable soul resides, for he is defended from my power by the discus of his deity: he is designed for another world (for the heaven of Vishnu).
vp.3.7 Such, said the Kalinga Brahman, were the instructions communicated by the deity of justice, the son of the sun, to his servants, as they were repeated to me by that holy personage, and as I have related them to you, chief of the house of Kuru Bhishma(). So also, Nakula, I have faithfully communicated to you all I heard from my pious friend, when he came from his country of Kalinga to visit me. I have thus explained to you, as was fitting, that there is no protection in the ocean of the world except Vishnu; and that the servants and ministers of Yama, the king of the dead himself, and his tortures, are all unavailing against one who places his reliance on that divinity."
vp.3.8 How Vishnu is to be worshipped, as related by Aurva to Sagara. Duties of the four castes, severally and in common: also in time of distress.
vp.3.8 Maitreya. Inform me, venerable teacher, how the supreme deity, the lord of the universe, Vishnu, is worshipped by those who are desirous of overcoming the world; and what advantages are reaped by men, assiduous in his adoration, from the propitiated Govinda.
vp.3.8 Sagara having bowed down before Aurva, the descendant of Bhrigu, asked him what were the best means of pleasing Vishnu, and what would be the consequence of obtaining his favour. Aurva replied, "He who pleases Vishnu obtains all terrestrial enjoyments; heaven and a place in heaven; and what is best of all, final liberation: whatever he wishes, and to whatever extent, whether much or little, he receives it, when Achyuta is content with him. In what manner his favour is to be secured, that also I will, oh king, impart to you, agreeably to your desire. The supreme Vishnu is propitiated by a man who observes the institutions of caste, order, and purificatory practices: no other path is the way to please him. He who offers sacrifices, sacrifices to him; he who murmurs prayer, prays to him; he who injures living creatures, injures him; for Hari is all beings. Janarddana therefore is propitiated by him
vp.3.8 who is attentive to established observances, and follows the duties prescribed for his caste. The Brahman, the Kshatriya, the Vaisya, and the sudra, who attends to the rules enjoined his caste, best worships Vishnu. Kesava is most pleased with him who does good to others; who never utters abuse, calumny, or untruth; who never covets another s wife or another s wealth, and who bears ill will towards none; who neither beats nor slays any animate or inanimate thing; who is ever diligent in the service of the gods, of the. Brahmans, and of his spiritual preceptor; who is always desirous of the welfare of all creatures, of his children, and of his own soul; in whose pure heart no pleasure is derived from the imperfections of love and hatred. The man, oh monarch, who conforms to the duties enjoined by scriptural authority for every caste and condition of life, is he who best worships Vishnu: there is no other mode."
vp.3.11 "Having then rinced his mouth, he is to offer water to the sun, touching his forehead with his hands joined, and with this prayer; Salutation to Vivaswat, the radiant, the glory of Vishnu; to the pure illuminator of the world; to Savitri, the granter of the fruit of acts. He is then to perform the worship of the house, presenting to his tutelary deity water, flowers, and incense. He is next to offer oblations with fire, not preceded by any other rite, to Brahma 8. Having invoked Prajapati, let him pour oblations reverently to his household gods, to Kasyapa and to Anumati 9, in succession. The residue of the oblation let him offer to
vp.3.11 the earth, to water, and to rain, in a pitcher at hand; and to Dhatri and Vidhatri at the doors of his house, and in the middle of it to Brahma. Let the wise man also offer the Bali, consisting of the residue of the oblations, to Indra, Yama, Varuna, and Soma, at the four cardinal points of his dwelling, the east and the rest; and in the north east quarter he will present it to Dhanwantari 10. After having thus worshipped the domestic deities, he will next offer part of the residue to all the gods (the Viswadevas); then, in the north west quarter, to Vayu (wind); then, in all directions, to the points of the horizon, to Brahma, to the atmosphere, and to the sun; to all the gods, to all beings, to the lords of beings, to the Pitris, to twilight. Then taking other rice 11, let the householder at pleasure cast it upon a clean spot of ground, as an offering to all beings, repeating with collected mind this prayer; May gods, men, animals, birds, saints, Yakshas, serpents, demons, ghosts, goblins, trees, all that desire food given by me; may ants, worms, moths, and other insects, hungered and bound in the bonds of acts; may all obtain satisfaction from the food left them by me, and enjoy happiness. May they who have neither mother, nor father, nor relations, nor food, nor the means of preparing it, be satisfied and pleased with the food presented for their contentment 12. Inasmuch as all beings, and this food, and I, and Vishnu are not different, I therefore give for their
vp.3.11 e digestion of the food of which I have eaten; may they grant me the happiness which its conversion into nutriment engenders; and may health ever animate my form! May Vishnu, who is the chief principle of all invested with bodily structure and the organs of sense, be propitiated by my faith in him, and influence the assimilation of the invigorating food which I
vp.3.11 have eaten! For verily Vishnu is the eater and the food and the nutriment: and through this belief may that which I have eaten be digested.
vp.3.17 Of heretics, or those who reject the authority of the Vedas: their origin, as described by Vasishtha to Bhishma: the gods, defeated by the Daityas, praise Vishnu: an illusory being, or Buddha, produced from his body.
vp.3.17 There was formerly a battle between the gods and demons, for the period of a divine year, in which the gods were defeated by the demons under the command of Hrada 2. The discomfited deities fled to the northern shore of the milky ocean, where engaging in religious penance they thus prayed to Vishnu: "May the first of beings, the divine Vishnu, be pleased with the words that we are about to address to him, in order to propitiate the lord of all worlds; from which mighty cause all created things have originated, and into whom they shall again dissolve! Who is able to declare his praise? We, who have been put to shame by the triumph of our foes, will glorify thee, although thy true power and might be not within the reach of words. Thou art earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, crude matter, and primeval soul: all this elementary creation, with or without visible form, is thy body; all, from Brahma to a stock, diversified by place and time. Glory to thee, who art Brahma, thy first form, evolved from the lotus springing from thy navel, for the purpose of creation. Glory to thee, who art Indra, the sun, Rudra, the Vasus, fire, the winds, and even also ourselves. Glory to they, Govinda, who art all demons, whose essence is arrogance and want of discrimination, unchecked by patience or self control. Glory to thee, who art the Yakshas, whose nature is charmed with sounds, and whose frivolous hearts perfect knowledge cannot pervade. Glory to thee, who art all fiends, that walk by
vp.3.17 When the mighty Vishnu heard their request, he emitted from his body an illusory form, which he gave to the gods, and thus spake This deceptive vision shall wholly beguile the Daityas, so that, being led astray from the path of the Vedas, they may be put to death; for all gods, demons, or others, who shall be opposed to the authority of the Veda, shall perish by my might, whilst exercised for the preservation of the world. Go then, and fear not: let this delusive vision precede you; it shall this day be of great service unto you, oh gods!"
vp.3.18 The foes of the gods being thus induced to apostatize from the religion of the Vedas, by the delusive person sent by Vishnu, became in their turn teachers of the same heresies, and perverted others; and these, again, communicating their principles to others, by whom they were still further disseminated, the Vedas were in a short time deserted by most of the Daitya race. Then the same deluder, putting on garments of a red colour, assuming a benevolent aspect, and speaking in soft and agreeable tones, addressed others of the same family, and said to them, "If; mighty demons, you cherish a desire either for heaven or for final repose, desist from the iniquitous massacre of animals (for sacrifice), and hear from me what you should do. Know that all that exists is composed of discriminative knowledge. Understand my words, for they have been uttered by the wise. This world subsists without support, and engaged in the pursuit of error, which it mistakes for knowledge, as well as vitiated by passion and the rest, revolves in the straits of existence." In this manner, exclaiming to them, "Know!" Budhyadwam(), and they replying, "It is known" Budhyate(), these Daityas were induced by the
vp.3.18 It is related that there was formerly a king named satadhanu, whose wife saivya was a woman of great virtue. She was devoted to her husband, benevolent, sincere, pure, adorned with every female excellence, with humility, and discretion. The Raja and his wife daily worshipped the god of gods, Janarddana, with pious meditations, oblations to fire, prayers, gifts, fasting, and every other mark of entire faith, and exclusive devotion. On one occasion, when they had fasted on the full moon of Kartika, and had bathed in the Bhagirathi, they beheld, as they came up from the water, a heretic approach them, who was the friend of the Raja s military preceptor. The Raja, out of respect to the latter, entered into conversation with the heretic; but not so did the princess; reflecting that she was observing a fast, she turned from him, and cast her eyes up to the sun. On their arrival at home, the husband and wife, as usual, performed the worship of Vishnu, agreeably to the ritual. After a time the Raja, triumphant over his enemies, died; and the princess ascended the funeral pile of her husband.
vp.4.1 Before the evolution of the mundane egg, existed Brahma, who was Hiranyagarbha, the form of that supreme Brahma which consists of Vishnu as identical with the Rig, Yajur, and Sama Vedas; the primeval, uncreated cause of all worlds. From the right thumb of Brahma was born the patriarch Daksha 3; his daughter was Aditi, who was the mother of the sun. The Manu Vaivaswata was the son of the celestial luminary; and his sons were Ikshwaku, Nriga, Dhrishta, saryati, Narishyanta, Pransu, Nabhaga, Nedishta, Karusha, and Prishadhra 4.
vp.4.1 was changed, and she became a man, named Sudyumna. At a subsequent period, in consequence of becoming subject to the effects of a malediction once pronounced by siva, Sudyumna was again transformed to a woman in the vicinity of the hermitage of Budha, the son of the deity of the moon. Budha saw and espoused her, and had by her a son named Pururavas. After his birth, the illustrious Rishis, desirous of restoring Sudyumna to his sex, prayed to the mighty Vishnu, who is the essence of the four Vedas, of mind, of every thing, and of nothing; and who is in the form of the sacrificial male; and through his favour Ila once more became Sudyumna, in which character he had three sons, Utkala, Gaya, and Vinata 6.
vp.4.1 d, tell me unto whom the maiden shall be given:" and the creator of the world, whose throne is the lotus, thus benignantly replied to the prince, as he stood bowed and humble before him: "The being of whose commencement, course, and termination, we are ignorant; the unborn and omnipresent essence of all things; he whose real and infinite nature and essence we do not know is the supreme Vishnu. He is time, made up of moments and hours and years; whose influence is the source of perpetual change. He is the universal form of all things, from birth to death. He is
vp.4.1 eternal, without name or shape. Through the favour of that imperishable being am I the agent of his power in creation: through his anger is Rudra the destroyer of the world: and the cause of preservation, Purusha, proceeds also from him. The unborn having assumed my person creates the world; in his own essence he provides for its duration; in the form of Rudra he devours all things; and with the body of Ananta he upholds them. Impersonated as Indra and the other gods he is the guardian of mankind; and as the sun and moon he disperses darkness. Taking upon himself the nature of fire he bestows warmth and maturity; and in the condition of the earth nourishes all beings. As one with air he gives activity to existence; and as one with water he satisfies all wants: whilst in the state of ether, associated with universal aggregation, he furnishes space for all objects. He is at once the creator, and that which is created; the preserver, and that which is preserved; the destroyer, and, as one with all things, that which is destroyed; and, as the indestructible, he is distinct from these three vicissitudes. In him is the world; he is the world; and he, the primeval self born, is again present in the world. That mighty Vishnu, who is paramount over all beings, is now in a portion of himself upon the earth. That city Kusasthali which was formerly your capital, and rivalled the city of the immortals, is now known as Dwaraka 32, and there reigns a portion of that divine being in the
vp.4.2 In the Treta age a violent war 11 broke out between the gods and the Asuras, in which the former were vanquished. They consequently had recourse to Vishnu for assistance, and propitiated him by their adorations. The eternal ruler of the universe, Narayana, had compassion upon them, and said, "What you desire is known unto me. Hear how your wishes shall be fulfilled. There is an illustrious prince named Puranjaya, the son of a royal sage; into his person I will infuse a portion of myself, and having descended upon earth I will in his person subdue all your enemies. Do you therefore endeavour to secure the aid
vp.4.2 The son of Kakutstha was Anenas 13, whose son was Prithu, whose son was Viswagaswa 14, whose son was ardra 15, whose son was Yuvanaswa, whose son was sravasta, by whom the city of sravasti 16 was founded. The son of sravasta was Vrihadaswa, whose son was Kuvalayaswa. This prince, inspired with the spirit of Vishnu, destroyed the Asura Dhundhu, who had harassed the pious sage Uttanka; and he was thence entitled Dhundhumara 17. In his conflict with the demon
vp.4.2 uld one so fall whose observances are incomplete? My intellect has been a prey to the desire of married happiness; but I will now so exert myself for the salvation of my soul, that, exempt from human imperfections, I may be exonerated from human sufferings. To that end I will propitiate, by arduous penance, Vishnu, the creator of the universe, whose form is inscrutable, who is smaller than the smallest, larger than the largest, the source of darkness and of light, the sovereign god of gods. On his everlasting body, which is both discrete and indiscrete substance, illimitably mighty, and identical with the universe, may my mind, wholly free from sin, be ever steadily intent, so that I may be born no more. To him I fly for refuge; to that Vishnu, who is the teacher of teachers, who is one with all beings, the pure eternal lord of all, without beginning, middle, or end, and besides whom is nothing."
vp.4.4 Asamanjas was from his boyhood of very irregular conduct. His father hoped that as he grew up to manhood he would reform; but finding that he continued guilty of the same immorality, Sagara abandoned him. The sixty thousand sons of Sagara followed the example of their brother Asamanjas. The path of virtue and piety being obstructed in the world by the sons of Sagara, the gods repaired to the Muni Kapila, who was a portion of Vishnu, free from fault, and endowed with all true wisdom. Having approached him with respect, they said, "O lord, what will become of the world, if these sons of Sagara are permitted to go on in the evil ways which they have learned from Asamanjas! Do thou, then, assume a visible form, for the protection of the afflicted
vp.4.4 son, deliver the horse to your grandfather; and demand a boon; thy grandson shall bring down the river of heaven on the earth." Ansumat requested as a boon that his uncles, who had perished through the sage s displeasure, might, although unworthy of it, be raised to heaven through his favour. "I have told you," replied Kapila, "that your grandson shall bring down upon earth the Ganges of the gods; and when her waters shall wash the bones and ashes of thy grandfather s sons, they shall be raised to Swarga. Such is the efficacy of the stream that flows from the toe of Vishnu, that it confers heaven upon all who bathe in it designedly, or who even become accidentally immersed in it: those even shall obtain Swarga, whose bones, skin, fibres, hair, or any other part, shall be left after death upon the earth which is contiguous to the Ganges." Having acknowledged reverentially the kindness of the sage, Ansumat returned to his grandfather, and delivered to him the horse. Sagara, on recovering the steed, completed his sacrifice; and in affectionate memory of his sons, denominated Sagara the chasm which they had dug 4.
vp.4.4 Having thus, by their unequalled valour and might, rescued the whole world from the dominion of malignant fiends, Rama, Lakshmana, Bharata, and satrughna reascended to heaven, and were followed by those of the people of Kosala who were fervently devoted to these incarnate portions of the supreme Vishnu.
vp.4.11 I WILL first relate to you the family of Yadu, the eldest son of Yayati, in which the eternal immutable Vishnu descended upon earth in a portion of his essence 1; of which the glory cannot be described, though for ever hymned in order to confer the fruit of all their wishes whether they desired virtue, wealth, pleasure, or liberation upon all created beings, upon men, saints, heavenly quiristers, spirits of evil, nymphs, centaurs, serpents, birds, demons, gods, sages, Brahmans, and ascetics. Whoever hears the account of the race of Yadu shall be released from all sin; for the supreme spirit, that is without form, and which is called Vishnu, was manifested in this family.
vp.4.11 was Bhadrasena 8; his son was Durdama; his son was Dhanaka 9, who had four sons, Kritaviryya, Kritagni, Kritavarman, and Kritaujas. Kritaviryya s son was Arjuna, the sovereign of the seven Dwipas, the lord of a thousand arms. This prince propitiated the sage Dattatreya, the descendant of Atri, who was a portion of Vishnu, and solicited and obtained from him these boons a thousand arms; never acting unjustly; subjugation of the world by justice, and protecting it equitably; victory over his enemies; and death by the hands of a person renowned in the three regions of the universe. With these means he ruled over the whole earth with might and justice, and offered ten thousand sacrifices. Of him this verse is still recited; "The kings of the earth will assuredly never pursue his steps in sacrifice, in munificence, in devotion, in courtesy, and in self control." In his reign nothing was lost or injured; and so he governed the whole earth with undiminished health, prosperity, power, and might, for eighty five thousand years. Whilst sporting in the waters of the Narmada, and elevated with wine, Ravana came on his tour of triumph to the city Mahishmati, and there he who boasted of overthrowing the gods, the Daityas, the Gandharbas and their king, was taken prisoner by Karttavirya, and confined like a tame beast in a corner of his capital 10. At the expiration of his long reign Karttavirya was killed by Parasurama, who was an embodied portion of the mighty Narayana 11. Of the
vp.4.15 Explanation of the reason why sisupala in his previous births as Hiranyakasipu and Ravana was not identified with Vishnu on being slain by him, and was so identified when killed as sisupala. The wives of Vasudeva: his children: Balarama and Krishna his sons by Devaki: born apparently of Rohini and Yasoda. The wives and children of Krishna. Multitude of the descendants of Yadu.
vp.4.15 Maitreya. Most eminent of all who cultivate piety, I am curious to hear from you, and you are able to explain to me, how it happened that the same being who when killed by Vishnu as Hiranyakasipu and Ravana obtained enjoyments which, though scarcely attainable by the immortals, were but temporary, should have been absorbed into the eternal Hari when slain by him in the person of sisupala.
vp.4.15 Parasara. When the divine author of the creation, preservation, and destruction of the universe accomplished the death of Hiranyakasipu, he assumed a body composed of the figures of a lion and a man, so that Hiranyakasipu was not aware that his destroyer was Vishnu: although therefore the quality of purity, derived from exceeding merit, had been attained, yet his mind was perplexed by the predominance of the property of passion; and the consequence of that intermixture was, that he reaped, as the result of his death by the hands of Vishnu, only unlimited power and enjoyment upon earth, as Dasanana, the sovereign of the three spheres; he did not obtain absorption into the supreme spirit, that is without beginning or end, because his mind was not wholly dedicated to that sole object. So also Dasanana being entirely subject to the passion of love, and engrossed completely by the thoughts of Janaki, could not comprehend that the son of Dasaratha whom he beheld was in reality the divine Achyuta. At the moment of his death he was impressed with the notion that his adversary was a mortal, and therefore the fruit he derived from being slain by Vishnu was confined to his birth in the illustrious family of the kings of Chedi, and the exercise of extensive dominion. In this situation many circumstances brought the names of Vishnu to his notice, and on all these occasions the enmity that had accumulated through successive births influenced his
vp.4.15 mind; and in speaking constantly with disrespect of Achyuta, he was ever repeating his different appellations. Whether walking, eating, sitting, or sleeping, his animosity was never at rest, and Krishna was ever present to his thoughts in his ordinary semblance, having eyes as beautiful as the leaf of the lotus, clad in bright yellow raiment, decorated with a garland, with bracelets on his arms and wrists, and a diadem on his head; having four robust arms, bearing the conch, the discus, the mace, and the lotus. Thus uttering his names, even though in malediction, and dwelling upon his image, though in enmity, he beheld Krishna, when inflicting his death, radiant with resplendent weapons, bright with ineffable splendour in his own essence as the supreme being, and all his passion and hatred ceased, and he was purified front every defect. Being killed by the discus of Vishnu at the instant he thus meditated, all his sins were consumed by his divine adversary, and he was blended with him by whose might he had been slain. I have thus replied to your inquiries. He by whom the divine Vishnu is named or called to recollection, even in enmity, obtains a reward that is difficult of attainment to the demons and the gods: how much greater shall be his recompense who glorifies the deity in fervour and in faith!
vp.4.15 When Devaki was pregnant the seventh time, Yoganidra (the sleep of devotion), sent by Vishnu, extricated the embryo from its maternal womb at midnight, and transferred it to that of Rohini; and from having been thus taken away, the child (who was Balarama) received the name of Sankarshana. Next, the divine Vishnu himself, the root of the vast universal tree, inscrutable by the understandings of all gods, demons, sages, and men, past, present, or to come, adored by Brahma and all the deities, he who is without beginning, middle, or end, being moved to relieve the earth of her load, descended into the womb of Devaki, and was born as her son Vasudeva. Yoganidra, proud to execute his orders, removed the embryo to Yasoda, the wife of Nanda the cowherd. At his birth the earth was relieved from all iniquity; the sun, moon, and planets shone with unclouded splendour; all fear of calamitous portents was dispelled; and universal happiness prevailed. From the moment he appeared, all mankind were led into the righteous path in him.
vp.4.15 In this manner the descendants of Yadu multiplied, and there were many hundreds of thousands of them, so that it would be impossible to repeat their names in hundreds of years. Two verses relating to them are current: "The domestic instructors of the boys in the use of arms amounted to three crores and eighty lacs (or thirty eight millions). Who shall enumerate the whole of the mighty men of the Yadava race, who were tens of ten thousands and hundreds of hundred thousands in number?" Those powerful Daityas who were killed in the conflicts between them and the gods were born again upon earth as men, as tyrants and oppressors; and, in order to check their violence, the gods also descended to the world of mortals, and became members of the hundred and one branches of the family of Yadu. Vishnu was to them a teacher and a ruler, and all the Yadavas were obedient to his commands.
vp.4.15 Whoever listens frequently to this account of the origin of the heroes of the race of Vrishni, shall be purified from all sin, and obtain the sphere of Vishnu.
vp.4.24 Future kings of Magadha. Five princes of the line of Pradyota. Ten saisunagas. Nine Nandas. Ten Mauryas. Ten sungas. Four Kanwas. Thirty andhrabhrityas. Kings of various tribes and castes, and periods of their rule. Ascendancy of barbarians. Different races in different regions. Period of universal iniquity and decay. Coming of Vishnu as Kalki. Destruction of the wicked, and restoration of the practices of the Vedas. End of the Kali, and return of the Krita, age. Duration of the Kali. Verses chanted by Earth, and communicated by Asita to Janaka. End of the fourth book.
vp.4.24 [paragraph continues] Parikshit they were in Magha, and the Kali age then commenced, which consists of 1200 (divine) years. When the portion of Vishnu (that had been born from Vasudeva) returned to heaven, then the Kali age commenced. As long as the earth was touched by his sacred feet, the Kali age could not affect it. As soon as the incarnation of the eternal Vishnu had departed, the son of Dharma, Yudhishthira, with his brethren, abdicated the sovereignty. Observing unpropitious portents, consequent upon Krishna s disappearance, he placed Parikshit upon the throne. When the seven Rishis are in Purvashadha, then Nanda will begin to reign 83, and thenceforward the influence of the Kali will augment.
vp.4.24 These were the verses, Maitreya, which Earth recited, and by listening to which ambition fades away like snow before the sun. I have now related to you the whole account of the descendants of the Manu; amongst whom have flourished kings endowed with a portion of Vishnu, engaged in the preservation of the earth. Whoever shall listen reverently and with faith to this narrative, proceeding from the posterity of Manu, shall be purified entirely from all his sins, and, with the perfect possession of his faculties, shall live in unequalled affluence, plenty, and prosperity. He who has heard of the races of the sun and moon, of Ikshwaku., Jahnu, Mandhatri, Sagara, and Raghu, who have all perished; of Yayati, Nahusha, and their posterity, who are no more; of kings of great might, resistless valour, and unbounded wealth, who have been overcome by still more powerful time, and are now only a tale; he will learn wisdom, and forbear to call either children, or wife, or house, or
vp.5.1 The death of Kansa announced. Earth, oppressed by the Daityas, applies to the gods. They accompany her to Vishnu, who promises to give her relief. Kansa imprisons Vasudeva and Devaki. Vishnu s instructions to Yoganidra.
vp.5.1 now to hear a more particular description, holy Rishi, of the portion of Vishnu 2 that came down upon earth, and was born in the family of Yadu. Tell me also what actions he performed in his descent, as a part of a part of the supreme, upon the earth 3.
vp.5.1 have requested; the birth of a part of a part of Vishnu, and the benefits which his actions conferred upon the world.
vp.5.1 At that time, Earth, overburdened by her load, repaired to mount Meru to an assembly of the gods, and addressing the divinities, with Brahma at their head, related in piteous accents all her distress. Agni"," said Earth, "is the progenitor of gold; Surya, of rays of light 5: the parent and guide of me and of all spheres is the supreme Narayana, who is Brahma, the lord of the lord of patriarchs; the eldest of the eldest born; one with minutes and hours; one with time; having form, though indiscrete. This assemblage of yourselves, O gods, is but a part of him. The sun, the winds, the saints, the Rudras, the Vasus, the Aswins, fire, the patriarch creators of the universe, of whom Atri is the first, all are but forms of the mighty and inscrutable Vishnu. The Yakshas, Rakshasas, Daityas, spirits of evil, serpents, and children of Danu, the singers and nymphs of heaven, are forms of the great spirit, Vishnu. The heavens painted with planets, constellations, and stars; fire, water, wind, and myself, and every perceptible thing; the whole universe itself consists of Vishnu. The multifarious forms of that manifold being encounter
vp.5.1 and succeed one another, night and day, like the waves of the sea. At this present season many demons, of whom Kalanemi is the chief, have overrun, and continually harrass, the region of mortals. The great Asura Kalanemi 6, that was killed by the powerful Vishnu, has revived in Kansa, the son of Ugrasena, and many other mighty demons, more than I can enumerate, as Arishta, Dhenuka, Kesin, Pralamba, Naraka, Sunda, and the fierce Bana, the son of Bali 7, are born in the palaces of kings. Countless hosts of proud and powerful spirits, chiefs of the demon race, assuming celestial forms, now walk the earth; and, unable to support myself beneath the incumbent load, I come to you for succour. Illustrious deities, do you so act that I may be relieved from my burden, lest helpless I sink into the nethermost abyss."
vp.5.1 The Muni Narada informed Kansa that the supporter of the earth, Vishnu, would be the eighth child of Devaki; and his wrath being excited by this report, he placed both Vasudeva and Devaki in confinement. Agreeably to his promise, the former delivered to Kansa each infant as soon as it was born. It is said that these, to the number of six, were the children of the demon Hiranyakasipu, who were introduced into the womb of Devaki, at the command of Vishnu, during the hours of Devaki s repose, by the goddess Yoganidra 24, the great illusory energy of Vishnu, by whom, as utter ignorance, the whole world is beguiled. To her Vishnu said, "Go, Nidra, to the nether regions, and by my command conduct successively six of their princes to be conceived of Devaki. When these shall have been put to death by Kansa, the seventh conception shall be formed of a portion of sesha, who is a part of me; and this you shall transfer, before the time of birth, to Rohini, another wife of Vasudeva, who resides at Gokula. The report shall run, that Devaki miscarries, through the anxiety of imprisonment, and dread of the Raja of the Bhojas. From being extracted from his mother s womb, the child shall be known by the name of Sankarshana, and he shall be valiant and strong, and like the peak of the white mountain in
vp.5.2 THE nurse of the universe, Jagaddhatri, thus enjoined by the god of gods, conveyed the six several embryos into the womb of Devaki 1, and transferred the seventh after a season to that of Rohini; after which, Hari, for the benefit of the three regions, became incarnate as the conception of the former princess, and Yoganidra as that of Yasoda, exactly as the supreme Vishnu had commanded. When the portion of Vishnu had become incorporate upon earth, the planetary bodies moved in brilliant order in the heavens, and the seasons were regular and genial. No person could bear to gaze upon Devaki, from the light that invested her; and those who contemplated her radiance felt their minds disturbed. The gods, invisible to mortals, celebrated her praises continually from the time that Vishnu was contained in her person. "Thou," said the divinities, "art that Prakriti, infinite and subtile, which formerly bore Brahma in its womb: then wast thou the goddess of speech, the energy of the creator of the universe, and the parent of the Vedas. Thou, eternal being, comprising in thy substance the essence of all created things, wast identical with creation: thou wast the parent of the triform sacrifice, becoming the germ of all things: thou art sacrifice, whence all fruit proceeds: thou art the wood, whose attrition engenders fire. As Aditi, thou art the parent of the gods; as Diti, thou art the mother of the Daityas, their foes. Thou art light, whence day is begotten: thou art humility, the
vp.5.2 and thousands more, are thy mighty faculties; and now innumerable are the contents of thy womb, O mother of the universe. The whole earth, decorated with oceans, rivers, continents, cities, villages, hamlets, and towns; all the fires, waters, and winds; the stars, asterisms, and planets; the sky, crowded with the variegated chariots of the gods, and ether, that provides space for all substance; the several spheres of earth, sky, and heaven; of saints, sages, ascetics, and of Brahma; the whole egg of Brahma, with all its population of gods, demons, spirits, snake gods, fiends, demons, ghosts, and imps, men and animals, and whatever creatures have life, comprised in him who is their eternal lord, and the object of all apprehension; whose real form, nature, name, and dimensions are not within human apprehension are now with that Vishnu in thee. Thou art Swaha; thou art Swadha; thou art wisdom, ambrosia, light, and heaven. Thou hast descended upon earth for the preservation of the world. Have compassion upon us, O goddess, and do good unto the world. Be proud to bear that deity by whom the universe is upheld."
vp.5.5 head; he gave him also an amulet 3, saying at the same time, "May Hari, the lord of all beings without reserve, protect you; he from the lotus of whose navel the world was developed, and on the tip of whose tusks the globe was upraised from the waters. May that Kesava, who assumed the form of a boar, protect thee. May that Kesava, who, as the man lion, rent with his sharp nails the bosom of his foe, ever protect thee. May that Kesava, who, appearing first as the dwarf, suddenly traversed in all his might, with three paces, the three regions of the universe, constantly defend thee. May Govinda guard thy head; Kesava thy neck; Vishnu thy belly; Janarddana thy legs and feet; the eternal and irresistible Narayana thy face, thine arms, thy mind, and faculties of sense. May all ghosts, goblins, and spirits malignant and unfriendly, ever fly thee, appalled by the bow, the discus, mace, and sword of Vishnu, and the echo of his shell. May Vaikuntha guard thee in the cardinal points; and in the intermediate ones, Madhusudana. May Rishikesa defend thee in the sky, and Mahidhara upon earth." Having pronounced this prayer to avert all evil, Nanda put the child to sleep in his bed underneath the waggon. Beholding the vast carcass of Putana, the cowherds were filled with astonishment and terror.
vp.5.10 raint, and has acquired undisturbed tranquillity of spirit. Every where the waters were as clear and pure as the minds of the wise, who behold Vishnu in all things. The autumnal sky was wholly free from clouds, like the heart of the ascetic, whose care s have been consumed by the fire of devotion. The moon allayed the fervours of the sun, as discrimination alleviates the pain to which egotism gives birth. The clouds of the atmosphere, the muddiness of the earth, the discoloration of the waters, were all removed by autumn, as abstraction detaches the senses
vp.5.13 passion, as her irregular footmarks testify? Here Damodara has gathered flowers from on high, for we see alone the impressions of the tips of his feet. Here a nymph has sat down with him, ornamented with flowers, fortunate in having propitiated Vishnu in a prior existence. Having left her in an arrogant mood, because he had offered her flowers, the son of Nanda has gone by this road; for see, unable to follow him with equal steps, his associate has here tripped along upon her toes, and, holding his hand, the damsel has passed, as is evident from the uneven and intermingled footsteps. But the rogue has merely taken her hand, and left her neglected, for here the paces indicate the path of a person in despair. Undoubtedly he promised that he would quickly come again, for here are his own footsteps returning with speed. Here he has entered the thick forest, impervious to the rays of the moon, and his steps can be traced no farther." Hopeless then of beholding Krishna, the Gopis returned, and repaired to the banks of the Yamuna, where they sang his songs; and presently they beheld the preserver of the three worlds, with a smiling aspect, hastening towards them: on which, one exclaimed, Krishna"! Krishna!" unable to articulate any thing else: another affected to contract her forehead with frowns, as drinking with the bees of her eyes the lotus of the face of Hari: another, closing her eyelids, contemplated internally his form, as if engaged in an act of devotion. Then Madhava,
vp.5.15 or me, perform my orders. Ascend your chariot, and go hence to the station of the herdsman Nanda. Two vile boys, portions of Vishnu, have been born there, for the express object of effecting my destruction. On the fourteenth lunation I have to celebrate the festival of arms 2, and I wish them to be brought here by
vp.5.17 AKRURA, having set off in his quick travelling car, proceeded to visit Krishna at the pastures of Nanda; and, as he went along, he congratulated himself on his superior good fortune, in having an opportunity of beholding a descended portion of the deity. "Now," thought he, "has my life borne fruit; my night is followed by the dawn of day; since I shall see the countenance of Vishnu, whose eyes are like the expanded leaf of the lotus. I shall behold that lotus eyed aspect of Vishnu, which, when seen only in imagination, takes away the sins of men. I shall to day behold that glory of glories, the mouth of Vishnu, whence proceeded the Vedas, and all their dependant sciences. I shall see the sovereign of the world, by whom the world is sustained; who is worshipped as the best of males, as the male of sacrifice in sacrificial rites. I shall see Kesava, who is without beginning or end; by worshipping whom with a hundred sacrifices, Indra obtained the sovereignty over the gods. That Hari, whose nature is unknown to Brahma, Indra, Rudra, the Aswins, the Vasus, adityas, and Maruts, will this day touch my body. The soul of all, the knower of all, he who is all, and is present in all, he who is permanent, undecaying, all pervading, will converse with me. He, the unborn, who has preserved the world in the various forms of a fish, a tortoise, a boar, a horse 1, a lion, will this day speak to me. Now the lord of the earth, who assumes shapes at will, has taken upon him the condition of
vp.5.17 name. Glory to that being, whose deceptive adoption of father, son, brother, friend, mother, and relative, the world is unable to penetrate. Glory to him, who is one with true knowledge, who is inscrutable, and through whom, seated in his heart, the Yogi crosses the wide expanse of worldly ignorance and illusion. I bow to him, who, by the performers of holy rites, is called the male of sacrifice Yajnapurusha(); by pious worshippers is termed Vasudeva; and by the cultivators of philosophy, Vishnu. May he in whom cause and effect, and the world itself, is comprehended, be propitious to me, through his truth; for always do I put my trust in that unborn, eternal Hari; by meditation on whom, man becomes the repository of all good things."
vp.5.17 irresistible discus, blazing with all the flames of fire, lightning, and the sun, and slaughtering the demon host washes the collyrium from the eyes of their brides: that hand into which Bali poured water, and thence obtained ineffable enjoyments below the earth, and immortality and dominion over the gods for a whole Manwantara, without peril from a foe. "Alas! he will despise me, for my connexion with Kansa, an associate with evil, though not contaminated by it. How vain is his birth, who is shunned by the virtuous? and yet what is there in this world unknown to him who resides in the hearts of all men, who is ever existent, exempt from imperfection, the aggregate of the quality of purity, and identical with true knowledge? With a heart wholly devoted to him, then, I will approach the lord of all lords, the descended portion of Purushottama, of Vishnu, who is without beginning, middle, or end."
vp.5.18 Grief of the Gopis on the departure of Krishna and Balarama with Akrura: their leaving Gokula. Akrura bathes in the Yamuna; beholds the divine forms of the two youths, and praises Vishnu.
vp.5.18 Salutation" to thee, who art uniform and manifold, all pervading, supreme spirit, of inconceivable glory, and who art simple existence. Salutation to thee, O inscrutable, who art truth, and the essence of oblations. Salutation to thee, O lord, whose nature is unknown, who art beyond primeval matter, who existest in five forms, as one with the elements, with the faculties, with matter, with the living soul, with supreme spirit. Shew favour to me, O soul of the universe, essence of all things, perishable or eternal, whether addressed by the designation of Brahma, Vishnu, siva, or the like. I adore thee, O god, whose nature is indescribable, whose purposes are inscrutable, whose name even is unknown; for the attributes of kind or appellation are not applicable to thee, who art THAT 6, the supreme Brahma, eternal, unchangeable, untreated. But as the accomplishment of our objects cannot be attained except through some specific form, thou art termed by us Krishna, Achyuta, Ananta, or Vishnu. Thou, unborn divinity, art all the objects of these impersonations; thou art the gods, and all other beings; thou art the whole world; thou art all. Soul of the universe, thou art exempt from change, and there is nothing except thee in all this existence. Thou art Brahma, Pasupati, aryaman, Dhatri, and Vidhatri; thou art Indra, air, fire, the regent of the waters, the god of wealth, and judge of the dead; and thou, although but one, presidest over the world with various energies, addressed to
vp.5.20 felled! This is the boy who trampled and danced on the serpent Kaliya; who upheld the mountain Govarddhana for seven nights; who killed, as if in play, the iniquitous Arishta, Dhenuka, and Kesin! This whom we see is Achyuta! This is he who has been foretold by the wise, skilled in the sense of the Puranas, as Gopala, who shall exalt the depressed Yadava race! This is a portion of the all existing, all generating Vishnu, descended upon earth, who will assuredly lighten her load!" Thus did the citizens describe Rama and Krishna, as soon as they appeared; whilst the breast of Devaki glowed with maternal affection; and Vasudeva, forgetting his infirmities, felt himself young again, on beholding the countenances of his sons as a season of rejoicing. The women of the palace, and the wives of the citizens, wide opened their eyes, and gazed intently upon Krishna. "Look, friends," said they to their companions; "look at the face of Krishna; his eyes are reddened by his conflict with the elephant, and the drops of perspiration stand upon his cheeks, outvieing a full blown lotus in autumn, studded with glittering dew. Avail yourself now of the faculty of vision. Observe his breast, the seat of splendour, marked with the mystic sign; and his arms, menacing destruction to his foes. Do you not notice Balabhadra, dressed in a blue garment; his countenance as fair as the jasmine, as the moon, as the fibres of the lotus stem? See how he gently smiles at the gestures of Mushtika and Chanura,
vp.5.20 world. That, for the punishment of the rebellious, thou hast descended upon earth in my house, having been propitiated by my prayers, sanctifies our race. Thou art the heart of all creatures; thou abidest in all creatures; and all that has been, or will be, emanates from thee, O universal spirit! Thou, Achyuta, who comprehendest all the gods, art eternally worshipped with sacrifices: thou art sacrifice itself, and the offerer of sacrifices. The affection that inspires my heart and the heart of Devaki towards thee, as if thou wast our child, is indeed but error, and a great delusion. How shall the tongue of a mortal such as I am call the creator of all things, who is without beginning or end, son? Is it consistent that the lord of the world, from whom the world proceeds, should be born of me, except through illusion? How should he, in whom all fixed and moveable things are contained, be conceived in the womb and born of a mortal being? Have compassion therefore indeed, O supreme lord, and in thy descended portions protect the universe. Thou art no son of mine. This whole world, from Brahma to a tree, thou art. Wherefore dost thou, who art one with the supreme, beguile us? Blinded by delusion, I thought thee my son; and for thee, who art beyond all fear, I dreaded the anger of Kansa, and therefore did I take thee in my terror to Gokula, where thou hast grown up; but I no longer claim thee as mine own. Thou, Vishnu, the sovereign lord of all, whose actions Rudra, the Maruts,
vp.5.22 Although the wicked king of Magadha, Jarasandha, was defeated, yet Krishna knew that whilst he escaped alive he was not subdued; and in fact he soon returned with a mighty force, and was again forced by Rama and Krishna to fly. Eighteen times 3 did the haughty prince of Magadha renew his attack upon the Yadavas, headed by Krishna; and was as often defeated and put to the rout by them, with very inferior numbers. That the Yadavas were not overpowered by their foes, was owing to the present might of the portion of the discus armed Vishnu.
vp.5.23 Having burnt up the iniquitous Yavana, and beholding the foe of Madhu, Muchukunda asked him who he was. "I am born," he replied, "in the lunar race, in the tribe of Yadu, and am the son of Vasudeva." Muchukunda, recollecting the prophecy of old Garga, fell down before the lord of all, Hari, saying, "Thou art known, supreme lord, to be a portion of Vishnu; for it was said of old by Garga, that at the end of the twenty eighth Dwapara age Hari would be born in the family of Yadu. Thou art he, without doubt, the benefactor of mankind; for thy glory I am unable to endure. Thy words are of deeper tone than the muttering of the rain cloud; and earth sinks down beneath the pressure of thy feet. As in the battle between the gods and demons the Asuras were unable to sustain my lustre, so even am I incapable of bearing thy radiance. Thou alone art the refuge of every living being who has lighted on the world. Do thou, who art the alleviator of all distress, shew favour upon me, and remove from me all that is evil. Thou art the oceans, the mountains, the rivers, the forests: thou art earth, sky, air, water, and fire: thou art mind, intelligence, the unevolved principle, the vital airs, the lord of life the soul; all that is beyond the soul; the all pervading; exempt from the vicissitudes of birth; devoid of sensible
vp.5.27 Parasara. When Pradyumna was but six days old, he was stolen from the lying in chamber by Sambara, terrible as death; for the demon foreknew that Pradyumna, if he lived, would be his destroyer. Taking away the boy, Sambara cast him into the ocean, swarming with monsters, into a whirlpool of roaring waves, the haunt of the huge creatures of the deep. A large fish swallowed the child, but he died not, and was born anew from its belly 1: for that fish, with others, was caught by the fishermen, and delivered by them to the great Asura Sambara. His wife Mayadevi, the mistress of his household, superintended the operations of the cooks, and saw, when the fish was cut open, a beautiful child, looking like a new shoot of the blighted tree of love. Whilst wondering who this should be, and how he could have got into the belly of the fish, Narada came to satisfy her curiosity, and said to the graceful dame, "This is the son of him by whom the whole world is created and destroyed, the son of Vishnu, who was stolen by Sambara from the lying in chamber, and tossed by him into the sea, where he was swallowed by the fish. He is now in thy power; do thou, beautiful woman, tenderly rear this jewel of mankind." Thus counselled by Narada, Mayadevi took charge of the boy, and carefully reared him from childhood, being fascinated by the beauty of his person. Her affection became still more impassioned when he was decorated with the bloom of adolescence. The gracefully moving Mayavati then,
vp.5.27 Observing these marks of passionate affection, the son of Krishna said to the lotus eyed Mayadevi, "Why do you indulge in feelings so unbecoming the character of a mother?" To which she replied, "Thou art not a son of mine; thou art the son of Vishnu, whom Kala Sambara carried away, and threw into the sea: thou vast swallowed by a fish, but wast rescued by me from its belly. Thy fond mother, O beloved, is still weeping for thee." When the valiant Pradyumna heard this, he was filled with wrath, and defied Sambara to battle. In the conflict that ensued, the son of Madhava slew the whole host of Sambara. Seven times he foiled the delusions of the enchanter, and making himself master of the eighth, turned it against Sambara, and killed him. By the same faculty he ascended into the air, and proceeded to his father s house, where he alighted, along with Mayavati, in the inner apartments. When the women beheld Pradyumna, they thought it was Krishna himself. Rukmini, her eyes dimmed with tears, spoke tenderly to him, and said, "Happy is she who has a son like this, in the bloom of youth. Such would be the age of my son Pradyumna, if he was alive. Who is the fortunate mother adorned by thee? and yet from thy appearance, and from the affection I feel for thee, thou art assuredly the son of Hari."
vp.5.30 Garuda, laden with the umbrella of Varuna and the jewel mountain, and bearing Hrishikesa on his back to the court of Indra, went lightly, as if in sport, along. When they arrived at the portals of Swarga, Hari blew his shell; on which the gods advanced to meet him, bearing respectful offerings. Having received the homage of the divinities, Krishna went to the palace of the mother of the gods, whose turrets resembled white clouds; and on beholding Aditi, paid his respects to her, along with sakra; and, presenting to her her own earrings, informed her of the destruction of the demon Naraka. The mother of the world, well pleased, then fixed her whole thoughts upon Hari, the creator, and thus pronounced his praise: Glory" to thee, O god with the lotus eyes, who removest all fear from those that worship thee. Thou art the eternal, universal, and living soul; the origin of all beings; the instigator of the mental faculty, and faculties of sense; one with the three qualities; beyond the three qualities; exempt from contraries; pure; existing in the hearts of all; void of colour, extension, and every transient modification; unaffected by the vicissitudes of birth or death, sleep or waking. Thou art evening, night, and day; earth, sky, air, water, and fire; mind, intellect, and individuality. Thou art the agent of creation, duration, and dissolution; the master over the agent; in thy forms which are called Brahma, Vishnu, and siva. Thou art gods, Yakshas, Daityas, Rakshasas,
vp.5.30 the world, originating in thy active agency. Those men who, attentive to their duties, diligently worship thee, traverse all this illusion, and obtain spiritual freedom. Brahma and all the gods, men and animals, are alike invested by the thick darkness of fascination, in the gulf of the illusions of Vishnu. That men, who having worshipped thee, should seek the gratification of their desires, and their own preservation, this, O lord, is also thy delusion. It is the sport of thy fascinations that induces men to glorify thee, to obtain thereby the continuance of their race, or the annihilation of their enemies, instead of eternal liberation. It is the fault of the impure acts of the unrighteous (to proffer such idle requests to one able to confer such more important benefits), like asking for a rag to cover one s nakedness from the tree that bestows whatever is solicited. Be propitious then, imperishable author of all the error that deceives the world; and dispel, O lord of all creatures, the conceit of knowledge, which proceeds from ignorance. Glory to thee, grasper of the discus, wielder of the bow, brandisher of the mace, holder of the shell; for such do I behold thee in thy perceptible form: nor do I know that form of thine, which is beyond perception! Have compassion on me, supreme god."
vp.5.30 Vishnu, thus hymned by Aditi, smiled, and said to the mother of the gods, Mother" goddess, do thou shew favour unto me, and grant me thy blessing." "So be it," replied Aditi, "ever as thou wilt; and whilst thou dwellest amongst mortals, the first of men, thou shalt be invincible by gods or demons." Then Satyabhama, accompanied by the queen of Indra, addressed Aditi respectfully, and solicited her benedictions: and Aditi in reply said to her, "Fair browed dame, thou shalt never suffer decay, nor loss of beauty: thou shalt be the asylum of all loveliness, dame of faultless shape." With the assent of Aditi, Indra then respectfully saluted Janarddana in all due form, and conducted him and Satyabhama through Nandana and other pleasant gardens of the gods; where Kesava, the destroyer of Kesi, saw the Parijata tree, the favourite of sachi, which was produced when the ocean was churned for ambrosia: the bark was of gold, and it was embellished with young sprouting leaves of a copper colour, and fruit stalks bearing numerous clusters of fragrant fruit.
vp.5.33 Bana solicits siva for war: finds Aniruddha in the palace, and makes him prisoner. Krishna, Balarama, and Pradyumna come to his rescue siva and Skanda aid Bana: the former is disabled; the latter put to flight. Bana encounters Krishna, who cuts off all his arms, and is about to put him to death. siva intercedes, and Krishna a spares his life. Vishnu and siva are the same.
vp.5.33 this, they were satisfied; for they had imagined he had been taken away by the gods (in reprisal for the Parijata tree). Krishna therefore immediately summoned Garuda, who came with a wish; and mounting upon him, along with Bala and Pradyumna, he set off for the city of Bana. On their approach to the city they were opposed by the spirits who attend on Rudra, but these were soon destroyed by Hari, and he and his companions reached the vicinity of the town. Here mighty Fever, an emanation from Maheswara, having three feet and three heads 2, fought desperately with Vishnu in defence of Bana. Baladeva, upon whom his ashes were scattered, was seized with burning heat, and his eyelids trembled: but he obtained relief by clinging to the body of Krishna. Contending thus with the divine holder of the bow, the Fever emanating from siva was quickly expelled from the person of Krishna by Fever which he himself engendered. Brahma beholding the impersonated malady bewildered by the beating inflicted by the arms of the deity, entreated the latter to desist; and the foe of Madhu refrained, and absorbed into himself the fever he had created. The rival Fever then departed, saying to Krishna, "Those men who call to memory the combat between us shall be ever exempt from febrile disease."
vp.5.33 Next Vishnu overcame and demolished the five fires 3, and with perfect ease annihilated the army of the Danavas. Then the son of Bali Bana(),
vp.5.34 There was a Vasudeva who was called Paundraka 1, and who, though not the Vasudeva, was flattered by ignorant people as the descended deity, until he fancied himself to be the Vasudeva 2 who had come down upon earth. Losing all recollection of his real character, he assumed the emblems of Vishnu, and sent an ambassador to the magnanimous Krishna with this message; "Relinquish, thou foolish fellow, the discus; lay aside all my insignia, my name, and the character of Vasudeva; and come and do me homage; and I will vouchsafe thee means of subsistence." At which Janarddana laughed, and replied, "Go, messenger, back to Paundraka, and say to him from me, I will dispatch to thee my emblem the discus without fail. Thou wilt rightly apprehend my meaning, and consider what is to be done; for I shall come to thy city, bringing the discus with me, and shall undoubtedly consign it to thee. If thou wilt command me to come, I will immediately obey, and be with
vp.5.34 my discus; here I give up my mace; and here is Garuda, let him mount upon thy standard." Thus speaking, he let fly the discus and the mace, by which Paundraka was cut to pieces, and cast on the ground; whilst the Garuda on his banner was demolished by the Garuda of Vishnu. The people, beholding this sight, exclaimed, "Alas! alas!" but the valiant king of Kasi, adhering to the imposture of his friend, continued the conflict, till sauri decapitated him with his arrows, shooting his head into the city of Kasi, to the marvel of all the inhabitants. Having thus slain Paundraka and the king of Kasi, with all their followers, sauri returned to Dwaraka, where he lived in the enjoyment of heavenly delights.
vp.5.34 of Vishnu, immediately attacked the fiend, fearfully enwreathed with fire, and wearing tresses of plaited flame. Terrified at the might of Sudarsana, the creation of Maheswara awaited not his attack, but fled with speed, pursued by him with equal velocity, until she reached Varanasi, repelled by the superior might of the discus of Vishnu.
vp.5.34 The army of Kasi, and the host of the demigods attendant upon siva, armed with all kinds of weapons, then sallied out to oppose the discus; but, skilled in the use of arms, he consumed the whole of the forces by his radiance, and then set fire to the city, in which the magic power of siva had concealed herself 6. Thus was Varanasi burnt, with all its princes and their followers, its inhabitants, elephants, horses, and men, treasures and granaries, houses, palaces, and markets. The whole of a city, that was inaccessible to the gods, was thus wrapped in flames by the discus of Hari, and was totally destroyed. The discus then, with unmitigated wrath, and blazing fiercely, and far from satisfied with the accomplishment of so easy a task, returned to the hand of Vishnu 7.
vp.5.37 IN this manner did Krishna, assisted by Baladeva, destroy demons and iniquitous monarchs, for the good of the earth; and along with Phalguna 1 also did he relieve earth of her load, by the death of innumerable hosts. Having thus lightened the burdens of the earth, and slain many unrighteous princes, he exterminated 2, by the pretext of an imprecation denounced by Brahmans, his own Yadava race. Then quitting Dwaraka, and relinquishing his mortal being, the self born reentered, with all his emanations, his own sphere of Vishnu.
vp.5.38 of all creatures. All that exists is founded on time. Know this, Arjuna, and retain your fortitude. Rivers, seas, mountains, the whole earth, gods, men, animals, trees, insects, are all created, and all will be destroyed, by time. Knowing that all that is, is the effect of time, be tranquillized. These mighty works of Krishna, whatever they have been, have been performed to relieve earth of its burdens: for this he has come down. Earth, oppressed by her load, has had recourse to the assembly of the immortals; and Janarddana, who is one with time, has descended on that account. This object has been now accomplished: all the kings of the earth are slain; the race of Vrishni and Andhaka is destroyed: no more remained for him to accomplish. Therefore has the lord departed whither he pleased, his ends being all fulfilled. At the period of creation the god of gods creates; in that of duration he preserves; and at the end of all he is mighty to annihilate. Now all is done. Therefore, Arjuna, be not afflicted by thy defeat: the prowess of mortals is the gift of time. Bhishma, Karna, and other kings, have been slain by thee alone; this was the work of time: and why, therefore, should not thy discomfiture, by those less than thou art, occur? In like manner as through thy devotion to Vishnu these were overthrown by thee, so at last has thy defeat by miserable thieves been wrought by time. That divinity, assuming various bodies, preserves the world; and in the end the lord of creatures
vp.6.1 In the Kali age, Maitreya, men, corrupted by unbelievers, will refrain from adoring Vishnu, the lord of sacrifice, the creator and lord of all; and will say, "Of what authority are the Vedas? what are gods or Brahmans? what need is there of purification with water?" Then will the clouds yield scanty rain: then will the corn be light in ear, and the grain will be poor, and of little sap: garments will be mostly made of the fibres of the San 14: the principal of trees will be the Sami 15: the prevailing caste will be the sudra: millet will be the more common grain: the milk in use will be chiefly that of goats: unguents will be made of Usira grass. The mother and father in law will be venerated in place of parents; and a man s friends will be his brother in law, or one who has a wanton wife. Men will say, "Who has a father? who has a mother? each one is born according to his deeds:" and therefore they will look upon a wife s or husband s parents as their own. Endowed with little sense, men, subject to all the infirmities of mind, speech, and body, will daily commit sins; and every thing that is calculated to afflict beings, vicious, impure, and wretched, will be generated in the Kali age. Then shall some places follow a separate duty 16, devoid of holy study, oblations to fire, and invocations of the gods 17. Then, in the
vp.6.2 Redeeming properties of the Kali age. Devotion to Vishnu sufficient to salvation in that age for all castes and persons.
vp.6.3 years; and, in consequence of the failure of food, all beings become languid and exanimate, and at last entirely perish. The eternal Vishnu then assumes the character of Rudra, the destroyer, and descends to reunite all his creatures with himself. He enters into the seven rays of the sun 5, drinks up all the waters of the globe, and causes all moisture whatever, in living bodies or in the soil, to evaporate; thus drying up the whole earth. The seas, the rivers, the mountain torrents, and springs, are all exhaled; and so are all the waters of Patala, the regions below the earth. Thus fed, through his intervention, with abundant moisture, the seven solar rays dilate to seven suns 6, whose radiance glows above, below, and on every side, and sets the three worlds and Patala on fire. The three worlds, consumed by these suns, become rugged and deformed throughout the whole extent of their mountains, rivers, and seas; and the earth, bare of verdure, and destitute of moisture, alone remains, resembling in appearance the back of a tortoise. The destroyer of all things, Hari, in the form of Rudra, who is the flame of time, becomes the scorching breath of the serpent sesha, and thereby reduces Patala to ashes. The great fire, when it has burnt all the divisions of Patala, proceeds to the earth, and consumes it also. A vast whirlpool of eddying flame then spreads to the region of the atmosphere, and the sphere of the gods, and wraps them in ruin. The three spheres shew like a frying
vp.6.4 WHEN the waters have reached the region of the seven Rishis, and the whole of the three worlds is one ocean, they stop. The breath of Vishnu becomes a strong wind, which blows for more than a hundred years, until all the clouds are dispersed. The wind is then reabsorbed, and he of whom all things are made, the lord by whom all things exist, he who is inconceivable, without beginning of the universe, reposes, sleeping upon sesha, in the midst of the deep. The creator, Hari, sleeps upon the ocean, in the form of Brahma glorified by Sanaka And the saints who had gone to the Janaloka, and contemplated by the holy inhabitants of Brahmaloka, anxious for final liberation involved in mystic slumber, the celestial personification of his own illusions, and meditating on his own ineffable spirit, which is called Vasudeva. This, Maitreya, is the dissolution termed incidental, because Hari, in the form of Brahma, sleeps there, as its incidental cause.
vp.6.4 When the universal spirit wakes, the world revives; when he closes his eyes, all things fall upon the bed of mystic slumber. In like manner as a thousand great ages constitute a day of Brahma, so his night consists of the same period; during which the world is submerged by a vast ocean. Awaking at the end of his night, the unborn, Vishnu, in the character of Brahma, creates the universe anew, in the manner formerly related to you 1.
vp.6.4 dissolved in the waters that surround it, with its seven zones, seven oceans, seven regions, and their mountains. The investure of water is drunk up by fire: the stratum of fire is absorbed by that of air: air blends itself with ether: the primary element of egotism devours the ether, and is itself taken up by intellect, which, along with all these, is seized upon by nature Prakriti(). Equilibrium of the three properties, without excess or deficiency, is called nature Prakriti(), origin Hetu(), the chief principle Pradhana(), cause Karana(), supreme Param(). This Prakriti is essentially the same, whether discrete or indiscrete; only that which is discrete is finally lost or absorbed in the indiscrete. Spirit also, which is one, pure, imperishable, eternal, all pervading, is a portion of that supreme spirit which is all things. That spirit which is other than (embodied) spirit, in which there are no attributes of name, species, or the like which is one with all wisdom, and is to be understood as sole existence that is Brahma, infinite glory, supreme spirit, supreme power, Vishnu, all that is; from whence the perfect sage returns no more. Nature Prakriti(), which I have described to you as being essentially both discrete and indiscrete, and spirit (which is united with body), both resolve into supreme spirit. Supreme spirit is the upholder of all things, and the ruler of all things, and is glorified in the Vedas and in the Vedanta by the name of Vishnu.
vp.6.4 Works, as enjoined by the Vedas, are of two kinds, active Pravritta() and quiescent Nivritta(); by both of which the universal person is worshipped by mankind. He, the lord of sacrifice, the male of sacrifice, the most excellent male, is worshipped by men in the active mode by rites enjoined in the Rik, Yajur, and Sama Vedas. The soul of wisdom, the person of wisdom, Vishnu, the giver of emancipation, is worshipped by sages in the quiescent form, through meditative devotion. The exhaustless Vishnu is whatever thing that is designated by long, short, or prolated syllables, or that which is without a name. He is that which is discrete, and that which is indiscrete: he is exhaustless spirit, supreme spirit, universal spirit, Hari, the wearer of universal forms. Nature, whether discrete or indiscrete, is absorbed into him, and (detached) spirit also merges into the all diffusive and unobstructed spirit.
vp.6.4 [paragraph continues] The period of two Pararddhas, as I have described it to you, Maitreya, is called a day of that potent Vishnu; and whilst the products of nature are merged into their source, nature into spirit, and that into the supreme, that period is termed his night, and is of equal duration with his day. But, in fact, to that eternal supreme spirit there is neither day nor night, and these distinctions are only figuratively applied to the almighty. I have thus explained to you the nature of elemental dissolution, and will now expound to you which is final 3.
vp.6.5 knowledge and works. Knowledge is of two kinds, that which is derived from scripture, and that which is derived from reflection. Brahma that is the word is composed of scripture; Brahma that is supreme is produced of reflection 5. Ignorance is utter darkness, in which knowledge, obtained through any sense (as that of hearing), shines like a lamp; but the knowledge that is derived from reflection breaks upon the obscurity like the sun. What has been said by Manu, when appealing to the meaning of the Vedas with respect to this subject, I will repeat to you. There are two (forms of) spirit (or god), the spirit which is the word, and the spirit which is supreme. He who is thoroughly imbued with the word of god obtains supreme spirit 6. The Atharva Veda also states that there are two kinds of knowledge; by the one, which is the supreme, god is attained; the other is that which consists of the Rich and other Vedas 7. That which is imperceptible, undecaying, inconceivable, unborn, inexhaustible, indescribable; which has neither form, nor hands, nor feet; which is almighty, omnipresent, eternal; the cause of all things, and without cause; permeating all, itself unpenetrated, and from which all things proceed; that is the object which the wise behold, that is Brahma, that is the supreme state, that is the subject of contemplation to those who desire liberation, that is the thing spoken of by the Vedas, the infinitely subtile, supreme condition of Vishnu. That essence of the
vp.6.7 Kesidhwaja describes the nature of ignorance, and the benefits of the Yoga, or contemplative devotion. Of the novice and the adept in the performance of the Yoga. How it is performed. The first stage, proficiency in acts of restraint and moral duty: the second, particular mode of sitting: the third, Pranayama, modes of breathing: the fourth, Pratyahara, restraint of thought: the fifth, apprehension of spirit: the sixth, retention of the idea. Meditation on the individual and universal forms of Vishnu. Acquirement of knowledge. Final liberation.
vp.6.7 undefinable by words, and is to be discovered solely in one s own spirit. That is the supreme, unborn, imperishable form of Vishnu, who is without (sensible) form, and is characterised as a condition of the supreme soul, which is variously modified from the condition of universal form. But this condition cannot be contemplated by sages in their (early) devotions, and they must therefore direct their minds to the gross form of Hari, which is of universal perceptibility. They must meditate upon him as Hiranyagarbha, as the glorious Vasava, as Prajapati, as the winds, the Vasus, the Rudras, the suns, stars, planets, Gandharbas, Yakshas, Daityas, all the gods and their progenitors, men, animals, mountains, oceans, rivers, trees, all beings, and all sources of beings, all modifications whatever of nature and its products, whether sentient or unconscious, one footed, two footed, or many footed; all these are the sensible form of Hari, to be apprehended by the three kinds of apprehension. All this universal world, this world of moving and stationary beings, is pervaded by the energy of Vishnu, who is of the nature of the supreme Brahma. This energy is either supreme, or, when it is that of conscious embodied spirit, it is secondary. Ignorance, or that which is denominated from works, is a third energy 14; by which the omnipresent energy of embodied spirit is ever excited, and whence it suffers all the pains of repeated worldly existence. Obscured by that energy (of ignorance or
vp.6.7 them: the faculty exists in an ascending degree in Nagas, Gandharbas, Yakshas, gods, sakra, Prajapati, and Hiranyagarbha: and is above all predominant in that male Vishnu() of whom all these various creatures are but the diversified forms, penetrated universally by his energy, as all pervading as the ether.
vp.6.7 "The second 15 state of him who is called Vishnu, and which is to be meditated upon by the (advanced) sage, is that imperceptible, shapeless form of Brahma, which is called by the wise, That which is 16, and in which all the before described energies reside. Thence proceeds the form of the universal form, the other great form of Hari, which is the origin of those manifested forms (or incarnations) that are endowed with every kind of energy, and which, whether the forms of gods, animals, or men, are assumed by him Hari() in his sport. This active interposition of the undefinable god, all comprehending and irresistible, is for the purpose of benefiting the world, and is not the necessary consequence of works. This form of the universal form is to be meditated upon by the sage for the object of purification, as it destroys all sin. In the same manner as fire, blazing in the wind, burns dry grass, so Vishnu, seated in the heart, consumes the sins of the sage; and therefore let him resolutely effect the fixation of his mind upon that receptacle of all the three energies Vishnu(), for that is the operation of the mind which is called perfect Dharana 17: and thus the perfect asylum of individual as well as universal spirit, that which is beyond the three modes of apprehension, is attained, for the eternal emancipation of the sage. The minds of other beings, which are not fixed upon that asylum, are altogether impure, and are all the gods and the rest, who spring from acts. The
vp.6.7 tention or apprehension by the mind of that visible form of Vishnu, without regard to subsidiary forms, is thence called Dharana; and I will describe to you the perceptible form of Hari, which no mental retention
vp.6.7 will manifest, except in a mind that is fit to become the receptacle of the idea 18. The meditating sage must think (he beholds internally the figure) of Vishnu, as having a pleased and lovely countenance, with eyes like the leaf of the lotus, smooth cheeks, and a broad and brilliant forehead; ears of equal size, the lobes of which are decorated with splendid pendants; a painted neck, and a broad breast, on which shines the Srivatsa mark; a belly falling in graceful folds, with a deep seated navel; eight long arms, or else four; and firm and well knit thighs and legs, with well formed feet and toes. Let him, with well governed thoughts, contemplate, as long as he can persevere in unremitting attention, Hari as clad in a yellow robe, wearing a rich diadem on his head, and brilliant armlets and bracelets on his arms, and bearing in his hands the bow, the shell, the mace, the sword, the discus, the rosary, the lotus, and the arrow 19. When this image never departs from his mind, whether he be going or standing, or be engaged in any other voluntary act, then he may believe his retention to be perfect. The sage may then meditate upon the form of Vishnu without his arms, as the shell, mace, discus, and bow; and as placid, and bearing only his rosary. When the idea of this image is firmly retained, then he may meditate on Vishnu without his diadem, bracelets, or other ornaments. He may next contemplate him as having but one single limb, and may then fix his whole thoughts upon the
vp.6.7 Accordingly king Kesidhwaja, after receiving suitable homage from Khandikya, returned to his city. Khandikya, having nominated his son Raja 24, retired to the woods to accomplish his devotions, his whole mind being intent upon Govinda: there his entire thoughts being engrossed upon one only object, and being purified by practices of restraint, self control, and the rest, he obtained absorption into the pure and perfect spirit which is termed Vishnu. Kesidhwaja also, in order to attain liberation, became averse from his own perishable works, and lived amidst objects of sense (without regarding them), and instituted religious rites without expecting therefrom any advantages to himself. Thus by pure and auspicious fruition, being cleansed from all sin, the also obtained that perfection which assuages all affliction for ever.
vp.6.8 Conclusion of the dialogue between Parasara and Maitreya. Recapitulation of the contents of the Vishnu Purana: merit of hearing it: how handed down. Praises of Vishnu. Concluding prayer.
vp.6.8 Maitreya. Holy teacher, you have indeed related to me all that I wished to know, and I have listened to it with pious attention. I have nothing further to inquire. The doubts inseparable from the mind of man have all been resolved by you, and through your instructions I am acquainted with the origin, duration, and end of all things; with Vishnu in his collective fourfold form 2; his three energies 3; and with the three modes of apprehending the object of contemplation 4. Of all this have I acquired a knowledge through your favour, and nothing else is worthy to be known, when it is once understood that Vishnu and this world are not mutually distinct. Great Muni, I have obtained through your kindness all I desired, the dissipation of my doubts, since you have instructed me
vp.6.8 knoweth all things, who is the form of all things, being without form himself, and of whom whatever is, from mount Meru to an atom, all consists he, the glorious Vishnu, the destroyer of all sin is described in this Purana. By hearing this Purana an equal recompense is obtained to that which is derived from the performance of an Aswamedha sacrifice, or from fasting at the holy places Prayaga, Pushkara, Kurukshetra, or Arbuda. Hearing this Purana but once is as efficacious as the offering of oblations in a perpetual fire for a year. The man who with well governed passions bathes at Mathura on the twelfth day of the month Jyeshtha 5, and beholds (the image of) Hari, obtains a great recompense; so does he who with mind fixed upon Kesava attentively recites this Purana. The man who bathes in the waters of the Yamuna on the twelfth lunation of the light fortnight of the month in which the moon is in the mansion Jyeshtha, and who fasts and worships Achyuta in the city of Mathura, receives the reward of an uninterrupted Aswamedha. Beholding the degree of prosperity enjoyed by others of eminence, through the merits of their descendants, a man s paternal ancestors, his parents and their parents, exclaim, "Whosoever of our descendants, having bathed in the Yamuna and fasted, will worship Govinda in Mathura, in the light fortnight of Jyeshtha, will secure for us eminent exaltation; for we shall be elevated by the merits of our posterity!" A man of good extraction will present
vp.6.8 in the beginning, middle, and end of which is described the glorious Achyuta, the lord of the universe in every stage, the master of all that is stationary or moveable, composed of spiritual knowledge, acquires such purity as exists not in any world, the eternal state of perfection, which is Hari. The man who fixes his mind on Vishnu goes not to hell: he who meditates upon him regards heavenly enjoyment only as an impediment: and he whose mind and soul are penetrated by him thinks little of the world of Brahma; for when present in the minds of those whose intellects are free from soil, he confers upon them eternal freedom. What marvel therefore is it that the sins of one who repeats the name of Achyuta should be wiped away? Should not that Hari be heard of, whom those devoted to acts worship with sacrifices continually as the god of sacrifice; whom those devoted to meditation contemplate as primary and secondary, composed of spirit; by obtaining whom man is not born, nor nourished, nor subjected to death; who is all that is, and that is not (or both cause and of effect); who, as the progenitors, receives the libations made to them; who, as the gods, accepts the offerings addressed to them; the glorious being who is without beginning or end; whose name is both Swaha and Swadha 9; who is the abode of all spiritual power; in whom the limits of finite things cannot be measured 10; and who, when he enters the ear, destroys all sin?

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