See for the online version with illustrations, music and links to the previous translation: http://bhagavata.org/
'The Story of the Fortunate one'
Third revised version 2012
The Status Quo
Chapter 1 Questions by Vidura
Chapter 2 Remembrance of Lord Krishna
Chapter 3 The Lord's Pastimes Outside of Vrindâvana
Chapter 4 Vidura Approaches Maitreya
Chapter 5 Vidura Talks with Maitreya
Chapter 6 Manifestation of the Universal Form
Chapter 7 Further Inquiries by Vidura
Chapter 8 Manifestation of Brahmâ from Garbhodakas'âyî Vishnu
Chapter 9 Brahmâ's Prayers for Creative Energy
Chapter 10 Divisions of the Creation
Chapter 11 Division of Time Expanding from the Atom
Chapter 12 Creation of the Kumâras and Others
Chapter 13 The Appearance of Lord Varâha
Chapter 14 The Impregnation of Diti in the Evening
Chapter 15 Description of the Kingdom of God
Chapter 16 The Two Doorkeepers of Vaikunthha, Cursed by the Sages
Chapter 17 Victory of Hiranyâksha over All the Directions of the Universe
Chapter 18 The Battle Between Lord Boar and the Demon Hiranyâksha
Chapter 19 The Killing of the Demon Hiranyâksha
IntroductionThis book relates the story of the Lord and His incarnations since the earliest records of Vedic history, the history of the original culture of knowledge of India. It is verily the Krishna 'bible' [in Sanskrit called a Samhitâ] of the Hindu universe. The Bhagavad Gîtâ relates to this book like the sermon on the mountain by Lord Jesus relates to the full Bible. It has about 18.000 verses contained in 335 chapters and consists of 12 subdivisions of books that are called Cantos. These books together tell the complete history of the Vedic culture and cover the essence of the classical collections of stories called the Purânas. This specific collection of Vedic stories is considered the most important one of all the great eighteen classical Purânas of India. It includes the cream of the Vedic knowledge compiled from all the Vedic literatures as also the story of the life of Lord Krishna in full (Canto 10). Lord Krishna constitutes a watershed in history between the old Vedic culture and the 'modern' political culture in which the rule of state no longer automatically is guided by the spiritual order. The book tells the story of His birth, His youth, all wonderful proofs of His divine nature, and His superhuman feats of defeating all kinds of demons, up to the great Mahâbhârata war at Kurukshetra. In this war the Vedic culture fell down to be replaced by the fragmented religiosity we these days call Hinduism. This leading Purâna also called the 'perfect Purâna', is a brilliant story that has been brought to the West by S'rîla A.C. Bhaktivedânta Swami Prabhupâda, a Caitanya Vaishnava, a bhakti (devotional) monk of Lord Vishnu [the name for the transcendental form of Lord Krishna]. He undertook the daring task of enlightening the materialist westerners, the advanced philosophers and theologians, in order to help them to overcome the perils and loneliness of impersonalism and the philosophy of emptiness.
The representative of Vishnu on earth is named the Fortunate One in this book. We know Him specifically by the names of Lord Râma and Lord Krishna. The Fortunate One is thus the Lord who is known in different forms or incarnations, the so-called avatâras, but also the devotees are part of His reality and are also called bhâgavata when they are of pure devotion. On top of that the book is also called bhâgavata. Thus there is the Lord in His many appearances, the devotee with as many faces and the book. They are all called bhâgavata or fortunate. The word bhâga means fortune or luck while the term bhaga refers to gracious lord, happiness and wealth. To be fortunate Vedically means to be of the opulence, or to carry, or live by, the fullness of God's riches, beauty, fame, power, knowledge and detachment.
The writer of this book is named Krishna Dvaipâyana Vyâsadeva, and is also called Bâdarâyana. He is the Lord, the Bhagavân or venerable one, among the philosophers, who in India assembled all the holy texts. He compiled the Vedas, four basic scriptures known as the S'ruti, meaning ‘that what is heard’, containing the basic wisdom, the mantras for the rituals and the hymns. The Purânas together with the Itihâsas (separate stories) belong to the so-called smriti, ‘that what is remembered’. This knowledge is sometimes considered a fifth Veda. He also wrote the Mahâbhârata, which is the greatest epic poem in the world. It describes the history (Itihâsa) of the great fall that the Vedic culture once made. The Bhagavad Gîtâ is the most important part of it. Vyâsa also wrote the rest of the eighteen great story books (the Purânas) of India as also the Brahma-sûtra, his masterpiece on the Absolute Truth. Vyâsa was a grandfather of the Kuru dynasty. He lived a very long time. His long duration of life enabled him to write the story of the Fortunate One and all the other books. He had a son called S'ukadeva who handed the message of this bible in the presence of other sages down to another member of the family, Emperor Parîkshit, who had difficulty respecting the classical wisdom. This emperor is there in this book, which presents the classical Vedic wisdom in the form of a frame story, as a model for us normal people who seek their stability in the wisdom. This knowledge was by S'uka conveyed to him in disciplic succession (paramparâ), for the sake of those who teach by example (the âcâryas) the science of devotional service (bhakti). Swami A. C. Bhaktivedanta Prabhupâda from this disciplic succession, commissioned to disseminate this book in the West, together with his pupils (known as the Hare Krishnas of ISKCON), realized a verse by verse commented series of books covering the entire Bhâgavatam. The site bhagavata.org offers not all these texts (see for that purpose vedabase.io) but it does offer, under the Creative Commons copyright, an as-it-is translation, independent from ISKCON, of the verses in a concatenated form, complete with the previous version. This text is regularly updated and maintained by me, the undersigned, who received instruction in the temples of ISKCON and elsewhere. His predecessor in this duty in the Netherlands was S'rî Hayas'var das (Hendrik van Teylingen), initiated by him, who covered most of the translations into Dutch.
For this translation, this digital version of the book, the author has consulted the translations of C.L. Goswami, M.A., Sâstrî (from the Gîtâ Press, Gorakhpur), the paramparâ version of S'rîla Vishvanâtha Cakravarti Thhâkura and the later version of this book by S'rîla A.C. Bhaktivedânta Swami Prabhupâda. The latter translators, as âcâryas of the age-old Indian Vaishnava tradition, are representatives of a culture of reformation in devotion for the Supreme Personality of God, or bhakti yoga, the way it has been practiced in India since the 16th century. This reformation asserts that the false authority of the caste system and single dry book knowledge is to be rejected. S'rî Krishna Caitanya, also called Caitanya Mahâprabhu (1486-1534), the avatâra [an incarnation of the Lord] who heralded this reform, restored the original paramparâ purpose of developing devotion unto the person of God, and endeavored in particular for the dissemination of the two main sacred scriptures expounding on that devotion in relation to Krishna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. These scriptures are the Bhagavad Gîtâ and this Bhâgavata Purâna, also called the S'rîmad Bhâgavatam, from which all the Vaishnava âcâryas of Lord Caitanya derived their wisdom for the purpose of instruction and the shaping of their devotion. The word for word translations as also the full text and commentaries of this book were studied within and without the Hare Krishna temples where the teaching of this culture takes place.
The purpose of this translation is first of all to make this glorious text available to a wider audience over the Internet. Since the Bible, the Koran and numerous other holy texts are readily available on the internet, I, the translator, meant that this book could not stay behind on the shelf of his own bookcase as a token of material possessiveness. When I started with this endeavor in the year 2000, there was no proper web presentation of this book. Knowledge not shared is knowledge lost, and certainly this type of knowledge, which stresses the yoga of non-possessiveness and devotion as its main values, could not be left out. The version of Swami Prabhupâda is very extensive covering some 2400 pages of plain fine printed text, including his commentaries. And that were only the first ten Cantos. The remaining two Cantos were posthumously published by his pupils in the full of his spirit. I thus was faced with two daring challenges: one was to concatenate the text, or make a readable running narrative, of the book that had been dissected and commented to the single word, and the second challenge was to put it into a language that would befit the 21st century with all its modern and postmodern experience and digital progress of the present cultural order of the world, without losing anything of its original verses. Thus another verse to verse as-it-is translation came about in which Vishvanâtha's, Prabhupâda's and Sâstrî's words were pruned, retranslated and set to the understanding and realization of today. This realization in my case originated first of all directly from the disciplic line of succession of the Vaishnava line of âcâryas, as also from the complete field of the Indian philosophy of enlightenment, liberation and yoga discipline, as was brought to the West by also non-Vaishnava gurus and maintained by their pupils. Therefore I have to express my gratitude to all these great heroes who dared to face the adamantine of western philosophy with all its doubts, concreticism and skepticism. Especially the pupils of Prabhupâda, members of the renounced order - sannyâsîs (or samnyâsîns), who instructed me in the independence and maturity of the philosophy of the bhakti-yogis of Lord Caitanya, need to be mentioned. I was already initiated in India by a non-Vaishnava guru and was given the name Swami Anand Aadhar ('teacher of the foundation of happiness'). That name the Krishna community converted into Anand Aadhar Prabhu ('master of the foundation of happiness'), without further ceremonies of Vaishnava initiation (apart from a basic training). With the name Anand Aadhar I am a withdrawn devotee, a so-called vânaprashta, who does his devotional service independently in the silence and modesty of his local adaptations of the philosophy.
In most cases the word for word translations and grammatical directions of S'rîla A.C. Bhaktivedânta Swami Prabhupâda/ISKCON, Vishvanâtha Cakravarti Thhâkura and C.L. Goswami, M.A., Sâstrî, have been followed as they were used in their translations, and I have checked them with the help of the Monier-Williams Sanskrit Dictionary (see the file of the terms used). In footnotes and between square brackets [ ] sometimes a little comment and extra info is given to accommodate the reader when the original text is drawing from a more experienced approach. Terms in italics are explained in the glossary. On the internetsite bhagavata.org of this book, my version directly refers to the version of Prabhupâda, by being linked up at each verse, so that it is possible to retrace at any moment what I have done with the text. This is in accordance with the scientific tradition of the Vaishnava community.
For the copyright, on this translation and the podcast spoken version of the book, has been chosen the so-called Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License. This means that one is free to copy, distribute and alter the text on the condition of attribution (refer to the name of Anand Aadhar and to my website address bhagavata.org), that the resulting work can only be distributed under the same or similar license to this one, and that one cannot use the text for commercial purposes. For all other usage one will have to contact the translator. Donations are welcome!
With love and devotion,
Anand Aadhar Prabhu,
Enschede, The Netherlands, September 16, 2020.
Chapter 1: Questions by Vidura
(1) S'uka said: 'This is what Vidura formerly asked His Grace Maitreya Rishi after he had entered the forest upon renouncing his prosperous home: (2) 'What to say about the house [of the Pândavas] I am identified with? S'rî Krishna, the Supreme Lord and master of all, was accepted as the minister of its people and had given up entering the house of Duryodhana.'(10) When Vidura by his elder brother [Dhritarâshthra], was called to the palace for consultation and entered there, he with his instructions gave such an excellent advice that all men of state still speak about it: (11) 'Return now the legitimate share to the one who has no enemy [Yudhishthhira] and who was so patient with your unbearable offenses. You should be afraid of him and his younger brothers, of whom we know Bhîma to be as angry and wrathful as a snake. (12) The sons of Prithâ are now adopted by the Supreme Lord of Liberation who at present, being supported by the brahmins and the godly souls, resides with His family, the honorable Yadu dynasty, that together with Him as their Lord has defeated an unlimited amount of kings. (13) He [Duryodhana], this bad guy you consider your son, stepped forward in your household as an enemy of the Original Person. You who in supporting him thus have turned yourself against Krishna are therefore bereft of all goodness - to that inauspiciousness you must, for the sake of the family, put an end as soon as possible.'
(3) The king said: 'Please tell us master, where and when Vidura met His Grace Maitreya Rishi to discuss this? (4) Certainly the questions Vidura asked the holy man cannot have been unimportant, they must have been full of the highest purpose as is approved by the seekers of truth.'
(5) Sûta said: "He, the great sage S'ukadeva thus being questioned by King Parîkchit, fully satisfied replied, speaking from his great expertise: 'Please listen to this.'
(6) S'rî S'ukadeva said: 'During the time King Dhritarâshthra was raising his dishonest sons, he, who never walked the straight path and had lost his sight, was the guardian of the sons of his younger brother [the deceased Pându, see family tree]. He made them enter the laquer house that he next set on fire [see Mahâbhârata I 139-148]. (7) When in the assembly the wife of the saintly Kurus [Draupadî] was insulted by his son [Duhs'âsana] who grabbed her by her hair, the king did not forbid this, although his daughter-in-law shed tears that washed away the kumkuma on her breasts [see Mahâbhârata II 58-73]. (8) After he who had no enemies [Yudhishthhira] by unfair means was defeated in a game of gambling and as an honest man went into the forest, he, upon his return, was never allotted the share that was promised by him who was overcome by illusion [Dhritarâshthra]. (9) Also Lord Krishna, when He on the plea of Arjuna for their sake appeared in the assembly as the teacher of the world, was, with His words as good as nectar, by the king not taken seriously among all the men whose last bit of piety was dwindling.
(14) After he had said this Duryodhana addressed Vidura on the spot. Swollen with anger and with trembling lips, he insulted the respectable one of good qualities in the company of Karna, his younger brothers and S'akuni [a maternal uncle] saying: (15) 'Who asked him to be here, this bastard son of a maid-servant who grew up living on the cost of those he betrays as an enemy spy? Throw him immediately out of the palace to be left with his breath only!' (16) Vidura in his turn immediately put his bow at the door and left the palace of his brother, being hurt in the core of his heart by the violence aimed at him. But despite these arrows so painful to the ear, he was unperturbed for he thought that a great opportunity had been offered.
(17) After having left the Kauravas he departed from Hastinâpura and piously sought the salvation of pilgrimages. With the thousands of idols [he saw thus] all that he wanted was the highest degree of purity. (18) He traveled to holy places of devotion where the air, the hills and the orchards, waters, rivers and lakes are clear and the temples are decorated with the appearances of the One Unlimited. Visiting these sites he proceeded alone through the holy lands. (19) Traversing the earth independently in the spirit of sacrifice, he was sanctified by the ground he slept upon. One could not recognize him, who without his familiar clothes was dressed like a mendicant and performed according to the vows to please the Lord. (20) Thus traveling through India, he arrived at the holy land of Prabhâsa, that at the time was under the reign of King Yudhishthhira who by the mercy of the Invincible Lord ruled the world under one military force and flag [see 1.13]. (21) There he heard how all his kinsmen had perished [at Kurukshetra] in a violent passion, the way a bamboo forest burns down because of igniting by its own friction. Thereupon he, grieving, went westward heading for the river Sarasvatî. (22) On the bank of the river he visited the holy places called Trita, Us'anâ, Manu, Prithu, Agni, Asita, Vâyu, Sudâsa, Go, Guha and S'râddhadeva and duly was of worship there. (23) Also other places had been established there by the twice-born godly souls and the devotees of the various forms of Lord Vishnu. He as the leading personality marked each and every part of the temples, the very sight of which made one think of Lord Krishna. (24) From there passing through the wealthy kingdoms of Surat, Sauvîra and Kurujângala [west of India], he, after some time reaching the Yamunâ river, happened to meet Uddhava, the Supreme Lord's greatest devotee [see also Canto 11].
(25) He embraced the sober and gentle constant companion of Vâsudeva who was a former student of Brihaspati, the master of all rituals, and with great love and affection he questioned him about the family of the Supreme Lord. (26) 'Are the original personalities of Godhead [Krishna and Balarâma] doing well in the house of S'ûrasena [the father of Queen Kuntî, aunt Prithâ], they who, on the request of the Creator who was born from the lotus, descended in the world for the elevation and well-being of everyone? (27) And, Uddhava, is our greatest Kuru and brother-in-law, Vasudeva [the father of Lord Krishna] happy? He is truly like a father to his sisters and, to the pleasure of his wives, munificent in providing everything they desire. (28) Please Uddhava, tell me how the military commander-in-chief of the Yadus, Pradyumna, is doing. He in his previous life was the god of love and is now the great hero who as the prince of the Supreme Lord was born from Rukminî after she had pleased the brahmins. (29) And is Ugrasena happy, the king of the Sâtvatas, Vrishnis, Dâs'ârhas and Bhojas? He had to give up the hope of the throne after being put aside [by uncle Kamsa] but Krishna restored his position. (30) Oh grave one, is the son of the Lord, Sâmba, faring well? He, so much alike Him, is the foremost and best behaved one among the warriors. Born from Jâmbavatî [another wife of Krishna] who is so rich in her vows, he in his previous life was the godly Kârttikeya who took birth from the wife of S'iva. (31) And how is Yuyudhâna [Sâtyaki] faring, he who learned from Arjuna and fulfilled his purpose as someone understanding the intricacies of the military art and, on top of that, in his service directly attained the destination of the Transcendence that even for the greatest renouncers is so difficult to achieve? (32) And the scholarly impeccable son of S'vaphalka, Akrûra, how is he? He is the one who in his surrender to the Lord on the path marked with the prints of Krishna's lotus feet lost his composure and, with symptoms of transcendental ecstasy, rolled about in the dust. (33) Is everything all right with the daughter of King Devaka-Bhoja? The same way the purpose of sacrifice originated from the Vedas and the mother of the demigods [Aditi] gave birth to the godhead, she [Devakî] gave birth to Lord Vishnu. (34) And is also Aniruddha, the Personality of Godhead all happy? He, as the fulfiller of the desires of the devotees, is traditionally considered to be the birth channel for the Rig-Veda, to be the creator of the mind and to be the transcendental fourth plenary expansion of the Reality Principle [of Vishnu-tattva]. (35) And others like Hridîka, Cârudeshna, Gada and the son of Satyabhâmâ, who with an absolute faith follow His divinity [Krishna] as the essence of their self, oh humble one, are also they all doing fine?
(36) Does Yudhishthhira, ruling with the principles of humanity, maintain the religious connectedness under the protection of the arms of Arjuna and the Infallible One? It was he who with the opulence of his royal entourage and the service of Arjuna, raised the envy of Duryodhana. (37) And did the unconquerable Bhîma, who is like a cobra, vent his long-cherished fury upon the sinners? The way he with the wonderful play of his club operated on the battlefield, he could not be opposed. (38) Is Arjuna doing well, he, the famous one among the chariot fighters who with his bow the Gândîva vanquished so many enemies? He once satisfied Lord S'iva covering him with arrows when Śiva presented himself unrecognizable as a hunter. (39) And are the twin sons of Prithâ [Nakula and Sahadeva] free from worries? They were by their brothers protected as eyelids covering eyes when they reclaimed their property in the fight with the enemy, just like Garuda [the carrier of Vishnu] did [with the nectar] from the mouth of Indra. (40) Oh dear one, is Prithâ still alive? She dedicated her life to the care for the fatherless children when she had to live without King Pându, he who, alone as a commanding warrior, could master the four directions with a second bow only.
(41) Oh gentle one, I pity him [Dhritarâshthra] who fell down by turning against his brother [Pându] after his death. By driving me, his well-wisher, out of my own house he has adopted the same line of action as his sons. (42) Therefore I travel by the grace of His [Krisna's] feet incognito through this world of the Lord that is so bewildering for others to be engaged in. I never missed to see His feet being doubtless in this matter. (43) He as the Supreme Lord willing to relieve the distress of the surrendered souls, waited, despite the offenses of the Kurus, to [directly] kill these kings who strayed from the path because of the three kinds of false pride [about wealth, education and followers] and who constantly agitated mother earth with the movements of their troops. (44) The birth and activities of the Unborn One, of Him who has no obligations in the world, is there to put an end to the upstarts and attract the people towards Him. Who else transcendental to the modes of nature would assume a body and take upon himself all kinds of karma? (45) Oh my friend, sing the glories and discuss the topics of the Lord worshiped in all sacred places who, from His unborn position, took birth in the family of the Yadus for the sake of all the rulers of the universe who surrendered to Him and [the devotional culture of] His self-control.'
Chapter 2: Remembrance of Lord Krishna
(1) S'uka said: 'The great devotee [Uddhava] questioned by Vidura about what could be said regarding the Dearest One, reflected upon the Lord but could not reply immediately because he was overwhelmed by emotion. (2) He was someone who in his childhood being five years old, called by his mother for breakfast, did not like to have it because he was absorbed in playing the servant [of Lord Krishna]. (3) How would such a servitude of Uddhava have slackened in the course of time? So when he was simply asked to speak about Him, everything of the Lord's lotus feet popped up in his mind. (4) For a moment he fell completely silent because of the nectar of the Lord's feet. Strong as he was and well matured in the union of devotion, he became fully absorbed in the happiness of that excellence. (5) Every part of his body showed the signs of transcendental ecstasy and when tears filled his eyes because of missing Him so much, Vidura could see that he had reached the object of his greatest love. (6) Slowly Uddhava returned from the world of the Lord to the human world and wiping his tears away he spoke affectionately to Vidura about all these recollections.'
(7) Uddhava said: 'What can I say about our wellbeing now the sun of Krishna has set and the house of my family has been swallowed by the great serpent of the past? (8) How unfortunate this world is and especially the Yadu dynasty who, living together with the Lord, did not recognize Him any more than the fish recognize the moon? (9) His own folk, the Sâtvatas, were audacious people with a good judgement of character who could relax with Him being the head of the family and thought of Him as the one behind everything. (10) The intelligence of the souls who are innerly of full surrender to the Lord will never go astray because of the words used by others contaminated by the influence of the bewildering external reality of the Divine Person [or the gods]. (11) He who showed His form to everyone in the world, managed to put an end to it by removing Himself from the eyes of those people who lived without penance and were unsatisfied to see Him. (12) The form He showed in the mortal world was perfectly suited for His pastimes that demonstrated the power of His inner magic [His yoga-mâyâ]. It led to the discovery of His wonders, His supreme opulence and the ultimate ornament of all ornaments: His feet.
(13) All the [inhabitants of the] three worlds who during King Yudhishthhira's Rajasûya-[royal] sacrifice witnessed His all-attractive form, were perplexed and thought that the craftmanship of Brahmâ's universal creation had been surpassed with Him being present in the mortal world. (14) Because of His smiles, playful nature and glances the women of Vraja became more and more attached to Him and followed Him with their eyes, so that they completely distracted sat down with their mind in the clouds, without attending to their household duties. (15) The Unborn One who yet took birth, the infinitely merciful Lord and ruler over the spiritual and material realm, appeared for the sake of the devotees as the Fortunate One, the Lord of the Opulences, as Bhagavân who accompanied by all His associates is as fire to all the others who, [like Kamsa] living to their own material standards, constitute a plague.
(16) It distresses me to see how He, being unborn, so amazingly took His birth [in the prison] where Vasudeva lived, how He in Vraja at home with Vasudeva, lived like He was afraid of the enemy [uncle Kamsa] and how He, the unlimitedly powerful one, fled from Mathurâ city [the capital where Krishna resided after defeating Kamsa]. (17) My heart hurts when I think of what He said in worship of the feet of His parents: 'Oh mother, oh father, in great fear of Kamsa we failed in our service, please be pleased with us!' (18) How can one forget Him once one has the dust of His lotus feet in the nose, He who by the mere raising of His eyebrows dealt the death blow to the burden of the earth? (19) Did your goodness not witness with your own eyes how during Yudhishthhira's royal sacrificial ceremony the king of Cedi [S'is'upâla] despite his being jealous of Krishna, attained the perfection, the fulfillment most desired by all the yogis who by dint of their yoga manage to tolerate it to be separated from Him? (20) And certainly also others in human society have achieved His heavenly abode: they who as warriors saw Krishna's very pleasing lotus-like face and eyes on the battlefield that was purified by Arjuna's arrows. (21) He is no one else but the unique, grand Lord of the threefold reality by whose independence supreme fortune is achieved and at whose feet countless [kings full of] desires bow their helmets, being of worship with all the paraphernalia under the direction of the eternal keepers of societal order. (22) For that reason we as servitors in His service are in pain, oh Vidura, when we see how He before King Ugrasena expectantly sitting on his throne, submitted Himself with the words: 'Oh my Lord, please see it this way.'
(23) To the shelter of whom else should I take? Oh, who else would assure a greater mercy than He who, despite the faithlessness of that she-devil [Pûtanâ] who in envy poisoned her breast for nourishing Him to death, granted her the position of a mother? (24) I think that they who as opponents are waging against the Lord of the Threefoldness are factually great devotees because they in their preoccupation of fighting Him, could see Him coming forward on His carrier [Garuda] with His cakra weapon. (25) Born from the womb of Devakî in the prison of the king of Bhoja [Kamsa], the Supreme Lord being prayed for [by the Creator] appeared to bring welfare on earth. (26) Thereafter He was brought up in the cow pastures by His [foster] father Nanda, where He out of fear for Kamsa, together with Baladeva [Balarâma] resided [secretly] for eleven years the way one covers a flame. (27) Surrounded by cowherd boys herding calves the Almighty One roamed on the banks of the Yamunâ through gardens that vibrated with the chirping of the heavenly birds in their many trees. (28) The alluring display of the pastimes of His youth could only be appreciated by the inhabitants of Vraja, the land of Vrindâvana, where He, looking like a lion cub, just like other kids cried and laughed and was struck with wonder. (29) Tending the treasure of beautiful cows He as the source of happiness enlivened the cowherd boys by playing His flute. (30) The great wizards engaged by the king of Bhoja to assume any form they liked, were upon their approach in the course of His pastimes killed by Him who acted just like a child playing with dolls. (31) [To help the inhabitants of Vrindâvana] being perplexed by the great trouble of drinking poison [from the snake Kâliya in the water of the Yamunâ], He subdued the chief of the reptiles. After coming out of the water He caused the cows to drink it, proving it natural again. (32) Desiring the proper use of the wealth of Nanda, the king of the cowherds' opulence, He with the assistance of the brahmins helped them to perform worship for the sake of the cows and the land [instead of Indra]. (33) Indra angry upon being insulted, highly perturbed created a heavy downpour of rain above Vraja. [The cowherds then were] protected by the merciful Lord with His pastime of [lifting] the hill [Govardhana, that served as an] umbrella, oh sober Vidura. (34) One autumn He, during a night brightened by moonlight, enjoyed it to please the women by devoting Himself to singing songs, delighting in their midst as the face of the night's beauty in person.'
Chapter 3: The Lord's Pastimes Outside of Vrindâvana(1) Uddhava said: 'When the Lord thereafter came to the city of Mathurâ, He, who wished the wellbeing of His parents [freeing them from imprisonment], together with Baladeva dragged the leader of public hostility [Kamsa] down from the throne and killed him by pulling him to the ground with force. (2) He mastered every detail of the Vedas and their subsidiary sciences after hearing them only once from His teacher Sândîpani whom He rewarded the benediction of bringing back his deceased son from the inner region of the departed souls, from death [Yamaloka]. (3) Invited by the daughter of King Bhîshmaka [Rukminî] Lord Krishna stole her away as His share, exactly like Garuda did [with the nectar of the gods], and thus gave all those [princes] the go-by who according to the custom were a candidate to marry her and for that purpose had come expecting a likewise fortune. (4) In an open competition for the selection of the bridegroom for Princess Nâgnajitî He subdued seven wild bulls and won her hand, but the fools who in their disappointment nevertheless wanted her, He killed and wounded without getting hurt Himself, well equipped as He was with all weapons. (5) Only because of the fact that He, just like an ordinary living being, tried to please His dear wife who wanted Him to bring the Pârijâta flower shrub [from heaven], Indra the King of Heaven, henpecked of course by his own wives, blind of anger with all his strength waged against Him.
(6) When mother Earth saw how Narakâsura [Bhauma], her son who in the battle [against Krishna] physically dominated the sky [with missiles], was killed by His Sudars'ana Cakra [the disc weapon], she prayed to Him to return to Narakâsura's son that what had remained [of the kingdom]. Doing so He entered Narakâsura's fortress. (7) Upon seeing the Lord, the Friend of the Distressed, all the princesses there who were kidnapped by the demon immediately stood prepared joyfully to accept Him, with eager glances shyly closing Him in their hearts, [as their husband]. (8) Although they resided in different apartments, He, in proper regulation, through His internal potency accepted the hands of all women simultaneously with an equal number of suitable forms. (9) Desiring to expand Himself, He with each and every one of them begot ten children who all were like Him in every respect.
(10) When Kâlayavana, the king of Magadha [Jarâsandha], King S'âlva and others with their soldiers had surrounded Mathurâ, He killed them by exhibiting His divine power in the form of the prowess of His men. (11) Of S'ambara, Dvivida, Bâna, Mura, Balvala and others like Dantavakra and more of them, He killed some, while others He caused to be killed [by Balarâma e.g.].
(12) Thereafter in the battle of Kurukshetra of both the parties of the nephews the kings were killed who with the force of their attacks shook the earth. (13) He was not happy to witness how because of the ill advice of Karna, Duhs'âsana and Saubala, Duryodhana with all his power had lost his fortune and lifespan and now, along with his followers, lay down [on the battlefield] with broken limbs. (14) 'What is this?', the Lord said when with the help of Bhîshma and Drona [on the one hand] and Arjuna and Bhîma [on the other hand] the enormous burden of the earth of eighteen akshauhinîs [an army consisting of ten anikinis, or 21.870 elephants, 21.870 chariots, 65.610 horses, and 109.350 foot soldiers] had been removed. 'There is still the unbearable burden of the great strength of My descendants, the Yadu dynasty. (15) Upon My disappearance, they will vanish themselves when, intoxicated from drinking [honey-liquor], a quarrel will take place among them that will turn their eyes red as copper. This is the only way for them to disappear.' (16) With this in mind the Supreme Lord installed Yudhishthhira on the throne, thereby gladdening His friends in showing the path of the saints.
(17) The descendant of Pûru [Parîkchit] by the hero Abhimanyu begotten in the womb of Uttarâ, surely would have been burned by the weapon of the son of Drona if the Supreme Lord had not averted it by protecting him again and again [see S.B. 1: 7 & 8]. (18) The Almighty One induced the son of Dharma [Yudhishthhira] also to perform three horse sacrifices and in that endeavor being assisted by his brothers, he protected and enjoyed the earth as a constant follower of Krishna.
(19) The Supreme Lord and Supersoul of the Universe customarily following the path of the Vedic principles, enjoyed the lusts of life in the city of Dvârakâ without getting attached. He accomplished this by keeping to the analytical system of yoga [Sânkhya]. (20) Gentle and with His sweet glances and words that compared to nectar, He, with His flawless character, resided there in His transcendental body, the residence of the goddess of fortune. (21) He, specifically pleasing the Yadus, enjoyed this earth and certainly also the other worlds, while He, at leisure during the night, was of friendship with the women in conjugal love. (22) Thus He for many, many years enjoyed a household life of [sensual] uniting that constituted the basis of His detachment. (23) The living being is controlled by fate and so too his sensual enjoyment is controlled thus, but which person of service unto the Lord of Yoga would put faith therein?
(24) In the city of Dvârakâ the princely descendants of Yadu and Bhoja some day had been playing a prank on the sages and thus had angered them. They thereupon cursed them, knowing what was desired by the Supreme Lord. (25) A few months later the descendants of Vrishni, Bhoja and others like the sons of Andhaka, bewildered by Krishna, with great pleasure on their chariots went to the place of pilgrimage called Prabhâsa. (26) There they took a bath and with that same water proved their respects to their forefathers, the gods and the great sages. Then they gave cows to the brahmins in royal charity. (27) For their livelihood they also provided them with gold, gold coins, bedding, clothing, seat covers, blankets, horses, chariots, elephants, girls and land. (28) After supplying the brahmins with highly delicious food that was first offered to the Supreme Lord, the valiant representatives offered, for the sake of a good life, their obeisances to the cows and the brahmins by touching the ground with their heads.'
Chapter 4: Vidura Approaches Maitreya
(1) Uddhava said: 'After, with the permission of the brahmins, partaking of the offerings they [the Yadus] drank liquor that spoilt their minds so that they hurt each other to the core with harsh words. (2) At sunset their minds were out of balance to such a degree that they, because of the faults made in that intoxicated state, had to face how their destruction took place the way a bamboo forest burns down [because of its own friction]. (3) The Supreme Lord, who from His internal potency foresaw the end, went to the river the Sarasvatî where He, after sipping water, sat down under a tree. (4) The Lord dispels the distress of the souls who surrender to Him and thus He who desired the destruction of His family told me: 'You have to go to Badarikâs'rama.' (5) But because I could not tolerate it to be separated from the lotus feet of the Master, I followed Him, even though I knew what He wanted, oh subduer of the enemy [Vidura]. (6) Then I saw my Patron and Master, He who does not need to take shelter, lost in thoughts, alone sitting down at the riverbank, taking shelter of the goddess.
(7) Beautiful with His blackish color, of pure goodness and peaceful with His reddish eyes, He could be recognized as having four arms and yellow silken garments [Vishnu]. (8) Resting against a young banyan tree with His right foot on His thigh, He who had left His household comforts looked majestic.
(9) At that time [Maitreya,] a great devotee and follower of Krishna Dvaipâyana Vyâsa [Vyâsadeva], a well-wisher and friend traveling the three worlds, of his [also] arrived at that place. (10) Attached to Him the sage bent over in a pleasing attitude and listened with rapt attention, while the Lord of Liberation with kind glances and smiles allowed me to rest and then addressed me. (11) The Supreme Lord said: 'I know from within what you in the past desired when the wealthy souls who built this world were performing their sacrifices. I grant you that what for others is so difficult to achieve, oh fortunate one: the association with Me you desire as the ultimate goal of life. (12) This life is of all your incarnations, oh honest soul, the fulfillment, for you have achieved My mercy now you have seen Me in this secluded position quitting the worlds of man. This is what you see when one is unflinching in one's devotion [:Vaikunthha, freedom from foolishness]. (13) Long ago, in the beginning of creation, I told Brahmâ on the lotus that came out of My navel about the sublime knowledge of My transcendental glories: I explained that what the theists call the Bhâgavatam.'
(14) With His favor of thus addressing me, I saw how because of my emotion my hairs stood on end in being the constant object of the mercy of the Supreme Personality. With my eyes hazy because of wiping my tears, I with folded hands said faltering: (15) 'Oh my Lord, for those who live in respect of Your feet that are so difficult to obtain, it is in this world all a matter of the four goals of life [dharma, artha, kâma and moksha; religiosity, economic development, sense gratification and liberation], but I myself do not care about them that much, oh Great One, I am rather concerned with serving Your lotus feet. (16) Even though You have no desires You engage in all kinds of activities, even though You are unborn You still take birth, being the controller of eternal Time You nevertheless take shelter of the fortress out of fear for Your enemies and despite enjoying within Yourself, You lead a household life in the association of women; this bewilders the intelligence of the scholars in this world. (17) You are never divided and ever fresh, yet You, in Your eternal intelligence, oh Master, call upon me for consultation, as if You would be bewildered. But that is never the case. That boggles my mind, oh Lord. (18) If You deem me fit to receive it, then please shed light on Your mystery my Lord. Tell me - so that I may overcome worldly misery - in detail about the complete of the supreme knowledge about Your Self, the way You told it the fortunate Brahmâjî.'
(19) Thus being prayed to by me from the core of my heart, He, the lotus-eyed Supreme Lord of the beyond, instructed me on His transcendental position. (20) After this way having learnt the knowledge of self-realization from the worshipable Master and having understood that path, I, upon having circumambulated Him in respect of His lotus feet, reached this place with sadness in my heart because of the separation. (21) My best one [Vidura], without the pleasure of seeing Him I am in pain. Therefore I will, as He instructed, go to Badarikâs'rama [in the Himalayas] to enjoy His association. (22) In that place the Supreme Lord incarnated in the form of the sages Nârâ and Nârâyana, and for a long time was of severe penance for the welfare of all living beings.'
(23) S'rî S'uka said: 'When he from Uddhava heard the unbearable [news] of the annihilation of his friends and relatives, the learned Vidura pacified his rising bereavement by means of transcendental knowledge. (24) As the great devotee of the Lord and best among the Kauravas was leaving, Vidura in confidence submitted the following to this leading personality of the devotional service unto Krishna. (25) Vidura said: 'The Lord of Yoga enlightened you on the mystery of the transcendental knowledge of the personal soul. Be so good to explain it to me now, so that we may honor Vishnu and His servants who wander around in the interest of others.' (26) Uddhava then said: 'Turn to the worshipable sage, the son of Kushâru [Maitreya] who stays nearby. He was directly instructed by the Supreme Lord when He left the mortal world.'
(27) S'rî S'uka said: 'Because of the overwhelming emotion with which he on the bank of the Sarasvatî river with Vidura discussed the nectar of the qualities of the Lord of the Universe, the night passed in a moment. Thereafter the son of Aupagava went away.'
(28) The king [Parîkchit] asked: 'How was it possible that after the destruction that happened to the Vrishni and Bhoja dynasty, the great leader in command among them, the prominent Uddhava, was the only one to remain after the Lord had completed His pastimes as the Master over the three worlds?'
(29) S'rî S'uka said: 'After He by the power of Time had called for the end of His numerous family by means of the curse of the brahmins, He considered to give up His outer appearance and thought to Himself: (30) 'When I have left this world, the knowledge of Myself and My shelter will be in the right hands with Uddhava. He is at present the most important devotee. (31) Uddhava is not in the least inferior to Me because he is never affected by the material modes. Thus he rightfully may remain as the master in this world to disseminate the knowledge about Me.'
(32) After thus having been instructed by the spiritual master of the three worlds, the source of all Vedic knowledge, he [Uddhava] reached the place of pilgrimage Badarikâs'rama, where he found absorption in his devotion unto the Lord. (33) Vidura had heard from Uddhava how Krishna, the Supersoul, extraordinarily had assumed a form for His pastimes and most gloriously had engaged with it. (34) His entering a physical body is for both the persevering great sages and for common people a thing most difficult to understand. And for people with an animal attitude it is a completely mind-boggling affair. (35) With the notion that Krishna, the Fortunate One, also had thought of him as a devotee when He left this earth, oh best among the Kurus, Vidura was overwhelmed by love and burst into tears.
(36) Oh best of the Bharatas, after Vidura thus had passed a few days on the bank of the Yamunâ [see 3:1.24], he reached the holy waters of the Ganges where he met sage Maitreya [the son of Mitrâ, his mother].'
Chapter 5: Vidura Talks with Maitreya
(1) S'rî S'uka said: 'At the source of the celestial river [the Ganges] Vidura, the best among the Kurus who had come closer to the Infallible One, sat before Maitreya Muni whose knowledge was fathomless and with a perfect respect he from the satisfaction of his transcendence politely asked him questions. (2) Vidura said: 'For the sake of happiness everyone in this world engages in fruitive activities, but by those activities one never becomes happy or finds satisfaction, on the contrary, one rather becomes unhappy that way. Please, oh great one, kindly enlighten us on what would be the right course in which circumstances. (3) The great souls who are of sacrifice wander around for the sake of the Lord of the three worlds, because of their compassion for the common man who turned his face away from Lord Krishna and under the influence of the material world is always unhappy in neglect of his duties to God. (4) Therefore oh greatest among the saints, please instruct me on the path that is favorable for us serving the Supreme Lord perfectly who, residing in the heart of the living beings, awards the unalloyed devotee the knowledge of the basic principles [the Truth] with which one learns the classical wisdom [the Veda]. (5) What does the self-sufficient Supreme Lord and ruler of the three worlds all do when He despite being desireless accepts it to be incarnate in order to arrange the maintenance of the created universe? (6) How can He who withdraws to lie down in the ether and be unconcerned at the basis of the universe as the One Lord of Unification, as the one and only original master then again have an existence in the form of the many different [avatâras]? (7) Why is it that, concerning the pastimes that He for the welfare of the twice-born ones, the cows and the devoted ones displays in the transcendental activities of His different incarnations, our minds never seem to have enough in spite of time and again hearing about the auspicious, nectarean characteristics of the Lord? (8) What are the different principles on the basis of which the Lord of all Lords generated the different rulers and their higher and lower worlds wherein, as known, all classes of beings are differently occupied? (9) And please describe to us, oh chief among the brahmins, how the creator of the universe Nârâyana, the self-sufficient Lord who for mankind is the way, put together all the different forms, engagements and dispersed cultures of the incarnated souls.
(10) Oh fortunate one, from the mouth of Vyâsadeva I repeatedly heard about the higher and lower [nature] of these occupations, but without the nectar of the talks about Krishna I am little satisfied about these matters and the happiness derived from them. (11) Who can get enough of the stories about Him whose feet are the places of pilgrimage and who in society is worshiped by the great devotees? When these stories enter someone's ears they, because of the love they bestow, cut the ties of affection a person has with his family! (12) Your friend sage Krishna Dvaipâyana Vyâsa has described the transcendental qualities of the Supreme Lord in the Mahâbhârata. That book is only there to draw the attention of people who take pleasure in attending to worldly topics towards the stories of the Lord. (13) The weight of that belief gradually brings about indifference for other matters. The one who constantly remembers the Lord His feet has achieved the bliss that without delay vanquishes all miseries. (14) I pity all those ignorant poor people who, in decay with the divinity of Time, in the sinfulness of their pitiable state of ignorance have turned away from the stories about the Lord and waste the length of their lives with useless philosophical exercises, imaginary purposes and a diversity of rituals. (15) Therefore, oh Maitreya, you who as the friend of the distressed promotes the good fortune [of everyone], please describe for our welfare of all topics the essence: the talks about the Lord that alike the nectar of flowers constitute the glory of all pilgrimaging. (16) Please tell us everything pertaining to the transcendental, superhuman activities accomplished by the Lord in His with all potencies equiped embodiments for the sake of a perfect grip on the maintenance and creation of His universe.'
(17) S'rî S'uka said: 'Thus as requested the great sage, His lordship Maitreya, did Vidura for the ultimate welfare of all the honor of giving an exposition [on these matters]. (18) S'rî Maitreya said: 'My blessings, oh good one whose mind is constantly fixed upon the Lord beyond the senses. Your questioning me for the sake of all is proof of the goodness of your mercy to broadcast the glories of the soul in this world. (19) Oh Vidura, I am not surprised that you who accepted the Supreme Personality our Lord, without any deviation of thought have asked me these questions, for you were born from the semen of Vyâsa. (20) Because of a curse of the powerful sage Mândavya Muni you have, from the maidservant of the brother [Vicitravîrya] and the son of Satyavatî [Vyâsadeva], taken birth as the incarnation of Yamarâja, the controller of death [see family tree]. (21) Your goodness is recognized as one of the eternal associates of the Supreme Lord. Upon His return to His abode He ordered me to instruct you in spiritual knowledge. (22) Therefore I shall now give you a systematic description of the pastimes of the Supreme Lord in His control over the enormously extended outer illusion for the sake of the creation, maintenance and dissolution of the universe.
(23) Prior to the creation of the universe the Supreme Lord, the Self and master of the living beings, existed as one without a second. It was His wish [then] not to be manifested as [many] individual soul[s], with [each] a vision of his own and outer characteristics. (24) He at the time being nothing of that all, as a seer could not discern anything visible. Free to act to His wishes He, with His inner potency manifested but with His expansions and His material potency not manifested, felt as if He did not exist. (25) That what He as the perfect seer sees is energy characterized by cause and effect. Oh fortunate one, this energy with which the Almighty has built this world is called mâyâ [illusory, bewildering]. (26) With the effect of Eternal Time [kâla] upon the three modes of this illusory energy, the Supreme being, He who essentially is spiritual, generated the virility [the valor, the manliness, the power] by [entering the universe as] the person [as the Purusha]. (27) From the unmanifested then by the interaction of time came about the Mahat-tattva [the complete of the Supreme, the cosmic intelligence]. This physical self that situated in the totality drives away darkness and ignorance is of an understanding nature and capable of creating complete [spiritual] universes. (28) The [sum total of manifestation] which thus constitutes a plenary expansion of guna, kâla and [jîv]-âtmâ, forms the range of sight of the Personality of Godhead. It is the reservoir, the reason for existence, the self, of the many differentiated life forms of this universe that urges on creative effort.
(29) The Mahat-tattva transforming into the material reality of ego consciousness manifests itself in terms of cause, effect and doer. Thus we have three kinds of ego that constitute a reflection in the mind of [the gunas of] the self, the material elements and sentience: [respectively] brilliance [sattva], ignorance [tamas] and variability [rajas]. (30) With the principle of variability of the ego [vaikârika] a transformation is brought about of the mind that in its emotionality calls for all the God-conscious ones who constitute the basis of the material knowledge concerning the phenomenal world. (31) With the brilliance [taijasâni] of one's sense spiritual knowledge about fruitive activities [karma] dominates. (32) In ignorance [tamas] one arrives at the realization of the subtle sense objects [of imagined sounds and images] of which the ether [their medium] constitutes the representation of the Supersoul. (33) Material energy is a partial mixture of time [the time of expanding and contracting]. The Supreme Lord glancing this over from the ether, thus being contacted created the transformation of that touch in the form of air. (34) The air, also transformed by the extremely powerful ether, gave rise to the form of light and [the bio-electricity] of sense perception by which the world is seen. (35) From the interaction of the air and its bio-electricity with the glance of the Lord [of the ether] there was by the mixture of time a transformation of the material energy that created the taste [for life] in water. (36) The electrified water thus created due to the transformation of the Supreme Spirit [of the ether] glancing over the earth, led to the creation of the quality of smell with the partly uniting of the external energy with eternal time.
(37) Oh gentle one, understand that from the ether onwards, all the material elements and the great number of their superior and inferior qualities, [owe their existence to] the finishing touch of the Supreme. (38) The gods ruling over all these material elements are all part and parcel of Lord Vishnu. Embodied in the time-bound energy as partial aspects they fail in their personal duties and express their honest feelings for the Lord. (39) The gods said: 'Our obeisances at Your lotus feet, oh Lord, in distress we surrendered to them because they are the protecting umbrella that offers all the great sages shelter who vigorously fully put behind themselves all the great miseries of material life. (40) Oh Father, because of the fact that in this material world, oh Lord, the individual souls are always embarrassed by the three miseries [born from oneself, others and nature] they are never happy, but attaining Your self, oh Supreme Personality, they obtain the shelter of the shade of Your lotus feet and the knowledge. (41) At every step taking to the shelter of the place of pilgrimage of Your feet, the great sages, who on the wings of the Vedic hymns with a clear mind search for Your lotuslike face, find their shelter at the best of rivers [the Ganges] that liberates from the reactions to sin. (42) The meditation that with belief, simply hearing and devotion cleanses the heart with the strength of the knowledge of detachment, obliges those who found the peace to head for the sanctuary of Your lotus feet. (43) Let us all seek the shelter of the lotus feet of You who assumed the forms of the avatâras for the sake of the creation, maintenance and dissolution of the universe. Oh Lord, they constitute the refuge that awards the courage of the devotees with remembrance. (44) Because the people get entangled and are thus of the material body in the mind of 'I' and 'mine', they are immersed in an undesirable eagerness and see themselves far removed from You, even though You are present in their bodies. Let us therefore worship Your lotus feet, oh Lord. (45) They [Your feet] cannot be seen by those who, under the influence of the material world, by their sense perception became alienated from the internal vision oh Supreme One. But, oh Greatness, for those who do have the [inner] vison there are the pastimes of Your divine activities. (46) Oh Lord, those who are seriously committed simply by drinking the nectar of the talks attain the full maturity of devotional service, the true meaning of renunciation, the intelligence in which one quickly achieves the spiritual sphere where foolishness and indolence have ended [Vaikunthha]. (47) For others of transcendental realization in the yoga in which one conquers the very powerful material world, You are also the one, pacifying Original Person whom they enter. But while it for them is a thing hard to accomplish that is not the case for the ones who serve You. (48) Oh Original Lord, we are therefore much obliged. Since we for the sake of the creation of the world one after the other were created and in the past were separated as a consequence of what we did according to the three modes of nature, we were caught in the network of our own pleasures and failed to stand united in Your service. (49) Oh Unborn One, direct us in making our offerings at the right time whereby we can share our meals and also all other living beings can have their sustenance so that we with our offerings of food can eat without disturbance. (50) Oh Lord, You are of us the gods, the God-conscious and our orders, the one unique original primal person. You, oh Lord are, although You are unborn, for the material energy the cause of the gunas and the karma, alike the seed that is sown for begetting the species. (51) Oh Supreme Soul, tell us what we, who were all created from and for the totality of the cosmos, should do for You and specifically grant us the vision of Your personal plan. Please grant us the ability, oh Lord, to work and act according to Your special mercy with us [the status-orientations and their transcendence].'
Chapter 6: Manifestation of the Universal Form
(1) The wise [Maitreya] said: 'Thus the Lord was faced with the fact that the progress of what was created in the universe was suspended because of a lack of coherence between His potencies [see 3.5: 48]. (2) At that time He with His supremely powerful potency that is known as Kâlî, the goddess of the power to destroy, simultaneously entered all the twenty-three elements [the five elements and their qualities, the five organs of action and the senses and the three forms of individual consciousness: mind, intelligence and ego; compare 2.4: 23]. (3) That later on entering of the Supreme Lord in the form of the force of matter, Kâlî, engaged all the living beings separately in labor by awakening them from their unconscious state to their karma. (4) When the twenty-three principal ingredients thus by the will of God were roused to [coherent] action, their combination led to the manifestation of His plenary expansion of the Original Person [in the appearance of the Universal Form]. (5) The moment He thus with His plenary expansion [of the material power] entered there, all the elements of creation, that thus found each other therein, transformed into the worlds of an organic and inorganic existence. (6) He, the Original Person, this [Garbhodakas'âyî] Vishnu called Hiranmaya, for a thousand celestial years [one such year is a 360 years to man] resided together with all that belonged to His goodness, within the egg-shaped universe supported by the [causal] waters.
(7) With the content of that egg, the complete of the gigantic person being put to work by His divine Self filled with His [female] power, He thus divided Himself into one [consciousness], three [identifications of the self, see 2.10: 14] and ten [activities, senses of action and perception]. (8) This unlimited expanse is the self of the living entities, the first incarnation and plenary portion of the Supersoul, whereupon the aggregate of all of them flourishes. (9) The threefold of the gigantic form pertains to the three aspects of âdhyâtmika [the self with its senses and mind], âdhidaivika [nature and all her gods] and âdhibhautika [the others and what more appears to the senses], the tenfold relates to the [organs of the] life force [or prâna: hands, feet, anus, the genitals, eyes, nose, ears, tongue, skin and mouth; see brahma sûtra 2.4: 5-6] and the oneness refers to the heart. (10) The Lord beyond the senses recalling the prayer of the deities of the universe, by His own radiance [thus] illumined the gigantic form for the sake of their understanding. (11) Now listen to my description of the many different positions of the demigods that then manifested from His consideration.
(12) A mouth manifested and when that happened it was the god of fire who among the directors of the material world assumed his position along with his power, the organ of speech with which one utters words. (13) A palate appeared. It was the abode of Varuna [the god presiding over the waters] who in [the body of] the Lord among the directors of the material world assumed his position along with his power: the organ of the tongue with which one tastes. (14) Next the nostrils appeared where the two As'vinî Kumâras have their position with the sense of smell with which one perceives odors [see also 2.1: 29 and 2.5: 30]. (15) Eyes appeared in the gigantic body that offered a position to Tvashthâ, the director of light and the power of sight by which forms can be seen. (16) Then the skin of the gigantic form manifested, a position taken by Anila, the director of the air, with the power of breath which enables the experience of touch. (17) With the manifestation of the ears of the gigantic form that position was occupied by the deities of the directions [the Digdevatâs] with the power of hearing by which sounds are perceived. (18) Thereafter the [hair of the] skin of the gigantic body manifested for the divinity of the [herbs and plants with] the power to feel by means of the hairs with which itching feelings are experienced. (19) When the genitals of the gigantic form appeared, the first one [Brahmâ, the Prajâpati] took his position with the function of semen with which the pleasure [of sex] is experienced. (20) An anus formed in the original embodiment offering a position taken by the god Mitra with the function of evacuation with which one defecates. (21) With the manifestation of the hands of the Universal Form the king of heaven Indra took his position with the ability to handle matters with which one makes one's living. (22) The legs of the Universal Form that manifested were occupied by Vishnu, the godhead of the power of locomotion by which one reaches one's destination. (23) When the intelligence of the Universal Form manifested, the ruling godhead Brahmâ, the Lord of the spoken word, found his position with the power of insight with which one arrives at understanding. (24) Next the heart of the Universal Being manifested in which Candra, the god of the moon took his position with the function of mental activity because of which one is lost in thoughts. (25) What next came about in the Universal Form was the I-awareness in which the identification with the body [the 'false ego'] took its position [under the rule of Lord Rudra] with the function of karma by which one engages in concrete activities. (26) What followed was the manifestation of the spiritual essence of goodness in the gigantic body. Therein the complete[ness, of the mahat-tattva] found its place with the power of consciousness by means of which one cultivates wisdom.
(27) From the head of the Universal Form the heavenly worlds manifested, the earthly places originated from His legs and the sky rose from His abdomen. In those areas the enlightened souls and other living beings are found who evolved as a result of the operation of the three basic qualities of nature. (28) By the infinite mode of goodness [of sattva] the gods found their place in the heavens whereas all the human beings, who on earth live by the nature of their passion [rajas], are subordinate to them. (29) Those belonging to the third kind [the ghosts and spirits] are, as the associates of Rudra, because of their nature [of tamas] found in the region of the ether - the navel of the Lord - situated in between the other two.
(30) Spiritual wisdom generated from the mouth of the Universal Form, oh chief of the Kuru dynasty. Those who are inclined to this wisdom became the leading order [the chief varna] of society. They, the brahmins, are the recognized teachers and spiritual spokesmen [the gurus]. (31) The power to protect the citizens manifested from the arms [of the gigantic body]. They who exercise that power [the kshatriyas or rulers] are the followers [of the brahmins] and deliver, as representatives of the Supreme Personality, the other classes from the vice of disturbing societal elements. (32) For the production and distribution of the means of livelihood, the mercantile community [the vais'yas], whose occupation it is to take charge of provisioning all man, generated from the thighs of the Almighty. (33) From the legs of the Supreme Lord the service manifested that is of prime importance to the fulfillment of all sacred duties. It is traditionally the profession of the laborer [the s'ûdra] by which the Lord is satisfied [*]. (34) In order to purify their soul, all the classes in society worship by means of their occupational duties, under the lead of their spiritual teachers, with faith and devotion the Lord from whom they generated along with their duties.
(35) Who can estimate, oh Vidura, the totality of this form of the divine operating Self of the Supreme Lord that manifested by the strength of the deluding material oneness [of His internal potency, yogamâyâ]? (36) Oh brother, nevertheless I will give a description, as far as my intelligence permits and my knowledge allows, of what I heard about the glories of the Lord by which one is purified, for not speaking openly [about Him] we wander off in untruth. (37) One says that the One Beyond Compare is attained by the discussions about the Supreme Personality that were piously handed down through history for the glorification of His activities. Also the ear is served best by the nectar of the transcendental message as prepared [also in writing] by the learned. (38) My dear son, could the original poet [Brahmâ] know all the glories of the Supreme Soul after his intelligence had matured in meditation for a thousand celestial years? (39) Therefore, when even those skilled in creating illusions do not know because they - as also the one self-satisfied [Creator] personally - are under the spell of the bewildering potencies of the Supreme Lord, then what may one expect from others? (40) Him out of our reach who is intangible for our ego, mind and words as also for the respective gods, we offer our obeisances.'
*: S'astri Gosvâmî in this context remarks that the laborer, the s'ûdra, occupies an important place among the classes in society. Of the four purushârthas, the civil virtues, the brahmin stands for moksha, or liberation. The kshatriya is there for the regulation of sense gratification, kâma, and the vais'ya is there for the purpose of distributing the welfare, artha. But the laborer in fact makes possible the practice of religiosity, the service to God, of all the other occupational duties. He who simply serves, is just as important for the dharma.
Chapter 7: Further Inquiries by Vidura
(1) S'rî S'uka said: 'Thus speaking with Maitreya Muni, the learned son of Dvaipâyana Vyâsa, Vidura, respectfully expressed a request. (2) Vidura said: 'Oh brahmin, the Supreme Lord is the unchangeable one of the complete whole. How can despite Him being outside of the modes of nature His pastimes take place of acting with the basic qualities of material nature? (3) Boys who want to play with other boys are enthused in the matter of playing, but in what respect is that different with someone who is self-satisfied and at all times detached? (4) This universe with its three basic qualities, the gunas, was by the Supreme Lord brought about by means of His internal potency. And by that potency He also maintains the complete of it and annihilates it again. (5) How can He, the Pure Self whose consciousness is never obscured by time or circumstance, by His own actions, by others or by what has manifested [as nature], [be situated in the normal position of a living entity and] be caught in the material energy? (6) How can the one Supreme Lord who is present in every field of action [in all kshetras of the lives] of all living beings [see also B.G. 13: 3], run into any karmically settled misfortune or obstruction? (7) Oh learned one, because of the ignorance I suffer from, my mind gives me trouble. Therefore, oh mighty soul, please drive away the great impurity of my mind.'
(8) S'rî S'uka said: 'The sage this way urged on by Vidura's anxiety to find out about the reality, acted surprised and then without hesitation gave a God-conscious reply. (9) Maitreya said: 'It is contradictory to say that the Fortunate One is subject to material illusion on the one hand and that He is free from imperfections and bondage on the other hand. (10) A person loses his way because of such a contradiction about the soul, it is like seeing from the outside oneself with having one's head cut off. (11) The way by the quality of water the moon reflected in it is trembling, the quality of the physical self offers an illusory image to the inner witness differing from it. (12) When you, by the mercy of Vâsudeva, engage in detachment and in relation to the Fortunate One unite your consciousness in devotion [in bhakti-yoga], in this earthly existence that [illusion] will gradually diminish. (13) With the senses thus satisfied in the transcendental true self of the seer, all misery completely dissolves in the Lord, like one enjoyed sound sleep. (14) When one can put an end to all kinds of misery by simply hearing about [meditating upon] the qualities and such of Murâri [Krishna as the enemy of Mura], what then may one expect from the, according to one's nature, serving in the dust of His lotus feet?'
(15) Vidura said: 'Oh powerful sage, now that you have cut down my doubts with the weapon of your words, oh greatest of all, my mind concerning the two [of the independent Lord and the living being] has arrived at a perfect union. (16) Dear learned soul, you are perfectly right in stating that [reasoning from] the bewildering energy of the Lord is not the path for the soul to follow; it proves itself as meaningless when one engages without the basis of the Supreme Source apart from which one misses the point. (17) In this world both the ignorant fool and the one whose intelligence has attained the transcendental position enjoy happiness, whereas persons situated in between these two positions have to suffer. (18) Being certain of the fact that one abiding by outer appearances misses the essence, misses the soul, I with being of service at your feet can give up [the mistaken notion that the Supreme One would be subject to illusion]. (19) In serving the immutable Personality of Godhead who is the enemy of the demon Madhu, one develops by one's pleasure with the lotus feet [step by step] in different relationships [or râsas] the intensity [of one's rapture] that vanquishes distress. (20) Those who are of little austerity are rarely found on the path of service towards Vaikunthha [the ultimate spiritual goal] where the Lord is continually glorified by the gods as the controller of all living beings.
(21) After the creation in the beginning of the cosmic intelligence and the other elements, in a gradual process of differentiation [evolution] the universal form along with the functions of the senses manifested therefrom in which later on the Almighty One entered [for His incarnations]. (22) He who is called the original person has thousands of limbs, legs and hands and accommodates all the worlds of the universe with all the life that has its existence on them. (23) You explained how there are three kinds of life [according to the basic qualities] in which one has ten kinds of life force with the [five] senses and their [fivefold] interest. Please describe now to me what the specific powers of the societal divisions are. (24) In these [divisions], with the sons, grandsons and family members of the different generations, that prowess has spread itself in the different forms of existence. (25) Who are the original progenitors [the Prajâpatis] evolved by their original leader [Brahmâ]? What are the generations of these fathers of mankind and which generations followed them? Which Manus ruled over the different manvantaras [cultural periods]? (26) Which worlds are there above and below the earthly worlds, oh son of Mitrâ? Please describe what their positions and sizes are as also the measures and proportions of the earthly worlds. (27) Tell me what the generations and subdivisions are of the infrahuman, human and superhuman living beings the way they are born from eggs, wombs, from moisture [micro-organisms] and from earth [the plants]. (28) Kindly describe the incarnations according to the modes of nature for the sake of the creation, maintenance and destruction of the universe [Brahmâ, Vishnu and S'iva] as also the magnanimous activities of the Personality of Godhead living with the Goddess of Fortune, of Him [S'rînivâsa] who constitutes the ultimate shelter.
(29) What are the divisions of societal status [varna] and spiritual order [âs'rama] and what are their features, how do they behave and what is their character? What are the birth and activities of the sages and what are the divisions of the Veda? (30) What, oh master, are all the ceremonies of sacrificing and what are the different ways of the yoga perfections, of the analytical study of knowledge and of relating to the Personality of God with regulative principles? (31) What are the ways followed by the faithless and what are their shortcomings? What is the situation of those who stem from mixed marriages and what is the destiny of life of the many types of individual souls according to the modes they follow and the kinds of labor they perform? (32) How can the different interests of religiosity, economic development, sense-gratification and salvation, the different means of livelihood, the codes of law, the scriptural injunctions and the different regulative principles be balanced? (33) Oh brahmin, how are the periodical offerings [of S'râddha] regulated to honor the deceased and to respect what the forefathers have created and how are the times settled in respect of the positions of the luminaries like the planets and the stars? (34) What may one expect from charity, penance and the endeavoring for reservoirs of water and how are the duties described for someone away from home and for a man in danger? (35) Please describe to me oh sinless one, how He, the Supreme Person, the Father of Religion and Controller of All, can be satisfied completely and who of us could do that? (36) Oh best among the brahmins, the spiritual masters, who are so kind to the needy, tell their devoted disciples and sons even what they did not ask for. (37) Oh supreme master, how many dissolutions [or end times] are there for the elements of nature? Who are they who are saved then and who are they who [being of praise] may serve Him? And who may merge with Him when He goes asleep? (38) And what is the nature and identity of the individual person and of the Supreme, what is the leading motive of the Vedic wisdom and what moves the guru and his disciples? (39) Spotless devotees speak of this source of knowledge in the world. How would someone of his own accord have knowledge of devotional service and detachment?
(40) All these questions I have asked in my desire to know about the pastimes of the Lord. Please answer them as a friend to me [and everyone else] who in his ignorance with the external energy has lost his vision. (41) Oh spotless sage, the assurance of an existence free from fear one obtains from someone like you, cannot in any way be compared with the liberation offered by all the Vedas, sacrifices, penances and charity.'
(42) S'rî S'uka said: 'He [Maitreya], the chief among the sages so well versed in the stories [Purânas], was most delighted to hear these questions posed by the chief of the Kurus and thus being urged to the topics about the Supreme Lord, he with a smile gave Vidura his reply.'
Chapter 8: Manifestation of Brahmâ from Garbhodakas'âyî Vishnu
(1) S'rî Maitreya said: 'The descendants of King Pûru deserve the respect of the sages because their kings are chiefly devoted to the Supreme Personality; and with you who are also born in this chain of devotional activity in respect of the Invincible One, there is step by step [with every question you ask] constantly new light shed on this subject matter. (2) Let me therefore now discuss this Bhâgavatam, this Vedic supplement that originally by the Supreme Lord in person was spoken to the seers for the mitigation of the great distress of the human beings who experience so little happiness.
(3) The son of Brahmâ [Sanat-kumâra] as the leader of the great sages [the four boy-saints, the Kumâras], questioned just like you Lord Sankarshana about the truth concerning the Original Personality [the first plenary portion and companion of the Lord] who always clear in His knowledge resides at the basis of the universe. (4) He in that position with Him whom one in great esteem calls Vâsudeva had turned His vision inwards, but to encourage the highly learned sages He slightly opened His lotuslike eyes. (5) With the hairs on their heads wet from the water of the Ganges they touched the shelter of His lotus feet that is worshiped by the daughters of the serpent-king, with great devotion and with various paraphernalia, in the desire for a good husband. (6) Known with His pastimes they, with words and with great affection in rhythmic accord, repeatedly glorified the activities while from the thousands of raised hoods [of Ananta, the serpent king] the glowing effulgence emanated of the valuable stones upon their thousands of helmets. (7) Oh Vidura one says that He then discussed the purport of the Bhâgavatam with Sanat-kumâra who had taken the [yoga] vow of renunciation and, as was requested, passed it on to Sânkhyâyana who had also taken the vow. (8) When the great sage Sânkhyâyana as the chief of the transcendentalists reciting this Bhâgavatam [thereafter] expounded on it, both the spiritual master Parâs'ara whom I followed and Brihaspati were present. (9) Urged on by sage Pulastya, he [Parâs'ara] kindheartedly told me this finest one of the Purânas that I in my turn will relate to you, my dear son, for you are an ever faithfull follower.
(10) At the time the three worlds were submerged in the waters, He [Garbhodakas'âyî Vishnu] was lying down there alone, inactively with almost closed eyes, upon the snake bed Ananta desiring nothing more than the satisfaction of His internal potency. (11) The way the power of fire is hidden in wood, He resided there in His place in the water, keeping all living beings in their subtlety within His transcendental body from where He gives life in the form of Time [kâla]. (12) For the duration of thousand times four yugas [4.32 billion years] He with His internal potency lay dormant for the sake of the further development - by means of His force called kâla [time] - of the worlds of the living beings who depend on fruitive activities. That role gave His body a bluish look [the blue of the refuge of the vivifying water]. (13) In accordance with the purpose of His internal attention for the subtle subject matter of creation, there was in due course of time, because of the material activity of the basic qualities of nature, the agitation [of the subtle elements, the entities] that then most subtly broke forth from His abdomen [from the ether]. (14) With the Time that roused the karma to activity, soon from the original self [of Vishnu] with that [agitation] a lotus bud appeared that, just like a sun, illumined the vast waters with its effulgence.
(15) That lotus flower of factually the universe was entered by Vishnu as the reservoir of all qualities from which He in the beginning generated the personality of Vedic wisdom, the controller of the universe [Brahmâ] who, so one says, was born from himself. (16) [Brahmâ] in that water situated on the whorl of the lotus could not discern the world and spying all around in the four directions he [thus] received his four heads. (17) [Brahmâ] seated upon and sheltered by the lotus flower that, because of the stormy sky at the end of the yuga, had appeared from the restless waters, could in his bewilderment not fathom the mystery of creation, nor understand that he was the first demigod. (18) 'Who am I, seated on top of this lotus? Wherefrom has it originated? There must be something in the water below. Being present here implies the existence of that from which it sprouted!' (19) This way contemplating the stem of the lotus, he by following that channel in the water towards the navel [of Vishnu], despite his entering there and extensively thinking about its origin, could not understand the foundation. (20) Groping in the dark, oh Vidura, with his contemplating this way it thus came to pass that the enormity of the three-dimensional reality of time [tri-kâlika] was generated that, as a weapon [a cakra], inspires fear in the embodied unborn soul by limiting his span of life to a hundred years [compare 2.2: 24-25].
(21) When he failed to achieve the object of his desire, the godhead gave up the endeavor and seated himself upon the lotus again to control with confidence, step by step, his breath, withdraw his mind and unify his consciousness in meditation. (22) [Thus] practicing yoga for the duration of his life, the unborn one in due course of time developed the understanding and saw how in his heart, out of its own, that manifested what he could not see before. (23) On the bed of the completely white gigantic S'esha-nâga [snake] lotusflower the Original Person was lying all alone under the umbrella of the serpent hood that was bedecked with head jewels by the glow of which the darkness in the water of devastation was dissipated. (24) The view of His hands, legs, jewels, flower garland and dress, derided the panorama of the green coral of the evening splendor of the sun over the great, golden mountain summits with their waterfalls and herbs, flowers and trees. (25) The totality of the three worlds in all its variety was, with the length and width of the measurement of His transcendental presence, covered by the beauty of the divine radiance of the ornaments that dressed His body.
(26) According to the desire of the human being who, in worship of the lotus feet that reward each desire, follows the path of devotional service, He in His causeless mercy, with the moonlike radiance of His toe- and fingernails, showed the most beautiful [flowerlike] division. (27) With His smiling face adorned with the beauty of His earrings, with the view of the light reflected by His lips and with the reaction of His pleasing nose and eyebrows, He dispelled the distress of the world. (28) Dear Vidura, His waist was well decorated with a belt and with cloth with the saffron color of kadamba flowers, there was a priceless necklace and on His chest there was the attractive S'rîvatsa mark [a few white hairs]. (29) The way trees in the world have their separate existence and with their thousands of branches spread their high value [of flowers and fruits] as if they are ornamented with precious jewels, so too the Lord, the ruler of Ananta, [Garbhodakas'âyî Vishnu] is ornamented with the hoods above His shoulders. (30) The Supreme Lord, just like a mountain, is the abode for all living beings mobile and immobile. As the friend of Anantadeva He, like a mountain, is submerged in the water and with His thousands of golden helmets [and jewels] and with His Kaustubha jewel He manifests Himself like a mountain range of gold in the ocean. (31) With around His neck the flower garland of His personal glories in the form of the sweet, beautiful sounds of Vedic wisdom, the Lord of the sun, the moon, the air and fire was most difficult to approach for all the three worlds [so did Brahmâ discover] because He was surrounded by His personal weapons [like His cakra]. (32) Thus it happened that the godhead of the universe, the creator of destiny, could behold His navel, the lake, the lotus flower, the waters of destruction, the air with its winds and the sky, but could not glance beyond the created reality of the cosmic manifestation. (33) With the reach of that vision he, as the seed of all worldly activities, thus was invigorated by the mode of passion. Therefore He, in consideration of the living beings eagerly procreating, prayed to Him for the allowance to create, on the transcendental path of the steadfast soul, in service of the Worshipable One.'
Chapter 9: Brahmâ's Prayers for Creative Energy
(1) Brahmâ said: 'Today, after a long time [of penance], I have come to know You and can say that it is really a shame when the embodied soul has no knowledge of Your ways as the Supreme Lord. There is no one beyond You, my Lord, and anything that appears to be so can never be the absolute, for You are [the transcendence of] the greater reality to the modes of the material energy that lost its equilibrium. (2) That [greater] form is always free from the darkness of matter because You, in the beginning, for the sake of the devotees manifested Your inner potency, the potency that is the source of the hundreds of avatâras and from which I also found my existence upon the lotus flower sprouting from Your navel. (3) Oh my Lord, beyond this [source] I see no other [body] superior to Your eternal form full of bliss that is free from change and deterioration of potency. You are the one and only Creator of the cosmic manifestation and the nonmaterial Supreme Soul itself. I who take pride in my identification with the body and senses am surrendered to You. (4) That form - or however You make Your presence - is all-auspicious for the entire universe and beneficial to our meditation. You, Supreme Lord who have manifested Yourself to us devotees, I offer my obeisances. For You I perform that what is neglected by persons who, in their appetite for material matters, head straight for hell. (5) But those who hold on to the flavor and smell of Your lotus feet that is carried by the sounds of the Veda reaching their ears, accepted Your transcendental course by their devotional service. For those who are Your devotees there is never the separation from You [being installed] on the lotus of their hearts, oh Lord. (6) Till then there will be fear because of the wealth, the body and the relatives, and also the lamentation and desire as well as the avarice and contempt will be great. As long as the people of the world do not take to the shelter of the security of Your lotus feet, one will be full of anxieties in one's undertaking according to the perishable notion of possessing things. (7) How unfortunate are they who are bereft of the memory of Your topics! With their senses not directed at You, they are tied down by inauspicious matters and find, acting to their desires, happiness for only a brief moment. They are poor fellows whose minds are constantly ruled by greed and activities full of stress. (8) Their always being troubled by [false] hunger, thirst and their three humors [mucus, bile and gasses], by winter and summer, wind and rain and by many other disturbances as also by a strong sex drive and inescapable anger, I consider all together as spiritually most unbearable, oh Man of the Great Strides. It aggrieves me a lot. (9) As long as a person, under the influence of Your material illusion, oh Fortunate One, is a servant of his senses and is faced with an existence of being separated in a body, such a soul, oh Lord, will not be able to overcome the cycle of repeated births in the material world. Even though working for outer results carries no factual meaning [to the soul], it will result in endless miseries. (10) During the day their senses are engaged in stressful labor and at night they suffer insomnia because of all their ruminations that constantly disturb their intelligence and break their sleep. The divine order frustrates their plans. They and even those sages, oh Lord, who turned against Your topics, will have to keep wandering around in this world. (11) United in devotion being directed at You for a hundred percent and with You residing on the lotus of their hearts, the devotees who are on the path of listening, oh my Lord, see how You, in the here and now, in Your causeless mercy exactly manifest that transcendental form they had in mind of You glorified by so many. (12) You are never that much pleased by pompous arrangements with a lot of paraphernalia of high-class servants who are of worship with hearts full of all kinds of desires. For You, the variously perceived Unique and Only Well-wisher, the Supersoul within the living entities, are there to show all living entities Your causeless mercy; You cannot be achieved by those who settle for what is man-made and temporal [asat]. (13) The dharma [the correct, infallible course of action] therefore consists of those different result minded activities, forms of charity, difficult penances and transcendental forms of service, that by the people are performed for just the worship of You, for simply pleasing You, the Fortunate One. The duty thus being performed will never be in vain.
(14) Let me offer my obeisances to You, the Supreme One who always, by the glories of His transcendental form, distinguish Yourself in enjoying the pastimes of Your cosmic creation, maintenance and destruction. Unto You, the Transcendence whom one realizes by intelligently dealing with the illusory diversity, I offer my obeisances. (15) I take refuge in the Unborn One whose names, representing His incarnations, transcendental qualities and activities, open the way for reaching His eternal bliss. When they are invoked the moment one leaves this life, they immediately automatically remove the accumulated sins of many, many lives. (16) He, the Almighty Personality, who for reasons of maintenance, creation and dissolution penetrates [this world] with three trunks - the one of me, S'iva and Himself - grew, rooting in the soul, as the one and only [coherence] to the many branches [of religion]. Him, the Personality of Godhead, this tree of the planetary systems, I offer my obeisances. (17) As long as the people of the world are engaged in unwanted activities and in the activities of their self-interest despise the by You as beneficial pronounced devotional activities, the struggle for existence of these people will be very tough and with [the defiance of] Your Vigilant Rule [of Time] lead straight to a shambles. Let there be my obeisances unto You. (18) Existing in a place that lasts for two parârdhas [2 x 50 years, with one day and night being two times 4.32 billion earthly years: 311.04 trillion years], even I, being respected in all the worlds and for many years having undergone severe penances for my self-realization, desire to obtain You whom I offer my respectful obeisances my Lord, oh Supreme Personality and enjoyer of all sacrifices. (19) Desiring to fulfill Your obligations You manifest Your transcendental pastimes, by the grace of Your will projecting Yourself in the different life forms of the animals, the human beings and the gods. In spite of appearing in Your divine form, You thereby are never under the influence of the material energy. I offer my obeisances to that Lord of the Opulences, the Supreme Personality. (20) And also the ignorance [avidya] that is known in five ways [see further 3.12: 2] does not affect You. On the contrary, You, amidst the violent series of waves in the waters lying on the snake bed in touch [with Ananta S'esha], keep the peace and slumber, carrying in Your abdomen all the living entities and worlds for the sake of their maintenance. That is how You show the [intelligent] human being Your happiness. (21) I offer You my obeisances by the power of whom I have manifested from the lotus house sprouting from Your navel, in order to assist by Your grace You, the worshipable one, in the creation of the three worlds. I worship You who have the universe in Your abdomen and whose eyes after the end of Your yogic slumber are blossoming like lotuses.
(22) May He, the Lord of all universes, the one friend and philosopher, the Supersoul who as the Supreme Lord of the six opulences [beauty, intelligence, penance, power, fame and wealth] brings happiness by the mode of goodness, grant me the power of introspection so that I will be able to create, as before, this universe as a surrendered soul dear to Him. (23) Unto this benefactor of the surrendered soul, who, with the Goddess of Fortune [Lakshmî], from His internal potency enjoys whatever He may enact in accepting His incarnations of goodness, I pray that I, being gifted with His omnipotency, may be of service and create and that I also, despite the material affection of my heart, will be able to stop with it. (24) I, who for the manifestation of the variegation of His unlimited power was born from the lake of the Supreme Person's navel as the energy of the total universe, pray that I may not suffer the misfortune of losing sight of the sound vibrations of the Vedic truth. (25) May the Supreme Lord who, in His ultimate love and smiles, is of an endless mercy, open His lotus eyes. Let the cosmic creation thus flourish and find His glory as He with His sweet words, as the oldest and Original Person, takes away our dejection.'
(26) Maitreya said: 'After he had observed the source of His appearance and with penance, full of knowledge and a focussed mind, to the best of his ability had given thought to the words of his prayer, he fell silent as if he was tired. (27-28) When Madhusûdana [Krishna as the killer of Madhu] saw the sincerity of Brahmâ and how depressed he was about the devastating waters of the age and at a loss about the different positions of the worlds, He in deep thoughtful words addressed him in order to remove his anxiety.'
(29) The Supreme Lord said: 'Gifted as you are with the depth of all Vedic wisdom, do not despair about the endeavor of creation. That what you ask from Me, has already been settled by Me. (30) To be sure of My support you must, as before, be of penance and prayer [meditate the mantras]. By these qualities you will see all the worlds laid open within your heart, oh brahmin. (31) When you connected in devotion are fully absorbed in the universe, you will see that I am spread throughout, oh Brahmâ, and that you, including all the worlds and life forms, are part of Me. (32) You will see Me situated within the universe and in all living entities like fire present in wood and that very instant you will undoubtedly be able to leave the weakness behind. (33) As soon as you have approached Me and, with your senses no longer under the control of the modes of nature, are free from the gross and subtle self, you will see your pure essence [svarûpa] and enjoy the kingdom of heaven. (34) With your desire to expand the varieties of service and increase the population innumerably, your soul will never be saddened therein because My mercy is unbounded. (35) Since you are the original seer, the vicious mode of passion will never encroach upon you and your mind, despite your generation of progeny, will always be fixed upon Me. (36) Even though I for the conditioned soul am difficult to know, I today am known by you because you understand Me as not being a product of matter, the senses, the modes or the bewilderment of the self. (37) I manifested Myself to you from within when you, in your contemplating the source of the lotus, by its stem in the water tried to discover Me. (38) The prayers you performed for Me, oh Brahmâ, the stories about Me enumerating My glories and your penance in steady faith, are all [to be considered as] My causeless mercy. (39) May all benediction rest upon you who in your desire prayed for the victory of all the worlds by describing so nicely My qualities and transcendental position. I am most pleased with you. (40) Anyone who regularly prays these verses as stated, will by his worship very soon see all his desires fulfilled, for I am the Lord of all benediction. (41) Satisfying Me by good works, penances, sacrifices, charities and absorption in yoga, the human being will find his ultimate success, so is the opinion of those who know the Absolute Truth. (42) Because I am the Supersoul, the director of all other souls and the dearest of everything dear, one should dedicate all one's attachment to Me. The love after all one has for one's body and other matters is there on account of Me. (43) And now generate with the control of your knowledge of the Veda and with your body, who both directly owe their existence to the [Super]soul, as is customary the lives of all wo are closely associated with Me.'
(44) Maitreya said: 'After thus having instructed the creator of the universe, the primeval, original Lord in His personal Nârâyana form disappeared from sight.'
Chapter 10: Divisions of the Creation
(1) Vidura said: 'How many living beings were by the almighty grandfather of all creatures on this planet created from his body and mind, after the disappearance of the Supreme Personality? (2) Dear man of power, be so kind to eradicate all my doubts and describe from the beginning to the end everything I asked you, oh best among the souls of vast knowledge.' "
(3) Sûta said [see Canto 1]: "Oh son of Bhrigu [S'aunaka], the great sage, the son of Kushâra [Maitreya] thus being stimulated by Vidura, felt pleased and answered the questions speaking from his heart.
(4) Maitreya said: 'Brahmâ thus for the sake of the soul engaged himself in penance for a hundred celestial years the way the Unborn One, the Supreme Lord told him to. (5) He who was born on the lotus, then saw how the lotus upon which he was situated and the water surrounding it trembled because of the wind that was propelled by the power of eternal Time. (6) With his transcendental knowledge and self-awareness having increased by his penance, he had matured in practical knowledge, and with that power he took in the wind along with the water. (7) When he saw how widespread the lotus was upon which he was situated, he thought to himself: 'I shall with this [lotus in these time stirred waters] bring back to life all the worlds that in the past have merged in me.' (8) By the Supreme Lord being encouraged to engage in action, he then entered the whirl of the lotus and divided the complete of it in three main divisions that he further divided into fourteen subsections [see also 2.5: 42]. (9) These different circumstances of life together constitute the consequence of the [more or less] selfless dutiful actions [the dharma] of the individual souls in relation to the Supreme Personality.'
(10) Vidura said: 'Discussing the variety of different forms of the Lord, the wonderful actor, you spoke about eternal time as one of His names. Oh brahmin, can you please describe to us how time factually makes its appearance, oh master, what are its characteristics?'
(11) Maitreya said: 'It [Eternal Time] is the source of the different [organic and inorganic] interactions of the modes of nature, it is undivided and unlimited and it is the instrument of the Original Person to create, by His pastimes, the material life of the soul. (12) It is by means of time [kâla], the hidden, impersonal feature, that the Lord separated from the Supreme Absolute [God or brahma] the material phenomenon that was established as the bewildering material potency of Vishnu. (13) The way it [Eternal Time] is there in the present, it was there in the beginning and will also be there hereafter.
(14) The conditioning [or creation] is divided in nine kinds. Next to the formation according to the basic qualities [viz. the gunas or the modes of goodness, passion and ignorance], there is the formation according to the material qualities of time [movement, knowledge and inertia] and the three forms of creation that find their end [of plants, animals and human beings]. (15) The first creation is the one of [the goodness of the] cosmic intelligence [the mahat-tattva] of the Supreme Lord wherein the interaction of the natural qualities takes place. The second creation consists of the [passion of] the identified self, the false ego, on the basis of which there is knowledge of the material elements that thus find their engagement. (16) The third type of material formation is the one of the [ignorance of the] elements that give rise to sense perception. The fourth creation consists of [the material movement of] that what basically leads to the knowledge acquiring and operating [functions of the senses]. (17) The fifth kind of creation consists of the interaction with the mode of goodness that, together with the mind derived therefrom, results in the deities [who rule the senses]. Sixth there is the creation of darkness [from the slowness of matter] that turns masters into fools. (18) These are the six [primary] material creations. Now hear from me about the three secondary creations [of plant, animal and man produced] with the pastime of the almighty incarnation of passion [Brahmâ] who has the intelligence of the Lord.
(19) The seventh main division of creation concerns the six kinds of beings who do not move around: trees bearing fruit without flowers, plants and bushes that exist until the fruit has ripened, the creepers, the pipe-plants, creepers without support and fruit trees that blossom. (20) These beings who seek their sustenance upwards, are practically unconscious with only an inner feeling and are of many varieties. (21) The eighth creation concerns the species of lower animals. There are twenty-eight different kinds of them and they are considered to have no knowledge of their destiny, to be of an extreme ignorance, to discriminate by smell and have a poorly functioning conscience. (22) Oh purest one, the cow, the goat, the buffalo, the antelope, the hog, the gavaya [a type of oxen], the deer, the sheep and the camel all have split hooves. (23) The ass, the horse, the mule, the gaura, the s'arabha bison and the wild cow have only one toe. Oh Vidura, just let me tell you now about the animals with five nails. (24) They are the dog, the jackal, the fox, the tiger, the cat, the rabbit, the sajâru porcupine, the lion, the monkey, the elephant, the tortoise, the iguana ['four legged snake'], the alligator and others. (25) The heron, the vulture, the crane, the hawk, the bhâsa [another kind of vulture], the bhallûka, the peacock, the swan, the sârasa [indian crane], the cakravâka, the crow, the owl and so on are the birds. (26) But there is yet a ninth kind that [also] fills its belly, oh Vidura. It consists of one form of appearance: the human beings. In them the mode of passion is very prominent. They are very busy with [diminishing] their misery, but always consider themselves happy.
(27) These three secondary creations, including the creation of the demigods [as an extra category], my dear one, are, contrary to the other ones that I described, [as for their modes and qualities] subjected to modifications [to mutation or evolution], even though the Kumâras [the sons of Brahmâ, the brahmins, the sages] are of both natures [they adapt physically, but they do not change in quality]. (28-29) The creation of the demigods is of eight types: (1) the self-realized souls, (2) the forefathers, (3) the atheists, (4) the celestial beings, angels and the saints, (5) the protectors and the giants, (6) the celestial singers, (7) the spirits of guidance in what is good and bad and the denizens of heaven and (8) the superhuman beings and such. All the ten types of creation I described to you, oh Vidura, are created by Brahmâ, the creator of the universe. (30) Next I shall explain the different descendants of the Manus and how the Creator, being moved by the mode of passion, in the different ages creates and does so with an unfailing determination in respect of the Supreme Lord who, by dint of His own energy, as Himself appeared from Himself.'
Chapter 11: Division of Time Expanding from the Atom
(1) Maitreya said: 'One should know that the ultimate presence of that what shows itself in the manifold as being indivisible, consists of an infinitesimal particle [paramânu] the combination of which [into material forms] creates illusion in man. (2) The supreme oneness of that particle being present within material bodies, keeps its original form till the end of time, it is of a continual, unrivaled uniformity. (3) Time, my best one, besides being known as the supreme, non-manifest Almighty Lord who controls all physical action, can therefore also be measured by the motion of the minutest and largest forms of combinations of particles. (4) The time of that infinitesimal particle is the time it takes to occupy [or vibrate in] a certain atomic space. The greatest of time is the time taken by the existence of the complete of all atoms.
(5) Two infinitesimal particles constitute an atom [an anu] and three atoms make a trasarenu of which one is reminded by a beam of sunlight falling through a lattice window in which one sees something [a dust-particle] going up in the sky. (6) The time taken by the combination of three trasarenus is called a truthi [calculated as 1/16.875 of a second] of which one hundred are called a vedha. Three of them are called a single lava. (7) The duration of three lavas equals one nimesha [± 0.53 second] and the time of three of them is called a kshana [± 1.6 seconds], five of those make a kâshthhâ [± 8 seconds] and a laghu consists of fifteen of them [± 2 minutes]. (8) A number of fifteen of those laghus is called a nâdikâ [or danda, ± 30 minutes] and two of them make a muhûrta [about an hour], while six to seven of them form one yâma [a quarter of a light day or night] depending the human calculation [the season, the latitude]. (9) The measuring pot (water-clock) has the weight of six palas [14 ounces] and has a four mâsha [17 karats] golden probe four fingers long covering a hole through which it fills with water till 'prastha' [solid, till it sinks]. (10) Four yâmas form the duration of both the day and the night of the human being and fifteen days [of eight yâmas each] make one pakshah [fortnight] which measured is known as being either black or white [depending on whether there is a full moon or new moon in it]. (11) The aggregate of such a 'day' and 'night' is called an ancestral [traditional or solar] month with two of them forming a season. There are six of them [respectively 'cold' or hemanta, 'dew' or s'is'ira, 'spring' or vasanta, 'warm' or grîshma, 'rainy' or varshâs and 'autumn' or s'arad, counting from December 22] corresponding to the movement of the sun going through the southern and northern sky. (12) This movement of the sun is said to form one day of the demigods and is called a vatsara [a tropical year] of twelve months. The duration of life of the human being is estimated to be of a great number [a hundred] of those years [see also the 'full calendar of order'].
(13) The infinitesimal particles and their combinations, the planets, the heavenly bodies [like the moon] and the stars, all rotate in the universe, to complete their orbit in a year of the Almighty [cyclic order, the command] of eternal time. (14) We speak about an orbit of the sun, about an orbit of the other planets, the orbit of the stars [in our galaxy around Sagittarius A in the sky], the orbit of the moon, oh Vidura, and the orbit of the earth as being a single [but differently named] year [respectively a celestial year, a planetary year, a galactic year, a lunation and a tropical year]. (15) With attention for all His five different types of years, one should be of respect for the One [Lord of Time] who, differing from all that was created, moves under the name of Eternal Time and who with His energy in different ways invigorates the seeds of creation while during the day dissipating the darkness of the living entities. By thus performing sacrifices one develops quality in one's material existence.'
(16) Vidura said: 'You pointed out the ultimate measure of time of the life periods of the ancestors, the gods and the human beings. Can you now, oh great sage, give a description of the time periods of the lives of the elevated souls that cover more than a millennium? (17) Oh mighty master, you know the movements of the Supreme Lord in the form of eternal time, for you, in the control of your yogic command, have the eyes of a self-realized soul to oversee the entire universe.'
(18) Maitreya said: 'The four yugas [ages or millennia] called Satya, Tretâ, Dvâpara and Kali together take approximately 12.000 years [or one mahâyuga] of the demigods [comprising 360 vatsaras each]. (19) The subsequent yugas starting with Satya-yuga are each respectively four, three, two and one times 1.200 demigod years long. (20) Experts say that the transitional periods at the beginning and end of each yuga cover several hundreds of demigod years. They are millennia [like the millennium we live in now] wherein all kinds of religious activities take place. (21) The dutifulness of mankind concerning the four principles of religion [of satya, dayâ, tapas, s'auca; truth, compassion, penance and purity] was during Satya-yuga properly maintained, but in the other yugas the principles gradually declined one by one [first penance, then compassion, then purity]. (22) Next to the one thousand [mahâ-]yugas that, oh dear one, together constitute one day of Brahmâ [of 4.32 billion years] of the three worlds [the heavenly, svarga; earthly, martya and lower, pâtâla ones], there is also a night just as long wherein the Creator of the universe goes asleep. (23) Following the end of the night when another day of Lord Brahmâ begins, the creation of the three worlds, that in its totality covers the lives of fourteen Manus, starts all over. (24) Each Manu thus enjoys a time of living of a little more than seventy-one [mahâ-]yugas.
(25) After the end of each Manu, the next one appears together with his descendants, the seven sages, the God-conscious souls and the king of the demigods [Indra] as also all those who follow them. (26) This is Lord Brahmâ's day to day creation wherein the lower animals, the human beings, the forefathers and the gods wander around, appearing in the three worlds because of their karma. (27) With the change of each Manu, the Supreme Lord manifests His goodness in His different incarnations, as the Manu Himself and as others, and thus unfolding His divine potencies He maintains this universe. (28) At the end of the day [of Brahmā] the Almighty Time arrests its manifestation, whereupon, with the complete whole fallen in darkness, all living entities remain merged in silence. (29) Just as it happens during an ordinary night, all three worlds that disappeared from sight, therewith are bereft of the light of the sun and the moon. (30) When the three worlds are set ablaze by the potency of the fire emanating from the mouth of Lord Sankarshana [see 3.8: 3], sage Bhrigu and the other inhabitants who are agitated by the heat, move from the world of the saints [Maharloka, the fourth world] to the world of the godly people [Janaloka, the next world of celibate saints]. (31) Immediately after the beginning of the devastation of the three worlds all the seas overflow with violent winds and hurricanes that blow the waves high. (32) The Lord, who in His mystical slumber with closed eyes lies down on the bed of Ananta within the water, is glorified by the inhabitants of the worlds of the God-conscious souls.
(33) By the symptoms of days and nights of the advancement of time, his [Brahmâ's] life and also our lives are limited to a duration of a hundred years, even though in his case it takes a hundred of his years [with his life consisting of two parârdhas or 2 times 155.5 trillion human years, see also 3.9: 18]. (34) The first half of his lifetime called one parârdha has passed and now in this age we have begun with the second half. (35) The superior first half started with a grand kalpa called the Brâhma-kalpa in which Lord Brahmâ manifested whom one knows as the [source of the] Vedic sounds. (36) Thereafter, at the end of that enormous span of time, the period called the Pâdma-kalpa came into being in which the lotus of the universe sprouted from the reservoir of water of the Lord's navel. (37) The present kalpa [at the beginning] of the second half, oh descendant of Bharata, is celebrated as the one of Vârâha in which the Lord appeared in the form of a boar [see also 1.3: 7]. (38) The time measured by the two halves of Brahmâ's life takes but a second for the beginningless, unchanging and unlimited Soul of the universe. (39) This eternal time, beginning from the atom up to the final duration of two parârdhas, is never capable of controlling the Supreme Lord, it is the controller of those souls who are identified with their body. (40) As a combination of the basic elements and their transformations this manifest universe has expanded to a diameter of half a billion [yojanas - a dynamic cosmic measure]. (41) [The space occupied by the infinitesimal particles of the primal ether, pradhâna] expanded to the tenfold [of the dimensions of the therefrom condensating basic elements and their transformations] that, appearing like atoms, entered to cluster into many other egg shaped abodes [or galaxies]. (42) That cause of all causes [containing all the universes] is said to be the imperishable Absolute Truth, the supreme abode of the direct, personal manifestation of the Supreme Soul: Lord Vishnu.'
See also the page: "S'rîmad Bhâgavatam & Bhagavad Gîtâ Time Quotes".
Chapter 12: Creation of the Kumâras and Others
(1) Maitreya said: 'Thus far I have described to you, oh Vidura, the glories of the Supersoul under the name of kâla, time, now try to understand from me how the repository of the Vedas [Brahmâ] created the things as they are.
(2) He first created the [five] forms of ignorant engagement: the idea that one would die [andha-tâmisra], followed by indignation [tâmisra], the craving of infatuation [mahâ-moha], the delusional of errors [like identifying oneself with the body etc., moha] and the darkness of lacking in self-awareness [tamas]. (3) Seeing what a troublesome creation it was he [Brahmâ] could not really appreciate what he had done, whereupon he, after being purified by meditating upon the Supreme Lord, found the mind for another creation. (4) The great self-born soul then created Sanaka, Sananda, Sanâtana and Sanat-kumâra [the four Kumâras] who are lifelong celibates ['they whose seed goes upwards'] free from all profit-minded action. (5) He from within told his sons: 'Oh my sons, do procreate', but they did not want to, because they, in their devotion for the Personality of Godhead, were vowed to the principles of liberation. (6) Disrespected by his sons refusing to follow the order, he did his best to check the difficult to curb anger that rose in him. (7) In spite of the original father's meditative control, out of his anger, straight from between his eyebrows, a child was born that had a color composed of red [for passion] and blue [for ignorance]. (8) The child cried loudly to the father of all the gods: 'Oh powerful one, oh ruler of destiny, assign me my names and tell me what my places are, oh teacher of the universe.'
(9) He, as the all-powerful one born from the lotus, thus being asked, complied with the request and gently pacified the child with the words: 'Do not cry, I shall do what you want. (10) Because you, oh chief of the demigods, as a boy were so anxiously crying loudly, the people will address you with the name Rudra. (11) The heart, the senses, the life air, the ether, the air, fire and water, earth and the sun, the moon as also austerity are the places reserved for you. (12) Your [other] names are: Manyu, Manu, Mahinasa, Mahân, S'iva, Ritadhvaja, Ugraretâ, Bhava, Kâla, Vâmadeva and Dhritavrata. (13) Dhî, Dhriti, Rasalâ, Umâ, Niyut, Sarpi, Ilâ, Ambikâ, Irâvatî, Svadhâ and Dîkshâ, oh Rudra, are your [eleven] wives [the Rudrânîs]. (14) Please, accept these different names, places and wives and generate progeny with them on a large scale, for you are the master of the living beings.' (15) Thus being instructed by his spiritual master, the mighty lord of the mixture of blue and red brought forth generations of the same strength, features and nature as his. (16) But when he saw the activities of the sons generated by Rudra and how their endless numbers together devoured the entire universe, the father of the living beings got afraid. (17) 'Oh best of the demigods, [he said,] enough of you creating this kind of living beings. They scorch, with the fiery flames of their eyes, every direction and me as well. (18) Be of [voluntary] penance, that will do you good and bring happiness to all living entities. Only by doing penance you will as before be able to bring about the universe. (19) Only by penitence a person knows the supreme light and can fully respect the Supreme Lord beyond the senses who resides in the heart of everyone.'
(20) Maitreya said: 'Thus being instructed by the self-born one, he [Rudra] circumambulated the master of the Vedas saying 'So be it'. Next he entered the forest to do penance. (21) Determined to create he [Brahmâ] who by the Supreme Lord had been empowered, then begot ten sons in order to populate the world: (22) Marîci, Atri, Angirâ, Pulastya, Pulaha, Kratu, Bhrigu, Vasishthha, Daksha and Nârada as number ten. (23) Nârada sprouted from his lap, Daksha from the thumb, from his life-air Vasishthha saw the light, while Bhrigu came forth from his touch and sage Kratu from his hand. (24) Pulaha generated from the navel, Pulastya from his ears, the great sage Angirâ from the mouth, from the eyes sage Atri came forth and sage Marîci appeared from the mind. (25) From the right side of the breast, where Nârâyana resides, religion manifested while irreligion, because of which the world fears the horrors of death, appeared from his back. (26) From the heart lust manifested, from the eyebrows anger, from between his lips greed, from the mouth the urge to speak originated while from his penis the oceans appeared and from the anus, the source of all vice, the lowest activities. (27) From his shadow Kardama Muni, the husband of Devahûti, manifested. This is how the complete of this living universe of the creator evolved from both the master's body and mind.
(28) Oh Vidura, we have heard that the daughter Vâk who was born from his body distracted the mind of Brahmâ and made him desirous of her even though she was not sexually inclined. (29) When the sons, the sages headed by Marîci, saw that his mind was seized by immorality, they with due respect submitted the following: (30) 'That what you are doing now with your daughter without controlling your sexual desire you, nor anyone else, has done before, nor will anybody do such a thing ever in the future, oh master. (31) Oh master of the universe, for certain such an attitude does not befit you, the most powerful soul, whose good behavior and character constitutes an example followed by all the world striving for prosperity. (32) Let us offer our obeisances to the Supreme Lord who, from within the soul, by the power of His own effulgence brought about this manifestation. May His sense of duty protect us all.' (33) Seeing all his sons who thus addressed him standing before him, the father of all fathers of mankind most ashamed quitted his body. That body was seized by the directions as a terrible fog known for its darkness. (34) When the creator one day wondered how he should create the three worlds as before, the Vedic literature manifested itself from his four mouths. (35) Thus the four functions of [sacrificial] action [the offer, the performer, the fire and the offering] and the supplements of the Veda with their logical conclusions became manifest as also the four principles of religion [truth, purity, austerity and compassion] and the spiritual departments [âs'ramas] and vocational divisions [varnas].'
(36) Vidura said: 'Please, oh wealth of renunciation, can you tell by what mouth which Veda was produced by the god who is the controller of the creators of the universe?'
(37) Maitreya said: 'The four Vedas called Rig, Yajur, Sâma and Atharva appeared, beginning with the front [east, south, west and north], each from one of the mouths and in the same order followed the scriptural discussions [the S'âstra for the Hotâ priest], the rituals [the Ijya for the Adhvaryu priest], the recitation material [the Stutistoma for the Udgâtâ priest] and the transcendental service of atonement [the Prâyas'citta for the Brahmâ ritvik]. (38) The same way beginning from the front mouth in the eastern direction the Vedic sciences of medicine [Âyurveda], archery [Dhanurveda], music [Ghandarvaveda] and architecture [Sthâpatyaveda] were created [who together are called the Upavedas]. (39) The Itihâsas - the separate histories - and the collections of classical stories, the Purânas, who together are known as the fifth Veda, manifested from all the mouths of him looking in every direction. (40) From his eastern mouth as also from each of the other ones he sent out a pair of sacrifices: sodas'î, uktha [from the east], purîshi, agnishthoma [from the south], âptoryamâ, atirâtra [from the west] and vâjapeya and gosava [from the north]. (41) Education [vidyâ, also called purity - s'auca - through acquiring knowledge], charity [dâna], penance [tapas] and truth [satya] are the four legs of religion that in the same order came about together with the orders of life [students, married people, withdrawn people and the renunciates] and the vocations [the laborers, the traders, the rulers and the intellectuals]. (42) Next the vows appeared [for regulating the brahmacârî, the celibate student] of Sâvitra [three days of celibacy after the ceremony of the holy thread], Prâjâpatya [celibacy for one year], Brâhma [celibacy during the study of the Veda] and Brihat [lifelong celibacy] as also the vows [for regulating household life] of Vârtâ [vocations sanctioned by the scriptures], Sañcaya [officiating at ceremonies], S'âlîna [to subsist on everything that is acquired without asking] and S'îluñcha [to subsist on the remnants left behind in the fields and the market place]. (43) [Also the directions for] the [vânaprashtas or the] retired ones [thus manifested:] the vaikhânasas [subsisting on produce from the wild], the vâlakhilyas [they who give up their stock upon receiving new food grains], the audumbaras [who subsist on the food they find on their way] and the phenapas [those subsisting on fruits that fell from the trees, as also the directions for] the renounced order [of the sannyâsîs] consisting of the kuthîcakas [recluses living in a fixed place], bahûdakas [or bahvodhas, they who prefer knowledge before activities], hamsas [those fully on the path of transcendental knowledge] and the nishkriyas or paramahamsas [those who attained spiritual wisdom and refrain from action]. (44) In the same order [the four branches of knowledge] appeared: ânvîkshikî [spiritual knowledge of liberation], trayî [knowledge of rituals], vârtâ [technical knowledge] and dandanîti [political science]. Also the four vyâhritis [of the first line and three words of the Gâyatrî mantra] thus appeared together with the Pranava [the mantra Aum] flowing from his heart. (45) From the hair of his body ushnik [a meter of poetry] was generated, from the skin of the mighty one gâyatrî [the three-foot] originated, trishthup [another meter] came from his flesh, anushthup appeared from the veins and from the bones of the father of the living beings jagati was generated [two other meters]. (46) From the marrow of his bones pankti manifested itself while brihatî generated from the life breath [two types of verses]. (47) His individual soul manifested as the spars'a letters [the hard consonants] of the Sanskrit alphabet [ka to ma] while his body expressed itself in the Sanskrit vowels [a, â, i, î, u, û, ri, rî, l, e, ai, o, au]. His senses are called the sibilants [s'a, sha sa and ha], his strength became the semi-vowels [ya, la, ra and va] and from the inner joy of the lord of the living beings the seven musical notes manifested [*]. (48) Existing as the transcendental sound of the Original Self, the Supersoul, he [Brahmâ] is both manifest [as Vedic utterances] and non-manifest [as the inner sound of omkâra]. Appearing as the Absolute [of the complete whole, of brahman] he expanded himself being invested with multifarious energies.
(49) After having accepted another body he [again] put his mind to the matter of creation. (50) Oh son of the Kurus, knowing that, in spite of the great power of the sages, the population was not increasing, he again devoted his heart to the matter. He thought: (51) 'Alas, how is it possible that with me being this busy all the time the population is not increasing! There must be some kind of divine ordinance working against me in this.' (52) While he thus observed and contemplated his situation, a division of a twofold form manifested itself of which one says that it is his body [the human body created after his image - kâya - 'that what belongs to Ka or Brahmâ']. (53) With his form thus being divided with them, he thereupon engaged in a sexual relationship. (54) The man became the independent ruler, the father of mankind [the Manu] called Svâyambhuva and the woman became known as S'atarûpâ. She was the queen to the great soul that he was. (55) Because of the sex life according to the regulative principles [see verse 41] from that time on the generations increased. (56) Oh best of all, in due course of time he begot in S'atarûpâ five children: Priyavrata, Uttânapâda and three daughters, o son of Bharata, Âkûti, Devahûti and Prasûti. (57) The one named Âkûti he handed over to sage Ruci, the middle one [Devahûti] he gave to sage Kardama and Prasûti was given to Daksha. Because of them the whole world became populated.'
*: The seven Vedic notes are: sa, ri, gâ, ma, pa, dha and ni [resp. c, d, e, f, g, a, bes] also called shadja, rishabha, gândhâra, madhyama, pañcama, dhaivata, and nishâda.
Chapter 13: The Appearance of Lord Varâha
((1) S'rî S'uka said: 'After listening to Maitreya Muni's most sacred words, oh King, the best of the Kurus inquired further about the talks concerning Vâsudeva he loved so much. (2) Vidura said: 'Oh great sage, what did Svâyambhuva Manu, the king of all kings and dear son of Brahmâ, do after he obtained his loving wife? (3) Be so good to tell me about the activities of this saintly, original king, oh best of all. I would very much like to hear about that king who took to the shelter of Vishvaksena [the omnipotent Lord Vishnu]. (4) Persons of fortitude and great effort in listening to that what by pure devotees is elaborately explained, will by dint of the statements of those who installed the lotus feet of the Lord of Liberation in their hearts, find the transcendental quality of a faithful mind.' (5) S'rî S'uka said: 'After Vidura, so very modest, thus had spoken, he, who received the lotus feet of the One with the thousand heads on his lap, was complimented and addressed by the sage, whose hairs stood on end in ecstasy as he tried to formulate his stories about the Supreme Lord.
(6) Maitreya said: 'After Svâyambhuva Manu had appeared along with his wife, he, the father of mankind, with folded hands and obeisances addressed the reservoir of Vedic wisdom [Brahmâ]: (7) 'You are the one progenitor of all living entities, the father and source of their subsistence, but we, who all were born from you, wonder how we can be of service to you. (8) Give us, with all respect, oh venerable one, directions for that purpose. What are the duties within our reach to be performed for you? What should one do for His good name [His fame] all around this world and what is to be done in order to progress to the next world?'
(9) Brahmâ said: 'I am very pleased with you, my son, let there be all my blessings for the both of you, oh lord of the world, for you without any reservation in your heart have surrendered yourself to me, asking for my lead. (10) This is the exact way for offspring, oh lord of the world, to honor the spiritual master. Those who have a sane mind and are beyond envy, should, to the full of their ability and most respectfully, accept this instruction. (11) You therefore, in that role, please take care to beget children in her with the same qualities you have, so that they, once being born, may rule over the world on the basis of the religious principles [the vidhi], making sacrifices and worshiping the Original Personality. (12) Consider protecting the living entities the best way to serve me, oh ruler of man. Hrishîkes'a, the Supreme Lord of the Senses, will be pleased when you are the guardian of their lives. (13) The work of those who never managed to satisfy the Supreme Lord Janârdana ['the Lord of all living beings'], the object of all sacrifice, is certainly in vain, for they did not respect their very self as being the Supreme Soul.'
(14) Manu said: 'I will abide by what your powerful self has ordered, oh killer of all sin, please tell me what my place is in this world and the place of those born from me. (15) Oh god of this planet, the earth, the dwelling place of all beings is immersed in the great waters [of the Garbhodhaka ocean of the created universe]. Can you please lift her up?'
(16) Maitreya said: 'The personality of transcendence [Brahmâ] who also saw that the earth was immersed in the waters thought: 'How shall I lift her up?' and spent a long time meditating as follows: (17) 'While I was engaged in her creation, the earth was inundated by a flood and got deeply immersed. What would be the right course of action for us now being engaged in this matter of creation? May the Lord from whose heart I was born guide me in this!' (18) While he was thinking thus, all of a sudden from his nostril,, oh sinless one, a minute boar [Varâha] appeared not larger than the top of a thumb. (19) When he saw that happen, at once the form expanded in the sky, miraculously transforming into the size of a gigantic elephant, oh son of Bharata. (20) Seeing the form of that boarlike appearance, he with Manu, the brahmins headed by Marîci and the Kumâras began to word the matter in different ways: (21) 'Who is this extraordinary being that pretends to be a boar? And how wondrous for Him to appear from my nose! (22) One moment He has just the size of the tip of a thumb and in no time He is as big as a megalith! Would this be the Supreme Lord of sacrifice Vishnu? I am baffled!' (23) While Brahmâ thus was deliberating with his sons, the Supreme Lord of Sacrifice, the Original Person, produced a wild roar like He wanted to attack. (24) With the unprecedented voice that echoed in all directions the Lord created great joy in Brahmâ and the best of the brahmins. (25) The inhabitants of Tapoloka, Satyaloka and Janaloka [see 2.5: 39] hearing the sound of the loud roar of the all-merciful Lord who in the form of a boar ended all personal distress, then all began to extoll Him with the holy mantras of the three Vedas.
(26) Knowing Himself very well as the form resulting from the spreading of the Vedic sound that originated from the knowledge of the authorities of the Truth, He roared once more in response to the transcendental glorifications of the wise and intelligent souls and playful as an elephant entered the water on their behalf. (27) Slashing His tail in the sky and quivering with the sharp and hard hairs of His skin, He scattered the clouds with His hooves and radiated with His glittering white tusks as the glory of the Supreme Lord and Maintainer of the world. (28) Sniffing out the earth, He who had assumed the transcendental body of a boar, searched everywhere showing His frightening tusks, but in spite of it all the brahmins free from fear engaged in prayer the moment they saw Him glancing them over as He entered the water. (29) The enormous mountain of His body drove by the force of the dive the ocean apart in two high waves because of which the ocean, like gifted with two arms, in distress loudly prayed: 'Oh Master of all Sacrifices, please protect me!' (30) He, as the Master of all Sacrifices penetrating with His arrow-sharp hooves the water, reaching the limits of the unlimited ocean, then found her. He saw her, the wealth of the living beings, lying there as she was before and lifted her up personally. (31) Rising to the surface He, with His tusks raising the submerged earth, appeared in His full splendor. But then He, glowing with a fierce anger, had to hold His cakra [His disc-weapon or wheel] against the demon [Hiranyâksha - 'the golden-eyed one'] who rushed towards Him with a club. (32) Being irresistible, He thereupon skillfully killed the opposing enemy, the way an elephant disposes of a lion. In the process His cheeks and tongue got smeared with blood like he was a large elephant having digged in the [reddish] earth. (33) Even as He bluish as a tamâla tree, like a playing elephant, upheld the earth on His curved tusks, oh Vidura, they who were led by Brahmâ could recognize Him as the Supreme Lord. Thereupon they with folded hands offered Him prayers from the Vedic hymns.
(34) The sages said: 'All glory and victory to You, oh Unconquerable One, You who are understood by the performance of sacrifices. All our obeisances are for You who shake Your body consisting of the three Vedas and in whose pores of the hairs in Your skin this [Vedic truth] is hidden. Our respects for You who had the calling to assume the form of a boar! (35) Oh Lord, the miscreants have difficulty perceiving this form of Yours that can be worshiped by performing sacrifices: with the Gâyatrî and other mantras one honors Your skin; with the kus'a grass [on which one sits when one meditates] one honors the hairs on Your body; with the clarified butter [one uses in sacrifices] one honors Your eyes, and with the four functions of sacrifice one respects Your four legs [see 3.12: 35]. (36) Your tongue is the offering plate and Your nostrils are another plate, oh Lord. In Your belly we recognize the plate to eat from and the holes of Your ears also constitute such a plate. Your mouth is the [Brahmâ] plate for the spiritual aspect of performing sacrifices and Your throat is the plate for soma [a ritual drink], but that which is chewed by Your teeth, oh Supreme Lord, is what You consume by the sacrificial fire [agni-hotra]. (37) Your repeated incarnations are the introductory offerings of oblations in the fire [called the dîkshanîya ishthi]. The three [upasada ishthis or] consecrations constitute Your neck and Your tusks are together the [prâyanîya ishthi] course and the [udayanîya ishthi] end of the consecration. Your tongue constitutes the [pravargya] invocations [to the three upasadas]. Your head is respected with both the fires without sacrifices [satya] and the fires with sacrifices [âvasatya] and Your life breath is constituted by the combination of all sacrifices. (38) Your semen is the soma sacrifice, Your stability is respected with the rituals in the morning, at noon and in the evening, oh Lord, the different layers of Your body are the seven types of sacrifice [see 3.12: 40] and the joints of Your body are the different sacrifices [called the satrânis] one performs in twelve days. You, oh Lord, who are bound by sacrifices only, are the object of all the soma and asoma sacrifices. (39) We offer You our obeisances who, as the Supreme Lord for all the ingredients and types of sacrifice, can be worshiped by universal prayers. When one with renunciation and devotion conquers the mind, one can arrive at the realization of You as the essence of all sacrifices. You as the spiritual master of such knowledge, we again and again offer our obeisances. (40) Oh Supreme Lord, supporting the earth and its mountains so beautifully situated on the tips of Your protruding teeth, oh Lifter of the Earth, You came out of the water like a lordly elephant that with its tusk captured a lotus flower together with its leaves. (41) This form of Yours of the Veda personified that as a boar sustains the planet earth on its tusks, shines with the splendor of great mountain peaks that look even more beautiful because of the clouds surrounding them. (42) You as a father lift up this mother earth as Your wife, where the moving and the nonmoving living beings reside. Let us offer our obeisances to You and to her in whom You invested Your potency, just as an expert sacrificer sets fire to arani wood. (43) Who else but You, oh master, could deliver the earth from its position in the water? For You such deeds are not that wondrous, for the wonder of the miraculous universe that You created by Your potencies, surpasses all others. (44) When You, as the Vedas personified, were shaking Your body, we as the inhabitants of Janaloka, Tapoloka and Satyaloka were sprinkled by the drops of water that remained in the hairs of Your shoulders and were thus completely purified, oh Supreme Lord. (45) He who wants to know the limit of Your countless activities is out of his mind. The entire universe controlled by the material qualities is bewildered by the oneness of Your inner potency [of yogamâyâ]. Please, oh Lord of the Opulences, grant us Your mercy!'
(46) Maitreya said: 'Thus being praised by the great sages and transcendentalists Lord Boar, the Maintainer, placed the earth on the water He touched with His hooves. (47) After the Almighty Personality of Godhead, Vishvaksena, the Master of All Living Entities, thus sportily had lifted the earth above water, the Lord returned to His abode. (48) With the one who in a devotional attitude listens to or recounts to others this auspicious and worthwhile story about Him who puts an end to the material motive, the Lord who is present in the heart [of everyone] will immediately be pleased. (49) What would be difficult to achieve for the one who enjoys the boundless mercy of His contentment? Anything removed from that mercy appears insignificant. Those devotees who wish nothing but His mercy He, personally residing in the heart, elevates to the supreme transcendence of His abode. (50) Indeed, can one be called a human being when one, familiar with the essence of the ancient stories, resists the opportunity to drink in through one's ears the nectar of the talks about the Lord that puts an end to the pain of a material existence?'
Chapter 14: The Impregnation of Diti in the Evening
(1) S'rî S'uka said: 'After hearing from sage Maitreya the description of the story about the Supreme Personality who for the sake of lifting up the world appeared as a boar, Vidura, as a vowed devotee, requested him with folded hands for more, since he did not feel completely satisfied. (2) Vidura said: 'Oh best of the sages, I heard you say that the first among the demons, Hiranyâksha, was slain by the Lord, the object of all sacrifices. (3) For what reason did He in His pastime of lifting the planet earth up on His tusks, oh brahmin, have a fight with the king of the demons? (4) Please tell this faithful person, this devotee, in detail about His appearance, oh great sage, for with my so very curious mind I am not yet satisfied.'
(5) Maitreya said: 'Dear devotee, oh great hero, that what you ask me about the topics concerning the Supreme Personality, constitutes for those who are destined to die the source of liberation from birth and death. (6) The son of king Uttânapâda [Dhruva] was as a child enlightened by Nârada about these subjects, and placed when he [at his death] left to ascend for the abode of the Lord, his foot upon the head of Mrityu [the god of death, as a footboard to enter the vimâna of Nanda and Sunanda, see 4.12: 30]. (7) Concerning this matter [of the appearance of Lord Varâha] I heard from Brahmâ, the god of gods, a long time ago the following story he told because of questions asked by the demigods.
(8) Oh Vidura, one evening Diti, the daughter of Daksha, in distress because of sexual desire begged her husband Kas'yapa, the son of Marîci, to father a child. (9) After worshiping the Original Personality of All Sacrifices with oblations to His tongue which is the sacrificial fire, he sat fully absorbed in the temple room while the sun was setting.
(10) Diti said: 'Oh learned soul, Cupid has with eyes for you aimed all his arrows at me and thus, like a mad elephant attacking a banana tree, distresses my poor self. (11) Be good to me, it hurts me to see the children and well-being of your co-wives. Please grant me this favor and make yourself [therewith] also happy in every respect. (12) The fame of those husbands who love their wive dearly will spread in the world, for society will thrive from the children of a good husband like yourself. (13) Long ago our father, the most opulent Daksha, affectionately asked each of his daughters: 'Whom would you like for your husband, my child?' (14) He who wished his children the very best, handed, in respect of their wishes, all thirteen of them over to you; and they are now all faithful to you. (15) Therefore be so kind to fulfill my desire, oh lotus-eyed one, the pleas of those who in distress approach a person of stature, oh great soul, surely would not be in vain, would they?'
(16) Oh hero, the son of Marīci then replied with pacifying words, for she, poor and talkative, was highly agitated because of the lust that took hold of her. (17) 'I will answer your plea and do what you want, my tormented sweetheart! Who would not grant the wishes of the one who warrants the realization of his three perfections [the three aims of life of dharma, artha and kâma: of regulating the religion, the economy and sense gratification]? (18) Living with a companion a person completing all stages of life, is able to cross over, together with all vocations, the dangerous ocean of material existence the way one crosses over an ocean with seaworthy vessels. (19) With someone who is the other half of one's body all desires can be steered in the right direction, oh respectable soul, and with entrusting responsibilities to that other person one can lead a [relatively] carefree life. (20) The senses are, for orders of life other than the householders, difficult to conquer enemies. We taking shelter in that order can conquer them easily, like a fort commander can with invading plunderers. (21) We will never be able to do for you what you did for us, oh queen of the house. Not in all our life, nor in the next one. Neither will anyone else who appreciates your qualities. (22) With that being said, let me forthwith take care of this sexual interest of yours to beget a child. But first wait a few seconds for me to be beyond reproach. (23) This time is the least favorable moment for that, it is the awkward time at which the ghosts and their master are one's constant companion. (24) At this time of the day, oh chaste woman, at dusk, [S'iva] the Lord and well-wisher of the ghosts surrounding him, goes about as their king on the back of the bull [Nandî]. (25) With the beauty of the spotless radiating body of the demigod smeared with the dust and smoke that blew from the cremation of the dead, and with his matted hair covered by ashes, your [sister's, viz. Satî's] husband looks [upon all] with his triple vision [of sun, moon and fire]. (26) He regards no one in this world as his relative nor anyone as unconnected. He considers nobody greater nor does he despise anyone. Faithfully we duly honor his feet and assure us of the remnants of the sacrificed food he sent back. (27) Even though considering his irreproachable character, as followed by the sages in their desire to put an end to the nescience of the masses, there is no one who is as great, he nevertheless, for the attainment of the devotees, personally performs like an antagonist [walking naked and smeared with ashes]. (28) The unfortunate ones who, with what they do, laugh at him without being aware of his purpose that one should concern oneself with one's own soul, cherish with luxuries as clothing, garlands and ointments their body as if it would be their true self, the body that ultimately serves as food for the dogs. (29) Brahmâ as also the other gods hold on to the ritual code of conduct of him, who stands for the principle of the material energy of mâyâ. Oh, the unruly actions of this great character are nothing but a diversion [in which he takes the karma upon him]!'
(30) Maitreya said: 'In spite of with this being informed by her husband, she, with her senses pressured by Cupid, grabbed the great brahmin sage by his clothes like she was a shameless public woman. (31) Understanding his wife's obstinacy about the forbidden act, he bowed to his fate and slept with her. (32) Thereafter he took a bath and, with prayer [with the Gâyatrî] controlling his breath and voice, meditated on the light of eternity with the help of the pure spirit of the Absolute. (33) Oh son of Bharata, Diti, ashamed of the faulty act approached the learned sage with her face turned downwards and spoke to him. (34) Diti said: 'Let this pregnancy of mine, oh brahmin, oh noblest of all, not be ended by Rudra [S'iva], the master of the living beings against whom I have committed an offense. (35) My obeisances to Rudra, the ferocious, great demigod who fulfills all desires, the all-auspicious and forgiving one who immediately angrily chastises. (36) May he, that great and merciful supreme personality, my brother-in-law married to Satî ['the chaste one', the sister of Diti], be pleased with us, he who is a god to all women for whom even the lowest have sympathy.'
(37) Maitreya said: 'This father of mankind thereupon addressed his wife who trembled [out of fear] because of having avoided the rules and regulations of the evening and who wished the welfare of her children in the world. (38) Kas'yapa said: 'Because of your polluted mind, because of your defiling the holiness of the moment and also because you were too negligent about my directions, you were insufficiently attentive towards the gods as well. (39) Oh unlucky one, from your condemned womb two mischievous sons will take birth and they, oh passionate one, will cause constant lamentation among the rulers of the three worlds. (40) They will kill poor and innocent living entities, torment women and enrage the great souls. (41) When that happens the Supreme Personality and Lord of the Universe who desires the welfare of the common people, will descend in person and kill them both in great anger as if He were the mountain smasher with the thunderbolt himself [Indra].'
(42) Diti said: 'It is a great honor to be killed on the spot by the discus in the hand of the Fortunate One. I am [only] praying that my sons may never find their end as a consequence of the rage of the brahmins, oh my husband. (43) A person by a brahmin being chastised with a curse and someone who creates fear among other living beings, do not carry the approval of those living in hell, nor of any of the other life forms an offender might take birth among.'
(44-45) Kas'yapa said: 'Because you immediately proved to be sorry with a proper confession, have a great adoration for the Supreme Personality, for Lord S'iva and respect me as well, one of the [four] sons [Prahlâda] born from your son [Hiranyakas'ipu] will carry the approval of the devotees. His transcendental glory will be recognized as being equal to the glory of the Supreme Lord. (46) The way gold of an inferior quality is rectified, saintly persons who seek purification in striving for freedom from animosity and such, will follow in the footsteps of this disposition and character. (47) He, the Supreme Personality by whose grace the universe finds its happiness, will, as the witnessing self [being of special care for that character in His devotees], be very pleased with someone of such a rock-solid belief. (48) He will certainly be the topmost devotee, the greatest soul with the greatest influence, well matured by his devotional service [*]. With a heart filled with ecstatic love, he will no doubt reach Vaikunthha [the ultimate reality, paradise, heaven] when he leaves this material world. (49) He will be a virtuous and qualified reservoir of all good qualities, he will rejoice in the happiness of others and be distressed when others are unhappy. He will have no enemies and put an end to all lamentation in the world, the way one has a pleasant moon after a hot summer sun. (50) Your grandson will, within himself and outside himself, behold the spotless form [of the Lord] with the lotus eyes who assumes any form His devotee desires and who, with a face decorated with brilliant earrings, is the eminence of the beautiful Goddess of Fortune.'
(51) Maitreya said: 'Hearing that her grandson would be a great devotee, Diti was delighted and found peace of mind knowing that Krishna would kill her two sons.'
*: Well matured means matured in three stages: sthâyi-bhâva, to have a certain emotional relationship with God; anubhâva, to experience certain emotions in that relationship, and mahâbhâva or the stage in which one experiences ecstatic feelings of love for God.
Chapter 15: Description of the Kingdom of God
(1) Maitreya said: 'Diti was afraid that she by the power of [the seed of] the great Prajâpati for the time of a century would destroy the power of others and distress the God-fearing people. (2) The world was deprived of light because of this [threat] and thus the local authorities who saw their power diminished consulted with the creator of the universe [Lord Brahmâ] about the darkness that expanded in all directions. (3) The demigods said: 'You, oh mighty one, must be knowing about this darkness we are so very afraid of. Your supreme divinity is not affected by time and thus nothing is hidden for you. (4) Oh god of gods, sustainer of the universe, you as the crown jewel of all the guardians of the spiritual and material worlds know about the intentions of all living beings. (5) We offer you whose strength is found in wisdom our obeisances. Having obtained this body composed of external energy and in acceptance of your distinguished mode [of passion], we pay you our respects, oh unseen source. (6) Those who are steadfast in their devotion meditate upon you, the origin of all beings, the absolute consisting of the true and untrue and the self in which all worlds are connected. (7) For souls who are mature in the practice of yoga and have attained your mercy in controlling their senses and mind by means of their breath, there is no defeat in any way. (8) Him whose directions are the lead for all living entities the way a rope is the lead for a bull, him under whose authority offerings are presented, that most important personality, you, we offer our obeisances. (9) Because of this darkness we cannot get around to our prescribed duties. We ask you to act to our good fortune, oh great Lord, please grant us, surrendered souls, the magnanimous mercy of your glance. (10) Oh god, this semen of Kas'yapa deposited in the womb of Diti, causes complete darkness in all directions like a fire loaded with too much firewood.'
(11) Maitreya said: 'Oh mighty-armed one, he, the self-born one who in the prayers was addressed as the Supreme Lord, with a smile satisfied the demigods and gave a reply in sweet words. (12) Brahmâ said: 'They who before you were born from my mind and are headed by Sanaka [Sanâtana, Sanandana en Sanat-kumâra], traveled free from expectations the distances between the people of the spiritual and material worlds. (13) Free from all material contamination they one day entered Vaikunthha, the eternal abode of Vishnu, the Supreme Lord, the realm for which one prays in all the worlds. (14) All the persons living there have the same form as the Lord of Vaikunthha and live free from any desire because of their devotional service of continuously worshiping the Supreme Personality. (15) The Lord of all Fortune, the original person who is understood through the scriptures, dwells there as the personification of the religious principles in order to accept in His goodness our purity to the greater happiness of us who belong to Him. (16) In that realm where everything is spiritual and personal, there are forests that for the sake of happiness yield to all desires with [desire] trees full of splendid flowers and fruits throughout all the seasons. (17) Living in palaces with their wives, the devotees free from all inauspicious qualities are always singing there about the Supreme Lord, while being critical about the by the wind wafted mind-blowing fragrance of the mâdhavî flowers that full of nectar are blossoming in the water. (18) When the king of the bumblebees loudly sings the glories of the Lord, the tumult of the pigeons, cuckoos, cranes, cakravâkas and gallinules, swans, parrots, partridges and peacocks stops for a while. (19) The fragrant mandâra, kunda, kurabaka, utpala, campaka, arna, punnâga, nâgakes'ara, bakula, lily and pârijâta, all agree that the tulsî plant [the basil plant the Lord adorns Himself with and] which in the form of a garland is appreciated [by Him] for her smell, best of them all honors the good spirit of renunciation there. (20) By simply being of obeisance to the Lord's feet, the devotees earned the palaces standing everywhere, made of lapis lazuli with emeralds and gold, whose [female] inhabitants have large hips and beautiful smiling faces. But with their friendly laughing and joking, they, spiritually absorbed in Krishna, never give rise to any lust. (21) In that house of the Lord [sometimes], reflected in the crystal clear walls inlaid with gold, the Goddess of Fortune is seen who is free from all faults. She then assumes a beautiful form with tinkling [bangles at her] feet and playing with a lotus flower. That grace of her is something for which the other ladies manifest themselves with the greatest zeal as true scrubwomen. (22) Surrounded by maidservants they in their gardens on coral banks to ponds with pellucid, nectarean water, offer tulsî leaves to the Supreme Lord. Seeing the beauty of the locks of the goddess reflected in the water, they thereby imagine the Lord kissing her face. (23) How unfortunate are they who never attain this Vaikunthha creation of the Vanquisher of All Sin, but rather hear about other subject matters phrased in bad words that kill one's intelligence. Alas, such persons far removed from the values of life are devoid of all shelter and cast into the deepest darkness. (24) They who realized the human way of life, who acquired knowledge about the Absolute and are of the proper code of conduct [dharma] the way we [Lord Brahmâ and the demigods] wish it, but do not succeed in propitiating the Supreme Lord, are alas bewildered by His omnipresent illusory energy. (25) [But] following in the footsteps of [me,] the chief of the demigods, they will go to Vaikunthha, the realm situated above mine, they who, attracted to each other in discussions about the Lord's desirable, supreme qualities and glories, feel ecstasy, have tears in their eyes and shiver with their bodies, and thus keep Yamarâja [the Lord of death] at a distance.'
(26) [Brahmâ continued:] 'When the sages [headed by Sanaka] by dint of their spiritual potency reached Vaikunthha, they experienced a transcendental ecstasy they never had experienced before. It was the place, radiating with the palaces of the most deserving and learned devotees, where the teacher of the universe rules who is the object of worship in all the worlds. (27) After passing there through six gates without taking much interest, they at the seventh gate ran into two demigods of the same age who carried valuable maces, bracelets, earrings, helmets and beautiful garments. (28) Placed around their necks there was, between their four blue arms, a garland of forest flowers with intoxicated bees around them. But looking about with their arched eyebrows, restless breathing and reddish eyes, they seemed somewhat agitated. (29) Seeing them both standing at the gate, the sons of Brahmâ passed, as they did before, the golden and diamond doors without taking any notice. They, after all, were the great sages who of their own accord moved everywhere without being checked or doubted. (30) When they saw them, four naked boys of age who had realized the truth of the self but who looked as if they were not older than five years, the two gatekeepers in disregard of the glory and the etiquette, in an attitude offensive to the Lord wrongfully blocked their way with their staffs. (31) The moment they were faced with the slight hindrance of the two doorkeepers who, for all the inhabitants of Vaikunthha to see, refused them despite by far being the fittest of the Lord, their eyes, in their eagerness to see their most beloved one, suddenly turned red out of anger ['the younger brother of lust'].
(32) The sages said: 'Who are the two of you, to have attained here the service of the Supreme Lord by dint of your actions in the past? Which devotee who in Him is without anxiety and enmity, can be engaged as false as you? Who in the world is of such a deceptive mentality like yours that betrays the confidence? (33) No one here is strange to the Supreme Personality who contains all in His abdomen. The living entity has its place in the Supersoul the way the small portion of air in one's lungs is part of the air outside. As a sober person seeing the two of you being dressed up like inhabitants of Vaikunthha, like awakened people who discriminate between body and soul, one wonders how such a fear about Him can exist? (34) Therefore, in order to secure the grace of the Lord of Vaikunthha, according to our opinion the appropriate measure for you antipathetic minds who consider matters in opposition, is that you both depart from here to the material world where one finds this threefold sin that is the enemy of the living being [lust, anger and greed, see B.G. 16: 21].'
(35) The two [doorkeepers] who understood that a terrible brahmin curse had been pronounced by them, a curse that cannot be countered by any weapon, at once stricken with fear for the devotees of the Lord fell down to grasp their feet in great anxiety. (36) 'Let it be so that you have punished us for our sins. A lack of respect for great sages like you cannot go unpunished. But we pray that we, with a bit of your infinite compassion for our repentance, not in a state of illusion will lose the memory of the Supreme Lord when we have to descend to the material world.'
(37) That very moment the Supreme Lord, from whose navel the lotus sprouted, learned about the offense against the righteous sages. To their delight He came to the place being accompanied by His Goddess of Fortune, walking on the very same lotus feet that are sought by the hermits and the wise. (38) Seeing Him coming forward with all His associates and paraphernalia, the sages, now seeing the one whom they always had been looking for, fell into ecstasy over the sight of the câmaras [fans of yak-tail] that like beautiful swans waved a cool breeze that moved the pearls of His white umbrella, making them look like drops of water to a reflected moon. (39) Blessing all with His auspicious face as the desirable shelter, He affectionately looked upon them and touched them expanding in their hearts. With His blackish skin and His broad chest decorated by the Goddess of Fortune, He spread the good fortune as the culmination of the spiritual worlds and the abode of the soul. (40) Covered by yellow cloth He had a brightly shining girdle around His hips and humming bees about His garland of forest flowers. On His wrists He had lovely bracelets and while one of His hands rested on the shoulder of the son of Vinatâ [Garuda], He waved a lotus flower with another one. (41) Shining brighter than lightening, the decoration of His alligator shaped earrings completed the countenance of His cheeks and straight nose. He wore a gem-studded crown, carried a charming most precious necklace between His stout arms and the Kaustubha jewel adorned His neck. (42) With His beautiful decoration meditated upon by His fully attentive devotees, He outshone the smiles of the Goddess of Beauty. The sages could not get enough of the sight of the very beautiful figure so worshipable for me and for S'iva as also for all of you, and that made them joyously bow down their heads. (43) When the breeze, carrying the fragrance of tulsî leaves from the toes of the lotus feet of the lotus-eyed Lord, entered their nostrils, they experienced an inner transformation, even though they in body and mind were devoted to [the impersonal realization of] Brahman. (44) Thereafter looking up they saw His face that resembled the inside of a blue lotus and also saw His even more beautiful jasmine flower lips smiling. Thus having achieved their life's aim they again looked down at the ruby red nails of His lotus feet and then meditated upon their shelter. (45) For those people who seek liberation in this world by the paths of yoga, He is the object of meditation approved by many. With the display of His human form pleasing the eyes He, eternally present, is praised as endowed with the perfection of the eight achievements, a perfection that cannot be achieved by others [the so-called eight perfections or siddhis are: animâ: smallness, mahimâ: greatness, garimâ: weight, laghimâ: lightness, prâpti: free access, prâkâmyam: doing at wish, vas'itva: control over the elements and îs'itvam: lordship over all].
(46) The Kumâras said: 'Even though You are seated in the heart, You are not manifest to those who are far removed from the soul. Today, oh Unlimited One, we see You face to face, You who through our ears reached our inner being when we heard our father [Brahmâ] describe the mysteries of Your appearance. (47) You, oh Supreme Lord, who with Your personality consisting of pure goodness brings delight to all [who are like us], we now know as the ultimate reality of the soul. This reality one may, according to the understanding of the sages who are not interested in a material life, grasp by Your grace in steadfast devotional service with a heart free from attachments. (48) They [who follow this practice] do not even care about Your imperishable beatitude [kaivalya, enlightenment] or about any other minor form of happiness with which they may fear the frowning of Your eyebrows. They, oh Supreme One, take shelter of Your lotus feet and the narrations about Your pure glories so worthy to be sung by the very expert knowers of Your rasas [the emotional mellows one may have with You]. (49) From the falsity of the lives we desired we may be of low births and have minds busy like bees, but if we are engaged in the devotional service at Your lotus feet and fill our ears with Your transcendental qualities, our words used become as beautiful as the tulsî leaves of Your mercy. (50) We obtained so much satisfaction from seeing this eternal form You manifested, oh Lord of great renown. Let us therefore offer our obeisances to You, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the Lord who is recognized by spiritual persons like us and not by those who are not spiritual.'
Chapter 16: The Two Doorkeepers of Vaikunthha, Cursed by the Sages
(1) Brahmâ said: 'After having congratulated the four sages of yogic conscience for their words of praise, the Almighty One from the abode of Vaikunthha spoke. (2) The Supreme Lord said: 'These two attendants of Mine named Jaya and Vijaya have, by their contempt of Me, committed a great offense against you. (3) The punishment that you, devoted ones, awarded them, I approve, oh great sages, because they turned against you in enmity. (4) I seek your forgiveness now because that offense against you, oh brahmins, who are the highest ones of God, is all Mine. I consider Myself the one who offended you since they who disrespected you are My attendants. (5) When a servant does something wrong, one generally blames the one in whose name the offense was committed. It harms the reputation of that person as much as leprosy harms the skin. (6) The nectar of the uncontaminated glories [of My name and fame] that reach one's ears, purifies the entire universe instantly, including the lowest of the low. I am that person of the freedom from laxity and foolishness, of Vaikunthha, and for you having attained the glory of that superior place of pilgrimage, I would even cut off My own arm if that place would work against you. (7) Of those who serve in the dust of My sacred lotus feet, the sins are all wiped out instantly and therefrom I acquired such a disposition that, in spite of not being attached to her, the Goddess of Fortune never leaves Me, while others have to observe sacred vows to obtain the slightest favor from her. (8) On the other hand I do not relish as much the oblations in the fire by the sacrificer who offers the ghee, that is abundantly mixed with the food, into that mouth of Mine, as I enjoy the bits of food that satisfy the mouths of the brahmins of engagement who dedicated the results of their actions to Me. (9) If I with the power of My infinite and unhindered internal potency and with the Ganges water that washed from my feet, with which Lord S'iva instantly sanctifies the three worlds, manage to carry on My crown the holy dust of the brahmin's feet, then who would not [be capable of the same]? (10) They who because their faculty of judgment is impaired by sin, consider the best of the twice-born souls, the cows and the defenseless creatures that are all part of My body, as being different from Me, will be torn apart by the furious, vulturelike messengers of the master of punishment like they were angry snakes [Yamarâja]. (11) But I am controlled by the brahmins who [may] express themselves with criticism. Therefore those are in Me who, like being their sons, intelligently with gladdened hearts and with the nectar of their smiling lotus like faces, manage to recognize them with appreciative and loving words. (12) Let it therefore be so that the exile does not take too long. Oblivious to the intention of their master these two servants were in offense with you. As a result they have to face the immediate consequences thereof, so that they will soon retrieve the favor of residing in My presence.'
(13) Lord Brahmâ said: 'Even though they now had heard His loving, divine speech that was like a series of mantras, their souls, being bitten by the snake of anger, were not satisfied. (14) With their ears wide open hearing the excellent and carefully chosen words of momentous import, they had difficulty understanding them and, pondering deeply over their profundity, could not fathom the Lord's intention. (15) The great conclusion the Supreme Lord had revealed from His internal potency, made the four brahmins with folded hands speak in extreme delight with their hairs standing on end. (16) The sages said: 'Oh Fortunate One, we do not understand what You are saying,, oh Lord, because You, despite being the ruler, spoke of [us] being merciful with You! (17) You are the supreme director of the spiritual world and the highest authority of the brahmins. You, oh master of the learned souls, are the God of the gods, the Fortunate One who is the Soul, the worshipable deity. (18) You, in all Your different appearances, constitute the protection of the eternal calling [sanâtana dharma], You are the supreme objective of the religious principles; in our opinion You are the one unchanging reality. (19) Because the transcendentalists, who break with all material desires, by dint of Your mercy effortlessly conquer birth and death, it can never be so that You would depend on the mercy of others. (20) The Grace of Fortune [the goddess Lakshmî], of whom others, in their wish for material benefit, occasionally accept on their heads the dust of her feet, waits upon You, anxious to secure a place equal to that of the king of the bumblebees that are after the aroma of the wreath of fresh tulsî leaves that is offered by the devotees. (21) How can You, who as the reservoir of all opulences are not that anxious about her impeccable devotional services, You, who for the pure devotees are the object of the greatest devotion, be sanctified by the dust on the path of the brahmins or find fortune by the S'rîvatsa mark [the few white hairs on Your chest]? (22) You, oh Fortunate One, are threefold [tapas, s'auca, dayâ] present in all the three [previous] yugas [see 3.11] for the protection of the animate and inanimate beings of this universe. May Your transcendental form consisting of pure goodness, for the sake of the gods and the brahmins, ban all ignorance and passion and thus bring us all the best. (23) If You as the protector of the brahmins - the highest class - do not consider them worthy of Your protection, if You do not consider them the best who deserve all respect and should be addressed in friendly terms, then oh God, Your auspicious path will be lost, the path because of which the common people would accept the authority of their excellence. (24) And that is not what You want. You, who as the reservoir of all goodness wishes to do good to the people in general, destroyed the opposition by Your potencies. Oh Lord, You are the one of the threefold of nature and the maintainer of the universe and therefore Your potency remains undiminished [by the role You are playing now]. That submissive attitude is but [a game to] Your pleasure. (25) Whatever punishment, oh Lord, You think these two or those who are of a better life [we] deserve, we wholeheartedly will accept. Take whatever measure You consider proper; we understand that we have cursed the sinless ones.'
(26) The Supreme Lord said: 'These two will soon elsewhere take birth from a godless womb. With their focus of mind intensified by anger, they will remain firmly united with Me and before long return to My presence. Know that your curse was ordained by Me alone, oh learned ones.'
(27) Brahmâ said: 'The sages had now to their delight seen the beautiful to behold, self-illuminated realm of Vaikunthha, the abode of the irresistible Lord. (28) They circumambulated the Supreme Lord, offered their respects and returned elated, full of praise in having learned about the glory of the Vaishnavas [the attendants of Lord Vishnu]. (29) The Supreme Lord then said to His two servants: 'Leave this place, let there be no fear, but live in solidarity. Even though I am capable of nullifying a brahmin's curse, I do not wish to do so, on the contrary, it has even My approval. (30) This departure has been foreseen by Lakshmî who was angry with you when you once prevented her from entering the gate while I was resting. (31) As My enemy being unified in consciousness, you will find liberation from the consequence of not respecting the brahmins and after only a short while return to Me.'
(32) Thus having addressed the two doorkeepers, the Supreme Lord returned to His abode decorated with rows of palaces and full of the wealth [of the servitude] of the goddess Lakshmî. (33) But that did not apply to the two excellent demigods who, because of the curse of the brahmins, inevitably had to miss the beauty and luster of Vaikunthha and fell into gloom. (34) Upon the fall of the two from the abode of the Lord of Vaikunthha, a great cry of disappointment rose from the excellent palaces of the devotees. (35) These two prominent associates of the Lord have now acquired access to the womb of Diti by the very powerful seed of Kaśyapa. (36) Because the Supreme Lord wanted this to happen, you are all now being faced with the prowess of these two unenlightened siblings and unsettled as a consequence. (37) With Him as the cause of the maintenance, creation and destruction of the universe, the bewildering yogamâyâ potency of the Most Ancient One is difficult to fathom, even for the masters of yoga. But He is our Lord of Fortune and Master of the modes and will put things right. What [else] would be the purpose of our deliberation on this subject?'
Chapter 17: Victory of Hiranyâksha over All the Directions of the Universe
(1) Maitreya said: 'When the denizens of heaven heard the explanation of Brahmâ about the cause [of the darkness], they were freed from their fear and thereupon all returned to their heavenly places. (2) Virtuous Diti, apprehensive about the lifelong trouble her husband spoke about in relation to her children, gave birth to twin sons. (3) When they were born, many most frightening, inauspicious signs could be observed in heaven, on earth and in the sky. (4) The mountains and the earth shook with earthquakes and there seemed to be fire coming from all directions with meteors falling, thunderbolts, comets and inauspicious constellations. (5) Sharp winds blew that constantly howled and armies of cyclones with dust-clouds for their ensigns uprooted the greatest trees. (6) Amassing clouds obscured the luminaries with lightning loudly in the sky; everything was enveloped in darkness and nothing could be seen. (7) Stricken with sorrow, the ocean full of agitated creatures wailed with high waves, the drinking places and rivers were disturbed and the lotuses withered. (8) All the time misty halos appeared around the sun and moon who had eclipses, claps of thunder were heard and rattling sounds of chariots resounded from the mountain caves. (9) Inside the villages fearful she-jackals vomited fire from their mouths and there were cries of owls and an ominous howling of jackals. (10) The dogs raised their heads uttering various cries, sometimes as if they sang and then again like they were wailing. (11) The asses, oh Vidura, loudly braying ran madly hither and thither in groups, striking the earth hard with their hooves. (12) Frightened by the asses the birds flew shrieking from their nests and the cattle passed dung and urine in the cowsheds and the woods. (13) The cows in their fear yielded blood [in stead of milk] and clouds rained pus, the idols shed tears and trees fell down without a blast of wind. (14) The most auspicious planets and the other luminaries stood in conjunction, had retrograde courses or took conflicting positions. (15) Seeing more of these great portents and not knowing their underlying truth, all people, except for the sons of Brahmâ, were afraid and thought that the world would end. (16) The two godforsaken, earliest Daityas in history, grew up quickly, manifesting uncommon bodies that were as hard as steel and of the size of mountains. (17) With their brilliant bracelets around their arms and the beauty of the decorated belts around their waists that outshone the sun, the earth shook at every step of their feet, to which the crests of their crowns touched the sky as they blocked the view in all directions.
(18) Prajâpati Kas'yapa gave the two their names: the one of the twin who was first begotten from his flesh and blood [but was born later] he called Hiranyakas'ipu ['the one feeding on gold'] and the one who appeared first from Diti in the world [but was begotten later] he called Hiranyâksha ['the one with an eye for gold']. (19) Hiranyakas'ipu, who because of a blessing of Lord Brahmâ was puffed up without any fear that he would be killed by anyone, managed to seize control over the three worlds and their protectors. (20) Hiranyâksha, his beloved younger brother always willing to do him a favor, with a club in his hands ready to fight, was traversing the higher spheres in search of violent opposition. (21) He had a temper difficult to control, tinkling anklets of gold and the adornment of a very large garland over his shoulders upon which rested his huge mace. (22) Proud as he was of the physical and mental strength conferred by the boon, he feared no one because no one could check him, and therefore the godly souls afraid of him hid themselves like being snakes frightened of Garuda. (23) Upon discovering that Indra and the demigods facing his might had vanished and could not be found, the chief of the Daityas got excited and roared loudly. (24) Giving up his search the mighty being, wrathful like an elephant, desiring to sport dove deep into the ocean while producing a terrible sound.
(25) As he entered the ocean, the aquatics, the defenders of Varuna, were beset with fear that he would get hold of them and fled, daunted by his splendor, hurried away as far as they could. (26) For many years he roamed the ocean, with great force time and again striking the mighty, wind-tossed waves with his mace. Thus he reached Vibhâvarî, oh Vidura, the capital of Varuna. (27) There having reached the region of the creatures of force [the demons], he, to make fun, with a smile like someone lowborn bowed before Varuna, the Lord and guardian of the aquatics, and said: 'Oh great Lord, give me battle! (28) You are the guardian of this place, a renown ruler. By your power, that reduced the pride of the conceited heroes and with which you conquered all Daityas and Dânavas in the world [viz. the sons of Diti and Daksha's daughter Danu, considered as demons], you once managed to perform a great royal [râjasûya] sacrifice, oh master.'
(29) Thus profoundly being ridiculed by an enemy whose vanity knew no bounds, the respectable lord of the waters got angry, but controlling himself with reason he replied: 'Oh my best one, we have left the path of warfare. (30) I can think of no one else but the Most Ancient Person [Lord Vishnu], who in battle with you would be sufficiently skilled in the tactics of war to your satisfaction, oh king of the world. Approach Him who is even praised by heroes like you. (31) Reaching Him, oh great hero, you will quickly be freed from your pride and lie down on the battlefield amid the dogs. It is for exterminating the evil that you are and to show the virtuous souls His grace, that He wishes to assume His forms.'
Chapter 18: The Battle Between Lord Boar and the Demon Hiranyâksha
(1) Maitreya continued: 'Having heard the proud words of the Lord of the seas, the vainglorious demon took little heed of them. From Nârada having learned about the whereabouts of the Lord, oh dear Vidura, he hurriedly betook himself to the depths of the ocean. (2) There he saw how the Victorious One bearing the earth high on the tips of His tusks, was putting him in His shadow with His radiant, reddish eyes. He laughed and said: 'Oh, a beast of the wilderness!' (3) He told the Lord: 'Come and fight, oh fool, leave the earth to us inhabitants of the lower worlds. The creator of the universe entrusted this earth to us. Me seeing You here having assumed the form of a boar, oh lowest of the gods, will not be conducive to Your wellbeing! (4) Have our enemies called for You in order to kill us, You who by remaining invisible deceptively kills those who are attached to the world? The power of Your bewildering internal potency is of no importance. I will erase the grief of my relatives by killing You, oh rascal! (5) When I have killed You by smashing Your skull with the mace in my hand, all the sages and God-conscious people who where presenting their offerings to You, will be released and automatically cease to exist without You as their foundation.'
(6) The moment He, being hurt by the assailing abuse of words of the enemy, saw that the earth He carried on the tips of His tusks was frightened, He bore the pain and came out of the water like a male elephant who in the company of his wives is attacked by a crocodile. (7) With Him appearing from the water he, with his golden hair and frightening teeth, chased Him like a crocodile would chase an elephant. He roared like thunder: 'Is there anything a condemned poor devil [like You running away from me] would be ashamed of?' (8) With the enemy looking on He [Lord Boar] placed the earth within His sight on the water and invested her with the power of His own strength [to stay afloat]. [For that] He was praised by the creator of the universe and honored with flowers by the demigods. (9) Hiranyâksha, following Him closely behind with his wealth of golden ornaments, his huge mace and his beautiful golden armor, constantly pierced the core of His heart with terribly angry abuses. But He laughed about it and addressed him. (10) The Supreme Lord said: 'We [boars] are indeed creatures of the jungle, engaged in killing dogs like you, mischievous one. Heroes [like Us] who are free from the bondage of death take no notice of the loose talk of someone [like you] who is bound. (11) We stole away the inhabitants of the lower worlds and are not ashamed of it. Despite being chased by your mace, we this way or another have to stay right here. Where can one go having challenged such a mighty adversary? (12) As the leader of the army commanders you have to take steps to defeat Us forthwith, without further consideration. Killing Us you wipe the tears away of your kith and kin. Is it not so that he who does not fulfill the words of his promise deserves no place in an assembly?'
(13) Maitreya said: 'The attacker, thus being insulted and ridiculed by the Supreme One of Devotion got seriously agitated and became as furious as a challenged cobra. (14) Angrily hissing and stirred in all his senses for his wrath, the demon attacked with great speed and threw his mace at the Lord. (15) The Lord however stepped aside to evade the blow of the mace thrown by the enemy, just like an accomplished yogi eluding death. (16) After picking up his mace again, he brandished it about repeatedly and bit his lip in the rage of his anger to rush towards the Lord for the second time. (17) The Lord then struck the enemy on His right brow with His mace. But the demon, as an expert with the mace, warded off the blow with his own. (18) And so Hiranyâksha and the Lord, both eager for the victory, were furiously striking each other with their huge maces. (19) The two combatants with their bodies injured by the pointed maces, smelled the oozing blood, which even more drove them to perform diverse maneuvers in their effort to win. It looked like an encounter between two bulls fighting about a cow.
(20) Oh descendant of Kuru, Brahmā, the self-born one, desired to witness the fight that was fought for the sake of the world, and came, being accompanied by the sages, for the Daitya Hiranyâksha and the Supersoul of all sacrifices who had engaged His potency to appear in the form of a boar. (21) Upon seeing the power the Daitya Hiranyâksha had acquired and how he, unafraid, had arrived at an unavoidable opposition, the respectable Brahmâ, the leader of thousands of sages, addressed the original Lord Nârâyana in His boar form. (22-23) Brahmâ said: 'This one, oh God of heaven, is to the gods, the brahmins, the cows, the normal living beings and the innocent souls who obtained Your feet, an evil-doer, a source of fear doing wrong by the power of a boon obtained from me. Wandering about as a pain to everyone, he as a demon has searched all the universe missing a proper adversary. (24) Play no innocent game with him, oh god of heaven. Once aroused he is a snake full of tricks, arrogant, self-righteous and most wicked. (25) Please my Lord, oh Infallible One, engage Your internal potency and forthwith kill the sinner so that he will not have the chance to further increase the formidable power he acquired. (26) This encroaching dark of night destroys the world, oh Soul of Souls, please bring victory to the God-conscious souls. (27) This auspicious moment called abhijit [the eight muhûrta, about midday] has almost passed now. For the welfare of us, Your friends, quickly dispose of this formidable foe. (28) The death of this one, who fortunately arrived here of his own accord, was ordained by You. Show him Your power in the duel, kill him and restore the peace of the worlds.'
Chapter 19: The Killing of the Demon Hiranyâksha
(1) Maitreya said: 'Hearing Brahmâ's sincere, nectarine words made the Lord heartily laugh as He accepted them with a glance laden with love. (2) Then, jumping up, the Lord being born from Brahmâ's nostril with His mace struck the demoniac enemy, fearlessly moving before Him, sideways on the chin. (3) But that blow was stopped by Hiranyâksha's mace in such a way that the Lord's mace miraculously slipped from His hands, falling down whirling with an astonishing glow. (4) Even though Hiranyâksha thus was offered an excellent opportunity, he did not attack out of respect for the combat code that one does not attack someone who has no weapon. This excited the Lord. (5) As His mace fell, a cry of fear rose [among the bystanders] but the confrontation with Hiranyâksha's righteousness made the All-powerful Lord think of His Sudars'ana-cakra. (6) Playing with the vile son of Diti, this greatest of His associates, He rotated His discus and met with various expressions of disbelief from those who unaware [of all His powers] crowded the sky and said: 'We wish You all the best, please kill him.'Thus the first part of Canto 3 of the S'rîmad Bhâgavatam ends named: The Status Quo
(7) The Daitya upon seeing Him whose eyes were like the petals of lotus flowers, standing armed with His disc before him, prepared and looking at Him, was in his senses overpowered by indignation and hissing like a serpent he bit his lips in great resentment. (8) With his fearful huge teeth and staring eyes burning like fire he then attacked Him with his club saying: 'And thus You are slain!', and hurled it at the Lord. (9) Even though that mace had the force of a tempest, oh seeker of truth, it was by the Supreme Lord of sacrifices who had assumed the form of a boar, before the eyes of His enemy playfully knocked down with His left leg.
(10) He thereupon said: 'Pick it up and try again, if you are so eager to win'. The thus challenged Hiranyâksha then roared loudly and stroke again. (11) The Lord seeing the mace flying towards Him, stood firm and caught it as easily as Garuda would seize a serpent. (12) As his bravery was thus frustrated, the great demon, with his pride shattered, humiliated refused to take back the mace the Lord offered Him. (13) He instead took up a trident and flaming like fire ravenously went against the Varâha appearance of the Lord of Sacrifice, like someone who with evil intentions goes against a brahmin. (14) The shiny trident that was hurled by the mightiest among the Daityas with all his strength, in his flight shone all the brighter but was like Garuda's wing being clipped off by Indra [when Garuda once snatched a pot of nectar], cut to pieces by the sharp rim of the cakra. (15) When he saw his trident cut to pieces by the disc of the Lord, he infuriated came roaring forward and stroke the broad and S'rîvatsa-marked chest of the Lord, the abode of the goddess, hard with his fist. Thereafter the demon disappeared from sight. (16) Thus struck by him, oh Vidura, the Supreme Lord, in His first incarnation as a boar, was not in the least shaken. He was not more affected than an elephant hit with a bunch of flowers. (17) The people however now saw the Lord of the internal potency being sieged with an array of tricks and they fearfully thought that the end of the world was at hand. (18) Fierce winds were blowing and in all directions darkness spread because of the dust, while stones came down as if an entire army was engaged. (19) The luminaries in the sky disappeared behind masses of clouds from which it thundered and lightened with a constant downpour of pus, hair, blood, stool, urine and bones. (20) Oh sinless one, from the mountains all kinds of weapons were discharged and naked demonesses with their hair hanging loose were seen who were armed with tridents. (21) Many savage devils and demons on foot, horseback, on chariots and elephants appeared, who shouted cruel words of murder. (22) Following this display of magical power by the demon the beloved enjoyer of the three sacrifices [of hearing, goods and breath, see B.G. 4: 26-27] desiring an end to it all cast the weapon of His most excellent presence [the Sudars'ana-cakra].
(23) That very moment all of a sudden a shudder ran through the heart of Diti [the mother of the demon] whereupon, with her remembering the words of her husband [Kas'yapa], blood flowed from her breasts. (24) With his magic forces being dispelled [by the launched cakra] the demon reappeared before the Supreme Lord and full of rage embraced Him in order to crush Him, but he found the Lord outside of his grip. (25) Hiranyâksha struck Lord Adhokshaja ['He beyond the control of the senses'] with his fist as hard as a thunderbolt, but was hit by Him just below his ear, just like the Lord of the Maruts [Indra] did with the demon Vritra. (26) Even though the Invincible Lord slapped him in a casual manner, the demon's body wheeled around with his eyes bulged out of their sockets whereupon he, with his arms and legs lifeless and his hair scattered, fell down like a gigantic tree uprooted by the wind.
(27) The self-born one [Brahmâ] and others who saw him lying on the ground with his glow still unfaded and his teeth through his lip, said, approaching in admiration: 'Oh who indeed, could meet his final destination like this? (28) He upon whom the yogis, absorbed in the union of their consciousness, in seclusion meditate in seeking liberation from the unreal, material body, struck with one of His legs him, the son, the crest jewel of the Daityas who left behind his body gazing at His countenance. (29) Both the personal assistants of the Lord have been cursed to be born again in godless families for a couple of lives. Thereafter they will return to their positions.'
(30) The demigods said: 'All obeisances to You, oh Enjoyer of all Sacrifices who for the sake of maintaining [this world] assumed a form of pure goodness. To our good fortune You have slain this one who was wreaking havoc in all the worlds. With devotion to Your feet we are now at ease.'
(31) S'rî Maitreya said: 'After thus having killed the so very powerful Hiranyâksha, the Lord, the source of the boar incarnation, was praised by the one seated on the lotus and the other gods, whereupon He returned to His abode where His glory is celebrated continuously. (32) To you, dear friend, I explained as it was told to me, how the Supreme Lord, by descending in a material form, put an end to the activities of the so very powerful Hiranyâksha who in a great fight was killed like a plaything.' "
(33) Sûta said: "After Vidura, the great devotee, thus from the son of Kushâru [Maitreya] had heard about the story of the Fortunate One, he achieved the highest bliss, oh brahmin [S'aunaka]. (34) Considering the joy one derives from hearing stories about virtuous souls of name and fame, what a joy would one not derive from listening to a story about Him with the S'rivatsa mark on His chest? (35) When the king of the elephants [Gajendra] was attacked by an alligator, he meditated on the lotus feet while his wives were crying and was thus quickly delivered from the danger [see 8.2-4]. (36) Who would not take shelter of Him who is so easy to worship for men who are honest and sincere; which grateful soul would not render service to the One who is impossible to worship for those who are not virtuous and straight? (37) He who hears, chants and takes pleasure in this wonderful pastime of the Supreme One, who as a boar raised the earth out of the ocean and killed Hiranyâksha, will immediately be freed [from the consequences of his sins], even if he killed a brahmin, oh twice-born soul. (38) This narrative is most edifying, is very sacred, brings wealth, fame, longevity and will provide all that one needs. Whoever listens to it will therefrom on the battlefield find his life force and senses strengthened and at the end of his life obtain the shelter of Lord Nârâyana, dear S'aunaka."
Edited: March 9, 2017
Translation: Anand Aadhar Prabhu, http://bhagavata.org/c/8/AnandAadhar.html
Production: the Filognostic Association of The Order of Time, with special thanks to Sakhya Devî Dâsî for proofreading and correcting the manuscript. http://theorderoftime.com/info/guests-friends.html
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