A Prose English Translation Of Vishupuranam









Rector, Keshub Academy;

Author of the English Translations of the Srimadbhagavatam, Mahabharata, Bhagavat-Gita and other works.



Elysium Press 65/2 Beadon Street. 1896


That Purāna in which Parāsara, beginning with the events of Varāha Kalpa, expounds all duties, is called Vaishnava and is said to consist of twenty-three thousand stanzas. But the actual number of verses falls far short of the enumeration of the Matsya and the Bhagavata. Vishnu Purānam consists of all the characteristics of the Purāna, namely, five specified topics and has been divided into six books.

In this translation of Vishnupurānam I have principally drawn upon Professor H. H. Wilson’s splendid work, and have tried, as best as lies in my power, to interpret the ancient thought entombed in this great work. My work is not so much intended for scholars as for the general readers who have not the time and leisure to read the original. Professor Wilson’s book is very costly and cannot be always procured by the readers; and in the face of this difficulty I hope my edition will not be unwelcome to the general public.


September 1894



Section I.—Invocation. Maitreya inquires of his teacher Parāçara, the origin and nature of the universe. Parāçara performs a rite to destroy the demons; reproved by Vasishtha, he desists; Pulastya appears, and bestows upon him divine knowledge; he repeats the Vishnu Purāna, Vishnu the origin, existence, and end of all things.

Section II.—Prayer of Parāçara to Vishnu. Successive narration of the Vishnupurana. Explanation of Vasudeva; his existence before creation; his first manifestations. Description of Pradhana or the chief principle of things. Cosmogony. Of Prakrita or material creation; of time; of the active cause. Development of effects; Mahat; Ahankara; Tanmatras; elements; objects of sense; senses; of the mundane egg. Vishnu the same as Brahmā the creator; Vishnu the preserver; Rudra the destroyer.

Section III.—Measure of time, Moments or Kastha’s, &c., day and fortnight, month, year, divine year; Yugas or ages; Mahajuga, or great age; day of Brahmā; periods of the Manus; a Manwantara; night of Brahmā, and destruction of the world; a year of Brahmā, his life; a Kalpa; Parardha; the past or Padma Kalpa the present or Varaha.

Section IV.—Nārāyana’s appearance, in the beginning of the Kalpa, as the Varaha or Boar; Prīthivi addresses him; he raises the world from beneath the waters; hymned by Sanandana and the Yogis. The earth floats on the ocean; divided into seven zones. The lower spheres of the universe restored. Creation renewed.

Section V.—Vishnu as Brahmā creates the world. General characteristics of creation. Brahmā meditates, and gives origin to immovable things, animals, gods, men. Specific creation of nine kinds; Mahat, Tanmatra, Aindriya, inanimate objects, animals, gods, men, Anugraha Kaumara. More particular account of creation. Origin of different orders of beings from Brahmā’s body under different conditions; and of the Vedas from his mouths. All things created again as they existed in a former Kalpa.

Section VI.—Origin of the four castes; their primitive state. Progress of Society. Different kinds of grain. Efficacy of sacrifice. Duties of men; regions assigned them after death.

Section VII.—Creation continued. Production of the mind-born sons of Brahmā; of the Prajāpatis; of Sanandana and others; of Rudra and the eleven Rudras; of the Manu Swayambhuva, and his wife Satarupa; of their children. The daughters of Daksha, and their marriage to Dharma and others. The progeny of Dharma and Adharma. The perpetual succession of worlds, and different modes of mundane dissolution.

Section VIII.—Origin of the Rudra; his becoming eight Rudras; their wives and children. The posterity of Bhrigu. Account of Sri in conjunction with Vishnu. (Sacrifice of Daksha).

Section IX.—Legend of Lakshmi, Durvasa gives a garland to Indra; he treats it disrespectfully, and is cursed by the Muni. The power of the gods impaired; they are oppressed by the Dānavas, and have recourse to Vishnu. The churning of the ocean. Praises of Sri.

Section X.—The descendants of the daughters of Daksha married to the Rishis.

Section XI.—Legend of Dhruva, the son of Uttanpada; he is unkindly treated by his father’s second wife; applies to his mother; her advice; he resolves to engage in religious exercises; sees the seven Rishis, who recommend him to propitiate Vishnu.

Section XII.—Dhruva commences a course of religious austerities. Unsuccessful attempts of Indra and ministers to distract Dhruva’s attention; they appeal to Vishnu, who allays their fears and appears to Dhruva. Dhruva praises Vishnu, and is raised to the skies as the pole-star.

Section XIII.—Posterity of Dhruva. Legend of Vena; his impiety, he is put to death by the Rishis. Anarchy ensues. The production of Nishad and Prithu; the latter the first king. The origin of Suta and Magadha they enumerate the duties of kings. Prithu compels Earth to acknowledge his authority; he levels it; introduces cultivations; erects cities. Earth called after him Prithivi; typified as a cow.

Section XIV.—Descendants of Prithu. Legend of the Prachetas they are desired by their father to multiply mankind by worshipping Vishnu; they plunge into the sea, and meditate on and praise him; he appears and grants their wishes.

Section XV.—The world overrun with trees; they are destroyed by the Prachetasas. Soma pacifies them, and gives them Marisha to wife; her story; the daughter of nymph Pramlocha. Legend of Kandu, Marisha’s former history. Daksha the son of the Prachetasas; his different characters; his sons; his daughters; their marriage and progeny allusion to Prahlāda, his descendant.

Section XVI.—Inquiries of Maitreya respecting the history of Prahlāda.

Section XVII.—Legend of Prahlāda. Hiranyakashipu, the sovereign of the universe; the gods dispersed, or in servitude to him; Prahlāda, his son remains devoted to Vishnu; questioned by his father, he praises Vishnu; Hiranyakashipu orders him to be put to death, but in vain; his repeated deliverance; he teaches his companions to adore Vishnu.

Section XVIII.—Hiranyakashipu’s reiterated attempts to destroy his son; their being always frustrated.

Section XIX.—Dialogue between Prahlāda and his father; he is cast from the top of the palace unhurt; baffles the incantation of Samvara; he is thrown fettered into the sea; he praises Vishnu.

Section XX.—Vishnu appears to Prahlāda. Hiranyakashipu relents and is reconciled to his son; he is put to death by Vishnu as the Nrisingha, Prahlāda becomes king of the Daityas; his posterity; fruit of hearing the story.

Section XXI.—Families of the Daityas. Descendants of Kasyapa by Danu. Children of Kasyapa by his other wives. Birth of the Mārutas, the sons of of Diti.

Section XXII.—Dominion over different provinces of creation assigned to different beings. Universality of Vishnu. Four varieties of spiritual contemplation. Two conditions of spirit. The perceptible attributes of Vishnu; types of his imperceptible properties. Vishnu everything. Merit of hearing the first book of the Vishnu Purana.


Section I.—Descendants of Priyavrata, the eldest son of Swayambhuva Manu; his ten sons; three adopt a religious life; the others become kings of seven Dwipas, or isles, of the earth. Agnidhras, king of Jambu-dwipa divides it into nine portions, which he distributes amongst his sons, Nabhi king of the south succeeded by Bharata; India named after him Bhārata; his descendants reign during the Swayambhuva Manwantara.

Section II.—Description of the earth. The seven Dwipas and seven seas Jambu-dwipa. Mount Meru; its existence and boundaries. Extent of Illavrita. Groves, lakes, and branches of Meru. Cities of the Gods. Rivers. The forms of Vishnu worshipped in different Varthas.

Section III.—Description of Bharata-Varsha; extent; chief mountains; nine divisions; principal nations; superiority over other Varshasi especially as the seat of religious acts.

Section IV.—Account of kings, divisions, mountains, rivers, and inhabitants of the other Dwipas viz. Plaksha, Silmala, Kusa, Krauneba, Sāka, and Pushkara; of the oceans separating them; of the tides; the confines of the earth; the Lokaloka Mountain. Extent of the whole.

Section V.—Of the regions of Patala, below the earth. Nārada’s praises of Patala. Account of the serpent Sesha. First teacher of astronomy and astrology.

Section VI.—Of the different hells, or divisions of Naraka, below Patala; the crimes punished in them respectively; efficacy of expiation; meditation on Vishnu the most effective expiation.

Section VII.—Extent and situation of the seven spheres viz., earth, sky, planets, Moharloka, Janaloka, Tapoloka, and Satyaloka. Of the egg of Brahmā and its elementary envelopes. Of the influence of the energy of Vishnu.

Section VII.—Description of the Sun; his chariot; its two axles; his horses. The cities of the regents of the cardinal points. The Sun’s course; nature of his rays; his path along the ecliptic. Length of day and night. Divisions of time; equinoxes and solstices, months, years, the cyclical yuga, or age of five years. Northern and southern declinations. Saints on the Lokaloka mountain. Celestial paths of the Pitris, gods, Vishnu. Origin of the Ganga, and separation, on the top of Meru into four great rivers.

Section IX.—Planetary system, under the type of a Sisumara or porpoise. The earth nourished by the Sun. Of rain whilst the Sun shines. Of rain from clouds. Rain the support of vegetation, and thence of animal life. Nārāyana the support of all beings.

Section X.—Names of the twelve Adityas. Names of the Rishis, Gandharvas, Apsaras, Yakshas, Uragas, and Rākshasas, who attend the chariot of the sun in each month of the year. Their respective functions.

Section XI.—The sun distinct from, and supreme over, the attendance on his car; identical with the three Vedas and with Vishnu; his functions.

Section XII.—Description of the Moon; his chariot, horses, and course, fed by the Sun; drained periodically of ambrosia by the progenitors and gods. The chariots and horses of the planets; kept in their orbits by aerial chains attached to Dhruva. Tropical members of the planetary porpoise. Vasudeva alone real.

Section XIII.—Legend of Bharata. Bharata abdicates his throne and becomes an ascetic; cherishes a fawn, and becomes so much attached to it as to neglect his devotions; he dies; his successive births; works in the fields and is pressed as a palanquin-bearer for the Raja of Sauvira; rebuked for his awkwardness; his reply; dialogue between him and the king.

Section XIV.—Dialogue continued, Bharata expounds the nature of existence, the end of life, and the identification of individual with universal spirit.

Section XV.—Bharata relates the story of Ribhu and Nidagha, the latter, the pupil of the former, becomes a prince, and is visited by his preceptor, who explains to him the principles unity and departs.

Section XVI.—Ribhu returns to his disciple, and perfects him in divine knowledge. The same recommended to the Rajah by Bharata, who thereupon obtains final liberation. Consequences of hearing this legend.


Section I.—Accounts of the several Manus and Manwantaras Shwarochisha the second Manu; the divinities, the Indra, the seven Rishis of his period and his sons. Similar details of Auttami, Tamasa, Raivata, Chakshusha, and Vaivaswata. The forms of Vishnu, as the preserver, in each Manwantara. The meaning of Vishnu.

Section II.—Of the seven future Manus and Manwantaras. Story of Sanjna and Chhaya, wives of the Sun. Savarni son of Chhaya the eighth Manu. His successors, with divinities, &c of their respective periods. Appearance of Vishnu in each of the four Yugas.

Section III.—Division of the Vedas into four portions, by a Vyasa in every Dwapara age. List of the twenty-eight Vyasas of the present Manwantara. Meaning of the word Brahmā.

Section IV.—Division of the Veda, in the last Dwapara age, by the Vyasa Krishna Dwaipayana. Paila made reader of the Rich; Vaisampayana of the Yajush; Jaimani of the Saman and Sumantu of the Atharvan. Suta appointed to teach the historical poems. Origin of the four parts of the Veda. Sanhitas of the Rig Veda.

Section V.—Division of the Yajur-veda. Story of Yajnawalkya forced to give up what he has learned, picked up by others, forming the Taittiriya-yajush. Yajnawalkya worships the Sun who communicates to him the Vajasaneyi-yajush.

Section VI.—Divisions of the Sama-veda; of the Atharva-veda. Four Pauranik Sanhitas. Names of the eighteen Puranas. Branches of knowledge. Classes of Rishis.

Section VII.—By what means men are exempted from the authority of Yama, as narrated by Bhishma to Nakula. Dialogue between Yama and one of his attendants. Worshippers of Vishnu not subject to Yama. How they are to be known.

Section VIII.—How Vishnu is to be worshipped as related by Aurva to Sagara. Duties of the four castes, severally and in common; also in time of distress.

Section IX.—Duties of the religious student, householder, hermit and mendicant.

Section X.—Ceremonies to be observed at the birth and naming of a child. Of marrying or leading a religious life. Choice of a wife. Different modes of marrying.

Section XI.—Of the Sadacharas or perpetual obligation of a householder. Daily purifications, ablutions, libations, and oblations; hospitality; obsequial rites; ceremonies to be observed at meals, morning and evening worship, and on going to rest.

Section XII.—Miscellaneous obligations—purificatory, ceremonial and moral.

Section XIII.—Of Sraddhas, or rites in honour of ancestors, to be performed on occasions of rejoicing. Obsequial ceremonies. Of the Ekoddishta or monthly Srāddha, and the Sapindana or annual one. By whom to be performed.

Section XIV.—Of occasional Sraddhas, or obsequial ceremonies; when most efficacious, and at what places.

Section XV. What Brahmans are to be entertained at Sraddhas; Different prayers to be recited. Offerings of food to be presented to deceased ancestor.

Section XVI.—Things proper to be offered as food to deceased ancestors; prohibited things. Circumstances vetiating a Srāddha; how to be avoided. Song of the Pitris or progenitors, heard by Ikshwāku.

Section XVII.—Of heretics, or those who rejects the authority of the Vedas; their origin, as described by the Vasistha to Bhishma; the gods, defeated by the Daityas, praise Vishnu; an illusory being or Buddha, produced from his body.

Section XVIII.—Buddha goes to the earth and teaches the Daityas to contempt the Vedas; his sceptical doctrines; his prohibition of animal sacrifices. Meaning of the term Bauddha. Tainas and Bauddhas, their tenets. The Daityas loose their power and are overcome by the gods. Meaning of the term Nagna. Consequences of neglect of Duty. Story of Satadbanu and his wife Saivya. Communion with heretics to be shunned.


Section I.—Dynasties of kings. Origin of the Solar dynasty from Brahmā. Sons of the Manu Vaivaswata. Transformation of Illa or Sudyumna. Descendants of the sons of Vaivaswata; those of Nedishta. Greatness of Marutha, kings of Vaisali. Descendants of Saryati. Legend of Raivata; his daughter Revati married to Baloram.

Section II.—Dispersion of Revata’s descendants; those of Drisha; those of Nabhaga. Birth of Ikshwaku, the son of Vaivaswata; his sons. Line of Vikukshi. Legend of Kakutstha; of Dhundhumara; of Yuvanāswa; of Mandhatri; his daughter married to Sauvari.

Section III.—Shaubhri and his wives adopt an ascetic life, Descendant of Mandhatri. Legend of Narmāda and Purukutsa. Legend of Trisanku, Bahu driven from his kingdom by the Haihayas and Talajanghas. Birth of Sagara; he conquers the barbarians, imposes upon them distinguishing usage, and excludes them from offerings to fire and the study of Vedas.

Section IV.—The progeny of Sagara; their wickedness; he performs an Aswamedha; the horse stolen by Kapila; found by Sagara’s sons who are all destroyed by the sage; the horse recovered by Ansumat; his descendants. Legend the Mitrasaha or Kalmashapada the son of Sudasa. Legend of Khatwanga. Birth of Rāma and other sons of Dasaratha. Epitome of the history of Rāma; his descendant and those of his brothers. Line of Kusha. Vrihadbala, the last, killed in the great war.

Section V.—Kings of Mithila. Legend of Nimi, the son of Ikshwaku. Birth of Janaka. Sacrifice of Siradhwaja. Origin of Sitā. Descendant of Kusadhwaja. Krita the last of Maithila princes.

Section VI.—Kings of the lunar dynasty. Origin of Soma or the moon; he carries off Tara, the wife of Vrihaspati; war between the gods and Asuras in consequence; appeared by Brahmā, Birth of Budha; marred to Illa, daughter of Vaivaswata. Legend of his son Pururavas, and the nymph Urvashi; the former institutes offerings with fire; ascends to the sphere of the Gandharvas.

Section VII.—Sons of Pururavas. Descendants of Amavasu. Indro born as Gadhi. Legend of Richika and Satyavati; Birth of Jatnadagna and Viswamitra. Parasurama the son of the former. Sunahseplas and others the sons of Viswamitra forming the Kausika race.

Section VIII.—Sons of Ayus. Line of Kshatravriddha, or Kings of Kashi. Former birth of Dhawntari. Various names of Pratarddana. Greatness of Alarka.

Section IX—Descendants of Raji, son of Ayas, Indra resigns his throne to him; claimed after his death by his sons, who appostatise from the religion of the Vedas, and are destroyed by the Indra. Descendants of Pratikshatra, son of Kshatravriddha.

Section X.—The sons of Nahusha. The sons of Yayati; he is cursed by Sukra; wishes his sons exchange their vigour for his infirmities. Puru alone consents. Yayati restores him his youth; divides the earth amongst his sons under the supremacy of Puru.

Section XI.—The Yadava race, or descendants of Yadu. Karttavirja obtains a boon from Dattatreya; takes Ravana prisoner; is killed by Parasurama; his descendant.

Section XII.—Descendants of Kroshtri; Jyamaghas connubial affection for his wife Saivya, their descendants kings of Vidharbha and Chedi.

Section XIII.—Sons of Satawata. Bhoja princes of Mrittiktavati. Surja the friend of Satrajit; appears to him in a bodily from; gives him the Syamantaka gem; its brilliance and marvellous properties. Satrajit gives it to Prasena, who is killed by a lion; the lion killed by the bear Jambavat. Krishna suspects of killing Prasena, goes to look for him in the forests; traces the bear to his cave, fights with him for the jewel; the contest prolonged, supposed by his companions to be slain; he overthrows Jambavat, then marries his daughter Jāmbavati, returns with her and the jewel to Dwārakā and restores the jewel to Satrajit, and marries his daughter Satyabhāmā. Satrajit murdered by Sataddhanwan; avenged by Krishna. Quarrel between Krishna and Balarāma. Akrura possessed of the jewel; leaves Dwārakā. Public calamities. Meeting of the Yādavas. Story of Akrura’s birth; is invited to return; accused by Krishna of having the Syamantaka jewel; produces it in full assembly; it remains in his charge; Krishna acquitted of having purloined it.

Section XIV.—Descendants of Sini, of Anamitra, of Swaphalka and Chittra, of Andhaka. The children of Devaka, and Ugrasena. The descendants of Bhajamana. Children of Sura; his son Vasudeva; his daughter Pritha married to Pandu; her children, Yudhishthira and his brothers; also Karna by Aditya. The sons of Pandu by Madri. Husbands and children of Sura’s other daughter. Previous births of Sisupala.

Section XV.—Explanation of the reason why Sisupal in his previous births as Hiranyakashipu and Ravana was not identified with Vishnu on being slain by him, and was so identified when killed as Sisupala. The wives of Vasudeva; his children; Balarāma and Krishna his sons by Devaki both apparently of Rohini and Yasoda. The wives and children of Krishna. Multitude of the descendants of Yadu.

Section XVI.—Descendants of Turvasu.

Section XVII.—Descendants of Druhyu.

Section XVIII.—Descendants of Anu. Countries and towns named after some of them, as Anga, Banga and others.

Section XIX.—Descendants of Puru. Birth of Bharata, the son of Dushyanta; his sons killed; adopts Bharadwaja or Vitatha. Hastin, founder of Hastināpur. Sons of Ajamidha, and the races derived from them, as Panchalas, etc. Kripa and Kripi found by Santanu. Descendants of Ritsha, the son of Ajamidha, Kurukshetra named from Kuru. Jarasandha and other kings of Magadha.

Section XX.—Descendants of Kuru. Devapi abdicates the throne; assumed by Santanu; he is confirmed by the Brahmans; Bhishma his son by Ganga; his other sons. Birth of Dhritarashtra, Pandu and Vidura. The hundred sons of Dhritarashtra. The five sons of Pandu; married to Draupadi; their prosperity. Parikshit, the grandson of Arjuna, the reigning king.

Section XXI.—Future Kings. Descendants of Parikshit, ending with Kshemaka.

Section XXII.—Future kings of the family of Ikshwaku, ending with Sumitra.

Section XXIII.—Future kings of Magadha, Descendants of Vrihadratha.

Section XXIV.—Future kings of Magadha. Five Princes of the line of Pradyota. Ten Saisunagas. Nine Nandas. Ten Mauryas. Ten Sungas. Four Kanwas. Thirty Andhrabhrityas. Kings of various tribes and castes, and periods of their rule. Ascendancy of barbarians. Different races in different regions. Period of universal iniquity, and decay. Coming of Vishnu as Kalki, Destruction of the wicked and restoration of the practices of the Vedas. End of the Kali, and return of the Krita age. Duration of the Kali. Verses chanted by earth, and communicated by Asita to Tanaka. End of the fourth book.


Section I.—The death of Kansa announced. Earth, oppressed by the Daityas, applies to the gods. They accompany her to Vishnu who promises to give her relief. Kansa imprisons Vasudeva and Devaki. Vishnu’s instructions to Yoganidra.

Section II.—The conception of Devaki; her appearance; she is praised by the gods.

Section III.—Birth of Krishna, conveyed by Vasudeva to Mathura and exchanged with the new-born daughter of Yasoda. Kansa attempts to destroy the latter, who becomes Yoganidra.

Section IV.—Kansa addresses his friends, announces their danger and orders male children to be put to death.

Section V.—Nanda returns with the infants Krishna and Balarāma to Gokula. Putaua killed by the former. Prayers of Nanda and Yasoda.

Section VI.—Krishna overturns a wagon; casts down two trees. The Gopis depart to Vrindavana. Sports of the boys. Description of the season of the rains.

Section VII.—Krishna combats the serpent Kaliya; alarm of his parents and companions; he overcomes the serpent, and is propitiated by him; commands him to depart from the Yamuna river to the ocean.

Section VIII.—The Demon Dhenuka destroyed by Rāma.

Section IX.—Sports of the boys in the forest. Prahlamba the Asura comes amongst them; is destroyed by Rāma, at the command of Krishna.

Section X.—Description of autumn. Krishna dissuades Nanda from worshipping Indra; recommends him and the Gopas to worship cattle and the mountains.

Section XI.—Indra offended by the loss of his offerings causes heavy rains to deluge Gokula. Krishna holds up the mountain Gobardhana to shelter the cowherds and their cattle.

Section XII.—Indra comes to Gokula; praises Krishna and makes him prince over the cattle. Krishna promises to befriend Arjuna.

Section XIII.—Krishna praised by the cowherds; his sports with Gopis, their imitation and love of him, The Rasa dance.

Section XIV.—Krishna kills the demon Arishta, in the form of a bull.

Section XV.—Kansa informed by Nārada of the existence of Krishna and Balarāma; he sends Kesin to destroy them and Akrura to bring them to Mathura.

Section XVI.—Kesin in the form of a horse, slain by Krishna; he is praised by Nārada.

Section XVII.—Akrura’s meditation to Krishna, his arrival at Gokula; his delight at seeing Krishna and his brother.

Section XVIII.—Grief of the Gopis on the departure of Krishna and Balarāma with Akrura; their leaving Gokula. Akrura bathes in the Yamuna; beholds the divine form of the two youths, and praises Vishnu.

Section XIX.—Akrura conveys Krishna and Rāma near to Mathura, leaves them; they enter the town. Insolence of Kansa’s washerman; Krishna kills him. Civility of a flower-seller; Krishna gives him his benediction.

Section XX.—Krishna and Balarāma meets Kubja; she is made straight by the former; they proceed to the palace. Krishna breaks a bow intended for a trial of arms. Kansa’s orders to his servants. Public games. Krishna and his brother enter the arena; the former wrestles with Chanura, the latter with Mushtika, the king’s wrestlers; who are both killed. Krishna attacks and slays Kansa; he and Balarāma do homage to Vasudeva, and Devaki; the former praises Krishna.

Section XXI—Krishna encourages his parents; places Ugrasena on the throne; becomes the pupil of the Sandipani, whose son he recovers from the sea, he kills the marine demon, Panchajana, and makes a horn of his shell.

Section XXII.—Jarasandha besieges Mathura; is defeated, but repeatedly renews the attack.

Section XXIII.—Birth of Kalayavana; he advances against Mathura, Krishna builds Dwārakā and sends thither the Yadava tribe; he leads Kalayavana into the cave of Muchukunda; the latter awakes, consumes the Yavana king, and praises Krishna.

Section XXIV.—Muchukunda goes to perform penance, Krishna takes the army and treasures of Kalayavana, and repairs with them to Dwārakā. Balarāma visits Vraia; inquires its inhabitants after Krishna.

Section XXV.—Balarāma finds wine in the hollow of a tree and becomes inebriated; commands the Yamuna to come to him, and on her refusal drags her out of her course; Lakshmi gives him ornaments and a dress; he returns to Dwārakā and marries Revati.

Section XXVI.—Krishna carries off Rukmini; the princes who come to rescue her repulsed by Balarāma. Rukmin overthrown but spared by Krishna, found Bhojakata. Pradyumna born of Rukmini.

Section XXVII.—Pradyumna stolen by Sambara; thrown into the sea, and swallowed by a fish; found by Mayadevi; he kills Sambara, marries Mayadev, and returns with her to Dwārakā. Joy of Rukmini and Krishna.

SECTION XXVIII.—Wives of Krishna, Pradyumna’s son Anirudha; nuptials of the latter. Balarāma beat at dice, becomes incensed, and slays Rukmin and others.

Section XXIV.—Indra comes to Dwārakā, and reports to Krishna the tyranny of Naraka. Krishna goes to his city, and puts him to death. Earth gives the earrings of Aditi to Krishna and praises him. He liberates the princesses made captive by Naraka, sends them to Dwārakā, and goes to Swarga with Satyabhāmā.

Section XXX.—Krishna restores her earrings to Aditi, and is praised by her; he visits the garden of Indra and at the desire of Satyabhāmā carries off the Pārijāta tree. Sachi excites Indra to its rescue. Conflict between the gods and Krishna, who defeats them. Satyabhāmā derides them. They praise Krishna.

Section XXXI.—Krishna with Indra’s consent, takes the Pārijāta tree to Dwārakā; marries the princesses rescued from Naraka.

Section XXXII.—Children of Krishna. Usha the daughter of Bana, sees Aniruddha in a dream, and becomes enamored of him.

Section XXXIII.—Bana solicits Siva for war; finds Aniruddha in the palace, and makes him prisoner. Krishna, Balarāma, and Pradyumna come to his rescue. Siva and Skandha aid Bana; the former is disabled; the latter put to flight, Bana encounters Krishna who cuts off all his arms, and is about to put him to death. Siva intercedes and Krishna spares his life. Vishnu and Siva are the same.

Section XXXIV.—Paundraka, a Vasudeva, assumes the insignia and style of Krishna, supported by the king of Kasi. Krishna marches against and destroys them. The son of the king sends a magical being against Krishna; destroyed by his discus, which also sets Benares on fire, and consumes it and its inhabitants.

Section XXXV.—Samba carries off the daughter of Duryodhana but is taken prisoner. Balarāma comes to Hastināpur, and demands his liberation; it is refused; in his wrath he drags the city towards him, to throw it into the river. The Kuru chiefs give up Samba and his wife.

Section XXXVI.—The Asura Dwivida in the form of an ape destroyed by Balarāma.

Section XXXVII.—Destruction of Yadavas. Samba and others deceive and ridicule the Rishis. The former bears an iron pestle, it is broken, and thrown into the sea. The Yadavas go to Prabhasa by desire of Krishna; they quarrel and fight and all perish. The great serpent Sesha issues from the mouth of Rāma. Krishna is shot by a hunter, and again becomes one with universal spirit.

Section XXXVIII.—Arjuna comes to Dwārakā, and burns the dead and takes away the surviving inhabitants. Commencement of the Kali age. Shepherds and thieves attack Arjuna and carry off the women and wealth. Arjuna regrets the loss of his prowess to Vyasa; who consoles him and tells him the story of Ashtavakra’s cursing the Apsaras. Arjuna and his brothers place Pariskhit on the throne, and go to the forests. End of the fifth book.


Section I.—Of the dissolution of the world; the four ages; the decline of all things, and deterioration of mankind, in the Kali age.

Section II.—Redeeming properties of the Kali age. Devotion to Vishnu, sufficient to salvation in that age for all castes and persons.

Section III.—Three different kinds of dissolution. Duration of a Parardha. The Clepsydra, or vessel for measuring time. The dissolution that occurs at the end of a day of Brahmā.

Section IV.—Continuation of the account of the first kind of dissolution. Of the second kind, or elemental dissolution; of all being resolved into primary spirit.

Section V.—The third kind of dissolution, or final liberation from existence. Evils of worldly life. Sufferings of infancy, manhood, old age. Pains of hell. Imperfect felicity of heaven. Exemption from birth desirable by the wise. The nature of spirit or god. Meaning of the terms Bhagavat and Vasudeva.

Section VI.—Means of attaining liberation. Anecnotes of Khandikya and Kesidhwaja. The former instructs the latter how to atone for permitting the death of a cow. Kesidhwaja offers him a requital, and he desires to be instructed in spiritual knowledge.

Section VII.—Keshidwaja describes the nature of ignorance, and the benefits of the Yoga or contemplative devotion. Of the novice and the adept in the performance of the Yoga. How it is performed. The first stage, proficiency in acts of restraints and moral duty; the second particular mode of getting; the third, Pranayama, modes of breathing; the fourth, Pratyahara, restraint of thought; the fifth, apprehension of spirit; the sixth retention of the idea. Meditation on the individual and universal forms of Vishnu. Acquirement of knowledge. Final liberation.

Section VIII.—Conclusion of the dialogue between Parāçara and Maitreya. Recapitulation of the contents of the Vishnupurana; merit of hearing it; how handed down, Besides of Vishnu. Concluding prayer.



Om! [1] Salutation unto Vāsudeva! [2] O Pundarikāsha, [3] victory unto thee! I bow unto thee, O origin of the universe! O Hrishikesha, [4] O great Purusha, O thou the first born! That Vishnu, [5] who is eternal, indecayable one, who is Brahmā, the Isvara and the Purusha,—who causeth the creation, the sustentation and the dissolution (of the world) consequent on the qualities [6] being agitated,—and from whom hath sprung the cosmos with Pradhāna, [7] Buddhi, etc.;—may he confer on us excellent understanding wealth [8] and emancipation! Bowing down unto Vishnu, lord of the universe, and saluting Brahmā and the rest, and paying reverence unto my preceptor, I will rehearse the Purāna that is equal to the Vedas. Saluting and paying homage unto that best of ascetics, Parāçara(Parashara)—son unto Vasistha’s son—versed in annals and the Purānas, [9] accomplished in the Vedas and the branches thereof, and learned in the mysteries of the scriptures,—who had finished his first daily devotions.

Maitreya asked him, saying,—”O preceptor, I have one by one studied near thee all the scriptures as well as the Vedas and their branches. It is owing to thy grace that, O foremost of ascetics, almost all of those that are even our enemies, confess that I have studied all the branches of knowledge. O thou cognisant of righteousness, I am desirous of hearing from thee how this universe came into being, and how, O virtuous one, it shall be in the future; in what, O Brāhmana, the cosmos consists; wherefrom sprang this system of mobile and immobile objects; where it lay at first and where it shall dissolve itself; as to the objects that have manifested themselves; the genesis of the gods; the establishment of seas and mountains and the earth, and that of the sun, etc. and the dimensions thereof; the genealogies of the deities,—all about the Manus, and the Manwantaras, [10] and Kalpas [11] and Vikalpas of Kalpas composed of the fourfold division into Yugas; the character of the close of Kalpas; and the entire tendencies of the Yugas; and, O mighty ascetic, the history of Devarshis [12] and monarchs; the proper division by Vyāsa of the Vedas into different parts; and the morality concerning Brāhmanas and others, as well as that of householders. O son of Vasishtha, I wish to hear all this related by thee. O Brahmana, incline thy mind favourably unto me, so that, O mighty anchoret, I may know all this through thy grace”.

[1] This mystic monosyllable plays a prominent part in Sanskrit scriptural literature. Composed, according to some, of the letters au, and ma. signifying Brahmā, Creator; Vishnu, Preserver; and Siva, Destroyer;—it expresses the three in One; and is said to possess great power spiritually.—T.
[2] In this translation, such epithets as, although compounded of general terms, have through usage come to mean some particular individual, have been retained untranslated, their renderings being only appended in footnotes.—Vasudeva is Vasudeva’s son, an appellation of Krishna; which, again, although the name of the most celebrated incarnation of Vishnu, means—dark blue or brown.—T.
[3] Pundarika-aksha—having eyes resembling the pale lotus.—T.
[4] Hrishika—organ of sense, and ica—lord. Hirshikesha—sovereign of the senses,—i.e. the cause of their action and abstention.—T.
[5] Vishnu means all-pervading.—T.
[6] The three cardinal qualities—goodness, passion and darkness.—T.
[7] Unformed Nature is designated by several epithets—Pradhana, Prakriti, Avyakta (unmanifested), etc.—T.
[8] Wealth is of eight kinds, viz., animālaghimāprāptiprākamyamahimāiçitwavaçitwa, and kāmāvaçāyitā.—Animā is the power of reducing one’s self to the minutest proportions; laghimā is that of rendering one’s self exceedingly light,—prāpti is the power of obtaining anything that is wished; prākamya is irresistibility of the Will; içitwa is supremacy; vaçitwa is the power of bringing all under sway; and Kāmāvaçāyitā is the power of suppressing desire.—T.
[9] A Purāna treats of these five subjects, viz., (1) the creation, (2) destruction and renovation of the world, (3) royal dynasties, (4) reigns of the Manus, and (5) geneologies.—T.
[10] The reigns of Manus.
[11] kalpa is a day and night of Brahmā, consisting of 4,320,000,000 solar sidereal years, or years of mortals, measuring the duration of the world.—T.
[12] An order of saints.

Pāraçara(Parashara) said,—”Excellent well; O Maitreya, O thou that art conversant with righteousness. Thou bringest into my recollection what of old my grandsire, the reverend Vasishtha, had said of old. When I heard that my sire had been devoured by the Rākshasa sent by Vicwāmitra, I was wrought up with an exceeding rage. Then I set about disturbing the sacrifice of the Rakshas; and in that sacrifice reduced to ashes night-rangers by hundreds. On the Rakshas undergoing extermination, the eminently pious Vasishtha, my grandfather, said unto me,—’Do not indulge in excessive wrath, O child, control this passion of thine. Albeit the Rākshasas did thus unto thy sire, yet have they not transgressed. This ire springeth up in fools; but where is the anger of the wise? Who, my child, destroyeth whom? Persons [13] but reap their acts. O child, anger heweth away the great and immense asceticism and fame acquired with extreme toil by men. The prime saints ever banish anger, which retardeth heaven and emancipation. Therefore, my child, do not thou come under its sway. No need of burning the night-rangers, who have not wronged. Stop this sacrifice of thine. Pious people are composed of forgiveness.’ Thus exhorted by my high-souled grandsire, I, for the sake of the dignity of his speech, stopped the sacrifice. Thereat, that foremost of ascetics, the reverend Vasishtha was gratified. And it came to pass that there appeared then Pulastya, son unto Brahmā. And when my grandfather had offered him arghya, [14] when he had taken his seat, O Maitreya, the exceedingly righteous elder brother of Pulaha addressed me, saying,—’As, albeit a mighty enmity existeth (between thyself and the Rākshasas), thou hast resorted to forgiveness at the words of thy superior, thou shall master all the branches of knowledge. And as, although highly enraged, thou hast not cut off my sons, I, O pious one, shall confer on thee a mighty boon. Thou shalt be the author of the Purāna and Samhita, [15] and thou shalt attain a consummate knowledge of the celestials. And through my grace, O child, thy intelligence shall be clear and unobstructed as concerns the Present and the Past.’ Then my grandsire, the reverend Vasishtha, said,—’What Pulastya hath uttered to thee, must be so.’ At thy question I remember me in full of all that formerly had been said unto me by Vasishtha and the intelligent Pulastya. And, O Maitreya, as thou hast asked me, I shall at length relate unto thee adequately the Purāna Samhitā.—Do thou understand that properly. This universe hath sprung from Vishnu,—and in Him it is established. He is the cause of the creation, maintenance and destruction thereof, and He is the universe”.

[13] The text has puman—male beings.—T.
[14] An oblation of various ingredients offered by way of respect.—T.
[15] An arrangement of the text of the Vedas into short sentences; or a compilation.—T.


Parāçara said:—”I bow unto Him that is holy and eternal—the supreme Soul who is ever uniform,—even Vishnu, the Lord of all. I bow unto Hiranyagarbha, unto Hara and Sankara, unto Vasudeva the saviour, even him who bringeth about creation, maintenance and destruction to everything. I bow unto him that is uniform yet hath a multiplicity of forms; who is both subtle and gross;—who is manifested and unmanifested; unto Vishnu, the cause of salvation. I bow unto Vishnu, the supreme Soul, who pervadeth the universe, and who is the fundamental cause of the creation, sustenance and extinction of everything. And bowing down unto Him, who is the stay of the universe,—who is minuter than the minutest monad,—who resides in every being—unto the undeteriorating foremost Purusha, who is extremely pure, and constitutes knowledge of the highest kind,—who in consequence of the erroneous sight (of people) seemeth to be endowed with a shape; unto the Vishnu who can compass the creation, maintenance and destruction of the universe,—saluting the Lord of the world, un-born, unchangeable and undeteriorating,—I shall relate what formerly, asked by Paksha and other great ascetics, the reverend lotus sprung Great-sire said unto them, and what they rehearsed unto king Purukutsa on the banks of the Narmadā; and what he, in his turn, related to Sāraswata,—and the last unto me. He who is Prime and Greater than the greatest, who is the supreme Soul resident in himself,—who cannot be differentiated by by form, color, etc, who is without deterioration or destruction, and without birth, growth and dissolution; who can only be asserted as existing,—is called by the learned Vāsudeva, in consequence of his existing everywhere and in all objects. [16] That Brahmā is prime and eternal,—without birth, change or deterioration. He is uniform, and pure in consequence of the absence of the ignoble. He is all this (that is)—he is Manifested and Unmanifested; [17] and he exists as the Primal Purusha and Time. O twice-born one, the first form of the Primæval Brahmā is a Male Being. His other forms are Manifested and Unmanifested, Time and the rest. [18] The wise see that sacred state of Vishnu, which is superior to Pradhāna Purusha, [19] Manifest and Time. The forms of Vishnu, first consisting of Pradhāna, Purusha, Manifest and Time are the causes and expressions [20] of creation, sustenance, and destruction. Do thou understand that Vyakta, [21] Vishnu, AvyaktaPurusha and Time are the exertions of Him, resembling those of a child sporting. That which is the Unmanifested Cause, is called subtle Nature by the foremost saints,—external, and instinct with cause and effect. It is indestructible, supportless, immeasurable, undeteriorating, real devoid of sound or touch, and without form, etc. It hath three several modes;—and is the mother of the Universe, without beginning and is the end of all. Formerly after the universal dissolution, everything was permeated by it. O Brāhmana, those versed in the language of the Veda,—exercising self-control and meditating the Deity, read the sense expressive of Pradhāna, thus. Day was not, nor night, nor sky, nor earth. And there was neither darkness nor yet light. And there existed then Pradhāna, Brahmā and the Purusha,—incapable of being apprehended by ear and the other organs, or the intellect. As O Vipra, the prime Vishnu hath two forms, Pradhāna and Purusha, so, O twice-born one, he hath another, which is joined to him (on the occasion of creation) and severed from him during the universal dissolution; and this is called Kāla. (Time). During the past dissolution, in consequence of the Vyakta remaining nascent in Prakriti, this circumstance in popular parlance is called Kāla. O twice-born one, the revered Kāla hath no beginning and hath no end; and in it genesis, stability and dissolution are uninterrupted. On the occasion of the universal dissolution, when Prakriti and Purusha remain separate, O Maitreya, there exists the form of Vishnu termed Kāla. Then at the time of creation, the supreme Brahmā, the Prime spirit pervading the universe, reaching everywhere—the lord of all beings, and the soul of all—the foremost Lord, Hari, entering into Pradhāna and Purusha, agitated them. And as odour, simply by reason of its proximity, and without any act, stirreth the mind, even so did the Supreme Lord. That best of males, O Brāhmana, is he that stirreth, and He it is that is stirred; he possessing in himself the three modes alike when in equilibrium and when not, entereth into Pradhāna. And that Lord of lords, Vishnu, manifests himself in gross elements in subtle objects, and in such forms as Brahmā and others. And, O best of twice-born ones, on the occasion of creation, from the equipoise of the principles presided over by Kshetrajna, [22] springs up that which manifests the principles. [23] And then Pradhāna overspread Mahat; and the three kinds of Mahat pertaining respectively to goodness, passion and foulness, were enveloped by Pradhāna, even as the rind envelopeth the seed. And from the three kinds of Mahat sprang three kinds of ahankāra; [24] (consciousness,) viz., vaikārikataijasa and bhutādi. [25] And, O mighty ascetic, as Pradhāna had enveloped Mahat, that cause of the elements and the senses, viz., akankāra from its containing the three principles, was in its turn, enveloped by Mahat. Then the bhutādi, [26] etc., being wrought, produced the rudiments of sound, and from the latter came into being ether, having the property of sound. And (anon) the bhutādi overspread the rudiments of sound as well as the ether; and, ether being wrought, produced the rudiments of touch; and then sprang the powerful air, whose property is known to be touch. And ether furnished with nascent audibility, covered air, endowed with tangibility. And then the air, wrought up, brought forth the rudiments of form. Light came from the air, and its property is said to be form. And the rudimental air endowed with touch, enveloped the rudimental tangibility. And light, being agitated, caused the taste; and therefrom sprang water, the residence of taste. And the rudiments of form overspread the rudiments of taste. And water, stirred, developed the rudiments of odour; therefrom sprang hardness endued with the property of odour. The subtle condition of a property existing in diverse objects is called Tanmātra. In consequence of the Tanmātras not being differentiated, they are undistinguishable; they are not agreeable or unpleasant of cause dullness,—and they are not marked by any distinguishing feature. From the consciousness related to darkness sprang the five rudiments and the five elements; from the conciousness relating to light sprang the organs of sense and from the consciousness relating to goodness sprang the ten deities. [27] The mind is the eleventh (organ). [28] The deities are known to have sprung from the principle of goodness. O twice-born one, the touch, the eye, the nose, the tongue, and the ear for the fifth, are designed for the perception of sound, etc. and are backed by intellect. The other organs are the anus, the organs of generation, the hands, the feet, and the vocal organs for the fifth; and the functions of these are excretion, articulation, motion, and mechanic labor. Ether, air, light, water, and earth, O Brāhmana, are respectively furnished with the properties of sound etc. and in consequence of their being agreeable or otherwise, or bringing on delusion,—they are known as Vicesha.

[16] Vasudeva is named from his residing in all objects and his endowing them with splendour. Moksha Dharma.—T.
[17] Vyakta and Avyakta—the names respectively of formed and unformed matter.—T.
[18] According to the Sankhya system, which the author follows in his cosmogony, prior to creation, the Universe existed in Nature like a mangoe tree existing latent in a mangoe-stone; and in the fullness of time, favored by the Primeval male and Time, the evolution of all was brought about.—T.
[19] Male being.—T.
[20] Followers of the Sankhya Philosophy hold that the equilibrium of the three principles or modes, is Prakriti—Primal nature.—T.
[21] “Here let us remind our readers of the argument by which we are led to conclude that the visible system (vyakta) is not the whole universe, and that there must be an invisible order of things (Avyakta) which will remain and possess energy when the present system has passed away. It is, moreover, very closely connected with the present system, inasmuch as this may be looked upon as come into being through its means“. The italics are mine. Unseen Universe, p. 157.
[22] Emanation of Divinity.
[23] Or Buddhi—the Intellect. This is also called Mahat—the Great one. It is the substance or essence by which the soul obtains a knowledge of external things.—T.
[24] Ahankara is the substance or ens connected with thought Buddhi, in which consciousness inheres. It is the Mid-stuff of Prof. Clifford, assumed as the original ground of our being i.e. of all formal being.—T.
[25] Connected successively with goodness, passion and foulness.—T.
[26] Ahankara relating to foulness.
[27] Cardinal Point, Wind, Sun, Pracheta [regent of water], Acwini Kumara, Fire, Indra, Upendra, Krishna, Mitra, and Prajāpati.—T.
[28] “Mind” says Maudesley in Physiology of mind “used in the sense of substance or essence, and brain used in the sense of organ of mental function, are, at bottom, names of the same substance”. In the system of Kapila, which the author follows, everything connected in function with sensuous objects, is as material as the objects themselves, being equally an emanation from Prakriti—T.

“And endowed with distinct energies, they without combining, and being all of them interfused, could not create objects. And then, coming together, and each supporting the others, they attained firmness and harmony and a uniform appearance. And in consequence of their being presided over by the Purasha, and favored by Pradhana, (who was ripe for it), those, commencing from Mahat and ending in Vishesha, brought forth an egg. And that egg resembling a watery bubble, fostered by the elements, attained dimensions. O thou of exceeding intelligence; and that egg formed by Prakriti, resting on water, became the body of Vishnu wearing the form of Brahmā,—And there Vishnu—lord of the universe—who is incapable of being perceived,—becoming manifest, remained in the form of Brahmā. [29] And Meru became the bellows-like inner covering of that exceedingly high-souled one, and the other mountains became his outer covering; and the seas served for his water in the womb. And, O Vipra, in that egg sprang mountains and islands, and seas, light, and numbers of worlds, and deities, Asuras and human beings. And that egg was environed ten times successively with water, fire, air, ether, and bhutādi and the bhutādi was surrounded in the same way by mahat. [30] And mahat along with all those was also covered by avyakta. [31] As the internal cocoanut fruit is covered by the external rind, etc., even so was the egg surrounded by the natural coverings. Then the lord of the universe, inspiring the principle of passion, [32] and becoming Brahmā, became engaged on creation. And until the expiry of Kalpa, [33] the worshipful Vishnu of immeasurable power, instinct with the principle of goodness, sustaineth creation. And at the end of a Kalpa, O Maitreya, Janārddana, [34] surcharged with the principle of foulness, wearing a fierce form and becoming terrific swalloweth up all. And having swallowed up all beings, anon the cosmos becoming one ocean, the supreme Lord lieth down on the couch [35] (formed by) the serpent. And walking, he, wearing the form of Brahmā, again addresseth himself to creation. And in consequence of his creating, sustaining and dissolving verily one Janārddana acquireth the appellations of Brahmā, Vishnu and Siva. As creator, Vishnu createth himself, and, as sustainer, he sustaineth himself, and, finally, becoming the destroyer, the Lord himself destroyeth everything. And as earth, water, light, air and ether, all the organs of sense and the heart go by the name Purusha, (Vishnu as being the Primal male, is the author of all these.) And, as he is the lord of all beings, and, as, knowing no decay, he hath the universe for his form, even he is the creator of all, and his also are the ends attained by beings”. [36]

[29] As Hiranyagarbha.—T.
[30] Lit. the Great one—so consciousness or egoism is styled.—T.
[31] Vide ante.—T.
[32] The three gunas—generally translated qualities,—but more properly modes or principles—have a physical as well as a moral significance in the sacred literature of the Hindus. “They are not mere accidents of nature, but are of its essence and enter into its composition”. Davis’ Hindu Philosophy.—T.
[33] Vide ante.—T.
[34] This is an appellation of Vishnu, meaning, he who is worshipped. This Purana as the locus classicus of the Vaishnavas, recognises Vishnu as in one the Greater and the Destroyer, without assigning the function of destruction to Siva.—T.
[35] The hundred-hooded serpent, Sesha or Ananta, also conceived as a form of Vishnu himself.—T.
[36] The acts of human beings, etc., are also his property.


Maitreya said:—”How can Brahmā, who is devoid of quality and confineless and pure and unblamed of soul, possibly engage in creation, etc.?” Thereat Parāçara said,—”As the powers of many an object are incomprehensible and incapable of being construed to sense, the powers of creation etc., possessed by Brahmā, like the heat of fire, are also so. O foremost of ascetics, hearken how the Professor of the eight kinds of wealth becomes engaged in creation. O wise one, in consequence of the eternal reverend Vishnu coming into being from objects, as Brahmā the Grand-father, he is designated as produced. According to the measure set by him human life is known as consisting of an hundred years. This (age) is called para, and the half thereof Parārdha. O sinless one, do thou listen to me as I mention unto thee the divisions of that which I have named unto thee as the Time-form of Vishnu,—in relation to Him as well as other creatures, and mobile and immobile objects, and the seas and all other things, O best of men. O chief of ascetics, a kāsthā is composed of fifteen nimeshas; [37] thirty kāsthās make up a kalā; and thirty kalās a muhurta; and as many muhurtas make up a day and a night unto human beings. As many days and nights form a month; and a month consists of two fortnights. Six months form an ayana; and a year is composed of two ayanas, one northern, the other southern. The southern ayana is the night of the celestials, as the northern is their day. The period of twelve thousand years of the deities constitute the four Yugas, viz. Krita, Tretā, and the others. [38] Do thou understand that. [39] Chronologists say that four, three, two, and one thousand divine years successively compose Krita and the other Yugas. An hundred divine years are said to constitute the first twilight, as another hundred years the last, of the Yuga. The space that intervenes between these twilights goeth by the name of Yuga, embracing Krita, Tretā and the rest. And O anchoret, a thousand of the four Yugas, Krita, Tretā, Dwāpara and Kali, constitute one day of Brahmā. One day of Brahmā O Brāhmana, compriseth four and ten reigns of the Manus. [40] Listen to the chronology thereof! The seven saints, the celestials, Sakra, Manu, and his sons—kings all of them—are created at the same time and, as formerly, [41] are destroyed at the same time, O excellent one, a little over seventy-one four Yugas constitute a Manwantara—the period of Manu as well as the gods. Manwantara takes up over eight lakshas [42] and fifty-two thousand years; and, O twice-born one, full thirty [43] kotis above sixty-seven [44] niyutas and about twenty thousand human years. Ten and fourteen such periods [45] form one day of Brahmā. Then comes on his sleep [46] and at the end thereof, the universal dissolution. And then all the triune world, comprising BhurBhuva and the rest, are in conflagration, and the dwellers of the regions of Maha, exercised with the heat, resort to the regions of Jana. On the three regions being reduced to one sheet of sea, that deity, the lotus-sprung Brahmā instinct with Nārāyana, contemplated by the Yogis [47] of Janasthāna,—with the intention of swallowing up the three worlds,—lieth down on the bed (formed by) the serpent. And having spent the night measuring that period, [48] at the end thereof he begins anew the work of creation. This is the year of Brahmā and thus is the space of his hundred years; and the life of that high-souled one is an hundred (such) years. O thou without sin, one half of Brahmās life is spent. On the expiration thereof passeth away a Mahākalpa—which is called Pādma. O twice-born one, this is the Kalpa distinguished as Vatrahā belonging to the second Parāddha, which is present”.

[37] nimesha is the twinkling of an eye.
[38] Dwāpara and Kali.
[39] The division of the Yugas.
[40] A generic name of the Progenitors of mankind.
[41] I fail to perceive the sense of this, unless it meant as they have been created aforetime.—T.
[42] Lacs.
[43] One million.
[44] Ten millions.
[45] Manwantaras.
[46] Extending over as many Manwantaras.
[47] Persons practising a certain process entitled Yoga.
[48] The time of creation.


Maitreya said:—”O mighty ascetic, relate unto me how the reverend Brahmā whose name is Nārāyana, created all beings at the commencement of the Kalpa”. (Thereat) Parāçara said,—”Hear as to how that god, the lord of Prajāpati, [49] the reverend Brahmā instinct with Nārāyana, created beings. On the expiration of the past Kalpa, that Master, Brahmā, surcharged with the energy of righteousness, awaking from his slumbers, saw the universe—void of all. And the supreme, incomprehensible Nārāyana—the lord of the greatest—as the worshipful Brahmā, became engaged in creation. This sloka is used with reference to the divine Nārāyana, the creator of the universe, in the form of Brahmā. Apa is named nāra, having been created by Nara; [50] and in days of yore, (water) having been the abode of him, he hath hence been called Nārāyana.—And on the universe becoming one ocean, the creator of all beings, the Lord resting on water, inferring that the Earth was thus placed, set his heart on delivering her. And as he, on former occasions, had assumed the forms of a fish, a Tortoise, etc., he now assumed the form of a Boar. And for sustaining the entire universe, the lord of creatures, impregnated with the Veda and sacrifices, of serene soul and the soul of all,—the Supreme spirit—stay of soul, and the prop of the Earth,—hymned by the Siddhas inhabiting the region of Jana,—Sauaka and others,—then entered water.—And seeing him enter the nether regions, that exalted one, the Earth, bowing low in humility and reverence, began to praise him. And the Earth said,—’I bow unto thee, who art all being; I bow unto thee, holding the conch and the mace. Do thou rescue me from here, now, as, thou hadst formerly done. I had formerly been delivered by thee. O Janārddana, I as well as other things, such as the sky, etc., are permeated by thee. Reverence unto thee, O prime spirit, O male soul, I bow unto thee. I bow unto thee, who art pradhāna and vaykta, and who art Time. Thou, wearing the forms of Brahmā, Vishnu and Rudra, art the creator of all beings, and thou art the maintainer as well as the destroyer thereof. Having destroyed everything, thou, O Govinda, [51] on the universe having become one Ocean,—contemplated by the pious, reposest (on the serpent-couch). None knoweth the high mystery encompassing thee; and the deities do but adore that form in which thou incarnatest thyself. O supreme Brahmā, adoring thee, those desirous of emancipation, attain the same. Who, not worshipping Vasudeva, obtaineth liberation? Thy entire form comprehends ail that may be secured by the mind, all that may be perceived by sight and the other senses, all that may be discriminated by thought. And I am supported, and created, and maintained by thee. And for this it is that people call me Mādhavi. [52] Victory to thee, O thou that art all knowledge! Victory to thee, who art gross and undeteriorating! Victory to thee, O thou that art infinite! Victory to thee, thou that art the Nascent! Victory to thee, thou that art Manifest. Thou, O lord! O prime of prime souls! O soul of the Universe! Victory to thee, O master of sacrifice, thou, who art sinless! Thou art Sacrifice, and Vaskatkāra [53] and thou, Omkarāa [54] and thou, Fire. Thou art the Vedas, and thou the branches thereof, and thou Hari, [55] art the person presiding; over sacrifice. Thou art the Sun, etc., and the planets and stars, and thou the entire universe. And O foremost god, thou art all that is formless and that is formed, and that is hard and, O best of male beings, all that I have mentioned and also all that I have left un mentioned. I bow down unto thee. I bow unto thee again and again.'”

[49] A divine personage sprung from Brahmā.—T.
[50] A name of Vishnu.—T.
[51] This term, a common appellation of Krishna, is derived variously. Go—language [the language of the Vedas] and vinda—who knows; or go—heaven or a cow, and vid—to obtain,—by whom heaven is obtained, or who obtains felicity by protecting kine.—T.
[52] Madhava being one of the names of Krishna, Madhavi means related to Madhava.—T
[53] Oblation into fire with the utterence of Vashata.—T.
[54] The utterence of Om.—T,
[55] Another appellation of Krishna, from the root, hri—to take or seize. Hari possibly means he that takes men’s hearts.—T.

Parāçara said:—Thus eulogised by Earth, that graceful one, the holder thereof, began to roar in Sāma [56] accents. Then heaving up the Earth with his razors from the deep, the mighty Boar, having eyes resembling blown lotuses,—and himself like unto lotus-leaves,—rose up like a gigantic dark-blue mountain. And as he emerged, the troubled water dashed by the wind forced out from his mouth, surging up, splashed the highly resplendent and sinless ascetics, Sananda and others, dwellers of the regions of Jana. And on the nether regions being broken up by the hoof-impacts (of the boar), the water began to run down with roars; and the Siddhas constantly inhabiting the regions of Jana, were moved about by the air of his breath. And the ascetics, placed in the tactual pores of the mighty bore as he rose up holding the Earth in his abdominal cavity and kept shaking his Veda-impregnated person,—experienced the highest bliss. And yogis dwelling in the regions of Jana, Sananda and others, with delighted hearts, and with heads bent in humility, hymned the holder of the Earth, remaining moveless, with his eyes expanded,—saying,—”Victory unto thee, O foremost God of gods,—O Keçava, [57] O wielder of the conch, mace, sword and discus! The cause of creation, destruction and sustentation, save thee, supreme state there is none whatever. The Vedas are thy feet, and the yupa, [58] thy larger tooth, and Sacrifice, thy smaller; the place of the (sacrificial fire) is thy mouth, and the fire itself thy tongue; and darva is thy down. O Lord, thou art the person presiding over Sacrifice. O mighty soul, day and night are thy eyes; and that refuge of all—the state of Brahmā, himself—is thy head; the entire complement of Suktas [59] composeth thy matted locks; and thy tongue is the sacrificial offerings, O god. O thou having the (sacrificial) ladle for thy face! O thou who hast the solemn accents of Sāma for thy voice, O thou that hast the front-part of the sacrificial ground, for thy body! O thou who hast all the sacrifices for thy joints! O god, thou hast for thy ears the morality of the Smritis as well as the Srutis. [60] Be thou propitiated! O undeteriorating one, O thou that hast the Universe for thy form, we know thee as having covered the Earth with thy paces, and that thou art the cause and stay thereof. Thou art the foremost Lord of the cosmos. Be thou gracious! Thou art the master of the mobile and the immobile. Raised on thy razor-ends, all this Earth, O Lord, seemeth like a lotus-leaf besmeared with mud on the tusk of an elephant that hath plunged into a pool of lotuses. O thou of unparalleled power, all the space between heaven and earth hath been covered with thy body. O thou, the universe hath been enveloped with whose splendour, O Lord, prove thou of profit to the universe. Thou art the sole highest reality,—there is none other, sovereign of the universe. And this glory in which the mobile and the immobile are enfolded,—is thine. O thou that art knowledge, unspiritual people, through ignorance, look upon this form of thine displayed in the world. Foolish persons, regarding this entire universe impregnated with knowledge, as real, fall into a sea of delusion. But O supreme lord, those that are versed in knowledge and are of pure spirit, look on this entire universe as thy form replete with knowledge. O Sarva, O soul of all! Be thou gracious! For the good of this world do thou, O thou of immeasurable soul, raise the Earth up. O lotus-eyed one, confer on us what is good. Thou, O reverend one, art surcharged with the virtue of goodness. O Govinda, for the benefit (of all), O lord, raise up this Earth. O lotus-eyed one, confer on us what is good. Mayst thou incline thy mind to creation fraught with profit to the universe! We bow unto thee. O lotus-eyed one, confer on us what is good”.

[56] i.e. belonging to the Sama Veda, which used to be sung.—T.
[57] An appellation of Krishna, derived from Ka—Brahmā, and ica—Siva and va—who goes—i.e. one that goes before Brahmā and Siva, or from Kesa—hair, and va—who possesses—fair-haired.—T.
[58] Sacrificial stake.
[59] Hymns of the Rig Veda.—T.
[60] Hindu scriptures are broadly divided into (1) Sruti—audition; and (2) Smriti—reminiscence. The former corresponds to the Christian Revelation, and the other is tradition.—T.

Parāçara said,—”Thus hymned by the divinities, that supreme soul, the holder of Earth, at once lifted her up, and set her on the mighty sea. And, resting on the sea like a giant bark, Earth did not sink in consequence of the flatness of her frame. Then leveling the Earth, the worshipful supreme Lord without beginning, placed mountains on her in proper order. And by his infallible power, that one of truthful purposes created on the Earth all the mountains that had been burnt on the occasion of the burning of the foregone creation. And then; properly dividing the land containing seven islands, he, as formerly, created the four regions, viz., Bhuva and the rest. And then, possessed with the principle of passion, the reverend Deity, Hari, wearing the form of Brahmā and assuming four faces, set about creation, But in the matter of creation, he was an instrument merely; as the force resident in the things created, was the principal Cause. Being ripe for development, (objects at the time of creation) desiderate nothing more. O foremost of those practising austerities, objects attain their objectivity by virtue of their inherent force”. [61]

[61] This approaches wonderfully the theory of Spontaneous creation, which is accepted by the out-and-out apostles of Modern Science—The most uncompromising advocates of Evolution could not outdo the Hindu sage of yore, in formulating their faith in (to give a Spencerian turn to the expression) the unknowable force, which, unintelligent itself, brings about this wonderful system of things instinct with infinite wisdom and love! Queer, however, would the classification read,—Parāçara, Darwin, Spencer, Huxley, Heckel, Tyndall, etc.—T.


Maitreya said:—”O twice-born one, tell thou me truly how the Deity created celestials, and saints, and Pitris, [62] Dānavas, and men, and beasts, and trees, and those inhabiting land and water and air; as well as concerning (the respective) qualities and characters and natures (of the creatures) dwelling in Earth,—which Brahmā had created at the commencement of creation”.

Thereat Parāçara said—”O Maitreya, listen thou heedfully! I shall tell thee how the Lord God created all,—deities and the rest. As he was contemplating creation as in former Kalpas, through lack of vigilance was generated Illusion, formed of Foulness.—Five are the kinds of Illusion which spring from this high-souled one, viz., tamas, moha, mahamoha, tamisra and andhatamisra. [63] And as (Brahmā) contemplated, were created five kinds of things, trees, &c., having no sense, undeveloped internally as well as externally, and of pent-up selves. As these, trees etc. were the first objects of creation, they are designated the principal creation. But finding these incapable of answering the end, he thought of again creating other things. And as he was revolving creation, sprang up the Tiryyaksrotas. [64] Those that live in Tiryyaksrotas. They are beasts, &c,—composed mainly of foulness, and devoid of liberal curiosity. Leading unrestrained lives, these, albeit devoid of knowledge, deem themselves as possessing the same. Proud, and considering vastly of themselves, they are subject to eight and twenty kinds of ills. [65] And although developed internally, they cannot express themselves to each other. And finding even these as insufficient for his purpose, (Brahmā) bethought him of other ways; and there came into being the third class of objects, named Urddhasrotas [66] to whom the principle of goodness predominates. They have great capacity for pleasure and happiness; and being developed alike externally and internally and, in consequence, more fitted to express themselves on both sides, have been designated Urddhasrotas. This third creation, that of the deities—is called Tushtatman. [67] And great was the pleasure of Brahmā on the consummation of this creation. But, deeming these main creations as not fulfilling his purpose, he revolved within himself another excellent creation, capable of bringing about his end. As that one of true resolve was thus meditating, there came forth from avyakta the arvvyāksrotas competent to accomplish his purpose. And as these eat by swallowing down, they are called arvvyāksrotas. The are bountifully developed; and, albeit possessing a share of foulness, have passion in a larger measure. And it is for this that in them unhappiness preponderates, and that they act continually. [68] They are developed internally and externally,—they are human beings fulfilling the purpose (of the Creator). Thus, O foremost of ascetics, have I narrated unto thee the genesis of the six orders of creation. Brahmā first created Mahata, next he created Tanmātras, which reckon as the second class, and are comprehended under the designation of Bhutasarga. [69] The third creation is Vaikārika, and is known as aindriya. [70] Thus hath been the creation of Buddhi and the others, which is called Prākrita. [71] And the main creation counts as the fourth, and includes the immobile objects. By the name of Tiryyaksrotas is meant, beasts, &c. And the sixth creation is Urddhasrotas, which is known as Devasarga. [72] And the seventh is Arvvāksrotas which is man. The eighth is the creation of Anugrahas [73] composed of goodness and passion. Five are the Vaikrita [74] acts of creation; and three are Prākrita.—And they together constitute Prākrita and Vaikrita. And the ninth is known as Kaumāra. Thus have I described unto thee the nine acts of creation of the Lord of creatures. The Prākrita and the Vaikrita are the radical causes of the world. What wouldst thou further hear of the Lord of the universe, engaged in creation?”

[62] Ancestral manes.
[63] Tamas brings about love of one’s own person, etc., moha produces a sense of authority over offspring, etc. mahamoha generates desire of sensual gratification, tamisra causes anger on any impediment coming in the way of enjoyment, and through andhatamisra one is led to conserve health and the good things of life.—T.
[64] Lit. the stream of beings living according to nature.—T.
[65] Some of these are physical, such as leprosy, deafness, blindness, inertia, dumbness, smellessness, impotence; some are mental and moral. It is, however, difficult for us of these times to see how beasts, &c. are more subject to these evils than human beings. The author may possibly have a meaning of his own, which, in the absence of adequate commentary, we fail to arrive at.—T.
[66] The stream of being, tending upwards.—T.
[67] Lit. soul-satisfying.—T.
[68] The first circumstance, remarks the commentator, is owing to the presence, the next, to that of passion.—T.
[69] Lit. the creation of the elements.
[70] i.e. pertaining to Indriyas—the organ of sense.
[71] From Prakriti—nature.
[72] Creation of the gods.
[73] An order of deities.
[74] i.e. relating to the excited condition of anything.

Maitreya said—”O ascetics, thou hast narrated unto me in brief the origin of gods &c. But, O best of the foremost anchorets, I wish to hear this at length”. Parāçara said,—”O Brāhmana, on Brahmā being engaged in creation, from his mind issued the four orders of beings commencing with celestials and concluding with the immobile,—and although these are destroyed at the time of universal dissolution, they are never bereft of the mental tendencies they acquire in existence, consequent on their acts; or of the good or bad fortune resulting respectively from their fair or foul actions. [75] Then desirous of creating deities, Asuras, ancestors and men, all going under the name of ambha, Brahmā began to contemplate. And as the lord of beings concentrated his soul, passion overspread him; and first from forth his hips came out Asuras. And then (Brahmā) renounced his person surcharged with darkness; and, O Maitreya, on being renounced by him, Foulness was converted into Night. [76] And having assumed another body, he (again) became desirous of creating, and from the face of the pleased Brahmā, came forth, O twice-born one, celestials surcharged with the virtue of goodness. And that body also having been resigned, the quality of righteousness was turned into Day. And therefore it is that Asuras are powerful by night and deities by day. And he then assumed a person, fraught with goodness; and, he being honored as a sire, out of him sprang the ancestors. And having created the ancestors, the Lord renounced that form also. And on being renounced, the same became Twilight, remaining between day and night. And then he assumed a person filled with the principle of passion; and, O foremost of the twice-born ones, thereat sprang men fierce, with passion entering into their composition. And the lord of creatures speedily resigned that form also,—And it became Moonlight, which is termed prāksandhydā. [77] And therefore it is, O Maitreya, man and the Pitris, become powerful in Moonlight and Twilight. Moonlight, Night, Day, and Twilight,—these four, are the bodies of Brahmā, endowed with the three principles. And then he assumed another body filled with the principle of passion, and thereat sprung Hunger from Brahmā, and from Hunger, wrath. Then the reverend one in the dark created beings frightful and bearded, and always exercised with hunger. And (as soon as these) were created, they rushed at the Lord. And of those that cried,—‘Ho! don’t do this,—save him,’—are Rakshas; [78] and others that said,—‘We shall eat him up,’—are Yakshas, from Yakshana [79] eating. Seeing them mischievous, the hair of the Deity fell off,—and having fallen off from his head, it again rose to his head. And from their movement (sarpana), the hair became sarpas, [80] —and from their having fallen off, they are known as ahis. [81] Then the creator of the universe, waxing wroth, generated some beings of wrathful souls. Twenty-hued, they are beings subsisting on flesh. And then came forth from him Gandharvas, whose office is music. O regenerate one, as these came into being, drinking in strains (of music), they are called Gandharvas, All these beings created the reverend Brahmā, directed by inherent force resident in these (respectively). Then he at his pleasure created another order of beings—fowls of the air. And he created sheep from his breast, and goats from his mouth. And the lord of creatures created kine from his womb and flanks. And he created from his feet horses, elephants, sarabhas, [82] gavayas, [83] deer, camels, mules, nyankus, [84] and other species. And from his down sprang medicinal herbs furnished with fruits and roots. And, O twice-born one, at the commencement of the Tretā-Yuga and on the eve of the Kalpa, Brahmā, having created the beasts and the drugs, then set them apart respectively for sacrifice. Fair complexioned males, sheep, horses, mules, and asses, were called Grāmyā [85] animals. And know also those that are wild. (These are) beasts of prey, the cloven-hoofed, elephants, monkeys, and, fifthly, birds, and, sixthly, aquatic animals, and, seventhly, reptiles. Then from his first mouth he generated the Gāyatri, [86] the Richas, [87] the Trivatstoma [88] the Rathantara, [89] and the Agnishtoma [90] among sacrifices. Then from his southern mouth he created the Yajus, [91] the Trishutva metre, the fifteenth Stoma, [92] the Vrihat Sāman, [93] and the Uktha. [94] And from his western mouth, he created the Sāmas and the Fagati metre, the seventeenth Stoma, the Vairupa [95] and the Atirātra. [96] And from his northern mouth he brought forth the twenty-first Stoma, the Atharva Veda, the Aptoryāma, [97] the Anishtubha metre, and the Vairāyya Sāma. Thus from his person came forth noble and ignoble. And having created gods, Asuras, Pitris, and men, that lord of beings, the great-sire, at the commencement of the Kalpa, created Yakshas, Piçāchas, [98] Gandharvas, and numbers of Apsaras; and that lord, the reverend Brahmā, the first Cause, created Naras, [99] Kinnaras, [100] Rākshasas, birds, beasts, deer, serpents, and mobile and immobile objects lasting or other-wise. And in successive creations, verily each creature is born into those acts which it used to perform in its former existence. [101] Some are cruel and some kind, some mild and some harsh, some virtuous and some vicious, some truthful and some false,—in consequence of their inheriting their respective natures as developed in previous births; and it is also for this that each affects a particular course of conduct (in preference to others). [102] The Deity is the lord of all objects of enjoyment, of all creatures, and all bodies; and it is the Deity who hath personally divided and differentiated them. And at the beginning from the Vedic Vocabulary he assigned names unto creatures, celestials and other, as well as unto sacrifices; and also fixed forms and shapes thereof. And from the auditory Veda, he assigned appellations unto the sages,—and appointed them to their respective functions. And as the signs of the seasons successively manifest themselves, the characteristics, of the Yugas are seen in due order. And instinct with energy arising from a desire of creation, He, actuated by the creative impulse, thus again and again bringeth about creation at the commencement of Kalpas”.

[75] This passage is very obscure. It is not clear how acts, whether fair or foul or indifferent, can apply to immobile objects, the very statement of whose name carries with it a negation of movement.—T.
[76] In Sanskrit tamas means darkness, along with the principle of foulness.
[77] Meaning, going before twilight.
[78] From Raksha—protect.
[79] From the verb ha leave.
[80] Serpents.
[81] Serpents.
[82] A fabulous animal, having eight legs, inhabiting the snowy mountainous regions.—T.
[83] Bos Gavus.
[84] A species of deer.
[85] i.e. belonging to village.—T.
[86] The most sacred hymn in all the Vedas, in praise of the Sun, as representing the Supreme Sun of the spiritual Universe.—T.
[87] Hymns of the Rig-Veda.
[88] A kind of sacrifice.
[89] A division of the Sama Veda, so named.
[90] A sacrifice.
[91] A division of the Vedas.
[92] Song of the Sama Veda.
[93] A part of the Sama Ved. Vrihat means great.
[94] A metre of the Sama Veda.
[95] Songs of the Sama Veda.
[96] A kind of Sacrifice.
[97] A kind of Sacrifice.
[98] Inferior spectres reveling in the morally foul and the physically filthy.—T.
[99] Horse-hipped beings.
[100] Horse-faced beings.
[101] A profound view, in imaginative vesture, of Heredity. The Author imparts a comprehensiveness and sublimity to the doctrine which is unsurpassed—T.
[102] A little liberty has been indulged in translating this sentence, at the construction of the original is involved and complicated.—T.


Maitreya said,—”Thou hast called man by the term Arvvāksrotas. But O Brāhmana, tell me at length how Brahmā created him. And tell me also how he created the orders,—and, O mighty ascetic, of their qualities; and the offices assigned to Vipras and the rest”.

Parāçara said,—”O foremost of twice-born ones, Brahmā of true intents was inspired with the desire of creating the kosmos from his mouth, O foremost of twice-born ones, came out creatures surcharged with the principle of goodness; and from the breast of Brahmā creatures surcharged with the principle of passion; and from his thighs came out beings surcharged with both goodness and foulness; and, O best of regenerate ones, from his feet Brahmā created other beings, who were impregnated with the principle of dullness. This is the fore-fold division into orders. And, O excellent Brāhmana, Brāhmanas, Kshatriyas, Vaiçyas and Sudras, came from the feet, the thighs, the chest and the mouth of Brahmā. O exalted one, Brahmā brought into being these four orders capable of satisfactorily performing sacrifices, in order to the successful celebration of them. O thou cognisant of righteousness, the celestials, gratified with sacrifices, in turn gratify creatures,—and therefore sacrifices conduce to welfare. It is men engaged in observing their proper morality, of pure ways, and good, and walking the path of righteousness,—who perform sacrifices. It is by virtue of having been born as human beings that men, O ascetic, can obtain heaven and emancipation; and, O twice-born one, that they can go to the wished-for regions. O foremost of ascetics, men (at the beginning) having been divided into four orders, were reverent and of excellent ways. Then they lived wherever they liked,—without any let. And they were pure in heart,—unpolluted; and cleansed in consequence of their observing all rites. And their minds being pure and the Pure Hari residing in their heart, they perceived that state which goeth after the name of Vishnu, and which is genuine knowledge. Then that portion of Hari which is fraught with Fatality, spread sin (amongst men), causing slight pleasure and an overmeasure of woe. O Maitreya, this, composed of anger, &c, springs from the seed of unrighteousness and begets delusion and covetousness,—and stands in the way of the attainment (of the summum bonum). And men anon could not (any more) completely attain the eight kinds of success, Rasa, Ullāsa, &c. And on sin progressing, and those becoming exceedingly feeble, creatures became subject to physical changes [103] and to all the miseries consequent thereon. Then they constructed forts composed of trees, or rocks, or water; and artificial forts; and cities; and towns. And, O mighty ascetic, they only made houses in those towns, for shelter from cold, the sun, and other (physical discomforts). Having thus provided against cold, etc., men then betook themselves to tasks capable of being performed with the hands, for subsistence. And Vrihi, [104] barley, wheat, small seeds, sessame, prijangu, [105] udārakodrava, [106] chināka, [107] māsha, [108] mudga, [109] masurasimbi, [110] kulatkthaka, [111] āraki, [112] oats, and hemp,—these seventeen kinds, O ascetic, were among the rural plants grown. And fourteen sorts are the plants intended to be used in sacrifice, divided into grāmya [113] and āranya [114] Vrihi, barley, māsha, wheat, small seeds, prijangu, sessame, kulaththaka, these eight belong to villages. And Syāmāka, [115] nirāba, [116] jartila, [117] gavedhukabenuyava, and markataka, [118] (these), O ascetic, (are the plants growing wild in the woods). These fourteen species of plants, grāmya and āranya, are intended for the celebration of sacrifices, and they are very useful for that purpose. All these plants together with sacrifices are the causes of the increase of population; and it is for this those versed in the highest significance of things celebrate sacrifices. By performing sacrifices day after day, one, O foremost of ascetics, reapeth great good, and hath one’s sins, committed, shorn of their rancour. O mighty-minded one, it is those only in whose minds the drop of sin attaineth proportions, that set their face against sacrifices. These, reprobating the ordinance of the Veda and the divinities presiding over sacrifices, endeavour to stand in the way of sacrifices. And wicked wights of evil ways and crooked aims, running the Vedas down, lay the axe at the root of courses leading to progress. Having created men, the Lord, on their means of subsistence according with their respective qualities, having been settled, placed them duly in consonance with dignity; and, O best of those practising righteousness, ordained the codes of duty in respect of the orders; and their modes of life; and the regions attainable by them; concerning all the castes, observing the rules of their respective orders. And the sphere assigned to Brāhmanas observing the rules of their order, is that of the Creator himself. And the sphere assigned to Kshatriyas, not turning away from fight, is that of Indra. And Vaiçyas, following the laws of their order, attain the regions of Marut. [119] And those belonging to the Sudra caste that spend their lives in serving (the other orders), attain the regions of the Gandharvas. Those practising the Brahmacharyya injunctions attain the regions of Marut belonging to the eight and eighty thousand ascetics that have drawn up their vital fluid. And those living in the forest reap the place of the seven sages; householders repair to the regions of the Creator; and mendicants, to the sphere named Brahmā. The sphere of the yogis is Amrita [120] —which is the supreme state of Vishnu himself. Those yogis that contemplate Brahmā with a single soul,—of these is that supreme state which is seen by the celestials. The sun, the moon, and the other planets, going to this region again and again, return therefrom again and again,—but to this day those that contemplate the twelve-lettered (Mantra), [121] do not have to return therefrom. Tāmisra, Andhatāmisra, Mahāraurava, Raurava, Asipatravana, Ghora, and the waveless Kālasutra,—these are appointed the regions of those that revile the Vedas,—that obstruct sacrifices; and that abandon their own religion”.

[103] subject to duality, i.e. came under the Law of Relativity, in the sense of Professor Bain. See Senses and Intellect.
[104] Rice of various kinds; of which eight only are enumerated by the authorities.
[105] A medicinal plant, and perfume, Panicum Italicum.
[106] A species of grain eaten by the lower people Paspalum Kora.
[107] A sort of panic, P. miliaceum.
[108] A sort of kidney bean:—phaseolus radiatus.
[109] Phaseolus mungo.
[110] A sort of pulse or lentil—Eroum Hirsutum; cassia alata.
[111] Dalichos biflorus.
[112] Cytius cajan.
[113] From grāma—village.
[114] From aranya—wood.
[115] Panicum mantacium. Also P. coloumn.
[116] Wild sessamum.
[117] Coix barbata.
[118] A fruit.
[119] i.e. the Wind-god.
[120] Ambrosia.
[121] A formula, embodying the name of Vāsudeva.


Parāçara said—”Then came forth unto him the mind-sprung beings, embodying causes and consequences arising from his own person. And out of the body of that intelligent one came out the souls. And thus were generated all those mobile and immobile objects beginning with the deities and concluding with the immovable,—which are established in the three several spheres, [122] —and of which I have told thee before. And when these beings of that intelligent one did not multiply, then he created other mind-begotten sons, resembling himself,— viz. Bhrigu, Pulastya, Pulaha, Kratu, Angiras, Marichi, Daksha, Atri, and the mind-sprung Vasishtha. The Purāna saith that these nine resemble Brahmā himself. Those who formerly had been created by Vedas, being bereft of love and hate, and possessed of the highest knowledge, did not take to the world, or produce offspring. And these being indifferent to the increase of people, a mighty wrath took possession of Brahmā, capable of consuming the three worlds. And, O anchoret, the entire triune universe was then illuminated with the flame flowing from the ire of Brahmā. And then from his furrowed forehead inflamed with wrath sprang Rudra, resembling the mid-day Sun; having a body, half-female,—terrific; and of a prodigious person. And saying unto him,—’Divide thou thyself.’—Brahmā then vanished. Thus directed, he divided himself into a male and a female. And then he divided the male into one and ten parts; and the Lord God also divided the female into Saumya, [123] Asaumya, [124] Santa, [125] Asānta, [126] Sita, [127] Asita, [128] and many other parts resembling himself. Then the Lord appointed the Self-create Manu, formerly sprung from Brahmā’s self, and resembling himself, to rule creatures. And that lord, the divine Self-create Manu, took to wife the female Satarupā, [129] purged of all sin through asceticism. And to that person Satarupā bore Priyavrata and Uttānapada; and two daughters, named Prasuti and Akuti,—endowed, O thou cognisant of righteousness, with the perfections of beauty, and nobility. And the Lord of creatures of old conferred Prasuti on Daksha, and Akuti on Rucha. And unto this wedded couple were born, O exceedingly righteous one, Yajna and Dakshina; and these were then united in marriage. And ten sons were borne to Yajna [130] by Dakshina. [131] At the time of the Self-create Manu, these went by the designations of Deva and Yāma. And on Prasuti, Daksha begat four and twenty daughters,—whose names do thou hear, Sraddhā, [132] Lakshmi, [133] Dhriti, [134] Tushti [135] Pushti, [136] Medha, [137] Kriya [138] Buddhi, [139] Lajja, [140] Vapu, [141] Santi, Siddhi, [142] and Kriti. [143] These thirteen daughters of Daksha were wedded by the Lord Dharma. [144] The daughters remaining after these elder ones, were eleven, furnished with fair eyes,—Khyati, [145] Sati, [146] Sambhuti, [147] Smriti, [148] Priti [149] Kshamā, [150] Sannati, [151] Anasuyā, [152] Urjjā, [153] Swahā, [154] and Swadhā. Bhrigu, Bhava, Marichi, Angiras, Pulastya, Pulaha, Kratu, Atri, Vasishtha, Vanhi, and the pitris, espoused respectively the daughters, Khyāti and the rest, O foremost of ascetics. And then Sradhā brought forth Kāma; [155] and Chalā, [156] Darpa; [157] and Dhriti, Niyama [158] as her son; and Tushti, [159] Santosha, [160] and Pushti, [161] Lobha [162] And Medha [163] brought forth Srutam; [164] and Kriya, [165] Dandam, [166] Naya, [167] and Vinaya; [168] and Buddhi, [169] Bodha; [170] and Lajja, Vinayaj and Vapu, [171] Vyavasaya [172] as her son; and Santi brought forth Kshamā; and Siddhi, Sukha; [173] and Kirti, Yaças. [174] These are the offspring of Dharma. Nanda bore unto Kama, Harsha [175] —grandson unto Dharma. Hinsā [176] was the wife of Adharma; [177] and from her were born Anrita, [178] and a daughter—Nikriti. [179] And from these came forth Bhaya [180] and Naraka; [181] and two daughters—Maya [182] and Vedana. [183] And Maya and Bhaya gave birth to Mrityu [184] —that allayer of the three kinds of heat, [185] And Vedana bore unto Rauraba, a son named Duhkha. [186] And from Mrityu sprang Vyadhi [187] Jwara, [188] Soka, [189] Trishnā, [190] and Krodha. [191] These ultimately lead to misery; and all have marks of unrighteousness. They have no wives, being all of vital fluid drawn up. [192] And, O son of the Prime ascetic, these are the terrific forms of Vishnu; and they ever bring on the universal dissolution. And, O exalted one, Daksha, Marichi, Bhrigu, and others—lords of creatures—are always the causes of the creation of the universe. And the Manus and their sons and kings possessed of wealth and prowess, and ever abiding by the way of righteousness,—and heroic,—are the causes of the maintenance of the cosmos”.

[122] viz. the upper, middle, and nether regions.
[123] Mildness
[124] Insolence
[125] Meek.
[126] Wild.
[127] White.
[128] Dark.
[129] Having an hundred forms.
[130] Sacrifice.
[131] Gift in sacrifice to Brahmanas.
[132] Veneration
[133] The goddess of wealth.
[134] Patience.
[135] Satisfaction.
[136] Nourishment.
[137] Intelligence.
[138] Act.
[139] Intellect.
[140] Bashfulness.
[141] Body.
[142] Success.
[143] Fame.
[144] Righteousness.
[145] Renown.
[146] Chaste.
[147] Birth.
[148] Memory.
[149] Gratification.
[150] Forgiveness.
[151] Reverence.
[152] Good-natured.
[153] Energy.
[154] This and the last are words uttered while one is offering oblations.
[155] Sexual desire.
[156] Lakshmi.
[157] Pride.
[158] Restraint.
[159] Satisfaction.
[160] Contentment.
[161] Nourishment.
[162] Greed.
[163] Intellect.
[164] Knowledge.
[165] Action.
[166] Punishment.
[167] Justice.
[168] Humility.
[169] Intellect.
[170] Apprehension.
[171] Body.
[172] Exertion.
[173] Felicity.
[174] Fame.
[175] Cheerfulness.
[176] Malice.
[177] Unrighteousness.
[178] Falsehood
[179] Wickedness.
[180] Fear.
[181] Hell.
[182] Illusion.
[183] Pain.
[184] Death.
[185] Tapa—lit. heat—here means the three kinds of pain,—natural, supernatural and that coming from spirits. The word tapa for pain refers to the physical phenomenon accompanying all pain—namely, heat in the part affected. And physical pain in any part of the body is invariably found to be accompanied with heat at that locality.—T
[186] Misery.
[187] Disease.
[188] Decrepitude.
[189] Grief.
[190] Thirst.
[191] Anger.
[192] The reader will readily perceive that all this is allegorical, although the allegory is by no means on all fours. The entire fabric, it may truly be said, of Hinduism is upreared upon an allegorical foundation; but the allegory having been missed, it has degenerated itself into a system of degrading superstition.—T.

Maitreya said,—”O Brahmana, thou hast alluded to constant creation, constant sustenance and constant dissolution. Do thou describe unto me the characteristics of them”.

(Thereat) Parāçara said,—”That one of incomprehensible soul,—the reverend destroyer of Madhu—the Lord assuming respective shapes, effecteth the creation, maintenance, and destruction (of the Universe). The dissolution (of beings) is of four kinds, viz., O twice-born one, Naimittika, Prākritika Atyantika, and Nitya. When, on the expiry of his Day, Brahmā—the lord of the Universe—lieth down, takes place the dissolution called Naimittika. When the mundane egg dissolveth itself away in Primæval Nature, takes place the Prākrita dissolution. The fusion of the Yogis into the Supreme Soul through knowledge, is the Atyantika dissolution. And the constant dissolution of things taking place day and night, goeth by the name of Nitya. The creation which comes of Primæval matter, is known as Prakriti; that which takes place at the end of a minor dissolution, is known as Damandini; and, O foremost of anchorets, the constant daily creation of beings, is called Nitya by the wise versed in the import of the Puranas. Thus that origin of all beings, Vishnu, remaining in the bodies of all things, bringeth about creation, maintenance and destruction. O Maitreya, the energies of Vishnu relative to creation, sustenance, and destruction, remaining in the bodies of all beings, are ever coursing on day and night. O Brahmana, he that, compounded of these mighty powers, overruleth the three principles, attaineth the Supreme state (of Vishnu), and hath not to come back to this scene”.


Parāçara said,—”O mighty ascetic, I have narrated unto thee the creation of Brahmā connected with the principle of dullness. Now I shall unfold unto thee the creation called Rudra. Do thou hearken as I proceed! At the outset of a Kalpa, as the Lord was rapt in thoughts about a son resembling himself, on his lap appeared one hued red-blue. And, O best of regenerate persons, crying in sweet tones, he went about. And as he was crying, Brahmā asked him,—’Why dost thou weep?’ And thereon, he said unto the Lord of creatures,—let me have a name.’ And (the Lord said),—‘O divine one, thou art named Rudra. Do not cry. Have patience.’ Thus accosted, he again cried for seven times. And thereat the Lord gave him seven other names; and assigned six receipients thereof, as well as the six wives and sons of the latter. Bhava, Sarva, Isana, Pasupati, Bhima, Ugra, and Mahadeva,—these seven names were mentioned by the Great-father, And the holders thereof were respectively the Sun, water, earth, fire, air, ether, the initiated Brāhmana, and Soma. And Suvarchala, Uma, Sukesi, Siva, Dik, Dikshā, and Rohini,—are, O best of men, the wives of the Rudras, named the Sun, etc. And hearken (unto me) reciting the names of their offspring, whose sons and grandsons have filled the universe. Sanaischara, Suka, Lohitānga, Manojava, Skanda, Swarga, Santāna and Budha,—these are respectively the sons (of the Eight Forms.) Rudra, formed thus, took to his wife Sati, And through Daksha’s ire, Sati renounced her person. And then, O best of the born ones, she became the daughter of Himavat by name Umā. Then the reverend Bhava again married Umā, who was his solely. And Bhrigu’s wife, Khyati, brought forth the gods—Dhata and Vidhata; as well as Sri, who is Nārāyana’s spouse”.

Maitreya said:—”We have heard that Sri arose from the Ocean of milk on the occasion of the churning of the deep. But why dost thou say that she was begot by Bhrigu on Khyati?”

Thereat Parāçara said;—”That mother of the Universe—Vishuu’s energy—is enduring and undeteriorating, O foremost of the twice-born ones, even as Vishnu is omnipresent, so this one also. Vishnu is the sense and she is the word; she is morality, Vishnu is justice; Vishnu is perception, and she the power thereof; he is merit, and she the act of piety.—Vishnu is the creator, and she the creation; Sri is earth,—and Hari, the supporter thereof. The reverend one is contentment, and, O Maitreya, Lakshmi is permanent peace; Sri is desire, and the worshipful one is Kama; he is sacrifice, and she the dakshina; the goddess is the first libation, and Janārddana is Purodāsa[193] O ascetic, Lakshmi is patuisālā[194] and Madhusudana is the prākvansa [195] (of a sacrifice); Lakshmi is the chitti and Hari is the yupa[196] Lakshmi is sacrificial fuel, and the reverend one is Kuça; The reverend one is Sāman, the Lotus-dwelling Sri is Udgiti; [197] Lakshmi is Swāhā, that Lord of the Universe,—Vāsudeva—is fire, the worshipful Sauri is Sankara, (the mistress of) Wealth is, O best of the twice-born one, Gauri. O Maitreya, Kesava is the Sun, the Lotus-seated one is the splendour thereof; Vishnu are the paternal manes, and the Lotus-throned one is Swadha, ever conferring gratification; Sri is the city of the celestials, that soul of all—Vishnu—is the exceedingly spacious sky; the support of Sri is the Moon, and Sri is the constant resplendence thereof; Lakshmi is Fortitude and Exertion; Hari is the air-coursing everywhere. O twice-born one, Govinda is the Ocean; and, O magnanimous Vipra, Sri is the shore thereof. Lakshmi is like the spouse of Indra, and the Destroyer of Madhu is the Indra of the immortals; the holder of the discus is Yama himself, and the Lotus-presiding one is Dhumorna. [198] Sri is Prosperity, that god—the supporter of Sri—is the Lord himself of riches. Lakshmi is the highly exalted Gauri and Kesava is Varnna himself. Sri is the celestial host, O foremost of Vipras, and Hari is the lord thereof. The mace-handed one is Avashtambha, and, O best of the regenerate, Lakshmi is Energy. Lakshmi is Kastha. [199] and he is Nimesha. [200] He is muhurta, and she is kalā; Lakshmi is the light, and Hari, or Sarva—lord of all—is the lamp. The Mother of the universe is the plant, and Vishnu—the spouse of Sri—is the tree established. Sri is Night, and that deity—the holder of the discus and mace—is Day. The boon-bestowing Vishnu is the bridegroom, and she dwelling in the lotus-grove is the Bride. The reverend One is like a male river. Pundarikaksha is the (banner), and the Lotus-seated Sri is the Ensign. Lakshmi is Thirst, and that master of the Universe, the Great Nārāyana, is Desire. And, O thou cognisant of righteousness, Lakshmi and Govinda are respectively Attachment and Love. What is the use of dilating? I tell thee this in brief,—the Reverend Hari compriseth gods, men, beasts and other creatures that are termed male; and, O Maitreya, Lakshmi compriseth all that are termed female. There exists naught that is beyond these”.

[193] Clarified butter as offered in oblations to fire with cakes of ground barley meal that have been well steeped in it.—T.
[194] The room opposite to that which contains the materials for an oblation and in which the family and friends of the sacrifice assemble.—T.
[195] An oblong with quadrangular sides.
[196] A sacrificial stake.
[197] The hymns of the Sama Veda.
[198] A division of time.
[199] Wife of Yama.
[200] Time taken up by the twinkling of an eye.


Parāçara said:—”O Maitreya, listen to what I say anent thy question about Sri, as I had heard from Marichi. That Emanation of Sankara—Durvasa—was ranging this Earth. And it came to pass that the sage saw in the hand of a Vidyadhari a celestial garland,—perfumed by which, O Brahmana, that entire forest of Santanakas [201] had become surpassingly charming to the rangers of woods. And it came to pass that on seeing that graceful garland, that mad Vipra practising the vows, asked for the same of that bride of a Vidyadhara. And solicited by him, that slender-framed and large-eyed spouse of a Vidyadhara, saluting him with regard made it over unto him. And thereat, laying the wreath on his head, that Vipra wearing the form of a maniac proceeded to roam about the earth. And then he saw that deity—Sachi’s lord—sovereign of the three regions—mounted on the mad Airavata,—approaching along with the celestials. And the ascetic, resembling a mad man, taking from his head that garland, whose odour was maddening six-footed (black-bees), threw it on the sovereign of the celestials. And thereon the king of the immortals, taking the wreath, placed it over the head of Airavata; and thus placed, the same appeared like the Jahnavi on the peak of Kailasa. And it came to pass that the elephant with his eyes blinded by the temporal exudation,—on being assailed by the odour, smelt the perfume with his trunk (raised),—and then cast the same away to the earth. Then was wroth the reverend Durvasa, best of anchorets; and, O Maitreya, being enraged, he spoke unto the sovereign of the celestials, saying,—‘O thou intoxicated with wealth! O wicked of soul! O Vāsava! how art thou puffed up! But inasmuch as thou dost not regard this wreath, which is the abode of Auspiciousness,—and as, bowing down the head, thou hast not, said,—Thy favour!—nor, with thy cheeks beaming with delight, hast thou placed it on thy head,—as, in (brief), thou dost not pay high homage to this garland given by me,—O fool, thy celestial prosperity shall depart from thee. Surely, O Sakra, me thou deemest like other twice-born ones; and therefore, thou thinking immensely of thyself, hast thus slighted me. And as thou hast cast away the wreath given by me to the earth, therefore thy Triune world shall be reft of Auspiciousness. Me whom when wroth the mobile and the immobile fear,—thou, O monarch of the immortals, hast insulted from thy excess of arrogance”.

[201] A kind of celestial tree.

Parāçara said;—”Thereat the great Indra, swiftly alighting from the back of his elephant, propitiated the sinless Durvasa. And propitiated by him with his head humbled, that best of ascetics—Durvasa—answered the thousand-eyed (Deity),—saying,—‘I am not kind of heart; nor doth forgiveness find, a place in me. They, O Sakra, are other ascetics; but know me as Durvasa. Gautama and others have for nothing fostered thy pride. But me thou must know as Durvasa, who is nothing if not unforgiving. And having been hymned aloud by Vasistha and others,—overflowing with clemency, thou hast grown haughty,—and it is for this reason that thou insultest even me in this way. Who is there in all these three regions that beholding the frowning face of mine furnished with flaming matted locks,—can keep off fear; forgive I will not. What then is the use, O thou of an hundred sacrifices, of thy expending much speech. Thou again and again puttest thyself to useless trouble in thus beseeching me”.

Parāçara said:—Having said this, the Vipra went away. And, O Brahmana, the monarch of the immortals also, mounting Airavata, went to Amaravati. O Maitreya, from that time the three worlds with Sakra became shorn of Auspiciousness, and the glory thereof faded; and sacrifices and medicinal herbs grew feebler. And no sacrifices are performed, and none practiseth asceticism; and none taketh any delight in good works, such as charity. And all men, void of power, came under the masterdom of the senses; and O prime of the regenerate ones, they could not restrain their hearts even in things intrinsically small. Where strength is, there is Prosperity, and strength ever followeth Prosperity. Where is the strength of the inauspicious? And without strength, where are virtues? And without virtues, persons cannot have power, affluence, etc. And those divorced by power and wealth, are; overriden by all. And, when, overruled a person albeit possessed of time, loseth his sense. On the three worlds, shorn of Auspiciousness, being bereft of strength Daityas and Dānavas began to use force against the celestials. And the Daityas, shorn of Auspiciousness and devoid of strength, being overmastered by covetousness, entered upon hostilities with the celestials, having neither Auspiciousness nor strength. And the celestials, Indra and the rest, on being vanquished by the Daityas,—with the god of Fire at their head,—sought the protection of the exceedingly exalted Great-father. And, having been addressed duly by the deities, Brahmā, then spoke unto the celestials. And Brahmā said,—‘Do ye seek the protection of the Supreme of supreme deities, that Lord, the Destroyer of Asuras, the cause of all,—as well as of creation, protection and destruction, the Lord of the lord of creatures—Vishnu; Infinite; the unvanquished; the cause of the unborn Pradhana and Purusha ripe for creation; Him that taketh off the misery of the humble; even Vishnu. He will provide for your welfare.’ Having spoken thus unto the assembled celestials, Brahmā—Great father of all—went along with them to the Northern shore of the Milky Ocean. And repairing thither surrounded by all the celestials, the Great-father, with excellent speech eulogized the prime of prime and the master—Hari. And Brahmā said,—”We bow unto thee, who art All and the Lord of all,—who art infinite, unborn and unspent: who art the stay of the worlds, and the prop of the Earth; who art unmanifested and without difference; Nārāyana,—who art the subtlest of all subtile objects: and who art the weightiest of all things weighty on earth; He in whom and from whom are all things that have sprung into existence, commencing with Sat: who surpassest the Prime person; and art the Embodiment of the Supreme Spirit; who are contemplated in order to emancipation by Yogis desirous of deliverence; in whom are not Goodness and the rest,—nor the attributes inhereing in Prakriti. May that one pure beyond all things pure—that primaeval Male be propitious (to us)! May that pure Hari, whose power is not tethered to kalā, kāshthā, nimesha, etc., prove propitious (to us)! May He that is styled the Supreme Lord, who is free from all things,—that Vishnu who is the Soul of embodied things,—be propitious (to us)! May that Hari, who is cause as well as effect, who is the cause even of the cause,—who again is, the effect of the effect,—prove propitious to me! We bow down unto Him who is the effect of the effect of the effect,—and who also is Himself the effect of that effect,—and who is the effect of the effect thereof. We bow unto thee who art the foremost of the celestials,—who art the cause of even the cause,—and the cause of the cause of that cause,—and the origin of all these causes combined. We bow down unto that Supreme State which is the creator as well as the created,—and which is at once cause and consequence. We bow unto that Prime State of Vishnu which is pure cognition, which is constant, causeless, undeteriorating and unspent; and which is the unmanifested and unmodified. We bow down unto that Prime and ever pure state of Vishnu, which is not gross and yet not subtile; which cannot be differentiated. We bow unto that undeteriorating one who is the Supreme Brahmā,—and in one of whose Ayuta [202] of Ayuta portions is this cosmic energy established. We bow unto that Prime State of Vishnu—that Supreme Deity—which is not known either to the deities, or the ascetics, or me, or Sankara himself. We bow unto that Suprenje incomprehensible and indestructible State of Vishnu, which, on the exhaustion of their merits and demerits, the Yogis, ever perservering, view, grounded in the Pranava. [203] We bow to the Prime State of that God Vishnu, who is without equal, and whose energy is Brahmā, Vishnu and Siva. O Lord of all! O soul of all beings! O thou that art all! O refuge of all! O thou that never fallest off! O Vishnu, be thou propitious! Come thou within the ken of us who are thy devotees”. Hearing this invocation of Brahmā, and then the deities, bowing down, said,—”Be propitious! Come thou within the range of our vision? O thou that art in every thing! O thou that never fallest off! O support of the Universe! we bow unto that Prime State which even the reverend Brahmā doth not know”. When the deities as well as Brahmā had ended thus, the Devarshis, [204] headed by Vrihaspati, [205] said,—”We bow down unto him—the creator of the cosmos devoid of difference—who is primæval, who is the Sacrificial Person, who is worthy of being extolled, and who is prior in birth to everything. O Worshipful one! O thou that art the Lord of Past and Future! O thou who hast the Universe for thy form! O undeteriorating one! Be propitious; and manifest thyself unto us who humble ourselves. This is Brahmā; and this is Trilochona in [206] Company with the Rudras. And this is the Sun along with the Adityas [207] and this is the God of Fire with Agni. And these are the two Açwinas and the Vasus; and these are the Maruts. And these are the Sidhyas, and these the Viçwas; and these the deities,—and this the Lord Indra of the celestials. O Lord, all the hosts of the celestials, having been routed by the forces of the Daityas, seek shelter at thy hands, standing in humble guise”.

[202] Ten thousand.
[203] A designation of Om, for which see before.
[204] Lit.—celestial saints—an order of saints.
[205] The preceptor of the deities.
[206] Lit three-eyed—a name of Siva.
[207] Suns keeping company with the Sun proper, who presides over them.

Parāçara said:—O Maitreya, thus hymned (by the deities), that reverend one—the holder of the conch and discus—that Supreme Lord—rendered himself visible unto them. And seeing then that holder of the conch, discus, and mace, that abode of wonderful grace,—a very mass of energy,—the deities, with the Great-father at their head, bowing down in humble guise, with their eyes quivering with agitation, began to hymn Pundarikāksha. And the celestials said,—”Salutation! Salutation unto thee! O thou that art without difference! Thou art Brahmā, and thou art the holder of Pināka. [208] Thou art Indra, and Agni and Pavana, [209] and Varuna, and the Sun, and Yama. And the Vasus, and the Maruts, and the Sādhyas, and the Viçwa gods thou. And, O god, those deities that have come unto thee are even thyself, who art the creator of the Universe,—since thou art in everything. Thou art sacrifice, and thou Vashatkāra, and thou Prajāpati. And, O soul of all, thou art knowable and unknowable; and this entire universe is permeated with thee. O Vishnu, worsted by the Daityas, we seek refuge of thee. O Soul of all, be propitious unto us; and do thou favour us by vouchsafing us thy energy. So long affliction lasts, so long the desire of defeating the foe agitates the heart, as long doth stupor last and so long is misery experienced,—as one doth not throw one’s self on thy protection, O thou that destroyest all sins. Therefore, O thou of complacent soul, do thou extend thy grace unto us. O master of all energy, do thou favour us with thy own power”.

[208] The bow, or the Trident of Siva.
[209] The Wind-god.

Parāçara said:—”Thus eulogised by the immortals, that creator of the cosmos—the worshipful Hari—casting a complacent glance, spoke (as follows). And the auspicious reverend One said,—‘Ye gods, I shall increase your power. Let the deities do as I say. Bring in company with the Daityas all the medicinal plants to the shore of the Ocean of milk, and making Mandāra the churning-stick and Vāsuki the cord, let the deities churn (the Ocean) for ambrosia, I assisting them. And concluding peace with the progeny of the Daitya’s, ye should enlist their services in this task; and tell them,—Ye shall in common with us reap the fruit of this undertaking. And on the sea being churned, ye should by drinking the nectar that will come up, attain access of strength and be immortal to boot. And, ye gods, I shall so order that the enemies of the celestials shall not get ambrosia,—but shall only undergo all the trouble”.

Parāçara said:—Thus addressed by the god of gods, all the celestials, concluding peace with the Asuras, set about churning for ambrosia. And procuring various medicinal herbs, the deities, the offspring of the Daityas, and the Dānavas,—throwing the same into the waters of the ocean of milk, resembling autumnal clouds,—and O Maitreya, making Mandāra the churning-stick and Vāsuki the twine,—at once addressed themselves to churning for ambrosia. And instructed by Krishna, the gods in a body held that (part of Vāsuki’s body) where the tail was, and the Daityas held by the fore-part of his body. And, O thou of measureless Splendour, the Asuras, smitten with the fire sprung from the breath of Vāsuki’s hood, became enfeebled. And clouds scattered by the breath issuing from Vāsuki’s mouth, showering down at his tail, the deities were enlivened. And, O mighty ascetic, remaining in the midst of the Milky sea in the shape of a tortoise, the revered Hari himself became the support of the churning-stick. And the holder of the discus and mace, remaining in one form in the midst of the immortals, and in another, in the midst of the Daityas,—began to pull the king of serpents. And, O Maitreya, in another gigantic form, Keçava pulled the mountain upwards,—which form was seen neither of the celestials nor the Asuras. And Hari obliged with energy the king of serpents; and the Lord invigorated the immortals with another energy. And on the milky-sea being churned by the celestials and the Asuras, first came into existence Surabhi, worshipped of the celestials,—home of clarified butter. And thereat both the deities and the Dānavas experienced very great delight, O great ascetic; and with their minds attracted, they steadily gazed at her. And as the Siddhas were questioning within themselves,—”What is this?”—out came the exalted Vāruni, with her eyes rolling in consequence of intoxication. And then perfuming the universe with odor, from forth a whirlpool of the Milky-sea arose Pārijāta—the tree in which the celestial females delight. And then, O Maitreya, from the Milky-occan arose numbers of Apsarās, wonderful exceedingly, and furnished with grace and nobility. And then sprang the Mild-rayed one; [210] and Maheçwara appropriated him. And the serpents appropriated the poison that sprang from the Milky-sea. And then arose the divine Dhanwantari; [211] clad in white raiment, bearing a Kamandalu [212] filled with nectar. And thereat, O Maitreya, all the Daityas’ sons and the Dānavas, along with the ascetics, felt delighted. And then from the water arose the exalted Sri, endowed with excellent grace,—seated on a blown lotus, and carrying also a lotus in her hand. And filled with delight, her hymned the mighty saints with the Srī Sukta; [213] and the Gandharvas, headed by Viçwāvasu, began to chant before her. And, O Brāhmana, bevies of Apsarās—Ghritāchi and others—began to dance, and the rivers—Gangā and the rest—came with water, for bathing her. And an elephant of one of the cardinal points, taking water out of the golden vessels, bathed that goddess—the mighty Mistress of all the worlds. And the Milky-sea, assuming a form, presented her with a wreath of unfading lotuses; and Viswakarmā decked her person with ornaments. And wearing divine garlands and attire, bathed and adorned with ornament, she in the sight of all the celestials sought the bosom of Hari, And on being gazed at by the goddess Lakshmi remaining in Hari’s bosom, the celestials, O Maitreya, suddenly attained excess of delight. And, O exceedingly pious one, on being overlooked by Lakshmi, the Daityas, ever disregarding Vishnu—headed by Viprachitti—were wrought up with extreme anxiety. And then, O twice-born one, the Daityas, endowed with great prowess, possessed themselves of the Kamandalu that was in the hand of Dhanwantari, and which contained the ambrosia. And then Vishnu, assuming a female form, and thereby exciting their desire, secured the same, and then the Lord made it over unto the celestials. And then the immortals,—Sakra and the rest—quaffed off the ambrosia; and thereat the Daityas rushed against them with upraised weapons and Nistrinsas. [214] And having drunk ambrosia, the invigorated gods beat the Daitya-hosts, and these flew in all directions and entered the nether regions. Then the deities, bowing down unto the bearer of the conch, discus and mace, as formerly, began to govern the celestial regions. And then the glad-rayed Sun began to course in his own path; and, O best of ascetics, the luminaries also gyrated in their own orbits. And then the reverend Fire, crowned with a fair splendour, began to burn brightly. And, all creatures felt a regard for righteousness. And, O foremost of anchorets, the triune world was furnished with grace; and that chief of the celestials—Sakra—again waxed graceful. And Sakra, seated on his throne, receiving back the celestial regions, and established in his celestial sovereignty, began to hymn the Goddess holding a lotus in her hand. And Indra said,—”I salute the Lotus-sprung mother of all beings—unto Sri having lotus-like eyes, and reposing in the bosom of Vishnu. Thou art Siddhi, and thou art nectar, and thou Swāhā and Swadhā, O purifier of the worlds. And thou art twilight and light and lustre, and affluence, and intelligence, and veneration, and Saraswati. Thou art the learning of sacrifice; thou art the worship of the Universe-form (of the Most High); thou art the Occult Learning, O beauteous one; and thou art the knowledge of Brahmā, O goddess,—and thou art the bestower of the fruit of emancipation. And thou art the Science of Dialectics; and thou art the Three (Vedas); and thou art the Vārttā; and thou art the knowledge of chastisement, etc. O goddess, this universe is filled with thy gentle and terrific forms. And, O goddess, who, save thee, can dwell in the person of that god of gods, the bearer of the mace, who is contemplated by the yogis. O goddess, the triple world, having been renounced by thee, had come to the verge of destruction; and, through thee hath it again recovered its position. And, O exalted one, men come by wives and sons, and houses, and friends, and corn, and wealth through thy kind look. And, O goddess, freedom from bodily ailments, riches, destruction of foes, and felicity, are not difficult of attainment for those people that view thy glances. Thou art the mother of all creatures, as that god of gods—Hari—is their father. And this universe consisting of mobile and immobile, was primævally permeated by thee as well as Vishnu. And, O thou that purifiest everything, if thou forsakest (us), neither our treasures, nor our cattle, nor our houses, nor our attires, nor our bodies, nor our wives, are secure unto us. O thou that residest in the bosom of that god, Vishnu, if thou forsakest me, neither sons, nor friends, nor ornaments are secure unto me. O stainless one, he that is forsaken by thee, is also forsaken by goodness, truth, purity character, and other virtues. And, those that are glanced at by thee,—albeit devoid of any good quality, ever attain note, on account of character and other virtues, as well as lineage, and wealth. And, O goddess, he that is looked at by thee, is praiseworthy and accomplished and blessed and intelligent and high-born and heroic and possessed of prowess. And, O nurse of the Universe, O beloved of Vishnu, all virtues, character, etc., are instantly prevented in him from whom thou turnest away thy countenance. But the tongue even of the Deity is incapable of celebrating thy perfections. O lotus-eyed one, prove auspicious! Me mayest thou never renounce.”

[210] Himansu—name of the Moon.
[211] The Esculapius of the Hindus.
[212] A vessel so named.
[213] A hymn of the Rig Veda.
[214] A scimitar—a sacrificial knife.

Parāçara said,—”Thus eulogised to the height, the goddess Sri resident in all beings spoke unto Satakratu [215] in the hearing of all the gods. And Sri said,—’O chief of the celestials, O Hari, pleased am I with thy hymn. Do thou mention the boon thou desirest. I have come hither to confer the same on thee.’ Thereat Indra said,—‘O goddess, if thou wouldst confer a boon on me, if I am worthy of one, let this be the great boon, that this triple world thou wouldst not forsake. And let this be the second boon that him also thou woudst not forsake, who, O ocean-sprung One, shall propitiate thee with this hymn.’ Thereat Sri said,—‘O foremost of the celestials, O Vāsava, this triple world will I not leave. I confer upon thee this boon, being pleased with thy hymn and prayer. And I shall never be displeased with him whoever shall chant this hymn.'”

[215] Lit.—the performer of an hundred sacrifices. It is a name of Indra.

Parāçara said,—”O Maitreya, formerly the great goddess, Sri being pleased with the hymn and prayer, conferred this boon on the lord of the celestials. In the days of yore, Sri was begot of Bhrigu on Khyati. And she again came out of the Ocean when it was churned by the celestials. As the great god Janārddana, [216] the lord of the Universe, goes through incarnations, so does Sri to help Him. When Hari assumed the form of a dwarf, she took birth as a lotus, and when He descended on earth as Parasurāma, she appeared as the Earth. At time of the incarnation of Rāma, she became Sitā, and when He was born as Krishna, she became Rukhmini. And thus in all the incarnations, she assisted Vishnu. When he had a celestial shape, she assumed the shape of a celestial, and when he assumed a human form, she took a human shape. She changed her body (human or celestial) according as Vishnu did. Sri does not renounce the abode of him for three generations, who reads or hears of this story of her birth. O sage, never can quarrelsome Alakshmi, [217] dwell in that house where this hymn of Sri is chanted. O Brāhmana, I have related unto thee everything of what thou didst ask me for—how Sri formerly was born as the daughter of Bhrigu and how she afterwards came out of the Ocean of milk. This eulogy of Lakshmi, the source of all wealth, came out of the mouth of the lord of celestials. Poverty can never infest those persons on earth, who chant this hymn every day”.

[216] Another name of Vishnu.
[217] The genius of ill-luck,


Maitreya said,—”O great sage, thou hast related unto me all I had asked thee for. Do thou now give me again an account of the family of Bhrigu from Bhrigu downwards”.

Parāçara said,—”Lakshmi was born of Bhrigu and Kyāti and became the spouse of Vishnu. And two more sons were born of Bhrigu and Kyāti namely Dhātā and Bidhātā. Two daughters, by name Ayati and Niyati were born of the high-souled Meru. And Dhāta and Bidhātā took them as their wives. They gave birth to two sons named Prāna and Mirkandu. Of Mirkandu again was born a son named Mārkandeya. And hear then again, a son was born of Prāna by name Vedaçirā. Of the other sons of Prāna one was named Kritimān and the other Rājavān. And in this way did spread the family of the great Bhrigu. Māricha’s spouse Satmbhuti gave birth to a son named Paurnamasam. And of him were born two sons named Birajā and Sarvaga. And their sons I shall mention, O twice-born one, when I shall relate the lineage at leisure. And Angirā’s wife Smriti gave birth to four daughters, named Sinibali, Kuhoo, Rākā and Anumati. And by Atri, Anasuyā gave birth to three sons untouched by sin named Soma, Durbāsā and the sage Dattatreyo. And Pulastya’s wife Preeti gave birth to a child named Dattoli, who in his former birth or in the Sayambhava Manwantara was known as the sage Agāstya. Kshamā, the wife of the Patriarch Pulaha was the mother of three sons; Kardama, Avarian and Sahishnu. The wife of Krātu, Sannati, brought forth the sixty thousand Bālakhilyas, pigmy sages, no bigger than a joint of the thumb, chaste, pious, resplendent as the rays of the Sun. Vasishtha had seven sons by his wife Urjja, Rajas, Gātra, Urdhabhahu, Basana, Anagha, Sutapas and Sukra, the seven pure sages. The Agni, named Abhimani, who is the eldest born of Brahmā, had, by Swahā, three sons of surpassing brilliancy:—Pavaka, Pavamana and Suchi who drinks up water. They had forty-five sons who (with the son of Brahmā, the Agni named Abhimani and his three descendants) constitute the forty-nine Fires. I have mentioned the progenitors (Pritras) who were created by Brahmā. Of those by Agnishwattas and Varhishads the former being devoid and the latter, possessed of Fires, [218] Swadha had two daughters Mena and Baidhārini. They were both, O twice-born one, acquainted with theological truth and given up to religious meditation, accomplished in perfect wisdom and adorned with all estimable qualities, Thus I have narrated the progeny of the daughters of Daksha. He who hears it with reverence, shall never want offspring”.

[218] According to the commentator this distinction is derived from the Vedas. The first class or Agnishwattas consists of those householders who when alive, did not offer burnt sacrifices; the second of those who presented oblations with fire.


Parāçara said:—I mentioned unto you that the Menu Swāyambhava had two heroic and pious sons Priyavrata and and Uttanpada. O these two, O Brahman, Uttanpada, had, by his favourite wife Suruchi, a son, Uttama, whom he dearly loved. O twice-born one, the king had another queen by name Suniti, to whom he was less attached. By her he had another son Dhruva. Beholding his brother Uttama on the lap of his father as he was seated upon his throne, Dhruva was desirous of ascending to the same place. But as Suruchi was present the king could not receive his son, approaching there delightedly and desiring to be taken on his father’s knee. Beholding the child of her sapatni [219] thus anxious to be placed on his father’s lap and her own son already seated there Suruchi said,—”O child, why do you vainly cherish such a presumptuous desire born as thou art from a different mother and art no son of mine. Thou art inconsiderate enough to aspire to a station which is fit for excellent Uttama. It is true thou art the son of the king but I have not given thee birth. This regal throne, the seat of the king of kings is suited to my son only; why shouldst thou trouble thyself for it. Why does thou idly cherish such an ambition as if thou wert my son? Dost thou not know that thou art the offspring of Suniti?” Parāçara said;—O twice-born one, hearing the words of his step-mother, and quitting his father, the boy repaired in a passion to the apartment of his own mother. Beholding him angry and his lips trembling, Suniti took him upon her lap and said,—”O child, who is the cause of your anger? Who hath not welcomed thee? Who doth not know, that by behaving ill towards thee he hath offended thy father?” Being thus addressed Dhruva repeated to his mother all that the arrogant Suruchi had said to him in the presence of the king. Her son having related all these sighing, she was greatly distressed. And Suniti, rendered poorly, with her eyes dimmed, sighed and said,—”Suruchi has rightly spoken; thine, child, is as an unfortunate fate: those who are born to fortune are not liable to the insults of their step-mothers. Yet be not afflicted, my child, for who shall efface what thou hast formerly done, or shall assign to thee what thou hast left undone. The regal throne, the umbrella of royalty, excellent horses and elephants are his whose virtues have deserved them; remember this my son and be consoled. That the king favours Suruchi is the reward of her merits in a former birth. The name of wife alone belongs to such as I, who have not equal merit. Her son is the progeny of accumulated piety and is born as Uttama and mine son art thou, O Dhruva, of inferior merit. It does not behove thee, O my child, to be sorry on this account; a wise man will be satisfied with the degree which appertains to him. If thou art greatly hurt at the words of Suruchi, do you try to amass piety which bestows all good. Be thou good-natured, virtuous-souled, friendly and engaged in doing good to all living creatures; for prosperity descends upon worthy persons as water flows towards low ground”.

[219] The other wife of the king.

Dhruva said;—”O mother, what thou hast said to console me doth not find place in my heart which has been rent asunder by harsh words. I shall so exert that I may attain to the most exalted rank adored by the whole world. I am not born of Suruchi who is the favourite wife of the king. Do thou behold my prowess, O mother, who am born of and reared by thee. Let Uttama, my brother, who is not born of thee, receive the regal throne, conferred on him by my father.

“I do not wish to have that which is given by others, O mother. I shall by my actions acquire such a position which had not been enjoyed even by my father”. Parāçara said:—Having addressed his mother thus, Dhruva issued out of his mother’s dwelling. And quitting the city, he repaired to a neighbouring thicket. He beheld there seven ascetics, who had repaired there before, sitting upon the hides of the black antelope, which they had taken from off their persons, and spread over the holy kusa grass. Saluting them respectfully and bowing unto them humbly the prince said, “Do ye know me, O great ascetics, as the son of Uttanpada, born of Suniti. Being dissatisfied with the world, I have appeared before you”. The Rishis replied:—”O prince, thou art only a boy and but four or five years of age. There can be no reason why you should be dissatisfied with life. You cannot be disgusted with anxiety since thy father reigns; we cannot imagine, O boy, that you suffer the pain of separation from the object of your affections. Nor do we see any sign of disease on your person. What is the cause of your dissatisfaction? Tell us if it is known to you”. Parāçara said,—Thereupon he repeated unto them what Suruchi had spoken to him. And having heard that they said to one another,—”Oh! How wonderful is the vehemence of Kshatriya nature? He is a mere boy and still he cannot stoop to indignities and he has not been able to remove from his mind what his step-mother had said. O son of Kshatriya, if it pleases thee, tell us what thou desirest to do through your dissatisfaction with the world. O thou of immeasurable prowess, tell us in what thou wishest to have our help? Speak freely: for we perceive that thou desirest to have something from us”. Dhruva said:—”O ye foremost of twice-born ones, I wish not for riches, neither do I long for a kingdom. I aspire to a station which hath never been acquired by any before. O excellent sages, tell me how I may effect this and attain to that station which is the most elevated in this world”. Maychi said—”O Prince, none can attain to that best of stations who does not propitiate Govinda. Do thou therefore worship the undecaying”. Attri said—”He with whom is pleased the first of spirits Janārddana, gets at this imperishable dignity—I mention unto you the truth”. Angira said,—”If thou desirest for an exalted station do thou worship Govinda in whom immutable and undecaying, all that is, exists”. Pulastya said,—”Worshipping the divine Hari, the Supreme Soul, the Supreme Stay and Supreme Brahmā thou mayst attain to eternal liberation, what of reaching that most exalted station”. Kratu said,—”Nothing is difficult to attain if Janārddana is pleased, who is the soul of sacrifice in sacrifices and supreme spirit in abstract contemplation”. Pulaha said,—”Do thou adore, O pious boy, that Vishnu, the lord of sacrifice, and Universe, worshipping whom Indra obtained the dignity of a king of the celestials”. Vasishtha observed:—”Anything, that a man desires, may be obtained in this world by adoring Vishnu what of that exalted position”. Dhruva said:—”You have told me, humbly bowing before, what is the deity to be adored: do ye now inform me of the prayer which is to be meditated by me to propitiate him. May the great ascetics, delightedly inform me of the prayer by which I may propitiate the God”. The Rishis said,—”O Prince, hear, we shall relate unto thee, how those, who are devoted unto Vishnu, shall worship Him. They shall first withdraw their minds from all exterior objects and then fix it steadily on that being in whom the world exists. O Prince, hear from us the prayer that is to be recited by him, who has thus concentrated his thoughts on one only object, whose heart is filled with his spirit, and who has controlled himself. ‘Om, salutation to Vasudeva, who is manifest as Brahmā, Vishnu and Siva, and whose form is inscrutable’. This prayer was offered in olden times by your grandsire, the Manu Swayambhuva, and propitiated by which, Janārddana conferred upon him prosperity, which he desired, unequalled in three worlds. Do thou therefore try to propitiate Govinda by reciting this prayer continually”.


Parāçara said:—O Maitreya, hearing these words from beginning to end, that Prince, saluting these sages, issued out of that thicket. And confiding in the accomplishment of his object, O twice-born one, he repaired to the holy place on the banks of the Yamuna called Madhuvana, or the grove of Madhu, called after the name of a demon of that name who resided there and was known thus on the earth. Slaying the highly powerful son of the Rakshasa, Madhu—Lavana, Satrughna (the youngest son of Daçaratha,) founded a city at that spot which was named Mathura. And Dhruva engaged in performing penance at that holy shrine the purifier of all sin, where was Mahadeva, the god of Gods meditating upon Hari. In accordance with instruction given by Marichi and others, he began to contemplate, Vishnu the sovereign of the gods, seated in himself. O twice-born one, Dhruva, thus contemplating him, having his mind perfectly withdrawn from all other thoughts, the Great Hari, ever existing in all creatures and natures, took possession of his heart. O Maitreya, Vishnu thus occupying the heart of that one engaged in his meditation, the earth, the supporter of elemental life, could not sustain his height. When he used to stand upon his left foot (for praying) one half of the earth bent beneath him and when he used to stand upon his right foot the other half of the earth sank down. And when he used to stand touching the earth with his toes, the whole earth shook with its mountains and rivers, O twice-born one. The rivers and seas were greatly agitated thereby and even the celestials called Yāmas, being greatly alarmed, in consultation with Indra began to concert measures for interrupting the devout exercises of Dhruva. And, O great ascetics, the Kushmandas in company with Indra, assuming, various shapes actively engaged in obstructing his meditations. One assuming, by virtue of illusion, the shape of his mother Suniti, stood before him, with tears in his eyes, and saying in tender accents—”My son, desist from this penance, that is destroying thy health. I have after many troubles gained thee and have formed many hopes in thee. O child, it does not behove thee to forsake me, at the words of my rival, helpless, alone and unprotected. Thou art my only refuge. Thou art a boy of five years old. Such a hard penance doth not become thee. Desist therefore from such fearful practices which are not productive of any beneficial result. For thee this is the time of youthful pastime, then comes the season for study, then the period of worldly enjoyment and lastly that of austere devotion. O my boy, thou art but a child, this is the season of thy play—why hast thou thou engaged in asceticism to destroy thyself? Thy chief duty consists in thy devotion to me now. Do thou engage in such works as become thy age and circumstances. Be not guided by bewildering error and desist from such unrighteous actions, If thou dost not renounce to-day these devout austerities I shall terminate my life before thee”. Parāçara said:—But Dhruva being wholly intent upon seeing Vishnu did not behold his mother weeping, with her eyes bleared with tears. “O child! O child! fly, the hideous Rākshasas, with uplifted weapons are coming this side of the forest”. Saying this (the illusion) disappeared. Instantly crowded there the Rākshasas uplifting terrible arms and with countenances emitting fiery flame. They began to emit hideous cries before that prince and whirl and toss their threatening weapons. Hundreds of jackals, from whose mouths gushed out flame, while they expanded them, yelled horrible cries to appal the boy wholly engrossed by meditation. Those night-rangers cried out: “Kill him, kill him, tear him to pieces; eat him up, eat him up”. And those goblins having faces of lions, and camels, and crocodiles, howled about to strike terror into the heart of the prince. All these (illusions of) Rākshasas and jackals, their cries and weapons made no impression upon his senses whose mind was completely given up to the meditation of Govinda. The son of the lord of earth, entirely taken up by one idea, beheld continually. Vishnu only seated in himself and saw no other object All these illusions being thus baffled the celestials were greatly disturbed. Being terrified at this discomfiture and afflicted by the devout austerities of the boy the celestials assembled and repaired in a body for help to Hari, who is the creator of the universe, and without beginning or end. The celestials said:—”O lord of the celestials! O lord of the world! O great god! O supreme spirit! being afflicted by the devout austerities of Dhruva, we have come to thee to seek thy refuge. As the moon increases in his orb day by day, so, O lord, (this boy) by his devotion is approaching incessantly superhuman power. O Janārddana, we have been greatly alarmed by the devout austerities of the son of Uttanpadā and have taken thy refuge: do thou desist him from his devout exercises. We do not know whose position, he aspireth to—whether the throne of Sakra, of the sun, of the lord of wealth or that of Varuna the lord of water.

“O lord, be propitiated with us, remove this mace of affliction from our breast and desist the son of Uttanpada from his devout exercises”. The Great God (Vishnu) replied:—”He aspireth not to the throne of Indra, nor to the sovereignty of the solar orb or the deep, nor to the rank of the lord of riches. I shall soon confer on him, O celestials, what he desireth to have. Removed of your anxiety do you all proceed to your respective quarters—I shall soon desist that boy, whose mind is wholly engrossed with devout meditation”.

Parāçara said:—Being thus addressed by Vishnu the celestials headed by the performer of hundred sacrifices, saluting him, repaired to their respective habitations. And that Great God, who is all things, being pleased with Dhruva’s whole-minded devotedness to him, assuming his shape with four arms, approached him and said,—”May good betide thee, O son of Uttanapada! I am pleased with thy devout exercises. I have come here to confer boons on thee—do thou beg one, O thou of firm vows. Withdrawing thy mind from external objects while thou hast dedicated it to me alone—I am greatly pleased with thee; do thou therefore beg of me an excellent boon”. Parāçara said—Hearing the words of that great God, the boy opened his eyes and beheld before him that Hari whom he had seen in his meditation. And beholding him with the conch, the discus, the mace, the bow and the scimitar in hand and crowned with a diadem, he bowed his head down to the earth. With his hair standing erect and being greatly stricken with fear, Dhruva addressed himself for worshipping that great God. Reflecting how he could offer thanks unto him, and what he could say in his praise, he was greatly perplexed with anxiety and then at last had recourse to that deity. Dhruva said,—”O great God if thou art greatly pleased with my devout exercise, do thou confer upon me this boon, that I may praise thee whenever I wish. O god, I am a boy, how shall I be able to sing thy glory, whom even the great sages like Brahmā, conversant with Vedas, have not been able to know sufficiently. My heart is filled with devotion to thee, O lord, do thou grant me the understanding of placing my praises at thy feet”. Parāçara said,—O foremost of twice-born ones, the lord of the earth Govinda touched with the tip of his conch, the son of Uttanapada standing with jollied palms. And greatly pleased, that prince, bending low his head, praised that undecaying protector of living beings. Dhruva said,—”I bow unto Him whose forms are earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intellect, the first element, primæval nature, and the pure, subtle, all-pervading soul that excels nature. Salutation unto that Purusha who is devoid of qualities, pure, subtle, extending all over the earth, and who is separate from Prakriti; who is supreme over all elements, all objects of sense, intellect and who is separate even from Purusha. I seek refuge unto him, who is one with Brahmā, who is the soul of the whole universe, pure, and who is the foremost of all gods. Salutation unto that form of thine, O thou the soul of all things, which is designated as Brahmā by virtue of his pervading and maintaining the whole Universe, which is unchangeable and meditated upon by the sages. Thou art the great god pervading the whole universe with a thousand heads, a thousand eyes, a thousand feet and who passes ten inches beyond its contact. [220] Thou art that excellent Purusha—whatever has been and whatever is to be. Thou art the progenitor of Virāt, [221] Swarat, [222] Samrāt, [223] and Adipurusha. The lower and upper and middle parts of the earth are not without thee—the whole universe is from thee—whatever has been and whatever shall be. The whole universe is thy form and exists in thee. From thee is sacrifice derived, and all oblations and curds and ghee and animals of either class (domestic or wild). From thee the Rig Veda, the Shāma Veda, the metres of the Vedas and the Yajur Veda have sprung. Horses and cows having teeth in one jaw only have been created by thee and as well as goats, sheep and deer. Brahmanas originated from thy mouth; warriors from thy arms; Vaiçyas from thy thighs and Sudras from thy feet. From thine eyes came the Sun, from thy mind the moon, from thy central veins the Vital breath, from thy mouth the fire, from thy navel the sky, from thy head the heavens, from thy ears the regions and from thy feet the earth. And from thee the whole world was derived. As the wide-spreading Nyagrodha (Indian fig-tree) exists (before it grows up into a tree) in a small seed, so at the time of dissolution, the whole world exists in thee as its germ. As the Nyagrodha, originating from its seed, spread gradually into a huge tree, so the creation originating from thee expands itself into the universe. O lord, as nothing is visible of a plantain tree, except its bark and leaves, so nothing is seen in thee except the whole universe. The faculties of intellect that are the source of pleasure and pain exist in thee as one with all existence. But the sources of pleasure and pain, singly or blended, do not exist in thee freed as thou art from all qualities. Salutation to thee, who art the subtile rudiment, who art single when a cause, but manifold in actions. Salutation to thee, who art the proximate cause of life and action and identical with the great elements. Thou art manifest in spiritual knowledge, thou art the great Purusha, Brahmana, Brahmā and Manu. Thou art beheld by mental contemplation and imperishable. Thou abidest in all, art element of all; thou assumest all forms; all elements are from thee and thou art the soul of all—glory unto thee as thou art the soul of all, lord of all things—the origin of all things. What shall I speak unto thee, as thou knowest every thing, being seated in all hearts? O thou the soul of all thing, the sovereign lord of all creations-the source of all elements, thou knowest all creatures and their desires. O lord, do thou satisfy my desire. O lord of earth, my devout exercises have been crowned with success to-day since I have beheld thee”. The Lord said:—”Thy devotion hath been crowned with success since thou hast beheld me, O Dhruva. The sight of me, never goes without any result, O prince. Do thou ask of me a boon, whatever thou wishest for; whenever I appear before men all their desires are satisfied”. Dhruva said “O lord! O sovereign of all creatures, thou dost exist in the hearts of all. How can that be unknown to thee, O lord what I am cherishing in my mind? Yet O lord of celestials, I shall mention unto thee, the object hard to attain, which my presumptuous mind panteth after. But what can there be which cannot be got at, if thou art pleased, O creator of the universe; for it is by thy favour, that Indra enjoyed the sovereignty of three worlds. ‘This regal throne is not for thee, since thou art not born of me’. These haughty words my step-mother addressed loudly unto me. By thy favour I beg of thee, O lord, an exalted station, which surpasses all others, which is the support of the universe and shall last for ever”. The Lord said:—”Forsooth shalt thou attain to the station thou art soliciting for; for, O boy even in thy former birth, thou didst satisfy me (with thy austere devotion). Thou wast, in thy previous existence, a Brahmin, devoted with all thy heart unto me, ever dutiful to thy parents and always satisfying thy duties. In course of time, a prince became thy friend, who in his youth indulged in all sensual pleasures, who was of a beautiful appearance and bright form. While in his company and beholding his riches, hard to acquire, thou didst desire that you might be born as the son of a king. It is by virtue of that desire, thou art born as a prince in the mansion of Uttānpāda, O Dhruva, which cannot be easily obtained. The birth, in the race of Swambhuva, is considered by others, as a great boon, and for this I was propitiated by thee, O boy; but now thou art not valuing it so much. The man, who worships me, obtains in no time, liberation from life: what is the abode of celestials to one whose mind is centered in me, O boy! Thou shalt, by my favour, O Dhruva, attain to a station which is above the three worlds and become the stay of stars and planets: there is not the least doubt about it. I do confer upon thee, O Dhruva, a station, which is above those of the Sun, the Moon, stars, Mercury, Venus, Saturn and all other constellations; above the regions of the seven Rishis and the divinities who traverse the atmosphere. Some of the celestials live for four ages; some for the reign of a Manu; but thou shalt live the duration of a Kalpa. Thy mother, Sunoti too, metamorphosed into a clear star, shall exist by thee in the welkin for the same period. People singing thy glory, with concentrated minds, morning and evening, shall attain to an accession of piety”. Parāçara said:—O thou of a great mind, obtaining this boon, from Janārddana, the sovereign of the celestials and the lord of earth, Dhurva attained to this excellent station. Beholding the increase of his honor and glory, the preceptor of the celestials and Asuras, Usānas, repeated these verses. “Oh how great is the strength of his austere devotion, and how mighty is the success thereof, since the seven Rishis are preceded by him. This too is Dhruva’s mother Suniti, who is otherwise named Sunritā. Who on this earth, can recount her glory? Giving birth to Dhruva, she hath got at a station which is the refuge of the three worlds, and which is a station eminent above all. He, who shall celebrate the translation of Dhruva into the abode of the celestials, shall be released from his sins, and be adored in heaven. He shall not lose his station, either in this world, or in heaven (after death) and shall live long, possessed of every blessing”.

[220] Contact with the universe—meaning who is not restricted by its boundaries.
[221] The material universe.
[222] Brahmā the creator.
[223] Manu.


Parāçara said,—By Dhruva the abode of all blessings, his spouse Shambhu gave birth to two sons, Shisti and Vabya. Suchaya, the wife of Sishti gave birth to five sons, freed from sin, by name, Ripu, Ripunjaya, Sipra, Vrikala, and Vrikatejas. Of these Ripu begat upon Vrihatee a highly effulgent son named Chakshusa, who again begot the Manu Chakshusa on Pushkarini of the race of Varuna, who was the daughter of the high-souled patriarch Aranya. O great sage, the patriarch Vairaja had a daughter named Nadbala, on whom Manu begot ten highly effulgent sons—Uru, Pooru, Satadumnya, Tapasher, Satyavak, Kavi, Agnistoma, Atiratra, Sudyumnya and Abhimanyu. Uru begot on his wife Agneyi six highly effulgent sons—Anga, Sumanas, Svati, Kratu, Angiras and Siva. And Anga begot on Suneetha one son named Vena. O great sages, with a view to multiply his progeny, the Rishis rubbed his right hand. And from his arm sprang a famous king named Vainya, who was celebrated as Prithu for milking the earth for the advantage of his subjects. Maitreya said,—”O foremost of ascetics, do thou tell me why the right hand of Vena was rubbed by the great Rishis, in consequence of which the mighty and powerful Prithu was born”. Parāçara said:—Originally a daughter was born of Mritya named Suneetha. Anga married her. And she gave birth to Vena. O Maitieya, being born from the daughter of Mrityu, he inherited the evil propensities of his grand father. When he was inaugurated by the great Rishis, Vena caused it to be proclaimed everywhere that he was the lord of the earth. No one would undertake any sacrifice, offer any oblation or make any gift. “I am the king the lord of sacrifice, no one is entitled to oblations except myself”. Thereupon the Rishis assembled there and worshipping the lord of earth, addressed him, O Maitreya, with sweet words. The Rishis said,—”O king, O lord, do thou hear, what we speak unto thee, for then thy health as well as the interest of thy subjects shall be secure. We purpose to worship, for thy welfare, with protracted rites, Hari, the lord of the celestials and sacrifices. And thou shalt also be entitled to a share in it. If, O king, with our sacrifices, the lord of sacrifices is propitiated, he shall also satisfy all thy desires. In whose kingdom, O king, Hari, the lord of sacrifices is worshipped with sacrifices, he confers on him, the satisfaction of all his desires”. Vena said—”Who is there above me that, I even, shall have to worship him. Who is that person, who is known as Hari and whom ye do all consider as the lord of sacrifices? Brahmā, Janārddana, Sambhu, Indra, Vayu, Jama, the Sun, Fire, Varuna, Dhata, Pusha, (the sun) Bhumi (earth) and the lord of earth (the moon)—these and all others who are capable of imprecating curses and conferring boons (on mankind) do all exist in the person of a king for the essence of a sovereign is all that is divine. O twice born ones, understanding this full well, do ye all obey my commands—you should not make gifts or offer oblations unto any one (but me) and should not worship any body else. As to serve her own husband is the prime duty of a female, so it is incumbent upon you, O twice-born ones, to satisfy my behests only”. The Rishis said,—”Give us command, O great king, to undertake sacrifices, so that piety may not suffer decrease. All this world is but the outcome of oblations”. [224] Parāçara said:—Being thus addressed by the great Rishis and requested by them often and often, Vena did not give them. Thereupon all the ascetics, being stricken with excessive ire, cried out “Kill him!—kill this vicious weight! He, who vilifies our lord the sovereign of sacrifices, without beginning or end, is not worthy of the sovereignty of the earth”. Saying this, the ascetics slew that king with the blades of Kusa grass, consecrated by prayer, who had already been, destroyed by his impiety towards God. Thereupon those ascetics beheld dust on all sides and said to the people who were nigh, “What is this?” To which the people replied—”The kingdom is without a king and hence the robbers and thieves have engaged in their dishonest work of encroaching upon the property of others. And O great ascetics, this dust has been raised by those robbers hastening to seize other’s property”. Thereupon consulting with each other those ascetics, intent upon creating a prince, began to rub the thigh of that childless monarch. The thigh being thus rubbed, there arose a being of the complexion of a charred stake, with flattened features and of a dwarfish stature. And he speedily addressed all the ascetics there saying, “What shall I do?” Whereto they replied—”Sit down” (Nishada) and thence his name was Nishada. O foremost of ascetics, from this person sprang a race called Nishadas who inhabit the Vindya mountain and are characterised by the exterior tokens of depravity. By this means the wickedness of the king (Vena) was extracted and the Nishadas was thus born destroying Vena’s son’s. Thereupon those twice-born ones began to rub the right hand of Vena from which sprang the highly powerful son of Vena named Prithu resplendent in person and burning like the fire itself. Thereupon from the welkin fell down the original bow of Hara named Pinaka, and the celestial arrow and the celestial armour. Prithu thus born, all the beings around were greatly delighted. And at the birth of that pious son. Vena too attained to the region of celestials and was delivered by that high-souled one from the hell named Pat. Thereupon the seas and rivers from all sides come there with holy water and pearls and gems of diverse kinds, for his inauguration on the throne. The great parent of all, Brahmā, with the celestials and the descendants of Angiras (the fires) and with all things, animate or inanimate, came there and performed the ceremony of consecrating the lord of people—the son of king of Vena. And beholding in his right hand the mark of the discus of Vishnu and recognising a portion of that deity in Prithu the great parent attained to an excess of delight. For all those who become the sovereign kings of the earth, have always the mark of the discus of Vishnu in their hands. The highly powerful Prithu, the son of Vena, being thus invested with a mighty dominion, his power was unimpeded even in the region of the celestials. That highly effulgent one, being installed according to due rites, by these who were skilled in religious rites, those subjects even, who were disaffected in his father’s regeme, became fully attached unto him. And in consequence of his attachment unto his subjects he was known all over as “the king”. The waters became solid when he traversed the deep; the mountains opened him a way and his banners were unbroken even when he passed through the forests. (In his time) the earth yielded crops without cultivation; people got their food without any thought—the king gave milk at any time and honey was stored in every flower. At the auspicious sacrifice which was performed at the birth of Prithu and which was headed by the great parent—the highly intelligent Suta was produced from the juice of the moon plant. And in that great sacrifice the highly intelligent Māgadha was also born. Thereupon the Rishis accosted Suta and Māgadha saying “Do you sing the glory of this powerful king Prithu, the son of Vena. This is your special function and he is the fit object of your praise”. Thereupon both of them, with folded hands, spoke unto the twice-born ones saying—”This king is born to-day—his works or merits we are not cognizant of; nor his fame has spread abroad—tell us on what subject shall we base our praise?” The Rishis said—”Sing his glory mentioning the works he shall perform, becoming the emperor of the earth and the merits he shall be crowned with”. Parāçara said:—Hearing these words the king was highly gratified and reflected, saying—”Persons (in this world) are eulogised for their various actions. And surely my virtuous actions shall be the theme of these bards. And whatever merits, they will relate in their panegyric, I will acquire with all my attention. And whatever faults they shall recommend to be avoided I shall always shun”. The king resolved thus. Thereupon Suta and Māgadha, with sweet-voiced discourses, sang the future virtues of the intelligent Prithu, the son of Vena.—”He shall be truthful, charitable, observer of his promises, the lord of people, wise, benevolent, patient, valient and the supresser of the wicked; pious, grateful, kind, sweet-spoken; shall always respect the venerable, perform sacrifices, respect the Brāhmins and shall be always recognised by the pious. He shall cherish the good and in administering justice shall be indifferent to friend or foe”. He cherished in his mind the virtues thus celebrated by Suta and Māgadha and practised them in his life. Thereupon that king governed the earth and performed many sacrifices accompanied with liberal donations. One day the subjects stricken with hunger approached the king for the edible plants had perished during the season of anarchy. And when asked by him the cause of thus coming they said—”O foremost of kings, during the period of anarchy all vegetable products were withheld and, O lord of men, many are now perishing for want of food. Thou hast been appointed (by the Providence) as our lord and sustainer—grant us vegetable—the support of our lives who are dying with hunger”. Parāçara said:—Hearing this, the king, inflamed with wrath, took up his bow Pināka and his celestial arrows and issued forth to assail the Earth. And the Earth too, assuming the shape of a cow, instantly fled away. From his fear she traversed the Brahmā, and all other regions—and wherever she, the supporter of elements, went, she beheld the son of Vena, with uplifted weapons. At last trembling with terror, the earth, desirous to escape his arrows, addressed Prithu, the hero of resistless prowess,—”O lord of men, do thou not know that there is a great sin hanging upon the destruction of females—why dost thou then try to slay me?” Prithu said,—”O thou the perpetrator of vicious deeds, when by the destruction of one malignant being the happiness of many is secured—that destruction is considered as an act of virtue”. The Earth said,—”If dost thou, for the behoof of thy subjects, slay me, who shall support them, O foremost of kings?” Prithu said,—”O Earth, slaying thee with my arrows, who art beyond my control, I shall support my own men, by virtue of my own devotion”. Parāçara said,—Thereupon the earth, overcome with fear, trembled and bowing unto him, addressed that king again, saying,—”All undertakings prove successful whenever suitable means to accomplish them are employed. I shall now suggest thee a means, which, if pleases thee, thou mayst accept. O lord of men, the edible plants, which I had devoured before, I may return thee, if thou likest, in the shape of milk. O thou the foremost of the pious, for the behoof of thy subjects, give me a calf by which I may be able to secrete milk. O hero, make also all places level, so that I may produce, equally around, milk which is the source of all vegetation”. Parāçara said,—Thereupon the son of Vena with his bow and, uprooted mountains by hundreds and thousands and thenceforth all the hills are lying scattered all around. [225] Before this the surface of the earth was irregular, and there was no boundaries of villages and cities. There was no cultivation, no pasture, no agriculture, no high way for merchants; all these originated, O Maitreya, in the reign of the son of Vena. Whatever there was level ground, the king made habitations for the subjects. Before his time, the fruits and roots, which were the staple food of the subjects, were procured with great difficulty for all vegetables were destroyed. Thereupon having made, the Swaymbhuva, Manu, the calf, that lord of men, Prithu, milked the earth with his own hands. He desiring the benefit of his subjects, corns and vegetables of all kinds were produced upon which the people even now and perpetually subsist. By conferring life on her, Prithu became the father of the Earth and thence she got the patronymic Prithivi (the daughter of Prithu). Thereupon the celestials the ascetics, the demons, the Rākshasas, the mountains, the Gandharvas, the Uragas, the Yakshas, the Pitris, and the trees, with their respective vessels, milked the earth, as much O Manu, as they required. And the milker and the calf were both peculiar to their own species. The Earth, the mother, the nurse, the supporter and the nourisher of all creations was produced from the sole of the foot of Vishnu. And Prithu, the son of Vena, became so very powerful, that by virtue of his pleasing the subjects he was the first man who was styled the lord of the earth. He who shall relate the story of the birth of the son of Vena shall never suffer any retribution for his iniquitous deeds. And he who shall hear of the birth and virtues of Prithu shall be relieved from the affliction of evil dreams.

[224] Receiving oblations Indra pours rains by which harvest grows and upon which the world lives.—T.
[225] Another text reads Vivardhita, meaning—And they were thenceforth piled upon one another.


From Prithu were born two highly powerful sons named Antardhāna and Pāli. And Antardhāna begot on Shiknandini a son named Habirdhāna. And Habirdhāna again begot on Dhishana six sons—named, Prāchinberhis, Sukra, Gaya, Krishna, Braja and Ajina. Prāchinverhis was a mighty prince and patriarch by whom mankind was multiplied after the death of Havirdhāna. He was called Prāchinverhis on account of his placing upon the earth (at the time of his prayer) the sacred grass pointing to the east. After a protracted devotion that lord of earth married the daughter of the Ocean named Savaranā. And Prāchinverhis, begot on Savaranā, the daughter of the Ocean ten sons, who were all called Prachetas and were all well-skilled in archery. They all practised the same religious austerities and remained immersed in the bed of the deep for ten thousand years. Maitreya said,—”Do thou, O great ascetic, tell me, why those high-souled Prachetas practised austerities being immersed in the deep”. Parāçara said,—Welcoming the high-souled Prāchinverhis, the Patriarch requested him to multiply race. And he accordingly addressed his sons, saying,—”O my sons, I have been commanded by Bramhā, the god of gods to multiply mankind. And I too had promised obedience. Do ye therefore, my sons, diligently promote the increase of mankind. You shall all with reverence obey the commands of the Patriarch”. Parāçara said,—Hearing the words of their father those princes said, “So be it” and repeatedly addressed him, O Muni, saying,—”By what, O father, we shall be able to multiply mankind? It behoveth thee to mention this unto me”. The father said,—”There is no doubt that people shall meet with an accomplishment of all their desires, if they worship Vishnu, the conferrer of boons. There is no other alternative. What future can I tell you? If you wish to succeed, do you adore Govinda who is Hari, the lord of all beings, in order to bring about the increase of mankind. The excellent Purusha, without beginning, should be worshipped by him who wishes for virtue, wealth, enjoyment or liberation. Adore him, who is imperishable and propitiating whom the great Patriarch Brahmā succeeded in creating the universe”. Parāçara said,—Being thus addressed by their father the ten Prachetas plunged into the deep and with concentrated minds, engaged in devotion. O foremost of ascetics, with their minds wholly devoted to Nārāyana, the refuge of all creatures and the lord of the universe, and withdrawing their thoughts from all other exterior objects, they remained (in the state of devotion) for ten thousand years. And remaining there they worshipped with concentrated minds that great God Hari, who, when propitiated, confers, on all those who praise him, whatever they desire. Maitreya said,—”O foremost of ascetics, the praises addressed to Vishnu, by those Prachatas, lying plunged in the depths of the ocean are sacred and it behoveth thee to relate them unto me”. Parāçara said—Do thou hear—(I shall recount) the praises addressed, of old, to Govinda by the Prachetas as they stood in the waters of the deep. Prachetas said,—”We bow unto him who is the eternal theme of all speech, who is the beginning of the boundless universe and the lord of it; who is the primeval light—who has not the like of him; indivisible and infinite; who is the creator of all things, mobile and immobile—salutation unto him, who is one with time, who is without form—and whose first form is the day and the second and third form are the evening and night. Salutation unto him, who is the same with the moon who is the life of all living beings, and who is the receptacle of ambrosia, drunk daily by the celestials and progenitors. Salutation unto him, who is one with the sun, who with his fierce rays, dispels darkness from the sky and who is the creator of the seasons—the summer, the winter and the rains. Salutation unto him, who is one with the earth—who, being solid, is supporting the whole universe and is the asylum of smell and all other objects of sense. We bow to that form of Hari, which is water, which is the seed of all living beings and the womb of the world. Salutation unto Vishnu, who is one with Fire, who is the mouth of the celestials being the eater of the Havya and who is the mouth of the progenitors being the eater of the Kavya. Salutation unto him who is at one with the air, which exists as five vital airs in the body causing constant vital action and is the origin of ether. Salutation unto him, who is at one with the atmosphere, who is pure, whose form and end cannot be perceived, who is shapeless and limitless and who gives separate existence to all creatures. Salutation unto Krishna, who is the creator, is perceived in the form of sensible objects and is the direction of the faculties of sense. We bow unto Hari, who is one with senses both subtle and substantial, who receives the impression of the senses, and who is the source of all knowledge. Salutation unto that universal soul, who as intellect carries the impressions received by the senses to the soul—Salutation unto him who is Prakriti—who has created the Universe, who is maintaining it and in whom it shall perish. We bow unto that excellent Purusha, who albeit freed from all and devoid of all qualities, appears, to the creatures labouring under mistakes, as enveloped with all qualities. Salutation unto that Brahmā, who is the ultimate condition of Vishnu, who is unchangeable, without birth, pure, void of qualities and free from accidents; who is neither high nor low neither massive nor thin, has neither shape, nor colour, nor shadow, nor substance nor affection nor body; who is neither ethereal nor capable of being touched; who is neither smell nor taste; who has no eyes, cars, or motion or speech, breath mind; who is without name, gotra, countenance or lustre; who is without fear or mistake; without blame, disease or death; who is free from passion, without sins, imperceptible, inactive, independent of place and time, separated from all investing properties, but exercising irresistible might, and who is at one with all beings and dependant upon none. Salutation to that nature of Vishnu which tongue cannot describe nor eye hath seen”. Parāçara said—Thus glorifying Vishnu the Prachetas performed austerities for ten thousand years in the depths of the sea. Thereupon Hari, having the complexion of the full-blown lotus leaf, being pleased, appeared before them even in the midst of waters. And beholding him mounted on Garuda, the Prachetas bending low their heads with reverence, saluted him. Thereupon Vishnu addressed them, saying,—”Do you ask of me a boon. Being pleased with you I have come here to confer boons on you”. Bowing unto that giver of boons, the Prachetas asked of him the multiplication of mankind as ordered by their parents. And granting them the wished for boon Vishnu disappeared instantly and Prachetas too came out of the sea.


Parāçara said,—When the Prachetas were thus engaged in devout exercises the earth was covered with huge trees and the subjects suffered decease. The welkin being obstructed with the branches of trees, the wind did not blow for ten thousand years and the mankind did not labour. And when the Prachetas came out of the water they were greatly inflamed with ire beholding the earth, and wind and flame issued out of their mouths. The wind uprooted all the trees and left them sear and dry and the fierce fire consumed and thus the earth was cleared off the forests. Beholding all the trees thus destroyed and only few left, their king Soma approached those princes and said,—”Renounce your ire, O princes, and hear what I say; I shall bring about peace between you and the trees. This precious and beautiful maiden, sprung from the trees, has been nourished by me with my rays who am cognizant of futurity. Her name is Marishā and she has sprung from the trees. That lucky damsel shall be your wife and the multiplier of the family of Dhruva. From half of your lustre and half of mine, the learned and the great Patriarch Daksha shall be begotten on her; your lustre as well as mine being conjoined in him he shall be effulgent like fire and multiply the human race. There lived in the days of yore an ascetic named Kandu—the foremost of those conversant with the Vedas. He engaged in an austere devotion on the picturesque bank of the river Gomati. To obstruct his devotion a highly beautiful nymph named Pramlocha was despatched by the king of the celestials. And being thus engaged, the sweet-smiling nymph diverted the sage from the practice of his pious austerities. Being thus diverted he lived with her for a hundred and fifty years at the valley of the mount Mandāra, his mind being wholly given up to worldly enjoyment. Once on a time the damsel said to the high-souled Rishi,—’O Brahman, I desire to go to the abode of the celestials—do thou, with a delighted countenance, grant me the permission’. Being thus addressed by her, the ascetic, solely attached to her, replied,—’O fair lady, do thou stay a few days more with me’. Being thus requested by him that damsel of a slender person, enjoyed earthly pleasures in the company of that high-souled ascetic, for more than a hundred years. And being again accosted by her with ‘O lord! allow me to return to the abode of the celestials’ he again requested her to stay a few more with him. After the expiration of another hundred years the beautiful damsel, with a smile of love, again said,—’I shall now go to the abode of the celestials, O Brāhman’. Being thus addressed the ascetic, detaining the fair-eyed damsel, said,—’Stay a little more, thou shalt depart for a long time’. Afraid of incurring an imprecation the graceful nymph lived with the ascetic for nearly two hundred years more. The high-souled sage was repeatedly asked by the nymph to allow her to repair to the abode of the lord of the celestials and she was as often desired by him to remain. Afraid of his curse, excelling in amiable manners and knowing full well the pain consequent upon the separation from an object of love she did not quit the ascetic, who, enjoying in her company day and night and having his mind possessed by cupid, became fully attached unto her. Once while he was speedily issuing out of the cottage the nymph said to him. ‘Where are you going?’ Whereto he replied, ‘O damsel, the day is fast approaching its close, I must perform my evening ablutions or else I shall neglect a duty’. Thereupon smiling, she, delightedly, said to the sage,—’O thou conversant with all religions, why dost thou talk of to-day approaching its close? Is thy day, O Brāhman, the aggregate of many hundred years? Shall it not create astonishment in other? Do thou tell me’. The ascetic said,—’O fair damsel, you came to the riverside this morning—I saw you there and brought you to my hermitage. The day has passed and the evening has well-nigh arrived. Tell me in sooth what the truth is’. The (nymph) Pramlocha said,—’True it is, O Brāhman, that I came here at dawn. It is not false—but after that hundreds of years have flown away’. Thereupon, the sage, stricken with fear, asked that nymph, having expansive eyes, saying,—’Tell me how many years I have spent in enjoyment with you’. Pramlocha said,—’You have spent nine hundred and seven years six months and three days’. The ascetic again said,—’No more of laughter, O fair nymph, tell me the truth; methinks I have spent one day in your company’. To which Pramlocha replied: ‘O venerable sage why shall I speak untruth unto thee since I have been specially requested by thee to-day to speak the truth’. Soma said,—O Princes, when the sage had heard these words and thought them to be true he began to reproach himself exclaming, ‘O fie, fie upon me; my penance has been obstructed—the wealth of those who are cognizant of Brahmā, has been stolen; my judgement has been blinded; by whom women have been created to beguile mankind? O fie upon that passion by which my self-control has been stolen whereby I, was about to attain the knowledge of Brahmā who is above the reach of those who are immersed in the six waves—namely, hunger, thirst, sorrow, stupification, decay and death. By this evil company, which is the road to hell all my austerities, leading to the acquisition of the wisdom of the Vedas, have been obstructed’. Having thus reviled himself the pious sage spoke to the nymph, who was near him, saying,—’Go where dost thou wish, O vile nymph—thou hast performed that for which thou hast been enjoyned by the lord of the celestials—thou hast obstructed my penances with thy fascinations. I do not reduce thee to ashes with the fierce fire of my rage. Seven paces together are quite sufficient for the friendship of the pious, and thou and I have lived together for a pretty long time. Or what for is thy folly—and why should I be offended with thee—verily this is an outcome of my own folly since I have not been able to control my passions. O fie on hated thee, the box of fascinations, who, to win favour with Sakra, has disturbed my devotion’. Soma said,—While the sage spoke thus to the nymph she perspired and stood trembling. Thereupon, the foremost of ascetics again said angrily to her, thus trembling and with drops of perspiration issuing from every pore—’Depart! Depart’. Being thus remonstrated with by that sage she issued out of the hermitage and began to wend her way by the welkin, rubbing the perspiration with the leaves of the trees. She went forth from tree to tree rubbing her limbs and the perspiration with the durky shoots. And the child, she had conceived by the sage, came out from the pores of her skin, in drops of perspiration. The trees received those drops and the wind collected them. I protected it with my rays till it increased in size gradually. Because she sprang from the drops on the tops of the trees that fair damsel was called Mārisha; the trees will give her to thee—let your anger be appeased. She is Kandu’s child—she was sprung from the trees—she is my offspring as well as that of the wind—and she is also the daughter Pramlocha. And the great sage, Kandu, on the wane of his devotion, repaired to the region of Vishnu called Purushottama, O Maitreya. And there he, O princes, devoted himself, with his whole mind to the adoration of Vishnu and engaged in the Yoga, with uplifted hands and uttering the prayers comprehending the supreme truths of the Vedas”. The Prachetasas said,—”We wish to hear of the excellent prayers of the sage, by which Kandu engaged in devotion and in the adoration of Keshava”. On which Soma repeated them:—”‘Vishnu is beyond the limit of all earthly things, he is the infinite; through him we may get at the other end of the limitless deep—the earth: he is above all that is above; he is the finite truth; he is worthy of being approached by those who are conversant with the Vedas; the limit of elemental being; above the perception of the senses and the protectors (the divinities who protect the creation). He is the cause of cause; the cause of the cause in cause; the cause of finite cause; and in effects he, both as every object and agent, preserves the creation. He is Brahmā the lord; Brahmā all beings; Brahmā the creator of the human race; the undecaying, imperishable and eternal; he is spread all over the earth, unborn, incapable of increase or diminution. Purushottama, is the eternal, unborn, immutable Brahmā. May he annihilate the infirmities of my nature’. Repeating those prayers, comprehending the essence of divine truth and propitiating Keshava the ascetic attained to the final emancipation. I shall now describe to you what Mārisha was in her previous birth—for a recital of her glorious acts will be of immense benefit to you. O princes, she was in her previous birth a queen, and was left childless at her husband’s death; and she therefore propitiated Vishnu with zealous devotion. Thus pleased with her devotion Vishnu appeared to her in person and said,—’Do thou beg of me a boon’. Whereto she replied communicating her desire,—’O lord of earth—I am a widow from my childhood—unfortunate as I am, in vain is my birth on this earth. Do thou so favour me, that I may be blessed with a good husband in every birth and a son equal to a patriarch amongst men; I may be possessed of beauty and wealth and may be pleasing unto all—that I may be born out of the ordinary course’. Hrishikesha, the lord of the celestials, the giver of all boons thus prayed to, raised her from her prostrate attitude and said,—’In one birth you shall have ten husbands of great prowess whose fame shall spread far and wide. And O fair damsel, you shall have a great son gifted with mighty prowess and all the accomplishments that are to be seen in the great Patriarch. The supremacy of his family shall be established all over the universe and the three worlds shall be filled with his descendants. And you, by my favour, shall be of marvellous birth, chaste, endowed with grace and loveliness and delightful to men’. Having thus spoken to that fair damsel, having spacious eyes, the Deity disappeared and the princess, was accordingly born as Mārisha, who is given to you for a wife, Princes”. Parāçara said:—Thereupon renouncing their ire against the trees at the words of Soma, the Prachetas took Mārisha righteously to wife. And the Ten Prachetas begot on Mārisha the eminent Patriarch, Daksha, who had (in a former birth) been born as the son of Brahmā. O thou of great mind, for the multiplication of creation and increase of his own race this eminent Daksha created progeny. Obeying the mandate of Brahmā for the furtherance of creation he made moveable and immoveable things, bipeds and quadrupeds. Having created (that) by his will he created females out of which ten were conferred on Dharma, thirteen on Kasyapa and twenty-seven who regulate the course of time on the Moon, And from them were produced the gods, the demons, the snake-gods, cows, birds, singers, the spirits of evil and others. Thenceforth creatures were produced by sexual intercourse. O Maitreya—before that they were generated, by the by sight, by touch and by the influence of austerities practised by the ascetics of accomplished piety. Maitreya said:—”O great ascetic, Daksha, as I am informed, was born from the right thumb of Brahmā: tell how he was born again as the son of Ten Prachetas. Another great doubt exists in my mind O Brahmā that how could he, who was the grandson of Soma, be also his father-in-law”. Parisara said:—O thou of great piety, birth and death are constant in all creatures. Rishis having divine vision do not wonder at it. Daksha and other eminent ascetics take birth in every age and they again cease to be: the learned are not perplexed by it. O foremost of the twice-born ones, in the days of yore there was neither senior nor junior (by age); asceticism and spiritual power were the sole causes of being considered as senior. Maitreya said:—”O Brāhman, do thou relate at length, the origin of the gods, demons, Gandharvas, serpents and goblins”. Parāçara said:—Do thou hear, O thou of a high-mind, how commanded by Brahmā, Daksha created living creatures. At first Daksha created his will-born progeny—the deities, the Rishis, the Gandharvas, the demons and the snake-gods. When he found, O twice-born one, that his mind-born progeny did not multiply he began to meditate upon some other means of increasing the living creatures, Then desirous of multiplying the race by means of sexual intercourse he married the daughter of the Patriarch Veerana by name Ashikni who was devotee! to austerities and the eminent supportress of the world. And the energetic Patriarch for the multiplication of the progeny begot on Ashikni the daughter of Veerana, five thousand sons. And beholding them desirous of multiplying the race, the divine ascetic Nārada approaching them addressed them with sweet words—Nārada said,—”O ye highly powerful Haryaswas, it is evident that you intend multiplying the progeny—do ye hear this: you like ignorant people, do know not the middle, the height and the depth of the world: how would you propagate progeny then? Your understanding is not hindered by interval, height or depth, why do ye not O fools, behold the end of the universe?” Parāçara said—Having heard these words they repaired to various quarters and have not returned as yet as the rivers lose themselves in the ocean (and do not come back).

The Haryaswas having gone away the Patriarch Daksha again begot a thousand sons upon the daughter of Beerana. And, they, who were named Savalaswas, were desirous of multiplying mankind and they were again addressed by Nārada, Brāhmana, with the words mentioned before. They said to one another,—”What the Muni had said is perfectly true. We must follow the path wended by our brothers: there is not the least doubt about it. And ascertaining the extent of the universe we will multiply our race”. They also went to various quarters by the path (followed by their brothers) and have not returned like rivers flowing into the deep. Thenceforth, O twice-born one, a brother searching after a brother, is generally lost: the wise do not resort to such actions. Finding that all his sons had disappeared the eminent Patriarch Daksha was worked with ire and imprecated Nārada. We have heard, O Maitreya, that thereupon the learned Pratriarch Daksha, desirous to multiply the race begot upon the daughter of Veerana sixty daughters. Of whom he gave ten to Dharma, thirteen to Kasyapa, twenty-seven to Soma, four to Arishtanemi, two to Bahuputra, two to Angiras and two to the learned Krisaswa. Do thou hear their names from me. Arundnati, Vasu, Yami, Lamba, Bhami, Marutwati, Sankalpa, Muhurtta, Sadhya and Viswa were the ten wives of Dharma. I will mention their offspring. Viswadevas [226] were the sons of Viswa and the Sadhyas [227] were the sons of Sadhya. The Maruts or Winds were the offspring of Marutwati and the Vasus of Vasu. The Bhānus (or suns) were the sons of Bhānu and the deities governing the moments of Muhurtta, Ghosa was born of Lamba and Nāgabithi [228] was born of Yāmi (night). And all the objects of the world were born of Arundhuti and Sankalpa (pious determination) was the son of Sankalpa. I shall mention at length the particulars of the eight Vasus who abound in effulgence and night. They are Apa, Dhruva, Soma, Dhara, Anila, Anala, Pratyusha and Prabhāsha. The sons of Apa were Vaitandya, Srama (weariness) Srānta (fatigue) and Dhur, and the son of Dhruva was the great Kāla (Time) the cherisher of the world. The son of Soma was Varchas (light) by whom was generated Varchaswi (radiance). And Dhara had, by his wife Monohora, Dravina, Hutaravyavaha, Sisira, Prāna and Ramana. Anila’s wife was Siva; and he had by her two sons—Monojova (swift as thought) and Avijnātagati (unknowable motion), The son of Agni—Kumara, was born in a clump of Sara reeds, whose sons were Sākha, Visākha, Naigameya and Prishthaja. The son of Kritikas was named Kartikeya. The son of Pratyushwa was the great ascetic Duvala who had two intelligent and philosophic sons. The great ascetic Vrihaspati had a sister who was the foremost of the females, virtuous and of accomplished asceticism. Without beings attached to the world she travelled all over the world. She became the spouse of Pravasha the eighth Vasu. Of her was born the noble Patriarch Viswakarma the author of a thousand arts, the architect of the celestials, the inventor of all ornaments and the foremost of the artists. He constructed the chariots of all the deities; and by the skill of that high-souled one, people obtain subsistence. He had four sons whose names hear from me. They were Ayaikapad, Ahirvradhna, Twashtri and Rudra and they were all wise. And the self-born son of Twashtri was also the famous Viswarupa. There are eleven well-known Rudras, lords of the three worlds—Hara, Bahurupa, Tryambaka, Aparajitā, Vrishahapi, Sambhu, Kaparddi, Raivata, Mrigavyadha, Sarava and Kapāli; but there are a hundred names of the Rudras of unmitigated prowess.

[226] A class of deities to whom daily offerings are to be made.
[227] Are the personifications of Vedic rites and prayers.
[228] The milky way.

Kashyapa married the thirteen daughters of Daksha namely Aditi, Diti, Danu, Arishta, Surasa, Surabhi, Vinatā, Tāmrā, Krodha, Vasa, Idā, Khasā, Kadru and Muni. I will describe their progeny to you. There were twelve well-known celestials in a former Manwantara, named Tushitas, who, on the approach of the present Manwantara and at the end of the reign of Manu Chakhusha assembled and said to one another,—”O deities, let us all speedily enter into the womb of Aditi that we may be born in the next Manwantara for we shall thereby be again crowned with blessings”. Having said this they at the end of the reign of Manu Chakshusha were born the sons of Kashyapa, the son of Mārichi by Aditi the daughter of Daksha. Of them were born first Vishnu and Sakra and the Aryaman, Dhuti, Twashtri, Pushan, Vivaswat, Sāvitri, Mitra, Varunā, Ansa and Bhaga. These who, in the reign of Chākshusha Manu were Tushitas, were called the twelve Adityas in the Manwāntara of Vaivaswata. The twenty-seven virtuous daughters of the Patriarch who were married to the Moon were all well-known as the nymphs of the lunar constellations after their names; they had children of unmitigated effulgence. The wives of Arishthanemi bore sixteen children. The daughters of the learned Bahaputra were the four lightnings. The excellent Paratyangirasa Richas were born from the wives of Angiras and the celestial weapons were the children of the Rishi Krishaswa. These deities take their birth once after the expiry of a thousand yugas; they are thirty-three in number and their appearance and disappearance is here spoken of as birth and death and O Maitreya these divinities appear and disappear, age after age as the sun sets and rises again.

It is said that Kashyapa begat on Diti two sons—One was named Hiranyakashipu and the other was named Hiranyaksha and both of them were invincible. She had also a daughter named Sinhika who was married to Biprachitwa. Hiranyakashipu had four highly effulgent sons—named Anuhlāda Hlāda, Prahlāda and Sanhlāda;—they were all highly intelligent, powerful and the multiplier of the Daitya race. O noble sage, amongst these, Prahlāda, looking impartially on all things, devoted his whole faith to Janārddana. O twice-born one, the flames lighted by the king of Daityas did not consume him in whose heart Vasudeva was present. The whole earth shook, when bound with ropes, he moved in the midst of the water of the deep. Having his mind entirely engrossed by Achuta his body firm as the rock was not assailed by the diverse weapons hurled on him by the order of the king of Daityas. And the venomous snakes could not destroy him (even). And he remembering the excellent Purusha and protected by the recollection of Vishnu as his armour he did not renounce his life albeit overwhelmed with rocks. The earth received the high-minded (Prahlāda) when he was hurled from on high by the king of Daityas residing in Swerga. The slayer of Madhu being present in his mind, the wind sent into his body to wither him up was itself destroyed. Being ordered by the lord of Daityas the maddened elephants of the spheres broke their trunks and baffled their pride against his firm breast. The rites of the priests of the Daitya monarch were useless to bring about the destruction of one who was attached to Govinda. The thousand illusions of the illusive Samvara were baffled by the discus of Krishna. The poison offered by the cooks, at the command of the king of Daityas, could not produce any change upon the intelligent (Prahlāda) void of pride, who unhesitatingly partook that. He looked impartially upon the world and all creatures, was full of kindness and regarded all things equally and as identical with himself. He was pious and an inexhaustible mine of purity and truth and a model for all pious men.


Maitreya said—”O great ascetic, you have described to me the human races and the ever-existing Vishnu, the cause of the world; but who was this Prahlāda the foremost of the Daityas of whom you spoke and whom fire could not burn, and who did not die even when assailed by weapons. And Prahlāda being present in the waters, in bonds, earth trembled, agitated by his movements. And he did not die before albeit overwhelmed with rocks. Thou hast related the unlimited glory of that intelligent Prahlāda. O muni, I am desirous to hear an account of the character and unequalled might of that effulgent worshipper of Vishnu. O Muni, Why was he assailed by the descendants of Diti with weapons? And why was he, ever engaged in pious observances, thrown into water? For what was he overwhelmed with rocks? And why bitten by venomous snakes? Why thrown down from the mountain-top? Why cast into fire? And why was he made a butt for the tusks of the elephants of spheres? And why was the wind sent by the mighty Asuras into his body to wither him up? O Muni, Why the spiritual guides of the Daityas were engaged in ceremonies for his destruction? And why did the Daitya Samvara spread thousands of illusions for his destruction? Why did the cooks of the Daitya-chief offer him poison for his destruction which was digested by that high-souled sage? O noble Manu—I wish to hear all this—an account of the high-souled Prahlāda, full of marvelous glories. I am not the least surprised for the Daityas not being able to destroy him: for who can slay him whose mind is solely devoted to Vishnu? Why did the Daityas, born in his race, cherish dreadful malice against him ever engaged in pious observances and in the worship of Kesava? Relate to me, Why the sons of Diti offer violence to one so pious,—high-souled and ever devoted to Vishnu and free from sin? The great cannot offer violence to a person gifted with such qualities even if he be an enemy; how could his own kin (behave thus towards him)? O foremost of the Muni, do thou relate all this—the character of the sovereign of Daityas. I wish to hear it at length”.


Parāçara said:—Maitreya, hear the interesting story of the wise, high-souled and magnanimous Prahlāda. In the days of yore the three worlds were brought into subjection by the valiant son of Diti—Hiranyakashipu, proud of the boon conferred on him by Brahmā. That Daitya had usurped the sovereignty of Indra and exercised the functions of the sun of air, of the lord of waters, of fire and of the moon. He himself became the lord of riches and Yama; and that Asura appropriated to himself, without reserve, all that was offered in sacrifice to the celestials. O foremost of ascetics, renouncing their own region the celestials, through his fear, wandered upon the earth, disguised in mortal shapes. Having conquered the three worlds, he was inflated with the pride of the riches, and being eulogised by the Gandharvas, enjoyed all wished-for objects. Thereupon all the Siddhas, Gandharvas and Pannagas worshipped the valiant Hiranyakashipu addicted to drinking. The Siddhas stood delighted before the Daitya chief, some singing, some playing on musical instruments and others shouting out cries of victory. When the Asura delightedly quaffed the inebriating cup in his picturesque crystal palace, the nymphs danced there gracefully.

His illustrious son, by name Prahlāda, while yet a boy, residing in the dwelling of his preceptor, read such readings as are studied in early years. Once on a time the high-souled (Prahlāda) in the company of his preceptor appeared before his father the Daitya-chief while drinking. The father Hiranykasipu, raising up his son prostrate at his feet, spoke to Prahlāda of unmitigated prowess, saying,—”Repeat, boy, agreeably, the substance of what you have read during the period”. Prahlāda said,—”Hear, father I will repeat the substance of what I have read. Hear attentively what occupies my thoughts. I bow to that Great Being who is without beginning, middle or end, increase or diminution: the imperishable lord of the world, the universal cause of causes”. Parāçara said:—Hearing those words the lord of the Daityas, his eyes red with ire and lip swollen with indignation, looked towards the preceptor and said,—”O vile Brahmana, what is this? O vicious-minded, thou hast, in disrespect to me, taught my boy the worthless commendation of my foe”. The preceptor replied,—”O sovereign of Daityas, it doth not behove thee to give way to anger; I have not taught thy son what he has uttered”. Hiranyakashipu said,—”Prahlāda, my boy, by whom then you have been thus taught. Your preceptor says that he has not instructed you thus”. Prahlāda replied,—”Vishnu, O father, is the instructor of the whole world and is present in our minds. Who else, but that Great Soul can teach us (any thing)?” Hiranyakashipu said,—”O thou of vile understanding, who is this Vishnu, of whom thou art speaking again and again before me the valiant lord of the world?” Prahlāda said,—”He is Vishnu, the great God, who is being meditated upon by the devout, whose glory cannot be described in words, who is all things and from whom all things proceed”. Hiranyakashipu said,—”O fool, myself living, to whom else you give the title of supreme lord? Are you desirous of death that you are mentioning this again and again?” Prahlāda replied, “O father, Vishnu, who is Brahmā, is not only the creator, preserver and supreme lord of me only, but of all creatures as well as of thyself. Be propitiated; why art thou angry?” Hiranyakashipu said,—”What evil spirit has entered into the breast of this silly lad, that, he, like one possessed, gives expression to such profane words”. Prahlāda said,—”That Vishnu is not only present in my mind, but he pervades the whole universe; He is omnipresent and commands me, thyself and all creatures”. Hiranyakashipu said,—”Away with this wicked boy; take him again to the preceptor’s house and govern him; perhaps he has been taught by some vicious-minded (men) to sing the glories of my foes”. Parāçara said:—He having said this Prahlāda was again conducted to the preceptor’s house by the Daityas, where always prompt to attend upon the preceptor he received instructions constantly. After a considerable time that lord of Asuras sent for Prahlāda again and said “O my boy, recite me some poetical composition”. Prahlāda said—”May that Vishnu be propitiated with us, from, whom matter and soul originate and all that is mobile and immobile proceeds and who is the cause of all this creation”. Hiranyakashipu said,—”Destroy this vicious-minded boy; there is no use of his life; he is a fraud to his own family since he has proved a traitor to his kin”. Parāçara said—Being thus commanded by him, hundreds and thousands of Daityas, with huge weapons, addressed themselves for his destruction. Prahlāda said to the Daityas—”Since Vishnu is present in your weapons as well as in mind, your weapons shall fail to hurt me”. Parāçara said—Thereupon hundreds of Daityas assailed Prahlāda with their weapons but he did not feel the least pain and his strength was ever renewed. Hiranyakashipu said—”O you of vile understanding, refrain from glorifying my enemy; I promise you immunity, be not so foolish”. Prahlāda replied: “No fear can overwhelm me since that immortal remover of all dangers is present in my mind, the very recollection of whom is enough to remove all perils consequent upon birth and human infirmities”. Hiranyakashipu said—”O serpents, speedily bring this vicious lad to destruction with your envenomed fangs”. Parāçara said:—Being thus commanded by him, Kuhaka, Takshaka, Artdhaka and many other venomous serpents, bit him in every part of his body. But with his mind solely devoted to Krishna he remained in that pleasurable recollection; he could not feel anything although he was bitten by deadliest serpents. The serpents said to the sovereign of the Daityas—”Our fangs are broken; our jewelled crests are shattered; our hoods are burning; Our hearts are trembling; but the skin of this body is unhurt; O king of Daityas, resort to some other expedient”. Hiranyakashipu said—”O Elephants of the spheres, unite your tusks and slay this deserter of his own family and the supporter of our enemy; sometimes our own descendants bring about our own destruction as the fire consumes the wood from which it proceeds”. Parāçara said:—The boy was then cast down on the earth being assailed by the tusks of those elephants of the spheres as huge as mountain peaks; but he recollecting Govinda, thousands of tusks were blunted against his breast: he then spoke to his father: “The tusks of the elephants hard as adamant have been blunted. This is not on account of any strength of mine but is consequent upon my calling upon Janārddana who destroys all dangers and sins the sources of all these evils”. Hiranyakashipu said:—”Away, O ye elephants of the spheres. O Asuras, light out fire; O deity of the winds, blow up the fire, and let this perpetrator of endless iniquities be destroyed therein”. Parāçara said:—Thereupon commanded by their master the Dānavas piled a huge heap of wood around the son of the king of Asuras and then put fire thereto to burn him. Prahlāda said—”This fire, although blown up by the wind, doth not burn me: I behold all around me the face of the quarters, cool, and the beds of lotuses”. Parāçara said:—Thereupon the twice-born ones, the sons of Bhargava, the high-minded priests skilled in speech and the reciters of Shama Veda, eulogising him, said to the sovereign of the Daityas,—”O king, subdue thy anger against this lad, thy own begotten son. Even thy ire against the celestials bore fruits. O king, we shall so bring up this boy, that he growing humble shall engage in the destruction of thy enemies. O king of daityas, since childishness is the root of all these evils, it behoveth thee to renounce thy ire against this boy. If he according to our instructions, does not abandon the cause of Hari we shall then concert infallible measures to bring about his destruction”. Parāçara said Thereupon being thus solicited by the priests the king of Daityas had his son brought out from the flames by the Daityas.

Thence-forth residing in the house of the preceptor the boy Prahlāda, whenever he got an opportunity, gave lessons himself to the sons of the Dānavas. Prahlāda said,—”O sons of the descendants of Diti, hear from me the supreme truth; do not take my instruction otherwise for there is no touch of covetousness. All creatures are born first, then they attain to infancy and youth and then succeed gradually the inevitable decay; and then they meet with death, O sons of the Daitya chiefs. This myself and you all have witnessed. He who is dead is born again—this cannot be gainsaid; the sacred texts warrant it. Birth is consequent upon the virtue and vice of pristine actions. All conditions from conception to re-birth are tinged with pain. The simpleton, in his childishness, thinks that the alleviation of hunger, thirst, cold and the like is identified with pleasure; but in sooth that is pain; for exercise gives delight to those whose limbs are incapable of motion and suffering affords pleasure to those whose understanding is blinded with delusion. Where is this vile body which is a compound of phlegm and other humours and where are its beauty, grace, loveliness and other qualities? The foolish wight will take delight even in hell, who is fond of this body composed of flesh, blood, matter, ordure, urine, membrane, marrow, and bones. The agreeableness of fire is produced by cold; of water by thirst; of food by hunger; and thus all other things are rendered agreeable by their contraries. O children of Daityas, he, who will take to a wife will introduce so much of pain into his bosom. The more a man will create dear relations, the more deeply will be implanted the thorns of anxiety in his heart. He, who has got large possessions in his house, is troubled, wherever he goes, with the anxiety that they may be lost or burnt or stolen. Then there is a great pain in being born: the dying are afflicted by the tortures of Death and again by the pain of passing into the womb. Fancy, there is not the least pleasure la the embryo state; you must then admit that the world is full of miseries. Verily I speak unto you, that in this ocean of the world infested with many miseries Vishnu is your only stay. Do not consider yourselves as mere boys and therefore ignorant of it for the spirit embodied in your bodies is eternal. Birth, youth and decay are the properties of the body not of the soul. I am now a child—when I shall be young I shall exert myself for my behoof; I am yet a youth and when I shall grow old I shall work for the benefit of my soul. I am old now—all my senses have failed me and I cannot exert myself. What shall I do now, vicious-minded as I am? I did not do anything when I was capable of doing it. Thus, men, although thirsting after knowledge, having their minds distracted by vain hopes, do not attain to beatitude. The ignorant, addicted to sport in boyhood, to worldly things in youth, find, when they become incapable, that old age is come upon them. Therefore let the soul even in childhood exert itself for its welfare independent of the conditions of infancy, youth or age. This is then what I speak unto you. If you think that it is not true, do you, for my satisfaction, think of Vishnu the liberator from all bondage. What trouble is there in calling him to mind? When remembered he bestows prosperity upon people. And if you recollect Him day and night there will be an end of all sins. Let your mind be fixed on Him day and night who is present in all beings and you shall laugh at every trouble. The whole world is subject to a triple [229] affliction. What wise man would cherish hatred against beings who are all objects of compassion? If others are crowned with prosperity and I am incapable of enjoying the same why should I be malignant against those who are more prosperous than myself? I should rather be glad for their happiness for the suppression of malice is itself a reward. Even those who cherish malice against foes are considered as objects of pity by the wise, as being overwhelmed with delusion. O Daityas, admitting the distinction between myself and all other creatures, I have described to you the various reasons for repressing hate. Hear briefly the duties of those who approach the Deity. This whole world is the manifestation of Vishnu who is identified with all beings. The wise therefore do not regard any difference between themselves and all other creatures. Let us therefore renounce the angry passions of our race and so exert ourselves that we may obtain that perfect beatitude which is beyond the power of the deities of fire, of the sun, of the moon, of wind, of Indra, of the regent of the sea, of the Siddhas of the Rākshasas, of the Daitya-chief, of the serpents, of Kinnaras, of men, or beasts or human weaknesses and which is uninterrupted by various diseases such as fever, eye-disease &c., by hatred, malice, passion or desire. The beatitude, which can not be destroyed by others which is pure and eternal, can be enjoyed by him, who fixes his mind on Kesava. Verily I speak unto you, that you shall attain no satisfaction through various revolutions of this world. O Daityas, regard all creatures with impartiality—this is the adoration of the undecaying (Vishnu). He being propitiated what cannot be attained—wealth, pleasure, virtues are things of the little significance. Do ye resort to the exhaustless tree of true wisdom and undoubtedly you shall reap precious fruits therefrom”.

[229] The three kinds of affliction referred to in the Sankhya Philosophy, internal, bodily or mental affliction. External, such as injuries received from men or animals. Superhuman—such as miseries inflicted by gods, or through some supernatural agency.


Parāçara said:—Having observed the conduct of Prahlāda, the Dānavas, out of fear, reported it to the king. Hiranyakashipu sent for his cooks and said “O cooks—my vile and wicked son is teaching others his impious doctrines. Do ye slay him without his knowledge by mixing up deadly poison with all his viands. Do not hesitate to destroy that wretch”. Parāçara said:—Thereupon they offered poison to the high-souled Prahlāda as they were commanded by his sire. O Maitreya, repeating the name of the imperishable and mixing that poison with his food he ate it up. Prahlāda did not suffer any harm either in body or in mind for the very name of the endless baffled the power of the poison. Beholding that deadly poison digested by him, they stricken with fear approached the king of Daityas and said: “O king of Daityas, deadliest poison was offered by us but it was digested with food by thy son Prahlāda”. Hiranyakashipu said,—”Hasten, hasten, O ye priests of the Daityas: do ye speedily perform the rites that will bring about his destruction”. Parāçara said:—Thereupon the priests approaching Prahlāda and beholding him lowly consoled him and said,—”Thou hast been born in the family of Brahmā celebrated in the three worlds and thou art the son of Hiranyakashipu the king of Daityas. Why dost thou depend upon the gods? Thy father is the refuge of all people:—thou dost also become the same. Do thou renounce eulogising the enemy of thy family: know that a father is the most venerable of all preceptors”. Prahlāda said—”O illustrious Brahmins, that ye have said is true—the family of Marichi is celebrated in the three worlds—this cannot be gainsaid. My father has attained to the foremost place in the world by his actions—I have known this to be true—there is not the least shadow of untruth. That a father is the most venerable of all preceptors—I do not find the least mistake in this assertion. Forsooth, father is a venerable preceptor and is to be respected with all care. Methinks I have not committed any offence in this respect. You have said, ‘Why do you seek shelter of the eternal?’ I do not know how far this statement is sound and reasonable”. Having said this Prahlāda remained speechless for some time to uphold their dignity. And again smiling he said: “‘Why do you seek shelter of the eternal,’ was it fair for you to accost me thus? What need of the eternal? Most admirable, most worthy of you, O my preceptors. If it does not pain you, hear what need there is of the eternal. Virtue, desire, wealth and emancipation are the fourfold objects of men. Is it vain to adore him who is the source of these four objects? Why do ye speak in vain? Marichi and other ascetics, the Patriarch Daksha and other eminent men attained to virtue and others and obtained the enjoyment of their desires. Others, through true wisdom and holy contemplation, have come to know his essence, and being freed from the bondage of the world have obtained emancipation. The adoration of Hari, attainable by unity, is the root of all wealth, dignity, glory, wisdom, progeny, piety and emancipation. O twice-born one, virtue, wealth, desire and final emancipation (all) proceed from him (and still you say) what need is of the eternal? What is the use of speaking more, you are all my preceptors—speak ye good or evil, limited is my understanding”. The priests said—”O boy thou wert about to be consumed by fire, but we saved you thinking that you would not give vent to such words again. We know how foolish you are. If you, at our words, do not remove this hallucination we shall, O vicious-minded one, perform rites for your destruction”. Prahlāda said—”Who slayeth what living creature—who preserveth what living creature? Every one is his own destroyer or preserver accordingly as he follows evil or good”. Parāçara said:—Being thus addressed, the priests of the Daitya-chief were excited with rage, and instantly, by virtue of their magical powers, created a female form enveloped with fiery flame. That highly dreadful figure, under whose tread earth trembled, greatly wroth, struck him instantly on his breast with a dart. That fiery dart reaching speedily the breast of the boy fell on the ground broken into hundred pieces. Even a thunder-bolt is shattered against the breast of him in whose heart the imperishable Hari resides—what to, speak of a dart? The magic, which was directed by the vicious priests against the guileless (Prahlāda), then fell upon them and slew them all; And beholding them thus consumed by fire the noble Prahlāda exclaiming, “Save, O Krishna, O Eternal” approached them and said—”O thou, spread all over the universe, O thou who art manifest in the universe, O thou the creator of the universe, O Janārddana! do thou save these Brāhmanas from the unbearable flame set up by their magical incantations. As the omnipresent Vishnu, the preceptor of the world, is present in all creatures, let these priests regain their life. Vishnu being present everywhere, as I did not consider fire as my enemy let the priests be restored to life. I regarded with a friendly attitude all those who came to slay me, those who offered me poison, those who kindled fire, the elephants of the skies and serpents by whom I was bitten. And I never entertained malice against them; if this be true let the priests of Asuras be restored to life”. Parāçara said:—He having said this they all, touched, rose up unhurt, and spoke to Prahlāda who was humble,—”O boy, O foremost of all, be thou crowned with a long life, undaunted strength and prowess”. O great Muni, having said this, the priests repaired to the king of Daityas and related to him every thing.


Parāçara said:—When Hiranyakashipu had heard that the magical charms (of the priests) had been baffled he sent for his son and asked him of the secret of his prowess,—”Prahlāda, thou art gifted with extraordinary prowess—is it the result of your self-exercise or the outcome of magical powers or thou art, from birth, gifted with it?”

Being thus interrogated by his father the Asura boy Prahlāda bowed down to his father’s feet and said,—”This not the outcome of magical powers, O father—nor is it natural with me; This is trifling to him in whose mind resides the undecaying. He who does not cherish malice against others, O father, and regards all like his own self, is not visited by any affliction inasmuch as the cause does not exist. He who tortures others in act, thought or speech, sows the seed of numberless miseries. I wish no evil to any; neither do nor speak it; I always meditate, in me, upon Keshava who is existent in all beings. Why should miseries, physical or mental, or those inflicted by elements, or the gods, affect whose soul is purified? Considering that Hari exists in all beings the learned should assiduously love all creatures”. Parāçara said:—Having heard this the Daitya-king, seated on the summit of his palace, having his face darkened with ire, said to his attendants.—”Throw this vicious-souled one from this palace which is a hundred yojanas in height, down upon the tops of the mountains, so that his body may be crushed into pieces against the rocks”. Thereupon all these Daityas and Dānavas hurled that boy down: and he fell down cherishing Hari in his mind. And Earth, the upholder of the world, approaching, received him falling who was devoted to Keshava the protector of the world. Thereupon beholding him unhurt and having no bone fractured, Hiranyakashipu said to Samvara the foremost of those conversant with charms:—”We have not been able to slay this vicious-minded lad; thou art cognisant of various charms: do thou slay him”. Samvara said:—”Instantly shall I slay him, O king of Daityas: do thou behold my power of illusion which can invent thousands and myriads of artifices”. Parāçara said:—Thereupon that silly Asura Samvara, desirous of destroying the boy, practised his magical charms against Prahlāda, looking upon all creatures with an impartial eye. With a heart tranquil and void of malice even against Samvara, O Maitreya, Prahlāda engaged in the meditation of the destroyer of Madhu. Thereupon to protect him the excellent and flaming discus Sudarshana was despatched by the Great God. Thereupon thousands of Samvara’s illusions were baffled by the quick-coursing discus for the protection of that boy.

Thereupon the Daitya-king spoke to the withering wind saying,—”Do thou, speedily, at my command, bring this vicious-minded boy to destruction”. Saying “So be it” the wind immediately penetrated into his body—cold, cutting and insufferable, for his destruction. Perceiving that wind had entered into his body the Daitya boy again meditated, in his mind, upon the great upholder of the earth. And Janārddana, present in his mind, wroth, drank up that dreadful wind. And the wind thus met with its own destruction. All the magical charms being thus baffled, the wind being thus annihilated, the high-minded Prahlāda again repaired to the abode of his preceptor. And the preceptor instructed that boy daily in the science of polity essentially necessary for the administration of the government and invented by Usanas for the behoof of kings. When the preceptor found him well-versed in all political sciences and humble, he then communicated it to his father, saying,—”O lord of Daityas, thy son Prahlāda has become conversant with the principles of government as laid down by the descendant of Bhrigu”. Thereat Hiranyakashipu said to his son,—”Prahlāda, how should a king conduct himself towards friends or foes and what steps he should take at the three periods (i.e. advance, retrogression and peace)? How should he behave towards his ministers, courtiers, the state and household officers, his emissaries, his subjects, those of doubtful allegiance and his open enemies? With whom should he make alliance; with whom enter into war; what sort of fortress he should build; how forest and mountain tribes should be brought down to subjection; how internal disturbances should be removed: all this and all other things you have read, do thou relate to me: I wish to hear thy mind”.

Thereupon bowing to the feet of his father, Prahlāda, who had humility as his ornament, said, with folded palms to that Daitya-king. “Forsooth I have been instructed in all these by my preceptor and I have learnt them; but I do not approve of all of them. For the subjection of friends and foes four expedients have been prescribed by all—namely—conciliation, gift, punishment, and sowing dissension. But O father, be not angry, I know neither friends nor enemies. O thou of mighty arms where there is nothing to be effected what is the use of resorting to the means for effecting it? O father, it is useless to talk of friend or foe in Govinda, who is identical with all beings, manifest all over the universe, the lord of it and the Great Soul. The Great Vishnu exists in thee, in me as well as in all other creatures; and then what is the use of making such distinction as he is friend and he is foe! It is useless therefore to cultivate such tedious and unprofitable sciences which contain but false knowledge. It is but proper, O father, to engage in the cultivation of the knowledge of self. O father, the idea that ignorance is knowledge arises from ignorance only. A boy, O lord of Asuras, regards the fire-fly as fire. That is (proper) action that liberates us from the bondage of the world and that is (true) knowledge that leads us to the path of emancipation; all other actions lead but to weariness and all other knowledge is turned only into cleverness of an artist. Considering all this knowledge as useless I shall relate to thee respectfully what is really profitable; do thou, O great king, hear it. Who does not think of a kingdom? Who does not desire for riches? But all these are acquirable by the piety accumulated in a pristine birth—so the pious obtain them both. O great king, all men desire to be great—but this greatness is not acquired by exertion, it is the destiny that confers it upon men. O lord, kingdoms are acquired by fate, even by the stupid, the ignorant, the cowardly and those who are ignorant of the science of government. Therefore, he, who longs for greatness, should try to acquire piety. He, who desires for final beatitude, should try to regard all people with an impartial eye. Gods, men, animals, birds, reptiles, all are but diverse manifestations of the eternal Vishnu and exist in a separate state. By him, who knows this, the whole world, moveable and immoveable, is considered as at one with him—all proceeding alike from Vishnu assuming the universal form. When a man obtains this knowledge, the undecaying and eternal Vishnu—the remover of all afflictions, is propitiated with him”. Parāçara said:—Having heard this and got up from the excellent seat, in great rage, Hiranyakashipu spurned his son on the breast with his foot. And burning in ire and wringing his hands as if bent upon destroying the whole universe, he exclaimed: “Ho Viprachita! Ho Rāhu! Ho Vāli binding this boy with serpents, do ye throw him unto the deep: delay not or else the Daityas, the Dānavas and all other people shall be initiated into doctrines of this stupid and vicious boy. We have prevented him many a time and oft and still he persists in chanting the glories of our foe: it is proper to destroy the wicked boy at once”. Parāçara said:—Thereupon obeying the mandate of their master the Daityas speedily bound him with ropes and threw him into the water. Thereupon with Prahlāda trembled the mighty deep; and being agitated throughout, it rose in mighty waves. Beholding the earth about to be submerged by the great ocean, Hiranyakashipu again said to the Daityas,—”O ye descendants of Diti! Do ye bury this wicked boy in the deep with rocks. Fire did not burn him; the weapons did not hurt him; the serpents could not bite him; nor the withering blast, poison, and the magical incantations bring about his destruction. He baffled the illusions (of Samvara), fell unhurt from the loftiest mountains, foiled the elephants of the skies. He is a wicked boy and his life is a perpetual source of miseries. Let him be buried down with rocks into the deep. If he remains in that wise for a thousand years he may lose his life”. Thereupon the Daityas and Dānavas, attacking Prahlāda in the mighty deep with rocks, covered thousands of yojanas therewith. And lying at the bed of the deep covered with racks, the high-minded Prahlāda, offered thus; with undisturbed mind, his praise to the undecaying:—”Salutation unto thee, O Pundarikāsha, salutation unto thee, O thou excellent Puhusha! Salutation unto thee, O thou the soul of all worlds! Salutation unto thee, O thou the wielder of sharp discus! Salutation unto the best of Brāhmanas! to the friend of Brāhmanas and of kine! to Krishna, the benefactor of the world and salutation to Govinda! Salutation to him, who as Brahmā creates the universe and who, being existent all over, preserves it. Salutation to thee, who dost at the end of Kalpa assume the form of Rudra, and who art tri-form. Thou art, Achyuta, the cause of gods, Yakhas, Asuras, Siddhas, serpents, choristers, dancers, goblins, demons, men, beasts, birds, insects, reptiles, plants, and stones, earth, fire, water, sky, wind, sound, touch, taste, colour, flavour, mind, intellect, soul, time, and the properties of nature; and these are all manifestations of thine. Thou art knowledge and ignorance, thou art truth and untruth; thou art poison and nectar; thou art the performance and continuance of acts and thou art the actions laid down in the Vedas. Thou art the enjoyer of the fruits of all actions and the means for effecting them. Thou, Vishnu, who art all, art the fruit of all acts of piety. Thou art in me, in others and spread all over the vast universe. Thy universal manifestation indicates might and goodness. O lord. The ascetics meditate upon thee, the priests offer sacrifice to thee. Thou, identical with progenitors and celestials, receivest burnt-offerings and oblations. The universe is a huge manifestation of thine; the world is lesser than that, O lord; and lesser than that are all the subtile elements and elementary being and thy subtlest form is the subtile principle within them that is called soul. Thou hast in thee a supreme soul, better than this soul and beyond the perception of all subtile elements and which cannot be conceived. Glory be to that Purusottam form of thine. And salutation be to that imperishable form of thine, O lord of gods, which is the soul of all creatures, another manifestation of thy might and which is the refuge of all qualities. I bow unto that supreme goddess who is beyond the perception of senses, the description of the tongue and mind and who is to be distinguished only by the wisdom of the truly wise. Salutation unto the Great God Vāsudeva, who is not separate from any thing and at the same time separate from all. Salutation again and again to that Great Spirit who has neither name nor form and whose existence can only be perceived. Salutation unto that Great Spirit, whose incarnate forms on earth the deities adore, being unable to behold his true form. Salutation unto that Great God Vishnu, the witness of all, who being present in all minds, beholds the good and evil of all. Salutation unto that Vishnu, from whom this world is not distinct. May He, who is the object of the world’s meditation, its beginning, and who is undecaying, be propitiated with me. May that Hari have compassion upon me, who is the stay of all, in whom the universe is warped and woven and who is imperishable and undecaying. Salutation again and again unto Vishnu, in whom all things exist, from whom all things proceed and who is the supporter of all. Salutation to him who also am I, and who is everywhere and through whom all things are from me. I am all things and all things are from me who am eternal. I am undecaying eternal, the asylum of the supreme spirit. Brahmā is my appellation that is at the beginning and end of all things”.


Parāçara said:—O twice-born! Thus meditating upon Vishnu as identical with himself he attained to that unification, which is desired by all and regarded him as the undecaying divinity. He forgot his individuality and was not conscious of anything. And he thought that he himself was the endless, undecaying supreme soul. And on account of this efficient notion of identity, the undecaying Vishnu, whose essence is wisdom, appeared in his mind which was wholly purified from sin. When the Asura Prahlāda had become identified with Vishnu by virtue of contemplation all the bonds were at once severed, as soon as he shook. The mighty deep rose up in waves and the monsters therein were terrified. And the earth trembled with all her mountains and forests. And throwing aside the pile of rocks that were placed by the Daityas on his breast, the high-minded Prahlāda came out of waters. And beholding the outer world, earth and heaven, he remembered who he was and knew himself to be Prahlāda. And again the wise boy, with his mind solely devoted to him and controlling his mind and speech, sang the glory of that excellent Purusha who is without beginning: Prahlāda said,—”Salutation unto thee who art the true wisdom, who art subtile and substantial, mutable and immutable, perceptible and unperceptible, who art with form and without it, indescribable and describable. Thou art the asylum of all attributes; thou art without qualities and with them; thou art with shape and without it; thou art minute and vast; visible and invisible; thou art hideousness and beauty; O undecaying Hari! thou art wisdom and ignorance. Thou art cause and effect; existence and non-existence; thou dost comprise all that is good and evil; thou art the substance of all perishable and imperishable elements and the refuge of all undeveloped rudiments. Salutation unto thee who art both one and many, Vāsudeva and the first cause of all. Salutation unto that excellent Purusha, who is both large and small, manifest and hidden, who is present in all beings and not, and from whom proceeds the universe although distinct from universal cause”. Parāçara said:—While with his mind thus devoted to Vishnu Prahlāda chanted his praises; the Great Hari, clad in yellow suddenly appeared before him. Beholding him, he respectfully rose and with hesitating speech exclaimed repeatedly “Glory unto Vishnu” and said,—”O thou who removest the affliction of thy followers, O Keshava, do thou be propitious unto me. Do thou again purify me, O eternal god, with thy sight”. The Deity replied,—”I am propitiated with thee for thy unshaken devotion unto me. Ask of me, Prahlāda, whatever thou wishest”. Prahlāda said,—”My faith in thee may never suffer decrease in all the thousand births through which I may be doomed to pass. May my devotion unto thee be as firm as the attachment cherished by the ignorant people towards all worldly objects”. The Deity replied,—”Thou hast already devotion unto me—and it shall ever be the same; but do thou beg of me a boon, O Prahlāda, whatever thou wishest”. Prahlāda said,—”My father has treated me malignantly for proclaiming thy praises. O lord, do thou remove the sin he hath thus committed. He assailed me with weapons—he had me thrown into fire, bitten by the serpents, had poison mixed up with my viands, had me cast into the deep in bonds, and buried down with rocks and many other ills he had wrought against me out of malice for being devoted unto thee. May my father, O lord, by thy mercy, be speedily relieved of the sin he hath thus committed”. The Deity replied,—”Prahlāda, all this shall be accomplished by my mercy. I wish to confer upon thee another boon, O son of Asura, do thou beg it”. Prahlāda said,—”All my desires, O lord, have been fulfilled by the boon thou hast conferred upon me, that my faith in thee may never suffer decrease. What to speak of wealth, virtue or desire, even emancipation is in his hands who has firm devotion in thee, the root of the universal world”. The Deity said,—”As unshaken is thy devotion unto me thou shalt by my mercy obtain final emancipation from existence”. Parāçara said:—Having said this Vishnu disappeared from his sight, O Maitreya and Prahlāda again went to his father and bowed down before him. Having smelt his forehead, embraced him and shed tears, the father said, “Dost thou live my child?” The Great Asura treated him with kindness and repented for his past actions. And Prahlāda, conversant with piety, attended diligently upon his father and preceptor. After his father had been slain by Vishnu in the form of the man-lion, he became, O Maitreya, the sovereign of the Daityas. And obtaining the splendours of royalty on account of piety, he came by immense wealth and was blessed, with a numerous progeny. At the expiration of the regal power and freed from the consequences of moral merit or demerit, he obtained, by virtue of his meditation of the deity final emancipation from future births. So powerful was the wise Daitya Prahlāda devoted to Vishnu, O Maitreya, about whom you asked me. Whoever listens to the story of Prahlāda, is speedily freed from all sins. Forsooth a man is released from the iniquities he commits day and night by once hearing or reading the history of Prahlāda. The reading of this history, on the day of full-moon, of new-moon or in the eighth and twelfth days of the lunar half month, shall offer fruit tantamount to the gift of a cow, O twice born one. As Hari protected Prahlāda in all his calamities so he shall protect him who constantly listens to his history.


Parāçara said:—The sons of Sanglhada were Ayushman Sivi and Vashkala. The son of Prahlāda was named Virochana, whose son was Vali who had a hundred sons of whom Vāna was the eldest, O great Muni.

All the sons of Hiranyaksha were also gifted with great prowess—Jharjhara, Sakuni, Bhutasantāpana, Mahānābha, Mahābāhu and Kālanābhan. [230]

[230] There is another reading which has been translated by Wilson. “The mighty-armed and Valiant Taraka”.

Dahu had many sons—Dwimurddha, Sankara, Ayomukha, Sankusiras, Kapila, Samvara, Ekachakra, Mahābāhu, the mighty Tāraka, Swarbhānu, Vrishaparvan, Pulomon and the mighty Viprachiti: these were the powerful and renowned sons Danu.

Swarbhanu had a daughter named Prabhā and Sarmisthā was the daughter of Vrishaparvan who had two other daughters named Upadānavi and Hayasirā.

The two daughters of Vaiswanara were named Pulomā and Kālikā who were both married to Kasyapa and bore him sixty thousand celebrated Dānavas called Paulomas and Kālakanjas, who were mighty, dreadful and cruel.

Viprachiti begot on Sinhikā several sons named—Vyansa, Salya the strong, Nabha the powerful, Vātāpi, Namuchi, Hwala, Khasrima, Anjaka, Naraka, Kālanābha, the Valiant, Swarbhānu and the mighty Vaktrayodhi. These were the most eminent Dānavas who multiplied the race of Danu. Their children and grand children were by hundreds and thousands.

In the family of the Daitya Prahlāda, the Nivāta Kavachas were born, who were greatly purified by rigid austerities.

Six daughters, gifted with great energy, were born to Tāmra—named Suki, Syeni, Bhāsi, Sugrivi, Suchi, and Gridhrikā. Suki gave birth to parrots, owls, and crows, Syeni to hawks, Bhāsi to kites; Gridhrika to vultures, Suchi to water-fowl; Sugrivi to horses, camels and asses. These were the offsprings of Tāmra.

Vānati had two well-known sons, named Garuda and Varuna; the former also called Superna was the lord of the feathered tribes and the dreadful enemy of the serpents.

The offsprings of Surasā were a thousand powerful many-headed serpents coursing the welkin.

Kadru had also a thousand powerful sons of unmitigated prowess—all subject to Garuda and many-headed. The most celebrated amongst them were, Sesha, Vāsuki, Takshaka, Sankha, Sweta, Mahāpadma, Kumbala, Aswatara, Elapatra, Nāga, Karkkota, Dhananyaya, and many other deadly and poisonous serpents.

Krodas gave birth to highly powerful monsters and Suravi gave birth to cows and buffaloes. Irā was the mother of trees and creeping plants and shrubs and every kind of grass: Khāsa of the Rākshasas and Yakshas: Muni of Apsaras and Aristha of the celebrated Gandharvas.

These were the offsprings of Kasyapa whether moveable or stationary; their children and grand children multiplied by hundreds and thousands. Such was the creation, O Brahmana, in the Swarochisa (or the second) Manwantara. In the present or Viavaswata Manwantara Brahmā being engaged in sacrifices undertaken by Varuna I shall describe to you the manner in which the progeny multiplied. The great Patriarch begot as his sons the seven Rishis, who were in the days of yore, engendered by his mind.

O best of ascetics, when there was a quarrel amongst the Gandharvas, serpents, Dānavas and gods, Diti, having lost all her children, propitiated Kasyapa, Being perfectly adored by her, Kasyapa, the foremost of the ascetics, promised her a boon and Diti prayed for it in the shape of a valiant son capable of destroying Indra, O excellent Muni, he granted his spouse that boon. And having granted her that boon Kasyapa said—”You shall give birth to a son who shall destroy Sakra, if with pious thoughts and a pure body, you carry the babe in your womb for a hundred years”. Having said this the ascetic Kasyapa remained with her and she conceived being perfectly pure. Knowing that this conception was for his own destruction, Indra the lord of immortals, came to her and attended upon her with humility. And the slayer of Pāka wanted there to thwart her intention. At last in the last year of the century he found out an opportunity. Diti, without washing her feet, went to bed. And when she was asleep the wielder of the thunder-bolt entered into her womb and severed the embryo into seven pieces.

The child, thus severed, cried out bitterly in the womb but Sakra again and again said “Do not cry”. The embryo was thus cut into seven portions, and Indra, wroth again, cut each portion into seven pieces with his thunder-bolt. From these originated the swift-coursing deities called Maruts (winds.) They got this name from the words with which Indra had addressed the embryo (Ma—rooda—do not cry) and became forty-nine divinities, the assistants of the wielder of the thunder bolt.


Parāçara said:—When Pritha was installed on the throne by the great Rishis the great Patriarch by and by conferred kingdoms upon other kings. He bestowed upon the moon the sovereignty of stars, planets, twice-born ones, grass, creeping plants sacrifices and penances. Vaisravana was made king over kings, and Varuna was made lord of waters. Vishnu was made the king of Adityas and Pāvaka of Vasus. Daksha was made the lord of Patriarchs and Vāsava of Maruts. And he conferred the sovereignty ®f Daityas and Dānavas upon Prāhlada. And Yama, the king of justice, was made the king of the manes (Pitris). Airāvata was made the king of many elephants, Garuda of birds, Vāsava of the celestials. Uchaisravas was made the king of horses and Vrishabba of kine. Shesha became the king of serpents, the lion, the monarch of the beasts and the holy fig-tree the king of the trees. Having thus divided the kingdom the great Patriarch Brahmā appointed divinities to protect the different quarters: he made Sudhanwan, the son of the patriarch Viraja, the protector of the east; Sankhapada the son of the patriarch Kardama, of the south; the immortal Ketumat, the son of Rajas, protector of the west and Hiranyaroman the son of the patriarch Parjanya, protector of the north. By these the whole earth, with its even islands and cities, was righteously governed, each confining himself to his own limit.

All these and others appointed to govern the creation are but persons of the Great Vishnu, O foremost of Munis, All the kings who have been and who shall be, O foremost of twice-born ones, are the portions of Vishnu. The lords of celestials, the kings of the Daityas, the sovereigns of the Dānavas, the rulers of the demons, the kings of the beasts, birds, men, serpents, Nagas, the best of trees, of mountains, of planets—those that were, those that are, and those that shall be, are but portions of Vishnu who is identical with the universe. None else is capable of protecting the world, but Hari, the lord of all. O greatly wise ascetic, the essence of the universal creation exists in him and none else. The eternal Vishnu invested respectively with the qualities of foulness, goodness, and darkness, creates the universe, preserves it and destroys it. By a four-fold manifestation of himself he creates the world and in the same way preserves and destroys it. In one manifestation as Brahmā, the invisible (Vishnu) assumes a visible shape; in his second manifestation, he appears as the patriarch Marichi and others; Kāla is the third manifestation and all other beings constitute his fourth manifestation. Thus he becomes four-fold in his creation invested with the quality of goodness. The Deity in one portion as Vishnu, preserves the creation; in his second portion he assumes the shape of Manu and others; in his third portion he assumes the shape of time, and in his fourth portion he assumes the shape of all beings. And thus invested with the quality of goodness, the excellent Purusha preserves the universe. And invested with the quality of darkness at the end of creation the un-born Deity, in one portion, assumes the form of Rudra. In another portion he assumes the shape of fire—in another he assumes the shape of time, and in his fourth portion he assumes the shape of all beings. And thus in his four-fold form he is the destroyer of the universe. This is the four-fold division of the Deity, O Brahman, at all seasons.

Brahmā, Daksha, time and all beings, are the energies of the Great Hari, which are the causes of creation. Vishnu, Manu, time and all beings are energies, O twice-born one, of Vishnu, which are the causes of preservation. Rudra, Antaka, time and all other creatures are the energies of Janārddana that are intended for universal dissolution. In the beginning of the creation, till the hour of dissolution, Brahmā, the patriarchs and all other animals, are engaged with the work of creation. At first Brahmā created the universe, then Marichi and others were engaged in multiplying the race and then the other animals multiply it every moment. O twice born one, Brahmā cannot create the universe unless the proper time comes, and Marichi and other patriarchs as well as other animals, independent of time, cannot help the creation. Thus at the time of creation as well as that of dissolution the four-fold divisions of the Great Deity are equally essential, O Maitreya. Whatever is generated by any living being, O twice-born one—the agent is considered as a portion of Hari. And whatever destroys any living being, moveable or immoveable, is considered as the destroying portion of Janārddana as Rudra. In this wise Janārddana is the creator, preserver and destroyer of the universe. And assuming three qualities he is three-fold—in creation, preservation and destruction—but his true form is void of these qualities. And the four-fold manifestation of the Deity comprises true wisdom, pervades the universe, and does not admit of any similitude. Maitreya said:—”Describe to me, in sooth, O Muni, how could the supreme condition of the Deity admit of four varieties?” Parāçara said:—O Maitreya, that which is called the cause of a thing is the means of accomplishing it; and what is the desire of the soul to accomplish is the thing accomplished. The suspension of breath and the like operations, of the Yogi who is intent upon obtaining final emancipation, are his means and the end is the supreme Brahma from whom he does not return to the world. O Muni, the means, adopted for liberation by the ascetic, is the discriminative knowledge and this is the first variety of the condition of Brahma, O great Muni, the second portion is the knowledge that is to be obtained by the ascetics for liberation from suffering. By the third sort, they arrive at the knowledge of the identity of the end and the means and the rejection of the idea of duality. The last sort is the removal of whatever differences may have been formed regarding the three first varieties of knowledge and the necessary contemplation of the true essence of soul. The highest condition of Vishnu, who is identical with wisdom, is the knowledge of the truth. This knowledge requires no exercise, is not to be taught, is spread all over, admits of no comparison with anything, which does not require any other thing to explain it, which is itself existent and docs not require any explanation, which is calm, fearless and pure, which is not the subject of reasoning and does not require any support. And this knowledge is the excellent condition of Vishnu. O twice-born one, these ascetics, who, by the destruction of ignorance, emerge themselves in this knowledge of Brahma, lose the semenial property and do not germinate in the field of worldly existence. [231] That which is the excellent condition of Vishnu is pure, eternal, universal, undecaying and uniform. And the ascetic who obtains this supreme condition of Brahma is not required to be born again, for he is freed from the distinction of virtue and vice and suffering.

[231] i.e. Those who obtain this highest knowledge regarding the condition of Brahma are freed from future births i.e. they are not required any more to go through the cycle of births.

There are two states of Brahma—one with shape and the other without it—one perishable and the other imperishable. These two states are manifest everywhere. As the blaze of fire, at one place, spreads light and heat all around so this vast universe is nothing but the manifestation of the energy of the undecaying and eternal Brahma. And as the light and heat are stronger or feebler proportionate to the distance of the spot, so the energy of Brahma is more or less manifest in beings as they are more or less remote from him. O Brāhman, Brahma, Vishnu and Siva are the most powerful energies of Brahma: next to them, O Maitreya, are the inferior celestials—next to them are the patriarch Daksha and others—next to them, men, beasts, birds and serpents and then the trees and plants each growing feebler proportionate to their distance from the Supreme God. In this way, the world, although eternal and indestructable, appears and disappears as if being subject to birth and death.

The all-powerful Vishnu is but the manifestation of Brahma. He being invested with form, the Yogis worship him at the very commencement. And the great ascetics, with their minds unagitated, in whose minds exists great spirit of devotion with the object to be meditated upon and along with the means for effecting it, endeavour to bring about mystic union with him. O great Muni, Hari is the most powerful of all the energies of Brahma, because he is the most immediate. And he is an embodiment of Brahma because he is composed entirely of his essence. In him the whole universe is interwoven—from him and in him is the universe, O Muni. Vishnu, the lord of the universe containing all that is destructable and indestructable, holds the creation material and spiritual with his ornaments and weapons.

Maitreya said:—”Do thou relate to me how does the great God Vishnu hold the universe with his ornaments and weapons”.

Parāçara said:—Having bowed down unto the mighty and indescribable Vishnu I shall relate to you what was formerly described by Vasishtha, The Great Hari holds the pure soul of the world uncontaminated and divested of qualities like the Kaustava gem. The undecaying holds Pakriti as Srivatsa mark and intellect exists in Mādhava in the shape of his mace. The lord holds the two-folded divisions of egotism namely into elements and organs of sense in the shape of his conch-shell and bow. He holds in his hand, in the shape of discus, mind which is the strength of all and excels wind in its flight. The necklace, of the holder of mace, namely Vaijayenti, contains five precious gems (pearl, ruby, emerald, sapphire and diamond) being the emblems of the five elemental rudiments. Janārddana holds the faculties of action and perception in the shape of numerous shafts. The holy wisdom is the bright sword of Achyuta concealed sometimes in the scabbard of ignorance. In this wise, O Maitreya, Hrishikesha is the refuge of soul, nature, intellect, egotism, the elements, the senses, mind, ignorance and wisdom. And although Hari is without any shape, yet, he, for the behoof of mankind, in his dillusive form, embodies the elements of the world as his weapons and ornaments. Then the lotus-eyed deity, the lord of the universe, holds the nature and the universes. O Maitreya, true wisdom, ignorance, all that is transient, all that is everlasting, exist in the slayer of Madhu, the lord of all creatures. The time with its division of seconds, minutes, days, months, seasons, and years, is but the manifestation of the Great Hari. O Great Muni, the seven worlds, the earth the sky, the heaven, the world of Patriarchs, of sages, of saints, of truth are but diverse manifestations of his. His form is the whole universe; he is first born before all the first-born. He is the refuge of ail being; he is himself self-sustained; his various forms are celestials, men and animals. Therefore he is the supreme lord of all; eternal; he has a visible shape and is without it He is known in the Vedanta as the Rich, Yajush, Sāma and Atharva Vedas, history and sacred science. The Vedas with their manifold divisions, the institutes of Manu and the writings of other law-givers, sacred lores and their translations, poems and all that is said or sung are bodily forms of that Great Vishnu in the shape of sound. All kinds of things with or without form—here or elsewhere are the body of Vishnu. I am Hari; all this is Janārddana, cause and effect proceed from none else but him. He, who is cognizant of these truths, shall never be subject to the afflictions of worldly existence.

Thus, O twice-born one, the first portion of the Purāna, has been related to you, hearing which one may be freed from sins. The man, who hears this, obtains the fruit of bathing in the Pushkara lake [232] for twelve years in the month of Kartik. O Muni, the celestials confer upon him, who hears this Purāna, the dignity of a divine sage, of a patriarch, or of a spirit of a heaven.

[232] This lake is still to be seen near Ajmere.




Maitreya said:—”O venerable Sir, O preceptor, you have fully described unto me all that I asked you regarding the creation of the universe. But there is a portion of this subject, O foremost of ascetics, which I desire to hear again. Pryavrata and Uttanapada were the two sons of Swayambhuva Manu and you related to me the story of Dhruva, the son of Uttanapada. But, O twice-born one, you did not mention the progeny of Pryavrata and I wish to hear from you an account of his family”. Parāçara said:—Prayvrata married Kanya, [233] the daughter of Kardama, and had by her two daughters named Samrat and Kukshi and ten sons, wise, valiant, humble, obedient to their father; named Agnidhra, Agnivāhu, Vapushmat, Dyutimat, Medha, Bhabya, Savalā, Putra. And the tenth of them was Jyotishman; and the significance of this name was made good by him. All the sons of Pryavrata were celebrated for strength and prowess. Of these three, Medha, Agnivāhu and Putra, were given up to religious devotion. And those high-souled ones remembering the actions of their pristine births, did not wish for kingdom. And they diligently and in due time practised the rites of austerities, wholly disinterested and expecting no reward. O Maitreya, O foremost of Munis, Pryavrata conferred the seven islands upon his seven illustrious sons. The father conferred upon Agnidhra the sovereignty of Jamvudwipa; to Medhathiti he gave Plakshadwipa: he made Vapushmat the sovereign over the Dwipa of Salmali: and appointed Jyotishmat, king of Kusadwipa: he made Dutimat the king of Kraunchdwipa, Bhabya the king of Sakadwipa and Savala the sovereign of the Dwipa of Pushkara.

[233] Markandeya and Vayu Puranas have Kamya as the name of the daughter of Kardama. Wilson has adopted this name.

O foremost of Munis, Agnidhra, the king of Jamvudwipa had nine sons, all equal to the patriarchs in prowess.—Nābhi, Kimpurasha, Harwarsha, Ilāvrita, Ramya, Hiranvat, Kuru, Bhadraswa and Ketumala, who was a prince ever devoted to the practice of piety.

Hear next, O Brahman, from me how he divided Jamvudwipa amongst his sons. He conferred on Nabhi the country called Hima, south of Himavān or snowy mountains. And he gave to Kimpurusha the country of Himakuta and to Harivarsha the country of Nishada. And he bestowed upon Ilāvrita the country in the centre of which mount Meru is situated. And he conferred upon Kamya the countries lying between it and the Nila mountain. He gave to Hiravat the country lying to the north of it. He gave to Kuru the country bounded by Sringavar. He gave to Bhadraswa the countries situate on the east of Meru and he gave to Ketumala Gandhamadana which was situate on the west of it. Thus that lord of men, conferred the various portions of his kingdom, upon his sons. And having installed his sons as kings of diverse regions that lord of earth retired to the holy place of pilgrimage Salagrama and engaged in penance, O Maitreya.

O great Muni, the eight countries, Kintpurusha and others are places of perfect enjoyment and spontaneous happiness. In those countries there is no viccissitude of circumstances, no fear of decrepitude or death, no distinction of virtue and vice, better or worse. Nor in these eight countries are to be seen the effects wrought by the cycle of ages.

The high-souled Nabhi, who had obtained the country of Nimahwa as his kingdom, had by his queen Meru, the highly effulgent son Rishabha; and who had again a hundred sons, the eldest of whom was Bharata. Having ruled over the kingdom piously and performed many sacrifices the illustrious Rishabha installed his eldest son Bharata as the lord of the earth and went to the hermitage of Pulastya, being bent upon practising religious penance according to the prescribed rites of an anchoret. He practised religious austerities duly until he was so reduced as to be but a collection of skin and fibres. Thereupon putting a pebble in his mouth he went naked to the great road. And from then the country was handed over to Bharata by his father on retiring to woods and it was called Bhārata.

Bharata had a highly pious son named Sumati. Having ruled the kingdom for some time, the king Bharata, who was fond of sacrifices, conferred it upon his son and invested him with all royal splendours. O Muni, having engaged in austere practices, he renounced his life at the holy place of Salagrama. He was again born in a distinguished family of ascetics, which I shall describe to you later on.

From the illustrious Sumati was born Indradyumna: his son was Pratihara, who had an illustrious son named Pratihartta; his son was Bhava who begot Udgitha, who begot Prastara, whose son was Prithu. Prithu’s son was Nakta, whose son was Gaya, whose son was Nara, whose son was Virat. Virat’s son was the brave Dhimat who begot Maharta, whose son was Manasyu, whose son was Twashtri, whose son was Viraja, whose son was Raja, whose son was Satyjit, who had a hundred sons, of whom Viswagyotish was the eldest. Under the rule of these princes Bharatvarsha was divided into nine parts and their progeny successively ruled the country for seventy-one cycles.

O Muni, this was the progeny of Swayambhava Manu, by whom the earth was peopled, who was the lord of the first Manwantara in the Kalpa of Varaha.


Maitreya said:—”O Brāhmana, you have related to me the progeny of Swayartbhuva. I wish to hear from you an account of the earth. It behoveth thee, O Muni to relate to how many oceans there are, how many islands, how many kingdoms, how many mountains, forests, rivers, cities of the gods’s; its size, its contents, its nature and its form”. Parāçara said:—Do thou hear from me, O Maitreya, a brief account: I cannot give you a detailed account even in a century.

O twice-born one, the earth consists of seven islands namely Jambu, Plaksha, Sālmali, Kusa, Krauncha, Saku and Puskara: and they are severally girt by seven great seas: the sea of salt water (Lavana), of sugar-cane juice (Ikshu), of wine (Sura) of clarified butter (Sarpi), of curds (Dadhi), of milk (Dugdha) and of fresh water (Jala).

Jambudwipa is situated in the centre of all these and in the centre of that island is situate the golden mount Meru, which is eighty-four thousand yojanas in height and sixteen thousand deep into the earth. The diameter, at its top, is thirty-two thousand yojanas and at the base sixteen thousand. And this mountain is like the seed-cup of the lotus of the earth.

On the south Sumeru are the mountains Himavat, Hemakuta and Nishadha and on its north are the boundary mountains Neela, Sweta and Sringhee. The two mountain ranges situate in the centre are a hundred thousand yojanas in extent. And others are ten thousand yojanas lesser in extent. They are two thousand yojanas in height and breadth.

O twice-born one, the first country on the south of Sumeru is Bhārata, then Kimpurusha and then Harivarsha. North of Meru is Ramyaka, next to that is Hiranmaya and beyond the latter is Uttarakuru following the same direction as Bhirata. And each of these Varshas, O foremost of the twice-born ones, is extended over a nine thousand yojanas. Ilābrita is also of the same size and the golden mount Meru is situate in the centre, and the country extends nine thousand yojanas in each direction from the four sides of the mountain. For fortifying the mount Meru four mountains were created as buttresses, each ten thousand yojanas in elevation. The one situate on the east is called Mandara, the one on the south is called Gandhamādana, that on the west is called Vipula and that on the south Suparswa. And on each of these stands severally a Kadamba tree, a Jāmbu tree, a Pipal and a Vata. And all these trees were eleven thousand yojanas in height, standing as if like the banners of the mountains. O great Muni, because a Jāmbu-tree stands on that mountain that insular continent is called Jāmbu-dwipa. And that tree produces Jāmbu-fruits like so many huge elephants. And those huge fruits are crushed into pieces as soon as they fall on the mountain. And out of the juice of those fruits has come out the river Jāmbu. And the inhabitants, who drink the water of that river, do not experience perspiration, bad smell and are not subject to infirmities of age and organic decay. The soil, on the banks of that river, receiving the juice of these fruits and dried up by pleasant breeze, is turned into gold called Jāmbunada out of which the ornament of the Siddhas are made. Vadraswa is situate on the east of Meru and Ketumdlā on the west. And in the middle of these two Varshas, O foremost of Munis, is situate Ilābrita, oh the east is the Chaitrarath forest on the south Gandhamādana, on the west Baibhraju and on the north the forest called Nandana. On the four sides of Meru there are four tanks the water of which is partaken of by the celestials namely Atunoda, Mahabhadra, Sitoda and Manasa. There are some mountain ranges like the filaments from the root of a lotus on the coast of Meru—namely Sitānta Mukunda, Kurāri, Mālayavān and Vaikanta.

And on the south Trikuta, Sisirā, Patanga, Ruchaka and Nishadha, on the west Sikhivasasi Vaidurya, Kapila, Gandhamidana and Jārudho, and on the north Sankhakuta, Rishabha, Nāga, Hansa and Kālanjara. These and others extend from the heart of the Meru.

On the top of mount Meru, O Maitreya, there is a vast city, named after Brahmā, extending for fourteen thousand yojanas, and celebrated in the region of the celestials. And around it in the various quarters and intermediate quarters are situate the magnificent cities of Indra and other deities presiding over various quarters. Originating from the foot of Vishnu, and watering the region of the moon, the Ganges falls from the heaven into the city of Brahmā. Falling there she has divided herself into four branches namely Sitā, Alakakandā, Chakshu and Vadrā. Taking her course towards the east and going from one mountain to another, in the welkin Sitā, watering Vadrawshwa has fallen into the ocean. The Alakakandā flows southwards to the country of Bhārata and dividing herself into seven branches on the way, falls into the ocean, O great Muni. And Chakshu crossing over all the western mountains and passing through the country of Ketumāla falls into the ocean. And Vadrā, traversing the northern mountains and passing through the country of Uttarakuru, falls into the northern ocean, O great Muni.

Meru is thus situated between the mountains Nila and Nishada (on the north and south) and between Mālyavān and Gandhamādana (on the west and east) and it lies there like the peri-carp of a lotus. And the countries of Bhārata, Ketumāla, Vadrāshwa and Kuru, lying outside the mountains, are like petals of the lotus of the world. Jathara and Devakuta are two mountainous ranges extending northward and southward and connecting the mountain Nila and Nishada. The two mountains Gandhamādana and Kailāsha extend towards the east and west for eighty yojanas from sea to sea. Like the two mountains on the east the two ranges Nishahad and Paripātra are situated on the western side of Meru. The two mountains Trisringa and Jārudhi are situated on the north of Meru and they extend east and west from one sea to another. Thus I have described to you the eight mountains, mentioned by the ascetics as bounding the mount Meru, and situate in pairs on four sides. Sitānta and others which have been described to you as filament mountains are extremely charming. The vallies situate in the bosom of those mountains are frequented by Siddhas and Charanas and there are many picturesque cities and forests, containing the palaces of Vishnu, Lakshmi, Agni, Surya and other deities and inhabited by the celestials. And in those pleasant vales Gandharvas, Yakshas, Rākshasas, Daityas and Dānavas sport day and night. These are the abodes of the pious, O Muni and are called the regions of paradise on earth where the vicious, even after a hundred births, do not arrive.

In the country of Vadraswa, O twice-born one, Vishnu resides in his horse-headed form, in Ketumala as the boar and in Bhārata as the tortoise. And in Kuru Janārddana resides as the fish and Hari, the lord of all and everything, resides everywhere in his universal form. And, O Maitreya, he, the soul of the world, is the supporter of all things.

O great Muni, in the eight countries of Kimpurusha and others there is neither grief, exhaustion, anxiety nor hunger. All the subjects are healthy devoid of any fear, freed from all afflictions and live for ten or twelve thousand years. Indra does not send rain there and people live upon the water of the earth and there is no distinction of Satya, Treta and other successive cycles. In each of these countries there are seven principal mountainous ranges from which hundreds of river take their rise, O foremost of twice-born ones.


Parāçara said:—The country that is situate on the ocean and south of the Himālya is called Bhārata where reside the descendants of Bharata. The extent of this land is nine thousand yojanas, and is the field of action, on account of which men go to heaven or obtain final emancipation. The seven principal mountain ranges in Bhārata are Māhendra, Malaya, Sahya, Suktimat, Riksha, Vindhya and Pāripātra. From this land people attain to heaven or final emancipation or some hence, O Muni, fall into hell or pass into the condition of brutes. From here people obtain heaven, liberation, or the state in mid-air, or the state in the regions under the earth for no other portion of world is the arena of actions.

Do thou again hear of the nine divisions of the country of Bhārata. They are Indra-dwipa, Kasermut, Tāmravarna, Galehastimat, Nāgadwipa, Saumya, Gandharva and Varuna. The last is encircled by the sea and is a thousand yojanas in extent from north to south.

On the east of Bhārata live the Kiratas, and on the west Yavanas in the centre live Brahmanas, Kshatriyas, Vaidyas, and Sudras engaged severally in sacrifice, arms, trade and service.

The rivers Satadru, Chandrabhāga and others have taken their rise from the Himālaya. Vedasmriti and others have taken their rise from the Vindya range. Tapi, Poyoshni, Nirbindhā and others have taken their rise from Riksha; Godaveri, Bhimarathi, Krishnaveni and others have taken their rise from Sahya mountain. And all these remove the dread of sin. Kritamala, Tamraparni and others flow from the Malaya hills; Trisama, Rishikulya and others from the Mahendra; and the Rishikulya, Kumari and others from the Suktimat mountains. There are thousands of rivers like these and the tributaries thereof. The Kurus and Panchalas in the middle districts, the inhabitants of Kāmrupa in the east, the Pundras, Kalingas, Magadhas, and other southern nations, the Saurāsthras, Suras, Bhiras, Arbudas in the west, the Karushas and Mālavas dwelling along the Pāripātra mountains, the Sauviras, the Saindhavas, the Hānas, the Sālwas the inhabitants of Sakala, the Madras, the Rāmas, the Ambasthas and the Parishakas and others drink the waters of these rivers and live on their banks happy and prosperous.

There are four Yugas or ages in the Bhārata-Varsha, O Great Muni, namely the Krita, the Tretā, the Dwāpara, and Kali—there is no such cycle of ages in any other land. Here the ascetics are engaged in penances, the devout offer sacrifices, and the people distribute gifts for the sake of another world. In Jāmbu-Dwipa, Vishnu, all sacrifice, in the shape of sacrificial male, is worshipped by people with sacrifices—there is altogether a different practice in other lands. O Great Muni, Bhārata therefore is the best of all the divisions of Jāmbu-dwipa, for it is the land of actions and all other divisions are places of enjoyment. O sage, it is after many thousand births, and by the accumulation of piety, that living beings are sometimes born in Bhāratavarsa as men. The celestials themselves have chanted “Blessed are those who are born in Bhāratavarsa as men even from the condition of the celestials for this is a land which leads to Paradise and final liberation. And all actions, that are performed by men born in this land and freed from sins, careless of the merited rewards, are consigned by them to the eternal Vishnu, the Great soul and then they emerge in him. We do not know when the actions, that have secured for us heaven, shall bear fruits and when we shall be born again. But Blessed are those who are born in Bhāratvarsha with perfect faculties”. O Maitreya, I have, thus in short, described to you the nine divisions of Jambu-dwipa which extend over a hundred thousand yojanas and which is girt, as if by a bracelet, by the ocean of salt water which is similar in dimensions.


Parāçara said:—As Jambu-dwipa is encircled all around by the ocean of salt water like a bracelet, so that ocean is also girt by the insular continent Plaksha. The extent of Jambu-dwipa is a hundred thousand yojanas and it is said, O Brahman, that the extent of Plaksha-dwipa is twice as much.

Medhatiti, the king of Plaksha-dwipa, had seven sons, Santabhaya, Sisira, Sukhodhaya, Ananda, Siva, Kshemaka and Dhruva. And all these seven became kings of Plaksha-dwipa. The seven divisions were named after them—Santābhaya-varsa, Sisira-varsa, Sukhada-varsa, Ananda-varsa, Siva-varsa, Kshemaka-varsa, and Dhruva-varsa. These seven varsas had seven mountain-ranges as their boundaries. Do thou hear, from me, the names of these mountains, O foremost of Munis,—Gomeda, Chandra, Nārada, Dundhubi, Somaka, Sumanas, and Vaibhraja. In all these picturesque mountains the sinless inhabitants dwell perpetually along with the celestials and Gandharvas. There are holy villages where people live for a long time, freed from care and pain and enjoying uninterrupted happiness. And in those divisions there are seven rivers all flowing into the ocean—I shall relate their names, bearing which all sins shall be removed. They are the Anutapā, Sikhi, Vipasā, Tridivā, Kramu, Amritā and Sukritā. These are the principal rivers and mountains of Plakshsa-dwipa, which I have described to you; but there are thousands of others of inferior size. Those who partake of the waters of these rivers, always live happy and contented; there is neither the increase nor decrease of the population; the revolution of the four ages is not known there; O thou of great mind, the time there is uniformly of the character of Treta Yuga. In all these Dwipas, O Brahman, people live peacefully for five thousand years, and religious rites are severally performed by diverse castes and divisions of the people. There are four castes which I shall relate to you. They are Aryaka, Kuru, Vivasa and Bhavi corresponding respectively with Brahmanas, Kshatriyas, Vaiçyas and Sudras, O foremost of Munis. As there is a huge Jambu-tree in the Jambu-dwipa so there is a large fig-tree in this insular continent and this Dwipa is called Plaksha after the name of that tree, O foremost of twice-born ones. Hari, the all, the lord of all, the creator of the universe, is worshipped in the form of the moon by the Aryakas and other caste people. Plaksha-dwipa is girt, as if by a disc, by the sea of molasses which is equal to the island in extent. I have thus given to you, O Maitreya, in a brief compass, a description of the island called Plaksha; I shall now describe the island Salmala; do thou hear it.

The heroic Vapusmat is the sovereign of the Salmala-dwipa; do thou hear the names of his seven sons who gave names to the seven divisions of this insular continent. They were Sweta, Harita, Jimuta, Rohita, Vaidyuta, Manasa, and Suprabha. The sea of molasses is girt by this insular continent on all sides, which is twice in extent. There are seven mountain ranges containing precious jems and dividing the Dwipa and there are seven rivers. They are Kumuda, Unnata, Valahaka, Drona, abounding in medicinal herbs, Kanka, Mahisha and Kakkudwat. The principal rivers are Yauni, Toya, Vitrishna, Chandra, Sukla, Vimochani and Nivritti; the waters of all these remove sins. All the varsas namely Sweta, Harita, Vaidyuta, Manasa, Jimuta and Suprava are very charming. All these varsas are peopled by men of four castes. The four castes, O great Muni, who reside in Salmala-dwipa, are severally known as Kapilas, Arunas, Pitas and Rohitas (or tawny, purple, yellow and red) corresponding to Brahmanas, Kshatriyas, Vaiçyas and Sudras, who all perform sacrifices and worship the Great undecaying Vishnu, the soul of all things, in the form of Vayu (wind) with pious rites. The people there enjoy frequent association with the celestials. There is a huge Salmali (silk-cotton) tree in this insular continent, which gives its name and affords delight to gods.

This Dwipa is encircled on all sides by the Ocean named Suroda, which is equal to the island in extent. This ocean Suroda is again girt on all sides by the Kusa-dwipa which is twice the Salmali island in extent. The king Jyotishmat in Kusa-dwipa had seven sons; do thou hear their names. They are Udvida, Venuman, Swairatha, Lavana, Dhriti, Prabhakara and Kapita after whom the seven varshas were severally named. There live men along with the Daityas, Dānavas, gods, Gandharvas, Yakshas, and Kimparushas. The four castes devoted to the performance of their respective duties are called Damis, Sushinis, Snehas, and Mandehas corresponding, in order to Brahmanas, Kshatriyas, Vaiçyas and Sudras. They worship Janārddana in the form of Brahmā, in the Kusa-dwipa according to the rites laid down in the Sastras for the protection of their kingdom and setting aside actions which lead to temporal rewards. There are seven mountain ranges (in this island) namely: Bidruma, Hemasaila, Dyutimat, Pushpavan, Kusheshaya, Havi Mandarachala, O great Muni. There are seven rivers—the names of which I shall relate in order, do thou hear them. They are Dhutapapa, Siva, Pavitra, Sanmati, Bidyudambha and Mahi. They all remove sins. Besides there are thousands of small rivers and mountains. There is a huge clump of Kusa-grass and the island is named after that. It is girt by the Ghrita sea (the ocean of butter) of the same dimension as this insular continent.

The sea of Ghrita is encircled by Krauncha-dwipa which is twice as large as Kusa-dwipa. Dyutiman was the sovereign of this island. The high-souled king named the seven varshas after his seven sons. They were Kusala, Mallaga, Ushna, Pivara, Andhakaraka, Muni and Dundhuvi, O Muni. There are seven boundary mountains highly picturesque and resorted to by the celestials and Gandharvas, O thou of great understanding; do thou hear their names from me. They are Krauncha, Vamana, Andhakaraka, Devavrita, Pundjirikavan, Dundhuvi, and Mahasaila—each of which is double the preceding one in height as each dwipa is twice as extensive as the one before it. In these charming mountains, people reside, freed from fear, along with the celestials. In this island, O great Muni, the Brahmanas, Kshatriyas, Vaiçyas and Sudras are respectively called Pushkara, Pushkala, Dhanya and Tishpa. Do thou, O Maitreya, hear the names of the rivers, the waters whereof are drunk by those men. There are seven principal rivers and hundreds of small rivers. The seven principal rivers are Gauri, Kumudvati, Sandhyā, Ratri, Mānojavā, Kshānti and Pundarikā.

In this island the four caste people worship the great Janārddana in the form of Rudra with various sacrifices. Krauncha is girt by the sea of curds of a similar dimension and that again is encircled by Sāka-dwipa, which is twice as much in extent, O great Muni.

The high-souled Bhavya, the king of Sāka-dwipa had seven sons upon whom he severally conferred the seven portions. They are Jalada, Kumāra, Sukumāra, Manecchaka, Kusumoda, Mandāki and Mahādruma. The seven varsas were named in order after the seven princes. There are seven boundary mountains. Of these one situate on the east is Udayagiri and others are named Jatādhāra, Raivatak, Shyama, Astagiri, Anchikeya and Kesari. They are all charming and excellent mountains. There is a large Sāka (Teak) tree, frequented by the Siddhas and Gandharvas; and the wind produced by its fluttering leaves, spreads joy. The holy lands of this insular continent were inhabited by people of four castes. There are seven sacred rivers which remove all sins—they are Sukumari, Kamari, Nalini, Dhenuka, Ikshu, Benuka and Gavasti. Besides these seven rivers there are numerous rivulets. There are hundreds and thousands of mountains. People residing in Jalada varsa partake of the waters of these rivers. They seem to have come down from heaven to earth. In those divisions there is no decrease of virtue; there is no quarrel and there is no deviation from honesty. The four castes, Nriga, Magadha, Manasa and Mandaga correspond respectively to Brāhmmanas, Kshatriyas, Vaiçyas and Sudras. They worship Vishnu, in the form of the sun, having controlled their minds with diverse pious observances. Sāka-dwipa, O Maitreya, is girt by the sea of milk on all sides, as by a bracelet, which is of the same dimension as the continent.

The sea of milk, O Brahman, is again encircled on all sides by the insular continent of Pushkara, which is twice the extent of Sāka-dwipa. The king Savala of Pushkara had two sons; one was named Mahavira and the other Dhataki; and the two varsas were named after them. O great sage, there is only one mighty range of mountains, named Mānosattara, which runs in a circular direction like an armlet. It is fifty thousand yojanas in height and the same in breadth, circular on all sides, and divides the island in the middle, as if like a bracelet into two divisions. And being divided into two portions by that mountain they are also of a circular form. There the people live for ten thousand years, freed from disease, sorrow, anger and jealousy. There is neither virtue nor vice, killer nor slain: there is no jealousy, envy fear, hatred, malice, nor any moral delinquency. The varsa situate on the outside of Mānosattara is called Mahavira and the one situate inside is called Dhataki: they are both frequented by the celestials and Dānavas. And in that island of Pushkara there is neither truth nor falsehood. And in that insular continent divided into two portions there is no other mountain nor river. All men and celestials here have the same form and dress. There is no distinction of caste or order; they do not perform rites and the three Vedas, Puranaa, ethics, polity and the laws of service are unknown there. These two portions, O Maitreya, might be denominated as paradise on earth. In these two varsas of Dhataki and Mahavira, where time affords delight to the inhabitants who are freed from sickness and decay. There is a Nyagrodha-tree (Fisucus-indica) on this insular continent which is a favourite resort of Brahmā and where he lives worshipped by the celestials and Asuras. Pushkara is encircled by Syaduka ocean (sea of fresh water) which is of equal extent with the island.

In this way the seven insular continents are encircled by seven seas and each ocean and island is twice the dimension of that which precedes it. The water, in all these oceans, remains the same at all seasons and never increases or diminishes. Like the water in a cauldron, which expands in consequence of heat, the waters of the oceans swell with the increase of the moon, O foremost of Munis. Except in the light and dark fortnights the waters neither increase nor decrease. O great Muni, the rise and fall of the waters is five hundred and ten inches. In this island of Pushkara, O Brahman, foods are produced spontaneously and people there enjoy viands of various flavours.

Beyond the sea of fresh water, there is the land of gold which is twice its extent where no living beings dwell. Beyond that is the mountain Lokaloka which is a ten thousand yojanas in height and as many in breadth. The other side of the mountain is enshrouded with perpetual darkness which again is encircled by the shell of egg.

Such, O Maitreya, is the earth with all its continents, mountains and oceans and exterior shell. The extent of the earth is five hundred millions. It is the mother and nurse of beings, the foremost of all elements and the stay of all the worlds.


Parāçara said:—The extent of the earth has been related to you by me. I have also said, O twice-born one, that the depth below the surface is seventy thousand yojanas. O foremost of Munis, each of the seven regions of Pātāla, extends over ten thousand yojanas. They are seven in number—namely Atala, Vitala, Nitala, Gavastimat, Malmtala, Sutala and Pātāla. Thus soil is severally white, black, purple, yellow, sandy, stony and of gold. They are adorned with numberless palaces in which reside Dānavas, Daityas, Yakshas and serpents by hundreds, O great Muni. Once on a time Nārada, after coming back to heaven from these regions, declared amongst the gods that Pātāla was much more charming than heaven. He exclaimed “What can be compared with Pātāla where Nāgas are adorned with beautiful and brilliant and pleasure-diffusing gems? This region is embellished with the daughters of Daityas and Dānavas. Who does not find delight in Pātāla? Even those who have retired from the world find delight therein. By day, the rays of the sun diffuse joy and not heat; by night the moon diffuses illumination and not cold. There the sons of Danu, always happy in the enjoyment of sweet foods and good wines, do not know how the time glides away. There are many charming forests, rivers and ponds abounding in lotuses and the skies are resonant with the Koil’s song. Charming ornaments, fragrant perfumes, unguents, the sweet music of the lute, pipe and tabor are always enjoyed by the Daityas, Dānavas and serpents who dwell in the regions of Pātāla”.

Below the regions of Patala there is a form of Vishnu called Sesha [234] which is the outcome of the quality of darkness. The Daityas and Dānavas are incapable of counting the glories of this Deity. This is called Ananta by the ascetics of accomplished piety and is worshipped by the celestials and great sages. He has a thousand heads which are adorned with mystic lines. For the behoof of the world he illuminates all the quarters with the jewels on his thousand fangs and all the Asuras are disabled thereby. His eye rolls perpetually in consequence of inebriation; he has an excellent Kundala, a diadem on his head and a wreath upon each brow. He shined brilliantly like a white mountain topped with flame. He always wears a purple raiment, is always drunk, and adorned with a white necklace and appears like another Kailasha with sable clouds and the Ganges flowing. In one hand he holds a plough and in the other a mace. And he is being worshipped by the Goddess of wealth incarnate and Vāruni (the goodness of wine). At the time of great dissolution proceeds from his mouth the venomed fire in the form of Rudra, which devours the three Worlds. This Sesha form of the great God worshipped by celestials, is in Pātāla, bearing the entire world on his head like a diadem. Even the celestials are not capable of describing or knowing his strength, prowess, form and nature. Who can describe his prowess who holds the entire earth like a garland of flowers tinged with purple dye by the brilliance of jems on his crests?

[234] He is the great serpent upon which Vishnu rests during the intervals of divine creations. And the world is supported on his thousand heads.

When this Ananta, with his eyes rolling with intoxication, yawns the entire earth with its oceans, rivers and forests trembles; the Gandharvas, the Apsaras, Siddhas, Kinnaras, serpents and Charanas have not been able to find out the end of the qualities of his Being without end and hence he is called Ananta. The sandal paste, which is ground by the wives of the Nagas, is spread around by his breath and scatters fragrance all over the quarters.

Having worshipped him the ancient sage Garga obtained from him a knowledge of astronomy, of the planets and of the good and evil presaged by the aspects of the heavens.

The earth is supported by that Great Serpent, upon his head; and the earth again holds the garland of spheres along with men, celestials and Asuras.


Parāçara said:—O Brahman, there are some hells below the earth and the waters into which sinners fall. I shall give you an account, O great Muni.

The names of the various hells are: Raurava, Sukara, Rodha, Tala, Visāsana, Mahajwala, Taptakumbha, Lavana, Vimohana, Rudhirāndha, Vaitarani, Krimishā, Krimibhojana, Asipatravana, Krishna, Lalābhaksha, Daruna, Puyavāha, Pāpa, Vahnijwala, Adhosiras, Sandansa, Kālasutra, Tamas, Avichi, Swabhojana, Apratishtha, and another Avichi. These are the dreadful hells constituting the various provinces of the kingdom of Yama dreadful with his instruments of torture, into which are hurled down those persons, who are addicted to sinful actions.

Those who give false evidence, those who act as mediators through partiality, those who speak untruth, are thrown into the Raurava (dreadful) hell. He, who causes abortion, devastates a town, kills a cow, or strangles a man to death goes to the Rodha hell (or that of obstruction). He who drinks intoxicating liquors, destroys a Brāhmana, steals gold or associates with them who perpetrate these crimes, goes to the Sukara (swine) hell. He, who murders a Kshatriya or a Vaiçya or commits adultery with the wife of his preceptor, is despatched to the Tālā (padlock) hell. And one, who holds incestuous intercourse with his sister or slays royal emissary, goes to Taptakumbha (heated jar) hell. One, who sells his chaste wife, the jailor, one who deals in horses and forsakes his followers, is sent to Taptalohā (red-hot iron) hell. One who commits incest with a daughter-in-law and daughter is sent into Mahajawla hell. That vile of a man who disrespects his spiritual guide or his betters, who reviles the Vedas or sells them and who associates with women to whom they should not go, is sent into Lavana hell. A thief and a hater of prescribed rites fall into Vimohana hell. He who disrespects his father, the Brahmanas and the gods, or one who spoils gems, falls into the Krimibhoksha hell. He, who practises magic rites to injure others, falls into Krimisa hell. That vile of a man who takes his meals before offering food to the gods, to the manes and guests is despatched into Lalabhoksha hell (where saliva is given for food.) One who makes arrows is sent into Vidhaka hell. He, who makes lances, swords and other weapons, is sent into the dreadful hell of Visashana (murderous.) He who takes bribes is sent into Adhomukha hell (in which head is inverted) as well as he who offers sacrifices to improper objects and predicts the movements of stars and planets. One who eats alone sweetmeats, a Brāhmana who deals in lac, flesh, liquors, sesamum, or salt, one who commits violence, and those who rear up cats, cocks, goats, dogs, hogs and birds are despatched into hell Puyavaha (or where matter flows.) The Brāhman who leads the life of an actor, fisherman, who depends upon a person born in adultery, who is a prisoner, an informer, one who lives by his wife’s immoral habits, who looks to secular affairs on Parva days, who is an incendiary, a faithless friend, a soothsayer, who vends birds, performs religious rites for the rustics, who sells the juice of some trees is thrown into Rudhirandha hell (whose wells are blood). He, who spoils honey or devastates a village, is sent into Vaitarani hell. He, who causes impotence, trespasses upon others’ lands, is impure and lives on magic rites, is sent into the Krishna hell (black). He who uselessly cuts down trees goes to Asipatravana hell; Those who tend on sheep, those who hunt deer and those who give fire to unbaked vessels are sent to Vahnijwāla hell or of fiery flame. One, who violates his own vow or transgresses the rules of his own order, goes into the Sandansana (or the hell of pincers.) The religious student who sleeps in the day and becomes defiled and those who receive instruction from their children go to the hell called Swābhojana (where they feed upon dogs).

Besides these there are hundreds and thousands of other hells, where persons, perpetrating diverse iniquities, are visited with various punishments. There are thousands of hells like the numberless crimes committed by men, in which they are punished according to the nature of their offences. And those who swerve from the obligations laid upon them by their caste or order, in thought, word or deed are thrown into these hells. The celestials are seen by those who are thrown into these hells, with their own heads inverted and the celestials also behold the inhabitants of hell with their heads downwards. After undergoing the sufferings of hell the sinners go through the various stages of existence, namely:—inanimate things, the aquatic animals, birds, animals, men, pious men, gods and liberated spirits. O great sage, each of these stages is in succession a thousand degrees superior to that which precedes it. People go through these stages until they obtain emancipation. There are as many inhabitants in hell as are in heaven: those who commit sin and do not make an expiation of guilt proceed to hell. Becoming acts of expiation for every short of iniquity have been laid down by the great sages. O Maitreya, Swayambhuba and others have dictated severe penances for great crimes, and light ones for ordinary offences. Amongst the numerous arduous penances laid down by them, the remembrance of Hari is the foremost. For them, who are penitent after having committed many iniquities, the greatest penance is the remembrance of Hari. If a man meditates upon Hari either in the morning, at sunset, midday or at night he is released from all sins. By meditating upon Vishnu he is released from the heap of worldly afflictions. He obtains final emancipation considering even heaven as impediment. He, whose mind is devoted to Vāsudeva in prayer, burnt offering or adoration, considers, O Maitreya, even the dignity of Indra as an obstacle to the acquirement of final liberation. What is the use of going to heaven whence it is necessary to come back to earth? And how different is the meditation of Vāsudeva which leads to final liberation. Therefore, O Muni, the man, who meditates upon Vāsudeva day and night, is released from all sins and does not go to Naraka after death. O foremost of twice-born ones, that which gives delight to mind is heaven, and that which gives pain is hell, hence vice is denominated as hell and virtue as heaven. The self-same thing some times gives delight, sometimes produces pains, sometimes excites jealousy and sometimes anger. Therefore every thing (in this world) is the source of miseries. [235] The same thing at one time brings on anger and again conduces to our delight. Therefore nothing in itself is either pleasurable or painful; pleasure, pain and the like merely denominate the various states of the mind. Therefore true wisdom consists only in the knowledge of Brahmā, which brings on confinement to the world. True wisdom pervades through the whole universe and there is the existence of no other thing but this; ignorance and knowledge are therefore comprised in true wisdom, O Maitreya. O twice-born one, I have thus described to you the entire earth, all the divisions of the region under the earth and the hells, the oceans, the mountains, the insular continents, and the rivers. I have described all to you in short, what again do you hear?

[235] There is another reading Vastu Vastatmakan kuta: which when translated stands as “Whence they can be considered as essentially the same with the either”.


Maitreya said:—The entire earth has been described to me by you. O Brahman, I wish to hear now, O Muni, an account of the regions above the world, the Bhuvar-loka, the situation and dimension of the heavenly bodies. Do you relate them to me, O great sage. Parāçara said—The terrestrial sphere (or Bhurloka) comprising the oceans, rivers and mountains extends as far as it is illuminated by the rays of the sun and the moon. The atmospheric sphere (or the Bhuvar-loka), of the same extent both in diameter and circumference, spreads upwards, O twice-born one, as far as the heaven. The solar region is situated a hundred thousand yojanas from the earth; and the region of the moon is situated at an equal distance from the sun. About the same distance above the moon is situated the orbit of all the lunar constellations. And two hundred thousand yojanas, upwards, O Brahman, is situated the region of the planet Budha (Mercury). And at the same distance above that is situate the planet Sukra (Venus). And at the same distance above that is Angaraka (Mars). And at the same distance above that is the priest of gods (Vrihaspati or Jupiter). And Sani (Saturn) is two hundred and fifty thousand yojanas above Jupiter. O foremost of twice-born ones, one hundred thousand leagues above that is the region of seven Rishis. And at a similar distance above that is Dhruva (the pole-star) the axis of the circle of planets. Thus I have described to you, O great Muni, the elevation of three spheres, which constitute the region of the fruits of works. And the land of works is also here namely Bhārata. At a distance of one Koti yojanas above Dhruva is Maharloha (the region of saints) the inhabitants of which live for a Kalpa (or a day of Brahmā). And at a distance of two Koti yojanas above that is Janaloka where reside the pure-minded sons of Brahmā, Sananda and others, of whom I had described to you before, O Maitryeya. And at a distance of eight Koti yojanas is Tapa-loka where reside the celestials named Baibhrajas, unconsumable by fire. At six times the distance from Tapa-loka is situated Satya-loka, wherein the inhabitants do not know death and which is otherwise named Brahmā-loka. Wherever earthly object exists which may be trodden by feet, that makes up Bhur-loka whose dimensions I have already described to you. The region that extends from the earth to the sun is called Bhur-loka, inhabited by the Siddhas, Munis and others and which is called the second sphere, O foremost of sages. The distance, between the Sun and Dhruva which extends over fourteen hundred thousands leagues, is called Swar-loka by those who are conversant with the position of planets. These three spheres are called transitory, O Maitreya and three, Jana, Tapa and Satya, are termed durable. And Mahar-loka, which is situated between these two, partakes of the nature of the both and though it becomes devoid of all beings at the end of Kalpa it is not finally destroyed. I have thus described to you, O Maitreya, the seven Lokas, and the seven Pātālas constituting the extent of the whole world.

As the seed is covered by its rind so the world is girt on every side and above and below by the shell of the egg of Brahmā. And this shell again, O Maitreya, is encircled by water which extends over space equal to ten times the earth. And the waters again are encompassed on the outer surface by fire. And this fire is encompassed by the air, and the air by the sky, the sky by the origin of the elements and that again by the intellect, O Maitreya. And each of these even extends ten times the breadth of one it encircles, O Maitreya. And the last is encircled by the Chief-Principle. [236] This supreme nature has no end and cannot be measured. It is therefore called endless, immeasurable and the cause of all existing things. This Prakriti, O Muni, is the source of the endless universe and of thousand, ten thousands and millions and thousands of millions of mundane eggs. As fire exists in wood, oil exists in sessamum, so the self-conscious, all-spreading and self-irraviating soul exists in this Pradhāna. O thou of great intellect, this nature and soul exist as dependants and are encompassed by the energy of Vishnu, which is the soul of the universe. O thou of great mind, this energy of Vishnu separates them at the time of dissolution and unites them at the time of creation. And this at the beginning of creation is the cause of this agitation. As the wind agitates the surface of water in a hundred bubbles so this energy of Vishnu which is at one with the nature and soul influences the universe. [237] As a tree, containing root, stem and branches, originates from an original seed and produces other seeds, from which grow other trees, similar in kind to the first, so from Pradhanā germinate intellect and other rudiments of things—from them grow grosser elements—from them Asuras and others and who again are followed by sons and sons of sons. As the first tree is not spoiled when another grows out of it so there is no waste of beings by the creation of others. As space, time and the like are the cause of the tree so the divine Hari is the cause of the developments of the universe. As all the portions of the plant remaining in the seed of rice, or the root, the culm, the leaf, the short, the stem, the bud, the fruit, the milk, the grain, the chaff, the ear, grow up when they come in contact with those things which help their growth (earth and water), so the celestials, men and other beings, remaining in the states to which they are destined in consequence of their good or bad actions, appear in their full growth by virtue of the energy of Vishnu. He is Vishnu, the great Brahmā, from whom the creation of the universe has proceeded, who is the world, in whom the world exists and in whom it will be dissolved. He is Brahmā, the excellent abode, the excellent state, the essence of all that is visible and invisible, from whom proceeds, the creation, animate and inanimate. He is the primary nature, manifestation of the universe, in whom all beings exist and in whom all beings will finally immerge. He is the performer of all devotional rites, he is the sacrifice; he is the fruit that it confers and he is the tools by which it is celebrated. There is no other thing but Hari.

[236] This is Prakriti or supreme nature.
[237] There is another reading Pradhana purushattakam qualifying the universe i.e. universe consisting of inert nature and soul.


Parāçara said:—I have described to you the system of the universe in general: I shall now describe the situations and dimensions of the sun and other luminaries.

O foremost of Munis, the chariot of the sun is nine thousand leagues in length and the pole is of twice that size; the axle is more than fifteen millions and seven hundred thousand yojanas long, on which a wheel is placed with three naves, [238] five spokes and six peripheries. It is undecaying and continues for the year and consequently all the cycles of the time are placed herein. The second axle of his chariot is forty five thousand, five hundred leagues long. O thou of great mind, the two halves of the yoke are respectively as long as two axles. The short axle and the short yoke are supported by pole star: the end of the longer axle to which is fixed the wheel is situate on Manasa mountain. The seven steeds which draw the sun’s car are the metres of the Vedas Gāyatri, Vrihati, Ushnih, Jayati, Tristubh, Anustubh and Pankti.

[238] The three naves are the three portions of the day namely, morning, noon and night; the five spokes are the five cyclic years and the six peripheries are the six seasons.

The city of Vāsava is situated on the eastern side of the Mānosottara mountain, on its southern side is the city of wealth, on its western side is the city of Varuna and on the northern side is the city of Soma. I shall relate the names of those cities; do thou hear them. The city of Sakra is named Vaswoksārā, that of Yama is called Samyamani; that of Varuna is named Mukhyā and that of Soma Vibhāvari.

O Maitreya, the glorious sun moves speedily like a dart on his southern course attended by the constellations of the Zodiac; He creates day and night and is the divine path of the sages who have got over the worldly afflictions.

O Maitreya, while in one insular continent the sun shines in midday, in the opposite Dwipas it will be midnight; rising and setting thus take place at all seasons and are always opposed in the different cardinal and intermediate points of horizon. Wherever the sun is visible he is said to rise there and wherever he disappears from view he is said to be set. In sooth, their is neither rising nor setting of the sun; for he always exists; the appearance and disappearance of the sun are merely called rising and setting.

When the sun is in the cities of Sakra and others, the three cities and two intermediate points are illuminated; and when he is in an intermediate point he extends light to the two cities and three intermediate points. From the time of his rising till midday the rays of the sun gradually increase; and from then he moves towards setting with his diminishing rays. By the rising and the setting of the sun the east and west quarters are ascertained. As far as the sun shines in front so far he shines behind, and thus on both the sides illuminating all the places except the court of Brahmā which is situate on the summit of Meru—the mountain of the celestials. When the rays of the sun reach the court of Brahmā they are repelled and driven back by the radiance which prevails there. Consequently there is the alternation of day and night in northern quarter in as much as all the insular continents are situated on the north of Meru.

The radiance of the sun, after its setting, is deposited in fire and hence fire is visible even at a greater distance in night. During day the rays of fire enter into the sun by virtue of which the sun becomes more brilliant. Elemental light and heat, proceeding respectively from the sun and fire and mixing with each other, prevail in diverse degrees both by day and night. When the sun prevails either in the northern or southern hemisphere day or night goes into waters according as they are attacked by darkness or light; it is for this reason that waters appear dark by day because night is within them and white by night because when the sun is set the light of the day enters therein.

When the sun goes to Pushkara Dwipa, a thirtieth part of the circumference of the globe, his course is equal in time to one Muhurtta; and whirling round like the circumference of the wheel of a potter he alternately spreads day and night on the surface of the earth. At the beginning of his northern course the sun passes to Capricornus, thence to Aquarias, thence to Pisces, successively passing from one sign of the Zodiac to another. After he has gone through them the sun gets at the vernal equinox when he makes the day and night of equal duration. From then the length of the night decreases and the day grows longer until the sun reaches the end of Gemini when he follows a different course and entering Cancer begins his declension to the south. The sun moves quickly on his southern course like the circumference of a potter’s wheel revolving respectively. He glides along his course with the velocity of the wind and traverses a great distance in a short time. In twelve Muhurttas it goes through thirteen lunar asterisms and a half during the day, and during the night, it goes through the same distance only in eighteen Muhurttas. As the centre of the potter’s wheel revolves more slowly than the circumference so the sun in his northern course revolves with less rapidity and passes over a less space of the earth in a longer time, until at the end of his northern route the day is again eighteen Muhurttas long and the night twelve the sun passing through them by day and night respectively in those periods. As the lump of the clay on the centre of the potter’s wheel revolves most slowly, so the polar star, which is the centre of the Zodiacal wheel, moves very slowly and always remains in the centre like the clay. The relative length of the day or night is dependant upon the greater or less motion with which the sun revolves through the degrees between the two points of horizon. During the midday when his diurnal course is quickest his nocturnal is slowest and when he moves quickly by night he moves slowly by day. The length of his journey in both the cases is the same; for during the day and night he travels through all the signs of the Zodiac or six by night and six by day. The length and shortness of the day are measured by the extent of the signs; and the duration of day and night is measured by the period which the sun takes to pass through them. When he declines towards the north the sun moves quickest by night and slowest by day and when he declines towards the south the case is thoroughly the reverse.

The night is called Ushā and the day is called Vyushta and the intervening time between them is called Sandhyā. When the dreadful Sandhya sets in, the awful Rākshasas named Mandehas attempt to devour the sun. O Maitreya, the Patriarch Brahmā imprecated this curse upon them that they should perish by day and revive at other times. For this reason a fierce contest takes place daily between them and the sun. At this time, O great Muni, the pious Brahmins scatter water purified by the mystical Omkāra and consecrated by the Gayatri [239] and by means of this water as by a thunder-bolt the dreadful Rākshasas are destroyed. While during the course of morning rites the first oblation is offered with solemn invocations, the sun, having thousand rays, appears with unclouded splendour. Omkāra is the glorious Vishnu, the essence of the three Vedas, the lord of speech; and by its mention the Rākshasas are slain. The sun is a principal portion of Vishnu and light is his immutable essence, the manifestation of which is made by the mystic syllable Om. Light, spread by the utterance of Omkāra, becomes radiant and burns up completely the Rākshasas denominated as Mandebas. Therefore one should not be dilatory in the performance of Sandhyā sacrifice; for he, who neglects it, is guilty of the murder of the sun. Being thus protected by the Brahmanas called Bālakhilyas the sun proceeds to protect the world.

[239] It is a vedic verse in the shape of a short prayer to the sun.

Fifteen Nimeshas (twinkling of the eye) make a Kāshthā; thirty Kāshthās make one Kalā; thirty Kalās a Muhurtta and thirty Muhurttas a day and night; the divisions of the day become longer or shorter in the way explained before. But as regards increase or decrease Sandhyā is always the same for it is only one Muhurtta. From the time when half of the sun’s orb is visible to the expiration of three Muhurttas the interval is called Prātar (morning) forming a fifth portion of the day. The next portion or three Muhurttas from morning is called Sangava (forenoon); the three next Muhurttas make the midday; the three next Muhurttas constitute the afternoon; the three next Muhurttas make the evening; and thus the fifteen Muhurttas of the day are divided into five portions of three each. But the day comprises fifteen Muhurttas only at the Equinoxes and increases and diminishes in number as the sun declines towards the north or the south, when the day encroaches upon the night and the night upon the day. The equinoxes take place during the spring and autumn when the sun enters the signs of Aries and Libra. When the sun enters Capricorn his progress towards the north begins and when he enters Cancer his progress towards the south commences. Fifteen days of thirty Muharttas each are called a Paksha (fortnight); two fortnights make one month and two months a solar season and three seasons make one Ayana (a northern or southern declination) and two Ayanas make one year. Years are made up of four kinds of months [240] and five years make one Yuga or cycle. The years are respectively called Samvatsara, Parivatsara, Idvatsara, Anuvatsara and Vatsara. This is the time called a Yuga.

The mountain that is situate in the north of Bhāratvarsa is called Sringavān for its having three principal horns or peaks, one to the north, one to the south and one in the centre. The last is called equinoctial for the sun goes there in the middle of the two seasons of spring and autumn, arriving at the equinoctical points in the first degrees of Aries and Libra and making day and night of equal duration of fifteen Muhurttas each. When the sun is in the first degree of Kirtikā and the moon in the fourth of Visakhā or when the sun is in the third degree of Visakhā and the moon is in the head of Kirtikā that equinoctial season is holy and is called the Mahāvishubha. At this time devout persons should make offering to the celestials and the manes and gifts to the Brahmans, for such gifts produce happiness. Liberality at the equinoxes is always fruitful to the donor, and day and night seconds, minutes and hours, intercalary months, the day at full moon (Paurnamāsi); the day of conjunction, when the moon rises invisible, the day when it is first seen, the day when it first disappears, the day when the moon is quite round and the day when one digit is deficient are the seasons when gifts prove meritorious.

  1. The Saura containing the sun’s passage through a sign of zodiac; (b) Chandra containing thirty lunations; (c) Savana containing thirty days of sunrise and sunset; (d) Nakshatra or the moon’s revolution through the twenty-eight lunar mansions.

The sun declines towards the north in the months of Tapas, Tapasya, Madhu, Mādhava, Sukra and Suchi and declines towards the south in the months of Nabhas, Nabhashya, Isha; Urja, Sahas, Sahasya.

There live four devout protectors of the world on the mount Lokāloka of which I had mentioned to you formerly. These are severally named Sudhāman, Sankhapād—the two sons of Kardama, Hiranyaroman and Ketumat. These four protectors of the world live around the mountain Lokāloka. They are devoid of malice, haughtiness, are active and have not taken to wives.

On the north of Agastya, and south of Ajabithi (the line of the Goat) and outside the Vaiswānarapath is situate the road of the Pitris. There live the great Rishis who offer oblations to the fire. They read those portions of the Vedas which contain injunctions for the multiplication of the progeny. They perform the duties of ministrant priests and at the end of yugas they make new rules of conduct and re-establish the interrupted ritual of the Vedas. And after their death they proceed by the southern course. Mutually descending from each other in successive births, progenitor coming from descendant and descendant from progenitor, they repeatedly appear in different houses and races along with their prosterity, austere practices and established rites, residing to the south of the solar orb as long as the moon and stars endure.

The path of the celestials is situate on the north of the solar sphere of the Nāgavithi and south of the seven Rishis. There reside the Siddhas of subdued senses, continent and pure, not desirous of having offspring and consequently victorious over death. Eighty-eight thousand of these continent ascetics live in the regions north of the Sun till the time of dissolution. They are freed from covetousness and concupiscence, love and hatred and are not engaged in the work of procreation. They always detect the deficiency of the properties of elementary matter and being freed from these desires they do not meet with any obstacle in the way of asceticism. For these reasons they are highly pure and have attained to immortality. By immortality is meant existence to the end of the Kalpa: living as long as three regions exist is exemption from death. The consequences of the acts of impiety or piety such as Brahmanicide and Aswamedha last until the end of a Kalpa when all within the interval between Dhruva and the earth is destroyed. The region between the seven Rishis and Dhruva, the third region of the sky is the excellent celestial path of Vishnu and is the splendid abode, O twice-borne one, of the ascetics, who have controlled their senses and are freed from sins and in whom virtue and vice are annihilated. Those in whom virtue and vice are annihilated and who are freed from the consequences of piety or iniquity go to this excellent place of Vishnu where they never suffer sorrow. There live Dharma, Dhruva and other spectators of the world radiant with the superhuman faculties of Vishnu obtained by virtue, of religious meditation. With this excellent place of Vishnu, O Maitreya, are interwoven all that is and all that ever shall be, animate or inanimate. The seat of Vishnu is being meditated upon by the wisdom of Yogis at one with supreme light as the radiant eye of heaven. In this portion the splendid Dhruva is stationed as the pivot of atmosphere. On Dhruva are placed the seven great planets and on them depend the clouds. O great Muni, from clouds, proceed the rains; from them the water which is the nutriment and delight of all the celestials and the rest. The celestials who receive oblations, being pleased by burnt offerings, cause the rain to fall for the support of created beings. This holy seat of Vishnu is the stay of the three worlds as it is the source of the rain.

From this region, O Brahman, proceeds the river Ganges, that removes ail sins, embrowned with the unguents of the nymphs of heaven. She issues from the nail of the great toe of Vishnu’s left foot.

Dhruva, with devotion, holds her on his crown day and night. And thence the seven Rishis practise their devout austerities in her water wreathing their braided locks with her waves. The orb of the moon, surrounded by her accumulated current, increased in lustre by her contact. Having issued from the moon she falls on the mount Sumeru and thence to purify the world, flows to the four quarters of the earth. Sitā, Alakanandā, Chakshu and Bhadrā are only the four divisions of one river and are named so after the regions towards which it proceeds. Alakanandā, which flows towards the south, was borne delightedly on his head by Mahādeva for more than a hundred years. And having issued from the braided locks of Sambhu and washed the sins of the sinful sons of Sagara it raised them to heaven. O Maitreya, the iniquities of any man, who bathes in this river, are instantly removed and they obtain unprecedented virtue. And its water, if offered reverentially for three years by the sons to their manes, gives them rare gratification. Having worshipped the excellent Purusha, the lord of sacrifices, with sacrifices in this river, many, born in the race of twice-born ones, obtain whatever they desire either here or in heaven. Saints, who are purified by bathing in the waters of this river, and whose minds are devoted to Kesava, obtain final liberation. The sacred river, when heard of, desired, seen, touched, bathed in, or hymned, day by day purifies all beings. And those who living even at a distance of hundred yojanas exclaim “Gangā and Gangā” are relieved of the sins committed during the three previous existences. The place from which this river has issued for the purification of the three Worlds, is the third division of the celestial region—the seat of Vishnu.


Parāçara said:—The form of the glorious Hari containing the constellations, in the shape of a porpoise in the tail of which is attached Dhruva, is seen in heaven. As Dhruva revolves, it makes the moon, the sun and stars to revolve also, and all the planets follow in its circular path; for the sun, moon and all the luminaries are in sooth tied to the polar star by aerial cords. The porpoise figure of the celestial sphere, which has been described by me to you, is upheld by Nārāyana, who himself, the source of all radiance, is seated in its heart. And having worshipped the lord of people, Dhruva, the son of Uttānpāda shines in the tail of the steller porpoise. Janārddana, the lord of all, is the supporter of this porpoise-shaped sphere—and this sphere is the supporter of Dhruva; and by Dhruva the sun is upheld. O Brahman, I shall describe how this earth is upheld by the sun; do thou listen to it attentively.

During eight months of the year the sun attracts the waters of the earth, and during the remaining four months he pours them upon the earth: from rain grows corn and by corn the whole world is upheld. The sun absorbs the moisture of the earth by means of his scorching rays and nourishes the moon thereby. And the moon through tubes of air distributes them to the clouds which are made of smoke, fire and wind. The clouds are called Abhras because their contents are not dispersed. The waters in the clouds, being driven by the wind, and freed from impurities by the sweetening process of the time, descend (upon earth), O Maitreya. The glorious sun, O Maitreya, exhales moisture from four sources, namely—seas, rivers, the earth and the living creatures. He immediately pours down on earth, without turning it into cloud, the water that he absorbs from Gangā of the skies, and people who are touched by this water are freed from all iniquities and are not constrained to see hell. This is called celestial ablution. When the sun comes in view and the water comes down from the sky without cloud then the waters of the Gangā in the skies are sprinkled by the rays of the sun. And the water that falls from the sky when the sun is in the mansion of Kirtikā and the other asterisms counted by odd numbers, the water of the Gangā is scattered by the elephants of the spheres. The water, that falls from the bright and cloudless sky when the sun is in the mansion of Rohini and other even asterisms, is distributed by his own beams. O twice-born one, both the waters are holy and they wash away the sins of the people: it is the water of the Gangā in the skies and is termed celestial ablution.

The water that the clouds distribute upon earth is in fact the ambrosia of living beings, for it sustains the plants which are the support of their existence. By this water all vegetables grow and are matured and become the means of bringing about the well being of mankind, seen and unseen. Those men, who have got holy scriptures as their eyes, perform sacrifices with them and give gratification to the celestials. In this wise all sacrifices, all celestials, Brāhmanas and other castes, all infernal creatures, all animals and the whole world are supported by the rains which produce food. O great Muni, this rain, which is the source of manifold blessings, proceeds from the sun. And the sun, O foremost of Munis, is upheld by Dhruva, which is again supported by the porpoise-shaped sphere which is at one with Nārāyana; for the ever-existing glorious Nārāyana, the supporter of the universe and the primary deity, is seated in the heart of the porpoise-shaped steller sphere.


Parāçara said:—Between the extreme northern and southern points the sun has to travel in a year one hundred and eighty degrees, ascending and descending. His car is guided by divine Adityas, Rishis, Gandharvas, Apsarās, Yakshas, serpents, and Rākshasas. The Aditya Dhatri, the sage Pulastya, the Gandharva Tumburu, the nymph Kratusthalā, the Yaksha Rathakrit, the serpent Vāsuki and the Rākshasas Heti, live in the sun’s car as its seven guardians, in the month of Madhu or Chaitra. In the month of Vaisākha or Mādhava the seven are Aryamat, Pulaha, Nāreda, Punjikāsthali Rathaujas, Kachanira and Praheti. In the month of Suchi or Jaistha they are Mitra, Atri, Hāhā Menā, Rathaswana, Takshaka, and Paurusheya. In the month of Sukra or Ashādha they are Varuna, Vasishtha, Huhu, Sahajanyā, Rathachitra, Nāga and Budha. In the month of Nabhas or Srāvana they are Indra, Angiras, Viswāvasu, Pramlochā, Srotas and Elapatra. In the month of Bhādrapada they are Vivaswat, Bhrigu, Ugrasena, Anumlocha, Apurana, Sankhapāla and Vyāghra. In the month of Aswin they are Pushan, Gautama, Suruchi, Ghritachi, Sushena, Dhananjaya and Vāta. In the month of Kārtik they are Parjanya, Bharadwāja, (another) Viswāvasu, Viswāchi, Senajit, Airāvata and Chāpa. In Agrahāyana or Mārgasirsha they are Ansu, Kasyapa, Chitrasena, Urvasi Tarkshya, Mahapadma and Vidyut. In the month of Pausha, Bhaga, Kratu, Urnayu, Purvachitti, Arishtanemi, Karkotaka, and Sphurja are the seven who live in the sun’s orbit and distribute light throughout the universe. In the month of Māgha the seven are, Twashtri, Jāmadagni, Dhritarāshtra, Tillattamā, Ritajit, Kambala, and Brahmāpeta. In the month of Phālghuna those living in the sun are Vishnu, Visvamitra, Suryaverchchas, Rambhā, Satyajit, Aswatara and Yajnāpeta.

In this wise, O Maitreya, a group of seven celestial beings supported by the energy of Vishnu lives, during the several months, in the orb of the sun. The sage chants his glory, the Gandharva sings and the nymph dances before him; the night-rangers attend upon his steps; the serpent harnesses his horses and the Yaksha trims the reins and the Bālakhilyas surround his chariot. O foremost of Munis, these seven groups, residing in the suns, orb at their respective seasons, become the instrumentals in the distribution of cold, heat and rain.


Maitreya said:—I have heard as described by you, O holy preceptor, the seven groups of beings who are present in the sun’s orb and are the agents in the distribution of heat and cold. You have also described the individual functions of the Gandharvas, serpents, Rākshasas, sages, Bālakhilyas Apswarās and Yakshas who, supported by the energy of Vishnu, remain as guardians in the sun’s car but you have not described the function of the sun himself. If the seven beings stationed in the sun’s ear are the agents in the distribution of heat, cold and rain, how can it also be true, as mentioned by you before, that rain proceeds from the sun? If the act of the collective seven be same then why the people say that the sun rises, reaches the meridian or sets?

Parāçara said:—O Maitreya, hear what you have asked The sun, though at one with seven beings in his orbit, is separate from them being their head. The whole and great energy of Vishnu, which is called the three Vedas,—Rich Yajush and Sāman lightens the whole universe and destroys its iniquity. This energy exists as Vishnu for the preservation of the universe and abiding as the three Vedas within the sun. And wherever in every month the sun exists there is the Vishnu-energy composed of the three Vedas. The Richas shine in the morning, the hymns of Yajush at noon and Vrihadrathantara and other portions of the Sāman in the afternoon. This threefold manifestation of Vishnu designated under the three Vedas is the energy of Vishnu that Influences the divine positions of the sun.

The energy of Vishnu docs not exist only in the rob of the sun but is also manifest in Brahmā, Vishnu and Kudra. At the time of creation it is Brahmā consisting of the Rig-veda in the work of preservation it is Vishnu composed of the Yajur-Veda;—and in the work of destruction it is Rudra formed of the Sāma-Veda, the utterance of which is therefore inauspicious.

In this way the energy of Vishnu composed of the three Vedas exists in the sun encircled by the seven beings. And the glorious sun becomes radiant by that energy of Vishnu and destroys the entire darkness of the universe. The sages chant his glories, the Gandharvas sing and the nymphs dance before him; the Rākshasas follow his steps, the serpents harness his steeds and the Yakshas trim his reins and the Bālakhilyas are seated around him. The seven beings in the sun’s orb rise and set every month, but Vishnu, in the shape of his energy, never rises nor sets and is at once the sevenfold sun and distinct from it. As a man, nearing a mirror kept on a stand, observe in it his own image so the energy of Vishnu is never disjoined but remains month by month in the sun which he there placed.

The sovereign sun gratifying the manes, gods and men, revolves being the instrument of day and night. The moon is cherished by the Sushumna ray of the sun. And in the dark fortnight of the month the ambrosia of its substance is drunk by the celestials. And at the last day of the half month the two remaining digits are drunk by the manes; then the celestials and the progenitors are nourished by the sun. The moisture which the sun attracts from the earth he again distributes for the nourishment of animals and plants and thus the sun is the source of subsistance to every living being—gods, manes, mankind and the rest. The sun gratifies the celestials for a fortnight, the progenitors once a month, and men and other animals every day.


Parāçara said—The car of the moon has three wheels and is drawn by ten steeds white as the Jasmine—five on the right half and five on the left. The asterisms upheld by Dhruva move before the sun. And the cords that fasten the moon are tightened or relaxed in the same manner like those of the sun. O foremost of Munis, like the steeds of the sun, the horses of the moon, sprung from the waters, drag its car for a whole Kalpa. O Maitreya, when the moon is reduced, having its rays drunk up by the celestials, to a single Kalā, the radiant sun supplied it with a single ray. And as the moon is gradually exhausted by the celestials it is replenished in the same way every day with his rays by the sun, the plunderer of waters. Thus, O Maitreya, when in the half month the ambrosia is deposited in the moon, the celestials drink it for it constitutes their food, Thirty-six thousand three hundred and thirty three divinities drink the ambrosia of the moon. When two kalās remain the moon enters the orbit of the sun and lives in the ray called Amā and the period is accordingly called Amavasyā. During this period the moon is first immersed for a day and night in the water; thence it enters the branches and shoots of the trees and thence it proceeds to the sun. Hence any person, who cuts off a branch or casts down a leaf when the moon is in the trees is guilty of the crime consequent upon the destruction of a Brāhmin. When the remainder of the moon contains but a fifteenth portion the manes near it in the afternoon and drink the last but sacred Kalā which is composed of ambrosia and contained in the two digits. The nectar that comes from the rays of the moon on the day of conjunction is drunk by the progenitors—and they remain satisfied thereby for a month. The progenitors are divided into three classes:—Saumyas, Varhishadas, and Agnishwātta. In this wise, the moon, with its cooling rays, nourishes the celestials in the light fortnight and Pitris in the dark fortnight. It nourishes the plants with its cool nectary aqueous atoms. And through the development of those plants it sustains men, animals and insects and satisfies them with its radiance.

The chariot of Budha, the son of the moon, is made of the wind and fire and is drawn by eight bay horses gifted with the velocity of the wind. The huge car of Sukra (Venus) is carried by earth-borne horses, equipped with a protecting fender and a floor, armed with arrows and adorned with a pennon. The magnificent car of Bhauma (Mars) is made of gold, of an octagonal shape, drawn by eight steeds of a ruby red originated from fire. Vrihaspati (Jupiter) in a golden car drawn by eight pale-coloured steeds, travels, at the end of the year, from one sign to another. The slow-paced Sani (Saturn) travels in a car drawn by piebald horses. O Maitreya, the chariot of Rāhu are drawn by eight black horses, which once harnessed are attached to it for ever. At the time of lunar and solar eclipses the Rāhu travels from the sun to the moon and comes back again from the moon to the sun. The car of Ketu is is drawn by eight horses having fleetness of the wind and of the dusky red colour of lac or of the smoke of burning straw.

I have thus described to you, O Maitreya, the chariots of the nine planets all of which are fastened to Dhruva by aerial cords. To Dhruva are attached the orbs of all the planets, asterisms and stars. And they all move in their respective orbits being kept in their places by their respective cords of air. As many are the stars so many are the aerial cords by which they are fastened to Dhruva. As they turn round they cause the pole-star to revolve. As the oilman goes round the spindle and makes it revolve, so the planets revolve suspended by the aerial cords which are also whirling round a centre. The air is called Pravāha because it bears along the planets like a disc of fire driven by the aerial wheel.

I have related to you, O foremost of Munis, that Dhruva is fitted to the tail of the celestial porpoise: I shall now describe in detail the constituent parts; hear them as they are of great efficacy. People are freed from the sins committed by them during the day when they behold the celestial porpoise in the hight. And those who behold it live as many years as there are stars in it, in the sky or even more. Uttānpada is the upper jaw and sacrifice the lower jaw of that celestial porpoise. Dhruva is situated on its brow and Nārāyana in its heart. The Aswinis are its two fore-feet and Varuna and Aryamat are its two hinder legs. Samvatsara is its sexual organ and Mitra is its organ of execretion. Agni, Mahendra, Kasyapa and Dhurva are successively placed in its tail; which four stars in this constellation never set.

I have thus related to you the situation of the earth and the stars. I had already described to you the Varshas and rivers and the animals living there. I shall again describe them in short: hear them.

From the waters which constitute the person of Vishnu originated the lotus-shaped earth with its seas and mountains. The stars are Vishnu, the words are Vishnu: forests, mountains, regions, streams, seas are Vishnu—all that is, all that shall be—all that is not are Vishnu. The glorious Vishnu is identical with knowledge. He has got endless forms but is not a substance. All the mountains, oceans and the various divisions of the earth you must consider to be the illusions of the apprehension. When knowledge is pure, real, universal, independent of actions, freed from defect then the varieties of substance, which are the fruits of the tree of desire, cease to exist in matter. What is substance? What thing is that which has got no beginning, no middle and no end? And which is of one uniform nature? How can that object be called real which is subject to change and which reassumes no more its original character? The earth is seen as a jar; the jar is divided into two halves which are again broken into pieces: they again become dust and the dust is again reduced into atoms. Is this reality? And although it is considered so by man it is because his self-knowledge is obstructed by his own acts. Therefore, O Brahman, there is nothing anywhere, or anything real at any time save discriminative knowledge. On account of the diversity of their actions, people, having diverse temperaments, consider that one knowledge as manifold. Knowledge perfect and pure, freed from pains and renouncing attachments towards all these which cause affliction—knowledge, single and eternal is the supreme Vāsudeva, besides whom there is nothing. I have thus communicated to you the truth—the knowledge which is truth; and all that differs from it is false. That which is seen by the knowledge is but illusion of a temporal and worldly nature. I have also described to you the sacrifice, the victim, the fire, the priests, the acid, juce, the celestials, the desire for heaven, the path followed by acts of devotion and the worlds that are their outcome. In this universe which I have described to you only those people travel who are subject to the influence of actions. But he, who knows Vasudeva to be eternal, immutable, and of one unchanging, universal form, should so perform them that he may enter into the deity.


Maitreya said:—”O respected Sir, all that I ask of you, has been perfectly related by you, namely the situation of the earth, seas, mountains, rivers, and planets, the system of the three worlds of which Vishnu is the support; you have also related that the holy knowledge is pre-eminent. You said that you would relate the story of Bharata, the lord of the earth: it becomes you now to relate that. Bharata, the protector of the earth, lived at the holy pilgrimage of Sālagrām. And he was engaged in devotion with his mind ever attached to Vāsudeva. Living at a sacred place he was always devoted to Hari: Why then he failed to obtain final liberation, O twice-born one? And why was he born again as a Brahmin, O foremost of Munis? It becomes you to relate this”.

Parāçara said:—The illustrious lord of the earth, O Maitreya, lived for a long time at Sālagrām having his mind wholly devoted to the glorious God. And having been considered, on account of his kindness and other virtues, the foremost of the virtuous, he secured in the highest degree, the entire control over his mind. The Raja was ever repeating the names Yajnesa, Achyuta, Govinda, Mādhava, Ananta, Keshava, Krishna, Vishnu, Hrishikesa. And nothing else than this did he utter even in his dreams: nor did he meditate upon anything, but those names and their significance. He accepted fuel, flowers and holy grass for the worship of the deity and did he celebrate no other religious observance being entirely given to disinterested abstract devotion.

One day he went to the river Mahānadi for the purpose of ablution. And having bathed there he engaged in after ceremonies. Whilst thus engaged there came to the same spot a doe big with young who had come out of the forest to drink of the stream. Whilst the doe was drinking there was audible a dreadful uproar of a lion capable of striking terror into all creatures. Thereupon, the doe, greatly terrified, jumped out of the water on the banks; on account of this great leap her fawn was suddenly brought forth and fell into the river. And beholding it carried away by the stream the king suddenly caught hold of the young one and saved it from being drowned. The injury which the doe had received on account of the violent exertion proved fatal. She lay down and died. Having observed this the royal ascetic took the fawn in his arms and came back to the hermitage. There he fed it and nursed it every day: and under his fostering care it throve and grew up. It frolicked about the hermitage and grazed upon the grass in its neighbourhood. And sometimes afraid of a tiger it used to come to the ascetic. In this wise the young one sometimes wandered far away in the morning and came back to the hermitage in the evening and frolicked in the leafy bower of Bharata.

His mind, O twice-born one, was thus attached to that animal, playing either in the neighbourhood or at some distance and he was unable to think of anything else. And the king, although he had severed all bonds of attachments towards his friends, his kingdom, his son and wife, grew inordinately attached to this fawn. When absent for an unusually long time he would think that it had been carried away by wolves, devoured by a tiger or slain by a lion. He used to cry out,—’The earth is embrowned with the prints of its hoofs. What has become of the fawn that was born for my delight? How happy I should become if he had come back from the forest. I felt his budding antlers rubbing against my arm. These tufts, of sacred grass, the heads of which have been nibbed by his new teeth, look like pious lads chanting the Shama-Veda.’

Whenever this fawn used to absent itself for a long time from the hermitage the ascetic would think thus. And he was delighted and his countenance grew animated whenever it neared him. His mind being thus engrossed by the fawn his abstraction was interrupted although he had renounced family, wealth and kingdom. His mind became unsettled with the wanderings of the fawn. Whenever it wandered away to a great distance the king’s mind followed it and when it was silent his mind became settled. Thus in the course of time the king became subject to its influences and was watched by the deer with tearful eyes like a son mourning for the father. And the king, when he died, saw the young fawn only before him; and having his mind engrossed by him, O Maitreya, he did not see anything else.

On account of such feeling at such an hour he was born again in Jambumarga forest as a deer with the faculty of recollecting his former life. Cherishing a distaste for the world on account of this recollection he left his mother and again repaired to holy place of Salagram. Living there upon dry grass and leaves he expatiated the acts which had led to his being born in such a condition: and upon his death he was born as a Brahmin still retaining the recollection of his former life. He was born in a devout and illustrious family of ascetics who rigidly observed devotional practices. Having been gifted with true knowledge and acquainted with the spirit of all sacred writings he observed soul as contra-distinguished from Prakriti (matter). And acquainted with the knowledge of self he observed the celestial and all other beings as the same. When he was invested with the Brahminical thread he did not read the Vedas with a preceptor, did not perform the ceremonies nor did he read the scriptures. And requested again and again he replied incoherently in ungrammatical and unpolished speech. His body was unclean and he used to wear dirty clothes. Saliva dribbled from his mouth and he was treated with hatred by the people. Undue respect from the people obstructs abstraction and hence the ascetics, disregarded by people, attain to the consummation of their asceticism. Without polluting the way treaded by the saints the ascetics should so behave that the ordinary folk might hate them and not come in their company. Having thus thought of this saying (Bharata) gifted with high intellect assumed the appearance of a crazy idiot in the eyes of the people. He used to live on raw pulse, potherbs, wild fruit and grains of corn and whatever came in his way as a part of necessary but temporary infliction.

On the death of his father he was set to work in the field by his brothers and nephews and fed by them with wretched food. He was firm and stout like a bull and used to act like a simpleton and people used to make him work and give him food only as his wages.

Once on a time the gate-keeper of the king of Sauvira, regarding him as an idle uneducated Brahmin, considered him a worthy person to work without pay and took him into his master’s service to assist in carrying the palanquin. One day O Brahman, the king wished to go in palanquin to the hermitage of the great sage Kapila, situated on the banks of the river Ikshumati, to consult the sage, who was conversant with the virtues leading to liberation, what as most desirable in a world abounding with care and sorrow. And he was one of those, who had, at the order of the head servant, been compelled to carry the palanquin gratuitously. And that Brahman, gifted with the only universal knowledge and recollecting former birth, although compelled to do this, bore the burden as the means of expatiating the sins for which was desirous to atone. While the other bearers proceeded with alacrity, he, fixing his eyes upon the pole, moved tardily. And perceiving the palanquin carried unevenly the king exclaimed ‘Ho bearers! what is this? keep equal space.’ Still it went on unsteadily and the king again cried out. ‘What is this? How irregularly are you going?’ When this had again and again taken place the palanquin bearers at last replied to the king, ‘It is this man who lags in his space.’ ‘How is this’ said the king to the Brahmin, ‘Are you exhausted? You have carried your burden only a little way. Are you unable to bear exhaustion? But you look very robust’ To which the Brahmin replied—‘It is not I, O king, who am robust nor is it I who carry your palanquin. I am not exhausted, O king! nor am I capable of fatigue.’ The king said, ‘I distinctly perceive that you are stout and the palanquin is carried by you, and a heavy burden is wearisome to all persons.’ The Brahmin said: ‘Tell me first what you have distinctly seen of me and then you may distinguish my properties as strong or weak. The statement, that you behold the palanquin borne by me or placed on me, is unreal. Listen, O king, to my arguments about it. Both the feet are placed on the ground: the legs are supported by the feet; the thighs rest upon the legs; and the belly rests upon the thighs; the chest is supported by the belly and the arms and shoulders are supported by the chest; the palanquin is carried by the shoulders and then how can it be considered as my burden? This body which is seated in the palanquin is known as “thou” thence what is elsewhere called this is here distinguished as thou and I. I and thou and others are made of elements and elements, influenced by qualities, assume a bodily shape. Qualities depend on acts, and acts perpetrated in ignorance influence the condition of all beings. The soul is pure, imperishable, tranquil, devoid of qualities, distinct from nature and is without increase or diminution; and if it is freed from increase or diminution then with what prosperity you say to me, ‘I see that you are robust? If the palanquin is placed on the body, the body on the feet, the feet the ground, then the burden is carried as much by you as by me. Why are not others, O king, feeling the burden of this palanquin. If I am exhausted with a burden that is being carried on another’s shoulder, then why with the weight of this palanquin, people may be worn out with the weight of mountains, trees, houses and even of the earth, When the nature of men is different, either in its essence or its cause, then it may be said that fatigue is to be undergone by me. The material, with which the palanquin is made, is the substance of you and me and of all others being a collection of Elements collected by individuality.’

Parāçara said:—Having said this the Brahman became silent and went on carrying the palanquin; the king too speedily got down from it and touched his feet. The king said: O Brahman, leave off the palanquin and be propitiated with me. Tell me who art thou under the disguise of a fool? The Brahman replied “Hear me, king. Who I am it is not possible to say; I go anywhere for receiving the fruits of good and bad luck. The body is produced for the enjoyment of pleasure and endurance of pain. Pleasure and pain originate from virtue and vice; therefore the soul assumes bodily shape for enjoying pleasure and enduring pain consequent upon virtue and vice. The universal cause of all living creatures is virtue or vice, why therefore enquire after the cause of my coming to this earth.”

The king said:—”That virtue and vice are the causes of all actions and that people migrate into various bodies for receiving their consequences, there is not the least doubt about it; but as regards what you have said that it is not possible for you to say who you are, it is a matter which I wish to have explained. O Brahman, how cannot a man declare himself to be that which he (really) is: there can be no harm to one’s self from applying to it the word ‘I'”.

The Brahmana said:—”To use the word ‘I’ undoubtedly is detrimental; but it is not improperly used if it is applied merely to the soul. But the term is erroneous in as much as it conceives that to be the self or soul which is not self or soul. The tongue articulates the word ‘I’ assisted by the lips, the teeth and the palate; and these are the origin of the expression, as they are the causes of the production of speech.

“If by these instruments speech can utter the word ‘I’ it is not at all proper to say that speech itself is ‘I.’ O king, the body of a man having hands, feet and other limbs is composed of various parts: to what part shall we apply the word ‘I’? If another being had existed in this body quite different from me, then it may be said, O king, that this is I, that is the other; while one soul inhabits the whole body, then such questions as ‘Who are you? Who am I?’ are useless. Thou art a monarch; this is a palanquin: these are the bearers: these are thy followers; yet it is untrue that these are thine. This palanquin, in which thou art seated, is made of timber got from trees. Then tell me, what name, tree, timber or palanquin, shall be applied to it, O king. The people shall not say that their monarch is seated on a tree or on a timber but they shall say that he is in the palanquin. The artificial assemblage of the pieces of timber is called the palanquin: judge yourself, therefore, O king, in what the palanquin differs from the wood. Again consider the sticks of the umbrella, in their separate state. What then is the umbrella? Apply this argument to thee and to me. A man, a woman, a cow, a goat, a horse, an elephant, a bird, a tree, are names given to various bodies, which they assume on account of their primitive actions. Man is neither a god, nor a man, nor a beast, nor a tree: these are the various shapes which he assumes on account of his acts. O king, your name is Vasuraja and another name is Rajabhat—besides you have got various other names—but none of these names is real and is nothing but the work of imagination. And what thing is there in the world, O king, which being subject to changes, does not in the course of time, go by different names? You are called the king of the world, the son of your father, the enemy of your foes, the husband of your wife, the father of your children, what name the shall I apply to you? What is your situation? Are you the head or the belly? Or are they yours? Are you the feet or are they yours? You are, O king, separate in nature from the members of your body. Then considering properly, do you think who I am. And since the truth has been got at, how is it possible for me to recognize the distinction and to apply to my individual the expression ‘I'”.


Parāçara said:—Having heard his words pregnant with the true essence of things the king humbly said to the twice-born one; “What you have said, O revered sir, is undoubtedly the truth—but in hearing this my mind has been greatly worked up. What you have shown, O twice-born one, in various creatures to be understanding and discriminative knowledge, is very grand and distinct from plastic nature. I have not carried the palanquin nor is it placed on my shoulders. The body, which has carried the palanquin, is different from me. The three qualities influence the actions of the animals and these three qualities are again influenced by destiny. This reaching my ears, O thou conversant with profound truth, my mind has been greatly disturbed for knowing that real and holy truth. O twice-born, I had already addressed myself for going to the great ascetic Kapila, to learn of him what in this life is the most desirable object. But what you have said in the interim has attracted my mind towards you for being acquainted with the profound truth. O Brahmin, the great ascetic Kapila is a portion of the glorious Vishnu, who is at one with all elements. He is born on earth to remove the illusions of the world. But what you have said convinces me that the great Kapala, for my well-being, has appeared within my vision. To me, who am thus asking, O twice-born one, explain what is the best of things, for you are an ocean overflowing with the waters of the divine wisdom”. The Brāhmana said—”You ask me, O lord of earth, what is the best of all things, not the great end of life. There are many things which are best in the world and there are many truths of life. O king, some worshipping the gods desire for wealth, prosperity, children or kingdom: these are the best things in their estimation. A sacrifice that gives heavenly pleasures is also the best. That, which gives best rewards though not asked for, is also the best. To him, who with concentration meditates upon the great soul, union with it is the best. Thus there are hundreds and thousands of best things but these are not profound truths. Hear, I shall describe to you what is the profound truth. If wealth is the end of life then why do people spend it for the acquisition of piety and for acquiring desired-for objects? O lord of men, if son is the end of life then the father of that son is another’s end of life and he again is another’s. If then every action becomes the end of every cause then there exists no supreme or final truth in this world. And if the acquirement of sovereignty be characterized as the great end of life then finite ends would sometimes be and some times cease to be. If you consider the rites laid down by Rik, Yayur and Shāma Vedas as the ends of life, hear what I have got to say on that head. Anything, that is the outcome of the instrumentality of earth, partakes of its character and consists of clay. So any act, that is performed by such perishable things as fuel, clarified butter and Kusha grass, must be in nature perishable. The great end of life must be considered by wise men as eternal and it would be transient if it were accomplished through transitory things. If you consider that which gives no reward to be the true end of life then that which brings on final liberation is not the true end of life. If the union of the individual soul with the Great soul is considered as the supreme end of life then this becomes false: for one substance cannot become substantially another. Thus there are undoubtedly very many best things in this world: hear from me, in short O king, the true end of life. It is soul, one, all-pervading, uniform, perfect supreme over nature, freed from birth, growth and destruction, omnipresent undecaying, made up of true knowledge, independent and not connected with unreal things, with name, species and the rest and in time, present, past and future. The spirit, which is essentially one in one’s own and in all other bodies, is the true wisdom of one who knows the unity and the true principles of things. As air spreading all over the world going through the perforation of a flute is distinguished as the notes of the scale so the (true) nature of the great spirit is one though it assumes various forms consequent upon the fruits of actions. When the difference, between the various forms, such as that of god and man, is destroyed then the distinction of things ceases”.


Parāçara said—Having heard those words the king became speechless and engaged in meditation and the Brahmin told a tale illustrating the principles of unity.

The Brahmin said—”Hear O great king what in the days of yore Ribhu said for the instruction of illustrious Nidagka. The great patriarch Brahmā had a son by Ribhu, who was by nature, O king, conversant with true wisdom. A son of Pulastya by name Nidagha became his disciple and (Ribhu) greatly delighted gave him various instructions. O lord of men, he being thus instructed, Ribhu did not doubt of his being fully confirmed in the doctrines of unity.

“The residence of Pulastya was at Viranagara, a big, beautiful city, situated on the banks of the river Devika. And there lived in a beautiful grove near this river, Nidagha, the disciple of Ribhu, acquainted with all devotional practices. After a thousand divine years Ribhu went to the city of Pulastya to see his pupil who stood at the gate after the completion of the sacrifice to Viswadevas. He was beheld by his pupil who came there specially to offer him Arghya, (the usual present) and led him into the house. And when his hands and feet were washed and he was seated Nidagha requested him respectfully to eat.

“Ribhu said—‘O foremost of Brahmins, tell me what food is there in your house? I do not like wretched food.’

“Nidagha said—‘There are cakes, of meal, rice, barley and pulse in my house. Eat, O reverend Sir, whatever pleases you best.’

“Ribhu:—O twice-born one, these are wretched viands. Give me sweet meats. Give me rice boiled with sugar, wheaten cakes and milk with curd and molasses.’

“Nidagha said—’O dame, quickly prepare whatever is most excellent and sweet in my house and satisfy him therewith.’

“Having been thus addressed the wife of Nidagha in consonance with her husband’s behest prepared sweet food and placed it before the Brahmin. And, O king, he then, spoke humbly to the great Muni, who was delightedly eating the meal.

“Nidagha—‘Have you been greatly delighted with this meal, O twice-born one? Has your mind obtained contentment? Where is your residence, O Brahmin and where are you going? And tell me, whence art thou coming, O twice-born one?’

“Ribhu said:—‘O twice-born one, he, who has got appetite, is pleased with his meals. I have got no appetite and hence have got no satisfaction: why do you question me in vain? Hunger is created, when by fire the earthly element is dried; and thirst is produced when the moisture of the body is absorbed by internal heat. These are the the functions of the body, O twice-born one, not mine—I am satisfied with that by which they are removed. And pleasure and contentment are the faculties of the mind, O twice-born one; ask those men about it whose minds are affected by them. As regards your three other questions—Where I dwell, wither I go and whence I come, hear my reply.

“‘Man goes everywhere and penetrates everywhere like the ether. Then is it rational to ask “Where is thy residence? Whence are you coming? And where will you go?” I am not coming from anywhere. I shall not go anywhere and I do not live in one place. Such is the case with you and other men. What people see of you is not real you; what people see of other men are not real they, and what people see of me is not real I. I made distinction between the sweetened and not sweetened food only to hear of your opinion about that: do thou hear my explanation about this, O twice-born one. Is there anything really sweet and not sweet to him who takes meals? That which is considered sweet is no longer so when it causes the sense of repletion, and that which is not sweet, becomes so when a man considers it as such. What food is there which is equally delightful from the first to the middle and last? As a house built of clay is strengthened by fresh plaster so this earthly body is maintained by earthly atoms. And barley, wheat, pulse, butter, oil, milk, curds, treacle, fruits and the like are made of earthly atoms. You have now understood what is sweet and what is not; do you so act that you may be impressed with the notion of identity which leads to final liberation.’

“Having heard those words explaining the true end of life, the illustrious Nidagha humbly bowed to him and said—’Be then propitiated with me, O twice-born one. Thou hast come here for my welfare. Tell me whence thou hast come? Hearing thy words the infatuation of my mind is removed’.

“Ribhu said:—’O twice-born one, I am thy preceptor Ribhu. I have come here to confer upon thee the true knowledge. Now I depart; for you have been acquainted with the true end of life. Consider again this universe to be one undivided nature of the supreme spirit Vāsudeva’.

“Having said ‘so be it’ Nidagha reverentially bowed to and worshipped him. And Ribhu too repaired to his wished-for quarter”.


“After the expiration of another thousand years Ribhu again repaired to that city for conferring knowledge upon him. The ascetic beheld Nidagha at the outside of the city when the king was about to enter it with a huge army and a host of relations. He saw his illustrious pupil standing at a distance avoiding the crowd—his throat was parched with hunger and thirst consequent upon carrying thicket fuel and holy grass. Beholding Nidagha and saluting him Ribhu said—’Why are you standing aloof, O twice-born one?’

“Nidagha said:—’There is a great rush of people for the lord of men is entering this huge and picturesque city; I am staying to avoid the crowd’.

“Ribhu said ‘O foremost of twice-born one, who is the king amongst these? And who are his attendents. Methinks you know all these. Tell me’.

“Nidagha said:—’He, who is seated on the infuriated elephant, huge as a mountain, is the king: and all others are his attendents’.

“Ribhu said;—’You have simultaneously pointed out to me both the king and the elephant, but you have not particularly said, who is the king and which is the elephant. Therefore O illustrious one, tell me in particular, who is the king and which is the elephant; I am anxious to know it’.

“Nidagha said:—’That which is under is the elephant and one who is above is the king. Who is not aware, O twice-born one, of the relation between that which bears and that which is borne?’

“Ribhu said:—’Explain to me in the way in which I can understand it. What is meant by the word underneath and what is meant by the word above?’

“As soon as he had said this Nidagha jumped upon Ribhu and said—’Hear what you have asked of me. I am above like the king, you are underneath like the elephant. I show this example, O Brahman, for your better information’.

“Ribhu said—’O foremost of Brahmins, it seems that you are as if the king and I am the elephant and tell me now which of us two is you and which is I‘.

“Ribhu having said this, Nidagha speedily got down and falling at his feet said, ‘Sure thou art my saintly preceptor Ribhu. The mind of no other person is so much acquainted with the principles of unity as that of the mind of my preceptor. Therefore I know that thou art he’.

“Ribhu said:—’O Nidagha, I am your preceptor Ribhu. Pleased with the attention which you had shown to me before, I have come here to give you instructions O you gifted with a high mind. I have briefly described to you the divine truth, the essence of which is the none-quality of all’.

“Having said this the learned Ribhu went away. Nidagha, too by his instructions, was impressed with belief in unity. He began to observe all beings in no way distinct from him. And being devoted to Brahmā he obtained final liberation.

“Therefore, O king, O thou, conversant with duty, do thou, consider thyself as one with all beings, regarding equally friend or foe, the same sky looks apparently as white or blue so Soul, which is in reality one, appears diversified to erroneous vision. That, which exists in the universe, is one which is Achyuta. There is nothing distinct from Him. He is I. He is thou. He is all. This universe is His form. Give up therefore the misconceived notion of distinction”.

Parāçara said:—The Brahmin having uttered this the king became cognizant of the true end of life. He renounced all idea of distinction and the Brahmin, who, on account of the recollection of former lives, had obtained perfect knowledge, now acquired liberation from future births.

He, who will reverentially hear this story of Bharata or narrate it, will have his mind illuminated and will not mistake the nature of individuality. And he who remembers it even shall be considered an object of reverence.




Maitreya said:—The situation of the earth and of seas the spurn of the sun and the other planets, the creation of the celestials and the rest and of the Rishis, the origin of the four castes and of the brute creation and the stories of Dhruva and Prahlād have been fully described by thee, my preceptor. Do thou describe to me, O Venerable Sir, all the Manwantaras and all the presiding deities with Sakra as their chief. I wish to hear this from you.

Parāçara said:—I shall serially describe to you all the Manwantaras that had passed away and all that shall take place.

The first Manu was Swayambhuva. Then came Swārochisha then Auttami, then Tāmasa, then Raivata, then Chākshusa: these six Manus have passed away. Vaivaswata, the son of the sun now presides over the seventh Manwantara, which is the present period.

The era of Swayambhuva Manu, which took place in the beginning of Kalpa together with the celestials, saints and other personages, has been related by me. I will now describe to you the period of Swārochisha Manu together with the presiding deities, saints and his sons.

There flourished two classes of celestials in the Manwantara of Swārochisha named Pārāvatas and Tushitas—and the king of the celestials was the powerful Vipascbit; the seven Rishis were Urja, Stambha, Prāna, Dattoli, Rishabha, Nischara, Arvarivat; and the sons of the Manu were Chaitra, Kimpurusha and others. I have thus described to you the second Manwantara. In the third Manwantara of Uttami, Susānti was the king of the celestials, who were severally denominated as the Sudhāmas, Satyas, Sivas, Pradersanas and Vasavertis and each of these orders consisted of twelve deities. The seven sons of Vasishtha were the seven celestial saints and Aja, Parasu, Divya and others were the sons of the Manu.

In the reign of Tāmasa the fourth Manu, the Surupas, Haris, Satyas and Sudhis were the orders of the celestials each consisting of twenty-seven. Sivi was their king who was named Satakratu by his performance of hundred sacrifices; the seven Rishis were Jyotirdhāmā, Prithu, Kāvya, Chaitra, Agni, Vanaka and Pivara. The sons of Tāmasa were the powerful kings Nara, Khyāti, Sāntahaya, Jānujangha and others.

In the fifth Manwantara Raivata was the Manu: Indra was their king and the celestials were Amitābhas, Abhutarajasas, Vaikunthas, and Sumedhasas each consisting of fourteen divinities. The seven Rishis were Hiranyaromā, Vedasri, Urddhabāhu, Vedabāhu, Sudhāman, Parjānya and Mahāmuni. The sons of Raivata were Balabandhu, Susambhavya, Satyaka and other brave kings.

These four Manus, Swārochishas, Uttami, Tāmasa and Raivata were born in the race of Pryavrata who propitiated Vishnu by his devotions and obtained in consequence thereof these rulers of Manwāntaras as his son.

In the sixth Manwantara Chākshusha was the Manu, when Manojava became the king of the celestials who were grouped as Adyas, Prastutas, Bhavyas, Prithugas, and the high-minded Lekhas each consisting of eight divinities; the seven Rishis were Sumedhas, Virajas, Havishmat, Uttama, Madhu, Abhinaman and Sahishnu. The sons of Chakshusha were the mighty Uru, Puru, Satadyumna and other kings of the earth.

O twice-born one, the Manu, who reigns in the present period is the wise and illustrious lord of obsequies the offspring of the sun. The celestials are the Adityas, Vasus and Rudras. Their king is Purandara. Vasishtha, Kasyapa, Atri, Jamadagni, Gautama, Viswamitra and Bharadwaja are the seven Rishis. And the nine pious sons of Vaivaswata Manu are the kings Ikshawku, Nabhaga, Dhrista, Sanyati, Narishyanta, Nabhanidishta, Karusha, Prishadhra and the well known Vasumat.

The incomparable energy of Vishnu, at one with the quality of goodness and preserving all created things, rules overall the Manwantaras in the shape of divinity. From a part of that divinity Yajna was born in the Swāyambhuva Manwantara the will-begotten child of Akuti. And at the arrival of the Manwantara of Swārochisha the irrepressible Yajna was born as Ajita along with Tushitas the sons of Tushitā. And at the advent of the Manwantara of Auttama, Tushitas were born as the excellent Satyas, of Satya. In the Manwantara of Tāmasa, Satya became Hari along with the Haris, the children of Hari. And in the Raivata Manwantara of Sambhuti the excellent Hari was born as Manasa along with the celestials called Abhutarajasas.

In the next Manwantara Vishnu was born of Vikunthi, as Vaikuntha along with the celestials called Vaikunthas. In the present period Vishnu was again born as Vamana the son of Kasyapa by Aditi. With three paces he conquered the worlds and having released them from all disturbances he gave them to Purandara. By these seven persons, in the various Manwantaras, the created beings have been preserved. He is called Vishnu because his energy pervades the whole world from the root Vis to ‘enter’ or ‘pervade:’ and all the celestials, the Manus, the kings of the gods are but the impersonations of the power of Vishnu.


Maitreya said:—O foremost of Brāhmins, you have described to me the seven Manwantaras that have passed away. It behoves you to describe now the Manwantaras that shall take place in future.

Parāçara said Sanjnā, the daughter of Viswakarman, was the wife of the sun, and bore him three children, the Manu Vaivaswata, Yama and the goddess Yami. Being unable to endure the fervours of her husband, she engaged Chāya in his attendance and repaired to the forest to practise devout austerities. Considering that Chāya as Sanjnā, he got upon her three other children—Sanaischra (Saturn) another Manu Sāvarni and a daughter Tapati. Once on a time being offended with Yama, the son of Sanjnā, Chāya imprecated a curse upon him and gave out to Yama and the sun that she was not in reality Sanjnā the mother of the former. (Having heard this) the sun, by his meditation saw her as a mare in the region of Uttara Kuru.

Thereupon assuming the shape of a horse the sun begot upon Sanjnā three other children, the two Aswins and Revanta, and brought her back to his own house. To diminish his fervours Viswakarman placed him on his lathe and reduced some of his effulgence; to the eighth portion, for more than which was insperable. The portions of the divine Vaishnava effulgence that were in the sun being filed off by Viswakarman, fell down shining on the earth and the artist constructed of them the discus of Vishnu—the trident of Siva, the weapon of the god of wealth, the lance of Kartikeya, and the weapons of the other celestials: all these Viswakarman made from the additional rays of the sun.

The son of Chāya, who was also called a Manu, was Sāvarni on account of his belonging to the same caste as his elder brother the Manu Vaivaswata. He rules over the coming or eighth Manwantara, the details whereof and of those following I shall now describe.

In the era when Sāvarni shall be the Manu the orders of the celestials will be Sutapas, Amitabhas and Mukshyas, each consisting of twenty-one divinities. The seven Rishis will be Diptimat, Gālava, Rāma, Kripa, Drauni: my son Vyāsa will be the sixth and the seventh will be Rishyasringa. The chief of the celestials will be Bali—the innocent son of Virochona who, on account of Vishnu’s favour, is the king of a portion of Patala. The sons of Sāvarni will be Virajas, Arvarivas, Nirmoha and others.

O Maitreya, Daksha-Savarni will be the ninth Manu. The Paras, Marichigarbhas and Sudharmas will be the three orders of the celestials each consisting of twelve divinities. Indra Adbhuta will be their mighty king. Savana, Dyutimut, Bhavya, Vasu, Medhatithi, Jyotishman and Satya will be the seven Rishis. Dhritaketu, Driptiketu, Panchahasta, Niramaya, Prithusrava and others will be sons of the Manu.

In the tenth period Brahmā-Savarni will be the Manu: the celestials will be the Sudhamas, Viruddhas and Satasankhyas: their king will be the powerful Santi. The Rishis will be Havishman, Sukriti, Satya, Apammurtti, Nabhaga, Apratimaujas and Satyaketu and the ten sons of the Manu will be Sukshetra, Uttamaujas, Harishena and others.

In the eleventh period Dharma-Savarni will be the Manu and the leading celestials will be Vihangamas, Kamagamas and Nirmanaratis each consisting of thirty; Vrisha be their king. The Rishis will be Nischara, Agnitejas, Vapushman, Vishnu, Aruni, Havishman and Anagha. Savarga, Sarvadharma, Devanika and others—the kings of the earth—will be the sons of the Manu.

In the twelfth period Savarni, the son of Rudra, will be the Manu. Ritudhama will be the king of the gods who will be Haritas Lohitas, Sutnanasas, and Sukarmas, each consisting of fifteen divinities. The Rishis will be Tapaswi, Sutapas, Tapomurtti, Taporati, Tapodhriti, Tapodyuti and Tapodhana. And the Manu’s sons will be Devayan, Upadeva, Devareshta and others—who will be the powerful kings of the earth.

In the thirteenth period Rauchya will be the Manu. The gods will be the Sudhmanas, Sudharmans and Sukarmans each consisting of thirty-three. Their king will be Divaspati. The Rishis will be Nirmoha, Tatwadersin, Nishprakampa, Nirutsuka, Dhritimat, Avyaya, and Sutpas. The sons of the Manu will be Chitrasena, Vichitra, and others who will be the kings of the earth.

At the fourteenth period Bhautya will be the Manu and Suchi will be the king of the celestials who will be the Chakshushas, Pavitras, Kanishthas, Bhrājiras and Vavriddhas. The seven Rishis will be Agnibahu, Suchi, Sukra, Megadha, Grighra, Yukta and Ajita. Uru, Gabhira, Bradhna and others will be the sons of Manu who will be the kings of the earth.

At the end of every four Yugas the Vedas disappear. And the seven Rishis descending on the earth again establish them. In every Krita age the presiding Manu becomes the legislator and during the Manwantaras the celestials of the various classes receive sacrifices. And those born in the race of Manus lord over the earth for that period. In every Manwantara, the Manu, the seven Rishis, the king of the gods and the sons of the Manu rule over the earth. In this wise, O Brahmin, fourteen Manwantaras constitute a Kalpa. And it is succeeded by a night of similar duration.

And the glorious Jannardana, wearing form of Brahmā, the essence of all things, the lord of all, the creator of all, involved in his own illusions and having swallowed up three spheres, sleeps upon the serpent Sesha in the midst of the ocean. And awaking after sleep the undecaying Hari, resorting to the quality of foulness, creates all things as they were before. And by virtue of a part of his essence which is identical with the quality of goodness he, as the Manus, the celestials, their chiefs, kings, as well as the seven Rishis, preserves the universe. I will now explain to you, O Maitreya, how Vishnu, who is regarded as Providence all through the four ages, preserved (the universe).

In the Krita Yuga, He, for the behoof of all creatures, was born as the great ascetic Kapila and imparted to them true wisdom. In the Treta Yuga he was born as the Lord Paramount and repressed the wicked and protected the three worlds. In the Dwapara Yuga He was born as Vyāsa and divided the Vedas into four divisions which were again divided into various branches; which were again divided into diverse sections. And at the end of Kali the fourth Yuga, He shall be born as Kalki and shall lead again the wicked to the paths of piety. Thus the endless Vishnu creates, preserves and destroys the universe. And there is none else but Him. I have thus described to you, O Brahman, the real nature of that Great Being who is at one with all things, and besides whom there is nothing else, nor has there been, nor will there be either here or elsewhere. I have also described to you all the Manwantaras with their presiding deities. What else do you wish to hear?


Maitreya said:—I had been informed before by you that this universe is but the manifestation of Vishnu, that it exists in Him and that there is nothing else distinct from Him. I wish now to hear how the illustrious Vedvyāsa divided the Vedas into various sections in diverse Yugas. Describe to me, O great Muni, who were the Vyāsas in different eras, and what were the various divisions of the Vedas?

Parāçara said:—O Maitreya, the great tree of Vedas has a thousand branches. It is impossible for me to describe them at length. Listen, I shall, however, describe them in short.

O great Muni, the glorious Vishnu, in the form of Vyāsa, at every Dwāpara Yuga, for the benefit of mankind, divided the Vedas into various branches. Beholding the diminution of the prowess and energy of mankind, He, for their behoof, divided the Vedas into various divisions. The form, in which the glorious Vishnu divides the Vedas, is named Veda-Vyāsa. Listen, I shall now describe to you, O Muni, who were the Vyāsas in their respective periods and how they divided the Vedas.

In the Vaivaswata Manwantara in the Dwapara age, the Rishis divided the Vedas twenty-eight times and accordingly twenty-eight Vyāsas have passed away who divided the Vedas in their respective periods into four. In the Dwapara age the distribution was made by Swayambhuva (Brahmā) himself; in the second period Veda-Vyāsa was the Manu; in the third, Usanas; in the fourth, Vrihaspatii in the fifth, Savitri; in the sixth, Mrityu; in the seventh, Indra; in the eighth, Vasishtha; in the ninth, Sāraswata; in the tenth, Tridhāman; in the eleventh, Trivreshan; in the twelfth, Bharadwāja; in the thirteenth, Antariksha; in the fourteenth, Vapra; in the fifteenth, Trayyaruna; in the sixteenth, Dhananjaya; in the seventeenth, Kritanjaya; in the eighteenth, Rina; in the nineteenth, Bharadwāja; in the twentieth, Goutama; in the twenty-first, Uttama, also called Haryāttmā; in the twenty-second, Vena, who is otherwise named Rājasravas; in the twenty-third, Somasushināpana, also Trina-Vindu; in the twenty-fourth, Riksha, the descendant of Bhrigu, who is known by the name Vālmiki; in the twenty-fifth my father Sakti was the Vyāsa; I was the Vyāsa of the twenty-sixth period; and was succeeded by Jaratkaru: the Vyāsa in the twenty-eighth period was Krishna Dwaipāyana. These are the twenty-eight elder Vyāsas who divided the Vedas into four in the preceding Dwāpara ages. In the next Dwāpara, Drauni, the son of Drona, will be the Vyāsa when my son the Muni Krishna Dwaipāyana, who is the actual Vyāsa, shall cease to be.

The syllable Om is defined to be the eternal monosyllabic Brahmā. The word Brahmā is derived from the root Vriha to increase because it is infinite and because it is the cause by which the Vedas developed. The regions, Bhur, Bhuva and Swa exist in Brahmā, who is Om. Glory to Brahmā, who is known as Om and who is at one with Rik, Yajur, and Shāma. Salutation unto Brahmā who is the cause of creation and destruction, who is the great and mysterious cause of the intellectual principle (Mahat), who is devoid of limit in time and space and is freed from diminution and decay, from whom proceeds worldly illusion and in whom exists the end of soul through the qualities of goodness and foulness. He is the refuge of those who are acquainted with the Sānkhya philosophy and those who have mastered their thoughts and passions. He is the invisible and imperishable Brahmā, assuming various forms but invariable in substance and the chief self-create principle. He lightens the recesses of heart, is indivisible, radiant, undecaying and multiform. Salutation unto this supreme Brahmā, ever and ever—this form of Vāsudeva who is at one with the supreme spirit. This Brahmā, although diversified as threefold, is identical, is the lord of all, exists as one in all creatures, and is perceived as many on account of their diversity of understanding. He, composed of Rik, Shāma and Yajur Vedas, is at the same time their essence as He is the soul of all embodied spirits. He, though at one with the Vedas, creates them and divides them into various branches. He is the author of these divisions—He is those branches collectively; for that eternal lord is the essence of true knowledge.


Parāçara said:—The original Veda, divided into four branches, consists of one hundred thousand Stanzas and from it originated sacrifice of ten kinds—the fulfiller of all desires. In the twenty-eighth Dwāpara era, my son Vyāsa divided the Veda into four branches.

As the Veda was divided by the intelligent Veda-Vyāsa, to it was divided at various other periods by myself and other Vyāsas. In this way, O foremost of twice-born ones, the Veda is divided into various branches and the people of the four Yugas perform sacrifices. O Maitreya, know this Krishna Dwaipāyana Vyāsa, as the Nārāyana, for who else on this earth could have composed the Mahabhārata? How in the Dwāpara age the Veda was divided by my high-souled son, I shall describe, O Maitreya, do thou hear it.

When Vyāsa was engaged by Brahmā in the work of arranging the Vedas, he took four persons, proficient in these works, as his disciples. He appointed Paila reader of the Rich; Vaisampāyana of Yajush; and Jaimini of the Shāma Veda. And Sumantu, who was acquainted with the Atharva-Veda, was also the disciple of the learned Vyāsa. He also took Suta, who was named Lomaharshana, as his disciple in history and Purānas.

There was but one Yaju Veda, which he divided into four parts—from which originated the sacrificial rite that is performed by the four orders of priests. In this, the Muni enjoined the Adhwaryu to recite the prayers of Yajuns; the Hotri to sing the hymn of (Rik-Veda); the Udgatri to sing the hymns of Shāma-Veda and the Brahman to utter the formulæ of the Atharva-Veda. He then compiled the Rig-Veda with the collection of these hymns (Richas); the Yajur-Veda with the prayers and directions named Yajush; and Shāma Veda, with those called Shāma; and with the Atharvas he laid down the function of the Brahman and the rules for the performance of all the ceremonies by kings.

In this way the huge Veda tree was divided into four stems, which soon spread out into an extensive forest. O Brahmin, Paila first divided the Rig-Veda and gave the two Sanhitas to Indra-Pramati and to Bhāshkali. Bhāshkali again divided his Sanhita into four and handed them over to his disciples Baudhya, Agnimathara, Yajtiawalka, and Parāçara; and they studied these secondary branches from the original O Muni.

Indira-Pramati, O Maitreya, gave his Sanhita to his magnanimous son Mandukeya, which thence descended through successive generations and disciples. Vedamitra, otherwise called Sākalya, read the same Sanhita and divided it into five Sanhitas which he gave to his disciples named severally Mudgala, Goswalu, Vātsya, Sāliya and Sisira. Sākapuvni made a different classification of the original Sanhita into three and added a Nirukta (glossary) constituting a fourth. And he gave these three Sanhjtas to his three pupils, Kraunch, Vaitalaki, and Valaka. And the glossary was given to the fourth who was named Niruktakrit and who was versed in the Vedas and their various branches.

In this way, O foremost of twice-born ones, Vedas, their divisions and Sub-divisions sprang up. Bash kall composed three other Sanhitas which he gave to his three pupils Kalayani, Gargya, and Kathajava. These are they by whom various Sanhitas have been composed.


Parāçara said:—The high-minded disciple of Vyāsa, Vaisampayana made out twenty-seven branches of the tree of Yajur-Veda and gave them to as many disciples, of whom Yajnawalka, the son of Brahmarata was famous for piety and obedience to his preceptor.

Formerly at one time the Munis had entered into a covenant that any one of them, who at a certain time, did not join a council held on mount Meru, should perpetrate the crime of Brahminicide within a period of seven nights. Vaisampayana alone was not present at the appointed hour and so broke the engagement. And he accidentally slew the child of his sister by a kick of his foot. Thereupon he said to his disciples—”O my disciples, do ye engage in such ceremonies as will remove the sin consequent upon the destruction of a Brahmin on my behalf. You need not hesitate in this”. Thereupon Yājnawalka said—”What is the use of troubling these miserable and inefficient Brahmans? I shall alone perform this penance”. Thereupon the high-minded preceptor, enraged, said to him—”O thou who hast insulted these Brahmins, relinquish all thou hast learnt from me. Dost thou that these Brahmins are inefficient? What is the use of a disciple who disobeys my commands?” Whereto Yājnawalka replied—”I spoke this out of my devotion to thee. It is more than enough—do thou take, O twice-born one, what I have learnt from thee”.

Having said this, he ejected from his stomach the texts of Yajush stained in blood. He then went away. The other pupils of Vaisampayana transforming themselves into partridges (Tittiri) picked up the texts which he had ejected, which, in consequence thereof, were called Taittriya and the pupils were named the Charaka professors, of the Yajush, from Charana [241] —’going through.’ Yājnawalka too, O Maitreya, who was accomplished in devout practices engaged in propitiating the sun, being desirous of recovering the texts of the Yajush.

Yājnawalka said:—Salutation unto the sun who is the gate of final emancipation, the spring of bright radiance, the three-fold source of splendour as the Rig, the Yajur and the Sama-Vedas. Salutation unto him, who is the Agnishome [242] sacrifice, the cause of the universe and who is charged with radiant heat and the Sushumna ray. Salutation unto him, who is identical with the idea of time and all its divisions of hours, minutes and seconds, who is the visible form of Vishnu, as the impersonation of the mystic Om. Salutation unto him, who is gratification, who nourishes the moon with his rays and feeds the manes and the gods with nectar and ambrosia; salutation unto the sun, who in the form of three seasons distributes and absorbs the water in the time of the rains, of cold and heat. Salutation unto Vaivaswata, who, alone as the lord of the world, dispels darkness and who is clothed with the quality of goodness. Salutation unto him, until whose rising people cannot perform religious ceremonies, water does not purify and who is the source of all religious rites. Salutation onto him who is the centre and source of purification. Glory to Savitri, to Surya, to Bhaskara, Vaivaswata, to Aditya, to the first-born of the celestials and demons. Salutation unto him who is the eye of the universe borne in a golden car whose banners scatter ambrosia.

[241] That is performing the expiatory rites for their master.
[242] Therein another reading Agnisoma Bhutaya which professor Wilson has adopted i.e., who as fire and the moon.

Parāçara said:—Being thus eulogised by Yājnawalka the sun assumed the form of a horse and said—”Ask of me what you desire”. Having bowed unto him Yājnawalka said—”Confer upon me a knowledge of those texts of Yajush which even my preceptor does not know”.

Being thus addressed, the sun gave to him the texts of Yajush called Ayatayama which Vaisampayana even did not know. Because these texts were imparted by the sun in the form of a horse, the Brahmins who study this portion are called Vajis (horses). Fifteen branches of this school originated from Kanwa and other pupils of Yājnawalka.


Parāçara said:—Hear O Maitreya, how Jaimini, the pupil of Vyāsa, divided the branches of Sama-Veda. The son of Jarmini was Sumanta whose son was Sukarman. They both studied the same Sanhita under Jaimini. The latter composed Sahasra Sanhita which he gave to his two pupils named Hiranyanabha, otherwise named Kausalya and Paushyinji. Fifteen pupils of the latter composed as many Sanhitas and they were called the northern chanters of Sāman. Hiranyanabha had as many disciples who were called the eastern chanters of Sāman. Lokakshmi, Kuthami, Kushidi and Langali were the pupils of Paushyinji; and by them and their disciples many other branches were made. There was another learned disciple of Hiranyanābha by name Kriti who gave twenty-four Sanhitas to as many pupils; who again divided Sama-Veda into various branches.

I will now give you an account of the various branches of Atharva-Veda. The highly illustrious ascetic Sumanta taught this Veda to his pupil Kabandha who divided it into two and gave them to Devadersa and Pathya. The disciples of Devadersa were Mandga, Brahmabali, Saulkāyani and Pippalāda. Pathya had three disciples, Jājali, Kumudādi and Saunaka to whom were severally given three Sanhitās. Saunaka divided his Sanhitā into two and gave them to his disciples Babhru and Saindhavāyan and from them originated two schools the Saindhavas and Munjakesas. The Sanhitās of the Atharva-Veda are divided into five Kalpas or ceremonials; namely Nakshatra Kalpa or rules for worshipping the planets; the Vaitāna Kalpa or rules for oblations; the Sanhitā Kalpa or rules for sacrifices; the Angirasa Kalpa or incantations and prayers for the destruction of enemies; the Sānti Kalpa—or prayers for averting evil.

The glorious Veda-Vyāsa, conversant with the knowledge of Purānas, composed a Paurānik Sanhitā consisting of historical and legendary traditions, prayers and hymns and sacred chronology. He had a distinguished pupil Suta, who was otherwise named Romaharshana, to whom he gave the Purānas. Suta had six disciples, Sumati, Agnivarchas, Mitrayu, Sānsapāyana, Akritavrana, who is otherwise called Kāsyapa and Sāverni. The last three composed three principal Sanhitas and Romaharsana himself compiled a fourth, which is named (after him) Romaharshanika. The substance of these four Sanhitas is embodied in this Vishnu-Purāna.

Brāhma is the first of all the Purānas. Those who are conversant with the knowledge of Purānas enumerate them as eighteen—Brāhma, Padma, Vaishnava, Saiva, Bhāgvata, Nāradya, Mārkandeya, Ageney, Bhavishyat, Brahmā Vaivartta, Lainga, Varāha, Skanda, Vāmana, Kaurmma, Matsya, Gārura, Brahmānda, The creation of the universe and its successive generations, the genealogies of patriarchs and kings, the Manwantaras, and the royal dynasties are described in the Purānas. The Purāna, which I have described to you, O Maitreya, is Vaishnava and is next to Padma. And in every part, in the creation of universe and the successive generations, in the description of the genealogies of the patriarchs it has declared the glory of the great Vishnu. There are fourteen principal kinds of knowledge—namely, the four Vedas, the six Angas, [243] the Mimānsa (theology,) Nyāya (logic,) Dharma (the institutes of law) and the Purānas. And they are enumerated as eighteen with the addition of these four—Aur-Veda, medical science taught by Dhunwantari; Dhanur-veda, the science of archery, taught by Bhrigu; Ghāndharba-Veda, the art of music, dancing &c. of which the Muni Bharata was the author; and the Artha Sastram or the science of Government, taught by Vrihaspati.

There are three orders of Rishis—the royal Rishis or princes who have devoted themselves to devotion as Viswamitra; divine Rishis or demi-gods, as Nārada; and Brahman Rishis, who are the sons of Brahmā as Vasishtha and others.

I have thus related to you the various branches of the Vedas and their sub-divisions, the persons by whom they made and the object with which they were ushered into existence. Such was the division in all the Manwantaras. The primitive Veda, which was instituted by Brahmā at the beginning of Kalpa, is eternal; these branches are but its modifications.

[243] These are the subsidiary portion of the Vedas—namely (a) Siksha, rules for reciting prayers (b) Kalpa, ritual (c) Vyakarana, (grammar) (d) Nerukta, glossary (e) Chandas, metre (f) Voytish, astronomy.

I have thus related to you, Maitreya, the Vedas which you desired to hear. What else do you wish to hear now?


Maitreya said:—O twice-born one, you have related to me what I have asked of you. I wish to hear one thing more from you: Relate that to me. O great Muni, this egg of Brahmā, consisting seven zones, seven subterrestial regions, and seven spheres, abounds in living creatures, large or small, smaller and smallest, larger and largest. And there is not the eighth part of an inch where they do not dwell; And all these are bound by chains of acts and at the end of existence are subject to the power of Yama by whom they are doomed to dreadful punishments. And being freed from those inflictions they are born as celestials, men and the like; And those living creatures, as Sastras inform us, perpetually revolve. I wish to hear from you, performing what pure actions people are freed from subjection to Yama.

Parāçara said:—O Muni, hear from me what his grandfather Bhishma said when this question was put to him by the high-souled Nakula.

Bhishma said:—O my son, there came on a certain time, a friend of mine, a Brahmin from Kalinga country, to visit me. He told me that he had put this question to an ascetic who had the recollection of his previous births. To which the Muni replied “What is now shall be (the same) in future.” What was said by that intelligent sage proved to be true. When that twice-born one was again accosted by me with due reverence, he said that he had never found otherwise what had been related to him. Once I put to him the same question which you have asked. And he, remembering the words of the Brahmin who retained the recollection of his former births, said—”I shall reveal to you the mystery that was revealed to me by the Brahmin retaining the recollection of his former births and I shall describe to you a dialogue that took place between Yama and one of his ministers”.

The Brahmin of Kalinga said—”Beholding his own emissary with a noose in hand approach, the Yama said to his ears ‘Never bring here any one who has obtained the shelter of the slayer of Madhu; for I am the lord of all spirits but not of the spirits of those who are devoted to Vishnu. I was appointed by Brahmā, honored by the immortals, to sit in judgment upon the good and bad conduct of mankind. Hari is my lord; I am not independent, for he can mete out punishment to me. As gold, though (in reality) it is one substance, appears diversified as bracelets, tiaras and earrings, so Hari, though He is one appears many as gods, animals and man. As the drops of water, raised by wind from the earth, sink again into the earth when the wind disappears, so gods, man and animals created by the agitation of qualities are reunited with the eternal with the end of disturbance. He, who reverentially bows unto Hari, whose lotus-feet are being meditated upon by the celestials, is freed from all iniquities. Do you avoid such a man who is freed from all sinful bonds like unto fire fed with clarified butter”.

Having heard these words of Yama, his messenger, with noose in hand, said “Tell me, O Lord, how am I to distinguish the worshipper of Hari, who is the Lord of all beings?” Yama said—”Consider him as the worshipper of Vishnu who never swerves from the duties assigned to his caste, who regards with an impartial eye his own self, his friends and enemies, does not steal nor injure any body and whose mind is freed from all passions. Know him to be a follower of Hari, whose heart is not sullied by iniquities of Kali who meditates on Janārddana in his mind freed from illusions. Consider that excellent man to be a worshipper of Vishnu, who, looking upon good in secret, holds that which is another’s wealth as grass and devotes all his thoughts to the Lord.

“There is Vishnu as mountain of clear crystal: for how can he live in the hearts of those men sullied with malice and envy? The glowing heat of does not exist in the cluster of the cooling rays of the moon. Vāsudeva always resides in his heart whose mind is pure, free from malice, quiet, who has a pure character, is a friend to all, speaking wisely and kindly, humble and sincere. The eternal Vishnu residing in his heart a man appears lovely to all, as a beautiful young Sal-tree declares that there is the excellent juice inside it. Depart, O my emissary, speedily from those men, whose sins have been washed away by self-control and moral discipline, whose minds are always devoted to the undecaying and who are freed from avarice, unkindness and malice. If the divine Hari, who is without beginning or end and is armed with a sword, conch and mace, lives in the heart of a man he is freed from all sins: for how can darkness exist in the sun? He, who pilfers another’s wealth, slays animals, speaks untrue and cruel words, whose mind is impure and is addicted to impious actions, does not get the Endless in his heart. Janārddana does not reside in the heart of that vile wight who cannot bear the prosperity of another, who vilifies the pious, does not perform sacrifices and does not make gifts to the pious. Consider not that person, engaged in vile actions, as the worshipper of Vishnu, who by foul means, earns wealth for his dear friend, wife, son, daughter, father, mother or servants.

“That beast of a man is not a follower of Vāsudeva whose mind is addicted to foul actions, who is always engaged in actions, who lives for a long time in evil company and who always endeavours to drown himself in sins. Do you stand aloof from those persons in whose hearts resides Ananta; from him, who by his pure understanding conceives the supreme male and ruler Vāsudeva as one with his devotees and the whole world. Do you depart from those, O my emissary, who are freed from sins and who always invoke the lotus-eyed Vāsudeva, Vishnu, the upholder of the earth, the immortal wielder of the discus and the shell, the refuge of the world do not approach him in whose heart dwells the imperishable soul for he is protected against my power by the discus of his deity and he is bound for the heaven of Vishnu”.

The Brāhmin of Kalinga said—”O foremost of Kurus, these were the instructions given by the king of justice, the son of the sun, to his servant. That servant communicated those instructions to me and I have in turn related them to you”.

Bhishma said:—”This was communicated to me, O Nakula, by the Brahmin, hailing from Kalinga. And I have duly related that to you, O my son, and thus there is no protection in the ocean of the world but Vishnu. They whose minds are always devoted to Keshava, have no fear from death, his servant, his rod, his noose and his tortures”.

Parāçara said:—O Muni I have thus described to you what you desired me to say and what was related by the sort of Vivaswat. What else do you wish to hear?


Maitreya said:—O reverend sir, tell me how should they worship the glorious Vishnu, the lord of the earth, who desire to get at the other end of the ocean of the world. I wish to hear from you, O great Muni, what fruits can be be obtained by worshipping the glorious Vishnu.

Parāçara said:—The question you have put to me, was put to Aurva by the high-souled Sagara. Do you hear from me what he said (on this). Having bowed to Aurva, born in the race of Vrigu, Sagara said—”O foremost of Munis, tell me the mode of worshipping Vishnu, and the fruits that a man can obtain by worshipping him”. Hear from me, O Maitreya, all that he said when thus questioned (by Sagara).

Aurva said:—”Vishnu being worshipped, a man obtains the consummation of all earthly desires and attains to the regions of the celestials and of Brahmā and even final liberation. O king of kings, whatever a man desires, either small, or great, he gets by the worship of Achyuta. O king of earth, you have asked me how Vishnu can be worshipped. Hear I shall relate all that to you. He is the true worshipper of Vishnu who observes duly the duties of the four castes and rules of four Asramas. There is no other means of satisfying Vishnu. He who offers sacrifices, sacrifices to him; he who recites prayers, prays to him; he who injures living beings injures him; for Hari is identical with all living beings. Therefore, he who observes duly the duties of his caste, is said to worship the glorious Janārddana. O lord of earth, the Brahman, the Kshatriya, the Vaiçya, the Sudra by attending to the duties prescribed by his caste, best worships Vishnu. He, who does not vilify another either in his presence, or in his absence, who does not speak untruth, does not injure others, pleases Keshava the best. Keshava is best pleased with him, O king, who does not covet another’s wife, wealth and who does not bear ill feeling towards any. O lord of men, Keshava is pleased with him who neither beats nor slays any animate or inanimate thing. O lord of men, Govinda is pleased with that man who is ever intent upon serving the gods, the Brahmans and his spiritual preceptor. Hari is always satisfied with him who is ever anxious for the welfare of all creatures, his children and his own soul. Vishnu is always pleased with that pure-minded man whose mind is not sullied with anger and other passions. He best worships Vishnu, O king, who observes the duties laid down by scripture for every caste and condition of life; there is no other mode”. Sagara said:—”O foremost of twice-born ones, I wish to hear of the duties of caste and condition. Relate them to me”. Aurva said:—”Hear attentively from me in order the duties of the Brāhman, the Kshatriya, the Vaiçya and the Sudra. The duties of the Brāhmins consist in making gifts, worshipping the celestials with sacrifices, studying the Vedas, performing oblations and libations with water and preserving the sacred fire. For maintenance, he may offer sacrifices for others, teach others and may accept liberal presents in a becoming manner. He must advance the well-being of all and do injury to none—for the greatest wealth of a Brahman consists in cherishing kind feelings towards all. He must consider with an equal eye, the jewel and stone belonging to another. He should at proper seasons beget offspring on his wife, O king of earth.

“The duties of the Kshatriyas consist in making gifts to the Brahmins at pleasure, in worshipping Vishnu with various sacrifices and receiving instructions from the preceptor. His principal sources of maintenance are arms and protection of the earth. But his greatest duty consists in guarding the earth. By protecting the earth a king attains his objects; for he gets a share of the merit of all sacrifices. If a king, by maintaining the order of caste, represses the wicked, supports the pious he proceeds to whatever region he desires.

“O lord of men, the great Patriarch Brahmā has assigned to the Vaiçyas, for their maintenance, the feeding of the cattle, commerce and agriculture. Study, sacrifice and gift are also within the duties of the Vaiçyas: besides these they may also observe the other fixed and occasional rites.

“The Sudra must maintain himself by attending upon the three castes, or by the profits of trade, or the earnings of mechanical labour. He may also make gifts, offer the sacrifices in which food is presented and he may also make obsequial offerings.

“Besides these, the four castes have got other duties namely—the acquisition of wealth for the support of servants, co-habitation with their wives for the sake of children, kindness towards all creatures, patience, humility, truth, purity, contentment, decorum of manners, gentleness of speech, friendliness, freedom from envy or avarice and the habit of vilifying, these also constitute the duties of every condition of life.

“In cases of emergency a Brāhmin may follow the occupations of a Kshatriya or Vaiçya; the Kshatriya may adopt those of Vaiçyas and the Vaiçya those of Kshatriya: but the last two should never adopt the functions of the Sudra if they could avoid them. And if that be not possible they must at any rate avoid the functions of the mined caste. I will now describe to you, O king, the duties of the several Asramas“.


Aurva said:—”O king, when a youth is invested with the sacred thread, he must reside in the house of his preceptor and study the Vedas with a concentrated mind, and leading a life of continence. He must, with pure practices, wait upon his spiritual preceptor and with the performance of religious rites acquire the Veda. He must, O king, with concentration, worship both in the morning and evening, the fire and the sun and after that he must bow to his spiritual guide. O King, he must stand when his preceptor is standing, he must move when he is walking and he must sit beneath him when he is seated; he must never sit nor walk, nor stand when his teacher does the otherwise. Whatever portion of the Vedas he shall be taught by his preceptor, he must read that with undivided mind before him. He must beg when permitted by his teacher and eat the food thus collected. He must bathe in the water which has been first used by his preceptor and every morning he must bring for him fuel, water or anything that he may require. Having thus completed his studies, he must receive dismissal from his preceptor and then enter into the order of the householder; and taking to himself with lawful ceremonies, house, wife and wealth, he must discharge to the best of his power the duties of his life. He must satisfy the manes with cakes, the celestials with sacrifices, the guests with hospitality, the Rishis with holy study, the Patriarch with progeny, the spirits with oblations and all the worlds with truthful words. By thus discharging duties a householder may attain to heaven. A householder is a refuge to those who depend upon alms for their maintenance and those who lead an itinerant life of self denial; thus the condition of the householder is the best of all. O lord, the Brāhmins travel all over the earth either for studying the Vedas or for beholding the holy places; many of them are houseless and without food and live for the night at the house at which they arrive in the evening. The householder is always a refuge to these people. O king, it is his duty to welcome them and address them kindly and to provide them, whenever they come to his house, with a bed, a seat and food. If a guest goes back disappointed from a house he leaves behind his iniquities and takes away the accumulated piety of the householder. In the house of a good man, contumely, arrogance, hypocrisy, repining, contradiction and violence are strictly prohibited: and the householder, who performs the principal duty of hospitality, is freed from all chains and attains to better stations after death.

“O king, having performed all these duties, when a householder is stricken in years, he must proceed to woods, either with his wife, or leaving her to the charge of his son. He must live there upon leaves, roots and fruits; allow his hair and beard to grow, and braid the former upon his brows and sleep upon the ground. His dress must be made of skin or of Kāsa and Kusā grasses. He must bathe thrice a day, offer oblations to the celestials and to fire and treat all his guests with hospitality. He must beg alms and give food to all creatures. He must annoint himself with such unguents as are found in the forest and while carrying on his devout practices he must endure heat and cold. He, who leading the life of a hermit, follows these rules, destroys like fire all imperfections, and attains to the region of Brahman.

“The fourth condition of life, O king, is called by the sages, that of a mendicant. I shall relate the characteristics thereof; do thou hear. O lord of men, having relinquished attachments for wife, children and other earthly objects, men leading the life of a hermit, must enter into the fourth stage of life. He must forego the three objects of life, namely pleasure, wealth and virtue either secular or religious. And regarding all with an equal eye, he must be friend to all living beings. And being devoted, he must not injure any living creature, human or brute, either in act, word, or thought and renounce all attachments. He must not live more than one night in a village and more than five nights in a city. He must live in all those places where good feeling and not animosity is created in mind. He must, for his maintenance, beg for alms at the houses of the three first castes at the time when fires have been put out and peoples have eaten. The itinerant beggar must not call anything his own and must suppress desire, anger, covetousness, pride and folly. The ascetic, who gives no cause of fear to any living creature, does not apprehend any danger from them. The Brāhmin, who, having placed the sacrificial fire in his own body, feeds that flame with the butter that is procured by alms, through the altar of his mouth, goes to his own proper abode. But the Brāhman who longs for final emancipation, who has got a pure heart, and whose mind is perfected by self-investigation, goes to the region of Brahman, which is quiet and is as bright as the flameless smoke”.


Sagara said:—”O foremost of twice-born ones, you have described to me the duties of the four orders and four castes. I wish to hear from you the religious observances of men. Methinks you know every thing, O foremost of Vrigus, tell me all about these observances, either invariable, occasional or voluntary”. Whereto Aurva replied, “I shall describe to you all you have asked, the invariable and occasional ceremonies of men: do you hear, O king.

“As soon as a son is born his father should perform the ceremonies consequent upon the birth of a child and all other initiatory ceremonies as well as a Srādh which is the source of prosperity. He must feed two Brāhminis, seated with their faces to the east and according to his means must offer sacrifices to the celestials and the progenitors, O lord of earth. He must delightedly offer to the manes, balls of meat, mixed with curds, barley and jujubes with the four part of his finger. On every occasion of prosperity, he must perform this with all offerings and go through circumambulalations.

“Upon the tenth day after birth the father should give a name to the child, the first term of which shall be the name of a god and the second of a man as Sarman or Varman. The former is the proper designation of a Brāhmin, and the second of a Kshatriya. And the Vaiçyas and Sudras should have the designation of Gupta and Dāsha, A name should not be devoid of any meaning, should not be indecent, absurd, inauspicious nor dreadful. It should contain an even number of syllables; it should not be too long nor too short, nor too full of long vowels, but contain a due proportion of short vowels and be easily articulated.

“After going through these initiatory ceremonies and being purified the youth should acquire knowledge from his preceptor. And having acquired knowledge from the preceptor and given him presents, O king, he should, desirous of entering the order of householders, marry. If he desires to continue his life as a student, he should, taking that vow, engage in the service of his preceptor and his descendant or he may, according to his premeditated inclination, Q king, at once become a hermit or adopt the order of the religious mendicant.

“He must marry a maiden, who is of a third of his age, one who has not too much of hair, but is not without any, one who is not very black nor yellow complexioned and is nor from birth a cripple or deformed. He must not marry a girl, who is vicious or unhealthy, born of a low family, or suffering from any disease; one who may have been badly trained, one who talks improperly, one who inherited some disease from father or mother; one who has a beard and has got a masculine appearance; one who speaks thick or thin or croaks like a craven, who has got eyes without eye lashes, or sufficiently covered with them; one who has got legs covered with hairs, thick ankles; one who has dimples in her cheeks when laughing. The learned should not marry a girl who has not got a tender countenance, who has got white nails, and who has got red eyes. The wise and prudent should not marry one whose hands and legs are heavy, who is a dwarf, or who is very tall or one whose eyebrows meet, or whose teeth are far apart and resemble tusks. O king, a householder should marry a girl who is at least five degrees distant in descent from his mother and seven degrees from his father.

“There are eight forms of marriage—namely, Brāhma, Daiva, the Arsha, Prajāpatyā, Asura, Gāndharba, Rākshasa and Paisācha and the last is the worst. And every one should marry according to the mode enjoined to his caste by the sages and should never marry according to the Paisācha mode. Thus entering the order of householders, if a man takes a wife observing the same religious and civil obligations and perform all the ceremonies of his orders in her company, he derives great benefit from such a wife”.


Sagara said—”O Muni, I wish to hear from you of such religious observances, performing which a householder does not meet with the wane of piety either in this world or in the next”.

Aurva said—”Hear, O lord of earth, an account of all those religious observances celebrating which a man conquers both this and the next world. The term sat means Sādhu; and they are called Sādhus or saints who are freed from all blemishes. And their practices are called Sāddhachāras. O lord of earth, the seven Rishis, the Manus and the Patriarchs are those who have laid down and observed those practices. Let the wise, O king, get up at Brahmā Muhartta, [244] when the mind is at rest, meditate upon virtue and wealth not incompatible with the former. He should also meditate upon desire not conflicting with the other two. And he must equally meditate upon the three ends of life for the purpose of counteracting the unseen consequences of good or best acts. He should renounce, O king, such wealth and desire as stand in the way of virtue, and he should abstain from such religious acts as give uneasiness, and as are not compatible with the rules of society. O lord of men, having got up from bed early in the morning, he must offer adoration to the sun and then proceeding to the South-East quarter at a distance of a bow-shot or more, or somewhere remote from the village he must void the impurities of nature. A man should not void the impurities of nature either in the court yard of his house or in any place where is the print of a man’s foot. The wise should not pass urine either on his own shadow, nor on the shadow of a tree, nor on a cow, nor against the sun nor on fire, nor against the wind, nor on spiritual preceptor, nor men of the first three castes. Nor he should pass excrement in a ploughed field, or a pasturage, or in the company of men, or on a high road, or in rivers and the like which are holy, or on the bank of a river or in a cremation ground. O king, the wise should pass urine with his face towards the north during the day and towards the south during the night. While passing excrement he should spread grass on the earth and cover his head with cloth and should not wait there long, and should not speak during that time. To clean his hand he should not take earth from an ant-hill, not a rat-hole, nor from water, nor from what has been left after being used for that purpose, nor from what has been used to plaster a cottage, nor that which has been thrown up by insects, or turned over by the plough. He must avoid all these kinds of earth for the purpose of cleanliness; he should use one handful after passing urine, three handfuls after passing excrement, ten handfuls are to be rubbed over the left hand and seven on both hands. He should then rinse his mouth with pure water which is neither fetid, nor frothy nor full of bubbles. After that, he should, being composed, use earth to cleanse his feet, washing them well with water.

[244] The third Muhurtta about two hours before sunrise.

“He must then drink water thrice and wash his face twice with it and then touch with his head, the cavities of the eyes, ears and nostrils, the forehead, navel and the heart. Having finally washed his mouth he must clean and arrange his hairs and must decorate his body, before a looking glass with unguents, garlands and perfumes. He, then according to the practice of his caste, should earn money for maintenance and should worship the deities with firm faith. Sacrifices with acid juice, those with clarified butter and those with offerings of food, may be performed with wealth; therefore men should endeavour much to acquire wealth.

“For performing daily devotional rites a man should bathe in the water of a river, a natural channel, or a mountain torrent or he should bathe on a dry ground with the water drawn from well or he should bring that water to his house if he had any objection to bathing on the spot. Bathed and clad in clean clothes, he should, with concentrated mind offer oblations to the manes and Rishis with that water. He should offer water thrice for the satisfaction of the celestials, thrice for the satisfaction of the Rishis and once for the patriarchs. He should make three libations for the satisfaction of the manes. He should, with the part of the hand sacred to the manes, offer wafer to his paternal grand father, great grand father, maternal grand father, great grand father and his father, and according to his pleasure to his own mother and his mother’s mother and grand mother, to the wife of his preceptor, to his preceptor, his maternal uncle, and other relations, to a dear friend and to the king. He should then, O king, offer water to the celestials for the benefit of all animals, reciting the prayer. ‘May the celestials, demons, Yakshas, Serpents, Rākshasas, Gandharvas, Pisāchas, Guhyakas, Siddas, Kushmandas, trees, birds, fish, all that inhabit the waters or the earth, or the air, be propitiated by the water I have offered to them. This water is presented by me for the mitigation of the sufferings of all those who have been put to hell. Let them be propitiated with this water who are my friends, who are not my friends, who were my friends in my former birth and all those who expect water from me. May this water and sesamum offered by me remove the hunger and thirst of all those who are suffering therefrom wherever they may live’. The offerings, of water, O king, in the manner I have described, give satisfaction to all the world. Having offered water duly and reverentially to all the sinless man obtains the piety that comes from satisfying the world.

“Having rinsed his mouth he must offer water to the sun touching his forehead with folded hands and reciting the following player—’Salutation to the radiant Vaivaswat—the effulgence of Vishnu; to the pure illuminator of the universe; to Sāvitri, the giver of fruits for all actions’. He must then go through the family worship, offering water, flowers, and incense to the tutelary deity. He must then offer oblations to fire, first invoking Brahmā then Prajāpati. He must then offer water to Guhya, Kāshyapa and Anumati in succession and then offer the remainder to the earth, to water and to rain in a pitcher at hand. O foremost of men, he must offer water to Dhātri Vidhātri at the doors of his house and to Brahmā in the middle of it. Hear from me how he should then worship the deities presiding over the various quarters.

“He should offer the Bali containing the remaining portions of the oblations to Indra, Yama, Varuna and Soma on the four sides of his house. And in the north-east quarter the wise should offer it to Dhanwantari; then he should offer the remaining portion to Viswadevas, then in the north-east to wind then in all directions to the cardinal points, to Brahmā, to the atmosphere, and to the sun, to all the celestials, to all beings, to the lords of beings, to the manes, and to Yakshas. Thereupon taking other rice the learned should cast it on a clean spot of ground as an offering to all beings and with a collected mind should repeat the following prayer—’May celestials, men, animals, birds, saints. Yakshas, serpents, demons, ghosts, goblins, trees and all those who desire food from me; may ants, worms, moths and other insects who are hungry and chained in acts, obtain satisfaction from food offered by me and enjoy bliss. I offer this food on the ground for them who have got no mother, no father, no friends, no food, nor the means for preparing it. May they be satisfied with the food offered for their satisfaction. All these animals, this food and myself are at one with Vishnu—for there exists nothing but Vishnu; I am not different from all beings, and therefore for their sustenance I offer this food. May all beings, that belong to the fourteen orders of existent things, be satisfied and delighted with the food offered by me’.

“Having repeated this prayer the householder should devoutly throw the food on the ground for the benefit of all beings; for the householder is thence the supporter of them all. He should also disperse food on the ground for dogs, outcasts, birds and all mean and degraded persons.

“Thereupon to receive guests the householder should wait in the courtyard of his house as long as it takes to milch a cow or for a longer period if he pleases. If a guest comes he must be received with all hospitality; he must be offered a seat, his feet are to be washed, food should be respectfully given to him, he must be spoken to with all kindness and civility and when he goes away, the friendly wishes of the host must accompany him. The householder should pay attention to that guest who comes from another place and whose lineage is not known. He should not make him a guest who is an inhabitant of the same village. He who feeds himself, neglecting a guest, who is poor, who is not his relation, who comes from another place and is desirous of eating, goes to hell. The householder should receive his guest regarding him as the golden embryo [245] without inquiring his studies, his schools, his practices or his race.

[245] The mundane egg floating on the water at creation, of that metal, or similar colour from which the deity issued according to some legends; i.e. he should treat him with all reverence.

“A householder, O king, at the Srādha ceremony of his father, should feed another Brāhmin, who is of the same village, whose pedigree and practices are known and who performs the five sacramental rites. He should also present to a Brāhmin, who is well versed in the Vedas, four handfuls of food, set apart, with the exclamation Hanta. If he has got means left after making these three sorts of gifts, the learned should, according to his pleasure, make gifts to a mendicant and a religious student. These three, with the addition of the mendicant described before, are to be considered as guests; and he, who treats these four sorts of persons with hospitality, is freed of the debt due to his fellow beings. The guest, who goes elsewhere disappointed from any house, transfers his own sins to the owner of the house and takes away the house-holder’s merits. Brahmā, Prajāpati, Indra, fire, the Vasus, the sun are present in the person of a guest and share the food that is offered to him. Therefore a man should assiduously satisfy the duties of hospitality; for a man, who eats his food without giving any to his guest, feeds only upon his own sin. Thereupon the householder must satisfy with well-seasoned food the damsel living in her father’s house, those who are ill, the pregnant woman, the aged and the infants of the house and then he should eat himself. The householder, who eats his food without feeding these, feeds upon his own iniquity and after his death is condemned in hell to feed upon phlegm. He, who eats, without performing ablutions, feeds upon filth; he, who eats without repeating his prayers, feeds upon matter and blood; he, who eats unconsecrated food, drinks urine; and he, who eats before the infants and the aged are fed, is doomed in hell to live upon ordure. O foremost of kings, I shall now describe, do you hear, how a householder should eat and for which he would not be sullied with iniquity, his perpetual health and increased vigour would be secured and all evils and hostilities would be averted. Having bathed and offered duly libations to the celestials, Rishis, and manes and adorned his hand with precious jewels, having recited introductory prayers, offered oblations with fire, food to guests, to Brāhmans, to his elders and to his family, the householder should take his meal, wearing unsullied cloth, excellent garlands and sprinkled with perfumes. He must not eat, O lord, of men, with a single garment on, nor with wet hands and feet.

“He must not eat with his face directed to my intermediate point of horizon, but facing the east or the north; and with a smiling countenance, happy and attentive, let him take good and wholesome food boiled with clean water, procured from no mean person, nor by improper means nor improperly cooked. Having given a part to his hungry companions he should take food without reproach from a clean, handsome vessels which must not be placed upon a low stool or bed. He must not take his food in an unbecoming place or out of season or in an unsuitable mood, giving the first morsel to fire. His food, O king, must be consecrated with suitable texts, must be good and must not be stale except in the case of fruit or meat. Nor it should be made of dry vegetable substances other than jujubes or preparation of molasses. And a man should never eat that of which the juices have been extracted. Nor a man should so eat as nothing will be left of his meal except in the case of flour, cakes, honey, water, curds and butter. He should with a devoted mind first taste that which has good flavour; in the middle he should take salt and sour things and in the end he should take those which are pungent and bitter. The person, who begins his food with fluid things, takes solid food in the middle and finishes with fluid things, will ever be strong and healthy. In this wise he should take such food as is not prohibited, should be silent at the time of eating and should take five handfuls for the nutriment of the vital principle. After he has taken his food, he should, facing the east or the north, rinse his mouth, and having washed his hands up to the wrist he should again sip water. Then with a satisfied and calm mind he should take his seat, meditate upon his tutelary deity and pray ‘May fire excited by air cause this food to digest in the space afforded by the etherial atmosphere, convert this into the earthly elements of this body and give me satisfaction. May this food, when assimilated, contribute to the vigour of the earth, water, fire, and air of my body and afford unmixed satisfaction. May Agasti, Agni and submarine fire bring about the digestion of the food I have taken and may I enjoy happiness consequent thereupon and may my body be freed from all ills. May Vishnu, who is the chief principle of all senses, of all bodies and souls, be propitiated with my faith and may cause such assimilation the food I have eaten as may invigorate my health. Verily Vishnu is the eater, the food and the nourishment, may the food I have taken, through this faith, be digested’.

“Having recited this prayer he should rub his stomach with his hand, and renouncing idleness should engage in such action as can easily he performed. He should spend the day in the reading of sacred writings and in such amusements as are authorized by the righteous and when the Sandhya sets in he must engage in devotion. O king, he must perform the morning rites before the stars have disappeared and perform the evening rites before the sun has quite set. The morning and evening rites should never be neglected except at seasons of impurity, anxiety, sickness or alarm. He, who but for illness lies on bed at the hours of sunrise and sunset, is guilty of iniquity. Therefore a man should rise before the sun in the morning and sleep not until after he has set. Those, who sinfully neglect the performance of both the morning and evening rites, go to the hell of darkness after death. And having prepared food in the evening, the wife, of the householder with a view to obtain the fruit of the Viçwadeva rite, should give food, without offering any prayers, to outcasts or unclean persons. The householder, as his means allow, should again show hospitality to any guest who may come receiving him with the salutation of evening and offering him water to wash his feet, a seat, a supper and a bed. The sin, consequent upon not receiving hospitably a guest who comes after sunset, is eight times greater than that of turning away one who comes during the day. A person should therefore particularly show respect to him who seeks refuge after sunset, for the respect, given to his satisfaction, will afford pleasure to all the celestials. The householder should, therefore, as his means permit him, give a guest food, potherbs, water, a bed, a mat, or if he cannot give any thing more, ground only on which to lie.

“Having taken his evening meal and washed his feet a householder should take rest. His bed must be complete and made of wood, it must have ample space, must not be cracked nor uneven, nor dirty nor infested by insects and must have a bedding. The householder must sleep with his head either to the east or to the south; any other position is unhealthy. In proper time, under the influence of an auspicious planet and in an auspicious moment he should go to his wife if she is not unbathed, sick, unwell, unwilling, angry, pregnant, hungry or over-fed. He should also be free from all these imperfections and should be neatly dressed and adorned and excited by tenderness and affection. Having bathed, wearing garlands, using perfumes, delighted and animated by desire he should go to his wife—not being hungry and excited with anxiety. There are certain days on which the use of unguents, flesh and women is prohibited as the eighth and fourteenth lunar days, new-moon and full-moon and the entrance of the sun into a new sign. On these occasions the wise should control their appetites and engage in the worship of the celestials as laid down in scripture, in meditation and prayer. And he, who acts otherwise, will be doomed to a hell where he will be constrained to live upon ordure. A man should not excite his desires by medicines nor satisfy them with unnatural objects or in public or holy places. A man should not go to a woman under a huge tree, in the courtyard, in a place of pilgrimage, in pasturage, where four streets meet, in a cremation ground, in a garden or in the waters. On all these occasions mentioned before in the morning or in the evening or being unclean the wise should not cohabit with women. If a man goes to a woman during the Parva he loses wealth, if during the day he is visited with sin, if he cohabits with a woman on ground he loses his fame. A man should not think voluptuously of another’s wife, nor should, he speak to her for that purpose; for such a wight will be born in his next life as a creeping insect. The cohabitation with another’s wife is a source of fear to him both in this life and in the next—for in this he loses his longevity and in the next he is doomed to hell. Considering all these things a man should approach his own wife in proper season or even at other times”.


Alurva said:—”The householder should venerate gods, king, Brāhmanas, saints, aged persons and holy preceptors. He should also observe duly the two Sandhyas and offer oblations to fire. He should use untorn garments, delicate herbs and flowers, wear emeralds and other precious stones, keep his hair neat and clean, perfume his body with delicious unguents and should always go out handsomely dressed and decorated with garlands and white flowers. He should not misappropriate another’s property nor should treat him unkindly. He should always speak amiably and the truth and should not speak out publicly another’s faults. O foremost of men, he should not envy another’s prosperity—nor should he create enmity with another; he should not use a broken conveyance, nor should he sit under the shadow of a tree on the banks of a river. The wise should not make friends with, nor should they wend the same way with, one who is hated, who is a sinner or a drunkard, who has many enemies, or who is lousy, with a harlot or her gallant, with a pauper or a with a prodigal, a slanderer or a knave. A man should not bathe in river when it is ebb-tide, should not enter a house when it is on fire nor climb to the top of a tree; nor (when in the company of others) clean his teeth, nor blow his nose nor grape without covering his mouth, nor clean his throat, nor cough, nor laugh loudly, nor emit wind with noise, nor bite his nails, nor cut grass, nor scratch ground, nor put his beard into his mouth, nor crumble a clod of clay, nor look upon the planets when he is unclean. He should not see another’s wife when she is naked nor see the sun at the time of its rising or setting. He should not express disgust at a dead body for the odour of it is the produce of the moon. He should avoid, during the night, the place where four roads meet, the village tree, the forest adjacent to a cremation ground and a loose woman. The wise should not pass across the shadow of a venerable person, of an image of a deity, of a flag and of a heavenly luminary. He should not travel alone in a forest nor sleep alone in an empty house. He should live at a distance from hair, bones, thorn, filth, remnants of offerings, ashes, chaff and earth wet with water in which another has bathed. He should not seek the shelter of a degraded wight and should renounce the company of wily persons. He should not approach voracious animals and should not lie down on bed long after sleep is broken. He should not, for a too long time, lie down on bed, sleep, keep up nights, sit and take exercise. The wise should avoid, even at a distance, animals with tusks and horns and exposure to frost, wind and sunshine. A man should neither bathe, nor sleep nor rinse his mouth when he is naked; he should not wash his mouth nor perform any sacred rite with his waistband loosened. Nor he should, with one piece of cloth on, offer oblations to fire, sacrifice to the celestials, wash his mouth, salute a Brāhman or utter a prayer. He should not associate with evil companions—the intercourse for half an instant, the pious is desirable. The wise should not quarrel men inferior or superior to them; dispute and marriage with equals are always desirable. The wise should never enter into dispute and should always avoid useless enmity. It is better to suffer a trifling loss but he should not acquire wealth by hostility.

“When bathed he should not wipe his limbs with the cloth he has put on nor with his hands; he should not shake his hair nor rinse his mouth before he has risen. He should not put one foot upon another nor spread out his foot before his elders but should modestly sit in a posture called Verāsana i.e., on his knees. He should not go round a temple upon his left hand nor circumambulate any venerable object in the reverse direction. The wise should not spit nor void impurities before the moon, fire, the sun, water, wind, or any respectable person. Nor should he pass urine standing or upon a public way; he should not pass over phlegm, ordure, urine or blood; nor should he spit forth the mucus of the throat at the time of eating, offering sacrifices or oblations or reciting prayers or before a respectable person.

“A man should not treat women disrespectfully nor should he place too much confidence in them. He should not deal with them impatiently nor should he give them supremacy in important matters. O king, wise persons, ever treading the path of morality, should not issue out of his house without saluting the chaplets, flowers, jewels, clarified butter and venerable persons. He should salute the places where four roads meet, perform sacrifices at proper seasons, relieve the poor and venerate the learned and good-natured. He who worships the celestials and saints, gives cakes and water to the manes, and performs hospitality, attains to exalted stations after death. He who speaks wisely, moderately and compassionately proceeds to the regions which are the perpetual sources of bliss. He who is intelligent, bashful, forgiving, god-fearing and humble, proceeds to the region which is attainable by the learned and those born in a pious race.

“The wise should not read the Vedas on the Parva days, on impure seasons, upon untimetely thunder and the occurrence of eclipses. The attainment of heaven is a trifling thing to him who allays the anger of the angry, who is friend to all and freed from malice, and who removes the fear of the pious. A man should use an umbrella to protect him against the sun and rain; he should carry a rod when he goes by night or through a forest and he should use shoes if he wishes to save his body from being hurt. As he proceeds he should not look up nor about him, nor afar off but keep his eyes upon the ground to the extent of a couple of yards.

“He, who, having controlled himself, puts a stop to the sources of all these imperfections, meets with no obstacle in the acquisition of piety, wealth and desire. Final emancipation is in his grasp, who is sinless towards them who commit mischief by him, who speaks amicably to them who use harsh words and whose soul melts with the benevolence. The earth is upheld by the truthfulness of those who have controlled their passions, and who, always following pious observances, are not sullied by desire, covetousness and anger. A man should therefore speak truth when it is agreeable and he should be silent when that truth would give pain. He should avoid agreeable words when they are detrimental and unreasonable, for it is always better to speak those disagreeable words which would produce salutary effect, although it would give offence. A prudent man should always cultivate that, in act, thought and speech, which conduces to the well-being of all living creatures both in this world and the next”.


Alurva said:—”A father, without changing his cloth, should bathe when a son is born; he should then go through the ceremonies consequent upon the birth and perform the Srāddha which should always be celebrated upon occasions of prosperity. With a composed mind and thinking on nothing else, he should worship both the celestials and the manes and reverentially go round keeping Brāhmans on his left hand and offer them food. And standing with his face directed to the east, he should, with the portions of the hand sacred to the celestials and Prajāpati, offer balls of food with curds, unbruised grain and jujubes. He should perform on every accession of prosperity the Srāddha ceremony, by which the manes called Nāndimukhas are propitiated. On the occasion of the marriage of a son or daughter, on entering a new house, on giving a name to a child on performing his tonsure and other purificatory rites, at the binding of the mother’s hair during gestation, on first seeing the face of a son and on similar other occasions a householder should diligently worship the manes so named. I have described to you, O king, the mode of worshipping the manes, as laid down by ancient sages; hear, I shall now describe the rules for the performance of obsequial rites.

“Having washed the dead body with sacred water, adorned it with garlands and reduced it to ashes outside the village, the relatives having bathed with their clothes on, should stand with their faces to the south and offer libations to the dead, addressing him by name and saying, ‘Whatever thou mayst be.’ (And if it is burnt during the day,) they should return to the village along with the cattle coming from pasture, and when stars appear, should go to rest, sleeping on mats spread upon the earth. (And as long as the mourning lasts) every day a ball of food should be placed on the ground as an offering to the dead and they should take rice without flesh. And as long as the mourner wishes he should feed the Brāhmans for the soul of the dead derives pleasure in as much as his kinsmen are satisfied with their entertainment. (After the death of a person) on the first day, or the third, or seventh or ninth, his relatives should change their clothes and bathe out of doors and offer a libation of water with sesamum-seeds. On the fourth day the bones and ashes should be collected; after which the body, of one connected with the dead by offerings of funeral cakes, should be touched without thereby incurring impurity. And those who are related by presentation of water are qualified for any business. The former class of kinsmen are allowed to use beds but still they are prohibited from using arguments and flowers and must observe continence after ashes and bones have been collected. When a child is dead, or one who is abroad, or one who is degraded, or one who is a spiritual guide, or when one commits suicide, or when one destroys himself by water, fire or by hanging, the period of uncleanliness is over as soon as the news is received. The food of a family, in which a relation is dead, should not be taken for ten days. During the period of uncleanliness, gifts, acceptance, sacrifice and the study of sacred writings should be suspended. The term of uncleanliness for a Brāhmin is ten days; for a Kshatriya twelve days; for a Vaiçya fifteen days and for a Sudra a whole month. On the first day after the period of impurity is over, the nearest relative of the dead should feed Brāhmins at his pleasure, but in uneven number and should offer to the dead a ball of rice upon holy grass placed near the remaining portion of the food that has been consumed. After the Brāhmans have been fed, the mourner, according to his caste, should touch water, a weapon of goad or a staff—for he is purified by such contact. He should then resume the duties assigned to his caste and maintain his livelihood by the acquisition of wealth.

“He should then perform the Srāddha of his deceased relative on the day of his death in each month (for a year). And then feeding the Brāhmins in an uneven number he should offer balls to the deceased. The Brāhmins should then be accosted by the sacrificer if they are satisfied and after they have declared their satisfaction he should relate the prayer, ‘May this ever satisfy such a one.’

“The Srāddha, which is called Ekoddistha, should be performed monthly for one year after the death of a person. And at the expiry of one year the ceremony called Sapindana should be observed, Hear, O king (I shall describe) how shall that be celebrated. This ceremony should be celebrated in the same way as monthly obsequies—only four vessels should be placed with water perfumes and sesamum. O king, (of these four) one should be dedicated to the deceased and three to the manes, and the contents of the former should be transferred to the latter three. After the deceased has been included in the list of manes, O king of earth, the ancestors should be again worshipped with all the ceremonies of the Srāddha. The persons connected by the offering of cake, who are competent to celebrate the obsequial ceremonies, are the son, grandson, great grandson, a kinsman of the dead, the descendants of a brother or the prosperity of one connected by funeral offerings. And when all these relations are wanting, the ceremony may be performed by those allied by the offerings of water only or those allied by offerings of cakes or water to maternal ancestors. When males, both in the maternal and paternal families, are extinct, the funeral obsequies may be performed by women or by those who are connected with the deceased in social and religious institutions or by him who inherits his property.

“And even when friends and those who will inherit his property are wanting the king may have his obsequia rites, initiative intermediate and subsequent, celebrated. Hear, I shall now describe the difference of these three classes of rites. The first are those which are performed after the burning of the dead body until the touching of water, weapons &c. The Srāddhas, called Ekoddistha which are performed every month, are called intermediate rites; and the ceremonies, which follow Sapindakarana when the deceased becomes one of his ancestors, are called subsequent rites—from this time the ceremonies become general and ancestral. The initiative ceremonies should be performed by the relative of the father or mother whether allied by the offering of the cake or of water by the companions of the dead man or by the king who inherits his property. Both the intermediate and subsequent rites should be celebrated by sons and other relations, and by daughter’s sons and their sons. In every year, O king, the obsequial ceremonies should be performed either by males or females, in the same way as the ceremonies of month by obsequies are enjoined. Hear O king, I shall now describe, at what seasons and in what manner those ceremonies are to be performed”.


Aurva said:—”When a man celebrates reverentially the Srāddha of his ancestors, Brahmā, Indra, Rudra, two Aswinis, the sun, fire, Vasus, Maruts, Viçwadevas, Rishis, birds, men, beasts, reptiles, manes and all other creatures, become propitiated. This should be performed, O king, every month, on the fifteenth day of the dark fortnight, or the eighth day of the same period in some months or at particular seasons. Hear, I shall now explain them. A householder should celebrate it when he will find all requisites ready, when a learned Brāhmin has come to the house for which ancestral ceremonies are appropriate. He should voluntarily offer sacrifice upon any atmospheric portent, at the equinoctial and solstitial periods, at eclipses of the sun and moon, on the sun’s entrance into a Zodiacal sign, upon unpropitious aspects of the planets and asterisms, on dreaming unlucky dreams and on eating the grain of the year’s harvest. The manes obtain satisfaction for eight years from ancestral offerings upon the day of the new moon when the star of the conjunction is Anurādhā, Visakhā or Swāti and for twelve years when it is Pushya, Ardrā or Punarvasu. He, who desires to satisfy the celestials or the manes, very seldom gets an opportunity on a day of new moon when the stars are those of Dhanistha, Purvabhādrapāda or Satabhisā. Hear also the description of another class of Srāddhas which give special delight to the manes as explained by Sanatkumāra the son of Brahmā, to the noble Pururavas when brimful with faith and devotion to the manes he asked how he might please them. The third lunar day of the month of Vaisakha (April, May) and the ninth of Kārtika (October, November) in the light fortnight; the thirteenth of Nabha (July, August) and the fifteenth of Magha (January, February) in the dark fortnight are called by the sages of yore the anniversaries of the first day of Yuga and are regarded as most sacred. On these days water mixed with sesamum-seed should be duly offered to the progenitors as well as on every lunar and solar eclipse; on the eighth lunations of the dark fortnights of Agrahāyana, Māgha and Fālguna on the two days beginning the solstices when the nights and days alternately begin to diminish; on the days which are the anniversaries of the beginning of Manwantaras; when the sun is in the path of the goat and on all these occasions when meteors appear. A Srāddha, performed on these occasions, gives pleasure to the manes for a thousand years; and this is the secret which they have given. The fifteenth day, of the dark fortnight in the month of Māgha when united with the conjunction of the asterism over which Varuna rules, is also a sacred season when offerings particularly afford delight to the manes. When the asterism Dhanishthā is united with the day of new moon, food and water, offered by members of respectable families, satisfy the manes for ten thousand years. And on the day of new moon when Ardra is in the ascendant they rest satisfied by offerings for a whole age.

“He, who after having offered food and libations to the manes bathes in the Ganges, Satlaj, Vipasa, Saraswati or the Gomati at Naimisha, is freed from all sins. The manes also sing—’After having obtained gratification for a twelve month we shall derive further satisfaction by libations offered by our descendants at some place of pilgrimage at the end of the dark fortnight of Māgha’. (The songs of Pitris) confer upon men purity of mind, prosperity, prosperous seasons, perfect rites and firm faith and all other things which they desire. Hear, O king, I shall repeat some verses as sung by the manes, hearing which, you will follow them with a controlled mind. ‘That wise man who does not shrink from spending his wealth and presents us with cakes shall be born in an illustrious family. He should, if he is rich, give to Brāhmans in our honour, jewels, cloths, land, conveyances, wealth and various other eatables. If he not got so much wealth he should feed with faith and humility excellent Brāhmans according to his means. If he cannot afford to give them food even he should according his might, present them with unboiled grain or with some gifts however trifling they may be. Should he be utterly unable even to do this, O king, he must give to some excellent Brahmin, bowing before him sesamum-seeds, adhering to the tips of his fingers. Or he should sprinkle water mixed with seven or eight sesamum seeds to us upon the ground; or he should gather, as he may, fodder for a day and give it to a cow, by which he will, if firm in faith, give us satisfaction. And if it is impossible for him to go through any of these he should go to a forest raise up his arms to the sun and other planets and say aloud—’I have no money, nor property nor grain nor any thing whatever which I may give as an offering to my ancestors. So I reverentially bow unto my ancestors; may they be propitiated with my devotion only—I throw up my arms in the air.’ These are the words of the progenitors. O king, he who endeavours to satisfy their desires, performs the ancestral rite called Srāddha”.


Aurva said:—”Hear, O king, what description of Brahman should be fed at ancestral ceremonies. He must be Trinachiketa, Trimadhu and Trisuparna; [246] or one who is versed in the six supplementary sciences of the Vedas; one who is well acquainted with the Vedas; one who practises the duties laid down in the Vedas, [247] one who is yogi, [248] one who is Jestha Sāmaga; [249] an officiating priest, a sister’s son, a daughter’s son, a son-in-law, a father-in-law, a maternal uncle, an ascetic, a Brāhman who keeps up the five fires, a pupil, a kinsman; one who respects his parents. O king, a man should employ the Brāhmans first mentioned in the performance of the Srāddha ceremony of his ancestors; and in the subsidiary rites performed to please his manes he should engage the others. He should not invite at a Srāddha ceremony a false friend, one who has got ugly nails, one who is eunuch, one who has got black teeth, a ravisher, a Brāhman who neglects the service of fire and sacred duty, a vender of Soma plant, a man accused of any crime, a thief, a calumniator, a Brāhman who performs the religious ceremonies for degraded persons, one who gives instructions to his servants in sacred writings; or one who is instructed in it by his servant, the husband of a woman who has been formerly betrothed to another, a man who has neglected his parents, the protector of a Sudra, the husband of a Sudra woman, and a Brāhman who worships idols. On the first day of the Srāddha a wise man should invite eminent teachers of Vedas and other Brahmins, and according to their instructions he must settle what is to be dedicated to the celestials and what to the manes. And in the company of the Brahmins he should abstain from anger, continence and hard work. He, who having eaten himself in a Srāddha and fed Brahmans and appointed them to their sacred offices, is guilty of incontinence, thereby dooms his progenitors to shameful suffering. Therefore on the day before the Srāddha, eminent Brāhmans should be invited. If a Brāhman, who has controlled his senses, comes to the house uninvited he should also be entertained with food. The Brahmins are to be respectfully received with water for their feet and after they have rinsed their mouths and washed their hands they should be offered seats. An uneven number of Brāhmins for the manes and an even number for the gods, as many as he can, should be employed; or one only on each occasion.

[246] The Brāhmans here are classed into Trinachiketa, Trimadhu and Trisuparna. The first is so called from reciting three Anuvakas of the Katha-Ka branch of the Yajur-veda, beginning with the term Trinachiketa &c.; the second from three Anuvakas of the Sama Veda beginning *Madhuvata; and the third from a similar portion commencing Brahmavan namami.
[247] There is some difference between veda vit and Srotya—The first studies the Vedas only and the second practises the rites thereof.
[248] Yogi is one who practices strictest penances.
[249] A chanter of the principal Sama-veda. Portions of it contained in the Aranyaka are called the Jyestha ‘elder’ or principal Saman.

“Thus the householder, with faith, should offer oblations to the maternal grand father along with the worship of Viswadevas or he should perform the Viswadevas [250] ceremony. He should feed the Brahmins, who are for the gods and maternal ancestors with their faces to the east. And there who are for the paternal ancestors and ancestors in general should be fed with their faces to the north. Some say, O king, that separate Srāddha should be performed for these two classes of ancestors and others hold that they should both be entertained with the same food. The wise should spread Kusā grass for the seats of the Brāhmans and then worship them with libations; and having received permission from them he should then invoke the deities. Then the man who is acquainted with the ritual should offer a libation to the gods with water and barley and then flowers, perfumes and incense. Then he should offer libations to the manes placed upon his left; and having first provided seats of Kusā grass, he, with the permission of the Brāhmans, should invoke with the usual prayers, the manes to the ceremony, offering libation on his left hand of water and sesamum. If any guest arrives at the time who is desirous of eating or who is passing along the road he should worship him with the permission of Brāhmans; for the saints, for the behoof of mankind, travel over the earth disguised in various shapes and forms. It is for this reason, O king, that the wise worship a person who comes at such an hour—and if a guest is neglected—the fruits of an ancestral offering are baffled.

“With the permission of the Brāhmans assisting in the ceremony the householder should offer food without salt and seasoning to fire three several times, exclaming first, ‘To fire, the Conveyance of oblations; to the progenitors Swaha’. Next addressing the oblation to Soma, the lord of the progenitors and giving the third to Vaivaswat. He should then place the residue in the dishes of the ancestors. He should then offer to Brāhmanas choice viands well dressed and seasoned and profuse and request them most gently to partake of it at their pleasure. The Brāhmanas should attentively, in silence and with smiling faces eat that food. The sacrificer not hungrily, nor in haste but with devout faith should offer that food. Thereupon repeating the prayers that slay Rakshas and scattering sesamum-seeds on the ground he should regard these eminent Brāhmanas as his ancestors and address them (saying). ‘May my father, grand father and great grand father enter the persons of these Brāhmans and be propitiated with (my offerings). May my father, grand father and great grand father derive satisfaction from these oblations to fire. May my father grand father, great grand father derive gratification from the balls of food placed by me upon the ground. May my father, grand father, great grand father be propitiated with what I have offered them, this day, in faith. May my maternal grand father, his father and his father derive gratification from my offerings. May all the celestials derive satisfaction and evil beings die. May the imperishable Hari the lord of sacrifice accept the oblation offered to the manes or to the celestials and may all malignant spirits and enemies of the celestials depart from the ceremony’.

[250] It is a ceremony which comprehends offerings to both paternal and maternal ancestors or ancestors in general.

“When the Brāhmans have been entertained with food to their satisfaction he should scatter a portion of the food on the ground and present them individually with water to rinse their mouths. And then obtaining their permission he should place upon the ground, balls made up of boiled rice and condiments along with sesamum-seeds. He should then offer libation along with sesamum-seeds with the part of the hand sacred to the manes: and with the samri part of the hand he should offer cakes to his maternal ancestors. He should diligently make gifts on all these occasions in lonely places, naturally picturesque and by the side of streams. Upon Kusā grass the tips of which are directed to the south and lying near the remnants of meats the householder should present the first ball of food consecrated with flowers and incense to his father; second to his grand father and the third to his great grand father; and then wiping his hands with the roots of Kusā grass he should satisfy them who are contented with the wipings thereof. Then having satisfied the maternal ancestors with balls of food consecrated with incense and flowers he should offer water to the principal Brāhmans to rinse their mouths. And then giving presents to the Brahmans with attention and piety according to his means soliciting their benedictions accompanied with the exclamation ‘Swadha’ and having distributed those presents to the Brāhmans he should address the gods saying ‘May the Viswadevas be propitiated’ and receive the reply thereto from the Brāhmans. The Brāhmans having said ‘So be it,’ and granted him blessings he should first send away his paternal ancestors and then the celestials. The same order as regards food, gift and dismissal should be observed with the maternal ancestors and the gods. Beginning with the washing of the feet and ending with the dismissal of the gods and Brāhmans all the ceremonies should be first performed for paternal ancestors and then for maternal ancestors.

“Thereupon he should dismiss the Brahmans with sweet words and reverence, follow them to the gate and then come back with their permission. The wise will then perform the invariable ceremony called the worship of Viswadevas and then with a controlled mind he should take his meals in the company of revered persons, friends and servants.

“The learned should then celebrate the ancestral ceremony—for the ancestors being propitiated all his desires are fulfilled. The things are specially considered sacred at obsequies namely a daughter’s son, a Nepal blanket and sesamum-seeds; the gift or naming or seeing of silver is also auspicious. O king, the person performing a Srāddha ceremony should abstain from anger, walking about and hurry and those who take their meals at the Srāddha should also avoid them. O king Viswadevas, paternal ancestors, and maternal ancestors are pleased with him who performs these obsequial rites.

“O king, the moon is the supporter of the manes and he is sustained by acts of austere devotion. Hence one, who practises austerities, should be appointed at the performance of a Srāddha. O king, if there is one Yogi in the midst of a thousand Brāhmans, he liberates both the sacrificer and all those who take their meals there”.


Aurva said—”Ancestors are gratified for a month with Havishya, [251] fish, or the flesh of the hare, of birds, of the the goat, the antelope, the deer, the gayal, or the sheep, or with the milk of the cow [252] and various preparations thereupon, They are perpetually pleased with flesh in general and with that of the long-eared white goat in particular, The flesh of the rhinoceros, the Kālasāka, potherb and honey, give special satisfaction to those who are adored at the obsequial ceremonies. Blessed is he, and the king who performs at the due time the Srāddha ceremony of his ancestors at Gya and that affords special delight to his ancestors. Grains that spring up spontaneously, wild-rice, white and black Panic forest vegetables, barely, wheat-rice, sesamum, various kinds of pulse and mustard are considered specially fit for ancestral offerings. O king, a householder should not offer any kind of grain that is not rendered sacred by religious rites nor the pulse called Rājamāsha, nor millet, nor lentils, nor gourds, nor garlick, nor onions, nor nightshade, nor camel’s thorn, nor salt, nor the efflorescence of salt deserts, nor red vegetable extracts, nor any thing that looks like salt, nor any thing that is hated by people. He should not offer that water at a Srāddha that has been brought by night, or has been left off, or is so little as cannot satisfy a cow, or smells badly or is covered with froth. He should not offer milk of animals with undivided hoof, of a camel, a ewe, a deer, or a buffalo. Neither the celestials nor the manes will partake of the food if a Srāddha is looked at by a eunuch, a foundling, an outcast, a heretic, a drunken man, or one diseased, a cock, a naked ascetic, a monkey, a village hag, by a woman in her courses or pregnant, by an unclean person, or by a carrier of corpses. The ceremony should be celebrated on a plot of ground carefully enclosed. The performer should scatter sesamum on the ground and drive away evil spirits. He should not offer food that is fetid, or spoiled by hairs or insects, or mixed with acid gruel, or stale. Whatever pure food is offered to the manes, with faith and mentioning their names and race, gives them nourishment. O king, in the days of yore, in the forest of Kalāpa the Pitris said to Ikshwaku, the son of Manu ‘Those, who shall respectfully offer to us cakes at Gya, shall follow a righteous path. May he be born in our family, who shall give us on the thirteenth of Bhādrapada and Māgha milk, honey and clarified butter, who shall marry a maiden, shall liberate a black bull and shall liberate a horse sacrifice accompanied with liberal presents'”.

[251] Havishya i.e. offerings made of rice or other grains with clarified butter.
[252] The expression Gavya literally means all that is derived from cow. But being associated with flesh readers may mistake it for the flesh of a cow. Though the sacrifice of a cow or calf formed part of the ancient Srāddha it is proscribed in the present age. So it must mean here milk or any preparation of it.


Parāçara said:—In the days of yore the glorious Aurva, when accosted by the illustrious king Sagara, said thus regarding the usages to be practised by mankind. I have described to you all those observances which no one should violate.

Maitreya said:—”O venerable Sir, I know all those who are called Sanda, [253] Apabidha [254] and Udakee [255] but I wish to know who is called Nagna; doing what he is called so, and what is the character of such a person to whom you have referred”.

[253] Eunuch.
[254] One ejected from the society.
[255] A woman in her course.

Parāçara said:—The Rig, Yajur and Sama Vedas are the three-fold covering of the several castes and the sinful wight who throws off this is called naked or apostate. The three Vedas constitute the dress of all men and when people neglect them they are left bare. Hear, what my grand father the pious Vasishtha said about this to the noble Bhishma. O Maitreya I heard what my grand-father said about this.

There took place in the days of yore a battle between the gods and demons for the period of a divine year in which the gods were defeated by the demons under the command of Hrāda. The celestials, who were defeated, fled away to the northern shore of the milky ocean, where being engaged in devout practices, they thus prayed to Vishnu—”May the glorious Vishnu, who is without beginning, the lord of all beings, be propitiated with the words that we are going to address to him. Who can sing the glories of that great God from whom have originated all beings and in whom they cease to exist? Though thy true greatness is not within the reach of words still we have been engaged in glorifying thee being discomfitted by our enemies. Thou art earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, Prakriti and Purusha. O thou at one with all souls, thy form, visible or unvisible, pervades all from Brahmā to a stock diversified by time and place. Salutation to thee, who art Brahmā originated from the lotus springing from thy navel for the purpose of creation. Salutation to thee who art Indra, the sun, Rudra, the Vasus, fire, the winds and even also ourselves. Salutation to thee, O Govinda, who art at one with all demons, who are the creature of arrogance and want of discrimination uncontrolled by patience and self-control. Salutation to thee who art at one with the Yakshas, whose minds have no idea of perfect knowledge and who are accordingly of unmitigated prowess and whose nature is charmed with sounds. Salutation to thee, O foremost of Purushas, who are at one with all night-rangers, originated from the quality of darkness, fierce, fraudulent and cruel. Salutation to thee, O Janārddana, who art that virtue that gives rewards for the virtuous actions of those who live in heaven. Salutation to thee who art at one with the saints of accomplished piety, who are always contented and who traverse unobstructed all permeable elements. Salutation to thee who art at one with the serpents, double-tongued, impulsive, cruel, not satisfied with enjoyment and having immense wealth. Salutation to thee who art at one with the Rishis who are freed from sins and imperfections and at one with wisdom and tranquility.

“Salutation to thee, O thou having lotus-eyes, who art at one with time that devours, without any compunction, all created beings at the end of Kalpa. Salutation to thee who art at one with Rudra, who dances with delight after devouring all beings—gods and men. Salutation to thee, Janārddana, who art at one with men, who, actuated by the quality of foulness, engage in actions. Salutation to thee who art at one with brute animals—the spirit that leads to perversity, which proceeds from the quality of darkness and is encumbered with twenty-eight kinds of obstruction. Salutation to thee who art that chief spirit that appears diversified in the vegetable world and which are the substance of sacrifice is the agent of accomplishing the perfection of the universe. Salutation to thee who art identical with every thing and whose first form is the objects of perception and heaven and animals and men and celestials. Salutation to that form of thine, which is the cause of causes and which is distinct from and superior to the endless universe composed of intelligence, matter and the like and with which nothing can be compared. Salutation to thee, O great God, who hast neither colour nor extent nor dimensity and which is beyond all qualities and whose essence, purest of the pure, can be conceived only by sages. Salutation to the Brahma form of thine, who pervades in our bodies, who exists in all objects, who is without birth or decay and distinct from whom nothing exists. Salutation to thee, Vāsudeva, the supreme lord of all, who is unsullied, the root of all things, freed from dissolution, unborn, eternal, who in essence is the supreme condition of spirit and in substance the whole of the universe”.

Having thus recited the prayer the celestials beheld Hari the supreme lord of all, seated on Garuda, armed with the shell, the discus, and the mace. And having placed themselves before him they addressed him and said “Have pity upon us, O lord, and save us, who have come to thee for help, from the Daityas. O supreme lord, transgressing the commands of Brahmā, the demons headed by Hrāda, have taken possession of the three worlds and appropriated the offerings which are our portion. Though thou art at one with the endless creation and we are a portion of thyself, we, impressed by illusions, behold all things of the universe as distinct. Our enemies are engaged in the duties of their respective orders, follow the paths laid down by sacred writings and practise religious penances so we cannot lay them. O thou of immeasurable wisdom, do thou so instruct us that we may root out the enemies of the celestials”.

When the glorious Vishnu heard their prayers he emitted from his person an illusory form which he gave to the celestials and said. “This illusory form shall so deceive the Daityas, that being led astray from the path of the Vedas, they shall be slain; for all gods, demons and others, who shall transgress the authority of the Veda, shall perish by my prowess which I exercise for the preservation of the universe. Go then; be not afraid; this illusory form shall go before you. O celestials, it shall be of great service to you, this day”.


Parāçara said:—Maitreya, having proceeded to the Daityas the illusory form beheld them engaged in austere penances on the banks of the river Nerbudā. And approaching them in the guise of a naked mendicant, with his head shaven and carrying a bunch of peacock’s feathers he addressed them gently “O lords of Daitya race—why do you practice these devout penances? Do you expect rewards in this world or in the next?” The Asuras said:—”O thou of great mind, we have been engaged in these penances with a view to reap fruits in the next world. Do thou tell us if thou hast got anything to say on this”. The deceptive figure said:—”If you are desirous of final emancipation hear my words, for you will obtain the revelation which is the door to final happiness. The instructions, superior to which there is nothing, I will give you, are the secret path to final emancipation. If you follow them you shall either obtain heaven or exemption from future births. O ye gifted with mighty strength, you are worthy of these instructions”.

Parāçara said:—There did the illusory figure mislead the Daityas from the teachings of the Vedas by various persuations and many specious arguments, teaching that the same-thing might be for the sake of virtue and of vice; might be and might not be; might or might not lead to final emancipation; might be the supreme object and not the supreme object; might be effect and not be effect; might be manifest and not be manifest; might be the duty of those who go naked and who go richly dressed. And thus were the Daityas led astray from the path of their duties by the continued teachings of their illusory teacher, keeping up the equal truth of contradictory teachings. And those were called Arhatas from the phrase he had employed of “Ye are worthy (Arhatha) of this great teaching” that is of the false teachings which he induced them to follow. Thus did the illusory figure lead away the Asuras from the teachings of the Vedas. And being impressed by those teachings the Asuras initiated others in all those doctrines. They in their turn became teachers of the same false doctrines and converted others. And thus communicating their doctrines to each other, they were all led away from the teaching of the Vedas.

Then pulling on garments of red colour, with collyrium in his eyes, the illusory figure again addressed others of the same family in sweet and mild accents—”O ye demons, gifted with strength, if ye wish for heaven or final rest desist from the sinful massacre of animals and hear from me what you should do. The whole universe is composed of discriminative knowledge; understand my words well for they have been uttered by the wise. The world is without stay and is perpetually revolving in the straits of existence being engaged in the pursuit of erroneous knowledge and sullied by passion and others”.

Parāçara said:—In this wise exclaiming to them “Know” (Budhyadwam) and they saying (Budhyate), “it is known,” those Daityas were led away from their own religion. They thus renounced their respective duties being impressed by the reasonings and arguments of that illusory figure. O Maitreya, they, impressed, persuaded others to do the same and thus the heresy spread and many abandoned the practices laid down by the Vedas and Smritis. O twice-born one, with various other erroneous teachings, the illusory figure converted many other Daityas. Being thus deluded, the Asuras, in no time, abandoned the doctrines and rites laid down by the three Vedas. Some of them, O twice-born one, spoke ill of the Vedas and others villified the celestials. Some spoke against the Vedic rites and sacrifices and others calumniated the Brāhmans. “The precepts” they preached “that lead to the sacrifice of animals, are highly culpable. To lay that throwing clarified butter in fire produces rewards is simply childishness. If any one, after having obtained godhead by multiplied ceremonies, is fed along with Indra upon the wood used as fuel in holy fire, he is lower than a brute which feeds upon leaves. If a beast, being sacrificed, attains to heaven, why does not the sacrificer slay his father in a sacrifice? If a dead person is satisfied if another is fed at a Srāddha then why does not the food offered by his son reach him who resides at a distance? All these words therefore depend upon individual respect so it is better for you to neglect them and appreciate mine. The words of authority, O mighty Asuras, do not fall from heaven; reasonable words only are to be acknowledged by me and persons like yourselves”. By these and similar reasonings the Daityas were led away and none of them any longer acknowledged the authority of the Vedas.

After the Daityas have thus been led astray, the gods, with careful preparations, addressed themselves for fight. And there again began a terrible encounter between the gods and demons. And the demons were now defeated and slain by the gods who had adhered to the righteous path. Formerly the Daityas were protected by the armour of their own religion and they were now slain for the desertion of that armour of religion.

For that time, O Maitreya, those, who have followed the religion preached by the illusory figure, are called naked for they following a wrong track have thrown off the garment of the Vedas. There are four orders of men, namely; the religious student, the householder, the hermit and the mendicant; there is no fifth order. The sinful man, who after relinquishing the order of the householder, does not become either a hermit or a mendicant, is said to be naked. The man, who, although able, does neglect his permanent observances for one day, commits sin for one day; and if he neglects them, not being in trouble, for a fortnight he can be purified only by arduous expiation. The virtuous must see the sun after looking upon a person who has neglected his permanent observances for a year; if they have touched they must bathe with their clothes on—but that vicious one has no individual expiation for himself. There is no sinner on earth more culpable than one in whose house the celestials, progenitors and spirits are left to sigh unworshipped. No man should associate, in residence, sitting or society with him on whose person or in whose house the gods, progenitors and spirits sigh. Conversation, exchange of civilities or association with a man is equally reprehensible who for a year has not observed pious observances. And the man who eats in the house of such a man, or sits down with him or sleep on the same couch with him, becomes instantly in the same way culpable.

He who eats himself without satisfying the gods, manes, spirits and guests feeds upon his own iniquity and there is no salvation for such a person. The Brāhmans are men of other castes who neglect their respective duties or take up a degraded profession are said to be naked. To live in a place where there is an intermixture of four castes is detrimental to the character of the righteous. Those who converse with him who eats without offering a portion to the gods, the sages, the manes, spirits and guests, are doomed to hell. A wise man should not therefore talk with or come in contact with these heretics who are rendered impure for renouncing the three Vedas. A Srāddha ceremony, although performed with great care and devotion, if looked upon by these heretics does not please the gods or progenitors.

As described, there was in the days of yore a king named Satadhanu whose wife Saivya was a woman of great piety. She was faithful to her husband, kind, sincere, pure, and gifted with every female accomplishment, humility and discretion. The king, with his wife, worshipped with great devotion Janārddana the lord of gods. He daily worshipped Him with whole-mindedness, oblations to fire, prayers, gifts and fasting. One day when they had fasted on the full moon of Kārtika and had bathed in the Bhagirathi, they saw as they came up from the river a heretic to approach them who was the friend of the king’s military preceptor. The king, out of his respect for the preceptor, entered into conversation with him but his devoted wife Saivya did not utter a single word. And thinking that she was fasting she turned from him and looked towards the sun. Having arrived at home, the husband and wife as usual performed the worship of Vishnu. After a time the king, who had defeated all his enemies, died and the queen ascended the funeral pile of her husband.

On account of the sin committed by Satadhanu for speaking to a heretic while fasting he was born again as a dog. His wife was born as the daughter of the king of Kāsi having a knowledge of her former birth, versed in every science and gifted with every virtue. Her father was anxious to marry with a good husband, but she always opposed and the king was prevented from celebrating the nuptials. The daughter of the king of Kāsi, by the knowledge of her pristine birth, saw that her husband was born as a dog in the city of Visidhā. And having gone there she saw her husband in that plight. And knowing that animal to be her husband she placed upon his neck the bridal garland going through the marriage rites and prayers. And being pleased with the excellent food offered, the animal expressed his joy after the manner of his species. He thus sporting as a dog, she was greatly ashamed and bowing unto her husband, born as a dog, she said “O king, remember the civilities shown by you (towards your preceptor’s friend) for which thou hast been born as a dog and art fawning upon me. Dost thou not remember, O My lord, that by conversing with a heretic after bathing in a sacred river, thou hast been born as a dog?”

Parāçara said:—Being thus reminded the king called to his memory his former condition and was wrapt in meditation and felt humiliation. With a broken heart he went away from the city and falling dead in a desert he was again born as a jackal. In the following year the princess, again by knowledge, perceived that he was born as a jackal and went to the mount Kotahala to find him out. Finding him there the beautiful daughter of the king thus spoke to her lord as a jackal—”O king, dost thou not remember thy conversation with the heretic which I called to thy memory, when thou wast a dog?” Thus accosted the king perceived what the princess had said was true. Thereupon he abstained from eating and died. He was then born as a wolf but his wife repairing to a lonely forest again called back to the recollection of her husband his former state. “O noble lord, thou art not a wolf but the king Satadhanu. Thou wast born as a dog, then as a jackal and thou hast been born as a wolf”.

Parāçara said:—Upon thus recollecting his former state the king renounced his life and was born again as a vulture. His loving queen again found him in that state called back to his memory his former condition. “O king” she cried out, “remember thy true self—do thou renounce this ugly form to which thou hast been condemned by the sin consequent upon thy conversing with a heretic”. The king was next born as a crow and the princess making him out by virtue of her knowledge of the pristine birth thus spoke to her lord “O lord, thou art now being born as a crow eating the tributary grain, to whom, in a previous birth, all other kings paid tribute”.

Parāçara said:—Being thus reminded of his former birth the king renounced the body and was born again as a peacock. Thereupon the beautiful princess began to pet him and feed him with such food as is agreeable to the peacocks. Thereupon the king, Janaka, undertook the celebration of a mighty horse sacrifice. In the ablutions with which it ended the princess caused his peacock to be bathed, bathing also herself. She then reminded Shatadhanu how he had been successively born as various animals. One recollecting this he renounced his life. He was then born as the son of the high-souled king Janaka.

Then the princess, having a slender person, expressed her desire to her father to be wedded. Her father too announced for a Swayambara. When all had assembled at that meeting that chaste damsel found out her (former) lord and again elected him as her husband. The prince lived happily with her and on the death of her father ruled over the country of Videha. He celebrated many sacrifices and distributed many gifts and begot sons and defeated many enemies in war. Having ruled duly and cherished the earth that king renounced his life in battle as became the warrior caste. The princess again followed him in death and in agreement with sacred precepts once more mounted cheerfully his funeral pyre. Thereupon the king, with the princess, attained to the regions beyond the region of Indra, where all desires are for ever satisfied, obtaining eternal and unequalled bliss in heaven, the consummate happiness that is the reward of conjugal fidelity which is hardly attained.

I have thus described to you, O Maitreya, the sin consequent upon conversing with a heretic and effects of bathing after the solemn sacrifice of a horse. A man should therefore carefully avoid the conversation or coming in contact with a heretic especially at seasons of devotion and when engaged in the performance of the religious rites before a sacrifice. The prudent should look at the sun after seeing a person in whose house domestic ceremonies have been neglected for a month. And there is the greatest need of expiation if they meet persons who live upon other’s rice and who have wholly abandoned the Vedas and who dispute the doctrines of sacred writings. A man should not even talk with heretics, those who do forbidden acts, pretended saints, scoundrels, sceptics and hypocrites; communication with such sinful wretches ever at a distance, all association with schismatics pollutes a man; a man should therefore carefully avoid them.

These are the persons, O Maitreya, called naked, the meaning of which term you wanted me to explain. If they witness a Srāddha ceremony that becomes fruitless—communication with whom spoils the piety of one day. These are the heretics with whom the wise should not converse—and speaking to whom destroys the virtue he might have obtained that day. Men fall into hell if they converse with them who uselessly assume the twisted hair and shaven head, who eat without offering food to gods, spirits and guest and those who do not offer cakes and libation of water to their manes.




Maitreya said:—”O venerable sir, you have described to me the permanent and occasional observances to be observed by those pious individuals who are diligent in their devotions. You have also described to me the duties which appertain to several castes and several orders of men. I wish you to relate to me now the dynasties of the kings who have ruled over the earth”.

Parāçara said:— Hear O Maitreya, I shall describe to you the family of Manu beginning with Brahmā and comprising a number of pious, high-minded and heroic princes; It is said, that never does his family become extinct who daily calls to his mind the family of Manu springing from Brahmā. Hear, therefore, O Maitreya, an account of the origin of his family, hearing which all sins shall be removed.

From the mundane egg originated Brahmā, who was Hiranyagarbha, the form of that supreme Brahmā which consists of Vishnu as identical with Rig, Yajur and Sama Vedas—the first, uncreated cause of all worlds. From the right thumb of Brahmā originated the Patriarch Daksha whose daughter was Aditi, who was the mother of the sun. From the sun sprang Manu whose sons were Ikshawaku, Nriga, Dwrishta, Saryati, Narishyanta, Pransu, Nabhaga, Nedishta, Karusha, and Prishadhra. Being desirous of having offspring formerly Manu celebrated a sacrifice in honour of Mitra and Varuna; but the ceremony being unsuccessful on account of some irregularity from the presiding priest a daughter Ilā was born. But by the mercy of the two deities however, her sex was changed and she became a man under the name of Sudyumna. And he again became a woman under an imprecation (from Siva) near the hermitage of Buddha, the son of the moon.

One day while she was walking near the hermitage of Buddha, he became attached to her and begot on her a son named Pururavas. After his birth, the noble Rishis, desiring to restore Sudyumna to his sex, prayed to the glorious Vishnu who is the essence of the four Vedas, of mind, of every thing and of nothing and who is the sacrificed male. By his mercy Ilā once more became Sudyumna, in which character he had three sons, Utkala, Gaya and Vinata.

On account of his having been formerly born a female he did not receive any portion of his paternal kingdom. His father however at the request of Vasistha conferred upon him the city of Pratishtā, and he gave it to Pururavas.

Of the other sons of Manu, Prishadhra, on account of the sin consequent upon slaying a cow, was degraded to the condition of a Sudra. From Karusha sprang the heroic persons named Kārushas. The son of Nedistha, named Nābhaga became a Vaiçya; his son was Bhalandana, whose son was the well-known Vatsapri; his son was Pransu, whose son was Prajani, whose son was Khanitra, whose son was the brave Chakshupa, whose son was Vinsa, whose son was Vivinsati, whose son was Khaninetra, whose son was the powerful, rich, and heroic Karandhama, whose son was Avikshit, whose son was the powerful Marutta, regarding whom this celebrated verse is recited—”Who else on this earth has been able to celebrate a sacrifice like one celebrated by Marutta?” All the implements and utensils were made of gold. Indra was intoxicated with the drinking of Soma juice and all the Brāhmans were greatly pleased on having liberal presents. In his sacrifice the winds were the guards and the other celestials were the courtiers. Marutta was a lord paramount; he had a son named Narishyanta; his son was Dama; his son was Rayavarddana; his son was Suddhriti; his son was Nara; his son was Kevala; his son was Banduhmat; his son was Vegavat; his son was Budha; his son was Trinavindu, who had a daughter under name of Ilavita. Being enamored of Trinavindhu, the nymph Alambushā bore him a son named Visāla by whom the city Vaisāli was founded.

Vinata had a son whose name was Hemchandra; his son was Suchandra; his son was Dhumraswa; his son was Srinjaya; his son was Sahadeva; his son was Krisaswa; his son was Somadatta, who performed ten times the sacrifice of a horse; his son was Janemajaya, whose son was Sunati. These kings are known as Vaisālas, of them it is said—”By the mercy of Trinavindhu all the kings of Vaisāli were long-lived, magnanimous and just and brave”.

Saryati had a daughter named Sukanyā. Chyavana married her. He had a pious son named Anartta, who had a son called Revata who governed the country called after the name of his father Anartta and lived at the capital called Kusasthali. The son of this king was Raivata or Kakudmin, the eldest of a hundred bretheren. He had a daughter named Revati. He repaired with her to the region of Brahmā to consult with the god springing from lotus upon whom to confer her. When he reached there the Gandharvas, Haha and Huha, were singing before Brahmā and Raviata waited till they had finished. And the ages passed away during the performance seemed to him as a moment. When they had finished singing Raivata laid himself low before Brahmā and asked him about a fit bridegroom. Brahmā said—”Whom should you wish for a son-in-law?” And bowing again Raivata mentioned to him various persons whom he liked. Nodding his head smiling graciously Brahmā said to him—”Of those whom you have mentioned there is no trace of their family on earth Many ages have passed away whilst you were listening to the songs of Gandharvas. Now the twenty-eighth great age of the present Manu is well-nigh gone. Kali is fast approaching. You alone give away this jewel of a daughter to somebody; all thy friends, ministers, servants, wife, kinsmen, armies, wealth have along since been taken away by the hand of Time”.

That king, being terrified again, said, bowing, to Brahmā “O lord, such being the circumstance, upon whom shall I confer this daughter?” Thereupon nodding, the preceptor of the seven worlds—the god, whose throne is lotus, said to the king, standing humbly before—”The being, whose beginning, middle or end we do not know, who exists in all, who is the creator, whose real and infinite nature and essence we do not know is (Vishnu). His power cannot be measured by time, consisting of moments and hours and years; he has no birth or death—all objects are his form—he is eternal—he has no form or name. By the mercy of that imperishable being I am the agent of creation—Rudra is the agent of destruction and Vishnu is the agent of preservation. He, assuming my form creates the universe; in his own essence he provides for its duration; in the form of Rudra he devours all things; and with the body of Ananta he upholds them, In the person of Indra and other celestials he protects mankind and as the sun and moon he dispels darkness. Assuming the nature of fire he bestows warmth and maturity, and in that of earth he nourishes all beings. In the shape of air he gives activity, in the shape of water he gives satisfaction and in the shape of sky he provides space for all objects. He, being creator, creates himself; he, being preserver, preserves himself; he, being destroyer, destroys his own universal form. He is imperishable; there is nothing distinct from him. In him is the world; he is the world; and he, the primeval self-born, is again present in the world. O king, the glorious Vishnu has incarnated a portion of himself on earth. O king, your picturesque city Kusasthali, like the city of Indra, is now called Dwārakā. There reigns a portion of Kesava in the person of Baladeva. O king, confer this daughter of thine upon him, who appears under the guise of a man. He is an excellent bridegroom for this gem of a daughter and she is a fit bride”.

Parāçara said:—Being thus advised by the deity springing from lotus, the king returned to earth and beheld mankind, greatly reduced in size and vigour and weakened in intellect. Thereupon that king, having incomparable wisdom, repairing to his own city Kusathali which he saw greatly changed, gave his daughter to Baladeva whose breast was as fair and radiant as crystal. And beholding that damsel of excessive height the king, whose banner is a palm tree, shortened her with the end of his ploughshare. Being thus shortened she became like other women. Balarāma thus married duly Revali, the daughter of Raivata. And the king, too giving away daughter, retired to the mountain Himalaya and engaged in penances with a subdued mind.


Whilst Kakudmin Raivata was absent in the region of Brahmā, Rākshasas named Punyjanas devastated his capital Kusasthali. His hundred brothers, afraid of the enemies, fled in different directions and their descendants the Kshatriyas settled all over the country.

From Dhristha originated the Kshatriya race of Dharshtaka; the son of Nabhaga was Nābhaga; his son was Ambarisa; his son was Virupa; his son was Prishadāswa; his son was Rathinara, of whom it is said—”These princes of Rathinara family, although Kshatriyas by birth, were called Angerasas or sons of Angera and were Brāhmans and Kshatriyas”.

As Manu was sneezing Ikshawku was born from his nostril. He had a hundred sons of whom the three well-known were Vikukshi, Nimi and Danda. These and fifty under Sakuni were the rulers of the north. Forty-eight were the rulers of the south.

Being engaged in the celebration of an ancestral rite upon Ashtaka day Ikshawku ordered Vikukshi to bring him flesh suitable for the offering. The prince, therefore, went into woods and slew many a deer and other wild animals for the purpose. Being exhausted with hunting he was hungry; accordingly he sat down and ate a hare. And being refreshed he carried the rest of the game to his father. Vaisishtha, the family priest of Ikshawakus, was invited to consecrate the food; but he said that it was impure on account of Vikuksh’s having eaten a hare from amongst it. Being thus informed by his spiritual preceptor the father abandoned his son who, in consequence thereof, received the epithet Sasāda (hare-eater). On the demise of his father he piously ruled over the earth. A son, Puranjaya by name, was born to him.

There took place a dreadful conflict in the Treta yuga between the gods and demons in which the former were defeated. They accordingly repaired to Vishnu for help and propitiated him by their adorations. Being propitiated the primeval deity, the eternal ruler of the universe, Nārāyana said to them—”What you have desired is known to me. Hear how your desires shall be fulfilled. There is a foremost Kshatriya king named Puranjaya, son of the royal saint Sasāda. Infusing a portion of myself into his body I shall descend on earth and slay all the demons. Do you so endeavour that Putanjaya might engage in the work of the destruction of Asuras”. Hearing those words the celestials bowed unto the glorious Vishnu and went to Paranjaya and addressed him, saying, “O foremost of Kshatriyas, we have come to thee to secure thy help in the destruction of our enemies in which we have been engaged. It will not behove thee to neglect our friendship who have come here”. Being thus addressed Puranjaya said—”If Indra, the lord of the three worlds, the king of you all, who is known as the performer of hundred sacrifices, agrees to carry me upon his shoulders, I shall then fight with your enemies and help you”. The celestials and Indra immediately said “so be it”.

Thereupon Satakratu assumed the shape of a bull and the king mounted upon his shoulder. And being invigorated by the power of the undecaying God, the lord of all moveable and and immoveable things, he slew all the Asuras in the battle between the gods and demons. And in consequence of his destroying the Asura army whilst seated upon the hump of the bull he obtained the appellation Kakutstha. The son of Kakutstha was Anenas, whose son was Pritha, whose son was Viswagaswa, whose son was Arda, whose son was Yuvanāswa, whose son was Sravasta, by whom the city of Srāvasti was founded. The son of Sravasta was Vrihadawa whose son was Kuvalayaswa. This prince, invigorated by the energy of Vishnu, slew the Asura Dhundhu, who had disturbed the pious sage Uttanka, and he was accordingly named Dhundhumara (slayer of Dhundhu). Whilst fighting with the demon he was attended by his twenty one thousand sons, who all, with the exception of three, were consumed by the fiery breath of Dhundhu. These three Were Dhridhāswa, Chandrāswa and Kapilāswa. The son of Dhridhāswa was Baryāswa, whose son was Nikumbha, whose son was Sanhataswa, whose son was Krisāswa, whose son was Basenajit, whose son was another Yuvanāswa.

Being aggrieved in consequence of having no son he lived in the hermitage of saints. And being worked up with compassion of sages engaged in the performance of a religious ceremony for this offspring. When half the night had passed away they finished the ceremony and having placed a vessel of consecrated water upon the altar they slept.

When they had slept the king, distressed with thirst, entered the cottage and did not like to disturb the rishis. He then drank the water in the vessel consecrated and rendered efficacious by sacred texts.

When the Rishis got up in the morning, they said—”Who has drunk this consecrated water? Drinking this the wife of the king Yuvanāswa would have given birth to a valiant son”. Hearing this the king said—”I have unknowingly drunk this water”.

Accordingly a child was conceived in the belly of Yuvanāswa; it grew and in proper time it ripped open the right side of the king and was born. But the king did not die. The son being born the Rishis said—”Who will be its nurse”. There appeared the king of the celestials and said “He shall have me for his nurse (mamayan dhāsyati)”. He was thence called Māndhāta. Indra put his fore-finger into the mouth of the infant, who sucked it and drew it from heavenly nectar. And he grew up and became a powerful king and brought the seven continents into his subjection. It is said of him “From the rising of the setting sun all that is lighted by his rays is the land of Māndhāta the son of Yuvanāswa”.

Māndhāta married Vindumati, the daughter of Sasāvindu end begot on her three sons Purukutsa, Ambarisha and Muchukunda; he had also fifty daughters.

An ascetic, named Saubhari, versed in Rig Veda lived in the waters for twelve years. There lived a huge fish, who was the sovereign, named Sammada, He had a numerous progeny. His children and grand children used to sport around him in all directions and he lived happily amongst them, playing with them day night before the ascetic. Being disturbed in his devotions that ascetic, in the waters, beholding the sport of the king of fish with his children and grand children, thought within himself—”Blessed is the being, who, although born in a degraded state, is sporting with his children and grand children. This has created envy in me and I wish to sport with my children and grand children”. Having thus made up his mind the ascetic speedily came up from the water and being desirous of becoming a householder went to Māndhāta to demand one of his daughters as his wife.

Thereupon hearing of the arrival of the sage the king rose up from his seat and worshipped him with libation. Having taken a seat Saubhari said to the king—”I have made up my mind to marry. Do you, O king, give me one of your daughters as a wife. Don’t disappoint my love. If any one comes to the race of Kakutstha with a desire he does not go back disappointed. O king, there are many other sovereigns on this earth who have got daughters; but thy family is renowned above all in granting liberal gifts to them who come with that purpose. O king, you have got fifty daughters—confer one of them upon me so that I may be relieved from the anxiety I feel in consequence of the fear that my request may not be granted”.

Parāçara said—Hearing the words of the sage and beholding his body worn out with infirmities (he did not like to satisfy his desire)—but afraid of an imprecation he much disturbed in mind and lowering his head thought some time. The Rishi said—”What are you meditating upon, O king? I have not asked for any such thing which you cannot give. Your daughter must be given to somebody. But if you fulfill my desires what is there that cannot obtained by you?” Thereupon the king; afraid of his displeasure, said—”O illustrious sir, such is the practice in our family, that daughters must be given to such fitting persons as they shall themselves select. I did never expect that such a request would come from you—I do not know why such a desire has taken place in your mind. This has created perplexity in me and I am at a loss what to do”. Hearing that the sage thought within himself—”This is merely an indirect way of not yielding to my request, I am an old man, having no attractions for women and his daughters will not accept me. Whatever it may be, I shall to that”. Thinking thus, the sage said to Māndhāta—”If such be the custom of your family—give orders that I may be admitted into the interior of your palace. If any one of your daughters selects me I shall take her as my wife—if none of them be willing, I shall desist from such an attempt considering that I am too old for it”. Having said this the sage was silent.

Being afraid of the imprecation of the sage, the king ordered the eunuch to conduct him to the inner apartment. As he entered, he assumed a form of beauty far exceeding that of men or gods. Addressing the princesses his guide said to them—”Your father, young ladies, sends this pious sage to you who wanted of him a bride. And the king has promised that he will give her to him who will select him”. Hearing these words the princesses were all excited with desire and passion, and like a troop of female elephants encircling the lord of the herd, they all contended to have him as their husband. They said to one another—”Away away, sister, I shall take him as my husband. He has already been selected by me; he is not a meet bridegroom for you. He has been purposely created by Brahmā for me as I have been created to become his wife. As soon as he entered the house I selected him as my husband; why do you prevent him from becoming so?” Thus there arose a conflict amongst the daughters of the king, each contending that I have selected him as my husband. While that blameless sage was thus selected by all the princesses the eunuch went to the king and with down cast looks reported to him what had taken place. Having received all information, the king, perplexed the more, thought—”What is all this! What I am to do now! What is it that I have said” and then with extreme reluctance gave away all his daughters to the sage.

Thus the wished-for marriage of the great sage was accomplished and he took away all the princesses to his hermitage. Thereupon he ordered Viswakarmā like second Brahmā, the inventor of art, to construct separate palaces for each of his wives, to furnish each palace with elegant couches and seats and furniture and to attach to them spacious yards, groves with reservoirs of water where the wild ducks and swans should sport amidst beds of lotuses. Thereupon the celestial architect carried out the orders of the sage. And at the behest of the great sage, Saubhari, the divine and inexhaustible treasure Nanda lived there permanently.

Thereupon the princesses entertained there day and night all their guests and dependant with richest and choicest viands.

Once on a time the king, attracted by his affection for the daughters, went to the hermitage of the great ascetic to learn whether his daughters were in poverty or happiness. Repairing there he beheld a number of crystal palaces, brilliant as the rays of the sun and picturesque gardens and tanks. Entering one of the palaces and embracing his daughter, the king said to her with tears of affection and delight in his eyes—”Dear child, tell me how are you here. Are you happy here or not? Does the great sage treat you kindly? Do you remember thy early home?” Being thus addressed the daughter said to her father—”O father, this palace is picturesque surrounded by charming gardens with birds emitting sweet notes, and tanks abounding in full-blown lotuses. I have got here rich viands, fragrant unguents, precious ornaments, costly clothes, soft beds and every other thing that wealth can give. But still then, why should I not remember my early home. By thy favour I have obtained all these things. But there is one source of my grief—my husband never goes out of my house. He is solely attached to me and is always at my side; he never goes to my sisters; for this my sisters are sorry; this is the only cause of my uneasiness”. Being thus addressed he went to the second palace and embracing his daughter and taking his seat he put the same question. The same account of the enjoyment of palaces and other things was given by her; she also made the same complaint that the sage was solely attached to her and paid no attention to her sisters. Hearing this the king went round all the palaces, put the same question to all his daughters and received the same reply. Having his heart filled with satisfaction and wonder he repaired to the glorious Saubhari who was alone and reverentially said to him—”O illustrious sage, marvellous is thy power—I have never seen this in any other person. Oh great is the reward of thy austere penances”. Having bowed unto the sage and been welcomed by him with great reverence the king lived with him for some time and enjoying the pleasures of the place returned to his capital.

As time went on the daughters of Māndhāta bore to Saubhari one hundred and fifty sons. Gradually he became more and more attached to his children and his mind was wholly engrossed with selfish thoughts. He always used to think—”When will these sons of mine speak to me in sweet accents? When will they learn to walk? When will they attain to youth? When shall I see them wedded? When shall I behold them with their sons?” With these anticipations, he spent some time and at last thought “What exceeding folly is mine! There is no end of desires even in ten thousand or a hundred thousand years. With one desire gratified another springs up. I have seen my infants walk—I have seen their youth, their manhood, their marriage, their children, still my desires are not gratified and mind longs after seeing the descendants of their descendants. When I shall see them another desire will spring up. When that is satisfied another wish will be engendered.

“How can the growth of desires be prevented? I have now learnt that there is no end of desires till death. His mind can never be devoted to the supreme spirit who is a perpetual slave of desires. My devotions, whilst I was in the waters, were thwarted by my attachment to my friend, the fish. The outcome of that connection was my marriage and the result of that marriage is the cycle of worldly desires. Birth with one body is a source of many ills. By my marriage with the princesses I have got one hundred and fifty sons so my miseries have been multiplied to that extent. And they will be infinitely multiplied by their children, by their wives and their progeny—thus a married life is a source of individual anxiety. My devotions, which I practised in the waters, have been thwarted by my worldly wealth and I have been beguiled by the desire for the progeny which was created in me by the association with Sammada. For the ascetics separation from the world is the only way to liberation; association with others is a source of many evils. Even the most accomplished ascetic is degraded by worldly attachments what to speak of those whose observances are incomplete. Though my intellect has been possessed by the desire of married life still I shall exert myself for the salvation of my soul so that freed from human infirmities I may be released from human sufferings. For that purpose by austere penances I shall propitiate Vishnu, the creator of the universe whose form cannot be ascertained, who is smaller than the smallest, larger than the largest, the source of darkness and light—the king of gods. May my mind, freed from sins, be devoted to his body which is both descrete and indescrete substance, boundlessly mighty, at one with the universe so that I may not be born again. I seek the refuge of that Vishnu, who is the teacher of teachers, who is identical with, all beings, the pure eternal lord of all, without beginning, middle or end and besides whom there exists nothing”.


Parāçara said—Having thus thought within himself Sauvari renounced his children, his home, his splendour and wealth and repaired with his wives to the forest. Having daily performed there the observances of the ascetics called Vaikhānasas (or ascetics having families) he cleansed himself from all iniquities. When his mind was ripe and freed from passions he concentrated in his spirit the sacramental fires and became a religious mendicant. Then having made over all his actions to the glorious god he attained to the condition of Achyuta which is above change, the vicissitudes of birth, transmigration or death. Whoever shall read, hear, remember, or understand this story of Sauvari and his marriage with the daughters of Māndhāta, shall never, for eight successive births, be addicted to evil thoughts nor shall he act unrighteously, nor shall he think of improper objects—nor shall he be subject to selfishness; I shall now describe to you the progeny of Māndhāta.

The son of Ambarisha, the son of Māndhāta, was Yuvanāswa; his son was Harita from whom sprang Angirāsa Hāritas.

In the regions below the earth, the Gandharvas named Mauneyas, six million in number, had defeated the snake-gods, usurped their kingdom and stolen away all their precious jewels. Defeated by the Gandharvas the serpent chiefs addressed the lord of celestials, sleeping on the surface of the ocean of milk as he awoke from his sleep; and the blossoms of his lotus eyes opened as he listened to their hymns.

They all bowing said—”How shall we be relieved from the fear of these Gandharvas?” Where to the glorious god replied—”I shall enter into the person of Purukutsa, the son of Māndhāta, the son of Yuvanāswa and slay all the Gandharvas”. On hearing these words the snake-gods bowed and went away and returning to their country sent Narmadā to secure the help of Purukutsa.

Accordingly Narmadā went to Purukutsa and led him to the regions below the earth, where, being filled with the energy of Vishnu he slew all the Gandharvas. He then returned to his own house. And the snake-gods conferred upon Narmadā a boon that whosoever should think of her, mention her name, should never have any fear from the snakes. This is the invocation: “Salutation unto Narmadā in the morning; salutation unto Narmadā at night, salutation to thee O Narmadā, save me from this serpent’s poison”. Whoever shall repeat this day and night shall not be bitten by a serpent in the dark or in entering a room. Nor shall he, who shall remember this, suffer from poison, when he eats even food mixed with it. They also conferred a boon on Purukutsa that none in this family shall be bitten.

Purukutsa begot on Narmadā a son, named Trasadasya, whose son was Sambbuta, whose son was Anaranja, who was killed by Rāvana when he traversed the country for conquests. Anaranja’s son was Prishadaswa; his son was Haryyaswa; his son was Sumanas; his son was Tridhanwan; his son was Trayyaruna; his son was was Satyavrata who received the name of Trisanku and was degraded to the state of a Chandāla or outcast. Once on a time there was a famine for twelve years. He used to suspend flesh upon a fig-tree on the banks of the Ganges for the wife and children of Viswamitra—he did not give it with his own hands for he might not accept the present of a Chandāla. For this Viswamitra was highly pleased and took him in his living body to heaven.

The son of Trisanku was Haris Chandra, whose son was Rohitaswa, whose son was Harita, whose son was Chunchu, who had two sons named Vijaya and Sudeva. Ruruka was the son of Vijaya and his son was Vrika whose son was Bahu, This king was defeated by the tribes of Haihayas and Tālajanghas and his country was devastated by them for which he fled into woods with his wives. One of those was pregnant and the rival queen being jealous gave her poison to prevent her delivery and the child was confined in the womb for seven years. And Bahu, being stricken in years, died near the hermitage of the sage Aurva. Having constructed the funeral pile the queen was about to ascend it when the sage Aurva, who was cognisant of past, present and future came out of the cottage and prevented her saying—”Hold, hold! This is sinful; there is in thy womb a heroic king—the sovereign of many kingdoms, the offerer of many sacrifices, the slayer of his enemies and a lord paramount. Do not commit such an unrighteous act”. Being addressed thus the queen gave up her intention. The sage then took her to his own cottage and after some time she gave birth to a valiant son—and with him the poison came out. And after performing ceremonies consequent upon birth, Aurva gave him, for that, the name of Sagara (from sa with and gara, poison). He then invested him with the sacred cord, taught him the Vedas and the use of all weapons and especially those of fire called after Bhārgava. When Sagara grew up he one day asked his mother, saying—”O mother why are we living here? Who is my father? Where is he?” Being thus questioned his mother related to him everything. Hearing this he was greatly enraged and promised to recover his father’s kingdom and destroy the Haihayas and Tālajanghas by whom it had been devastated. When he grew up he destroyed all the Haihayas and would have also destroyed the Sakas the Yavanas, Kambojas, Paradas, and Pahnavas, had they not solicited the protection of Vasishtha, the family priest of Sagara.

Vasishtha, making them deprived of their power, although living, thus said to Sagara—”O my child, these, are already dead. What is the use of pursuing them? To keep up your vow I have made them renounce their own religion and the company of twice-born ones”. Sagara reverentially obeyed the request of his spiritual guide and imposed upon them peculiar distinguishing marks. He made the Yavanas shave their heads entirely and the Sakas partially. The Paradas wore their long hair and the Pahnavas allowed their beards to grow according to his command. He withdrew from these and other Kshatriya races the privilege of offering oblations to fire and studying the Vedas. And being thus deprived from the performance of religious rites and having been abandoned by the Brāhmins they all became Mlechasas. Having thus recovered his kingdom Sagara ruled over the earth having seven continents with undisputed sway.


Parāçara said:—Sagara had two wives Sumati, the daughter of Kasyapa and Kesini, the daughter of king Viderbha. Having no offspring the king earnestly solicited the help of the sage Aurva who conferred upon him a boon that one wife should bear him a son who would keep up the race and the other sixty thousand sons; but he allowed them to make their election. Kesini chose to have one son and the other chose to have sixty thousand. Within a few days Kesini gave birth to a son named Asamanjas who upheld the family and Sumati the daughter of Vinata gave birth to a sixty thousand sons. Asamanjas had a son whose name was Ansumat.

Asamanjas was very wicked from his boyhood. His father hoped that with manhood he would reform his conduct. But he continued same even with age so his father renounced him. The sixty thousand sons of Sagara followed the example of their brother Asamanjas. The sons of Sagara having thus trodden the paths of virtue and piety in the world the celestials went to the ascetic Kapila, who was free from guilt, versed in learning and in whom was a portion of Vishnu. Having bowed unto him they said—”These sons of Sagara have followed the conduct of Samanjas. If they continue so how will the world be upheld? Thou art incarnate for the protection of the world”. Hearing this Kapila said—”They shall soon be destroyed”.

Thereupon Sagara undertook the celebration of a horse sacrifice. They were all engaged to look after the horse. Nevertheless some one stole the horse and carried it to the region below the earth. He then ordered them to search out the steed. Then following the impressions of its hoofs with perseverance they dug downwards each for a league. And coming to the region beneath they saw the horse walking freely. They saw at a distance Kapila, illuminating with the radiance of his person all the quarters, up and down like unto the autumnal sun freed from clouds. Then with uplifted weapons they rushed towards him, saying—”Slay him, slay him; this villain has spoiled our sacrifice; he has stolen our horse”. Then turning his eyes a little Kapila looked towards them and with the sacred flame that came out of his body, the sons of Sagara were in no time reduced to ashes.

When Sagara came to know that all his sons, whom he had sent in quest of the horse, had been destroyed by the might of the sage Kapila he sent Asamanja’s son to bring the animal. Ansumat, proceeding by the path which Sagara’s sons had dug, arrived where Kapila was and reverentially bowing unto him so pleased him that he said—”Go my son and gave over the horse to your grand father; ask of me a boon; thy grand-son shall bring down the river of heaven on earth”. Ansumat begged of the glorious Rishi a boon that his uncles, who had died on account of his displeasure although unworthy of it, might be raised to heaven. The Rishi said—”I have told you that your grandson shall bring down the Ganges upon earth. When the ashes and bones Sagara’s sons shall be washed by her waters they shall be raised to heaven. Such is the glory of the stream that issues from the toe of Vishnu that they all, who bathe in it intentionally or accidentally, go to heaven. Even those shall go to heaven whose bones, skin, fibres, hair or any other part shall be left after death upon the earth which is contiguous to the Ganges”. Thereupon reverentially bowing unto the sage and taking the steed, he went where his grandfather was celebrating the sacrifice. On receiving back the horse Sagara completed the sacrifice and in memory of his sons he gave the name of Sagara [256] to the chasm which they had dug.

[256] Sagara is still the name of the Bay of Bengal at the mouth of the Ganges which is held in great reverence by the Hindus. There is an island there of the same name where there is a pilgrimage of Kapila where still now takes place an annual fair.

The son of Ansumat was Dilipa; his son was Bhagiratha who brought down the Ganges on earth, whence she is called Bhāgirathi. The son of Bhagiratha was Sruta, whose son was Nabhaga, whose son was Ambarisha, whose son was Sindhudwipa, whose son was Ayutaswa, whose son was Rituparna, the friend of Nala, well-skilled in dice; the son of Rituparna was Sarvakāma, whose son was Sudāsa whose son was Sandasa named also Mitrasaha.

Once going out on hunting, the son Sudāsa met with a couple of tigers who had cleared the forest of the deer. He killed of these tigers with an arrow. At the time of dying the form of the animal was changed and it assumed that of a dreadful and hideous fiend. And the second disappeared saying—”I shall take vengeance upon you”.

After some time Saudāsa celebrated a sacrifice which was conducted by Vasishtha. At the end of the ceremony Vasishtha went out when the Raksha assuming the shape of Vasishtha said—”The sacrifice is finished to-day. You must give me flesh to eat; I shall just now come back”. Having said this he went away and transforming himself into the shape of the cook prepared some human flesh. Saudāsa placing it on a dish of gold, waited for Vasishtha. As soon as the sage came back the king offered to him the dish. Thereat the sage thought—”Alas! what improper conduct on the part of the king that he is offering me flesh!” Then by virtue of his meditation he came to know that it was human flesh. Being worked up with ire accordingly he imprecated the king—”Since you have offered, though you know it, to such holy men as we are what should not be eaten, henceforth, your appetite shall be excited by similar food”.

The king said—”It was yourself who commanded this food to be prepared”. Vasishtha said—”By me, how could that have been”. And being engaged in meditation again he found out the whole truth. Being pleased with the king he said—”The food to which I have doomed you shall not be your sustenance for ever; it shall be only so for twelve years”. And the king, taking water in his palms addressed himself for cursing the sage but gave up his intention, being reminded by his queen Madayanti that it ill became him to imprecate a curse upon a holy teacher who was the guardian divinity of the family. Unwilling to throw the water upon the earth lest it should wither up the grain for it was filled with malediction and being equally unwilling to throw it up into the air lest it should blast the clouds and dry up their contents, he threw it upon his own feet. Scalded by the heat which was in the water on account of his angry imprecation the feet of the king became spotted black and white and he therefore obtained the name of Kalmashapāda (i.e. having spotted feet).

On account of Vasishtha’s curse the king used to become a cannibal every third night and travelling through the forests devoured many men. Once on a time he saw a pious sage engaged in dalliance with his wife. And beholding that terrible Rākshasa form they fled away in fear but he got hold of the husband whilst they escaping. Thereupon the wife of the Brāhman begged of him her husband again and again—”Thou art the great king Mitrasaha, the pride of Ikshwaku race—not the Rākshasa. It is not proper for thee who knowest the nature of women, to carry off my husband and devour him”. In vain did she lament in many ways; he devoured the Brāhman as a tiger devours a deer. Being worked up with ire the Brāhman’s wife addressed the king and said—”Since, you have devoured my husband before I was satiated in his company, you shall die as soon as you shall associate with your queen”. Having thus cursed him she entered the flames.

After the expiration of twelve years when he was freed of the curse, he, being desirous of dallying with his wife, thought of Madayanti who reminded him of the curse of Brahmani. He, therefore, abstained from conjugal intercourse. Being childless he solicited the help of Vasishtha and Madayanti became pregnant. The child was not born for seven years, and the queen divided the womb with a sharp stone and a son was born who was named Asmaka. The son of Asmaka was Mulaka. When the Kshatriyas were rooted out from the earth, he was concealed by a number of women, hence he was called Narikavachā (having woman for armour). The son of Mulaka was Dasaratha; his son was Ilavile; his son was Viswasaha; his son was Khatwanga, called also Dilipa, who, being invited by the gods in a war with the Asuras, destroyed a number of them. Being pleased thereby the celestials asked him to pray for a boon. Dilipa said—”If you press me to accept a boon, tell me what is the duration of my life”. The god said “The length of your life is but an hour”. Thereupon Khatwanga, who was gifted with great velocity, came down, in his easy-coursing car to the world of mortals. Having reached there, he prayed and said—”If my soul has never been dearer to me than the sacred Brāhmans; If I have never deviated from the satisfaction of duty; if I have never looked upon gods, men, animals, vegetables, and all created things as different from the imperishable, may I then attain unswervingly to that divine being, upon whom the holy sages meditate”.

Having thus spoken he was united with that supreme being—Vāsudeva who is the preceptor of all the gods, who is abstract existence and whose form cannot be described. Thus he was united with Vāsudeva and obtained absorption.

A stanza was cited by the seven rishis in the days of yore—”There shall be no king on earth like Khatwanga. He came from heaven, dwelt an hour on earth, and became united with three worlds by means of his liberality and knowledge of truth”.

The son of Khatwanga was Dirghābahu, whose son was Raghu, whose son was Aja, whose son was Dasaratha. The glorious god, from whose navel the lotus springs, was born for the protection of the world, as the four sons of Dasaratha—namely Rāma, Lakshmana, Bharata and Satrughna. While a boy Rāma was taken by Viswamitra to protect his sacrifice and slew Tadakā. In the sacrifice, Māricha was slain and thrown away. Suvahu and others were also slain by him. He removed the iniquity of Ahalyā by merely looking upon her. Arriving at the palace of Janaka he easily broke the bow of Maheswara, and received Sitā, self-born daughter of the king Janaka as the meed for his prowess. He humbled the pride of Parusharama—the Ketu of the Haihaya race and the slayer of all Kshatriyas. At the behest of his sire and not being sorry for the loss of kingdom he went to woods accompanied by his brother Lakshmana and his wife, where he destroyed in battle Viradha, Kara, Dusana and other Rākshasas, the headless demon Kavandha and Vali the king of monkeys. Having constructed a bridge across the deep and slain all the Rākshasas, he brought back his spouse Sitā who had been carried away by the Ten-necked Rāvana. Having purified her by the fiery ordeal, and accordingly her virtue chanted by the celestials, he returned with her to Ayodhyā.

Having slain a number of Gandharvas, Bharata became the master of their country and having slain the Rākshasa chief Lavana, the son of Madhu, Satrughna took possession of their capital Muthrā.

Having thus by their unequalled might and strength the world from the grasp of the wicked, Rāma, Lakshmana, Bharata and Satrughna went back to heaven and were followed by those inhabitants of Kosala who were one-mindedly devoted to those incarnate portions of Vishnu.

Rāma had two sons one was named Kusa and the other Lava. Lakshmana too had two sons by the name of Angada and Chandraketu. The sons of Bharata were Taksha and Pushkara. Subāhu and Surasena were the sons of Satrughna.

The son of Kusa was Atithi, whose sort was Nishadha, whose son was Nala, whose son was Nabhas, whose son was Pundarika, whose son was Kshernadhanwan, whose son was Devanika, whose son was Ahinagu, whose son was Paripatra, whose son was Dala, whose son was Chhala, whose son was Uktha, whose son was Vajranābha, whose son was Sāukanātha, whose son was Abhyuthitaswa, whose son was Viswasaha whose son was Hiranyanabha, who was a pupil of the great ascetic Jamini and imparted spiritual knowledge upon Jajnawakla. The son of this pious king was Pushya whose son was Dhruva Sandhi, whose son was Sudarsana, whose son was Agniverna, whose son was Sighra, whose son was Maru who, by virtue of his power of devotion, is still living in the village called Kalpā and who in future will be the restorer of the Kshatriya race in the solar dynasty. Maru’s son was Prasusruta, whose son was Susandhi, whose son was Amarsha, whose son was Mahaswat, whose son was Visrutavat, whose son was Vrihadbala, who was slain in the great war by Abhimanyu, the son of Arjuna. These are the most illustrious kings is the race of Ikshawku. Whoever hears of account of them will be freed from all sins.


The son of Ikshawku, by name Nimi, instituted a sacrifice for a thousand years and appointed Vasishtha as the presiding priest. Vasishtha said to him—”I have been already appointed by Indra for presiding at a sacrifice for five hundred years. Wait for some time, I shall come and officiate as a priest at your sacrifice”. Being thus addressed the king did not answer. And Vasishtha went away supposing that he had agreed. Nimi in the meantime engaged Gautama and other ascetics and conducted the sacrifice. After the sacrifice of the king of celestials had been finished, Vasishtha hurried on to celebrate Nimi’s sacrifice and found that it was being conducted under the superintendence of Gautama. Vasishtha then imprecated a curse upon the king who was asleep, saying “Since the king, not informing me, has entrusted Gautama with the charge of the sacrifice, he shall cease to exist in a corporeal form”. When Nimi got up he came to know what had happened and in return imprecated a curse upon his unjust preceptor that he should also cease to exist in a corporeal form as the punishment of uttering a curse upon him without previously communicating with him. Nimi then gave up his bodily form. The spirit of Vasishtha, also renouncing his body, was united with the spirits of Mitra and Varuna for some time, when at last on account of their lustful desire for the nymph Urvasi he was born again in a different body. Nimi’s body continued to be handsome and being embalmed with fragrant oils and resins it was not decomposed and remained like the corpse of one just dead. When the gods arrived there to receive their portion on the completion of the sacrifice the priests requested them to confer blessings upon the celebrator of the sacrifice. And being ordered by the celestials for the same Nimi said—”O celestials, you remove all ills from the world. There is not in the world a greater cause of distress than the separation of soul and body. I therefore wish to dwell in the eyes of all beings and not to take up a corporeal form any more”. The celestials agreed to this and Nimi was placed by them in the eyes of all living beings and therefore their eye-lids are ever opening and shutting. As Nimi had no son the sages were afraid that the earth would have no ruler. So they churned the body of the king and a son was born who was named Janaka. As his father had no body Janaka was also called Videha. He also received the name of Mithi for having been produced by mathana or agitation. The son of Janaka was Udavasu, whose son was Nandivarddana, whose son was Suketu, whose son was Devarata, whose son was Vrihaduktha, whose son was Mahavirya, whose son was Satyadhristi, whose son was Dhrishtaketu, whose son was Haryyaswa, whose son was Maru, whose son was Pratibandhaka, whose son was Krisaratha, whose son was Krita, whose son was Vibudha, whose son was Mahadhriti, whose son was Kritirāta, whose son was Mahadhriti, whose son was Suvarnaroman, whose son was Haraswaroman, whose son was Siradhwaja.

Siradhwaja ploughing the field, to make it ready for a sacrifice which he undertook in order to obtain progeny, there sprang up in the furrow a damsel who became his daughter Sitā. The brother of Siradhwaja was Kusadhwaja who was king of Kasi. His son was named Bhanumat whose son was Satadhyumna, whose son was Suchi, whose son was Urjjavaha, whose son was Satyadwaya, whose son was Kuni, whose son was Anyana, whose son was Retujit, whose son was Arishtanemi, whose son was Srutayas, whose son was Sanjaya, whose son was Kshemari, whose son was Anenas, whose son was Minaratha, whose son was Satyaratha, whose son was Upagu, whose son was Sruta, whose son was Saswata, whose son was Sudhanwan, whose son was Subhāsa, whose son was Susruta, whose son was Jaya, whose son was Rita, whose son was Sunaya, whose son was Vitahadya, whose son was Dhriti, whose son was Bahalaswa, whose son was Kriti with whom ended the family of Janaka. These are the kings of Mithilā who shall be principally well-versed in spiritual knowledge.


Maitreya said:—”O revered sir, you have described to me the solar dynasty but I wish to hear now of the kings of the lunar dynasty, who are still well-known for their glorious deeds. It behoves you to relate it gladly to me”.

Parāçara said:—O foremost of Munis, hear from me, a description of the illustrious family of the moon which has produced many well-known kings of the earth. This family is adorned with many kings gifted with regal qualities of strength, valour, magnificence, prudence and energy such as Nahusha, Yayati, Kartavirya, Yaryuna and others. Hear I shall describe this family to you.

Atri was the son of Brahmā, the creator of the universe, who originated from the lotus that grew from the navel of Nārāyana. The son of Atri was Soma whom Brahmā made the king of plants, Brāhmans and of the stars. Some celebrated a Rajshuya sacrifice and on account of the glory derived therefrom and the vast sovereignty which he had acquired he grew haughty and licentious. He carried off Tārā, the wife of Vrihaspati, the preceptor of gods.

Soma did not give up Vrihaspati’s wife though he was again and again requested by him, commanded by Brahmā and remonstrated by the holy sages. Usanas, who was an enemy of Vrihaspati, took the side of Soma. Rudra, who was a pupil of Angiras, the father of Vrihaspati, assisted his fellow student. Because their preceptor Usanas joined Soma, Jambha, Kujambha, all the Daityas, Dānavas and other enemies of the celestials came to his help. Indra and all other celestials assisted Vrihaspati.

Thus there took place a terrible combat which being on account of Tāraka was called Tarakāmaya or Tarakā war. In this the celestials led by Rudra hurled their weapons upon the Asuras and the Asuras equally overwhelmed the gods with weapons. Thus in the conflict between the gods and demons the universe, greatly overwhelmed, sought protection of Brahmā. Thereupon the glorious God asked Usanas with the demons and Rudra with the celestials to desist from fighting and give back Tārā to Vrihaspati. Finding that she was pregnant Vrihaspati desired her no longer to keep her burden and in satisfaction of his orders she was delivered of a son whom she kept in a clump of long Munja grass. And the child as soon as it was born proved its character of divinity by its radiance. Beholding both Vrihaspati and Soma fascinated by the beauty of the child the celestials, to know whose son it was, asked Tārā, saying “O damsel whose son is he? Is he Vrihaspati’s or Soma’s”. Being thus addressed Tārā was ashamed and did not answer.

Though she was repeatedly asked by the celestials she was still mute and the child, being enraged, was about to curse her, saying—”Unless, O vile woman, you immediately speak out, who is my father, I shall so punish you for your useless shame that no woman in future shall speak the truth”. Brahmā again interfered and pacifying the child said, addressing Tara “Tell me my daughter, is this the child of Vrihaspati or of Soma?” “Of Soma,” said Tārā flushing. Thereupon the countenance of the king of constellations became bright, and expanded with joy. He at once embraced his son and said—”Well done my boy, forsooth thou art wise”. And accordingly the boy was named Budha.

I have already described how Budha begot Pururavas on Ilā. Paruravas was a prince famous for liberality, devotion, magnificence, love of truth and beauty. Having incurred the curse of Mitra and Varuna, Urvasi made up her mind to live in the land of mortals and descending there saw Pururavas. As soon as a she saw him she forgot all reserve and not caring for the comforts to heaven became greatly attached to him. And finding her far superior to all other females in beauty, elegance, symmetry, and delicacy, Pururavas was equally enamoured of her. Both the man and the woman were equally attached to each other and thought no more of any other object. The king then boldly said—”Fair woman, I love you; have pity on me and return my affection”. Urvasi turning her face a little through modesty said—”I will do so, if you satisfy the conditions I propose to you”.

“What are they?” asked the king “speak them out”. “I have two rams” said the nymph “which I love like my children; they must be kept by my bed-side and shall not be allowed to be carried away. You must not be seen by me undressed and clarified butter alone shall be my food”. The king readily agreed to these terms.

After this Pururavas and Urvasi lived together for sixty one thousand years in Alakā, sporting amidst the groves and lakes of Chaitraratha abounding in lotuses and the other forests. By these enjoyments Urvasi’s attachment increased every day and she forgot all desire for residing in the region of immortals. In the absence of Urvasi heaven appeared devoid of beauty to the celestials, nymphs, genii and quiristers. Knowing the engagement that Urvasi had contracted with the king, Viswasvasu was appointed by the Gandharvas to bring about its dissolution. And coming by night to the room where they were sleeping he carried off one of the rams: Urvasi got up by its cries and exclaimed—”Ah me! who has stolen one of my children: Had I got a husband this would not have taken place. To whom shall I go for help?” The king heard the lamentations but could not go lest he might be seen undressed. The Gandharvas then took away another ram. Again hearing the sound of its being stolen away in the sky she lamented saying—”Alas I have got no husband. I have taken the shelter of a dastardly person”. Thinking “it is darkness” the king took up a dagger and pursued them, saying—”stop, O wicked I shall soon slay you”. Immediately the Gandharvas created a flash of brilliant lightning in the room and the king was seen undressed by Urvasi. The contract was broken and she instantly disappeared. And leaving behind the rams the Gandharvas too went to the region of the celestials. Taking the rams, the king, delighted came back to his bed-room but found no Urvasi. Not finding her he wandered naked all over the world like a maniac. At length arriving at Kurukshetra he saw Urvasi sporting with four other nymphs in a lake abounding in lotuses. Like a mad man the king neared him and exclaimed—”O my wife, wait, speak with me, O thou of an iron heart”. Urvasi replied—”O great king useless is this inconsiderate attempt. I am now pregnant, go away just now and come here again after a year when I shall give you a son and remain with you for one night”. Being thus solaced Pururavas came back to his capital. Urvasi then said to her mates. “This king is that excellent man bring drawn by whose attachment I lived for such a long time”. Hearing this the other nymphs said, “Great is his beauty; we too with him could live happily for ever”.

After the expiration of a year the king again came to that place and Urvasi gave him a son by the name of Ayus. Living with him for one night she again became pregnant to bear to him five sons. She then said to the king—”O king all the Gandharvas, on account of their regard for me, are ready to confer upon thee a boon. Do thou pray for it”. The king said—”I have slain all my enemies—my faculties are all very powerful; I have friends, relations, armies and treasures; so there is nothing which I want but living with my Urvasi in the same region. So I wish to live with her always”.

After he had spoken this the Gandharvas brought to him a vessel with fire and said,—”Take this fire and according to the precepts of the Vedas divide it into three parts: then offer oblation to it for Urvasi and your desires shall thus be gratified”. The Gandharvas having said this, the king took the vessel and went away. Then coming to a forest he thought—”Oh, what stupid I am; I have brought this vessel but not Urvasi”. Then leaving the vessel there he came back to his capital. When half the night had passed he awoke and thought—”The Gandharvas conferred upon me this vessel of fire to enable me to live with Urvasi. I have left that in the forest. I shall go there to bring it”. Having said this he went there but did not find the vessel. Then beholding a young Ashwattha tree growing out of a Sami plant he argued within himself—”I left here a vessel of fire and I now see a young Ashwattha tree growing out of a Sami plant. I shall take this type of fire to my capital and having created fire by their attrition I will worship it”.

Having thus made up his mind he took the plants to his city and made their wood for attrition with pieces of as many inches as there are syllables in the Gayatri. He recited that verse and rubbed together sticks of as many inches as he recited syllables in the Gayatri, Having created fire there-from he divided it into three portions according to the precepts of the Vedas and offered oblations to it with the view of obtaining re-union with Urvasi. Having performed many sacrifices with this fire he attained to the region of the Gandharvas and suffered no more separation from his beloved Urvasi. Thus fire, that was at first one, was made three-fold in the present Manwantara by the son of Ilā.


Pururavas had six sons—Ayus, Dhimat, Amāvasu, Viswavasu, Satayus, and Srutayus. The son of Amāvasu was Bhima, whose son was Kānchana, whose son was Suhotra, whose name was Jahnu. Whilst celebrating a sacrifice this king beheld the whole of the place over-flowed with the waters of the Ganga. Being offended therefore with his eyes red with anger he united the spirit of sacrifice with himself and by the power of his devotion drunk up the river. Thereupon the celestials and the sages pleased him and got back Gangā in the capacity of his daughter. [257]

[257] For this the Gangā is called Jāhnavi i.e. issuing from Jahnu.

The son of Jahnu was Sumanta, whose son was Ajaka, whose son was Valakāswa, whose son was Kusa, who had four sons, Kusamba. Kusanābha, Amurttaya and Amāyasu.

Kusambha engaged in devout penances with the object of having a son equal to Indra. Beholding the intensity of his devotions, Indra himself took birth as his son lest a prince equally powerful like him might be born. He was accordingly born as Gadhi or Kausika. Gadhi had a daughter called Satyavati. Richika, one of the descendants of Bhrigu, wanted her in marriage. The king was reluctant to give his daughter in marriage to a peevish old Brāhmin and wanted from him as the bridal present a thousand fleet steeds whose colour should be white with one black ear. Having propitiated Varuna, the god of ocean, Richika obtained from him, at the holy place called Awatirtha a thousand horses. And giving them to the king he married his daughter.

In order to have a son he prepared a dish of rice, barley and pulse with butter and milk for his wife to eat. And being requested by her he made a similar mixture for her mother, by partaking of which she should give birth to a martial prince. Keeping both the dishes with his wife and giving her instructions which was intended for her and which for her mother, the sage went to the forest. At the time of taking the food her mother said to Satyabati—”Daughter, every one wants to have a son gifted with great qualities—and no body wishes to be excelled by the qualities of his mother’s brother. It is therefore desirable for you to give me the food which your husband has set apart for you and to partake of that intended for me; for my son shall be the sovereign of the world. What is the use of wealth, strength and prowess for a Brahmin”. Being thus addressed Satyavati gave her own food to her mother.

When the sage came back from the forest and saw Satyavati he said to her—”Sinful woman, what hast thou done? Your body appears as very fearful to me. Surely thou hast taken the food which was intended for thy mother. Thou hast committed a wrong. That food I had consecrated with the properties of power, strength and heroism; whereas your food was consecrated with the qualities of a Brāhman—gentleness, knowledge and resignation. As you have exchanged messes your son shall follow a warrior’s propensities and use weapons, and fight and slay; your mother’s son shall be born with the desires of a Brāhmin and shall be devoted to peace and piety”. Hearing this Satyavati fell at her husband’s feet and said—”I have done this through my ignorance. Be thou propitiated so that I may not have such a son. If this is inevitably let my grand son be such, not my son”. Being thus addressed the sage said—”So be it”.

Thereupon she gave birth Jamadagni and her mother brought forth Viswamitra. Satyavati afterwards became the Kausiki river, Jamadagni married Renukā the daughter of Renu, born in the race of Ikshwaku and begot on her a son, Parusarāma the destroyer of the Kshatriya race, who was a portion of Nārāyana, the preceptor of the universe. Sunasepha was conferred upon Viswamitra by the celestials as his son, who became known as Devarata. Viswamitra had other sons—Madhuchandra, Yaya, Kritadeva, Devashtaka, Kachapa and Hareetaka. These founded many families, all of whom were known by the name of Kausikas, and inter-married with the families of various Rishis.


Ayus, the eldest son of Pururavas, married the daughter of Rahu upon whom he begot five sons, Nahusha, Kshatravridha, Rambha, Raji and Anenas.

The son of Kshatravridha was Suhotra, who had three sons, Kash, Lesa, and Ghritsamanda. The son of Ghritsamnada was Saunaka who first instituted the distinction of the four castes. The son of Kasa was Kasiraja, whose son was Dirghatama, whose son was Dhanwantari, who was not subject to human infirmities and who had been master of universal knowledge in every birth. In his past life Nārāyana had conferred upon him the boon that he should be, in his next life, born in the race of Kshatriya, should be the author of the eight fold system of medical science and should be entitled to a share of offerings made to the celestials. The son of Dhanwantari, was Kesumat, whose son was Bhimaratha, whose son was Devadasa, whose son was Pratarddana, so called from destroying the race of Bhadrasrenya. He had various other names—as Satrujit. ‘The victor of enemies’ on account of his having defeated all his enemies Vatsa or ‘child’ for his father used to call him often times by that name; Ritadhwaja ‘whose emblem was truth’ for he was a great observer of truth; and Kuvalayaswa for he had a horse called Kuvalaya. His son was Alarka of whom this verse is recited in the present day—”For sixty thousand and sixty hundred years, no other youthful king except Alarka governed the earth”. The son of Alarka was Santati, whose son was Sunitha, whose son was Suketu, whose son was Dharmaketu, whose son was Satyaketu, whose son was Vibhu, whose son was Suvibhu, whose son was Sukumara, whose son was Dhristaketu, whose son was Vainahotra whose son was Bharga, whose son was Bhargabhumi, who laid down the rules of the four castes. These are the descendants of Kasa. We shall now enumerate the descendants of Raji.


Raji had five hundred sons who were all gifted with great power and heroism. Once on a time there arose a conflict between the gods and the demons, and they, all desirous of slaying the other party, inquired of Brahmā, saying “O glorious god, which of the parties shall be victorious?” The deity said—”that for which Raji shall take up arms”. The Daityas immediately went to Raji to secure his help, which he agreed to give if they would make him their king after defeating the celestials. Hearing this the Asuras said—”We cannot say one thing and do the otherwise. Prahlāda is our king and for him we wage war”. Having said this they went away and the celestials came to him for the same purpose. Raji proposed to them the same conditions and the gods agreed and said. “We shall make you our Indra”. Thereupon Raji assisted the army of the celestials and by his various weapons destroyed the Asuras. When all the enemies were defeated, Indra the king of the celestials placed Raji’s feet on his crown and said, “Thou art our father since thou hast released us from fear; thou art the supreme lord of all the worlds, because, I, who am the lord of the three worlds, have acknowledged thee as my father”.

The king smiling said—”So be it. Even if the enemies admit humiliation by flattering speeches that cannot be resisted”. Saying this he repaired to his own city. Satkratu too continued to rule as Indra.

A few days after the king went to heaven, and his sons, being incited by the sage Nārada, demanded the rank of Indra as there hereditary right. When he refused to give them the station the highly powerful princes reduced him to submission and usurped his rank. When some tune had passed, Indra, deprived of his share in the sacrifices of the three worlds, spoke to Vrihaspati in a retired place,—”Give me a little of the sacrificial butter not bigger even than a jujube for I am in want of sustenance”.

Vrihaspati said:—”Had you applied to me before I could have done any thing for you; however I will now try to gain back for you your position”. Saying this he undertook the celebration of a sacrifice for increasing the power of Indra and bringing about the downfall of Raji’s sons by leading them astray. When their understanding was bewildered the princes became haters of the Brahmins, negligent of their duties and regardless of the teachings of the Vedas; when they became devoid of religion and morality, Indra slew them and gained back his sovereignty by the help of the priest of gods. Whoever shall hear of Indra’s acquirement of the position, shall always keep his proper place and shall not be guilty of iniquity.

Rambha, the third son of Ayus, had no offspring. Kshatravriddha had a son named Pratikshatrā, whose son was Sanjaya, whose son was Vijaya, whose son was Yajnakrit, whose son was Harshavarddhana, whose son was Sahadeva, whose son was Adina, whose son was Jayasena, whose son was Sankriti, whose son was Kshatradharma. These were the progeny of Kshatravriddha. I will now enumerate those of Nahusha.


Nahusha had six brave sons namely, Yati, Yayati, Sanyati, Ayati, Viyati and Kriti. Yati declined the throne and therefore Yayati succeeded. He had two wives; Devayani, the daughter of Usanasj and Sarmishthā, the daughter of Vrishaparvan. His genealogy is thus recited—”Devayani gave birth to two sons, Yadu and Tarvasu. Sarmishthā, the daughter of Vrishaparvan, gave birth to three sons, Druhya, Anu and Puru. Owing to a curse of Usanas Yayati became untimely old and decripit. Having propitiated his father-in-law however he got the permission to transfer his old age to any one who would agree to take it. He first called his eldest son Yadu and then said,—Your maternal grand-father has caused this untime decripitude of mine. By his permission I may transfer it to you for a thousand years, I am not still satisfied with worldly enjoyments and wish to enjoy through your youth. Do not refuse compliance with my request”. Being thus addressed he did not agree to take the decay upon him for which the king imprecated a curse, saying—”No one in your prosterity shall be the king”. He then successively requested Druhya, Turvasu and Anu to give him their youth. They all refused and were accordingly cursed by the king. Lastly he called his youngest son Puru—the son of Sarmisthā and requested him for the same. That youth, of ripe understanding, at once agreed and bowing unto his father said—”I have been highly honored”. He then took upon himself his father’s infirmities and gave him his youth in exchange.

Being thus gifted with renewed youth Yayati governed the kingdom for the good of his people enjoying such pleasures as were suited to his age and strength and were in consonance with piety. He enjoyed in the company of a nymph Vishwachi day and night thinking that there would be an end of all desires. By continued enjoyment all things began to appear more pleasant to him and he then said—”Desire is never satiated by enjoyment as fire, fed with oil, becomes the more intense. No one is satisfied with barley, gold, cattle or women; therefore renounce excessive desire. When a man does not cherish any sinful feeling towards creatures and looks on all with, an equal eye he then finds everything full of pleasure and delight. The wise become happy by renouncing that desire which the feeble-minded cannot abandon and which grows not old with the aged. With age the hair becomes gray, the teeth fall off but the love of wealth and life is never gratified. A thousand years have expired and still my mind is attached to worldly enjoyments: my desires are excited every day by new objects. I shall therefore renounce all enjoyments of sense and devote myself to the culture of spiritual truth. And renouncing all attachments and not influenced by the alternatives of pleasure and pain I shall roam in the forest with the deer”.

Having thus made up his mind Yayati returned the youth to Puru and took up his own decrepitude. He then made his youngest son the sovereign and went to Tapovana (the wood of penance). He appointed as viceroys—Turvasu of the south-east districts, Druhya of the west, Yadu of the south and Anu of the north—and made Puru the supreme monarch of the earth.


Parāçara said:—I will first enumerate to you the descendants of Yadu, the eldest son of Yayati—one of whom an incarnate portion of Vishnu—of whom glory cannot be described though chanted for ever to confer the fruit of their desires—whether for virtue, wealth, pleasure or final emancipation—upon all created beings, upon men, saints, Gandharvas, spirits of evil, nymphs, centaurs, serpents, birds, demons, sages, Brahmanas and ascetics. Whoever shall hear of the descendants of Yadu shall be freed from all iniquities, for the supreme spirit—devoid of any form—Vishnu was incarnate in this family.

Yadu had four sons Sahasrajit, Kroshti, Nala and Raghu. Sasajit was the son of the eldest brother and had three sons—Haihaya, Venu and Haya. The son of Haihaya was Dharmanetra, whose son was Kunti, whose son was Sahanji, whose son was Mahishmat, whose son was Bhadrasona, whose son was Dardama, whose son was Dhanaka, who had four sons, Kritaviryya, Kritagni, Kritayarman and Kritauyyas. Kritaviryya’s son was Aryunu, who was the king of the seven insular continents and the master of a thousand arms. This king propitiated the sage Dattatreya, the descendant of Atri who was an incarnate portion of Vishnu and obtained from him these boons—a thousand arms, acting always justly, governing the world with justice, protecting it impartially, victory over his enemies and death by the hands of a person renowned in the three worlds. By these means he governed the earth powerfully and justly celebrated ten thousand sacrifices. Of him this verse is said—”The kings of the earth shall never equal him in sacrifices, liberality, in devotion, in good manners and in self-control”. In his reign nothing was lost or injured, so he governed the whole earth with undecayed health, prosperity, power and strength for eighty-five thousand years. Arriving at the city of Mahismati, on his tour of conquests whilst its king was sporting in the waters of Narmāda excited with wine, Ravana, proud for defeating the gods, demons, Gandharvas, and their king, was taken prisoner by Karthaviryya and confined like a tame beast in a corner in his capital. At the end of a long reign Karthaviryya was slain by Parashurāma Who, was an incarnate portion of Vishnu. The king had a hundred sons of which five were principal, namely Surasena, Vrishana, Madhu, and Jayadwaja. The son of the last was Tālajangha who had a hundred sons named after him Tālajanghas. The eldest of these was Vilipotrā, another was Bharata who had two sons—Vrisha and Sujati. The sons of Vrisha was Madhu; he had a hundred sons, the chief of whom was Vrishna and from him the family obtained the name of Vrishni. From the name of their father Madhu they were called Madhavas and from the name of their common ancestor Yadu they were all called Yadavas.


Parāçara said—Kroshtri, the son of Yadu, had a son named Vrijinvat, whose son was Suchi, whose son was Kushadra, whose son was Chitraratha, whose son was Sasavindu, who was the master of the fourteen great gems. He had a hundred thousand wives and a million of sons. The most famous of them were Pryihuyasas, Prithuharman, Prithujaya, Prithukirtti, Prithudaha and Prithusravas. The son of the last of these was Tamas, whose son was Usanas who performed a hundred horse sacrifices. His son was Siteyus, whose son was Rukmakavacha, whose son was Paradrit, who had five sons, Rukmeshu, Prithurukman, Jyamagha, Pahta, and Harita. In the present period the following verse is recited of Jyamagha—”Of all the husbands obedient to their wives, who have been or who will be, the most famous is the king Jyamagha, who was the husband of Saivya”. Saivya was barren—but Jyamagha was so much afraid of her that he could not, take any other wife. Once on a time after a hard fighting with horse and elephants the king defeated a powerful enemy who, leaving behind his wife, children, relations, army, treasure and kingdom, fled. When the enemy had fled Jayamagha saw a beautiful princess, exclaiming, “Save father, save me, brother” while her expansive eyes rolled wildly with fear. The king was much attracted by her beauty and cherished love for her and said to himself—”This is accidental; I have no children and am the husband of a barren lady. This maiden has fallen in my hands to keep up my family. I will marry her. But I must take her in my car to my palace, where I must have the permission of my queen for the marriage”. So he took the princess into his car and went back to his capital.

To welcome the return of the victorious king, Saivya came to the palace-gate with the ministers, courtiers and the citizens. And beholding a damsel on the left hand of the king Saivya with her lips swollen and trembling in jealousy said to the king—”Who is this fickle girl that is sitting with you in the chariot?” The king was not prepared with a reply and made answer, all on a sudden through fear of his queen—”This is my daughter-in-law?” “I have never had a son” said Saivya “and you have no other children; of what son of yours then is this girl the wife?” The king bewildered by the jealousy and anger which the words of Saivya displayed, gave this answer to avoid further contention. The king said,—”She is the young bride of the future son whom thou shalt give birth”. Hearing this Saivya gently smiled and said “so be it” and the king entered into his great palace.

This conversation regarding the birth of a son having taken place in an auspicious conjunction, aspect, and season, the queen, although she was greatly advanced in years, became pregnant and bore a son. His father named him Vidarbha and married him to the damsel he had brought home. He had three sons, Kratha, Kaisika and Romapāda. The son of Romapāda was Dhriti. The son of Kaisika was Chedi whose children were the Chaidya kings. The son of Kratha was Kunti, whose son was Vrishni, whose son was Nirvriti, whose son was Dasārha, whose son was Vyoman, whose son was Jimuta, whose son was Vikriti, whose son was Bhimaratha whose son was Navarathe, whose son was Dasaratha, whose son was Sakuni, whose son was Karambhi, whose son was Devarata, whose son Devakshatra, whose son was Madhu, whose son Anavarathu, whose son was Kuruvatsa, whose son son was Anaratha, whose son was Puruhotra, whose son was Ansu, whose son was Satwata, from whom the princes of this family were called Sātwatas. This was the progeny of of Jyamagha. He, who will hear of the account, will be freed from sins.


Parāçara said—The sons of Satwata were Bhajina Bhajamāna, Divya, Andhaka, Devavriddha, Mahābhoja and Vrishni. Bhajamāna had three sons, Nimi, Krikana, and Vrishni by one wife and as many by another, Satajit, Sahasrajit and Ayutajit. The son of Devavridha was Babhru of whom this verse is recited—”We hear, when we are at a distance and we see when we are near that Babhru is the foremost of men and Devavriddha is equal to the celestials: sixty six persons who were the disciples of one and six thousand and eight who were disciples of the other obtained immortality”. Mahabhoja was a virtuous king his descendants were the Bhojas, the kings of Mirttikāvati-thence denominated Mirttikāvāttas. Vrishni had two sons Suimitra and Yudhajit: from the former Anamitra and Sini were born. The son of Anamnitra was Nighna who had two sons Prasena and Satrajit. The god Aditya or the sun was the friend of the latter.

Once on a time arriving at the banks of the ocean, Satrajit began to hymn the praises of the sun, with his mind solely devoted to him, upon which the deity appeared and stood before him. Seeing him in an indistinct shape he said to to the Sun—”I see thee in this sky as a globe of fire—I behold thee just now in the same shape and do not perceive any distinction as a matter of favor”. Being thus addressed the divine sun took the jewell called Syamantaka from off his neck and placed it at a distance and Satrajit saw him of a dwarfish form, with a body like burnished copper and with slightly reddish eyes. While he bowed unto him the divine Sun said to Satrajit—”I wish to confer upon thee a boon; do thou pray for it”. He then wanted that jewel. The sun gave it to him and then resumed his place in the sky. Satrajit placed that precious gem round his neck and lighting up all the quarters with his radiance like the sun entered the city of Dwārakā. Beholding him approach the inhabitant of Dwārakā went to that excellent Purusha, without beginning, who, to carry the burden of the world, assumed a mortal form, and said—”O lord, forsooth, the divine sun is coming to visit you”. But Krishna smiled and said, “It is not the sun but Satrajit. He is coming here with the Syamantaka gem conferred upon him by the sun. You all see him with a fearless heart”. Hearing this the inhabitants of Dwārakā repaired to their respective habitations. Satrajit too having gone to his house placed that jewel which gave daily eight loads of gold and through its uncommon power removed all fear of portents, wild beasts, fire, robbers, and famine. Krishna thought that the gem was worthy of the king Ugrasena and desired to take it but did not do so lest it might some disturbance in the family. Understanding that Krishna would ask of him the jewel Satrajit transferred it to his brother Prasena. It was the peculiar virtue of that gem, that if worn with all purity it would yield gold and prosperity of the kingdom but if worn by a man of bad character it would bring on his death. Prasena having taken the jewel and placed it round his neck mounted his horse and went to the forest to hunt. While thus hunting he was killed by a lion. The lion taking the jewel in his mouth was about to go when was seen and killed by Jamvabat the king of the bears, who taking the jewel went to his cave and gave it to his son Sukumara to play with.

When sometime had passed and Prasena did not come, the Yādavas began to whisper, one to another, “This must be Krishna’s doing; being willing to get the jewel and not obtaining it he has committed the murder to get this into his possession”.

When these calamities reached the ears of Krishna he gathered some members of the Yadu family and in their company followed the course of Prasena by the impressions of his horse’s hoofs. And having found it by this way that he and his horse had been destroyed by the lion he was acquitted by all people of any share in the death. Desirous of getting back the jewel, he thence followed the foot-marks of the lion and at no great distance came to the place where the lion had been killed by the bear. Pursuing the foot-prints of the latter he arrived at the foot of a mountain where having kept the Yādavas he pursued the course. And following the impressions of the feet he found out a cavern and before he entered it he heard the nurse of Sukumāra saying to him “The lion killed Prasena; the lion has been killed by Jamvabat: weep not Sukumāra the Syamantaka is your own”. Having thus ascertained the truth Krishna entered into the cavern and espied the jewel in the hands of the nurse who was giving it as a plaything to Sukumāra. The nurse in no time found out his approach and seeing his eyes eagerly fixed upon the jewel called aloud for help. Hearing her cries, Jamvabat, worked up with anger, came to that place and an encounter took place between him and the Achyuta which continued for twenty, one days. The Yādavas who followed Krishna waited there for seven or eight days expecting his return but as the slayer of Madhu did not come they arrived at the conclusion that he must have been destroyed in the cave. “It could not have taken so many days” they thought “to defeat a foe”. They therefore went away, and came back to Dwārakā and announced that Krishna had been killed.

His relatives too performed ceremonies necessary for the occasion. Food and water offered reverentially to worthy persons tended to support his life and invigorate his strength in the conflict in which he was engaged. While his enemy being exhausted by daily combat with a powerful enemy, bruised in every limb by heavy blows and enfeebled by want of food became unable to resist him. Being thus defeated by his powerful enemy Jamvabat prostrated himself before him and said “O mighty being, thou art, for sooth invincible, by the spirits of heaven, earth or hell, thou canst not be defeated by man and powerless creatures in a human shape—what to speak of such as we are—who are of brute origin. Methinks thou art a portion of my lord Nārāyana the protector of the universe”. Being thus addressed by the lord of bears Krishna explained to him fully that he had incarnated himself to take upon himself the burden of the earth. And delightedly touching him with his palms he relieved him of the pain which he had suffered from the fight. Jamvabat again laid himself low before Krishna and presented to him his daughter Jamvabati as a suitable offering to a guest. He also handed over to him the Syamantaka jewel. Although it was not becoming to accept a present from such an individual still he took the gem with a view to clear his reputation. He then came back with his bride Jamvabati to Dwārakā.

When the inhabitants of Dwārakā saw Krishna come back alive they were filled with joy so that even those who were greatly stricken in years were filled with youthful strength; and all the members of the Yadu family, men and women, gathered round Anakadundubhi, the father of the hero and congratulated him. Krishna described to the assembled Yādavas all that had taken place exactly and giving back the Syamantaka jewel to Satrajit was cleared off the charge of murder. He then conducted Jamvabati to the inner apartments.

When Satrajit thought that he had been the instrumental of the false charge against Krishna he was terrified and to satisfy him he gave in marriage with him his daughter Satyabhāmā. She had ere been sought in marriage by many illustrious members of the Yadu family as Akrura, Kritaverman, and Satadhanwan, who were greatly worked up with anger on account of her being married to another, and formed a common cause of enmity against Satrajit. The most leading man amongst them with Akrura and Kritavarman said to Satadhanwan—”By given her daughter to Krishna this caitiff Satrajit had insulted you and us grossly who wanted her: why do you not kill him and take the jewel? Should Achyuta on that account enter into conflict with you we will take your part”. Having secured this promise Satadhanwan undertook to destroy Satrajit.

When the intelligence reached Krishna that the Pandavas lad been burned in the house of wax, he, who was acquainted with the real truth, immediately started for Baranāvata to allay the enmity of Duryodhana and perform the necessary duties of his relationship. Taking advantage of his absence Satadhanwan killed Satrajit while asleep and secured the jewel for himself. When Satyabhāmā came to know this, she, highly angered on account of her father’s murder, at once ascended the chariot, went to Bāranāvat and told her husband how Satrajit had been killed by Satadhanwan in anger on account of her being married to another, and how the jewel had been taken away by him. And she requested him to take immediate steps to avenge such a heinous crime.

Being thus informed Krishna, though pleased at heart, said to Satyabhāmā, assuming an indignant look—”This is an insult to me! I shall never brook it. One cannot destroy the birds that have built their nests on a tree without assailing it. Remove excessive grief therefore; you need not lament to excite my wrath”. Immediately coming back to Dwārakā Krishna took Baladeva apart and said to him. “A lion slew Prasena while hunting in the forests; and now Satrajit has been killed by Satadhanwan. As both these are gone, the jewel which belonged to them, is now our common right. Up then, ascend your car and destroy Satadhanwan”.

Being thus excited by his brother, Balarāma engaged in the work; but Satadhanwan being aware of their hostile intention went to Kritavarman and prayed for his help. Kritavarman did not agree saying that he was not able to fight with both Krishna and Baladeva. Being disappointed he again solicited Akrura for help who said—”You must go to some body else for help. How should I be able to defend you? Even none, amongst the celestials whose glories are chanted throughout the universe, is capable of fighting with the holder of the discus, trodden by whose foot the three worlds tremble, whose hand makes the wives of the Asuras widows, whose weapons,—no army, however powerful can resist;—no one is able to fight with the wielder of ploughshare, who by his very looks, nullifies the prowess of his enemies, whose eyes roll with the joys of wine, and whose huge ploughshare manifests his prowess by destroying the most powerful enemies”. Whereto Satadhanwan replied—”While such is the case and you are unable assist me, you may at least help me by keeping this jewel in your possession”. “I can keep it” Akrura said “if you promise that even in the last extremity you won’t give out that the jewel is in my possession”. Satadhanwan agreed to this and Akrura took the jewel. And mounting a fleet mare that could run a hundred leagues a day Satadhanwan fled from Dwārakā.

When this intelligence reached Krishna, he made ready his four horses Sarvya, Sugriva, Meghapushpa, and Balahakai, set them to his car and accompanied by Balarāma, started in his pursuit. The mare went on speedily and finished her hundred leagues but when she reached the country of Mithilā, her strength was exhausted and she dropped down and died. Having got down, Satadhanwan continued his flight on foot. When the pursuers came to the place where the mare had died Krishna said to Balarāma—”Do you remain in the car; I shall follow the villain on foot and kill him; the ground here is bad; and the horses will not be able to carry the car across it”. Accordingly Balarāma remained in the car and Krishna followed Satadhanwan on foot. When he had pursued him for two Kos he discharged his discus and although Satadhanwan was at a considerable distance the weapon dissevered his head. He then searched his person and clothes very attentively but did not find the jewel. Then coming back he said to Balarāma—”I have for nothing destroyed Satadhanwan—for I have not found on his person the precious gem—the quintessence of all worlds”. When Balarāma heard this, he was excited with anger and said to Vāsudeva—”Shame upon you—so greedy of wealth. I don’t acknowledge you as my brother. Here is my path. Go wherever you like, I have done with Dwārakā, with you with all our house. It is useless for you to try to deceive me with these perjuries”. Having remonstrated with his brother thus, who in vain tried to please him. Balarāma went to the city of Videha, where Janaka received him hospitably and there he remained. Vāsudeva came back to Dwārakā. While Balarāma stayed in the house of Janaka, Duryodhana, the son of Dhritarastra learnt from him the art of fighting with the mace.

In this way three years passed away. Babru, Ugrasena and other Yādavas then repaired to the city of Videha and convinced Balarāma that Krishna had stolen the jewel. They then brought him to Dwārakā.

Akrura too, to utilise the gold produced by the jewel, continually engaged in the celebration of sacrifices. Considering that the murderer of a Kshatriya or Vaiçya engaged in religious duties, is the slayer of Brahmin, Akrura spent sixty-two years being protected by the armour of devotion. And by virtue of that gem there was no death, nor pestilence in the whole country. At the end of that period, Satrughna, the great grandson of Satwata was killed by Bhojas. As they were connected with Akrura he accompanied them in their flight from Dwārakā. From the time of his departure various calamities, portents, snakes, dearth, plague and the like began to take place. Thereupon the illustrious Krishna called together Baladeva, Ugrasena and other Yādavas and consulted with them to ascertain why so many prodigies should have taken place at the same time. On this Andhaka one of the elders of the Yadu family spoke—”Wherever Swaphalka the father of Akrura lived, there famine, plague, dearth and other visitations were unknown. Once when there was want of rain in the kingdom of Kasirāja, Swaphalka was brought there and immediately there fell rain from the heavens. It also happened that the queen of Kasirāja conceived and was big with a child but when the time of delivery came the child did not come out of the womb. Twelve years went away and still the girl was unborn. Then the Kasirāja spoke to the child, saying ‘Daughter, why is your birth thus delayed? Come out, I wish to see you; why do you inflict this continued suffering upon your mother?’ Thus addressed the infant said—’O father, if you will present a cow daily to the Brahmans I shall be born at the end of three years’. Accordingly the king presented a cow every day to the Brahmans and at the end of three years the girl came out of the womb. Her father called her Gāndini and he afterwards gave her to Swaphalka when he came to his palace to help him. Gāndini as long as she lived, gave a cow to the Brahmans every day. Akrura was her son by Swaphalka. And he is thus born from a combination of extraordinary excellence. When such a person is absent from us it is likely that famine, pestilence and prodigies should take place. Let him then be requested to come back; the weak points of men of excellence should not be too severely criticized”.

In accordance with the advice of Andhaka the elder, the Yādavas sent a mission headed by Kesava, Ugrasena and Balabhadra, to assure Akrura that no notice of his fault would be taken. And having convinced him that he would expect no danger they brought him back to Dwārakā. As soon as he arrived on account of the virtue of the jewel, the plague, dearth, famine and every other calamity and portent disappeared. Seeing this Krishna thought that the birth of Akrura from Gāndini and Swaphalka could not bring about such an effect and he must have some other more powerful virtue to arrest pestilence and famine. “Certainly” thought he within himself “the great Syamantaka jewel must be in his keeping, for these, as I have heard, are the properties of the jewel. Akrura too has been performing many sacrifices; his own means are not sufficient for the purpose, undoubtedly he has got the jewel in his possession”. Having arrived at this conclusion, he called together all Yādavas at his house under the plea of celebrating some feast. After they had all taken their seals and the object of the meeting had been explained to them and the business finished Krishna began to converse with Akrura and laughing and joking, said to him—”Kinsman, you are a prince in your liberality and we know very well that the valuable gem which was stolen by Sudhanwan was given to you and is now in your possession, to the great benefit of this kingdom. So let it remain; we all derive advantage from its virtues. But Bhalabhadra suspects that I have it and therefore, out of kindness to me shew it to the assembly”. When Akrura, who had the jewel in his possession, was thus taxed he hesitated what he should do. He thought—”If I deny that I have the jewel, they will search my person and find the gem hidden amongst my clothes. I cannot submit myself to a search”. Thinking thus Akrura said to Nārāyana, the cause of the universe “It is true, Syamantaka jewel was given to my care by Satadhanwan when he left this place. I expected every day that you should ask me for it and with great inconvenience to myself I have retained it. The care of this has put me to so much anxiety that I have not been able to enjoy any pleasure or a moment’s rest. Being afraid lest you might think, that I am unfit to keep this jewel which is the source of welfare to the kingdom I did not mention to you that it is in my possession. Now take it yourself and give its charge to any body you like”. Having said this Akrura got out of his clothes a small gold box and took from it the jewel. When it was shown to the assembled Yādavas the room in which they sat was illuminated with its radiance, “This” said Akrura “is the Syamantaka jewel which was left to my care by Satadhanwan. Let him to whom it belongs now take it”.

When the Yādavas saw the jewel they were filled with surprise and loudly expressed their joy. Balabhadra immediately claimed the jewel as his property jointly with Achyuta as was formerly settled; whereas Satyabhāmā wanted it as her rightful property for it belonged to her father. Between these two Krishna considered himself as an ox between the two wheels of a cart, and thus said to Akrura in presence of the Yadavas—”This jewel has been shown to you all in order to clear my reputation; it is the joint-property of Balabhadra and myself and is the paternal property of Satyabhāmā. But as a source of advantage to the kingdom this jewel must be consigned to the charge of one who leads a life of perpetual continence; if worn by an impure man it will prove the cause of his death. As I have sixteen thousand wives I am not qualified to use it. It is not probable that Satyabhāmā would agree to the conditions, satisfying which she may possess it And as regards Balabhadra, he is greatly addicted to wine and sensual pleasures. We are therefore all out of question. All the Yādavas, Balabhadra, Satyabhāmā and myself request you, most liberal Akrura, to keep this jewel in your possession, as you have done up to this time for the general behoof; for you are qualified to keep it and in your hands it has proved beneficial to the country. You must comply with your request”.

Thus requested Akrura took the jewel and thenceforth wore it publicly round his neck where it shone with dazzling radiance and he moved about like the sun wearing a garland of light.

He, who remembers the vindication of Krishna’s character from false charges, shall never be subject to any false charge in the least degree and living in the full display of senses, shall be freed from every sin.


Parāçara said:—The younger brother of Anamitra was Sini, whose son was Satyaka, whose son was Yuyudhana, otherwise known as Satyaki, whose son was Asanga, whose son was Yuni, whose son was Yugandhara. These princes were named Saineyas.

Prisni was born in the race of Anamitra, whose son was Swaphalka the purity of whose character has been described; the younger brother of Swaphalka was named Chitraka. Swaphalka had by Gāndini, besides Akrura, Upamadgu, Mridura, Sarimejaya, Giri, Kshatropa, Kshatra, Satrughna, Arimarddana, Dharmadhris, Dhristasarman, Gandha, Mojavaha and Prativaha. He had also a daughter, named Sutāra.

Devavat and Upadeva were the sons of Akrura. The sons of Chitrika were Pritha and Vipritha and many others. Andhaka had four sons, Lukkura, Bhojamana, Suchi, Kambalavarhish. The son of Kukkura was Vrishta, whose son was Kapotaroman, whose son was Viloman, whose son was Bhava, who was otherwise named Chandanodakadunbubhi; he was a friend of the Gandharva Tumburu; his son was Abhejit, whose son was Punarvasu, whose son was Ahuka; he had also a daughter called Ahuki. The sons of Ahuka were Devaka and Ugrasena. The former had four sons Devavat, Upadeva, Sudeva and Devarakshita And seven daughters—Vrikadevā, Upadevā, Devarakshitā, Sridevā, Santidevā, Sahadeva and Devaki; and all the daughters were married to Vasudeva. The sons of Ugrasena were Kansa, Nyagroddha, Sunaman, Kanka, Sanka, Subhumi, Rashtrapala, Yuddhamushthi, and Yushtimat and her daughters were Kansa, Kausavati, Sutana, Rashtrapali and Kanki.

The son of Bhajamana was Viduratha, whose son was Sura, whose son was Samin, whose son was Pratikshatra, whose son was Swayambhoja whose son was Hrideka, who had Kritavarma, Satadhana, Devamidusha and others. Sura, the son of Devamidhusa, was married to Marisha and had by her ten sons, When Vasudeva, who was one of these sons, was born, the celestials, to whom future is known, foresaw that the divine being would be born in his race and they therefore joyously sounded the celestial drums and accordingly Vasudeva was named Anakadundubhi. His brothers were Devabhaga, Devasravas, Anadhristi, Karundhaka, Vatsabalaka, Srinjaya, Syama, Samika and Gandusha. They had five sisters who were named Pritha, Srutadeva, Srutakirti, Srutasrava and Rājādhidevi.

Sura had a friend named Kuntibhoja who had no son. And to him he presented duly his daughter Pritha. She was married to Pandu and bore him Yudhishthira, Bhima and Arjuna who were in reality the sons of the deities Dharma, Vayu and Indra. And whilst she was a maiden she had a son named Karna begotten by the divine sun. Pandu had another wife named Madri who had by the twin sons of Aditya, Nasatya and Basra, two sons, Nakula and Sahadeva.

A Karusha prince by name Vriddhasarman married Srutadeva and begot on her a dreadful Asura named Dantavaktra. Dhristaketu king of Kaikeya, married Srutakirti and had by her Santarddana and four others sons known as the five Kaikeyas. Jayasena, king of Avanti married Rājādhidevi and had two sons, Vinda and Anavinda. Damaghosa, the king of Chedi, married Srutasravās and begot on her a son named Sisupala. This prince in his pristine birth, was the wicked and valiant king of the Daityas, Hiranyakashipu, who was killed by the divine guardian of creation. He was in another birth was born as the ten-headed Ravana, whose unequalled, strength, prowess and power were overcome by Rāma, the lord of the three worlds. Having been destroyed by the deity in the shape of Raghava, he was exempted from an embodied state for a long time as a reward of his virtues but had now been born once more as Sisupala the son of Damaghosa, king of Chedi, In this character he began to show greatest hostility towards Krishna an incarnate portion of the glorious Pundarikaksha to carry the burden of the world. He was killed by the great God. And on account of his thoughts being entirely devoted to him Sisupala was united with him after death; for the lord giveth to those with whom he is propitiated what they desire and he confers a heavenly and exalted station even upon those whom he destroys in displeasure.


Maitreya said:—Being killed by Vishnu as Hiranyakashipu and Ravana he obtained enjoyments which are not attainable even by the immortals. Why did they not obtain absorption albeit slain by Vishnu? And why as Sisupala were they absorbed into the eternal Hari? O foremost of those conversant with religion, I wish to hear of all these; I am greatly stricken with curiosity; do thou relate them.

Parāçara said:—When the creator, preserver and destroyer of the universe killed Hiranyakashipu, the king of Daityas, he assumed the figure of a lion and man, he was not aware that his slayer was Vishnu. He thought this wonderful figure was but the creation of his accumulated piety.

And the quality of passion being predominant in his mind he obtained destruction from man-lion. And in consequence of his death at the hands of Vishnu be obtained sovereignty over three worlds and immense riches and enjoyments as Dasāsana. He was not absorbed into the supreme spirit that is without beginning or end because his mind was not wholly devoted to that object. Dasāsana, thus being entirely subject to love and being entirely taken up by thoughts of Janaki, could not perceive that the son of Dasaratha whom he saw, was in fact the divine Achyuta. At the time of his death he was impressed with the idea that his enemy was a mortal and therefore the fruit he obtained from being slain by Vishnu was his birth in the illustrious family of the kings of Chedi and the possession of extensive dominions. And he was known as Sisupala. In this birth many circumstances occurred by which he was constrained to utter the name of the great God and on all these occasions the enmity, that had accumulated through successive births, influenced his mind. And always speaking disrespectfully of Achyuta he repeated all his names. Whether walking, eating, sitting, or sleeping his enmity was never at rest and Krishna was always present to his mind in his ordinary form, having eyes like lotus-petals, clad and bright yellow raiment, adorned with a garland, with bracelets on his arms and wrists and a diadem on his crown; having four stalwart arms bearing the conch, the discus, the mace and the lotus. Uttering his names always although in malediction Krishna was always present in his mind, and while inflicting his death Sisupāla saw him radiant with shining weapons and in his true Brahma form void of passion and enmity. Being slain by the discus of Vishnu at this moment all his sins were removed by his divine enemy and he was united with him by whose might be destroyed.

I have thus related to you everything. He, who names or remembers the glorious Vishnu even in the enmity obtains final emancipation which is not attainable by the gods or demons. It is useless to say that he, who reverentially names or remembers him, obtains final liberation.

Vasudeva, otherwise named Anakadundubhi, and Rohini, Pauravi, Bhadra, Madira, Devaki and several other wives. His sons by Rohini were Balabhadra, Sārana, Saru, Durmada, and others. Balabhadra married Revati and had by her Nisatha and Ulmaka. The sons of Sarana were Marshti, Marshtimat, Sisu, Satyadhriti, and others. Bhadraswa, Bhadrabahu, Durgama, Bhuta and others were born in the race of Rohini. The son of Vasudeva by Madirā were Nanda, Upananda, Kritaka and others. By his wife Vinsāli he had one son named Kausika. Devaki before him six sons: Kritimat, Sushena, Udayin, Bhadrasena, Rijudāsa and Bhadradeha all of whom were killed by Kansa.

When Devaki was again big with a child the seventh time, Yoganidrā (the sleep of devotion), dispatched by Vishnu, extricated the embryo from maternal womb at the mid-night and transferred it to that of Rohini; and from having been thus taken away, the child (who was Balarāma) received the name of Sankarshnā. Being desirous of relieving the world of the burden, the divine Vishnu, the source of the vast universe, beyond the understanding of all gods, demons sages, and men, past, present or future, worshipped of Brahmā and all the celestials, who is without beginning, middle or end, descended into the womb of Devaki and was born as her son Vasudeva. Yaganidrā, always proud to satisfy his orders, removed the embryo to Yasodā the wife of Nanda, the cow-herd. At this birth the earth was relieved of all sins; the sun, moon and planets shone with unclouded brilliance; all fear of evil portents was removed and universal happiness prevailed. And from the time of his birth people were led into the righteous path.

Whilst this powerful being lived in the land of mortals he had sixteen thousand and one hundred wives of whom the Principal were Rukmini, Satyabhāmā, Jamvabati, Jalahasini and four others. The divine Krishna, the universal form without beginning, begot on all these wives a hundred and eighty thousand sons, of whom thirteen were most celebrated: Pradyumna, Charudeshna, Samba and others. Pradyumna married Kakudwati, the daughter of Rukmini and had by her Aniruddha. Aniruddha married Subhadrā, the granddaughter of the same Rukmini and she bore him a son named Vajra. The son of Vajra and Bāhu and his son was Suchāru.

In this way the members of the Yadu family increased and were many hundreds of thousands of them so that it would be impossible to repeat their names in hundreds of years. Two verses regarding them are recited. “The domestic teachers of the boys in the use of arms numbered three crores and eighty lacs. Who shall enumerate the powerful members of the Yadava family who were tens of ten thousands and hundreds of hundred thousands in number?” Those powerful Daityas, who were slain by them in the encounter between the gods and demons, were born again on earth as men, as tyrants and oppressors. With a view to arrest their violence the gods also descended to the land of mortals and became members of the hundred and one branches of the family of Yadu. Vishnu was their teacher and ruler and all the members were obedient to his commands.

Whoever hears often times of this account of the origin of the heroes of the race of Vrishni shall be freed from all iniquities and shall attain to the region of Vishnu.


Parāçara said:—I shall now briefly give you an account of the descendants of Turvasu.

The son of Turvasa was Tahni, whose son was Gobhanu, whose son was Traisamba, whose son was Karandhama, whose son was Marutta. Marutta had no issue and he therefore adopted Dushyanta of the race of Puru by which the line of Turvasa merged into that of Puru. This was brought about by the curse imprecated on his son by Yayati.


The son of Druhya was Babhru, whose son was Setu, whose son was Aradwat, whose son was Gandhara, whose son was Dharma, whose son was Dhrita, whose son was Duryaman, whose son was Prachetas, who had a hundred sons and they were the princes of the lawless Mlechehhas or barbarians of the north.


Anu, the fourth son of Yayati, had three sons, Sabhanara, Chakshusha and Paramekshu. The son of the first was Kālānara, whose son was Srinjaya, whose son was Puranjaya, whose son was Janamenjaya, whose son was Mahāmani, whose son was Mahāmanas, who had two sons, Ushinara and Titikshu. Ushinara had five sons: Sivi, Trina, Gara, Krimi, Darvan. Sivi had four sons: Vrishadarva, Suvira, Kaikeya and Madra. Titikshu had one son Ushadratha, whose son was Hema, whose son was Sutapas, whose was Bali, on whose spouse five sons were begotten by Dirghatamas—namely Anga, Banga, Kalinga, Sauhma and Pundra and their progeny and the countries they inhabited were known by the same names.

The son of Anga was Para, whose son was Divaratha, whose son was Dharmaratha, whose son was Chitraratha, whose son was Romapāda also called Dasaratha, to whom on account of his having no offspring, Dasaratha, the son of Aja gave his daughter Sāntā to be adopted. After this Romapāda had a son named Chaturanga, whose son was Prithulaksha, whose son was Champā who founded the city of Champā. The son of Champā was Haryyanga, whose son was Bhadraratha, who had two sons, Vrihatkatman and Vrihadratha. The son of the former was Vrihadbhanu, whose son was Vrihanmanas, whose son was Jayadratha, who by a wife who was the daughter of a Kshatriya father and Brāhman mother, had a son named Vijaya.

Vijaya had a son whose name was Dhriti, whose son was Dritabrata, whose son was Satyakarman, whose son was Adiratha who found a son in a basket on the banks of the Ganges. This was Karna, the son of Pritha in her maidenhood. Karna’s son was Vrishasena. These were the Anga kings. I shall now describe to you the descendants of Puru.


Parāçara said:—The son of Puru was Janamenjaya, whose son was Prāchinvat, whose son was Pravira, whose son was Manasyu, whose son was Bhayada, whose son was Sudyunna, whose son was Bahugava, whose son was Samyati, whose son was Ahamyati, whose son was Raudraswa, who had ten sons: Riteyu, Kaksheyu, Sthanditeyu, Ghriteyu, Jaleyu, Sthaleyu, Santaleyu, Dhaneyu, Vaneyu, and Vrateyu. The son of Riteyu was Rantināra, whose sons were Tansu, Apratirtha and Dhruva. The son of the second of these was Kanwa, whose son was Medhātithi, from whom the Kanwayana Brāhmanas were sprung. Anila was the son of Tansu, who had four sons of whom Dushyanta was the elder. The son of Dushymanta was the Emperor Bharata regarding whom a verse is recited by the celestials. “The mother is merely the receptable; it is the father by whom a son is begotten. Rear up thy son, Dushyamanta, treat not Sakuntalā with disrespect. Sons, who are born from the loins of their father, save their manes from hell. Thou art father of this boy; Sakuntalā has spoken the truth”.

Bharata begat on his wives nine sons, beholding whom he said that they were not after him. The queens, being afraid lest he might desert them, destroyed those sons. The birth of sons being thus useless the king celebrated a sacrifice in honour of Maruts. They gave him Bharadwaja, the son of Vrihaspati by Mamatā, the wife of Utathya, expelled untimely by the kick of his half brother Dirghatamas. The following verse explains the meaning of the name—”Silly woman” said Vrihaspati “cherish this child of two fathers (Bhara-dwa-jam)”. “No, Vrihaspati” replied Mamatā “you take care of him”. So saying they both left him and from these expressions the boy was named Bharadwaja. He was also called Vitatha for both the sons of Bharata proved fruitless. The son of Vitatha was Bhavanmanya, who had many sons, the principals among whom were Vrihatkshatra, Mahaviryya, Nara and Garga. The son of Narn was Sankriti, whose sons were Ruchiradhi and Rantideva. The son of Garga was Sini and their progeny were respectively called Gargyas and Sainyas; although Kshatriyas by birth they became Brāhmans. The son of Mahaviryya was Urukshaya, who had three sons: Trayyaruna, Pushkarin and Kapi, the last of whom became a Brahman. The son of Vrihatkshatra was Suhotta, whose son was Hastin, who founded the city of Hastināpur. The sons of Hastin were Ajamidha, Dwimidha, Purumidha. One son of Ajamidha was Kanwa, whose son was Medhatithi; his other son was Vrihadishu, whose son was Vrihadvasu, whose son was Vrihatkarman, whose son was Jayadratha, whose son was Viswajit, whose son was Senajit, whose sons were Ruchiraswa, Kasya, Dridhadhanusha and Vasahana. The son of Ruchiraswa was Prithusena, whose son was Pāra, whose son was Nipa, who had a hundred sons, of whom the chief Samara was the king of Kampilya. Samara had three sons: Para, Sampara, Sadāswa. The son of Para was Pritha, whose son was Sukriti, whose son was Vibhrata, whose son was Anuha, who married Kritwi, the daughter of Suka and had by her Brahmadatta, whose son was Viswaksena, whose son was Udaksena and whose son was Bhallata.

The son of Dwimidha was Yavinara, whose son was Dhrtimat, whose son was Satyadhriti, whose son was Dridhanemi, whose son was Suparswa, whose son was Sumati, whose son was Sannatimat, whose son was Krita, who was taught by Hiramyanabha, the philosophy of Yoga and who compiled the twenty-four Sanhitas for the use of the eastern Brāhmanas studying the Sama Veda. The son of Krita was Ugrayudhas, who by his power destroyed the Nipa race of Kshatriyas. His son was Kshemya, whose son was Suirra, whose son was Nripanjaya, whose son was Baharatha. These were all called Pauravas.

Ajamidha espoused Nilini and by her had a son called Nilaj whose son was Santi, whose son was Susanti, whose son was Purujanu, whose son was Chakshu, whose son was Harryaswa, who had five sons: Mudgala, Srinjaya, Vrihadishu, Pravira and Kampilya. Their father said—”These five sons of mine are capable of protecting the countries” and hence they were called Panchalas—(i.e. Pancha—five and alam—able). From Mudgala sprang the Maudgahya Brāhmans. He had also a son called Bahwaswa, who had two children, twins, a son and daughter—Divodasa and Ahalya. The son of Saradwat or Gautama by Ahalya was Sātanands, whose son was Satyadhriti, who was well versed in military science. Being enamoured of the nymph Urvasi, Satyadriti begot on her two children, a boy and a daughter. The king Sāntanu, a-hunting, found their children in a clump of long Sara grass and feeling pity for them took them and reared them up. As they were brought up through Kripā, pity, they were called Kripa and Kripi. The latter became the wife of Drona and the mother of Aswathāman.

The son of Divodasa was Mitrāyu, whose son was Chyavanna, whose son was Sudāsa, whose son was Saudāsa, also called Sahadeva, whose son was Somaka, who had a hundred sons of whom the eldest was Jantu and the youngest was Prishata. The son of Prishata was Drupada, whose son was Dhrishtadyumna, whose son was Drishtaketu.

Another son of Ajamidha was called Riksha, whose son was Samvarāna, whose son was Kuru, who gave his name to the holy district Kurukshetra. His sons were Sudhanush, Jahnu, Parikshit, and many others. The son of Sudanush was Suhotra, whose son was Chyavana, whose son was Kritaka, whose son was Uparichara the Vasu, who had seven children: Vrihadratha, Pratyagra, Kusamba, Mavella, Matysa and others. The son of Vrihadratha was Kusagra, whose son was Rishabha, whose son was Pushpavat, whose son was Satyadhrita, whose son was Sudhanwan, whose son was Jantu. Vrihadratha had another son. He was born in two parts which were joined together by a female fiend named Jarā and accordingly he was named Jarāsandha. His son was Sahadeva, whose son was Somāpi, whose son was Srutasravas. These were the kings of Magadha.


Parāçara said:—Parikshit had four sons—Janamejaya, Srutasena, Ugrasena and Bhimasena. The son of Jahnu was Surathai whose son was Viduratha, whose son was Sarvabhauma, whose son was Jayasena Aravin, whose son was Ayutayus, whose son was Akrodhana; one of his sons was Devatithi and another was called Riksha, whose son was Dilipa, whose son was Pratipa, who had three sons, Devāpi, Sāntanu, and Bāhlika. The first took to a forest life in childhood and Sāntanu became the king. Regarding him this verse is recited throughout the earth—”Sāntanu is his name because if he places his hands upon an old man he restores him to youth and by him men obtain tranquility”.

In Sāntanu’s kingdom there was not rain for twelve years. When he perceived that the whole kingdom was about to be devastated he called together all the Brāhmans and said to them—”Why does not the God pour rains in my kingdom? What fault have I committed?” They told him that he was as it were a younger brother married before sm elder for he was governing the kingdom which was the rightful property of his elder brother. “What then am I to do?” said the king. The Brāhmanas replied—”As long as the Brāhmanas shall not be displeased with Devāpi on account of his deviating from the path of righteousness the kingdom is his; you should therefore give it over to him”. When the minister of the king Amarisarin heard this he collected a number of ascetics who taught doctrines opposed to those of the Vedas and sent them into the forest. They met Devāpi, perverted the understanding of the simple-minded prince and led him to cherish heretical notions. Being informed of his offence by the Brāhmanas, Sāntanu was greatly pained. Accordingly he sent them before him into the forest and then went there himself to restore the kingdom to his elder brother. When the Brāhmans reached the hermitage of Devāpi they informed him, that, according to the doctrines of the Vedas, succession to a kingdom was the right of the elder brother. But he discussed with them and set forth various arguments which were opposed to the teachings of the Vedas. When the Brāhmans heard this they looked towards Sāntanu and said “Come here king you need not put yourself further trouble in this matter. The dearth is gone, this man has fallen from his condition for he uttered disrespectful words to the authority of the eternal uncreated Veda. When the elder brother goes down to a degraded state there is no sin consequent upon prior espousals of his junior”. Thereupon Sāntanu came back to his capital and governed the kingdom as before; his elder brother was degraded for declaring doctrines opposed to the Vedas. Indra poured down abundant rain, which was followed by rich harvests.

The son of Bahlika was Somadatta, who had three sons: Bhuri, Bhurisravas and Sala, The son of Sāntanu was the well known and the learned Bhishma, who was born to him by the holy Gangā. He had by his wife Satyavati two sons, Chitrangada and Vichitraviryya. Chitrangada, in his youth was slain in an encounter with a Gandharbha called Chitrangada. Vichitraviryya married Ambā and Ambālika, the daughters of the king of Kasi, and enjoying too much connubial pleasures was attacked with consumption and died. By command of Satyavati, my son Krishna-Daipāyana, who was always obedient to his mother, begot upon the widows of his brother, the princes Dhritarastra and Pandu and upon a female servant Vidura. Dritarashtra had Duryodhana, Dushāsana and others to the extent of a hundred. Having incurred the imprecation of a deer whose mate he had slain in a chase, Pandu was prevented from procreating children. Accordingly his wife Kunti bore to him three sons who were begotten by the deities, Dharma, Vayu and Indra—namely Yudhishthira, Bhima and Arjuna. His wife Madri had two sons by the sons of Aswini—namely Nakula and Sahadeva. These each had a son by Draupadi. The son of Yudhishthira was Prativindhya; of Bhima, Srutasoma; of Arjuna, Srutakirti; of Nakula, Satanika, and of Sahadeva, Srutakarman. The Pandavas had also other sons. By his wife Yaudheyi Yudhishthira had Devaka; Bhima had by Hidemba, Ghatotkacha, and had another by his wife Kasi, Sarvatraga. Sadeva had by Vijaya, Suhotra and Niramitra was the son of Nakula by Karenutmati. Arjuna had Irāvat by the serpent nymph Ulupi—by the daughter of the king of Manipur he had Babrubabana, who was adopted by his maternal grand father, by his wife Subhadrā, Abhimanyu, who even in his boy-hood was famous for valour and strength and crushed the enemies’ cars in fight. The son of Abhimanyu by his wife Uttarā was Parikshit, who after the destruction of all the Kurus, was killed in his mother’s womb by the weapon hurled by Aswathama. But by the mercy of Krishna at whose feet bow all the gods and demons and who for his own pleasure had assumed human shape he was restored to life. This Parikshit now governs the earth with undisputed sway.


Parāçara said:—I shall now give you an account of the future kings. He, who is the sovereign now, shall have four sons, namely Janamejaya, Srutasena, Ugrasena, and Bhimasena. The son of Janamejaya shall be Satāneeka. He shall study the Vedas from Jagnawalka, learn the use of weapons from Kripa and then disassociate himself from worldly affairs. And then receiving instructions regarding the knowledge of self from Saunaka he shall attain final liberation.

From Satineeka shall be born Aswamedhadatta, whose son shall be Adhiseemakrishna and whose son shall be Nichakshu who shall reside in Kusambhi, when Hastināpur shall be at the bed of the Ganges. Nichakshu’s son shall be Ushna, whose son shall be Chitraratha, whose son shall be Suchiratha, whose son shall be Brishnimān, whose son shall be Sushena, whose son shall be Suneetha, whose son shall be Richa, whose son shall be Nrichakshu, whose son shall be Sukhabala, whose son shall be Pariplava, whose son shall be Sunaya, whose son shall be Medhabee, whose son shall be Nripanjaya, whose son shall be Mridu, whose son shall be Tigma, whose son shall be Trihadratha, whose son shall be Vasudāna, whose son shall be the second Sataneeka, whose son shall be Udayana, whose son shall be Aheenara, whose son shall be Khandapani, whose son shall be Niramitra, whose son shall be Kshemaka. The following verse is recited of Kshemaka—”The family of Kuru, that has produced many Brāhmanas and Kshatriyas, that has been ornamented by many a royal saint, shall end with Kshemaka in the Kali Yuga”.


Parāçara said:—I shall now engage in giving you an account of the future kings of the Ikshawku race.

The son of Vrihadvala shall be Vrihatkshana, whose son shall be Guruksepa, whose son shall be Vatsa, whose son shall be Vatsabhuha, whose son shall be Pratibyoma, whose son shall be Divākara, whose son shall be Sahadeva, whose son shall be Vrihadaswa, whose son shall be Bhānuratha, whose son shall be Suprateeka, whose son shall be Marudeva, whose son shall be Sunakshatra, whose son shall be Kinnara, whose son shall be Antariksha, whose son shall be Suverna, whose son shall be Amitrajit, whose son shall be Vrihadwāja, whose son shall be Dharma, whose son shall be Kritanjaya, whose son shall be Rananjaya, whose son shall be Sanjaya, whose son shall be Sakya, whose son shall be Krudhodana, whose son shall be Rātula, whose son shall be Prasenajit, whose son shall be Kshrudraka, whose son shall be Kundaka, whose son shall be Suratha, whose son shall be the second Sumitra. These kings of the Ikswaku family are the descendants of Vrihadvala. There is a verse often recited regarding this race—”The family of Ikshawku shall extend up to Sumitra; with this king the family shall end in the Kali Yuga”.


Parāçara said:—I shall now describe to you the future kings of Magadha sprung from Vrihadratha. In this race were born Jarāsandha and other powerful kings.

The son of Jarāsandha shall be Sahadeva, whose son shall be Somāpi, whose son shall be Srutavan, whose son shall be Ayutayu, whose son shall be Niramitra, whose son shall be Sukshatra, whose son shall be Vrihatkarman, whose son shall be Senajit, whose son shall be Srutanjaya, whose son shall be Vipra, whose son shall be Suchi, whose son shall be Kshemya, whose son shall be Subrata, whose son shall be Dharma, whose son shall be Susrama, whose son shall be Drirasena, whose son shall be Sumati, whose son shall be Subala, whose son shall be Satyajit, and whose son shall be Ripunjaya. The kings of the race of Vrihadratha shall reign for a thousand years.


Parāçara said:—Ripunjaya, the last king of the race of Vrihadratha, shall have minister by the name of Sunika. Slaying his Master he shall place his own son Prodyuta on the throne. He shall have a son by the name of Palaka, whose son shall be Visākayupa, whose son shall be Janaka, whose son shall be Nandivardana. These five kings of the family of Prodyuta shall govern the earth for a hundred and thirty eight years.

Thereupon Sisunāga (shall become the king). His son shall be Kākavarna, whose son shall be Kshemadarman, whose son shall be Kshatraujas whose son shall be Vidmisara, whose son shall be Ajatasatru, whose son shall be Darvaka, whose son shall be Udayashwa, whose son shall be Nanrdivardana, whose son shall be Mahanandi. These ten kings of the family of Sisunāga shall lord over the earth for three hundred and sixty-two years.

Mahapandi shall beget a son on a Sudra woman by name, Mahapadma Nanda, who shall be very avaricious and shall extirpate all the Kshatriyas like Parashurama. From that time Sudra kings shall govern the earth. And this Mahapadma shall enjoy the earth as lord paramount, and his commands shall no where be disobeyed. He shall have eight sons—Sumatya and others. Mahapadma and his eight sons shall reign for a hundred years. Thereupon a Brahman by name Kantilya shall root out Nanda and his sons.

After the family of Nanda, Mauryas shall lord over the earth. This Kantilya shall install the Maurya king Chandra-Gupta on the throne. He shall have a son by name Vindusāra, whose son shall be Asokavardana, whose son shall be Sujasas, whose son shall be Dasaratha, whose son’ shall be Sangata, whose son shall be Sālisuka, whose son shall be Vrihadratha. These Maurya kings shall reign for a hundred and seventy-three years. After them the Sungas will enjoy the earth.

Thereupon slaying his own master the Commander-in-Chief Pushpamitra shall establish himself on the throne. His son shall be Agnimitra, whose son shall be Sujestsha, whose son shall be Vasumitra, whose son shall be Ardraka, whose son shall be Pulindaka, whose son shall be Ghosavasu, whose son shall be Vajramitra, whose son shall be Vagabata, whose son shall be Devabhuti. These ten Sunga kings shall reign for one hundred and twelve years. Thereafter the Kanwa kings shall lord over the earth. Slaying his own master, the Sunga king Devabhuti who shall be addicted to gambling, the minister Vasudeva shall place himself on the throne. His son shall be Vumimitra, whose son shall be Nārāyana, whose son shall be Susarma. These four Kanwa kings shall reign for forty-five years..

A servant by name Sipraka of the race of Andra shall slay Susarma, the last Kanwa king and by force place himself on the throne. Thereafter his brother Krishna shall govern the earth. Krishna’s son shall be Purnotsanga, whose son shall be Lambodara, whose son shall be Durlaka, whose son shall be Meghaswati, whose son shall be Paruman, whose son shall be Aristhakarman, whose son shall be Hāl, whose son shall be Pathalaka, whose son shall be Prabillasen, whose son shall be the beautiful Sātakarni, whose son shall be Sivaswati, whose son shall be Gomatipatra, whose son shall be Patimari, whose son shall be Sivasreesatakarma, whose son shall be Sivashkandha, whose son shall be Yajnasree, whose son shall be Vijaya, whose son shall be Chandrasree, whose son shall be Pulomarchi. These thirty illustrious Andhra kings will govern the earth for four hundred and fifty years.

Thereafter seven kings of the Avira race, sixteen kings of Gardavila race and sixteen Saka kings shall respectively govern the earth.

Thereupon eight Yavana kings, fourteen Tukhara kings, thirteen Munda kings, and eighteen Manu kings shall rule the earth for thirteen hundred and ninety-nine years. Thereafter eleven Paura kings shall govern the earth for three hundred years.

When the Pauras shall spread all over the earth the Yavanas of Kailakila shall become kings. And amongst them one Viridhyasakti shall be the lord paramount. His son shall be Paranjaya, whose son shall be Ramchandra, whose son shall be Dharma, whose son shall be Varanga, whose son shall be Kritamandana, whose son shall be Sashinandi, whose son shall be Nandiyasā, whose son shall be Sisaka, whose son shall be Pravira. These nine kings shall reign for a hundred and sixty years.

Thereafter thirteen kings of this family, three of Valheeka, Pushpamitra, Parupmitra and Padmamitra, the nine kings of Saptakosala and then again nine kings of the country of Nishdha shall respectively flourish.

One king of the city of Magadha by name Viswasphatika shall create many a new mixed caste. He will root out the Kshatriya or martial race and elevate fishermen, barbarians and Brāhmans and other castes to power. The nine Nāgas will reign in Padmāvati, Kāntipuri, and Mathurā; and the Guptas of Magadha along the Ganges to Prayaga. A king by name Devarakshita will reign in a city on the sea shore over the Kosalas, Pundras and Tāmraliptas. The Guhas will occupy Kalinga, Māhihaka and the mountains of Mahendra. The race of Manidhanu will occupy the countries of Nishādas, Naimishikas and Kalatyas. The people called Kanakas will occupy the Amazon country and that called Mushika. People of the degraded three tribes and Abhiras and Sudras will occupy Saurāshtra, Avanti Sura Arbuda and Marubhumi. And Sudras, outcasts and barbarians will occupy the banks of the Jadus, Darvika, the Chandrabhāgā and Kashmir.

These and all the contemporary kings will be of churlish spirit; violent temper and always addicted to falsehood and wickedness. They will destroy women, children and cows; they will seize upon the property of their subjects, will be of limited power; they will rapidly rise and fall; the duration of their life will be very short; they will form high expectations and acquire very little piety.

The people of the countries, they will rule over, will imbibe the same nature. And the barbarians being powerful under royal patronage will destroy the subjects. Wealth and virtue will decrease day by day until the whole world will be depraved. Wealth will be the test of pedigree and virtue; passion will be the only tie of marriage; falsehood will be the only means of success in litigation; and women will be merely the objects of sensual gratification. Earth will be respected for its mineral treasures; sacrificial thread will be the only test of a Brāhman; external marks will constitute the only distinction of orders and wickedness will be the only means of livelihood. Weakness will be the cause of dependence; menace will be the cause of learning; gifts only will constitute virtue; wealth will be the only sign of honesty; simple ablution will be purification; mutual consent will be the marriage; a man wearing good clothes will be considered honest and water at a distance will be considered a holy spring. When the world will be thus sunk in faults, he, who will be the strongest amidst those castes, shall be the king; They will grow avaricious and the subjects, unable to bear the burden of various taxes, will take refuge amongst the valleys of the mountains and will be glad to feed upon wild honey, herbs, roots, fruits, flowers and leaves: their only covering will be the bark of trees and they will be exposed to the cold and wind and sun and rain. No man shall live more than three and twenty years. Thus in the end of the Kali Yuga most of human-kind will be annihilated.

Thus when the ceremonies of the Vedas and the institutes of law shall nearly have ceased, and the end of the Kali Yuga will approach, a portion of that divine being, who is the creator of the whole universe, preceptor of the mobile and immobile, who is the beginning and end of all, who is at one with all, who is identical with Brahmā and all created beings, shall incarnate himself on earth. He will be born in the family of Vishnuyasas, an eminent Brāhman of Sambhala village as Kalki gifted with the eight superhuman faculties. By his irrepressible power he will slay all the Mlechchhas and thieves and all those who are addicted to sins. His greatness and might shall be unobstructed.

He shall again establish virtue on earth and when the Kali Yuga will completely close, the remaining people shall be awakened and their minds shall be as pure as crystal. The people thus purified shall be the seeds of human beings and shall procreate a progeny who shall follow the laws of Krita-age. A verse is recited regarding this—”When the sun, moon, and the lunar asterism Tishya and the planet Jupiter are in mansion the Krita age shall come back”.

Thus, O great sage, I have enumerated all the kings of the solar and lunar dynasties—those who are past and those who are present and those who shall be. From the birth of the king Parikshit and up to the installation of king Nanda it is to be known that 1065 years have passed. When the two first stars of the seven Rishis rise in the heavens and some lunar asterism is seen at night at an equal distance then the seven Rishis continue stationary in that conjunction for a hundred years of men. At the birth of the king Parikshit they were in Magha and the Kali Yuga then began which consists of twelve hundred divine years.

When the portion of Vishnu born in the race of Yadu went back to heaven the Kali Yuga set in. But as long as he touched with his lotus feet the earth the Kali Yuga could not effect it. As soon as the incarnation of the eternal Vishnu has departed, Yudhisthira the son of Dharma and his brothers renounced the kingdom. Seeing evil omens, on the departure of Krishna the son of Pandu installed Parikshit on the throne. When seven Rishis will be in Parvashadha, then Nanda will begin to reign and thenceforth the influence of Kali will increase.

The day of Krishna’s departure from the earth will be the first of the Kali Yaga, the duration of which you shall learn from me. It will continue tor 360,800 years of men. After twelve hundred divine years the Krita-age shall come back.

Thus, O foremest of twice-born ones, thousands of eminent Brāhmans, Kshatriyas, Vasyas, and Sudras have passed away. It will be tautology and useless to mention the names and numbers of them born in various families. I therefore refrain from doing so.

The king Devapi of the Puru race and Maru of the Ikswaku race, by virtue of their great asceticism, are residing in the village of Kalapa. When the Krita-age shall set in they will come to the city and give origin to the Kshatriya dynasties. In this wise the earth is occupied through every series of the first three ages, Krita, Treta and Dwāpara by the descendants of Manu. As Devapi and Maru are still living so one of them remains in the Kali Yuga, to serve as the seed of the renewed generations.

I have thus related to you briefly the families of the various kings. To relate them at length would be impossible in a hundred lives.

The kings mentioned above and others, who assuming frail bodies have ruled over the ever-during world, and being binded by illusions have indulged the feeling—”This earth is mine—it is my son’s—it belongs to my dynasty,” have gone away. Those who reigned before them, those who succeeded them, those who will be kings in future, have ceased and shall cease to be. The earth, with her autumnal flowers, as if smiles, beholding the king eager for conquest and fightings. Hear, O Maitrya, I shall now recite some verses that were chanted by Earth and which the Muni Asita communicated to Janaka, whose banner was virtue, “How greatly are the princes, although reasonable, mistaken, that they consider themselves immortal when they themselves are but foam upon the wave. Before they have subdued themselves they endeavour to reduce their ministers, their servant, their subjects to subjection; they then attempt to defeat their enemies. They say ‘We shall by and by subdue the sea-girt earth?’ Their minds being thus always taken up with those thoughts, they cannot perceive the near approach of death. The subjugation of the sea-girt earth is not so very difficult for him who has subdued him; for the final liberation is another fruit of self-control. It is through ignorance that the kings wish to possess me whom their predecessors have been constrained to leave and whom their fathers have not kept, by the selfish love of power fathers fight with sons and brothers with brothers for occupying me. All the kings who reigned on this earth and who are now dead foolishly thought—’All this earth is mine—every thing is mine, it will be in my house for ever for he is dead.’ How is it possible that such vain desires should be cherished by his descendants, who have seen their progenitor, on account of the thirst of dominion, compelled to desert me, whom he called his own and tread the path of dissolution. When I hear a king communicating to another through his ambassador, ‘This earth is mine—you give up all your claims for it,’ I laugh at first but that laughter is soon turned into pity for the infatuated fool”.

Parāçara said:—These were the verses, Maitreya, which Earth chanted, hearing which ambition melts away like snow before the sun. I have now given you a complete account of the descendants of Manu amongst whom many were endowed with a portion of Vishnu engaged in the preservation of the universe.

He, who hears reverentially from the beginning to the end, of the account of this family of Manu, gets his heart purified and all this sins are removed. Hearing of the description of the illustrious solar and lunar dynasties, people, with their faculties perfect, shall live in unequalled affluence, plenty and prosperity. He who has heard of the races of Ikshawku, Jahnu, Mindhāta, Sagara, Abiksheta, Raghu, Yayati, and Nahusha, who have all perished and of other wealthy kings gifted with great strength and power, who have been subdued by still more powerful time and are now only tales, will learn wisdom and forbear to call either children, or wife, or house or lands or wealth his own. Those heroic men, who have performed penances for many years with uplifted hands, those who have celebrated many sacrifices, have been left by time as subjects of narration. That Pritbu, even, whose discus dissevered many an enemy, who unobstructed travelled all over the regions, has been destroyed by the last of time like the light down of the Simal tree. Even Karlaviryya, who defeated numberless enemies and conquered the seven Zones of the earth, exists now only as the topic of a theme, a subject for affirmation or contradiction. The riches, of the kings Dashānana, Raghava, Abikoluta and others, which dazzled all the quarters, have all been reduced to ashes by the very frown of time. Oh! fie upon such wealth. The lord paramount of the earth, by the name of Māndhāta now exists only in name. And what pious man, hearing this story, will be so foolish as to cherish the desire of possession in his soul? Bhagiratha, Sagara, Kākutstha, Dasānana, Rāma, Lakshmana, Yudhishthira and others have been. Is it so? Have they really existed? Where are they now? We know not! The kings, who are now reigning, who shall be kings in future, and those whose names have not been specified, shall all remain only in names like their predecessors. The wise man, cognizant of this, will not cherish attachment even for his own self—what to speak of children, lands and properties.




Maitreya said:—You have described to me at length the origin and spread of the families of kings. I wish to hear in particular, O venerable saint, why Vishnu incarnated a portion of himself in the family of Yadus. Tell me, O Muni, what actions did the illustrious and excellent Purusha perform in his descent upon the earth.

Parāçara said:—I shall relate to you, O Maitreya, what you have requested me to do—the birth, of a portion of Vishnu and the benefits which his actions conferred upon the world. O great Muni, Vasudeva espoused the illustrious god-like Devaki, the daughter of Devaka. After their marriage, Kansa, the increaser of the race of Bhoja, drove their car as charioteer. A voice was heard in the sky, loud and deep as thunder, which addressing Kansa, said—”O foolish, the eighth child of this damsel, whom thou art carrying in the car, along with her husband, shall destroy thy life”.

Hearing this the highly powerful Kansa uplifted his sword and was about to slay Devaki when Vasudeva said—”O thou having long arms, Devaki should not be slain by thee; I shall hand over to thee every child that she shall bring forth”.

O foremost of twice-born ones, saying ‘so be it’ Kansa obeyed Vasudeva’s request and out of respect for him did not slay Devaki.

In the meantime, Earth, oppressed by her heavy load, repaired to an assembly of celestials on Mount Meru and addressing them, with Brahmā, at their head, described in piteous accents all her distresses. “Agni” said Earth “is the progenitor of gold; Surja, the rays of light; the Supreme Nārāyana, is my guide and the guide of all spheres; He is Brahmā, the lord of the lord of patriarchs, the eldest of the eldest born, one identical with minutes and hours and time having form though indiscrete. O celestials, you are all but a portion of Him. The Sun, the winds, the saints, the Rudras, the Vasus, the Aswins, fire, patriarchs of whom Attri is the first, are all but the forms of the mighty and inscrutable Vishnu. The Yakshas, the Rākshasas, the Daityas, Pisachas, Uragas, Dānavas, Gandharvas, and Apsaras are all but the forms of the glorious Vishnu. The sky painted with stars, fire, water, wind, myself, and this manifest universe are all identical with Vishnu. Still the diverse forms of that manifold being encounter and succeed one another night and day like the waves of the sea. Amongst them Kālanemi and other Dānavas have occupied the regions under the earth and been distressing the subjects continually. The mighty Vishnu destroyed the Daitya Kālanemi and he has now been born as Kansa, the son of Ugrasena. The Asuras, Aristha, Dhenuka, Keshi, Pralamba, Naraka, Sunda, Atyugravana, and the son of Bali and other highly powerful ones born in various royal families, cannot be counted. O celestials, many Akshauhini hosts of powerful Daityas—the chiefs of their race, assuming beautiful shapes, are now treading upon me. I am unable, being oppressed by this load, to support myself; I have therefore come to you for help, O celestial chiefs, O illustrious deities, it becomes you to relieve me of this burden, lest helpless I sink into the nethermost abyss”.

Parāçara said Hearing these words of Earth, Brahmā at their request, explained to them how her burden might be lightened. “Deities” said Brahmā “all that earth has said is true. Myself, Siva and you all are but a portion of Nārāyana; the impersonations of his power are for ever mutually fluctuating; and excess or diminution is indicated by the predominance of the strong and the depression of the weak. Come, therefore, let us go to the northern shore of the milky sea and having glorified Hari, report to him what we have heard. He, who is the soul of all and at one with the universe, descends, for the preservation of Earth in a small portion of his essence, to establish righteousness below”. Accordingly Brahmā, accompanied by the celestials went to the milky ocean and with minds devoted to him, praised him, whose emblem is Garuda. Brahmā said “O lord, thou art distinct from the Vedas, thy double nature is two-fold wisdom, superior and inferior, and thou art the essential end of both. Thou, alike possessed and devoid of form, art the two-fold Brahmā; smallest of the least and largest of the large; all and knowing all things; that spirit which is language, that spirit which is Supreme; that which is Brahmā and of which Brahmā is composed. Thou art the Rich, the Yajush, the Sāman and the Atharvan Vedas. Thou art accentuation, ritual, signification, metre and astronomy; history, tradition, grammar, theology, logic and law and art inscrutable. Thou art the doctrine that seeks to find out the distinctions between soul and life and body and matter endowed with qualifications and that doctrine is nothing else but thy nature inherent in and presiding over it.

“Thou art imperceptible, indescribable, inconceivable,—without name, or colour, or hands or feet, pure, eternal and infinite. Thou hearest without ears and seest without eyes. Thou art one and manifold. Thou movest without feet and holdest without hands. Thou knowest all but art not by all to be known. He who observes thee as the most subtile of atoms, not substantially existent, puts an end to ignorance and the final liberation is the meed of that wise man whose understanding cherishes nothing but thee in the form of supreme delight. Thou art the common centre of all, the protector of the universe and all beings exist in thee. Thou art all that has been or will be. Thou art the atom of atoms; thou art spirit, thou only art separate from primeval nature. Thou, as the lord of fire, in four manifestations, givest light and fertility to Earth. Thou art the eye of all and assumer of many shapes and without any hinderance travellest the three regions of the universe. As fire, though one, is variously lighted and though unchangeable in its essence, is modified in many ways, so thou, lord, who art omnipresent, takest upon thee all modifications, that exist. Thou art one supreme; thou art that supreme and eternal state which the wise behold with the eye of knowledge. There is nothing else but thou, O lord, nothing else has been or will be. Thou art both discrete and indiscrete, universal and individual, omniscient, all-seeing, omnipotent, possessed of all wisdom and strength and power. Thou art subject, neither to increase nor decrease. Thou art independent and without beginning. Thou art the subjugator of all. Thou art not subject to weariness, sloth, fear, anger or desire. Thou art free from sin, supreme, merciful, uniform, undecaying, lord over all, the support of all, the fountain of light, and imperishable. Salutation unto thee, uninvested by material envelopes, unexposed to sensible imaginings, aggregate of elemental substance, spirit supreme. Thou assumest a shape, O pervader of the universe, not as the consequence of virtue or vice nor from any mixture of the two, but for the sole object of upholding righteousness in the universe”.

Parāçara said:—Having heard these eulogiums, the unborn universal Hari, pleased, said to Brahmā—”Tell me, Brahmā, what your and the celestials desire—and consider that already gratified”.

Beholding that divine and universal form of Hari, Brahmā again prostrated himself and began to chant his glories—”Salutation unto thee, again and again, O thou having a thousand forms, having a thousand arms, many faces and many feet. Salutation unto thee, the illimitable author of creation, destruction and preservation and the inscrutable. Be propitiated with us, O god, O great soul, most subtile of the subtile, most vast of the great; O thou, who art nature, intellect and consciousness and who art other spirit even than the spiritual root of those principles. O lord, this earth, oppressed by powerful Asuras and shaken to her very foundation, comes to thee, the upholder of the universe, to be relieved of her burden. Myself, Indra, the Aswins, Varuna, Yama, the Rudras the Vasus, the sun, the winds, fire and all other deities are prepared to do whatever thou shalt and desire us to do. Do thou, who art perfect, O king of the celestials, give thy orders to thy servants, we are ready”.

When Brahmā had said this, the supreme deity plucked off two hairs, one white and one black and said to the celestials—”These my hairs shall go down upon earth and shall relieve her of the burden of her distress. Let all the deities, in their own portions, descend upon earth and fight with the proud Asuras who are there assembled and every one of them shall be slain. Doubt not this—they shall be destroyed by the withering glance of my eyes. This, my black hair, shall be impersonated in the eighth conception of the goddess-like Devaki, the wife of Vasudeva and shall destroy Kansa, who is the demon Kālanemi”. Having said this, Hari disappeared and the celestials, bowing to him, though invisible, went back to the summit of the mount Meru from where they came down on earth.

Thereupon the illustrious Muni Nārada said that, the supporter of the earth, Vishnu, would be the eighth child of Devaki, Hearing this from Nārada, Kansa greatly excited with wrath, kept Vasudeva and Devaki in secret confinement.

According to his promise Vasudeva delivered to Kansa each infant as soon as it was born. It is said these, to the number of six, were the children of the demon Hiranya-Kasipu, introduced into the womb of Devaki by Yogonidra, at the behest of Vishnu, who was his illusory energy and by whom the whole world is beguiled, and who is known as utter ignorance. The great god said to her—”Go, Nidrā, to the nether regions and by my command introduce there six princes to the womb of Devaki. When these shall be destroyed by Kansa, the seventh conception shall be a portion of Sesha, who is a portion of me. There is another wife of Vasudeva in Gokula named Rohini and this you shall transfer to her, before the time of birth. The rumour shall be that Devaki miscarries through the anxiety of imprisonment and dread of the king of Bhojas. And on account of his being extracted from his mother’s womb, the child shall be designated Sankarshana and he shall be like the peak of the white mountain in bulk and complexion. I shall myself then descend in the eighth auspicious conception of Devaki and you shall immediately enter into the womb of Yasoda. In the night of the eighth lunation of the dark half of the month of Nabhas in the season of the rains, I shall be born. You will be born on the ninth. Being aided by my energy Vasudeva shall carry me to the bed of Yasoda and you to that of Devaki. When Kansa shall dash you against a stone, O worshipful dame, you shall attain to the sky and then the thousand-eyed Indra, out of reverence for me, shall bow unto you and shall accept you as his sister. Having destroyed Sumbha and Nisumbha and thousands of other Daityas you shall sanctify the earth in many places. You are wealth, progeny, fame, patience, heaven and earth, fortitude, modesty, nutrition, dawn and every other female (form or virtue). Those, who shall reverentially invoke you, morning and evening, and praise and call you Aryā, Durgā, Vedagarbhā, Ambica, Bhadrā, Bhadrakālikā, Kshemi, or Kshemankari, shall receive, by my grace, whatever they desire. And pleased with their offerings of wine and flesh and various other kinds you shall gratify the prayers of mankind. By my favour all men shall have perpetual faith in you. Assured of this, go, goddess, and satisfy my orders!”


Being thus ordered by the god of gods, Jagadhatri (the nurse of the universe) transferred six embryos into the womb of Devaki. And the seventh conception was conveyed into the womb of Rohini after which Hari, for the behoof of the three worlds, entered into the womb of Devaki. And as commanded by the great god, Yogonidrā, on that very day entered into the womb of Yasoda. The portion of Vishnu having descended on earth, the planets moved in auspicious order and the seasons became regular and genial. No body could gaze upon Devaki, invested with light—and beholding her thus dazzling, the minds of the people were disturbed. The celestials, invisible to men and women alike, chanted the praises of Devaki, day and night, from the time that Vishnu entered into her person. They said—”Thou art that Prakriti infinite and subtile, which formerly bore Brahmā in its womb. O nurse of the universe, thou art his words—from thee have sprung the Vedas, O fair damsel, O thou existing perpetually, thou art the very creation and in thy womb is the Sun: thou art the seed of all—thou art the parent of the tri-form Sacrifice. Thou art Sacrifice whence all fruit proceeds—thou art wood whose attrition creates fire. As Aditi thou art the mother of the celestials, as Diti thou art the mother of the Daityas their foes. Thou art light which creates day-thou art humility—the mother of true wisdom; thou art royal policy the mother of order—thou art modesty the mother of affection. Thou art desire from whom love is produced—thou art contentment from which resignation is produced; thou art intelligence, the mother of knowledge, thou art patience the parent of fortitude; thou art heavens whose children are stars, and from thee proceeds all that exists. These and thousand others are thy mighty faculties, O goddess; and numberless are the contents of thy womb, O mother of the universe. That Vishnu, whose real form, nature, name, dimensions are above human conception, is in thy womb, with whom are identical the whole earth, embellished with oceans, rivers, continents, cities, villages, hamlets, towns; all the fires, waters and winds, the stars, asterisms and planets, the sky abounding in variegated cars of the celestials and ether that provides space for all substance; the spheres of earth, sky and heaven; of saints, sages, ascetics and of Brahmā: the white egg of Brahmā, with all its populations of Gods, demons, spirits, snake-gods, fiends, demons, ghosts and imps, men and animals, and whatever creatures have life. Thou art Swahā, thou art Swadhā, thou art wisdom, ambrosia, light and heaven. Thou hast descended upon earth for the preservation of the universe. Have pity upon us, O goddess, and do good unto the world. Be proud of bearing that deity by whom the universe is upheld”.


Parāçara said;—Being thus eulogised by the celestials; Devaki conceived in her womb the lotus-eyed deity—the saviour of the universe. The sun of Achyuta rose in the dawn of Devaki to cause the lotus-petal of the universe to expand. On the day of his birth, all the quarters were lighted up with joy and it gave delight to all people like unto the rays of the moon.

The pious obtained new delight; the strong wind were pacified and the river flowed silently when Janārddana was about to be born. The oceans made music with their murmurings, the Gandharvas began to sing and the Apsaras began to dance. At the time of Janārddana’s birth the celestials, stationed in the sky, began to pour flowers and the holy fires glowed with a mild flame. At midnight, when the supporter of all was about to be born, the clouds began to emit low sounds and pour down rain of flowers.

As soon as Anakadundhubhi saw the child, looking like full-blown lotus-petals, having four arms and the mystic mark Sribatsa an his breast; he began to chant his glories in terms of love and respect and represented the fears he entertained of Kansa. Vasudeva said, “I have known thee, O sovereign lord of the celestials, O thou the holder of conch, discus and mace. Be pleased to withhold this thy celestial form, for Kansa will surely destroy me when he will know that thou hast descended in my dwelling”. Devaki said,—”God of gods, who art identical with all things, in whose person all the religions of the world exist and who, by illusion, hast assumed the condition of an infant, have pity me, withold thy four-armed shape. Let not Kansa, the wicked son of Diti, know of this birth”.

To this Bhagavat replied—”O worshipful dame, I was worshipped by thee before to be born as thy son. Thy prayers have now been granted and I am now born as thy son”. So saying he was silent and Vasudeva, taking the babe, went out the same night. The guards and gate-keepers of Mathura were all charmed by Yoganidrā and none of them obstructed the passage of Anakadundhubhi. It was raining heavily at that time and the many-headed serpent Sesha followed Vasudeva spreading his hoods above their heads. And when he, with the child in his arms, crossed the Yamuna, deep as it was and dangerous with numerous whirlpools, the waters were silent and rose not above his knee. On the bank he saw Nanda and others who had come there to bring tribute to Kansa, but they did not see him. At that time Yasoda was also influenced by Yoganidrā, whom she had given birth as her daughter and whom the wise Vasudeva took up, placing his son in her place by the side of the mother. He then speedily came back home. When Yasoda awoke, she found she had been delivered of a boy as black as the dark lotus-leaves; and she was greatly delighted.

Vasudeva, taking the female child of Yasoda, reached his house unperceived and placed the child in the bed of Devaki. He then remained as usual. The guards were awakened by the cry of the new-born babe and starting up they informed Kansa that Devaki had given birth to a child. Kansa immediately went to the house of Vasudeva where he got hold of the infant. Devaki faintingly prevented him, crying out again and again—”Do not destroy it! Do not destroy it”. Kansa dashed it against a stone; it at once went up to the sky and expanded into a gigantic figure, having eight arms each bearing a formidable weapon. This terrible figure laughed and said to Kansa. “What benefit have you derived, O Kansa, by hurling me to the ground? He is born who shall destroy thee, the mighty one amongst celestials, who was formerly the destroyer, Considering this do thou accomplish what shall tend to thy welfare”. Having said this, the goddess, decorated with heavenly unguents and garlands, and glorified by the spirits of the air, disappeared from the sight of the king of the Bhojas.


Parāçara said:—Kansa, greatly disturbed in mind, called together all the leading Asuras, Pralamba, Kesin and others and said to them—”O ye, leading Asuras, Pralamba, Dhenuka, Putanā, Arishta and all others, hear my words. O heroes, the wicked celestials, troubled by my power, have been trying to destroy me—but I do not much care for them. Save murdering the Asuras by fraud, what can the weak Indra and the ascetic Hara or Hari do? What have we to fear from the Adityas, the Vasus, the Agnis or any other of the immortals who have all been defeated by my resistless arms? Have you not seen the king of the celestials, when he had come out into the conflict, quickly fly from the field receiving my arrows upon his back, not bravely upon his breast? When Indra withheld rains from my kingdom, were not the clouds compelled by my arrows to pour water as much as was acquired? Are not all the kings of the earth afraid of my prowess and subject to my orders, save my father Jarasandha? O ye leading and heroic Daityas, I have already got hatred towards the celestials—it has created my laughter that they have been trying to slay me. And it is my fixed determination to inflict still deeper degradation upon those vicious and wicked-minded celestials.

“Let us therefore kill every man who is known for liberality (in making gifts to gods and Brāhmans) and let every man who is celebrated for performing sacrifices be slain; and thus the celestials shall the deprived of the means they live upon. The goddess, who has taken her birth as the child of Devaki, has said to me that he is again born who destroyed me in one of my previous birth. Let us vigorously find out all young children upon earth and let every boy in whom there are signs of unusual vigour, be killed mercilessly”.

Having passed these orders Kansa went to his palace and liberated Vasudeva and Devaki from their captivity. He said to them.—”In vain have I killed all your children, for he, who is destined to kill me, has escaped. It is useless to regret the the past. The children, who shall be born to you after this, may enjoy life till its natural close; no one shall cut it short”. Having thus consoled them, Kansa, greatly terrified for himself, went into the inner apartments of his palace.


When Vasudeva was freed, he went to the wagon of Nanda and found him greatly delighted that a son was born to him. He then kindly said to him “It is a blessing that you have got a son in your old age. Have you given your annual tribute to the king? If you have finished your work, you should not wait here for you are men of property. Why do you wait here since the work that has brought you, is finished? Go therefore, speedily, O Nanda, to your Gokula. I have also got a son there, born of Rohini, and he should be brought up by you as this your own son”.

Parāçara said:—Thus having paid their dues to the king and placed their goods in their wagons, Nanda and other cow-herds went to their village. And while they were thus living in Gokula, Putanā the child-killer, taking up Krishna, asleep in night, gave him her breast to suck. And whatever child is suckled by Putanā in night, dies instantly having its limbs wearied and exhausted. But laying hold of the breast with two hands, Krishna sucked it with such violence that he drained it of the life and the terrible Putanā, roaring aloud and giving way in every point, fell on the ground dead. Hearing those cries, the inhabitants of Vraja, terrified, got up and saw Putanā lying on the earth with Krishna in her arms. Snatching up Krishna, Yasoda waved over him a cow-tail-brush to guard him from harm, whilst Nanda placed dried cow-dung powdered upon his head; he gave him also an amulet, saying at the same time—”May Hari the lord of creation, he, from the lotus of whose navel the world was produced and on the tip of whose tusks the globe was upraised from waters, protect thee. May that Kesava, who assumed the form of a boar, protect thee. May that Kesava, who, as the man-lion, rent with his sharp nails, the bosom of his foe, save thee. May that Kesava, who appearing first as the dwarf, traversed with all his power with three paces, the three regions of the universe, constantly protect thee. May Govinda guard thy belly, Janarddana thy legs and feet, the eternal and irresistible Nārāyana thy face, thine arms, thy mind and thy faculties of sense. May all ghosts, goblins and malignant spirits, that shall be engaged in thy mischief, be destroyed by the bow, the discus, the mace, the sword of Vishnu and the by echo of his conch shell. May Vaikuntha guard thee in thy cardinal points and Madhusudana in the intermediate ones. May Hrishikesha defend thee in the sky and Mahidhara upon earth”. Having recited these prayers to avert all evil, Nanda caused the child to sleep in his bed underneath the wagon. Seeing the huge carcass of Putanā the cow-herds were filled with surprise and fear.


Parāçara said Once on a time while the slayer of Madhu was asleep underneath the wagon, he cried for the breast and kicking up his feet he overturned the vehicle and all the pots and pans were upset and broken. Hearing the noise the wives of the cow-herds came exclaiming—”Ah! Ah!” and there they found the child sleeping on his back. “Who could have overturned the wagon?” exclaimed the cow-herds. “That child” said some of the boys who saw the circumstance. “We saw him,” said the boys, “crying and kicking the wagon and so the wagon was upset; no one else had anything to do with it”.

The cow-herds were therefore greatly surprised and not knowing what to do Nanda at once took up the boy and Yasoda offered worship to the broken pieces of pots and to the wagon, with curds, flowers, fruits and unbruised grain.

Being commissioned by Vasudeva, Garga performed the initiatory rites of the two boys secretly in Vraja. The eldest was named Rāma and the other Krishna by the wise Garga, the foremost of the intelligent. In a short time they began to crawl about the ground, supporting themselves on their hands and knees and creeping everywhere, often amidst ashes and filth. Neither Rohini nor Yasoda was able to prevent them from getting into the cow-pens or amongst the calves, where they amused themselves by pulling their tails. When Yasoda could not prevent the two boys, who always rambled together, from playing naughtily, she became angry and taking up a stick remonstrated with Krishna having eyes like lotus-petals. Fastening a cord round his waist she tied him to the wooden mortar and being angry, she said to him “Now you wicked boy, get away from here, if you can”. Having said this, she went about her domestic affairs. As soon as she had gone, the lotus-eyed Krishna, trying to extricate himself, pulled the mortar after him to the space between the two Arjuna trees that grew near together. Being dragged there the mortar became wedged between the two trees, and Krishna having pulled it, the two huge trees covered with many leaves, were uprooted. Hearing the cracking noise the inhabitants of Vraja came to see what was the matter and there they beheld the two huge trees with broken branches and stems lying on the ground with the child fixed between them, with a rope round his belly, laughing and shewing his white teeth, just budded. It is from this that Krishna is called Dāmodara from the binding of dama (rope) round his udara (belly). The elders among the cow-herds, with Nanda at their head, looked upon these circumstances with alarm, considering them as inauspicious signs. They said—”We cannot remain in this place—let us go to some other part of the forest Here many evil omens threaten us with destruction—the death of Putanā, the upsetting of the wagon and the fall of the trees without their being uprooted by the wind. Let us go away from here without any delay and go to Vrindavana, where evil omens may no longer disturb us”.

Having thus made up their minds, the inhabitants of Vraja communicated their intention to their families and desired them to go without delay. Accordingly they started with their wagons and their cattle, driving before them their bulls and cows and calves; they threw away the fragments of their household stores and in no time Vraja was overspread with flights of crows. Vrindavana was selected by Krishna, who was above the influence of actions, for the sake of providing for the nourishment of the kine, for there in the hottest season the new grass springs up as profusely as the rains. Having gone to Vrindavana from Vraja, the inhabitants of the latter up their wagons in the form of a crescent.

As the two boys Rāma and Damodara grew up, they lived always together in the same place and engaged in the same boyish sports. They made themselves crests of the peacocks’ plumes and garlands of forest flowers and musical instruments of reeds and leaves or played upon the pipes used by cowherds; their hair was arranged like the wings of the crow, and they looked like two young princes and portions of the god of war. They were robust, and walked about always laughing and playing sometimes with each other, sometimes with other boys; driving, along with other young cowherds, the calves to the pasture. Thus the two protectors of the universe were keepers of cattle until they became seven years old in the cow-pens of Vrindavana.

Then began the rainy season when the atmosphere was full of clouds and the quarters of the horizon were blended into one by the driving showers. The water of the rivers rose and overflowed their banks, and spread beyond all limits like the mind of the weak and wicked transported beyond restraint by sudden prosperity. The pure radiance of the moon was obscured by heavy vapours as the teachings of the sacred writings are darkened by the arrogant scoffs of the unbelievers. The bow of Indra held its place unstrung in the sky like a worthless person elevated to honour by an indiscreet king. White line of storks appeared upon the back of the clouds in such contrast as the bright conduct of a man of respectability opposes to the conduct of a scoundrel. The ever-fickle lightning, being newly allied with the sky, was like the friendship of a profligate for a man of substance. Overgrown by the spreading grain, the paths became difficult of being traced like the words of the ignorant carrying no definite meaning.

Krishna and Rāma, delighted, began to live in the forest in that beautiful season maddening the peacocks and bees. Sometimes they sang and danced with the cow-herds and sometimes sat under the cool shade of a huge tree for rest. Sometimes they beautified themselves with garlands of Kadamba flowers and again with garlands of peacocks’ feathers; sometimes they painted themselves with the minerals of the mountain; sometimes they slept on beds of leaves and sometimes they rejoiced with the infants of the cow-herds, hearing the muttering of the clouds; sometimes they praised the songs of the boys, sometimes mimicked the cry the peacocks and sometimes played on pipes.

Thus greatly attached to each other and participating, in various emotions and sports, Rāma and Krishna delightedly resided in that forest. And every evening they used to come back home like two cow-boys along with the cows and cow-herds. And coming home in the evening, the two deities heartily engaged in sports giving delight to the sons of the cow-herds.


Parāçara said:—Once on a time Krishna went to Vrindavana, without Balarāma; and there, adorned with garlands of wild flowers, roamed he, encircled by the cow-herds, He then repaired to the banks of Kalindi, undulating and sparkling with foam and as if smiling when the waves dashed against the banks. There he saw the pool with the dreadful serpent Kāliya, boiling with the fires of poison. By the touch of that poison the huge trees on the banks were withered and being touched by the waters raised by the wind the birds were scorched. Beholding that dreadful serpent, like the second mouth of death, the illustrious Slayer of Mahdhu thought—”Forsooth, the wicked and poisonous serpent Kāliya lives here, who, being defeated by me, was constrained to leave the ocean whose waters were defiled. By him the waters of the Yamuna, flowing to the ocean, have been poisoned, and the thirsty cows and cow-herds cannot satisfy their thirst. I must slay this serpent, so that the inhabitants of Vraja may live here happily freed from fear. I have descended upon the land of mortals to chastise the wicked, led astray into vicious paths; I shall therefore climb up the neighbouring Kadamba tree and jump down into the pool”.

Parāçara said:—Having thus thought within himself he bound his clothes tightly about him and jumped boldly into the pool of the serpent-king. The huge lake was agitated as soon as he fell into it, and the waves raised thereby began to sprinkle the distant trees, which being touched by the water and wind, thus poisoned, were immediately set on fire, and the whole horizon was ablaze. Having dived into the lake, Krishna struck his arms defiantly. Hearing that noise the serpent-king immediately issued out—whose eyes were coppery and hoods were flaming with deadly venom. He was encircled by many other powerful and poisonous snakes living upon air and hundreds of serpent-nymphs adorned with rich ornaments, whose earrings glittered with brilliance as the wearers moved along. Coiling themselves around Krishna, they all bit him with teeth from which fiery poison came out. Beholding him in the lake thus surrounded by serpents, his companions immediately went to Vraja bewailing aloud his fate. “Krishna has foolishly jumped into the lake of the serpent Kāliya, and is being devoured by that serpent-king; do ye come and behold him”. Hearing those words, resembling the fall of thunder, the cow-herds and their wives headed by Yasoda, proceeded speedily towards the lake. “Alas where is Krishna gone” cried the wives of the cow-herds greatly bewildered; and Yasoda, terrified, with faltering steps, proceeded quickly. Rāma, gifted with great prowess, Nanda and other cow-herds being anxious to see Krishna, arrived quickly at the bank of the Yamuna and beheld him surrounded by, snakes, possessed by the serpent-king and motionless. O foremost of Munis, looking at the countenance of their son, the cow-herd Nanda and the noble Yasoda became stupified. And the wives of the other cow-herds stricken with grief and keeping, saw him; and with words expressive of fear and affliction, they, out of love towards Keshava, said—”We shall all with Yasoda enter this huge lake of the serpent-king; we shall not be able to go back to Vraja. What is day without the sun, night without the moon, cow without a bull and Vraja without Krishna? Without Krishna we shall not return to Vraja, like unto a pond without water, in his absence, nor shall we roam in the forest. We do not like to live there, even if it be the house of our mothers, where there is not Hari, having the countenance like lotus-petals. How shall we live sorrowfully without beholding Hari in pasture having eyes resembling full-blown lotus-petals? We shall not go back to the house of Nanda in Gokula without the lotus-eyed Krishna, who with his pleasant conversation has stolen all our hearts. O ye cow-herds! behold, Krishna is still casting smiling looks upon us, although he is encircled by snakes engaged by the serpent-king”.

Parāçara said:—Hearing those wards of the wives of the cow-herds and beholding the cow-herds stricken with fear the highly-powerful son of Rohini looked settled (for some time.) And then seeing Nanda, with fixed looks towards Krishna and Yasoda almost in a swoon, he began to chant by signs the glories of Krishna—”O god of gods, why art thou displaying these human characteristics? Dost thou not perceive thyself at one with one without end? Thou art the centre of creation, as the nave is of the spokes of a wheel. A portion of thee, I have even also born, as thy eldest brother. To share in thy sports as men, the celestials have all descended under a like disguise. Having made all the goddesses descend in Gokula for thy sport, thou hast afterwards descended, although thou art existing perpetually. Wherefore Krishna dost thou neglect these celestials who, as cow-herds, are thy friends and kin—and these sorrowing females, who also are thy relations? Thou hast assumed, the character of man; thou hast displayed the tricks of childhood. Now let this dreadful snake although armed with poisoned fangs, be vanquished (by thee)”.

Being thus reminded of his real character by Rāma, Krishna smiled gently and immediately freed himself from the coils of the snakes. And catching with both his hands the middle hood of the serpent-king, that highly powerful (Krishna) bent it down and set his foot upon the hitherto-unbended hood; and danced upon it victoriously. And the hood of the serpent was bruised by the treading of Krishna’s feet, and wherever the snake attempted to raise his head, it was again trodden down. Trampled upon by the feet of Krishna as they changed position in the dance, the snakes fainted and vomitted froth much blood. Seeing the head and neck of their king thus bruised and blood flowing from this mouth, the females of the snake-king implored the mercy of the Slayer of Madhu.

The females of the serpent-king said—”We have recognized thee, O god of gods, O supreme lord of all. Thou art a portion of that supreme light and the mighty lord. Thou art the self-existent lord and even the celestials are unable to praise thee worthily, and how can the females truly chant thy glories? How can we sing his glories whose portions are earth, sky, water, fire and air? Even the holy ascetics have in vain sought to know thy real essence. We bow to that form, which is the most subtiles of atoms, the largest of the large; to him whose birth is without a creator, whose end knows no destroyer and who alone is the cause of duration. There is no anger in thee, thou protectest the world and hence this punishment of Kāliya. Hear us. The virtuous should pity women; and creatures are pitied even by the fools; let therefore the foremost of the forgiving have compassion upon this poor creature. Thou art the upholder of the universe and this snake is gifted with but little strength, if and oppressed by thee, he shall in no time give up his life. There is a vast difference between this poor serpent of limited strength and thyself in whom the world reposes. Friendship and enmity are felt towards equals and superiors and not for those who are infinitely inferior to us. This unfortunate snake is about to die,—give us therefore, as a matter of charity, our husband!”

Parāçara said:—When the wives of the serpent-king had said this, he, too, although wearied, repeated feebly his prayers for clemency. “Pardon me” he said—”O god of gods, how shall I address thee, who art possessed, through thine own strength and essence, of the eight great faculties and art in energy unmatched? Thou art the Supreme, the originator of the supreme; thou art the supreme spirit and from thee, the Supreme proceeds: thou art beyond all finite objects: how can I sing thy glories? How can I chant his greatness from whom have sprung Brahmā, Rudra, Chandra, Indra, the Maruts, the Aswins, the Vasus and the Adityas—of whom but, a small portion is the whole universe, which is destined to represent his essence and whose nature, primitive or derived is beyond the conception of Brahmā and other immortals. How can I approach him who is worshipped by the celestials with incense and flowers culled from the groves of Nandana? How can I adore him whose incarnate portion are being worshipped even by the king of celestials and whose real nature he is not conscious of? How can I approach him, whom the sages, having their minds withdrawn from external objects, worship in thought and enshrining whose image in their hearts present to it the flowers of sanctity? I am quite unable, O god of gods, to worship thee or sing thy glories—by thy mercy only, be thou propitiated with me. O Kesava, the serpents are by nature, crooked. I am born in that race, so I am also wily, which is the characteristic of my own race, so I am not to blame in this, O Achyuta. Every thing has been created by thee and every thing is being destroyed by thee—and the species, form and nature of all things in the world, are thy work. Even such and I as thou hast created me in kind, in form and in nature. Such am I and such are my actions. Should I act differently then indeed should I deserve punishment; so thou hast destined. And that I have been punished by thee, is indeed a blessing—for punishment from thee alone is a favour.

“Behold I am now divested of strength and poison—deprived of both by thee. Save my life—I ask no more. Order me what shall I do”.

Being thus addressed by Kaliya, Krishna said—”You must not wait here any more; go immediately, with your family and followers, to the sea. Garuda, the enemy of the serpents, will not injure thee if he sees the impressions of my feet upon your hood”. Having said this, Hari liberated the serpent-king, who, respectfully bowing to his victor, went to the ocean accompanied by all his wives, servants and children, leaving the sight of all and the pool he had lived in. When the snake had departed, the cow-herds received back Govinda as one risen from dead and embraced him and bathed his forehead with tears of joy. Others, considering the water of the river pure, were filled with surprise, and chanted the glory of Krishna, who is above the influence of actions. Being thus glorified by his illustrious exploits and eulogized by the cow-herds and their wives, Krishna came back to Vraja.


Parāçara said:—Thereupon again driving their cattle, Kesava and Balarāma rambled together in the forest, and on one occasion went to a pleasing grove of palms. There lived in that pleasing grove a demon named Dhenuka, resembling an ass in appearance and living upon the flesh of deer. Beholding the fruits there ripe, the cow herds, being anxious to take them, said—”O Rāma! O Krishna! Dhenuka always lives here and therefore the trees are loaded with ripe fruits the smell of which perfumes the air. We wish to eat some. Will you throw some down?” Hearing those words, Krishna and Sankarsana brought down some fruits on the ground. Hearing the sound of the falling fruits, the dreadful and malignant demon Dhenuka, having the countenance of an ass, arrived there speedily, and being angry began to kick Rāma on the breast with his hinder heels. Catching him by his both hind legs, Rāma however hurled him round till he died; then he threw up the dead body to the top of the palm tree from the branches of which it struck down enough fruits like rain drops poured down on earth by the wind. The relatives of Dhenuka came running to his help, and Krishna and Rāma did the same thing with them until the trees were filled with dead asses and the ground was covered with ripe fruits. Thenceforth the cattle grazed unobstructed in the palm groves and cropped the new pasturage where they had never gone before.


Parāçara said:—That demon, in the form of an ass, and all his relatives, being slain, the cow-herds and their wives began to roam at pleasure in that picturesque grove of palms. Having slain that fiend Dhenuka, the two sons of Vasudeva, greatly delighted, repaired to the Bhāndira fig-tree. They began to roam about shouting and singing and collecting fruits and flowers from the trees—sometimes driving the cattle to a distant pasture, sometimes calling them by their names, sometimes carrying the foot-ropes of the kine upon their shoulders, sometimes decorating themselves with garlands of forest flowers, they appeared like two young bulls when the horns first appear. Dressed, the one in yellow and and the other in sable garments, they appeared like two clouds one white and one black, surmounted by the bow of Indra. The two brothers, although lords of the universe, having descended upon earth, began to sport mutually with frolics beneficial to the world. Adopting human duties and assuming human character and engaged in human sports, they stayed about in the forest. And these two highly powerful (brothers) engaged in exercise, in swinging upon the boughs of trees, or in boxing and wresting and hurling stones.

Having seen Krishna and Balarāma thus sporting, this Asura Pralamba, on one occasion with a view to carry them away stealthily arrived there assuming, the guise of a cow-herd. And that foremost of demons, assuming a human shape, mixed with them, unsuspected. Then seeking their faults he found Krishna irrepressible and made up his mind accordingly to slay the son of Rohini.

The boys commenced playing at the game of leaping like deer, two and two together. Govinda was matched with Sridama and Balarāma with Pralamba; the other boys were coupled with one another and went leaping away. Krishna beat his companion and Balarāma his, and the boys who were on Krishna’s side, were also victorious. The boys who were defeated, carrying the victorious boys on their shoulders went to the Bhāndira fig and then came back to the starting-place. And placing Sankarshana speedily on his shoulders the demon Pralamba did not tarry there and ran away like unto a cloud with the moon. Being unable to carry the weight of Rohini’s son that foremost of fiends began to increase in bulk like unto a cloud in the rainy season. Beholding him like a scorched mountain, his head crowned with a diadem and his neck hung round with garlands, having eyes as large as cart wheels, a fearful form and shaking the earth with his tread, Balarāma called out, as he was carried away, “Krishna! Krishna! I am carried off by some demon, disguised as a cow-herd and huge as a mountain! What shall I do? Tell me Madhusudana, the villain runs away speedily”.

Parāçara said:—The high-souled Krishna, cognisant of the prowess and strength of the son of Rohini, opened his mouth, smiling and said—”O thou the soul of all, the cause of cause and all that is alone when the world the destroyed, why art thou assuming clearly the character of a man? Dost thou not know that you and are alike the origin of the world and have come to relieve it of its load? The sky is thy head; the waters are thy person; earth is thy feet; eternal fire is thy mouth; the moon is thy mind; the wind is thy breath; the four regions are thy arms and hands. O big souled and highly powerful lord, thou hast a thousand heads, a thousand hands and feet and bodies. Thou art the beginning of all creation—Brahmā, sprung from lotus—and the sages have praised thee in these terms for a thousand times. No one else knoweth thy divine person. The celestials worship only thy incarnate person. Dost thou not know that in the end the whole world will disappear in thee? O thou of endless forms; thou art upholding all creation, mobile and immobile. Thou, being identical with time with its division of hours and minutes, devourest the world. As the waters of the sea, when swallowed up by submarine fire, are transferred into winds and thrown in the form of snow upon Himachala, where coming in contact with the rays of the sun, re-assume the watery nature, so this world, devoured by thee at the time of dissolution, is again created by thee at the end of a Kalpa through thy creative energy. Thou and I, soul of the universe, are but one and the same cause of the creation of earth, although for its protection we exist as distinct individuals! Bringing to thy memory, who thou art, O being of illimitable prowess, destroy thyself the demon. Suspending a while your human character, do what is right”.

Thus reminded by the noble Krishna, the powerful Balarāma laughed and crushed Pralamba with his knees striking him simultaneously on the head and face with his fists so as to beat out both his eyes. Vomitting blood from his mouth and having his brain forced through the skull, the demon fell upon the ground and died. Seeing Pralamba slain the cow-herds were surprised and rejoiced and exclaimed “Well done!” and praised Balarāma. Thus praised by his play-mates and accompanied by Krishna, Balarāma, after the death of the demon Pralamba, came back to Gokula.


Parāçara said:—Whilst Krishna and Rāma were thus sporting in Vraja the rainy season ended—the autumn appeared and the lotuses became full-blown. The Safari fish in their watery burrows, were oppressed by the heat like a man by his selfish desires, who is attached to his family. The peacocks, renouncing all amusements, became silent like the ascetics withdrawing themselves from worldly enjoyments considering their unreality. The clouds of shining whiteness, exhausted of their watery wealth, deserted the sky like the wise who have acquired wisdom, departing from their home. Evaporated by the rays of the autumnal sun, the lakes were dried up, like the hearts of men withered by the contact of selfishness. The silent waters of the autumn were beautified by white water-lilies, like the minds of the pure by the perception of truth. The moon shone with undiminished brilliance in the sky crested with star like the saint, who has reached the last stage of bodily existence in the company of the pious. The rivers and lakes slowly went far off from their banks as the wise by degrees shrink from the selfish attachment that connects them with their wife and children. The swans again began to frequent those lakes which they had abandoned before like false ascetics whose devotions are interrupted and they are again stricken with numberless afflictions. The ocean, with silent waters, became perfectly calm like the accomplished saint who has gone through rigid penances and has acquired undisturbed tranquility of spirit. Everywhere the waters are as clear and pure as the minds of the wise who behold Vishnu in all things. The autumnal sky was perfectly free from clouds like the heart of the ascetic, whose cares have been devoured by the fire of devotion. The moon allayed the fervours of the sun as discrimination removes the pain consequent upon egotism. The autumn removed the clouds from the sky; the muddiness of the earth and the discoloration of the waters, as abstraction draws away the senses from the objects of perception. The water of the lake, by becoming full, stationary and again declined, performed as if the exercise of inspiring, suppressing and expiring the vital air.

At this season, when the heavens were clear and bright with stars, Krishna, once repairing to Vraja, saw the inhabitants engaged in the celebration of a sacrifice in honor of Sakra. Beholding all the cow-herds busily and anxiously engaged in making preparation, Krishna, gifted with high, intellect, as if, out of curiosity asked the elders, saying—”What festival of Sakra is this, in which you are taking so much delight?” To him thus asking, the cow-herd thus lovingly said—”Satakratu (performer of hundred sacrifices), the king of the celestials, is the lord of the clouds and waters; ordered by him the clouds pour down water on earth, by which the grain is produced, on which we and other embodied beings live and by which we please the gods. By this too these cows bear calves and give milk and are happy and well-nourished. Wherever the clouds pour waters, the earth is neither barren of corn, nor bare of verdure, nor is man stricken with hunger. Having drunk the milk of the earth by means of the rays of the sun, Indra, the giver of water, pours it again on earth for the sustenance of all the worlds. For this reason all sovereign princes offer, with delight, sacrifices to Indra at the end of the rainy reason, and so also do we and so do the other people”.

Parāçara said:—Having heard the words of the cow-herd Nanda regarding the worship of Sakra, Dāmodara, to excite the anger of the lord of celestials, said—”We, father, are neither cultivators of the soil, nor merchants—we are sojourners in the forests and cows are our gods. There are four divisions of knowledge—logical, spiritual, practical, and political. Hear from me, what is the practical science. Agriculture, commerce and tending of cattle—the knowledge of these three professions, O noble Sire, is the practical science. Agriculture is the means of subsistence to the cultivators, buying and selling to the traders, and tending of cattle is our subsistence. The practical science has thus been divided into three branches. The object, that is cultivated by any one, should be to him, his chief deity—he must worship that, for that is his benefactor. O father, the man who worships another’s deity, receiving the fruit from his own, does not obtain a prosperous situation either in this world or in the next. Where the land is no longer cultivated there are limits assigned, beyond which begins the forest; the forests are bounded by the hills and so far do our limits extend. We are not confined within doors or walls, we have neither fields nor homes; we wander about happily wherever we like in our wagons. [258] We have heard that the spirits of these mountains, assuming whatever shapes they like, walk in the woods upon their own precipices. If they are displeased with those who inhabit the forests, then transforming themselves to lions and beasts of prey, they will like the offenders. We are thus bound to worship the mountains and sacrifices to cattle. What have we to do with Indra? Cattle and mountains are our gods. Brāhmans offer worship with prayer; cultivators of the earth worship their landmarks; but we, who tend our cattle in the forests and mountains, should worship them and our kine. Let prayer and offerings be then made to the mountain Govardhana and let us duly kill a victim. Let milk be collected from all stations and let us feed Brāhmans and all others who wish to partake of it—no need of any judgment about it. When the oblations have been presented and the Brahmans have been fed let the cow-herds circumambulate the cows decorated with garlands of autumnal dowers. If the cow-herds pay attention to these suggestions, they will secure the favour of the mountain of the cattle and also mind”.

[258] The word in the text is chakracharina—it means also those ascetics, who make wherever they arrive in the evening, their homes.

When Nanda and other cow-herds heard the speech of Krishna, their faces were brilliant with joy and they said that he had spoken well. “You have judged aright, child” exclaimed they “we will do exactly as you have said and offer worship to the mountain”. Accordingly the inhabitants of Braja worshipped the mountain presenting to it curds and milk and flesh; and they fed hundreds and thousands of Brāhmans and many other guests who came to the ceremony even as Krishna had directed; and when they had made their offerings they circumambulated the cows and the bulls that cried as loud as roaring clouds. Upon the summit of Govaradhana Krishna stood and said “I am the mountain” and partook of the food presented by the cow-herds; whilst in his own form as Krishna, he ascended the hill with other cow-herds and worshipped his other self. Having promised them many blessings the mountain-person of Krishna disappeared, and the ceremony being finished the cow-herds returned to their homes.


Parāçara said—Being thus disappointed of offerings in the sacrifice, O Maitreya, Sakra, greatly angry, addressed the attendant clouds called Samvarttaka saying—”O ye clouds! hear what I say and do ye speedily execute without any judgment my behests. The foolish cow-herd Nanda and his companions, relying upon the protection of Krishna have withheld the usual offerings to us. Now therefore, distress the cattle, with wind and rain at my command, that are their subsistance and whence their occupation is derived. Ascending my elephant, huge as a mountain summit, I will give you assistance in strengthening the tempest”.

Parsara said:—O twice-born one, being thus commanded by the celestial-chief, the clouds came down in a fearful storm of rain and wind to destroy the cattle. In a moment, the earth the points of the horizon and the sky were all blended into one by the heavy and incessant showers. Being afraid of the lightning’s scourge, the clouds filled the quarters with their muttering and pouring down uninterrupted torrents. The clouds pouring down waters day and night, the earth was filled with darkness; and above below and on every side the world was filled with water. The cattle, pelted by the storm, shrank cowering into the smallest size or gave up their breath. Some covered their calves with flanks and some saw their young ones carried away by the flood. Trembling in the wind, the calves cast their piteous looks at their mothers or begged, in low moans, as if, the help of Krishna. Beholding all Gokula moved with terror and cow-herds and cow-herdesses and cattle stricken with consternations, Hari thus thought “This is the work of Mahendra, who has been offended for withholding sacrifices from me; it is therefore my duty to defend this village of herdsmen. I will uplift this spacious mountain from its snowy base and hold it up as a large umbrella over the cow-pens”. Having thus made up his mind, Krishna immediately upheld the mountain Govardhana with one hand as if in sport, and said to the cow-herds—”Behold the mountain is on high; enter beneath it speedily, and it will shelter you from the storm; here you will be secure and happy in places defended from the wind; enter speedily and fear not that the mountain will fall”. Thereupon, all the people with their cattle, wagons, goods, women, afflicted as they were by rain, went to the shelter of the mountain which he held steadily over their heads; and Krishna, as he supported the mountain, was contemplated with delight and astonishment by the inhabitants of Vraja. As his eyes expanded with joy and wonder, the cow-herds and cow-herdesses sang his glories. For seven days and nights did the vast clouds, despatched by Indra, pour down showers upon the Gokula of Nanda, to destroy the dwellers, but they were protected by the height of the mountain. And being baffled in his purpose, the Indra, the destroyer of Bala, ordered the clouds to cease. The threats of Indra having been fruitless and the sky clear, all the inhabitants of Gokula came out from the shelter and went back to their respective habitations. Then Krishna, in the presence of the inhabitants of the forests filled with surprise, restored the great mountain Govardhana to its original site.


Parāçara said:—After the inhabitants of Gokula had been saved by the upholding of the mountain Govardhana, the chastiser of Paka (Indra) became desirous of seeing Krishna. Having mounted his huge elephant Airavata, that lord of the celestials, the destroyer of enemies, beheld the mighty Krishna on the mount Govardhana, tending cattle, assuming the person of a cow-boy and encircled by the sons of cow-herds, although the protector of the universe. He saw above his head, Garuda, the king of birds, invisible to men, spreading out his wings to shade the head of Hari. Descending from his elephant and taking him at a distance, Sakra, having his eyes expanded with delight, said to the Slayer of Madhu—”Hear! hear, O Krishna, why I have come here; why I have come to thee; do not think otherwise of it. Thou, O lord, who art the supporter of the universe, hast descended upon earth to relieve her of her burden. Being enraged on account of my rites being obstructed, I sent the clouds to deluge Gokula and they have done this evil deed. By upholding the mountain, thou hast preserved the cattle and really, O hero, I am much pleased with thy wonderous deed. The object of the celestials is, now, I think, accomplished, for with thy single hand thou hast uplifted this chief of mountains. Being commissioned by the cattle, O Krishna, I have come to thee, to honour thee for thou didst save them. At their words, I shall install thee as Upendra and as the Indra of the cows thou shalt be called Govinda”. Saying this, Mahendra took a ewer from his elephant Airavata and with the holy water it contained performed the regal ceremony of sprinkling. And as the ceremony was being performed, the cattle deluged the earth with their milk.

Having thus inaugurated Krishna, Indra, the husband of Sachi, again affectionately said—”I have done this at the request of the cattle; hear, I shall speak something else to thee, O noble one, being desirous of relieving the earth of her burden. O foremost of men, a portion of mine, under the name of Arjuna, has descended upon earth—do thou protect him always. He shall assist thee in relieving the earth of her burden. He should be protected by thee, O Slayer of Madhu, like thy own Self”.

The Deity said “I know that in the family of Bharata, thy son has been born by Pritha. I shall protect him as long as I shall live on this earth. O Sakra, O Slayer of foes, O lord of the celestials, as long I shall be on this earth, no one shall be able to vanquish Arjuna in conflict. The highly powerful Asura Kansa and Arishtha Keshi, Nāraka and others being slain, there shall take place a terrible conflict, O king of the celestials; know that, O thousand-eyed deity, as what will relieve earth of her burden. Do thou go; it behoves thee not to be anxious for thy son. No enemy of Arjuna shall grow in power before me. For Arjuna I shall render back Yudhishthira and his brothers to Kunti after the great battle of Kurukshetra”.

Parāçara said:—Being thus addressed, the king of the celestials embraced Janarddana and having mounted the elephant Airavata again went to the celestial region. Krishna too with the cows and cow-herds came back to Vraja by the way sanctified by the looks of the females of the cow-herds.


Parāçara said:—Sakra having departed, the cow-herds, on seeing him uplift the mountain Govardhana, said to Krishna of wonderous deeds, delightedly:—”O thou of mighty arms, thou hast saved us from a great fear; by holding up the mountain thou hast protected the cows. Wonderful are thy childish sports and insignificant is the condition of a herdsman and all thy actions are those of a god. Tell us what is the meanings of all this. Kaliya has been vanquished in the water; Pralamba has been killed; Govardhana has been lifted up; our minds are filled with surprise. We can swear by the feet of Hari, O thou of unbounded might, that beholding thy powers we do not consider thee as man. O Kesava, the woman, the children and the old of Vraja are all pleased with thee—even all the celestials cannot perform the deeds thou hast done. Thy boyhood and thy prowess; thy humiliating birth amongst us, are contradictions that fill us with surprise whenever we think of them. Be thou a god, or a demon or a Yaksha or a Gandharva, or whatever, we may consider thee, we should respect thee for thou art our friend”.

When they had finished, Krishna remained silent for some time as if hurt and wounded and then said to them, “Herdsmen, if you are not ashamed of my relationship, if I have deserved your praise, then what necessity have you to discuss thus concerning me? If you have any love for me, if I merit your praise, then consider me as your friend. I am neither a god, nor a Gandharva nor a Yaksha nor a demon—I am born as thy friend and you should not think otherwise of me”.

Parāçara said Being addressed thus, O great Muni the cow-herds remained silent and went into the woods leaving Krishna apparently displeased. Beholding the clear sky with the autumnal moon, and the air perfumed with the fragrance of the wild water-lily in whose buds the clustering bees were murmuring their songs, he felt inclined to join with the females of cow-herds in sport. Thereupon with Rāma he began singing sweet low strains in various measures such as the woman loved; and they, as soon as they heard the music, left their homes and hastened to meet the Slayer of Madhu. One damsel gently sang an accompaniment to his song, another attentively listened to his music: one called him by the name and then shrank in bashfulness: whilst another, more bold and prompted by love, pressed close to his side; one, as she came out, saw some of the seniors of her family and dared not venture satisfying herself with meditating on Krishna with closed eyes and whole-minded devotion by which immediately all acts of merit were effaced by rapture and all sin was expiated by regret at not seeing him: and others again, reflecting upon the cause of the world, in the form of the Supreme Brahma, obtained, by their sighing, final emancipation. Thus encircled by the females of cow-herds Krishna thought the lovely moon-light night of autumn suited to the Rāsa [259] dance. Many of them so imitated the different actions of Krishna that in his absence they wandered through Vrindavana representing his person. “I am Krishna” exclaims one “behold the beauty of my movements”. “I am Krishna” cries another “Listen to my song”. “Wait! wicked Kāliya, I am Krishna” cries out another striking her arms defiantly. A fourth cries out: “Herdsmen, fear nothing, be steady, there is no danger of the storm any more for I uplift the Govardhana for your protection,” and a fifth exclaims—”Now let the cattle graze wherever they will, for I have slain Dhenuka”. In this wise the females of the cow-herds imitated the various actions of Krishna, and in his absence removed their sorrow by mimicking his sports. One damsel, looking on the earth with the down of her person erect and expanded eyes, exclaims “See here are the impressions of Krishna’s feet and as he has gone, he has left those marks of the banner, the thunder-bolt and the goad. What fortunate damsel is going with him inebriate with her passion as her irregular footmarks prove? Here Damodara has called flowers from on high, for we see alone the marks of the tips of his feet. Here a nymph has sat down with him be-decked with flowers, fortunate in having propitiated Vishnu in a pristine birth. Having left her in a haughty mood because he had adored her with flowers, the son of Nanda has gone by this road; for see, unable to follow him with equal steps his companion has here tripped along upon her toes; and that holding his hand, the damsel has passed on is evident from the uneven and intermingled footsteps. The wicked Krishna merely took her by the hand and then left her. The damsel, being disappointed, is returning in faltering steps—for such her foot-marks indicate. Forsooth he proposed to her that he would come back soon, for here are his own footsteps returning with speed. Here he has entered the thick forest but as the rays of the moon do not enter here his footsteps can be traced no farther”. Being hopeless of beholding Krishna, the females of the cow-herds came back and arriving at the banks of the Yamuna, they began to sing his songs. They immediately saw the protector of the three worlds, with a smiling countenance, coming speedily towards them, on which one cried out “Krishna, Krishna” being unable to utter any thing else. One liked to contract her forehead with frowns as drinking with the bees of her eyes the lotus of the face of Hari: another, shutting her eyes, meditated, in her mind, upon his form as if being engaged in an act of devotion. Thereupon coming amongst them Mādhaba conciliated some with soft words some with gentle looks and some he took by the hand and the illustrious deity sported with them in the stations of the dance, after all the damsels had been propitiated. As each of the damsels attempted to remain in one place close to the side of Krishna, the circle of the dance could not be constructed. Thereupon taking each by the hand and when their eyelids were closed by the effects of such touch Hari formed the circle. Then began the dance in accompaniment with the music of their clashing bracelets and songs that celebrated in sweet melody the beauty of the autumnal season. Krishna sang the moon of autumn, a mine of gentle rays but the damsels chanted the praise of Krishna only. At times, one of them exhausted by the revolving dance, threw her arms, adorned with the tinkling bracelets round the neck of the Slayer of Madhu: another proficient in the art of singing his praises embraced him. The drops of perspiration from the arms of Hari were like fertilizing rain which produced a drop of dew upon the temples of the damsels of cow-herds. Krishna sang the melody that was suited to the dance. The damsels again and again repeated—”Bravo, Krishna,” to his song. When leading, they followed him, when coming back, they met him and whether he went forwards or backwards they always followed his footsteps. Whilst sporting thus with the females of the cow-herds, they regarded one moment in his absence as a myriad of years. And although prohibited in vain by their husbands and brothers, they went out in night to sport with Krishna, the idol of their affection. Thus the deity of unbounded prowess, the remover of all imperfections, assumed the character of a youth amongst the damsels of Vraja, pervading their natures and that of their lords, by his own essence all diffusive like the wind, for even as in all creatures the elements of ether, fire, water, and air are comprehended, so also is he everywhere present and in all.

[259] The Rāsa dance is danced by men and women holding each other’s hands going round in a circle singing the airs to what they dance.


One evening whilst Janārddana was engaged in Rāsa, the demon Aristha, disguised as a bull, came there striking terror into the hearts of all. His appearance was like a cloud saturated with waters—his two horns were very sharp and his two eyes were bright like the sun. As he proceeded, he ploughed up the ground with his hoofs: his tongue was repeatedly licking his lips; his tail was erect; the sinews of his shoulders were strong and between them rose a hump of enormous proportions; his haunches were soiled with ordure and he was a dread to the herds; his dewlap hung low and his face was marked with scars from butting against the trees. Terrifying all the kine, and destroying hermits and ascetics that demon, in the guise of a bull, haunts all the forests. Being greatly stricken with fear on beholding that dreadful bull, the cow-herds and their females cried out “Krishna, Krishna”. Krishna then shouted and slapped his arms in defiance. When the demon heard the noise, he turned upon his challenger, and fixing his eyes and pointing his horns at the belly of Kesava, he ran furiously upon the youth. Krishna did not stir from his place, but smiling in sport and derision, awaited the near approach of the bull, when he seized him, as an alligator would have done and held him firmly by the horns, whilst he pressed his sides with his knees. Having thus humiliated his pride and held him captive by his horn, he wrung his throat as if it had been a piece of wet cloth; and then tearing off one of the horns, he beat the dreadful demon with it until he died vomiting blood from his mouth. Seeing him slain the herdsmen glorified Krishna, as the companies of the celestials of old praised Indra, when he triumphed over the Asura Jambha.


After these things had happened, Aristha, the bull demon and Dhenuka and Pralamba had been destroyed, Govardhana had been uplifted, the serpent Kailya had been vanquished, the two trees had been broken, the female fiend Putanā had been destroyed and the wagon had been overturned, Nārada went to Kansa and related to him the whole, beginning with the transference of the child from Devaki to Yosadā. Hearing this from Nārada, Kansa was greatly enraged with Vasudeva and remonstrated with him hard, and with all the Yadavas in an assembly of the race. Then thinking what was to be done he determined to destroy both Krishna and Rāma whilist they were yet young and before they had attained to man-hood. Accordingly he made up his mind, to invite them from Vraja under the plea of the solemn rite of the lustration of arms, when he would engage them in a trial of strength with his chief boxers Chānura and Mushtika, by whom they would undoubtedly be slain. “I will send” he said “the noble Akrura, the son of Swapalka to Gokula to bring them hither. I will order the dreadful Kesin, who frequents the forest of Vrindavan, to attack him, and he is of unequalled prowess and will, for certain, kill them; or if they come here, my elephant Kuvalayapida shall trample to death these two cow-boy sons of Vasudeva”. Having thus planned to kill Rāma and Janārddana, the vicious Kansa sent for the heroic Akrura and said to him, “O master of liberal gifts, hear my words: and out of friendship for me perform my orders. Ascend your chariot and go to the house of the milkman Nanda. The two vicious boys, portions of Vishnu, have been born there, for the very object of bringing about my destruction. On the fourteenth lunation I intend celebrating the rite of the lustration of arms. I wish them to be brought here by you to take part in the games and that the people may behold them engage in a boxing match with my too skilled boxers Chānura and Mushtika; or by chance, my elephant, driven against them by his rider, shall destroy these vicious youngsters—the sons of Vasudeva. When they are out of the way, I shall kill Vasudeva himself, the cow-herds and my foolish father Ugrasena and I will get there by the flocks, herds and all the properties of the rebelious cow-herds who have ever been inimical to me. Save thou, lord of liberality, all the Yadavas have been my enemies and I will find out means for their destruction; and I shall then govern my kingdom with thee without any disturbance. If you regard me, do thou go as I direct thee; and thou shalt command the cow-herds to bring in speedily their supplies of milk and butter and curds”.

Being thus advised the illustrious Akrura the immediately undertook to see Krishna and ascending his magnificent chariot he went, out from the city of Mathura.


Parāçara said:—Being commissioned by Kansa’s emissary, Kesin, elated with the confidence of his prowess, reached Vrindavana, being desirous of bringing about the destruction of Krishna. He assailed the cow-herds, spurning the ground with his hoofs, scattering the clouds with his mane and obstructing the paths of the sun and the moon. Being terrified by the neighings of the demon, assuming the shape of a steed, the cow-herds and their females fled to Govinda for shelter exclaiming “Save us! Save us!!” Hearing their cries, Govinda replied in a voice deep as the roaring of the thunder cloud. Srikrishna said: “Away with the fears of Keshin, O cowherds; being born as Gopals, why do you destroy my valour and heroism? Why are you afraid of one of such little might whose neighings are his only terrors, a galloping and vicious horse who is ridden by the strength of Daityas? Come on, wretch. I am Krishna and I will knock all thy teeth down thy throat, as the wielder of trident did to Pushan”. Thus defying him, Govinda went to fight with Kesin. The demon with his mouth wide open, ran upon Krishna. But Krishna, enlarging his arms, thrust it into his mouth and knocked down the teeth which fell from his jaws like fragments of white clouds. Still the arm of Krishna in the throat of Krishna continued to enlarge, as a disease, neglected in the beginning, increasing till the dissolution. The torn lips of the demon vomitted forth foam and blood; his eyes rolled in affliction; his joints gave way; he struck the earth with his feet; his body was covered with perspiration and he became incapable of any exertion. Having his mouths rent open by the arm of Krishna, that dreadful demon fell down like a tree struck and shattered by lightning, divided into two portions. Each of those portions had two legs, half a back, half a tail, one ear, one eye and one nostril. Krishna stood, unhurt and smiling after the destruction of the demons encircled by the cow-herd, who, together with their females, were filled with surprise at the death of Kesin and glorified the lotus-eyed deity. Beholding the destruction of Kesin, the Brāhmin Nārada, invisible and seated in a cloud, delightedly exclaimed—”Well done, O lord of the universe who has easily destroyed Kesin, the oppresser of the celestials. I have never heard of such a combat between a man and a horse; being curious to behold it, I have come from heaven. My heart is filled with joy and surprise, O slayer of Madhu, on beholding the wonderful works thou hast done in thy descent upon earth. O Krishna Indra and other celestials lived in fear of this horse, who tossed his mane and neighed and looked down upon the clouds, Because thou hast slain the impious Kesin thou shalt be celebrated in the world by the name of Kesava. Farewell! I will now go. I shall meet thee again, O subduer of Kesin, in two days more, when thou shalt be engaged in a conflict with Kansa, When the son of Ugrasena, with his follwers shall have been slain, then, O upholder of the earth earth’s burden will have been lightened by thee. Many are the battles of the kings that have to see, in which thou shalt be renowned; I will now go away, O Govinda. Thou hast accomplished a great deed admired by the celestials, I have been much pleased with thee and take my leave”. When Nārada had departed, Krishna, who was the cynosure of the eyes of the damsels of Vraja, not the least surprised, went back with the cow-herds to Gokula.


Parāçara said:—Having issued out of the house of Kansa, Akrurā being desirous of seeing Krishna, proceeded towards the house of Nanda in a swift-coursing car. He thought within himself. “There is none more fortunate than I, for I shall behold the countenance of a portion of the holder of discus. To-day my life has borne fruit, my night is followed by the dawn of day, for I shall behold the countenance of Vishnu resembling full-blown lotuses. Blessed are my eyes and blessed are my words, for on beholding Vishnu a conversation shall take place between him and me. I shall behold the countenance of Vishnu having lotus eyes, which, when seen only in imagination, removes all sins. I shall behold to-day the mouth of Vishnu—the glory of glories, whence proceeded the Vedas and all their divisions. I shall behold the lord of the universe by whom the world is sustained, who is worshipped as the best Purusha and as the male of sacrifice in sacrificial rites. I shall behold Keseva, who is without beginning or end, by worshipping whom with a hundred sacrifices, Indra obtained the sovereignty over the celestials. That Hari, whose nature is unknown to Brahmā, Indra, Rudra, the Aswins, the Vasus, the Adityas and Maruts, will this day touch my body. He, who is the soul of all omniscient, is identical with everything, omnipresent, permanent, undecaying, all-pervading, shall converse with me. He, the unborn, who has preserved the world in diverse forms of a fish, a tortoise, a boar, a horse, a lion, will this day talk with me. The lord of the universe, who assumes shapes at will, has taken upon him the condition of humanity to satisfy some object of his heart. The endless, who holds the earth upon his crest and who has descended upon earth for its protection, will this day call me by my name. Glory to that being, whose deceptive adoption of father, son, brother, friend, mother, and relative, the world is unable to comprehend. Salutation unto him, who is identical with true knowledge, who is inscrutable and through whom, when seated in his heart the ascetic gets over the worldly ignorance and illusion, I bow to him, who, by the performers of holy rites, is denominated Yajnapurusha (the male of a sacrifice), Vāsudeva, by the devotees and Vishnu by the adepts in Vedānta philosophy. May he, who comprises in himself, cause and effect and the world itself, be pleased with me, through his truth, for I always confide in that unborn and eternal Hari, by meditating on whom man becomes the repository of all auspicious things”.

Parāçara said:—Thus meditating upon Vishnu, Akrura, having his mind animated by devout faith, reached Gokula a little before sun-set; and there he beheld Krishna amongst the cattle, dark as the leaf of the full-blown lotus; his eyes of the same colour and his breast adorned with Srivatsa mark; long-armed, broad-chested; having a high nose, a graceful countenance with smiles; treading firmly on the ground with feet whose nails were tinted red; dressed in yellow raiments and be-decked with a garland of forest flowers; having a creeper just collected in his hands, and a chaplet of white lotus-flowers on his head. Akrura also saw there Balabhadra, white as a jasmine, a swan or the moon dressed in a blue dress; having large and mighty arms and a countenance as radiant as a blue lotus, like the Kailāsa mountain adorned with a wreath of clouds.

When Akrura, beheld these two young men, his countenance expanded with joy and the down of his body stood erect with delight. And he thought—”This is the supreme happiness and repository; this the double manifestation of the divine Vāsudeva; blessed are my eyes for I have seen the protector of the universe and my bodily form shall yield fruit, when by the favour of the deity it shall come in contact with his person. Shall that assumer of infinite forms place his hand on my back by the touch of whose fingers alone all sins are dispelled and imperishable, felicity is secured. And by this hand holding the fierce irresistible discus blazing with all the flames of fire, lightning, and the sun, were slain the Daitya chiefs, and the collyrium from the eyes of their females was washed. Into this hand Bali poured water and obtained enjoyments in the region under the earth and immortality and dominion over the celestials for a whole Manwantara without danger from any enemy. Although I am not sinful, perhaps he will despise me for my connection with the vicious Kansa. If so, cursed is my birth who is counted amongst the wicked. What is there unknown to him who resides in the hearts of all men, who is ever existent, freed from imperfection, the aggregate of the quality of purity and at one with true knowledge? With a heart animated with devout faith I approach the lord of lords, the descended portion of that excellent Purusha, Vishnu, who his without beginning, middle or end”.


Parāçara said Thus meditating, Akrura, born in the race of the Yadus, bowed his hand down to the feet of Hari saying—”I am Akrura”. And Krishna placed his hand upon him, which was marked with the flag, the thunder-bolt, the lotus, and drew him towards him and affectionately embraced him.

Being thus honored by him, Balarāma and Kesava, delighted, entered with him their own habitation. Having entered into conversation with them and been fed, he related to them everything duly, how their father Anakadundhubi, the princess Devaki and even his own father had been insulted by the wicked demon Kansa and for what purpose he had been despatched. Having heard all from him the illustrious slayer of Kesin said—”O thou of liberal gift, I know all thou hast said; O great one, I shall devise proper measures for this—do not think otherwise of this; consider Kansa as already slain. Rāma and I will go to Mathura tomorrow along with you. The elders of the cow-herds shall accompany us carrying sufficient offerings. Rest here tonight and drive all thy anxiety. Within three nights I will destroy Kansa and all his followers”.

Having thus commanded the cow-herds, Akrura with Kesava and Rāma retired to rest and slept soundly in the house of Nanda. The next morning was clear and the young men prepared to proceed to Mathura with Akrura. The females of the cow-herds, on seeing them about to depart, were much afflicted. They wept bitterly—their bracelets were loose upon their arms—and they thus thought within themselves—”If Govinda goes to Mathura, how will he come back to Gokula? His ears will be pleased by the sweet and finished conversation of the damsels of the city. And being used to the language of the graceful females of Mathura he will never again like the rustic expressions of the Gopees. Hari, the pride of our village is taken away and a fatal blow is laid upon us by inexorable destiny.

“The women of the city have sweet smiles, graceful language, beautiful air, elegant gait and significant glances. Hari is of rustic breeding, and, captivated by their fascinations, what likelihood is there of his returning to the society of any one amongst us? Kevasa, who has mounted the car to go to Mathura, has been deceived by the cruel, vile, and desperate Akrura. Does not the unfeeling traitor know the affection that we all here feel for our Hari, the joy of our eyes, that he is taking him away? Unkind that he is, Govinda is departing from us, along with Rāma: haste! let us stop him! Why talk of telling our seniors that we cannot bear his loss? What can they do for us, we are consumed by the fires of separation? The Gopas, with Nanda at their head, are themselves preparing to depart; no one makes any attempt to detain Govinda. Bright is the morning that succeeds to this night for the women of Mathura, for the bees of their eyes will feed upon the lotus face of Achyuta. Happy are they who may go hence without impediment, and behold, enraptured, Krishna on his journey. A great festival will delight today the eyes of the inhabitants of Mathura when they will behold the person of Govinda. What pleasurable dream was seen by the happy damsels of the city that their graceful eyes shall behold unobstructed the countenance of Krishna! Alas! the eyes of the females of cow-herds have been deprived of their vision by the relentless Brahmā, after he had shown them this great treasure. Hari departing with his love for us decayed, the bracelets from our arms slip. The cruel-hearted Akrura urges on the steeds; who does not feel pity for females like us who are bewailing? Alas! behold the dust of Krishna’s chariot-wheels! and now he is distanced from us by that for even that dust is no longer to be seen”. Thus lamented by the damsels, Kesava and Rāma left the hamlet of Vraja. Travelling in a car drawn by quick-coursing steeds they reached, at noon, the banks of the Yamuna when Akrura requested them to halt a little whilst he performed the usual daily ceremonial in the river. They having agreed to this, the high-minded Akrura bathed in the water and rinsed his mouth and then entering the stream he stood meditating upon the Supreme Being. He beheld, in his meditation, Balabhadra, having a thousand-hooded heads, a garland of jasmine flowers, having large-red eyes resembling lotus petals, surrounded by Vasuki, Rambba and other mighty serpents, praised by Gandharvas, decorated with garlands of wild flowers, clad in dark-coloured raiment, crowned with a chaplet of lotuses, adorned with brilliant ear-rings, drunk and standing at the bottom of the river in the water. He saw on his lap Vishnu, having four arms, and holding conch, discus, and mace, having the complexion of cloud, coppery and expansive eyes, excellent ear-rings and an elegant form, clad in yellow clothes, adorned with many coloured flowers and appearing like a cloud adorned with streams of lightnings and the bow of Indra; his breast was marked with celestial sign, four arms were adorned with keyuras and head with a brilliant crown: he was attended by Sanandana and other holy sages, who, fixing their eyes upon the tips of their noses, were absorbed in profound meditation.

Understanding them as Krishna and Balarāma, Akrura was struck with amazement; and he thought how they could so quickly have got there from the chariot. He desired to ask them of this, but Janarddana deprived him of the faculty of speech at that moment. Having come out of the waters he then came to the chariot and saw there, like before, Rāma and Krishna stationed in their human forms. And having entered the stream again he saw those two forms praised by Gandharvas, great ascetics, Siddhas and great serpents. Apprehending then their real nature he eulogized the eternal deity gifted with discriminative knowledge.

Akrura said:—”Salutation to thee, who art uniform and manifold, all pervading, Supreme spirit, of inconceivable glory and who art simple existence. Salutation to thee, O inscrutable, who art truth and the essence of oblations. Salutation to thee, O Lord, whose nature is unknown, who art beyond primeval matter, who existest in five forms, identical with the elements, with the faculties, with matter, with the living soul and with the Supreme spirit. Be propitiated with me, O soul of the universe, essence of all things, perishable or eternal, whether addressed by the name Brahmā, Vishnu, Siva or like. I adore thee, O God, whose nature is indestructible, whose purposes cannot be deciphered, whose name even is unknown; for the attributes of kind or appellation are not applicable to thee, who art that, the supreme Brahman, eternal, unchangeable, uncreated. But as our objects can not be accomplished but through some specific from, thou art termed by us Krishna, Achyuta, Ananta or Vishnu. Thou, unborn divinity, art all the objects of these impersonation; thou art the gods and all other beings; thou art the whole world, thou art all. Soul of the universe, thou art free from change and there is nothing except thee in all this existence. Thou art Brahmā, Pasupati, Aryaman, Dhātri and Vidhātri! Thou art Indra, air, fire, the regent of the waters, the god of wealth and the judge of the dead; and thou, although but one, presidest over the world with various energies directed to various purposes. Thou, identical with the solar ray, createst the universe: all elementary substance is composed of thy qualities; and thy supreme form is denoted by the imperishable term Sat. I bow to him who is identical with true knowledge and who is and is not perceptible. Salutation to him the lord Vasudeva, to Sankarsana, to Pradyumna and to Aniruddha”.


Parāçara said:—Having thus praised Vishnu, standing in the stream that descendant of the Yadu race worshipped the lord of all with flowers, incense and all other beautiful articles. Having withdrawn his mind from every thing else and devoted it to Vishnu, he engaged, for some time, in the meditation, “I am Brahman” and then desisted from his abstraction. Then considering himself as blessed, the high-minded Akrura got up from the waters of the Yamuna and came to the chariot. Like before, he again saw stationed on the car Rāma and Krishna. Seeing Akrura thus amazed, Krishna said—”Forsooth, O Akrura, your eyes are expanded with surprise. Methinks you have seen something wonderful in the waters of the Yamuna”.

Akruka said:—”O Achyuta, the wonder I saw in the waters, I behold here, before me in a bodily shape; I am united with thee, Krishna, the marvel I have seen and whose wonderous form is the universe. No more of this, let us go to Mathura, O Slayer of Madhu—I am afraid of Kansa. Oh! fie on them who eat the bread of another”. Saying this he urged on the quick steeds and they arrived after sunset, at Mathura, When they came in sight of the city, Akrura said to Krishna and Rāma “You must now go on foot, whilst I proceed alone in the car; and you must not go to the house of Vasudeva for the elder has been banished by Kansa on your account”.

Parāçara said:—Having said this Akrura alone entered the city of Mathura, Rāma and Krishna proceeded thereto following the public road. All the females and males of Mathura espied the two brothers with delight. And they went along sportively looking like two young elephants. As they roamed about, they saw a washerman colouring clothes and, with smiling countenances, they went and wanted of him some of his fine linen. He was a washerman of Kansa and was made insolent by his master’s favour, so he remonstrated hard with Rāma and Kesava. Thereupon Krishna, in rage, struck down the head of that vicious-souled (washerman) on earth. Having thus killed him and taken yellow and blue raiment Krishna and Rāma, delightedly came to a flower-seller’s shop. Seeing them, having expansive eyes, the flower-seller was astonished and thought, O Maitreya, who could they be or whence could they have come. Beholding two youths so lovely, dressed in yellow and blue garments, he took them to be divinities descended upon earth. Being asked for some flowers, by them, having mouths budding like lotuses he placed his hands upon the ground and touched it with his head, saying—”My lords have shown me great kindness, by coming to my house, fortunate that I am; I will pay them homage”. Having said this, the flower-seller, with a smiling face, gave them whatever choice flowers they selected, to gain their favour. Prostrating himself again and again before them, he presented them again and again with flowers beautiful, fragrant and fresh. Being much pleased with him, Krishna gave him the blessing—”Fortune, O good friend, who depends on me, shall never forsake thee. Thou shalt never lose strength or wealth and thy family shall never be extinct. Enjoying many things, thou shalt, in the end, remembering me, attain to the region of the celestials. O good friend, thy mind shall always be in virtue and those, who shall be born in thy race, shall be long-lived. O great one, as long as the sun shall exist, none, in thy race, shall be disturbed with famine or other troubles”.

Parāçara said:—Having said this and been worshipped by the flower-seller, O foremost of Munis, Krishna in the company of Balarāma, issued out of his house.


While thus going along the high road, Krishna saw a young girl, who was crooked, carrying a pot of unguent. Krishna addressed her in sweet words and said—”For whom are you carrying that unguent? Tell me, lovely maiden, tell me truly”. Being thus addressed by him through affection, Kubja being attracted by his affection and well disposed towards Hari, replied to him also mirthfully:—”Do you not know, my lord, that my name is Tribakra, I am the servant of Kansa and appointed to prepare his perfumes. Kansa does not like perfumes prepared by any other female and for this he loves me greatly and shows me favour”. Krishna said:—”O thou having a lovely countenance, give us sufficient unguent used by the king, to rub upon our bodies”. “Take it,” Kubja said and she gave them as much of the unguent as was required for their persons and they rubbed it on various parts of their bodies and faces, till they looked like two clouds, one white and one black, decorated by the many-tinted bow of Indra. Then Krishna skilled in the curative art, took hold of her under the chin, with the thumb and two fingers and lifted up her head, whilst with his feet he pressed down her feet and in this way he made her straight. Being thus rendered straight, she became the most beautiful of damsels. Then filled with affection, she took Govinda by the garment and said “Come to my house”. Hari, smiling, replied—”I shall come to your house sometime after”. Having thus dismissed her and cast his looks towards Rāma, he laughed aloud.

Dressed then in blue and yellow raiment and annointed with fragrant unguents and adorned with beautiful garlands, Kesava and Rāma went to the hall of arms. They then inquired of the warder which excellent bow they would take. Being informed, Krishna at once took up a bow and bent it; then drawing it with violence he snapped it in two and all Mathura resounded with the noise made by its fracture. Abused by the guards for breaking the bow, Krishna and Rāma retorted and defied them and left the hall.

When Kansa came to know that Akrura had returned and Krishna had snapped the bow, he then said to Chānura and Mushtika:—”Two cow-herd boys have arrived—You must kill them both before me in a trial of strength, for they always try to kill me. When you two, gifted with great strength, shall destroy these two cow-herd boys—I shall give you whatever you will desire. These two boys are my enemies; by means, whether foul or fair, you must kill them both. They killed, the kingdom shall be ours in common”. Having thus commanded the two wrestlers, he sent for his elephant-driver and said to him loudly:—”You must place my great elephant Kuvalayāpida who is as huge as a cloud charged with rain, near the gate of the arena and drive him upon the two boys when they shall attempt to enter”. Having given these orders, he ascertained that the platforms were all ready and waited for the rising sun, not conscious of his impending death.

In the morning the citizens assembled on the platforms set apart for them, and the princes with the ministers and courtiers occupied the royal seats. Kansa made all those sit in front who were judges of the games whilst he himself sat apart, close by, upon a lofty throne. Separate platforms were also set up for the ladies of the palace and they sat there. Nanda and cow-herds had places set apart for them at the end of which sat Akrura and Vasudeva. Amongst the wives of the citizens was Devaki, mourning for her son, whose lovely countenance she desired to see even in the hour of destruction. Thereafter the bugles were sounded and Chānura sprang forth and Mushtika clapped his arms defiantly and people cried aloud “Alas”. Covered with the temporal juice and blood of the elephant, whom they had killed when driven against them by the driver, Balabhadra and Janarddana confidently entered the arena, like two lions amidst a herd of deer, with proud looks towards all. There arose exclamations of pity and expressions of surprise from all the arena and people said “This is Krishna! This is Balabhadra!! This is that Krishna by whom the she-demon Putanā was killed. This is that Krishna by whom the wagon was upset. This is that Krishna who uprooted the two trees. This is that Krishna—the boy who danced upon the hooded fangs of the serpent Kāliya and who for seven days upheld the mountain Govardhana. Behold, this is that Krishna, who easily destroyed the demons Aristha, Dhenuka and Kesin. This is that Achyuta. There is his elder brother Balabhadra, before him, having long arms. He is young, sportively affording delight to the minds and eyes of the damsels. It has been foretold by the wise, skilled in the sense of Purānas that he shall, as a cow-herd, exalt the depressed Yadu race. This is a portion of the all-existing, all-generating Vishnu descended upon earth, who will assuredly lighten her load”. The citizens having thus described Rāma and Krishna, Devaki’s heart was filled with compassion and milk oozed out of her breast out of affection. And on beholding the faces of his son, Vasudeva forgot his infirmities and felt himself young again. The women of the palace, and the females of the city beheld Krishna with eyes wide open. “Look friends” said they to their companions “Look at the face of Krishna; his eyes are reddened by his conflict with the elephant and the drops of perspiration stand upon his cheek outweighing a full-blown lotus in autumn studded with glittering dew. Make your birth blessed and the faculty of vision fruitful, by beholding the breast of the boy, the seat of splendour and marked with the mystic sign Sribatsa; and see his arms menacing destruction to the enemies. Do you not see Balabhadra coming with him, clad in a blue raiment, having his countenance fair as the jasmine, as the moon and as the fibres of the lotus stem? See, how he gently smiles at the gestures of Mushtika and Chānura as they spring up. And see Hari is advancing to meet Chānura. Is there no elder present here who will judge rightly? How can the delicate form of Hari, just in his youth, match the huge and adamantine form of the great demon Chānura? Two youths of delicate and beautiful forms are on the one side and the athletic fiends headed by Chānura on the other. Is this fair? This is a great sin in the umpires to allow a contest between boys and strong men”.

Parāçara said:—The women of the city having thus conversed with one another, Hari tightened his girdle and danced in the ring shaking the ground on which he trod. Balabhadra too, slapping his arms defiantly, danced—and wonder it is that the earth was not riven asunder by his trodding. The highly powerful Krishna engaged with Chānura and the demon Mushtika, well-versed in wrestling, began to fight with Balabhadra. Mutually entwining and pushing and pulling and beating each other with fists, arms and elbows and pressing each other with their knees, interlacing their arms, kicking with their feet, pressing with their whole weight upon another, fought Hari and Chānura. And at the time of this national festival, dreadful was the encounter, though without weapons, displaying strength and heroism. And as long as the contest continued, Chānura was gradually losing something of his original vigour and the wreath upon his head trembled from his fury and distress, whilst the world-comprehending Krishna wrestled with him but sportively. Seeing Chānura losing and Krishna gaining strength—Kansa, worked up with ire, ordered the music to cease. And as soon as music was stopped by Kansa countless celestial bugles were sounded in the welkin. And the celestials, greatly delighted and invisible, said “Krishna be thou crowned with success; Kesava, do thou slay that demon Chānura”. Thereupon sporting for a long time with Chānura, Krishna, the slayer of Madhu, at last lifted him up and whirled him with the intention of slaying him. Having whirled Chānura round a hundred times until his breath was expended in the sky, he dashed his body on the ground. As soon as it fell it was sundered into a hundred pieces and the earth was strewn with a hundred pools of gory mire. Whilst this happened, the powerful Baladeva was engaged likewise with the demon bruiser Mushtika. Striking him on the head with his fists and on the breast with his knees, he stretched him on the ground, and pummelled him there till he was dead. Again, Krishna encountered the royal bruiser Tomalaka, and felled him to the earth with a blow of his left hand. When the other athletes saw Chānura, Mushtika, and Tomalaka killed, they fled from the field; and Krishna and Sankarshana danced victorious on the arena, dragging along with them by force the cowherds of their own age. Kansa, his eyes reddening with wrath, called aloud to the surrounding people, “Drive those two cow-boys out of the assembly; seize the villain Nanda, and secure him with chains of iron; put Vasudeva to death with tortures intolerable to his years; and lay hands upon the cattle, and whatever else belongs to those cowherds who are the associates of Krishna”.

Upon hearing these orders, the destroyer of Madhu laughed at Kansa, and springing up to the place where he was seated, laid hold of him by the hair of his head, and struck his tiara to the ground: then casting him down upon the earth, Govinda threw himself upon him. Crushed by the weight of the upholder of the universe, the son of Ugrasena, Kansa the king, gave up the ghost. Krishna then dragged the dead body, by the hair of the head, into the centre of the arena, and a deep furrow was made by the vast and heavy carcass of Kansa, when it was dragged along the ground by Krishna, as if a torrent of water had run through it. Seeing Kansa thus treated, his brother Sumālin came to his succour; but he was encountered, and easily killed, by Balabhadra. Then arose a general cry of grief from the surrounding circle, as they beheld the king of Mathura thus slain, and treated with such contumely, by Krishna. Krishna, accompanied by Balabhadra, embraced the feet of Vasudeva and of Devaki; but Vasudeva raised him up; and he and Devaki recalling to recollection what he had said to them at his birth, they bowed to Janārddana, and the former thus addressed him: “Have compassion upon mortals, O god, benefactor and lord of deities: it is by thy favour to us two, that thou hast become the (present) upholder of the world. That for the punishment of the rebellious, thou hast descended upon earth in my house, having been propitiated by my prayers, sanctifies our race. Thou art the heart of all creatures; thou abidest in all creatures, and all that has been, or will be, proceeds from thee, O universal spirit! Thou, Achyuta, who comprehendest all the gods, art eternally worshipped with sacrifices: thou art sacrifice itself, and the offerer of sacrifices. The affection that inspires my heart and the heart of Devaki towards thee as if thou wast our child, is indeed but error, and a great delusion. How shall the tongue of a mortal such as I am call the creator of all things who is without beginning or end, son? It is reasonable, that the lord of the world from whom the world proceeds should be born of me, except through illusion? How should he, in whom all mobile and immobile beings exist, be conceived in the womb and born of a mortal being? Have pity on me, therefore, O Supreme lord, and being incarnate do thou protect the universe. O god, thou art not my son: thou comprisest the whole universe from Brahmā to a tree. Therefore, O great soul, why dost thou beguile me? Blinded by illusion I considered thee, as my son and hence I was afraid of Kansa. And therefore I did carry thee to Gokula where thou hast grown up; but I no longer consider thee as mine own son. Thou Vishnu the supreme lord of all, whose actions Rudra, the Maruts, the Aswins, Indra and the celestials cannot equal although they behold them; thou, who hast descended amongst us for the behoof of the universe, art recognized, and delusion is no more”.


Parāçara said:—Beholding Devaki and Vasudeva obtain true discriminative knowledge on seeing his wonderful feat, Krishna, being anxious to beguile them and other descendants of Yadu race, spread again the illusions of Vishnu. Thereupon he said to his parents—”O father, O mother, my elder brother Baladeva was all along anxious to behold you. It is out of fear of Kansa he could not do so. So long the pious do not serve their parents that portion of their life is spent in vain. O father, blessed is the birth of those men who serve their spiritual preceptors, celestials, Brāhmanas and their parents. Thou shouldst therefore forgive us, O father, for the violations committed. For up to this time we were greatly distressed and under the influence of another on account of the prowess and strength of Kansa”. Saying this Krishna bowed unto his parents and other elderly members of the Yadu race and duly honoured the citizens. Thereupon Kansa’s mothers and wives being stricken with grief and sorrow, began to lament encircling Kansa lying dead on the ground. Hari then expressed his regret for what had happened, and with eyes saturated with tears he consoled them. The slayer of Madhu then released Ugrasena from prison and placed him on the throne rendered vacant by the death of his son. Being installed on the throne the Yadava-chief performed the funeral rites of Kansa and of the rest of the slain. When the ceremony was finished and Ugrasena had taken his royal seat, Krishna addressed him and said:—”O Supreme lord, order me freely what else to be done. By the curse of Yayati, our race cannot govern—but having me as your servant you may order even the celestials. How should kings disobey them?”

Parāçara said:—Having said this, Kesava, assuming human shape summoned mentally the deity of the wind, who immediately came there, and said to him—”Proceed, Vāyu, to Indra and tell him to lay aside his pomp, and resign to Ugrasena his splendid hall Sudharman: tell him that Krishna commands him to send the royal hall, the unrivalled gem of princely courts, for the assemblage of the race of Yādu”. Accordingly Vāyu went and delivered the message to the husband of Sachi, who immediately gave up to him the hall Sudharman, and Vāyu conveyed it to the Yādavas, the chiefs of whom thenceforth possessed this celestial court, emblazoned with jewels, and defended by the arms of Govinda. The two excellent Yadu youths, versed in all knowledge, and possessed of all wisdom, then submitted to instruction, as the disciples of teachers. Accordingly they repaired to Sāndipani—who, though born in Kāsi, resided at Avanti—to study the science of arms, and, becoming his pupils, were obedient and attentive to their master, exhibiting an example to all men of the observance of instituted rules. In the course of sixty-four days they had gone through the elements of military science, with the treatises on the use of arms, and directions for the mystic incantations, which secure the aid of supernatural weapons. Sāndipani, astonished at such proficiency, and knowing that it exceeded human faculties, imagined that the sun and the moon had become his scholars. When they had acquired all that he could teach, they said to him, “Now say what present shall be given to you, as the preceptor’s fee”. The prudent Sāndipani, perceiving that they were endowed with more than mortal powers, requested them to give him his dead son, drowned in the sea of Prabhāsa. Taking up their arms, they marched against the ocean; but the all-comprehending sea said to them, “I have not killed the son of Sāndipani; a demon named Panchajana, who lives in the form of a conch shell, seized the boy; he is still under my waters”. On hearing this, Krishna plunged into the sea; and having slain the vile Panchajana, he took the conch shell, which was formed of his bones (and bore it as his horn), the sound of which fills the demon hosts with dismay, animates the vigour of the gods, and annihilates unrighteousness. The heroes also recovered the boy from the pains of death, and restored him in his former person to his father. Rāma and Janārddana then returned to Mathura, which was well presided over by Ugrasena, and abounded in a happy population both of men and women.


Parāçara said:—The mighty Kansa had married the two daughters of Jarāsandha, one named Asti, the other Prāpti. Jarāsandha was king of Magadha, and a very powerful prince, who, when he heard that Krishna had killed his son-in-law, was much incensed, and, collecting a large force, marched against Mathura, determined to put the Yādavas and Krishna to the sword. Accordingly he invested the city with three and twenty numerous divisions of his forces. Rāma and Janārddana sallied from the town with a slender, but resolute force, and fought bravely with the armies of Magadha. The two youthful leaders prudently resolved to have recourse to their ancient weapons, and accordingly the bow of Hari, with two quivers filled with exhaustless arrows and the mace called Kaumodaki, and the ploughshare of Balabhadra, as well as the club Saunanda, descended at a wish from heaven. Armed with these weapons, they speedily discomfited the king of Magadha and his hosts, and re-entered the city in triumph.

Although the wicked king of Magadha, Jarāsandha, was defeated, yet Krishna knew that whilst he escaped alive he was not subdued; and in fact, he soon returned with a mighty force, and was again forced by Rāma and Krishna to fly. Eighteen times did the haughty prince of Magadha renew his attack upon the Yādavas, headed by Krishna; and was as often defeated and put to the rout by them, with very inferior numbers. That the Yādavas were not overpowered by their foes, was owing to the present might of the portion of the discus-armed Vishnu. It was the pastime of the lord of the universe, in his capacity of man, to launch various weapons against his enemies; for what effort of power to annihilate his foes could be necessary to him, whose fiat creates and destroys the world? But as subjecting himself to human customs, he formed alliances with the brave, and engaged in hostilities with the base. He had recourse to the four devices of policy, or negotiation, presents, sowing dissension, and chastisement; and sometimes even betook himself to flight. Thus imitating the conduct of human beings, the lord of the world pursued at will his sports.


Parāçara said:—Syāla having called Gargya, the Brāhmana, whilst at the cow-pens, impotent, in an assembly of the Yādavas, they all laughed; at which he was highly offended, and repaired to the shores of the western sea, where he engaged in arduous penance to obtain a son, who should be a terror to the tribe of Yadu. Propitiating Mahādeva, and living upon iron sand for twelve years, the deity at last was pleased with him, and gave him the desired boon. The king of the Yadanas, who was childless, became the friend of Gārgya; and the latter begot a son by his wife, who was as black as a bee, and thence called Kālayavana. The Yavana king having placed his son, whose breast was as hard as the point of the thunderbolt, upon the throne, retired to the woods. Inflated with the conceit of his prowess Kālayavana demanded of Nārada who were the most mighty heroes on earth. To which the sage answered. “The Yādavas”. Accordingly Kālayavana assembled many myriads of Mlechhas and barbarians, with a vast armament of elephants, cavalry, chariots, and foot, advanced impatiently against Mathura and the Yādavas; wearying every day the animal that carried him, but insensible of fatigue himself.

When Krishna knew of his approach, he reflected that if the Yādavas encountered the Yavana, they would be so much weakened by the conflict, that they would then be overcome by the king of Magadha; that their force was much reduced by the war with Magadha, whilst that of Kālayavana was unbroken; and that the enemy might, therefore, be victorious. Thus the Yādavas were exposed to a double danger. He resolved therefore to construct a citadel for the Yadu tribe, that should not be easily taken; one that even women might defend, and in which therefore the heroes of the house of Vrishni should be secure; one in which the male combatants of the Yādavas should dread no peril, though he himself should be drunk or careless, asleep or abroad. Thus reflecting, Krishna solicited a space of twelve furlongs from the ocean, and there he built the city of Dwārakā, defended by high ramparts, and beautified with gardens and reservoirs of water, crowded with houses and buildings, and splendid as the capital of Indra, Amarāvati. Thither Janārddana conducted the inhabitants of Mathura, and then awaited at that city the approach of Kālayavana.

When the hostile army encamped round Mathura, Krishna, unarmed, went forth, and beheld the Yavana king. Kālyavana, the strong-armed, recognising Vāsudeva, pursued him; him whom the thoughts of perfect ascetics cannot overtake. Thus pursued, Krishna entered a large cavern where Muchukunda, the king of men, was asleep. The rash Yavana entering the cave and beholding a man lying asleep there, concluded it must be Krishna, and kicked him; at which Muchukunda awoke, casting on him an angry glance, the Yavana was instantly consumed, and reduced to ashes. For, in a battle between the gods and demons, Muchukunda had formerly contributed to the defeat of the latter; and being overcome with sleep, he solicited of the gods as a boon that he should enjoy a long repose. “Sleep long and soundly,” said the gods; “whoever disturbs you shall be instantly burnt to ashes by fire emanating from your body”.

Having burnt up the iniquitous Yavana, and beholding the foe of Madhu, Muchukunda asked him who he was. “I am born,” he replied, “in the lunar race, in the tribe of Yadu, and am the son of Vasudeva”. Muchukunda, recollecting the prophecy of old Garga, fell down before the lord of all, Hari, saying. “Thou art known, supreme lord, to be a portion of Vishnu; for it was said of old by Garga, that at the end of the twenty-eighth Dwāpara age, Hari would be born in the family of Yadu. Thou art he, without doubt, the benefactor of mankind for thy glory I am unable to endure. Thy words are of deeper tone than the muttering of the rain cloud; and earth sinks down beneath the pressure of thy feet. As in the battle between the gods and demons, the Asuras were unable to sustain my lustre, so even am I incapable of bearing thy radiance. Thou alone art the refuge of every living being who has lighted on the world. Do thou, who art the alleviator of all distress, show favour upon me, and remove from me all that is evil. Thou art the oceans, the mountains, the rivers, the forests; thou art earth, sky, air, water, and fire; thou art mind, intelligence, the unevolved principle, vital airs, the lord, life—the soul; all that is beyond the soul; the all-pervading; exempt from the vicissitudes of birth; devoid of sensible properties, sound and the like: undecaying, illimitable, imperishable, subject neither to increase nor diminution; thou art that which is Brahmā, without beginning or end. From thee the immortals, the progenitors, the Yakshas, Gandharvas, and Kinnaras, the Siddhas, the nymphs of heaven, men, animals, birds, deers, reptiles, and all the vegetable world, proceed; and all that has been, or will be, or is now movable or fixed. All that is amorphous or has form, all that is subtile, gross, salable, or movable, thou art, O creator of the world; and beside thee there is not anything. O lord, I have been whirled round in the circle of worldly existence for ever, and have suffered the three classes of affliction, and there is no rest whatever. I have mistaken pains for pleasures, sultry vapours for a pool of water; and their enjoyment has yielded me nothing but sorrow. The earth, dominion, forces, treasures, friends, children, wife, dependants, all the objects of sense, have I possessed imagining them to be sources of happiness; but I found that in their changeable nature, O lord, they were nothing but vexation. The gods themselves though high in heaven, were in need of my alliance. Where then is everlasting repose? Who, without adoring thee, who art the origin of all worlds, shall attain, O supreme deity, that rest which endures for ever? Beguiled by thy delusions, and ignorant of thy nature, men, after suffering the various penalties of birth, death, and infirmity, behold the countenance of the king of ghosts, and suffer in hell dreadful tortures, the reward of their own deeds. Addicted to sensual objects through thy delusions, I revolve in the whirlpool of selfishness and pride; and hence I come to thee, as my final refuge who art the lord deserving of all homage, than whom there is no other asylum; my mind afflicted with repentance for my trust in the world, and desiring the fullness of felicity, emancipation from all existence”.


Thus praised by the wise Muchukunda, the sovereign of all things, the eternal lord, Hari, said to him, “Go to whatever celestial regions you wish, lord of men, possessed of might irresistible, honoured by my favour. When you have fully enjoyed all heavenly pleasures, you shall be born in a distinguished family, retaining the recollection of your former births; and you shall finally obtain emancipation”. Having heard this promise, and prostrated himself before Achyuta, the lord of the world, Muchukunda, went forth from the cave and beholding men of diminutive stature, now first knew that the Kali age had arrived. The king therefore departed to Gandhamāddana, the shrine of Naranārāyana, to perform penance.

Krishna having by this stratagem destroyed his enemy returned to Mathura and took captive his army, rich in horses, elephants and cars, which he conducted to Dwārakā, and delivered to Ugrasena, and the Yadu race was relieved from all fear of invasion. Baladeva, when hostilities had entirely ceased, being desirous of seeing his kinsmen, went to Nanda’s cow-pens, and there again conversed with the herdsmen and their females, with affection and respect. By some, the elders, he was embraced; others, the juniors, he embraced; and with those of his own age, male or female, he talked and laughed. The cowherds made many kind speeches to Halayudha; but some of the Gopis spoke to him with the affectation of anger, or with feelings of jealousy, as they inquired after the loves of Krishna with the women of Mathura. “Is all well with the fickle and inconstant Krishna?” said they; “Does the volatile swain, the friend of an instant amuse the women of the city by laughing at our rustic efforts (to please him)? Does he ever think of us, singing in chorus to his sons? Will come here once again to see his mother? But But why talk of these things? It is a different tale to tell for him without us, and for us without him. Father, mother, brother, husband, kin, what have we not abandoned for him; but he is a monument of ingratitude. Yet tell us, does not Krishna talk of coming here? Falsehood is never, O Krishna, to be uttered by thee. Verily this is Dāmodara, this is Govinda, who has given up his heart to the damsels of the city, who has no longer any regard for us, but looks upon us with disdain”. So saying, the Gopis, whose minds were fixed on Krishna, addressed Rāma in his place, calling him Dāmodara and Govinda, and laughed and were merry; and Rāma consoled them by communicating to them agreeable, modest, affectionate, and gentle messages from Krishna. With the cow-herds he talked mirthfully, as he had been wont to do, and rambled along with them over the lands of Vraja.


Whilst the mighty Sesha, the upholder of the globe, was thus engaged in wandering amidst the forests with the herdsmen, in the disguise of a mortal—having rendered great services to earth, and still considering what more was to be achieved—Varuna, in order to provide for his recreation, said his wife Vāruni (the goddess of wine), “Thou, Madirā, art ever acceptable to the powerful Ananta; go therefore, auspicious and kind goddess, and promote his enjoyments”. Obeying these commands, Vāruni went and established herself in the hollow of a Kadamba bee in the woods of Vrindāvana. Baladeva, roaming about, came there, and smelling the pleasant fragrance of liquor, resumed his ancient passion for strong drink. The holder of the ploughshare observing the vinous drops distilling from the Kadamba tree, was much delighted, and gathered and quaffed them along with the herdsmen and the Gopis, whilst those who were skilful with voice and lute celebrated him in their songs. Being inebriated with the wine, and the drops of perspiration standing like pearls upon his limbs, he called out, not knowing what he said, “Come hither, Yamunā river, I want to bathe”. The river, disregarding the words of a drunken man came not at his bidding: on which Rāma in a rage took up his ploughshare, which he plunged into her bank, and dragged her to him, calling out, “Will you not come, you jade, will you not come? Now go where you please (if you can)”. Thus saying, he compelled the dark river to quit its ordinary course, and follow him whithersoever he wandered through the wood. Assuming a mortal figure, the Yamunā, with distracted looks, approached Balabhadra, and entreated him to pardon her, and let her go: but he replied, “I will drag you with my ploughshare in a thousand directions, since you condemn my prowess and strength”. At last, however, appeased by her reiterated prayers, he let her go, after she had watered all the country. When he had bathed, the goddess of beauty, Lakshmi, came and gave him a beautiful lotus to place in one ear, and an ear-ring for the other; a fresh necklace of lotus flowers, sent by Varuna; and garments of a dark blue colour, as costly as the wealth of the ocean: and thus decorated with a lotus in one ear, a ring in the other, dressed in blue garments, and wearing a garland, Balarāma appeared united with loveliness. Thus decorated, Rāma sported two months in Vraja, and then returned to Dwārakā, where he married Revati, the daughter of king Raivata, by whom he had two sons, Nishātha and Ulmuka.


Bhishmaka was king of Vidarbha, residing at Kundina. He had a son named Rukmin, and a beautiful daughter termed Rukmini. Krishna fell in love with the latter, and solicited her in marriage: but her brother who hated Krishna, would not assent to the espousals. At the suggestion of Jarāsandha, and with the concurrence of his son, the powerful sovereign Bhishmaka affianced Rukmini to Sisupāla. In order to celebrate the nuptials, Jarāsandha and other princes, the friends of Sisupāla, assembled in the capital of Vidharba; and Krishna, attended by Balabhadra and many other Yādavas, also went to Kundina to witness the wedding. When there, Hari contrived on the eve of the nuptials, to carry off the princess, leaving Rāma and his kinsmen to sustain the weight of his enemies. Paundraka, the illustrious Dantavakra, Viduratha, Sisupāla, Jarāsandha, Salya, and other kings, indignant at the insult, exerted themselves to kill Krishna, but were repelled by Balarāma and the Yādavas. Rukmin, vowing that he would never enter Kundina again until he had slain Kesava in fight, pursued and overtook him. In the combat that ensued, Krishna destroyed with his discus, as if in sport the host of Rukmin, with all its horses, and elephants, and foot, and chariots, and overthrew him, and hurled him on the ground; and would have put him to death, but was withheld by the entreaties of Rukmini. “He is my only brother,” she exclaimed, “and must not be slain by thee; restrain your wrath, O divine Lord, and give me my brother in charity”.

Thus addressed by her, Krishna, whom no acts affect, spared Rukmin; and he (in pursuance of his vow) founded the city Bhojakata, and ever afterwards dwelt therein. After the defeat of Rukmin, Krishna married Rukmini in due form, having first made her his own by the Rākshasa ritual. She bore him the gallant Pradyumna, a portion of the deity of love. The demon Sambara carried him off, but he slew the demon.


Maitreya saidr—How, Muni, happened it that the hero Pradyumna was carried away by Sambara? And in what manner was the mighty Sambara killed by Pradyumna?

Parāçara said:—When Pradyumna was but six days old, he was stolen from the lying-in chamber by Sambara, terrible as death; for the demon foreknew that Pradyumna, if he lived, would be his destroyer. Taking away the boy, Sambara cast him into the ocean, swarming with monsters, into whirlpool of roaring waves, the haunt of the huge creatures of the deep. A large fish swallowed the child, but he died not, and was born anew from its belly: for that fish, and others, was caught by the fishermen, and delivered by them to the great Asura Sambara. His wife Māyādevi, the mistress of the household, lorded over the cooks. And she espied, when the fish was cut open, a beautiful child looking like a new shoot of tree of love. When struck with curiosity she was asking “Who is this child? How has it come into the belly of the fish?” Nārada came and said to her:—”This is the son of Krishna who creates and destroys the universe. He was stolen away from the nursery room by Samvara. He was devoured by the fish when thrown into the ocean; now he has come under thy control; do thou, O beautiful damsel, tenderly rear this jewel of mankind”.

Parāçara said:—Thus addressed by Nārada, she took charge of the child and brought it up from boyhood being attracted by the beauty of his person. O great saint, when the boy attained to youth, Māyāvati, moving like a she-elephant, began to cherish desire for him. And fixing her mind and eyes upon the high-minded Pradyumna, Māyāvati, blinded with lust, gave unto him all her magic powers, Beholding that lotus-eyed damsel thus passionately attached unto him, Krishna’s son said to her:—”Why dost thou indulge in feelings which do not become a mother?” She said to him:—”Thou art not my son; thou art the son of the illustrious Vishnu; Kāla Samvara stole thee and threw thee into the ocean; thou wast swallowed by a fish but rescued by me from its belly cut open. O lord thy loving mother is still weeping for thee”.

Parāçara said;—Hearing those words Pradyumna invited Samvara for battle. And worked up with ire that highly powerful one fought with him. In the battle the son of Mādhava killed the entire host of Samvara. Having seven times baffled the delusions and mastered them in the eighth he destroyed that demon Samvara. And having got into the welkin with her he proceeded to his father’s house. And beholding him descend into the inner apartment with Māyāvati, Krishna’s wives considered him as Krishna himself. The highly beautiful Rukmini with her eyes full of tears lovingly said:—”Blessed is the woman who has got such a son in the bloom of youth. Had he been alive my own son Pradyumna would have been his age. Who is the fortunate mother adorned by thee? From the affection I feel for thee and from thy appearance I think thou art assuredly the son of Hari”.

Parāçara said:—At this time Krishna arrived there with Nārada; and the latter delightedly said to Rukmini. “This is thy own son who has come here after slaying Sambara, by whom he was carried away when a child from the lying-in chamber. This is the pious Māyāvati, his spouse and not the wife of Samvara. Hear the reason; when Manmatha had perished, the goddess of beauty, being desirous of effecting his revival, fascinated Samvara by the charms of her delusive form. And she, having eyes rolling with inebriation, exhibited herself to him in various illusory enjoyments. This thy son is the incarnation of Kama and this his spouse is the goddess Rati. Do not doubt the least that she is your daughter-in-law”.

Thereupon Rukmini and Keshava were worked up with delight and the whole city resounded with the exclamations of praise. And beholding Rukmini regain a son who bad been long lost all the people of Dwārakā were surprised.


Parāçara said:—Rukmini bore Krishna these other sons Charudeshna, Sudeshna, Charudeha, Sushena, Charugupta, Bhadracharu, Charuvinda, Sucharu and the very powerful Charu; also one daughter Charumati. Krishna had seven other beautiful wives:-Kālindi, Mitravrindā, the virtuous Nāgnajiti, the queen Jāmbavati; Rohini, of beautiful form; the amiable and excellent daughter of the king of Madra, Mādrí; Satyabhāmā, the daughter of Satrujit; and Lakshmanā, of lovely smiles. Besides these, he had sixteen thousand other wives. The highly powerful Pradyumna took the beautiful daughter of Rukmin at her public choice of a husband and she too accepted Hari’s son. Of her was born a highly powerful son Aniruddha, fierce in fight on account of prowess and the subduer of enemies. Keshava demanded in marriage the grand daughter of Rukmin and though the latter was inimical to Krishna he gave him his grand daughter. On the occasion of his nuptials Rāma and other Yādavas accompanied Krishna to Bhojakata, the city of Rukmin. After the wedding had been finished several of the kings headed by him of Kalinga said to Rukmin “Although the wielder of plough-share is ignorant of dice he has got a great passion for it; why may we not fight with him and beat him in play?”

Parāçara said:—The powerful Rukmin replied to the kings, saying “so be it” and he engaged Balarāma at a game of dice in the palace. Balarāma lost to Rukmin a thousand gold coins; he betted a second time and lost another thousand to Rukmin. And the third time he staked ten thousand Niskshas and this time also won Rukmin the foremost of those expert of gambling, At this time the king of Kalinga laughed aloud and the weak and vain Rukmin groaned and said:—”By me this Baladava, ignorant of gambling, has been defeated; and blinded by a vain passion for play he think that he understands dice”. Beholding the king of Kalinga laugh aloud and hearing the contemptuous words of Rukmin the wielder of plough-share was worked up with ire and increased his stake to ten millions of Niskshas Rukmi accepted the challenge and threw dice.

This time Baladeva won and cried aloud. “This stake is mine”. Rukmin cried loudly and said that he was the winner. “Tell no lies Bala,” cited he. “It is true that the stake is yours, but I did not agree to it; although this be won by you, yet still I am the winner”.

Thereupon a deep voice was heard in the welkin increasing the more the ire of the high-minded Baladeva, saying:—”Baladeva has justly won the whole amount; Rukmin speaks lies; although he did not accept the pledge in words he did so by his acts”. Thus inflamed and having his eyes reddened with rage, Balarāma got up and struck Rukmin with the board on which the game was played and slew him. And holding the trembling king of Kalinga, Bala forcibly knocked out the teeth which he had shown when he laughed. And uprooting a huge golden column he, enraged, killed therewith all those princes who had assisted his adversaries. Thereupon, O twice-born one, Bala being enraged, the whole circle cried out with fear and fled on all sides from his terror. When the slayer of Madhu heard that Rukmin had been slain by Bala he could not speak anything, being afraid of Rukmin on one hand and Bala on the other. Thereupon taking with him the newly wedded Aniruddha and the Yadu tribe he returned to Dwārakā.


Parāçara said:—Thereupon Sakra, the lord of the three worlds, came mounted on his infuriated elephant Airāvata to visit Sauri at Dwārakā. Having entered Dwārakā and been welcomed by Hari he communicated unto him the actions of the demon Naraka. (He said) “O slayer of Madhu, by thee, the lord of the deities, although situated in mortal condition, all afflictions have been soothed; thou hast slain Arishta, Dhenuka, Chānura, Mushtika, Kesin,—all the demons who were slaying the ascetics. Kansa, Kavalayapida and child-destroying Putanā, as well as other oppressors of the world have all been slain by thee. The three worlds being protected by thy valour and wisdom, the deities, obtaining the share of sacrifices undertaken by the devout, enjoy satisfaction. Hear, O Janārddana, for why I have come to thee and try to remedy it. O slayer of enemies, residing in the city of Pragyotish, the demon Naraka, son of Bhumi, has been inflicting the creatures. Carrying off the maidens of the celestials, saints, demons and kings he shuts them up in his own palace. He has carried away the umbrella of Varuna, always producing water, the jewel mountain crest of Mandara, and the nectar-dropping ear-rings of my mother Aditi; and he now demands my elephant Airāvat. O Govinda, I have thus related unto thee the oppressions of the demon Naraka—do thou now consider what thou shouldst do in this”. Having heard this, the illustrious son of Devaki gently smiled and taking Vāsava by the hand rose up from the excellent seat. Thereupon the lord thinking of the eater of serpents Garuda, he immediately appeared there. And having first placed Satyabhāmā on his back he ascended and flew to the city of Pragyotish. Having ascended the elephant Airivat, Indra, the lord of the celestials, set out for his city in the sight of the inhabitants of Dwārakā.

O foremost of twice-born ones, the four sides of the city Pragyotish to the extent of a yojana were environed by nooses made by the demon Mura, whose edges were as sharp as razors. But throwing his discus Sudarshana amongst them Hari sundered them into pieces. Thereupon Mura rose up but Krishna killed him and burnt his seven thousand sons like so many moths with the flame of the edge of his discus. Having slain Mura, Hayagriva, and Panchajana the wise Hari soon reached the city of Pragyotish. There ensued a dreadful conflict with Naraka’s troops in which Govinda slew thousands of demons. And the annihilator of the demon tribe cut in two with his discus Bhumi’s son Naraka who came there showering arrows and weapons upon the celestials. The demon Naraka being slain, Earth, taking the two ear-rings of Aditi, approached the lord of the world and said “O lord, when I was upheld by thee in the shape of a boar, then this my son was engendered by thy contact. Thou didst confer this son upon me and thou hast slain him now. Do thou now take this pair of ear-rings and protect his progeny. Thou, O lord, whose aspect is ever pleasing, hast incarnated on this sphere a portion of thyself to lighten my burden. Thou art the eternal creator, preserver and destroyer of the universe, the origin of all the worlds and identical with the universe; how can we worthily chant thy glories? Thou art the pervader and that which is pervaded, the act, the agent and the effect—thou art the soul of all creatures and how can we sufficiently chant thy glories? Thou art the great soul—the sentient and living soul of all beings and imperishable—there is no praise worthy of thee—how can we chant thy glories? Have pity, O universal soul and forgive the iniquities which Naraka has committed. Verily it is for his purification that he hath been killed by thee”.

Parāçara said Having replied to the Earth saying “so be it” the lord, who is the substance of all creatures, took various jewels from Naraka’s abode. Having entered the female apartment the highly powerful Krishna saw sixteen thousand and one hundred damsels. He also found in the palace sixteen thousand huge elephants each having four tusks, twenty-one lakhs of horses of Kāmboja and other excellent breeds. All those Govinda sent to Dwārakā in charge of the servants of Naraka. Thereupon he placed Varuna’s umbrella and the golden mountain on Garuda’s back, And having ascended with Satyabhāmā he repaired to the city of celestials to restore to Aditi her ear-rings.


Carrying the umbrella of Varuna, the jewel mountain and Hrishikesh with his spouse on his back, Garuda went along lightly and sportively. When Hari arrived at the gate of Swarga he blew his conch on which the celestials came forward to meet him bearing respectful offerings. Having received the homage of the celestials he proceeded to the palace of the mother of gods whose turrets resembled the white clouds and found Aditi there. Thereupon having bowed unto her along with the king of celestials he conferred the pair of ear-rings upon her and related unto her the destruction of the demon Naraka. Well-pleased, Aditi, the mother of Gods with her thoughts wholly devoted unto Hari, the protector of the universe, began to chant his glories:—”Salutation unto thee, O thou having lotus eyes, who removest all fear of the devotees, who art eternal, the soul of all creatures, the creator of all and identical with all. Thou art at one with the three qualities and the creator of mind, intellect and senses. Thou art beyond the three qualities, exempt from contraries, pure, residing in the hearts of all; void of colour, extension and every transient modification and uninfluenced by the changes of birth and death and sleep and waking. Thou art evening, night and day, earth, sky, air, water and fire, mind, intellect and individuality. Thou art the agent of creation, preservation and destruction and the lord over the agent—thou appearest in various forms which are Brahmā, Vishnu and Siva—and thou art the master of all these thy forms. Thou art Gods, Yakshas, Daityas, Rākshasas, Sidhas, Pannagas, Kushmandas, Pisāchas, Gandharvas, men, animals, deer, elephants, reptiles, trees, shrubs, creepers, climbers, and grasses—all things, large, middling, and small, immense or minute; thou art all bodies whatsoever composed of aggregated atoms. Those who are ignorant of thy true nature cannot understand thy illusion—the fools (only) follow the illusion and think ‘this is mine’. O Lord, thy illusion is the mother of the world—and the notions ‘I am, this is mine’ are but delusions. O Lord, those men, who attentive to their duties, worship thee, obtain salvation after traversing these illusions. Brahmā and all the celestials, men and animals are alike enshrouded by the thick darkness of delusion in the abyss of the illusions of Vishnu. This is also thy delusion, O lord, that men having worshipped thee seek the gratification of desires and their own preservation. That people having worshipped thee desire for the total annihilation of themselves is but the outcome of thy delusion. That I have worshipped thee for son and the destruction of the enemies and not for salvation is also the result of thy fascination. It is the fruit of the iniquitous acts of the impious (to pray for vain things to one who is able to give better things) like asking for a rag to cover nakedness from the tree that confers whatever is solicited from it. Be propitious with me, O thou imperishable, who hast deceived the whole universe with thy delusion. O lord of creatures, do thou remove this ignorance of mine—the notion that I am wise; salutation unto thee, the holder of discus; salutation unto thee the wielder of bow; salutation unto thee, the holder of a club; salutation unto thee, the holder of a conch. O god, I do perceive thy perceptible form—but cannot perceive thy real form; do thou therefore be propitious with me”.

Parāçara said:—The mother of gods, having thus chanted the glories of Vishnu, he smiling said:—”Thou art our mother, O goddess, be thou propitious and confer upon me a boon”.

Aditi said:—”So be it, ever as thou wilt; O foremost of men, as long as shalt thou dwell in the land of mortals thou shalt be invincible by celestials and demons”. Thereupon Satyabhāmā, along with Sachi, bowed unto Aditi again and again and said, “Be thou pleased”. Whereto Aditi replied saying:—”Fair-browed dame, by my favour thou shalt never experience decrepitude or loss of beauty; thou shalt be of a blameless person and asylum of all graces”.

Parāçara said:—Being commanded by Aditi, the lord of the celestials duly honored Janārddana. Thereupon Krishna, accompanied by Satyabhāmā beheld Nandana and other pleasant gardens of the celestials. There Kesava, the lord of the universe and the slayer of Kesi, saw Pārijāta, the favourite of Sachi, having golden bark, young sprouting leaves of a copper colour and bearing numerous fragrant clusters of flowers, and which was produced when the ocean was churned for ambrosia. Beholding that tree, O foremost of twice-born ones, Satyabhāmā said to Govinda. “Why should not this celestial tree be taken to Dwārakā. If what you always say is true that I am really dear to you then take this tree from here for the gardens of my dwelling. O Krishna, you always say ‘O Satya, neither Rukmini nor Jāmbavati is beloved unto me like thee,’ if this is true and not mere flattery then let this Pārijāta be the ornament of my dwelling. Wearing the flowers of this tree in the braids of my hair I wish to appear graceful amidst my fellow queens”.

Parāçara said:—Thus requested by Satyabhāmā Hari, smiled and taking the Pārijāta plant placed it upon Garuda.

The guards said: “O Govinda, this tree belongs to Sachi, the queen of the king of celestials; it is not becoming for thee to remove it. When the ocean was churned by the celestials this tree was produced for the purpose of providing Sachi with flowery ornaments; thou shalt not go with it uncatched. This is the property of one whose countenance the king of the celestials delights to look; it is out of ignorance that thou dost attempt to take it—taking this no one shall be suffered to depart in peace. Forsooth shall the celestial chief punish this audacity; and when he shall take up his thunderbolt all the deities shall follow him. O thou imperishable, it is not proper for thee, to enter into conflict with all the divinities. The wise never undertake a work that terminates fatally”. The guards having said this Satyabhāmā was greatly worked up with ire and said: “How does this Pārijāta belong to Sachi? Who is Sakra, the lord of the celestials? If this had been produced when the ocean was churned by the celestials then all have equal right over it—why shall Vāsava alone possess it? O ye warders of the garden, ambrosia, the moon and Lakshmi are the common properties of all; so is this Pārijāta tree. If Sachi has taken possession of it forcibly by the valour of her husband, do ye go and communicate unto her that Satyabhāmā is taking it away and let not Sachi forgive her. Do ye soon go to her and according to my instructions tell her that Satyabhāmā has given vent to these proud words. ‘If thou art dear unto thy husband, if he is under thine control then let him take back the Pārijāta tree which my husband is taking away. I know thy husband Sakra is the master of the three worlds. Still being a mortal I take away this Panjata tree.'”

Parāçara said:—Being thus accosted, the warders went to Sachi and communicated unto her everything duly. And Sachi excited the lord of the three worlds. Thereupon accompanied by the army of the celestials, Indra, issued out to fight with Hari, in defence of the Pārijāta tree. The celestials were armed with clubs, swords, maces and darts and Indra wielded the thunderbolt. As soon as Govinda beheld the king of the celestials proceeding against him mounted on his elephant attended by the immortals he blew his shell so that all regions were filled with the sound thereof and he smilingly showered myriads of shafts upon his assailants. When the celestials saw that all the directions and atmosphere were overspread with arrows they also in return hurled numberless missiles. But all these, the slayer of Madhu, and the lord of the three worlds, sundered easily into a thousand pieces with his shafts. Garuda, the devourer of serpents, laid hold of the noose of the king of seas and tore it to pieces with his beak as if it had been a little snake. Devaki’s son hurled his mace at the club of Yama and cast it broken upon the ground; he sundered in pieces the litter of the lord of riches with his discus; his eye-looks overclouded the radiance of the sun; he cut Agni into a hundred parts with his shafts and scattered the Vasus through the realms of the space; he sundered with his discus the points of the tridents of the Rudras and cast themselves upon the earth; and with the arrows shot from his bow he scattered the Sadhyas, Viswas, Maruts and Gandharvas through the sky, like fleeces of cotton from the pods of the Simal tree. Garuda also diligently plied his beak and wings and bit and bruised and scratched the celestials who opposed his lord. Like unto two heavy clouds showering raindrops the king of the celestials and the slayer of Madhu overpowered each other with numberless arrows. Garuda fought with Airavata in that conflict and Janārddana engaged with his discus with all the celestials. When all other weapons had been sundered into pieces Indra stood armed with his thunderbolt and Krishna with the discus Sudarshana. Beholding them thus ready for fight all the inhabitants of the three worlds, cried aloud “Alas! Alas!” In vain did Indra hurl his bolt for Hari caught and arrested it. He however, did not hurl his discus, but only called out to Indra to stay. Beholding Indra disarmed and his elephant disabled by Garuda and the deity about to fly away Satyabhāmā said to him:—”O king of three worlds, it becomes not the husband of Sachi to run away. She will approach you adorned with Pārijāta garlands. What shalt thou do with the kingdom of heaven when no longer thou dost behold Sachi approach thee, like before, embellished with Pārijāta garlands? Fly not O Sakra; you must suffer shame, take the Pārijatā; let the celestials be no longer annoyed. Worked up with the pride of her husband Sachi has not welcomed me to her dwelling with her respectful presents. O king of the celestials, I am a woman and therefore of light purpose and am anxious of my husband’s fame; for this I have instituted this fight with thee. I do not require the Pārijatā any more. Why shall we steal another’s property? What female is not inflated with the pride of her husband? But she is proud of her beauty”.

Parāçara said:—Thus addressed by her the king of the celestials turned back and said:—”O wrathful dame, thou shouldst not afflict thy friend with further reproaches. I am not ashamed of being defeated by him who is the author of the creation, preservation and destruction of the world, who is the substance of all things, and in whom the universe exists, without beginning or middle, and from whom and by whom at one with all things, it proceeds and will cease to be. O goddess, what disgrace it is to any one, to be vanquished by him who is the agent of creation, preservation and destruction? His form, though infinitely subtle, is the parent of all worlds and is known to those only by whom all that may be known is known; who is capable of defeating the unborn, unconstituted, eternal lord, who has, of his own accord, descended for the behoof of the world?”


Thus chanted by the king of the celestials, Kesava smiled and replied gravely saying:—”Thou art, O Indra, the king of the celestials: we are mere mortals, O king of the universe. Thou must therefore forgive me, for the offence I have committed. Let this Pārijatā tree be taken to its proper place. I remove it to satisfy Satya’s desire. Take back also this thy thunderbolt which thou didst hurl at me; for this is your proper weapon—O slayer of thy enemies”. Whereto Indra replied, saying:—”O lord, thou dost beguile us in calling thyself mortal. We are endowed with subtlety of discernment and therefore know thee as gifted with six qualities. Whoever thou mayst be, O slayer of thine enemies, thou art engaged in the active preservation of earth and thou removest the thorns implanted in her bosom. O Krishna, do thou take this Pārijatā tree to the city of Dwārakā and when thou shalt renounce this land of mortals it shall no longer remain on earth”.

Parāçara said:—Having agreed to the proposal of the king of the celestials Hari returned to earth eulogised by attendant sages, saints and quiristers of heaven.

When Krishna arrived over the city of Dwārakā he blew his conch and delighted the inhabitants with the sound. Thereupon alighting from Garuda he proceeded with Satyabhāmā to her garden, and there planted the great Pārijāta tree the smell of which extended over the earth for three furlongs and an approach to which enabled every one to recollect the events of a pristine existence. And beholding their faces in that tree the Yadavas know themselves in their (original) celestial forms. Then Krishna took possession of wealth, elephants, horses and men which he had recovered from Naraka and which had brought to Dwārakā by the servants of the demon; and at an auspicious hour he married all the maidens whom Naraka had carried off from their friends; and simultaneously at the same time in different mansions he received the hands the damsels. The number of the maidens was sixteen thousand and one hundred and in so many forms did the slayer of Madhu appear, so that every one of them thought that he had wedded her in his single person. Hari the creator of the world and the assumer of the universal shape lived severally in the mansion of each of these his wives.


Parāçara said:—I have enumerated to you Pradyumna and other sons begotten on Rukmini by Krishna. Satyabhāmā bore Bhanu and Bhairika. The sons of Rohini were Diptimat, Tamrepakshi and others; Jamvabati gave birth to the powerful Samba and other sons. Bhadravinda and other valiant youths were the sons of Nagnajiti. Saivya bore several sons of whom Sangramajit was the chief. Vikra and others were begotten by Hari on Madri. Lakshmanā gave birth to Gatravat and others; and Sruta and others were the sons of Kālindi. Besides Krishna had sons by his other wives, in all one hundred and eighty thousand. The eldest of the whole was Pradyumna, the son of Rukmini; his son was Aniruddha, whose son was Vraja; his mother was Ushā, the daughter of Bāna the grand daughter of Bāli, whom Aniruddha won in war. On that occasion a dreadful onset endued between Hari and Sankara in which the thousand arms of Bāna were cut off by the discus of the former.

Maitreya said: How is it, O venerable Brahman, that a contest took place, on account of Ushā, between Siva and Krishna? And in what manner did Hari cut off the thousand arms of Bāna? I am stricken with curiosity to hear this story of Hari—do thou, O venerable Sir, relate this.

Parāçara said: Having seen Pārvati dallying with her lord Sambhu, Ushā, the daughter of Bāna, was inspired with a similar desire. The charming Gauri, knowing the hearts of all, said to her:—”Do not grieve; you shall have a husband”. “But when will this be and who shall be my husband?” thought Ushā within herself, on which Pārvati said:—”He who shall appear to you, princess, in a dream, on the twelfth lunation of the light half of Vaishāk, shall be your lord”. Accordingly, in consonance with the goddess’ foretelling a youth appeared in dream to Ushā on that lunar day, of whom she became enamoured. When she got up and no longer saw him she was distressed with grief and not caring for modesty asked of her companion whither he had gone. This companion and friend of the princess was Chitralekha, the daughter of Kubandha, the minister of Bāna. She said to Ushā “of whom do you speak?” But ashamed she did not reply. However gaining her confidence Chitralekha heard from her everything. And again Ushā requested her who had been informed of all, to devise means by which she might be united with the person whom she had beheld in dream.

Parāçara said:—Thereupon Chitralekha painted the figures of the most eminent celestials, demons, spirits and mortals and showed them to Ushā. Putting aside the likenesses of celestials, spirits, snake-gods and demons, the princess selected those of mortals and amongst them the heroes of the races of Andhaka and Vrishni. And when she found the portraits she was bewildered by shame; then she took her eyes away with shame from the portrait of Pradyumna. But as soon as she saw the picture of his son, the object of her passions, she set aside all bashfulness and with wide expanded eyes, cried aloud, “This is he! this is he!” Her friend, who was gifted with magic power, requested her to be cheerful and started for Dwārakā through the air.


Parāçara said:—Before this, once Bāna prayed to the three-eyed deity saying “O lord I am humiliated by the possession of a thousand arms; let some conflict take place in which I may make use of my arms. Without any war what is the use of these arms; they are but a burden to me”.

Sankara said:—”When this peacock banner shall be broken thou shalt have war, the delight of the evil spirits that live on human flesh”. Thereupon pleased and bowing unto Sankara he returned to his house where he found the standard broken which increased his joy.

At that time the foremost of Apsaras, Chitralekha, came back from Dwārakā and by virtue of her magic powers brought Aniruddha with her. Finding him there with Ushā, the warders of the inner apartments reported it to the king, who immediately sent a number of his retinue to seize the prince. But taking up an iron club the powerful youth killed all his adversaries. Thereat Bāna ascended his chariot, proceeded against him and tried to kill him. Finding however that Aniruddha was not to be vanquished by power he followed the counsel of his minister and brought his magical faculties into the conflict, by which he succeeded in capturing the Yadu prince and binding him in serpent bonds.

When Aniruddha was found missing from Dwārāvati and the Yādavas were inquiring of one another whither he had gone, Nārada came and communicated unto them that he was a prisoner of Bāna having been taken by a female by virtue of her magical abilities to Sonitpura. When they heard that he had been taken to Sonitpura, by a damsel, conversant with magical powers, they did not place confidence in his words. Thereupon Krishna thought of Garuda who immediately arrived there. And mounting upon him along with Bala and Pradyumna he started for the city of Bāna. On their approach to the city they were opposed by the attendant spirits of Rudra; but they were soon slain by Hari and he and his companions entered the city. Thereupon mighty fever, an emanation of Maheshwara, having three feet and three heads, fought desperately with the holder of conch in defence of Bāna. Baladeva, upon whom his ashes were scattered, was seized with burning heat and his eye-lids trembled—but he obtained relief by clinging to the body of Krishna. Thereupon fighting with the holder of bow, the fever, emanating from Siva, was soon driven out from Krishna’s person by the fever engendered by himself; Beholding the Saiva fever bewildered by the strokes of the arms of Krishna, Brahmā, the patriarch of the deities, entreated him to desist, upon which the slayer of Madhu refrained and absorbed into himself the fever he had created. The rival fever then went away saying to Krishna; “Those men who shall recollect the fight between us shall be freed from febrile disease”.

Thereupon Vishnu overcame and destroyed the five fires and with perfect ease slew the Dānavas. Then the son of Bali, with the entire Daitya army, aided by Sankara and Kartikeya fought with Krishna. A dreadful battle ensued between Hari and Sankara. Scorched by their burning weapons, all the regions trembled and the celestials thought for certain that the end of the universe was at hand. With the weapon of Yawning Krishna set Sankara agape; then the attendant demons and demi-gods attendant upon Siva were slain on all sides, for Hara, overcome with incessant gaping, sat down in his car and was unable to fight with Krishna any longer, who is above the influence of any acts. The deity of war Kartikeya, wounded in the arm by Garuda, struck by the weapons of Pradyumna and disarmed by the shout of Hari, fled away. Beholding Sankara disabled, the demons slain, Guha fled and Siva’s attendants destroyed, Bāna proceeded in his huge car, the steeds of which were harnessed by Nandisha, to fight with Hari and his associates Bala and Pradyumna. Attacking the army of Bāna, the valiant Balabhadra wounded them in diverse ways with his shafts and put them to a shameful confusion. And their king saw them dragged about by Rāma with his ploughshare or beaten by him with his mace and pierced by Krishna with his shafts; he therefore attacked Krishna and a fight took place between them; they hurled at each other burning arrows that pierced through their armour; but Krishna intercepted with his arrows those of Bāna and sundered them into pieces. Bāna however wounded Kesava and the wielder of the discus wounded Bāna; and both of them, desirous of victory and endeavouring angrily to bring about the death of his antagonist, hurled diverse missiles at each other. When a number of weapons had been sundered into pieces and the weapons began to be exhausted, Krishna determined to slay Bāna. Thereupon the destroyer of the demons took up his discus Sudarshana shining with the radiance of a hundred suns. As he was about to meet it the mystical goddess of Kotair, the magic lore of the demons, stood naked before him. Beholding her before him, Krishna, with open eyes, cast Sudarshana to cut off the arms of Bāna. The discus lopped off successively the numberless arms of Bāna which proved useless the missiles discharged by the celestials. When the slayer of Madhu again took in his hand the discus, after ten thousand arms had been sundered, for the total destruction of Bāna the destroyer of Tripura came to know it. Beholding blood gushing out from the dissevered arms of Bāna the husband of Umā approached Govinda and requested him to put off his hostilities, said:—”O Krishna, the lord of the universe, I know thee, the excellent Purusha, the supreme lord, the infinite felicity without beginning or end and beyond all things. This sport of universal being in which thou assumest the person of god, animals and men is a subordinate attribute of thy energy. Be propitious, therefore O lord, unto me. I have given Bāna assurance of safety, do not thou falsify my words. O thou eternal, this Bāna has grown old under my protection, let him not incur thy displeasure. I conferred a boon on this Daitya and therefore I am begging thy forgiveness”.

Being thus addressed, Govinda, dismissing his resentment against the Asura, smilingly said to Umā’s lord, the holder of trident “O Sankara, let this Bāna, the king of demons draw his breath since thou hast conferred a boon upon him; to honour thy words, I withhold my discus; the assurance of safety given by thee, is also given by me. Do not consider me as distinct from thee. The celestials, Asuras and men and the whole universe are not distinct from us. Those who have been possessed by ignorance consider me as separate from thee”.

Having said this Krishna went to where Aniruddha was; and the snakes that bound him were destroyed by the breath of Govinda. And placing him along with his wife upon the celestial bird, Krishna with Pradyumna and Rāma returned to Dwārakā.


Maiteya said:—”Having achieved a mortal form Sauri performed mighty achievements and discomfitted Sakra and Siva and all other attendant divinities. O great sir, do thou also describe unto me, his other exploits by which he humiliated the prowess of the celestials; I am desirous to hear them”.

Parāçara said:—Hear with respectful attention, O Brāhman, as described by me of the burning of Vārānashi by Krishna in the course of his relieving the burden of the earth.

There was a king of Pundra, who was known as Vasudeva and flattered by the ignorant people as the descended deity until he thought himself to be the Vāsudeva who had come down upon earth. Forgetting his real character he assumed the emblems of Vishnu and sent an ambassador to the high-minded Krishna with this message. “Give up thy discus, O foolish man, lay aside all my insignia, my name and the character of Vāsudeva and come and do me homage and I shall grant thee, the means of subsistence”. Hearing those words and laughing, Janārddana said to the messenger “Go back, messenger to Paundraka and tell him in my name ‘I shall hand over my emblem, the discus to him. Thou wilt properly understand my meaning and consider what is to be done; for I shall come to thy city bringing the discus with me and shall surely give it over to thee. If thou dost command me to come I immediately obey and be with thee tomorrow and shall not delay, and having sought thy protection I shall so manage, O king, that I shall not have to fear anything from thee.'” So saying he sent away the messenger to communicate these words unto the sovereign, and summoning Garuda mounted him and started for the city of Paundrāka.

When the king of Kāsi heard of the preparations of Kesava he sent his army to help Paundrāka, himself bringing up the rear, and with the army of the king of Kāsi and his own troops, the false Vasudeva marched to meet Krishna. He beheld him at a distance standing in his car holding a disc, a club, a mace, a scimitar and a lotus in his hands adorned with a garland of flowers, and bearing a bow; and having his standard made of gold, he had also the mystical mark Sribatsa on his breast; he was robed in yellow raiment and embellished with ear rings, and a tiara. When the god, whose emblem is Garuda, saw him, he laughed aloud and engaged in encounter with the hostile army of cavalry and elephants fighting with swords, scimitars, maces, tridents spears and bows. Showering upon the enemy the arrows from his Sāranga bow and hurling at them his mace and discus he soon destroyed both the army of Paundrāka and that of the king of Kāsi. He then addressed the former who was foolishly wearing his emblems saying:—”Paundrāka, you wanted me through your messenger, to resign to you all my insignia, I now deliver them to you. Here is my discus; here is my mace; and here is Garuda, let him mount upon thy banner”. Saying this he discharged the discus and mace by which Paundrāka was sundered to pieces and cast on the ground; whilst the Garuda which was on the banner of Paundrāka was destroyed by the Garuda of Vishnu. Beholding this the people cried “Alas! alas”; but the brave king still siding the imposture of his friend carried on the encounter till Sauri cut off his head with his arrows and shot into the city of Kāsi to the surprise of all the inhabitants. Having thus destroyed Paundrāka and the king of Kāsi with all their retinue Sauri came back to Dwārakā where he resided enjoying heavenly delights.

When the inhabitants of Kāsi beheld the head of their king shot into the city they were much surprised and wondered how it could have been accomplished. Having come to know that the king had been slain by Krishna, the king’s son together with the priest of the family propitiated Sankara. Well pleased on account of being worshipped in the sacred place Avimuktā the deity asked the prince to pray for a boon, on which he said:—”O lord, mighty god, through thy favour, let thy mystic spirit slay Krishna, the murderer of my father!”

“It shall be so” answered Sankara and from out of the southern fire up sprang a vast and formidable female like flame out of fire, blazing with ruddy light and fiery radiance streaming amidst her hair. Worked up with ire she called upon Krishna and departed to Dwārakā. There the people seeing her were struck with terror and fled for protection to the slayer of Madhu the refuge all worlds. Understanding that the fiend had been created by the son of the king of Kāsi through his worship of the deity whose emblem is the bull, the wielder of the discus being engaged in sport and playing at dice said to the discus “Kill this dreadful creature whose tresses are of plaited flame”. Accordingly Sudarshana, the discus of Vishnu, attacked the fiend in no time, dreadfully covered with fire and wearing tresses of plaited flame. Terrified at the might of Sudarshana, the creation of Maheswara did not wait for his attack but fled quickly followed by him with equal velocity until she arrived at Varānashi repelled by the superior prowess of the discus of Vishnu.

The arms of the king of Kāsi and the whole number of the attendant divinities of Siva armed with various weapons marched out to oppose the discus. But an expert in the use of arms he consumed the whole host by his radiance and then set fire to the city, in which the magic power of Siva had concealed herself. Thus was Varanashi burnt with all its princes and their followers, its inhabitants, elephants, horses and men, treasures and granaries, houses, palaces and markets. The whole of the city that was inaccessible to the celestials was thus covered with flames by the discus of Hari and was totally destroyed. The discus, with unsoothed wrath, blazing fiercely and not satisfied with the accomplishment of so easy a task, then returned to the hands of Vishnu.


Maitreya said:—O Brahman, I have a great desire to listen to some other exploits of Balarāma; do thou describe them unto me. You have related to me, O reverend Sir, his dragging the Yamuna and other mighty deeds; do thou now recount some other of his acts.

Parāçara said:—Listen O Maitreya, to the exploits accomplished by Rāma who is the eternal, illimitable Sesha, the upholder of the earth. At the choice of a husband by the daughter of Duryodhana, the princess was taken away by the hero Sāmba, the son of Jāmbavati. Being pursued by Duryodhana, Karna, Bhishma, Drona and other illustrious chiefs who were enraged for his audacity, he was defeated and taken prisoner. When the Yādavas heard of this event they were greatly enraged with Duryodhana and his companions and addressed themselves to fight with them. But Baladeva, in accents suppressed by the effects of inebriety, forbade them and said, “I will go alone to the sons of Kuru and at my request they will let Sāmba free”. Accordingly he went to Hastināpur and took his abode in a grove outside the town which he did not enter. When Duryodhana and others were informed of his arrival, they sent him a cow, a present of fruits and flowers and water. Bala received the offering in the customary form and said to the descendants of Kuru “Ugrasena commands you to liberate Sāmba”. When Duryodhana, Karna, Bhishma, Drona and others heard this they were worked up with ire, and Bāhlika and other friends of the Kauravai who considered the Yadu race as having no claims to regal dignity said to the wielder of the club. “What is this, O Balarāma, that thou hast uttered? What Yadava shall command the chiefs of the Kurus? If Ugrasena thus commands the Kuravas, we will take away the white umbrella which he has usurped and which is only fit for the kings. You should go away therefore, Balarāma; you are entitled to our respect; but Sāmba has been guilty of an improper conduct and we shall not let him free either at Ugrasena’s commands or yours. The Kukkura and Andhaka races might not pay the homage due to us, their superiors, but who ever heard of a servant commanding his master? You have been rendered arrogant by our treating you equally with seat and food; we have committed a great mistake in neglecting the policy, for our great friendship for you. The present that we sent you today was a sign of personal regard, but it was not fit for us to have offered nor for yours to have expected”.

Having said this, the Kuru chiefs unanimously refused to liberate Hari’s sons and came back to their city. Moving about with intoxication and anger caused by their insolent words, Bala struck the ground furiously with his heel so that it burst to pieces with a loud sound that reverberated through the regions of space. His eyes reddened with rage and his brow curved with frowns he exclaimed. “What pride is this in such vile and pithless creatures. The sovereignty of Kauravas as well as our own is the work of destiny whose decree it also is that they now disrespect or disobey the commands of Ugrasena. Indra may, as is his right, command the celestials and Ugrasena exercises equal authority with the lord of Sachi. Fie upon the pride that boasts a throne, the leavings of a hundred mortals. Is not he the sovereign of earth, the wives of whose servants adorn themselves with the blossoms of the Pārijāta tree? Ugrasena shall be the undisputed lord of kings; for I will not return to his capital until I have rid the world wholly of the sons of Kuru. I will destroy Karna, Duryodhana, Drona, Bhishma, Bāhlika, Dussāsana, Bhurisrava, Somadatta, Salya, Bhima, Arjuna, Yudhishthira, the twins, and all the other wretched sons of Kuru with their horses, elephants and chariots. I will liberate the hero Sāmba and carry him along with his wife to Dwārakā where I shall again behold Ugrasena and the rest of my kinsmen. Or commanded by the king of celestials, to remove the burden of the earth, I will take this capital of the Kauravas with all the sons of Kuru, and throw Hastināpur into the Bhāgirathi”.

Saying this with his eyes reddened with ire, Baladeva, the wielder of the club, plunged the blade of his ploughshare downwards beneath the ramparts of the city, and drew them towards him. When the Kauravas beheld Hastināpur tottering, they were much afraid, and called loudly on Rāma, saying, “O Rāma! Rāma! hold, hold; supress your anger and have compassion upon us. Here is Sāmba and his wife also delivered up to you. Forgive the sins committed by us ignorant of your wondrous power”. Accordingly the Kauravas hurried out of the city and delivered Sāmba and his wife to the mighty Balarāma, who, bowing to Bhishma, Drona and Kripa, who pacified him, said, “I am satisfied,” and desisted. The city bears the mark of the shock even to the present day—such was the might of Rāma proving both his strength and power. The Kauravas then, offering homage to Sāmba and Bala, sent away the former with his wife and dowry.


Parāçara said:—Listen, O Maitreya, to another achievement accomplished by the powerful Balarāma. The great Asura, Naraka, the enemy of the friends of the celestials, had a friend of exceeding might in a monkey named Dwivida, who was worked up with implacable hostility against the celestials, and vowed to revenge on all of them the destruction of Naraka by Krishna at the instigation of the king of the celestials, by preventing sacrifices and bringing about the total destruction of the world. Blinded by ignorance therefore, he interrupted all religious practices, put down all righteous observances, and brought about the death of living creatures; he set fire to forests, to villages and towns; sometimes he deluged cities and villages with a downpour of rocks or lifting up mountains in the waters he cast them into the ocean; then placing himself in the midst of the deep, he agitated the waves until the foaming sea rose above its confines and swept away the villages and cities situated upon its shores. Dwivida, who was capable of assuming shapes as he liked, enlarged his bulk to an immense proportion, and rolling and tumbling and trampling amidst the corn-fields, he crushed and spoiled the harvest. The whole world, disorganised by this vicious monkey, was deprived of sacred study and religious ceremonies, and was greatly afflicted.

Once on a time Halāyudha was drinking in the groves of Raivata along with the illustrious Revati and other beautiful females; and the celebrated Yadu whose glories were sung and who was pre-eminent amidst graceful and sportive women, resembled Kuvera, the god of riches, in his palace. In the meantime, the monkey Dwivida came there and stealing the ploughshare and the club of Balarāma, grinned at and mocked him, and laughed at the women and threw over and broke the cups filled with wine. Enraged at this, Balarāma threatened the monkey; but the latter disregarded his threats and chattering noise. Thereupon Balarāma started up and seized his club in anger, and the monkey laid hold of a large rock which he hurled at the hero. And casting his club at it as it approached him, Bala broke it into a thousand pieces, which together with the club, fell upon the ground. Beholding the club thus fallen, the monkey sprang over it and struck the Yādava violently on the breast with his paws. Bala returned it with a blow of his fist upon the fore-head of Dwivida which felled him, vomiting blood and lifeless to the earth. The crest of the mountain on which he fell was sundered into a hundred pieces by the weight of his body, as if the Thunderer had shivered it with his thunder-bolt. The celestials threw down a shower of flowers upon Rāma and approached him and praised him for the glorious feat he had performed.

“Well has the world been freed” said they “by thy prowess, O hero, of his vile ape, who was the enemy of the celestials”. Then well pleased, they and their attendant spirits returned to heaven. Many such inimitable deeds were performed by the illustrious Baladeva, the impersonation of Sesha, the supporter of the earth.


In this way, Krishna, aided by Baladeva, destroyed, for the behoof of the earth, demons and iniquitous kings, and along with Phalguna also did he relieve earth of her burden by the death of seven Akshauhini hosts. Having thus relieved the earth of her load and destroyed many impious kings, he exterminated, by the plea of an imprecation denounced by Brāhmanas, his own Yādava race. Thereupon quitting Dwārakā and renouncing his mortal frame, the self-born with all his emanations re-entered his own sphere of Vishnu.

Maitreya said:—Tell me how Janārddana brought about the extermination of his own family under the pretext of a Brāminical curse and in what manner did he renounce his human body.

Parāçara said;—At the holy place of Pindarika, Viswāmitra, Kanwa and the great sage, Nārada, were seen by some boys of the Yadu family. Inflated with their youths and influenced by predestined results, they dressed and adorned Sāmba, the son of Jāmbavati, as a female and taking her to the sages, they addressed them with usual reverence, saying:—”What child will this female, the wife of Babru, who is anxious to have a son, give birth to?” The sages, who were gifted with divine wisdom, enraged at this insult, said:—”She will give birth to a club that will exterminate the entire Yādava race”.

Thus addressed by the sages, the boys went to Ugrasena and related to him what had happened; and after sometime, as foretold, a club was produced from the belly of Sāmba. Ugrasena had the club, which was made of iron, ground to dust and thrown into the sea, and particles of the dust there became rushes, There was one part of the iron club which was like the blade of a lance and which the Andhakas could not break; this when thrown into the sea was swallowed by a fish; the fish was caught, the iron spike was extracted from its belly, and was taken by a hunter named Jāra. The all-wise and illustrious slayer of Madhu did not think it proper to counteract the predestination of fate.

In the interval an emissarry despatched by the celestials came to Krishna and said to him in private:—”I am sent to thee, O lord, by the celestials; and do thou hear what Indra together with the Viswas, Maruts, Adityas, Sādhyas and Rudras respectfully represent. More than a century has gone by since thou in compliance with the request of the celestials, descended upon earth for the purpose of relieving it of its load. The demons have been destroyed and the burden of earth has been removed; now let the immortals once again see their king in heaven. More than a hundred years have passed, and if thou dost wish, do thou return to heaven. This is the prayer of the celestials. And if this be not thy will, do thou remain here as long as it may be desirable to thy dependants”. Whereto Krishna replied, “I am well aware of all thou hast said. The earth is not relieved of her load until the Yādavas are extirpated. I shall also speedily bring it about in my descent, and it shall take place in seven nights. Having restored the land of Dwārakā to the ocean and destroyed the race of Yadu, I shall proceed to the region of the celestials. Inform the celestials that having renounced my mortal frame and been accompanied by Sankarshana, I will then return to them. The tyrants that oppressed the earth, Jarāsandha and the rest, have been slain and a youth even of the race of Yadu is so less than they an incumbrance. Having removed this huge weight of the earth, I will proceed to the mansions of the celestials. Say this to them”.

Parāçara said:—O Maitreya, being thus addressed by Vāsudeva, the messenger of the celestials bowed and took his heavenly course to the king of the deities. The illustrious Krishna too now espied signs and portents both on earth and in heaven prognosticating day and night the destruction of Dwārakā. Beholding those evil omens, he said to the Yādavas; “Behold these dreadful portents; let us hasten to Prabhāsa to avert them”. When he had thus said to the eminent Yādavas, the illustrious Uddhava saluted and said to him: “Tell me, O lord, what it is proper that I should do, for it seems to me that thou wilt destroy all this race. The signs that are manifest declare nothing less than the annihilation of the race”. Then Krishna replied:—”Do thou, by my favour proceed, this celestial course, to the holy place Badrikāsrama in the Gandhamādana mountain, the shrine of Nara Nārāyana; and on that spot sanctified by them, thou, meditating upon me, shalt obtain perfection through my favour. Having extirpated this Yadu race, I shall proceed to Baikuntha; and after I have quilted Dwārakā; the ocean shall inundate it”.

Parāçara said:—Being thus addressed by him and commanded by Kesava, Uddhava proceeded to the holy shrine of Nara Nārāyana. And the Yādavas, with Krishna, Balarāma and others, having ascended swift-coursing cars, proceeded to Prabhāsa. Having reached Prabhāsa, the Kukkuras and Andhakas bathed there and, being excited by Krishna, indulged in liquor. As they drank, the destructive fire of dissension was engendered amongst them by mutual collision and fed with the fuel of abuse. Worked up with ire by the divine influence, they attacked one another with missile weapons, and when these were finished, they had recourse to the rushes growing nigh. The rushes in their hands became like thunder-bolts, and they assailed one another with them. Pradyumna, Syāmba, Kritavarman, Satyaki, Aniruddha, Prithu, Vipathu, Charuvannan, Charuka, Akrura, and many others, struck one another with the rushes, which became hard like thunder-bolts. Thereupon Krishna arriving there prevented them: but they thought that he was taking part with each severally and continued the conflict.

Thereupon, enraged, Krishna took up a handful of rushes to destroy them, which became a club of iron; and with this he killed many of the murderous Yādavas, whilst others fighting fiercely destroyed one another. At this time in the very presence of Krishna*s charioteer, his swift steeds carried off his Jaitra car and entered into the sea. The discus, the club, the bow, the quiver, the shell and the sword of Kesava, having circumambulated their master, flew along the path of the sun. In a short time there was not a single Yādava left alive save the mighty Krishna and Dāruka. Going towards Rāma, who was sitting at the root of a tree, they saw a huge serpent coming out of his mouth. Having issued out of his mouth, the mighty snake proceeded towards the ocean hymned by saints and other great snakes. Bringing an offering of respect, the ocean came to him and then the majestic being worshipped of all the attendant snakes, entered into the waters of the deep. Beholding the departure of the spirit of Baladeva, Kesava said to Dāruka—”Do thou go to Vasudeva and Ugrasena and communicate unto him this. Go and inform them of the departure of Balabhadra, and the destruction of the Yādava race, and also that I shall engage in religious meditation and renounce my body. Do thou also inform Ahuka and the inhabitants of Dwārakā that their city shall be inundated by the ocean. And do ye await the arrival of Arjuna at Dwārakā. When Arjuna, the descendant of Pāndu, shall issue out of the city, none of you should wait there but go whither the descendant of Kuru shall repair. Do thou also go to the son of Kunti and tell him that he may at my request protect my family according to his might. Then go to Hastināpur with Arjuna and all the inhabitants of Dwārakā and let Vajra be installed king over the race of Yadu”.

Parāçara said:—Thus instructed and having bowed unto and circumambulated Krishna again and again, Dāruka departed as he had been desired; and having conducted Arjuna to Dwārāvati, the intelligent servant of Krishna established Vajra as king. Thereupon having concentrated in himself that supreme spirit which is identical with Vāsudeva, the divine Govinda was identified with all beings. Respecting the words of the Brāhmana, the curse of Durvāsas, the illustrious Krishna sat engaged in meditation, placing his foot upon his knee. Then there came a hunter named Jāra, whose arrow was tipped with a blade made of the iron club, which had not been reduced to powder; and espying from a distance the foot of Krishna, he mistook it for a part of a deer, and shooting his arrow, lodged it in the sole. Approaching his mark, he saw the four-armed king and falling at his feet, repeatedly besought his forgiveness, exclaming, “I have done this deed unknowingly, thinking I was aiming at a deer. Have pity on me who am consumed by my crime; for thou art able to consume me”. Thereupon Bhagavān said: “Thou needst not have the least fear, hunter; by my favour, thou shall repair to the region of the celestials”. As soon as Krishna had said this, the celestial car arrived there, ascending which the hunter repaired to the region of the celestials.

Thereupon the divine Krishna having united himself with his own pure, spiritual, inexhaustible, inconceivable, unborn, undecaying, imperishable, and universal spirit, which is one Vāsudeva, renounced his mortal frame and his connection with the three qualities.


Parāçara said:—Having found the bodies of Krishna and Rāma, Arjuna performed for them and the rest of the slain the obsequial rites. The eight queens of Krishna, who have been named with Rukmini at the head, embraced Hari and entered the funeral fire. O foremost of the pious, embracing the corpse of Rāma, Revati too entered fire which was cool to her happy heart in contract with her lord. Thereupon hearing all this Ugrasena and Vasudeva with Devaki and Rohini entered fire. Having performed duly the obsequious rites of the Yadavas, Arjuna, with the inhabitants of Dwārakā and Vajra, issued out of the city. And Kunti’s son proceeded slowly with thousands of Krishna’s wives and the residents of Dwārakā. With the departure of Krishna from the land of mortals both the Sudharman palace and the Pārijāta tree proceeded to heaven; and on the same day that Hari departed from the earth the dark-bodied Kali age set in. The ocean rose and inundated the whole of Dwārakā, except only the dwelling of the deity of the race of Yadu. The sea has not been able to wash away that temple and there even up to the present day Kesava constantly resides; whoever visits that holy shrine where Krishna pursued his sports is freed from sins.

O foremost of ascetics, one day while proceeding, Arjuna, the son of Pritha, halted the people he had brought from Dwārakā in the Panchanada country; in a rich and fertile spot; the desires of the neighbouring robbers were excited When they saw a number of widowed females and immense riches in the possession of Arjuna alone. Worked up with their cupidity they assembled their villainous herds and said to them:—”This Arjuna, alone with his bow, is passing amongst us having immense riches and numberless women with him, whose husbands have been slain; cursed is thy strength therefore. His pride hath been increased by the death of Bhishma Drona, Jayadratha, Karna and others; he is not cognisant of the prowess of the simple villagers. Up, up, take your long thick staves; this stupid fellow hates us. Why should we not lift up our arms?” Saying this they rushed armed with cudgels and clods of earth, upon the people who were without their lord. Arjuna met them and said to them in contempt: “Go away, O ye wretches, ignorant of what is right, if you do not wish to die”. But they neglected his threats seized his treasures and women, the wives of Viswaksena.

Thereupon Arjuna began to brace his celestial bow Gāndiva, irresistible in encounter, but it was in vain, for in spite of his efforts to lighten it, it continued flaccid; neither could he recollect the incantation of superhuman weapons. Losing all patience he discharged, as best as he could, his arrows upon the foes, but they merely scratched the skin. The shafts that were given him by Agni for certain destruction, were themselves destroyed and proved fatal to Arjuna in his encounter with herdsmen. Thereupon he tried to recall the prowess of Krishna by the strength whereof his shafts had slain many a mighty king; but he tried in vain, for they were either put aside by peasants or they flew at random wide of their marks. His arrows being all exhausted he beat the robbers with the horn of his bow. They laughed at his blows and in the very sight of Arjuna the barbarians carried off all the women of the Vrishni and Andhaka tribes and went their way. Thereupon Jishnu was greatly sorry, and lamented bitterly saying “Alas! Alas! I am deserted by my lord”. And immediately the bow, the heavenly arms, his car and steeds perished entirely like a donation to an unlearned Brahmin. “Alas! how powerful is the destiny” said he “deprived of my illustrious friend I have been defeated by the base. These two arms are mine; mine is this fist, this is my place; I am Arjuna, but without that righteous help all these are pithless. The bravery of Arjuna, the strength of Bhima was all his work; without him I am defeated by peasants; it cannot be from any other cause”. Saying this, Arjuna went to the city of Mathurā and there installed the Yādava prince Vajra as a king. There he saw Vyāsa who was living in a forest and he approached the sage and saluted him respectfully. The ascetic observed him for some time as he lay prostrate at his feet and said to him. “How is it that I see you shorn of lustre? Have you been guilty of an illicit intercourse with a woman or Brahmincide? Or have you suffered any grievous disappointment that you are so dejected. Have your prayers for offspring or other good gifts proved fruitless? Or have you indulged improper passions that your lustre has been clouded? Or have you devoured the meal given to Brahmanas? Arjuna, say, have you seized upon the property of the poor? Has the wind of a winnowing basket lighted upon you? Or has an evil eye gazed upon you that you look so miserable. Have you been touched by the water of a finger nail? Or has the water of a water-jar sprinkled you? Or, what is most probably the case, have you been beaten by your inferiors in battle?”

Having sighed deeply Arjuna described to Vyāsa all the circumstances of his defeat, and said:—”Hari who was our strength, our heroism, our might, our prowess, our prosperity and brightness, has left us and departed. Deprived of our illustrious friend who was ever kindly speaking we have become as feeble as if made of straw. Excellent Purusha, he, who was the living vigour of my weapon, my arrow, my bow, has departed. When he looked upon us, fortune, fame, wealth and dignity crowded us; but Govinda has departed from our midst. That Krishna has left earth by whose power Bhishma, Drona, the king of Anga, Duryodhana and the rest were slain. Not I alone but earth has grown old, miserable and lustreless in the absence of the holder of the discus. Krishna, through devotion to whom Bhishma and other powerful men perished like moths in the flame of my valour, has departed and I am now vanquished by cow-herds. The bow Gāndiva, that was celebrated all over the three-worlds, has been foiled, on account of his departure, by the sticks of peasants. The numberless women, over whom I was lord, have been carried off from me by thieves armed only with cudgels; the whole household of Krishna, O Krishna, has been forcibly carried off by peasants, who with their staves have put my strength to shame. I do not wonder that I am shorn of my lustre; it is a marvel that I live. Surely grandsire, I am so shameless that I survive the stain of indignity inflicted by the vile”.

Vaysa replied to Arjuna and said, “Think no more my son of the indignity; it does not behold you to grieve. Know that time subjects all beings to similar vicissitude: Time brings out the production and dissolution of all creatures. All that exists is founded on time. Know this, Arjuna, and preserve thy fortitude. Rivers, oceans, mountains, the entire earths, celestials, men, animals, trees, are all created and will all be destroyed by time. Be thou sober, knowing that all that is the effect of time. These mighty works of Krishna, whatever they have been, have been performed to relieve earth of her load; for this he has come down. Oppressed by her load earth has had recourse to the assembly of the celestials and Janārddana, who is identical with time, has descended on that account. This object has now been accomplished: all the kings of the earth have been destroyed; no more remained for him to accomplish. Therefore the lord has departed whither he pleased, his ends being all fulfilled. At the period of creation the god of gods creates; in that of duration he preserves, at the end of all he is the powerful destroyer. Now all is done. Therefore O Arjuna, be not pained by thy defeat; the power of mortals is the gift of time. Bhishma, Karna and other kings have been slain by this alone; this was the work of time; and why should not therefore thy defeat by those inferior to thee occur? In the same manner as through thy devotion to Vishnu these were overthrown by thee, so has thy discomfiture by cursed thieves been brought about by time. That divinity, assuming various shapes, preserves the world; and in the end the lord of creatures destroys it. O son of Kunti, on the occasion of thy good fortune, the illustrious Janārddana was thy help; in thy decline thy enemies have been favoured by Kesava. Who will now believe, that thou didst alone defeat Bhishma and other Kauravas. Who would believe peasants have defeated thee? Know it for certain, O son of Pritha, that it is but the sport of the Universal Hari that the Kauravas have been slain by thee and thou hast been vanquished by herdsmen. As regards the women for whom thou dost grieve and who have been carried off by the thieves, hear from me an ancient story that will explain why this has happened.

“In ancient time, a Brāhman, named Ashtāvakra, was pursuing his religious penances, standing in water and meditating on the eternal spirit for many years. On account of the overthrow of the Asuras there was a great festival on the summit of Meru; on their way to which Rambhā, Tilottamā and hundreds of other beautiful nymphs praised and hymned him for his devotions. They bowed unto him and eulogised him when he was immersed in water up to his throat, his hair twisted in a braid. They sang in honour of him whatever they thought would be agreeable to that most eminent of Brāhmanas. Ashtāvakra at last said to them:—’I am well pleased with you, illustrious damsels; ask of me whatever you wish and I will give it however difficult it may be of attainment’. Thereupon all these nymphs, Rambhā, Tillottamā and others mentioned in the Vedas, replied:—’It is enough for us that thou art pleased, what else need we say, O Brāhman?’ But some amongst them said:—’If you are indeed pleased with us, O illustrious sire, thou grant us a husband, the best of men and sovereign of Brāhmanas’. Thereupon saying ‘so be it,’ Ashtāvakra came up from the waters. When the nymphs observed him coming out of the water and saw that he was very ugly and crooked in eight places they could not restrain their merriment and laughed aloud. The Muni was very angry and imprecated them with a curse, saying ‘Since you have been so impertinent as to laugh at my deformity, I denounce upon you this curse; through the favour I have shown unto you, you shall obtain the first of males for your husband; and on account of my curse, you shall afterwards fall into the hands of thieves’. When the nymphs heard this imprecation they tried to appease the Muni, and they so far succeeded that he told them that they should finally go to the region of the celestials. It is on account of the curse of the ascetic Ashtāvakra that these women, who were the wives of Kesava, have fallen into the hands of the barbarians; and there is nothing for you, Arjuna to regret it in the least. All this destruction has been brought about by the lord of all, and your end is also near at hand, since he has withdrawn from your strength, splendour, valour and pre-eminence. Death is the doom of every one who is born; fall is the end of exhaltation; union terminates in separation and growth tends only to decay. Knowing all this, wise men are neither subject to grief nor joy; and those who know these ways are equally free from pleasure or joy. Do you therefore, most excellent prince, understand this truth and along with your brothers relinquish everything and repair to the holy forest. Go now and say from me to Yudhishthira that he, to-morrow with his brethren, will tread the path of heroes”.

Thus instructed by Vyāsa, Arjuna went and described to the other sons of Pritha all that he had seen, experienced and heard. When he had related unto them the message of Vyāsa, the sons of Pandu placed Pārikshit on the throne and went to the forest.

I have thus described to you, O Maitreya, in detail the actions of Vāsudeva when he was born in the race of Yadu.




Maitreya said:—”Thou hast described unto me in detail, O illustrious sage, the creation of the universe, the genealogies of the Patriarchs, the duration of the Manwantaras and the dynasties of the princes. I am willing to hear from you an account of the dissolution of the universe, the time of total destruction and that which occurs at the expiration of a Kalpa”.

Parāçara said:—Hear from me exactly, O Maitreya, the circumstances attending the dissolution of the world either at the expiration of a Kalpa or that which occurs at the close of the life of Brahmā. A month of men constitutes a day and night of the progenitors; a year of men is a day and night of the celestials. Twice a thousand aggregates of the four ages is a day and night of Brahmhā. The four ages are the Krita, Treta, Dwāpara and Kali, comprehending altogether twelve thousand years of the celestials. There are infinite successions of those four ages of a similar description, the first of which is always called Krita and the last the Kali. In the first, the Krita is that age which is created by Brahmā; in the last, which is the Kali age, a dissolution of the universe takes place.

Maitreya said:—”O venerable Sir, It behoves thee to give a description of the nature of the Kali age in which the four-footed virtue suffers total extinction”.

Parāçara said:—Hear, O Maitreya, of the nature of the Kali age, regarding which you have enquired and which is now approaching completion.

In the Kali age, people will not serve caste, order and institutes, nor the ceremonial enjoined by the Sāma, Rik and Yayur Vedas. Marriages in this age will be celebrated according to the rituals, nor will the rules that connect the spiritual protector and his disciple be in force; the laws that regulate the conduct of husband and wife will be neglected and oblations to the celestials with fire no longer be offered. A powerful and rich man, in whatever family he may be born, will have right to marry maidens of every tribe. In the Kali age, a Brāhmana will be always regarded as such even if he be not initiated properly, and many forms of penance will be prescribed. O Maitreya, O twice-born one, all texts will be considered as Sastras in the Kali age; all celestials will be considered in equal light and all orders of life will be common alike to all persons. In this Kali age, fasting, austerity, liberality practised according to the pleasures of those by whom they are observed will constitute piety. Every trifling property will make men proud of their wealth. Pride of beauty will be inspired by hair. Gold, jewels, diamonds, clothes will all have perished, and then hair will be the only ornament with which women can decorate themselves. Wives will desert their husbands when they will lose their wealth; and the rich only will be considered by woman as their lords. He who will distribute immense wealth, will be considered as master of men and prestige of birth will no longer be a title to supremacy. Accumulated wealth will be spent on ostentatious dwellings. The minds of men will be wholly occupied with earning money and that even will be spent on the gratification of selfish desires. Women will follow their own inclinations and be given up to pleasure-seeking. Men will endeavour to acquire riches even dishonestly. No man will part with the smallest fraction of his wealth at the sacrifice of his own interest even when requested by his friends. In the Kali age all people will consider themselves as equal with the Brāhmanas; and cows will be held in reverence only because they supply milk. People will be always in fear of dearth and scarcity and will watch accordingly the appearances of the sky. They will all live, like anchorets, upon leaves and roots and fruits and put a period to their lives through fear of famine and want. Deprived of wealth, people will be perpetually subject to famine and other afflictions; and they will never enjoy pleasure and happiness. At the advent of the Kali they will take their food without previous ablutions and without worshipping fire, celestials or guests or offering obsequial libations to their progenitors. The women will be fickle, short of stature, gluttonous; they will all have many children and little means. And scratching their heads with both hands they will pay no attention to the commands of their husbands or parents. They will be selfish, abject and slovenly; they will be scolds and liars; they will be indecent and immoral in their conduct and will ever attach themselves to dissolute men. And disregarding the rules of studentship youths will study the Vedas. Householders will neither sacrifice nor practise becoming liberality. Anchorets will live upon food accepted from rustics and mendicants will be influenced by regard for friends and associates. Princes will plunder their subjects instead of protecting them and under the pretext of levying customs they will rob merchants of their property. In the Kali Vuga every one, possessing cars and elephants and horses, will be a Raja; every one who is feeble will be a slave. Vaiçyas will abandon agriculture and commerce and gain a livelihood by servitude or exercise of mechanical arts; Sudras, seeking a subsistence by begging and assuming outward marks of religious mendicants, will become the impure followers of impious and heretical doctrines.

Oppressed by famine and taxation men will desert their native countries and repair to the lands which are fit for coarser grains. The path of the Vedas being obliterated and people having deviated into heresy, iniquity will flourish and the duration of life will therefore decrease. On account of the horrible penances enjoined by scripture and of the vices of the rulers, children will die in their infancy. Women will bear children at the age of five, six or seven years and men will beget them when they are eight, nine or ten. Men will grow old at the age of twelve and no one will live more than twenty years. Men will possess little sense, vigour virtue and will therefore die in a short time. O Maitreya, the wise then estimate the approach of Kali when the number of heretics increases. Whenever, O Maitreya, number of the pious devoted to the lessons of the Vedas, diminishes, the efforts, of the individuals who cultivate virtue, become relax; the first of males becomes no longer the object of sacrifice; respect for the teachers of the Vedas declines and regard is cherished for the disseminators of heresy, the wise estimate the augmented influence of the Kali.

O Maitreya, in the Kali age corrupted by unbelievers, men will refrain from adoring Vishnu, the lord of sacrifice and the creator and sovereign of all and will say “Of what authority are the Vedas? What are the celestials or Brahmanas? What need there is of purification with water?” At the approach of the Kali, O Vipra, the clouds will yield scanty rain; the corn will be light in ear and the grain will be poor and of little sap: garments will be mostly made of the fibres of the San: the principal of trees will be the Sami; principle caste will be the Sudra; millet will be the more common grain; the milk in use will be chiefly that of goats; unguents will be made of Ushira grass. The mother and father-in-law will be venerated in the place of parents; and a man’s friend will be his brother-in-law or one who has a wanton wife. Men will say “Who has a father? Who has a mother? Every one is born according to his deeds”; therefore they will regard the wife’s or the husband’s parents as their own. Gifted with little sense they will be subject to all sorts of infirmities of mind, speech and body and will daily commit sins; and every thing that is likely to afflict beings, vicious, impure and wretched will be generated in the Kali Yuga. Thus, O Brahman, when holy study, oblations to fire and convocations of the celestials shall be stopped some few people shall live at a holy place. And at this place with the least trouble that piety shall be accumulated which could be acquired with the greatest exertions in the Krita age.


Parāçara said:—Hear, O highly illustrious one, I shall describe fully what the great Vyāsa has related upon the subject.

Once on a time, the sages assembled and discussed at what season the least morality obtained the greatest reward and by whom it was most easily displayed. In order to terminate the discussion they went to Veda Vyāsa to remove their doubts. They saw the illustrious sage, my son, immersed in the water of the Ganges, and awaiting the close of his ablutions, the sages remained on the banks of the sacred river under the shelter of a grove of trees. As my son plunged into the water and rose up from it the sages heard him exclaim. “Excellent is the Kali age”. Again dived he and again did he exclaim in their hearing. “Well done, well done, Sudra, thou art happy”. Again he sank down and again did they hear him say “Well done, well done, women, they are happy who are more fortunate than they”. After this my son finished his bathing and the sages met him as he approached to welcome them. After they had been seated and offered their respects the son of Satyavati said to them “For what you have come here?” The Rishis said. “Having entertained some doubts regarding a subject we have come here to consult thee; but let that remain at present; explain to us some thing else. We heard you say ‘Excellent is the Kali Yuga!’ We are anxious to learn why this was said and why you repeatedly called them happy. Explain to us the meaning of it if it be not a mystery. We will then place before you the question that engages our thoughts”.

Being thus accosted by the ascetics Vyāsa smiled and said to them “Hear excellent sages, why I said ‘Well done Well done!’ The fruit of penance of continence, of silent prayer and the like, practised in the Krita age for ten years, in the Treta for one year, in the Dwāpara for a month is obtained in the Kali age in a day and night; therefore I did say ‘Excellent, excellent is the Kali age’. The reward, which a man obtains in the Krita age by abstract meditation in the Treta by sacrifice, in the Dwāpara by adoration, he receives, in the Kali Yuga by merely reciting the names of Kesava. O pious and great ascetics, in the Kali age, by very little exertion men attain to exalted virtue and it is for this reason I speak highly of the Kali Yuga. Formerly the Vedas were to be acquired by the twice-Born through the diligent observance of self-denial and it was their duty to celebrate sacrifices in accordance with the ritual. Thereafter, idle prayers, idle feats, fruitless ceremonies were performed, only to mislead the twice-born; for although observed by them devoutly, yet in consequence of some irregularity in their celebration sin was incurred in all these works and what they ate or what they drank did not bring about the fulfilment of their desires. In all their objects the twice-born enjoyed no independence and attained their respective spheres only with exceeding pain. On the other hand, the Sudra, more fortunate than they, attains to his assigned station by rendering their service and performing merely the sacrifice of preparing food in which no rules determine what may or may not be eaten, what may or may not be drunk. Therefore, excellent sages, the Sudra is fortunate.

“Men should acquire wealth by means not incompatible with their religious duties and it should be given to the worthy and spent upon sacrifices. There is great trouble in their acquisition as well as their preservation. And it is equally difficult for them to spend them on pious observances. O excellent Brāhmanas, by undergoing these troubles and other diverse ones people attain to the holy region of Prajāpati. A woman has only to honour her husband in act, thought and speech to reach the same region to which he is elevated and she thus accomplishes her object without any great exertion. This was the meaning of my exclamation ‘Well done’ the third time. I have thus related to you what you asked. Now put to me in any way you please the question for which you came and I will make you a clear reply”.

The ascetics then said to Vyāsa. “The question that we purposed to put to you has already been answered by you in your reply to our subsequent enquiry”. Hearing this Krishna-Daipāyana laughed and said to the pious sages who had come to see him whose eyes were wide open with surprise. “By virtue of my divine knowledge I perceived the question you intended to put to me and in reference to this I uttered the expressions ‘Well done! Well done!’ In fact in the Kali age duty is performed by the mortals with very little trouble, whose sins are all washed away by the water of their individual piety—by Sudras through the diligent service of the twice-born ones and by women through the slight effort of obedience to their husbands. It is for this reason O Brāhmanas, that I did thrice express my admiration of their happiness; for in the Krita and other ages great were the toils of the regenerate to perform their duty. I did not wait for your enquiry but replied at once to the question you wanted to put. Now what do ye, conversant with virtue, wish me to tell you?”

Thereupon the ascetics saluted and praised Vyasa and freed by him from uncertainty departed as they came. I have also communicated to you. O excellent Maitreya, the secret—this one great virtue of the otherwise vicious Kali age. I shall now describe to you the dissolution of the world and the aggregation of the elements.


Parāçara said The dissolution of existing beings is of three kinds, incidental, elemental and absolute. The incidental is that which relates to Brahmā and takes place at the end of a Kalpa: the elemental is that which occurs after two Parārdhas; the absolute is final liberation from existence.

Maitreya said:—”Tell me, O excellent preceptor, what is the enumeration of a Parārdha, the expiration of two of which is the period of elemental dissolution”.

Parāçara said:—Parardha, O Maitreya, is that number which takes place in the eighteenth place of figures enumerated according to the rule of decimal notation. At the end of twice that period elemental dissolution takes place when all the discrete products of nature are withdrawn into Their indiscrete source. The shortest period of time is Mātrā which is equal to the twinkling of the human eye; fifteen Mātrā make a Kāshthā; thirty Kāshthās one Kalā: fifteen Kalās one Nādhikā. A Nādhikā is determined by a measure of water with a vessel made of twelve Palas and a half of copper in the bottom of which there is to be a hole made with a tube of gold of the weight of four Māshas and four inches long. According to the Māgadha measure the vessel should hold a Prastha (or sixteen Palas) of water. Two of these Nādis make one Muhurta; thirty of which make one day and night. Thirty such periods constitute a month; twelve months make a year, or a day and night of the celestials; and three hundred and sixty such days, constitute a year of the celestials. An aggregate of four ages consists of twelve thousand divine years; and a thousand periods of four ages complete a day of Brahmā. That period is also termed a Kalpa during which fourteen Munis preside and at the end of it takes place the incidental or Brahmā dissolution. The nature of this dissolution is very dreadful; hear, I shall describe this as well as that which takes place as the elemental dissolution.

At the end of a thousand period of four ages the earth is for the most part exhausted. A total dearth takes place which lasts for a hundred years; and on account of the failure of food all beings become languid and exanimate and at last entirely die. The eternal Vishnu then takes the character of Rudra the destroyer and comes down to reunite all his creatures with himself. He enters into the seven rays of the sun, drinks up all the waters of the earth and causes all moisture, whatever in living bodies or in the soil to evaporate, thus drying up the whole earth. Thus fed with his intervention with profuse moisture, the seven solar rays dilate to seven suns, whose radiance glows above, below and on every side and sets the three worlds and Pātāla on fire. The three worlds, consumed by these suns, become rugged and deformed all over their mountains, rivers and seas; and the earth bare of verdure, and destitute of moisture alone remains resembling in appearance the back of a tortoise. Hari, the destroyer of all things, in the form of Rudra, who is the flame of time, becomes the scorching breath of the serpent Sesha and thereby reduces Pātāla to ashes. The great fire, when it has reduced all the divisions of Pātāla to ashes, proceeds to the earth and consumes it also. A vast whirlpool of eddying flame then spreads to the region of the atmosphere and the sphere of the celestials and wraps them in ruin. The three spheres shew like a frying pan amidst the surrounding flames that prey upon all movable and stationary things. O great saint, the inhabitants of the two upper spheres, having satisfied their respective duties and being assailed by the heat, repair to Maharloka. When that becomes heated its inhabitants, who after the full period of stay, are desirous of ascending to higher regions depart for the Janaloka.

Having consumed the whole universe in the person of Rudra, Janārddana, breathes fourth heavy clouds, and those called Samvartta resembling huge elephants in bulk overspread the sky, roaring and darting lightnings. Some are as white as the water-lily, some are dusky like smoke; some are yellow; some are of a dun colour, like that of an ass; some like ashes sprinkled on the forehead; some are deep blue, as the lapis lazuly; some azure like the sapphire; some are white at the couch or the jasmine; some are black as colly rum; some are like the lady-bird; some are of fierceness of red arsenic and some are like the wing of the painted joy. Such is the colour of these massy clouds; in form some resemble towns, some mountains, some are like houses and hovels and some are like columns. Huge in size and loud in thunder they fill space. Showering down torrents of water, those clouds quench the dreadful fires which involve the three worlds and then rain incessantly a hundred years and deluge the whole universe. Showering down in drops as large as dice these rains overspread the earth and fill the middle region and inundate the celestial sphere. The world is now enshrouded in darkness and all things animate and inanimate having perished, the clouds continue to pour down waters for more than a hundred years.


Parāçara said:—O great ascetic, the waters having reached the region of the seven Rishis the whole of three worlds becomes one ocean. The breath of Vishnu, thereupon, becomes a strong wind, which blows for more than a hundred years until all the clouds are dispersed. The wind is then re-absorbed and he, of whom all beings are made, the lord by whom all things exist, he, who is inconceivable, without beginning of the universe, reposes sleeping upon Sesha in the midst of the ocean. The creator Hari, sleeps upon the ocean in the form of Brahmā glorified by Sanaka and the saints who had departed to the Janaloka and contemplated by the holy inhabitants of Brahmaloka, anxious for final liberation—involved in mystic slumber, the celestial personification of his own illusions and meditating on his own ineffable spirit which is called Vāsudeva. This, O Majtreya, is the dissolution called incidental, because, Hari, in the form of Brahmā, sleeps there as its incidental cause.

When the universal spirit wakes, the world revives: when he clears his eyes, all things fall upon the bed of mystic sleep. In the same manner a thousand great eyes comprise a day of Brahmā so his night consists of the same period: during which the world is submerged by a vast ocean. Awaking at the end of his night the unborn Vishnu, in the character of Brahmā, creates the universe anew in the manner formerly described unto you. I have thus related to you the intermediate dissolution of the world taking place at the end of every Kalpa. I will now, O Maitreya, describe to you elemental dissolution. When by dearth and fire all the worlds and Patalas are dried up and the modification of Mahat and other products of nature are by the will of Krishna destroyed the progress of elemental dissolution is begun. At first the waters swallow up the property of earth which is the rudiment of smell; and earth, deprived of its property, proceeds to destruction. Devoid of the rudiment of odour the earth becomes identical with water. The water then being much increased roaring and rushing along fill up all space whether agitated or still. When the universe is thus pervaded by the waves of the watery element its rudimental flavour is licked up by the element of fire and on account of the destruction of these rudiments the waters themselves are destroyed. Devoid of the essential element of flavour they become identical with fire and the universe is therefore entirely filled with flame which drinks up the water on every side and gradually overspreads the whole of the world. While space is envelope in flame above, below and all around the element of the wind seizes upon the rudimental property or form which is the cause of light, and that being withdrawn, all becomes of the nature of air. The rudiment of form being destroyed and fire deprived of its rudiment, air extinguishes fire and spreads resistlessly over space which is deprived of when fire mages into air. Air then accompanied by sound which is the source of ether, extends everywhere throughout the ten regions of space until ether seizes upon contact, its rudimental property; by the loss of which air is destroyed and ether remains unchanged: devoid of form, flavour, touch and smell, it exists unembodied and vast and pervades the whole of space. Ether, whose characteristic property and rudiment is sound exists alone occupying all the vacuity of space. At then the radical element egotism devours sound and all the elements and faculties are at once merged into their original. This primary element is conscientiousness combined with the property of darkness and is itself swallowed up by Mahat whose characteristic property is intelligence; and earth and Mahat are the inner and outer boundaries of the universe. In this manner, as in the creation were the seven forms of nature (Prakriti) reckoned from Mahat to earth; so at the time of elemental dissolution these seven successively re-enter into each other. The egg of Brahmā is dissolved in the waters that surround it, with its seven zones, seven oceans, seven regions, and their mountains. The investure of water is drunk up by fire; the stratum of fire is absorbed by that of air: air blends itself with ether; the primary element of egotism devours the ether and is itself taken up by intellect, which, along with all those, is seized upon by nature. Equilibrium of the three properties, without excess or deficiency, is called nature (Prakriti), origin (Hetu), the chief Principle (Pradhāna) cause (Kārana), supreme (Param). This Prakriti is essentially the same, whether discrete or indiscrete; only that which is discrete finally is lost or absorbed in the indiscrete. Spirit also which is one, pure, imperishable, eternal, all-pervading is a portion of that supreme spirit which is all things. That spirit which is other than embodied spirit, in which there are no attributes of name, species or the like—which is one with all wisdom and is to be understood as sole existence, that is Brahmā, infinite glory, supreme spirit, supreme power, Vishnu, all that is from whence the perfect sage returns no more. Prakriti, which I have described to you as being essentially both discrete and indiscrete and spirit both resolve into spirit, supreme spirit is the upholder of all things and the ruler of all things and is glorified in the Vedas and in the Vedanta by the name of Vishnu.

Works as sanctioned by the Vedas are of two kinds, active and quiescent; by both of which the universal person is worshipped by mankind. He, the lord of sacrifice, the male of sacrifice, the most excellent Purusha, is worshipped by men in the active mode, by rites enjoined in the Rik, Yayur and Sama Vedas. The soul of wisdom, the person of wisdom, Vishnu, the giver of emancipation is worshipped by the sages in the quiescent form through meditative devotion. The exhaustless Vishnu is whatever thing that is designated by long, short or prolated syllables or that which is without a name. He is that which is dissolute or that which is indescrete: he is exhaustless spirit, supreme spirit, universal spirit, Hari, the assumer of universal forms. Nature, discrete or indiscrete is absorbed unto him, and spirit also merges into the all diffusive and unobstructed spirit. The period of two Parārdhas, as I have related to you, O Maitreya, constitutes a day of that powerful Vishnu, and whilst the products of nature are merged into this source, nature into spirit and that into the supreme, that period is called his night and is of equal duration with his day. But in reality, to that supreme spirit there is neither day nor night and these distinctions are only figuratively applied to the Almighty. I have thus explained to you the nature of elemental dissolution and will now explain to you which is final.


Parāçara said:—O Maitreya, having investigated kinds of worldly pain and having acquired true wisdom and detachment from worldly objects the wise man obtains final liberation. The first of the three pains, or Adhyatmika is of two kinds—physical and mental. Bodily pain, as you shall hear, is of many sorts. Affections of the head, catarrh, fever, cholic, fistula, spleen, hemorrhoids, intumescence, sickness, opthalmia, dysentary, leprosy, and many other diseases constitute physical affliction. Mental pains are love, anger, fear, hate, covetousness, stupefaction, despair, sorrow, malice, disdain, jealousy, envy and many other passions that are created in the mind. These and diverse other afflictions, mental or physical, are comprised under the class of worldly sufferings which is called Adhyatmika, The pain Adhibhautika, O excellent Brāhman, is every kind of evil that is inflicted upon men by beasts, birds, men, goblins, snakes, fiends, or reptiles and the pain that is called Adhidaivika or superhuman is the work of cold, heat, wind, rain, lightning and other phenomena. Affliction, O Maitreya, is multiplied in thousands of shapes in the progress of conception, birth, decay, disease, death and hell. The tender animal exists in the embryo surrounded by abundant filth, floating in water and distorted in its back, neck and bones; enduring severe pain even in the course of its development and disordered by the acid, bitter, pungent and saline articles of its mother’s food; incapable of extending or contracting its limbs, reposing amidst slime of ordure and urine; every way incommoded with conciousness and calling to memory many hundred previous births. Thus exists the embryo in profound affliction bound to the worlds by its former works.

When the child is about to be born, its face is besmeared by excrement, urine, blood, mucus, and semen; its attachment; to the uterus is ruptured by the Prajāpati wind: it is turned head downwards and violently expelled from the womb by the powerful and painful winds of parturition; and the infant, losing; for a time all sensation when brought in contact with the external air, is immediately deprived of its intellectual knowledge. Then born the child is tortured in every limb, as if pierced with thorns or cut to pieces with a saw, and falls from its fetid lodgement as from a sore, like a crawling thing upon the earth. Unable to feel itself, unable to turn itself, it is dependent on the will of others for being bathed and nourished. Laid upon a dirty bed, it is bitten by insects and mosquitoes and has not power to drive them away. Many are the pangs attending birth and many are those which succeed to birth; and many are the afflictions that are inflicted by elemental and superhuman powers in the state of childhood covered by the gloom of ignorance; and internally bewildered man knows not whence he is, who he is, whither he goeth nor what is his nature; by what bonds he is bound; what is cause and what is not cause; what is to be done and what is to be left undone; what is to be said and what is to be kept silent, what is righteousness and what is iniquity; in what it consists or how; what is right, what is wrong; what is virtue, what is vice. Thus man, like a brute beast addicted only to animal gratification, suffers the pain that ignorance brings about. Ignorance, darkness, inactivity influence those devoid of knowledge so that pious works are neglected; but hell is the consequence of neglect of religious acts, according to the great sages, and the ignorant therefore suffer affliction both in this world and in the next.

When old age comes in, the body is infirm, the limbs are relaxed; the face is emaciate and shrivelled; its skin is wrinkled and scantily covers the veins and sinews; the eyes discern not a far off, and the pupil gazes on vacuity: the nostrils are stuffed with hair; the trunk trembles as it moves; the bones appear beneath the surface; the back is bowed and the joints are bent; the digestive fire is extinct and there is little appetite and little vigour; walking, rising sitting, sleeping are all painful efforts; the ear is dull; the eye is dim; the mouth is disgusting with dribbling saliva; the senses no longer are obedient to the will; and as death approaches, the things that are perceived even are immediately forgotten. The utterance of a single sentence is fatiguing and wakefulness is perpetuated by difficult breathing, coughing and painful exhaustion. The old man is lifted up by some body else; he is an object of contempt to his servants, his children and his wife. Incapable of cleanliness, of amusement, or food, or desire, he is laughed at by his dependents, and disregarded by his kin; and dwelling on the exploits of his youth, as on the actions of a past life, he sighs deeply and is sorely distressed. Such are some of the pains to which old age is doomed. I will now describe to you the agonies of death.

The neck droops, the feet and hands are relaxed; the man is repeatedly exhausted, subdued and visited with interrupted knowledge; the principle of selfishness afflicts him and he thinks what will become of my wealth, my lands, my children, my wife, my servants, my house? The joints of his limbs are tortured with severe pains as if cut by a saw or as if they were pierced by the sharp arrows of the destroyer; he rolls his eyes and tosses about his hands and feet; his lips and palate are parched and dry and his throat obstructed by foul humours and deranged vital airs, emits a rattling sound; he is afflicted with burning heat, thirst and hunger: and he at last passes away tortured by the servants of the judge of the dead, to undergo a renewal of his sufferings in another body. These are the afflictions to which a man is doomed when he dies. I will now describe to you the tortures which they suffer in hell.

Men are bound, when they die, by the servants of the king of Tartarus, with cords, and beaten with their sticks and have then to encounter the fierce aspect of Yama and the horrors of their terrible route. In the different hells there are various intolerable tortures with burning sand, fire, machines, and weapons; some are severed with saws, some roasted in forges, some are chopped with axes, some buried in the ground, some are mounted on stakes, some cast to wild beasts to be devoured, some are gnawed by the vultures, some torn by tigers, some are boiled in oil, some rolled in caustic slime, some are precipitated from great heights, some are tossed upwards by engines. The number of punishments inflicted in hell, which are the consequences of sin, is infinite. But not in hell alone do the souls of the deceased undergo pain: there is no cessation even in heaven for its temporary inhabitant is even tormented with the prospect of descending to earth again. He is again liable to conception and to birth; he is merged again into the embryo and repairs to it when about to be born; then he dies, as soon as born, or in infancy, or in youth, or in manhood or in old age. Death sooner or later is inevitable. As long as he lives he is immersed in manifold afflictions, like the seed of the cotton amidst the down that is to be spun into thread. In acquiring, losing, and preserving wealth there are many griefs; and so there are in the misfortunes of our friends. Whatever is produced that is most acceptable to man; that, Maitreya, becomes a seed whence springs the tree of sorrow. Wife, children, servants, houses, lands, riches, contribute much more to the misery than to the happiness of mankind. Where could man, scorched by fires of the sun of this world, look for felicity, were it not for the shade afforded by the tree of emancipation? Attainment of the divine being is considered by the wise as the remedy of the three-fold class of ills that beset the different stages of life, conception, birth and decay, as characterised by that only happiness which effaces all other kinds of felicity however abundant, and as being absolute and final.

It should therefore be the assiduous endeavour of wise men to attain unto god. The means of such attainment are said, great Muni, to be knowledge and works. Knowledge is of two kinds, that which is derived from scripture, and that which is derived from reflection. Brahma that is the word is composed of scripture. Brahma that is supreme is produced of reflection, ignorance is utter darkness, in which knowledge, obtained through any sense, shines like a lamp; but the knowledge that is derived from reflection breaks upon the obscurity. What has been said by Manu, when appealing to the meaning of the Vedas with respect to this subject, I will repeat to you. There are two forms of spirit or god, the spirit, which is word, and spirit, which is supreme. He who is thoroughly imbued with the word of god obtains supreme spirit. The Atharva Veda also states that there are two kinds of knowledge; by the one, which is the supreme, god is attained: the other is that which consists of the Rik and other Vedas. That which is imperceptible, undecaying, inconceivable, unborn, inexhaustable, indescribable; which has neither form, nor hands nor feet; which is almighty, omnipresent, eternal; the cause of all things, and without cause, permeating all, itself unpenetrated, and from which all things proceed, that is the object which the wise behold, that is Brahma, that is the supreme state, that is the thing spoken of by the Vedas, the infinitely subtle, supreme condition of Vishnu. That essence of the supreme is defined by the term Bhagavat: the word Bhagavat is the denomination of that primeval and eternal God: and he who fully understands the meaning of that expression, is possessed of holy wisdom, the sum and substance of the three Vedas. The word Bhagavat is a convenient form to be used in the adoration of that supreme being, to whom no term is applicable; and therefore Bhagavat expresses that supreme spirit which is individual, almighty, and the cause of causes of all things. The letter Bh implies the cherisher and supporter of the universe. By ga is understood the leader, impeller, or creator. The dissyllable Bhaga indicate the six properties: dominion, might, glory, splendour, wisdom, and dispassion. The purport of the letter va is that elemental spirit in which all beings exist, and which exists in all beings. And thus this Great word Bhagavān is the name of Vāsudeva, who is one with the Supreme Brahma and of no one else. This word therefore, which is the general denomination of an adorable object, is not used in reference to the supreme in a general but a special signification. When applied to any other thing or person it is used in its customary or general import. In latter case it may purport one who knows the origin and end and revolutions of being and what is wisdom and what ignorance. In the former it denotes wisdom, energy, power, dominion, might, glory, without end and without defect.

The term Vāsudeva means that all beings abide in that supreme spirit and that he abides in all beings as was formerly explained by Kesidhwaja to Khāndikya called Janaka when he enquired of him an explanation of the name of the immortal Vāsudeva. He said “He dwelleth internally in all beings and all things dwell in him; and thence the lord Vāsudeva is the creator and preserver of the world. He though identical with all beings is beyond and separate from material nature, from its products, from properties and from imperfection; he is beyond all investing substance; he is universal soul; all the interstices of the universe are filled up by him; he is one with all good qualities; and all created beings are endowed with but a small portion of his individuality. Assuming at with various shapes he bestows benefits on the whole world, which was his work. Glory, might, dominion, wisdom, energy, power and other attributes are collected in him. Supreme of the supreme, in whom no imperfections abide, lord over finite and infinite, god in individuals and universals, visible and invisible, omnipotent, omnipresent, omnicient, almighty. The wisdom, perfect, pure, supreme, undefiled and one only by which he is conceived, contemplated and known, that is wisdom; all else is ignorance”.


Parāçara said:—The Purusottama is also known by holy study and devout meditation; and either, as the cause of attaining him, is entitled Brahma. From study let a man proceed to meditation and from meditation to study; by perfection in both supreme spirit becomes manifest. Study is one eye wherewith to behold it and meditation is the other: he who is identical with Brahma sees not with the eye of flesh.

Maitreya said:—”Revered preceptor, I am desirous to know what is meant by the term Yoga, by understanding which I may behold the supreme being, the upholder of the universe”.

Parāçara:—I will repeat to you, O Maitreya, the explanation formerly given by Kesidhwaja to the high-minded Khāndikya also called Janaka.

Maitreya: “Tell me, first. Brahman, who Khāndikya was, and who was Kesidhwaja; and how it happened that a conversation relating to the practice of Yoga occurred between them”.

Parāçara. There was Janaka named Dharmadhwaja who had two sons Amitadhwaja and Kritadhwaja; and the latter was a king ever devoted to the existent supreme spirit; his son was the celebrated Kesidhwaja. The son of Amitadhwaja was Janaka called Khāndikya. Khāndikya was diligent and celebrated on earth for pious observances. Kesidhwaja on the other hand was gifted with spiritual knowledge. These two were engaged in hostilities and Khāndikya was driven from his principality by Kesidhwaja. Expelled from his dominions he wandered with a few followers, his priest and his counsellors, amidst woods and mountains where destitute of true wisdom, he performed many sacrifices expecting thereby to obtain divine truth and to escape from death by ignorance.

Once on a time, while Kesidhwaja, the best of those who are skilled in devotion, was engaged in devout practices a fierce tiger slew his milch cow in the lonely forest. When the Raja heard that the cow had been killed he asked the ministering priests what sort of penance would expatiate the crime. They said that they did not know and referred him to Kaseru. And consulted by the king Kaseru told him that he did not know and Sunaka would be able to tell him. Accordingly the Raja went to Sunaka; but he said too. “I am as unable, O great king, to answer your question as Kaseru has been; there is no one on earth who can give you the information except your enemy Khāndikya, whom you have vanquished”.

Being thus accosted Kesidhwaja said:—”I will go then and pay a visit to my enemy; no matter, if he kill me, for I shall then obtain the reward that attends being slain in a holy cause; whereas if on the other hand he tells me what penance to perform then my sacrifice will be unimpaired in efficacy”. Accordingly he ascended his car, having clothed himself in the deerskin and went to the forest where the wise Khāndikya lived. When Khāndikya saw him approach his eyes reddened with ire and he took up his bow and said to him “You have armed yourself with deerskin to bring about my destruction thinking that in such a dress you will be safe from me; but fool, the deer upon whose backs this skin is seen are slain by you and me with sharp arrows so I will slay you; you shall not go free whilst I am living. You are an unprincipled felon, who have robbed me of my kingdom and are deserving of death”. To this Kesidhwaja replied: “I have come here Khāndikya, to consult you about my doubts and not with any hostile intention; lay aside therefore both your arrow and anger”. Thus addressed Khāndikya retired for a while, with his counsellors and his priest and consulted with them what course to adopt. They strongly urged him to slay Kesidhwaja who was in his grasp and by whose death he would again become the monarch of the whole world. Khāndikya replied to them: “It is undoubtedly true that by such an act I would become the monarch of the whole world but he would thereby conquer the next world: whilst the earth would be mine. And if I do not slay him I shall conquer the world to come and leave him this earth. It appears to me that this world is not so much valuable as the next: for the subjugation of the next world continues for ever while the conquest over this is but temporary. I will therefore not kill him but tell him what he wishes to know”.

Coming accordingly to Kesidhwaja, Khāndikya asked him to propose his question which he promised to answer. And Kesidhwaja related to him what had taken place, that death of the cow and desired to know what penance be should perform. Khāndikya, in reply, explained to him fully the expiation that was suited to the occasion; and then with his permission Kesidhwaja returned to the place of sacrifice and regularly fulfilled every necessary act. Having completed the ceremony with its supplementary rites Kesidhwaja accomplished all his objects: but he then reflected thus “The priests whom I invited to attend have all been duly honoured; all those who had any request to make have been pleased with my complying with their desires; all that is proper for this world has been effected by me; why then my mind should feel as if my duty had been unfulfilled”. Thinking this he remembered that he had not presented to Khāndikya the gift that it is proper to offer to a spiritual preceptor and mounting his chariot he immediately started for the dense forest where the sage resided. Upon his reappearance Khāndikya took up arms to slay him; but Kesidhwaja exclaimed “Forbear, venerable sage; I have not come hither injure you; throw off your wrath, Khāndikya, know that I have come here to offer you that present which is due to you as my instructor. Through your lesson I have fully completed my sacrifice and I am therefore desirous to give you a gift. Demand what it shall be”.

Having once more consulted his counsellors, Khāndikya told them the purpose of his rival’s visit and asked them what he should demand. His friends recommended him to take back his whole kingdom for prudent men acquire them without conflicting hosts. The king Khāndikya reflecting laughed and said to them “Why should a person like me be desirous of a temporary earthly kingdom? Indeed you are very good advisers as regards the present worldly affairs—but you are undoubtedly ignorant of the life to come”. Saying this he returned to Kesidhwaja and said to him “Is it true that you wish to make me a gift as to your preceptor?” “Indeed I do” answered Kesidhwaja. Whereto Khāndikya replied “Then, as it is known that you are learned in the spiritual learning that teaches the doctrine of the soul, if you will communicate that knowledge unto me you will have discharged your debt to your preceptor. Communicate unto me what acts are efficacious for the alleviation of human sufferings”.


Kesidhwaja said “But why have you not demanded of me my kingdom free from all troubles; what else save dominion is acceptable to the warrior?” Whereto Khāndikya replied “I will tell you why I did not make such a demand nor require that territory which is an object of ignorant ambition. It is the duty of the warrior to protect his subjects in peace and to kill in fight the enemies of his way. It is no fault that you should have taken my kingdom from one who was unable to defend it, to whom it was a bondage and who was thus freed from the incumbrance of ignorance. My desire of dominion originated from my being born to possess it; the ambition of others which proceeds from human frailties, is not compatible with virtue. To solicit gift is not the duty of a prince and warrior. It is for this reason I have not demanded of you the kingdom, a request which is the outcome of ignorance. Those only, who are ignorant, whose minds are attached to selfishness and who are intoxicated with the liquor of self-sufficiency, desire kingdoms; not such as I am”.

Parāçara said:—Being greatly delighted, the king Kesidhwaja praised Khāndikya and said to him affectionately “Listen to my words. Through the desire of escaping death by the ignorance of works I exercise the regal power, celebrate various sacrifices and enjoy pleasures subversive of purity. Fortunate it is for you that your mind has attached itself to the dominion of discrimination. Pride of your race now listen to the real nature of ignorance. The mistaken notion that self consists in what is not self and that property consists in what is not one’s own constitute the double seed of the tree of ignorance. The ill judging embodied being, bewildered by the darkness of fascination situated in a body composed of five elements, loudly asserts ‘This is I’ but who would ascribe spiritual individuality to a body in which soil is distinct from ether, air, fire, water and earth. What man of understanding assigns to disembodied spirit corporeal fruition or what lands, houses and the like that it should say, ‘These are mine?’ What wise man entertains the idea of property in sons or grandsons begotten of the body after the spirit has abandoned it? Man performs all acts for the purpose of bodily fruition and the consequence of such acts is another body; so that their result is nothing but confinement to bodily existence. In the same manner as a mansion of clay is plastered with clay and water, so the body which of earth is perpetuated by earth and water. The body consisting of five elements is nourished by substances equally composed of those elements; but since this is the case, what is there in this life that man should be proud of? Travelling the path of the world for many thousands of births, man attains only the weariness of bewilderment and is smothered by the dust of imagination. When that dust is washed away by the bland water of real knowledge, then the weariness of bewilderment, sustained by the wayfarer through repeated births, is removed. When that weariness is relieved the internal man is at peace and he obtains that supreme felicity which is unequalled and undisturbed. This soul is pure and composed of wisdom and happiness. The properties of pain, ignorance and impurity are those of nature and not of soul. O Muni, there is no affinity between fire and water but when the latter is placed over the former in a cauldron, it bubbles and boils and exhibits the properties of fire. In the same manner when soul is associated with Prakriti it is vitiated by egotism and the rest and assumes the qualities of grosser nature although essentially distinct from them and compatible. Such is the seed of ignorance as I have explained it to you: there is but one remedy for earthly sorrows—the practice of devotion; no other is known”.

Thereupon Khandikya said:—”Do you then the foremost of those versed in contemplative devotion explain to me what that is, for in the race of the descendants of Nimi you are best acquainted with the sacred writings in which it is taught”. Whereto Kesidhwaja replied: “Hear the account of the nature of contemplative devotion, which I am imparting to you and by perfection in which the sage attains resolution into Brahma and never suffers birth again. The mind of man is the cause both of his bondage and his liberation its addiction to the objects of sense is the means of his bondage; its separation from objects of sense is the means of his liberation. The sage, who is capable of discriminative knowledge, must therefore restrain his mind from all objects of sense and therewith meditate upon the supreme being, who is identical with spirit, in order to obtain liberation; for that supreme spirit attracts to itself him who meditates upon it, and who is of the same nature, as the lodestone attracts the iron by the virtue which is common to itself and to its products. Contemplative devotion is the union with Brahma effected by that condition of mind which has attained perfection through those exercises which complete the control of self; and he, whose contemplative devotion is characterised by the property of such absolute perfection, is in truth, O sage, expectant of final liberation from the world.

“The Yogi, when he first gives himself up to the practice of contemplative devotion, is called the novice or practitioner; when he has attained spiritual union, he is called the adept or he whose meditations are accomplished. Should the thoughts of the former be unvitiated by any obstructing imperfection, he will obtain freedom after practising devotion through several lives. The latter speedily obtains liberation in that existence, all his acts being consumed by the fire of contemplative devotion. The sage, who would bring his mind into a proper state for the performance of devout contemplation, must be devoid of desire and observe invariably continence, compassion, truth, honesty, and disinterestedness; he must fix his mind upon the supreme Brahma, practising holy study, purification, contentment, penance and self-control. These virtues, respectively termed the five acts of restraint and five of obligation bestow excellent rewards when practised for the sake of reward and eternal liberation and when they are not prompted by the desire of transient benefits. Endowed with these merits, the sage, self-restrained, should sit in one of the modes termed Bhadrāsana and engage in contemplation. Bringing his vital airs called Prāna under subjection, by frequent repetition is thence called Prānāyāma which is, as it were, a seed with a seed. In this, the breath of expiration and that of inspiration are alternately obstructed constituting the act two-fold; and the suppression of both modes of breathing produces a third. The exercise, of yogi, whilst endeavouring to bring before his thoughts the gross form of the eternal, is denominated Alambana. He is then to perform Pratyāhāra, which consists in restraining his organs of sense from susceptibility to outward impressions, and directing them entirely to mental perceptions. By these means the entire subjugation of the unsteady senses is effected: and if they are not controlled the sage will not accomplish his devotions. When by the Prānāyāma the vital airs are restrained and the senses are subjugated by Pratyāhāra then the sage will be able to keep his mind steady in its perfect asylum”.

Khāndikya then said to Kesidhwaja “Illustrious sage, inform me what is that perfect asylum of the mind resting on which it destroys all the products of human infirmity”. To this Keshidhwaja replied. “The asylum of mind is Brahma, which, of its own nature, is two-fold; as being with or without form; and each of these, is supreme and secondary. Apprehension of Brahma or spirit is again three-fold. I will explain the different kinds to you, they are that which is called Brahma, that which is named from works, and that which comprehends both is the third. So that mental apprehension is three-fold. Sanandana and other were endowed with the apprehension of the nature of Brahma. The celestials and others whether animate or inanimate are possessed of that which regards acts. The apprehension, that comprehends both works and spirit, exists in Hiranyagarbha and others, who are possessed of contemplative knowledge of their own nature and who also exercise certain active functions as creation and the rest. Until all acts, which are the causes of notions of individuality, are discontinued, spirit is one thing and universe is another, to those who contemplate objects as distinct and various; but that is called true knowledge or knowledge of Brahma which recognises no distinctions, which contemplates only simple existence which is undefinable by words and is to be discovered solely in one’s own spirit. That is the supreme unborn, imperishable form of Vishnu, who is without form and characterised as a condition of the supreme soul, which is variously modified from the condition of universal form. The sages, in the early stage, cannot perceive this form so they must direct their minds to the gross form of Hari, which is of universal perceptibility. They must meditate upon him as Hiranyagarbha, as the glorious Vāsava, as Prajāpati, as the winds, the Vasus, the Rudras, the suns, stars, planets, Gandharvas, Yakshas, Daityas, all the celestials, and their progenitors, men, animals, mountains, oceans, rivers, trees, all beings and all sources of beings, all modifications of natures, and its products, whether sentient of unconscious, one-footed, two-footed, or many-footed; all these are the sensible form of Hari, to be apprehended by three kinds of apprehension. All this universal world, this world of moving and stationary beings is pervaded by the energy of Vishnu, who is of the nature of supreme Brahma. This energy is supreme, or when it is that of conscious embodied spirit it is secondary. Ignorance, or that which is denominated from works, is a third energy; by which the omnipresent energy of embodied spirit is ever excited and whence it suffers all the pains of repeated worldly existence. Obscured by that energy, the energy that is denominated from embodied spirit, is characterised by different degrees of perfection in all created beings. In inanimate things it exists in a very small degree; it is more in things that have life, but are (without motion); in insects it is still more abundant, and still more in birds: it is more in wild animals and in domestic animals the faculty is still greater: men have more of this faculty than animals, and thence arises their authority over them; the faculty exists in a supreme degree in Nāgas, Gandharvas, Yakshas, celestials, Sakra, Prajāpati and Hiranyagarbha; and is above ail predominant in that male (Vishnu) of whom all these various creatures are but the diversified forms, permeated universally by his energy, as all-pervading as the other.

“That state of Vishnu, which is without form, is to be meditated upon by the sages and this imperceptible and shapeless form of Brahma is called by the wise ‘that which is’ and in which all the energies, described before, reside. O lord of men, from this state of Vishnu and which is formless, proceeds his universal form and other great form and other forms endowed with his diverse energies. For the behoof of the universe he assumes various forms, that of the celestial, birds and men—but he is never born being influenced by his pristine actions; he is all-comprehending and irresistible. This universal form of his is to be meditated upon by the sage for the purpose of purification for it washes away all sins. As the fire, combined with wind, consumes twigs with its increased flame, so this form of Vishnu, when meditated upon by the sage in his heart, destroys all sins. Let us therefore fix our mind resolutely upon him who is the asylum of three fold energies and this is the operation of the mind which is called perfect Dhāranā: and thus the perfect asylum of individual as well as universal spirit, that which beyond the three modes of apprehension, is attained for the eternal emancipation of the sage. O foremost of men, the gods and others who rest in the minds are impure and spring from acts. The apprehension by the mild, of that visible form of Vishnu without regard to subsidiary forms is thence called Dhāranā and I will now describe to you the perceptible form of Hari which no mental retention will manifest except in a mind that is fit to become the receptacle of the idea. The meditating sage must think of Vishnu as having a delightful and lovely countenance with eyes like the leaf of the lotus, smooth cheeks, and a broad and brilliant forehead; ears of equal size, the lobes of which are embellished with splendid pendants, a painted neck and a broad breast on which shines the mystic mark of Sribatsa; a belly falling in graceful fold, with a deep-seated navel; eight long arms or else four; and firm and well knit thighs and legs, with well-formed feet and toes. Let him, with well-governed thoughts, contemplate, as long as he can persevere with undivided attention, Hari as clad in a yellow raiment, wearing a rich diadem on his head and brilliant armlets and bracelets on his arms and bearing in his hands, the bow, the shell, the mace, the sword, the discus, the rosary, the lotus and the arrow. The Yogi may believe his retention to be perfect when this image never vanishes from his mind, whether he be going or standing, or be engaged in any other voluntary act. The sage may then meditate upon the form of Vishnu without his arms as the shell, mace, discus and bow and as placid and bearing only his rosary. When the idea of this image is firmly retained, then he may meditate on Vishnu without his diadem, bracelets or other ornaments. He may next contemplate him as having but one single limb and may then fix his whole thoughts upon the body to which the limbs belong. The process of forming a lively image in the mind exclusive of all other objects, constitutes Dhyāna, or meditation, which is perfected by six stages and when an accurate knowledge of self, free from all distinction, is attained by this mental meditation that, is termed Samadhi.

“After accomplishing this stage the Yogi acquires discriminative knowledge, which is the means of enabling living soul when all the three kinds of apprehension are destroyed to attain the attainable supreme being. Embodied spirit is the user of the instrument, which instrument is true knowledge; and by it that identification of the former is attained. Liberation which is the object to be effected being accomplished discriminative knowledge ceases. When endowed with the apprehension of the nature of the object of enquiry, then there is no difference between the individual and supreme spirit; difference is the outcome of the absence of true knowledge. When that ignorance which is the cause of the difference between the individual and universal spirit b destroyed finally and for ever who shall ever make that distinction between them which does not exist? Thus I have, O Khāndikya, in reply to your question, explained to you what is meant by contemplative devotion both fully and summarily. What else do you wish to hear?”

Khāndikya replied to Keshidhwaja and said:—”The explanation that has been given by you of the real nature of contemplative devotion, has satisfied all my wishes and removed all impurity from my mind. The expression ‘mine’ that I have been accustomed to use is untruth and cannot be otherwise declared by those who know what is to be known. The words ‘I’ and ‘mine’ constitute ignorance; but practice is influenced by ignorance. Supreme truth cannot be defined for it is not to be explained by words. Depart, therefore, Keshidwaja; you have done all that is necessary for my real happiness, in teaching me contemplative devotion, the exhaustible bestower of liberation from existence”.

After receiving becoming homage from Khāndikya, Keshidhwaja came back to his capital. And having made his son Raja he repaired to woods to accomplish his devotions, his whole mind being intent on Govinda. His whole mind being devoted to one object only and being purified by the practice of self-restraint, self-control and the rest he obtained absorption into the pure and perfect spirit which is termed Vishnu. And in order to obtain liberation Keshidhwaja became averse from his own perishable works and lived amidst objects of sense and practised religious rites without expecting any benefit therefrom. Being freed from ail sins by pure and auspicious fruition he obtained that perfection which removes all miseries.


Parāçara said:—I have thus explained to you the third kind of worldly dissolution, that which is absolute and final which is liberation and resolution into eternal spirit. I have related unto you the primary and secondary creation, the families of patriarchs, the periods of the Manwantaras and the genealogical histories of the kings. I have described briefly to you, who were desirous of hearing it, the imperishable Vaishnava Purāna which destroys all sins, the most excellent of all sacred writings and the means of attaining the great end of man. If you have any thing else to ask, put the question and I will answer it.

Maitkeya said:—”Holy preceptor, you have indeed said unto me all I wished to know and I listened to it with devoted attention. O great saint, all my doubts have been removed and my heart has been purified. By thy favour, I have been acquainted with the account of creation, preservation and destruction. I have also learnt from you of Vishnu in his collective fourfold form; his three energies; and the three modes of apprehending the object of contemplation. By thy favour I have acquired a thorough knowledge of all this and there is nothing else worthy to be known when it is once understood that Vishnu and his world are not mutually distinct. By your kindness, O great Muni, you have removed all my doubts since you have instructed in the duties of the several tribes and in other deities; the nature of active life and discontinuance of action and derivation of all that exists from works. And I have nothing else to enquire of you, O Venerable Brahmin; and pardon me, if by answering to my questions you have been fatigued in any way. Pardon me for the trouble I have given you through that amiable quality of the virtuous which makes no distinction between a disciple and a child”.

Parāçara said:—I have related to you this Purāna which is equally as sacred as the Vedas by hearing which all sins are expatiated. In this, have been described to you the primary and secondary creation, the families of the patriarchs, the Manwantaras, the regal dynasties; the celestials, Daityas, Gandharvas, serpents, Rākshasas, Yakshas, Vidhyidharas, Siddhas, and heavenly nymphs; ascetics, endowed with spiritual wisdom and practisers of devotion, the distinctions of four castes, and the actions of the most eminent amongst men; holy places on the earth, holy rivers and oceans, sacred mountains, and legends of the truly wise, the deities of the different tribes and observances enjoined in the Vedas. By hearing this, all sins are obliterated. In this also the glorious Hari has been revealed the cause of the creation, preservation and destruction of the world; the soul of all things and himself all things; by the repetition of whose name man is freed from all sins which fly to the wolves that are frightened by a lion. The repetition of his name with devout faith is the best remover of all sins, destroying them as fire purifies the metal from the dross. By the mere recollection of the name of Hari all the stains of Kali Yuga are removed and piety is increased. That Hari, who is all existing things, who is Hiranyagarbha, Indra, Rudra, the Adityas, the Aswins, the winds, the Kinnaras, the Vasus, the Sādhyas, Viswadevas the celestials, the Yakshas, serpents, Kikshasas, the Sidhas; Daityas, Gandharyas, Dānavas, nymphs, the stars, asterism, planets, the seven Rishis, the regents and warders of the quarters, men, Brāhmans and the rest, animals tame and wild, insects, birds, ghosts and goblins, trees, mountains, woods, rivers, oceans, legions living underneath the earth, the divisions of the earth and all perceptible object—he who is identical with all things, who knoweth all things, who is the form of all things being himself without form and who is everything from the mount Meru to an atom, he the glorious Vishnu and the destroyer of all sins, is described in this Purāna. The reward, which one obtains by hearing this Purāna, is equal to that obtained by the performance of a horse-sacrifice or by fasting at the holy places of Pryaga, Pushkara, Kurukshetra or Arbuda, Hearing this Purāna once only is as efficacious as offering oblations in a perpetual fire for one year.

The man, who having controlled his passions, bathes at Mathurā on the twelfth day of the month of Jyeshtha and beholds the image of Hari, obtains a great reward and so does he who with his mind devoted to Kesava, recites this Purāna. The man, who bathes in the river Jamunā, on the twelfth lunation of the light fortnight of the month in which the moon is in the mansion Jyeshtha, and who fasts and worships Achyuta in the city of Mathurā, receives the recompense of an uninterrupted horse-sacrifice. Beholding the ancestors of some eminent amongst men, attaining prosperity by the pious observances of their descendants, another man’s parents and their parents exclaim, “If any of our descendants, having bathed in the Jamunā and fasted, worships Govinda in Mathurā, in the light fortnight of Jyestha, he will secure for us an elevated position”. Having worshipped Janārddana in the light fortnight of Jyeshtha a man of good birth will offer cakes to his fortunate ancestors in the Yamunā. By reading with devotion one section of this Purāna one can acquire the same merit which he will reap by bathing in the Yamunā during the light fortnight of Jyeshtha, by giving gifts to the manes and worshipping Janārddana with a devoted merit. Those who have fallen into the ocean of worldliness and been stricken with terror, may be liberated by reading this Purāna which frees one from bad dreams and imperfections.

This Purāna was originally composed by the Rishi Nārāyana and was communicated by Brahmā to Ribhu; he described it to Pryabrata who again related it to Bhāguri. Bhāguri recited it to Tambamitra, and he to Dadicha, who gave it to Sāraswata. Bhrigu received it, who imparted it to Purukutsa and he taught it to Narmadā, The goddess gave it to the Nāga King, Dhritarashtra and to Purāna of the same race, by whom it was given to their king Vāsuki. He imparted it to Vatsa and he to Ashawtara from whom it successively proceeded the Kambala and Elapatra. When the ascetic Vedasiras descended to Pātāla, he there received the whole Purāna from the Nāgas and communicated it to Pramati. Pramati imparted it to the wise Jātukarna and he taught it to many other holy persons. By the blessing of Vasistha I have been acquainted with it and I have faithfully related it to you. O Maitreya, you will teach it at the end of the Kali age to Samika. Whoever hears this great mystery which removes the stain of Kali shall be freed from his sins. He who hears this every day acquits himself of his obligations to his manes, celestials and men. Hearing ten chapters of this Purāna one obtains the rare and great merit that a man acquires by the gift of a brown cow. He who hears the whole of this Purāna meditating on his mind, Achyuta, who is all things and of whom all things are made, who is the stay of the whole universe—the asylum of spirit; who is knowledge and that which is to be known; who is without beginning or end and the benefactor of the celestials—certainly obtains the reward which can be acquired by the uninterrupted celebration of the horse-sacrifice. He who recites and retains with faith this Purāna in the beginning, middle and end of which is described the glorious Achyuta, the lord of the universe in every stage—the master of all that is stationary or movable composed of spiritual knowledge acquires such purity as exists not in any world the eternal state of perfection which is Hari. The man who fixes his mind on Achyuta does not go to hell; he who meditates upon him considers even celestial bliss as an impediment; he, in whose mind he abides, thinks little of the region of Brahmā; for when present in the minds of those who are pure, he bestows upon them eternal freedom. What wonder is there that all sins shall be removed by chanting the name of this Vishnu? What else should be heard of but that Hari, whom, those devoted to acts worship with sacrifices continually as the god of sacrifice; whom those devoted to meditation contemplate as primary and secondary; composed of spirit; by obtaining whom man is not born, nor nourished nor subjected to death; who is both cause and effect; who as the progenitors receives the libations made to them; who, as the gods, accepts the offerings addressed to them, the glorious being who is without beginning or end; whose name is both Swāhā and Swadhā; who is the asylum of all spiritual power; in whom the limits of finite, things cannot be measured, and who, when he enters the ear destroys all sin.

Salutation unto the first of gods, Purusottama who is without end and beginning, without growth and decay and death, who is substance that knows no change. Salutation unto that undecaying Purusha, Vishnu who assumed sensible qualities, who though pure became as if impure, assuming various shapes, who is gifted with divine wisdom and who is the lord of the preservation of all creatures. Salutation unto him who is the instrument of meditative wisdom and active virtue, who confers enjoyments upon human beings; who is identical with three-fold qualities; who is without any change and is the cause of the evolution of the world and who is without any birth or decay. Salutations unto him who is called heaven, air, fire, water, earth and who confers all objects that satisfy sense, who benefits mankind, and who is perceptible, subtle, and imperceptible. May that unborn eternal Hari, who is seen in manifold forms, whose essence consists of both nature and spirit, confer humanity that blessed condition which is without birth or decay.










Rector, Keshub Academy;

Author of the English Translations of the Srimadbhagavatam, Mahabharata, Bhagavat-Gita and other works.



Elysium Press 65/2 Beadon Street. 1896


That Purāna in which Parāsara, beginning with the events of Varāha Kalpa, expounds all duties, is called Vaishnava and is said to consist of twenty-three thousand stanzas. But the actual number of verses falls far short of the enumeration of the Matsya and the Bhagavata. Vishnu Purānam consists of all the characteristics of the Purāna, namely, five specified topics and has been divided into six books.

In this translation of Vishnupurānam I have principally drawn upon Professor H. H. Wilson’s splendid work, and have tried, as best as lies in my power, to interpret the ancient thought entombed in this great work. My work is not so much intended for scholars as for the general readers who have not the time and leisure to read the original. Professor Wilson’s book is very costly and cannot be always procured by the readers; and in the face of this difficulty I hope my edition will not be unwelcome to the general public.


September 1894



Section I.—Invocation. Maitreya inquires of his teacher Parāçara, the origin and nature of the universe. Parāçara performs a rite to destroy the demons; reproved by Vasishtha, he desists; Pulastya appears, and bestows upon him divine knowledge; he repeats the Vishnu Purāna, Vishnu the origin, existence, and end of all things.

Section II.—Prayer of Parāçara to Vishnu. Successive narration of the Vishnupurana. Explanation of Vasudeva; his existence before creation; his first manifestations. Description of Pradhana or the chief principle of things. Cosmogony. Of Prakrita or material creation; of time; of the active cause. Development of effects; Mahat; Ahankara; Tanmatras; elements; objects of sense; senses; of the mundane egg. Vishnu the same as Brahmā the creator; Vishnu the preserver; Rudra the destroyer.

Section III.—Measure of time, Moments or Kastha’s, &c., day and fortnight, month, year, divine year; Yugas or ages; Mahajuga, or great age; day of Brahmā; periods of the Manus; a Manwantara; night of Brahmā, and destruction of the world; a year of Brahmā, his life; a Kalpa; Parardha; the past or Padma Kalpa the present or Varaha.

Section IV.—Nārāyana’s appearance, in the beginning of the Kalpa, as the Varaha or Boar; Prīthivi addresses him; he raises the world from beneath the waters; hymned by Sanandana and the Yogis. The earth floats on the ocean; divided into seven zones. The lower spheres of the universe restored. Creation renewed.

Section V.—Vishnu as Brahmā creates the world. General characteristics of creation. Brahmā meditates, and gives origin to immovable things, animals, gods, men. Specific creation of nine kinds; Mahat, Tanmatra, Aindriya, inanimate objects, animals, gods, men, Anugraha Kaumara. More particular account of creation. Origin of different orders of beings from Brahmā’s body under different conditions; and of the Vedas from his mouths. All things created again as they existed in a former Kalpa.

Section VI.—Origin of the four castes; their primitive state. Progress of Society. Different kinds of grain. Efficacy of sacrifice. Duties of men; regions assigned them after death.

Section VII.—Creation continued. Production of the mind-born sons of Brahmā; of the Prajāpatis; of Sanandana and others; of Rudra and the eleven Rudras; of the Manu Swayambhuva, and his wife Satarupa; of their children. The daughters of Daksha, and their marriage to Dharma and others. The progeny of Dharma and Adharma. The perpetual succession of worlds, and different modes of mundane dissolution.

Section VIII.—Origin of the Rudra; his becoming eight Rudras; their wives and children. The posterity of Bhrigu. Account of Sri in conjunction with Vishnu. (Sacrifice of Daksha).

Section IX.—Legend of Lakshmi, Durvasa gives a garland to Indra; he treats it disrespectfully, and is cursed by the Muni. The power of the gods impaired; they are oppressed by the Dānavas, and have recourse to Vishnu. The churning of the ocean. Praises of Sri.

Section X.—The descendants of the daughters of Daksha married to the Rishis.

Section XI.—Legend of Dhruva, the son of Uttanpada; he is unkindly treated by his father’s second wife; applies to his mother; her advice; he resolves to engage in religious exercises; sees the seven Rishis, who recommend him to propitiate Vishnu.

Section XII.—Dhruva commences a course of religious austerities. Unsuccessful attempts of Indra and ministers to distract Dhruva’s attention; they appeal to Vishnu, who allays their fears and appears to Dhruva. Dhruva praises Vishnu, and is raised to the skies as the pole-star.

Section XIII.—Posterity of Dhruva. Legend of Vena; his impiety, he is put to death by the Rishis. Anarchy ensues. The production of Nishad and Prithu; the latter the first king. The origin of Suta and Magadha they enumerate the duties of kings. Prithu compels Earth to acknowledge his authority; he levels it; introduces cultivations; erects cities. Earth called after him Prithivi; typified as a cow.

Section XIV.—Descendants of Prithu. Legend of the Prachetas they are desired by their father to multiply mankind by worshipping Vishnu; they plunge into the sea, and meditate on and praise him; he appears and grants their wishes.

Section XV.—The world overrun with trees; they are destroyed by the Prachetasas. Soma pacifies them, and gives them Marisha to wife; her story; the daughter of nymph Pramlocha. Legend of Kandu, Marisha’s former history. Daksha the son of the Prachetasas; his different characters; his sons; his daughters; their marriage and progeny allusion to Prahlāda, his descendant.

Section XVI.—Inquiries of Maitreya respecting the history of Prahlāda.

Section XVII.—Legend of Prahlāda. Hiranyakashipu, the sovereign of the universe; the gods dispersed, or in servitude to him; Prahlāda, his son remains devoted to Vishnu; questioned by his father, he praises Vishnu; Hiranyakashipu orders him to be put to death, but in vain; his repeated deliverance; he teaches his companions to adore Vishnu.

Section XVIII.—Hiranyakashipu’s reiterated attempts to destroy his son; their being always frustrated.

Section XIX.—Dialogue between Prahlāda and his father; he is cast from the top of the palace unhurt; baffles the incantation of Samvara; he is thrown fettered into the sea; he praises Vishnu.

Section XX.—Vishnu appears to Prahlāda. Hiranyakashipu relents and is reconciled to his son; he is put to death by Vishnu as the Nrisingha, Prahlāda becomes king of the Daityas; his posterity; fruit of hearing the story.

Section XXI.—Families of the Daityas. Descendants of Kasyapa by Danu. Children of Kasyapa by his other wives. Birth of the Mārutas, the sons of of Diti.

Section XXII.—Dominion over different provinces of creation assigned to different beings. Universality of Vishnu. Four varieties of spiritual contemplation. Two conditions of spirit. The perceptible attributes of Vishnu; types of his imperceptible properties. Vishnu everything. Merit of hearing the first book of the Vishnu Purana.


Section I.—Descendants of Priyavrata, the eldest son of Swayambhuva Manu; his ten sons; three adopt a religious life; the others become kings of seven Dwipas, or isles, of the earth. Agnidhras, king of Jambu-dwipa divides it into nine portions, which he distributes amongst his sons, Nabhi king of the south succeeded by Bharata; India named after him Bhārata; his descendants reign during the Swayambhuva Manwantara.

Section II.—Description of the earth. The seven Dwipas and seven seas Jambu-dwipa. Mount Meru; its existence and boundaries. Extent of Illavrita. Groves, lakes, and branches of Meru. Cities of the Gods. Rivers. The forms of Vishnu worshipped in different Varthas.

Section III.—Description of Bharata-Varsha; extent; chief mountains; nine divisions; principal nations; superiority over other Varshasi especially as the seat of religious acts.

Section IV.—Account of kings, divisions, mountains, rivers, and inhabitants of the other Dwipas viz. Plaksha, Silmala, Kusa, Krauneba, Sāka, and Pushkara; of the oceans separating them; of the tides; the confines of the earth; the Lokaloka Mountain. Extent of the whole.

Section V.—Of the regions of Patala, below the earth. Nārada’s praises of Patala. Account of the serpent Sesha. First teacher of astronomy and astrology.

Section VI.—Of the different hells, or divisions of Naraka, below Patala; the crimes punished in them respectively; efficacy of expiation; meditation on Vishnu the most effective expiation.

Section VII.—Extent and situation of the seven spheres viz., earth, sky, planets, Moharloka, Janaloka, Tapoloka, and Satyaloka. Of the egg of Brahmā and its elementary envelopes. Of the influence of the energy of Vishnu.

Section VII.—Description of the Sun; his chariot; its two axles; his horses. The cities of the regents of the cardinal points. The Sun’s course; nature of his rays; his path along the ecliptic. Length of day and night. Divisions of time; equinoxes and solstices, months, years, the cyclical yuga, or age of five years. Northern and southern declinations. Saints on the Lokaloka mountain. Celestial paths of the Pitris, gods, Vishnu. Origin of the Ganga, and separation, on the top of Meru into four great rivers.

Section IX.—Planetary system, under the type of a Sisumara or porpoise. The earth nourished by the Sun. Of rain whilst the Sun shines. Of rain from clouds. Rain the support of vegetation, and thence of animal life. Nārāyana the support of all beings.

Section X.—Names of the twelve Adityas. Names of the Rishis, Gandharvas, Apsaras, Yakshas, Uragas, and Rākshasas, who attend the chariot of the sun in each month of the year. Their respective functions.

Section XI.—The sun distinct from, and supreme over, the attendance on his car; identical with the three Vedas and with Vishnu; his functions.

Section XII.—Description of the Moon; his chariot, horses, and course, fed by the Sun; drained periodically of ambrosia by the progenitors and gods. The chariots and horses of the planets; kept in their orbits by aerial chains attached to Dhruva. Tropical members of the planetary porpoise. Vasudeva alone real.

Section XIII.—Legend of Bharata. Bharata abdicates his throne and becomes an ascetic; cherishes a fawn, and becomes so much attached to it as to neglect his devotions; he dies; his successive births; works in the fields and is pressed as a palanquin-bearer for the Raja of Sauvira; rebuked for his awkwardness; his reply; dialogue between him and the king.

Section XIV.—Dialogue continued, Bharata expounds the nature of existence, the end of life, and the identification of individual with universal spirit.

Section XV.—Bharata relates the story of Ribhu and Nidagha, the latter, the pupil of the former, becomes a prince, and is visited by his preceptor, who explains to him the principles unity and departs.

Section XVI.—Ribhu returns to his disciple, and perfects him in divine knowledge. The same recommended to the Rajah by Bharata, who thereupon obtains final liberation. Consequences of hearing this legend.


Section I.—Accounts of the several Manus and Manwantaras Shwarochisha the second Manu; the divinities, the Indra, the seven Rishis of his period and his sons. Similar details of Auttami, Tamasa, Raivata, Chakshusha, and Vaivaswata. The forms of Vishnu, as the preserver, in each Manwantara. The meaning of Vishnu.

Section II.—Of the seven future Manus and Manwantaras. Story of Sanjna and Chhaya, wives of the Sun. Savarni son of Chhaya the eighth Manu. His successors, with divinities, &c of their respective periods. Appearance of Vishnu in each of the four Yugas.

Section III.—Division of the Vedas into four portions, by a Vyasa in every Dwapara age. List of the twenty-eight Vyasas of the present Manwantara. Meaning of the word Brahmā.

Section IV.—Division of the Veda, in the last Dwapara age, by the Vyasa Krishna Dwaipayana. Paila made reader of the Rich; Vaisampayana of the Yajush; Jaimani of the Saman and Sumantu of the Atharvan. Suta appointed to teach the historical poems. Origin of the four parts of the Veda. Sanhitas of the Rig Veda.

Section V.—Division of the Yajur-veda. Story of Yajnawalkya forced to give up what he has learned, picked up by others, forming the Taittiriya-yajush. Yajnawalkya worships the Sun who communicates to him the Vajasaneyi-yajush.

Section VI.—Divisions of the Sama-veda; of the Atharva-veda. Four Pauranik Sanhitas. Names of the eighteen Puranas. Branches of knowledge. Classes of Rishis.

Section VII.—By what means men are exempted from the authority of Yama, as narrated by Bhishma to Nakula. Dialogue between Yama and one of his attendants. Worshippers of Vishnu not subject to Yama. How they are to be known.

Section VIII.—How Vishnu is to be worshipped as related by Aurva to Sagara. Duties of the four castes, severally and in common; also in time of distress.

Section IX.—Duties of the religious student, householder, hermit and mendicant.

Section X.—Ceremonies to be observed at the birth and naming of a child. Of marrying or leading a religious life. Choice of a wife. Different modes of marrying.

Section XI.—Of the Sadacharas or perpetual obligation of a householder. Daily purifications, ablutions, libations, and oblations; hospitality; obsequial rites; ceremonies to be observed at meals, morning and evening worship, and on going to rest.

Section XII.—Miscellaneous obligations—purificatory, ceremonial and moral.

Section XIII.—Of Sraddhas, or rites in honour of ancestors, to be performed on occasions of rejoicing. Obsequial ceremonies. Of the Ekoddishta or monthly Srāddha, and the Sapindana or annual one. By whom to be performed.

Section XIV.—Of occasional Sraddhas, or obsequial ceremonies; when most efficacious, and at what places.

Section XV. What Brahmans are to be entertained at Sraddhas; Different prayers to be recited. Offerings of food to be presented to deceased ancestor.

Section XVI.—Things proper to be offered as food to deceased ancestors; prohibited things. Circumstances vetiating a Srāddha; how to be avoided. Song of the Pitris or progenitors, heard by Ikshwāku.

Section XVII.—Of heretics, or those who rejects the authority of the Vedas; their origin, as described by the Vasistha to Bhishma; the gods, defeated by the Daityas, praise Vishnu; an illusory being or Buddha, produced from his body.

Section XVIII.—Buddha goes to the earth and teaches the Daityas to contempt the Vedas; his sceptical doctrines; his prohibition of animal sacrifices. Meaning of the term Bauddha. Tainas and Bauddhas, their tenets. The Daityas loose their power and are overcome by the gods. Meaning of the term Nagna. Consequences of neglect of Duty. Story of Satadbanu and his wife Saivya. Communion with heretics to be shunned.


Section I.—Dynasties of kings. Origin of the Solar dynasty from Brahmā. Sons of the Manu Vaivaswata. Transformation of Illa or Sudyumna. Descendants of the sons of Vaivaswata; those of Nedishta. Greatness of Marutha, kings of Vaisali. Descendants of Saryati. Legend of Raivata; his daughter Revati married to Baloram.

Section II.—Dispersion of Revata’s descendants; those of Drisha; those of Nabhaga. Birth of Ikshwaku, the son of Vaivaswata; his sons. Line of Vikukshi. Legend of Kakutstha; of Dhundhumara; of Yuvanāswa; of Mandhatri; his daughter married to Sauvari.

Section III.—Shaubhri and his wives adopt an ascetic life, Descendant of Mandhatri. Legend of Narmāda and Purukutsa. Legend of Trisanku, Bahu driven from his kingdom by the Haihayas and Talajanghas. Birth of Sagara; he conquers the barbarians, imposes upon them distinguishing usage, and excludes them from offerings to fire and the study of Vedas.

Section IV.—The progeny of Sagara; their wickedness; he performs an Aswamedha; the horse stolen by Kapila; found by Sagara’s sons who are all destroyed by the sage; the horse recovered by Ansumat; his descendants. Legend the Mitrasaha or Kalmashapada the son of Sudasa. Legend of Khatwanga. Birth of Rāma and other sons of Dasaratha. Epitome of the history of Rāma; his descendant and those of his brothers. Line of Kusha. Vrihadbala, the last, killed in the great war.

Section V.—Kings of Mithila. Legend of Nimi, the son of Ikshwaku. Birth of Janaka. Sacrifice of Siradhwaja. Origin of Sitā. Descendant of Kusadhwaja. Krita the last of Maithila princes.

Section VI.—Kings of the lunar dynasty. Origin of Soma or the moon; he carries off Tara, the wife of Vrihaspati; war between the gods and Asuras in consequence; appeared by Brahmā, Birth of Budha; marred to Illa, daughter of Vaivaswata. Legend of his son Pururavas, and the nymph Urvashi; the former institutes offerings with fire; ascends to the sphere of the Gandharvas.

Section VII.—Sons of Pururavas. Descendants of Amavasu. Indro born as Gadhi. Legend of Richika and Satyavati; Birth of Jatnadagna and Viswamitra. Parasurama the son of the former. Sunahseplas and others the sons of Viswamitra forming the Kausika race.

Section VIII.—Sons of Ayus. Line of Kshatravriddha, or Kings of Kashi. Former birth of Dhawntari. Various names of Pratarddana. Greatness of Alarka.

Section IX—Descendants of Raji, son of Ayas, Indra resigns his throne to him; claimed after his death by his sons, who appostatise from the religion of the Vedas, and are destroyed by the Indra. Descendants of Pratikshatra, son of Kshatravriddha.

Section X.—The sons of Nahusha. The sons of Yayati; he is cursed by Sukra; wishes his sons exchange their vigour for his infirmities. Puru alone consents. Yayati restores him his youth; divides the earth amongst his sons under the supremacy of Puru.

Section XI.—The Yadava race, or descendants of Yadu. Karttavirja obtains a boon from Dattatreya; takes Ravana prisoner; is killed by Parasurama; his descendant.

Section XII.—Descendants of Kroshtri; Jyamaghas connubial affection for his wife Saivya, their descendants kings of Vidharbha and Chedi.

Section XIII.—Sons of Satawata. Bhoja princes of Mrittiktavati. Surja the friend of Satrajit; appears to him in a bodily from; gives him the Syamantaka gem; its brilliance and marvellous properties. Satrajit gives it to Prasena, who is killed by a lion; the lion killed by the bear Jambavat. Krishna suspects of killing Prasena, goes to look for him in the forests; traces the bear to his cave, fights with him for the jewel; the contest prolonged, supposed by his companions to be slain; he overthrows Jambavat, then marries his daughter Jāmbavati, returns with her and the jewel to Dwārakā and restores the jewel to Satrajit, and marries his daughter Satyabhāmā. Satrajit murdered by Sataddhanwan; avenged by Krishna. Quarrel between Krishna and Balarāma. Akrura possessed of the jewel; leaves Dwārakā. Public calamities. Meeting of the Yādavas. Story of Akrura’s birth; is invited to return; accused by Krishna of having the Syamantaka jewel; produces it in full assembly; it remains in his charge; Krishna acquitted of having purloined it.

Section XIV.—Descendants of Sini, of Anamitra, of Swaphalka and Chittra, of Andhaka. The children of Devaka, and Ugrasena. The descendants of Bhajamana. Children of Sura; his son Vasudeva; his daughter Pritha married to Pandu; her children, Yudhishthira and his brothers; also Karna by Aditya. The sons of Pandu by Madri. Husbands and children of Sura’s other daughter. Previous births of Sisupala.

Section XV.—Explanation of the reason why Sisupal in his previous births as Hiranyakashipu and Ravana was not identified with Vishnu on being slain by him, and was so identified when killed as Sisupala. The wives of Vasudeva; his children; Balarāma and Krishna his sons by Devaki both apparently of Rohini and Yasoda. The wives and children of Krishna. Multitude of the descendants of Yadu.

Section XVI.—Descendants of Turvasu.

Section XVII.—Descendants of Druhyu.

Section XVIII.—Descendants of Anu. Countries and towns named after some of them, as Anga, Banga and others.

Section XIX.—Descendants of Puru. Birth of Bharata, the son of Dushyanta; his sons killed; adopts Bharadwaja or Vitatha. Hastin, founder of Hastināpur. Sons of Ajamidha, and the races derived from them, as Panchalas, etc. Kripa and Kripi found by Santanu. Descendants of Ritsha, the son of Ajamidha, Kurukshetra named from Kuru. Jarasandha and other kings of Magadha.

Section XX.—Descendants of Kuru. Devapi abdicates the throne; assumed by Santanu; he is confirmed by the Brahmans; Bhishma his son by Ganga; his other sons. Birth of Dhritarashtra, Pandu and Vidura. The hundred sons of Dhritarashtra. The five sons of Pandu; married to Draupadi; their prosperity. Parikshit, the grandson of Arjuna, the reigning king.

Section XXI.—Future Kings. Descendants of Parikshit, ending with Kshemaka.

Section XXII.—Future kings of the family of Ikshwaku, ending with Sumitra.

Section XXIII.—Future kings of Magadha, Descendants of Vrihadratha.