The Brahma Purana

by G. P. Bhatt | 1955 | 243,464 words

This is the Brahma Purana in English (translation from Sanskrit), which is one of the eighteen Maha Puranas. The contents of this ancient Indian encyclopedic treatise include cosmology, genealogy (solar dynasty etc.), mythology, geology and Dharma (universal law of nature). The Brahma Purana is notable for its extenstive geological survey includin...

Chapter 4 - Evolution of Vivasvat Āditya

Lomaharṣaṇa said:

1. O excellent brahmins, Vivasvān was born of Dākṣāyaṇī and Kaśyapa. The gentle lady, the daughter of Tvaṣṭṛ named Saṃjñā was the wife of Vivasvān.

2. That beautiful lady was well known in the three worlds as Sureśvarī (goddess of Devas). She was the wife of lord Mārtaṇḍa of great soul.

3. Saṃjñā haul been endowed with fair complexion, beauty and freshness of youthful bloom. She was not satisfied with the complexion of her husband. She was endowed with penance that had made her brilliant and dazzling.

4. Since, Āditya’s limbs had been burnt by the refulgence of his disc, Āditya’s complexion did not appear to be very attractive.

5. Āditya is called Mārtaṇḍa for the following reason:—Once unknowingly Kāśyapa had uttered out of his filial affection “I hope he is not dead even as he lay in the womb.”

6. The refulgence of Vivasvān increased day by day whereby the son of Kaśyapa scorched the three worlds too much.

7. O brahmins, Āditya the foremost among those who scorched the earth begot three children of Saṃjñā, a daughter and two Prajāpatis.

8. At the outset, Vaivasvata Manu, the Prajāpati known as Śrāddhadeva was born. Yama and Yamunā were born as twins.

9. On seeing the dark-coloured Vivasvān, Saṃjñā could not bear it. Therefore, she created her own shadow known as Savarṇā.

10-11. That illusory Saṃjñā arising out of her shadow bowed to Saṃjñā. O excellent brahmins, with her palms joined in reverence she said—“O lady of pure smiles tell me. What shall I do for you. O fair-complexioned lady, I abide by your directives. Command me.”

Saṃjñā said:

12. “Welfare unto thee, I shall go to my father’s abode. Thou wilt unhesitatingly stay behind in my house.

13. These two sons of mine and this daughter of beautiful slender waist should be nurtured by thee. O splendid lady, never should this secret be divulged to our lord.”

Savarṇā said:

14. “O gentle lady, not until I am caught hold of by my tresses, never till I am threatened with a curse, will I divulge the secret. O gentle lady, obeisance to Thee. You shall go comfortably assured thus”.

Lomaharṣaṇa said:

15-17. Having commended Savarṇā and having been assured by her saying. “So, it shall be” that lady in her pitiable state approached (her father) Tvaṣṭṛ and stood by him bashfully. That splendid lady standing thus abashed near her father was rebuked by him. Again and again she was directed by him, saying “Go back to your husband”. Assuming the form of a mare and thereby concealing her beauty that blameless lady went to the northern Kurus and began to graze grass.

18-19. Taking the second Saṃjñā to be the real Saṃjñā, Āditya begot of her a son equal to himself in every respect. O brahmins, since he was on a par with his elder brother Manu, he too became Manu by name. He is called Sāvarṇa (son of Savarṇā) too.

20-21. The second son who was born of her was known as Śanaiścara. Saṃjñā, like an ordinary woman of Earth, loved her own sons more. She was not equally disposed to the elder ones. Manu forgave this weakness on her part but Yama did not.

22. Out of anger and childishness or may be due to the inevitability of what was destined to happen, Yama, the intrinsically careless son of Vivasvat lifted up his leg (as though to kick her) and threatened Saṃjñā.

23. The mother of Savarṇa, who became extremely distressed cursed him wrathfully—“May this foot of yours fall down”.

24. Extremely frightened and distressed due to the curse, and growing suspicious by the utterances of Saṃjñā, Yama intimated everything to his father with palms joined in reverence.

25-27. “May this curse be averted” said he to his father, O brahmins. “A mother should be impartially affectionate to all her sons. O Vivasvān, she wants to remove us and she desires to become the sole beneficiary. Of course the foot was lifted up by me to her but it did not touch her, maybe due to my puerile whim, maybe due to my extreme desire, maybe due to my delusion—whatever that maybe—it behoves you to forgive me. O lord of worlds, O most excellent one among those who scorch, I have been cursed by my mother. O lord of rays, may my foot never fall off, I beg you favour”.

Vivasvān said:

28. In this matter, O son, there will undoubtedly be a great reason wherefore fury has stirred you who are conversant with righteousness and who (invariably) speak the truth.

29. It is impossible to falsify the words of your mother. Worms will take the flesh from your foot and it will fall off to the ground.

30. The words of your mother will be rendered truthful but you will be saved by avoiding the worse effects of the curse.

31. Āditya spoke to Saṃjñā:—“How is it that more affection is shown to one when all sons are on a par with one another?”

32. Evading (a straight reply) she did not tell (the truth) to Vivasvat. He entered into self-meditation and found out the truth by his Yogic power.

33-35. O excellent sages, the lord was ready to curse her to destruction but she mentioned the truth to Vivasvān in the manner it had transpired before. On hearing the same, Vivasvat was infuriated and rushed to Tvaṣṭṛ. On seeing Vivasvat, Tvaṣṭṛ honoured him suitably. As the sun was about to scorch him in anger, he appeased him quietly.

Tvaṣṭṛ said:

36-38. Affected by excessive refulgence this complexion of yours is not alluring. It was because she could not brook it. She is now grazing grass in the meadow in a forest. O lord of rays, by adopting Yogic power you will presently see your wife of auspicious conduct who is worthy of praise and who is endowed with Yogic powers. O lord! O suppressor of foes, if my suggestion is approved by you I shall turn your complexion favourable to you. I shall make it alluring.

39. When Vivasvat agreed to the proposal Tvaṣṭṛ mounted him on the lathe, whetted him and made his complexion sparkling.

40. Then his form became more dazzling due to the well knit refulgence. It was very alluring and he appeared very splendid.

41. Adopting his Yogic power be met his wife who had assumed the form of a mare. She could not be thwarted by any living being due to her observance of holy rites and her own brilliance.

42-43. The lord assumed the form of a horse and approached her as she grazed about fearlessly in the form of a mare. It was in her mouth that he had his sexual intercourse, as she began fidgeting due to her suspicion that he might be a person other than her own husband. She let out the semen of Vivasvat through her nostrils.

44-49. Two sons were born of her thus. They were Aśvins who later became excellent physicians. They were known as Nāsatya and Dasra. They were the sons of the eighth Prajāpati.

Bhāskara revealed his alluring form to Saṃjñā. O excellent sages, on seeing her husband in the attractive form she became delighted.

Yama was extremely distressed due to his activity. He delighted his subjects by his righteous conduct. He was known as Dharmarāja. Due to his righteous activities he became extremely brilliant and attained the lordship of Pitṛs and status of the guardian of a quarter, O ascetics, Manu the son of Sāvarṇa is the future Prajāpati in the Sāvarṇika Manvantara, Even today he is performing penance on the top of Meru.

50-54. His brother Śanaiścara attained the status of a planet. With that refulgence (of Āditya) Tvaṣṭṛ evolved the discus of Viṣṇu for destroying the Asuras. The weapon is never thwarted in a battle. The youngest daughter Yamī became the famous, excellent river Yamuna who sanctifies the world. The brother is called Sāvarṇa Manu. The second son, the brother of Manu, became Śanaiścara, the planet saturn, honoured in the world. He who listens to this narrative on the origin of Devas and retains the same in his memory will attain great fame. Even when involved in adversities he will be liberated therefrom.

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: