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 24 - A Dialogue between Brahmā and Sages

The sages said:

1. O Sūta the most excellent among the eloquent ones, tell us about the most excellent place on earth, that bestows virtue, love, wealth and salvation and that is the most excellent of all holy centres.

Lomaharṣaṇa said:

2. O excellent brahmins formerly, the great sages asked my preceptor this very question that you ask me just now. I shall mention it.

3-8. My preceptor Vyāsa, the holy sage was seated in his hermitage in Kurukṣetra. The hermitage was rendered splendid by different varieties of flowers. It abounded in different kinds of trees, creepers and herds of different animals. There were the following trees—Punnāga, Karṇikāra, Sarala, Devadāru, Śāla, Tāla, Tamāla Panasa, Khadira, Pāṭala, Aśoka, Bakula, Karavīra, Campaka and other trees, all in full bloom. My preceptor was an expert in sacred scriptures. He had composed the great Mahābhārata. He was the foremost among intellectuals. He was omniscient and engaged in activities conducive to the welfare of all living beings. He was engrossed in spiritual quests. He had mastered the Vedas and Vedāṅgas. He had expounded the Purāṇas and Āgamas. He was the son of Parāśara. He was handsome with eyes as wide as the petals of the lotus.

The sages of holy rites came there to see the calm sage.

9-14. The following were the sages who came viz.—Kaśyapa, Jamadagni, Bharadvāja, Gautama, Vasiṣṭha, Jaimini, Dhaumya, Mārkaṇḍeya,Vālmīki, Viśvāmitra, Śatānanda,Vātsya, Garga, Āsuri, Sumantu, Bhārgava, Kaṇva, Medhātithi, Guru Māṇḍavya, Cyavana, Dhūmra, Asita, Devala, Maudgalya, Tṛṇabāhu, Pippalāda, Akṛtavraṇa, Saṃvarta, Kauśika, Raibhya, Maitreya, Hārīta, Śāṇḍilya, Agastya, Durvāsas, Lomaśa, Nārada, Parvata, Vaiśampāyana, Gālava, Bhāskari, Pūraṇi, Sūta, Pulastya, Ulūka, Pulaha, Vāyu, Devasthāna, Tumburu, Sanatkumāra, Paila, Kṛṣṇa and Kṛṣṇānubhautika.

15. The intelligent sage, son of Satyavatī surrounded by these and other excellent sages shone like the moon surrounded by the stars.

16. The sage, the knower of the Vedas honoured those sages who came there. They too honoured him in return. Thereafter, they engaged themselves in conversation.

17. At the end of their preliminary talk the excellent sages, the residents of the penance-groves asked Kṛṣṇa (Dvaipāyana), the son of Satyavatī to clarify their doubts.

The sages said:

18. O sage, you know the entire range of sacred lore, viz, the Vedas, Purāṇas, Āgamas and Bhārata. You know the past, present and future.

19-21. O excellent sage, tell us. We ask you the highly pleased soul, the following things on seeing the universe submerging in the ocean of worldly existence without any support and (miserably) unconscious (of the same). This ocean of worldly existence is painful and utterly full of misery. It has no Teal substance. It is terrible with passions acting like crocodiles, the objects of sense-organs acting like flood waters, the sense-organs like a blended mass of whirlpool, the visible objects like hundreds of confused masses of waves, delusion making it turbid like mud. It is impassable, grave and difficult to be crossed due to covetousness.

22. What is it that is conducive to welfare in this terrible world that causes hairs to stand on end. It behoves you to uplift the worlds by offering advice.

23. It behoves you to recount that rare and extremely great holy centre which bestows liberation, We wish to hear about the land of holy rites on this earth.

24-25. It is only by perfectly performing the holy rites on this earth in the manner they have been laid down that a man attains the greatest perfection. By repugnant activities he falls into hell. The intelligent man attains absolution in the holy centre of salvation. Hence, O highly intelligent one, recount what you have been asked by the excellent brahmins.

26. On hearing the words of those sages of purified souls the intelligent Vyāsa, conversant with the past and future said:

Vyāsa said:

27-30. Listen O sages. I shall mention as you ask, the conversation that formerly took place between the sages and Brahmā on the summit of Meru that is spacious and bedecked with variety of jewels. It abounds in many trees and creepers rendered splendid by diverse kinds of flowers. There the atmosphere is full of chirping sounds of various birds. It is literally scattered with animals with a confusing mass of their offsprings. Many wonderful and mysterious things are present there. Rocks and pebbles of different colour lie scattered embellished with, minerals and metals of all kinds. It contains several hermitages thronged with sages.

31-33. The four-faced lord of the universe was seated there. He is the source of origin of the universe. Being the lord and support of worlds, he is worthy of being saluted by all. He was then surrounded by Devas, Dānavas, Gandharvas, Yakṣas, Vidyādharas, serpents, sages, Siddhas, Apsarās and other heaven-dwellers. Some of them were eulogising him. Some were playing on musical instruments and singing songs in his praise. Others were dancing.

34-35. Thus, when the time was joyous and the living beings had gathered together, when the gentle southern breeze served them wafting the sweet odour from different kinds of flowers, Bhṛgu and other sages bowed to lord Brahmā. O brahmins, those excellent sages asked the father this very same topic.

The sages said:

36-37. “O lord, we wish to hear about the land of holy rites on the surface of the earth. O lord of Devas, it behoves you to recount the most inaccessible centre of absolution”

Vyāsa said:

On hearing their words, Brahmā, the lord of Devas, said to them in reply to the questions they asked, O excellent sages.

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