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...
The sages said:
1-3. O lord, we wish to hear about the world of Viṣṇu the world which is devoid of sickness, is lovely, delightful to the people and full of mystery.
O lord, mention the magnitude of that world, its pleasure, its splendour and its power. By what holy rites do virtuous men go there? Is it due to the vision or touch of holiness or due to holy dips in the sacred waters of holy centres? Mention in detail and factually. We are greatly eager to hear this.
4-5. O sages, listen all of you, even as I speak about that highest region which is wished for by the devotees. It is blessed, holy land and destructive of the world. It is most excellent of all the worlds. It is named (Viṣṇu-loka) after the name of Viṣṇu. It is a sacred abode full of all mysteries. It is honoured and worshipped by the three worlds.
6-11. It is filled with many trees such as Aśoka, Pārijāta, Mandara, Campaka, Mālatī, Mallikā, Kunda, Bakula, Nāgakesara, Punnāga, Atimukta, Priyaṅgu, Tagara, Arjuna, Pāṭala, Cūta, Khadira, splendid groves of Karṇikāra, Nāraṅga (Orange citron), Panasa (jack tree), Lodhra, Nimba (Margosa), Dāḍima (Pomegranate), Sarjaka, Drākṣā (Grape, vines), Lakuca, Kharjūra, Madhūka, Indraphala, wood apple, coconut palms, palmyra trees, Śrīphala, innumerable splendid trees of various kinds, Sarala, Candana (Sandal), Nīpa, Devadāru, Śubhañjana, Jāti, Lavaṅga, Kaṅkola, such trees as emitted the odour of camphor, creepers with plenty of betel leaves, Areca palms and various other trees appearing splendid in all seasons with their abundant fruits.
12-17. It is full of various flowers in branches in creepers. It is filled with water-reservoirs of diverse lands and different kinds of beautiful meritorious spots resonant with the chirping sounds of many birds. There are hundreds of tanks and lakes full of water and charming. Lilies, hundred-petalled lotuses, excellent Kokanada (a variety of lotus), Kalhāra flowers and other water flowers, splendid with different colours (are abundant in those ponds). They are full of swans and Kāraṇḍava ducks. They are rendered beautiful by ruddy geese. There are other aquatic birds such as Kāyaṣṭikas, Dātyūhas, Cātakas, Priyaputras and Jivañjīvakas. There are other sweet-voiced divine birds moving about in water or flying in the air. Thus the world is adorned by many divine, miraculous trees and charming and holy water reservoirs.
18-22. In that city of Viṣṇu, worshipped by all, people walk about in divine aerial chariots. They are decorated with various jewels beset with pure gold; they can move about at their will. They are resonant with the divine music of Gandharvas. They are as refulgent as the midday sun. They are adorned by the celestial maidens. The beds and seats therein are made of gold. They are rich in means of pleasures of various kinds. Flags and pearl necklaces are suspended from them. They move about in the sky in groups. They are of diverse colours. The various parts of these aerial chariots are made of gold. They are rendered fragrant by the contact of flowers mixed admirably with sandal and agallochum. The instruments of music fill them with sweet sounds. The passages in these aerial chariots afford comfortable movements. They have the speed of wind and mind. Groups of tinkling bells are attacheḍ to them.
23-24. The people sport about with various young women of Gandharvas and the group of celestial clans. The young women look very splendid with their faces as charming as the moon. Their breasts are plump and lifted up. Their waists are beautiful and elegant. Some are dark in complexion and some fair. Their gait is like that of elephants in their rut.
25-28. Those women surround the excellent man and fan him with chowries of golden handles. They are bedecked in variety of jewels. They rejoice singing, dancing and having instrumental music. They are lethargic due to intoxication. This excellent world shines with the Yakṣas, Vidyādharas, Siddhas, Gandharvas, Celestial nymphs, Devas and sages. Those lofty-minded persons by whom the lotus-eyed lord Kṛṣṇa, the lord of the universe, is seen near the royal banyan tree on the shore of the southern sea go to this world of Viṣṇu and enjoy great pleasures.
29. As long as the heaven stands along with the moon and stars, they dally with the celestial nymphs. They resemble heated gold. They are devoid of old age and death.
30. They are free from miseries. They are rid of thirst, fatigue and suffering. They assume the form of the lord:—They have four arms. They are adorned by garlands of sylvan flowers. They possess great vigour and power.
31. They have the scar called Śrīvatsa. They hold conch, discus and irouclub. Some are dark-complexioned like the blue lotus. Some resemble the gold.
32. Some appear worthy of being gazed at like the emerald, some resemble the lapis lazuli; some are dark complexioned with earrings. Others are like the diamond.
33. O excellent brahmins, the worlds of other lords, and Devas do not shine in the same manner as does the world of Viṣṇu being full of mysteries and miracles.
34. O brahmins, by the power of that lord, there is no question of return till the ultimate dissolution of all living beings.
36. In the middle of the city shines the place of Viṣṇu which resembles molten gold, which has the lustre of the midday sun and which is embellished by jewels.
37. It is beautifully decorated with many hundred and thousands of buntings and banners. It is encircled by a golden rampart extending to ten thousand Yojanas.
38. With the charming well-arranged Hags of various colours wonderfully displayed, the city shines like the autumnal moon surrounded by the stars.
39. It has four main gates. It is very extensive and well-guarded by watchmen. It is lofty and charming. It consists of seven city areas.
40-41. The first area is made of gold; the second is fitted with emeralds; the third is full of sapphire and beyond that it consists of dark blue precious stones; the fifth is brightly illuminated by brilliance. O brahmins, the sixth is full of diamonds and the seventh abounds in lapis lazuli.
42. With wonderful, brilliant pillars set with jewels and beautified by gold plates and coral that great mansion shines exquisitely.
43-44. The Siddhas walk about there. They brighten the ten quarters. Just as on the full moon night the moon shines with the stars so also lord Viṣṇu mounting a high seat shines along with Lakṣmī. He is dark-coloured, clad in yellow robes. He bears the scar Śrīvatsa.
45. In his right hand lord Viṣṇu holds the terrible and shining discus Sudarśana that destroys all other weapons and that consists of all fiery splendour.
46-47. O excellent sages, in his left hand, lord Viṣṇu holds his conch known as Pāñcajanya. It has the lustre of the Kunda flower, moon and silver. It resembles a white necklace and the cow’s milk. By its sound it makes the whole universe agitated. It is adorned by a thousand curls.
48-52. In his right hand he holds Kaumodakī, the iron club which destroys Daityas and Dānavas, which is fiercely terrible and which destroys evil deeds. It has the shape of flame of the blazing fire and is unbearable even to Devas. In his left hand shines the bow Śārṅga that has the lustre of the sun. (It is with this bow and) the excellent arrows that resemble the sun and are agitated by the series of flames that the lord annihilates the three worlds consisting of mobile and immobile beings. He is the cause of each and every bliss. He is glorious. He is expert in all scriptural texts. He is the lord and preceptor of all worlds. He is bowed to by all Devas.
He is the lord of Devas with a thousand heads, a thousand feet and eyes. He has a thousand names, a thousand limbs and a thousand arms.
53-55. The lord with large eyes like the petals of a lotus shines on his throne. The lord of the universe the preceptor of the universe, shines very clearly like the lightning streak. He is surrounded by Devas, Siddhas, Gandharvas, Apsaras, Yakṣas, Vidyādharas, Nāgas, Cāraṇas, glorious sages, Suparṇas, Dānavas, Daityas, Rākṣasas, Guhyakas, Kinnaras and Devas of divine splendour. He shines eulogised by these people.
56-58. The following ladies of immortal beings are stationed there viz—Kīrti (Fame), Prajñā (Wisdom), Medhā (Intellect), Sarasvatī (Speech), Buddhi (Intelligence), Mati (Reasoning power), Kṣānti (Forbearance), Siddhi (Achievement), Mūrti (Form), Dyuti (Refulgence), Gāyatrī, Sāvitrī, Maṅgalā, Sarvamaṅgalā, Prabhā, Matī and Kānti (Lustre) belonging to Nārāyaṇa. Then there is Śraddhā (Faith), goddess Kauśikī, vidyut (Lightning) Saudāmini (Saudāminī?), Nidrā (Slumber), Rātri (Night), Māyā and other womenfolk of the immortal beings.
59. All these are established in the abode of Vasudeva. Of what avail is much talk? Everything is established there.
60-67. The following ladies dance every day at the place where Puruṣottama stays:—Ghṛtācī, Menakā, Rambhā, Sahajanyā, Tilottamā, Urvaśī, Nimlocā, Vāmanā, Mandodarī, Subhagā (fortunate one), Viśvācī, Vipulānanā, Bhadrāṅgī, Citrasenā, Pramlocā, Sumanoharā, (very charming), Munisammohinī (one who fascinates sages), Ramā, Candramadhyā, Śubhānanā, Sukeśī (possessed of good tresses), Nīlakeśī (possessed of blue tresses), Manmathadīpanī (one who kindles the fire of love), Alambuṣā, Miśrakeśī, Puñjikasthalā, Kratusthalā, Varāṅgī, (possessed of excellent limbs), Pūrvacitti, Parāvatī, Mahārūpā, Śaśilekhā of auspicious face, Haṃsalīlānugāminī, Mattavāraṇagāminī (one who walks like an intoxicated elephant), Bimboṣṭhī and Navagarbhā—these are the celestial ladies of Devas. These and other celestial ladies are proud of their beauty and youth. Their wrists are fine and their faces are beautiful. They are bedecked in all ornaments. They are endowed with the faculty of singing sweet songs. They are endowed with all noble signs. They are experts in vocal and instrumental music. They perform dance everyday at the place where lord Puruṣottama stays.
68. There is neither sickness nor fatigue. There is neither death nor snow and sunshine. There is no hunger, no thirst, no old age, no deformity, no unhappiness.
69. O brahmins, I do not behold any other world better than the world of Viṣṇu. It is the cause of bliss and it bestows the desired benefits.
70. O brahmins, all those worlds which we hear as the worlds in the heavenly sphere, all those who perform meritorious rites, do not merit even a sixteenth part of the world of lord Viṣṇu.
71. Thus O brahmins is the greatest abode of Viṣṇu endowed with all enjoyable pleasures and attributes. It is conducive to the pleasures of everyone. It is holy and full of mysteries.
72. Atheists and profligates do not go there. Nor do the following go there viz.—the ungrateful arid those who are of uncontrollable sense-organs.
73. The devotees of Viṣṇu who worship Vāsudeva the preceptor of the universe with devotion, go to the world of Viṣṇu.
74-77. After visiting Kṛṣṇa, Rāma and Subhadrā in this rarest of holy centres on the shore of the southern ocean, excellent devotees cast off their bodies near the Kalpa tree. Those men who die in the holy centre Puruṣottama go to that world. He who remembers Puruṣottama in between the baniyan tree and the ocean and those who die in Puruṣottama go to that world. They go to that greatest abode.
Thus, O excellent sages, the eternal world of Viṣṇu, the cause of bliss unto all, the bestower of worldly pleasures and liberation, has been mentioned by me.
Footnotes and references:
Pāñcajanya—Krṣṇa’s conch taken from the asura Pañcajana.