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 83 - Akrūra comes to the Cowherds’ colony

Vyāsa said:

1. Akrūra who was eager to see Kṛṣṇa set off in a chariot that went very fast to the cowherds’ colony of Nanda.

2. Akrūra thought thus:—There is no one more blessed than I am because I shall be seeing the face of the discus-bearing lord who has incarnated with a part of his.

3. Today my birth is fruitful. My night has turned into a bright morning, since I shall be seeing the face of Viṣṇu which has the eyes resembling the petals of a full blown lotus.

4. I shall be seeing that face of Viṣṇu which has lotus-like eyes and which dispels the sin of men even if it is fancied.

5. I shall be seeing the face of the lord from which the Vedas and Vedāṅgas have come up and which is the greatest abode of Devas.

6. I shall be seeing that lord of the universe who is worshipped as the best of Puruṣas to whom the offering is made in the sacrifice and who is the support of every one.

7. I shall be seeing that Keśava who has neither a beginning nor an end and by worshipping whom with a hundred sacrifices, Indra attained the overlordship of immortal beings.

8. I shall see that lord of the universe whose form neither Brahmā nor Indra nor Rudra nor Aśvins nor Vasus nor Ādityas nor Maruts know.

9-10. He will speak to me, he who is the soul of all, who is omnipresent, who is all, who is stationed in all living beings, who is unchanging, who is all-pervading, who is Existence, alone, who is himself the lord, who performed Yogic feat and who stationed himself in the forms of Fish, Tortoise, Boar, Man-lion, etc.

11. The lord of the Universe has attained a human form and is stationed in the cowherds’ colony for certain (specific) tasks. He is the unchanging lord who can take up any form as he wishes.

12. That infinite lord who holds the Earth stationed on the top of the peak and who has incarnated himself for removing the burden of the Earth will call me—‘O Akrūra’.

13. Obeisance, obeisance to the lord whose Māyā the universe is incompetent to dispel, the Māyā that consists of kinship with father, kinsman, friend, brother, mother and other kindred relations.

14. Obeisance to that soul of learning by keeping whom in the heart, the mortal beings surmount ignorance, the Yogic illusion.

15. I bow unto him who is called Yajñapuruṣa by the sacrificial priests, who is called Vāsudeva by devotees and who is called Viṣṇu by those who are experts in Śāstras.

16. He is the receptacle of universe in whom Existent-nonexistent is retained. May he of the Sattva Guṇa be gentle to me?

17. Continuously do I seek refuge in Hari the most excellent of Puruṣas; On remembering him one becomes the recipient of all auspicious things.

Vyāsa said:

18. Thinking about Viṣṇu thus, humbly and devoutly in his mind, Akrūra reached the cowherds’ colony when there was still some sunlight (a little before sunset).

19-22. There he saw Kṛṣṇa engaged in milking the cows. He was in the midst of calves. His lustre was like the lustre of petals of the blue lotus. His eyes resembled the petals of a full blown lotus. His chest was marked with the scar Śrīvatsa. His arms were long hanging down (on either side). His chest was broad and raised up. The nose protruded (prominently). He possessed a lotus-like face that supported a graceful smile. His nails were red and raised. He had fixed his legs steadily on the ground. He wore a pair of yellow garments. He was bedecked in sylvan (flowers) and peacock feathers. His hands resembled creepers and were of dark blue colour. He embellished himself with white lotuses.

23. O brahmins, near him he saw Balabhadra, a scion of the family of Yadus. He was white in complexion like the swan, moon and Kunda flower. He was clad in blue robes.

24. He was tall with prominent arms; his face was like a full-blown lotus. He appeared like another Kailāsa mountain surrounded by layers of clouds.

25. On seeing them, O brahmins, that highly intelligent Akrūra experienced horripilation all over the body. His face beamed like a blowing lotus flower.

26. Akrūra then thought within himself thus:—Here is the greatest of splendours. Here is the greatest of regions. Vasudeva is stationed here in two forms.

27. May both of my eyes simultaneously attain fruitfulness when the creator of the universe in the form of Kṛṣṇa is seen. Will this limb (of mine) on coining into contact with his body due to the grace of the lord be on the path of fruition?

28. Touching my lotus-like hand today itself the lord of infinite form will make it glorious. Excellent achievement is attained by men whose sins are entirely dispelled by a touch of his fingers.

29. With his large hands be will embrace me, the greatest friend, the kinsman who has no other deity. Then itself my soul will be sanctified. The bondage of the nature of Karman breathes thereby (?)

30. After getting into contact with his limbs when I bow down with palms joined in reverence, he of big ears (of great renown) will say to me ‘Akrūra’. At that time alone do we feel that we are alive. Fie upon the birth of that person who is not at all respected by the great one.

31. To him there is no one who is the most beloved, the greatest of friends. He has no one who cannot be a friend or who has to be hated or who has to be neglected. Still the lord resorts to his devotees in the same manner as the divine trees which when sought after bestow riches.

32-33. (Defective) Devas led by Aśvins, Rudras, Indras and Vasus grant boon when they are delighted. The spaces between the eyes (?) of the womenfolk of asuras were removed by him as he struck the army of the lord of asuras. By pouring water therein (i.e. into the hands of the lord) Bali attained charming pleasures even when staying on the Earth. Similarly, Indra, the lord of immortal beings, attained the lordship of Devas for the duration of a Manvantara.

34. Still it is possible he may not honour me because although I have no defects, I am considered blameworthy for I have been taken over by Kaṃsa. Fie upon that person who is excluded by good men.

35-36. Is there anything which is not known to this lord who is of the nature of perfect knowledge, who is a mass of Sattva elements, who has no defects, who is always unmanifest and who is stationed in the heart of all persons in this world. Hence, I shall go unto the lord of the Universe with a devoutly humble body. He is the lord of lords. He is the partial[1] incarnation (aṃśāvatāra) without beginning, middle or end, of Puruṣottama the unborn lord Viṣṇu.

Footnotes and references:


But the devotees consider Kṛṣṇa Pūrṇa avatāra (complete incarnation) and not the partial incarnation (aṃśāvatāra).

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