Harivamsha Purana

by Manmatha Nath Dutt | 1897 | 293,872 words | ISBN-10: 8178542188 | ISBN-13: 9788178542188

This page is entitled “vishnu’s birth as a dwarf” and represents Chapter 45 of the third book (Bhavishya Parva’) of the Harivamsa (English translation in Prose). The Harivamsha Purana narrates the lineage and life-story of Krishna (Hari). Although not officially mentioned in the list of Puranas, this book includes topics such as geology, creation theory, time (manvantaras), ancient historical legends and accounts of royal dynasties.

Chapter 45 - Vishnu’s Birth As a dwarf

1-9. Vaishampayana said:—When that Deity was born the seven Patriarchs, Marichi and others and the seven saints bowed unto him, Bharadvaja, Kashyapa, Gautama, Vishvamitra, Jamadagni, Vasistha, and the lord Atri, who comes into view when the sun is completely clouded, came there. Marichi, Angira, Pulastya, Pulaha, Kratu and the patriarch Daksha bowed unto him. Aurva, Vashistha’s son Stamva, Kashyapa, Kapivan, Akapivan, Dattoli, Cyavana, and Vasistha’s seven other sons who passed by the name of Vasishthas, Hiranyagarbha’s son, the highly energetic Aurvajata, Gargya, Prithu, Agrya, Janya, Vamana, Devavashu, Yadudhra, Somaja, Parjanya, Hiranyroma, Vedashira, Satyanetra, Nimva, Atimbimva, Cyavana, Sudhatma, Viraja, Atinama and Sahishnu bowed unto him. Apsaras, having shining persons adorned with various ornaments, danced before Narayana. The Gandharvas played on bugles in the sky. Tumvaru, with other Gandharvas, began to sing. Mahasruti, Citrashira, Urnayu, Anagha, Gomayu, Suryavarcha, Somavarcha, Yugapa, Trinapa, Karshni, Nandi, Citraratha, Shaslishira, Parjanya, Kali, Narenda, Haha, Huhu, and the highly effulgent Gandharva Hansa began to sing before Keshava. There beautiful Apsaras, of large eyes, endued with all auspicious marks and adorned with various ornaments began to dance. Sumadhya, Carumadhya, Pryamukhya, the beautiful Anuka, Jami, Mishra keshi, Alamvusha, Marichi, Sruhika, Vidyutparna, Tilottama, Atrika, Lakshmana, Rambha, the charming Asita, Suvahu, Supnja, Subhaga, Urvashi, Citralekha, Sugriva, Sulocana, Pundarikasugandha, Suratha, Pramathini, Nanda, Sarashvati, Menaka, Sahajanya, Parnika, Punjikasthali and thousands of other Apsaras danced there. Dhata, Aryama, Mitra, Varuna, Amsha, Bhaga, Indra, Vivashvan, Pusha, Twastha, Savita and Vishnu, these twelve Adityas, who are known as Kashyapeyas and effulgent like the sun bowed unto the high souled lord of celestials.

10-29. O king, Mrigavyadha, Sarpa, the highly powerful Nirhiti, Ajaikapat Ahivridhna, Aparajita, Pinaki, Dahana, Ishvara, Kapila, Sthanu and Bharga, these Rudras were also present there. The two Ashvinis, the eight Vasus, the highly powerful Maruts, Vishvadevas and Sadhyas all stood before him with folded hands. Shesha’s younger brother the great Vasuki, Apukunja, Dhritarashtra, Valahaka and other highly powerful, wrathful and effulgent Nagas all stood before him with folded hands. Tarksha, Arishthanemi the highly powerful Garuda, Aruna and Aruni all stood before him with folded hands. The creator of the world himself with all the great patriarchs came there and said.

30-42. Brahma said:—"He is the Eternal Lord, the powerful Vishnu from whom have emanated all the worlds." Having said this the Lord Brahma, along with other celestial saints, bowed unto the king of gods and returned to the celestial region. When the Lord was born as Kashyapa’s son he had eyes blood-red like the clouds of an unfair day and was of the form of a dwarf. On his breast was the mystic mark of Srivatsa. With expanded eyes the Apsaras looked at him. His effulgence was like that of a thousand suns rising simultaneously in the sky. That beautiful Lord was the supporter of Bhur, Bhuva and other lokas, had high shoulders and pure hairs, was the refuge of the pious and offered no shelter unto the iniquitous. The great Yogins regard him as the most excellent Yoga. He has eight sorts of lordly powers. People call him the foremost of Devas. The Vipras long for emancipation through knowing that Eternal Purusha and persons, afraid of the world, are freed from birth and death. All the Ashramas designate him as Tapas. Practising hard austerities and restricting their diet people serve him. As Anata of a thousand hoods and crimson eyes he is worshipped by Sesha and other Nagas in their region. The Vipras, desirous of attaining to the celestial region, worship him as Yajna. Although present every where He is one. He is the most excellent poet and the Vedas sing Him as the ordainer of sacrificial offerings. Virtue is His effulgence. The sun and moon are His eyes and the sky is His body. That omnipotent Lord said to the Devas in most excellent words:—"

43-52. Even knowing it I have attained to this boyhood through my Yoga power. What shall I do, O you celestials, for you? What boon shall I give? Do you with pleasure pray for what you want." Hearing those words of the high-souled dwarf, Indra and other gods with folded-hands said to Kashyapa’s son:—"By virtue of his ascetic penances and of the boon conferred on him by Brahma, the omniscient and highly powerful Daitya king Bali has possessed the entire universe through his prowess and self-control. He is not to be slain by any one of us. You are alone capable of vanquishing him. No one else can discomfit him. Therefore do we all seek refuge with you, O lord, who art the remover of the fear of gods, fond of your votaries and the giver of boons. O large-armed and great king of the celestials, for the well being of the Rishis and all the worlds and for the satisfaction of Kashyapa and and Aditi let the Pitris partake of Kavya and the celestials partake duly of Havya. Do you bring back the three worlds for giving them back to the great king of the celestials, Mahendra. That Danava is celebrating a horse-sacrifice, do you therefore think of an expedient by which you mayst regain the worlds".

53. Vaishampayana said:—Thus addressed by the celestials Vishnu, in his dwarf form, said to the Devas, filling them with joy.

54-55. Vishnu said:—"Let Angira’s son, the highly effulgent Rishi Vrihaspati, who has mastered the Vedas, take me to his sacrifice. Going to his sacrificial ground I will do what I think proper for regaining the three worlds".

56-60. Thereupon the highly effulgent and intelligent Vrihaspati took the Omnipotent Dwarf to the sacrificial ground of the Daitya king Bali endued with high intellectual powers. That Dwarf assumed the form of a boy, had smoky eyes, wore sacrificial thread well-polished and deer-skin. He had an umbrella and staff in his hands. Though not aged he appeared like an old man. Meditated upon by Brahma and other gods that foremost of Suras, the Lord of the Patriarchs, went to the sacrificial ground of the Daitya king Virocana’s son Bali.

61. Although the gate was well-protected by properly armed and accoutered Daityas he all on a sudden entered there.

62. The powerful Dwarf appeared before Bali, the king of Daityas and Danavas, completely encircled by priests well-versed in reciting mantras.

63-72. Having arrived at the sacrificial ground filled with Brahmana saints the lord described himself as being identical with Yajna. Having described in detail the sacrifice that Eternal Purusha, identical with Yajna and a master of sacrificial rites, vanquished Sukra and other priests with various quotations and they could advance no reply. Before the Rishis and priests the Omnipotent Lord, of wonderful speech, with reasons and arguments laid down in the Vedas, but not visible to any, described himself unto Bali as being identical with sacrifice. Thereupon seeing the elderly Rishis and Upadhyayas (preceptors) silenced by that highly effulgent dwarfish boy Virocana’s son Bali regarded it as a wonder. And filled with surprise and bending low his head, he, with folded hands, said:—"Whence have you come? Who are you? Whose son are you? what necessity have you here? I had never seen before such an intelligent, beautiful, good-looking, charming Brahmana boy endued with such spiritual culture and so well read in the Vedas. The Devas, the Rishis, Nagas, Yakshas, Asuras, Rakshasas, Pitris, Siddhas, Gandharvas, none amongst them, has such a son. Whoever you may be, I bow, unto you. Tell me what I can do for you".

73. Thus addressed by Bali that Dwarf, conversant with expedients, whose nature cannot be conceived by any, smiling a little, said.

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