The Bhagavata Purana

by G. V. Tagare | 1950 | 780,972 words | ISBN-10: 8120838203 | ISBN-13: 9788120838208

This page describes The Marriage of Pracetasas with Marisha and the birth of Daksha which is chapter 30 of the English translation of the Bhagavata Purana, one of the eighteen major puranas containing roughly 18,000 metrical verses. Topics include ancient Indian history, religion, philosophy, geography, mythology, etc. The text has been interpreted by various schools of philosophy. This is the thirtieth chapter of the Fourth Skandha of the Bhagavatapurana.

Chapter 30 - The Marriage of Pracetasas with Māriṣā and the birth of Dakṣa

Vidura said:

1. What well-being did the sons of Prācīnabarhis mentioned by you, accomplish by propitiating Hari through repeatedly reciting the hymn sung by Rudra, Oh Brahman.

2. Oh pupil of Bṛhaspati (Maitreya)! Meeting by a lucky chance god Śiva (the Lord of mount Kailāsa), the Pracetasas who won the grace (lit. became favourite personal attendants of the Lord of Kaivalya or Liberation.[1] must have certainly attained to their highest goal in life (viz. Liberation or Mokṣa). Please tell me: Have they attained it here or hereafter?

Maitreya said:

3. Pracetasas who wished to carry out the order of their father remained under the waters of the sea (-like lake)[2] and propitiated the creator of all bodies (i e. Viṣṇu) by worshipping him with repeated recitation (of the hymn sung by Rudra) and by practising austerities.

4. At the end of (the penance covering) ten thousand years, the Eternal Supreme Man (Lord Viṣṇu) manifested himself to them in a purely sāttvika form, completely pacifying their trouble of penance by his soothing splendour.

5. Like a (dark-blue) cloud on the peak of mount Meru (which is of pure gold) he rode over the shoulders of Garuḍa. He wore a yellow garment and had the Kaustubha gem in his necklace. By his splendour he dispelled the darkness from all directions.

6. His cheeks as well as his entire face appeared refulgent with bright gold ornaments (shedding a spectrum of variegated light of the precious stones set in ornaments). He wore a brilliant crown. He was wielding (lit. was attended upon by) eight weapons[3] (in his eight hands). He was waited upon by his attendants, sages and prominent gods (like Brahmā); His glory was being sung by the celestial singer Garuḍa with the fluttering of his (Veda-) wings.

7. The First (Ancient-most or Supreme) Man was garlanded with a wreath of forest-flowers (vanamālā) which vied in beauty with the goddess Lakṣmī who beautified the central space (His chest) encircled by His eight long and mighty arms. He looked with compassion at the sons of Barhiṣmat (the Pracetasas) who sought his protection, and addressed to them in deep voice like the rumbling of clouds.

The Venerable Lord said:

8. May you be blessed, Oh Princes! Due to your strong mutual love, you are following the same religious observances. I am highly pleased with you by your brotherly affection. You seek a boon from me.

9. A man who will daily remember you at dusk and dawn, will love his brothers like his own self and will cherish friendliness to all living beings.

10. I shall bestow whatever boon is desired from me and brilliant intellect as well, to those who every morning and evening praise me with concentrated mind, with the hymn (which Rudra sang).

11. Since you have, with gladness, accepted and carried out the command of your father, your enviable glory will spread all over the worlds.

12. You will have a glorious son who is not inferior to Brahmā (the creator) in excellent attributes and who will fill (i.e. populate) the whole of these three worlds with his progeny.

13. Oh Princes! A lotus-eyed girl was born to (a heavenly nymph called) Pramlocā from (a sage by name) Kaṇḍu. When the girl was abandoned (by her mother) (the presiding deity of) trees took charge of her.

14. When she, being hungry, began to cry, king Soma (the Moon god) who was moved with compassion, put his index finger overflowing with nectar, in her mouth.

15. You are commanded to increase population by your father who is (now) my follower. Therefore, marry that beautiful girl (with fine hips) without delay.

16. All of you are observers of the same vows (e.g. protection of subjects) and are of similar disposition (good- naturedness, high moral character etc.). She will completely dedicate her heart to you all and hence will have the same disposition and observe the same vows. (Hence there will be no conflict). May this beautiful lady (with a slender waist) be your wife.

17. Without any diminution in physical vigour, you will enjoy the earthly and heavenly pleasures through my grace, for a period of one million celestial years.

18. Then through your firm devotion to me, the impurities (such as lust, hate) in your heart will be burnt. Being disgusted with the hell (-like pleasures of this world and the next), you will attain to my abode.

19. Even in the case of those men who enter householder’s life, if they dedicate all their actions to me and spend their time in talking and hearing about my stories, the householder’s life does not result in a bondage to them.

20. By listening to the discourses about me, by those who are well-versed in the Vedas, I, the Omniscient Lord, enter the heart of those devotees as if I become new one (every moment). This entry (i.e. my manifestation) into the heart itself is the realization of Brahman, for those who reach me are not deluded, grieved nor are elated.

Maitreya said:

21. When Lord Viṣṇu (Janārdana), the conferrer of the objectives in human life (viz. dharma, artha, kāma and Mokṣa) and the best Friend of all, spoke to them thus, Pracetasas, whose impurities of tamas (ignorance) and rajas (emotions and passions) have been perfectly cleansed at his sight, bowed him with folded hands and addressed to him with their voice choked (with tears).

Pracetasas said:

22. “Many salutations to the Lord who destroys all types of misery and whose excellent attributes and names have been considered (by the Vedas and knowers of the Brahman) as the means of attaining the highest good. Obeisance to him who surpasses the mind and speech in speed[4] and whose path is beyond the ken of all the senses.

23. In your own essential nature, you are pure, serene (and joy incarnate). The unreal appearance of duality in you is due to (the function of the) mind. For the creation, sustenance and dissolution of the universe, you have assumed forms (of Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Śiva) through the guṇas (attributes viz. Sattva, rajas and tamas) of the Māyā. Our salutations to you.

24. Obeisance to Hari who is essentially pure sattva (unmixed with rajas and tamas), and knowledge about whom terminates the saṃsāra. Bow to Vāsudeva, Kṛṣṇa. the Lord of all Sātvatas.

25. Hail to you who have a lotus sprouted in the navel. Bow to the Lord, the wearer of a wreath of lotuses. Salutations to the God with lotus-like feet. Obeisance to you, Oh lotuseyed God!

26. Salutations to you who wear spotless, pure yellow garments like the filaments of the lotus. We bow to you who are the abode of all beings and a seer or witness of them all.

27. You have manifested to us who are afflicted with miseries, your form which annihilates all these kinds of trouble. What more grace could be shown? (This is the highest favour shown to us).

28. Oh destroyer of inauspiciousness! Only this much is to be done by the masters who are kind and compassionate to the poor that they should remember at the proper time, that the inḍigents are their own. (But in our case you have done much more than that in manifesting yourself to us).

29. Such remembrance (of the poor) brings peace and happiness to beings. Abiding as you are as antaryāmin (Inner Controller) in the hearts of even the most insignificant creatures. how is it that you do not know the blessing desired by us who are your devotees?

30. To us whom you are not only a guide to Liberation but a goal desired by us, the very fact that the Lord is pleased with us, is itself a boon sought by us.

31. We, however, seek a boon from you, Oh Lord, who are beyond the cause of causes i.e. Prakṛti (the prime cause of the universe). As there is no limit to your excellences or glories, you are extolled as Ananta (Infinite).

32. When the Pārījāta tree is easily found (by a lucky chance), a bee does not resort to any other tree. (Similarly), when we have found shelter at your feet directly, what other things should we seek?[5]

33. So long as we, being dominated by Māyā. are wandering here in the saṃsāra due to the force of our actions (karmas), may we be blest in every life with the companionship of devotees attached to you.

34. We do not consider (the pleasures in) heaven or even the final beatitude as equivalent to the companionship of your devotees (enjoyed even for a single moment). What of blessings like kingdom etc.) coveted by mortal beings?

35. In the company of Your votaries, sweet purifying stories (of the Lord) which pacify the thirst of desire are extolled. There is absence of enmity against all beings. Nor is there any fear to anybody.

36. There (in the company of devotees) the glorious Lord Nārāyaṇa Himself, the goal of Sannyāsins, is again and again extolled through sacred stories, by persons who are free from attachment.

37. Will not the association of your devotees who with a desire to purify the sacred places, move about on foot, be liked by a person afraid (of saṃsāra)?

38. Oh Lord! It is due to a moment’s contact with your friend, god Śiva (Bhava) that we have today attained to you direct—you who are our goal and the best physician who cures the incurable malady of (the cycle of) births and deaths.

39-40. Oh Lord! (we seek the second boon:). Whatever we have properly studied, whatever troubles we have taken for propitiating the preceptors, Brāhmaṇas and elderly people by our compliance, the respects we paid to noble persons, friends, brothers and to all living beings without any jealousy, the austere penances we have performed without food, submerged in water for a very long period—may all this, we beseech you, contribute to the entire satisfaction and pleasure of yours—you who are the Omnipresent, the Supreme Man.

41. Manu, god Brahmā (the self-born), glorious Lord Śiva and others who have purified their hearts with penance and knowledge, praise your greatness even though they could not grasp the fullest extent of your glory. Hence we extol you according to our humble capacity.

42. Obeisance to you, the Supreme Man, who are equal to all and pure (unsoiled by Māyā). Salutation to you, glorious Lord Vāsudeva, who are pure sattva incarnate.”

Maitreya said:

43. Thus extolled by Pracetasas, Hari who is affectionate to his devotees (lit. those who seek his shelter) and is of irresistible prowess, became pleased with them and conferred that boon (saying ‘So be it’.). Even though their eyes were not satiated by looking at him and they did not wish his departure, he returned to his abode.

44. Then the Pracetasas came out froṇi the water of the sea (-like lake). Seeing the earth (wildly) covered with trees that had grown so tall as to obstruct the way to heaven, they flared up with wrath.

45. For rendering the earth tree-less, they then angrily breathed out from their mouth fire and wind, just as Saṃvartaka or Kālāgni Rudra does at the time of the dissolution of the universe.

46. Seeing the trees being thus reduced to ashes, god Brahmā appeared and pacified the sons of Barhiṣmat (Pracetasas) by reasoning.

47. Then the surviving trees which were terrified, acted upon the advice of god Brahmā and offered their daughter to Pracetasas.

48. In compliance of the command of god Brahmā, they (Pracetasas) married Māriṣā (the daughter of the trees). Dakṣa, the former mind-born son of Brahmā (lit. one born of the unborn Viṣṇu), was born of her, on account of his (Dakṣa’s) insulting the great god Śiva (formerly).

49. At the advent of the Cākṣuṣa Manvantara (the sixth aeon), when the previous creation was annihilated by the force of time[6] it was this Dakṣa who directed by the Lord, created the progeny as desired by him.

50. While he was being born, he eclipsed with his own splendour the light of all luminous bodies. He came to he called Dakṣa, the competent, on account of his precision and proficiency in the performance of ritualistic acts.

51. (The beginningless) god Brahmā installed him (as a Prajāpati—the protector of the creation) and appointed him to procreate and protect the creation. Dakṣa (in his turn) employed all other Prajāpatis—progenitors of creation—to perform their respective jobs.

Footnotes and references:


i.e. Viṣṇu—Padaratnāvalī


Vide supra 4.24.20; 4.25.2.


Bhāgavata Candrikā enumerates them: a conch, the disc—Sudarśana, the mace Kaumodakī, a lotus, the Śārṅga bow, an arrow, a sword, a shield. He defends the inclusion of a lotus as weapon by chatri-nyāya.


Cf. tad dhāvato'nyān atyeti tiṣṭhan / Īśa. 4.


Alternatively: (i) Why should we beg for other contemptible things?

(ii) If we are to seek anything there is no end to desires—Bhāvāratha Dīpikā


When Dakṣa’s previous body was destroyed through the force of time (Bhāvāratha Dīpikā).

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