The Brahmanda Purana

by G.V. Tagare | 1958 | 319,243 words | ISBN-10: 8120838246 | ISBN-13: 9788120838246

This page describes the legend of yajnavalkya’s receiving the veda from the sun-god which is Chapter 35 of the English translation of the Brahmanda Purana: one of the oldest puranas including common Puranic elements such as cosmogony, genealogy, ethics, geography and yoga. Traditionally, the Brahmandapurana is said to consist of 12,000 verses metrical Sanskrit verses.

Chapter 35 - The legend of Yājñavalkya’s receiving the Veda from the Sun-God

Summary: The Legend of Yājñavalkya’s receiving the Veda from the Sun-God:366 Legend of Vyāsa: Description of Svāyambhuva Manvantara.

Note: The Legend that Yājñavalkya received a new Veda (the white Yajurveda) from the Sun-god is as old as the Mahābhārata Śānti 318.6-12. But this chapter in the Mbh. does not mention his guru’s order to recant the Yajurveda learnt by Yājñavalkya from him due to his insolence and uncharitable remarks about his class-mates’ capacity to perform that penance.

Sūta said:—

1. Śākalya (otherwise known as) Devamitra, an intelligent noble-soul, a leading Brāhmaṇa who was the foremost among those who were conversant with the Vedas, composed five Saṃhitās.[1]

2. He had five disciples viz. Mudgala, Gokhala, Khalīyān, Sutapas and the fifth his dear (child) Śaiśireya.

3. The excellent Brāhmaṇa (?) expounded three Saṃhitās viz. Śāka, Vaiṇa and Rathītara. He composed a fourth (work) the Nirukta.

4. He had four disciples viz. Paila, Īkṣalaka [Ikṣalaka?], Śatabalāka the intelligent and Gaja, O excellent Brāhmaṇas.

5. Bharadvāja, son of Bāṣkala, expounded three Saṃhitās. He had three noble-souled disciples endowed with good qualities.

6. They were, Tvāpanāpa the intelligent, Pannagāri the wise one and the third one Ārjava. All of them were praiseworthy, of holy observances due to the power of penance.

7. They were devoid of passion. They had great splendour. They were perfect masters of the Saṃhitās.

Thus have been described the Bahvṛcas by whom the Saṃhitās were made to function.

8-9. The disciple of Vaiśampāyana composed Yajurveda. Eighty-six splendid Saṃhitās[2] were expounded by him. He gave them to his disciples and they grasped them in accordance with the injunctions. One of them, Yājñavalkya of supreme power of penance, was excluded[3] (? by the preceptor).

10. There were eighty-six disciples, the propounders of diverse Saṃhitās and there were three different kinds in everyone of them.

11. The three kinds in the splendid last variety of Veda are the (I) Northern (2) of the middle region and (3) the eastern one.

12-13. Śyāmāyani became the leader of the Udīcyas (Northerners). Āsuri is remembered as the first founder of (the Vedic branch) of the middle region. Ālambi is the foremost among the Prācyas (Easterners). There are (thus) the three regional heads.[4]

Thus the Carakas, the Brahman expounders of the Saṃhitās have been described.

The sages said:—

14. Why are they (called) Carakādhvaryus? Tell the reason factually. What is the (rite) observed (by them)? For what reason did they attain the status of Caraka.

Sūta said:—

15. The sages had some work to do, O excellent Brāhmaṇa. After reaching the top of the Meru, they conferred with one another as follows:

16. “If any excellent Brāhmaṇa does not turn up here within seven days, he shall (have to) perform (expiation for) Brāhmaṇa-slaughter (Brahma-Hatyā). This is proclaimed as our stipulated condition.”

17. Thereafter, all of them excepting Vaiśaṃpāyana went to the place where the assemblage had been fixed. (They attended along with all the members of their groups).

18. At the instance of the Brāhmaṇas, he performed (the atonement for) Brahma-Hatyā. After calling together all the disciples he said:—

19. “Perform (the expiation of) Brahma-Hātyā on my behalf, O excellent Brāhmaṇas. All of you gather together and utter the words conducive to welfare, as desired.

Yājñavalkya said:—

20. “I shall perform it single-handed. Let these sages stand by. Purified by my own penance, I shall lift it up with my power”.

21. On being told thus, he (Vaiśampāyana) became angry and expelled Yājñavalkya. He said “Return to me every thing that has been learned by you”.

22. On being told thus, (the sage) the most excellent one among the knowers of Brahman, vomited out the Yajur Mantras that had perceptible forms and had been smeared with blood.

23. Thereafter, the Brāhmaṇa meditated upon the sun-god and propitiated him. The Veda that had come up went over to the sun and stayed there.

24. The sun-god who was pleased with him gave unto Brahmarāti (i.e. Yājñavalkya who had the fund of Vedic knowledge) those Yajur Mantras that had gone up to the Solar sphere.

25-27. Mārtaṇḍa (the Sun) gave those Yajur-Mantras to the intelligent Yājñavalkya who had assumed the form of horse.[5] (Some) Brāhmaṇas study those Yajur Mantras by some means or the other. The Mantras had been given to (Yājñavalkya) who had assumed the form of a horse. Hence, those Brāhmaṇas became Vājins. Those by whom (the expiation for) Brahma-Hatyā had been observed are remembered as Carakas because they had performed (Caraṇāt) the atonement. The disciples of Vaiśampāyana are detailed as Carakas).[6]

Thus these Carakas have been recounted. Now understand the Vājins.

28-30. There are fifteen Vājins. They are the disciples of Yājñavalkya viz.—Kaṇva, Baudheya Madhyandina, his son, Vaidheya, Addha, Bauddhaka, Tāpanīya, Vatsa, Jābāla, Kevala, Āvaṭī, Puṇḍra, Vaiṇoya and Parāśara.[7] These are mentioned as Vājins. They are fifteen excellent men. The branches of Yajur Mantras should be known as one hundred and one.

31. Jaimini taught his son Sumantu.[8] Sumantu taught his son Sutvan.

32-33. Sutvan taught his son Sukarman. Sukarman quickly studied a thousand Saṃhitās and expounded them to a thousand disciples who had the splendour of the sun. As they were studying during the days (when they should not be studied) Indra slew them.

34. Thereafter, for the sake of his disciples he performed Protest fast unto death (Prāyopaveśana). On seeing him furious, Indra granted him a boon.

35. “You will have two disciples of great vigour and unequalled splendour. Let those two extremely intelligent (disciples) study the thousand Saṃhitās.

36-38. O excellent Brāhmaṇa, these highly fortunate gods (Devas) have become furious”.

After saying this to Sukarman of great fame, the glorious Vāsava (Indra) saw that the anger of the Brāhmaṇa had calmed down and (so) the lord vanished suddenly. His disciples were (1) The intelligent and highly excellent Brāhmaṇa Pauṣyañji and the second one (2) Hiraṇyanābha alias Kauśalya who was a. king. Pauṣyañji taught half a thousand (i.e. 500) Saṃhitās.

39. The splendid disciples of Pauṣyañji were known by the name Udīcya Sāmans. Kauśilya studied five Saṃhitās called Sattvas[9] (?)

40. The disciples of Hiraṇyanābha are remembered as Prācya Sāmagas. The four disciples of Pauṣyañji were Laugākṣi, Kuśumi, Kuśīdi and Lāṅgali. Now understand the different branches of these.

41. The different branches of (the school of) Laugākṣi are Nāḍāyanīya, Tāṇḍiputra (son of Taṇḍi), from him a fine scholar named Anovaina, Susahas son of Sakoti, and Sunāman. Understand these as the members of the different branches of the school of Laugākṣi.

42-44. Kuśumi had three disciples viz. Aurasa, Parāśara and the brilliant Nābhivitta. Thus, the Kausumas are remembered of three types.

Śauriṣu and Śṛṅgiputra (son of Śṛṅgi)—these two observed holy rites for a long time.

Rāṇāyanīya and Saumitri were experts in Sāma Veda, Śṛṅgiputra of great penance expounded three Saṃhitās.

45. Vaina, Prācīnayoga and Surāla were excellent Brāhmaṇas. Kauthuma Pārāśarya (son of Parāśara) expounded six Saṃhitās.

46. Āsurāyaṇa and Vaiśākhya were devotedly attached to the elderly Vedic scholars.

The intelligent Patañjali was the son of Prācīna Yoga.

47. The branches of (the school of) Kauthuma, son of Parāśara are remembered as six. Lāṅgala (otherwise known as) Śālihotra expounded six Saṃhitās.

48. Hālini, Jyāmahāni, Jaimini, Lomagāyani, Kaṇḍu and Kohala—these six are remembered as the followers of Lāṅgala.

49. These were the disciples of Lāṅgali and Saṃhitās were founded and promulgated by them. One alone, a prince Kṛta (was made) the disciple of Hiraṇya-Nābha.

50. He composed twentyfour Saṃhitās. The foremost among bipeds expounded them to his disciples. Understand their names.

51-55. Rāḍi, Rāḍavīya, Pañcama, Vāhana, Talaka, Māṇḍuka, Kālika, Rājika, Gautama, Ajabasta, Somarājāyana, Puṣṭi, Parikṛṣṭa and Ulūkhalaka (were the elder ones). The younger ones were Śālī, Aṅgulīya, Kauśika, Śālimañjarī, Pāka, Śadhīya, Kānini and the virtuous soul Parāśarya—Thus the Sāmagas have been recounted.

Among all the Sāmagas, Pauṣyañji and Kṛta arc declared as the most excellent ones. They were expounders of Saṃhitās.

O Brāhmaṇas! Sumantu divided Atharvan into two and gave them to his disciples.[10]

56-58. He gave Kabandha the black (Atharvan Mantra). That scholar Kabandha classified it into two even as he listened to it and passed them on, one to Pathya and the second to Devadarśa. That lordly sage classified it into four. Devadarśa’s four disciples were Moda, Brahmabala, Pippalāda and Śaulkāyani was the fourth one. He was conversant with Dharma and he was established (and engrossed) in penance. All these four disciples of Devadarśa were firm observers of holy rites.

59. Know that the further excellent classification of Pathyas is three-fold. (The disciples were) Jājali, Kumudādi and the third one is remembered as Śaunaka.

60. Śaunaka divided the Saṃhitā into two and handed over one to Babhrū. The intelligent sage transferred (taught) the second Saṃhitā to (a disciple) named Saindhavāyaṇa.

61-62. Saindhava (otherwise known as) Muñjakeśya split into two the Saṃhitā already divided into two.

The excellent divisions[11] of Atharvan Saṃhitā are as follows:—Nakṣatrakalpa, Vaitāna, the third one Saṃhitā-Vidhi, the fourth one the Kalpa of Aṅgiras and the fifth one Śāntikalpa.

63-65. O excellent sages, Khaḍga[12] (?) expounded the Purāṇa along with me.[13]

The following are said to be my disciples who cling closely to the Purāṇas viz. Ātreya, the intelligent Sumati, Kāśyapa, Akṛtavraṇa, Bhāradvāja, Agnivarcas, Vasiṣṭha, Mitrāyu, Sāvarṇi, Somadatti, Suśarman and Śāṃśapāyana. Three Saṃhitās were composed by three of them.

66. Kāśyapa, Sāvarṇi and Śāṃśapāyana are the composers of Saṃhitās. My Saṃhitā shall be the fourth one. These four are the original (purāṇa) Saṃhitās.

67. All of them have four Pādas (feet/sections). All of them have the same import. In the alternate reading, they are futile in the same way as the branches of the Vedas.1 2

68-69. All of them comprise four thousand verses except Śāṃśapāyanikā. Laumaharṣaṇikā is the original one. Kāśyapikā is the next one. Sāvarṇikā is the third one embellished with straight-forward statements and themes. The Śāṃśapāyanikā Saṃhitā is embellished by impressive and inspiring-themes.

70.[14] There are altogether eight-thousand and six hundred Ṛk Mantras. There are fifteen, ten and ten more Ṛks (35 i.e. altogether 8635).

71-73.[15] Along with the Vālakhilya and Suparṇa hymns they are stated to be seven[16] (?)

The Sāman Mantras altogether are eight thousand and fourteen. The Sāmagas sing this along with the Āraṇyakas and “Ho-Ha”[17].

The Ādhvaryava consists of twelve thousand verses2 and Yajur Mantras. Vyāsa composed as many Yajur and Brāhmaṇa Mantras along with Grāmya (rural), Āraṇyaka (Forest) and recitation of sacred texts (scriptural divisions).

74. Henceforth, there is the qualifying adjective Pūrvā (former) for the Kathās (Stories) (?). The Ṛk, Brāhmaṇa and Yajus are remembered as containing Grāmya, Āraṇyaka Mantras (?).

75. So also the additional hymns known as Khilas and Upakhilas of the disciples of Hari-dru. Similarly, the additional Mantras of Taittirīyas are remembered as Parakṣudras (every short verses like Kṣudra sūkta).

76. In the Veda of Vājasaneyākas, the total number of Ṛk Mantras is reckoned as one thousand nine hundred. The Brāhmaṇa portion is four times that.[18]

77. The total number of Yajur Mantras and Ṛks is eight thousand eight hundred and eighty, along with Śukriya (Sāmas belonging to Pravargya and) Khila (Additional) Mantras according to Yājñavalkya.

78-81. Similarly, listen to (the number of verses) of Cāraṇa Vidyās (a school of Atharva Veda) along with its extent (number).

The total number of Ṛks (according to various Śākhās) is said to be six thousand twenty-six.[19] Yajur Mantras, it is said, are somewhat more than this.

There are eleven thousand ten Ṛks.

There are ten thousand and eighty Ṛks.

There are one thousand and thirty Ṛk Mantras according to the authorities.

This much is the extent of Ṛk Mantras.

Another thing about Atharvan Mantras. It is the conclusion that according to Bahvṛcas the Atharvan Mantras are five thousand.

82. It should be known by the sages that there are a thousand more excepting twenty (i.e. nine hundred and eighty). What is said here is in accordance with Aṅgirasas.[20] They have Āraṇyakas also.

83. Thus, the number is reckoned. The different branches are mentioned. The originators of the branches and the causes of difference (are also mentioned).

84. There are differences of branches (of Veḍic schools} in all the Manvantaras in this manner. The Śruti (as uttered by) Prajāpati is eternal. These are remembered as their alternative recensions.

85-86. On account of the fact that the Devas are not eternal, the Mantras originate, again and again.[21] The differences among the Śrutis during Dvāpara Yugas have been recounted.

Thus, after classifying the Vedās and handing them over to his disciples, the godly excellent sage went to the forest for performing penance.

87-89a. These different schools of Vedic branches have been evolved by his disciples and the disciples of his disciples.

There are fourteen Vidyās (Lores) viz. the six Vedāṅgas (Ancillary subjects), the four Vedas, the Mīmāṃsā and Nyāya Vistara (Logic), Dharmaśāstra and Purāṇa (Mythology).

Four more lores viz. Āyurveda (Medicine), Dhanurveda (Science of archery) Gāndharva (Musicology), these three together with Arthaśāstra (Economics, Political economy) constitute (along with the former ones) the eighteen lores.[22]

89b-90a. It should be known that Brahmarṣis are the earliest ones, thereafter the Devarṣis and then the Rājarṣis.[23] Thus the sources of origin of the sages are three.

90b-91. Expounders of Brahman (or Veda) are born in the five families viz.—Kāśyapas, Vasiṣṭhas, Bhṛgus, Aṅgirasas and Atris.

Since they approach (ṛṣanti) Brahmā, they are remembered as Brahmarṣis.

92-95. The Devarṣis are the sons of Dharma, Pulastya, Kratu, Pulaha, Pratyūṣa, Deva (Prabhāsa as per Vā.P.) and Kāśyapa. Know them by name.

The Devarṣis (divine sages) Nara and Nārāyaṇa are the sons of Dharma; the Vālakhilyas are the sons of Kratu; Kardama is the son of Pulaha; Kubera is the son of Pulastya; Dala is the son of Pratyūṣa; Nārada and Parvata are the sons of Kāśyapa.

They are remembered as Devarṣis because they approach the Devas.

96. The kings born of the family of Manu, the family of Pururavas, the scions of the families of Ikṣvāku and Nābhāga—these should be known as Rajarṣis (saintly kings).

97. Since they approach the subjects befriending and delighting them, they are called Rājarṣis.

Brahmarṣis devoid of impurities are remembered as those who are well established in the region of Brahmā.

98. The splendid Devarṣis should be known as those who are well established in the world of the Devas.

All Rājarṣis are considered to be those (who are) well established in the world of Indra.

99-103. I shall tell the characteristics of those who, on account of their nobility of birth, penance and ability to utter (compose and recite) mantras, are proclaimed as Bramharṣis (Brahmanical sages), divine sages (Devarṣis) and Rājarṣis (Royal sages).

They have the knowledge of the past, present and future; they invariably utter the truth; they are self-contented, self enlightened and famous on account of their penance; they are able to realise everything even while in the womb; they compose and recite Mantras, are able to go everywhere on account of their masterly super-power; they are Devas, Brāhmaṇas and Kings—those who have acquired all these are considered to be sages.

Seven of them with seven characteristic good features are remembered as the seven Sages.[24]

104-106. They are long-lived; they compose Mantras; they have divine vision acquired from Īśvara (God); they have started their own lineage; they are perpetually engaged in the enlightenment and can perceive things directly; they have six holy rites; they are modest householders; they deal with every one impartially, faultlessly and in a manner that they cause good religious acts. They sustain themselves by means of tasty exudations prepared by themselves and not all base; they are intelligent householders; they live deep inside the forests.

107. In Kṛta and the other Yugas, at the very outset the establishment of the four castes and stages of life is carried out by all of them.

108. In the early years of the advent of Tretā-Yuga again, these seven sages introduce and establish the division of social classes (Varṇas) and stages of life everywhere.

109-110. Heroes and warriors are born again and again in their lineage. The father begets a son and the son later on becomes a father(?). Thus the line continues without a break till the end of the Yuga. The number of these householders is said to be eighty eight thousand.

111. These (householders) resort to the Pitṛyāna to the South of Aryaman (Sun). They take wives unto themselves and perform Agnihotra sacrifices and they are remembered as causes of progeny.

112. The householders are innumerable. They resort to cremation grounds. Eighty-eight thousand of them are placed in the Northern path.

113. They are the sages with sublimated sexual impulses and it is reported that they have reached heaven. Composers of Mantras and Brāhmaṇas are born at the end of the Yuga.

114-115. Thus, they are repeatedly reborn in the Dvāpara Ages. They are the composers of Kalpa texts (Ritualistic Texts) and different scriptures and treatises on Ārṣa-Vidyā[25] (Lores pertaining to the Sages).

Vedic rites are put into practice by them again and again, in the Dvāpara Yugas in the Vaivasvata Manvantara.

116. The vedas were classified twenty-eight times by the great sages.[26] During the first Dvāpara, the Vedas were classified by the self-born lord himself.

117. During the second Dvāpara, Prajāpati was the Vedavyāsa (classifier of the Vedas). In the third Dvāpara, Uśanas was the classifier and Bṛhaspati (was such arranger) in the fourth.

118. Savitṛ was the classifier in the fifth Dvāpara; lord Mṛtyu is remembered (as the Vyāsa) in the sixth Dvāpara. Indra (did the same) in the seventh and Vasiṣṭha in the eighth.

119. Sārasvata in the ninth, Tridhāman in the tenth; Trivarṣā in the eleventh and Sanadvāja (was the Vyāsa) thereafter (i.e. in the 12th).

120. Antarīkṣa (was Vyāsa) in the thirteenth; Dharma in the fourteenth; Traiyāruṇi in the fifteenth and Dhanañjaya in the sixteenth.

121. Kṛtañjaya in the seventeenth; Ṛjīṣa in the eighteenth; after Ṛjīṣa, Bharadvāja was the Vyāsa and Gautama (was so) after Bharadvāja.

122. After Gautama it was Uttama; Haryavana is remembered (as Vyāsa) thereafter; Vena was after Haryavana and Vājaśravas is remembered (as Vyāsa) thereafter.

123-124. Somamukhyāyana was after Vājaśravas and Tṛṇabindu thereafter. After Tṛṇabindu it was Tataja; Śakti is remembered (as Vyāsa) after Tataja; Parāśara (was so) after Śakti. Jātūkarṇa came thereafter and Dvaipāyana is remembered (as the Vyāsa) thereafter.

125-126. Thus twenty-eight Vedavyāsas are the ancient ones. In the future Dvāpara, when Dvaipāyana Vedavyāsa passes away, Droṇi [Droṇī?] of great power of penance, shall become Vedavyāsa. In the future also there will be the classifications of branches (of Vedic Schools).

127-128. Brahmā had acquired Brahman. (Vedic knowledge) that is imperishable by means of penance. Holy rite is also acquired by means of penance and fame by the holy rite. Again, truthfulness is acquired by splendour and the imperishable Bliss is acquired by truthfulness. The pure, immortal Brahman, the imperishable Bliss, is enveloped and pervaded by Satya (Truth). Brahman alone is called Amṛta (nectar immortal).

129. It is eternal, determined as this one-syllabled Om alone. It is designated as the Brahman on account of its greatness or (inconceivable) vastness and its quality of firmness.

130. Obeisance to that Brahman that is established in Praṇava (i.e. Oṃkāra); that is remembered again and again as Bhūr, Bhuvaḥ, Svaḥ in the Vedas—the Atharvan, Ṛk, Yajus and Sāman.

131. Obeisance to that excellent Brahman that is designated as the cause of annihilation and origination of the Universe and that is the esoteric secret beyond Mahat.

132. It is unfathomable, unlimited and imperishable or inexhaustible. It is the source of origin of delusion of the Universe. It gets the aims of human life realised through illumination and activity.

133. It is the firm support of those who have the knowledge of Śāṅkhya system; it is the goal of those who have perfect control over their minds and sense-organs; it is mentioned as Avyakta (unmanifest one); the Brahman is the eternal material cause Prakṛti.

134. It is indicated and extolled as (by means of the following terms): Pradhāna (chief), Ātmayoni (source of the origin of the self), the mysterious secret Being or Consciousness; Avibhāga (undivided), Śukra (pure), Akṣara (imperishable) and Bahudhātmaka (that which appears as multiformed).

135. Perpetual and repeated obeisance unto that Supreme Brahman. In the Kṛta Yuga (as) there is no religious rite, how can there be persons who have not done their religious duties?

136-142. Whatever is done once in the world, that which is committed and omitted, what should be heard and what is heard, whether good or bad, what should be known and pondered over, what should be touched and eaten, what should be seen or beard or smelt somehow (is Brahman itself).

What is shown by it is understood by the Devarṣis. Who is competent to seek and find out what has not been pointed out? It is God alone who has declared all things, everything and every one. Whenever anything is done by anyone, he identifies himself with it.

What is done here before, is not spoken about by another. When something is done by some-one, somewhere and somehow, it is done by it alone (i.e. Brahman). The act (merely) appears to be that of the doer.

Virakti (Absence of passion), Atirakti (too much of passion), knowledge and ignorance, pleasure and displeasure, dharma and adharma (virtue and evil), happiness and sorrow, death and immortality, the state of being above, below or at the sides—all these belong (to that Brahman) that is the cause of the unseen (destiny).

143-144. They belong to the self-born lord, the eldest Brahmā Parameṣṭhin (the highest Deity). During the Tretā Yugas, again and again it becomes understandable to every one. What is to be understood as one (the State of being a Single Veda) is divided and classified during Dvāpara Yugas again and again. Brahmā communicated these Vedas at the beginning, during the Vaivasvata Manvantara.

145. Sages are repeatedly born in the Yugas again and again. They compose various Saṃhitās as they are born of each other.

146. Eighty-eight thousand Śrutarṣis are remembered. So many Saṃhitās are repeated again and again.

147. In every Yuga, those Śākhās are classified again and again by those who resorted to cremation grounds and the Southern path.

148. In all the Dvāpara Yugas, the Saṃhitās (are classified) by the Śrutarṣis. These Śākhās are in vogue again and again in their Gotras (families).

149-150. The Śākhās are the same and the composers too are the same. This is true till the end of the Yugas. In the same manner should be understood everything in all the Manvantaras of the past and the future.[27]

151. There are classifications of Śākhās in all the Manvantaras. They have passed by in the past Manvantaras; they exist in the current Manvantara. Whatever is going to take place will take place in the future Manvantaras. The succeeding one should be understood by means of the preceding one, and both should be understood by means of the current one.

152-153a. The decisive (knowledge) regarding the Manvantara is in the same manner. Thus the Devas, the Pitṛs, the sages and the Manus go up along with the Mantras and return along with them.1

153b-156. All the gods go to and from Janaloka again and again for ten Kalpas. When the time for return arrives, they come into contact with the inevitability of death. Thereafter, they perceive birth full of defects and preceded by ailments. So they return. Their return at that time is due to their seeing the defects. Thus they move to and fro ten times in the course of many Deva Yugas. From the Janaloka they goto Tapoloka, from where they do not return.

157. Thus thousands of Deva-Yugas have passed by. They face death in the Brahmaloka along with the sages.

158. It is not possible to describe them in detail and in due order because time has no beginning and numbers (are endless).

159-163. Manvantaras have elapsed along with the Kalpas, Sages, Pitṛs and the Devas. They are created at the due period. The Yugas come and go. In this manner hundreds and thousands of Kalpas and Manvantaras have gone by along with the subjects. At the end of a Manvantara there is annihilation and at the end of annihilation there is creation. It is impossible to describe in due order the creation and annihilation of the Devas, Sages, Pitṛs and Manvantaras even in the course of hundreds of years.[28]

Understand the number of years of Manvantara in human reckoning.

164-166. The extent of Manvantaras has been calculated by persons who are experts in calculation. Every Manvantara extends to three hundred and six million seven hundred and twenty thousand years without the extra years (of Sandhyās and Sandhyāṃśas). This calculation of Manvantara is in accordance with human reckoning. I shall mention the Manvantara in accordance with the divine reckoning of years.

167-168. In accordance with the divine reckoning the Manvantara comprises of eight hundred and fifty two thousand years. Fourteen times this period is called Ābhūtasamplava (the. annihilation of all living beings). A thousand sets of four Yugas are proclaimed as a day of Brahmā.

169-170. After that all the living beings become burned by the rays of the sun. Keeping Brahmā at the head and accompanied by the Devas, Sages and the Dānavas^ they enter lord Nārāyaṇa, the most excellent among the gods. It is he who creates all living beings again and again, at the beginning period of all Kalpas.

171. Thus this is considered to be Sthiti Kāla (period of Sustenance) along with the Devarṣis. Understand the Prati-Sandhi (Intervening periods) of all Manvantaras.

172. What is called Yuga has been recounted by me before, O sinless ones. The period comprising of Kṛta, Tretā etc. is declared as Caturyuga (a set of four Yugas).

173. The lord has said that the period of Manu’s reign consists of seventy-one sets of four Yugas along with the extra years (of the Sandhyās and Sandhyāṃśas).

174. Thus, the characteristic feature of all the Manvantaras past and future has been described by means of the present (current) one.

175. Thus, the creation of Svāyambhuva Manu has been recounted to you. I shall mention its Pratisandhi as well as that of the other.[29]

176. A Manvantara duly repeats itself as before along with the sages and the Devas on account of the inevitability of events.

177-179a. The lords of the three worlds, the seven sages, the Devas, the Pitṛs and the Manus who had been in existence earlier in this Manvantara, realise the imminence of their death at the time when the period of Manvantara along with the extra years becomes complete. They know that their reign has come to an end. On realising this, they become sad and all of them are eager to go to Maharloka.

179b-180. When that Manvantara comes to a close, when the period of existence is complete, those Devas may stay on for the period of a Kṛta Yuga. Then the future lords of the Manvantara are born.1

181-186a. So also the Devas, the Pitṛs, the sages and Manu.

When the Manvantara comes to a close, when, similarly, the Kali Yuga also comes to an end, the Kṛta Yuga sets in even when the Kaliśiṣṭas (Persons who survive the final stage of Kali) are present.

Just as the continuity of the Kṛta Yuga is remembered as preceded by Kali Yuga by learned men, so also the beginning of Manvantaras is preceded by the ends of Manvantara.

When the previous Manvantara has come to a close and another one has begun, at the beginning of the Kṛta Yuga, the Seven sages and Manu who have survived, remain there biding their time. Their sages who have become exhausted wait for the (incoming) Manvantara in order to celebrate the advent of the new Manvantara and for the sake of progeny.

When the creation of rainfall begins they begin to function as before.

186b-189. When mutually opposed pairs start functioning, when the medicinal herbs have begun to grow, when the subjects devoid of abodes have begun to stay here and there, when the agricultural activities have begun, when piety and virtue have subsided, when the whole world is devoid of gaiety, when the mobile and the immobile beings are ruined (i.e. those that had been ruined before had not been revived), when (the whole society) beginning with the villages and ending with the towns has become devoid of the discipline of classification of castes and stages of life, those righteous men, the seven sages and Manu who have survived from the previous Manvantara, remain ready for their progeny.

190-191. Even as they perform penance extremely difficult to be performed for the sake of progeny, the Devas, the Asuras, the Pitṛs, the sages, the serpents, the ghosts and goblins, the Gandharvas, the Yakṣas and the Rākṣasas are born as before on the death of the earlier persons.

192. Then those who have survived among them viz. the seven sages and Manu begin to expound the behaviour and conduct of life of good men at the beginning of the Manvantara.

193-194. Men begin to perform holy rites along with the Devas. By means of the vow of celibacy they repay the debts unto the sages. By means of progeny they repay the debts unto the Pitṛs, and by means of sacrifice they repay the debts unto the Devas. They abide by the Dharma consisting of the discipline of conduct for (different) castes for a hundred thousand years.

195. After establishing the three Vedas, the process of agricultural operation, administration of justice, pious rites, duties and the practice of all castes of stages of life and after building hermitages (for penance), they thought of departing to the heaven.

196. When the earlier Devas were thus eager to proceed to heaven all of those gods who established themselves perfectly in religion stayed perfectly virtuous.

197. When the Manvantara has passed by, they leave off all their abodes and go along with Mantras to the Maharloka that is free from ailments.

198. They had returned from their authoritative positions. They had acquired mental Siddhis. With perfect control over their sense-organs, they remain waiting for the total annihilation of all the bhūtas (i.e. the end of the universe).

199-200. Then, when the earlier Devas have passed away, when the abodes of the Devas have become vacant in all the three worlds, other Devas who are heaven-dwellers become present here. Thereafter, those who are endowed with the power of penance fill their (vacant) abodes.

201-202. They possess truthfulness, virtue, vow of celibacy and learning. The passing away of the seven sages, of Manu, of the Devas, and of the Pitṛs, of the past and future (has been mentioned) from the beginning. There is no break in the line of their progeny till the termination of the Manvantara.

203. It is in this same manner that the Sthiti (continuance in life) of those persons is also in the same order as before in all the Manvantaras till all the living beings are annihilated.

204. The characteristic feature of the transitional stage of the previous Manvantaras of the past and future has been mentioned by Svāyambhuva (son of the self-born lord) i.e. (by what is mentioned about the Svāyambhuva Manvantara).

205. The achievements (happenings) of the future Manvantaras depends upon the past Manvantaras. Thus, the unbroken line of progeny continues till the annihilation of all living beings.

206. (Defective Verses). The changes of the Manvantaras are invariably continuous in the Maharloka. The people of the Mahar and Jana worlds proceed to (and establish in) Satya-Loka.

207. By the vision of the (future) happenings there and by the knowledge of the evident manifoldness, those who are established in Satya Loka remain steady there on account of its permanence when there is a change in the period of transition of Manvantaras.

208. With the changes of the Manvantara, they leave the Satya-loka in ultimate end (?). Then on account of earnest devotion and abandonment of Viṣayas (objects of sense) they enter lord Nārāyaṇa alone.

209. In all the repeated changes of the Manvantaras that have been functioning for a long time, the world of living beings does not remain (still or the same) even for a moment. It is due to the characteristic feature of the Fate that the world of living beings undergoes change by way of decrease and increase.

210-211. Thus are the Manvantaras of those Manus of righteous souls and divine vision who are eulogised by the sages. Obtain these directly as composed by Vāyu, by means of a happy mixture of detailed explanation and brief condensation. The Manus have divine power. All the Manvantaras contain saintly kings, divine sages, Brahminical sages, Devas, and serpents. The Manvantaras are duly endowed with the lord of Devas, Seven Sages, Lord of the subjects and Pitṛs.

212-215. It is meritorious to glorify the Īśvaras (Gods). They are born of noble and liberal-minded families. They have great fame. They have flourished on account of their excellent intellect. They are honoured and worshipped on account of their reputation, lustre and renown.

This (story) is conducive to the attainment of the heaven, it is very holy; it is a great esoteric secret; it is conducive to the birth of a son. This excellent story should be recited during the great Parvan days. It quells misery and it bequeaths longevity.

May the lord of subjects endowed with Yogic power bestow Siddhi on me, because I have glorified succinctly the famous progeny of Aja (the unborn Lord Brahmā) that is holy and that mainly consists of kings, divine sages (or Devas and Sages) and Manu.

Thus the Svāyambhuva Manvantara has been recounted in detail and in due order. What shall I describe again?

Footnotes and references:


In continuation of note 1. p. 333 the spiritual or academic genealogy of Paila from Śākalya onwards is as follows:

Mudgala (composition of three Saṃhitās and the Nirukta)
(Son of Śakalya)
Bharadvāja (expounded 3 Saṃhitās)


Cf. yajurvedasya ṣaḍaśīti bhedā bhavanti CVS P. 31.


It is not clear whether Yājñavalkya was not taught Yajurveda or was made to vomit it and hence became Veda-less one. In other words, Vaiśaṃpāyana must have taught Yajur-Veda to Yājñavalkya.


As stated in the footnote on Ch. XXIII, the list of Carakas is different in the CVS.


As contrasted with the Mbh and other Purāṇas, here it is Yājñavalkya who assumes the form of a horse and not the Sun-god, while receiving the new Veda.


The Brāhmaṇas who performed penance for warding off the sin of Brahma-hatyā of their guru are called Carakas—a popular etymology.


Cf. the list of disciples of Yājñavalkya in CVS. p. 32 as that list somewhat differs from the list in the Bd. P.


VV. 31-55.give the genealogy of Sāmaveda Teachers. It is different from that in CVS. Our text gives it as follows:

Sukarman (studied 1000 Saṃhitās)
(One thousand disciples, one per Saṃhitā)
(But these were killed by Indra as noted in CVS. p. 43)
Pauṣyañji (studied 500 Saṃhitās)
King Hiraṇyanābha alias Kauśalya (Studied 500 Saṃhitās and Eastern Sāmagas)
Prince Kṛta

Udīcya (Northern) Sāmagas
Kuśumi (Kuthumi in Vā.P.)

School of Laugākṣi

School of Kuśumī

Kauthuma, son of Parāśara had six followers—Lāṅgalas alias Śālihotras viz. Hālinī, Jyāmahāni, Lomagāyani, Kaṇḍu and Kohala, these expounded 6 Saṃhitās.

King Hiraṇya-nābha
Prince Kṛta
Composed 24 Saṃhitās (taught one to each student)

Senior disciples Junior Disciples
1. Rāḍi 1. Śālī (Vaiśala in Vā.P.)
2. Rāḍavīya (Mahāvīrya in Vā.P.) 2. Aṅgulīya
3. Pañcama 3. Kauśika
4. Vāhana 4. Śālimañjarī
5. Talaka 5. Pāka (Kāpiya in Vā.P.)
6. Māṇḍuka (Pāṇḍaka in Vā P.) 6. Śadhīya
7. Kālika 7. Kāṇini
8. Rājika 8. Pārāśarya
9. Gautama  
10. Ajabasta  
11. Soma-rājāyana  
12. Puṣṭi  
13. Parikṛṣṭa  
14. Ulūkhalakā  

It may be noted that the number of disciples is 22, to make it 24, we must add their teachers Hiraṇya-nābha and Kṛta.

Lastly this Purāṇa differs considerably from the CVS in names of teachers, of the Sāmaveda (vide CVS, pp. 43-46).


Sattvāni pañca in the text is wrong, as Kauśalya studied five hundred Saṁhitās. Vā. P.61.35 correctly reads Śatāni pañca.


VV. 55-62 give the list of branches and teachers of the Atharva Veda. It is different from the information in CVS, pp. 46-49. The genealogy in this Purāṇa is as follows:

Kabandha (received Black Atharvan)
Saindhavāyana or Muñjakejya


The divisions of the Atharva Veda are five: (1) Nakṣatra-Kalpa, (2) Vaitāna, (3) Saṃhitā-Vidhi (4) Aṅgiras-Kalpa (5) Śānti-Kalpa. Probably (2) is the Vidhāna-Kalpa and (3) is the Saṃhitā-Kalpa as in the CVS, p. 46.


This reading is meaningless. Vā P.61.55 reads ṣaṭśaḥ (kṛtvā)’ dividing in six parts’. O excellent sages! Having divided in six parts the Purāṇa has been assigned by me (to my pupils).


VV.63-69 sum up the position regarding the Purāṇa tradition entrusted to Romaharṣaṇa, the Sūta. Although he had six disciples, the Purāṇas were composed by Romaharṣaṇa (the original Saṃhitā), Kāśyapa, Sāvarṇi and Śāṃśapāyana. These Purāṇas consisted of four Pādas (parts) each and of 4000 verses in each Purāṇa (except that of Śāṃśapāyana).


VV. 70-72: According to this text the Ṛgveda consists of 8635 Ṛks, but actually the number is 10552 of the Śākala Saṃhitā according to Satvalekar’s Svādhyāya Maṇḍal edition—a figure supported by (V.S. p. 17. The Sāma Veda is said to be of 8014 mantras, though actually the present Sāma Saṃhitā consists of 1810 mantras out of which only 75 are of Sāma, the rest belong to the Ṛ.V. The CVS. com., however, supports our Purāṇa as follows:

Aṣṭau Sāmasahaṣrāṇi sāmāni ca caturdaśa.


The number of mantras of Ādhvaryava is given as 12000 Yajur mantras, (12330 in Svādhyāya maṇḍal edition).


The text is obscure. Vā P. 61.62b reads,

vālakhilyāḥ sahapraiṣāḥ sa-savarṇāḥ prakīrtitāḥ /

“Vālakhilyas along with Śāvarṇas and with assistant Priests”—

But there, this line is a continuation of previous two lines which are identical with V. 70 hereof.


Sahomam ‘along with homa’ in Vā P. 61.63.


This verse is a quotation from Kātyāyana as per com. of CVS, p. 39. The number of verses in Vājasaneyi Saṃhitā is 1900 as per our text and Kātyāyana. But V. 77 states that the total no of Yajur mantras, ṚKS along with Śukriya (i.e. Vājasaneyi Saṃhitā Ch. 36-40 or the Pravargya section of Sāman verse and Khila mantras is 8880 according to Yājñavalkya.


VV 78-81 give the extent of the Atharva Veda. According to our text the number of Ṛk (mantras) in the Atharva is 6026 but the Svāḍhyāya Maṇḍal edition gives 5977 mantras. I believe the plural Cāraṇa-Vidyānām in V. 78a should be interpreted to include the nine schools of the Atharva Veda such as Paippala, Śaunaka, Dānta and others mentioned in CVS. But the CVS, later states that the five Kalpas viz. Nakṣatra, Vidhāna, Vidhi-Vidhāna, Saṃhitā and Śānti each consists of 500 (Pañca-Śatāni) mantras, but the total of these is given twelve thousand (CVS, pp 46-47). It appears that our Purāṇa writer gives traditional round figures without verifying (and counting the mantras in) the original Saṃhitās.


The old name of the Atharva veda was Atharvāṅgirasa. The Atharvan mantras were auspicious while the Aṅgiras mantras pertain to black magic. According to this Purāṇa the number of such mantras (including those in the Brāhmaṇa portion) is 980.


It is a pet theory of our author that Devas are not eternal but mantras are so, and they manifest themselves again and again in the new world-order on new creation of the universe.


Traditionally there are fourteen vidyās (lores or sciences) but by adding four subsidiary Vedas, they are regarded as eighteen. CVS, p. 47 gives, the following relations between vedas and upavedas.

Veda Upaveda
The Ṛgveḍa The Āyurveda (Science of medicine)
The Yajurveda The Dhanurveda (Military Science)
The Sāmaveda The Gāndharvaveda (Music)
The Atharvaveda The Artha Śāstra (Economics, Politics, Administration, Architecture.



VV. 89-103 define the terms Brahmarṣi, Devarṣi, Rājarṣi, enumerate their names and describe their powers, competence etc.


VV. 104-108 describe the special qualifications and characteristics of Saptarṣis (Seven Sages) as it is their job to create law, order and dharma at the beginning of a Yuga and establish a well organised society.


As mentioned before, Vyāsa is the designation of the sage who classifies the mass of Veḍic mantras in four Saṃhitās in Dvāpara Yuga. The list of such Vyāsas is given in VP. III 3, Bh. P. 1.4. 14-25, KP I. 52. The following were the 28 Vyāsas in each of the various Dvāpara Yugas according to our Purāṇa. 1. The Self-born god (Svayambhū) 2. Prajāpati, 3. Uśanas, Bṛhaspati, 5. Savitṛ, 6. Mṛtyu, 7. Indra, 8. Vasiṣṭha, 9. Sārasvata, 10. Tridhāman 11. Trivarṣā, 12. Sanadvāja, 13. Antarīkṣa, 14. Dharma, 15 Traiyāruṇi, 16. Dhanañjaya, 17. Kṛtañjaya, 18. Ṛjīṣa, 19. Bharadvāja, 20. Gautama, 21. Uttama, 22. Haryavana, 23. Vena. 20. Vājaśravaṇa 25. Somamukhyāyana, 26. Tṛṇabindu, 27. Tataja, 28. Śakti, 29. Parāśara 30. Jātukarṇa 31. Dvaipāyana, 32. Future Vyāsa V Drauṇi (Aśvatthāman). It is strange that 31 Vyāsas should be mentioned instead of the prescribed no. 28. Moreover, there are discrepancies in the lists of Vyāsas in other Purāṇas. For example KP. 1.52 gives the following different names of Vyāsas 11. Ṛṣabha, Sutejas, 14. Sucakṣus, 22. Nārāyaṇa, 24. Vālmīki.


bhāsya-vidyās ‘Commentatorial Lores’ in Vā P. 61.3.


This purāṇa repeatedly emphasises the belief that everything takes place in the manner by the same persons as in the previous Manvantara vide ṚV X.190.3 Dhātā yathā-pūrvam akalpayat. There is little that is absolutely unprecedented and new.


This is another way of stating the eternal nature of time.


VV. 176 ff. describe the pratisandhi—the transition from one Yuga to another and from one Manvantara to another.

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