The Brahmanda Purana

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

This page describes the lineage of manu: manvantaras which is Chapter 36 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 36 - The Lineage of Manu: Manvantaras

Summary: The Lineage of Mam: Manvantaras; Milking of the Earth.

Śāṃśapāyana said

1. I wish to hear about the remaining Manvantaras in the proper sequence and also about the rulers of the Manvantaras as well as those whose leaders are Śakra (Indra) and (other) Devas.

Sūta said:—

2. Understand even as I recount succinctly and in detail about those Manvantaras which have gone by and which are yet to come.

3-5. The following six are the Manus of the past viz. Svāyambhuva Manu at the outset; then Svārociṣa Manu, then Uttama, Tāmasa, Raivata and Cākṣuṣa. I shall mention the eight (Manus) of the future (four of whom are) Sāvarṇi, Raucya, Bhautya and Vaivasvata. I shall narrate these (later on) before Vaivasvata Manu. The five Manus of the past—know them to be Mānasas (Mental Sons).

6-7. I have already recounted to you the Manvantara of Svāyambhuva Manu. Henceforth, I shall mention succinctly the creation of the subjects by the second noble-souled Manu Svārociṣa.[1] In the Manvantara of Svārociṣa the Tuṣitas were the gods.

8-12. So also the scholars Pārāvatas. Thus two groups are remembered.

The sons of Kratu (also known as) Svārociṣ were born of Tuṣita. The Pārāvatas were Vāsiṣṭhas (? Sons of Vasiṣṭha). Two groups are remembered (each consisting of) twelve. These twenty-four Devas are considered as Chandajas.

The Tuṣitas are—Divasparśa, Jāmitra, Gopada, Bhāsura, Aja, Bhagavān, Draviṇa of great strength, Āya of powerful arms, Mahaujas of great virility, Cikitvān who was well-known, Aṃśa and Ṛta the twelfth among them. These are glorified as Tuṣitas.

These were the sons of Kratu. They were Somapāyins (Imbibers of the Soma juice).

13-15. The Pārāvatas were as follows:

Pracetas the shining one, Viśvadeva, Samañja, the famous Ajihma, Arimardana, Āyurdāna, Mahāmāna, Divyamāna, Ajeya of great fortune and grandeur, Yavīyān (younger one) of great strength, Hotṛ and Yajvan. Thus the Pārāvatas, have been recounted. Thus these were the Devas in the Svārociṣa Manvantara.

16. The twenty-four gods were the Somapās (Imbibers of Soma juice) then. Their Indra then was Vipaścit, well-known all over the worlds.

17-18. The seven sages were—(1) Ūrja son of Vasiṣṭha,. (2) Stambha son of Kaśyapa, (3) Prāṇa son of Bhṛgu, (4) Ṛṣabha son of Aṅgiras, (5) Datta son of Pulastya, (6) Niścala Ātreya son of Atri and (7) Arvarīvān son of Pulaha.

19-20. The following are declared as the nine sons of Svārociṣa Manu, viz. Caitra, Kimpuruṣa, Kṛtānta, Vibhṛta, Ravi, Bṛhaduktha, Nava, Satu and Śruta. They were the perpetuators of the line of lord Manu. They have been thus enumerated in the Purāṇas. This is the second Manvantara.

21. These four viz. Manu, the seven sages, the Devas and the Pitṛs—constitute the root (the basis) of a Manvantara, and their descendants are the subjects.

22. The following is the conclusion in the scriptural texts—The deities are the sons of the sages; the Pitṛs are the sons of the Devas, and the sages are the sons of the Devas.

23. The Kṣatriyas and the Vaiśyas (were born) of Manu and the Brāhmaṇas of the seven sages. Thus the Manvantara has been recounted succinctly and not in details.

24-25a. The details of the Svārociṣa Manvantara should be known from that of the Svāyambhuva Manvantara. It is not possible to describe it in details even in hundreds of years, on account of the repeated multiplicity of the subjects in every family.

25b-27a. In the third Manvantara of Uttama,[2] five groups of Devas are mentioned. I shall mention them. Understand.

They are Sudhāmans, Vaśavartins, Pratardanas, Śivas and Satyas. Each of these groups consists of twelve Devas.

27b-28. The twelve Sudhāmans are called (1) Satya, (2) Dhṛti, (3) Dama (4) Dānta (5) Kṣama (6) Kṣāma (7) Dhvani (8) Śuci (9) Iṣa (10) Ūrja (11) Śreṣṭha and the twelfth one Suparṇa by name.

29-31. The Vaṃśavartins (Vaśavartins) are mentioned as follows: Sahasradhāra, Viśvāyu, the two Samitāras, Bṛhat, Vasu, Viśvadhā, Viśvakarman, Mānasa, Virājasa, Jyoti and Vibhāsa.

The Pratardanas are glorified. They are—Avadhya, Avarati, lord Vasu, Dhiṣṇya, Vibhāvasu, Vitta, Kratu, Sudharman, Dhṛtadharman, Yaśasvija, Rathormi and Ketumān.

32-33. There are twelve other (Devas) worthy of partaking of their shares in theYajña viz. Haṃsasvara, the liberal-minded Pratardana and Yaśaskara, Sudāna, Vasudāna, Sumañjasa, Viṣa, Yama, Vahni, Yati, Sucitra and Sutapas. They are to be known as Śivas.

34-36. Understand the names of the Satya group of gods as they are viz. Dikpati, Vākpati, Viśva, Śambhu, Svamṛḍīka, Divi, Varcodhāman, Bṛhadvapus, Aśva, Sadaśva, Kṣema and Ānanda. These twelve Devas who are worthy of partaking of their shares in the Yajña are recounted as Satyas.

Thus these were the gods in the Manvantara of Uttama.

37.. They were the sons of Uttama, the Prajāpati, the Aṅgiras (?). The Indra (leader) of those Devas was well-known by the name Suśānti.

38. Vasiṣṭha had seven sons well known as Vāsiṣṭhas. All those were the seven sages in the Manvantara of Uttama,

39-40. Uttama the noble-souled Manu had thirteen sons viz. Aja, Paraśu, Divya, Divyauṣadhi, Naya, Devāmbuja, the unequalled Mahotsāha, Gaja, Vinīta, Suketu, Sumitra, Sumati and Śruti.

41. These were the progenitors of the race of Kṣatriyas. This is the third Manvantara. Thus the creation of Uttama has been recounted along with that of Svārociṣa.

42-43. Understand the creation of Tāmasa[3] in detail and in due order. In the fourth Manvantara of Tāmasa, the Manu, the sets (of Devas) proclaimed are viz. Satyas, Surūpas, Sudhīs and Haris. Those Devas in the Manvantara of Tāmasa were the sons of Pulastya.

44-48. Each of those sets of Devas consisted of twenty-five (Devas). (Defective text) In that Manvantara the Indriyas (? sense-organs) are remembered as the Devas. It is through the sense-organs that people understand things. The sages affirm (about the sense-organs). They have their testimonies. Manas (the Mind) the eighth one (?) is that at the head.

Śibi of great exploits, is the Indra of those Devas. O excellent ones, understand those seven sages who were in that Manvantara. They were—Kāvya the son of Aṅgiras, Pṛthu the son of Kaśyapa, Agni the son of Atri, Jyotirdhāman the son of Bhṛgu, Caraka the son of Pulaha, Pīvara the son of Vasiṣṭha and Caitra the son of Pulastya.

49-50. The following were the sons of Tāmasa, the Manu viz. Jānujaṅgha, Śānti, Nara, Khyāti, Śubha, Priyabhṛtya, Parīkṣit, Prasthala, Dṛḍheṣudhi, Kṛśāśva and Kṛtabandhu.

Understand the groups of Devas mentioned in the fifth (? second) Manvantara of Svārociṣa.[4]

51-54. They were Amitābhas, Ābhūtarayas, Vikuṇṭhas and Sumedhas.

Variṣṭhas were the splendid sons of Variṣṭha the Prajāpati[5](?).

There were fourteen very brilliant Devas in each of the four Gaṇas (sets of gods).

The following fourteen are remembered as the Devas called Amitābhas in the Svārociṣa (Cāriṣṇava in Va. P.) Manvantara viz. Ugra, Prajña, Agnibhava, Prajyoti, Amṛta, Sumati, Virāva (? Vāvirāva), Dhāman, Nāda, Śravas, Vṛtti, Rāśi, Vāda and Śabara.

55-56. They know that the names of the set (called) Ābhūtarayas are as follows:—Mati, Sumati, Ṛta, Satya, Edhana, Adhṛti, Vidhṛti, Dama, Niyama, Vrata, Viṣṇu, Sahas, Dyutimān and Suśravas.

57-60. Vṛṣa, Bhettṛ, Jaya, Bhīma, Śuci, Dānta, Yaśas, Dama, Nātha, Vidvān, Ajeya, Kṛśa, Gaura and Dhruva. These have been glorified as Vikuṇṭha (class of gods).

Understand the (gods called) Sumedhas. They are Medhas, Medhātithi, Satyamedhas, Pṛśnimedhas, Alpamedhas, Bhūyomedhas the lord, Dīpti-Medhas, Yaśo-Medhas, Sthiramedhas, Sarvamedhas, Sumedhas, Pratimedhas, Medhajas and Medhahantṛ.

61-62. Vibhu of great exploits and manliness was their Indra.

In the Raivata[6] Manvantara the seven sages were—Devabāhu the son (or descendent) of Pulastya; the descendant of Kaśyapa named Sudhāman; Hiraṇyaroman the descendant of Aṅgiras, Vedaśrī the descendant of Bhṛgu, Ūrdhvabāhu the descendant of Vasiṣṭha, Parjanya the descendant of Pulaha, and Satyanetra the descendant of Atri.

63-64. The sons of Raivata were:—Mahāvīrya, Susambhāvya, Śatyaka, Harahā, Śuci, Balabandhu, Nirāmitra, Kambu, Śṛṅga and Dhṛtavrata.

This is the fifth Manvantara.

65. Svārociṣa, Uttama, Tāmasa and Raivata—these four Manus are considered as belonging to the family of Priyavrata.

66-67. In the sixth Manvantara[7] viz. Cākṣuṣa Manvantara, the five sets of Devas are remembered viz. Ādyas, Prasūtas, Bhāvyas, Pṛthukas and the Lekhas of great majestic lustre. All of them were heaven-dwellers. They are called after the names of their mothers (?).[8]

68. They were the grandsons of Āraṇya (?) the Prajāpati, who was the son of Atri. Each of these groups is remembered as comprising of eight Devas.

69. Antarīkṣa, Vasu, Havya, Atithi, Priyavrata, Śrotā, Mantā and Anumantā—these are glorified as Ādyas.

70-72. Śyenabhadra, Śvetacakṣus, Mahāyaśas, Sumanas, Pracetas, Vanenas, Supracetas and Muni of great inherent strength—these are mentioned Prasūtas.

Vijaya, Sujaya, Mana, Syoda (?) (Udyāna in Vā. P.) Mati, Parimati, Viceta’s and Priyaniścaya—these Devas are remembered as Bhāvyas.

Understand now the Pṛthukas.

73-74. Ojiṣṭha, god Śakuna, Vānahṛṣṭa, Satkṛta, Satyadṛṣṭi, Jigīṣu, Vijaya and Ajita of great fortune—these are the heaven-dwellers (named) Pṛthukas. I shall mention the (group of gods called) Lekhas also by name. Understand.

75-76. Manojava, Praghāsa, Pracetas of great fame, Dhruva, Dhruvakṣiti, Acyuta of great vigour, Yuvanas and Bṛhaspati—(thus) the Lekhas have been gloriously recounted. Manojava of great virility became their Indra then.

77-78. The following were the seven sages in the Cākṣuṣa Manvantara viz. Uttama the son (descendant) of Bhṛgu; Haviṣmān the son of Aṅgiras; Sudhāman the son of Kaśyapa; Virajas the son of Vasiṣṭha; Atināman the son of Pulastya; Sahiṣṇu the son of Pulaha and Madhu the son of Atri.

79-80. The following ten were the sons of Cākṣuṣa Manu born of Nadvalā viz. Ūru, Pūru, Śatadyumna, Tapasvin, Satyavāk, Kṛti, Agniṣṭut, Atirātra, Sudyumna and Abhimanyu the tenth. This is the sixth Manvantara.

81. His creation is reckoned on the basis of Vaivasvata Manvantara the current one. Thus the Manvantara of Cākṣuṣa Manu (has been recounted) in detail and in the due order.

The sages said

82. Whose successor and heir was Cākṣuṣa? In whose family was he born? Recount factually unto us all other persons born of his family.[9]

Sūta said:—

83. Listen to the succinct account, O Brāhmaṇas of the creation of Cākṣuṣa in whose family was born Pṛthu the valorous son of Vena.

84-86. There are other lords of subjects (such as) Dakṣa, the son of Pracetas.

Atri, the Prajāpati, accepted Uttānapāda as his son. Since the Prajāpati was a king, he became his adopted son. He was given in adoption by Svāyambhuva Manu to Atri for some reason, after the advent of the sixth future Manvantara of Cākṣuṣa. With this as introduction I shall recount it, O Brāhmaṇas.

87-88. Sūnṛtā, the beautiful lady of excellent hips, the daughter of Dharma, gave birth to the four sons of Uttānapāda. That lady, well-known by the name Sūnṛtā, was the splendid mother of Dhruva. That lady of sparkling smiles was born of Lakṣmī, the wife of Dharma.

89-90a. Uttānapāda begot the sons Dhruva, Kīrtimān, Āyuṣmān and Vasu. He begot two daughters of sparkling smiles viz. Svarā and Manasvinī. The sons of these two ladies (have already been) mentioned.

90b-93a. In the first Tretā Yuga, the grandson of Svāyambhuva (Manu), Dhruva of great virility, performed a penance without taking in food for ten thousand years according to the divine reckoning. He was desirous of (and prayed for) acquiring great fame. Praying for great fame, he practised all the Yogic rites. Brahmā who was delighted with him, bestowed on him the excellent abode among the luminaries. It is divine and devoid of rising and setting, till the total annihilation of all living beings.

93b-95. On seeing his great grandeur and prosperity, Uśanas, the preceptor of the Daityas and the Asuras sang this verse:—

‘O! How wonderful is the power of his penance’! O (how commendable is) his learning! O (how great is) the holy rite, whereby the seven sages stand by, after keeping this. Dhruva above them.

The heaven is attached to Dhruva. He is the master and lord of the heaven.

96. Bhūmi (the queen of Dhruva) gave birth to the two kings, Sṛṣṭi and Bhavya, (the sons of) Dhruva.

Lord Sṛṣṭi, told his own shadow, “Become a woman”.

97. Since he was a man of truthful speech, the shadow became a woman immediately with a divine body. She was embellished with divine ornaments.

98. Sṛṣṭi begot of Chāyā (His spouse, the shadow) five sons devoid of sins viz. Prācīnagarbha, Vṛṣabha, Vṛka, Vṛkala and Dhṛti.

99-100. Suvarcā, the wife of Prācīnagarbha, gave birth to a son named Udāradhī who was Indra in his previous birth. This lord attained the status of Indra by practising Yogic feats for the period of a Manvantara, by taking food once at the end of a thousand years.

101. Bhadrā gave birth to Divañjaya, the son of Udāradhī. Varāṅgī gave birth to Ripu (the son) of Divañjaya who was a conqueror of his enemies.

102. Bṛhatī gave birth to Cakṣus with all splendour (as the son) of Ripu. Manu, the great scholar, who made the race of Brāhmaṇas and Kṣatriyas function, was his son. Puṣkariṇī (otherwise known as) Vāruṇī gave birth to Cākṣuṣa Manu.

The sages said:—

103. Wherefore is the daughter of Prajāpati, O sinless one, is called Vāruṇī? Mention this along with the underlying fact. Indeed, you are an adept in detailed narration.

Sūta replied:—

104. Udaka, the son of Araṇya, attained the status of Varuṇa. Therefore, she was known as Vāruṇī. She became well-known thus, on account of her brother.

105. Ten splendid sons were born of Manu and Nadvalā, the daughter of Viraja, the Prajāpati. They were of great vigour and vitality.

106-107a. They were Ūru, Pūru, Satyadyumna, Tapasvin, Satyavāk, Kṛti, Agniṣṭut, Atirātra, Sudyumna (these nine) and Abhimanyu the tenth. These were the sons of Manu and Nadvalā.

107b-I08. Āgneyī gave birth to Ūru’s six sons of great splendour viz. Aṅga, Sumanas of good reputation, Gaya, Śukra, Vraja and Ajina.

Sunīthā gave birth to a single child of Aṅga (named) Vena.

109. There was a great commotion on account of the fault and crime of Vena. For the sake of a progeny, the sages churned his right hand.

110-112. When his hand was churned, the handsome Pṛthu was born. After producing his son Pṛthu of famous valour, the sages said—“O subjects (be) joyous. This is your king. He is born with an armour, wielding a bow. He appears (as if) burning on account of his splendour. This king will bestow sustenance on you all”. Pṛthu, file son of Vena, the ancestor of all Kṣatriyas protected all the worlds then.

113. That king was the first among those who were crowned and anointed after the Rājasūya sacrifice. Two clever bards Sūta, Māgadha were also born for the purpose of eulogising [?] him.

4-115. This cow (viz. the earth) was milked by that intelligent great king (for the sake of) vegetables for the subjects who were desirous of sustenance. He was accompanied by the Devas, the groups of sages, the Pitṛs, the Dānavas, the Gandharvas, the groups of celestial damsels, the serpents, the Puṇyajanas (the demons and goblins), the mountains, the trees and the creepers.

116. Being milked in the different vessels, Vasundharā (the Earth containing rich deposits) yielded them milk as desired by them. The subjects sustained their lives thereby.

Śāṃśapāyana requested[10]:—

117-121. O sage of great noble rites, recount the birth (and life-story) of Pṛthu in detail, how formerly the Earth was milked by that noble-souled (Pṛthu), how (he was accompanied) by the Devas, the Nāgas (serpents) the Brahmanical sages, the Yakṣas, the Rākṣasas, the Gandharvas and the celestial damsels formerly, how and by what means (he milked them). Even as we ask, tell us about their different special vessels, the milker, the milk, as well as the different calves used hy them. Tell us in due order the special types of milk (yielded by her). For what reason was the hand of Vena churned formerly by the infuriated great sages of yore? Mention that reason unto us.

Sūta Narrated

122. I shall recount to you, O Brāhmaṇas, the birth of Pṛthu, the son of Vena. Listen to it with concentration and purity of mind, O excellent Brāhmaṇas.

123. This Brahman (i.e. the story as sacred as the Vedas) should not be communicated to one who is not pure, to one who is a sinner, to one who is not a disciple, to one who is antagonistic and under no circumstances to one who does not observe holy rites.

124-125. The origin of Pṛthu the son of Vena is conducive to the acquisition of wealth, fame, longevity and merit. It is on a par with the Vedas. It is an esoteric secret mentioned by the sages. If any person who is free from jealousy listens to this story or recounts this to others after making obeisance to the Brāhmaṇas, he will never have an occasion to repent over h is omissions and commissions of acts.

126. There was a king named Aṅga. The lord was on. a par with Atri and was born of the family of Atri. He was a Prajāpatī and a zealous protector of Dharma.

127. Vena was his son. He was not very much devoted to pious activities. This lord of the subjects was born of Sunīthā the daughter of Mṛtyu.

128. That Vena was the son of the daughter of Kāla (god of death). Hence, on account of a (hereditory) default of his maternal grandfather, he turned his back on Dharma (Virtue) and carried on his activities in the world as he pleased.

129. That king brought to a standstill (prohibited) holy rites and devout practice. Transgressing the (injunction of the) Vedas, and scriptures he became engaged in sinful activities.

130. He was devoid of practice of self-study of the Vedas and the chanting of Vaṣaṭkāra. While he was ruling over the kingdom, the gods never drank the Soma juice in great Yajñas.

131. “No Yajña should be performed. No monetary or other gifts should be offered”, this was the cruel solemn declaration of that Prajāpati, when his (utter) ruin was imminent.

132. (He declared) “I should be worshipped and honoured in the Yajña by the gods and the twice-born ones. Yajñas should be performed (untome) and Homas should be offered on my behalf (i.e. with me as the object of worship)”.

133. As he exceeded the bounds of decency (because) he had many heroic acts to his credit, all the great sages with Marīci as their leader spoke to him then.

134. “O king, we are going to initiate a religious rite lasting for a hundred years. Do not commit any sinful deed. This is not the eternal Dharma.

135. You are born in the family of the god of death. Undoubtedly you are a Prajāpati. Formerly, you had entered into a contract stipulating, “I shall protect the subjects.”

136-139. As all those Brāhmaṇa sages said thus, Vena, of evil intellect, laughed and said—“Who else is an expert on account of the things understood by me? Who else is the creator of the dharma whom (whose words) should I listen to (obey)? Who is equal to me on the Earth in regard to heroism, power of penance and truthfulness? You are all slow-witted souls. Certainly, you do not know me factually. I am the source of origin of all the worlds and particularly of all righteous acts. If I so wish I may burn the entire Earth or floud it with water. I may create or swallow (destroy) it. No doubt need be entertained in this respect”.

140. Vena was thus defiled excessively on account of h is ignoble behaviour. When he could not be dissuaded from h is arrogance, the great sages became infuriated.

141. Even as he was struggling, the extremely infuriated great sages seized him by means of both the arms. They twisted and churned the left hand of that very powerful king.

142. It is reported that at the outset an extremely short person was born of that hand that had been crushed and churned. He was dark in colour too.

143. He was extremely frightened. With all his sense-organs in utter confusion, he stood there with joined palms. On seeing him distressed and bewildered they said—“Niṣīda” (sit down).

144. He became a person endowed with endless exploits and established the community of Niṣādas (tribal people, hunters). Moreover he created the Dhīvaras (fishermen) originating from the sins of Vena.

145. Other tribal people who have their abodes on the Vinḍhya, viz. the Tamburas, the Tuburas, the Khaśas and others with special interest in sinful activities—Understand them as persons born of the sins of Vena.

146. Again the infuriated great sages whose anger had been aroused, churned the right hand of Vena as though it was the Araṇi (the piece of wood used to kindle the sacred fire by means of attrition).

147. Pṛthu was born of that hand that resembled a lotus. He was called Pṛthu because he was born of the big (Pṛthu) palm of hand.

148-150. He shone with his body (as if) blazing like fire. He wielded the primordial bow of loud report named Ajagava. For the sake of security and protection, he held arrows and the coat of mail of great lustre. When he was born all the living beings everywhere became extremely delighted. They approached the great King. Vena went to heaven (like a) saintly king on account: of the birth of a noble-souled good son.

151-152. That tiger among men was saved from the hell named put by his noble son. Rivers and the seas took gems and jewels as well as water for the sacred sprinkling (at the time) of coronation and all of them approached him. Lord Grandfather (god Brahmā) came along with Aṅgiras and the immortal ones (gods).

153-154a. All the living beings, both mobile and immobile approached the ruler of men, the son of Vena, the protector of the subjects, of great splendour, with Supreme sovereignty[11] and sprinkled him with the sacred water.

154b-155a. That great king was anointed (as a sovereign) by gods, the sons of Aṅgiras. Valorous Pṛthu, the son of Vena, was the first (primordial) king of great fortune.

155b. His subjects had been antagonized by his father but they were conciliated and kept satisfied by him.

156-159. Thenceforth, he was named Rājā (king) on account of his Anurāga (Affection, love). When he wished to march against the ocean, the waters became stunned and paralysed. Even the mountains crumbled down. But (none of his) flagstaffs got broken. The Earth bore rich harvest without being ploughed. The cows yielded plenty of milk as desired by everyone (or yielded everything desired). There was honey in every cluster of flowers.

At the very same time, while he was performing a sacrifice, while the Soma juice was extracted, Sūta was born of the Sautya day (i.e. the day on which the Soma juice was extracted). After he had been born thus, Māgadha (bard) was born.[12]

160. He was born while the Sāmagas (those who sing the Sāman hymns very well) were singing and when Śubhāṇḍa[13] (?) pertaining to the Viśve-Devas had arrived. Hence he is called Māgadha.

161-162. The Havis offerings of Bṛhaspati got mingled with those of Indra. He invoked Indra by means of the Daiva (divine) Mantra. It was then that Sūta was born. Thereby a default occurred there and therefore an expiation too in the holy rites (became due). For the Havis offering of the preceptor got mixed and therefore over-powered by the Havya of the disciple.

163-165. On account of the (mingling) activity of the lower and the upper, the progeny became one mixed in caste as in the case of one born of the womb of a Brāhmaṇa lady from a source of origin belonging to a lower caste viz. from a Kṣatriya. The Sūta has similarity with the previous earlier one and hence it is mentioned that he has the same duties as the previous one (i.e. the Brahman). It is the middle dharma of Sūta, the duties of Kṣatriyas. (He has these duties also) viz. looking after and maintaining chariots, elephants and horses. Practice of medicine is the lowliest duty. It was for the sake of eulogising Pṛthu that both of them were called there by the great sages.

166. All the sages told those two—“Let this king be eulogised. This is a job befitting you and this ruler of men is a deserving person”.

167-168. The Sūta and Māgadha thereafter said to all those sages,—“We shall please the Devas and the sages by means of our activities. But we do not know anything about the performance, characteristic features and reputation of this king. Wherefore can we eulogise him? Then the brilliant Brāhmaṇas spoke:

169. “This (king) is always devotedly engaged in his duty. He is truthful in speech. He has perfect control over his sense-organs. He is habituated to the wise pursuit of knowledge. He is liberal-minded and charitably disposed. He is never defeated in battles.

170-173. Those two (i.e. Sūta and Māgadha) were engaged by the sages (with the following instructions) viz. “Let him be eulogised for his future activities”.

Sūta and Māgadha eulogised him by composing songs about the past achievements of that powerful king Pṛthu. At the end of that encomium, Pṛthu the lord of the subjects was highly pleased. He gave the land of Anūpa (South Malwa) to Sūta and Magadha to Māgadha. Ever since then the rulers of the Earth are eulogised by Sūtas and Māgadhas. They are awakened (in the morning) by Sūtas, Māgadhas and bards through words and expressions of benediction. On seeing him the subjects were extremely delighted. The great sages said:—

174. “This ruler of men, the son of Vena, shall offer you means of sustenance”. Thereupon, the subjects eagerly rushed to the highly fortunate son of Vena.

175-176. “Give us the means of sustenance as per promise by the great sages”. On being approached (and requested) thus by the subjects, the mighty ruler with a desire for the welfare of the subjects, seized his bow and arrows and rushed at the Earth. Thereupon, afraid of the son of Vena, the Earth assumed the form of a cow and began to flee.[14]

177-179. Taking the bow with him, Pṛthu pursued her (i.e. the Earth in the form of a cow) as she ran. Afraid of the son of Vena, she went to Brahmā’s world and other worlds as well (but eventually) saw the son of Vena in front of her with the bow in his raised hand. He was shining brilliantly on account of the refulgent sharp arrows. He never failed in his aim (in hitting the target). He was noble-souled with great yogic power. He could not be assailed even by the immortal ones. Unable to get succour from elsewhere, she resorted to the son of Vena himself.

180-181. She who was worthy of always being honoured by the three worlds, joined her palms in reverence and said to the son of Vena:—“You are not able to see any sin in killing a woman. How can you sustain the subjects who had been nurtured and brought up by me? O king, all the worlds are stationed in me. This universe is being supported by ṃe.

182-183. The subjects who have been nurtured by me should not perish for my sake, O king. It does not behove you to kill me. You wish to do something conducive to the welfare of the subjects. O protector of the Earth, listen to these words of mine. All enterprises begun methodically with proper means become fruitful.

184. Even after killing me, O king, you cannot protect the subjects (If you kill me, you will become incompetent to protect the subjects). I shall be present within. O lustrous one, get rid of your anger.

185. O protector of the Earth, they say that females, even from among the lower categories of animals, should not be killed. It does not behove you to abandon righteous behaviour, in the case of living beings”.

186. On hearing these diverse statements of the Earth the magnanimous noble-souled king controlled his anger and spoke to the Earth thus:—

187. “If anyone were to kill one or more for the sake of one whet her it be himself or another, then his action is sinful.

188. But O gentle, splendid lady, in case many flourish happily when a single person is killed, there is neither major nor minor sin in the act of his killing.

189. Therefore, O Vasundharā (Earth), I will kill you for the sake of subjects, if you do not carry out my request that is conducive to the welfare of the world.

190. If you turn your face against my behest, I will till you presently with a single arrow. Establishing my prestige thus, I shall myself sustain the subjects.

191. In compliance of my instructions, O the most excellent one among the up-holders of Dharma (piety), enliven and nourish the subjects perpetually. Indeed, you are capable of it. There is no doubt about it.

192. Adopt also the status of my daughter. In that case I shall withdraw this terrific-looking arrow which I have raised up for slaying you”.

193. Thereupon the Earth who had been told thus, replied to the son of Vena:—

“Undoubtedly O! King, I shall carry out all these behests.

194. Find out that calf unto me whereby I shall pour out milk out of affection. O the most excellent one among the upholders of Dharma, make me flat and level everywhere so that the milk that flows out shall spread everywhere equally”.

Sūta said-.—

195-200. Thereupon, he removed the heaps or collections of rocks everywhere. The son of Vena removed with the tip of his bow all the mountains that had risen up. In the Manvantaras that had gone by, the Earth had been uneven. (Now) all her uneven parts became even naturally. In the previous creation when the surface of the Earth was uneven, there had been no distinction between cities and villages. There were no plants or crops. There was neither agriculture nor breeding of cattle. There was no market place or trade route. Such had been the condition formerely in the Cākṣuṣa Manvantara. All these had been possible (or created) (only) in the Vaivasvata Manvantara.

The subjects lived in those places wherever there was level ground. Initially the diet of the subjects consisted of fruits and roots.

201. We have heard that at that time their sustenance was maintained with great difficulty. Everything was made available in this world even since the days of the soil of Vena.

202. After adopting Cākṣuṣa Manu as the calf, lord Pṛthu milked plants and vegetables from the Earth on its own surface.

203. Those virtuous subjects began to sustain themselves, by means of that food ever since then. It is heard that the Earth was once again milked by the sages.

204-206. Soma (The Moon) was the calf in their case. Bṛhaspati (Jupiter) was the milkman. Gāyatrī and other (Vedic) Metres carried out the function of the Utensil (milk-pot). Penance and the eternal Brahman (Vedas) was their milk (the yield).

Again it is heard that the Earth was milked by the groups-of Devas with Purandara (Indra) as their leader, taking up (with him) a golden vessel. Maghavan was the calf and lord Savitṛ was the milkman. Ūrjā (Power, energy, Procreative energy) and honey was the milk. The deities sustain themselves by means of that.

207-209a. It is heard that the Earth was again milked by the Pitṛs by means of a Silver Vessel. The yield was Svadhā and it was conducive to their immediate contentment. Yama the valorous son. of Vivasvān was their calf. The powerful god Antaka (the god of death) was the milkman of the Pitṛs.

209b-212a. It is heard that the Earth was once again milked by the Asuras with an iron vessel and the all round yield was the power of Māyā (deception, illusion). Virocana, the extremely famous son of Prahlāḍa, was the calf unto them. Ṛtvikdvimūrdhā (?) the son of Diti was their milkman. With, the (different types of) Māyā for their milky yield all the Asuras became Māyāvins (experts in making use of Māyā). Those persons of great virility sustain themselves by means of Māyā. That is their great source of strength.

2I2b-2I5a. After adopting Takṣaka as their calf, it is heard, that the Earth was once again milked by the serpents, with a pot of ground (or bottle-gourd) as their vessel and poison as their milk. O excellent Brāhmaṇa, Vāsuki, the valorous son of Kadru, was the milkman unto those Nāgas and Sarpas (different varieties of Serpents). Those terrible beings sustain themselves by means of that alone (i.e. poison). They are excessively poisonous. They have that as their food. They are active on account of it. That is their source of vigour. They solely depend on it.

215b-217. In a pot not annealed properly, the Earth was once again milked by the Yakṣas and the Puṇyajanas after adopting as their calf Vaiśravaṇa who was fond of Antardhāna (becoming invisible). The milkman was Rajatanābha who was the father of Maṇidhara. The son of Yakṣa was extremely resplendent and he was endowed with great reputation. He had perfect control over (his sense-organs). This is perfectly true because they sustain themselves by means of it (? i.e. becoming invisible).

218-220a. The Earth was once again milked by Rākṣasas and Piśācas. Their milkman was Kubera. That of Brāhmī was Brahmā[15]. The powerful Sumālī was the calf. The milky yield was blood. The Earth was milked in Kapāla-Pātra (skull-vessel). Antardhāna (the power of becoming invisible) was milked by the Rākṣasas. In all respects the Rākṣasas sustain themselves by means of that milk.

220b-222a. Then the Earth was milked by the Gandharvas and the groups of celestial damsels with lotus as their vessel. They made Citraratha their calf. The milky yield was pure fragrant scent. Their milkman was Vasuruci[16]. (Viśvāvasu in Vā. P) the splendid son of a sage (? of Muni), the extremely powerful king of the Gandharvas, the noble-souled one resembling the sun.

222b-224a. It is heard that the sparkling goddess Vasundharā (Earth) was again milked by the mountains.[17] The milky yield was as follows: the medicinal herbs having embodied forms and different types of precious gems and jewels. Himavān was the calf and Mem the great mountain was the milkman. The vessel was a mountain itself. Hence, the mountains are all well-established.

224b-227. It is heard that the Earth was once again milked by the trees and the creepers after taking up as their vessel the (leafy cup of) Palāśa tree that grows again and again when cut down or burnt. The Plakṣa tree, the tree of prolific blossoms, was the calf of these famous ones (i.e. trees and creepers). It yielded the milk they desired.

The Earth was thus a milch cow that yielded everything they desired. It made the living beings flourish. She alone was the Dhātrī and Vidhātrī (one who created and laid down rules and shaped the destiny), the Vasundharā (one who holds riches) was the supporter (of every one). We have heard that the Earth (of such potentialities), the source of origin of all the worldly things mobile and immobile, the foundation of the Universe, had been milked by Pṛthu for the welfare of worlds.

Notes on a Manvantara:

The description of Manvantaras is one of the five essential Characteristics of a Purāṇa. Purāṇas like Bh. P. VIII. 1.29, NP. 1.40.17-37, VP.III. Chap. 1 and 2, KP. 1.51, Vā. P. 62 describe the various manvantaras. Each Manu presides over the world for seventy-one cycles of four Yugas. He has his separate set of Indra, gods, Saptarṣis etc. There is a general agreement of Purāṇas about the names of the first seven Manus (including the present one viz. Vaivasvata). But there are some differences in the names of future Manus but most of them are bracketed under a common name Sāvarṇi such as Dharma Sāvarṇi, Rudra Sāvarṇi etc. Our Purāṇa, however, gives some different names such as Raucya, Bhautya of the future Manus.

Footnotes and references:

[1]:

Just as in the 1st Manvantara, Svāyambhuva (the son of god Brahmā) was the presiding Manu, Yāmas were the gods, Yajña, the incarnation of Viṣṇu officiated as Indra and the seven sages were Marīci, Atri, Aṅgiras, Pulaha, Kratu, Pulastya and Vasiṣṭha were the Saptarṣi.s, VV. 6-20 describe the 2nd Manvantara in which Svārociṣa was the Manu, the twelve Tuṣitas and 12 Pārāvatas were the gods (Devas), Vipaścit was the Indra aṇḍ the seven sages (the descendants of the seven sages of the previous Manvantara) viz. Ūrja, Stamba, Prāṇa, Ṛṣabha, Datta, Niścala and Arvarivān were the Saptarṣis and Caitra, Kimpuruṣa and other nine sons of Manu Svārociṣa.

Thus we find such sets of gods, sages, Indra etc. in each Manvantara in the following verses.

It may be noted that there are some variations in the names of these gods, and sages in different Purāṇas.

[2]:

VV. 25b-41 describe the 3rd Manvantara called Uttama.

[3]:

VV. 42-50 detail the fourth Manvantara Tāmasa.

[4]:

Some misprint, as the order of Manvantaras is confused here.

[5]:

Vā. P. 62-46 reads “the sons of Cariṣṇu” for ‘Variṣṭhas’ hereof.

[6]:

VV. 51-65 describe what is generally known as Raivata Manvantara but is wrongly called Svārociṣa in this text Vā. P. calls this Cāriṣṇava Manvantara. It is in VV. 61-62 that our text corrects itself and calls this as Raivata Manvantara.

[7]:

VV. 66-81 give the outline of the 6th—Cākṣuṣa Manvantara.

[8]:

Does the author want to suggest the existence of matriarchical society in the 6th Manvantara?

[9]:

VV. 82-102 trace the genealogy of Cākṣuṣa Manu from Atri Uttānapāda Dhruva etc.

[10]:

The story of Pṛthu and his milking of the earth is a Purāṇic transformation of the Vedic conception of milking of the Virāj cow. The Virāj Sūkta (AV. VIII 10) forms the basis of the Purāṇic legend. This purāṇic legend records the right of the sages (public leaders) to do away with a wilful tyrant. This Pṛthu, the son of Vena is a Vedic king and is recorded to have worshipped the Aśvins in his sacrificial chambers (AV. XX. 140.5). The milking of Virāj cow by Pṛthu with the earth as a milking pail and Vaivasvata Manu as the calf is recorded in AV. VIII 10.24 (but here Cākṣuṣa Manu is made the calf see V. 202).

The whole episode is a development of an ancient Vedic legend and has been depicted in various Purāṇas as in Bh. P. IV. 18, Mbh. Śānti 59.98-128 Mt. P. ch. 10. 1-35, Vā. P. 62. 103-197 (to mention a few). The different motifs introduced here show how social order was established by Pṛthu who was the first crowned and anointed king. The ideal kingship and the happy condition of subjects here is covetable even today.

[11]:

Rājarāja or Kubera is inappropriate in the context. Hence the emendation—rāja-rājyena is adopted from Vā.P.62.135.

[12]:

VV. 156-173. As usual the author gives the popular etymologies of Sūta and Māgadha, and records the duties allotted to them. The relation between Māgadhas and their home-land Magadha is clear but not so about Sūta and Anūpa (south Malwa).

[13]:

misprint for srug-bhāṇḍa ‘vessel containing wooden ladles’ vide Vā.P.

[14]:

See note 1, p. 370 above. As stated therein, this is an elaboration of a Vedic legend.

[15]:

This is obscure—Vā. P. 62 reads Brahmopetas tu dogdhā ‘Rākṣasa called Brahmopeta was the milkman’.

[16]:

Mt. P. 10. 25 reads here Vararuci for Vasuruci as the milk-man and Nāṭya Veda was the milk:

Dogdhā Vararucir nāma nāṭya-vedasya pāragaḥ /

In other words a new discoverer or inventor is the milkman and the contribution to that science or lore is the milk.

[17]:

Kālidāsa in Kumāra-sambhava 1.2 has ditto echoed this.

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