The Brahmanda Purana

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

This page describes the race of dharma: three attributes of the self-born god which is Chapter 3 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 3 - The race of Dharma: three attributes of the self-born God

Summary: The Race of Dharma: Three Attributes of The Self-Born God; The Creation of Gods And Sages.

The sages said:—

1. “Narrate in detail the origin of all the Devas, Dānavas and Daityas in the Vaivasvata Manvantara.”

Sūta said:—

2-3. “I shall narrate the progeny of Dharma himself. Listen to it and understand.

Dakṣa, the son of Pracetas, gave ten of his daughters as wives unto Dharma. They were Arundhatī, Vasu, Jāmā, Lambā, Bhānu, Marutvatī, Saṃkalpā, Muhūrtā, Sādhyā and Viśvā.

4. Twelve Sādhyas were born as the sons of Sādhyā and Dharma. Those conversant with the Devas affirm that they are superior to other Devas.

5. These are the gods called Jaya, created from the mouth of Brahma[1] with a desire for progeny. All are remembered as Devas with Mantras as their bodies, in all the Manvantaras.

6-7. The names of the (special) Yajñas of these (twelve Devas) are well-known viz. Darśa, Paurṇamāsa, Bṛhad Rathantara, Vitti Vivitti, Ākūti, Kūti, Vijñātṛ, Vijñāta and Yajña.

8-9. Due to the curse of Brahmā, those were born as Jitas in the Svāyambhuva Manvantara, as Tuṣitas in the Svārociṣa, as Satyas in the Uttama, as Devas named Haris in Tāmasa Manvantara and as Vaikuṇṭhas in the Raivata Manvantara. In the Cākṣuṣa Manvantara, they were born as the Devas named Sādhyas out of their own will.[2]

10-14. The twelve Devas of great dignity and splendour, sons of Dharma and named Sādhyas, were to have been born in the Cākṣuṣa Manvantara. In the Svārociṣa Manvantara, they were the Devas of great prowess named Tuṣitas. They spoke to one another—“when there is a little balance of Cākṣuṣa Manvantara (?) (rather Svārociṣa?), we shall enter this lady of noble dignity (of the) Sādhyā herself and shall be born in the (Cākṣuṣa) Manvantara. That will be conducive to our excellence (and beatitude) After saying thus, those twelve Devas were born of (Sādhyā) and Dharma, the descendant of the seīf-born lord.

Nara and Nārāyaṇa were also born once again therein.

15. They had originally been Vipaścit and Indra, as well as Satya and Hari. Formerly, in the Svārociṣa Manvantara, they were the sons of Tuṣitā.

16-17. These names are mentioned when Tuṣitas had become Sādhyas viz. Mana, Anumantṛ, Prāṇa, Nara, Apāna of great virility, Viti, Naya, Haya, Haṃsa, Nārāyaṇa, Vibhu and Prabhu. Thus twelve Sādhyas were born.

18. This had been in the Svāyambhuva Manvantara (?) formerly. Again in the Svārociṣa Manvantara the following were the names of the Tuṣitas. Understand them.

19. Prāṇa, Apāna, Udāna, Samāna, Vyāna, Cakṣus, Śrotram, Rasa, Ghrāṇa, Sparśa, Buddhi and Manas.

20-21. These former names of the Tuṣitas are remembered. The Vasus were the sons of Vasu. They are remembered as the younger brothers of the Sādhyas. The following are glorified as the eight Vasus yiz. Dhara, Dhruva, Soma, Āyus[3], Anala, Anila, Pratyūṣa and Prabhāsa.

22. The sons of Dhara were Draviṇa, Hutahavya and Rajas. O dear one, the son of Dhruva was Kāla who impels the worlds. (Lokaprakālana).

23. The five sons of Soma (the Moon) were lord Varcas, Budha, Graha Bodhana, Dharormin and Kalila.

24-25. The sons of Āya (i.e. Āyus) were Vaitaṇḍya, Śama, Śānta, Skanda and Sanatkumāra who were born, due to a quarter of his brilliance.

Svāhā gave birth to the son of Agni, viz. Kumāra enveloped by glorious splendour. Śākha, Vaiśākha and Naigameya were his younger brothers (literally: horn after).

26. Śivā was the wife of Anila. Her sons were Manojana and Avijñātagati. Anila had two sons (only).

27. They know that the son of Pratyūṣa was the sage named Devala. Devala had two sons who were forbearing and intelligent.

28. The sister of Bṛhaspati was Bhuvanā, the expounder of Brahman, She had achieved yogic power. She was never attached to the world, but she traversed the entire universe.

29. She who was the wife of Prabhāsa the eighth one of the Vasus and Viśvakarman, the lord and master of all Prajāpatis, as her son.

30-31. The ten famous Viśvedevas were born of Viśvā (i.e. the wife of Dharma). They were Kratu, Dakṣa, Satya, Kāla, Kāma, Muni, Purūravas, Mārdravasa and Rocamāna.

These splendid Devas were born of Viśvā as the sons of Dharma.

32. It is remembered that the Marutvants were born of Marutvatī; The Bhānus were born of Bhānu (wife of Dharma); the Muhūrtas were born of Muhūrtā[4] and Lambā gave birth to Ghoṣa.[5]

33. The erudite Saṃkalpa was born of Saṃkalpā. The nine Vīthīs (orbits) that had resorted to the three paths were born of Jāmā.

34. All the objects on the Earth were born of Arundhatī. This is the scholarly permanent creation of Dharma. It has been thus narrated.

35. O sages of excellent holy rites, I shall narrate the Muhūrta along with the substitutes of the Tithis (lunar days). Even as I mention them by their names, understand them.

36. The division of day and night has the stars for its basis. The Muhūrtas and the constellations cause the divisions in days and nights.

37. More than eighty-six Kalās of the day and night are remembered. They occur in all the seasons, every day, due to the special movement of the Sun.

38. Therefore, those who are conversant with the vedas accept this movement during the Parvan days (full moon, new moon, etc.). If no apparent peculiarity is perceived in the periods, it should be known on the basis of Sun.

39-41. The Muhūrtas are:—Raudra, Sārpa, Maitra, Pitrya, Vāsava, Āpya, Vaiśvadeva and Brāhma. These Muhūrtas cover the period till, midday. The Muhūrtas—Prājāpatya, Aindra, Indrāgnī, Nirṛti, Varuṇa, Āryamṇa, and Bhaga cover the period during the day (afternoon). These muhūrtas called Dinamuhūrtas are caused by the Sun. They should be known in accordance with their magnitudes by means of the particular shadow of gnomons.

42-46. The fifteen Muhūrtas of the night are—Ajaikapāt, Ahirbudhnya,[6] then the muhūrtas having the following presiding deities viz.—Pūṣan, Aśvin, Yama, Agni, Prajāpati, Soma, Āditya, Gṛhapati, Viṣṇu, Tvaṣṭṛ, and Vāyu. These shall be the Muhūrtas of the night. They are fifteen in number.

The movements and risings of the Moon should be known from the Nāḍikās from the beginning.

These Muhūrtas are the different periods of time. They are remembered as Devatās.

There are only three places laid down for all the planets. They should be known as 1) the southern one, 2) the northern one and 3) the middle one. The place Jaradgava is the middle; the place Airāvata is the northern one and the place Vaiśvānara has been indicated as the southern one factually.

47-51a. The constellations Aśvinī[7], Bharaṇī and Kṛttikā constitute the famous Nāgavīthī. The constellations Rohiṇī, Mṛgaśiras and Ārdrā are termed Gajavīthī; the constellations Punarvasu, Puṣya and Āśleṣā āre considered to constitute Airāvatī, Vīthī. These three Vīthīs (orbits) are mentioned as Uttara Mārga (Northern Path)[8]

The Constellations Maghā, Pūrvaphālgunī and Uttara Phālgunī are remembered as constituting the Ārṣabhī Vīthī.

The constellations Hasta, Citrā and Svātī are termed Govīthī.

The constellations Viśākhā, Anurādhā, and Jyeṣṭhā are considered to constitute the Vīthī of Jāradgavī. These three Vīthīs are mentioned as Madhyama Mārga (Middle Path).

51b-53a. The constellations Mūla, Pūrvāṣāḍhā and Uttarāṣāḍhā are termed Ajavīthī.

The constellations Śravaṇa, Dhaniṣṭhā and Śatabhiṣak constitute the Mārgī (Vīthī).

The constellations Pūrvā Bhādrapadā, Uttarābhādrapadā and Revatī are glorified as Vaiśvānarī Vīthī.

These three Vīthīs are called the Southern Path (Dakṣiṇa Mārga).

53b-54. Dakṣa gave twenty-eight (? twenty-seven) of his daughters (in marriage) to Soma (Moon).

55. All of them are glorified in Jyotiṣa (Astrology-Astronomy) by the names of constellations. Children of unmeasured splendour and brilliance were born of them.

56. Fourteen other girls of great nobility and fortune, Kaśyapa accepted as his wives. All of them are mothers of the worlds.[9]

57-60. They were:—Aditi, Diti, Danu, Kāṣṭhā, Ariṣṭā, Anāyu, Khaśā, Surabhi, Vinatā, Tāmrā, Muni, Krodhavaśā and Kadru[10] the mother of the serpents. Understand their progeny.

O dear one, there were twelve excellent Devas in the Svāyambhuva Manvantara. They were born as Vaikuṇṭhas (in the Raivata Manvantara) and they became Sādhyas in the Cākṣuṣa Manvantara.

When this Manvantara of Vaivasvata was imminent, they were propitiated by Aditi. They assembled together and said to one another, “In this Vaivasvata Manvantara, we shall enter this noble lady Aḍiti by means of our yogic power and utilizing half of our brilliance we shall be her sons. That will be conducive to our excellence and beatitude.”

61-62. After saying this, all of them were born as the twelve Ādityas (sons of Aditi) from Kaśyapa, sons of Marīci in this current Manvantara.

Śatakratu and Viṣṇu were born once again in the Vaivasvata Manvantara as Nara and Nārāyaṇa.

63. It is mentioned that even those Devas have birth and death in the same way as the rising and setting of the Sun in this world.

64. Since they were attached to (the worldly objects such as) sound, etc. of the worldly as well as Vedic tradition, and since they were entangled in the eightfold (Super human powers) like Aṇimā (minuteness) etc., those Devas were reborn.

65-69a. Thus, the attachment to the worldly pleasures is remembered as the cause of rebirth. The Devas named Jayas were born as Jitas in the Svāyambhuva Manvantara due to the curse of Brahmā. They were born as Tuṣitas in the Svārociṣa Manvantara; Satyas in the Uttama Manvantara. Those Devas were born as Haris in the Tāmasa Manvantara; in the Manvantara Ariṣṭava (Raivata), they were born as Vaikuṇṭhas; as Sādhyas in the Cākṣuṣa Manvantara, and as Ādityas in the seventh (i.e. Vaivasvata) Manvantara.

The following were the twelve Ādityas, the sons of the holy lord Kaśyapa:—Dhātṛ, Aryaman, Mitra, Varuṇa, Aṃśa, Bhaga, Indra, Vivasvān, Pūṣan, Parjanya who is remembered as the tenth, Tvaṣṭṛ and then Viṣṇu. Viṣṇu was born as the last one but not the least (in importance).

69b. Eleven Rudras were born of Surabhi as sons of Kaśyapa.

70-72. They were born due to the grace of Mahādeva. The chaste lady had been sanctified by means of austerity and penance. The eleven Rudras were Aṅgāraka, Sarpa Nirṛti, Sadasaspati, Ajaikapāt, Ahirbudhnya, Jvara, Bhuvana, Īśvara, Mṛtyu and he who is well known as Kapālin. Due to severe austerity and penance, Surabhi gave birth to these eleven Devas, Rudras who are the lords of the three worlds.

73. The noble lady, Surabhi, gave birth to two daughters also, viz. Rohīṇī of excellent loveliness and Gāndharvī of great reputation.

74. Four daughters well-known in the worlds were born of Rohiṇī. They were Surūpā, Haṃsakālī, Bhadrā and Kāmadughā.

75. Kāmadughā gave birth to cows. Surūpā gave birth to two sons. Haṃsakālī gave birth to buffaloes and species of sheep were born of Bhadrā.

76. Horses of great splendour are the reputed sons of Gāndharvī. They are Uccaiśśravas and others. They have the velocity of the mind and they traverse the sky.

77. The horses with Gāndharvī as their mother (source of origin) are said to be the vehicles of the Devas. They are white, red, tawny, spotted, green, and grey in colour.

78-79. A glorious bullock, Candraprabha (having the lustre of the Moon) was also born of Surabhi, with garland, hump and brilliant lustre. He was born of the abode of nectar (?). With the consent of Surabhi, he was giyen as the emblem of Maheśvara.

Thus, these sons of Kaśyapa viz. Rudras and Ādityas have been glorified.

80-82. The Sādhyas, Viśvedevas and Vasus are remembered as the sons of Dharma.

Just as thé same fire becomes many, due to the fuel added, so also Pitāmaha is alone but he has diverse forms.

The same form is that of Brahmā, Antaka (annihilator) and Puruṣa.

These are remembered as the three physical bodies of the selfsame self-born lord. They (these bodies) are remembered as Brāhmī, Pauruṣī and Kālākhyā.

83. The body that is Rājasī (having the Rajas Guṇa) is that which creates the subjects. That which is called Kālākhyā is considered to be annihilator of the subjects.

84. The body Pauruṣī which is Sāttvikī (having Sattva Guṇa) is remembered as Pālikā (that which protects). Kaśyapa the son of Marīci, became that body of Brahmā which is Rājasī.

85. That part of the body which is Tāmasī (having Tamas Guṇa) and Antakṛt (causing destruction) is called Viṣṇu[11].

86. Those three bodies of the self-born lord, it is remembered, exist in the three worlds. He adopts different forms and situations of his Kalās with the various purposes in view.

87. He creates, blesses (i.e. maintains) and annihilates the subjects. Thus are remembered the three bodies of the self-born lord.

88-89. They are three in number viz. 1) Prājāpatya (belonging to Prajāpati, i.e. Brahmā), 2) Raudrā (belonging to Rudra) and 3) Vaiṣṇavī (belonging to Viṣṇu). These shining bodies are cited in the ancient Dharmaśāstra by sages who perceive the reality, who are intelligently engaged (in the practice of) Sāṃkhya and Yoga, who perceive the same object separately (i.e. analytically and synthetically) and who are conversant with prowess and nobility of birth.

90. These subjects are the same with the divine bodies) by means of unity and difference due to separateness. Those who perceive the different objects say “This is great (or different). This is not the same”.

91. Some say that Brahmā is the (ultimate) cause, some-say that it is Prajāpati. Some call Bhava the greatest of all and others call Viṣṇu so.

92. The persons (thus engaged in philosophical speculation) are influenced by their knowledge. They are confused in their minds as they are attached to unlucky omens[12] (?) They say these things after observing the Sattva (inherent strength), Kāla (time), Deśa (place), Kārya (effect) and Karman (activity).

93. These deities are remembered as the cause of the different affairs. A person who praises one, praises all.

94. He who censures one censures all. Hence, no one who knows these, should have hatred towards the deities.

95. Īśvaras (gods) who are well established in their prowess and majesty cannot be understood perfectly. From unity (the lord) assumed three forms and confounded the subjects.

96. People try to find out the difference amongst these three. Those who are desirous of knowing wish (for knowledge). They are attached. They are vicious. They are confounded in their minds.

97. They see diversity because they say, “This is different. This is not” (the same) in their overeagerness and excitement. They are demons and spirits in particular. There is no difference (?)

98. (The supreme lord) is one but remains separate deluding the subjects by means of his bodies consisting of the Guṇas.

99. He who worships one amoṇg them, worships all the three. Hence, these three Devas (i.e. deities) are well established closely without difference.

100. Hence, who is competent to note in them, separateness or unity, number or absence of number, arrival and departure or the state of being too little or too many?

101. Hence, he creates, blesses (i.e. protects) and swallows in all respects. He is, therefore, called one when there is no identification with the Guṇas.

102. Brāhmaṇas call that lord who is only one by various names such as Rudra, Brahmā, Indra, guardians of worlds (quarters), sages, Manus, and Nārāyaṇa.

103. The three bodies viz. Prājāpatyā, Raudrī and Vaiṣṇavī recur again and again in different Manvantaras.

104-106. Kṣetrajñas too are born due to this great lord’s blessings. They (the Kṣetrajñas) (Individual Souls) are born on a par with him in regard to brilliance, glory, intellect, learning and strength. Understand them (properly).

Kaśyapa, the son of Marīci, was born on account of the Rājasī part of Brahmā.

Kāla Rudra is said to have been born on account of the Tāmasī part of Brahmā.

Yajña Viṣṇu (i.e. Viṣṇu identified with the holy sacrifice) was born on account of the Sāttvīkī part.

107. O Brāhmaṇas, these bodies of Brahmā again and again re-appeared for the purpose of creation (etc.) in all the three units of time (past, present, future), here in different Manvantaras.

108. All the subjects, both mobile and immobile, are born once simultaneously at the beginning of the Yugas in all the Manvantaras and they continue to stay till their destruction and withdrawal (at the time of Pralaya).

109. Whenever the Kalpa comes to an end, Rudra annihilates the subjects. It is after becoming Kāla again that Rudra, the soul of the Yugas, annihilates the subjects).

110. When the end of the Kalpa arrives, the sun of seven rays assumes the form of Sāṃvartakādītya (the sun of final annihilation) and bums down the three worlds.

111. Viṣṇu protects the subjects always. He is the bestower of blessings on the subjects. In different situations, he causes the (requisite) reasons to be produced (for the same).

112-115a[13]. He is born at the outset on account of the part of that body of Brahmā which has a predominance of Sattva Guṇa and which is called Pauruṣī. He was mentally born of Ākūti during Svāyambhuva Manvantara.

When the Svārociṣa Manvantara arrived, that lord was born of Tuṣitā as Ajita along with the other Tuṣita Devas.

In the Auttama Manvantara, lord Ajita was born of Satyā as Satya, along with the excellent Devas named Satyas.

115b-117. In the course of the Tāmasa Manvantara that lord became Hari born of Hariṇī along with (the other Devas) Haris. In the Vaivasvata (Raivata?) Manvantara, Hari was once again born by the name Vaikuṇṭha along with the Devas who have shaken all Rajas qualities. Viṣṇu was born of Aditi (as the son) of Kaśyapa son of Marīci.

118. By means of three steps, Lord Viṣṇu incarnated as Trivikrama, conquered all these (three worlds) and handed them over to Indra accompanied by all the Devas.

119. Thus these bodies were born seven times in the course of the seven Manvantaras that have passed by and the subjects have been protected by these bodies.

120-123. It is from Viṣṇu that this entire universe is born and it gets merged in him again. It is from Viṣṇu’s part that all the immortal ones, the lords of the three worlds are born. They flourish in brilliance, intellect, learning and strength. Understand that whatever is endowed with prosperity, whatever being is glorious and powerful, is born of a part of the splendour of Viṣṇu.

Some men wish (to believe) that he is born by means of a part of himself. A few dispute this and they explain (their stand-point) by means of examples.

There is no difference among these three occupants of heaven (i.e. deities)

124-126. The lords are born on account of their Yogic Māyā. By means of their parts, they delude others. Hence there is nothing proper or improper in their movement and activity. They are the first among those who approve the Bhūtas (living beings). They are in the midst of those who expound the Bhūtas (Elements, living beings). All the three (deities) are attached to those who approve the Bhūtas and those who expound them. After examining the (merits) they bless the people. They themselves restrain and exterminate the rogues themselves.

127. They are anterior to me (i.e. Sūta). Hence, they are more potential lords. Just as the persons who point out the Truth, so also they make use of these bases (?).

128. They are the lords of the Universe. They are Devas of Devas. They make others function. They are the achievers of great tasks.

129. They are glorified by persons conversant with the Vedas, on account of these four reasons (?). Those persons who are puerile do not comprehend the deities in all their aspects.

130-131. In this context they cite the following verse in regard to Yogeśvara.

The Yogeśvara (Master of Yogic practice) performs-everything after acquiring the Yogic potency. With all of them the great yogin wanders (everywhere). He may enjoy worldly pleasures. Again he may perform penance later on. Again he should withdraw (within Himself) like the Sun who (controls, and withdraws) the groups of luminaries.

Footnotes and references:


For Brāhmaṇā here-of, the reading Brahmaṇo as in Vā.P.66.5 is accepted here.


VV. 8-14 emphasise how the same persons (gods, sages etc.) are born in every Manvantara with a difference in their names.


Āyus in V.24 is mentioned as Āya.


This verse and VV. 35-54 contain ancient astronomy. The literature on Muhūrta is enormous as it means “time fit for performance of auspicious acts” and as such is of vital importance to everyone. Names of muhūrtas in Brāhmaṇas and Smṛtis are different. The names 15 muhūrtas of the day and 15 muhūrtas of the night as given here in VV. 39-46 agree with the list in Vā. P. 66.40-44. Out of these Brahmā is Abhijit of which he is the presiding deity. Prājāpatya is Rauhiṇeya as Prajāpati is the presiding deity of Rohiṇī. Mt. P. 253.8-9 mentions only eight auspicious muhūrtas for beginning a work. Purāṇas regard muhūrtas as deities probably because every muhārta has a presiding deity.


For ghoṣa-lambā hyajāyata of the text, the reading in Vā.P. 66.33. Gghoṣaṃ Lambā Vyajāyata is accepted.


The line ajaikapādahirbudhnya in the text needs emendation. Vā.P. 66.43 reads=ajas tathāhirbudhnaśca ‘Aja as well as Ahirbudhna’.


The enumeration of Nakṣatras from Aśvinī shows that this portion, (if not the whole Purāṇa) should be dated in the A.D. 300-400 as Veḍic list of Nakṣattras starts from Kṛttikā. Also vide the Comparative table of the lists of Nakṣatras in Vedic Saṃhitās, their deities, modern names etc. in H.D. V.I.pp.501-504.


47-53 give the distribution of different nakṣatras (constellations) to different Vīthīs (divisions of planetary sphere comprising of three asterisms e.g. Aśvinī, Bharaṇī and Kṛttikā constitute Nāgavīthi; Rohiṇī; Mṛga; Ārdrā make Gaja-vīthi etc.


VV. 55 give credit to Kaśyapa for the creation of beings from his fourteen wives—all daughters of Dakṣa. This is another way of classifying the beings in the world in 14 classes or categories.

It will further be noticed that all these gods etc, in the present Manvantara are the same as in the first to sixth Manvantaras with changes in names only and they confer together at the beginning of a new Manvantara and then take birth. Every body, even gods, have births ard deaths, rebirths etc. due to attachment to the world.


Bd.P. text enumerates only 13 wives of Kaśyapa and not 14.


Destruction is not the function of Viṣṇu but that of Bhava or Rudra. Hence, the Bd.P. text tadaṃśo viṣṇurucyate is obviously wrong. The Vā.P. 66.105b reads instead tadaṃśenābhavad Bhavaḥ ‘Bhava (Rudra) was born out of that (Tāmasa) part.’


The line is obscure. Vā.P.66.112b reads instead:

avijñānena saṃsaktāḥ saktā ratyādicetasā

“Due to lack of discerning knowledge, they are confused and attached, with, their mind inclined to sensual pleasute, etc.”


VV. 112-123 give the different incarnations of Viṣṇu in different manvantaras and his accomplishment as Trivikrama.

The synthesization of the Trinity (Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Rudra) is a favourite subject of Purāṇas.

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