by G.V. Tagare | 1958 | 319,243 words | ISBN-10: 8120838246 | ISBN-13: 9788120838246
This page describes the nativity of soma and saumya which is Chapter 65 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.
1-3. The lordly sage Atri became the father of the moon, O Brāhmaṇas. He stayed steady surrounded by his own brilliance. He performed only auspicious things, mentally, verbally and physically. He stood steady like wood, a wall or a piece of rock with his arms raised. He possessed excessive refulgence. We have heard that formerly for a period of three thousand years according to the reckoning of gods, he performed a penance that was very difficult to be performed by the worlds.
5. The sage of sanctified soul in the state of Soma rose up to the sky.
6. Ten delighted divine ladies (i.e. ten quarters) gathered there together and duly bore that foetus in their wombs. But they were unable to hold it.
7. The foetus held up by those ten ladies, the ten quarters, fell down illuminating the worlds. It was the cool-rayed moon, the sanctifier of all.
8. When the ten ladies were unable to hold that foetus, the moon fell down to the Earth along with them.
9. Seeing him falling down, Brahmā, the grand-father of the worlds, placed him in a chariot, with a desire for the welfare of the worlds.
10. O Brāhmaṇas, we have heard that he was a righteous-souled one, truthful to his promise and identical with the Vedas. He seated himself in a chariot yoked with a thousand horses.
11-13. When that son of Atri of great soul had fallen, the Devas, the seven famous mental sons of Brahmā, the Aṅgirasas and the sons of Bhṛgu, eulogised him by means of many Ṛks, Yajus, Atharvan and Aṅgirasa Mantras.
The satisfying, nourishing and developing refulgence of the lustrous moon who was being eulogised, extended to all the worlds around.
14. By means of that prominent chariot, he circumambulated the ocean-encircled Earth twenty-one times (and became) excessively famous.
15. The increased and developed refulgence (of the moon) that reached the Earth, created the medicinal herbs. The firmament is ablaze with that brilliance.
16. This moon nourishes the worlds and the four types of living beings. O excellent Brāhmaṇas, lord Soma is indeed the nourisher of the Universe.
17. The highly fortunate one performed penance for nine hundred years. By means of penance, by means of his own Karmans and on account of those eulogies he. acquired more brilliance.
18. By means of his own Karman as well as through the joy of those gold-complexioned goddesses who sustain the Universe, lord Soma became famous.
19. Then, O excellent Brāhmaṇas, god Brahmā, the most excellent one among those who know Brahman, granted him the kingdom of seeds, medicinal herbs, Brāhmaṇas and waters.
20. On being crowned the exceedingly brilliant king of kings who was endowed with great refulgence and who was the most excellent one among those who blazed, sanctified the worlds through his great kingdom.
22. After getting that big kingdom, Soma the lord of those who possess Soma (juice), began a Rājasūya sacrifice where a hundred thousand gold coins were distributed as monetary gifts.
23-24. Hiraṇyagarbha acted as Udgātṛ (the chanter of Mantras), god Brahmā took up the post of Brahmā (in sacrifice the presiding dignitary). The member of the sacrificial council consisted of lord Hari Nārāyaṇa, surrounded by the ancient Brahminical sages with Sanatkumāra as their leader.
25. We have heard, O Brāhmaṇas, that Soma gave three worlds as monetary gifts to Sadasyas (members of the sacrificial assembly) consisting of important Brahmanical sages.
27. After undergoing the holy valedictory bath called Avabhṛtha, the leading Rājan (i.e. the moon) who was devoid of agitation and who was worshipped by the Devas and sages, excelled in his lustre illuminating the ten quarters.
28. When he acquired that luxurious glory which was difficult to get and which was praised by the sages, O Brāhmaṇas, his mind became involved in unrighteousness and hence went astray from the path of moral discipline.
30. Even after being requested by the Devas and divine sages, he never let-off Tārā to Bṛhaspati, the son of Aṅgiras.
31-33. Uśanas took up his (Soma’s) side and Bhava (Śiva) that of Aṅgiras (i.e. Bṛhaspati), for that person of great brilliance was the disciple of the father of Bṛhaspati formerly. It was out of this affection that lord Rudra became the ally of Bṛhaspati and took the bow Ajagava.
A great miraculous missile named Brahmaśiras was discharged by that noble-souled one after aiming at the Devas, whereby their reputation was destroyed.
35. The Devas who survived this battle are remembered as Tuṣitas. They sought refuge in god Brahmā, the primordial lord, the grandfather of the world.
36. Then the grandfather (i.e. Brahmā) himself came there and prevented Uśanas and Rudra, from fighting. He restored Tārā to Aṅgiras (Bṛhaspati).
37. On seeing Tārā, the lady of moon-like face, pregnant, the Brāhmaṇa Bṛhaspati said—“You cast off the foetus immediately.
38. Your womb belongs to me and therefore no other child should ever be born there”. So Tārā discharged the child in the womb that was blazing like fire.
39. The moment he was born that lord assumed the body of the Devas. Therefore the Suras became suspicious and told Tārā.
40-41. ‘Tell the truth whose is the son? Of the moon or of Bṛhaspati?’
Out of shyness she did not say anything to the Devas good or bad. Then the boy Dasyuhantama (the greatest destroyer of demons) was about (lit. began) to curse her. Preventing him, Brahmā asked Tārā regarding his suspicion.
42-44. “O Tārā speak out what is the truth here? Whoso son is this?” With palms joined in reverence she said to lord Brahmā, the bestower of boons.
“Of the Moon”. She said this regarding the noble-souled son named Dasyuhantama.
Every day Budha (Mercury) rises in the sky.
45. The daughter of the king (i.e. Ilā) gave birth to his son. Therefore Pururavas, the son of Ilā, became his son of great splendour.
46-47. Six sons of very great powers were born to him by Urvaśī.
At that time, violently attacked by pulmonary consumption, he (Soma) became helpless. Then over-whelmed by consumption, the moon’s disc became pale and weak. He therefore, sought refuge in his own father Atri.
48-50. Atri of great fame subdued his disease. He was freed from pulmonary consumption. He shone with splendour all round.
This is the nativity of Soma recounted unto you O excellent Brāhmaṇas. Understand his race which is being recounted by me, O excellent Brāhmaṇas.
The nativity of Saumya (Mercury) is conducive to wealth, health and longevity. It is holy and it dispels sins. On hearing this, one gets rid of all sins.
Footnotes and references:
The first two viz.: Sinī and Kuhū are deities presiding over the day preceding the new moon day on which the moon rises with scarcely visible crescent (Sinīvālī) and the new moon day when the moon is invisible (Kuhū).
Out of the twelve wars between Devas and Asuras, this was the 5th war. For other wars see Introduction: Vaiṣṇavism, last footnote.