The Brahmanda Purana

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

This page describes praise of the lord: conclusion which is Chapter 72 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 72 - Praise of the Lord: Conclusion

Sūta said:—

1-3. Understand the Devas with human appearance and descent who are being glorified.

Saṅkarṣaṇa, Vasudeva, Pradyumna, Sāmba and Aniruddha—these five are glorified as the five heroes of the race (of Vṛṣṇis).

The seven sages, Kubera, Yajña, Maṇivara, Śālūki, Nārada, the learned Dhanvantari, Nandins, Mahādeva, Sālaṅkāyana and Viṣṇu, the primordial God, along with these gods (Saṅkarṣaṇa etc.) (? are the Devas with human descent).

The sages said:—

4. What for was Viṣṇu born? How many Sambhūtis (births or incarnations of Viṣṇu) are remembered? How many of them are to occur in future? How many are the manifestations of the noble-souled one?

5. What for is he born again and again in excellent families of Brāhmaṇas and Kṣatriyas among beings. Recount it to us who (being inquisitive) enquire about it.

6-7. We wish to hear in detail about the activities of intelligent Kṛṣṇa, the destroyer of enemies. Kindly narrate duly the activities in the proper order. So also mention what are the manifestations of ṭhe lord.

8-1 la. It behoves you to recount to us, O beloved one, h is descent and source of origin. Why did Lord. Viṣṇu, the annihilator of enemies, who was among gods (and had the status of God) was born in the family of Vasudeva? How did the intelligent one attain the status of the son of Vasudeva? Why did he leave the holy Devaloka (world of the gods) inhabited by the meritorious immortal ones and come down here to the mortal worlds?

Hari who is the leader of the Devas as well as human beings, is the source of origin of god Brahmā (the creator of the world). Why did he make his divine self permeate a human form?

11b-13a. It is he alone who makes the mental cycle (manomayaṃ cakram) of human beings revolve and function. How is it that he, the most excellent among the wielders of discus, decided to be born among human beings.

It is he who accords protection all times to the Universe. How did that lord Viṣṇu come to the Earth and functioned as a protector of Cows?

13b-l4a. He is Bhūtātmā (the immanent Soul of all living beings). It is he who created and sustained the Mahābhūtas (the great elements). He is Śrīgarbha (having glory and splendour within). How was he accommodated in the womb by a woman walking over the Earth (i.e. ordinary human being)?

14b-16. It is he by whom the Devas had been made glorious and prosperous after conquering the worlds) one after another) in due order. The paths (i.e. diverse forms of activity worldly as well as spiritual) of the world have been established by him. A body that took three steps (traversing the three worlds within them) was assumed by him (in the Vāmana incarnation). This most excellent god handed over the earth conquered by him (from Bali) to gods again.

Hiraṇyakaśipu the demon of yore, possessing great prowess had been killed by him after adopting a leonine body and dividing it into two (as half-man-half-lion).

17. It is that all-pervaḍṃg lord became the submarine fire called Aurva and Saṃvartaka. Stationed in the nether-worlds and within the ocean, he drank the Havis offerings in the form of water.

18. In the different Yugas, they (the learned sages) call him the lord with a thousand feet, a thousand rays, a thousand forms) and a thousand heads.

19. It is from his navel as holy as the sacred Araṇī (the piece of wood used for kindling sacred fire by attrition that the abode of Pitāmaha (the creator Brahmā) took its origin when the whole world was a vast ocean. It was a Paṅkaja (lotus) but not born of any Paṅka (mud).

20-21a. It is he by whom all those Daityas were killed in the battle called Tārakāmaya (the war caused by the abduction of Tārā by Candra) after adopting a body consisting of (the essential spirit of) all Devas and holding all sorts of weapons. Kālanemi who was arrogant on account of his great prowess, was killed by him.

21b-c. It is he who after resorting to his eternal Yoga, and enveloping everything in the dense darkness (after deluge) lies down (in his Yogic slumber) in the northern areas of the milky ocean, the veritable ocean of nectar (or from which nectar was churned out).

22. Formerly, on account of the intensity of her austerities, Aditi, who is an Araṇī (i.e. source of origin) of the Suras (gods) accommodated in her womb the lord as well as Indra. It was the lord who kept the group of Daityas very much, under check and restraint by the miscarriage of pregnancy (i.e. Daitya women became afraid of the lord so much so that they had abortions).

23. It was the lord who made Daityas lie down in water after making the regions (and worlds) the abodes of people, and after making Devas the shining residents of Heaven, he made Indra the lord of Suras.

24-29a. It was the lord who created all types of sacrifices and the necessary adjuncts thereof. He duly created the sacred fires of Gārhapatya and Āhavanīya and the monthly Śrāddha rite of Anvāhārya. He created the various adjuncts of sacrifice such as the Vedī (Altar), the Kuśa grass, the Sruvā (holy ladle), water for consecrating (Prokṣaṇīya etc.), the Śruta (holy texts and Mantras) and the Āvabhṛthya (holy water for purificatory bath at the conclusion of a sacrifice.

Then he created sages who offered shares in the oblations in the fire for gods in the sacrifice (shares in the oblations). He made the Suras the partakers of Havya, and the Pitṛs the partakers of Kavya. He made persons deserving enjoyment through the holy rite of Yajña. It is the lord himself who is termed Yajña in the course of the holy performance of Yajña.

He created the requisite materials of Yajña such as the Yūpas (sacrificial posts), Samits (holy twigs) Sruvā (sacred ladle), the Soma (the creeper as well as juice), the Pavitra (the sacred ring of Kuśa grass with a projecting tail) and Paridhis (the holy twigs of Palāśa etc. laid around the sacrificial fire). He created the sacrificial fires, the Sadasyas (the members of the holy assembly), the Yajamānas (performers of sacrifices), the Udgātṛs (those who sing Sāman Mantras and hymns) and others. He created excellent sacrifices such as Aśvamedha (horse sacrifices) and Rājasūya (imperial consecration) etc. of diverse kinds. By means of the Pārameṣṭhya (concerning Brahmā) holy rite he sustained the worlds and Yajñas.

29b-33. Many things have been created by the lord who is the immanent soul of all the groups of living beings—Kṣaṇas, Nimeṣas, Kāṣṭhās and Kalās (all units of time), the three periods of time (past, present and future), Muhūrtas (periods of 48 minutes), Tithis (lunar days), months, days, years, seasons, the auspicious Yogas of time, the three kinds of Pramāṇa (means of valid knowledge), the span of life, fields, strength, the beauty of form, the intellect, heroism, the ability to comprehend holy texts and three Vidyās (lyres), the three holy fires, the three units of time (past, present and future), the three holy rites, the three Mātrās (measures of times) the three Guṇas (i.e. Sattva, Rajas and Tamas) and the lords of the world have been created by some means or other. All the groups of Bhūtas (living Beings, Elements) have been created.

34. It is the lord who unifies moments, and sports by means of his age-old Yogic power. He is the leader of arrivals and departures (all sorts of movements and transits). He is the lord present everywhere in diverse ways.

35. He is the goal unto those who are endowed with piety. He is inaccessible to those of evil rites. He is the origin of the system of four castes and the protector of the same.

36-38. He is conversant with the four types of Vidyās (viz. Ānvīkṣikī, Trayī, Vārtā and Daṇḍanīti). He is the support of the four Āśramas (stages of life). He is the interstice of the quarters, Ether, Earth, waters, wind, fire, the two luminaries viz. moon and sun, he is identical with the lords of Yugas as well as the night-wanderers (demons?). He is reported as the greatest lord in the Vedas. He is spoken of as the greatest austerity. It is he whom they call the greatest one beyond darkness. He is the greatest one possessed of the Supreme Soul. He is the lord who is the foremost among Ādityas. He is the lord who is the cause of destruction of the Daityas,

He is the god of death during the closing periods of the Yugas and he is the annihilator of the destroyers of the worlds.

39-41. He is the bridge (or boundary) among bounds of the worlds (?); he is the holy sacrifice among those of middling holy rites. He is the Vedya (one who is to be known) to the scholars in Vedic lore. He is the lord of those who are of powerful souls. To the living beings, he is like the Soma (Moon). To those of fiery splendour he is like fire. Among human beings he is the Manu. He is the penance of sages, performers of penance. To those who are contented with good behaviour he is modesty, he is the splendid grandeur of those possessing glorious splendour.

42-44. He is the Vigraha (Body) of all the embodied beings. He is the velocity of those who are in speed (?)

Vāyu and Ākāśa (Ether) function as its source of origin. Hutāśana (fire) has Vāyu as its vital essence. Devas have their vital essence in fire. Madhusūdana is the vital essence of fire.

Blood takes its origin from Rasa[1] (a vital fluid constituent of the body) and it is said that the flesh originates from blood.

The source of fat is from the flesh. It is defined that the bone originates from the fat. From the bone the pith and marrow take their origin and the origin of Semen is from the marrow.

45-46. (?) Foetus originated from semen virile through its assimilative rasa—bodily fluid. It is there that water is mixed initially (?). This is called the Saumya Rāśi. The foetus that is solidified [lit. born of Aśman, stone-solid] is called the second Rāśi. One should know that semen is of the nature of Soma and Menstrual blood is of the nature of fire.

47. These two Evolutes follow Rasa. In the Semen the moon and the fire are present. Semen belongs to the category of Kapha (a humour in the body) and Menstrual blood shall be in the category of Pitta (Bile, a humour in the body).

48. The place of Kapha is the heart. Pitta settles in the navel. The heart is in the middle of the body. It is remembered as the abode of the mind.

49. The navel is fixed in the belly and it is there that the shining gastric fire is present. Mind should be known as Prajāpati and Kapha is considered to be Soma.

50-51. Pitta is remembered as Agni (fire). Thus Universe is here of the nature of fire and the Moon.

Vayu enters this foetus which is similar in size to jujube fruit and which begins to function. The Vāyu that enters, gets merged with the great Soul. It exists in the body in five forms and it makes the foetus grow.

52. The five vital airs are Prāṇa, Apāna, Samāna, Udāna and Vyāna. The vital air Prāṇa moves round developing the great soul.

53. Apāna develops the lower body. Udāna develops half of the soul, Vyāna is so called because it is scattered (i.e. spreads all over the body). Samāna is present in every Joint.

54-57. It then gets access to the element through the sense organs.

The five elements are Pṛthivi (earth), Vāyu (wind), Ākāśa (either), Āpaḥ (water) and the fifth one fire. These elements permeate the sense organs and begin their respective activity.

They call the physical body Pārthiva (having the characteristics of the element Pṛthivī).

The vital airs have the characteristics of wind. The pores of sense-organs have Ether as their source of origin. It is from water element that there is liquid formation in the body. The fiery element is present in the eyes. Hence, these apertures are remembered after the names of elements.

It is to the virility of the supreme lord that these sense-organs function gathering their own respective objects.

Thus the eternal single Puruṣa creates all these.

58. How did Viṣṇu attain the state of being a man in this mortal world? O intelligent one, this is our doubt. This is a great wonder, a miracle.

59. He is the ultimate goal of all who attain their goal. How did he assume a human body? We wish to hear about the activities of Viṣṇu in due order.

60-61. Viṣṇu is the greatest miracle. He is mentioned so by even the lords of Devas.

O highly intelligent one, recount to us the origin (i.e. incarnation) of Viṣṇu which is very wonderful.

Let this wonderful and pleasing episode be narrated. Kindly recount the manifestations of the noble-souled one whose strength and prowess is well-known. The inherent power of Viṣṇu who has become miraculous on account of his activities is to he described here.

Sūta said;—

62-64. I shall recount unto you the manifestation of the noble-souled lord. I shall tell you. how the lord of great penance incarnated among human beings on account of the course of Bhṛgu, due to his fault of killing the wife of Bhṛgu. During the final periods of Yugas, he takes birth for the accomplishment of the task of the Devas. Understand the details of the divine person of Viṣṇu even as I recount.

65. When the yuga-dharma (the devout activities peculiar to a Yuga) becomes reversed, when the time becomes slack and ineffective, the lord is born among human beings in order to establish Dharma (Virtue). (These incarnations are) due to the curse of Bhṛgu brought about by the Devas and Asuras.

The sages enquired:

66. How did the lord become subject to this utterance—“brought about by the Devas and Asuras”. This we wish to understand. What for and how did this incident of the Devas and Asuras take place.

Sūta explained:—

67-71. Understand all of you how this incident (of tussle between Devas and Asuras came about, even as I narrate the same.

Formerly, the Daitya (named) Hiraṇyakaśipu used to rule over the three worlds. Later on, the kingdom in the three worlds was presided over by Bali in due order.

There was great friendship between the Devas and Asuras. For a full period of ten Yugas, the universe was uninterrupted.

The Devas and Asuras used to abide by the behests of those two. But when Bali was bound over, a very terrible tussel arose. This caused horrible devastation to both Devas and Asuras. For the Dvīpas, many battles took place between them.

72. In this Varāha Kalpa, twelve ending with Saṇḍāmarka are remembered.[2] Even as I recount them listen to them succinctly by their names.

73. The first battle was fought by Narasiṃha (originating from the Man-lion incarnation of Viṣṇu). The second one (by) Vāmana (originating from the incarnation as a Dwarf). The third one is Varāha (originating from the Boar-incarnation of Viṣṇu) and the fourth battle (took place at the time of churning of the ocean of milk for the sake of nectar.

74. The fifth battle was a terrible one named Tārakāmaya caused by the abduction of Tārā by Candra. The sixth of those battles was (known as) the Āḍībaka and Traipura war is remembered as the seventh.1

75. Andhakāra is the eighth one among them. Dhvaja is remembered as the ninth. Vārtra (pertaining to Vṛtra) is the tenth horrible battle. Halāhala is remembered as the battle thereafter (i.e. the eleventh).

76. Kolāhala, another terrible battle is remembered as the twelfth among them.

Hiraṇyakaśipu, the Daitya, was killed by Narasiṃha.

77-78. When the three worlds were measured up (by Vāmana’s three steps) Bali was bound over by Vāmana. When the groups of the Devas were rejected, Hiraṇyākṣa was killed in a dual combat. That Daitya who had great strength and virility and who had never been defeated, was split into two by Varāha (Boar) with his curved teeth.

79-80. Prahlāda was defeated by Indra in the battle that followed the churning of the ocean for the sake of nectar Virocana who was the son of Prahlāda and who always attempted to slay Indra was killed by Indra himself by means of his exploits in the Tārakāmaya battle.

That Jambha who secured the boon of Avadhyatā (state of not being killed) from god Śiva along with special miraculous weapons was killed in the sixth battle by Viṣṇu in whom Indra had permeated.

81-83. When the Devas became incapable of enduring the great power of the Asuras, the demons were killed by Śiva in the course of Tripura battle.

Then Daityas, Asuras and Rākṣasas were conquered in the Andhakārika battle by the Devas and human beings. They merged with the manes.

With the help of Viṣṇu and magnified by him, Mahendra killed Dānavas along with Vṛtra, as they had joined together.

84-88a. In the battle called Dhvāja, Vipracitti who was accompanied by his younger brother, who was conversant with the Yogic practice and who had concealed himself by means of Māyā, was killed by Mahendra after penetrating a hundred thousand Dhvajas (banners).

In the battle Hālāhala, Vṛṣa (i.e. Indra) surrounded by the Devas conquered the Daityas and Dānavas who had gathered together.

In the battle called Kolāhala, Raji surrounded by the Devas conquered the Daityas.

In the course of Avabhṛtha (valedictory bath after a sacrifice) Ṣaṇḍa and Marka were conquered by the Devas (and therefore the Daityas too were conquered).

88b. Thus, the twelve great battles between the Devas and Asuras took place. These battles caused ruin to both, the Suras and Asuras. They were inauspicious to the common people.

89. Hiraṇyakaśipu shone as the king and ruler of the three worlds for ten crores of years increased by seven million and two hundred and eighty thousand years.

90. As a hereditary ruler Bali reigned for ten crores thirty million and sixty thousand years (i.e. 13 crores and 60 thousand years).

91. In the company of Rākṣasas, Prahlāda reigned victorious for as many years as the period of administration, of Bali.

92. These three were very famous as the Indras of the Asuras. They had great brilliance, strength and splendour.

The entire period of ten Yugas was under the Daityas.

93-95. Thereafter, Śukra cursed the realm extending to a period of ten Yugas. Then these three worlds of Bali were overrun by Mahendra.

When the kingdom of the three worlds of Prahlāda by inheritance was taken away by the efflux of time, it came over to the chastiser of Pāka (viz. Indra) by rotation.

Then the Yajña forsook the Asuras, and went over to the Devas. When the Yajña went over to the Devas those Asuras spoke to Śukra.

96. “Why has this happened? Even as we are widely awake, Yajña has abandoned our kingdom and gone to the Devas. We cannot stay here to-day. Let us enter Rasātala”.

97. On being told thus, Śukra became dejected. Consoling them with his words he said—“O Asuras, do not be afraid. I shall sustain you all by means of my spiritual brilliance.

98. Rainfall, medicinal herbs, Rasā (the world) and other things whatsoever—let all these things entirely remain with the Suras. The sin will be theirs (?)

99-101. “I shall give them all to you. It is being held up by me”.

Thereafter, on seeing the Asuras supported by the intelligent preceptor Śukra, Devas became excited and frightened. With a desire to be victorious, they held consultations ‘O, this preceptor is forcibly removing everything from us. Well, we shall hasten lest he should resuscitate and replenish them. After killing them forcibly in surprise attack we shall make the remaining ones go to Pātāla.

102. Thereafter, the excited Devas approached Dānavas and killed them. On being killed by them, Dānavas rushed to Kāvya himself.

103. On seeing them suddenly attacked by the Devas Kāvya protected the frightened sons of Diti from the Devas.

104-111. On seeing the Devas standing there steadily, Kāvya thought that it was fate. After meditating and remembering, the earlier happenings he said to Dānavas:—

“The entire area of the three worlds was conquered by Vāmana by means of three paces. Bali was bound over. Jambha was killed. Virocana was slain. The great Asuras were slaughtered by Suras in the twelve wars. Most of those who were very important were slain by means of different strategies. Only a very few of you remain now after the battle. I shall devise a plan for you. Let some period of time be waited for. I shall go to the lord Nīlalohita (i.e. Śiva), the great lord, for the sake of Mantra (holy spell etc.) and victory. The Hotṛ shall kindle and lit up the Fire by means of Mantras. It will burn. After returning here later I shall bless you all. Covered by means of bark garments, you do perform penance in the forest. The Devas shall not kill you till my return. After securing unrivalled and matchless Mantras from lord Maheśvara, we shall fight Devas once again. Thereby, you will attain victory”.

112-114. After consulting (one another) the Asuras said to the Devas:—“We all have laid down our weapons. All of you can pass on to the worlds (i.e. occupy them). Covered with bark garments we shall perform austerities in the forest”.

On hearing these truthful worlds of Prahlāda, the Devas became delighted and free from ailments and worries. They returned. When the Daityas had drowned their weapons, they (the Devas) went back to their abodes whence they had come.

115-118a. Then Kāvya said to them—“Be patient to wait for some time without any undue enthusiasm for war. Be engaged in austerities. Time is the means of achieving your purpose. O Dānavas, stay in the hermitage of my father and wait”. After giving directions to the Asuras, Kāvya, approached Mahādeva, bowed down to him and said thus to the lord, the source of origin of this Universe:—“O lord, I wish to secure those Mantras which are not in the possession of Bṛhaspati. I want them for the sake of defeating the Devas and according freedom from fear to the Asuras”.

118b-120a. On being told thus, the lord said “If you wish to secure the Mantras, O Brāhmaṇa, observe the holy rite as instructed by me, remaining celibate and observing concentration and the purity of mind. With the head hanging down, if you inhale the smoke from the holy sacrificial pit for the full period of a thousand years, welfare unto you, you will secure the Mantra from me”.

120b-121. On being told thus by the lord of the Devas, Śukra of great power of penance, touched the feet of the lord and said, “Certainly, O lord, I shall observe the holy rite as I have been directed.

122-125. Thereafter, Kuṇḍadhara was employed by the lord as the person producing the smoke for him.

When Śukra had gone for the welfare of the Asuras, when he was staying near Maheśvara observing celibacy for the sake of Mantras, the Devas understood by means of their diplomacy that the realm (? weapons) had been laid aside by the Asuras.

The Devas attacked them at that vulnerable point, with great anger. The Devas with Bṛhaspati as their leader took up weapons and rushed at the Asuras.

125. On seeing the Devas taking up the weapons once again, all the groups of Asuras rose up suddenly. They became frightened.

126-128. (They thought thus):—“When the weapons have been set aside, when freedom from fear has already been accorded, when our Ācārya (Preceptor) has undertaken holy-rites and observances, these Devas have abrogated (unilaterally) the agreement. They are desirous of killing their enemies”. (Then they told one another) “You are now devoid of an Ācārya. Welfare unto you. You had trusted them. We are all engaged in penance wearing bark garments and deer-skins. We are incapable of any action and are devoid of activities, properties and possessions. We arc not at all competent to conquer the Devas in a battle. Without being engaged in battle we shall seek refuge in the mother of the preceptor”.

129. Thereafter, those frightened Asuras resorted (to her). Freedom from fear (Assurance of protection) was granted by her to those frightened Daityas who sought freedom from fear.

130. Our seeing the Asuras being taken under her protection, the Devas pondered over their strength and weakness and then struck at the Asuras violently.

131. On seeing the Asuras being slain by the Devas, the infuriated gentle lady (the mother of the preceptor) spoke to them “I shall cause the destruction of Indra”.

132-133. With great agitation and fury, she paralyzed Indra quickly and went away from that place. On seeing Indra benumbed and immobilised, the Devas became frightened. On seeing Indra thus brought under control, the Devas ran off from that place like deluded ones.

When the groups of Devas had gone, Viṣṇu spoke to Indra:—

134. “Enter me, O lord of Suras,” said he. “Welfare unto you. I shall take you away”.

On being told thus, Indra entered Viṣṇu.

135-136. On seeing that Indra was saved by Viṣṇu, the gentle lady became furious and spoke these words:—“I shall burn you, O Indra with my power along with Viṣṇu, even as all the living beings witness the same. Let the power of my penance be seen”.

Those two Devas, Indra and Viṣṇu conspired thus on being attacked by her.

137-138. “How shall both of us get released together” said Viṣṇu to Indra.” Indra then said—“O lord, kill her before she burns us. I shall be particularly attacked. Kill this lady. Do not delay”. Thereupon Viṣṇu closely watched her and got ready for causing the death of that woman.

139-140. Thereafter, bearing in mind, that Indra was in trouble, lord the destroyer of the enemies of Suras, hastened Viṣṇu in his action. He wanted to be quicker than the mother of Kāvya who was also in a hurry. Viṣṇu was aware that what he was desirous of doing was a cruel deed. Becoming furious he pierced her head with his weapon and cut it into three parts.

141. On observing that horrible slaughter, of a woman his wife, Bhṛgu the powerful one became angry. Then, due to the murder of his wife, Viṣṇu was cursed by Bhṛgu.

142. “Since a woman who should not be killed has been killed by you, though you are conversant with what is righteousness, you will have to take birth among human beings for seven times”.

143. Thereafter on account of that curse the lord is born again and again among human beings here (in this world), for the welfare of all the worlds, whenever there is a destruction of piety and virtue.

144. After speaking to Viṣṇu, he himself took up the head and joined it to the body. After putting them together, he spoke these words:—

145-146. “I shall make you who have been killed by Viṣṇu actually regain your lost life. If the entire range of pious activities is known to me, if all virtuous holy rites have been performed by me, if I speak the truth, come back to life through the power of that truthfulness”.

That gentle lady was then resuscitated on account of his truthful statement.

147-149. After sprinkling her with cool water he said “Come back to life”. Then on seeing her get-up as though waking up from sleep, all living beings were surprised. Words and sounds of ‘Well-done’ of all living beings, of even invisible ones, echoed in the quarters.

150a. On seeing that noble lady resuscitated thus by Bhṛgu, even as all living beings were watching they thought that it was a miracle. On seeing his wife brought back to life by Bhṛgu who remained calm and composed, Indra was not at all happy. He became afraid of Bhṛgu.

150b-153a. Spending sleepless nights over this incident, Indra, the intelligent chastiser of Pāka, spoke to his daughter Jayantī, these words:—“This preceptor of Asuras is performing a severe penance for making the world devoid of Indra. Therefore, O my splendid daughter, I have been made very vexed and agitated although I am endowed with fortitude of mind. Go and honour him. Be alert and render service to him in various ways pleasing to his mind and dispelling his fatigue”.

153b-157a. That lady of splendid activities, Jayantī, the daughter of Indra, assumed a decent form and went to the preceptor who had undertaken an ordinarily unbearable holy observance. She carried out everything in accordance with what had been mentioned by her father. Speaking sweetly and using agreeable words, she used to praise him. She served him at the proper time, massaging his limbs and giving pleasure to the sense of touch.

Serving him thus in an agreeable manner, she stayed with him for many years.

When the austere holy rite of inhaling smoke lasting for a thousand years, was concluded, Śiva who was much delighted, asked the preceptor to choose any boon he liked.

157b-160. “A holy vow such as this has been observed only by you and not by anyone else. Hence you will surpass all the Devas by the power of your penance, intellect, learning, strength and brilliance. O delighter of the members of the family of Bhṛgu, whatever mystic syllable and holy spell (Brahma) I possess shall be revealed unto you along with its Aṅgas (ancillary adjuncts), and Rahasya (Esoteric secret). Whatever Yajña and Upaniṣads I have will be known to you. These things should not be mentioned to anyone. Thereby, O excellent Brāhmaṇas, you will become one who will excel everyone.”

161. After granting this boon to that son of Bhṛgu, Bhava further gave him the status of a Prajāpati (patriarch), the status of being the presiding deity of wealth and immunity from death.

162. On securing these boons, the preceptor became highly delighted. Hairs over his body stood on their ends due to his excessive pleasure. On account of his delight, a divine eulogy of the great lord came out from his mouth.

Therefore, he stood aside and eulogised Nīlalohita.

163-106. Obeisance be to Śitikaṇṭha (the Blue-throated god), the foremost one among the Suras, Suvarcas (of excellent effulgence), Lelihāna (one who exhibits the mystic Mudrā of frequently licking with the tongue), Lehya (one who can be approached by the mystic Mudrā of licking up), Vatsara (the presiding deity of the year, Jagatpati (Lord of the Universe), Kapardin (having matted hair) Urddhvaroman (having the hairs standing up), Haryakṣavaraḍa (the bestower of boons to Kubera), Saṃstuta (one who has been eulogised), Sutīrtha (who is a holy Tīrtha incarnate) Devadeva (Lord of the Devas), Raṃhas (Vehemence personified), Uṣṇiṣin (having a turban), Suvaktra (One of excellent charming face), Sahasrākṣa (God of thousand eyes), Miḍhvas (Bountiful), Vasureta (Distributor of wealth), Rudra (one roaring terrifically), Tapas (one who performs penance), Ciravāsas (wearer of bark garments), Nisva (Devoid of possessions), Muktakeśa (one who has kept the tresses of hair loose), Senāni (commanḍer-in-chief of the army of gods), Rohita (Red-coloured).

167-170. Kavi (Poet-Seer) Rājavṛddha (of excellent brilliance), Takṣakakrīḍana (One sporting with Takṣaka serpent), Girīśa (Lord of the mountain), Arkanetra (having the sun as an eye), Yati (Ascetic), Ājyapa (Imbibing the ghee offering), Suvṛtta (One of good conduct), Suhasta (a god having excellent hands), Dhanvin (wielder of a bow), Bhārgava (possessing radiance and effulgence) Sahasra-Bāhu (Thousand-armed), Sahasrāmalacakṣus (having a thousand eyes devoid of dirt), Sahasrakukṣi (having a thousand bellies), Sahasracaraṇa (having a thousand feet), Sahasraśiras (having a thousand heads), Bahurūpa (multi-formed), Vedhas (Creator), Bhava (source of origin), Viśvarūpa (immanent in the universe), Sveta (the white one), Puruṣa (the Supreme man), Niṣaṅgin (possessing a quiver), Kavacin (wearing a coat of Mail), Sūkṣma (the subtle one), Kṣapaṇa (the destroyer).

171. Tāmra (the Copper-coloured one), Bhīma (the terrible one), Ugra (the formidable), Śiva (the benevolent one), Mahādeva (the great god), Sarva (Identical with everything), Viśvarūpaśiva (omnipresent and auspicious).

172. Hiraṇya (abounding in gold—so the bestower of gold) Vasiṣṭha (identical with sage Vasiṣṭha), Varṣa (causing rain), Madhyama (the middle one), Dhāman (the asylum), Piśaṅga (the tawny-coloured), Piṅgala (the reddish brown-coloured), Aruṇa (the pink-coloured).

173. Pinākin (wielding the bow Pināka), Iṣumān (possessing arrows), Citra (the variegated one, the miraculous one), Rohita (Maroon-coloured), Dundubhya (worthy of being honoured with the sound of wardrum), Ekapāda (having a single foot), Arha (the Deserving one), Buddhi (the intelligent one), Mṛgavyādha (one who had assumed the form of a hunter of deer in Dakṣa’s sacrifice), Sarva (immanent in everything), Sthāṇu (standing steady), Bhīṣaṇa (the terrible one).

174. Bahurūpa (Multiple-formed), Ugra (the awful one), Trinetra (three-eyed), Īśvara (the Supreme Ruler), Kapila (Identical with sage Kapila or Tawny-coloured), Ekavīra (the sole hero), Mṛtyu (The god of Death), Tryambaka (the threeeyed).

175. Vāstoṣpati (Presiding deity and protector of buildings), Pināka (having the bow Pināka), Śaṅkara (one who brings happiness), Śiva (the auspicious one), Āraṇya (the forest-dweller), Gṛhastha (the house-holder), Yati (Ascetic), Brahmacārin (the religious student observing celibacy).

176. Sāṅkhya (approachable through the philosophy of Sāṅkhya), Yoga (Accessible through Yogic practice), Dhyānin (meditating one), Dīkṣita (the initiated one), Antarhita (the hidden one), Sana (identical with every one), Tapya (worthy of being approached through penance), Vyāpin (the all-pervading lord).

177. Buddha (the enlightened one), Śuddha (the pure one), Mukta (the liberated one), Kevala (the single one), Rodhas (staying on mountain slopes), Cekitāna (the intelligent one), Brahmiṣṭha (the proficient one in Vedas), Maharṣi (Great Sage and Seer).

178. Catuṣpāda (having four legs), Medhya (the holy one), Varmin (having the armour), Śīghraga (of fast movement), Śikhaṇḍin (having a tuft of hair), Kapāla (holding a skull), Daṇḍin (holding a staff), Viśvamedhas (of Universal intellect).

179. Apratīta (Unobserved), Dīpta (the illuminated one) Bhāskara (Creator of lustre), Sumedhas (of excellent intellect), Krūra (the cruel one), Vikṛta (the deformed one), Bibhatsa (the hideous one), Śiva (the bestower of welfare).

180. Śuci (the bright one), Paridhāna (the enveloping one), Sadyojāta (Newly born), Mṛtyu (God of Death), Piśitāśa (meat-eater), Śarva (the benign one), Megha (the cloud), Vaidyuta (the lightning).

181. Dakṣa (the skilful), Jaghanya (the lowest and last), Lokānām Īśvara (Lord of the worlds), Anāmaya (free from illness) Idhma (the sacred fuel), Hiraṇya (Gold), Ekacakṣus (single-eyed).

182. Śreṣṭha (the most excellent), Vāmadeva (A handsome god), Īśāna (the ruling master), Dhīmān (Intelligent), Mahākalpa (the great sacred precept), Dīpta (the shining one), Rodana (crying one), Hāsa (the laughing one).

183. Dṛḍhandhanvin (having a firm bow), Kavacin (having the coat of mail), Rathin (having a chariot), Varūthin (having an army), Bhṛgunātha (Lord of the Bhṛgus), Śukra (the bright one or identical with Śukra), Gahvariṣṭha (Resident of a cave), Dhīmān (Sensible).

184. Amogha (never failing), Praśānta (tranquil), Sadāviprapriya (ever endearing to scholarly Brāhmaṇas), Digvāsaḥ (the nude one, lit. one having cardinal point as garment), Kṛttivāsa (wearing the elephant-hide); obeisance be to the slayer of Bhaga.

185. Obeisance to the lord of Paśus (Animals i.e. Individual Souls), to the lord of all elements, Prabhu (the lord), to Ṛk, Yajus, Sāman, Svāhā and Svadhā.

136. Vaṣaṭkāratama (Identical with that Vedic syllable vaṣat), obeisance to you the soul of all Mantras. Obeisance to the creator, the dispenser of destiny, the maker, the supporter and the destroyer.

187. Obeisance to you the lord of things of the past, present and future, to Karmātman (the soul of holy rites), to one identical with Vasus, Sādhyas, Rudras, Ādityas and Aśvinīdevas.

188. Obeisance to you identical with Viśvedevas, Marutas and the very soul of Devas, to you conversant with the process of Agniṣṭoma, to one identical with Paśus, Mantras and Medicines.

189. Obeisance to you identical with Dakṣiṇā (Monetary gifts), and Avabhṛtha (Valedictory bath after yajña), to Tapas (penance), Satya (Truth), Tyāga (sacrifice) and Śama (control of sense organs).

190. Obeisance to you the nonviolent one, to the covetous one (?), true of good dress and guise, to Aniśa (Devoid of night i.e. darkness), to one born of Bhūtas (living beings), to you the Soul of Yoga.

191-195. Obeisance to God who is identical with the Earth, the firmament, the bright light, the heaven; to the worlds Jana, Tapa and Satya, to you, identical with all the worlds, to the Unmanifest one, to the great one, to the great Element, to the great Sense-organ, to the Tanmātra (the subtle essence of elements), Bow to you identical with the Principles (Tattvas). Obeisance to you the eternal one, to the lord having no sex-distinction, to the subtle one, to the gross one, to the pure lord pervading all, to you identical with the eternal objects.

Salute to you in the three worlds beginning with the Earth and ending with Heaven. Obeisance be to you in the four worlds beginning with Mahar and ending with Satya.

O lord, favourable to the Brāhmaṇas, I have spoken erringly in the course of this Namastotra (Eulogy of repeating the names of god). Whatever has been mis-spoken in this, you deserve to forgive thinking “O! he is my devotee.”

Footnotes and references:


VV. 42-51 contain ancient ideas about embryology.


VV.72-126 describe the incarnations of Viṣṇu. The list of these is different in this Purāṇa. vide—Introduction—Vaiṣṇavism.

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