The Brahmanda Purana

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

This page describes re-creation of the cosmic egg which is Chapter 4 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 4 - Re-creation of the Cosmic Egg

The Sages Said:—[1]

1-4. The great narrative recounted by you has been heard. The highly wonderful activities of the subjects along with the Manus, of the Devas along with the Sages, of the Manes, Gandharvas and Bhūtas (goblins, spirits), of the ghosts, serpents and demons, of the Daityas, Dānavas, birds and Yakṣas have been recounted by you. Different kinds of religious rites have been discussed by you. The stories are of diverse features. The excellent narrative of births recounted by you in charming and polished words, has rendered great pleasure to our minds and ears, O Sauti. It delights us like nectar.

5. After duly honouring and propitiating Sūta, the great sages engaged in Sattra asked him again about the process of creative function:—

6-8a. “How does the process of creation begin to proceed once again, O Sūta, the highly intelligent one, when all bonds have been destroyed, when there is equilibrium of Guṇas, when everything is enveloped in darkness and Tamas, when the Vikāras (evolutes) have not been discharged, when the Ātman abides in the unmanifest one, when the creative activity by Brahmā has not been started along with the objects worthy of being enjoyed, how does creation start. Tell us this even as we ask”.

8b-9a. On being asked thus, Lomaharṣaṇa began to explain the process of creation once again.

9b-11. “In this connection I shall make it known to you how the creative activity takes place. It should be known that it is as it had been before.

Understand it succinctly. Inference should be on the basis of what is seen. I shall mention the arguments and reasons.

The Unmanifest one (the Brahman) is deep and impenetrable. It is inaccessible. It is that from which the words recede, along with the mind after failing to reach it.

12. The Guṇa (i.e. three Guṇas taken collectively as one in combination with the Vikāras (evolutes) remains in the equilibrium. Pradhāna stands by in a state wherein it has the same Dharmas or attributes.

13-14. The Dharma and Adharma (merits and demerits or sins) of all living beings always get merged in the Unmanifest one. Their Dharma (Merit) which is solely of the nature of Sattva becomes sattled in Sattvaguṇa. Adharma (Sin) which is solely of the nature of Tamas becomes set up in Tamas Guṇa. These two abide by the Guṇasāmya (Equilibrium of the Guṇas) without a division.

15. All the activity of the Pradhāna takes effect through Buddhi (the principle Mahat). The Kṣetrajña presides over those Guṇas without Buddhi in between.

16-19. Thus it again attains them through Abhimāna (identity by means of concepts). When it becomes necessary to function, the relationship of Bhojya (One worthy of being enjoyed) and Bhoktṛtva (the state of being the enjoyer) of the two principles the Kṣetra and Kṣetrajña attains them. Therefore the unmanifest one of the nature of Guṇa remains in equilibrium and on being presided over by Kṣetrajña attains Vaiṣamya (upsetting of the equilibrium).[2] Then the Vyakta (Manifest one) resorts to both, Kṣetra and Kṣetrajña.

The Sattva (Guṇa) presided over by Kṣetrajña produces the Vikāras (evolutes) beginning with Mahat and ending with. Viśeṣa (particulars viz. bhūtas etc.) all together numbering; twenty-four.

20. (?) As the Kṣetrajña, Pradhāna and Puruṣa begin to function, Ādideva (the primordial Lord) is for blessing Pradhāna, they say.

21-23. (Defective Text). Both of them are remembered as subtle and beginningless. Rather they are worthy of being produced. They have beginningless mutual connection. Everything is joined to Kṣetrajña without reference to Buddhi (?). Both of them stand by without Pratyaya (reliance) and not in vain (Amogha[3]) like the water and fish.

When they begin to function at the outset everything takes its own course. The ignorant one (Prakṛti etc.) function through the Guṇas named Rajas, Sattva and Tamas.

24. By means of medicines named Guṇas, a man becomes subdued by Rajas at the time of activity. He attains the state of Mahat, Bhūtādi, Viśeṣa and the sense-organs.

25. If a man is of truthful conception and meditation, if he meditates on the San-Nimittaka (the Existent one, the Cause), to him Rajas, Sattva, Tamas and the Avyakta are of mutually different Dharmas (Attributes).

26. People have recourse to the water in the middle of Kṣetra (field), entirely at the beginning and at the end[4](?) Abhimānins (those who regard objects as referring to their own selves) are born.with readily achieved instruments of activity.

27-28. All the Sattvas (? beings) take recourse (to their births) from the Avyakta at the outset itself. All those (living beings) who had been Sādhakas (spiritual aspirants) or Asādhakas and have become (non-quiescent along with positions and opportunities take up activities and arc born again and again.

29. Dharma and Adharma are solely of the nature of quality of each other. They give rise to each other through boons or blessings.

30. For the sake of a similar creation[5], the Jīva (Individual Soul) undergoes a change at the beginning of creation. The Guṇas (qualities) cling on to him. Hence that appeals to him.

31. On being created again and again, the Guṇas have recourse to only those activities which they had had in the previous creation.

32. Violent or Non-violent, gentle or cruel, righteous or sinful, true or false—all these have recourse to him on being evolved by him. Hence that appeals to him.

33. The multiplicity and diversity in the great Bhūtas (Elements) in the sense-objects and in physical forms as well as the separation of living beings—all these take place through the Guṇas.

34. Thus the Re-creation has been succinctly recounted to you by me. I shall recount the origin of Brahmā also very briefly.[6]

35. From that Avyakta, the cause, the eternal one of the nature of Sat and Asat (the Existent and non-existent) Maheśvara is born through Pradhāna and Puruṣa.

36. Having the appellation ‘Brahmā’, he becomes the evolver. He creates the worlds once again of the nature of Abhimāna (Referring all objects to the Self) and Guṇa (Sattva etc.)

37. The Ahaṃkāra (Cosmic Ego) is born of Mahat (Cosmic Intellect) and the Bhūtas (elements) arc born of it. The Bhūtas and the Indriyas (Sense-organs) are born simultaneously from the Ātman.

38. The different living beings are born from the Bhūtas (elements). It is thus that the creation begins to function.

The details thereof have already been recounted to you in accordance with my understanding in the manner in which it has been heard by me. Let it be retained in memory in the manner it has been recounted to you before.”

39. On hearing thus about the origin of the worlds, their stability and their dissolution, the ascetics of the Naimiṣa forest had their Avabhṛtha (Valedictory bath) in the Sattra and became sanctified. The sages then attained the holy world (the heavens)[7]

40. In the same manner you also worship duly Devatās etc., take the valedictory bath after the sacrifice and become pure. At the end of life be contented (that you have done your duty), abandon bodies, attain the meritorions world and rejoice thus.

41. These Naimiṣeyas (sages of the Naimiṣa forest), all those who performed Sattra, saw and touched (? all holy objects) and went to heaven after taking the Avabhṛtha bath.

42. In the same manner, O Brāhmaṇas, you too, after performing various Yajñas shall go at the end of your life, O excellent Brāhmaṇas, to Svarga (heaven).

43. Prakriyā is the first section where the story is taken up. (The other sections are) Anuṣaṅga, Upodghāta and Upasaṃhāra.[8]

44-46. It was thus that Lord Vayu,[9] engaged in the welfare of worlds, recounted this Purāṇa consisting of four sections and honoured by the world. O excellent sages, he recounted it to the sages after attending the Sattra in the Naimiṣa forest.

After perfectly understanding this creation of Pradhāna, caused also by Īśvara, along with the origin and dissolution of living beings the intelligent person will have no occasion to be overwhelmed by delusion.[10] He will readily achieve this Grace.

47-48. The scholarly Brāhmaṇa who listens to or recites or teaches this ancient Itihāsa, rejoices in the regions of Mahendra for eternal years. After attaining Sāyujya (absorption, identification) with Brahmā he rejoices along with Brahmā.

49. One who celebrates and proclaims the glory and reputation of the renowned noble-souled Prajāpatis and lords of the Earths, attains final emancipation.

50-53a. This Purāṇa is recounted by Kṛṣṇa Dvaipāyana, the expounder of Brahman. It is conducive to wealth, fame and longevity. It is meritorious. It is equal in extent and value to the Vedas.

He who proclaims and celebrates the glory of the lords of Manvantaras as well as that of the Devatās and Sages of abundance of wealth and splendour, becomes rid of all sins. He shall attain great merit.

The scholar who always recites this on every holy occasion shakes off all sins. After attaining Svarga (heaven) he becomes capable of final emancipation.

53b-55. If anyone recites a section of this (Purāṇa) during a Śrāddha rite to the Brāhmaṇas, it passes on to the Pitṛs bestowing everything desirable and everlasting benefits.

This is called Purāṇa because it is ancient and still living (Purā Anati). He who knows the etymological meaning of this word gets released from all sins.

So also, in the case of men of three Varṇas who study this Itihāsa.

56-57. If any one, after listening to this Purāṇa, directs his mind towards righteous activities, he rejoices in heaven as many thousand crores of years as there are hair-pores over his body. After attaining absorption in the Brahman, he rejoices along with the gods.

58. This Śāstra (scripture) is meritorious, sacred and renowned. It removes all sins. Brahmā handed over this Purāṇa to Mātariśvan (the wind god).[11]

59. This was acquired from him by Uśanas. Bṛhaspati got it from him (Uśanas). Thereafter, Bṛhaspati narrated it to Savitṛ (sun-god).

60. Savitṛ recounted it to Mṛtyu; Mṛtyu to Indra; Indra to Vasiṣṭha and he recounted it to Sārasvata.

61. Sārasvata imparted it to Tridhāman; Tridhāman to Śaradvān; Śaradvān to Triviṣṭa and he handed it over to Antarikṣa.

62. Antarikṣa recounted it to Carṣin and he to Trayyāruṇa. Dhanañjaya got it from Trayyāruṇa. He handed it over to Kṛtañjaya.

63. Tṛṇañjaya got it from Kṛtañjaya and he imparted it to Bharadvāja. Bharadvāja recounted it to Gautama. He gave it to Niryantara.

64. Niryantara taught it to Vājaśrava; he gave it to Somaśuṣma and he handed it over to Tṛṇabindu.

65. Tṛṇabindu recounted it to Dakṣa. Dakṣa recounted it to Śakti. Parāśara who was in the womb heard this from Śakti.

66. Jātukarṇya heard this from Parāśara. Holy lord Dvaipāyana heard this from him. O excellent Brāhmaṇas, it has been then acquired by me from Dvaipāyana.

67. This has been narrated to my son of unmeasured intellect. This is the enumerative statement of all Gurus beginning with Brahmā. It has been cited.

68-70. Gurus (Spiritual preceptors) are to be earnestly bowed to by learned men. This Purāṇa is conducive to wealth, renown and long-life. It is secred and capable of accomplishing all objects. It is destructive of sins. It should be listened to along with Brāhmaṇas. This sacred excellent Purāṇa should not be given to the impure and unclean, to the sinner and faithless. It should not be given to a student unless he has served and studied for at least a year. It should not be given to the unlettered or to one who is antagonistic. It should not be given to one who is not like one’s own son.[12]

71-73. With great mental purity, I bow down to the primordial Brahmā,[13] the great lord, the most excellent of all excellent ones, the bestower of boons. He is established in Satyaloka. He is of the nature of Yajña. He is the lord of Devas and the creator of people. They say that the Avyakta (the unmanifest) is his source of origin and that this Kāla (Time) and Gati (Movement) is his manifest body. Vahni (fire) is his mouth, the Sun and the Moon are his eyes, the quarters his ears. Vayu (the Wind god) is his vital breath. His words are Vedas; the firmament his body, the Earth his feet and the stars the pores of his hairs. The entire sky constitutes his head and all lores and Upaniṣads constitute his tail.

Notes on this chapter:

In the previous two chapters the three types of dissolutions of the world are described rather desultorily in a Puranic way. The description of dissolution forms an important characteristic (Lakṣaṇa) of a Purāṇa. Now the author explains how the creation of universe takes place after the world-destruction.

The importance of this chapter is due to the fact that it forms the concluding chapter of the Brahmāṇḍa Purāṇa and as such it contains the Phalaśruti, genealogy of teachers who handed down the text of this Purāṇa.

Footnotes and references:


The speech of the sages shows that they have heard practically all topics contained in the Purāṇa. They have duly honoured him probably in a concluding ceremony. But they wish to hear one point viz how the world is re-created after destruction.


VV. 16-33 describe how the world evolves through the disequilibrium of Guṇas and how this original balance of Guṇas (Guṇa-sāmya) is disturbed.


Better ‘anādyam’ ‘beginningless’ as in Vā. P. 193.23.


This is obviously corrupt, as water is irrelevant here. Vā. P. 103.27 (a corresponding verse) reads:

Kṣetra-tajjñās tu sarvaśaḥ

kṣetra-tajjñāḥ—‘the knowers of kṣetra’ (body) i.e. kṣetrajñaḥ. (individual soul)

“kṣetrajñas are ever produced both at the beginning and at the end”.


Śavas-tulya-prasṛṣṭyatha in Bd. P. is obscure. Vā. P. 103.31 (a corresponding verse) reads:

sarve tulyāh prasṛṣṭārtham

“All are equal for the purpose of creation”.


VV. 34-38 describe the same bringing in Purāṇic deities Maheśvara, Brahmā.

Here ends the discourse by Sūta.


The sattra (sacrificial session) concluded with the conclusion of the Purāṇa. Just as the Naimiṣāraṇya sages took the Valedictory bath (avabhṛtha snāna) and went to heaven, the later audience of the Purāṇa is exhorted to take such a bath and go to heaven.


Review of the main sections of the Purāṇa.


Vāyu seems to be a member of the audience when the Purāṇa was narrated in the Naimiṣāraṇya sattra.


VV. 46-57 give the Phalaśruti (merit accruing from hearing the Purāṇa).


The genealogy of teachers who handed down the Purāṇa unto Sauti, the son of Sūta. This list is longer man the one given in Introduction.


Usual qualifications of the listener to the Purāṇa. These are common to all holy scriptures.


The usual concluding solutation to the Primordial Puruṣa.

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: