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Chapter CCXLIII - The hymn to Vishnu composed by the holy Markandeya

Suta said:—I shall narrate to you that hymn of Vishnu, which was first sung by the holy Markandeya. I lie prostrate before the thousand-eyed, lotus-navelled Narayana, the original being who is also addressed as Hrishikesha, what shall Death do unto me? I have placed myself under the protection of the birthless, undecaying, lotus-eyed Keshava, who pervades this universe; what shall Death do unto me? I crave the protection of the wielder of discus and conch-shell, the deity manifest in the shape of the visible universe, who may be perceived only with the inner sense; what shall Death do unto me? I have placed myself under the protection of the boar, dwarf, and Nrishinha manifestations of Vishnu, I crave the mercy of Madhava and of Janardana, what shall Death do unto me? I have surrendered myself to the mercy of the lord of the universe, the pure, eternal subject that manifests itself as the Ego in self-conscious individuals; what shall Death do unto me? I crave the protection of the wielder of discus and conch-shell, the deity manifest in the shape of this visible universe, who may be perceived only with the inner sense; what shall Death do unto me? I have placed myself under the protection of the boar, dwarf and Nrisinha manifestations of Vishnu, I crave the mercy of Madhava, and of Janardana, what shall Death do unto me? I have surrendered myself to the mercy of the lord of the universe, the pure, eternal subject that manifests itself as the Ego in self-conscious individuals, what shall Death do unto me? I have surrendered myself to the protection of the thousand-headed, eternal reality, the great Yoga that is both manifest and unmanifest; what shall Death do unto me? I have resigned myself to the care of the Supreme Self, the soul of all creatures, the one manifest in the shape of the universe, the one, that without taking birth in any womb, is incarnated through the merit of a religious sacrifice; what shall Death do unto me?

The god of Death, hearing this hymn of the Lord recited by Markandeya, hastily fled away chased by the emissaries of Vishnu. Thus the holy Markandeya conquered Death, nothing is rare to one with whom Nrisinha is pleased, impossibilities may happen even if the Lord wills it so. This death-dissolving hymn was first narrated by Vishnu to the holy Markandeya for his benefit; He, who recites this hymn, thrice every day, in a pure and devout spirit, suffers no premature death—a devotee of the undecaying one dies not an early death. Pondering within the lotus of his heart the god Narayana, the eternal, infinite, original subjectivity, more effulgent than the midday sun, the Rishi (Markandeya) was enabled to conquer death.

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