The Markandeya Purana

by Frederick Eden Pargiter | 1904 | 247,181 words | ISBN-10: 8171102237

This page relates “about the svarocisa manvantara” which forms the 62nd chapter of the English translation of the Markandeya-purana: an ancient Sanskrit text dealing with Indian history, philosophy and traditions. It consists of 137 parts narrated by sage (rishi) Markandeya: a well-known character in the ancient Puranas. Chapter 62 is included the section known as “exposition of the manvantaras”.

Canto LXII - About the Svārociṣa Manvantara

The young brāhman is succoured by Agni and returns homeA Gandharva Kali sees Varūthinī disconsolate and in the guise of the brāhman gains her love.

Mārkaṇḍeya spoke:

Now as the young brāhman thus spoke, the Gārhapatya Fire in sooth appeared at hand upon his body; and with it surmounting him, he stood amid a circle of light, and illumined that place as if he were Agni in bodily form. Now vehement love seized upon the heavenly maiden as she beheld the brāhman, who stood there in so glorious a form. Then the young brāhman,[1] surmounted by that Fire, immediately started to go as before; and he departed in haste while the slender-shaped heavenly maiden gazed after him as far as her eye could reach, her throat quivering with sighs. Then in one moment from that time the brāhman reached his own abode and performed all the rites as he had mentioned.

Now she, the beauteous in every limb, remained with soul and mind clinging fast to him, and passed the remainder of the day and also the night in almost ceaseless sighing. And the faultlessly-shaped maiden sighing and crying “Ah! Ah!” continually, reproached herself, “O luckless one that I am,! though her eyes were fascinating. Neither in sport, nor in food, nor yet on delightsome forest, nor on the charming glens did she then fix her joy. She turned her desire towards a pair of billing cakravākas. Forsaken by him the finely-shaped maiden reproached her own youthful woman-hood, “How happened it[2] that I came to this mountain, forcibly attracted by evil fate? And how happened it that he, such a man as that, crossed the range of my eye? If that grand man shall not come to me today, verily the intolerable fire of my love for him will consume me away. The song of the cock-koil which was so delightful, this self same song when disunited[3] from him is burning enough, as it were, to me today.”

Mārkaṇḍeya spoke:

Thus she poured forth her words, O brāhman,[4] absorbed in love, and her passion for him grew every moment then.

Now a Gandharva named Kali was enamoured of her, and had been rejected by her before. He beheld her in that condition. Then he pondered, “Why now is this Varūthinī, who moves as gracefully as an elephant, faded by the hot blast of sighing on this mountain? Has she been wounded by some muni’s curse, or has any one treated her with dishonour, since she keeps on bedewing her face copiously with tears?” Then Kali through curiosity meditated on that matter full long, and perceived the truth by the power of concentrated thought. Comprehending that matter of the muni,[5] Kali pondered again, “I have well accomplished this, by reason of fortunate actions done before. Though often entreated by me who love her, she, this very maiden, rejected me; today I shall gain her. She is in love with a human being; by virtue of that fact she shall all-unsuspectingly bestow her love on me while I assume his shape. Why then do I delay?”

Mārkaṇḍeya spoke:

Thereupon he assumed that brahman’s shape by his inherent power, and moved to where sits Varūthinī disconsolate. Seeing him, a little wide grew the eyes of the finely-shaped maiden. In her slender form she approached him and exclaimed “Be kind!” again and again; “Bereft of thee I shall assuredly abandon my life; thereby thou wilt incur very sore unrighteousness, and thy sacred ceremonies will come to ruin. Joining with me in this charming glen among the great glens, thou wilt certainly acquire righteousness by saving me. Life verily has some remnant[6] for me, O wise brāhman! Surely thou hast returned for that reason, and bringest gladness to my heart.”

Kali spoke:

What am I doing? My ceremonies suffer harm while I linger here. Dost thou tell me such a tale as this, O slender-waisted maiden? Therefore I am fallen into a strait. Thou must do[7] what I say, and not otherwise, if there is to be union between me and thee, lady, today.

Varūthinī spoke:

Be kind! What thou sayest, that I will do for thee without falsehood—I say this without fear—whatever I must do now for thy sake.

Kali spoke:

Thou must not gaze on me while we meet in union in the wood today; thou must close thine eyes, O lady with beautiful brows, the while thou dost unite with me.

Varūthinī spoke:

So be it as’t is good to thee! As thou wishes!, so let it be! Truly I must remain submissive to thee now in every way.

Footnotes and references:


For dija-nandanaḥ read dvija-nandanaḥ.




Read in preference hīnām for hīnam, to agree with mām?


The text reads, Jagāma muni-sattamam; but these words seem meaningless from the context. Jagāda muni-sattama seem preferable, and I have ventured to adopt them in the translation.


Or better perhaps, for Muneḥ read Mune, “O Muni.”


For sāvaśeṣam read cāvaśeṣam? Ava-śeṣa may apparently be neuter sometimes.


For karoṣi read kuruṣva?

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