by N.A. Deshpande | 1951 | 1,261,945 words | ISBN-10: 8120838297 | ISBN-13: 9788120838291
This page describes kinds of creation which is chapter 3 of the English translation of the Padma Purana, one of the largest Mahapuranas, detailling ancient Indian society, traditions, geography, as well as religious pilgrimages (yatra) to sacred places (tirthas). This is the third chapter of the Srishti-khanda (section on creation) of the Padma Purana, which contains six books total consisting of at least 50,000 Sanskrit metrical verses.
1. How is it possible for Brahman, the quality-less, unlimited, pure and great, to be the author of the creation etc.?
2. As the potentialities of all objects are inconceivable and inapprehensible, so are those powers of creation of Brahman.
3. The wise one who is born is only secondarily described to be eternal; and by his own measure his life-span is said to be a hundred years.
7-9. The dakṣiṇāyana is the night of the gods and the uttarāyaṇa is their day. The set of four yugas called Kṛta, Tretā etc. is formed by 12000 divine years. Learn from me their division: Those acquainted with the past say that the number of a thousand divine years in the Kṛta and other yugas is respectively four, three, two and one. A (period called) sandhyā of equal number of hundred years (corresponding to thousands—the number of years of each yuga) is said to precede it (i.e. each yuga).
10-11. That period coming immediately after a yuga and equal to (the period of) a Sandhyā is (called) Sandhyāṃśaka. The period between a Sandhyā and Sandhyāṃśa is to be known as a yuga called Kṛta, Tretā etc. The Caturyuga is said to consist of Kṛta, Tretā, Dvāpara and Kali.
12-21. O prince, a thousand of such caturyugas is said to be a day of Brahmā. There are fourteen Manus during one day of Brahmā. Listen to the measure of their period: O prince the seven sages, Indra, Manu and his sons are created at one and the same time, and are also withdrawn as before (i.e. at one and the same time). The period of Manu and gods is called Manvantara, and is enumerated to form seventy-one caturyugas (i.e. groups of four yugas). This span, O highly intelligent one, is said to be (e qual to) eight lakhs and fifty-two thousand divine years. According to the calculation, thirty crores, sixtyseven million ond twenty thousand human years without any addition is the number of years in a Manvantara. The day of Brahmā is fourteen times this period. At the end of it (i.e. this day) there is Brahmā’s reabsorption (of the creation called) Naimittika. At that time all the three worlds like Bhūḥ, Bhuvaḥ are consumed. Residents of the Mahas world, afflicted by tormentation, go to the world of (i.e. called) Jana. When the three worlds just become one ocean, Brahmā, the lord of the world, the best among those who know Brahman, increased with the nourishment of the worlds, and being meditated upon by the yogins remaining in the Jana-world lies on the bed of a serpent.
22. At the end of the night which is of the same measure (as the day) he again brings about the creation. Such is the year of Brahmā and likewise are his hundred years.
23. Long is the life-span of that great one, viz. one hundred years. Only one Parārdha (half of the span) has rolled by, O sinless one.
Tell me, O great, sage, how this Brahmā, called Nārāyaṇa, created all the beings at the beginning of the Kalpa.
25b-29. Brahmā, the lord, beginningless, cause of everything, who had slept at night, at the end of the bygone Kalpa, got up, with increased vitality, saw the world void; being in the water and noticing the earth plunged in the flood of water, and after a thought desiring to take it and comprehending up the form of Viṣṇu in order to carry off the earth he entered other forms like those of Matsya, Kūrma and Varāha.
30. Having resorted to the form of Vedic Sacrifice, the Creator, of a firm mind, the soul of all and the highest soul, remained (firm) for the stability of the world.
31-32. Then the sustainer of the earth entered the water in the ocean; then the goddess Earth seeing him who had come from the nether region, reverential through devotion, bowing down, praised him.
The Earth said:
33. Salutation to you, the all-existing one; salutation to you, the highest soul; lift me today from this (ocean); formerly I have risen from you. Salution to you, O highest soul; salutation to you, O soul of man.
34-36. Salutation to you who are the manifest form of Pradhāna (the Sāṃkhya Prakṛti), and who are the destroyer. You are the creator, the protector and the destroyer of all the beings; you, O Govinda, the highest Brahma, who, at the the beginning of the creation take the form of Viṣṇu and Rudra, having devoured everything when the world has just become one ocean, lie (in it) being meditated upon by the wise. Nobody knows that which is your highest form.
37. The residents of heaven worship that form of yours which (you take) in your incarnations. Those desirous of salvation have attained it after having propitiated you, the highest Brahman.
38-40a. For, who would attain salvation without propitiating Vāsudeva? All that form which can be mentally grasped, the external form that can be perceived by eyes etc. and that which can be defined by intelligence, is your form. I am full of you; you are my support; you have created me (and) I have sought your refuge. Therefore the people call me ‘Mādhavī’ (i.e. of or belonging to Mādhava i e. Viṣṇu).
40b-41 Being thus praised by the Earth, the lustrous sustainer of the earth, having the voice like the Sāman-notes, roared with a loud murmuring sound. Then the great boar, resembling a lotus-leaf, and having eyes like full-blown lotuses, having lifted the earth (from the ocean) with is fang, rose like a great blue mountain.
42. The water of the ocean struck by his breath when he rose, again made the sinless sages like Sanandana, who had resorted to the Jana world, the abode of purity.
43. When the base of the earth was struck by his hoof, the water moved on, and the row of clouds hurled by his breath moved all around, making a continuous (thundering) sound.
44. The sages that were between the hair on his body praised the great boar tossing his body of Veda when, he, with his sides wet, came out (of the ocean) after having rent the earth.
45. “O greatest lord, Keśava, you are the lord of the lords of people. O you, holder of the mace, conchshell and disc! You, are the cause of the creation, sustenance and destruction; you are the ruler, and you, and none else, are the place which is the highest.
46. The Vedas are at your feet, your tusk is the tying post, sacrifices are in your fangs, and the sacred texts in your mouth. Your tongue is fire, your hair the sacred darbha grass. O lord, you alone are the sacrificial man.
47. O you of matchless prowess, the distance between heaven and earth—or this entire world—is pervaded by your body; be, O lord, for the well-being of the world.
48-53. O lord of the world, you alone, and none else, are the lord of the world. It is the greatness of you alone by which the movable and the immovable are pervaded. The ignorant ones, who look upon this world, of the form of knowledge, to be true, wander in the flood of darkness; but O lord, the wise ones of pure heart see the entire world, your form, to be of the nature of knowledge. O soul of all beings, be pleased for the existence of the world; O you lotus-eyed one, unlimited self, lift up this earth that is plunged (in the ocean). You are enhanced with energy, O lord Govind. Lift up this earth for the well-being (of the world); bring about the good of the world.”
54. The highest soul, who had held the earth, being thus praised, put it in the great ocean. The earth remained over it like a boat in a stream of water.
55. The beginningless supreme being, then having flattened the earth, piled the mountains on it according to (its) divisions.
56. Then having accurately divided the earth into seven divisions, he conceived the four worlds Bhūḥ etc. as before.
57. This is exactly what was formerly shown to Brahmā by Viṣṇu. The god of gods who was pleased (said to Viṣṇu):
58-59. “This world is to be sustained and protected by you and me with care. O mighty one, those chief Asuras who were granted a boon by me, are now to be billed by you, desiring the good of gods. I shall create the world. O supreme one, it is to be protected by you.”
60. Viṣṇu, the eminent one, being thus addressed (by Brahmā) went (from that place) and created gods and others. From him spontaneous (creation) full of darkness proceeded.
61-62. From the great one, who did not ponder, five kinds of creation stood apart: Tamas, Moha, Mahāmoha, Tāmisra, Andha. It was dark from within and without, and of the form of (i.e. consisting of) the immovable. This is (called) Mukhya Sarga as the Nāgas are said to be pre-eminent in it.
63-64. Seeing that ineffective creation the lord thought of another (creation). From who was pondering, the creation called Tiryak-srotas stood out. As the movement (of the animals other than man) was horizontal (with their faces turned to the ground) the creation is said to be Tiryak-srotas. The beasts etc. too, were known to be almost full of ignorance and lacking perception.
65-67. Taking a wrong path they looked upon ignorance as knowledge. Self-conceited and self-loving, they were of twenty-eight kinds. All of them were shining within and had concealed one another. When he looked upon that as ineffective, another creation came up from him, who pondered. This (creation) too he thought to be ineffective. Then from him, who pondered, another (creation) came up. This third creation was Ūrdhva-srotas, virtuous, and stood high up. They had abundant happiness and pleasure and were open and shining from within and without. Hence they are said to be Ūrdhva-srotas.
68. This third creation of him who was pleased, is known as the creation of gods (deva-sarga). When it was accomplished, Brahmā was pleased.
69. Knowing those, coming up from the Mukhya Sarga etc. to be ineffective, he then thought of another excellent effective creation.
70. When he was thinking thus, from him, the manifest one and of the thoughts, an effective creation (called) Arvāk-srotas proceeded.
71-72. Since they move on the lower side, they are Arvāk-srotas. They are rich in brilliance, enhanced in Tamas and strong in Rajas. Therefore they are full of grief and repeat the same things over and over again. They, the human beings, are bright within and without and are efficient.
73-75. Fifth is the Anugraha Sarga arranged in four ways: error, success, power and satisfaction. They again do not know the past and the present. The sixth sarga (creation) is said to be of the beings and the like. All of them have possessions, they become partners, follow instructions, mutter texts and should be known as beings etc.
76. Thus, O best king, the six creations are narrated. First one is the creation of Mahat; and that which is the second is of Brahmā.
77. The second one of the subtle and primary elements is known as the Bhūtādi sarga. The third one, the Vaikārika, is said to be of sense organs.
78. Thus this is (i.e. these three are together called) Prākṛta sarga, which has come up without deliberation. The fourth one is Mukhya sarga. The immovables are known to be Mukhya.
79-80. That (sarga) which is described as Tiryak-srotas is (also) called Tiryak-yonya. Then (comes) the sixth one of the Ūrdhva-srotas known as Deva-sarga. Then (follows) the creation of the Arvāk-srotas (moving with their faces turned to the ground); and the seventh one is Mānuṣa. Eighth is the Anugraha sarga. It is both virtuous and vicious.
82. These nine creations of Prajāpati, viz. the Prākṛta and the Vaikṛta and the root causes of the world are enumerated to you.
83-84a. What else do you want to hear about the lord of the world—the creator?
You have told in brief the sargas of gods and others from the lord. O best sage, I desire to hear about them from you in detail.
84b-87. Created due to their good and bad actions, and not devoid of the faculty of discrimination, they are withdrawn at the time of universal destruction. O king, the beings—beginning with gods and ending with the immovable—are of four types. They were created by Brahmā creating the world and are known to be mānasa. Then desiring to create the group of four, viz. gods, manes, demons and human beings, he employed himself (to create) this water. Then from Prajāpati free and wicked souls were born.
88. First, (from him) desirous of creating beings, the demons were born from his buttocks. Then he abandoned that wicked body full of vice only.
89-90. O best of kings, that body abandoned by him be came the night. Then resorting to another body, he desired to create; and then, O king, gods, born from his mouth, were joyful (as they were) increased with brightness. He abandoned that body too, and (it became) the day full of brightness.
91-92. Therefore, the demons are powerful at night and the gods by day. Then he took up another body full of virtue only. The pitṛs looking upon him as their father were born from (that body of) him. The lord having created the pitṛs gave up that body too.
93. That body, thus abandoned, became evening—the time between (the end of) day and (the beginning of) night. Then he took up another body full of activity only.
94-97. (From it) human beings, richly endowed with activity only, were born, O best among the Kurus. Prajāpati quickly gave up that former body also. That body became light, which is also called twilight. Therefore human beings arepower-ful when the light comes on (i.e. in the morning), and likewise the pitṛs are powerful (in the evening). Light, night, day and evening—these four are Brahmā’s bodies supporting the three constituents (sattva, rajas and tamas). Then he took up another body of the nature of activity (rajas) only.
98. Then Brahmā had a sneeze; and it produced anger (in him); affected by it the lord then created (certain beings) in darkness.
99-101. These deformed (beings) desiring to eat him up, ran to the lord. Those who said ‘Protect him’, became goblins. Those others who said ‘Let us eat him’, became spirits. The hairs of the creator who was very much afraid of them fell off, and those that fell off, again got on his head. They are known as serpents (sarpa) on account of their creeping (sarpaṇa), and snakes (ahi) on account of their having fallen (hinatva).
102-104. Then the angry creator created fearful, angry-minded beings, pink in colour and flesh-eaters. Then Gandharvas, sucking the earth, sprang from him at that time. While sucking (the earth), they produced sounds; so on that account, they became gandharvas. Impelled by the respective capacity of them, he, having created these, created the birds at his free will.
105-114. He created sheep from his chest, and rams from his mouth. He created cows and buffaloes from his belly; and from his feet (he created) horses with elephants, donkeys, (a species of ox called) gavayas, deer, camels, mules, antelopes and other species; herbs having fruits and roots sprang up from his hair. At the beginning of the kalpa, and the introduction of Tretā yuga, Brahmā having duly created animals and herbs, employed himself in a sacrifice. Cows, rams, buffaloes, sheep, horses, mules, and donkeys—these are called tame animals. Learn from me the wild ones: Beasts of prey, two-hoofed animals, elaphants, monkeys, birds, as the fifth (species), animals like camels as the sixth, serpents as the seventh. From his first mouth (i.e. facing the east) he created Gāyatra, ṛks, and also Trivṛtsoma and Rathantara and Agniṣṭoma of sacrifices. From his mouth facing the south (he created) the Yajus-formulae, Triṣṭubh metre, and Stoma, Pañcadaśa, Bṛhatsāma and Uktha. From his mouth facing the west he created Sāmans, Jagatī metre, and Stoma, Saptadaśa, Vairūpa and Atirāja. From his mouth facing the north, he created Ekaviṃśa, Atharva, Āptoryāma, Anuṣṭubh, and Vairāja. From the limbs of his body high and low animals were created.
115-116. Having created gods, demons, manes and human beings, the creator again at the beginning of the kalpa, created spirits, goblins, gandhavas and groups of celestial nymphs, siddhas, kinnaras, demons, lions, birds, beasts and reptiles.
117. Then Brahmā, supreme ruler, the primary cause, created whatever is unchanging and changing, movable and immovable.
118. Those beings being again and again created, enter upon those acts which they performed before (this) creation (i.e. in the previous creation).
119. Inspired by cruelty and kindness, right or wrong, truth or falsehood, they follow that; therefore each one likes a particular thing.
120. The creator, the lord, himself created diversity and employment among the objects of senses, the beings and (their) bodies.
121. From (i.e. by the authority of) the Vedic words, he, in the beginning, brought about the names and forms, and also the diversity in acts of gods etc.
122. He also gave names to the sages as reported in the Vedas, and also to others according to their respective duties.
123. Since, in the season the characteristics are seen and in the change (that an object goes through) various forms are observed, they are as they occurred in the beginnings of the yugas.
124. Desirous of creation, endowed with capacity and impelled by the potency of creation, he again and again brings about creation of this type at the beginning of a kalpa.
126. (Tell me) O great sage, how he created the castes, and qualities; tell (me) what is said to be the duty of brāhmaṇas etc.
127. O best among the Kurus, formerly from the mouth of Brahmā, thinking of virtue and desiring to create, beings enhanced with virtue were created.
128. From his chest (sprang up those) who were enhanced with activity and others and from his thigh those who were enhanced with activity and ignorance.
129-130. Brahmā then created from his feet other beings. All those are dominated by ignorance. From it, O best of kings, castes have come : Brāhmaṇa, Kṣatriya, Vaiśya, and Śūdra have sprung up from his feet, thighs, chest and mouth (in the reverse order).
131. Brahmā did all this for the accomplishment of sacrifice. O great king, the four-fold caste is the best means of sacrifice.
132. Gods are satisfied bysacrifice; human beings by gift of rain; for this reason religious sacrifices are the cause of wellbeing.
133. They are accomplished by good human beings always engaged in good acts, keeping away from opposite (i.e. bad) conduct and going along the good path.
134. O king, from humanity men obtain (i.e. go to) heaven and salvation. O lord, human beings go to the place which is liked by them.
135-136. O best king, for the steadiness of the fourfold caste Brahmā created these beings duly, pure and of a good conduct, living where they liked, destitute of all afflictions, of pure hearts, pure and spotless due to the practice of religion.
137. When Hari is well-settled in their pure minds and hearts, they, by that see that place called Brahman of pure knowledge.
138-139. Then that place of the nature of the Supreme Spirit is called the abode of Viriñca. O best king, Tamas (darkness), cause of falling into the mundane existence, extremely fearful, having little worth, the seed of unrighteousness, arising out of greed, and cause of the series of attachment etc. (springs up) in the beings.
140-141. Then the natural superhuman power does not quite arise in them. O king, there are eight other superhuman powers like subduing (others). When all of them become exhausted and sin increases, then the beings become afflicted with pain due to being overpowered by the pairs of opposite qualities.
142. Then they put up forts: in forests, on mountains, or in water they built forts, cities and villages.
143. O highly intelligent one, in the cities etc. they put up, according to propriety, houses for protection from afflictions like cold and heat.
144. After shunning cold etc. these beings again employed agriculture and manual labour as a result of their acts.
145-146. Rice, barley, and wheat, aṇu, sesamum, long pepper, kovidāra (trees), kodrava (grains) with grams, beans, masūra (pulse), niṣpāva, kulutthaka (pulse), aḍhaka (grains), grams and hemp are said to be seventeen.
147. These, O king, are the species of plants in a village. There are fourteen plants used for sacrifice and found in a village and a forest.
148-149. Rice with barley, beans, wheat, aṇu, sesamum with priyaṅgu as the seventh and kulutthaka (pulse) as the eighth. Śyāmāka grain, wild rice, peas, gavedhu (grass), bamboo-seeds are mentioned. So also markataka grain.
150. These fourteen plants are said to be found in a village and a forest. So also for the accomplishment of a sacrifice they are an excellent means.
151-153. Along with the sacrifice they are also a great cause (of the nourishment) of beings. Therefore, the wise, who know the higher and the lower, perform sacrifices. O best king, performing sacrifices daily is useful to men desiring fruit (of the sacrifices); and for whom, O highly intelligent one, the papābindu created by time set the limit according to their position and qualities.
154. O best among the religious people, he prescribed the duties of castes and the stages of life and the worlds men properly practising the duties of their castes (would go to).
155-157. O king, the place of the brāhmaṇas (i.e. the place which the brāhmaṇas reach) is said to be of Prajāpati (i.e. Brahmaloka); of kṣatriyas not returning (i.e. not fleeing away) from the battle (the place) is that of Indra; of vaiśyas who follow their duties the place is of Vāyu; and for śūdras who adhere to (remain well in) service the place is that of Gandharvas. That place which is said to be of (i.e. reached by) the eighty-eight thousand sages remaining in perpetual celibacy is also of (i.e. reached by) celibate students living with their teachers.
158-164. That place which is said to be of the Seven Sages is also said to be of (i.e. reached by) the anchorites. The place of (i.e. reached by) the householders is of Prajāpati and the place of (i.e. reached by) the ascetics is called Brahma. The place of (i.e. reached by) the yogins is the immortal place—the highest place of Brahman; of the yogins always remaining in secluded places constantly exerting and meditating, the highest place is the one which the wise (alone) see. The planets like the moon and the sun go and come; but those who are intent upon Nārāyaṇa do not return even now. For those who condemn the Vedas and create obstacles in (the performance of) sacrifices and who give up their duties, the place that is told is the terrible Tāmisra, Andhatāmisra, Mahāraurava, Raurava, Asipatravana, Kālasūtra and Avīcimat. Then from him who meditated, the mind-born beings sprang up. From the limbs of the intelligent one, souls came up along with sense-organs produced from his body and remaining there.
165. All those whom I have enumerated before sprang up: beginning with gods and ending with the immovable, and remaining in the sphere of the three constituents (of Prakṛti viz. sattva, rajas and tamas).
166-169. Thus the beings—immovable and movable—were created. When all these created beings of that intelligent one increased, then he created other mind-born sons like himself: Bhṛgu, myself (i.e. Pulastya), Pulaha, Kratu and Aṅgiras also; Marīci, Dakṣa and Atri, and Vasiṣṭha. In the Purāṇa they are determined to be the nine Brahmās. Sanandana and others who were formerly created by the creator did not take interest in the worlds, as they were indifferent to (raising) progeny.
170-171. All of them were having knowledge, were free from attachment, and void of hatred. When they were thus indifferent to the creation of the world, Brahmā entertained great anger capable of burning the three worlds. From his wrath the series of burning flames arose. The flame (from the anger) of Brahmā was (capable of) burning all the three worlds.
172-173. From his forehead, with the eyebrows knit and blazing with anger sprang up Rudra, huge, resembling the mid-day sun, having a large body, consisting of half male and half female.
174. ‘Divide yourself’. Saying so, Brahmā then vanished. Thus addressed, he divided himself into two (forms)—female and male.
175. He divided the male form into ten and one; and the female into mild and harsh and tranquil forms.
176-180. He also divided himself into many forms black and white. Then Brahma appointed the self-existent one, the lord, the former Svāyambhuva Manu, who was but his own self, for begetting progeny. That Manu, named Svāyambhuva, the lord, took that lady Śatarūpā, with her sins completely washed, as his wife. From that supreme being, goddess Śatarūpā gave birth to (two sons, viz.) Priyavrata and Uttānapāda; (and two daughters, viz.) Prasūti and Ākūti. First he gave Prasūti (in marriage) to Dakṣa and Ākūti to Ruci. That Prajāpati (Ruci) accepted her (i.e. Ākūti). From that couple, O great one, Yajña, the son, along with Dakṣiṇā, was then born.
182. In the same way, Dakṣa begot twenty-four daughters on Prasūti. Hear from me their correct names.
183-185. Śraddhā, Lakṣmī, Dhṛti, Puṣṭi, Tuṣṭi, Medhā, Kriyā; and also Buddhi, Lajjā, Vapu, Śānti, Ṛddhi, and Kīrti as the thirteenth. Dharma, the lord, accepted these daughters of Dakṣa as his wives. The remaining eleven, fine-eyed (daughters who were) younger than these were: Khyāti, Satī and Sambhūti, (also) Smṛti, Prīti, and Kṣamā, Sannati, Anasūyā, Ūrjā, Svāhā, and Svadhā.
186-187. O best king, the sages Bhṛgu, Bhava, Marīci, Aṅgiras, I (i.e. Pulastya), (and) Kratu—the excellent sage—and also Atri, Vasiṣṭha, Vahni, and the pitṛs married these daughters viz. Khyāti and others.
188-190. Śraddhā gave birth to a son, viz. Kāma, Lakṣmī to Bala, Dhṛti to Niyama; Tuṣṭi also gave birth to Santoṣa, and Puṣṭi to Lobha; Medhā to Śruta, Kriyā to Daṇḍa, Naya and Vinaya; Vapu gave birth to a son, viz. Vyavasāya; Śānti to Kṣema; (these and) Sukha, Ṛdhhi, Yaśas, Kīrti, are the sons of Dharma.
192-193. From the two (i.e. Anṛta and Nikṛti) were born Bhaya and Naraka; and also the pair Māyā and Vedanā. From the two Māyā brought forth Mṛtyu, who takes away (the lives of) the beings, and from Raurava Vedanā brought forth Duḥkha.
195-196. They do not have wives or sons, and all of them live in perpetual celibacy. O prince, these are Brahmā’s terrible forms. They constantly become the cause of the destruction of the world. I shall (now) tell (you) the creation of Rudra as brought about by Brahmā.
197-199. When, at the beginning of the kalpa, he was thinking of a son, a boy, blue-red in complexion, and crying melodiously, arose from him. Out of pity, O king, god (Brahmā) said to him who was crying: ‘Why are you crying?’ He replied to the creator: ‘Give me a name’. (Brahmā said:) ‘On account of your crying, you are named Rudra. Do not weep; have courage’.
200-204. Thus addressed, he cried seven times. So the lord gave him seven other names; and for his eight forms he fashioned eight places. The creator said to Rudra (called) Bhava, Śarva, Īśāna, Pasupati, Bhīma, Ugra, and Mehādeva: ‘The sun, water, earth, fire, air and the sky, the initiated Brāhmaṇa and Soma—these are your bodies respectively’. Rudra, thus characterised, obtained Satī as his wife. That Satī gave up her body due to the wrath of Dakṣa. O best king, she became the daughter of Himālaya (born) from Menā.