The Padma Purana

by N.A. Deshpande | 1951 | 1,261,945 words | ISBN-10: 8120838297 | ISBN-13: 9788120838291

This page describes the birth of lakshmi which is chapter 4 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 fourth 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.

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Bhīṣma said:

1. I have heard that Lakṣmī was born in the white ocean. How did you say that she was born of Khyāti from Bhṛgu?

2. How did the auspicious daughter of Dakṣa give up her body? And how was she conceived by Menā and born as Umā?

3. Why did the lord of lords take Himālaya’s daughter as his wife? And why did he have hostility with Dakṣa? May the revered one tell this to me.

Pulastya said:

4. O king, listen to this (account) since you have now asked me. I have heard about this connection of Śrī (with Bhṛgu and Khyāti) from Brahmā.

5-10. Durvāsas, Atri’s son, wandering over this earth, saw a fragant, auspicious, garland in the hand of a Vidyādhari. He solicited her for it (saying): ‘Give it to me. I shall place it in the mass of my matted hair’. Thus the Vidyādhari was asked by him. O king, being pleased, she then gave that garland to him. Taking it, he tied it to his head for a long time, and the brāhmaṇa looking like a mad ghost, said this:

‘I saw the Vidyādhari maiden, with stout, high breasts, and having charm due to brilliant ornaments; and then my mind gets perturbed today; and I am not skilled in sex. So exhibiting my good fortune, I shall go somewhere else’. O king, saying so, he wandered over the earth.

11-12. Taking from his own head that garland with intoxicating bees hovering over it, he threw it at the bright lord of gods, king of the three worlds, Śacī’s husband, mounted upon Airāvata.

13. Taking that garland, the king of gods, put it on the head of the elephant. There it shone like Ganges on Kailāsa.

14. The elephant, with his eyes blinded by intoxication, held the garland in his trunk for smelling its fragrance, and hurled it on the earth.

15-16. Then Durvāsas, the best of the sages, got angry; and, O king, being angry, said to the king of gods: ‘O you Indra, with your mind (turned) wicked due to the intoxication of splendour, you are very stiff, since you do not rejoice at the garland, the abode of wealth, given by me.

17-23. Since you threw the garland given by me on the earth, therefore, O fool, the prosperity of the world will perish. Therefore, these three worlds of you, with their wealth perished, will stand perished. O lord of gods, you have slighted me, of whom, when angered, the movable and the immovable are afraid’. Indra, hastily getting down from the elephant’s body, propitiated the sinless sage Durvāsas. Being pleased by (Indra’s) prostrations, the brāhmaṇa left, saying: ‘I won’t pardon you; what is the use of talking too much?’ The lord of gods also, mounted upon that elephant, and went to Amarāvatī. Since then these three worlds, along with Indra, were void of affluence. Sacrifices were not performed; ascetics did not practise penance; and gifts were not given; the world had almost perished.

24. When thus the three worlds had become void of affluence and deprived of energy, the Daityas (sons of Diti) and Dānavas (sons of Danu) started military operations against gods.

25-31. The Daityas defeated gods; and Indra and others led by Agni, took refuge with the illustrious Brahmā. Being correctly informed by gods, Brahmā likewise spoke to them. With them he went to the northern shore of the white ocean. Having gone there, the revered Brahmā said to Vāsudeva: “Quickly get up and do whatever is good for the gods. Without you, the gods (would be) repeatedly defeated by the Dānavas.” Viṣṇu, the supreme being, having eyes like lotuses, thus addressed, looking at the gods, in an unprecedented poise, said: “O gods, I shall nourish you with strength. I shall tell you what[?] should be done by you. Bringing all herbs (and putting themṣ into the Milky Ocean, and making Vāsuki the string of the churning rod, O gods, with me to help you, churn out, along with the Daityas, the nectar (from the ocean).”

32. Talking to the Daityas in an appeasing manner about that operation (of churning the ocean) (he said to them) “Here you will share the fruit equally.”

33-34. (To the gods he said): “O gods, by drinking the nectar which will come up when the ocean will be churned you will become strong. I shall, O gods, act in such a way that the enemies of gods will not obtain nectar (but will) merely suffer anguish.”

35. All those gods thus addressed by the lord of gods, entering into a league with the Asuras, exerted to get nectar.

36-37. Gods, Daityas and Dānavas, having collected all herbs threw them into the water of the ocean which was bright like spotless autumnal sky, and having made Mandara mountain the churning rod and Vāsuki, the string of the churning rod, O best king, they started churning (the ocean).

38. All the gods remained (on that side) where the tail (of Vāsuki) was. Viṣṇu put the Daityas (on the side of the) forepart of (the body of) Vāsuki.

39. O you, lustrous like a god, all the Asuras deprived of lustre by his (Vāsuki’s) breath and fire became powerless.

40. The gods became stout by the showering clouds produced by that breath on the region of (Vāsuki’s) tail.

41-49. In the ocean, revered Brahmā, best among the wise, and Mahādeva of great lustre, remained on the back of Viṣṇu. Brahmā, tormenter of the enemies, holding the Mandara (mountain) with both hands, and preparing a couple of chains for holding the Mandara (mountain) remained between the hosts of gods and demons (Dānavas). Viṣṇu himself, remaining in the ocean in the form of a tortoise, nourished the gods with unusual lustre. Then, when the Milky Ocean was being churned by gods and demons, first a fragrant receptacle of oblation honoured by gods, became (manifest). O highly intelligent one, the gods and the demons were then glad. Their minds were distracted and their eyes were motionless. While the Siddhas (semi-divine beings possessing eight supernatural powers) were thinking in heaven ‘What is this?’, the goddess Vāruṇi became (manifest). Her eyes were rolling about due to intoxication. Then turning round from there, and faltering at every step, and having only one garment (on her person), with hair let loose, with her eyes motionless, and their corners red (she said): “I am a goddess giving strength. The demons may take me”. Regarding Vāruṇī as impure, the gods let her go. Then the demons took her. She became wine after being taken (by them).

50-54. During the churning, Pārijāta, the wealth of gods, the tree in the paradise, appeared; then came up the hosts of sixty crores of celestial nymphs, (to be) common to gods and demons; and all of them were determined to be common (i.e. available) to the doer of a religious act. Then the moon, delighting the gods, came up. God Śaṅkara implored: “(This) moon will be undoubtedly the ornament of my matted hair; I have taken him’'. Brahmā agreed to his being the ornament of Hara. Then the deadly poison (came up). By it all gods and demons with (other) deities were afflicted.

55. Mahādeva took and drank that poison at his will. Due to drinking it Mahādeva had his throat turned dark blue.

56. The Nāgas drank the remaining poison that had come up from the White Ocean. Then Dhanvantari himself holding a white umbrella sprang up.

57. He came up holding a pitcher full of nectar. Then the gods became at ease at the sight of the lord of physicians.

58-59. Then the horse (viz. Uccaiḥśravas) and the elephant Airāvata came up. Then goddess Śrī with throbbing lustre and seated upon a blooming lotus, and holding a lotus came from that water. The great sages joyfully praised her with the hymn (called) Śrī-sūkta.

60. Gandharvas led by Viśvāvasu sang before her and the hosts of celestial nymphs headed by Ghṛtācī danced there.

61-62. The rivers, Ganges and others, came there for (giving Lakṣmī) a bath with their water. The quarter-elephants bringing pure water in golden pots, bathed the goddess, the great ruler of all the worlds. The Milky Sea himself gave her a garland of unblooming lotuses. Viśvakarmā put ornaments on her body.

63-66. The hosts of gods like Indra, the Vidyādharas and great snakes, demons (Dānavas). great Daityas, Rākṣasas with Guhyakas, longed for that maiden, who had bathed, put on divine flowers and garments and was adorned with ornaments. Then Brahmā said: “O Vāsudeva, you alone accept her, offered by me to you. The gods and demons have been forbidden by me in this case (i.e. from seeking her hand). I am pleased with your steady performance.”

67. And the goddess was (thus) addressed by Brahmā: “O goddess, go to Keśava; obtaining the bridegroom given by me, be happy for many years.”

68. When allgods were watching, she resorted to Hari’s bosom. Then reaching the bosom she said (these) words to the god (Viṣṇu):

69. “O dear to all the world, I am not to be forsaken by you. Being always obedient to you I shall stay on your bosom.”

70-71. Then O best king, the gods seen by Lakṣmī, who had resorted to Viṣṇu’s bosom, suddenly became very glad, but the Daityas (demons) who were opposed to Viṣṇu, became extremely dejected. Lakṣmī shunned the Dānavas (demons) led by Vipracitti.

72. Then the very powerful Daityas, full of sin seized the nectar which was in the hands of Dhanvantari.

73-75. But Viṣṇu, taking a female form, and alluring the Dānavas with a trick, approaching them, said: “Give the pitcher to me; being obedient to you I shall stay in your house.” Seeing that beautiful lady, most lovely in the three worlds and of a charming body, they, with their minds overpowered by greed and longing for her, gave her that nectar and looked in front.

76. Taking that nectar from the Dānavas, Viṣṇu gave it to the gods. Then the hosts of gods led by Śakra drank that nectar.

77. With their weapons and swords raised, the Daityas attacked them. The army of Daityas was then vanquished by gods being mighty after having drunk the nectar.

78-79. Being killed (by gods) they turned to (different) quarters and entered the nether world. Then gods, being glad, saluting (Viṣṇu), the holder of the conch, disc, and mace, repaired, as before, to heaven. Since then, O Bhīṣma, the Dānavas have become eager for (the company of) ladies.

80-84. Mentally cursed by Kṛṣṇa (i.e. Viṣṇu) they went to the lower world. Then the Sun of pleasing lustre, moved along his path. Fire, of charming brilliance blazed aloft and all the beings entertained regard for righteousness and the three worlds endowed with Śrī were protected by Viṣṇu. Then the gods were addressed by Brahmā, preserver of the world:

“I have appointed Viṣṇu and the chief of gods, Lord of Umā, for your protection. And since they are propitious to you when waited upon, they will look after your welfare, and they, taking care of your well-being will grant you boons.”

85-86. Saying so the lord went his way. When the grand-sire of all the worlds vanished and when Indra went to heaven, that moment Viṣṇu and Śaṅkara reached Vainkuṇṭha and Kailāsa.

87. Then the king of gods protected the three worlds. Thus glorious Lakṣmī sprang up from the Milky Ocean.

88-90. O great king, this eternal one (i.e. Lakṣmī) was again born with great splendour to Khyāti from Bhṛgu. The great sage Bhṛgu first made his capital, named after her, on the bank of the river Narmadā, and was approved by Brahmā.

Having given her city along with its key to her father, she came to the divine world and coming back again asked her father to return it.

91. When she did not get back the city given to Bhṛgu from him through greed, though she asked for it, then she said to Viṣṇu:

92. “I have been humiliated by my father; he has taken my city. Snatching it from him, give it to me.”

93. The lord, with lotus-like eyes and holding the disc and mace, going to Bhṛgu spoke courteously to him:

94. “Give the city to your daughter. Be gracious; give to her both the key and the lock (of the city).” Being angry Bhṛgu said to him:

95. “I will not give her the city. O god, it is not Lakṣmī’s city. I myself have fashioned it. Sir, I will not give it. Stop censuring me.”

96. Again the lord said to him: “Give the city to Lakṣmī. By all means, O great sage, by my order you have to give it up.”

97-98. Then, overcome with anger, Bhṛgu too said to Keśava: “O good one, due to your partiality for your wife, you are now harassing me. O Madhusūdana, you will have ten births in the human world. You will experience many agonies by separation from your wife.”

99. Bhṛgu, extremely angry, thus cursed him. The noble Viṣṇu too, cursed him back.

100. “0 best sage, you will not get the affection of your children.” Having (thus) cursed the sage, he went to the world of Brahmā.

101-103. Seeing him (i.e. Brahmā), who was born from the lotus, Keśava said: “Sir, this your son Bhṛgu is very irascible. Without any reason he has cursed me: ‘You will have ten births in the human world (as a human being), and as a result of that (you will) (suffer from) miseries of many kinds, (and have) suffering due to the separation from your wife, which would destroy your might and valour.’ Leaving this world, I shall lie in the great ocean.

104-105. Invoke me for all divine missions”. In order to please Viṣṇu, who was speaking thus, Brahmā, the lord of the world of gods, thus praised him:”You created this world, and the lotus issued from (your) navel. I was born there, and am your servant, O Keśava.

106. O lord, you are the protector of all the worlds, and the creator of the universe. You should not leave the three worlds. This alone is my wish.

107. With the desire for the well-being of the worlds, you live for ten existences among human beings. You are the independent author. Nobody is capable of cursing you.

108. Who is this Bhṛgu? How is it possible for him to curse (you)? Always honour the brāhmaṇas; the brāhmaṇas are your own body.

109. Resort to light sleep (i.e. Viṣṇu’s sleep at the end of a yuga) O lord; lie in the Milky Ocean. At the time of performing a mission, I shall wake you up.

110-112. Sir, this Śakra, grown by your power and killer of enemies, doing all your deeds as your secondary incarnation, will protect the three worlds; he will obey your order”. Viṣṇu, thus praised, said to Brahmā: “I shall do all that you ask me (to do) O lord.” The lord (Viṣṇu) disappeared; Brahmā did not notice it.

113. When lord Viṣṇu had left, lord Brahmā, the grandsire of the worlds, the source of the worlds, again created the world.

114. Seeing that, Nārada,the best among those conversant with speech, said (these) words: “The supreme being, with a thousand heads, a thousand eyes, a thousand feet, all-pervading, remained ten fingers above the touch of the earth.

115. Since you are whatever is past and whatever is future, therefore. O father, all this has come up from you, and will come up from you.

116. From you has come up Sacrifice with everything, such as the oblation, the ghee mixed with coagulated milk, and the beasts of two kinds. Ṛks and Sāmans have sprung up from you.

117. Sacrifices have come up from you, and also the elephants; cows have sprung up from you, and also birds and wild beasts.

118. From your mouth the brāhmaṇas came up; the kṣatriyas are born from you. The vaiśyas have been born from your thighs and the śūdras have come up from your feet.

119-121. From your eyes the sun came up; the wind has come from your ear; the moon (has sprung up) from your mind. Breath (has proceeded) from your internal cavity, and fire from your mouth. The sky came up from your navel, and the heaven from your head; quarters from your ear; the earth from your feet; all this has come up from you. As the great fig-tree (the Nyagrodha tree) remains well in a small seed, so all this has come up (from you) with you as the seed.

122. As the fig-tree rises from the seed and the sprout, and grows, in the same way the world rises and grows from you.

123. As the plantain tree and nothing else is beheld from the barks and leaves, similarly, O lord, all this is seen to be residing in you.

124. In you is the pleasing power; it alone has come up with you. In you, free from qualities, the mixed power causing joy and affliction does not exist.

125. Salutation to you, who have remained separately and unitedly, and you who are all the beings. You are the manifest, the (unmanifest) Pradhāna, your first progeny (Virāṭa Puruṣa) and the universal lord.

126. In everything you are the all-in-all; you are everything, and you take up all forms; everything has come up from you; salutation to you, the soul of all.

127. O lord of all, you are the soul of everything, since you are present in all beings; what shall I tell you, since you know everything that is in (our) mind.

128. O lord, you have fulfilled the desire which I had. My penance is well-practised, as I have seen you, O lord of the world.”

Brahmā said:.

129. Son, that is the fruit ofyour penance that you have seen me now. Here, O Nārada, seeing me would not be in vain.

130. Therefore, ask for a boon of your liking. Everything is accomplished, O son, when I am seen.

Nārada said:

131. O sire, O lord of all beings, you remain in the heart of everyone. Is, what is mentally desired by me, not known to you?

132. O lord, I have seen the creation of the world as done by you. Therefore, seeing the gods. sages and demons, curiosity has sprung up in me.

Pulastya said:

133-134. God Brahmā, the lord of heaven, father of Nārada, was pleased, and gave a boon to Nārada: “You are the best among the sages. Due to my favour you will be fond of jesting and promoting discords, and you will move freely in the heaven, on the earth and in the nether region.

135. O sinless one, your ornaments will be, along with the sacred thread, a cloth thrown over the back, and hanging down the knees, a small umbrella, and a lute.

136. You will always obtain affection in the presence of (i.e. from) Viṣṇu, Rudra, and Śakra, and in the regions of kings.

137. You will be the instructor of the castes. This is the boon I have granted you, O sinless one. Live in heaven at your sweet will with gods waiting upon you.”

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