The Skanda Purana

by G. V. Tagare | 1950 | 750,347 words

This page describes Manifestation of Vasudeva which is chapter 17 of the English translation of the Skanda Purana, the largest of the eighteen Mahapuranas, preserving the ancient Indian society and Hindu traditions in an encyclopedic format, detailling on topics such as dharma (virtous lifestyle), cosmogony (creation of the universe), mythology (itihasa), genealogy (vamsha) etc. This is the seventeenth chapter of the Vasudeva-mahatmya of the Vaishnava-khanda of the Skanda Purana.

Chapter 17 - Manifestation of Vāsudeva

Skanda said:

1. O sage, he saw a more brilliant, heavenly splendour, similar to crores of crores of suns arisen (and shining) simultaneously.

2. It completely pervaded all the quarters, intermediate cardinal points, above and below. It is said to be imperishable Brahman, characterised by existence, knowledge and bliss.

3. It permeated both Prakṛti and Puruṣa and their evolutes. It was that brilliance which persons accomplished in Yoga, crossing (in ascendance) all the six Cakras (plexuses) within (their body), see in their heads (in the Sahasrāra-Kamala) with the grace of Vāsudeva.

4. It is by his brilliance that the sun, the moon, fire and stars are illuminated. They irradiate the whole world by their imperishable light.

5. Sātvatas called it Brahma-pura, the residence of the Lord, near which and around which crores of worshippers are standing.

6-7. Multitudes of Brahmās ana Śaṅkaras with (materials of) worship in ṃeir hands, fall over it due to confusion. Cowherds and cowherdesses on whom there is the grace of Kṛṣṇa, see (the Lord) in that brilliance. Others see only the bright splendour but not him, O. sage.

8. He (Nārada) saw therein a wonderful, lustrous, celestial, beautiful palace, consisting of excellent precious stones of various kinds, with thousands of pillars shining with jewels, beautiful with a big assembly hall.

9. It was illuminated all round with numerous rows of brilliant mansions of his devotees, both men and women, who were adorned with ornaments studded with jewels and with very fine garments of various kinds.

10. The sage, with ecstatic delight, saw there a brilliant throne, created out of the quintessence of excellent precious stones, which caused wonder in the minds of spectators.

11-12. Theṛe he saw seated (on the throne) Lord Kṛṣṇa, Nārāyaṇa, the attributeless (Brahman), the omniscient ruler (of the universe), the excellent (supreme) Puruṣa whom Sātvatas (i.e. devotees of Kṛṣṇa) call Vāsudeva. Him some devotees call the ‘Supreme Soul’, some call ‘Supreme Brahman’, others, ‘Brahman greater than the greatest’, some, ‘Lord Viṣṇu’ while others call the ‘Supreme Lord’.

13. (He saw) him, whose body was beautiful like a thousand gods of love (combined), who was always youthful (lit. a boy below 15 years of age), who, a receptacle of mercy, was graceful due to his extremely quiescent form, was superior to all the perishables and imperishables and (forever) independent.

14. (He saw him) whose side-glance causes the sport (as it were) of creation, sustenance and destruction of a number of Brahmāṇḍas (Cosmoses), who is the supreme ruler of innumerable crores of Brahmāṇḍas, who is the sole (deity) worthy of being saluted by all, who has assumed the garb of a great actor.

15. (He saw him) who was wearing excellent, yellow, priceless, resplendent garment, who appeared rich with ornaments of innumerable excellent jewels, whose complexion was (dark) like a newly formed cloud, and in whose ears excellent ear-rings of the shape of crocodile were shining.

16. (He) is called white in complexion as he was enveloped in a highly brilliant mass of refulgence that was radiated from his person. His excellent crown was radiant with the wealth of excellent jewels. His eyes were charming like the petals of an autumnal lotus.

17. His person was besmeared with excellent fragrant sandal (paste). One (panel-like) side of his chest was marked with Śrīvatsa. He was sweetly playing on a flute put to his mouth with his lotus-like beautiful arms.

18. He was being worshipped by Rādhā, with multitudes of her friends, of whom Jayā, Suśīlā, Lalitā were prominent, and by Ramā and his consorts including Satyabhāmā, Kālindī (Yamunā) and Jāmbavatī.

19. He was being served by Dharma, Vedas, all the Suns and by Knowledge and others with their pairs of hands restrained (i.e. folded with reverence), and by his many weapons like Sudarśana who had assumed a personal form.

20. He was waited upon by his prominent attendants who were like emerald, ruby and gold in complexion, and some of whom were white (in colour), and whose arms were shining with the discus, mace, lotus and conch held (by them), and of whom Nanda and Sunanda were prominent.

21. He was being worshipped by many two-handed persons in the garb of cowherds, of whom Śrīdāmā was the chief. They bent down (to bow) with devotion. He was adored by Garuḍa, and by eight supernatural powers who bowed down to him.

22. Assuming personal forms, he was served by Quiescence, Mercy, Magnificence (Nourishment?), Contentment, Intelligence, Faith, Action, Prosperity, and by Friendliness, Forbearance, Memory and Intellect as well.

23. On seeing that marvellous, refulgent form, all his sense-organs were captivated by the pleasing fragrance of his form. His sight was obstructed due to the tears of joy; his hair stood on end out of love for him and he was filled with pleasure.

24. Overwhelmed with love, Nārada prostrated himself like a staff before him; with his hands folded in reverence, he stood before him, looking at his face.

25. Hari honoured him who was devoted to him exclusively, and whom he desired to see, by respectfully welcoming him (lit. by enquiring about his happy arrival).

26. The sage who came to himself by the taste of the nectar (in the form) of the Lord’s speech, and who was extremely delighted by his sight, praised him devoutly.

Nārada said:

27. Be victorious, O Śrīkṛṣṇa, Lord Nārāyaṇa, the master of the world, Vāsudeva, who abide in all,[1] and are always dear to your exclusive devotees.

28. Your very wonderful feet are worthy of being worshipped by Rādhikā and Kamalā. You are the highest beatitude, and the supreme resort to those who aspire to it.

29. You are the eternal (element) of eternal souls; the soul, the sentience of sentient beings; beyond the perishables and imperishables. You are the Supreme Brahman, O Hari.

30. The extreme purity and supernatural power as is obtained by highest devotion to you, is not achieved by men with other means including penance.

31. Only the divine moonlight of your feet is capable of immediately destroying the thick darkness that abides in the hearts of people desirous of final liberation, O noble master.

32. O venerable Lord, the cause of all causes, you are proclaimed as the only one who should be worshipped, propitiated and realized by the Vedas.

33. The auspicious, blissful, bright refulgence that abides in each and every pore (of your skin), is more brilliant than the light of a crore of moons.

34. (You) the supreme attributeless person, always dwell in this imperishable, attributeless, residence called Amṛta, which is a mass of lustre.

35. By the power of your propitiation your devotees become free from Kāla who strikes terror into the universe, and from the great fear of Māyā.

36. For a resort I have approached you who are the master of the universe, and the soul abiding in all, the all-pervading Brahman, the great imperishable Puruṣa.

37. O Lord of Devas, it behoves you to confer that favour whereby my devotion unto your lotus-feet will always be firm.

Skanda said:

38. The Supreme God who was thus devoutly praised by the celestial sage (Nārada), spoke in nectarine words, delighting the sage.

Footnotes and references:


This derivation from √Vas ‘to dwell’ is accepted by Purāṇas like Viṣṇu and Brahma-vaivarta.

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