The Vishnu Purana

by Horace Hayman Wilson | 1840 | 287,946 words | ISBN-10: 8171102127

The English translation of the Vishnu Purana. This is a primary sacred text of the Vaishnava branch of Hinduism. It is one of the eighteen greater Puranas, a branch of sacred Vedic literature which was first committed to writing during the first millennium of the common era. Like most of the other Puranas, this is a complete narrative from the cr...

Chapter X - The descendants of the daughters of Daksa married to the Rsis

Maitreya said:—

Thou hast narrated to me, great Muni, all that I asked of thee: now resume the account of the creation subsequently to Bhrigu.

Parāśara said:—

Lakṣmī, the bride of Viṣṇu, was the daughter of Bhrigu by Khyāti. They had also two sons, Dhātri and Vidhātri, who married the two daughters of the illustrious Meru, Āyati and Niryati; and had by them each a son, named Prāṇa and Mrikaṇḍa. The son of the latter was Mārkaṇḍeya, from whom Vedaśiras was born[1]. The son of Prāṇa was named Dyutimat, and his son was Rājavat; after whom, the race of Bhrigu became infinitely multiplied.

Sambhūti, the wife of Marīci, gave birth to Paurnamāsa, whose sons were Virajas and Sarvaga. I shall hereafter notice his other descendants, when I give a more particular account of the race of Marīci[2].

The wife of Aṅgiras, Smriti, bore daughters named Sinivālī, Kuhu, Rākā, and Anumati (phases of the moon[3]). Anasūyā, the wife of Atri, was the mother of three sinless sons, Soma (the moon), Durvāsas, and the ascetic Dattātreya[4]. Pulastya had, by Prīti, a son called in a former birth, or in the Svāyambhuva Manvantara, Dattoli, who is now known as the sage Agastya[5]. Kṣamā, the wife of the patriarch Pulaha, was the mother of three sons, Karmasa, Arvarīvat, and Sahiṣṇu[6]. The wife of Kratu, Sannati, brought forth the sixty thousand Bālakhilyas, pigmy sages, no bigger than a joint of the thumb, chaste, pious, resplendent as the rays of the sun[7]. Vaśiṣṭha had seven sons by his wife Urjjā, Rajas, Gātra, Ūrddhabāhu, Savana, Anagha, Sutapas, and Śukra, the seven pure sages[8]. The Agni named Abhimānī, who is the eldest born of

Brahmā, had, by Svāhā, three sons of surpassing brilliancy, Pāvaka, Pavamāna, and Śuci, who drinks up water: they had forty-five sons, who, with the original son of Brahmā and his three descendants, constitute the forty-nine fires[9]. The progenitors (Pitris), who, as I have mentioned, were created by Brahmā, were the Agniṣvāttas and Varhiṣads; the former being devoid of, and the latter possessed of, fires[10]. By them, Swadhā had two daughters, Menā and Dhāranī, who were both acquainted with theological truth, and both addicted to religious meditation; both accomplished in perfect wisdom, and adorned with all estimable qualities[11]. Thus has been explained the progeny of the daughters of Dakṣa[12]. He who with faith recapitulates the account, shall never want offspring.

Footnotes and references:


The commentator interprets the text ### to refer to Prāṇa: ‘Vedaśiras was born the son of Prāṇa.’ So the Bhāgavata has ###. The Liṅga, the Vāyu, and Mārkaṇḍeya, however, confirm our reading of the text, making Vedaśiras the son of Mārkaṇḍeya. Prāṇa, or, as read in the two former, Pāṇḍu, was married to Puṇḍarīkā, and had by her Dyutimat, whose sons were Srijāvaṇa and Asruta or Asrutavraṇa. Mrikaṇḍa (also read Mrikaṇḍu) married Manasvinī, and had Mārkaṇḍeya, whose son, by Murddhanyā, was Vedaśiras: he married Pīvarī, and had many children, who constituted the family, or Brahmanical tribe, of Bhārgavas, sons of Bhrigu. The most celebrated of these was Uśanas, the preceptor of the Daityas, who, according to the Bhāgavata, was the son of Vedaśiras; but the Vāyu makes him the son of Bhrigu by Paulomī, and born at a different period.


Alluding especially to Kaśyapa, the son of Marīci, of whose posterity a full detail is subsequently given. The Bhāgavata adds a daughter, Devakulyā; and the Vāyu and Liṅga, four daughters, Tuṣṭi, Puṣṭi, Tviṣā, and Apachiti. The latter inserts the grandsons of Paurnamāsa. Virajas, married to Gaurī, has Sudhāman, a Lokapāla, or ruler of the east quarter; and Parvasa (quasi Sarvaga) has, by Parvasī, Yajñavāma and Kaśyata, who were both founders of Gotras, or families. The names of all these occur in different forms in different MSS.


The Bhāgavata adds, that in the Svārociṣa Manvantara the sages Uttathya and Vrihaspati were also sons of Aṅgiras; and the Vāyu, &c. specify Agni and Kīrttimat as the sons of the patriarch in the first Manvantara. Agni, married to Sadvatī, has Parjanya, married to Marīci; and their son is Hiranyaroman, a Lokapāla. Kīrttimat has, by Dhenukā, two sons, Cariṣṇu and Dhritimat.


The Bhāgavata gives an account of Atri's penance, by which the three gods, Brahmā, Viṣṇu, and Śiva, were propitiated, and became, in portions of themselves, severally his sons, Soma, Datta, and Durvāsas. The Vāyu has a totally different series, or five sons, Satyanetra, Havya, Āpomurtti, Sani, and Soma; and one daughter, Sruti, who became the wife of Kardama.


The text would seem to imply that he was called Agastya in a former Manvantara, but the commentator explains it as above. The Bhāgavata calls the wife of Pulastya, Havirbhū, whose sons were the Muni Agastya, called in a former birth Dahrāgni or Jaṭharāgni, and Visravas. The latter had by Ilavilā, the deity of wealth, Kuvera; and by Kesinī, the Rākṣasas Rāvaṇa, Kumbhakarṇa, and Vibhīṣaṇa. The Vāyu specifies three sons of Pulastya, Dattoli, Vedabāhu, and Vinīta; and one daughter, Sadvatī, married (see note 3) to Agni.


The Bhāgavata reads Karmaśreṣṭha, Varīyas, and Sahiṣṇu. The Vāyu and Liṅga have Kardama and Ambarīṣa in place of the two first, and add Vanakapīvat and a daughter, Pīvarī, married to Vedaśiras (see note 1). Kardama married Śruti (note 4), and had by her Saṅkhapāda, one of the Lokapālas, and a daughter, Kāmyā, married to Priyavrata (note 6, p. 53). Vana-kapīvat, also read Dhana-k. and Ghana-k., had a son, Sahiṣṇu, married to Yasodharā, and they were the parents of Kāmadeva.


The different authorities agree in this place. The Vāyu adds two daughters, Punyā and Sumatī, married to Yajñavāma (see note 2).


The Bhāgavata has an entirely different set of names, or Citraketu, Surociṣ, Virajas, Mitra, Ulwana, Vasubhridyāna, and p. 84 Dyumat. It also specifies Saktri and others, as the issue of a different marriage. The Vāyu and Liṅga have the same sons as in our text, reading Putra and Hasta in place of Gātra: they add a daughter, Puṇḍarikā, married to Paṇḍu (see note 1). The eldest son, according to the Vāyu, espoused a daughter of Mārkaṇḍeya, and had by her the Lokapāla of the west, Ketumat. The seven sons of Vaśiṣṭha are termed in the text the seven Ṛṣis, appearing in that character in the third Manvantara.


The eldest son of Brahmā, according to the commentator, upon the authority of the Vedas. The Vāyu P. enters into a very long detail of the names and places of the whole forty-nine fires. According to that, also, Pāvaka is electric or Vaidynta fire; Pavamāna is that produced by friction, or Nirmathya; and Śuci is solar, Saura, fire. Pavamāna was the parent of Kavyavāhana, the fire of the Pitris; Śuci of Havyavāhana, the fire of the gods; and Pavamāna of Saharakṣa, the fire of the Asuras. The Bhāgavata explains these different fires to be so many appellations of fire employed in the invocations with which different oblations to fire are offered in the ritual of the Vedas: ### explained by the commentator, ###.


According to the commentator, this distinction is derived from the Vedas. The first class, or Agniṣvāttas, consists of those householders who, when alive, did not maintain their domestic fires, nor offer burnt-sacrifices: the second, of those who kept up the household flame, and presented oblations with fire. Manu calls these Agnidagdhas and the reverse, which Sir W. Jones renders, ‘consumable by fire,’ &c. Kullūka Bhaṭṭa gives no explanation of them. The Bhāgavata adds other classes of Pitris; or, the Ājyapas, drinkers of ghee;' and Somapās, drinkers of the acid juice.' The commentator, explaining the meaning of the terms Sāgnayas and Anāgnyas, has, ### which might be understood to signify, that the Pitris who are ‘without fire’ are those to whom oblations are not offered; and those ‘with fire’ are they to whom oblations are presented.


The Vāyu carries this genealogy forward. Dhāranī was married to Meru, and p. 85 had by him Mandara and three daughters, Niyati, Āyati, and Velā: the two first were married to Dhātri and Vidhātri (p. 81). Velā was the wife of Samudra, by whom she had Sāmudrī, married to Pracīnavarhiṣ, and the mother of the ten Pracetasas, the fathers of Dakṣa, as subsequently narrated. Menā was married to Himāvat, and was the mother of Maināka, and of Gaṅgā, and of Pārvati or Umā.


No notice is here taken of Sati, married to Bhava, as is intimated in c. 8 (p. 59), when describing the Rudras. Of these genealogies the fullest and apparently the oldest account is given in the Vāyu P.: as far as that of our text extends, the two nearly agree, allowing for differences of appellation originating in inaccurate transcription, the names frequently varying in different copies of the same work, leaving it doubtful which reading should be preferred. The Bhāgavata, as observed above (p. 54. n. 12), has created some further perplexity by substituting, as the wives of the patriarchs, the daughters of Kardama for those of Dakṣa. Of the general statement it may be observed, that although in some respects allegorical, as in the names of the wives of the Ṛṣis (p. 54); and in others astronomical, as in the denominations of the daughters of Anginas (p. 82); yet it seems probable that it is not altogether fabulous, but that the persons in some instances had a real existence, the genealogies originating in imperfectly preserved traditions of the families of the first teachers of the Hindu religion, and of the descent of individuals who took an active share in its propagation.

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