The Mahabharata
  Srimad Bhagavatam

  Rig Veda
  Yajur Veda
  Sama Veda
  Atharva Veda

  Bhagavad Gita
  Sankara Bhashya
  By Edwin Arnold

  Brahma Sutra
  Sankara Bhashya I
  Sankara Bhashya II
  Ramanuja SriBhashya


  Agni Purana
  Brahma Purana
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  Markandeya Purana
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  Manu Smriti

  Bhagavad Gita
  Brahma Sutras

See for the online version with illustrations, music and links to the previous translation: http://bhagavata.org/


"The story of the fortunate one"


Withdrawal of the Cosmic Creations


Chapter 1 The Manus, Administrators of the Universe

Chapter 2 The Elephant Gajendra's Crisis

Chapter 3 Gajendra's Prayers of Surrender

Chapter 4 Gajendra Returns to the Spiritual World

Chapter 5 The Fifth and Sixth Manu and the Prayers of Brahmâ with the Suras.

Chapter 6 The Suras and Asuras Declare a Truce

Chapter 7 Lord S'iva Drinks the Poison Churned with the Mountain Mandara

Chapter 8 More Appears from the Churning: Mother Lakshmî and Dhanvantari

Chapter 9 The Lord Appears as a Beautiful Woman to Distribute the Nectar

Chapter 10 The Battle Between the Demigods and the Demons

Chapter 11 The Dânavas Annihilated and Revived

Chapter 12 Lord S'iva prays to see Mohinî Mûrti, gets bewildered and restores.

Chapter 13 Description of Future Manus

Chapter 14 The System of Universal Management

Chapter 15 Bali Mahârâja Conquers the Heavenly Places

Chapter 16 Aditi Initiated into the Payo-vrata Ceremony, the Best of All Sacrifices

Chapter 17 The Supreme Lord Agrees to Become Aditi's Son

Chapter 18 Lord Vâmanadeva, the Dwarf Incarnation

Chapter 19 Lord Vâmanadeva Begs Charity from Bali Mahârâja

Chapter 20 Lord Vâmanadeva Covers all Worlds

Chapter 21 Bali Mahârâja Arrested by the Lord

Chapter 22 Bali Mahârâja Surrenders His Life

Chapter 23 The Demigods Regain the Heavenly Places

Chapter 24 Matsya, the Lord's Fish Incarnation


 Chapter 1

The Manus, Administrators of the Universe

 (1) The honorable king said: 'Till now, o guru, I've extensively heard about the dynasty of Svâyambhuva Manu wherein the great rulers of the universe were of creation; please describe us the other Manu's [see also 3.11: 23-28]. (2) O brahmin, please tell us, so eager to hear, about all the, by the learned glorified and described, appearances and activities of the Supreme Lord during the changes of the manvantara's [the periods of the Manu's * , see also 2.1: 36, 2.3:9, 2.7: 2, 2.10: 4]. (3) As for the past, the present and the future, what are the activities that the Supreme Lord, the creator of this universe, in a particular era, o brahmin, either did, is doing and indeed will do? [compare B.G. 2:12 and **] 

(4) The great rishi said: 'For this day of Brahmâ [kalpa] have already the six of Svâyambhuva and other Manu's passed. I already described the first one to you as well as the appearance of all the godly with him [see 2.7: 43-45, 3.12: 54, 4.1 and 4.8: 6]. (5) From Âkûti and Devahûti, the two daughters of [Svâyambhuva] Manu, were for instructing on dharma and on jnâna the sons born that are accepted as being the Supreme Lord. (6) Before I in full described Kapila to you [see Canto 3b], now I'll tell you about all that was done by Yajña[-mûrti or -pati], o best of the Kuru's. (7) The master of the world [Svâyambhuva Manu], the husband of S'atarûpâ, after totally renouncing his kingdom went with his wife into the forest for doing his tapas [see: 3.22: 31]. (8) At the river Sunandâ he for a hundred years performed the most severe austerities touching the earth on the one leg [see also 4.8: 78-79] murmuring the following, o scion of Bhârata. 

(9) Lord Manu said: 'He by whom this whole universe is set in motion is not moved by the universe, He who is always awake as one sleeps in this body, Him, the One knowing, does the living entity not know [see also B.G. 18.55]. (10) What by Him, the Supersoul everywhere present, with everything animate and inanimate in this and in all other universes, is allotted one may enjoy; on the property of anyone else one should not infringe. (11) He is not seen by the living entity though His eye always sees, He as the original source of all beings never diminishes, He is the God and companion [see 6.4: 24] everyone should worship. (12) Nor is there of Him a beginning, an end or a middle, He belongs to nowhere and to no one, He is the inside nor [just] the outside of the cosmic creation; all these insights on His form and on Him as the cause of the whole universe all together make up the Greatest Truth [see also 2.1: 24]. (13) That complete of the universe known by so many names [like purusha, virât rûpa] is the Supreme Controller, the Ultimate Truth of Him personally, self-effulgent, beginningless and the oldest; He by His external energy engenders birth, death and maintenance, by the potency of His Self and Spirit He remains aloof, inactive and untouched [compare 1.7: 23]. (14) Therefore do all the saintly people for the purpose of being free from karma in the beginning perform fruitive labor [karma yoga], as a person engaging thus indeed as good as always attains liberation [see also 1.5:12, 1.2: 13 and B.G. 3: 9, 6: 3, 3: 6]. (15) Because of His own gain being satisfied from within, becomes the Supreme Lord, the Controller, engaged indeed never entangled with it and hence are persons following Him never disheartened. (16) Unto Him who free from selfhood is acting for our benefit, who is complete in knowledge, has no desire to enjoy, is fulfilled, and not led by others, unto Him who is there to instruct all of mankind and to lay out His path; unto that master of all principles and duties I pray that each may surrender.'

 (17) S'rî S'uka said: 'The philosophical mantra's thus prayed concentrated the mind, but the asura's witnessing speeded thereafter desiring to guzzle to their taste. (18) When Yajña [Vishnu], the Lord in each his heart, saw them that way determined, ruled the Supreme Personality after having killed them, with the yâma's [the ones vowed, His sons] surrounded by the godly, the heavenly worlds. 

(19) The second Manu next became Svârocisha, the son of Agni and of him there were also the sons headed by Dyumat, Sushena and Rocishmat. (20) In that period became, all together faithful to the Absolute Truth, Rocana the heavenly king [the Indra] and were Tushitâ and others there as the godly, while. Ûrja, Stambha and others were the seven saints. (21) Of the saint Vedas'irâ, impregnating the wife named Tushitâ, was the Lord who was celebrated as Vibhu born. (22) Eighty-eight thousand saintly persons fixed to the vow took initiation and instruction from Him who remained a celibate brahmacâri. 

(23) The third who became the Manu was named Uttama, a son of Priyavrata [see 5.1], and of him there were the sons called Pavana, Srîñjaya, Yajñahotra and others. (24) The seven sages were the sons of Vashistha headed by Pramada, the ones of Sathya, Vedas'ruta and Badhra were the godly and Satyajit was the Indra. (25) From a demigod of dharma was from the womb of Sûnritâ, the Supreme Lord, the Personality of Godhead celebrated as Sathyasena born, appearing together with the Sathyavrata's. (26) He together with his friend Satyajit killed all the Yaksha and Râkshasa sworn liars and evil spirits of misconduct that always harass the living beings. 

(27) The fourth Manu to be was the brother of Uttama known by the name of Tâmasa, and thus there were his ten sons headed by Prithu, Khyâti, Nara and Ketu. (28) The Satyakas, the Haris and the Viras were the godly, Tris'ikha was the heavenly king and the seven sages during the reign of Tâmasa were the ones headed by Jyotirdhâma. (29) The godly named the Vaidhritis were the sons, o King, who by their own strength managed to protect the Veda's that over time had been lost. (30) In that period appeared the Supreme Lord begotten by Harimedhâ from the womb of Harinî and He was called Hari; by Him was Gajendra the king of the elephants, freed from the mouth of a crocodile. 

(31) The honorable king [Parîkchit] said: 'O son of Vyâsa, this is what we would like to hear from you: in what way did the Lord deliver the king of the elephants who was harassed by a crocodile? (32) Whenever and wherever there are the narrations in which one glorifies Hari, the Supreme Personality, Uttamas'loka [the Lord Praised in the Verses], finds one great piety, fortune, auspiciousness and all good'."

(33) S'rî Suta said: "The son of Vyâsa, thus exhorted by the words of Parîkchit, the son of Arjuna who was awaiting his impending death, o dear brahmins, after complimenting him with great pleasure spoke in the assembly of sages who indeed longed to hear from him."

 *: There are fourteen Manus during a day of Brahmâ, and the age of each Manu lasts for seventy-one yugas. (see picture) Thus there are thousands of Manus during the life of Brahmâ. The six mentioned here are: Svâyambhuva, Svârocisha, Uttama, Tâmasa, Raivata and Câkshusa. A manvantara is a period to the measure of one cycle of the sun around the centre of our galaxy. To the fourteen manvantara's can be said that the star closest to the galaxy centre as observed by astonomy has a cycle of about fourteen earthly years [see the Galactic Order].

**: Often quoted in this context is the dictum: 'Nityo nityânâm cetanas cetanânâm'. Both the Lord and the living entities are eternal and sentient.  


Chapter 2  

The Elephant Gajendra's Crisis

(1) S'rî S'uka said: 'There was a very big mountain countless of miles high, o King, known as Trikûtha ['three peaks'] surrounded by an ocean of milk [or plant-juice see 5.20: 18]. (2-3) With its three peaks all around as wide as it was long was it as an island, lush with trees, creepers and shrubs and the sounds of waterfalls in all directions, standing radiant against the sky. It was composed of silver, iron and gold, with more peaks on all sides full of precious stone and minerals. (4) At its foot, always washed dark green by the waves of the sea all around, was the earth green with emerald stones. (5) The perfected, the venerable, the heavenly singers, the ones of knowledge and the great of the world of snakes, the ones of superpower, the dancing girls and the sportive enjoyed there the valleys. (6) The glens resounding with the sounds of the singers made the stout lions of envy roar out for a mate. (7) The dales harbored great numbers of all thinkable jungle animals and the gardens maintained by the enlightened there were beautifully decorated with all types of trees and chirping birds. (8) In the rivers and lakes full of crystal-clear water, were from the by gems glittering sand beaches the damsels of the godly bathing, enriching the air and the water with the fragrance of their bodies. (9-13) In one valley was there of the great soul, the mighty personality of Varuna, a garden with the name Ritumat which was a sporting place of the sura ladies. It was everywhere in honor of the divine most beautifully tended with flowers and fruits and mandâra and pârijâta, pâtala, as'oka and campaka trees. There were fruits like cûtas, piyâlas, panasas, mangoes, âmrâtaka's, kramukas and pomegranates as also coconut and date trees. There stood madhukas, palm trees, tamâlas, asanas, arjunas, arishthas, udumbara's, plakshas, banyans, kims'ukas and sandelwood trees. Also were there found picumarda flowers, kovidâra fruits, sarala- and sura-dâru trees, grapes, sugar cane, bananas, jambu, badarî, akhsa, abhaya and âmalakî fruits. (14-19) In that garden there was a very large lake full of shining golden lotuses surrounded by bilva, kapittha, jambîra, bhallâtaka and other trees and of the great beauty of the kumuda, kahlâra, utpala and s'atapatra flowers were the bees intoxicated humming along with the most melodious songs of the birds. It was crowded with swans and kârandavas, cakrâvakas, flocks of water chickens, koyashthis and dâtyûh's all making their noises. The water, surrounded by kadamba, vetasa, nala, nîpa and vañjulaka flowers, did, agitated by the movements of the fish and tortoises stir the lotuses of which the pollen falling from them covered the surface. The kundas, kurubakas, as'okas, s'irîshas, kûthajas, ingudas, kubjakas, svarna-yûthîs, nâgas, punnâgas, jâtîs, mallikâs, s'atapatras and the mâdhavî-latâs and jâlakâs and other trees growing on the banks adorned it in all seasons abundantly.

(20) Once did on that mountain the leader of the elephants living in that forest in the company of his wives wander there breaking through many thickets full of thorns, creepers and all kinds of trees and plants. (21) Just the smell of him made the lions and other predators and fiery beasts, the other elephants, the rhinoceroses and the big snakes as also the white and black camarî deer all flee in fear. (22) Because of his mercy could the foxes, boars, buffalo's, bears, porcupines, gopucchas and other deer, the wolves, monkeys and other small animals like rabbits and others, roam unafraid. (23-24) He perspiring, with saliva dripping and surrounded by nectar drinking bees, caused, followed by the other he and she elephants and the young in their midst, there all around the mountain the earth to tremble. From a distance smelling the dust of the lotus flowers carried by the breeze was he with his company being thirsty, of an intoxicated vision quickly going to the bank of that lake. (25) Entering its pellucid, cool water drew he to his fill with his trunk from the nectarean lotusdust mixture and bathing thoroughly in it was he relieved of all fatigue. (26) Sucking the water in with his trunk and spraying it over him as well causing his wives and children to bathe, was he, like a concerned householder all too attached to his family, inconsiderate of any hardship poorminded under the influence of the external energy. (27) Like anyone else under divine ordination was his foot, o King, there then angrily captured by a most powerful crocodile [- of mâyâ] by fate arranged, upon which the elephant, having landed in such a dangerous position, with all the strength in him strenuously tried to free himself. (28) To that danger began the wives seeing their leader attacked and captured by that force scanty of mind to cry while the other elephants trying from behind, also weren't able to free him. (29) With the elephant and the crocodile this way fighting, pulling one another in and out of the water, passed a thousand years with both of them staying alive, which, o King, by the immortals was considered most wonderful. (30) Thereafter lost Gajendra, the elephant king, from the exhaust of for years of prolonged fighting being pulled into the water [elsewhere thus] more and more his strength while on the contrary the crocodile at home in the water all together became more fanatic, strong and powerful.

(31) When he, Gajendra, in his life, this way by providence having run into this form of danger, found himself unable to save himself from such a helpless condition, had he to think for a long time and reached he thereupon this decision: (32) 'When all these relatives aren't able to deliver me as an elephant from my distress, then how should my wives free me from the tight grip of the crocodile; though captured by providence can I just as well take shelter of that [Supreme of the Lord] which is transcendental and the refuge of the exalted [compare 7.9: 18]. (33) Against the so very strong serpent of death [time, see B.G. 11: 32] that with its fearful force chases one endlessly, will He who is someone's Controller, protect him who, afraid of death, is of surrender; I will seek my refuge with Him who is the actual shelter of everyone and for whom even death itself runs away.'


Chapter 3  

Gajendra's Prayers of Surrender

(1) The son of Vyâsa [S'uka] said: 'Thus in his intelligence fixed to concentrate his mind on the heart, he [Gajendra] chanted a supreme prayer he had practiced in a previous birth [see also B.G. 6.43-44]. (2) S'rî Gajendra said: 'My obeisances unto the Original One, the Supreme Godhead from whom this material existence is moving in consciousness, let me meditate upon Him, that personality who is the root cause, the Supreme Controller. (3) On Him the universe rests, from Him there are all its elements and by Him it is working, unto Him who Himself is the material world in effect as well as its transcendental cause, unto that Supreme Self-sufficient One I surrender myself. (4) He who from Himself, by His own energy, expanded this cosmic manifestation, that sometimes is manifest and sometimes is not visible, oversees in both cases as the witness all and everything; that Soul without a prior cause, that Supreme of all Transcendence, I beseech, please protect me! (5) When in due course of time everything, all transformations, all that is done, all the worlds and all its maintainers and directors, comes to naught, there is a dense and deep darkness above and beyond which is shining the Almighty One. (6) Like with the looks of a performing artist who then cannot be fathomed, can His movements neither by the gods, the sages or the common creatures be understood or expressed again in words; He so hard to grasp, may He give me His protection. (7) The Lord of those desirous to see the all-auspicious lotus feet, of those freed from all attachment, of those great sages, faultless in the forest, highly elevated practicing vows to the different positions [the âsrama's], the Lord of those who are equal and friendly to all, He is my destination. (8-9) From Him there is no birth, no karma, no name or form, nor modes and faults certainly either; nevertheless does He, who is the destruction and the creation of this cosmic manifestation, by His own potency time and again come into action [as an avatâra]. Unto Him the transcendental One who is the Controller, the Supreme Brahman of unlimited potency, who without a form has assumed forms, who is of so many wonderful activities, I offer my respects. (10) My obeisances unto Him, the enlightenment of the soul, the witness in all, the Supreme of the Self; unto Him who defies description, the mind and even the consciousness my reverence. (11) He, the object of devotion who by the ones of learning in transcendental activities is done justice, unto Him, the master of emancipation, the bestower of happiness for the one who is completely free, my honorable reverence. (12) All my obeisances to the One of Peace fully concentrated on the spiritual in forms fierce and animalistic [like Nrisimhma and Varâha] to the different qualities of nature; to Him who is the knowledge of Brahman as well, I do dedicate my prayer. (13) The knower of the field [see B.G. 13-1-5] I respect, You the superintendent of all, the witness and the original person who art the original source, unto You, the doer of the material creation, You as the primal reality, I offer my obeisances. (14) You I respect as You oversee the objectives of all the senses, You are the end of all doubts with the untrue that because of being Your mirror-image is called the reality, to that reflection, my reverence unto You. (15) My obeisances again unto You, the causeless supreme cause of everything, the cause of all wonders, the source of what is learned in succession, the ocean receiving from all rivers of knowing; I honor You, the granter of liberation and the shelter of the transcendentalist. (16) Unto Him whose fire of knowledge by the modes of nature is covered as in wood, unto Him outside the by the turmoil of nature agitated mind, unto Him manifest personally unto those who from their stage of spiritual understanding gave up on the formal approach, I do dedicate myself. (17) As an animal like me of surrender unto Him, the Immaculate of infinite mercy who releases from being entangled, I offer my respects; by a single part of Your self [the Paramâtma, see also B.G. 10.42] are You ever attentive to all the ones embodied, unto that Supreme Lord of no limits, celebrated in the mind as the direct observer, I offer my obeisances. (18) To all those so very attached to their mind and body, sons and daughters, home, wealth and helpers, are You difficult to achieve, but to persons liberated in the heart in freedom from the influence of the modes of nature are You there already [see B.G. 6.47]; unto Him who is always meditated, the reservoir of all spiritual knowledge, unto that Supreme Lord and Controller, my respects. (19) If the destination that is sought with all the desiring after the religion, the economy, the gratification and the liberation can be achieved by worshiping Him, then what to say about the other benedictions He also bestows like having even a spiritual body; may He, the one of infinite mercy, grant me the liberation of my soul [see also 2.3: 10 and 7.9: 27]. (20-21) The ones with no other purpose than Him do not desire some benediction - those who factually came to the shelter of the Supreme Lord are immersed in an ocean of transcendental bliss by reciting and hearing about the all-auspicious wondrous activities of Him. He, the eternal one transcendental, Supreme Master of all great personalities, the unseen Soul above all that in yoga can be reached by devotion is, as subtle and elusive out of the reach of the senses as He is, the unlimited, all-complete origin whom I worship. (22-24) Of Him are by His parts - the moving and nonmoving different entities, the vedic knowledge the gods and all who belong to Brahmâ - created the less important divisions of names and forms. This continuous display of the modes of nature, this intelligence and mind, these senses and divisions of the gross and subtle of the body, are, like sparks to the fire that is the sun, the shining particles that over and over emanate from and merge into Him as parts and parcels. That fire, indeed not a demigod or a demon, a human being, beast nor bird, a woman, neuter or man either, nor either a living creature, is not the fruitive action nor the manifestation nor the non-manifest; He is the end of excluding this and that [neti neti see also 7.7: 23]; all hail to Him, the unlimited One! (25) I do not wish to continue with my life here or in a world hereafter; what's the use of it when one within and without is locked up; in this birth as an elephant I desire to escape from the timebound that only heads for destruction. I want to be liberated from that degrading limitation of my self [see also 1.2: 3, 6.15.16]. (26) To that do I unto Him, the manifest albeit the unmanifest creator of this cosmic manifestation, that unborn soul and the knower of the universe and transcendental shelter of the Supreme, offer my life and soul. (27) Those of the unification of consciousness unto Him, who by [that bhakti-yoga burnt all the karma and have a unified heart purified, do directly see Him, the Lord of Yoga I'm dedicated to. (28) My respects again and again unto You, the formidable of the forces of the threefold potency of [making, unwinding and keeping up] the complete, unto Him who, to the intelligence appearing as an object to the senses, gives shelter and who, with His difficult to overcome energies [see B.G. 16: 21], is unattainable for the ones who on the path cannot control their senses. (29) I seek my refuge with Him whose glories are so hard to fathom, whose identity by the people in general is not known and under whose influence and intelligence I as a separate soul am defeated.'

(30) S'rî S'uka said: 'When, because of this description that was not directed to any particular person, none of the autocratic godly of Brahmâ with their variety of forms, approached Gajendra, appeared there from the choice of the godly the Lord in person because He is the complete of them all together [compare B.G. 7: 20-23 and 9: 23 ; 4.31: 14]. (31) Hearing his prayer did the Lord of all worlds understanding his predicament, together with the denizens of heaven offering their prayers, as fast as He would, carried by Garuda, forthwith arrive there where Gajendra was, carrying along His disc and other weapons. (32) When he, who in the water so violently was captured and was suffering, saw the Lord who from the back of Garuda wielded His disc in the sky, raised he his trunk holding a lotus flower uttering with difficulty: 'O Nârâyana, Teacher of the Complete, o Supreme Lord, I do offer You my obeisances.' (33) Seeing him aggrieved did the Unborn so full of mercy immediately get down and under the eyes of all the godly present taking him out of the water, saved the Lord Gajendra, with His disc severing the beak from the crocodile.



Chapter 4

Gajendra Returns to the Spiritual World

(1) S'rî S'uka said: 'Thereafter [when Gajendra was freed] showered the godly, the rishi's and the heavenly singers headed by Brahmâ and S'iva, flowers in praise of that feat of the Lord. (2) The sky vibrated of the kettledrums, the gandharva's sang and danced and the saints, the venerable ones and the perfected offered prayers to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. (3-4) He, Hûhû, a singer of heaven who by a curse of sage Devala, had become that crocodile, appeared the very moment as a most wonderfully beautiful gandharva indeed, who, offering obeisances with his head to the Supreme Eternal Master Hailed in the Verses, began to chant the glories of His transcendental pastimes and qualities. (5) He being favored by the Lord circumambulated Him offering his respects, and before all eyes went he, being delivered from all sin, back to his own abode. (6) Gajendra was by the touch of the Supreme Lord instantly freed from the ignorance of being bound and had achieved the selfsame form with four arms and yellow garments [sârûpya-mukti, see also S. B.3.29: 13 ]. (7) He in fact before had, born as the best of Dravida-desa, been the king of Pândya and was, sworn to Vishnu always being on the transcendental path, thus known as Indradyumna. (8) He had, when the time had come for his penance, with the greatest care taken to the vow of silence and was, with matted locks doing his austerity in Kulâcala [the Malaya hills] where he had his âsrama, one day worshipping the Infallible Lord, immersed in love for the Supreme Controller. (9) Out of his own will arrived at the spot the renown Âgastya surrounded by his disciples and seeing him silent sitting alone in meditation without offering a respectful reception, it so happened that the rishi became very angry. (10) He then gave him this curse: 'This degraded soul so unfriendly and inapt of mind before me as an insult to the brahminical, let him enter the darkness as a dull minded elephant indeed.'

(11-12) S'rî S'uka said: 'After thus condemning him left the so powerful Âgastya from there with his associates, o King, leaving Indradyumna thinking that the curse despite of his elevated position was a result of his past deeds. When he got born as an elephant was the remembrance of his identity destroyed, but because he worshiped the Lord offering prayers, got he despite of that elephant's body the chance to remember his past. (13) When the Lord of the Lotus navel thus had delivered the king of the elephants, returned He accompanied by him, who was awarded the position of being his associate, and the gandharva's, the perfected and the sages who all praised him for His wonderful deeds, to His own abode sitting on the back of Garuda. (14) This what I described to you, o King, about the unlimited potency of Lord Krishna in delivering the devotee Gajendra, promotes those who hear of it to the heavenly spheres increasing their reputation as a devotee; it takes away the contaminations of Kali-yuga [see 1.17: 24-25] and drives away the bad dreams, o best of the Kuru's. (15) To counteract the troubles of having had a bad night do people out for the blessing, the pure of the twice-born, faithfully recite this rising in the morning. (16) This is what the All-pervading Great Lord being pleased in the presence of everyone has said to Gajendra, o best of the Kuru dynasty. (17-24) The Supreme Lord said: 'Those who, getting up at the end of the night, with care concentrated do remember My forms - Me and you; the lake, this hill, these caves and gardens; the cane and bamboo's, the groups of trees, these peaks and the abodes of Me, Brahmâ and Lord S'iva; as also this ocean of milk and this white island with its brilliant luster so dear to Me; my S'rîvatsa-mark, Kaustubha-jewel, [Vaijayantî] garland, Kaumodakî club, Sudars'ana disc and Pâñcajanya conch; Garuda, Ananta S'esha, My subtle plenary portion the Goddess of Fortune; all dependent on me, Lord Brahmâ, Nârada rishi, S'iva and Prahlâda; My Matsya incarnation, Kûrma, Varâha, and the other avatâra's; the countless of all My auspicious deeds; the deities of the sun, the moon and the fire; the omkâra mantra, the Absolute Truth, the total material energy; the cows, the brahmins and the eternal dharma; the daughters of Daksha, the dutiful wives of the moon-god, Kas'yapa and also the Ganges, the Sarasvatî, the Nandâ and the Yamunâ; Airâvata [Indra's elephant], Dhruva, the seven so very pious sages and the human beings - are delivered from all reactions of sin. (25) Those offering Me prayers this way, my best, rising at the end of the night, will I, also at the time of their death, grant the greater destination.'

(26) S'rî S'uka said: 'Hrsîkesa, thus having given his address, mounting the back of Garuda then blew on the best one of the sea [His conch] pleasing the host of divine lordships.'  


Chapter 5  

The Fifth and Sixth Manu and the Prayers of Brahmâ with the Suras.

(1) S'rî S'uka said: 'O King, I have described you the to the hearer liberating activity of the Lord with the deliverance of the pious Gajendra. Now hear about the time of Raivata Manu. (2) The fifth Manu known as Raivata was the brother of Tâmasa, and Bali, Vindhya and the others headed by Arjuna were his sons. (3) Vibhu ruled the heavens, o King, and the god-fearing were lead by the Bhûtarayas: the twiceborn of Hiranyaromâ, Vedas'irâ, Ûrdhvabâhu and others. (4) From S'ubhra and his wife Vikunthhâ, appeared with the godly followers of the Truth as His own expansions, the Lord of Vaikunthha, the Supreme Lord in person. (5) By Him was, just to please the Goddess of Fortune, upon her insistence, to the appreciation of all, built a world of Vaikunthha. (6) If someone would try to enumerate His exploits, qualities and transcendental glories would such a person count as many transcendental qualities of Vishnu as one can count particles of matter.

(7) The sixth Manu was Câkshusha, the son of Cakshu and with Pûru, Pûrusa and Sudyumna first were there the sons of Câkshusha. (8) Mantradruma was then the heavenly king and of the godly of the Âpya's and others there were the sages, o King, one knew as Havishmân, Vîraka and others. (9) From Vairâja his wife Devasambhûti was there a son named Ajita who was a partial incarnation [amsa-avatâra] of the Lord, the all powerful master of the universe. (10) His churning the ocean [of milk], as Kûrma keeping Himself within the water in the form of a tortoise, with the moving left and right of the Mandara Mountain, produced the nectar of the suras.'

(11-12) S'rî Parîkchit said: 'O brahmin for what purpose was the ocean of milk churned with the mountain and for what reason did He reside in the water as a tortoise? And what all came with the nectar that the godly achieved from it? Please be so kind to describe all these so very wonderful activities of the Supreme Lord. (13) My heart distressed by hardship for so long is not yet fully satisfied with your describing all the glories of the Master of the Devotees'."

(14) S'rî Sûta Gosvâmî said: "The great son of Vyâsadeva thus requested, o dear twice-born, complimenting him began to describe the heroism of the Lord. (15-16) S'rî S'uka said: 'When the godly were besieged by the asuras fighting them with their pure violence, had some of them fallen close to death and were thus the many of them unable to rise again. With sage Durvâsâ having cursed Indra and his three worlds [*] , o King, did they fall in poverty at the time being unable to perform the rituals and ceremonies. (17-18) The suras, the great Indra, Varuna and all others, in consultation hearing one another meeting on this, could by themselves not reach a satisfactory conclusion. They then went to the assembly of Lord Brahmâ on top of mount Meru and informed him about it all, offering him their obeisances. (19-20) When Lord Brahmâ, the Almighty, saw how all the godly headed by Indra were bereft of all potence and light and how the three worlds were plunged in ill fortune whereas the asura's were flourishing, set he his mind to a continuous remembrance of the Original Person in the beyond and spoke he, the most powerful of them all, bright-faced to the godly:

(21) 'I, Lord S'iva, you all, as also the numbers of the unenlightened, the human beings, the animals, the trees and plants and the insects and germs, all generated from Himself, from His partial incarnation [Brahmâ here or the guna-avatâra] and from all those that are part of Him; let us all head now for the shelter of the Inexhaustible One. (22) For Him no one is to be killed or to be protected, to be disregarded or to be worshiped, nevertheless does He for the sake of creation, maintenance and annihilation accept in due order of time the part of [His incarnation as an avatâra of] passion, goodness and ignorance [see also B.G. 9:29 and 4:8]. (23) Now is the time to establish, for the better of all living beings, His rule of maintenance, the mode of goodness; let us thus take to the shelter of the Teacher of the Universe - may He, so affectionate with us suras, His own people, bring us the good fortune we need [see B.G. Chapters 14 & 18] .'

(24) S'rî S'uka said: 'The Lord of the Veda thus talking to the godly, o subduer of the enemies, went directly to the abode of the Invincible One beyond the world of darkness. (25) There, unto Him who in His true form cannot be seen, but about whom all the Veda speaks, made the master of the gods the divine prayers of which the vibrations then settled the rule of mind. (26) S'rî Brahmâ said: 'The Unchanging One, the Truth Unlimited, the Original Cause in everyone's heart, the Undiminishing, Inconceivable, Evanescent, Unspeakable and Indescribable One, the Unsurpassed God most desirable, do we all gods offer our respects [compare 6.3: 20-21 and B.G. 15:15 and 9: 4]. (27) With the omniscient, the living force to the mind and intelligence of all living beings; the ever vigilant to all the objective, the senses and the knowledge; the immaculate, impartial shelter of all the ones in the dark; with Him the infallible, all-pervading Lord of all three Yugas [in the fourth He is there as His own devotee], I seek my refuge. (28) The wheel of time that with its swifty fifteen spokes [the knowing and working sense and the five airs], three electrifying naves [de modes] and its eight segments [the five elements, mind, false ego and intelligence] by His external energy with great force is revolving around the hub they say that is Him, is there to the living being as a self-invented order; let us unto that factual reality of Him be of the greatest respect [compare 3.21: 18, 7.9:21, 5.21: 13 and B.G 18: 61]. (29) He of one profession [that of goodness], transcendental to the material darkness; that unmanifested, not to locate, unlimited One beyond all measure carried on the back of Garuda [the vedic verses]; He is by the unperturbed and sober, worshiped by means of yoga [see also 4.3:23]. (30) The illusory energy of whom no one is able to overcome, by that energy are the people in general bewildered and do they not understand the real wealth of life; Him of complete control over the living being and the modes of the external energy, that transcendental controller equal unto all, who rules the living beings, we pay homage. (31) Unto us, we relying on a body created from goodness, You appear as near and dear as to the saints situated the same; nevertheless we are not fully aware of the destination so subtle. If that is so with us, then how would that be with the unenlightened and atheistic so displaced despite of their primal interest? (32) To this earth verily created by Him, to this material creation wherein one finds the four types of living beings at His feet [as born from wombs, eggs, moist and seed see, also 2.10 37-40], He is in fact the Supreme One, the Original Person; may He, the Greatest One of unlimited potency, be merciful unto us. (33) The masses of water are but His semen so powerful in generating all life that, including all the godly ruling throughout the universe, wherever indeed flourishes by it; may He, the one of the greatest might, be pleased with us. (34) Soma, the moon, they say that is His mind, is the strength of the denizens of heaven, of the foodgrains and the duration of life; that Supreme Lord making the trees as also all other living entities grow, may He, that source of all opulence, be satisfied with us [see also: 2.10: 30 and 6.6: 24-26]. (35) From His mouth of fire, as also present in the depths of the ocean where it digests all the elements [like the fire of digestion in the stomach], He produces, by its presence in the ceremonies, all wealth; may He, the Almighty be content with us. (36) That which became His eye, the deity of the sun that is the lead of the godly in endeavoring materially; this focus and gateway for the realization of the eternal path, the Absolute Truth and one's liberation, this deity which as well is the cause of one's death, may that All-Powerful One be pleased with us [see also 2.1: 30 B.G. 7: 8, 10: 21 and 11: 19]. (37) From His life force, His breath, in all living entities, from that prâna as the basic principle, from following that air like subjects who follow an emperor, there is all the strength and vitality; may He of All Power be contented with us. (38) From His hearing there are the different directions, from His heart we know the body with its apertures and from the Original Person His navel [of space] generated the ether that of the life force, the senses, the mind, the vitality and our physical body is the [spiritual] shelter; may the Supreme Power of Him be pleased with us. [2.1: 27&29] (39) The great Indra is there of His strength and the servants [of Him] within the three worlds are there of His satisfaction; from His anger there is the Controller on the Mountain [Lord S'iva], and from his sober intelligence there is Virinca [Lord Brahmâ]; from the apertures emanate the mantra's while the saints and founding fathers are there from His genitals; may the One so Powerful be happy with us. (40) The goddess is from His chest, the ancestral is from His shadow, the religion was possible from His front, and irreligion could be there from His back; the higher places are from the top of His head and the dancing girls of heaven are there from His sense enjoyment; may He, the greatest of all prowess, be pleased with us. (41) The learned [brahmins] are there from His mouth, just as the vedic literatures and His confidential knowledge, the administrators [kshatriyas] and the physical strength are there of His arms, from His thighs there are the traders [the vaishyas see also 2.1: 37] and their know-how of provision and from His feet there are the workers [s'ûdra's] unconcerned about the Veda; may He so Supremely Powerful be content with us all. (42) Greed is His lower lip and affection His upper lip; the bodily luster could exist from His nose and by His touch could there be the animalistic lust; from His brows there was the Lord of Death [Yamarâja] but from His eyelashes could there be the eternal Time; may He, the One of all Prowess, be pleased with us. (43) The material elements, their weaver [kâla, time], the fruitive labor and the modes of nature and the variety of forms created is that which makes up the complete of His creative potency [yoga-mâyâ] of which all the learned say that it is hard to fathom - it is the trouble from which the ones who came to realization turn away; may He the Controller of All and Everything be content with us. (44) Let there be our reverence for Him who is the peace free from endeavoring, the self-sustaining and the full satisfaction of all accomplishment; our obeisances unto Him, the Soul to the world which moves in modes, Him, the game-master, who like the air is aloof from all worries about the things of matter. (45) Surrendered to You, we yet wish to see Your smiling lotuslike face. May we see Him, You my Lord, in Your original form, direct before our eyes? (46) By and by in factual forms time after time appearing by Your personal will do You in person, o Mighty One, perform uncommon activities so that You for us are indeed the Supreme Lord in control [B.G. 4:7]. (47) For people eager to enjoy are there many obstacles and little results, thereto with one's projects ending in frustration; being like that is one indeed of no dedication unto You. (48) Not even the slightest activity properly performed goes in vain, because in dedication to the Controller [who is the Time] one realizes You as the Original Soul who for sure is extremely dear and beneficial to all persons. (49) Like indeed with the watering of the root of a tree one also waters the trunk and the branches, is it also with the worship of Vishnu, the soul of everyone [see also 4.31: 14]. (50) All my obeisances unto You, my Lord of the Eternal, o worker of the wonders of the higher existence, o Controller of all the Modes fitly remaining in goodness.'

*: The story goes: 'While Durvâsâ Muni was passing on the road, he saw Indra on the back of his elephant and was pleased to offer Indra a garland from his own neck. Indra, however, being too puffed up, took the garland, and without respect for Durvâsâ Muni, he placed it on the trunk of his carrier elephant. The elephant, being an animal, could not understand the value of the garland, and thus the elephant threw the garland between its legs and smashed it. Seeing this insulting behavior, Durvâsâ Muni immediately cursed Indra to be poverty-stricken, bereft of all material opulence. Thus the demigods, afflicted on one side by the fighting demons and on the other by the curse of Durvâsâ Muni, lost all the material opulences in the three worlds.'



Chapter 6

The Suras and Asuras Declare a Truce

(1) S'rî S'uka said: 'The Supreme Lord Hari, the Supreme Controller, thus being prayed to by the godly then appeared before them, o King, with an effulgence of a thousands suns rising. (2) Because of this was that instant the vision of the godly blocked; they could see in no direction, nor the sky, nor the land, nor themselves, not to mention the Almighty One. (3-7) When the so mighty Lord Brahmâ and Lord S'iva saw His appearance, so pure with the luster of a blue gem, His pinkish eyes like a lotus heart, His shine like molten gold, His yellow silken dress, the great beauty and grace of all His limbs, His smile, His beautiful eyebrows, the jeweled helmet, the decoration of all His ornaments, the light from His earrings, the cheeks of His beautiful face, His belt and bangles, His necklace and anklebells all beautifully set, the Kaustubha gem on His chest, S'rî Lakshmî moving with Him, His flowergarlands and His cakra and His other weapons, was the Supreme Personality satisfied by the worship of the chief of the gods and the divinity for them all [S'iva] who along with all the immortals with all of their bodies prostrated to the ground.

(8) S'rî Brahmâ said: 'Unto the One never born but always appearing, the One free from the modes, that ocean of bliss beyond all existence, that smallest of atoms so inscrutable in all His features, unto You, the Inconceivable One, our reverence again and again [see also B.G. 4.6]. (9) This form of You, o Best of all Persons, is so worshipable and auspicious to all who desire to the vedic directions as realized from the tantra's [special vedic treatises] in practicing yoga; o director who with us controls the three worlds, oh, in You we directly see the complete universe. (10) Unto You in the beginning there was, unto You in the middle there was, Unto You in the end all of this will be; the beginning, the end and the middle of this cosmic creation do You fully control: like the earth to its pot, You're the chief of transcendence. (11) You, by Your energy eternal, with Your soul as the refuge, do, out of Your own for the sake of creation enter this universe so vast and the ones connected, those full of the sastra, see, as high spirited people with a consciousness advanced, You, in the transformation of the modes though You are by those qualities of nature untouched. (12) As with fire from wood, like with the nectar from cows, like with the foodgrains and water that are found on this earth as also like with the livelihood one has from enterprising, achieves the living being by the practice of yoga, intelligent to the modes, indeed You so the greatest souls say. (13) O Lordship to us all, o Master in Your fullness here before us, with the lotus from Your navel, for so long we've waited desiring the goal and now today we all may cherish the vision of bliss, like elephants, who distressed by a forest in flames, would cherish the water of the Ganges. (14) O Soul, who art to each the beyond, about the purpose for which we've arrived at Your feet we do not have to inform You being the witness of all; may You kindly fulfill the needs of these souls to all places we rule. (15) I and He from the Mountain [S'iva], the enlightened and all so led by fathers as Daksha, are like sparks to the fire of You o my Lord - what else would we know independent from You; kindly bestow the good fortune, the mantra's, of twice-born and brahmin.'

(16) S'rî S'uka said: 'Thus being worshiped by Virinca [Brahmâ] and all, understanding what they in their hearts were expecting, replied He with words rumbling as clouds those who in prayer restrained all their senses. (17) Although the Controller could handle by Himself what the godly had to do, wanted He as their Lordship to enjoy His pastimes in churning the ocean and spoke He to them. (18) 'The Supreme Lord said: 'Listen o Brahmâ and S'iva, o gods, to what I have to say; all of you hear attentively as that will bring good fortune to all of you suras. (19) Just settle, awaiting your own good fortune, for a truce with the daityas and danavas their benedictions of a favorable time. (20) If it is important to one's own duties should one even with one's enemies make a truce, like a snake would with a mouse o gods, to the interest of his position [*], (21) Do not hesitate to do your best to make for the nectar of which any living entity in danger of death drinking it can become immortal. (22-33) With in the ocean of milk thrown all sorts of creepers, grass, vegetables and herbs and making with My help Vâsuki [the snake] the churning rope for the rod of Mandara, proceed to churn carefully; it will engage the conspirators of the hindrance but you all, will reap the fruit. (24) You should altogether accept whatever the asuras demand o suras, do not aggress to it as proceeding in peace all ends desired will be met with the greatest success. (25) Do not be afraid of the kâlakûtha ['false time'] poison that will appear from the ocean of milk, never be greedy in operation, nor permit any anger to rise whenever and do not lust after the products either.'

(26) S'rî S'uka said: 'After the Supreme Lord thus had advised the godly, disappeared the Highest Example from them, o King, as He is the Controller free to move. (27) When they had offered Him, their Supreme Lord their obeisances, returned the Great Father with the Lord of Becoming [Bhava, S'iva] back to their abodes and was king Bali approached by the suras. (28) The respectable ruler of the daityas [Bali] observed that although his captains were alarmed, the enemies had no intentions to fight and so he kept them back, well aware of what the time for fighting and what the time for negotiations was. (29) They all approached and sat down with the son of Virocana [Bali], who, well protected by the asura commanders, as the conqueror of all the worlds was blessed with great opulence. (30) The great Indra with mild words pleasing him to his best, as the greatest intelligence submitted to him all that they had learned from the Supreme Personality. (31) It was all very acceptable to the daitya ruler as well as to the other asura chiefs Sambara, Aristanemi and the rest of the inhabitants of Tripura. (32) Following concluding to an armistice between them, embarked they, deva and asura, upon the supreme enterprise of churning for the nectar, o chastiser of the enemies. (33) To that did they all with full force, with great strength and loud cries uprooted Mandara Mountain and took they it to the ocean with their strong and stout arms. (34) Over a great distance carrying the load could Indra and the son of Virocana being fatigued not bear it any longer and gave they it up on the way. (35) The unmovable gold falling down right there crushed with its great weight many of the enlightened and the unenlightened. (36) Carried by Garuda the Supreme Lord thereafter appeared to them all who were broken in their arms, legs and their hearts. (37) Simply glancing over the immortals and mortals who were crushed by the falling mountain brought them back to life unscathed and non-grieving. (38) With the greatest ease He with one hand placed the mountain on Garuda, mounted and went to the ocean, surrounded by the suras and asuras. (39) Unloading the mountain from his shoulder went Garuda, the greatest of all birds, to the waterside and placed he it there, whereupon he was sent away by the Lord [so that he would not eat Vâsuki].'

 *: The idea here is that of a mouse with a snake caught in a basket, wherein the mouse makes a hole and the snake profits then from both if he does not immediately eats the mouse.


Chapter 7

Lord S'iva Drinks the Poison Churned with the Mountain Mandara

(1) S'rî S'uka said: 'De suras invited the king of the snakes, Vâsuki, promising him a share and wound him around the mountain for a churning rope. Thereupon commenced they in great glee with the job of trying for the nectar, o best of the Kurus. (2) Lord Hari took him first by the head and the godly followed His example. (3) The daitya leaders did not like that arrangement and thought to the mature and outstanding knowledge of their study, their birth and experience: 'None of us will try the tail of the serpent as that is the inferior part'. (4) Seeing how consequently the daitya's kept silent, smiled the Supreme Personality giving up the front portion and grasped He with the demigods the rear end. (5) Thus settling the positions for where to hold, did they, the sons of Kas'yapa [godly and demoniac], with great zeal churn to get the nectar from the ocean of milk. (6) As they were churning sank of its weight, having no support, that hill down in the water despite of it being captured by the strong, o son of Pându. (7) Heavily disappointed, dried all of the beauty of their faces up as they saw how their efforts by the stronger will of God were overruled. (8) When He saw how by divine intervention the mountain sank, expanded the Infallible Controller whose ways and powers are so inscrutable, Himself into the wondrous body of a giant tortoise and lifted He [Kurma] it up, entering the water [see also dasâvatâra-stotra verse 2]. (9) Observing it being lifted cheered up as well sura as asura to churn the body that as a big island on top of another one stretched out on His back for a hundred-thousand yojana's. (10) The rotating of the mountain moved by the strong arms of the sura and asura leaders, my best, was by the original tortoise who bore it on His back considered an infinitely pleasant scratching. (11) Thereafter, to encourage them and increase their strength and vigor, entered Lord Vishnu the asuras in the form of their own quality [that of passion], infused He the godly with divinity [the mode of goodness], while He took the form of ignorance with the king of the serpents. (12) On top of the big mountain as another one catching it by one hand exhibited He thousands of hands while from the sky Lord Brahmâ and S'iva headed by Indra offered Him prayers and showered Him with flowers. (13) As well on top as below, as with themselves, with the mountain and with the rope having entered as the Supreme, was the ocean, with great strength madly churned, seriously agitated by the great rock, and were all the alligators disturbed. (14) The serpent king hard breathing in all directions, by the thousands of him spitted fire and smoke that affected the asuras headed by Pauloma, Kâleya, Bali and Ilvala with its radiation which scorched them all like sarala trees in a forest fire. (15) Also the godly were affected in their luster by his fiery breath that smoked their dresses, fine garlands, armament and faces; under the direction of the Supreme Lord it then profusely rained while breezes blew clouds of waterdrops from the waves of the ocean. (16) When the ocean to the best ability of the godly and asuras was duly churned but no nectar appeared, began the Invincible One Himself to churn. (17) As dark as a cloud, in yellow silks, with lightning earrings on His ears, His gleaming hair on His head disheveled, with His garland, reddish eyes and victorious arms securing the universe, churned He, after taking the snake, the churning rod for which the mountain was held, to which He appeared as big as a mountain Himself. (18) After first highly agitating all kinds of fish, sharks, snakes, all sorts of tortoises, whales, water-elephants, crocodiles and timingilas [whale-eating whales], came there, with all the churning going on, from the ocean a very strong poison called hâlahala [or kâlakûtha, see 8.6: 25]. (19) That potent unbearable poison, uncontrollable curling up in all directions high and low, scared all the people who restlessly moved with the Lord their Controller, o my best, not being protected by the shelter of Lord S'iva's lotusfeet. (20) Seeing how he, the best of the demigods [S'iva] so acclaimed by the saints who in austerity walk the path of liberation in service, for the welfare of the three worlds with his wife together was sitting on his mountain [Kailâsa], offered they him their obeisances.

(21) The leaders of mankind said: 'O Lord of Lords, o Mahâdeva, o soul of each, o love of all, deliver us, who took to your lotusfeet, from this poison burning the three worlds. (22) You alone in the whole universe are the controller over bondage and liberation, are the one we worship as persons seeking fortune; you are the spiritual master to mitigate all distress. (23) By the modes of matter, by your own potency, do you execute the creation, maintenance and annihilation of this material world, o Mighty One, when you manifest yourself, o Greatest, as Brahmâ, Vishnu or S'iva. (24) You are the Brahman Supreme, the confidential of the cause and the effect of all the varieties of creation; you with all your potencies manifested are the Supersoul and the Controller of the universe. (25) You are the source of the [spiritual, vedic] sound, the origin of the universe, the Soul, the life-breath, the senses and the elements, the modes of nature and the selfbecoming, the eternal time, the determination and the religiousness of the truth [satya] and truthfulness [rta]; it is unto you that one utters the original syllable consisting of three letters [A-U-M]. (26) Fire, your mouth, makes for the complete of all divine souls; the surface of the globe one does know, o love of all worlds, as your lotus feet; the time is the progress of the aggregate of your demigods; the directions are your ears and the controller of the waters [Varuna] is your taste. (27) With the sky as your navel, the air as your breath, the sun globe for your eyes, the water indeed as your semen, the moon as your mind and the higher worlds, o Lord, as your head, is your self the shelter of all living beings high and low [compare 8.5: 33-43]. (28) With the oceans as your belly, the mountains as your bones, the plants, creepers and herbs as your hairs and the mantra's as your seven layers [koshas], are, o Veda's in person, all the religions the core of your heart [see also 2.1: 32]. (29) The five options of philosophy [of Purusha, Aghora, Sadyojâta,Vâmadeva, and Îs'âna] are your faces with the thirty-eight important mantra's [*] that factually ascertain the reality of the Supersoul, the reality of you o Lord, celebrated as S'iva in the position of your self-illumination. (30) The waves of irreligion [lust, anger, greed and illusion] are but your shadow of which there are so many sorts of creation; your three eyes are the goodness, the passion and the darkness; your simply glancing over brought about the analytic scriptures of the soul, o Lord full of verses, o god of the vedic literatures and their supplements. (31) None of the directors of the world, o Ruler on the Mountain, not Brahmâ, not Vishnu, and the king of the suras [Indra] either, can fathom your supreme effulgence, the impersonal spirit equal to gods and man, wherein the modes of passion, ignorance and goodness are not found. (32) Because you yourself have no knowledge of how you by the sparks of the fire from your eyes, at the time of annihilation, burned to ashes in this world Tripura [7.10: 53], the sacrifices of desire [see e.g. 4.5], the poison of time [to happen in this story e.g.], and many other forms of trouble to the living beings, can we not speak of this in our prayers to you. (33) People who by the self-satisfied spiritual masters within their hearts think of your two lotus feet as moving with Umâ your consort do, later on in their penance, criticize your acts and consider you in the crematorium not always a nice person; they indeed being of such a shameless attitude do not understand your activities. (34) Of that, of that being transcendentally situated to the moving and the nonmoving, are you difficult to understand; if it is not possible for even Brahmâ and the ones belonging to him to comprehend your reality as-it-is, o Great One, what then for us? Though we do our best to offer you prayers, are we to you, as far as we are concerned, creatures of the creation [that is of Brahmâ]. (35) With all things transcendental we cannot see the actual supreme position of You who indeed are there for the happiness of the manifested world, o great Controller whose activities are unknown.'

(36) S'rî S'uka said: 'Seeing their pernicious predicament spoke he, Mahâdeva, the friend of all living beings out of his compassion with the great sorrow to his consort Satî. (37) Lord S'iva said: 'Dear Bhavânî, how pitiable this situation of all the living beings, just see how threatening the present situation is from all the poison produced from the churning of the ocean. (38) Feeling responsible for all of their lives must I indeed do something for their safety; considered as their master is it my duty to give the ones who suffer protection. (39) Devotees protect with their own life other living beings who time bound, bewildered by the external energy, are of animosity with one another. (40) Doing good to others o gentle one, is the Soul of All, the Lord, pleased and because the Supreme Personality of the Lord is pleased are also I and all other moving and nonmoving entities happy; let me therefore drink this poison so that of me there will be the well-being of all creatures.'

(41) S'rî S'uka said: 'Lord S'iva, the well-wisher of the universe, this way addressing Bhavânî then began, with the permission of she who knew his best, to drink the poison. (42) Mahâdeva thereto took the widespread hâlahala poison in his hand and drank it out of compassion for the good of all living beings. (43) To him exhibited that poison from the water its potency by giving his neck a bluish line, the line that to the saintly person is an ornament. (44) The saints as good as always voluntarily take upon them the sufferings of the common people; that action of theirs is truly the highest form of worship of the original person, the complete of the soul [see also 1.5: 17-19 , B.G. 18: 68-69 and 4:7-8]. (45) Hearing of that act of S'iva, the god of gods, the graceful one, was he highly praised by all the people, by the daughter of Daksha [Satî see also 4.3&4], and by Brahmâ and the Lord of Vaikuntha. (46) And to the little bit that was scattered here and there as he drank from the palm, attended some other known living creatures like scorpions, cobra's and other poisonous animals and plants.

 *: The thirty-six mantra's called mukhâni pancopanisadas tavesa are: (1) tat purusâya vidmahe sântyai, (2) mahâ-devâya dhîmahi vidyâyai, (3) tan no rudrah pratisthâyai, (4) pracodayât dhrtyai, (5) aghorebhyas tamâ. .., (6) atha ghorebhyo mohâ. .., (7) aghorebhyo raksâ. .., (8) aghoratarebhyo nidrâ. .., (9) sarvebhyah sarva-vyâdhyai, (10) sarva-sarvebhyo mrtyave, (11) namas te 'stu ksudhâ. .., (12) rudra-rûpebhyas trsnâ. .., (13) vamadevâya rajâ. .., (14) jyesthâya svâhâ. .., (15) s'resthâya ratyai, (16) rudrâya kalyânyai, (17) kâlâya kâmâ. .., (18) kala-vikaranâya sandhinyai, (19) bala-vikaranâya kriyâ. .., (20) balâya vrddhyai, (21) balacchâyâ. .., (22) pramathanâya dhâtryai, (23) sarva-bhûta-damanâya bhrâmanyai, (24) manah-sosinyai, (25) unmanâya jvarâ. .., (26) sadyojâtam prapadyâmi siddhyai, (27) sadyojâtâya vai namah rddhyai, (28) bhave dityai, (29) abhave laksmyai, (30) nâtibhave medhâ. .., (31) bhajasva mâm kântyai, (32) bhava svadhâ. .., (33) udbhavâya prabhâ. .., (34) îsânah sarva-vidyânâm sasinyai, (35) îsvarah sarva-bhûtânâm abhaya-dâ. .., (36) brahmâdhipatir brahmanodhipatir brahman brahmesta-dâ. .., (37) sivo me astu marîcyai, (38) sadâsivah jvâlinyai.


Chapter 8

More Appears from the Churning: Mother Lakshmî and Dhanvantari

(1) S'rî S'uka said: 'When the poison was drunk by him who rides the bull resumed all the immortals and dânavas very pleased the churning of the ocean and was from the great force of it generated the cow of plenty [the surabhi, the source of the ghee]. (2) The sages conversant with the injunctions for the yajña's took charge of it, o King, because it, of the clarified butter, was fit for making oblations with the fire sacrifices and the promotion to God.

(3) Next was generated a horse white as the moon, named Uccaihs'ravâ, that Mahârâja Bali liked to have, but not Indra on the advise of the Lord [see B.G. 10: 27 and compare 4.19: 23].

(4) Thereafter was produced the king of resistance, the elephant Airâvata who white, with four tusks, defied the mountain [Kailâsa] that is the glory of the First Devotee [Lord S'iva]. [see 6.11: 11 and again B.G. 10: 27]. (5) Airâvata headed eight elephants to each direction of the sky and following him was also generated a group of eight she-elephants headed by one named Abhramu, o King.

(6) Next was from the wide expanse of milk generated a valuable gem known as the Kaustubha and another one named Padmarâga; Lord Hari who desired their possession decorated His chest with them. Thereupon was generated the pârijâta flower that embellishes the heavenly places and thereby fulfills the wishes of the ones desiring wealth much the same way, o King, you always do so in the world.

(7) Then were also generated the Apsaras, who exquisitely dressed and decorated with gold were the extremely beautiful and attractive inhabitants of heaven who smoothly moving divert each his heart.

(8) After that manifested directly the Goddess of Splendor [Ramâ or Lakshmî] herself who along with the Lord illumined all directions with her lightening luster as Saudâmanî [lit.: forked lightening, also the sorceress; to deal with that splendor see the 'peace formula' of B.G. 5: 29]. (9) Each sura, asura and human being desired her, as her raving beauty, features, youth, complexion and glories caught their minds. (10) The king of heaven arranged her a seat and all glorious and wonderful sacred waters assumed with golden waterpots filled with pure water a form. (11) The land brought together all the necessities and herbs for installing the deity; the cows contributed with the pure of their five [milk, yoghurt, ghee, dung and urine] and springtime brought together her fresh flowers and fruits. (12) The sages performed the ceremony of installation as is prescribed to which for all good fortune the Gandharva's chanted the lore while their women did their best dancing to the occasion also singing mantra's. (13) The clouds vibrated the drums, kettledrums, murajas and ânakas [two other types of drums] and with the sounds of bugles, conchshells, flutes and vinas it was a great tumult. (14) Next poured the great elephants jugs full of sacred water over the [deity of the] chaste goddess so beautiful with the lotus in her hand, while the twice-born were chanting hymns [see also a classic picture of Laxmi]. (15) The ocean presented yellow silks for her dress from top to bottom and Varuna brought the biggest garland with drunken bumblebees to its sweetness. (16) From Prajâpati Vis'vakarmâ there was a choice of ornaments, Sarasvatî [the goddess of learning] supplied a necklace, Lord Brahmâ provided a lotus flower and the Nâga's [the excellent] brought earrings. (17) Thereupon worshiped in an all-auspicious ceremony went she, with the lotus garland with the bees captured by her hand, around, with the decoration of the earrings to her cheeks and a coy smile on her face that radiated her natural beauty. (18) With her two breasts in symmetry and harmony, smeared with sandalwood pulp and kunkuma, her thin waist, did she, moving here and there with the sweet tinkling of her anklebells, appear exactly like a golden creeper. (19) Examining for the eternal of her position the indwellers of heaven, the perfected, the unenlightened, the keepers of the wealth, the venerable ones and all the rest of the demigods, could she not accept any of them as being faultless:

(20) 'Of the certain of one's austerity has one not conquered the anger, of spiritual knowledge is the scholar not void of attachments and someone great may not have overcome material desires; how can a person as such under the control of something else be a controller? (21) Proficient in the religion one finds no friendship with other living beings, renunciation one may possess but the cause of liberation may be missed, and with whatever power one may find with people, one finds no relief from the power of time; never will one, free from the contamination of the modes of nature, [apart from the Lord] find a second one [see also 1.2: 8]. (22) Someone may live long but indeed have no luck or be of right conduct, someone may be the best in it but not know to live long; if one is of both is such a person in some other way unlucky, and someone of the best score in all fields has no need for me!'

(23) This way of due consideration accepted the Goddess of the Splendor - because He possessed the extraordinary transcendental qualities that were all good and not depending on others - Him Mukunda, the reservoir of the Supreme, as her husband so desirable and qualified in every way, although He never looked for it. (24) After placing on His shoulders a ravishing fresh garland of lotuses vibrating with humming, maddened bumblebees, remained she, with a shy smile to her glittering eyes, by His side with His bosom as her real resort. (25) She, the mother, the goddess, made the bosom of the father of the three worlds her residence, wherein staying she glances over His own servants with the greatest compassion, increasing with the great leaders of the three worlds the supreme of the opulent. (26) With their conchshells, bugles and all sorts of drums was there the greatest sound of musical instruments and became all the gods of heaven and their women engaged in song and dance. (27) Brahmâ, S'iva and all the directors of the world headed by Angirâ honored the personality that was really the greatest, by chanting and showering flowers to what they all saw. (28) With the merciful glance of the Goddess upon all the godly, the fathers of mankind and their generations were they all blessed with good behavior and good qualities and achieved they the ultimate satisfaction.

(29) When the daityas and dânavas, o King, being neglected by Lakshmî got frustrated lost they in their aching greed all sense of shame and their energy. (30) Following appeared Vârunî, the goddess of the drunkards, as a young lotus-eyed girl and the asuras accepted her verily the way the Lord planned it for them.

(31) When thereupon the ocean was churned by the sons of Kas'yapa so eager for the nectar appeared there, o great King, a most wonderful man. (32) He was long, had stout and strong arms, a neck like a conch, reddish eyes, a blackish complexion, looked very young, had a garland and was decorated all over. (33) Clad in yellow, with his broad chest, his earrings with pearls well polished, his gleaming curly hair hanging down in strings, moved he strong as a lion, decorated with bangles, with the jar that to the rim was filled with nectar. (34) He indeed was a part of a plenary portion of the Supreme Lord Vishnu known by the name of Dhanvantari who, standing for the full knowledge of medical science, was there to demand his share of the sacrifices. (35) The asuras, greedy after all things, who saw him with the container full of nectar, immediately snatched the jug away. (36) When that jug containing the nectar by the asuras was carried away, were all the godly dejected and went they to the Lord to take shelter. (37) Witnessing their sadness about it did the Supreme Lord who always tries to fulfill the wishes say: 'Do not be aggrieved, by means of a quarrel among them will I by my own energy take care of the nectar for all of you.' (38) O master of man, then there was among the lot of them a fugue about the nectar to which they with a thirsting heart said: 'Let me first, I first, not you, you wait! (39-40) When the godly deserve to take their share, do all who were of an equal effort in the duty of the sacrifice, have an equal right; this is a matter of traditional duties [sanâtana dharma]!' Thus did the daityas envious and weak, o King, violently, try to appropriate the jug denying it factually each other constantly. (41-46) After this had happened assumed Lord Vishnu, the Supreme Controller who knows a solution for each situation, the form of a supremely beautiful, wonderful woman whom no one could place. Pleasing to the eye was she as dark as a new lotus, in all her limbs of the greatest beauty and harmony, and had she a straight nose to her ornamented ears and fine cheeks. Her new, firm, young but weighty breasts to her thin waist and her merry face attracted humming bumblebees from whom she anxiously eyed. With the mass of her hair waving and her nice neck with a mallikâ flower garland, the beauty of her arms that were ornamented with the finest jewelry and bangles, with the fair sari spread over her breast that was an island of beauty and with the belt that covered her waist moved she with her anklebells in grace. Shy casting her glances with her eyebrows moving, awakened she in the core of the hearts of the daitya leaders a long-standing lusty desire.


Chapter 9

The Lord Appears as a Beautiful Woman to Distribute the Nectar

(1) S'rî S'uka said: 'As they, the asuras, among themselves were snatching the nectar from one another and thus, behaving like thieves, grew very inimical tossing it to and fro, saw they [the Lord in the form of] a very beautiful woman [called Mohinî-mûrti] coming towards them. (2) 'What a body, what a luster and what a beauty of youth She has!' so they said in their hearts lusting to sleep with her as they hastened for her attention. (3) 'Who are you with your lotuspetal eyes and whence and why did you come here; to whom, o beautiful thighs upsetting our minds, do you belong, please tell us! (4) Nor we, nor any godly person, demon, perfected one, creature of heaven or venerable one has ever laid hands on you and known you, not to mention any local master of the human society. (5) We may thank providence, o beautiful eyebrows, for sending you; isn't your mercy there to bring what pleases the senses and minds of all who are of flesh and blood? (6) O smashing lady, could you be our luck to settle the mounting differences between us who as family members are more and more of enmity over this one issue [of the nectar], o slim beauty? (7) Make it so that you with all of us, able and competent brothers that are the descendants of Kas'yapa, are sure to divide [the nectar] justly without any partiality.'

(8) As a full woman looking at them with an enchanting smile spoke the illusion of feminine beauty that was an incarnation of the Lord, thus being urged by the daityas, to them. (9) The Supreme Lord said: 'How can it be that you all, descendants of Kas'yapa, put faith in associating with an eye-catcher like Me; a thing towards women that with the wise never occurs. (10) They all agree that treekeeping monkeys and dogs, o enemies of the suras, and especially loose women, are said to be temporary in their relationships, exchanging one friend for another.'

(11) S'rî S'uka said: 'Thus sporting with them laughed all the asuras, cherishing her in their minds despite of her serious demeanor, and handed they over the jar of nectar. (12) Next taking possession of the amrit container spoke the Lord with a painted smile to all His beauty and words: 'If you promise to accept whatever I may do, honest or not, then I'll give each his share of this nectar. (13) Having heard her consented they, the chiefs of the asuras all mad about her, to the words thus spoken with: 'So be it!'. (14-15) They then observed a fast, bathed, offered oblations of ghee into the fire, were of charity towards the cows, the brahmins and each and everyone, performed ceremonies to the brahmin precept, dressed themselves to their taste with the newest and finest and sat in full ornate all down on kus'a-seats that each faced the east. (16-17) With all the suras and daityas, with their faces thus sitting to the east, all dressed up with garlands and lamps in an arena full of incense smoke, there then, o ruler of man, holding the container, entered she, with her youthful restless eyes, the sounds of her tinkling ankle bells and jugs of breasts, striding slowly with a beautiful sari around her wide hips and elephant trunk thighs. (18) Looking at Her, the Lord Supreme who with golden earrings, charming ears, nose, cheeks and face posed as a girlfriend of the Goddess, were they all enchanted as she with a smiling glance looked them over while her sari waved slightly to her breasts. (19) Thinking it to be a miscalculation of giving milk to snakes, to hand out the nectar to the bunch of vile natured demons, delivered the Infallible One not a drop of it. (20) Arranging different lines for the both of them had the master of the Universe them all orderly seated to their own places. (21) The Lord with the nectar beguiling the daityas with sweet words made the ones sitting at the other side drink of the nectar that defeats old age, death and disability. (22) The asuras, because of what they had promised to do, kept themselves in check, o King and remained silent thinking that to fight with a woman was an abominable thing. (23) Not to break the bond of being friends with her were they, moved by the greatest respect and honor, all bound by her and said they not the slightest to displease her. (24) He who darkens the luminaries [Râhu] dressed himself up as one of the godly and sat among the godconscious to drink the nectar but was by sun and moon quickly detected. (25) The moment he was drinking the nectar was the head of Râhu cut off by the Lord His cakra sharp as a razor, but the decapitated body untouched by the nectar, fell dead on the spot. (26) The head so having attained immortality was by Lord Brahmâ recognized as a planet and it is that very Râhu that during eclipses [or with moonphases] chases the sun and moon in animosity [see also 5.24: 1-3, 6.6: 37 and 6.18: 12-14]. (27) When the godly were almost done drinking the nectar revealed the Supreme Lord Hari, the well-wisher of all the worlds, in the presence of all the asuras and their leaders His original form. (28) Although the suras and asuras were thus one to the same place, time, objective, cause, activities and ambition, were they not equal in the result; the godminded easily achieved the nectar with it because theirs was the benediction of the saffron dust of the lotus feet and not the daityas [compare B.G. 4.11]. (29) Whatever is done for the sake of one's own life and welfare, all those human activities, ideas and words in relation to one's body and family, are all transient [asat, 'untrue'] in separation, but the same indeed becomes factual and permanent if it is done not being separate - it then grows into that which is the watering of the root that is beneficial for everyone [see 8.5:49].'



Chapter 10

The Battle Between the Demigods and the Demons

(1) S'rî S'uka said: 'The dânavas and daityas thus with their combined efforts failed to achieve the nectar, o Ruler, as they had another idea of liberation relating to Vâsudeva. (2) After the amrit, o King, had been generated and had served as a drink to the suras that belonged to Him, left the Lord of all living beings who is carried by Garuda, their presence. (3) Seeing how their rivals enjoyed the best of opulence was intolerable to all the sons of Diti, and so marched they against the godly with their weapons raised. (4) Thereupon, from the refuge of Nârâyana's feet, counteracted with their weaponry all the godly who had found new strength from drinking the nectar. (5) There and then fought the gods and the demons to their honor a most fierce battle at the shore of the milk ocean, o King, with a turbulence that made one's hair stand on end. (6) To that grew they, as fighters to the opportunity of that battle, most violent minded with one another in waging with swords, arrows and all other kinds of weapons. (7) From the mass of conchshells, the trumpets, the drums, the bugles and kettledrums; of the elephants, the horses, the footsoldiers and chariotfighters all together came a tumultuous noise. (8) On the battlefield as chariotfighter against chariotfighter, infantry against infantry, cavalry against cavalry and elephantry against elephantry, fought the enemies one another on an equal basis. (9) Some rode elephants, some fought from the backs of camels and some others engaged as combatants with white- and red-faced monkeys, tigers and lions. (10-12) Both parties of fighters faced one another deformed by the bodies of the water, land and sea animals they took up as their vehicles: vultures, eagles, ducks, hawks, bhâsa birds; killer whales, monkeys, buffalos, rhinoceroses, cows, bulls, wild cows and red cows, jackals and rats; some took to the forms of lizards, rabbits, human beings, goats and some others entered the fight with black deer, swans and also boars. (13-15) With nicely decorated flags and canopies, o King, with parasols that were mostly pure white with precious handles full of jewels and pearls, with normal fans and peacock feather fans, with their upper and lower garments flapping in the wind, with the effulgence of their ornaments and shields and their shining, sharp and clean weapons excessively glittering in the sunshine, looked the two bannered parties of the godly and the dânava heroes with all their garlands, o descendant of Pându, much like two oceans of aquatics. (16-18) Bali the son of Virocana, for the battle celebrated as the captain of the demons drove a vehicle made by Maya called Vaihâyasa ['flying in the air'] that would move wherever he desired. Fully equipped with all the necessary weapons was it inexplicably, indescribably, most wondrous, sometimes being visible and sometimes being invisible. Protected by nicely decorated umbrella's and camaras was he, seated on such an excellent heavenly chariot and surrounded by all the commanders, situated as brilliant as a rising moon. (19-24) All around him there were the different vehicles of the asura commanders of the troops: Namuci, Sambara, Bâna, Vipracitti; Ayomukha, Dvimûrdhâ, Kâlanâbh and Praheti; Heti, Ilvala, Sakuni, Bhûtasantâpa, Vajradamstra, and Virocana; Hayagrîva, Sankusirâ, Kapila, Meghadundubhi, Târaka, Cakradrk, S'umbha, Nis'umbha, Jambha and Utkala; Arista, Aristanemi, and Maya and Tripurâdhipa and the other sons of Puloma and the Kâleyas, of Nivâtakavaca and all others who were unable to get a share of the nectar. Only having had the burden were they all, taking the front with all they had, now great trouble, roaring as lions and blowing their conchshells in the greatest tumult. When Balabhit ['fear of strength', Lord Indra] saw his ferocious rivals got he greatly incensed.

(25) Mounted on Airâvata his carrier elephant was Indra as beautiful to behold as the sun shining over Udayagiri's cascades. (26) Around him had all the gods with banner and weapon taken positions with their carriers: all the leaders of the higher worlds and the demigods of the air, of fire and of water. (27) Having come forward chided the combatants face to face one another as painful to the heart as they could and fought they, drawing near, two by two their battle. (28) Bali fought Indra, Târak fought Kârttikeya, Varuna engaged with Heti, and Mitra, o King fought with Praheti. (29) Yamarâja did so with Kâlanâbha, Vis'vakarmâ tried Maya, Tvashthâ fought Sambara, and Savitrâ contested Virocana. (30-31) Aparâjita fought Namuci, the two As'vinî-kumâras fought with Vrishaparvâ, the demigod Surya fought the hundred sons of Bali who were lead by Bâna, Soma [the moon-god] fought Râhu, Anila [god of the air] fought Pulomâ and the extremely powerful goddess Bhadra Kâlî [Durgâ] waged against S'umbha and Nis'umbha. (32-34) Vrsâkapi [S'iva] fought with Jambha and Vibhâvasu, the fire god, fought with Mahishâsura and Ilvala with his brother Vâtâpi fought the sons of Brahmâ, o suppressor of the enemies. Durmarsa fought with Kâmadeva [Cupid], Utkala with the Mâtrikâ goddesses, Brihaspati opposed S'ukrâcârya and S'ani [Saturn] fought with Narakâsura. De Maruts fought with Nivâtakavaca, the Vasus contested the Kâlakeyas, the Vis'vedevas tried the Paulomas en the Rudras waged against the Krodhavas'as.


(35) All of the ruling suras and asuras this way mixed in pairs engaged in fighting on the battlefield and waging with great strength they slashed one another earnestly with their sharp arrows, metal and lances in desiring the victory. (36) With fire weapons, discs, clubs, spears, pikes, firebrands, barbed missiles, mystic curses, swords, lances, iron bludgeons, mallets and slings were they cutting off each others heads. (37) The elephants, horses and chariots, foot soldiers and all the variety of riders with their carriers were cut to pieces. Arms, thighs, necks and legs were severed, and flags, bows, armor and ornaments were shredded. (38) Of their violent trampling and rambling rose the dust of the field high in the sky up to the sun in every direction and rained its particles down heavy of the blood splattered all over. (39) And so was the field there strewn with severed heads complete with helmets and earrings, angry eyes and bitten lips and lay scattered elephant trunk like legs and ornamented arms which severed still held the weapons. (40) With the eyes of their own heads could the soldiers fallen there see the trunks and raised arms with weapons coming after them on the battlefield.

(41) Bali attacked the great Indra with ten arrows, Airâvata, his carrier with three arrows, his four guardians [soldiers on horseback] with four arrows and the driver of the elephant with one. (42) Indra skilled, in a quick response, immediately cut the arrows rushing towards him in pieces with a different type of very sharp arrow and smiled about the enemy not reaching him. (43) Observing him such a martial expert took he enraged the s'akti weapon up but with the torch of blazing fire still in his hand was it shattered by Indra. (44) When next the lance, the barbed missile, the javelin, the sword and whatever more was tried, were they all cut to pieces by the mighty one. (45) O master of men, now was released a demoniac illusion to which the asura could no longer be seen and a huge mountain appeared towering over the heads of the sura warriors. (46) Big snakes, scorpions and other poisonous creatures fell down as also lions, tigers, boars and great elephants to crush them. (47) From it came falling large trees ablaze in a forest fire and sharp pointed stones to destroy the enemy army. (48) Hundreds and hundreds of stark naked carnivorous demonesses, o Ruler, each holding a trident, yelled 'Pierce, cut to pieces' and such. (49) Next were big, deeply rumbling clouds seen in the sky releasing embers, accompanied by strong tormenting winds and claps of thunder. (50) The daitya created a huge terrifying conflagration resembling Sâmvartaka [the fire at the end of time] that was carried by the blasting wind to burn the warriors of wisdom. (51) Thereafter for everyone to see appeared a sea agitated all over with waves blown up by the wind into a formidable whirlpool. (52) Thus became the sura warriors of the creation of such an illusory atmosphere by the invisible daityas, those experts in the illusion, in the fight dispirited. (53) Empty handed not understanding how to answer that countering force, o King, meditated the followers of Indra for the Supreme Lord, the Creator of the Universe, to appear there.

(54) He with the yellow dress and the lotuspetal eyes, whose feet rest upon the shoulders of Garuda, then became visible with His eight arms and weapons, the Goddess of Fortune and His invaluable Kaustubha gem, His helmet and His earrings brilliantly exhibited. (55) With Him entering were, by the superior power of the Greatest of the Great, immediately the illusory manifestations from the false works of the asura curbed, indeed like it happens with dreams upon awakening; all dangers are vanquished when the remembrance of the Lord has returned. (56) When the demon Kâlanemi doing the elephants enemy [the lion] saw Him who was carried by Garuda on the battlefield, threw he a whirling trident at Him, but most easily was it, coming down upon Garuda's head, seized and was the enemy together with his carrier with the same weapon killed by the Lord of the Three Worlds. (57) The very powerful Mâlî and Sumâlî fell in the battle as their heads were severed by His cakra after which the enemy Mâlyavân followed the same fate of having his head cut off by the disc of the Original Personality when he, with a pointy club and roaring like a lion tried to attack the King of the Birds ['King of the Egg-born Garuda thus].


Chapter 11

The Dânavas Annihilated and Revived

(1) S'rî S'uka said: 'When next through the grace of the Supreme Personality all the sura's had regained their spirits, resumed Indra, Vâyu and the others the fight against the lot that before had baffled them in the struggle. (2) The moment the so very mighty Indra, furious with the son of Virocana [Bali], took up his thunderbolt, began they [the asura's] all to cry 'Alas! alas!'. (3) He who sober and well equipped moved about on the battlefield was by him who carries the thunderbolt opposed and rebuked as follows: (4) 'You cheater, you fool, with your magic you try to be of control with illusions and win, conquering us as if we were children whom one deceptively blindfolding can take away their possessions! (5) The ones desiring to attain the higher of heaven by illusory means and expect to find liberation that way, that bunch of lowly asses, I send down denying them the positions they have taken. (6) I am the one who today will put an end to you and your jugglery severing your head with my hundred-jagged thunderbolt; you poor soul and your buddies... just try to exist on this battlefield!'

(7) Bali retorted: 'All present here on this field are subjected to the rule of time and do all in due order, like any one else does to his job, find reputation, victory, defeat and death. (8) Because the whole world, moving onward, is running on time, does the sura cognizant of this, rejoice nor lament; as such are you thus all of little study! [compare B.G.: 2.11] (9) We in respect with the self whatever would befall, cannot accept that heart-rending speech of you so pitiable to the saintly'.

(10) S'rî S'uka said: 'As a valiant hero thus chiding the mighty one with steel arrows of scorn, got Bali, the subduer of the greatest, right over him drawing his bow in attack. (11) Like an elephant beaten by the rod lamented the god, who thus was defeated by his silver-tongued enemy, not over his lesson. (12) The master of destruction used the infallible bolt against him and hit fell he [Bali] with his heavenly vehicle with clipped wings down to the ground like mountain. (13) Seeing that his mate had fallen stepped, as a matter of principle, his most intimate friend and well-wisher Jambha forward in compassion with his hurt companion. (14) He of superpower, riding the lion took position with his club and hit Indra including his elephant with great force on the shoulder. (15) Suffering the great blow sank the elephant severely injured with his knees to the ground and departed he for the eternal hitting the earth unconscious. (16) Thereupon, when his driver Mâtali brought him [Indra] his chariot drawn by a thousand horses, left he his elephant behind and got he up the cart. (17) In appreciation of that service of the chariot driver, had the best of the dânavas to smile and struck he him in combat with his with fire blazing trident. (18) Biding with himself managed Mâtali to tolerate the excruciating pain, but Indra most incensed decapitated Jambha with his thunderbolt. (19) When Jambhâsura's kin heard from Nârada rishi that he had been killed, hurried Namuci, Bala and Pâka over there as fast as they could. (20) With cruel words scolding Indra to hurt him in the heart, besieged they him with arrows that fell like a torrent of rain over a mountain. (21) The thousand horses there of the king of heaven were plagued by as many arrows, all quickly launched at once. (22) With two hundred more coming towards Mâtali, that by Pâka all at once were aimed and released against the chariot with all its upkeep, could thus a most remarkable feat be witnessed in the battle. (23) Namuci did so with fifteen gold-feathered all-powerful arrows that cutting the air made a noise over the field like a loaded cloud of rain. (24) All the asura's covered Indra and his chariot from all around with a dense shower of arrows, just like clouds in the rainy season do cover the sun [see also 4.10: 13]. (25) Like traders shipwrecked in the middle of the ocean began the demigods and their retinue, unable to discern him any longer, bereft of their leader to wail, oppressed and heavily daunted by the enemy superiority as they were. (26) Thereupon, to the delight of all the directions of the sky and the earth, managed Indra, the excel of the truth, to free himself together with his horses, chariot, flag and driver from the hull of arrows, by his personal effulgence shining like the sun at the end of the night.

(27) When the godhead saw how his attendants by the enemy were embarrassed in the fight took he fuming of anger his thunderbolt up to kill the opponents. (28) With the help of that thunderbolt did he before the eyes of their family members, in order to create fear in them, o King, sever the heads of the trunks of Bala and Pâka. (29) Namuci witnessing the two being slaughtered, grieved over them and made, o Lord of Men, enraged a great attempt to kill Indra. (30) With a steel spear hung with bells and decorated with gold in his hand he strode in fury against Indra roaring like a lion: 'And now you're dead' and struck. (31) The mighty thing like a meteor falling from the sky was then by the supreme personality smashed to smithers o King, while he himself got the thunderbolt on his shoulder from a fuming Indra in an effort to cut off his head. (32) But the powerful bolt, the same weapon that before by the king of the gods so successfully had been used in piercing Vritrâsura [6.12: 25], could not even scratch his skin. That defiance by Namuci's neck was an extraordinary wondrous thing. (33) And so with the bolt returning ineffective grew Indra very apprehensive of the enemy to which he wondered: 'What is this? By what supreme force could this, to each so wondrous thing, happen? (34) With this same bolt I formerly clipped the wings of so many mountains that, flying high, weighing far too heavy and pestering the common people, came to a fall. (35) Vritrâsura so powerful of the austerities of Tvashthâ [see 6.9: 11] was killed by it just as were many other powerful characters impervious to all other weapons. (36) And now is that bolt, though strong as a brahmâstra, released against a less important demon repelled; as useless as a rod I can wield it no longer.'

(37) Unto Indra who this way was lamenting spoke a voice out of the blue: 'To this dânava it is arranged that he can not be annihilated by anything dry or wet. (38) He would not die by something moist or dry because of a benediction I granted him and therefore, o Indra, must you think of some other means to deal with your enemy.'

(39) After he heard that ominous voice meditated Lord Indra with great scrutiny and came he thereupon to the insight that something of foam had to be the means that was neither dry or wet. (40) Thus he forced through Namuci's throat a weapon wet nor dry, upon which all the sages pleased covered the almighty one with flowergarlands. (41) The two chief singers of heaven Vis'vâvasu and Parâvasu sang hymns, the kettledrums were sounded by the godly and the heavenly dancers danced in bliss. (42) Vâyu, Agni, Varuna and others though started to eliminate vigorously, as if they were lions killing deer, the other belligerent asura's. (43) Deva-rishi Nârada Muni was by Lord Brahmâ sent to the demigods, o King, to forbid the ones in power the total annihilation of the dânava's he saw taking place. (44) S'rî Nârada said: 'Under the protection of the arms and the fortune [the goddess] of Nârâyana you all procured the nectar; since you all thus flourished must you now cease this fighting!'

(45) Suka said: 'Controlling the aggravation of their anger accepted they the words of the sage and returned they, hailed by their followers all to their heavenly abodes. (46) They who remained after the fight took up Bali and all who had fallen and went, with Nârada's permission, to the mountain called Asta. (47) There were the slain and maimed who still had their heads by S'ukrâcârya [4.1: 45, 6.7: 18, 7.5: 1, 7.10: 33 ] resuscitated through his knowledge of the Sanjîvanî ['animation'] prayer. (48) Bali, also brought back on the touch of Usanâ, realized what had happened and although he was defeated did he, as the smartest with the ways of the world, not lament.



Chapter 12

Lord S'iva Prays to See Mohinî Mûrti, Gets Bewildered and Restores.

(1-2) The son of Vyâsa said: 'The one riding the bull [S'iva] who heard how Lord Hari had assumed the form of a woman [8.9] to enchant the dânavas and caused the suras to drink the nectar, mounted his bull and went surrounded by his attendants, together with his goddess [Umâ] to see where Madhusûdana [Vishnu] was staying. (3) The Supreme Personality gave him a cordial welcome with all due respect and when Bhava, the Lord of Continuity, and Umâ were comfortably seated spoke he the following, with a smile offering Lord Hari his obeisances.

(4) S'rî Mahâdeva [S'iva] said: 'O God of Gods, o All-pervading Lord and Master of the Universe, to all forms of existence are You, as the full of this creation, the moving force and because of this are You the Supreme Controller. (5) You are the beginning, the end of this reality and that which is in between and to see anything apart from You is selfhood; but because You are imperishable is Your Lordship, as that Absolute Truth, that Supreme and that knowing, not of all these differences. (6) It are Your feet indeed that are worshiped by the sages who, desiring the ultimate good, have no material desires and have given up the attachment to this life and a life hereafter. (7) You as the Cosmic complete, undying beyond the modes, free from grief in eternal bliss, are changeless, apart from everything yet everything; as the cause of the beginning, the manifestation of the universe and its maintenance, are You of all that are inward directed the Supersoul of control and do all depend on You who art the independence. [see also B.G. 9: 15] (8) You indeed as the One, existing as both the temporal and the eternal, are without duality because You, just like gold put in different forms is to its source, in this world are not the difference of the substance that people in general see out of ignorance unto You; because You are free from the differences created by the modes should one, differentiating, be of no material designation [the conception of the difference of a false world and a true Brahman is there only in name, see also B.G. 7: 4-5]. (9) You are by some [the impersonal vedantists] considered to be the Supreme Truth of Brahman and by some others [the Mîmâmsakas] as the certain of religion [dharma], some [Sânkya-philosophers] consider you the Original Person, the highest controller to cause and effect and others [the Pañcarâtra devotees] describe the transcendence unto You as endowed with nine potencies [see 7.5: 23-24], while to others [followers of Patañjali e.g.] You are the Supreme Personality, the independent, imperishable Supersoul. (10) Nor me nor the man in the beyond [Brahmâ], nor the sages headed by Marîci know by whom this universe was created indeed, although we were born from goodness, and what to say of the daityas and the other mortal beings, o Lord, who's hearts, constantly bewildered under the influence of mâyâ, are in the base modes [of passion and slowness, see B.G. 2:24]. (11) You, who as the air in the vast sky are involved as well as free, do, from Your presence as the all-pervading one, know everything of this creation, maintenance and resolution of the world complete, of the living beings and their endeavors and of everything that moves and does not move. (12) I have seen all kinds of avatâras of You displaying the qualities in various pastimes; I, S'iva, would like to see that incarnation of You in which You assumed the body of a woman. (13) We have come here very eager to see with our own eyes the form of the incarnation that captivated the daityas and fed the suras the nectar.'

(14) S'rî S'uka said: 'Vishnu the Supreme Lord thus requested by him with the trident in his hand, laughed with gravity and gave Giris'a ['he of the mountain'] a reply. (15) The Supreme Lord said: 'To bewilder the daityas I assumed the form of a beautiful woman deeming it necessary to the interests of the suras to take away the jug full of nectar. (16) I shall now show you, who do long to see, o best of the enlightened, the object of adoration that arouses the desires of the ones of unbridled lust.'

(17) S'rî S'uka continued: 'After speaking this way disappeared Lord Vishnu there immediately from the vision of the company, leaving S'iva and Umâ moving their eyes everywhere. (18) Thereupon saw they in a beautiful spot in the forest a delightful woman who, in a shining sari with a belt around Her hips, in the midst of pink leafed trees and all sorts of flowers was playing around, sporting with a ball. (19) With the bouncing of the ball vibrated Her beautiful breasts and Her garlands that of their weight to Her fragile waist waved along with every step that She here and there made with Her feet reddish like coral. (20) Her face was adorned by restless, at times anxious, wide open eyes that followed the ball in all directions and she had glittering earrings on Her ears and gleaming bluish hair to Her cheeks. (21) The sari and Her hair slipping and slackening she very charmingly tried to bind with Her left hand, as She with Her right hand was striking the ball; thus captivated the spiritual potency everyone in the universe [compare B.G. 7: 14]. (22) The god observing Her this way playing the ball and hardly noticeable sending a bashful smile, was smitten by the glances of the ravishing beauty and with his mind taken not being able to keep his eyes of Her, could he no longer think of himself nor of Umâ nearby or his associates [compare 5.5: 8]. (23) When the ball once sprang far away from Her hand blew in Her pursuit the dress with the belt that covered the woman away right under the eagerly following eyes of S'iva. (24) So seeing all Her well-formed glory pleasing to the eye, thought S'iva that She would fancy him indeed. (25) He, gone mad of Her smiles, of Her actions bereft of good sense, went, irrespective of Bhavânî witnessing what happened, shamelessly after Her. (26) The woman all naked, seeing Him coming, very embarrassed with a smile hid among the trees not keeping Her place. (27) Lord S'iva, Bhava whose senses were agitated, was victimized by lust just like a male elephant after a she-elephant. (28) Speeding after Her he caught Her by the braid of Her hair and pulled Her near him to embrace Her against Her will. (29-30) She, the she-elephant, captured by the bull that was the Lord His devotee, squirmed like a snake and managed, with all Her hair scattered, to free Her self, o King, from the tight grip of the Lord of the Demigods and ran fast away with the heavy hips exhibiting the illusory potency of the Lord. (31) Like harressed by the devil commenced Rudra the pursuit of Him whose acts so wondrous took place before him. (32) Of him who never spills his semen in vain, was, going after Her like a mad bull chasing a female, the semen discharged. (33) Everywhere his semen fell on the earth, became those places mines for silver and gold, o great ruler. (34) Near the shores of the rivers and lakes, near the mountains and in the forests, in the gardens and wherever there lived the sages, was S'iva present. (35) With his semen discharged saw he that he himself had been fooled by the illusory potency of God, o best of kings, and so he restrained himself from more of the illusion. (36) Thus convinced of his own greatness and the greatness of the Soul of the Universe who is of an unlimited potency, didn't he consider what had happened a surprising thing. (37) Seeing him unperturbed and unashamed assumed Madhusûdana very pleased His original form and spoke He.

(38) The Supreme Lord said: 'All good to you o best of the demigods, in spite of - with Me appearing as a woman - amply being enchanted by My external potency, are you consequent to your own fixed position. (39) Which person but indeed you can, once drawn by the senses, surpass My mâyâ? To those who as such are unable to control their senses are the material reactions that overwhelm them most difficult to surmount. (40) Once you're joined with Me in the form of eternal time will that illusory energy consisting of the modes of nature, with all her different elements [the goddess Durgâ in sum*] no longer be able to bewilder you.'

(41) S'rî S'uka said: 'Thus applauded by the Supreme Personality of Godhead who has always the S'rîvatsa-mark on His chest, o King, went he, circumambulating Him, with His permission back to his own abode. (42) O descendant of Bharata, the mighty Lord Bhava then in jubilation addressed his wife Bhavânî who by the sages is accepted as a potency of the illusory energy of the Lord: (43) 'Oh, did you see how I myself without noticing it, despite of being the best of all His portions, became bewildered by Her, the illusory energy of the Unborn Supreme Person of the Demigods? And what then of others fully dependent on the material illusion? (44) When I ceased with a yogapractice of a thousand years came you near me to inquire about Him who indeed now is here directly as the Original Person beyond the grasp of the Veda's and to whom time has no entrance.'

(45) S'rî S'uka concluded; 'Thus I explained you, my best, the prowess of S'ârnga-dhanvâ [Vishnu with His bow] who held the great mountain on His back for the churning of the ocean. (46) The one who takes time to recite or hear this, will never be disappointed in his endeavor because the description of the qualities of Uttamas'loka, the One Hailed by the Scriptures, puts an end to the misery of material existence. (47) For the One not understood by the godless, for the feet known by the devotees of surrender, for Him who gave only the immortals to drink the nectar produced from the ocean, for Him who appearing in the disguise of a young girl captivated the enemies of the gods, for Him who fulfills the desires of the devotees, I do bow myself down [compare B.G. 9.29 -34].

 *:  Svâmi Prabhupâda quotes:
'srsti-sthiti-pralaya-sâdhana-s'aktir ekâ
châyeva yasya bhuvanâni bibharti durgâ'
The entire cosmos is created by Durgâ in cooperation with Lord Vishnu in the form of kâla, time. This is the version of the Vedas (Aitareya Upanishad 1.1.1-2).



Chapter 13  

Description of Future Manus

(1) S'rî S'uka said: 'Now hear from me about the children of the son of Vivasvân known in the world as S'râddhadeva - he who at the present moment is the seventh Manu [we are now in the twenty-eighth yuga of him who is also known as Vaivasvata Manu]. (2-3) The ten sons of Manu are known as Ikshvâku and Nabhaga indeed, Dhrishtha and also S'aryâti, Narishyanta and Nâbhâga [or Nriga] with Dishtha as the seventh; further are there Tarûsha [or Karûshaka] and Prishadhra and Manus tenth who is known as Vasumân [or Kavi] [see also 9.1: 11-12]. (4) O King, Purandara is there as the Indra of the Âditiyas, the Vasus, the Rudras, the Vis'vedevas, the Maruts, the As'vins and the Ribhus [the demigods]. (5) Kasyâpa, Atri, Vasishta, Vis'vâmitra, Gautama, Jamadagni and Bharadvâja are known as the seven sages mentioned before. (6) During this period was the appearance of the Supreme Lord Vishnu in the form of Lord Vâmana as the youngest of Aditi assured by Kas'yapa Muni. (7) In brief I explained the seven changes of Manus, now I'll also tell you about the future Manus empowered by the energy of Vishnu [see 8.1 & 5].

(8) The two wives of Vivasvân, the daughters of Vis'vakarmâ Samjñâ and Châyâ, o King, I both described you before. [see 6.6:40-41]. (9) Some mention a third wife of Vivasvân: Vadavâ. Of the three were there of Samjñâ three children born - a daughter Yamî and the sons Yama and S'râddhadeva. Now hear about the children of Châyâ. (10) They were Sâvarni [a son], the daughter Tapatî who later became the wife of king Samvarana and S'anais'cara [Saturn] who was the third. The As'vins took birth as the sons of Vadavâ. (11) When the eight period has arrived will Sâvarni become the Manu. The sons of Sâvarni, o ruler of man, are Nirmoka, Virajaska and others. (12) The demigods will then be the Sutapâs, the Virajas and the Amritaprabhas and Bali, the son of Virocana, will become the Indra. (13) Having given away the entire universe to Vishnu who begged him for three paces of land, he will achieve the post of Indra and thereafter will he, renouncing, achieve the perfection of life. (14) He, Bali, bound by the Supreme Lord, was favored with the kingdom of Sutala where, at present having a position equal to Indra, he was to be situated again more opulent than in heaven. (15-16) In the eight manvantara will Gâlava, Dîptimân, Paras'urâma, As'vatthâmâ, Kripâcârya, Rishyas'ringa and our father Vyâsadeva, the incarnation of the Lord [as a philosopher], who at present, o King, are busy with their own hermitages, as a result of their yogapractice be the seven sages. (17) Sârvabhauma by Devaguhya begotten in Sarasvatî, will as the Master and Controller take away by force the lands of Purandara [Indra] and give them to Bali.

(18) Daksha-sâvarni, the ninth Manu, born as the son of Varuna, will as his sons have Bhûtaketu, Dîptaketu and others, o King. (19) The Pâras, the Marîcigarbhas and those will be the demigods, the king of heaven will be known as Adbhuta and the ones headed by Dyutimân will become the seven sages in that period. (20) From Âyusmân will from the womb of Ambudhârâ Rishabhadeva, a partial incarnation of the Supreme Lord, take birth and of him will Adbhuta enjoy all opulence of the three worlds.

(21) The tenth Manu will be Brahma-savârni, son of Upas'loka; his sons will be Bhûrishena and others and the twice-born will be headed by Havismân. (22) Havismân, Sukrita, Satya, Jaya and Mûrti [and others] will at the time be the [seven] sages; the Suvâsanas, the Viruddhas and others will be the demigods and S'ambhu will be the controller of the suras [the Indra]. (23) One of the Supreme Lord His plenary portions, Vishvaksena, born from the womb of Vishûcî in the home of Vis'vasrashthâ, will make friends with S'ambhu.

(24) The Manu Dharmasâvarni will indeed be the eleventh to appear in the future as a master of the soul and Sathyadharma and others will be his ten sons. (25) The Vihangamas, Kâmagamas and Nirvânarucis are the demigods and Vaidhrita is their Indra; the seven sages are Aruna and others. (26) Born from the womb of Vaidhrtâ as the son of Âryaka will a partial incarnation of the Lord known as Dharmasetu then rule the three worlds.

(27) Rudra-savârnî, o King, will appear as the twelfth Manu and Devavân, Upadeva and Devas'restha and others will be his sons. (28) In that period will Ritadhâmâ be the Indra, will the demigods be headed by the Haritas and will the sages be Tapomûrti, Tapasvî, Âgnîdhraka and others. (29) By Satyasahâ begotten from Sunritâ will the almighty Svadhâmâ, a partial incarnation of the Lord, rule the period of that Manu.

(30) The thirteenth Manu of advancement to the soul will be Deva-savârnî and Citrasena, Vicitra and others will be Deva-savârnî's flesh and blood. (31) The Sukarmâs and the Sutrâmas will become the demigods, Divaspati will be the Indra and Nirmoka and Tattvadars'a and others will then be the sages. (32) As the son of Devahotra will, as the benefactor of Divaspati [the Indra], from the womb of Brihatî, Yogeshvara appear as a partial incarnation of the Lord.

(33) The Manu known as Indra-savârnî will be the fourteenth and of his semen will Uru, Gambhîra, Budha and others be born. (34) The Pavitras and Câkshushas will be the demigods, S'uci will be the king of heaven and Agni, Bâhu, S'uci, S'uddha, Mâgadha and others will be the ones of penance. (35) For that period, o great king, will the Lord in the womb of Vitânâ appear as Brihadbhânu, the son of Satrâyana, for the performance of all spiritual activities.

(36) O King, the estimate time of the past, the present and the future covered by these fourteen that I described to you, consists of a thousand mahâyugas or one kalpa [day of Brahmâ, see also picture].'



Chapter 14  

The System of Universal Management

(1) The king said: 'O great sage, could you please describe me the respective duties in which all these Manus and the others, in each manvantara are engaged and by whom they are appointed?

(2) The rishi said: 'The Manus and all their sons, the sages and, o King, the Indras and the godly for sure all resort under the rule of the Original Person. (3) The Manus and others in charge of the universal affairs are, o King, inspired by the Lord of Sacrifice Yajña and the other incarnations of the Supreme Personality that I have already discussed. (4) To the end of each mahâyuga consisting of four yugas is in the course of time the vedic instruction lost wherefrom the saints by their austerity witness the decay of the sanâtana dharma [the customary vedic duties to age and vocation, see also 1.17: 24-25]. (5) Following that are the Manus in each of the four yugas to the instruction of the Lord engaged in directly reestablishing to their time of existence in this world the dharma, o ruler of man [see also B.G. 4: 1]. (6) The demigods and the other divisions of enjoyers of the results of sacrifice are also engaged in that business; by them do the rulers in the world execute what was ordained till the end of his reign [see also B.G. 4: 2]. (7) Indra, the ruler of heaven, enjoys the great opulences of the three worlds given by the Supreme Lord and fathers all the places of them three by pouring out rain over the earth as much as is needed. (8) According each yuga explains the Lord the transcendental knowledge assuming the forms of liberated persons [the perfected or siddhas], great saints [rshis] and great lords of yoga to teach the work of unification in the consciousness. (9) As the founding fathers [the prajâpatis] He creates offspring; to annihilate the miscreants He takes the form of kings and in the form of time is He there to put an end to everything that grew different to the modes of nature. (10) With all the people searching for Him, who under the influence of mâyâ are bewildered in different names and different forms, can He not been found by the illusion of the differing points of view [compare B.G. 18: 66]. (11) All these changes [vikalpas] I described as taking place in one day of Brahmâ [one kalpa], to which the scholars speak of fourteen manvantaras, are evidence of this.'


Chapter 15  

Bali Mahârâja Conquers the Heavenly Places

 (1-2) The king said: 'Why did the Lord, the Controller of all living beings, like a poor man beg Bali for three steps of land and why did He despite of the gift arrest him? All this begging of the Controller complete in Himself and the arrest of him though he was faultless, we very anxiously desire to understand.'

(3) S'rî S'uka said: 'Defeated by Indra, being deprived of his opulence and his life indeed [see 8.11], was Bali brought back to life by the descendants of Bhrigu [S'ukrâcârya and his followers]. To Bhrigu's following was he, as a great soul and disciple, of worship by giving them everything he had in full surrender. (4) The brahmin followers of Bhrigu, very pleased with him, engaged him in a sacrifice called visvajitâ so that he, according the regulations after purification by the exalted souls in a great bathing ceremony [abhiseka], to his desire could conquer the heavenly worlds. (5) From the blazing fire worshiped with oblations of ghee found thereafter a chariot its existence covered with gold, with horses that had the color of those of Indra [yellow], caparisoned with silk and a banner marked with a lion. (6) There was a special gilded bow, two quivers with infallible arrows and a celestial armor. His grandfather [Prahlâda] donated a garland of never fading flowers and S'ukrâcârya a conchshell. (7) After thus with the fighting gear having gained the grace of the brahmins, on their advice performing the ritual, circumambulated he all the scholars offering his obeisances with salutations unto Prahlâda Mahârâja. (8-9) Thereupon ascending the divine chariot given by S'ukrâcârya, did the great charioteer, decorated with his garland, covered with his armor and equipped with his bow, take up his sword and quiver of arrows. With his golden bangles on his arms and his earrings glittering like sapphires shone he, positioned on his chariot, like a fire of worship on an altar. (10-11) Surrounded by his own men and the other daitya leaders who equaled him in opulence, strength and beauty, was it as if they drank the sky burning the directions with their looks. Gathering the greatest asura warriors went they to the supremely wealthy capital of Indra as shaking the entire earth.

(12) It was there very pleasant with orchards and gardens like the Nandana garden beautiful to behold, chirping pairs of birds, madly humming bees and eternal trees with branches heavy of the great weight of its leaves with flowers and fruits. (13) They were crowded with groups of swans, cranes, cakravâka birds, ducks, lotus flowers and beautiful sporting women protected by the godly. (14) The ever worshipable goddess surrounded them with trenches of celestial ganges water and parapeted ramparts in the color of fire. (15) The doors of the gates, constructed by Vis'vakarmâ, were covered with golden plates and their ways, that linked up the many public roads, were of the finest marble. (16) It was replete with assembly houses, courtyards, roads, and no less than a hundred million opulent palaces. The crossroads were made with pearls and had sitting places with diamonds and coral. (17) In that city one found glittering, like with a fire with many flames, the most beautiful ever-young women, cool, warm and round-breasted [of 'syâmâ'], well-decorated wearing always clean clothes. (18) The breezes blowing in the streets carried the fragrance of the fresh aromatic flowers fallen from the hair of the sura-women. (19) On the streets passed the sura sweethearts through the white fragrant smoke of aguru incense burnt from behind windows with gold filigree. (20) There were canopies strewn with pearls and gold, a variety of flags that adorned the domes of the palaces and peacocks, pigeons and bees that vibrated their sounds to which up in their heavenly constructions the women sang in chorus the auspiciousness. (21) The city with all its brilliance so beautiful and pleasing with the singing loves of the gods, the solo instruments, the dancing and the sounds of flutes, vînâs, drums, conchshells and kettledrums all perfectly in tune, defeated beauty personified. (22) No godless people roamed the streets, there was no one envious or of violence against other creatures, no one cheated and no one was of false prestige, lust or greed; all walking there were completely void of all that. (23) That city of God was from the outside at all sides attacked by him, the commander of the troops of soldiers given by S'ukrâcârya, who, resounding his conchshell loudly, created fear with all the ladies protected by Indra.

(24) Indra facing the situation understood Bali's fervent zeal and addressed in the company of the godly the spiritual master [Brihaspati] with the following words: (25) 'O my Lord, from whom got Bali, our enemy from the past, the great fervor and prowess I'm afraid we're unable to withstand. (26) There is no one to find who can counter this arrangement of his, it is as if he with his mouth wants to drink and lick up the whole world and with his vision wants to set ablaze all directions, standing up like the fire at the end of time. (27) Please tell us what the cause of the formidable prowess of our enemy is and from where all his energy, strength, influence and this endeavor came.'

(28) Brihaspati said: 'I know the cause, o Indra, of the rise of your enemy, he got his power being a disciple of the mighty brahmins that are the followers of Bhrigu. (29) Being that powerful can the strong one not be defeated by someone like you or anyone else of you; except for the Supreme Controller, the Lord, will no one be able to vanquish him now he is powered with the brahmin strength; just like with Yamarâja will no one be able to oppose him. (30) Therefore must you all vanish giving up the heavenly kingdom and go elsewhere to await the time when your enemy has to face his reverse. (31) He who now so utterly mighty flourishes by the brahminical power invested in him, will by insulting the same power find his demise indeed together with all his friends and helpers.'

(32) Thus advised by their spiritual master on what they had to do gave they up their kingdom of heaven and departed they, the gods who could assume any form they liked. (33) When all the godly this way had left took Bali, the son of Virocana, hold of the city where the divine had their stay and brought he the heavenly worlds under his control. (34) Because he was their disciple instructed the followers of Bhrigu, very pleased with the conqueror of the universe, him to perform a hundred horse- sacrifices [aswamedha]. (35) From performing those sacrifices spread his fame in all directions through the three worlds and became he as effulgent as the moon. (36) Because of winning the favor of the twiceborn thought he, enjoying the like of opulence and prosperity of the demigods, himself very happy with what he had conceived and done so greatly.



Chapter 16  

Aditi Initiated into the Payo-vrata Ceremony, the Best of All Sacrifices

  (1) S'rî S'uka said: 'As soon as her sons thus had abandoned their position began their mother Aditi helplessly to lament the loss of the heavenly kingdom to the daityas. (2) When one day the mighty sage Kas'yapa [her husband] after a long time ceased with his samâdhi [yogîc trance] and came to Aditi's quarters, found he her dispirited and morose. (3) After he, honored by Aditi, had accepted a sitting place, addressed he her in her depression befitting the circumstances, o best of the Kurus, as follows. (4) 'Has anything unfortunate happened to the brahmins, o gentle one, have at present the religious principles failed in the world, or is there something wrong with the populace subject to death and its whims? (5) Or has something gone awry in the household, my dearest princess, with the religion, the money, or the fulfillment of your desires; the result of meditating them indeed is there even for the ones not of yoga. (6) Or had you maybe any unexpected guests in the house, all too attached family members whom you couldn't welcome properly and happened to walk out on you? (7) The home not of welcome to uninvited guests not even offering a glass of water, is, abandoned by them, no more than a jackals den. (8) Have you during the time of my absence, o finest, for some reason forgotten your oblations of ghee in the fire, o chaste one? (9) An attached householder by the worship of pûjâ fulfills his desires and goes to heaven as it is indeed the brahmins and the fire that are the mouth of Vishnu [compare B.G. 9.26]. (10) Are your sons all well-to-do, o broadminded lady, I can see you are distraught of mind.'

(11) S'rî Aditi said: 'The twiceborn and the cows, o brahmin, the duties to the book and the populace are all o.k. and so are all the things in your home with the supreme of the three of progress [kâma, artha, dharma] in the field, o master of the house. (12) The fire, the guests, the servants and the beggars were all treated as should; from always thinking of you, o brahmin, nothing was missed. (13) What desire of mine would not be fulfilled o lord, with your good self as the founding father and the reminder of dharma in my heart? (14) To each of those who, stemming from either your body or mind, o son of Marîci, possesses one or another of the three qualities of goodness, passion or slowness, is your good self, from the asura on, equal, o my lord, though the Supreme Controller takes [special] care of the devotees [compare B.G. 4: 11 and 9: 29]. (15) Therefore, o controller, just consider the wellfare of me, your servitor as we, o gentle one, by our competitors are bereft of all opulence and stay; please protect us o master! (16) Exiled by the very same powerful enemies that took away all of our opulence, beauty, reputation and homes, have I drowned in an ocean of trouble. (17) O first of our well-wishers, be so kind to consider our good fortune so that all that we lost, o saintly man, by my sons may be regained.'

(18) S'rî S'uka said: 'This way being beseeched by Aditi said he smiling to her: 'Alas, how powerful is the mâyâ of Vishnu when one is caught in this love for the world. (19) What is this material body made of the elements that is not the soul and what is the spiritual soul transcendental to the world, the material universe that for sure is the cause indeed of the illusion of having a husband or son and such [see B.G. 2: 13, 5.5: 1, 7.5:31 ]? (20) Try to be of respect for Vâsudeva, the spiritual master of the whole world, the Original Person of Janârdana, He who, residing in the core of each his heart, defeats all enemies. (21) Undoubtedly will He, the infallible Lord merciful to the poor, fulfill your desires; to my opinion does nothing compare to the devotional service unto the Supreme Lord [see also 2.3: 10].'

(22) S'rî Aditi said: 'By what regulative principles can I, o brahmin, please the Lord of the Universe so that He may fulfill the true desire of my ambitions [see also B.G. 7: 16]? (23) Teach me, o husband, best of the twiceborn, the vidhi [the regulative principles, see 1.17:24 and 3.11:21 ], the process of worship to the principle, so that the Godhead is quickly pleased with I now lamenting with all my sons.'

(24) S'rî Kas'yapa said: 'I will enlighten you about the form of worship satisfying Kes'ava, that the almighty one born of the lotus [Brahmâ] spoke about when I, desiring offspring, laid this before him [see B.G. 4.2]. (25) During the bright half of the month Phâlguna [February/March] should one for twelve days, vowed to take milk only [payo-vrata], charged with unalloyed devotion, be of worship unto the Lotuseyed One [see also 7.5: 23-24]. (26) When the moon is dark should one smear oneself with the dirt dug up by a boar if available, and enter a stream of water chanting this mantra: (27) 'O divine mother [earth], desiring a place were you from the bottom of the ocean brought up by the tusk of Lord Varâha [see 3.13: 30]; with my obeisances unto you, please wash away all my sins and their reactions'. (28) After having finished the daily duties to the soul, should God be worshiped with full attention for the deities [see also 7.14: 39-40] in one's shrine, for the sun, the water, the fire and the guru indeed: (29) 'I offer my respectful obeisances unto You o Supreme Lord, o Original Personality and Best of All residing in the heart of all beings, o Vâsudeva the omnipresent witness. (30) My reverence for You the Unseen One, the Transcendental Person of the Primal Reality, the knower of the twenty-four elements [see glossary], and original cause of the analytic order of yoga. (31) My respects unto You, the Enjoyer of the three types of rituals [of karma, jnâna and upâsanâ or bhakti, or fruitive work, spiritual knowledge and devotional service] with Your two heads [of prâyanîya and udâyanîya, the beginning and the end of the sacrifices], three legs [savana-traya, the three daily soma libations to solar time], four protruding horns [the Vedas to the bull of dharma] and seven hands [the chandas, ways of pleasing, mantra's like the Gâyatrî, see also 5.21: 15], my obeisances unto the embodiment of all knowledge. (32) My allegiance unto You known as S'iva and Rudra, You as the reservoir of all potencies and all insight; unto the Supreme Master of the living beings my reverential homage. (33) Unto You as the fourheaded Brahmâ Hiranyagarbha, the source of all life and Supersoul of the Universe, my reverence, I bow for You, as the cause of the unified consciousness of Yoga. (34) My esteem for You the Original Godhead and Overseer of all, You I offer my respects who as Nara-Nârâyana-rishi took the form of a human being - unto that Lord my obeisances. (35) Unto You, blackish like a marakata gem [a kind of emerald], the Controller of Lakshmî, the Killer of Kesi, unto You clad in yellow, again and again I offer my veneration. (36) You are to all entities the Bestower of all Benedictions, the Most Worshipable one and the Best of all Blessings and for that reason do the most sober worship the dust of Your feet as the source of all auspiciousness. (37) He unto whom all the gods and the goddess of Fortune are engaged in devotional service, may He, the Supreme Lord, be pleased with me who desires nothing less but the celestial bliss of those lotus feet.'

(38) With the help of the necessities of worship engaged with faith and devotion, should one by chanting these mantras, call for the Master of the Senses Hrsikesa and honor Him in every respect. (39) This way of reverence with incense, flowers, etc., should one bathe with milk and dress, with a sacred thread and ornaments, the Almighty, and after touching [or offering] water for washing the lotusfeet should one with the twelve-syllable mantra [of 'om namo bhagavate vâsudevâya' see also 6.8: 3 and 4.8: 53] [again] with fragrance and smoke and such, be of worship. (40) With rice cooked in milk with ghee and molasses - if available - offered to the deity, should one thus offer Him oblations in the fire chanting the same mantra. (41) So of worship with offering the deity betel nuts with spices as well, should the food of sacrifice [prasâda] by oneself personally be offered to His devotee to eat, with water to wash one's hands and mouth. (42) After repeating the mantra one-hundred-and-eight times, should one, offering various prayers unto the the Greatest, next circumambulating Him pay one's respect by prostrating oneself in satisfaction. (43) After taking the remnants of the sacrifice on one's head and then throwing them into a sacred place should minimally two learned ones [brahmins] be fed with sweet rice. (44-45) Properly having honored them should then with their permission the remnants of the prasâda be taken by one's kin. Of course should at night celibacy be observed from the first day on, for as long as the payo-vrata takes, and early in the morning, having bathed, with great attention to the vidhi the bathing as was described with milk be performed. (46) With drinking [milk] only following this vow should one carry on the worship of Vishnu with faith and devotion as stated offering oblations in the fire and also with the obligation of feeding the brahmins. (47) This way indeed should one day after day for the full twelve days proceed with the 'vow of drinking only', worshiping the Lord with fire sacrifices before the deity and pleasing the twice-born [and one's kin] with food. (48) Beginning with the day of pratipat ['running to meet'] until the thirteenth day of the bright half of the month, should one, in celibacy sleeping on the floor, care to bathe three times a day. (49) One should refrain from discussing trivia and sensual pleasures superior or inferior, and, being of nonviolence towards all living beings, depend on Vâsudeva as the essence.

(50) Following should on the thirteenth day the Almighty [Vishnu] be bathed with five substances [milk, yogurt, ghee, sugar and honey] proceeding to the vidhi as laid down in the scriptures. (51-52) With the milk and the grains offered should in grand worship the miserly mentality [of not spending] be given up, being of good recitation with many a hymn [or sûkta] for the Lord Vishnu residing in the hearts of all; thus with great attention and food offerings should one of worship for the Original Person with everything so richly prepared be of sacrifices highly pleasing to His Personality. (53) Try to understand that in worship of the Lord [vishnu-ârâdhana], the teacher of example [the âcârya] so well versed in the spiritual knowledge and also the priests, should be satisfied with clothes, ornaments and many a cow. (54) O pious lady, all of them and also the brahmins as far as possible and the rest assembled there, should receive the prasâda of the rich food of goodness [B.G. 17: 8] prepared with milk and ghee. (55) The guru and the priests should be financially compensated and by all means should the food even be distributed to the simpleminded and poor whom one also should reward for assembling for the ceremony. (56) After feeding also all the poor, the blind, the averse and so on, should one by that way of understanding pleasing Lord Vishnu, take with one's comrades prasâda oneself. (57) With dance, drum and song, reciting mantras, offering prayers and reading out the stories, should one from the first to the last day worship the Supreme Lord.

(58) This, related by my grandfather [Brahmâ], that I described unto you in all detail, is the supreme process called payo-vrata of honoring the Original Person. (59) O greatly fortunate one, also you will by this process, properly executed, with yourself in pure love unto Lord Kes'ava manage to settle yours in persistence of worship towards the Inexhaustible One. (60) Of all religious ceremonies is this one called sarva-yajña [the one covering all sacrifices] and is thus, with the charity pleasing the Lord, understood as the very essence of all austerities, o good lady [*]. (61) Of all regulations is the one here indeed the most direct and best way to control the senses indeed because by the austerity, vows and sacrifice Adhokshaja, the One beyond the Senses, is pleased [see footnote and 1.2:8]. (62) Therefore o blessed one, will the Supreme Lord very satisfied by your executing this with faith to the rules observed vow, soon bestow upon you all benedictions.

 *: In the west is Lord Vishnu worshiped in every temple of the Caitanya-vaishnava's [Hare Krishna's] according a schedule of twenty-four hours of engagement in performing kîrtana, chanting the Hare Krishna mahâmantra, offering palatable food to Lord Vishnu and distributing this food to Vaisnavas and others.  


 Chapter 17  

The Supreme Lord Agrees to Become Aditi's Son

(1) S'rî S'uka said: 'The lady, Aditi, thus being advised by her husband Kas'yapa, o King, made sure to follow his words, unrelenting executing this vow for twelve days. (2-3) With undivided attention and fortitude conscientious unto the Controller, the Supreme Personality; in full control of the senses strong as horses, the mind as the charioteer of intelligence and with the intelligence one-pointed unto the Supreme Lord [see also B.G. 4: 42], the Soul of the Complete, performed she thus fully concentrated on Vâsudeva to the payo vrata vow of fasting. (4) Before her appeared, my best, the Supreme Lord, the Original Person, dressed in yellow, with His four arms, conch, cakra, club and lotus flower. (5) When she saw Him before her eyes got she immediately up and offered she with the greatest respect her obeisances prostrating herself before Him with her mind enraptured. (6) Standing up was she, ready to worship with her hands folded, from her rapture in bliss unable to proceed; with tears filling her eyes she remained silent, overwhelmed with her hair standing on end and the whole frame of her body trembling of the utter pleasure of having His vision [darshan]. (7) With an of love constantly faltering voice, o best of the Kurus, was it as if she, Aditi Devî, staring at the Lord, the Husband of Ramâ [see 8.8: 8], the Enjoyer of all sacrifices and the Master of the Universe, was drinking with her eyes. (8) S'rî Aditi said: 'O Lord of the Sacrifices, Personality of all Offers, o Infallible One to whose feet we pilger, You are known as the ultimate shelter, the One who hearing and singing about is so auspicious; You are the original One who has appeared to mitigate the dangers of material existence of the people of surrender; o Controller, o Supreme Lord, kindly bestow upon us the good fortune as You are the refuge of the downtrodden. (9) Unto You as the Universe in Person, who as the Independent One, as the creation, maintenance and annihilation of the universe, takes full control by the power of the modes of nature; You as the Superior for Ever and Always Fully Himself, as the Complete of Knowledge that vanquishes the darkness of the self; unto that Supreme Lord of You my reverential homage. (10) With You satisfied, o Complete and Unlimited One, become all things possible: a life as long as that of Brahmâ, a certain body, a life of achievement, unlimited material opulences in the worlds above, below and in between, all sorts of yogîc qualities, the three ways of kâma, artha and dharma [the purushârthas] and the spiritual knowledge; not to mention benedictions like the vanquishing of enemies and such!'

(11) S'rî S'uka said: 'Thus hailed by Aditi, o King, was the Supreme Lord with the lotus eyes, the knower of the field [B.G. 13: 1-4] of all living entities, sure to reply to that, o son of Bharata. (12) The Supreme Lord said: 'O mother of gods, the long standing desire of you because of your homeless sons that were vanquished by their rivals, has My understanding. (13) To defeat them in the fight, those fine asuras so proud of their strength, and get back the opulence and the victory, and be together again with your sons in gratitude is what you desire. (14) You'd like to see the tears of the grieving wives of the enemies when they find them killed by your sons under the lead of Indra. (15) The retrieval of the full glory, reputation and opulence of your offspring, the joy of their lives and a place for them in heaven is what you'd like to see. (16) At the present moment are all those asura masters of war as good as invincible and thus, o Devî [goddess], is it My opinion that, because they're all protected by the brahmins who assure them My favor, no use of force will be able to bring you the happiness. (17) Nevertheless must I, very pleased with the vow you observed in worship of Me, think out, o Devî, some means as you never deserve anything else as a result of your faith and devotion unto Me as the cause. (18) For the sake of your sons having worshiped Me with the vow of drinking only and to the best of your ability having prayed as should, will I, of that loyal austerity with Marîci, with a plenary portion of Me take the opportunity to become your son to protect your other sons. (19) O sweet woman, go and revere your husband, who as the of penance purified Prajâpati is Me as well; think of Me thus as residing within his body [zie ook B.G. 9: 29]. (20) Do not disclose this to outsiders, not to any one even when asked, o lady; all will be a success if that what even for the demigods is something very confidential, is kept a secret [see B.G.18: 67-68].'

(21) S'rî S'uka said: 'The Supreme Lord this way addressing her disappeared from the spot and with the very rare achievement of having the Lord born from herself, went she forthwith in devotion to her husband, thinking that what she had worked was absolutely the greatest. (22) Kas'yapa himself could in the trance of his yoga indeed then understand that the Lord had entered Him as a plenary portion whose vision in effect is never mistaken. (23) As wind kindling fire in firewood, o King, could the semen in penance restrained for so long by Kas'yapa, be deposited in Aditi [see also B.G. 7: 11]. (24) Hiranyagarbha ['of the gold inside', Lord Brahmâ] knowing the pregnancy of Aditi established, prayed unto the Supreme Lord with transcendental names. (25) Lord Brahmâ prayed: 'All glories unto Him the Supreme Lord much praised whose activities are of the greatest, my obeisances unto You, my respects for the Lord of the transcendentalists; the Controller of the Modes of nature I worship again and again. (26) My allegiance to You formerly existing within Pris'ni [a previous life of Aditi, compare 6.18: 1, the sons of Aditi] who is always found in the Vedas, who art full of knowledge; from the navel of the three worlds are You transcendental to the three worlds and present within the hearts of all living entities as the All-pervading One. (27) You as the Original Cause, the end and the maintaining of the universe and the reservoir of endless potencies are the Supreme Person of whom one speaks of as the Time; You are the Lordship, the Controller keeping together the whole universe as with waves in the water into which we fell so very deep. (28) You indeed are of all that live, whether they move or do not move, and of all the founding fathers the Generator; You are the Supreme Shelter of all who live the higher life of God, of all the godly now driven from their places to whom drowning you are like a boat.



Chapter 18  

Lord Vâmanadeva, the Dwarf Incarnation

(1) S'rî S'uka said: 'The Eternal Being, He with the conch, the club, the lotus and the disc in His four hands, the yellow dress and the lotus petal eyes, He whose heroic acts are the praise of Brahmâ, consequently manifested Himself from Aditi. (2) With a pure, blackish complexion, the luster of two earrings in the form of sharks and a dazzling lotus face was He the Supreme Personality with the s'rîvatsa mark on His chest, bracelets and armlets, a shining helmet, a belt, a sacred thread and charming ankle bells. (3) With a bunch of sweetness seeking humming bees around an extraordinary beautifully flowergarland and with around His neck the Kaustubha gem, vanquished the Lord with His effulgence the darkness of the house of Kas'yapa. (4) There rose happiness all around, in the waters and in all living beings, over the mountains, the higher worlds, in outer space and on earth; there was a fullness of quality to each season and the cows, the divinities of the fire and the twice-born were all elated at the time. (5) At the hour the moon was in the house of S'ravana [at dvâdas'î, the twelfth day of the bright fortnight of Bhâdra], were, with the birth of the Lord at noon [Abhijit], all the planets and stars, the sun and moon very munificent. (6) At dvâdas'î with the sun over the meridian, o King, was the exact moment, by the learned called Vijayâ, on which the Lord appeared. (7) The noise of the various sounds of the conches, drums, kettledrums, panavas and ânakas [other drums], and other instruments grew into a great tumult. (8) In glee danced the heavenly dancing girls and sang the celestial singers, and the sages, the godly, the fathers of mankind, the ancestors and the gods of the fire pleased with prayers. (9-10) The perfected, the ones of knowledge, the apelike [the warriors of Râma], the ones of superpower, the venerable ones, the ghostly [the keepers of wealth], the demoniac [the guardians], the reciters [the 'brothers of Garuda'] and the best experts [the 'snakes'], and all followers of the demigods, glorifying and praising covered the residence of Aditi with flowers [compare 6.7: 2-8 and 5.5: 21-22]. (11) Aditi upon seeing Him, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who was conceived in happiness and had taken birth from her own womb, was struck with wonder about Him having accepted a body out of His own spiritual potency and also Kas'yapa exclaimed to it in great wonder: 'All glory, all glory' [jaya jaya!].

(12) The transcendental body that the Lord had assumed, manifest with ornaments and weapons, can materially not be seen but had appeared spiritually; it immediately disappeared right then and before their eyes could they assure themselves of Him as a brahmin dwarf [Vâmana], as an actor to the theater whose exploits were all wonderful. (13) Seeing Him a brahmacârî [a celibate student] dwarf made the great rishis very happy, and keeping front with the founding father Kas'yapa, they performed all the ceremonies [like the jâta-karma birthday ceremony]. (14) When He from Brihaspati in ceremony received His sacred thread was for the sungod the Gâyatrî [see note ** 5.7] chanted and offered Kas'yapa Him a belt [of straw, signifying the twiceborn status]. (15) Mother earth offered Him a deerskin, the moongod ruling the forest gave Him a staff, to cover His body gave Aditi Him underwear and from the master of the universe, the ruler of heaven he received an umbrella. (16) The Knower Inside [Brahmâ] gave a waterpot, the seven sages donated kus'a grass and the goddess Sarasvatî gave the Imperishable Soul a string of rudrâksha beads, o King. (17) Thus having received His sacred thread delivered the Ruler of the Yakshas [Kuvera, the treasurer of heaven] a pot for begging alms and provided the chaste mother of the universe Bhavânî [the wife of S'iva] directly the alms.

(18) He as the brahmacârî thus being welcomed by everyone, outshone as the best of them with his brahmin effulgence the entire assembly replete with all the great brahmin sages. (19) After settling for a fire as should completed He with offerings the ceremony of worship doing better than the best brahmins. (20) After He had heard of Bali's glory as a performer of horse-sacrifices under the guidance of the Bhrigu-brahmins, went He to the place where they were performed, imprinting the earth with each step that He as the Complete and Fully Endowed Essence made. (21) At the northern bank of the river Narmadâ in the field of Bhrigukaccha, where all the priests of Bhrigu were performing their rituals for the sake of the so very important horse-sacrifice, saw they Him from a distance alike the rising sun. (22) The priests as well as Bali, the instigator of the jayna, and all assembled there, saw themselves overtaken by Lord Vâmana's splendor, o King, and wondered whether they saw the sun rising, or the god of fire or Sanat-kumâra desiring to attend their ceremony. (23) While the Bhrigus this way with their disciples were in dispute entered the Supreme Lord, Vâmana with in His hands His umbrella, rod and kamandalu filled with water, the arena of the as'vamedha-sacrifice. (24-25) When Vâmana the learned, seemingly human child, that was the Lord, with His munja belt of straw and the sacred thread around Him, His deerskin upper garment and matted locks of hair arrived, seeing the priests of Bhrigu with their disciples, was He who with His brilliance overshadowed them all, appropriately welcomed with them standing up from the fire sacrifice. (26) The instigator of the sacrifice in jubilation of seeing Him so beautiful in each of His lustrous limbs offered Him a seat. (27) With words of welcome was thus the Beauty of the Liberated Souls by Bali Mahârâja worshiped and washed the feet. (28) The pure water of those feet washing away all sins of man took he, aware of the dharma, on his head; it carried him the all-auspicious that even the best of all, Lord S'iva with the moon on top, would carry on his head with devotion and transcendence.

(29) S'rî Bali said: 'May You be welcome, my obeisances unto You o brahmin, what can we do for You; I think You are, o noble one, the direct personification of the austerity of the brahmin sage. (30) Because Your lordship today has arrived at our residence, are all our forefathers satisfied, is now the whole family purified and is this sacrifice complete in its execution! (31) Today, o brahmin son, are my fires of sacrifice properly served according the principles; by the water that washed from Your lotusfeet has the earth been cleansed of all sins and, oh Lord, has she as well by the touch of Your small feet been sanctified. (32) Whatever it is that You desire, o brahmacârî, You may take from me; be it a cow, gold, a furnished residence, palatable food and drink indeed or either a brahmin's daughter, prospering villages, horses, elephants or chariots as well, o best of the worshipable; I think You may have what You want.'



Chapter 19

Lord Vâmanadeva Begs Charity from Bali Mahârâja

(1) S'rî S'uka said: 'When He thus heard the very pleasing words of loyalty to the dharma from the son of Virocana, praised the Supreme Lord him, satisfied as He was, with the following words. (2) The Supreme Lord said: 'The like of what you say, o Lord of Man, is very true, befits the dynasty, is in accord with the dharma and answers to your good name; it proves the Bhrigu-brahmins and the future of your grandfather, the oldest and most peaceful one [Prahlâda]. (3) In this dynasty has indeed no one been a poorminded miser; unto the brahmins none has denied what was promised or forsaken the charity. (4) By the impeccable reputation of Prahlâda, who is like the moon risen in the sky, o ruler, are there in your dynasty no such low-minded kings found who are of refusal [of charity] at the holy places or on the battlefield, declining the prayers of the ones interested. (5) In it [the dynasty] was born Hiranyâksha who wandering this earth alone to conquer its directions with his club couldn't find a hero equal to him. (6) He Himself, Vishnu in person, who [as a boar] appeared before him with the deliverance of the world, considered, after He with great difficulty had defeated him, Himself to his prowess the more victorious [see 3.17-19]! (7) After his brother Hiranyakas'ipu heard how he had been killed, went he very angry for the Lord His abode to put an end to the One who had finished his brother [see 7.3]. (8) Observing closely how he like death personified came after Him with the trident in his hand thought He, the Knower of Time, Lord Vishnu, the Chief of the Mystics: (9) 'Wheresoever I go will this one, like the death of all, go likewise; therefore will I enter his heart as he is only looking without.' (10) This way decided He greatly concerned, invisible in His subtle body, to enter via his breathing through the nostril the body of that enemy of malicious pursuit, o King of the Asuras. (11) He, scouring His abode, found it empty not spotting Him and in rage he cried out loud in all directions over the surface of the earth and in outer space, in the sky, the caves and the oceans; despite of all his power could he, searching for Vishnu, not get to see Him. (12) Not finding Him he said: 'I searched the whole universe for Him who killed my brother, He must have gone to the place from where no one returns.' (13) His enmity so great persisted till his death while normally with physical-minded people the [impermanent] egotistical anger grows because of the predominance of ignorance. (14) Your father, the son of Prahlâda [Virocana], gave on request of the godly, despite of knowing that they had dressed up as brahmins, his lifespan up because of his own affinity with the twiceborn. (15) Your good self also performed to the dharma that was established by the householders, the brahmins, your forefathers, the great heroes and others highly elevated and famous. (16) From such a person, from Your Majesty, I ask a little bit of land; from him who can be of munificent charity I ask three footsteps of land, o Daitya King, to the measure of My foot. (17) There is nothing else I desire from You, o King so generous, o Controller of the Universe, may the one of learning not suffer any want and receive from donations as much as he needs.'

(18) S'rî Bali said: 'Alas o brahmin scion, Your words are welcome to the learned and elderly, but as a boy not intent on taxing for Your self-interest are You not aware of what it all takes. (19) It is for him who propitiates with sweet words me, the one and only master of all the world, not very intelligent to ask for three steps, as I can give You a whole continent! (20) No one who once has approached me deserves it to beg again and therefore, o small brahmacârî, take from me according Your desire whatever suits Your needs.'

(21) The Supreme Lord said: 'All the possible senseobjects taken together that within these three worlds could please one, are incapable of satisfying the man who is not in control with his senses, o King [see also 5.5:4]. (22) He who has not enough with three steps will not even be happy with a whole continent of nine lands or the desire to take hold of all the seven of them. (23) We came to know that Prithu, Gaya and such royal rulers over all the seven continents following this course couldn't reach the end of the fulfillment of their ambitions and desires. (24) With whatever is obtained from what God grants to one's destiny, should one be content; there is no happiness for the one dissatisfied if he is not in control with himself, not even if he has obtained the three worlds [see also 7.6: 3-5, 5.5: 1 and B.G. 6.20-23]. (25) The continuation of material existence [in repeated births and deaths] of the living entity is the cause of the discontent with the regulations of the economy and the desires, but he who is satisfied with what was achieved by destiny, applies for liberation. (26) The effulgence of the brahmin increases in satisfaction with what was obtained by providence but decreases with dissatisfaction like a fire put out with water. (27) For that reason I ask from you so munificent as a benefactor three steps of land as I shall be perfect indeed with just the achievement of the necessary.'

(28) S'rî S'uka said: 'Thus addressed said Bali with a smile: 'As You desired take from me now.', and to give Him the land he took his waterpot. (29) S'ukrâcârya, the greatest expert, who had guessed what Vishnu's plan was then addressed his disciple, the asura lord who was about to deliver the land to Vishnu.

(30) S'rî S'ukrâcârya said: 'This one here is directly the Supreme Lord Vishnu, o son of Virocana, in His full glory born from Kas'yapa and Aditi to operate to the interest of the godly. (31) What you promised is, I think, at variance, you have no idea, it won't do you any good; what you contrived is a great threat for the daityas! (32) He, impersonating as a human child, is the Lord teaching you a lesson; He'll snatch all the material beauty and riches, power and repute away from you to give it to your enemy [Indra, see also 7.10*]. (33) With the three steps He'll seize all the worlds adopting the universal form to which He'll gradually expand and how will you sustain yourselves after having given everything away to Vishnu, you fool! (34) In due order will He with one step take the earth, with the second step occupy the outer space and the ether expanding to His greatest and what is there left then for His third step? (35) You'll perpetually reside in hell I think as indeed happens to a person who cannot fulfill his promise; and you are such a one not capable of being true to the promise you made. (36) The saintly are not in favor of the charity that endangers one's livelihood; the charity, sacrifice, austerity and fruitive activity àre there from one's selfmaintaining. (37) When one divides one's earnings over the five objectives of the religion, one's success, one's upkeep, one's pleasure and one's family, can one be happy in this world and in the next. (38) Listen, in this regard is the truth by the many [Rig-] veda [Bahvrica-s'ruti] prayers for the gods and the creation that I have expressed, o best of the asuras, preceded by the word AUM and of that which has been said that was not headed thus one speaks as the non-eternal [the relative, illusory or untrue, see also B.G 17: 24, 9: 17 and 8: 13]. (39) One should understand that the factual truth of flowers and fruits is there from the tree that is the body, but from a dead tree is there no possibility of that, however untrue that bodily root itself might be [compare B.G. 8: 6]. (40) It suffers no doubt that the same way as with a tree that uprooted falls and dries up, the temporal body immediately is lost and dried out [when one doesn't care for that temporal root *]. (41) That syllable of AUM thus stated is what separates one, frees one and forms the counterpart [to your wealth] and of anything said to its expression does a person become free indeed; anything given in charity to the needy uttering AUM will not be for the satisfaction of the senses or one's self-realization. (42) Therefore be not fully of that drawing of compassion nor fully [committed] to that non-eternal wording; thus no one can say you are of illusion, one who would be reprehensible being dead alive. (43) It is no falsity [you see] nor an abomination to charm a woman, to jest or to marry, to make a living or to protect in times of danger the cows and the brahminical against violence.'

*: The temporal body is there for eternal things. S'rîla Rupa Gosvâmî says: "One who rejects things without knowledge of their relationship to Krishna is incomplete in his renunciation." (Bhakti-rasâmrta-sindhu 1.2.66)  


Chapter 20

Lord Vâmanadeva Covers all Worlds

(1) S'rî S'uka said: 'Bali, the master of the house, thus being advised by the family-priest fell silent for a moment, o King, and addressed after due consideration his guru. (2) S'rî Bali said: 'What Your Greatness spoke of is true: the religious specific for the economy and the sensual pleasure of the householders can never be at variance with the reputation and means of livelihood. (3) How can someone like me be cheating for the sake of money? Especially to a brahmin will I, to the honor of Prahlâda, have to give as I have promised - I 'd be a ordinary cheater! [he became a krpâ-siddha-bhakta *]. (4) There is nothing more irreligious than untruthfulness as thus indeed mother earth has told us: 'To bear this all I can, with the exception though of the utter lie.' (5) I do not fear hellish conditions, nor poverty, nor an ocean of distress, nor a fall from my position, nor death as much as I fear to cheat a man of God. (6) If whatever one has in this world must be left behind when one has died, what then in renunciation is the purpose of such wealth and riches; must not by them the man of God be pleased? (7) Heartening the good of all people have saints like Dadhîci, S'ibi and other great servants of God, forsaken the most difficult up to their very lives; what objection would there be against donating the land? (8) From persons like the daitya kings who, willing to sacrifice their lives, enjoyed this world o brahmin, takes time way all that is owned but not the reputation achieved in this world. (9) O holy brahmin, those who with ease won by battle indeed being unafraid to fight or lose their lives, not as easy give away the accumulated faithful and devoted to the one who settles the holy ground [compare B.G. 17: 20]. (10) To the munificent, the ones famed for their mercy, does it work to their advantage to fall to poverty satisfying the needs of the destitute, not to mention satisfying knowers of the spiritual like your good self; therefore I'll give this celibate One whatever that He wants. (11) All of you fully aware of the vedic way of offering, are with the different attributes very respectfully of worship unto Him the Enjoyer of the Sacrifice; whether He is Vishnu coming to bless or there to put me down, I will give Him, o sage, whatever land He so desires. (12) Not even when He deceiving me, fearfully posing as a brahmin boy, unjustly kills me shall I, against Him as an enemy, retaliate. (13) If this one is really the one hailed in the scriptures, will He, from his enduring glory, never want to give it up, whether He after killing me takes all the land or will lay down [in my heart] slain by me.'

(14) S'rî S'uka said: 'Thus was he, the high, divinely inspired character fixed on truthfulness who was such a disrespectful and obstinate disciple, cursed by the guru with [see B.G. 10: 10]: (15) 'So cocksure considering yourself learned have you become an impudent ignoramus in disregard of us breaking with my injunctions; such a one will soon be bereft of all his opulence!' (16) Cursed this way by his own guru gave he, who had not abandoned the truthfulness, the great personality Vâmanadeva, after due worship preceded by an offering of water, all his land. (17) Vindhyâvali, Bali's wife, who at that moment arrived there decorated with a necklace of pearls, commanded a golden waterpot to be brought full of water to wash the Lord His feet. (18) He, the worshiper of the most auspicious and beautiful pair of feet, personally in great jubilation washed them and took the water on his head that confers liberation upon the whole universe. (19) That moment was a shower of flowers released by all the gods, the singers of heaven, the knowledgeable, the self-realized and the venerable ones, who very pleased hailed the rectitude of the asura king his action [compare 5.18: 12]. (20) By the thousands began the residents of heaven, the apelike and the ones of superpower to sing declaring: 'What Bali, this great personality, has done was a most difficult thing, since he gave the most learned, that ally of the gods [Vishnu], the three worlds!'

(21) Then the vâmana-form of the Unlimited Lord started to expand most wondrous to the entire expanse of the threefold of matter: over all the land, the sky, in each direction, the planetary systems, outer space and the seas and oceans, where the birds and the beasts, the humans, the gods and the saints lived. (22) In this body of Him as the Almighty could Bali together with all the priests, teachers of example and seekers of truth see the whole three-modal universe complete with the action and reaction of the elements, the senses, the sense objects and the mind, intelligence and false ego with all the living entities. (23) The lower world he saw under the soles of His feet, upon the feet he saw then the surface of the land, the mountains he saw on the calves of the virât-purusha, the aerial beings on the knees of the gigantic form and on His thighs he saw the different sorts of demigods. (24) In His garment he recognized the evening twilight, in His private parts he saw the founding fathers, in His hips saw he himself with his spokesmen; His navel was the whole of the sky, at His waist there were the seven seas and in the upper part of Urukrama [the 'far-stepping' Lord] saw he the stellar signs. (25-29) In the heart, o best, was the dharma; to the chest of Murâri the most pleasing and truthful and next in the mind he saw the moon; the goddess with always a lotus in her hands was there on His bosom also and at His neck there were all the vedic sound vibrations together. All the godly under Indra were to His arms, to His ears there were all the directions; the luminaries formed the top of His head, His hair the clouds, the whisper of wind His nostrils, the sun His eyes and His mouth he saw as the fire. In His speech there were the hymns of praise, in His tongue he saw the god of water; the warnings and regulations were His eyebrows, the eyelids the night and day, on the Supreme Person His forehead he saw anger, and greed he saw in His lips. Lust was His touch, o King, water His semen, the back of Him irreligion, in the sacrifices His marvels, death in His shadows, in His smiles the illusory energy and in His bodily hairs he saw the herbs and plants. With the rivers for His veins, the stones for His nails, His intelligence as Lord Brahmâ, the demigods and the sages saw Bali in the senses of His body all the moving and stationary living entities [see also 2.1, 2.6, 3.12: 37-47 and B.G. 11]. (30-31) When all the asuras observed this complete of the worlds and all souls, received they, o King, this with lamentation: the Sudarsana disc with its unbearable heat and the bow S'ârnga resounding like the thunder, the loud sound of His conchshell the Pâncajanya and the great force of Vishnu's club the Kaumodakî, His sword the Vidyâdhara, the shield with the hundred moons and also His quiver of arrows named Akshayasâyaka. (32-33) His associates with Sunanda and the other leaders and local divinities began to offer prayers unto Him, who stood out by His brilliant helmet, bracelets, fish-shaped earrings, His s'rîvatsa-mark, best of all jewels, belt, yellow dress and flower garland with bees in them. O King, the Supreme Lord Urukrama covered with one footstep the whole surface of Bali's world, with His body the sky and with His arms the directions. (34) The second step stretched out to all the heavenly places and for the third indeed not a farthing remained as Lord Urukrama with His stepping now reached farther than farther beyond the worlds of penance of the great and the devoted [see also 5.17: 1].

 * : Prabhupâda: 'There are two kinds of highly elevated devotees, called sâdhana-siddha and krpâ-siddha. Sâdhana-siddha refers to one who has become a devotee by regular execution of the regulative principles mentioned in the sastras, as ordered and directed by the spiritual master. If one regularly executes such devotional service, he will certainly attain perfection in due course of time. But there are other devotees, who may not have undergone all the required details of devotional service but who, by the special mercy of guru and Krishna - the spiritual master and the Supreme Personality of Godhead - have immediately attained the perfection of pure devotional service. '


Chapter 21

Bali Mahârâja Arrested by the Lord

(1) S'rî S'uka said: 'He who appeared on the lotus [Brahmâ] saw from the truthful ['satyaloka'] how by the effulgence of the Lord His toenails, the light of his own abode had been covered and had waned and thus, o god of man, approached he Him with vowed brahmacârîs like the sages headed by Marîci and Sanandana and the other Kumâras. (2-3) Fully expert in the Vedas and their supplements, the regulations and the abstinence; well versed in logic, history, didactics, the classical stories, the vedic corollaries and more and together with others of whom, ignited by the winds of yoga and the fire of spiritual knowledge, all karmic impurity had ended, offered they who by simply meditating had attained the abode of the self-born One their prayers. The One who originated from the lotus thereafter paid homage worshiping Lord Vishnu His lotusfeet with oblations of water and thus was He, by the reverence in devotion of the most celebrated vedic authority - who in person had appeared on the lotus that had sprouted from His navel - pleased by them [see also 3.8]. (4) That water from Lord Brahmâ's kamandalu, pure from washing the feet of Lord Urukrama, o King of the Humans, so became the [celestial] Svardhunî of which the water flowing down from outer space purifies the three worlds as does the fame of the Supreme Lord. (5) The ones with Brahmâ, the predominating deities of the different worlds of the greatest respect for their master, with all their followers collected the necessities for worshiping the All-powerful Soul who had returned to His original size. (6-7) With water for the feet and for the guests, flowergarlands, all sorts of pulp to smear, incense and lamps all fragrant, fried rice, whole grains, fruits, roots and sprouts, offered they their respects exclaiming 'Jaya, jaya' to the glory of His actions, thereby dancing, singing and playing instruments with the vibrations of conchshells and kettledrums beaten. (8) Jâmbavân, the king of the apes [also: bears], enraptured sounding the bugle heralded everywhere in each direction the great festival. (9) The asuras who saw that all the land of their master, so determined in the sacrifice, was lost on the simple plea of three steps of land were very angry: (10) 'Isn't this brahmin-friend actually Vishnu Himself, who as the greatest of all cheaters assuming the form of a twice-born one willfully is trying to deceive us in the interest of the godly? (11) By Him, the enemy, in the form of a brahmacârî mendicant, has all that our master possesses been taken away because he, vowed to the ritual, gave up the clout. (12) Ever sworn to the truth is he, well-up to the yajña and always sympathetic with the brahminical, personally incapable of telling a lie. (13) It is therefore our duty to our master to kill this one here!', and so took all the asura followers of Bali up a wide range of weapons. (14) Aggravated by their angry nature having taken up tridents and lances rushed they all together forward against the will of Bali, o King. (15) Seeing the daitya soldiers coming forward, o ruler, made the associates of Vishnu smile as they forbade them taking up their arms. (16-17) Nanda and Sunanda waged as well as did Jaya, Vijaya, Prabala, Bala, Kumuda, Kumudâksha, Vishvaksena, Patattrirât [Garuda], Jayanta, S'rutadeva, Pushpadanta and Sâtvata; all together they as strong as a thousand elephants killed the asura soldiers.

(18) After Bali saw his men being killed by the Original Personality His associates, remembered he the curse of S'ukrâcârya [8.20: 15] and forbade he them despite of their anger: (19) 'O Vipracitti, o Râhu, o Nemi, please listen, don't fight, stop with this, now is not the time to settle this. (20) That Master of All Living Beings, that Person of Control deciding about happiness and distress, can by human effort not be superseded, o daityas. (21) Before time worked in our favor and brought us the victory over the godly, but today does the time, which indeed is the Supreme Lord in existence, work against us. (22) Not by any power, counsel, cleverness, fortifications, spells or herbs, diplomacy or other means or likewise schemes is but a single person able to surpass the time factor. (23) All these followers of Vishnu who enjoyed the wealth by providence were by you in great numbers defeated and today indeed are they cheering in defeating us in the fight [see B.G. 18: 13-15]. (24) We shall gain victory over them all to the favor of providence and therefore must we now await the time that is to our advantage.

(25) S'rî S'uka said: 'After the daitya and dânava leaders heard what their master told them entered they the lower regions, o King, driven there by the associates of Vishnu. (26) Thereafter, on the day when to the sacrifice the soma is taken [soma-pâna], was Bali, to the desire of the master [Lord Vishnu], by the son of Târksya, the king of the birds [Garuda] arrested who bound him with the ropes of Varuna. (27) From all directions rose everywhere in the upper and lower worlds a great roar of disappointment because of the apprehension of the asura leader by Vishnu the mightiest around. (28) Bereft of his luster remained he, so magnanimous and celebrated o King, determined as ever. Unto him bound thus by Varuna's ropes then spoke the Supreme Lord Vâmana: (29) 'Three steps of land have you given Me, o asura; with two I occupied the complete of all the earth's surface and now you owe me for the third one. (30) As far as the sun, the moon and the stars can shed their light and as far as the clouds are pouring rain, do you own all the land covered. (31) With one step only I covered the entire sphere of the earth [bhûrloka], with My body occupying the sky in all directions and with the second step I took before your eyes for Myself the higher worlds that were in your possession. (32) Unable to give what you promised is it the rule that you yourself now stay out of it; and getting out it is as your guru would like [see also 6.17: 28]. (33) Anyone cheating a mendicant in falling short to give what was promised, falls down the more, far removed from the higher life ruminating fruitlessly. (34) Now that I've been fooled by you saying 'this I promise and that I'm so proud of' will you therefore as a consequence of this offensive result have to live out of it all for some of years.  



Chapter 22

 Bali Mahârâja Surrenders His Life

 (1) S'rî S'uka said: 'Thus with the Supreme Lord having run into trouble, o King, was Bali, the asura king, despite of his awkward position an unperturbed soul who replied positively with the following words. (2) S'rî Bali said: 'If, o Lord of the Praise, You of Your good Self think that my words of promise proved false, o Greatest of the Gods, then let me, to be true to the matter and not to have turned to cheating, offer You my head to put the third step of Your lotusfeet on. (3) I am not as afraid of residing in hell or being bound in fetters, of hard to endure distress nor certainly of a lack of funds as much as I have grown afraid of the punishment of defamation that I have to suffer now from Your Lordship [compare B.G. 2:34 and 6.17: 28]. (4) I consider it the most exalted of men to be punished by the worshipable Lord, it is something which is not offered by either one's mother, father, brother or friends indeed [see 10.14: 8]. (5) You verily are, of the asuras that we are, indirectly the supreme guru as You, destroying the false prestige of the many of us that are blinded by material comforts, gave the vision. (6-7) Many of those who outside the wisdom fixed their intelligence upon You by constant enmity, achieved the perfection which, as is known, equals that of the yogîs. Therefore am I, though I'm punished by Your Lordship so full of wonders, not ashamed nor suffering very much from thus being bound by Varuna's ropes. (8) My grandfather [Prahlâda] as appreciated by Your devotees is famous as a saint everywhere for having You as the Supreme Shelter when he suffered all the nasty things his own father invented in simply going against You [see 7.5]. (9) What for this body which gives it up in the end, what of all those profiteers who passing as relatives snatch away the inheritance, what for a wife who only drags one more into the material and what to a person certain of death is the use of wasting his life with the homely [see also 5.5: 8 and B.G. 18.66]? (10) As said was he, my grandfather the great devotee so wise of service, afraid of the people [around him] indeed unerring, of all fear decisively being surrendered to the immovable refuge of Your Lordship's lotus feet, o Best of the Best who killed the demoniac of us. (11) Therefore do I, also hostile with the soul by providence with force brought in and bereft of all the wealth, take to the shelter of You; it is the temporary of the material comfort, that for the duration of one's life faces one with finality and death [see 7.5: 30], which the poorminded person cannot understand.' 

(12) S'rî S'uka said: 'When he thus discussed his position, manifested Prahlâda, the favorite of the Lord [see 7.9], himself there o best of the Kuru's, like the moon does rising in the sky. (13) There saw he, the spear of Indra, his grandfather, the best of all the auspicious, present in all his glory: with eyes as wide as lotuspetals, beautifully built, dressed in saffron, with a darkskinned splendor and long arms. (14) Bound in the ropes of Varuna could he not as before offer him the respect befitting and so offered he with eyes full of tears bashfully bending his face downwards his obeisances. (15) When he, the great devotee, saw the Great Master, the Lord, sitting there with followers like Sunanda in worship, drew he near bowing his head to the ground and paid he, moved to tears of jubilation, so with his head his respects. (16) S'rî Prahlâda said: 'Your Lordship who granted this so very great position of Indra has today taken it back, which I consider something very beautiful. You have done him, bereft of his opulence, a great favor because that was what stood in the way of his selfrealization. (17) Indeed even the most learned and self-controlled gets bewildered by it in his search for the goal of life; You I owe my obeisances, You the Controller of the Universe, Lord Narâyâna, the overseer of all indeed.' 

(18) S'rî S'uka said: 'So that Prahlâda who stood there with folded hands could hear it, o King, spoke the Most Powerful One of the Gold within [Brahmâ] to the Slayer of Madhu [the Lord]. (19) His chaste wife [though] who saw her husband arrested, heavily distraught of fear offered with folded hands her obeisances before Upendra [Lord Vâmana] and addressed Him, o King, with her face down: (20) S'rî Vindhyâvali said: 'For the sake of Your pastimes have You created this threefold universe, You are the proprietor but the badminded and others, o Controller, have ignorantly imposing themselves settled for the ownership; what can they, the shameless, offer You, the Supreme Creator, Master and Annihilator [compare B.G. 16: 13-15 and 18: 61]? 

(21) Lord Brahmâ said: 'O Goodness of all Living Beings, o Controller of Each, o God of Gods, o All-pervading One, please release this one now bereft of everything - someone like him does not deserve it to be punished. (22) He gave You back all the lands, all the worlds - with a firm resolve has unhesitating whatever he achieved by his piety all been offered to You; all he possessed, even his body. (23) At Your feet truthful in mind offered he water, grasses and flower-buds. How can such a worshiper despite of his offerings so exalted, despite of his worship, offering You the three worlds, deserve the pain given; not duplicitous he deserves the highest destination [B.G. 9.26]! 

(24) The Supreme Lord said: 'O Brahmâ, I show him My mercy and take his riches away who is of false prestige; such a dull-witted one derides all the world! (25) As it, not independent because of the karma, in different species of life is caught in the material world, longs the living entity for the high purpose of being human [see also B.G. 13: 22]. (26) He who with his birth, activities, age, physique, education, achievement, wealth and other opulences has not hardened [became arrogant], should as such be considered as being favored by Me. (27) Things as a high birth are the cause of arrogance and stupefaction, together are they for the supreme benefit of life impediments of which my devotee does not get bewildered [see also 4.8-12]. (28) This Bali, the most devoted and famous among the dânavas and daityas, has already surpassed the insurmountable material energy; although bereft he's not bewildered. (29-30) Out of all riches, fallen from his superior position, reviled and arrested by his enemies, deserted by his family and relatives, having suffered all kinds of uncommon hardship, rebuked and cursed by his guru, did he, fixed in his vow, not forsake the truthful, the dharma that I so deceitfully for the gift spoke about; true to his word this one never gave it up. (31) By Me he has achieved a place that even for the demigods is most difficult to obtain; during the time of Sâvarni Manu [see 8.13: 10 & 11] will he become the Indra fully protected by Me. (32) For the time being he may go and live in Sutala [see 5.24: 18] the place set by Vis'vakarmâ where to the inhabitants it by My special vigilance has been made impossible to suffer psychically or physically any weariness, exhaustion or defeat. (33) O Spear of Indra, o Mahârâja now better go o ruler, may there, surrounded by your folks, be all auspiciousness for you in Sutala, so desirable to even the ones of heaven. (34) None of the local controllers there will be able to overrule you, not to mention the common man, as I with my cakra will take care of all the daityas transgressing your rule. (35) I'll protect you, your associates and your property, in every respect always staying near to you, o great hero, you'll be able to see Me there! (36) By observing My excellence will in that place the stupidity of the asura mentality of the daityas and dânavas be vanquished immediately.'

* "One who seeks Your compassion and thus tolerates all kinds of adverse conditions due to the karma of his past deeds, who engages always in Your devotional service with his mind, words and body, and who always offers obeisances to You is certainly a bona fide candidate for liberation." (Bhag. 10.14: 8 )


Chapter 23

The Demigods Regain the Heavenly Places

(1) S'rî S'uka said: 'After the great and exalted soul [of Bali], who carried the approval of all the saints, thus was addressed by the Original, Oldest Person, spoke he full of devotion with folded hands, with tears in his eyes and a faltering voice. (2) S'rî Bali said: 'How wonderful it is that, in just attempting to offer my respect to the regulative principles as observed by pure devotees, for a fallen asura like me, endowed with Your causeless mercy, has become possible what before here could not be achieved by the godly or the leaders of the world!'

(3) S'rî S'uka said: 'Saying this to the Lord offered he Him, Lord Brahmâ and Lord S'iva his obeisances and entered Bali released thus satisfied with his associates next Sutala. (4) And so did the Supreme Lord, having returned to king Indra his supremacy over the heavenly worlds in fulfilling Aditi's desire [see 8.16: 11-17] rule the entire Universe. (5) Prahlâda who in his ecstatic devotion had overheard how his descendant, his grandson Bali, had achieved His mercy and was released from the bondage, then spoke as follows. (6) S'rî Prahlâda said: 'With this benediction, which could not be achieved by Lord Brahmâ, by the Goddess of Fortune or by Lord S'iva - not to mention others -, have You for us asuras become the Protector Against All Misery, the One whose feet are worshiped by those who are revered throughout the universe! (7) Lord Brahmâ and others, o Shelter of All, enjoy Your grace by the taste of the honey of service to the lotus of Your feet; how could we, guilty escapists born from envy, achieve the position that is granted by the merciful glance of Your Lordship? (8) O how wonderful are all the activities of Your unlimited spiritual potency: in the pastimes are You, expanding in service, the One that created all the worlds, o Lord pervading all and equal to all; to be undivided is the nature of Your love for the devotees as You are by nature the desire tree [see B.G. 9.29].'

(9) The Supreme Lord said: 'My son Prahlâda, all good to you, please go and enjoy the place Sutala rejoicing in happiness with your grandson, relatives and friends! (10) Situated there shall you unto Me be of the constant vision of Me holding the club and seeing Me thus will the bondage of fruitive action by the great delight be vanquished.'

(11-12) S'rî S'uka said: 'Prahlâda and Bali, clear of intelligence, accepted with folded hands in consent the order of the Supreme Lord, o King, and after circumambulating the Original Person and Master of all the leading asuras, offered they, by Him permitted to enter the great place of Sutala, their obeisances. (13) The Lord thereafter said to S'ukrâcârya who sat nearby Him, Nârâyana, in a group of priests [brahma, hotâ, udgâtâ and adhvaryu] in the assembly of brahmin followers: (14) 'O brahmin, please describe the karmic flaws of your disciple performing the sacrifices as those karmic troubles [see 8.20: 15] will be neutralized when overseen by the brahmins.'

(15) S'rî S'ukra said: 'What would be the wrong of him who in all respects was of worship unto Your Lordship who art the master of all fruitive action; You are the Controller and Enjoyer of all sacrifices [see also 4.31: 14, 1.2: 13 and B.G. 5: 25]. (16) To the time and place, the recipient and the paraphernalia there can be weaknesses with the mantras and following the principles, but it is all made faultless by regularly with one another repeating [in song and lecture] the glories of Your Lordship [*]. (17) O Supreme One, because You ordered him was Bali without faults though and must I follow to Your order as it is the most auspicious and supreme for each person to fold one's hands to Your regular order.'

(18) S'rî S'uka said: 'Thus to the order of the Lord offering his obeisances set Usanâ [S'ukrâcârya, see 4.1: 45] the mightiest himself together with the best of the brahmins to the task of compensating for the limp sacrifice that Bali made to the Lord. (19) O King, this way from Bali having begged the land delivered the Lord as Vâmana to His godbrother the great Indra the places of the gods that had been taken by the others. (20-21) The master of the founding fathers Lord Brahmâ, together with the godly, the saints, the forefathers, each and all of his sons ['Lord S'iva and Kârttikeya'], the Manus and all the great leaders like Daksha, Bhrigu and Angirâ, accepted for the pleasure of Kas'yapa and Aditi [as the parents of Vâmana] and for the good of all living beings and worlds, Lord Vâmana as the supreme leader of all local authorities. (22-23) Of the Veda, of all gods, of all religion, of all fame, of all opulence, of all auspiciousness, of all vows the most expert of elevating to the higher life planned they at the time for Upendra as the master for all purposes and that made all living beings extremely happy, o ruler of man. (24) Indra thereafter keeping but Lord Vâmana before him on the high path of the divine ['the heavenly vehicle'] thus took with the approval of Lord Brahmâ all the local leaders to the heavenly world. (25) Upon regaining the three worlds enjoyed Indra thus under the protection of Vâmanadeva the opulence and supremacy he was used to and had he nothing to fear from the asuras. (26-27) Brahmâ, each and all of his sons, Bhrigu and the others, the munis, o King and the forefathers, all living beings, the perfected and the angels ['who travel the sky'] and such, glorified all the uncommon and wonderful, praiseworthy deeds together of Lord Vishnu and Aditi as well and departed then to each their own world.

(28) Hearing, o pleasure of the dynasty, of all these activities of Lord Urukrama ['of the great steps'] I described to you, does wipe away all results of sin. (29) To the measure of the glories of Him so great in His steps may a person go and count all the atoms of the planet earth; what can a mortal bound to be born again or a mortal of rebirth either say to that which the great saint [knowing Vasishthha Muni] could foresee in the mantras he knew of the Original Person [here Lord Râma, see also B.G. 10: 42 and **]? (30) Anyone who hears and keeps on hearing about this God worshiped by the gods, this Lord Hari whose works throughout all His incarnations are equally wonderful, will attain the supreme destination. (31) Each should know in doing this performing for the gods, the forefathers or either for the pleasure of human association, that wherever and whenever it is described, that will bring one all happiness.

* Often quoted in this context is what S'rî Caitanya Mahâprabhu has recommended:

harer nâma harer nâma
harer nâmaiva kevalam
kalau nâsty eva nâsty eva
nâsty eva gatir anyathâ

"In this age of quarrel and hypocrisy the only means of deliverance is chanting the holy name of the Lord. There is no other way. There is no other way. There is no other way." (Brhan-nâradîya Purâna 38.126)

Also is often quoted here a part of verse 11.5:32: 'In the age of Kali, intelligent persons perform congregational chanting to worship the incarnation of Godhead who constantly sings the names of Krishna.'

** Vasishthha Muni has given a mantra about Lord Vishnu: 'na te visnor jâyamâno na jâto mahimnah pâram anantam âpa': 'no one can estimate the extent of the uncommonly glorious activities of Lord Vishnu'.  


Chapter 24

Matsya, the Lord's Fish Incarnation

(1) The honorable king said: 'O powerful one, I would like to hear the story about that first incarnation of the Lord so wonderful in His deeds in which He is simply understood by the illusory form of a fish [or Matsya, see also 2.7: 12, 5.18: 24-28 and 6.9: 23]. (2-3) For what purpose accepted the Controller the form of a fish, a form that is certainly not the most favorable one in the world; to operate in that slow mode of matter must be as hard as the life of someone under the laws of karma! O mighty sage, please tell us as good as you can everything about the ways of Lord Uttamas'loka ['the One glorified'], as to hear about Him is what makes the whole world happy [B.G. 4.7].'

(4) S'rî Sûta Gosvâmî said: "Thus being questioned by Vishnurâta ['Vishnu-sent'] told the so mighty son of Vyâsadeva him everything there was to know about the deeds of Vishnu in the form of a fish. (5) S'rî S'uka said: 'For the cows, the brahmins, the enlightened, the devotees and even the vedic literatures accepts the Supreme Controller in His incarnations forms to safeguard the dharma and the purpose of life. (6) Lower or higher among the living entities is the Controller [Himself], just like the air moving here and there, not higher or lower with His assuming; willing by the modes He is beyond the modes. (7) In the past day of Brahmâ [kalpa], at its end was there consequently an inundation and were all the worlds existing submerged in the ocean, o King. (8) When it was his time wanted Brahmâ to lie down feeling sleepy and emanated from his mouth most powerfully the vedic knowledge that by Hayagrîva nearby was taken in [see 2.7: 11 and 5.18: 6]. (9) Understanding that dânava-rule of action assumed the Supreme Lord Hari, the Controller, of Hayagrîva the form of a fish. (1o) To that was there some saintly king named Satyavrata, a great personality and devotee of Lord Nârâyana, who performed penances and austerities only subsisting on water. (11) In the present great day of Brahmâ was he someone who as a son of the sungod became celebrated as S'râddhadeva and by Lord Hari was entrusted the position of Manu [see 6.6: 40 and 8.13: 1]. (12) When he one day sat at the Kritamâlâ river, performing oblations of water, manifested in his palm full of water some kind of a small fish itself. (13) Satyavrata, the master of Dravidades'a, o son of Bharata, threw the little fish with the handful of water into the river. (14) Appealing to the greatly compassionate King said it: ' The riverwater is very scary, o protector of the poor, why do you throw Me, so little, before the avaricious aquatics, o King?'

(15) Very pleased to show it his personal favor decided he, without knowing he was holding the form of Matsya, to give the fish protection. (16) The great ruler hearing its pitiable words mercifully put it in the water of a jug and took it home. (17) But extending in the water of that pot could it one day not find itself comfortable anymore and said it thus to the great leader: (18) 'In this jug I have it difficult, I cannot live in a place like this, please consider a more spacious residence where I can live with pleasure.'

(19) He next taking it out placed it in a large well, but thrown in there grew it within a second out to the length of three cubits [2.10 meters]. (20) [It said:] 'This tank isn't suitable for Me to live happily in, please give Me, who took to your shelter, a place much bigger!'

(21) The king removing it from there threw it, o King, in a lake that was immediately covered by its body which immediately grew into a gigantic fish. (22) 'This water you put Me in does not accommodate Me, o King, I'm a large aquatic, better put Me somehow in an expanse of water that suits Me more permanently'.

(23) Thus requested brought he Matsya to a reservoir far more extending and so threw he the giant into the ocean. (24) Thrown there it said to the king: 'In this place there are dangerous aquatics that all too powerful will eat Me, o hero, you shouldn't throw me in here therefore!'

(25) Thus perplexed by the fish addressing him with sweet words said he: 'Who are You in this fish-form bewildering us? (26) I've never seen or heard of such a zealous aquatic like You are: Your Lordship has in a day expanded to hundreds of miles! (27) You having assumed the form of a marine animal, must be the Supreme Lord in person, the inexhaustible Lord Nârâyana there to show Your mercy to all living entities. (28) I offer You, the Most Excellent Personality of Maintenance, Creation and Destruction my obeisances; unto surrendered devotees like us are You indeed the Supreme Master, the Highest Destination, o Almighty One. (29) All the pastimes of Your incarnations are the cause of the welfare of all living beings; I would like to know for what purpose Your Lordship has assumed this form. (30) Never can the worship of the lotus feet of You, Lotuspetal-eyed One, run futile: You are the friend, the dearmost, the original soul namely of everyone, of all divinities differently embodied and spiritually fixed and unto us indeed have You now manifested that so very wonderful body.'

(31) S'rî S'uka said: 'Speaking there like that did the Master of the Universe, who as the one love for the devotees at the end of the yuga for enjoying His pastimes in the water of inundation had assumed the form of a fish, address that master of man, Satyavrata. (32) The Supreme Lord said: 'On the seventh day from today indeed will from then on this threefold creation, o subduer of the enemies, of heaven, earth and sky be flooded by the ocean of destruction. (33) When the three worlds are submerged in the waters of annihilation, can you at that time count on the appearance of a very big boat by Me sent to you. (34-35) For that time collect all higher and lower kinds of herbs and seeds and with the [wisdom of the] seven sages surround yourself with all kinds of beings getting on that huge boat to travel undaunted the ocean of inundation with no illumination but the effulgence of the rishis. (36) Attach with the great serpent [Vâsuki] to My horn close to you that boat being tossed about by the very powerful wind. (37) I will keep in touch traveling with you for as long as the night of Brahmâ, my best one, all together with the sages on the boat in the waters. (38) Searching within the heart finding it explained will you, with My favor, be fully cognizant of the glories and the Supreme Brahman of My evident renown [see also B.G. 5:16, 10: 11].'

(39) After instructing the king like this disappeared the Lord from there and awaited he the time that the Master of the Senses spoke to him about. (40) Spreading kus'a grass with its tips to the east sat the saintly king facing northwards to meditate upon the feet of the Lord in the form of a fish. (41) With huge incessantly showering clouds saw he how next the ocean overflowed at all sides inundating the earth more and more. (42) Remembering what the Lord had said saw he a boat coming near which he, taking the herbs and creepers with him, boarded with the learned of rule. (43) The wise very pleased said to him: 'O King meditate upon Kes'ava ['the Lord with the black curls'] as He indeed will save us from the impending danger and will settle things right.'

(44) He being meditated by the king thereafter appeared in the great ocean as a countless yojanas big golden fish with one horn. (45) Pleased to fasten the boat onto that horn using the great serpent for a rope the way before the Lord had advised, satisfied he the Killer of Madhu. (46) The king said: 'From time immemorial has ignorance about the knowledge of the soul been the root cause of the material bondage so full of suffering and hardship; by the Supreme will, as favored by the teacher of example, can in liberation [in devotional service see 7.5: 23-24] He, our Supreme Lord and Spiritual Master, be attained. (47) The one born, unwise accepts as a result of his karma different bodies in his desire to be happy [see 4.29 and B.G. 4: 5, 6: 45 and 16: 20], but his profitseeking plans give distress only; by rendering service is that cleared up and is the hard knot of the mind of untruth cut with Him, our guru, in the core of the heart. (48) By that service is, just like a piece of ore in touch with fire is purified, a person able to give up all the impurity that he has of ignorance and can he revive his original identity [vocation or varna]; let Him as such the Inexhaustible One, be our Supreme Controller and Guru of Guru's. (49) Others together or individually or even the demigods and the gurus cannot even match one ten-thousandth of Your grace; let me surrender unto Him, the Controller, unto You, that shelter. (50) The way someone not seeing accepts the lead of a blind man does one similarly unwise take a person lacking in knowledge for a guru; Your Lordship appearing like the sun as the Seer of All That Can Be Seen are accepted as the guru of us, I, the enlightened person who knows his destination. (51) By what a common man instructs an ordinary person is he of surrender to the impermanent as the goal of life and to an ignorance that cannot be overcome, but by the eternal uncontaminated knowledge of You achieves a person very soon his constitutional position. (52) You are of all worlds the dearmost well-wisher, the controller, original soul and spiritual master, the spiritual knowledge, the fulfillment of all desires and the One situated in the heart who by people of a dim intelligence that are caught in desires cannot be known. (53) May by my surrendering to the exalted One that You are, the Greatest of All worshiped by the gods, the Supreme Controller for understanding the real purpose of life; by the light of Your meaningful words of instruction, the knots fixed in the heart be cut through, o Supreme Lord, please tell me where I belong [see also B.G. 4: 34].'

(54) S'rî S'uka said: 'Thus being addressed explained the Supreme Lord, the Original Person who had assumed the form of Matsya, unto the king the Absolute Truth as they were moving in the great ocean. (55) Of the holy king Satyavrata then were the old stories, the purânas; the vedic instructions, the samhitâs; the transcendental, the divya; the analytic, the sânkhya; the linking of oneself to the divine with a unified [Krishna- or natural] consciousness, the yoga; the practical of living it, the krya; and all the mysteries of selfrealizatioin in all its forms. (56) He, sitting in the boat with the sages, heard the traditional lore of the science of selfrealization beyond doubt explained by the Supreme Lord. (57) When the last inundation had ended delivered the Lord unto Brahmâ, in order to reawaken him, all the vedic records after having put an end to the incorporeal [also: asura] of Hayagrîva. (58) King Satyavrata enlightened in the spiritual knowledge and its practical wisdom became in this period indeed Vaivasvata Manu by the mercy of Lord Vishnu.

(59) By hearing the description of this great story of Satyavrata the saintly king and the Matsya-incarnation with the one horn is one delivered from all reactions of sin. (60) Whomever glorifies daily the incarnation of the Lord will have success with all his ambitions and will return home, back to Godhead. (61) I offer my obeisances unto Him the Cause of All Causes, who posing as a great fish, for Satyavrata's sake explained the vedic knowledge and put an end to the Daitya-like unmanifest in giving back the vedic records that were stolen from the mouths of Lord Brahmâ who lay deep asleep in the waters of the flood.'


Thus ends the eighth Canto of the S'rîmad Bhâgavatam named 'Withdrawal of the Cosmic Creations'.


Translation: Anand Aadhar Prabhu, http://bhagavata.org/c/8/AnandAadhar.html

Production: the Filognostic Association of The Order of Time, with special thanks to Sakhya Devi Dasi for proofreading and correcting the manuscript. http://theorderoftime.com/info/guests-friends.html

The sourcetexts, illustrations and music to this translation one can find following the links from: http://bhagavata.org/ 

For this original translation next to the Sanskrit dictionary a one-volume printed copy has been used with an extensive commentary by A.C. Bhaktivedânta Swami Prabhupâda. ISBN: o-91277-27-7 . See the S'rîmad Bhâgavatam treasury: http://bhagavata.org/treasury/links.html for links to other sites concerning the subject.

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