Chapter first Vasudevsutam devam kans chanur mardanam | devaki parmanandam krisham vande jagad gurum || narayanam namaskrity naram chaiv narottamam | devi saraswatim chaiv tato jay mundirayet || yah swanu bhavam-khilk shruti sarmekam dhyatm dipmati titirshatamtamoadam | sansarinam karunaaah puran guhyam tam vyas sunumupayami gurum muninam || Obesisance to the supreme being
We meditate to that paramatma (supreme being) who is the eternal truth; and who creates the universe, holds it and causes pralaya. He is the light independence and from of knowledge in himself. He causes illusions even for the most knowledgeous ones. Yet, he is far beyond all the illusions. In shrimad bhagwad, created by the great sage vyasaji, there is a description of the supreme religion, which is free from desire. There is also a description of paramatmatatva ( the metaphysical entity) that every pious people with holy spirit must know about. Shrimad bhagwad is a delicious and relishing fruit of vedas. Because of a touch of shri shukacharya's lips, it is impregnated with blissful nectar. So, as long as there is life in his body, a devotee keeps on relishing this nectar of divine scripture. It is easily available right here on the earth itself.
Performance of gyan-yagya
In the beginning of the kalyug, sages like shaunak et al organized a vast gyan yagga in the holy region of the naimisharanya. The purpose of the yagya was the benefit of the common people and it was to last for a millennium. To quench the spiritual curiosity of the sages, sutji, the orator of puranas, also arrived there. Felicitating him, the sages asked sutji, " o great sage, by the grace of vyasji, you have learned all the purans, history, religion etc. You also know about all the other subjects as well. So kindly narrate the tale which could surely benefit the common people so that they too can experience the real spiritual joy."
Sutji narrates puran
Pleased by the curiosity of the sages, sutji said, " o great sages, it is extremely auspicious to talk about lord krishna. Only by discussing about the god, can the mind of the people be freed from illusions. Love then begins to emerge in it for god and it begins to detach itself from physical comfort and experience the blissful joy.
Lord vishnu - the source of whole creation
Driven by the desire, the adipurush (primitive being) narayan took the help of his prakriti (nature's female creational force) and generated himself in chaturbhuj (four-armed) from. And from his navel appeared lord brahma, the creator. That form of god was full of pure truth and from the parts of his body, all the lokas (worlds) got extension. Metaphysicists saw the god with innumerable heads, eyes, arms and legs. That endless, eternal supreme being was the source of all the avatars (incarnations) and from the parts of his body was created gods, human beings, birds animals and all other creatures. From the ages, twenty-four incarnations of that supreme being, like sanakadi kumar, varah, narad, nar-narayana, kapil, dattatreya, rishabhdev, prithu, matsya, kachchhap, dhanvantari, mohini, narsinh, vaman, parshu ram, vyas shri rama, balarama, krishna and buddha have appeared to guard the people and to remove the burden from the earth, and to salve their devotees and gentlemen. Sutji says, " blessed are those who have unconditional love for lord vasudev, the lord of the universe. Such people don't fall again and again, in the cycles of life and death. Bhagwad mahapuran is such a scripture in which the great sage vedvyas describes the holy and pious tales of the god. For the benefit of the people, vedvyas compiled this great scripture taking extracts of all the vedas, and other ancient treatises. Reading, hearing or reflecting on which, the human being inclines to devotion and finds salvation.
Creation and compilation of puran
Shaunkji asked, " when that tale was compiled in scriptural form, that was later on related by shukdevji. Where was it created? For what purpose and by whose inspiration, that scripture was compiled and how did shukdevji, who was congenital wandered, came to study this scripture, and how he came to see the king parikshit? What discussion took place between them?" what sutji narrated to the sages, forms the main body of the great scripture shrimad bhagwad.-
Vedvyas the partial incarnation
Vedvyasji had appeared in dwapar yuga. He was the son of maharshi parashar and satyawati then known as matsyagandha. Vyasji was a partial incarnation of the god. Vedvyasji effected a division of vedas, created puranas conceptualized history (mahabharata-which was actually jotted down by none other than lord ganesha.) He also established different faculties for teaching his disciples. Yet staying in his hermitage at the banks of the river saraswati, he was not satisfied with his performance. Something was still writhing within his heart to come out. So he was feelling upset and was unable to find a reason for his dejection. Just then, devarshi narad arrived there, and saw that mahatma vyas was upset. As nothing was concealed from naradji, he told him the reasons for his moroseness.
Naradji's advice to vedvyas
Naradji told him that though he had created great epics, yet all of them lack a devotional description of god. That was why his soul was still writhing. Naradji also suggested him to describe the glory of hari, or neither his voice, nor his creation would ever get pure. Devarshi narad then narrated the tale of god and the glory of his devotees to vyasji and said, "o great soul, look at the effect of devotion and company of the pious people that i have become devarshi from an ordinary son of a maid" after the departure of naradji, vyasji sat in meditation and experienced the illusion that caught the life. He also experienced devotion. Thus, his fresh experience led vedvyasaji to create this great scripture. The virtues of god had such a strong attraction that,lured by them, even self-indulgent shukdevi ran back from the jungles to his father and prayed to let him read that scripture.
Harerguna kshiptmati bhagwan vad rayanih | adhyagan mhridakhyanam tityam vishnu jan priyah || parinishthitoapi nairguny uttam shlok leelaya | griheet yeta rajarshe akhyanam yad dhitvan || Because of their link with lord shri krishna, sutji narrates the stories of pamdavas, their heavenly departure, coronation of parikshit, his all round victories etc. As per their sequences in mahabharat. He also narrates the episodes of ashwatthama the son of guru drona, worship of god by kunti etc. And migration of lord krishna to dwaraka.
King parikshit encounters kaliyuga
During his regime, the king parikshit got untoward reports that kaliyug had entered within the limits of his otherwise peaceful kingdom. With a huge army, parikshit at once setout to the spot where kaliyug had arrived. On the way he saw the religion and the earth in the guises of a bull and a cow respectively. The cow was in death-like condition, while the bull was somehow dragging himself on one leg only as its three legs were broken. He also saw that a king-like, but impolite man was beating them ruthlessly with a stick. From a distance, the king parikshit shouted at the man, "you scoundrel, why are you beating such helpless creatures in my kingdom?" saying this, the king parikshit drew his sword to kill the evil kali. But the clever kali fell at the feet of the king. For kali was now in the king's refuge, he did not kill him, but ordered that being an assistant of irreligious, he should at once leave the kingdom. Kali then asked, " o king wherever i go, i find you ready to kill me with you bow and arrow. You tell me where should i go and where should i live?" the king allowed kali to live in five things-- gambling, drinking of wine, company of women, violence and the gold. Since then, kali i.e. The dispute has had a continuos association with these five things. Hence, anybody disirous of self-improvement must avoid these five things which are governed by kali.
King parikshit dishonours sage shamik
One day, king parikshit went on a hunting excursion. Till noon, he could not find a game. He was feeling restless because of hunger, thirst and fatigue. Searching water and shelter the king reached the hermitage of the sage shamik. Shamik was in deep meditation so he did not welcome the king. For the first time the king parikshit grew angry with a brahmin. As a revenge and to show his anger he hanged a dead snake around the sage's neck. Maharshi shamik's son shringi was also an effluent person. When he came to know about his father's insult by the king parikshit, he cursed him that on the seventh day from that moment, takshak, and the naga would bite the king for his violation of kingly glory. There in the capital, king parikshit realized his mistake and felt sorry for his deed. But he welcomed the curse. Transferring the kingdom to his son janamejay, king parikshit reached the banks of the river ganges and sat there on a fast unto death. Very soon all the great sages and kings began to throng there. King parikshit welcomed them and begged them to recite the plays of god for him. He also asked what a creature ought to do always, and what were the duties of those who face an imminent death.
At that moment the ever-wandering, indifferent-natured sage shukdevji also arrived there. He was self indulgent and free from the bondages of ashrams (phases of life). He was then only sixteen years old but appeared quite radiant and graceful.
Tatra bhavad bhagvan vias putro, yadrichchhaya gamarmano anoyeshah | alaskhylingo nijlabhtushto vritashch balairavadhoot veshah || shyamam sadayichy vayoang lakshmya, strinam mano gyam ruchir smiten | pratyatthitaste manuyah swasnemtah, tatlakshanagya api gurh varch sam ||
Shukdevji was an honorable figure even for the sages who had gathered there as gust themselves. King parikshit formally welcomed and worshiped shukdevji and offered him a comfortable seat. King parikshit then prayed to him, " o sage, lord krishna is definitely pleased with me. That's why he has sent a great sage like you to salve a wretched person like me. So, o mahatma (the great soul), kindly remove my doubts and guide me regarding the duties of a human-being? What should one acquire and what should one drop?"
Contents of the second chapter
Shri shukdevji says 'o king, ordinary people literally waste their lives in petty matters like useless discussions, worry, sleep and feeding themselves. Those who wish to conquer their fears, o parikshit, must listen to, recite and remember the tales that depict the plays of lord shri krishna. The human birth can be successful only if by any means one has a remembrance of god in his last moments. All the scriptures also dictate the same doctrine:
Tasmad bharat sarvatma bhagwanishvase harih || shrotavyah kirti tavyashch smartav yashche chchha tamayam | etavan shankhy yogabhyam swadhrm parinishthaya | janm labhah parah punsamante narayan smritih || etannnirvi dyamana namichchh tamkutobhayam | yoginam nripanirnitam harer na manukirtanam || One should remember the huge, macro as well as micro form of the omnipresent god, and must not long for the physical objects. Shukdevji then revealed the kinds of mukti (salvation) as told in vedas and said: 'o king, there is no other way as beneficial as the means to achieve the affectionate devotion of lord vasudev. Hence, every human being must in all circumstances, use his might in listening to, reciting and remembering the name of lord shrihari.
Tasmat sarvatmana rajan harih sarvatr sarvada | shrotavyah kirtitavyashch smartanyo bhagwannrinam|| Though as per the interest, nature, and the desires of different people, and pleased by their worship, many gods oblige their devotees within their powers. But materialization of mundane desires of the innocent people has disastrous consequences. Learned people, therefore, whether they have or haven't any desire, worship purushottam god with fervent devotion.
Akamah sarukamo va mokshkam udardhih | tiuren bhakti yogen yajet purusham param ||
Creation of the world
The king parikshit felt extreme pleasure when shukdevji satisfied his queries. He then began to feel submerged in the stream of bhagwad katha (tale of the god). His selfish worries regarding his own benefits existed no more. He insisted again: o brahmin, now kindly explains how the god creates the universe out of illusions. How does he preserve the universe? How does he destroy it? At the instance of the king, shukdevji contemplated on the god and presented the dialogue of brahma and narad that illustrates the maitreya nature of the creation. Brahamaji had preached narad that because of paramatma's (supreme being) desire of creation, this universe into existence from the primitive elements. Lord brahma also told that after creating the universe god himself entered it. Hence, the whole universe is a manifestation of god's infinite appearance. His virtues can not be counted. But, to show his presence, narayan takes various incarnations and appears on earth time and again. Merely, by listening to various beautiful and enticing plays of god, the mind, voice, thoughts and the soul of a human being become holy.
Pravishthah karn ran dhren swanam bhav saroruham | dhunoti shamalam krishn salilasy yatha sharat || Parikshit again put forth many new queries regarding creation. Shukdevji related the events like emergence of brahamji on a lotus that cropped up from the navel of lord vishnu, sighting of lord vishnu's abode by lord brahma, preaching of bhagwad to lord brahma by lord vishnu and dashlakshan (ten indents) of bhagwad etc.
Ath sargovisargashch sthanam poshnamutayah | manvantare shanukatha nirodho muktirashrayah || dashamasy vishuddayartham navanamim lakshanam | The third chapter
Vidur warns dhritarashtra
Shri shukdevji says, "o parikshit, vidurji deserted his homely comforts and luxuries because he had to protest against injustice." when, after losing in the game of dice, the pandavas successfully passed the period of their exile and stay in guise, and were denied even then of their rightful share in the kingdom, vidurji was summoned for consultations. Vidurji had then suggested dhritrashtra thus "o king, if you wish to save your family, you please abandon duryodhan who is an embodiment of all the evils. He is jealous of none other than lord krishna. That is why you are getting dull day by day and loosing your radiance." these words infuriated duryodhan so much so that he began to abusively insult vidurji. But, vidurji didn't mind his words even though he felt seriously hurt at heart. Accepting his insult as a play of god, vidurji silently left hastinapur and went on a pilgrimage.
Gam paryatan yedhyaviviktvritih | sadaplutoadhah shayanoavadhutah || alakshitah svairavdhut vesho | vratani chere haritoshanani || Vidur comes to know about kaurava's destruction
Travelling through various pilgrimage places, vidurji reached prabhas region where he got the news of total destruction of the kaurvas. The news deeply moved him. In search of solace, he continued to wander from one place of pilgrimage to another place. During his wandering, when he reached the banks of the river yamuna, vidurji met uddhavji the selfless and calm server of god. They both met affectionately and enquired about the wellbeing of each other. They were both reflecting on the plays of lord krishna and feeling extreme joy. Vidurji had also got the news of departure of lord krishna to his abode and destruction of yadavas by fierce infightings. So he was extremely depressed also. Uddhavji told him that lord krishna himself had bestowed his grace on him and preached bhagwad gyan, which he had once preached to lord brahma. By the dictate of lord, uddhavji was going to badrikasharma. So he suggested vidurji to see maitreya for the metaphysical knowledge, for before departing to his abode, lord krishna had dictated him (maitreya) to preach bhagwad to vidurji. As per the suggestion, vidurji reached haridwar and saw the sage maitrey on the banks of the river ganges.
Vidur meets maitrey
The pious vidurji respectfully greeted the sage maitreya and said, "o lord, the people in this world perform various actions with a desire to have pleasure. But neither do they get pleasure nor is their sorrow removed. Their sorrow increases instead. What is good then, is this context?
Sukmay karmani karoti loke | na taih sukmam vanyaduparaman va || vindetmuyas tat oevam dukham | yadatr yuktam bhagwan vadennam || O great among the sages, kindly preach me the way to peace, following which, one meets the god who then takes abode in the heart of his devotee and instills in him the santan gyan (eternal knowledge) that lets the devotee feel the direct presence of him.
Tat sadhu varyadish vartm sham nah, samradhito bhagwan yen punsam || hridsthito yachchhati bhakti pute, gyanam sata tvadhi gamam puranam || Thus asked with devotion by vidurji, mahatma maitreya illuminated the glory of god and other events like creation of universe by illusion and origin of colossus body, and said: no one can measure the eternal glory of god and the illusions created by him. In the beginning god created the primitive elements and the flaws associated with them. Then he created the colossus universe and entered it.
Description of ten ways creation by maitrey
By the inspiration of god and because of imbalance in pious virtues, creation of mahattatva (the soul) was the first (mahattatva the soul). From mahattatva (the soul) originates ahankaar (the ego) which generates five primitive elements (the earth, the fire, the air, the water and the ether), sense organs and motor organs. Group of tanmatras (the subtle forms of matter) that generate the five major elements, is the third creation. Creation of organs that have the power of sensing and moving is the fourth creation. Creation of the mind that governs the senses and was appeared from ego, is the fifth creation. Appearance of mind and the illusions that misguide it, is the sixth creation. The above mentioned six creations are known as natural creations also. Creatures other than these six have no power of knowledge, they can experience the touch only. These creatures like trees and other vegetables are known as the seventh creation. Eighth creation is of the birds and animals. Ninth creation is of those human beings who seek pleasure in action and luxuries which are infact the cause of sorrow. Tenth creation is of the great sages like sanatkumar etc. Thus at the beginning of the kalp, god the creator used rajogunas (royal virtues) to create himself in the form of the universe. Maitreyaji says, " this whole creation is a manifestation of the plays of god. That omnipotent god created the universe just by his wish and for the sake of his play. For the extension of the creation, lord brahma wished and create four sons-sanak, sanandan, sanatan and sanatkumar. Thereafter, with a desire to create world, lord brahma ordered them to produce population. But lord brahma's sons had no interest in wordily affairs. Lord brahma therefore cursed them to remain in children's form for ever. Then from lord brahma's eyebrows appeared a baby, blue-red in color. The baby appeared in eleven forms and began to cry immediately after his arrival. Lord brahma consoled him! "don't cry my son, you will be named as rundra." so the eleven forms of the baby came to be known as eleven rundras. Rundranis (female rundra) were also created. From tamas prakriti (malignant nature) rundra created the ghosts, the spooks, the spectres, the devils, lamias etc. Afraid by their appearances, lord brahma prayed rudra, " o mahadev, please stop creating such formidable organisms. They are already enough in number. Now, you please undertake penance to comfort all the creatures." thereafter, lord brahma created ten more sons-marichi, bhrigu, kratu, pulah, pulatsya, angira, atri, vashishtha, daksh and narad. Nine out of them took permission for the creation of their offsprings, but narad accepted celibacy and resolved to preach bhagwad bhakti (devotion for god.) For the continuation of the creation, lord himself appeared as a female from the left hand and as a male from the right hand of lord brahma. Those males and females forms were named manu and shatarupa respectively. They were the first in the whole creation to copulate and bring about sexual reproduction. They begot two sons- priyvrat and uttanapad, and three daughters- devhuti, akuti and prasuti. As the primitive king, manu was the fosterer of the earth. By then a demon named hiranyaksh abducted the earth and hid it under the abyssimal depth of the ocean, causing worries for lord brahma. Instantly lord appeared himself in varah (boar) incarnation and to do away with lord brahma's worries, he at once entered the depth of the ocean and rescued the earth on his long teeth. On the way the lord had an encounter with hiranyaksh and killed the demon with his wheel. Maitreya: says hiranyaksh represented anger. Those who don't want to discharge their duties, but still wish to live with all the comforts are abductors of others wealth. Such people, who continuously interfere with equal distribution of wealth, must be condemned as the demons. On the origin of the demons, maitreya cryptic said, once diti, the wife maharshi kashyap, expressed her desire to conceive. Maharshi kashyap tried to disuade her that time was not suitable for an auspicious job like conception. But diti kept on insisting and forced her husband shamelessly to assist her in the process. Consequently she conceived during the dusk. Kashyapji cautioned her "you will give birth to the demons." and with the arrival of the demons in diti's womb, nature began to manifest herself adversely. There was terror and famine all around, and darkness prevailed even during day, with stars appearing in the sky. Frightened by these manifestations, the gods asked lord brahma about the reason of all those disturbances. Lord brahma informed them that two dread demons were to take birth from diti. Those two demons, told lord brahma, were the two gatekeepers-- jay-vijay, of the lord's abode. Once, sanakadi kumar had gone to vaikunthdham (the abode of god) to see god but those two gatekeepers didn't let them in. Sanakadi tried thrice, but only to be stymied every time by those two gatekeepers at the gates. Hence, sanakadi kumar cursed them to take birth on earth as demons. Those two gatekeepers of the god's abode jay-vijay appeared first as hiranyakashipu and hiranyaksha, second time as ravan and kumbhkuran and third time as duntvakra and shishupal.
Continuing the process of creation, brahma produced sage kardam from his shadow and asked him to observe penance first. Thereafter, brahma dictated kardam to acquire physical strength and the strength of his sense and undertake the process of creating his offsprings. As per his father's dictate, kardam observed severe penance. Pleased by his selfless penance, god asked kardam to seek a boon. Karadam said, "lord all the things in the world are ephemeral; only you're eternal. It will be an abuse of the intelligence to beg for some ephemeral thing from an eternal god." overwhelmed by kardam's plain words, god said in benediction 'on the third day from now you will be married to devhuti, the daughter of manu. Nine daughters will take birth in your home. I will myself appear as your son' saying this, god disappeared. As per the boon kardam got married to devhuti, the daughter of manu. Their formal marriage was the first of it's kind in the creation, adopted as a religiously accepted means for continuation of life. Donating their daughter devhuti to the sage kardam, manu and shatarupa returned to their abode. As mata parvati used to serve lord shiva, similarly devhuti served kardam with dedication. Once the sage kardam noticed that devhuti has aged and shriveled by harsh living. Pleased by her dedication, kardam asked her to seek a boon. Devhuti only begged that there should never be any lethargy in any service on her part towards him. Pleased again by her pure feelings kardam provided her with heavenly luxuries. Together they enjoyed those luxuries for many years during which nine daughters were born to them. All those daughters symbolised the navadha bhakti (nine kinds of devotion) and were married to nine prajapatis like marichi etc. Thus kala was married to marichi, anusuya to atri, shraddha to angira, havirbhu to pulatsya, gati to pulah, shanti to atharva, krita to kratu, khyati to bhrigu and arundhati was married to the sage vashishtha.
Married life of kardam and devhuti is a lesson for all the civilized couples of the world. Abiding to the limits of human behaviour in married life is a guarantee for the wellbeing of the couple. Without religion and morality, a man is not more than an animal. Kardam and devhuti followed strict rules to welcome the arrival of eternal god. Thus, in due time, god appeared as their son. With his arrival the gods showered flowers. Lord brahma alongwith his sons welcomed the god and said 'o pious daughter of manu, shri hari has arrived as your son. He will destroy the lust, and illusion and will preach his own philosophy. He will be known in the world as kapil.
Esh manvite garbh pravishtah kaiv mardanah | avidya sansha ya granthi chhitva gamvicharishyati || ayam siddh ganadhishah shankhyacharyoh susammatah | loke kapil itya khyam gantate kirti vardhanah || Worshiping the lord kapil, sage kardam said 'o lord, by your grace, i'm free now from all the three obligations and all my desires are now granted.' with these words, kardam took to asceticism.
Lord Kapil preaches metaphysical knowledge to devhuti
Mata devhuti prayed lord kapil to preach the way for the benefaction of the soul, which is attached with ephimeral body. Lord said 'o mother, adhayatma yoga (spiritual conjugation) is the main way of benefaction for the human beings. With devotion for me, soul becomes self-knowing. Total devotion of the soul in my form and virtues and listening my tales, unmistakably show devotion. This leads to an inseparable rapport between my devotee and me. This is the greatest benefaction for the humans.
Etavanev lokeasmin punsam nishrey sodayah | tivren bhakti yogen manomaryarpitam sthiram ||
The world is like an ocean of death and i cause salvation of those who give up all their lusts and recite my name with fervent devotion. This whole nature has different forms, but it is ephimeral and constantly changing. It has twenty-four divisions-five major elements (ether, air, fire, water and earth); five souls (sound, touch, appearance, fluid and smell); five sense organs (eyes, nose, ears, tongue and skin); five motor organs (mouth, hands, legs, penis and bones) and mind, intelligence, conscience and ego. That omnipresent purush (an epithet of god) voluntarily accepted prakriti (an epithet for female force). From her various virtues, prakriti created various creatures that corresponded exactly to the virtues that caused their creation. In the mess, the mantle that covered the knowledge also caused illusion for the jivatma (microcosm of omnipotent spirit) which thus forgot his original appearance. The creature then began to assume the nature as a reflection of his own appearance-- though she is different from and opposite to him-- and himself as the doer. Such an ego regarding ones duties leads to his entanglement in the cycles of life and death. Differentiating between the prakriti and purush and experiencing their real appearances respectively, introspecting sages have had a sight of the supreme being through their conscience and achieve the unparrlel brahma pada. Lord kapil says, "through the union of the sperm and the ovum, the human body appears as a lump in the womb. His body forms completely within six months. Sense organs develop thereafter. Twenty fifth element, the soul, then enters the human body. With that, the body begins to experience hunger and thirst. Then suffering with many kinds of desires, the microcosm prays me to save him from the tortures of staying in the womb. I present him with a sight of me in his heart. It then takes birth because of my grace. But as soon as it appears on the earh the human being begins to forget me. Still, i present him with my sight for two to three months more, when he begins to laugh. But people arooound him think that he is laughing for his mother. Nobody reminds him of me in his childhood. Youth of a human being passes in futile activities. In old age, his organs begin to fail and a human being finds himself unable to recite my name. Thus, the whole life of a human being just passes in the illusion of 'i', 'me' and 'my' and he reaches his last stage, and begins to realize his mistake. But then it is usually too late for him to do anything for his benefaction. If he has done any good deed in life, he may meet fortune, but without a devotion for me, no one can be happy. Only when the soul comes in my refuge, he gets free from the bondages of life and death. Maitre says, o vidur, thereafter devhuti concentrated her mind in the divine appearance of shri hari, as presented by lord kapil. At once, she got free from all the sufferings. She got a sight of god in her conscience and her body transformed into a holy river. The place where mata devhuti received salvation is still known as siddhi pada. It is a renowned place of pilgrimage.