3:17 AM

The Essence of Puranas – Brahmanda Purana -1

Posted by gopalakrishna



























The Essence of Puranas – Brahmanda Purana





Invocation

Namonamah  Kshaye Srishtey sthitow Satwamayaayacha,

Namo Rajastamah  Satwatrirupaaya  Swayabhuvey,

Jitam Bhagavataa tena Harinaa Lokadhaarina/

Ajena Vishwa Rupena Nirgunena Gunatmana/

Brahmaanam Loka kartaaram Sarvajnamaparaajitam,

Prabhum Bhuta Bhavishyasya Saampratasya cha Sampratim/

(Our Salutations to You Swayambhu the Self Materialised who assumes Satva Guna at the time of Devastation, Creation and Preservation of the Universe; yet, You too assume the Tri-Gunas of Rajas-Tamas-Satva Gunas. Our homage to Bhagavan Srihari the Unborn, All-Pervasive, Trigunatmika yet Nirguna devoid of any features. Indeed, You are the Creator of the Lokas, the Omni-Scient and the Almighty who is totally seized of the Past, Present and the Future)

Purusha and Prakriti, Maha Tatwa and Kshetrajna, Brahmanda and Tri Murtis

Sincerely greeting Veda Vyasa the Vishnu Swarupa and the Illustrious Scripter of Maha Puranas, Suta Muni addressed a congregation of Rishis at Nimaisharanya (Naimisha Forest) where the rim of Dharma Chakra or the wheel of Virtue fell down crashed indicating the heralding of the Kali Yuga; an alternative explanation was that Bhagavan Vishnu destroyed the Evil Forces in a Nimisha or a Minute of Time. The Muni  paid his obeisances to  Paramatma and stated:

Dhanyam Yashasyamaayushyam Swargeym Shatrughna mevacha,

Keertanam Sthirakeertinaam Sarveshaam Punyakarmanaam/

Yasmaat Kalpaayatey Kalpah Samagram Shuchaye Shuchih,

Tasmai Hiranya garbhaaya Purushaayeshwaraayacha/

Ajaaya Prathamaayaiva Varishthaaya  Prajaasrujey,

Brahmaney Loka tantraaya Namaskrutya Swayambhuvey/  

Mahadaadyam Viseshaantam Savairupyam salakshanam,

Pancha Pramaanam Shatshraantam Purushaadhishtitam cha yat/

Asamyayat pravakshyaami Bhutasargamanuttama,

Avyaktam Kaaranam yattannityam Sadasaatmakam/

Pradhaanam Prakritim chaiva Yamaahusttatwachintikaah,

Gandha rupa rasair heenam shabdasparsha vivarjitam/

Jagadyonim Maha Bhutam Param Brahmasanaatanam,

Vigraham Sarvabhutaa -naamavyaktamabhavaktila/

Anaadyantamajam Sukshmam Trigunam Prabhavaapyayam,

Asampratikamajneyam Brahma yatsadamatparam/

Tasyaatmanaa Sarvamidam Vyaapta -maseettamoyam,

Gunasaamey Tadaa tasmannibhayaanta tamomayam/

Sarvakaaley Pradhaanasya Kshetrajnaadhishtitasya vai/

Gunabhaavadbhaasamaaney Maha Tatwam babhuva ha/

( We are indeed fortunate that we are going to hear the narration of this Brahmanda Purana. Whoso ever follows this narration would ensure that the Vamsha of the person concerned would achieve fame, longevity, destruction of enemies and Swarga.  It was that Paramatma Brahma, the Pradhaana Purusheshwara, the Swayambhu or Self Born,  the Undefinable and the Everlasting- materialised Prakriti  of ‘Sat-Asat’ or of Real-Falsity nature with Pancha-Pramaanaas like Pratyaksha, Anumaana, Agama, Kevalaadi Proofs and Shat-Shraanta or Six Types of Vehicles; this Prakriti is devoid of Gandha-Rasa-Sparsha or Smell-Taste-Touch; Indeed that Prakriti is the Cause of Creation;  the Sanatana or the Most Ancient, the Everlasting Form of the Universe; the Unknown, All-Pervading, Sarva Bhutaanaam, Sukshmam or the Minutest, Trigunam of Satwa-Rajas-Taamasa. As there was no illumination before Srishti, Prakriti was of Tamo Guna but as the thought of Srishti Illumination emerged and that indeed was the Kshetrajna, named Maha Tatwa; It was that  MahaTatwa that inspired                                      Satwa Guna and  Maha Srishti!).

The transformation of Maha Purusha and his ‘alter-ego’ Prakriti ie the Kshetrajna and Maha Tatwa led to the Brahmanda or the Golden Egg in which sat the Four Faced Hiranya Garbha-Brahma, the Creator. Within the Golden Egg, are situated Seven Lokas, Prithivi, Seven Samudras and Seven Dwipas, Massive Mountains and Thousands of Rivers. Within the Golden Egg are the Sun, Moon, Stars, Planets, Wind and Lokaloka. While there is an enclosure of water as huge as ten times more around the Golden Egg, there is ten times more of Tejas or Radiance surrounding the water. Ten times larger than the enclosure of Illumination is of Vayu (Wind). Around the the enclosure of Wind is that of Ether (Akaasha or the Sky) which is ten times more of Wind. Even enveloping the enclosure of  ‘Nabhas’ or Ether is that of  ‘Bhutadi’ (Ahamkara or Ego) and that too ten times larger. Yet another enclosure to Bhutadi is ten times more of Nabhas , but that of ‘Mahat’ is equally bigger to Bhutadi. Filnally, Mahat is surrounded by ‘Pradhana’ or the Supreme. Thus there are seven enclosures around the Cosmic Egg viz. water, radiance, wind, ether, Bhutadi, Mahat and the Pradhana the Unknown; all these ‘Avaranaas’ cling to each other


3    Maha Pralaya , Vishnu as Yajna Varaha and Process of Creation by Brahma
To start with, Pradhana Purusha manifested the two characteristics of  Satwa Guna, one to sustain the Universe and another to dissolve it; then followed the Rajo Guna coming to play an equal role:

Shasvataah Paramaa Guhyaah Sarvatmaan Shariranah,

Satwam Vishnu Rajo Brahma Tamo Rudrah Prajapatih/

Yeta yeva Trayoloka Yeta yeva Trayo Gunaah,

Yeta yeva Trayo Veda Yeta yeva Trayognaha/

Parasparaanvayaa hyotey Parasparanuvrataah,

Parasparena vartintey prerayanti parasparam/

(The Trinities are Everlasing and mysterious; their Physiques and Souls are manifested; Satwa Guna is represented by Vishnu, Rajo Guna by Brahma and Tamo Guna by Rudra. – They alone are the Three Lokas, Three Gunas, Three Vedas and Three Agnis viz. Ahavaniya, Garhapatya and Dakshina. These Entities have mutual inter-association, mutual attachment, mutual help, mutual union and mutual inter-dependence). Thus the Self-born Pradhana Purusha has Three Swarupas as Brahma, Vishnu and Maheswara. Some times as Brahma he creates the Lokas, some times as Vishnu he sustains and some other times as Rudra he demolishes.

Brahma kamala patraahshah Kaalo jaatyanjanaprabhah,

Purushah Pundareekaaksho Rupena Paramaatmanah/

Ekadhaa sa Dwidhaa chaiva Tridhaacha Bahudhaa Punah,

Yogeshwara shariraani karoti vikarochita/

Naanaakruti kriyaarupaamaashrayanti Swaleelaya,

Tridhaa yadurtatey Lokey tasmaatriguna muchyatey/

(Paramatma displays some times as Brahma with lotus petal like eyes, Kaala Deva Rudra has the sparkle of his eyes always and Vishnu has lotus eyes. Like wise Paramatma has a single Rupa, some times as  two, or three or innumerable; the Supreme Lord makes physical variations of sizes, shapes, activities, complexions and features; it is a pastime for Bhavan and came to be called a Trigunatmika.

At the Kalpantara Pralaya or the Great Extermination of the Universe,  the whole World got submerged in deep water  as ‘Ekarnava’ or a single sheet of Water and the ‘Sthaavara Jangamaas’ or the Mobile and Immobile Beings were all submerged, then Para Brahma called Narayana, who was of ‘Sahasraaksha, Sahasrapaat, Sahasra Shirsha’ or of thousand eyes, feet and heads, was resting on the huge surface of water:

Apo Naara iti proktaa Apo vai Nara Sunavah,

Ayanam tasya taah proktaastena Narayanah smritah/

( ‘Apah’ denotes ‘Nara’ or water;  ‘Naaraas’ or the children or waves of ‘Nara’; and Nara is a Being or Entity ; Nara plus Ayana is Narayana as he who rests on Samsara or  water) . Narayana sought to locate Prithvi (Earth) deep down in water and assumed Varaahaavatara or the Incarnation of a Huge Boar like a mountain with ten yojanas of girth and hundred yojanas of height (one Yojana being 12 km), with a body of cloud-like complexion and extreme radiance of many Lightnings, Fire and Sun; making thunderous and high-pitched sounds and having broad shoulders, sharp fangs, white teeth and pointed nails. The YajnaVaraha is described as follows:

Diksha Samaapteeshtim damshtrtah kratu danto Juhuumukhah,

Agni jihvo darbha romaa Brahma seersho Mahatapaah/

Veda skandho havirgandhirhavyakavyaadi vegavaan,

Praagvamsha kaayo Dyutimaan naanaa Dikshaabhiranvitah/

Dakshinaa hridayo Yogi Shraddhaa satwa -mayo Vibhuh,

Upaakarma ruchischaiva pravagyaavarta bhushanah/

Naanaachhandogati patho guhyopanishadaasanah,

Maayaapatnisahaayo vai Giri shringamivocchrayah/

Aho raatrekshana dharo Vedanga shriti bhushanah,

Aajya gandhah struvastundah Samaghosa swano Mahaan/

Satyadharma  mayah Shrimaan Karma vikrama saskrutah,

Prayaschitta nakho ghorah Pashujaanurmahaamakhah/

Udgaadaantro Homa Lingah Phala beeja mahoushadheeh,

Vaadyantaraatmasatrasya naasmikaasomashonitah/

( The Yagna Varaha took up the diksha or Initiation of the Kratu or the Sacifice with his ‘damshtras’ or curved fangs and teeth holding the ‘Juhu’or the crescent shaped wooden ladle with which to make the offerings of ghee; Agni was his tongue to lap up the Sacrifice; Darbha grasses were the Varaha’s hairs; Brahma one of the Chief of ‘Ritviks’ or the Brahmanas performing the Sacrifice was comparable to Varaha Murti’s Head; Vedaas were his shoulders; his body-aroma was his ‘havis’ or the Sacrificial Offering; the Havya and Kavya or the offerings to Devas and Pitru Devas respectively consituted his body-speedwith which the Sacrificial Offerings were made; the ‘Praagvamsha’ or the East-bound Chamber in which the guests at the Sacrifice were seated was Varaha’s kaaya or the spacious physique; He was highly radiant and capable of accepting several Dikshas like the one being performed; He was the Master of Yoga full of Shraddha and Satwa or Sincerity and Resolve; he had Upakarma or extra study of Vedas and an expert in ‘Pragvargya’ or the Introductory  Ceremony to  the long-duration Soma Sacrifice; his ‘Avarta Bhushana’ or the ornamental and circular curls of the boar chest; the representation of various ‘Chaandas’ or Poetic Meters as his pathway; Upanishads as his seat; his able asistance is Maya as his spouse; his height was that  of a mountain peak; his eyes representing Sun and moon and day and night; Vedangas and Shritis were his ear-ornaments; his body smell was that of ‘Ajya’ or the Ghee offering; Sruva or the sacrificial ladle is like his snout or muzzle; his voice was like the high pitch of the chanting of Saama Veda hymns; ‘Udgata’ or the elongated Sama Veda hymn was like his entrail or intestines; homa was his Linga or Symbol; fruits and seeds are his testicles; the altar of sacrifice was his heart; He was an Epitome of Satya Dharma and Soma Rasa was his own blood.) Thus Yajna Varaha Deva,  as Nasika Soma sonita, dived deep into waters and lifted up Earth, allocated waters into Oceans and Rivers on Earth, materialised Mountains to stabilise the waters thus allocated, broadly created Sapta Dwipas on Earth, materialised  Bhurbhuva -ssuraadi Lokas and their inhabitants on the same pattern as in the previous Kalpas before the Great Pralaya.

Brahma then meditated for long before taking up Srishti and Avidya or Ignorance came to emerge in Five Forms viz.

Tamo Moho Maha Mohastaamisrodhyandha Sanjnitah/

(The five Knots of Avidya were Tamas, Moha, Maha Moha, Tamisra and Andha Misra viz. Darkness, Delusion, Great Delusion, Pitch Darkness and Blind Darkness)

Brahma Deva  desired to intitiate Creation and meditated; as there was darkness all around, he made the First‘Abhavika Srishti’ of aimless and causual nature and the result was of  purposeless vegetation around mountains and trees; the thought of the Second ‘Tiryaksrota’ or a Zig-zag flow (srota is a flow and tiryak is wavery) flashed in his mind and the persons produced were ignorant and egoistic. Brahma then meditated further and the result was of ‘Satvika’ or ‘Urthwa Srota Srishti’, the Third in the Series of Creation; the Superior and Divine Beings  thus created were highly virtuous, ever-happy, truthful and full of Satva Guna and they were Devas, whose Chief Mentor was Brahma himself. This Srishti was no doubt very satisfactory and Brahma was contented but he felt that there should also be the Fourth Creation of an ‘Arvaak (Abhimuka) Srotas’ titled ‘Sadhaka Sarga’ with a mix of Satvika and Rajasika nature with  Tamasika features as well; the end products were Siddhas, Gandharva-like Beings and Manushyas. The Fifth Creation is titled Anugraha (Blessings) Sarga comprising four divisions viz. Viparyaya (Loss of Awareness),  Shakti (Strength), Siddha (Accomplishment) and Mukhya (Principal); in other words  Persons in these categories have little consciouness to begin with , gain strength, reach the Goal and then join the blessed category but they all are in the cycle of births and deaths. The Sixth Category related to the Bhutaadi Srishti of Creatures and Elements.

Put it differently: Para Brahma’s first Creation was that of ‘Mahat’or The Primary Principle; the Second was that of Tanmatras called Bhuta Sarga; the Third was Vaikarika Creation or Aindria Srishti relevant to Sense Organs as Prakruta creations evolved by full consciousness and fore-knowledge; the Fourth Category was Mukhya Sarga related to the Creation of Immobiles; the Fifth was of Tiryak Srota of animals and lower species; the Sixth  was Urthva Srota of Divine nature viz. Devatas; the Seventh  was of Arvak Srota or Sadhakas including Manushyas; and the Eighth was of Anugraha Sarga as per the four classifications afore-mentioned. The Ninth category was of Kaumara Sarga of the Manasa Putras of Brahma viz. Sanaka, Sanandana, Sanaatana and Sanat Kumaras of extreme brilliance but were ‘Viraktaas’ or dis-interested in and dis-associated from the Deed of Creation as they excelled in the quest of Paramatma.

The subsequent Srishti related to ‘Sthaanaatmas’ or Deities of their own Positions like Water, Fire, Earth, Air, Sky, Antariksha / Ether, Swarga, Diks (Directions), Oceans, Rivers, Vegetables, Medicinal and other herbs and medicines, Kaala Pramana of Measures of Time, Days and Nights, Weeks, Fortnights, Months, Years,Yugas, Maha Yugas and Kalpas.  Brahma then created Devatas, Pitru Devas, Nine Manasa Putras named Bhrigu, Angira, Marichi, Pulastya, Pulaha, Kratu, Daksha, Atri and Vasishtha who were acclaimed as Nava Brahmas. He created Rudra from his anger; created the concepts of Sankalpa ( Conception), Dharma (Virtue) and Vyavasaya (Endeavour and Enterprise). Out of the Pancha Praanaas or Five branches of Life’s breath viz. Praana-Udana- Vyaana-Samana-and Apaana, Daksha was created from the speech, Marichi from the eyes, Angirasa from the head, Bhrigu from the heart and Atri from the ears, all from Brahma’s Praana Vayu; besides Pulastya from Udana Vayu, Pulaha from his Vyana Vayu, Vasishtha from his Samaana Vayu and Kratu from Apaana Vayu. Brahma continued Srishti of Devas from his mouth, Pitras from his chest, human beings from his organ of generation, Asuraas from his buttocks ; Brahmanas from his face, Kshatriyas from his chest, Vaishyas from his thighs and others from his feet. He also created lightning, thunder, clouds, rainbows, Mantras of Rig-Yajur-Saama Vedas, Yaksha-Piscacha-Gandharva-Apsara-Kinnara-Raakshaas; birds, animals, reptiles and seeds.

While on the topic of Srishti, Suta Maha Muni made a diversion on Kalpaas and Manvantaras. [ If Brahma’s age is hundred years, a day and night of his is a Kalpa (stated to be 8.67 billion years) comprising 28 Manvantaras; each Manvantara has 71 Maha Yugas and each Maha Yuga has 4.3 million years.( Satya Yuga is stated to be of 40 percent of Maha Yuga, Treta Yuga 30 percent, Dwapara Yuga 20 percent and Kali Yuga is 10  percent) But between each Manvantara, there is stated to be a gap of four yugas called Yuga Sandhi, while the intermediate time between Kalpas is Prati Sandhi. Each Kalpa has two parts: Purvaartha and Parartha. We are now in Varaha Kalpa (there are stated to be of thirty such Kalpaas) and Vaivaswara Manvantara while Brahma’s age is calculated as 51 years and the first night!]

As Brahma spent his thousand Yugas long first night, he found water all around and resurrected Earth again -and on the broad  lines of what Varaha Swarupa indicated-  materialised formally the Chatur Lokaas, Sapta Dwipas and Sapta Samudras. He revived the Srishti of Antariksha, Sun, Moon and other Planets, Pitras, Time, Yugas, Purusharthas of Dharma-Artha-Kaama-and Mokshas. From his first face of the ‘Chaturmukha’, he created Gayatri, Ruks, Yagni related Agni shtoma etc; Veda Vangmaya, Veda Chhandas, and various Agni-Karyas; from his Southern Face were generated Yajur Veda, Traishthub Chhandas; Panchadasa Stomas and Brihat Stoma; from his western face emerged Saama Suktaas, Jagati Chhandas, Papta dasa Stoma; Atiraatra of Jyotishthoma etc; from Brahma’s fourth Face emerged Atharva Veda, Anushtub and Vairaaja Chhanda etc. Through out the Yuga Periods, there were countless species of Creation were materialised of ‘Charaachara’ or mobile and Immobile nature, defying description.

Brahma continued his Manasika Srishti or Mind-Born Creation and as a result were generated Pancha Karthas viz. Rudra, Dharma, Manasa, Ruchi and Akriti, all illustrious in their own right in the context of ‘Prajaa Rakshnana’ or Safety of the Public. As and when ‘Aoushadhis’ became short of supply and availability, Rudra Deva came to recscue and recreated the material and the grateful Bhaktas make offerings to him by the herbs and medicines in gratitude; when shortages of these were felt, Rishis and Brahmanas perform Vanaspati Homas from material placed in Three Kapaalaas or Plates along with three kinds of Mantras of Chhandaas viz. Gayatri-Trishtup and Jagati and that was why Rudra was called Traimabika or he who was worshipped from three ‘Ambakaas’or Kapaalaas or Plates. Dharma the next Creation of Brahma had been a Promoter of Virtue which revived Man Kind and other Significant Species; Manas (Knowledge), Ruchi ( Shraddha /Faith) and Akriti (Beauty) were the other Entities assisting Dharma as they respectively denoted Mind, Interest and Physique. By applying Tamasika Guna, Brahma desired to put to use the traits of Dharma and halved his body into two and created Shata Rupa or of Hundred Forms and the latter was indeed virtually the mother of humanity. After severe Tapas for thousands of years Shatarupa was blessed with a famed husband viz. Swayambhu the First Manu who too was of Brahma’s own ‘Amsha’or variation; their progeny were two sons viz. Priyavrata and Uttanapada (father of the the reputed  Dhruva) and two daughters viz.  Akuti and Prasuti. Akuti was married to Ruchi Prajapati whose sons were Yajna and Dakshina. Prasuti was  married to Daksha Prajapati whose thirteen daughters viz. Shraddha, Lakshmi, Dhriti, Tusthi, Pushti, Medha, Kriya, Buddhi, Lajja, Vasu, Shanti, Siddhi and Kirti were wedded to Dharma; the  rest of them and their husbands were as follows: Sati-Rudra, Khyati-Bhrigu, Sambhuti-Marichi, Smriti-Angirasa, Priti-Pulaha, Kshema-Kratu, Sannati-Pulastya, Anasuya-Atri, Urja-Vasishta, Agni-Swaha and Swadha-Pitaras

4    Birth of Rudra Deva and Brahma names Ashta Vibhutis of Shiva

Brahma meditated for a son as renowned and powerful as himself and found a boy name Nilalohita on his lap:

Ruroda suswaram ghoram nirdahanniva tejasaa,

Drushtwaa rudatam sahasaa Kumaram Nilalohitam/

Kim rodishi Kumareti Brahmaa tam pratyabhashata,

Sobraveedyehi mey naama prathamam twam Pitamaha/

Rudrastwam Deva naamaasi sa ityuktto rudahpunah,

Kim rodishi Kumaareti Brahmaa tam pratyabhashata/

Naama dedi dwiteeyam mey naama iktyuvaacha Swayambhuvam,

Bhavastwam Deva naamnaasi ityukttah sorudatpunah/

(As the child cried so terribly as though he would burn himself with his radiance, Brahma asked him as to why was he crying so much the child asked Brahma to give him a name first and Brahma replied that the child would be named Rudra. The child continued to cry and when asked by Brahma as to why the child continued to cry, the latter asked Brahma to give a second name as Bhava.) As this process of crying continued, Brahma gave the child further names as Sharva, Ishaana, Pashupati, Bhima, Ugra and Maha Deva. The Child then stopped crying but desired that  the Eight Names given to him as Nilalohita be serialised with their inner meanings and Brahma explained as follows:

Tato Visrushtaastanava yeshaam Naamnaa Swayambhuva,

Suryo Jalam Mahi Vaayurvahnir –aakaashameyvacha/

Dikshitaa Braahmanaschandra ityevam teyshtadhaa tanuh,

Teshu Pujyaswa Vandascha Namaskaarascha yatnatah/

(Then Swayambhu Brahma decided the seriatim of the Names depending on the significance of Surya, Jala, Bhumi, Vaayu, Vahni, Akaasha, Dikshita Brahmana and Chandra; these are the Ashta Tanus or Eight Forms worthy of salutation and worship without fail).

Among these Eight Swarupas,  Rudra would be likened as Surya whose radiance is unparalleled and should never be seen at the time of Sunrise or Sunset; Brahmanas should take their bath and on securing external and internal purification must perform Sandhya Vandana at both Sun Rise and Sun Set as also recite Gayatri, and Ruk-Yajur-Saama Veda Suktaas and Surya worship which tantamounts to Rudra Puja. Recital of Ruk-Suktas should be done at the Sun Rise and that of Yajussukta at mid-day besides Gayatri Japa during thrice a day. None should pass urine before the Sun God. Rudra’s physical Feature of per his Prathama Tanu is stated to be Roudri, his wife’s name is Suvarchala and his progeny is Shani.

The Second Form of Shiva is Bhava and his position among the series of Ashta Tanus is in ‘Apas’or water ; Jala is the Life Provider and Preserver. As Sarva Bhutaas are sustained by Shiva, in his Bhava Swarupa. None should attempt to turn water impure by mala-mutra varjana, vivastra-snaana, nishthinana or spitting. As Water has the nature of flow, its speed should not be restricted as the natural feature is to reach Samudra which is its beloved. However, as Munis identified Medhya Jala (Pure water) or Amedhya Jala (Contaminated water), the latter variety must be discarded. The Third Form of Ishwara is Sharva and his prescribed position is  Bhumi whose strong strengh and stamina entered Shiva’s bones and Bhumi is thus called Sharva too; any tilled land or under the shade of trees, none should desecrate in any manner lest he or she would certainly attract the wrath of Sharva. Devi Vikeshi is Sharva’s wife and Angaraka his son. Ishana is the fourth name of Nilalohita and is served by Vaayu or Wind. Vaata is the regulation of Shiva; it provided Pancha Pranaas to Ishana. None should wind as being mild or furious and also none should pollute it with poisons nor go against its natural speed. Those who respect air respect Ishana himself; Wind needs ro be respected with Yajnas and Sacred deeds or else Ishana could play havoc with the severity of hurricanes and blizzards. Ishaana’s wife is called Shiva and his sons are Manojava and Avignaatagati or Speed of Mind and of Mysterious Movement. Pashupati is the fifth Swarupa of Shiva; his designated form and features are of Agni. No person should play with fire, dump impurities into it and cross it or seek to warm up feet or hands in cold climate as it would strike back the person concerned; the fiery element is full of Pashupati’s instincts and thus requires veneration. Indeed Agni burns of every one after death and at the same time burns off food in digestion; Pashupati too is a  preserver as also a Destroyer. Swaha Devi is Pashupati’s wife and his son is Skanda.The sixth name of Maha Deva is Bheema and as soon as Brahma announced Nilalohita’s name, Akakasha entered Siva’s body at once and like Shiva, Aakasha too is Omni Present encasing the totality of Universe. The Ashta Diks or the Eight Directions are stated to be his wife and Swarga his son. Any sin committed by a person is recorded by Aakasha; the least one should is to refrain from throwing Mala-Mutras, and open-to-Sky copulation. Ugra was the seventh Swarupa of Nilalohita and his regulatory control is of a Dikshita Brahmana or a Brahmana who practises the Ashtanga Yoga of Yama-Niyama-Asana- Pranaayaama- Pratyaahara- Dharana- Dhyana-Samadhi. Chaitanya or Enlightenement of a Model Brahmana thus entered Shiva’s personality as soon as his name was announced by Brahma as Ugra or the Epitome of Rigorousness and Ruthlessness as a Dikshita would never err nor lapse. Most appropriately, his wife’s name and nature are Diksha and his progeny is called Santana or Virtuous Offspring.


The Ashtama Tanu or Vibhuti / Body variation of Shiva is named Maha Deva with Chandra as  the regulatory control signifying coolness and placidity and no sooner that Brahma assigned the name of Maha Deva to Shiva than Chandra entered his heart and thus gave the epithet of Shashidhara to Shiva. As Chandra controls Brahmanas, Auoshadhis (herbs) and Trees, Brahmanas are to be revered and herbs and trees are to be given special consideration on Amavasyas and Purnimas, besides festival days or special occasions in any family. Since Chandra is the Cool Mind of Shankara in his benevolent Form, Maha Deva is worshipped for securing boons on such days of  speciality. His wife’s position is of Rohini and of son’s is of Budha in the context of Shiva’s vibhuti as Maha Deva.


5    Agni Vamsha, Profile of Pitras, Sati’s self-immolation and Daksha Yagna destroyed

Agni is one of the beloved ‘Manasa Putras’of Brahma Deva. He married Daksha Putri Devi Swaha and their sons were Pavamana, Shuchi and Pavaka. Pavamana (Garhapatyagni) is created as a result of ‘Arani’ or churning, Pavaka (Dakshinaagni) is devised by Vidyut or  lightning and Shuchi (Ahavaniya) is based on the Solar source or from Surya- hence called Souraagni. Pavamaahana’s son was Kavyavahana meant for Pitras; Pavakas’s son is Saharaksha and that category of Agni is relevant to Raakshasaas; and Shuchi’s Agni is called Havyavahana meant for Devas. Brahma’s elder son was Brahmadattaagni who bestowed Loukikaagni to the world and Brahamadattaagni’s son was Vaishwaanara; he carried Havya to Devas for long and merged it in Pushkara Samudra; that Loukikaagni was secured by one Adhravana and subsequently came to be known as Adharvanaagni.

 From the lineage of Adharvana came Samsya and Shuka. Samsya had two sons viz. Savya and Apasavya. Samsya was celebrated by the posterity of Brahmanas and to keep his memory everlasting merged ‘Aavaniyaagni’ in the waters of sixteen rivers so that the following generations of Brahmanas could invoke that Agni from the River waters to perform Yagnas on the banks of the select sixteen rivers of Bharat viz. Kaveri, Krishnaveni, Narmada, Yamuna, Godavari, Vitasta, Chandrabhaga, Iravati, Vipasha, Kousiki, Shatadru, Sarayu, Sita, Sarasvati, Hraadini and Paavani. The illustrious Samsya established Agni Dhaamas called Dhishnas and those who maintained the Dhaamaas came to bo be known as Dhishnas too. Their generations classified some of the Agni Karyas as ‘Upastheyaas’ or those which could be retained such as Vibhu, Pravaahana, Anirgha etc and some others as ‘Parityaktavyas’or discardable. In addition, a few were added to the list of Upastheyas since such Agni Karyaas were ‘Anirdeshyas’or unforeseen and ‘Anivaryaas’ or inevitable. For eg. Vaasavi Agni is practised in some of the Vedis in Northern Parts of Bharata; this Vasavi has eight branches viz. Barhisha (Hotriya Agni Havya vaahana), Pracheta (Samsahaayaka), Vishwadeva             ( Brahamanachhaamsi), Avabhrutaagni originating from Varuna; Hradayaagni or Jatharaagni relevant to food items, Badabaagni emerging from deep Seas, and the most popular Saharakshaagni for the fulfillment of House-holders or Grihastis.

Apart from the above, there are other Agni Karyas such as Rakshognis for Raksha/Kavacha or Shields , Kaamaagnis for fulfillment of specific wishes, and so on. There also are Agni titled Surabhi, Vasuratna, Naada, Haryaswa,  Rukmavaan, Pravagya, and Kshemavan –all the progeny os Shuchi Deva. Needless to mention Abhicharika Agni Karyas of negative nature with the objective of harming others to benefit the Kartas. Thus there are Agni Karyaas of various nature: Nitya, Naimittika, Kaamya, Prayaschaattika, Abhicharika, and Daivika.

Srishti of Pitaras: After creating Devas, Asuras and Human Beings, a satisified Brahma desired to create Pitaras and recalled the Veda Sukta: Rutavah Pitaro Devaah (Srishti should include Rithus-Pitras-Devas) and thus created Pitras from his flanks; they were of two categories viz. ‘Agnishvaattaas’ and ‘Barhishads’. The former type were neither ‘Grihastis’ nor performers of Yajnas.The obvious preference was to create ‘Barhishads’ who were ‘Ahitaagnis’and also Soma sevakaas. As regards ‘Rithus’ or Seasons, Chaitra and Vaisakha Months are oriented to Rasa or the Juice of Life; Jyeshtha and Ashadha are prone to Shringara or Love; Shravana and Bhadrapada are disposed to Jeeva or Activity and Alacrity; Ashviyuja and Kartika lean towards ‘Swadhaatwa ’ or other-wordliness and penance; Margasirsha and Pushyami are not helpful while Maagha and Phalguna are conducive for introspection and Tapasya. [Thus the pairs of the months aforementiond are known as Ritus or Seasons viz. Vasanta (April-May), Greeshma (May-June), Varsha (July-Aug), Sharat (Sept-Oct), Hemanta (Nov-Dec) and Sishira (Jan-Feb)]. The identification of Ritus is a per the calculation of Kaala or Time viz. Nimesha-Kala-Kaashtha-Muhurtha-Day-Night-Tithi-Paksha-Maasa-Rithu or Two Maasaas- Ayana or Three Ritus viz. Uttaraayana and Dakshinaayana and Samvatsara orYear. As Brahma was the Creator of Ritus, Ritu Putraas are Human Beings, Quadrupeds, Birds, Reptiles and Trees and all these species are subject to ‘Artavaa Lakshanaas’ ie Ritu Dharmas or Seasonal changes. For eg, women are subject to Rajasa Pravritti or menstruation. Similarly Nature, Trees, Creepers, Flowers, Fruits, Crops, Rains, Summer-Winter changes are all subject to Seasonal Changes in every year.  Such ‘Artavaas’ or Seasonal changes are considered as fathers, the Ritus are to be considered as  a grand-father  and  each Samvatsara is considered as a great-grand father; this indeed is the subtle connection of Ritus and Pitras!  Hence the inter-connection of Seasonal  Changes brought about by Kaala or Time with Pitaras is proved significantly.

Devi Swadha and Pitras had two daughters viz. Mena and Dharani; both of them were Maha Yoginis. Pitaras as stated earlier were  Agnishwaats and Barhisdhads; Mena was the Manasika  Putri of Agnishwaats and Dharani was the Manasika Putri of Barhidshads.  Mena was wedded to Himavan and they begot Mainaka and Ganga; Mainaka’s son was Krauncha in whose name Krauncha Dwipa was set up. Ganga was married to Lavanodadhi. Dharani the daughter of Barhishads wedded Meru and they gave birth to Mandara with Divya Auoshadhis and also three daughters named Vela, Niyati and Ayati. Ayati maried Dhata and Niyati wedded Vidhatra while Vela or Sea shore wedded Sagara (Ocean).The couple of Vela and Samudra gave birth to Suvarna and the latter who wedded Prachinbarhi gave birth to ten sons and they were called Pachetasas who were champions of Dhanurvidya.

The ten Prachetasas were the father-figures of Daksha who was cursed by Traimbika in the Chakshsa Manvantara. The origin of the curse was as follows: Among the daughters of Daksha, the eldest was Sati Devi who was wedded to Rudra; but Rudra never bowed his head to Daksha the father in law since Rudra never bent to any body. Daksha took it to his heart and started ignoring Sati and of course Rudra. He invited to his house all the younger sisters of Sati along with their husbands like Vasishtha, Atri, Bhrigu, Kratu, Maricha and so on. As the was singled out, Sati felt humiliated and said: Asatkrutya Pitarmaam twam krutavaanasi garhitam, Aham jyeshthaa varishthaa cha twam maam satkurta mayi si/  ( Father! You have dishonoured me and it does not behove of you to have done this as I am your eldest daughter). Daksha replied that these daughters of mine are far superior to you and their husbands are well versed in Vedas, Yogis and excellently behaved unlike your husband Rudra who is arrogant and highly self-opinionated and thus there is no comparison between you and other daughters of mine! Sati Devi  replied:

Vangmanahkarmabhiryasma –adadrushtam maam vigarhasey,

Tasmaattyajaamyahamimam deham taata tavaatmajam/

Yatraahamapupadye cha punardehena bhaswataa,

Tatraapyahamasambhutaa Sambhutaa dhaarmikaadapi/

Gaccheyam Dharma patneetwam Traiyambakasyaiwa Dheematatah,

Tatraivaatha samaaseenaa yuktaatmaanam samaadadhey/

Dharanaamaasa chaagneyeem dharanmaam manasaatmanah,

Tatah Atmasamyutthosya Vaayuna samudiritah,

Sarvegebhoy vinihsrutya Vahnistwaamk bhasmasaatkarot/

(Since you have harassed me verbally, mentally and physically although I possess no such defects, I am leaving this body you gave me. Whenever I shall be born again with a lustrous body as Ayonija or otherwise, I will again indeed be the wife of Lord Traimbaka only. By so saying, Devi Sati sat in a yogic posture and united her soul to Paramatma and as she resorted to Agneya Dharana she let her physical limbs burn off  by fire which got turned into ash). Suladhaari heard about the incident and was infuriated with Daksha and the Maharshis who were praised by Daksha. Rudra Deva shouted on Daksha that due to his hatred for Rudra, Sati was insulted and immolated herself; that was why in the beginning of the next Vaivaswata Manvantara, Daksha would be reborn as a King as the son of Prachetasaas as  Daksha again and would seek to perform one Yajna which would be totally destroyed by Rudra. Daksha gave a return curse to Rudra that since the Rishis who were his sons-in-law were also involved in Rudra’s curse, they would not agree to provide ‘havis’ in Daksha’s future yagna to Rudra as per the established  practice. Rudra had the last word saying that as soon as the Rishis would touch the Pavitra Jala at the future yagna, they would not only lose their status to worship Rudra again and also would not have access to Swarga and would have to stay in Bhuloka itself till the end of Satya Yuga. Indeed as per the mutual curses, the subsequent birth of Daksha took place as the son of Prachetasaas again as a King decided to perform another Yagna which was destroyed by Rudra and the Maharshis like Bhrigu who assumed roles in that Yagna lost their access to Swarga and worse still they could not worship Rudra till the end of SatyaYuga


6    Sapta Dwipas with spot-light on Bharata, Sapta-Urthvalokas and Sapta-Adholokas

Priyavrata, the grand son of Swayambhu Manu appointed his sons as the Kings of Seven Dwipas viz. Agnidhra to Jambu Dwipa, Methatithi to Plaksha Dwipa, Vapushman or Vasu to Shalmala Dwipa,  Jyotishmaan to Kusha, Dyutmaan to Krouncha, Hayva to Shakha Dwipa, and Savana to Pushkara Dwipa. Referring about Jambu Dwipa specifically, Suta Muni explained that it had  an area of hundred thousand yojanas surrounded by salt sea with clusters of rocks full of  heavy deposits of minerals and precious stones with huge population and bountiful nature dotted by six major Mountain chains named Nila, Nishada, Sweta, Hema-kunta, Himavan and Shringaman. Himaalayas are always covered with snow, Hemakuta has abundant deposits of gold, Nila has blue sapphires, Nishadha is picturesque and awe-inspiring, Sweta is white and Shringaman is full of Mounts with peacock-feather colours and also deposits of gold. But Meru beyond  the King of Mountains in between two circular ranges was stated to be the visiting place of Deva ganaas, Gandharvas, Yakshas and Apsarasas; it is surrounded by four Bhuvanas or Deshas viz. Bhadrashwa to East, Bharata to South, Ketumala to West and Kurus to the North of Meru.

 Before elaborating on Jambu Dwipa, Suta Maha Muni provided a spotlight on Bharata Varsha where Swayambhu like Fourteen Manus appeared and extensive Praja-Srishti was facilitated. This indeed is popularly noted as Karma Bhumi  where the impact of Good and Bad deeds  is experienced and carried forward; this again is the Birth Place of Vedas, Vedangas like Astrology, Astronomy, various branches of Literature, ‘Chatusshaasthi Kalaas’or Sixty Four Kalas or Arts, etc. The uniqueness of Bharata Varsha is common Vedic culture and faith with marginal adaptations. The Original Bhrata Varsha was stated to comprise nine divisions viz. Indra Dwipa(Andamans?), Kesharumata (Malaya?), Tamravarna (Sri Lanka?), Gabhatimanta, Nagadwipa, Sowmya, Gandharva, and Varunya; the ninth part was stated to have been submerged in the Seas even at the time of conceiving Brahmanda Purana! Enclosed three sides with Oceans, Bharata Varsha has an estimated distance of Nine thousands of Yojanas  (1 yojana= 12km) from the Origin of Ganga to Kanyakumari at the southern tip of Bharat approx. Around the Bharata Varsha the surrounding Regions are stated to be  predominated by Mlecchas: Kiraataas to the East, Yavanas to the West, while the hinter land comprised Brahmana, Vaisya and Kshariyas and by and large Varnaashrma Policy of Brahmana- Kshatriyas-Vaishyas continued to be the pattern obtaining till date with Brahmanas engaged in Sacred Deeds like Yagjna-Yaagas, Vratas, and abstinence; Kshatriyas with defence and Order in the Society and Vaishyas with money accounting. There are seven Kula Parvatas viz.Mahendra, Sahya, Shuktimanta, Rishya, Vindhya and Pariyatra. Also thousands of other Mountains whose Shikhiraas or Mountains were peculiar such as Mandara, Vaihara, Durdura, Kolahala, Mainaka,Vaatamdhama, Nagagiri, Paandura, Tunga -prasta, Krishna Giri, Pushpagiri, Ujjayanta, Raivataka, Shri Parvata, Chitrakuta and Kuta shaila and innumerable smaller mountains. Also countless Rivers existed like Ganga, Sindhu, Saraswati, Shatadru, Chandrabhaga, Yamuna, Sarayu, Iravati, Vitasta, Gomati, Kausiki, Gandaki, Maha Nadi, Kshipra, Brahmaputra, Avanti, Narmada, Godavari, Krishnaveni, Tungabhadra, Kaveri, and thousands of others providing drinking water, bathing and enabling Yagjnas, Homas, Pitru Karyas,  Tirtha Yatras and incounty river-travel.

Quite a few legends abound about the significance of various Mountains and Rivers in Bharat. In fact historic and religious events were ascribed to most of the mountains and rivers such as Ganga, Yamuna, Sarasvati, Godavari and of Himalayas, Kailasa, Sahya, Vindhya, Rishyashringa and so on. The Epic Hero of Ramayana, Shri Rama was stated to have covered Dandakaranya in Mid-Bharat by foot and did miracles especially in killing Asuras and Rakshasas.To north of Sahya Mountain where River Godavari flowed, Shri Rama was reputed to have built Govardhana Nagar and planted plants of Aoushadhis especially near  Bharadwaja’s Ashram; this was just an example in the current Brahmanda Purana. The broad spectrum of population in the length and breadth of Bharat ranged from Anga-Vanga-Chola-Bahlika-Abhira- Panchalika- Gandhara-Yavana-Sindhu Souveera-Kekaya-Kambhoja-Kashmira-Chola-Pandya-Pulinda-Vaidarbha-Kakatiya-Andhra- Maharashtra-Kerala-Saraswata-Kirata- China- Tushara and so on and most of them governed by the Varaashrama of Brahmana-Kshatriya- Vaishya and others. All of them were motivated by the ‘Chaturvidha Purushaartthaas’ of Dharma, Artha, Kaama ans Mokshas or Virtuous Living, Earning Livelihood, Fulfillment of Desires and Salvation!

Bhugola s was mentioned above was divided into Seven Territories viz. Jambu, Plaksha, Shalmala, Kusha, Krouncha, Shaka and Pushkara surrounded by Sapta Samudras (Seven Seas), viz.Lavana (Salt), Ikshurasa (Sugar cane juice), Sura (Wine), Ghrita (Ghee), Dadhi (Curd), Dugdha (Milk) and Swadujala  (Sweet water).

Jambu Dwipa: To the Southern side of Meru Mountain and the North of Nishadha, there was a huge and age-long Jambu Tree called Sudarshana whose Jambu Fruits (Rose Apple) constantly trickled in a River which turned in the same colour and taste of water. The Tree was stated to be of eleven hundred Yojanas high. The signficance of that Tree, fruits and juice was such that Siddhas and Charunas got readily attracted  it and the juice bestowed to them the qualities of Youth and excellent health causing neither old age nor death. The fruit also produced a kind of Gold called Jambunada which was used as ornaments to Devas.The Jambu River flowed all around Meru and became the biggest attraction or Yaksha, Gandharva, Apsara, Rakshasa, Piscachaas too. Kailasa Mountain was another facsination of the Region. Kubera the Chief of Yakshas and Apsaras were stated to reside on the Mountain which was also the home of herbs and medicines, apart from wild and cruel animals. Parama Shiva is stated to reside on Kailasha along with Devi Parvati and had been a hallowed Parvata. Manasa Sarovara had been the most consecrated Lake where Siddha Ganas had always believed that bathing in the Lake and Parikrama of the Mountain were most certain steps to attaining Kailaasa / Ishwara Prapti.

Plaksha Dwipa:  is double the size of Jambu Dwipa’s one lakh yojanas under the Chief called Mehatidikh who had seven sons and the Kingship was surrounded by Seven major Mountains and Seven Rivers with the traits typical of Treta Yuga. Its inhabitants pray to Bhagavan Vishnu in the form of Chandra Deva. Compared to the salty taste of Sea water between Jambudwipa and Plaksha Dwipa, the taste was of Ikshu(Sugar cane juice) in the of intermediate region of Plaksha and Shalmala whose Chief was Vapushman and the latters’s size was double that of Plaksha. Here again there are seven mountains with mines of jewels / precious stones and seven Rivers and in this Dwipa Lord Vishnu is prayed in the form of Vayu Deva.

Like in Plaksha Dwipa, the inhabitants of Salmala Dwipa too, Varnashrama is followed and the colours of persons in these Varnas are Kapila, Aruna, Peeta and Krishna are for Brahmanas, Kshatriyas, Vaisyas and the rest respectively. Sura (Wine) Samudra earmarks the inter-region of Salmala and Kusha Dwipa whose size was double that of Salmala and Kusha’s King is Jyotishman and the inhabitants are human beings practicing Varanashrama as also Daityas, Danavas, Devatas, Gandharvas, Yakshas, Kinnaras and a great mix of Brahma’s creation. They all pray to the Multi Faced Janardana. Ghrita Samudra (Classified Butter) partitions the Kusha and Krouncha Dwipas; the size of the Krouncha is double that of Kusha. Rituman is the King of Krouncha where again Varnashrama is observed and the counter-part Varnas are Pushkala, Pushkara, Dhanya and Khyata corresponding to Brahmanas etc. Rudra Swarupa Janardana is the Deity revered in this Dwipa. Between Krauncha and Shaka Dwipas is the Dadhimandoda Samudra and the King of Shaka is Mahatma Bhavya, again with Seven Mountains and Seven Major Rivers as also seven Princes, where Siddhas and Gandharvas inhabit. Maga, Mahadha, Manasa and Mandaga are the corresponding Chaturvarnas. All the inhabitants of this Dwipa pray to Surya Swarupi Vishnu.

From Shaka to Pushkara, the intermediate Samudra is of Ksheera and Pushkara which is double of Shaka is size is headed by Stravana and since it is a huge Dwipa, the King divided it to Mahavira Varsha and Dhataki varsha and the sons of the King awarded the two in their names after the two parts under his over-all control. These territories are mainly inhabited by human beings who have longevity of ten thousand years, devoid of illnesses and worries and of jealousies, fears, egos and crookedness; these humans as superior as Devas and Daityas and they are all devoid of Varnashrama as all the inhabitants are of equal status. The dividing line of Pushkara is surrounded by sweet water atop of which is Lokaloka  Parvata, beyond which is stated to be of complete darkness; in fact, the Border of Pushkara of ten thousand yojanas, there were neither species nor life.

 Urthwa Lokas: As a part of the Cosmic Egg beyond the Lokaloka, Suta Muni described as follows:

Lokaardha samhitaa Lokaa niraalokastu bhahyatah, 

Lokavistaaramatram tu dhyuloh sarvataa bahih/

Paricchinnah samantaascha udakenaavrutastu sah,

Alokaatparatas -chaapi hyandamaavrityatishthati/

Andastyaantastwamey Lokaah Saptadwipaascha Modini,

Bhurlokotha Bhuvarlokah Swarlokostha Mahastathaa/

Janastapastathaa Satyametaavaam lokasangrahah,,

Etavaaneva Vigjneyo Lokaantaschaiva yah Parah/

(All the Lokas which possess illuminaton are within the ambit of knowledge and the rest are all unkown and full of darkeness; that portion which is circumscribed all around by  water was within the Golden Egg and is stated to contain the Bhur-Bhuvar- Swar-Mahar-Jana-Satya-Tapo Lokas.  Knowledge of those Lokas is not clear. One could only guess that these Lokas were lit up by Chandra at the beginning of Shukla Paksha in the West in the shape of a Pot just as Brahmanda was also surmised as an Egg.)

 The Brahmanda was stated to have surrounded  by solidified water called ‘Ghanodadhi’ which was held by ‘Vanoda’or a mass of solidified water and was encircled by Illumination all round in the shape of a Fiery Iron Ball, and Akasha or Ether grasps the Ganodadhi.

Bhutaadischa tathaakaasham Bhutaadischyaapyasau Mahaan,

Mahamcha sopyanantena hyavaktena tu  dhaaryatey/

Anantamaparivyaktam dashadhaa Sukdshmamevacha,

Anantamakrutaa tmaanaadi nidhanam cha yat/

Anityam Parataghoram anaalambam -anaamayam,

Naikayojanasahaastram Vipakashtamanaavrutam/

(The Bhutaadi or The Cosmic Ego or Maha Ahamkara or simply stated as Ghana Vaata or Solidified Air supported by Akaashaa was called the Infinite Principle or Mahaan; it was that Ayvakta or Unknown, Ananta or Endless, Aghora or Uncontaminated, Niraadhara or Unsupported, Avikara (Featureless), Sukshma (Subtle) and Avikarana (Unchanged and Undistorted).

Adholokas: As Bhu Devi the Divine Goddess is the Mother of all Living Beings, ‘Aapas’ or water is stated to be endless and so are Vayu,  Agni and Akasha. Underneath Bhumi are the Nether Worlds viz.  Atala, Vitala, Sutala, Talaatala, Rasatala, Mahatala and Patala. The soil in Atala is stated to be of black soil, of Vitala the ground was of palewhite, Sutala of blue, Talatala of yellow colour, Rasatala of gravel covered ground, Mahatala of Rocky Ground and of Patala of Gold. The Palaces of Asuras of Namuchi the enemy of Mahendra, besides of other demons like Mahananda, Kabandha, Bhima, Suladanta, Dhanjaya, Nagendra were all glittering exampes of opulence and material happiness in Atala  and other Lokas. In Sutala were the noted Daitya-Rakshasa-Serpent Kings like Mahajambha, Karbandha, Hayagriva, Nikumbha, Bhima, Suladanta, Dhananjaya, Nagendra, Kalia and so on. Shankha, Gomukha, Kakutpada, Asvatara, Kambala, Takshaka stayed at Vitala;  Prahlada, Taraka, Puranjana etc  were in Rasatala;  Kalanemi, Gajakarna were in Mahatala; and among other illustrious serpents Maha Sesha was in Patala.

Sesha Deva with his mighty and huge physique with thousand hoods ornamented with outstanding diamonds emitting unprecedented effulgence  is stated to bear the brunt of the Entire Universe from Urthva Lokas, Bhumi and the Nether worlds and  worshipped by Devas, Danavas, Siddhas and all other celestial beings alike!

The Adholokas are called Bilwa Swarga which provided unparalleled physical and material happiness unavailable in Swarga even. The invaluable ‘Manis’ (diamonds) like those worn on the hoods of the huge serpents provided such illumination to all Nether Lokas. The population of these Lokas are stated to lead such unbelievable luxuries and joy that Maharshi Narada who visited these Lokas were totally impressed. He stated that the most powerful Surya Deva bestowed only radiance and not his heat while Chandra gave only brightness but not chilliness. The inhabitants of Bilwa Swarga always revelled in delicacies of food and wine with  sophistication and style of living as they were least concerned of day-to- day difficulties; they spent long spells of time in bathing swimming in scented Sarovaras and Ponds  and   Narada stated thatVishnu’s Tamoguna was in full display at the Bilwa Swarga!


7    Traditional Astronomy, Solar System and ‘Kaalamana Ganana’ (Time Calculations)

The area which is covered by Sun and Moon constitutes that which brightens the Sapta Dwipas, Sapta Samudras and half of Earth, the other half remaining dark. Again,

Avati trinimaan lokaan yasmaadsuryah paribhraman,

Avidhaatuh prakaashaakhyo hyavanaatsa Ravih smruta/

( The ‘Dhaatu’ or the root of the word  ‘Avi’ means illumination and protection; thus Surya is called Ravi). The word ‘Mahi’or ‘Mahi Tatwa’ means Bhumi or Earth and the sub continent of Bharat is roughly reckoned as Earth; the Solar Disc  measures nine thousand yojanas (one yojana is 12 km) and its circumference is three times more. The circumference of Moon is stated to be thrice of Sun.

The total size of Earth is fifty crore yojanas and Meru Mountain is situated at the half point of Earth. Considering the elevation of Meru, the radius of Earth  is stated to be eleven crore thirty seven lakh or the surface of Earth.Taking into account the revolution of Earth up to the sky and stars, the distance of the Earth and Sky are stated to be equal. All the Seven Dwipas on Earth as also the Seven Upper Lokas of Bhur-Bhuvar-Swar-Janar-Mahar-Tapas-Satya etc. lokas are all included in the ‘Paryasa’ or ‘Bhramana’ (Revolution) since they are all in the Cosmic Egg as under an Umbrella. In the revolution all the Lokas are tightly tied together; while the contents of the Cosmic Egg is stabilised with solidified Oceans, each Loka is stuck to each other and thus Earth too is stuck similarly with the solidified water.The solidified water is surrounded by solidified Tejas or Illumination. The Solidified Tejas is surrounded by Solidified Air. The solidified air is futher surrounded by Sky which in turn is bounded by Bhutadi which again is enclosed by ‘Mahat’ and finally Mahat is bordered by Pradhana or the Infinity! Thus the entire Universe is a comprehensive and cohesive Totality!

[ Brahmanda Purana-in fact, Puranas in general- believe that the Brahmanda (Cosmic Egg) is protected by sheaths or coverings of Pancha Bhutas or Gross Elements of Earth-Water-Fire-Air and Sky; Earth is protected by solidified water; in the second layer by Agni; furher by Air; further again by Sky; beyond which be the Concepts of Bhutadi or the Ahamkara or Ego being the  Consciousness of Self  as also the ‘Mahat’ or the High Significance, beyond is Pradhana or the Unknown. All the above Beings are stated to be a Composite Manifestation of the Supreme Unknown].  

Meru Mountain was considered as the focal point of Traditional Astronomy. The East of Meru and on top of Maanasa was stated to be the Mahendrapuri where ‘AshtaaVasus’ whose Chief was Lord Indra were staying and that place was all decorated with gold. To the Southern side of Meru again on the top of Manasa was the abode of Lord Yama the son of Vaivaswata Manu and that Place was known as Samyamana Puri. To the West of Meru again atop of Manasa, Lord Varuna was the abode of a Place called Sukha Nagari. To the North of Meru on Manasa Mount was the Vibhavari Nagari of Lord Soma. On the four corners of the rear North of  Manasa were situated the Four Lokapalakas to preserve Dharma and Nyaaya to the mankind. In ‘Dakshinayana’or the Southern Transit the course of Sun’s forward direction to South would be like an arrow released as he would take various Luminary Devatas along with him:  By the time Surya would reach Amaravati of Indra by mid-day, he would have reached Samyamapuri of Yama, when Vanuna’s Sukha Nagari would be mid-night and Soma would be nearing dusk time. When Surya would reach Samyamana by mid-day at his peak, it would be Sun Rise at Sukha Puri of Varuna, Sun Set at Mahendri Nagar and midnight at Vibha Nagar of Chandra. If persons experience afternoo n at those in South East (Agneya), or South and East, those in South West or Nirruti would experience Sun in forenoon. To persons in North, Sun’s position is experienced at later part of night where as to those in North East or Ishanya , it would be in the earlier part of night. When Amaravati experienced midnight, Yama Nagari felt that Sun was setting   in the Evenings. At Soma’s Vibhavari Nagar, Surya’s position would be mid-day but he would have already risen up in the early morning and at Yama’s Samyamana it would be midnight. Thus Surya rises and sets at different places at different timings.

Surya is stated to traverse one hundred and eighty one thousand yojanas in a ‘Muhurtha’.         ( Fifteen Nimeshas make one Kashta; thirty Kashtas make one Kala; thirty  Kalaas make one Muhurta and thirty Muhurthas make a day and night). If  Surya proceeds towards South or in Dakshinayana, his speed increases and whirls around in the middle of the firmament. At Manasottara Mountain, the ‘Vishu’ (Equinox) is situated in the middle; the circumference of Surya is Nine crores and forty five lakh yojanas. Returning from South to North (Uttarayana), Sun is stated to remain in the Equinox and travel further to Milk-Ocean and then Surya’s circumference is stated to be  three crore and eight thousand yojanas. When Surya is in the constellation of Shravana and Uttaraashadha traversing the Regions upto Shaka Dwipa, the magnitude of Sun is estimated at a  crore and Eighty of yojanas approx. The divisions of Planetary system are Aja Vithi (Southern) or the  Naga Vithi (Northern) comprising constellations of Stars; the divisions of star-constellation of Moola-Purvashadha-Uttaraashaadha  are born in Aja Vidhi while the constellations of Ashvini-Bharana-Krittika are born in Naga Vidhi.  During Dakshinayana, Sun covers thirteen and half constellations of Stars in twelve Muhurtas due to his speed; but in Uttarayana, he covers the same constellations in eighteen Muhurtas. It is said that the central area of a Potter’s wheel goes slower and in the same way Sun traverses slower and in the navel of the wheel, it goes further slower ie thirteen Muhurtaas! During one daytime, the first part is called Usha / Sandhya,  the second one is Praatahkaala, the next is Madhyaahna and the next part is of Aparaahna and then Sayaahkaala. At the times of dawn and dusk, it was stated that crores of demons are bent on devouring Surya Deva but the Vakakhilya Sages protect Surya deva ; besides, Brahmanaas perform Sandhya Vandana and Gayatri Japa to overcome the demons. On a Vishuvat day (Equinox) the day as well as night are of exactly same measure of Time but from there after Dakshinayana nights get lengthened while during Uttarayana, the daytime gets elongated. Vishuvat Time or Equinox is between Sharad and Vasanta Ritus. That would be the time when Moon is of uniform ‘Kalaas’. Brahmanda Purana gives a detailed account of ‘Kaala gananaas’or Time Calculations related to Soura (Surya), Sowmya (Chandra) and Naakshatra or Stars. It was at this Vishu Time, that ‘daanaas’ are required to be performed to please Pitru Devas. Since Vishu is considered as most auspicious to Devas too, special Danaas are required to be given to learned Brahmanas.

It is good to learn of ‘Kaalamaana ganana’ or the calulations of Time as also certain other aspects; for instance: ‘Uuna Maasa’(month of shorter count), Adhika Maasa (month with longer month); Kala, Kaashtha, Muhurtaka; Purnamaasi (Full Mon),  Amavasya (New Moon); Sinivaali or Kuhu the days when Chandra rekha was not seen at all; and Raaka and Anumati (differentiated nights) unseen on Purnima (Full Moon); Amavasya mixed with  14th Tithi of the next Paksha or fortnight is Sinivali while Amavasya which merges with the first of next Paksha is Kuhu ( in both the cases worship of both Sinivali and Kuhu would bestow wealth); Purnamaasi  mixed with the 14th  Tithi is Anumati while that mixed with the first of next Paksha is Raakha (in these cases too, worship would bestow good progeny and fame).  Another facet worth noting is that Uttarayana months are: Magha, Phalguna, Chaitra, Vaishakha, Jyeshtha and  Ashadha are of Uttarayana while Shravana, Bhadrapada, Aswiyuja, Kartika, Margashira and Pushyami are of Dakshinayana.

8    Mystery of ‘Jyotishmandala’, ‘Sishumara’, Dhruva, Clouds and Chariots of ‘Grahaas’

Asked as to how the various planets and luminaries revolved on the Sky on their own without any clash or confusion and whether some divine hand was performing the act so aptly, Suta Maha Muni replied:

Bhuta sammohanam hyotadvadato mey nibodhata,

Pratyakshamapi drushyam cha sammohayati yatprajaa/

Yoham chaturdisham pucchey Shaishumarey vyavasthitah,

Utaanadada Putrosou medhibhuto Dhruvodivi/

Sa vai bhraamayatey nityam Chandraadityo grahaih sah/

Vaataaneekamayairbandhair Dhruveybandhaani taani vai,

Teshaam Yogascha bhedascha Kaalaschaarastathaiva cha/

Astodayou tathotpaataa Ayaney Dakshinottarey,

Vishuvadgrahavarnaashcha Dhuruvaatatsarvam pravartatey/

Varshaa gharmo himam Raatrih Sandhyaachaiva dinam tathaa,

Shubhaashubham prajaanaamcha Dhruvaatsarvam pravartatey/

(Indeed this is a mystery that defies  imagination although the entire humanity visions and feels it. There is a Sishumara-literally meaning the killing of a Child- or a Dolphin-like Formation on the Sky and at the end of the animal’s tail is situated Dhruva, the illustrious son of Prajapati Uttanapada [who as a boy of tender age felt hurt as to why he could not be seated on his father’s lap while his step brother could, apparently beacause his father liked his step mother more than his own mother; out of anguish the boy resorted to rigourous Tapasya and pleased Vishnu Deva who blessed Dhruva to make him a Pole Star on the sky]; Dhruva  became the fulcrum of all the planets and Stars  bound to him by the might of Vayu Deva thus controlling all the Luminaries; all the Celestial Beings like Sun- Moon-other Planets  are thus controlled by Dhruva). Clasped firmly by rows of winds thus, Dhruva regulates the movements of the luminaries and their cohesion, differences, timings, schedules, risings and settings; forebodings, Dakshinaayana-Uttaraayana-Vishuvats/ Equinoxes and Solistices. Dhruva is also responsible to rainfalls, high temperature, snowfalls, days and nights, twilights, and so on. Prompted by Dhruva, Surya Deva receives water from various sources by the aid of his powerful rays, passes it on to Chandra Deva and with the interaction of the Powerful Wind God materialises clouds and  thus  create rains and the emergent water to one and all. Thus water is recycled and again and Again. At no stage thus  there woud be distturbancs in the supply of water. Suta Muni states :

Na naasha Udaka -syaasti tadeva parivartatey,

Sandhaaranaartham LokaanalmMaayaisha Vishwa nirmitaa/

Anayaa Maayaya Vyaptam Trailokyam cha Charaacharam,

Vishvesho Lokakruddevah Sahasraakshah Prajaapatih/

(There cannot be total destruction of water resource in the Universe as it gets transformed again again to preserve all the Beings. Parmatma created Maya to protect the Three Worlds always).

 Indeed it was the Almighty who ensured that Surya provided  radiance to one and all and  likewise supply coolness from Chandra; these are the two major sources of virility or the power of procreation to humanity and other beings. Aside from the mutual coordination of Surya and Chandra, there are other  sourcers of water like Ganges, other great Rivers and a number of Water-Bodies including Oceans. The heat generated by the sharp rays of Surya on  the water on Earth gets converted as water fumes and travels up to the skies which eventually generate Clouds. The water content of the clouds turns into rains by the interaction of Winds for the welfare of all the ‘Charachara Jagat’or the mobile and immobile Beings on Earth. Invariably, rains occur in scheduled Rithus or Seasons. The sounds of thunders occur due to the animations of wind likewise lightenings occur due to Agni. There are three kinds of Clouds: ‘Agneyaas’ or the fiery ones, ‘Brahmajas’ or those born of Brahma and ‘Pakshajas’ or those born of wings. Agneyas originate from heat producing vapour and occur on cold days creating images of elephants, boars and buffalos wandering on skies; they are known as ‘Jeemutaas’devoid of lightnings with showers ranging from one to two Kilometres. Brahmajas are stated due to Brahma’s breathing and are coupled with lightnings and rumblings of thunders causing freshness in air and facilitating sproutings on Earth; these clouds are carried by Vayu ‘Pravaha’ or fierce winds capable of continous and heavy rains of long ranges upto ten to twelve km of distance. These clouds are called ‘Pushkaravardhanas’ causing heavy  down pours with reverberating thunders. The third variety of clouds is ‘Antyakalpas’ which are the most violent and of unbearable magnitude of sound as though the Cosmic Egg was breaking. ‘Parjanya’ / ‘Diggaja’the  other variety of Meghas are conducive to the growth of vegetation and crops and shower mist in winter. ‘Parivaha’ is yet  another type of cloud arising out of the winds from the Sacred ‘Akasha Ganga’ on the firmanent materialised as snow drops on Himalayas benefiting herbs and crops of grains.

Surya Ratha: Surya Deva travels by a Golden Chariot with a single wheel, five spokes, three nabhis or naves, single rim with six phases, two pole shafts called two Ayanas or transits called Uttarayana and Dakshinayana,  with a girth and extent of ten thousand yojanas driven by seven green horses called ‘Sapta Chandas’ or Vedic Meters viz. Gayatri, Trishtubh, Anushtubh, Jagati, Pankti, Brihati, and Ushnik.  Each day of the week is considered as the nave of a single wheel; the ‘Artavaas’are the five spokes and the Rithus or the rim. The wheel of the chariot is fixed to its axis and is anchored to Dhruva who propels the chariot to move in the Orbit.The Chariot is occupied by designated sets of Devas, Adityas, Maharshis, Gandharvas, Apsaras, Gramanas and Serpents during each Ritu or Season. During Madhu and Madhava Maasas or Chaitra and Vaishakha months for instance, the representative Devas situated on the Chariot are Dhata and Aryama; the Munis are Pulastya and Pulaha; Prajapati; the Serpents are Vasuki and Iravata; Rakshasas Kharsha and Bhima; Yakshas Rathakrut and Rathoujasa; Gandhavas Tumbura and Narada; Apsaras Susthala and Punjakasthala and Gramanas Heti and Praheti. Like wise, in each set of two months, the designated representatives reside on the Chariot and enhance the significance of Surya Deva by ascribing their positive traits to him; Devas provide their own characteristics to Surya; Munis render Stotras to him; Gandharvas and Apsaras sing and dance for him; Gramanas, Yakshas and Rakshasaas worship the Sun rays and  the Valakhilya Sages lead him proceeding ahead of him. Thus Devas accord their own strengths to Surya, Maharshis provide their Tapobala or the power of their meditation to him, and like wise all others on and around the chariot pass on their virtues, capabilities and positive characteristics to him; they would enhance rains, provide coolness, provide fertility, lessen the influence of the Evil to the Living Beings and  augment auspicious to the ‘Praja’ (Public) all around during their respective time slots of two months of their stay on the Chariot.    

Chandra Ratha: The chariot of Moon has three wheels driven by ten horses with the colour of white jasmine flowers and the horses are called Yajur, Chandamanasa, Vrisha, Vaaji, Nara, Haka, Gavishna, Hamsa, Vyoma and Mriga. The Chandra Ratha passes through the Star-Way towards Dhruva’s grip. Chandra is accompanied by Devas and Pitra Devatas; white serpents are circled on the wheels of his chariot. Though lean and thin, his chariot’s horses have   unending stamina and have the speed of a person’s thoughts. At the end of Krishna Paksha and at the beginning of Shukla Paksha, Surya would be in the opposite situation of Chandra and would gradually fill up Chandra with his virility. As Devataas absorb Chandra’s brightness, the latter would be left with only Kala out of sixteen Kalaas / features by the fifteenth day of the fortnight.  One of Surya’s bright ray called Sushumna fills up with Chandra and the latter improves his splendour. Thus during the Krishna Paksha,Chandra’s illumination gets reduced and in Sukla Paksha, his Kalaas get enhanced by Surya’s virility. In the Krishna Paksha from Vidiya or the second day upto Chaturdasi or the Fourteenth day, Devataas absorb the water form of Chandra’s Rasa (Juice) which is Amrita or Nectar-like as that is the food of  Devatas. Along with Devas, Pitru Devas also consume the Sudha Rasa on the Purnima day.  It is stated that as many as three thirty crore Devas plus absorb the Soma                                    Rasa daily upto Amavasya and Pitru Devas surround Chandra and consume the left over Soma Rasa by the mid-day of Amavasya to their full satisfaction. The Pitru Devas are of three types viz. Sowmyas, Barhishadas, and Agnishwaads. Kavyaas are also known as Piratas but they are ‘Samvatsarakaas’ or ‘Panchabdaas’or those who return by the Year ends. Sowmyas are of the Form of Ritus and Barhidas are of the Form of Maasaas or months; Agnishvaads are also called Artavaas who are engaged in Pitru Deva Srishti.      

Chariots of other Grahas: Budha is the illustrious son of Chandra who is known for his ‘Sowmyata’ or placidity and his chariot is like of the characteristics of water and its transparency and of wisdom. Bhargava (Shukra)  is an Emblem of Prosperity, Brilliant like Surya, possessive of the Voice of Clouds, a ‘Pataaka’ or Flag and a ‘Dhwaja’. His chariot has ten horses generated from Bhumi and has variegated colours of brightness; the horses are smart and of the speed of winds.The Chariot of Kuja (Bhauma) has eight horses generated from Agni possessive of ‘Vidyut Kanti’ or of Electric Light; his horses have knack of running forward and backward or  clock-wise and anti clock-wise as also straight. Angirasa Vamsodbhava Brihaspati the Guru of Devas and Rishis has a Golden chatiot set with eight Divine horses that could run as fast as wind. Shani Deva has a chariot made of iron drawn by mighty horses born of firmament moving at a slow speed. Rahu is carried by a dark chariot drawn by eight black horses tied together only once ever. Having left Surya, Rahu reaches Chandra on Amavasyas and Purnimas; Chandra travels to Surya on Amavasyas and that is called Suryendu Sangama or the union of Surya and Chandra. Ketu has a chariot of eight horses that could as fast as Vayu and these have Dhumra Varna or of the colour of burnt smoke of grass; these horses have the colour of donkeys with red tinge.

Now, all the Planets are fastened to Dhruva, including Sun and Moon. It is believed that any kind of sins that human and other Beings tend to commit consciously or inadvertently are vanished once Dhruva’s vision is viewed on the Sky.

Reverting back to Simsumara or the Dolphin-like Formation on the Sky, its limb-wise description is as under:

Aouttaanpadastasyaatha vijneyo hyutturo hanuh,

Yajnaha parastu vigjneyo Dharmo Murthaanamaashritah/

Hridi Narayanah Saadhyohyaswinow purvapaadayoh,

Varunaschaaryama chaiva Paschimey tasya Sakthini/

Shishnam Samvatsarastasya Mitropaanam samaashritah,

Puccheegnischa Mahendrascha Maarichah Kashyapo Dhurvah/

Taarakaah Sishumaarasya naastam yaanti chatushtayam,

Nakshatra Chandra Suryascha Grahaastaaraaganaih sah/

Unmukhaa Vimukhaah Sarvey Vakribhutaah Shritaadivi, 

Dhruvenaadhishthaaschaiva Dhuvameva pradakshinam/

Pariyaanteeshwara sreshtham medibhutam Dhruvam divi,

Agnindrakashyapaanaam tu Charamosou Dhrhuvah smritah/

Eka yeva bhranmatyesha Meruparvata murdhani,

Jyotishaam Chakrametaddhi gadaa karshannavaan mukhah/

Merumaalokayatyesha paryantey hi pradakshinam/

(Aouttanapaada as his upper jay , Yagna Deva as the lower jay and Dharma Deva as the head; Narayana as his heart; Ashwini Kumars as his forelegs; Varuna and Aryama were his inner thighs; Samvatsara is his private part and Mitra his anus; Mahendra, Maricha and Dhruva arein his tail. The Four Stars in the Milky Way never set; Nakshatras, Chandra, Surya, Grahas, Taraa-ganas or constellations of Stars are faced up or down or curved; they are all presided by Dhruva and go around him. Dhruva is the principal hinge in the heavens next only to Indra, Agni and Kashyapa. On top of the Meru, Dhruva pulls one and all towards him and circumambulates the Great Meru Mountain)






Om Tat Sat

(Continued)

(My humble salutations to  the lotus feet of Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswathi Mahaswamy ji and also my humble greatulness to  Brahmasree Sreeman V D N Rao ji  for the collection) 



0 comments:

Post a Comment