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The Essence of Puranas – Maha Bhagavata Purana-1

Posted by gopalakrishna

The Essence of Puranas – Maha Bhagavata Purana


Inspired by the Great Narada Maharshi, the memorable Vedavyasa prepared immortal contributions to the posterity including Vedic Literature, Puranas and rendering of Bhagavatam. He gifted Bhagavatha Purana to his illustrious son Suka Maha Muni. King Parikshith, who was cursed by a Brahmin boy that he would die within a week’s time, decided to live the next few days by seeking the Truth of Life and approached no less a person than Suka Maha Muni to preach the Great Essentials of Human Life within the shortest time available before his end.This  background as to how Suka Maha Muni preached King Parikshith was narrated by Suta Maharshi to a holy congregation of Rishis ( Sages) headed by Sounaka Muni who assembled at the Forest of ‘Nimisharanya’.

In his introductory address, Suta Maharshi referred to Lord Krishna as the all-pervading, all-knowing, and all-powerful Supreme Force. There are indeed countless teachings to comprehend the complexity of the Super Force, but the  path of realisation continued to elude humanity, especially in the age of Kali Yuga, when human beings are short lived, lazy, misguided and unconvinced.That was the reason why Suka Maha Muni chose to highlight the essence of the Truth of Life in a simple form as compared to the intricacies of the Sacred Scriptures like Vedas;this occasion of King Parikshith’s impending death provided an opportunity to do so.

Illusion and Creation

Suta Maharshi began with the concept of ‘Maya’ (Illusion) - the hard outer shell of body hiding the Interior Soul. ‘Maya’ is   derived from Material Sources, which in turn, is associated with three features of the Super Force, viz. ‘Tamas’( Ignorance), ‘Rajas’( Passion), Sathva (Goodness).The examples of firewood, smoke and fire were cited to illustrate the three features to represent Brahma (Creation or Earth),Vishnu (Sustenance) and Eswar (destruction or the Final Negation of ‘Maya’).The feature of ‘Tamas’ is akin to material wellbeing, characterised by women, wealth, power and evil. The ‘Rajas’ is akin to the effort of acquisition of knowledge, devotion, yoga and  Sacrifice and  the final feature, ‘Satva’ or ‘Dharma’ or the release of Inner Energy to align with the Super Force.

At the beginning of Creation, The Super Power or ‘Purusha’ expanded ‘The Self’ to concieve Brahma, who in turn created the Universe and  innumerable manifestations of demi-Gods like Earth, Water, Light, Wind (Life), and the Sky; the Four Sons (Kumaras) known as Sanaka, Sanandana, Sanatana and Sanat Kumaras; the Boar which lifted Earth from the Bottom Regions; Narada, who collected ‘Vedas’- Original Scriptures- and their Interpretation; ‘Nara’ and ‘Narayana’ the twin sons of King ‘Dharma’; the Sage ‘Kapila’ who was the foremost of perfected beings who provided an exposition of creative elements, metaphysics and the secrets of the Universe; the Sage ‘Atri’who taught about the subject of transendence; ‘Yagna’, the son of Prajapati Ruchi and his wife Akuti, whose son is ‘Yama’; King Rasabha, the son of King Nabhi and Merudevi, who showed the path of perfection and controlled senses; King ‘Pruthu’who cultivated land to yield all kinds of produces and made farm lands beautiful and bountiful; took the form of a Fish when the whole world was immersed in deep waters and protected Vaivasvata Manu on a Giant Boat; the Tortoise which bore the brunt of Mountain ‘Mandhara’ used as the churning rod of Ocean with ‘Vasuki’ the Great Serpent as the rope to finally generate ‘Amrit’, the Eternal Life Giving Drink sought by Demi-Gods and Demons; ‘Dhanvantari’, the Demi- God of Medicine; ‘Mohini’, the Supreme Enchantress who helped to bestow ‘Amrit’ to Demi-Gods and denied it to the Demons; as Lord ‘Narasimha’- the Man-Lion manifestation who killed the deadly ‘Rakshasa’ King, ‘Hiranyakasipu’ and rescued Prahlada, the embodiment of Devotion to Lord Vishnu; as ‘Vamana’, the Dwarf- Brahmachari (Student) who sought charity for merely three steps of land  from King Bali- who conquered theThree Worlds from Demi-Gods -and thus pushed the King down to’Patala’, the Under World; as Bhrigupati or Parasu Rama who fought twenty one bloody wars against ‘Kshatriyas’ or the clan of Kings who suppressed and tormented the Class of ‘Brahmins’; as ‘Vyasadeva’, the son of ‘Satyavati’ and ‘Parasara, who made Branches of ‘A Single Veda’ (which is ‘Swayambhu’ or Constituted On Its Own) into Four Vedas and many other ramifications; as Lord Rama- the Hero of Epic Ramayana, the Embodiment of Power and Justice, and as ‘Maryada Purusha’ or the Bench-mark of Nobility and Virtue-who annihilated ‘Ravana’ the Supreme Demon Warrier; as Lords Krishna and Balarama who vindicated ‘Dharma’ and ‘Nyaya’ against the vicious and unjust in a World of Evil, Jealousy and Selfishness, by ending countless Demons;  as Lord Buddha the Enlightened who preached Non-Violence, Truth and Social Justice; and as ‘Kalki’at the terminal part of ‘Kali Yuga’ who strode high on a white and flying horse with a powerful sword in hands by buchering the degenerated kings, animals and devils  in the disguise of humans and sub- humans. Apart from these incarnations, the Super Power took to innumerable other manifestations as Sages, Demi Gods, ‘Manus’ or Leaders of each Manvantar or Long Capsules of Time (‘Yugas’), ‘Prajapaties’ or Noble Kings, or Godmen.
The purpose of ‘Avataras’  or Incarnations of The Supreme Force or Mahavishnu was to re-establish and resuscitate Virtue, Justice and Values of Life, whenever or wherever disorder or disequilibrium appeared in the Universe. The Motto of The Supreme Lord is: Yada Yadahi Dharmascha glanir bhavati Bharata, Thadaatmaham Srijaayami Sambhavami Yuge Yuge (Hey Bharata, as and when Virtue is in jeopardy, I create the Self and appear again and again).

King Parikshit and Brahmana boy’s curse

At the close of the Great Battle of Mahabharatha, ‘Duryodhna’, the last wicked warrior fell on the ground with his thighs broken by ‘Bhima’. ‘Aswathama’, the son of Drona, killed the sons of ‘Arjuna’ in sleep out of vengence.Arjuna hunted for Aswathama who had to utilise the Greatest Weapon ‘Brahma Astra’to counter Arjuna who too used the same weapon back again to control Aswathama. But, as advised by Dharma Raja,the elder brother of Arjuna and close associate of Lord Krishna, let go of Aswathama, by cutting his hair and a Natural  Jewel on his head, which by itself was a punishment.‘Bhisma Pitamaha, the Grand Old Grandfather figure of Kuruvamsa who was felled on the battle field but availed of his boon to die at his own volition, waited till ‘Uttarayana’ or the time for Sun’s course towards northern hemisphere, and joined the Supreme Soul.

Lord Krishna who returned to ‘Dwaraka’ City after the Great Battle had eventually ended His Incarnation and merged with His Own Super Power. That was the Memorable Close of the Greatest Epic of ‘Maha Bharata’.As one Brahmastra released by Aswathama against Arjun was retaliated by another Brahmastra, the former Weapon would have affected the child in the womb of  ‘Uttara’ (the war widow of ‘Abhimanyu’ and the daughter-in-law of Arjun) but for Lord Krishna’s intervention. The Child, named Parikshith was the lone survivor of Pandava Family who eventually became the King. He was extremely pious and ideal as a benevolent King. He came across a Divine Cow once and declared herself as ‘Dharma’ or Virtue. It cautioned the King to watch out the impending danger as the near future would usher in the Era of ‘Kali’, full of vice, degeneration, injustice, and hatred. The Sacred Cow which had the reputation of walking well on its four legs would soon limp by a single leg and hop to barely move!  The King’s reputation as a philonthropher and noble came to be acclaimed far and wide. Once he went on a Royal Hunt in search of animals and having been exhausted, sought rest at the ‘Ashram’ (hermitage) of Samika Rishi who was in deep ‘Tapas’ (meditation). As the Rishi neither welcomed him nor was communicative, the King felt humiliated and placed a dead snake on the shoulders of the Rishi.The Rishi’s son, Shringi, returned to the Ashram and saw the ugly sight.Out of immense anger, he cursed the King that within a week’s time, a flying snake would kill him for his unpardonable indiscretion. On realising the severity of the Brahmana boy’s curse the Rishi felt sorry for the episode but it was too late to withdraw it. He repented the horrible incident but quickly braced up the situation by seating firmly on the bank of River Ganges and beseeched Suka Maha Muni to scoop out what all knowledge that he could muster and enlighten him within a matter of seven days and enable him to face death in full preparation. The word spread out and attracted several Sages, Thinkers, Devotees, Visitors and the Subjects of the Kingdom in growing streams. The King felt that his end would not only help himself but provide a colossal opportunity to the onlookers of being able to listen to the preachings by the  Maha Muni Himself in person! Making a Pilgrim’s journey to the Holy River Banks, illustrious Sages like Atri, Vasishtha, Bhrigu, Parasara, Visvamitra, Angira, Bharadwaja, Guatama, Dwipayana and the Globe trotter Narada himself made their  visits. Besides, there were streams of Kings, Rajarshis, and demi-Gods quite apart from citizens of various other Kingdoms. King Parikshith himself sat composed, eqanimous and ready to face the end, fasting on a mat unto death, having named his son ‘Janamejaya’ as the succsessor. On the other hand, Suka Maha Muni was a boy of sixteen years with spell-binding personality and a thunderous voice as if emerging from the heavens providing spontaneous replies.Incidentally, he had the nose of a parrot as his father, the Sage Vyasa who ignited wooden pieces to start a Sacrifice (‘Yagna’) –this act is known as ‘Arani’-  was momentarily tempted with a passing-by Celestial Damsel named Gritachi and his semen fell in the Arani, while a parrot flew across the Fire-Pit.

Awareness of God

King Parikshith addressed the foremost question to Suka Maha Muni as to what would bethe first step towars realisation of God.The reply was that in the normal life of any human being, there would be countless affairs engaging one’s own attention like the need for earning livelihood, family matters, indulgence in material happiness and the concerns related to the well being of the self or the persons close. Thus there would hardly be time nor inclination to even remember the awareness of God except when confronted with circumstances forcing them to do so. Even if there is an under-current of God’s consciousness, one tends to conveniently ignore or accord a low priority to the feeling of other wordliness or that of the Supreme Force above all of us.

The moments of complete and concentrated surrender to Almighty are very few and far between. The Maha Muni thus asked the King as to what was the purpose of prolonged life without realising the objective of futile existence, even if the life were a success in the material context but devoid of the divine perception? The serious tasks to be taken to improve the awareness of God are well defined viz. to try to be lonely, gradually detach with material happenings of normal life, exercise self control in speech and action,   practise introspection, withdraw the mind without thoughts other than of  God, chant the Holy Word- OM- as often as possible, free the mind, control breathing process while performing ‘Pranayama’and  imagine / concentrate on the vision of Vishnu with His Limbs in a Huge Form of Almighty.

‘Virat Purusha’ – the Primeval Force

Described as ‘Purusha’, the Primeval Force of Creation possesses countless heads, eyes and feet pervading the entire Universe, far beyond the miniscule level of human comprehension.He is Omni-present, omniscient and omni-potent. He is immortal, intangible, and inexpressible. Whatever has been described, visualised or imagined by way of His Glory is far surpassed. It is stated in Purusha Suktham(a Vedic compilation of Hymns) that hardly one quarter of the Purusha is comprehended as the totality of His Creation and the rest of Him is unmanifested. From the manifested part sprang the ‘Brahmanda’ or the Cosmos, the countless forms of living or non-living species and the Five Elements (Earth, Water, Fire, Air, and Sky) as also the Divine Architect,’Visva Karma’, The Master-Builder.

The Gigantic and Collosal Manifestation of the Material World be likened with the Body of The Absolute Truth, wherein the concepts of Time-The Past, The Present and The Future-converge into One. Sages concieved the ‘Virat Swarupa’ or The Body comprising Various Limbs: The Bottoms of The Feet as ‘Patala’; the Heels and Toes as the Planets named ‘Rasatala’; Ankles as ‘Mahatala’ Planets; the Shanks as ‘Talatala’ Planets; The Knees as the ‘Mahatala’ Planets; the two Thighs as ‘Atala’ and ‘Vitala’ Planets; The Hips as the ‘Mahitala’ Planets and the Navel as the Inter- Space. The Chest of The Giant Body is likened to  the Luminary Planetery System, The Neck as the ‘Mahar’Planets; and The Mouth and Forehead are the ‘Janas’ and ‘Tapas’ Planetery  Systems respectively.The Sages described the Topmost Planetary Structure comprising Thousand Heads as ‘Satya Loka’; His Arms as Demi-Gods (‘Devatas’) conducted by ‘Indra’as the Chief; the Ten Directional Sides as His Ears; the Physical Sound as Sense of Hearing; the Two Nostrils as Aswini Kumars; Material Fragrance as The Sense of Smell; His Throat as the Blistering Fire; His Eyepits as the Outer Space; Eye Balls as the Power of Vision (The Sun); Eye Lids as Day and Night; Eye Brows are the Places where Brahma and Super Personalities Reside; His Palate is the Director of Water ‘Varuna’; and His Toungue is the Spring of Juices or the Sense of Taste; Cerebral Passage are the Vedas; His Jaws of Teeth are the Lord ‘Yama’, the Dispenser of Death and Justice; The Set of Teeth is the Art of Affection; His Smile is the most fascinating and deceptive Material Energy; Upper Portion of His Lips is Modesty; His Chin is the Craving and Thirst; His Breast is Religion and His Back Irreligion; His Genitals the Brahma or the Creator; His Two Testicles are Mitra-Varunas; His Waist is the Ocean; His Bones are the Hills and Mountains; The Veins of His Gigantic Body are the Rivers; His Body Hairs are Trees;His Breath is the Omnipotent Air; His Movements are Passing Ages; His Actions are the Reactions or  the Three Modes of Material Nature; Hairs on His Head are the Clouds carrying water / rain; His Intelligence is the Supreme Cause of Material Creation; His Mind is the Moon or the Reservoir of all Changes; His Ego is Rudradeva; His Residence is Humanity; His Musical Rhythm is the Celestial Existence of ‘Gandharvas’ ‘Vidyadharas’ and Angels; and so on. The Face of the Gigantic Body is of ‘Brahmanas’, Arms are ‘Khsatriyas’, Thighs are ‘Vaisyas’ and Feet are under the protection of ‘Sudras’. The ‘Virat Purusha’ has no beginning or end; is all powerful and all-prevading.


Thus explained Suka Maha Muni the broad concept of ‘Virat Purusha’, beyond which there could be no other Reality and the rest a mere illusion. It is that ‘Reality’ which needs to be realised and deeply meditated to. This is the very the first step to Introspection. It is the Supreme Lord Who is in one’s own Heart. The marginal pleasures of Life are short-lived and it is unfortunate and foolish to pursue such quickly vanishing joys of corporal nature. It is equally wasteful to work hard and get highly engrossed into such quickly evaporating material rather than pursue the substantive and ever lasting happiness. Indeed, strict regimen of resisting the free play of  Five Sensory Features ( ‘Pancha Indriya’) is an intelligent way of channelising all the physical and mental energies in full force to achieve solid and everlasting bliss rather than chase inefficient and  useless actions that would only land into disappointments and dejections at the end of one’s own Life’s journey.

As such, it would be prudent to retain the minimum possible means of living and reject the unwanted and superfluous wants for which the labours to be put in are inversely proportionate to the gains secured. For example, adequate amount of money to eke out a living is good enough rather than seek immense wealth, which has no limit anyway. Sensual life to the desirable extent of procreating children is good enough rather than get entangled with endless conjugal life that has no limit but would lead to complicated health problems. Taking to the habit of drinking wine would certainly lead to the path of misery.Thus each desire should be properly weighed in terms of bare necessity rather than by a false feeling of so-called prestige, or status or Show. By such a frugal and most minimal existence, the unwanted chaff over the grain would make enormous room in terms of effort, time and purity of thought to concentrate on the imprint of The Supreme Self residing right within everybody’s own heart admeasuring some six inches with a Miniature Replica of the ‘Virat Purusha’. Then would commence the process of aligning the Miniature within and the Collossal Superforce all over, limb by limb, ie. hand by hand, head by head


The process followed by a ‘Yogi’ ( Practitioner of Aligning the Miniature to the Maximum) is to commence the Limb By Limb Alignment from the Lotus Feet to the ‘Brahma Randhra’ or the Top Hole on the Head. The Yogi by virtue of his Scientific Knowledge and Perfection of Practice could extinguish the Material Desires and block the Life Force (‘Prana Vayu’ or Air) from the anus-hole upwards, while meditating or concentrating on the ‘Virat Purusha’. While thus blocking, the Air is facilitated to be lifted from the foot-heels to the navel, to the heart, to the chest, and to the root of the palate. From there, Bhakti Yoga commences the air travel to the  middle of eyebrows from where retention of Life Force is a  cut-off point Exercise.

From then onward, the lifting of one’s Self ( ‘Atma’) to the Cerebral Hole would aim at  the Spiritual Path at the termination of Materialism and the Ultimate Merger with the Supreme. Further Travel to the Outer Space or ‘Vaihayasas’ over the Milky Way to ‘Susumna’, ‘Vaisvanara’or the Planet of Fire to cleanse the Soul and higher still to ‘Sisumara’- the Turning Point of the Entire Universe; to ‘Mahar Loka’ and further on  to Vishnu Nabhi ( Navel), known as ‘Garbodha- Sayi Vishnu’, to ‘Satya Loka’ or Brahma Loka and finally to ‘Ananta’ or the Great End or the Grand Beginning.Thus ended Suka Maha Muni’s reply as to how best an intelligent person at the Cave of Death  ought to conduct himself with hardly seven days to go before his Final End

Simpler Approach

Having thus quoted Suka Maha Muni about the Grand Phenomenon of Virat Purusha and the methodology of attaining that Spiritual Experience, Suta Muni was asked a simple question by Saunaka Muni: “The Spiritual level of Suka who replied and the knowledge level of the King who made the query about the First Step of Realisation of God are quite high.But, persons of average capacity might be baffled. As such, would there be a less complicated reply?” Suta Muni replied that unlike inanimate species like trees or animated beings like animals or human beings are blessed to think and placed better to use their sensory organs to their advantage; they could listen to the Stories of Almighty unlike serpents which have earholes; sing or chant the greatness of the Omnipotent unlike the tongues of frogs; bow down to the Omniscient unlike the head of a dead person;

use the hands in the service of Omnipresent unlike in the case of decorated hands of the dead; the eyes to see the Manifestations of God in symbolic forms unlike the attractive plumes of a peacock; the legs that move forward to Temples and Holy places unlike tree trunks; the nose that experiences the fragrance of flowers or ‘Tulsi’ leaves decorating the Idols of God’s Incarnations unlike that of an animal; the hair that experiences a spontaneous rise on hearing about the miracles of Vishnu unlike the hair of a goat or sheep; the mind that is in constant thought of the Supreme Force unlike in the case of a dead person and the heart that does not melt by the ecstasy of the Lord’s very thought. Thus the First Step Towards Realisation of God is to practise utmost concentration and meditation on the basis of limb-by-limb alliance between a human being and God.

Creation by Brahma

At this juncture, Maha Muni Suka quoted Sage Narada after ascertaining from Lord Brahma Himself about the process of further Creation By Brahma. After the Supreme Force created Him there emerged ‘Brahma Jyoti’which created the Sun, Fire, Moon, Firmament, Planets and Stars. Then followed the Creation of the Five Basic Elements, the Vedas, the Matter, Knowledge and the Entirety . The Very Original Manifestations of Super Force created the Three Super Energies in Brahma (to create), Vishnu  (to preserve) and Eswar (to destroy). To express His gratitude to the Super Force, Brahma, who emerged from the navel of Maha Vishnu over a lotus stem(whose depth could never be known), innovated the paraphernalia and ingredients to perform Worship to the Master and in the process were created the Sacificial Material, Veda Reciters or the Holy Sages, the Humanity and so on.

But, Brahma reiterated again that the activities attrirbuted to Himself, or Vishnu or Eswar are basically the Acivities of the Supreme Force Itself, reflected as the actions of the Proxy- Entities concerned. Brahma also referred to the First Incarnation of the Super Force, named ‘Karanarnavasayi Vishnu’Who was the Master of Eternal Time, Space, Cause and Effects, Elements, Material Ego, Modes of Nature, Senses and Universal Form of the Super Force, while ‘Garbhodayasayi Vishnu’ is the Totality of Live Beings, moving or stationary. Brahma mentioned too about the Supreme Lord’s   Scheduled Incarnations with Specific Purposes. This was how, Sage Narada sought replies from Brahma about his doubts whether (a) there was a manifold manifestation of the Super Force as normally understood  by the Existence of Triemvirate and (b) whether there was dualism of ‘Atma’ (Inner Self) of  Human beings and other species and of ‘Paramatma’. The replies were categorical to signify the firm belief that there is one and only one Super Force and the rest is an illusion.

Ten Stage Formation

To several queries raised by King Parikshith after being engrossed with the content of the earlier replies, The Maha Muni Suka resumed his further preachings and described  Creation of the Universe, its Sub-Creation, Planetery Systems, Protection by Almighty, the Momentum to Create, Alteration of ‘Manus’, the Science of the Super Force, Revisiting the Home, Return to God Head and Liberation.The basic elements used for Creation are the ‘Pancha Bhootas’or Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Sky plus smell, taste, touch,sound, ears, eyes, nose, form, toungue, skin and mind – all totalling sixteen, the group of which is known as ‘Sarga’ and their combined interaction is named ‘Visarga’.

Obedience by mankind to the Fundamental Laws of Nature as prescribed and safeguarded by the Supreme Force (for eg. Planetery System) and enforcing  Regulations such as the Discipline of Marriages, Family living, social life etc. by ‘Manus’ or The Period Heads who keep changing from time to time as the ongoing phenomena of Creation and Sub-creation of the Universe.The cause and momentum  for creative activity in the Universe is provided  by  the Nature itself.The Science of the Super Force is a result of Self-propelling Action in terms of Incarnations or their Devotees. Revisiting the human abode by the Individual Soul into the physical bodies for temporary existence denotes the cycle of births and deaths.Return to God Head is the merger of Individual Souls into the Supreme Force, only to join the cycle of life once again. And Liberation is the Finality or the Final Truth.The Sum Substance of this Ten Stage Formation of the Universe was given by the Suka Muni based either on Vedic Inferences, or the Teachings of Great Sages or self-motivations.
The Muni further explained that the Supreme Force is not impersonal in the sense that an Individual Being or ‘Nara and Narayana’, not different from each other. Nara signifies Water and Narayana is the One Floating on Water. The Lord lying in ‘Yoga Nidra’ or Spiritual Slumber on Water manifests Himself all over the Universe and also releases energies to create the Controlling Entities, the Controlled Entities and Material Bodies, activities, time and modes. Narayana created sky from His Own Body as also the Sense Force, Mental Energy and Bodily Strength.The totality of these Three Formulations produced the Life Energy which paved the way for Mouth and Palate. Along side came, the  features of hunger and thirst, tongue and taste, speech and digestion.The Ruling Planet of  Fire was in place.The Lord’s Nose and Nostrils produced  respiration, smelling and the ruling planet of Air. Darkness was dispelled by the creation of Sun.Eyes gave vision and Ears provided the sense of hearing.Then followed the physical characteristics of matter as also feelings of sensations such as softness, hardness, warmth, cold, lightness and heaviness as experienced by skin and skin pores.Hands and legs and their parts like palms, feet and fingers as well as the strength and felicity of movement was provided by the agency of Lord Indra. Other organs and allied actions were organised too by the concerned controlling deities, such as the genitals for sex and procreation by Prajapathi; refuse evacuating organ by the controlling Deity, Mitra and so on.Thereafter, the Omnipotent Force created various other organs, sensations, functions and activities like the navel, abdomen, intestines, arteries, the nervous system, heart, lungs, kidneys and mind.The seven elements of human body, viz. the inner layer of skin,outer skin, flesh, blood, fat, marrow, bones and the Life Force Itself, are governed by the Five Elements of Universe or ‘Pancha Bhoothas (Earth,Water, Fire, Air, and Sky). Various sensations or action-reaction syndrome of individual existence are governed by Six Proactive Compulsions named the ‘Arishat -Vargas’ viz. Kama ( Desire), Krodha ( Anger), Moha ( Infatuation), Mada ( Arrogance) and Matsara ( Jealousy).The Inter-relationship of human beings- or for that matter of any of the  variegated species, whether animate or otherwise- and of the Super Force is strictly as per the Regulative Principles of the Supreme Power.There are no exceptions to escape results of past actions or ‘Karma’ from Brahma down-wards, including His sons like Daksha, Period Heads like Vaivasvata Manu, Demi-Gods like Indra, Surya, Chandra or Varuna; Great Sages like Bhrigu, Vyasa or Vasishtha; Gandharvas, Vidyadharas, Asuras, Kinnaras, monkey-shaped Kimpurushas, Demons, Pisachas, Goblins, Ghosts, Human beings, all and any species of animate or inanimate nature.The cycle of births and deaths- creation and destruction-is an everlasting phenomenon of Existence.

The Example of Vidura the Virtuous

After the abstractive discussion from the Higher Levels of Learning, Maha Muni referred to the memory of one of the less celebrated personalities of Maha Bharatha, Vidura, the able Prime minster of Kauravas and the offspring of Veda Vyasa. Mahi Muni Suka inferred that a change of Topic was sought by the King to recall the Story of a noble person from his own clan, known for Virtue and Justice. Vidura was convinced that the Gang of Four, the ‘Dushta Chatushtaya’ comprising Duryodhana, Dussasana, Shakuni and Karna were all along giving a raw deal to their Cousins-Pandavas- and victimised them from time to time,starting from an attempt to kill Pandavas in a ‘Lac Palace’; their disappearance till their Wedding with Draupadi; the division of the Kingdom between Kauravas and Pandavas;

the ‘Rajasuya Yaga’- or the Annoucement of Royal Supremacy by Pandavas and the jealousy of Kauravas versus Pandavas; the unjust Game of Chess which led Pandavas to lose their Kingship and a penalty of twelve years of forest life and a year’s disguised existence in the Court of a lesser valued King Virat; the successful completion of the penalties by Pandavas and finally the refusal by Kauravas to restore their due share of the Kingdom to Pandavas. Apparently, Vidura did not like the villanny of Kauravas and the helplessness of Dhritarashtra, Bhishma and other Elders of Kauravas, including his own. Vidura thus hung his bow and arrows as a symbol of resignation and left Hastinapuram, the Capital of Kauravas on a pilgrimage, just while the Great Battle of ‘Maha Bharat’ was round the corner.
During his long duration of pilgrimage, Vidura visited those places of renown where Krishna spent long spells of time, as Krishna was his Hero, a Role Model and indeed his Godhead. He visited Ayodhya ( as the Holy place of Rama, viz. Krishna’s earlier Incarnation), Mathura, Dwaraka and places around. Onwards, he visited ‘Prabhasa’ the once Glorious Capital of ‘Yudhishtara’ and travelled to perform rites to Vidura’s own relatives who died of burns in bamboo houses catching fire, at  various other pilgrimage   points along the banks of River Saraswati. In course of his travels, Vidura met Uddhava, the childhood friend of Lord Krishna and discovered that the Great Battle was over and there were innumerable changes that had taken place thereafter. Lord Krishna Himself left for Dwaraka and provided spiritual solace to millions of His devotees. He ruled the hearts of His subjects for long number of years and finally left His Mortal Body.Uddhava provided a complete run of the scenario of the Post War happenings, including the Story of  Pandavas on one hand and that of Lord Krishna and His Activities at Dwaraka. Both of the great devotees of Lord Krishna exchanged experiences and memories of Krishna’s childhood, the series of miracles that happened from the stage of transfer of the baby from Mathura to Gokul across the River Yamuna on a rainy midnight, the various attempts made by Demons like Pothana, Sakatasur and Dhenukasur; display of the entire Universe in His mud-eating mouth to Mother Yashoda; the taming of Kaliya Serpent; the lifting of Govardhana giri by His little finger to destroy Lord Varuna’s ego; the killings of Kamsa, Sisupala and several other Kings of Evil; the constant protection of the well-meaning Pandavas; the highly diplomatic dealings with wicked forces like Kauravas; the Great Vision of ‘Virat Swarupa’ to revive confidence to devotees and demoralise the egoistic and sinful.

Vidura’s deliberations with Sage Maitreya on ‘Maha Tatva’

Uddhava referred Vidura to meet Sage Maitreya on the banks of the Holy River Ganges.Sage Maitreya recognised Vidura not only as the worthy offspring of Vadavyasa but as Lord Yama, the demi-god of Death and the King of Justice in his previous birth. He was born in the earthly form owing to a curse of  Mandanya Muni. Sage Maitreya explained the Concept of ‘Maha Tatva-the Great Philosophy- of the Fundamental Truth of ‘Kaaranam’ ( The Cause), ‘Karanam’ (the Action) and the ‘Kartha; ( the Doer). The Cause and Effect are the formulations of Illusion  ( or fallacy) whereas the ‘Doer’ is the Truth or the Mighty Lord. Normally, one tends to imagine that an action is performed by a human being and the reason for doing so is one’s own mental frame of mind.

But that precisely is the false impression or wrong assessment of the actuality. It is our gross ignorance which leads us to the conjecture of the three features.viz. Reason, Action and End-result; indeed these are just one and the same. Sage Maitreya further explained that the Falsity of human thinking was the resultant interaction of senses, as represented by Sky, Sound, Air, Light and Earth and the senses of touch, taste, hearing, seeing, thinking and so on  got transformed further to Energy or Electricity and Timing or Time. The physical elements thus provide the end-results of material existence, sense of happiness, or material misery and so on. Subsequently, actions are taken as an interplay of the senses, timing, energy, speed and mind. Thus the cause and effect of actions are merely confused as have been executed on one’s own, but not as a volition of the Almighty. The ‘shell’ therefore covers up and misleads the existence of the‘kernel’, which indeed is The Truth. It is most irrational and even foolish to think that the so-called modern science and technology has been discovering various facets of human existence as a result of discoveries, knowledge and human endeavour and mental excellence! The First, Second and Third Person expressions of ‘I’ or ‘We’; or ‘you; as also‘He’,’She’or ‘It’and ‘They’ in any  human language are only for distinguishing individual existences in a typically social context but certainly not in the Macro-Form or in the Cosmic Sense.
The Concept of ‘Mahatatva’having been propounded, Sage Maitreya described the principal features of ‘Virat Swarupa’ and how Lord Brahma responsible for Creation was born from the Lotus Head out of Lord’s navel, the roots of the Lotus having been  entangled with Millions of Hoods of ‘Sesha Naga’( The Gigantic Serpent) bearing the brunt of the Lotus Stem. On top of the Stem were actually three trunks, on which were  seated the ‘Pancha Mukha’ Brahma ( The Five Headed Brahma visioning the Five Directions including the overhead view)  and Two other Trunks representing the Gods of Preservation ( Vishnu) and of  Destruction ( Shiva).Lord Brahma, who had the initial responsibility of Creation, made sincere prayers to the Super Energy as far and effective as he could describe the Latter, most humbly beseeched Him to guide him to initiate the process of Creation. The Super Lord provided the Radiance and Knowledge necessary to guide Lord Brahma as a result of which he was commissioned to take up the Task. As the Cosmic Manifestation of  The Supreme Energy unfolded Itself, Lord Brahma was able to initiate the Process. There were Ten types of Maha Tatva : The first formulation was in regard to the Creation of ‘Maha Tatva’ or the sum and substance of Matter and its Ingredients and their interaction with ‘Paramatma’- The Unknown, Permanent, All Pervading, Endless, and Imperishable. The Second one was ‘Maya’ ( Illusion) which Material Sources, Its Awareness or Knowledge and Its Innumerable Manifestations or Activities were identified.The Third Creation related to the Insight or Observation or Discernment of Senses related to the Material Elements.The Fourth Creation is the Power of Knowledge and Capacity to Pursue and Practice. The Fifth Creation relates to the regulation and management of Mental faculties or in short of  the psyche, of plus factors of goodness, devotion, calmness, selflessness or eqanimity.The Sixth Creation is the control of sinister feelings of anger, lust, infatuation, pride and ignorance. The fifth and sixth Creations are the displays of natural creations of Almighty either by way of developing the noble and virtuous impulses or by way of negating the mind -sets to control evil thoughts.The Seventh Creation is related to immovable objects like of trees, creepers, bushes, and flowers, fruits and other edibles/inedible.The Eighth Creation is of animals, birds, water- based items and a huge variety of bipeds, quadruples and crawling species specified or other wise. The Ninth Category of Creation has a distinct identity which is of human beings, at once angelic or devilish, happy or miserable, greedy and generous and above all, the  highly complicated and complex entities that only Gods could deal with!The Tenth Creation is of demi-gods, according to Bhagavatha Purana,are of eight categories ( in addition to Prakritha and Vaikritha Creations): demigods; forefathers; ‘Asuras’ or Demons; ‘Gandharvas’ or ‘Apsaras’ or Angels; ‘Yakshas’ and ‘Rakshasas’; ‘Siddhas’, ‘Karanas’, or Vidyadharas; ‘Bhootas’, ‘Prethas’ or ‘Pisachas’; Superhuman Beings, Celestial Singers and Dancers.

Analysis of Atom and Time

Mahatatva and Ten Creations having been described, Sage Maithreya proceeded to analyse the Concepts of Atom and Time to Vidura. An atom is the ‘Paramanu’ or the ultimate unit of Matter and this unit is indivisible further. The Matter comprising definable units of the atom goes into the creation of various bodies and the totality of such Material spreading over the Universe is measurable in terms of Space. The sum of Space occupied and the Movement of the Matter totals up to the Atomic Time. Thus the Matter, Space and Time are measurable. The Time Units are  measured in terms of Trasarenus (a mix of three celestial atoms)  and  the duration of integrating three trasarenus is known is a ‘triti’; hundred tritis make one ‘vedha’ and three vedhas make one ’lava’, three lavas make one ‘nimesha’ or a blink, three nimeshas make one ‘kshana’, five nimeshas make one ‘kashtha’ or eight seconds and fifteen kasthas make one ‘laghu’( two minutes); fifteen laghus make one ‘nadika’ or ‘Danda’ and  six or seven Dandas make one fourth of a day or night; there are four ‘praharas’ (‘Yamas’) each in a day and in a night; and two fortnights, called ‘Pakshas’ and two pakshas on a month;

two months each a season, and six months make one ‘Ayanam’ or two complete movements of a year by Sun- as ‘Dakshinayan’ from top to bottom and from bottom to top direction is known as ‘Urttarayan’.Combination of a day and night , numbering 365, makes a year to human beings and their average life-time is one hundred years. On the other hand two solar movements a year of the humans beings measures up to a day and a night to demi-Gods.[ According to Vishnu Purana-Book I, Chapter III on Time Measurement Section, there are 15 twinkles of an eye make one Kashtha; 30 Kashthas one Kala; 30 Kalas one Muhurtha; 30 Muhurthas one Day (24 hours) and so on. According to Hindu Metric System Time (Kala vyavahara), a Paramanu is the normal interval time of blinking ie.four seconds; one Vighati is six Paramanus or 24 seconds approx. ; one Ghadia is 60 Vighatis or 24 minutes; one Muhurtham is two Ghadias or 48 minutes; one Nakshatra Aho- Ratram ( Dawn to Midnight) is 30 Muhurthas. According to Lunar Metrics, a Lunar day or Thithi starts at the time it takes at  the longitudinal angle  between Moon and Sun by 12 degrees, the duration approximating from 19 to 26 hours; a Paksha ( fortnight) about 15 days and a lunar month of 29.5 days providing time for Sukla Paksha and Krishna Paksha; A season or Rithu for 2 months, Ayanam for 3 Rithus and a year for 2 Ayanams.]
      A human year is a day for Devas. Krita Yuga had a span of 4800 Divine Years; Thretha Yuga had 3600 Divine Years; Dwapara Yuga had 2400 Divine Years and Kali Yuga is 1200 Divine Years.All the four Yugas totalling 12000 Divine Years make one Maha Yuga. One thousand Maha Yugas make one Kalpa or a Day for Lord Brahma or 4320,000,000 human Years. Two Kalpas make a full day. Lord Brahma’s one month has 259,200 million Human Years; one Year of Brahma has 3110,400 million human years; 50 years of Brahma is one Parardhha and two Parardhhas or 100 years make one Para or a Maha Kalpa ( a mind- boggling 3110,400, 000,000 million human years). [Interestingly, we are now currently existing in the 28th Kali Yuga of the First Day of the First Year of the Svetha Varaha Kalpa, second parardha of Brahma, in the reign of Vaivasvatha Manu ( the Seventh Manu in the Order). Kali Yuga( Iron Age) is stated to have begun on 17th February 3102 BC of Julian calendar. Each Cycle of Four Yugas has one day of Brahma, called  Maha Yuga and 71 Maha Yugas are ruled by successive Manus.It is estimated that Brahma is 51 years old and has already lived 155 trillion years, since He took over!]  During the First half of Lord Brahma’s Existence, there were Two Kalpas viz. Brahma Kalpa ( or when Vedas came up as ‘Swayambhu’ or on their Own) and Padma Kalpa ( when the Incarnations of The Lord  dominated). Now, the Second Half of Lord Brahma’s Existence has just begun, the Third Kalpa –The Varaha Kalpa- is now in progress.

Further Creations of Lord Brahma

Sage Maithreya had thus explained the Concepts of Time and Atom to Vidura and proceeded further to describe about  which commenced with creating realities of Existence such as  sense of death, self-deception, anger, frustration, feeling of ownership and illusion. But the very first creation of negative impulses did not satisfy Lord Brahma and as such gave the birth to the Four Kumaras-Sanaka, Sanandana, Sanat and Sanatana. He asked the Kumaras to create their own progeny, but they declined to do so as they were in the practice of seminal flow upwards in their bodies. This had irritated Lord Brahma and from the folding of His eyebrows, was born Rudra. Brahma designated a few places to reside Rudra the Chief of Demi-Gods, such as the heart, the senses, Prana Vayu ( The Air of Breathing), and the Five Elements of Life

Brahma also gave Rudra eleven other names,viz. Manyu, Manu, Mahinasa, Mahan, Siva, Rithidwaja, Ugrareta, Bhava, Kala, Vamadeva and Drithavratha.  He also created eleven Rudranis, viz. Dhi, Dhriti, Rasala, Uma, Niyut, Sarpi, Ila, Ambica, Iravati, Svadha and Diksha. But Rudra in turn produced progeny of furious nature and Brahma was upset  that such progeny might create chaos and imbalance in Nature and thus forced Rudra to eternally practise penance therafter. Lord Brahma decided thus to create Ten sons: Narada ( concieved from the thoughtfulness of Brahma, hence known to the posterity as ‘Manasa Puthra’); Vasishtha from His Breathing; Daksha from a Thumb, Bhrigu from touch; Kratu from a hand; Pulastya from ears; Angira from mouth, Atri from eyes, Marichi from mind and Pulaha from navel. In addition, religion emerged from His breast, irreligion or sacrilege from His Back and death from Brahma’s Living identity; lust and desire from the Heart; anger from eyebrows, greed from lips, power of communication from mouth; ocean from genitals; and all evil activities from anus, the seat of sin. Sage Kardama was born from Brahma’s shadow. When Vak Devi or Sarasvati was born, Brahma was infatuated with her and when Prajapaties or His Sons, appealed to Him, He was ashamed of the evil design on her and manifested Himself as haze in darkness. Emerging from His Four Front Heads came out from His Mouths the Four Vedas-Rik,Yajur, Sama and Atharvana. Vedic Hymns, Ritual Mantras and Allied such Recitations too emerged from the Front Heads. The Fifth Head on the rear side came out Puranas and Historical Accounts of The Supreme Force thus envisioning the Past, Present and Future. Side by side, the various Sciences of Physiology and Medicine, Art and Architecture, Music and Dance, Astronomy and Gastronomy, Military and Finance and so on inclusive of all the’ Chatur Shashthi’ ( or sixty four) types of Professions or their various specialisations were emanated. The Eight Categories of Fire Sacrifices and their methodologies of performance were descibed too, viz. Sodasi, Ukta, Purusi, Agnistoma, Aptoryama, Atiratra, Vajapeya and Gosava emerged  from the eastern mouth of Brahma. From the other mouths were announced the Orders of ‘Chaturvarnas’ or the Four Caste System and Their ‘Dharmas’ or duties; the Thread Ceremony of Twice Born or the Brahmin caste, abstinence of sex, the duties of Four Stages of life,viz.Brahmacharya ( Student life), Grihastha ( Married Life), Vanaprastha   ( Retired Life) and Sanyasa ( Spiritual Life).Of the Retired Life, there are Vaikhanasas, Valakhilyas, Audumbaras and Phenapas. Pranava Omkara manifested from Lord Brahma’s heart and the Gayatri Mantra came out of His skin. The ‘usnik’ or the method of  literary expression of Vedic Hymns was created from His hairs of the Body, ‘Tristup’ from His flesh, ‘Anusthup ’ from His veins, and ‘Jagati’ from bones. Of the alphabet words, Brahma created Consonants and Vowels from His Soul and Body respectively and the sensual activities as the Seven Notes of Music,Viz. ‘Sa’, ‘Re’, ‘Ga’, ‘Ma’,’Pa’ ‘Da’ and ‘Ni’.
Brahma’s son Manu ( also known as Swayambhu) married Satrupa and they had two sons Priyavrata and Uttanapada and three daughters viz.Ahuti, Devasuti and Prasuti.  Ruchi, Kardama and Daksha were married to the three daughters respectively. The offspring of Manu were added thus to the great humanity.Among the daughters of Daksha and Prasuti, Diti was one of the many daughters who was married to Sage Kasyapa. Sati was another sister of Diti and the former was Lord Shiva’s consort. Diti gave birth to two Demon Kings, Hiranyaksha and Hiranyakashipu. In their previous lives, the Demon Kings were actually the Gate Keepers of ‘Vaikuntha’, the Abode of Lord Maha Vishnu. Although the Gates of Vaikuntha were never closed, the Two Gate Keepers, named Jaya and Vijay had stopped entry to the Renowned Kumara Brothers to approach Lord Maha Vishnu. The Boy-Rishis were Sanaka, Sanandana, Sanat Kumar and Sanatana. After protests to the Gate Keepers, the Boy-Sages gave them a curse to become ferocious King Demons  born to Diti and Kasyapa; they however begged of the Kumaras to receive boons to get killed by Lord Vishnu Himself. That was the reason as to why, the Lord had to assume the Incarnations of Varaha, Narasimha and so on. As soon as Diti gave birth to the sons, there were natural calamities, planetery movement was odd, and there was a very high commotion the World over. As the Demon Brothers grew, the Heavens were the targets and the entire lot of demi-Gods trembled out of fright. The major casualities were the Earth and Oceans and the complete planetery system went out of gear. Lord Brahma who granted boons the the Demons himself had the taste of uneasiness and discomfort as the Earth was being rolled up as though it was like a carpet and was hurled into the depths of the huge Ocean by Hiranyaksha, the elder Demon King. That was the crisis when Lord Vishnu had to act. The boons granted by Brahma to Hiranyaksha excluded the detailed list of species of which there was the animal of a Hog that was ommitted. As such, the Lord discovered the loophole and took to the manifestation of a boar.His appearance as  finger long , the Boar grew up in stature and strength occupying the Sky and Water, lifted the massive weight of Earth which sank deep in Mighty Water, and by Power and Energy displayed by Its Massive Tusks,  a mighty push high from the Water, tossed up Earth in order and balance. The Most Invaluable Vedas and Innumerable and Priceless Sciptures handed by Lord Brahma to Humanity were retrieved and finally after a prolonged cosmic war between the Evil and Truth, massive destruction and  recovery, Order and Chaos, the Demon King got annihilated. The very existence of Earth would have been jeopardised and the Scheme of Lord’s Creation would have been falsified except for the gigantic effort made by the Super Force, in the Form of Varaha.Vidura enquired as to what followed, once normalcy was witnessed after the eventful extermination of Hirnayaksha. Maitreya replied that when the equilibrium of the modes of Nature got disrupted, there was  a false ego and domination of ‘Rajas’ Guna which took the lead. Brahma evolved a shadow of illusion and formed five kinds of ignorance,viz.tamisra, andha misra, tamas, moha and mahamoha. The aspects of passion, sex and infatuation predominated. Simultaneously, there was gaining importance to ritual aspects of religion including meditation, concentration,austerity, and penance. This trend has set in motion the streams of passion and avarice on the one hand and the practices of Virtue as promoted by Manu and His progeny on the other.

‘Manu’ and Progeny

Being inquisitive of the activities of Manu and His progeny, Vidura continued his queries to Sage Maitreya. Swayambhuva Manu had two sons, Priyavrata and Uttanapada, both of them governing territories of their own on the lines prescribed by Manu. The latter’s daughter Devahuti was wedded to Sage Kardama, a perfectionist of eight-fold Yoga System. In fact, their union was so ideal that there could not be a better choice from either side.Besides being the daughter of Emperor Manu, Devahuti was an unparalelled beauty and Kardama was not only a Great Sage of Virtue but had  actually experienced Lord Brahma’s audience. The Wedding was performed by Manu with such great pomp and show that there were few parallels what with lavish festivities and celestial dances and music.

The City of Barhispati in Brahmavartha was a shining example of material wealth and spiritual excellence and the Hairs from the Body of Lord Varaha who killed Hiranyaksha fell down and originated the crops of ‘Kusa’ grass used all over the Universe for seating Sages on mats and to utilise the material for all sacrificial purposes. The bride is a paragon of rare grace and virtue and Sage of Kardama improvised by his Yogic powers, a massive  Flying Palace, with Golden walls and floors studded with of precious stones and jewellery enabling to visit places any where in the Universe, as a gift to his wife! As blessed by Lord Brahma Himself, Kardama provided great conjugal happiness to Devahuti and blessed them with nine daughters with illustrious husbands : Kala to Marichi; Anasuya to Atri; Shraddha to Angira; Havirbhu to Pulastya; Gati to Pulaha; Kriya to Kratu; Khati to Bhrigu, and Arundhati to Vasishtha and Shanti to Atharva. As ordered by Lord Brahma again, the Couple of Devahuti and Kardama gave birth to Sage Kapila who would innovate and perfect the Sankhaya Yoga and many other Scriptures. In course of time, Sage Kardama left for the forests to pursue the Eternal Truth and Devahuti was in the care of her son, Kapila. Kapila guided his mother about the the nuances of the Yoga system and the content, methodology and intensive  practice of devotional services which alone would enable move forward to self-realisation.

Sage Kapila and Sankhya Yoga

 In this context, Kapila enumerated the basic principles of Sankhya Yoga. Sankhya literally means counting the numbers. ‘Prakriti’ or Material Nature comprises specified twenty four manifested forms of Existence and provides the means of reaching the stage of ‘Purusha’or the Super Energy. ‘Atma’ or The Soul is the twenty fifth form while the twenty sixth is of ‘Paramathma’ or the Super Soul. The conduit between the Material Nature and the Super Energy is ‘Prardhana’ or Prayer which possesses three modes of Nature viz. Goodness, Passion and Ignorance. It  is the amalgam of  Three Subtle Elements of the Astral or Comprehensible Body , namely False Ego, Intelligence and Mind; Five Basic Elements of Nature ( Earth,Water, Fire, Air,and Sky);  Five Sense Objects ( Sound,Taste, Smell, Touch and Sight); Five Knowledge Acquiring Senses ( Nose, Tongue, Eyes, Ears, and Skin), and  Five Working Senses (Voice, Legs, Arms, Reproductive Organs and Evacuating Organs). The Factor of Time is indeed the Binding Force of all the Natural Elements, Physical Elements, Internal Senses and Body Actions which has to coordinate with the ‘Mahatatva’vis-a-vis  Illusion and this is the Prayer all about!

The Eight Stages of Yoga

‘Yama’(Prohibitions and Restraints); ‘Niyama’ (Promotion of Virtues); ‘Asana’ ( Posture of Seating, preferably ‘Padmasana’ ie.placing the right foot on left thigh and vice versa); ‘Pranayama’( Breathing Excercises); ‘Pratyahara’(Withdrawal of Senses); ‘Dharana’ (Concentration), ‘Dhyana’ ( Meditation); and ‘Samadhi’( Trance or Amalgamation of Mind on a single target). Thus Yoga is defined as the control of the contents of mind, stillness of thoughts, and Eternal Soul experiencing Its own Nature.  [ Patanjali Yoga or Rajas/Ashtanga Yoga  is somewhat akin to ‘Sankhya Yoga’ in which Eight Limbs are utilised and is divided into four parts,viz. Samadhi(Trance), ‘Sadhana’ ( Practice), ‘Vibhuti’ ( Mystic Powers) and ‘Kaivalya’ (Attainment the Ultimate).

In a way, Hatha Yoga is also related to Ashtanga Yoga by which the emphasis is on physical energy, while the accent is more pronounced on the alignment of physical power with that of Spiritual Focus].Sage Kapila compared the Manifestation of Material Energy to a Super Egg of the Universe and the Innermost layer is ‘Mahatatva’within which is the  presence of Supreme Energy. In each of its inner layers- spread out one over another and getting thicker and thicker- there is an existence of various Materials. The outermost layer is Prarthana or Prayer and the outer shell is the Illusion or Maya.The peeling of layers one by one is indeed a process which has endless tribulations, but the process could and should commence from detachment from material manifestations, high intensity of devotion, and ever increasing comprehension of the Supreme Power. Practice of Yoga is not only the control of Physical components of the Body but the mind, the conscience, the Soul, the thought and action. But of course the regulation of daily life by way of avoiding the excesses of desire, envy, avarice, and anger are essential. Promotion of Virtue, Nobility, Equanimity, Balance of Mind, Celibacy and Compassion and above all  an awareness of God are the essential features of Yoga. Kapila too thus laid stress on the Limb-by-Limb alliance of human body and Material Existence on the one hand and the ‘Vitat Purusha’.

Geneological Order of Manu’s Clan

 Sage Maitreya made a diversion to Vidura about the Elder Daughter of Manu, Devahuti and son-in-law Kardama as also about their Son Sage Kapila. Manu’s other daughter Ahuti was wedded to Prajapati Ruchi and their offspring were the son Yagna and daughter Lakshmi, the Consort of Lord Vishnu. Yagna was married to Dakshina who begot twelve sons. Manu’s  third daughter Prasuti wedded Lord Brahma’s grandson Daksha, and the latter’s daughter, ‘Sati’ was married to Lord Siva Himself. Among the nine daughters of Kardama and Devahuti who were all well placed, mention be made of Kala and Marichi whose sons were Kasyapa and Purnima. Anasuya and Atri Maha Muni were Soma, Dattatreya and Durvasa born with the blessings of Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva.

Sage Atri performed such fierce ‘Tapas’ for hundreds of years, the Trinity appeared before him and blessed that they would be born with their own ‘Amsas’ or Reflections respectively. Simultaneously, the Trinity visited Anasuya’s hermitage in the forms of Sages and asked for alms. The Great Lady realised in her spiritual vision that the three Sages were Lords Brahma, Vishnu and Siva themselves and forthwith converted them as three babies and placed them all together in a cradle, when the whole Universe was amazed at her own inner energies! Among Manu’s another daughter, Sraddha and Sage Angira were born four daughters, viz. Sinivali, Raka, Kuhu and Anumati and two sons, Utathya and Brishapati, the Learned Scholar of demi-gods. Yet another daughter of Manu, Havirbhu, married Pulasthya who begot  sons, Agastya ( Daharagni) and Visrava; the latter was born to his two wives, Idavida whose son was Kubera the King of Yakshas and Kesini whose sons were Ravana, Kumbhakarna and Vibhishana, the Pauranic Characters of the Ramayana Epic. Gati married Pulaha and begot three Sage sons, Karmareshtha, Varian and Sahishnu; Krathu’s wife Kriya gave birth to sixty thousand Sages, known as Valakhilas. Arundhati (Urja) and Vasishtha gave birth to Seven Sages and Chitti and Sage Atharva gave birth to Asvasira; Sage Bhrigu and Khyati begot Dhata and Vidhata and the latter who wedded Ayati and Niyati gave birth to Mrikanda and Prana respectively.From Mrikanda was born Markandeya and Prana’s grandson was Sukracharya. Prasuti, another daughter of Manu was wedded to Daksha, the son of Lord Brahma. They got sixteen daughters of whom thirteen were wedded to Dharma Viz.Sraddha, Maitri, Daya, Shanti, Tusti, Pusti, Kriya,Unnati, Buddhi, Medha, Titiksa, Hri and Murthi and the thirteen were blessed respectively with sons (Subha, Prasada, Abhaya, Sukha, Muda, Smaya, Yoga, Barpa, Artha, Smritha, Kshema, Paraya, and finally Sri Nara Narayana). With the entry of Nara Narayana into the Universe, there were joyous celebrations all over among Sages, the Demi-Gods and even by Brahma Himself, quite apart from the Material Elements and the entire World of the Virtuous and the Seekers of the Supreme, as they all realised that an Incarnation of the Almighty had appeared to purge the Evil Forces from the earth. Besides the thirteen daughters of Prasuti who were married to Dharma, one daughter Svaha was wedded to Agni Deva and the couple gave birth to Pavaka, Pavamana and Suchi. Another daughter of Daksha was sent in the service of Pithru Loka.

Sati Devi and Lord Siva

And the youngest and the sixteenth daughter of Daksha Prajapathi, ‘Sati Devi, was married to Lord Siva. This was the most significant Event of the Yuga, which occurred as an unforgettable and extremely distressing episode that caused  the most furious reaction of Lord Siva and made way to the destruction of the highly self-opinionated and haughty Daksha Prajapati and his ‘Yagna’.The most painful tragedy was of Sati Devi’s invoking own Yoga power causing her demise.Since the time of the wedding of Sati Devi, Daksha felt insulted by the lack of artificial civil manners of Lord Siva and his dislike got snowballed as the latter was indifferent all along. But the Lord was highly fond of Sati Devi, quite ignoring Daksha’s envy for him as the latter had in inferiority complex

Daksha organised a huge function(‘Yagna’) and did not deliberately invite the Siva couple, although in the Yagna, Lord Agni would have been invoked normally to takepart in the offerings to various demi-Gods and Gods, including Lord Siva. The entire Guest list of Gods downward the Sages and others were invited otherwise. Sati Devi felt extremely humiliated but got desirous of attending the Function especially to meet the family members. Lord Siva advised her not to go uninvited, but she insisted. While she attended the Fesivities, the father gave a cold reception to her  and those who accompanied her like Nandi and a retinue of ‘Pramadha- ganas’, Lord Siva’s personal entourage. In an Open House where all the invitees were being entertained, Sati Devi made a powerful address to her father and his party including Bhrigu Maharshi who too disliked Lord Siva. She said: “Even if there was no invitation, she made it to her own father’s function as a gesture of goodwill, despite her dear husband (who is none else than the Lord of Destruction Himself) counselled against attending a function uninvited. Lord Siva had no ill will against Daksha, but the latter was highly envious of the Lord. Also, He liked her so immensely that He always called her as Dakshayani to please and respect her.But unfortunately, I have no right to exist  as the daughter of Daksha who brought me to the World.” By so saying, she seated herself in a Mystic Yoga Posture, raised her ‘Prana Vayu’ (Life Air) from the  position of equilibrium near the navel upwards to heart and the Central point of eyebrows, known as (‘Bhrookuti’) and while imagining her head on Lord Siva’s lap, released the Spiritual Air lit up with the Sacred Fire to merge with ‘Paramatma’. The Entire Universe reverberated with the Sound of ‘Om Namah Sivaya’. Even while the Spiritual Message of Sati’s demise was known, Narada conveyed the news to Lord Siva formally. The Lord became highly incensed and pulled out a strand of hair banged down on earth, and out emerged a Powerful ‘Bhoothnath, named ‘Veera Bhadra’who was ordered to instantly destroy the site of the invalid and illegal Sacrifice Place ( ‘Yagna shala’), eliminate those responsible for the purpose and wipe out all traces of the shameful Event. Veera Bhadra and his followers removed Daksha’s head and burnt it in the Fire Place of the Sacrifice, tore off the moustache and of Bhrigu the Head Priest, caught ‘Bhaga’ by his eyebrows which were raised while reacting to a remark against Lord Siva, broke the teeth of Dantavakra who laughed at a wit against Siva, and similarly punished all those who heckled at the Function. The rest of the gathering ran helter-skelter for their own lives or limbs. Therafter Siva picked up the physical remains of Dakshayani on His shoulders, wandered and danced with fury the entire Universe, sending shock waves by way of earth tremors  and oeanic tsunamis. Vishnu realised that the body of Sati had to be cut into 51 pieces by His discus representing as many letters of Alphabet in Sanskrit) and tossed them all over(now known as 51  ‘ Shakti Peethas’or  Sacred Temples). Brahma and Vishnu foresaw the tragedy and avoided attending the Yagna. They requested for mercy to Daksha and as a result provided life back to the latter by replacing his burnt head with that of the Sacrificial Goat. Also, Bhrigu’s moustache and beard  were replaced with those of the Sacrificial Goat’s as also the gourged eyes of Bhaga were restored. The physical losses of other culprits were also suitably adjusted, thanks to Lord Siva’s grace and kindness. In course of time, Sati Devi was reborn as Parvathi and was wedded to Lord Siva.
[ Details of Shakti Peethas: The Embodiment name, the Organ and the Place respectively as follows:-   Indrakshi/Nagapoosani-Ankles-Jaffna( Sri Lanka); Mahishmardini-Eye -Sukkur/Karachi, Pakistan); Sunanda-Nose-Barisal,(Bangla Desh); Mahamaya-Throat-Amarnath/Kashmir; Siddhida/Ambika- Tongue-Jwalamukhi/Kangra/Pathankot ; Tripurmalini-Left breast-Devi Talab/Jalandhar ; Ambaji-Heart-Ambaji/Anand/Gujarat; Mahashira-Both Knees-Gusyeswari Temple/ Kathmandu / Nepal; Dakshayani-Right Hand-Manasarovar ( Tibet); Vimala-Navel- Jagannath Temple / Puri / Orissa (Kamakshi Temple/Kanchi); Gandaki Chandi-Temple-Muktinath Temple / Nepal; Bahula-Left Arm-Bahula /Katwa /Burdwan/West Bengal; Mangal Chandika-right wrist-Ujaani / Guskara/Burdwan; Tripura Sundari-Right Leg-Tripura; Bhavani-Right arm-Bharav Temple/ Sitakunda Station/ Chattakong District / Bangladesh;Bhramari-Left Leg-Trisota /Salbai Village/Jalpaiguri /West Bengal; Kamakya-Genital Organ-Kamakya Temple /Guwahati (Assam); Jugadya-Great Toe (Right)-Khirgram / Burdwan District West Bengal; Kalika-Right toes-Kalighat / Kolkata; Lalitha-Hand Finger-Prayag/Allahabad; Jayanti-Left Thigh-Falizur Kalibadi / Falzur Paragana / Bangladesh; Vimla- Crown-Kirkeetkona / Murshidabad /West Bengal; Visalakshi-Ear Ring-Manikarnika Ghat / Varanasi; Sarvani- Back-Kumari Temple /Kanyakumari, Tamilnadu; Savitri- Ankle bone- Sthaneswar / Haryana; Gayatri-Two bracelets- Ajmer;Mahalakshmi-neck-Jainpur/ Sylhet Town /Bangladesh; Devagarbha-Bone- Kankalitala/ West Bengal; Kali- left buttock-Amarkantak / Madhya Pradesh; Narmada-right buttock-Shondesh, Madhya Pradesh;Shivani- right breast-Ramgiri/Chitrakuta /Urrar Pradesh;Uma-Hair ringlets-Bhuteswar Temple/ Vrindavan /Uttar Pradesh; Narayani-Upper Jaw Teeth-Suchindram /Kanyakumari,Tamilnadu; Varahi-Lower Jaw Teeth-Panchasagar Place, Haridwar; Arpana-Left Anklet-Karatoyatat,Sherpur/Bangla Desh; Sri Sundari-Right Anklet-SriParvat Hills, Srisailam, Andhra Pradesh; Kapalini/ Bhimarupa-Left Ankle-Vibhash, Tumluk, West Bengal; Chadrabhaga-Stomach-Prabhas/Veraval near Somnath Temple,Gujarat;Avanti-Upper lips-Ujjain /Madhya Pradesh;Bhramari-Chins-Godavari Jansthan, Nasik/Maharashtra; Rakini or Visveswari-Cheeks-Kotilinga Temple, Rajamundry, Andhra Pradesh;Ambica-Left Feet Fingers-Birat/Bharatpur/ Rajasthan;Kumari-Right shoulder-Ratnavali / Hooghly Dt. West Bengal; Uma-left shoulder-Mithila on India Nepal Border; Kalika Devi-Tubular bones of the feet-Nalhati, Birbhum District; Jayadurga-both ears-Karnat ( place unknown); Mahishamardini-portion between the eye brows-Bakreshwar near Siuiri Town/Dubrajpur ; Jashoreswari-Palms of hands and feet-Ishwaripur, Bangladesh; Phullara-lips- Attahas Village, near Katwa Railway Station, West Bengal-Nandini-Necklace-Nandikeswari temple,Sainthia town,West bengal and Kottari-Brhamarandhra on the head-Hingula near Karachi, Pakistan. In all these Shakti Peethas, Goddess is accompanied by Lord Bhairava also, a manifestation of Lord Siva.The details given above are as per Mahapitha Purana.]
Sage Maitreya further narrated the details of the Geneology of Swayambhu Manu to Vidura, and described as to how the envy and haughtiness of Daksha Prajapati was demolished and how Sati Devi ended her life. Manu’s two sons from Satarupa, were  Uttanapada and Priyavrata, both of whom served as the Kings of their own Kingdoms independetly. Uttanapada had two wives-Suniti and Surichi- and the King was distinctly fond of Surichi. Once Rurichi’s son Uttama kept his head on his father’s lap when Surichi was present too and the King lifted the boy and made him sit on his lap very fondly.

Devotion and Realisation of Dhruva

Dhruva, the son of Suniti, also tried to sit over his father’s lap but Surichi pulled him down and admonished him severely. The father had implicitly supported Uttama. Surichi’s reprimand was rather severe as she said that Dhruva had no business to compete with Uttama as the latter was the heir-apparent, even if Dhruva were the elder son, he was disqualified to be the would -be- King. She taunted Dhruva that Suniti’s son could never be the next King, since Dhruva was not Surichi’s son and if Dhruva were ever to dream then he had to better please Lord Narayana and perform severe penance to become Suirich’s son in Dhruva’s next birth! These words of Surichi and the unkind way of her vitriolic utterance had sharply wounded the young heart and mind of Dhruva

He left the Palace crying away hopelessly and met his mother Suniti. The latter consoled Dhruva and said that his father too treated her as a nobody and as such there was perhaps no other alternative for him to meditate Lord Narayana and please Him to reverse the situation. As the boy’s self-pride was shattered and his stepmother’s insinuating words were ringing in his ears, he had determined to take the plunge and really identified himself in the devotion of the Greatest and the Best. At this juncture, Narada appeared and tried to discourage Dhruva saying that even  Illustrious Sages had failed in their pursuit to seek Almighty over their several lives and after all a boy like him would be only wasting his valuable life and regret eventually. But Dhruva did not relent, come what might. Narada was indeed impressed and provided guidance as to how the boy should take initial steps to assume the procedure. He asked Dhruva to purify himself with the water of River Yamuna, enter Madhubana on the banks and perform breathing excercises, gradually follow the ‘Ashtanga’Yoga and develop high concentration on each of the Body Parts of Virat Swarupa, and lift up his inner energies in full alignment with the Supreme Energy.
Narada had subsequently taught Dhruva the process of conquering his hunger and thirst, anger and envy, avarice and desire, and gradual control of all material senses. He taught Dhruva the Parama Mantra, viz, Namo Narayanaya Namaha. In course of the intense concentration and alignment with ‘Paramatma’, Dhruva had discovered a ‘Radiant Vision’ and felt disturbed, and when his eyes were opened, there the ‘Sakshatkar’ or Actual Appearance of the Supreme Being was tangible. The Voice said that after the demise of his father, Dhruva would be the King, his cousin brother would be killed on a hunting exercise in a forest and his step mother would be deranged; Dhruva would rule for thirty six thousands of years as a just and noble King and finally reached the Sky as a pole star for ever, even above the Stars of Sapta Rishis! In his heart of hearts, Dhruva still got perturbed by the harsh words of Surichi which haunted his memory. He also had the feeling that whatever he was able to achieve in six months even Maharishis were perhaps not able to. But in courseof time he realised that it was foolish on his part on account of both the counts, since it was the Supreme Lord who was the cause, action and the’Doer’.

Dhruva and his lineage

In the lineage of Dhruva, there came up a very cruel King, named Vena, ( son of King Anga and Sumitha) who harassed not only his own Subjects but the Sages and the Virtuous. When the atrocities of Vena became unbearable, Sages cursed him and killed him to save the sins borne by Earth. As the Sages churned the dead body of Vena, and there came up a couple, named Prithi and his consort Archi. King Prithi mastered the discipline of Archana Bhakti and ruled his Subjects with kindness and affection. His farmers complained about Earth since for long, there were no crops at all. When Prithi decided to attack Earth, the latter replied that the carry over of Vena’s sins was the reason of her infertility.She said that she would appear in the form of a cow and that he and his subjects could exploit the cow to the maximum

As a result, fertility of  Mother Earth increased and the entire kingdom became prosperous. Prithi decided to perform, a series of  ‘Asvamedha Yagas’ ( Sacrifices of horses), as symbols of Superiority of his Kingship. As the hundredth Yaga was to be performed, Lord Indra got jittery, as his own Seat of Power might be a casuality. Indra stole the Sacrificial Horse, and as Prithi’s son chased him, but Indra  took the form of a hermit and disappeared. Finall,  Prithi made a deal with Indra-a ‘Sahasraksha’-to make him a ‘Sahasrakarna’, ie to grant the King the capacity of hearing as of  thousand ears, since Prithi was desirous of hearing the complaints or requests of his Subjects from distances! Such was the noble nature of the King. In the lineage of King Prithi, there was a king named Prachin Barhi, who had several sons viz. Prachetas who were all great devotees of God Narayana and Lord was pleased to appear as  Lord Siva. They asked Siva as to why He appeared instead of Lord Narayana.Lord Siva explained to them: ‘Sivaya Vishnu Roopaya, Siva Roopaya Vishnavey’ ( Siva and Vishnu are just the same) and  taught them Rudra Geet, which involved Animal sacrifices. When Prachetas performed the sacrifices, Narada intervened and said that it might be a sin to sacrifice animals as after all, they too had feelings of pain. Then Prachi Barhi was given a story by Narada in his connection: There were two brothers, Agyat and Vigyat. As Avigyat ordered Vigyat to leave away far, the latter shifed to a City and eventually married Puranjani. In their subsequent lives, Puranjani was born as a swan and recognised Agyat.  Puranjani said that as two human beings earlier, they might have had different views as the former forced her husband,Vigyat, to shift away to the City of hers, but as swans both Agyat and herself were the same, as both have the same soul. The only difference was while Vigyat had to go away to a city Agyat did not. The City that Vigyat selected was akin to a human body, the center of which was a stomach and there were nine gates-mouth, two eyes, two nostrils, two ears, and two oher organs.There were two courtiers, viz. mind and ego, both expressing the Self-ie. I , mine and me. There are five ‘pranas’ or life energies ( Prana, Apana, Udana, Samana and Vyana). Kala Kanya or the old age is ready to attack the City ( Human body) and her two brothers are Moha( attachment) and sorrow (soka). Kala Kanya is wedded to Varsha ( a Year), three sixty five days as Gandharvas, Twelve Months as Warriors, and seven days as Ministers. Thus the body was wasted without knowledge of the essentiality of  ‘Karma Kanda’ ( Prescribed Duties) little realising that each unit of life was dwindling, without purpose and action. Thus Narada had cautioned that the passage of time without fruitful action and the awareness of time once lost could be never retrieved.

Prajapati Priyavrata Travelled All over the Universe

Parikshith was engrossed with the stories of Prithi and Prachetas as also the several instances when Swayambhu Manu himself and generations thereafter were able to balance ‘Grihasta Ashram and alignment with Almighty and enquired of Suka Maha Muni about it. The Maha Muni gave the illustration of Manu’s own son Priyavrata, who even as a child got enlightenment of ‘Brahma Gyan’or the knowledge of the Super Energy and declined to marry.Then Manu had to admonish the son and advised him that not only Priyavrata was too young to be an ascetic and also human body was provided by the Lord to go through the process of a family and conjugal bliss and follow the set patterns of life viz. Balya ( Childhood), Brahmacharya ( Student life), Grihastha (Family stage), Vanaprastha ( Detachment) and Sanyasa ( Renunciation).

Through the wedded life, the struggle of Six facets of life (desire, anger, greed, attachment, pride and jealousy) ought to be faced in a gradual manner and the Rules of Life be followed, although avoiding excesses in respect of each of the facets. The Golden Rule of Grihasth Ashram is  to follow the example of a dew drop on a lotus leaf. Eventually, Priyavrata had two wives and had thirteen sons, of whom seven became Prajapathis as the rest were celibate. Priyavrata himself followed an ascetic life, even during the course of the wedded life. He had the distinction of travelling by a chariot the entire Universe and divided it into seven segments, and appointed seven of his sons as the Heads of each Territory. The Seven Regions were named Jambu Dweepa, Pluksh Dweepa, Shalamali Dweepa, Kush Dweepa, Krounch Dweepa, Shaka Dweepa, and Pushkar Dweepa named after his sons.

Description of Planets

Bhuloka is a Planet known as divided into Seven Parts, resembling a Lotus flower, each leaf with the names as above. Its lenghth and breadth is one million yojanas or eight million miles. Jambu Dweepa which is in the middle of the  spiral of the Planet has a length and  breadth of one hundred thousand  Yojanas or 800,000 miles and is subdivided into nine regions. It is surrounded by saline water.Sumeru Mountain is like the pericarp of the lotus like Bhuloka and is the axis of Jambu Dweepa; its height is as much as the breadth of Jambu Dweepa ie.100,000 yojanas or 800,000 miles.Pluksha Dweepa, named after Pluksha Tree,  is around the Jambu Dweepa and is double the size of the former.It is surrounded by an Ocean of sugar cane juice which is also of the size of the Pluksha Dweepa.Its inhabitants- Hamsas, Patangas, Urdhvayanas and Satyangas live for thousand years and pray to Sun and Lord Vishnu; they are beautiful like demigods

Salmali Dweepa, named after Salmali Tree, is again double the size of the Pluksha Dweepa and has the Sura Sagara or the Ocean of Liquor around it, inhabiting Srutidharas, Vidyadharas, Vasundharas and Isadharas, all praying to Moon and Lord Vishnu. Among the seven Rivers of the Dweepa were Anumati, Sarasvathi, Sinevali, Raha and Kuhu and the seventh was the Home of Garuda praying to Lord Vishnu. Semi God of Moon created two fortnights, viz.Sukla Paksha and Krishna Paksha. Kusa Dweepa is again double the size of Salmali Dweepa  ie.800,000 yojanas (64,00,000 miles) and is known for Kusa Grass, used for Sacred Rituals (Homams, Yagyas and all Holy Acts) and is appropriately surrounded by an Ocean of Ghee and the form of God of Fire (in mild form). It is inhabited by Kusalas, Kovidas, Abhiyuktas and Kulakas, corresponding to Jambu Dweepa’s four castes-Brahmana, Kshatriya, Vyasyas and Sudras. Krouncha Dweepa, named after the Krouncha Mountain is surrounded by an Ocean of Milk and Butter and is the second form of Varuna or Water, again the size of Kusa Dweepa, ie. of the size of 1600,000 yojanas ( 124,80,000 miles), inhabited by Purushas, Rabhas, Vanikas and Devakas. Shaka Dweepa, named after Shaka treee providing fragrance all around, has the dual form of Vayu, or Air and is double the size of Krouncha Dweepa, inhabiting four castes-Ratavrata, Satyavrata, Danavrata and Anuvrata, all practising Pranayama and mustic Yoga. Pushkara Dweepa has 64,00,000 yojanas (51, 200,000 miles) surrounded by Sweet Water and is the Seat of Lord Brahma known as  ‘Karma Maya’. In the middle of the Dweepa is the Mountain Manasottara. Between the Mountains of Meru and Manasottara is so much distance as from Mountain Manasottara and Lokaloka Mountain. In other words, the distance between  Mountain Meru to Mountain  Lokaloka, is a quarter of the diametre of the  Universe, (125,000,000 Yojanas or one billion miles).
 Lokaloka is the border beyond which are the three other Lokas, viz.Bhurloka, Bhuvarloka, and Swarloka. On the top of Lokaloka, there are four Gajapaties controlling the planetary system on the four directions;They are Rishabha, Pushkara Chuda, Vamana and Aparajita. The distance from Lokaloka to Bhuvarloka is as much distance as from Meru to Lokaloka. That is a billion miles further.This space is named Aloka Varsha. Lord Sun is situated in Anthariksha in between Bhurlok and the Bhuvarlok. It is the Sun Planet  which reveals the entire Universe from various directions and is thus the centre. Sun is the  potent energy who is seen and felt to normal human beings and indeed the super indicator to all parts of the Universe, including the sky, the World, the higher planets and the lower planets.
Sukhadeva Maha Muni thus explained to King Parikshith that the entire Universe has a diameter of fifty crore yojanas or 4 billion miles. Like the grain of wheat, the lower part of the Universe topping the Earth is sliced half way of the upper part with Antariksha or the outer space as the divider. The Planet Of Sun is situated in the outer space moving forward from north to south (Dakshiyahana) and from south to north again (Uttarayana), emanating tremendous heat and light.The setting of  Dakshinayana to Uttrayana is considered to be of significane as it heralds the six monthly movement influencing the trend of fortunes.As per the movement of Sun through the ecuador, or beneath it or above and from Tropic of Capricorn (Makara) to that of Cancer (Karkataka) and back, the zodiac signs are passed through too in a systematic manner and the duration of day and night too are short, equal or different.When Sun passes through Aries (Mesha ) and Libra ( Tula), days and night are equal. As Sun passes through the five Signs headed by Taurus (Vrishabha), the duration of day increases till Cancer and thereafter decreases by half an hour a day each month till Capricorn (Karkataka) in Libra, when day and night are equal again.When Sun passes through the Five Signs beginning from Vrisckica, the duration of days decreases compared to nights until Capricon and gradually increases month after month till they are equal in Aries. As a rule, till Sun travels north the nights become longer and when Sun travels south the days become longer. Sun travels around Manasottara Mountain in a circle. On the Mountain to the east of Sumeru is the Devadhani, the residence of Indra, the King of Gods; to the South is Samyami, the Abode of Yama Raja, God of Death; the West is Nimkolani of Varuna, the God of Rains/Water; and the north is Vibhavari the abode of Moon. Thrayimaya, named as the Chariot of Sun visits all the abodes of Indra, Yama, Varuna and Moon traverses all the Residences of these Gods covering the words ‘Bhur Bhuva Swaha’at a speed of  27 million miles approx in one muhurta (30 muhurtas a day)! Interestingly, the Chariot of Sun God is 28 million miles long and seven million miles wide! Arunadeva, the Charioteer, controls the horses and  sits in front of  the Sun God, but looks backward to Sun. It is said that there might be thousands of  rays of Sun, but the important ones are only seven, representing Seven Planets, Viz.Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, and Saturn.[ But, as per ‘Aditya Hridayam’ Prayer: There are many more rays which are important,viz.
Esha Brahmecha Vishnuscha Sivah Skandah Prajapathih,
Mahendro Dhanadah Kalo Yamah Somohyapampathihi,
Pitharo Vasavassadhyah-yassvinow Maruto Manuh
Vayur Vahnih Praja Prana Ritu Kartah Prabhakarah].
 Moon travels faster than Sun.The distance between Sun and Moon  is 100,000 yojanas( 800,000 miles). In two lunar fortnights, Moon passes through a period of a Samvatsara or a year. In two and quarter days, Moon passes through a month of the Sun, or in one day, it passes through a fortnight of the Sun. Hence, the divergence of Solar and Lunar calculations and Calendars.  As the Moon is waxing, it is a day for Gods and a night for Pitru Devatas.The waxing fortnight gradually diminishes the shine till the Moon-fall day (Amavasya) and the waning Moon picks up the shine day by day till Moon-rise day( Pournami). Moon is  known as ‘Jeeva’ ( life-provider), or ‘Manomaya’ (mind-alerter) or ‘Annamaya’ ( potency provider from herbs and plants), ‘Amritamaya’ ( source of life to all) and ‘ Sarvamaya’ ( all pervading). From Moon to the Group of Stars, the distance is 200,000 yojanas (16 00, 000 miles). Headed by Abhijit, there are twenty eight Stars revolving on their own axis. Above the Group of Stars is the Planet of Venus (Sukra) almost of the distance from the Moon to the Group of Stars. It is a benevelont planet, especially as a provider of good rains and prosperity and moves at the same pace as Sun God. Mercury (Budha), the son of Moon is situated  from Venus ( 16,00,000 miles) or  72,00,000 miles from Earth and this Planet too is benevolent excepting when not moving along with Sun, thus causing cyclones, excess or no rainfall and dusty storms. Equidistant from Mercury or 80,80,000 miles above Earth, is the Planet of Mars (Mangal), which is generally not considered favourable, travelling along with other planets every three fortnights and creates tensions. The Planet of Jupiter ( Guru) is away from Earth by some 10,400,000 miles-again 16,00,000 miles away from the planet of Mars- is considered generally benevolent to Brahmins and Universe, unless takes a curved path in conjunction with other planets. Saturn, which is 12 million miles above Earth  is also considered generally unhelpful. Normally, each  planet is 16,00,000 miles apart from another planet , but the distance from Saturn to the Group of ‘Sapta Rishis’ or the Seven Sages is 8,800,000 miles from Saturn ie.20,800,000 miles from Earth. Indeed, the Seven Sages are always the great well wishers of the entire Universe.The Sapta Rishis, viz.Marichi, Angirasa, Atri, Pulsastya, Pulaha, Krathu, and Vasishtha born in Lord Brahma’s thoughts to help in the act of Creation.(Reference Maha Bharatha; Shanti Parva).The Seven Sage Constellation of the Great Bear ( Ursa Major) is indeed the great well wisher of the entire Universe. The Sapta Rishis circambulate around the Pole Star, or Dhruva Tara, which is as good as the Abode of Supreme Lord Himself and is prayed to by religious mortals and Gods alike.

Sisumara Planetary System

Some 13,00,000 yojanas ( 10,400,000 miles) above the ‘Great Bear’ shines high the Pole Star and the‘Sisumara System’ or the Great Machine, comprising the Stars and Planets, resembling a Dolphin in water. Scholars of the Science of Astronomy compare the Formation as an Illustration or an Image of The Supreme Almighty Vasudava Himself, as this ‘Jyothi anekam’( Multi-Splendour par excellence) or ‘Sisumara Samsthanam’(The Grand Wheel Establishment) is clearly visible on the Sky, and as the The Supreme Almighty is invisible anyway! In other words, it would never be possible to comprehend the Portrait of ‘Virat Purusha’, let alone by human beings but by Sages and even by Gods or Trinity too, but one could visualise the similarity of God- Head with the Sisumara and be contented with it atleast.

The various planets and a multitude of Stars revolve around the Pole Star or the Dhruva Star, each moving around in theier own Orbits at their own heights and are not clustered due to law of gravity.The body of Dolphin-like Sisumara Chakra is coiled with its head downward, the Pole Star (Dhruva) at its tail, on the body of its tail are the Planets of demi-Gods viz.Prajapati, Agni, Indra and Dharma; the base of the tail are the Planets of Dhata and Vidhata; at the hip position are the Sapta Rishis; the right side of the Sisumara Chakra are the Constellations of fourteen Stars beginning from Abijit to Punarvasu; on the left side of the coiled body are the Stars of Pushya to Uttarashadha, thus balancing the body with equal weight of the Stars; on the back side of the body is  the Group of Stars known as Ajaviti and on  the abdomen flows the Ganges that flows in the Sky (the Milky Way Galaxy), which is the home of Solar System with an estimated 400 billion Stars and planets and thousands of clusters and nebulae); on the upper chin of Sisumara is Agasti; on the lower chin Yamaraja; on its mouth Mars; Genitals Saturn; on the back of its neck Jupiter; on its chest the Sun and the core of heart Narayana Himself; within its mind the Moon; navel the Venus; breasts Aswini Kumars; within its life-air or Pranapana is Mecury; neck Rahu; all over body the comets and pores innumerable Stars. Thus Sisumara Chakra is a mini version of the Supreme Almighty Himself. [Vishnu Sahasranamam ( Slokam 47 states:
Anirvinnah Stavishtho bhur_dharma yupo Mahamakhah/
Nakshatra nemi_nakshatri Khshama Kshamah  Samihanah.
Anirvannah ( He Who Is Never Unhappy); Stavishtho: ( He Who Is Colossal); Bhuh: The Supporter Of All; Dharma Yupah :( He Who Is United With Dharma or Virtue); Maha makhah:
( The Greatest Yagna or Sacrifice leading to Moksha or Salvation); Nakshatra nemi: ( He Who Makes the Stars Move or He Who Mobilises the Sisumara Chakra and along with it the Entire Universe); Nakshatri (The Driving Force of Sisumara); Kshamah:( He Who Is Most Competent); Kshamah: ( The Non- Reduceable or The Remainder Entity After The Pralay Or The Final Deluge); Samihanah: ( Regulator and Well –Wisher)] Suka Muni advised King Parikshith to recite the Sisumara Chakra Mantra as follows:
etat uha eva bhagavathah vishnoh srava Devata mayam rupum ahah ahah sandhayam prayatah vagyatah niriksamana upatistheta namo jyotir-lokaya kalayanayanimisam pataye maha-purusayabhidhimahiti:
etat—this; u ha--indeed; eva--certainly; bhagavatah--of the Supreme personality of Godhead; vishnoh--of Lord Visnu; sarva-devata-mayam--consisting of all the demi-gods; rupam--form; ahah-ahah--always; sandhyayam--in the morning, noon and evening; prayatah--meditating upon; vagyatah--controlling the words; niriksamanah--observing; upatistheta--one should worship; namah--respectful obeisances; jyotih-lokaya--unto the resting place of all the planetary systems; kalayanaya--in the form of supreme time; animisam--of the demigods; pataye--unto the master; maha-purushaya--unto the Supreme person; abhidhimahi--let us meditate; iti--thus.The body of the sisumara, thus described, should be considered the external form of Lord Vishnu, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Morning, noon and evening, one should silently observe the form of the Lord as the Sisumara-chakra and worship Him with the above mantra.
Having explained the Concept of Sisumara, Suta Maharshi described the Subterranian Heavenly Planets. Beneath Sun-God, about 10,000 Yojanas ( 80, 000 miles) is situated the Planet of Rahu, basically an  ‘Asura’ who had surreptitiously taken drops of ‘Amritha’, the everlasting life- giving ambrosia while the Divine Drink was being distributed by ‘Mohini’the Feminine  Incarnation of Lord Vishnu after the churning of Oceans by Demi-Gods and Demons.Similarly Ketu was another  clandestine benificiary of a few drops of ‘Amritha’ and both Sun and Moon were the Demi-Gods who complained about the distribution of ‘Amritha’ by Mohini, who had used the Sudarsani wheel to deform both Rahu and Kethu.As the latter were inimical to Sun and Moon, they cause periodical eclipses. Below Rahu by 10,000 Yojanas (80,000 miles) are Siddha Loka, Karana Loka and Vidyadhar Loka and below that level is the Sky, the Antariksha where Yakshas, Rakshasas, Pisachas and Ghosts reside and  hover around. There is no movement of air beyond that level and the Planet of Earth is situated some 100 yojanas or 800 miles thereunder.Large birds like eagles and Swans can fly upto that limit.
Underneath the Earth are the Seven Lokas in the sub trerrain heavens named Bilwa Swarga and the eapanse of Earth equals the Seven Lokas, viz. Atala, Vitala, Suthala, Talatala, Mahatala, Rasatala and Patala.The residents are Daityas, Danavas and Nagas, all of them highly fond of material enjoyments, excellent living conditions and luxurious palaces, gardens and such other comforts. Wine, women, food and various sensuous pleasures are common.There is no Sun, no concept of day and night, no light nor time and such other set regulations pertaining to weeks, months, years,  or seasons. There is lot of illumination from the precious gems carried on the hoods of the Serpent residents. There are no physical ailmemts as the usage of herbs and vegetable based medicines is plenty. There is no bad odour of the body or surroundings.Feelings of poverty, frustration, disease and envy are alien and excepting at the set timings of death; life is worth living otherwise. In Atala, there is a Demon, named Bala who has perfected mystic powers and by simply yawning created three kinds of women, viz. Swarinis, Kaminis and Pumskalies. Vitala is the Loka where Goblins, Ghosts and other followers of  God Siva inhabit, and is strongly believed that the Lord is responsible for the Gold Mines and the consequent pleasures of possession of Jewellery. Sutala is the place of residence of Bali Maharaja, universally acclaimed as the King of Charity ( stated to be still alive); it is well known that out of an apprehension of Lord Indra and other Demi-Gods, Lord Narayana Himself had to take the Incarnation as ‘Vamana’ and asked for three steps of land as Guru Dakshina and in the bargain, occupied the entire Universe with His three steps of land in charity,ie. one foot on the Earth, another the Skies and Heavens and the third on his head which was pushed down by Vamanadeva’s big toe by eighty thousand miles to the Planet of Sutala.Talatala is another planet ruled by Demon Maya, who is noted for his expertise in sorcery and black magic. But Lord Siva, who is Tripurari and the Super Tantric Himself, destroyed the Kingdom of Demon Maya, who not only surrendered to the Lord but also pleased Him by his devotion subsequently and thus had the security of the Kingdom by Lord Siva Himself. Mahatala is the Planet underneath  Talatala which is  inhabited by many-hooded snake sons of Kadru and descendants, facing always a big threat from Garuda, the carrier of Vishnu. Underneath the Mahatala is Rasatala, which is inhabited by the most heinous and powerful snakes hiding in holes, as they were cursed by a messenger of Lord Indra not to stay open. Finally, Patala or Nagaloka is the abode of  very ferocious clans of snakes headed by Vasuki. The inhabitants are multi- headed ones carrying precious gems on their hoods, some with five gems, some ten, some hundred and a few with thousand or more gems emanating radiance of extra-ordinary nature to such an extent that the gems of these ‘nagas’light up the entire Bilwa Swarga or even beyond! Nearly 240,000 miles under Patala is the Incarnation of Vishnu, the enormous Lord Ananta with countless hoods, bearing the fantastic weight of the entire Universe. Also known as Lord Sankarshana, the Incarnation is worshipped by Lord Siva, who is the embodiment of ‘Tamas’ or darkness.The massive Universe is like a tiny mustard seed on just one of the thousands of hoods of Ananta. At the time of Pralay or the Final Destructin of the Universe, the Super Power or the Greatest and the Best Ananta makes a slight move between His Eye Brows and then comes out the Three Eyed Rudra who actually manifests ‘Ekadasa Rudras’to perform the task of terminating the Universe. That is the Grand Finale as well as the Beginning of Creation afresh!    
Commencing from the description of Priyavrata’s (the Son of Manu’s) chariot travel of  Bhuloka and its organised division into Seven Regions, Maha Muni Suka thus provided to King Parikshith a brief glimpse of the Great Lord’s Creation of the entire Universe, including the Loka loka, Bhur-Bhuvar- Swar lokas, the Planets, the Great Susumara Chakra / Wheel, the Sub- terranian Heavenly Planets and the Bilwa Swarga and the finality of the Universe’s existence and  re- creation. Now would be an Account of  Hellish Planets that the Maha Muni delineated:
Depending on the positive or negative activities of human beings pursuing various material forces, in different of  modes of existence like Virtue, Passion or Ignorance, the end results are reflected in the punishments or rewards prearranged. The punishments allotted are executed in the Hellish Planets, stated to exist in the intermediate space beneath Bhu Loka and Gharbodaya Ocean. There are an estimated 28 Narakas, including Tamisra, Ardhamisra,Raurava, Maha Rourava, Kambhipaka, Kalasutra,Asi Patravani; Sukuramukha, Andha Kupa;Karmibhojana; Taptasurmi;Vajra Kantaka; Vatarani; Pranarodha; Raktaksha Bhojana and so on. The kind of cruelties inflicted on the sinners are not only severe but for long durations, some of these are for several years, depending on the severity of the sins.
King Parikshith expressed his unreserved gratitude to Maha Muni Suka that both the ‘Nivrutti Marga’ ( Liberation Route ) and Pravritti Marga ( Natural Route) of realising the Supreme Force had been enlightened. Yet, the awareness of Godhead notwithstanding, human beings continue to indulge in sins and are not able to overcome temptations even though they sure know that death is inevitable and its aftermath is indeed hell-bent. The process of repeated sinning and atonement might be infructuous.As is often stated: prevention is far better and ideal than cure, just as an elephant having been cleaned up once tends to play with mud again and the process of sinning and atonement is endless; the real root needs to be axed; lest the plant of sin would grow again and again. Maha Muni Suka replied to the King: Indeed the crux of the problem lies in axing thr root, lest the plant of sin would grow again and again.. In this context, Maha Muni provided a grand example as to how sincere atonement and complete surrender to the Almighty should be deemed as dismissal of temporary sins, as the real root is the axing  the plant of sin, even before the plant grows well before it becomes a big tree!

Om Tat Sat


(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)


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