Chapter 14

Mahabharata English - ANUSASANA PARVA

“Yudhishthira said, ‘O son of the River Ganga, thou hast heard all thenames of Maheshwara, the Lord of the universe. Do thou tell us, Ograndsire, all the names that are applied, O puissant one, unto Him whois called Isa and Sambhu. Do thou tell us all those names that areapplied unto Him who is called Vabhru or vast, Him that has the universefor his form, Him that is the illustrious preceptor of all the deitiesand the Asuras, that is called Swayambhu (self-creating) and that is thecause of the origin and dissolution of the universe. Do thou tell us alsoof the puissance of Mahadeva.’

“Bhishma said, ‘I am quite incompetent to recite the virtues of Mahadevaof highest intelligence. He pervades all things in the universe and yetis not seen anywhere. He is the creator of universal self and the Pragna(knowing) self and he is their master. All the deities, from Brahman tothe Pisachas, adore and worship him. He transcends both Prakriti andPurusha. It is of Him that Rishis, conversant with Yoga and possessing aknowledge of the tattwas, think and reflect. He is indestructible andSupreme Brahman. He is both existent and non-existent. Agitating bothPrakriti and Purusha by means of His energy, He created therefrom theuniversal lord of creatures, viz., Brahma. Who is there that is competentto tell the virtues of that god of gods, that is endued with supremeIntelligence? Man is subject to conception (in the mother’s womb), birth,decrepitude, and death. Being such, what man like me is competent tounderstand Bhava? Only Narayana, O son, that bearer of the discus and themace, can comprehend Mahadeva. He is without deterioration. He is theforemost of all beings in attributes. He is Vishnu, because of hispervading the universe. He is irresistible. Endued with spiritual vision,He is possessed of supreme Energy. He sees all things with the eye ofYoga. It is in consequence of the devotion of the high-souled Krishna tothe illustrious Rudra whom he gratified. O Bharata, in the retreat ofVadari, by penances, that he has succeeded in pervading the entireuniverse. O king of kings, it is through Maheswara of celestial visionthat Vasudeva has obtained the attribute of universal agreeableness,–anagreeableness that is much greater than what is possessed by all articlesincluded under the name of wealth.[32] For a full thousand years thisMadhava underwent the austerest penances and at last succeeded ingratifying the illustrious and boon giving Siva, that Master of all themobile and the immobile universe. In every new Yuga has Krishna (by suchpenances) gratified Mahadeva. In every Yuga has Mahadeva been gratifiedwith the great devotion of the high-souled Krishna. How great is thepuissance of the high-souled Mahadeva,–that original cause of theuniverse,–has been seen with his own eyes by Hari who himself transcendsall deterioration, on the occasion of his penances in the retreat ofVadari undergone for obtaining a son.[33] I do not, O Bharata, behold anyone that is superior to Mahadeva. To expound the names of that god ofgods fully and without creating the desire of hearing more only Krishnais competent. This mighty-armed one of Yadu’s race is alone competent totell the attributes of the illustrious Siva. Verily, O king, only he isable to discourse on the puissance, in its entirety of the Supreme deity?’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Having said these words, the illustriousBhishma, the grandsire of the Kurus, addressing Vasudeva, said thefollowing words, dealing with the subject of the greatness of Bhava, Omonarch.

“Bhishma said, ‘Thou art the Master of all the deities and the Asuras.Thou art illustrious. Thou art Vishnu in consequence of thy pervading thewhole universe. It behoveth thee to discourse on those subjects connectedwith Siva of universal form about which Yudhishthira has asked me. Indays of yore, the Rishi Tandin, sprung from Brahma, recited in Brahma’sregion and before Brahma himself the thousand names of Mahadeva. Do thourecite those names before this conclave so that these Rishis endued withwealth of asceticism, observant of high vows, possessed ofself-restraint, and numbering the Island-born Krishna among them, mayhear thee. Do thou discourse on the high blessedness of Him who isimmutable, who is always cheerful and happy, who is Hotri, who is theuniversal Protector, who is Creator, of the universe, and who is calledMundin and Kaparddin.'[34]

“Vasudeva said, ‘The very deities with Indra, and the Grandsire Brahmanumbering among them, and the great Rishis also, are incompetent tounderstand the course of Mahadeva’s acts truly and in all their details.Even He is the end which all righteous people attain. The very Adityaswho are endued with subtile sight, are unable to behold his abode. Howthen can one that is merely a man succeed in comprehending Him?[35] Ishall, therefore, truly recite to you some of the attributes of thatillustrious slayer of Asuras, who is regarded as the Lord of allsacrifices and vows.

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Having said these words, the illustriousVasudeva began his discourse on the attributes of the high-souledMahadeva endued with the highest intelligence, after having purifiedhimself by touching water.”

“Vasudeva said, ‘Hear, ye foremost of Brahmana’s and thou Yudhishthiraalso, O sire, and hear thou too, O Ganga’s son, the names that areapplied unto Kaparddin. Hear ye, how in former days, I obtained a sight,so difficult to obtain, (of that great god), for the sake of Samva.Verily, in those days was the illustrious deity seen by me in consequenceof Yoga-abstraction.[36] After twelve years had expired from the timewhen Pradyumna, the son of Rukmini, who is endued with greatintelligence, slew the Asura Samvara in days of yore, my spouse Jamvavatiaddressed me. Indeed, beholding Pradyumna and Charudeshna and other sonsborn of Rukmini, Jamvavati, desirous of a son, said these words unto me,O Yudhishthira,–Grant me, O thou of unfading glory, a son endued withheroism, the foremost of mighty men, possessed of the most agreeablefeatures, sinless in conduct, and like unto thyself. And O, let there beno delay on thy part in granting this prayer of mine. There is nothing inthe three worlds that is unattainable by thee, O perpetuator of Yadu’srace, thou canst create other worlds if only thou wishest it. Observing avow for twelve years and purifying thyself, thou hadst adored the Lord ofall creatures (viz., Mahadeva) and then begot upon Rukmini the sons thatshe has obtained from thee, viz., Charudeshna and Sucharu and Charuvesaand Yasodhana and Charusravas and Charuyasas and Pradyumna and Sambhu. Oslayer of Madhu, do thou grant to me a son like unto those of greatpowers whom thou hast begotten upon Rukmini?–Thus addressed by theprincess, I replied unto her of slender waist,–Let me have thypermission (to leave thee for some time), O queen. I shall certainly obeythy behest. She answered me, saying,–Go, and may success and prosperityalways attend thee. Let Brahma and Siva and Kasyapa, the Rivers, thosedeities that preside over the mind, the soil, all deciduous herbs, thoseChhandas (Rhymes) that are regarded as bearers of the libations poured insacrifices, the Rishis, Earth, the Oceans, the sacrificial presents,those syllables that are uttered for completing the cadences of Samans,the Rikshas, the Pitris, the Planets, the spouses of the deities, thecelestial maidens, the celestial mothers, the great cycles, kine,Chandramas, Savitri, Agni, Savitri, the knowledge of the Vedas, theseasons, the year, small and big divisions of time, e.g., the Kshanas,the Labas, the Muhurtas, the Nimeshas, and the Yugas in succession,protect thee, O Yadava, and keep thee in happiness, wherever thou mayststay. Let no danger overtake thee on thy way, and let no heedlessness bethine, O sinless one.–Thus blessed by her, I took her leave, biddingfarewell unto the daughter of the prince of apes. Repairing then into thepresence of that foremost of men, viz., my father, of my mother, of theking, and of Ahuka, I informed them of what the daughter of the prince ofthe Vidyadharas, in great affliction, had said unto me. Bidding themfarewell with a sorrowful heart, I then repaired to Gada and to Rama ofgreat might. These two cheerfully addressed me saying,–Let thy penancesincrease without any obstruction.–Having obtained the permission of allof them, I thought of Garuda. He immediately came to me and bore me toHimavat (at my bidding). Arrived at Himavat, I dismissed him. There onthat foremost of mountains, I beheld many wonderful sights. I saw anexcellent, wonderful, and agreeable retreat for the practice of penances.That delightful retreat was owned by the high-souled Upamanyu who was adescendant of Vyaghrapada. That retreat is applauded and reverenced bythe deities and the Gandharvas, and seemed to be covered with Vedicbeauty. It was adorned with Dhavas and Kakubhas and Kadamvas and Cocas,with Kuruvakas and Ketakas and Jamvus and Patalas, with banians andVarunakas and Vatsanabhas and Vilwas, with Saralas and Kapitthas andPiyalas and Salas and palmyras with Vadaris and Kundas and Punnagas andAsokas and Amras and Kovidaras and Champakas and Panasas, and withdiverse other trees endued with fruits and flowers. And that retreat wasalso decked with the straight stems of the Musa Supienta.[37] Truly, thatasylum was adorned with diverse other kinds of trees and with diversekinds of fruits forming the food of diverse kinds of birds. Heaps ofashes (of sacrificial fires) were thrown in proper places all around,which added to the beauty of the scene. It abounded with Rurus and apesand tigers and lions and leopards, with deer of diverse species andpeacocks, and with cats and snakes. Indeed, large numbers of otheranimals also were seen there, as also buffaloes and bears. Deliciousbreezes constantly blew bearing the melodious strains of celestialnymphs. The babblings of mountain rivulets and springs, the sweet notesof winged choristers, the gruntings of elephants, the delicious stains ofKinnaras, and the auspicious voice of ascetics singing the Samans, Ohero, and diverse other kinds of music, rendered that retreat extremelycharming. The very imagination cannot conceive another retreat asdelightful as the one I beheld. There were also large houses in thatasylum, intended for keeping the sacred fire, and covered all over withflowering creepers. It was adorned with the river Ganga of clear andsacred water. Indeed, the daughter of Jahnu always remained there. It wasdecked also with many ascetics who were the foremost of all righteouspersons, who were endued with high souls, and who resembled fire itselfin energy.[38] Some of those ascetics subsisted upon air and some uponwater, some were devoted to Japa or the silent recitation of sacredMantras, and some were engaged in cleansing their souls by practising thevirtues of compassion while some amongst them were Yogins devoted to theabstraction of Yoga-meditation. Some amongst them subsisted upon smokeonly, and some subsisted upon fire, and some upon milk. Thus was thatretreat adorned with many foremost of regenerate persons. And some therewere amongst them that had taken the vow of eating and drinking likekine,–that is, by giving up the use of the hands at once. And some usedonly two pieces of stone for husking their grain, and some used theirteeth only for that purpose. And some subsisted by drinking only the raysof the moon, and some by drinking only froth. And some had betakenthemselves to vow of living like deer.[39] And some there were that livedupon the fruits of the Ficus religiosa, and some that used to live uponwater. And some dressed themselves in rags and some in animal skins andsome in barks of trees. Indeed, I beheld diverse ascetics of the foremostorder observing these and other painful vows. I desired then to enterthat asylum. Verily, that asylum was honoured and adored by the deitiesand all high-souled beings, by Siva and others, O Bharata, and by allcreatures of righteous acts. Thus addressed, it stood in all its beautyon the breast of Himavat, like the lunar disc in the firmament. Themongoose sported there with the snake, and the tiger with the deer, likefriends, forgetting their natural enmity, in consequence of the energy ofthose ascetics of blazing penances and for their proximity to thesehigh-souled ones. In that foremost of asylums, which was delightful toall creatures, inhabited by many foremost of Brahmanas fully conversantwith the Vedas and their branches, and by many high-souled Rishiscelebrated for the difficult vows they observed, I saw, as soon as Ientered, a puissant Rishi with matted locks on head and dressed in rags,who seemed to blaze forth like fire with his penances and energy. Waitedupon by his disciples and possessed of tranquil soul, that foremost ofBrahmanas was young in aspect. His name was Upamanyu. Unto me who bowedunto him with a nod of the head, he said,–Welcome art thou, O thou ofeyes like lotus petals. Today, by this visit of thine, we see that ourpenances have borne fruit. Thou art worthy of our adoration, but thouadorest us still. Thou art worthy of being seen, but thou desirest to seeme.–Joining my hands I addressed him the usual enquiries respecting thewell-being of the animals and birds that resided in his asylum, of theprogress of his righteousness, and of his disciples. The illustriousUpamanyu then addressed me in words that were exceedingly sweet anddelightful,–Thou shalt, O Krishna, obtain without doubt a son like untothyself. Betaking thyself to severe penances, do thou gratify Isana, theLord of all creatures. That divine Master, O Adhokshaja, sporteth herewith his spouse by his side. O Janarddana, it was here that the deitieswith all the Rishis, in days of yore, gratified that foremost of deitiesby their penances and Brahmacharyya and truth and self-restraint, andsucceeded in obtaining the fruition of many high desires. Thatillustrious god is verily the vast receptacle of all energies andpenances. Projecting into existence and withdrawing once more untohimself all things fraught with good and evil, that inconceivable Deitywhom thou seekest, O destroyer of foes, lives here with his spouse. Hewho took his birth as the Danava named Hiranyakashipu, whose strength wasso great that he could shake the very mountains of Meru, succeeded inobtaining from Mahadeva the puissance belonging to all the deities andenjoyed it for ten millions of years. He who was the foremost of all hissons and who was celebrated by the name of Mandara, succeeded, throughthe boon he had obtained from Mahadeva, in fighting Sakra for a millionof years. The terrible discus of Vishnu and the thunderbolt of Indra wereboth unable to make the slightest impression, O Kesava, in days of yore,upon the body of that great cause of universal affliction.[40] The discuswhich thou bearest, O sinless one, was given unto thee by Mahadeva afterhe had slain a Daitya that was proud of his strength and used to livewithin the waters. That discus, blazing with energy and like unto fire,was created by the great god having for his device the bull. Wonderfuland irresistible in energy it was given unto thee by that illustriousgod. In consequence of its blazing energy it was incapable of being gazedat by any person save Siva the wielder of Pinaka. It was for this reasonthat Bhava (Siva) bestowed upon it the name of Sudarsana. From that timethe name Sudarsana came to be current in all the worlds. Even the weapon,O Kesava, failed to make the slightest impression on the body ofHiranyakashipu’s son Mandara, that appeared like an evil planet in thethree worlds. Hundreds of Chakras like thine and thunderbolts like thatof Sakra, could not inflict a scratch on the body of that evil planetendued with great might, who had obtained a boon from Mahadeva. Afflictedby the mighty Mandara, the deities fought hard against him and hisassociates, all of whom had obtained boons from Mahadeva. Gratified withanother Danava named Vidyutprabha, Mahadeva granted to him thesovereignty of the three worlds. That Danava remained the sovereign ofthe three worlds for a hundred thousand years. And Mahadeva said untohim,–Thou shalt become one of my attendants.–Indeed, the puissant Lordfurther bestowed upon him the boon of a hundred millions of children. TheMaster without birth, of all creatures further gave the Danava the regionknown by the name of Kusadwipa for his kingdom. Another great Asura, ofthe name of Satamukha, was created by Brahma. For a hundred years hepoured on’ the sacrificial fire (as offerings unto Mahadeva) the flesh ofhis own body. Gratified with such penances, Sankara said unto him,–Whatcan I do for thee?–Satamukha replied unto him, saying,–O thou that artmost wonderful, let me have the power of creating new creatures andanimals. Give also unto me, O foremost of all deities, eternalpower.–The puissant lord, thus addressed by him, said unto him,–So beit.–The Self-born Brahma, concentrating his mind in Yoga,[41] in days ofyore, made a sacrifice for three hundred years, with the object ofobtaining children. Mahadeva granted him a thousand sons possessed ofqualifications commensurate with the merits of the sacrifice. Withoutdoubt, thou knowest, O Krishna, the lord of Yoga, him that is, who issung by the deities. The Rishi known by the name of Yajnavalkya isexceedingly virtuous. By adoring Mahadeva he has acquired great fame. Thegreat ascetic who is Parasara’s son, viz., Vyasa, of soul set on Yoga,has obtained great celebrity by adoring Sankara. The Valikhilyas were ona former occasion disregarded by Maghavat. Filled with wrath at this,they gratified the illustrious Rudra. That lord of the universe, thatforemost one of all the deities, thus gratified by the Valikhilyas, saidunto them,–Ye shall succeed by your penances in creating a bird thatwill rob Indra of the Amrita. Through the wrath of Mahadeva on a formeroccasion, all the waters disappeared. The deities gratified him byperforming a sacrifice called Saptakapala, and caused, through his grace,other waters to flow into the worlds. Verily, when the three-eyed deitybecame gratified, water once more appeared in the world. The wife ofAtri, who was conversant with the Vedas, abandoned her husband in a huffand said,–I shall no longer live in subjection to that ascetic.–Havingsaid these words, she sought the protection of Mahadeva. Through fear ofher lord, Atri, passed three hundred years, abstaining from all food. Andall this time she slept on wooden clubs for the purpose of gratifyingBhava. The great deity then appeared unto her and then smilinglyaddressed her, saying–Thou shalt obtain a son. And thou shalt get thatson without the need of a husband, simply through the grace of Rudra.Without doubt that son, born in the race of his father, shall becomecelebrated for his worth, and assume a name after thee. The illustriousVikarna also, O slayer of Madhu, full of devotion to Mahadeva, gratifiedhim with severe penances and obtained high and happy success. Sakalya,too, of restrained soul, adored Bhava in a mental sacrifice that heperformed for nine hundred years, O Kesava. Gratified with him theillustrious deity said unto him,–Thou shalt become a great author. Oson, inexhaustible shall thy fame be in the three worlds. Thy race alsoshall never come to an end and shall be adorned by many great Rishis thatshall take birth in it. Thy son will become the foremost of Brahmanas andwill make the Sutras of thy work. There was a celebrated Rishi of thename of Savarni in the Krita age. Here, in this asylum, he underwentsevere penances for six thousand years. The illustrious Rudra said,–I amgratified with thee, O sinless one! Without being subject to decrepitudeor death, thou shalt become an author celebrated through all theworlds!–In days of yore, Sakra, also, in Baranasi, filled with devotion,O Janarddana, adored Mahadeva who has empty space alone for his garmentsand who is smeared with ashes as an agreeable unguent. Having adoredMahadeva thus, he obtained the sovereignty of the celestials. Naradaalso, in days of yore, adored the great Bhava with devotion of heart.Gratified with him, Mahadeva, that preceptor of the celestial preceptor,said these words.–No one shall be thy equal in energy and penances. Thoushalt always attend upon me with thy songs and instrumental music. Hearalso, O Madhava, how in former times I succeeded in obtaining a sight ofthat god of gods, that Master of all creatures, O Lord. Hear also indetail for what object, O thou of great puissance. I invoked withrestrained senses and mind that illustrious deity endued with supremeenergy. I shall, O sinless one, tell thee with full details all that Isucceeded in obtaining from that god of gods, viz., Maheswara. In ancienttimes, viz., Krita age, O son, there was a Rishi of great fame, namedVyaghrapada. He was celebrated for his knowledge and mastery over theVedas and their branches. I was born as the son of that Rishi and Dhaumyatook birth as my younger brother. On a certain occasion, Madhava,accompanied by Dhaumya, I came upon the asylum of certain Rishis ofcleansed souls. There I beheld a cow that was being milked. I saw themilk and it appeared to me to resemble Amrita itself in taste. I thencame home, and impelled by childishness, I addressed my mother andsaid,–Give me some food prepared with milk.–There was no milk in thehouse, and accordingly my mother was much grieved at my asking for it. Mymother took a piece of (rice) cake and boiled it in water, Madhava. Thewater became whitened and my mother placed it before us saying that itwas milk and bade us drink it. I had before that drunk milk on oneoccasion, for my father had, at the time of a sacrifice, taken me to theresidence of some of our great kinsmen. A celestial cow, who delights thedeities, was being milked on that occasion. Drinking her milk thatresembled Amrita in taste, I knew what the virtues are of milk. Itherefore, at once understood the origin of the substance that my motheroffered me, telling me that it was milk. Verily, the taste of that cake,O son, did not afford me any pleasure whatever. Impelled by childishnessI then addressed mother, saying,–This O mother, that thou hast given meis not any preparation of milk.–Filled with grief and sorrow at this,and embracing me from parental affection and smelling my head, O Madhava,she said unto me,–Whence, O child, can ascetics of cleansed souls obtainfood prepared with milk? Such men always reside in the forest and subsistupon bulbs and roots and fruits. Whence shall we who live by the banks ofrivers that are the resort of the Valikhilyas, we who have mountains andforest, for our home,–whence, indeed, O child, shall we obtain milk? We,dear child, live (sometimes) on air and sometimes on water. We dwell inasylums in the midst of forests and woods. We habitually abstain from allkinds of food that are taken by persons living in villages and towns. Weare accustomed to only such food as is supplied by the produce of thewilderness. There cannot be any milk, O child, in the wilderness wherethere are no offspring of Surabhi.[42] Dwelling on the banks of rivers orin caves or on mountain-breasts, or in tirthas and other places of thekind, we pass our time in the practice of penances and the recitation ofsacred Mantras, Siva being our highest refuge. Without gratifying theboon-giving Sthanu of unfading glory,–him, that is, who has threeeyes,–whence, O child, can one obtain food prepared with milk and goodrobes and other objects of enjoyment in the world? Do thou devotethyself, O dear son, to Sankara with thy whole soul. Through his grace, Ochild, thou art sure to obtain all such objects as administer to theindulgence of all thy wishes,–Hearing these words of my mother, O slayerof foes, that day, I joined my hands in reverence and bowing unto her,said,–O mother, who this Mahadeva? In what manner can one gratify him?Where does that god reside? How may he be seen? With what does he becomepleased? What also is the form of Sarva? How may one succeed in obtaininga knowledge of him? If gratified, will he, O mother, show himself untome?–After I had said these words, O Krishna, to my mother, she, filledwith parental affection, smelt my head, O Govinda, her eyes covered withtears the while. Gently patting my body, O slayer of Madhu, my mother,adopting a tone of great humility, addressed me in the following words, Obest of the deities.’

“My mother said, ‘Mahadeva is exceedingly difficult to be known bypersons of uncleansed souls. These men are incapable of bearing him intheir hearts of comprehending him at all. They can retain him in theirminds. They cannot seize him, nor can they obtain a sight of him. Men ofwisdom aver that his forms are many. Many, again, are the places in whichhe resides. Many are the forms of his Grace. Who is there that canunderstand in their details the acts, which are all excellent, of Isa, orof all the forms that he has assumed in days of yore? Who can relate howSarva sports and how he becomes gratified? Maheswara of universal formresides in the hearts of all creatures. While Munis discoursed on theauspicious and excellent acts of Isana, I have heard from them how,impelled by compassion towards his worshippers, he grants them a sight ofhis person. For the purpose of showing a favour unto the Brahmanas, thedenizens of heaven have recited for their information the diverse formsthat were assumed by Mahadeva in days of yore. Thou hast asked me aboutthese. I shall recite them to thee, O son.’

“My mother continued, ‘Bhava assumes the forms of Brahma and Vishnu andthe chief of the celestials of the Rudras, the Adityas, and the Aswins;and of those deities that are called Viswadevas. He assumes the formsalso of men and women, of Pretas and Pisachas, of Kiratas and Savaras,and of all aquatic animals. That illustrious deity assumes the forms ofalso those Savaras that dwell in the woods and forests. He assumes theforms of tortoises and fishes and conches. He it is that assumes theforms of those coral sprouts that are used as ornaments by men. Heassumes also the forms of Yakshas, Rakshasas and Snakes, of Daityas andDanavas. Indeed, the illustrious god assumes the forms of all creaturestoo that live in holes. He assumes the forms of tigers and lions anddeer, of wolves and bears and birds, of owls and of jackals as well. Heit is that assumes the forms of swans and crows and peacocks, ofchameleons and lizards and storks. He it is that assumes the forms ofcranes and vultures and Chakravakas. Verily, he it is that assumes theforms of Chasas and of mountains also. O son, it is Mahadeva that assumesthe forms of kine and elephants and horses and camels and asses. Heassumes also the forms of goats and leopards and diverse other varietiesof animals. It is Bhava who assumes the forms of diverse kinds of birdsof beautiful plumage. It is Mahadeva who bears the forms of persons withsticks and those with umbrellas and those with calabashes amongBrahmanas.[43] He sometimes becomes six-faced and sometimes becomesmultifaced. He sometimes assumes forms having three eyes and forms havingmany heads. And he sometimes assumes forms having many millions of legsand forms having innumerable stomachs and faces and forms endued withinnumerable arms and innumerable sides. He sometimes appears surroundedby innumerable spirits and ghosts. He it is that assumes the forms ofRishis and Gandharvas, and of Siddhas and Charanas. He sometimes assumesa form that is rendered white with the ashes he smears on it and isadorned with a half-moon on the forehead. Adored with diverse hymnsuttered with diverse kinds of voice and worshipped with diverse Mantrasfraught with encomiums, he, that is sometimes called Sarva, is theDestroyer of all creatures in the universe, and it is upon him, again,that all creatures rest as on their common foundation. Mahadeva is thesoul of all creatures. He pervades all things. He is the speaker of alldiscourses (on duties and rituals). He resides everywhere and should beknown as dwelling in the hearts of all creatures in the universe. Heknows the desire cherished by every one of his worshippers. He becomesacquainted with the object in which one pays him adorations. Do thouthen, if it pleases thee, seek the protection of the chief of thedeities. He sometimes rejoices, and sometimes yields to wrath, andsometimes utters the syllable Hum with a very loud noise. He sometimesarms himself with the discus, sometimes with the trident, sometimes withthe mace, sometimes with the heavy mullets, sometimes with the scimitar,and sometimes with the battle axe. He it is that assumes the form ofSesha who sustains the world on his head. He has snakes for his belt, andhis ears are adorned with ear-rings made of snakes. Snakes form also thesacred thread he wears. An elephant skin forms his upper garment.[44] Hesometimes laughs and sometimes sings and sometimes dances mostbeautifully. Surrounded by innumerable spirits and ghosts, he sometimesplays on musical instruments. Diverse, again are the instruments uponwhich he plays, and sweet the sounds they yield. He sometimes wanders(over crematoria), sometimes yawns, sometimes cries, and sometimes causesothers to cry. He sometimes assumes the guise of one that is mad, andsometimes of one that is intoxicated, and he sometimes utters words thatare exceedingly sweet. Endued with appalling fierceness, he sometimeslaughs loudly, frightening all creatures with his eyes. He sometimessleeps and sometimes remains awake and sometimes yawns as he pleases. Hesometimes recites sacred Mantras and sometimes becomes the deity of thoseMantras which are recited. He sometimes performs penances and sometimesbecomes the deity for whose adoration those penances are undergone. Hesometimes makes gifts and sometimes receives those gifts; sometimesdisposes himself in Yoga and sometimes becomes the object of the Yogacontemplation of others. He may be seen on the sacrificial platform or inthe sacrificial stake; in the midst of the cow-pen or in the fire. He maynot again be seen there. He may be seen as a boy or as an old man. Hesports with the daughters and the spouses of the Rishis. His hair is longand stands erect. He is perfectly naked, for he has the horizon for hisgarments. He is endued with terrible eyes. He is fair, he is darkish, heis dark, he is pale, he is of the colour of smoke, and he is red. He ispossessed of eyes that are large and terrible. He has empty space for hiscovering and he it is that covers all things. Who is there that can trulyunderstand the limits of Mahadeva who is formless, who is one andindivisible, who conjures of illusions, who is of the cause of allactions and destructive operations in the universe, who assumes the formof Hiranyagarbha, and who is without beginning and without end, and whois without birth.[45] He lives in the heart (of every creature). He isthe prana, he is the mind, and he is Jiva (that is invested in thematerial case). He is the soul of Yoga, and it is that is called Yoga. Heis the Yoga-contemplation into which Yogins enter.[46] He is the SupremeSoul. Indeed Maheswara, the purity in essence, is capable of beingcomprehended not by the senses but through only the Soul seizing hisexistence. He plays on diverse musical instruments. He is a vocalist. Hehas a hundred thousand eyes, he has one mouth, he has two mouths, he hasthree mouths, and he has many mouths. Devoting thyself to him, settingthy heart upon him, depending upon him, and accepting him as thy onerefuse, do thou, O son, adore Mahadeva and then mayst thou obtain thefruition of all thy wishes. Hearing those words of my mother, O slayer offoes, from that day my devotion was directed to Mahadeva, having nothingelse for its object. I then applied myself to the practice of theausterest penances for gratifying Sankara. For one thousand years I stoodon my left toe. After that I passed one thousand years, subsisting onlyupon fruits. The next one thousand years I passed, subsisting upon thefallen leaves of trees. The next thousand years I passed, subsisting uponwater only. After that I passed seven hundred years, subsisting on airalone. In this way, I adored Mahadeva for a full thousand years of thecelestials. After this, the puissant Mahadeva, the Master of all theuniverse, became gratified with me. Desirous of ascertaining whether Iwas solely devoted to him and him alone, he appeared before me in theform of Sakra surrounded by all the deities. As the celebrated Sakra, hehad a thousand eyes on his person and was armed with the thunderbolt. Andhe rode on an elephant whose complexion was of the purest white, witheyes red, ears folded, the temporal juice trickling down his cheeks, withtrunk contracted, terrible to look at, and endued with four tusks.Indeed, riding on such an elephant, the illustrious chief of the deitiesseemed to blaze forth with his energy. With a beautiful crown on his headand adorned with garlands round his neck and bracelets round his arms, heapproached the spot where I was. A white umbrella was held over his head.And he was waited upon by many Apsaras, and many Gandharvas sang hispraise. Addressing me, he said,–O foremost of regenerate persons, I havebeen gratified with thee. Beg of me whatever boon thou desirest,–Hearingthese words of Sakra I did not become glad. Verily, O Krishna, I answeredthe chief of the celestials in these words.–I do not desire any boon atthy hands, or from the hands of any other deity. O amiable deity, I tellthee truly, that it is Mahadeva only from whom I have boons to ask. True,true it is, O Sakra, true are these words that I say unto thee. No otherwords are at all agreeable to me save those which relate to Maheswara. Atthe command of Pashupati, that Lord of all creatures, I am ready tobecome a worm or a tree with many branches. If not obtained through thegrace represented by Mahadeva’s boons, the very sovereignty of the threeworlds would not be acceptable to me. Let me be born among the veryChandalas but let me still be devoted to the feet of Hara. Without,again, being devoted to that Lord of all creatures, I would not like tohave birth in the palace of Indra himself. If a person be wanting indevotion to that Lord of the universe,–that Master of the deities andthe Asuras,–his misery will not end even if from want of food he has tosubsist upon only air and water.[47] What is the need of other discoursesthat are even fraught with other kinds of morality and righteousness,unto those persons who do not like to live even a moment without thinkingof feet of Mahadeva? When the unrighteous or sinful Kali Yuga comes, oneshould never pass a moment without devoting his heart upon Mahadeva. Onethat has drunk the Amrita constituted by the devotion to Hara, onebecomes freed from the fear of the world. One that has not obtained thegrace of Mahadeva can never succeed to devote oneself to Mahadeva for asingle day or for half a day or for a Muhurta or for a Kshana or for aLava (very small unit of time). At the command of Mahadeva I shallcheerfully become a worm or an insect, but I have no relish for even thesovereignty of the three worlds, if bestowed by thee, O Sakra. At theword of Hara I would become even a dog. In fact, that would accord withmy highest wish. If not given by Maheswara, I would not have thesovereignty of the very deities. I do not wish to have this dominion ofthe Heavens. I do not wish to have the sovereignty of the celestials. Ido not wish to have the region of Brahma. Indeed, I do not wish to havethat cessation of individual existence which is called Emancipation andwhich involves a complete identification with Brahma. But I want tobecome the slave of Hara. As long as that Lord of all creatures, theillustrious Mahesa, with crown on his head and body possessed of the purewhite complexion of the lunar disc, does not become gratified with me, solong shall I cheerfully bear all those afflictions, due to a hundredrepetitions of decrepitude, death and birth, that befall to the lot ofembodied beings. What person in the universe can obtain tranquillity,without gratifying Rudra that is freed from decripitude and death, thatis endued with the effulgence of the Sun, the Moon, or the fire, that isthe root or original cause of everything real and unreal in the threeworlds, and that exists as one and indivisible entity? If in consequenceof my faults, rebirths be mine, I shall, in those new births, devotemyself solely to Bhava.'”

“Indra said, ‘What reason canst thou assign for the existence of aSupreme Being or for His being the cause of all causes?'”

“Upamanyu said, ‘I solicit boons from that great Deity named Siva whomutterers of Brahma has described as existent and non-existent, manifestand unmanifest, eternal or immutable, one and many. I solicit boons fromHim who is without beginning and middle and end, who is Knowledge andPuissance, who is inconceivable and who is the Supreme Soul. I solicitboons from Him whence comes all Puissance, who has not been produced byany one, who is immutable, and who, though himself unsprung from anyseed, is the seed of all things in the universe. I solicit boons from Himwho is blazing Effulgence, (beyond Darkness) who is the essence of allpenances, who transcends all faculties of which we are possessed andwhich we may devote for the purpose of comprehending him, and by knowingwhom every one becomes freed from grief or sorrow. I worship him, OPurandara, who is conversant with the creation of all elements and thethought of all living creatures, and who is the original cause of theexistence or creation of all creatures, who is omnipresent, and who hasthe puissance to give everything.[48] I solicit boons from Him who cannotbe comprehended by argument, who represents the object of the Sankhya andthe Yoga systems of philosophy, and who transcends all things, and whomall persons conversant with the topics of enquiry worship and adore.[49]I solicit boons from Him, O Maghavat, who is the soul of Maghavathimself, who is said to be the God of the gods, and who is the Master ofall creatures. I solicit boons from Him who it is that first createdBrahma, that creator of all the worlds, having filled Space (with Hisenergy) and evoked into existence the primeval egg.[50] Who else thanthat Supreme Lord could be creator of Fire, Water, Wind, Earth, Space,Mind, and that which is called Mahat? Tell me, O Sakra, who else thanSiva could create Mind, Understanding, Consciousness or Ego, theTanmatras, and the senses? Who is there higher than Siva?[51] The wisesay that the Grandsire Brahma is the creator of this universe. Brahma,however, acquired his high puissance and prosperity by adoring andgratifying Mahadeva, that God of gods. That high puissance (consisting ofall the three attributes of creation, protection, and destruction), whichdwells in that illustrious Being who is endowed with the quality of beingone, who created Brahma, Vishnu, and Rudra, was derived from Mahadeva.Tell me who is there that is superior to the Supreme Lord?[52] Who elsethan that God of gods is competent to unite the sons of Diti withlordship and puissance, judging by the sovereignty and the power ofoppressing conferred upon the foremost of the Daityas and Danavas?[53]The different points of the horizon, Time, the Sun, all fiery entities,planets, wind, water, and the stars and constellations,–these, knowthou, are from Mahadeva. Tell us who is higher than the Supreme Lord? Whoelse is there, except Mahadeva, in the matter of the creation ofSacrifice and the destruction of Tripura? Who else except Mahadeva, thegrinder of the foes, has offered lordship to the principal?[54] Whatneed, O Purandara, of many well-sounding statements fraught with spacioussophisms, when I behold thee of a thousand eyes, O best of thedeities,–thee that art worshipped by Siddhas and Gandharvas and thedeities and the Rishis? O best of the Kusikas, all this is due to thegrace of that God of gods viz., Mahadeva. Know, O Kesava, that this all,consisting of animate and inanimate existences with heaven and otherunseen entities, which occur in this world, and which has theall-pervading Lord for their soul, has flowed from Maheswara and has beencreated (by him) for enjoyment by Jiva.[55] In the worlds that are knownby the names of Bhu, Bhuva, Swah, and Maha, in the midst of the mountainsof Lokaloka, in the islands, in the mountains of Meru, in all things thatyield happiness, and in the hearts of all creatures, O illustriousMaghavat, resides Mahadeva, as persons conversant with all the topics ofenquiry say. If, O Sakra, the Devas (deities) and the Asuras could seeany other puissant form than Bhava’s, would not both of them, especiallythe former, when opposed and afflicted by the latter, have sought theprotection of that form? In all hostile encounters of the deities, theYakshas, the Uragas and the Rakshasas, that terminating in mutualdestruction, it is Bhava that gives unto those that meet withdestruction, puissance commensurate with their respective locations asdependent upon their acts. Tell me, who else than Maheswara is there forbestowing boons upon, and once more chastising the Andhaka and Sukra andDundubhi and Maharshi and many foremost of Yakshas, Indra and Vala andRakshasas and the Nivatakavachas? Was not the vital seed of Mahadeva,that Master of both the deities and the Asuras, poured as a libation uponthe fire? From that seed sprung a mountain of gold. Who else is therewhose seed can be said to be possessed of such virtue.[56] Who else inthis world is praised as having the horizon only for his garments? Whoelse can be said to be a Brahmacharin with his vital seed drawn up? Whoelse is there that has half his body occupied by his dear spouse?[57] Whoelse is there that has been able to subjugate Kama, the god of desire?Tell me, O Indra, what other Being possesses that high region of supremefelicity that is applauded by all the deities? Who else has thecrematorium as his sporting ground? Who else is there that is so praisedfor his dancing? Whose puissance and worship remain immutable? Who elseis there that sports with spirits and ghosts? Tell me, O deity, who elsehas associate that are possessed of strength like his own and that are,therefore, proud of that strength or puissance?[58] Who else is therewhose status is applauded as unchangeable and worshipped with reverenceby the three worlds? Who else is there that pours rain, gives heat, andblazes forth in Energy? From whom else do we derive our wealth of herbs?Who else upholds all kinds of wealth? Who else sports as much as hepleases in the three worlds of mobile and immobile things? O Indra, knowMaheswara to be the original cause (of everything). He is adored byYogins, by Rishis, by the Gandharvas, and by the Siddhas, with the aid ofknowledge, (of ascetic) success, and of the rites laid down in thescriptural ordinances.[59] He is adored by both the deities and theAsuras with the aid of sacrifices by acts and the affliction of theritual laid down in the scriptures. The fruits of action can never touchhim for he transcends them all. Being such, I call him the original causeof everything.[60] He is both gross and subtile. He is without compare.He cannot be conceived by the senses. He is endued with attributes and heis divested of them. He is the lord of attributes, for they are under hiscontrol. Even such is the place that is Maheswara’s. He is the cause ofthe maintenance and the creation (of the universe). He is the cause ofthe universe and the cause also of its destruction. He is the Past, thePresent, and the Future. He is the parent of all things. Verily, He isthe cause of every thing. He is that which is mutable, He is theunmanifest, He is Knowledge; He is ignorance; He is every act, He isevery omission; He is righteousness; and He is unrighteousness. Him, OSakra, do I call the cause of every thing. Behold, O Indra, in the imageof Mahadeva the indications of both the sexes. That god of gods, viz.,Rudra, that cause of both creation and destruction, displays in his formthe indications of both the sexes as the one cause of the creation of theuniverse. My mother formerly told me that he is the cause of the universeand the one cause of everything. There is no one that is higher than Isa,O Sakra. If it pleases thee, do thou throw thyself on his kindness andprotection. Thou hast visible evidence, O chief of the celestials, of thefact that the universe has sprung from the union of the sexes (asrepresented by Mahadeva). The universe, thou knowest, is the sum of whatis vested with attributes and what else is divested of attributes and hasfor its immediate cause the seeds of Brahma and others. Brahma and Indraand Hutasana and Vishnu and all the other deities, along with the Daityasand the Asuras, crowned with the fruition of a thousand desires, alwayssay that there is none that is higher than Mahadeva.[61] Impelled bydesire, I solicit, with restrained mind, that god known to all the mobileand immobile universe,–him, that is, who has been spoken of as the bestand highest of all the gods, and who is auspiciousness itself, forobtaining without delay that highest of all acquisitions, viz.,Emancipation. What necessity is there of other reasons (for establishing)what I believe? The supreme Mahadeva is the cause of all causes. We havenever heard that the deities have, at any time, adored the sign of anyother god than Mahadeva. If Maheswara be not accepted, tell me, if thouhast ever heard of it, who else is there whose sign has been worshippedor is being worshipped by all the deities? He whose sign is alwaysworshipped by Brahma, by Vishnu, by thee, O Indra, with all the otherdeities, is verily the foremost of all adorable deities. Brahma has forhis sign the lotus, Vishnu has for his the discus, Indra has for his signthe thunder-bolt. But the creatures of the world do not bear any of thesigns that distinguish these deities. On the other hand, all creaturesbear the signs that mark Mahadeva and his spouse. Hence, all creaturesmust be regarded as belonging to Maheswara. All creatures of the femininesex, have sprung from Ulna’s nature as their cause, and hence it is theybear the mark of femininity that distinguishes Uma; while all creaturesthat are masculine, having sprung from Siva, bear the masculine mark thatdistinguishes Siva. That person who says that there is, in the threeworlds with their mobile and immobile creatures, any other cause than theSupreme Lord, and that which is not marked with the mark of eitherMahadeva or his spouse should be regarded as very wretched and should notbe counted among the creatures of the universe. Every being with the markof the masculine sex should be known to be of Isana, while every beingwith the mark of the feminine sex should be known to be of Uma. Thisuniverse of mobile and immobile creatures is provided by two kinds offorms (viz., male and female). It is from Mahadeva that I wish to obtainboons. Failing in this, O Kausika, I would rather prefer dissolutionitself. Go or remain, O Sakra, as thou, O slayer of Vala, desirest. Iwish to have boons or curses from Mahadeva. No other deity shall I everacknowledge, nor would I have from any other deity the fruition of all mywishes.–Having said these words unto the chief of the celestials, Ibecame overwhelmed with grief at the thought of Mahadeva not having beengratified with me not withstanding my severe austerities. Within thetwinkling of an eye, however, I saw the celestial elephant I had beheldbefore me transformed into a bull as white as a swan, or the Jasminumpubescens, or a stalk of the lotus or silver, or the ocean of milk. Ofhuge body, the hair of its tail was black and the hue of its eyes wastawny like that of honey. Its horns were hard as adamant and had thecolour of gold. With their very sharp ends, whose hue was a mild red, thebull seemed to tear the Earth. The animal was adorned all over withornaments made of the purest gold. Its face and hoofs and nose and earswere exceedingly beautiful and its waist too exceedingly well-formed. Itsflanks were possessed of great beauty and its neck was very thick. Itswhole form was exceedingly agreeable and beautiful to look at. Its humpshone with great beauty and seemed to occupy the whole of itsshoulder-joint. And it looked like the summit of a mountain of snow orlike a cliff of white clouds in the sky. Upon the back of that animal Ibeheld seated the illustrious Mahadeva with his spouse Uma. Verily,Mahadeva shone like the lord of stars while he is at his full. The fireborn of his energy resembled in effulgence the lightening that flashesamid clouds. Verily, it seemed as if a thousand suns rose there, fillingevery side with a dazzling splendour. The energy of the Supreme Lordlooked like the Samvartaka fire which destroys all creatures at the endof the Yuga. Overspread with that energy, the horizon became such that Icould see nothing on any side. Filled with anxiety I once more thoughtwhat it could mean. That energy, however, did not pervade every side forany length of time, for soon, through the illusion of that god of gods,the horizon became clear. I then behold the illustrious Sthanu orMaheswara seated on the back of his bull, of blessed and agreeableappearance and looking like a smokeless fire. And the great god wasaccompanied by Parvati of faultless features. Indeed, I beheld theblue-throated and high-souled Sthanu, unattached to everything, thatreceptacle of all kinds of force, endued with eight and ten arms andadorned with all kinds of ornaments. Clad in white vestments, he worewhite garlands, and had white unguents smeared upon his limbs. The colourof his banner, irresistible in the universe, was white. The sacred threadround his person was also white. He was surrounded with associates, allpossessed with prowess equal to his own, who were singing or dancing orplaying on diverse kinds of musical instruments. A crescent moon, of palehue, formed his crown, and placed on his forehead it looked like the moonthat rises in the autumnal firmament. He seemed to dazzle with splendour,in consequence of his three eyes that looked like three suns. The garlandof the purest white, that was on his body, shone like a wreath oflotuses, of the purest white, adorned with jewels and gems. I alsobeheld, O Govinda, the weapons in their embodied forms and fraught withevery kind of energy, that belong to Bhava of immeasurable prowess. Thehigh-souled deity held a bow whose hues resembled those of the rainbow.That bow is celebrated under the name of the Pinaka and is in reality amighty snake. Indeed, that snake of seven heads and vast body, of sharpfangs and virulent poison, of large neck and the masculine sex, wastwined round with the cord that served as its bowstring. And there was ashaft whose splendour looked like that of the sun or of the fire thatappears at the end of the Yuga. Verily, that shaft was the excellentPasupata that mighty and terrible weapon, which is without a second,indescribable for its power, and capable of striking every creature withfear. Of vast proportions, it seemed to constantly vomit sparks of fire.Possessed of one foot, of large teeth, and a thousand heads and thousandStomachs, it has a thousand arms, a thousand tongues, and a thousandeyes. Indeed, it seemed to continually vomit fire. O thou of mighty arms,that weapon is superior to the Brahma, the Narayana, the Aindra, theAgneya, and the Varuna weapons. Verily, it is capable of neutralisingevery other weapon in the universe. It was with that weapon that theillustrious Mahadeva had in days of yore, burnt and consumed in a momentthe triple city of the Asuras. With the greatest ease, O Govinda,Mahadeva, using that single arrow, achieved that feat. That weapon, shotby Mahadeva’s arms, can, without doubt consume in half the time taken upby a twinkling of the eyes the entire universe with all its mobile andimmobile creatures. In the universe there is no being including evenBrahma and Vishnu and the deities, that are incapable of being slain bythat weapon. O sire, I saw that excellent, wonderful and incomparableweapon in the hand of Mahadeva. There is another mysterious and verypowerful weapon which is equal or perhaps, superior to the Pasupataweapon. I beheld that also. It is celebrated in all the worlds as the Sumof the Sula-armed Mahadeva. Hurled by the illustrious deity, that weaponis competent to rive the entire Earth or dry up the waters of the oceanor annihilate the entire universe. In days of yore, Yuvanaswa’s son, kingMandhatri, that conqueror of the three worlds, possessed of imperial swayand endued with abundant energy, was, with all his troops, destroyed bymeans of that weapon. Endued with great might and great energy andresembling Sakra himself in prowess, the king, O Govinda, was slain bythe Rakshasa Lavana with the aid of this Sula which he had got from Siva.The Sula has a very keen point. Exceedingly terrible, it is capable ofcausing everybody’s hair stand on its end. I saw it in the hand ofMahadeva, as if roaring with rage, having contracted its forehead intothree wrinkles. It resembled, O Krishna, a smokeless fire or the sun thatrises at the end of the Yuga. The handle of that Sula, was made of amighty snake. It is really indescribable. It looked like the universalDestroyer himself armed with his noose. I saw this weapon, O Govinda, inthe hand of Mahadeva. I beheld also another weapon, viz., thatsharp-edged battle-axe which, in days of yore, was given unto Rama by thegratified Mahadeva for enabling him to exterminate the Kshatriyas. It waswith this weapon that Rama (of Bhrigu’s race) slew in dreadful battle thegreat Karttaviryya who was the ruler of all the world. It was with thatweapon that Jamadagni’s son, O Govinda, was able to exterminate theKshatriyas for one and twenty times. Of blazing edge and exceedinglyterrible, that axe was hanging on the shoulder, adorned with a snake, ofMahadeva. Indeed, it shone on Mahadeva’s person like the flame of ablazing fire. I beheld innumerable other celestial weapons with Mahadevaof great intelligence. I have, however named only a few, O sinless one,in consequence of their principal character. On the left side of thegreat god stood the Grandsire Brahma seated on an excellent car untowhich were attached swans endued with the speed of the mind. On the sameside could be seen Narayana also, seated on the son of Vinata, andbearing the conch, the discus, and the mace. Close to the goddess Uma wasSkanda seated on his peacock, bearing his fatal dart and bells, andlooking like another Agni. In the front of Mahadeva I beheld Nandistanding armed with his Sula and looking like a second Sankara (forprowess and energy). The Munis headed by the Self-born Manu and Rishishaving Bhrigu for their first, and the deities with Sakra at their head,all came there. All the tribes of spirits and ghosts, and the celestialMothers, stood surrounding Mahadeva and saluting him with reverence. Thedeities were engaged in singing the praises of Mahadeva by utteringdiverse hymns. The Grandsire Brahma uttering a Rathantara, praisedMahadeva. Narayana also, uttering the Jyestha Saman, sang the praises ofBhava. Sakra also did the same with the aid of those foremost of VedicMantras, viz., the Sata-Rudriam. Verily, Brahma and Narayana andSakra,–those three high-souled deities,–shone there like threesacrificial fires. In their midst shone the illustrious God like the sunin the midst of his corona, emerged from autumnal clouds. I beheldmyriads of suns and moons, also in the sky, O Kesava. I then praised theillustrious Lord of everything, the supreme Master of the universe.

“Upamanyu continued, ‘I said, Salutations to thee, O illustrious one, Othou that constitutest the refuge of all things, O thou that art calledMahadeva! Salutations to thee that assumest the form of Sakra, that artSakra, and that disguisest thyself in the form and vestments of Sakra.Salutations to thee that art armed with the thunder, to thee that arttawny, and thee that art always armed with the Pinaka. Salutations tothee that always bearest the conch and the Sula. Salutations to thee thatart clad in black, to thee that art of dark and curly hair, to thee thathast a dark deer-skin for thy upper garment, to thee that presidest overthe eighth lunation of the dark fortnight. Salutations to thee that artof white complexion, to thee that art called white, to thee that art cladin white robes, to thee that hast limbs smeared with white ashes, to theethat art ever engaged in white deeds. Salutations to thee that art red ofcolour, to thee that art clad in red vestments, to thee that ownest a redbanner with red flags, to thee that wearest red garlands and usest redunguents. Salutations to thee that art brown in complexion, to thee thatart clad in brown vestments, to thee, that hast a brown banner with brownflags, to thee that wearest brown garlands and usest brown unguents.Salutations to thee that hast the umbrella of royalty held over thy head,to thee that wearest the foremost of crowns. Salutations unto thee thatart adorned with half a garland and half an armlet, to thee that artdecked with one ring for one year, to thee that art endued with the speedof the mind, to thee that art endued with great effulgence. Salutationsto thee that art the foremost of deities, to thee that art the foremostof ascetics, to thee that art the foremost of celestials. Salutations tothee that wearest half a wreath of lotuses, to thee that hast manylotuses on thy body. Salutations to thee that hast half thy body smearedwith sandal paste, to thee that hast half thy body decked with garlandsof flowers and smeared with fragrant unguents.[62] Salutations to theethat art of the complexion of the Sun, to thee that art like the Sun, tothee whose face is like the Sun, to thee that hast eyes each of which islike the Sun. Salutations to thee that art Soma, to thee that art as mildas Soma, to thee that bearest the lunar disc, to thee that art of lunaraspect, to thee that art the foremost of all creatures, to thee that artadorned with a set of the most beautiful teeth. Salutations to thee thatart of a dark complexion, to thee that art of a fair complexion, to theethat hast a form half of which is yellow and half white, to thee thathast a body half of which is male and half female, to thee that art bothmale and female. Salutations to thee that ownest a bull for thy vehicle,to thee that proceedest riding on the foremost of elephants, to thee thatart obtained with difficulty, to thee that art capable of going to placesunapproachable by others. Salutations to thee whose praises are sung bythe Ganas, to thee that art devoted to the diverse Ganas, to thee thatfollowest the track that is trod by the Ganas, to thee that art alwaysdevoted to the Ganas as to a vow. Salutations to thee that art of thecomplexion of white clouds, to thee that hast the splendour of theevening clouds, to thee that art incapable of being described by names,to thee that art of thy own form (having nothing else in the universewith which it can be compared). Salutations to thee that wearest abeautiful garland of red colour, to thee that art clad in robes of redcolour. Salutations to thee that hast the crown of the head decked withgems, to thee that art adorned with a half-moon, to thee that wearestmany beautiful gems in thy diadem, to thee that hast eight flowers on thyhead. Salutations to thee that hast a fiery mouth and fiery eyes, to theethat hast eyes possessing the effulgence of a thousand moons, to theethat art of the form of fire, to thee that art beautiful and agreeable,to thee that art inconceivable and mysterious. Salutations to thee thatrangest through the firmament, to thee that lovest and residest in landsaffording pasture to kine, to thee that walkest on the Earth, to theethat art the Earth, to thee that art infinite, to thee that artexceedingly auspicious. Salutations to thee that art unclad (or has thehorizon alone for thy vestments), to thee that makest a happy home ofevery place where thou mayst happen to be for the moment. Salutations tothee that hast the universe for thy home, to thee that hast bothKnowledge and Felicity for thy Soul. Salutations to thee that alwayswearest a diadem, to thee that wearest a large armlet, to thee that hasta snake for the garland round thy neck, to thee that wearest manybeautiful ornaments on thy person. Salutations to thee that hast the Sun,the Moon, and Agni for thy three eyes, to thee that art possessed of athousand eyes, to thee that art both male and female, to thee that artdivested of sex, to thee that art a Sankhya, to thee that art a Yogin.Salutations to thee that art of the grace of those deities who areworshipped in sacrifices, to thee that art the Atharvans, to thee thatart the alleviator of all kinds of disease and pain, to thee that art thedispeller of every sorrow. Salutations to thee that roarest as deep asthe clouds, to thee that puttest forth diverse kinds of illusions, tothee that presidest over the soil and over the seed that is sown in it,to thee that art the Creator of everything. Salutations to thee that artthe Lord of all the celestials, to thee that art the Master of theuniverse, to thee that art endued with the speed of the wind, to theethat art of the form of the wind. Salutations to thee that wearest agarland of gold, to thee that sportest on hills and mountains[63], tothee that art adorned by all who are enemies of the gods, to thee thatart possessed of fierce speed and energy. Salutations to thee that torestaway one of the heads of the Grandsire Brahma, to thee that hast slainthe Asura named Mahisha, to thee that assumest three forms, to thee thatbearest every form. Salutations to thee that art the destroyer of thetriple city of the Asuras, to thee that art the destroyer of (Daksha’s)sacrifice, to thee that art the destroyer of the body of Kama (the deityof Desire), to thee that wieldest the rod of destruction. Salutations tothee that art Skanda, to thee that art Visakha, to thee that art the rodof the Brahmana, to thee that art Bhava, to thee that art Sarva, to theethat art of universal form. Salutations to thee that art Isana, to theethat art the destroyer of Bhaga, to thee that art the slayer of Andhaka,to thee that art the universe, to thee that art possessed of illusion, tothee that art both conceivable and inconceivable.[64] Thou art the oneend of all creatures, thou art the foremost, thou art the heart ofeverything. Thou art the Brahma of all the deities, thou art theNilardhita Red and Blue of the Rudras. Thou art the Soul of thecreatures, thou art He who is called Purusha in the Sankhya philosophy,thou art the Rishabha among all things sacred, thou art that which iscalled auspicious by Yogins and which, according to them, is withoutparts (being indivisible). Amongst those that are observant of thedifferent modes of life, thou art the House-holder, thou art the greatLord amongst the lords of the universe. Thou art Kuvera among all theYakshas, and thou art Vishnu amongst all the sacrifices.[65] Thou artMeru amongst mountains, thou art the Moon among all luminaries of thefirmament, thou art Vasishtha amongst Rishis, thou art Surya among theplanets. Thou art the lion among all wild animals, and among all domesticanimals, thou art the bull that is worshipped by all people. Among theAdityas thou art Vishnu (Upendra), among the Vasu thou art Pavaka, amongbirds thou art the son of Vinata (Garuda), and among snakes thou artAnanta (Sesha). Among the Vedas thou art the Samans, among the Yajushesthou art the Sata-Rudriyam, among Yogins thou art Sanatkumara, and amongSankhyas thou art Kapila. Among the Maruts thou art Sakra, among thePitris thou art Devarat, among all the regions (for the residence ofcreated beings) thou art the region of Brahman, and amongst all the endsthat creatures attain to, thou art Moksha or Emancipation. Thou art theOcean of milk among all oceans, among all rocky eminences thou artHimavat, among all the orders thou art the Brahmana, and among alllearned Brahmanas thou art he that has undergone and is observant of theDiksha. Thou art the Sun among all things in the world, thou art thedestroyer called Kala. Thou art whatever else possessed of superiorenergy of eminence that exists in the universe. Thou art possessed ofsupreme puissance. Even this is what represents my certain conclusion.Salutations to thee, O puissant and illustrious one, O thou that art kindto all thy worshippers. Salutations to thee, O lord of Yogins. I bow tothee, O original cause of the universe. Be thou gratified with me that amthy worshipper, that am very miserable and helpless, O Eternal Lord, dothou become the refuge of this adorer of thine that is very weak andmiserable. O Supreme Lord, it behoveth thee to pardon all thosetransgressions of which I have been guilty, taking compassion upon me onthe ground of my being thy devoted worshipper. I was stupefied by thee, OLord of all the deities, in consequence of the disguise in which thoushowest thyself to me. O Maheswara, I did not give thee the Arghya orwater to wash thy feet.[66] Having hymned the praises of Isana in thisway, I offered him, with great devotion, water to wash his feet and theingredients of the Arghya, and then, with joined hands, I resigned myselfto him, being prepared to do whatever he would bid. Then, O sire, anauspicious shower of flowers fell upon my head, possessed of celestialfragrance and bedewed with cold water. The celestial musicians began toplay on their kettle-drums. A delicious breeze, fragrant and agreeable,began to blow and fill me with pleasure. Then Mahadeva accompanied by hisspouse, and having the bull for his sign, having been gratified with me,addressed the celestials assembled there in these words, filling me withgreat joy,–Behold, ye deities, the devotion of the high-souled Upamanyu.Verily, steady and great is that devotion, and entirely immutable, for itexists unalterably.–Thus addressed by the great God armed with the Sula,the deities, O Krishna, having bowed down unto him and joined their handsin reverence, said these words,–O illustrious one, O God of the gods, Omaster of the universe, O Lord of all, let this best of regeneratepersons obtain from thee the fruition of all his desires.–Thus addressedby all the deities, with the Grandsire Brahma among them. Sarva,otherwise called Isa and Sankara, said these words as if smiling untome.'”

“The illustrious Sankara said, ‘O dear Upamanyu, I am gratified withthee. Behold me, O foremost of Munis, O learned Rishi, thou art firmlydevoted to me and well hast thou been tested by me. I have been veryhighly pleased with thee in consequence of this thy devotion to Siva. Ishall, therefore, give thee today the fruition of whatever desires thoumayst have in thy heart. Thus addressed by Mahadeva of great wisdom,tears of joy came into my eyes and my hair stood on its end (throughemotion). Kneeling down unto him and bowing unto him repeatedly, I then,with a voice that was choked with delight, said unto him,–O illustriousgod, it seems to me that I was hitherto dead and that it is only todaythat I have taken my birth, and that my birth bath today borne fruit,since I am staying now in the presence of Him who is the Master of boththe deities and the Asuras! Who else is more praiseworthy than I, since Iam beholding with these eyes of mine, Him of immeasurable prowess whomthe very deities are unable to behold without first paying heartyworship? That which they that are possessed of learning and wisdom say isthe highest of all topics, which is Eternal, which is distinguished fromall else, which is unborn, which is Knowledge, which is indestructible,is identical with thee, O puissant and illustrious one, thee that art thebeginning of all the topics, thee that art indestructible and changeless,thee that art conversant with the ordinances which govern all the topics,thee that art the foremost of Purushas, thee that art the highest of thehigh. Thou art he that hadst created from thy right side the GrandsireBrahma, the Creator of all things. Thou art he that hadst created fromthy left side Vishnu for protecting the Creation. Thou art that puissantLord who didst create Rudra when the end of the Yuga came and when theCreation was once more to be dissolved. That Rudra, who sprang from theedestroyed the Creation with all its mobile and immobile beings, assumingthe form of Kala of great energy, of the cloud Samvartaka (charged withwater which myriads of oceans are not capacious enough to bear), and ofthe all consuming fire. Verily, when the period comes for the dissolutionof the universe, that Rudra stands, ready to swallow up the universe.Thou art that Mahadeva, who is the original Creator of the universe withall its mobile and immobile entities. Thou art he, who, at the end of theKalpa, stands, withdrawing all things into thyself. Thou art he thatpervadest all things, that art the Soul of all things, thou art theCreator of the Creator of all entities. Incapable of being seen by evenany of the deities, thou art he that exists, pervading all entities. If,O lord, thou hast been gratified with me and if thou wouldst grant meboons, let this be the boon, O Lord of all the deities, that my devotionto thee may remain unchanged. O best of the deities, let me, through thygrace, have knowledge of the Present, the Past, and the Future. I shallalso, with all my kinsmen and friends, always eat food mixed with milk.And let thy illustrious self be for ever present at our retreat.–Thusaddressed by me, the illustrious Maheswara endued with supreme energy,that Master of all mobile and immobile, viz., Siva, worshipped of all theuniverse, then said unto me these words.’

“The illustrious Deity said, ‘Be thou free from every misery and pain,and be thou above decrepitude and death. Be thou possessed of fame, bethou endued with great energy, and let spiritual knowledge be thine. Thoushalt, through my grace, be always sought for by the Rishis. Be thybehaviour good and righteous, be every desirable attribute thine, be thoupossessed of universal knowledge, and be thou of agreeable appearance.Let undecaying youth be thine, and let thy energy be like that of fire.Wherever, again, thou mayst desire the presence of the ocean of milk thatis so agreeable to thee, there shall that ocean appear before thee (readyfor being utilised by thee and thy friends for purposes of thy food). Dothou, with thy friends, always obtain food prepared with milk, with thecelestial nectar besides being mixed with it.[67] After the expiration ofa Kalpa thou shalt then obtain my companionship. Thy family and race andkinsmen shall be exhaustless. O foremost of regenerate ones, thy devotionto me shalt be eternal. And. O best of Brahmanas, I shall always accordmy presence to thy asylum. Live, O son, whithersoever thou likest, andlet no anxiety be thine. Thought of by thee, I shall, O learned Brahmana,grant thee a sight of myself again.–Having said these words, and grantedme these boons, the illustrious Isana, endued with the effulgence ofmillions of Suns, disappeared there and then. It was even thus, OKrishna, that I beheld, with the aid of austere penances, that God ofgods. I also obtained all that was said by the great Deity endued withsupreme intelligence. Behold, O Krishna, before thy eyes, these Siddhasresiding here and these Rishis and Vidyadharas and Yakshas and Gandharvasand Apsaras. Behold these trees and creepers and plants yielding allsorts of flowers and fruits. Behold them bearing the flowers of everyseason, with beautiful leaves, and shedding a sweet fragrance all around.O thou of mighty arms, all these are endued with a celestial naturethrough the grace of that god of gods, that Supreme Lord, thathigh-souled Deity.’

“Vasudeva continued, ‘Hearing these words of his and beholding, as itwere, with my own eyes all that he had related to me, I became filledwith wonder. I then addressed the great ascetic Upamanyu and said untohim,–Deserving of great praise art thou, O foremost of learnedBrahmanas, for what righteous man is there other than thou whose retreatenjoys the distinction of being honoured with the presence of that God ofgods? Will the puissant Siva, will the great Sankara, O chief ofascetics, grant me also a sight of his person and show me favour.’

“Upamanyu said, ‘Without doubt, O thou of eyes like lotus-petals, thouwilt obtain a sight of Mahadeva very soon, even as, O sinless one, Isucceeded in obtaining a sight of him. O thou of immeasurable prowess, Isee with my spiritual eyes that thou wilt, in the sixth month from this,succeed in obtaining a sight of Mahadeva, O best of all persons. Thou, Oforemost of the Yadus, wilt obtain from Maheswara and his spouse, fourand twenty boons. I tell thee what is true. Through the grace of thatDeity endued with supreme wisdom, the Past, the Future and the Presentare known to me. The great Hara has favoured these Rishis numbering bythousands and others as numerous. Why will not the puissant Deity showfavour to thee, O Mahadeva? The meeting of the gods is always commendablewith one like thee, with one that is devoted to the Brahmanas, with onethat is full of compassion and that is full of faith. I shall give theecertain Mantras. Recite them continuously. By this thou art certain tobehold Sankara.’

“The blessed Vishnu continued, ‘I then said unto him, O regenerate one,through thy grace, O great ascetic. I shall behold the lord of thedeities, that grinder of multitudes of Diti’s sons. Eight days, OBharata, passed there like an hour, all of us being thus occupied withtalk on Mahadeva. On the eighth day, I underwent the Diksha (initiation)according to due rites, at the hands of that Brahmana and received thestaff from his hands. I underwent the prescribed shave. I took up aquantity of Kusa blades in my hand. I wore rags for my vestments. Irubbed my person with ghee. I encircled a cord of Munja grass round myloins. For one month I lived on fruits. The second month I subsisted uponwater. The third, the fourth and the fifth months I passed, living uponair alone. I stood all the while, supporting myself upon one foot andwith my arms also raised upwards, and foregoing sleep all the while. Ithen beheld, O Bharata, in the firmament an effulgence that seemed to beas dazzling as that of a thousand Suns combined together. Towards thecentre of that effulgence, O son of Pandu, I saw a cloud looking like amass of blue hills, adorned with rows of cranes, embellished with many agrand rainbow, with flashes of lightning and the thunder-fire lookinglike eyes set on it.[68] Within that cloud was the puissant Mahadeva.himself of dazzling splendour, accompanied by his spouse Uma. Verily, thegreat Deity seemed to shine with his penances, energy, beauty,effulgence, and his dear spouse by his side. The puissant Maheswara, withhis spouse by his side, shone in the midst of that cloud. The appearanceseemed to be like that of the Sun in the midst of racking clouds with theMoon by his side. The hair on my body, O son of Kunti, stood on its end,and my eyes expanded with wonder upon beholding Hara, the refuge of allthe deities and the dispeller of all their griefs. Mahadeva was adornedwith a diadem on his head. He was armed with his Sula. He was clad in atiger-skin, had matted locks on his head, and bore the staff (of theSanyasin) in one of his hands. He was armed, besides with his Pinaka andthe thunderbolt. His teeth was sharp-pointed. He was decked with anexcellent bracelet for the upper arm. His sacred thread was constitutedby a snake. He wore an excellent garland of diversified colours on hisbosom, that hung down to his toes. Verily, I beheld him like theexceedingly bright moon of an autumnal evening. Surrounded by diverseclans of spirits and ghosts, he looked like the autumnal Sun difficult ofbeing gazed at for its dazzling brightness. Eleven hundred Rudras stoodaround that Deity of restrained soul and white deeds, then seated uponhis bull. All of them were employed in hymning his praises. The Adityas,the Vasus, the Sadhyas, the Viswedevas, and the twin Aswins praised thatLord of the universe by uttering the hymns occurring in the scriptures.The puissant Indra and his brother Upendra, the two sons of Aditi, andthe Grandsire Brahma, all uttered, in the presence of Bhava, theRathantara Saman. Innumerable masters of Yoga, all the regenerate Rishiswith their children, all the celestial Rishis, the goddess Earth, the Sky(between Earth and Heaven), the Constellations, the Planets, the Months,the Fortnights, the Seasons, Night, the Years, the Kshanas, the Muhurtas,the Nimeshas, the Yugas one after another, all the celestial Sciences andbranches of knowledge, and all beings conversant with Truth, were seenbowing down unto that Supreme Preceptor, that great Father, that giver(or origin) of Yoga. Sanatkumara, the Vedas, the Histories, Marichi,Angiras, Atri, Pulastya, Pulaha, Kratu, the seven Manus, Soma, theAtharvans, and Vrihaspati, Bhrigu, Daksha, Kasyapa, Vasishtha, Kasya, theSchandas, Diksha, the Sacrifices, Dakshina, the Sacrificial Fires, theHavis (clarified butter) poured in sacrifices, and all the requisites ofthe sacrifices, were beheld by me, O Yudhishthira, standing there intheir embodied forms. All the guardians of the worlds, all the Rivers,all the snakes, the mountains, the celestial Mothers, all the spouses anddaughters of the celestials, thousands upon thousands and millions ofascetics, were seen to bow down to that puissant Lord who is the soul oftranquillity. The Mountains, the Oceans, and the Points of the compassalso did the same, the Gandharvas and the Apsaras highly skilled inmusic, in celestial strains, sang and hymned the praises of Bhava who isfull of wonder. The Vidyadharas, the Danavas, the Guhyakas, theRakshasas, and all created beings, mobile and immobile, adorned, inthought, word and deed, that puissant Lord. Before me, that Lord of allthe gods viz., Sarva, appeared seated in all his glory. Seeing that Isanahad showed himself to me by being seated in glory before my eyes, thewhole universe, with the Grandsire and Sakra, looked at me. I, however,had not the power to look at Mahadeva. The great Deity then addressed mesaying, ‘Behold, O Krishna, and speak to me. Thou hast adorned mehundreds and thousands of times. There is no one in the three worlds thatis dearer to me than thou.’ After I had bowed unto him, his spouse, viz.,the goddess Uma, became gratified with me. I then addressed in thesewords the great God whose praises are hymned by all the deities with theGrandsire Brahma at their head.’

“The blessed Vishnu said, ‘I saluted Mahadeva, saying,–Salutations tothee, O thou that art the eternal origin of all things. The Rishis saythat thou art the Lord of the Vedas. The righteous say that thou artPenance, thou art Sattwa, thou art Rajas, thou art Tamas, and thou artTruth. Thou art Brahman, thou art Rudra, thou art Varuna, thou art Agni,thou art Manu, thou art Bhava, thou art Dhatri, thou art Tashtri, thouart Vidhatri, thou art the puissant Master of all things, and thou arteverywhere. All beings, mobile and immobile, have sprung from thee. Thistriple world with all its mobile and immobile entities, has been createdby thee. The Rishis say that thou art superior to the senses, the mind,the vital breaths, the seven sacrificial fires, all others that havetheir refuge in the all-pervading Soul, and all the deities that areadored and worthy of adoration. Thou, O illustrious one, art the Vedas,the Sacrifices, Soma, Dakshina, Pavaka, Havi, and all other requisites ofsacrifice. The merit obtained by sacrifices, gifts made to others, thestudy of the Vedas, vows, regulations in respect of restraint, Modesty,Fame, Prosperity, Splendour, Contentment, and Success, all exist forleading to thee.[69] Desire, Wrath, Fear, Cupidity, Pride, Stupefaction,and Malice, Pains and Diseases, are, O illustrious one, thy children.Thou art all acts that creatures do, thou art the joy and sorrow thatflow from those acts, thou art the absence of joy and sorrow, thou artthat Ignorance which is the indestructible seed of Desire, thou art thehigh origin of Mind, thou art Puissance, and thou art Eternity.[70] Thouart the Unmanifest, thou art Pavana, thou art inconceivable, thou art thethousand-rayed Sun, thou art the effulgent Chit, thou art the first ofall the topics, and thou art the refuge of life.[71] The use of wordslike Mahat, Soul, Understanding, Brahman, Universe, Sambhu, and Self-bornand other words occurring in succession (in the Vedas), show that thynature has been judged (by persons conversant with the Vedas) asidentical with Mahat and Soul. Verily, regarding thee as all this, thelearned Brahmanas win over that ignorance which lies at the root of theworld. Thou residest in the heart of all creatures, and thou art adoredby the Rishis as Kshetrajna. Thy arms and feet extend to every place, andthy eyes, head, and face are everywhere. Thou hearest everywhere in theuniverse, and thou stayest, pervading all things. Of all acts that areperformed in the Nimeshas and other divisions of time that spring inconsequence of the puissance of the Sun, thou art the fruit.[72] Thou artthe original effulgence (of the supreme Chit). Thou art Purusha, and thouresidest in the hearts of all things. Thou art the various Yogicattributes of success, viz., Subtility and Grossness and Fruition andSupremacy and Effulgence and Immutability.[73] Understanding andintelligence and all the worlds rest upon thee. They that are devoted tomeditation, that are always engaged in Yoga, that are devoted to or firmin Truth and that have subjugated their passions, seek thee and rest onthee.[74] They that know thee for one that is Immutable, or one thatresides in all hearts, or one that is endued with supreme puissance, orone that is the ancient Purusha, or one that is pure Knowledge, or onethat is the effulgent Chit, or one that is the highest refuge of allpersons endued with intelligence, are certainly persons of greatintelligence. Verily, such persons stay, transcending intelligence.[75]By understanding the seven subtile entities (viz., Mahat, Ego, and fivesubtile primal elements called Tanmatras), by comprehending thy sixattributes (of Omniscience, Contentment of Fullness, Knowledge withoutbeginning, Independence, Puissance that is not at fault at any time andthat is infinite), and being conversant with Yoga that is freed fromevery false notion, the man of knowledge succeeds in entering into thygreat self.–After I had said these words, O Partha, unto Bhava, thatdispeller of grief and pain, the universe, both mobile and immobile, sentup a leonine shout (expressive of their approval of the correctness of mywords). The innumerable Brahmanas there present, the deities and theAsuras, the Nagas, the Pisachas, the Pitris, the birds, diverseRakshasas, diverse classes of ghosts and spirits, and all the greatRishis, then bowed down unto that great Deity. There then fell upon myhead showers of celestial flowers possessed of great fragrance, anddelicious winds blew on the spot. The puissant Sankara then, devoted tothe good of the universe, looked at the goddess Uma and the lord of thecelestials and myself also, and thus spoke unto me,–We know, O Krishna,that thou, O slayer of foes, art filled with the greatest devotiontowards us. Do what is for thy good. My love and affection for thee isvery great. Do thou ask for eight boons. I shall verily give them untothee, O Krishna, O best of all persons, tell me what they are, O chief ofthe Yadavas. Name what thou wishest. However difficult of attainment theybe, thou shalt have them still.'”[76]

Chapter 13
Chapter 15
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