Eighth Skanda

Withdrawal of the Cosmic Creations:
The Manus, Gajendra, the churning with the mountain and envy with the Lord

Chapter 1: The Manus, Administrators of the Universe

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

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

(9) Lord Manu said: ‘He by whom this whole universe is set in motion is not moved by the universe, He who is always awake while one is asleep in this body, Him, the One knowing, does the living entity not know [see also B.G. 18: 55]. (10) What by Him, the Supersoul everywhere present, with everything animate and inanimate in this and in all other universes, is allotted one may enjoy; on the property of anyone else one should not infringe. (11) He is not seen by the living entity although His eye always sees, He as the original source of all beings never diminishes, He is the godhead and companion [see 6.4: 24] everyone should worship. (12) Nor is there of Him a beginning, an end or a middle, He belongs to nowhere and to no one, He is the inside nor [just] the outside of the cosmic creation; all these insights on His form and on Him as the cause of the whole universe all together make up the Greatest Truth [see also 2.1: 24]. (13) That complete of the universe known by so many names [like purusha and virâth rûpa] is the Supreme Controller, the Ultimate Truth of Him personally, self-effulgent, beginningless and the oldest; He by His external energy engenders birth, death and maintenance, by the potency of His Self and Spirit He remains aloof, inactive and untouched [compare 1.7: 23]. (14) Therefore do all the saintly people for the purpose of being free from karma in the beginning perform fruitive labor [karma yoga], as a person engaging thus indeed as good as always attains liberation [see also 1.5: 12, 1.2: 13 and B.G. 3: 9, 6: 3, 3: 6]. (15) Because of His own gain being satisfied from within, becomes the Supreme Lord, the Controller, engaged indeed never entangled with it and hence are persons following Him never disheartened. (16) Unto Him who free from selfhood is acting for our benefit, who is complete in knowledge, has no desire to enjoy, is fulfilled, and not led by others, unto Him who is there to instruct all of mankind and to lay out His path; unto that master of all principles and duties I pray that each may surrender.’

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

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

(23) The third who became the Manu was named Uttama, a son of Priyavrata [see 5.1], and of him there were the sons called Pavana, S’rîñjaya, Yajñahotra and others. (24) The seven sages were the sons of Vasishthha headed by Pramada, the ones of Satya, Vedas’ruta and Bhadra were the godly and Satyajit was the Indra. (25) From the demigod Dharma was from the womb of Sûnritâ, the Supreme Lord, the Personality of Godhead celebrated as Satyasena born, appearing together with the Satyavratas. (26) He together with his friend Satyajit killed all the yaksha and râkshasa sworn liars and evil spirits of misconduct who constantly harass the living beings.

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

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

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