tasya khila bhAho


harivamsha parva
ch 49

loka varNanam
an account of the worlds



janamejaya uvAcha : janamejaya queried

brahmanA deva-devena sArdhaM salila-yoninA |
brahma-loka-gato brahman vaikuNThaH kiM chakAra ha ||1-49-1

janamejaya queried vaishampAyana: “O brahman, what did the god of gods, viShNu, do after going to the abode of brahma along with god brahma?

kim arthe cha Adi-devena nItaH kamala-yoninA |
viShNuH daitya-vadhe vR^itte devaiH cha kR^ita-satkriyaH ||1-49-2

Why creator-brahma took viShNu to brahma’s abode, when viShNu stood worshipped by gods after the elimination of daityA-s?

brahmaloke cha kiM sthAnaM kaM vA yogam upAsta saH |
kaM vA dadhAra niyamaM sa vibhuH bhUta bhAvanaH ||1-49-3

What is his position in brahma’s abode, what sort of Yoga he practised there and what sort of regulalions he observed?

kathaM tasyA AsataH tatra vishvaM jagat idaM mahat |
shriyam Apnoti vipulAM sura asuran arArchitAm ||1-49-4

During this period of his stay in brahma’s abode how does this great universe attain prosperity which prosperity is much coveted either by the gods or demons…?

kathaM svapiti gharma-ante budhyate cha ambuda-plave |
kathaM cha brahma-lokasthaH dhuraM vahati laukikAm ||1-49-5

What are the mechanics of his reposing on Milk Ocean at the end of the summer and waking up with the approach of rains? How does he, staying even for a while in the brahma’s abode, bear the burden the world – bhU bhAram…?

charitaM tasya viprendra divyaM bhagavato divi |
vistareNa yathA tattvaM sarvam ichChAmi veditum ||1-49-6

O vaishampAyana, foremost of brAhmaNa-s, I wish to hear true account of the celestial conduct of this lord nArAyaNa in the land of gods…

vaishampAyana uvAcha : vaishampAyana relied

shR^iNu nArAyaNasya Adau vistareNa pravR^ittayaH |
brahmalokaM yathA ArUDho brahmaNA saha modate  ||1-49-7

kAmam tasya gatiH sUkShmA devaiH api durAsadA |
yat tu vakShyAmi ahaM rAjan tat me nigadataH shR^iNu ||1-49-8

Then vaishampAyana replied the king: “Firstly hear at length about the imponderable deeds of nArAyaNa before you listen how he rejoiced in brahma’s abode in the company of brahma… his course is very subtle which is unknown even to the gods… hear, O king, as I go on narrating it…

eSha lokamayo devo lokAH cha etanmayAH trayaH |
esha devamayaH chaiva devAH cha etanmayA divi ||1-49-9

nArAyaNa is transposable with the triad of worlds or vice versa, as we don’t call a cloth as yarn, or pot as a clod, or vice versa… so also, he is the fabric of the heavens and gods, or vice versa…

tasya pAraM na pashyanti bahavaH pAra-chintakAH |
esha pAraM paraM chaiva lokAnAM veda mAdhavaH ||1-49-10

Theo-hypothecators, say vedAntin-s, remained conjectural about the extreme beginning and ending of nArAyaNa, but they carry on with the time-honoured knowledge of agreed significance of nArAyaNa

asya deva-andhakArasya mArgitavyasya daivataiH |
shR^iNu vai yat tadA vR^ittaM brahma loke purAtanam ||1-49-11

Here is a legend informing what has happened in of his - deva-andhakAra – god created tenebrosity, indistinctness, ambiguity – say his illusionistic deeds – viShNu mAya once he did in the abode of brahma… now you hear about it…

sa gatvA brahmaNo lokaM dR^iShTvA paitAmahaM padam |
vavande tAn R^iShIn sarvAn viShNuH ArSheNa karmanA ||1-49-12

On his going to the abode of brahma he beheld the dignity of the grandparent brahma, and the sages attending him… then viShNu honoured all the sages customarily following vedic procedures…

saH agniM prAk-savaNe dR^iShTvA hUyamAnaM maharShibhiH |
avandata mahAtejAH kR^itvA paurva-AhnikIM kriyAm ||1-49-13

When great resplendent sages of brahma’s abode are performing morning time Vedic rituals, viShNu saw his own mirror-image surging up from the centre of the altar of fire in the early morning ritual, while the sages held it in reverence… it happened likewise in the ritual conducted in that pre-noon…

sa dadarsha makheShu AjyaiH ijyamAnaM maharShibhiH |
bhAgaM yaj~niyam ashnAnaM sva-deham a-paraM sthitam ||1-49-14

He further saw his own form placed most excellently in the midst of fire-altar, which when worshipped with ghee-oblations by great sages is devouring his share of the sacrificial offerings…

abhivAdya abhivAdyAnAm R^iShINAM brahma-varchasAm |
parichakrAma saH achintyo brahmalokaM sanAtanam ||1-49- 15

Then, he who is beyond the comprehension, that nArAyaNa began to range in the eternal abode of brahma going on saluting the worshipful sages of brahma energy, who are wide spread in that abode performing vedic rituals, and who all are seeing viShNu alone in the fire-altars available in their fore, because viShNu is yaj~na-swarUpa for them…

sa dadarsha uchChritAn yUpAn cha ShAla-agra vibhUShitAN |
makheShu cha brahmarShibhiH shatashaH kR^ita-lakShaNAn ||1-49-16
 Ajya-dhUmaM samAghrAya shR^iNvan vedAn dvija IritAn |
yaj~naiH ijyaM  tam AtmAnaM pashyan tatra chachAra ha ||1-49-17

Going round the sacrificial halls he noticed tall sacrificial posts with tops adorned well, which posts again reflected his images… even the hundreds of items of ritual that are being used by sages are reflecting his entity… as he walked further smelling the smoke of fire-oblations and listening vedic chants recited by scholars, he has noticed himself mirrored in every item of ritual…

UchuH tam R^iShayo devAH sadasyAH sadasi sthitAH |
arghya-udyata-bhujAH sarve pavitra-antara-pANayaH ||1-49-18

The sages and the gods available in the assemblages of Vedic ritiual then addressed the visitor, viShNu, interspersing sacred grass in their fingers and placing a vessel with sacred water – arghya – water for canon-welcome, in the bowl of their palms that are a little upraised to their chest level, calling this to mind:

deveShu vartate yat vai tat hi sarvaM janArdanAt |
yat pravR^ittaM cha devebhyaH tat viddhi madhusUdanAt ||1-49-19

Whatever intrinsic factor of gods is there that is from janArdana… and whatever extrinsic factor emerges from the gods is the emanation from madhusUdana… scholars are aware of it…

agnIShomamayaM lokaM yaM viduH viduSho janAH |
taM somam agniM lokaM cha veda viShNuM sanAtanam ||1-49-20
kShIrAt yathA dadhi bhavet dadhnaH sarpiH bhavet yathA |
mathyamAneShu bhUteShu tathA loko janArdanAt ||1-49-21

As to how curd comes from milk and butter from roiled curd, this universe is the roiled efflux from fire and soma, which in turn are the effluences churned out from the Almighty – the scholars recognise it like that…

yatha indriyaiH cha bhutaiH ca paramAtma abhidhIyate |
tathA devaiH cha vedaiH cha lokaiH cha vihito hariH ||1-49-22

If the existence of ultramundane soul is asseverated with sense data, so shrIhari too is perceptible by way of gods, Veda-s and by the very existence of world… 

yathA bhUta indriya avAptiH vihitA bhuvi dehinAm |
tathA prANa Ishvara avAptiH devAnAM divi vaiShNavI ||1-49-23

As to how living beings are endowed with the faculties of senses, so the gods are endowed with viShNu’s basic endowments, namely prANa – here might, Ishvaraaishvaryam, flourish in every way, from out of his basic attributes, like j~nAna – omniscience; bala omnipotence; aishvarya flourish; shakti creative power, vIrya immutability; and teja – self-effulgence…

satriNAM satra-phala-daH pavitraM paramAtmavAn |
loka-tantra-dharo hi eSha mantraiH mantra iva uchyate |1-49-24

This holy and supreme soul, who accords fruits of rituals to the performers, holds impalpable strings of the mechanics of worlds, like a puppeteer manipulating unseeable puppetry strings, as the hymns stowing inexplicable hymnal efficacy in hymns themselves… thinking in this way the sages addressed viShNu saying:

R^iShaya UchuH: sages said

 svAgataM te surashreShTha padmanAbha mahAdyute |
 idaM yaj~niyam AtithyaM mantrataH parigR^ihyatAm ||1-49-25

“O foremost of the celestials, O thou of great effulgence, O lotus-navelled deity, hast thou come with ease? Do thou accept this ritual guestship offered according to sacred hymns…?

 tvam asya yaj~na-pUtasya pAtram pAdyasya pAvanaH |
 atithiH tvaM hi mantra-uktaH sa dR^iShTaH santatam mataH ||1-49-26

Though thou art inseparable from this holy water - arghya – in this sacred vessel, both sanctified in the sacrifice, we have to offer it to a guest customarily… and thou art always regarded as the distinguished guest mentioned in hymns and hast now become visible…

 tvayi yoddhum gate viShNau na prAvartanta naH kriyAH |
 a-vaiShNavasya yaj~nasya na hi karma vidhIyate ||1-49-27

Ever since thy departure to combat demons, oh, viShNu, unstirred is our ritual activity for a vedic ritual without viShNu is unsanctioned…

sa-dakShiNasya yaj~nasya tvat prasUtiH phalaM bhavet |
 adya AtmAnam iha asmAbhiH ijyamAnaM nirIkShyase ||1-49-28

Whatever fruit of action in performing a Vedic ritual that is replete with donations is there, let that accrue to us, because we the officiators as well as conductors of vedic rituals in this abode of brahma, already received an unsurpassable donation from you, namely your divine revelation to us… incidentally you too have seen yourself in every bit of our vedic ritual and we too do not see none other than you either in our rituals or in our percipience…” so said sages to viShNu.  

evam astu iti tAn sarvAn bhagavAn pratyapUjayat |
 mumude bahma lokastho brahmA lokapitAmahaH ||1-49-29

Saying "so he it" nArAyaNa, in return, worshipped the brAhmaNa-s while grandparent brahma abiding in his region, brahmaloka, is rejoiced for the successful visit of viShNu…


 iti shrImahAbhArate khileShu harivaMshe harivaMshaparvaNi  lokavarNanaM nAma  ekonapa~nchAshattamo.adhyAyaH

Thus, this is the forty-ninth chapter of first canto called harivamsha-parva, in harivamsha-purANa, the sequel of mahAbhArata, narrating an account of the worlds.


Prev ch 48: eimination of kAla-nemi contents Next chapter 50:  about nArAyaNa's hermitage 
verse-transliteration:  ks ramachandran
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verse-rendition advisor : gilles schaufelberger
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page maintained by : Harindranath Avaroth :
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translation : desiraju hanumanta rao
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E&OE - content is subject to revision : dated 18-3-08