After taking leave from King Janaka, Suka came back to his father, Vyasa who was teaching Vedas to his students viz., Sumanta, Vaisampayana, Jaimini and Paila.
Beholding the return of his son, Vyasa was very happy. Suka touched the feet of his father, Vyasa and sat by his side. Suka narrated the conversation between himself and King Janaka. Later, Suka also joined as student of Vyasa. All the five were studying Vedas.
One day, the four disciples of Vyasa prayed Vyasa: “O Guru Vyasa! we are studying Vedas under your guidance. Kindly bless four of us being the foremost of all disciples in this universe and none surpass us.”
Vyasa, who knew not what partiality was, astonished for the strange desire of his students. “ Have you not heard that teaching Veda to those who are interested in learning Veda, is nothing but having Brahmaloka in his palm. In this Universe, one attains happiness only after crossing all hurdles in his life. But he shall not be selfish. Is it proper on your part to have such a strange desire in your minds.” asked Vyasa.
All the students told Vyasa thus: “If we are
confined here in this Ashram, how can we go into the masses and teach
Vedas to those who are interested. How can we get Yajnas and Yagas performed
by them. How is it possible?”
All the four students fell on his feet and prayed mercy. Vyasa blessed his four students and said : “You go round the three Lokas as you wish and preach about Vedas. But be careful.”
Then the four students viz., Sumanta, Vaisampayana, Jaimini and Paila went away. Vyasa and his son Suka remained in the Ashram. One day, Saint Narada visited the Ashram of Vyasa. The Ashram was silent. Chanting of Veda hymns was not heard.
Narada asked Vyasa about it. “Narada!my students left me and went away” said Vyasa.
“So what? Yourself and your son, Suka are there. Why dont you and your son chant vedas as before.” asked Narada. Vyasa realised his mistake. From then onwards, Vyasa and his son Suka continued chanting Vedas daily.
One day there was a gale. Vyasa stopped chanting Vedas. “O father! from where this gale has come” asked Suka.
“O my son Suka! Vishnu in divine path and Sun in Pitara path are travelling to and fro. Hence the gale. Now I tell you about the air. Samana vaayu was born from divinity. Udaana vaayu was born to Samaana vaayu. Vyaana vaayu was born to Udaana vaayu. Apaana vaayu was born to Vyaana vayu. Praana vaayu was born to Apaana vaayu. The entire universe is filled with these five vayus.
Pravaha, Aavaha, Udvaha, Samvaha, Vivaha, Paraha and Paraaha are seven gods of vaayu. All these are the sons of Adithi. They are all-pervasive and they are combined with the above five vayus. The rains are coming and going only through these vayus. Several divine bodies are flying in aircrafts in air. Due to the speed of their air crafts, gales are emanated in the universe. During these gales, chanting of Vedas is prohibited. Hence I stopped chanting Veda.”said Vyasa.
Then Vyasa went to take bath. Then Suka began to chant vedas. Satisfied with this Narada blessed Suka and asked him about his desire.
“O Narada! What is acceptable to all the creatures born in this Universe?” asked Suka.
“O Suka! I tell you those words spoken to by Sanatkumara to other sages and saints. Speaking truth is itself Tapassu. The knowledge we acquired is our eye. Renunciation is happiest thing. Desires create all kinds of troubles and miseries. If humanbeing is attached to worldly pleasures and bondage, he never attains Mukti either in this birth or even in next birth. Viewing from any angle, Desires and anger are enemies to attain liberation. If both are discarded, samsara will vanish. There is no otherway to attain liberation except discarding desires and anger.
Wise and learned attain liberation if they renunciate all Karmas and stop receiving anything from others. The other ways to attain liberation are avoiding unnecessary talk with others and viewing and touching unnecessary things. Those who follow non-violence and control their sense organs without subjecting themselves to distress and ficklemindedness, liberation is nothing but amla in their palm. This is the essense of the words of Sanatkumara.
Besides that, one who is influenced by the love and affection towards wife and children, relatives and friends, and one who is influenced by wordly pleasures, he suffers like a deer in a net. He never comes out of the net. Dharma and Adharma, Truth and falsehood, both shall be discarded. By following nonviolence, one can discard Adharma. Without resolving to do any act, one can discard Dharma. With the help of wisdom, one can discard telling truth or falsehood. By acting in the outside world, one gets fear and sorrow. Wise never cares for them because they are coming and going. These five elements, ten organs, mind, intellect are bundled together in this body. Why are you worrying about this body. Why should we worry for the pains and sorrows caused to wife and children, friends and relatives.” said Narada.
With these words of Narada, Suka attained complete detachment from the wordly objects. “O Saint Narada! with your kind words, I have become wiser. All my doubts are vanished. I worship Sun and attain Yoga Siddhi and renunciate this world.” said Suka.
After taking leave from Narada, Suka went to his father, Vyasa, and expressed his desire to renunciate this world. Vyasa was very happy. Suka saluted his father and was about to start. But Vyasa could not control his affection towards his son.
“O my son Suka! Kindly be with me for a while.” asked Vyasa. Now Suka has no love and affection towards anybody, in his mind. Suka left his father and went away. Suka reached Kailasa peak. He sat there facing east and had innersight. Sun appeared before him. Suka prostrated before Sun. Suka was taught about Sarva Atma Tatva by Sun. Now he realised that Atman in everybeing is one and same. All are one and one in all.
At that time, Narada arrived there. “O Saint Narada! with your blessings, I attained Vairagya and found a correct path to attain liberation.” said Suka. After abandoning Sat, rajas and tamas, Suka left that place. While going in the sky, Suka requested the hills and trees “O mountains, hills and trees! my father, Vyasa, is coming in search of me. When he calls me, kindly give reply “Oyi” said Suka. The nature agreed for the same.
Then Suka proceeded towards north and reached the banks of Ganga River. Suka was going in the sky at lower altitude. At that time, some Apsarasas were taking bath nude in the river Ganga. They have all seen Suka who was a youth. Still they did not feel his presence. They were taking bath as usual. Suka proceeded further.
At that time, Vyasa also was going in search of his son, Suka. Vyasa was calling his son “Suka, O my son Suka, where are you?” crying aloud. Even by that time Suka has become Sarva Bhootatmaka. Hence, Suka was not seen by his father, Vyasa. In reply to the cries of Vyasa, the nature was echoing “Oyi Oyi”.
Vyasa also reached the banks of Ganges. On seeing Vyasa, Apsaras who were taking bath in river nude, felt shy and hurriedly tied their garments around their bodies. With his divine vision, Vyasa visualised what had happened. He thought that Suka’s desirelessness and his desire towards wordly affiars is proved. While enjoying for his son’s greatness, he felt shy for his inability to discard desires and attachments.
At that time, Lord Siva appeared before Vyasa. “O saint Vyasa! On that day when I asked to choose whatever you like, you have chosen for a son who is beyond five elements. I blessed you with such a son. With my blessings and with your divine power, your son, Suka got a status, beyond divine bodies. You have to feel proud of him. O Saint Vyasa! your son’s name and fame shall remain till sun and moon remain in this Universe.” so saying Maha Siva disappeared.
O Dharmaja! whoever reads, hears this story of Suka will attain long life and prosperity and liberation at the end” said Bhishma to Dharmaja.
“O Gransire Bhishma! you told me about four Ashrams viz., Brahmacharya etc. Who is the deity worshipped by those people following the above four Ashrams, for attaining liberation?”asked Dharmaja.
“O Dharmaja! once my father, Santana, told me about the conversation between Narayana and Narada. That conversation clears all your deoubts. Saint Narayana who was Avyaya, Sanatana and Visvatma, was performing Tapas in Badarika vanam. Narada worshipped Saint Narayana and asked him about the path to attain Moksha.
Saint Narayana said thus: “O Narada! One which is certain, immoveable and invisible to sense organs, subtle and which is shining in all of us, is nothing but ParaTatva. There is no other God except Para Tatva.” said Saint Narayana.
Then Narada asked Narayana: “O Saint! Wise and learned says that you have taken this birth only to save the universe. Kindly tell me about your original form. O Saint! if you think that I possess utmost devotion towards my Guru and also faith in Vedas and if you think that I am eligible to behold your original form, kindly tell me about it.” prayed Narada.
Saint Narayana told Narada thus: “O Narada! first of all you attain concentration of mind. Then I bless you with the power to behold Parama Atma.” said Narayana.
Having satisfied with those words, Narada went to Meru Mountain. There he saw some people in Swetha Dweepa (white island) on the northern side of Ksheera Sagara (milky ocean). They were without food, with self control and controlling their sense organs. They were not sweating and sweet smell was emanating from their bodies.
O Dharmaja! some saints told my father about them which I overheard. Now I tell you what I heard.
In the past, there was a king called Uparichara Vasuvu. He was a virtuous king, who possess truthfulness, self control, control of sense organs, devotion towards Vishnu. He was ruling the entire universe. He was interested in performing Yajnas and yagas and worshipping Brahmins. Such a king left his kingdom and retired to forests for performing Tapas.
At that time Devendra approached him. “O King Vasu! I wish to make friendship with you. You are a King. Why you perform Tapas? Go and rule your people. I invite you to Heaven. You can come and go to Heaven as and when you like. I am giving you an aircraft. You can travel as you like in this aircraft.” said Indra. Unable to refuse the request of Indra, Vasu received the air craft and was wondering in the sky as he liked. Hence he was called Uparichara Vasuvu.
At the beginning of Kalpa, saints viz., Marichi, Angirasa,
Atri, Pulaha, Pulastya, Kratu, Vasishta; and Svayambhuva Manu performed
Tapas about Vishnu for so many years. Vishnu appeared before them in
invisible form and told them thus:
In future, King Uparichara Vasuvu rules this earth. The said Vasuvu will learn all Dhrma Sastras from Brihaspati and in turn he will transmit them to the entire world. He performs Yajnas and Yagas. Uparichara Vasuvu is my staunch devotee. Through him only all the Dharma Sastras will reach each and everyone in this universe.” said Vishnu and disappeared.
Then King Vasuvu performed Asvamedha Yaga for which Seven Saints presided over. Those who are equivalent to Seven Saints performed the Yajna as Ritviks. Brihaspati acted as Main Priest. Ekata, Dvita and Trita acted as Sadasyas.While the Yaga was in progress, Vasu did not agree for animal sacrifice as he was against violence. Instead of killing animals in yagna, he got chanted some hymns enunciated in Aranyakas. Having been satisfied with the determination of Vasu, Vishnu received his share in Yajna (Havis) in invisible form.
Beholding this, Brihaspati grew angry. “O King Vasu! while offering Purodasam to divine bodies, they personally come down and receive their due share. But Vishnu, received his share in invisible form. It pained me. ?” said Brihaspati. For that, the Sadasyas assembled there pacified Brihaspati and said thus: “O Brihaspati! Kindly subside your anger. That Havis is intended for Hari. He received it. Why are you worrying about it? Is it possible either to you or to us to have the Darshan of Vishnu. Being the Brahma Manasa Putras, we did Tapas for thousands of years to have the Darshan of Vishnu. But an invisible voice from sky was heard thus:
“There is an island in Milk Ocean. Devotees of Vishnu who are white in complexion with glorious bodies, controlling sense organs without thirst and hunger are staying there. Vishnu is visible for them only. If you are able to go there, you can also see Vishnu.” said that invisible voice. On hearing those words, we all went to that Swetha Dweepa (Whitish Island). There, we found those glorious bodies with white complexion. We have not so far seen such glorious bodies in the three regions (Mullokas).
Before them, appeared a splendid form shining equivalent to thousand Suns. They all praised in one voice “Jaya Pundareekaaksha! Jaya Hrishikesa! Jaya Visvabhaavana! Namaste. Namaste”. Theywere acclaiming Vishnu loudly. We were unable to behold that splendidly shining form.
At that tinme again some words were heard from the sky: “O Brahma Manasa Putras! (Sons born out of the mind of Brahma)! Done feel sorry for not beholding Vishnu. Beholding those white complexioned bodies is equivalent to beholding Vishnu. Your Tapas, virtues etc., did not assure you to show Vishnu. Hence dont worry about it. Tapas for thousands of years is itself not sufficient to have Vishnu Darshan.”
Having heard those words, we returned back. Therefore, Brihaspati! dont worry about the arrival of Vishnu in person. Kindly proceed with the rest of Yajna.” suggested the Sadasyas. Having satisfied with those words, Brihaspati completed Yajna with utmost devotion.
Once, in heaven, divine bodies, sages and saints were discussing about the procedure to the followed in Yajnas and Yagas. All divine bodies resolved for animal sacrifice during Yajnas and Yagas but sages and saints strongly opposed it. Instead of goats (Ajas) offering herbs is sufficient as Aja also means herbs. Meanwhile, Uparichara Vasuvu arrived there. Both divine bodies and sages referred the matter to Uparichara Vasuvu. Uparichara Vasuvu decided in favour divine bodies and accepted animal sacrifice in Yajnas. The sages and saints were enraged with wrath and cursed Uparichara Vasuvu to fall in a cave on earth. Accordingly Uparichara Vasuvu fell in a cave. The divine bodies consoled Vasuvu and blessed him not to have hunger and thirst and bodily pains. Uparichara Vasuvu began to meditate about Vishnu. Having been satisfied with the meditation of Uparichara Vasuvu, Vishnu sent Garuda and sent Vasuvu to Brahma Loka. Uparachara Vasuvu was very happy for the kindness showered on him by Lord Vishnu.
O Dharmaja! while narrating about those glorious bodies in Swetha Dweepa, incidentally I narrated the story of Uparichara Vasuvu. Now I continue to tell about Swetha Dweepa. I told you about the arrival of Narada at Swetha Dweepa. Narada beheld the glorious bodies and saluted them. They also welcomed Narada. Narada began to praise Vishnu. Vishnu appeared before Narada with innumerable heads, hands, legs and colours. Omkara, Gayatri Mantra and Veda Mantras were being chanted by Vishnu with innumerable faces. Narada prostrated before Vishnu. Vishnu told Narada thus:
“ O sinless Narada! none could behold me. As you have discarded your egoism and with your staunch devotion, you could see me. Choose as you like” Narada prayed: “O Great Vishnu! Whatelse can I ask except your presence.”
“O Narada! whoever is not influenced by sense organs; whoever is above the three elements viz., satva, rajas and tamas, who is shining as Atman, omnipresent and spotless, he is called Kshetrajna and Jeeva. They are no other than Vasudeva and Sankarshana respectively. Mind and egoism are Pradyumna and Anirudha respectively. All this is my delusion. I am the 25th Tatva, presiding over the rest 24 Tatvas. I am Parama Purusha. I am Vasudeva about whom all sages and saints were doing penance always. I am the primary vital power in all the moveables and immoveables in this Universe. My vital power is spread all over the universe, otherwise how can this Universe remains active?
Jeeva and Body are different. They are not one. Realisation of Jeeva by oneself is nothing but delusion created by me. Jeeva also is equivalent to me, not different and separate from me. Whoever seeks refuge from me with their unshaken devotion, I bless them with Mukti.
Adityas, Maruts, Vasuvus, Rudras etc. divine groups, Brahma, four Vedas are all my different forms. Hence they are respected by one and all. I created Brahma and entrusted him the burden of this Universe. I remained neutral, alone, without interfering with his work, by helping Brahma whenever necessary.
At times, with a view to cause welfare to the universe, I will be taking several births and doing several acts. I killed Hiranyaksha in Varaha Avatara, Hiranyakasipa in Narasimha Avatara, the entire Kshatriya community in Parasurama Avatara and Ravana Asura in Rama Avatara. I took birth in Yadava community and with the help of Nara as Arjuna, reduced the burden of earth, at her request. In the past, I took two forms as sages Nara and Narayana and safeguarded the entire universe. Later, I took birth as human being and killed Kamsa, Kaala Yavana, Murasura, Narakasura, Banasura etc.
While I attempted to kill Banasura, Mahasiva with the help of Divine General, Kumaraswamy, obstructed me. I conquered Mahasiva and killed Banasura. Even prior to that, in the forms of Matsya (fish) and Koorma (tortoise) I protected Vedas and divine bodies. You would have heard those stories. I have done what all I can do to protect Dharma. Soon after I finish my task, I get back to my original form.
O Narada! as you have meditated about me with concentrated mind, I revealed to you all about me. “ said Vishnu. Vishnu continued to say: “O Narada! behold these divine glorious bodies. They are deprived of hunger, thirst, sweat etc., emanating flagrance from their bodies. Their bodies are nothing but light. They always think about me. If you remain here anylonger, it disturbs them. Better quit this place.” said Vishnu.
After taking leave from Vishnu, Narada went back to Badarika forest and met sages Nara and Narayana. Narada told them in detail about the entire conversation between himself and Lord Vishnu about the essense of Vedas, Yoga, Sankhya. Then Narada went to the assembly of Brahma and taught them about the essense of conversation between himself and Vishnu. Gradually, it spread all over the Universe.
As I was taught by my father, Santana, I could tell you about it. The above teaching was acclaimed by sages, saints, divine bodies with great respect. They worship Vishnu with great devotion both physically and mentally. O Dharmanandana! you also worship Vishnu in the above manner. If you want to tell about these teachings to others, assure that they are honest, devotees of Vishnu, controlled their mind and sense organs. Those who read the above teachings will have long life and prosperity.” said Bhishma.
Pandavas also followed the above teachings and spent their rest of life with great devotion.” said Vaisampayana to Janamejaya.
(Hereinafter, story continues as conversation between Vaisampayana and Janamejaya.).
“O Janamejaya! Saint Vyasa was proceeding towards Ksheera Sagara through sky path.” said Vaisampayana.
“O Saint Vaisampayana! you told me that attaining Moksha is a happiest thing. But people in this universe are always involved in worldly affairs and activities of Samsara. Leave alone human beings, even divine bodies never thought of Moksha and are always interested in the offerings of Havis during Yajnas and yagas. I am always worried about this. Can you tell me the reason why human beings as well as divine bodies are involved in the bondage of Karma instead of seeking Moksha.” asked Janamejaya.
“O Janamejaya! Veda Vyasa taught four Vedas and the great epic Bharata to his students. At that time, myself, Sumanta, Paila and Jaimini were present there. As you asked me, we all asked our Guru Vyasa. With great affection, Vyasa clarified our doubts thus:
“I did Tapassu to attain divine knowledge about past, present and future. With the blelssings of Narayana, I attained that knowledge. With the power of that knowledge, I could see what Brahma and others did at the time of beginning of this Kalpa. I will tell you about it. Adityas, Maruts, Vasuvus, Rudras etc. divine bodies, sages, saints, asked Brahma about their duties.
Brahma replied: “I am also thinking about it.
Let us go and ask Vishnu about this” said Brahma. All of them
went to Vishnu and prayed Vishnu.
“I know the purpose of your visit. Brahma is the Guru for the entire Universe. What he says is final. Even for me also, what he says is final. You all perform one Yajna and offer me Havis in that Yajna”.
On hearing those words, Brahma directed divine bodies to perform one Yajna. Accordingly, they performed one Yajna and offered Havis to Vishnu. Vishnu arrived there in invisible form and told them thus:
“I am happy you performed Yajna asper my wish. The fruits of this Yajna will accrue to you. Marichi, Angirasa, Atri, Pulastya, Pulaha, Kratuvu, Vasishta are the Brahma Manasa Putras (sons of Brahma, through mind). They are the professors of Vedas. They are eligible to perform Yajnas. As per the conditions, modes and practices, enunciated by them, human beings perform Yajnas in future. You will be given shares (Havirbhagas) in those Yajnas and you satisfy with your due shares.
Sana, Sanaka, Sanandana, Kapila, Sanatkumara are also Brahma Manasa Putras. They are endowed with natural knowledge and wisdom. They always think about liberation. They explain Moksha Dharmas to the outside world. For all of you, Mother, father, Guru is Brahma. As per my wish, Brahma rules this universe. Rudra, born from out of my forehead, is worshipped by one and all. Rudra blesses each and every body. This Yuga is called Krita Yuga. During this Yuga, you perform all the deeds defined in Vedas, as told by Brahma and Marichi etc. During this Yuga, you shall not resort to animal sacrifice during Yajnas. There is no doubt about it.Now you can go.” said Vishnu.
All the sages, divine bodies saluted Vishnu and went away. But Brahma did not move. Vishnu, with a horse head, with Danda and Kamandala in each hand, chanting hymns from Vedas, appeared before Brahma. Vishnu hugged Brahma.
“O Brahma! You are the ruler of the three Lokas. You are the Guru for all. Hence I entrusted the burden of the entire universe to you. It is your duty and responsibility to run this Universe. If you feel any difficulty in running the Lokas, I will interfere and correct the situation.” so saying Vishnu disappeared. From then onwards, in all Yajnas and Yagas, Vishnu was entitled to a major share. Having kept Brahma in charge of the entire Universe, Vishnu remained neutral and all pervasive.” said Vyasa to Vaisampayana and other students.
Vyasa continued to say: “O Vaisampayana! I always worship Vishnu who creates, sustains and destroys the universe. I worship Vishnu who is unborn, all pervasive, immortal, master of all divine bodies, schloar of four vedas and who is known only through Atma, eesaana, indestructible, and who gives fruits for all Yajnas and Yagas and all virtuous deeds. O Vaisampayana, Sages and saints, I told you about my past history. You also follow what Vishnu says and worship Parameswara and follow what Vedas said”. said Vyasa.
Accordingly, we all followed four vedas and worshipped Vishnu. O Janamejaya! If anybody reads or listens Vishnu Tatva taught by Vyasa, vipra gets the result of reading Vedas and Vedangas; Kshatriya gets victory in every attempt; Vysya gets enormous profits in any venture; and Sudra gets utmost happiness in his life. Unmarried girls get married soon. Pregnant ladies have safe delivery and beget virtuous sons. Issueless become pregnant.” said Vaisampayana.
Having heard those words Janamejaya said: “O Saint! The sacred Vishnu names are uncommentable. Kindly tell me about them.” asked Janamejaya.
Vaisampayana said thus: “O Janamejaya! In the past, Arjuna asked Krishna about this. Krishna explained Arjuna about the glory of sacred names of Vishnu. Now I will tell you what Krishna told Arjuna.
“O Arjuna! yourself and myself are ancient nara and narayana.We both were born on this earth to uplift the mankind. I tell you about the sacred meanings of my names. Listen.
Arjuna! Nara means water. Ayana means abode. As I reside always in waters, I am called Narayana.
I reside in this Universe and the Universe is within me. Hence I am called Vasudeva.
As I am omnipresent and all pervasive, I am called Vishnu.
As the entire Universe is within my stomache, I am called Damodara.
Food, water, Amruta and Vedas are called Prusni. As they are all within me, I am called Prusni Garbha.
As the lighting of Sun, moon and fire are hair on my head. Hence I am called Kesava.
To protect the Universe, I adopt Brahminism (Satva) and Kshaatra (Rajas). Brahminism is the quality of Brahmins and Kshatra is the quality of Kshatiryas. Hence Brahmins and Kshatriyas are flourishing in this universe.
Creating, teaching and developing are the duties of Sun and Moon. Sun and Moon are discharging their duties properly thus causing pleasure and happiness to this Universe. I am the Sun and Moon. In the forms of Sun and Moon I am looking after the welfare of this universe. By that, some names are attributed to me. I will explain them. Varada, Lokabhavana, Eswara, Hrishikesha etc are my names.
As I am grabbing Havis in Yajnas, I am called Hari.
Cow is also called mother earth. As I am protecting Cows from their decay, I am called Govinda.
As my body is hairless, I am called Sipivishta.
I plough this earth. My colour is black. Hence I am called Krishna.
I am mostly influenced by Satva. Hence I am called Satvata.
As I am beyond decay, I am called Achyuta.
I reside in the human body in the form of three elements (dhatu). Hence I am called Thridhatu.
As ghee is prepared out of my splendour, I am called Ghrutarchi.
As I am the embodiment of Vrusha Dharma, I am called Vrusha.
I have no beginning, middle and end. Hence I am called
Anadi, Amadhya and Ananta.
At the time of Varaha Avatara, I lifted the mother earth with one horn. Hence I am called Eka Srunga.
As I always keep this universe in conscious state with vitality, I am called Virinchi.
As I merge in Sun in the form of knowledge, I am called Kapila.
Yoga is also called Hiranya. As Yoga itself is in my Garbha, I am called Hiranya Garbha.
As I was born in this Unverse for uplifting Dharma, in the form of Nara and Narayana, I am called Dharmajna.
While I was doing Tapas in the form of Nara and Narayana on Gandhamadhana mountain, when Maha Siva tried to destroy the Yajna performed by Daksha, Yajna fled away and hid in my chest, as a result, the hair on my chest turned into grass shape. Hence I am called Munjakesa.
Maha Siva also chased Yajna and fought with me. I shot one arrow in the shape of battle axe(Parasuvu) against Siva. Siva cut that battle axe. Hence I am called Khanda Parasuvu.” said Krishna to Arjuna.
“O Krishna! you said that there was a fight between you and Siva. Who was the winner. Kindly tell me.” asked Arjuna.
“Arjuna! while Rudra and Narayana were fighting with each other, Rudra, with his Trishool, hit the chest of Narayana. Rudra caught the neck of Narayana. Brahma hurriedly arrived there and averted further clash.
“O Maha Siva! You cause pleasure and happiness to the entire Universe.Hence subside your anger. Wise and learned think that there is no diffence between Vishnu and Siva. The main element is divided into two as Vishnu and Siva. It is well known by Vedas. It is called Siva Kesava Tatva. In fact, there is no diffence btween Siva and Kesava. Nara and Narayana are the earliest of the Universe. We are all born out of them. O Siva! pacify Narayana!” said Brahma.
Siva shed his anger and saluted Narayana. Narayana said: “O Siva! Knowing Siva is knowing me also. Serving you is equivalent to serving me, as there is no diffence between us. From today onwards, Sivatsa mark on my chest will glorify as the mark of your Trishool. Black patch of your neck is glorified with the mark of my hand as Srikantha.” said Maha Vishnu.
Arjuna! in this manner, there was a compromise between me and Siva, with the mediation of Brahma. Arjuna! I will be acting in this universe in different shapes. You also worship Maha Siva. As I was protecting you every minute, you got victory in Maha Bharata battle. While you were fighting in the battle, Maha Siva in the form of Rudra was running in fornt of your chariot with his Trishool and killing your enemies. Hence you got victory. Better you know about it.” said Krishna to Arjuna as told by Vaisampayana to Janamejaya.
Then Janamejaya asked Vaisampayana: “O Saint Vaisampayana! there is no wonder in my grand father, Arjuna, getting triumph while Sri Krishna and Maha Siva was by his side. You have said that Narada, after having Darshan of Maha Vishnu, returned back to Nara and Narayana. Kindly tell me about the conversation between Narada and Nara Narayana.” asked Janamejaya.
“O Janamejaya! when Narada returned from Swetha Dweepa, Nara and Narayana welcomed him with due honors. They asked Narada to tell them about Swetha Dweepa. Narada said thus: “With your blessings, I went to Swetha Dweepa and had Darshan of Sri Maha Vishnu. His form and attire is the same as of you. I have seen human beings with white complexion, having control of sense organs and keeping silence. They were worshipping Vishnu with utmost devotion. Vishnu also was moving along with them. Out of love and affection towards me, Vishnu enlightened me about his past and future births and Avataras. That Sweta Dweepa was peaceful. There was no light and air. I also meditated there about Vishnu. Then I took leave from Vishnu and came down here.” said Narada.
With the permission of Nara and Narayana, Narada stayed there and did Tapassu for one thousand years. Then Narada proceeded to Himalaya mountains and remained there along with his students. O King Janamejaya! you have heard this story. You also worship Vishnu with great devotion. You will prosper. Whoever hate Hari, never prosper either in this world or other world. Even their ancestors fall in hell. Hari is the inner self for all humans in this Universe. Hating Hari is hating himself. My Guru, Vyasa, is the Avatara of Srimannarayana. The Bharata written by him is worshipped by one and all.” said Vaisampayana.
Then Janamejaya said: “O saint Vaisampayana! you told me that Maha Vishnu appeared before Brahma with horse head (Hayagreeva). What was the reason to appear in the form of Hayagreeva. Kindly tell me.”asked Janamejaya.
Vaisampayana said thus: “During Pralayam at Yugantham (end of each yuga), Sri Maha Vishnu was in Yoga sleep. After Pralayam, he woke up and began to create new world. Immediately, Ahamkara was born. That Ahamkara was called Brahma. Brahma was born from the naval of Vishnu.
At the outset, Brahma created Vedas. Satva element was first born. Brahma was influenced by Satva. Rajas and Tamas became the characteristics of Rakshasas. Madhu and Kaitabha are two Rakshasas. They stole Vedas and hid them underground.
“Vedas are my strength, my vision and my guides. Without Vedas I cannot create this universe. Who saves me from this catastrophe.” Brahma lamented. Brahma praised Vishnu. Vishnu, who was lying in waters, rose with horse head (Hayagreeva) and went in search of Vedas. First he went to underground and made Pranava sound fiercely. On hearing that sound, Madhu and Kaitabha rushed towards that side. Meanwhile, Hayagreeva released Vedas and brought them back to Brahma. Then he laid down in waters in his original form.
Not finding anybody, Madhu and Kaitabha returned back and did not find Vedas. They searched for Vedas. Instead of Vedas, they found Vishnu. They invited Vishnu for fight. Vishnu killed both Madhu and Kaitabha and allowed Brahma with uninterrupted creation. Brahma again started creation. Since then, of all the forms of Vishnu, Hayagreeva form was greatest. As Vishnu saved Vedas in the form of Hayagreeva, Vedas have the patronage of Maha Vishnu in Hayagreeva form.
O King Janamejaya! Hari always causes ups and downs in Satva, Rajas and Tamas., as a result, human beings are born and grown with different qualities and characters. If one is virtuous, the other is virtueless. All Vedas, yajnas and other virtuous acts, five elements are the forms of Srimannarayana.” said Vaisampayana.
Then Janamejaya said: “O Saint Vaisampayana! you told me that people with concentrated mind are great. What is meant by concentration? Kindly tell me.” asked Janamejaya.
Vaisampayana said thus: “O Janamejaya! in the past, Sri Krishna taught your grand father, Arjuna, at the beginning of Maha Bharata war, about Sankhya, Yoga and their essence. That was called Bhagavad Gita. I heard it long back. Now I tell you about it. This Ekantika Dharma was taught by Narayana to Brahma. Brahma taught Daksha Prajapati about this, who in turn, taught the same to his grand son, Sun. It was passed on from Sun to Manuvu, Manuvu to Ikshvaaku and Ikvaaku passed on the same to all sages and saints as inheritance. Narada got this Ekantika Dharma from Vishnu and told to his students. It was gradually passed on from Guru to Student and it reached one and all in the Universe.
But this Ekantika Dharma was not grasped by wrong and wicked because the root for Ekantika Dharma was nonviolence. Sri Hari always likes non-violence. Sri Hari and Kshetrajna are one and the same. But Sri Hari manifests himself in one,two,three or four forms. Of these four forms, Vasudeva is the first and foremost. The second form is Sankarshana. The third form is Pradyumna and the fourth one is Anirudha. Though sri Hari is manifested in so many forms, the invisble divine form is one.That divine form is not visible for sense organs. Those who have great devotion, tapas, control of mind, control of sense organs alone can behold that invisible form. Ekantika Dharma is amla in the hands of peaceloving people. To wipe out all kinds of sorrows from mind, this Ekantika Dharma is the only weapon.” said Vaisampayana.
Now Janamejaya entertained a doubt. “O Saint Vaisampayana! Instead of observing this Ekantika Dharma, people are performing worships, Vratas etc. What benefit they derive from those worships and Vratas. Why people resort to such worships and Vratas? Kindly tell me.” asked Janamejaya.
Vaisampayana said thus: “O King Janamejaya! I already told you that our mind is influenced by attributes like Satva, Rajas and Tamas. Of those Satva is best. The welfare of those who are influenced by Satva will be looked after by Maha Vishnu. They are Ekantikas. Except thinking about God, they have no other avocation. The people who are influenced by Rajas and Tamas are always interested in worldly affairs and sensual pleasures. Such people are not eligibel for the grace of Sri Hari. Those who observe Ekantika Dharma and who worship God with concentrated mind, always stay in the heart of Sri Hari. There is no difference between them and Sri Hari. The same was taught by Vedas. Our guru Vyasa also told the same to us. I am purified with Ekantika Dharma.
O Janamejaya! if you are inclined to observe Ekantika Dharma, you also worship Sri Hari with concentrated mind and attain eternal happiness.” said Vaisampayana.
On hearing this, Janamejaya asked Vaisampayana: “O Saint! In this world, there are several disciplines viz., Vedas, Sankhya, Yoga, Pasupata, Pancharatra etc. etc. For studying those disciplines, what kind of devoutness one has to follow. Or are there different dovoutness for each discipline. In fact, who taught these disciplines?” asked Janamejaya.
Vaisampayana said thus: “O King Janamejaya! The origin of Vedas, Sankhya, Yoga and other disciplines is Sriman Narayana. These discplines are the ways and means to reach Sriman Narayana. Vedas were taught by Vyasa, son of Narayana. Sankhya was taught by Kapila. Yoga was taught by Hiranyagarbha. Pasupata was taught by Siva. Pancharatra was taught by Vishnu. Pancharatra is also called Vaishnavam.” said Vaisampayana.
Now, Janamejaya entertained a doubt. “O Saint Vaisampayana! I heard that Vyasa was the son of Parasara. Now you said that Vyasa was the son of Narayana. How was it possible?” Janamejaya.
Vaisampayana said thus: “After finishing the writing of Bharata, Vyasa was taking rest in Himalayas. His students were serving him. Vyasa was teaching Vedas and its meaning, Bharata and its meaning to his students.
At that time, myself and other students prostrated before Vyasa and asked him: “O Guru Vyasa! it is said that you are the son of Narayana. How was it possible”
With graceful eyes, Vyasa said thus: “At the inception, Narayana intended to create humanbeings. First he created Brahma from a lotus sprouted from his naval. Brahma created the entire Universe. From out of face of Brahma, Vedas were born. To study those Vedas, Vishnu intended in his mind to create a person called Apantaratama. Apantaratama asked Vishnu the purpose for which he was created. “You study Vedas with concentrated mind and divide them subjectwise” ordered Vishnu. At that time, all the Vedas were in one form. Apantaratama studied them carefully and divided them into four, subjectwise.
(Division is called in Sanskrit as Vyasa. Hence Apantaratama is called Vyasa. All praises and stotras are compiled as Rigveda; all rituals are compiled as yajurveda, all hymns rendered as songs musically are compiled at Sama veda and all war craft and other trantras and skills useful at the times of war and peace, are in Adharvana Veda. Most of the mantras in Rigveda appear in other Vedas also. Originally Veda was divided into Rigveda, Yajurved and Sama veda. Therefore it is called Trai Veda. (Three vedas). Of late, Adharvana Veda was compiled and added picking up mantras from other Vedas.).
Then Vishnu called Apantaratama “O Vyasa! (the divider of Vedas)! come here. You are my son. You remain in this Universe in all Manvantaras. You take several births as Veda Vyasa (divider of Vedas). You are endowed with knowledlge of three times, past, present and future. In future, you take birth as the son of Parasara and your sons (Dhritarashtra, Pandu ) rule Kuru dynasty. They and their sons fight amongst themselves and perish. O Apantaratama! in course of time, again Vedas merge together. Again you have to divide them subjectiwse. You have to clear all doubts of Dharma. You study Sankhya and Yoga. You will be worshipped by one and all. Inspite of all these qualities, you never get Vairagya. But you beget a son. Your son attains Vairagya. You can go as you like”. Vishnu disappeared.
With the blessings of Vishnu, I attained knowledge of three times. Hence I became the Manasaputra of Vishnu. So far I have taken several births. In every birth, I worship Vishnu with greatest devotion and got the blessings of Vishn” said Vyasa to Vaisampayana. This is all about the previous births of Vyasa.” said Vaisampayana to Janamejaya.
“ O Janamejaya! that was about the conversation
of Narada with Narayana as told by Narada to Nara Narayana at Badarikashram;
about Hayagreeva as told by Vyasa to all of us in the presence of Sri Krishna and Dharmaja etc.;
about Krishna explaining about Vishnu names to Arjuna;
about Vyasa teaching Vedas, Sankhya, yoga, Pasupata, Pancharatra, Ekantika Dharma to all of us in the presence of Dharmaja etc.
As you asked me about them, I told you. In this Universe, there is no other dharma except Ekantika Dharma which is best of all.” said Vaisampayana to Janamejaya.
The above story was told by Bhishma to Dharmaja.
“O Grandisre Bhishma! you explained me about all Dharmas. But I do not which is the best of all. Kindly tell me.” asked Dharmaja.
“O Dharmaja! All dharmas are best. There is nothing waste or not to be followed. People follow their own dharma whichever they like. Such Dharma yields them good results. Day in and day out, we have been seeing people following their own dharma.
Once, while going round the Universe, Narada visited Devendra. Devendra welcomed Narada and honoured him and offered him due seat. Mahendra asked Narada: “O Narada! you have been roaming around the earth. Have you ever found any thing which is amazing?” asked Devendra. Then Narada told him a story which is an answer to your question.
Narada told Devendra thus: “Towards south of Ganga river, there was a town called Maha Padma. There lived a virtuous brahmin called Bhrigu. He was endowed with virtuous qualities, viz., following Dharma, non-violence, speaking turth, control of sense organs, contentment, wrathlessness, performing divine and Pitara rituals and worshipping guests etc. He begot two sons who are obedient and virtous.
“Which are the acts according to Dharma? By performing which acts one can attain welfare?” is the doubt entertained by him in his mind. He was always thinking about it.
One day, a brahmin guest arrived at his house. Bhrigu worshipped him and offered sumptuous food. While the guest was taking rest, Bhrigu asked him: “O virtuous Brahmin! I have been daily trying to have Atma Darshan. But as I am entangled in worldly affairs, I could not get Atma Darshan. Kindly tell me the way to get Atma Darshan!” asked Bhrigu.
“O Bhrigu! Same case with me also. I am also trying to find a solution but in vain. Some may get Atma Darshan by performing Tapas, some by performing Yajnas and yagas and some others by performing desireless acts. I also heard that Atma Darshan can be had by worshipping father and mother; by worshipping God with utmost devotion; by performing virtuous and pious deeds; by having good conduct and character; by controlling sense organs and living with peaceful mind; by adopting non-violence etc. There are several paths of dharma which are not so easy to follow.
Gomati river flows through Naimisaranya. There was also a tank called Maha Padma. On the banks of that tank, a serpant called Padma was living. He was so virtous. He was kindhearted and he performed tapas, Yajnas and yagas. He also likes guests very much. You go and have darshan of that serpant, Padma. Your doubt will be cleared.” said the brahmin guest.
Having been satisfied with the words of the guest, after taking permission from his wife and relatives, Bhrigu proceeded to Naimisaranya and reached the residence of Padma, the serpant. The wife of Padma worshipped Bhrigu and asked him about the purpose of his visit.
“I have come to meet your husband. Where is he?” asked Bhrigu.
“My husband acts as the rein of the chariot of Surya, once in a month. Now it is the turn of my husband. He has gone to Surya Loka. He will return after eight days. If you tell me the purpose of your visit, I will help you.” said the wife of Padma, the serpant.
“Madam! I have no other work except meeting him. I wait in the adjoining garden till he comes. Soon after he comes, kindly inform him about my arrival.” said Bhrigu.
Six days passed. Bhrigu did not take any food or water during these six days. The wife of Padma, his children, relatives came to Bhrigu: “You have not taken any food for six days. We are very particular about our guest. Without other word, kindly take some food. We have brought fruits, food etc. Kindly receive them.” said the wife of Padma, the serpant.
“You need not tell me this much. I have come to meet your husband. Till I meet him, I never take any food. I have no desire to take food and water. You told me that your husband arrives within 8 days. So far six days elapsed. Still two more days are there. I do not take any food for these two days. If he does not come on eighth day, I will take whatever you offer.” said Bhrigu. They all accepted his words and retired to their houses.
On eighth day, Padma, the serpant returned. His wife informed him about the arrival of the brahmin guest, Bhrigu. “ Eight days back, a Brahmin guest came to our house. That Brahmin desires to meet you personally. He did not take food all these eight days. You immediately go and meet him.” said his wife.
“What the hell you are talking. Why should I go and meet a brahmin guest. You know that Divine bodies, Asuras etc. respect me. How can you ask such a great personality like me to go and meet an ordinary brahmin.” said Padma, the serpant.
“Oh my husband! I do not mean that. I know that you are a great and respectable person. But a brahmin has come to meet you. He has been waiting for you since eight days. Is it proper on your part to disrespect him? What would be the benefit you derive by denying his request. Would you like to destroy all Punya earned by you, your virtuous character and your knowledge and intellingence, by subjecting a Brahmin to disgrace. By disrespecting a Brahmin, you will be afflicted with the sin of Brahma Hatya. Elders say that a person attains knowleldge by observing silence; attains welfare by doing charitable deeds; attains heavenly pleasures by fulfilling others’ desires. Hence suppress your egoism and meet that Brahmin who is in wait for you.” said the wife of that serpant.
Padma, the serpant realised his mistake. “O my lady! in fact I was hurt when you asked me to meet an ordinary brahmin. You taught me Dharmas which vanished my anger and pride and saved me from doing Adharma. Due to this pride and anger only, in the past, Karta Veeryarjuna and Ravana were killed by Parusurama and Raghurama respectively. A great calamity is avoided by your teachings. Otherwise, I would have drowned in hell. I am now going to see that Brahmin.”.
So saying Padma went to that Brahmin. Beholding Padma, the serpant, Bhrigu was very happy. They both exchanged welfares. They both sat under the shade of a tree.
“O Brahmin Bhrigu! you have been waiting for my arrival since eight days without taking any food. What can I do for you!” asked Padma, the serpant.
“O serpant King! I heard about you and your virtues. Hence I have come to see you. I heard through your wife that you have gone to Surya Loka to drag the chariot of Surya. Hecne I have been waiting for you. You have to clear all my doubts.” said Bhrigu.
“It is a pleasure for me to clear the doubts of a great personality like you.” said Padma, the serpant.
“O serpant king! Leave alone my doubts. you can clear them later. While you were dragging the chariot of Surya, what are the amazing events that occurred. Kindly tell me.” asked Bhrigu.
“O Bhrigu! The greatest wonder is Aditya (Sun). Due to his shining only, the entire creation is living with vitality. With the power of sun rays only, divine bodies, Valakhilyas and other saints, Sidhas, several species of birds have been living happily. With the heat emanated from Sun only, the water on earth evaporates and forms into clouds and again showers on earth in the form of rain. Are there any other wonders than the above.
O Brahmin! Sun causes rains. Again he evaporates the
rain water and attracts towards him. Is there any other wonder than
this? Due to the shining of sun only, all the seeds are sprouting into
plants and transforms into huge trees. Is it not a wonder? The invisible
God himself is shining through Sun only. Is it not a rarest wonder?
“He is not either divine body, or Yaksha, Gandharva, Naga etc. He is a poor brahmin, living by gathering grains in harvested fields. But he led virtuous life by eating fruits and drinking water. He has no desires and never aspires for anything not meant for him. He always wishes welfare of others. Hence he attained Sidhi and entered Surya Loka.” said Sun.
O Brahmin Bhrigu! I have seen several such wonders.” said Padma, the serpant king.
“O Serpant king! with your words, all my doubts are cleared. I will go.” said Bhrigu.
“You have come all the way from your place to my house but you are leaving without asking me anything. Kindly ask me. I will clear your doubts. I am in your heart and you are in my heart. In both of us, the entire Universe is there. Therefore, discard all your sorrows and be happy.” said Padma, serpant king.
“O serpant King! what you said is correct. All the creatures in this creation are one and equal. There is no difference between them. Now I have become wise. I realised my soul. I start to treat all others equally. I take leave.” so saying Bhrigu left Padma, serpant king and went to Saint Chyavana.
O Dharmaja! this story was told by Bhargava to Narada; Narada to Indra and Indra to Vasuvus and Vasuvus told me this story. Now I tell this story to you.” said Bhishma to Dharma.