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Shri Laghu Bhagavatamrita
By Shrila Rupa Goswami
Translated by Kushakratha dasa
The Nectar of Shri Krishna
The Svayam-rupa, Vilasa, Svamsa,
and Avesa Forms of the Lord
om namah shri-krishnaya
namas tasmai bhagavate
yo dhatte sarva-bhutanam
om-om; namah-I offer respectful obeisances; shri-krishnaya-to Shri Krishna; namah-I offer respectful obeisances; tasmai-to Him; bhagavate-the Supreme Personality of Godhead; krishnaya-Shri Krishna; akuntha-medhase-all-knwing; yah-who; dhatte-places; sarva-of all; bhutanam-living entities; abhavaya-for the liberation; usatih kalah-His innerable incarnations.
I offer my respectful obeisances to Shri Krishna, who is glorified in the following verses of Shrimad-Bhagavatam (10.87.46 and 11.5.32):
"I offer my respectful obeisances to Shri Krishna, the omniscient Supreme Personality of Godhead who, in order to liberate the conditioned souls from the cycle of repeated birth and death, appears in the material world in the forms of His innumerable incarnations."
yajanti hi sumedhasah
krishna-varnam-repeating the syllables krish-na; tvisha-with a luster; akrishnam-not black (golden); sa-anga-along with associates; upanga-servitors; astra-weapons; parshadam-confidential companions; yajnaih-by sacrifice; sankirtana-prayaih-consisting chiefly of congregational chanting; yajanti-they worship; hi-certainly; su-medhasah' intelligent persons.
"In the age of Kali, intelligent persons perform congregational chanting to worship the incarnation of Godhead who constantly sings the name of Krishna. Although His complexion is not blackish, He is Krishna Himself. He is accompanied by His associates, servants, weapons and confidential companions."*
mukha-of the face; aravinda-lotus; nisyanda-trickling; maranda-honey; bhara-abundance; tundila-filled; mama-my; anandam-bliss; mukundasya-of Lord Mukunda; sandugdham-produced; venu-of the flute; kakali-sweet sound.
May the honey-sweet flute musi that flows from Lord Mukunda's lotus mouth fill me with bliss.
majjayanto jagat premni
shri-chaitanya-of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu; mukha-from the mouth; udgirna-manifest; hare krishna iti varnakah-the Hare Krishna maha-mantra; majjayantah-are drowning; jagat-the entire universe; premni-in pure love of Krishna; vijayantam-all glories; tat-ahvayah-to that mah-mantra.
Glory to the Hare Krishna maha-mantra, the Lord's names spoken by Shri Chaitanya's mouth, which drown the world in pure love!
yad vyatani tadevedam
shrimat-prabhu-of Shrila Sanatana Gosvami; pada-ambhojaih-by the lotuslike words; shrimat-bhagavatamrtam-the book named Brhad-bhagavatamrtam; yat-what; vyatani-manifested; tada-then; eva-certainly; idam-that; sanksepena-as a summary; nisevyate-is manifested.
Of Shri Brihad-bhagavatamritam, manifested by the lotus words of my master, this book is a summary.
sambandhad amritam dvidha
adau krishnamritam tatra
idam-this book; shri-krishna; to Shri Krishna; tat-bhakta-and to His devotees; sambandhat-because of the relation; amrtam-the nectar; dvidha-in two parts; adau-first; krishna-amrtam-the nectar of Krishna; tatra-there; suhrdbhyah-from His friends; parivesyate-served.
This book will describe two kinds of nectar: the nectar of Shri Krishna, and the nectar of His devotees. First will be the nectar of Krishna, nectar relished by the Lord's friends.
Texts 7 and 8
sabda eva pramanyate
yatas taih "sastra-yonitvat"
nirbandham-without relation; yukti-of material logic; vistare-to the expansion; maya-by me; atra-here; parimuncata-freedom; pradhanatvat-because of the superiority; pramanesu-among sources of knowledge; sabdah-the Vedi revelation; eva-certainly; pramanyate-is accepted as evidence; yatah-because; taih-by them; sastra-of the Vedi literature; yonitvat-because of being the origin; iti-thus; nyaya-of the Vedanta-sutra (1.1.3); pradarsanat-because of the explanation; sabdasya-of the Vedi literature; eva-certainly; pramanatvam-evidence; svi-krtam-accepted; parama-rsibhih-by the great sages.
Because the Vedi revelation is the best of all evidence, I will base my arguments on it and not on material logic. The best of sages accepts the Vedi revelation as the best evidence, for he said (Vedanta-sutra 1.1.3): "The Supreme is understood from the Vedi revelation".
kim ca "tarkapratishthanat"
amibhir eva su-vyaktam
kim ca-furthurmore; ca-also; tarka-of logic; apratisthanbat-because of the inconclusiveness; iti-thus; nyaya-vidhanatah-because of the statement of Vedanta-sutra; amibhih-by them; eva-certainly; su-vyaktam' manifest; tarkasya-of material logic; anadarah-criticism; krtah-is done.
With the words (Vedanta-sutra 2.1.11, "The Supreme cannot be understood by material logic" he directly criticized material logic.
nirupyante kramad iha
atha-now; upasyesu-among those who are worshippable; mukhyatvam-preeminence; vaktum-to describe; uktarsa-bhumatah-because of superiority; krishnasya-of Shri Krishna; tat-His; sva-rupani-forms; nirupyante-are described; kramat-one after another; iha-in this book.
To prove that the Supreme Lord, Shri Krishna, is the best of they who are worthy of worship, His forms will be described here, one after another.
svayam rupas tad-ekatma-
ity asau tri-vidham bhati
svayam-rupah-own form; tat-eka-atma-rupah-expanded form; avesa-namakah-empowered incarnation; iti-thus; asau-He; tri-vidham-in three ways; bhati-is manifest; prapanca-the material world; atita-beyond; dhamasu-in His abodes.
In His abodes beyond the worlds of matter, the Supreme Lord is manifest in three kinds of forms: 1. svayam--rupa, 2. tad-ekatma-rupa, and 3. avesa-rupa.
ananyapekshi yad rupam
svayam-rupah sa ucyate
ananya-apeksi-independant; yat-which; rupam-form; svayam rupah-original form; sah-that; ucyate-is called.
The svayam--rupa is said to be the original form, not manifested from any other.
isvarah paramah krishnah
anadir adir govindah
isvarah-the controller; paramah-supreme; krishnah-Lord Krishna; sat-eternal existance; cit-absolute knowledge; ananda-absolute bliss; vigrahah-whose form; anadih-without beginning; adih-the origin; govindah-Lord Govinda; sarva-karana-karanam-the cause of all causes.
It is described in Brahma-samhita' (5.1):
"Krishna, who is known as Govinda, is the supreme controller. He has an eternal, blissful, spiritual body. He is the origin of all. He has no other origin, for He is the prime cause of all causes."*
yad rupam tad abhedena
sa tad ekatma-rupakah
sa vilasah svamsa iti
dhatte bheda-dvayam punah
yat-which; rupam-form tat-abhedena-not different from the svayam-rupa; svarupena-in its own form; virajate-is manifest; akriti-adibhih-with form, qualities, and so forth; anya-another; adrk-like; sah tat-that; eka-atma-rupakah-tadekatma-rupa; sah-that; vilasah-vilasa-rupa; svamsah- svamsa-rupa-iti-thus; dhatte-manifests; bheda-dvayam-in two divisions; punah-again.
The svayam-rupa is not different from His original form. In the tad-ekatma-rupa the Lord's form and other features are different from His original form. The tadekatma-rupa forms are ditided into two types: 1 vilasa-rupa, and 2. svamsa-rupa.
Texts 15 and 16
svarupam anyakaram yat
tasya bhati vilasatah
sa vilaso nigadyate
govindasya yatha smritah
vasudevas ca yadrisah
sva-rupam-the Lord's own form; anya-other; akaram-feathures of the body; yat-which; tasya-His; bhati-appears; vilasatah-from particulat pastimes; prayena-almost; atma-samam-self-similar; saktya-by His potency; sah-that; vilasah-the vilasa (pastime, form; nigadyate-is called;parama-vyoma-nathah-Narayana, the lord of Vaikuntha; tu-also; govindasya-of LOrd Govinda; yatha-just as; smrtah-is remembered; parama-vyoma-nathasya-of Lord Narayana; vasudevah-Lord Vasudeva; ca-also; yadrsah-like whom.
When the Lord displays numerous forms with different features by His inconceivable potency, such forms are called vilasa-vigrahas.ª In this way from Lord Govinda is manifest Lord Narayana, the master of the spiritual sky, and from Lord Narayana is manifest Lord Vasudeva.
tadriso nyuna-saktim yo
vyanakti svamsa iritah
tadrsah-like that; nyuna-lessened; saktim-potency; yah-who; vyanakti-manifests; svamsah-svamsa-rupa; iritah-is called; sankarsana-adih-beginning with Lord Sankarsana; matsya-adih-beginning with Lord Matsya; yatha-just as; tat-tat-sva-dhamasu-each in His own abode.
These forms manifest other forms that have lesser power, and are called svamsa-rupas. The forms headed by Lord Sankarshana and the forms headed by Lord Matsya, each manifest in His own abode, are examples of these forms.
Texts 18 and 19
ta avesa nigadyante
jiva eva mahattamah
vaikunthe 'pi yatha sesho
jnana-of knowledge; sakti-with the potency; adi-beginning with; kalaya-with a particle; yatra-where; avistah-entered; janardanah-the Supreme Lord; te-they; avesah-avesa incarnations; nigadyante-are called; jivah-individual living entities; eva-certainly; mahattamah-great souls; vaikunthe-in Vaikunthaloka; api-also; yatha-just as; sesah-Ananta Sesa; naradah-Narada Muni; sanaka-adayah-the four Kumaras; akrura-of Akrura; drstante-in the example; ca-also; ami-these; dasame-in the Tenth Canto of Shrimad-Bhagavatam; parikirtitah-glorified.
Exalted individual souls (jivas, into whom Lord Janardana enters with a portion of His knowledge-potency and other potencies, are called avesas. Sesha, Narada, and the four Kumaras are examples of them in Vaikuntha. They were seen by Akrura, as described in the Tenth Canto.
prakasas tu na bhedeshu
ganyate sa hi nau prithak
prakasah-prakasa-rupa; tu-but; na-not; bhedesu-in differences; ganyate-is counted; sah-He; hi-certainly; na-not; u-certainly; prthak-different.
Prakasa-rupas are the same form manifest in many places.
Texts 21 and 22
sarvatha tat svarupaiva
sa prakasa itiryate
dvaravatyam yatha krishnah
citram bataitat ity adi
pramanena sa setsyati
tatha hi-moreover; anekatra-in many places; prakatata-the manifestation; rupasya-of form; ekasya-one; ya-which; ekada-at one time; sarvatha-in every respect; tat-His; sva-rupa-own form; eva-certainly; sah-that; prakasah-manifestive form; iti-thus; iryate-it is called; dvaravatyam-at Dvaraka; yatha-just as; krishnah-Lord Krishna; pratyaksam-directly; prati-mandiram-at every palace; citram bata etat iti adi-Shrimad-Bhagavatam 10.69.2; pramanena-by the evidence; sah-that; setsyati-will be established.
If numerous forms, all equal in their features, are displayed simultaneously, such forms are called prakasa-vigrahas of the Lord.ª Lord Krishna's did this in the many palaces of Dvaraka. This will be proved when Shrimad-Bhagavatam 10.69.2 is quoted here.
kvacic catur-bhujatve 'pi
na tyajet krishna-rupatam
atah prakasa eva syat
tasyasu dvi-bhujasya ca
kvacit-sometimes; catuh-bhujatve-in the condition of manifesting four arms; api-although; na-may not; tyajet-give up; krishna-rupatam-the form of krishna; atah-therefore; prakasah-prakasa-rupa; eva-certainly; syat-may be; tasya-of Him; asau-that; dvi-bhujasya-of the two-armed form; ca' also.
Sometimes, without abandoning His Krishna-form, Lord Krishna manifests a four-arm form. This is a prakasa-rupa of His two-arm form.
esham sastre prithag-vidhe
vyaktam eva virajate
prapanca-the material world; atita-beyond; dhamatvam-abode; esam-of them; sastre-in the Vedi literature; prthak-vidhe-various; padmiya-uttara-khanda-adau-in the scriptures beginning with the Uttara-khanda of the Padma Purana; vyaktam-manifested; eva-certainly; virajate-appear.
The many forms of the Supreme Lord each have their own abode in the spiritual sky, beyond the touch of matter. This is confirmed in the Uttara-khanda of the Padma Purana, and in many other Vedic literatures also.
The Purusha and Guna Avataras
krishno yeshu ca pushkalah
atha-now; avatarah-incarnations; kathyante-are described; krishnah-Krishna; yesu-among whom; ca-also; puskalah-the best.
Now the Lord's incarnations, among which Shri Krishna is the best, will be described.
Texts 2 and 3
apurva iva cet svayam
avataras tada smritah
tac ca dvaram tadekatma-
rupas tad-bhakta eva ca
vasudevadiko 'pi ca
purva-previously; uktah-described; visva-karya-artham-to execute His mission in the material world; apurvah-unprecedented; iva-as it were; cet-if; svayam-personally-dvara-antarene-by the agency of another; va-or; avihsyuh-appear; avatarah-incarnations; tada-then; smrtah-are remembered; tat-therefore; ca-also; dvaram-agency; tad-eka-atma-rupah-His tadekatma-rupa; tat-bhaktah-His devotees; eva-certainly; ca-also; sesasayi-Sesasayi Vishnu; adikah-beginning with; yadvat-just as; vasudeva-Maharaja Vasudeva; adikah-beginning with; api ca-also.
To act in the material world, the Supreme Lord appears in the previously described forms and in other ways, as if He had never appeared in that way before. These appearances are known as "incarnations". In this way He appears in His tad-ekatma' forms, such as Seshasayi Vishnu, and in His empowered devotees, such as Maharaja Vasudeva.
Texts 4 and 5
lilatmanas ca te tridha
prayah svamsas tathavesa
avatara bhavanty ami
atra yah syat svayam-rupah
sa 'gre vyakti-bhavishyati
purusa-akhyah-purusa-avataras; guna-atmanah-guna-avataras; lila-atmanah-lila-avataras; ca-also; te-they; tridha-three kinds; prayah-generally; sva-amsah-svamsa-rupa; tatha-in the same way; avesah-avesa-rupa; avatarah-incarnations; bhavanti-are; ami-these; atra-here; yah-who; syat-may be; svayam-rupah-the original form svayam-rupa; sha-He; agre-at the beginning; vyakti-bhavisyati-will be manifest.
Again there are three kinds of incarnations of the Lord: 1. purusha-avataras, 2. guna-avataras, and 3. lila'-avataras. These incarnations are mostly svamsa-rupa and avesa-rupa forms. The Lord may also appear in His svayam--rupa among them.
tatra purusha-laksh#anam yatha vishnu-purane
ntasyaiva yo 'nu guna-bhag vividhaika eva
suddho 'py asuddha iva murti-vibhaga-bhedaih
tasmai nato 'smi purushaya sadavyayaya" iti.
ntasyaiva anu purvoktat paramesvarat samanantaram" iti svami.
tatra'-there; purusha-of the Purusha-avatara; laksh#anam-decshription; yatha-as; vishnu-purane-in Vishnu Purana; tasya-of Him; eva-certainly; yah-who; anu-following; guna-bhak-full of auspicous transcendental qualities; vividha-appearing as many; ekah' one; eva-certainly; suddhah-free from material contact; api-although; asuddhah-contacting the material energy; iva-as if; murtu-vibhaga-bhedaih' expanding in many forms; jnana-anvitah-full of knowledge; sakala-all; sattva-transcendental; vibhuti-opulences and power; karta-the origin; tasmai-to Him; natah asmi-I offer my respectful obeisances; purusaya-to the purusa-avatara; sada-eternally; avyayaya-unchanging; iti-thus; tasya eva anu-this phrase; purva-uktat-from the previously explained; paramesvarat-Supreme Controller; samanantaram-after; iti-thus; svami-the commentary of Shridhara Svami.
Now the purusha-avataras will be described. In Vishnu Purana (6.8.59, it is said:
"I offer my respectful obeisances to the eternal, unchanging purusha-avatara, who has a great variety of transcendental qualities, who seems to be impure although He is supremely pure, who appears in many forms, who is full of transcendental knowledge, and who is the origin of all transcendental powers and opulences."
Shridhara Svami notes that the phrase "tasyaiva anu" means "after the Supreme Controller is described."
Texts 7 and 8
vatarah purushah smritah
nadyo 'vatarah purushah parasya" iti.
atra-here; karika-explanation; parama-isa-of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; amsa-rupah-expansion; yah-who; pradhana-the unmanifest modes of material nature; guna-and of the manifest modes of material nature; bhak-the master; iva-as; tat-iksa-adi-krtih-the observer and controller of material nature; nana-avatarah' the origin of the various incarnations; purusah-the purusa-avatara; smrtah' is described; adyah-the original; avatarah-incarnation; purusah-purusa-avatara; parasya-of the Supreme; iti-thus.
Here is an explanation. He who is expanded from the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who although He seems to be part of the manifested and unmanifested material modes, in truth only observes them, and who is the source of many incarnations of Godhead, the Sruti-sastras describe as the purusha-avatara. For example, Shrimad-Bhagavatam explains (2.6.40):
nKaranarnavasayi Vishnu is the first incarnation of the Supreme Lord."
tasya tu bhedah. satvata-tantre
nvishnos tu trini rupani
purushakhyany atho viduh
ekam tu mahatah srashtri
dvitiyam tv anda-samsthitam
tani jnatva vimucyate"
vishnoh-of Lord Vishnu; tu-certainly; trini-three; rupani' forms; purusha-akhyani-celebrated as the purusha; atho-how; viduh-they know; ekam-one of them; tu-but; mahatah srashtri-the creator of the total material energy; dvitiyam-the second; tu-but; anda-samsthitam' situated within the universe; tritiyam-the third; sarva-bhuta-stham' within the hearts of all living entities; tani-these three; jnatva' knowing; vimucyate-one becomes liberated.
The different purusha-avataras are described in Satvata Tantra:
"Vishnu has three forms called purushas. The first, Maha-Vishnu, is the creator of the total material energy (mahat), the second is Garbhodashayi, who is situated within each universe, and the third is Kshirodasayi, who lives in the heart of every living being. He who knows these becomes liberated from the cluthes of maya."*
tatra prathamam- yatha ekadase
nbhutair yada pancabhir atma-shrishtaih
puram virajam viracayya tasmin
svamsena vishtah purushabhidhanam
avapa narayana adi-devah"
tatra-there; prathamam-the first; yatha-as; ekadase-in the Eleventh Canto; bhutaih-by the material elements; yada-when; pancabhih-five (earth, water, fire, air and ether); atma-shrishtaih-created by Himself; puram-the body; virajam-of the universe in its subtle form; viracayya' having constructed; tasmin-wothin that; sva-amsena-in the manifestation of His own plenary expansion; vishtah-entering; purusha-abhidhanam-the name Purusha; avapa-assumed; narayanah-Lord Narayana; adi-devah' the original Personality of Godhead.
The first purusha-avatara is described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (11.4.3,:
"When the primeval Lord Narayana created His universal body out of the five elements produced from Himself and then entered within that universal body by His own plenary portion, He thus became known as the Purusha."*
ntasminn avirabhul linge
nsahasra-sirsha purushah" ity adi
nnarayanah sa bhagavan
apas tasmat sanatanat
avir asit karanarno
yoga-nidram gatas tasmin
sahasramsah svayam mahan"
bijam sankarshanasya ca
mahabhutavritani tu" ity etad-antam.
brahma-samhitayam-in Brahma-samhita; ca-also; tasmin-in him; avirabhut-is manifest in the form of a glance; ling' in Sambhu; maha-vishnuh-known as Maha-Vishnu; jagat-of the world; patih-the Lord; sahasra-sirsha-having thousands of heads; purushah' Maha-Vishnu; iti adi-in the passage beginning with the words; narayanah-known as Narayana; sah bhagavan-the same Lord (Maha-Vishnu); apah-the expanse of water; tasmat-from Him; samkarshana-atmakah-the subjective portion of Sankarshana; yoga-nidram-divine sleep; gatah-having entered; tasmin-in that; sahasra-amshah-with thousands of subjective portions; svayam-Himself; mahan-the Supreme Lord; tat-of Maha-Vishnu; roma-bila-jaleshu-in the pores of the skin; bijam' seeds; sankarshanasya-of Sankarshana; ca-and; haimani-golden; andani-eggs; jatani-are born; maha-bhuta-with the five great elements; avritani-covered; tu-also; iti etat-antam-in the passage ending with these words.
Brahma-samhita' (5.10-13, also describes Him:
"The Lord of the world Maha-Vishnu is manifest in him (Lord Mahesvara, by His subjective portion in the form of His glance."**
"The Lord of the mundane world, Maha-Vishnu, possesses thousands of thousands of heads, eyes and hands. He is the source of thousands of thousands of avataras in His thousands of thousands of subjective portions. He is the creator of thousands of thousands of individual souls.**
"The same Maha-Vishnu is spoken of by the name of Narayana in this mundane world. From that eternal person has sprung the vast expanse of water of the spiritual causal ocean. The subjective portion of Sankarshana who abides in Paravyoma, the above supreme purusha with thousands of subjective portions, reposes in the state of divine sleep (yoga-nidra, in the waters of the spiritual causal ocean."**
"The spiritual seeds of Sankarshana existing in the pores of skin of Maha-Vishnu are born as so many golden sperms. These sperms are covered with five great elements."**
lingam atra svayam-rupasy-
lingam-the word "linga"; atra-in this quotation; svayam-rupasya-of the original form; anga-of the body; bhedah-division; udiritah-is described.
In this passage the word "linga" means "different from the original form (svayam--rupa, of the Lord".
dvitiyam- yatha tatraiva tad-anantaram
npraty-andam evam ekamsad
ekamsad visati svayam" iti.
dvitiyam-the second; yatha-as; tatra-there; eva-indeed; tad-anantaram-then:fn 2 prati-andam-into each universe; evam-thus; eka-amsat eka amsat' as separate portions; visati-entered; svayam-of the same (Maha-Vishnu).
Brahma-samhita 5.14, then describes the second purusha-avatara:
"The same Maha-Vishnu entered into each universe as His own separate subjective portions."**
nabho 'sav aniruddhakah
sa 'yam hiranya-garbhasya
garbha-udaka-sayah-Garbhodakasayi Vishnu; padma-nabhah-Pradyumna; asau-He; aniruddhakah-Aniruddha; iti-thus; narayana-of Narayana; upakhyane-in the story; uktam-said; moksa-dharmake-in the Moksa-dharma; sah ayam-that same person; hiranya-garbhasya-of Garbhodakasayi Vishnu; pradyumnatve-in the status of Pradyumna; niyamakah-controller.
That the Lord expands as Lord Pradyumna and thus becomes the origin of Garbhodakasayi Vishnu is confirmed in the Narayana-upakhyana of the Moksha-dharma:
"As Garbhodakasayi Vishnu, lotus-naveled Lord Pradyumna is the father of Lord Aniruddha."
atha yat tu tritiyam syat
rupam tac capy adrisyata
nkecit sva-dehantah" iti
atha-now; yat-which; tu-also; tritiyam-in the Third purusa-avatara; syat-is; rupam-form; tat-that; ca api-also; adrsyata-was seen; kecit sva-dehatah iti-in the following verse:
pradesa-matram purusham vasantam
gada-dharam dharanaya smaranti";
dvitiya-skanda-padyatah-from Shrimad-Bhagavatam (2.2.8).
The third purusha-avatara is described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (2.2.8):
"Others conceive of the Personality of Godhead residing wothin the body in the region of the heart and measuring only eight inches, with four hands carrying a lotus, a wheel of a chariot, a conchshell and a cluâ respectively."*
kathyante purushad iha
vishnur brahma ca rudras ca
guna-avatarah-the guna-avataras; tatra-there; atha-now; kathyante-are described; purusat-from the purusa-avatara; iha-here; visnuh-Vishnu; brahma-Brahma; ca-also; rudrah-Siva; ca-and; sthiti-maintenance; sarga' creation; adi-beginning with; karmana-by work.
From the purusha-avatara Vishnu, Brahma, and Siva, who maintain, create, and destroy the material universe, are said to have come.
nsattvam rajas tama iti prakriter gunas tair
yuktah parah purusha eka ihasya dhatte
sthity-adaye hari-virinci-hareti samjnah
sreyamsi tatra khalu sattva-tanor nrinam syuh"
yatha-just as; prathame-in Shrimad-Bhagavatam 1.2.23; sattvam-goodness; rajah-passion; tamah-the darkness of ignorance; iti-thus; prakriteh' of the material nature; gunah-qualities; taih-by them; yuktah' associated with; parah-transcendental; purushah-the personality; ekah' one; iha asya-of this material world; dhatte-accepts; sthiti-adaye-for the matter of creation, maintenance and destruction, etc.; hari-Vishnu, the Personality of Godhead; virinci-Brahma; hara-Lord Siva; iti-thus; samjnah-different features; sreyamsi-ultimate benefit; tatra' therein; khalu-of course; sattva-goodness; tanoh-form; nrinam-of the human being; syuh-derived.
They are described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (1.2.23):
"The transcendental Personality of Godhead is indirectly associated with the three modes of material nature, namely passion, goodness and ignorance, and just for the material world's creation, maintenance and destruction He accepts the three qualitative forms of Brahma, Vishnu and Siva. Of these three, all human beings can derive ultimate benefit from Vishnu, the form of the quality of goodness."*
gunaih sambandha ucyate
atah sa tair na yujyate
tatra svamsah parasya yah
atra-here; karika-explanation; yogah-contact; niyamakataya-because of being the controller¯ gunaih-with the three modes of material nature; sambandhah-relation; ucyate-is described; atah-therefore; sah-He; taih- by them; na-not; yujyate-is in contact; tatra-there; sva-amsah-direct manifestation; parasya-of the Supreme Lord; yah-who.
As controllers of them they have a relationship with the material modes of nature. Only the one (Lord Vishnu, that is a svamsa-avatara has no relation with the modes.
hiranyagarbhah sukshmo 'tra
bhogaya shrishtaye cabhut
padma-bhur iti sa dvidha
tatra-there; brahma-Brahma; hiranyagarbhah-Hiranyagarbha; suksmah- subtle; atra-here; sthulah-gigantic; vairaja-Vairaja; samjnakah-named; bhogaya-for enjoyment; srstaye-for creation; ca-also; abhut-was; padma-bhuh-born from the lotus navel of Garbhodakasayi Vishnu; iti-thus; sah-he; dvi-dha-in two features.
As the subtle Hiranyagarbha and the gross Viraja, Brahma, who is born from the Lord's lotus navel, is manifest in order to enjoy and create. Thus he has two features.
vairaja eva prayah syat
kadacid bhagavan vishnur
brahma san shrijati svayam
vairajah-Vairaja Brahma; eva-certainly; prayah-generally; syat-may be; sarga-creation; adi-and other activities; artham-for the purpose of performing; catuh-mukhah-with four faces; kadacit-sometimes; bhagavan-the Personality of Godhead; visnuh-Vishnu; brahma-Brahma; san-being; rjati' creates; svayam-personality.
Four-headed Vairaja Brahma' appears in order to create the material universe and perform other duties. Sometimes Lord Vishnu Himself becomes Brahma and creates the universe.
tatha ca padme
nbhavet kvacin maha-kalpe
brahma jivo 'py upasanaih
kvacid atra maha-vishnur
brahmatvam pratipadyate" iti
tatha-in the same way; ca-also; padme-in the Padma Purana; bhavet' there may be; kvacit-sometimes; maha-kalpe-at the beginning of the maha-kalpa; brahma-Brahma; jivah-indivitual jiva soul; api-although; upasanaih-by devotional service; kvacit-sometimes; atra-here; maha-visnu; Lord Vishnu; brahmatvam-the post of Brahma; pratipadyate-accepts.
Padma Purana explains:
"In some maha'-kalpas a jiva soul becomes Brahma' by devotional service, and in other maha'-kalpas Lord Maha'-Vishnu Himself becomes Brahma."
vishnur yatra maha-kalpe
srastritvam ca prapadyate
tatra bhunkte tam pravisya
ato jivatvam aisyam ca
visnuh-Vishnu; yatra-where; maha-kalpe-in the maha-kalpa; srastrtvam' the post of creator; ca-also; prapayate-attains; tatra-there; bhunkte' enjoys; tam-that; pravisya-entering; vairajah-Vairaja Brahma; saukhya-sampadam-great happiness; atah-therefore; jivatvam-as a jiva soul; aisyam-as the Personality of Godhead; ca-also; brahmanah-of Brahma; kalpa-of kakpas; bhedatah-according to differences.
In a maha'-kalpa where Lord Vishnu personally becomes the creator Brahma', He enters the material universe as Viraja Brahma' and enjoys transcendental bliss. Thus the kalpas are divided into those ruled by the Lord and those ruled by a jiva.
isatva-apeksaya-with in relation to the Personality of Godhead; tasya' of Him; sastre-in the Vedi literature; prokta-described; avatarata-the position of His incarnations; samastitvena-as a whole; bhagavat-to the Personality of Godhead; snnikrstataya-as related; ucyate-is described; asya-of Him; avatarata-the post of incarnation; kaiscit-by some; avesatvena-as empowered incarnation; kaiscana-by others.
When the scriptures say that the Personality of Godhead becomes Brahma, some say that in general this means that the Lord personally appears, and others say this means the Lord appears as an avesa-avatara.
tatha ca brahma-samhitayam
nbhasvan yathasma-sakaleshu nijeshu tejah
sviyam kiyat prakatayaty api tadvad atra
brahma ya esa jagad-anda-vidhana-karta
govindam adi-purusham tam aham bhajami"
tatha-in the same way; ca-also; brahma-samhitayam-in the Brahma-Samhita; bhasvan-the illuminating sun; yatha-as; asma-sakaleshu-in various types of precious stones; nijeshu-his own; tejah-brilliance; sviyam-his own; kiyat-to some extent; prakatayati-manifests; api-also; tadvat-similarly; atra-he; brahma-Lord Brahma; yah-Who is; eshah' the Lord; jagat-anda-vidhana-karta-becomes the chief of the universe.
Brahma-samhita (5.49, explains:
"I adore the Primeval Lord Govinda from whom the separated subjective portion Brahma receives his power for the regulation of the mundane world, just as the Supreme manifests some portion of his own light in all the effulgent gems that bear the names of Suryakanta, etc."**
kadacit sruyate nirat
garbhodasayinah-from Garbhodakasayi Vishnu; asya-of Brahma; abhut-was; janma-birth; nabhi-saroruhat-from the lotus-navel; kadacit-sometimes; sruyate-it is heard in Vedi literatures; nirat-from the Garbhodaka ocean; tejah-from fire; vata-from wind; adikat-or from other elements; api' even.
Brahma' is generally born from Garbhodakasayi Vishnu's lotus-navel, although the scriptures explain that sometimes he is born from water, fire, wind, or another element.
tathashta-tanur apy asau
prayah pancananas try-aksho
rudrah-Siva; ekadasa-eleven; vyuhah-manifestations; tatha-in that way; asta-tanuh-in eight forms; api-also; asau-he; prayah-generally; panca-with five; ananah-faces; tri-with three; aksah-eyes; dasa-with ten; bahuh-arms; udiryate-is described.
Siva appears in eleven forms and eight forms. Generally he has ten arms and five heads, with three eyes on each head.
harasyoktam vidher iva
tat tu seshavad evastam
kvacit-sometimes; jiva-visesatvam-as a specifi jiva soul; harasya-of Siva; uktam-said; vidheh-of Brahma; iva-like; tat-that; tu-but; sesa-vat-as Ananta Sesa; eva-certainly; astam-is; tat-amsatvana-as a direct expansion of the Personality of Godhead; kirtanat-from the glorification.
The scriptures explain that, as Brahma' is, so Siva is sometimes a jiva soul and sometimes an amsa-avatara like Lord Sesha.
nirgunah praya eva sah
vikaravan iha tamo-
yogat sarvaih pratiyate
nsivah sakti-yutah sasvat
harah-Siva; purusa-dhamatvat-because of being an incarnation of the Personality of Godhead; nirgunah-free from the influence of the three modes of material nature; prayah-for the most part; eva-certainly; sah-he; vikaravan-with transformations; iha-in this world; tamah-of the modes of ignorance; yogat-because of contact; sarvaih-by everyone; prtiyate-is understood; yatha-just as; dasame-in the Tenth Canto of Shrimad Bhagavatam (10.88.3); sivah-Siva; sakti-yutah-in contact with the illusory potency; sasvat-eternally; tri-lingah-in contact with the three modes of material nature; guna-by the modes; samvrtah-accompanied.
Because He is an incarnation of the Personality of Godhead, He is generally beyond the modes of material nature. However, because he is touched by the mode of ignorance, He is thought to be affected by it. This is described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (10.88.3):
"Lord Siva is always associated with the three modes of nature."
nkshiram yatha dadhi vikara-visesha-yogat
sanjayate na hi tatah prithag asti hetoh
yah sambhutam api tatha samupaiti karyat
govindam adi-purusham tam aham bhajami"
yatha-just as; brahma-samhitayam-in the Brahma-samhita (5.45); kshiram-milk; yatha-as; dadhi-yogurt; vikara-visesha-with a special transforming agent; yogat-by mixing; sanjayate-is transformed; na-not; tu-but; tatah-from the milk; prithak-separated; asti-is; hetoh-which is the cause; yah-Who; sambhutam-the nature of Lord Siva; api-even though; tatha-as; samupaiti-accepts; karyat-from the matter of some particular business (destruction).
He is described in Brahma-samhita (5.45):
"Just as milk is transformed into curd by the action of acids, but yet the effect curd is neither the same as, nor different from, its cause, viz., milk, so I adore the primeval Lord Govinda of whom the state of Sambu is a transformation for the performance of the work of destruction."**
vidher lalataj janmasya
bhavet sankarshanad api
vidheh-of Brahma; lalatat-from the forehead; janma-birth; asya-of Siva; kadacit-sometimes; kamala-pateh-of Vishnu; kala-agni-rudrah-manifested from the kala-fire; kalpa-of the kalpa; ante-at the conclusion; bhavet-may be; sankarsanat-from Sankarsana; api-also.
Sometimes He is born from Brahma's forehead and other times from Vishnu's forehead. At the kalpa's end He is born from Lord Sankarshana as the fire of time.
sadasiva-akhya-named Sadasiva; tat-of him; murtih-from; tamah-of the mode of ignorance; gandha-of the slightest touch; vivarjita-free; sarva-karana-bhuta-the original cause of all causes; asau-he; anga-bhuta' manifested; svayam-prabhoh-from the Supreme Personality of Godhead; vayava' in the Vayu Purana; adisu-and other Vedi literatures; sa-that form; eva' certainly; iyam-that; siva-loke-on the Sivaloka planet in the spiritual world; pradarsita-seen.
Siva's form named Sadasiva, who is a direct expansion of the Personality of Godhead, is the cause of all causes, is free from the slightest scent of the mode of ignorance, and resides in Sivaloka, is described in the Vayu Purana and other scriptures.
tatha ca brahma-samhitayam adi-siva-kathane
niyatih sa rama devi
tat priya tad vasam tada
ya yonih sa para saktih ity adi
tatha-in the same way; ca-also; brahma-samhitayam-in the Brahma-samhita (5.8); adi-siva-of Sadasiva; kathane-in the description; niyatih' the regulatriø (destiny); sa-she; rama devi-known as Ramadevi; tat' of Krishna; priya-beloved; tat-His; vasam-under the control; tada-at the time of creation; tat-of the Supreme Lord; lingam-8 masculine symbol; bhagavan-the Lord; sambhuh-known as Sambhu (Siva); jyoti-rupah' halo; sanatanah-divine; ya-which; yonih-feminine symbol; sa-she; apara-non-absolute; saktih-potency; iti adi-in the passage this beginning.
He, the original form of Lord Siva, is described in Brahma-samhita' (5.8,:
"Rama'-devi, the spiritual (cit, potency, beloved consort of the Supreme Lord, is the regulatriø of all entities. The divine plenary portion of Krishna creates the mundane world. At creation there appears a divine halo of the nature of His own subjective portion (svamsa,. This halo is divine Sambhu (Sadasiva), the masculine symbol or manifested emblem of the Supreme Lord. This halo is the dim twilight reflection of the supreme eternal effulgence. This masculine symbol is the subjective portion of divinity who functions as progenitor of the mundane world, subject to the supreme regulatriø (niyati). The conceiving potency in regard to mundane creation makes her appearance out of the supreme regulatrix. She is Maya, the limited, non-absolute (apara, potency, the symbol of mundane feminine productivity. The intercourse of these two brings forth the faculty of perverted cognition, the reflection of the seed of the procreative desire of the Supreme Lord."**
shri-vishnur yatha tritiye
ntal loka-padmam sa u eva vishnuh
tasmin svayam vedamayo vidhata
svayambhuvam yam sma vadanti so 'bhut" iti
shri-visnuh-Lord Vishnu; yatha-just as; trtiye-in the Third Canto of Shrimad-Bhagavatam (3.8.15); tat-that; loka-universal; padmam-lotus flower; sah-He; u-certainly; eva-factually; vishnuh-the Lord; pravivisat-entered into; sarva-all; guna-avabhasam-reservoir of all modes of nature; tasmin-in which; svayam-in person; veda-mayah-the personality of Vedi wisdom; vidhata-controller of the universe; svayam-bhuvam-self-born; yam-whom; sma-in the past; vadanti-do say; sah-he; abhut-generated; iti-thus.
Lord Vishnu is described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (3.8.15):
"Into that universal lotus flower Lord Vishnu personally entered as the Supersoul, and when it was thus impregnated with all the modes of material nature, the personality of Vedi wisdom, whom we call the self-born, was generated."*
yo vishnuh pathyate so 'sau
narayano virad antar-
yami cayam nigadyate
yah-who; visnu-Vishnu; pathyate-is described in the Vedi literatures; sah asau-that same person; ksira-ambu-on the ocean of milk; sayah- resting; matah-is considered; garbha-uda-sayinah-of Garbhodakasayi Vishnu; tasya-of Him; vilasatvat-from pastimes; muni-isvaraih-by the great sages; narayanah-Narayana; virat-the Universal Form; antah-yami-the all-pervading Supersoul; ca-also; ayam-He; nigadyate-is described.
The Vishnu described here is considered to be Kshirodakasayi Vishnu. Because He is a vilaasa-avatara of Garbhodakasayi Vishnu the great sages call Him "Narayana", "the Universal Form", and "the All-pervading Supersoul".
yah puryo 'janda-madhyatah
tah kathyante samssatah
visnu-dharma-uttara-the Vishnu-dharmottara Purana; adi-the Vedi literatures beginning with; uktah-described; yah-which; puryah-cities; aja-anda-the material universe; madhyatah-within; santi-are; visnu-prakasanam-of manifestation of Vishnu; tah-they; kathyante-are described; samasatah-in a general way.
The residences of Lord Vishnu in this material world, which are described in the Vishnu-dharmottara Purana and other Vedi literatures, now will be described in brief. Vishnu-dharmottara Purana explains:
meros tu purva-dig-bhage
madhye tu lavanodadheh
vishnuloko mahan proktah
ntatra svapiti gharmante
yatha-just as; rudra-Sivaloka; uparistat-above; aparah-beyond; panca-ayuta-50,000 yojanas; pramanatah-in breadth; agamyah-unapproachable; sarva-lokanam-to the other planets; visnulokah-the abode of Vishnu; prakirtitah-is described; tasya-that; uparistat-above; brahma-andah-sphere of Brahman; kancana-with gold; uddipta-illumined; samyutah-endowed; meroh-of Mount Meru; purva-dig-bhage-in the beginning part; madhye-in the middle; tu-also; lavana-udadheh-of the salt-water ocean; visnu-lokah-the realm of Vishnu; mahan-great; proktah-is described; salila-the water; antara-within; samsthitah-situated; tatra-there; svapiti-sleeps; gharma-ante-after the summer season; deva-devah-the master of all the demigods; janardanah-Lord Vishnu; laksmi-by Laksmi-devi; sahayah-accompanied; satatam-constantly; sesa-of Sesa; paryankam-on the couch; asthitah-situated.
"Above Sivaloka is the place named Vishnuloka, which is 50,000 yojanas in measurement and cannot be approached from any other planet. Above it, to the east of Mount Meru, and in the midst of an ocean, is the splendid golden realm called Maha-vishnuloka. There, resting on the couch of Ananta Sesha, and accompanied by Shrimati Lakshmi-devi, Lord Vishnu, the master of all the demigods, takes a nap at the end of the summer season.
Texts 39 and 40
nmeros ca purva-dig-bhage
madhye kshirarnavasya ca
devasyanya tatha puri
tatrapi caturo masan
suptas tishthati varsikan
meroh-of Mount Meru; ca-also; purva-dik-bhage-at the beginning; madhye-in the middle; ksira-of milk; arnavasya-of the ocean; ca-and; ksira-ambu-of the ocean of milk; madhya-ga-in the middle; subhra-white; devasya-of the Supreme Lord; anya-another; tatha-in ths same way; puri-city; laksmi-the goddess of fortune; sahayah-accompanied by; tatra-there; aste-remains; sesa-asana-gatah-resting on Ananta Sesa; prabhuh-the Lord; tatra-there; api-also; chaturah-for four; masan-months; suptah-asleep; tisthati-remains; varsikan-during the monsoon season.
"East of Mount Meru, in the midst of a milk-ocean, is another splendid city of the Lord. There, resting on the couch of Ananta Sesha, and accompanied by Shrimati Lakshmi-devi, the Lord sleeps during the four months of the monsoon season.
ntasminn avaci dig-bhage
madhye kshirarnavasya tu
tasmin-there; avaci dik-bhage-in the south; madhye-in the middle; ksira-arnavasya-of the ocean of milk; tu-also; yojananam-of yojanas; sahasrani-thousands; mandalah-a place; panca-vimsatih; 25; svetadvipataya' as Svetadvipa; khyatah-celebrated; dvipah-island; parama-sobhanah-very splendid and beautiful.
"In the southern part of that milk-ocean is a very beautiful and splendid island 25,000 yojanas wide called Svetadvipa.
narah surya-prabhas tatra
tejasa durnirikshyas ca
devanam api yadava
narah-men; surya-of the sun; prabhah-with the splendor; tatra-there; fsitamsu-with the moon; sama-equal; darsanah-to see; tejasa-with splendor; durniriksyah-difficult to see; ca-also; devanam-by the demigods; api-even; yadava-O descendant of Maharaja Yadu.
"O Yadava, the people there are splendid as the sun and handsome as the cooling moon. They are so splendid even the demigods cannot gaze on them."
Texts 43 and 44
nsveto nama mahan asti
samastat kshira-varidheh" iti
brahmande-in the Brahanda Purana; ca-also; svetah-Svetadvipa; nama-named; mahan-great; asti-there is; dvipah-island; ksira-abdhi-by the ocean of milk; vestitah-surrounded; laksa-100,000; yojana-yojanas; vistarah-wide; su-ramyah-very delightful; sarva-kancanah-completely made of gold; kunda-white jasmine flowers; indu-the moon; kumuda-white lotus flowers; prakhyaih-resembling; lola-kallola-resibhih-with waves; dhauta-amala-sila-upetah-pure; samastat-in all directions; ksira-varidheh-of the ocean; iti-thus.
In Brahmanda Purana it is said:
"Surrounded by the ocean of milk is a beautiful golden island 100,000 yojanas wide named Svetadvipa, which is washed on all sides by the playful jasmine and lotus waves of the splendid milk-ocean."
Texts 45 and 46
kim- ca vishnu-puranadau
moksha-dharme ca kirtitam
kshirabdher uttare tire
svetadvipo bhaved iti
suddhodad uttare sveta-
dvipam syat padma-sammatam
kim ca-furthermore; visnu-purana-in the Vishnu Purana; adau-and other Vedi literatures; moksa-dharme-in the Moksa-dharma; ca-also; kirtitam-described; ksira-abdheh-of the ocean of milk; uttare-on the northern; tire-shore; svetadvipah-Svetadvipa; bhavet-is; iti-thus; suddha-udat-from the pure ocean; uttare-in the north; svetadvipam-Svetadvipa; syat-is; padma-of the Padma Purana; sammatam-the opinion.
Vishnu Purana, Moksha-dharma, and other scriptures say, "Svetadvipa is on the northern shore of the milk-ocean." Padma Purana says, "Svetadvipa is north of the pure milk-ocean."
Texts 47 and 48
vishnuh sattvam tanotiti
sastre sattva-tanuh smritah
bhavet sattva-tanus tatha
iti va tasya tat tanuh
ato nirgunata samyak
visnuh-Vishnu; sattvam-the mode of goodness; tanoti-increases; iti-thus; sastre-in the Vedi literatures; sattva-tanuh-the word "sattva-tanu"; smrtah-is stated; avatara-of incarnations; ganah-the multitude; ca-also; asya-of Him; bhavet-is; sattva-tanuh-"sattva-tanu"; tatha-in the same way; bahirangam-external; adhisthanam-control; iti-thus; va-or; tasya-of Him; tat-therefore; tanuh-the word "tanu" is used; atah-from this; nirgunata-position abode the modes of material nature; samyak-completely; sarva-in all; sastre-Vedi literatures; prasidhyati-is established.
All Vedi literatures explain that Lord Vishnu and His many incarnations are beyond the influence of the three modes of material nature. When the word "sattva-tanu" is used to describe Him, it should be interpreted to mean either "He who expands the activities of the mode of goodness (sattvam tanoti)" or "He who is the controller of the mode of goodness."
tatha hi shri-dasame
nharir hi nirgunah sakshat
purushah prakriteh parah
sa sarva-drig upadrashta
tam bhajan nirguno bhavet" iti
tatha hi-furthermore; shri-dasame-in the Tenth Canto of Shrimad-Bhagavatam; harih-the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vishnu; hi' certainly; nirgunah-transcendental to all material qualities; sakshat' directly; purushah-the supreme enjoyer; prakriteh-material nature; parah-beyond; sah-He; sarva-drik-the seer of everything; upadrashta' the overseer of everything; tam-Him; bhajan-by worshiping; nirgunah' transcendental to material qualities; bhavet-one becomes; iti-thus.
This is confirmed in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (10.88.5):
"Shri Hari, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is situated beyond the range of material nature; therefore He is the supreme transcendental person. He can see everything inside and outside; therefore He is supreme overseer of all living entities. If someone takes shelter at His lotus feet and worshps Him, he also attains a transcendental position."*
Texts 50 and 51
tena sattva-tanor asmat
sreyamsi syur itiritam
ity ato vihita sastre
tad-bhakter eva nityata
tena-by this; sattva-tanoh-of the spiritual form; asmat-this; sreyamsi-best; syuh-are; iti; thus; iritam-it is said; iti-thus; atah-from this; vihita-placed; sastre-in the Vedi literatures; tat-bhakteh-of His devotional service; eva-certainly; nityata-eternality.
In this way it is understood that the word "sattva-tanu" means "He who is the best." Thus the scriptures establish the eternality of devotional service to the Lord.
tatha hi padme
nsmartavyah satatam vishnur
vismartavyo na jatucit
sarve vidhi-nishedhah syur
etayor eva kinkarah"
tatha hi-furthermore; padme-in the Padma Purana; smartavyah-to be remembered; satatam-always; vishnuh-Lord Vishnu; vismartavyah-to be forgotten; na-not; jatucit-at any time; sarve-all; vidhi-nishedhah' rules and prohibitions mentioned in the revealed scripture or given by the spiritual master; syuh-should be; etayoh-of these two principles (always to remember Krishna or Vishnu and never to forget Him); eva-certainly; kinkarah-the servants.
Furthermore, in Padma Purana:
"Krishna is the origin of Lord Vishnu. He should always be remembered and never forgotten at any time. All the rules and prohibitions mentioned in the sastras should be the servants of these two principles."*
ata eva tatraiva
nvyamohaya caracarasya jagatas te te puranagamas
tam tam eva hi devatam paramikam jalpantu kalpavadhi
siddhante punar eka eva bhagavan vishnuh samastagama-
vyapareshu vivecana-vyatikaram niteshu nisciyate"
atah eva-therefore; tatra-there; eva-certainly; vyamohaya-for bewilderment; cara-acarasya-full of moving and non-moving creatures; jagatah-of the universe; te te-whatever; purana-Puranas; agamah-and other Vedi literatures; tam tam-whatever; eva-certainly; hi-indeed; devatam-deity; paramikam-supreme; jalpantu-may describe; kala-of the kalpa; avadhi-until the end; siddhante-in thek final conclusion; punah- again; ekah-alone; eva-certainly; bhagavan-the Personality of Godhead; visnuh-Vishnu; samasta-all; agama-of Vedi literatures; vyaparesu-in the efforts; vivecana-vyatikaram-the discrimination; nitesu-in conclusive statements; nisciyate-is conclusively established.
There it is also said:
"In order to bewilder the moving and non-moving inhabitants of the material universe, the Puranas and other Vedi scriptures may sometimes say that this or that demigod is the Supreme Lord. The actual final conclusion of all Vedi literatures, however, is that only Lord Vishnu, and no one else, is the Supreme Personality of Godhead."
hitva bhuta-patin atha
bhajanti hy anasuyavah" iti
shri-prathama-skandhe-in the First Canto of Shrimad-Bhagavatam; mumukshavah-persons desiring liberation; ghora-horrible, ghastly; rupan-forms like that; hitva-rejecting; bhuta-patin-demigods; atha' for this reason; narayana-the Personality of Godhead; kalah-plenary portions; santah-all-blissful; bhajanti-do worship; hi-certainly; anasuyavah-nonenvious; iti-thus.
In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (1.2.26,:
"Those who are serious about liberation are certainly nonenvious, and they respect all. Yet they reject the horrible and ghastly forms of the demigods and worship only the all-blissful forms of Lord Vishnu and His plenary portions."*
Texts 55 and 56
atra svamsa harer eva
atra-here; svamsah-svamsa-vataras; hareh-of Lord Hari; eva-certainly; kala-sabdena-by the word "kala"; kirtitah-described; atah-therefore; vidhi-of Brahma; hara-Siva; adinam-and the other demigods; nikhilanam-all; su-parvanam-of the demigods; shri-visnoh-of Lord Vishnu; svamsa-vargebhyah-than the incarnations; nyunata-inferior position; abhiprakasita-manifest.
The svamsa-avataras here are called kalas. Brahma, Siva, and all other demigods are inferior to the svamsa-avataras of Lord Vishnu.
sesham punaty anyatamo mukundat
ko nama loke bhagavat-padarthah" iti
yatha-just as; tatra-there; eva-certainly; atha-therefore; api' certainly; yat-whose; pada-nakha-nails of the feet; avashrishtam' emanating; jagat-the whole universe; virinca-Brahmaji; upahrita' collected; arhana-worship; ambhah-water; sa-along with; isam-Lord Siva; punati-purifies; anyatamah-who else; mukundat-besides the Personality of Godhead Shri Krishna; kah-who; nama-name; loke-within the world; bhagavat-Supreme Lord; pada-position; arthah-worth; iti' thus.
There it is also said (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 1.18.21):
nWho can be worthy of the name of the Supreme Lord but the Personality of Godhead Shri Krishna? Brahmaji collected the water emanating from the nails of His feet in order to award it to Lord Siva as a worshipful welcome. This very water (the Ganges) is purifying the whole universe, including Lord Siva."*
Texts 58 and 59
sama vishnor abhedatah
brahmadyam asamah proktah
prakritis tu samagama" iti
maha-varahe-in the Maha-varaha Purana; ca-also; matsya-Matsya; kurma-Kurma; varaha-Varaha; adyah-beginning with; samah-equal; visnoh-with Lord Vishnu; abhedatah-because of non-difference; brahma-adyam-with Brahma and the other demigods; asamah-not equal; proktah-described; prakrtih-nature; tu-but; sama-equal; asama-and not equal; iti-thus; atra-here; prakrti-sabdena-by the word "prakrti";cit-transcendental; saktih-potency; abhidhiyate-is named; abhinna-as not different; bhinna-rupatvat-and as different; asya-of Him; eva-certainly; ukta-described; sama-as equal; asama-and not equal.
In Maha-varaha Purana also:
"Matsya, Kurma, Varaha, and other incarnations are equal to Lord Vishnu, for they are not different from Lord Vishnu Himself. Brahma' and the other material demigods are described as not equal to Lord Vishnu, although as His potency they are also equal to Him."
The word "prakriti" (potency, here means "spiritual potency". Because they are simultaneously different and not different from the Lord, here it is said that they are both equal to Him and not equal to Him.
atha lilavataras ca
sarena prayasas tv ami
atha-now; lila-avatarah-pastime incarnations; ca-also; vilkhyante-are described in writing; yatha-mati-as far as they are understood; shrimad-bhagavatasya-of Shrimad-Bhagavatam; anusarena-in accordance with the description; prayasah-primarily; tu-also; ami-they.
Now, primarily following Shrimad-Bhagavatam, I will write whatever I know of the lila'-avataras (pastime incarnations).
tatra shri-catuhsanah shri-prathame
"sa eva prathamam devah
kaumaram sargam ashritah
cacara duscaram brahma
brahmacaryam akhanditam" iti
tatra-in that connection; shri-catuhsanah-the Four Kumaras; shri-prathame-in the First Canto of Shrimad-Bhagavatam; sah-that; eva' certainly; prathamam-first; devah-Supreme Lord; kaumaram-named the Kumaras (unmarried); sargam-creation; ashritah-under; cacara' performed; duscaram-very difficult to do; brahma-in the order of Brahman; brahmacaryam-under discipline to realize the Absolute (Brahman); akhanditam-unbroken; iti-thus.
The four Kumaras are described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (1.3.6,:
"First of all, in the beginning of creation, there were the four unmarried sons of Brahma' (the Kumaras), who, being situated in a vow of celibacy, underwent severe austerities for realization of the Absolute Truth."*
Texts 3 and 4
caturbhir avataro 'yam
eka eva satam matah
sana-sabdat catuhsv eva
catuhsana iti smritah
suddha-jnanasya bhaktes ca
catubhih-with four; avataraj-incarnation; ayam-this; ekah-one; eva-certainly; satam-by the devotees; matah-considered; sana-sabdat-from the word "sana"; catuhsu-among the four; eva-certainly; catuh-sanah-the word "catuhsana"; iti-thus; smrtah-is described; suddha-pure; jnanasya-of knowledge; bhakteh-of devotional service; ca-also; pracara-preaching; artham-for the purpose; avatarat-descended to this world; pancasa-five; abdhika-years old; bala-boys; abhah-with the appearance; gaurah-with fair complexions; kamalayonitah-born from Brahma.
The devotees consider the four Kumaras a single incarnation. In order to preach devotional service and pure transcendental knowledge, they appear as the perpetually five year old, fair-complexioned sons of the demigod Brahma.
"tritiyam risi-sargam vai
devarsitvam upetya sah
tantram satvatam acashta
naiskarmyam karmanam yatah" iti
shri-naradah-Narada Muni; tatra-there; eva-certainly; tritiyam-the third one; risi-sargam-the millennium of the risis; vai-certainly; devarsitam-incarnation of the risi amongst the demigods; upetya-having accepted; sah-he; tantram-exposition of the Vedas; satvatam-which is especially meant for devotional service; acashta-collected; naiskarmyam' nonfruitive; karmanam-of work; yatah-from which; iti-thus.
Narada Muni is described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam 1.3.8:
"In the millennium of the rishis, the Personality of Godhead accepted the third empowered incarnation in the form of Devarshi Narada, who is a great sage among the demigods. He collected expositions of the Vedas which deal with devotional service and which inspire nonfruitive action."*
Texts 6 and 7
pravartanaya loke 'smin
sva-bhakter eva sarvatah
candra-subhro vidher abhut
kalpa eva catuhsanah
kalpeshu sakaleshv api
pravartanaya-in order to preach; loke asmin-in this material world; sva-bhakteh-His own devotional service; eva-certainly; sarvatah-in all respects; harih-Lord Hari; devarsi-of Narada Muni; rupena-in the form; candra-as the moon; subhrah-splendid; vidheh-from Brahma; abhut-appeared; avirbhuya-having appeared; adime-in the first; brahma kalpe-in the Brahma-kalpa; eva-certainly; catuhsanah-the Four Kumaras; naradah-Narada Muni; ca-also; anuvartete-they continue; kalpesu sakalesu-in all the succeeding kalpas; api-also.
To preach everything about His own devotional service, Lord Hari, who is splendid as the moon, appeared from the demigod Brahma' as Devarshi Narada. In the first kalpa, the Brahma-kapla, the four Kumaras appear, and then Narada follows them. This happens in every kalpa.
"dvitiyam tu bhavayasya
yajnesah saukaram vapuh"
shri-varahah-Lord Varaha; tatra-there; eva-certainly; dvitiyam-the second; tu-but; bhavaya-for the welfare; asya-of this earth; rasatala' of the lowest region; gatam-having gone; mahim-the earth; uddharishyan' lifting; upadatta-established; yajnesah-the proprietor or the supreme enjoyer; saukaram-hoggish; vapuh-incarnation.
Lord Varaha is described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam 1.3.7:
"The supreme enjoyer of all sacrifices accepted the incarnation of a boar (the second incarnation), and for the welfare of the earth He lifted the earth from the nether regions of the universe."*
"yatrodyatah kshiti-taloddharanaya bibhrat
kraudim tanum sakala-yajna-mayim anantah
antar-maharnava upagatam adi-daityam
tam damshtrayadrim iva vajra-dharo dadara" iti
shri-dvitiye-in the Second Canto of Shrimad-Bhagavatam; ca-also; udyatah-attempted; kshiti-tala-the planet earth; uddharanaya-for the matter of lifting; bibhrat-assumed; kraudim-pastimes; tanum-form; sakala-total; yajna-mayim-all-inclusive sacrifices; anantah-the Unlimited; antar-within the universe; maha-arnave-the great Garbha Ocan; upagatam-having arrived at; adi-the first; daityam-demon; tam-him; damshtraya-by the tusk; adrim-the flying mountains; iva-like; vajra-dharah-the controller of the thunderbolts; dadara-pierced; iti-thus.
In Shrimad-Bhagavatam 2.7.1 also:
"Lord Brahma' said: When the unlimitedly powerful Lord assumed the form of a boar as a pastime, just to lift the planet earth, which was drowned in the great ocean of the universe called the Garbhodaka, the first demon (Hiranyaksha) appeared, and the Lord pierced him with His tusk."*
dvir avirasit kalpe 'sminn
ghranad vidher dharoddhrityai
cakshshiye tu niratah
dvih-two times; avirasit-appeared; kalpe-kalpa; asmin-in this; adye-the first; svayambhuva-of Svayambhuva Manu; antare-during the reign; grhanat-from the nostril; vidheh-of Brahma; dhara-the earth; uddhrtyai' for the purpose of lifting; caksusiye-during the reign of Caksusa Manu; tu' but; niratah-from the water.
In this, the first kalpa, He appeared twice. To rescue the eartâ he appeared during the Svayambhuva-manvantara from Brahma's nostril, and during the Cakshusha-manvantara He appeared from the water.
Texts 11 and 12
catuspat shri-varaho 'sau
nri-varahah kvacin matah
yajna-murtih sthavishtho 'yam
hiranyaksam-Hiranyaksa; dhara-of the earth uddare-during the lifting; nihantum-to lift; damstri-pungavah-with great tusks; catuspat-four-legged beast; shri-varahah-Varaha; asau-this; nr-varahah-domesti boar; kvacit-sometimes; matah-considered; kadacit-sometimes; jalada-as a raincloud; syamah-dark; kadacit-sometimes; candra-as the moon; pandurah-white; yajna-murtih-the recepient of sacrificial offerings; sthavisthah-manifesting a giganti form; ayam-He; varna-colors; dvaya-with two; yutah-endowed; smrtah-described in Vedic literatures.
Lord Varaha, the best of tusked beasts, appears to kill Hiranyaksha and rescue the earth. Sometimes Varaha is a wild animal of the forest and sometimes He is a domesti animal. Sometimes He is dark as a rain-cloud, and sometimes He is white as the moon. In this way Smriti-sastra describes two giganti forms of Lord Varaha, the form of Vedi sacrifices.
dakshat pracetasat shrishtih
sruyate cakshuse 'ntare
atas tatraiva janmasya
daksat-from Prajapati Daksa; pracetasat-the son of the Pracetas; srstih-the creation of various living entities; sruyate-is heard (in the Sixth Canto of Shrimad-Bhagavatam); caksuse-the reign of Caksusa Manu; antare-within; atah-from that; tatra-there; eva-certainly; janma-birth; asya-of him; hiranyaksasya-of Hiranyaksa; yujyate-occured.
The scriptures explain that the Pracetas' son, Daksha, begat childred during the reign of Cakshusa Manu. It was then that Hiranyaksha was born.
tatha hi shri-caturthe
"cakshushe tv antare prapte
yah sauarja praja ishtah
sa daksho daiva-coditah" iti
tatha hi-furthermore; shri-aturthe-in the Fourth Canto of Shrimad-Bhagavatam; cakshuse-named Cakshusa; tu-but; antare-the manvantara; prapte-when it happened; prak-previous; sarge-creation; kala-vidrute' destroyed in due course of time; yah-one who; sasarja-created; prajah' living entities; ishtah-desirable; sah-he; dakshah-Daksha-daiva-by the Supreme Personality of Godhead; coditah-inspired; iti-thus.
In Shrimad-Bhagavatam 4.30.49:
"His previous body had been destroyed, but he, the same Daksha, inspired by the supreme will, created all the desired living entities in the Cakshusha-manvantara."*
dakshasyaiva ditih putri
hiranyaksho diteh sutah
uttanapada-of Maharaja Uttanapada; vamsyanam-of the descendents; tanayasya-of the son; pracetasam-of the Pracetas; daksasya-of Maharaja Daksa; eva-certainly; ditih-Diti; putri-the daughter; hiranyaksah- Hiranyaksa-diteh-of Diti; sutah-the son.
In King Uttanapada's dynasty, Diti was the daughter of the Pracetas' son, Daksha. Diti's son was Hiranyaksha.
kalparambhe tada nasti
sutotpattir manor api
kvasau pracetaso dakshah
kva ditih kva diteh sutah
kalpa-of the kalpa; arambhe-at the beginning; tada-then; na-no; asti-is; suta-of sons; utpattih-birth; manoh-of Manu; api-even; kva-where?; asau-he; pracetasah-son of the Pracetas; daksah-Daksa; kva-where?; ditih-is Diti; kva-where?;diteh-of Diti; sutah-the son.
In the beginning of the kalpa no one had been born yet, even from Manu. Where, then, was the Pracetas' son, Daksha? Where was Diti? Where was Diti's son?
atah-therefore; kala-dvaya-udbhutam-occuring at two different times; shri-varahasya-of Lord Varaha; cestitam-pastimes; ekatra-in one place; eva-certainly; aha-described; maitreyah-Maitreya; ksattuh-of Vidura; prasna-to the question; anurodhatah-in compliance.
In answer to Vidura's question, Maitreya Muni described Lord Varaha's pastimes at two different times as if they had happened at the same time.
muneh sapan manum prati
pralayo 'sau babhuveti
purane kvacid iryate
madhye-in the middle; manvantarasya-of the reign of Svayambhuva Manu; eva-certainly; muneh-of Agastya Muni; sapat-from the curse; manum prati-to Manu; pralayah-partial devastation; asau-thus; babhuva-was manifes; iti-thus; purane-in the Matsya Purana; kvacit-in a certain passage; iryate-is described.
Because of a sage's curse to Manu a cosmi devastation occured in the middle of Manu's reign. This is descibed in a Purana.
Note: The scripture here is Matsya Purana.
ayam akasmiko jatas
lilayeti ca kutracit
ayam-this; akasmikah-apparently without a reason; jatah-was manifested; caksusasya-of Caksusa; antare-during the reign; manoh-of the Manu; pralayah-partial devastation; padmanabhasya-of Lord Vishnu; lilaya' by the pastime; iti-thus; ca-also; kutracit-in a certain place.
In another scripture it is said that, caused by the lotus-naveled Lord's pastimes, this cosmi devastation unexpectedly occurred in Cakshusha Manu's reign.
Note: The scripture here is Vishnu-dharmottara Purana.
pralayo niscitam bhavet
vishnu-dharmottare tv etan
sarva-of all; manvantarasya-of the reign of the Manus; ante-at the certainly; pralayah-partial devastation; niscitam-concluded; bhavet-is; visnu-dharma-uttare-in the Vishnu-dharmottara Purana; tu-also; etat-this; markandeyena-by Markandeya Muni; bhasitam-spoken.
A cosmi devastation occurs at the end of each Manu's reign. This is described by Markandeya Muni in the following verses of Vishnu-dharmottara Purana:
manvantare-when the reign of each Manu; pariksine-is concluded; devah-the demigods; manvantara-during the reign of Manu; isvarah-controlling deities; mahah-lokam-the planet Maharloka; atha-then; asadya-arriving at; tisthanti-remain; gata-free; kalmasah-from all faults.
"When Manu's reign is ended the faultless demigods that controlled the world during the manvantara travel to the planet Maharloka and remain there.
"manus ca saha sakrena
devas ca yadu-nandana
manuh-Manu; ca-also; saha-with; sakrena-Indra; devah-the demigods; ca-also; yadu-nandana-O descendant of Maharaja Yadu; brahmalokam-Brahmaloka; prapadyante-attain; punah-again; avartti-attainmentf; durlabham-is difficult.
"O Yadava, at that time Manu, Indra, and the demigods take shelter of Brahmaloka, which is very difficult to attain.
"bhutalam satalam vajra
sarvam avrtva tisthati
bhutalam-Bhutala planetary system; satalam-Satala planetary system; vajra-O vajra-toya-of water; rupi-in the form; maha-isvarah-the Supreme Personality of Godhead; urmi-mali-the ocean full of waves; maha-vegah- powerful; sarvam-everything; avrtya-covering; tisthati-remains.
"O Vajra, then the Supreme Lord becomes a powerful, wave-garlanded ocean and completely covers the Bhutala and Satala planets.
"bhurlokam ashritam sarvam
tada nasyati yadava
na vinasyanti rajendra
bhurlokam-on Bhurloka; ashritam-situated; sarvam-everything; tada-then; nasyati-is destroyed; yadava-O descendant of Maharaja Yadu; na-not; vinasyanti-are destroyed; raja-indra-O great king; visrutah-celebrated; kula-parvatah-great mountains.
"O Yadava, then everything in Bhurloka is destroyed. O king of kings, only the famous great mountains are not destroyed.
"naur bhutva tu tada devi
dharayaty atha bijani
nauh-a boat-bhutva-becoming; tu-also; tada-then; devi-the demigoddess; mahi-earth; yadu-kula-udvaha-O best of the Yadu dynasty; dharayati-protects; atha-then; bijani-seeds; sarvani-all; eva' certainly; avisesatah-without discrimination.
"O best of the Yadu dynasty, then the earth-goddess becomes a boat and protects all seeds without discrimination.
Texts 26 and 27
"bhavishyas ca manus tatra
bhavishya rishayas tatha
sapta te prathita bhuvi
shringi bhutva jagat-patih
akarsati tu tam- navam
sthanat sthanam tu lilaya
bhavisyah-will be; manuh-Manu; tatra-there; bhavisyah-will be; rsayah-great sages; tatha-in the same way; tisthanti-remaining; raja-sardula-O tiger among kings; sapta-seven; te-they; prathitah-famous; bhuvi-on earth; matsya-of a fish; rupa-the form; dharah-manifesting; visnuh-Lord Vishnu; srngi-with a single horn; bhutva-having become; jagat-of the universe; patih-the lord; akarsati-pulls; tu-also; tam-that; navam-boat; sthanat-from place; sthanam-to place; tu-also; lilaya-in the performance of His pastimes.
"O tiger among kings, the future Manu and future seven sages famous in the world will take shelter in a boat. Lord Vishnu, the master of the universe, will assume the form of a horned fish will playfully pull that boat from place to place.
baddhva devo jagat-patih
matsyas tv adrisyo bhavati
te ca tishthanti tatragah
hima-adri-of the Himalaya Mountains; sikhare-on the summit; navam-the boat; baddhva-placing; devah-the Supreme Personality of Godhead; jagat-of the universe; patih-the lord; matsyah-the fish incarnation; tu-also; adrsyah-invisible; bhavati-becomes; te-Manu and the sages; ca-also; tisthanti-remain; tatragah-at that place.
"After tying the boat to the peaks of the Himalayas, that fish, the Lord of the universes, will become invisible. Manu and the sages stayed where they were.
"krita-tulyam tatah kalam
yavat prakshalanam smritam
apah samam atho yanti
rishayas ca manus caiva
sarvam kurvanti te tada" iti
krta-to Satya-yuga; tulyam-equal; tatah-then; kalam-time; yavat-to which extent; praksalanam-purifying; smrtam-considered; apah-waters; samam-equality; athah-then; yanti-attain; yatha-purvam-as before; nara-adhipa-O king; rsayah-the sages; ca-and; manuh-Manu; ca-also; eva' certainly; sarvam-everything; kurvanti-will perform; te-they; tada-then; iti-thus.
"O king, then the time will become like Satya-yuga. the waters will recede to their normal level, and Manu and the sages will recreate everything."
manor ante layo nasti
manave 'darsi mayaya
vishnuneti bruvanais tu
svamibhir naisha manyate
manoh-of Manu; ante-at the end; layah-devastation; na-not; asti-is; manave-to Manu; adarsi-saw; mayaya-by the illusory potency maya; visnuna-by Vishnu; iti-thus; bruvanaih-speaking; tu-also; svamibhih-by Shridhara Svami; na-not; esah-this; manyate-is thought.
Saying "A cosmi devastation does not occur at the end of Manu's reign. That devastation is an illusion Lord Vishnu shows to Manu", Shridhara Svami does not think there is such a devastation.
"rupam sa jagrihe matsyam
navy aropya mahi-mayyam
apad vaivasvatam manum"
shri-matsyah-the Matsya incarnation; shri-prathame-in the First Canto of Shrimad-Bhagavatam; rupam-form; sah-He; jagrihe-accepted; matsyam-of a fish; cakshusa-Cakshusa; udadhi-water; samplave-inundation-navi-on the boat; aropya-keeping on; nahi-the earth; mayyam-drowned in; apat' protected; vaivasvatam-Vaivasvata; manum-Manu, the father of man.
The fish-incarnation, Lord Matsya, is described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam 1.3.15:
"When there was a complete inundation after the period of the Cakshusha Manu and the whole world was deep within water, the Lord accepted the form of a fish and pretected Vaivasvata Manu, keeping him up on a boat."*
"matsyo yuganta-samaye manunopalabdhah
visramsitan uru-bhaye salile mukhan me
adaya tatra vijahara ha veda-margan"
shri-dvitiye-in the Second Canto of Shrimad-Bhagavatam; ca-also; matsyah-incarnation of the fish; yuga-anta-at the end of the millennium; samaye-at the time of; manuna-the would-be Vaivasvata Manu; upalabdhah' seen; kshonimayah-up to the earthly planets; nikhila-all; jiva-living entities; nikaya-ketah-shelter for; visramsitan-emanating from; uru' great; bhaye-out of fear; salile-in the water; mukhat-from the mouth; me-mine; adaya-having taken to; tatra-there; vijahara-enjoyed; ha' certainly; veda-margan-all the Vedas.
Also in Shrimad-Bhagavatam 2.7.12:
"At the end of the millennium, the would-be Vaivasvata Manu, of the name Satyavrata, would see that the Lord in the fish incarnation is the shelter of all kinds of living entities, up to those in the earthly planets. Because of my fear of the vast water at the end of the millennium, the Vedas come out of my (Brahma's) mouth, and the Lord enjoys those vast waters and protects the Vedas."*
"evam ukto hrisikeso
pravivesa mahodadhim" iti
padme-in the Padma Purana; ca-also; evam-in this way; uktah-spoken to; hrsikesah-the master of the senses; brahmana-by Brahma; parama-isvarah-the Supreme Controller; matsya-of a fish; rupam-the form; samasthaya-assuming; pravivesa-entered; maha-udadhim-the great ocean; iti-thus.
Also in Padma Purana:
"When Brahma' said this, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the master of the senses, assumed the form of a fish and entered the waters of the ocean."
matsyo 'pi pradurabhavad
dvih kalpe 'smin varaha-vat
daityam ghnann aharac chrutih
ante tu cakshushiyasya
kripam satyavrate 'karot
matsyah-Matsya; api-also; pradurabhavat-appeared; dvih kalpe-asmin-in two kalpas; varaha-vat-as Varaha did; adau-at first; svayabhuvuyasya' ofthe reign of Svayambhuva Manu; daityam-a demon; ghnan-killing; aharat' rescued; srutih-the Vedas; ante-at the end; tu-also; caksusiyasya-of the reign of Caksusa Manu; krpam-mercy; satyavrate-to Maharaja Satyavrata; akarot-gave.
Lord Matsya appeared in two kalpas, as Lord Varaha had done. In the first appearance, during Svayambhuva Manu's reign, He killed a demon and rescued the Vedas. In the second appearance, during Cakshusha Manu's reign, He was merciful to Satyavrata.
proktam adyasya ceshtitam
matsyo jneyo varaha-vat
antyena-by the conclusion; sardha-padyena-by the half-verse; proktam-described; adyasya-of the first appearance; cestitam-pastimes; purva-sardhena-by the first half-verse; ca-also; antyasya-of the second appearance; matsyah-Matsya; jneyah-should be understood; varaha-vat; like Lord Varaha.
The first appearance of Lord Matsya is described in the quotations in Text 33 and the second half of Text 32. The second appearance is described in the quotations in Text 31 and the first half of Text 32. Thus Lord Matsya appeared as Lord Varaha had.
upalaksanam-hint; eva-certainly; etat-this; anya-manvantarasya-of appearance during the reign of other Manus; ca-also; visnu-dharma-uttarat-from the Vishnu-dharmottara Purana; jneyah-may be understood; pradurbhavah- appearances; caturdasa-fourteen.
In this way there is a hint of Lord Matsya's appearance during the reigns of the other Manus. In this way from Vishnu-dharmottara Purana it is understood that Lord Matsya appears fourteen times.
"tatah saptama akutyam
rucer yajno 'bhyajayata
sa yamadyaih sura-ganair
apat svayambhuvantaram" iti
shri-yajnah-Lord Yajna; shri-prathame-in the First Canto of Shrimad-Bhagavatam; tatah-after that; saptame-the seventh in the line; akutyam-in the womâ of Akuti; ruceh-by Prajapati Ruci; yajnah' the Lord's incarnation as Yajna; abhyajayata-advented; sah-He; yama-adyaih-with Yama and others; sura-ganaih-with demigods; apat-ruled; svayambhuva-antaram-the change of the period of Svayambhuva Manu; iti' thus.
Lord Yajna is described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam 1.3.12:
"The seventh incarnation was Yajna, the son of Prajapati Ruci and his wife Akuti. He controlled the period during the change of the Svayambhuva Manu and was assisted by demigods such as His son Yama."*
trayanam eva lokanam
harir ity api sabditah
trayanam-of the three; eva-certainly; lokanam-planetary systems; maha-great; arti-sufferings; haranat-by removing; asau-He; matamahena-by His maternal grandfather; manuna-Manu; harih-Lord Hari; iti-thus; api-even; sabditah-named.
Because Lord Yajna delivered (hari, the three planetary systems from great sufferings, He was given the name "hari" by His maternal grandfather, Manu.
akarot duscaram tapah" iti
shri-nara-narayanau-Nara Narayana Rsis; tatra-there; eva-certainly; turye-in the fourth of the line; dharma-kala-wife of Dharmaraja; sarge' being born of; nara-narayanau-named Nara and Narayana; risi-sages; bhutva-becoming; atma-upasama-controlling the senses; upetam-for achievement of; akarot-undertook; duscaram-very strenuous; tapah' penance; iti-thus.
Nara-Narayana Rishis are described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam 1.3.9:
"In the fourth incarnation, the Lord became Nara and Narayana, the twin sons of the wife of King Dharma. Thus He undertook severe and exemplary penances to control the senses."*
sastre 'nyau hari-krishnakhyav
anayoh sodarau smritau
ebhir eko 'vatarah syac
sastre-in the Vedi scriptures; anyau-two others; hari-Hari; krishna-and Krishna; akhyau-names; anayoh-of whom; sodarau-brothers; smrtau-remembered; ebhih-by them; ekah-one; avatarah-incarnation; syat-may be; caturbhih-by the Four; sanaka-adi-the Kumaras headed by Sanaka Kumara; vat-like.
In another scripture these two brothers, are called Hari and Krishna. They are considered a single incarnation, as are the four Kumaras.
"pancamah kapilo nama
shri-kapilah-Lord Kapila; tatra-there; eva-certainly; pancamah-the fifth one; kapilah-Kapila; nama-of the name; siddhesah-the foremost amongst the perfect; kala-time; viplutam-lost; provaca-said; asuaye' unto the brahmana named Asuri; sankhyam-metaphysics; tattva-grama' the sum total of the creative elements; vinirnayam-exposition; iti-thus.
Lord Kapila is described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam 1.3.10:
"The fifth incarnation, named Lord Kapila, is foremost among perfected beings. He gave an exposition of the creative elements and metaphysics to Asuri Brahmana, for in course of time this knowledge had been lost."*
pradurbhavam asau gatah
devahutyam-in the womâ of Devahuti; kardamatah-from Kardama Muni; pradurbhavam-incarnation; asau-He; gatah-accepted; proktah-described; kapila-varnatvat-because of His ruddy complexion; kapila-akhyah-named Kapila; virincina-by Brahma.
Kapila Muni appeared as the son of Kardama and Devahuti. Because of His ruddy complexion, Brahma' gave Him the name Kapila.
Texts 43 and 44
tattvam sankhyam jagada ha
brahmadibhyas ca devebhyo
bhrigv-adibhyas tathaiva ca
kapilo 'nyo jagada ha
sankhyam asuraye 'nyasmai
kapilah-Kapila; vasudeva-of Lord Vasudeva; amsah-plenary portion; tattvam sankhyam-the Sankhya philosophy; jagada ha-spoke; brahma-adibhyah-headed by Brahma; ca-also; devebhyah-to the demigods; bhrgu-adibhyah-to the sages, headed by Bhrgu Muni; tatha-in the same way; ca-also; tatha-in the same way; eva-certainly; asuraye-to Asuri Brahmana; sarva-veda-arthaih upabrmhitam-with the poper understanding of the Vedas; sarva-all; veda-the Vedas; viruddham-contradicting; ca-also; kapilah-Kapila; anyah-another; jagada ha-spoke; sankhyam-Sankhya philosophy; asuraye-to Asuri Brahmana; anyasmai-another; ku-tarka-paribrmhitam-filled with faulty logic.
In Padma Purana:
"Lord Kapila, who is an amsa-avatara of Lord Vasudeva, spoke the Sankhya philosophy, which properly explains the meaning of the Vedas, to Asuri Brahmana, the demigods headed by Brahma, and the great sages headed by Bhrigu Muni. Then a different Kapila spoke a different Sankhya phioosophy, full of faulty logi and in opposition to all the Vedas, to a different Asuri Brahmana."
"atrer apatyam abhikankshata aha tushto
datta mayaham iti yad bhagavan sa dattah
yogarddhim apur ubhayim yadu-haihayadhah"
shri-dattah-Dattatreya; shri-dvitiye-in the Second Canto of Shrimad-Bhagavatam; atreh-of the sage Atri; apatyam-issue; abhikankshatah' having prayed for; aha-said it; tushtah-being satisfied; dattah-given over; maya-by me; aham-myself; iti-thus; yat-because; bhagavan-the Personality of Godhead; sah-He; dattah-Dattatreya; yat-pada-one whose feet; pankaja-lotus; paraga-dust; pavitra-purified; dehah-body; yoga-mystic; riddhim-opulence; apuh-got; ubhayim-for both the worlds; yadu-the father of the Yadu dynasty; haihaya-adyah-and others, like King Haihaya.
Lord Dattatreya is described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam 2.7.4:
"The great sage Atri prayed for offspring, and the Lord, being satisfied with him, promised to incarnate as Atri's son, Dattatreya (Datta, the son of Atri). And by the grace of the lotus feet of the Lord, many Yadus, Haihayas, etc., became so purified that they obtained both material and spiritual blessings."*
"sashtham atrer apatyatvam
vritah prapto 'nasuyaya
prahladadibhya ucivan" iti
shri-prathame-in the First Canto of Shrimad-Bhagavatam; sashtham-the sixth one; atreh-of Atri; apatyatvam-sonship; vritah-being prayed for; praptah-obtained; anasuyaya-by Anasuya; anvikshikim-on the subject of transcendence; alarkaya-unto Alarka; prahlada-adibhyah-unto Prahlada and other; ucivan-spoke; iti-thus.
In Shrimad-Bhagavatam 1.3.11:
"The sixth incarnation of the purusha was the son of the sage Atri. He was born from the womâ of Anasuya, who prayed for an incarnation. He spoke on the subject of transcendence to Alarka, Prahlada and others (Yadu, Haihaya, etc.)."*
shri-brahmande tu kathitam
prarthito bhagavan atrer
shri-brahmande-in the Brahmanda Purana; tu-also; kathitam-described; atri-of Atri Muni; patnya-by the wife; anasuyaya-named Anasuya; prarthitah-appealed; bhagavan-the Supreme Lord; atreh-of Atri Muni; apatyatvam upeyivan-became the child.
In Brahmanda Purana it is said that when Atri Muni's wife, Anasuya, requested Him, the Lord became her son.
atreh putro 'bhavat tasyam
dattatreya iti khyato
tatha hi-furthermore; varam-benediction; dattva-granding; anasuyayai-to Anasuya-devi; visnuh-Lord Vishnu; sarva-jagat-mayah-the all-pervading controller of innumerable material universes; atreh-of Atri Muni; putrah-the son; abhavat-became; tasyam-in her womb; sva-iccha-according to the desire of His devotees; manusa-in the world of human beings; vigrahah-manifesting His form; dattatreyah-as Dattatreya; iti-thus; khyatah-famous; yati-of an ascetic; vesa-with the garments; vibhusitah-decorated.
The scriptures further explain:
"Lord Vishnu, who is present everywhere in all the worlds, granted Anasuya's request and appeared in her womâ as Atri Muni's son. By His own wish appearing in a humanlike form, and decorated with a sannyasi's garments. He was called Dattatreya."
"satre mamasa bhagavan haya-sirasatho
sakshat sa yajna-purushas tapaniya-varnah
chandomayo makhamayo 'khila-devatatma
vaco babhuvur ushatih svasato 'sya nastah" iti
shri-hayasirsa-Lord Hayagriva; shri-dvitiye-in the Second Canto of Shrimad-Bhagavatam; satre-in the sacrificial ceremonu; mama-of mine; asa' appeared; bhagavan-the Personality of Godhead; haya-sirasa-with His horselike head; atha-thus; sakshat-directly; sah-He; yajna-purushah-the person who is pleased by performances of sacrifice; tapaniya-golden; varnah-hue; handah-mayah-personified Vedi hymns; makha-mayah-personified sacrifices; akhila-all that be; devata-atma' the soul of the dmigods; vacah-sounds; babhuvuh-become audible; usatih-very pleasing to hear; svasatah-while breathing; asya-His; nastah-through the nostrils; iti-thus.
Lord Hayagriva is described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam 2.7.11:
"The Lord appeared as the Hayagriva incarnation in a sacrifice performed by me (Brahma). He is the personified sacrifices, and the hue of His body is golden. He is the personified Vedas as well, and the Supersoul of all demigods. When He breathed, all the sweet sounds of the Vedi hymns came out of His nostrils."*
hatva pratyanayad vedan
pradurbhuya-having appeared; eva-certainly; yajna-of sacrifice; agneh-from the fire; danavau-two demons; madhu-kaitabhau-name Madhi and Kaitabha; hatva-having killed; pratyanayat-returned; vedan-the Vedas; punah-again; vagisvari-patih-the master of the Vedas.
Appearing from the sacrificial fire, Lord Hayagriva, the master of the Vedas, killed the demons Madhu and Kaitabha and recovered the Vedas.
"tubhyam ca narada bhrisam bhagavan vivriddha-
bhavena sadhi paritushta uvaca yogam
jnanam ca bhagavatam atma-satattva-dipam
yad vasudeva-sarana vidur anjasaiva" iti
shri-hamsah-the Hamsa incarnation; shri-dvitiye-in the Second Canto of Shrimad-Bhagavatam; tubhyam-unto you; ca-also; narada-O Narada; bhrisam-very nicely; bhagavan-the Personality of Godhead; vivriddha' developed; bhavena-by transcendental love; sadhu-your goodness; paritushtah-being satisfied; uvaca-described; yogam-service; jnanam' knowledge; ca-also; bhagavatam-the science of God and His devotional service; atma-the self; sa-tattva-with all details; dipam-just like the light in the darkness; yat-that which; vasudeva-saranah-those who are souls surrendered unto Lord Vasudeva; viduh-know them; anjasa' perfectly well; eva-as it is; iti-thus.
Lord Hamsa is described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam 2.7.19:
"O Narada, you were taught about the science of God and His transcendental loving service by the Personality of Godhead in His incarnation of Hamsavatara. He was very much pleased with you, due to your intense proportion of devotional service. He also explained unto you, lucidly, the full science of devotional service, which is especially understandable by persons who are souls surrendered unto Lord Vasudeva, the Personality of Godhead."*
sakto 'khila-viveko 'ham
iti vyanjann ayam raja-
hamso vyaktim jalad gatah
saktah-able; akhila-in all matters; vivekah-discrimination; aham-I; ksira-of milk; nira-and of water; vibhaga-vat-with the distinction; iti-thus; vyanjan-appearing; ayam-this; raja-hamsah-regal swan; vyaktim' manifestation; jalat-from the water; gatah-accepted.
A regal swan come from the water, the Lord said: "As a swan can divide milk and water, So I can understand the nature of everything."
"viddhah sapatny-udita-patribhir anti rajno
balo 'pi sann upagatas tapase vanani
tasma adad dhruva-gatim grinate prasanno
divyah stuvani munayo yad upary-adhastat" iti
shri-dhruvapriyah-Dhruvapriya; tatra-there; eva-certainly; viddhah' pinched by; sapatni-a co-wife; udita-uttered by; patribhih-by sharp words; anti-just before; rajnah-of the king; balah-a boy; api' although; san-being so; upagatah-took to; tapase-severe penances; vanani-in a great forest; tasmai-therefore; adat-gave as a reward; dhruva-gatim-a path to the Dhruva planet; grinate-on being prayed for; prasannah-being satisfied; divyah-denizens of higher planets; stuvani' do pray; munayah-great sages; yat-thereupon; upari-up; adhastat-down; iti-thus.
Lord Dhruvapriya is described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam 2.7.8:
"Being insulted by sharp words spoken by the co-wife of the king, even in his presence, Prince Dhruva, though only a boy took to severe penances in the forest. And the Lord, being satisfied by his prayer, awarded him the Dhruva planet, which is worshiped by great sages, both upward and downward."*
namnas cakathanad iha
yajnadinam ca tatroktya
hastayam adrir ity adau
svayambhuve-during the reign of Svayambhuva Manu; avatara-of the incarnation; ukteh-of the description; naman namnah-of the name; ca-also; akathanat-from the description; iha-here; yajna-of Lord Yajna; adinam-and other incarnations; ca-also; tatra-there; uktya-by the description; parisesya-remaining; pramanatah-by measurement; prasiddhya-by fame; prsnigarbha-Prsnigarbha; iti-thus; tat-akhyasya-of that name; nigadyate-spoken; hasta ayam iti adrih iti adau-in Shrimad-Bhagavatam 10. ;padye-in the verse; govardhana-adri-Govardhana Hill; vat-like.
Because this incarnation is described as having appeared in the reign of Svayambhuva Manu, because His name is not specifically given here, and because Lord Yajna and many other incarnations have already been described, by the process of elimination it should be said that this incarnation is Lord Prisnigarbha. This is like Govardhana Hill in Shrimad-Bhagavatam 10.21.18.
Note: It is clear that the unnamed hill in that verse is Govardhana Hill.
"tvam eva purva-sarge 'bhuh
prisnih svayambhuve sati
tadayam sutapa nama
aham suto vam abhavam
prisnigarbha iti srutah" iti
tatha-just as; shri-dasame-in the Tenth Canto of Shrimad-Bhagavatam; tvam-you; eva-indeed; purva-sarge-in a previous millennium; abhuh-became; prisnih-by the name Prsni; svayambhuve-the millennium of Svayambhuva Manu; sati-O supremely chaste; tada-at that time; ayam-Vasudeva; sutapa-Sutapa; nama-by the name; prajapatih-a Prajapati; akalmasah-a spotlessly pious person; aham-I; sutah-the son; vam-of both of you; abhavam-became; prisni-garbhah-celebrated as born of Prisni; iti-thus; srutah-I am known; iti-thus.
In Shrimad-Bhagavatam 10.3.32 and 41:
"My dear mother, best of the chaste, in your previous birth, in the Svayambhuva millennium, you were known as Prisni, and Vasudeva, who was the most pious Prajapati, was named Sutapa. Since I found no one else as highly elevated as you in simplicity and other qualities of good character, I appeared in this world as Prisnigarbha, or one who is celebrated as having taken birth from Prisni."*
namanuktya ca tatra vai
yukta caikatra sangatih
asya-of Him; atra-here; carita-of the pastimes; anuktya-by the lack of description; mana-of the name; anuktya-by the lack of description; ca-also; tatra-there; vai-vertainly; parasparam-mutually; apeksitvat-in relation to; yukta-proper; ca-also; ekatra-in a single place; sangatih- meeting.
Because His name and pastimes are otherwise not mentioned here (in Shrimad-Bhagavatam's list of incarnations), it is likely that this incarnation is Lord Prisnigabha.
yadi syad avatarata
atra-here; agamana-appearing; matrena-only; yadi-if; syat-may be; avatarata-incarnation; anyatra-in other circumstances; api-also; prasajyeta-is also suitable; yatha-as; istam-desired; tat-prakalpana' appearing in that way.
If only to approach (Dhruva, the Lord had descended in that form, then the Lord would also appear before others in a different form each time.
"ashtame merudevyam tu
nabher jata urukramah
darsayan vartma dhiranam
shri-rsabhah-Lord Rsabha; shri-prathame-in the First Canto of Shrimad-Bhagavatam; ashtame-the eighth of the incarnations; merudevyam tu-in the womâ of Merudevi, the wife of; nabheh-King Nabhi;jatah-took birth; urukramah-th all-powerful Lord; darsayam-by showing; vartma-the way; dhiranam-of the perfect beings; sarva-all; asrama-orders of life; namaskritam-honored by; iti-thus.
Lord Rishabhadeva is described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam 1.3.13:
"The eight incarnation was King Rishabha, son of King Nabhi and his wife Merudevi. In this incarnation the Lord showed the path of perfection, which is followed by those who have fully controlled their senses and who are honored by all orders of life."*
dharmam jnapayitum prabhuh
vyakto gunair varishthatvad
suklah-with a fair complexion; parama-hamsanam-of the most exalted of renunciates; dharmam-the prescribed duty; jnapayitam-to teach; prabhuh-the Supreme Lord; vyaktah-appeared; gunaih-varisthatvat-because of being decorated with all good qualities; vikhyatah-became famous; rsabha-akhyaya' by the name Rsabha.
The fair-complexioned Lord appeared to teach the duties of the renounced order. Because He was supremely virtuous, He was famous as Rishabha (the best).
"risibhir yacito bheje
navamam parthivam vapuh
dugdhemam osadhir vipras
tenayam sa usattamah" iti
shri-prthuh-Maharaja Prthu; tatra-there; eva-certainly; risibhih-by the sages; yacitah-being prayed for; bheje-accepted; navamam-the ninth one; parthivam-the ruler of the earth; vapuh-body; dugdha-milking; imam-all these; osadhih-products of the earth; viprah-O brahmanas; tena-by; ayam-this; sah-he; usattamah-beautifully attractive; iti-thus.
Maharaja Prithu is described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam 1.3.14:
"O brahmanas, in the ninth incarnation, the Lord, prayed for by sages, accepted the body of a king (Prithu) who cultivated the land to yield various produces, and for that reason the earth was beautiful and attractive."*
mathyamanat-being churned; muni-ganaih-by the sages; asavyat-from the right; vaina-of Maharaja Vena; bahutah-arm; pradurbhutah-appeared; maha-a great; rajah-king; suddha-pure; svarna-gold; sucih-with the splendor; prabhuh-the Supreme Lord.
When the sages massaged Vena's right arm, from it the Supreme Lord appeared as the great king Prithu, who was splendid as pure gold.
adye vyaktah kumaradyah
prithv-antas ca trayodasa
kola-matsyau punar vyaktim
cakshushiye tu agmatuh
adye-in the beginning; vyaktah-manifest; kumara-the Four Kumaras; adyah-beginning with; prthu-Maharaja Prthu; antah-concluding with; ca-also; trayodasa-thirteen; kola-Lord Varaha; matsyau-and Lord Matsya; punah-again; vyaktim-appearance; caksusiye-during the reign of Caksusa Manu; tu-also; jagmatuh-accepted.
These thirteen lila'-avataras, from the Four Kumaras to Maharaja Prithu, all appeared during the reign of the first (Svayambhuva, Manu. Lord Varaha and Lord Matsya, however, appeared again during the reign of Cakshusha Manu.
atha shri-nrisimhah tatraiva
bibhrad daityendram urjitam
dadara karajair urav
erakam kata-krid yatha" iti
atha-now; shri-nrsimhah-Lord Nrsimha; tatra-there; eva-certainly; caturdasam-the fourteen in the line; nara-simham-the incarnation of the Lord as half-man and half-lion; bibhrat-advanced; daitya-indram-the king of the atteists; urjitam-strongly built; dadara-bifurcated; karajaih' by the nails; urau-on the lap; erakam-canes; kata-krit; carpenter; yatha-just like; iti-thus.
Lord Nrisimha is described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam 1.3.18:
"In the fourteenth incarnation, the Lord appeared as Nrisimha and bifurcated the strong body of the atheist Hiranyakasipu with His nails, just as a carpenter pierces cane."*
vilasa bahavah smritah
asya-of Him; laksmi-nrsimha-adyah-beginning with Laksmi-Nrsimha; vilasah-pastimes; bahavah-many; smrtah-are described in the Vedi literatures; tatra-there; padma-purana-in the Padma Purana; adau-and other scriptures; nana-with various; varna-forms; vicestitah-and pastimes.
Shri Lakshmi-Nrisimha and many other vilasa-avataras are described in the Smriti-sastra. In the Padma Purana and other scriptures Their different forms and pastimes are described.
shashthe 'ntare 'bdhi-mathanan
atah prag esha kurmader
vyaktim shashthe 'ntare gatah
sasthe-the reign of the sixth (Caksusa, Manu; antare-within; abdhi-of the ocean; mathanat-the churning; nr-hareh-of Lord Nrsimha; purva-previous; bhavita-appearance; atah-that; prak-before; esah-He; kurma' Lord Kurma; adeh-beginning with; vyaktim-appearance; sasthe-the reign of Caksusa Manu; antare-during; gatah-accepted.
Lord Nrisimha appeared before the churning of the milk-ocean in the reign of the sixth (Cakshusha, Manu. He appeared before the appearance of Lord Kurma in the reign of the sixth Manu.
prishtha ekadase vibhuh" iti
shri-kurmah-Lord Kurma; tatra-there; eva-certainly; sura-the theists; asuranam-of the atheists; udadhim-in the ocean; mathnatam-churning; mandaracalam-the Mandaracala Hill; dadhre-sustained; kamatha-tortoise; rupena-in the form of; prishthe-shell; ekadase-the eleventh in the line; vibhuh-the great; iti-thus.
Lord Kurma is described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam 1.3.16:
"The eleventh incarnation of the Lord took the form of a tortoise whose shell served as a pivot for the Mandaracala Hill, which was being used as a churning rod by the theists and atheists of the universe."*
padme proktam dadhe kshauni-
mayam evarthitah suraih
sastrantare tu bhu-dhari
kalpadau prakato 'bhavat
padme-in the Padma Purana; proktam-described; dadhe-held; ksaunimayam-the earth; eva-certainly; arthitah-appealed to; suraih-by the demigods; sastra-antare-in another scripture; tu-also; bhu-the earth; dhari' holding; kalpa-adau-during the beginning of the kalpa; prakatah-manifest; abhavat-became.
In the Padma Purana it is said that on the demigods' request He lifted the earth. In another scripture also it is said that He appeared in the beginning of the kalpa and lifted the earth.
trayodasamam eva ca
apayayat suran anyan
mohinya mohayan striya" iti
shri-dhanvantati-Lord Dhanvantari; mohinyau-and Mohini-murti; tatra' there; eva-certainly; dhanvantaram-the incarnation of Godhead named Dhanvantari; dvadasamam-the twelfth in the line; trayodasamam-the thirteenth in the line; eva-certainly;l ca-and; apayayat-gave to drink; suran-the demigods; anyan-others; mohinya-by charming beauty; mohayan' alluring; striya-in the form of a woman; iti-thus.
Lord Dhanvantari and Mohini-devi are described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam 1.3.17:
"In the twelfth incarnation, the Lord appeared as Dhanvantari, and in the thirteenth He allured the atheists by the charming beauty of a woman and gave nectar to the demigods to drink."*
shashthe ca saptame cayam
dvir avirbhavam agatah
tatra-there; shri-dhanvantarih-Lord Dhanvantari; sasthe-in the reign of the sixth (Caksusa, Manu; ca-and; saptame-in the reign of the seventh (Vaivasvata, Manu; ca-and; ayam-He; dvih-twice; avirbhavam agatah- appeared.
Lord Dhanvantari appeared twice: during the reigns of the sixth (Cakshusha, and seventh (Vaivasvata, Manus.
sashthe 'ntare 'bdhi-mathanad
udgato dvi-bhujah syamah
saptame ca tatha-rupah
sasthe-of the sixth Manu; antare-during the reign; abdhi-of the milk-ocean; mathanat-from the churning; dhrta-holding; amrta-of nectar; kamandaluh-a pot; udgatah-appeared; dvi-bhujah-with two arms; syamah-and a dark complexion; ayuh-veda-of the Ayur-veda; pravartakah-original teacher; saptame-during the reign of the seventh Manu; ca-also; tatha-rupah-in the same form; kasi-of Varanasi; raja-of the king; sutah-the son; abhavat-became.
During the reign of the sixth Manu, dark-complexioned, two-armed Lord Dhanvantari, the original teacher of the Ayur Veda, carrying pot of nectar in His two arms appeared from the churning of the milk ocean. During the reign of the seventh Manu, He appeared again, in the same form, as the prince of Varanasi.
pramodaya ca dhurjateh
dvir avirbhavam agatah
daityanam-of the demons; mohanaya-for the bewilderment; asau-He; pramodaya-for pleasing; ca-also; dhurjateh-Lord Siva; ajitah-the inconquerable Personality of Godhead; mohini-of Mohini-devi; murtya-with the form; dvih-twice; avirbhavam agatah-appeared.
To bewilder the demons and to please Lord Siva, the unconquerable Personality of Godhead twice appeared as Mohini-devi.
iti shashthe ca catvaro
iti-thus; sasthe-during the reign of the sixth Manu; ca-also; catvarah-four; nrsimha-with Lord Nrsimha; adyah-beginning with; prakirtitah-are described.
In this way, in the reign of the sixth (Cakshusha, Manu
four avataras, beginning with Lord Nrisimha, are described.
kritvagad adhvaram baleh
pratyaditsus tri-pishtapam" iti
shri-vamanah-Lord Vamana; tatra-there; vai-certainly; pancadasam-the fifteenth in the line; vamanakam-the dwarf-brahmana; kritva-by assumption of; agat-went; adhvaram-arena of sacrifice; baleh-of King Bali; pada-trayam-three steps only; yacamanah-begging; pratyaditsuh' willing at heart to return; tri-pishtapam-the kingdom of the three planetary systems; iti-thus.
Lord Vamana is described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam 1.3.19:
"In the fifteenth incarnation, the Lord assumed the form of a dwarf-brahmana (Vamana) and visited the arena of sacrifice arranged by Maharaja Bali. Although at heart He was willing to regain the kingdom of the three planetary systems, He simply asked for a donation of three steps of land."*
vamanas trir abhivyaktam
kalpe 'smin pratipedivan
vaskaler adhvaram yayau
tato vaivasvatiye 'smin
dhundhor makham asau gatah
aditau kasyapaê jatah saptame 'sya catur-yuge
traya eva trivikramah
vamanah-Lord Vamana; trih-thrice; abhivyaktam-manifest; kalpe-kalpa; asmin-in this; pratipedivan-became; tatra-there; adau-in the beginning; danava-of the demons; indrasya-of the monarch; vaskaleh-of Vaskala; adhvaram-to the sacrifice; yayau-went; tatah-then; vaivasvatiye-during the reign of Vaivasvata Manu; asmin-in this; dhundhoh-of Dhundhu; makham-to the sacrifice; asau-He; gatah-went; aditau-in the womâ of Aditi; kasyapat-from Kasyapa Muni; jatah-was born; saptame-in the seventh (Vaivasvata, Manu; asya-of Him; catuh-yuge-cycle of four yugas; pratigraha-of a donation; krte-in the offer; jatah-manifest; trayah-thrice; eva-certainly; trivikramah-the gigantic form of Lord Trivikrama.
Lord Vamana appeared three times in this kalpa. During the reign of the first (Svayambhuva, Manu, He visited the sacrifice performed by Vaskala, the king of the danavas. Then, in the reign of Vaivasvata Manu, and visited the sacrifice performed by Dhundhu. Then, in the seventh catur-yuga of that manvantara, He appeared as the son of Kasyapa and Aditi. In this way, to accept a donation, He appeared three times as Lord Trivikrama.
pasyan brahma-druho nripan
nih-kshatram akaron mahim" iti
shri-bhargavah-Lord Parasurama; tatra-there; eva-certainly; avatare' in the incarnation of the Lord; sodasame-the sixteenth; pasyan-seeing; brahma-druhah-disobedient to the orders of the brahmanas; nripan-the kingly order; trih-sapta-thrice seven times; kritvah-had done; kupitah' being engaged; nih-negation; k.satram-the administrative class; akarot' did perform; mahim-the earth; iti-thus.
Lord Parasurama is described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam 1.3.20:
"In the sixteen incarnation of the Godhead, the Lord (as Bhrigupati) annihilated the administrative class (kshatriyas) twenty-one times, being angry with them because of their rebellion agaist the brahmanas (the intelligent class)."*
gauro vyaktim asau gatah
prahuh saptadase kecid
dvavimse 'nye catur-yuge
renuka-from Renuka-devi; jamadagnibhyam-and Jamadagni; gaurah-with a fair complexion; vyaktim-appearance; asau-He; gatah-accepted; prahuh-they say; saptadase-during the 17th; kecit-some;dvavimse-during the 22nd; anye-others; catuh-yuge-during the cycle of four yugas.
Fair-complexioned Lord Parasurama appeared as the son of Renuka'-devi and Jamadagni. Some say He appeared during the 17th catur-yuga, and others say He appeared during the 22nd catur-yuga.
cakre viryany atah param" iti
shri-raghavendrah-Lord Ramacandra; tatra-there; eva-certainly; vara' human being; devatvam-divinity; apannah-having assumed the form of; sura-the demigods; karya-activities; cikirsaya-for the purpose of performing; samudra-the indian Ocean; nigraha-adini-controlling, etc.; cakre-did perform; viryani-superhuman prowess; atah param-thereafter; iti-thus.
Lord Ramacandra is described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam 1.3.22:
"In the eighteenth incarnation, the Lord appeared as King Rama. In order to perform some pleasing work for the demigods, He exhibited superhuman powers by controlling the Indian Ocean and then killing the atheist King Ravana, who was on the other side of the sea."*
nandanabhyam ca samyutah
kausalyayam-in the womâ of Kausalya-devi; dasarathat-from Dasaratha Maharaja; nava-fresh; durva-dala-durva grass; dyutih-with the splendor; tretayam-during the Treta-yuga; avirabhavat-appeared; caturvimse-during the 24th; catuh-yuge-cycle of four yugas; bharatena-by Bharata; sumitrayah-of Sumitra; nandanabhyam-by the two sons (Laksmana and Satrughna); ca-also; samyutah-accompanied.
Splendid as a new blade of durva grass, and accompanied by Sumitra's two sons and by Bharata, He appeared in the Treta-yuga of the 24th catur-yuga as the son of Kausalya and Dasaratha.
asya sastre trayo vyuha
lakshmanadya ami smritah
bharato 'tra ghana-syamah
asya-of Him; sastre-in the Rama-gita of the Skanda Purana; trayah vyuha-the three expansions of Lord Vasudeva; laksmana-with Laksmana; adyah-beginning; ami-they; smrtah-are described in the scriptures; bharatah-Bharata; atra-here; ghana-syamah-with a dark complexion like that of a rain-cloud; saumitri-the two sons of Sumitra; kanaka-of gold; prabhau-with the effulgence.
In His scripture the three avataras beginning with Lakshmana are described. Bharata is dark as a raincloud and Sumitra's two sons are splendid as gold.
shri-lakshmanas tu tatraiva
sesha ity abhisabditah
padme-in the Padma Purana; bharata-Bharata; satrughnau-and Satrughna; sankha-as the conch-shell; cakrataya-and cakra; uditau-are described; shri-laksmanah-Laksmana; tu-but; tatra-there; eva-dertainly; sesah- everything else; iti-thus; abhisabditah-from the description.
In Padma Purana it is said that Bharata and Satrughna are incarnations of the Lord's conchshell and cakra. There it is also said that Lakshmana is and incarnation of Lord Sesha.
"tatah saptadase jatah
cakre veda-taroh sakha
drishtva pumso 'lpa-medhasah" iti
shri-vyasah-Vyasadeva; tatra-there; eva-certainly; tatah-therefore; saptadase-in he seventeenth incarnation; jatah-advented; satyavatyam' in the womâ of Satyavati; parasarat-by Parasara Muni; cakre' prepared; veda-karoh-of the desire tree of the Vedas; sakhah' branches; drishtva-be seeing; pumsah-the people in general; alpa-medhasah-less intelligent; iti-thus.
Lord Vyasa is described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam 1.3.21:
"Thereafter, in the seventeenth incarnation of Godhead, Shri Vyasadeva appeared in the womâ of Satyavati through Parasara Muni, and he divided the one Veda into several branches and suâ-branches, seeing that the people in general were less intelligent."*
"dvaipayano 'smi vyasanam"
iti saurir yad ucivan
dvaiapayanah-Krishna Dvaipayana Vyasa; asmi-I am; vyasanam-among compilers of the Vedas; iti-thus; saurih-Lord Krishna; yat-which; ucivan-said; atah-therefore; visnu-purana-in the Vishnu Purana; adau-and other Vedi literatures; visesena-specifically; eva-certainly; varnitah- described.
Lord Krishna Himself said: "Of dividers of the Veda I am Dvaipayana." In Vishnu Purana and other scriptures He is also described in this way.
viddhi narayanam smritam
ko hy anyah pundarikakshan
yatha-just as; krishna-dvaipayanam vyasam-Krishna Dvaipayana Vyasa; viddhi' please know; narayanam-Lord Narayana; smrtam-is described in the Vedi literatures; kah-who?; hi-indeed; anyah-other; pundarika-aksat-than the lotus eyed Supreme Personality of Godhead; mahabharata-of the Mahabharata; krt-the author; bhavet-may be.
For example (Vishnu Purana 3.4.5 explains):
"Know that Krishna Dvaipayana Vyasa is Lord Narayana. Who, other than the lotus-eyed Supreme Lord, could have written the Mahabharata?"
dvaipayanyam agad iti
kim sayujyam gatah so 'tra
vishnu-amsah so 'pi va bhavet
tasmad avesa evayam
iti kecid vadanti ca
sruyate-described in some Vedi literatures; apantaratama-as Apantaratama Muni; dvaipayanyam-Krishna Dvaipayana Vyasa; agat-became; iti' thus; kim-whether; sayujyam-sayujya-mukti; gatah-attained; sah-he; atra' here; visnu-of Lord Vishnu; amsah-portion; sah api-he; va-or; bhavet-may be; tasmat-therefore; avesa-avesa-avatara; eva-certainly; ayam-he; iti' thus; kecit-some; vadanti-say; ca-also.
In the scriptures it is said that Apantaratama' Muni became Dvaipayana Vyasa. Is Vyasa a jiva who attained sayujya-mukti, or is He an amsa-avatara of Lord Vishnu? Some say He is an avesa-avatara.
atha shri-rama-krishnau shri-prathame
vrishntshu prapya janmani
rama-krishnav iti bhuvo
bhagavan aharad bharam" iti
atha-now; shri-rama-Lord Balarama; krishnau-and Lord Krishna; shri-prathame' in the First Canto of Shrimad-Bhagavatam; ekonavimse-in the nineteenth; vimsatime-in the twentieth also; vrishnisu-in the Vrishni dynasty; prapya-having obtained; janmani-births; rama-Balarama; krishnau' Shri Krishna; iti-thus; bhuvah-of the world; bhagavan-the Personality of Godhead; aharat-removed; bharam-burden; iti-thus.
Lords Krishna and Balarama are described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam 1.3.23:
"In the ninteenth and twentieth incarnations, the Lord advanted Himself as Lord Balarama and Lord Krishna in the family of Vrishni (the Yadu dynasty), and by so doing He removed the burden of the world."*
esa matri-dvaye vyakto
shri-ramah-Lord Balarama; esah-He; matri-dvaye-in two mothers; vyaktah- manifest; janakat-from Hia father; vasudevatah-Vasudeva Maharaja; yah- who; navya-fresh; bhanasara-of camphor; abhah-with the splendor; ghana-syama-dark as a rain-cloud; ambarah-with garments; sada-always.
Begotten by His father Vasudeva, Lord Balarama appeared in the wombs of two mothers. His complexion was white as camphor. He always dressed in garments dark as a raincloud.
sankarsano dviriyo yo
vyuho ramah sa eva hi
sambhuya vyaktim iyivan
sankarsanah-Sankarsana; dvitiyah-second; yah-who; vyuhah-catur-vyuha expansion; ramah-Lord Balarama; sah-He; eva-certainly; hi-indeed; prthvi-the earth; dharena-holding; sesena-with Ananta Sesa; sambhuya' joining; vyaktim-appearance; iyivan-attained.
Meeting with Lord Sesha, who holds the earth, Lord Balarama, whose second expansion is Lord Sankarshana, appeared.
sesho dvidha mahi-dhari
sayya-rupas ca sarnginah
bhu-bhrit sankarsano matah
sayya-rupas tatha tasya
sesah-Sesa; dvidha-in two ways; mahi-the universes; dhari-holding; sayya-of the couch; rupah-in the form; ca-also; sarnginah-of Lord Krishna; tatra-there; sankarsana-of Lord Sankarsana; avesat-because of being an empowered incarnation (avesa-avatara); bhu-of the universes; bhrt-the maintainer; sankarsanah-Sankarsana; matah-is considered; sayya-of the couch; rupah-in the form; tatha-in that way; tasya-of the Lord; sakhya' in friendship; dasya-and service; abhimanavan-considering Himself.
Sesha appears in two features: 1. as the maintainer of the universe, and 2. as the couch of Lord Vishnu. As the maintainer of the universe He is an avesa-avatara of Lord Sankarshana, and as Lord Vishnu's couch He thinks Himself the Lord's servant and friend.
esa matari devakyam
dvi-bhujo 'pi catur-bhujah
shri-krishnah-Lord Krishna; esah-He; matari-in the womâ of His mother; devakyam-Devaki-devi-pituh-from His father; anakadundubheh-Maharaê Vasudeva; pradurbhutah-appeared; ghana-syamah-His complexion like the color of a dark rain-cloud; dvi-bhujah-with two arms; api-and; catuh-bhujah-with four arms.
Begotten by His father, Maharaja Vasudeva, Lord Krishna, who is dark as raincloud, and who has two and sometimes four arms, appeared in the womâ of His mother, Devaki.
"tatah kalau sampravritte
kikateshu bhavishyati" iti
shri-buddhah-Lord Buddha; tatra-there; eva-certainly; tatah' thereafter; kalau-the age of Kali; sampravritte-having ensued; sammohaya' for the purpose of deluding; sura-the theists; dvisam-those who are envious; buddhah-Lord Buddha; namna-of the name; anjana-sutah-whose mother was Anjana; kikateshu-in the province of Gaya (Bihar); bhavishyati-will take place; iti-thus.
Lord Buddha is described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam 1.3.24:
"Then, in the beginning of Kali-yuga, the Lord will appear as Lord Buddha, the son of Anjana, in the province of Gaya-just for the purpose of deluding those who are envious of the faithful theist."*
asau vyaktah kaler abda-
asau-He; vyaktah-manifest; kaleh-of the Kali-yuga; abda-years; sahasra-dvitaye-after two thousand years; gate-had passed; murtih-form; patala-of the pink patala flower; varna-the color; asya-of Him; dvi-bhuja-with two arms; cikura-hair; ujjhitah-without.
After two thousand years of Kali-yuga had passed, He appeared. His complexion was the color of a patala flower, His head was shaven, and He had two arms.
yada sutah katham aha
tada buddhasya bhavita
adhuna vritta evayam
dharmaranye yad udgatah
yada-when; sutah-Shrila Suta Gosvami; katham-Shrimad-Bhagavatam; aha-spoke; tada-then; buddhasya-the appearance of Lord Buddha; bhavita-was still in the future; adhuna-at present; vrttah-occured; eva-certainly; ayam-that; dharmaranye-in Dharmaranya; yat' which; udgatah-gone.
When Suta Gosvami spoke Lord Buddha's appearance was in the future. Now His appearance in Dharmaranya is in the past.
namna kalkir jagat-patih" iti
shri-kalki-Lord Kalki; tatra-there; eva-certainly; atha-thereafter; asau-the same Lord; yuga-sandhyayam-at the conjunction of the yugas; dasyu-plunderes; prayeshu-almost all; rajasu-the governing personalities; janita-will take His birth; vishnu-named Vishnu; yasasah-surnamed Yasa; namna-in the name of; kalkih-the incarnation of the Lord; jagat-patih-the Lord of the creation; iti-thus.
Lord Kalki is described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam 1.3.25:
"Thereafter, at the conjunction of two yugas, the Lord of the creation will take His birth as the Kalki incarnation and become the son of Vishnu-yasa. At this time the rulers of the earth will have degenerated into plunderers."*
purvam manur dasaratho
vasudevo 'py asav abhut
bhavi vishnuyasas cayam
iti padme prakirtitam
purvam-previously; manuh-Manu; dasarathah-Dasaratha; vasudeva-Maharaja Vasudeva; api-also; asau-he; abhut-was; bhavi-will take birth as; visnuyasah-Vishnuyasa; ca-also; ayam-he; iti-thus; padme-in the Padma Purana; prakirtitam-glorified.
In Padma Purana it is said that the same person who was Manu, Dasaratha, and Vasudeva, will become Vishnu-yasa'.
aisvaryam kalkinas tasya
brahmande sushthu varnitam
kaiscit kalau kalau buddhah
syat kalki cety udiryate
aisvaryam-power and opulence; kalkinah-of Kalki; tasya-of Him; brahmande-in the Brahmanda Purana; susthu-nicely; varnitam-described; kaiscit-by some; kalau kalau-in each Kali-yuga; buddhah-Buddhah-syat' becomes; kalki-Kalki; ca-also; iti-thus; udiryate-is described.
Lord Kalki's glory is eloquently described in Brahmanda Purana. Some say it is Lord Buddha who appears as Kalki in Kali-yuga after Kali-yuga.
astau vaivasvatiye 'mi
kalpavatara ity ete
prati-kalpam yatah prayah
sakrit pradurbhavanty ami
astau-eight; vaivasvatiye-during the reign of Vaivasvata Manu; ami-they; kathitah-are described; vamana-Lord Vamana; adayah-beginning with; kalpa-avatarah-appearing in each kalpa; iti-thus; ete-they; kathitah-are described; panca-vimsatih-25; prati-kalpam-in each kalpa; yatah-because; prayah-generally; sakrt-once; pradurbhavanti-appear; ami-they.
Beginning with Lord Vamana, eight of the avataras here described appeared in the reign of Vaivasvata Manu. These 25 avataras are called kalpa-avataras because for the most part they appear once in each kalpa.
Description of the Manvantara-avataras, Yuga-avataras,
Prabhava-avataras, Vibhava-avataras, and Their Abodes
pradurbhavah sureshu yah
atha-now; manvantara-avatarah-the manvantara-avatara; asau-He; prayah-generally; sakra-of Indra; ari-the enemies; hatyaya-by killing; tat-sahayah-aiding the demigods; mukundasya-of Lord Mukunda; pradurbhavah-appearance; suresu' among the demigods; yah-who.
Lord Mukunda's incarnations that appear among the demigods to aid Indra and destroy Indra's enemies, are known as manvantara-avataras.
yajnadinam api sphutam
yukte-appropriate; kalpa-avataratve-the designation of kalpa-avatara; yajna-adinam-of Lord Yajna and other incarnations; api-also; sphutam-manifest; manvantara-avataratvam-the position of manvantara-avatara; tat-tat-of the reigns of the various Manus; paryanta-to the end; palanat' because of protecting.
Lord Yajna and the other manvantara-avataras may appropriately be called kalpa-avataras. Because they appear during the Manus' reigns they are called Manvantara-avataras.
manvantareshv ami svayam
avataras tu yajnadya
manvantaresu-during the reigns of each Manu; ami-they; svayambhuviya-the reign of Svayambhuva Manu; adisu-beginning with; anukramat-one after another; avatarah-incarnations; tu-also; yajna-with Lord Yajna; adyah- beginning; brhadbhanu-with Brhadbhanu; antimah-ending; matah-considered.
The manvantara-avataras, beginning with Lord Yajna and ending with Lord Brihadbhanu, appear, one after another, in the reigns of the Manus beginning with Svayambhuva Manu.
prathame svayambhuviye yajnah
yajnas tu purvam evoktas
tenatra na vilikhyate
prathame-during the first; svayambhuviye-during the reign of Svayambhuva Manu; yajnah-Lord Yajna; yajnah-Lord Yajna; tu-but; purvam-previously; eva-certainly; uktah-described; tena-therefore; atra-here; na-not; vilikhyate-is described in writing.
Lord Yajna in the reign of Svayambhuva, the first Manu.
Lord Yajna was already described in the previous chapter, so He will not be written of here.
dvitiye svarocishiye vibhuh. yatha ashtama-skandhe
rishes tu vedasirasas
tushita nama patny abhut
tasyam jajne tato devo
vibhur ity abhivisrutah
dvitiye-the second; svarocasiye-during the rule of Svarocisa Manu; vibhuh Lord Vibhu; yatha-just as; astama-skandhe-in the Eight Canto of Shrimad-Bhagavatam; riseh -of the saintly person; tu -indeed; vedasirasah -Vedasira-;tusita-Tusita; nama-named; patni-the wife; abhut-begat;tasyam-in her (womb); jaj/ve-took birth; tatah' thereafter; devah-the Lord; vibhuh-Vibhu; iti-thus; abhivisrutah' celebrated as.
Lord Vibhu in the reign of Svarocisha, the second Manu.
He is described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam 8.1.21-22:
"Vedasira' was a very celebrated rishi. From the womâ of his wife, whose name was Tushita, came the avatara named Vibhu.*
munayo ye dhrita-vratah
anvasikshan vratam tasya
ashtasiti -eighty-eight; sah asrani -thousand; munayah -great saintly persons; ye -those who; dhrita-vratah-fixed in vows; anvasikshan -took instructions; vratam-vows; tasya-from him (Vibhu); kaumara -who was unmarried; brahmacarinah-and fixed in the brahmacari stage of life; iti-thus.
"Vibhu remained a brahmacari and never married throughout his life. From him, eighty-eight thousand other saintly persons took lessons on self-control, austerity and similar behavior."*
tritiya auttamiye satyasenah
dharmasya sunritayam tu
satyasena iti khyato
jatah satyavrataih saha
trituiye-during the reign of the third Manu; auttamiye-Uttama Manu; satyasenah-Lord Satyasena; dharmasya-of the demigod in charge of religion; sunritayam-in the womâ of his wife named Sunrita; tu-indeed; bhagavan-the Supreme Personality of Godhead; purusha-uttamah-the Supreme Personality of Godhead; satyasenah -Satyasena; iti -thus; khyatah ' celebrated; jatah-took birth; satyavrataih-the Satyavratas; saha-with.
Lord Satyasena appeared during the reign of Uttama, the third Manu. Satyasena is described in Shrimad Bhagavatam 8.1.25-26:
"In this manvantara, the Supreme Personality of Godhead appeared from the womâ of Sunrita, who was the wife of Dharma, the demigod in charge of religion. The Lord was celebrated as Satyasena, and He appeared with other demigods, known as the Satyavratas.*
bhuta-druho bhuta-ganams cavadhit satyajit-sakhah iti
sah-He (Satyasena); anrita-vrata-who are fond of speaking lies; duhsilan -misbehaved; asatah -miscreant; yaksha-rakshasan -Yakshas and Rakshasas; bhuta-druhah-who are always against the progress of other living beings; bhuta-ganan-the ghostly living entities; ca -also; avadhit-killed; satyajit-sakhah-with His friend Satyajit; iti-thus.
"Satyasena, along with His friend Satyajit, who was the King of heaven, Indra, killed all the untruthful, impious and misbehaved Yakshas, Rakshasas and ghostly living entities, who gave pains to other living beings."*
caturthe tamasiye harih
tatrapi jaj/ve bhagavan
harir ity ahrito yena
gajendro mocito grahat
caturthe-during the reign of the fourth Manu; tamasiye-Tamasa Manu; harih-Lord Hari; tatrapi-in that period; jaj/ve-appeared; bhagavan ' the Supreme Personality of Godhead; harinyam-in the womâ of Harini; harimedhasah-begotten by Harimedha; harih-Hari; iti-thus; ahrtah -called; yena-by whom; gaja-indrah-the King of the elephants; mocitah-was freed; grahat-trom the mouth of a crocodile.
Lord Hari, who appeared during the reign of Tamasa, the fourth Manu, is described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam 8.1.30:
"Also in this manvantara, the Supreme Lord, Vishnu, took birth from the womâ of Harini, the wife of Harimedha, and He was known as Hari. Hari saved His devotee Gajendra, the King of the elephants, from the mouth of a crocodile."*
smaryate 'sau sada pratah
smaryate-is remembered; asau-He; sada-always; pratah-in the morning; sat-spiritual; acara-activities; parayanaih-by those devoted to performing; sarva-all; anista-unwanted things; vinasaya-for the destruction; harih-Hari; dnati-of the elephants; indra-the king; mocanah- rescuing.
To become free from all that is undesirable, every morning the saintly devotees meditate on Lord Hari, who rescued Gajendra.
pancame raivatiye vaikunthah
npatni vikuntha subhrasya
tayoh sva-kalaya jajne
vaikuntho bhagavan svayam
pancame-during the reign of the fifth Manu; raivatiye-named Raivata; vaikunthah-Lord Vaikuntha; patni-the wife; vikuntha-named Vikuntha; subhrasya-of Subhra; vaikunthaih-with the Vaikunthas; sura-sat-tamaih-demigods; tayoh-by Vikuntha and Subhra; sva-kalaya' with plenary expansions¯ jajne-appeared; vaikunthah-the Lord; bhagavan-the Supreme Personality of Godhead; svayam-personally.
Lord Vaikuntha, who appeared in the reign of Raivata, the fifth Manu, is described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam 8.5.4-5:
"From the combination of Subhra and his wife, Vikuntha, there appeared the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vaikuntha, along with demigods who were His personal plenary expansions.*
nvaikunthah kalpito yena
vaikunthah-a vaikuntha planet; kalpitah-was constructed, yena-by whom; lokah-planet; loka-namaskrtah-worshiped by all people; ramaya-by Rama, the goddess of fortune; prarthyamnanena-being so requested; devaya' by the goddess; tat-her; priya-kamyaya-just to please.
"Just to please the goddess of fortune, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vaikuntha, at her request, created another Vaikuntha planet, which is worshiped by everyone."*
pari kalpanam ucyate
maha-vaikuntha-lokasya-of the spiritual sky; vyapakasya-all-pervading; avyaya-atmanah-eternal and unchanging; prakati-karanam-cause of manifestation; satya-Satyaloka; upari-above; kalpanam-conception; ucyate' is said.
It is said He created the eternal, all-pervading Maha'-Vaikuntha world above Satyaloka.
ajito nama bhagavan
amsena jagatah patih
sasthe-in the sixth; caksusiye-during the reign of Caksusa Manu; ajitah-Lord Ajita; tatra api-again in that sixth manvantara; devasambhutyam-by devasambhuti; vairajasya-by her husband, Vairaja; abhavat-there was; sutah-a son; ajitah nama-by the name Ajita; bhagavan' the Supreme Personality of Godhead; amsena-partially; jagatah patih-the master of the universe.
Lord Ajita, who appeared during the reign of Cakshusha, the sixth Manu, is described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam 8.5.9-10:
"In this sixth manvantara millennium, Lord Vishnu, the master of the universe, appeared in His partial expansion. He was begotten by Vairaja in the womâ of his wife, Devasambhuti, and His name was Ajita.*
payodhim yena nirmathya
suranam sadhita sudha
bhramamano 'mbhasi dhritah
payodhim-the ocean of milk; yena-by whom; nirmathya-by churning; suranam-of the demigods; sadhita-produced; sudha-nectar; bhramamanad-moving here and there; ambhasi-within the water; dhrtah-was staying; kurma-rupena-in the form of a tortiose; mandarah-the montain known as Mandara.
"By churning the ocean of milk, Ajita produced nectar for the demigods. In the form of a tortoise, He moved here and there, carrying on His back the great mountain known as Mandara."*
saptame vaivasvatiye vamanah
puraivoktah sa vamanah
bhavishyah sapta kathyante te savarny-antaradishu
saptame-during the reign of the seventh Manu; vaivasvatiye-Vaivasvata; vamanah-Lord Vamana; vaivasvata-of Vaivasvata Manu; antare-during the reign; vyaktah-manifest; pura-previously; eva-certainly; uktah- described; sah-He; vamanah-Lord Vamana; bhavisyah-will be; sapta-seven; kathyante-are described; te-they; savarni-of Savarni Manu; antara-the reign; adisu-beginning with.
Lord Vamana, who appeared during the reign of Vaivasvata, the seventh Manu, has already been described. The seven manvantara-avataras that will appear in the future, in the reigns of Savarni and the other Manus, will now be described.
astame savarniye sarvabhamah
sarvabhauma iti prabhuh
sthanam purandarad dhrtva
astame-the eighth; savarniye-during the reign of Savarni Manu; sarvabhaumah-Lord Sarvabhauma; devaguhyat-from His father, Devaguhya; sarasvatyam-in the womâ of Sarasvati; sarvabhaumah-Sarvabhauma; iti-thus; prabhuh-the master; sthanam-place; purandarat-from Lord lndra; hritva-taking away by force; balaye-unto Bali Maharaja; dasyati-will give; isvarah-the master.
Lord Sarvabhauma, who will appear during the reign of Savarni, the eighth Manu, is described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam 8.13.17:
"In the eighth manvantara, the greatly powerful Personality of Godhead Sarvabhauma will take birth. His father will be Devaguhya, and His mother will be Sarasvati. He will take the kingdom away from Purandara (Lord Indra) and give it to Bali Maharaja."*
navame daksha-savarniye rishabhah
bhavita yena samraddham
navame-during the reign of the ninth Manu; daksa-savarniye-Daksa-savarni; rsabhah-Lord Rsabha; ayushmatah-of the father, Ayushman; ambudharayam-in the womâ of the mother, Ambudhara; rishabhah-/Rshabha; bhagavat-kala-a partial incarnation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; bhavita-will be; yena-by whom; sammadham-all-opulent; tri-lokim-the three worlds; bhokshyate-will enjoy; adbhutah-the Indra of the name Adbhuta.
Lord Rishabha, who will appear in the reign of Daksha-savarni, the ninth Manu, is described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam 8.13.20:
"Rishabhadeva, a partial incarnation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, will take birth from his father, Ayushman, and his mother, Ambudhara. He will enable the Indra named Adbhuta to enjoy the opulence of the three worlds."*
dasame brahma-savarniye vishvaksenah
vishvakseno vishucyam tu
sambhoh sakhyam karishyati
jatah svamsena bhagavan
grihe visvashrijo vibhuh
dasmame-during the reign of the tenth Manu; brahma-savarniye-Brhma-savarni; visvaksenah-Lord Visvaksena; visvaksenah-Vishvaksena; visucyam-in the womâ of Vishuci; tu-then; sambhoh-of Sambhu; sakhyam-friendship; karishyati' will create; jatah-being born; sva-amsena-by a plenary portion; bhagavan-the Supreme Personality of Godhead; grihe' in the home; visvashrijah-of Visvasrashta; vibhuh-the supremely powerful Lord.
Lord Vishvaksena, who will appear in the reign of Brahma-savarni, the tenth Manu, is described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam 8.13.23:
"In the home of Visvasrashta, a plenary portion of the Supreme Personality of Godhead will appear from the womâ of Vishuci as the incarnation known as Vishvaksena. He will make friends with Sambhu."*
ekadase dharma-savarniye dharmasetuh
aryakasya sutas tatra
dharmasetur iti smritah
vaidhritayam harer amsas
ekadase-during the reign of the eleventh Manu; dharma-savarniye-Dharma-savarni; dharmasetuh-Lord Dharmasetu;.fn 2 aryakasya-of Aryaka; sutah-the son; tatra-in that period (the eleventh manvantara); dharmasetuh-Dharmasetu; iti-thus; smritah-celebrated; vaidhritayam-from the mother, Vaidhrita; hareh-of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; amsah-a partial incar-nation; tri-lokim-the three worlds; dharayishyati-will rule.
Lord Dharmasetu, who will appear in the reign of Dharma-savarni, the eleventh Manu, is described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam 8.13.26:
"The son of Aryaka known as Dharmasetu, a partial incarnation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, will appear from the womâ of Vaidhrita, the wife of Aryaka, and will rule the three worlds."*
dvadase rudra-savarniye sudhama
svadhamakhyo harer amsah
sunritayah suto vibhuh
dvadase-the twelfth Manu; rudra-savarniye-during the reign of Rudra-savarni; sudhama-Lord Sudhama; svadhama-akhyah-Svadhama; hareh amsah-a partial incarnation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; sadhayisyati-will rule; tat-manoh-of that Manu; antaram-the manvantara; satyasahasah-of Satyasaha; sunritayah-of Sunrita; sutah-the son; vibhuh-most powerful.
Lord Svadhama, who will appear in the reign of Rudra-savarni, the twelfth Manu, is described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam 8.13.29:
"From the mother named Sunrita and the father named Satyasaha will come Svadhama, a partial incarnation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He will rule that manvantara."*
trayodase deva-savarniye yogesvarah
yogesvaro harer amso
trayodase-during the reign of the thirteenth Manu; deva-savarniye-Deva-savarni; yogesvarah-Lord Yogesvara; devahotrasya-of Devahotra; tanayah-the son; upaharta-the benefactor; divaspateh-of Divaspati, the Indra at that time; yoga-isvarah-Yogesvara, the master of mysti powers; hareh amsah-a partial representation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; brhatyam-in the womâ of his mother, Brihati; sambhavishyati-will ap-pear.
Lord Yogesvara, who will appear in the reign of Deva-savarni, the thirteenth Manu, is described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam 8.13.32:
"The son of Devahotra known as Yogesvara will appear as a partial incarnation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. His mother's name will be Brihati. He will perform activities for the welfare of Divaspati."*
caturdasa indra-savarniye brihadbhanuh
brhadbhanus tada harih
caturdase-during the reign of the fourteenth Manu; indra-savarniye' Indra-savarni; brhadbhanuh-Lord Brhadbhanu; satrayanasya-of Satrayana; tanayah-the son; brihadbhanuh-Brihadbhanu; tada-at that time; harih-the Supreme Personality of Godhead; vitanayam-in the womâ of Vitana; maha-raja-O King; kriya-tantun-all spiritual activities; vitayita-will perform.
Lord Brihadbhanu, who will appear in the reign of Indra-savarni, the fourteenth Manu, is described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam 8.13.35:
"O King Parikshit, in the fourteenth manvantara the Supreme Personality of Godhead will appear from the womâ of Vitana, and His father's name will be Satrayana. This incarnation will be celebrated as Brihadbhanu, and He will administer spiritual activities."*
punar uktataya dvayoh
yajna-of Lord Yajna; vamanayoh-and Lord Vamana; tatra-there; punah- again; uktataya-by the description; dvayoh-of the two of them; manvantara' avatarah-manvantara-avataras; tu-also; sankhyayam-in the enumeration; dvadasa-twelve; uditah-manifested; iti-thus concludes; manvantara-avatarah-the description of the manvantara-avataras.
Because Lord Yajna and Lord Vamana were described before, twelve manvantara-avataras are listed here. In this way the description of manvantara-avataras is concluded.
Texts 25 and 26
suklah satya-yuge harih
raktah syamah kramat krishnas
tretayam dvapare kalau
satyadishu yugeshv asau
atha-now; yuga-avatarah-the yuga-avataras; kathyate-is described; varna-according to color; namabhyam-and name; suklah-white; satya-yuge' during the Satya-yuga; harih-Lord Hari; raktah-red; syamah-the dark color of a monsoon cloud; kramat-one after another; krishnah-black; treyatam-in the Treta-yuga; dvapare-in the Dvapara-yuga; kalau-in the Kali-yuga; upasana-worship; visesa-specific; artham-for the purpose; satya-the Satya-yuga; adisu-beginning with; yugesu-during the yugas; asau-He; manvantara-avatarah-Manvantara-avatara; tu-but; tatha-in that way; avatarati-incarnation; kramat-in succession.
In Satya-yuga the incarnation is said by color and name to be white Lord Hari. In the Treta, Dvapara, and Kali yugas the incarnations are red, blue, and black respectively. As for different kinds of worship the manvantara-avataras descend in Satya-yuga and other yugas, so, one after another, do the yuga-avataras.
avatara ime tv eka-
kalpa-lila-avataras; manvantara-manvantara-avataras; yuga-yuga-avataras; pradurbhava-vidhayinah-incarnations; avatarah-incarnations; ime-these; tu-but; eka-catvarimsat-41; udiritah-described.
In this way 24 lila, manvantara, and yuga avataras have been described.
vritta brahmadayah kalpah
padmantas te sahasrasah
vartamanas tu kalpo 'yam
vrttah-occured; brahma-Brahma-kalpa; adyah-beginning with; kalpah-kalpas; padma-with Padma-kalpa; antah-concluding; te-they; sahasrasah-thousands of times; vartamanah-at present; tu-also; kalpah-the kalpa; ayam-this; sveta-varaha-Sveta-varaha-kalpa; ucyate-is named.
The cycle of kalpas, beginning with Brahma-kalpa and ending with Padma-kalpa, is repeated a thousand times. The present kalpa is called Sveta-varaha-kalpa.
brahma-kalpa-Brhama-kalpa; prathama-in the beginning; je-manifested; vyaktah-manifested; svayambhuva-of Svayambhuva Manu; antare-during the reign; kumara-the four Kumaras; narada-Narada; adyah-and other incarnations; ca-and; caksusiya-in the reign of Caksusa; adisu-and the other Manus; uttare-afterwards.
During the reign of Svayambhuva Manu, at the beginning of Brahma-kalpa, the four Kumaras, Narada Muni, and many other oncarnations appeared. Other incarnations also appeared later, during the reigns of Cakshusha and the other Manus.
kalpe kalpe bhavanty ami
manavas te 'vataras ca
prayah-generally; svayambhuva-the reign of Svayambhuva Manu; adi-beginning with; akhyah-named; kalpe kalpe-kalpa after kalpa; bhavanti-appear; ami-these; manvah-the Manus; te-they; avatarah-incarnations; ca' also; tatha-in the same way; yajna-Lord Yajna; adi-beginning with; namakah-named.
The Manus, beginning with Svayambhuva, appear one after the other in each kalpa, and the manvantara-avataras, beginning with Lord Yajna, also appear in the same way.
tatha hi shri-vishnu-dharmottare shri-vajra-prasnah:
ya ete bhavata prokta
manvas ca caturdasa
nityam brahma-dine prapte
eta eva kramad dvija
bhavanty utanye dharma-jna
etam- me chindhi samsayam
tatha hi-moreover; shri-visnu-dharma-uttare-in the Vishnu-dharmottara Purana; shri-vajra-of Maharaja Vajra; prasnah-the question;l ye ete-whichever; bhavata-by you; proktah-described; manvah-Manus; ca-also; caturdasa-fourteen; nityam-always; brahma-of Brahma; dine-when the day; prapte-is manifest; ete-they; eva-certainly; kramat-one after the next; dvija-O Brahmana; bhavanti-are manifest; uta-certainly; anye-others; dharma-jna-O knower of religious princioles; etam-this; me-my; chindhi-please sever; samsayam-doubt.
Vajra's question in Vishnu-dharmottara Purana:
"O Brahmana, you have said that in every day of Brahma' 14 Manus always appear, one after the other. O knower of religion, are there any other Manus? Please break my doubt."
Texts 32 and 33
eta eva maha-raja
manvas ca caturdasa
kalpe kalpe tvaya jneya
natra karya vicarana
eka-rupas tvaya prokta
jnatavyah sarva eva hi
kecit kincid vibhinnas ca
shri-markandeya-of Markandeya Rsi; uttaram-the reply; atah eva-therefore; eva-certainly; maha-raja-O great king; manvah-Manus; ca-also; caturdasa-fourteen; kalpe kalpe-in each day of Brahma; tvaya-by you; jneyah-should be; na-not; atra-here; karya-should be done; vicarana-investigation; eka-rupah-with a single form; tvaya-by you; proktah-spoken; jnatavyah-should be understood; sarve-all; eva-certainly; hi-indeed; decit-certain; kincit-to a certain extent; vibhinnah-separated; ca-also; mayaya-by the potency; parama-isituh-of the Supreme Controller.
Shri Markandeya's reply:
"O great king, in each kalpa there are 14 Manus. You should not doubt. Know that, as you have said, they all have the same form. Sometimes some, by the Supreme Lord's potency, are different.
Texts 34 and 35
avataras caturdha syur
avesah prabhava api
paravasthas ca tatra te
avatarah-incarnations; caturdha-four kinds; syuh-are; avesah-avesa (empowered, avataras; prabhavah-prabhava avataras; api-also; atha-now; eva-certainly; vaibhava-avasthah-vaibhavavastha-avataras; para-avastha-paravastha-avataras; ca-also; tatra-there; te-they; atra-here; avesa-avatarah-avesa-avataras; tu-also; jneyah-may be understood; purva-previous; ukta-rititah-from the statement; yatha-just as; kumara-the Four Kumaras; devarsi-Narada; venanga-Maharaja Prthu; prabhava-manifestation; adayah-beginning with.
There are four other kinds of avataras: 1. avesa-avatara, 2. prabhava-avatara; 3. vaibhavavastha-avatara, and 4. paravastha-avatara. The avesa-avataras may be understood from the previous descriptions of the Kumaras, Narada Muni, Maharaja Prithu, and others.
avishto 'bhut kumareshu
narade ca harir vibhuh
yatha-just as; padme-in the Padma Purana; avistah-entered; abhut-become; kumaresu-among the Kumaras; narade-within Narada Muni; ca-also; harih-Lord Hari; vibhuh-omnipotent.
In Padma Purana:
"All-powerful Lord Hari entered the Kumaras and Narada."
navivesa prithum devah
sankhi cakri catur-bhujah" iti
yatha-just as; tatra-there; eva-certainly; avivesa-entered; prthum-Maharaja Prthu; devah-the Supreme Lord; sankhi-holding the conch-shell; cakri-holding the cakra; catuh-bhujah-with four arms; iti-thus.
In the same book:
"The Supreme Personality of Godhead, who has four arms and holds a conchshell and cakra, entered Maharaja Prithu."
avishto bhargave cabhut
iti tatraiva kirtitam
avistah-entered; bhargave-Lord Parasurama; ca-also; abhut-became; iti-thus; tatra-there; eva-certainly; kirtitam-described.
In that book it is also said: "The Supreme Personality of Godhead also entered Parasurama."
netat te kathitam devi
caritam sarnginah prabhoh" iti
tatha hi-furthermore; etat-this; te-to you; kathitam-explained; devi' O goddess; jamadagneh-of of jamadagni; maha-atmanah-th great soul; sakti-avesa-avatarasya-sakty-avesa-avatara; caritam-pastimes; prabhoh-of the Lord; iti-thus.
It is also said:
"O goddess, I have thus described to you the pastimes of Lord Parasurama, who is a sakty-avesa-avatara of Lord Vishnu."
avesatvam kalkino 'pi
avestvam-the position of an avesa-avatara; kalkinah-of Lord Kalki; api-also; visnu-dharme-in the Vishnu-dharma Purana; vilokyate-is seen.
In Vishnu-dharma Purana it is seen that Lord Kalki is also an avesa-avatara.
npratyaksha-rupa dhrig devo
drisyate na kalau harih
kritadishv iva tenaiva
nkaler ante ca samprapte