Vishnu Purana - Part 2

Vishnu Purana
Vishnu Purana - Part 2

Maitreya says- "O sage! Now I wish to hear the description of the lineage of Priyavrata who was the son of Swayambhu Manu."

Parashar says- Priyavrata was married to the daughter of sage Kardam. They had two daughters and ten sons. Three of his sons- Medha, Agnibaahu and Putra knew everything about their previous births. Hence, they did not take any interest in royal luxuries. The remaining seven sons received the domain of seven parts of the earth from their father Priyavrata who then had taken to penance at a greatly sacred place named Shaalgraam.

Among the eight Vasus, one was Hima. Merudevi was his wife. They had a son Rishabh. Rishabh had one hundred sons among which Bharat was the eldest. When he grew old, Rishabh transferred the onus of his kingdom on his eldest son Bharat and himself took to penance in the forest. Since then, this landmass that stretches from the snowy peaks of Himalayas to the splashing Indian Ocean is known as Bharatvarsha. Bharat had a religious minded son Sumati.

Indradyumna was the son of Sumati. Indradyumna’s son was Parmeshthi. After him, the lineage of Priyavrata continued as follows- Pratihaar- Pratiharta- Bhava- Udgeeth- Prastav- Prithu- Naka- Gaya- Nar- Virat- Mahavirya- Dheemaan- Mahaant- Manasyu- Twasta- Viraj- Raj- Shatajit. Shatajit had one hundred sons whose descendants populated the earth. They divided Bharatvarsha into nine parts.
The earth has seven great islands- Jambu, Plaksha, Shaalmali, Kusha, Kronch, Shaakh and Pushkar. These are surrounded by oceans having saline water, sugarcane juice, wine, ghee, curd, milk and sweet water respectively. Jambudweep is situated at the centre. Situated at the centre of Jambudweep is golden Sumeru Mountain (Himalayas), which is eighty-four thousand Yojans high. Towards the south of Sumeru are Himavaan, Hemkut and Nishad Mountains. Towards its north are Neel and Shringi Mountains. All these mountains are two thousand Yojans high with similar expansion.

Towards the south of Sumeru Mountain, Bharatvarsha is the first landmass followed by Kimpurushvarsha and Harivarsha. In the north of Sumeru Mountain, Ramyak is the first landmass followed by Hiranyamay and Uttarkuruvarsha. All these landmasses have expansion of nine thousand Yojans. At the centre of these landmasses is Ilaavritvarsha that bears Sumeru Mountain. On the four sides of Sumeru Mountain are four smaller mountains that seem to support the massive Sumeru. Among these four mountains, Mandrachal Mountain is in the east and in the south is Gandhmaadan. Vipul is in the west and Supaarsh is in the north. All these four mountains are ten thousand Yojans high and have lofty trees of Cadamba, Jambu, Pipal and Banyan. Because of abundance of Jambu trees, this island came to be known as Jambudweep. It bears big fruits, which scatter all around upon falling on the earth. Their juice gives rise to the river Jambu. It is said that its water is capable of keeping demerits like sweat, foul smell, old age and loss of senses away from the drinker. When the juice of this fruit dries, it leaves the soil golden in colour.

Towards the east of Sumeru Mountain is Bhadrashvavarsha and towards the west is Ketumaalvarsha. Midway between the two is Ilaavritvarsha. On the eastern side of Meru Mountain is the forest of Chaitrarath. In the south is Gandhmaadan and in the west is Vaibhraaj and towards the north is the forest named Nandan. Mount Sumeru also holds four holy lakes named Arunodaya, Mahabhadra, Asitoda and Maanas.

Shitambh, Kumund, Kukri, Maalyavaan, Vaikank are some of the peaks situated towards the eastern side of Sumeru. Towards the southern side are the peaks of Trikut, Shishir, Patang, Ruchak and Nishaad. In the west are situated peaks of Shikhivaasa, Vaidurya, Kapil, Gandhmaadan and Jaarudhi and in the north are situated the peaks of Shankhkoot, Rishabh, Hans, Naag and Kaalanj.

Above the mount Meru is situated Brahmapuri of Brahma which has an expansion of 14,000 Yojans. The Ganges that rises from the feet of Lord Vishnu circles the lunar sphere before falling in Brahmapuri. Thence it divides into four rivers- Sita, Chakshu, Alaknanda and Bhadra that flow into four directions.

The landmasses of Bharat, Ketumaal, Bhadraashva and Kuru appear like lotus leaf in shape. Among all the peaks that surround Mount Meru are present beautiful caves. There also exist beautiful towns and gardens. In these towns are situated beautiful temples of Lakshmi, Vishnu, Agni and Surya. Ravines of these mountains are populated by Gandharvas, Rakshasa, Yaksha and Daanavas. Besides them, scores of religious people also live there.

Lord Vishnu stays as Hayagreev (human figure with horse head) form in Bhadrashvavarsha. In Ketumaalvarsha, He is in boar form and in Bharatvarsha; He stays in turtle form. In Kuruvarsha, Lord Vishnu stays as fish. Thus Lord Vishnu is present everywhere. People of these eight landmasses are free from all kinds of sorrow, pain, emotions, hunger etc. and lead a healthy and rich life that extends up to ten or twelve thousand years. All these landmasses have seven indigenous mountains each from which hundreds of rivers rise.

The landmass that is present between Himalayas and the ocean is known as Bharat. It has an expansion of 9,000 Yojans. It is populated by the descendants of Bharat. It has seven native mountains- Mahendra, Malay, Sahaya, Shuktimaan, Riksha, Vindhya and Paariyaatra.

Bharatvarsha has nine divisions named Indradweep, Kaseru, Taamraparn, Gamastimaan, Naagdweep, Soumya, Gandharva, Vaarun and Yahadweep which is surrounded by the sea and has an expansion of 1000 Yojans. In the eastern part of Bharat, live Kiraat whereas in the western part live Yavans. In the mid part of Bharat, live population of Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas and Shudras who pass their lives engage in works ascribed to their respective class.

Rivers in India- From the Himalayas rise Shatudri (Sutlej) and Chandrabhaaga rivers. From Paariyaatra Mountain rise Veda and Smriti rivers. Narmada and Surasa rivers rise from Vindyachal. Taapi, Payoshani and Nirvindhya rivers rise from Riksha Mountain. Godavari, Bheemrati and Krishnaveli rivers rise from Sahaya Mountains. Kritmaala and Tamraparni rivers rise from Malayaachal. Trisaama and Aryakulyaa rivers rise from Mahendragiri. Rishikulya and Kumaari rivers rise from Shuktimaan Mountain. All these rivers have scores of other branches and tributaries.

Four Yugas namely Satayug, Tretayug, Dwaparyug and Kaliyug descend on Bharatvarsha. In Bharatvarsha, sages observe penance to attain better life in another world, people organise Yagyas and offer donations to the Brahmins respectfully. In Jambudweep, Lord Vishnu is worshipped in Yagyas. Bharatvarsha is the land par excellence in Jambudweep for it is a land of action. Soul passes through millions of births, only then it finds a chance to take birth in Bharatvarsha when its pious deeds accumulate to a certain extent. Even the gods envy those people who take birth in Bharatvarsha. People in Bharatvarsha act without a desire to get fruits from their action. They dedicate their whole action to Lord Vishnu and ultimately mingle with Him.


Plakshdweep- Plakshdweep has an expansion of 2,00,000 Yojans. Its ruler Meghatithi had seven sons- Shaanthaya, Shishir, Sukhodaya, Anand, Shiva, Kshemak and Dhruv. Those seven princes later on came to rule Plakshdweep. Hence, Plakshdweep had seven divisions named after these seven princes. Seven mountains mark the boundaries of Plakshdweep. These are Gomed, Chandra, Naarad, Dundubhi, Sobhak, Sumana and Vaibhraaj. People of Plakshdweep live long and pleasant life. Seven rivers namely Anutapta, Shikhi, Vipaasha, Tridiva, Aklamaa, Amrita and Sukrita flow in Plakshdweep. In all the islands from Plakshdweep to Shaakhdweep, only Tretayug stays. Plaksh tree (Paakad) abound in Plakshdweep. Lord Vishnu is worshipped there as Soma.

Shaalmaldweep- Vayushmaan was the ruler of Shaalmaldweep. He too had seven sons- Shwet, Harit, Jibhoot, Rohit, Vaidyut, Maanas and Suprabh. Hence Shaalmaldweep was also divided into seven divisions named after these princes. A sea of sugarcane juice surrounds this island. Shaalmaldweep has seven mountains which are the source of all the gemstones. Seven rivers flow in Shaalmaldweep. These rivers contain innumerable kinds of medicinal herbs. Lord Vishnu is worshipped there in Vayu form. Because of the abundance of Semul (silk cotton) trees, this island came to be known as Shaalmaldweep. A sea of wine surrounds this island.

Kushdweep- The ruler of Kushdweep, Jyotishmaan had seven sons. Their names were Venumaan, Vairath, Lamban, Ghriti, Prabhakar and Kapil. The divisions of this island were named after them. This island too has seven mountains and seven rivers.

Lord Vishnu is worshipped here in Janardan form. Because of abundance of Kusha grass, this island is known as Kushdweep. A sea of ghee surrounds this island.

Kraunchdweep- The ruler of Kraunchdweep, Dyutimaan had seven sons named Kushal, Mandak, Ushna, Peevar, Andhkaarak, Muni and Dudhumbi. Hence the seven divisions of this island were named after these princes. This island too has seven mountains and seven main rivers with hundreds of small rivers and tributaries. Lord Vishnu is worshipped here in Rudra form through Yagyas. A sea of whey surrounds this island.

Shaakhdweep- The ruler of Shaakhdweep Bhavya, also had seven sons named Jalad, Kumar, Sukumar, Marichak, Kutumod, Maudaaki and Mahadrum. Hence the seven divisions of this island were named after these princes; this island too has seven mountains and seven holy rivers. Lord Vishnu is worshipped here in Surya form. Because of an abundance of Shaakh trees, this island got its name. A sea of milk surrounds this island.

Pushkardweep- This is the largest among all the seven islands. Its ruler Savan had two sons- Mahavir and Dhaataki. Hence, this island has two divisions- Mahavirkhand and Dhaatakikhand. A huge mountain named Maansotra is situated at the centre of this great island. Brahma stays on a huge Banyan tree in this island. A sea of sweet water surrounds this island.


Earth’s total height is 70,000 Yojans. In her depth, are situated seven nether worlds with a depth of 10,000 Yojans each respectively. Names of these seven nether worlds are Atal, Vital, Nital, Gamastimaan, Mahaatal, Sutal and Paatal. These nether worlds have beautiful palaces, and have lands which are white, black, red and yellow in colour with gravel, rocky and golden soil. Scores of races including Daanav, Daitya, Yaksha and Naagas live there.

Once upon a time, Naarad visited these nether worlds. When he returned to heaven, he told the people there that the nether world was more beautiful than heaven. He told them that ornaments of the Naagas contained precious gemstones and the womenfolk of Daitya and Daanavas were an attraction even for the gods. The sun was illuminating in the nether worlds but not scorching. Similarly, the Moon only shone there but did not cause bitter cold.

Beneath the nether worlds is situated an idolised form of Lord Vishnu. It is known as Shesh. Even the demons and giants cannot describe His virtues. He has thousands of hoods each carrying a bright gemstone that illuminates the azimuths. In His presence, the demons lose their strength. His eyes are red and He wears an earring, crown, garland and blue length of cloth. Bearing the flow of Ganges, He stays like the Kailash Mountain. At the end of the Kalp, poison emanates from His thousands of hoods and destroys all the three worlds taking the form of Rudra named Sankarshan. Nobody can find the ends of His virtues; hence He is known as Anant.


Beneath the earth and water are situated the hells into which, the sinners are thrown. Raurav, Sukar, Rodha, Taal, Vishsan, Mahajwaal, Taptakumbh, Lavan, Vilohit, Rudhirambh, Vaitarni, Krimish, Krimibhojan, Asipatravan, Krishna, Lalabhaksha, Daarun, Puyuvah, Paap, Vahnijwaal, Adhahshira, Sandansh, Kaalsutra, Tamas, Aavichi, Swabhojan, Apratishthit and Aprachi are the main hells. These are all under the domain of Yamaraaj.

Those who give false witness are thrown into Raurav hell. Those who kill unborn babies and cows or destroy the villages fall into Rodha hell. Those who drink wine, kill Brahmin or steal gold fall into Sukar hell. Those who kill Kshatriya or Vaishya fall into Taal hell. Those who copulate with teacher’s wife or their own sister fall in Taptakumbh hell. Those who sell women and horses fall in Taptloha hell. Those who copulate with their daughter or daughter-in-law fall into Mahajwaal hell. Those who criticise the teachers and the Vedas or sell Vedas fall into Lavan hell. Those who violate social norms fall in Vilohit hell and those who envy the gods, the Brahmins and their parents fall in Krimibhaksha hell.

Those who dine first even before the parents, the gods and the guests fall into Lalabhaksha hell. Those who manufacture arrows fall in Vedhak hell. Those who manufacture swords fall in Vishsan hell. Backbiters, killers of friends and sellers of wine fall in Rudhiraandh hell. Destroyers of Yagya and villages fall in Vaitarni hell.

Thus, the sinners have to suffer scores of tortures in these and many other hells. These sinners after passing their lives in the hell take birth as worms, aquatic animals and birds, terrestrial animals, human beings, religious people etc. Only those sinners who do not expiate for their sins fall into the hell. Our sages have made provisions of expiation for those sinners who feel guilty in their conscience after committing their sins. Remembrance of Lord’s name is in itself the greatest expiation. Remembrance of Lord’s name anytime in life destroys all the previous sins instantaneously. Hence recitation of Vasudeva’s name is sure way of attaining salvation. Thus those who recite and remember Lord Vishnu’s name never fall in any hell because their sins have been destroyed. Anything where one feels pleasant is heaven and opposite of it is hell.


Maitreya says- "O Brahmin! Kindly narrate now about the celestial worlds and the position of stars and planets there."

Parashar says- At a height of 1,00,000 Yojans above the earth is the sphere of the Sun. 1,00,000 Yojans above it is the sphere of the Moon and 1,00,000 Yojans above it is the sphere of the stars.

At a height of 2,00,000 Yojans above, the sphere of stars is Buddh (Mercury) and 2,00,000 Yojans above it is Shukra (Venus). Above Venus are Mangal (Mars), Brihaspati (Jupiter), and Shani (Saturn) at respective heights of 2,00,000 Yojans each. 1,00,000 Yojans above the Saturn is Saptarishi and 1,00,000 Yojans above it is the sphere of Dhruv. It appears as the centre of a bright ring.

One crore Yojans above Dhruv is Maharloka where sages like Bhrigu etc. live. Two crore Yojans above Maharloka is Janaloka where Brahma’s sons Sanakaadi Kumars live. At a height of 8,00,00,000 Yojans above Janaloka is Tapaloka live deities named Vairaaj who are never consigned to flames. Twelve crore Yojans above Tapaloka is Satyaloka which is also known as Brahmaloka. Only immortal beings live there.


The Sun travels speedily across the sky like an arrow. He determines the night and the day. With the rising and setting of the Sun, one can have knowledge of the directions. Sun lights up all the places in the entire world except Brahmaloka. Sun’s rays that reach Brahmaloka return back rendered ineffective by the radiance of Brahma. Since Mount Sumeru is situated at the north of all the islands and Varsh, hence towards the northern side of it, one part of land experiences the day while another part experiences the night all the time. The radiant Sun setting merges with fire. Hence, fire also has the power of illuminating and warming its environment.

At the beginning of Uttaraayan (northward motion of the Sun), the Sun enters the zodiac of Capricorn. Travelling through Aquarius and Pisces, it reaches the equator which is at the centre of the earth. Thereafter the nights begin to decrease in comparison of the days. Then travelling through Aries, Taurus and Gemini, the Sun enters Cancer to begin its southward journey.

The period of time between the day and night is dusk twilight. At that time, formidable demons try to swallow the Sun. Thus they have fierce battle with the Sun. The recitation of hymns by learned Brahmins during dusk twilight helps the Sun regain his lost radiance. With his brilliance then the demons are destroyed. Thus the Sun is a perfect form of Lord Vishnu. It shines with its inner radiance. Omkar is a symbolisation of the Sun. It is also mandatory for the Brahmins to perform evening worship. Those who do not worship in the evening hurt the Sun.

Towards the north of Saptarishi constellation, where polestar is situated, there is an abode of Lord Vishnu. Only those sages can reach there who are free from faults and whose sins and pious deeds have been attenuated. Supremely brilliant Dhruv stays in the abode of Vishnu. Every other thing is dependent upon Dhruv. All the Nakshatras also depend on Dhruv. On Nakshatras depend the clouds and on the clouds depends the rain and on the rains depend the nourishment of entire world. Thus, all the other things come to depend upon Dhruv.

The sacred Ganges which is the destroyer of every sin also rises from the abode of Lord Vishnu. Dhruv bears the Ganges on his head. Flowing through the sphere of the Moon, the Ganges falls on Mount Meru and flows in every direction to sanctify the entire world. Bathing in the water of the Ganges destroys all the sins. Offering of oblations in the waters of Ganges satiates dead ancestors for one hundred years.

Starry, chameleon-like appearance of Lord Vishnu can be seen in the night sky. A polestar is present in its tail. All the other stars, the Sun, the Moon and other planets are present on different parts of this chameleon and go round the polestar. Uttanpaad’s son Dhruv had pleased this chameleon-like appearance of Lord Vishnu with his penance and sought a fixed position in His tail. Even the Sun is dependent on Dhruv.

The Sun keeps on evaporating the water for eight months in a year. This evaporated water then rains for four months and nourishes the soil and produces different kinds of cereals for the nourishment of the entire world. The water that is evaporated by the Sun also nourishes the Moon. But the Moon itself does not consume that water. Instead it gives that water to the clouds. During winter season, this water released by the Moon falls on earth as snow and dew.

The Sun draws water from Akashganga (the Milky Way) also and causes it to rain on earth at once. That water is so sacred that mere touch of it destroys all the sins. The rains that fall during Nakshatras like Kritika; Rohini, Addra etc. come from the water of Akashganga.

In the month of Chaitra, the Sun rides his chariot as Dhaata. During that period, elf Kratusthala, sage Pulastya, Naag Vaasuki, Yaksha Rathmirith, demon Heti and the Gandharva Tumbaru are also present on the chariot as his assistants.

In the month of Vaishaakh, the Sun rides his chariot as Aryamaa with sage Pulah, Yaksha Rathauja, elf Punjasthala, demon Praheti, snake Kachchhveer and Gandharva Naarad as his assistants.

In the month of Jyeshtha, the Sun is known as Mitra with sage Atri, snake Takshak, demon Paurusheya, elf Menaka, Gandharva Haha and Yaksha Rathswan as his assistants.

In the month of Ashaad, the Sun rides his chariot as Varun with sage Vashishta, snake Naag, elf Sahajanya, Gandharva Huhu, demon Ratha and Yaksha Rathachitra as his assistants.

In the month of Shraavan, the Sun is known as Indra with Gandharva Vishwabasu, Yaksha Strot, snake Elaputra, sage Angira, elf Prabhalocha and the demon Sarpi as his assistants.

In the month of Bhaadrapad, the Sun is known as Vivasvaan. With Gandharva Ugrasena, sage Bhrigu, Yaksha, Aapuran, elf Anubhlocha, snake Shankhpaal and the demon Vyaghra as his assistants.

In the month of Ashwin, the Sun is known as Pusha with Gandharva Vasuruchi, demon Vaat, sage Gautam, snake Dhananjay, Yaksha Sushen and the elf Ghritaachi as his assistants. In the month of Kartik, the Sun is known as Parjanya and is assisted by the Gandharva Vishwabasu, sage Bharadwaj, snake Airavat, elf Vishwashree, Yaksha Senjit and the demon Aap.

In the month of Maargsheersh, the Sun is known as Ansh and is assisted by sage Kashyap, Yaksha Tarkshya, snake Mahapadma, elf Urvashi, Gandharva Chitrasen and the demon Vidyut. In the month of Paush, the Sun is known as Bhaga and is assisted by sage Kratu, Gandharva Urnaayu, demon Sfurja, snake Karkotak, Yaksha Arishtnemi and elf Purvachitti. In the month of Maagh, the Sun is known as Twasta with sage Jamadagni, snake Cambal, elf Tilottama, demon Brahmopet, Yaksha Ritaajit and Gandharva Dhritarashtra.

In the month of Phagun, the Sun is known as Vishnu and is assisted by snake Ashwatar, elf Rambha, Gandharva Suryavacha, Yaksha Shatajit, sage Vishwamitra and the demon Yagyopet. Thus having some parts of Lord Vishnu’s radiance, these seven ganas stay in the sphere of the Sun for one month alternatively. They are also the cause of seasons like summer, winter and rain.


Maitreya says- "Lord, if only the seven Ganas are entrusted with the job of causing cold and summer, drought and rain, what is the purpose then of the Sun’s existence? "

Parashar says- It is true that Surya is one of the seven Ganas. Yet being the chief among them, it has special significance. Omnipotent para-power of Lord Vishnu is nothing but the three Vedas. These together stay within the Sun and provide it with energy necessary to sustain the world. Their presence within the Sun remains constant irrespective of the Sun’s changing names every month. In the morning, Rigveda prays the Sun with its Shrutis. In the noontime, Yajurveda prays the Sun whereas in the evening, Shrutis of Samaveda pray the Sun. Thus, Lord Vishnu always energises the Sun.

Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh are also present in trinity form. Their trinity too represents the three Vedas. At the beginning of creation, Brahma was in the form of Rigveda. During the sustenance of the universe, Lord Vishnu stays in Yajurveda form whereas at the end of the creation when Pralay occurs, Rudra takes Samaveda form. Hence the recitation of Samaveda is considered inauspicious. Energies of the trinity stays within the Sun in synergetic form. Hence the Sun glows brilliantly and destroys the darkness.

Lord Vishnu, who represents energy of this trinity, never rises nor sets. His Vaishnavi Shakti never parts with the Sun’s chariot and stays there irrespective of the changing names of the Sun with months. Thus, the Sun, which causes the formation of day and night always satiates Pitragana, Devgana and human beings. One of the Sun’s rays named Sushumna nourishes the Moon during its brighter phase. Then during the darker phase, the gods drink the phases of the Moon, which are in fact, ambrosia accumulated during the brighter phase. When two days are left for the completion of darker phase, Pitragana drink the remaining two phases of the Moon. Thus, the Sun satiates the gods and the deceased ancestors.

The water that the Sun draws from earth is returned to the earth in the form of rains. This rainfall produces cereals, which nourish the entire population on earth.


The Moon rides a chariot with three wheels. This chariot is hauled by ten horses. During its entire journey, the Moon passes through all the twenty-seven Nakshatras. These horses haul the Moon’s chariot for a complete Kalpa. With his rays, the Sun nourishes the Moon, which loses its strength because of drinking of its ambrosia by the gods.

When the gods brought even the last drop of nectar from the Moon, it enters the Sun’s sphere. That day is known as Amavasya (moonless night). That day, the Moon first enters the water then the foliage of the trees, creepers etc. and ultimately enters the Sun’s sphere. That is why, anybody who cuts trees or even plucks a leaf commits crime equal to killing of Brahmin. On the day of Amavasya, Pitragana drink the nectar from the Moon and feel sated. Thus, Moon sates the gods during the brighter phase and the Pitragana during darker phase. The Moon also showers its nectar on the trees, creepers and other vegetation. It also causes exhilaration for the human beings, animals, birds and creatures like insects etc.

Buddha (Mercury) is the son of the Moon. His chariot is made of fire and air and is hauled by eight horses of deep yellow colour. The chariot of Shukra (Venus) is also very splendid and is adorned by beautiful flags. Mangal (Mars) rides a golden chariot, which is born from the fire. His chariot is hauled by eight red horses. Brihaspati rides a golden chariot hauled by eight yellow horses. Shani (Saturn) is famous for slow motion. He rides a chariot which was born from the sky. The colour of his chariot’s horses is also very peculiar. Rahu’s chariot is brown in colour and is hauled by eight black horses. Ketu’s chariot is also drawn by eight horses, which are red in colour.

Chariots of all the nine planets are tied to Dhruv. Thus, all of them traverse the same path again and again year after year. Sighting of Shishumaar chakra (constellation path) in the night destroys all the sins that a human being commits during the daytime.

Water is a tangible form of Lord Vishnu. Even the earth was born out of water. Stars, all the three worlds, forests, vegetation, mountains, directions, rivers, sea and entire nature is the form of Lord Vishnu. This vivid nature thus shows omnipresence character of Lord Vishnu.


Maitreya says- "Lord! Now I wish to hear various tales from the life of King Bharat. He was born in a pious land and always contemplated on God. Even then why he failed to attain salvation? What did he do in his next birth as a Brahmin?"

Parashar says- King Bharat always contemplated on God. He stayed at Shaalgraam for a long time. There he used to recite the names of God and collect various materials for His worship. Other than that, he did not do anything. One day while he was taking bath in the river, a doe arrived at the opposite bank. She was in the final stage of pregnancy. While she was drinking water, a lion roared somewhere in the forest behind her. That roar frightened the doe so much that she jumped across the river to save her life. Exertion of jumping resulted in premature littering of her fawn, which fell in the river. On the other hand, the doe also could not bear the pain and died.

King Bharat rescued the just born fawn and brought it to his hermitage. Since then he began to foster the fawn with love and care. With time, Bharat’s attachment grew for the fawn and whenever it went out of sight, he would feel perplexed. Soon King Bharat deserted everything for the love of the fawn. He even left his routine worship and meditation for it would be hard to concentrate whenever the fawn was near and at times when the fawn was out of sight, it worried Bharat and hence he could not concentrate.

But the fawn could not give up its natural instincts. When it grew up, one day, it happened to sight a herd of deer and mingled with it to find a mate of its own choice and since that day, it never returned to the hermitage. Separation from the deer proved fatal for the King Bharat. While dying his mind was fully concentrating on the thoughts of the deer which he had fostered with love and care. Because of it, Bharat took his next birth as a deer. But still he remembered his past life. So he deserted his herd and found a place in Shaalgraam where he passed his time eating dry grass and foliage.

In his next birth, Bharat was born in a cultured Brahmin family. In this birth also, he remembered his past lives. Since birth, Bharat knew all the rituals and scriptures and saw his soul in a transcendental way. Hence, even after his thread ceremony, he did not take up his education. Even the teachers failed to incite his interest in education. Bharat roamed here and there, clad in rags and was hence insulted by fellow Brahmins and village folk.

Thus Bharat remained indifferent to the others’ treatment and sustained himself on whatever little he got to eat. After the demise of his father, his brothers made him work hard in the fields but gave little to eat. Because of his inertness, he was known as Jadabharat.

One night, when Jadabharat was guarding his fields, the king’s commander-in-chief, Vrishatraaj caught him and took him away. The king wanted to sacrifice him before goddess Mahakali. But seeing the supreme Yogi being brought as a votive animal, goddess Mahakali expressed her wrath by decapitating the king and drank his blood.

In another incident later on, the king of Sauveer was travelling in a palanquin to visit sage Kapil for religious preaching. Incidentally, one man fell short to carry his palanquin, so the other carriers saw and caught Jadabharat to forcibly engage him in the work of carrying the palanquin. While walking, Jadabharat was taking care not to put his feet on any creature. So he was moving very slowly whereas other carriers were walking briskly. As a result of it, the palanquin was moving jerkily causing irritation to the king. The king enquired the carriers about the reasons of that jerky motion. The carriers informed him that it was because of the new recruit who is moving very slowly. The king shouted at Jadabharat- "You appear to be quite burly. Don’t you have enough strength? Does a little work tire you?" Jadabharat said- "O king! Neither I am burly nor carrying your palanquin. I am neither tired nor there is any need for me to labour." The king said- "Apparently you are burly and my palanquin is also resting on your shoulder. Carrying a load always tires anybody. How are you different then from the others?"

Jadabharat said- "O king! First of all, tell me, what do you see directly? Your saying that I am carrying your palanquin is also meaningless. Now listen to what I say. Both my feet are resting on the earth. On the feet are thighs, and on the thighs is belly, on the belly are chest, shoulders and arms. Your palanquin is resting on the shoulders. What load am I carrying then? You are in the palanquin and I am on the earth are meaningless words. All the creatures, you and me are all carried by the five basic elements. Even our virtues are controlled by our action. Only action is born out of ignorance. The soul is pure, non-degradable, calm, intangible and beyond all nature. This same soul pervades all the creatures. It neither grows nor decays. Why did you say then that I am burly? If this palanquin that is resting on my shoulders-chest-belly-thighs and feet, could be a burden for me, it could also be a burden for you. Like this, all the living beings are carrying not only this palanquin but all the mountains, trees, houses and even the earth."

Saying this, Jadabharat became silent, still carrying the palanquin. The king at once got down from the palanquin and fell at Jadabharat’s feet and said- "O Brahmin! Leave this palanquin and tell me why have you taken this guise. Who are you? What is the reason of your coming here? I am eager to know about you."

Jadabharat said- "I cannot tell what I am and for the reason why I came here, I can say only that coming and going are all done so that one can experience their result. The soul takes an incarnation only to experience the joy and sorrow as per its deeds. Why are you then enquiring specifically about the reason for my coming here?"

The king said- "The soul transmigrates from one body to another only because of its action. I want to hear from you preaching regarding ‘who am I cannot be told’. O Brahmin! The soul that is eternal and experiences the results of its action is I. This mark of ego is not a cause of demerit in the soul."

Jadabharat said- "You are right that words do not cause any demerit in the soul. But the ego expressed in the form of words is the reason for demerit in soul. When the same and single soul stays in everybody, possessive words are then meaningless. You are the king. This is the palanquin. They are the carriers and those are the subjects. O king! None of these words has any meaning. This palanquin is made of the wood received from some tree. So tell me what it should be called as- a palanquin or wood. Nobody says that the king is sitting on a tree. It is because of specific construction that a heap of wood has assumed the shape of a palanquin. For the purpose of action, the same soul is identified physically as a man, a woman, a cow, a goat, a horse, an elephant, a bird or a tree. But in fact, the soul is none of them.

Things like wealth, king, kingdom, king’s army and all other things that you possess are not fact. They are imaginations. For the subjects, you are king. For the son, you are father. For the wife, you are husband, and the father of her children. O king! Tell me, what should I address you as? Are you different from any of these nouns? Hence, always be careful while considering who am I? O king! The soul is so arranged in different roles that it is very difficult to tell specifically its real identity."


The king said-"O Brahmin. I was going to see sage Kapil and have the preaching regarding excellent human virtues. But now, hearing your words, I feel that I need not go any further. You are an ocean of knowledge. Kindly preach me about human virtues."

Jadabharat said- "O king! For those who worship the Lord with a desire to receive wealth and kingdom, these things are a supreme goal. For those who want to attain heaven, action in the form of forming Yagya is the goal. But the supreme virtue is to act in a selfless way without having a desire for results. A Yogi must contemplate on that transcendental soul because it is the only means to merge with that supreme soul."

If the wealth is the goal while it is spent in religious activities. If the son is the goal, the father too might have been a goal for someone. Thus, there is no supreme goal because everything exists for a time then ceases to exist. Hence the assumption of any physical thing as a supreme goal is meaningless. And consideration of soul separate from supreme soul is also futile.

The soul is one, all pervasive, impartial, pure, intangible and transcendental. It is free from the cycles of birth and death. It can neither be created nor be destroyed. It is supremely omniscient. Its manifestation in different life forms is temporary and identification of soul with living beings is baseless. Soul which is present in scores of living beings is basically single and same. Once one comes to know this, he doesn’t remain in darkness. Veil of ignorance then parts with him.


Hearing Jadabharat’s words, the king fell in deep thoughts. Jadabharat then narrated the tale of Ribhu and Nidaagh. Once upon a time, in the beautiful town of Veernagar at the bank of the river Devika, there lived Nidaagh, the son of Pulastya. He was a disciple of Ribhu, the son of Brahma. Once, after a gap of one thousand years, Ribhu decided to see his disciple Nidaagh. So he arrived at Veernagar. Nidaagh welcomed and treated him warmly. In the night after dinner, they both sat together and Nidaagh asked him if he relished the food.

Ribhu said- "O Brahmin! Only those who feel hungry are sated. I have never experienced hunger or thirst. How then can I tell you about my satisfaction? Hunger and thirst are the virtues of the physical body. Health and satisfaction are the states of mind. O Brahmin! Ask this question only to those who have these virtues, not me. Even the qualities of food like deliciousness and insipidness are meaningless because a delicious edible item loses its taste after sometime and causes irritation instead of satisfaction. Hence you should strive to develop a sense of impartiality towards delicious and insipid food items. Also sense of impartiality is essential to attain salvation."


One thousand years after this incident, Ribhu once again decided to see his disciple Nidaagh. So he once again arrived in Veernagar. At that time, king of that town was leading a procession of his army. So there was a great crowd on the main road of the town. Nidaagh was carrying some worship materials from the forest but seeing a huge crowd on the road, he stood aside waiting for its dispersion. Meanwhile, Ribhu also arrived there. Seeing Nidaagh standing alone away from the crowd, Ribhu approached him and asked why he was standing there. Nidaagh said- "O Brahmin! Today, the king of our town had taken out a procession. So I am standing here waiting for the dispersion of crowd so that I can reach home and offer my worship."

Ribhu asked- " It appears from your words that you know everything about your town. Kindly tell me who is the king and who are the subjects?" Nidaagh said- "The one who is riding an elephant is the king and those who are following him on the ground are his subjects."

Ribhu said- "O Nidaagh! You have shown me the king and the elephant together but did not show their distinguishing symptoms separately. Who is the king among them and who is the elephant?" Nidaagh said- "The one who is above is the king and the one who is beneath is the elephant." Ribhu said- "Kindly elaborate what is above and what is beneath?" As soon as Ribhu finished his words, Nidaagh climbed on his shoulders and said- "Look, like the king, I am above you and like the elephant, you are beneath me." Ribhu said- "If you are like the king and I am like the elephant, kindly explain to me, who are you and who am I?"

Nidaagh at once climbed down and fell at Ribhu’s feet and said- "Certainly, you are the great sage Ribhu." Ribhu said- "Yes, I am Ribhu and I have come to preach you out of affection." Thereafter Ribhu preached Nidaagh on the universality of soul and development of impartial view and left. By his preaching, Nidaagh’s ignorance dispersed and he began to see all the creatures equal to impartially.

O king! Like the Brahmin who attains salvation because of impartial view, you also develop an impartial view regarding soul. Then you will not see anyone separate from you. Everything in this world is a manifestation of soul.

Parashar says- "Thus preached by Jadabharat, the king of Sauveer left his partial attitude. Jadabharat too received salvation when he realised the true knowledge."



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