On the origin of Brahmâ, Visnu, Mahes’a and others
1-34. Nârâyana said:– “O Devarsi! The egg (born of Mûla Prakriti) that was floating in the waters for a period equal to the life period of Brahmâ, now in the fullness of time separated into two parts. Within that egg there was a powerful Child, lustrous like one thousand millions of suns. This child could not suck mother’s milk, as it was forsaken by Her. So being tired of hunger, the child for a moment cried repeatedly. The child that will become the Lord of countless Brahmândas (universes), now an orphan having no father nor mother began to look upwards from the waters. This boy came to be denominated afterwards by the name of Mahâ Virât, when he became gross and grosser. As there is nothing finer than radium so there is nothing grosser than Mahâ Virât. The power of this Mahâ Virât is one-sixteenth of that of S’ri Krisna, the Highest Self. But this boy, (born of the Prakriti Râdhâ) is the Sole Stay of all this Universe and he is denominated by the name “Mahâ-Visnu”. In his every pore countless universes are existing. So much so that even S’ri Krisna could not count them.
If it were possible to count the number of dust particles, it is impossible to count the number of universes. So there are endless Brahmâs, Visnus, and Mahes’varas. In every Brahmânda, there is Brahmâ, Visnu, and Mahes’a. Each Brahmânda extends from Pâtâla to the Brahmâloka. The abode of Vaikuntha is higher than that (i. e. it is situated outside of Brahmânda), again the abode of Goloka is fifty koti yojanas (50 x 10 x 4 x 2 million miles) higher than Vaikuntha. This Goloka Dhâma is eternal and real as S’ri Krisna is eternal and real. This world composed of the seven islands is surrounded by the seven oceans. Fortynine Upa Dvîpas (smaller islands adjacent to them) are existing here. Besides there are countless mountains and forests. Higher than this earth is the Brahmâloka with seven heavens and below this are the seven Pâtâlas. This is the bounding limit of Brahmânda. Just above this earth there is the Bhûrloka; above is Bhuvarloka; then Svarloka, then Janarloka, then Taparloka, then Satyaloka, and above that is Brahmâloka. The splendour of Brahmâloka is like that of molten gold. But all the substances whether outside or inside this Brahmâloka, are transient. When this Brahmânda (cosmos) dissolves, everything dissolves and is destroyed. All are temporary like bubbles of water. Only Goloka and Vaikuntha are eternal. In every pore of this Mahâ Virât is existing one Brahmânda (cosmos). What to speak of others when even Krisna cannot count the number of these Brahmândas. In every Brahmânda there is Brahmâ, Visnu and Mahes’a. O Child Nârada! In every Brahmânda, the number of the gods is three kotis or 30 millions. Some of them are the Dikpatis (the Regents of the quarters); some are the Dikpâlas (the Rulers of the quarters), some are asterisms, and some planets. In the Bhûrloka, there are four Varnas (Brâhmins, etc.,) and in the Pâtâlas there are Nâgas. Thus the Universe exists composed of moveable and non-moveable things (This is Brahmânda Vivriti). O Nârada! Now the Virât Purusa began to look up to the skies again and again but He could not see anything within that egg except the void. Then distressed with hunger He cried out repeatedly and became merged in anxiety. Next moment getting back His consciousness, He began to think of Krisna, the Highest Person and saw there at once the eternal light of Brahmâ. He saw there His form as deep blue like new raincloud; with two hands, garment of a yellow colour, sweet smile on His face, flute in His hand and He seemed to be very anxious to show His Grace to Devotees. Looking at the Lord, His Father, the boy became glad and smiled. The Lord, the Bestower of boon granted him boons appropriate for that moment “O Child! Let you possess knowledge like Me; let your hunger and thirst vanish; let you be the holder of innumerable Brahmândas till the time of Pralaya (the universal dissolution). Be without any selfishness, be fearless and the bestower of boons to all. Let not old age, death, disease, sorrow nor any other ailings afflict thee. Thus saying He repeated thrice on his ear the six-lettered great Mantra “Om Krisnâya Svâhâ” worshipped by the Vedas with their Amgas, the Giver of desires and the destroyer of all troubles and calamities. O Brahmâ’s Son! Thus giving the mantra, S’ri Krisna arranged for his feeding thus:– In every universe, whatever offerings will be given to S’ri Krisna, one sixteenth of that will go to Nârâyana, the Lord of Vaikuntha and fifteen-sixteenth is to go to this boy, the Virât. S’ri Krisna did not allot any share for Himself. Himself transcending all the Gunas, and Full, He is always satisfied with Himself. What necessity is there for any further offerings? Whatever the people offer with devotion, the Lord of Laksmî, the Virât eats all these. Bhagavân S’ri Krisna giving thus to the Virât the boon and the Mantra said:– “O Child! Say what more you desire; I will give you that instantly. The Virât boy, hearing thus the words of S’ri Krisna, spoke:– “O Thou Omnipresent! I have got no desires whatsoever, save this that as long as I live, whether for a short time or for a long time, let me have pure Bhakti towards Thy lotus feet.
35-41. In this world he is Jîvanmukta (liberated whilst living) who is your Bhakta; and that bewildered fool is dead while living who is devoid of any Bhakti to Thee. What needs he to perform Japam, asceticism, sacrifice, worship, holding fasts and observances, going to sacred places of pilgrimages and other virtuous acts if he be without any bhakti to S’ri Krisna? Vain is his life who is devoid of any devotion to S’ri Krisna, under Whose Grace he has obtained his life and Whom he does not now pay homage and wor ship. He is endowed with Sakti as long as Âtma (Self) resides in his body; no sooner the Âtma departs from his body all the Saktis accompany him. O Great One! And thou art the Universal Âtman (soul) who transcends Prakriti, Who is All will, the Primeval Person and of the nature of the Highest Light. O Child! Thus saying, the Virât boy remained silent. S’ri Krisna then, spoke in sweet words:– “O Child! Let you remain as fresh as ever like Me. You will not have any fall even if innumerable Brahmâs pass away.
42-57. Let you divide yourself in parts and turn into smaller Virâts in every universe. Brahmâ will spring from your navel and will create the cosmos. From the forehead of that Brahmâ will spring eleven Rudras for the destruction of the creation. But they will all be parts of S’iva. The Rudra named Kâlâgni, of these eleven Rudras, will be the destroyer of all this Vis’vas (cosmos). Besides, from each of your sub-divisions, the Vis’nu will originate and that Bhagavân Visnu will be the Preserver of this Vis’vu world. I say that under my favour you will always be full of Bhakti towards Me and no sooner you meditate on Me, you will be able to see My lovely form. There is no doubt in this; and your Mother, Who resides in My breast, will not be difficult for you to see. Let you remain here in ease and comfort. I now go to Goloka. Saying thus S’ri Krisna, the Lord of the world disappeared. Going to His own abode He spoke instantly to Brahmâ and S’ankara, skilled in the works of creation and destruction:– “O Child Brahmâ! Go quickly and be born in parts from the navels of each of the smaller Virâts that will arise from the pores of the Great Virât. O Child Mahâdeva! Go and be born in parts from the forehead of each Brahmâ in every universe for the destruction of the creation; (but be careful that you not forget) and perform austerities for a long, long time. O son of the Creator Brahmâ! Thus saying, the Lord of the Universe remained silent. Brahmâ and S’iva, the auspicious, bowing to the Lord, went to their own duties. On the other hand, the great Virât that lay floating in the waters of the Brahmânda sphere, created from his every pore each smaller Virât. That youth Janârdan of the form of the Great Cosmos, wearing yellow garment of the bluish-green colour of the Durba grass, lay sleeping pervading everywhere. Brahmâ took his birth in His navel. He, then, after his birth, began to travel in that navel-lotus and in the stem of the lotus for one lakh yugas. But he could not find out the place whence the lotus or its stem had sprung up. O Nârada! Then your father became very anxious and came back to his former place and began to meditate on the lotus feet of S’ri Krisna. Then, in meditation, with his introspective eye, he first saw the small Virât, then the endless great Virât lying on the watery bed, in whose pores the universes are existing and then he saw the God S’ri Krisna in Goloka with Gopas and Gopis. He then began to praise the Lord of Goloka when He granted boons to your father, and he began to do the work of creation.
58-62. From the mind of your father, were born first S’anaka and other brothers and then from his forehead eleven Rudras sprang. Then from the left side of that small Virât lying on the bed of waters, the four-handed Visnu Bhagavân, the Preserver of the Universe, came. He went to S’vetadvîpa, where he remained. Then your father became engaged in creating this Universe, moveable and non-moveable, composed of three worlds, heaven, earth and Pâtâla, in the navel of that small Virât Purusa. O Nârada! Thus from the pores of that great Virât each universe has sprung and in every universe there is one small Virât, one Brahmâ, one Visnu and one S’iva and S’anaka and others. O Best of twice born! Thus I have described the glories of Krisna, that give exceeding pleasure and Moksa. Now sa y what more you want to hear?
Here ends the Third Chapter of the Ninth Book on the Origin of Brahmâ, Visnu and Mahes’a and others in the Mahâ Purânam S’ri Mad Devî Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses by Mahârsi Veda Vyâsa.