tataH ahaM tasya vachanAt mArkaNDeyaM samAhitaH |
prashnaM tam evAm anvapR^ichChaM yat me pR^iShThaH purA pitA || 1-17-1
saH mAm uvacha dharmAtmA mArkaNDeyo mahAtapAH |
bhIShma vakShyAmi kartsnyena shR^iNuShva prayataH anagha || 1-17-2
Then I approached sage mArkanDeya according to my father's instruction repeating the same questions I asked my father... and he said, "oh, bhIShma... you may listen while I explain everything...
ahaM pitR^i-prasAdAt vai dIrgha-AyuShTvam avAptavAn |
pitR^i-bhaktyA eva labdhaM cha prAk-loke paramaM yashaH || 1-17-3
By the grace of my father I acquired longevity, and owing to my devoutness to my father I also acquired high renown in this mortal world...
saH ahaM yugasya paryante bahu varSha sahasrike |
adhiruhya giriM meruM tapo.atapyaM sudushcharam || 1-17-4
Such as I am I undertook very difficult ascesis on Mt. meru for some thousands of years a the close of yuga, era...
tataH kadAchit pashyAmi divaM prajvAlya tejasA | |
vimAnaM mahat AyAntam uttareNa gireH tadA || 1-17-5
At certain certain time during that period I saw an aircraft coming from north brightening the sky with its resplendence...
tasmin vimAne parya~Nke jvalita Aditya sannibham |
apashyaM tatra cha eva ahaM shayAnaM dIpta-tejasam || 1-17-6
a~NguShTha-mAtraM puruSham agnau agnim iva aahitam |
In that glowing aircraft I saw a thumb sized dwarfish being resplendent like sungod... thus he appeared like a glowing fire inlaid in another glowing fire...
saH ahaM tasmai namaskR^itya praNamya shirasA vibhum || 1-17-7
sanniviShTaM vimAnasthaM pAdyA arghAbhyAm apUjayam |
apR^ichChaM chaiva durdharShaM vidyAma tvAm kathaM vibho || 1-17-8
tapo vIryAt samutpannaM nArAyaNa-guNa-Atmakam |
daivataM hi asi devAnam iti me vartate matiH || 1-17-9
Then, on revering that emplaned being with folded-palms and bowing down and offering holy water, I asked, "you appear to be undeniable, aggregate of ascesis and prowess, possessing a triumphant air of nArAyaNa about you... to me you look like god of gods... but, how do I signify you...
sa mAm uvAcha dharmAtmA smayamAna iva anagha
na te tapaH sucharitaM yena mAM na avabuddhyase || 1-17-10
kShaNena eva pramANaM saH bibhrat anya anuttamam |
rUpeNa na mayA kashchit dR^iShTa-pUrvaH pumAn kvachit || 1-17-11
Then that highsouled-being spoke to me smilingly, "unconsummated is your ascesis wherefore you are unable to recognise me..." and then in a trice he transfigured into a most astonishing form... I have never seen such a personality in any man till then...
viddhi mAM brahmaNaH putraM mAnasaM pUrvajaM vibhoH |
tapo vIrya samutpannaM nArAyaNa guNa-Atmakam || 1-17-12
sanatkumAra iti yaH shruto deveShu vai purA |
saH asmi bhArgava bhadraM te kaM kAmaM karavANi te || 1-17-13
"Know me as the eldest brainchild of brahma... you are right in saying that I am an 'aggregate of ascesis and prowess, possessing an air of nArAyaNa about me' etc... I am that sanatkumAra... you might have heard about me from the legendarily accounts of gods... blest you be... what can I do for you...
ye tu anye brahmaNaH putrAH yavIyAn astu te mama |
bhrAtaraH sapta durdharShAH teShAM vaMshAH pratiShThitAH || 1-17-14
kratuH vasiShThaH pulahaH pulastyaH atriH tathA a~NgirAH |
marIchiH tu tathA dhImAn deva gandharva sevitAH |
trINi lokAn dhArayanti imAn deva gandharva pUjitAH || 1-17-15
The other brainchildren of brahma younger to me are: kratu, vasiShTha, pulaha, pulastya, atri, a~Ngira, and mariachi. The lineages of these insuperable brainchildren of brahma are well established, and they who are reverential equally to gods and gandharva-s will hold the three worlds together, after receiving worship from those gods and gandharva-s...
vayaM tu yati dharmANaH saMyojya AtmAnam Atmani |
prajA dharmaM cha kAmaM cha vyapahAya mahAmune || 1-17-16
Amalgamating our souls in supreme soul, we the brainchildren of brahma discarded libidinal activity thus remained non-procreative...
yatha utpannaH tathaiva ahaM kumAra iti viddhi mAm |
tasmAt sanatkumAra iti nAma etat me pratiShThitam || 1-17-17
I still retain the aura of a neonate with which I took birth; hence I am called kumara... a boy; sanat - always; kumara - a boy; a perpetual neonate; because neonates are doubtlessly away from lust, greed, conceit etc., so am I... so my name too came to pass as sanat-kumara...
mat bhaktyA te tapaH chIrNaM mama darshana kA~NkShayA |
eSha dR^iShTaH asmi bhavatA kaM kAmaM karavANi te || 1-17-18 |
You are undertaking ascesis just to jhave a glimpse at me... here I present myeslf to you... now, tell me what I can do for you..." Thus sanatkumara said toi sage mArkanDeya.
iti uktavantaM tam ahaM pratyavochaM sanAtanam |
anuj~nAto bhagavatA prIyamANena bhArata || 1-17-19
tataH aham enam arthaM vai tamapR^ichChaM sanAtanam |
pR^iShTaH pitR^INAM sargaM cha phalaM shrAddhasya cha anagha || 1-17-20
When that sempiternal god sanatkumara spoke to me in this way, then I asked that acquiescent god, of course, taking his permission to receive questions, about the genesis of manes, results of their beatification etc...
chichCheda saMshayaM bhIShma sa tu deva Ishvaro
sa mAm uvAcha dharmAtmA kathAnte bahu vArShike |
rame tvayA ahaM viprarShe shR^iNu sarvaM yathAtatham || 1-17-21
Dispelling all my doubts, oh, bhIShma... he told me at the end of his long-time narration, "oh, brahma-sage mArkanDeya, I am pleased with you... you may now listen to all in detail...
devAn asR^ijata brahmA mAM yakShyanti iti bhArgava |
tam utsR^ijya tathA AtmAnam ayajan te phala-arthinaH || 1-17-22 |
te shaptA brahmaNA mUDhA naShTa-samj~nA divaukasaH |
na sma ki~nchit vijAnanti tato loko api amuhyata || 1-17-23
Originally brahma created gods saying to them, "you needs must adore me..." But, those gods left him off and started adoring themselves, as the beneficiaries of fruits of actions done by humans and other living beings... then brahma had to curse them saying, "you fools you shall now become scatterbrained loosing the faculty of retention..." Then they not only became blockheaded but also checked out of heaven because they are unable to recollect what heaven meant to them...
Adore me - you adore nArAyaNa through me is the import.
te bhUyaH praNatAH shaptAH prAyAchanta pitAmaham |
anugrahAya lokAnAM tataH tAn abravIt idam || 1-17-24
prAyashchittaM charadhvaM vai vyabhichAro hi vaH kR^itaH |
putrAM cha paripR^IchChadhvaM tato j~nAnam avApsyatha || 1-17-25
Later the gods reverently pleaded for the mercy of brahma, and brahma benevolently accorded it saying, "you gods, you will have to atone yourselves for your deviating behaviour... now go and seek your own sons, from whom you will receive proper enlightenment...
prAyashchitta kriya-arthaM te putrAn paprachChuH Artavat |
tebhyaH te prayata-AtmAnaH shashaMsuH tanayAH tadA || 1-17-26
prAyashchittAni dharmaj~nA vAk manaH karma-jAni vai |
shaMsanti kushalA nityaM chakShurbhyAm api nityashaH || 1-17-27
prAyashchitta-artha-tattvaj~nA labdha-saMj~nA divaukasaH |
gamyantAM putrakAH cha iti putraiH uktAH cha te tadA || 1-17-28
Like distracted beings then the gods approached their own sons seeking information as to how to make amends. Their sons enlightened them about the propitiatory acts of atonement for the wrongdoings, done at three levels viz. mentally, vocally or physically, that mainly concerns about the filial duteousness... at the end, the sons of gods said to their fathers, "you have learned enough, my dear sons, now you may return to brahma, the only knower of the subtext of atonement..."
abhishaptAH tu te devAH putra vAkyena ninditAH |
pitAmaham upAgachChan saMshaya chChedanAya vai || 1-17-29
Those gods are already carrying a curse of brahma on their head... now they felt ridiculed when their sons expressed a 'reverse filiation'... then the gods again approached brahma seeking clarification on this...
tataH tAn abravIt devaH yUyaM vai brahma-vAdinaH |
tasmAt yat uktaM yuShmAkaM tat tathA na tat anyathA || 1-17-30
yUyaM sharIra kartAH teShAM devA bhaviShyatha |
te tu j~nAna pradAtAraH pitaro vaH na saMshayaH || 1-17-31
Then brahma said to them, "you are the adherents of brahma-concept, i.e., the syndrome of cause-precedes-effect... isn't it... so, your sons have said to you to honour 'your' cause first, then the 'effects' of yours will honour you... maybe you are the architects of the physiques of your sons, but they are the fathers of your intellect which you have lost in your sophomoric impertinence... thus whatever they have said is nothing but truth... as such, there can be no doubt in their addressing you as 'oh, sons...'
anyonyaM pitaro yUyaM te chaiveti na saMshayaH |
devAH cha pitaraH chaiva tat budhyadhvaM divaukasaH || 1-17-32
Each to each is a father as well as a son in give and take relationship... thus the words devatAH and pitarAH - gods and manes, can become nomenclative in their proper sense... therefore, you gods, you should be familiar with this interrelationship...
tataH te punaH Agamya putrAn UchuH divaukasaH |
brahmaNA chChinna-saMdehAH prItimantaH parasparam || 1-17-33
yUyaM vai pitaro asmAkaM yaiH vayaM pratibodhitAH |
dharmaj~nAH kaH cha vaH kAmaH kaH varaH vaH pradIyatAm | 1-17-34
yat uktaM chaiva yuShmAbhiH tat tathA na tad anyathA |
uktAH cha yasmAt yuShmAbhiH putrakA iti vai vayam |
tasmAt bhavantaH pitaro bhaviShyanti na saMshayaH || 1-17-35
Then the gods came back to their sons and said to them, "brahma dispelled all our doubts and we glad to know each other... oh, sons of gods, whatever you said is nothing but truth... you achieved fatherhood because you termed us as your sons... no doubt about it... oh, sons of gods, because you imparted knowledge to us you have become our fathers of gnosis - j~nana pita-s... not only to us gods, but you should have fatherhood of all worlds... you are gods because you the sons of gods, and now on achieving fatherhood you shall be called pitR^I devatA-s... fatherly-gods... so-called manes... tell us what boon can be given to you... what for your heart is longing and..." Thus gods asked their sons. But when the sons of gods maintained a reticent silence, the gods continued to say:
yaH aniShTvA tu pitR^I~n shrAddhaiH kriyAH kAshchit kariShyati |
rAkShasA dAnavA nAgAH phalaM prApsyanti tasya tat || 1-17-36
Whoso worships gods and gods alone, duly bypassing the acts of beatifying fatherly-gods viz. the shrAddha-kriyA-s to pitR^i devatA-s, so-called manes; the fruits of his worship are henceforth transferable to rAkShasA-s, dAnavA-s and nAgA-s...
shrAddhaiH ApyAyitAH chaiva pitaraH somam avyayam |
ApyAyyamAnA yuShmAbhiH vardhayiShyati nityadA || 1-17-37
shrAddhaiH ApyAyitaH somo lokAn ApyAyayiShyati |
samudra parvatavanaM ja~Ngama aja~NgamaiH vR^itam || 1-17-38
And when, oh, sons of gods, who now stand consecrated as pitR^i-gaNA-s, observances of fatherly gods, so-called manes, you will be sated with the beatification processes offered to you, you in turn will always be satiating soma, the god of moon and the repository of nectar, and when soma is sated through you, he will be sating whole world spanning from mountains to oceans, whether animate or inanimate... this shall be the cyclic process in give-and-take syndrome...
shrAddhAni puShTi-kAmAH cha ye kariShyanti mAnavAH |
tebhyaH puShTiM prajAH chaiva dAsyanti pitaraH sadA || 1-17-39
Thus this beatification is welfare-enriching process to those humans who undertake it, and you as fatherly-gods shall always be according well-being, progeny etc to them...
shrAddhe ye cha pradAsyanti trIn piNDAn nAma gotrataH |
sarvatra vartamAnn tAn pitaraH sa pitAmahAn |
bhAvayiShyanti satataM shrAddha-dAnena tarpitAH || 1-17-40
Any human who regularly offers three offertories reflecting on the names and lineages of his fathers and grandfathers, he will achieve an all-round success, because he always stands alembicated of hi blemishes with these offertories...
piNDa does not necessarily mean rice-balls or morsels. It is just an offertory item made with the staple food of the offerer. Where is a morsel in the phrase aNDa-piNDa-brahmANDa?
evamA j~nApitaM pUrvaM brahmaNA parameShThinA |
iti tat vachanaM satyaM bhavatvadya divaukasaH |
putrAH cha pitaraH chaiva vayaM sarve parasparam || 1-17-41
This is how the supreme brahma educated us... as such, oh, sons of gods, his word shall come true... henceforth let us mutually become fathers and/or sons according as the situation..." This is how gods who realised their mistake have said to their sons.
ta ete pitaro devA devAH cha pitaraH tathA |
anyonyaM pitaro hi ete devAH cha pirataH cha ha || 1-17-42
"Thus the gods are both fathers and gods; fatherly gods are both fathers and gods; they mutually conduct themselves in pitA-putra-nyAya - an indivisible syndrome of father-son-father-son, ad infinitum..."Thus sanat-kumAra enlightened sage mArkanDeya about the genesis of fatherly-gods, so-called manes, and about the fruits of their beatification.
iti shrImahAbhAtare khileShu harivaMshe harivaMshaparvani pit^ikalpe saptadasho.dhyAyaH
Thus, this is the seventeenth chapter of first canto called harivamsha-parva, in harivamsha-purANa, the sequel of mahAbhArata, narrating the genesis of fatherly-gods, so-called manes, and about the fruits of their beatification.
|Prev ch 16 : about beatification of manes||contents||Next ch 18 : beatification of manes - 2|
verse-transliteration: ks ramachandran|
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verse-rendition advisor : gilles schaufelberger|
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page maintained by : Harindranath Avaroth :|
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translation : desiraju hanumanta rao|
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|E&OE - content is subject to revision : dated 14-8-07|