shrIhari

mahAbhAratam
tasya khila bhAho

harivamsham

harivamsha parva
ch 42

viShNoH Ishvaratva kathanama
godhood of viShNu

 

--o)0(o--

vaishaMpAyana uvAcha : vaishampAyana continued:

vishvatvaM shR^iNu me viShNoH haritvaM cha kR^ite yuge |
vaikuNThatvaM cha deveShu kR^ShNatvaM mAnuSheShu cha ||1-42-1
IshvaratvaM cha tasya idaM gahanAM karmaNAM gatim |
saMpratyatItAM bhAvyAM cha shR^iNu rAjan yatha tatham ||1-42-2

viShNu’s vishvatvam - saviourship of universe; now you may listen about it from me, oh, king janamejaya; vishvam being his first name in viShNu sahasranAmAvali – shvasitva ashvasitvA abhayam prApya jano yasmAt iti vishva – omni- sanctuarizer,

haritvamhari – a purloiner; harati – nAshayati – duHkha AdIn; durita-daitya AdIn iti hariH; one who disburdens sorrow or demons; sorrowsnathcer, demonmugger; this is what he is right from kR^ita yuga, golden age;

viakuNThatvam - incumbency in vaikuNTha - vigatam kuNThanam iti vaikuNTham; gati-pratighAtam, Alasyam, vaikatam vA yasmAt saH vikuNThaH – one who nullifies delay in reaching his abode via devotion, an expediter of salvation; this is what he is among gods as no other god is capable to do so;

kR^iShNatvaM – fascinatorship, or toleratorship; kR^iShiH bhU vAchaka shabdo, ‘Na’ shcha  nivR^iti vAchakaH; mAnuSheShu rajaH tamo guNa grasteShu, upekshaNIyeShu kR^iShNatvaM – so says smR^iti; because he tolerated certain notorious kings up to some extent, who have become so owing to the preponderance of rajo and tamo guNA-s in them, he is called kR^iShNa. This is what he is among humans.

IshvaratvaM – lordship for moderate people; madhyameShu IshvaratvaM – nigraha anugraha etc;  

gahanAM karmaNAM – nAnA rUpAm lIlAnAm; understandable deeds; gatim – course of action in past, present and future; oh, king, you may listen to them all from me as has happened...

a-vyakto vyakta-li~Ngastho yatra eva bhagavAn prabhuH |
nArAyaNo hi ananta-AtmA prabhavaH avyaya eva cha  ||1-42-3
eSha nArAyaNo bhUtvA hariH AsIt kR^ite yuge |
brahmA shakraH cha somaH cha dharmaH shukro bR^ihaspatiH ||1-42-4

Indeed he who pioneers all living beings - nara-ayana - is nArAyaNa; he is unmanifest, yet self- manifest, allusively; he is the lord and god; eternal soul; unmodifiable entity and he assumed the form of shrIari in the kRita era; and when we verbalise as brahma, indra, soma, dharma, shukra or bRihaspati et al, they are all the other manifestations of this nArAyaNa...

aditeH api putratvam etya yAdava-nandanaH |
eSha viShNuH iti khyAta indrAt avarajo abhavat ||1-42-5
prasAda-jaM hi asya vibhoH adityAH putra janma tat |
vadha arthaM sura-shatrUNAM daitya dAnava rakShasAm ||1-42-6

viShNu, the dynast of yAdava-s, became the son of lady aditi and became indra, the junior, indra-avaraja, in his vAmana incarnation..,   to accomplish the destruction of the enemies of the celestials, namely daityA-s, dAnavA-s and rAkshasA-s, that lord manifested himself as the son of lady aditi, just to grace that lady, in his dwarf-boy incarnation...

pradhAna-AtmA purA hi eSha brahmANam asR^ijat prabhuH |
saH asR^ijat pUrva-puruShaH purA kalpe prajApatIn ||1-42-7  

te tanvAnAH tanUH tatra  brahma-vaMshAn anuttamAn |
tebhyo abhavat mahAtmabhyo bahudhA brahma shAshvatam ||1-42-8
etat Ashcharya bUtasya viShNoH nAma-anukIrtanam |
kIrtanIyasya lokeShu kIrtyamAnaM nibodha me ||1-42-9

This Supreme-Soul, viShNu, created the creator brahma in the days of yore. And that very same Prime-Person, viShNu, created all the prajApati-s at the outset of eras, who on assuming various forms, also with their own forms – as in the case of kashyapa-prajApati – in turn created many most excellent beings - pipIlikAdi brahma paryantam - that are generally termed as the kith and kin of the creator brahma... and brahma, euphemistically the veda-s, have become manifold and everlasting owing to these great beings, prajApati-s... as such, viShNu of amazing deeds has bee eulogised in all the worlds... hence, you too may now hear from me about that viShNu worthy of those eulogies...

vR^itte vR^itra vadhe tAta vartamAne kR^ite yuge |
AsIt trailokya vikhyAtaH saMgrAmaH tArakAmayaH ||1-42-10
tatra asan dAnavA ghorAH sarve saMgrAma-darpitAH |
ghnanti deva-ganAn sarvAn sa-yakSha uraga rAkShasAn ||1-42-11
te vadhyamAnA vimukhAH kShINa-praharaNA raNe |
trAtAraM manasA jagmuH devaM nArAyaNaM harim ||1-42-12

There occured a battle between gods and demons in kR^ita era after the elimination a demon called vR^itra-asura... this is battle of gods is with a demon called tAraka-asura whose battling skills are well known in all the three worlds... in that battle the dAnavA-s, prideful of their warring ability, have started to trounce the hosts of gods, together with yakShA-s, uragA-s, and rAkShasA-s... then these defeated warriors, gods and others, had to take to their heels when being battered, and when they lacked counter-assault weapons, and they mentally sought refuge of the omni-protector, viShNu...

etasmin antare meghA nirvANa-a~NgAra-varShiNaH |
sa arka chandra graha gaNaM ChAdayanto nabhaH-talam ||1-42-13
cha~nchat vidyut gaNa AviddhA ghorA nihrAda-kAriNaH |
anyonya vega abhihatAH pravavuH sapta mARutAH ||1-42-14
dIpta toya ashanI-pAtaiH vajra-vega-anila-AkulaiH |
rarAsa ghoraH utpAtaiH dahyamAnam iva aMbaram ||1-42-15
petuH ulkA-sahasrANi muhur AkAsha-gAni api |
nyubjAni cha vimAnAni pra-patanti ut-patanti cha ||1-42-16
chatur-yuga anta paryAye lokAnAM yat bhayaM bhavet |
tAdR^ishAni eva rUpANi tasmin utpAta-lakShaNe ||1-42-17
tamasA niSh-prabhaM sarvaM na prAj~nAyata ki~nchana |
timira ogha parikShiptA na rejuH cha disho dasha ||1-42-18
nisheva-rUpiNI kAlI kAla-megha-avaguNThitA |
dyauH na bhAti abhibhUta arkA ghoreNa tamasA vR^itA || 1-42-19

In the meantime, clouds rumbled dreadfully, collided sonorously, showered embers fiercely, covered the sky together with its sun, moon and planets murkily, and pitched a host of flashing lightning punishingly, while the cosmic winds like AvAha, pravAha and the like, started to blow gustily and counter-gustily... all this, as it were, bechanced by the trickery of demons...

With the downpour of flaming water and flashing lightning, which are of a piece with the thunderbolts of indra in their dash and blaze there ensued mayhem in the sky, as if whole sky is put to blaze...

Thousands of sky-rocketing aerolites have been catapulted repeatedly, and the divine aircrafts of celestials see-sawed as aeronomy has failed...

What scare that looms large on the people at the universal destruction chancing at the end of an era – mahA-pralayam – that has loomed now on their psyche on seeing similar foretokens now happening on sky...

Cast into darkness everything is ill-lit... nothing is recognizable... deluged in the torrents of darkness the ten cardinal points became fuzzy...

It is already like amavAsya-nishi, the tenebrosity of no-moon-night, further veiled by demon-simulated tenebrous clouds, ergo the sun is under a murky veil, ergo the sky is unlit, and ergo life is standstilled...  

tAn ghana-oghAn sa-timirAn dorbhyAm utkShipya sa prabhuH |
vapuH saMdarshayAmAsa divyaM kR^iShNa-vapuH-hariH ||1-42-20

shrIhari caught those demon-simulated streams of darkness together with gloominess in the bowl of his two palms and annulled it... he then started to reveal his hallowed physique...

Let us dwell upon his – divya mangala vigraham – hallowed physiognomic features, for a while...

The following is a stuti-pATham on viShNu, and if any readers wish to learn it by heart like viShNu sahasranAmA-s, they are requested to refer to the text with undivided compunds - samAsAa yukta shlokA-s, given elesewhere on these webpages, and compare this with that for reading / learning facility. Otherwise muscical intonation will not be acieved with TIka-tAtparya shlokA-s, verses with broken compunds.

balAhaka a~njana nibhaM balAhaka tanU ruham |
tejasA vapuShA chaiva kR^iShNaM kR^iShNam iva chalam ||1-42-21

His divya mangala vigraham – hallowed configuration – is simulative of mountainous water-bearing black-cloud, or monolithic mascara, with pitch-black hairdo...

dIpta pIta aMbara dharaM tapta kA~nchana bhUShaNam |
dhUma andhakAra vapuShA yuga anta agnim iva utthitam ||1-42-22

Clad in brilliant silks of ochry yellow, adorned with superfine golden ornaments on his smokily blue-black body, he rose up like the fulmination at the end of an era...

chatur-dviguNa pIna aMsaM balAkA pa~Nkti bhUShanam |

Brawny shoulders are now belying a black-cloud with a flight of heronry at their fringes, since he is now stretching an octad of his arms, 4*2– aShTha bhuja – around those shoulders...

chAmIkara karA-akAraiH AyudhaiH upashobhitam ||1-42-23
chandra arka kiraNa uddyotaM giri kUTaM shila-uchchayam |

Clasping eight weapons in eight fists he glistened like an unswerving lofty mountaintop mounted on a skyscape florid with fused sunrays and moonbeams...

nandaka Anandita karaM sharA AshI-viSha dhAriNam ||1-42-24
shakti chitraM hala udagraM sha~Nkha chakra gadAdharam |
viShNu shailaM kShamA-mUlaM shravR^ikShaM shAr~Nga dhanvinam ||1-42-25

Now, wielding his sword called nandaka in one hand that rejoices to hold it; in another similar hand holding arrows that are ready to spew demonvenom; another hand holding an upraised demonplough, power of which will be amazing; three more hands handling a conch called pAncha-janyam, a disc called sudarshanam, and a mace called kaumodaki; yet another handling a bow called shAra~Ngam; while the eighth remained free because it is an – abhaya hasta – a shelter-giving-hand, there stood a mountain called viShNu, like a sweltering tree - shra-vR^iksham, where the base of that mountain or that of the fuming tree is nothing but mercy...

In the text as shrI vR^ikShaM, viShNu it is read: 'he looked like the personified bliss in the form of all yielding tree...' but, this blisfull tree will not go well in the context of describing his weapons, or his fuming at demons, at present. Hence it is shra-vR^ikShaM; where shra - shrapanam – is boiling, roasting, baking etc- a fuming tree - ultimately.

hari-ashva-ratha saMyukte suparNa dhvaja shobhite |
chandra aArka chakra ruchire mandara akSha vR^itAntare ||1-42-26
ananta rashmi saMyukte dadR^ishe meru-kUbare |
tArakA chitra kusume graha nakshatra bandhure ||1-42-27
bhayeShu abhayadaM vyomni devA daitya parAjitAH |
dadR^ishuH te sthitaM devaM divya-lokamaye rathe ||1-42-28

Now, he seemed to be encharioted in a divine cosmic-chariot – bhuvana-rUpa-syandanam - yoked with green horses; pennant carrying suparNa, Divine-Eagle’s, monogram; sun and moon as its two beautiful wheels; Mt. mandara as its axle; the thousand-headed serpent ananta as its reins; Mt. meru as its chassis-to-yoke longbeam; sprayey with starlets and festooned with stars and planets; and gods who now stand defeated by demons have seen such a viShNu in firmament, who is the assurer of safety...

te kR^itA~njalayaH sarve devAH shakra-purogamAH |
jaya shabdaM puraskR^itya sharaNyaM sharaNaM gatAH ||1-42-29

Then the gods headed by indra reverently enfolding their palms hailed him and sought refuge with the lord viShNu to whom all resort for shelter...

sa teShAM tA giraH shrutvA viShNuH dayita-devataH |
manaH chakre vinAshya dAnavAnAM mahA-mR^idhe ||1-42-30
AkAshe tu sthito viShNuH sottame puruShottamaH |
uvAcha devatAH sarvAH sa pratij~nam idaM vachaH ||1-42-31

On listening to the pleas of gods viShNu made up his mind to eliminate all the demons in a great encounter, and then that foremost one among gods, viShNu, still remaining on the sky promised to the celestials, saying:

shAntiM bhajata bhadraM vaH mA bhaiShTA marutAM-gANAH |
jitA me dAnavAH sarve trAilokyAM pratigR^ihyatAm ||1-42-32

O ye gods... be peaceful... do not fear... as soon as I conquer all the demons, then you can retrieve all the three worlds... may you fare well...

te tasya satya-saMdhasya viShNor vAkyena toShitAH |
devAH prItiM parAM jagmuH prApya iva amR^itam utthitam ||1-42-33

Gladdened by the nectarean words of that truthful shrIhari, all the gods attained to that supreme delight as if they have reacquire ambrosia resurgent from ocean...

tataH tamaH samhR^iyate vineshuH cha balAhakAH |
pravavuH cha shivA vAtAH prAsannAH cha disho dasha ||1-42-34
suprabhANi cha jyotIMShi chandraM chakruH pradakShiNam |
dIptimanti cha tejAMsi chakrur arkaM pradakShiNam || 1-42-35
na vigrahaM grahAH chakruH prasannAH chApi sindhavaH |
nIrajaskA  babhur mArgA nAka mArga AdayaH trayaH ||1-42-36
yatha arthAm UhuH sarito na api chukShubhire arNavAH |
Asa~n shubhAni indriyANi narANAm antara-Atmasu ||1-42-37

Thereupon cranes are noisy as the demon-made darkness fizzled out... winds wafted pleasantly... ten cardinal points of earth easily discernable... shinning stars and the other luminous bodies correctly orbited the moon and sun as usual, while the interplanetary strife came to an end... rivers quietened, roads dustless... tidied are the three avenues to heaven, namely deva-yAna, pitR^i-yAna, moksha-mArga... rivers flowed quietly... oceans unruffled... sensibilities of humans are soft-pedalled and they remained complacent in  soul of souls...

maharShayo vIta-shokA vedAn uchchaiH adhIyata |
yaj~neShu cha haviH svAdu shivam ashnAti pAvakaH ||1-42-38

Great sages shorn of grief resonantly chanted Vedic hymns, while the Ritual-fire consumed palatable oblations in Vedic rituals...

pravR^itta dharmAH saMvR^ittA lokA mudita-mAnasAH |
prItyA paramayA yuktA deva-devasya bhUpateH |
viShNoH satya-pratij~nasya shrutva ari-nidhane giram ||1-42-39

On hearing the truthful promise of viShNu regarding elimination of enemies, people’s hearts are filled with joy, and while they are thus gladdened all the dharma-s like vedic rituals etc are in vogue once again, thus the raisons d'être are kept up...

iti shrImahAbhArate khileShu harivaMshe harivaMshaparvaNi
Ashcharya-tArakAmaye - viShNoH Ishvaratva kathanam – nAma dvichatvAriMsho.adhyAyaH

Thus, this is the forty-second chapter of first canto called harivamsha-parva, in harivamsha-purANa, the sequel of mahAbhArata, narrating the godhood of Vishnu.

--o)0(o--

Prev ch 41: incarnations of vishnu contents Next chapter 43:  about army of demons
verse-transliteration:  ks ramachandran
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translation : desiraju hanumanta rao
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E&OE - content is subject to revision : dated 2-3-08