Slokam- 1 to 53.


Brief Description of the Past and Coming Avatâras


(1) The Creator said: 'When the Lord attempted to lift the earth out of the great ocean [- the Garbodhaka],He assumed for His pastimes the form of the sum total of all sacrifices as the Unlimited One within the universe, being faced with the the first demon [called Hyranyâksa, the demon of gold] who was defeated by Him with His tusk [Him considered as the boar-avatâra Varâha] as if He was a thunderbolt piercing a pack of clouds.



(2) From Âkûti ['good intention'], the wife of the Prajâpati, Suyajna ['appropriate sacrifice'] was born who with his wife Dakshinâ ['the reward'] gave birth to the godly headed by Suyama ['proper regulation'] by which He greatly diminished the distress in the three worlds and because of which the father of mankind called Svâyambhuva Manu was named Hari [the Lord].



(3) Next He took birth in the house of the twice born Kardama ['the shadow of the Creator'], from the womb of Devahûti ['the invocation of the Gods'] accompanied by nine women. In teaching His mother as Lord Kapila ['the analytic one'] in spiritual realization, she in that life was freed from the soul-covering material modes and achieved liberation.



(4) The sage Atri praying for offspring, I, satisfied by his surrender, promised the Supreme Lord to be born as Datta [Dattâtreya, the given one] of whom the dust of His lotusfeet purified the body of mysticism bringing wealth to the spiritual and material worlds of Yadu [the founder of the dynasty], Haihaya [a descendant] and others.



(5) Because of my first having lived austere in penance for the sake of the creation of the different worlds the Lord appeared as the four Sana's [the four celibate son's called Sanat-Kumâra, Sanaka, Sanandana and Sanâtana]. In the epoch before, the spiritual truth was devastated in the inundation of the world, but it became completely manifest with these sages who had a clear vision of the soul.



(6) From Murti [the idol], the wife of Dharma [righteousness] and the daughter of Daksha[the able one, a prajâpati], He took the form of Nara-Nârâyana ['man, the course of man']. Thus [in that descent] by seeing the strength of [the beauties originating of] His personal penances the Supreme Lord never would see His vows broken by the celestial beauties that came to Him with Cupid [the god of love].



(7) Great stalwarts [like Lord S'iva] can overcome their being overwhelmed by lust by means of their wrathful vision, but they cannot overcome their own intolerance. To that however with having Him within the lust is afraid to enter. How can it factually recur to the attention with His mind?



(8) Incited by the sharp words uttered by a co-wife, even in the presence of the king, [He as] a boy took to severe penances in a great forest and therewith set the goal of the attainment of Dhruva [the immovable] with being prayed for to the satisfaction of the denizens of heaven as do the great sages ever since ascending and descending from that position [see also fourth Canto].



(9) When the twice born cursed King Vena [the anxious], going astray from the path of religion, it burnt him like a thunderbolt and all his great deeds and opulence went to hell. Being prayed for He delivered him coming to the earth as his son [named Prithu, the great one] as well achieving that the earth could be exploited to give all kinds of crops.



(10) As the son of King Nâbhi [the pivot] He was born as Rishabha [the best one] from Sudevi to go for the certainty of being equibalanced in the matter of yoga which is accepted by the learned sages as the highest stage of perfection, in which one does accept the selfreposed in suspension of the activities of the senses, being perfectly liberated from material influences.




(11) In a sacrifice of mine the Supreme Lord appeared with a horse-like head [called Hayagrîva] and thus He is seen as the personality of sacrifices with a golden hue from whose breathing through His nostrils the sounds of the vedic hymns, personal sacrifices and all that concerns the [Super-]soul of the godly can be heard.



(12) He who became the Manu [called Satyavrata, the truth abiding] at the end of the epoch saw that Lord Matsya [the fish] is the shelter of all living beings up to the earthly ones because of which out of a great fear for the waters, having taken to my mouth, therefrom certainly all the Vedas could be enjoyed.



(13) In the ocean of milk [knowledge] when the leaders of the immortals and their opponents where churning the mountain [called Mandara, big] for gaining the nectar the primeval Lord supported half asleep as a tortoise [called Kurma] it scratching and itching His back.



(14) As Nrisimha [the lion] He appeared as the one that takes away the fear of the god-conscious in rolling His eyebrows and showing the terrifying teeth of His mouth, immediately piercing on His lap with His nails the fallen king of the demons [Hiranyakas'ipu] who challenged Him with a club in his hands.



(15) The leader of the elephants who within the river at his leg was taken by an exceptionally strong crocodile, holding a lotus in great distress addressed [Him] like this: 'You are the original personality and Lord of the Universe and as famous as a place of pilgrimage all good ensues just hearing of Your name so worthy to chant.' (16) The Lord who heard him in his need, as the unlimited powerful one seated on the king of the birds [Garuda], cut the beak of the crocodile in two with His cakra-weapon and delivered him in His causeless mercy by pulling him out by his trunk.



(17) Although by His transcendental qualities the greatest He [as the youngest] of all the sons of Aditi [the infinite one] surpassed in this universe all the worlds [as Vâmana] and was therefore called the Lord of Sacrifice: pretending to need only three steps of land he took thus begging all the lands [of Bali Mahârâja] without ever offending the authorities he is never bereft of.



(18) O Nârada, by virtue of the strength of the water that washed from the feet of the Lord, he [Bali Mahârâja], who kept it on his head and who had the supremacy over the kingdom of the godly, never tried for anything else but to keep - even at the cost of his own body - to his promise, as he was dedicated to the Lord within his own mind.



(19) Unto you, Nârada, the Supreme Lord satisfied by the developing of your goodness through your transcendental love, nicely in all detail described the light of the knowledge of yoga and the science of relating to the soul which all surrendered to Vâsudeva so perfectly know to appreciate.



(20) By His cakra and undeterred in all circumstances ['ten sides'] He in the different incarnations as the Manu-successor in the Manu-dynasty ruled over de miscreants and kings of that type subduing by the marks of His personal glories from the world of truth the three systems [see loka] thus establishing His fame.



(21) With the name of Dhanvantari ['moving in a curve'] the Supreme Lord as fame personified descended in the universe directing the knowledge for obtaining a long life by bringing the nectar from the [Kurma-churning] sacrifice that quickly cures the diseases of all living entities.



(22) With the purpose of diminishing the increasing dominance of the ruling class the great soul [as Lord Paras'urâma] as the ultimate spiritual truth abated all those thorns of the world who strayed from the path and opted for a hellish life, awfully powerful operating thrice seven times by His transcendental hatchet.



(23) By dint of His causeless all-embracing mercy, the Lord of all time [as Râma] descended in the family of Ikshvâku [the dynasty of the solar order] where on the command of his father [Das'aratha] he took to the forest with His wife [Sîtâ] and brother [Laksman] on the opposition of the ten-headed one [the demoniac ruler Râvana] that had caused great distress.



(24) Unto Him the fearful Indian ocean, that saw its aquatics [sharks, seasnakes and such] burnt, quickly gave way when from a distance He, angered as he was about his aggrieved intimate friend [the kidnapped Sîtâ], meditated the city of the enemy [on the island of Lankâ] with red-hot eyes like Hara did [who wanted to burn the heavenly kingdom by his fiery looks] in desiring to burn it down.



(25) When the trunk of the elephant carrying Indra broke on the chest of Râvana he was proudly overtaken by laughter strolling amidst the armies when it illumined all directions, but within no time the kidnapper was killed by the tingling of the bow [of Râma].



(26) When the entire world is in misery from the burden of the soldiers of disbelievers, He, with His plenary expansion, His beauty and His black hair, whose glorious activities are so difficult to see by the people in general, is bound to appear for the sake of the decimation of those atheists.



(27) Who possibly else than He as a child could kill a living being that assumed the form of a giant demoness [Pûtanâ] or only being three months old with His leg turn over a cart and also uproot two high rising Arjuna trees?



(28) At Vrindâvana [where Krishna grew up] by His merciful glance He brought back to life the cowherd boys and their animals who drank of the poisoned water [of the Yamunâ]. In order to purify [the water] from the excess of the highly potent poison he went into the river and took pleasure in punishing the snake severely that was lurking there with its venomous tongue.



 (29) He by His superhuman activity saved all the inhabitants of Vraja [the cowherd-village], that were sleeping that night carefreely, from being burnt by the fire that was ablaze in the dry forest. Thus to them [later on, also those cowherdboys] who were sure to see the last of their days, He together with Balarâma proved His unfathomable prowess [delivering them the same way from another fire in the forest] by simply having them closing their eyes.



(30) Whatever rope His [foster] mother [Yas'odâ] tried to take to bind her son, time and again proved to be too short and that which she saw when He opened His mouth to the doubting cowherd woman were all the worlds, which convinced her thus in another way.



(31) Nanda Mahârâja His [fostering] father whom He also saved from the fear for Varuna [the demigod of the waters] and the cowherd men who were held captive in the caves by the son of Maya [a demon] and also the ones [in Vrindâvana] working during the day and sleeping during the night of their hard labor, He surely awarded the highest world of the spiritual sky.



(32) When the cowherd men were being stopped in their sacrifices by the king of heaven who caused the downpour of heavy rains, He, desiring to protect the animals in his causeless mercy, being only seven years of age, held up Govardhana Hill for seven days in a row, just like an umbrella playfully with one hand only without getting tired.



(33) When in His nightly pastimes in the forest desiring to dance in the silver light of the moon with sweet songs and melodious music He awakened the amorous desires of the wives of Vrajabhûmi [the region of Vrindâvana], He decapitated their kidnapper [a demon known as S'ankhacûda] who was in pursuit of the riches of Kuvera [the heavenly treasurer].



(34-35) All who were like that like Pralamba, Dhenuka, Baka, Kes'î, Arishtha, Cânûra and Mushthika [wrestling for Kamsa], Kuvalayâpîda [the elephant], Kamsa [the demoniac uncle], many foreign kings [like those of Persia], the ape Dvivida, Paundraka and others, as well as kings like S'âlva, Narakâsura, Balvala, Dantavakra, Saptoksha, Sambara, Vidûratha and Rukmî and all powerful and well equipped as Kâmboja, Matsya, Kuru [the sons of Dhritarâshthra], S'rîñjaya, and Kekaya, found their dissociation or would attain to His heavenly abode through either Himself or with His other names like Baladeva [Krishna's brother], Arjuna or Bhîma.



(36) Born from Satyavatî He [as Vyâsadeva], in due course of time seeing the difficulties of the less intelligent and short-lived of mankind at large with His appearance in the exact complex vedic literature compiled, [would and] will for certain divide the desire tree of the Vedas into its branches according the circumstances of the age.



(37) To those well situated on the path of the Vedas envious with the divine who unseen roam the worlds by inventions of Maya [a demon] and who are destructive of the bewildered mind, He dresses Himself attractively [as the Buddha] speaking mainly of moral guidelines.



(38) When with even the civilized gentlemen there is no mention of the Lord and the twice-born [the higher classes] and government itself never take to the hymns, paraphernalia, altars and words wherever, then at the end of the Age of Dissent the Supreme Lord, the chastiser will appear.



(39) I of penance [as Brahmâ] from the beginning with the generating [nine] sages [Prajapatis], certainly [in the middle] maintained the duties of sacrifice [as Vishnu] with Manu, the godly and the different rulers, but in the end with the forsaking of the principles it is S'iva to the atheists subjected to anger. All of them are the potent representatives of the One of Supreme Power.



(40) Who can fully describe the prowess of Lord Vishnu? Not even the scientist that might have counted the atoms. All were greatly moved by Him who by His own leg could cover the universe [as Trivikrama] up to the topmost world beyond the operating modes.


(41) Never do I, nor all the sages born before you, know the end of the Omnipotent Original Person. Then what to say of others born after us who even to the present day by singing the qualities with the thousand faces of Ananta S'esha [the 'snakebed' of Vishnu] of the primordial God, cannot achieve to His limit?


(42) He, the Supreme Lord, will only bestow the mercy of His Unlimited Potential upon those who by all means without any reservation and pretension are as the souls that surrendered to His feet who passed the insurmountable ocean of His material energies and not upon those who hold on to the I and mine of the body that is known [in the end] to be eaten by dogs and jackals.



(43-45) O Nârada, know me and yourself to be of the Supreme over the deluding material potency as also are the great Lord S'iva, Prahlâda Mahârâja who came from the atheist family, S'atarûpâ, the wife of Manu and Svâyambhuva Manu himself with his children, Prâcînabarhi, Ribhu, Anga [the father of Vena], and like Dhruva, Ikshvâku, Aila, Mucukunda, Janaka, Gâdhi, Raghu, Ambarîsha, Sagara, Gaya, Nâhusha, etc. as also others like Mândhâtâ, Alarka, S'atadhanve, Anu, Rantideva, Bhîshma, Bali, Amûrttaraya, Dilîpa, Saubhari, Utanka, S'ibi, Devala, Pippalâda, Sârasvata, Uddhava, Parâs'ara, Bhûrishena, and first ones as Vibhîshana, Hanumân, S'ukadeva Gosvâmî, Arjuna, Ârshthishena, Vidura and S'rutadeva.



(46) Undoubtedly do also those persons manage to surpass the illusion of the divine energy and to arrive at knowledge who are women, laborers, barbarians and outcasts do know despite of [formerly] being sinful souls - provided they live up to the instructions of admirable devotees. When even those who were not of the human do, then what to say about those who devotedly listened [from the beginning]?



(47) Being eternal and unperturbed, free from fear and uncontaminated in the opposing consciousness without preferences in the reality of the Supersoul over the true and untrue, one is [having surpassed] unconcerned about the fruits of action in sacrifices and sees the illusion flying away that is full of shame [see also B.G. 2: 52]. For certain that is the ultimate phase of the Supreme Lord [bhagavân] who is the Spirit of Transcendence of the person which is thus known as being of unlimited happiness without grief.



(48) In that state of hearing are the diverse practices of seeking the truth of the mystics in their process of spiritual culture then given up just the way Indra [god of the rains] doesn't worry to dig a well [to have water].



(49) He, all auspicious is also the master, the Supreme Lord, because to the natural living being its own constitution all doing good is rewarded the ultimate success to which, after the body with its constituent elements is being vanquished and given up, one, being unborn like the original person, will never be vanquished.

(50) My dear, like this I explained in brief to you about the Supreme Lord as the creator of the known worlds, without whom nothing else of whatever that may exist in the phenomenal and noumenal can be of any causation.


(51) This story of the Fortunate One called S'rîmad Bhâgavatam, was given to me through the enlightenment of pure devotion and constitutes the accumulation of His diverse potencies. Now you from your good self must expound on this science of Godhead yourself.


(52) Therefore describe with determination, for the cause of enlightening mankind, this science of devotion [bhakti] for the Supreme Personality, the summum bonum and Absolute of all Souls.


(53) With the description of the external affairs of Him, the Lord, in regular devoted appreciation and attendance, the living entity will never become illusioned by the external energy.


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