Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana Book 10 Chapter 13:45-56

Book 10: Thirteenth Chapter (First Half)

Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana: Book 10: Chapter 13: Verses 45-56

Just as the darkness caused by mist gets merged in (that of) a night and even as the light emitted by a fire-fly is merged in day light, the inferior Maya (deluding power) of one employing it against a superior nullifies his own control over that power. Meanwhile, before the very eyes of Brahma (the birthless), who kept looking on, all the cowherd boys (the keepers of the calves) forthwith appeared dark as a cloud, clad in yellow silk, endowed with four arms, carrying a conch, a discus, a mace and a lotus in their r hands, adorned (each) with a diadem, ear-rings, a necklace of pearls and a sylvan wreath, wearing on the (upper part of) their arms a pair of armlets illumined by the (lustre of) Srivatsa (a curl of hair on the right breast) and about their wrists a pair of bracelets made of precious stones marked with three lines like a conch, (nay,) decked with anklets and bangles, girdles and rings and covered all over their body from head to foot with fresh soft wreaths of basil leaves offered by devotees possessed of abundant merit. By their sidelong glances cast from their ruddy eyes and accompanied by smiles bright as moonlight they awakened desires in the heart of their devotees and fulfilled them as it were with the help of Rajas[1] and Sattva (which are credited with a reddish and white colour respectively and stood symbolized by the reddish eyes and bright smiles of these divine forms).
They were severally waited upon with dances, music and many other courses of worship by (various types of) created beings, both animate and inanimate, from himself (Brahma) down to a clump of grass, (all) possessed of a living form. They were surrounded by mystic powers such as Anima (the power of assuming an atomic size), potencies like Maya and the twenty-four[2] elementary principles, the Mahat-tattva and so on (all in living forms).
They were (further) waited upon by Kala (the Time-Spirit, that is responsible for disturbing the equilibrium of the three Gunas or modes of Prakrti), Swabhava (the mutability of Matter), Samskara (latent desire), Kama (the desire for enjoyment), Karma (worldly and religious activity), the (three) Gunas, (all) endowed with a living form with their glory eclipsed by the glory of these divine forms. They were embodiments of the one (absolute) essence consisting of truth, consciousness, infinitude and bliss alone. Their infinite glory was unapproachable indeed even by those whose (only) eye is Self-Knowledge. In this way (but) once Brahma (the birthless) saw them all as identical with the transcendent Brahma (Absolute), by whose effulgence is this entire creation including animate and inanimate beings stands revealed. Thereupon turning away his gaze in great wonder (and) with all his eleven Indriyas (the five senses of perception, the five organs of action and the mind) having been overpowered by their splendour, Brahma (the birthless one) stood mute like a doll by the side of the Deity presiding over the land of Vraja.



  1. The quality of Rajas is associated with the power of creation and the quality of Sattva with that of preservation or fulfilment.
  2. The total number of principles of which the cosmos is composed is twenty-five, including Prakrti (Primordial Matter) and Purusa (the Spirit). Excluding Prakrti and Purusa the number comes to twenty-three alone, viz., the Mahat-tattva (the principle of cosmic intelligence), Ahankara (the cosmic ego), the five Tanmatras (subtle elements), the eleven Indriyas including the mind, and the five Mahabhutas (gross elements). The entire cosmos (referred to in our scriptures under the name of Sutra) Presided over by Brahma (the Sutratma or Hiranyagarbha) will have therefore to be recognized as the twenty-fourth principle in order to complete the figure of twenty-four.

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