Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana Book 12 Chapter 7:1-15

Book 12: Chapter 7

Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana: Book 12: Chapter 7: Verses 1-15

Suta began again : Sumantu versed in Atharva-Veda, taught his collection to his pupil (Kabandha*) who in his turn taught it (in two parts) to (his pupils) Pathya and Vedadarsa: (I) Sauklayani, Brahmabali, Modosa and Pippalayani were the pupils of Vedadarsa (who taught them his collection in four parts); now hear the names of Pathya's pupils: Kumuda, Sunaka and J5 jail, a master of Atharvaveda, 0 Brahmana sage! (were the pupils of Pathya, from whom they received his collection in three parts). Babhru, a pupil of Sunaka (born in the line of Angira), and Saindhavayana (another pupil) studied two (separate) collections (at the feet of their master); (while) Savarnya and others were the pupils of Babhru and Saindhavayana. Even so there were others, e. g., Naksatrakalpa and Santi (the authors of Kalpas or tretises of these very names on ritual acts, giving rules for them), Kasyapa and Angirasa. These were the teachers of Atharva-Veda; (now) hear of the teachers of the Puranas, 0 Saunaka ! Trayyaruni, Kasyapa, Savarni, Akrtavrana, Vaisampayana and Narita-these, as a matter of fact, are the six teachers of the Puranas. They learnt one collection each from [1]the mouth of my father (Romaharsana), the pupil of Vedavyasa; while I, as their pupil, studied all the collections. Kasyapa, Savarni, Parasurama's pupil Akrtavrana and myself (Ugrasrava) learnt four (more) original collections from (my father) Romaharsana (pupil of Vyasa). (Now) hear, 0 Brahmana sage ! with a clear mind, the characteristics of the Puranas as determined by Brahmana seers according to (the viewpoint of) the Vedas and SSastras. Those well-versed in the Puranas declare the Puranas as distinguished by ten features (discussing the following ten topics), viz., Sarga (creation) of the universe, Visarga, Vrtti, Raksa, the Manvantaras, Vamsas (dynasties of kings), Vamsanucarita, Samstha, Hetu and Apasraya.* Some teachers recognize the features of the Puranas as fivefold (only), 0 Saunaka ! side by side with the distinction of great and small (according as they deal with ten topics or five only). The evolution of Mahat-tattva (the principle of cosmic intelligence) through the disturbance in the equilibrium of the three Gunas constituting the Unmanifest (Primordial Matter), of the threefold Ahankara (from the Mahat-tattva) and (from the threefold Ahankara) of the five subtle elements, the (eleven) Indriyas (the five senses of perception and the five organs or action and the mind), and their objects (viz., the five gross elements as well as of the deities presiding over the senses) is called Sarga or creation. Visarga is (the name of) this collective creation, both mobile and immobile, of the aforesaid (causal principles) fecundated by the Supreme Person (God), and brought about by the latencies of (past) Karma (of the countless Jivas), proceeding from seed to seed (as a countinuum). [2] Immobile creatures (e.g., annual plants and trees etc.) and (in some cases) the mobile too constitute the Vrtti (means of subsistence) of mobile creatures. There (again) the sustenance of human beings has been determined 1-by their nature, 2-desire or 3-even by scriptural ordinance. (A description contained in Book Five of Srimad Bhagavata, of the terrestrial globe, as the support of the entire creation, both mobile and immobile, thus falls under the category of 'Vrtti'.) The exploits of the Avataras of Bhagavan Visnu (the immortal Lord), appearing from age to age according to the needs of every age among birds and beasts, human beings, Rsis and gods-by whom the enemies of the Vedas (such as the demons) are put an end to (for the protection of the righteous)-constitute (what is known as) the "Raksa" (protection) of the universe. The period over which (the following six, viz.,) a Manu, the gods, the sons of the Manu, indra (the ruler of the gods), the (seven) Rsis and the partial manifestation of the Lord preside is what goes by the name of a Manvantara characterized by six elements.



  1. Vide Visnu-Purana, which says:-
  2. These terms have already been mentioned with some variations in II. x. 3-7. The words 'Vrtt' and 'Raksa' should be taken as synonymous with 'Sthana' and 'Posana' occurring in that text; what has been referred to here under the name of 'Vamsanucarita' should be taken to mean'lsanukatha' the word 'Samstha should be understood in the sense of'Nirodha, and also as covering the idea of 'Mukti'; and the word 'Hetu should be construed to mean 'Uti' a 'Apasraya' of course is the sameas Asraya'.The five features are:-Sarga and Pratisarga, Vamsas and the Manvantaras and Vamsanucaritas, as the followingCouplet shows.-The other five are understood as included in these.

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