Book 2: Chapter 7
Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana: Book 2: Chapter 7: Verses 9-17
- King Vena (a descendant of Dhruva) having gone astray, all his ower and fortune was burnt by the thunderbolt of the Brahmanas' curse and he was about to descend into hell. When, therefore, the Brahmanas prayed to the Lord, He ppeared in the form of Prthu (through the churning of Vena's dead body) and rescued Vena, thus earning the epithet of 'Putra' (a son) It was he again who used the earth as a cow and milked all it s rich produce (in the shape of foodgrains etc.) for the benefit of the world. He was (further) born of king Nabhi and his wife, Sudevi (Merudevi), as Rsabha, who having completely rid Himself of all attachment and thoroughly composed His mind and senses, established Himself in His spiritual essence and, regarding everything with the same eye, practised uninterrupted meditation, appearing as an idiot; which state has been spoken of by great seers as the state of a Paramahamsa ( one who is ever absorbed in abstract meditation). The same Lord, who presides over and is worshipped in all sacrifices, personally appeared at my (Brahma's) sacrifice as Hayagriva (one who has the head of a horse), with a golden complexion, who is Veda personified and represents all the sacrifices and all the deities in His person and from whose nostrils, even as He breathed, issued forth the holy Vedas. During the universal dissolution (at the end of the sixth or Caksusa Manvantara, that preceding the present one) the would-be Manu (king Satyavrata) beheld the Lord in the form of the divine Fish, who, being the stay of the earth (that appeared in the form of a boat), supported all classes of living beings. Picking up the Vedas, that had dropped from my (Brahma's) mouth into the most dreadful ocean (that had washed away and submerged the entire creation), He continued to sport therein (till. the next creation). When the leaders of the immortals and the Danava chiefs commenced churning the ocean of milk to get nectar out of it, the primal Deity assumed the form of the divine Tortoise and bore on His back Mount Mandara (which served as the churnin god). Now as the mountain revolved on His back, the friction relieved the itching thereon and brought Him a nap. In order to dispel the great fear of the gods (the denizens of heaven) the Lord assumed the form of a Man-Lion (Nrsimha) with a face which looked most frightful on account of His restless eyebrows and moving jaws. When the demon chief (Hiranyakasipu, elder brother of Hiranyaksa) assailed Him with a mace from a distance, the Lord quickly (seized and) threw him down on His thighs; and even as he tried to wriggle out, the Lord ripped up his belly with His claws. Seized by the foot inside a lake by an alligator of vast strength, the famous elephant (who happened to be the leader of his herd) felt much distressed and, holding up a lotus in his trunk, called out thus: "O Primal Person, O Protector of all the worlds, O Lord of sacred renown, Whose names are auspicious to hear I" Hearing his invocation, the infinite Lord Sri Hari appeared on the scene, armed with His celebrated discus (Sudarsana) and mounted on the shoulders of Garuda (the king of the birds). He severed the head of the alligator with the discus and, taking the elephant, who sought His protection, by his trunk graciously rescued him (from the enemy's mortal grip). Though the youngest of all the (twelve) sons of Aditi, Lord Visnu (the Deity presiding over sacrifices) was the foremost among them in point of virtues, as is evidenced by the fact that He covered all the three worlds by His strides the moment king Bali gave Him the promise to grant Him land (measuring three paces). Although in the form of a dwarf He thus wrested the earth (from Bali) under the pretext of asking for land measuring three paces, He demonstrated to the world at large (by His example) that a man who sticks to the path of righteousness cannot be overthrown even by the all-powerful except through solicitation .
- 'Putra' (Put+tra) literally means he who saves his father from the hell named 'Put', into which a man dying without a son is hurled