Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana Book 3 Chapter 12:1-20

Book 3: Chapter 12

Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana: Book 3: Chapter 12: Verses 1-20
The multiplication of creation

Maitreya continued : Thus I have told you, O Vidura, the glory of the Supreme Spirit under the name of Time. Now hear from me how Brahma (the repository of the Vedas) proceeded with the work of creation. To begin with, Brahma (the first maker) evolved the five varieties of ignorance[1]viz., Tamas (ignorance about one's own self), Moha (self-identification with the body etc.), Mahamoha (the craving for enjoyment), Tamisra (anger) and Andhatamisra (looking upon death as one s own end). He was, however, not pleased with himself to see this most wicked creation. Through his mind, purified by meditation on the Lord Brahma (the self-born) then evolved a creation (different from the above), viz., the sages Sanaka and Sanandana and Sanatana and Sanatkumara, Who refrained from all worldly activity and were Urdhvaretas [2] (lifelong celibates). Brahma (the self-born) said to these sons, "Dear sons, do you beget offspring." They, however, were little inclined to do so, since they had set their heart on Lord Vasudeva as the highest goal and had taken a vow of renunciation as a road to liberation. Thus disregarded by his own sons, who had flouted his command, Brahma strove to curb the fierce anger generated in him. But notwithstanding his effort to restrain it by force of reason, the passion of Brahma (the lord of created beings) forthwith broke through the middle of his brows in the form of a boy of dark-red hue. The body, who was no other than Lord Rudra (the eldest-born of the gods), cried, "Give me names, 0 Creator, and also allow me abodes, father of the world." Intending to comply with this prayer of the boy, the worshipful Brahma (who was born of the lotus) replied in kind tones : "Do not cry, I shall presently do it for you. Since you wept as a frightened child, O chief of the gods, hence people will call you by the name of Rudra (lit., one who weeps). The heart, the senses, the vital air, ether, the air, fire, water, earth, the sun and the moon and austere penance-these are the abodes I have already assigned to you. You will be further called Manyu, Manu, Mahinasa, Mahan, Siva, Rtadhwaja, Ugrareta, Bhava, Kala, Vamadeva and Dhrtavrata (according to the abodes assigned to you). Dhi, Vrtti, Usana, Lima, Niyut, Sarpi, Ila, Ambika, Iravati, Sudha and Diksa, O Rudra, shall be your wives, who will all be called Rudranis (as a class). Accept these names and abodes and consorts too, and beget through these numerous progeny, since you are a Prajapati (a god presiding over creation)." Thus enjoined by his father (Brahma), Lord Nilalohita (so-called because of his dark-red hue) begot progeny resembling himself in strength, appearance and disposition. Brahma (the lord of created beings) was alarmed to see numberless hosts of Rudras (gods presiding over destruction), procreated by Rudra, devouring the creation on all sides. "Beget no more of such progeny, 0 chief of the gods, who are burning with their fearful eyes all the four quarters including myself. Practise austere penance that may bring happiness to all living beings; God bless you. 'Through penance alone you will be able to create this universe as it was before (in the Kalpa preceding the last Pralaya). And through penance alone can a man easily attain the Lord, who is supreme effulgence, nay, who is beyond sense-perception and dwells in the heart of all living beings." Maitreya continued : Thus instructed by Brahma (the self-born), Rudra said, "All right!" and, taking leave of the lord of speech and going round him (as a mark of respect), he retired to the woods with intent to practise austere penance.



  1. According to the great Acarya Visnuswami, the fivefold ignorance consists in Ajnana (ignorance), Viparyasa (error or delusion), Bheda (sense of diversity), Bhaya (fear) and Soka (grief).
  2. +'Urdhvareta' literally means he whose generative fluid has begun to flow upwards instead of downwards as in the case of ordinary male adults. We find mention in our scriptures of hosts of Rsis who had mastered their sexual impulse so thoroughly that the flow of their generative fluid had turned upwards, a thing unknown in any other part of the world. This shows to what inconceivable length our forefathers had developed the art of preserving the vital fluid and utilizing it towards the noblest end of God-Realization ( Cf. Bhagavadgita VIII.11).

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