Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana Book 3 Chapter 20:1-17

Book 3: Chapter 20

Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana: Book 3: Chapter 20: Verses 1-17
The various species of living beings created by Brahma

Saunaka said : "Having secured a foothold in the shape of the earth, O son of Suta (Romaharsana), what means did Swayambhuva Manu adopt for evolving the other creatures that were yet to see the light ? Vidura was a great devotee of the Lord and a devoted friend of Sri Krsna. He abandoned his own elder brother (Dhrtarastra) along with the latter's sons (Duryodhana and others) because they had offended against Sri Krsna (by turning a deaf ear to His counsel and behaving inimically towards His beloved Pandavas). Sprung from the loins of the sage Dwaipayana (Vedavyasa), he was in no way inferior to him in glory. Nay, he was devoted to Sri Krsna with all his being and attached to His devotees. Further cleansed of all his sins by resorting to sacred places, what else did he enquire of the sage Maitreya, the foremost among, the knowers of Truth, on meeting him at Kusavarta (Haridwara), where he was living ? In the course of their conversation, O Sutra, there must have proceeded sacred stories centring round the lotus-feet of Sri Hari, and hence capable of wiping out all sins like the waters of the holy Ganga, that have their source in those very feet. May God bless you, please narrate to us those very stories of the Lord, whose noble deeds are the only achievements worth glorifying. What man who has his aesthetic sense developed would feel sated with drinking in the nectar-like stories of Sri Hari's pastimes?" Questioned thus by the sages staying in Naimisa, Ugrasrava, with his mind fixed on the Lord, said to them, "Listen!" Sata continued : Vidura (a descendant of king Bharata) was delighted to hear the story of the Lord who, having assumed by His own divine will the semblance of a boar, had enacted the sport of lifting up the earth from the bottom of the ocean and indifferently killed the demon Hiranyaksa. He then spoke to the sage as follows. Vidura said : Knowing as you do things unperceived by us, tell me, 0 holy sage, what Brahma (the lord of Prajapatis) did for the purpose of creating living beings after evolving the Prajapatis (lords of created beings). How did the sage Marici and the other Brahmanas as well as Swayambhuva Manu evolve the creation in obedience to Brahma's command.? Did they evolve it in conjunction with their wives or remaining Independent in their action or did they all jointly produce it ? Maitreya replied: When the equilibrium of the three Gunas (constituting Prakrti or Primordial Matter) got disturbed through the agency of Prarabdha (the destiny of the Jivas)-the working of which is difficult to comprehend-the Supreme Spirit presiding over Prakrti and Kala (the Time-Spirit), as well as through mere proximity to the Lord, the Mahat-tattva (the principle of cosmic intelligence) was evolved therefrom. From the Mahat-tattva-in which the element of Rajas predominates-as impelled by the destiny of the Jivas, was evolved the Ego (the source of the five elements), which is of three kinds (according as it is predominated by Sattva, Rajas or Tamas); and the Ego in its turn evolved many a group of five principles such as the five gross elements[1](ether and so on). Severally unable to produce the material universe, they combined with the help of the divine energy and were (now) able to evolve a shining egg. For over one thousand years the egg lay on the waters of the causal ocean in a lifeless state. After that the Lord entered it (as its presiding Deity). From the navel of the Lord (as presiding over the egg) sprang a lotus that possessed the dazzling splendour of a thousand suns and was intended to be the abode of all living beings. Brahma himself emanated from this very lotus. When the Lord who sleeps on the waters forming the support of the cosmos entered his heart (as the Inner Controller), Brahma (the creator) started creating hierarchy of the various worlds according to the plan evolved by him in the preceding Kalpas.



  1. The other groups of five principles besides the five gross elements are : the five subtle elements, the five senses of perception, the five organs of action and the two groups of five deities severally presiding over the five senses and the five organs.

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