Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana Book 5 Chapter 17:11-19

Book 5: Chapter 17

Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana: Book 5: Chapter 17: Verses 11-19
An account of the descent of the holy Ganga and a song of praise to Lord Sankarsana by the divine Sankara

Of (all) these Varsas, the learned declare Bharatavarsa alone as the land where a man can shape his destinies through actions. They speak of the other eight Varsas as the places for enjoying the fruit of such merit as still remains to be enjoyed by those who return from heaven (after exhausting the stock of merit which entitled them to a residence in that realm), and designate these as the celestial spots on earth. The god-like men inhabiting these Varsas, live to an age of the thousand human years and are endowed with the strength of ten thousand elephants. The couples there are extremely happy with their adamantine frame, (never-failing) strength, (lasting) youth and (abundant) sense-delights, and are possessed of extraordinary venereal capacity; while the wives conceive only once and that too during the closing year of their life, which (also) marks the end of their (period of) sexual enjoyment. The conditions prevailing there are (throughout) the same as obtain in the Treta age (here). Here indeed in the precincts of hermitages and the valleys of the principal mountains,forming the boundaries of these Varsas, with their picturesque woodlands looking (very) graceful on account of trees with their branches and the creepers supported by them bending low under the charming load of bunches of flowers, fruits and tender foliage of all seasons, as well as in the lakes of limpid water, resonant with the noise of swans, water-fowls, Karandavas, cranes and ruddy geese-ravished by the fragrance of diverse species of blooming young lotuses--and with the humming of various species of black bees, the lords of gods divert themselves at will with aquatic sports and various other amusements, the chiefs of their respective retinues adoring them with rich presents and their mind and eyes captivated with the dalliance, (winsome) smiles and playful glances, charged with love, of charming celestial ladies. In all these nine Varsas Lord Narayana, the Supreme Person, remains personally present in His (diverse) manifestations even today in order to shower His grace on His devotees (in the manner to be shown hereafter). In Ilavrta, of course, the only male (available) is Lord Sankara (the Source of this universe); none else who is aware of the circumstances which led to the curse pronounced by (Lord Siva for the satisfaction of) Goddess Parvati (the divine Spouse of Siva, whose divine sports had been interrupted by the unannounced and hence unwelcome presence of sages in Her pleasance) dare enter this land. How a male attempting to enter it is transformed into a woman I shall narrate later on (in Book IX).

Waited upon by hosts of women, numbering billions and forming the retinue of Goddess Parvati, Lord Siva (the Source of the universe) adores (there) His own Cause, the fourth manifestation, presiding over destruction (the function of Tamoguna) and known by the name of Sankarsana, of Lord Visnu (the Supreme Person)-appearing in four forms (Vasudeva, Pradyumna, Aniruddha and Sankarsana)---realizing His presence in the mind in the form of a conceptual image and muttering the following (prayer). Lord Siva prays : "Hail, hail to the infinite Lord Visnu (the Supreme Person), denoted by (the mystical syllable) OM, and manifesting all virtues though (Himself) unmanifest. O adorable One I I adore You, the supreme Lord, whose lotus- feet afford shelter (to all), the highest Abode of all divine attributes (viz., universal lordship and omnipotence, piety of all kinds, entire glory, all wealth and splendour, omniscience and unattachment to everything) ! You have fully revealed before (Your) devotees Your divine form (that protects all created beings) and put an end to their rebirth; while You perpetuate (the bondage of) worldly existence in the case of those who are not devoted to You. (18) Who that seeks to subdue his senses would not esteem You, whose vision is not at all coloured by the objects of senses (which are products of the Gunas of Maya) nor by the activities of the mind-even though You witness all with a view to controlling everything-unlike our vision, who have not been able to curb the vehemence of wrath.



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