Book 5: Chapter 18
Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana: Book 5: Chapter 18: Verses 33-39
Even though You possess a numberless (endless) variety of names, forms and shapes, yet a (specified) number of categories, (say, twenty-four) has been assumed in You by seers (like the divine Kapila). The knowledge of Truth by means of which this number (plurality) is set aside is no other than You, the embodiment of true wisdom. Hail to You !" In the land of the northern Kurus (the subdivision of the terrestrial world known by this name) the Lord presiding over sacrifices dwells (is worshipped) in the form of the divine Boar. Alongwith the Kurus (the denizens of this subdivision) this Goddess Earth (that serves as our abode) adores Him through an incessant flow of unfaltering devotion and repeats the following supremely esoteric prayer: "Hail to the divine Boar, denoted by the mystical syllable OM, truly known (only) through the Mantras (sacred texts of the Vedas), the Deity presiding over sacrifices both without and with a sacrificial post, (nay,) whose (divine) Body is constituted of the (varieties of) great sacrifices ! (vide III. xiii. 38) ! Hail to the Supreme Person I! Hail to You who (in the form of a sacrificer) are pure of actions, and who manifest Yourself (in the form of sacrifices) only in the (last) three Yugas."
"Even as those well-versed in rituals churn out the fire hidden in pieces of (sacrificial) wood with the help of the fire-producing wooden stick, so the wise, keen to perceive Your reality, obscured by (attachment to) actions and their fruits, try to discover it (as the all-pervading self) in the discipline of their body and senses etc., (which are products of matter) with the help of (their) discriminating mind (reason). Hail to You who reveal Yourself through this process (of chastening the body and senses). By them whose intellect has become capable of keen discernment through reflection as well as through (the practice of) the (eight) limbs of Yoga (Yama, Niyama and so on). You, the Supreme Self, are truly and directly perceived alongwith (as distinguished from) the attributes of Maya (Prakrti), viz., the gross elements, the organs of action, the senses of perception, the all-powerful Kala (the Time-Spirit) and the doer (the ego). Hail to You as such and hail to You, whose form is not the creation of Maya (Prakrti) ! Even as a piece of iron moves due to (the very presence of) a loadstone, turning its face towards the latter, Your Maya carries on through the three Gunas (Sattva, Rajas and Tamas) the creation, preservation and dissolution of the universe-sought after (by You for the evolution of the Jivas) though not desired (by You for Your own sake)---Yourself remaining a mere looker-on. Hail to You, the Witness of (all that is evolved from) the (three) Gunas as well as of the Karmas (of the various Jivas) ! I bow to that omnipotent Lord who, having assumed the form of the divine Boar, the Cause of the universe, and placing me on the end of Your tusk, emerged, through the entire depth of the Deluge water, from its very bottom, sporting like an elephant after crushing to death in an encounter the demon (Hiranyaksa) who stood (before Him) as a rival elephant."
Thus ends the eighteenth discourse entitled "A description of the terrestrial world" in Book Five of the great and glorious Bhagavata-Purana, otherwise known as the Paramahamsa-Samhita..
- The Lord Himself declares in the Bhagavadgita that the performance of sacrifices and the practice of charity and austerities are conducive to purity--- (XVIII 5)
- That is because no sacrifices are performed in the first Yuga, the Satyayuga or because according to another interpretation, the Lord remains unmanifest in Kali age.