Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana Book 8 Chapter 24:49-61

Book 8: Chapter 24

Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana: Book 8: Chapter 24: Verses 49-61
The story of the descent of the divine Fish recounted

Gods, preceptors and other people joined together cannot by themselves show to a worshipper grace which is equivalent to one out of ten thousand parts of His. It is that almighty Lord in You whom I seek as my refuge. An unenlightened soul chosen as a preceptor in relation to an ignorant person is of the same worth as a sightless person appointed as a guide in relation to another blind man. By us (however), who are eager to know the truth relating to the Self, You have been elected as our preceptor-You who are not only self-illumined like the sun but also impart light to all the senses of perception. A worldly soul (that is subject to birth and death) imparts to another unwise counsel (showing him the way to worldly riches and gratification of the senses alone), by (following) which he is sure to enter darkness (in the shape of transmigration or what is still worse, viz., hell) which is hard to overcome, You, however, impart (to the Jiva) undecaying and unfailing wisdom (knowledge of the Self), through which the Jiva easily realizes its essential (blissful) character. Indeed to the whole world You are the disinterested friend, beloved and inner Controller, the (very)Self, the teacher, wisdom and the realization of (all) desired objects. Yet, having deep-rooted desires and possessed of an undisceming intellect, the world does not know You, though present in the heart (itself). Such as You are, I approach You-the almighty Lord, adorable (even) to gods, and worthy'of being sought for (by all)-for instruction. (Kindly, therefore,) cut asunder, O Lord, with Your words throwing light on the (highest) truth, the knots (in the shape of egotism and so on) existing in the heart and reveal Your own Self (to me).

Sri Suka went on : Sporting in that vast expanse of water in the form of a whale, Lord Visnu (the most ancient Person) taught the (highest) truth to the king, when he had thus prayed. (54) He (further) revealed to the royal sage Satyavrata in its entirety the mystery of His own Self in the form of a divine collection of Pauranika lore (called Matsyapurana), (a book) dealing with Sankhya philosophy (which teaches us how to differentiate between Prakrti and Purusa (Matter and Spirit), Yoga (union with the Lord through Devotion) and rituals. Seated on board the vessel with the (seven) seers, the king listened to the discourse on the truth of the Self, (which is the same as) the eternal Brahma (the Infinite), delivered by the Lord (in the form of the divine Fish), so (attentively) as to leave no doubt (in his mind). Having (already) killed the demon Hayagriva (and recovered the Vedas), He restored the Vedas to Brahma (the creator) when the latter rose (from his slumber) at the end of the Pralaya (dissolution) that (immediately) preceded the current Kalpa (known as the Sweta-Varaha Kalpa). The same king Satyavrata, who was (thus) endued (both) with spiritual knowledge (as derived from the scriptures) and wisdom (Self-Realization) by the grace of Lord Visnu, figured in the present Kalpa as the Vaivaswata Manu (so-called because he was born as a son of the sun-god, and was also known by the name of raddhadeva).

A man is (surely) rid of (all) sin by hearing this great story consisting of the (foregoing) dialogue between the royal sage Satyavrata and Lord Visnu (the Wielder of a bow made of horn), disguised as a fish through His creative energy. He who recites from day to day the story of that which is spoken of as the descent of Sri Hari in the form of a whale attains (after death) to the supreme state (final beatitude) and (all) his desired objects are (surely) accomplished (during his lifetime). I bow to that Lord, the Cause of all, disguised in the form of a whale, who, (while roaming about) of the deluge waters, restored (to Brahma) the (entire) body of Sruti texts stolen away from the mouths of the Creator-whose powers (of creation etc.), lay dormant (because of his being overpowered by sleep)-after slaying the demon (Hayagriva), and, who taught the Purana dealing with Brahma to king Satyavrata and the (seven) seers.

Thus ends the twenty-fourth discourse entitled The story of the Descent of the divine Fish recounted' in Book Eight of the great and glorious Bhagavata-Purana, otherwise known as the Paramahamsa-Samhita, composed by the sage Vedavyasa, and consisting of eighteen thousand Slokas.


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