Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana Book 8 Chapter 1:14-33

Book 8: Chapter 1

Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana: Book 8: Chapter 1: Verses 14-33
The manvantaras described

(Because the Lord Himself first undertakes and then withdraws from action in the form of creation etc., of the universe,) therefore, the sages (too likewise) undertake actions (consecrated to the Lord) in the first instance for the sake of actionlessness (Liberation). For a man performing (his) duties (as an offering to the Lord) generally attains liberation (which exonerates one from all duties). The almighty Lord does engage in action, but does not get attached to it inasmuch as He has all His objects accomplished through the realization of His own (blissful) character. (Hence) they who follow in His footsteps never suffer (bondage). I (therefore) take refuge in that Lord, who, though engaging in action is yet (altogether) free from egotism, being all-wise, perfect (in Himself) and (therefore) above (all) cravings and is (absolutely) independent (lit., not impelled by others), (nay,) who teaches humanity (by His own example), (Himself remaining) steadfast to the course of conduct prescribed by Himself because of His being the protector and upholder of righteousness.

Sri Suka continued: Finding him repeating (as though in a dream in spite of himself) the aforesaid mystical prayer consisting of sacred texts[1] (based on the lsvasyopanisad, forming part of Yajurveda-Samhita), (though) absorbed in profound and abstract meditation, (and therefore oblivious of himself), demons and ogres, impelled by hunger, assailed him on all sides with intent to devour him. Seeing them thus resolved, the all-pervading Sri Hari, in the form of Lord Yajna (the deity presiding over sacrifices and born of Dharma and Akuti[2]), surrounded by (His sons) the gods known as the Yamas, (appeared there and) slew them and ruled in heaven (as Indra[3], the Lord of paradise).

Now Swarocisa was( the name of) the second Manu,( who was) a son of Agni (the god of fire); while Dyuman, Susena, and Rocisman were the chief among his sons. In that (Swarocisa) Manvantara, of course, the Indra was known by the name of) Rocana; while Tusita and others ( viz., Tosa, Pratosa, Santosa Bhadra, Santi, Idaspati, Idhma, Kavi, Vibhu, Swahna and Sudeva) were the gods. Urja (son of Vasistha) Stambha (son of Kasyapa, a lord of created beings) and others (namely, Prana, Brhaspati, Atri, Datta, also known as Dattatreya, son of Atri, and Cyavana) were the seven seers, (all) expositors of the Vedas. Again, the wife of the sage Vedasira was named Tusita. Through her from (the loins of) that sage appeared the Lord Himself, known all over by the name of Vibhu. Eighty-eight thousand sages, who had(all) undertaken a vow of austerity, followed the example of the aforesaid Lord, who had remained a bachelor since His (very) boyhood.

The third Manu, son of (the celebrated Emperor)Priyavrata, was known as Uttama. Pavana, Srnjaya, Yajnahotra and others were his sons, O Pariksit ! Pramada and others, sons of Vasistha, were the seven seers. The Satyas, he Vedasrutas and the Bhadras were the (names of the three groups of) gods; while the Indra was (known by the name of) Satyajit. Again,from (the loins of) Dharma (the god of piety) through (his wife) Sunrta appeared along with (the class of gods known as) the Satyavratas, the Supreme Person (Himself) celebrated by the name of Lord Satyasena. And with Satyajit (the then Indra) as His helpmate. He killed the wicked Yaksas and Raksasas, who were vowed to mendacity and given to evil ways, as well as hosts of evil spirits who were enemies of created beings. The fourth Manu, Tamasa by name, was a brother of Uttama. Prthu, Khyati, Nara, Ketu and others were his ten sons. The Satyakas, the Haris and the Viras were (the three groups of) the gods; Trisikha was (the name of) their ruler (Indra); while Jyotirdhama and others (viz., Prthu, Kavya or Sukracraya, Caitra, Agni, Dhanada and Pivara) were the seven seers in that Manvantara, which went by the name of Tamasa. The (other) gods (in that Manvantara), Vaidhrtis by name, were the sons of Vidhrti, by whom the Vedas, that had been lost (forgotten) in course of time, were preserved (retained in their memory) by their own intellectual calibre, O king ! In that Manvantara the Lord too was born through Harini from (the loins of ) the sage Harimedha ( her husband) and was named Sri Hari, by whom the (celebrated) leader of (a herd of) elephants was extricated from (the grip of) an alligator. The king (Pariksit) submitted : O son of Badarayana (the sae Vedavyasa, so-called because he had his abode in a thicket of jujube trees), we long to hear from you the story as to how Sri Hari deliverd the (said) king of elephants, seized by an alligator. That 9alone) of (all) stories is highly sacred, praiseworthy, conducive to blessedness and auspicious, in which Lord Sri Hari of excellent renown is celebrated. Suta went on : Thus urged by Parksit, who sat determined to die (of starvation to make amends for the indignity offered by him to a holy sage absorbed in meditation by throwing a dead serpent ton his person), to continue his discourses (on the pastimes of the Lord), the sage Sukadeva (son of Badarayan,) O Brahmanas, congratulated the emperor and joyously spoke (as follows) in that assembly of sages who were (all) listenin (with rapt attention).

Thus ends the first discourse, forming part of the story of the various manvantaras, in Book eight of the great and glorious Bhagavata-Purana, otherwise known as the Paramhamsa-Samhita.


  1. The Upanisads, referred to as the crown of the Vedas. have been classified under two heads, viz.,(1)Mantropaniads (those forming part of the Samhita portion, consisting of hymns) and (2) Brahmanopanisads or those forming part of the Brahmanas or exegetic texts giving rules for the employment of the hymns at particular sacrifices and so on. The isavasya, the Swetatwatara and the Mundaka, Upanisads forming part of the Sukla and Krsna Yajurveda and Atharvaveda respectively. are thus classed as Mantropanisads; while all the rest fall under the category of Brahmanopanisads.
  2. Vide verses 4 and 5 above.
  3. We find it mentioned in Book XII. vii. 15 that every Manvantara is presided over by a body of divine administrators consisting of a Manu as its head, a group of gods, the Manu's sons. an Indra ruling over the three worlds, the seven Rsis(seers) and a part manifestation of God Himself, In the first Manvantara of the present Kalpa, known as the Swayambhuva Manvantara after the name of the Manu presiding over it, the Manu was known as Swayambhuva (born of Brahma the creator himself); Priyavrata and Uttanapada ( whose accounts are given in Books V and IV respectively) were his two sons; the gods were known by the name of Yamas; Lord Yajna( a part manifestation of the Lord) Himself held the office of Indra; while Marici. Atri, Angira, Pulaha, Kratu, Pulastya, and Vasistha were the seven seers-vide Book IV.