the tale of rescuing of the earth from Rasatal by Varaha incarnation of Lord
Vishnu. Its contents in brief are as follows:-
Mangala charan: Praying of Narayana by Prithvi (earth). Tale of the creation. Origin of Rudra, Sanatkumar, Marich etc. Tale of Priyavrata. Tale of Dashavatar (ten incarnations). Tale of Dharma-Vyadha. Tale of Suprateek and sighting of Viratroop (colossal appearance). Tale of Gaurmukha. Karma related to Shraddha. Tale of Prajagana. Origin of Agni (fire). Tale relating greatness of the days. Gauri. Destruction of Daksha Yagya. Wedding of HarParvati, Ganesha, Naga, Kartikeya, Aditya, killing of Andhakasura. Matrigana, Katyayani. Kumer, Dharma, Rudra etc. and their origin. Tale of Aruni. Tales of the days falling in different months. Agastya Geeta. Tale of Shubhvrata. Tale of Dhanyavrat. Dialogue between Narad and Vishnu. Methods for expiation. Tale of Agastya. Geographical description of Jambhudweep, Kushadweep, Kraunchdweep etc. Tale of Andhakasura’s vrata etc. Origin of Vaishnava etc.Killing of Mahishasura. Ritual of Kapalik vrata. Dialogue between Prithvi and Sanatkumar. Dialogue between Narayana and Prithvi.
Tale differentiating between sorrow and happiness. Tale describing twelve kinds of crime. Expiation to destroy the sins. Methods of Vishnu worship in the evening. Description of Sanatan Dharma. Description of illusion. Description of the karma for salvation. History of Gridhra and Shringali. Dialogue between Chandal and Brahmarakshasas. Greatness of Kokamukh. Greatness of Badrikashrama. Greatness of Mathurakshetra. Greatness of Shalgram. Tale of Shalankayank. Greatness of Stutswamitirth. Greatness of Lohargalam, Panchar kslutra, Vishran tirth and Devavana. Worship of Lord Vishnu at the confluence of Yamuna-Saraswati. Greatness of Krishna-Ganga. Tale of Samb. Greatness of Dwadashi vrat in Rama Tirth. Rituals of installing different kinds of idols. Description of the origin of Shraddh. Methods of removing impurities. Medhatithi Pitrasambad. Kinds of Pindsankalpa. Ritual of Madhupark. Kinds of Madhupark donation.
Description of the appearance of Yama. Description of the court of Yama. Description of the fate met by sinners. Description of hell. Description of the appearance of Yamadoot. Description of Chitragupt’s effect. Directions by Chitragupt for expiation. Indications by Chitragupt of the fruits of auspicious-inauspicious karmas. Description of Pativrat. Dialogue between Yama and Narad. Greatness of Prabodhini. Description of the greatness of Gokarneshwar. Granting of boon by Nandikeshwar. Description of greatness of Jaleshwar. Description of the greatness of Shringeshwar.
Lord Vishnu, in his
incarnation of Varah( a boar),had liberated Prithvi(Mother Earth) from the
clutches of Hiranyaksha- the mighty demon who had abducted her to rasatal.After
being rescued,Prithvi heaved a sigh of relief and looked at her saviour,who was
smiling.She curiously asked lord Varah- "How does the process of creation
begin in the beginning of each Kalpa? What is dissolution? How do you nurture
the whole creation? In what order do all the four Yugas occur and how are they
calculated?Why do you take incarnation in each yuga? All these things puzzle me
a lot and I request you to enlighten me on all these subjects."
Lord Vishnu burst into laughter and the whole universe,including the deities became visible to Prithvi through his opened mouth.Prithvi became so frightened by this amazing sight that she started to tremble in fear.Lord Vishnu then transformed his appearance and revealed his divine form to Prithvi so that she could become free from her fright.When Prithvi saw the divine form of lord Vishnu,who was in his meditative sleep taking rest on Sheshnag,all her fear vanished.She was extremely pleased to see the divine appearance of lord Vishnu and thanked her good fortune.Prithvi,filled with extreme devotion eulogized lord Vishnu.
Lord Vishnu was extremely pleased by her eulogy and said-"The answers to the questions you have asked are not easy to understand,but still I Shall try to satisfy your curiosity.The supreme Almighty is eternal.In the biginning of creation,Ego(ahamkar) as well as the five basic elements- space,water,earth,air and fire manifest themselves from the supreme Almighty.Subsequently,the great element-mahattatva,nature and collective conciousness manifest themselves.The collective conciousness then combines with each of the three basic qualities-satva(pure),rajas and tamas(dark) and exits in three different states.It's combination with the dark quality results into the manifestation of Mahadbrahm which is also called prakriti or nature by the enlightened ones.Kshetragya(soul) is considered to be more superior than the Prakriti.This way the different permutations and combinations of all the three gunas with collective intelligence result into the creation of different "tanmatras"(subtle form of matters).From the tanmatras are created the "Indrias" or sense organs.This is the way how the Universe comes into existence.I then create all the living creatures with the help of five basic elements."
"In the beginning there was nothing but empty space.Subsequently,various natural elements like "shabda"(sound),"akash"(ether),"vayu"(air),"teja"(light) and jal(water) came into being respectively - each of the latter manifesting from the former.Then,I Created you(earth)to provide base to all the living creatures.The combination of earth and water resulted into an "Egg"(anda).As the egg grew in size,I manifested myself as Narayan within it.During each kalpa a lotus manifests itself from my navel upon which is seated lord Brahma.I then request lord Brahma to commence creation.Inspite of all his efforts, lord Brahma does not succeed in commencing his creation.As a result he becomes furious and from his fury manifests a divine child who starts to wail incessantly.The divine child is none other than Rudra who is requested by lord Brahma to begin creation but the child being incapable of doing that decides to acquire power by doing penance and enters into deep water."
"Lord Brahma then created Prajapati from his great toe of his right foot and Prajapati's consort from the great toe of his left foot.The manifestation of Prajapati and his consort marks the beginning of copulative creation and thus Swayambhuva Manu is born.In course of time population increases.This is the way how creation takes place in each kalpa."
Mother Earth requested lord Varah to shade some more light on the creational process as her curiosity had still not been totally satisfied.Lord Varaha replied- "At the end of the last kalpa,when the whole universe was engulfed in darkness,Narayan went into his yogic-sleep.After waking up he found the world devoid of any creature.Narayan,being the supreme Almighty-the creator,the nurturer as well as the annihilator,decided to commence creation.The term Narayan means one who has his abode in the water- naar means water and ayan means abode.First of all five types of "avidya"(false knoledge) manifested from Narayan- tamas(darkness), moha(attachment),mahamoha(absolute attachment),tamisra(jealousy) and andhatamisra(anger).After the manifestation of these five "avidyas",came into existence immovable things like mountains,trees etc.These being the primary creations came to be known as "mukhya sarga"(main creation).Continuing with his creations,lord Brahma created species that were superior to the earlier creation-animals.This particular creation was called "Tiryaksrota"(quadruped).This way Brahma did his creation.Brahma's sixth creation was called Satvik sarga which consisted of the deities who were all virtuous by nature.The creation of human beings was seventh in order and was known as"Arvaaksrota sarga.Even human beings were of three types -those who were predominantly virtuous possessed satva guna had radiant personality and never experienced sorrow but those who possessed rajas and tamas gunas experienced sorrows."
"Brahma's eighth creation was called "Anugrah sarg" in which he created the sages and the hermits for the benediction of the world.The nineth creation of Lord Brahma was called "Kaumar sarg"(creation of adolescent beings).So,these are the nine main types of creation through which Brahma creates.First of all Rudra and other deities manifested themselves and then came into being eternal adlescents like Sanak,Sanandan, etc.Subsequently,all the ten manasputras of Brahma manifested themselves-Marichi,Angira, Atri,Pulah,Kratu,Pulasya,Pracheta,Bhrigu,Narad and Vashishth."
"Lord Brahma's first creation-Rudra had manifested himself as Ardha narishwar(half male and half female). At the request of Brahma,Rudra dismembered his female part resulting into the creation of two distinct forms- one male and the other female.Later on,ten more Rudras manifested from the male form and all of them collectively came to be known as 'Eleven Rudras'."
ATTAINS TO HEAVENLY ABODE
Describing the incident
which enabled King Priyavrata to attain to heavenly abode Lord Varah told
"Swayambhuva Manu lived during the first kalpa.He had two sons-Priyavrata and Uttanpad.Priyavrata was extremely virtuous by nature.In course of time,he relinquished his throne and after distributing his kingdom among his sons went to Badrikashram to do penance.Once sage Narad paid a visit to his hermitage. Priyavrata received his esteemed guest with all the respect which made Narad extremely pleased.Priyavrata then requested Narad to narrate about some interesting incident which had occured in his life.
Narad narrated about an interesting incident which had happened while he was on his way to meet Priyavrata- "I experienced an amazing incident yesterday while I was passing by a lake in Shwetdweepa.I saw a divinely beautiful woman who was standing alone at the bank of that lake.I was surprised to find such a beautiful woman at such a lonely place.For a moment I became so infatuated by her beauty that I lost all control over my senses.My lust had made me devoid of all my knowledge and learning.Now,I became very worried and ashamed of my conduct-but the damage had already been made.I immediately realized that she was not an ordinary woman.To my surprise,I saw a form of a divine person visible clearly within her body.Within nextfew moments two other male forms revealed themselves.Suddenly,all three of them disappeared leaving behind just that divine lady.I was dumbstruck by this amazing incident.I asked her as to who she was.The divine lady disclosed to me that she was none other than goddess Savitri - the mother of all the Vedas and since I was unable to recognize her therefore all the knowledge had vanished from my memory.She also revealed to me that the three divine men which had manifested themselves within her body were in fact the three Vedas- Rigveda,Samveda and Yajurveda.After revealing these amazing facts to me goddess Savitri assured me that by taking a bath in that lake I would not only regain my memory of the Vedas but also of all my previous births.I eulogized goddess Savitri and thanked her for the blessings showered on me.I then bathed in that lake and to my pleasant surprise I now remembered everything of my past births as had been prophesised by goddess Savitri."
Priyavrat was very surprised and requested Narad to describe some interesting incident related with his past birth.Narad narrated the following incident to him- "In satyayuga,I was born in a brahmin family and was named Saraswat by my parents.I was very studious and grew up to become a renowned scholar.The almighty God had blessed me with immense riches and I never experienced scarcity of any kind in my life.But,very soon I got bored of my monotonous and routined life. It had become clear to me that there was more to life than just worrying about the gains and losses.So,I decided to do penance to attain salvation.I distributed all my wealth among my sons and went to the bank of river Saraswati,where I first performed the rituals of shraddh in the name of my ancestors and then performed yagyas.I also donated lot of wealth to poor people.Being satisfied,I then went to Pushkar teerth and did penance at the bank of river Saraswat by continuously chanting the sacred mantra"om namo narayan" and brahm paar stotra.Ultimately,lord Narayan became pleased and appeared before me.Lord Sri Hari asked me of my wish and I express my desire to get united with his divine form.But,lord Narayan told me that the world needed me and so this desire of mine could not be fulfilled.He blessed me and gave me my name- Narad because I had 'donated' water(naar) to my ancestors during the course of performing shraddh rituals.Although my wish of uniting with the divine form of Sri Hari had remain unfulfilled but still there was a consolation as I had been fortunate enough to see his divine form with my mortal eyes. Thereafter,I devoted my life to the worship of Sri Hari.After my death,I attained to brahmaloka- I had been adequately rewarded for my devotion toward lord Sri Hari.Later on,I manifested as one of the ten manasputras of lord Brahma when he commenced his creation.It was only because of the blessings of Sri Harithat I came to be regarded as 'lok guru' by the masses.So Priyavrat,if you are desire of attaining salvation then you should follow my example and devote your life in the name of Lord Srihari."
Prithvi,who was listening to the tales narrated by Lord Varah with rapt attention asked him whether it was possible for anybody to see Lord Narayan with his/her mortal eyes.Lord Varah replied -"Lord Narayan has taken ten incarnations in various forms such as matsya(fish),kachchap(tortoise),varah(boar),narsimh(half human and half lion),vaman(dwarf),parshuram,Ram,Krishna,Buddha and kalki.The last incarnation-Kalki is yet to take place.A man can realize Lord Narayan by having total devotion in any one of the ten incarnations. Even the deities are incapable of this divine experience-what to say about humans.Lord Brahma is the manifestation of all the three qualities of Sri Hari and actually it is He(Sri Hari) who creates in the form of Lord Brahma-it is He who manifests himself in various natural forms like earth,water,fire,air and sky-it is He who manifests himself in various abstract qualities like consciousness- He is omnipresent and the whole universe is pervaded by him."
Prithvi was anxious to know whether Narad's sermons had any effect on Priyavrat and asked Lord Varah regarding this.Lord Varah replied- Priyavrat was so impressed by Narad's discourses that he relinquished his throne and went to do penance after equally distributing his kingdom among his sons.Ultimately,he did manage to attain to the abode of lord Sri Hari by the virtue of his total devotion.
UNIFICATION WITH LORD NARAYAN
Prithvi asked lord Varah
about the famous incident which described Ashvashira's unification with lord
Narayan.Lord Varah then narrated the following tale- "During ancient
times,there used to live a virtuous king named Ashvashira.He had performed an
ashwamedh yagya in which he had donated large amount of wealth.Once,sage Kapil
arrived at his palace acoompanied by sage Jaigishavya.King Ashvashira received
both his distinguished guests with due honour.After the formalities were over,he
asked both his guests about the means by which lord Narayan could be pleased and
also about the rituals pertaining to the worship of lord Narayan."
Both the sages being enlightened souls realized that Ashvashira was asking this question out of his ignorance so,they decided to enlighten him on the omnipresent nature of Narayan and said-'What do you mean by pleasing Narayan? Can't you see two Narayans standing in front of you?' But,Ashvashira was unamused and unconvinced so he replied-'I don't deny that both of you possess supernatural powers and also that all your sins have destroyed on account of the virtues attained by doing penance.But,I don't believe your claim to be Narayan.Lord Narayan is the almighty God and the supreme deity.He holds a conch,a chakra and a mace in his hands.He wears pitambar and has Garuda as his mount.His glory is indescribable and incomparable.'
As Asvashira had raised valid points,sage Kapil transformed his appearance with the help of his divine powers.Similarly,sage Jaigishavya transformed his appearance and became Garuda.But,Ashvashira still remained unconvinced and said-'How can I accept you to be Narayan as there is no sign of lotus manifesting from your navel in which lord Brahma has his abode.'
Sage Kapil then slightly transformed his appearance and created an illusion whereby a lotus flower emanating from his navel became visible to Ashvashira.Sage Jaigishavya sat on that lotus flower in the guise of lord Brahma.Not only that,they also created an illusion due to which all types of living creatures inside the palace premise.
Now,Ashvashira was really confused and requested both the sages to break the magic spell.Both the sages decided not to test the limit of Ashvashira's patience and so,they trasformed their respective guises into their original appearances.Both of them said- 'Narayan is one but can manifest himself in countless forms.The whole universe is HIS creation and HE is present in every single creature.It is impossible for a mortal being to bear the radiance of almighty Narayan and it is only when HE appears in his more gentle form that the enlightened person is able to see him.Therefore,you should engage yourself in the service of mankind,considering each human being to be the medium through which lord Narayan manifests himself.
Ashvashira was satisfied by the explanation given by both the sages but there was still one question bothering him a lot so, he asked- 'Who is most likely to attain salvation-a knowledgeable person or a person who indulges in rightful deeds?' Sage Kapil narrated the following tale-'Once, sage Raimya and king Vasu had asked the same question to sage Vrihaspati.At that time Vrihaspati had replied that anybody who performed his duties with a sense of detachment is sure to attain salvation and to prove his point he had narrated the following tale-'During ancient times, there lived a brahmin named Sanyaman.He was the descendant of sage Atri.One day, while he was going to take his bath he met Nishthoor-a fowler, who used to catch birds and animals for his livings.'
Sanyaman reprimanded Nishthoor for his evil deeds and said- why do you trap innocent birds and animals? Nishthoor replied-’the almighty God is present in each living creature. One who is desirous of attaining salvation must under no circumstances allow his ego to dominate him. The 'doer' is not the man but the supreme Almighty present in him. Keeping this fact in his mind a man should perform his duties with nonchallance and a sense of detachment. If I earn my livelyhood by catching birds and animals then it is the will of almighty.' To prove his point, the fowler spread his iron-net and kept dry blocks of wood underneath it and then requested Sanyaman to ignite those blocks. Sanyaman was surprised but burnt the wodden-logs as per the fowler's instruction. In a short time all the wodden-blocks became ablaze and the flames starts coming out from the thousand of small holes of the iron-net. The fowler then told Sanyaman that although the flames coming from each hole appeared to have distinct sources, yet the fact was that the flames manifested from the single source-wodden blocks that were burning beneath the iron-net.
The fowler said-"It was impossible to extinguish the fire untill and unless the source of the fire was extinguished.Each hole of the iron-net can be compared with an individual and the almighty God with the source of fire.A man does what God wills and he can never experience sorrow provided he constantly remembers the Almighty even while he is performing his daily chores." Sanyaman was very much impressed by the fowler's wisdom. Having finished his tale,sage Vrihaspati told Ramya-"Now it must be evident to you that salvation is within the reach of any individual.It does not make much difference whether the seeker of salvation is a householder or a hermit aspiring for knowledge." Continuing with the story of Ashvashira,lord Varah told Prithvi-"King Ashvashira was so impressed by Kapil's preachings that he went to Naimisharanya and spent his rest of his life in the service of lord Narayan.Once,while he was performing yagya,suddenly lord Vishnu manifested himself from the altar in the form of a brilliant effulgence and the identity of Ashvashira merged with it.This way,Ashvashira got united with lord Vishnu by the virtue of his deep devotion.