Śrīmad Devi Bhāgavatam | Book 9 Chapter 3



On the origin of Brahmā, Viṣṇu, Maheśa and others

1-34. Nārāyaṇa said:-

“O Devarṣi! The egg (born of Mūla Prakriti) that was floating in the waters for a period equal to the life period of Brahmā, now in the fullness of time separated into two parts.

Within that egg there was a powerful Child, lustrous like one thousand millions of suns. This child could not suck mother’s milk, as it was forsaken by Her. So being tired of hunger, the child for a while cried repeatedly.

The child that will become the Lord of countless Brahmāṇḍas (universes), now an orphan having no father nor mother began to look upwards from the waters.

This boy came to be denominated afterwards by the name of Mahā Virāt, when he became gross and grosser. As there is nothing finer than radium so there is nothing grosser than Mahā Virāt.

The power of this Mahā Virāt is one-sixteenth of that of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the Highest Self. But this boy, (born of the Prakriti Rādhā) is the Sole Stay of all this Universe and he is denominated by the name “Mahā-Viṣṇu’’.

In his every pore countless universes are existing. So much so that even Śrī Kṛṣṇa could not count them. If it were possible to count the number of dust particles, it is impossible to count the number of universes.

So there are endless Brahmās, Viṣṇus, and Mahēśvaras. In every Brahmāṇḍa, there is Brahmā, Viṣṇu, and Maheśa. Each Brahmāṇḍa extends from Pātāla to the Brahmāloka.

The abode of Vaikuṇṭha is higher than that (i. e. it is situated outside of Brahmāṇḍa), again the abode of Goloka is fifty koṭi yojanas (50 x 10 x 4 x 2 million miles) higher than Vaikuṇṭha.

This Goloka Dhāma is eternal and real as Śrī Kṛṣṇa is eternal and real. This world composed of the seven islands is surrounded by the seven oceans.

Forty-nine Upa Dvīpas (smaller islands adjacent to them) exist here. Also countless mountains and forests are there.

Higher than this earth is the Brahmāloka with seven heavens and below this are the seven Pātālas. This is the bounding limit of Brahmāṇḍa.

Just above this earth there is the Bhūrloka; above is Bhuvarloka; then Svarloka, then Janarloka, then Taparloka, then Satyaloka, and above that is Brahmāloka.

The splendour of Brahmāloka is like that of molten gold. But all the substances whether outside or inside this Brahmāloka, are transient. When this Brahmāṇḍa (cosmos) dissolves, everything dissolves and is destroyed.

All is temporary like bubbles of water. Only Goloka and Vaikuṇṭha are eternal.

In every pore of this Mahā Virāt is existing one Brahmāṇḍa (cosmos). What to speak of others when even Kṛṣṇa cannot count the number of these Brahmāṇḍas. In every Brahmāṇḍa there is Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Maheśa.

O Child Nārada! In every Brahmāṇḍa, the number of the gods is three Koṭis or 30 million.

Some of them are the Dikpatis (the Regents of the quarters); some are the Dikpālas (the Rulers of the quarters), some are asterisms, and some planets.

In the Bhūrloka, there are four Varṇas (Brahmins, etc.,) and in the Pātālas there are Nāgas. Thus the Universe exists composed of moveable and non-moveable things (This is Brahmāṇḍa Vivriti).

O Nārada! Now the Virāt Puruṣa began to look up to the skies again and again but He could not see anything within that egg except the void. Then distressed with hunger He cried out repeatedly and became merged in anxiety.

Next moment getting back His consciousness, He began to think of Kṛṣṇa, the Highest Person and saw there at once the eternal light of Brahmā.

He saw there His form as deep blue like new rain-cloud; with two hands, garment of a yellow colour, sweet smile on His face, flute in His hand and He seemed to be very anxious to show His Grace to Devotees.

Looking at the Lord, His Father, the boy became glad and smiled. The Lord, the Bestower of boon granted him boons appropriate for that moment:

“O Child! Let you possess knowledge like Me; let your hunger and thirst vanish; let you be the holder of innumerable Brahmāṇḍas till the time of Pralaya (the universal dissolution).

Be without any selfishness, be fearless and the bestower of boons to all. Let not old age, death, disease, sorrow nor any other ailings afflict thee.

Thus saying He repeated thrice on his ear the six-lettered great Mantra “Om Kṛṣṇāya Svāhā” worshipped by the Vedas with their Amgas, the Giver of desires and the destroyer of all troubles and calamities.

O Brahmā’s Son! Thus giving the mantra, Śrī Kṛṣṇa arranged for his feeding thus:—

In every universe, whatever offerings will be given to Śrī Kṛṣṇa, one sixteenth of that will go to Nārāyaṇa, the Lord of Vaikuṇṭha and fifteen-sixteenth is to go to this boy, the Virāt.

Śrī Kṛṣṇa did not allot any share for Himself. Himself transcending all the Guṇas, and Full, He is always satisfied with Himself. What necessity is there for any further offerings?

Whatever the people offer with devotion, the Lord of Lakṣmī, the Virāt eats all these.

Bhagavān Śrī Kṛṣṇa giving thus to the Virāt the boon and the Mantra said:—

“O Child! Say what more you desire; I will give you that instantly.”

The Virāt boy, hearing thus the words of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, spoke:—

“O Thou Omnipresent! I have got no desires whatsoever, save this that as long as I live, whether for a short time or for a long time, let me have pure Bhakti towards Thy lotus feet.

35-41. In this world he is Jīvanmukta (liberated whilst living) who is your Bhakta; and that bewildered fool is dead while living who is devoid of any Bhakti to Thee.

What needs he to perform Japam, asceticism, sacrifice, worship, holding fasts and observances, going to sacred places of pilgrimages and other virtuous acts if he be without any bhakti to Śrī Kṛṣṇa?

Vain is his life who is devoid of any devotion to Śrī Kṛṣṇa, under Whose Grace he has obtained his life and Whom he does not now pay homage and worship.

He is endowed with Śaktī as long as Ātma (Self) resides in his body; no sooner the Ātma departs from his body all the Śaktis accompany him.

O Great One! And thou art the Universal Ātman (soul) who transcends Prakriti, Who is All will, the Primeval Person and of the nature of the Highest Light.

O Child! Thus saying, the Virāt boy remained silent.

Śrī Kṛṣṇa then, spoke in sweet words:-

“O Child! Let you remain as young as ever like Me. You will not have any fall even if innumerable Brahmās pass away.

42-57. Let you divide yourself in parts and turn into smaller Virāts in every universe. Brahmā will spring from your navel and will create the cosmos.

From the forehead of that Brahmā will spring eleven Rudras for the destruction of the creation. But they will all be parts of Śiva.

The Rudra named Kālāgni, of these eleven Rudras, will be the destroyer of all those Viśvas (cosmos). Besides, from each of your sub-divisions, the Viṣṇu will originate and that Bhagavān Viṣṇu will be the Preserver of this Viśva world.

I say that under my favour you will always be full of Bhakti towards Me and no sooner you meditate on Me, you will be able to see My lovely form. There is no doubt in this; and your Mother, Who resides in My breast, will not be difficult for you to see.

Let you remain here in ease and comfort. I now go to Goloka.

Saying thus Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the Lord of the world disappeared. Going to His own abode He spoke instantly to Brahmā and Śankara, skilled in the works of creation and destruction:-

“O Child Brahmā! Go quickly and be born in parts from the navels of each of the smaller Virāts that will arise from the pores of the Great Virāt.

O Child Mahādeva! Go and be born in parts from the forehead of each Brahmā in every universe for the destruction of the creation; (but be careful that you not forget) and perform austerities for a long, long time.

O son of the Creator Brahmā! Thus saying, the Lord of the Universe remained silent. Brahmā and Śiva, the auspicious, bowing to the Lord, went to their own duties.

On the other hand, the great Virāt that lay floating in the waters of the Brahmāṇḍa sphere, created from his every pore each smaller Virāt.

That youth Janārdana of the form of the Great Cosmos, wearing yellow garment of the bluish-green colour of the Durba grass, lay sleeping pervading everywhere.

Brahmā took his birth in His navel. He, then, after his birth, began to travel in that navel-lotus and in the stem of the lotus for one lakh yugas. But he could not find out the place whence the lotus or its stem had sprung up.

O Nārada! Then your father became very anxious and came back to his former place and began to meditate on the lotus feet of Śrī Kṛṣṇa.

Then, in meditation, with his introspective eye, he first saw the small Virāt, then the endless great Virāt lying on the watery bed, in whose pores the universes are existing and then he saw the God Śrī Kṛṣṇa in Goloka with Gopas and Gopis.

He then began to praise the Lord of Goloka when He granted boons to your father, and he began to do the work of creation.

58-62. From the mind of your father, were born first Śanaka and other brothers and then from his forehead eleven Rudras sprang.

Then from the left side of that small Virāt lying on the bed of waters, the four-handed Viṣṇu Bhagavān, the Preserver of the Universe, came. He went to Śvetadvīpa, where he remained.

Then your father became engaged in creating this Universe, moveable and non-moveable, composed of three worlds, heaven, earth and Pātāla, in the navel of that small Virāt Puruṣa.

O Nārada! Thus from the pores of that great Virāt each universe has sprung and in every universe there is one small Virāt, one Brahmā, one Viṣṇu and one Śiva and Śanaka and others.

O Best of twice born! Thus I have described the glories of Kṛṣṇa that give exceeding pleasure and Mokṣa. Now say what more you want to hear?

Here ends the Third Chapter of the Ninth Book on the Origin of Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Maheśa and others in the Mahā Purāṇam Śrīmad Devī Bhāgavatam of 18,000 verses by Mahāṛṣi Veda Vyāsa.