Saturday, 4 April 2020




Bhishma said:—Thereupon at the words (of my father) I put to Markandeya with attention the same question which I had put to my father before (1). The great and virtuous ascetic Markandeya too said to me:—"O sinless Bhishma, hear with attention, I will describe everything" (2).

Markandeya said:—I have attained longevity by my father's favour. For my devotion to my father, I attained great fame in the world in the days of yore (3). At the termination of the cycle extending over many thousand years, I carried on hard penances on the mount Sumeru (4). Thereupon one day I espied a huge car coming from the north of the mountain and lighting the heaven with its lustre (5). Therein, a vehicle in the midst of fire, I saw a person measuring a thumb effulgent like fire or the Sun. Saluting that lord with my head touching the ground I worshipped him, lying in the vehicle, with arghya and water for washing feet. I asked that unthought-of (person). "How can I know thee, O lord (6–8)? Methinks thou hast originated from ascetic energy endued with the qualities of Nārāyana. Thou art the god of gods" (9). O Sinless one, that virtuous-souled one as if surprisingly said to me: "You have not practised well hard penances, so you cannot recognize me (10)." Within a moment he assumed another most excellent form, the like of which I had not seen before (11). Sanatkumar said:—"Know me as the first mind-begotten son of the all-powerful Brahmā. From ascetic energy I have been born with the essential characteristics of Nārāyana (12). I am that Sanatkumar who had been celebrated in the Vedas in the days of yore. O Bhārgava, may good betide you and what desire of yours shall I fulfill (13)? The other seven irrepressible sons of Brahmā are my younger brothers. Their families have been established (on this earth) (14). They are Kretu, Vasishtha, Pulaha, Pulastya, Atri, Angira, and the learned Marichi—the gods and Gandharvas worship them also. Those ascetics, worshipped of the gods and Dānavas, are upholding the three worlds (15). I am leading the life of a Yatin.[1] Having controlled my ownself and my passions I was born, O great Muni, and I am still living so. Know me as an unmarried person. And therefore I have obtained the appellation of Sanatkumar (16–17). Out of devotion to me, you have been carrying on hard penances to behold me. Therefore I have come to you, tell me what desire of yours I can fulfill" (18). On his saying this and commanded by that all-powerful deity who was pleased with me, I replied to that eternal god, O descendant of Bharata (19), O sinless one, I then accosted the ever-existent (deity) regarding the origin of the Pitris and the fruits of Srāddhas (20). O Bhishma, that foremost of gods has removed all my doubts. After holding conversation for many years that virtuous-souled deity said to me:—"O Brāhmana saint, I have been pleased (with your question), hear from me all in due order (21). O descendant of Bhrigu, Brahmā created all the gods, thinking that they would dedicate offerings to him. But leading aside they began to perform sacrifices in expectation of fruits (22). Then imprecated by Brahmā, the inhabitants of heaven lost all sense and consciousness. They could not understand any thing and the entire world was bewildered (23). Then prostrating themselves before the Grand-Father (Brahmā) they again prayed to him for the behoof of the world. There upon he (Brahmā) said to them (14):—'You should undergo a penance for you have committed a transgression.[2] Do ye accost your sons and you will come by true knowledge (25)'. (Thereupon) for the purpose of going through a penance they, in great misery, asked their sons, who, self-controlled as they were, communicated to them (the truth) (26). 'Persons conversant with religious practices lay down penances for sins committed by words, deeds and thoughts and they daily perform them (27).' Then informed of the true import of Prāyaschitta (penance) the gods regained their consciousness and were accosted by the sons, saying 'Go ye sons' (28). Thus cursed and reviled the gods, at the words of sons, approached the grand-father (Brahmā) to have their doubts[3] removed (29). The Deity (Brahmā) then said to them:—'Ye are all Brahmavādins.[4] So what they have said will come to pass and it will not be otherwise (30). O gods, ye have given them the body and they have given ye the knowledge and are undoubtedly your fathers (31). Ye are gods and they are the Pitris and undoubtedly you are their fathers and they are yours'" (32).

[1] A sage whose passions are completely under subjection.

[2] For the negligence of not worshipping the true object of adoration.

[3] The doubt, referred to, is why they were addressed by their sons, as sons.

[4] Brahmavadins means conversant with the knowledge of Brāhmana. The sentence is elliptical, the full import is: ye are all conversant with the knowledge of Brāhmana but not gifted with Yoga powers.

Thereupon the dwellers of heaven returned and said to the sons:—"Our doubts have been snapped by Brahmā and so we shall be loving towards each other (33). Since ye, being conversant with religious merit, have conferred upon us knowledge, you are our fathers. Tell us what do you seek and what boons may we confer upon you (34). What you have said will forsooth prove true and not be otherwise. Since you have addressed us as sons undoubtedly you will be our fathers (35). The Rakshasas, Dānavas and Nāgas will be entitled to the fruits of an action which a man will perform without propitiating the Pitris with the performance of Srāddhas[5] (36). Being propitiated by Srāddhas the Pitris will propitiate the eternal. Moon. And being propitiated by you, they will continue flourishing every day (37). Being propitiated by Srāddha the Moon will afford delight to all the worlds consisting of oceans, mountains, forests and all creatures both mobile and immobile (38). The Pitris will always confer nourishment and progeny upon those men, who desirous of nourishment, will perform Srāddhas (39). Being propitiated with oblations afforded at Srāddhas, the Pitris with the Omnipresent Grand-Father will advance the prosperity of those who will offer three Pindas uttering their names and Gotras at the time of Srāddha (40). This order was formerly announced by Parameshthi Brahmā. Let his words prove true to-day, O gods, and we are now respectively fathers and sons".

Sanatkumar said:—Those Pitris are the gods and the gods are the gods, and they are respectively each other's fathers (42).

[5] It is for this reason the usual practice amongst the Hindus is that they perform the Srāddha of their ancestral manes before the commencement of any ceremony.

Previous | Source | Tamil Translation | Next



அக்ரூரன் அக்னி அசமஞ்சன் அதிரதன் அந்தகன் அரிஷ்டன் அர்ஜுனன் அனு அஜமீடன் அஸ்தி ஆபவர் ஆயு ஆஹுகன் இந்திரன் இளை உக்ரசேனன் உக்ராயுதன் உசீநரன் உதங்கர் உபரிசரவசு உல்பணன் ஊர்வசி ஊர்வர் ஏகலவ்யன் ஔர்வர் கக்ஷேயு கங்கை கசியபர் கண்டரீகர் கண்டூகன் கபிலர் கமலாதேவி கம்ஸன் கருடன் கர்க்கர் கர்ணன் காதி காந்திதேவி கார்த்தவீர்யார்ஜுனன் காலநேமி காலயவனன் காலவர் காளியன் கிருஷ்ணன் குசிகன் குணகன் குரோஷ்டு குவலயாபீடம் குவலாஷ்வன் கூனி கைசிகன் சகடாசுரன் சக்ரதேவன் சங்கன் சததன்வன் சத்யகர்மன் சத்ருக்னன் சத்வதன் சந்தனு சந்திரன் சனத்குமாரர் சன்னதி சாணூரன் சாந்தீபனி சால்வன் சிசுபாலன் சித்திராங்கதன் சிருகாலன் சிவன் சுனீதன் சூரன் சூரியன் சைசிராயணர் தக்ஷன் தசரதன் தந்தவக்ரன் தமகோஷன் தரதன் தன்வந்தரி தாரை திதிக்ஷு திரிசங்கு திரிவிக்ரை திருமிலன் திரையாருணன் திலீபன் திவோதாஸன் துந்து துந்துமாரன் துருவன் துஷ்யந்தன் தூம்ரவர்ணன் தேவகன் தேவகி தேவாவ்ருதன் தேனுகன் நந்தன் நரகாசுரன் நஹுஷன் நாரதர் நாராயணன் நாராயணி நிகும்பன் நிசுந்தன் நித்ராதேவி நீபன் பஞ்சஜனன் பத்மாவதி பப்ரு பயோதன் பரசுராமர் பரதன் பரத்வாஜர் பலராமன் பார்வதி பிரதீபன் பிரம்மதத்தன் பிரம்மன் பிரலம்பன் பிரஸேனன் பிராசேதஸ் பிராப்தி பிருது பிருதை பிருஹதாஷ்வன் பிருஹஸ்பதி பீஷ்மகன் பீஷ்மர் புதன் புரூரவன் பூதனை பூமாதேவி பூரு பூஜனி மதிராதேவி மது மதுமதி மயன் மஹாமாத்ரன் மாயாதேவி மார்க்கண்டேயர் முசுகுந்தன் முஷ்டிகன் யசோதை யது யயாதி யுதிஷ்டிரன் ரஜி ராமன் ருக்மவதி ருக்மி ருக்மிணி ரேவதி ரைவதன் ரோஹிணி லவணன் வசிஷ்டர் வருணன் வஸு வஸுதேவன் வாயு விகத்ரு விதர்ப்பன் விப்ராஜன் விரஜை விருஷ்ணி விஷ்ணு விஷ்வாசி விஷ்வாமித்ரர் விஷ்வாவஸு விஸ்வகர்மன் வேனன் வைவஸ்வத மனு ஜராசந்தன் ஜஹ்னு ஜாம்பவான் ஜியாமோகன் ஸகரன் ஸத்யபாமா ஸத்யவிரதன் ஸத்ராஜித் ஸத்வான் ஸஹஸ்ரதன் ஸ்ரீதாமன் ஹயக்ரீவன் ஹரி ஹரியஷ்வன் ஹரிஷ்சந்திரன் ஹிரண்யகசிபு