Imagens da página
PDF
ePub

Being thus admonished by my venerable grandsire, I immediately desisted from the rite, in obedience to his injunctions; and Vasishtha, the most excellent of sages, was content with me. Then arrived Pulastya,

Puráńa (Púrvárdha, s. 64) in the same manner, with the addition, conformably to the Saiva tendency of that work, that Parásara begins his sacrifice by propitiating Mahadeva. Vasishtba’s dissuasion and Pulastya’s appearance are given in the very words of our text; and the story concludes: Thus, through the favour of Pulastya and of the wise Vasishtha, Paráśara composed the Vaishňava (Vishnu) Puráňa, containing ten thousand stanzas, and being the third of the Puráňa compilations' (Puráňa-sambitá). * The Bhagavata (b. III., s. 8) also alludes, though obscurely, to this legend. In recapitulating the succession of the narrators of part of the Bhagavata, Maitreya states, that this first Puráňa was communicated to him by his Guru, Paráśara, as he had been desired by Pulastya: प्रोवाच मह्यं स दयालुरुक्तो मुनिः (पराशरः) पुलस्त्येन पुराणमाद्यम्। i. e., according to the commentator, agreeably to the boon given by Pulastya to Paráśara, saying, “You shall be a narrator of Puránas”; (gruga † ufaufe). The Mahabharata makes no mention of the communication of this faculty to Parásara by Pulastya; and, as the Bhagavata could not derive this particular

[ocr errors]

the son of Brahma,' who was received, by my grandfather, with the customary marks of respect. The illustrious brother * of Pulaha said to me: Since, in the violence of animosity, you have listened to the words of your progenitor, and have exercised clemency, therefore you shall become learned in every science. Since you have forborne, even though incensed, to destroy my posterity, I will bestow upon you another boon; and you shall become the author of a summary of the Puráňas.You shall know the true nature of the deities, as it really is; † and, whether engaged in

from that source, it here, most probably, refers, unavowedly, as the Linga does avowedly, to the Vishnu Puráňa.

Pulastya, as will be presently seen, is one of the Rishis who were the mind-born sons of Brahma. Pulaha, who is here also named, is another. Pulastya is considered as the ancestor of the Rákshasas; as he is the father of Viśravas, the father of Rávana and his brethren. Uttara Rámáyana. Mahábhárata, Vana Parvan, s. 272. Padma Pur. Linga Pur., s. 63.

' पुराणसंहिताकर्ता भवान्वत्स भविष्यति । You shall be a maker of the Samhitá or compendium of the Puráňas, or of the Vishnu Puráňa, considered as a summary or compendium of Pauránik traditions. In either sense, it is incompatible with the general attribution of all the Puráńas to Vyása.

[ocr errors]

religious rites, or abstaining from their performance, your understanding, through my favour, shall be perfect, and exempt from doubts. Then my grandsire Vasishtha added: Whatever has been said to thee by Pulastya shall assuredly come to pass.

Now truly all that was told me formerly by Vasishtha, and by the wise Pulastya, has been brought to my recollection by your questions; and I will relate to you the whole, even all you have asked. Listen to the complete compendium of the Puráňas, according to its tenor. The world was produced from Vishnu: it exists in him: he is the cause of its continuance and cessation:* he is the world. ?

I Whether performing the usual ceremonies of the Brahmans, or leading a life of devotion and penance, which supersedes the necessity of rites and sacrifices.

? These are, in fact, the brief replies to Maitreya's six questions (p. 6), or: How was the world created? By Vishňu. How will it be? At the periods of dissolution, it will be in Vishńu. Whence proceeded animate and inanimate things? From Vishńu. Of what is the substance of the world? Vishắu. Into what has it been, and will it again be, resolved ? Vishńu. He is, therefore, both the instrumental and material cause of the universe. "The answer to the swhence” replies to the query as to the instrumental cause: “He is the world” replies to the inquiry as to the material cause' : अनेन यतश्चैतदस्य निमित्तप्रश्नस्योत्तरं जगच्च स इत्युपादानप्रश्नस्योत्तरम । 'And by this explanation of the agency of the materiality, &c. of Vishnu, as regards the universe, (it follows that) all will be produced from, and all will repose in, him?: Jaga falluit: H

Treuadratfeauaa faaltat faufa nera teratfa i † We have here precisely the nãv of the Orphic doctrines; and we might fancy, that Brucker was translating a passage from a Puráňa, when he describes them in these words: “Continuisse Jovem [lege Vishnum] sive summum deum in se omnia, omnibus ortum ex se dedisse; et ** omnia ex se genuisse, et ex sua produxisse essentia; Spiritum esse universi, qui omnia regit, rivificat, estque ** Ex quibus necessario sequitur omnia in eum reditura.” Hist. Philos., I., 388. Jamblichus and Proclus also testify that the Pythagorean doctrines of the origin of the material world from the Deity, and its identity with him, were much the same. Cudworth, Intell. Syst., Vol. I., p. 346.

* Samnyama. See the editor's first note in p. 26, infra.

+ These two extracts are from the commentary on the Vishnu-purána, The first is a little abridged.

CHAPTER II.

Prayer of Paráśara to Vishnu. Successive narration of the Vishńu

Puráňa. Explanation of Vásudeva: his existence before creation: his first manifestations. Description of Pradhána or the chief principle of things. Cosmogony. Of Prákrita or material creation; of time; of the active cause. Development of effects; Mahat; Ahankára; Tanmátras; elements; objects of sense; senses; of the mundane egg. Vishńu the same as Brahma the creator; Vishnu the preserver; Rudra the destroyer.

PARÁśara said: Glory to the unchangeable, holy, eternal, supreme Vishńu, of one universal nature, the mighty over all: to him who is Hiranyagarbha, Hari, and Sankara," the creator, the preserver, and destroyer

"The three hypostases of Vishńu. Hiranyagarbha (fekete

f) is a name of Brabmá; he who was born from the golden egg. Hari (ft) is Vishắu; and Sankara (1917), Śiva. The Vishńu who is the subject of our text is the supreme being in all these three divinities or hypostases, in his different characters of creator, preserver, and destroyer. Thus, in the Márkańdeya :* 'Accordingly, as the primal all-pervading spirit is distinguished by attributes in creation and the rest, so he obtains the denomination of Brahmá, Vishắu, and Siva. In the capacity of Brahmá, he creates the worlds ; in that of Rudra, he destroys them; in that of Vishnu, he is quiescent. These are the three Avasthás (lit., hypostases) of the self-born. Brahmá is the quality of activity; Rudra, that of darkness; Vishnu, the lord of the world, is goodness. So, therefore, the three gods are the three qualities.

* XLVI., 16 et seq. The edition in the Bibliotheca Indica gives several discrepant readings.

« AnteriorContinuar »