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CHAPTER I. Invocation. Maitreya inquires of his teacher, Parásara, the
origin and nature of the universe. Parásara performs a rite to destroy the demons: reproved by Vasishtha, he desists: Pulastya appears, and bestows upon him divine knowledge: he repeats the Vishńu Purana. Vishắu the origin, existence, and end of all things.
CHAPTER II. Prayer of Paráśara to Vishúu. Successive narration of the Vishnu
Puráňa. Explanation of Vásudeva: his existence before creation: his first manifestations. Description of Pradhána or the chief principle of things. Cosmogony. Of Prakrita or material creation; of time; of the active cause. Development of effects; Mahat; Ahariikára; Tanmátras; elements; objects of sense; senses; of the mundane egg. Vishńu the same as Brahmá the creator, Vishnu the preserver, Rudra the destroyer.
CHAPTER III. Measure of time. Moments or Káshthás, &c.; day and night;
fortnight, month, year, divine year: Yugas or ages: Maháyuga or great age: day of Brahmá: periods of the Manus: a Manwantara: night of Brahma and destruction of the world: a year of Brahmá: his life: a Kalpa: a Parárdha: the past or Pádma Kalpa: the present or Váráha.
CHAPTER IV. Náráyana's appearance, in the beginning of the Kalpa, as the
Varáha or boar: Prithivi (Earth) addresses him: he raises the world from beneath the waters: hymned by Sanandana and the Yogins. The earth floats on the ocean: divided into seven zones. The lower spheres of the universe restored. Creation renewed.
CHAPTER V. Vishnu, as Brahma, creates the world. General characteristics of
creation. Brahmá meditates, and gives origin to immovable things, animals, gods, men. Specific creation of nine kinds : Mahat, Tanmátra, Aindriya, inanimate objects, animals, gods, men, Anugraha, and Kaumára. More particular account of creation. Origin of different orders of beings from Brahmá’s body under different conditions, and of the Vedas from his mouths. All things created again as they existed in a former Kalpa.
CHAPTER VI. Origin of the four castes: their primitive state. Progress of
society. Different kinds of grain. Efficacy of sacrifice. Duties of men: regions assigned them after death.
CHAPTER VII. Creation continued. Production of the mind-born sons of Brahmá;
of the Prajapatis; of Sanandana and others; of Rudra and the eleven Rudras; of the Manu Swáyambhuva and his wife Šatarúpá; of their children. The daughters of Daksha, and their marriage to Dharma and others. The progeny of Dharma and Adharma. The perpetual succession of worlds, and different modes of mundane dissolution.
CHAPTER VIII. Origin of Rudra: his becoming eight Rudras: their wives and
children. The posterity of Bhrigu. Account of Sri in conjunction with Vishnu. (Sacrifice of Daksha.)
CHAPTER IX. Legend of Lakshmi. Durvásas gives a garland to Indra: he treats
it disrespectfully, and is cursed by the Muni. The power of the gods impaired: they are oppressed by the Dánavas, and have recourse to Vishńu. The churning of the ocean. Praises of Sri.
CHAPTER X. The descendants of the daughters of Daksha married to the Rishis.
CHAPTER XI. Legend of Dhruva, the son of Uttánapáda: he is unkindly treated
by his father's second wife: applies to his mother: her advice: he resolves to engage in religious exercises: sees the seven Rishis, who recommend him to propitiate Vishńu.
CHAPTER XII. Dhruva commences a course of religious austerities. Unsuccessful
attempts of Indra and his ministers to distract Dhruva’s attention: they appeal to Vishnu, who allays their fears, and appears to Dhruva. Dhruva praises Vishnu, and is raised to the skies, as the pole-star.
CHAPTER XIII. Posterity of Dhruva. Legend of Vena: his impiety: he is put to
death by the Rishis. Anarchy ensues. The production of Nisháda and Prithu: the latter the first king. The origin of of Súta and Mágadha: they enumerate the duties of kings. Prithu compels Earth to acknowledge his authority: he levels it: introduces cultivation: erects cities. Earth called, after him, Prithivi: typified as a cow.
CHAPTER XIV. Descendants of Prithu. Legend of the Prachetasas: they are de
sired, by their father, to multiply mankind, by worshipping Vishắu: they plunge into the sea, and meditate on and praise him: he appears, and grants their wishes.
CHAPTER XV. The world overrun with trees: they are destroyed by the Prache
tasas. Soma pacifies them, and gives them Márishá to wife: her story: the daughter of the nymph Pramlochá. Legend of Kandu. Márisha's former history. Daksha the son of the Prachetasas: his different characters: his sons: his daughters : their marriages and progeny: allusion to Prahláda, his descendant.
CHAPTER XVII. Legend of Prahláda. Hiranyakaśipu the sovereign of the universe:
the gods dispersed, or in servitude to him: Prahláda, his son, remains devoted to Vishńu: questioned by his father, he praises Vishnu: Hiranyakasipu orders him to be put to death, but in vain: his repeated deliverance: he teaches his companions to adore Vishnu.
CHAPTER XVIII. Hiranyakasipu's reiterated attempts to destroy his son: their being always frustrated.
CHAPTER XIX. Dialogue between Prahláda and his father: he is cast from the
top of the palace unhurt: baffles the incantations of Sambara : he is thrown, fettered, into the sea : he praises Vishnu.
CHAPTER XX. Vishńu appears to Prahláda. Hiranyakasipu relents, and is re
conciled to his son: he is put to death by Vishńu as the Nři. simha. Prahláda becomes king of the Daityas: his posterity: fruit of hearing his story.
CHAPTER XXI. Families of the Daityas. Descendants of Kaśyapa by Danu.
Children of Kaśyapa by his other wives. Birth of the Márutas, the sons of Diti.
CHAPTER XXII. Dominion over different provinces of creation assigned to different
beings. Universality of Vishắu. Four varieties of spiritual contemplation. Two conditions of spirit. The perceptible attributes of Vishnu types of his imperceptible properties. Vishńu everything. Merit of hearing the first book of the Vishnu Purána.
CHAPTER I. Descendants of Priyavrata, the eldest son of Swayambhuva Manu:
his ten sons: three adopt a religious life; the others become kings of the seven Dwipas or isles of the earth. Agnidhra, king of Jambu-dwipa, divides it into nine portions, which he distributes amongst his sons. Nábhi, king of the south, succeeded by Rishabha, and he, by Bharata : India named, after him, Bhárata: his descendants reign during the Swayambhuva Manwantara.
CHAPTER II. Description of the earth. The seven Dwipas and seven seas.
Jambu-dwipa. Mount Meru: its extent and boundaries. Extent of Ilávřita. Groves, lakes, and branches of Meru. Cities of the gods. Rivers. The forms of Vishou worshipped in different Varshas.
CHAPTER III. Description of Bhárata - varsha: extent: chief mountains: nine
divisions: principal rivers and mountains of Bhárata proper: principal nations: superiority over other Varshas, especially as the seat of religious acts. (Topographical lists.)
CHAPTER IV. Account of kings, divisions, mountains, rivers, and inhabitants of
the other Dwipas, viz., Plaksha, Sálmala, Kuša, Krauncha, Sáka,