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after whose injunctions creation commenced, and who were discharging the duties of ministrant priests. *
from the Váyu, but not found in the copies consulted on the present occasion. According to those details, the path (Márga) of variations, is adduced in both the commentaries on the Vishnu-purana:
सर्वग्रहाणां त्रीण्येव स्थानानि द्विजसत्तमाः।
वैश्वानरं दक्षिणतो निर्दिष्टमिह तत्त्वतः ॥ इति। तदेव मध्यमोत्तरदक्षिणमार्गवयं प्रत्येकं वीथीत्रयेण विधा भिद्यते त्रिभिस्त्रिभिरश्विन्यादिनक्षत्रैः । नागवीथी गजवीथी ऐरावी चेत्युरमार्गे वीथीत्रयम् । आर्षभी गोवीथी जारगवी चेति वैषुवते मध्यममार्गे वीथीत्रयम् । अजवीथी सृगवीथी वैश्वानरी चेति दक्षिणमार्गे वीथीत्रयम् । तदप्युक्तं तत्रैव ।
अश्विनी कृत्तिका याम्या नागवीथीति शब्दिता।
एतास्तु वीथयस्तिस्रो दक्षिणो मार्ग उच्यते ॥ Śrídhara explains that Yámya is Bharańí, that Áditya is Punarvasu, and that Márgi is the same as Mřigavithi. The Translator preferred the commentator's synonyms.
* I should read: “lauding the section of the Veda which sets forth the origin of creatures; undertaking as sacrificial priests, in the intervals between the yugas, when the ordinary performance of sacrifice is interrupted.'
The entire stanza is subjoined, and the explanation given in the smaller commentary:
तत्रासते महात्मान ऋषयो येऽग्निहोत्रिणः ।
भूतारम्भकृतं ब्रह्म शंसन्तो ऋत्विगुद्यताः॥ भूतारम्भः प्रजोत्पादनं कृतं कृतिः कार्य यस्य तद्ब्रह्म शंसन्तः प्रवृ.
For, as the worlds are destroyed and renewed, they institute new rules of conduct, and reestablish the in
the sun and other planets amongst the lunar asterisms is divided into three portions or Avasthánas, northern, southern, and central, called, severally, Airavata, Járadgava * (Ajagava, † Matsya Puráňa), and Vaiśwánara. Each of these, again, is divided into three parts or Víthis: those of the northern portion are termed Nágavíthí, Gajavíthí, and Airávatí; those of the centre are Árshabhi, Govíthí, and Járadgaví; and those of the south are named Ajavíthí, Mrigavíthi, and Vaiśwánarí. Each of these Víthis comprises three asterisms :
| Aświni Nágavíthí Bharani
त्तकर्मविधायकवेदभागं स्तुवन्तः । ऋत्विगुद्यताः। युगान्तरे यज्ञविच्छेदे सति ऋविग्भावेन यज्ञानुष्ठानायोद्यताः कर्मणि प्रारभन्त Tret: 1
* Járadgava is the central portion, and Vaiśwánara is the southern. See the Sanskrit.
† I find Járadgava in my five manuscripts of the Matsya-puráňa.
terrupted ritual of the Vedas. Mutually descending from each other, progenitor springing from descendant, and descendant from progenitor, in the alternating succession of births, they repeatedly appear in different houses and races,-along with their posterity, devout practices and instituted observances,-residing to the south of the solar orb, as long as the moon and stars endure. 1*
Revatí See, also, Asiatic Researches, Vol. IX., Table of Nakshatras, p. 346. § Agastya is Canopus; and the line of the goat, or Ajavíthí, comprises asterisms which contain stars in Scorpio and Sagittarius.
? A marginal note in one MS. explains the phrase of the text, आ चन्द्रतारकं, to signify as far as to the moon and stars ; चन्द्र
* This passage is not closely rendered; and yet, as it is of no special import, it may suffice to give only the original of it:
प्रारभन्ते तु ये लोकास्तेषां पन्थाः स दक्षिणः ।
सवितुर्दक्षिणं मागें श्रिता ह्याचन्द्रतारकम् ॥
So the original. Professor Wilson had “Śatábhishá”. § Or Colebrooke's Miscellaneous Essays, Vol. II., opposite p. 322.
+ + von
The path of the gods lies to the north of the solar sphere, north of the Nágavíthí,' and south of the seven Rishis. There dwell the Siddhas, of subdued senses, continent and pure, undesirous of progeny, and, therefore, victorious over death: eighty-eight thousand of these chaste beings tenant the regions of the sky, north of the sun,* until the destruction of the universe: they enjoy immortality, for that they are holy; exempt from covetousness and concupiscence, love and hatred; taking no part in the procreation of living beings; and detecting the unreality of the properties of elementary matter. † By immortality is meant existence to the end of the Kalpa:life as long as the three regions (earth, sky, and heaven) last is called exemption from reiterated death.? The consequences of acts of iniquity or
attaetariahThiş But the Pitriyána, or path of the Pitris, lies amongst the asterisms; and, according to the Pauráńik system of the heavens, it is not clear what could be meant by its being bounded by the moon and stars. The path south of the solar orb is, according to the Vedas, that of smoke or darkness.
The stars of the Nágavíthí are those of Aries and Taurus; and by the seven Rishis we are here to understand Ursa Major.
? This, according to the Vedas, is all that is to be understood of the immortality of the gods: they perish at the period of universal dissolution.
* Aryaman is here its name in the original.
+ The Sanskrit implies that they discern faults of speech and the like : शब्दादेदोषदर्शनात् .
* आभूतसंप्लवं स्थानममतत्वं हि भाव्यते। $ The larger commentary has चन्द्रतारासीमाभूतं मार्ग, the path consisting of the limit of the stars.'
|| So allege the commentators.
piety, such as Brahmanicide or an Aswamedha, endure (for a similar period, or) until the end of a Kalpa, 1 when all within the interval between Dhruva and the earth is destroyed. *
The space between the seven Rishis and Dhruva, a the third region of the sky, is the splendid celestial path of Vishnu (Vishńupada), † and the abode of those sanctified ascetics who are cleansed from every soil, and in whom virtue and vice are annihilated. This is that excellent place of Vishắu to which those repair in whom all sources of pain are extinct, in consequence of the cessation of (the consequences of) piety or iniquity, and where they never sorrow more. There abide Dharma, Dhruva, and other spectators of the world, radiant with the superhuman faculties : of Vishńu, acquired through religious meditation; § and
That is, generally as affecting created beings, not individuals, whose acts influence their several successive births.
? From Ursa Major to the polar star.
ब्रह्महत्याश्वमेधाभ्यां पुण्यपापकृतो विधिः ।
आभूतसंप्लवान्तं तु फलमुक्तं तयोजि ॥ यावन्मात्रे प्रदेशे तु मैत्रेयावस्थतो ध्रुवः ।
क्षयमायाति तावत्तु भूमेरा भूतसंप्लवे ॥ The second of these stanzas is abridged in the translation. The first may be rendered: “There is a necessary consequence arising to one who does evil or good by such acts as the slaying of a Brahman or the performing of a hippocaust. The result of such acts is said, O regenerate, to extend to the limit of the dissolution of created beings.'
† A station of Vishnu is here spoken of, namely Dhruva, which is said to be higher than the Rishis, and further to the north:
ऊोत्तरमृषिभ्यस्तु ध्रुवो यत्र व्यवस्थितः।
एतद्विष्णुपदं दिव्यं तृतीयं योनि भासुरम् ॥ Sárshti. § Yoga.