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p. 174


"Duryodhana said, 'In all the worlds Vasudeva is spoken of as the Supreme Being. I desire, O Grandsire, to know his origin and glory."

"Bhishma said, 'Vasudeva is the Supreme Being. He is the God of all Gods. None superior to him of eyes like lotus-petals is to be seen, O bull of Bharata's race. Markandeya speaketh of Govinda as the Most Wonderful and the Most high, as the All-being, as the All-soul, as the Highest soul, and as the Supreme male Being. Water, Air, and Fire,--these three were created by Him. That Divine Master and Lord of all the worlds created this Earth. That Supreme Being of illustrious soul laid himself down on the waters. And that Divine Being made up of all kinds of energy slept thereon in Yoga. From his mouth He created Fire, and from his breath, the Wind. Of unfading glory, He created from his mouth Speech and the Vedas. It was thus that he created first the Worlds and also the gods along with the diverse classes of Rishis. And he created decay and death also of all creatures, as well as birth and growth. He is Righteousness and of righteous soul. He is the giver of boons and the giver of all (our) wishes. He is the Actor and Action, and He is himself the Divine Master. 1 He first made the Past, the Present, and the Future; He is the Creator of the Universe. He is of illustrious soul; He is the Master possessed of unfading glory. He created Sankarshana, the First-born of all creatures. He created the divine Sesha who is known as Ananta and who upholdeth all creatures and the Earth with her mountains. Of Supreme Energy, He it is whom the regenerate ones know by Yoga meditation. Sprung from the secretions of his ear, the great Asura known by the name of Madhu, fierce and of fierce deeds and entertaining a fierce intent and about to destroy Brahman, was slain by that Supreme Being. And O sire, in consequence of Madhu's slaughter, the gods, the Danavas, and human beings, and Rishis, call Janardana the slayer of Madhu. He is the great Boar. He is the great Lion, and He is the Three-stepped Lord. 2 He is the Mother and the Father of all living creatures. There never was, nor will be, any superior to Him of eyes like lotus-petals. From His mouth He created the Brahmanas: and from His two arms the Kshatriyas, and from His thighs, O king, He created the Vaisyas, and from His feet He created the Sudras. One waiting dutifully on Him, observant of vows with ascetic austerities on days of the full-moon and the new-moon, is sure to obtain the Divine Kesava, that refuge of all embodied creatures that essence of Brahma and of Yoga. Kesava is the higher Energy,

p. 175

the Grandsire of all the worlds. Him, O king, the sages call Hrishikesa (the lord of the senses). Him also should all know as the Preceptor, the Father, and the Master. Inexhaustible regions (of blessedness) are won by him with whom Krishna is gratified. He also who, in a place of fear, seeketh the protection of Kesava, and he who frequently readeth this description, becometh happy and endued with every prosperity. Those men who attain to Krishna are never beguiled, Janardana always saveth those that are sunk in great terrors. Knowing this truly, O Bharata, Yudhishthira, with his whole soul, O king, hath sought the shelter of the highly blessed Kesava, the Lord of Yoga, and the Lord of the Earth."


174:1 The Bengal reading is Sa vai devas. The Bombay reading is Purvadevas.

174:2 The Three-stepped Lord, Vishnu became vamana or the dwarf for robbing the Asura Vali of his dominions. Disguised in that shape he asked of Vali three steps of land. Vali, smiling at the littleness of what was asked, gave it. But when the dwarf expanded his form and covered the heavens and the earth with only two steps of his, no space could be found for the third step. Vali was forthwith seized and bound as a promise-breaker, and sent to reside in the nether regions.

Next: Section LXVIII