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"Nara and Narayana said, 'Deserving art thou of the highest praise, and highly favoured hast thou been, since thou hast beheld the puissant Narayana himself (in the form of Aniruddha). None else, not even Brahma himself who was sprung from the primal lotus, has been able to behold him. That foremost of Purushas, endued with puissance and holiness, is of unmanifest origin and incapable of being seen. These words that we say unto thee are very true, O Narada. There exists no one in the universe that is dearer to him than one that adores him with devotion. It is for this, O best of regenerate ones, that he showed himself unto thee. No one can repair to that realm where the Supreme Soul is engaged in the observance of penances, except we two, O foremost of regenerate persons. In consequence of that spot being adorned by Him, its splendour resembles the effulgence of a thousands Suns collected together. 1 From that illustrious Being, O Brahmana, from Him who is the origin of the Creator of the universe, O foremost of all persons endued with forgiveness, springs the attribute of forgiveness which attaches to the

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[paragraph continues] Earth. 1 It is from that illustrious Being who seek the welfare of all beings, that Rasa (Taste) hath arisen. The attribute of Rasa attaches to the waters which are, again, liquid. It is from Him that Heat or Light having the attribute of form or vision has arisen. It attaches itself to the sun in consequence of which the Sun becomes able to shine and give heat. It is from that illustrious and foremost of Beings that Touch also has arisen. It is attached to the Wind, in consequence of which the Wind moves about in the world producing the sensation of touch. It is from that puissant Lord of the entire universe that Sound has arisen. It attaches to Space, which, in consequence thereof, exists uncovered and unconfined. It is from that illustrious Being that Mind, which pervades all Beings, has arisen. It attaches to Chandramas, in consequence of which Chandramas comes to be invested with the attribute of displaying all the things. That spot where the divine Narayana, that partaker of the libations and other offerings made in sacrifices, resides with Knowledge alone for his companion, has in the Vedas, been called by the name of the productive cause of all things or Sat2 The path that is theirs, O foremost of regenerate persons, that are stainless and that are freed from both virtue and sin, is fraught with auspiciousness and felicity. Aditya, who is the dispeller of the darkness of all the worlds, is said to be the door (through which the Emancipate must pass). Entering Aditya, the bodies of such persons become consumed by his fire. They then become invisible for after that they cannot be seen by anybody at any time. Reduced into invisible atoms, they then enter (Narayana in manifested form and residing in the middle of the region covered by Aditya) into the form of Aniruddha. Losing all physical attributes and being altogether and transformed into Mind alone, they then enter into Pradyumna. Passing out of Pradyumna, those foremost of regenerate persons, including both those that are conversant with Sankhya philosophy and those that are devoted to the Supreme deity, then enter Sankarsana who is otherwise called Jiva. After this, divested of the three primal attributes of Sattwa, Rajas, and Tamas, those foremost of regenerate beings quickly enter the Paramatma (Supreme Soul) otherwise called Kshetrajna and which itself transcends the three primal attributes. Know that Vasudeva is He when called Kshetrajna. Verily shouldst thou know that, that Vasudeva is the abode or original refuge of all things in the universe. Only they whose minds are concentrated, who are observant of all kinds of restraint, whose senses are controlled, and who are devoted to One, succeed in entering Vasudeva. We two, O foremost of regenerate ones, have taken birth in the house of Dharma. Residing in this delightful and spacious retreat we

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are undergoing the austerest penances. We are thus engaged, O regenerate one, being moved by the desire of benefiting those manifestations of the Supreme Deity, dear to all the celestials, that will occur in the three worlds (for achieving diverse feats that are incapable of being achieved by any other Being). In accordance with such ordinances as are uncommon and as apply to us two only, O best of regenerate persons, we are duly observing all excellent and high vows fraught with the austerest penances. Thou, O celestial Rishi, endued with wealth of penances wert beheld by us in White Island when thou wert there. Having met with Narayana, thou hast made a particular resolution, which is known to us. In the three worlds consisting of mobile and immobile Beings, there is nothing that is unknown to us. Of good or evil that will occur or has occurred or is occurring, that God of gods, O great ascetic, has informed thee!'"

Vaisampayana continued, "Having heard these words of Nara and Narayana both of whom were engaged in the practice of the austerest penances, the celestial Rishi Narada joined his hands in reverence and became entirely devoted to Narayana. He employed his time in mentally reciting, with due observances, innumerable sacred Mantras that are approved by Narayana. Worshipping the Supreme Deity Narayana, and adoring those two ancient Rishis also that had taken birth in the house of Dharma, the illustrious Rishi Narada, endued with great energy, continued to reside, thus employed, in that retreat, called Vadari, on the breast of Himavat, belonging to Nara and Narayana, for a thousand years as measured by the standard of the celestials.'"


174:1 cf. Milton's description of the mount of God. The highest angels are not competent to bear its effulgence, being obliged to cover their eyes with their wings in looking at it.

175:1 Prithivi or Earth is said to be sarvamsaha. As forgiving as the Earth is a common form of expression in almost every Indian dialect.

175:2 By Sat is meant all existent things. The correlative word is Asat or non-existent. Hence, aught and naught are the nearest approaches to these words. There are many secondary significations, however of these two words, Sat, for example, indicates effects or all gross objects; and asat indicates causes, etc.

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