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p. 291


1. When Vishnu had finished his speech[1], the goddess of the earth inclined her knees and her head before him and said:

2. 'O Bhagavat! Four (out of the five) grosser elements[1] are receiving their support from thee, and are constantly about thee: the ether, in the form of the shell; the air, in the form of the discus; the fire, in the form of the mace; and the water, in the form of the lotus. Now I also desire to attend upon thee, in my own shape, as the ground which Bhagavat's feet tread upon.'

[21. 1 The 'field' has been discussed in XCVI, 43-97, 'knowledge' in XCVI, 43-97, 'knowledge' in XCVII, 1, and 'what should be known' in XCVII, 2-20. (Nand.)

XCVII. 1. 1 Vishnu's speech is contained in Chapters II-XCVII. (Nand.)

2. 1 The fifth grosser element is the earth. See XCVII, 1, note.]

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3. Having been addressed thus by the goddess of the earth, Bhagavat answered, 'So be it.'

4. And the goddess of the earth, her desire having been gratified, did as she had said.

5. And she praised the god of the gods (as follows):

6. 'Om. Adoration be to thee.

7. 'Thou art the god of the gods.

8. 'Thou art Vâsudeva.

9. 'Thou art the creator.

10. 'Thou art the god (who, creates, preserves, and destroys) at will.

11. 'Thou art the gratifier of human desires.

12. 'Thou art the guardian of the earth.

13. 'There is neither beginning, nor middle, nor end in thee.

14. 'Thou art the lord (protector) of creatures.

15. 'Thou art the strong lord of creatures.

16. 'Thou art the exalted lord of creatures.

17. 'Thou art the lord of strength.

18. 'Thou art the lord of holy speech.

19. 'Thou art the lord (creator and preserver) of the world.

20. 'Thou art the lord of heaven.

21. 'Thou art the lord of woods (who makes the trees grow).

[10. 'Or Kâmadeva means the god (or brilliant one) who is sought by those striving for religious merit, gain, love, or final liberation,' (Nand.) The same interpretation is given by Sankara in his Commentary on the Vishnu-sahasranâma. The ordinary meaning of Kâmadeva is 'the god of love.'

15, 16. Nand. renders the terms supragâpati and mahâpragâpati by 'the protector of those who have a splendid progeny (such as Kasyapa)' and the lord of him who has a large progeny (Brahman).']

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22. 'Thou art the lord (producer) of (mother's) milk.

23. 'Thou art the lord of the earth (and causest it to yield its produce)

24. 'Thou art the lord of the waters.

25. 'Thou art the lord of the (eight) quarters of the sky.

26. 'Thou art the lord of (the principle) Mahat.

27. 'Thou art the lord of the wind.

28. 'Thou art the lord of happiness.

29. 'Thou art Brahman personified.

30. 'Thou art dear to Brâhmanas.

31. 'Thou pervadest everything.

32. 'Thou surpassest all conception.

33. 'Thou art attainable by knowledge (meditation).

34. 'Thou art invoked at many (offerings).

35. 'Thou art praised with many (hymns of the Veda).

36. 'Thou likest everything sacred.

37. 'Thou art fond of Brahman (the Veda).

38. 'Thou belongest to the (gods called) Brahmakâyas.

39. 'Thy size is immense.

40. 'Thou belongest to the Mahârâgas.

[26. See XCVII, 1, note.

28. Lakshmîpati has been translated according to Nand.'s interpretation. It usually denotes the husband of Lakshmî.

30. Or 'Brâhmanas are dear to thee.' Both explanations of the term brâhmanapriya are admissible, and mentioned by Nand. and by Sankara.

40, 41. Nand. interprets the two terms mahârâgika and katurmahârâgika by 'he whose series of transmigrations is immense,' and 'he whose immense series of transmigrations is fourfold,' and {footnote p. 394} he refers the latter epithet to the four parts, of which Purusha is said to consist. He quotes Rig-veda X, 90, 4, where it is said that Purusha ascended to the sky with three of his constituent parts, and that the fourth remained in this world. But both terms cannot be separated etymologically from Mahârâga, the name of a certain class of deities in the Buddhistic system of religion.]

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41. 'Thou belongest to the four Mahârâgas.

42. 'Thou art brilliant.

43. 'Thou art most brilliant.

44. 'Thou art the seven (parts of a Sâman, or the seven divisions of the universe).

45. 'Thou art most blessed.

46. 'Thou art tone.

47. 'Thou art Tushita (or "satisfied with the honours shown to thee by faithful attendants").

48. 'Thou art Mahâtushita (or "highly satisfied even without being worshipped").

49. 'Thou art the tormentor (destroyer of the world).

50. 'Thou art wholly created.

51. 'Thou art uncreated.

52. 'Thou art obsequious (to thy followers).

53. 'Thou art sacrifice.

54, 'Thou art the (recipient of the) great sacrifice.

55. 'Thou art connected with sacrifices.

56. 'Thou art the fit recipient of offerings.

57. Thou art the consummation of offerings.

58. Thou art invincible.

[44. Thus Nand. Compare I, 56, note.

46. Nand.'s interpretation of the epithet svara, 'tone' (or 'air breathed through the nostrils'), as being a compound of the prefix su and the root ri in the sense of 'acquisition, insight,' and meaning 'most wise,' is inadmissible.

54. This epithet, according to Nand., refers to the sacrifice mentioned in a text of the Vâgasan. Samhitâ (XIX, 12), which begins with the words 'The gods prepared a sacrifice']

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59. 'Thou art Vaikuntha.

60. 'Thou art unbounded (both in time and space).

61. 'Thou surpassest (the organs of sense, mind, and intelligence).

62. 'Thou art of old.

63. 'Thou art friendly to the gods.

64. 'Thou art the protector of living beings.

65. 'Thou wearest radiant locks of hair.

66. 'Thou takest thy share of acts of worship.

67. 'Thou takest thy sacrificial cake.

68. 'Thou art lord over everything.

69. 'Thou art the support of all.

70. 'Thy ears are pure.

71. 'Never ceasing homage is paid to thee.

72. 'Thou art blazing fire (or "Thou art shining with clarified butter offered up to thee").

73. 'Thou cuttest (foes) to pieces with thy axe.

74. 'Thou hast a lotus springing from thy navel.

75. 'Thou holdest a lotus (in thy hand).

76. 'Thou wearest a garland of lotus-flowers.

77. 'Thou art the lord of the senses.

78. 'Thou hast one horn.

[59. Nand. proposes two interpretations of this epithet: 2. the producer of Mâyâ (the power of illusion); 2. the son of Vikunthâ, the mother of Vishnu in one of his Avatâras. Vaikuntha is also the name of Vishnu's paradise.

70. 'I.e. "thou hearest the sacred revelation." Or sukisrava = "he whose names are pure."' (Nand.) The same interpretation is given by Sankara. See also Mahâbhârata XII, 13250.

73. 'The epithet khandaparasu refers either to Vishnu's slaying the Daityas in the form of Siva, or to his wearing an axe as the slayer of the Kshatriyas in the form of Parasurâma.' (Nand.) The latter interpretation is proposed by Sankara also, and khandaparasu is a very common epithet of Parasurâma.

78. The one horn is meant, by which Vishnu, in his descent as {footnote p. 296} a fish, is said to have dragged the ship of Manu behind him. (Nand.)]

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79. 'Thou art the great boar.

80. 'Thou art the tormentor (of the Asuras, or of the righteous and the unrighteous).

81. 'Thou art eternal.

82. 'Thou art infinite. 83. Thou art Purusha. 84. Thou art the great (unbounded) Purusha. 85. Thou art (the sage) Kapila. 86. Thou art the teacher of the Sânkhya. 87. Thy powers are everywhere. 88. Thou art virtue. 89. Thou art the giver of virtue. go. Thy body is virtue (law). 91. Thou art the giver of both virtue and wealth. 92. Desires are gratified by thee. 93. Thou art Vishnu. 94. Thou art triumphant everywhere. 95. Thou art capable of bearing (the extremities of heat and cold and any others). 96. Thou art Krishna. 97. Thou art the lotus-eyed god. 98. Thou art Nârâyana (the son of Nara). 99. Thou art the final aim. 100. Thou art the resort of all beings. 101. Adoration, adoration (be to thee)!'

102. The goddess of the earth, after her desire had been gratified, and after she had thus praised

[79. This epithet refers to Vishnu's boar-incarnation. See I, 1 seq.

85, 86. See Introduction.

101. Nand. observes that the divers epithets which are given to Vishnu in this chapter are precisely equal in number to the ninety-six chapters, of which the law part of the Vishnu-sûtra is composed. This coincidence is curious enough, though it is not quite perfect. For it is by a highly artificial interpretation only that Nand. makes out Sûtra 101 to contain an epithet of Vishnu, viz. by interpreting the two separate words namo nama as a compound, meaning 'he who is worshipped by the worshipful, i. e. by Brahman and the other gods;' and Sûtra 6 contains no epithet at all.]

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(Vishnu) with a cheerful mind I addressed herself to the goddess (Lakshmî).

Next: XCIX.