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The Vishnu Purana, translated by Horace Hayman Wilson, [1840], at

p. 259




Account of the several Manus and Manwantaras. Swárochisha the second Manu: the divinities, the Indra, the seven Rishis of his period, and his sons. Similar details of Auttami, Támasa, Raivata, Chákshusha, and Vaivaswata. The forms of Vishńu, as the preserver, in each Manwantara. The meaning of Vishńu.

MAITREYA.--The disposition of the earth and of the ocean, and the system of the sun and the planets, the creation of the gods and the rest, the origin of the Rishis, the generation of the four castes, the production of brute creatures, and the narratives of Dhruva and Prahláda, have been fully related by thee, my venerable preceptor. I am now desirous to hear from you the series of all the Manwantaras, as well as an account of those who preside over the respective periods, with Śakra, the king of the gods, at their head.

PARÁŚARA.--I will repeat to you, Maitreya, in their order, the different Manwantaras; those which are past, and those which are to come.

The first Manu was Swáyambhuva, then came Swárochisha, then Auttami, then Támasa, then Raivata, then Chákshusha: these six Manus have passed away. The Manu who presides over the seventh Manwantara, which is the present period, is Vaivaswata, the son of the sun.

The period of Swáyambhuva Manu, in the beginning of the Kalpa, has already been described by me, together with the gods, Rishis, and other personages, who then flourished 1. I will now, therefore, enumerate

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the presiding gods, Rishis, and sons of the Manu, in the Manwantara of Swárochisha 2. The deities of this period (or the second Manwantara) were the classes called Párávatas and Tushitas 3; and the king of the gods was the mighty Vipaśchit. The seven Rishis 4 were Úrja, Stambha,

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[paragraph continues] Práńa, Dattoli, Rishabha, Niśchara, and Arvarívat; and Chaitra, Kimpurusha, and others, were the Manu's sons 5.

In the third period, or Manwantara of Auttami 6, Suśánti was the Indra, the king of the gods; the orders of whom were the Sudhámas, Satyas, Śivas, Pradarśanas, and Vasavertis 7; each of the five orders consisting of twelve divinities. The seven sons of Vaśisht́ha were the seven Rishis 8; and Aja, Paraśu, Divya, and others, were the sons of the Manu 9.

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The Surúpas, Haris, Satyas, and Śudhís 10 were the classes of gods, each comprising twenty-seven, in the period of Támasa, the fourth Manu 11. Śivi was the Indra, also designated by his performance of a hundred sacrifices (or named Śatakratu). The seven Rishis were Jyotirdhámá, Prithu, Kávya, Chaitra, Agni, Vanaka, and Pivara 12. The sons of Támasa were the mighty kings Nara, Khyáti, Śántahaya, Jánujangha, and others 13.

In the fifth interval the Manu was Raivata 14: the Indra was Vibhu: the classes of gods, consisting of fourteen each, were the Amitábhas, Abhútarajasas, Vaikunthas, and Sumedhasas 15: the seven Rishis were

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[paragraph continues] Hirańyaromá, Vedasrí, Urddhabáhu, Vedabáhu, Sudháman, Parjanya, and Mahámuni 16: the sons of Raivata were Balabandhu, Susambhávya, Satyaka, and other valiant kings.

These four Manus, Swárochisha, Auttamí, Támasa, and Raivata, were all descended from Priyavrata, who, in consequence of propitiating Vishńu by his devotions, obtained these rulers of the Manwantaras for his posterity.

Chákshusha was the Manu of the sixth period 17: in which the Indra was Manojava: the five classes of gods were the Ádyas, Prastútas, Bhavyas, Prithugas, and the magnanimous Lekhas, eight of each 18: Sumedhas, Virajas, Havishmat, Uttama, Madhu, Abhináman, and Sahishńu were the seven sages 19: the kings of the earth, the sons of Chákshusha, were the powerful Uru, Puru, Śatadyumna, and others.

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The Manu of the present period is the wise lord of obsequies, the illustrious offspring of the sun: the deities are the Ádityas, Vasus, and Rudras; their sovereign is Purandara: Vaśisht́ha, Kaśyapa, Atri, Jamadagni, Gautama, Viśwámitra, and Bharadwája are the seven Rishis: and the nine pious sons of Vaivaswata Manu are the kings Ikshwáku, Nabhaga, Dhrisht́a, Sanyáti, Narishyanta, Nábhanidisht́a, Karusha, Prishadhra, and the celebrated Vasumat 20.

The unequalled energy of Vishńu combining with the quality of goodness, and effecting the preservation of created things, presides over all the Manwantaras in the form of a divinity. Of a portion of that divinity Yajna was born in the Swáyambhuva Manwantara, the will-begotten progeny of Ákútí 21. When the Swárochisha Manwantara had arrived, that divine Yajna was born as Ajita, along with the Tushita gods, the sons of Tushitá. In the third Manwantara, Tushita was again born of Satyá, as Satya, along with the class of deities so denominated. In the next period, Satya became Hari, along with the Haris, the

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children of Harí. The excellent Hari was again born in the Raivata Manwantara, of Sambhúti, as Mánasa, along with the gods called Abhútarajasas. In the next period, Vishńu was born of Vikunthi, as Vaikuntha, along with the deities called Vaikunthas. In the present Manwantara, Vishńu was again born as Vámana, the son of Kaśyapa by Adití. With three paces he subdued the worlds, and gave them, freed from all embarrassment, to Purandara 22. These are the seven persons by whom, in the several Manwantaras, created beings have been protected. Because this whole world has been pervaded by the energy of the deity, he is entitled Vishńu, from the root Vis, 'to enter' or 'pervade;' for all the gods, the Manus, the seven Rishis, the sons of the Manus, the Indras the sovereigns of the gods, all are but the impersonated might of Vishńu 23.


259:1 The gods were said to be the Yámas (p. 54); the Rishis were Maríchi, Angiras, &c. (p. 49. n. 2); and the sons were Priyavrata and Uttánapáda (p. 53). The Váyu adds to the Yamas, the Ajitas, who share with the former, it observes, sacrificial p. 260 offerings. The Matsya, Padma, Bráhma P. and Hari Vanśa substitute for the sons, the grandsons of Swáyambhuva, Agnídhra and the rest (p. 162).

260:2 This Manu, according to the legend of his birth in the Márkańd́eya P., was the son of Swarochish, so named from the splendour of his appearance when born, and who was the son of the nymph Varuthiní by the Gandharba Kali. The text, in another place, makes him a son of Priyavrata.

260:3 The Váyu gives the names of the individuals of these two classes, consisting each of twelve. It furnishes also the nomenclature of all the classes of divinities, and of the sons of the Manus in each Manwantara. According to the same authority, the Tushitas were the sons of Kratu: the Bhágavata calls them the sons of Tushitá by Vedaśiras. The divinities of each period are, according to the Váyu, those to whom offerings of the Soma juice and the like are presented collectively.

260:4 The Váyu describes the Rishis of each Manwantara as the sons, or in some cases the descendants in a direct line, of the seven sages, Atri, Angiras, Bhrigu, Kaśyapa, Pulaha, Pulastya, and Vaśisht́ha; with some inconsistency, for Kaśyapa, at least, did not appear himself until the seventh, Manwantara. In the present series Úrja is the son of Vaśisht́ha, Stambha springs from Kaśyapa, Práńa from Bhrigu, Dattoli is the son of Pulastya, Rishabha descends from Angiras, Niśchara from Atri, and Arvarívat is the son of Pulaha. The Bráhma P. and Hari Vanśa have a rather different list, or Aurva, Stambha, Kaśyapa, Práńa, Vrihaspati, Chyavana, and Dattoli; but the origin of part of this difference is nothing more than an imperfect quotation from the Váyu Puráńa; the two first, Aurva and Stambha, being specified as the son of Vaśisht́ha and the descendant of Kaśyapa, and then the parentage of the rest being omitted: to complete the seven, therefore, Kaśyapa becomes one of them. Some other errors of this nature occur in these two works, and from the same cause, a blundering citation of the Váyu, which is named as their authority. A curious peculiarity also occurs in these mistakes. They are confined to the first eight Manwantaras. The Bráhma P. omits all details of the last six, and the Hari Vanśa inserts them fully and correctly, agreeably to the authority of the Váyu. It looks, therefore, as if the compiler of the Hari Vanśa had followed the Bráhma, as far as it went, right or wrong; but had had recourse to the original Váyu P. when the Bráhma failed him. Dattoli is sometimes written Dattoni and Dattotri; and the latter appears to have been the case with the copy of the Hari Vanśa employed by M. Langlois, who makes one of the Rishis of this Manwantara, "le penitent Atri." He is not without countenance in some such reading, for the Padma P. changes the name to Dattátreya, no doubt suggested by Datta-atri. p. 261 Dattátreya, however, is the son of Atri; whilst the Váyu calls the person of the text the son of Pulastya. There can be no doubt therefore of the correct reading, for the son of Pulastya is Dattoli. (p. 83.)

261:5 The Váyu agrees with the text in these names, adding seven others. The Bhágavata has a different series. The Padma has four other names, Nabha, Nabhasya, Prasriti, Bhavana. The Bráhma has ten names, including two of these, and several of the names of the Rishis of the tenth Manwantara. The Matsya has the four names of the Padma for the sons of the Manu, and gives seven others, Havíndhra, Sukrita, Múrtti, Apas, Jyotir, Aya, Smrita (the names of the Bráhma), as the seven Prajápatis of this period, and sons of Vaśisht́ha. The sons of Vaśisht́ha, however, belong to the third Manwantara, and bear different appellations. There is, no doubt, some blundering here in all the books except the Váyu, and those which agree with it.

261:6 The name occurs Auttami, Auttama, and Uttama. The Bhágavata and Váyu agree with our text (p. 263) in making him a descendant from Priyavrata. The Márkańd́eya calls him the son of Uttama, the son of Uttánapáda: and this appears to be the correct genealogy, both from our text and the Bhágavata.

261:7 The Bráhma and Hari Vanśa have, in place of these, the Bhánus; but the Váyu and Márkańd́eya concur with the text.

261:8 All the authorities agree in this; but the Bráhma and Hari Vanśa appear to furnish a different series also; or even a third, according to the French translation: 'Dans le troisième Manwantara parurent comme Saptarchis les fils de Vasichtha, de son nom appelés Vâsichthas, les fils de Hiranyagarbha et les illustres enfans d’Ourdja.' The text is, ### &c. The meaning of which is, 'There were (in the first Manwantara) seven celebrated sons of Vaśisht́ha, who (in the third Manwantara) were sons of Brahmá (i. e. Rishis), the illustrious posterity of Urjjá. We have already seen that Urjjá was the wife of Vaśisht́ha, by whom she had seven sons, Rajas,' &c. (see p. 83), in the Swáyambhuva Manwantara; and these were born again as the Rishis of the third period. The names of these persons, according to the Matsya and Padma, are however very different from those of the sons of Vaśisht́ha, given p. 83, or Kaukundihi, Kurundi, Dalaya, Śankha, Praváhita, Mita, and Sammita.

261:9 The Váyu adds ten other names to those of the text. The Bráhma gives ten p. 262 altogether different. The Bhágavata an Padma have each a separate nomenclature.

262:10 Of these, the Bráhma and Hari V notice only the Satyas: the Matsya and Padma have only Sádhyas. The Váyu Bhágavata, Kúrma, and Márkańd́eya agree with the text.

262:11 He is the son of Priyavrata, according to the text, the Váyu, &c. The Márkańd́eya has a legend of his birth by a doe; and from his being begotten in dark, tempestuous weather, he derives his name.

262:12 Severally, according to the Váyu, the progeny of Bhrigu, Kaśyapa, Angiras, Pulastya, Atri, Vaśisht́ha, and Pulaha. There is considerable variety in some of the names. Thus the Matsya has Kavi, Prithu, Agni, Salpa, Dhímat, Kapi, Akapi. The Hari Vanśa has Kávya, Prithu, Agni, Jahnu, Dhátri, Kapivat, Akapivat. For the two last the Váyu reads Gátra and Vanapítha. The son of Pulaha is in his place (p. 83. n. 6), Arvarívat or Vanakapívat. Gátra is amongst the sons of Vaśisht́ha (p. 83). The Váyu is therefore probably most correct, although our text, in regard to these two denominations, admits of no doubt.

262:13 The Váyu, &c. agree with the text; the Váyu naming eleven. The Bráhma, Matsya, and Padma have a series of ten names, Sutapas, Tapomúla, &c.; of which, seven are the Rishis of the twelfth Manwantara.

262:14 Raivata, as well as his three predecessors, is regarded usually as a descendant of Priyavrata. The Márkańd́eya has a long legend of his birth, as the son of king Durgama by the nymph Revatí, sprung from the constellation Revatí, whom Ritavách, a Muni, caused to fall from heaven. Her radiance became a lake on mount Kumuda, thence called Raivataka; and from it appeared the damsel, who was brought up by Pramucha Muni. Upon the marriage of Revatí, the Muni, at her request, restored the asterism to its place in the skies.

262:15 The Bráhma inserts of these only the Abhútarajasas, with the remark, that 'they were of like nature (with their name):' i. e. they were exempt from the quality of passion. M. Langlois, in rendering the parallel passage of the Hari Vanśa, has confounded the epithet and the subject: 'dont les dieux furent les Pracritis, dépourvu de p. 263 colere et de passion.' He is also at a loss what to do with the terms Páriplava and Raibhya, in the following passage; ### asking, 'qu’est ce que Páriplava? qu’est ce que Rêbhya?' If he had had the commentary at hand, these questions would have been unnecessary: they are there said to be two classes of divinities.

263:16 There is less variety in these names than usual. Vedabáhu is read Devabáhu; Sudháman, Satyanetra; and Mahámuni, Muni, Yajur, Váśisht́ha, and Yadudhra. According to the Váyu, those of the text are respectively of the lineage of Angiras, Bhrigu, Vaśisht́ha, Pulastya, Atri, Pulaha, and Kaśyapa. There is considerable variety in the names of the Manu's sons.

263:17 Chákshusha, according to the best authorities, descended from Dhruva (see p. 98); but the Márkańd́eya has a legend of his birth as the son of a Kshatriya, named Anamitra; of his being exchanged at his birth for the son of Viśránta Rájá, and being brought up by the prince as his own; of his revealing the business when a man, and propitiating Brahmá by his devotions; in consequence of which he became a Manu. In his former birth he was born from the eye of Brahmá; whence his name, from Chakshush, 'the eye.'

263:18 The authorities agree as to the number, but differ as to the names; reading for Ádyas, Áryás and Ápyas; for Prastútas, Prabhútas and Prasútas; for Prithugas, Prithukas and Prithusas; and, which is a more wide deviation, Ribhus for Bhavyas. M. Langlois omits the Prasútas, and inserts Divaukasas; but the latter, meaning 'divinities,' is only an epithet. The Hari Vanśa has, ###---. The comment adds, ###.

263:19 The Váyu reads Sudháman for the first name; Unnata for Uttama; and Abhimána for Abhináman. The latter occurs also Abhinámin (Matsya) and Atináman (Hari V.) The latter reads, no doubt incorrectly, Bhrigu, Nabha, and p. 264 Vivaswat for Uttama, Madhu, and Havishmat. The sons of Chákshusha are enumerated, p. 98.

264:20 There is no great variety of nomenclature in this Manwantara. The Váyu adds to the deities the Sádhyas, Viśwas, Maruts, and gods sprung from Bhrigu and Angiras. The Bhágavata adds the Ribhus: and most include the two Áswins as a class. Of the Maruts, however, the Hari Vanśa remarks that they are born in every Manwantara, seven times seven (or forty-nine); that in each Manwantara four times seven, or twenty-eight, obtain emancipation, but their places are filled up by persons reborn in that character. So the commentator explains the passages ### and ### &c. ### Comment. ### Comment. It may be suspected, however, that these passages have been derived from the simple statement of the Matsya, that in all the Manwantaras classes of Rishis appear by seven and seven, and having established a code of law and morality, depart to felicity. The Váyu has a rather different list of the seven Rishis; or Vasumat, the son of Vaśisht́ha; Vatsára, descended from Kaśyapa; Viśwámitra, the son of Gádhi, and of the Kuśika race; Jamadagni, son of Kuru, of the race of Bhrigu; Bharadwája, son of Vrihaspati; Śaradwat, son of Gautama, of the family of Utatthya; and Brahmakosha or Atri, descended from Brahmá. All the other authorities agree with our text.

264:21 The nominal father being the patriarch Ruchi. (See p. 54.)

265:22 There is no further account of this incarnation in the Vishńu Puráńa. Fuller details occur in the Bhágavata, Kúrma, Matsya, and Vámana Puráńas. The first of these (b. VIII. c. 15-23) relates the penance and sacrifices of Bali, son of Virochana, by which he had overcome Indra and the gods, and obtained supreme dominion over the three spheres. Vishńu, at the request of the deities, was born as a dwarf, Vámana, the son of Adití by Kaśyapa; who, applying to Bali for alms, was promised by the prince whatever he might demand, notwithstanding Śukra, the preceptor of the Daityas, apprised him whom he had to deal with. The dwarf demanded as much space as he could step over at three steps; and upon the assent of Bali, enlarged himself to such dimensions as to stride over the three worlds. Being worshipped however by Bali and his ancestor Prahláda, he conceded to them the sovereignty of Pátála.

265:23 See the same etymology, p. 3. n. 7.

Next: Chapter II