The Manus, Administrators of The Universe
Conversation between Srila Sukadeva Goswami and Maharaja Pariksit
King Pariksit said: O my lord, my spiritual master, now I have fully heard from Your Grace about the dynasty of Svayambhuva Manu. But there are also other Manus, and I wishto hear about their dynasties. Kindly describe them to us. O learned brāhmaṇa Sukadeva Goswami, greatly learned persons who are complete in their intel¬ligence describe the activities and appearance of the Supreme Personality of Godhead during the various manvantara time periods. We are very eager to hear these narrations. Kindly describe them. O learned brāhmaṇa, kindly describe to us whatever activities the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who created this cosmic manifes¬tation, has performed in the past manvantaras, is performing at present, and will perform in the future manvantaras.
Sukadeva Goswami said: In the present mille¬nium (kalpa) there have already been six Manus. I have described to you Svayambhuva Manu and the appearance of many demigods. In this kalpa of Brahma, Svayambhuva is the first Manu. Svayambhuva Manu had two daughters, named Akuti and Devahuti. From their wombs, the Su¬preme Personality of Godhead appeared as two sons named Yajnamurti and Kapila respectively. These sons were entrusted with disseminating religion and analytical knowledge. O best of the Kurus, I have previously described the activities of Kapila, the son of Devahuti. Now I shall describe the activities of Yajnapati, the son of Akuti.
Svayambhuva Manu, the husband of Satarupa, was by nature not attached to enjoyment of the senses. Thus he gave up his kingdom of sense enjoyment and entered the forest with his wife to practice austerities. O scion of Bharata, after Svayambhuva Manu had thus entered the forest with his wife, he stood on one leg on the bank of the river Sunanda, and in this way, with only one leg touching the earth, he performed great aus¬terities for one hundred years. While performing these austerities, he glorified the Supreme Lord as follows.
Lord Manu said: The supreme living being has created this material world of animation; it is not that He was created by this material world. When everything is silent, the Supreme Being stays awake as a witness. The living entity does not know Him, but He knows everything. Within this universe, the Supreme Personality of Godhead in His Supersoul feature is present as a witness everywhere, wherever there are animate or inan imate beings. Therefore, one should accept only that which is allotted to him; one should not desire to infringe upon the property of others. Although the Supreme Personality of Godhead constantly observes the activities of this world, no one sees Him. However, one should not think that because no one sees Him, He does not see, for His power to see is never diminished. Therefore, everyone should worship the Supersoul, who always stays with the individual soul as his friend. The Supreme Personality of Godhead has no beginning, no end and no interim. Nor does He belong to a particular person or nation. He has no inside or outside. The dualities found within this material world, such as beginning and end, mine and theirs etcetera, are all absent from the personality of the Supreme Lord. The universe, which emanates from Him, is another feature of the Lord. Therefore the Supreme Lord is the ultimate truth, and He is complete in greatness. The entire cosmic manifestation is the body of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the Absolute Truth, who has millions of names and unlimited potencies. He is self-effulgent, unborn and changeless. He is the beginning of everything, but He has no beginning. He has created this cosmic manifestation by His external energy, and because of that the universe appears to be created, maintained and annihilated by Him. Nonetheless, He remains inactive here, fully situated in His spiritual energy and is thus untouched by the ac¬tivities of the material energy. Therefore, to enable people to reach the stage of unattached action, great saints first engage people in attached work, for unless one begins by performing activities as recommended in the śāstras, one cannot reach the stage of liberated work, where all actions yeild no reaction. The Supreme Personality of Godhead is full in opulence in His own right, yet He acts as the creator, maintainer and annihilator of this material world. In spite of acting in that way, He is never entangled by binding karma. Similarly, those devoted to Him, who follow in His footsteps, are also never entangled. The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna, works just like an ordinary human being, yet He does not desire to enjoy the fruit of work. He is full in knowledge, free from material desires and diversions, and completely independent. As the supreme teacher of human society, He teaches His own way of activities, and thus He inaugurates the real path of religion. I request everyone to follow Him.
Svayambhuva Manu was thus in a trance, chant¬ing the mantras of Vedic instruction known as the Upaniṣad. Upon seeing him, the Rākṣasas and asuras, due to great hunger, wanted to devour him. Therefore they menancingly approached him at once. The Supreme Lord Visnu, who sits in everyone’s heart, observed that the Rākṣasas and demons were going to devour Svayambhuva Manu. Thus the Lord, appearing as Yajnapati, and accompanied by His sons named the Yāmas and by all the other demigods, dispatched the demons and Rākṣasas. The Lord then took the post of Indra and began to rule the heavenly kingdom.
The son of Agni named Svarocisa became the second Manu. He had several sons headed by Dyumat, Susena and Rocismat. During the reign of Svarocisa, the post of Indra was assumed by Rocana, the son of Yajna. Tusita and others became the principal demigods, and Urja, Stambha and others became the seven saints. All of them were faithful devotees of the Lord. Vedashira was a very celebrated ṛṣi (sage). From the womb of his wife, whose name was Tusita, came the avatāra named Vibhu. Vibhu maintained celibacy and for his whole life never married. From him, eighty-eight thousand other saintly persons took lessons on self-control, austerity and similar behavior.
O King, the third Manu, Uttama, was the son of King Priyavrata. Among the sons of this Manu were Pavana, Srnjaya and Yajsahotra. During the reign of the third Manu, Pramada and other sons of Vasistha became the seven sages. The Satyas, Vedashrutas and Bhadras became demigods, and Satyajit was selected to be Indra, the King of heav¬en. In this manvantara, the Supreme Personality of Godhead appeared from the womb of Sunrta, who was the wife of Dharma, the demigod in charge of religion. The Lord was celebrated as Satyasena, and He appeared with other demigods, known as the Satyavratas. Satyasena, along with His friend Satyajit, who was the King of heaven, Indra, killed all the untruthful, impious and misbehaved Yakṣas, Rākṣasas and ghostly living entities, who troubled other living beings.
The brother of the third Manu, Uttama, was celebrated by the name Tamasa, and he became the fourth Manu. Tamasa had ten sons, headed by Prthu, Khyati, Nara and Ketu. During the reign of Tamasa Manu, among the demigods were the Satyakas, Haris and Viras. The heavenly King, Indra, was Trishikha. The persons presiding in the abode of the seven sages (saptarsi-dhama) were headed by Jyotirdhama. O King, in the Tamasa manvantara the sons of Vidhrti, who were known as the Vaidhrtis, also became demigods. In course of time the Vedic authority was lost, hence these demigods, by their personal prowess, protected the Vedic authority. Also in this manvantara, the Supreme Lord, Visnu, took birth from the womb of Harini, the wife of Harimedha, and He was known as Hari. Hari saved His devotee Gajen¬dra, the King of the elephants, from the jaws of a crocodile.
King Pariksit said: My lord, Badarayani, we wish to hear from you in detail how the King of the elephants, when attacked by a crocodile, was delivered by Hari. Any literature or narration in which the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Ut¬tamaśloka, is described and glorified is certainly great, pure, glorious, auspicious and beneficial to all.
Srila Suta Goswami said: O brāhmaṇas, when Pariksit Maharaja, who was awaiting impending death, thus requested him to speak, Sukadeva Goswami, encouraged by the King’s words, of¬fered respect to the King and spoke with great pleasure in the assembly of sages, who also desired to hear from him.
— Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (Bhāgavata Purāṇa) » Canto 8: Withdrawal of the Cosmic Creations » Chapter One» Verses: 1-33.
The Manus, Administrators of The Universe
The Manus, Administrators of The Universe