caitanyātmane bhagavate namaḥ
There are two types of literatures—those which bestow artha, or material results, and those which bestow paramārtha, or spiritual results. Geography, history, astrology, physics, psychology, ayurveda, microbiology, mathematics, language, poetry, music, logic, yoga, religion, law, architecture, and weaponry are all included in the first category. Every book aims at revealing a particular subject—that is its artha, or result. When all results compliment each other and ultimately yield the supreme result, in the form of the soul’s ultimate destination, that is called paramārtha. The literatures that discuss the attainment of this supreme result are called paramārthika śāstra, or spiritual literatures.
Many spiritual literatures have been compiled in India and abroad. In India many sages from time immemorial have compiled various spiritual literatures after duly considering the spiritual topics. Among them, Śrīmad Bhāgavatam is the topmost. This book consists of 18,000 verses. In this book, the ten principal subject matters of this world
atra sargo visargaś ca sthānaṁ poṣaṇam ūtayaḥ
manvantareśānukathā nirodho muktir āśrayaḥ
“In the Śrīmad Bhāgavatam there are ten divisions of statements regarding the following: the creation of the universe, subcreation, planetary systems, protection by the Lord, the creative impetus, the change of Manus, the science of God, returning home, back to Godhead, liberation, and the summum bonum.” (Bhāg. 2.10.1)
have been discussed in some places as direct instructions and elsewhere as history. Among these ten subjects, the last, āśraya, is the paramārtha-tattva, or spiritual subject. The āśraya-tattva, or summum bonum, is very confidential and unlimited. Although āśraya-tattva is spontaneously manifested to the living entities, in people’s present conditional state that transcendental subject is very difficult to comprehend. That is why the compiler of Śrīmad Bhāgavatam was compelled to compassionately and clearly discuss the other nine truths
daśamasya viśuddhy-arthaṁ navānām iha lakṣaṇam
varṇayanti mahātmānaḥ śrutenārthena cāñjasā
“To isolate the transcendence of the summum bonum, the symptoms of the rest are described sometimes by Vedic inference, sometimes by direct explanation, and sometimes by summary explanations given by the great sages.” (Bhāg. 2.10.2)
Such a matchless book has not been properly explained till now. The people of India and other countries can be divided into two categories—the ass-like and the swan-like. Among these two, the ass-like are in the majority. The swan-like are in the minority. Swan-like people abstract the purport of the scriptures for their own advancement and thus benefit themselves. That is why the real purport of Śrīmad Bhāgavatam has not yet been clearly revealed. I had a great desire to translate Śrīmad Bhāgavatam in this proper swan-like way, but I have no time to translate this huge work. For this reason I am now extracting the main purport of this great literature and presenting it in the form of this Śrī Kṛṣṇa-saṁhitā. As I was not satisfied after writing the verses of this book, I translated them into Bengali. I hope learned people will always scrutinizingly discuss this book in order to ascertain the spiritual subject matters.
Everyone has the right to discuss spiritual topics. Yet people are divided into three categories according to their qualifications
yaś ca mūḍhatamo loke yaś ca buddheḥ paraṁ gataḥ
tāv ubhau sukham edhete kliśyaty antarito janaḥ
“Both the lowest of fools and he who is transcendental to all intelligence enjoy happiness, whereas persons between them suffer the material pangs.” (Bhāg. 3.7.17).
Those who do not possess independent power of discrimination are in the first category and are called neophytes, or those with soft faith. They have no alternative to faith. If they do not accept whatever the compilers of the scriptures write as the order of the Lord, then they fall down. They are qualified only for understanding the gross meanings of the science of Kṛṣṇa; they have no qualification for understanding the subtle meanings. Until they gradually advance by good association and instruction, they should try to advance under the shelter of faith. Those who have not yet succeeded in connecting faith with argument are second grade, or madhyama-adhikārī. And those who are expert in connecting these two are perfect in all respects. They are able to attain perfection by utilising material resources in their independent endeavours. They are called topmost, or uttama-adhikārī. Among these three, it is necessary to ascertain who is the proper candidate for studying this book. The neophytes are not qualified, but they can gradually become qualified by attaining a higher stage through good fortune. The expert topmost persons have no direct need for this book other than to strengthen their own conclusions. Still, they should discuss this book with due respect in order to benefit the madhyama-adhikārīs. Therefore, it is the madhyama-adhikārīs who are the proper candidates for studying this book. All the above-mentioned three categories of people are qualified to study Śrīmad Bhāgavatam, yet most of the commentaries on this matchless book are composed for the benefit of the neophytes. The commentators were all swan-like persons, and they have exhibited more compassion towards the neophytes than towards the madhyamas. Whenever they discuss jñāna, they are referring to brahma-jñāna, or the impersonal understanding of the Absolute Truth. Therefore, modern speculators are not benefited. Nowadays many people of our country discuss foreign literature and science with a desire to scrutinize its significance. They quickly become faithless after observing the indirect presentations
parokṣa-vādo vedo ‘yaṁ bālānām anuśāsanam
karma-mokṣāya karmāṇi vidhatte hy agadaṁ yathā
“Childish and foolish people are attached to materialistic, fruitive activities, although the actual goal of life is to become free from such activities. Therefore, the Vedic injunctions indirectly lead one to the path of ultimate liberation by first prescribing fruitive religious activities, just as a father promises his child candy so that the child will take his medicine.” (Bhāg. 11.3.44)
by the writers of the scripture and the scriptural commentaries that are appropriate for the above-mentioned neophytes. They then either adopt a different religion or become famous by introducing a new one. The danger with this is that such people uselessly waste their time inventing a new level of understanding while leaving aside the previous mahājanas‘ perfect path, which automatically uplifts one from a lower qualification to a higher one. If there were some literatures appropriate for the madhyama-adhikārīs to discuss, then no anarthas, or unwanted things, in the form of sub-religion, cheating religion, or irreligion would have entered India. The principal purpose of this book is to fulfil the above-mentioned requirement. Actually this book will directly and indirectly benefit all three types of persons—the uttama, madhyama, and kaniṣṭha. Therefore, they should all respect this book.
Sectarianism is a natural byproduct of the Absolute Truth. When ācāryas first ascertain and instruct the Truth, it is not polluted with sectarianism. But the rules and regulations received through disciplic succession regarding the goal and the method of achieving it are changed in due course of time according to the mentality and locale of the people
yathā-prakṛti sarveṣāṁ citrā vācaḥ sravanti hi
evaṁ prakṛti-vaicitryād bhidyante matayo nṛṇām
pāramparyeṇa keṣāñcit pāṣaṇḍa-matayo ‘pare
“Therefore, because of the different characteristics of the living entities within the universe, there are a great many Vedic rituals, mantras, and rewards. Due to the great variety of desires and natures among human beings, there are many different theistic philosophies of life, which are handed down through tradition, custom, and disciplic succession. There are other teachers who directly support atheistic viewpoints.” (Bhāg. 11.14.7-8)
A rule that is followed by one society is not necessarily accepted in another society. That is why one community is different from another. As a community gradually develops more respect for its own standards, it develops hatred towards other communities and considers their standards inferior. These sectarian symptoms are seen in all countries since time immemorial. This is prominent amongst neophytes and found to some extent amongst madhyama-adhikārīs. Amongst uttama-adhikārīs, however, there is no trace of sectarianism. Adherence to a particular standard is the prominent symptom of a society. There are three types of standards ālocakagata, ālocanāgata, and ālocyagata.
Ālocakagata is when sectarianists accept some external signs. Examples of ālocakagata are tilaka, neck-beads, saffron robes, as well as the baptism practiced abroad. The different activities practiced in the process of worship are called ālocanāgata. Examples of ālocanāgata are sacrifices, austerities, fire sacrifices, vows, studying scriptures, deity worship, constructing temples, respecting the purity of various trees and rivers, dressing like sannyāsīs, acting like ācāryas, dressing like brahmacārīs or gṛhasthas, closing one’s eyes, respecting particular types of books, rules and regulations in eating, and respecting the purity of particular times and places. The examples of ālocyagata are attributing personalism or impersonalism on the Supreme Lord, installing deities, exhibiting the mood of an incarnation of the Lord, speculating on heaven and hell, and describing the future destination of the soul. The different forms of these spiritual activities create divisions of sectarianism. Differences that arise from places, times, languages, behaviours, foods, dresses, and natures of various communities are incorporated within their spiritual practices and gradually make one community so completely different from another community that even the consideration that everyone is a human being may cease to exist. Due to these differences there is disagreement, cessation of social intercourse, and fighting, even up to the point of killing one another. When an ass-like mentality becomes prominent within the kaniṣṭha-adhikārīs, then they certainly indulge in these things. But if they develop a swan-like mentality, then they do not take part in quarrels, rather, they endeavour to attain a higher level. Madhyama-adhikārīs do not quarrel so much about external standards, but they are always attacked by philosophical disagreements. Sometimes they condemn the standards of neophytes and establish their own standards as superior. They condemn the neophytes’ deity worship in order to establish the worshipable Lord as formless
man-māyā-mohita-dhiyaḥ puruṣāḥ puruṣarṣabha śreyo
vadanty anekāntaṁ yathā-karma yathā-ruci
“O best among men, the intelligence of human beings is bewildered by My illusory potency, and thus, according to their own activities and whims, they speak in innumerable ways about what is actually good for people.” (Bhāg. 11.14.9).
In such cases, they are also considered ass-like people. Otherwise, if they had a swan-like mentality and a desire to attain a higher level, they would respect others’ practices and inquire about higher topics. Contradictions actually arise only due to ass-like mentality. Swan-like persons consider the necessity for different practices according to one’s qualification, so they naturally become detached from sectarian quarrels
akiñcanasya dāntasya śāntasya sama-cetasaḥ
mayā santuṣṭa-manasaḥ sarvāḥ sukha-mayā diśaḥ
“One who does not desire anything within this world, who has achieved peace by controlling his senses, whose consciousness is equal in all conditions and whose mind is completely satisfied in Me finds only happiness wherever he goes.” (Bhāg. 11.14.13).
In this regard, it should be known that both ass-like and swan-like people are found amongst the kaniṣṭha-adhikārīs and madhyama-adhikārīs. I do not expect that ass-like people will accept this book with respect. If neophytes and madhyama-adhikārīs become completely indifferent in regard to the contradictions found in various practices and try to advance further, then they become swan-like persons. Then they are our respectable and dear friends. Although swan-like personalities may accept a particular practice from birth or childhood according to instructions they have received, they nevertheless remain indifferent and nonsectarian.
The religious principles that will be explained and established in this book are very difficult to name. If these principles are given a particular sectarian name, then other sects will oppose them. Śrīmad Bhāgavatam has therefore established sanātana dharma as sātvata dharma, or religious principles related with the Absolute Truth: dharmaḥ projjhita-kaitavo ‘tra paramo nirmatsarāṇāṁ satāṁ ityādi–“Completely rejecting all religious activities which are materially motivated, this Bhāgavata Purāṇa propounds the highest truth, which is understandable by those devotees who are fully pure in heart…” (Bhāg. 1.1.2).
Another name for these religious principles is Vaiṣṇava dharma. Ass-like Vaiṣṇavas fall into the categories of Śāktas (followers of Durgā), Sauras (followers of the sun-god), Gāṇapatyas (followers of Ganeśa), Śaivites (followers of Śiva), and Vaiṣṇavas (followers of Viṣṇu). But swan-like Vaiṣṇavas are non-sectarian and, therefore, rare. These five types of above- mentioned spiritualists, as found in India, are named according to their respective qualifications. Human beings have two types of tendencies—arthika, or material, and paramārthika, or spiritual. Material tendencies include maintaining the body, constructing a house, marrying, begetting children, studying, earning wealth, material science, factory work, acquiring and maintaining assets, and accumulating piety. Although there are some similarities between the activities of humans and animals, the material endeavours of humans are nevertheless superior to the natural tendencies of animals. If after executing their material activities human beings do not take shelter of their constitutional activities, then they are called two-legged animals. The constitutional activities of a pure soul are called one’s sva-dharma, or prescribed activities. The sva-dharma of a living entity is prominently manifested in his pure state of existence. In the pure state of existence this sva dharma is present in the form of spiritual activities. All the above-mentioned material tendencies become successful when dovetailed with spiritual activities, otherwise they cannot independently help one attain the highest goal
dharmaḥ svanuṣṭhitaḥ puṁsāṁ viṣvaksena-kathāsu yaḥ
notpādayed yadi ratiṁ śrama eva hi kevalam
“The occupational activities a man performs according to his own position are only so much useless labour if they do not provoke attraction for the message of the Personality of Godhead.” (Bhāg. 1.2.8).
From engagement in material activities up to the awakening of spiritual activities is called the preliminary stage of God consciousness. From this preliminary stage up to the uttama-adhikārī stage there are innumerable levels
īṣat sāmmukhyam arabhya prīti sampannatāvadhiḥ
adhikārā hy asaṅkhyeyāḥ guṇāḥ pañca-vidhā matāḥ
“The five qualities, tamaḥ, rajas-tamaḥ, rajaḥ, rajaḥ-sattva, and sattva are generated from people’s five gross propensities. Scholars have considered these five levels of propensities and qualities from bottom to top.” (Datta-kaustubha).
Inquiring about the truth of the material world is called Śākta dharma, because the predominating deity of the material world is goddess Durgā. All behaviour and practice instructed in Śākta dharma is helpful only in the preliminary stage. Such behaviour and practice is meant to bring one closer to spiritual life, and materialistic people may be attracted by this only until they begin to inquire about the Supreme Absolute Truth. Śākta dharma is the living entities’ initial spiritual endeavour, and it is extremely essential for people of that level. When the preliminary stage is further strengthened, one attains the next level. One then considers the energy of work and the superiority of heat over dull matter, and he therefore accepts the sun-god, who is the source of heat, as his worshipable deity. At that time, Saura dharma is awakened. Later, when one considers even heat as dull matter and animal consciousness as superior, then the third stage, Gāṇapatya dharma, is attained. In the fourth gross stage, Lord Śiva is worshiped as the pure consciousness of the living entities, and Śaiva dharma manifests. In the fifth stage, the consciousness of the living entity worships the supreme consciousness, and thus Vaiṣṇava dharma is manifest. Generally, there are five types of paramārthika dharmas, or spiritual duties, that have been known by different names in different countries at different times. If one considers all the different dharmas that are current in India and abroad, one can see that they certainly fall within these five categories. The religious principles taught by Mohammed and Jesus Christ are similar to the religious principles taught by Vaiṣṇava sects. Buddhism and Jainism are similar to Śaiva dharma. This is a scientific consideration of truths regarding religious principles. Those who consider their own religious principles as real dharma and others’ religious principles as irreligion or sub-religion are unable to ascertain the truth due to being influenced by prejudice. Actually, religious principles followed by people in general are different only due to the different qualifications of the practitioners, but the constitutional religious principles of all living entities are one. It is not proper for swan-like persons to reject the religious principles that people in general follow according to their situation. Therefore, with due respect to the religious principles followed by people in general, we will now discuss the living entities’ constitutional religious principles.
Sātvata-dharma, or non-sectarian Vaiṣṇava dharma, is the living entities’ constitutional, or eternal, religious principles–oṁ tad viṣṇoḥ paramaṁ padaṁ sadā paśyanti sūrayaḥ–“Those who are spiritually advanced simply look to the lotus feet of Viṣṇu.” (Ṛg Veda 1.22.20). But the Vaiṣṇava dharma that is found in the māyāvāda sampradāya is only an indirect imitation of those principles. When such sectarian Vaiṣṇava dharma becomes transcendental, that is, when it is freed from impersonalism, then it becomes sātvata-dharma, or religious principles related with the Supreme Truth. The different sampradāyas, namely dvaita (dualism), dvaitādvaita (simultaneous oneness and difference), śuddhādvaita (purified oneness), and viśiṣṭādvaita (specific monism) that are found in sātvata-dharma are nothing but wonderful varieties of sentiments within the Vaiṣṇava science. Actually the various sampradāyas are not the result of differences in the basic truth. Impersonalism is diametrically opposite to the science of bhakti. Those Vaiṣṇavas who have accepted impersonalism are not pure Vaiṣṇavas.
It is our duty to consider when and how Vaiṣṇava dharma has manifest in this country [India]. Before we consider this subject, however, there are many other subjects that have to be resolved. Therefore, we will first resolve the dates, according to modern considerations, of the main events of India. Later we will ascertain the dates of the esteemed scriptures. As soon as the dates of the scriptures are ascertained, then I will explain, according to modern opinion, the history of Vaiṣṇava dharma that is explained in those scriptures. Although we ourselves consider the dates of the scriptures according to ancient methods, I will now follow contemporary methods for the benefit of modern people.
The very ancient history of India is covered by the dense darkness of forgetfulness, because there is no proper sequence in its ancient history. I will establish with a bit of conjecture whatever I can on the information I have acquired through the four Vedas, the Rāmāyaṇa, the Mahābhārata, and the Purāṇas. In the beginning, the Āryans lived in a small country named Brahmāvarta, which was situated between the two rivers—Sarasvatī and Dṛṣadvatī. The present name of Dṛṣadvatī is Kāgāra. The following verse from the Mahābharata (Vana-parva 83.4) creates some doubts in this regard. Swan-like people should destroy this doubt through samādhi.
dakṣiṇena sarasvatyā dṛṣadvaty uttareṇa ca
ye vasanti kurukṣetre te vasanti tripiṣṭape
“One who lives in Kurukṣetra, which is south of the Sarasvatī River and north of the Dṛṣadvatī River, lives in heaven.”.
By discussing the meaning of the name “Brahmāvarta” it is assumed that the Āryans came from another country to reside therein. We cannot ascertain exactly where they came from, but it is believed that they came from some northwest country.
In the description of Devī’s tīrtha near Kashmir in the Mahābharata (Vana-parva 82.102) it is stated:
prasūtir yatra viprāṇāṁ śruyate bharatarṣabha
“It is said that brāhmaṇas first came into existence at that place.”
When they came, they were relatively civilised according to the time. There is no doubt about this. Being proud of their own civilisation, they used to disregard the local natives. It is said that when the Āryans disregarded the local natives, the natives’ king, Rudradeva, showed the Āryans his prowess by accepting in marriage the hand of Satī, the daughter of Prajāpati Dakṣa, thus making an alliance with Dakṣa. Nevertheless, the Āryans were so proud that after the marriage of Satī, they did not respect her or her husband. That is why Satī hated herself and gave up her body in Dakṣa’s sacrificial arena and thereafter Śiva with his followers began to heavily torture the Āryans. The brāhmaṇas were later forced to make an alliance with Śiva by allowing him a share in the sacrifice. Still, in order to maintain their superiority, the Āryans placed Śiva’s seat in the north-eastern corner of the sacrificial arena. There is no doubt that Dakṣa’s fire sacrifice took place soon after the Āryans established Brahmāvarta, because the ten personalities headed by Dakṣa are described as the original Prajāpatis. The wife of Prajāpati Dakṣa was named Prasūti. She was the daughter of Svāyambhuva Manu, the son of Brahmā. Svāyambhuva Manu and the Prajāpatis were the original inhabitants of Brahmāvarta. Another son of Brahmā was Marīci, whose son was Kaśyapa. The son of Kaśyapa was Vivasvan, whose son was Vaivasvata Manu. The son of Vaivasvata Manu was Ikṣvāku. From this we must conclude that the Sūrya dynasty began with the sixth generation from Brahmā. At the time of Mahārāja Ikṣvāku, the Āryans were living in a place called Brahmarṣi. According to modern calculation the above-mentioned six generations enjoyed their kingdom for two hundred years. Because Brahmāvarta was too small it was expanded within this two hundred years and called Brahmarṣi. The Āryans were very eager to expand their dynasty, and they had so many children that Brahmāvarta became too congested to suit their needs. Modern scholars say that some civilised personalities like Candra were inducted into the Āryan race at that time. According to their calculation, in those two hundred years there were eight Manus, beginning from Svāyambhuva Manu up to Vaivasvata Manu. Just after Svāyambhuva Manu, the son of Agni named Svārociṣa Manu appeared. The grandson of Svāyambhuva Manu was Uttama Manu. He had one brother named Tāmasa Manu and another brother named Raivata Manu. In the seventh generation from Svāyambhuva Manu was Cākṣuṣa Manu. Vaivasvata Manu was the fifth generation from Brahmā. Sāvarṇi Manu was the stepbrother of Vaivasvata. Therefore, all the Manus wound up their activities before the time of Ikṣvāku; there is no doubt about this. Dakṣa-sāvarṇi, Brahma-sāvarṇi, Dharma-sāvarṇi, Rudra-sāvarṇi, Deva-sāvarṇi, and Indra-sāvarṇi existed only in the imagination of modern people. If they were historical, then it is to be understood that they lived in different parts of India within those two hundred years. It is also stated that the churning of the ocean took place during the time of Cākṣuṣa Manu. Vāmana appeared during the time of Vaivasvata Manu. After Bali Mahārāja’s sacrifice, all the demons were driven away by trickery. The kings of the Manu dynasty had their capitals outside Brahmāvarta, but in the beginning they were not expert in managing their kingdom, education, or family life. Dhanvantari appeared during the churning of the ocean. The Aśvinī-kumāras also appeared at that time. The poison which emanated during the churning of the ocean was eliminated by Śiva of the Rudra dynasty. By discussing all these topics we can understand that in those days the culture of medicine in progress. It is also seen that at this time the demon Rāhu was cut in two, and thus Rāhu and Ketu were formed. We can understand from this that the science of astrology was being discussed at that time. It is not believed, however, that there was a written language during this time. And since there is no written information about that period, it appears that it lasted for a vast duration of time. In fact, much later, when calculation of time began, it was said that each Manu enjoyed a rule of seventy mahā-yugas. Among the kings, whoever laid down laws was called a Manu and was respected by all. There were two reasons why so many Manus appeared in such a short span of time. The first reason is that there was no written language or books, so knowledge was transmitted by śruti, or hearing. The other necessary śrutis that were added to the original śruti were then ascribed to the reigns of the many different Manus. The second reason is that due to an increase of population, the dwelling areas of the Āryans spread and divided into various areas with different kings ruling. Thus there were many lawmakers, or Manus. This is the way modern scholars have described the different durations of Manus. Swan-like people respect whatever substance may be derived from these topics, but transcendental explanations are often helpful for ass-like people.
parokṣa-vādo vedo `yaṁ bālānām anuśāsanam
“The Vedic injunctions often describe a situation as something else in order to disguise its real nature in order to guide childish and foolish people who are attached to fruitive activities.” (Bhāg. 11.3.44).
These explanations of transcendental characteristics and divisions of time were accepted in order to generate firm faith in such peoples’ minds. The great sages accept the existence of different Manus in order to benefit neophytes and check the fantasies created at various times and places. We will never say that history and the process of calculating time according to the scriptures is false or imaginary.
Modern scholars have stated that the names of the kings from Ikṣvāku’s time are available. The names of the kings in the Sūrya dynasty can be accepted with a great deal of certainty. From Ikṣvāku to Rāmacandra there were 63 generations. If we consider that each king ruled the kingdom for 25 years, then the time from Ikṣvāku to Rāmacandra comes to 1,575 years. In the ninety-fourth generation of that dynasty, King Bṛhadbala was killed by Abhimanyu in the Battle of Kurukṣetra. The Battle of Kurukṣetra took place 2,350 years after the rule of Ikṣvāku. The duration of all Manvantaras together comes to 200 years. Therefore, we will have to accept that the establishment of Brahmāvarta took place 2,550 years prior to the Battle of Kurukṣetra.
The duration of the Candra dynasty king’s rule is not very clear. From Ilā, who was a contemporary of Ikṣvāku, through Purūravā and up to Yudhiṣṭhira, 50 generations are described. It is therefore difficult to accept that Śrī Rāmacandra appeared in the sixty-third generation from Ikṣvāku, yet long before Yudhiṣṭhira, if there were only 50 generations from Ilā to Yudhiṣṭhira. Vālmīki was a very ancient ṛṣi. Therefore, his calculations must be more accurate than the calculations of the modern ṛṣis. The kings of the Sūrya dynasty were very powerful, so their family priests wrote down the duration of their various kings’ rules. There is no doubt about this. Rather, there is a mistake on the origin of the Candra dynasty. Perhaps after the kings of the Sūrya dynasty ruled their kingdom for a long period, King Yayāti became very powerful. Being unable to enter the Sūrya dynasty, Yayāti decided to link his dynasty with the dynasty of Purūravā Nahuṣa. Yet even after doing this, he and many others from his dynasty were unable to establish a relationship with the Sūrya dynasty. King Romapāda
romapāda iti khyātas tasmai daśarathaḥ sakhā
śāntāṁ sva-kanyāṁ prāyacchad ṛṣyaśṛṅga uvāha yām
“The celebrated Romapāda was without issue, and therefore his friend Mahārāja Daśaratha gave him his own daughter, named Śāntā. Romapāda accepted her as his daughter, and thereafter she married Ṛṣyaśṛṅga.” (Bhāg. 9.23.7-8)
The friend of Daśaratha, appeared in the fourteenth generation from Purūravā, in the dynasty of Anu, the son of Yayāti. Kārtavīryārjuna was born in the sixteenth generation from Purūravā, in the dynasty of Yadu. He was the enemy of Paraśurāma. From this it is understood that King Yayāti ruled his kingdom about thirteen or fourteen generations before Rāmacandra. That was the beginning of the Candra dynasty. That is why they calculate their time in relationship with the Sūrya dynasty.
In the beginning, the kings of the Sūrya dynasty lived on the bank of the Yamunā at the place known as Brahmarṣi. The tenth king of the Sūrya dynasty, named Śrāvanta, created Śrāvantīpurī. It is stated in the Rāmāyaṇa that the city of Ayodhyā was established by Manu. Nevertheless, many people feel that Vaivasvata Manu lived near the Yamunā and his son, Ikṣvāku, established Ayodhyā and then resided therein. It is written that Ikṣvāku’s sons lived in Āryāvarta. Vaiśālīpurī was created by King Viśāla, who was in the twenty-fifth generation from Vaivasvata. The city of Śrāvanti is situated about 60 miles north of Ayodhyā, the capital of Kośala. The present name of this place is Sāhet Māhet. The city of Vaiśālī is situated about 28 miles north of Patna. From this it is understood that the kings of the Sūrya dynasty powerfully ruled their kingdom from the Yamunā to the Kauśikī River, on the western side of the Ganges. Gradually, when the kings of the Candra dynasty became powerful, the kings of the Sūrya dynasty became weakened. It is also said that up to the time of Māndhātā the Āryans of the Sūrya dynasty used to call Mithila and the nearby area around the Ganges as Āryāvarta. But at the time of Bhagīratha, who came just after King Sagara, the districts adjoining the Ganges up to the ocean were considered Āryāvarta. Previous to this it was concluded in the scriptures that if an Āryan died outside of Āryāvarta he would go to hell. At that time Āryāvarta extended only between the Himalayas and the Vindhyas
—“The holy land of Āryāvarta is situated between the Vindhya and Himalayan Mountains.” (Śrīdhara Svāmī).
The descendants of King Sagara gave up their bodies at the place called Mleccha-deśa. In the description of Bhīma’s conquest of the eastern provinces in the Mahābhārata (Sabhā-parva 30.23) it is stated:
nirjjityajyau mahārāja!baṅga-rājam upādravat
samudrasenaṁ nirjitya candrasenaṁ ca pārthivam
tāmraliptaṁ ca rājānaṁ karvaṭādhi-patiṁ tathā
surāṇāmadhipaṁ caiva ye ca sāgara-vāsinaḥ
sarvān mleccha-gaṇāṁś caiva vijigye bharatarṣabha
“After Bhima defeated the belligerent King Vāsudeva (Pauṇḍraka), he began to attack the kings of Bengal. Thereafter, Bhimasena, the best of the Bharatas, defeated Samudrasena, Bhūpāla Candrasena, King Tāmralipta, the King of Karvaṭa, and King Suhma of Bengal. After defeating them, he went to the shore of the ocean and defeated the mleccha kings there.”, Bengal [presently called Gaṅgā-sāgara], and until that place was included in Āryāvarta, the descendants of the Sūrya dynasty were condemned. For this reason, many kings of the Sūrya dynasty—such as Dilīpa, Aṁśumān, and Bhagīratha—worshiped Brahmā, the head of the ṛṣis, and established the land up to Gaṅgā-sāgara as part of Āryāvarta. According to modern opinion, those kings spread the glories of the Ganges up to the ocean. Modern opinion is that it was not the waters of the Ganges that were taken to the ocean, rather it was the glories of the Ganges that were taken to the ocean. That is why the Manu-saṁhitā (2.22) describes Āryāvarta as the area between the Himalaya and Vindhya Mountains and stretching from the eastern ocean to the western ocean.
āsamudrāt tu vai pūrvād āsamudrāt tu paścimāt
tayor evāntaraṁ giryor āryāvartaṁ vidur budhā
The divisions of Āryāvarta and Dākṣiṇātya are thus accepted since the time of Bhagīratha.
Now I will explain the calculations of the four yugas according to modern opinion. Satya-yuga extends up to the time of King Māndhātā. Tretā-yuga begins after Māndhātā and continues through the rule of Lava and Kuśa. Dvāpara-yuga then lasts through the Battle of Kurukṣetra. Satya-yuga consists of 650 years, Tretā-yuga consists of 1,125 years, and Dvāpara-yuga consists of 775 years. In this way the total comes to 2,550 years. The age of Kali started just before the Battle of Kurukṣetra and has lasted till today about 3,800 years. Those who calculate the yearly pañjikā, or almanac, however, say that in the year 1879, Kali-yuga had passed 4,979 years. Perhaps the calculation of pañjikās began in order to determine the timings of vows that are described in the Mahābhārata and other Purāṇas.
yadā devarṣayaḥ sapta maghāsu vicaranti hi
tadā pravṛttas tu kalir dvādaśābda-śatātmakaḥ
“When the constellation of the seven sages is passing through the lunar mansion Maghā, the age of Kali begins. It comprises 1,200 years of the demigods.” (Bhāg. 12.2.31)
According to the above-mentioned statement, which is in the present tense, it is understood that there is a 1,179 year discrepancy because people consider the statement applies to the past. Actually, ārambhāt phala paryantaṁ yāvad ekaika rūpiṇī kriyā saṁsādhyate tāvad vartamānaḥ sa kathyate—“From the beginning up to the fruition of activities continuously performed is called the present.” According to the definition of vartamāna, or present, in this verse, it should be accepted that there is a mistake. Before King Parīkṣit heard the Śrīmad Bhāgavatam, the seven sages enjoyed in the Maghā-nakṣatra for 33 years 4 months. So from 1,200 years we can subtract 21 years, and 1,179 years remain. If we deduct this period of 1,179 years from the 4,979 years that the writers of the pañjikās say has passed in Kali-yuga, then a balance of 3,800 years remains. Swan-like people can write this 3,800 years in their pañjikā as the time that has passed in Kali-yuga. Vedic scholars, however, do not accept these conclusions.
In the descriptions of the principle tīrthas of the different yugas, it is mentioned that Kurukṣetra was the tīrtha for Satya-yuga. Kurukṣetra is situated near Brahmāvarta. Puṣkara, situated near Ajmera, was the tīrtha for Tretā-yuga. In Dvāpara-yuga, Naimiṣāraṇya was the tīrtha. The present name of Naimiṣāraṇya is Nimkhāra or Nimsara. It is located about 44 miles northwest of Lucknow on the bank of the Gomatī River. In the age of Kali, Ganges is the tīrtha. Just as Brahmāvarta, Brahmarṣi-deśa, Madhya-deśa, and ancient and modern Āryāvarta were gradually established from time to time, similarly the tīrthas were all spread from Kurukṣetra to Gaṅgā-sāgara during the expansion of the country. According to the advancement of the intelligence of people in a particular time, different incarnations appear in different ages. As people advanced in religiosity, the mantras for their deliverance gradually blossomed.
According to modern opinion, some of the major incidents that took place in the 2,550 years prior to and including the Battle of Kurukṣetra are the sacrifice of Dakṣa, the fight between the demigods and the demons, the churning of the ocean, the banishment of the demons to Pātālaloka, the killing of King Vena, the bringing of the Ganges to the ocean, the killing of the kṣatriyas by Paraśurāma, the victory of Śrī Rāmacandra over Laṅkā, the journey of King Devāpi and Maru to the village of Kalāpa, and the Battle of Kurukṣetra. Apart from these, the scriptures relate many other incidents that took place.
Modern scholars think that Dakṣa’s fire sacrifice took place immediately after the Āryans established Brahmāvarta. This strange incident happened due to the Āryan’s pride of their caste and their unwillingness to maintain a relationship with the local natives. At that time Bhūtanātha Rudra was the leader of the local natives. Most of the hill areas were under his jurisdiction. Bhuṭān, or Bhūta-sthāna, Koca-vihāra, or Kucnī-vihāra, and Trivarta, where Kailāsa Mountain is seen, were all under Rudra’s rule. Even though he was a local native, he was expert in the science of medicine, fighting, and singing. Seeing his ability, the eleven Rudra kings, who were his representatives, even claimed that he was the supreme controller. Such a personality as the King of the Rudras could not tolerate the brāhmaṇa’s false ego, so he forcefully and tactfully married the daughter of Prajāpati Dakṣa, who lived at Kankhala, near Haridvāra. After Satīdevī left her body, a fierce battle took place between him and the brāhmaṇas. After the battle, he was given a share of the sacrifice and a seat in the northeast corner of the sacrificial arena. After that the Āryans made friendship with the powerful local mountain people. Since then, we do not find any further quarrel between the local mountain people and the brahmarṣis, because the mountain people respected the brāhmaṇas and the King of the Rudras was counted among the lords of the Āryans.After narrating the conclusions and descriptions of the modern scholars regarding Śrī Rudradeva, I wish to humbly point out to the Śaivite readers that we accept Śrī Mahādeva as jagad-guru and an incarnation of the Lord. We always aspire for his mercy. By his unreserved mercy, we attain devotion to Lord Kṛṣṇa.
Although the Āryans no longer quarrelled with the mountain people, many persons from their own dynasty put forward obstacles on the path of prosperity. The descendants of Kaśyapa, who accepted the features of snakes and birds, started residing here and there under the subordination of the demigods. At that time the descendants of Kaśyapa who accepted the features of birds developed intense animosity towards the snakes. But later the snakes became more powerful, and they ruled many kingdoms. Gradually the birds became almost extinct. From the womb of Diti, the wife of Kaśyapa, a few formidable men were born. They were condemned as demons. They became enemies of all good people by wilfully acting against the brahmarṣis. Eventually they quarrelled with King Indra and established a separate kingdom. This quarrel became known as the battle between the demigods and the demons. Almost all the demons lived in the country known as Pañca-nada [the place of five rivers]. Śākala, Asarara, Narasiṁha, and Multān, or Kāśyapapura, were under their jurisdiction. It is possible that Prajāpati Kaśyapa, in whose family the demigods and demons were born, lived in the countries of Pañca-nada and Brahmāvarta. The Prajāpatis lived around Brahmāvarta. At that time Brahmāvarta was the center of the demigods’ kingdom. Both the Sarasvatī and Dṛṣadvatī Rivers flowed in the demigods’ kingdom. Brahmāvarta is the place that was founded by the demigods between these two rivers
sarasvatī dṛṣadvatyor deva-nadyor yad antaram
taṁ deva-nirmitaṁ deśaṁ brahmāvartaṁ pracakṣate
“The tract of land founded by the demigods between the Sarasvatī and Dṛṣadvatī Rivers is called Brahmavarta.” (Manu-saṁhitā 2.17).
From the word deva in this verse [see footnote below], it is understood that the demigods were residing there. The demigods were also sons of Prajāpati Kaśyapa, therefore they are also accepted as Āryans. It is felt that during the founding of Brahmāvarta, just after the reign of Svāyambhuva Manu, Indra, the son of Kaśyapa and an expert administrator, was awarded the title of King of the demigods. Those great souls who were engaged in the administrative work received different posts like Vayu, Varuṇa, Agni, Yama, and Pūṣā. Later, when others attained those posts, they were also known as Indra, Candra, Vayu, and Varuṇa. After the reign of Vaivasvata, the demigods became very weak. Their ruling of the kingdom continued simply in name. Wherever there were sacrifices, they were invited and shown respect. In this way, after some time the great personalities of Brahmāvarta were no more and they became counted amongst the heavenly demigods. Their seats and shares in sacrifices of this planet were given to other invited brāhmaṇas. The demigods then became known as yantras and were invoked by mantras. This is also seen in Jaimini’s mīmāṁsā philosophy. In the beginning the demigods were the rulers, later they became the enjoyers of shares of sacrifices, and finally they were established in the scriptures in the form of mantras. At the time when the demigods were ruling, the demons, born from Kaśyapa’s other wife, became greedy for the demigods’ kingdom and created many disturbances. The first battle between the demigods and demons took place at the time of Hiraṇyakaśipu. The churning of the ocean took place a short time after this battle. During the battle between the demigods and the demons, Bṛhaspati was Indra’s minister and Śukrācārya was the demons’ minister. Being unable to kill Hiraṇyakaśipu, the brāhmaṇas brought his son to the demigods’ side with the help of Ṣaṇḍa and Amarka. Hiraṇyakaśipu was then killed by the strength of providence. The grandson of Hiraṇyakaśipu was Virocana. During his reign an alliance was made between the demigods and the demons. By combining the intelligence of the demigods with the strength and industrial knowledge of the demons the churning of the ocean of knowledge took place, and various excellent items, like scientific opulences and nectar, were produced. Later, by discussing knowledge of the self, poison, in the form of renunciation of fruitive work and self-destruction, was produced. Maha-Rudra, who knew the spiritual science, controlled that poison by the power of science. The demons were tactfully deceived from obtaining nectar, and therefore another battle took place. The asuras were defeated in this battle, so they lived contented with their own kingdom for a long time. In the meantime, Bṛhaspati, the spiritual master of the demigods, was insulted by Indra and went off in seclusion. At this juncture the demons again lit the fire of war on the instructions of Śukrācārya. With the permission of Brahmā, Indra accepted Viśvarūpa, the son of Tvaṣṭā, as his priest. Then, with various tactics, Viśvarūpa helped the demigods defeat the demons. Viśvarūpa used to drink wine, and due to his friendship with the asuras he devised a plan for the asuras to capture Brahmāvarta in return for a share of the sacrifices. For this reason, Indra killed him. Viśvarūpa’s father, Tvaṣṭā, thus became angry with Indra and started a revolt. His other son, Vṛtra, joined the demons and began to harass Indra, and the demigods then decided to take shelter of Dadhyañca (Dadhīci). After the death of Dadhyañca, Viśvakarmā, with hard labor and scientific methods, created a vajra, or thunderbolt. Then Indra killed Vṛtra with the help of this vajra, and he became condemned as the killer of a brāhmaṇa. Along with other brāhmaṇas, Tvaṣṭā exiled Indra for some time. At that time Indra lived near Mānasa-sarovara. The brāhmaṇas quarrelled among themselves but were unable to find a proper candidate for the post of Indra. Finally they decided to install Nahuṣa, the grandson of Purūravā, as the king. In a short time Nahuṣa developed a tendency to neglect the brāhmaṇas, so the brāhmaṇas reinstalled Indra as the king after sending Nahuṣa back to his previous duties. The battle between the demigods and the demons took place at Kurukṣetra, near Brahmāvarta. There is no doubt about this, because Indra killed Vṛtra and went northeast to Mānasa-sarovara to reside