Saturday, April 2, 2011

Lecture (Chapter) 10: Of the Diversity of the Divine Nature.

(Numbers in parentheses refer to the numbered notes below them, also enclosed in parentheses.)


Hear again, O valiant youth, my supreme words, which I will speak unto thee, who art well pleased, because I am anxious for thy welfare.

Neither the hosts of Sŏŏrs (47), nor the Măhărshĕĕs (48), know of my birth; because I am before all the Dēvătās and Măhărshĕĕs.

(47 Sŏŏrs.—Good angels.)

(48 Măhărshĕĕs.—Great saints, of whom there are reckoned seven, who were at the creation produced from the mind of Brăhmā.)

Whoso, free from folly, knoweth me to be without birth, before all things, and the mighty ruler of the universe, he shall, amongst mortals, be saved with all his transgressions. The various qualities incident to natural beings, such as reason, knowledge, unembarrassed judgment, patience, truth, humility, meekness, pleasure and pain; birth and death, fear and courage; mercy, equality, gladness, charity, zeal, renown and infamy, all distinctly come from me. So in former days the seven Măhărshĕĕs and the four Mănŏŏs (49) who are of my nature, were born of my mind, of whom are descended all the inhabitants of the earth.

(49 Mănŏŏs.—Four other beings produced at the creation from the mind of Brăhmā.)

He who knoweth this my distinction and my connection, according to their principles, is without doubt endued with an unerring devotion. I am the creator of all things, and all things proceed from me. Those who are endued with spiritual wisdom, believe this and worship me: their very hearts and minds are in me; they rejoice amongst themselves, and delight in speaking of my name, and teaching one another my doctrine. I gladly inspire those, who are constantly employed in my service, with that use of reason, by which they come unto me; and, in compassion, I stand in my own nature, and dissipate the darkness of their ignorance with the light of the lamp of wisdom.


All the Rĕĕshĕĕs (50), the Dēvărshĕĕs (51), and the prophet Nārăd (52), call thee the supreme Brăhm; the supreme abode; the most holy; the most high God; the eternal Pŏŏrŏŏsh, the divine being before all other Gods, without birth, the mighty Lord!

(50 Rĕĕshĕĕs.—Saints.)

(51 Dēvărshĕĕs.—Deified saints.)

(52 Nārăd.—One of the Dēvărshĕĕs, and a great Prophet, who is supposed to be still wandering about the world. Nāră signifies a thread or clew, a precept; and Dă Giver.—Wherever he appears he is constantly employed in giving good counsel.)

This say Ăsĕĕtă, Dēvălă, Vyās, and thou thyself hast told me so; and I firmly believe, O Kēsăvă, all thou tellest me. Neither the Dēws nor the Dānŏŏs (53) are acquainted, O Lord, with thy appearance.

(53 Dānŏŏs.—Evil spirits, or fallen angels, the offsprings of Dănŏŏ (fem).)

Thou alone, O first of men (54)! knowest thy own spirit;

(54 O first of men!—Ărjŏŏn makes use of this expression as addressing the Deity in human shape.)

thou, who art the production of all nature, the ruler of all things, the God of Gods, and the universal Lord! Thou art now able to make me acquainted with those divine portions of thyself, by which thou possessest and dwellest in this world. How shall I, although I constantly think of thee, be able to know thee? In what particular natures art thou to be found? Tell me again in full what is thy connection, and what thy distinction; for I am not yet satisfied with drinking of the living water of thy words.


Blessings be upon thee! I will make thee acquainted with the chief of my divine distinctions, as the extent of my nature is infinite.

I am the soul which standeth in the bodies of all beings. I am the beginning, the middle, and the end of all things. Amongst the Ādĕĕtyăs (55) I am Vĕĕshnŏŏ (56), and the radiant Răvee (57) amongst the stars; I am Mărēēchĕĕ (58) amongst the Mărŏŏts (59), and Săsēē (60) amongst the Năkshătrăs (61); amongst the Vēds I am the Sām (62), and I am Vāsăvă (63) amongst the Dēws. Amongst the faculties I am the mind, and amongst animals I am reason. I am Sănkăr (64) amongst the Rŏŏdrăs (65), and Vĕĕttēsă (66) amongst the Yăkshăs and the Răkshăs. I am Pāvăk (67) amongst the Văsŏŏs (68) and Mērŏŏ (69) amongst the aspiring mountains. Amongst teachers know that I am their chief Vrĕĕhăspătĕĕ (70); amongst warriors I am Skăndă (71); and amongst floods I am the ocean. I am Bhrĕĕgŏŏ (72) amongst the Măhărshĕĕs, and I am the monosyllable (73) amongst words. I am amongst worships the Yăp (74) or silent worship, and amongst immoveables the mountain Hĕĕmālăy (75). Of all the trees of the forest I am the Ăswătthă (76), and of all the Dēvărshĕĕs I am Nārăd. I am Chĕĕtră-răth amongst Găndhărvs (77) and the Mŏŏnĕĕ Kăpĕĕl amongst the saints. Know that amongst horses I am Oŏchīsrăvă, who arose with the Ămrĕĕtă from out the ocean (78). Amongst elephants I am Irāvăt, and the sovereign amongst men. Amongst weapons I am the Văjră or thunderbolt, and amongst cattle the cow Kāmă-dhŏŏk (79). I am the prolific Kăndărp the God of love; and amongst serpents I am Vāsŏŏkĕĕ their chief. I am Ānăntă amongst the Nāgs (80), and Vărŏŏn (81) amongst the inhabitants of the waters. I am Aryămā amongst the Pĕĕtrĕĕs, and I am Yăm (82) amongst all those who rule. Amongst the Dītyăs (evil spirits) I am Prăhlād (83), and Kāl (time) amongst computations. Amongst beasts I am the king of beasts, and Vīnătēyă (84) amongst the feathered tribe. Amongst purifiers I am Păvăn the air, and Rām amongst those who carry arms. Amongst fishes I am the Măkăr (85), and amongst rivers I am Găngā (86) the daughter of Jăhnŏŏ. Of things transient I am the beginning, the middle, and the end. Of all science I am the knowledge of the ruling spirit, and of all speaking I am the oration. Amongst letters I am the vowel a, and of all compound words I am the Dwăndwă (87). I am also never-failing time; the preserver, whose face is turned on all sides. I am all-grasping death; and I am the resurrection of those who are about to be. Amongst fœminines I am fame, fortune, eloquence, memory, understanding, fortitude, patience. Amongst harmonious measure I am the Gāyătrēē, and amongst Sāms I am the Vrĕĕhăt Sām. Amongst the months I am the month Mārgă-sēērshă (88), and amongst seasons the season Kŏŏsŏŏmākără (89), (spring.) Amongst frauds I am gaming; and of all things glorious I am the glory. I am victory, I am industry, and I am the essence of all qualities. Of the race of Vrĕĕshnēē I am the son of Văsŏŏdēv (90), and amongst the Pāndŏŏs Ărjŏŏn-Dhănănjăy. I am Vyās (91) amongst the Mŏŏnĕĕs, and amongst the Bards (92) I am the prophet Oosanā (93). Amongst rulers I am the rod, and amongst those who seek for conquest I am policy. Amongst the secret I am silence, and amongst the wise I am wisdom. I am, in like manner, O Ărjŏŏn, that which is the seed of all things in nature; and there is not any thing, whether animate or inanimate, that is without me. My divine distinctions are without end, and the many which I have mentioned are by way of example. And learn, O Ărjŏŏn, that every being which is worthy of distinction and pre-eminence, is the produce of the portion of my glory. But what, O Ărjŏŏn, hast thou to do with this manifold wisdom? I planted this whole universe with a single portion and stood still.

(55 Ādĕĕtyăs.—The offsprings of Ădĕĕtĕĕ (f.) (that may not be cut off.) There are reckoned twelve, and are nothing more than emblems of the sun for each month of the year. Their names are Vărŏŏn, Sōōryă, Vēdāng, Bhānŏŏ, Eĕndră, Răvĕĕ, Găbhăstĕĕ, Yăm, Swărnă-rētā, Dĕĕvākăr, Mĕĕtră, Vĕĕshnŏŏ.)

(56 Vĕĕshnŏŏ.—He who filleth or possesseth all space. One of the twelve suns, and the name of the Deity in his preserving quality.)

(57 Răvee.—The riser—one of the names of the sun.)

(58 Mărēēchĕĕ.—One of the eight points of the heavens.)

(59 Mărŏŏts.—The winds.)

(60 Săsēē—The moon.)

(61 Năkshătrăs.—Dispellers of darkness. The 18 constellations through which the moon passes in its monthly course. Constellations in general.)

(62 Sām.—The first of the four books of the Vēds, composed to be chanted or sung.)

(63 Vāsăvă.—One of the names of Eĕndră.)

(64 Sănkăr.—One of the names of Sĕĕv, or Fate.)

(65 Rŏŏdrăs.—Eleven distinctions of Sĕĕv, or Fate.)

(66 Vĕĕttēsă.—The God of riches, otherwise called Kŏŏvēr. He is said to preside over the regions of the north, and to be the chief of the Yăkshăs and the Răkshăs, two species of good and evil Genii.)

(67 Pāvăk.—The God of fire. He is supposed to preside over the southeast quarter.)

(68 Văsŏŏs.—Eight of the first created Beings of Brăhmā.)

(69 Mērŏŏ.—The north pole of the terrestrial globe, fabled by the poets to be the highest mountain in the world. It is sometimes, by way of pre-eminence, called Sŏŏ-mērŏŏ. It is remarkable that the word Mērŏŏ signifies a centre or axis.)

(70 Vrĕĕhăspătĕĕ.—The preceptor of the Dēvs or Dēws, the planet Jupiter and Dies Jovis.)

(71 Skăndă.—Otherwise called Kārtĕĕk, the general of the celestial armies.)

(72 Bhrĕĕgŏŏ.—One of the first created beings produced from the mind of Brăhmā.)

(73 The monosyllable.—The mystic word or monosyllable Om! already explained.)

(74 Yăp.—A silent repetition of the name of God.)

(75 Hĕĕmālăy.—The chain of snowy mountains which divide India from Tartary, and which, from the immense distance they may be seen, are supposed to be as high as any upon the face of the globe.)

(76 Ăswătthă.—The Pĕĕpăl tree.)

(77 Chĕĕtră-răth amongst Găndhărvs.—The title of chief of the Găndhărvs or celestial choirs: the Găndhărv of the painted chariot.

In the Măhābhārăt is to be found a very entertaining story of a combat between him and Ărjŏŏn, wherein he is defeated; and, his painted chariot being destroyed by a fiery arrow shot from the bow of his opponent, he resolves to change his name to Dăgdhă-răth, or the Găndhărv of the burnt chariot.)

(78 Oŏchīsrăvă, who arose with the Ămrĕĕtă, or the water of life, from the ocean.—The story of churning the ocean for what are called the Chowdă Răttăn, or fourteen jewels, is of such a curious nature, and, in some parts, bears such a wonderful affinity to Milton’s description of the war in heaven, that the Translator thinks it will afford the reader an agreeable contrast to the subject of this work, and serve as a further specimen of his version of the Măhābhārăt, from which both are extracted. [presented at end—gdw])

(79 Kāmă-dhŏŏk.—One of the names of the Cow of Plenty, produced in churning the ocean.)

(80 Ănăntă amongst the Nāgs.—The Nāgs are serpents fabled with many heads. Ănăntă signifies eternal, and may be an emblem of eternity. There are some very wonderful stories told of these serpents in the original from which these Dialogues are taken.)

(81 Vărŏŏn.—The God of the Ocean.)

(82 Yăm.—The judge of hell.)

(83 Prăhlād.—An evil spirit who was converted by Krĕĕshnă.)

(84 Vīnătēyă.—A bird fabled to be of wonderful size, and the vehicle of Vĕĕshnŏŏ, the Deity in his preserving quality, and who is otherwise called Gărŏŏr.)

(85 Măkăr.—A fish represented with a long snout something like the proboscis of an elephant; and the sign Capricornus.)

(86 Găngā.—The Ganges. When the river was first conducted from its source, by a Prince whose name was Bhăgēērăth, towards the ocean, it so fell out that Jăhnŏŏ was at his devotions at the mouth of the Mahanadee, at a place now called Navobgunge.—The Goddess in passing swept away the utensils for his ablutions, which so enraged him, that he drank up her stream; but after a while his anger was appeased, and he let her escape from an incision made in his thigh; and from this circumstance of her second birth, she was afterwards called Jāhnăvēē, or the offspring of Jăhnŏŏ.)

(87 Dwăndwă.—A term in grammar, used where many nouns are put together without a copulative, and the case subjoined to the last only, which is a mode of composition much admired by the Poets.)

(88 Mārgă-sĕĕrshă.—The month beginning with the middle of October, when the periodical rains have subsided, and the excessive heats are abated.)

(89 Kŏŏsŏŏmākără.—The season of flowers, otherwise called Văsănt. The two months between the middle of March and May.—The Hindoos divide the year into six Rĕĕtŏŏ, or seasons, of two months each, which are thus denominated:
Sĕĕsăr.—Dewy season.
Hĕĕmănt.—Cold season.
Văsănt.—Mild (spring).
Grēēshmă.—Hot season.
Vărsā.—Rainy season.
Sărăt.—Breaking (up of the rains).)

(90 Văsŏŏdēv.—The father of Krĕĕshnă in his incarnation.)

(91 Vyās.—The reputed author or compiler of the Măhābhārăt.)

(92 Bards.—The Poets of India, like the Bards of Britain, were revered as Saints and Prophets.)

(93 Ŏŏsănā.—Otherwise called Sŏŏkră, esteemed the preceptor of the evil spirits; the planet Venus, and dies Veneris.)

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