Creation of the Kumāras and Others
iti te varṇitaḥ kṣattaḥ
mahimā veda-garbho ’tha
yathāsrākṣīn nibodha me
maitreyaḥ uvāca—Śrī Maitreya said; iti—thus; te—unto you; varṇitaḥ—described; kṣattaḥ—O Vidura; kāla-ākhyaḥ—by the name eternal time; paramātmanaḥ—of the Supersoul; mahimā—glories; veda-garbhaḥ—Lord Brahmā, the reservoir of the Vedas; atha—hereafter; yathā—as it is; asrākṣīt—did create; nibodha—just try to understand; me—from me.
Śrī Maitreya said: O learned Vidura, so far I have explained to you the glories of the form of the Supreme Personality of Godhead in His feature of kāla. Now you can hear from me about the creation of Brahmā, the reservoir of all Vedic knowledge.
atha tāmisram ādi-kṛt
mahāmohaṁ ca mohaṁ ca
sasarja—created; agre—at first; andha-tāmisram—the sense of death; atha—then; tāmisram—anger upon frustration; ādi-kṛt—all these; mahā-moham—ownership of enjoyable objects; ca—also; moham—illusory conception; ca—also; tamaḥ—darkness in self-knowledge; ca—as well as; ajñāna—nescience; vṛttayaḥ—engagements.
Brahmā first created the nescient engagements like self-deception, the sense of death, anger after frustration, the sense of false ownership, and the illusory bodily conception, or forgetfulness of one’s real identity.
Before the factual creation of the living entities in different varieties of species, the conditions under which a living being in the material world has to live were created by Brahmā. Unless a living entity forgets his real identity, it is impossible for him to live in the material conditions of life. Therefore the first condition of material existence is forgetfulness of one’s real identity. And by forgetting one’s real identity, one is sure to be afraid of death, although a pure living soul is deathless and birthless. This false identification with material nature is the cause of false ownership of things which are offered by the arrangement of superior control. All material resources are offered to the living entity for his peaceful living and for the discharge of the duties of self-realization in conditioned life. But due to false identification, the conditioned soul becomes entrapped by the sense of false ownership of the property of the Supreme Lord. It is evident from this verse that Brahmā himself is a creation of the Supreme Lord, and the five kinds of nescience which condition the living entities in material existence are creations of Brahmā. It is simply ludicrous to think the living entity to be equal with the Supreme Being when one can understand that the conditioned souls are under the influence of Brahmā’s magic wand. Patañjali also accepts that there are five kinds of nescience, as mentioned herein.
dṛṣṭvā pāpīyasīṁ sṛṣṭiṁ
nātmānaṁ bahv amanyata
manasānyāṁ tato ’sṛjat
dṛṣṭvā—by seeing; pāpīyasīm—sinful; sṛṣṭim—creation; na—did not; ātmānam—unto Himself; bahu—much pleasure; amanyata—felt; bhagavat—on the Personality of Godhead; dhyāna—meditation; pūtena—purified by that; manasā—by such a mentality; anyām—another; tataḥ—thereafter; asṛjat—created.
Seeing such a misleading creation as a sinful task, Brahmā did not feel much pleasure in his activity, and therefore he purified himself by meditation on the Personality of Godhead. Then he began another term of creation.
Although he created the different influences of nescience, Lord Brahmā was not satisfied in performing such a thankless task, but he had to do it because most of the conditioned souls wanted it to be so. Lord Kṛṣṇa says in Bhagavad-gītā (15.15) that He is present in everyone’s heart and is helping everyone to either remember of forget. The question may be raised why the Lord, who is all-merciful, helps one to remember and another to forget. Actually, His mercy is not exhibited in partiality towards one and enmity towards another. The living entity, as part and parcel of the Lord, is partially independent because he partially possesses all the qualities of the Lord. Anyone who has some independence may sometimes misuse it due to ignorance. When the living entity prefers to misuse his independence and glide down towards nescience, the all-merciful Lord first of all tries to protect him from the trap, but when the living entity persists in gliding down to hell, the Lord helps him to forget his real position. The Lord helps the falling living entity glide down to the lowest point, just to give him the chance to see if he is happy by misusing his independence.
Almost all the conditioned souls who are rotting in the material world are misusing their independence, and therefore five kinds of nescience are imposed upon them. As an obedient servitor of the Lord, Brahmā creates all these as a matter of necessity, but he is not happy in doing so because a devotee of the Lord naturally does not like to see anyone falling down from his real position. Persons who do not care for the path of realization get full facilities from the Lord for executing their proclivities to the fullest extent, and Brahmā helps in that procedure without fail.
sanakaṁ ca sanandaṁ ca
sanat-kumāraṁ ca munīn
sanakam—Sanaka; ca—also; sanandam—Sananda; ca—and; sanātanam—Sanātana; atha—thereafter; ātma-bhūḥ—Brahmā, who is self-born; sanat-kumāram—Sanat-kumāra; ca—also; munīn—the great sages; niṣkriyān—free from all fruitive action; ūrdhva-retasaḥ—those whose semen flows upwards.
In the beginning, Brahmā created four great sages named Sanaka, Sananda, Sanātana and Sanat-kumāra. All of them were unwilling to adopt materialistic activities because they were highly elevated due to their semen’s flowing upwards.
Although Brahmā created the principles of nescience as a matter of necessity for those living entities who were destined to ignorance by the will of the Lord, he was not satisfied in performing such a thankless task. He therefore created four principles of knowledge: sāṅkhya, or empirical philosophy for the analytical study of material conditions; yoga, or mysticism for liberation of the pure soul from material bondage; vairāgya, the acceptance of complete detachment from material enjoyment in life to elevate oneself to the highest spiritual understanding; and tapas, or the various kinds of voluntary austerities performed for spiritual perfection. Brahmā created the four great sages Sanaka, Sananda, Sanātana and Sanat to entrust them with these four principles of spiritual advancement, and they inaugurated their own spiritual party, or sampradāya, known as the Kumāra-sampradāya, or later on as the Nimbārka-sampradāya, for the advancement of bhakti. All of these great sages became great devotees, for without devotional service to the Personality of Godhead one cannot achieve success in any activity of spiritual value.
tān babhāṣe svabhūḥ putrān
prajāḥ sṛjata putrakāḥ
tan naicchan mokṣa-dharmāṇo
tān—unto the Kumāras, as above mentioned; babhāṣe—addressed; svabhūḥ—Brahmā; putrān—unto the sons; prajāḥ—generations; sṛjata—to create; putrakāḥ—O my sons; tat—that; na—not; aicchan—desired; mokṣa-dharmāṇaḥ—pledged to the principles of liberation; vāsudeva—the Personality of Godhead; parāyaṇāḥ—who are so devoted.
Brahmā spoke to his sons after generating them. “My dear sons,” he said, “now generate progeny.” But due to their being attached to Vāsudeva, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, they aimed at liberation, and therefore they expressed their unwillingness.
The four sons of Brahmā, the Kumāras, declined to become family men even on the request of their great father, Brahmā. Those who are serious about gaining release from material bondage should not be entangled in the false relationship of family bondage. People may ask how the Kumāras could refuse the orders of Brahmā, who was their father and above all the creator of the universe. The reply is that one who is vāsudeva-parāyaṇa, or seriously engaged in the devotional service of the Personality of Godhead, Vāsudeva, need not care for any other obligation. It is enjoined in the Bhāgavatam (11.5.41):
“Anyone who has completely given up all worldly relationships and has taken absolute shelter of the lotus feet of the Lord, who gives us salvation and who alone is fit to be taken shelter of, is no longer a debtor or servant of anyone, including the demigods, forefathers, sages, other living entities, relatives, and members of human society.” Thus there was nothing wrong in the acts of the Kumāras when they refused their great father’s request that they become family men.
so ’vadhyātaḥ sutair evaṁ
krodhaṁ durviṣahaṁ jātaṁ
saḥ—he (Brahmā); avadhyātaḥ—thus being disrespected; sutaiḥ—by the sons; evam—thus; pratyākhyāta—refusing to obey; anuśāsanaiḥ—the order of their father; krodham—anger; durviṣaham—too much to be tolerated; jātam—thus generated; niyantum—to control; upacakrame—tried his best.
On the refusal of the sons to obey the order of their father, there was much anger generated in the mind of Brahmā, which he tried to control and not express.
Brahmā is the director in charge of the mode of passion of material nature. Therefore it was natural for him to become angry on the refusal of his sons to obey his order. Although the Kumāras were right in such acts of refusal, Brahmā, being absorbed in the mode of passion, could not check his passionate anger. He did not express it, however, because he knew that his sons were far enlightened in spiritual advancement and thus he should not express his anger before them.
dhiyā nigṛhyamāṇo ’pi
bhruvor madhyāt prajāpateḥ
sadyo ’jāyata tan-manyuḥ
dhiyā—by intelligence; nigṛhyamāṇaḥ—being controlled; api—in spite of; bhruvoḥ—of the eyebrows; madhyāt—from between; prajāpateḥ—of Brahmā; sadyaḥ—at once; ajāyata—generated; tat—his; manyuḥ—anger; kumāraḥ—a child; nīla-lohitaḥ—mixture of blue and red.
Although he tried to curb his anger, it came out from between his eyebrows, and a child mixed blue and red was immediately generated.
The face of anger is the same whether exhibited due to ignorance or knowledge. Although Brahmā tried to curb his anger, he could not do so, even though he is the supreme being. Such anger in its true color came from between the eyebrows of Brahmā as Rudra, in a mixed color of blue (ignorance) and red (passion), because anger is the product of passion and ignorance.
sa vai ruroda devānāṁ
pūrvajo bhagavān bhavaḥ
nāmāni kuru me dhātaḥ
sthānāni ca jagad-guro
saḥ—he; vai—certainly; ruroda—cried loudly; devānām pūrvajaḥ—the eldest of all demigods; bhagavān—the most powerful; bhavaḥ—Lord Śiva; nāmāni—different names; kuru—designate; me—my; dhātaḥ—O destiny maker; sthānāni—places; ca—also; jagat-guro—O teacher of the universe.
After his birth he began to cry: O destiny maker, teacher of the universe, kindly designate my name and place.
iti tasya vacaḥ pādmo
abhyadhād bhadrayā vācā
mā rodīs tat karomi te
iti—thus; tasya—his; vacaḥ—request; pādmaḥ—one who is born from the lotus flower; bhagavān—the powerful; paripālayan—accepting the request; abhyadhāt—pacified; bhadrayā—by gentle; vācā—words; mā—do not; rodīḥ—cry; tat—that; karomi—I shall do it; te—as desired by you.
The all-powerful Brahmā, who was born from the lotus flower, pacified the boy with gentle words, accepting his request, and said: Do not cry. I shall certainly do as you desire.
yad arodīḥ sura-śreṣṭha
sodvega iva bālakaḥ
tatas tvām abhidhāsyanti
nāmnā rudra iti prajāḥ
yat—as much as; arodīḥ—cried loudly; sura-śreṣṭha—O chief of the demigods; sa-udvegaḥ—with great anxiety; iva—like; bālakaḥ—a boy; tataḥ—therefore; tvām—you; abhidhāsyanti—will call; nāmnā—by the name; rudraḥ—Rudra; iti—thus; prajāḥ—people.
Thereafter Brahmā said: O chief of the demigods, you shall be called by the name Rudra by all people because you have so anxiously cried.
hṛd indriyāṇy asur vyoma
vāyur agnir jalaṁ mahī
sūryaś candras tapaś caiva
sthānāny agre kṛtāni te
hṛt—the heart; indriyāṇi—the senses; asuḥ—life air; vyoma—the sky; vāyuḥ—the air; agniḥ—fire; jalam—water; mahī—the earth; sūryaḥ—the sun; candraḥ—the moon; tapaḥ—austerity; ca—as well as; eva—certainly; sthānāni—all these places; agre—hereinbefore; kṛtāni—already made; te—for you.
My dear boy, I have already selected the following places for your residence: the heart, the senses, the air of life, the sky, the air, the fire, the water, the earth, the sun, the moon and austerity.
The creation of Rudra from between the eyebrows of Brahmā as the result of his anger, generated from the mode of passion partly touched by ignorance, is very significant. In Bhagavad-gītā (3.37) the principle of Rudra is described. Krodha (anger) is the product of kāma (lust), which is the result of the mode of passion. When lust and hankering are unsatisfied, the element of krodha appears, which is the formidable enemy of the conditioned soul. This most sinful and inimical passion is represented as ahaṅkāra, or the false egocentric attitude of thinking oneself to be all in all. Such an egocentric attitude on the part of the conditioned soul, who is completely under the control of material nature, is described in Bhagavad-gītā as foolish. The egocentric attitude is a manifestation of the Rudra principle in the heart, wherein krodha (anger) is generated. This anger develops in the heart and is further manifested through various senses, like the eyes, hands and legs. When a man is angry he expresses such anger with red-hot eyes and sometimes makes a display of clenching his fists or kicking his legs. This exhibition of the Rudra principle is the proof of Rudra’s presence in such places. When a man is angry he breathes very rapidly, and thus Rudra is represented in the air of life, or in the activities of breathing. When the sky is overcast with dense clouds and roars in anger, and when the wind blows very fiercely, the Rudra principle is manifested, and so also when the sea water is infuriated by the wind it appears in a gloomy feature of Rudra, which is very fearful to the common man. When fire is ablaze we can also experience the presence of Rudra, and when there is an inundation over the earth we can understand that this is also the representation of Rudra.
There are many earthly creatures who constantly represent the Rudra element. The snake, tiger and lion are always representations of Rudra. Sometimes, because of the extreme heat of the sun, there are cases of heatstroke, and due to the extreme coldness created by the moon there are cases of collapse. There are many sages empowered with the influence of austerity and many yogīs, philosophers and renouncers who sometimes exhibit their acquired power under the influence of the Rudra principle of anger and passion. The great yogī Durvāsā, under the influence of this Rudra principle, picked a quarrel with Mahārāja Ambarīṣa, and a brāhmaṇa boy exhibited the Rudra principle by cursing the great King Parīkṣit. When the Rudra principle is exhibited by persons who are not engaged in the devotional service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the angry person falls down from the peak of his improved position. This is confirmed as follows:
The most lamentable falldown of the impersonalist is due to his false and unreasonable claim of being one with the Supreme.
manyur manur mahinaso
mahāñ chiva ṛtadhvajaḥ
ugraretā bhavaḥ kālo
manyuḥ, manuḥ, mahinasaḥ, mahān, śivaḥ, ṛtadhvajaḥ, ugaretāḥ, bhavaḥ, kālaḥ, vāmadevaḥ, dhṛtavrataḥ—all names of Rudra.
Lord Brahmā said: My dear boy Rudra, you have eleven other names: Manyu, Manu, Mahinasa, Mahān, Śiva, Ṛtadhvaja, Ugraretā, Bhava, Kāla, Vāmadeva and Dhṛtavrata.
dhīr dhṛti-rasalomā ca
niyut sarpir ilāmbikā
irāvatī svadhā dīkṣā
rudrāṇyo rudra te striyaḥ
dhīḥ, dhṛti, rasalā, umā, niyut, sarpiḥ, ilā, ambikā, irāvatī, svadhā, dīkṣā rudrāṇyaḥ—the eleven Rudrāṇīs; rudra—O Rudra; te—unto you; striyaḥ—wives.
O Rudra, you also have eleven wives, called the Rudrāṇīs, and they are as follows: Dhī, Dhṛti, Rasalā, Umā, Niyut, Sarpi, Ilā, Ambikā, Irāvatī, Svadhā and Dīkṣā.
sthānāni ca sa-yoṣaṇaḥ
ebhiḥ sṛja prajā bahvīḥ
prajānām asi yat patiḥ
gṛhāṇa—just accept; etāni—all these; nāmāni—different names; sthānāni—as well as places; ca—also; sa-yoṣaṇaḥ—along with wives; ebhiḥ—with them; sṛja—just generate; prajāḥ—progeny; bahvīḥ—on a large scale; prajānām—of the living entities; asi—you are; yat—since; patiḥ—the master.
My dear boy, you may now accept all the names and places designated for you and your different wives, and since you are now one of the masters of the living entities, you may increase the population on a large scale.
Brahmā, as the father of Rudra, selected the wives of his son, his living places, and his names as well. It is natural that one should accept the wife selected by one’s father, just as a son accepts the name given by the father or as he accepts the property offered by the father. That is the general course in increasing the population of the world. On the other hand, the Kumāras did not accept the offering of their father because they were elevated far beyond the business of generating a great number of sons. As the son can refuse the order of the father for higher purposes, so the father can refuse to maintain his sons in increasing population because of higher purposes.
ity ādiṣṭaḥ sva-guruṇā
iti—thus; ādiṣṭaḥ—being ordered; sva-guruṇā—by his own spiritual master; bhagavān—the most powerful; nīla-lohitaḥ—Rudra, whose color is mixed blue and red; sattva—power; ākṛti—bodily features; svabhāvena—and with a very furious mode of nature; sasarja—created; ātma-samāḥ—like his own prototype; prajāḥ—generations.
The most powerful Rudra, whose bodily color was blue mixed with red, created many offspring exactly resembling him in features, strength and furious nature.
samantād grasatāṁ jagat
rudrāṇām—of the sons of Rudra; rudra-sṛṣṭānām—who were generated by Rudra; samantāt—being assembled together; grasatām—while devouring; jagat—the universe; niśāmya—by observing their activities; asaṅkhyaśaḥ—unlimited; yūthān—assembly; prajā-patiḥ—the father of the living entities; aśaṅkata—became afraid of.
The sons and grandsons generated by Rudra were unlimited in number, and when they assembled together they attempted to devour the entire universe. When Brahmā, the father of the living entities, saw this, he became afraid of the situation.
The generations of Rudra, the incarnation of anger, were so dangerous to the maintenance of universal affairs that even Brahmā, the father of the living entities, became afraid of them. The so-called devotees or followers of Rudra are also a menace. They are sometimes dangerous even to Rudra himself. Descendants of Rudra sometimes make plans to kill Rudra—by the grace of Rudra. That is the nature of his devotees.
alaṁ prajābhiḥ sṛṣṭābhir
mayā saha dahantībhir
diśaś cakṣurbhir ulbaṇaiḥ
alam—unnecessary; prajābhiḥ—by such living entities; sṛṣṭābhiḥ—generated; īdṛśībhiḥ—of this type; sura-uttama—O best among the demigods; mayā—me; saha—along with; dahantībhiḥ—who are burning; diśaḥ—all sides; cakṣurbhiḥ—by the eyes; ulbaṇaiḥ—fiery flames.
Brahmā told Rudra: O best among the demigods, there is no need for you to generate living entities of this nature. They have begun to devastate everything on all sides with the fiery flames from their eyes, and they have even attacked me.
tapa ātiṣṭha bhadraṁ te
tapasaiva yathā pūrvaṁ
sraṣṭā viśvam idaṁ bhavān
tapaḥ—penance; ātiṣṭha—be situated; bhadram—auspicious; te—unto you; sarva—all; bhūta—living entities; sukha-āvaham—bringing happiness; tapasā—by penance; eva—only; yathā—as much as; pūrvam—before; sraṣṭā—will create; viśvam—the universe; idam—this; bhavān—yourself.
My dear son, you had better situate yourself in penance, which is auspicious for all living entities and which will bring all benediction upon you. By penance only shall you be able to create the universe as it was before.
In the creation, maintenance and dissolution of the cosmic manifestation, the three deities Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Maheśvara, or Śiva, are respectively in charge. Rudra was advised not to destroy while the period of creation and maintenance was going on, but to situate himself in penance and wait for the time of dissolution, when his services would be called for.
tapasaiva paraṁ jyotir
añjasā vindate pumān
tapasā—by penance; eva—only; param—the supreme; jyotiḥ—light; bhagavantam—unto the Personality of Godhead; adhokṣajam—He who is beyond the approach of the senses; sarva-bhūta-guhā-āvāsam—residing in the heart of all living entities; añjasā—completely; vindate—can know; pumān—a person.
By penance only can one even approach the Personality of Godhead, who is within the heart of every living entity and at the same time beyond the reach of all senses.
Rudra was advised by Brahmā to perform penance as an example to his sons and followers that penance is necessary for attaining the favor of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In Bhagavad-gītā it is said that the common mass of people follow the path shown by an authority. Thus Brahmā, disgusted with the Rudra generations and afraid of being devoured by the increase of population, asked Rudra to stop producing such an unwanted generation and take to penance for attaining the favor of the Supreme Lord. We find, therefore, in pictures, that Rudra is always sitting in meditation for the attainment of the favor of the Lord. Indirectly, the sons and followers of Rudra are advised to stop the business of annihilation, following the Rudra principle while the peaceful creation of Brahmā is going on.
parikramya girāṁ patim
bāḍham ity amum āmantrya
viveśa tapase vanam
maitreyaḥ uvāca—Śrī Maitreya said; evam—thus; ātma-bhuvā—by Brahmā; ādiṣṭaḥ—being so requested; parikramya—by circumambulating; girām—of the Vedas; patim—unto the master; bāḍham—that is right; iti—thus; amum—unto Brahmā; āmantrya—thus addressing; viveśa—entered into; tapase—for the matter of penance; vanam—into the forest.
Śrī Maitreya said: Thus Rudra, having been ordered by Brahmā, circumambulated his father, the master of the Vedas. Addressing him with words of assent, he entered the forest to perform austere penances.
daśa putrāḥ prajajñire
atha—thus; abhidhyāyataḥ—while thinking of; sargam—creation; daśa—ten; putrāḥ—sons; prajajñire—were begotten; bhagavat—regarding the Personality of Godhead; śakti—potency; yuktasya—empowered with; loka—the world; santāna—generation; hetavaḥ—the causes.
Brahmā, who was empowered by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, thought of generating living entities and begot ten sons for the extension of the generations.
pulastyaḥ pulahaḥ kratuḥ
bhṛgur vasiṣṭho dakṣaś ca
daśamas tatra nāradaḥ
marīciḥ, atri, aṅgirasau, pulastyaḥ, pulahaḥ, kratuḥ, bhṛguḥ, vasiṣṭhaḥ, dakṣaḥ—names of sons of Brahmā; ca—and; daśamaḥ—the tenth; tatra—there; nāradaḥ—Nārada.
Marīci, Atri, Aṅgirā, Pulastya, Pulaha, Kratu, Bhṛgu, Vasiṣṭha, Dakṣa, and the tenth son, Nārada, were thus born.
The whole process of the creation, maintenance and dissolution of the cosmic manifestation is meant to give the conditioned souls a chance to go back home, back to Godhead. Brahmā created Rudra to help him in his creative endeavor, but from the very beginning Rudra began to devour the whole creation, and thus he had to be stopped from such devastating activities. Brahmā therefore created another set of good children, who were mostly in favor of worldly fruitive activities. He knew very well, however, that without devotional service to the Lord there is hardly any benefit for the conditioned souls, and therefore he at last created his worthy son Nārada, who is the supreme spiritual master of all transcendentalists. Without devotional service to the Lord one cannot make progress in any department of activity, although the path of devotional service is always independent of anything material. Only the transcendental loving service of the Lord can deliver the real goal of life, and thus the service rendered by Śrīman Nārada Muni is the highest among all the sons of Brahmā.
utsaṅgān nārado jajñe
dakṣo ’ṅguṣṭhāt svayambhuvaḥ
prāṇād vasiṣṭhaḥ sañjāto
bhṛgus tvaci karāt kratuḥ
utsaṅgāt—by transcendental deliberation; nāradaḥ—Mahāmuni Nārada; jajñe—was generated; dakṣaḥ—Dakṣa; aṅguṣṭhāt—from the thumb; svayambhuvaḥ—of Brahmā; prāṇāt—from the life air, or breathing; vasiṣṭhaḥ—Vasiṣṭha; sañjātaḥ—was born; bhṛguḥ—the sage Bhṛgu; tvaci—from the touch; karāt—from the hand; kratuḥ—the sage Kratu.
Nārada was born from the deliberation of Brahmā, which is the best part of the body. Vasiṣṭha was born from his breathing, Dakṣa from a thumb, Bhṛgu from his touch, and Kratu from his hand.
Nārada was born from the best deliberation of Brahmā because Nārada was able to deliver the Supreme Lord to anyone he liked. The Supreme Personality of Godhead cannot be realized by any amount of Vedic knowledge or by any number of penances. But a pure devotee of the Lord like Nārada can deliver the Supreme Lord by his good will. The very name Nārada suggests that he can deliver the Supreme Lord. Nāra means the “Supreme Lord,” and da means “one who can deliver.” That he can deliver the Supreme Lord does not mean that the Lord is like a commodity that can be delivered to any person. But Nārada can deliver to anyone the transcendental loving service of the Lord as a servitor, friend, parent or lover, as one may desire out of one’s own transcendental love for the Lord. In other words, it is Nārada only who can deliver the path of bhakti-yoga, the highest mystic means for attainment of the Supreme Lord.
pulaho nābhito jajñe
pulastyaḥ karṇayor ṛṣiḥ
aṅgirā mukhato ’kṣṇo ’trir
marīcir manaso ’bhavat
pulahaḥ—the sage Pulaha; nābhitaḥ—from the navel; jajñe—generated; pulastyaḥ—the sage Pulastya; karṇayoḥ—from the ears; ṛṣiḥ—the great sage; aṅgirāḥ—the sage Aṅgirā; mukhataḥ—from the mouth; akṣṇaḥ—from the eyes; atriḥ—the sage Atri; marīciḥ—the sage Marīci; manasaḥ—from the mind; abhavat—appeared.
Pulastya was generated from the ears, Aṅgirā from the mouth, Atri from the eyes, Marīci from the mind and Pulaha from the navel of Brahmā.
dharmaḥ stanād dakṣiṇato
yatra nārāyaṇaḥ svayam
adharmaḥ pṛṣṭhato yasmān
dharmaḥ—religion; stanāt—from the breast; dakṣiṇataḥ—on the right side; yatra—wherein; nārāyaṇaḥ—the Supreme Lord; svayam—personally; adharmaḥ—irreligion; pṛṣṭhataḥ—from the back; yasmāt—from which; mṛtyuḥ—death; loka—to the living entity; bhayam-karaḥ—horrible.
Religion was manifested from the breast of Brahmā, wherein is seated the Supreme Personality of Godhead Nārāyaṇa, and irreligion appeared from his back, where horrible death takes place for the living entity.
That religion was manifested from the place where the Personality of Godhead is personally situated is very significant because religion means devotional service to the Personality of Godhead, as confirmed in Bhagavad-gītā as well as the Bhāgavatam. In Bhagavad-gītā the last instruction is to give up all other engagements in the name of religion and take shelter of the Personality of Godhead. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam also confirms that the highest perfection of religion is that which leads to the devotional service of the Lord, unmotivated and unhampered by material impediments. Religion in its perfect form is the devotional service of the Lord, and irreligion is just the opposite. The heart is the most important part of the body, whereas the back is the most neglected part. When one is attacked by an enemy one is apt to endure attacks from the back and protect himself carefully from all attacks on the chest. All types of irreligion spring from the back of Brahmā, whereas real religion, the devotional service of the Lord, is generated from the chest, the seat of Nārāyaṇa. Anything which does not lead to the devotional service of the Lord is irreligion, and anything which leads to the devotional service of the Lord is called religion.
hṛdi kāmo bhruvaḥ krodho
āsyād vāk sindhavo meḍhrān
nirṛtiḥ pāyor aghāśrayaḥ
hṛdi—from the heart; kāmaḥ—lust; bhruvaḥ—from the eyebrows; krodhaḥ—anger; lobhaḥ—greed; ca—also; adhara-dacchadāt—from between the lips; āsyāt—from the mouth; vāk—speaking; sindhavaḥ—the seas; meḍhrāt—from the penis; nirṛtiḥ—low activities; pāyoḥ—from the anus; agha-āśrayaḥ—reservoir of all vices.
Lust and desire became manifested from the heart of Brahmā, anger from between his eyebrows, greed from between his lips, the power of speaking from his mouth, the ocean from his penis, and low and abominable activities from his anus, the source of all sins.
A conditioned soul is under the influence of mental speculation. However great one may be in the estimation of mundane education and learning, he cannot be free from the influence of psychic activities. Therefore it is very difficult to give up lust and the desires for low activities until one is in the line of devotional service to the Lord. When one is frustrated in lust and low desires, anger is generated from the mind and expressed from between the eyebrows. Ordinary men are therefore advised to concentrate the mind by focusing on the place between the eyebrows, whereas the devotees of the Lord are already practiced to place the Supreme Personality of Godhead on the seat of their minds. The theory of becoming desireless is untenable because the mind cannot be made desireless. When it is recommended that one be desireless, it is understood that one should not desire things which are destructive to spiritual values. A devotee of the Lord always has the Lord in his mind, and thus he does not need to be desireless because all his desires are in relationship with the service of the Lord. The power of speaking is called Sarasvatī, or the goddess of learning, and the birthplace of the goddess of learning is the mouth of Brahmā. Even if a man is endowed with the favor of the goddess of learning, it is quite possible for his heart to be full of lust and material desire and his eyebrows to display symptoms of anger. One may be very learned in the mundane estimation, but that does not mean that he is free from all low activities of lust and anger. Good qualifications can be expected only from a pure devotee, who is always engaged in the thought of the Lord, or in samādhi, with faith.
chāyāyāḥ kardamo jajñe
devahūtyāḥ patiḥ prabhuḥ
manaso dehataś cedaṁ
jajñe viśva-kṛto jagat
chāyāyāḥ—by the shadow; kardamaḥ—Kardama Muni; jajñe—became manifested; devahūtyāḥ—of Devahūti; patiḥ—husband; prabhuḥ—the master; manasaḥ—from the mind; dehataḥ—from the body; ca—also; idam—this; jajñe—developed; viśva—the universe; kṛtaḥ—of the creator; jagat—cosmic manifestation.
Sage Kardama, husband of the great Devahūti, was manifested from the shadow of Brahmā. Thus all became manifested from either the body or the mind of Brahmā.
Although one of the three modes of material nature is always prominent, they are never represented unalloyed by one another. Even in the most prominent existence of the two lower qualities, the modes of passion and ignorance, there is sometimes a tinge of the mode of goodness. Therefore all the sons generated from the body or the mind of Brahmā were in the modes of passion and ignorance, but some of them, like Kardama, were born in the mode of goodness. Nārada was born in the transcendental state of Brahmā.
vācaṁ duhitaraṁ tanvīṁ
svayambhūr haratīṁ manaḥ
akāmāṁ cakame kṣattaḥ
sa-kāma iti naḥ śrutam
vācam—Vāk; duhitaram—unto the daughter; tanvīm—born of his body; svayambhūḥ—Brahmā; haratīm—attracting; manaḥ—his mind; akāmām—without being sexually inclined; cakame—desired; kṣattaḥ—O Vidura; sa-kāmaḥ—being sexually inclined; iti—thus; naḥ—we; śrutam—have heard.
O Vidura, we have heard that Brahmā had a daughter named Vāk who was born from his body and who attracted his mind toward sex, although she was not sexually inclined towards him.
Balavān indriya-grāmo vidvāṁsam api karṣati (Bhāg. 9.19.17). It is said that the senses are so mad and strong that they can bewilder even the most sensible and learned man. Therefore it is advised that one should not indulge in living alone even with one’s mother, sister or daughter. Vidvāṁsam api karṣati means that even the most learned also become victims of the sensuous urge. Maitreya hesitated to state this anomaly on the part of Brahmā, who was sexually inclined to his own daughter, but still he mentioned it because sometimes it so happens, and the living example is Brahmā himself, although he is the primeval living being and the most learned within the whole universe. If Brahmā could be a victim of the sexual urge, then what of others, who are prone to so many mundane frailties? This extraordinary immortality on the part of Brahmā was heard to have occurred in some particular kalpa, but it could not have happened in the kalpa in which Brahmā heard directly from the Lord the four essential verses of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam because the Lord blessed Brahmā, after giving him lessons on the Bhāgavatam, that he would never be bewildered in any kalpa whatsoever. This indicates that before the hearing of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam he might have fallen a victim to such sensuality, but after hearing Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam directly from the Lord, there was no possibility of such failures.
One should, however, take serious note of this incident. The human being is a social animal, and his unrestricted mixing with the fair sex leads to downfall. Such social freedom of man and woman, especially among the younger section, is certainly a great stumbling block on the path of spiritual progress. Material bondage is due only to sexual bondage, and therefore unrestricted association of man and woman is surely a great impediment. Maitreya cited this example on the part of Brahmā just to bring to our notice this great danger.
tam adharme kṛta-matiṁ
vilokya pitaraṁ sutāḥ
tam—unto him; adharme—in the matter of immortality; kṛta-matim—the mind being so given; vilokya—seeing thus; pitaram—unto the father; sutāḥ—sons; marīci-mukhyāḥ—headed by Marīci; munayaḥ—sages; viśrambhāt—with due respect; pratyabodhayan—submitted as follows.
Thus, finding their father so deluded in an act of immorality, the sages headed by Marīci, all sons of Brahmā, spoke as follows with great respect.
The sages like Marīci were not in the wrong in submitting their protests against the acts of their great father. They knew very well that even though their father committed a mistake, there must have been some great purpose behind the show, otherwise such a great personality could not have committed such a mistake. It might be that Brahmā wanted to warn his subordinates about human frailties in their dealings with women. This is always very dangerous for persons who are on the path of self-realization. Therefore, great personalities like Brahmā, even when in the wrong, should not be neglected, nor could the great sages headed by Marīci show any disrespect because of his extraordinary behavior.
naitat pūrvaiḥ kṛtaṁ tvad ye
na kariṣyanti cāpare
yas tvaṁ duhitaraṁ gaccher
na—never; etat—such a thing; pūrvaiḥ—by any other Brahmā, or yourself in any previous ka[la; kṛtam—performed; tvat—by you; ye—that which; na—nor; kariṣyanti—will do; ca—also; apare—anyone else; yaḥ—that which; tvam—you; duhitaram—unto the daughter; gaccheḥ—would do; anigṛhya—without controlling; aṅgajam—sex desire; prabhuḥ—O father.
O father, this performance in which you are endeavoring to complicate yourself was never attempted by any other Brahmā, nor by anyone else, nor by you in previous kalpas, nor will anyone dare to attempt it in the future. You are the supreme being in the universe, so how is it that you want to have sex with your daughter and cannot control your desire?
The post of Brahmā is the supermost post in the universe, and it appears that there are many Brahmās and many universes besides the one in which we are situated. One who fills this post must be ideal in behavior, for Brahmā sets the example for all living entities. Brahmā, the living entity who is the most pious and spiritually elevated, is entrusted with a post next to that of the Personality of Godhead.
tejīyasām api hy etan
na suślokyaṁ jagad-guro
yad-vṛttam anutiṣṭhan vai
lokaḥ kṣemāya kalpate
tejīyasām—of the most powerful; api—also; hi—certainly; etat—such an act; na—not suitable; su-ślokyam—good behavior; jagat-guro—O spiritual master of the universe; yat—whose; vṛttam—character; anutiṣṭhan—following; vai—certainly; lokaḥ—the world; kṣemāya—for prosperity; kalpate—becomes eligible.
Even though you are the most powerful being, this act does not suit you because your character is followed for spiritual improvement by people in general.
It is said that a supremely powerful living entity can do anything and everything he likes and such acts do not affect him in any way. For example, the sun, the most powerful fiery planet in the universe, can evaporate water from anywhere and still remain as powerful. The sun evaporates water from filthy places and yet is not infected with the quality of the filth. Similarly, Brahmā remains unimpeachable in all conditions. But still, since he is the spiritual master of all living entities, his behavior and character should be so ideal that people will follow such sublime behavior and derive the highest spiritual benefit. Therefore, he should not have acted as he did.
tasmai namo bhagavate
ya idaṁ svena rociṣā
ātma-sthaṁ vyañjayām āsa
sa dharmaṁ pātum arhati
tasmai—unto Him; namaḥ—obeisances; bhagavate—unto the Personality of Godhead; yaḥ—who; idam—this; svena—by His own; rociṣā—effulgence; ātma-stham—situated in Himself; vyañjayām āsa—has manifested; saḥ—He; dharmam—religion; pātum—for protection; arhati—may kindly do so.
Let us offer our respectful obeisances unto the Personality of Godhead, who, by His own effulgence, while situated in Himself, has manifested this cosmos. May He also protect religion for all goodness.
Lust for sexual intercourse is so strong that it appears herein that Brahmā could not be dissuaded from his determination in spite of the appeal by his great sons like Marīci. Therefore, the great sons began to pray to the Supreme Lord for the good sense of Brahmā. It is only by the grace of the Supreme Lord that one can be protected from the allurement of lusty material desires. The Lord gives protection to devotees who are always engaged in His transcendental loving service, and by His causeless mercy He forgives the accidental fall of a devotee. Therefore, sages like Marīci prayed for the mercy of the Lord, and their prayer was fruitful.
sa itthaṁ gṛṇataḥ putrān
puro dṛṣṭvā prajāpatīn
tatyāja vrīḍitas tadā
tāṁ diśo jagṛhur ghorāṁ
nīhāraṁ yad vidus tamaḥ
saḥ—he (Brahmā); ittham—thus; gṛṇataḥ—speaking; putrān—sons; puraḥ—before; dṛṣṭvā—seeing; prajā-patīn—all the progenitors of living entities; prajāpati-patiḥ—the father of them (Brahmā); tanvam—body; tatyāja—quit; vrīḍitaḥ—ashamed; tadā—at that time; tām—that body; diśaḥ—all directions; jagṛhuḥ—accepted; ghorām—blamable; nīhāram—fog; yat—which; viduḥ—they know as; tamaḥ—darkness.
The father of all Prajāpatis, Brahmā, thus seeing all his Prajāpati sons speaking in that way, became very much ashamed and at once gave up the body he had accepted. Later that body appeared in all directions as the dangerous fog in darkness.
The best way to compensate for one’s sinful acts is to give up one’s body at once, and Brahmā, the leader of the living entities, showed this by his personal example. Brahmā has a fabulous duration of life, but he was obliged to give up his body due to his grievous sin, even though he had merely contemplated it in his mind without having actually done it.
This is a lesson for the living entities, showing how sinful an act it is to indulge in unrestricted sex life. Even to think of abominable sex life is sinful, and to compensate for such acts, one has to give up his body. In other words, one’s duration of life, blessings, opulence, etc., are decreased by sinful acts, and the most dangerous type of sinful act is unrestricted sex.
Ignorance is the cause of sinful life, or sinful life is the cause of gross ignorance. The feature of ignorance is darkness or fog. Darkness or fog still covers the whole universe, and the sun is the only counteracting principle. One who takes shelter of the Lord, the perpetual light, has no fear of being annihilated in the darkness of fog or ignorance.
kadācid dhyāyataḥ sraṣṭur
vedā āsaṁś catur-mukhāt
kathaṁ srakṣyāmy ahaṁ lokān
samavetān yathā purā
kadācit—once upon a time; dhyāyataḥ—while contemplating; sraṣṭuḥ—of Brahmā; vedāḥ—the Vedic literature; āsan—became manifested; catuḥ-mukhāt—from the four mouths; katham srakṣyāmi—how shall I create; aham—myself; lokān—all these worlds; samavetān—assembled; yathā—as they were; purā—in the past.
Once upon a time, when Brahmā was thinking of how to create the worlds as in the past millennium, the four Vedas, which contain all varieties of knowledge, became manifested from his four mouths.
As a fire can consume anything and everything without being contaminated, so, by the grace of the Lord, the fire of Brahmā’s greatness consumed his desire for the sinful act of sex with his daughter. The Vedas are the source of all knowledge, and they were first revealed to Brahmā by the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead while Brahmā was thinking of re-creating the material world. Brahmā is powerful by dint of his devotional service unto the Lord, and the Lord is always ready to forgive His devotee if by chance he falls down from the noble path of devotional service. The Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (11.5.42) confirms this as follows:
“Any person who is engaged one hundred percent in the transcendental loving service of the Lord, at His lotus feet, is very dear to the Personality of Godhead Hari, and the Lord, being situated in the heart of the devotee, excuses all kinds of sins committed by chance.” It was never expected that a great personality like Brahmā would ever think of sex indulgence with his daughter. The example shown by Brahmā only suggests that the power of material nature is so strong that it can act upon everyone, even Brahmā. Brahmā was saved by the mercy of the Lord with a little punishment, but by the grace of the Lord he did not lose his prestige as the great Brahmā.
dharmasya pādāś catvāras
cātuḥ—four; hotram—paraphernalia for sacrifice; karma—action; tantram—expansions of such activities; upaveda—supplementary to the Vedas; nayaiḥ—by logical conclusions; saha—along with; dharmasya—of religiosity; pādāḥ—principles; catvāraḥ—four; tathā eva—in the same way; āśrama—social orders; vṛttayaḥ—occupations.
The four kinds of paraphernalia for conducting the fire sacrifice became manifest: the performer [the chanter], the offerer, the fire, and the action performed in terms of the supplementary Vedas. Also the four principles of religiosity [truth, austerity, mercy and cleanliness] and the duties in the four social orders all became manifest.
Eating, sleeping, defending and mating are the four principles of material bodily demands which are common to both the animals and human society. To distinguish human society from the animals there is the performance of religious activities in terms of the social statuses and orders of life. They are all clearly mentioned in the Vedic literatures and were manifested by Brahmā when the four Vedas were generated from his four mouths. Thus the duties of humankind in terms of the statuses and social orders were established to be observed by the civilized man. Those who traditionally follow these principles are called Āryans, or progressive human beings.
sa vai viśva-sṛjām īśo
vedādīn mukhato ’sṛjat
yad yad yenāsṛjad devas
tan me brūhi tapo-dhana
viduraḥ uvāca—Vidura said; saḥ—he (Brahmā); vai—certainly; viśva—the universe; sṛjām—of those who created; īśaḥ—the controller; veda-ādīn—the Vedas, etc.; mukhataḥ—from the mouth; asṛjat—established; yat—that; yat—which; yena—by which; asṛjat—created; devaḥ—the god; tat—that; me—unto me; brūhi—please explain; tapaḥ-dhana—O sage whose only wealth is penance.
Vidura said: O great sage whose only wealth is penance, kindly explain to me how and with whose help Brahmā established the Vedic knowledge which emanated from his mouth.
vedān pūrvādibhir mukhaiḥ
śāstram ijyāṁ stuti-stomaṁ
prāyaścittaṁ vyadhāt kramāt
maitreyaḥ uvāca—Maitreya said; ṛk-yajuḥ-sāma-atharva—the four Vedas; ākhyān—of the name; vedān—Vedic literatures; pūrva-ādibhiḥ—beginning with the front; mukhaiḥ—by the mouths; śāstram—Vedic hymns not pronounced before; ijyām—priestly rituals; stuti-stomam—the subject matter of the reciters; prāyaścittam—transcendental activities; vyadhāt—established; kramāt—one after another.
Maitreya said: Beginning from the front face of Brahmā, gradually the four Vedas—Ṛk, Yajur, Sāma and Atharva—became manifest. Thereafter, Vedic hymns which had not been pronounced before, priestly rituals, the subject matters of the recitation, and transcendental activities were all established, one after another.
gāndharvaṁ vedam ātmanaḥ
sthāpatyaṁ cāsṛjad vedaṁ
kramāt pūrvādibhir mukhaiḥ
āyuḥ-vedam—medical science; dhanuḥ-vedam—military science; gāndharvam—musical art; vedam—they are all Vedic knowledge; ātmanaḥ—of his own; sthāpatyam—architectural; ca—also; asṛjat—created; vedam—knowledge; kramāt—respectively; pūrva-ādibhiḥ—beginning from the front face; mukhaiḥ—by the mouths.
He also created the medical science, military art, musical art and architectural science, all from the Vedas. They all emanated one after another, beginning from the front face.
The Vedas contain perfect knowledge, which includes all kinds of knowledge for the human society, not only on this particular planet but on other planets as well. It is understood that military art is also necessary knowledge for the upkeep of social order, as is the art of music. All these groups of knowledge are called the Upapurāṇa, or supplements of the Vedas. Spiritual knowledge is the main topic of the Vedas, but to help the human being’s spiritual pursuit of knowledge, the other information, as above mentioned, forms necessary branches of the Vedic knowledge.
pañcamaṁ vedam īśvaraḥ
sarvebhya eva vaktrebhyaḥ
itihāsa—histories; purāṇāni—the Purāṇas (supplementary Vedas); pañcamam—the fifth; vedam—the Vedic literature; īśvaraḥ—the Lord; sarvebhyaḥ—all together; eva—certainly; vaktrebhyaḥ—from his mouths; sasṛje—created; sarva—all around; darśanaḥ—one who can see all time.
Then he created the fifth Veda—the Purāṇas and the histories—from all his mouths, since he could see all the past, present and future.
There are histories of particular countries and nations and of the world, but the Purāṇas are the histories of the universe, not only in one millennium, but in many kalpas. Brahmā has knowledge of those historical facts, and therefore all the purāṇas are histories. As originally composed by Brahmā, they are part of the Vedas and are called the fifth Veda.
ṣoḍaśī-ukthau—types of sacrifice; pūrva-vaktrāt—from the eastern mouth; purīṣi-agniṣṭutau—types of sacrifice; atha—then; āptoryāma-atirātrau—types of sacrifice; ca—and; vājapeyam—type of sacrifice; sa-gosavam—type of sacrifice.
All the different varieties of fire sacrifices [ṣoḍaśī, uktha, purīṣi, agniṣṭoma, āptoryāma, atirātra, vājapeya and gosava] became manifested from the eastern mouth of Brahmā.
vidyā dānaṁ tapaḥ satyaṁ
dharmasyeti padāni ca
āśramāṁś ca yathā-saṅkhyam
asṛjat saha vṛttibhiḥ
vidyā—education; dānam—charity; tapaḥ—penance; satyam—truth; dharmasya—of religion; iti—thus; padāni—four legs; ca—also; āśramān—orders of life; ca—also; yathā—as they are; saṅkhyam—in number; asṛjat—created; saha—along with; vṛttibhiḥ—by vocations.
Education, charity, penance and truth are said to be the four legs of religion, and to learn this there are four orders of life with different classifications of castes according to vocation. Brahmā created all these in systematic order.
The nucleus of the four social orders—brahmacarya, or student life, gṛhastha, or householder family life, vānaprastha, or retired life for practicing penance, and sannyāsa, or renounced life for preaching the truth—is the four legs of religion. The vocational divisions are the brāhmaṇas, or the intelligent class, the kṣatriyas, or administrative class, the vaiśyas, or mercantile productive class, and the śūdras, or general laborer class who have no specific qualifications. All were systematically planned and created by Brahmā for the regular promotion of self-realization. Student life is meant for acquiring the best education; household family life is meant for gratifying the senses, provided it is performed with a charitable disposition of mind, retirement from household life is meant for penance, for advancement in spiritual life, and renounced life is meant for preaching the Absolute Truth to the people in general. The combined actions of all members of society make the whole situation favorable for the upliftment of the mission of human life. The beginning of this social institution is based on education meant for purifying the animal propensities of the human being. The highest purificatory process is knowledge of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the purest of the pure.
sāvitraṁ prājāpatyaṁ ca
brāhmaṁ cātha bṛhat tathā
śiloñcha iti vai gṛhe
sāvitram—the thread ceremony of the twice-born; prājāpatyam—to execute the vow for one year; ca—and; brāhmam—acceptance of the Vedas; ca—and; atha—also; bṛhat—complete abstinence from sex life; tathā—then; vārtā—vocation in terms of Vedic sanction; sañcaya—professional duty; śālīna—livelihood without asking anyone for cooperation; śila-uñchaḥ—picking up rejected grains; iti—thus; vai—even though; gṛhe—in household life.
Then the thread ceremony for the twice-born was inaugurated, as were the rules to be followed for at least one year after acceptance of the Vedas, rules for observing complete abstinence from sex life, vocations in terms of Vedic injunctions, various professional duties in household life, and the method of maintaining a livelihood without anyone’s cooperation by picking up rejected grains.
During student life the brahmacārīs were given full instructions about the importance of the human form of life. Thus the basic education was designed to encourage the student in becoming free from family encumbrances. Only students unable to accept such a vow in life were allowed to go home and marry a suitable wife. Otherwise, the student would remain a permanent brahmacārī, observing complete abstinence from sex life for his whole life. It all depended on the quality of the student’s training. We had the opportunity to meet an avowed brahmacārī in the personality of our spiritual master, Oṁ Viṣṇupāda Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktisiddhānta Gosvāmī Mahārāja. Such a great soul is called a naiṣṭhika-brahmacārī.
dumbarāḥ phenapā vane
nyāse kuṭīcakaḥ pūrvaṁ
vaikhānasāḥ—the section of men who retire from active life and live on half-boiled meals; vālakhilya—one who quits his former stock of grains on receipt of more; audumbarāḥ—one who lives on what he gets from the direction towards which he starts after rising from bed; phenapāḥ—one who lives on the fruits which automatically fall from the tree; vane—in the forest; nyāse—in the order of renunciation; kuṭīcakaḥ—life in the family without attachment; pūrvam—in the beginning; bahvodaḥ—giving up all material activities and engaging fully in transcendental service; haṁsa—fully engaged in transcendental knowledge; niṣkriyau—stopping all kinds of activities.
The four divisions of retired life are the vaikhānasas, vālakhilyas, audumbaras and phenapas. The four divisions of the renounced order of life are the kuṭīcakas, bahvodas, haṁsas and niṣkriyas. All these were manifested from Brahmā.
The varṇāśrama-dharma, or the institution of the four divisions and orders of social and spiritual life, is not a new invention of the modern age, as proposed by the less intelligent. It is an institution established by Brahmā from the beginning of the creation. This is also confirmed in the Bhagavad-gītā (4.13): cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭam.
ānvīkṣikī trayī vārtā
daṇḍa-nītis tathaiva ca
evaṁ vyāhṛtayaś cāsan
praṇavo hy asya dahrataḥ
ānvīkṣikī—logic; trayī—the three goals, namely religion, economy and salvation; vārtā—sense gratification; daṇḍa—law and order; nītiḥ—moral codes; tathā—as also; eva ca—respectively; evam—thus; vyāhṛtayaḥ—the celebrated hymns bhūḥ, bhuvaḥ and svaḥ; ca—also; āsan—came into existence; praṇavaḥ—the oṁkāra; hi—certainly; asya—of him (Brahmā); dahrataḥ—from the heart.
The science of logical argument, the Vedic goals of life, and also law and order, moral codes, and the celebrated hymns bhūḥ, bhuvaḥ and svaḥ all became manifested from the mouths of Brahmā, and the praṇava oṁkāra was manifested from his heart.
tasyoṣṇig āsīl lomabhyo
gāyatrī ca tvaco vibhoḥ
triṣṭum māṁsāt snuto ’nuṣṭub
jagaty asthnaḥ prajāpateḥ
tasya—his; uṣṇik—one of the Vedic meters; āsīt—generated; lomabhyaḥ—from the hairs on the body; gāyatrī—the principal Vedic hymn; ca—also; tvacaḥ—from the skin; vibhoḥ—of the Lord; triṣṭup—a particular type of poetic meter; māṁsāt—from the flesh; snutaḥ—from the sinews; anuṣṭup—another type of poetic meter; jagatī—another type of poetic meter; asthnaḥ—from the bones; prajāpateḥ—of the father of the living entities.
Thereafter the art of literary expression, uṣṇik, was generated from the hairs on the body of the almighty Prajāpati. The principal Vedic hymn, gāyatrī, was generated from the skin, triṣṭup from the flesh, anuṣṭup from the veins, and jagatī from the bones of the lord of the living entities.
majjāyāḥ paṅktir utpannā
bṛhatī prāṇato ’bhavat
majjāyāḥ—from the bone marrow; paṅktiḥ—a particular type of verse; utpannā—became manifested; bṛhatī—another type of verse; prāṇataḥ—out of the life-breathing; abhavat—generated.
The art of writing verse, paṅkti, became manifested from the bone marrow, and that of bṛhatī, another type of verse, was generated from the life-breath of the Lord of the living entities.
sparśas tasyābhavaj jīvaḥ
svaro deha udāhṛta
ūṣmāṇam indriyāṇy āhur
antaḥ-sthā balam ātmanaḥ
svarāḥ sapta vihāreṇa
bhavanti sma prajāpateḥ
sparśaḥ—the set of letters from ka to ma; tasya—his; abhavat—became; jīvaḥ—the soul; svaraḥ—vowels; dehaḥ—his body; udāhṛtaḥ—are expressed; ūṣmāṇam—the letters śa, ṣa, sa and ha; indriyāṇi—the senses; āhuḥ—are called; antaḥ-sthāḥ—the set of letters so known (ya, ra, la and va); balam—energy; ātmanaḥ—of his self; svarāḥ—music; sapta—seven; vihāreṇa—by the sensual activities; bhavanti sma—became manifested; prajāpateḥ—of the lord of the living entities.
Brahmā’s soul was manifested as the touch alphabets, his body as the vowels, his senses as the sibilant alphabets, his strength as the intermediate alphabets and his sensual activities as the seven notes of music.
In Sanskrit there are thirteen vowels and thirty-five consonants. The vowels are a, ā, i, ī, u, ū, ṛ, ṝ, ḷ, e, ai, o, au, and the consonants are ka, kha, ga, gha, etc. Amongst the consonants, the first twenty-five letters are called the sparśas. There are also four antaḥ-sthas. Of the ūṣmas there are three s’s, called tālavya, mūrdhanya and dantya. The musical notes are ṣa, ṛ, gā, ma, dha, and ni. All these sound vibrations are originally called śabda-brahma, or spiritual sound. It is said, therefore, that Brahmā was created in the Mahā-kalpa as the incarnation of spiritual sound. The Vedas are spiritual sound, and therefore there is no need of material interpretation as they are, although they are symbolically represented with letters which are known to us materially. In the ultimate issue there is nothing material because everything has its origin in the spiritual world. The material manifestation is therefore called illusion in the proper sense of the term. For those who are realized souls there is nothing but spirit.
śabda-brahma—transcendental sound; ātmanaḥ—of the Supreme Lord; tasya—His; vyakta—manifested; avyakta-ātmanaḥ—of the unmanifested; paraḥ—transcendental; brahmā—the Absolute; avabhāti—completely manifested; vitataḥ—distributing; nānā—multifarious; śakti—energies; upabṛṁhitaḥ—invested with.
Brahmā is the personal representation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead as the source of transcendental sound and is therefore above the conception of manifested and unmanifested. Brahmā is the complete form of the Absolute Truth and is invested with multifarious energies.
The post of Brahmā is the highest responsible post within the universe, and it is offered to the most perfect personality of the universe. Sometimes the Supreme Personality of Godhead has to become Brahmā when there is no suitable living being to occupy the post. In the material world, Brahmā is the complete representation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and transcendental sound, praṇava, comes from him. He is therefore invested with multifarious energies, from which all the demigods like Indra, Candra and Varuṇa are manifested. His transcendental value is not to be minimized, even though he exhibited a tendency to enjoy his own daughter. There is a purpose for the exhibition of such a tendency by Brahmā, and he is not to be condemned like an ordinary living entity.
tato ’parām upādāya
sa sargāya mano dadhe
tataḥ—thereafter; aparām—another; upādāya—having accepted; saḥ—he; sargāya—in the matter of creation; manaḥ—mind; dadhe— gave attention.
Thereafter Brahmā accepted another body, in which sex life was not forbidden, and thus he engaged himself in the matter of further creation.
In his former body, which was transcendental, affection for sex life was forbidden, and Brahmā therefore had to accept another body to allow himself to be connected with sex. He thus engaged himself in the matter of creation. His former body transformed into fog, as previously described.
api sargam avistṛtam
jñātvā tad dhṛdaye bhūyaś
cintayām āsa kaurava
ṛṣīṇām—of the great sages; bhūri-vīryāṇām—with great potential power; api—in spite of; sargam—the creation; avistṛtam—not extended; jñātvā—knowing; tat—that; hṛdaye—in his heart; bhūyaḥ—again; cintayām āsa—he began to consider; kaurava—O son of the Kurus.
O son of the Kurus, when Brahmā saw that in spite of the presence of sages of great potency there was no sufficient increase in population, he seriously began to consider how the population could be increased.
aho adbhutam etan me
na hy edhante prajā nūnaṁ
daivam atra vighātakam
aho—alas; adbhutam—it is wonderful; etat—this; me—for me; vyāpṛtasya—being busy; api—although; nityadā—always; na—does not; hi—certainly; edhante—generate; prajāḥ—living entities; nūnam—however; daivam—destiny; atra—herein; vighātakam—against.
Brahmā thought to himself: Alas, it is wonderful that in spite of my being scattered all over, there is still insufficient population throughout the universe. There is no other cause for this misfortune but destiny.
evaṁ yukta-kṛtas tasya
daivaṁ cāvekṣatas tadā
kasya rūpam abhūd dvedhā
yat kāyam abhicakṣate
evam—thus; yukta—contemplating; kṛtaḥ—while doing so; tasya—his; daivam—supernatural power; ca—also; avekṣataḥ—observing; tadā—at that time; kasya—of Brahmā; rūpam—form; abhūt—became manifested; dvedhā—twofold; yat—which is; kāyam—his body; abhicakṣate—is said to be.
While he was thus absorbed in contemplation and was observing the supernatural power, two other forms were generated from his body. They are still celebrated as the body of Brahmā.
Two bodies came out from the body of Brahmā. One had a mustache, and the other had swollen breasts. No one can explain the source of their manifestation, and therefore until today they are known as the kāyam, or the body of Brahmā, with no indication of their relationship as his son or daughter.
tābhyām—of them; rūpa—form; vibhāgābhyām—thus being divided; mithunam—sex relation; samapadyata—perfectly executed.
The two newly separated bodies united together in a sexual relationship.
yas tu tatra pumān so ’bhūn
manuḥ svāyambhuvaḥ svarāṭ
strī yāsīc chatarūpākhyā
mahiṣy asya mahātmanaḥ
yaḥ—one who; tu—but; tatra—there; pumān—the male; saḥ—he; abhūt—became; manuḥ—the father of mankind; svāyambhuvaḥ—of the name Svāyambhuva; sva-rāṭ—fully independent; strī—the woman; yā—one who; āsīt—there was; śatarūpā—of the name Śatarūpā; ākhyā—known as; mahiṣī—the queen; asya—of him; mahātmanaḥ— the great soul.
Out of them, the one who had the male form became known as the Manu named Svāyambhuva, and the woman became known as Śatarūpā, the queen of the great soul Manu.
prajā hy edhām babhūvire
tadā—at that time; mithuna—sex life; dharmeṇa—according to regulative principles; prajāḥ—generations; hi—certainly; edhām—increased; babhūvire—took place.
Thereafter, by sex indulgence, they gradually increased generations of population one after another.
sa cāpi śatarūpāyāṁ
tisraḥ kanyāś ca bhārata
ākūtir devahūtiś ca
prasūtir iti sattama
saḥ—he (Manu); ca—also; api—in due course; śatarūpāyām—unto Śatarūpā; pañca—five; apatyāni—children; ajījanat—begot; priyavrata—Priyavrata; uttānapādau—Uttānapāda; tisraḥ—three in number; kanyāḥ—daughters; ca—also; bhārata—O son of Bharata; ākūtiḥ—Ākūti; devahūtiḥ—Devahūti; ca—and; prasūtiḥ—Prasūti; iti—thus; sattama—O best of all.
O son of Bharata, in due course of time he [Manu] begot in Śatarūpā five children—two sons, Priyavrata and Uttānapāda, and three daughters, Ākūti, Devahūti and Prasūti.
ākūtiṁ rucaye prādāt
kardamāya tu madhyamām
dakṣāyādāt prasūtiṁ ca
yata āpūritaṁ jagat
ākūtim—the daughter named Ākūti; rucaye—unto the sage Ruci; prādāt—handed over; kardamāya—unto the sage Kardama; tu—but; madhyamām—the middle one (Devahūti); dakṣāya—unto Dakṣa; adāt—handed over; prasūtim—the youngest daughter; ca—also; yataḥ—wherefrom; āpūritam—is fulfilled; jagat—the whole world.
The father, Manu, handed over his first daughter, Ākūti, to the sage Ruci, the middle daughter, Devahūti, to the sage Kardama, and the youngest, Prasūti, to Dakṣa. From them, all the world filled with population.
The history of the creation of the population of the universe is given herewith. Brahmā is the original living creature in the universe, from whom were generated the Manu Svāyambhuva and his wife Śatarūpā. From Manu, two sons and three daughters were born, and from them all the population in different planets has sprung up until now. Therefore, Brahmā is known as the grandfather of everyone, and the Personality of Godhead, being the father of Brahmā, is known as the great-grandfather of all living beings. This is confirmed in Bhagavad-gītā (11.39) as follows:
“You are the Lord of air, the supreme justice Yama, the fire, and the Lord of rains. You are the moon, and You are the great-grandfather. Therefore I offer my respectful obeisances unto You again and again.”
Thus end the Bhaktivedanta purports of the Third Canto, Twelfth Chapter, of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, entitled “Creation of the Kumāras and Others.”
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