Discourse between Suta and Saunaka and other Rishis in the forest of Naimisha – Suta promises to narrate the Garuda Puranam ||1||
1I Salute the One Supreme, without birth, decay or end, identical with knowledge, great, auspicious free from impurities, without beginning, devoid of elemental body and actions, stationed in all creatures, Hari, freed from impurity and illusion and present everywhere.
2With mind, speech and actions I do always salute Hari, Rudra, Brahma, the lord of Ganas and the goddess Sarasvati
3-4Having adored and lauded the poet Suta, well-versed in Puranas, of a quiet nature, the master of all scriptures, devoted to Vishnu and high-souled when he came to the forest of Naimisha while making a pilgrimage to sacred shrines and seated on a holy seat was meditating on the sinless Vishnu.
5The great rishis, Saunaka and others, dwelling in the forest of Naimisi, having asceticism for their wealth, of quiescent souls, effulgent like the sun and ever engaged in the celebration of sacrifices, said.
6The Rishis said – O Suta, thou art informed of everything and therefore we ask you – “Amongst the celestials who is Isvara and who is worthy of adorations? Who should be meditated on?
7-8Who is the creator of the universe? Who protects it and who destroys it? From whom proceeds religion? Who suppresses the wicked? With what vowed observances is he pleased? By what yoga can he be obtained?
9What are his incarnations and what is his family? Who has instituted the various castes and orders and who protects them?
10O Suta, O thou of great intellect, do thou describe unto us, all this and everything else, the most excellent themes about Narayana.
11Suta said: -I will describe the Garuda Purana, the essence of all accounts relating to Vishnu. Formerly Garuda described it to Kasyapa and I myself had heard it from Vyasa.
12The Lord Narayana alone is the lord of all the lords of the deities, the great soul and the great Brahma; from him proceeds birth etc.
13For the protection of the universe Vasudeva, without birth and death, assumes various incarnations by his body, namely that of Koumara and others.
14Having undertaken the incarnation of Koumara and lived in the celestial region the first deity Hari, out any break.
15Secondly having assumed the Boar-form the lord of sacrifices, for the general well-being, released and held up the earth sunk deep under the nether region:
16Thirdly for the creation of the Rishis, he, assuming the form of a Brahma Rishis, performed Sattvik (pervaded by the quality of goodness) actions from Which alone proceed desireless actions.
17Then for protecting righteousness, Hari, assuming the form of Nara-Narayana, practiced hard penances. He was then adored by the celestials and Asuras.
18His fifth incarnation was Kapila, the lord of Siddhas who expounded unto the celestials the Sankhya , which ascertains the Tattvas or elementary particles which had been lost in time.
19In his sixth incarnation he was born as the son of Atri and communicated, to Alarka, Purahlada and others, the knowledge of Anvshyiki (metaphysics) obtained by him from Anasuya.
20His seventh incarnation, in the Svayambhuva Manvantara, was Yajna, the will begotten child of Akuti, who performed sacrifices in the company of the celestials.
21In his eighth incarnation be was born as the powerful son of Nabhi from Merudevya. Adored of all the orders he pointed out to men the real road.
22Solicited by Rishis he assumed the body of Prithu as his ninth incarnation and the Brahmanas and other creatures were revived by him with the milk of herbs.
23When the Earth was submerged under water in the end of the Cakshusha Manvantara he assumed the form of a Fish and saved the Manu Vaivasvata by placing him on a boat.
24In his eleventh incarnation the Lord, in the shape of a tortoise, held on his back the mount Mandara with which the celestials and Asuras churned the ocean.
25In his twelfth creation as well as in the thirteenth in the form of a woman he stupefied the Asuras and pleased the celestials.
26Assuming the form of a man-lion in his fourteenth incarnation he subdued the Daitya chief by setting his entrails with the fierce claws.
27Assuming the form of a dwarf in his fifteenth incarnation he went to the Sacrifice of Bali and praying for room for his three feet obtained it.
28Beholding the kings aggrandize the Brahmanas in his sixteenth incarnation, he, filled with anger, divested the earth of the Kshatriyas for twenty-one times.
29In his seventeenth incarnation he was begotten on Satyavati by Parasara (as Veda Vyasa); and seeing the feeble intellect of the people he divided the Vedas.
30Then for accomplishing the work of the celestials he was born as a king (Rama), built a bridge over the ocean and performed other feats.
31In his nineteenth and twentieth incarnations the Lord was born as Rama and Krishna and relieved the earth of her burden.
32Then at the junction of the Kali Yuga, for stupefying the enemies of the celestials he was born as Buddha, the son of Jina.
33In the period of the eighth junction (change of cycles), when all the kings will be on the verge of destruction (change of cycles), when all the kings will be on the verge of destruction, he will be born as Vishnujasa’s son Kalki, the lord of the world.
34Innumerable are the incarnation of Hari, the mine of Sattva, O twice-born ones. The prime Manus, the knowers of the Vedas, are all said to have originated from Vishnu.
35From them proceeded the work of creation. And they should be adored with vowed observances and other rites. This Garuda Purana consisting of eight thousand and eight hundred verses Vyasa formerly narrated to me.