On Yuga Dharma ||223||
1O Vyasa, the holy sages have devoutly practised the pieties I have narrated; those, who propitiate the divine Vishnu, live in comfort and happiness.
2By performing Japas, Homas, and Sandhyas, one acquires (is merged in) Vishnu, the granter of virtues, wealth, creature-comforts and emancipation.
3Vishnu is virtue, Vishnu is vow, Vishnu is worship; Vishnu is Tarpanam. He is Homa, Sandhya, meditation and psychic trance.
4Suta said: -O Saunaka, now hear for me describe the dissolution of the universe (Pralayam). A thousand of each of the four Yugas make one Kalpa, which in its turn, constitutes one day of the lotus sprung deity.
5Now hear me narrate the rules of conduct and life, etc., which respectively obtained in the said four Yugas. Virtue reigned unimpaired with its four feet of truthfulness, charity, penance of mercy in the cycle of Satyam (truth).
6The protector of virtue was (Sveta) white complexioned Hari. Men were contented and erudite in that age, and the duration of human life was four thousand years.
7At the close of Satya Yuga, Kshatriyas of the twice born order conquered the Brahmanas, Vaisyas and Sudras; and the valarous Vishnu of mighty prowess killed many Rakshasas.
8In the Treta Yuga, virtue was robbed of one of its limbs, and was composed of the three factors of truthfulness, charity and compassion. Men were devoted to the performances of religious of religious sacrifices; and the earth was peopled by men of kshatriya extraction in that cycle of Treta.
9The red-complexioned Hari was worship-ped by the people of that age, and the donation of human life was one thousand years. Bhimaratha of Kshatriya extraction, who was an incarnation of Vishnu, killed many Rakshasas in the Treta Yuga.
10In the cycle of Dvapara, when the yellow complexioned Acyuta was the protector of virtues, the duration of human life was fourteen hundred years, and men born of Brahmana and Kshatriya parents peopled the earth.
11-12The god Vishnu, incarnate in the shape of the holy Vyasa, considering the smallness of human intellect (comparative dullness of human memory) at the time, divided, the Veda into four parts, and taught them to his own disciples in the following order, viz, he taught the Rigveda to Paila; the Sama Veda, to Jaimini.
13The Atharvan, to Sumanta; and the Yajur Veda, to Mahamuni. To Vaisampayana he taught the Purana; and the eighteen Puranam, to Suta, by reading which one is embedded to know the god Hari.
14A Puranam, treats, of five topics such as, the creation of the universe (Sarga), dissolution, of the universe (Pratisarga), genealogies, of kings, specific traits of the different cycles of time as represented, by the different Lawgivers, and the annals of royal progeny.
15-16The eighteen Maha (great) Puranas are the Brahmam, Padmam, Vaishnavam, Saivam, Bhagavatam, Bhavishyam, Naradiyam, Skandam, Laingam, Varahakam, Markandeyam, Agneyam, Brahma-Vaivartam, Kaurmam, Matsyam, Garudam, and Brahmandam Puranas.
17The other minor Puranas, narrated by the holy sages, are the Santa-kumaram, Narsiritham Puranam.
18-20Skandam, as narrated. by the god Kumara, Siva-Dharmaksham, directly narrated, by Nandisa, the Puranam of wonderful incidents narrated by the holy Durvasa, the one narrated by the holy Na!ada, the Kapilam, the Vamanam, the one related by the holy Usana, the Brahmandam, the Varunam, the Kalika, the Mahesvaram, the Sambam, the Sarvartha Sancayam, the one narrated by Parasara, the Maricam, and the Bhargavam Puranas.
21The Puranam, the Dharma Sastras (Codes of Moral Laws), the Vedas with their six kindred branches of study such as the Nyaya (Logic), Mimarilsa (Exegetic philosophy) Ayurveda (Medical Science) Artha Shastras (Science of Wealth), Gandharva (Science of Music) and Dhanurveda (Science of War), these are the eighteen branches of knowledge.
22At the close of the cycle of Dvaparam, the god Hari removed the burden of the world by killing the evil-souled Kshatriyas. In the age of Kali when the god Acyuta will assume a black complexion, the virtue will suffer a great mutilation and make out a miserable existence standing on one leg only.
23Men will be cruel miscreant in that Yuga Sattva (principle of illumination or knowledge) Rajas (principle of action) and Tamas (principle of Nescience) are the three qualities that are usually found in men. Even these qualities, o Saunaka, vary in proportions in the self of a man, augmented by the spirit of the age he lives in.
24The age in which the quality of Sattva abounds in the mind, intellect, and sense organs of men, and in which they feel an irresistible inclination to practise charity and penances-known that age, O Saunaka, to be the Satyam Yuga.
25When men are found to energetically pursue undertakings that lead to fame or bring about the fruitions of desires, and when the mind intellect and sense-organs of men abound in quality of Rajas, know then, 0 Saunaka, that the Treta Yuga (of tripped virtue) has set in.
26The age in which men are found to energetically follow pursuits of gain or desire, and in which greed, discontent, pride, envy and egotistic feelings assail the minds of men, and in which the qualities of Tamas and Rajas suffer an unhealthy augmentation in the temperaments of beings-know that, O Saunaka, to be the age of Dvaparam (of biped virtue).
27The age in which untruthfulness, sleep, drowsiness (laziness), life-killing, grief, delusion, fright, misery, and Tamas rage rampant in the world known that to be the age of Kali.
28-29aIn the Kali-yuga men will be slaves to lust and low passions, and abusive of one another. Towns and villages will be infested with thieves and robbers, vilifiers of virtue will vilify the Vedas, kings will prey upon their subjects, and Brahmanas will care only for the pampering of their bellies and seek gratifications of their carnal desires.
29b-30aImpure and vowels will be the students and youths, Bhiksha will contract various forms of relationship and live with their relations, Tapasvins (ascetics) will live in villages, and Nyasins will covet riches.
30b-31aDiminutive in size, gluttonous, thievish, and rashly in their conduct, men will walk in the path of iniquity servants will desert their masters, and Tapasas (ascetics) will renounce their vows.
31b-33Sudras, clad in the garbs of ascetics for a living, shall accept alms. The people, dismayed, divested of all ornaments, and filthy as the Pisacas, shall renounce all ceremonial ablutions and propitiations of the gods and Atithis, and cease to offer oblations and libations of water unto their departed manes. O Saunaka, man will be Sudras in their lives and habit, and shall be under the thumbs of their wives.
34Women, mostly unhappy and unlucky, will conceive many children and will grudge the behests of their lords by scratching their heads.
35Man under the counsel of the unsanctimonius heretics will fall off from the path of virtue and renounce the worship of Vishnu
36The only one great redeeming feature in the fact that they will be able to shake off the fetters of rebirth, by once singing the praise of Krishna. The merit, which is acquired by meditation in the Satyam Naga, by celebrating religious sacrifices in the Treta, by serving the god in the Dvapara, may be acquired in the Kali Yuga by singing the praise of Vishnu. Therefore, O Saunaka, the god Hari should be constantly worshipped and meditated upon.