Yugas and Classes of People: Lineage of Sages ||59||
1Suta said: Listen to and understand the details of those subjects who are born in the different Yugas. I shall mention in which Yuga demons, serpents, cattles, birds, Pisacas, Yaksas and Rakshasas are born and how long they live.
2Pisacas, Asuras, Gandharvas, Yaksas, Rakshasas and Pannagas (serpents) live for the whole period of the Yuga, unless they are killed by someone.
3The span of life of human beings, animals, birds and immobile beings fluctuates everywhere in accordance with the traits of the Yuga.
4Instability in regard to the span of life of living beings is seen in Kali Yuga. The maximum life expectation of human beings in this Yuga is a hundred years.
5-7The height of Devas and Asuras is one hundred and fifty-eight Angulas in Kali age. In human beings (?) the height is gradually reduced by seven times seven Angulas from that of Devas and Asuras. It is remembered by persons born in Kali Age that their height from foot to head is eightyfour Angulas as measured with their own fingers. This stature of human beings is further reduced towards the end of the Yuga.
8In all the periods of Yugas of the past and future man has the height of eight spans (Talas i.e. Vitasti or the distance between the tips of the little finger and the thumb when both are extended) measuring with his own fingers.
9He who is nine Talas high from foot to head with arms extending up to the knees when they are close together, is worshipped even by Devas.
10In every Yuga the height of cows, horses, elephants, buffaloes and immobile beings varies as follows:
11The hump of bulls is seventy-six Angulas. The height of elephants is full hundred and eight Angulas.
12The height of horses is fifty Angulas and that of trees is a thousand Angulas less by forty Angulas (i.e. nine hundred sixty).
13The constitution of the bodies of Devas is as a matter of fact similar to that of human beings.
14It is said that the body of Devas is endowed with exceptional intellect. The human body is said to be equipped with less intelligence than that of Devas.
15Thus the life of gods and human beings has been explained. Now listen to the description of animals, birds and immobile beings.
16Cows, goats, buffaloes, horses, elephants, birds and trees are useful in sacrificial and all other rites.
17They are born again in the same form in the abodes of Devas. They, of auspicious forms, are such as can be enjoyed by the Devas as they pleased.
18With the forms befitting them, either mobile or immobile, and with charming sizes as are known to those conversant with reality, they become happy.
19I shall now explain the remaining ones (Sistas or cultured people) constituting Sats and Sadhus (saints). The word ‘sat’ indicates Brahman. Those who possess it, are called santas due to their similarity with Brahman.
20Those who are neither infuriated nor elated in regard to the tenfold object of senses and eight types of causes of bondage, are called Jitatmans (who are self-controlled).
21Inasmuch as Brahmanas, Ksattriyas and Vaishyas are engaged in two types of Dharma, the general and the special, they are called Dvijdtis.
22The knowledge of Srauta and Smarta rites utilised by the different castes in their different stages of life and leading to heaven or salvation is called Real Dharma.
23-25A Brahmacarin acting in the interest of his preceptor is an ascetic because he amasses learning. A householder is an ascetic because he accomplishes holy rites. A Vaikhanasa is called an ascetic, because he performs penance in the forest. The aspiring ascetic is called Sadhu, because he practises Yogic exercises. Thus all these—the religious student, the householder, the forest-dwelling hermit and the recluse are called Sadhus because they perform the A trama Dharmas (duties of their stage of life).
26Neither Devas, nor Pitris, nor sages nor human beings can be of different views if they correctly say “This is Dharma”, “This is not”.
27The two words, “Dharma” and “Adharma” refer to rites. Auspicious rites are Dharmas and inauspicious rites are Adharmas.
28The word Dharma is derived from Vdhr ‘to hold’ or ‘to support. If Dharma does not sustain or if it is not conducive to greatness it is Adharma,
29The Dharma that leads a person to achieve his desire is taught by preceptors. They call these persons Acaryas—preceptors: old persons devoid of greediness, self-possessed, non- arrogant, well-disciplined and straightforward.
30A preceptor practises those principles himself; he establishes a code of good conduct; he collects (and masters) meanings of scriptures and is endowed with (practices) restraints and observances.
31After learning the Vedas from the ancients, the Seven Sages expatiated on the Srauta Dharma. The Vedas are Rik, Yajus and Saman. They are the very limbs of the Veda.
32After remembering the code of conduct of life current in the previous Manvantara, they explained it once again. Hence that Dharma is known as Smarta Dharma. It refers to different castes and stages of life.
33Both the types of Dharma are called “Sisfacara” (the conduct of the cultured). The word Sis fa has come from the word Sesa (survivor, remainder). Hence Sistacar a is the conduct of life for those who remain (i.e. survived the Manvantara).
34-35The righteous persons who survive after a Manvantara are Manu and the Seven Sages. They remain for the continuity of the people and for the purpose of establishing virtue (Dharma). Manu and other Sistas have been enumerated by me before. That which has been practised regularly in every Yuga by those Sistas (shall be known as Sistacara).
36Study of the three Vedas, agriculture, administration of justice and government, sacrifice, adherence to the (the duties of) castes and stages of life—all these are practised by the Sistas including Manu and his predecessors. That Sistacara is eternal.
37The following eight are characteristic Sistacaras, charity, truthfulness, penance, absence of greed, learning, sacrifice, procreation and sympathy.
38Since the Sis fas (survivors), Manu and the Seven Sages, practise this in all the Manvantaras, it is known as Sistacara.
39That which is heard (i.e. refers to Srutis) shall be known as Srauta (Dharma); that which is remembered (i.e. refers to Smrtis) is called Smarta (Dharma). Performance of sacrifice, study of the Vedas etc. are Srauta Dharmas and observance of the duties of castes and stages of life is called Smarta Dharma. I shall state the characteristics and the various parts of this Dharma.
40After seeing and on being asked about it (if) a person does not conceal facts and states them in proper sequence (as they occurred), it is the characteristic (sign of) Satya (truthfulness).
41Celibacy, Japa, silence and fasting—these are the roots of penance. Penance is hard and very difficult of achievement.
42The sacrificial animals, the requisite materials, the ghee offerings, the Rik, Saman and Yajus Mantras, Rtviks and the sacrificial gifts—the collection of all these constitutes Yajna.
43Viewing all living beings as one’s own self, looking impartially towards friends and foes is called Daya (sympathy, mercy).
44One shall not strike back or rebuke when struck or rebuked. Restraint in thought, speech and action and forgiveness is called endurance.
45Refraining from taking other man’s belongings left unprotected by the master, or thrown out on the ground, is called here as non-covetousness.
46Abstinence from sexual acts, neither brooding nor imagining about it and complete sexual detachment is called celibacy (Brahmacarya).
47If the sense-organs do not adopt a wrong path either for oneself or for others, it is the sign of quiescence or restraint.
48He who does not get infuriated when thwarted in the ten-fold sensual object and in the eight causes of worldly bondage is considered a conqueror.
49If a person feels that he must give unto a deserving person whatever is liked by him most or the money (or things) that has come to him duly and justly, that is the characteristic sign of Dana (Charity).
50Charity is of three types: the lowest, superior most, and middling. That which leads to liberation (from Samsara) is of the highest type; that which is given for the achievement of one’s selfish ends is the lowest; that which is given to all beings out of pity or their proper sharing with the kins is the middling (type of Dana).
51That which is enjoined by Srutis and Smrtis, that which conforms to the observance of the duties of castes and stages of life, that which is not contrary to the practice of the cultured (Sistas) and that which arises from contact with the saintly and the good, is Dharma.
52Absence of hatred for what is not liked, abstention from undue praise of what is liked, refraining from over delightedness, repentance and dejection is called detachment.
53Sannyasa means eschewing the fruits of actions performed or intended to be performed. Abandonment of what is good and what is not good is called Tyaga.
54The knowledge of the transformation from the unmanifest and undifferentiated into the non-sentient and the difference and distinction between the sentient and non-sentient is called Jnana (real knowledge).
55These are the characteristic signs of the various ancillaries of Dharma as mentioned by the sages who knew the principles of Dharma in the previous Svayambhuva Manvantara.
56I shall now mention the procedure of the Manvantara and the mode of behaviour of the people of one caste with the members of the other castes and among themselves. In every Manvantara, the system of the Vedas differs.
57-58(The Vedic Mantras of) Rik, Yajus and Saman remain the same in respect of every deity as before. In spite of the dissolution of elements, Satarudriya, the procedure of sacrificial offerings as well as Stotra (hymns or prayers) function as before. The Stotras are of four types: Dravya-stotra (prayer for sacrificial material); Gunastotra (prayer for qualities); Karma-stotra (eulogy of proper rites), and the fourth is the eulogy of Abhijanas (lineage).
59In all the Manvantaras Brahma initiates the four types of stotras in regard to Devas even as they come into being. Thus the origin of the collection of Mantras is of four types.
60-62aAs the sages perform severe and extremely difficult penance, the Mantras of different Vedas, Atharva, Rik, Yajur and Saman, appear before them severally in the same manner as in the previous Manvantaras. They (the Mantras) appear from five sources: satisfaction, fear, misery, happiness and sorrow, born of the totality of their penance, vision or by chance.
62bNow (here) I shall explain the Rsitva (the state of being a Rsi) of sages along with their characteristics.
63Among the past and the future, the sages are said to be of five types. Hence I shall recount the origin of sages and of Arsa (whatever pertains to the Rshis).
64-65When the Gunas were in (a state of) equilibrium, there was the annihilation of everything. There were no Devas anywhere. As if due to their assimilation (atideta) it (Pradhana) unintelligently functions for the sake of Cetana (the conscious one). Thereby it was presided over by Cetana (the conscious principle) without its awareness.
66Both of them function like the fish and the water. The Tattva (Pradhana) presided over by consciousness (the conscious Purusa) functions through Gunas.
67Since the cause is present the effect functions in the same way. The object functions due to the subject. The Artha (meaning) functions due to its meaningfulness (state of possessing meaning).
68The differences which are materialised by Kala (Time) are due to the intrinsic nature of the cause. They become explicitly manifest in due course as Mahatand other principles.
69From Mahat, Aharhkara (Cosmic Ego) is evolved; from Ego the (Subtle) elements. The different elements are evolved due to mutual interaction. The cause immediately transforms (itself) into action.
70Just as a burning firebrand spreads its spaRiks all round simultaneously while falling, so also the conscious Principle (Ksetrajha) that transforms itself due to the action of Time manifests himself.
71Just as a glow-worm is suddenly seen in blinding darkness, so also Mahat is evolved out of the unmanifest and shines like a glow-worm.
72Principle of Consciousness stays at the entrance to the great chamber where the embodied principle Mahat stays.
73Mahat is seen beyond Tamas (the dark principle) on account of its distinct disparity. The Sruti says, “The conscious principle, the knower, stays there itself at the end of darkness”.
74As it (Mahat) was transforming, Buddhi (Intellect) manifested itself in four ways viz. perfect knowledge, detachment, glory and Dharma.
75All these are its evolutes and well-shaped too. It is called Siddhi (Evolute) as it is effected through the transformation of embodied Mahat.
76He (Purusa) stays in the body (Pur) and possesses the knowledge of the body. He is called Purusa as he dwells in the Pur (body) and is called Ksetrajha due to his knowledge of the body.
77Since he has knowledge of the Ksetra (body), he is called Ksetrajha. Therefore the Lord is called Intellect (Mati). Since he abides with Buddhi (Intellect), he is of the nature of knowledge (Bodha). For the accomplishment (of task of the world?) this non-intelligent entity, both manifest and unmainfest, is pervaded (by the Intelligent Principle).
78Thus it is the conscious principle that dissociates itself from the objects of sense-organs. It is this very principle that cognizes the objects as worthy of being enjoyed.
79The root ‘rs’ means ‘to go’. It refers to the Vedas, truthfulness and penance. He who is devoted to these three and attains Brahman is called ‘Rishi’.
80The Rsi who attains the knowledge of the great unmanifest principle and abstains from worldly attachment simultaneously is called Paramarsi.
81From the root “rs” meaning “to go”, the name Rsi has been derived. Since the mental sons of Brahma are self-born, they are Isvaras (endowed with spiritual power).
82He who is not restricted or delimited by measures is called great. Those who attain the Great Principle by means of attributes are called Mahar sis. They are the seers who can penetrate beyond intellect.
83The hearts of those powerful (mental sons) are auspicious. Eschewing ego and ignorance (Tamas), they have attained sage hood.
84Hence those who have a real insight and knowledge of the Bhutadi (Cosmic Ego) are called Rshis (Sages). The sons of Rshis (Sages) who are born of womb through sexual intercourse are called Rsikas.
85Those (spiritually) powerful ones realize the Tanmatras (subtle elements) and Satya (the truth). The Seven Sages, therefore, are the supreme realizer of the Truth.
86The sons of the sages are known as Rsiputras. Since they have attained learning and the mastery of the principles, they are called Sruta Rishis. They are keen observers of the true wisdom.
87They are of five classes. Their names are Avyaktatma, Mahatma, Ahamkaratma, Bhutama and Indriyatma. They practise five kinds of knowledge. Listen to the five classes of sages by their names.
88The following are powerful lords self-born as the mental sons of Brahma: Bhrigu, Marici, Atri, Aiigiras, Pulaha, Kratu, Manu, Daksha, Vasistha and Pulastya, ten in all.
89As they are born of the sage and are hence (spiritually great), they are called MahaRshis. Know the names of the sages who were the sons of these great sages (Maha Rshis).
90-91Kavya, Bphaspati, Kasyapa, Usanas, Utathya, Vamadeva, Apojya, Aisija, Kardama, Visravas, Sakti, Valakhilya and Dhara. These are called sages because they had attained that stage through their knowledge.
92-94Understand that the Rsikas, sons of sages, were born of wombs. Vatsara, Nagrahu, Bharadvaja, Brhaduttha, Sarad- van, Agastya, Ausija, Dirghatamas, Brhaduktha, Saradvata, Vajasravas, Suvitta, Suvak, Vesaparayana, Dadhica, Sankha- man and king Vaisravana—these are called Rsikas. They attained Rsihood (status ofRshis) through truthfulness.
95Isvaras, Rsikas and others are the seers (creators of Mantras). Now listen to their names.
96-97Bhrigu, Kavya, Pracetas, Dadhica, Atmavan, Aurva, Jamadagni, Vida, Sarasvata, Advisena, Arupa, Vitahavya, Sumedhasa, Vainya, Prithu, Divodasa, Prasvara, Grtsaman and Nabha: these nineteen sages were the expounders of Mantras.
98-102Angiras, Vedhasa, Bharadvaja, Baskali, Amrta, Gargya, Seni, Samhrti, Purukutsa, Mandhata, Ambarisa, Aharya, Ajamicjha, Rsabha, Bali, Prsadasva, Virupa, Kanva, Mudgala, Yuvanasva, Paurukutsa, Trasaddasyu, Sadasyuman, Uta- thya, Bharadvaja, Vajasravas, Ayapya, Suvitti, Vamadeva, Augaja, Brhaduktha, Dirghatapas and Kaksivan: these thirty- three are excellent descendants of Angiras. These are Mantrakrts (Composers i.e. seers of Mantras). Now understand the descendants of Kasyapa.
103Kasyapa, Vatsara, Vibhrama, Raibhya, Asita and Devala these six belong to the family of Kasyapa and they are the expounders of Brahman.
104Atri, Arcisana, Syamavan, Nisthura, the intelligent sage Valgutaka and Purvatithi—these are the descendants of Atri. They are great sages (MahaRshis) and seers of Mantras.
105-106Vasistha, Sakti, Parasara, (the fourth one) Indrapramati, (the fifth) Bharadvasu, (the sixth) Maitra- varuna, (the seventh) Kundina, (the eighth) Sudyumna, the ninth Brihaspati and the tenth Bharadvaja—these ten are the composers of Mantras and Brahmanas.
107These are the creators (seers of Mantras) and destroyers of unrighteousness. This characteristic of the Vedas is prescribed for all the branches of the Veda.
108-110The word Hetu (reason of inference) is derived from ‘hi’ ‘to destroy’. ‘That which destroys what is argued by the opponent’ is called Hetu. Or it may be from yhi ‘to go’— ‘that which enables one to the acquisition of the meaning’ is Hetu. It helps to arrive at a definite (decisive) meaning of a statement after refuting the opponent’s standpoint. Preceptors say that it means Ninda (censure) when the statements (of the opponents) are censured due to their defects.
111The word ‘Prasarris a (Praise) is derived from the root ‘sams’ with the prefix Pra. A statement is praised by virtue of its merits. ‘This is this’, ‘This is not this’—this sort of indecision is called Samfaya (Doubt).
112The concept of Purakalpa is due to its having taken place in the past.
113The events of ancient times cannot be decided by Mantras, Brahmanas, Kalpas and Nigamas, howsoever genuine and detailed. What is said indecisively is called a make-believe.
114Just as this, so also is that; this is also so, this is the tenth instruction of the Brahmana.
115This is the early definition of the Brahmana laid down by the learned. Later on its Vrtti (commentary) (on every word) was composed by Brahmanas.
116The utility of the Mantras is in the prescribed rites through injunctions. The word ‘Mantra’ is derived from ‘mantr’ —’to whisper’. And the word Brahmana signifies a person who maintains the injunctions of Brahma.
117The knowers of Sutras called that (statement) as Sutra which consists of very few syllables, is free from ambiguity, full of essence, which is comprehensive in application yet devoid of superfluous adjuncts and contains no objectionable word.