The Mahabharata Home
"Bhishma said, 'Then that illustrious Deity, the Lord of the worlds, replied unto Brahma in a soft deep voice, saying,--'Through Yoga, O sire, all that is wished by thee is known to me. It will be even as thou wishest,--And saying this, he disappeared then and there. Then the gods, Rishis, and Gandharvas, filled with great wonder and curiosity all asked the Grandsire, saying,--'Who is that one, O Lord, that was worshipped by thy illustrious self with such humility and praised in such high words? We desire to hear,--Thus addressed, the illustrious Grandsire replied unto all the Gods, the regenerate Rishis, and the Gandharvas, in sweet words saying,--He who is called TAT, He who is Supreme, He who is existent at present and who will be for all time, He who is the highest Self, He who is the Soul of beings, and who is the great Lord, I was talking even with His ever-cheerful self, ye bulls among gods. The Lord of the Universe was solicited by me, for the good of the Universe, to take his birth among mankind in the family of Vasudeva. I said unto him,--For the slaughter of the Asuras take thy birth in the world of men!--Those Daityas and Rakshasas, of fierce form and great strength, that were slain in battle, have been born among men. Indeed, the illustrious and mighty Lord, taking birth in the human womb, will live on the Earth, accompanied by Nara. Those ancient and best of Rishis, viz., Nara and Narayana, are incapable of defeat in battle by even all the celestials united together. Of immeasurable effulgence, those Rishis viz., Nara and Narayana, when born together in the world of men, will not be known (as such) by fools. He, from whose Self, I, Brahman, the Lord of the whole Universe, have sprung that Vasudeva, that Supreme God of all the worlds, is worthy of your adoration. Endued with great energy, and bearing the conch, the discus, and the mace, he should never be disregarded as a man, ye best of deities. He is the Supreme Mystery, the Supreme refuge, the Supreme Brahma, and the Supreme glory. He is without decay, Unmanifest, and Eternal. He it is who hath been sung as Purusha, though none can comprehend him. The divine Artificer hath sung of him as the Supreme Energy, the Supreme Felicity, and the Supreme Truth. Therefore, the Lord Vasudeva of immeasurable prowess should never be disregarded as a man by all the Asuras and the gods with Indra at their head. That person of foolish understanding is called a wretch, who, from disregard, speaketh of Hrishikesa as only a man. People speak of him as one labouring under darkness who disregardeth Vasudeva, that Yogin of illustrious soul, for his entering into a human form. People speak of him as one labouring under darkness who knoweth not that Divine personage, that Soul of the mobile and the immobile creation, that one bearing the auspicious wheel (on his breast), that one of dazzling effulgence, that one from whose navel hath sprung the (primeval) lotus. He who disregardeth that wearer of the diadem and the Kaustuva gem, that dispeller of fears of his friends, that high-souled
one, sinketh in thick darkness. Having known all these truths duly, that Lord of the worlds, viz., Vasudeva, should be adored by every one, ye best of gods.'--
"Bhishma continued,--Having said these words unto those gods and Rishis in days of yore, the illustrious Grandsire, dismissing them all, repaired to his own abode. And the gods and the Gandharvas, and the Munis and the Apsaras also, having listened to those words spoken by Brahman, were filled with delight and repaired to heaven. Even this was heard by me, O sire, from Rishis of cultured soul talking in their assembly, of Vasudeva, that ancient one. And O thou that art well-versed in scriptures, I heard this from Rama, the son of Jamadagni, and Markandeya of great wisdom, and Vyasa and Narada also. Having learnt all this and heard of the illustrious Vasudeva as the Eternal Lord, the Supreme God of all the worlds, and the great Master, from whom hath sprung Brahman himself, the Father of the Universe, why should not that Vasudeva be adored and worshipped by men? Forbidden wert thou before, O sire, by sages of cultured souls, (who said unto thee)--Never go to war with that Vasudeva armed with bow as also with the Pandavas,--This, from folly, thou couldst not apprehend. I regard thee therefore, as a wicked Rakshsa. Thou art, besides, enveloped in darkness. It is for this that thou hatest Govinda and Dhananjaya the son of Pandu, for who else among men would hate the divine Nara and Narayana? It is for this, O king, that I say unto thee that this one is Eternal and Unfading, pervading the whole Universe, Unchanging, the Ruler, Creator and Upholder of all, and the truly Existent. He it is who upholdeth the three worlds. He is the Supreme Lord of all mobile and immobile creatures, and He is the great Master, He is warrior, He is Victory, He is Victor, and He is the Lord of all nature. O king, He is full of goodness and divested of all the qualities of Darkness and Passion. There, where Krishna is, there righteousness is; and there is victory where righteousness is. It is by the Yoga of his Supreme Excellence, and the Yoga of his Self, that the sons of Pandu, O king, are supported. Victory, therefore, will surely be theirs. He it is that always imparteth to the Pandavas and understanding endued with righteousness, and strength in battle; and He it is that always protecteth them from danger. He is the Eternal God, pervading all beings, and ever blessed. He, of whom thou hadst asked me, is known by the name of Vasudeva. He it is whom Brahmanas and Kshatriyas and Vaisyas and Sudras, having distinctive features of their own, humbly serve and worship with restrained hearts and performing their own duties. He it is who, towards the close of the Dwapara Yuga and the beginning of the Kali Yuga, is sung of with Sankarshana, by believers with devotion. It is that Vasudeva that createth, Yuga after Yuga, the worlds of the gods and the mortals, all cities girt by the sea, and the region of human habitation.--"
Next: Section LXVII