The Mahabharata Home
"Bhishma said, 'Arrived at the spacious realm called White Island, the illustrious Rishi beheld those same white men possessed of lunar splendour (of whom I have already spoken to thee). Worshipped by them, the Rishi worshipped them in return by bending his head and reverencing them in his mind. 1 Desirous of beholding Narayana, he began to reside there, attentively engaged in the silent recitation of mantras, sacred to him, and observant of vows of the most difficult kind, with concentrated mind, the regenerate Rishi, with arms upraised, stood in Yoga, and then sang the following hymn unto the Lord of the universe, Him, viz., who is at once the soul of attributes and divested of all attributes.
"Narada said, Salutations to thee, O God of gods, O thou that art freed from all acts! Thou art he who is divested of all attributes, who is the Witness of all the worlds, who is called Kshetrajna, who is the foremost of all Beings, who is Infinite, who is called Purusha, who is the great Purusha, who is the foremost of all Purushas, who is the soul of the three attributes, who is called the Foremost, who is Amrita (nectar), who is called Immortal, who is called Ananta (Sesha), who is Space, 2 who is without beginning, who is both Manifest and Unmanifest as existent and not-existent things, who is said to have his home in Truth, 3 who is the first of gods (Narayana), who is the giver of wealth (or of the fruits of acts), identified with Daksha and other Lords of the
[paragraph continues] Creation, who is the Aswattha and other big trees, who is the four-headed Brahman, who is the Lord of all created Beings, who is the Lord of Speech, 1 who is the Lord of the universe (or Indra), who is the all-pervading Soul, who is the Sun, who is the breath called Prana, who is the Lord of the waters (viz., Varuna), who is identifiable with the Emperor or the King, who is identifiable with the Regents of the several points of the compass, who is the refuge of the universe when it is dissolved in the final destruction, 2 who is Undisplayed (unrevealed), who is the giver of the Vedas unto Brahman, who is identifiable with the sacrifices and Vedic studies achieved by Brahmanas with the aid of their bodies, who is identifiable with the four principal orders of the deities, who is every one of those four orders, who is possessed of effulgence, who is possessed of great effulgence, who is he unto whom the seven largest offerings in sacrifices are presented with the Gayatri and other sacred mantras, who is Yama, who is Chitragupta and the other attendants of Yama, who is called the wife of Yama, who is that order of the deities called Tushita, who is that other order called Mahatushita, who is the universal grinder (Death), who is desire and all diseases that have been created for aiding the advent of Death, who is health and freedom from disease, who is subject to desire and passions, who is free from the influence of desire and passions, who is Infinite as exhibited in species and forms, who is he that is chastised, who is he that is the chastiser, who is all the lesser sacrifices (like Agnihotra and others), who is all the larger sacrifices (like those called Brahma, etc.), who is all the Ritwijas, who is the origin of all sacrifices (viz., the Vedas), who is fire, who is the very heart of all sacrifices (viz., the mantras and hymns uttered in them), who is he that is hymned in sacrifices, who takes those shares of the sacrificial offerings that are presented to him, who is the embodiment of the five sacrifices, who is the maker of the five sections or divisions of time (viz., day, night, month, season and year), who is incapable of being understood except by those scriptures that are called Pancharatra, who never shrinks from anything, who is unvanquished, who is only Mind (without a physical frame), who is known only by name, who is the Lord of Brahman himself, who has completed all the vows and observances mentioned in the Vedas, 3 who is the Hansa (bearer of the triple stick), who is the Parama-hansa (divested of stick), who is the foremost of all sacrifices, who is Sankhya-yoga, who is the embodiment of the Sankhya philosophy, who dwells in all Jivas, who lives in every heart, who resides in every sense, who
floats on the ocean-water, who lives in the Vedas, who lies on the lotus (the image of the egg whence the universe has sprung), who is the Lord of the universe, and whose troops go everywhere for protecting his worshippers. Thou takest birth as all creatures. Thou art the origin of the universe (of all creatures). Thy mouth is fire. Thou art that fire which courses through the waters of the ocean, issuing out all the while from an Equine head. Thou art the sanctified butter that is poured into the sacrificial fire. Thou art the car-driver (fire or heat that impels the body and causes it to live and grow). Thou art Vashat. Thou art the syllable Om. Thou art Penances. Thou art Mind. Thou art Chandramas. Thou sanctifiest the sacrificial butter. Thou art the Sun. Thou art the Dikgajas (Elephants) that are sanctioned in the four cardinal points of the compass. Thou illuminest the cardinal points of the compass. Thou illuminest the subsidiary points also. Thou art the Equine head. Thou art the first three mantras of the Rig Veda. Thou art the protector of the several orders of men (viz., Brahmanas, Kshatriyas, Vaisyas, and Sudras). Thou art the five fires (beginning with Garhapatya). Thou art He who has thrice ignited the sacrificial fire called Nachi. 1 Thou art the refuge of the six limbs (viz., the Vedas). 2 Thou art the foremost of those Brahmanas that are employed in singing the Samans in sacrifices and other religious rites. Thou art Pragjyotish, and thou art he who sings the first Saman. 3 Thou art the observer of those vows that depend upon the Vedas and that are observed by singers of Samanas. Thou art the embodiment of the Upanishad, called by the name of Atharvasiras. Thou art he who is the topic of the five foremost of scriptures (viz., those that appertain to the worship of Surya, of Sakti, of Ganesa, of Siva, and of Vishnu). Thou art called the preceptor that subsists only on the froth of water. Thou art a Valikhilya. 4 Thou art the embodiment of him who has not fallen away from Yoga. Thou art the embodiment of correctness of judgment of reasoning. Thou art the beginning of the Yugas, thou art the middle of the Yugas and thou art their end. Thou art Akhandala (Indra). Thou art the two Rishis Prachina-garbha and Kausika. Thou art Purusthuta, thou art Puruhuta, thou art the artificer of the universe. Thou hast the universe for thy form. Thy motions are infinite. Thy bodies are infinite; thou art without end and without beginning, and without middle. Thy middle is unmanifest. Thy end is unmanifest. Thou hast vows for thy abode. Thou residest in the ocean. Thou hast thy home in Fame,
in Penances, in Self-restraint, in Prosperity, in Knowledge, in grand Achievements, and in Everything belonging to the universe. Thou art Vasudeva. Thou art the grantor of every wish. Thou art Hanuman that bore Rama on his shoulders. Thou art the great Horse-sacrifice. Thou takest thy share of offerings made in great sacrifices. 1 Thou art the grantor of boons, of happiness, of wealth. Thou art devoted to Hari., Thou art Restraint of the senses. Thou art vows and observances. Thou art mortifications, thou art severe mortifications, thou art very severe mortifications. 2 Thou art he who observes vows and religious and other pious rites. Thou art freed from all errors. Thou art a Brahmacharin. Thou tookest birth in the womb of Prisni. Thou art he from whom have flowered all Vedic rites and acts. Thou art unborn. Thou pervadest all things. Thy eyes are on all things. Thou must not be apprehended by the senses. Thou art not subject to deterioration. Thou art possessed of great puissance. Thy body is inconceivably vast. Thou art holy, thou art beyond the ken of logic or argument. Thou art unknowable. Thou art the foremost of Causes. Thou art the Creator of all creatures and thou art their destroyer. Thou art the possessor of vast powers of illusion. Thou art called Chittrasikhandin. Thou art the giver of boons. Thou art the taker of thy share of the sacrificial offerings. Thou hast obtained the merit of all sacrifices. Thou art he who has been freed from all doubts, Thou art omnipresent. Thou art of the form of a Brahmana. Thou art fond of Brahmanas. Thou hast the universe for thy form. Thy form is very vast. Thou art the greatest friend. Thou art kind to all thy worshippers. Thou art the great deity of the Brahmanas. I am thy devoted disciple. I am desirous of beholding thee. Salutations to thee that art of the form of Emancipation.'"
129:1 The Burdwan translator, as also K. P. Singha, both err in translating the first line of this verse. It does not mean that Narada worshipped them with a bend of his head and that they in return worshipped him mentally.
129:2 In the sense of His being unmodified, even as space is an entity that cannot be modified in any way.
129:3 i.e., as the commentator expands, who is displayed without any modification, all else being modifications of Thyself.
130:1 i.e., from whom speech has flowed, or who is Vrihaspati the celestial priest, so famous for his learning and intelligence.
130:2 i.e., the original home of the universe. The idea is that when the universal dissolution comes, all things take refuge in thee. I follow the commentator in all the interpretations he gives.
130:3 i.e., who has performed the avabhrita or final bath upon the completion of all vows and observances and sacrifices.
131:1 i.e., thou hast performed sacrifices.
131:2 The Vedas have six limbs or divisions.
131:3 Pragjyotish is the name of a particular Saman. The Rich beginning with Murdhanam etc. when sung, comes to be called by the name of jeshtha Saman. What is said hare, therefore, is that thou art both the foremost of Samanas and he that sings that Saman.
131:4 In the Bombay text, the reading for Vainagarbha is Vaikhanasa which means a class or sect of ascetics.
132:1 The commentator explains that by Mahayajna--great sacrifice--is meant Yoga. The Jiva-Soul is like the libation poured in the sacrifice, for by Yoga the Jiva-Soul is annihilated and merged into the Supreme Soul.
132:2 In treatises on the Smriti, the indications of these three kinds or degrees of modifications are given.
Next: Section CCCXL