Sri Vishnu Puranam – Commentary-Part 4


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Chapter 4

Parasara Answers Maitreya’s questions

Parasara remembered all this when he heard Maitreya’s questions. Your questions have “Maitreya! reminded me of the words uttered long ago by Vasishtha and Pulastya.  The boon has begun to give forth fruits.  As a result, I will indite a purana as an answer to the questions.  Take  in  all the  truth.”   He began to speak briefly. Because such a gifted sage created it,  this purana is considered Unique.

“Vishnoh sakaasaad udbhootam jagat tatraiva cha sthitam

Sthitisamyamakartaasau jagatosya jagaccha sah”

This is the summary, which has a gem-like brevity.

Philosophy in a nut-shell

MahaVishnu decides:  “Where   no  gods,  nor world,  nor life, nor anything  else is, I shall create the world in play”. He then proceeds to create. This is an answer to the question: “What is it from which the world gets created?” The Veda says that during creation,  He creates things, as they had existed earlier. Hence,  it is to be surmised that the world was like this even before and will be so in future as well. During the deluge, the world is within  Him in a subtle form. The Lord is the cause of the world’s creation and dissolution. Parasara concludes that He is the world. That is, the Lord is the soul of all things. “He is spread widely in everything as life is found all over the body.” It is usual to think of the body as the atman. The world is the Lord’s body.

We have the common  parlance, “I am the evil one, I am the harsh person,”  identifying ourselves with the physical body and mind.  Since God is the soul of all, the whole world  is considered to be Him. This is Visishtadvaita.

Besides, the primal cause of the world is the Lord. Bangles are made our of gold. Pots are made with  mud.  In these instances where  the effective results are due to the primal cause, we refer to the former as the latter like “golden bangle” and “mud pot”. In the same way, we refer to the effective result of the Lord, that is, the world as Brahman Himself (sarvam jagat brabma) – thus we get the answer to the question  regarding  the prime  cause of the world. Thus did Parasara Bhagavan give his answers in brief.
Though  the questions  are of a general nature, the answers reveal the glory of Vishnu. So it cannot  answer has come from his heart. This  is also the be said that  the matter in this work  is one-sided.  
In works like the Linga-purana there are questions, which  seek to reveal the  greatness of Linga.  The one who answers is forced  to praise only Linga. Therefore the greatness of Vishnu becomes partial.But here the questions relate to the prime   cause  which gives rise to the world. There is no compulsion that the answer should point out to Vishnu alone as the primal cause. Yet, if Parasara speaks of the Lord who created this ocean-girt world, it is because the conclusion of our ancient  teachers.

To be continued….

This English Commentary is written by smt Prema  Nandakumar based on the tamil commentary written by H.H. 45th Azhagiyasingar of the Ahobila MuttHis Holiness has ‘commented’ only on select chapters of the Vishnu Purana. The English translation faithfully follows the original in this aspect. Words that appear in square brackets [ ] have been placed there to serve as a link and do not form part of the original. Reproduced from Nrusimhapriya.

For Tamil commentary and Upanyasam of Vishnu Puranam, please visit:

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