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.
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 Mutt. His 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: http://anudinam.org/category/stories/