REVISION HISTORY TRACKER
- REVISION HISTORY TRACKER
- [A]. KRISHNA’S SRIMAD BHAGAWATAM IS BOGUS – AN IRREFUTABLE ANALYSIS WITH UNQUESTIONABLE EVIDENCES
- 1. Preface
- 2. ‘kalpa bheda, manvantara bheda, yuga bheda’ – The Three Layered Armour Ripped Apart!
- 3. Why Srimad Bhagawatam must NOT contradict Mahabharata
- 4. Refutation of Krishna’s Srimad Bhagawatam
- 4.1. Srimad Bhagawatam’s Objective is not original
- 4.2. Srimad Bhagawatam’s Content is not Authentic
- 4.2.1. Errors in description of Vishnu’s incarnations
- 4.2.2. Error regarding describing Vishnu and Krishna
- 4.2.3. Castles built in the air by Suta
- 4.2.4. Srimad Bhagawatam’s narration language seems too vaishnavite and modern to be considered Vyasa’s work
- 4.2.5. Srimad Bhagawatam is definitely a post-Ramanuja work
- 4.3 The eighteen Puranas were already composed before Mahabharata itself!
- 4.4 Parikshit didn’t undergo any discourse on Bhagawatam in reality! – Shocking? – Yes, it’s a Fact!
- 4.5 Blunders in Srimad Bhagawatam about its Source i.e., Narrator – viz. ‘Suka’!
- 4.6 In reality ‘Suka’ never lived to recite Srimad Bhagawatam to Parikshit
- 4.6.1. Vyasa instructs Suka to gain knowledge on Moksha from Janaka the King of Mithila:
- 4.6.2. Narada Advices Suka to cast off his body:
- 4.6.3. Suka decides to get liberated and speaks about casting off his body
- 4.6.4. Suka becomes one with Brahman
- 4.6.5. Shiva said that Suka attained the highest end:
- 4.6.6. Shiva gives Vyasa a shadow form of his son to relieve his grief a little
- 4.6.7. If Suka died (got liberated) how did he recite Mahabharata to Yakshas and Rakshasas?
- 4.7. Bhagawatam’s failed Attempt to correlate the fictitious Suka’s story with Mahabharata’s story
- 4.8. Srimad Bhagawatam trying to Re-Define the Standards of Mahabharata?
- 4.8.1. Blunder by Bhagavatam in explaining Bheeshma’s Departure
- 4.8.2. Blunders in Bhagawatam related to Ashwatthama’s Brahmashira episode
- 4.8.3. Blunders in Bhagawatam related to Parikshit’s birth
- 4.8.4. Vyasa’s hypothetical second Suka (of Bhagawatam) would never have learnt Scriptures from Vyasa
- 4.9. Shiva’s status turned upside down by Bhagawatam contrary to Mahabharata and other scriptures
- 4.9.1. Bhagawatam’s wishful attempt to insult Shiva in Banasura Episode
- 4.9.2. Author of Krishna Bhagawatam makes his own decision and removes Brahma and Vishnu from Daksha sacrifice’s invitees list to safeguard Vishnu from defeat
- 4.9.3. Krishna Bhagawatam contradicts its own position just to deride Lord Shiva
- 4.10. Final Verdict
- [B]. DEVI BHAGAVATAM IS THE ORIGINAL BHAGAWATAM – AN UNASSAILABLE ANALYSIS WITH UNQUESTIONABLE EVIDENCES
- 1. Tracing and Fixing Devi Bhagavatam in – Kalpa, Manvantara and Yuga coordinates of Time
- 2. Devi Bhagawatam is the ‘FIFTH’ Purana among the list of eighteen puranas
- 3. The qualities, and adjectives describing ‘Bhagawatam’ in various Puranas are actually Devi Bhagawatam’s attributes
- 4. Agenda behind ‘Devi Bhagavatam’ is rational whereas agenda of Krishna’s Bhagavatam was absurd.
- 5. Is the name of the Purana as ‘Devi Bhagavatam’ grammatically correct?
- 6. Originally the name ‘Srimad Bhagavatam’ belongs to ‘Devi Bhagavata Purana’ only
- 7. A great secret behind Devi Bhagavatam alone proclaiming itself as Mahapurana
- 8. Evidences from other Puranas proving the ‘Bhagavatam’ among the Eighteen Mahapuranas is ‘Devi Bhagavatam’ alone
- 9. Shiva Purana has the seeds of Devi Bhagavatam which expanded as a separate Purana to glorify Shiva’s consort in detail
- 10. Shiva Purana Devi Bhagavatam and Mahabharata are tightly interconnected hence Devi Bhagavatam cannot be ruled out
- 10.1 Promises of help and protection made to Vishnu by Shiva in Shiva Purana
- 10.2 Promises of help and protection made to Vishnu by Devi Bhuvaneshvari in Devi-Bhagavatam
- 10.3. Vishnu (Krishna), Arjuna and other super-heroes were only instruments in the hands of Devi and Shiva – is confirmed in Mahabharata
- 10.4. Harivamsa Parva agrees with what Devi’s promise in Devi-Bhagavatam – it is she who slayed kamsa and other enemies from earth
- 10.5. ‘Devi’ in the form of ‘Draupadi’ was the root cause and strategist of destruction of kauravas in the Mahabharata – not Krishna!
- 11. Unlike Krishna’s Bogus Bhagavatam Devi-Bhagavatam does NOT contradict Mahabharata anywhere
- 11.1. Krishna is a Partial incarnation of Vishnu says Devi Bhagavatam in sync with Mahabharata
- 11.2. Devi Bhagavatam says Suka attained liberation exactly in sync with Mahabharata
- 11.3. Suka died well before even Santanu’s sons from Satyavati were born – perfectly matches Mahabharata
- 11.4. Parikshit’s death episode of Devi Bhagawatam exactly is in sync with Mahabharata’s depiction
- 11.5. Devi Bhagavatam says Devi originally accomplished all tasks of Krishna which is exactly in sync with Mahabharata
- 11.6. Devi Bhagavatam agrees with Harivamsa saying Suka was married and had children
- 12. How shamelessly the author of Krishna’s Bhagawatam had plagiarized Devi Bhagawatam’s great truths
- 13. FINAL VERDICT
- APPENDIX – A: Answers to Vaishnavite Objections in support of Krishna-Bhagawatam
- Objection – 1: There are dozens of commentaries of Krishna’s Srimad Bhagawatam proving its importance. How would you explain this?
- Objection – 2: Sridhara Swami, the first commentator was considered an advaitin not a vaishnavite – what would you say now?
- Objection – 3: Padma Purana says that the Bhagawatam comprising of 18,000 verses as a discussion between Suka and Parikshit is called Srimad Bhagavatam – Now how would you say Krishna Bhagawatam as bogus? How would you defend Devi Bhagavatam now?
- Objection – 4: Padma Purana clearly calls Krishna’s Bhagawatam as the eighteenth Purana one among the Mahapuranas. How would you deny this?
- Objection – 5: There are ‘Srimad Bhagawatam Mahatmayam’ in many Puranas, how would you deny its authenticity now?
- Objection – 6: There is a reference to Krishna’s Bhagawatam verse in Gaudapada’s ‘Uttara Gita Bhashya’. How can you deny the historicity of Bhagawatam in ancient times?
- APPENDIX – B: The Puzzle of ‘Padma-Kalpa’!
|Sl. No.||Version No.||Date Published||Change Description||Update / Change done by||Remarks (if any)|
|1||V1.0||Dec-2011||Published the first major version titled “Top N Reasons to call Bhagawatam a BOGUS scripture“.||Santosh Kumar Ayalasomayajula|
|2||V1.1||Jan-2017||The following updates have been done to the existing version of the article.
||Santosh Kumar Ayalasomayajula||
|3||V1.2||Mar-2017||Did the following major updates to the article:
||Santosh Kumar Ayalasomayajula||
|4||V2.0||Apr-2017||Published the second major version titled “Krishna’s Srimad Bhagawatam is Bogus – Devi Bhagavatam is Undeniably the original Bhagavata Purana“.||Santosh Kumar Ayalasomayajula|
I bow to my divine brother, Lord Ganesha, the remover of all obstacles, the first worshipable benevolent god; I bow to my divine brother, devasena-pati viz. Skanda, the commander-in-chief who presides over the positive forces (devatas). I prostrate before my divine parents, viz. mother Saraswati who presides over the intellect and Brahma who creates masterpieces. I prostrate before my divine parents viz. mother Lakshmi who grants splendor, intelligence, goal (lakshyam) and achievements and Narayana, who is the divine protector and sustainer of all the worlds; I prostrate before my divine parents viz. mother Parvati, the one supreme Shakti behind everything and Mahadeva, the lord without whose wish, not even an eye blinks. I prostrate before the divine sages viz. Nara and Narayana, the eternal devotees of lord Shiva, who never encounter defeat and whose presence ensures the presence of Victory and Prosperity. I prostrate before the great sage Sri Veerabrahmendra, the author of ‘kālajnānaṁ’ which never errs.
I bow to my ancestral sages, viz. Vashishtha, Kaundinya and Maitra-Varuna (Agastya) and their respective consorts to bless this child of their lineage with supreme scriptural wisdom. Also, I prostrate before the legendary Kāvyakanṭha Gaṇapati Muni and Bhagawān Ramaṇa Maharṣī.
Finally, I prostrate before my kula-dēvatās viz. Sita and Rama who are the epitome of righteousness, and I bow to my brother Hanuman who happens to be of same Gothram as that of mine.
| Om śivāya guravē namaḥ |
| namaḥ tripurasundariyai |
| Om tat sat |
[A]. KRISHNA’S SRIMAD BHAGAWATAM IS BOGUS – AN IRREFUTABLE ANALYSIS WITH UNQUESTIONABLE EVIDENCES
Before beginning the actual preface to this article I would like to write a short-note to the pure-hearted devotees of Krishna – Actually speaking, Vaishnavism is a great path for the followers of ‘bhakti’, we have examples such as ‘Prahlada’, ‘Dhruvakumara’, ‘bali’ and many others in Puranas, who are verily the role models for us, and all the devotees are supposed to emulate these role models on the path of ‘bhakti’. I have great respect for such pure-hearted true devotees of the lord. However, unfortunately, today, hardly we have any true-devotee of Vishnu. Today, almost all the sects of Vaishnavism have only one common agenda i.e., – to worship Vishnu only after first pushing Shiva down. In the pursuit of that agenda they go overboard to such an extent that they spend more time insulting Shiva than worshiping Vishnu. I’m really not sure, how would they reach the lotus feet of Vishnu with this wrong approach of devotion! Many a times I tend to be idealistic hence I still hope that there would be pure-hearted devotees of Vishnu even today, and to such devotees I do not ever wish to hurt their feelings in any manner. Therefore, if you, the reader, are such a pious devotee of Krishna and if you are very sensitive, and have been considering ‘Srimad Bhagawatam’ of ‘Krishna’ very dear to your heart – then I humbly request you to kindly not read this article, because this article is going to prove ‘Krishna-Bhagavatam’ as a fake ‘Purana’. However, I do not intend to say that Krishna’s devotees should stop following this text, because, I believe that – for the path of devotion, ‘authenticity’ of a text is immaterial. If some text contains glorious tales about your favourite lord, then who cares if the text was written by Vyasa or by your own grandfather? As long as that work brings tears of happiness in your eyes; as long as that work enhances devotion in your heart, and as long as that work helps your mind stick to the thoughts of your lord – you need not care about its authenticity. This is however, not the case with other paths – paths of ‘karmānuṣṭhāna’ and ‘jñāna’ have to strictly follow the authentic scriptures only – they have no liberty to define their own rules. They need to stick to Vedas, Upanishads and Shrauta, Smarta procedures strictly. Therefore, if you are someone who have for long, cherished ‘Srimad Bhagavatam’ of Krishna as your dearest Purana, go ahead with the same adoration for it, irrespective of what I prove it as in this article. This article is only to bring down the pride of the ‘fake-devotees-of-Vishnu’ whose mode of devotion is to insult Mahadeva and then praise Vishnu. If you are not one among them, you need not bother to read this article. But just in case you, the reader, are one among such wicked vaishnavas – I invite you to read this article completely. This article would really open your eyes to the reality, and would humble your pride! With this note let me begin the introduction now.
Well, I know that, “Bhagawatam” is a buzzword in today’s Hinduism. Every scholar – be it true or a self-proclaimed one – nowadays sings this book’s glories to the skies and always quotes from it. This ‘Krishna-Bhagawatam’ has been marketed so cleverly in the past many centuries that today we have such a situation that – while talking about Hinduism’s scriptures it has become such a common thing nowadays to use the jargon “rāmāyaṇa bhārata bhāgawata ityādi granthā-s“. Till ‘Ramayana and Bharata’ it is all fine, but the place of the word ‘Purana’ has been forcefully encroached upon by ‘Bhagawata’ – and here by the word ‘bhagavata’, they mean Krishna’s ‘Srimad Bhagawatam’ and not the ‘Devi Bhagawatam’. But I’ve seen nobody who actually contemplated on the authenticity of Krishna’s ‘Srimad Bhagawatam’ extensively. The way this article unmasks the bogus scripture is unprecedented. All glories go to Uma-Maheshwara, I’m just an instrument in their hands. Only when I wrote this article exposing the blunders of Srimad Bhagawatam and proved it to be inauthentic; getting inspired from this article, others have also been found to be agreeing with the conclusions of mine.
The reason why I had to expose the truths about Srimad Bhagawatam and prove it to be bogus is because this so called Purana was being used extensively to malign Lord Shiva by vaishnavites. As long as someone is not throwing stones on Mahadeva, I don’t care even if someone writes their own book of fiction genre and considers that as a sacred scripture if it helps them devote themselves to lord Vishnu, but when people tend to aim their arrows of insult at Maheshvara, I’ll have to string my celestial bow to standby my lord!
Vaishnavites have been found to reject outright the Shaiva Puranas calling them as “Tamasik” based on one single verse from Padma Purana, which calls Shaiva Puranas as Tamasik. Did they ever try to think whether that Padma Purana was telling right or wrong? No, because it was not their Vaishnava-texts which were being rejected. So, that’s not something which would bother them. There is no logic actually to categorize Puranas as Tamasik except for the one fact that Shaiva Puranas are major threat to Vaishnavism and Vishnu’s superiority since they clearly narrate Shiva as having an upper hand over Vishnu. I have never seen anyone till date who would have come up with a valid analysis to show why Shaiva Puranas are Tamasik and shouldn’t be read or followed. But blindly those fellows would read Bhagawatam and would recommend everyone following the same; calling, Bhagawatam as the highest Vedic scripture. They always say Srimad Bhagawatam is of higher authority in matters of conflict and thereby reject outright any ‘pramanas’ that one cites from Shiva’s puranas. But the truth is – Krishna’s Bhagawatam is a Bogus scripture which was actually not composed by Vyasa. It is a work of some Vaishnavite scholar who shamelessly attributed it to Vyasa. And Bhagawatam contains uncountable blunders out of which I’ve selected only a handful number of fundamental defects for my reasoning and analysis here.
With this article, by the grace of Mahadeva, once and for ever – I’ll demolish the authenticity of Srimad Bhagawatam on which the vaishnavite sects base their arguments against lord Shiva! Not just that alone, by the grace of mother Uma once and for all – I would establish the authenticity of ‘Devi Bhagavatam’ as the original ‘Srimad Bhagavata Purana’.
2. ‘kalpa bheda, manvantara bheda, yuga bheda’ – The Three Layered Armour Ripped Apart!
It has been noticed that when people do not find answers to a challenge or a puzzle, in order to safeguard their interests, they tend to bring in ‘kalpa bheda’ concept to get away from the hard reality. Sometimes, people also consider the ‘yuga bheda’ as well, if it helps them in any manner. Why to stop at those two only? Let me also help them bringing ‘manvantara bheda’ too and show how all these moths get incinerated when they try to touch the fire of reality!
In this section, all the possible claims around ‘kalpa bheda’, ‘manvantara bheda’ and ‘yuga bheda’ would be demolished. Srimad Bhagavatam cannot be safeguarded by these propositions at all.
2.1. Srimad Bhagavatam is a narrative of the current ‘svetavaraha kalpa’ only
Srimad Bhagavatam belongs to the current ‘kalpa’ named ‘svetavarAha kalpa’. It would become crystal clear by the end of this section. Well, the Srimad Bhagavatam, in the following verse, mentions that it is going to narrate about the ‘padma kalpa’. Immediately, the vaishnavas would jump in exhilaration seeing this, because it gives them an excuse to bring ‘kalpa bheda’ concept to defend the contradictions and blunders that Srimad Bhagavatam’s author has committed.
Suka narrates to Parikshit the details of the creation of universe and then makes a statement as shown below. He says they would discuss about the measurement of time some other time, but at present Suka asks Parikshit to listen to the Padma Kalpa.
“parimāṇaṁ ca kālasya kalpa-lakṣaṇa-vigraham |
yathā purastād vyākhyāsye pādmaṃ kalpamatho śṛṇu ||” (SB 2:10:47)
“O King, I shall in due course explain the measurement of time in its gross and subtle features with the specific symptoms of each, but for the present let me explain unto you the Pādma-kalpa”.
However, the noteworthy point here is the purport (commentary) over this verse. There, the commentator ‘Srila A.C Bhaktivedanta Thakura Prabhupada’, adds a note in the Purport as follows –
“The present duration of a kalpa of Brahmā is called the Varāha-kalpa or Śvetavarāha-kalpa because the incarnation of the Lord as Varāha took place during the creation of Brahmā, who was born on the lotus coming out of the abdomen of Viṣṇu. Therefore this Varāha-kalpa is also called Pādma-kalpa, and this is testified by ācāryas like Jīva Gosvāmī as well as Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura in pursuance of the first commentator, Svāmī Śrīdhara. So there is no contradiction between the Varāha and the Pādma-kalpa of Brahmā”.
Here I agree with the observation or opinion of Sridhara Swami’s and other acharyas till Prabhupada who all agreed that the Srimad Bhagavatam is a narration of Svetavaraha Kalpa which is also known as Padma Kalpa. They are right.
This verse is very misleading and has confused not only the general readers but even the scholarly people also. This verse seems to be telling us that the subsequent narrative is all about ‘Padma Kalpa’ – a different kalpa than our present one, hence Krishna-Bhagavatam belongs to Padma-Kalpa. However, in truth, it is not so! Let me explain why!
As soon as Suka says the above verse, the discussion breaks there itself and we do NOT know what details of the (so called) ‘padma kalpa’ was narrated by Suka to Parikshit thereafter. The subsequent discussion goes all about the current ‘varaha-kalpa’ only. The immediate next verse of that purana takes us back to the conversation of Suta muni and Saunaka sages. There Saunaka sages ask Suta muni a question about Vidura and then Suta narrates how Parikshit had also asked the same question and how Suka answered the question by detailing about Vidura and maitreya’s conversation.
“yad āha no bhavān sūta kṣattā bhāgavatottamaḥ |
cacāra tīrthāni bhuvas tyaktvā bandhūn sudustyajān ||” (SB 2:10:48)
“Śaunaka Ṛṣi, after hearing all about the creation, inquired from Sūta Gosvāmī about Vidura, for Sūta Gosvāmī had previously informed him how Vidura left home, leaving aside all his relatives, who were very difficult to leave”.
And then Suta muni replies saying, the very same question was asked by Parikshit to Suka and whatever narration Suka had done in response to the query, same answer Suta muni would now be telling to the Saunaka sages.
“rājñā parīkṣitā pṛṣṭo yad avocan mahā-muniḥ |
tad vo ’bhidhāsye śṛṇuta rājñaḥ praśnānusārataḥ ||” (SB 2:10:51)
“Śrī Sūta Gosvāmī explained: I shall now explain to you the very subjects explained by the great sage in answer to King Parīkṣit’s inquiries. Please hear them attentively”.
Our Indian method of storytelling is always beautiful and yet complex, because there would be an ‘AkhyAna’ (main story)’ running and within that main story another ‘upAkhyAna (sub-story)’ gets to be seen, and sometimes even within the sub-story another sub-story may also be found. So, unless one reads the text from beginning, there is every chance that the reader wouldn’t know the head and tail of the sequence.
Here Suta muni is narrating to Saunaka sages (Su-Sau)’ a story ‘narrated by Shuka to Parikshit (Shu-Pa)’ about the ‘discussion between Vidura and Maitreya (Vi-Ma)’. So, it is like “Su-Sau –> Shu-Pa –>Vi-Ma”.
Now, if we know the timescale of the discussion that happened between ‘Vidura and maitreya’, we can draw valuable insights about the period of the Suta, Saunaka, as well as Suka and Parikshit.
In this context, there is an interesting evidence that we get in the conversation between vidura and maitreya. Maitreya tells Vidura about the kalpas and manvantaras. Basically maitreya is narrating the topic of timespan. Sage maitreya tells to vidura how lord Brahma’s half lifespan (50 years of brahma’s scale) has already elapsed, and then tells the very interesting verse stating the current period of their conversation. Let’s see their discussion now.
Maitreya says that Brahma’s half lifespan (i.e., 50 years) has been already over and currently the second half is running. This is exactly true as in ‘sandhya vandana’ or even in ‘nitya puja’ we recite ‘adhya brahmaṇaḥ dvitīya parārdhe…’.
“yad ardham āyuṣas tasya parārdham abhidhīyate |
pūrvaḥ parārdho ’pakrānto hy aparo ’dya pravartate ||” (SB 3:11:34)
“The one hundred years of Brahmā’s life are divided into two parts, the first half and the second half. The first half of the duration of Brahmā’s life is already over, and the second half is now current”.
I’ll skip verses 35 and 36 here, to keep things simple. Those two verses discuss about ‘Brahma kalpa’ and ‘Padma Kalpa’. We’ll take them up for analysis in a separate section at the end of the article in a separate appendix titled “APPENDIX – B: The Puzzle of ‘Padma-Kalpa’“. However, let’s focus now on verse 37 of the same chapter. It clearly states that the ‘first kalpa’ of the ‘2nd parardha (second half)’ of Brahma’s life which is running currently is called as ‘varaha kalpa’.
“ayaṁ tu kathitaḥ kalpo dvitīyasyāpi bhārata |
vārāha iti vikhyāto yatrāsīc chūkaro hariḥ ||” (SB 3:11:37)
“O descendant of Bharata, the second half of the life of Brahmā is also known as the Vārāha kalpa because the Personality of Godhead appeared in that millennium as the hog incarnation”.
Now, correlating the above cited two verses (viz. 34 and 37) we learn that the currently running ‘kalpa’ is ‘varaha kalpa’! There you go! We can draw excellent insights with this data now. We need to carefully note these points.
Based on above discussion we can clearly see that – The time period where ‘maitreya’ and ‘vidura’ are discussing all these is none other than our currently running ‘varaha kalpa’ only. In other words, the discussants ‘maitreya’ and ‘vidura’ are from our ‘varaha-kalpa’ only.
So, in the story narration sequence “Su-Sau –> Shu-Pa –> Vi-Ma”, we have been able to fix that the (Vi-Ma) belongs to ‘varaha-kalpa’. Now, since the discussion between ‘vidura’ and ‘maitreya’, is a sub-story, within the story being narrated by shuka to parikshit which is again inside the story being narrated by suta to saunaka sages – all these various narrators and listeners also by default would have to be from the currently running ‘varaha-kalpa’ only. So, it is fixed that the ‘Suka’ and ‘Parikshit’ of ‘Srimad Bhagavatam’ of ‘Krishna’ are from our ‘varaha kalpa’ only.
The entire 3rd canto and entire 4th canto are totally filled with discussions between maitreya and vidura. In the 3rd Canto however, in the beginning ‘vidura’ meets ‘uddhava’ and talks with him. Vidura enquires about the welfare of krishna’s children, grandchildren and also enquires about the welfare of ‘kunti’ and ‘pandavas’.
Vidura enquires about – Krishna (SB 3:1:26), vasudeva (SB 3:1:27), Pradyumna (SB 3:1:28), Samba (SB 3:1:30), Devaki (SB 3:1:33), and Aniruddha (SB 3:1:34). Then he enquires about the pAnDava-s. – Yudhishthira (SB 3:1:36), Bhima (SB 3:1:37), Arjuna (SB 3:1:38), Nakula-Sahadeva (SB 3:1:39), and Kunti (SB 3:1:40).
So the character names talked about in that chapter are all the historical characters contemporaries (belonging to the time) of Vidura only. Then Uddhava tells the life stories of Krishna right from his birth till his disappearance from the world. And then Uddhava says he has to leave for Badarikashrama to meet Nara and Narayana there, then Vidura requests Uddhava to suggest someone who could teach more about Krishna; Uddhava asks Vidura to meet ‘Maitreya’ who knows about the lord very much and learn the glories of the lord from him. And thereafter Vidura-maitreya conversations begin which we have discussed above.
Vidura and Maitreya’s discussions span even the 4th canto. They discuss about various topics. At the end of 4th canto ‘vidura’ takes leave from ‘maitreya’ and returns to ‘hastinapura’ as stated in below verse.
śrī-śuka uvāca |
ity ānamya tam āmantrya viduro gajasāhvayam |
svānāṁ didṛkṣuḥ prayayau jñātīnāṁ nirvṛtāśayaḥ ||” (SB 4:31:30)
“Śukadeva Gosvāmī continued: Vidura thus offered obeisances unto the great sage Maitreya and, taking his permission, started for the city of Hastināpura to see his own kinsmen, although he had no material desires”.
So, far it is clear that this ‘vidura’ is our own ‘vidura’ of ‘Mahabharata’ only, and the Krishna, Pandavas, Kunti, uddhava etc., all characters discussed so far were all the figures from our own Mahabharata time only. Hope there is no confusion here.
Also, note that the discussion that spanned till the end of 4th canto, covered various topics such as creation, lord Vishnu’s incarnations, Vishnu’s glories, stories about demons etc., especially the stories of Prahlada and Hiranyakashyapu etc., are in great detail. Here noteworthy point is, the stories of Prahlada etc., was narrated by Maitreya remembering what Narada narrated to Yudhishthira. So, all these stories in their original telling (by Narada) and retellings by Maitreya again are connected with the Mahabharata characters of our times only.
I hope the readers still remember that the discussion between Maitreya and Vidura is happening under the retelling by Suka to Parikshit (flashback). So, here again at the end of 7th canto the author brings us back to Parikshit who questions suka in the beginning of 8th canto saying that he had heard from Suka about the dynasties of Swayambhuva-Manu, so next Parikshit wanted to hear about the other manu-s and their lineage. He also requests Suka to narrate the stories of Vishnu’s incarnations in the various manvantaras. Let’s look at the below verses.
svāyambhuvasyeha guro vaṁśo ’yaṁ vistarāc chrutaḥ |
yatra viśva-sṛjāṁ sargo manūn anyān vadasva naḥ ||” (SB 8:1:1)
“King Parīkṣit said: O my lord, my spiritual master, now I have fully heard from Your Grace about the dynasty of Svāyambhuva Manu. But there are also other Manus, and I want to hear about their dynasties. Kindly describe them to us”.
“manvantare harer janma karmāṇi ca mahīyasaḥ |
gṛṇanti kavayo brahmaṁs tāni no vada śṛṇvatām ||” (SB 8:1:2)
“O learned brāhmaṇa, Śukadeva Gosvāmī, the great learned persons who are completely intelligent describe the activities and appearance of the Supreme Personality of Godhead during the various manvantaras. We are very eager to hear about these narrations. Kindly describe them”.
“yad yasminn antare brahman bhagavān viśva-bhāvanaḥ |
kṛtavān kurute kartā hy atīte ’nāgate ’dya vā ||” (SB 8:1:3)
“O learned brāhmaṇa, kindly describe to us whatever activities the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who created this cosmic manifestation, has performed in the past manvantaras, is performing at present, and will perform in the future manvantaras.
Then we see another evidence to support this thesis in the words of Suka. Here Suka starts narrating the various Manus and their progeny, but begins with a statement mentioning clearly that these Manus are from current Kalpa (i.e., Varaha kalpa as already established above). So, we have yet another evidence here that the discussion is ALL about the present ‘varaha-kalpa’ only.
“śrī-ṛṣir uvāca |
manavo ’smin vyatītāḥ ṣaṭ kalpe svāyambhuvādayaḥ |
ādyas te kathito yatra devādīnāṁ ca sambhavaḥ ||” (SB 8:1:4)
“Śukadeva Gosvāmī said: In the present kalpa there have already been six Manus. I have described to you Svāyambhuva Manu and the appearance of many demigods. In this kalpa of Brahmā, Svāyambhuva is the first Manu”.
Then Suka narrates the sons and daughters of each Manu and says that the grandson of Swayambhuva Manu was Kapila about whom Suka had ALREADY described. When did he describe? The answer is in the 3rd canto. Therefore, the third canto discussion about Kapila (and obviously all others) was also a discussion from current kalpa only.
“ākūtyāṁ devahūtyāṁ ca duhitros tasya vai manoḥ |
dharma-jñānopadeśārthaṁ bhagavān putratāṁ gataḥ ||” (SB 8:1:5)
“Svāyambhuva Manu had two daughters, named Ākūti and Devahūti. From their wombs, the Supreme Personality of Godhead appeared as two sons named Yajñamūrti and Kapila respectively. These sons were entrusted with preaching about religion and knowledge”.
“kṛtaṁ purā bhagavataḥ kapilasyānuvarṇitam |
ākhyāsye bhagavān yajño yac cakāra kurūdvaha ||” (SB 8:1:6)
“O best of the Kurus, I have already described [in the Third Canto] the activities of Kapila, the son of Devahūti. Now I shall describe the activities of Yajñapati, the son of Ākūti”.
Then the discussion of this 8th Canto between Suka and Parikshit continues about the various ‘manus’ and their dynasties and a few spiritual and devotional stories such as ‘gajendra moksham’ etc., are seen in between. Then again the discussion continues talking about the remaining incarnations of the lord Vishnu like Mohini, Matsya etc. which happened during those manvantara-s, and also stories of historical events such as Milk-Ocean churning are also discussed.
So, I repeat – EVERYTHING is being talked about the CURRENTLY running Kalpa ONLY!
Then the subsequent discussion all happen about the current manvantara (Vaivasvata) which we’ll see in next section. So, 9th and 10th cantos totally describe the dynasties of the ‘vaivasvata manvantara’ and then in continuation of the dynasties the ‘chandra vamsha’ is described in which a very detailed account of lord Krishna is presented (who incarnated in the ‘Yadu dynasty’). Thus the 10th canto describes about all his various sports of Krishna. This Krishna-story continues till 11th canto where the last chapter talsk about the departure of lord Krishna. So, here again the narration is EVERYTHING about the PRESENTLY running Kalpa ONLY.
Finally, in the 12th canto miscellaneous topics are narrated such as – the description of kali-yuga, story about markandeya, etc., and also in this Canto itself is narrated how Suka concludes his speech and how Parikshit finally meets his death. This marks the end to Srimad-Bhagavatam of Krishna, where, as seen by us in our analysis – each and every canto talked about the histories and stories of the present ‘varaha-kalpa’ only. So, from beginning to end this ‘Krishna-bhagavatam’ is a text where in the narrators, the listeners, the narration, everything belongs to ‘varaha kalpa’ alone. Then how can anyone consider this ‘Purana’ to be talking about ‘Padma Kalpa’? Such conclusions are ONLY because of lack of proper knowledge and research by them.
From above analysis, we can easily understand that the Srimad Bhagawatam is a text which is a narrative of the presently running Kalpa only. So, the theory of ‘kalpa bheda’ wouldn’t be able to save it from facing the severe contradictions that it contains. We’ll look at the contradictions later. First let’s fix the time frame of this bogus Purana. A dedicated discussion on ‘padma-kalpa’ is separately done in “APPENDIX – B: The Puzzle of ‘Padma-Kalpa'”
Now let’s see if there is any ‘manvantara bheda’ theory which can save it from being bogus.
2.2. Srimad Bhagavatam is a narrative of current ‘vaivasvata manvantara’ only
Alright! When the ‘kalpa bheda’ excuse is refuted above, the next excuse that could potentially come from vaishnavas is the ‘manvantara bheda’. They may say – “Within the same kalpa there are fourteen manvantaras, hence this Srimad Bhagavatam could be a story of some other manvantara of the past, hence there are differences in the events and stories”. Very well! Let me render useless this proposition as well!
Beyond any doubt, Srimad Bhagavatam talks being seated in the present Manvantara itself. Once in a while if the previous incarnations of lord was needed to be narrated, it talks about previous ‘manu(s)’ during whose time such incarnations came.
Well, the general rule that all Puranas adhere to is – All the Puanas remain in present manvantara and narrate stories of the past. In such cases every Purana doubtlessly, says “purā kalpe” if it was narrating some event of some distant past ‘kalpa’. It recounts names also if the names were known. However, there EXISTS NO purana in Hinduism where the narrators remain seated in some past kalpa or past manvantara and narrate stories of our current kalpa and manvantara (here current kalpa and manvantara become the future ones for such a case if such an imaginary case be considered to exist for the sake of argument). There is no purana which says “In future when Svetavaraha kalpa would come, there in vaivasvata manu’s time such and such would happen”. All Puranas have the narrators seated firmly fixed in the present kalpa (svetavarāha) and present manvantara (vaivasvata) and when they have to speak about past kalpa or manvantara they would begin as “in ancient kalpa (if name is not known otherwise they would give name and start recounting the tale) so and so happened”, and for future, all puranas have usually only described events till the Kaliyuga of the current vaivasvata manvantara only. There is no purana which speaks about events that would happen in the upcoming krita yuga. They only make some passing or sweeping statements such as “after the kaliyuga again the satya yuga cycle would start where everyone would be pious” etc. Or maximum they mention which person would become next manu and next Indra etc., nothing beyond that. They have never talked extensively about the various stories of future manus and future Indra as well. All ‘futuristic’ detailed predictions are limited till our present kaliyuga only.
Now, in same lines this Srimad Bhagavatam also is very much related to our vaivasvata manvantara only where the narrators are sitting in dwapara yuga and talking about previous and current manvantara events.
Here is a verse from Srimad Bhagavatam which clearly talks about the ‘vaivasvata manu’ being the ‘current (vartamanah)’ one. This implies that the narrator ‘Suka’ and the listener ‘Parikshit’ were sitting in the ‘vaivasvata’ manvantara and discussing ‘Srimad Bhagavatam’.
“śrī-śuka uvāca |
manur vivasvataḥ putraḥ śrāddhadeva iti śrutaḥ |
saptamo vartamāno yas tad-apatyāni me śṛṇu ||” (SB 8:13:1)
“Śukadeva Gosvāmī said: The present Manu, who is named Śrāddhadeva, is the son of Vivasvān, the predominating deity on the sun planet. Śrāddhadeva is the seventh Manu. Now please hear from me as I describe his sons”.
Now just in case we want to know who was ‘shraddhadeva’, below verse explains how a king of a former time by mercy of Hari became the son of sun god and became the present ‘manu’. Note that the verse below calls the ‘kalpa’ in which the discussants are discussing as ‘asmin kalpe’ meaning, ‘this present kalpa’. And from all Puranas we know that the ‘kalpa’ where ‘vaivasvata’ manvantara is narrated, is very much the currently running ‘svetavaraha kalpa’ only.
“yo ’sāv asmin mahā-kalpe tanayaḥ sa vivasvataḥ |
śrāddhadeva iti khyāto manutve hariṇārpitaḥ ||” (SB 8:24:11)
“In this [the present] kalpa, the king (Satyavrata) became the son of Vivasvān (the sun god), and was known as Śrāddhadeva. By the mercy of the lord Hari, he was given the post of Manu”.
“sa tu satyavrato rājā jñāna-vijñāna-saṁyutaḥ |
viṣṇoḥ prasādāt kalpe ’sminn āsīd vaivasvato manuḥ ||” (SB 8:24:58)
“King Satyavrata was illuminated with all Vedic knowledge by the mercy of Lord Viṣṇu, and in this current kalpa he has now taken birth as Vaivasvata Manu, the son of the sun-god”.
Further in next canto also we find the events relating to ‘shraddhadeva’ who is the current ‘manu’ being the son of ‘vivasvan’. Note that the tone of the verses is in past tense, which indicates that the discussants were sitting in the recent dwapara yuga only because we are still in the ‘vaivasvata manvantara’ hence when below verse is talking about the ‘vaivasvata manu’, it is describing about an event that has already occurred in his lifetime (i.e., in the same ‘manvantara’).
“śrī-śuka uvāca |
evaṁ gate ’tha sudyumne manur vaivasvataḥ sute |
putra-kāmas tapas tepe yamunāyāṁ śataṁ samāḥ ||” (SB 9:2:1)
“Śukadeva Gosvāmī said: Thereafter, when his son Sudyumna had thus gone to the forest to accept the order of vānaprastha, Vaivasvata Manu [Śrāddhadeva], being desirous of getting more sons, performed severe austerities on the bank of the Yamunā for one hundred years”.
Another evidence in our research, is seen in below verse. The below verse is a story of a brahmana ‘ajamila’ where ‘yama’, the god of death is in context. Here this text describes ‘yama’ as ‘vaivasvata’ meaning ‘son of ‘vivasvan’. This is a noteworthy point, and is yet another clear evidence that the ‘manvantara’ around which ‘Srimad Bhagavatam’ revolves is definitely ‘vaivasvata’, the very manvantara we are part of. Had this not been the case, this Purana would have used another name to describe ‘yama’ instead of calling him ‘vaivasvata’ meaning ‘son of vivasvan’; because, in every cycle the adityas, rudras, vasus and visvedevas have a different name. The way the present manvantara’s Indra is named ‘purandara’, similarly, the present sun god’s name is ‘vivasvan’ and hence his son ‘yama’ is also termed ‘vaivasvata’. One may recall the famous verse of Bhagavad Gita (BG 4.1) where the lord states that at the beginning, this ‘Gita’ was preached by him to ‘vivasvan’.
“ūcur niṣedhitās tāṁs te vaivasvata-puraḥsarāḥ |
ke yūyaṁ pratiṣeddhāro dharma-rājasya śāsanam ||” (SB 6:1:32)
“When the order carriers of Yamarāja, the son of the sun-god vivasvān’, were thus forbidden, they replied: Who are you, sirs that have the audacity to challenge the jurisdiction of Yamarāja?”
Now, let me refute another clever claim that I have seen some people making. Since Srimad Bhagavatam mentions about ‘Vaivasvata manvantara’, some people were seen raising a question saying – “Why can’t the ‘vaivasvata’ manvantara this Srimad Bhagavatam talks about be of ‘padma kalpa’? Why should we assume that manvantara to be of our ‘varaha kalpa’ only?”
That was a very thought provoking argument but since we have already done an in-depth analysis and we have developed clarity on this, we can easily debunk such claims. Let’s see why that claim stands invalid.
In the below verse from 8th canto when Parikshit requested Suka to describe all the manus and their dynasties as seen in previous section, note below that Suka begins answering saying – “In the present kalpa” – and then continues with the first manu named Svayambhuva-Manu. In previous section we have seen that the “Present kalpa” that Suka, Parikshit, Maitreya, Vidura and everyone belongs to is – the ‘varaha kalpa’ only. So, the further discussion about manvantaras is all about our currently running kalpa’s manvantara-s only.
Now, Suka also says that so far six manus have already passed. This is again another evidence that the narrator Suka and Parikshit are from the ‘Seventh manvantara’ viz. ‘vaivasvata manvantara’ only.
“śrī-ṛṣir uvāca |
manavo ’smin vyatītāḥ ṣaṭ kalpe svāyambhuvādayaḥ |
ādyas te kathito yatra devādīnāṁ ca sambhavaḥ ||” (SB 8:1:4)
“Śukadeva Gosvāmī said: In the present kalpa there have already been six Manus. I have described to you Svāyambhuva Manu and the appearance of many demigods. In this kalpa of Brahmā, Svāyambhuva is the first Manu”.
Conclusion: Thus, We can easily understand from above analysis that Srimad Bhagavatam is verily a text which belongs to the current manvantara only.
2.3. Srimad Bhagavatam describes ‘Krishna’ from the recent ‘Dwapara’ yuga only
Now that ‘Kalpa’ and ‘manvantara’ excuses are refuted; there could be some ignorant people who might think of calling this Srimad Bhagavatam to be a tale of some previous ‘dwapara yuga’ and not the recently passed ‘dwapara yuga’ hence trying to attempt defending the contradictions that this book contains.
However, the fact is, despite there being multiple cycles of four yugas in ‘vaivasvata manvantara’ itself, yet we cannot say that in every dwapara yuga Krishna comes, in every treat yuga Rama comes and so on. The truth is – Vishnu’s dasavataras span the entire kalpa; and they do not ever repeat within the same kalpa. We are in 28th Dwapara-yuga and the Rama incarnation happened in 24th Treta yuga (i.e., in four chatur-yugas before, which is a very distant past). This is clearly evident from Harivamsa Parva as follows.
Harivamsha Parva of Mahabharata in chapter 41 describes the ten incarnations of Vishnu. There, although not all incarnations are specified in terms of yuga name; but most of them are said to be from ‘pura yuge’ (some past yuga). Only for Rama, Vyasa and Krishna the yuga names are recounted. However, these three itself are enough to understand that all the ten incarnations didn’t happen in the four consecutive yugas. All the ten incarnations span across the entire epoch. Between Rama and Krishna itself is a huge gap.
Rama incarnation happened in the twenty-fourth mahayuga’s treat yuga.
“caturviṃśe yuge cāpi viśvāmitra puraḥsaraḥ ।
rājño daśarathasya atha putraḥ padma-āyata-īkṣaṇaḥ ॥121
kṛtvā ātmānaṃ mahābāhuḥ caturdhā prabhuḥ īśvaraḥ ।
loke rāma iti khyātaḥ tejasā bhāskara-upamaḥ ॥“ (Harivamsha Parva 1:41:121-122)
“In kRita era belonging to the twenty-fourth mahA-yuga, the lotus-petal eyed viShNu, keeping sage vishvamitra as helmsman and making himself fourfold personalities, incarnated as the son of king dasha-ratha, where the other three personalities are bharata, lakshmana, and shatrughna, ramified as his brothers… and with a resplendence like that of the sun he that lord, controller, and ambidextrous viShNu is celebrated in this world by his name rAma”.
While Veda Vyasa as the son of satyavati incarnated in the dwapara yuga of the twenty-eighth maha yuga. This should be indicative for Krishna’s incarnation also as Vyasa who was satyavati’s son and Krishna appeared in the same dwapara yuga.
“navame dvāpare viṣṇuḥ aṣṭāviṃśe purā abhavat ।
vedavyāsaḥ tathā jajñe jātūkarṇya puraḥsaraḥ ॥161
eko vedaḥ caturdhā tu kṛtaḥ tena mahātmanā ।
janito bhārato vaṃśaḥ satyavatyāḥ sutena ca ॥“ (Harivamsha Parva 1:41:161-162)
“After the ninth incarnation of viShNu, the lord having sent beforehand sage jAtUkarna to study veda-s and purANA-s, took his birth as sage veda-vyAsa in the twenty-eighth dvApara era, to segregate one veda in four sections, and even to categorise purANA-s, for easy comprehensibility… This sage veda-vyAsa, engendered by lady satyavati, is the originator for the dynasty of bhAratA-s”.
This shows that in the entire kalpa there are no multiple Krishnas, multiple Ramas. Vishnu’s ten incarnations span entire aeon.
Now relating this section with the previous two sections on manvantara and kalpa we can understand that – the sage ‘suka’ who was the narrator, and the king ‘parikshit’ who was the listener, were seated in the twenty-eighth dwapara yuga of the ‘vaivasvata’ manvantara of ‘svetavaraha’ kalpa and were discussing about lord ‘krishna’ of the twenty-eighth dwapara yuga only. – This means, in an idealistic scenario the narration as well as the events of Srimad Bhagavatam must never contradict the events and narratives of Mahabharata as Mahabharata was a tale of the twenty-eighth dwapara yuga of ‘vaivasvata’ manvantara of ‘swetavaraha’ kalpa only!
Having arrived at this conclusion, now let us see how Srimad Bhagawatam gets shattered into pieces under the storm of arrows of reasoning issuing out of my celestial bow!
3. Why Srimad Bhagawatam must NOT contradict Mahabharata
Mahabharata is neither just a tale about the dynasties such as – kuru, vrishni, yadu etc., nor it is a tale of kings, queens, battles alone. Along with the stories of the kings and dynasties, Vyasa had included various Puranic stories, stories teaching dharma shastras, discourses instructing about artha-shastra, kama-shastra and also there are discourses showing us the path to liberation.
The name ‘itihasa (= iti ha asa)’ means, ‘such wonderful events did occur’ or simply ‘as it occurred’ which in one word translates to ‘history’. Mahabharata is ‘itihasa’, with respect to the tales of all the dynasties who lived in that era when it was authored. Mahabharata is a ‘purana’ also – meaning, it contains narratives of some distant past events also. This is why Mahabharata has multiple names – it is called ‘itihasa’, it is named ‘purana’, and also it is called ‘kavya (poetry)’.
Mahabharata itself states that Vyasa has compiled the mysteries of Vedas, Upanishads, Puranas also together with the story of Kuru dynasty and created this great ‘Bharata’. In Mahabharata Adi-Parva, let’s see how the rishis glorified Mahabharata.
“[rsayah]:dvaipāyanena yat proktaṃ purāṇaṃ paramarṣiṇā | surair brahmarṣibhiś caiva śrutvā yad abhipūjitam || tasyākhyāna variṣṭhasya vicitrapadaparvaṇaḥ | sūkṣmārtha nyāyayuktasya vedārthair bhūṣitasya ca || bhāratasyetihāsasya puṇyāṃ granthārtha saṃyutām | saṃskāropagatāṃ brāhmīṃ nānāśāstropabṛṃhitām || janamejayasya yāṃ rājño vaiśampāyana uktavān | yathāvat sa ṛṣis tuṣṭyā satre dvaipāyanājñayā || vedaiś caturbhiḥ samitāṃ vyāsasyādbhuta karmaṇaḥ | saṃhitāṃ śrotum icchāmo dharmyāṃ pāpabhayāpahām ||” (MBH 1:01:15-19)
“The Rishi replied, ‘The Purana, first promulgated by the great Rishi Dwaipayana, and which after having been heard both by the gods and the Brahmarshis was highly esteemed, being the most eminent narrative that exists, diversified both in diction and division, possessing subtile meanings logically combined, and gleaned from the Vedas, is a sacred work. Composed in elegant language, it includeth the subjects of other books. It is elucidated by other Shastras, and comprehendeth the sense of the four Vedas. We are desirous of hearing that history also called Bharata, the holy composition of the wonderful Vyasa, which dispelleth the fear of evil, just as it was cheerfully recited by the Rishi Vaisampayana, under the direction of Dwaipayana himself, at the snake-sacrifice of Raja Janamejaya?'”
Srimad Bhagawatam contradicts Mahabharata in lot many places when ideally it is NOT supposed to contradict it. When apple to orange comparison is done, then contradictions are acceptable, but when the comparison is done apple to apple, there shouldn’t be any differences.
Further, even Vyasa speaks the following about his composition to lord Brahma. He clearly states that in his Mahabharata he has compiled various ancient treatises including Puranas.
“uvāca sa mahātejā brahmāṇaṃ parameṣṭhinam॥ 67
kṛtaṃ mayedaṃ bhagavankāvyaṃ paramapūjitam।
brahmanvedarahasyaṃ ca yaccāpyabhihitaṃ mayā॥ 68
sāṅgopaniṣadāṃ caiva vedānāṃ vistarakriyā।
itihāsapurāṇānāmunmeṣaṃ nirmitaṃ ca yat॥ 69
bhūtaṃ bhavyaṃ bhaviṣyaṃ ca trividhaṃ kālasaṃjñitam।
vividhasya ca dharmasya hyāśramāṇāṃ ca lakṣaṇam।
cāturvarṇyavidhānaṃ ca purāṇānāṃ ca kṛtsnaśaḥ॥ 71″ (MBH 1:01:67-71)
“Then the greatly glorious Vyasa, addressing Brahma Parameshthi, said, “O divine Brahma, by me a poem hath been composed which is greatly respected. The mystery of the Veda, and what other subjects have been explained by me; the various rituals of the Upanishads with the Angas; the compilation of the Puranas and history formed by me and named after the three divisions of time, past, present, and future; the determination of the nature of decay, fear, disease, existence, and non-existence, a description of creeds and of the various modes of life; rule for the four castes, and the import of all the Puranas”.
So, it is crystal clear from above verses that Mahabharata is not just a story of Kuru dynasty, but it is a vast compilation of Puranic legends also. Further it is stated that Puranas depend on Mahabharata as like as creatures depends upon space for sustenance as stated below (well, this statement is a dangerous one if not properly understood, I’ll elaborate this shortly).
“asyākhyānasya viṣaye purāṇaṃ vartate dvijāḥ | antarikṣasya viṣaye prajā iva caturvidhāḥ ||” (MBH 1:02:380)
“O ye Brahmana, as the four kinds of creatures (viviparous, oviparous, born of hot moisture and vegetables) are dependent on space for their existence, so the Puranas depend upon this history”.
Therefore it is very much clear that when a ‘historical’ story (emphasis on ‘historical’ to be noted) exists in Mahabharata and same story exists in a Purana referring to same timeframe of events, and both contradict each other, then Mahabharata being itihasa, and more authoritative, it is Mahabharata’s story which needs to be accepted as true, and the story of Purana needs to be rejected, but not the vice versa!
Here I could have simply progressed to the next section to directly elaborate the blunders of Srimad Bhagawatam, however, there is a danger if I did so. People have a false perception that Puranas are least authoritative in comparison with Mahabharata or Ramayana, however that is not the truth. With respect to ‘aitihasika (historical)’ events or stories no doubt Mahabharata and Ramayana are authoritative, at the same time, for generic events of ancient times, Puranas are the sole source of information. However, wherever these two books intercept each other, possessing challenges in each other’s path, there alone we need to apply reasoning to validate, and accept the story which looks closer to truth. I caution again – the below rules are not applicable to Test puranas always. Only for the historical events these work best. For all other cases, the best is always one’s guru’s guidance in any matter of conflicts or contradictions. Hope I made myself clear.
There are the following cases which need to be considered while comparing a Purana with Mahabharata in the matters of ‘aitihasika (historical)’ stories (may sometime extend for pauranika narratives too within the boundaries of valid reasoning):
Case-1: If MBH [Era A, Story A] exists in Purana as [Era A, Story (A+1)] OR Purana [Era A, Story A] exists in MBH as [Era A, Story (A+1)] –> Then they are mutually complementary, not contradicting. Here both texts remain authoritative.
Explanation: If a topic or story of Mahabharata also exists in a Purana, about the same era (kalpa, and manvantara) in time, and Purana says something additionally which Mahabharata didn’t say à Then it is NOT a contradiction. Mahabharata just omitted some detailing, which Purana elaborated. Hence here both the stories need to be considered together. Omission is not a defect, as the other text is complementing and making it complete. The vice versa is also true i.e., – If Mahabharata has mentioned something about a story of the same era and Purana has omitted that part while describing the same story, then here Mahabharata is complementing Purana and both the stories together needs to be read to gain an end to end understanding. Here both texts are authoritative.
Example: Upamanyu meeting Krishna and narrating Shiva Sahasranama – In Mahabharata the meeting as well as complete Shiva sahasranama are mentioned. In Shiva Purana meeting is stated but Shiva sahasranama is not listed out. Here Mahabharata is complementing the Purana and both texts need to be studied to gain complete coverage of the event. Similarly story of Mankanaka exists in Mahabharata and Kurma Purana alike, but there is a an additional dialogue between Mankanaka and Shiva in Kurma Purana which is omitted in Mahabharata. Here Kurma Purana is complementing Mahabharata and for this story, both the texts needs to be studied.
Case-2: If MBH [Era A, Story A] exists in Purana as [Era B, Story A] or exists in Purana as [Era B, Story B] –> Then they are both valid with respect to the respective era. Here both texts are authoritative with respect to the respective era.
Explanation: If a topic or story of Mahabharata about one era (kalpa, manvantara) also exists in a Purana, but talking with respect to another era (kalpa / manvantara); whether the story of both the texts are identical or they have slight variation or they are totally contradictory à In all three cases, both the stories are valid and needs to be accepted. Since timeframe is different, there are all chances of difference in events. Even if both stories mare identical despite the eras being different, we need to consider that in both eras those events took place alike. Hence both the texts are equally authoritative and both should be studied to gain an all round understanding of the events occurring in different eras.
Example: The variations of the destruction of ‘daksha-yajna’ fall under this category. In Shiva Purana and Skanda Purana they narrate story with respect to goddess Sati where she goes to the vicinity, and later immolates herself. In Mahabharata and it is a narrative during goddess Parvati’s life and here she stays in kailasha and sends Bhadrakali.This event being cyclic in nature of time, only the first time it goddess Sati immolated herself, next all events happened during goddess Parvati’s life hence events wouldn’t be same. In some cases Vishnu gets defeated, in some cases Vishnu chokes Veerabhadra and then Shiva himself comes and Vishnu flees. And so on. All these variations are equally acceptable given the time factor being different.
Case-3: If MBH [Era A, Story A] exists in Purana as [Era A, Story B] AND there is a possibility to interpret Story-B making it in sync with Story-A –>Then we may accept both versions by giving higher weight-age and prominence to Story-A while accepting Story-B with a pinch of salt. Here total rejection is not required.
Explanation: If a topic or story of Mahabharata about one era (kalpa, manvantara) also exists in a Purana about the same era (kalpa, manvantara), but the story given in Purana is in contradiction with that of the Mahabharata, then if there is a possibility of ‘interpreting’ the Puranic story to be in sync with Mahabharata, we may do so and accept both the versions while accepting the Purana version with a pinch of salt if needed.
Example: There could be some events or stories which look outwardly totally contradictory, but they could be some encoded secrets as well. In such cases, interpretations using – mantra-shastra, yoga-rahasya, antariksha-vijnana-rahasya, and jyotisha-shastra – may help bring the inner meanings and we may accept both versions as valid in different planes. Classic example of this case exists in Mahabharata itself. The birth story of Skanda is narrated twice in Mahabharata in two different Parvas where both stories have contradictory narration. Also, the birth of Skanda story varies slightly with Puranas also. But all these are NOT contradictions, none of these stories is invalid as ‘Skanda-principle’ is a highly mysterious principle and it encodes ‘antariksha-vijnana-rahasya’ as well as ‘kundalini-yoga-rahasyas’. When analyzed in the light of these parameters, skanda’s birth is a great shastra within itself. All the contradictory depictions are actually complementary and depict various shades and aspects of the ‘skanda tatwam’.
Case-4: if MBH  and Purana [Era A, Story A] –> Then for Story-A Purana becomes the sole authority!
Explanation: If a story is totally absent in Mahabharata and is narrated in a Purana, then there is no chance for comparison at all. Hands down Purana becomes authoritative in this regard. [Of course, in some cases we might have to validate it with Vedas and Vedanta if needed and reject if opposing them]
Example: The classic example is of ‘birth of Ganesha’ story. It is totally absent in Mahabharata, hence for Ganesha’s manifestation, Puranas are the sole authority. Mahabharata has no say in that. Another example could be of some vamachara, jaina, bauddha etc., doctrines which though absent in Mahabharata, may need to be challenged with respect to Vedas and then accepted or rejected based on the outcome.
Case-5: If MBH [Era A, Story A] exists in Purana as [Era A, Story B] AND there is ZERO possibility to interpret Story-B in sync with Story-A –> Then both are contradictory to each other. Mahabharata being ‘itihasa’ gains an upper hand and the Purana’s story stands rejected
Explanation: If a topic or story of Mahabharata about one era (kalpa, manvantara) also exists in a Purana about the same era (kalpa, manvantara), but the story given in Purana is in stark contradiction with that of the Mahabharata, and if there is no possibility of ‘interpreting’ the Puranic story to be in sync with Mahabharata, then Purana’s story needs to be rejected.
Example: Srimad Bhagawatam is a classic example! There is not just a few chapters that need rejection here, the very book itself is entirely inauthentic. This entire article is focused on this case alone. We’ll see in detail shortly.
Let’s see whether Bhagawatam survives under the strokes of the hammer called ‘reasoning’ or succumbs to death.
4. Refutation of Krishna’s Srimad Bhagawatam
In this section I would extensively analyze and show many blunders in the very fundamental topics where ideally these defects should not have been present. Mistakes in other trivial topics could have been ignored, but the very heart of the book itself contains unpardonable defects. A person who knows these would never hesitate to call Srimad Bhagawatam as inauthentic.
4.1. Srimad Bhagawatam’s Objective is not original
Srimad Bhagawatam is NOT an authentic scripture. I would not try to hide the facts here. It is not authored by Vyasa contrary to everyone’s beliefs; the reasons behind doubting the authenticity of entire Srimad Bhagawatam as a scripture are as follows:
The objective of ‘Harivamsa Purana’ which is a sequel to Mahabharata was that Vyasa felt that in the Eighteen parvas of Mahabharata he could not cover the entire life of Lord Krishna and hence desired to create a separate appendix (khila-parva) to talk in detail only about Lord Krishna’s entire life. The narration begins with Vishnu and his incarnations, detailing how and why Vishnu planned to incarnate as Krishna, and then the story navigates us through the various pastimes of Krishna – as a child, as an adult king etc., – many events unfold which aren’t discussed in the eighteen parvas of Mahabharata. Therefore it is clear why Vyasa had authored ‘Harivamsa Parva’ which is a sequel of Mahabharata. Harivamsa although is an ‘Appendix (khila)’ to Mahabharata hence is called ‘Parva’, it is usually read separately and is considered as ‘Harivamsa Purana’.
It is strange and funny to note that Srimad Bhagawatam also claims the same objective behind its authorship. Srimad Bhagawatam states that Vyasa remained sad after writing Mahabharata and Narada came and told him the reason for his sadness as – the gap of Krishna’s life history in Mahabharata’, and then Narada advised him to write a separate book for Krishna’s life history, and that’s how he wrote Srimad Bhagawatam.
Narada comes and advises Vyasa as if Vyasa doesn’t know why he was sad. Does someone else need to tell the divine sage his own reason of unhappiness? Strange! Below verses detail out how Narada persuaded Vyasa to author Srimad Bhagawatam explicitly narrating about the activities of Krishna. It is clear that the author whosoever wrote Srimad Bhagawatam, wasn’t even aware of the existence of ‘Harivamsa Parva’, funny!
“jijñāsitaṁ susampannam api te mahad-adbhutam |
kṛtavān bhārataṁ yas tvaṁ sarvārtha-paribṛṁhitam ||” (SB 1:5:3)
“[narada said]: Your inquiries were full and your studies were also well fulfilled, and there is no doubt that you have prepared a great and wonderful work, the Mahābhārata, which is full of all kinds of Vedic sequences elaborately explained”.
“śrī-nārada uvāca | bhavatānudita-prāyaṁ yaśo bhagavato ’malam |
yenaivāsau na tuṣyeta manye tad darśanaṁ khilam ||” (SB 1:5:8)
“Śrī Nārada said: You have not actually broadcasted the sublime and spotless glories of the Personality of Godhead. That philosophy which does not satisfy the transcendental senses of the Lord is considered worthless”.
“yathā dharmādayaś cārthā muni-varyānukīrtitāḥ |
na tathā vāsudevasya mahimā hy anuvarṇitaḥ ||” (SB 1:5:9)
“Although, great sage, you have very broadly described the four principles beginning with dharma, you have not described the glories of, Vāsudeva”.
“tvam apy adabhra-śruta viśrutaṁ vibhoḥ |
samāpyate yena vidāṁ bubhutsitam |
prākhyāhi duḥkhair muhur arditātmanāṁ |
saṅkleśa-nirvāṇam uśanti nānyathā ||” (SB 1:5:40)
“Please, therefore, describe the almighty Lord’s activities which you have learned by your vast knowledge of the Vedas, for that will satisfy the hankerings of great learned men and at the same time mitigate the miseries of the masses of common people who are always suffering from material pangs. Indeed, there is no other way to get out of such miseries”.
And then Vyasa is said to have authored Srimad Bhagawatam. Then Suta says that he would narrate the events of Srimad Bhagawatam to Saunaka sages as stated in below verse – Below verse needs to be carefully noted.
parīkṣito ’tha rājarṣer janma-karma-vilāpanam |
saṁsthāṁ ca pāṇḍu-putrāṇāṁ vakṣye kṛṣṇa-kathodayam ||” (SB 1:7:12)
“Sūta Gosvāmī thus addressed the ṛṣis headed by Śaunaka: Now I shall begin the transcendental narration of the Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa and topics of the birth, activities and deliverance of King Parīkṣit, the sage amongst kings, as well as topics of the renunciation of the worldly order by the sons of Pāṇḍu”.
As per above verse it is clear that Srimad Bhagawatam is all about Krishna’s birth as Devaki-putra and his activities done throuout his life which involve his activities done with the Pandavas also. This makes it clear that it is all about the Krishna we know from Mahabharata. Then what was “so missing” in Harivamsa that Vyasa had to feel sad and Narada had to ask Vyasa to author another book on Krishna altogether? Harivamsa is itself a massive Parva comprising more than 16000 verses. Hypothetically, if Srimad Bhagawatam would have been a Purana similar to ‘Brahma-Vaivarta’, then that would have been a separate case altogether and we could have considered Srimad Bhagawatam as authentic because Brahma-vaivarta Purana totally takes a different route and places Krishna as a primordial god and Krishna and Radha are shown as the creators of everything including Narayana who emerges from Krishna, and most of Krishna’s depiction and glories are all related to celestial plane rather than being the narrative of devaki’s son. Therefore, when in Harivamsa, Vyasa had already narrated entire life history of Sri Krishna right from the cause behind Vishnu taking that incarnation itself, then what was the need for Srimad Bhagawatam to be created to narrate the same events but with contradictory depictions?
There are lot many differences and contradictions between Harivamsam and Bhagawatam. Harivamsa to a large extent matches with Mahabharata, and Bhagawatam differs from both these scriptures.
It is foolish to consider that same author (Vyasa) would write two books (Srimad Bhagawatam and Harivamsam) on same character (Krishna) belonging to the same time-period (svetavaraha-kalpa, vaivasvata-manvantara, and twenty-eighth-dwapara-yuga) describing Krishna’s life story, but with ‘totally contradictory’ depictions!
Further, Harivamsa Purana begins with a discussion among the Saunaka sages and their leader saint Suta. There Suta discourses his disciples the various Puranic stories and then describes the life history of Krishna. Interestingly (or rather surprisingly), we find Saunaka sages enquiring the same things to Suta in Srimad Bhagawatam, and in response to their queries, Suta tells them the life history of Krishna as narrated by Suka once upon a time to Parikshit. Wow! How can same set of disciples (Saunaka sages) encounter same queries (on Krishna’s life) about same god (Krishna) and enquire same preceptor (Suta) in two scriptures? And how can Suta narrate the life history of the same Krishna in two scriptures to the same audience, but with contradictory narrations? It is totally illogical to consider both the texts simultaneously as authentic; one of them needs to be rejected as a copy-cat, altered and bogus version. Had I been Suta, and if I would have been enquired on same subject by same disciples I would have either asked them to refer to their previous notes taken by them while I narrated Harivamsa, or being graceful I would have narrated Harivamsa once again. How can people be so unrealistic in blindly accepting two versions on same character’s life (Krishna) with contradictory renderings? God knows!
4.2. Srimad Bhagawatam’s Content is not Authentic
Let us now see how the content of Srimad Bhagawatam of Krishna is all fictitious.
4.2.1. Errors in description of Vishnu’s incarnations
Srimad Bhagawatam lists Veda Vyasa as an incarnation that occurred before the Sri Rama incarnation – Which is a big blunder. Below verse is about the recent Vyasa only as he is said to be the son of Parasara and Satyavati. So, there is no question of considering the below verse as talking about previous Vyasas.
“tataḥ saptadaśe jātaḥ satyavatyāṁ parāśarāt |
cakre veda-taroḥ śākhā dṛṣṭvā puṁso ’lpa-medhasaḥ ||” (SB 1:3:21)
“Thereafter, in the seventeenth incarnation of Godhead, Śrī Vyāsadeva appeared in the womb of Satyavatī through Parāśara Muni, and he divided the one Veda into several branches and sub-branches, seeing that the people in general were less intelligent”.
Next verse says Sri Rama was the incarnation after that (ataH paraM), meaning, if the above mentioned Vyasa incarnation is seventeenth one, then Sri Rama is eighteenth one as per Srimad Bhagawatam.
“nara-devatvam āpannaḥ sura-kārya-cikīrṣayā |
samudra-nigrahādīni cakre vīryāṇy ataḥ param ||” (SB 1:3:22)
“In the eighteenth incarnation, the Lord appeared as King Rāma. In order to perform some pleasing work for the demigods, He exhibited superhuman powers by controlling the Indian Ocean and then killing the atheist King Rāvaṇa, who was on the other side of the sea”.
It also talks about Gautama Buddha as Vishnu’s incarnation, which is a clear reflection of confused later day opinion. Original Buddha was Arihanta not Siddhartha.
“tataḥ kalau sampravṛtte sammohāya sura-dviṣām |
buddho nāmnāñjana-sutaḥ kīkaṭeṣu bhaviṣyati ||” (SB 1:3:24)
“Then, in the beginning of Kali-yuga, the Lord will appear as Lord Buddha, the son of Añjanā, in the province of Gayā, just for the purpose of deluding those who are envious of the faithful theist”.
4.2.2. Error regarding describing Vishnu and Krishna
Then Bhagawatam says, Krishna is the original source god from where all other incarnations emanate. It calls other incarnations such as Rama, Narasimha etc., as ‘amshas (portions)’ whereas calls Krishna as himself the Bhagawan (Supreme Being) in full (not any amsha).
“ete cāṁśa-kalāḥ puṁsaḥ kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam |
indrāri-vyākulaṁ lokaṁ mṛḍayanti yuge yuge ||” (SB 1:3:28)
“All of the above-mentioned incarnations are either plenary portions or portions of the plenary portions of the Lord, but Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa is the original Personality of Godhead. All of them appear on planets whenever there is a disturbance created by the atheists. The Lord incarnates to protect the theists”.
Whereas Harivamsa is practical, realistic and correct to a large extent in its narration; and calls Krishna as an portion of Vishnu. Harivamsa’s description of Vishnu and Krishna is in perfect agreement with Mahabharata. Let me quote a verse here.
While describing the end of Dwapara Yuga, how Kaliyuga would begin with the disappearance of Krishna – when he leaves his body and ascends to vaikuntha; Harivamsa clearly calls Krishna as an ‘aMsha (portion)’, of the lord. Please note that in below verse ‘Maheshvara’ refers to Vishnu in the sense of ‘great lord’.
“maheśvara aṃśe apasṛte tato māheśvaraṃ yugam ।
śiṣyaṃ pravartate paścāt yugaṃ dāruṇa darśanam ||” (Harivamsa Parva1:53:59)
“When the incarnate of great lord (mahA Ishvara) from his ‘aMsha (portion)’ – namely kRiShNa; returns (to vaikuNTham), then the era of rudra (maheshvara yugam) – i.e. a ruinous era, kali yuga commences, and remains till the end of era cycle – but in a terrible way”.
Even Mahabharata calls Krishna as a “Portion” of Narayana and Balarama a “portion” of Sesha. Mahabharata doesn’t agree with Krishna being the original godhead contrary to Bhagwatam’s exaggerated definitions.
“yas tu nārāyaṇo nāma devadevaḥ sanātanaḥ | tasyāṃśo mānuṣeṣv āsīd vāsudevaḥ pratāpavān | śeṣasyāṃśas tu nāgasya baladevo mahābalaḥ |” (MBH. 1:61:90-91)
“And he, called Vasudeva, endued with great valour, was among men a portion of him called Narayana–the god of gods–eternal. And Valadeva of exceeding strength was a portion of the Naga, Sesha”.
4.2.3. Castles built in the air by Suta
The narrator of Puranas Sri Suta says that when Suka was giving Bhagawatam discourse to Parikshit, from his mouth Suta listened to this story directly and learned from him, which he is narrating now to the sages. What a fanciful castle built in the air – When there was no Suka-Parikshit meeting ever, how could Suta listen to that? We’ll know shortly why there was never a Suka-Parikshit meeting or discourse in reality.
“tatra kīrtayato viprā viprarṣer bhūri-tejasaḥ |
ahaṁ cādhyagamaṁ tatra niviṣṭas tad-anugrahāt |
so ’haṁ vaḥ śrāvayiṣyāmi yathādhītaṁ yathā-mati ||” (SB 1:3:44)
“O learned brāhmaṇas, when Śukadeva Gosvāmī recited Bhāgavatam there [in the presence of Emperor Parīkṣit], I heard him with rapt attention, and thus, by his mercy, I learned the Bhāgavatam from that great and powerful sage. Now I shall try to make you hear the very same thing as I learned it from him and as I have realized it”.
With the very limited knowledge of Sanskrit itself whenever I read the Sanskrit verses of Srimad Bhagawatam, I could easily feel that – the verses of Bhagawatam seem too Vaishnavite in style of rendition. The style of Bhagawatam does not match the trademark style of Vyasa’s narration in Mahabharata or other Puranas.
After six years of writing this article, and making this comment about the tone of language of Srimad Bhagawatam, recently I have found some support to this feeling of mine in the words of a revered speaker (pravachanakarta) ‘Dr. Samavedam Shanmukha Sharma’ from Andhra-Pradesh state of India, who gives discourses on Hindu scriptures. He has been conferred an honorary title of ‘vachaspati (Doctor of literature)’ by ‘Rashtriya Sanskrita Vidyapeetha, Tirupati’ for his exemplary levels of knowledge on Hinduism scriptures and his tireless championing of Sanatana-Dharma. This legendary teacher is also a scholar in Sanskrit. He explains the inner essence of any text in such a nice manner that even an atheist would become a believer, a stone would melt, and every eye would get drenched, after listening to his talks. In fact, let me without any hesitation state here one fact – that is – As we know (or would know by the end of this article), that I don’t trust Srimad Bhagawatam as a valid Purana, which is an irrefutable fact, not just my belief. But, the noteworthy point is that, my kind of anti-Srimad-Bhagavatam person also when listened to his discourse on Bhagawatam, the way he explained Krishna’s ‘tatwam’, made my eyes overflow with tears. I cried for Krishna. That is the power of that legendary Acharya! I can sing his glories forever, but this is not the place to do that. Here I brought his name because there is a noteworthy point in one of his lecture, which is a take-away for us in the context of this article, at the same time, his comment comes with a ‘justification’, with which I do not agree, but that is not something to be emphasized upon.
In one of his ‘pravachanam’ on Srimad Bhagawatam, titled ‘Srikrishna Soundarya Lahari’, he remarked as “Srimad Bhagawatam’s language is totally different from any of the other works of Vyasa”. But this gentleman is a pious devotee, a great ‘sadhaka’ whose ‘shraddha (belief)’ is spotless, and hence he would not doubt any text in general, hence, next he remarked justifying the text as, “The reason why the language of Srimad Bhagawatam is so different from any of the other works of Vyasa is because, that text is narrated by the great ‘Suka’, who was a great Yogi; hence words of Yogis of that exalted stature sound different”. I respect this scholar and consider him as my guru hence I wouldn’t want to comment on his remarks of justification, and moreover, my focus is not what he said to ‘justify’ his observation, my focus is on his ‘observation’ alone! Therefore, for me, the take-away from his words is that – my observations or feelings about the language of Srimad Bhagawatam are definitely not wrong. Clearly, Srimad Bhagawatam is not the work of Vyasa!
4.2.5. Srimad Bhagawatam is definitely a post-Ramanuja work
In the Brahmasutras of ‘Badarayana’ the first verse is just a namesake verse which only sets forth what the objective of the Brahmasutras is – it says, “athāto brahmajijñāsā || (Brahmasutras 1:1:1)”, which means, “Then therefore the enquiry into Brahman”. Only the subsequent aphorisms deal with all sorts of topics such as – creation, jiva, jagat, brahmna, various schools of darshanas, etc. The very second verse of ‘Brahma sutras’ talks about – the creation, sustenance and dissolution of the world. That sutra is as follows:
“janmādyasya yataḥ ||” (Brahmasutras 1:1:2)
“(Brahman is that) from which the origin (i.e. the origin, subsistence, and dissolution) of this (world proceed)”.
Let’s forget about who that ‘cause’ is who creates, sustains and dissolves the world, as the definitions vary across various schools. Advaitins term is ‘brahman’, vaishnavites call it ‘Narayana, Vishnu, Krishna…’, Shaivites call it as ‘Shiva’, Shaktas call it as ‘Devi’. Let’s only focus on the sutra and not on the translation and commentaries for now.
The sutra simply says, ‘janmādyasya yataḥ (that from which the origin of this world)’. This aphorism gives us a very interesting reasoning tool to us. Interestingly, the very first verse of Srimad Bhagawatam begins with exactly same words of this sutra and elaborates that verse further. The first verse from Srimad Bhagawatam is quoted below.
“janmādyasya yato ‘nvayāditarataścārtheṣvabhijñaḥ svarāṭ |
tene brahma hṛdā ya ādikavaye muhyanti yat sūrayaḥ |
tejovārimṛdāṃ yathā vinimayo yatra trisargo ‘mṛṣā |
dhāmnā svena sadā nirastakuhakaṃ satyaṃ paraṃ dhīmahi ||” (SB 1:01:01)
“(Translation is unimportant here, hence didn’t provide that)”.
In the commentaries of Shankara, as well as Ramanuja, we see them quoting extensively from various scriptures, including Vedas, Upanishads, Mahabharata, and even Puranas. On this second verse of ‘Brahma-sutras’ neither Shankara nor Ramanuja ever felt a need to cite Srimad Bhagawatam to expound the meaning of this aphorism. Why? If Veda Vyasa was truly the author of ‘Srimad Bhagawatam’ then ‘Srimad Bhagawatam’s very first verse is a ‘natural commentary’ and ‘the most authoritative elaboration ‘ on the very second verse of ‘Brahmasutra’! How could Shankara and Ramanuja dare to insult Vyasa by not cross-referencing Vyasa’s own elaboration of that verse in their commentaries? They had however all the liberty to ‘interpret’ that verse to be in sync with the philosophy they were championing. Then what stopped them from citing that verse from ‘Srimad Bhagawatam’?
Not only for that second verse of ‘Brahmasutras’, in any of the works of Shankara and Ramanuja ‘Srimad Bhagawatam’ has never been quoted. While both these scholars quoted extensively from Vishnu Purana, and other Puranas – Food for thought? Alright! Let’s forget Shankara. Ramanuja was a staunch devotee of Vishnu. He upheld Vishnu’s supremacy all throughout his works. Srimad Bhagawatam is replete with verses proclaiming Vishnu’s supremacy. Then what made Ramanuja not consider this text as worthy of referencing to establish Vishnu’s supremacy? Points to ponder!
The reason is simple – The bogus book called ‘Srimad Bhagawatam’ was a later day creation and was not a work of Veda Vyasa at all. Whosoever the author of Srimad Bhagawatam was – he was no doubt a great devotee of Krishna and a great author, who was inspired by the ‘Brahmasutras’ and considered to begin his work using Brahmasutra. To write a huge volume of thousands of verses mimicking Puranas of Veda Vyasa, is truly a herculean task.
Well, let me extend the arguments in the section to a further level to refute another belief from the ‘Dwaita’ school. It is said that during the times of ‘Madhavacharya (champion of dualistic school)’, ‘Srimad Bhagawatam’ was in circulation. In the legends of life history of ‘Madhwa’ it is said that Madhwa found that during his time there were in circulation, many mutually contradicting versions of ‘Srimad Bhagawatam’ and many mutually contradicting versions of ‘Mahabharata’ as well. Madhwa came forward as a superhero and without giving much importance to the ‘Mahabharata’ of Vyasa alleging it to had been interpolated extensively, he himself authored a book called ‘Mahabharata tatparya nirnaya’ and inserted many bogus stories in it to glorify Bhima and Vishnu to the skies. Similarly, that superhero had analyzed all those contradictory versions of ‘Srimad Bhagawatam’ and picked one version rejecting others as not authentic, and that version is what is available today.
Well, these stories of Madhwa are too fancy to believe, as like as many other stories from Madhwa’s mouth. His scholarly-heroic-deed of chaffing out the so called ‘correct’ version from the available ‘unauthentic’ versions of ‘Srimad Bhagawatam’ will get ‘automatically’ demolished by this article of mine (despite I having no specific agenda or section discussing Madhwa specifically). This article would naturally reveal the truth that – Madhwa is famous for ‘creating’ stories and ‘falsifying facts’ – His chosen book, which he declared as the ‘most authentic’ Bhagawatam would be rendered as ‘bogus scripture’ shortly. That is enough to reveal Madhwa’s lies, and this evidence could be rightfully extrapolated to reject Madhwa’s another self-propagated ‘story’ that Mahabharata was interpolated and his version of Mahabharata was the most authentic one.
4.3 The eighteen Puranas were already composed before Mahabharata itself!
In Mahabharata Veda Vyasa has clearly indicated that the eighteen maha-puranas were already composed. Mahabharata says that the recitation of Mahabharata has the benefit of reciting all the eighteen Puranas as quoted in below verse.
“aṣṭādaśapurāṇānāṃ śravaṇād yat phalaṃ bhavet |
tat phalaṃ samavāpnoti viṣṇoḥ nātra saṃśayaḥ ||” (MBH 18:06:97)
“One devoted to Vishnu acquires (through reading this Mahabharata) that merit which is acquired by listening to the eighteen Puranas. There is no doubt in this”.
Therefore, it is clear that Vyasa had compiled eighteen Puranas and then composed Mahabharata. In Mahabharata Vyasa had dedicated a totally separate Parva to discuss only about Krishna and called it as ‘khila (appendix)’ to Mahabharata and named that parva as ‘Harivamsa’. This means that after creating Mahabharata, Vyasa has no need to create another Purana to list it among the eighteen as already eighteen were created. If we add Srimad Bhagawatam to the list of Puranas compiled by Vyasa, it would make the count as nineteen, which is wrong!
Even below cited verses of Srimad Bhagawatam also ‘indicate’ that Puranas were created before Mahabharata.
“atharvāṅgirasām āsīt sumantur dāruṇo muniḥ |
itihāsa-purāṇānāṁ pitā me romaharṣaṇaḥ ||” (SB 1:4:22)
“The Sumantu Muni Aṅgirā, who was very devotedly engaged, was entrusted with the Atharva Veda. And my father, Romaharṣaṇa, was entrusted with the Purāṇas and historical records”.
“strī-śūdra-dvijabandhūnāṁ trayī na śruti-gocarā |
karma-śreyasi mūḍhānāṁ śreya evaṁ bhaved iha |
iti bhāratam ākhyānaṁ kṛpayā muninā kṛtam ||” (SB 1:4:25)
“Out of compassion, the great sage thought it wise that this would enable men to achieve the ultimate goal of life. Thus he compiled the great historical narration called the Mahābhārata for women, laborers and friends of the twice-born”.
As seen in previous sections, after composing Mahabharata Vyasa composed ‘Srimad Bhagawatam’ on advise from Narada. That means, if we were to rank Srimad Bhagawatam as a ‘Purana’ – it clearly becomes the nineteenth Purana – hence bogus!
So far we had done serious discussion, and in subsequent sections, the discussion would become much more serious, so how about having a bit of fun to relax ourselves? Here is one such observation which is funny as well as crazy!
Srimad Bhagawatam in its 12th Canto lists down the names of the eighteen Puranas as follows:
“brāhmaṁ pādmaṁ vaiṣṇavaṁ ca | śaivaṁ laiṅgaṁ sa-gāruḍaṁ |
nāradīyaṁ bhāgavatam | āgneyaṁ skānda-saṁjñitam ||23
bhaviṣyaṁ brahma-vaivartaṁ | mārkaṇḍeyaṁ sa-vāmanam |
vārāhaṁ mātsyaṁ kaurmaṁ ca | brahmāṇḍākhyam iti tri-ṣaṭ ||” (SB 12:7:23-24)
“The eighteen major Purāṇas are the Brahma, Padma, Viṣṇu, Śiva, Liṅga, Garuḍa, Nārada, Bhāgavata, Agni, Skanda, Bhaviṣya, Brahma-vaivarta, Mārkaṇḍeya, Vāmana, Varāha, Matsya, Kūrma and Brahmāṇḍa Purāṇas”
Although there are slight variations in recounting names of Puranas among the Puranas, yet all of the Puranas recount the first nine names identically following the same sequence as given in Siva Purana, Skanda Purana (Suta Samhita), and Vishnu Purana. Well, there is nowhere mentioned that the list of names is as per the sequence of authorship of Puranas or as per the rankings based on greatness. The list is just a random string of names which is kept same in majority of the Puranas.
All these Puranas call out ‘bhagavata’ as the fifth name. Now strangely this ‘Srimad Bhagawata’ lists the name ‘bhagawata’ as the eighth name. What was there in the mind of the author of Srimad Bhagavata while composing this below cited verse which recounts eighteen Puranas – is something which he knows or god knows! Three cases arise here:
Case-1: Listing as per greatness: If the author wanted to list Bhagavata among the eighteen Puranas on the matter of rankings based on greatness – He should have named it in the number one place. This could have been a meaningful act as Srimad Bhagawatam proclaims that it is the highest essence of Vedas. Therefore number one position would have suited it. But he didn’t do that. What was in his mind?
Case-2: Listing as per sequence of authorship: If the author wanted to recount the names of Puranas based on the sequence they were compiled, ‘Bhagavata’ word should have come at the eighteenth place as Srimad Bhagavatam clearly says it was composed after Mahabharata. But the author didn’t do that. What was in his mind?
Case-3: Listing as per the listings of other Puranas: If none of the above two options were in the mind of the author, and if he wanted to just recount all eighteen Puranas, what stopped him from just copying the verses from Vishnu Purana or Shiva Purana or Suta Samhita, ‘as-is’, to maintain uniformity? He didn’t copy; and enumerated them in his own way, that’s fine, but what is the logic behind demoting the positional value of ‘Bhagavata’ from ‘fifth’ to ‘eighth’? Crazy isn’t it? He could have either kept it as fifth text, or promoted it and placed as fourth or third etc., but he kept it as ‘eighth’, without any reason.
Strange and funny, isn’t it? Now, let’s get back to serious analysis once again.
4.4 Parikshit didn’t undergo any discourse on Bhagawatam in reality! – Shocking? – Yes, it’s a Fact!
Mahabharata details out the death episode of Parikshit in a very granular level, and from the sequences of Mahabharata it is clear that Bhagawatam cooked up the entire picture to gain an excuse to glorify Lord Krishna. Parikshit never underwent any discourse of Bhagawatam. We’ll see a comparative analysis now between Mahabharata and Bhagawatam.
4.4.1 Parikshit’s death episode as narrated in Mahabharata
Mahabharata says that, when Parikshit comes to know about the curse pronounced on him by the Sage’s son, he gets alarmed, becomes anxious and worried about his life and for self-protection builds a highly secured castle and cages himself inside that. He starts working on the state-affairs from inside the mansion but doesn’t come out of it. he attempts his level best to avert the death curse. His castle was so secure that literally even wind couldn’t enter inside without his permission. This is evident as per the following verses from Mahabharata. Read this below verse very carefully.
“tatastaṃ preṣayāmāsa rājā gauramukhaṃ tadā।
bhūyaḥ prasādaṃ bhagavānkarotviha mameti vai॥ 26
tamanujñāpya vegena prajagāśramaṃ guroḥ।
tasmiṃśca gatamātre’tha rājā gauramukhe tadā।
mantribhirmantrayāmāsa saha saṃvignamānasaḥ॥ 27
sammantrya mantribhiścaiva sa tathā mantratattvavit।
prāsādaṃ kārayāmāsa ekastambhaṃ surakṣitam॥ 28
rakṣāṃ ca vidadhe tatra bhiṣajaścauṣadhāni ca।
brāhmaṇānmantrasiddhāṃśca sarvato vai nyayojayat॥ 29
rājakāryāṇi tatrasthaḥ sarvāṇyevākarocca saḥ।
mantribhiḥ saha dharmajñaḥ samantātparirakṣitaḥ॥ 30
na cainaṃ kaścidārūḍhaṃ labhate rājasattamam।
vāto’pi niścaraṃstatra praveśe vinivāryate॥” (MBH 1:42:26-31)
“And then the king sent away Gaurmukha, saying, ‘Let the worshipful one (Samika) be gracious to me!’ And when Gaurmukha had gone away, the king, in great anxiety, without loss of time, consulted his ministers. And having consulted them, the king, himself wise in counsels, caused a mansion to be erected upon one solitary column. It was well-guarded day and night. And for its protection were placed there physicians and medicines, and Brahmanas skilled in mantras all around. And the monarch, protected on all sides, discharged his kingly duties from that place surrounded by his virtuous ministers. And no one could approach that best of kings there. The air even could not go there, being prevented from entering“.
Inside that mansion where he confined himself; on the 7th day some snakes in the disguise of Brahmanas enter (with his permission) and offer him fruits and Kusa grass; Parikshit accepts the offer gladly and feels desirous of eating them. Note that Mahabharata doesn’t show him as doing fasting.
“te takṣaka samādiṣṭās tathā cakrur bhujaṃgamāḥ |
upaninyus tathā rājñe darbhān āpaḥ phalāni ca |
tac ca sarvaṃ sa rājendraḥ pratijagrāha vīryavān |
kṛtvā ca teṣāṃ kāryāṇi gamyatām ity uvāca tān |
gateṣu teṣu nāgeṣu tāpasac chadma rūpiṣu |
amātyān suhṛdaś caiva provāca sa narādhipaḥ |
bhakṣayantu bhavanto vai svādūnīmāni sarvaśaḥ |
tāpasair upanītāni phalāni sahitā mayā |
tato rājā sasacivaḥ phalāny ādātum aicchata |” (MBH 1:43:25-29)
“Sauti continued, ‘Those snakes, thus commanded by Takshaka, acted accordingly. And they took to the king, Kusa grass and water, and fruits. And that foremost of kings, of great prowess, accepted those offerings. And after their business was finished, he said upto them, ‘Retire.’ Then after those snakes disguised as ascetics had gone away, the king addressed his ministers and friends, saying, ‘Eat ye, with me, all these fruits of excellent taste brought by the ascetics.’ Impelled by Fate and the words of the Rishi, the king, with his ministers, felt the desire of eating those fruits“.
Unfortunately the fruit which Parikshit was eating, contains a small insect (mighty Takshak in minute form), which takes its original form and bites (burns him) him to ashes.
After Takshak kills Parikshit, the ministers crown his minor son “Janmejaya” as the King. This coronation happens after the death of Parikshit, note this point here.
“tato nṛpe takṣaka tejasā hate; prayujya sarvāḥ paralokasatkriyāḥ |
śucir dvijo rājapurohitas tadā; tathaiva te tasya nṛpasya mantriṇaḥ |
nṛpaṃ śiśuṃ tasya sutaṃ pracakrire; sametya sarve puravāsino janāḥ |
nṛpaṃ yam āhus tam amitraghātinaṃ; kurupravīraṃ janamejayaṃ janāḥ |” (MBH 1:44:5-6)
“And when the king was laid low by Takshaka’s poison, his councillors with the royal priest–a holy Brahmana–performed all his last rites. All the citizens, assembling together, made the minor son of the deceased monarch their king. And the people called their new king, that slayer of all enemies, that hero of the Kuru race, by the name of Janamejaya“.
These are the sequence of events described in Mahabharata. Now let’s see how contradictory is the depiction of Bhagawatam.
4.4.2 Parikshit’s death episode as described in Bhagawatam
On the contrary, the author of Bhagawatam who was not even the least educated in Mahabharata; tries to portray a saintly picture of Parikshit. Bhagawatam states that when Parikshit comes to know about the curse pronounced on him; he accepts that as a great news. Wow!
“sa cintayann ittham athāśṛṇod yathā | muneḥ sutokto nirṛtis takṣakākhyaḥ |
sa sādhu mene na cireṇa takṣakā-nalaḿ prasaktasya virakti-kāraṇam |” (SB. 1:19:4)
“While the King was thus repenting, he received news of his imminent death, which would be due to the bite of a snake-bird, occasioned by the curse spoken by the sage’s son. The King accepted this as good news, for it would be the cause of his indifference toward worldly things”.
And this fearless Parikshit doesn’t care about his death; he in fact becomes ready to accept it. So, he sits at the banks of Ganges. Here there is no castle built, no security employed. (Actually the author has built castles in the air, so what’s the need of any real castle?).
“atho vihāyemam amuḿ ca lokaḿ | vimarśitau heyatayā purastāt |
kṛṣṇāńghri-sevām adhimanyamāna | upāviśat prāyam amartya-nadyām |” (SB. 1.19.5)
“Mahārāja Parīkṣit sat down firmly on the banks of the Ganges to concentrate his mind in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, rejecting all other practices of self-realization, because transcendental loving service to Kṛṣṇa is the greatest achievement, superseding all other methods”.
Then a divine phenomenon happens and sages from various external universes come and assemble near him. And Parikshit speaks to them saying he would fast till death. On the contrary the Mahabharata doesn’t show him as observing fast. And then he requests them to sing the glories of Vishnu.
“sukhopaviṣṭeṣv atha teṣu bhūyaḥ | kṛta-praṇāmaḥ sva-cikīrṣitaḿ yat |
vijñāpayām āsa vivikta-cetā | upasthito ‘gre ‘bhigṛhīta-pāṇiḥ |” (SB. 1:19:12)
“After all the ṛṣis and others had seated themselves comfortably, the King, humbly standing before them with folded hands, told them of his decision to fast until death“.
“taḿ mopayātaḿ pratiyantu viprā | gańgā ca devī dhṛta-cittam īśe |
dvijopasṛṣṭaḥ kuhakas takṣako vā | daśatv alaḿ gāyata viṣṇu-gāthāḥ |” (SB. 1:19:15)
“O brāhmaṇas, just accept me as a completely surrendered soul, and let mother Ganges, the representative of the Lord, also accept me in that way, for I have already taken the lotus feet of the Lord into my heart. Let the snake-bird — or whatever magical thing the brāhmaṇa created — bite me at once. I only desire that you all continue singing the deeds of Lord Viṣṇu“.
Note here that, Parikshit says he had already coronated his son as the next King of Hastinapur. This is strange, Bhagawatam shows that after that accident (of getting cursed etc.) Parikshit was on his way returning home when he stops by the banks of Ganga. Then how come he would have coronated his son already as the next King? This is illogical and also contradictory to Mahabharata.
“iti sma rājādhyavasāya-yuktaḥ | prācīna-mūleṣu kuśeṣu dhīraḥ |
udań-mukho dakṣiṇa-kūla āste | samudra-patnyāḥ sva-suta-nyasta-bhāraḥ |” (SB. 1:19:17)
“In perfect self-control, Mahārāja Parīkṣit sat down on a seat of straw, with straw-roots facing the east, placed on the southern bank of the Ganges, and he himself faced the north. Just previously he had given charge of his kingdom over to his son“.
Then Suka appears on the bank of Ganga and then the Fairy tale (called Bhagawatam) discourse goes on till seven days (till his death).
“tataś ca vaḥ pṛcchyam imaḿ vipṛcche | viśrabhya viprā iti kṛtyatāyām |
sarvātmanā mriyamāṇaiś ca kṛtyaḿ | śuddhaḿ ca tatrāmṛśatābhiyuktāḥ |” (SB. 1:19:24)
“O trustworthy brāhmaṇas, I now ask you about my immediate duty. Please, after proper deliberation, tell me of the unalloyed duty of everyone in all circumstances, and specifically of those who are just about to die”.
“tatrābhavad bhagavān vyāsa-putro | yadṛcchayā gām aṭamāno ‘napekṣaḥ |
alakṣya-lińgo nija-lābha-tuṣṭo | vṛtaś ca bālair avadhūta-veṣaḥ |” (SB. 1:19:25)
“At that moment there appeared the powerful son of Vyāsadeva (viz. Suka), who traveled over the earth disinterested and satisfied with himself. He did not manifest any symptoms of belonging to any social order or status of life. He was surrounded with women and children, and he dressed as if others had neglected him”.
From the above episodes it is crystal clear that as per Mahabharata there is nothing like Bhagawatam discourse being heard by Parikshit. He had confined himself for self-protection; but Bhagawatam portrays a completely contradictory picture just to insert a fairy tale to glorify Krishna. It is clear that for some Vaishnava author it was tough to manipulate Mahabharata majorly to insert tales of false & hyperbolic glorification of Krishna. so he resorted to creating a new book altogether by name – Srimad Bhagawatam. But a close study of Mahabharata exposes all the blunders of this fake text viz. Srimad Bhagawatam. It is thus very clear that Bhagawatam is NOT one among the Puranas and could never be a work of Vyasa.
4.5 Blunders in Srimad Bhagawatam about its Source i.e., Narrator – viz. ‘Suka’!
Bhagawatam is said to be narrated by sage “Suka” the son of Vyasa to Parikshit who was the grandson of Pandavas. This is again too far from reality. Sage Suka who was the son of Vyasa; his soul departed from his body and he got liberated (since he was a Jnani) well before even Parikshit was born. To put in common man’s words, Suka died long back itself when Bheeshma was alive. Bheeshma himself narrated that incident of departure of Suka’s soul to Yudhishthira. So, definitely it looks logical and reasonable to conclude that Vyasa’s son Suka was NOT the one who narrated Bhagawatam to Parikshit. Therefore sources of Bhagawatam are itself doubtful (which would get confirmed shortly). Hence Bhagawatam is not a work of Vyasa; and since, it contains lot many stories which are contradictory to Mahabharata and Harivamsa, the scripture Bhagawatam doesn’t become fit for being called as ‘scripture’ and as far as considering it as a base document to Judge any other works of Hinduism is concerned, such a chance is highly remote.
Let us now see the evidences in detail and understand how falsely and forcefully Bhagawatam tries to become a scripture when it is just a comic book or novel containing imaginary stories.
4.5.1 Contradictory age of Suka in Bhagawatam compared to Mahabharata:
The author of Bhagawatam (obviously not Vyasa) committed a big blunder by not paying attention to Mahabharata and by being unaware of how his lies could get exposed by someone in future (that’s being done by me now).
Bhagawatam narrates the following thing about Suka’s appearance and his age. This narration is from the episode where Parikshit remains distressed because of a curse and Suka comes in front of him to narrate Bhagawatam.
“taḿ dvyaṣṭa-varṣaḿ su-kumāra-pāda-karoru-bāhv-aḿsa-kapola-gātram |
cārv-āyatākṣonnasa-tulya-karṇa-subhrv-ānanaḿ kambu-sujāta-kaṇṭham |” (SB. 1:19:26)
“This son of Vyāsadeva was only sixteen years old. His legs, hands, thighs, arms, shoulders, forehead and the other parts of his body were all delicately formed. His eyes were beautifully wide, and his nose and ears were highly raised. He had a very attractive face, and his neck was well formed and beautiful like a conchshell”.
That’s what I call a back orifice within the system. The above verse clearly states that Vyasa’s son Suka who narrated Bhagawatam was 16 years old when he met Parikshit. Now let me refute it strongly with power packed evidences from Mahabharata.
In Mahabharata, Ashwatthama redirects his Brahmashira missile towards the fetus of Uttara; and considers himself victorious in killing the future of Pandavas (viz. Parikshit). Sri Krishna out of rage tells him that he himself would make the child alive and Parikshit would live a long life of 60 years.
“vayaḥ prāpya parikṣit tu veda vratam avāpya ca | kṛpāc chāradvatād vīraḥ sarvāstrāṇy upalapsyate |
viditvā paramāstrāṇi kṣatradharmavrate sthitaḥ | ṣaṣṭiṃ varṣāṇi dharmātmā vasudhāṃ pālayiṣyati |
itaś cordhvaṃ mahābāhuḥ kururājo bhaviṣyati | parikṣin nāma nṛpatir miṣatas te sudurmate |
paśya me tapaso vīryaṃ satyasya ca narādhama |” (MBH 10:16:13-15)
“The heroic Parikshit, attaining to age and a knowledge of the Vedas and the practice of pious vows, shall obtain all weapons from the son of Sharadvata. Having obtained a knowledge of all high weapons, and observant of all kshatriya duties, that righteous-souled king shall rule the earth for sixty years. More than this, that boy shall become the mighty-armed king of the Kurus, known by the name of Parikshit, before thy very eyes, O thou of wicked soul! Though burnt by the energy of thy weapon’s fire, I shall revive him. O lowest of men, behold the energy of my austerities and my truth.”
So, as per Krishna’s words from Mahabharata, Parikshit would live for 60 years. In the same Mahabharata, Veda Vyasa himself tells his son Suka about his passing age and warns him not to waste time. Vyasa tells his son that Yama would be fast approaching and hence he should learn the knowledge of Brahman (Brahma Jnana) at the earliest. Here is the verse for reference of his age.
“gatā dvir astavarṣatā dhruvo ‘si pañcaviṃśakaḥ | kuruṣva dharmasaṃcayaṃ vayo hi te ‘tivartate |” (MBH 12:309:62)
“Thou hast passed four and twenty years. Thou art now full five and twenty years of age. Thy years are passing away. Do thou begin to lay thy store of righteousness?”
Here as per Vyasa his son Suka was of 25 years of age at that moment when he ordered him to gain the knowledge of Yoga and Emancipation from Janaka. After that, Suka learns Yoga and then casting off his body he unites himself in Brahman (in common man’s language he dies).
But for the time being let us consider him as alive. If we consider Suka of Mahabharata as the same Suka who narrated Bhagawatam then here is the great contradiction what we would observe.
Suka was 25 years old when his story was narrated in Shanti Parva of Mahabharata by Bheeshma. So, that time Bheeshma was alive and Parikshit was not even born. And as per Bhagawatam, Suka met Parikshit seven days before his death. Correlating this with Krishna’s words as noted above, Parikshit’s age must have been 60 years at the time of his death. When Suka was 25 years old, from that point, till Parikshit’s birth if we consider that period as “X” (years or months or whatever, a positive number); then Suka’s age at the time of Parikshit’s death must have become –> 25+X+60=[85+X] years. But Bhagawatam says he was 16 years old. By what mathematical calculation on Earth someone would tell me that 85+X = 16? Therefore Bhagawatam’s depiction of Suka’s age is totally a big ERROR.
Conclusion: – Suka of Mahabharata if lived till Parikshit’s death, he would have attained an age of [85+X] years. But Bhagawatam states he was 16 years old. This is a big blunder done by the author of Bhagawatam by not analyzing Mahabharata while trying to copy it and create a new scripture. It proves that Suka who narrated Bhagawatam to Parikshit was not Vyasa’s learned son Suka.
(Actually Bhagawatam is totally a bogus book and no Suka narrated ever any Bhagawatam to Parikshit but for the time being I am liberally considering that some Suka narrated Bhagawatam to Parikshit. But by the end of this analysis all lies of Bhagawatam would get exposed.)
4.5.2 Refuting Bhagawatam’s stance of Suka being learned right from within the womb
In Mahabharata it is clearly cited that Suka was learned in all Vedas, Sharstras, and all scriptures, but after he was born. Evidences are given below.
“āraṇeyas tathā divyaṃ prāpya janma mahādyutiḥ | tatraivovāsa medhāvī vratacārī samāhitaḥ |
utpanna mātraṃ taṃ vedāḥ sarahasyāḥ sasaṃgrahāḥ | upatasthur mahārāja yathāsya pitaraṃ tathā |
bṛhaspatiṃ tu vavre sa vedavedāṅgabhāṣyavit | upādhyāyaṃ mahārāja dharmam evānucintayan |
so ‘dhītya vedān akhilān sarahasyān sasaṃgrahān | itihāsaṃ ca kārtsnyena rājaśāstrāṇi cābhibho |
gurave dakṣiṇāṃ dattvā samāvṛtto mahāmuniḥ | ugraṃ tapaḥ samārebhe brahmacārī samāhitaḥ |” (MBH 12:311:21-25)
“Suka, having obtained his birth from the two sticks, continued to live there, engaged the while in the attentive observance of many vows and fasts. As soon as Suka was born, the Vedas with all their mysteries and all their abstracts, came for dwelling in him, O king, even as they dwell in his sire. For all that, Suka selected Vrihaspati, who was conversant with all the Vedas together with their branches and commentaries, for his preceptor, remembering the universal practice. Having studied all the Vedas together with all their mysteries and abstracts, as also all the histories and the science of government, O puissant monarch, the great ascetic returned home, after giving his preceptor the tuition fee. Adopting the vow of a Brahmacharin, he then commenced to practise the austerest penances concentrating all his attention thereon”.
Let me quote another funniest part from the commentary of Bhagawatam. Not only the scripture is funny, but also the commentaries by the commentators of iskcon add more beauty to it.
PURPORT (SB 1.1.3): “Srila Sukadeva Gosvami was a liberated soul from his very birth. He was liberated even in the womb of his mother, and he did not undergo any sort of spiritual training after his birth. At birth no one is qualified, neither in the mundane nor in the spiritual sense. But Sri Sukadeva Gosvami, due to his being a perfectly liberated soul, did not have to undergo an evolutionary process for spiritual realization”.
This is brutally refuted by Mahabharata verse quoted above which states that Suka got trained under Brihaspati the preceptor of Gods! Also, Suka even learnt Vedas from his father as well.
“prākṛtena suvṛttena carantam akutobhayam | adhyāpya kṛtsnaṃ svādhyāyam anvaśād vai pitā sutam | dharmaṃ putra niṣevasva sutīkṣṇau hi himātapau | kṣutpipāse ca vāyuṃ ca jaya nityaṃ jitendriyaḥ |” (MBH. 12:309:2-3)
“Bhishma said, ‘Beholding his son Suka living fearlessly as ordinary men do in practices that are considered harmless by them, Vyasa taught him the entire Vedas and then discoursed to him one day in these words: ‘Vyasa said, O son, becoming the master of the senses, do thou subdue extreme cold and extreme heat, hunger and thirst, and the wind also, and having subdued them (as Yogins do), do thou practice righteousness”.
Conclusion: – This is again clear cut evidence which proves that Bhahawatam’s Suka was not the Suka the son of Vyasa.
4.6 In reality ‘Suka’ never lived to recite Srimad Bhagawatam to Parikshit
Suka of Bhagawatam cannot be the Suka of Mahabharata (the son of Vyasa). Since Suka learnt Yoga from his father, the science of Emancipation (Moksha) from Janaka the king of Mithila, and then Narada instructed Suka to cast off his body and merge himself into the Supreme Brahman to gain the highest reality of Sayujya Moksha. And Suka gained Moksha by uniting himself with the Brahman. In common man’s terms Suka cast off his body (in improper words – Suka died).
4.6.1. Vyasa instructs Suka to gain knowledge on Moksha from Janaka the King of Mithila:
“sa mokṣam anucintyaiva śukaḥ pitaram abhyagāt | prāhābhivādya ca guruṃ śreyo ‘rthī vinayānvitaḥ |
mokṣadharmeṣu kuśalo bhagavān prabravītu me | yathā me manasaḥ śāntiḥ paramā saṃbhavet prabho | śrutvā putrasya vacanaṃ paramarṣir uvāca tam | adhīsva putra mokṣaṃ vai dharmāṃś ca vividhān api | pitur niyogāj jagrāha śuko brahmavidāṃ varaḥ | yogaśāstraṃ ca nikhilaṃ pāpilaṃ caiva bhārata | sa taṃ brāhmyā śriyā yuktaṃ brahma tulyaparākramam | mene putraṃ yadā vyāsa mokṣavidyā viśāradam | uvāca gaccheti tadā janakaṃ mithileśvaram | sa te vakṣyati mokṣārthaṃ nikhilena viśeṣataḥ |” (MBH. 12:312:1-6)
“Bhishma said, ‘Thinking of Emancipation, Suka approached his sire and possessed as he was of humility and desirous of achieving his highest good, he saluted his great preceptor and said,–Thou art well versed in the religion of Emancipation. Do thou O illustrious one, discourse to me upon it, so that supreme tranquillity of mind, O puissant one, may be mine!–Hearing these words of his son, the great Rishi said unto him,–Do thou study, O son, the religion of Emancipation and all the diverse duties of life!–At the command of his sire, Suka, that foremost of all righteous men, mastered all the treatises on Yoga, O Bharata. as also the science promulgated by Kapila. When Vyasa behind his son to be possessed of the resplendence of the Vedas, endued with the energy of Brahma, and fully conversant with the religion of Emancipation, he addressed him, saying,–Go thou to Janaka the ruler of Mithila. The king of Mithila will tell thee everything for thy Emancipation”.
4.6.2. Narada Advices Suka to cast off his body:
“tyaja dharmam adharmaṃ ca jubhe satyānṛte tyaja | ubhe satyānṛte tyaktvā yena tyajasi taṃ tyaja |
tyaja dharmam asaṃkalpād adharmaṃ cāpy ahiṃsayā | ubhe satyānṛte buddhyā buddhiṃ paramaniścayāt | asthi sthūnaṃ snāyu yutaṃ māṃsaśonita lepanam | carmāvanaddhaṃ durgandhi pūrṇaṃ mūtra purīsayoḥ | jarā śokasamāviṣṭaṃ rogāyatanam āturam | rajasvalam anityaṃ ca bhūtāvāsaṃ samutsṛja |” (MBH Book 12:316:40-43)
“Cast off both virtue and vice, and truth and falsehood. Having cast off truth and falsehood, do thou cast off that by which these are to be cast off. By casting off all purpose, do thou cast off virtue; do thou cast off sin also by casting off all desire. With the aid of the understanding, do thou cast off truth and falsehood; and, at last, do thou cast off the understanding itself by knowledge of the highest topic (viz., the supreme Soul). Do thou cast off this body having bones for its pillars; sinews for its binding strings and cords; flesh and blood for its outer plaster; the skin for its outer case; full of urine and faeces and, therefore, emitting a foul smell; exposed to the assaults of decrepitude and sorrow; forming the seat of disease and weakened by pain; possessed of the attribute of Rajas in predominance: not permanent or durable, and which serves as the (temporary) habitation of the indwelling creature”.
4.6.3. Suka decides to get liberated and speaks about casting off his body
“sūryasya sadane cāhaṃ nikṣipyedaṃ kalevaram | ṛṣibhiḥ saha yāsyāmi sauraṃ tejo ‘tiduḥsaham |” (MBH 12:318:57)
“Having cast off this body of mine in the solar region. With the great Rishis I shall enter the unbearable energy of the Sun”.
“āpṛcchāmi nagān nāgān girīn urvīṃ diśo divam | devadānavagandharvān piśācoragarākṣasān | lokeṣu sarvabhūtāni pravekṣyāmi na saṃśayaḥ | paśyantu yogavīryaṃ me sarve devāḥ saharṣibhiḥ |” (MBH 12:318:58-59)
“Declare unto all creatures, unto these trees, these elephants, these mountains, the Earth herself, the several points of the compass, the welkin, the deities, the Danavas, the Gandharvas, the Pisachas, the Uragas, and the Rakshasas that I shall, verily, enter all creatures in the world. Let all the gods with the Rishis behold the prowess of my Yoga today!”
4.6.4. Suka becomes one with Brahman
Usually it is highly misunderstood by people who read this section of Mahabharata. They think that Suka was flying high in sky towards north direction. It is not about external flying my friends; it is the rising of Kundalini upwards through the spine alongwith which the Prana of Suka was travelling upwards, to get united forever into the Brahman (Shiva) present in the Sahasrara chakra (Maha Kailasha) located within the Head’s crown area. When a Yogi thinks of merging himself into Brahman (in Sahasrara), he can do so through this process. And it is a fact that whatever external worlds we see, all are within ourselves. Through Yoga when a Yogi becomes inwardly focused; he can see all the worlds and everything within him. So, all these conversations happening in this below verses are internal in nature and should not be confused with the external entities. In fact before we step into Mahabharata’s verses directly, just to give confidence on my thoughts let me cite here reference from Chandogya Upanishad which states the same that the worlds, earth, heaven, stars, constellations etc. everything is present within ourselves.
Everything that you see outside exists within you only within the Sushumna nerve at the heart (Anahata Chakra) and at the Sahasrara Chakra.
“atha yadidamasminbrahmapure daharaṃ puṇḍarīkaṃ veśma daharo’sminnantarākāśastasminyadantastadanveṣṭavyaṃ tadvāva vijijñāsitavyamiti |” (Chandogya Upanishad VIII-I-1)
“Om. Now, in this city of Brahman, there is a mansion in the shape of a small lotus; in it is a small inner Akasa. What is within that – that should be sought; that indeed, one should desire to understand”.
In the above verse city of Brahman refers to the Sahasrara Chakra (1000 petal lotus in skull) where all universes exist. And in below verse it states that whatever exists in that city of Brahman identically exists in the heart (Anahata Chakra) also. This is because Sushumna nadi passes through the heart and it actually contains all the universes.
“taṃ cedbrūyuryadidamasminbrahmapure daharaṃ puṇḍarīkaṃ veśma daharo’sminnantarākāśaḥ
kiṃ tadatra vidyate yadanveṣṭavyaṃ yadvāva vijijñāsitavyamiti sa brūyāt । 2
yāvānvā ayamākāśastāvāneṣo’ntarhṛdaya akāśa ubhe asmindyāvāpṛthivī antareva samāhiteubhāvagniśca vāyuśca sūryācandramasāvubhau vidyunnakṣatrāṇi yaccāsyehāsti yacca nāsti sarvaṃ tadasminsamāhitamiti ||” (Chandogya Upanishad VIII:I:2-3)
“If the disciples should say to him, ‘In this city of Brahman in which is a small mansion in the shape of a lotus and in the small inner Akasa within – what is it that lies there which should be sought, which one should desire to understand ?’ – he should say in reply, ‘As large indeed as is this Akasa, so large is that Akasa in the heart. Within it, indeed, are contained both heaven and earth, both fire and air, both the sun and the moon, lightning and the stars. Whatever there is of him in this world and whatever is not, all that is contained within it’”.
Then Chandogya Upanishad says that there are a hundred and one arteries of the heart among which only one leads to the city of Brahman i.e., immortality! This is the Sushumna nerve which contains all the worlds in it and when a Yogi rises upwards through this nerve he becomes one with Brahman.
“tad eṣa ślokaḥ | śataṃ caikā ca hṛdayasya nāḍyas tāsāṃ mūrdhānam abhiniḥsṛtaikā |
tayordhvam āyann amṛtatvam eti viṣvaṅṅ anyā utkramaṇe bhavanty utkramaṇe bhavanti ||” (Chandogya Upanishad VIII-vi-06)
“There is this verse about it: A hundred and one are the arteries of the heart; one of them leads up to the crown of the head. Passing upwards through that, one attains immortality, while the other arteries serve for departing in various other directions – yea, serve for departing”.
So, hopefully one would buy my words now. Let’s now proceed ahead with the actual discussion. The celestials on seeing Suka’s prana rising upwards towards Sahasrara Chakra started discussing as follows.
“daivataṃ katamaṃ hy etad uttamāṃ gatim āsthitam | suniścitam ihāyāti vimuktam iva niḥspṛham |” (MBH 12:319:19)
“And they asked one another, saying;–What deity is this one that has attained to such a high end? Without doubt, he comes hither, freed from all attachments and emancipated from all desires!”
Note here that some celestials are saying why vyasa allowed his son to stride that path where from there is no return.
“pitṛbhakto dṛdha tapāḥ pituḥ sudayitaḥ sutaḥ | ananyamanasā tena kathaṃ pitrā vivarjitaḥ |” (MBH 12:319:22)
“Alas, why has he been dismissed by his inattentive father to proceed (thus) along a way whence there is no return?”
Here Suka requests all the celestials, mobile and immobile creation to reply back to Vyasa on behalf of Suka if Vyasa comes asking for his son.
“urvasyā vacanaṃ śrutvā śukaḥ paramadharmavit | udaikṣata diśaḥ sarvā vacane gatamānasaḥ |
so ‘ntarikṣaṃ mahīṃ caiva saśailavanakānanām | ālokayām āsa tadā sarāṃsi saritas tathā |
tato dvaipāyana sutaṃ bahumāna puraḥsaram | kṛtāñjaliputāḥ sarvā nirīkṣante sma devatāḥ |
abravīt tās tadā vākyaṃ śukaḥ paramadharmavit | pitā yady anugacchen māṃ krośamānaḥ śuketi vai | tataḥ prati vaco deyaṃ sarvair eva samāhitaiḥ | etan me snehataḥ sarve vacanaṃ kartum arhatha |
śukasya vacanaṃ śrutvā diśaḥ savanakānanāḥ | samudrāḥ saritaḥ śailāḥ pratyūcus taṃ samantataḥ |
yathājñāpayase vipra bādham evaṃ bhaviṣyati | ṛṣer vyāharato vākyaṃ prativakṣyāmahe vayam |” (MBH 12:319:23-29)
“Hearing these words of Urvasi, and attending to their import, Suka, that foremost of all persons conversant with duties, cast his eyes on all sides, and once more beheld the entire welkin, the whole Earth with her mountains and waters and forests, and also all the lakes and rivers. All the deities also of both sexes, joining their hands, paid reverence to the son of the Island-born Rishi and gazed at him with wonder and respect. That foremost of all righteous men, Suka, addressing all of them, said these words,–If my sire follow me and repeatedly call after me by my name, do all of you together return him an answer for me. Moved by the affection all of you bear for me, do you accomplish this request of mine!–Hearing these words of Suka, all the points of the compass, all the forest, all the seas, all the rivers, and all the mountains, answered him from every side, saying,–We accept thy command, O regenerate one! It shall be as thou sayst! It is in this way that we answer the words spoken by the Rishi!”
“tamo hy astavidhaṃ hitvā jahau pañca vidhaṃ rajaḥ | tataḥ sattvaṃ jahau dhīmāṃs tad adbhutam ivābhavat | tatas tasmin pade nitye nirguṇe liṅgavarjite | brahmaṇi pratyatiṣṭhat sa vidhūmo ‘gnir iva jvalan |” (MBH 12:320:2-3)
“Suka, stayed on his success casting off the four kinds of faults. Casting off also the eight kinds of Tamas, he dismissed the five kinds of Rajas. Endued with great intelligence, he then cast off the attribute of Sattwa. All this seemed exceedingly wonderful. He then dwelt in that eternal station that is destitute of attributes, freed from every indication, that is, in Brahma, blazing like a smokeless fire”.
The following thing happens within our body when Kundbalini rises up. These are not outward changes.
“ulkā pātā diśāṃ dāhā bhūmikampās tathaiva ca | prādurbhūtāḥ kṣaṇe tasmiṃs tad adbhutam ivābhavat | drumāḥ śākhāś ca mumucuḥ śikharāṇi ca parvatāḥ | nirghātaśabdaiś ca girir himavān dīryatīva ha | na babhāse sahasrāṃśur na jajvāla ca pāvakaḥ | hradāś ca saritaś caiva cukṣubhuḥ sāgarās tathā | vavarṣa vāsavas toyaṃ rasavac ca sugandhi ca | vavau samīraṇaś cāpi divyagandhavahaḥ śuciḥ |” (MBH 12:320:4-7)
“Meteors began to shoot. The points of the compass seemed to be ablaze. The Earth trembled. All those phenomena seemed exceedingly wonderful. The trees began to cast off their branches and the mountains their summits. Loud-reports (as of thunder) were heard that seemed to rive the Himavat mountains. The sun seemed at that moment to be shorn of splendour. Fire refused to blaze forth. The lakes and rivers and seas were all agitated. Vasava poured showers of rain of excellent taste and fragrance. A pure breeze began to blow, bearing excellent perfumes”.
The following two summits are nothing but the two halves of the tip of the skulls which get broken during the ‘kapāla-bhedana’. They meet at Sushumna and Suka’s Prana was passing through that intersection point indeed. Through Sushumna when the Prana moves upwards and gets united into Shiva in Sahasrara and crown gets pierced. that is the highest form of Moksha which has no rebirth (called videha mukti / Sayujyam)
“sa śṛṅge ‘pratime divye himavan merusaṃbhave | saṃśliṣṭe śvetapīte dve rukta rūpyamaye śubhe |” (MBH 12:320:8)
“Suka as he proceeded through the welkin, beheld two beautiful summits, one belonging to Himavat and another to Meru. These were in close contact with each other. One of them was made of gold and was, therefore yellow; the other was white, being made of silver”.
Here Suka’s prana pierced at the joint of Ida-Pingala and entered into Sushumna nadi
“so ‘viśaṅkena manasā tathaivābhyapatac chukaḥ | tataḥ parvataśṛṅge dve sahasaiva dvidhākṛte | adṛśyetāṃ mahārāja tad adbhutam ivābhavat | tataḥ parvataśṛṅgābhyāṃ sahasaiva viniḥsṛtaḥ | na ca pratijaghānāsya sa gatiṃ parvatottamaḥ |” (MBH 12:320:10-11)
“With a fearless heart he dashed against those two summits that were united with each other. Unable to bear the force, the summits were suddenly rent in twain. The sight they thereupon presented, O monarch, was exceedingly wonderful to behold. Suka pierced through those summits, for they were unable to stop his onward course”.
Various kinds of Loud noises are usually heard when Kundalini pierces through Sushumna:
“tato mahān abhūc chabdo divi sarvadivaukasām | gandharvāṇām ṛṣīṇāṃ ca ye ca śailanivāsinaḥ |” (MBH 12:320:12)
“At this a loud noise arose in heaven, made by the denizens thereof. The Gandharvas and the Rishis also and others that dwelt in that mountain being rent in twain and Suka passing through it”.
Through Sushumna he pierced through the impregnable hole called “Brahmarandhra” and entered into Sahasrara Chakra and gained Siva Sayujyam (became one with Siva- the Brahman)
“divyaiḥ puṣpaiḥ samākīrṇam antarikṣaṃ samantataḥ | āsīt kila mahārāja śukābhipatane tadā |” (MBH 12:320:15)
“The entire firmament became strewn with celestial flowers showered from heaven at that moment when Suka thus pierced through that impenetrable barrier, O monarch!”
“tam uvāca mahādevaḥ sāntvapūrvam idaṃ vacaḥ | putraśokābhisaṃtaptaṃ kṛṣṇadvaipāyanaṃ tadā |
agner bhūmer apāṃ vāyor antarikṣasya caiva ha | vīryeṇa sadṛśaḥ putras tvayā mattaḥ purā vṛtaḥ |
sa tathā lakṣaṇo jātas tapasā tava saṃbhṛtaḥ | mama caiva prabhāvena brahmatejomayaḥ śuciḥ | (MBH 12:320:32-34)
“Consoling the Island-born Rishi who was burning with grief on account of his son, Mahadeva said these words unto him.–Thou hadst formerly solicited from me a son possessed of the energy of Fire, of Water, of Wind, and of Space; Procreated by thy penances, the son that was born unto thee was of that very kind. Proceeding from my grace, he was pure and full of Brahma-energy”.
4.6.5. Shiva said that Suka attained the highest end:
“sa gatiṃ paramāṃ prāpto duṣprāpām ajitendriyaiḥ | daivatair api viprarṣe taṃ tvaṃ kim anuśocasi |
yāvat sthāsyanti girayo yāvat sthāsyanti sāgarāḥ | tāvat tavākṣayā kīrtiḥ saputrasya bhaviṣyati |” (MBH 12:320:35-36)
“He has attained to the highest end–an end which none can win that has not completely subjugated his senses, nor can be won by even any of the deities. Why then, O regenerate Rishi, dost thou grieve for that son? As long as the hills will last, as long as the ocean will last, so long will the fame of thy son endure undiminished!”
4.6.6. Shiva gives Vyasa a shadow form of his son to relieve his grief a little
“chāyāṃ svaputra sadṛśīṃ sarvato ‘napagāṃ sadā | drakṣyase tvaṃ ca loke ‘smin matprasādān mahāmune | so ‘nunīto bhagavatā svayaṃ rudreṇa bhārata | chāyā paśyan samāvṛttaḥ sa muniḥ parayā mudā |” (MBH 12:320:37-38)
“Through my grace, O great Rishi thou shalt behold in this world a shadowy form resembling thy son, moving by the side and never deserting thee for a single moment!–Thus favoured by the illustrious Rudra himself, O Bharata, the Rishi beheld a shadow of his son by his side. He returned from that place, filled with joy at this”.
This story was told to Bheeshma many times by Sage narada and Vyasa in ancient times (in the days of yore). So, long long ago in Bheeshma’s lifetime itself Suka got liberated. Hence Vyasa’s son Suka was in no way the Suka of Bhagawatam.
“iti janma gatiś caiva śukasya bharatarṣabha | vistareṇa mayākhyātaṃ yan māṃ tvaṃ paripṛcchasi |
etad ācasta me rājan devarṣir nāradaḥ purā | vyāsaś caiva mahāyogī saṃjalpeṣu pade pade |” (MBH 12:320:39-40)
“I have now told thee, O chief of Bharata’s race, everything regarding the birth and life of Suka about which thou hadst asked me. The celestial Rishi Narada and the great Yogin Vyasa had repeatedly told all this to me in days of yore when the subject was suggested to him in course of conversation”.
Conclusion: – From the above narration of Mahabharata it is crystal clear that long long ago in the lifetime of Bheeshma itself, Bheeshma heard the passing away of Suka from Narada and Vyasa that too he heard that story many times from them. And Parikshit was born too later in time. Therefore Vyasa’s son Suka being 16 years in age and narrating Bhagawatam to Parikshit is impossible and is utterly bogus.
4.6.7. If Suka died (got liberated) how did he recite Mahabharata to Yakshas and Rakshasas?
Well, let me take this opportunity to clarify one apparent contradiction. One may get a doubt here – Mahabharata states that Suka recited Mahabharata in the celestial abodes to Yakshas and Rakshasas as stated in Mahabharata verse below.
“nārado ‘śrāvayad devān asito devalaḥ pitṝn | rakṣoyakṣāñ śuko martyān vaiśampāyana eva tu ||” (MBH 18:05:42)
“Narada recited the Mahabharata to the gods; Asita-Devala to the Pitris; Suka to the Rakshasas and the Yakshas; and Vaishampayana to human beings”.
This verse apparently makes us think that Suka probably didn’t die and he later narrated this Mahabharata to Yakshas and Rakshasas. But this is not the case! Mahabharata was composed by Vyasa in his mind first, then lord Ganesha penned it down. However, Vyasa taught that epic first to his son Suka (note that he taught to his son in former times, means very early in that era), they both used to chant Mahabharata as stated below.
“maharṣir bhagavān vyāsaḥ kṛtvemāṃ saṃhitāṃ purā | ślokaiś caturbhir bhagavān putram adhyāpayac chukam ||” (MBH 18:05:46)
“In former times, the great Rishi Vyasa, having composed this treatise, caused his son Suka to read it with him, along with these four Verses…”
Suka and other disciples of Vyasa together with Narada sang (recited) this great Bharata in higher abodes and made it famous as stated above in (MBH 18:05:42). Mahabharata was so huge in volume that some thousands of verses were recited in celestial abodes whereas only one hundred thousand verses were reserved for this world of mortals. Also, note that, in this world of humans, Mahabharata was not published until the Kuru seniors (Dhritarashtra and Vidura) departed from this earth. And on this earth it was recited very late during the snake sacrifice of Janamejaya when Vaishampayana recited the Bharata to him. So, on earth Mahabharata was recited when Suka got liberated (died in common man’s words), and it was recited by Vaishampayana. Let’s see some references supporting this.
“parāśarātmajo vidvān brahmarṣiḥ saṃśitavrataḥ | mātur niyogād dharmātmā gāṅgeyasya ca dhīmataḥ ||
kṣetre vicitravīryasya kṛṣṇadvaipāyanaḥ purā | trīn agnīn iva kauravyāñ janayām āsa vīryavān ||
utpādya dhṛtarāṣṭraṃ ca pāṇḍuṃ viduram eva ca | jagāma tapase dhīmān punar evāśramaṃ prati ||
teṣu jāteṣu vṛddheṣu gateṣu paramāṃ gatim | abravīd bhārataṃ loke mānuṣe ‘smin mahān ṛṣiḥ ||
janamejayena pṛṣṭaḥ san brāhmaṇaiś ca sahasraśaḥ | śaśāsa śiṣyam āsīnaṃ vaiśampāyanam antike ||
sa sadasyaiḥ sahāsīnaḥ śrāvayām āsa bhāratam | karmāntareṣu yajñasya codyamānaḥ punaḥ punaḥ ||” (MBH 1:01:53-58)
“Sauti continued, ‘I will now speak of the undying flowery and fruitful productions of this tree, possessed of pure and pleasant taste, and not to be destroyed even by the immortals. Formerly, the spirited and virtuous Krishna-Dwaipayana, by the injunctions of Bhishma, the wise son of Ganga and of his own mother, became the father of three boys who were like the three fires by the two wives of Vichitra-virya; and having thus raised up Dhritarashtra, Pandu and Vidura, he returned to his recluse abode to prosecute his religious exercise. It was not till after these were born, grown up, and departed on the supreme journey, that the great Rishi Vyasa published the Bharata in this region of mankind; when being solicited by Janamejaya and thousands of Brahmanas, he instructed his disciple Vaisampayana, who was seated near him; and he, sitting together with the Sadasyas, recited the Bharata, during the intervals of the ceremonies of the sacrifice, being repeatedly urged to proceed”.
”caturviṃśatisāhasrīṃ cakre bhārata saṃhitām | upākhyānair vinā tāvad bhārataṃ procyate budhaiḥ ||
tato ‘dhyardhaśataṃ bhūyaḥ saṃkṣepaṃ kṛtavān ṛṣiḥ | anukramaṇim adhyāyaṃ vṛttāntānāṃ saparvaṇām || idaṃ dvaipāyanaḥ pūrvaṃ putram adhyāpayac chukam | tato ‘nyebhyo ‘nurūpebhyaḥ śiṣyebhyaḥ pradadau prabhuḥ || nārado ‘śrāvayad devān asito devalaḥ pitṝn | gandharvayakṣarakṣāṃsi śrāvayām āsa vai śukaḥ ||” (MBH 1:01:61-64)
“Vyasa executed the compilation of the Bharata, exclusive of the episodes originally in twenty-four thousand verses; and so much only is called by the learned as the Bharata. Afterwards, he composed an epitome in one hundred and fifty verses, consisting of the introduction with the chapter of contents. This he first taught to his son Suka; and afterwards he gave it to others of his disciples who were possessed of the same qualifications. After that he executed another compilation, consisting of six hundred thousand verses. Of those, thirty hundred thousand are known in the world of the Devas; fifteen hundred thousand in the world of the Pitris: fourteen hundred thousand among the Gandharvas, and one hundred thousand in the regions of mankind. Narada recited them to the Devas, Devala to the Pitris, and Suka published them to the Gandharvas, Yakshas, and Rakshasas: and in this world they were recited by Vaisampayana, one of the disciples of Vyasa, a man of just principles and the first among all those acquainted with the Vedas. Know that I, Sauti, have also repeated one hundred thousand verses”.
Conclusion: – Therefore it is clear that Suka, Narada, Sauti, Devala narrated Mahabharata in celestial abodes well before Mahabharata was published in this world of mortals. And later Suka discarded his body and achieved liberation as proved in previous sections. Thereafter in this world of mortals Vaishampayana narrated Mahabharata during the snake sacrifice to Janamejaya..So, there is no contradiction in Mahabharata, it is a fact that Suka died many years ago even during the lifetime of Bhishma and was not alive to recite Bhagawatam to Parikshit. Therefore Bhagawatam is clearly a bogus scripture.
4.7. Bhagawatam’s failed Attempt to correlate the fictitious Suka’s story with Mahabharata’s story
There is no head and tail that one can make out of the insertion of the following verse in Bhagawatam. What was the objective of this verse is not clear. Here it says Vyasa was following his son and on the way a river came where some damsels were bathing naked. Seeing Suka, they didn’t cover their bodies but seeing Vyasa they covered themselves out of shame.
“drstvanuyantam rsim atmajam apy anagnam | devyo hriya paridadhur na sutasya citram
tad viksya prcchati munau jagadus tavasti | stri-pum-bhida na tu sutasya vivikta-drsteh |” (SB. 1:4:5)
“While Sri Vyasadeva was following his son, beautiful young damsels who were bathing naked covered their bodies with cloth, although Sri Vyasadeva himself was not naked. But they had not done so when his son had passed. The sage inquired about this, and the young ladies replied that his son was purified and when looking at them made no distinction between male and female. But the sage made such distinctions”.
This above verse in reality has no connection with this chapter in Bhagawatam. Neither it has anything to do with it’s immediately preceding verse, nor with the succeeding verse. I am not sure who appointed this third class writer to compose Bhagawatam, but actually this story happens in Mahabharata with the ORIGINAL Suka, wherefrom this author of Bhagawatam tried to copy it and apply it on this DUPLICATE (FAKE) Suka.
Let me cite the actual incident from Mahabharata.
In Mahabharata as studied in previous sections above, when Suka traveled upwards for emancipation; Vyasa out of attachment for his son follows him through same Yogic Aerial path (Kundalini). But fails to travel after a certain point and out of grief halts there and laments. There in Ganga river few damsels bathing naked covers themselves out of shame but they didn’t do that while Suka was travelling since he had cast off all his attributes of attachments and desire while Vyasa did not.
“mahimānaṃ tu taṃ dṛṣṭvā putrasyāmita tejasaḥ | niṣasāda giriprasthe putram evānucintayan |
tato mandākinī tīre krīdanto ‘psarasāṃ gaṇāḥ | āsādya tam ṛṣiṃ sarvāḥ saṃbhrāntā gatacetasaḥ |
jale nililyire kāś cit kāś cid gulmān prapedire | vasanāny ādaduḥ kāś cid dṛṣṭvā taṃ munisattamam |
tāṃ muktatāṃ tu vijñāya muniḥ putrasya vai tadā | saktatām ātmanaś caiva prīto ‘bhūd vrīditaś ca ha |” (MBH 12:320:27-30)
“Beholding that glory and puissance of his son of immeasurable energy, Vyasa sat down on the breast of the mountain and began to think of his son with grief. The Apsaras were sporting on the banks of the celestial stream Mandakini, seeing the Rishi seated there, became all agitated with grave shame and lost heart. Some of them, to hide their nudity, plunged into the stream, and some entered the groves hard by, and some quickly took up their clothes, at beholding the Rishi. (None of them had betrayed any signs of agitation at sight of his son). The Rishi, beholding these movements, understood that his son had been emancipated from all attachments, but that he himself was not freed therefrom. At this he became filled with both joy and shame”.
Conclusion: – One can easily understand that Mahabharata’s story was meaninglessly copied in Bhagawatam and applied on the Fake Suka. This story actually belonged to original Suka of Mahabharata which was copied and applied on Fake Suka. This itself shows how the so called revered scripture viz. Bhagawatam was composed.
4.8. Srimad Bhagawatam trying to Re-Define the Standards of Mahabharata?
The author of Krishna’s Bhagawatam in his over ambition of becoming Vyasa, had tried to alter Mahabharata’s core stories also. Let’s see how all such incidents in these sections
4.8.1. Blunder by Bhagavatam in explaining Bheeshma’s Departure
Srimad Bhagawatam tries to manipulate what the Epic Mahabharata says about Bheeshma’s departure. Definitely this cannot be a work of Vyasa since Puranas can speak differently but Mahabharata which was a historical story, it needs to remain unadulterated in all the scriptures wherever narrated. Bhagawatam says that Bheeshma merged into the soul of Krishna and got Moksha (liberation), whereas the ‘svargArohaNa parva’ of Mahabharata clearly refutes it stating that Bheeshma was seen by Yudhishthira in the heaven seated as one among the Eight Vasus. Let’s see the contradictory passages here as evidence. The below verses are from Bhagawatam.
kṛṣṇa evaḿ bhagavati mano-vāg-dṛṣṭi-vṛttibhiḥ
ātmany ātmānam āveśya so ‘ntaḥśvāsa upāramat | (SB. 1.9.43)
sampadyamānam ājñāya bhīṣmaḿ brahmaṇi niṣkale
sarve babhūvus te tūṣṇīḿ vayāḿsīva dinātyaye |” (SB. 1.9.44)
“Suta Gosvāmī said: Thus Bhīṣmadeva merged himself in the Supersoul, Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, with his mind, speech, sight and actions, and thus he became silent, and his breathing stopped. Knowing that Bhīṣmadeva had merged into the unlimited eternity of the Supreme Absolute, all present there became silent like birds at the end of the day”.
Whereas Mahabharata says Bheeshma became Vasu again as follows.
“vasubhiḥ sahitaṃ paśya bhīṣmaṃ śāṃtanavaṃ nṛpam |” (MBH 18:4:17)
“Behold the royal Bhishma, the son of Santanu, now in the midst of the Vasus”.
So, Vyasa could never have committed such a blunder in narrating the History of Mahabharata totally in a different way in Bhagawatam. So, Bhagawatam definitely was not authored by Vyasa
Srimad Bhagawatam commits a big blunder in narrating the sequences of Ashwatthama’s downfall episode. It again seems like redefining the standards of the actual story of Mahabharata. Actually we should call it as manipulating the story of Mahabharata to Elevate Krishna’s character there. But fiction becomes exposed when real story is studied.
Mahabharata gives a very PRACTICAL narration whereas Bhagawatam narrates a FAIRY TALE which is FAR from truth and practicality aspects. Let’s see the excerpts from both the texts and analyze them. I would quote the Mahabharata story first (which looks realistic) and then Bhagawatam story (which looks like a fairy tale). Wherever required, I would put my comment below the verses.
It was Bhima who marched towards Ashwatthama with bow (fixed with arrow). Seeing him in rage, Ashwatthama out of fear of death releases the supreme weapon ‘Brahmashira’. Let’s see the excerpts now.
Story as narrated by Mahabharata:
“tam abhyadhāvat kaunteyaḥ pragṛhya saśaraṃ dhanuḥ |
bhīmaseno mahābāhus tiṣṭha tiṣṭheti cābravīt |” (MBH 10:13:15)
“The mighty-armed Bhimasena, the son of Kunti, taking up his bow with shaft fixed on it, rushed towards Ashvatthama, and said, ‘Wait, wait!’”.
“sa dṛṣṭvā bhīmadhanvānaṃ pragṛhītaśarāsanam | bhrātarau pṛṣṭhataś cāsya janārdana rathe sthitau |vyathitātmābhavad drauṇiḥ prāptaṃ cedam amanyata | sa tad divyam adīnātmā paramāstram acintayat | jagrāha ca sa caiṣīkāṃ drauṇiḥ savyena pāṇinā | sa tām āpadam āsādya vidyam astram udīrayat | amṛṣyamāṇas tāñ śūrān divyāyudha dharān sthitān | apāṇḍdavāyeti ruṣā vyasṛjad dāruṇaṃ vacaḥ | ity uktvā rājaśārdūla droṇaputraḥ pratāpavān | sarvalokapramohārthaṃ tad astraṃ pramumoca ha | tatas tasyām iṣīkāyāṃ pāvakaḥ samajāyata | pradhakṣyann iva lokāṃs trīn kālāntakayamopamaḥ |” (MBH 10:13:16-20)
“Drona’s son, beholding that terrible bowman coming towards him bow in hand, and the two brothers on Janardana’s car, became exceedingly agitated and thought his hour had come. Of soul incapable of being depressed, he called to his mind that high weapon (which he had obtained from his sire). He then took up a blade of grass with his left hand. Fallen into great distress, he inspired that blade of grass with proper mantras and converted it into that powerful celestial weapon. Unable to brook the arrows (of the Pandavas) and the presence of those wielders of celestial weapons, he uttered in wrath these terrible words: ‘For the destruction of the Pandavas.’ Having said these words, O tiger among kings, the valiant son of Drona let off that weapon for stupefying all the worlds. A fire then was born in that blade of grass, which seemed capable of consuming the three worlds like the all-destroying Yama at the end of the yuga.“
Seeing that divine weapon released, Krishna immediately alerts Arjuna. Then without any time delay Arjuna understands what weapon to be released and releases Brahmashira to counter the other Brahmashira of the opponent. There wasn’t much time delay here. I know I’m repeating this point but this point needs to be noted carefully. Here another noteworthy point is, Krishna didn’t say the name of the weapon released by Ashwatthama. Arjuna was skilled enough to identify the weapon released and he releases the same weapon to neutralize the opponent’s missile. This narration is very realistic and looks practical as well (We’ll see later how unrealistic is Bhagawatam while narrating this scene).
“iṅgitenaiva dāśārhas tam abhiprāyam āditaḥ | drauṇer buddhvā mahābāhur arjunaṃ pratyabhāṣata |
arjunārjuna yad divyam astraṃ te hṛdi vartate | dropopadiṣṭaṃ tasyāyaṃ kālaḥ saṃprati pāṇḍava |
bhrātṝṇām ātmanaś caiva paritrāṇāya bhārata | visṛjaitat tvam apy ājāv astram astranivāraṇam |” (MBH 10:14:1-3)
“Vaishampayana said, “At the very outset the mighty-armed hero of Dasharha’s race understood from signs the intention of Drona’s son. Addressing Arjuna, he said, ‘O Arjuna, O son of Pandu, the time is come for the use of that celestial weapon which is in thy memory, knowledge of which was imparted to thee by Drona. For protecting thyself as also thy brothers, O Bharata, shoot in this battle that weapon which is capable of neutralizing all weapons.‘”
“keśavenaivam uktas tu pāṇḍavaḥ paravīrahā | avātarad rathāt tūrṇaṃ pragṛhya saśaraṃ dhanuḥ |
pūrvam ācārya putrāya tato ‘nantaram ātmane | bhrātṛbhyaś caiva sarvebhyaḥ svastīty uktvā paraṃtapaḥ |devatābhyo namaskṛtya gurubhyaś ceva sarvaśaḥ | utsasarja śivaṃ dhyāyann astram astreṇa śāmyatām |” (MBH 10:14:4-6)
“Thus addressed by Keshava, Arjuna, that slayer of hostile heroes, quickly alighted from the car, taking with him his bow with shaft fixed on the string. Softly wishing good unto the preceptor’s son and then unto himself, and unto all his brothers, that scorcher of foes then bowed unto all the gods and all his superiors and let off his weapon, thinking of the welfare of all the worlds and uttering the words, ‘Let Ashvatthama’s weapon be neutralized by this weapon!’”.
Then before the two weapons collided, Vyasa and Narada came in between those two weapons and prevented them from colliding. Reason why they didn’t allow those two weapons to collide is given in below verse. Ashwatthama released that weapon to kill all Pandavas, but Arjuna released same weapon to neutralize the former missile. And as per the law of Brahmashira weapon, if it is baffled by any weapon, then for 12 years there happens severe draught in that region. And hence the collision was also a disaster for that region itself. So, that’s why Vyasa and Narada intervened in between those two missiles, and prevented them from colliding. Note these points carefully since in Bhagawatam extracts we would understand how funny the story is told there.
“astraṃ brahmaśiro yatra paramāstreṇa vadhyate | samā dvādaśa parjanyas tad rāṣṭraṃ nābhivarṣati |” (MBH 10:15:23)
“That region where the weapon called brahmashira is baffled by another high weapon suffers a drought for twelve years, for the clouds do not pour a drop of water there for this period”.
Then Vyasa instructed Arjun and Ashwatthama to withdraw their weapons back. Arjuna succeeds to do that, but Ashwatthama states that he was not capable to withdraw it. Note that it is Ashwatthama who reveals his incapability to withdraw. And then Ashwatthama redirects his weapon towards the fetus of Uttara to kill him instead of killing Pandavas. Note this point also carefully because we need to enjoy the sense of humor of the author of Bhagawatam which we’ll do shortly.
“nāradaḥ sa ca dharmātmā bharatānāṃ pitāmahaḥ | ubhau śamayituṃ vīrau bhāradvāja dhanaṃjayau | tau munī sarvadharmajñau sarvabhūtahitaiṣiṇau | dīptayor astrayor madhye sthitau paramatejasau |
tadantaram anādhṛṣyāv upagamya yaśasvinau | āstām ṛṣivarau tatra jvalitāv iva pāvakau |
prāṇabhṛdbhir anādhṛṣyau devadānava saṃmatau | astratejaḥ śamayituṃ lokānāṃ hitakāmyayā |” (MBH 10:14:12-15)
“Then the two great rishis, Narada, who is the soul of every creature, and the grandsire of all the Bharata princes (Vyasa), beholding those two weapons scorching the three worlds, showed themselves there. The two rishis sought to pacify the two heroes Ashvatthama and Dhananjaya. Conversant with all duties and desirous of the welfare of all creatures, the two sages, possessed of great energy, stood in the midst of those two blazing weapons. Incapable of being overwhelmed by any force, those two illustrious rishis, placing themselves between the two weapons, stood like two blazing fires. Incapable of being checked by any creature endued with life, and adorned by the gods and danavas, they two acted in this way, neutralising the energy of the two weapons and doing good to all the world”.
Now, note that Arjuna withdraws ONLY his weapon as per the below narration. And Ashwatthama fails to take back his missile.
“dṛṣṭvaiva naraśārdūlas tāv agnisamatejasau | saṃjahāra śaraṃ divyaṃ tvaramāṇo dhanaṃjayaḥ |
uvāca vadatāṃ śreṣṭhas tāv ṛṣī prāñjalis tadā | prayuktam astram astreṇa śāmyatām iti vai mayā |
saṃhṛte paramāstre ‘smin sarvān asmān aśeṣataḥ | pāpakarmā dhruvaṃ drauṇiḥ pradhakṣyaty astratejasā | atra yad dhitam asmākaṃ lokānāṃ caiva sarvathā | bhavantau devasaṃkāśau tathā saṃhartum arhataḥ | ity uktvā saṃjahārāstraṃ punar eva dhanaṃjayaḥ | saṃhāro duṣkaras tasya devair api hi saṃyuge || (MBH 10:15:1-5)
“Vaishampayana said, “At the very sight, O tiger among men, of those two rishis possessed of splendour like that of fire, Dhananjaya quickly resolved to withdraw his celestial shaft. Joining his hands, he addressed those rishis, saying, ‘I used this weapon, saying, “Let it neutralise the (enemy’s) weapon!” If I withdraw this high weapon, Drona’s son of sinful deeds will then, without doubt, consume us all with the energy of his weapon. Ye two are like gods! It behoveth you to devise some means by which our welfare as also that of the three worlds may be secured!’ Having said these words Dhananjaya withdrew his weapon”.
“drauṇir apy atha saṃprekṣya tāv ṛṣī purataḥ sthitau | na śaśāka punar ghoram astraṃ saṃhartum āhave ||” (MBH 10:15:11)
“Drona’s son, beholding those two rishis standing before him, could not by his energy withdraw his own terrible weapon”.
Seeing Ashwatthama incapable of withdrawing his missile, Vyasa instructs him to change the target of the missile and spare Pandavas, then Drona’s son redirects that terrible missile towards all wombs of Pandava women, hence it hits Uttara’s womb too.
“tataḥ paramam astraṃ tad aśvatthāmā bhṛśāturaḥ | dvaipāyana vacaḥ śrutvā garbheṣu pramumoca ha | (MBH 10:15:33)
“The son of Drona, having heard these words of the island-born, threw that uplifted weapon into the wombs of the Pandava women.“
Now let’s see verses from Bhagawatam and understand what an impractical and unrealistic picture it has created of this episode.
Story as narrated by Bhagawatam:
“tadā śucas te pramṛjāmi bhadre | yad brahma-bandhoḥ śira ātatāyinaḥ
gāṇḍīva-muktair viśikhair upāhare | tvākramya yat snāsyasi dagdha-putrā | (SB 1.7.16)
iti priyāḿ valgu-vicitra-jalpaiḥ | sa sāntvayitvācyuta-mitra-sūtaḥ
anvādravad daḿśita ugra-dhanvā | kapi-dhvajo guru-putraḿ rathena |” (SB 1.7.17)
“O gentle lady, when I present you with the head of that brāhmaṇa, after beheading him with arrows from my Gāṇḍīva bow, I shall then wipe the tears from your eyes and pacify you. Then, after burning your sons’ bodies, you can take your bath standing on his head. Arjuna, who is guided by the infallible Lord as friend and driver, thus satisfied the dear lady by such statements. Then he dressed in armor and armed himself with furious weapons, and getting into his chariot, he set out to follow Aśvatthāmā, the son of his martial teacher”.
- Arjuna pledges to Draupadi that he would bring the severed head of Ashwatthama as per the above verse. Arjuna never slipped from his vows. Let’s see whether he keeps his pledge or not.
- It’s only Arjuna and Krishna who sped towards the place where Ashwatthama was there. No mention of Bhima at all
“tam āpatantaḿ sa vilakṣya dūrāt | kumāra-hodvigna-manā rathena
parādravat prāṇa-parīpsur urvyāḿ | yāvad-gamaḿ rudra-bhayād yathā kaḥ | (SB 1.7.18)
yadāśaraṇam ātmānam | aikṣata śrānta-vājinam | astraḿ brahma-śiro mene | ātma-trāṇaḿ dvijātmajaḥ |” (SB 1.7.19)
“Aśvatthāmā, the murderer of the princes, seeing from a great distance Arjuna coming at him with great speed, fled in his chariot, panic stricken, just to save his life, as Brahmā fled in fear from Śiva. When the son of the brāhmaṇa [Aśvatthāmā] saw that his horses were tired, he considered that there was no alternative for protection outside of his using the ultimate weapon, the brahmāstra”.
- Ashwatthama gets scared here seeing Arjuna whereas Mahabharata says it was Bhima who was furiously coming towards him
- Ashwatthama here is portrayed as having a chariot whose steeds became tired so he could not flee. But Actually Ashwatthama was seated in the hermitage of Vyasa as per Mahabharata
- Here there is no mention of Vyasa’s presence
- On a side note, the translator of Bhagawatam (Prabhupada) doesn’t know what a nuclear weapon is. He translates the Brahmashira as Nuclear weapon. But in reality in Mahabharata nukes were not used
“athopaspṛśya salilaḿ | sandadhe tat samāhitaḥ
ajānann api saḿhāraḿ | prāṇa-kṛcchra upasthite |” (SB 1.7.20)
“Since his life was in danger, he touched water in sanctity and concentrated upon the chanting of the hymns for throwing nuclear weapons, although he did not know how to withdraw such weapons“.
- Here Ashwatthama touched water and all sorts of worship etc. But in reality as per Mahabharata Ashwatthama released an “Asika” missile. Asika means ‘grass blade’, and with his Mantra Shakti that grass blade became Brahmashira
- Here Bhagawatam reveals in advance that Ashwatthama did not know how to withdraw that weapon.
Now comes the funniest sequences of the story. The dialogues, the screenplay everything deserves a noble prize for being the most comical narration. Each word needs to be read carefully to enjoy the beauty of the sense of humor of the author.
“tataḥ prāduṣkṛtaḿ tejaḥ | pracaṇḍaḿ sarvato diśam
prāṇāpadam abhiprekṣya | viṣṇuḿ jiṣṇur uvāca ha | (SB 1.7.21)
arjuna uvāca | kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa mahā-bāho | bhaktānām abhayańkara | tvam eko dahyamānānām |
apavargo ‘si saḿsṛteḥ | (SB 1.7.22)
tvam ādyaḥ puruṣaḥ sākṣād | īśvaraḥ prakṛteḥ paraḥ | māyāḿ vyudasya cic-chaktyā | kaivalye sthita ātmani | (SB 1.7.23)
sa eva jīva-lokasya | māyā-mohita-cetasaḥ | vidhatse svena vīryeṇa | śreyo dharmādi-lakṣaṇam | (SB 1.7.24)
tathāyaḿ cāvatāras te | bhuvo bhāra-jihīrṣayā | svānāḿ cānanya-bhāvānām | anudhyānāya cāsakṛt | (SB 1.7.25)
kim idaḿ svit kuto veti | deva-deva na vedmy aham | sarvato mukham āyāti | tejaḥ parama-dāruṇam |” (SB 1.7.26)
“Thereupon a glaring light spread in all directions. It was so fierce that Arjuna thought his own life in danger, and so he began to address Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa. Arjuna said: O my Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, You are the almighty Personality of Godhead. There is no limit to Your different energies. Therefore only You are competent to instill fearlessness in the hearts of Your devotees. Everyone in the flames of material miseries can find the path of liberation in You only. You are the original Personality of Godhead who expands Himself all over the creations and is transcendental to material energy. You have cast away the effects of the material energy by dint of Your spiritual potency. You are always situated in eternal bliss and transcendental knowledge. And yet, though You are beyond the purview of the material energy, You execute the four principles of liberation characterized by religion and so on for the ultimate good of the conditioned souls. Thus You descend as an incarnation to remove the burden of the world and to benefit Your friends, especially those who are Your exclusive devotees and are rapt in meditation upon You. O Lord of lords, how is it that this dangerous effulgence is spreading all around? Where does it come from? I do not understand it”.
PURPORT (by Srila Prabhupada): Anything that is presented before the Personality of Godhead should be so done after due presentation of respectful prayers. That is the standard procedure, and Śrī Arjuna, although an intimate friend of the Lord, is observing this method for general information.
- There Drona’s son had already released that terrible weapon which was coming with blazing effulgence, and here Arjuna is portrayed at the peak of stupidity. Arjuna who had maximum no. of celestial weapons with him feared for his life here!
- Instead of releasing a counter weapon Arjuna is shown as praising krishna’s glories. In the moment of disaster, simple salutation to God is enough. Would god ask you to bribe him with too many praises in order to protect you? God would get pleased even if someone simply remembers him and asks for protection. Why the hell one would need all the absurd praises like “O lord you are the original personality…” etc., what if he is? and what if he is not? How does it matter there? Read the above passage once more, and I am sure it would drive everyone nuts.
- Arjuna is shown as one who is not able to understand what that dangerous effulgence was, which was spreading around. Arjuna was not a normal archer, he was an expert in Dhanurvidya. And it is a serious INSULT to Arjuna’s character if someone portrays him so cowardly.
- And read the Purport also, how stupid a commentator can be is clearly visible here. Of course Purports are not relevant to be discussed in this analysis, but I couldn’t stop myself after reading that. It says one needs to eulogize God in such a detail. Arjuna’s behavior in these verses is too unrealistic to be considered for an epic. Danger was already fast approaching and he started reciting numerous praises for the Lord. Probably the idea of including Vishnu Sahasranama Stotram here didn’t strike the mind of the author of Bhagawatam. Otherwise he would have considered that as more appropriate prayer here. This is so foolish to see Arjuna offering such elongated and time consuming prayers when actually that was the moment for him to act.
“śrī-bhagavān uvāca | vetthedaḿ droṇa-putrasya | brāhmam astraḿ pradarśitam
naivāsau veda saḿhāraḿ | prāṇa-bādha upasthite | (SB 1.7.27)
na hy asyānyatamaḿ kiñcid | astraḿ pratyavakarśanam | jahy astra-teja unnaddham | astra-jño hy astra-tejasā |” (SB 1.7.28)
“The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: Know from Me that this is the act of the son of Droṇa. He has thrown the hymns of nuclear energy [brahmāstra], and he does not know how to retract the glare. He has helplessly done this, being afraid of imminent death. O Arjuna, only another brahmāstra can counteract this weapon. Since you are expert in the military science, subdue this weapon’s glare with the power of your own weapon“.
- Oh! So the supreme personality of godhead said, “know from me that this is the act of Drona’s son”? Was Arjuna blind that he couldn’t see who released that weapon? There is a limit for everything and even if some Purana wants to give away all credits to the central hero (here Krishna), then also there should be some credits to the supporting actors (here Arjuna). This is heights of hypocrisy!
- Oh! Arjuna doesn’t know what that weapon was. And even Arjuna is being told by krishna that only another Brahmashira can nullify it. Surprising! I thought Mahabharata always projected Arjuna as the best of the bowmen who had knowledge of all celestial weapons!
- The comment, “Since you are expert in military science” as told by Krishna doesn’t fit there when Arjuna was shown as a novice in weaponry science.
- And here Krishna is revealing that Ashwatthama doesn’t know how to withdraw his weapon. Strange! In Mahabharata it was Ashwatthama who told that actually
- And most importantly, there are nobody witnessing that incident. Vyasa, Narada, and pandavas are totally absent.
“sūta uvāca | śrutvā bhagavatā proktaḿ | phālgunaḥ para-vīra-hā | spṛṣṭvāpas taḿ parikramya |
brāhmaḿ brāhmāstraḿ sandadhe |” (SB 1.7.29)
“Śrī Sūta Gosvāmī said: Hearing this from the Personality of Godhead, Arjuna touched water for purification, and after circumambulating Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, he cast his brahmāstra weapon to counteract the other one”.
- Oh, not again! Did the author of Bhagawatam really have any idea of weapons? It was Brahmashira the terrible weapon and that was already released, and here Arjuna is touching water. Where did Arjuna find water? Did he carry a water bottle with him? Ok! Let’s be little lenient and assume that some source of water was available
- Arjuna did bow to all the Gods and his superiors as per Mahabharata, but so much of overaction of circumambulation etc. was not done as shown here. What if Krishna wasn’t there? Without the overaction of circumambulation wouldn’t the arrow fly?
- And I wonder, whether the Brahmashira weapon when released, mounts itself on a bullock cart and comes slowly or something of that sort? The depiction of Bhagawatam clearly shows a great amount of time lapse, and still Arjuna was carelessly doing hell lot of rituals. I suppose Brahmashira weapon actually waits till the target gets prepared to get killed or counter. What a benevolent and magnanimous weapon that is!
“saḿhatyānyonyam ubhayos | tejasī śara-saḿvṛte | āvṛtya rodasī khaḿ ca |
vavṛdhāte ‘rka-vahnivat | (SB 1.7.30)
dṛṣṭvāstra-tejas tu tayos | trīl lokān pradahan mahat | dahyamānāḥ prajāḥ sarvāḥ
sāḿvartakam amaḿsata |” (SB 1.7.31)
“When the rays of the two brahmāstras combined, a great circle of fire, like the disc of the sun, covered all outer space and the whole firmament of planets. All the population of the three worlds was scorched by the combined heat of the weapons. Everyone was reminded of the sāḿvartaka fire which takes place at the time of annihilation”.
- Oh my God! Both the Brahmashiras collided and combined their radiations! What a nice depiction of fireworks! Loving the imagination of the author here!
- Already the population of three worlds started getting scorched by these weapons. Then it would be insane to even think of withdrawal.
- Secondly, Ashwatthama released that weapon to destroy Arjuna (here in Bhagawatam) whereas (for destruction of all Pandavas in Mahabharata). Why the hell those weapons started scorching all the three worlds and their population? Divine missiles have their own laws, they strictly abide by the ‘sankalpaM’ of the one who invokes them. the sankalpaM done by Ashvatthama was that his brahmashira should slay all pandavas. The sankalpaM of Arjuna was that his Brahmashira should counter Ashwatthama’s Brahmashira. These weapons are celestial beings in the form of weapons. They would not transgress the purpose for which they were invoked. When they collide, the arjuna’s sankalpaM would rule high and it would baffle ashwatthama’s weapon. Here in Bhagavatam however, they collided and started displaying beautiful fireworks scorching the three worlds. Any damn author cannot rule the laws of celestial weapons based on his own imagination. This itself shows how inefficient was the author of Bhagawatam in knowledge of weapon mechanics
- Both weapons collided and still there is no mention of Vyasa and Narada
- Since the weapons already collided there are only two possibilities viz. either destruction of Arjuna or if Arjuna’s missile baffles the other one, a severe famine in that land for 12 years.
“prajopadravam ālakṣya | loka-vyatikaraḿ ca tam | mataḿ ca vāsudevasya |
sañjahārārjuno dvayam | (SB 1.7.32)
“Thus seeing the disturbance of the general populace and the imminent destruction of the planets, Arjuna at once retracted both brahmāstra weapons, as Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa desired”.
- Withdrawal of weapons is possible only before they actually collide. It is stupid to read Bhagawatam putting such illogical sequences
- A weapon can be withdrawn only by its master. It is not possible for any warrior to withdraw someone else’s missile. But here strangely Arjuna withdraws both the weapons. Strange! Heights of stupidity! If this was the case, then in the Mahabharata war there was no need for Krishna to take Vaishnavastra on himself, there was no need to shout on Bhima and to pull him down making him surrender to Narayanastra. Arjuna could have withdrawn all the weapons shot by the opponents and that way it would have become an eco-friendly war
- And here again Arjuna didn’t have his own mind to think. He decided to withdraw both weaposn as per the desire of Krishna. Come on! There should be some limit even to glorify any God in a scripture. This Bhagawatam contains exaggerations to their highest limit (and even beyond).
“tata āsādya tarasā | dāruṇaḿ gautamī-sutam | babandhāmarṣa-tāmrākṣaḥ |
paśuḿ raśanayā yathā | (SB 1.7.32)
mainaḿ pārthārhasi trātuḿ | brahma-bandhum imaḿ jahi | yo ‘sāv anāgasaḥ suptān
avadhīn niśi bālakān | (SB 1.7.35)
sva-prāṇān yaḥ para-prāṇaiḥ | prapuṣṇāty aghṛṇaḥ khalaḥ | tad-vadhas tasya hi śreyo
yad-doṣād yāty adhaḥ pumān |” (SB 1.7.37)
“Arjuna, his eyes blazing in anger like two red balls of copper, dexterously arrested the son of Gautamī and bound him with ropes like an animal. Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa said: O Arjuna, you should not show mercy by releasing this relative of a brāhmaṇa [brahma-bandhu], for he has killed innocent boys in their sleep. A cruel and wretched person who maintains his existence at the cost of others’ lives deserves to be killed for his own well-being; otherwise he will go down by his own actions”.
- Oh! So entire battle was played by Krishna, Arjuna and Ashwatthama here. And now Arjuna has tied him with rope and is taking him to their tent. In Mahabharata not even a hint of such a story was presented by Vyasa. Who the author of Bhagawatam is, tell me, who is trying to redefine History?
“pratiśrutaḿ ca bhavatā | pāñcālyai śṛṇvato mama | āhariṣye śiras tasya |
yas te mānini putra-hā |” (SB 1.7.38)
“Furthermore, I have personally heard you promise Draupadī that you would bring forth the head of the killer of her sons”.
- Yes, my dear Krishna! Even I am waiting to see if Arjuna keeps his promise or not. In Mahabharata Arjuna never failed from his promises though.
“sūta uvāca | evaḿ parīkṣatā dharmaḿ | pārthaḥ kṛṣṇena coditaḥ | naicchad dhantuḿ guru-sutaḿ
yadyapy ātma-hanaḿ mahān | (SB 1.7.40)
athopetya sva-śibiraḿ | govinda-priya-sārathiḥ | nyavedayat taḿ priyāyai |
śocantyā ātma-jān hatān |” (SB 1.7.41)
“Sūta Gosvāmī said: Although Kṛṣṇa, who was examining Arjuna in religion, encouraged Arjuna to kill the son of Droṇācārya, Arjuna, a great soul, did not like the idea of killing him, although Aśvatthāmā was a heinous murderer of Arjuna’s family members. After reaching his own camp, Arjuna, along with his dear friend and charioteer [Śrī Kṛṣṇa], entrusted the murderer unto his dear wife, who was lamenting for her murdered sons”.
- Oh! So, again Arjuna went back to square one? Does he need another round of Gita Upadesha? He became compassionate toward that person who killed Draupadi’s five sons? Why didn’t he show his compassion on Jayadratha then who was actually not very much a sinner in killing Abhimanyu? (Actual killing was done by others; Jayadratha was instrumental in blocking all help from outside the Chakravyuha. So, it was not very fair to kill him actually)
- Since when Arjuna became merciful towards his enemies even after taking Oath of killing? The author of Bhagawatam strictly needs a preaching of Mahabharata. Clearly the person who wrote Bhagawatam was not aware of Mahabharata at all
“tathāhṛtaḿ paśuvat pāśa-baddham | avāń-mukhaḿ karma-jugupsitena | nirīkṣya kṛṣṇāpakṛtaḿ guroḥ sutaḿ | vāma-svabhāvā kṛpayā nanāma ca | (SB 1.7.42)
uvāca cāsahanty asya | bandhanānayanaḿ satī | mucyatāḿ mucyatām eṣa |
brāhmaṇo nitarāḿ guruḥ | (SB 1.7.43)
mā rodīd asya jananī | gautamī pati-devatā | yathāhaḿ mṛta-vatsārtā |
rodimy aśru-mukhī muhuḥ |” (SB 1.7.47)
“Śrī Sūta Gosvāmī said: Draupadī then saw Aśvatthāmā, who was bound with ropes like an animal and silent for having enacted the most inglorious murder. Due to her female nature, and due to her being naturally good and well-behaved, she showed him due respects as a brāhmaṇa. She could not tolerate Aśvatthāmā’s being bound by ropes, and being a devoted lady, she said: Release him, for he is a brāhmaṇa, our spiritual master. My lord, do not make the wife of Droṇācārya cry like me. I am aggrieved for the death of my sons. She need not cry constantly like me”.
“śrī-bhagavān uvāca | brahma-bandhur na hantavya | ātatāyī vadhārhaṇaḥ | mayaivobhayam āmnātaḿ | paripāhy anuśāsanam | kuru pratiśrutaḿ satyaḿ | yat tat sāntvayatā priyām | priyaḿ ca bhīmasenasya | pāñcālyā mahyam eva ca | (SB 1.7.54)
sūta uvāca | arjunaḥ sahasājñāya | harer hārdam athāsinā | maṇiḿ jahāra mūrdhanyaḿ
dvijasya saha-mūrdhajam | (SB 1.7.55)
vimucya raśanā-baddhaḿ | bāla-hatyā-hata-prabham | tejasā maṇinā hīnaḿ
śibirān nirayāpayat | (SB 1.7.56)
“The Personality of Godhead Sri Kṛṣṇa said: A friend of a brāhmaṇa is not to be killed, but if he is an aggressor he must be killed. All these rulings are in the scriptures, and you should act accordingly. You have to fulfill your promise to your wife, and you must also act to the satisfaction of Bhīmasena and Me. Just then Arjuna could understand the motive of the Lord by His equivocal orders, and thus with his sword he severed both hair and jewel from the head of Aśvatthāmā. He [Aśvatthāmā] had already lost his bodily luster due to infanticide, and now, moreover, having lost the jewel from his head, he lost even more strength. Thus he was unbound and driven out of the camp”.
- I think the author of Bhagawatam is confused between the stories of Jayadratha and Ashwatthama. It was Jayadratha once who kidnapped Draupadi, and Pandavas rescued her and later left him alive by tonsuring his head. With Ashwatthama these sequences never happened as per Mahabharata. Actually Ashwatthama was not at all brought to Pandavas camp in Mahabharata
- It is Ashwatthama himself who actually takes out his Jewell and gives away; in Mahabharata. Here Bhagawatam wants to redefine standards of Vyasa’s writings perhaps!
Stay tuned. More funny and illogical sequences are to come now.
“yājayitvāśvamedhais taḿ | tribhir uttama-kalpakaiḥ | tad-yaśaḥ pāvanaḿ dikṣu |
śata-manyor ivātanot | (SB 1.8.6)
āmantrya pāṇḍu-putrāḿś ca | śaineyoddhava-saḿyutaḥ | dvaipāyanādibhir vipraiḥ |
pūjitaiḥ pratipūjitaḥ |” (SB 1.8.7)
“Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa caused three well-performed Aśvamedha-yajñas [horse sacrifices] to be conducted by Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira and thus caused his virtuous fame to be glorified in all directions, like that of Indra, who had performed one hundred such sacrifices. Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa then prepared for His departure. He invited the sons of Pāṇḍu, after having been worshiped by the brāhmaṇas, headed by Śrīla Vyāsadeva. The Lord also reciprocated greetings”.
Note that Krishna is about to go back to Dwarika while the below incident happens.
“gantuḿ kṛtamatir Brahman | dvārakāḿ ratham āsthitaḥ | upalebhe ‘bhidhāvantīm
uttarāḿ bhaya-vihvalām | (SB 1.8.8)
Uttarovāca | pāhi pāhi mahā-yogin | deva-deva jagat-pate | nānyaḿ tvad abhayaḿ paśye |
yatra mṛtyuḥ parasparam | (SB 1.8.9)
abhidravati mām īśa | śaras taptāyaso vibho | kāmaḿ dahatu māḿ nātha |
mā me garbho nipātyatām |” (SB 1.8.10)
“As soon as He seated Himself on the chariot to start for Dvārakā, He saw Uttarā hurrying toward Him in fear. Uttarā said: O Lord of lords, Lord of the universe! You are the greatest of mystics. Please protect me, for there is no one else who can save me from the clutches of death in this world of duality. O my Lord, You are all-powerful. A fiery iron arrow is coming towards me fast. My Lord, let it burn me personally, if You so desire, but please do not let it burn and abort my embryo. Please do me this favor, my Lord”.
- O My God! A woman carrying fetus in her womb in her last stages of pregnancy can come running?
- Was the Brahmashira weapon like a lame limping man in its speed of motion? How practical it is to see a woman able to escape from it and run away?
- And it is so unrealistic on the part of Ashwatthama to wait for such a long time till Ashwamedha sacrifices got over and then try to avenge for his insult
“sūta uvāca | upadhārya vacas tasyā | bhagavān bhakta-vatsalaḥ | apāṇḍavam idaḿ kartuḿ |
drauṇer astram abudhyata | (SB 1.8.11)
vyasanaḿ vīkṣya tat teṣām | ananya-viṣayātmanām | sudarśanena svāstreṇa | svānāḿ rakṣāḿ vyadhād vibhuḥ |” (SB 1.8.13)
“Sūta Gosvāmī said: Having patiently heard her words, Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, who is always very affectionate to His devotees, could at once understand that Aśvatthāmā, the son of Droṇācārya, had thrown the brahmāstra to finish the last life in the Pāṇḍava family. The almighty Personality of Godhead, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, having observed that a great danger was befalling His unalloyed devotees, who were fully surrendered souls, at once took up His Sudarśana disc to protect them”.
- Brahmashira gave enough time to the victim and krishna; so that, Krishna could hear “patiently” her plea.
- Krishna “at once took up his Sudarshana”. Strange! Didn’t he say, “This is the job for Superman…Up…Up and away..”?. Totally unrealistic story! There is a limit for glorifying the central hero. This story doesn’t match with Mahabharata even a single verse. It’s a cooked up fairy tale and nothing more than that!
“antaḥsthaḥ sarva-bhūtānām | ātmā yogeśvaro hariḥ | sva-māyayāvṛṇod garbhaḿ |
vairāṭyāḥ kuru-tantave | (SB 1.8.14)
yadyapy astraḿ brahma-śiras | tv amoghaḿ cāpratikriyam | vaiṣṇavaḿ teja āsādya |
samaśāmyad bhṛgūdvaha | (SB 1.8.15)
brahma-tejo-vinirmuktair | ātmajaiḥ saha kṛṣṇayā | prayāṇābhimukhaḿ kṛṣṇam |
idam āha pṛthā satī |” (SB 1.8.17)
“The Lord of supreme mysticism, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, resides within everyone’s heart as the Paramātmā. As such, just to protect the progeny of the Kuru dynasty, He covered the embryo of Uttarā by His personal energy. O Śaunaka, although the supreme brahmāstra weapon released by Aśvatthāmā was irresistible and without check or counteraction, it was neutralized and foiled when confronted by the strength of Viṣṇu [Lord Kṛṣṇa]. Thus saved from the radiation of the brahmāstra, Kuntī, the chaste devotee of the Lord, and her five sons and Draupadī addressed Lord Kṛṣṇa as He started for home”.
- There is nothing of any such incident that happened in actual Mahabharata. It’s totally fictitious. True, that someone said, “Sky is the limit”; I can see even beyond the sky the never ending limits of imagination of this unrealistic author of Bhagawatam
I wanted to cover the death of Parikshit and his coming back to life episode as a separate section. So, the story read in above section should be kept in memory while reading the below section.
Continuing from the above section where we have seen that Krishna’s sudarshana chakra covers Uttara’s womb and protects the fetus. Let me extend that story and show what Bhagawatam says further. But before that, let me present the excerpts from Mahabharata the original epic story of Pandavas.
Parikshit’s birth story as given in Mahabharata
Here this excerpt is from the Ashwatthama-Brahmashira episode where, Ashwatthama redirects that missile towards the womb of Uttara. Krishna angrily tells Ashwatthama that if he was thinking that he became successful in destroying that fetus, he was a fool. Krishna said that he himself would revive Parikshit to life who would live for 60 years.
“vayaḥ prāpya parikṣit tu veda vratam avāpya ca | kṛpāc chāradvatād vīraḥ sarvāstrāṇy upalapsyate ||
viditvā paramāstrāṇi kṣatradharmavrate sthitaḥ | ṣaṣṭiṃ varṣāṇi dharmātmā vasudhāṃ pālayiṣyati ||
itaś cordhvaṃ mahābāhuḥ kururājo bhaviṣyati | parikṣin nāma nṛpatir miṣatas te sudurmate ||
paśya me tapaso vīryaṃ satyasya ca narādhama | (MBH 10:16:13-15)
“The heroic Parikshit, attaining to age and a knowledge of the Vedas and the practice of pious vows, shall obtain all weapons from the son of Sharadvata. Having obtained a knowledge of all high weapons, and observant of all kshatriya duties, that righteous-souled king shall rule the earth for sixty years. More than this, that boy shall become the mighty-armed king of the Kurus, known by the name of Parikshit, before thy very eyes, O thou of wicked soul! Though burnt by the energy of thy weapon’s fire, I shall revive him. O lowest of men, behold the energy of my austerities and my truth.“
Here Krishna says he would revive the killed Parikshit with the merit of his austerities and his strength of truth. Mahabharata depicts a very practical and realistic form of Krishna where Krishna is shown as super human only where really it was required. And in other places Krishna used his Yoga prowess, his Merits of being righteous etc. kind of elements to uplift Dharma and to protect people. Bhagawatam on the other hand; every time, in every verse, tries to prove krishna as a super human. But as per Mahabharata even krishna had certain limits and limitations and also Mahabharata is open in revealing such weak areas of krishna unlike Bhagawatam which forcefully tries to map Krishna to that super human level which he was actually not on this planet in that incarnation.
Let’s move further now.
Pariskit was born dead as per Mahabharata and Krishna as promised, puts his truthfulness, his righteousness, his sincerity in clinging to Dharma, his austerities, his firmness in vows into stake and makes the dead infant alive.
“śrutvā sa tasyā vipulaṃ vilāpaṃ puruṣarṣabhaḥ | upaspṛśya tataḥ kṛṣṇo brahmāstraṃ saṃjahāra tat |
pratijajñe ca dāśārhas tasya jīvitam acyutaḥ | abravīc ca viśuddhātmā sarvaṃ viśrāvayañ jagat |
na bravīmy uttare mithyā satyam etad bhaviṣyati | eṣa saṃjīvayāmy enaṃ paśyatāṃ sarvadehinām |
noktapūrvaṃ mayā mithyā svaireṣv api kadā cana | na ca yuddhe parā vṛttas tathā saṃjīvatām ayam |
yathā me dayito dharmo brāhmaṇāś ca viśeṣataḥ | abhimanyoḥ suto jāto mṛto jīvatv ayaṃ tathā |
yathāhaṃ nābhijānāmi vijayena kadā cana | virodhaṃ tena satyena mṛto jīvatv ayaṃ śiśuḥ |
yathāsatyaṃ ca dharmaś ca mayi nityaṃ pratiṣṭhitau | tathā mṛtaḥ śiśur ayaṃ jīvatām abhimanyujaḥ |
yathā kaṃśaś ca keśī ca dharmeṇa nihatau mayā | tena satyena bālo ‘yaṃ punar ujjīvatām iha |
ity ukto vāsudevena sa bālo bharatarṣabha | śanaiḥ śanair mahārāja prāspandata sa cetanaḥ |” (MBH 14:68:16-24)
“Kesava of eyes like the petals of the lotus. That foremost of beings, hearing those heart-rending lamentations of hers, touched water and withdrew the (force of the) Brahma-weapon. That hero of unfading glory, belonging to the race of the Dasarhas, promised to give the child his life. Then he of pure soul, said these words in the hearing of the whole universe,–‘O Uttara, I never utter an untruth. My words will prove true. I shall revive this child in the presence of all creatures. Never before have I uttered an untruth even in jest. Never have I turned back from battle. (By the merit of those acts) let this child revive! As righteousness is dear to me, as Brahmanas are specially dear to me, (by the merit of that disposition of mine) let Abhimanyu’s son, who is born dead, revive! Never hath a misunderstanding arisen between me and my friend Vijaya. Let this dead child revive by that truth! As truth and righteousness are always established in me, let this dead child of Abhimanyu revive (by the merit of these)! As Kansa and Kesi have been righteously slain by me, let this child revive today by that truth!’ After these words were uttered by Vasudeva, that child, O foremost one of Bharata’s race, became animate and began gradually to move, O monarch.’”
- If one studies Mahabharata in detail, one would understand that even though Krishna was a God incarnate, he still didn’t use his super human abilities each and every time. He followed human kind of actions in several places.. He too had his limitations and limits. And in the light of Mahabharata it sounds perfectly realistic to see Krishna using his merits as the basis to make that child alive
Now we’ll see what the fairy tale of Bhagawatam narrates it as!
Parikshit’s birth story as given in Bhagawatam
“matur garbha-gato virah | sa tada bhrigu-nandana |
dadarsa purusham kancid | dahyamano ‘stra-tejasa |7
angushtha-matram amalam | sphurat-purata-maulinam |
apivya-darsanam syamam | tadid vasasam acyutam | 8
srimad-dirgha-catur-bahum | tapta-kancana-kundalam |
kshatajaksham gada-panim | atmanah sarvato disam |
paribhramantam ulkabham | bhramayantam gadam muhuh |9
astra-tejah sva-gadaya | niharam iva gopatih |
vidhamantam sannikarshe | paryaikshata ka ity asau | 10
vidhuya tad ameyatma | bhagavan dharma-gub vibhuh |
mishato dasamasasya | tatraivantardadhe harih |” (SB 1:12:7-11)
“O son of Bhrigu [Saunaka], when the child Parikshit, the great fighter, was in the womb of his mother, Uttara, and was suffering from the burning heat of the brahmastra [thrown by Asvatthama], he could observe the Supreme Lord coming to him. He [the Lord] was only thumb high, but He was all transcendental. He had a very beautiful, blackish, infallible body, and He wore a dress of lightning yellow and a helmet of blazing gold. Thus He was seen by the child. The Lord was enriched with four hands, earrings of molten gold and eyes blood red with fury. As He loitered about, His club constantly encircled Him like a shooting star. The Lord was thus engaged in vanquishing the radiation of the brahmastra, just as the sun evaporates a drop of dew. He was observed by the child, who thought about who He was. While thus being observed by the child, the Supreme Lord Personality of Godhead, the Supersoul of everyone and the protector of the righteous, who stretches in all directions and who is unlimited by time and space, disappeared at once”.
- Continuing from the previous section where in Bhagawatam, krishna’s Sudarshana makes a covering on Uttara’s womb; here, this narration is an extension of that event
- Here Parikshit, being within the womb, beholds Lord Vishnu within the womb as protecting him. Wow what a supernatural description! It’s good to read this as a fairy tale but it has no ground to stand in front of the story given in Mahabharata
“tatah sarva-gunodarke | sanukula-grahodaye |
jajne vamsa-dharah pandor | bhuyah pandur ivaujasa | 12
tasya prita-mana raja | viprair dhaumya-kripadibhih |
jatakam karayam asa | vacayitva ca mangalam |” (SB 1:12:12-13)
“Thereupon, when all the good signs of the zodiac gradually evolved, the heir apparent of Pandu, who would be exactly like him in prowess, took birth. King Yudhishthira, who was very satisfied with the birth of Maharaja Parikshit, had the purificatory process of birth performed. Learned brahmanas, headed by Dhaumya and Kripa, recited auspicious hymns”.
- Bhagawatam tells a cock and bull story from the high imaginative prowess of the author
- Here Vishnu (Krishna) protected Parikshit within the womb itself and when Parikshit was born he was born alive. This is totally contradictory to Mahabharata
Conclusion: – Mahabharata is an Epic, and is a History not a mythology. So, the story of history cannot be altered as per our wish. The way Mahabharata narrates these sequences they are true and all these moonshine created in Bhagawatam is BOGUS and only fit to be called as an imaginary narrative.
Even if we assume that somehow Vyasa married Jabali and fathered a son. Let us discard the imaginary story of that son remaining inside the womb and Krishna asking him to come out etc. since we have already seen that story as refuted in above sections of our analysis. Let us do a plain assumption that due to grief of losing his original son (Suka), Vyasa married Jabali and normally fathered another boy and named him also Suka.
Even if we assume like this, then also it is impossible for Suka to become learned in Vedas from his father because Vyasa’s disciples had asked him a boon of not teaching Vedas to any other person except 4 of them plus Suka (original one) total five.
“kāṅkṣām astu vayaṃ sarve varaṃ dattaṃ maharṣiṇā | sasthaḥ śiṣyo na te khyātiṃ gacched atra prasīda naḥ | catvāras te vayaṃ śiṣyā guruputraś ca pañcamaḥ | iha vedāḥ pratiṣṭherann eṣa naḥ kāṅkṣito varaḥ |” (MBH 12:314:37-38)
“O great Rishi, to grant us a boon. Be thou inclined to be graceful to us. Let no sixth disciple (besides us five) succeed in attaining to fame! We are four. Our preceptor’s son forms the fifth. Let the Vedas shine in only as five! Even this is the boon that we solicit”
So, the hypothetical son of Vyasa would not have learned even one Veda from his father.
4.9. Shiva’s status turned upside down by Bhagawatam contrary to Mahabharata and other scriptures
In Mahabharata and in the un-interpolated sections of Puranas, Vyasa has always given the highest position to Lord Shiva. In Vyasa’s authentic writings, never Vyasa had ever insulted Shiva since Shiva is the Parabrahman of Vedas and Vyasa confirmed that many a times in Mahabharata. But on the contrary, author of Bhagawatam thinks he is smarter than Vyasa, Bheeshma kind of learned souls; and in Bhagawatam it’s author has given totally opposite position to Mahadeva. Let’s see how cruelly Bhagawatam snatches Mahadeva’s glories and applies them on Krishna.
The below verse has been spoken by Veda Vyasa in Mahabharata.
“sa eṣa rudra bhaktaś ca keśavo rudra saṃbhavaḥ | sarvabhūtabhavaṃ jñātvā liṅge ‘rcayati yaḥ prabhum | tasminn abhyadhikāṃ prītiṃ karoti vṛṣabhadhvajaḥ |” (MBH 7:172:89-90)
“Kesava is that devoted worshipper of Rudra who has sprung from Rudra himself. Kesava always worships the Lord Siva, regarding his Linga emblem to be the origin of the universe. The God having the bull for his mark cherisheth greater regard for Kesava”.
The below verses has been spoken by Bheeshma in Mahabharata.
“rudrabhaktyā tu kṛṣṇena jagadvyāptaṃ mahātmanā।
taṃ prasādya tadā devaṃ badaryāṃ kila bhārata॥ 10
arthātpriyataratvaṃ ca sarvalokeṣu vai tadā।
prāptavāneva rājendra suvarṇākṣānmaheśvarāt॥ ” (MBH 13:14:10-11)
“It is in consequence of the devotion of the high-souled Krishna to the illustrious Rudra whom he gratified. O Bharata, in the retreat of Vadari, by penances, that he (Krishna) has succeeded in pervading the entire universe. O king of kings, it is through Maheswara of celestial vision that Vasudeva has obtained the attribute of universal agreeableness,–an agreeableness that is much greater than what is possessed by all articles included under the name of wealth“.
“yuge yuge tu kṛṣṇena toṣito vai maheśvaraḥ।
bhaktyā paramayā caiva prītaścaiva mahātmanaḥ॥” (MBH 13:14:13)
“In every new Yuga has Krishna (by such penances) gratified Mahadeva. In every Yuga has Mahadeva been gratified with the great devotion of the high-souled Krishna“.
The following was the boon given to Narayana by Maheshwara. “aprameya Atma” means immeasurable soul which is nothing but all pervasiveness. With the boon from Mahadeva Narayana became all pervading Vishnu. The same has been said above by Bheeshma also.
“matprasādān manuṣyeṣu devagandharvayoniṣu aprameyabalātmā tvaṃ nārāyaṇa bhaviṣyasi |” (MBH 7:172:74)
“‘O Narayana, through my grace, amongst men, gods, and Gandharvas, thou shalt be of immeasurable might and all pervading soul“.
The following were the words spoken by Lord Shiva himself about Krishna’s Shiva-Bhakti.
“satyaśaucārjava tyāgais tapasā niyamena ca | kṣāntyā bhaktyā ca dhṛtyā ca buddhyā ca vacasā tathā | yathāvad aham ārāddhaḥ kṛṣṇenākliṣṭakarmaṇā | tasmād iṣṭatamaḥ kṛṣṇād anyo mama na vidyate |” (MBH 10:7:60-61)
“With truth, purity, sincerity, resignation, ascetic austerities, vows, forgiveness, devotion, patience, thought, and word, I have been duly adored by Krishna of pure deeds. For this there is none dearer to me than Krishna”.
In Harivamsa Purana lord Krishna himself states the following words about himself, brahma, Ananta and all, as follows.
“ahaṃ brahmā kapilo yo’pyanantaḥ । putrāḥ sarve brahmaṇaścātivīrāḥ ।
tvattaḥ sarve devadeva prasūtā । evaṃ sarveśaḥ kāraṇātmā tvamīḍyaḥ |” (Harivamsa Purana 2:74:34)
“O the lord of lords [Shiva]! Myself, brahma, kapila, ananta (sheSha), all the valiant sons of brahma who conquered over the internal enemies – all are created from you. Hence you are the lord of all. Hence you, the lord of all, are worthy of praise”.
Now, let’s see how shamelessly and brutally Bhagawatam turns lord Shiva’s Supreme nature upside down.
“nimna-gānāḿ yathā gańgā | devānām acyuto yathā | vaiṣṇavānāḿ yathā śambhuḥ | purāṇānām idam tathā |” (SB. 12:13:16)
“Just as the Gańgā is the greatest of all rivers, Lord Acyuta the supreme among deities and Lord Śambhu [Śiva] the greatest of Vaiṣṇavas, so Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the greatest of all Purāṇas”.
Bhagawatam has made Shiva the devotee of Vishnu (Krishna). And wherever Shiva is called as “Bhagawan” in Bhagawatam; immediately in the Purport the stupid wishful thinking Acharyas would start saying Shiva is Vishnu’s servant and hence Bhagawan title is actually implied to mean Vishnu not Shiva … etc. kind of rubbish talks.
Not only this, we’ll see in below section how Bhagawatam leaves no stone unturned to insult Lord Shiva.
Conclusion: – Bhagawatam is a bogus scripture which was written by some Vaishnava scholar to elevate the supremacy of Krishna and to alleviate the supremacy of Shiva.
4.9.1. Bhagawatam’s wishful attempt to insult Shiva in Banasura Episode
The chapter “Lord krishna fights with banasura” (chapter no. – SB. 10.63) from Bhagawatam is too far from reality. I cannot quote that huge chapter here. One can read that chapter from online sites.
The way Bhagawatam narrates Shiva’s defeat by Krishna; it is a clear cut proof that Veda Vyasa had not written that book. Vyasa in Mahabharata had clearly called out Shiva as parabrahman and in Mahabharata it is clearly stated that Krishna with his austerities received boons from Shiva. The Supreme Lord Shiva blessed Krishna with “invincibility in battles” and he had also blessed Sage Narayana once with a boon stating that even if Narayana had to fight against Shiva, victory would be that of Narayana (so of Krishna). That shows the compassion levels of Mahadeva for his devotees. And Mahabharata clearly calls out Krishna as an ardent devotee of Mahadeva.
In fact, Shiva’s boon of invincibility to Krishna has been reiterated in Harivamsa Purana also as follows:
“yathā mainākamāśritya tapastvamakaroḥ prabho ।
tathā mama varaṃ kṛṣṇa saṃsmṛtya sthairyamāpnuhi ।
avadhyastvamajeyaśca mattaḥ śūratarastathā ।
bhavitāsītyavocaṃ yattattathā na tadanyathā ।|” (Harivamsa Parva 2:74:37-38)
“O kRiShNa! As you did penance staying on mainAka, you received a boon from me. Be firm in your mind, remembering that boon. You can not be killed, you can not be conquered, and you will be more valiant than me. All this will happen as told by me. None will be able to change this”.
Not only Mahabharata, even the Harivamsa Parva gives a lot of respect to Shiva while narrating the Banasura fight episode (chapter no. – HP 2:124 – 2:125). In Harivamsa Parva Brahma, Markandeya and all celestials gather there to witness that fight between Shiva and Krishna. Brahma says to markandeya that the previous night, Brahma had seen a dream where he had seen Shiva in Hari’s form wearing yellow clothes, holding conch and discus and riding on the Garuda; and Vishnu was seen in Shiva’s form holding trident wearing crescent moon. Then Markandeya composes and sings then and there, a hymn to “Hari-Hara” (HariHara Stotram), which is a beautiful hymn sung commonly for both Shiva and Kesava. That shows the oneness of both the gods.
Harivamsa Parva was composed by Vyasa hence that Banasura episode from it looks more realistic than the Bhagawatam one which was certainly authored by a Vaishnava.
It was Shiva’s compassion for Krishna and because of his magnanimity in giving boons that Shiva accepted defeat in that war; otherwise even Vedas say that Shiva cannot be defeated in any war. He is the unconquered conquerer whom none can overcome in any battle. Atharva Veda says that even Gods cannot bear the arrows of Rudra and all the Vedas acknowledge the supremacy of Shiva and they remain scared of his arrows. And here in Bhagawatam the author had portrayed Shiva in such a way that Shiva was portrayed pleading to krishna with praises in such a helpless manner that only falling on Krishna’s feet was left out. Just to elevate Krishna’s glories how can anyone stoop down to such a level that one can compose a scripture to insult Mahadeva – the supreme Brahman of Vedas? I can understand how cunning the author of Bhagawatam was!
All the Puranas where goddess Sati’s self-immolation is mentioned during the Daksha-yajna event, it is unanimously stated in all such Puranas that Brahma and Vishnu were also among the list of attendees. When Veerabhadra comes to Daksha’s sacrificial arena and unleashes terror, all those Puranas say that on request of Daksha Vishnu fights with Veerabhadra – and finally most of the Puranas say that Vishnu gets defeated, and one of the Puranas say that Vishnu defeats Veerabhadra and then Shiva himself comes seeing whom Vishnu runs away and hides inside a cave (thereby again accepting defeat).
However, this cunning author of Bhagawatam has taken a total tangential route based on his own fancies. I don’t understand what was the need for him to include Daksha-Yajna episode in his fancy novel at all! But he preferred to include it. But then his Vaishnavite tendencies came to the fore and couldn’t see Lord Shiva’s greatness, therefore what he did is – he decided to remove Brahma and Vishnu form the Daksha yajna vicinity completely. This si what Krishna Bhagawatam says as follows.
“upalabhya puraivaitad | bhagavān abja-sambhavaḥ ||
nārāyaṇaś ca viśvātmā | na kasyādhvaram īyatuḥ ||” (SB 4:6:3)
“Both Lord Brahmā and Viṣṇu had already known that such events would occur in the sacrificial arena of Dakṣa, and knowing beforehand, they did not go to the sacrifice”.
Thereby he basked in the glory of false success of reducing lord Shiva’s supreme sway to just lesser deities such as – Bhaga (whose eyes were torn off), Pushan (whose teeth were broken), and Daksha (whose head was cut). He became successful in removing Vishnu and Brahma from the hit-list of Shiva’s anger.
And then the marketing team of Bhagawatam in his time till now did such a great advertisements that Krishna-Bhagawatam was made ‘best’ of all the Puranas, and since Padma Purana has another interpolation categorizing Shiva related Puranas as ‘tamasik’, naturally, the story of Daksha-Yajna present in ‘Krishna-Bhagawatam’ became ‘most authentic’ and all the stories where Vishnu got defeated by Veerabhadra as contained in other Puranas, became unauthoritative and questionable under the light of ‘Krishna-Bhagawatam’.
This had a very powerful cascading effect so much so that today few learned spiritual speakers in their spiritual discourses, just to do a naïve attempt of establishing the oneness of Hari and Hara go on telling that “In reality Vishnu was not at all present in the vicinity of Daksha Yajna, because he knew that Daksha was wrong”, and then they would add “How can Vishnu be present there where Shiva is humiliated? This shows Vishnu and Shiva are one and the same!”. Are they so naïve that they don’t understand that when they would have to discourse on Shiva Purana or Skanda Purana they would face it tough to explain Daksha Yajna story there? May be they would skip that chapter then!
4.9.3. Krishna Bhagawatam contradicts its own position just to deride Lord Shiva
After the Daksha Yajna episode the author of Krishna Bhagawatam makes lord Shiva seated below a banyan tree in his retreat. There Brahma and other gods pay a visit to him and offer their praises. There Brahma clearly says that Lord Shiva is never bewildered by the Maya of Vishnu as stated in below verse. Here ‘never bewildered’ doesn’t mean only in ‘past tense’, in that Chapter Brahma extols Shiva as the one supreme being doing creation, maintenance and Destruction – implying Shiva to be the Supreme Lord. Hence he must always be not under Maya but rather Supreme lord wields Maya through whose help he does all the creation etc., tasks.
“bhavāṁs tu puṁsaḥ paramasya māyayā | durantayāspṛṣṭa-matiḥ samasta-dṛk ||
tayā hatātmasv anukarma-cetaḥsv | anugrahaṁ kartum ihārhasi prabho ||” (SB 4:6:49)
“[Brahma said]: My dear lord (Shiva), you are never bewildered by the formidable influence of the illusory energy of the Supreme lord. Therefore, you are omniscient and should be merciful and compassionate toward those who are bewildered by the same illusory energy and are very much attached to fruitive activities”.
Now in eighth canto there is a description of ocean churning incident where to bewilder demons and to make gods drink the nectar Vishnu assumed a female form called ‘Mohini’. Narada describes the beauty of that lady to Shiva and Shiva goes to Vaikuntha along with Parvati and requests him to present his Mohini form to him.
Note that here Shiva’s wife Parvati (the second incarnation of Sati) is present and in front of her when Vishnu displays his Mohini form, Shiva is said to have got totally bewildered by Vishnu’s Maya and lustfully embraced Mohini. Bhagawatam says Shiva got bewildered by Vishnu’s Maya and became a victim of the same as follows.
“skanne retasi so ’paśyad | ātmānaṁ deva-māyayā ||
jaḍīkṛtaṁ nṛpa-śreṣṭha | sannyavartata kaśmalāt ||” (SB 8:12:35)
“O Mahārāja Parīkṣit, best of kings, when Lord Śiva had fully discharged semen, he could see how he himself had been victimized by the illusion created by the Supreme lord. Thus he restrained himself from any further māyā”.
Then Shiva is said to have got his senses back after a while and it is said that Shiva gained the understanding about his own (inferior) position relative to Vishnu’s (superior position). He also learnt about Vishnu’s unlimited potencies and he remained stationed there firm in his understanding of Vishnu’s greatness as stated below.
“athāvagata-māhātmya | ātmano jagad-ātmanaḥ ||
aparijñeya-vīryasya | na mene tad u hādbhutam ||” (SB 8:12:36)
“Thus Lord Śiva could understand his position and that of the Supreme soul of the universe (Viṣṇu), who has unlimited potencies. Having reached this understanding, he was not at all surprised by the wonderful way Lord Viṣṇu had acted upon him”.
And then Vishnu blesses Shiva assuring him with a boon that Vishnu’s Maya wouldn’t affect him anymore in future as stated below.
“seyaṁ guṇa-mayī māyā | na tvām abhibhaviṣyati ||
mayā sametā kālena | kāla-rūpeṇa bhāgaśaḥ ||” (SB 8:12:40)
“She, (who is this) māyā, who cooperates with Me in creation and who is manifested in the three modes of nature, will not be able to bewilder you any longer in future”.
Now, it’s time to make careful observations. Note that the above Daksha Yajna destruction incident depicted here resulted from goddess Sati’s self-immolation. And the ocean churning incident after which Vishnu’s Mohini form is said to have enchanted Shiva describes the presence of goddess Uma (Parvati) alongside Shiva. And it is clear fact that Sati was Shakti’s first incarnation and Uma (Parvati) the second.
That means as per chronological sequence of events described within the Bhagawatam itself, we can understand that the Daksha Yajna incident happened before the ocean churning episode after which Vishnu displayed himself as Mohini and allegedly bewildered Shiva. Then how come Shiva who was praised by Brahma as the one who never gets affected by the formidable Maya of Vishnu, gets influenced by her now in Mohini episode, and then Vishnu gives a boon saying, ‘henceforth in future you would never get bewildered by my Maya’?
Here the author of Krishna-Bhagawatam had by mistake praised lord Shiva to the skies in 4th Canto during Daksha Yajna episode, and later while writing Mohini’s story he felt it necessary to bring down Shiva’s status to elevate Vishnu’s position – for that reason he says Shiva understood his position relative to Vishnu and then he gets Shiva receive blessings from Vishnu for remaining protected from illusion.
4.10. Final Verdict
One doesn’t need 101 reasons to reject such a bogus book. If the readers of this article really has some stuff in their brain; they might have understood by this time what a kind of cheating this scripture does with Hinduism by concealing truths and revealing only lies.
Even after reading the above refutations if someone still didn’t understand what’s wrong with Krishna’s Srimad Bhagawatam; then I must recommend them to get someone knock on their skull; I’m sure they would hear “Tong Tong” noise since hollow vessels make “such” noise!
Srimad Bhagawatam is not at all authored by Vyasa. It is a work by some Vaishnava scholar of medieval times. This Srimad Bhagawatam does not qualify to be called as a “Scripture”. It is only as good as a book of fairy tales. It is in fact not even better that novel of modern day authors.
Krishna-Bhagawatam is a bogus scripture as proved from above analysis. Hence it needs to be trashed.
[B]. DEVI BHAGAVATAM IS THE ORIGINAL BHAGAWATAM – AN UNASSAILABLE ANALYSIS WITH UNQUESTIONABLE EVIDENCES
In this section I would prove beyond all doubts that the authentic purana named ‘Bhagavata’ is originally ‘Devi Bhagavatam’ only. This has been the widely accepted truth till some Vaihnavas distorted the truths and spread false information about ‘Bhagavatam’.
1. Tracing and Fixing Devi Bhagavatam in – Kalpa, Manvantara and Yuga coordinates of Time
Although Puranas may describe some of the stories that happened in the Past Kalpas, yet they all tell those stories as flashback events only. All the Puranas are recited by the narrator to the listeners in the recent Dwapara times only. Devi Bhagavatam is also no exception. Let us understand the timeframe of Devi Bhagavatam’s narration also.
1.1. Devi Bhagavatam belongs to the Varaha Kalpa only
In a former times Krishna (of goloka) seems to have promised Swaha to marry him in varaha kalpa when she takes birth as nagnajiti. And in current varaha kalpa Krishna’s one of the eight wives is nagnajiti. As a side note – Krishna of goloka is an esoteric thing the discussion on which we’ll keep outside of scope of the current article. What we are interested here is only about the surface level story literally which let’s us identify the Kalpa of Devi Bhagavatam’s narration.
“vijñāya tadabhiprāyaṃ sarvajñastāmuvāca ha |
samutthāpya ca tāṃ kroḍe kṣīṇāṅgīṃ tapasā ciram ॥ 29
vārāhe vai tvamaṃśena mama patnī bhaviṣyasi |
nāmnā nāgnajitī kanyā kānte nagnajitasya ca ॥“ (Devi Bhagavatam 9:43:29-30)
“The omniscient Bhagavân Krisna knowing Her intentions, took Her to His lap, reduced very much in body by long continued Tapasyâ, and He said :– “O Devî! Thou shalt be My wife in the next Varâha Kalpa. Then Thou wilt be the daughter of Nagnajit and wilt be known by the name of Nâgnajitî”.
And Devi Bhagavatam says Krishna married nagnajiti in dwapara Yuga where she was one of the eight wives of Krishna.
“aharadrukmiṇī kāmaṃ śiśupālasvayaṃvarāt |
rākṣasena vivāhena cakre dāravidhiṃ hariḥ ॥“ (Devi Bhagavatam 4:24:40)
“At the marriage ceremony of S’is’upâla, at the palace of the king of Vidarbha, Janârdan Visnu carried away by force Rukminî, the bride elect from the Svayambara assembly (where the husband is self elected by the bride herself) and afterwards married her according to the rule called Râkhsasa Vidhi (one of the eight forms of marriage in Hindu Law in which a girl is forcibly seized and carried away after the defeat or destruction of her relatives in battle)”
“tato jāmbavatīṃ satyāṃ mitravindāñca bhāminīm |
kālindīṃ lakṣaṇāṃ bhadrāṃ tathā nāgnajitīṃ śubhām ॥ 41
pṛthakpṛthaksamānīyāpyupayeme janārdanaḥ |
aṣṭāveva mahīpāla patnyaḥ paramaśobhanāḥ ॥“ (Devi Bhagavatam 4:24:41-42)
“Afterwards He brought also Jâmbavatî, Satyabhâmâ, Mitravindâ, Kâlindî, Laksmanâ, Bhadrâ, and auspicious Nâgnajitî (the daughter of the king Nagnajit) on various occasions and married them. O Lord of the earth! These eight women were the best and most beautiful of S’rî Krisna’s wives”.
So, it is clear that although for sometime Devi Bhagavatam went into flash back of some ancient time when in Goloka some promise was made and that was recalled, yet the actual discourse of Bhagavatam belongs to Varaha Kalpa and Dwapara yuga only.
1.1.1. Even ‘Saraswata kalpa’ in relation with ‘devi Bhagavatam’ is the name of our ‘Varaha kalpa’ only
In Mahabharata there is a narrative of Vyasa’s original past life. Vyasa tells his past life secret to Vaishampayana who in turn narrates that to Janamejeya. In the words of Vyasa we see the following information passed to Vaishampayana.
Vyasa said that in the ‘seventh kalpa’ known as ‘Padma kalpa’, Narayana created Brahma form his navel lotus. Let’s not get confused seeing phrases such as – ‘seventh kalpa’ and ‘padma kalpa’ now. At the end of this article, in Appendix-B it has been proven that these two terms refer to our currently running ‘svetavaraha kalpa’ only. So, this Brahma’s birth is about our current kalpa only.
“vyāsa uvāca |
prāpte prajāvisarge vai saptame padmasambhave।
nārāyaṇo mahāyogī śubhāśubhavivarjitaḥ॥ 17
sasṛje nābhitaḥ pūrvaṃ brahmāṇamamitaprabhaḥ। |” (MBH 12:349:17-18a)
“Vyasa said, ‘On the occasion of the seventh creation, viz., that which was due to the primeval Lotus, Narayana, endued with the austerest penances, transcending both good and ill, and possessed of unrivalled splendour, at first created Brahma, from his navel”.
Vyasa said that after creating Brahma and bestowing him with Saraswati (knowledge) for creation. Narayana uttered ‘bho’ syllable from which manifested an ascetic whose original name was ‘Saraswat’. Because he was the son of Saraswati and filled with wisdom, he was devoid of ‘darkness (tamas) of ignorance’ in his ‘inner self (antar)’. Hence he gained another name called, ‘apAntaratamas’.
“atha bhūyo jagatsraṣṭā bhoḥśabdenānunādayan॥ 38b
sarasvatīmuccacāra tatra sārasvato’bhavat।
apāntaratamā nāma suto vāksambhavaḥ prabhuḥ॥“ (MBH 12:349:38b-39)
“[Vyasa said]: After this, the original Creator of the universe once more uttered the syllable, Bho, causing the atmosphere to resound with it. From this syllable of speech (Saraswati) arose a Rishi of the name Saraswat. The son, thus born of the Speech of Narayana, came to be, also called by the name of Apantara-tamas”.
He was born in the manvantara titled, ‘Svayambhuva manavantara’ of our ‘kalpa’ only. Although the ‘kalpa’ when this happened is stated to be ‘Padma kalpa’, where after Brahma’s birth and enabling him for creation, next to protect the knowledge Vishnu created ‘Saraswat’ from his speech – yet this all narration is about our ‘varaha kalpa’ only as In various sections and appendix-B we have analyzed and established that by ‘Padma kalpa’ these texts refer to current kalpa only. Further, we need to note that – one kalpa to another kalpa migration doesn’t happen for ‘jnAnI-s’ (and the name apAntaratamas’ itself means his inner-darkness was dispelled by knowledge), they get liberated by the end of kalpa, and do not take birth again. Only exception being ‘mArkanDeya’ who by the boon of Shiva survives the dissolution of kalpa-s and would live for seven kalpa-s after which he will get liberated. Therefore, this sage ‘saraswat (apAntaratamas)’ was definitely born in the first manvantara of our own kalpa (varaha kalpa).
This sage was given the job of dividing the Vedas. Seeing the given job well done, Narayana extremely became gratified with him.
“tamuvāca nataṃ mūrdhnā devānāmādiravyayaḥ॥ 40b
vedākhyāne śrutiḥ kāryā tvayā matimatāṃ vara।
tasmātkuru yathā”jñaptaṃ mamaitadvacanaṃ mune॥ 41
tena bhinnāstadā vedā manoḥ svāyambhuve’ntare।
tatastutoṣa bhagavānharistenāsya karmaṇā॥ 42
tapasā ca sutaptena yamena niyamena ca।
manvantareṣu putratvamevameva pravartakaḥ॥“ (MBH 12:349:40b-43)
“Unto that Rishi who, after birth, had bowed his head unto Narayana, the latter, who was the original Creator of all the deities and possessed of a nature that was immutable, said those words: Thou shouldst devote thy attention to the distribution of the Vedas, O foremost of all persons endued with intelligence. Do thou, therefore, O ascetic, accomplish what I command thee. –In obedience to this command of the Supreme Lord from whose Speech the Rishi Apantaratamas sprang into existence, the latter, in the manvantara named after the Self-born Manu, distributed and arranged the Vedas. For that act of the Rishi, the illustrious Hari became gratified with him, as also for his well-performed penances, his vow and observances, and his restraint of the senses or passions”.
Narayana then tells him that the same way in every manvantara this sage would divide the Vedas. He also informs of his future and says that when the dark age arrives (Dwapara yuga), from him would take birth the kaurava-lineage (Vyasa fathers dhritarashtra, pandu, and vidura as we know). Narayana tells him that in that age also he will divide the Vedas.
“bhaviṣyasyacalo brahmannapradhṛṣyaśca nityaśaḥ।
punastiṣye ca samprāpte kuravo nāma bhāratāḥ॥ 44
bhaviṣyanti mahātmāno rājānaḥ prathitā bhuvi।
teṣāṃ tvattaḥ prasūtānāṃ kulabedo bhaviṣyati॥ 45
parasparavināśārthaṃ tvāmṛte dvijasattama।
tatrāpyanekadhā vedānbhetsyase tapasānvitaḥ॥46
kṛṣṇe yuge ca samprāpte kṛṣṇavarṇo bhaviṣyasi।|” (MBH 12:349:44-47a)
“Addressing him, –Narayana said, –At each Manvantara, O son, thou wilt act in this way with respect to the Vedas. Thou shalt, in consequence of this act of thine, be immutable, O regenerate one, and incapable of being transcended by any one. When the dark age will set in, certain princes of Bharata’s line, to be called by the name of Kauravas, will take their birth from thee. They will be celebrated over the Earth as high-souled princes ruling over powerful kingdoms. Born of thee, dissensions will break out among them ending in their destruction at one another’s hands excepting yourself. O foremost of regenerate persons, in that age also, endued with austere penances, thou wilt distribute the Vedas into diverse classes. Indeed, in that dark age, thy complexion will become dark”.
Narayana said further that, this sage would create many other scriptures preaching dharma and jnana. This indicates at the other works of Vyasa such as compilation of Puranas and authorship of ‘Brahmasutra-s’.
“dharmāṇāṃ vividhānāṃ ca kartā jñānakarastathā।“ (MBH 12:349:47a)
“Thou shalt cause diverse kinds of duties to flow and diverse kinds of knowledge also”.
Narayana tells this sage ‘apAntaratamas’ how he would be re-born via Parasara in the future time. Again we need to keep in mind that this sage ‘saraswat’ who was born in ‘svayambhuva-manvantara’ of our ‘varaha-kalpa’ he alone is getting re-born in ‘vaivasvata-manvantara’ of our same kalpa.
“tasyānvaye cāpi tato maharṣiḥ parāśaro nāma mahāprabhāvaḥ।
pitā sa te vedanidhirvariṣṭho mahātapā vai tapaso nivāsaḥ॥ 50
kānīnagarbhaḥ pitṛkanyakāyāṃ tasmādṛṣestvaṃ bhavitā ca putraḥ॥“ (MBH 12:349:50-51)
“A great Rishi of the name of Parasara, possessed of mighty energy and prowess, will take his birth. That foremost of persons, that ocean of Vedas, that abode of penances, will become thy sire (when thou wilt take birth in the Kali age). Thou shalt take thy birth as the son of a maiden residing in the house of her sire, through an act of congress with the great Rishi Parasara”.
Here then Narayana clearly tells that by his grace, Vyasa would be able to see – the past, the present and the future seamlessly – even for thousands and thousands of ages in the past and future.
ye hyatikrāntakāḥ pūrvaṃ sahasrayugaparyayāḥ॥ 52
tāṃśca sarvānmayoddiṣṭāndrakṣyase tapasānvitaḥ।
punardrakṣyasi cānekasahasrayugaparyayān॥“ (MBH 12:349:52-53
“Doubts thou wilt have none with respect to the imports of things past, present, and future. Endued with penances and instructed by me, thou wilt behold the incidents of thousands and thousands of ages long past away. Thou wilt see through thousands and thousands of ages also in the future”.
Next, Narayana tells apantaratamas the time frame when he would be reborn. He tells that in the manvantara when sun god vivasvan’s son ‘shani’ would be the manu (i.e., vaivasvata manu). In that ‘vaivasvata manvantara’, this sage ‘apAntaratamas’ would be born again.
“bhaviṣyati mahāsattvaṃ khyātiścāpyatulā tava।
śanaiścaraḥ sūryaputro bhaviṣyati manurmahān॥ 55
tasminmanvantare caiva manvādigaṇapūrvakaḥ।
tvameva bhavitā vatsa matprasādānna saṃśayaḥ॥“ (MBH 12:349:55-56)
“Thou shalt be one of the foremost of creatures. Great shall be thy fame. Surya’s son Sani (Saturn) will, in a future Kalpa, take birth as the great Manu of that period. During that Manwantara, O son, thou shalt, in respect of merits, be superior to even the Manus of the several periods. Without doubt, thou shalt be so through my grace”.
Then Vyasa tells to vaishnampanaya that – that sage ‘apAntaratamas’ was none other than he himself who has become ‘krishna-dwaipayana’ in this ‘manvantara’.
“evaṃ sārasvatamṛṣimapāntaratamaṃ tathā।
uktvā vacanamīśānaḥ sādhayasvetyathābravīt॥ 58
so’haṃ tasya prasādena devasya harimedhasaḥ।
apāntaratamā nāma tato jāto”jñayā hareḥ।
punaśca jāto vikhyāto vasiṣṭhakulanandanaḥ॥“ (MBH 12:349:58-59)
“Having said these words unto the Rishi Apantaratamas, otherwise called by the name of Saraswat, the Supreme Lord dismissed him, saying unto him, “Go”! – I am he that was born as Apantaratamas through the command of Hari. Once more have I taken birth as the celebrated Krishna-Dwaipayana, a delighter of the race of Vasishtha”.
Quick highlights to recapitulate:
From above discussion, we see the following highlights:
- Sage ‘apAntaratamas’ was born in ‘svayambhuva manvantara’ (the very first manvantara) of our very own ‘varaha kalpa’.
- He divided the Vedas which made Hari happy and in turn he gave that sage a boon that in every ‘manvantara’ he would likewise do that job.
- Narayana tells him that in the ‘vaivasvata manvantara’ through sage ‘Parashara’, he would be born as ‘krishna dwaipayana’ form the womb of ‘satyavati’, and would be the father of kaurava-lineage
- Narayana tells that he would have the ability to see thousands of ages in past and future and would write many treatises preaching – dharma and jnana, in addition to dividing Vedas. Here these texts mean Vyasa’s compositions such as Puranas, Itihasa and Brahma-sutras.
- Vyasa finally closes the story revealing that – that sage ‘apAntaratamas’ was none other than he himself in his former birth.
- Most importantly, we come to know that the original name of sage ‘apAntaratamas’ was ‘Saraswat’.
From these we learn that sage ‘saraswat’ was born at the beginning of this ‘varaha kalpa’ in ‘svayambhuva manvantara’. Hence the secret that we should understand here is that this current ‘kalpa’ is also celebrated under the name of this exalted personality as ‘Saraswata kalpa’.
Interestingly, we find that Vyasa of our own manvantara, in Devi Bhagavatam says to our historical character Janamejeya that he had composed ‘Devi’s glories’ as a text in ‘Saraswata kalpa’ as cited below.
“ityuktvā nārado rājangato māṃ pratibodhya ca ।
ahaṃ taccitayanvākyaṃ yaduktaṃ muninā tadā ॥ 26
stitaḥ sarasvatītīre kalpe sārasvate vare ।
kālātibāhanāyaitatkṛtaṃ bhāgavataṃ mayā ॥“ (Devi Bhagavatam 6:31:26-27)
“Vyâsa said :– O King! Maharsi Nârada thus kindling knowledge in me, went away; I also thought over his words. On the banks of the river Sarasvatî, I composed this Devî Bhâgavat to pass away my time during the excellent period of Sârasvata Kalpa.”
We shouldn’t be confused here. The meeting between Vyasa and Narada and Narada’s teachings about mahAmAyA’s glories happened in the lifetime of our own kalpa’s Krishna-dwaipayana vyasa who was born in Dwapara yuga of vaivasvata-manvantara as we know. Vyasa says that getting inspired by the teachings of Narada on ‘Maya’s greatness’, Vyasa composed Devi Bhagavatam sitting at the banks of ‘Saraswati river’ in ‘saraswata kalpa’. How could this be true? As an analogy – If I was instructed on ‘gravitational force’ by my physics teacher today, how can I claim that inspired by the lecture of my teacher, I had written a thesis on gravitation last year?
The confusion arises because he referred the timeframe as ‘Saraswata kalpa’ but that simply is a metaphor to mean the currently running ‘varaha kalpa’ which additionally has a name ‘Saraswata kalpa’ because in this kalpa at the beginning this very same Vyasa was previously born as sage ‘saraswat’.
(If someone wants to consider this name as derived based on ‘Goddess Saraswati’, that also is fine as Mahabharata says after creating Brahma, Narayana manifested Saraswati to help Brahma in creation, and immediately after her he created sage ‘Saraswat’. So, the name of the ‘kalpa’ is what matters irrespective of who became instrumental behind that.)
Matsya Purana while describing the various Puranas narrates the features of ‘Bhagavata’ Purana as follows.
“yatrādhikṛtya gāyatrīṃ varṇyate dharmavistaraḥ |
vṛtrāsuravadhopetaṃ tadbhāgavatamucyate || 20
sārasvatasya kalpasya madhye ye syurnarottamāḥ |
tadvṛttāntodbhavaṃ loke tadbhāgavatamucyate || 21
likhitvā tacca yo dadyād dhemasiṃhasamanvitam |
paurṇamāsyāṃ prauṣṭhapadyāṃ sa yāti paramāṃ gatim |
aṣṭādaśa sahasrāṇi purāṇaṃ tatpracakṣate ||” (Matsya Purana 53:20-22)
“That Purana which begins with the description of the sacred Gayatri worship, and elaborates various dharma-s, and which contains the narration of the slaying of vrittrasura, is called ‘Bhagavatam’. That Purana which narrates the stories of the great men of ‘Sarasvata kalpa’, is known as ‘Bhagavatam’. One who writes Bhagavatam and gives away in charity along with a golden Lion, on the full-moon day, in the month of ‘Bhadrapada’, attains final emancipation. This Purana contains eighteen thousand verses”.
This totally speaks about ‘devi bhagavatam’ only due to the following inferences from the indicated pointers.
- The first verse of Devi Bhagavatam begins with a verse which is based on Gayathri mantra’s template (“oṃ sarvacaitanyarūpāṃ tāmādyāṃ devīṃ ca dhīmahi । buddhiṃ yā naḥ pracodayāt ॥“) and there are dedicated chapters and several instances of the glorifications of Gayathri devi’s glories in this Purana. For example, the 11th and 12th skanda-s of this Purana have chapters as well as extracts glorifying her
- Vritrasura slaying is detailed in the 6th skandha spanning chapters 1 to 4.
- As already analyzed above, Vyasa was the sage ‘Saraswat’, hence the currently running Svetavaraha-kalpa where he was born, got its name as ‘Saraswata kalpa’. So, the narrative that exists around that Kalpa is ‘Bhagavatam – Devi Bhagavatam satisfies this criterion
- The gifting of this book in charity along with a gift is another interesting pointer to understand that ‘Bhagavatam’ is originally ‘Devi Bhagavatam’ only. The above verse says whosoever writes the ‘bhagavatam’ and gives it in charity along with a ‘golden lion’, he gets liberation. The ‘LION’ is only associated with goddess umA as her mouth. That is a signature mount of Devi only. The matsya purana while talking about merits of gifting other purana-s has talked about – “cow, ox, golden-elephant, golden-lotus, pot of sugar, trident, golden-turtle, golden-fish, golden-swan, golden-cow” – in connection with other Puranas, where ‘cow’ repeats for many Puranas as a common item for charity. Vishnu Purana is suggested to be given with a ‘cow’. Therefore, if ‘Bhagavatam’ was really supposed to be of ‘Krishna-Bhagavatam’, how could it not be associated with gifting a cow, when Krishna-avatara was the only avatara where Vishnu had become cowherd and tended cows? Therefore, the gift associated with ‘Bhagavata’ being ‘LION’, it is a sureshot indication that – as per matsya-purana, ‘bhagavatam’ is ‘devi bhagavatam’ alone!
- Bhadrapada month – This month comes in ‘sharad ritu’ which is the abode of ‘Devi navaratri’. Therefore, that keyword again proves us that the Bhagavatam must be ‘Devi Bhagavatam’ only
- Also, ‘Bhadrapada’ is the name given to that month according to ‘vikrami lunar method’, when the same month is seen according to ‘vikrami solar month’ system, it corresponds to ‘Simha-month’, which again indicates clearly that Devi Bhagavatam is the original Bhagavatam (simha is closely associated with Devi and no one else!)
Therefore, with this analysis, again it is clearly established and proven that originally, the ‘Bhagavatam’ was ‘Devi Bhagavatam’ alone!
1.2. Devi Bhagavatam belongs to the recent Dwapara Yuga of vaivasvata Manvantara only
Suta narrates about the list of Vyasas and their time period. He clearly describes that the current Manvantara is Vaivasvata Manvantara and the twenty-eighth Vyasa is the Krishna-Dwaipayana. He further says that the son of drona viz. Ashvatthama would become the next Vyasa.
“manvantare saptame’tra śubhe vaivasvatābhidhe ।
aṣṭāviṃśatime prāpte dvāpare munisattamāḥ ॥ 22
vyāsaḥ satyavatīsūnurgururme dharmavittamaḥ ।
ekonatriṃśatsaṃprāpte drauṇirvyāso bhaviṣyati ॥” (Devi Bhagawatam 1:03:22-23)
“Tne present auspicious Manvantara is Vaivasvata; it is the seventh in due order; and the son of Satyavati, the best of the knowers of Dharma, is the Veda Vyâsa of the 28th Dvâpara Yuga of this seventh Manvantara. He is my Guru; in the next Dvâpara, Yuga Asvatthama, the son of Drona will be the Veda Vyâsa.”.
Below is mentioned about the name of the twenty-eighth Vyasa as ‘Krishna-Dwaipayana’.
“tataḥ śaktirjātukarṇyaḥ kṛṣṇadvaipāyanastataḥ ।
aṣṭāviṃśatisaṃkhyeyaṃ kathitā yā mayā śrutā ॥” (Devi Bhagawatam 1:03:33)
“Sakti, in the twenty-sixth, Jâtûkarnya in the twenty-seventh and Krisna Dvaipâyana became the twenty-eighth Veda Vyâs in the Dvâpara Yugas. Thus I have spoken of the 28 Veda Vyâsas, as I heard”.
In another instance sage Narayana also says that the seventh and current Manu is vaivasvata as follows.
“śrīnārāyaṇa uvāca |
saptamo manurākhyāto manurvaivasvataḥ prabhuḥ ।
śrāddhadevaḥ parānandabhoktā mānyastu bhūbhujām ॥” (Devi Bhagawatam 10:10:01)
“Nârâyana said: — Now the Seventh Manu is the Right Hon’ble His Excellency the Lord Vaivasvata Manu S’râddha Deva, honoured by all the kings, and the Enjoyer of the Highest Bliss, Brahmânanda”.
In fourth canto chapter sixteen of Devi Bhagawatam is narrated the list of all various incarnations of Lord Vishnu with reference to the Yuga in which they manifested. It mentions Krishna as the partial incarnation of Vishnu coming on earth in the twenty-eighth Dwapara yuga, which is the very immediate past yuga of our current times. Interestingly Devi Bhagawatam’s list of incarnations and their times match with Harivamsa Parva’s desciption; whereas as seen earlier, Krishna’s bogus Bhagawatam contradicted Harivamsa’s description. Therefore once again it is proved that Devi-Bhagawatam is authentic work of Vyasa who would not contradict his own masterpiece Mahabharata when it comes to describing historical events.
“naranārāyaṇāṃśau dvau jātau bhuvi mahābalau ॥ 17b
aṣṭāviṃśe yuge śastau dvāpare’rjunaśauriṇau ।
dharābhārāvatārārthaṃ jātau kṛṣṇārjunau bhuvi ॥ 18
kṛtavantau mahāyuddhaṃ kurukṣetre’tidāruṇam ।19a” (Devi Bhagawatam 4:16:17b-19a)
“Next in the twenty-eighth Dvâpara Yuga, He incarnated as the very powerful Arjuna and S’rî Krisna, the Ams’as of Nara Nârâyana. To remove the load of the earth, these two were born; and they fought deadly battles in the battlefield of Kuruksettra”.
And the canto four talks extensively in various chapters about the Mahabharata characters and their lives because they were the ancestors of Janamejaya and hence Janamejaya asks many questions about them to Vyasa and Vyasa clarifies all of the questions. Therefore it is clear that Devi Bhagawatam is a discourse that happened sitting in the last Dwapara Yuga alone. However, there are many stories described in Devi Bhagawatam which belonged to ancient past Kalpas and even there are tales that happened before creation. We need to understand that all those stories were narration of flashback events only and this narration happened in the last Dwapara Yuga as a conversation between Janamejaya and Vyasa.
2. Devi Bhagawatam is the ‘FIFTH’ Purana among the list of eighteen puranas
Devi Bhagavatam’s very first chapter is a discussion between Sounaka sages and Suta. The Sounaka sages request Suta to narrate them on the Bhagawata Purana. They didn’t name it as ‘Devi Bhagawata’ specifically, they termed it as ‘Bhagawatam’ only, but interestingly they mention the rank and ask Suta to recite the ‘Bhagawata’ which is the ‘fifth’ Purana among the list of eighteen Puranas,
“kathitāni tvayā saumya pañcalakṣaṇavanti ca ॥ 15b
tatra bhāgavataṃ puṇyaṃ pañcamaṃ vedasammitam ।
kathitaṃ yattvayā pūrvaṃ sarvalakṣaṇasaṃyutam ॥ 16
uddeśamatreṇa tadā kīrtitaṃ paramādbhutam ।
muktipradaṃ mumukṣūṇāṃ kāmadaṃ dharmadaṃ tathā ॥ 17
vistareṇa tadākhyāhi purāṇottamamādarāt ।
śrotukāmā dvijāḥ sarve divyaṃ bhāgavataṃ śubham ॥” (Devi Bhagawatam 1:1:15b-18)
“O Saumya! (one of gentle appearance) you have recited those Purânas endowed with five characteristics and full of many narratives; of these,the fifth Purâna, equivalent to the Vedas and with all the good qualities, the Bhâgavata yields Dharma and Kâma (religion and desires), gives liberation to those who desire for emancipation and is very wonderful; you mentioned this before but ordinarily; you did not dwell on this specially. Now these Brâhmanas are eager to hear gladly this divine auspicious Bhâgavata, the best of the Purânas; so kindly describe this in detail”.
This “fifth’ rank is from the standard definition of the listing of the names of the eighteen Puranas. Almost all the Puranas recount the names of eighteen Puranas in same order. Here are verses from Suta Samhita which list Bhagawata as the fifth name.
brāhmaṃ purāṇaṃ prathamaṃ dvitīyaṃ pādmamucyate ।
tṛtīyaṃ vaiṣṇavaṃ proktaṃ caturthaṃ śaivamucyate ॥ 7
tato bhāgavato proktaṃ bhaviṣyākhyaṃ tataḥ paraṃ ।” (Skanda Purana: Suta Samhita 01:7-8a)
“First is the Brahma Purana, second comes the Padma, third is the Vishnu, fourth is Shiva, after that comes Bhagavatam thereafter comes Bhavishyat Purana”.
Same verses are available in Vishnu Purana and Shiva Purana also, which we’ll revisit in detail in a different section and discuss in detail
So, the Saunaka sages had asked Suta to narrate the fifth Purana named ‘Bhagawata’ and you know what did Suta recite? He recited ‘Devi Bhagawatam’! That itself is an evidence to understand that the original ‘Bhagawata Purana’ is ‘Devi Bhagawatam’ alone!
In Devi Bhagawatam itself this evidence is seen, but just in case we need other Puranas to support this to believe this to be true, then we have Shiva Purana which clearly says that Devi bhagawatam is the original Bhagawata Purana. We’ll visit that reference in another section in detail. But let us first only talk about the “fifth” placement of ‘bhagavata’ only.
Devi Bhagavatam agrees with the numerical position of being ‘fifth’ in the list of eighteen Puranas whereas Krishna’s ‘Srimad Bhagawatam’ calls itself as the ‘eighth’ Purana. Srimad Bhagawatam in its 12th Canto lists down the names of the eighteen Puranas as follows:
“brāhmaṁ pādmaṁ vaiṣṇavaṁ ca | śaivaṁ laiṅgaṁ sa-gāruḍaṁ |
nāradīyaṁ bhāgavatam | āgneyaṁ skānda-saṁjñitam ||23
bhaviṣyaṁ brahma-vaivartaṁ | mārkaṇḍeyaṁ sa-vāmanam |
vārāhaṁ mātsyaṁ kaurmaṁ ca | brahmāṇḍākhyam iti tri-ṣaṭ ||” (SB 12:7:23-24)
“The eighteen major Purāṇas are the Brahma, Padma, Viṣṇu, Śiva, Liṅga, Garuḍa, Nārada, Bhāgavata, Agni, Skanda, Bhaviṣya, Brahma-vaivarta, Mārkaṇḍeya, Vāmana, Varāha, Matsya, Kūrma and Brahmāṇḍa Purāṇas”
So, clearly the Purana named ‘Bhagavata’ which has been mentioned as the ‘fifth’ Purana by Vishnu Purana, Skanda Purana, Shiva Purana and other Puranas – is clearly ‘Devi Bhagavatam’ alone and not the Krishna-Bhagawatam.
3. The qualities, and adjectives describing ‘Bhagawatam’ in various Puranas are actually Devi Bhagawatam’s attributes
Further, we have read in previous section from the quoted verses that the saunaka sages mention that this Bhagawata is equivalent to Vedas, has all good qualities and yields liberation to those who desire for. They term it as ‘best of the puranas’. Now in addition to those adjectives, below verses glorify Bhagawatam saying that it liberates, and is the beloved scripture of Mumukshus.
“tvaṃ tu jānāsi dharmajña paurāṇīṃ saṃhitāṃ kila ।
kṛṣṇoktāṃ gurubhaktatvāt samyak sattvaguṇāśrayaḥ ॥ 19
śrutānyanyāni sarvajña tvanmukhānniḥsṛtāni ca ।
naiva tṛptiṃ vrajāmo’dya sudhāpāne’marā yathā ॥ 20
dhiksudhāṃ pibatāṃ sūta muktirnaiva kadācana ।
pibanbhāgavataṃ sadyo naro mucyeta saṅkaṭāt ॥ 21
sudhāpānanimittaṃ yat kṛtā yajñāḥ sahasraśaḥ ।
na śāntimadhigacchāmaḥ sūta sarvātmanā vayam ॥ 22
makhānāṃ hi phalaṃ svargaḥ svargātpracyavanaṃ punaḥ ।
evaṃ saṃsāracakre’smnin bhramaṇaṃ ca nirantaram ॥ 23
vinā jñānena sarvajña naiva muktiḥ kadācana ।
bhramatāṃ kālacakre’tra narāṇāṃ triguṇātmake ॥ 24
ataḥ sarvarasopetaṃ puṇyaṃ bhāgavataṃ vada ।
pāvanaṃ muktidaṃ guhyaṃ mumukṣūṇāṃ sadā priyam ॥” (Devi Bhagawatam 1:01:19-25)
“O knower of Dharma! By your faith and devotion to your Guru, you have become Sâttvik and thus have thoroughly known the Purâna Samhitâs spoken by Veda Vyâs. O Omniscient one! Therefore it is that we have heard many Purânas from your mouth; but we are not satisfied as the Devas are not satisfied with the drinking of the nectar. O Sûta! Fie to the nectar even as the drinking of nectar is quite useless in giving Mukti. But hearing the Bhâgavata gives instantaneous Mukti from this Samsâra or round of birth and death. O Sûta! we performed thousands and thousands of Yajñas for the drinking of the nectar (Amrita), but never we got the full peace. The reason being that Yajñas lead to heaven only; on the expiry of the period of punya (good merits, the heavenly life ceases and one is expelled, as it were from the Heavens. Thus incessant sojourns in this wheel of Samsâra, the constant rounds of births and deaths never end. O Knower of every thing! Thus, without Jñâna (knowledge, wisdom) Mukti never comes to men, wandering in this wheel of Time (Kâlachakra) composed of the three Gunas. So describe this holy Bhâgavata, always beloved of the Mumuksas (those that desire Mukti), this secret work yielding liberation, holy and full of all sentiments (rasas)”.
And to their inquiry Suta also affirms and says he is going to narrate the ‘best’ of all Puranas, which is yet another adjective that is commonly used for ‘Bhagawatam’.
“vakṣyāmyadya savistaraṃ bahurasaṃ śrīmatpurāṇottamaṃ ॥” (Devi Bhagawatam 1:02:3c)
“[Suta says] Today I will devotedly describe, in detail and in plain language, that Purâna which is the best of all the Purânas, which gives prosperity and contains all the sentiments (Rasas) that a human being can conceive”.
And we know that in response to the requests of Saunaka sages, Suta narrates ‘Devi bhagawatam’. So, what does that mean? It means that all these great adjectives that various Puranas have used to describe ‘Bhagawatam’, belong to ‘Devi Bhagawatam’ only. These are exactly the adjectives that people have been ‘WRONGLY’ attributing to ‘Krishna’s Bhagawatam’ so far, which is clearly proven as a bogus Purana.
4. Agenda behind ‘Devi Bhagavatam’ is rational whereas agenda of Krishna’s Bhagavatam was absurd.
The agenda behind Krishna’s Bhagawatam was just a lame excuse which says Vyasa didn’t include Krishna’s glories so far hence he felt sad and authored Krishna’s Bhagawatam.And then the bogus author cooked up a story of Parikshit listening to Krishna-Bhagawatam before his death, whereas Mahabharata clearly says he was hiding in an apartment where not even wind would enter without permission. And further there Krishna Bhagawatam was said to have been narrated by Suka to Parikshit, which is a blunder as Suka had died long back even before Parikshit was born.
Now, a question arises – Why did king Janamejaya had to listen to Devi-Bhagawatam? After Parikshit’s death to purify his father’s sin Janamejaya had listened to Devibhagawatam, and as a result of that, Parikshit went to ‘devi loka’. Janamejaya had listened to two great narratives. One was the history about his ancestors called ‘Mahabharata’ which he listened from Vaishampayana during the snake-sacrifice, and another was a Purana that he listened directly from Vyasa. It is quite fine and understandable that Mahabharata being a story of his ancestors, naturally this king Janamejaya would be interested to listen to that tale, but what made him listen to a Purana after all? Answer to this is very logically detailed in Skanda Purana in the section dedicated to discuss the ‘Devi Bhagavata Mahatmayam’.
It says that due to Parikshit’s killing by Takshaka, Janamejaya wished to cleanse his father of the sin (could be the sin of insulting a Brahmana due to his pride which resulted in him getting cursed by a brahmana) so that his father could attain to the highest good. For that, Janamejaya approached Vyasa and Vyasa narrated to him that excellent discourse which can not only remove all sins and purify, but also has the capability to liberate. That was the reason why Janamejaya underwent a Puranic discourse.
Parikshit had really done the sin of disrespecting a Brahmana who was in the vow of silence. Hence to cleanse him of that sin Janamejaya conducted the nine day sacrifice for Devi while listening to Devi Bhagawatam. This can be inferred from the below statement of Skanda Purana.
“godevatābrāhmaṇabhaktihīnā navāhayajñena bhavanti śudhdhāḥ ॥” (Skanda Purana : Devi Bhagawata Mahatmayam : Ch1: verse 34)
“Those who are devoid of respect towards cow, god and Brahmanas, even those (sinful ones) would get cleansed of their sins on completion of the nine days yajna (sacrifice)”.
Below verses very logically clarify that for nine days that discourse was listened and for nine days janamejaya worshiped Devi dutifully following the appropriate rites and did ‘yajna (sacrifice)’ for nine days, on completion of the ninth day he observed his dead father assuming a divine form and ascending to Devi’s highest station. That supreme attainment of highest abode made Janamejaya very contended and he worshiped Vyasa appropriately.
“pūrvaṃ yasya pitā rājā parīkṣittakṣakāhinā ।
saṃdaṣṭastasya saṃśudhdhyai rājñā bhāgavataṃ śrutaṃ ॥19
navabhirdivasaiḥ śrīmadvedavyāsamukhāmbujāt ।
trailokyamātaraṃ devīṃ pūjayitvā vidhānataḥ ॥20
navāhayajñe saṃpūrṇe parīkṣidapi bhūpatiḥ ।
divyarūpadharo devyāḥ sālokyaṃ tatkṣaṇādagāt ॥21
piturdivyāṃ gatiṃ rājā vilokya janamejayaḥ ।
vyāsaṃ muniṃ samabhyarcya parāṃ mudamavāpa ha ॥22
aṣṭādaśapurāṇānāṃ madhye sarvottamaṃ paraṃ ।
devībhāgavataṃ nāma dharmakāmārthamokṣadaṃ ॥23
ye śruṇvanti sadā bhaktyā devyā bhagavatīṃ kathāṃ ।
teṣāṃ siddhirna dūrasthā tasmātsevyā sadā nṛbhiḥ ॥24″ (Skanda Purana : Devi Bhagawata Mahatmayam : Ch1: verse 19-24)
“Previously (janamejaya’s) father king Parikshit was killed by the bite of Taksha the snake, in order to purify from that the king (janamejaya) listened to Bhagavatam (19). For Nine days (he listened to that discourse) from the mouth of Sri Vedavyasa after worshiping the motehr of the three worlds with proper rites (20). On completion of the ninth day’s sacrifice, (the dead) Parikshit, who was the lord of the earth, was seen assuming a divine form and ascending to the abode of the Devi at that very instant itself (21). On witnessing his father attaining to the highest abode, the king Janamejaya worshiping sage Vyasa appropriately attained great satisfaction (22). Among the list of eighteen Puranas there exists a supreme Purana, the greatest one by the name of ‘Devi Bhagavatam’ which confers all the four pursuits viz. dharma, artha, kama, moksha (23). Those who always listen with devotion, the story of Devi, the Bhagavati, to such people success is never far, therefore this has to be studied always by the human beings (24)”.
It needs a special mention that this reasoning or explanation coming not from Devi Bhagawatam rather it is coming from Skanda Purana. That means another Purana has attested the validity of Devi Bhagawatam on the ground of logic and reasoning. What more evidences do we need to testify the originality of ‘Devi Bhagawatam’ as the Maha-Purana?
5. Is the name of the Purana as ‘Devi Bhagavatam’ grammatically correct?
Some people especially the North Indians usually pronounce ‘Bhagawatam’ as ‘Bhagavata’ and say that Devi-Bhagavata should have been ‘devi-bhagavatIya’ and ‘devi-bhagavata’ name is incorrect. They seem to sound as if they interpret ‘bhagavata’ as a masculine name hence they seem to believe it applies on Krishna’s book alone. OK, they don’t know that the name of this Purana is ‘bhAgavataM’ which is a neuter gender name of the book. When applied on a deity it takes the deity name as prefix but the book name remains same. The below verse clearly clarifies that the book named “bhAgawataM (neuter gender)” is a “purANaM (again neuter gender)”, belonging to Devi (‘devyAh’, the shashthi vibhakti form of declension showing belonging).
“ato bhāgavataṃ devyāḥ purāṇaṃ parataḥ paraṃ ।
dharmārthakāmamokṣāṇāmuttamaṃ sādhanaṃ mataṃ ॥” (Skanda Purana : Devi Bhagawata Mahatmayam : Ch1: verse 37)
“So the Bhagawatam the Purana of Devi is superior than the supreme and greatest among the scriptures which confer dharma, artha, kama and moksha, is the opinion (of learned ones)”.
In below verse “bhagavatapustakam” word is used,.again a neuter gender word only..
“devīprītipadaṃ bhaktyā śrībhāgavatapustakaṃ ।
dadyādviprāya yojñāya sa devyāḥ padavīm labhet ॥” (Skanda Purana : Devi Bhagawata Mahatmayam : Ch1: verse 39)
“It pleases Devi when someone with devotion gifts the ‘sribhagavata-pustakam’ to an eligible Brahmana, and (on account of such an act), he attains to Devi’s station”.
In below verse this scripture is termed as “srimad bhAgavatIM”.
“ya etāṃ śṛṇuyādbhaktyā śrīmadbhāgavatīṃ kathāṃ ।
bhuktiṃ muktiṃ sa labhate bhaktyā yaśca paṭhedidāṃ ॥” (Skanda Purana : Devi Bhagawata Mahatmayam : Ch1: verse 45)
“One who listens or reads with devotion the story of this ‘srimad bhagavatim’, that person enjoys pleasures and attains liberation”.
6. Originally the name ‘Srimad Bhagavatam’ belongs to ‘Devi Bhagavata Purana’ only
Originally the sacred word ‘Srimad’ was appended to ‘Devi Bhagavatam’ only, because of the greatness of this Purana. However, the cunning Vaishnavite author who tried to ‘become’ Vyasa by naming his fiction genre novel on Krishna as ‘Srimad Bhagavatam’, seems to have done a very good marketing of his book that his novel quickly rose to fame and became popular as ‘Srimad Bhagavatam’ whereas people slowly forgot the original work of Vyasa whose name was stolen by this Vaishnavite author.
We’ll now see evidences from Devi Bhagavatam as well as Skanda Purana that the original ‘Bhagavatam’ that is accorded the status ‘Srimad’ is verily the Bhagavatam of Bhagavati only.
6.1. Originally ‘Srimad Bhagawatam’ refers to the Purana glorifying ‘lalitA’ the dweller of Manidweepa – says Skanda Purana
The section from ‘Skanda Purana’ which details the ‘Mahatmayam (glory)’ of ‘Devi Bhagavatam’ states clearly that ‘Srimad Bhagavatam’ gives liberation, and then mentions that this ‘Srimad Bhagavatam’ is the text which describes about goddess ‘Lalita’ the dweller of ‘manidweepa’.
In below verse it refers to this Purana which gives liberation as ‘Srimad Bhagavatam’
“śrīmadbhāgavataṃ yastu paṭhedvā śruṇuyādapi ।
ślokārdhaṃ ślokapādaṃ vā saṃyāti paraṃāṃ gatiṃ ॥” (Skanda Purana : Devi Bhagawata Mahatmayam : Ch5: verse 92)
“One who recites or even listens to the Srimad bhagavatam, even half a verse or a quarter of a verse as well, attains to the supreme goal (liberation) “.
Now, it connects the same Purana with ‘Shodasi’ which is goddess lalita’s name as she always remains as young as sixteen years girl.
“ato bhāgavatasyāsya devyāḥ prītikarasya ca ।
mahāntyapi purāṇāni kalāṃ nārhati ṣoḍaśīṃ ॥” (Skanda Purana : Devi Bhagawata Mahatmayam : Ch5: verse 96)
“Therefore of the Bhagavata which is dear to devi, even the great Puranas also aren’t entitled to even a part of the (greatness of the) Purana of Shodashi”.
It further details saying that this ‘Srimad Bhagavatam’ narrates about that ‘Sridevi’ who is the daughter of Himavan and is the dweller of Manidweepa. On a side note – originally the name ‘Sridevi’ too belongs to ‘Lalita’ and since lakshmi is her aspect manifested from her attribute of ‘sriyam’, she inherited that name too. I just wanted to clarify this so that people wouldn’t get confused reading ‘Sridevi’ as the daughter of ‘Himavan’.
“gāyātryāśca rahasyamatra ca maṇidvīpaśca saṃvarṇitaḥ ।
śrīdevyā himabhūbhṛte bhagavatī gītā ca gītā svayaṃ ॥” (Skanda Purana : Devi Bhagawata Mahatmayam : Ch5: verse 97)
“(In it is narrated) The secret meaning of Gayatri, and Manidweepa is described, in which exists the Bhagavati Gita, Gita by Sridevi the daughter of himavan”.
Further, it clearly describes the inner chamber of ‘Manidweepa’ which is made up of ‘Chintamani’. This is all the description of goddess lalita’s abode and has been very vividly described in th cocluding chapters of ‘Devi Bhagavatam’.
“sudhākūpārāntastridaśataruvāṭīvilasite maṇidvīpe cintāmaṇigṛhe citrarucire ।
virājantīmambāṃ paraśivahṛdi smeravadanāṃ naro dhyātvā bhogaṃ bhajati khalu mokṣaṃ ca labhate ॥ 101
jagataḥ śreyase sāstu maṇidvīpādhidevatā ॥” (Skanda Purana : Devi Bhagawata Mahatmayam : Ch5: verse 102)
“At the end of the well of nectar in the garden of thirty three trees inside the Manidweepa, within the Chintamanigruha, charmingly remains seated Amba with a smiling face in the mind of Parashiva – such an appearance when meditated by humans they get all types of enjoyments as well as liberation. One who is worshiped by Brahma, Rudra, Achyuta, Sakra and great sages, she is for the benefit of the world, the presiding lordess of the Manidweepa“.
6.2. Originally ‘Srimad Bhagawatam’ is Devi’s ‘Bhagawatam’ – Testified by ‘Devi Bhagavata Purana’ itself
Originally the name ‘Bhagawan’ applies only on Supreme lord Rudra (Shiva) and similarly, the supreme Devi, the consort of Shiva is the original ‘Bhagavati’. The narrative which belongs to that Bhagavati becomes termed as ‘Bhagawatam’. Sage Suta himself calls Devi Bhagawatam by the name of ‘Srimad Bhagawatam’, in the very second chapter of first book itself.
“purāṇamuttamaṃ puṇyaṃ śrīmadbhāgavatābhidham ।
aṣṭādaśa sahasrāṇi ślokāstatra tu saṃskṛtāḥ ॥” (Devi Bhagawatam 1:02:11)
“The Purâna S’rimad Bhâgavatam is excellent and holy; eighteen thousand pure S’lokas are contained in it”.
Sages call Devi-Bhagawatam as ‘Bhagawata Purana’, without prefixing any adjective ‘devi’ to identify it separately from any other text with similar name. This means, the name ‘bhagawatam’ always means ‘a text related to Bhagavati’ hence – be it ‘Srimad Bhagawatam’ or simply, ‘Bhagawatam’, or specifically, ‘Devi-Bhagawatam’ – all these names unanimously refer to the Purana which glorifies the supreme mother goddess alone. Originally, it was never a text related to Krishna!
“tvaṃ sūta bhava dīrghāyustāpatrayavivarjitaḥ ।
kathayādya purāṇaṃ hi puṇyaṃ bhāgavataṃ śivam ॥” (Devi Bhagawatam 1:02:37)
“[Sounaka sages said]: Narrate to us to-day the auspicious holy Bhâgavata Purâna. O S’ûta! Long live you; and no ailings, internal, external, or from the Devas torment you. (this is our blessing to you)”.
Below verse clearly states that the Purana (Bhagawatam) which is adorned with the name of ‘Bhagavati’ and her sports is termed as ‘Bhagawatam’ (inheriting its name from ‘bhagavati).
“sakalaguṇagaṇānāmekapātraṃ pavitra- ॥
nikhilamalagaṇānāṃ nāśakṛtkāmakandaṃ ॥
prakaṭaya bhagavatyā nāmayuktaṃ purāṇam ॥” (Devi Bhagawatam 1:02:40)
“Now describe to us the highly pure Purâna which is adorned with the name of ‘bhagavati’, where all the Lilas (the sports) of the Mother of the three worlds purifying the sins, adorned with all the qualifications are described as yielding all the desires like the Kalpa Vriksa (the celestial tree yielding all desires)”.
The same fact that ‘Srimad Bhagavatam’ refers to ‘Devi Bhagavatam’ is mentioned in the very ‘Devi Bhagavatam’ itself in below verses.
“kṛṣṇadvaipāyanātproktaṃ purāṇaṃ ca mayā śrutam ।
śrīmadbhāgavataṃ puṇyaṃ sarvaduḥkhaughanāśanam ॥ 34
kāmadaṃ mokṣadaṃ caiva vedārthaparibṛṃhitam ।
sarvāgamarasārāmaṃ mumukṣūṇāṃ sadā priyam ॥” (Devi Bhagawatam 1:03:34-35)
“1 have heard the holy S’rimad Bhâgavatam from the month of Krisna Dvaipayana. This removes all troubles, yields all desires, and gives Moksa and is full of the meanings of the Vedas. This treatise contains the essence of all the S’astras and is dear always to the Mamuksas (those who want Moksa or liberation)”.
Further the above verses give one great revelation. Above verses also affirm the truth that this ‘Devi Bhagavata Purana’ fulfills all desires and bestows liberation. Do we recollect that exactly same points were described by Skanda Purana about Devi Bhagavatam?
If a person says he always speaks truth, and when others who know that person well, also say in affirmation that he always speaks truth, then it gets doubly confirmed and all doubts about his virtuous nature gets removed. The same way, Devi Bhagavatam itself says it is called ‘Srimad Bhagavatam’ and it ‘confers bhoga, and moksha’ (and hence is dear to all the seekers of moksha), and same statements are spoken by Skanda Purana about Devi Bhagavatam – then there is no doubt about its authenticity at all! So, original ‘Srimad Bhagawatam” is none other than “Devi Bhagawatam”!
7. A great secret behind Devi Bhagavatam alone proclaiming itself as Mahapurana
Due to the cunning vaishnavite influence, the bogus Bhagawatam of Krishna has somehow taken the place among the eighteen Mahapuranas despite it being not a work of Vyasa. And the impact of the wily nature of the shiva-shakti-hating-groups-of-hindus viz. Vaishnavas have either pushed the status of Devi Bhagavatam among the list of ‘Upa-Puranas’, or many a times they have been ound to rejecting Devi-Bhagavatam as a bogus later day invention imitating the pristine ‘Srimad Krishna Bhagavatam’.
Well, Veda Vyasa himself has given a tight slap on the faces of all the haters of Bhagavati Uma and Mahadeva in his Devi Bhagavatam itself. Devi Bhagavatam enjoys one unique characteristic which none of the other Puranas enjoy – that is – at the end of each and every chapter of Devi Bhagavatam the conclusive statement reads as – “iti śīdevībhāgavate mahāpurāṇe X-skandhe Y-adhyāyaḥ” where ‘X’ stands for the skandha-number (book number) and ‘Y” stands for the chapter-number.
Now, why did Vyasa have to call Devi Bhagavatam as a ‘Mahapurana’ explicitly, whereas he never explicitly mentioned the same note at the end of other Puranas? The reason is found within Devi Bhagavatam itself.
Devi Bhagavatam recounts the names of all the eighteen Puranas and eighteen Upa-Puranas. I’ll not quote all the names here but will quote only what is necessary. In the third chapter of first canto Suta narrates the list of eighteen Puranas among them ‘Bhagavatam’ is mentioned as follows.
“caturdaśasahasraṃ ca matsyamādyaṃ prakīrtitam ।
tathā grahasahasraṃ tu mārkaṇḍeyaṃ mahādbhutam ॥ 3
caturdaśasahasrāṇi tathā pañcaśatāni ca ।
bhaviṣyaṃ parisaṃkhyātaṃ munibhistattvadarśibhiḥ ॥ 4
aṣṭādaśasahasraṃ vai puṇyaṃ bhāgavataṃ kila ।
tathā cāyutasaṃkhyākaṃ purāṇaṃ brahmasaṃjñakam ॥” (Devi Bhagawatam 1:03:3-5)
“In the Matsya Purâna there are fourteen thousand slokas; in the wonderfully varied Markandeya Purânam there are nine thousand slokas. In the Bhavisya Purâna fourteen thousand and five hundred slokas are counted by the Munis, the seers of truth. In the holy Bhâgavata there are eighteen thousand S’lokas; in the Brahmâ Purâna there are Ajuta (ten thousand) S’lokas”.
Then Suta names the rest of the Puranas and the number of verses each contain. Subsequently, Suta recounts the list of eighteen upa-puranas as follows.These Upa-Puranas are not authored by Vyasa but these are authored by various other great sages. Here also I am quoting only those verses that are necessary for our analysis as recounting all the names would be too long.
“vāruṇaṃ kālikākhyaṃ ca sāmbaṃ nandikṛtaṃ śubham ।
sauraṃ pārāśaraproktamādityaṃ cātivistaram ॥ 15
māheśvaraṃ bhāgavataṃ vāsiṣṭhaṃ ca savistaram ।
etānyupapurāṇāni kathitāni mahātmabhiḥ ॥” (Devi Bhagawatam 1:03:15-16)
“Varuna Purâna. Kalika Purâna, Samva Purâna, Nandi Kes’wara Purâna, Saura Purâna, Purâna spoken by Parâs’ara, Âditya Purâna, Mahesvara Purâna, Bhâgavata and Vasistha Purâna. These Upa Purânas are described by the Mahatmas.”.
Now, the reason why I kept the quotes limited to few verses is only to make one important name easily visible to the eyes of the readers, i.e., the name of ‘Bhagawatam’. If you carefully note here, the name ‘Bhagawata’ appears in the list of Maha-Puranas of Vyasa as well as in the list of Upa-Puranas of other Mahatmas. That means, there are two texts with identical names – one a Maha-Purana and another upa-purana.
So, if these two scriptures are kept side by side, how would one distinguish which ‘Bhagavata’ is the work of Vyasa as a Mahapurana and which ‘Bhagavata’ is a Upa-Purana and not a work of Vyasa? To remove all such confusions, the great sage Vyasa had explicitly mentioned a “label” at the end of each chapter of Devi-Bhagavatam mentioning it as the ‘Mahapurana’.
How beautiful and logically well thought out Vyasa’s that simple action was! This simple yet highly protective Armour can never be refuted and Devi-Bhagawatam can never be trashed aside now onwards!
I am not sure why this simple secret was never visible to others till date, that everyone started categorizing Devi-Bhagawatam as an Upa-Purana? I truly think it is only Devi’s unconditional compassion that to such a normal human like me, she reveals these simple yet profound mysteries.
8. Evidences from other Puranas proving the ‘Bhagavatam’ among the Eighteen Mahapuranas is ‘Devi Bhagavatam’ alone
We’ll see in this section, that other Puranas have unambiguously considered Devi Bhagavatam alone as the original ‘Bhagavata Puana’ and listed it among the eighteen Puranas authored by Vyasa.
8.1. Skanda Purana clearly names ‘Devi Bhagavatam’ as one among the eighteen Puranas
Skanda Purana in the section dedicated to the explanation of the greatness of ‘Devi Bhagavatam’ clearly calls it as one of the eighteen Puranas. So, no way it can be ranked as a ‘Upa-Purana’ or called as later day creation.Below verses doubtlessly confirm that the name ‘Devi Bhagavatam’ is counted among the eighteen Mahapuranas authored by Vyasa.
“aṣṭādaśa purāṇāni sa kṛtvā bhagavān muniḥ ।
māmevādhyāpayāmāsa bhāratākhyānameva ca ॥ 17
devībhāgavataṃ tatra purāṇaṃ bhogamokṣadaṃ ।
svayaṃ tu śrāvayāmāsa janamejeyabhūpatiṃ ॥” (Skanda Purana : Devi Bhagawata Mahatmayam : Ch1: verse 17-18)
“[Suta says]: The great sage of immense oppulence (viz. Vyasa) had created eighteen Puranas, and taught them to me along with the legend of Mahabharata. There (among the eighteen Puranas), ‘Devi-Bhagavatam’ is a Purana which fulfils all desires as well as confers liberation. I had myself narrated that Purana to Janmejaya, the lord of the earth”.
Same confirmation comes more clearly in below verse.
“aṣṭādaśapurāṇānāṃ madhye sarvottamaṃ paraṃ ।
devībhāgavataṃ nāma dharmakāmārthamokṣadaṃ ॥” (Skanda Purana : Devi Bhagawata Mahatmayam : Ch1: verse 23)
“Among the list of eighteen Puranas there exists a supreme Purana, the greatest one by the name of ‘Devi Bhagavatam’ which confers all the four pursuits viz. dharma, artha, kama, moksha”.
8.2. Shiva Purana in a single sentence clarifies that Bhagavatam is Devi Bhagavatam only
In Uma Samhita of Shiva Purana, there is a narrative of the birth of Vyasa. Vyasa goes to Kashi and worships Shiva by installing a linga. Shiva gives a boon to Vyasa that he would reside in the throat of Vyasa because of which Vyasa would be able to author eighteen Puranas playfully. Vyasa completes the compilation of eighteen Puranas. All the eighteen Puranas are enumerated in that chapter:
“brāhmaṃ pādmaṃ vaiṣṇavaṃ śaivaṃ bhāgavataṃ tathā ।
bhaviṣyaṃ nāradīyaṃ ca mārkaṇḍeyamataḥ paraṃ ॥120
āgneyaṃ brahmavaivartaṃ laiṅgaṃ varāhamevaca ।
vāmanākhyaṃ tataḥ kaurmaṃ matsyaṃ garuḍameva ca ॥121
skāndaṃ tathaiva brahmāṇḍākhyaṃ purāṇaṃ ca kīrtitaṃ ।
yaśasyaṃ puṇyadam nṛṇāṃ śrotṛṇām śānkaraṃ yaśaḥ ॥” (Shiva Purana:V:44:120-122)
“Brahma, Padma, vaishnava, Shaiva, Bhagavata, Bhavishya, Narada, Markandeya, Agneya, Brahmavaivarta, Linga, Varaha, Vamana, Kurma, Matsya, Garuda, Skanda, and Brahmanda. These were the eighteen Puranas, which bestow glory and merit to the devotees of Shiva”.
Let me quickly quote how Vishnu Purana and Suta Samhita (of Skanda Purana) listed the names of Puranas.
Vishnu Purana says (I’ve not quoted full set of verses):
“asṭādaśa purāṇāni purāṇajñāḥ pracakṣate ।
brāhma pāhma vaiṣṇavañca śaivaṃ bhāgavataṃ tathā ।।” (Vishnu Purana 3:06:20)
“Those who are acquainted with the Puráńas enumerate eighteen, or the Bráhma, Pádma, Vaishńava, Śaiva, Bhágavata, and…”.
Suta Samhita of Skanda Purana says the following::
brāhmaṃ purāṇaṃ prathamaṃ dvitīyaṃ pādmamucyate ।
tṛtīyaṃ vaiṣṇavaṃ proktaṃ caturthaṃ śaivamucyate ॥ 7
tato bhāgavato proktaṃ bhaviṣyākhyaṃ tataḥ paraṃ ।” (Skanda Purana: Suta Samhita 01:7-8a)
“First is the Brahma Purana, second comes the Padma, third is the Vishnu, fourth is Shiva, after that comes Bhagavatam thereafter comes Bhavishyat Purana”.
A point to be noted here is that – by and large all the Puranas list the names of the first nine puranas in identical sequence, after that there are very slight variations in placement of names.This slight variation may be primarily due to the system that has been adopted for recounting the names. Or also it may be to suit the metrical nature of the verses or may be for some other reason of poetic suitability in that particular context. In none of the Puranas it is stated that this sequence of names indicates the sequence in which they were composed, nor it has ever been said anywhere that the sequence of listing indicate the order of rankings based on greatness or merit of the Puranas. So, we need not waste our mental energy in such useless intellectual exercises of running behind the names and their sequence. Vishnu Purana’s list of eighteen Puranas, Shiva Purana’s list of eighteen Puranas, and Suta Samhita’s (Skanda Purana) list of eighteen Puranas match very closely but only some names are placed here and there. On the other hand, the Devi-Bhagavatam (as like as Agni Purana) recounts the names of the Puranas using a totally different system i.e., it uses the ‘sutra (aphorism)’ which starts as “madvayaṃ bhadvayaṃ…..” which gives easy tip to memorize the names of Puranas as “madvayam (two puranas with name starting with ‘ma’ i.e., matsya, and markandeya)”, and “bhadvayam (two puranas with name starting with ‘bha’ i.e., bhavishya, and bhagavata)” and so on…
However, from the above verses it is clear that all these above quoted texts viz. Shiva Purana, Vishnu Purana and Skanda Purana (Suta Samhita) unanimously place the ‘Bhagavatam’ in the “fifth” place. Lalita sahasranama says as follows: –
“pañcamī pañcabhūteśī pañcasaṃkhyopacāriṇī ||” (Brahmanda Purana: Lalita Sahasranama: verse 226),
“She is the fifth, the lordess of the five elements, and worshiped with methods comprising five”.
In his commentary over the name “pañcamī”, the commentator ‘Sri Bhaskararaya’ elaborates it as –
“brahmādiṣu pañcasu pañcamasya sadāśivasya strī |”, meaning, “Brahma etc., (Brahma, Vishnu, Rudra, Ishvara, Sadashiva), are five, and among them the fifth one i.e., Sadashiva’s wife is she (hence she is called Panchami)”.
There is this uncanny connection between ‘fifth’ and ‘Devi’. In fact if we see the ‘samhitas’ of Shiva Purana, we will get another pleasant surprise. Shiva Purana is as the name suggests ‘Shiva’s Purana’, and Devi being his consort she could have been discussed in parallel. However, there is a ‘samhita’ named ‘Uma Samhita’ separately dedicated to goddess Uma. And the most interesting thing is that – ‘uma samhita’ happens to be the ‘Fifth’ canto of Shiva Purana. The sequence of ‘samhitas (cantos)’ of Shiva Purana are – (1) Vidyeshvara Samhita, (2) Rudra Samhita, (3) Shatarudra Samhita (4) Kotirudra Samhita, (5) Uma Samhita, (6) Kailasha Samhita, and (7) Vayaviya Samhita.
Hence probably for the reason of close association of number ‘five’ with ‘Devi Uma’, the ‘Bhagavata’ which is mentioned as the ‘fifth’ name is not disturbed in the sequence of various Puranas.
So far we have done some nice correlations, but now, let’s see a direct evidence from Shiva Purana which clearly attests ‘Bhagavatam’ as ‘Devi Purana, rather than ‘Krishna Purana’. After listening to the eighteen names, Suta inquires Vyasa further and asks him to elaborate the descriptions of each Purana as follows.
“sūta uvāca ।
aṣṭādaśapurāṇānāṃ pūrvaṃ nāmoditaṃ tvayā ।
kuru nirvacanaṃ teṣāmidānīṃ vedavittama ॥” (Shiva Purana:V:44:123)
“Suta said – ‘You are the best among those who possess the knowledge of the Vedas, you have given the names of the eighteen Puranas. You speak about their description to me'”.
While Vyasa elaborates the descriptions of all the Puranas, I’m here quoting only the description of ‘Bhagavatam’ for our scope of discussion. Vyasa without mincing words, in a straightforward way mentions that ‘Bhagavatam’ is that Purana which narrates the story of the goddess Durga, and also tells that ‘Bhagavatam’ is otherwise known as ‘Devi Puranam’.
“bhagavatyāśca durgāyāścaritaṃ yatra vidyate ।
tattu bhāgavataṃ proktaṃ nanu devīpurāṇakaṃ ॥” (Shiva Purana:V:44:129)
“The Purana in which the story of the goddess Durga has been enshrined, it is called the ‘Bhagavatam (Devi Bhagavatam)’ or the ‘Devi Purana'”
There is another narrative within Shiva Purana which corroborates the above statement of Vyasa. So, the above statement cannot be shunned or rejected by any means. The other story which explains why Vyasa had said “Bhagavatam” among the eighteen Puranas is “Devi Purana”, would be clear with the discussion that I would present now. Shiva Purana indeed has the seed from where Devi Bhagavatam sprouted as a tree. When Shiva and Shakti are one, how can their stories remain separate? We’ll see how Shiva Purana has the seed of Devi Bhagavatam now.
9. Shiva Purana has the seeds of Devi Bhagavatam which expanded as a separate Purana to glorify Shiva’s consort in detail
Shiva Purana’s Uma Samhita has the seeds which expanded into two vast trees viz – Devi Mahatmayam (in Markandeya Purana) and even further expanded into ‘Devi Bhagavatam’. Uma Samhita has all the three ‘charitras (histories)’ of ‘Devi-Mahatmayam’ where description of ‘Madhu-Kaithabha killing, Mahishasura killing, and Shumbha-Nishumbha killing have been mentioned. These things put together, forms the summary of the ‘Devi-Mahatmayam (Durga Saptashati)’ of ‘Markandeya Purana’. Discussion on ‘Durga-Saptashati’ is out of scope of this artcile. We’ll only focus how the seed of ‘Devi Bhagavatam’ is encapsulated in Shiva Purana. The story of ‘manifestation of ‘Yaksha’ of ‘kenopanishad’ occurs ‘twice’ in Shiva Purana, one favoring Shiva and another favoring Devi. This has a deep connection with ‘Devi Bhagavatam’ which I would unveil shortly. Let’s read on.
Well, Shiva and Shakti are always one and the same, we have seen various evidences in my other articles supporting this fact. When Shiva is glorified, Devi also needs to be glorified, and vice versa. In my opinion, Shiva Purana is the best of all Puranas because it highly balances all the aspects of supremacy of Devi and Shiva and keeping them on equal footage reveals the secrets of oneness between Shiva and Shakti. They are indeed one and the same, inseparably united. Only dull headed Shaivas and Shaktas would consider one as superior compared to the other one.
9.1. Manifestation of Yaksha as described in vayaviya samhita of Shiva Purana
In Shiva Purana’s ‘vayaviya samhita’, the story of ‘Kenopanishad’ is narrated. It clearly says that Upamanyu who is the narrator, listened that story from ‘sruti’ (Vedas). He explains that story exactly the way ‘Kenopanishad’ says. There Gods arrogate their victory to their own strength and to nullify their pride a divine being ‘yaksha’ appears before them.
atyāścaryamidaṃ kṛṣṇa śaṃbhoramitakarmaṇaḥ |
ājñākṛtaṃ śṛṇuṣvaitacchrutaṃ śrutimukhe mayā ||” (Shiva Purana VII:2:2:45)
“Such amazing are O dark one: the glories of the infinite deeds of lord Shambhu. By his grace whatever shruti (Veda) has been taught to me orally I would narrate to you: listen!”
“purā kila surāḥ seṃdrā vivadaṃtaḥ parasparam |
asurānsamare jitvā jetāhamahamityuta ||” (Shiva Purana VII:2:2:46)
“In the days of yore the devas (deities) and the asuras (demons) fought with each other in which devas gained the victory which they [ignorantly] attributed to themselves”.
It says clearly that lord Maheshvara appeared in the form of ‘Yaksha’ in front of them.
“tadā maheśvarasteṣāṃ madhyato varaveṣadhṛk |
svalakṣaṇairvihīnāṃgaḥ svayaṃ yakṣa ivābhavat ||” (Shiva Purana VII:2:2:47)
“Then Maheshwara showed himself in person among them. However he kept his real identity undisclosed and appeared in the form of a Yaksha”.
Then the ‘Yaksha’ keeps a blade of grass and challenges the gods to exert their strength.
“sa tānāha surānekaṃ tṛṇamādāya bhūtale |
ya etadvikṛtaṃ kartuṃ kṣamate sa tu daityajit ||” (Shiva Purana VII:2:2:48)
“He kept a blade of grass on the ground and challenged the devas (deities) to exert their respective powers upon it”.
Then one by one gods viz. Indra: Agni: Vayu: Varuna et al tried their strengths on that blade of grass but neither they could burn it: nor could blow it away: nor could wet it nor could they destroy it in anyway. Finally: seeing all their efforts and strength become nullified in front of the will power of Yaksha they remained perplexed thinking how those mighty deities couldn’t harm that petty grass blade! Then Indra wisely starts contemplating.
“tadāha yakṣaṃ deveṃdraḥ ko bhavānityamarṣitaḥ |
tatassa paśyatāmeva teṣāmaṃtaradhādatha || 55
tadaṃtare haimavatī devī divyavibhūṣaṇā |
āvirāsīnnabhoraṃge śobhamānā śucismitā ||” (Shiva Purana VII:2:2:55-56)
“Then Indra [knowing that Yaksha to be no common being]: patiently enquired that Yaksha saying: ‘Who are you?’ The next moment Yaksha disappeared from there right in front of his eyes: and in place of Yaksha appeared Haimavati devi who was adorned with divine ornaments and was shining radiantly”.
On Indra asking Uma who was that yaksha she explained about yaksha saying he is the Brahman by whose wish everything happens.here Uma remains as the mere emissary of Brahman (Shiva).
“sā ‘bravītsasmitaṃ devī sa yuṣmākamagocaraḥ |
tenedaṃ bhramyate cakraṃ saṃsārākhyaṃ carācaram ||” (Shiva Purana VII:2:2:58)
“Then the goddess smiling said: ‘He is the one who is beyond your vision. The wheel of the universe is being rotated by him'”.
“tenādau kriyate viśvaṃ tena saṃhriyate punaḥ |
na tanniyantā kaścitsyāttena sarvaṃ niyamyate ||” (Shiva Purana VII:2:2:59)
“He is the one who creates the universe in the beginning: then preserves it and ultimately destroys the same”.
Here Uma is the Brahma-vidya who is the emissary of Brahman and teaches the seeker about the true nature of the Yaksha who was Shiva. This ‘Uma haimavati’ of Kena Upanishad is verily Parvati who is the Brahmavidya – says Harivamsa. So, all the cunning vaishnavites are slapped by Vyasa as they try to distort the meaning and say Uma here refers to Lakshmi.
“vidyānāṃ brahmavidyā tvamoṅkāro’tha vaṣaṭ tathā ।
nārīṇāṃ pārvatīṃ ca tvāṃ paurāṇīmṛṣayo viduḥ ॥” (Harivamsha Parva 2:3:23)
“Among all kinds of knowledge, you are spiritual knowledge (brahmavidyA). You are Om and vaShaT (mantra for homa for devA-s). Among women, the sages know you as pArvati, celebrated in purANA-s”.
Now the same Shiva Puana narrates the same story glorifying goddess Uma. This is unique to only Shiva Purana and Devi Bhagavatam. No other Purana has ever described Yaksha as Uma herself. – Point to be noted!
9.2. Manifestation of Yaksha as described in Uma samhita of Shiva Purana
Similarly, in chapter forty-nine of Uma-Samhita manifestation of goddess Uma as yaksha is mentioned. Gods become victorious over demons.
mahāmāyāprabhāveṇāmarāṇāṃ vijayo’bhavat ॥” (Shiva Purana V:49:04)
“Once there had been a war betwen the demons and the gods; in which the gods became victorious becaue of the prowess of the great Mahamaya”.
Gods become proud of their victory considering it as their own feat.
“tato’valliptā amarāḥ svapraśaṃsā vitenire ।
vayaṃ dhanyāḥ vayaṃ dhanyāḥ kiṃ kariṣyanti no’surāḥ ॥” (Shiva Purana V:49:05)
“Then the gods arrogated the victory to themselves and started praising themselves as well ‘We are blessed, we are blesed, what harm can the demons do to us?'”.
“aho balamaho tejo daityavaṃśakṣayaṃkaraṃ ।
aho bhāgyaṃ sumanasāmevaṃ sarvebhyavarṇayan ||” (Shiva Purana V:49:07)
“‘It is really wonderful that the prowess of the gods has been responsible for the destruction of the demon race. Graceful are the gods’ – These were the words spoken by all the gods”.
Thereafter there appears an unprecedented mass of lustre appeared before them finding which all the gods felt surprised. That lustre was unknown to the Gods and the gods with a choked voice uttered, “What is this? What is this?” Indra sent the gods to find out what was that. Wind god went ahead and that lustre asked “Who are you?”, Wind god said “I’m Vayu, the life of the universe, I am the support of everything and move the entire universe”.
The lustre asked Vayu to move a blade of grass as follows.
“tadovāca mahātejaḥ śakto’si yadi cālane ।
dhṛtametatṛṇaṃ vāyo cālayasva nijeccayā ||” (Shiva Purana V:49:14)
“Then the great lusture said, ‘In case you have strength to move the world, then you better move this blade of grass'”.
Then the wind god failed to move despite exerting entire strength, and with head hung in shame stepped back. Then in similar lines, Agni and other gods one by one failed to do what the lustre asked them to do with the grass blade. Finally Indra moved forward with the intention of knowing what was it. Lustre disappeared then, and in place of it stood goddess Parvati in her supreme ‘Bhuvaneshvari’ aspect as holding noose, and goad in two hands and another two hands were in blessing and fear removing postures. She introduced herself as Brahman. This appearance of ‘Bhuvaneshvari’ is a noteworthy point. She is whom Veda Vyasa has elaborated in a separate book ‘Devi Bhagavatam’ as the highest Shakti.
Further the most noteworthy point is the time at which she appeared. We’ll revisit this in Devi Bhagavatam also.
“caitraśuklanavamyāṃ tu madhyāhnasthe divākare ।
prāhurāsīdumā devī saccidānandarūpiṇī ॥” (Shiva Purana V:49:22)
“On the ninth day of the bright fortnight of the month of Chaitra, at noon time, the blissful Uma, of the satchidananda nature appeared there”.
She reveals herself as being the Supreme Brahman. She indicates she was herself the yaksha. Here Uma is no more emissary of Brahman (Shiva) she is herself Brahman.
“paraṃ brahma paraṃ jyotiḥ pranavadvandvarūpiṇī ।
ahamevāsmi sakalaṃ madanyo nāsti kaścana ||” (Shiva Purana V:49:28)
“I am the supreme brahman, the great lustre, the form of the two pranavas, I am all, there is none other besides me”.
“matprabhāvājjitā sarve yuṣmābhirdditinandanāḥ ।
tāmavijñāya māṃ yūyaṃ vṛthā sarveśamaninaḥ ||” (Shiva Purana V:49:33)
“The demons could be conquered due to my strength. Without knowing my true nature, you arrogate to yourselves as the lords of all”.
9.3. Manifestation of Yaksha from Uma samhita of Shiva Purana is the seed of Devi Bhagavatam
In Shiva Purana we saw Devi Bhuvaneshvari appearing in front of gods. She reveals herself to be the brahman. Now, the Devi Bhagavatam after discussing all the various types of Shakti, in the penultimate canto, the twelfth canto reserves the discussion on the highest Shakti, the dweller of ‘Manidweepa’, viz. Bhuvaneshvari. So, Devi Bhagavatam slowly takes the devotee from duality to singularity, from various shaktis to the source of all shaktis – Sridevi (Lalita). It takes us from many worlds to the highest abode viz. manidweepa. Therefore the twelfth canto is the sum total of all cantos and that is which is the final destination of devotees. So, Devi Bhagawatam in a nutshell would be Bhuvaneshvari the indweller of Manidweepa!
In Shiva Purana Uma Samhita let’s recall the verse which describes Devi’s time of appearance in place of Yaksha. She appears on the ninth day of the bright fortnight of the month of Chaitra, at noon time, as stated below.
.”caitraśuklanavamyāṃ tu madhyāhnasthe divākare ।
prāhurāsīdumā devī saccidānandarūpiṇī ॥” (Shiva Purana V:49:22)
“On the ninth day of the bright fortnight of the month of Chaitra, at noon time, the blissful Uma, of the satchidananda nature appeared there”.
Let’s also look at the appearance of Devi as described in Shiva Purana’s Uma Samhita. It says she was Brahman and appeared in her Bhuvaneshvari form having her four hands in – holding noose, goad, and fearlessness and boons posture.
“mahīmadhye virājantī bhāsayantī diśo rucā ।
bodhayantī surānsarvānbrahmaivāhamiti sphuṭaṃ ॥ 23
caturbhirdadhatī hastairvarapāśāṇkuśābhayān ।
śrutibhiḥ sevitā ramyā navayavvanagarvitā ॥” (Shiva Purana V:49:23-24)
“She was lodged inside the lustre. She was resplendant spreading her lustre on all the sides. She clearly indicated to the gods that she was herself the Brahman. In her four hands she held – the noose, the goad and genstures indicating fearlessness and boons. She was being served by the Vedas. She was youthful and extremely charming”.
Now, Devi Bhagavatam also exactly states the same facts about that highest Shakti’s manifestation. Here also the time of Devi’s appearance is same what has been described in Shiva Purana. And here also Devi appears in her Bhuvaneshvari aspect.
“akasmāccaitramāsīyanavamyāṃ madhyage ravau ।
tadevāvirabhūttejastasminneva sthale punaḥ ॥ 51
tejomaṇḍalamadhye tu kumārīṃ navayauvanām ।
bhāsvajjapāprasūnābhāṃ bālakoṭiraviprabhām ॥ 52
bālaśītāṃśamukuṭāṃ vastrāntarvyañjitastanīm ।
caturbhirvarahastaistu varapāśāṅkuśābhayān ॥ 53
dadhānāṃ ramaṇīyāṅgīṃ komalāṅgalatāṃ śivām ।
bhaktakalpadrumāmambāṃ nānābhūṣaṇabhūṣitām ॥” (Devi Bhagawatam 12:08:51-54)
“Then on the ninth lunar day of the month of Chaitra when the Sun entered the meridian, suddenly there appeared in that place a Great Mass of Light as was seen before. Indra saw, then, within that Mass of Light, a Virgin Form in full youth. The lustre from Her body was like that of ten million Rising Suns; and the colour was rosy red like a full-blown Javâ flower. On Her forehead was shining the digit of the Moon; Her breasts were full, and, though veiled under the cloth, they looked very beautiful. She was holding noose and a goad in Her two hands and Her other two hands indicated signs of favour and fearlessness. Her body was decked with various ornaments and it looked auspicious and exceedingly lovely; nowhere can be seen a woman beautiful like Her. She was like a Kalpa Vriksa (celestial tree yielding all desires);”.
To Indra’s inquiry about that mass of light (yaksha), Devi reveals herself to be the brahman.
“rūpaṃ madīyaṃ brahmaitatsarvakāraṇakāraṇam ।
māyādhiṣṭhānabhūtaṃ tu sarvasākṣi nirāmayam ॥” (Devi Bhagawatam 12:08:62)
“This My Form is Brahmâ, the Cause of all causes, the Seat of Mâyâ, the Witness of all, infallible and free from all defects or blemishes.”.
Further in another chapter the gods clearly call Devi as the cause of all causes and call her as the Yaksha as cited in below verse.
“yadyambujākṣi dayase na surānkadācit kiṃ te kṣamā raṇamukhe’siśaraiḥ prahartum ।
etattvayaiva gaditaṃ nanu yakṣarūpaṃ dhṛtvā tṛṇaṃ daha hutāśa padābhilāṣaiḥ ॥” (Devi Bhagavatam 4:19:15)
“O Thou, Lotus-Eyed! If Thou dost not show Thy mercy towards the gods, they will never be able to strike their enemies with their weapons in the battlefield. O Goddess! Thou didst prove the truth of this before, when Thou didst assume the appearance of a Yaksa and utter the following sentences “O Fire! You burn this blade of grass,” etc”.
The chapter wherein the above verses occur – that chapter clearly suggests all actions and deeds of Krishna, Arjuna, Pandavas etc., were originally Devi’s and Krishna, Arjuna etc., all heroes were mere instruments in her hands.
Just in case to the dull headed people it looks strange to see in one place Shiva being glorified as Yaksha and in another place Devi being glorified as Yaksha and in case someone things only one of them must be true – then it needs another level of detailing here. We know Devi Bhagavatam as primarily a Purana glorifying Devi as the supreme or highest entity. But the same Devi Bhagavatam clearly states that there is no lord higher than Shiva as stated in below verse. It also says that there is no mantra higher than that of Shiva. From this it can be now easily understood that Devi and Shiva are always one and the same, the two inseparable halves of each other. If a Purana glorifies Shiva, then Devi is implicitly glorified, if a Purana glorifies Devi, then Shiva is implicitly glorified. They are ‘ardhanarishvara’, the two halves of same being!
“śivamantrātparo mantro nāsti tulyaṃ śivātparam |
śivārcanātparaṃ puṇyaṃ na hi tīrthaṃ ca bhasmanā ॥” (Devi Bhagavatam 11:13:31b-32a)
“[Sage Narayana says]: O Nârada! There is no mantra higher than this S’iva Mantra; there is none higher than S’iva; there is no worship of greater merit-giving powers than the worship of S’iva; so there is no Tîrtha superior to this Bhasma”.
Conclusion:- It is impossible to describe Shiva or Devi in one book completely, therefore while Vyasa had described Devi’s glories in Shiva Purana in ‘Uma Samhita’, he had expanded the tales of the glorious mother of all worlds in a dedicated Purana which is ‘Devi Bhagawatam’. Therefore, in Shiva Purana, when Vyasa described the “Bhagavatam” as the “Devi Purana” glorifying Devi as Durga; he was right. In no manner one can make the “bhagavata” among the eighteen Puranas as belonging to ‘Krishna’. It is sole copyright of ‘Devi’ alone.
10. Shiva Purana Devi Bhagavatam and Mahabharata are tightly interconnected hence Devi Bhagavatam cannot be ruled out
Shiva is Yaksha originally, but it is also correct to say it was Devi who was the yaksha. This is because Shiva and Devi are always one and the same reality which appears as two to bless us. Another classic example of how Shiva and Shakti are one can be understood by analyzing the promise made by Shiva to Vishnu in Shiva Purana and how same promise is made by Devi to Vishnu in Devi Bhagavata and how they both together executed the same promises in Mahabharata.
10.1 Promises of help and protection made to Vishnu by Shiva in Shiva Purana
In the ‘Rudra Samhita’ of Shiva Purana, getting pleased with Vishnu’s prayers and his devotion, lord Shiva addressing Vishnu assures him of his protection always, in every incarnation. He instructs Vishnu to protect Brahma’s creation whenever there arises any crisis situation.
“brahmaṇā nirmite loke yadā duḥkhaṃ prajāyate ।
tadā tvaṃ sarvaduḥkhānāṃ nāśāya tatparo bhava ॥” (Shiva Purana 2:10:02)
“When the miseries would spread in the world created by Brahma, then you should keep yourself ready to remove the same”.
Then he assures him saying that Shiva would always help Vishnu in his tasks especially those tasks which remain difficult to be performed, and Shiva says he would kill all the invincible enemies of Vishnu.
“sahāyaṃ te kariṣyāmi sarvakārye ca duḥsahe ।
tava śatrūnhaniṣyāmi duḥsādhyān paramotkaṭān ॥” (Shiva Purana 2:10:03)
“I shall always help you in your unbearable tasks. I shall also destroy the terrible invincible enemies”.
On similar lines Shiva assures Vishnu of his protection and says that for the tasks which are beyond the capability of Vishnu, Shiva would be the one who would do them.
“vividhānavatārānśca gṛhītvā kīrtimuttamāṃ ।
vistāraya hare! loke tāraṇāya paro bhava ।
guṇarūpo hyahaṃ rudro hyanena vapuṣā sadā ।4
kāryaṃ kariṣye lokānāṃ tavāśakyaṃ na samśayaḥ ॥” (Shiva Purana 2:10:04-05)
“O Lord Vishnu, you, by incarnating variously, spread the best of your glory and get ready to redeem the people of the world. I being Rudra in saguna form shall perform all the jobs of the people and those which would be beyond your capacity to perform, I shall accomplish those jobs as well. There is no doubt about it”.
Here again Shiva stresses that whenever there is a crisis, it is him people would adore in his saguna Rudra form. We have umpteen evidences from Mahabharata where Bhagawan Mahadeva’s refuge was sought in the situations of emergency.
“saṅkaṭe bhajanīyo hi sa rudro mattanurhare ॥” (Shiva Purana 2:10:13)
“O Hari! At the time of distress I would be adored as Rudra”.
This discussion happened at the beginning of creation when Shiva blessed Vishnu and Brahma. Now later on after many kalpas, before the Krishna avatara, Vishnu and other gods faced invincible demons and kings burdening the earth. They prayed to Devi Bhuvaneshvari, the consort of Lord Shiva to protect the earth and eliminate the demons. This episode is narrated in Devi-Bhagavatam very beautifully.
10.2 Promises of help and protection made to Vishnu by Devi Bhuvaneshvari in Devi-Bhagavatam
The real beauty of Shiva and Shakti lies in their acts. We have seen Shiva giving some promises in Shiva Purana, and we’ll see shortly that Devi too assures of same protection and welfare by giving same promise, and we’ll finally see in Mahabharata that ultimately Shiva and Devi together execute their promises and resolve the problems of gods including Vishnu.
In the chapter nineteenth of Fouth Canto of Devi Bhagavatam, when teh Earth gets oppressed by the burden of manu unbearable super-villains such as kamsa, kala-Yavana, Kesi, Jarasandha, Naraka, Baka, and other Kings, all Gods including Vishnu and Brahma pray to Devi Bhuvaneshvari for help. When Devi appears in front of tehm they place a request before her to eliminate all these mighty villains the way she had eliminated Mahishasura etc., demons in the past who were unslayable for Vishnu etc., great gods.
One should not doubt thinking – Why did Vishnu approach Devi for help even after receiving assurance from Shiva for all help in every task that goes beyond the capability of Vishnu? The reason is very intimately connected with the bond of love in parents and child relationship. A father assures his son only once and for all, saying he would look after all financial needs during the entire course of the son’s education till the son gets a job of his own. However, every month when the due date to pay the fees approaches, despite the long term carpet-sweep-assurance given by father, the child would run to his mother with anxiety asking her to clear all dues in time. And the mother ‘reassures’ the child. But finally who is helping the child with monetary support? Both the father as well as the mother together are helping him. That’s the emotion which every sentient being is connected with. Moreover, a mother’s assurance adds more value even though the actual doer may be the father. All beings are naturally connected with the mother more closely that the father. And in the moment of distress a mother’s comforting words itself cure the pain much before the actual problem is solved by the father. So, that’s the beauty of Shiva and Shakti’s acts in connection with Gods also.
Gods together with Vishnu pray to the goddess asking her to solve the problem laid by the vicious kings and demons on earth.
“kaṃsaḥ kujo’tha yavanendrasutaśca keśī bārhadratho bakabakīkharaśālvamukhyāḥ ।
ye’nye tathā nṛpatayo bhuvi santi tāṃstvaṃ hatvā harasva jagato bharamāśu mātaḥ ॥” (Devi Bhagawatam 4:19:16)
“O Mother! Kamsa, Bhauma, Kâlayavana, Kes’î, Jarâsandha, the son of Brihadratha, Vaka, Pûtanâ, Khara, S’âlva and other vicious kings respectively are dwelling on the earth. Dost Thou better kill them and relieve the burden of the Earth”.
They seek her help as it is her duty to protect her children in distress. They cite various examples of her victories against the most powerful demons of the past and pray her to do the same with the atrocities of the current demons and vicious kings also.
“bhārāpaharaṇaṃ cāsyāḥ kartavyaṃ bhuvaneśvari ।
devānāmīṣmita kāryametadevādhunā śive॥” (Devi Bhagawatam 4:19:24)
“O Bhuvanes’varî! Now it is Your duty to remove this load of earth. O Auspicious One! Know this, the desire of the gods”.
ghātitastu purā mātastvayā mahiṣarūpabhṛt ।
dānavo’tibalākrāntastatsahāyāśca koṭiśaḥ ॥ 25 ॥
tathā śumbho niśumbhaśca raktabījastathāparaḥ ।
caṇḍamuṇḍau mahāvīryau tathaiva dhūmralocanaḥ ॥ 26 ॥
durmukho duḥsahaścaiva karālaścāti vīryavān ।
anye ca bahavaḥ krūrāstvayaiva ca nipātitāḥ ॥ 27 ॥
tathaiva ca surārīṃśca jahi sarvānmahīśvarān ।
bhāraṃ hara dharāyāśca durdharaṃ duṣṭabhūbhujām ॥” (Devi Bhagawatam 4:19:25-28)
“O Mother! In days of yore, You have killed the most powerful Dânava named Mahisa, attended by lakhs and lakhs of Dânavas and Daityas; What to speak! You have slain S’umbha, Nis’umbha, Raktavîja, the very powerful Chanda Munda, Dhumralochana, Durmukha, Duhsana, the strong Karâla and many other cruel Dânavas.. Now, similarly kill the wicked kings, the enemies of the Gods and save the Earth from their heavy loads”.
Thus addressed by the Devas, the Most Auspicious One, the Devî, whose colour was black and who looked askance, said smiling in a tone, grave and deep, like that of the rumbling of a raincloud. Please note the color of the goddess, it is described as dark. We’ll relate this in subsequent discussion.
“vyāsa uvāca | ityuktā sā tadā devī devānāhāmbikā śivā ॥ 28b
samprahasyāsitāpāṅgī meghagambhīrayā girā |
śrīdevyuvāca | mayedaṃ cintitaṃ pūrvamaṃśāvataraṇaṃ surāḥ ॥” (Devi Bhagawatam 4:19:28b-29)
“Vyâsa said – Thus addressed by the Devas, the Most Auspicious One, the Devî, whose colour was black and who looked askance, said smiling in a tone, grave and deep, like that of the rumbling of a raincloud. [Sridevi said]: O Suras! I have already thought over how the burden of those wicked kings, the parts incarnate of Asuras, can be removed”.
She tells her master plan about how she would slay the vicious kings and demons.
“māgadhādyā mahābhāgāḥ svaśaktyā mandatejasaḥ ।
bhavadbhirapi svairaṃśairavatīrya dharātale ॥” (Devi Bhagawatam 4:19: 31)
“I will, by My own power, rob them of their powers, of that highly prosperous and affluent Jârasandha, the king of Magadha, and others, the parts incarnate of the wicked Asuras, that are now shining on the Earth”.
She instructs all the gods to incarnate on Earth and then she tells about the incarnations of the prominent deities.
“macchaktiyuktaiḥ kartavyaṃ bhārāvataraṇaṃ surāḥ ।
kaśyapo bhāryayā sārdhaṃ divijānāṃ prajāpatiḥ ॥” (Devi Bhagawatam 4:19:32)
“O Devas! You would all better go down and incarnate yourselves as part incarnations, impregnated with My power, and help thus in the removal of the load of this earth”.
“yādavānāṃ kule pūrvaṃ bhavitā”nakadundubhiḥ ।
tathaiva bhṛguśāpādvai bhagavānviṣṇuravyayaḥ ॥” (Devi Bhagawatam 4:19:33)
“The Deva Prajâpati Maharsi Kas’yapa would first of all go with his his wife and incarnate as Ânaka Dundubhi Vasudeva, in the race of Yadu”.
She tells here about Vishnu, Sesha and herself. Vishnu’s incarnation Krishna, Sesha’s the Balarama and her form as Yashoda’s daughter. She says that she would accomplish all tasks of Vishnu and assist his activities.
“aṃśena bhavitā tatra vasudevasuto hariḥ ।
tadāhaṃ prabhaviṣyāmi yaśodāyāṃ ca gokule ॥” (Devi Bhagawatam 4:19:34)
“The Imperishable Bhagavân Visnu will also incarnate as part, owing to the curse of Bhrigu, as the son of Vasudeva”.
“kāryaṃ sarvaṃ kariṣyāmi surāṇāṃ surasattamāḥ ।
kārāgāre gataṃ viṣṇuṃ prāpayiṣyāmi gokule ॥” (Devi Bhagawatam 4:19:35)
“O Devas! I will be born, then, in the womb of Yas’odâ, in Gokula and will accomplish all the ends of the Gods”.
“śeṣaṃ ca devakīgarbhātprāpayiṣyāmi rohiṇīm ।
macchaktyopacitau tau ca kartārau duṣṭasaṃkṣayam ॥” (Devi Bhagawatam 4:19:36)
“I will send Visnu from the prison to the Gokula; also I will transfer Anântâ Deva from the womb of Devakî to the womb of Rohinî”.
It is by her force that Krishna and Balarama would finally slay all the demons.
“duṣṭānāṃ bhūbhujāṃ kāmaṃ dvāparānte suniścitam ।
indrāṃśo’pyarjunaḥ sākṣātkariṣyati balakṣayam ॥” (Devi Bhagawatam 4:19:37)
“They two will grow, day by day, by My Force and at the end of the Dvâpara Yuga, will no doubt kill the wicked kings”.
She then predicts and instructs how the other prominent heroes of those times would slay the demons and kings by her grace.
“dharmāṃśo’pi mahārājo bhaviṣyati yudhiṣṭhiraḥ ।
vāyvaṃśo bhīmasenaścāśvinyaṃśau ca yamāvapi ॥ 38
vasoraṃśo’tha gāṅgeyaḥ kariṣyati balakṣayam ।
vrajantu ca bhavanto’dya dharā bhavatu susthirā ॥” (Devi Bhagawatam 4:19:38-39)
“Arjuna too, the part incarnate of Indra, will destroy the armies of those kings. Yudhisthira, the part incarnate of Dharma, Bhîmsena, that of of Vâyu, Nakula and Sahadeva the incarnate of the two A’svins, and Bhîsma, the incarnate of Vasu as the son of the Gangâ, will take their respective births and exhaust their armies”.
“bhārāvataraṇaṃ nūnaṃ kariṣyāmi surottamāḥ ।
kṛtvā nimittamātrāṃstānsvaśaktyāhaṃ na saṃśayaḥ ॥” (Devi Bhagawatam 4:19:40)
“O Devas! Now be calm and quiet and go. Let the Earth be also calm and quiet; be confident that I will certainly remove the load of this earth”.
All those aforementioned gods and heroes would be mere instruments in Devi’s hands and execute the tasks of the goddess. Informing this to them, she dismisses everyone and vanishes.
“kurukṣetre kariṣyāmi kṣattriyāṇāṃ ca saṃkṣayam ।
asūyerṣyā matistṛṣṇā mamatābhimatā spṛhā ॥” (Devi Bhagawatam 4:19:41)
“I will make the above mentioned Gods as my instruments merely and I will destroy, by My own force, the Ksatriyas in the battlefield of Kuruksettra”.
“brāhmaṇasya ca śāpena vaṃśanāśo bhaviṣyati ॥
bhagavānapi śāpena tyakṣyatyetatkalevaram ॥” (Devi Bhagawatam 4:19:43)
“The race of Yadu will end owing to the curse of a Brâhmana. The Bhagavân also will leave His mortal coil due to a curse”.
“prabhavantu sanārīkā mathurāyāṃ ca gokule ॥” (Devi Bhagawatam 4:19:44)
“Now go and incarnate in your respective parts, with your wives, in Gokula and Mathurâ, and be helpers in the work of the Lord”.
10.3. Vishnu (Krishna), Arjuna and other super-heroes were only instruments in the hands of Devi and Shiva – is confirmed in Mahabharata
We have seen in earlier sections that Shiva had promised to help Vishnu in all his difficult tasks, and then in Devi Bhagavatam we have seen same promise of assistance being given by Devi to Vishnu and his helping deities. Devi Bhagavatam, Shiva Purana and Mahabharata are very tightly coupled. This Is why Devi Bhagavatam is irrefutably the authentic ‘Bhagavata Purana’. Let’s see how they are correlated.
In the Mahabharata, just before the beginning of the kurukshetra battle, Krishna advises Arjuna to pray to goddess Durga and seek her blessings for the destruction of the enemies.
“śucirbhūtvā mahābāho saṅgrāmābhimukhe sthitaḥ।
parājayāya śatrūṇāṃ durgāstotramudīraya॥ “(MBH 6:23:2)
“[Krishna said to Arjuna]: Cleansing thyself, O mighty-armed one, utter on the eve of the battle thy hymn to Durga for (compassing) the defeat of the foe”.
Now the question arises – Why did Krishna ask Arjuna to invoke Durga and seek her blessings for victory? Why was it required when Krishna (as charioteer), and Hanuman (on Arjuna’s chariot) where already there with him? If someone is just a reader of Mahabharata, he or she would not have a convincing answer. This is why I always stress on the fact that – our scriptures are all tightly interrelated. If you read them in isolation, you would only see puzzles, if you read them with correlation, you would realize the answers to the mysteries. This incident is tightly related with Devi Bhagavatam. Devi had promised that it is she who would eliminate all the evil kings and enemines from the earth. She ahd clearly mentioned that Arjuna, Krishna etc., every hero would be mere instruments in the game while she would be the one who would accomplish the great feats on their behalf. This is the reason why Krishna wanted Arjuna to seek her blessings.
Now let’s look at few verses from Arjuna’s prayer to Durga. This was a prayer to Durga but he addresses her as ‘Mahakali’ and says she is of dark-hued as Kali and dark and tawny (kṛṣṇapiṅgala) together with her lord (Mahakala). Now, recall that the Devi Bhuvaneshvari who appeared in front of Vishnu and other gods in Devi Bhagavatam to assure them of her protection, showed herself with a dark complexioned form only. Do we see a link here?
“arjuna uvāca |
namastē siddhasēnāni āryē mandā[nda]ravāsini |
kumāri kāli kāpāli kapilē kṛṣṇapiṅgalē |4
bhadrakāli namastubhyaṁ mahākāli namō’stu tē |” (MBH 6:23:4-5a)
“Arjuna said, – ‘I bow to thee, O leader of Yogins, O thou that art identical with Brahman, O thou that dwellest in the forest of Mandara, O thou that art freed from decrepitude and decay, O Kali, O wife of Kapala, O thou that art of a black and tawny hue, I bow to thee. O bringer of benefits to thy devotees, I bow to thee, O Mahakali, O wife of the universal destroyer, I bow to thee”.
Then Devi Durga appears in front of him and assures that he would slay all his enemies and become victorious within a short span of time. This incident was just the plant whose actual seeds was from Devi Bhagavatam.
“devyuvāca | svalpenaiva tu kālena śatrūñjeṣyasi pāṇḍava।
narastvamasi durdharṣa nārāyaṇasahāyavān॥ 18
ajeyastvaṃ raṇe’rīṇāmapi vajrabhṛtaḥ svayam।“(MBH 6:23:18-19a)
“The goddess said, –‘Within a short time thou shalt conquer thy foes, O Pandava. O invincible one, yhou are Nara and thou hast Narayana (again) for aiding thee. Thou art incapable of being defeated by foes, even by the wielder of the thunderbolt himself'”.
Now, since Shiva and Shakti are never two, we have Shiva as well as Devi both together aiding Krishna’s mission of lessening the burden of earth. In sync with Shiva’s promise to Vishnu in Shiva Purana, Shiva was actually aiding Arjuna and Krishna in the Mahabharata battle. Arjuna was advised to seek ‘Pashupata’ weapon from Shiva as it is a sure shot solution for victory. Much before the actual war itself Arjuna gains Shiva’s blessings and protection. As promised by Shiva in Shiva Purana in all the tasks which remain impossible to achieve by Vishnu, Shiva would surely come to aid and accomplish those tasks – in sync with that promise, Shiva assists Arjuna (the portion of Vishnu as sage Nara) and Krishna (the portion of Vishnu as sage Narayana) in slaying Jayadratha. Arjuna in a fit of over-confidence hastily takes an oath that if by the next day’s dusk if Jayadratha is not slain by himself, he would commit suicide. Now this was impossible for accomplishment as Drona and other warriors had chalked out the mightiest plans to prevent jayadratha even from coming in sight of these heroes. Therefore, Krishna takes Arjuna via astral body travel to Kailasha for Shiva’s protection and again gains assurance of victory. How beautifully Shiva Purana is also connected with Mahabharata the way Devi Bhagavatam is! Only foolish and cunning Vaishnavas fail to comprehend the hidden sublime secrets of Shiva-Shakti-tatwam and disregard these pristine Puranas.
Then, Arjuna realizes during the war that he was not the actual slayer of Kaurava armies. He sees someone with an effulgent figure moving in front of his chariot and killing his enemies. Arjuna’s arrows were only piercing the dead bodies already killed by that effulgent manly figure. Arjuna discusses this strange event with Vyasa and enquires who that effulgent, partially visible figure was. Vyasa says it was Shankara who was actually slaying Arjuna’s enemies.
śūlapāṇirmahānkṛṣṇa tējasā sūryasannibhaḥ..
prajāpatīnā̃ prathamaṁ taijasaṁ puruṣaṁ prabhum.
bhuvanaṁ bhūrbhuvaṁ dēvaṁ sarvalōkēśvaraṁ prabhum |9
īśānaṁ varadaṁ pārtha dṛṣṭavānasi śaṅkaram.
taṁ gaccha śaraṇaṁ dēvaṁ varadaṁ bhuvanēśvaram |” (MBH 7:202:9-10)
“Vyasa said, ‘Thou hast, O Arjuna, seen Sankara, that First cause from which have sprung the Prajapatis, that puissant Being endued with great energy, he that is the embodiment of heaven, earth and sky, the Divine Lord, the protector of the universe, the great Master, the giver of boons, called also Isana. O, seek the protection of that boon, giving Deity, that lord of the universe”.
Not only this – everyone that got slayed in the Mahabharata, were actually slain by Kalaratri (Kali) and Rudra alone. This is clearly called out in Mahabharata. Even Krishna’s Yadu dynasty got killed originally by Kali and Mahakala Rudra. Mahabharata clearly states that – Even Krishna and Balarama weren’t superior to the sway of Mahakala (and Kali implicitly).
“yatra sarvakṣayaṃ kṛtvā tāvubhau rāmakeśavau।
nāticakrāmatuḥ kālaṃ prāptaṃ sarvaharaṃ mahat॥” (MBH 1:2:350)
“In this, both Balarama and Kesava (Krishna) after causing the extermination of their race, their hour having come, themselves did not rise superior to the sway of all-destroying Time”.
Vrishni race women saw in their dream, goddess Kali, as stated below.
“kālī strī pāṇḍurairdantaiḥ praviśya hasatī niśi.
striyaḥ svapnēṣu muṣṇantī dvārakā̃ paridhāvati |” (MBH 16:3:1)
“At that time the Vrishni ladies dreamed every night that a woman of black complexion and white teeth, entering their abodes, laughed aloud and ran through Dvaraka, snatching from them the auspicious threads in their wrists”.
Then they all witnessed in real the terrible Rudra employed to slay them.
ēvaṁ prayatamānānā̃ vṛṣṇīnāmandhakaiḥ saha.
kālō gṛhāṇi sarvēṣā̃ paricakrāma nityaśaḥ |1
karālō vikaṭō muṇḍaḥ puruṣaḥ kṛṣṇapiṅgalaḥ.
gṛhāṇyāvēkṣya vṛṣṇīnā̃ nādṛśyata kvacitkvacit |” (MBH 16:2:1-2)
“[Vaishampayana said:] While the Vrishnis and the Andhakas were thus endeavouring (to avoid the impending calamity), the embodied form of Kala (death) every day wandered about their houses. He looked like a man of terrible and fierce aspect. Of bald head, he was black and of tawny (kṛṣṇapiṅgalaḥ) complexion. Sometimes he was seen by the Vrishnis as he peered into their houses”.
It was Kalaratri and Mahakala who slayed vrishnis during that episode. But it was they only who slayed the entire kauravas in Kurukshetra war also. The entire Kurukshetra battle was planned and executed by Mahakala (and Kalaratri implicitly), where Kauravas were just the instrument for triggering the battle.
“akṣauhiṇyo dvijaśreṣṭhāḥ piṇḍitāṣṭādaśaiva tu।
sametāstatra vai deśe tatraiva nidhanaṃ gatāḥ॥ 29
kauravānkāraṇaṃ kṛtvā kālenādbhutakarmaṇā।” (MBH 1:2:29-30a)
“O best of Brahmanas, according to this calculation were composed the eighteen Akshauhinis of the Kaurava and the Pandava army. ‘Kāla’, whose acts are wonderful assembled them on that spot and having made the Kauravas the cause, destroyed them all”.
Not only in Mahabharata, but Shiva’s promise was to assist Vishnu in all his deeds which were impossible for him to achieve. This is the reason even Valmiki Ramayana says that all the demoniac forces along with Ravana were actually slain by Kali and Rudra. Other heroes such as Sri Rama, and Vanaras were just instruments there also.
See below exactly same description of Kali is narrated by Valmiki what Vyasa narrated in Mahabharata later. This again reaffirms my insight and conclusion that Shiva Purana, Devi Bhagavatam and Mahabharata are all inter-related in this context. This si why here in Valmiki Ramayana also we see Kali along with Rudra. They both are always together. If Rudra gives a promise, you should understand that Devi too has given it, and if Devi gives a boon, Rudra’s words are also implicitly the same. They can never be seen separately.
“kālikāḥ pāṇḍurair dantaiḥ prahasanty agrataḥ sthitāḥ |
striyaḥ svapnēṣu muṣṇantyō gṛhāṇi pratibhāṣya ca ||” (Valmiki Ramayana 6:35:29)
“Woman of black complexion and white teeth, chattering incoherently in dreams and robbing different houses stand in front, laughing loudly”.
Ramayana says that birds cry out seeing the Bald headed, Dark and Tawny hued (“kr̥ṣṇa-pingalaṁ”) lord Rudra (Mahakala) as follows.
“pakṣiṇaśca mṛgāḥ sarvē pratyādityaṁ rudanti te
karālō vikaṭō muṇḍaḥ paruṣaḥ kṛṣṇapiṅgalaḥ ||” (Valmiki Ramayana 6:35:35)
“Birds and wild animals, facing towards the sun, cry out, witnessing Death, in the form of a frightful, monstrous, cruel dark and tawny fellow with a shaven head”.
The same wordings we had seen above as used by Vyasa (via Vaishampayana’s mouth) in Mahabharata.
There is total clarity by now that all the heroic incarnations of Vishnu and other gods were mere instruments, and actual cause behind all their deeds and feats were Devi and Shiva. This point is emphasized one more time by ‘Padma Purana’ in its ‘Shiva Gita’ where Shiva tells to Rama that Rama would become victorious and would gain glory as the slayer of Ravana and his forces, but he would just be an instrument. Actually it would be Shiva who would eliminate all the demoniac forces.
“athavā kĩ bahūktēna mayaivōtpāditaṁ jagata |
mayaiva pālyatē nityaṁ mayā saṁhriyatē’pi ca |
ahamēkō jaganmṛtyurmṛtyōrapi mahīpatē |
grasē’hamēva sakalaṁ jagadētaccarācarama |
mama vaktragatāḥ sarvē rākṣasā yuddhadurmadāḥ |
nimittamātraṁ tvaṁ bhūyāḥ kīrtimāpsyasi sangarē |” (Shiva Gita:05:38-41)
“[Lord Shiva said]: Otherwise what’s there in saying many things, (just simply know that) this entire universe has been created by me, has been protected by me and by me only it would be destroyed. It’s I who is the death of even death. It’s I who swallows the entire mobile and immobile creation. All those demons who would die in the fierce war, all have actually been swallowed by me in reality. You are just an instrument, and you would gain immense and eternal glory for yourself in this battle “.
There are just few excerpts taken from my another article dedicatedly focusing on Mahakala’s deeds. For more detailed discussion on how Mahakala is the actual consumer of all the creatures and how all other gods and heroes are mere instruments in his hands – one may read my article on Mahakala-tatwam titled – “The Unfading Glory of Mahakala – The Primordial and Eternal Supreme Time!“
Conclusion: – With this reasoning and analysis, it is clear that Devi Bhagavatam is full of logically correct narratives and hence it is tightly linked with Mahabharata, Ramayana, and Shiva Purana. Therefore ‘Devi Bhagavatam’ alone is by all means the original ‘Srimad Bhagavatam’.
10.4. Harivamsa Parva agrees with what Devi’s promise in Devi-Bhagavatam – it is she who slayed kamsa and other enemies from earth
As seen above, Devi promised in Devi Bhagavatam to Vishnu and other gods, that she would incarnate along with Krishna as yashoda’s daughter and would accomplish all the tasks of Krishna, she would slay all the enemies, all the demons and all the wicked kings in the battle field. This is also very much in sync with ‘Harivamsa Parva’ of Mahabharata.
When vasudeva exchanges his son Krishna with yashoda’s daughter and brings her to Mathura, Kamsa on hearing about the birth of a child, despite that child being a girl-child, Kamsa resolves to slay her. He lifts that newborn baby and throws her on a rock. However, that girl being Mahadevi herself, she leaps up in the sky and displays her original divine form as a fully grown maiden – the supreme goddess of the universe.
Look at her appearance. She has a disheveled hair. She has four hands, she is dark complexioned (the dusky color of the cloudy evening twillight), and radiant as like as lightening. Recall the color of Devi from Devi Bhagavatam, from Mahabharata’s Arjuna’s hymn to Durga, the color of Kalaratri who slayed all warriors and races in Mahabharata. Everywhere uniformly and unanimously the color is being described as ‘Dark’. The reason is simple – Devi Bhagavatam and Mahabharata (and hence Harivamsha also) are inter-related. They cannot be separated. This is why Devi Bhagavatam cannot be refuted as bogus!
“hitvā garbhatanuṃ sā tu sahasā muktamūrdhajā ।
jagāma kaṃsamādiśya divyasraganulepanā ॥“ (Harivamsa Parva 2:4:37)
“Suddenly, she gave up the body of the new-born. With disheveled hair, adorned with celestial garlands and pastes, she addressed kaMsa”.
“nīlapītāmbaradharā gajakumbhopamastanī ।
rathavistīrṇajaghanā candravaktrā caturbhujā ॥“ (Harivamsa Parva 2:4:39)
“She was dressed in blue and yellow. Her breasts were like elephant’s heads. Her thighs were as broad as a chariot. Her face was beautiful like the moon. She had four arms”.
“vidyudvispaṣṭavarṇābhā bālārkasadṛśekṣaṇā ।
payodharastanavatī saṃdhyeva sapayodharā ॥“ (Harivamsa Parva 2:4:40)
“Her complexion was bright like lightning. Her eyes were red like the morning sun. Her breasts were like rain clouds. She appeared like a cloudy twilight (i.e., dusky or dark)”.
Before engaging herself in battle or before giving a final warning to her enemy – Devi’s signature style is to sip her favourite nectar and then laugh aloud. The same she does when she wages war against Mahishasura as well.
“vihāyasi gatā raudrā papau pānamanuttamam ।
jahāsa ca mahāhāsaṃ kaṃsaṃ ca ruṣitābravīt ॥“ (Harivamsa Parva 2:4:42)
“The terrible Goddess rose in the sky. She drank the best drink. She laughed aloud and admonished kaMsa”.
Devi says that it is she who would tear kamsa apart and drink his warm blood. That means although Krishna was the instrument who was visible to the world as the slayer of kamsa, it is this Devi who had actually slain kamsa. This is exactly what Devi ahd promised in Devi Bhagavatam.
“kaṃsa kaṃsātmanāśāya yadahaṃ ghātitā tvayā ।
sahasā ca samutkṣipya śilāyāmabhipothitā ॥43
tasmāttavāntakāle’haṃ kṛṣyamāṇasya śatruṇā ।
pāṭayitvā karairdehamuṣṇaṃ pāsyāmi śoṇitam ॥“ (Harivamsa Parva 2:4:43-44)
“kaMsa, for your own destruction, you tried to kill me. You threw me all of a sudden against the rock. Hence, at the time of your death, when your body is dragged by your enemy, I will tear it apart with my hands and drink the warm blood”.
Even ‘Harivamsa Parva’ recognizes this goddess clearly as the ‘Supreme Brahman’, the highest power! In below verse this harivamsa there are very profound secrets hidden in seemingly simple words and adjectives.
In the below verse it is said that Devi manifested from prajApati. Here prajApati needs to be taken in three ways – 1) Original Prajapati is Shiva. 2) Brahma and 3) Daksha. This one word needs lot of elaboration to understand the deep hidden secrets of this term.
In Vedas the name ‘prajāpati’ has also been used to refer to the Supreme Being (Shiva). In that sense Shiva is the lord (pati) of all the ‘prajā’. The vyutpatti for ‘prajāpati’ is “prajānāṃ patiḥ |”, meaning, “the lord of all ‘prajā'”. Now what is ‘prajā’? The vyutpatti of ‘prajā’ is “prajāyate iti prajā |”, which means, ‘Those entities which have ‘jani-dharma’ (birth) are ‘prajā'”. So, in that sense colloqually lord Brahmā is referred by the name of ‘prajāpati’, but he too has a birth hence he is also one of the ‘prajā’ only. The one and only lord who is birthless and is the lord of all ‘prajā -s’ is ‘Shiva’ the great god. Before creation Shakti remains inseparably in Shiva. In order to create the universe, Shiva projects his Shakti out and the one lord becomes two. Therefore, in that context, Devi who is born from the left portion of Shiva, is said to have manifested from the ‘prajāpati’ (Shiva).
Secondly, during the very beginning of creation, the creator god Brahma (who is also called Prajapati) was unable to create female forms. He did penance and from his body emerged a radiant ‘Ardhanarishvara’ form which divided itself into two – Shiva and Uma. Brahma says that males can be created by him but he has no competency to create females. He requests Devi herself to manifest herself as the creation of feminine gender. Devi agrees. And then she takes birth as daughters of Daksha and also as the entire feminine gender in the universe. Therefore, entire female creation is divine, females are not a creation of Brahma but rather they are from the portions or portions of portions of Devi. This legend is available in Shiva Purana (Kailasha Samhita). This legend is pointed in this verse of Harivamsa.
Thirdly, – Devi manifested as the daughters of Daksha, where other daughters were her partial forms while her complete manifestation was goddess Sati.Daksha is also a Prajapati. Therefore this verse indicates her manifestation from Daksha as well.
Then there comes another term ‘ekAnAmshA’, which itself indicates she is the Supreme Brahman. Grammatically the ‘vyutpatti (definition)’ of ‘ekAnAmshA’ is – “eko na aṃśo yasyāḥ।“, which means, – “Single, part less one – i.e., the Supreme Brahman”. Only Brahman is single, undivided or partless. Hence Harivamsa clearly recognizes this goddess Uma as the Supreme Being. This exactly agrees with the spirit of Devi Bhagavatam.
Further, the last statement is what is interesting – It says that – this yogakanyA manifested for the protection of Krishna! This is exactly what was promised by Devi herself to Vishnu in Devi-Bhagavatam! Well, in Harivamsa the yadavas started the practice of worshiping her because she protected Krishna. But what they didn’t know was that this Devi came to protect Krishna throughout his lifetime in all his feats.
“viddhi caināmathotpannāmamśāddevīṃ prajāpateḥ ।
ekānaṃśāṃ yogakanyāṃ rakṣārthaṃ keśavasya tu ॥“ (Harivamsa Parva 2:4:47)
“(Janamejaya !) Understand that this Goddess is born from a portion of prajApati (brahmA or dakSha). She is simultaneously ekAnaMshA – one and without having any parts (division) (i.e, She is verily the Brahman described in Upanishads). The yogakanyA appeared for the protection of keshava”.
In ‘Harivamsa parva’ itself there is a hymn sung in prayer to Devi and was sung by Vishnu. This prayer also requests Devi to protect Krishna. Apart from this point alone there are many other points which we should keep in memory as they would need to be recalled when we discuss some related evidences from Mahabharata.
In the ‘Arya Stuti’ by Vishnu to Devi, Vishnu says that she is verily the death of all creatures including Danavas. This very much agrees with Devi Bhagavatam where Devi says it is she who would slay all the demons, and evil kings in the war and Vishnu and others would just be instrumental in that game. This also agrees with Mahabharata and Ramayana where she as ‘Kalaratri’ the death-night personified appeared and consumed all the forces. So, naturally it is she who is the death of all.
“prakīrṇakeśī mṛtyuśca surāmāṃsabalipriyā ।
lakṣmīralakṣmīrūpeṇa dānavānāṃ vadhāya ca ॥“ (Harivamsa Parva 2:3:12)
“You are with dishevelled hair. You are the death of creatures. You are fond of offerings of liquor and meat. You are lakShmi. As alakShmi you are the death of dAnavA-s”.
Further Vishnu clearly says that those who get protected in battles or in any kind of calamities – they get protected because of Devi’s grace on them. This is again in sync with Devi’s boons to gods and Vishnu saying that she would slay their enemies howsoever powerful they might be. And thereby she would protect these gods and the righteous souled people also.
“saṃgrāmeṣu ca sarveṣu agniprajvaliteṣu ca ।
nadītīreṣu caureṣu kāntāreṣu bhayeṣu ca ॥25
pravāse rājabandhe ca śatrūṇāṃ ca pramardane ।
prāṇātyayeṣu sarveṣu tvaṃ hi rakṣā na saṃśayaḥ ॥“ (Harivamsa Parva 2:3:25-26)
“In all battles, where fire rages, on river banks, from thieves, from fearful forests, on foreign lands, in royal prisons, from oppression by enemies or wherever there is danger to life – There is no doubt that you are the only protection!”
Not only in Devi Bhagavatam alone, but in Harivamsa-Parva also it is shown that Vishnu fixes his devotion on Devi and seeks her protection from all sins. Here sins need not be taken literally as ‘sins’ alone. Here sins imply sins as well as calamities as well. Here the hidden meaning is to seek Devi’s protection from everything. This is exactly what Harivamsa (2:4:47) confirms saying that Devi has manifested to protect Krishna.
“tvayi me hṛdayaṃ devi tvayi cittaṃ manastvayi ।
rakṣa māṃ sarvapāpebhyaḥ prasādaṃ kartumarhasi ॥“ (Harivamsa Parva 2:3:27)
“O devI, you are my heart. My mind is fixed in thinking about you. Protect me from all sins. Kindly be pleased with me”.
Once again the below verse of Harivamsa clearly identifies Devi as the supreme Brahman which is again inline with Devi Bhagavatam’s portrayel of Devi. It is she who protects her devotees from all calamities and death.
“satyaṃ brahma ca divyaṃ ca dvaipāyanavaco yathā ।
nṛṇāṃ bandhaṃ vadhaṃ ghoraṃ putranāśaṃ dhanakṣayam |
vyādhimṛtyubhayaṃ caiva pūjitā śamayiṣyasi ॥“ (Harivamsa Parva 2:3:31)
“According to dvaipAyana (vyAsa), you are truth (satyam), Brahman and divine (divyam). When worshipped by men, you will remove all fears of bondage, terrible death, loss of children, loss of wealth, disease and death”.
Vishnu confirms here that it is Devi who bewildered Kamsa and killed him. It is she again who enjoys the entire world till the end and who consumes the entire world back. All the battles in Mahabharata were actually won by Devi in the form of Kalaratri and Mahakala Rudra. Krishn, Arjuna, and all other heroes were only the outwardly visible instruments in their game.
“mohayitvā ca taṃ kaṃsamekā tvaṃ bhokṣyase jagat ।
ahamapyātmano vṛttiṃ vidhāsye goṣu gopavat ।
svavṛddhyarthamahaṃ caiva kariṣye kaṃsagopatām ॥“ (Harivamsa Parva 2:3:33)
“Confounding kaMsa, you, durga (ekA), will enjoy (consume) the entire world. Living in vraja among cowherds, I will behave as an ordinary human being. For my livelihood, I will tender the cows of kaMsa”.
After the completion of Vishnu’s prayer, the great Goddess had agreed to assist Vishnu in his plan of action.
“evaṃ tāṃ sa samādiśya gato’ntardhānamīśvaraḥ ।
sā cāpi taṃ namaskṛtya tathāstviti ca niścitā ॥“ (Harivamsa Parva 1:3:34)
“After instructing nidrAdevi in this manner, lord viShNu disappeared. Goddess nidrA reciprocated with salutations to viShNu and decided to follow his request”.
10.5. ‘Devi’ in the form of ‘Draupadi’ was the root cause and strategist of destruction of kauravas in the Mahabharata – not Krishna!
In this section, I wouldn’t quote verses separately, rather, the relevant portions of the verses would be inserted inline in the discussion itself since I feel that, in this section, this style would be more meaningful. Let’s begin now and understand the great secret of Draupadi.
In Mahabharata Draupadi’s birth is narrated – her birth wasn’t a normal birth. When she manifested, the narrator, describing her physical appearance, says that – She was of “dark complexion (śyāmā) possessing “lotus petals kind of eyes (padmapalāśākṣī)”. Further, it is said that – She emanated the “scent of the blue-lotus (nīlotpalasamo gandho)”. Narrating about her beauty the scripture says – She was of the supreme (unearthly) beauty (paraṃ rūpaṃ). That beauty is – “incomparable to anyone on earth (yā bibharti paraṃ rūpaṃ yasyā nāstyupamā bhuvi)”. This indicates the beauty par excellence, unworldly.
Now, let’s compare whose ‘standard’ attributes are these which Draupadi has inherited in herself. These are the features of goddess Uma alone.
The “shiva purANa (2:3:6:06)” describes Parvati’s original appearance as – “dark cloudy complexion (śyāmā)” and has a “splendor as like as a blue lotus” (nīlotpaladalaprabhām). Further, “kUrma purANa (1:11:214)” states she emanates the “smell of blue lotus (nīlotpalasugandhikām)”. Describing Parvati’s beauty “kUrma purANa (1:11:110)” calls her as “beauty of the three worlds (trailokyasundarī)”.
From this we see that Draupadi has been described with the special attributes which actually belong to ‘Devi’ the great goddess! Now, let’s look at the manner draupadi was born.
Draupadi manifested from sacrificial fire altar (pāñcālī vedimadhyātsamutthitā), and the heavenly voice stated the purpose of her manifestation as – “This slender waisted one will, in time, accomplish the purpose of the gods (surakāryamiyaṃ kāle kariṣyati)”.
Draupadi’s manifestation is totally identical and is a copy of the style and purpose of the manifestation of Devi as described in ‘lalita sahasranama stotram’ from ‘brahmANda purANa’ which says – “Devi manifested from the fire altar of consciousness (cidagnikuṇḍa saṃbhūtā)” and for what purpose did ‘LalitA’ manifest? The answer is – “She manifested to accomplish the purpose of the gods (devakārya samudyatā)”.
Devi Uma manifests herself in various forms for the establishment of righteousness. Among the various aspects, as per ‘devI mAhAtmayaM” of “mArkaNdeya purANa” we see that she manifests as “sapta mātrikā-s” viz. – brāhmī, vaiṣṇavī, māheśvarī, kaumārī, vārāhī, nārasiṃhī and aindrī!
Among those seven aspects, the “aindrī mātrikā” is the indrANI. Draupadi is called as a manifestation of “indraNI” in mahAbhArata. Therefore, Draupadi on the earthly plane was a manifestation of “aindrī” aspect of Devi and among the various ways Devi was assisting the cause of Vishnu in that incarnation, this ‘aindrī’ aspect had manifested to became the cause of the destruction of the kaurava-s (who were rakshasa-s born on earth in human form).
One may have questions on how can draupadi be the “cause” when she never participated in the war? The answer is again a secret emanating from the vAk-sUkta of ‘rig veda (10:125)’ where Devi implies to indicate that – it is she who makes the gods her instrument in her acts. The pANDavAs were gods in human form and they were her instruments. As an example – She made bhIma her instrument to slay ‘kIchaka’.
In this context, let me quote a respectable scholar “Ms. Preeti A” who is an excellent scholar on ‘mahAbhArata’, she said about ‘Draupadi’ as follows. I agree hundred percent with her conclusion. The conclusion which I had deciphered based on my learnings of ‘Devi’ from the ‘Puranas’ and her glories contained in Vedas – as compiled above – the same conclusion she had drawn by analyzing draupadi’s nature from various sections of ‘mahAbhArata’ itself. She says:
“She made sure her husbands fought ‘kaurava-s’ to make ‘yudhishthira’ the king because apparently he was cheated of his kingdom. She made sure her brothers and father ‘dhrishtadyumna/shikhandI/drupada’ fought to finally settle scores with ‘droNAchArya’ and ‘bhIShma’. She made sure her sons and stepsons fought for their fathers and she made sure ‘Krishna’ fought for ‘dharma saMsthApana’. When the men in her life wouldn’t fight for her, she fought for herself, with her best weapon – ‘her brains’; by giving those men ‘their reasons’ to fight. It was ‘draupadI who was the master strategist of the epic not ‘kriShNa’!”.
Therefore, as seen in this analysis, the great Devi had played the role of the ‘master strategist’ in ‘mahAbhArata’ in accomplishing the purpose of the gods and became the cause of the annihilation of the ‘asura-s’ who were in the form of kings.
11. Unlike Krishna’s Bogus Bhagavatam Devi-Bhagavatam does NOT contradict Mahabharata anywhere
Devi Bhagavatam is in perfect harmony with Mahabharata – the details of which we would see now. It is so funny and equally strange to see how stupid was the author of Krishna-Bhagawatam that he neitehr read Mahabharata nor read the Devi-Bhagavatam, and directly jumped on to write his own self-cooked fiction genre novel and yet dared to attribute it to Vyasa. His daring is what is worth getting appreciation.
11.1. Krishna is a Partial incarnation of Vishnu says Devi Bhagavatam in sync with Mahabharata
Devi Bhagawatam states that Krishna was a partial incarnation of Vishnu. This is very much in agreement with what Mahabharata says about Krishna.
“viṣṇoraṃśaḥ samudbhūtaḥ śaurirbhūbhārahārakṛt ।|” (Devi Bhagawatam 04:01:27a)
“S’rî Krisna, who was Visnu’s partial incarnation, born into this world to take off the vicious load of this earth, and to destroy the evil-doers”
Again in another chapter too we see same truth being confirmed. Devi herself foretells to all the deities about the plan of action for reducing the burden of the Earth. There she instructs how each god would incarnate assuming which name and in whose lineage. There Devi herself says Krishna would be a part incarnation of Vishnu.
“yādavānāṃ kule pūrvaṃ bhavitā’nakaduṃdubhiḥ ।
tathaiva bhṛguśāpādvai bhagavānviṣṇuravyayaḥ ॥ 33
aṃśena bhavitā tatra vasudevasuto hariḥ ।
tadāhaṃ bhaviṣyāmi yaśodāyāṃ ca gokule ॥” (Devi Bhagavatam 4:19:33-34)
“The Deva Prajâpati Maharsi Kas’yapa would first of all go with his his wife and incarnate as Ânaka Dundubhi Vasudeva, in the race of Yadu. The Imperishable Bhagavân Visnu will also incarnate as part, owing to the curse of Bhrigu, as the son of Vasudeva. O Devas! I will be born, then, in the womb of Yas’odâ, in Gokula”.
However, as seen in this article previously, Krishna’s Bhagawatam (the bogus scripture) hails Krishna as the original Vishnu himself which is a hyperbolic glorification and is not in agreement with Mahabharata.
11.2. Devi Bhagavatam says Suka attained liberation exactly in sync with Mahabharata
In Chapter nineteen of first canto of Devi Bhagvatam is the description of Suka attaining to highest end by abandoning his body. In other words, Suka died through the Yogic manner and his ‘self’ got merged with the supreme self. Therefore, Devi Bhagawatam is clearly a wok of Vyasa unlike the Bogus Krishna-Bhagawatam whose author had never cared to read Mahabharata despite Mahabharata being a text revolving around Krishna and that’s why his Suka was still alive during the times of Parikshita’s life also. It surprises me that he didn’t care to read Mahabharata and yet he dared to author a book on Krishna, how strange! It is even more surprising to note that the author of Krishna-Bhagavatam who had stolen or shamelessly copied the pristine original name of Devi Bhagavatam which is ‘Srimad Bhagavatam’, he didn’t even care to read this Purana as well. Otherwise he would not have ended up doing blunders around the fundamental foundational elements of that book. He was so overconfident thinking his errors wouldn’t be noticed.
“māyābījopadeśena tasya jñānaṃ nirargalam ॥ 45 ॥
nāradasya prasādena jātaṃ sadyo vimuktidam ।
kailāsaśikhare ramye tyaktvā saṅgaṃ pituḥ śukaḥ ॥ 46 ॥
dhyānamāsthāya vipulaṃ sthitaḥ saṅgaparāṅmukhaḥ ।
utpapāta gireḥ śṛṅgātsiddhiṃ ca paramāṃ gataḥ ॥ 47 ॥
ākāśago mahātejā virarāja yathā raviḥ ।
gireḥ śṛṅgaṃ dvidhā jātaṃ śukasyotpatane tadā ॥ 48 ॥
utpātā bahavo jātāḥ śukaścākāśago’bhavat ।
antarikṣe yathā vāyuḥ stūyamānaḥ surarṣibhiḥ ॥ 49 ॥
tejasātivirājanvai dvitīya iva bhāskaraḥ ।
vyāsastu virahākrāntaḥ krandanputreti cāsakṛt ॥ 50 ॥
gireḥ śṛṅge gatastatra śuko yatra sthito’bhavat ।
krandamānaṃ tadā dīnaṃ vyāsaṃ matvā śramākulam ॥ 51 ॥
sarvabhūtagataḥ sākṣī pratiśabdamadāttadā ।
tatrādyāpi gireḥ śṛṅge pratiśabdaḥ sphuṭo’bhavat ॥ 52 ॥
rudantaṃ taṃ samālakṣya vyāsaṃ śokasamanvitam ।
putra putreti bhāṣantaṃ viraheṇa pariplutam ॥ 53 ॥
śivastatra samāgatya pārāśaryamabodhayat ।
vyāsa śokaṃ mā kuru tvaṃ putraste yogavittamaḥ ॥ 54 ॥
paramāṃ gatimāpanno durlabhāṃ cākṛtātmabhiḥ ।
tasya śoko na kartavyastvayāśokaṃ vijānatā ॥ 55 ॥
kīrtiste vipulā jātā tena putreṇa cānagha ।
na śoko yāti deveśa kiṃ karomi jagatpate ॥ 56 ॥
atṛpte locane me’dya putradarśanalālase ।
chāyāṃ drakṣyasi putrasya pārśvasthāṃ sumanoharām ॥ 57 ॥
tāṃ vīkṣya muniśārdūla śokaṃ jahi parantapa ।
tadā dadarśa vyāsastu chāyāṃ putrasya suprabhām ॥ 58 ॥
dattvā varaṃ harastasmai tatraivāntaradhīyata ।
antarhite mahādeve vyāsaḥ svāśramamabhyagāt ॥ 59 ॥
śukasya viraheṇāpi taptaḥ paramaduḥkhitaḥ ॥ 60 (Devi Bhagawatam 1:19:45b-60)
“The Devarsî Nârada gave him the mantra, the vîja of Mâyâ; and by the influence of that mantra and by the grace of the Devî, the knowledge of the Supreme Brahmâ, arose in him without any obstacle and gave him liberation. On the other hand S’ûka Deva, always averse to any company, left his father and went to the beautiful mountain Kailâs’a. He began to meditate on the unmoving Brahmâ and thus remained there. After some time the highly energetic S’ûka Deva attained Siddhi (supernatural powers) Animâ, Laghimâ, etc., rose up high in the air from the top of the mountain and began to roam there, and then he appeared like a second Sun. When S’ûka arose from the peak, it severed into two and various ominous signs became visible. When S’ûka Deva, appearing like a second Sun by the dazzling brilliancy of his body, suddenly vanished away like air and became diluted in the Paramâtman, entering into everything and became invisible, then the Devarsis began to chant hymns to him. On the other hand, Vyâsa Deva became very much distressed with the separation from his son and cried out frequently “Oh, my son! Alas! my son Where are you gone?” and went to the summit of the mountain where S’ûka did go and wept bitterly. Then S’ûka Deva, who was then residing as the Paramâtman, the Internal controller of all the beings and with all the beings, knowing Vyâsa Deva as very much fatigued, distressed, and crying, spoke out as an echo from the mountains and trees thus :– “O Father! There is no difference between you and me, considered in the light of Âtman; then why are you weeping for me?” Even today the above echo is clearly heard (almost daily). Seeing Vyâsa Deva grieved very much for the separation from his son and always crying “Oh! my son! Oh! my son!” Bhagavân Mahes’vara came there and consoled him saying “O Vyâsa Deva! your son is the foremost of the Yogis; he has attained the highest state, so very rare to the ordinary persons that are not self-controlled. So do not be sorry any more. O Sinless One! when you have realised the Brahmâ-tattva, then you ought not to express any sorrow for your S’ûka who is now stationed in that Brâhman. Your fame is now unrivalled, only on account of your having got a son like him.” Vyâsa Deva said :– “O Lord of the Devâs! O Lord of the world! What am I to do now? My grief does not quit my heart anyhow or other. My eyes are as yet satisfied in seeing my son; they like still to see the son.” Hearing these sorrowful words of Vyâsa, Bhagâvan Mahâdeva said :– “O Muni Sârdula! I grant this boon to you that you will see the form of your son abiding in shadow, very beautiful, by the side of you. O Destroyer of enemies! Now abandon your grief by seeing that shadow form of your son.” When Bhagavân Mahes’vara said so, Vyâsa began to see the bright shade form of his son. Granting thus the boon, Bhagavân Mahâdeva vanished then and there. When He vanished away, Vyâsa became very much distressed with sorrow for the bereavement of his son and returned with heavy heart to his own hermitage”.
11.3. Suka died well before even Santanu’s sons from Satyavati were born – perfectly matches Mahabharata
In the twentieth chapter of the first canto of Devi Bhagawatam is described how Vyasa feels sad after the irreversible liberation (death in common man’s words) or his son Suka and how he feels to go to his mother Satyavati for finding solace and comfort. On reaching the river banks of his birthplace, he finds his grandfather the fisherman to whom he enquires about his mother.
śukastu paramāṃ siddhimāptavāndevasattamaḥ ।
kiṃ cakāra tato vyāsastanno brūhi savistaram ॥ 1 ॥
śiṣyā vyāsasya ye’pyāsanvedābhyāsaparāyaṇāḥ ।
ājñāmādāya te sarve gatāḥ pūrvaṃ mahītale ॥ 2 ॥
asito devalaścaiva vaiśampāyana eva ca ।
jaiminiśca sumantuśca gatāḥ sarve tapodhanāḥ ॥ 3 ॥
tānetānvīkṣya putraṃ ca lokāntaritamapyuta ।
vyāsaḥ śokasamākrānto gamanāyākaronmatim ॥ 4 ॥
sasmāra manasā vyāsastāṃ niṣādasutāṃ śubhām ।
mātaraṃ jāhnavītīre muktāṃ śokasamanvitām ॥ 5 ॥
smṛtvā satyavatīṃ vyāsastyaktvā taṃ parvatottamam ।
ājagāma mahātejā janmasthānaṃ svakaṃ muniḥ ॥ 6 ॥
dvīpaṃ prāpyātha papraccha kva gatā sā varānanā ।
niṣādāstaṃ samācakhyurdattā rājñe tu kanyakā ॥ 7 ॥
dāśarājo’pi sampūjya vyāsaṃ prītipuraḥsaram ।
svāgatenābhisatkṛtya provāca vihitāñjaliḥ ॥” (Devi Bhagawatam 1:20:01-08)
“The Risis said :– “O Sûta! What did Veda Vyâsa do, when the highest Yogi S’ûka, Deva-like, acquired all the excellent supernatural powers? Kindly describe all these in detail.” Hearing this question, Sûta spoke :– O Rishis! Vyâsa already had with him many disciples Asita, Devala, Vais’ampâyana, Jaimini, Sumantu and others, all engaged in the study of the Vedas. After their studies were over, they all went out to propagate Dharma on the earth. Then Vyâsa , seeing that the disciples went to the earth and his son S’ûka Deva had got to the next world, became very much distressed with sorrow and wanted to go to some other place. He then decided to go to his birth place and went to the banks of the Ganges and there remembered his auspicious mother Satyavatî, forsaken by him before, very sorrowful, and the daughter of a fisherman. He then quitted that heaven-like mountain, the source of all happiness and came to his own birth place. Reaching the island where he was born, he enquired the whereabouts of the beautiful faced, the fisherman’s daughter as well the wife of a king. The fishermen replied that their king had given her in marriage to the king S’antanu. Then the king of fishermen, seeing Vyâsa there, gladly worshipped him and gave him a cordial welcome and spoke with folded palms, thus”.
Fisherman tells him that Satyavati has been married away to king Shantanu. Then after that Vyasa builds a hermitage in the banks of the river and stays there. Soon after some time (years) Shantanu begets two children.on Satyavati, and Vyasa considers them his own brothers.
adya me saphalaṃ janma pāvitaṃ naḥ kulaṃ mune ।
devānāmapi durdarśaṃ yajjātaṃ tava darśanam ॥ 9 ॥
yadarthamāgato’si tvaṃ tadbrūhi dvijasattama ।
api dārā dhanaṃ putrāstvadāyattamidaṃ vibho ॥ 10 ॥
sarasvatyāstaṭe ramye cakārāśramamaṇḍalam ।
vyāsastapaḥsamāyuktastatraivāsa samāhitaḥ ॥ 11 ॥
satyavatyāḥ sutau jātau śantanoramitadyuteḥ ।
matvā tau bhrātarau vyāsaḥ sukhamāpa vane sthitaḥ ॥” (Devi Bhagawatam 1:20:09-12)
“O Muni! When I have become so fortunate as to see you, rare even to the Devas, then my birth has been sanctified today and you have purified my family. O Brâhmin! Kindly say what for have you come? My wife, son and all my riches and every other thing that I have are at your disposal. Thus hearing the history of his mother Satyavatî, Vyâsa erected an Âs’rama on the beautiful banks of the river Sarasvatî and remained there in tapasyâ with an enlightened mind. Some time elapsed when the highly energetic S’antanu got through his wife Satyavatî two sons. Vyâsa Deva considered them as his two brothers and became very glad, though he himself used to live in the forest”.
This clearly is in sync with Mahabharata which has also voiced the same opinion that Suka had shed his mortal coil long before during Bhishma’s time, and from this we can learn that technically Suka must have died before even the sons of Shantanu – Chitrangada and Vichitravirya were born. Therefore Suka was four generations above Parikshit and had died even before Parikshit’s great-great-grandfather was born. Hence Devi Bhagavatam is in perfect agreement with the events of Mahabharata as far as historical events are considered. Therefore, Devi Bhagavatam is verily the original work of Vyasa.
11.4. Parikshit’s death episode of Devi Bhagawatam exactly is in sync with Mahabharata’s depiction
In the chapters nine and ten of second canto of Devi Bhagavatam, the death episode of Parikshit is narrated in detail. Entire episode is totally in agreement with what Mahabharata has disclosed. It talks about Parikshit erecting a pillar kind of building having seven floors and sealing himself securely from all sides within that building. It even states as like as Mahabharata in same words that “even wind cannot enter the building without prior permission”. It then details how Kashyapa and Takshaka contest over a plant and how Kashyapa brings that plant to life again after being incinerated by Takshaka’s poison. Then it says how Takshaka entered in a ripened fruit as a small insect and how the king was finally killed. Entire sequences of this story are in total agreement with Mahabharata.
Parikshit gets a castle erected for his own safety in the heights of stupidity thinking it would defy death. Note the rendition of verses here – it says the erected building was so secure that even “wind” could not enter that without permission. Mahabharata says almost exact words “vāto’pi niścaraṃstatra praveśe vinivāryate” (as seen in this article before) to describe the security of that building. what more do you need to conclude that Devi Bhagavatam is in total agreement with Mahabharata? What more do you need to understand that Devi-Bhagavatam is from the same author who authored Mahabharata? Look at the amazing consistency between the two write-ups! This is enough for any sane mind to understand that original ‘bhAgavataM’ among the Mahapuranas is ‘Devi Bhagavatam’ alone. .
“ityuktvā sacivān rājā kalpayitvā surakṣakān ॥ 41 ॥
kārayitvātha prāsādaṃ saptabhūmikamuttamam ।
ārurohottarāsūnuḥ sacivaiḥ saha tatkṣaṇam ॥ 42 ॥
maṇimantradharāḥ śūrāḥ sthāpitāstatra rakṣaṇe ।
preṣayāmāsa bhūpālo muniṃ gauramukhaṃ tataḥ ॥ 43 ॥
prasādārthaṃ sevakasya kṣamasveti punaḥ punaḥ ।
brāhmaṇānsiddhamantrajñān rakṣaṇārthamitastataḥ ॥ 44 ॥
mantriputraḥ sthitastatra sthāpayāmāsa dantinaḥ ।
na kaścidāruhettatra prāsāde cātirakṣite ॥ 45 ॥
vāto’pi na carettatra praveśe vinivāryate ।
bhakṣyabhojyādikaṃ rājā tatrasthaśca cakāra saḥ ॥ 46 ॥
stānasandhyādikaṃ karma tatraiva vinivartya ca ।
rājakāryāṇi sarvāṇi tatrasthaścākaronnṛpaḥ ॥ 47 ॥
mantribhiḥ saha sammantrya gaṇayandivasānapi ।
kaścicca kaśyapo nāma brāhmaṇo mantrisattamaḥ ॥ 48 ॥
śuśrāva ca tathā śāpaṃ prāptaṃ rājñā mahātmanā ।
sa dhanārthī dvijaśreṣṭhaḥ kaśyapaḥ samacintayat ॥ 49 ॥
vrajāmi tatra yatrāste śapto rājā dvijena ha ।
iti kṛtvā matiṃ vipraḥ svagṛhānniḥsṛtaḥ pathi ॥ 50 ॥
kaśyapo mantravidvidvāndhanārthī munisattamaḥ ॥” (Devi Bhagawatam 2:09:41-51)
“Thus speaking to the ministers, the king Parîksit had a fine building of seven floors in height erected, placed the principal guards around it and stationed also the most powerful men well versed in the knowledge of mani (gems), mantrams, and plants for protection and immediately ascended to this building. To appease the wrath of the Muni S’ringî, the king sent the Muni named Gaurmukha to him and requested him repeatedly “Let the crime of the humble devotee be forgiven.” Then, for self preservation, the king brought from all sides the Brâhmanas, who are perfect in their knowledge and application of the mantras. The minister’s son placed the elephants in proper places so that no body can ascend to the top of the building; what more can be said than the fact that even wind could not find entrance there when once ordered “no admission” what to speak of others! The king Parîksit remained there and counted the number of days of the serpent Taksaka’s coming there; he performed his bath, Sandhyâ Bandanams and fooding; even he consulted with his ministers and governed his kingdom from there. O Risis! At this time a Brâhman named Kas’yapa, versed in the mantras, heard of the curse of the king and thought that he would get abundant wealth if he could free the king from Taksaka’s poison and proposed to himself that he would go to the place where the cursed king Parîksit was staying with the Brâhmanas. Pondering thus, the Brâhmana went out of his house, on the expectation of wealth from the king.”.
Takshaka very wisely thinks aloud about the sins that Parikshit had committed against Brahmana and very rightly considers Parikshit to be stupid to have thought to defy death by his efforts. Read below how Takshaka narrates about Parikshit. Clearly Takshaka didn’t mention Parikshit as being of praiseworthy nature. Parikshit was not that noble soul but the author of Krishna’s bogus-Bhagawatam has depicted Parikshit as if he is the most noble man on the earth. What a funny author he was and what a funny fiction he had written!
“nivartya kaśyapaṃ sarpaḥ saptame divase nṛpam ।
hantukāmo jagāmāśu nagaraṃ nāgasāhvayam ॥ 27 ॥
śuśrāva nagarasyānte prāsādasthaṃ parīkṣitam ।
maṇimantrauṣadhaiḥ kāmaṃ rakṣyamāṇamatandritam ॥ 28 ॥
cintāviṣṭastadā nāgo vipraśāpabhayākulaḥ ।
cintayāmāsa yogena praviśeyaṃ gṛhaṃ katham ॥ 29 ॥
vañjayāmi kathaṃ cainaṃ rājānaṃ pāpakāriṇam ।
vipraśāpāddhataṃ mūḍhaṃ viprapīḍākaraṃ śaṭham ॥ 30 ॥
pāṇḍavānāṃ kule jātaḥ ko’pi naitādṛśo bhavet ।
tāpasasya gale yena mṛtaḥ sarpo niveśitaḥ ॥ 31 ॥
kṛtvā vigarhitaṃ karma jānankālagatiṃ nṛpaḥ ।
rakṣakānbhavane kṛtvā prāsādamabhigamya ca ॥ 32 ॥
mṛtyuṃ vañcayate rājā vartate’dya nirākulaḥ ।
taṃ kathaṃ dhakṣayiṣyāmi vipravākyena coditaḥ ॥ 33 ॥
na jānāti ca mandātmā maraṇaṃ hyanivartanam ।
tenāsau rakṣakānsthāpya saudhārūḍho’dya modate ॥ 34 ॥
yadi vai vihito mṛtyurdaivenāmitatejasā ।
sa kathaṃ parivarteta kṛtairyatnaistu koṭibhiḥ ॥ 35 ॥
pāṇḍavasya ca dāyādo jānanmṛtyuṃ gataṃ nṛpaḥ ।
jīvane matimāsthāya sthitaḥ sthāne nirākulaḥ ॥ 36 ॥
dānapuṇyādikaṃ rājā kartumarhati sarvathā ।
dharmeṇa hanyate vyādhiryenāyuḥ śāśvataṃ bhavet ॥ 37 ॥
nocenmṛtyuvidhiṃ kṛtvā snānadānādikāḥ kriyāḥ ।
maraṇaṃ svargalokāya narakāyānyathā bhavetū ॥ 38 ॥
dvijapīḍākṛtaṃ pāpaṃ pṛthagvāsya ca bhūpateḥ ।
vipraśāpastathā ghora āsanne maraṇe kila ॥ 39 ॥
na ko’pi brāhmaṇaḥ pārśve ya enaṃ pratibodhayet ।
vedhasā vihito mṛtyuranivāryastu sarvathā ॥ 40 ॥ (Devi Bhagawatam 2:10:27-40)
“Thus making Kas’yapa to retire to his house on the seventh day Taksak went on to Hastinâpur to bring death and destruction on to Parîksit. When he went close to the city, he heard that the king Parîksit was staying on the upper story of the palace; and the palace had been preserved by various gems, mantras, herbs and plant. Taksak became very anxious; and fearing, lest the curse of the Brâhmanas, will fall on his head, became very much agitated and thought. “How shall I now enter the palace? How can I cheat this stupid hypocrite vicious king, cursed by the Brâhmana, who causes troubles to the Brâhmanas. Not a single man has taken birth in the Pandava family ever since that he coiled a dead serpent round the neck of an ascetic Brâhmin. The king has committed a very heinous crime and knowing the course of time to be in fallible, has placed sentries on all sides of the palace and has ascended to the top-most story of the building, thinking thereby to deceive Death and is staying in a peaceful mind. How can then he be smitten, in accordance with the Brâhmana’s word? The king, of dull intellect, knows not that death cannot be prevented; for that reason, he has placed guards and sentinels round the building, and himself has got up the house and is happily whiling away his time; but he is quite ignorant that when Fate who can never be violated, ordains the death, how can it be prevented though thousands of attempts are made to thwart it? This scion of Pandu family knows that his death is at hand and yet wants to live and therefore is staying in his own place with a tranquil mind. The king ought now to make charities and other meritorious works; it is only by acts of Dharma that disease is destroyed and life is prolonged. And if that be not the object then a dying man ought to take bath, to make charities and to await his time of death; he thereby attains heaven; otherwise hell is inevitable. The king committed great sin in the act of causing pains and trouble to the Brâhmin or other similar acts and therefore death is so close that the Brâhmin curse has fallen thus on his head. Is there no such Brâhmin who can make him understand this; or the Creator has ordained his death now as inevitable.””.
And after that how Takshaka killed Parikshit, that is described in detail which again matches totally with Mahabharata.
All these chapters and events clearly are in perfect agreement with what Mahabharata has portrayed about Parikshit. Very clearly, Parikshit had done sins against Brahmanas and was bound to go to hell as stated above. Therefore, for the very same ear, his son Janamejaya conducted the nine days sacrifice for Devi by listening to Devi-Bhagawatam at the end of which he could successfully transport Parikshit to the highest abode of Devi. That brought Janamejaya immense happiness. This is what we have learnt from Skanda Purana’s Devi-Bhagavata-Mahatmayam sections described earlier. This again proves that Skanda Purana’s that Mahatmayam is also an authentic section and not any interpolation, because of the extraordinary logical correlations that exist between Devi Bhagawatam, Skanda Purana and Mahabharata.
11.5. Devi Bhagavatam says Devi originally accomplished all tasks of Krishna which is exactly in sync with Mahabharata
We have seen in section 10.3 above that all the demons, and warriors in all the battles of Mahabharata be it the destruction of ‘kauravas’ or the destruction of ‘yadavas’ – Krishna, Arjuna, and Pandavas were only the so called heroes for the name sake. Actual slaughter was done by Mahakala and Kalaratri (Devi), and all other heroes were mere visible instruments in the game. We have seen enough evidences there from Mahabharata itself in support of those points.
Now, the same has been predicted by Devi in Devi-Bhagavatam. She said it is she who would accomplish all the tasks of killing all the demons and evil kings. The entire excerpt of Devi’s assurance is mentioned below. Whatever Devi promised to do here in Devi-Bhagavatam, same has been confirmed to have actually happened in Mahabharata. Therefore Devi-Bhagavatam is very much in sync with Mahabharata.
Devi says she would be born from Yashoda and would accomplish all the tasks of Vishnu and other the deities herself.
“kāryaṃ sarvaṃ kariṣyāmi surāṇāṃ surasattamāḥ ।
kārāgāre gataṃ viṣṇuṃ prāpayiṣyāmi gokule ॥ 35
śeṣaṃ ca devakīgarbhātprāpayiṣyāmi rohiṇīm ।
macchaktyopacitau tau ca kartārau duṣṭasaṃkṣayam ॥” (Devi Bhagawatam 4:19:35-36)
O Devas! I will be born, then, in the womb of Yas’odâ, in Gokula and will accomplish all the ends of the Gods. I will send Visnu from the prison to the Gokula; also I will transfer Anântâ Deva from the womb of Devakî to the womb of Rohinî”.
Devi also says Vishnu’s incarnation Krishna and Sesha’s incarnation Balarama would grow day by day by her force.
“duṣṭānāṃ bhūbhujāṃ kāmaṃ dvāparānte suniścitam ।
indrāṃśo’pyarjunaḥ sākṣātkariṣyati balakṣayam ॥” (Devi Bhagawatam 4:19:37)
“They two will grow, day by day, by My Force and at the end of the Dvâpara Yuga, will no doubt kill the wicked kings”.
Devi then talks about other heroic divine incarnates of deities such as – Arjuna, Yudhishthira, Bhima and Bhishma. She says they will exhaust their enemies and enemy armies.
“dharmāṃśo’pi mahārājo bhaviṣyati yudhiṣṭhiraḥ ।
vāyvaṃśo bhīmasenaścāśvinyaṃśau ca yamāvapi ॥ 38
vasoraṃśo’tha gāṅgeyaḥ kariṣyati balakṣayam ।
vrajantu ca bhavanto’dya dharā bhavatu susthirā ॥” (Devi Bhagawatam 4:19:38-39)
“Arjuna too, the part incarnate of Indra, will destroy the armies of those kings. Yudhisthira, the part incarnate of Dharma, Bhîmsena, that of of Vâyu, Nakula and Sahadeva the incarnate of the two A’svins, and Bhîsma, the incarnate of Vasu as the son of the Gangâ, will take their respective births and exhaust their armies”.
Devi reassures them saying all the burden of the earth would be removed by her. It clearly indicates it is she who would accomplish those tasks making all the aforementioned heroes her instruments.
“bhārāvataraṇaṃ nūnaṃ kariṣyāmi surottamāḥ ।
kṛtvā nimittamātrāṃstānsvaśaktyāhaṃ na saṃśayaḥ ॥” (Devi Bhagawatam 4:19:40)
“O Devas! Now be calm and quiet and go. Let the Earth be also calm and quiet; be confident that I will certainly remove the load of this earth”.
Now she reveals the secret – She says that making all the aforementioned heroes her instruments she would destroy by her own might.
“kurukṣetre kariṣyāmi kṣattriyāṇāṃ ca saṃkṣayam ।
asūyerṣyā matistṛṣṇā mamatābhimatā spṛhā ॥” (Devi Bhagawatam 4:19:41)
“I will make the above mentioned Gods as my instruments merely and I will destroy, by My own force, the Ksatriyas in the battlefield of Kuruksettra”.
She even indicates about the destruction of Yadava race as well – very much in sync with Mahabharata where enture yadu race was slain by Mahakala-Rudra and Kalaratri-Devi.
“brāhmaṇasya ca śāpena vaṃśanāśo bhaviṣyati ॥
bhagavānapi śāpena tyakṣyatyetatkalevaram ॥” (Devi Bhagawatam 4:19:43)
“The race of Yadu will end owing to the curse of a Brâhmana. The Bhagavân also will leave His mortal coil due to a curse”.
Conclusion: Therefore, it is very much clear that it is Bhagavati Uma who had achieved all the greatest feats of removing the burden of the earth, and made Krishna and other heroes her tools. This is exactly in agreement with the opinion of Mahabharata as well. Therefore Devi Bhagavatam doesn’t contradict Mahabharata, in fact it supplements it!
11.6. Devi Bhagavatam agrees with Harivamsa saying Suka was married and had children
Devi Bhagavatam has dedicated a chapter describing Suka’s marriage and the names of his wife and his progeny. Suka married the daughter of ‘pitris (manes)’ named ‘pIvarI’, and fathered four sons and a daughter ‘kirti’. His daughter was married with another great sage whose son was ‘Brahmadatta’ of great spiritual wisdom. This is narrated in below mentioned verses.
“pitṝṇāṃ subhagā kanyā pīvarī nāma sundarī ।
śukaścakāra patnīṃ tāṃ yogamārgasthito’pi hi ॥ 40
sa tasyāṃ janayāmāsa putrāṃścatura eva hi ।
kṛṣṇaṃ gauraprabhaṃ caiva bhūriṃ devaśrutaṃ tathā ॥ 41
kanyāṃ kīrtiṃ samutpādya vyāsaputraḥ pratāpavān ।
dadau vibhrājaputrāya tvaṇahāya mahātmane ॥ 42
aṇuhasya sutaḥ śrīmānbrahmadattaḥ pratāpavān ।
brahmajñaḥ pṛthivīpālaḥ śukakanyāsamudbhavaḥ ॥” (Devi Bhagavatam 1:19:40-43)
“Though S’ûka adopted the path of Yoga, yet he married the daughter of Pitris, named Pivarî, very beautiful, fortunate, enhancing the glory of her father’s family. Then were born first the four sons named Krishna, Gauraprabha, Bhûri, and Devas’ruta out of the sperm of S’ûka and the ovum of Pivari; and next a daughter was born named Kîrti of them. Vyâsa’s son S’ûka, endowed with the fire of asceticism gave the daughter Kîrti in marriage in due time with the high-souled Anûha, the son of Vibhrâja. As time passed on, a son was born of the womb of Kîrti and the seed of Anûha, a son who became the powerful king Brahmadatta, the knower of Brahmâ and endowed with wealth and prosperity”.
Now, Harivamsa Parva which is an appendix Parva of Mahabharata, too gives the same details about Suka’s marriage. This makes us count one more reason to say that Devi-Bhagavatam agrees with Mahabharata totally and furtehr complements it as seen in other sections in this acticle. In below verses we see the narration of Suka’s marriage in Harivamsa Parva of Mahabharata.
Below verses describe the classes of fatherly gods called ‘pitris (manes)’.
“vaibhrājā nāma te lokā divi santi su:darśanāḥ ।
yatra barhiṣado nāma pitaro divi viśrutāḥ ॥ 46
tān vai devagaṇāḥ sarve yakṣagandharva rakṣasāḥ ।
nāgāḥ sarpāḥ suparṇāśca bhāvayanti amitaujasaḥ ॥” (Harivamsa Parva 1:18:46-47)
“There are beautiful realms called vaibhrAja:realms where fatherly gods called barhiShada:s abide… them all the groups of gods, yakshaa:s, gandharvara:s, rakShasa:s, nAga:s, including reptiles and birds adore…”.
ete putrā mahātmānaḥ pulastyasya prajāpateḥ ।
mahātmāno mahābhāgāḥ tejo:yuktāḥ tapasvinaḥ ॥” (Harivamsa Parva 1:18:48)
“These vaibrAjA:s are the children of highsouled pulastya prajApati, who all are highly fortunate, highly prosperous and highly resplendent beings…”.
The ‘Pitris’ had a daughter named ‘pIvarI’ who was herself a great yogi hence a perfect match for being a wife of the most exalted Yogi viz. Suka.
“eteṣāṃ mānasī kanyā pīvarī nāma viśrutā ।
yogā ca yogi:patnī ca yogi:mātā tathaiva ca ॥ 49
bhavitrī dvāparaṃ prāpya yugaṃ dharmabhṛtāṃ varā ।” (Harivamsa Parva 1:18:49-50a)
“Their brainchild will be a damsel named pIvari, which is just an epithet of that girl meaning she who is full of or abounding with; because she is really abounding with yogic schooling. She herself is a yogin, wife of a yogi, mother of a yogi. That righteous yogin will emerge when dwApara era approaches”.
Below verses describe about the marriage of ‘pIvarI’ with Suka and the resulting progeny from their union. It also details that their daughter ‘kIrti’ was married with ‘Anuhu’ who fathered ‘brahmadatta’.
“parāśara kula udbhūtaḥ śuko nāma mahātapāḥ ॥ 50
bhaviṣyati yuge tasmin mahāyogī dvijarṣabhaḥ ।
vyāsāt araṇyāṃ saṃbhūto vidhūmaḥ agniḥ iva jvalan ॥ 51
sa tasyāṃ pitṛ:kanyāyāṃ pīvaryāṃ janayiṣyati ।
kanyāṃ putrān ca caturo yoga:ācāryān mahābalān ॥ 52
kṛṣṇaṃ gauraṃ prabhuṃ śaṃbhuṃ kṛtvīṃ kanyāṃ tathaiva ca ।
brahmadattasya jananīṃ mahiṣīṃ tu aṇuhasya ca ॥” (Harivamsa Parva 1:18:50b-53)
“In that dwApara era there will be an outstanding yogi named shuka… he emerges in the line of sage parAshara, and he who will be glowing like a smokeless fire takes birth in the ritual fire generated by veda:vyAsa by rubbing two wooden sticks to kindle ritual fire… on marrying this yogin damsel pIvari, that sage shuka will beget four sons and a daughter through her, who all will become the masters of yoga… they will be known as kR^iShNa, gaura, prabhu, and shaMbhu, while his daughter will be called as lady kR^itvi, also known as lady kIrtimati, which girl becomes the wife of a king called aNUhu, and begets brahmadatta, an epitome of yoga…”.
Further it is said that after generating these progeny adn fulfilling the duties of householder life, Suka via the path of Yoga attains liberation by shedding his body which is described in detail in Mahabharata.
“etān utpādya dharmātmā yoga:ācāryān mahāvratān ।
śrutvā sva janakāt dharmān vyāsāt amita:buddhimān ॥ 54
mahāyogī tato gantā punaḥ avartinīṃ gatiṃ ।
yat tat padam anudvignam avyayaṃ brahma śāśvatam ॥” (Harivamsa Parva 1:18:54-55)
“Having generated these masters of yoga, having acquired the knowledge of dharma from his father vyAsa, that highly intellectual sage shuka journeys to the returnless higher world, namely the perishless, troubleless, and the eternal abode of brahman…”.
Conclusion: – It is very much clear that Devi Bhagavatam and Harivamsa Parva of Mahabharata are in sync with respect to the question of Suka’s marriage.
The author of Krishna-Bhagawatamlooks crazy. He seems to have not read entire Devi Bhagavatam as well as entire Mahabharata. However, he definitely seems to have read Devi Bhagavatam at a cursory glance and noted few points of Devi’s glories which attarcted him and then modified them and applied those glories on Vishnu while authoring his work of fiction. We’ll see two classic examples of plagiarism and how shamelessly that bogus author under the fake name of vyasa had distorted those facts and made them favouring Vishnu.
In Devi Bhagavatam Suta says that Vyasa considered Devi-Bhagawatam as highly auspicious or best Purana and thought to teach this Purana to his beloved one and only son Suka. And there Suta was also present whom the benevolent Vyasa had taught this Purana along with his son.
“vyāsena kṛtvātiśubhaṃ purāṇaṃ śukāya putrāya mahātmane yat ।
vairāgyayuktāya ca pāṭhitaṃ vai vijñāya caivāraṇisambhavāya ॥ 36
śrutaṃ mayā tatra tathā gṛhītaṃ yathārthavadvyāsamukhānmunīndrāḥ ।
purāṇaguhyaṃ sakalaṃ sametaṃ guroḥ prasādātkaruṇānidheśca ॥” (Devi Bhagawatam 1:03:36-37)
“O best Munis! Thus, compiling the Purânas Veda Vyâsa thought this Purâna to be the best; so (without teaching it to other persons) he settled that his own son the high-sould S’uka Deva born of the dry woods used for kindling fire (excited by attrition), having no passion for the worldly things, would be the fit student to be taught this Purâna and therefore taught him; at that time I was a fellow student along with S’aka Deva and I heard every thing from the mouth of Vyâsa Deva and realised th« secret meanings thereof. This has happened through the grace of the merciful Guru Veda Vyâsa”.
And then after learning from Vyasa, the disciple Suta narrated the Devi-Bhagawatam to Saunaka sages as a discourse betwen Vyasa and Janamejaya which was logically very convincing in the sequence of events of time. Whereas the author of Krishna’s Bhagawatam had also copied the same truth and said that Vyasa had selectively taught the highest Purana ‘Krishna’s Bhagawatam’ to his son Suka. Had he left it at that it would have been great, but he made a big blunder by making Suka himself narrate that Purana to Parikshit which was an impossible event as their lives belonged to two different eras and their crossover was impossible.
“sa saṁhitāṁ bhāgavatīṁ | kṛtvānukramya cātma-jam ||
śukam adhyāpayām āsa | nivṛtti-nirataṁ muniḥ ||” (SB 1:7:08)
“The great sage Vyāsadeva, after compiling the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam and revising it, taught it to his own son, Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī, who was already engaged in self-realization”.
The present manu vaivasvata and future manu Savarni were Devi devotees, but shameless author of Krishna’s Bhagavatam copied and replaced Devi with Hari. The Devi Bhagawatam clearly says that the present Manu Shraddhadeva who is called Vaivasvata being the son of Vivasvan, as well as the future Manu called Savarni – both were devotees of Devi and attained to the status of ‘Manu’ by the grace of Devi as follows.
saptamo manurākhyāto manurvaivasvataḥ prabhuḥ ।
śrāddhadevaḥ parānandabhoktā mānyastu bhūbhujām ॥ 1
sa ca vaivasvatamanuḥ paradevyāḥ prasādataḥ ।
tathā tattapasā caiva jāto manvantarādhipaḥ ॥ 2
aṣṭamo manurākhyātaḥ sāvarṇiḥ prathitaḥ kṣitau ।
sa janmāntara ārādhya devīṃ tadvaralābhataḥ ॥ 3
jāto manvantarapatiḥ sarvarājanyapūjitaḥ ।
mahāparākramī dhīro devībhaktiparāyaṇaḥ ॥” (Devi Bhagawatam 10:10:01-04)
“Nârâyana said :– Now the Seventh Manu is the Right Hon’ble His Excellency the Lord Vaivasvata Manu S’râddha Deva, honoured by all the kings, and the Enjoyer of the Highest Bliss, Brahmânanda. I will now speak of this seventh Manu. He, too, practised austerities before the Highest Devî and by Her Grace, got the sovereignty of the earth for one Manvantara. The Eighth Manu is the Sun’s son, known as Sâvarni. This personage, a devotee of the Devî, honoured by the kings, gentle, patient and powerful king Sâvarni worshipped the Devî in his previous births and, by Her boon, became the Lord of the Manvantara.”.
The same fact of these Manus having got their position by the grace of someone is copied shamelessly by the author of Krishna’s Bhagawatam and replaced the name of Devi with the name of Hari as follows.
“yo ’sāv asmin mahā-kalpe tanayaḥ sa vivasvataḥ |
śrāddhadeva iti khyāto manutve hariṇārpitaḥ ||” (SB 8:24:11)
“In this [the present] kalpa, the king (Satyavrata) became the son of Vivasvān (the sun god), and was known as Śrāddhadeva. By the mercy of the lord Hari, he was given the post of Manu”.
13. FINAL VERDICT
With an extensive analysis filled with reasoning, grounded on logic, and supported by strong evidences from scriptures – by analyzing both the Bhagavata texts using extensive quotations and cross-references from other Puranas and Mahabharata – it is now righteous to conclude that the ‘Original’ Bhagavata Purana is ‘Devi-Bhagavatam’ alone.
Vyasa wouldn’t be such a fool to author a text which contradicts his own masterpiece text viz. Mahabharata,. And since Devi-Bhagavatam is in perfect harmony and agreement with Mahabharata and Shiva Purana – Devi Bhagavatam wins hands-down the title of being the original ‘Srimad Bhagavatam’.
Whatever had happened had happened, now onwards, with this article, once and for all – I, who nourishes on the breastmilk of the daughter of Himavan – have established ‘Devi-Bhagawatam’ as irrefutably the authentic Mahapurana! om tat sat!
Krishna devotees who hold Krishna’s ‘Srimad Bhagawatam’ very dear to their heart, have spent a lot of time in trying to come up with useless evidences to support Krishna’s Bhagawatam to be authentic. None of those so called evidences would hold water in front of the analysis that has been done above in this article. Those evidences would only let us know how large scale was the interpolations done in Puranas by the cunning vaishnavites. Just for the sake of elevating their favourite lord Vishnu how low could the Vaishnavites stoop down that is something which cannot be expressed in words. If we analyze Puranas, we would hardly find any story seeming to be a shaivite interpolation. All the great stories glorifying lord Shiva and Devi are indeed mantra-rahasyas, yoga-rahasyas-, veda-rahasyas, and antariksha-vigyana-rahasyas; and because dull headed vaishnavas cannot comprehend these secrets, they simply consider the stories glorifying Shiva and Devi to be stories only related to supremacy and brand them as Shaivite interpolations. However, we can easily find out how massive was the level in which Vaishnavites did interpolations to Puranas because Vaishnavism is mostly based on ‘devotion’ and hence there is nothing called ‘subtle hidden secrets’ that can be related with. What they write is plain nonsense which when scrutinized under the lens of reasoning and logic, would get exposed easily to be interpolated!
Objection – 1: There are dozens of commentaries of Krishna’s Srimad Bhagawatam proving its importance. How would you explain this?
There are primarily eight commentaries by – Sridhara Swami, Sudarshana Suri, Viraraghava, Vijayadhvaja, Madhvacharya, Vallabhacharya, Sukadevacharya, and Jiva Goswami. Apart from these there are many more commentaries. One list gives the number as 93 and another list says there are 173 commentaries.
Answer: How on earth can someone be so stupid to even weigh the ‘authenticity’ of a book by the ‘number’ of commentaries? Number of commentaries could certainly increase the ‘value’ of a book, but cannot change the fate of its ‘authenticity’, period!
There is a story – a salesman who sells caps was carrying a basket of caps on his head through a forest to sell them in a village which was on the other side of the forest. On the way some monkeys saw his basket and snatched all the caps one by one and wore them over their head seeing this man wearing a similar cap on his head. They all climbed the trees and became inaccessible to human reach. This man tried all possible ways to get his caps back but in vain. Then he got an idea – he knew that monkeys love ‘imitation’, and hence he simply threw his cap aside on the ground. Seeing him, a leader monkey imitated and threw his cap down on the ground. Following this monkey another monkey did the same, and likewise all monkeys threw their caps down and this fellow quickly collected them and went away.
That was a story, but now in the case of Bhagavatam, Sridhara Swami was the first commentator (the man wearing a cap), and following him other scholars started imitating him and wrote their own commentaries suiting their own tradition. That’s how one person’s action got copied over and over and hence we have dozens of commentaries over Krishna’s Bhagawatam.
But understand my dear friends – that – there is no commentary on this earth which can stand in front of the reasoning that has been done in this article. There is no commentary which can save Srimad Bhagawatam of Krishna from being bogus. Not even Veda Vyasa would come to your rescue to support Krishna-Bhagawatam because he would otherwise have to make a choice between Mahabharata’s narration or Krishna-Bhagavatam’s narration as truth. And obviously whatever he chooses he would become a liar and fiction author in relation to the other text.
Lastly, if the number of commentaries is what you vaishnavites feel is what would make an armour around Krishna-Bhagawatam, then let me give you an offer – I would also be able to write a commentary on entire Krishna-Bhagawatam, but I would do that for a hefty fee, and not for free. Pay me my fees and have one more commentary written by me and you can flaunt that commentary in front of the public saying that – see the man who called Krishna Bhagawatam as bogus has himself written a commentary. But then, mind you, that also would not be able to uplift its authenticity! So, learn to accept the fact that all these numerous commentaries are useless because they have been done on a fictitious novel authored by some human not the Vyasa.
Sridhara swami was an advaitin and he wrote the first commentary on Krishna’s Bhagavatam. If you consider Vaishnavas to be untrustworthy, then what would you say now when you have a commentary from an advaitin acharya’s pen itself?
Advaitins basically are good natured people. They look at all things from ‘pAramArthika (absolute)’ standpoint and hence may write commentaries on anything. The very slogan of ‘Advaita Vedanta’ as used by senior Advaitins is – “Advaita accepts everything it rejects nothing”. Therefore, it should not be surprising to see if tomorrow some advaitin writes a commentary on Sri R. K. Narayanan’s much acclaimed and famous fiction novel ‘Malgudi Days’ making the fictitious character of that novel named ‘Swaminathan’ as verily lord ‘Kartikeya (whose famous name is Swaminatha in Tamil land)’ himself. Or it should not be surprising to see if an Advaitin writes a commentary over ‘DC Comics’ hailing ‘Superman’ as Hanuman’s western incarnation. Anything can come from the pen of an Advaitin and the beauty is that Advaitins can turn any work – irrespective of its authenticity – into a work describing the non-dual philosophy.
Therefore, we need not take an Advaitin’s work very seriously on the books of disputed authenticity. So, I am neutral towards Sridhara Swami’s commentary over Krishna’s Bhagavatam. All I can accept is that his commentary is just a beautiful makeup-coating over a bogus fiction genre book. That’s all. Therefore with all due respects to Sridhara Swami – I would say – His commentary cannot safeguard Krishna-Bhagavatam from being bogus.
Objection – 3: Padma Purana says that the Bhagawatam comprising of 18,000 verses as a discussion between Suka and Parikshit is called Srimad Bhagavatam – Now how would you say Krishna Bhagawatam as bogus? How would you defend Devi Bhagavatam now?
Padma Purana Uttara Khanda in Srimad Bhagavatam Mhatmayam section mentions that the Purana comprising of eighteen thousand verses as a discussion between Suka and Parikshit is the Srimad Bhagavatam.
“grantho’ṣṭādaśasāhasro dvādaśaskandhasammitaḥ ।
parīkṣit śukasaṃvādaḥ śrṛṇu bhāgavataṃ ca tat ||” (Padma Purana:UK:SB-Mahatmaya:Ch-03:Verse-26)
“The scripture which has 18,000 verses and is divided into twelve cantos which is the conversation between Parikshit and Sukadeva – is the Srimad Bhagavatam”.
This exactly matches with Krishna’s Bhagawatam. How would you refute this?
Let me divide my answer in two parts – In sync with the raised objection I’ll first refute the authenticity of Krishna Bhagawatam and then would defend Devi Bhagavatam.
Let’s park aside the second part of the quoted verse which talks about Suka and Parikshit’s discussion. We’ll take this up in subsequent objections and refute that. The first part of this verse talks numbers. It says Krishna’s Bhagavatam comprises of 18,000 verses. Let me also talk numbers now and show the real face of Krishna’s Bhagawatam in one more aspect.
Krishna’s Bhagawatam doesn’t contain 18.000 verses. Here is the detailed chapter by chapter calculation of verses done by me presented in below table. It is a very small text roughly comprising of 14,090 verses. Where have the remaining (approx.) 4,000 verses gone?
|Krishna Bhagawatam – Count of Verses Per Chapter Per Skandha|
|Chapters / No. of verses||#||#||#||#||#||#||#||#||#||#||#||#|
Nothing can be speculated to defend this gap in Krishna-Bhagawatam! The reason is – The Bhagavatam that has come down to us from Sridhara Swami’s commentary, is the same Krishna-Bhagavatam that we have available. Even Madhvacharya (who was notorious about calling any scripture as interpolated to find an excuse to author his self-cooked versions), who is said to have found multiple versions of Bhagavatam in his time and after having examined all of them he is said to have hand-picked selectively the one version calling it to be the original and authentic Bhagavatam. That is the same Bhagawatam that we all find available today. That is the same Bhagawatam which has Sridhara Swami’s commentary over it. That finally means – The Bhagawatam that has come down right from Sridhara Swami’s time, is the original Krishna-Bhagawatam! There was no commentary or cross references of Bhagawatam in Ramanuja’s works. Therefore, this text is only visible to have gained prominence from Sridhara Swami’s commentary. Therefore, if we are talking about ‘Authentic Krishna-Bhagawatam’ then that has to be the one which has come down in our hands from Sridhara Swami passing through the validations of Madhwacharya!
And here the same Bhagawatam has been analyzed for the count of verses across each Skandha in each chapter, and has been found to be falling short of approximately 4,000 verses from its standard definitions which expect it to be of 18,000 verses. This clearly shows that Krishna’s Bhagawatam was NEVER a text comprising of 18,000 verses. Hence the Padma Purana, Skanda Purana, Narada Purana etc., all the Puranas that contain sections or verses in its glorification – are all simply clear interpolations! Also, one cannot call this little booklet as ‘recension’ of the Bhagavatam of 18,000 verses because recensions are those texts which either have slight variations in readings (pATha-bheda) or the placements of some topics are in different sections. For example – there are two recensions of Padma Purana that are available, in one of them Shiva Gita occurs in Uttara Khanda, and in the other it occurs in Patala Khanda. Likewise, Mahabharata has several recensions, in Kumbhakonam edition some topics begin in a different section in same Parva whereas in Bombay edition they occur in different section. All such variations are perfectly acceptable. However, this Krishna-Bhagavatam is just a booklet not even a book considering the whooping number of approx. 4,000 verses missing in it from the standard definition. Therefore all arguments on the grounds of recensions are invalid.
Now, the defenders of Krishna-Bhagawatam may come up with a lame excuse saying – “The remaining 4000 verses could have been lost and not available today”. Well, let’s break this argument into smaller components and let me explain why this argument is absurd.
If the remaining verses are lost, then two cases arise – 1) Someone purposely deleted that bulk of verses. 2) Those 4,000 verses were lost accidentally due to some natural calamity – such as fire.
Case-1: Someone deleted the four thousand verses:
- If someone deleted, who that someone could be? That someone wouldn’t be vaishnavas because vaishnavas have no reason to tamper a vaishnavite text which contains hyperbolic glorification of Krishna (and Vishnu).
- Now, let’s consider if non-Vaishnavas (Shaivas or Shaktas) could have tampered them? This case wouldn’t arise because if Shaivas wanted to tamper the question arises – what were those 4000 verses that they might have deleted? – Possibly the chapters glorifying Krishna? Or the chapters degrading Shiva!
- Deletion of chapters glorifying Krishna is logically incompatible with Bhagawatam because entire Krishna-Bhagawatam being a text to glorify Krishna, it is absurd on the part of Shaivas to delete some chapters alone (comprising 4,000 verses together) while retaining the remaining 14,000 verses containing of hyperbolic glorification of Krishna. So, this case is ruled out.
- Now, let’s consider if those 4,000 verses were related to degrading Shiva. This is also incorrect assumption because had that been the truth, then they would not have retained the chapters or atleast verses where Shiva’s glory has been credited to Vishnu within same Bhagavatam – for instance – The drinking of ‘poison’ during ocean churning episode says Shiva drank the poison due to the grace of Hari. Then the Bhasmasura episode. Then the Banasura episode where Shiva has been shown in very poor light. Etc., Similarly, they could have additionally in fact interpolated (added) some verses to glorify Shiva in stories such as Daksha Yajna destruction where Bhagavatam says Vishnu wasn’t present in the vicinity whereas all the other Puranas say Vishnu was present and got defeated by Virabhadra. So, those verses of defeat of Vishnu they could have easily inserted to add glorification to Shiva when they retained the Daksha Yajna episode in the available version. Therefore, this case also is not sustainable in logical grounds
- Also, the Sridhara Swami version and currently available version being same, it is clear that tampering is not done anywhere in between.
Case-2: Four thousand verses got lost due to some natural disaster or accident such as fire:
- Here also two cases arise – The accidental loss of 4,000 verses happened sequentially where bulk of chapters containing 4,000 verses which were connected together one after other got deleted. OR the second case is to assume that the loss was random and verses from various chapters across all the cantos got lost.
- The first case of sequential deletion is not possible because the list of contents across all the Skandas of Krishna-Bhagawatam in the extant version is exactly same as that list that is given in Narada Purana. Therefore, there is no deletion of chapters of Skandas sequentially possible given the bulk of shortfall being a whooping number of 4,000. (On a side note – it clearly proves that Narada Purana is also interpolated because it gives list of contents of the Bogus Bhagawatam of Krishna.)
- The second case of loss of the bulk of 4,000 verses from random places across the Krishna-Bhagawatam is totally impossible case to consider on any logical ground! Accidental deletion of verses would have left the corresponding chapters broken in terms of continuity because accidental loss would happen randomly not sequentially. That too look at the bulk of shortfall – it is 4,000 verses which are missing. This means the Bhagawatam that we have today, should have been a text full of gibberish. Had that been the case – Nothing would have made sense because most of the text would have become broken in terms of continuity.
- But the fact is – Krishna-Bhagavatam maintains a very good connectivity – between verses of the same chapter, between chapters of the same Skandha (canto) and between Cantos of the entire text. There is no place where we find any broken links!
- Further, the Bhagavatam that Sridhara Swami had commented is same that has come down to us – that means there is practically no loss of data anywhere in between!
Defending Devi Bhagawatam
Now let us see why Devi-Bhagavatam is the original and authentic ‘Bhagavatam’. We have already seen that Devi Bhagavatam is also said to comprise of 18,000 verses by that Purana itself in addition to other Puranas such as Skanda Purana.
And to the dismay of Vaishnavites, Devi Bhagavatam truly contains 18,000 verses. The indepth chapter by chapter calculation has been done by me which is presented below.
|Srimad Devi Bhagavatam – Count of Verses Per Chapter in Each Canto|
|Chapters / No. of verses||#||#||#||#||#||#||#||#||#||#||#||#|
In fact, it has 178 verses above the 18,000 verses benchmark. This could either be understood as being a genuine number where the Purana while mentioning it, rounds the number to closest thousand and tells just as 18,000; (OR) it could be considered that 178 verses are interpolations (later day additions by someone). This count of 178 verses Is just 0.97% of the total bulk of this scripture, which is such a small number that even if someone wants to derive happiness by calling these 178 verses as interpolations – I am all fine with that – because it is very negligible to be seriously worried about the sanctity of this scripture. At least there is no shortfall – it has over and above the prescribed count, which makes it perfectly the original Bhagavatam Purana!
Moreover, this count of 18000 is 99% in sync with the count of verses prescribed for Devi Bhagavatam in other Puranas as well as within Devi Bhagavatam itself. Therefore, unlike the bogus Krishna-Bhagavatam’s huge shortfall of verses, there being no contradictory evidences found against Devi-Bhagavatam – it is proven that Devi-Bhagavatam is the original Bhagavatam beyond doubt!
Also, it is clearly proven via inference that Krishna-Bhagawatam related glorifications found in other Puranas are clearly interpolations by Vaishnavites.
Objection – 4: Padma Purana clearly calls Krishna’s Bhagawatam as the eighteenth Purana one among the Mahapuranas. How would you deny this?
Padma Purana in Patala Khanda states that Bhagavatam which is a praise about Lord Krishna is the Eighteenth Purana.
“aṣṭādaśaṃ bhāgavataṃ sāramākṛṣya sarvataḥ ।
kṛtavān bhagavān vyāsaḥ śukañcādhyāpayat sutaṃ ॥” (Padma Purana: Patala Khanda: Chapter 71)
“The venerable Vyasa, extracting the best of everything, composed the Bhagavatam – the eighteenth one (Purana) – and taught it to his son Suka”.
This exactly matches with the agenda given in Bhagawatam itself. Srimad Bhagawatam of Krishna says that after writing Puranas and Mahabharata Vyasa still had some gloom left in his heart. Narada revealed him that he has to write a Purana dedicatedly discussing Vasudeva’s glories. And hence Srimad Bhagawatam became the eighteenth Purana. Therefore, it is surely the genuine Bhagawatam. What would you say now?
The more you open your Pandora box – the more you would become a laughing stock! This is again a classic example of interpolation in Padma Purana.
We have already seen in previous sections of this article that Mahabharata clearly mentions the term ‘eighteen puranas’ in itself and says that recitation of Mahabharata confers the fruition of recitation of all the eighteen Puranas. This means before Mahabharata itself all the eighteen Puranas were already composed. Therefore, even if with all my generosity if I consider Krishna-Bhagawatam as a work of Vyasa then it would make it as the ‘Nineteenth’ Purana. So, this Padma Purana verse is a crazy interpolation by some ignoramus vaishnavite who seems to have never read Mahabharata and who had no clue about the repercussions of inserting that verse.
Secondly, we have also seen in this very article that Srimad Bhagawatam (of Krishna) clearly lists ‘Bhagawatam’ at the ‘eighth’ position in the list of eighteen Puranas which is again totally crazy placement without any rhyme or reason. If the author was listing the Puranas in sequence of their authorship (compilation), he should have ranked ‘Bhagavata’ at eighteenth if he wanted to say that the Krishna-Bhagavatam’ was the original Purana among the eighteen Maha-Puranas. OR if the author wanted to rank his ‘Bhagavata’ in terms of ‘merit’, then as per the glorification that exists around ‘Bhagavata’ it must have been ranked at the foremost position as ‘number one’. But he didn’t do this either. Nor he followed the usual method of naming Bhagavata at the fifth position as followed by other Puranas.
So, in whatever angle, we look at Krishna’s Bhagawatam – it is clearly proven to be inauthentic Purana and the author as well as the interpolators were equally the top level idiots totally dull in their intellect.
Objection – 5: There are ‘Srimad Bhagawatam Mahatmayam’ in many Puranas, how would you deny its authenticity now?
Padma Purana Uttara Khanda has a section titled ‘Srimad Bhagawatam Mahatmayam’ comprising of many chapters glorifying Krishna’s Bhagawatam and few references also exists in ‘Patala Khanda’. It explicitly contains some verses mentioning about Bhagavatam being Suka’s narration.
Similarly, Garuda Purana, Narada Purana and Skanda Purana also contains some glorifying verses about Krishna-Bhagawatam. In fact Narada Purana mentions the list of topics from Bhagavatam which exactly matches the chapters of Krishna-Bhagavatam. How would you say now that Krishna-Bhagavatam is bogus?
To answer this, I need not visit verses from all the Puranas – Just one verse from Skanda Purana is enough to drive home the point.
“parīkṣita śuka saṃvādo so asau vyāsena kīrtitaḥ |
grantho asṭādasa sahasro yo asau bhagavata abhidiḥ ||” (Skanda Purana:Vishnu Khanda:Bhagavata-Mahatmaya)
“The purana which is the conversation of Parkishit and Suka and which has been composed by Vyasa in eighteen thousand verses, is known to be Bhagavata”.
The same verse is found in Padma Purana’s Uttara Khanda in ‘Krishna Bhagavata Mahatmayam’ section as seen in previous section just before. There the wordings have just been rearranged, but essentially the verse is same. It will become clear how organized was the mission of mass interpolation by cunning Vaishnavites very shortly. Now, this Skanda Purana is a classic example to understand the rampant interpolations that Vaishnavites had done to many Puranas. The same Skanda Purana in its ‘Devi Bhagavata Mahatmaya’ says that ‘Devi Bhagavatam’ is the original ‘Srimad Bhagavatam’. Those verses have already been discussed in above sections in this article. It is very easy to knock-out the chapters glorifying the Vaishnava-Bhagavatam from Skanda Purana and it is clear like crystal that the Mahatmayam of Devi Bhagavata is alone the authentic Mahatmayam in Skanda Purana. The reasons are as follows.
Same Skanda Purana cannot award the title of ‘The Original version of Srimad Bhagawatam’ to two competing and contradictory texts. If it were like Padma Purana gloried Krishna-Bhagawatam as authentic and Skanda Purana glorified Devi-Bhagavatam as authentic – it is very much understandable and we can further go for reasoning based on other characteristics and debate on logical grounds to conclude in favor of one or the other. But here same Skanda Purana itself is displaying dual tongues.
We have analyzed extensively in above sections in this article that – Devi-Bhagavatam is hundred percent in agreement with Mahabharata and Harivamsa Parva also. On the other hand we have also analyzed extensively and found that Krishna-Bhagawatam totally contradicts Mahabharata and Harivamsa Parva. Therefore, Krishna-Bhagawatam cannot be the authentic work of Vyasa. Hence the ‘Devi-Bhagavata-Mahatmayam’ of Skanda Purana gains victory hands-down. It makes crystal clear that seeing that Mahatmayam of Devi-Bhagavata, the vaishnavites had interpolated Krishna’s version of Mahatmayam into Skanda Purana. Thanks to their stupidity or dull intellect that they didn’t even get an idea to delete the Devi-Bhagavatam-Mahatmayam section altogether. And see today I have caught them red-handed.
Therefore, the glorification of Krishna-Bhagawatam in Skanda Purana is a big time interpolation by cunning and wicked Vaishnavas.
Now, this conclusion from Skanda Purana can also be extrapolated to all other Puranas as well to conclude that all the Puranas which glorify Krishna-Bhagawatam are interpolated by Vaishnavites. There are many logical reasons to say so.
The presence of multiple ‘Mahatmayam-s’ for one ‘Purana’ in other Puranas itself is a big time testimony to conclude that all these Mahatmayam-s were interpolations. For the sake of argument temporarily let me consider Krishna-Bhagavatam as one among the eighteen Puranas. Then all the eighteen Puranas were the works of Vyasa alone. If at all Vyasa considered ‘Krishna-Bhagawatam’ as the highest Purana and dearest to his heart – it is enough to mention a section for explicit glorification (mahatmayam) on that dearest Purana in one of the remaining Puranas. But here we see – ‘Padma Purana, Narada Purana, Agni Purana, Skanda Purana, Garuda Purana, Matsya Purana, Brahma Vaivarta Purana, Brahmanda Purana, and Varaha Purana’ – almost nine Puranas either containing a dedicated ‘Mahatmayam’ section comprising of few chapters altogether – Or containing few verses explicitly glorifying Krishna-Bhagawatam. This is too wonderful to be accepted as authentic. Gives very bad impression of Vyasa’s writing skills or his title as a ‘writer’.
Either the author of Krishna’s bogus Bhagawatam was cunning and wanted his novel of fiction genre to become the best of all the works of Vyasa and himself interpolated the other Puranas – Or the wicked Vaishnavites of latter day – finding the bogus text to contain hyperbolic glorification of lord Krishna – would have themselves interpolated these many Puranas to make a fiction genre novel become the most celebrated work of Vyasa and enjoy unlimited amounts of authority over all scriptures fooling people for ages and ages – just for the sake of their wicked motive of upholding the supremacy of lord Vishnu over Shiva and Devi
Further, all the eighteen Puranas were already composed before the Mahabharata itself. We have discussed this with evidences in this article in above sections. And as per the Krishna-Bhagawatam Vyasa composed that text after composing Mahabharata so even for the sake of argument if we consider Krishna-Bhagawatam as Vyasa’s work, it cannot be ranked among the eighteen Puranas. It stands out to be nineteenth Purana then. However, we have also seen evidences from scriptures in this article that Vishnu Purana, Shiva Purana, Skanda Purana, and almost all the Puranas while listing the names of Puranas, list ‘Bhagavata’ at the ’fifth’ number. This is in agreement with ‘Devi-Bhagavatam’ which itself proclaims its name at the fifth place. Whereas Krishna-Bhagawatam mentions its name in the ‘eighth’ place. Hence the ‘Bhagavatam’ that Vishnu Purana is referring to, the Bhagavatam which Shiva Purana and Skanda Purana are pointing towards – is verily the ‘Devi Bhagavatam’ alone. This means, whatever ‘Mahatmayam’ any Purana should contain about ‘Bhagavatam’ must be on ‘Devi Bhagavatam’ alone. But we have the reality to be otherwise. We have nine Puranas glorifying Krishna-Bhagavatam’ which is a clear indication that ‘Krishna-Bhagavatam’ related all the ‘Mahatmayam-s’ are interpolations, period!
One more point that people need to understand is – Vyasa didn’t ‘write’ Puranas. He only compiled (categorized) the ancient lore and documented on palm leaves for making that available to us. So, technically Vyasa was just a scribe or a printer, he was not the author. Therefore, he cannot ‘add’ any content to Puranas on his own. Whatever lore already existed in the universe, recalling them through the power of ‘dhyana’ in his heart, he just documented them. Hence due to this recalling of events even Puranas are often categorized as ‘smriti’. Therefore, all other ‘Mahatmayam-s’ are nothing but a discussion between some exalted personality like some great sage (sanatkumara, Suta, Skanda etc) and a group of listerners (nandi, saunaka etc) which have happened. These Puranic events and the entire body of knowledge have always existed, only Vyasa documented them later. Therefore ‘Mahatmayam’s’ also being discussion between some great personalities about some other text, these discussions also come as an integral part of the lore itself. Therefore, in one Purana these discussions about some other Purana gets documented as the ‘mahatmayam’ of the other Purana. And mind you this is also done by recalling the past events only. Also, Puranic stories may be time bound but ‘Mahatmayams’ may not be time bound as the creation is cyclic and Puranas were compiled time and again by various Vyasas (28 vyasas have come so far). So, for all genuine Puranas such as Devi-Bhagavatam for instance, we shouldn’t have doubt that since it was recited to Janamejaya by Vyasa, how come Skanda Purana has the Mahatmayam? The answer is simple – Devi’s glories transcend time, and this Janamejaya’s Navaratra-yajna is not just something that belongs to recent times, that is a cyclic event that happens everytime janamejeya takes birth here. So, the Mahatmayam of Devi-Bhagavatam, even though discusses about Janamejaya the charecter from Dwapara Yuga, his name is just a prop to discuss an ‘ever-existing-time-independent-glory-of-Devi’. Mind you, it is the Devi’s glorification that is done using Janamejeya as a tool. It’s not janamejaya’s glorification. In the case of ‘Krishna Bhagawatam’ it is a different case – here the basic pillar of that text itself is shaky. That Purana itself is bogus, what to consider about its glorification (mahatmayam)? Suka was the son of Vyasa who was senior to Bhishma or at maximum his contemporary person and who died during his 20s itself, was said to have narrated Krishna-Bhagawatam to Parikshit who was almost 4 generations down the line in future – which is an impossible event. And the Mahatmayam of Krishna-Bhagawatam glorify this text by attesting the very ‘defect’ itself i.e., by saying ‘The text where Suka spoke to Parikshit is the original Bhagavatam’. If that has to be accepted, it would mean that – Vyasa was not even competent to write properly the biography of his own son as he writes about his son’s death in Mahabharata (long before the period of Bhishma itself) and in Bhagavatam brings him back to life to narrate the fiction novel to Parikshit. And then Puranas are said to have Mahatmayam-s of this bogus text, wonderful! Therefore, it cannot even be considered as being a timeless glory of that text coming from earlier cycles because events always remain same, with very slight variations here and there across every creation cycle. Rig Veda (10:190:03) says “yathāpūrvamakalpayat” which says creation is cyclic as it was before. So, does the events too. In one cycle if Kumbhakarna was killed by Rama, in another cycle he might get killed by Lakshmana, but it cannot happen that Kumbhakarna is ever said to have been killed by lava or kusa after huge gaps of generations. Another example – it cannot be said that to kill Kamsa in one cycle Krishna incarnates and in another cycle Narasimha manifests and kills Kamsa, at max permissible variation could be that Krishna might slay kamsa with the help of Balarama. Yet another example – In one cycle if Brahma and Vishnu fail to locate the ends of Shiva, in other cycle Indra and Chandra cannot repalce Brahma and Vishnu, it happens again between the original trio alone. Slightly events may vary like – in one instance Brahma lies, and in another instance he too accepts the greatness of limitlessness of Shiva. Therefore in the case of ‘Krishna-Bhagavatam’ Puranas cannot describe its greatness at all. Because the generation gap between Suka and Parikshit cannot be altered in any cycle of creation, especially when the Mahabharata of the same cycle is speaking against Krishna-Bhagavatam itself, it is impossible to consider Suka, Parikshit crossover. Moreover, the original ‘Bhagavatam’ among the eighteen Puranas is already proven in this article, to be ‘Devi Bhagavatam’ alone by all means of logic and reasoning. So, it is fair to have its Mahatmayam contained in some Purana. However, (theoretically for the sake of arguement) by the time Krishna-Bhagavatam was written, all the eighteen Puranas were already written, and since by that time Krishna-Bhagawatam was NOT composed, a discussion among sages on its greatness (mahatmayam) to happen before is impossible. So, the discussion itself is futuristic than Krishna-Bhagavatam’s authorship itself. Therefore the ‘Futuristic praise (mahatmayam)’ of a ‘futuristic’ text (Krishna Bhagawatam)’ to have already been included in other Puranas written in ‘past’ is simply impossible! The outcome of this reasoning is that all the glorifications or discussions about ‘Krishna Bhagavatam’ in other Puranas – are all clear interpolations!
Again let’s talk about the authorship of Puranas for another reasoning. All the Puranas were documented before authoring Mahabharata and as per the fairy tale contained in the fictitious bogus Krishna-Bhagawatam Vyasa wrote that book after Mahabharata that too on the advise of Narada. Vyasa was sad and not contended at heart and he knew not the reason very clearly about his sadness. Narada tells Vyasa about his own reason of sadness saying “Since you have not dedicatedly explained the various sports and deeds of Krishna, you are sad, hence author a text explicitly on Vasudeva”. Then a question arises – If Vyasa didn’t know the reason of his sadness very explicitly, how come all the other Puranas contain the ‘Mahatmayam’ sections on this ‘Krishna-Bhagavatam’ already? And if he knew he was going to compose a most subline text called ‘Krishna-Bhagawatam’ later on, then why the hell he sat being sad and ignorant of the reason behind his sadness?
Continuing from the above discussion – Okay, let’s assume that after authoring Krishna-Bhagavatam Vyasa had added more chapters on ‘Mahatmayam’ topic to the existing Puranas. This assumption wouldn’t be true because the verses in Puranas are already numbered as either 10000, 12000, 24000, or 18000, or 81100, etc., almost all these figures are round figures towards thousand or hundred. Let’s take Skanda Purana for example. Skanda Purana is said to of 81,100 verses. Skanda Purana’s ‘Krishna Bhagavatam Mahatmayam’ consists of four chapters each being of 42, 35, 74 and 48 verses respectively – totaling to 199 verses. . Then does that mean originally Vyasa’s Skanda Purana was approximately of 80,901 verses that after adding this Mahatmayam of 199 verses, it became rounded to 81,100? Similarly, Padma Purana in its Uttara Khanda contains the ‘Mahatmayam’ of Krishna-Bhagawatam spanning six chapters with verses in each chapter as – 80, 76, 74, 81, 90, and 103 – summation of them gives the total count as 504 verses. If this was the case, then was the Padma Purana originally of 54496 verses that after addition of these 504 verses it became perfectly rounded to hundredth position and became a text of 55000 verses? Applying same logic to all other Puranas, how practical it is to consider all the Puranas were originally with some ‘non-uniform-non-rounded’ number of total verses and after adding these Mahatmayam verses became rounded to perfect hundreds? That is not possible practically unless a lot of mathematical toil is involved by Vyasa’s side. While writing a Purana itself Vyasa would have added whatever sections were supposed to be the part of a Purana including ‘Mahatmayams’. Therefore mark it as a quotation from me today – “There is nothing as ‘later addition’ from Vyasa’s pen”. All later additions are by the crooked Vaishnavaites alone and such additions are called ‘interpolations’. So, there is no logical ground to assume that Vyasa would have added Mahatmayam chapters on Krishna-Bhagawatam to other Puranas after composing the nineteenth text viz. Krishna-Bhagawatam. Therefore – all the Mahatmayams of ‘Krishna Bhagawatam’ are clearly bogus and interpolations by the cunning Vaishnavas.
Well, I do not have any need to present so many points with reasoning the way I did above. Let me now strike the thunderbolt and give a simple challenge which itself would scatter all the clouds of confusion – Let me declare that – Even if all the eighteen Puranas were found to contain ‘Mahatmayam’ chapters on Krishna-Bhagawatam then also all those eighteen Puranas united together wouldn’t be able to prove Krishna-Bhagavatam as authentic Purana. Even if the legendary Veda Vyasa himself comes to aid the Vaishnavite Bhagawatam he would be trapped and would have to accept that Vaishnava-Bhagawatam as a bogus work.
The reason is simple – My article is not an article; it is a trap that I laid to arrest even the mightiest of the mighty beings. Let it be Vyasa himself who if at all ventures to side with the vaishnavas, he will be trapped in one simple question – “Respected Vyasadeva! Krishna-Bhagavatam is in total contradiction to your Mahabharata, if both are your works, tell me in which of these two texts you wrote truths and which was your fiction?” – He would be trapped, as both the texts are mutually contradictory despite belonging to same kalpa, same manvantara and same yuga – there would be only one choice to make.
From Mahabharata we know that this composition of Vyasa was the dearest to Vyasa’s heart. He would never want to say Mahabharata was a fiction and Bhagawatam was a true biography. After reading this article, when Vyasa himself wouldn’t dare to extend his support to Krishna-Bhagawatam, why do we need to bother about any rants and shouts that these vaishnavites make?
Therefore, in summary – all the ‘Mahatmayams’ that exists around ‘Krishna-Bhagawatam’ in other Puranas are all interpolations done by cunning Vaishnavas beyond doubt! In reality Vyasa would never have added any Mahatmayam of Krishna-Bhagawatam in any of the Purana because Krishna-Bhagawatam contradicts Vyasa’s own dearest work Mahabharata. Vyasa was not a fool to author two contradicting books on the same character (Krishna) and belonging to same era. So, all the Mahatmayams of Krishna-Bhagawatam are outright interpolations by the wicked vaishnavas. In conclusion – You simply cannot save Krishna-Bhagawatam from being called bogus by any means in any of the fourteen worlds where Mahabharata is accepted and recognized as a scripture.
Objection – 6: There is a reference to Krishna’s Bhagawatam verse in Gaudapada’s ‘Uttara Gita Bhashya’. How can you deny the historicity of Bhagawatam in ancient times?
There is no reason strong enough to break our heads on this objection. There is an opinion within the Advaita community itself that ‘Uttara Gita’ commentary attributed to ‘gaudapada’ is not originally his work. Let me not reject that commentary as not belonging to gaudapada’s pen. Let’s travel the happy path only.
Even if we accept that there were some verses quoted by gaudapada which exactly are found in Krishna-Bhagawatam today, it should not be surprising to say that most probably the author of Krishna-Bhagawatam would have found those verses interesting and would have copied them in his fiction novel. There is substantial evidence to this possibility because in this article itself in section 12.2 I have shown how shamelessly the author of Krishna-Bhagavatam had copied Devi-Bhagavatam’s story of ‘Sraddhadeva Manu’ being Devi devotee and made him Vishnu devotee in his fiction novel.
In case Gaudapada gave source text name reference while citing those verses and said the book name as either ‘Bhagavata Purana’ or ‘Bhagavata’ or ‘Srimad Bhagavatam’ – we have seen in this article that all these names belong to ‘Devi Bhagavatam’ alone. Unless someone says that Gaudapada used the book name as ‘Krishna-Bhagavatam’ or ‘vaishnava-Bhagavatam’ there is all chance that he might have referenced those verses from Devi-Bhagavatam itself. And since there arise some recensions of same text across the geographies, it is quite possible that whatever verses he had referenced from ‘Devi Bhagavatam’ might not be present in the extant recensions of the same text with us today. And since the name of the bogus text is a copy of the original ‘Devi Bhagavatam’, the author of Krishna-Bhagavatam might have cleverly copied those verses from gaudapada’s work into his fiction novel.
And if at all in Gaudapada’s time Krishna-Bhagawatam was in existence, naturally if not Shankara for sure Ramanuja would have referenced that text in his works – Ramanuja being a staunch vaishnavite. There is no reason why Ramanuja would not quote Krishna-Bhagavatam in any of his works.
Therefore, all the weak and feeble support that Vaishnavites try to gain from Gaudapada’s some citations (of doubtful nature) are as good as seeing a straw floating on oceanic water and thinking to save oneself from drowning by holding that straw. Funny!
APPENDIX – B: The Puzzle of ‘Padma-Kalpa’!
As seen in earlier sections, there is one mischievous verse in Srimad-Bhagavatam which confused the modern day readers and this verse is responsible for varied opinions. That verse is quoted below. Let’s try to solve that puzzle once and for all.
“parimāṇaṁ ca kālasya kalpa-lakṣaṇa-vigraham |
yathā purastād vyākhyāsye pādmaṃ kalpamatho śṛṇu ||” (SB 2:10:47)
“O King, I shall in due course explain the measurement of time in its gross and subtle features with the specific symptoms of each, but for the present let me explain unto you the Pādma-kalpa”.
Surprisingly the Vaishnava commentators of Krishna-Bhagavatam didn’t consider Krishna-Bhagavatam to be of ‘Padma kalpa’. They all unanimously considered this book to be of our current kalpa viz. ‘Svetavaraha-kalpa’ only. Well, what these ‘vaishnavite’ commentators including ‘Srila Prabhupada’ of ISKCON said about the above verse is true. I agree with them.
Before solving this puzzle, let us look at two more verses from the same book. In 3rd Canto we find that Krishna-Bhagavatam talks about two kalpa-s named ‘Brahma Kalpa’, and ‘Padma Kalpa’ as quoted below. In the ‘first parārdha’ i.e., first 50 years of Brahma’s life, the very beginning kalpa was called ‘Brahma kalpa’ here as that was the kalpa when brahma was born.
“pūrvasyādau parārdhasya brāhmo nāma mahān abhūt |
kalpo yatrābhavad brahma śabda-brahmeti yaṁ viduḥ ||” (SB 3:11:35)
“In the beginning of the first half of Brahmā’s life, there was a ‘kalpa’ called Brāhma-kalpa, wherein Lord Brahmā appeared. The birth of the Vedas was simultaneous with Brahmā’s birth”.
At the end of that parArdha, i.e., in the last kalpa of the 50 years (i.e., 50th year), it is said brahma emerged from the lotus of Vishnu’s navel. Hence that is called as ‘Padma kalpa’.
“tasyaiva cānte kalpo ’bhūd yaṁ pādmam abhicakṣate |
yad dharer nābhi-sarasa āsīl loka-saroruham ||” (SB 3:11:36)
“The kalpa which happened at the end of the ‘pUrvArdha (first half of Brahma’s life)’ is known as the Pādma-kalpa because in that kalpa the universal lotus flower grew out of the navel reservoir of water of the lord, Hari”.
Then the next verse states that the 51st year of Brahma which we are currently in is the first kalpa of the 2nd half of brahma’s life (2nd parArdha). And it says that this kalpa, is called ‘varaha kalpa’.
Well, the Kalpa-theory is little complex one. Based on the unit of measurement chosen, the durations and the metrics vary. For example, we see some Puranas say that – ‘One Kalpa is one day of Brahma’ – and they also say – ‘360 kalpas make one year of Brahma’. This is just one way of measurement based on the unit chosen. We have ‘Vayu Purana’ which says – “ekaṃkalpasahasraṃ tu brahmaṇo’bdaḥ prakīrtitaḥ || (Vayu Purana 22:04)” – meaning “A year of brahma consists of a thousand kalpas”.
Therefore, based on such units of measurement Vayu Purana gives 33 Kalpa names, whereas in other Puranas usually we find 30 kalpa names only.
The list of kalpas is given in Matsya, Skanda and Vayu Puranas. Vayu Purana gives a different name, but Matsya and Skanda Purana list is almost same. There are 30 kalpas spanning the 30 days (i.e., month) of Brahma.
They are –
(1)Śveta, (2)Nīlalohita, (3)Vāmadeva, (4)Rathantara, (5)Raurava, (6)Deva, (7)Vṛhat, (8)Kandarpa, (9)Sadya, (10)Iśāna, (11)Tamah, (12)Sārasvata, (13)Udāna, (14)Gāruda, (15)Kaurma, (16)Nārasiṃha, (17)Samāna, (18)Āgneya, (19)Soma, (20)Mānava, (21)Tatpumān, (22)Vaikuṇṭha, (23)Lakṣmī, (24)Sāvitrī, (25)Aghora, (26)Varāha, (27)Vairaja, (28)Gaurī, (29)Māheśvara, (30)Pitṛ.
These thirty days which form a ‘month’ of Brahma, keep repeating, and the aggregate of 12 such months becomes ‘one year’ of Brahma. And such 100 years form the ‘life span’ of brahma. This 100-year lifespan of Brahma is divided into two halves called “parArdha-s”, the first half is already over; the second half is currently running. Hence we read sankalpa during worship as “adyabrahmaNaH Dwitiya parArdhe…”.
If we note the names of ‘kalpa-s’, there is no kalpa named – ‘Brahma kalpa’, and ‘padma kalpa’. Strange? The reason is, these two kalpas viz. Brahma kalpa’, and ‘padma kalpa’ are not proper names they are common names applicable on each and every kalpa.
The thirty names are original names of the kalpas, and at the same time each kalpa optionally can have two more names – ‘brahma-kalpa and padma-kalpa’. Because brahma’s waking up happens after every night. After each kalpa (=1 day of brahma; day only not night), there is an equal amount of night of Brahma, within which there happens a dissolution of the three worlds only; not all fourteen worlds, and the inhabitants of the three worlds get destroyed. Brahma and gods such as Adityas all merge back into Narayana for rest.
Brahma sleeps during that night, and sleep is temporary death. Therefore, again next day which is a new kalpa, let’s call it ‘varaha kalpa’, Vishnu would wake Brahma up and inspire him for creation (of the dissolved fragments and creatures), therefore since Brahma is now coming into action from his sleep which is the temporary death, he is considered as coming into being again relatively. Hence he is kind of re-appearing into the scene (even though he existed but absorbed into narayana for sleep). Hence this re-coming is always ‘brahma-kalpa’ even if it is technically NOT the original creation of Brahma.
The merging of Brahma and gods such as Adityas back into Narayana and their reappearance after the night of Brahma when the day starts again – is very clearly mentioned in ‘Harivamsa Parva’ of Mahabharata as cited in below verses.
“brahmāṇam agrataḥ kṛtvā saha āditya gaṇaiḥ vibhum ।
yogaṃ yogīśvaraṃ devam ajaṃ kṣetrajñam acyutam ।
praviśanti sura śreṣṭhaṃ hariṃ nārāyaṇaṃ prabhum ॥“ (Harivamsa Parva 1:8:30)
“On the completion of this period of kalpa, this order of twelve Aditya-s along with creator-brahma will merge in nArAyaNa, who is lord, supreme in yoga, yoga itself, gnosis itself, perishless, loftiest god, and Almighty hari”.
“yaḥ sraṣṭā sarva-bhūtānāṃ kalpānteṣu punaḥ punaḥ ।
avyaktaḥ śāśvato devaḥ tasya sarvam idaṃ jagat ॥“ (Harivamsa Parva 1:8:31)
“Thus, the whole universe is in him and with him, who is unmanifest and everlasting, and who cyclically and periodically architects the universe”.
“tatra saṃvartate rātriḥ sakala-eka-arṇave tadā ।
nārāyaṇaḥ udare nidrāṃ brāhmyaṃ varṣa-sahasrakam ॥“ (Harivamsa Parva 1:8:32)
“When whole universe is under the single sheet of waters – eka arNavam – then nArAyaNa will be in yogic slumber in the bosom of that water till the completion of thousand year night-time, rather sleep-time, of brahma is completed”.
“tāvantam iti kālasya rātriḥ iti abhiśabditā ।
nidrā yogam anuprāpto yasyāṃ śete pitāmahaḥ ॥“ (Harivamsa Parva 1:8:33)
“That much is said to be the night-time of brahma, during which brahma retires from creation, and spends time in yogic repose in nArAyana”.
“sā ca rātriḥ apakrāntā sahasra-yuga-paryayā ।
tadā prabuddho bhagavān brahmā lokapitāmahaḥ ॥34
punaḥ sisṛkṣayā yuktaḥ sargāya vidadhe manaḥ ।
sa eva smṛtiḥ purāṇe iyaṃ tad vṛttaṃ tat viceṣṭitam ॥35
deva sthānāni tāni eva kevalaṃ ca viparyayaḥ ।
tato dagdhāni bhūtāni sarvāṇi āditya raśmibhiḥ ॥36
deva rṣi yakṣa gandharvāḥ piśāca uraga rākṣasāḥ ।
jāyante ca punaḥ tāta yuge bharatasattama ॥“ (Harivamsa Parva 1:8:37)
“When that four-era night of brahma has elapsed then that grandsire starts his day again with a mind to create anew and commences to create afresh… then, starting with abodes of ethereal gods – which gods are existent yet non-existent together with those beings that are burnt by the radiation of AdityA-s; as well as the hosts of gods, sages, yakSa-s, gandharvA-s, pishAcA-s, reptiles, and rAkSasA-s… all are given a renascence commensurable with that of previous kalpa”.
“yathartāvṛtu liṅgāni nānā rūpāṇi paryaye ।
dṛśyante tāni tāni eva tathā brāhmīṣu rātriṣu ॥“ (Harivamsa Parva 1:8:38)
“As to how coldness, or hotness, manifest with the manifestation of cold season, or hot season, so the manifestation of beings takes place when the night of brahma lapses into day”.
“niṣkramitvā prajā-kāraḥ prajāpatiḥ asaṃśayam ।
ye ca vai mānavā devāḥ sarve caiva maharṣayaḥ ॥39
te saṅgatāḥ śuddhasaṅgāḥ śaśvat dharma visargataḥ ।
na bhavanti punaḥ tāta yuge bharatasattama ॥“ (Harivamsa Parva 1:8:40)
“The Makers of People – prajA-kAra-s, prajApati – will emerge out of nArAyaNa, and start improvising beings… and some humans, gods and sages who lived in last kalpa with a detachment to wildly affairs leaving off the penchant for their bodily pleasures, they do not recur in the ensuing kalpa”.
Therefore, technically a Brahma would have only one original ‘birth’ and when that happens, it marks the ‘beginning’ of ‘kalpa-s’. Therefore, the ‘First kalpa’ when the current Brahma was born, that kalpa was ‘Svetavaraha-kalpa’ only. But since it was the ‘kalpa’ when he was born, that ‘kalpa’ is additionally called as – Brahma-Kalpa! However, as discussed above, after every day, in his night time, Brahma gets absorbed into ‘nArayaNa’ for sleep. And when he gets again woken up the next day, he springs from nArAyaNa and he is again coming to life ‘symbolically’. Therefore, every new day the Brahma is symbolically ‘born again’. Therefore, the name – Brahma-Kalpa is applicable to all the ‘kalpa-s’. That is why there is no ‘kalpa’ in the list cited in ‘Purana-s’ explicitly named ‘Brahma-Kalpa’.
Now, let us understand what is ‘Padma Kalpa’. Well, how does Brahma gets back to life when he gets woken up on the next day after his sleep? And where from does he create worlds? He always remains seated over Vishnu’s lotus., i.e., after walking up, Brahma gets projected out of nArAyaNa via the lotus-stalk of nArAyaNa’s navel and he gets situated above the lotus which extends till ‘brahma loka’. From there he begins creation. Brahma loka is situated connected down to Vishnu via his supportive stalk of lotus emerging form Vishnu’s navel. Therefore, Brahma who is active now and engaged in creation, is active on the Padma of Vishnu’s navel after getting birth again form that lord ‘padmanAbha’ only. Therefore, he is again, ‘padma-yoni’ (the one who became re-manifest or active from lotus). Thus, despite the original name of that running ‘kalpa’ possibly being something else (Varaha or whatever), it also additionally has ‘Padma kalpa’ as its name.
So, while other names of kalpas may or may not be applicable on each and every kalpa, the names ‘brahma kalpa’, and ‘padma kalpa’ are applicable on every kalpa as an additional name. Creation is cyclic, but within creation also Brahma’s sleep and waking up is cyclic too.
Also, let’s see another point – We have only around 30 to 33 names of kalpas, but Brahma’s lifespan is 100 years. Each kalpa being just a day, 30 days of Brahma is one month means the 30 names of kalps are only the names of one month, and then again on the beginning of new month the names of kalpas would repeat. Here the actual incidents which marked the names of those kalpas, may or may not necessarily repeat. It is as similar as the Hindu calendar names which has only 60 year names and then the cycle repeats. If you were born in “vishvavasu” year, and you have dearly associated that year name with you because it was your birth year so much so that – that year name signifies your birth. Then, in your own lifespan of 100 years, you are destined to see that year name repeating after you attain 60 years of age. But then it only may bring your memory of your birth year back, but technically you are NOT taking birth again. So, the second coming has become just a relative term not the original one. The same concept applies on creation cycles also where the names keep repeating subsequently.
So, originally the Kalpa names remain based on the specific original events, such as Varaha form of Vishnu makes it Varaha kalpa. But since in this ‘varaha kalpa’ also Brahma’s sleep and coming again into being happens after the previous night period of Brahma, therefore ‘varaha kalpa’ gains additionally two more optional names – ‘brahma kalpa‘ and ‘padma kalpa‘!.
In one instance within Mahabharata we find some different system employed to calculate the durations of Time, due to which we see Mahabharata enumerating the ‘Padma Kalpa’ as the seventh kalpa as quoted below.
“vyāsa uvāca |
prāpte prajāvisarge vai saptame padmasambhave।
nārāyaṇo mahāyogī śubhāśubhavivarjitaḥ॥ 17
sasṛje nābhitaḥ pūrvaṃ brahmāṇamamitaprabhaḥ। |” (MBH 12:349:16-18a)
“Vyasa said, ‘On the occasion of the SEVENTH creation, viz., that which was due to the primeval Lotus, Narayana, endued with the austerest penances, transcending both good and ill, and possessed of unrivalled splendour, at first created Brahma, from his navel”.
Even ‘Vayu Purana’, which uses different calculations to arrive at ‘Kalpa’ etc. duration of time; it calls ‘Padma kalpa’ as the ‘seventh kalpa’. However, noteworthy point is that ‘Vayu Purana’ also says ‘Varaha Kalpa’ too as the ‘seventh kalpa’. Therefore, it is evident here that ‘padma kalpa’, as well as ‘varaha kalpa’ are the names of same ‘kalpa’ only.
Here is the verse from ‘Vayu Purana’, which calls ‘Padma kalpa’ as the ‘seventh kalpa’.
“manvantarasya saṃhāre paścimasya mahātmanaḥ।
āsīttu saptamaḥ kalpaḥ padmo nāma dvijottama |
vārāhaḥ sāmpratasteṣāṃ tasya vakṣyāmi vistaram ||“(Vayu Purana 21.11)
“Hey high souled Brahmanas! After the expiration of the last manvantara, the seventh kalpa was called as ‘Padma kalpa’ (*read note below). Currently ‘Varaha kalpa’ is running about which I would explain in detail’”.
Note: – In above verse here it talks in Past tense about ‘Padma Kalpa’ because Padma i.e., Lotus emerged at the beginning of kalpa when Brahma was projected up. So, that particular ‘instance’ when this event happened makes this ‘seventh’ kalpa get named as ‘Padma-kalpa’, And now that kalpa has already progressed very much, as much as six manvantaras are already over by the time this Vayu Purana’s narrator is speaking, hence the same kalpa which is currently running Kalpa is termed thereafter with its original name ‘Svetavaraha or Varaha (in short)’.
Now in below verse, the same Purana calls the ‘seventh kalpa’ as ‘Varaha Kalpa’. Therefore, it is evident here that ‘padma kalpa’, as well as ‘varaha kalpa’ are the names of same ‘kalpa’ only.
“tatastasmistadā kalpe vārāhe saptame prabhoḥ।
punarviṣṇurmahātejāḥ kālo lokaprakālanaḥ।
manurvaivasvato nāma tava putro bhaviṣyati ।।“ (Vayu Purana 23.106)
“Then in the seventh kalpa of the lord, in the Varaha Kalpa, Vishnu of great splendor, Kala the annihilator of the worlds will be born as your (Brahma’s) son and known as Vaivasvata Manu”.
Here the author of Krishna-Bhagavatam has used that confusing system of ‘relative-nomenclature of kalpas’ in his book – hence the confusion”.
The commentator ‘vamshidhara’ elaborating that Bhagavata’s verse (SB 2:10:47) writes what I just explained above, in his own words – “atra śvetaḥ śvetavarāhaḥ sa eva vārāhaśca ayameva brahmotpattisamaye brāhmya ucyate iti jñeyaṃ । evaṃ pitṝkalpa evaṃ prathamaparārdhārte padmanirmitalokatvātpādma ityucyate |” and other commentators also have agreed to his point.
********** om tat sat **********
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