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J. MUIK, D.C.L., LL.D. 






(All rights reserved.) 

Na vi&sho 'sti varnanam sarvatn brdhmam idetm jagat \ 
Urahmand pruva-srishtam hi Icarmabhir varnatam gatam 


" There is no distinction of castes. This world, which, 
as created by Brahma, was at first entirely Brahmanic, 
has become divided into classes in consequence of men's 
works." See pages 138 and 140. 




THE main object which I have proposed to myself in 
'this volume is to collect, translate, and illustrate the 
principal passages in the different Indian books of the 
greatest antiquity, as well as in others of comparatively, 
modern composition, which describe the creation of man- 
kind and the origin of classes, or which tend to throw 
light upon the manner in which the caste system may 
have arisen. 

I have not, however, hesitated to admit, when they 
fell in my way, such passages explanatory of the cosmo- 
gonic or mythological conceptions of the Indians as 
possess a general interest, although not immediately con- 
nected with the chief subject of the book. 

Since the first edition appeared my materials have so 

much increased that the volume has now swelled to 

more than twice its original bulk. The second and 

third chapters are almost entirely new. 1 The fourteenth 
and fifteenth sections of the fourth chapter are entirely 
so. Even those parts of the book of which the sub- 

1 The contents of these chapters are not, however, absolutely new, but 
drawn from articles which I have contributed to the Journal of the Royal 
Asiatic Society since the first edition of the volume appeared. 


stance remains the same have been so generally expanded 
that comparatively little continues without some altera- 
tion of greater or less importance. 

In order that the reader may learn at once what he 
may expect to find in the following pages, I shall supply 
here a fuller and more connected summary of their con- 
tents than is furnished by the table which follows thir> 
preface. c 

The Introduction (pp. 1-6) contains a very rapid sur- 
vey of the sources from which our information on the 
subject of caste is to be derived, viz. the Yedic hymns, 
the Brahmanas, the Epic poems, and the Puranas, in 
which the chronological order and the general charac- 
teristics of these works are stated. 

The first chapter (pp. 1-160) comprehends the myth- 
ical accounts of the creation of man and of the origin 
of castes which are to be found in the Yedic hymns, in 
the Brahmanas and their appendages, in the Kamayana, 
the Mahabharata, and the Puranas. The first section 
(pp. 7-15) contains a translation of the celebrated hymn 
called Purusha Sukta, which appears to be the oldest 
extant authority for attributing a separate origin to the 
four castes, and a discussion of the question whether the 
creation there described was intended by its author to 
convey a literal or an allegorical sense. The second, 
third, and fourth sections (pp. 15-34) adduce a series of 
passages from the works standing next in chronological 
order to the hymns of the Rig -veda, r which differ more 
or less widely from the account of the creation given in 
the Purusha Sukta, and therefore justify the conclusion 


that in the Yedic age no uniform orthodox and authori- 
tative doctrine existed in regard to the origin of castes. 
In the fifth section (pp. 35-42) the different passages in 
Manu's Institutes which bear upon the subject are 
quoted, and shewn to be not altogether in harmony with 
each other. The -sixth section (pp. 43-49) describes the 
system of great mundane periods called Yugas, Man- 
vantaras, and Kalpas , as explained in the Puranas, and 
shews that no traces of these periods are to be found in 
the hymns of the Kig-veda, and but few in the Brah- 
manas (compare p. 215 f.). Sections seventh and eighth 
(pp. 49-107) contain the accounts of the different crea- 
tions, including that of the castes, and of the primeval 
state of mankind, which are given in the Vishnu, Vayu, 
and Markandeya Puranas, together with references (see 
pp. 52 ff., 68 ff.) to passages in the Brahmanas, which ap- 
pear to have furnished some of the germs of the various 
Puranic representations, and a comparison of the details 
of the latter with each other which proves that in some 
respects they are mutually irreconcileable (see pp. 65 ff., 
102 ff.). The ninth section (pp. 107-114) adduces the 
accounts of Brahma's passion for his daughter, which 
are given in the Aitareya Brahmana and the Matsya 
Purana. In the tenth section (pp. 114-122) are embraced 
such notices connected with the subject of this volume as 
I have observed in the Eamayana. In one of the passages 
men of all the four castes are said to be the offspring of 
Manu, a female, the , daughter of Daksha, and wife of 
Kasyapa. The eleventh section contains a collection of 
texts from the Mahabharata and its appendage the Hari- 


vamsa, in which various and discrepant explanations are 
given of the existing diversity of castes, one of them 
representing all the four classes as descendants of Manu 
Vaivasvata (p. 126), others attributing the distinction of 
classes to an original and separate creation of each, which, 
however, is not always described as occurring in the same 
manner (pp. 128 ff. and 153); whilst others, ag'ain, more 
reasonably, declare the distinction e te have arisen out of 
differences of character and action. This section, as 
well as the one which precedes it, also embraces accounts 
of the perfection which prevailed in the first yugas, and 
of the gradually increasing degeneracy which ensued in 
those that followed. The twelfth section (pp. 155-158) 
contains extracts from the Bhagavata Purana, which 
coincide for the most part with those drawn from the 
other authorities. One text, however, describes mankind 
as the offspring of Aryaman and Matrika ; and another 
distinctly declares that there was originally but one caste. 
The thirteenth section (pp. 159 f.) sums up the results of 
the entire chapter, and asserts the conclusion that the 
sacred books of the Hindus contain no uniform or con- 
sistent theory of the origin of caste; but, on the con- 
trary, offer a great variety of explanations, mythical, 
mystical, and rationalistic, to account for this social phe- 

The second chapter (pp. 160-238) treats of the tra- 
dition of the descent of the Indian nation from Manu. 
The first section (pp. 162-181) contains a series of texts 
from the Eig-veda, which speak of Manu as the pro- 
genitor of the race to which the authors of the hymns 


belonged, and as the first institutor of religious rites ; 
and adverts to certain terms employed in the hymns, 
either to denote mankind in general or to signify certain 
tribal divisions. The second section (pp. 181-196) ad- 
duces a number of legends and notices regarding Manu 
from the Brahma^ias and other works next in order of 
antiquity to the hymns of the Eig-veda. The most in- 
teresting and important of these legends is that of the 
deluge, as given in the S'atapatha Brahmana, which is 
afterwards (pp. 216ff.) compared with the later versions 
of the same story found in the Mahabharata #nd the 
Matsya, Bhagavata and Agni Puranas, which are ex- 
tracted in the third section (pp. 196-220). Some re- 
marks of M. Bumouf and Professor Weber, on the 
question whether the legend of a deluge was indigenous 
in India, or derived from a Semitic source, are noticed 
in pp. 215 f. The fourth section adduces the legendary 
accounts of the rise of castes among the descendants of 
Manu and Atri, which are found in the Puranas ; and 
quotes a story given in the Mahabharata about king 
Yitahavya, a Kshattriya, being transformed into a Brah- 
man by the mere word of the sage Bhrigu. 

In the third chapter (pp. 239-295) I have endeavoured 
to shew what light is thrown by a study of the hymns of 
the Eig- and Atharva-vedas upon the mutual relations of 
the different classes of Indian society at the time when 
those hymns were composed. In the first section (pp; 
240-265) the various texts of the Eig-veda in which the 
words brahman and brahmana occur are cited, and an 
attempt is made to determine the senses in which those 


words are there employed. The result of this examina- 
tion is that in none of the hymns of the Eig-veda, except 
the Purusha Sukta, is there any distinct reference to a 
recognized system 1 of four castes, although the occasional 
use of the word Brahmana, which is apparently equi- 
valent to Brahma-putra, or "the son a of a priest," and 
other indications seem to justify the conclusion 1 that the 
priesthood had already become a profession, although it 
did not yet form an exclusive caste (see pp. 258 f., 263 ff.). 
The second section (pp. 265-280) is made up of quota- 
tions from the hymns of the Eig-veda and various other 
later works, adduced to shew that persons who according 
to ancient Indian tradition were not of priestly families 
were in many instances reputed to be authors of Vedic 
hymns, and in two cases, at least, are even said to have 
exercised priestly functions. These two cases are those 
(1) of Devapi (pp. 269ff.), and (2) of Yisvamitra, which is 
afterwards treated at great length in the fourth chapter. 
This section concludes with a passage from the Matsya 
Purana, which not only speaks of the Kshattriyas Manu, 
Ida, and Pururavas, as " utterers of Vedic hymns " 
(mantra-vddinah) ; but also names three Yaisyas, Bha- 
landa, Vandya, and Sankirtti, as " composers of hymns " 
(mantra-kritaJi). The third section (pp. 280-289) shews 
by quotations from the Atharva-veda that at the period 
when those portions of that collection which are later 
than the greater part of the Eig-veda were composed, 
the pretensions of the Brahmans had been considerably 
developed. The fourth section (pp. 289-295) gives 
an account of the opinions expressed by Professor 


E. Roth and Dr. M. Haug regarding the origin of 

The fourth chapter (pp. 296-479) contains a series of 
legendary illustrations derived from the Ramayana, the 
Mahabharata, and the Puranas, of the struggle which 
appears to have occurred in the early ages of Indian 
history between the Brahmans and the Kshattriyas, after 
the former had begt\Q to constitute an exclusive sacerdotal 
class, but before their rights had become accurately denned 
by long prescription, and when the members of the ruling 
caste Vere still indisposed to admit their pretensions. 
I need not here state in detail the contents of the first 
five sections (pp. 296-317) which record various legends 
descriptive of the ruin which is said to have overtaken 
different princes by whom the Brahmans were slighted 
and their claims resisted. The sixth and following 
sections down to the thirteenth (pp. 317-426) contain, 
first, such references to the two renowned rivals, Va- 
sishtha and Visvamitra as are found in the hymns of 
the Rig-veda, and which represent them both as Yedic 
rishis ; secondly, such notices of them as occur in the 
Brahmanas, and shew that Visvamitra, as well as Va- 
sishtha, had officiated as a priest; and, thirdly, a series 
of legends from the Ramayana and Mahabharata which 
describe the repeated struggles for superiority in which 
they were engaged, and attempt, by a variety of 
fictions, involving miraculous elements, to explain the 
manner in which ^isvamitra became a Brahman, and 
to account for the fact which was so distinctly cer- 
tified by tradition (see pp. 361 ff.), but appeared so un- 


accountable in later ages (see pp. 265 f., 364ff.), that that 
famous personage, although notoriously a Kshattriya by 
birth, had nevertheless exercised sacerdotal functions. 2 
The fourteenth section (pp. 426-430) contains a story 
from the S'atapatha Brahmana about king Janaka, a Ea- 
janya, renowned for his stoical temperament and religious 
knowledge, who communicated theological instruction to 

, < 

2 As I have omitted in the body of the work to say anything of the views 
of Signor Angelo de Gubernatis about the purport of the Vedic texts 
relating to Vasishtha and Vis'vamitra, I may state here that this young 
Italian Sanskritist, in his Essay, entitled " Fonti Vediche dell' jCpopea " 
(see the Rivista Orientale, vol. i. pp. 409 ff., 478 f), combats the opinion 
of Professor Roth that these passages refer to two historical personages, 
and to real events in which they played a part ; and objects that Roth 
" took no account of the possibility that a legend of the heavens may have 
been based upon a human foundation " (p. 409). Signor de Gubernatis 
further observes that the 33rd and 53rd hymns of the third Mandala of the 
Rig-veda " may perhaps have been recited at a later period in connection 
with some battle which really occured, but that the fact which they cele- 
brate seems to be much more ancient, and to be lost in a very remote 
myth" (p. 410). Vis'vamitra, he considers, is one of the appellations of 
the sun, and as both the person who bears this name, and Indra are the 
sons of Kusika, they must be brothers (p. 412. See, however, the remarks 
in p. 347 f. of this volume on the epithet Kausika as applied to Indra). 
Sudas, according to Signor de Gubernatis (p. 413), denotes the horse of the 
sun, or the sun himself, while Vasishtha is the greatest of the Vasus, and 
denotes Agni, the solar fire, and means, like Vis'vamitra, the sun (p. 483). 
Signor de Gubernatis is further of opinion (pp. 414, 478, 479, and 483) that 
both the 33rd and 53rd hymns of the third, and the 18th hymn of the 
seventh Mandala are comparatively modern ; that the names of Kus'ikas 
and Vis'vamitras claimed by the authors of the two former, are fraudu- 
lently assumed ; while the last (the 18th hymn of the seventh Mandala) was 
composed by a sacerdotal family who claimed Vasishtha as its founder. 
I will only remark tliat the theory of Signor de Gubernatis appears to me 
to be an improbable one. But the only point of much importance for my 
own special purpose is that ancient Indian tradition represents both 
Vasishtha and Vis'vamitra as real personages, the one of either directly 
divine, or of sacerdotal descent, and the other of royal lineage. They 
may, however, have been nothing more than legendary creations, the 
fictitious eponymi of the families which bore the same name. 


some eminent Brahmans, and became a member of their 
class. In the fifteenth section (pp. 431-436) two other 
instances are adduced from the same Brahmana and from 
two of the Upanishads, of Kshattriyas who were in pos- 
session of truths unknown to the Brahmans, and who, 
contrary to the usual rule, became the teachers of the 
latter. The sixteenth section (pp. 436-440) contains an 
extract from the 4dtareya Brahmana regarding king 
Visvantara who, after at first attempting to prevent 
the S'yaparna Brahmans from officiating at his sacrifice, 
became at length convinced by one of their number of 
their superior knowledge, and accepted their services. 
In the seventeenth section (pp. 440-442) a story is told 
of Matanga, the spurious offspring of a Brahman woman 
by a man of inferior caste, who failed, in spite of his 
severe and protracted austerities, to elevate himself (as 
Visvamitra had done) to the rank of a Brahman. The 
eighteenth section (pp. 442-479) contains a series of 
legends, chiefly from the Mahabharata, regarding the 
repeated exterminations of the Kshattriyas by the war- 
like Brahman Parasurama of the race of Bhrigu, and 
the ultimate restoration of the warrior tribe, and a 
variety of extravagant illustrations of the supernatural 
power of the Brahmans, related by the god Vayu to 
king Arjuna, who began by denying the superiority of 
the priests, but was at length compelled to succumb 
to the overwhelming evidence adduced by his aerial 
monitor. %^ 

In the fifth chapter (pp. 480-488) I have given some 
account of the opinions entertained by Manu, and the 


authors of the Mahabharata and the Puranas, regarding 
the origin of the tribes dwelling within, or adjacent to, 
the boundaries of Hindustan, but not comprehended in 
the Indian caste-system. 

The sixth and concluding chapter (pp. 489-504) con- 
tains the Puranic accounts of the parts of the earth ex- 
terior to Bharatavarsha, or India, embracing first, the 
other eight Yarshas or divisions of Jambudvipa, the cen- 
tral continent ; secondly, the circular seas and continents 
(dvipas) by which Jambudvipa is surrounded ; and, 
thirdly, the remoter portions of the mundane system. 

The Appendix (pp. 505-515) contains some supple- 
mentary notes. 

As in the previous edition, I have been careful to 
acknowledge in the text and notes of this volume the 
assistance which I have derived from the writings of the 
different Sanskrit Scholars who have treated of the same 
subjects. It will, however, be well to specify here the 
various publications to which I have been indebted for 
materials. In 1858, I wrote thus : " It will be seen at 
once that my greatest obligations are due to Professor 
H. H. Wilson, whose translation of the Vishnu Purana, 
with abundant and valuable notes, derived chiefly from 
the other Puranas, was almost indispensable to the suc- 
cessful completion of such an attempt as the present." 
In this second edition also I have had constant occasion 
to recur to Wilson's important work^aow improved and 
enriched by the additional notes of the editor Dr. Fitz- 
edward Hall. It is to his edition, so far as it has yet ap- 


peared, that my references have been made. I acknow- 
ledged at the same time the aid which I had received 
from M. Langlois' French translation of the Harivamsa, 
and from M. Burnouf's French translation of the first 
nine books of the Bhagavata Purana, which opened up 
an easy access to the contents of the original works. A 
large amoftnt of materials has also been supplied to me, 
either formerly or for the preparation of the present 
edition, by Mr. Colebrooke's Miscellaneous Essays ; by 
Professor C. Lassen's Indian Antiquities ; Professor 
Eudolph Eoth's Dissertations on the Literature and 
History of the Yedas, and contributions to the Journal of 
the German Oriental Society, and to Weber's Indische 
Studien, etc. ; Professor Weber's numerous articles in 
the same Journals, and his History of Indian Literature ; 
Professor Max Miiller's History of Ancient Sanskrit 
Literature, Chips from a German Workshop, article on 
the Funeral rites of the Brahmans, etc. ; Professor 
Benfey's Glossary of the Sama Yeda, and translations 
of Yedic hymns ; Dr. Haug's text and translation of 
the Aitareya Brahmana : while much valuable aid has 
been derived from the written communications with 
which I have been favoured by Professor Aufrecht, 
as well as from his Catalogue of the Bodleian Sanskrit 
MSS. I am also indebted to Professor Miiller for point- 
ing out two texts which will be found in the Appendix, 
and to Professor Goldstucker for copying for me two 
passages of KumarHa Bhatta's Mimansa-varttika, wMch 
are printed in the same place, and for making some 
corrections in my translations of them. 


I formerly observed that at the same time my own 
Researches had u enabled me to collect a good many 
texts which I had not found elsewhere adduced ; " and 
the same remark applies to a considerable portion of 
the new matter which has been adduced in the present 



v. xvi. PREFACE. 




7 15. SECT. I. Ninetieth hymn of the tenth Book of the Rig- 

veda Sanhita, called Purusha-Sukta, or the hymn to 

15 \6. SECT. II. Quotation from the Taittiriya Sanhita, vii. 1, 

1, 4ff. 
17 22. SECT. III. Citations from the S'atapatha Brahmana, the 

Taittiriya Brahmana, the Vayasaneyi Sanhita, and the 


22 34. SECT. IV. Further quotations from the Taittinya Brah- 
mana, Sanhita, and Aranyaka, and from the S'atapatha 


35 42. SECT. Y. Manu's account of the origin of castes. 
43 49. SECT. VI. Account of the system of yugas, manvantaras, 

and kalpas, according to the Vishnu Purana and other 

49 73. SECT. VII. Account of the different creations, including 

that of the castes, according to the Vishnu Purana, with 

some passages from the Brahmanas, containing the gexms 

of the Purfcr'c statements. 
74 107. SECT. VIII. Account of the different creations, including 

that of the castes, according to the Vayu and Markandeya 




107 114. SECT. IX. Legend of Brahma and his daughter, according 

to the Aitareya Brahmana, and of S'atarupa, according to 

the Matsya Purana. 
114 122. SECT. X. Quotations from the Ramayana on the creation, 

and on the origin of castes. 
122 155. SECT. XI. Quotations from the Mahabharata and Hari- 

vamsa on the same subjects, and on the four yugas. 
155 158. SECT. XII. Citations from the Bhagavata Purana on the 

creation and on the origin of castes. * 

159160. SECT. XIII. Results of this chapter. 


162 181. SECT. I. On Manu as the progenitor of the Aryan Indians 
and the institutor of religious rites, according to the 
hymns of the Rig-veda. 

181 196. SECT. II. Legend of Manu and the deluge from the S'ata- 
patha Brahmana, and other notices regarding Manu from 
the S'atapatha, Aitareya, and Taittiriya Brahmanas, the 
Taittirlya Sanhita, and the Chandogya Upanishad. 

196 220. SECT. III. Extracts from the Mahabharata and the Matsya, 
Bhagavata, and Agni Puranas regarding Manu, and the 
deluge ; and comparison of the versions of this, legend 
adduced in this and the preceding section. 

220 238. SECT. IV. Legendary accounts of the origin of castes 
among the descendants of Manu and Atri, according to 
the Puranas. 



240 265. SECT. I. On the signification of the words brahman and 
brahmana, etc., in the Rig-veda. 

265 280. SECT. II. Quotations from the Rig-veda, the Nirukta, the 

Mahabharata and other works, to show that according to 

ancient Indian tradition persons not of priestly families 

were authors of Yedic hymns, and exercised priestly 

e functions. 

280289. SECT. III. Texts from the Ath:.rva-veda, illustrating the 
progress of Brahmanical pretensions. 

289 295. SECT. IV. Opinions of Professor R. Roth and Dr. M. Haug 
regarding the origin of caste among the Hindus. 





296 298. SECT. I. Manu's summary of refractory and submissive 


298 306. SECT. II. Legend of Vena. 
306 307. SECT. III. Legend of Pururavas. 
307315. SECT. IV. Story of Nahusha. 
316317. SECT. V. Story of Nimi. 
317 337. SECT. VI. Vasishtha, according to the Rig-veda and later 

works. * 

337 371. SECT. VII. Visvamitra, according to the Rig-veda, Aita- 
reya Brahmana and later authorities ; earlier and later 

relations of priestly families and the other classes. 
371 375. SECT. Vila. Do the details in the last two sections enable 

us to decide in what relation Vasishtha and Visvamitra 

stood to each other as priests of Sudas ? 
375378. SECT. VIII. Story of Trisanku. 
379 388. SECT. IX. Legend of Harischandra. 
388 397. SECT. X. Contest of Vasishtha and Visvamitra, and en- 

trance of the latter into the Brahman caste, according to 

the Mahabharata. 
397 411. SECT. XI. The same legend, and those of Trisanku, and 

Ambarisha, according to the Ramayana, with a further 

story about Visvamitra from the Mahabharata. 
411 414. SECT. XII. Other accounts from the Mahabharata of the 

way in which Visvamitra became a Brahman. 
414 426. SECT. XIII. Legend of Saudasa, and further story of the 

rivalry of Vasishtha and Visvamitra, according to the 

Mahabharata, with an extract from the Raja Tarangim. 
426 430. SECT. XIV. Story from the S'atapatha Brahmana about 

king Janaka becoming a Brahman, with extracts from the 

Mahabharata about the same prince. 
431 436. SECT. XV. Other instances in which Brahmans are said 

to have been instructed in divine knowledge by Kshat- 

436 440. SECT. XVlfr Story of king Visvantara and the S'yaparna 

440 442. SECT. XVII. Story of Matanga, who tried in vain to raise 

himself to the position of a Brahman. 



442479. SECT. XVIII. 'Legend of the Brahman Parasurama, the 
exterminator of the Kshattriyas, according to the Haha- 
bharata and the Bhagavata Purana, with a series of nar- 
ratives from the former work illustrating the superhuman 
power of the Brahmans. 




517532. INDEX. 


Page 23, line 19, for "beingy ellow " read "being yellow." 

38, ITS., for "59-64" read 11 58-63." 

42, 4 from foot, for "p. 36 " read "p. 37." 

46, 26, for " p. 42 " read " p. 43." 

47, 8, for " 12,826 " read iii. 826." 

51, 17, for " Purushottasna " read " Purushottama." 

,,123, 19, for " to " read " tu." 

,, 127, 18 f., for "the two by wbicb these three are followed," read "two of 

those which follow, viz. in pp. 134 and 139." 

136, 18, for " 116" read " 11 and 12." 

169, 26, for " Vivaswat " read " Vivasvat." 

,, 170, ,, 28 and 33, for " Mataris'wan " read Mataris'van." 

,, 171, ,, 26, for " As'wins " read " As'vins." 

180, 28, before " Prajapatir " insert "ii. 33." 

194, 5, for " ma bhaja " read " ma abhaja." 

221, 20, before " Prishadhras" insert "iv. 1, 12." 

222, 7, for " ix. 2 " read " ix. 2, 16." 

i, ,) 13, before " Nabhago" insert " iv. 1, 14." 

235, 19, for "iv. " ^^"ix." 

251, 27, for "3" read " 2." 

258, 3 from the foot, for "viii." read "vii." 

274, 8, for " D'llipat " read " Dillpat." 

280, ,, 14, for " was" read " were." 

307, 10, for "virat" read " viraj." 

,,308, 24, before " Nahusho" insert "12460. " ^^ 

318, 4, for " 139 f." read " 161 f." 

371, 12, for " vii." read " viia." 

,,399, 18, for "58, 18" read" 56, 18." 

487, ,, 2, for " thei rdesertion " read " their desertion." 





I PBOPOSE in the present volume to give some account of the tra- 
ditions, legends, and mythical narratives which the different classes 
of ancient Indian writings contain regarding the origin of mankind, 
and the classes or castes into which the Hindus have long been dis- 
tributed. In order to ascertain whether the opinions which have 
prevailed in India on these subjects have continued fixed and uniform 
from the earliest period, or whether they have varied from age to age, 
and if so, what modifications they have undergone, it is necessary 
that we should first of all determine the chronological order of the 
various works from which our information is to be drawn. This task 
of classification can, as far as regards its great outlines, be easily ac- 
complished. Although we cannot discover sufficient grounds for fixing 
with any precision the dates of these different books, we are perfectly 
able to settle the order in which the most important of those which 
are to form the basis of this investigation were composed. From a 
comparison of these several literary records, it will be found that the 
Hindus, like all other civilized nations, have passed through various 
stages of development, social, moral, religious, and intellectual. The 
ideas and beliefs which are exhibited in their oldest documents, are 
not the same as those which we encounter in their later writings. 



The principal books to which we must look for information on the 
subjects of our enquiry are the Yedas, including the Brahmanas and 
"Upanishads, the Sutras, the Institutes of Manu, and the Itiaajas and 
Puranas. Of these different classes of works, the Vedas are allowed 
by all competent enquirers to be by far the most ancient. 

There are, as every student of Indian literature is awaro, foar 
Vedas, the Rig-veda, the Sama-veda, the Yajur-veda, and the A1 ha" i- 
veda. Each of the collections of works known as a Voda c ra^'s 4 of 
two parts, which are called its mantra and its brahmana. 1 T he ii i- 
tras are either metrical hymns, or prose farms of prayer. Th. P ;< 5- 
veda and the Samaveda consist only of mantras of the forme: daoalp- 
tion. The Brahmanas contain regulations regarding the ennlcyrr'.it 
of the mantras, and the celebration of the various rites of sacrifice, 
and also embrace certain treatises called Aranyakas, and others called 
Upanishads or Vedantas (so called from their being the concluding 
portions of each Veda), which expound the mystical sense ol some of 
the ceremonies, and discuss the nature of the godhead, and the aieens 
of acquiring religious knowledge with a view to final liberation. 

The part of each Veda which contains the mantras, or hymns, is 
called its Sanhita. 2 Thus the Rig-veda Sanhita means the collect 'c.j of 
hymns belonging to the Rig-veda. Of the four collections of h^mns, 
that belonging to the last-mentioned Veda, which contains no 1 is& than 
1,017 of these compositions, is by far the most important for historical 
purposes. Next in value must be reckoned those hymns of the Atharva- 
veda, which are peculiar to that collection, another portion of which, 
however, is borrowed, in most cases, verbatim, from the Rig-veda." 

1 Sayana says in his commentary on the Rigveda (vol. p. i. p. 4) : Ma-,itrc.-brah 
manatmakam tavad adushtam lakshanam \ ata eva Apastambo yajna-paribhaskayam 
evaha ' mantra-brahmanayor veda-namadheyairi \ "The definition (of the \sdai as a 
book composed of mantra and brahmana, is unobjectionable. He.nce Apastambr 1 says 
in the Yajnaparibhasha, ' Mantra an<' Brahmana have the name of Veda.' " 

2 This definition applies to all the Sanhitas, except that of the Taittirlya, or Black 
Yajur, Veda, in which Mantra and Brahmana are combined. But even this Sauhita 
had a separate Brahmana connected with it. See Miiller's Anc. Sansk. Lit. p. 350, 
and "Weber's Indische Literaturgeschichte, p. 83. The general character of the Vajas- 
aneyi and Atharva Sanhitas is not affected by the fg^t that the last section of the 
former is an Upanishad, and that the fifteenth book of the latter has something of the 
nature of a Brahmana. 

3 For further information on the Vedas, reference may be made to Professor 
Max Miiller's Ancient Sanskrit Literature, passim, and also to vols. ii. iii. and iv. of 
the present work. 


From this succinct account of the contents of the Vedas, it is clear 
that the Mantras must constitute their most ancient portions, since the 
Brahmanas, which regulate the employment of the hymns, of necessity 
pre-suppose the earlier existence of the latter. On this subject the 
commentator on the Taittiriya, or Black Yajur-veda, Sanhita thus 
expresses himself (p. 9 of the Calcutta edition) : 

Yadyapi mantrabrahmanatmako vedas tathapi brdhmanasya mantra- 
vydlchana-rupaitvad mantra evadau samdmndtdh \ " Although the Veda 
is formed both of Mantra and Brahmana, yet as the Brahmana consists 
of an explanation of the Iffantras, it is the latter which were at first 
recorded." 4 

The priority of the hymns to the Brahmanas is accordingly attested by 
the constant quotations from the former which are found in the latter. 5 
Another proof that the hymns are far older than any other portion 
of Indian literature is to be found in the character of their language. 
They are composed in an ancient dialect of the Sanskrit, containing 
many words of which the sense was no longer known with certainty in 
the age of Yaska, the author of the Nirukta, 6 and many grammatical 
forms which had become obsolete in the time of the great grammarian 
Panini, who refers to them as peculiar to the hymns (chhandas}. 1 A 
third argument in favour of the greater antiquity of the mantras is 
supplied by the fact that the gods whom they represent as the most 
prominent objects of adoration, such as Indra and Varuna, occupy 
but a subordinate position in the Itihasas and Puranas, whilst others, 
viz., Vishnu and Rudra, though by no means the most important 
deities of the hymns, are exalted to the first rank, and assume a 
different character, in the Puranic pantheon. 8 

* See also the passage quoted from the Nirukta in p. 174 of the 2nd vol. of 
this work, and that cited from Sayana in p. 195 of the same vol. Compare the 
the following passage of the Mundaka Upanishad, i. 2, 1 : Tad etat satyam mantreshu 
karmani kavayo yany apasyams tani tretayam bahudha santatani \ " This is true : 
the rites which the rishis saw (i.e. discovered by revelation) in the hymns these 
rites were in great variety celebrated in the Treta (age)." 

5 See vol. ii. of this work, p. 195, and the article on the "Interpretation of the 
Veda" in the Journal of the Jixoyal Asiatic Society, vol. ii. new series, pp. 316 ff. 

6 See vol. ii. of this work, pp. 178 ff, and my article on the "Interpretation of the 
Veda" in the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, vol. ii. new series, pp. 323 ff. 

7 See vol. ii. of this work, pp. 216 ff. 

6 See vol. ii. of this work, 212 ff, and vol. iv. 1, 2, and passim. 


On all these grounds it may be confidently concluded that the 
mantras, or hymns, of the Rig-veda are by far the most ancient 
remains of Indian literature. The hymns themselves are of different 
periods, some being older, and some more recent. This is shown not 
only by the nature of the case, as it is not to be supposed that the 
whole of the contents of such a large national collection as the Big- 
veda Sanhita should have been composed by the men of one, or 
even two, generations, but also by the frequent references which 
occur in the mantras themselves to older rishis, or poets, and to older 
hymns. 9 It is, therefore, quite possible that a period of several centuries 
may have intervened between the composition of the oldest and that of 
the most recent of these poems. But if so, it is also quite conceivable 
that in this interval considerable changes may have taken place in 
the religious ideas and ceremonies, and in the social and ecclesiastical 
institutions of the people among whom these hymns were produced, 
and that some traces of these changes may be visible on comparing the 
different hymns with each other. 

No sufficient data exist for determining with exactness the period 
at which the hymns were composed. Professor Miiller divides them 
into two classes, the Mantras or more recent hymns, which he supposes 
may have been produced between 1000 and 800 years, and the 
older hymns, to which he applies the name of Chhandas, and which 
he conceives may have been composed between 1200 and 1000 years, - 
before the Christian era. Other scholars are of opinion that they may 
be even older (see Muller's Anc. Sansk. Lit., p. 572, and the Preface to 
the 4th Vol of the same author's edition of the Rig-veda, pp. iv.-xiii). 
This view is shared by Dr. Haug, who thus writes in his introduction 
to the Aitareya Brahmana, p. 47 : " We do not hesitate, therefore, to 
assign the composition of the bulk of the Brahmanas to the years 
1400-1200 B.C. ; for the Samhita we require a period of at least 500- 
600 years, with an interval of about two hundred years between the 
end of the proper Brahmana period. Thus we obtain for the bulk of 
Samhita the space from 14.0-2000; the oldest hymns and sacrificial 
formulas may be a few hundred years more ancient still, so that we 
would fix the very commencement of Vedic literature between 2000- 
2400 B.C." 

9 See vol. ii. of this work, pp. 206 ff., and vol. iii. pp. 116 ff., 121 ff. 


Next in order of time to the most recent of the hymns come, of 
course, the Brahmanas. Of these (1) the Aitareya and S'ankhayana 
are connected with the Big-veda ; (2) the Tandya, the Panchavimsa and 
the Chhandogya with the Sama-veda ; (3) the Taittiriya with the Tait- 
tiriya or Black Yajur-veda ; (4) the Sktapatha with the Vajasaneyi San- 
hita or White Yajur-veda ; and (5) the Gopatha with the Atharva-veda. 10 
These works, written in prose, prescribe, as I have already intimated, the 
manner in which the Mantras are to be used and the various rites of sacri- 
fice to be celebrated. They also expound the mystical signification of 
some of the ceremonies, and. adduce a variety of legends to illustrate the 
origin and efficacy of some of the ritual prescriptions. That in order of 
age the Brahmanas stand next to the Mantras is proved by their simple, 
antiquated, and tautological style, as well as by the character of their 
language, which, though approaching more nearly than that of the 
hymns, to classical or Paninean Sanskrit, is yet distinguished by certain 
archaisms both of vocabulary and of grammatical form which are un- 
known to the Itihasas and Puranas. 11 The most recent portions of the 
Brahmanas are the Aranyakas and Upanishads, of which the character 
and contents have been already summarily indicated. The remaining 
works which form the basis of our investigations come under the de- 
signation of Smriti, as distinguished from that of S'ruti, which is ap- 
plied to the Mantras, Brahmanas, Aranyakas, and Upanishads. 

The term Smriti includes (1) the Vedangas, such as the Nirukta of 
Yaska, (2) the Sutras or aphorisms, srauta and grihya, or sacrificial and 
domestic, etc., (3) the Institutes of Manu, (4) the Itihasas and Puranas. 
To the class of Itihasas belong (1) the Ramayana (said to be the work 
of Valmiki), which contains an account in great part, at least, fabulous, 
of the adventures of Rama, and the Mahabharata, which describes the 
wars and adventures of the Kurus and Pandus, and embraces also a 
great variety of episodes and numerous mythological narratives, as well 
as religious, philosophical, and political discussions, which are inter- 
woven with, or interpolated in, the framework of the poem. This 

10 For further details on these Brahmanas, the reader may consult Professor Max 
Mailer's Anc. Sansk. Lit. pp. 345 ff. ; Professor Weber's Indische Literatur- 
geschichte, and Indische Studien ; and Dr. Haug's Aitareya Brahmana. 

11 See, for example, the S'. P. Br. xi. 5, 1, 15 ; and the Taitt. Sanhita, ii. 2, 10, 2, 
and ii. 6, 7, 1. 


work is said to be the production of Vyasa, but its great bulk, its 
almost encyclopaedic character, and the discrepancies in doctrine which 
are observable between its different parts, lead inevitably to the con- 
clusion that it is not the composition of a single author, but has received 
large additions from a succession of writers, who wished to obtain cur- 
rency and authority for their several opinions by introducing them into 
this great and venerated repository of national tradition. 12 

The Puranas are commonly said to be eighteen in number, in addition 
to certain inferior works of the same description called Upapuranas. 
For an account of these books and a summary of their contents, I must 
refer to the late Professor H. H. "Wilson's introduction to his translation 
of the Vishnu Purana. 13 

In treating the several topics which are to be handled in this volume, 
I propose in each case to adduce, first, any texts bearing upon it which 
may be found in the hymns of the Rig-veda ; next, those in the Brah- 
manas and their appendages ; and, lastly, those occurring in any of the 
different classes of works coming under the designation of Smriti. By 
this means we shall learn what conceptions or opinions were entertained 
on each subject by the oldest Indian authors, and what were the various 
modifications to which these ideas were subjected by their successors. 

12 On the Ramayana and Mahabharata, see Professor Monier Williams's " Indian 
Epic Poetry," which contains a careful analysis of the leading narrative of each of the 

* 3 See also the same author's analyses of the contents of the Vishnu, "V r ayu, Agni, 
and Brahma-vaivartta Purauas in the " Gleanings of Science," published in Calcutta, 
and those of the Brahma and Padma Puranas in the Journal of the Royal Asiatic 
Society, No. ix (1838) and No. x. (1839). 



IT will be seen from the different texts to be adduced in this chapter, 
that from a very early period the Indian writers have propounded a 
great variety of speculations regarding .the origin of mankind, and of 
the classes or castes into which they found their own community 
divided. The most commonly received of these explanations is the 
fable which represents the Brahmans, Kshattriyas, Vaisyas, and 
S'udras, to have been separately created from the head, the breast 
or arms, the thighs, and the feet of the Creator. Of this mythical 
account no trace is to be found in any of the hymns of the Rig-veda, 
except one, the Purusha Sukta. 

Although for reasons which will be presently stated, I esteem it 
probable that this hymn belongs to the most recent portion of the Kig- 
veda, it will be convenient to adduce and to discuss it first, along with 
certain other texts from the Brahmanas, Itihasas, and Puranas, which 
professedly treat of the origin of mankind and of caste, before we 
proceed to examine the older parts of the hymn-collection, with the 
view of ascertaining what opinion the authors of them appear to have 
entertained in regard to the earliest history of their race, and to the 
grounds of those relations which they found subsisting between the 
different classes of society contemporary with themselves, 

SECT. I. 90th Hymn of the 10th Book of the Rig-veda Sanhita, called 
Purusha Sukta, or the hymn to Purusha. 

This celebrated hymn contains, as far as we know, the oldest extant 
passage which makes mention of the fourfold origin of the Hindu race. 


In order to appreciate the character of this passage, we must con- 
sider it in connection with its context. I therefore quote the whole of 
the hymn : 14 

R. V. x. 90. 1. Sahasra-slrshd Purushah sahasrdkshah sahasra- 
pdt | sa bhumim visvato vrttvd atyatishthad dasdngulam \ 2. Purushah 
evedam sarvam yad bhutam yachcha bhdvyam \ utdmritatvasyesdno yad 
annendtirohati \ 3. Etdvdn asya mahimd ato jydydmscha Purushah 
| pddo 'sya visvd bhutdni tripdd asydmritam divi \ 4. Tripdd urdhva 
ud ait Purushah pddo 'syehdbhavat punah \ tato vishvan vyakrdmat 
sdsandna'sane abhi \ 5. tasmdd Viral ajdyata Virdjo adhi Purushah 
| sa j'dto aty arichyata paschdd bhumim atho purah \ 6. Yat Purushena 
havishd devdh yajnam atanvata \ vasanto asydsld djyam grlshmah idh- 
mah iarad havih \ 7. Tarn yajnam barhishi prauTcshan Purusham 
jdtam agratah \ tena devdh ayajanta sddhydh rishayas cha ye \ 8. 
Tasmdd yajndt sarvahutah sambhritam prishaddjyam \ pasun turns chakre 
rdyavydn dranydn grdmydi cha ye \ 9. Tasmdd yajndt sarvahutah 
richah sdmdni jajnire \ chhanddmsi jajnire tasmdd yajus tasmdd ajd- 
yata \ 10. Tasmdd asvd ajdyanta ye ke cha ubhayddatah \ gdvo ha 
jajnire tasmdt tasmdj jdtdh ajdvayah \ 11. Yat Purusham vi ada- 
dhuh katidhd vi akalpayan \ mukham kirn asya kau bdhu kd uru 
pddd uchyete \ 12. Brdhmano 'sya mukham dsld bdhu rdjanyah 
kritah \ uru tad asya yad vaisyah padbhydm sudro ajdyata \ 13. 
chandramdh manaso jdtas chakshoh suryo ajdyata \ mukhdd Indras 
cha Agnis cha pru,ndd Vdyur ajdyata \ 14. Ndbhydh dsld antari- 
ksham slrshno dyauh samavarttata \ padbhydm bhumir disah srotrdt 
tathd lokdn akalpayan \ 15. Saptdsydsan paridhayas trih sapta 
samidhah kritdh \ devdh yad yajnam tanvdndh abadhnan Purusham 
pasum | 16. Yajnena yajnam ayajanta devds tdni dharmdni pratha- 

14 The Purusha Sukta is also found in the Vajasaneyi Sanhita of the White 
Yajar-veda (31. 1-16) and in the Atharva-veda (19. 6. 1 if.) See Colebrooke's Miscel- 
laneous Essays, i. 167 f. and note in p. 309 (or pp. 104, and 197, of Messrs. Williams 
and Norgate's edition) ; Burnouf s Bhagavata Purana, vol. i. Preface, pp. cxxiii. ff. ; 
Wilson's Preface to his translation of the Rigveda, vol. i. p. xliv. ; Professor Roth's 
remarks in the Journal of the German Oriental Society, i. pp. 78 f. ; Miiller in 
Bunsen's Philosophy of Univ. History, vol. i. p. 344 ; M tiller's Anc. Sank. Lit., pp- 
570 f. ; Professor Weber's translation in Indische Studien ix. p. 5; and my own 
translation, notes and remarks in the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society for 1865, 
pp. 353 ff., and for 1866, pp. 282 f. 


mdni usan \ te ha nukam mahimdnah sachanta yatra purve sudh- 
yah santi devah \ 

"1. Purusha has a thousand heads, 18 a thousand eyes, a thousand 
feet. On every side enveloping 18 the earth, he overpassed 17 (it) by a 
space of ten fingers. 2: Purusha himself is this whole (universe), what- 
ever has been and whatever shall be. He is also the lord of immort- 
ality, since (or, when) by food he expands. 18 3. Such is his greatness, 
and Purusha is superior to this. All existences are a quarter of him ; 
and three-fourths of him are that which is immortal in the sky. 18 4. 
With three quarters Purtisha mounted upwards. A quarter of him 
was again produced here. He was then diffused everywhere over 
things which eat and things which do not eat. 5. From him was 
was born Viraj, and from Viraj, Purusha. 20 When born, he extended 
beyond the earth, both behind and before. 6. When the gods per- 
formed a sacrifice with Purusha as the oblation, the spring was its 
butter, the summer its fuel, and the autumn its (accompanying) offering. 
7. This victim, Purusha, born in the beginning, they immolated on 

14 The Atharva-veda (xix. 6, 1) reads sahasra-bahuh, " having a thousand arms," 
the transcriber, perhaps, taking the verse literally, and considering that a being in 
human form, if he had a thousand eyes and a thousand feet, ought only to have five 
hundred heads, and not a thousand as in the text of the Rig-veda. 

16 For vritva in the R. V. the Vajasaneyi Sanhita, 31. 1, reads spritva, which 
seems to mean nearly the same. 

17 The word is atyatishthat. Compare the S'atapatha Bramana, xiii. 6, 1, 1, and 
atishthavanah in S'. P. B. iv. 5, 4, 1, 2. Professor Weber renders atyatishthat 
"occupies" (Indische Studien, ix. 5). 

18 The sense of this is obscure. Instead of yud annenatirohati, the A. V. reads yud 
anyenabhavat saha, (" that which," or, " since he) was with another." 

19 Compare A. V. x. 8, 7 : ardhena visvam bhwvanam jajana yad asya ardham kva 
tad babhuva : " with the half he produced the whole world ; what became of the 
(other) half of him ?" See also ibid. v. 13. 

20 This sentence is illustrated by R. V. x. 72, 5, where it is said, Aditer Daksho 
ajayata Lakshad u dditih pari \ " Aditi was born from Daksha and Daksha from 
Acliti" a text on which Yaska remarks (Nirukta, xi. 23) : tat katham upapadyeta \ 
sanutna-janmanau syatam iti \ api va deva-dharmena Itaretara-janmanay, syatam it- 
aretatara-prakriti \ " how can this be possible ? They may have had a common birth ; 
or, conformably with their nature as deities, they may have been produced from 
one another, and possess the properties of one another." Compare A. V. 13. 4. 
29 ff., where Indra is said to have been produced from a great many other gods, or 
entities, and they reciprocally from him. In regard to Viraj, compare the notes on 
the verse before us in my article on the " Progress of the Vedic religion," etc., in the 
Journal of the RoyaL Asiatic Society for 1865, p. 354. 


the sacrificial grass. With him the gods, the Sadhyas, 21 and the rishis 
sacrificed. 8. Prom that universal sacrifice were provided curds and 
butter. It formed those aerial 22 (creatures) and animals both wild and 
tame. 9. From that universal sacrifice sprang the rich and saman 
verses, the metres, and the yajush. 10. From it sprang horses, and all 
animals with two rows of teeth ; kine sprang from it ; from it goats 
and sheep. 11. When (the gods) divided Purusha, into how many 
parts did they cut him up ? what was his mouth ? what arms (had 
he) ? what (two objects) are said (to have been) his thighs and feet ? 
12. The Brahman was his mouth; 28 the Raj any a was made his arms ; 
the being (called) the Vaisya, he was his thighs ; 24 the S'iidra sprang 
from his feet. 13. The moon sprang from his soul (manas\ the sun 
from his eye, Indra and Agni from his mouth, and Vayu from his 
breath. 25 14. Prom his navel arose the air, from his head the sky, from 
his feet the earth, from his ear the (four) quarters : in this manner (the 
gods) formed the worlds. 15. When the gods, performing sacrifice, 
bound Purusha as 9, victim, there were seven sticks (stuck up) for .it 

21 See on the Sadhyas, Professor Weber's note, Ind. St. ix. 6 f., and the Journal of 
the Royal Asiatic Society for 1866, p. 395, note. 

22 See, however, Vaj. Sanh. xiv. 30, to be quoted below. 

23 Compare the Kaushltaki Brahmana TJpanishad, ii. 9 : atha paurnamasyam 
purastach chandramasam drisyamanam upatishtheta etaya eva avrita "somo rajasi 
vichakshano pancha mukho' si prajapatih \ brahmanas te ekam mukham \ tena mukhena 
rajno 'tsi \ tena mukhena mam annadam kuru \ raja te ekam mukham \ tena mukhena 
viso'tsi | tena mukhena mam annadam kuru \ syenas te ekam mukham "ityadi \ which 
is thus translated by Mr. Cowell : " Next on the day of the full moon let him in this 
same way adore the moon when it is seen in front of him (saying), ' thou art Soma, 
the brilliant, the wise, the five-mouthed, the lord of creatures. The Brahman is one 
mouth of thine, with that mouth thou eatest kings, with that mouth make me to eat 
food. The king is one mouth of thine, with that mouth thou eatest common men, 
with that mouth make me to eat food. The hawk is one mouth of thine," etc. The 
fourth mouth is fire, and the fifth is in the moon itself. I should prefer to render the 
words somo raja' si, "thou art king Soma" "king" being a frequent designation 
of this god in the Brahmanas. See also M. Bh. iii. 12,962, where Vishnu is intro- 
duced as saying in the same mystical way : Brahma vaktram bhujau kshattram uru 
me samsthitah vis ah \ padau s'udrah bhavantime vikramena kramena cha \ " The 
Brahman is my mouth ; the Kshattra is my arms ; the Visas are my thighs ; these 
S'udras with their vigour and rapidity are my feet." 

24 Instead of uru, " thighs," the Atharva-veda, xix. 6, 6, reads madhyam, "middle.' 1 

25 The Vaj. S. xxxi. 13, has a different and singular reading of the last half verse : 
srotrad vayus'cha pranas' cha mukhad agnir ajayata \ " From his ear came Vayu and 
Prana (breath) and from his mouth Agni." 


(around the fire), and thrice seven pieces of fuel were made. 16. With 
sacrifice the gods performed the sacrifice. These were the earliest 
rites. These great powers have sought the sky, where are the former 
Sadhyas, gods." 26 

I have above (p. 7) intimated an opinion that this hymn does not 
belong to the most ancient portion of the Big-veda. This view is, 
however, controverted by Dr. Haug, who, in his tract on " the origin 
of Brahmaniom " (published at Poona in 1863), p. 5, writes as follows : 
" The few scholars who have been engaged in the study of the Vedas 
unanimously regard this* hymn as a very late production of Vedic 
poetry ; but there is no sufiicient evidence to prove that. On the con- 
trary, reasons might be adduced to shew that it is even old. The 
mystical character of the hymn is no proof at all of its late origin. 
Such allegorical hymns are to be met with in every book of the col- 
lection of the mantras, which goes by the name of Big-veda samhita. 
The Bishis, who were the authors of these hymns, delighted in such 
speculations. They chiefly were suggested to them by the sacrificial 
rites, which they daily were performing. According to the position 
which is assigned to it in the Yajur-veda (where it is found among 
the formulas referring to, the human sacrifice), the hymn appears to 
have been used at the human sacrifices. That, at the earliest period 
of the Vedic time, human sacrifices were quite common with the 
Brahmans, can be proved beyond any doubt. But the more eminent 
and distinguished among their leaders soon abandoned the practice 
as revolting to human feelings. The form of the sacrifice, however, 
seems to have been kept for a long time ; for the ritual required at 
that occasion is actually in the Yajur-veda ; but they only tied men of 
different castes and classes to the sacrificial posts, and released them 
afterwards, sacrificing animals instead of them." 

If it could be satisfactorily shewn that this hymn, in the same form 
as we now possess it, existed contemporaneously with the barbarous 
practice of human sacrifices which Dr. Haug believes to have at one 
time prevailed in India, we should, no doubt, have in this circumstance 
a strong proof of its antiquity. But if it was merely adopted as a 
part of the ceremonial at a later period, when the immolation of human 

28 This verse occurs also in R. V. i. 164. 50, and is quoted in Nirukta, xii. 14. See 
the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society for 1866, p. 395, note, already referred to. 


beings had ceased to be otherwise than formal and nominal, and animals 
were substituted as the actual victims, the evidence of its remote an- 
tiquity is greatly weakened. 

If we now compare the Purusha Sukta with the two hymns (162 and 
163) of the first Mandala of the Rig-veda, it will, I think, be apparent 
that the first is not adapted to be used at a literal human sacrifice in 
the same manner as the last two are to be employed at the immolation 
of a horse. There are, no doubt, some mystical passages in "the second of 
these two hymns, as in verse 3, where the horse is identified with Yama, 
Aditya, and Trita; and "in the last section of the Taittiriya Yajur- 
veda the various parts of the horse's body are described as divisions of 
time and portions of the universe : ' morning is his head ; the sun his 
eye ; the air his breath; the moon his ear/ " etc. (Colebrooke's Essays, 
i. 62). 27 But the persons who officiate at the sacrifice, as referred to in 
these hymns, are ordinary priests of the ancient Indian ritual, the 
hotri, adhvaryu, avayaj, etc. (i. 162, 5); and details are given of the 
actual slaughter of the animal (i. 162, 11). The Purusha Sukta, how- 
ever does not contain the same indications of the literal immolation of a 
human victim. In it the sacrifice is not offered to the gods, but by the 
gods (verses 6, 7, 15, 16); no human priests are mentioned; the di- 
vision of the victim (v. 11) must be regarded, like its slaughter (v. 7), 
as the work of the deities only. And the Purusha mentioned in the 
hymn could not well have been regarded as an ordinary man, as he 
is identified with the universe (v. 2), and he himself, or his immo- 
lation, is represented as the source of the creation (vv. 8, 10, 13, 14), 
and of the Vedas (v. 9). 

As compared with by far the largest part of the hymns of the Rig- 
veda, the Purusha Sukta has every character of modernness both in its 
diction and ideas. I have already observed that the hymns which we 
find in this collection are of very different periods. This, I believe, is not 
disputed. 28 The authors themselves, as we have seen, speak of newer and 
older hymns. So many as a thousand compositions of this description could 
scarcely have been produced within a very short space of time, and there 
is no reason to suppose that the literary activity of the ancient Hindus 

27 Compare the commencement of the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad. 

28 See Dr. Haug's own remarks (quoted above, p. 4) on the period when the hymns 
were composed. 


was confined to the period immediately preceding the collection of the 
hymns. But if we are to recognize any difference of age, what hymns 
can we more reasonably suppose to be the oldest than those which are 
at once archaic in language and style, and naive and simple in the 
character of their conceptions ? and, on the other hand, what composi- 
tions can more properly be set down as the most recent than those 
which manifest an advance in speculative ideas, while their language 
approaches to the modern Sanskrit? These latter conditions seem to 
be fulfilled in the Purusha Sukta, as well as in hymns x. 71 and 72, x. 
81 and 82, x. 121, and xT 129. 

On this subject Mr. Colebrooke states his opinion as follows 
(Miscellaneous Essays i. 309, note) : " That remarkable hymn (the 
Purusha Sukta) is 'in language, metre, and style, very different from 
the rest of the prayers with which it is associated. It has a de- 
cidedly more modern tone ; and must have been composed after the 
Sanscrit language had been refined, and its grammar and rhythm per- 
fected. The internal evidence which it furnishes serves to demonstrate 
the important fact that the compilation of the Vedas, in their present 
arrangement, took place after the Sanscrit tongue had advanced from 
the rustic and irregular dialect in which the multitude of hymns and 
prayers of the Veda was composed, to the polished and sonorous 
language in which the mythological poems, sacred and prophane 
(purdnas and cavyas}, have been written." 

Professor Max Miiller expresses himself in a similar sense (Anc. 
Sansk. Lit., p. 570 f.) : "There can be little doubt, for instance, that 
the 90th hymn of the 10th book .... is modern both in its 
character and in its diction. It is full of allusions to the sacrificial 
ceremonials, it uses technical philosophical terms, it mentions the three 
seasons in the order of Vasanta, spring ; Grishma, summer ; and S'arad, 
autumn ; it contains the only passage in the Rig-veda where the four 
castes are enumerated. The evidence of language for the modern date 
of this composition is equally strong. Grishma, for instance, the name 
for the hot season, does not occur in any other hymn of the Rig-veda ; 
and Vasanta also, the name of spring, does not belong to the earlies^. 
vocabulary of the Vedic poets. It occurs but once more in the Rig- 
veda (x. 161. 4), in a passage where the three seasons are mentioned in 
the order of S'arad, autumn ; Hemanta, winter ; and Vasanta, spring." 


Professor Weber (Indische Studien, ix. 3) concurs in this view. He 
observes: "That the Purusha Sukta, considered as a hymn of the 
Eig-veda, is among the latest portions of that collection, is clearly 
perceptible from its contents. The fact lhat the Sama-sanhita has 
not adopted any verse from it, is not without importance (compare 
what I have remarked in my Academical Prelections, p. 63). The 
Naigeya school, indeed, appears (although it is not quite certain), 29 to 
have extracted the first five verses in the seventh prapafchaka of the 
first Archika, which is peculiar to it." 

We shall see in the following chapter that the word brdhmana occurs 
but rarely in the Rig-veda Sanhita, while brahman, "a priest," from 
which the former is derived^ is of constant occurrence. From this 
circumstance also, it may be reasonably concluded that the hymns in 
which the derivative occurs are among the latest. The same remark 
may be made of the word vaisya, as compared with vis. 30 

Mr. Colebrooke's opinion of the character of the Purusha Sukta is 
given in the following passage of his " Miscellaneous Essays" (vol. i. 
p. 161, note ; or p. 105 of Williams & Norgate's ed. of 1858) ; " I think 
it unnecessary to quote from the commentary the explanation of this 
curious passage of the Vedas as it is there given, because it does not 
really elucidate the sense ; the allegory is for the most part sufficiently 

In his tract on " on the origin of Brahmanism," p. 4$ Dr. Haug 
thus remarks on verses 11 and 12: "Now, according to this passage, 
which is the most ancient and authoritative we have on the origin of 
Brahmanism, and caste in general, the Brahman has not come from the 
mouth of this primary being, the Purusha, but the mouth of the latter be- 
came the Brahmanical caste, that is to say, was transformed into it. The 
passage has, no doubt, an allegorical sense. Mouth is the seat of speech. 
The allegory thus points out that the Brahmans are teachers and in- 
structors of mankind. The arms are the seat of strength. If the two 

29 See on this subject Weber's foot-note, p. 3. 

30 Professor Aufrecbt informs me that the word vaisya does not occur in any other 
hymn of the Eig-veda but the Purusha Sukta ; only once in the Atharva-veda, v. 17, 9 ; 
and not at all in the Vaj. Sanh., except in the Purusha Sukta. The same scholar 
remarks, as another proof of the comparatively late date of the Purusha Sukta, that 
it is the only hymn which refers to the four different kinds of Vedic compositions 
rich, saman, chhandas, and yajush. 


arms of the Purusha are said to have been made a Kshattriya (warrior), 
that means, then, that the Kshattriyas have to carry arms to defend 
the empire. That the thighs of the Purusha were transformed into 
the Vaisya means that, as the lower parts of the hody are the principal 
repository of food taken, the Vaisya caste is destined to provide food 
for the others. The creation of the Shudra from the feet of the 
Purusha, indicates that he is destined to be a servant to the others, 
just as the foqt serves the other parts of the body as a firm support." 

But whether the writer of the hymn intended it to be understood 
allegorically or not> it conf eys no distinct idea of the manner in which 
he supposed the four castes to have originated. It is, indeed, said 
that the S'udra sprang from Purusha's feet ; but as regards the three 
superior castes and the members with which they are respectively con- 
nected, it is not quite clear which (i.e.) the castes or the members) are 
to be taken as the subjects and which as the predicates, and con- 
sequently, whether we are to suppose verse 12 to declare that the three 
castes were the three members, or, conversely, that the three members 
were, or became, the three castes. 

But whatever may be the sense of the passage, it is impossible to 
receive it as enunciating any fixed doctrine of the writers of what is 
called the Vedic age in regard to the origin of the four castes ; since 
we find, if not in the mantras or hymns, at least in the Brahmanas 
(which, as we have seen in page 2, are esteemed by orthodox Indian 
writers as being equally with the hymns a part of the Veda), not only 
(1) texts which agree with the Purusha Sukta, but also (2) various 
other and discrepant accounts of the manner in which these classes 
were separately formed, as well as (3) third a class of narratives of 
the creation, in which the production of the human race is described 
without allusion to any primordial distinction of castes. 

To the first of these classes (viz., that of texts which coincide more 
or less exactly with the Purusha Sukta) belongs the following passage 
from the Taittiriya Sanhita. 

SECT. II. Quotation from the Taittiriya Sanhita, vii. 1. 1. 4 ff. 

Prajdpatir akdmayata "prajdyeya" iti \ sa mukhatas trivritam nir- 
amimlta \ tarn Agnir devatd 'nvasuyata gdyatri chhandro rathantaram 


sdma brdhmano manushydndm ajah pasundm \ tasmdt te mukhydh mukhato 
hy asrijyanta \ uraso bdhubhydm panchadasam niramimlta \ tarn Indro 
devatd 'nvasrijyata trishtup chhando brihat sdma rdjanyo manushydndm 
avih pasundm \ tasmdt te vlrydvanto vlrydd hy asrijyanta \ madhy- 
atah saptadasam niramimlta \ tarn Visvedevdh devatdh anv asrijyanta 
jagatl chhando vairupam sdma vaisyo manushydndm gdvah pasundm 
| tasmdt te ddyd annadhdndd hy asrijyanta \ tasmdd bhuydmso 'nye- 
bhyah \ bhuyishthdh hi devatdh anvasrijyanta \ pattqh ekavimsam 
niramimlta \ tarn anushtup chhando 'nvasrijyata vairdjam sdma sudro 
manushydndm a&vah pasundm \ tasmdt tat* Ihuta-sankrdmindv asvas 
cha sudras cha \ tasmdt sudro yajne ' navaJtlripto na hi devatdh an- 
vasrijyanta | tasmdt pdddv upajlvatah \ patto hy asrijyetdm \ 
" Prajapati desired, ' may I propagate.' He formed the Trivrit 
(stoma] from his mouth. After it were produced the deity Agni, 
the metre Gayatri, the Saman (called) Rathantara, of men the Brah- 
man, of heasts the goats. Hence they are the chief (mukhydh), 
because they were created from the mouth (muJchataK). From (his) 
breast, from (his) arms, he formed the Panchadasa (stoma). After 
it were created the god Indra, the Trishtubh metre, the Saman 
(called) Brihat, of men the Rajanya, of beasts the sheep. Hence 
they are vigorous, because they were created from vigour. From 
(his) middle he formed the Saptadasa (stoma). After it were created 
the gods (called) the Visvedevas, the Jagati metre, the Saman called 
the Vairupa, of men the Vaisya, of beasts kine. Hence they are to 
be eaten, because they were created from the receptacle of food. 
Wherefore they are more numerous than others, for the most numerous 
deities were created after (the Saptadasa). From his foot he formed 
the Ekavimsa (stoma}. After it were created the Anushtubh metre, the 
Saman called Vairaja, of men the Sudra, of beasts the horse. Hence 
these two, both the horse and the S'udra, are transporters of (other) 
creatures. Hence (too) the S'udra is incapacitated for sacrifice, because 
no deities were created after (the Ekavimsa). Hence (too) these two 
subsist by their feet, for they were created from the foot." 


SECT. III. Citations from the S'atapatha Brdhmana, the Taittirlya 
Brdhmana, the Vdjasaneyi Sanhitd, and the Atharva-veda. 

The following texts belong to the second class i.e., that of those 
which recognize a distinct origination of the castes, but describe their 
creation differently from the Purusha Sukta : 

S'. P. Br. ii. 1, 4, 11 ff. " Bhur" iti vai Prajdpatir imam ajanayata 
" bhuvah " ity antariksham* " svar" iti divam \ etdvad vai idam sarvam 
ydvad ime lokdh \ sarvena eva ddhlyate \ "bhur" iti vai Prajdpatir 
brahma ajanayata " bhuvah " iti Itshattram " svar " iti visam \ etdvad 
vai idam sarvam ydvad brahma kshattram vit \ sarvena eva ddhlyate \ 
"bhur" iti vai Prajdpatir dtmdnam ajanayata "Ihuvah" iti prajdm 
" svar " iti pasun \ etdvad vai idam sarvam ydvad dtmd prajdh pasavah \ 
sarvena eva ddhlyate \ 

" (Uttering) ' bhuh,' Prajapati generated this earth. (Uttering) 
' bhuvah,' he generated the air, and (uttering) ' svah,' he generated 
the sky. This universe is co-extensive with these worlds. (The fire) 
is placed with the whole. Saying ' bhuh,' Prajapati generated the 
Brahman; (saying) ' bhuvah," he generated the Kshattra ; (and saying) 
' svah,' he generated the Vis. All this world is so much as the Brah- 
man, Kshattra, and Vis. The fire is placed with the whole. (Saying) 
'bhuh,' Prajapati generated himself; (saying) 'bhuvah' he generated 
offspring ; (saying) ' svah,' he generated animals. This world is so 
much as self, offspring, and animals. (The fire) is placed with the 

Taitt. Br. iii. 12, 9, 2 Sarvam hedam Irahmand haiva srishtam \ 
rigbhyo jdtam vaisyam varnam dhuh \ yajurvedam kshattriyasydhur 
yonim \ sdmavedo Irdhmandndm prasutih \ purve purvebhyo .vacha 
etad uchuh \ 

" This entire (universe) has been created by Brahma. Men say that 
the Vaisya class was produced from rich-verses. They say that the 
Yajur-veda is the womb from which the Kshattriya was born. The 
Sama-veda is the source from which the Brahmans sprang. This word 
the ancients declared to the ancients." 

To complete his account of the derivation of the castes from the 



Vedas, the author had only to add that the S'udras had sprung from 
the Atharvangirases (the Atharva-veda) ; hut he perhaps considered 
that to assign such an origin to the servile order would have been to do 
it too great an honour. 

Yajasaneya Sanhita, xiv. 28 ff. (= Taittiriya Sanhita, iv. 3, 10, 1). 
elcayd astuvata prajdh adhlyanta Prajdpatir adhipatir dslt \ tisribhir 
astuvata brahma asrijyata Brahmanaspatir adhipatir dtlt \ panchabhir 
astuvata bhutdny asrijyanta Bhutandmpatir adhipatir dslt \ saptabhir 
astuvata sapta rishayo Asrijyanta Dhdtd adhipatir uslt \ navdbhir astu- 
vata pitaro 'srijyanta Aditir adhipatny dslt \*elcddasabhir astuvata ritavo 
'srijyanta drtavdfy adhipatayah dsan \ trayodasabhir astuvata mdsd asrij- 
yanta samvatsaro 'dhipatir dslt \ panchadasabfiir astuvata kshattram as- 
rijyata Indro 'adhipatir dslt \ saptadasabhir astuvata pasavo 'srijyanta 
Brihaspatir adhipatir dslt \ navadasabhir astuvata sudrdrydv asrijyetdm 
ahordtre adhipatnl dstdm \ ekammsatyd astuvata ekaiaphdh pasavo 'srij- 
yanta Varuno 'dhipatir dslt \ trayovimsatyd astuvata Icshudrdh pasavo 
'srijyanta Pushd adhipatir dslt \ panchavimsatyd astuvata aranydh 
pasavo 'srijyanta Vdyur adhipatir dslt \ saptavimsatyd astuvata dydvd- 
prithivl vyaitdm \ Vasavo Rudrd Aditydh anuvydyan \ te eva adhipa- 
tayah dsan | navavimsatyd astuvata vanaspatayo 'srijyanta Somo 'dhipatir 
dslt | ekatrimsatd astuvata prajd asrijyanta yavds cha ayavds cha adhi- 
patayah dsan | trayastrimsatd astuvata bhutdny asdmyan Prajupatih 
Parameshthl adhipatir dslt \ 

" He lauded with one. Living heings were formed : Prajapati was 
the ruler. He lauded with three: the Brahman (Brahman) was created : 
Brahmanaspati was the ruler. He lauded with five : existing things 
were created : Bhutanampati was the ruler. He lauded with seven : 
the seven rishis were created : Dhatri was the ruler. He lauded with 
nine : the Fathers were created : Aditi was the ruler. He lauded with 
eleven : the seasons were created : the Artavas were the rulers. He 
lauded with thirteen : the months were created : the year was the ruler. 
He lauded with fifteen : the Kshattra (the Kshattriya) was created : 
Indra was the ruler. He laude'd with seventeen : animals were 
created : Brihaspati was the ruler. He lauded with nineteen : the 
S'udra and the Arya (Yaisya) were created : day and night were the 
rulers. He lauded with twenty-one : animals with undivided hoofs 
were created : Varuna was the ruler. He lauded with twenty-three : 


small animals were created : Pushan was the ruler. He lauded with 
twenty-five : wild animals were created : Vayu was the ruler (compare 
R.V. x. 90, 8). He lauded with twenty-seven : heaven and earth sepa- 
rated : Vasus, Rudras, and Adityas separated after them : they were the 
rulers. He lauded with twenty-nine : trees were created : Soma was 
the ruler. He lauded with thirty-one : living beings were created : 
The first and second halves of the month 51 were the rulers. He lauded 
with thirty-one : existing things were tranquillized : Prajapati Pa- 
rameshthin was the ruler." This passage is explained in the S'atapatha 
Brahmana viii. 4, 3, 1 if. 

The following text is of a somewhat mystical description ; but 
appears to intimate a distinction in nature between the different castes 
corresponding to that of the gods with whom they are associated : 

S'.P.Br. xiv. 4, 2, 23 (=BrihadaranyakaUpanishad, i. 4, llff. (p. 
235). Brahma vai idam agre dsld ekam eva]\ tad ekam san na vyabliavat \ 
| tat sreyo rupam aty asrijata lishattram ydny etdni devatrd kshattrdni 
Indro Varunah Somo Rudrah Parjanyo Yamo Mrityur Isdnah iti \ tasmdt 
Icshattrdt param ndsti \ tasmad Irdhmanah kshattriydd adhastdd updste 
rdjasuye Tcshattre eva tad yaso dadhdti \ sd eshd Icshattrasya yonir yad 
brahma \ tasmad yadyapi raja paramatdm gachhati brahma eva antatah 
upanisrayati svdm yonim \ yah u ha enam hinasti svdm sa yonim richhati 
| sapdplyun lhavati yathd sreydnsam himsitvd \ 24. Sa na eva vyabharat 
| sa visam asrijata ydny etdni deva-jdtdni ganasah dkhydyante vasaro 
rudrdh dditydh visvedevdh marutah iti \ 25. Sa na eva vyalhavat \ 
sa saudram varnam asrijata pushanam \ iyam vai pushd iyam hi idam 
sarvam pushy ati yad idam Icincha \ 26. Sana eva vyalhavat \ tat sreyo 
rupam aty asrijata dharmam \ tad etat kshattrasya Tcshattram yad dhar- 
mah | tasmad dharmdt param ndsti \ atho dbaliydn laliydmsam dsam- 
sate dharmena yathd rdjnd evam \ yo vai sa dharmah satyam vai tat 
| tasmdt satyam vadantam dhur "dharmam vadati" iti \ dharmam vd 

31 The Taittiriya Sanhita reads yavah and ayavah (instead of yavah and ayavrih as 
in the Vajasaneyi Sanhita) and in another passage, v. 3, 4, 5 (as I learn from Prof. 
Aufrecht), explains these terms to mean respectively months and half months (masa 
vai yavah ardhamasah ayavah), whilst the commentator on the V. S. understands 
them to mean the first and second halves of the month, in accordance with the S'.P. B. 
viii. 4, 3, 18, and viii. 4, 2, 11 (purvapaksha vai yavah aparapaksha ayavah \ te hi 
idam sarvam yuvate chayuvate cha) \ Prof. Aufrecht also points out that yava is ex- 
plained in Katyayana's S'rauta Sutras, iv. 11, 8, as equivalent to yavamayam apupatn, 
" a cake of barley." 


vadantam " satyam vadati" iti \ etad hy eva etad ubhayam bhavati \ 
27. Tad etad brahma kshattram vit sudrah \ tad Agnina eva deveshu 
brahmdbhavad brdhmano manushyeshu kshattriyena ksJiattriyo vaisyena 
vaisyah sudrena sudrah \ tasmdd Agnav eva deveshu lokam ichhante 
brdhmane manushyeshu \ etdbhydm hi rupabhydm brahma abhavat \ 

23. " Brahma (here, according to the commentator, existing in the 
form of Agni, and representing the Brahman caste 32 ) was formerly this 
(universe), one only. Being one, it did not develope. It- energetically 
created an excellent form, the Kshattra, viz., those among the gods 
who are powers (kshattrdni*), Indra, Varuna, Soma, Rudra, Parjanya, 
Tama, Mrityu, Isana. Hence nothing is superior to the Kshattra. 
Therefore the Brahman sits below the Kshattriya at the rajasuya-sacri- 
fice ; he confers that glory on the Kshattra (the royal power). 33 This, 
the Brahma, is the source of the Kshattra. Hence, although the king 
attains supremacy, he at the end resorts to the Brahma as his source. 
Whoever destroys him (the Brahman) destroys his own source. He 
becomes most miserable, as one who has injured a superior. 24. He 
did not develope. He created the Vis viz., those classes of gods who 
are designated by troops, Vasus, Rudras, Adityas, Yisvedevas, Maruts. 
25. He did not develope. He created the Sudra class, Pushan. This 
earth is Pushan : for she nourishes all that exists. 26. He did not 
develope. He energetically created an excellent form, Justice (Dharma}. 
This is the ruler (kshattra) of the ruler (kshattra}, namely, Justice. 
Hence nothing is superior to justice. Therefore the weaker seeks (to 
overcome) the stronger by justice, as by a king. This justice is 
truth. In consequence they say of a man who speaks truth, ' he speaks 

3S Atra yad atma-iabdenoktam srashtri Brahma tad Agnim srishtva agre Agni-ru- 
papannam Brahmana-jaty-abhimanavad asmin vaJcye Brahma-sabdenabhidhlyate \ 

33 This rendering of the last few words is suggested by Professor Aufrecht. The 
commentators understand them to mean that the Brahmans give the king their own 
glory (that of being a Brahman) : and they refer to a formula by which at the rajasuya- 
sacriflce the king, after addressing the priest as Brahman, is addressed in return with 
the word " Thou, king, art a Brahman" (tvam rajan brafimasi), etc. See the Taittiriya 
Sanhita i. 8, 16, 1, where the commentator remarks . "As in common life domestic 
priests and others, sitting below a king seated on his throne after his return from con- 
quering a foreign territory, address him with many benedictions and eulogies, so 
here too service is presented. By this benedictory service the power of cursing and 
showing kindness existing in the Brahmans is transferred to the king." Reference is 
then made to the passage before us, as noticing this custom. 


justice ;' or of a man who is uttering justice, 'he speaks truth.' For 
this is both of these. 27. This is the Brahma, Kshattra, Vis, and 
S'udra. Through Agni it became Brahma among the gods, the Brah- 
man among men, through the (divine) Kshattriya a (human) Kshat- 
triya, through the (divine) Vaisya a (human) Vaisya, through the 
(divine) Sudra a (human) S'udra. Wherefore it is in Agni among 
the gods and in a Brahman among men, that they seek after an abode." 

Taittiriya Brahmana, i. 2, 6, 7. Daivyo vai varno brdhmanah \ 
asuryyo sudrah. " The Brahman caste is sprung from the gods ; the 
S'udra from the Asuras." 

Taittirlya Brahmana, iii. 2, 3, 9. Kdmam eva ddru-pdtrena duhydt \ 
sudrah eva na duhydt \ asato vai esha sambhuto yat sudrah \ ahavir eva 
tad ity dhur yat sudro dogdhi iti \ agnihotram eva na duhydt sudrah \ 
tad hi na utpunanti \ yadd Tthalu vai pavitram atyeti atha tad havir iti \ 
" Let him at his will milk out with a wooden dish. But let not a 
Sudra milk it out. For this S'udra has sprung from non-existence. 
They say that that which a S'udra milks out is no oblation. Let not a 
S'udra milk out the Agnihotra. For they do not purify that. When 
that passes beyond the filter, then it is an oblation." 

Atharva-veda, iv. 6, 1. Brdhmano jajne prathamo dasaslrsho dasda- 
yah | sa somam prathamah papau sa chakdrdrasam visham \ "The 
Brahman was born the first, with ten heads and ten faces. He first 
drank the soma ; he made poison powerless." 

As the description (which is, perhaps, a fragment of a longer 
account), stops short here, we are left in the dark as to the author's 
ideas about the creation of the other castes. ' It would have interested 
us to know how many heads and faces he would have assigned to the 
other three castes. The student of Indian poetry is aware that the 
giant Ravana is represented in the Ramayana both as a Brahman and 
as having ten heads. 

As implying a separate origination of the Raj any a caste, the fol- 
lowing text also may find a place here : 

Taittirlya Sanhita, ii. 4, 13, 1. Devd vai rdjanydj jdyamdndd abi- 
bhayuh | tarn antar eva santam ddmnd J paumbhan \ sa vai esho 'jpobdho 
jay ate yad rdjanyo \ yad vai esho 'napobdhojdyetavrittrdn ghams charet \ 
yam kdmayeta rdjanyam " anapobdho jdyeta vrittrdn ghams chared" iti 
tasmai etam aindrd-bdrhaspatyam charum nirvapet \ aindro vai rdjanyo 


brahma Brihaspatih \ brahmand eva enaih damno 'pombhandd munchati \ 
hiranmayam ddma dakshind sdkshdd eva enam damno 'pombhandd mun- 
chati | "The gods were afraid of the Kajanya when he was in the 
womb. They bound him with bonds when he was in the womb. Con- 
sequently this Kajanya is born bound. If he were born unbound he 
would go on slaying his enemies. In regard to whatever Kajanya any 
one desires that he should be born unbound, and should go on slaying 
his enemies, let him offer for him this Aindra-Barhaspatya oblation. 
A Kajanya has the character of Indra, and a Brahman is Brihaspati. 
It is through the Brahman that anyone releases the Rajanya from his 
bond. The golden bond, a gift, manifestly releases from the bond that 
fetters him." 

In the following text of the Atharva-veda, xv. 8, 1, a new account 
is given of the origin of the Rajanyas : 

So 'rajyata tato rdjanyo 'jdyata \ 

"He (the Vratya) became filled with passion: thence sprang the 

And in the following paragraph (A. V. xv. 9, 1 ff) we have the same 
origin ascribed to the Brahman also : 

Tadyasya evam vidvdn vrdtyo rdjno ' tithir grihdn daachhet sreyamsam 
enam dtmano mdnayet \ tathd kshattrdya ndvrischate tathd rdshtrdya 
ndvrischate \ ato vai brahma cha kshattram cha udatishthatdm \ te abru- 
tam " kam pravisdva " iti \ 

" Let the king to whose house the Vratya who knows this, comes 
as a guest, cause him to be respected as superior to himself. So doing 
he does no injury to his royal rank, or to his realm. From him arose 
the Brahman (Brahman) and the Kshattra (Kshattriya). They said, 
' Into whom shall we enter,' etc." 

SECT. IV. Further Quotations from the Taittirlya rdhmana, Sanhitd, 
and Aranyaka, and from the S'atapatha Srdhmana. 

The following passages belong to the third of the classes above ad- 
verted to, as in the descriptions they give of the creation, while they 
refer to the formation of men, they are silent on the subject of any 
separate origination of castes : 


Taittiriya Brahmana, ii. 3, 8, 1. Prajdpatir akdmayata "prajdyeya " 
iti | a tapo 'tapyata \ so 'ntarvdn abhavat \ sa haritah sydvo 'bhavat \ 
tasmdt strl antarvatnl harinl satl sydvd bhavati \ sa vijdyamdno garbhena 
atdmyat \ sa tdntah krishna-sydvo 'bhavat \ tasmdt tdntah krishnah 
syavo bhavati \ tasya asur eva ajlvat \ 2. Tena asund asurdn asrijata \ tad 
asurdnam asuratvam \ ya evam asurdndm asuratvam veda asumdn eva 
bhavati \ na enam asur jahdti \ so 'surdn srishtvd pita iva amanyata \ 
tad anu pitrln asrijata \ tat pitrmdm pitritvam \ ya evam pitrlndm 
pitritvam, veda pita iva eva svdnam bhavati (3) yanty asya pitaro havam \ 
sa pitrln srishtvd 'manasyat \ tad anu manushydn asrijata \ tad manu- 
shydndm manushyatvam \ yah evam mamtshydndm manushyatvam veda 
manasvi eva bhavati na enam manur jahdti \ tasmai manushydn sasri- 
jdnaya diva devatrd abhavat \ tad anu devdn asrijata \ tad devdndm 
devatvam \ ya evam devdndih devatvam veda diva ha eva asya devatrd 
bhavati \ tdni vai etdni chatvdri ambhdmsi devdh manushydh pitaro 
'surdh \ teshu sarveshu ambho nabhah iva bhavati \ 

"Prajapati desired, 'may I propagate.' He practised austerity. He 
became pregnant. He became yellow-brown. 34 Hence a woman when 
pregnant, beingy ellow, becomes brown. Being pregnant with a foetus, 
he became exhausted. Being exhausted, he became blackish-brown. 
Hence an exhausted person becomes blackish-brown. His breath be- 
came alive. 2. "With that breath (asu) he created Asuras. Therein con- 
sists the Asura-nature of Asuras. He who thus knows this Asura- 
nature of Asuras becomes a man possessing breath. Breath does not 
forsake him. Having created the Asuras, he regarded himself as a 
father. After that he created the Fathers (Pitris). That constitutes 
the fatherhood of the Fathers. He who thus knows the fatherhood of 
the Fathers, becomes as a father of his own : (3) the Fathers resort to 
his oblation. Having created the Fathers, he reflected. After that he 
created men. That constitutes the manhood of men. He who knows 
the manhood of men, becomes intelligent. Mind 35 does not forsake him. 
To him, when he was creating men, day appeared in the heavens. 
After that he created the gods. This constitutes the godhead of the 
gods. To him who thus knows the godhead of the gods, day appears in 

34 N'da-sveta-misra-varnah, " of a mixed blue and white colour," says the 

35 Manuh = manana-saktih, " the power of thinking." Comm. 


the heavens. .These are the four streams, 38 viz., gods, men, Fathers, 
and Asuras. In all of these water is like the air." 

S'atapatha Brahmana, vii. 5, 2, 6. Prajdpatir vai idam agre dsld 
ekah eva \ so 'kdmayata " annam srijeya prajdyeya " iti \ saprdnebhyah 
eva adhi pasun niramimlta manasah purusham chakshusho 'svam prdndd 
gam srotrddavim vdcho 'jam \ tad yad endn prdnebhyo 'dhi niramimlta 
tasmdd dhuh "prdndh paSavah " iti \ mano vai prdndndm prathamam \ 
tad yad manasah purusham niramimlta tasmdd dhuh <l purushah pratha- 
mah pasundm vlryyavattamah " iti \ mano qai sarve prdndh \ manasi 
hi sarve prdndh pratishfhitdh \ tad yad manasah purusham niramimlta 
tasmdd dhuh "purushah sarve pasavah" iti \ purushasya hy ete sarve 
bhavanti \ 

"Prajapati was formerly this (universe), one only. He desired, ' let 
me create food, and he propagated.' He formed animals from his 
hreaths, a MAN from his soul, a horse from his eye, a bull from his 
breath, a sheep from his ear, a goat from his voice. Since he formed 
animals from his breaths, therefore men say, ' the breaths are animals.' 
The soul is the first of the breaths. Since he formed a man from his 
soul, therefore they say, ' man is the first of the animals, and the 
strongest.' The soul is all the breaths; for all the breaths depend 
upon the soul. Since he formed man from his soul, therefore they 
say, ' man is all the animals ;' for all these are man's." 

S'. P. Br. xiv. 4, 2, 1 (= Brihadaranyaka TJpanishad, p. 125). Atmd 
eva idam agre dslt purusha-vidhah \ so 'nuvlkshya na anyad dtmano 'pasyat \ 
"so 'ham asmi" ity agre vydharat \ tato 'ham-ndmd abhavat \ tasmdd 
apy etarhy dmantrito " 'ham ayam" ity eva agre uktvd atha anyad ndma 
prabrute yad asya bhai-ati \ 2. Sa yat purvo 'smdt sarvasmdt sarvdn 
pdpmanah aushat tasmdt purushah \ oshati ha vai sa tarn yo 'smdt pur- 
vam bubhushati yah evam veda \ 3. So 'bibhet \ tasmdd ekdkl bibheti \ 

36 The Commentary not very satisfactorily explains this as meaning, " All these 
four abodes of the gods, etc., are like waters '.*., suited to yield enjoyment, as 
ponds, rivers, etc., are fit for bathing, drinking," etc. The phrase is repeated in the 
Vishnu PuraQa, i. 5 (vol. i., p. 79, of Dr. Hall's edition) ; and in his note Professor 
"Wilson says ambhamti " is also a peculiar and probably a mystic term." It is ex- 
plained in the Vayu Purana, as will be seen further on. The last words of the quo- 
tation from the Brahmana are obscure. In another passage of the same work (iii. 8, 
18, 1, 2) the terms ambhas, nabhas, and mahas, are declared to denote respectively 
"earth," "air," and "sky" ( . . . ayam vat loko 'mbhanisi . . . antariksham vai 
nabhamsi . , . asau vai loko mahamsi). 


sa ha ay am ikshdnchaJcre yad "mad any ad ndsti kasmdd nu bibhemi" 
iti | tatah eva asya bhayam vlydya \ kasmdd hy abheshyat \ dvitlydd vai 
bhayam bhavati \ 4. Sa vai naiva reme \ tasmdd ekdkt na ramate \ sa 
dvitlyam aichhat \ sa ha etdvdn dsa yathd strl-pumdmsau samparishvak- 
tau | 5. Sa imam eva dtmdnam dvedhd 'pdtayat \ tatah patih patnl cha 
abhavatdm \ tasmdd " idam ardhavrigalam iva svah" iti ha sma aha Taj- 
navalkyah \ tasmdd dkdsah striyd puryate eva \ tarn samabhavat \ tato 
manushydh afdyanta \ 6. Sd u ha iyam ikshdnchakre " katJiam nu ma 
dtmanah eva janayitvd sambhavati hanta tiro 'sdni " iti \ 7. Sd gaur 
abhavat vrishabhah itaras tdm sam eva abhavat \ tato gdvah ajdyanta \ 
8. Vadava Hard abhavad asvavrishah itarah aardabhl itard gardabhah 
itaras tdm sam eva abhavat \ tatah ekasapham ajdyata \ 9. Ajd itard 
abhavad vastah itarah avir itard meshah itarah \ tdm sam eva abhavat 
tato 'jdvayo 'jdyanta \ evam eva yad idam kincha mithunam d pippllikd- 
bhyas tat sarvam asrij'ata | ST 

"This universe was formerly soul only, in the form of Purusha. 
Looking closely, he saw nothing but himself (or soul). He first said, 
' This is I.' Then he became one having the name of I. Hence even now 
a man, when called, first says, 'this is I,' and then declares the other 
name which he has. 2. Inasmuch as he, before (purvah) all this, burnt 
up (aushat] all sins, he (is called) purusha. The man who knows this 
burns up the person who wishes to be before him. 3. He was afraid. 
Hence a man when alone is afraid. This (being) considered that ' there 
is no other thing but myself : of what am I afraid ?' Then his fear de- 
parted. For why should he have feared ? It is of a second person that 
people are afraid. 4. He did not enjoy happiness. Hence a person 
when alone does not enjoy happiness. He desired a second. He was 
so much as a man and a woman when locked in embrace. 5. He 
caused this same self to fall asunder into two parts. Thence arose a 
husband and a wife. 38 Hence Yajvanalkya has said that ' this one's 
self is like the half* 9 of a split pea.' Hence the void is filled up by 

37 This passage has been already translated by Mr. Colebrooke, Essays i. 64, as 
well as by Dr. Roer, in the Bibliotheca Indica. 

33 Manu and S'atarupa, according to the Commentator. 

39 Compare Taitt. Br. iii. 3, 3, o. Atho arddho vai esha atmano y at patnl \ "Now 
a wife is the half of one's self;" and ibid. iii. 3, 3, 1 : Ayajno vai esha yo 'patnlkah \ 
na prajah prajayeran \ " The man who has no wife is unfit to sacrifice. No children 
will be born to him." We must not, however, suppose from these passages tnat the 


woman. 40 He cohabited with her. From them MEN were born. 6. She 
reflected, ' how does he, after having produced me from himself, cohabit 
with me ? Ah ! let me disappear.' 7. She became a cow, and the other 
a bull ; and he cohabited with her. From them kine were produced. 
8. The one became a mare, the other a stallion, the one a she-ass, the 
other a male-ass. He cohabited with her. From them the class of 
animals with undivided hoofs was produced. The one became a she-goat, 
the other a he-goat, the one a ewe, the other a ram. He cohabited 
with her. From them goats and sheep were produced. In this manner 
pairs of all creatures whatsoever, down to ants, were created." 

The next passage describes men as descendants of Vivasvat, or the 
Sun, without specifying any distinction of classes : 

Taittiriya Sanhita vi. 5, 6, 1 f. Aditik putraJtdmd sddhyebhyo deve- 
bhyo Irahmaudanam apaehat \ tasyai uchchheshanam adaduh \ tat praindt 
sd reto 'dhatta \ tasyai chatvdrah Aditydh ajdyanta \ sd dvittyam apa- 
ehat | sd 'manyata " uchchheshandd me ime 'jnata \ yad agre prdsishydmi 
ito me vaslydmso janishyante " iti \ sd 'gre prdindt sd reto 'dhatta tasyai 
vyriddham dndam ajdyata \ sd Adityebhyah eva tritiyam apaehat "bhogdya 
me idam srdntam astv" iti \ te 'bruvan " varam vrindmahai yo 'tojdyu- 
tai asmdlcam sa eko 'sat \ yo 'sya prajdydm ridhydtai asmdkam Ihogdya 
bhavdd" iti \ tato Fivasvdn Adityo 'jdyata \ tasya vai iyam prajd yad 
mamishydh \ tdsv ekah eva riddho yo yajate sa devdndm lihogdya bhavati \ 

" Aditi, desirous of sons, cooked a Brahmaudana oblation for the gods 
the Sadhyas. They gave her the remnant of it. This she ate. She 
conceived seed. Four Adityas were born to her. She cooked a second 
(oblation). She reflected, ' from the remains of the oblation these sons 
have been born to me. If I shall eat (the oblation) first, more brilliant 

estimation in which women were held by the authors of the Brahmanas was very high, 
as there are other texts in which they are spoken of disparagingly; such as the 
following : Taitt. Sanh. vi. 5, 8, 2. Sa somo natishthata strlbhyo grihyamanah \ 
tarn ghritam vajram kritva 'ghnan tarn nirindriyam bhutam agrihnan \ tasniat striyo 
nirindriya adayadir api papal pumsa upastitaram vadanti \ " Soma did not ahide, 
when being poured out to women. Making that butter a thunderbolt they smote it. 
They poured it out when it had become powerless. Hence women, powerless, and 
portionless, speak more humbly than even a poor man." (Compare the quotation in 
the Commentary on the Taitt. Sanhita, Vol. i. p. 996.) Taitt. Sanh. vi. 5, 10, 3. 
Tasmat striyam jatam parasyanti ut pumamsam haranii \ " Hence they reject a 
female (child) when born, and take up a male." (Compare Nirukta, iii. 4.) 

40 Compare Taitt. Br. iii. 3, 10, 4. Projaya hi manushyah purnah, " For by off- 
spring a man is completed." 


(sons) will be born to me. She ate it first ; she conceived seed ; an im- 
perfect egg was produced from her. She cooked a third (oblation) for 
the Adityas, (repeating the formula) ' may this religious toil have been 
undergone for my enjoyment.' The Adityas said, ' Let us choose a boon : 
let any one who is produced from this be ours only ; let anyone of his 
progeny who is prosperous be for us a source of enjoyment.' In con- 
sequence the Aditya Vivasvat was born. This is his progeny, namely 
MEN. 41 Among them he alone who sacrifices is prosperous, and be- 
comes a cause of enjoyment to the gods." 48 

The passages next following do not specify separately the creation of 
men (who must, however, be understood as included along with other 
beings under the designation prajdh, " offspring," or " creatures,") and 
therefore afford less distinct evidence that their authors did not hold 
the fourfold origin of mankind. 

The first of these extracts is especially interesting, both on account 
of its own tenor, and because (along with Taitt. Br. ii. 3, 8, 1 ff. quoted 
in p. 23) it contains the germ of one of the Puranic accounts of the 
creation which will be adduced in a subsequent section. 

Taitt. Br. ii. 2, 9, 1 ff. Idam vai agre naiva Icinchana dsit \ na dyaur 
dsld na prithivl na antariksham \ tad asad evasad mano 'kuruta " sydm" 
iti | tad atapyata \ tasmdt tapandd dhumo Ajdyata \ tad Ihuyo 'tapyata 
tasmdt tapandd Agnir ajdyata \ tad Ihuyo 'tapyata \ 2. Tasmdt tapandj 
j'yotir ajdyata \ tad Ihuyo 'tapyata \ tasmdt tapandd archir ajdyata \ tad 
Ihuyo 1 tapyata \ tasmdt tapandd manchayo 'jdyanta \ tad Ihuyo ' tapyata \ 
tasmdt tapandd uddrdh ajdyanta \ tad bhuyo 'tapyata \ tad aohram iva 

41 Compare Taitt. Br. i. 8, 8, 1. Adityah vai prajah, "Creatures are* descended 
from Aditi." 

42 This story is told also, but with more detail of names and somewhat differently, in 
Taitt. Br. i. 1, 9, 10 ff. . Aditih putrakama sadhyebhyo devebhyo brahmaudanam 
apachat \ tasyai uchchheshanam adaduh \ tat prasnat \ sa reto 'dhatta \ tasyai Dhata 
cha Aryama eha ajayetam \ sa dvittyam apachat tasyai uchchheshanam adaduh \ tat 
prasnat \ sa reto 'dhatta \ tasyai Mitras eha Varunas cha ajayetam \ sa tritlyam 
apachat \ tatyai uchchheshanam adaduh \ tat prasnat \ sa reto 'dhatta \ tasyai Am- 
s'ascha Bhagas cha ajayetam \ sa chaturtham apachat \ taysai uchchheshanam ada- 
duh | tat prasnat \ sa reto 'dhatta tasyai Indras' cha Vivasvami! cha ajayetam \ 
" Aditi, desirous of sons, cooked a Brahmaudana oblation to the gods the Sadhyas. 
They gave her the remnant of it. She ate it. She conceived seed. Dhatri and 
Aryaman were born to her." She does the same thing a second time, when she 
bears Mitra and Varuna, a third time, when she bears Amsa and Bhaga, and a 
fourth time, when she bears Indra and Vivasvat. 


samahanyata \ tad vastim abhinat \ 3. Sa samudro'bhavat \ tasmdt samu- 
drasyanapibanti \ prajananam iva hi many ante \ tasmdt pasor jdyamdndd 
dpah purastdd yanti \ tad dasahotd anvasrijyata \ Prajdpatir vai dasa- 
hotd | yah evam tapaso vlryyam vidvdms tapyate lhavaty eva \ tad vai 
idam apah salilam dslt \ so 'rodlt Prajdpatih (4) " sa Icasmai ajni yady 
asydpratishthdydh " iti \ yad apsv avdpadyata sd prithivy abhavat \ 
yad vyamrishta tad antariksham abhavat \ yad urdhvam udamrishta sd 
dyaur abhavat \ yadarodlt tadanayoh rodastvam \ 5. Yah evam veda na asya 
grihe rudanti \ etad vai eshdm lokdndm janma \ ya evam eshdm lokdndm 
janma veda na eshu lokesho drttim drchhati \ sa imam pratishthdm avin- 
data | sa imam pratishthdm vittvd akdmayata " prajdyeya " iti \ satapo 
'tapyata \ so 'ntarvdn abhavat \ sa jaghandd asurdn asrijata \ 6. Tebhyo 
mrinmaye pdtre 'nnam aduhat \ yd asya sd tanur dslt tdm apdhata \ sd 
tamisrd 'bhavat \ so 'kdmayata " prajdyeya " iti \ sa tapo 'tapyata \ so 
'ntarvdn abhavat \ sa prajanandd eva prajdh asrijata \ tasmdd imdh 
bhuyishthdh \ prajanandd hy endh asrijata \ 7. Tdbhyo ddrumaye pdtre 
payo 'duhat \ yd asya sd tanur dslt tdm apdhata \ sa jyotsnd 'bhavat \ 
so 'kdmayata "prajdyeya" iti \ sa tapo 'tapyata so 'ntarvdn abhavat \ sa 
upapakshdbhydm eva ritun asrijata \ tebhyo rajate pdtre ghritam aduhat \ 
yd asya sd tanur dslt (8) tdm apdhata \ so 'ho-rdtrayoh sandhir abhavat \ 
so 'kdmayata "prajdyeya " iti \ sa tapoi'tapyata \ so 'ntarvdn abhavat \ 
sa mukhdd devdn asrijata \ tebhyo harite pdtre somam aduhat \ yd asya sd 
tanur dslt tdm apdhata \ tad ahar abhavat \ 9, Ete vai Prajdpater dohdh \ 
ya evam veda duhe eva prajdh \ "diva vai no 'bhud" iti tad devdndm 
devatvam \ ya evam devdndm devatvam veda devavdn eva bhavati \ etad vai 
aho-rdtrdndm janma \ ya evam aho-rdtrdndm janma veda na aho-rdtreshu 
drttim drchhati \ 10. Asato 'dhi mano 'srijyata \ manah Prajdpatim asri- 
jata | Prajdpatih prajdh asrijata \ tad vai idam manasy eva paramam 
pratishthitam yadidam kincha \ tad etat ivovasyasam ndma Brahma \ 
vyuchhantl vyuchhantl asmai vasyasl vasyasl vyuchhati prajdyate prajayd 
pasubhih pra parameshthino mdtrdm dpnoti ya evam veda \ 

" At first this (universe) was not anything. There was neither sky, 
nor earth, nor air. Being non-existent, it resolved ' let me be.' It 
became fervent. 43 From that fervour smoke was produced. It again 

* 3 The word thus rendered is atapyata, which has the sense of " being heated" as 
well as " practising austere abstraction." I have purposely given an equivocal 
rendering, which may bear either sense. 


became fervent. From that fervour fire was produced. It again became 
fervent. From that fervour light was produced. It again became fer- 
vent. From that fervour flame was produced. It again became fervent. 
From that fervour rays were produced. It again became fervent. 
From that fervour blazes 44 were produced. It again became fervent. It 
became condensed like a cloud. It clove its bladder. That became 
the sea. Hence men do not drink of the sea. For they regard it as 
like the plaoe of generation. Hence water issues forth before an 
animal when it is being born. After that the Dasahotri (a particular 
formula) was created. Frajapati is the Dasahotri. That man suc- 
ceeds, who thus knowing the power of austere abstraction (or fervour), 
practises it. This was then water, fluid. Prajapati wept, (exclaiming), 
(4) * For what purpose have I been born, if (I have been born) from 
this which forms no support ?' 45 That which fell 46 into the waters 
became the earth. That which he wiped away, became the air. 
That which he wiped away, upwards, became the sky. From the 
circumstance that he wept (arodlt], these two regions have the name 
of rodasl, (worlds). 5. They do not weep in the house of the man 
who knows this. This was the birth of these worlds. He who thus 
knows the birth of these worlds, incurs no suffering in these worlds. 
He obtained this (earth as a) basis. Having obtained (this earth as a) 
basis, he desired, ' May I be propagated.' He practised austere fervour. 
He became pregnant. He created Asuras from his abdomen. 6. To them 
he milked out food in an earthen dish. He cast off that body of his. 
It became darkness. 47 He desired, ' May I be propagated.' He practised 

41 Such is the sense the commentator gives to the word itdarah, which he makes 
= ulvana-jvalah. Professor Roth (s. v.) explains the word as meaning " fogs." 

46 This is the mode of rendering suggested to me by Professor Aufrecht. After "if" 
the Commentator supplies the words "from this non-existing earth I can create no 
living creature." 

46 " Prajapati' s tears," etc., according to the commentator. 

47 Compare S'. P. Br. xi. 1, 6, 8 : Atho yo 'yam avan prances tena asuran asrijata \ te 
imam eva prithivlm abhipadya asrijyanta \ tasmai sasrijanaya tamah iva asa \ 9. So 
'vet " papmanaTn vai asriktthi yasmai me sasrijanaya tamah iva abhud" iti \ tarns tatah 
eva papmana 'vidhyat \ tatah eva te parabhavann ityadi \ " Then he created the 
Asuras from this lower breath of his. It was only after reaching this earth that they 
were created. On him, as he continued to create, darkness fell. 9. He understood, 
' I have created misery, since darkness has fallen upon me as I was creating.* Then 
he pierced them with misery, and they in consequence succumbed," etc. The word 
rendered in the text by "cast off" is applied in Taitt. Sanh. i. 5, 4, 1, to serpents 


austere fervour. He became pregnant. He created living beings 
(prajah} from his organ of generation. Hence they are the most nu- 
merous because he created them from his generative organ. 8. To them 
he milked out milk in a wooden dish. He cast off that body of his. 
It became moon-light. He desired, ' May I be propagated. He practised 
austere fervour. He became pregnant. He created the seasons from 
his armpits. To them he milked out butter in a silver dish. He 
cast off that body of his. It became the period which ti connects day 
and night. He desired, ' May I be propagated/ He practised austere 
fervour. He became pregnant. He created the gods from his mouth. 49 
To them he milked out Soma in a golden dish. He -cast off that 
body of his. It became day. 9. These are Prajapati' s milkings. 
He who thus knows milks out offspring. 'Day (diva) has come 
to us:' this (exclamation expresses) the godhead of the gods. He 
who thus knows the godhead of the gods, obtains the gods. This 
is the birth of days and nights. He who thus knows the birth of days 
and nights, incurs no suffering in the days and nights. 10. Mind 
(or soul, manas,) was created from the non-existent. Mind created 
Prajapati. Prajapati created offspring. All this, whatever exists, rests 
absolutely on mind. . This is that Brahma called SVovasyasa. 49 For the 
man who thus knows, (TJshas), dawning, dawning, dawns more and 
more bright ; he becomes prolific in offspring, and (rich) in cattle ; he 
obtains the rank of Parameshthin." 

S'. P. Br. vi. 1, 2, 11. AtJio dhuh \ " Prajdpatir eva imdn lokdn 
srishfvd prithivydm pratyatishthat \ tasmai imdh oshadhayo 'nnam apa- 
chyanta \ tad dsndt \ sa garlhl alhavat \ sa urdhvebhyah eva prdnelhyo 
devdn asrijata \ ye 'vanchah prdnds tebliyo martydh prajdh " iti \ yata- 
mathd 'srijata tathd 'srijata \ Prajdpatis tv eva idam sarvam asrijata 
yad idam kincha \ 

"Wherefore they say, 'Prajapati, having created these worlds, was 

shedding their old skins (sarpah vaijlryanto. 'manyanta . . . tato vai tejlrnas tanur 

* 8 Compare S'. P. Br. xi. 1, 6, 7, quoted in the 4th Vol. of this work, p. 22 f. 

49 The Commentator explains this word to mean " that which each succeeding day 
becomes transcendently excellent (uttarottara-dine vaslyo 'tUayena sreshtham). Here, 
he says, the highest and absolute Brahma is not meant, but mind, which has the form 
of Brahma, and, by means of the series of its volitions, is every successive moment 
more and more world-creating" (scmJcalpa-paramparaya pratilcshanam uttarottara- 
dhilca-jagat-srashtritvad Idrig-Brahma-rupatvad manah prasastam \ 


supported upon the earth. For him these herbs were cooked as food. 
That (food) he ate. He became pregnant. He created the gods from 
his upper vital airs, and mortal offspring from his lower vital airs. In 
whatever way he created, so he created. But Prajapati created all this, 
whatever exists.' " 

S'. P. Br. x. 1, 3, 1. Prajdpatih prajdh asrijata \ sa urdhvebhyah 
eva prdnebhyo devdn asrijata \ ye 'vdnchah prdnds telihyo martydh 
prajdfy \ utha^urdhvam eva mrityum prajdbhyo 'ttdram asrijata \ 

"Prajapati created living beings. From his upper vital airs he 
created the gods ; from his lower vital airs mortal creatures. After- 
wards he created death a devourer of creatures." 

Taitt. Ar. i. 23, 1. Apo vai idam dsan salilam eva \ sa Prajdpatir 
ekah pushkara-parne samabhavat \ tasya antar manasi kdmah samavart- 
tata " idam srijeyam " Hi \ tasmdd yad purusho manasd 'bhigachhati tad 
vdchd vadati tat karmand karoti \ tad eshd 'bhyanuktd " kdmas tad' ogre 
samavarttatddhi \ manaso retah praihamam yad dsit \ 2. Sato bandhum asati 
niravindan hridi pratlshyd kavayo manlshd " iti \ upa evam tad ttpanam- 
ati yat-kdmo bhavati yah evam veda \ sa tapo 'tapyata \ sa tapas taptvd 
bariram adhunuta \ tasya yad mtimsam dslt tato 'rundh Ketavo Vdtara- 
andh rishayah udatishfhan \ 3. Ye nakhds te Vaikhdnasdh \ ye balds te 
Bdlakhilydh \ yo rasah so 'pdm antar atah kurmam bhutam sarpantam 
tarn abravit "mama vai tvan-mdmsd samabhut" \ 4. "na" ity abravlt 
"purvam eva aham iha dsam " iti \ tat purushasya purushatvam iti \ sa 
" sahasra-Slrshd purushah sahasrdkshah sahasra-pdd" bhutvd udatishfhat \ 
tarn abravlt " tvam ve (sic. me or vai ?} purvaih samabhut tvam idam 
purvahkurushva " iti \ sa itah dddya apo (5) 'njalind purastdd upddadhdt 
" eva hy eva " iti \ tatah Adityah udatishpfiat \ sd prdchl dik \ atha 
Arunah Ketur daksJiinatah upddadhdd " eva, liy Agne " iti \ tato vai 
Agnir udatishthat \ sd dakshind dik \ atha Arunah Ketuh paschdd upd- 
dadhdd " eva hi Vdyo " iti \ 6. Tato Vdyur udatishthat \ sd pratlchl dik \ 
atha Arunah Ketur uttaratah upddadhdd " eva hi Indra " iti \ tato vai 
Indrah udatishthat \ sd udlchl dik \ atha Arunah Ketur madhye updd- 
adhdd " evd hi Pushann" iti \ tato vai Pushd udatishthat \ sd iyam 
dik | 7. Atha Arunah Ketur uparisfydd upddadhdd " evd hidevdh " iti \ 
tato deva-manushydh pitaro gandharvdpsarasas cha udatishthan \ sd ur- 
dhvd dik \ ydh viprusho vi pardpatan tdbhyo 'surah rakshdmsi pisachds- 
cha udatishthan \ tasmdt te pardbhavan viprudbhyo 'hi samabhavan \ taa 


eshd bhyanuHd (8) " dpo ha yad Irihatlr garlham dyan daksham dadhdndh 
janayantlh svayambhum \ tatah ime 'dhyasrijyanta sargdh \ adlhyo vai 
idam samalhut \ tasmdd idam tarvam Brahma svayambhv " iti \ tasmdd 
idam sarvam Sithilam iva adhruvam iva abhavat \ Prajdpatir vdva tat \ 
dtmand dtmdnam vidhdya tad eva anuprdvisat \ tad eshd 'Ihyanuktd 
(9) " vidhdya lolcdn vidhdya bhutdni vidhdya sarvdh pradiso disascha \ 
Prajdpatih prathamajdh ritasya dtmand "tmdnam alhisamviveia" iti \ 

" This was water, fluid. Prajapati alone was produced on a lotus- 
leaf. Within, in his mind, desire arose, ' Let me create this.' Hence 
whatever a man aims at in his mind, he declares by speech, and performs 
by act. 60 Hence this verse has been uttered, ' Desire formerly arose in 
it, which was the primal germ of mind, (2) (and which) sages, searching 
with their intellect, have discovered in the heart as the bond between 
the existent and the non-existent' (R. V. x. 129, 4). That of which 
he is desirous comes to the man who thus knows. He practised austere 
fervour. Having practised austere fervour, he shook his body. From 
its flesh the rishis (called) Arunas, Ketus, and Vatarasanas 51 arose. 3. 
His nails became the Vaikhanasas, his hairs the Balakhilyas. The fluid 
(of his body became) a tortoise moving amid the waters. 52 He said to 
him, ' Thou hast sprung from my skin and flesh.' 53 4. ' No,' replied the 
tortoise, ' I was here before.' In that (in his having been ' before ' 
purvam) consists the manhood of a man (purusha). Becoming ' a man 
(purusha) with a thousand heads, a thousand eyes, a thousand feet ' 

80 Compare Taitt. S. vi. 3, 10, 4, (quoted by Roth. s. v. abhigam) yad vai hridayena 
abhigachhati taj jihvaya vadati \ 

61 They are mentioned again in Taitt. Ar. i. 24, 4. See Bohtlingk and Roth's 
Lexicon s.v. Ketu (where the Aruna Ketus are stated to be a sort of superior beings 
or demons) ; Artharva-reda, xi. 10, 2 ; Weber's Indische Studien, ii. 177 ; and the 
verse of the M. Bh. xii. 774 : Arundh Ketavas chaiva svadhayenadivaihgatah \ " By 
sacred study the Arunas and Ketus have ascended to heaven." 

52 The Sanskrit scholar will observe that the text here is rather obscure. It is either 
corrupt, elliptical, or grammatically irregular. 

53 Here the Sanskrit, if it be not corrupt, must be irregular and incorrect. On the 
style of the Aranyakas, see Mr. E. B. Cowell's Preface to the Kaushitakl Upanishad, 
p. viii., where it is remarked: "The Aranyakas appear to belong to a class of San- 
skrit writings, whose history has not yet been thorougly investigated. Their style, if 
we may judge from that of the Taittiriya and Kaushitakl, is full of strange solecisms 
which sometimes half remind us of the gathas of the Lalita Vistara. The present 
Upanishad has many peculiar forms, some of which are common to both recensions, 
while others appear only in one. Such are : nishincha, in p. 10 ; praiti for prayanti, 
in p. 51 ; samvesyan, in p. 56 ; veti for vyeti, in p. 78 ; adudham, in p. 89, etc." 


(R.V. x. 90, 1), he arose. Prajapati said to him, ' Thou wert produced 
before me : do thou first make this.' He took water from this (5) in the 
cavity of his two hands, and placed it on the east, repeating the text, ' so 
be it, o Sun.' 54 From thence the sun arose. That was the eastern quarter. 
Then Aruna Ketu placed (the water) to the south, saying, ' so be it,' 
o Agni.' Thence Agni arose. That was the southern quarter. Then 
Aruna Ketu placed (the water) to the west, saying ' so be it, o Vayu.' 
6. Thence ar<0se Yayu. That was the western quarter. Then Aruna 
Ketu placed (the water) to the north, saying 'so be it, o Indra.' 
Thence arose Indra. Tllat is the northern quarter. Then Aruna 
Ketu placed (the water) in the centre, saying ' so be it, o Pushan.' 
Thence arose Pushan. That is this quarter. 7. Then Aruna Ketu 
placed (the water) above, saying 'so be it, ogods.' Thence arose gods, 
MEN, fathers, Grandharvas and Apsarases. That is the upper quarter. 
From the drops which fell apart arose the Asuras, Rakshases, and 
Pisachas. Therefore they perished, because they were produced from 
drops. Hence this text has been uttered ; (8) ' when the great waters 
became pregnant, containing wisdom, and generating Svayambhu, 
from them were created these creations. All this was produced from 
the waters. Therefore all this is Brahma Svayambhu.' Hence all 
this was as it were loose, as it were unsteady. Prajapati was that. 
Having made himself through himself, he entered into that. "Where- 
fore this verse has been uttered ; (9) ' Having formed the world, having 
formed existing things and all intermediate quarters and quarters, 
Prajapati, the firstborn of the ceremonial, entered into himself with 
himself.' " 

From an examination of the legends contained in the Brahmanas, of 
which some specimens have just been given, it appears (1) that they 
are generally, if not always, adduced, or invented, with the view of 
showing the origin, or illustrating the efficacy, of some particular 
ceremony which the writer wished to explain or recommend ; (2) that 
the accounts which they supply of Prajapati' s creative operations are 

54 The formula is in the original eva Jiy eva. The Commentator says that the first 
word means " objects of desire to be obtained," and that the second ev a signifies " the 
moving (Sun) ;" the sense of the entire formula being, "Thou, o Sun, art thyself all 
objects of desire." The six formulas here introduced had previously occurred at the 
close of a preceding section, i. 20, 1 . 



various and even inconsistent ; and (3) that they are the sources of 
many of the details which are found in a modified form in the cos- 
mogonies of the Puranas. 

When we discover in the most ancient Indian writings such dif- 
ferent and even discrepant accounts of the origin of man, all put 
forth with equal positiveness, it is impossible to imagine that any 
uniform explanation of the diversity of castes could have been 
received at the period when they were composed, or to regard any of 
the texts which have been cited as more orthodox and authoritative 
than the rest. Even, therefore, if we should suppose that the author 
of the Purusha Sukta meant to represent the four castes as having 
literally sprung from separate parts of Purusha' s body, it is evident 
that the same idea was not always or even generally adopted by those 
who followed him, as a revealed truth in which they were bound to 
acquiesce. In fact, nothing is clearer than that in all these cos- 
mogonies, the writers, while generally assuming certain prevalent 
ideas as the basis of their descriptions, gave the freest scope to their 
individual fancy in the invention of details. In such circumstances, 
perfect coincidence cannot be expected in the narratives. 

We shall hereafter see that the Puranic writers reproduce some of 
these discrepancies in the traditions which descended to them from 
earlier generations, and add many new inconsistencies of their own, 
which they themselves, or their commentators, endeavour to explain 
away by the assumption that the accounts so differing relate to the 
occurrences of different Kalpas or Manvantaras (great mundane periods). 
But of a belief in any such Kalpas or Manvantaras no trace is to be found 
in the hymns or Brahmanas : and, as we shall hereafter see, they must 
be held to be the inventions of a later age. The real explanation 
of these differences in the Brahmanas is that the writers did not con- 
sider themselves (as their successors held them) to be infallibly in- 
spired, and consequently were not at all studious to avoid in their 
narratives the appearance of inconsistency with the accounts of their 


SECT. V. Miami' s Account of the Origin of Castes. 

I shall first quote a few verses from the beginning of Manu's account 
of the creation : 

i. 8. So 'bhidhydya ia/rlrdt svdt sisrikshur vividhdh prajdh \ apa eva 
sasarjddau tdsu vyam avdsrijat \ 9. Tad andam abhavad haimam sahas- 
rdmsu-sama-prabham \ tasmin jajne svayam Brahma sarva-lolca-pitd- 
mahah \ 10* Apo ndrd iti proktdh dpo vai narasu-.iavah \ tdh yad 
asydyanam purvam tena Ndrdyanah smritah \ 11. Yat tat kdranam 
avyaktam nityam sad-asa'ddtmakam \ tad-visrishfah sa purusho lok- 
Brahmeti kirttyate \ 12. Tasminn ande sa bhagavdn ushitvd parivatt 
saram \ svayam evdtmano dhydndt tad andam aTcarod dvidhd \ 55 

" 8. He (the self-existent) having felt desire, 56 and willing to create 
various living beings from his own body, first created the waters, and 
threw into them a seed. 9. That seed became a golden egg, of lustre- 
equal to the sun ; in it he himself was born as Brahma, the parent of 
all the worlds. 10. The waters are called ndrdh, for they are sprung 
from Nara ; and as they were his first sphere of motion (y<m0=path), 
he is therefore called Ndrdyana. bl 11. Produced from the impercep- 
tible, eternal, existent and non-existent, cause, that male (purusha} i* 
celebrated in the world as Brahma. 12. After dwelling for a year in 
the egg, the glorious being, himself, by his own contemplation, split it 
in twain." 

After a description of various other preparatory creative acts (vv. 
13-30) the author proceeds in vv. 31 ff. to inform us how the four 
castes were produced 

i. 31. Lolcdndm tu vivriddhyartham mukhabdhuru-pddatah \ brdhma- 
nam kshattriyam vaisyam sudram cJia niravarttayat \ 32. Dvidhd krit- 
vdtmano deftam ardhena purusho 'bhavat | ardhena ndrl tasydm sa Vird- 
jam asrijat prabhuh \ 33. Tapas taptvd 'srijad yam tu sa svayam purusho 

55 The ideas in this passage are derived (with modifications expressive of the theories 
current in the author's own age) from the S'atapatha Brahmana, xi. 1, 6, 1 ff. (set 
vol. iv. of this work, p. 21 f.) ; or from some other similar account in another Brah- 

K See S'. P. Br. i. 7, 4, 1 : Prajapatir ha vai svam duhitaram abhidadhyau. 

57 In the M. Bh. iii. 12952, Krishna says: apatn ncirah iti purci sanjnn-ltarma 
kritam maya \ tena Narciyano py ukto mama tat tv uynnatii sada \ " The name of 
riarah was formerly assigned by me to the waters: hence I am also called Nirayana, 
for there has always been my sphere of motion." 


Virut | tarn mam vittdsya sarvasya srashtdram dvija-sattamdh \ 34. 
Aham prajdh sisrikshus tu tapas taptvd suduscharam \ patln prajdndm 
asrijam maharshln ddito da&a \ 35. Marlchim Atryangirasau Pulastyam 
Pulaham Kratum \ Prachetasam Vasishtham cha Bhrigum Ndradam 
eva cha \ 36. Ete Manums tu saptdnydn asrijan Ihuritejasah \ devdn 
devanikdydms cha maharshlms chdmitaujasah \ 37. Yaksha-rakshah-pisd- 
chdms cha gandharvdpsaraso 'surdn \ ndgdn sarpdn suparndms cha pi- 
trlndm cha prithaggandn \ 38. Vidyuto ' sani-meghdms ch& rohitendra- 
dhanuihsi cha \ ulkd nirghdta-ketums cha jyotlmshy uchchdvachani cha \ 
SS.Kinnardnvdnardnmatsydnvwidhdms chavihangamdn \ pasunmfigdn 
manushyums cha vydldms chobhayatodatah \ 40. Krimikita-patangdms cha 
yulca-makshika-matkunam \ sarvam cha damsa-masakam sthdvaram cha 
prithagvidham \ 41. Evam etair idam sarvam man-niyogdd mahdtma- 
Ihih | yathdkarma tapo-yogdt srishtam sthdvara-jangamam \ 

31. "That the worlds might be peopled, he caused the Brahman, 
the Kshattriya, the Vaisya, and the S'iidra to issue from his mouth, his 
arms, his thighs, and his feet. 58 32. Having divided his own body 
into two parts, the lord (Brahma) became, with the half a male 
(purusha), and with the half, a female ; and in her he created Viraj. 59 

33. Know, most excellent twice-born men, that I, whom that male, 
(purusha) 80 Viraj, himself created, am the creator of all this world. 

34. Desiring to produce living creatures, I performed very arduous 
devotion, and first created ten Maharshis (great rishis), lords of living 
beings, (35) viz., Marichi, Atri, Angiras, Pulastya, Pulaha, Eratu, 
Prachetas, Vasishtha, Bhrigu, and Narada. 61 36. They, endowed with 

6<i On this Kulluka the Commentator remarks : Daivya cha saktya mukhadibhyo 
brahmanadi-nirmanam Erahmano na visankcmlyam sruti-siddhatvat \ " It is not to be 
doubted that, by his divine power, Brahma formed the Brahman and the other castes 
from his mouth and other members, since it is proved by the Veda. He then quotes 
the 1 2th verse of the Purusha Sukta. 

59 See the Purusha Sukta, verse 5. 

60 It will be observed that Manu applies this term purusha to three beings, first 
to Brahma (v. 11), second to the male formed by Brahma from the half of his own 
body (v. 32), and third to Viraj, the offspring of the male and female halves of Brah- 
ma's body (v. 33). It will be noticed that this story of Brahma dividing his body is 
borrowed from the passage of the S'. P. Br. xiv. 4, 2, 1, quoted above. 

61 In the BSmayaua, ii. 110, 2 fF., a different account is given of the origin of the 
world, in which no reference is made to Manu Svayambnuva. The order of the 
creation there described is as follows : First everything was water. Then Brahma 
Svayambhu, with the deities, came into existence Brahma being said to have sprung 


great energy, created 62 other seven Manus, gods, and abodes of gods, 
and Maharshis of boundless might ; (37) Yakshas, Rakshases, Pisachas, 
Gandharvas, Apsarases, Asuras, Nagas, Serpents, great Birds, and the 
different classes of Pitris ; (38) lightnings, thunderbolts, clouds, Indra's 
bows unbent and bent, meteors, portentous atmospheric sounds, comets, 
and various luminaries ; (39) Kinnaras, apes, fishes, different sorts of 
birds, cattle, deer, MEN, beasts with two rows of teeth ; (40) small 
and large reptiles, moths, lice, flies, fleas, all gadflies and gnats, and 
motionless things of different sorts. 41. Thus by my appointment, 
and by the force of devotion, was ALL THIS WORLD BOTH MOTIONLESS 
AND MOVING, created by those great beings, according to the (previous) 
actions of each creature." 

The different portions of the preceding narrative of the creation of 
the human species are not easily reconcileable with each other. For 
it is first stated in verse 31, that men of the four castes proceeded 
separately from different parts of Brahma's body, prior (as it would 
appear) (1) to the division of that body into two parts and to the suc- 
cessive production (2) of Yiraj, (3) Manu, and (4) the Maharshis, who 
formed all existing creatures. And yet we are told in verse 39, 
that MEN were among the beings called into existence by those Maharshis, 
and in verse 41, that the entire MOVING as well as motionless WOELD 
was their work. It is not said that the men created by the Maharshis 
were distinct from those composing the four castes, and we must, there- 
fore, assume that the latter also are included under the general appel- 
lation of men. But if men of the four castes had been already produced 
before the formation of all living creatures by the Maharshis, what 
necessity existed for the men of these castes being a second time called 
into being as a part of that later creation? It is possible that this 

from the aether (akasa). Brahma, with his sons, created the world. From Brahma 
sprang Marichi ; from Marichi, Kas'yapa ; from Kas'yapa, Vivasvat ; and from Vivas- 
vat, Manu Vaivasvata. The original of this passage is quoted in the 4th vol. of this 
work, p. 29 ff. 

6 - These great rishis seem to be the heings denoted by the word visvasrijah, ' crea- 
tors of the universe," in the verse of Manu (xii. 50), which will be quoted below. 
Reference to rishis, or to seven rishis, as "formers of existing things" (bhuta-kritah), 
is also found in the Atharvaveda, vi. 108, 4 ; vi. 133, 4, 5 ; xi. 1,' 1, 3, 24; xii. 1, 39 ; 
and the word bhutakritah, without the addition of rishis, is found in the same work 
iii. 28, 1 ; iv. 35, 2, and xix. 16, 2. 


allegation of the separate creation of castes may have been engrafted 
as an after-thought on the other account. 63 

After other details, regarding the propagation, nature, etc, of created 
things (w. 42-50), the re-ahsorption of Brahma into the Supreme 
Spirit, and his alternations of sleep and repose, etc. (vv. 50-57), Manu 
proceeds : 

58. Idam dstram tu Icritvd 'sau mum eva svayam dditah \ vidhivad 
grdhaydmdsa Marlchyddlms tv aham munln \ 59. JStad vo 'yam Bhriguh 
sdstram srdvayishyaty aseshatah \ etad hi matto 'dhijage sarvam esho 
'khilam munih \ 60. Tatas tathd sa tenokto maharshir Manund Bhriguh \ 
tun abravld rishln sarvdn prltdtmd " sruyatdm" iti \ 61. Svdyambhu- 
vasydsya Manoh shad-vamiyd Mancwo 'pare \ srishtavantah prajdh svdh 
svdh mahdtmdno mahaujasah \ 62. Svdrochishas chauttamis cha Tdmaso 
Raivatas tathd \ Chdkshushas cha mahdtejd Vivasvat-suta eva cha \ 63. 
Svdyamlhuvddydh saptaite Manavo Ihuritejasah \ sve sve 'ntare sarvam 
idam utpddydpus chardcharam \ 

59. " Having formed this Scripture, he (Brahma) himself in the 
beginning caused me to comprehend it according to rule ; as I did to 
Marichi and the other munis. 60. This Bhrigu will give you to hear 
this scripture in its entirety ; for this muni learned the whole from me. 
61. Then that Maharshi (great rishi), Bhrigu being so addressed by 
Manu, with pleasure addressed all those rishis, saying, ' Let it be 
heard.' 62. ' From this Manu Svayambhuva sprang other Manus in 
six successive generations, great and glorious, who respectively created 
living beings of their own, (63) viz., Svarochisha, Auttami, Tamasa, 
llaivata, Chakshusha, and the mighty son of Yivasvat. 64. These 
seven 64 Manus of great power, of whom Svayambhuva was the first, 
have each in his own period (antara) produced and possessed the 
world.' " 

6J In the same way it may be observed that in v. 22 Brahma is said to have formed 
the subtile class of living gods whose essence is to act, and of the S'adhyas (Tcarmat- 
manam chadevanam so ' srijat praninam prabhuh \ sadhyancilh cha gana/m sukshmam), 
and in v. 25, to have " called into existence this creation, desiring to form these living 
beings" (srishtiiii, sasarja chaivema m srashtum ichchann imah prajah}. But if the 
gods and all other creatures already existed, any such further account of their pro- 
duction by the Maharshis, as is given in verse 36, seems to be not only superfluous 
but contradictory. 

64 It will be observed that here Svuyambhuva is included in the seven Manus, al- 
though in verse 36 (see above) it is said that the ten Maharshis, who had themselves 
been created by Svayambhuva (vv. 34 f.), produced seven other Manus. 


After some preliminary explanations regarding the divisions of time 
as reckoned by men and gods, etc. (vv. 64-78), the author proceeds to 
tell us how long each of these Manus reigns : 

79. Tat prdlc dvddaa-sdhasram uditam daivikam yugam \ tad eka- 
taptati-gunam mapvantaram ihochyate \ 80. Manvantardny asankhydni 
sargah samhdra eva cha \ kridann ivaitat kurute Parameshthl punah 
punah | 

"The age \yuga) of the gods mentioned before, consisting of twelve 
thousand (years), when multiplied by seventy-one, is here called a 
manvantara. 80. There are innumerable manvantaras, creations and 
destructions. The Supreme Being performs this again and again, as if 
in sport." 

A more detailed account of these great mundane periods will be 
given in the next section, when I come to take up the Vishnu Purana. 
Meanwhile it may be remarked that the present manvantara is that of 
the last of the Manus above enumerated, or Manu Vaivasvata, who, 
according to verse 63, must have created the existing world. But if 
such be the case, it does not appear why the creation of Manu Svayam- 
bhuva, with which the present race of mortals can have little to do, 
should have been by preference related to the rishis in vv. 33 ff. It 
must, however, be observed that in v. 33 Manu Svayambhuva described 
himself as the former of "this" (i.e., the existing) universe, and there 
is no doubt that the whole code of laws prescribed in the sequel of the 
work is intended by the author to be observed by the existing race 
of Indians (see verses 102 ff. of the first book). We must, therefore, 
suppose that the creations of the later Manus are substantially identical 
with that of the first ; or that there is some confusion or inconsistency 
in the accounts which I have cited. Perhaps both suppositions may 
be correct. 

In vv. 81-86, the four Yugas (or great ages of the world) the Krita, 
Treta, Dvapara, aud Kali, their gradual deterioration, and the special 
duties peculiar to each, are described. 65 

65 In v. 86 these predominant duties are said to be austere fervour in the Krita age, 
knowledge in the Treta, sacrifice in the Dvapara, and liberality alone in the Kali 
(tapah parnm Krita-yuge trettiyam jnanam uchyate \ dvapare yajnam eva/tur danam 
ekam kalau yuge). This, as remarked in Weber's ludische Studien, 282 f., note, is not 
quite in conformity with the view of the Mundaka Upanishad, i. 2, 1, which states : 


At verse 87, Bhrigu recurs to the four castes: 

87. Sarvasydsya tu sargasya gupty-artham sa mahddyutih \ mukha- 
bdhuru-paj-jdndm prithak karmdny akalpayat \ 

" For the preservation of this whole creation, that glorious being 
(Brahma) ordained separate functions for those who sprang from his 
mouth, his arms, his thighs, and his feet." 

These functions are then detailed (vv. 88-92). In verse 93, the 
grounds of the Brahmans' pre-eminence are stated : 

93. TTttamdngobhavdj jyaishthydd brahmanas chaiva dhdrandt \ sar- 
vasyaivdsya sargasya dharmato brdhmanah pralhuh \ 94. Tarn hi sva- 
yambhuh svdd dsydt tapas taptvd "dito 'srijat \ 

Since the Brahman sprang from the most excellent organ, since he is 
the first-born and possesses the Veda, he is by nature the lord of this 
whole creation. Him, the self-existent (Brahma) after exercising 
fervid abstraction, formed at the first from his own mouth." 

But as there are grades of excellence among created things, and 
among men themselves (96), so are there also among Brahmans : 

97. Brdhmaneshu cha vidvdmso vidvatsu krita-buddhayah \ krita- 
buddhishu karttdrah karttrishu brahma-vedinah \ 

" Among Brahmans the learned are the most excellent, among the 
learned the resolute, among the resolute those who act, and among 
them who act they who possess divine knowledge." 

In a subsequent part of the work (xii. 40 ff.) we find men in 
general, the castes, and indeed all existing things, from Brahma down- 
wards, classified according to their participation in different degrees in 
the three gunas, or qualities (sattva, "goodness," rajas, " passion," and 
tamas, "darkness"). 

39. Yena yams tu gunenaishdm saihsdrdn pratipadyate \ fan samdsena 
vakshydmi sarvasydsya yathdkramam \ 40. Devatvam sdttmkd ydnti 
manusliyatvam cha rdjasdh \ tiryaktvam tdmasd nityam ity eshd tri- 

tat etat satyam mantreshu karmani kavayo yany apasyams tani tretayam bahudha 
santatani \ " This is true : the rites which sages beheld in the hymns, are in great 
variety celebrated in the Treta." In the same way the M. Bh. iii. v. 11,248, says that 
sacrifices and rites prevail in the Treta (tato yajnah pravarttante dharmas cha 
vividhah kriyah \ tretayam ityadi). See alsoM. Bh. xii. 13,090. The word Icrita, as 
the name of the first yuga is thus explained in a previous verse of the former of these 
two passages (11,235) : kritam eva na karttavyam tasmin kale yugottame \ " In the 
time of that most excellent Yuga (everything) has been done, (and does) not (remain) 
to be done." 


vidha gatih | . . . 43. Hastinas cha turangds cha sudrd mlechhas 
cha garhitdh \ simhd vydghrd vardhds cha madhyamd tdmasl gatih \ 
. . . 46. Rdjdnah Icshattriyds chaiva rdjnas chaiva purohitdh \ vdda- 
yuddha-pradhdnds cha madhyamd rdjasl gatih | ... 48. Tdpasd ya- 
tayo viprd ye cha vaimdnikd gandh \ nakshatrdni cha daityds cha 
prathamd sdttvill gatih \ 49. Yajvdna rishayo devd vedd jyotlmshi 
vatsardh \ pitaras chaiva sddhyds cha dvitlyd sdttvikl gatih \ 50. Brah- 
md visvasrijo dharmo mahdn avyahtam eva cha \ uttamdm sdttvihlm etdm 
gatim dhur manuhinah \ 

"39. I shall now declare succinctly in order the states which the 
soul reaches by means of each of these qualities. 40. Souls endowed 
with the sattva quality attain to godhead; those having the rajas 
quality become men ; whilst those characterized by tamas always be- 
come beasts such is the threefold destination ... 43. Elephants, 
horses, S'udras and contemptible Mlechhas, lions, tigers, and boars 
form the middle dark condition . . . 46. Kings, Kshattriyas, a 
king's priests (purohitdh], and men whose chief occupation is the war 
of words, compose the middle condition of passion . . . 48. Devotees, 
ascetics, Brahmans, the deities borne on aerial cars, constellations, and 
Daityas, constitute the lowest condition of goodness. 49. Sacrificing 
priests, rishis, gods, the vedas, the celestial luminaries, years, the 
fathers, the Sadhyas, form the second condition of goodness. 50. Brah- 
ma, the creators, righteousness, the Great One (mahat\ the Unap* 
parent One (avyakta), compose the highest condition of goodness." 

66 These "creators" (visvasrijah) are thus mentioned in Taitt. Br. iii. 12, 9, 2. 
Adarsam Agnim chinvanah purve visvasrijo 'mritah \ satam varsha-sahasrani dikshi- 
tah satram asata \ 3. tapah asid grihapatir Brahma brahma 'bhavat svayam \ satyaih 
ha hotaii>ham asid yad visvatrija asata \ amritam ebhya udagayat sahasram parivat- 
saran \ bhutam ha prastolaisham asid bhavithgat prati chaharat \ prano adhvaryur 
abhavad *dam sarvaih sishasatam | . . . 7. Visvasrijah prathamah satram asata \ 
.... | tato ha jajne bhuvanasya gopah hiramnayah sakunir Brahma nama \ yena 
suryas tapati tejaseddhah | .... 8. Etena vai visvasrijah idam visvam asrijanta \ 
yad visvam asrijanta tasmad vis'vasrijah \ visvam erian ami prajayate \ " 2. The 
ancient and immortal creators of the universe, keeping fire kindled till they saw the 
new moon, and consecrated, were engaged in a sacrifice for 100,000 years. 3. Austere 
fervour was the householder ; Prayer itself (brahma) was the brahma priest ; Truth 
was their hotri, when the creators were so occupied. Immortality was their udgatri 
for a thousand years. The Past was their prastotri, the Future their pratihartri ; 
Breath was the adhvaryu, whilst they were seeking to obtain all this." After 
a good deal more of this allegory, the author proceeds in para.: 7. "These first 


It will be observed that the different parts of this account of the 
mode in which the three qualities are distributed, are not quite in har- 
mony. From v. 40 it would appear that all souls having the quality 
of passion become men ; and yet we find from w. 43, 48, and 49, that 
Sudras belong to the tdmasa class, and Brahmans, of different descrip- 
tions, to two of the Sattvilca grades. According to the rule enunciated 
in v. 40, the latter ought to have been born as gods. 

It is, further, remarkable that in this enumeration S'u'dras are found 
in the same category with Mlechhas (v. 43), that the Vaisyas are not ac- 
commodated with a position in any of the classes, that Kshattriyas and 
kings' domestic priests, who are of course Brahmans, and others (who 
must be Brahmans) fond of disputation on learned questions 67 (though 
not stated to be heretical) are ranked together as " passionate " (v. 46), 
while other Brahmans of different characters are placed in two of the 
higher grades, Brahmans simply so called (yiprah) being regarded as 
" good" in the lowest degree (v. 48), and sacrificing priests (yajvanaK] 
sharing with rishis, gods, the vedas, etc., the honour of the middle con- 
dition of goodness. It is not clear whether the devotees, and ascetics, 
mentioned in v. 48, belong to the same caste as the Brahmans with whom 
they are associated, or may also be men of the inferior classes. Nor is it 
evident for what reason the sacrificing priests (yajvanaK), specified in 
v. 49, are so much more highly estimated than the king's priests (rajnah in v. 46, since the latter also officiate at sacrifices. The 
honourable position assigned to Daityas in the lowest class of " good" 
beings (v. 48) is also deserving of notice. We shall see in the follow- 
ing chapter that the Puranas variously describe mankind as belonging 
entirely to the " passionate " class (see v. 40, above) and as charac- 
terized by the three other " qualities," according to their caste. 

creators were engaged in sacrifice . . . Thence was born the preserver of the world, 
the golden bird called Brahma, by whom the sxm glows, kindled with light. . . . 
8. ... Through this the creators created this universe. As they created the uni- 
verse, they are called vis'vasrijah. . Everything is created after them." See above 
the reference made to rishayo bhuta-kritah in p. 36. The allegory in this extract 
from the Taitt. Br. resembles in its character that in the sixth verse of the Purusha 
67 S'arstarthakalaha- priyas cha \ Comm. 


SECT. VI. Account of the System of Yugas, Manvantaras', and Kalpas, 
according to the Vishnu Puruna, and other authorities. 

I shall in the next section adduce the description given in the Vishnu 
Purana of the creation of living creatures, and the origin of the four 
castes, after first supplying in the present some explanation of the great 
mundane periods, the Yugas, Manvantaras, Kalpas, etc. 

The computations of these great periods are stated in the third 
chapter of the first hook, and in the first chapter of the sixth book, 
and are clearly explained by Professor "Wilson in his notes to page 50 
of his translation. 

One year of mortals is equal to one day of the gods. 68 
12,000 divine years are equal to a period of four Yugas, which is 
thus made up, viz. : 

Krita Tuga with its mornings and evenings 4,800 divine years 

TretaYuga 3,600 

DvaparaYuga,, ,, ,, 2,400 ,, 

KaliYuga , 1,200 

making... 12,000 divine years. 69 

As a day of the gods is = to one year of mortals, the 12,000 
divine years must be multiplied by 360, the assumed number of days 
in a year, to give the number of the years of mortals in this great 
period of four yugas, thus: 12,000 divine years x 360 = 4,320,000 
years of mortals. 1000 of these periods of 12,000 divine, or 4,320,000 
human, years i.e., 4,320,000,000 human years are = 1 day of Brah- 
ma, 70 and his night is of the same duration. Within that period of a 
day of Brahma, 14 Manus reign, 71 and a Manvantara, or period of Manu, 

68 Vishnu P. vi. 1, 4 ahoratram pitrlnum tu maso 'Idas tridivaukasam \ See also 
Manu i. 66 and 67. The Taitt. Br. iii. 9, 22, 1, too, states : ekam vai etad devanam 
ahar yat samvatsarah \ " This period of a year is one day of the gods." 

69 i. 3, 10. Divyair varsha - sahasraistu krita - tretadi - sanjnitam \ chaturyugam 
dvadasabhis tad-vibhagam nibodha me \ 11. chatvari trlni dve chaikam kritadishn 
yathakramam \ divyabdanam sahasrani yugeshv uhur puravidah \ 12. Tat-pramanaih 
s'ataih sandhya puna tatrabhidKiyate \ sandhyamsakas cha tat-tulyo yugasyanantaro 
hi sah } 13. Sandhya-sandhyaihsayor antar yah kalo mimi-sattama \ yugukhyah sa t 
vijneyah krita-tretadi-saHJnitah \ 

70 V. P. i. 3, 14. Kritani treta dvaparas cha kalis chaira chatnryngnm \ proch- 
yate tat-sahasram cha Brahmano divasam mune \ See also Manu i. 72. 

71 \ . P. i. 3, 15. .Brahmano divn so brahman Mnnatas cha chalurdaia \ \ 


is consequently = the 14th part of a day of Brahma. In the present 
Kalpa (= a day of Brahma) six Manus, of whom Svayambhuva was the 
first, have already passed away, the present Manu being Vaivasvata. 72 
In each Manvantara seven rishis, certain deities,, an Indra, a Manu, 
and the kings, his sons, are created and perish. 73 A thousand of the 
systems of 4 Yugas, as has been before explained, occur coincidently 
with these 14 Manvantaras; and consequently about 71 systems of 4 
Yugas elapse during each Manvantara, and measure the lives of the 
Manu and the deities of the period. 7 * At the close of this day of 
Brahma a collapse (pratisancharah] of the universe takes place, which 
lasts through a night of Brahma, equal in duration to his day, during 
which period the three worlds are converted into one great ocean, when 
the lotus-born god, 75 expanded by his deglutition of the universe, and 
contemplated by the yogis and gods in Janaloka, sleeps on the serpent 
S'esha. At the end of that night he awakes and creates anew , 76 

A year of Brahma is composed of the proper number of such days 
and nights; and 100 such years constitute his whole life. The period 
of his life is called Para, and the half of it Pardrddka, or the half of a 
Para. One Pararddha, or half of Brahma's existence, has now expired, 
terminating with the great Kalpa, called the Padma Kalpa. The now 
existing Kalpa, or day of Brahma, called Varaha (or that of the boar), 
is the first of the second Pararddha of Brahma's existence. 77 The 

72 This is stated by Manu i. 62 ff. (see above), as well as in the third book of the 
V. P. i. 3, which gives the names in the same order : Svayambhuvo Manuh purvo 
Manuh Svarochishas tatha \ Auttamis Tamasas chaiva Raivatas Chakshushas tat ha \ 
shad etc Manavo 'titah sampratam tu Raveh sutah \ Vaivasvato 'yarn yasyaitat sapta- 
mam varttate 'ntaram \ 

73 V. P. i. 3, 16. Saptarshayah surah S'akro Manus tat-sunavo nripah \ ekakale hi 
srijyante samhriyante cha purvavat \ 

74 Ibid ver. 17. Chaturyugariam sankhyata sadhika hy eka saptatih \ manvantaram 
Manoh kalah suradJnam cha sattama \ See also Manu i. 79. 

75 The birth of Prajapati on a lotus-leaf is mentioned in the Taitt. Arany. i. 23, 1, 
quoted above, p. 32. 

7 Ibid 20. Chaturdasa-guno hy esha kalo brahmatn ahah smritam \ brahmo naimit- 
tiko nama tasyante pratisancharah \ . . . 22. Ekarnave tu trailokye Brahma Nara- 
yanatmakah \ bhogi-sayyagatah sete trailokya-grasa-vrimhitah \ 23. Janasthair yogi- 
bhir devaid chintyamano 'bja-sambhavah \ tat^pramandm hi tarn ratrim tadante srijatc 
punah | See also V. P. i. 2, 69-62, as translated by "Wilson, vol. i. p. 41. 

77 Ibid ver. 24. Evam tu Brahmano varsham eva m varsha-satatn cha tat \ satam hi 
tasya varshanam param ayur mahatmanah \ 25. Ekam asya vyatlta?n tu pararddham 
Brahmano 'nagha \ tasyante 'bhud mahakalpah Padmah ity abhivisrutah \ dvitlyasya 


dissolution, which occurs at the end of each Kalpa, or day of Brahma, 
is called naimittiTca, incidental, occasional, or contingent. (See Wilson's 
Vishnu Purana, vol. i. of Dr. Hall's edition, p. 52, with the editor's 
note ; and vol. ii. p. 269. For an account of the other dissolutions of 
the universe I refer to the same work, vol. i. p. 113, and to pp. 630-633 
of the original 4to. edition.) 

Of this elaborate system of Yugas, Manvantaras, and Kalpas, of 
enormous duration, no traces are found in the hymns of the Big-veda. 
Their authors were, indeed, familiar with the word Yuga, 1 * which fre- 
quently occurs in the sense" of age, generation, or tribe. Thus in i. 139, 
8; iii. 26, 3; vi. 8, 5; vi. 15, 8; vi. 36, 5; x. 94, 12, the phrase 
yuge yuge" 9 means "in every age." In iii. 33, 8 ; x. 10, 10, we have 
tittard yugani, "future ages," and in x. 72, 1, uttare yuge, "in a later 
age;" in vii. 70, 4, purvdni yugani, "former ages," 80 and in i. 184, 3, 
yugajurna, "past ages." In i. 92, 11 ; i. 103, 4 ; i. 115, 2 ; i. 124, 2 ; 
i. 144, 4; 81 ii. 2, 2; v. 52, 4; vi. 16, 23; vii. 9, 4; viii. 46, 12; 
viii. 51, 9; ix. 12, 7 j 82 x. 27, 19; x. 140, 6 83 (in all of which places, 
except i. 115, 2, the word is combined with manushyd, mdnushd, manu- 
shah, or jandntitri), yuga seems to denote " generations " of men, or 

pararddhasya varttamanasya vai dvija \ Varahah iti kalpo 'yam prathamah pari- 
kalpitah \ 

78 In Professor Willson's Dictionary three senses are assigned to yuga (neuter) 

(1) a pair; (2) an age as the Krita, Treta, etc. ; (3) a lustre, or period of five years. 
When used as masculine the word means, according to the same authority, (1) a yoke ; 

(2) a measure of four cubits, etc. ; (3) a particular drug. 

79 Sayana, on iii. 36, 3, explains it hy pratidinam, " every day ;" on vi. 8, 5 ; 
vi. 15, 8 ; vi. 36, 5, by kale kale, " at every time." 

80 Sayana takes the phrase for former " couples of husbands and wives," mithunani 
jayap atir upani. 

31 In i. 92, 11 and i. 124, 2, Ushas (the Dawn) is spoken of as, praminaft manmhya 
yugani, " wearing away human terms of existence, or generations." In commenting 
on the former text Sayana explains yugani as equivalent to krita-treladlni, "the Krita, 
Treta, and other ages," whilst in explaining the second, he takes the same word as 
signifying yugopalakshitan nimeshadi-kalavayavan, " the seconds and other component 
parts of time indicated by the word," or as equivalent to yugmani, " the conjunctions 
of men," since the dawn scatters abroad to their several occupations men who had 
been previously congregated together!" la his note on i. 144, 4, he gives an option 
of two different senses : manoh sambhandhmi yugani j ay apati-r upani hotradhvaryu- 
r upani va \ " couples consisting of husband and wife, or of the hotri and adhvaryu 

82 This verse, ix. 12, 7, is also found in Sama V. ii. 552, where, however, yuja is 
substituted for yuga. 

bs This verse occurs also in Sama V. ii. 1171, and Vaj. S. xii. 111. 


rather, in some places, "tribes" of men. Tn v. 73, 3, the phrase 
ndhuska yuga must have a similar meaning. In i. 158, 6, it is said 
that the rishi Dirghatamas became worn out in the tenth yuga ; on 
which Professor Wilson remarks (R. V. vol. ii. 104, note) : " The scho- 
liast understands yuga in its ordinary interpretation ; but the yuga of 
five years is perhaps intended, a lustrum, which would be nothing mar- 
vellous." Professor Aufrecht proposes to render, "in the tenth stage 
of life." The first passage of the Rig-veda, in which the're is any indi- 
cation of a considerable mundane period being denoted, is x. 72, 2f., 
where " a first," or, "an earlier age (ytiga'} of the gods" is mentioned 
(devdndm purvye yuge ; devanam praihame yuge] when " the existent 
sprang from the non-existent" (asatah sad ajuyata] ; but no allusion is 
made to its length. In the same indefinite way reference is made in 
x. 97, 1, to certain "plants which were produced before the gods, 
three ages (yugas) earlier " (yah oshadklh purvah jutah develhyas tri- 
yugam purd}. In one verse of the Atharva-veda, however, the word yuga 
is so employed as to lead to the supposition that a period of very long 
duration is intended. It is there said, viii. 2, 21 : satam te ayutam 
hayanun dm yuge trini chatrari Icrinmah | " we allot to thee a hundred, 
ten thousand, years, two, three, four ages (yugas)."**' As we may with 
probability assume that the periods here mentioned proceed in the 
ascending scale of duration, two yugas, and perhaps even one yuga, 
must be supposed to exceed 10,000 years. 

The earliest comparison between divine and human periods of dura- 
tion of which I am aware is found in the text of the Taitt. Br. quoted 
above in a note to p. 42 : "A year is one day of the gods. 86 But so 
far as that passage itself shows, there is no reason to imagine that the 
statement it contains was anything more than an isolated idea, or that 
the conception had, at the time when the Brahmanas were compiled, 
been developed, and a system of immense mundane periods, whether 

84 For the context of this line see Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society for 1866, 
page 42. 

h5 An analogous idea is found in the S'atapatha Brahmana xiv. 7, 1, 33 if. ( = Bri- 
hadaranyaka TJpanishad pp. 817 ff. of Cal. ed.) atha ye satam manushyanam ananduh 
sa ekah pitrJnamjitalokanam anandah \ " now a hundred pleasures of men are one 
pleasure of the Pitris who have conquered the worlds." And so on in the same way ; 
a hundred pleasures of the Pitris equalling one pleasure of the Karmadevas (or gods 
who have become so by works) ; a hundred pleasures of the latter equalling one 
pleasure of the gods who were born such, etc. 


human or divine, had heen elaborated. That, however, the authors of 
the Brahmanas were becoming familiar with the idea of extravagantly 
large numbers is clear from the passage in the Taitt. Br. iii. 12, 9, 2, 
quoted above, p. 41, in the note on Manu xii. 50, where it is said that 
the creators were engaged in a sacrifice for 100,000 years. 

Professor Roth is of opinion (see his remarks under the word Krita 
in his Lexicon) that according to the earlier conception stated in Manu 
i. 69, and the Mahabharata (12,826 ff.), the four Yugas Krita, Treta, 
Dvapara, and Kali, with their mornings and evenings, consisted respec- 
tively of no more than 4,800 ; 3,600; 2,400 ; and 1,200 ordinary years 
of mortals ; and that it was the commentators on Manu, and the com- 
pilers of the Puranas, who first converted the years of which they 
were made up into divine years. The verse of Manu to which Pro- 
fessor Roth refers (i. 69), and the one which follows, are certainly 
quite silent about the years composing the Krita age being divine 
years : 

Chatvdry dhuh sahasrani varshdnam tu kritaih yugam \ tasya tdvach- 
chhatl sandhyd sandhydmschascha tathdvidhah \ 70. Itareshu sasandhyeshu 
sasandhdmseshu cha trishu \ ekdpdyena varttante sahasrdni satdni cha \ 
" They say that four thousand years compose the krita yuga, with 
as many hundred years for its morning and the same for its evening. 
70. In the other three yugas, with their mornings and evenings, the 
thousands and hundreds are diminished successively by one." 

Yerse 71 is as follows: Yad etat parisanlchydtam dddv eva chatur- 
yugam \ etad dvddasa-sdhasram devdndm yugam ucJiyate \ which, as ex- 
plained by Medhatithi, may be thus rendered : " Twelve thousand of 
these periods of four yugas, as above reckoned, are called a Yuga of 
the gods." Medhatithi' s words, as quoted by Kulluka, are these : 
Chaturyugair eva dvddasa-saJiasra-sanJchyair divyam yugam \ " A divine 
Yuga is formed by four yugas to the number of twelve thousand." 
Kulluka, however, says that his predecessor's explanation is mis- 
taken, and must not be adopted (Medhdtither Ihramo nddarttavyah}. 
His own opinion is that the system of yugas mentioned in vv. 69 and 
71 are identical, both being made up of divine years. According to 
this view, we must translate v. 71 as follows : " The period of four 
yugas, consisting of twelve thousand years, which has been reckoned 
above, is called a Yuga of the gods." This certainly appears to be the 


preferable translation, and it is confirmed by the tenor of verse 79. 
Verse 71, however, may represent a later stage of opinion, as it is 
not found in the following passage of the Mahabharata, where the 
previous verse (69) is repeated, and verse 70 is expanded into three 
verses, though without any alteration of the sense : 

M. Bh. iii. 12826 ff. - Adito manuja-vydghra Icritsnasya jagatah 
lishaye \ cJiatvdry ahuh sahasrdni varshtindm tat Tcritam yugam \ tasya 
tdvacTwhhatl sandhyd sandhydihscha tathdvidhah \ 

" In the beginning, after the destruction of the entire universe, they 
say that there are four thousand years : that is the Krita Yuga, which 
has a morning of as many hundred years, and an evening of the same 
duration." And then, after enumerating in like manner the other three 
Yugas with their respective thousands and hundreds successively 
diminished by one, the speaker (the sage Markandeya) proceeds in 
verse 12831 : Eshd dvddasahasrl yugdkTiyd pariklrttitd \ etat sahasra- 
paryantam oho brdhmam uddTiritam \ " This period of twelve thousand 
years is known by the appellation of the Yugas. A period extending 
to a thousand of these is called a day of Brahma." 

Nowhere, certainly, in this passage is any mention made of the years 
being divine years. 

The earliest known text in which the names of the four Yugas are 
found is a verse occurring in the story of S'unahsepha in the Aitareya 
Brahmana vii. 15 : Kalih say am bhavati sanjihdnas tu di'dparah \ uttisJi- 
thams tretd ITiavati Tcritam sampadyate charan \ "A man while lying is 
the Kali ; moving himself, he is the Dvapara ; rising, he is the Treta ; 
walking, he becomes the Krita." 86 But this brief allusion leaves us 

86 This verse has been already translated no less than six times ; twice into German 
by "Weber and Roth (Ind. Stud. i. 286 and 460), once into Latin by Streiter (see Ind. 
Stud. ix. 315), and thrice into English, by "Wilson (Journ. R. A. S. for 1851, p. 99), 
Miiller (Anc. Sansk. Lit. p. 412), and Haug (Ait. Br. ii. 464). All these authors, 
except the last, concur in considering the verse as referring to the four Yugas. 
Dr. Haug, however, has the following note : " Sayana does not give any explanation 
of this important passage, where the names of the Yugas are mentioned for the first 
time. These four names are, as is well known from other sources, . . . names of dice, 
used at gambling. The meaning of this Oaths is, There is every success to be hoped ; 
for the unluckiest die, the Kali is lying, two others are slowly moving and half fallen, 
but the luckiest, the Krita, is in full motion. The position of dice here given is indi- 
catory of a fair chance of winning the game." Both Dr. Haug's translation and note 
are criticised by Professor Weber (Ind. Stud. ix. 319), Of the following verses, which 
occur in Manu ix. 301 f., the second is a paraphrase of that in the Aitareya Brah- 


quite in the dark as to the duration which was assigned to these yugas 
in the age when the Brahmana was compiled. 

SECT. 'VII.-~Aecount of the different creations, including that of the 
castes, according to the Vishnu Purana. 

I commence t with the following general account of the cosmogony of 
the Vishnu Purana, extracted from Professor Wilson's Preface to his 
translation of that work, vtfl. i. p. xciii. : 

"The first book of the six, into which the work is divided, is 
occupied chiefly with the details of creation, primary (sarga), and 
secondary (pratisarga}', the first explains how the universe proceeds 
from Prakriti, or eternal crude matter ; 87 the second, in what manner 
the forms of things are developed from the elementary substances 
previously evolved, or how they re-appear after their temporary de- 
struction. 88 Both these creations are periodical; but the termination 
of the first occurs only at the end of the life of Brahma, when not 
only all the gods and all other forms are annihilated, but the elements 
are again merged into primary substance, besides which only one 
spiritual being exists. The latter takes place at the end of every 
Kalpa or day of Brahma, and affects only the forms of inferior 
creatures and lower worlds, leaving the substances of the universe 
entire, and sages and gods unharmed." 89 

mana : Eritam treta-yugam ehaiva dvaparam kalir eva cha \ raj'no vrittani sarvani 
raja hi yugam uchyate \ 302. Kalih prasupto bhavati sa jagrat dvaparam yugam \ 
karmasv abhyudyatas treta vicharams tu kritam yugam \ "301. The Krita, Tretu, 
Dvapara, and Kali yugas are all modes of a king's action ; for a king is called a yuga. 
302. While asleep he is the Kali ; waking he is the Dvapara age ; intent upon action 
he is the Treta, moving about he is the Krita." The former of these two verses of 
Manu is reproduced nearly verbatim in the M. Bh. xii. 3408 ; and the same idea is ex- 
panded in the same book of the same poem, vv. 2674 ff., 2682, 2684, 2686, 2693 ff. 
The words krita, treta, dvapara, and kali, are found in the Vaj.-Sanhita, xxx. 18, and 
in the Taitt. Brahmana, iii. 4, 1, 16 ; but in both places they denote dice, as does also 
the word krita in the Chhandogya Upan. iv. 1, 4 (where see the commentary). On 
the Yugas the reader of German may also consult Weber's Indische Studien, i. pp. 39, 
87 f., 282 ff. 

87 [See Book i. chapter ii.] 

88 [See the fourth and following chapters of Book i.] 

89 See Book i. at the close of chapter vii. p. 113 of vol. i. of Professor Wilson's 
translation, 2nd edition, and also p. 621 and 630 of the original 4to. edition. As regards, 


I proceed with the details of the creation which took place in the 
Varaha Kalpa, as described in book i. chapter 4, vv. 2, ff: : 

Atita-kalpdvasdne nisd-suptotthitah pralhuh \ sattvodriktas tato 
Brahma sunyaih lokam avaikshata \ 3. Ndrdyanah paro 'chintyah 
paresTidm api sa pralhuh \ Brahma- svarupl lhavagdn anddih sarva- 
sambhavah | . . . 6. Toydntah sa mahlm jndtvd jagaty ekdrnave pra- 
lhuh | anumdndd tad-uddhdram karttu-kdmah prajdpatih \ 7. A.karot so, 
tanum anydm kalpddishu yathd purd \ matsya-kurmtidikdm tadvad 
vdrdham vapur dsthitah \ 8. Veda-yajnamayam rupam asesha-jagatah 
sthitau | sthitah sthirdtmd sarvdtmd paramdtmd prajdpatih \ 9. Jana- 
loka-gataih siddhair Sanalcddyair abhishthutah \ pravivesa tadd toyam 
dtmddhdro dhard-dharah | . . . . 45. Evam saihstuyamdnastu para- 
mdtmd mahldharah \ ujjahdra mahlm Tcshipram nyastavdihs cha mahdm- 
Ihasi \ 46. Tasyopari jalaughasya, mahatl naur iva sthitd \ vitatatatvdt 
tu dehasya na mahl ydti samplavam \ tatah Tcshitim samdih kritvd prithi- 
vydm so 'chinod girln \ yathd-vilhdgam Ihagavdn anddih purmhottamah 
| 47. Prdlc-sarga-dagdhdn akhildn parvatdn prithimtale \ amoghcna 
prabhdvena sasarjdmogha-vdmchhitah \ 48. Bhuvi Ihdgam tatah Icritvd 
sapta-dvipdn yathdtathd \ Ihur-ddydms chaturo lokun purvavat sama- 
Jealpayat \ 49. Brahma-rupadharo devas tato 'sau rajasu "vritah \ 
chakdra srishtim lhagavdms chatur-valctra-dharo JTarih \ 50. nimitta- 
mdtram evdsau srijydndm sarga-lcarmandm \ pradhdna-Tcdranlbhutd 
yato vai srijya-salctayah \ 51. Nimitta-mdtram muktvaikam ndnyat 
kinchid apekshyate \ nlyate tapatdm sreshtha sva-saktya vastu vastutdm \ 

"2. At the end of the past (or Padma) Kalpa, arising from his 
night slumber, Brahma, the lord, endowed predominantly with the 
quality of goodness, beheld the universe void. 3. He (was) the 
supreme lord iNarayana, who cannot even be conceived by other 
beings, the deity without beginning, the source of all things, existing 
in the form of Brahma." [The verse given in Manu i. 10, regarding 
the derivation of the word Narayana (see above p. 35) is here quoted]. 
" 6. This lord of creatures, discovering by inference, when the world 
had become one ocean, that the earth lay within the waters, and 
being desirous to raise it up, (7) assumed another body. As formerly, 
at the beginnings of the Kalpas, he had taken the form of a fish, 

however, the statement with which the paragraph concludes, compare vol. i. p. 50, as 
well as vol. ii. p. 269, of the same work. 


a tortoise, and so forth, 90 (so now) entering the body of a boar (8), 
a form composed of the vedas and of sacrifice, the lord of creatures, 
who, throughout the entire continuance of the world, remains fixed, 
the universal soul, the supreme soul, self- sustained, the supporter of 
the earth (9), being hymned by Sanaka and the other saints, who 
had (at the dissolution of the lower worlds) proceeded to Janaloka, 
entered the water." [He is then addressed by the goddess Earth in a 
hymn of praise, as Vishnu, and as the supreme Brahma, vv. 10-24. 
The boar then rises from jjhe lower regions, tossing up the earth with 
his tusk, and is again lauded by Sanandana and other saints in a 
second hymn, in the course of which he himself is identified with 
sacrifice, and his various members with its different instruments and 
accompaniments, vv. 25-44]. "45. Being thus lauded, the supreme 
soul, the upholder of the earth, lifted her up quickly and placed her 
upon the great waters. 46. Resting upon this mass of water, like 
a vast ship, she does not sink, owing to her expansion. Then, having 
levelled the earth, the divine eternal Purushottasna heaped together 
mountains according to their divisions. 47. He whose will cannot be 
frustrated, by his unfailing power, created on the surface of the earth 
all those mountains which had been burnt up in the former creation. 
48. Having then divided the earth, just as it had been, into seven 
dvipas, he formed the four worlds Bhurloka and others as before. 49. 
Becoming next pervaded with the quality of passion, that divine being 
Hari, assuming the form of Brahma, with four faces, effected the 
creation. 50. But he is merely the instrumental cause of the things 
to be created and of the creative operations, since the properties of the 
things to be created arise from Pradhana as their (material) cause. 51. 
Excepting an instrumental cause alone, nothing else is required. 
Every substance (vastu} is brought into the state of substance (vastuta) 
by its own inherent power." 91 

90 No mention is made in the Brahmanas (as I have already observed) of any such 
periods as the Kalpas. But here an attempt is made to systematize the different 
stories scattered through those older works which variously describe the manner in 
which the creation was effected with the view, perhaps, of reconciling the discre- 
pancies in those free and artless speculations which offended the critical sense of a 
later age. 

91 See Professor Wilson's translation of these verses, and the new version proposed 
by the editor of the second edition, Dr. Hall, p. 66, note. I do not think the phrase 




[Before proceeding further with the narrative of the Yishnu Purana, 
I wish to quote or refer to some passages from the Taittiriya Sanhita 
and Brahmana and from the S'atapatha Brahmana, which appear to 
furnish the original germs of the legends of the boar, fish, tortoise, 
and dwarf incarnations. 

The first of these texts is from the Taittirlya Sanhita, vii. 1, 5, 1 ff : 

Apo vai idam agre salilam dslt \ tasmm Prajdpatir vdyur bhutvd ach- 
arat \ sa imam apasyat' \ tarn vardho Ihutvd dharat \ tarn Visvakarma 
bhutva vyamdrt \ sa aprathata \ sa prithivy abhavat \ tat prithivyai 
prithivitvam \ tasydm ardmyat Prajdpatih \ sa devdn asrtjata Vasun 
Rudrdn Aditydn \ te devdh Prajdpatim abruvan "prafdydmahai" iti\ 
so 'bravld " yathd aham yushmdms tapasd asrikshi evam tcvpasi pra- 
jananam ichchhadhvam " Hi \ tebhyo 'gnim dyatanam prdyachhad " etena 
dyatanena srdmyata " iti \ te 'gnind dyatanena asrdmyan \ te samvatsare 
ekdm gam asrijanta \ 

"This universe was formerly waters, fluid. On it Prajapati, be- 
coming wind, moved. 92 He saw this (earth). Becoming a boar, he 
took her up. Becoming VisVakarman, he wiped (the moisture from) 
her. She extended. She became the extended one (prithivl}. From 
this the earth derives her designation as the extended one. In her 
Prajapati performed arduous devotion. He created gods, Yasus, Eudras, 
and Adityas. The gods said to Prajapati, ' let us be propagated.' He 
answered, ' As I have created you through austere fervour, so do ye 
seek after propagation in austere fervour.' He gave them Agni as a 
resting-place (saying), ' With this as a resting-place perform your 
devotion.' They (accordingly) performed devotion with Agni as a 
resting-place. In a year they created one cow, etc." 93 

sva-salctya can be properly rendered, as Dr. Hall does, " by its potency." The 
reading of the MSS. in v. 50, pradhana-karambhutah seems to me doubtful, as it 
would most naturally mean " hare become the Pradhana-cause." I conjecture pra- 
dhana-karanodbhutah, which gives the sense which seems to be required. 

92 It is possible that the idea assigned to the word Narayana (see Manu L 10, 
above), " he whose place of movement is the waters," may be connected with this 
passage. See also Genesis i. 2, " And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the 

3 After having noticed this passage in the Taittiriya Sanhita, I became aware that 
it had been previously translated by Mr. Colebrooke (Essays i. 75, or p. 44 of Williams 
& Norgate's edition). Mr. Colebrooke prefaces his version by remarking, " The pre- 


The second passage is from the Taittiriya Brahmana, i. 1, 3, 5 ff. 
Apo vai idam agre salilam uslt \ tena Prajapatir asramyat "Icatham idam 
syad" iti \ so 'pasyat pmhkara-parnam tishthat \ so 'manyata " asti rai 
tad yasminn idam adhitishthati " iti \ sa varaho rupam Icritva upa- 
nyamajjat \ sa prithivlm adhah archhat \ tasyu upahatya udamajjat \ tat 
pushlcara-parne'prathayat \ yad " aprathata " tat prithivyai prithivit- 
vam | "abhud t vai idam" iti tad Ihumyai bhumitvam \ turn diso 'nu vdtah 
samavahat \ tarn sarkar&bhir adriihhat \ 

" This (universe) was formerly water, fluid. 94 With that (water) 
Prajapati practised arduous devotion (saying), ' how shall this (uni- 
verse be (developed) ?' He beheld a lotus-leaf standing. 95 He thought, 
' there is somewhat on which this (lotus-leaf) rests.' He as a boar 
having assumed that form plunged beneath towards it. He found 
the earth down below. Breaking off (a portion of) her, he rose to the 
surface. He then extended it on the lotus-leaf. Inasmuch as he ex- 
tended it, that is the extension of the extended one (the earth). This 
became (alhut). Prom this the earth derives its name of Ihuml. The 
wind carried her, to the four quarters. He strengthened her with 
gravel, etc., etc. 

The S'atapatha Brahmana, xiv. 1, 2, 11, has the following reference 
to the same idea, although here Prajapati himself is not the boar : 

lyatl ha vai iyam agre prithivy dsa prudesa-matrl \ tarn JSmushah iti 
varuhah njjaghana \ so 'syah patih Prajdpatis tena eva enam etan-mithu- 
nena priyena dhdmnd samardhayati Jcritmam Icaroti \ 

"Formerly this earth was only so large, of the size of a span. A 
boar called Emusha raised her up. Her lord Prajapati, therefore, 
prospers him with (the gift of) this pair, the object of his desire, and 
makes him complete." 

Another of the incarnations referred to in the preceding passage of 

sent extract was recommended for selection by its allusion to a mythological notion, 
which apparently gave origin to the story of the Varaha-avatara, and from which an 
astronomical period, entitled Calpa, has perhaps heen taken." 

94 The Commentator gives an alternative explanation, viz., that the word salila is 
the same as sarira, according to the text of the Veda, " these worlds are sarira " (" ime 
vai lokah sariram " iti sruteh} . 

98 " Supported upon the end of a long stalk " (dlrgliariulagre'vasthitam}, according 
to the Commentator. In a passage from the Taitt. Aranyaka, already quoted (p. 32, 
above), it is said that Prajiipati himself was born on a lotus-leaf. 


the Vishnu Purana is foreshadowed in the following text from the S'a- 
tapatha Brahmana, vii. 5, 1, 5 : 

Sa yat kurmo ndma \ etad vai rupam kritvd Prajdpatih prajuJi asri- 
jata | yad asrijata akarot tat \ yad akarot tasmdt kurmah \ kasyapo vai 
kurmah \ tasmdd dhuh "sarvdh prajdh lidsyapyah" iti \ sa yah sa kurmo 
sau sa Adityah \ 

" As to its being called kurma (a tortoise) ; Prajapatj having taken 
this form, created ofispring. That which he created, he made (akarof) ; 
since he made, he is (called) kurmah. The wftrd kasyapa means tortoise ; 
hence men say all creatures are descendants of Kasyapa. This tortoise 
is the same as Aditya." 96 

The oldest version of the story of the fish incarnation, which is to be 
found in the S'atapatha Brahmana, i. 8, 1, 1 ff., will be quoted in the 
next chapter. 

For the passages which appear to supply the germ of the dwarf in- 
carnation, the reader may consult the fourth volume of this work, 
pp. 54-58 and 107 f. 

It will have been noticed that in the passage above adduced from the 
Vishnu Purana, the word Narayana is applied to Vishnu, and that it 
is the last named deity who (though in the form of Brahma) is said to 
have taken the form of a boar. In the verses formerly cited from 
Manu (i. 9, 10), however, Narayana is an epithet, not of Vishnu, but 
of Brahma; and in the following text, from the Kamayana, xi. 110, 3, 
it is Brahma who is said to have become a boar : 

Sarvam salilam evdstt prithivl tatra nirmitd \ tatah samabhavad Brah- 
ma svayambhur daivataih saha " | sa vardhas tato Ihutvd projjahdra va- 
sundhardm ityddi \ 

" All was water only, and in it the earth was fashioned. Then arose 

98 With this compare the mention made of a tortoise in the passage cited above, 
p. 32, from the Taitt. Aranyaka. 

97 Such is the reading of SchlegePs edition, and of that which was recently printed 
at Bombay, both of which, no doubt, present the most ancient text of the Ramayana. 
The Gauda recension, however, which deviates widely from the other, and appears to 
have modified it in conformity with more modern taste and ideas, has here also intro- 
duced a various reading in the second of the lines quoted in the text, and identifies 
Brahma with Vishnu in the following manner : tatah samabhavad Brafana svayam- 
bhur Vishnur avyayah \ l( Then arose Brahma the self-existent and imperishable 


Brahma, the self existent, with the deities. He then, becoming a boar, 
raised up the earth," etc. 

I now return to the narrative of the Vishnu Parana.] 
The further process of cosmogony is thus described in chapter v. : 
Maitreya uvdcha \ 1. Yathd sasarjja devo'sau devarshi-pitri-ddnavdn \ 
manushya-tiryag-'vrikshddin bhu-vyoma-salilaukasah \ 2. Yad-gunam 
yat-svabMvam cha yad-rupam cha jagad dvija \ sargddau srishtavdn 
JBrahmd tad mamdchahhva vistardt \ Pardsara uvdcha \ 3. Maitreya 
kathaydmy esha srinushva stfsamdhitah \ yathd sasarjja devo 'sau devddln 
akhildn vibhuh \ srishtim chintayatas tasya kalpddishu yathd purd \ 
abuddhi-purvakah sargah prddurbhutas tamomayah \ 4. Tamo moJio ma- 
hdmohas tdmisro hy andha-samjnitah \ avidyd pancha-parvaisJid prd- 
durbhutd mahdtmanah \ 5. Panchadhd 'vasthitah sargo dhydyato 'prati- 
lodhavdn \ vahir-anto- prakdsas cha samvritt'dtmd nagdtmakah \ 6. 
Mukhyd nagd yatas choktd mukhya-sargas tatas tv ay am \ 7. Tarn drish- 
fvd 'sddhakaih sargam amanyad aparam punah \ tasydlhidhydyatah sargas 
tiryak-srotd 98 'bhyavarttata \ 8. Yasmdt tiryak pravrittah sa tiryak- 
srotas tatah smritah \ 9. Pasvddayas te mkhydtds tamah-praydh Tiy ave- 
dinah \ utpatha-grdhinas chaiva te 'jndne jndna-mdninah \ 10. Ahamkritd 
ahammdnd ashtdvimsad-vadhdnvitdh \ antah-prakdsds te sarve dvritds cha 
parasparam \ 11. Tarn apy asddhakam matvd dhydyato 'nyas tato 'bhavat \ 
urdhvasrotas tritiyas tu sdttvikorddhvam avarttata" \ 12. Te sukha-prlti- 
lahuld bahir dntas cha ndvritdh 10 | prakdsd lahir antas cha urdhva- 
sroto-bhavdh smritdh |, 13. Tushty-dtmakas tritiyas tu deva-sargas in 
yah smritah \ tasmin sarge 'lhavat prltir nishpanne Brahmanas tadd \ 
14. Tato 'nyaih sa tadd dadhyau sddhakam sargam uttamam \ asddhakdms 
tu tun jndtvd mukhya-sargddi-sambhavdn \ 15. Tathd 'bhidhydyatas 
tasya satydbhidydyinas tatah \ prddurbhutas tadd J vyaktdd arvdk-srotas 
tu sddhakah \ 16. Yasmdd arvdg vyavarttanta tato 'rvdk-srotasas tu te \ 
te cha prakdsa-lahuld tamodriktd m rajo'dhikdh \ tasmdt te duhkha- 
lahuld bhuyo bhuyas cha kdrinah \ prakdsd bahir antas cha manushyd 
sddhakds tu te \ , . . . 23. Ity etc tu samdkhydtd nava sargdh Prajd- 

93 Hi sandhir arshah. Comra. 

99 The reading of the Vayu P., in the parallel passage, is tasyabhidhyayato nityani 
sattvikah samavarttata \ urdhvasrotas tritiyas tu sa chaivordhvam vyavasthitah \ 
The combination sattvikordhvam in the text of the Vishnu P. must he arsha. 

100 ]7 or navritah the Vayu P. reads samvritah. 

101 Iti sandhirarshah \ Comm. But there is a form tatna. The Vayu P. has tamah- 


pateh | prdkritd vaikritds chaiva jagato mula-hetavah \ srijato jagadlia 1 - 
sya Icim anyach chhrotum ichhasi \ Maitreya uvacha \ 24. Samkshepdt 
kathitah sargo devddmdm tvayd mum \ vista.rdch chhrotum ichhdmi 
tvatto munivarottama \ Pardsara uvacha \ karmabhir bhdvitdh purvaih 
kusaldkusalais tu tdh \ khydtyd tayd hy anirmuktdh samhdre hy upa- 
samhritdh \ 25. Sthdvardntah surddydscha prajd brahmaihs chaturvi- 
dhdh | Brahmanah kurvatah srishtim jajnire mdnasls tu tdh \ 26. Tato 
devdsurapitrin mdnushdms cha chatushtayam \ sisrikshur ambhdmsy 
etdni svam dtmdnam ayuyujat \ 27. Yuktdimanas tamomdtrd udrildd 
'bhut Prajdpateh \ sisrikshor jagJiandt purvam asurdh jajnire tatah \ 
28. Utsasarja tatas tdm tu tamo-mdtrdtmikdm tanum \ sd tu tyaktd 
tanus tena Maitreydlhud vilhdvarl \ 29. Sisrikshur anya-deha-sthah 
prltim dpa tatah surah \ sattvodriktdh samudbhutdh mukhato JBrah- 
mano dvija \ 30. Tyaktd sd 'pi tanus tena sattva-prdyam abhud dinam \ 
tato hi lalino rdtrdv asurd devatd diva \ 31. Sattvamdtrdtmikdm era 
tato 'nydrh jagrihe tanum \ pitrivad manyamdnasya pitaras tasya 
jajnire \ 32. Utsasarja pitrm srishtvd tatas tdm api sa prabhuh \ sd 
chotsrishtd 'bhavat sandhyd dina-naktdntara-sthitih \ 33. Rajo-mdtrdt- 
mikdm anydmjagrihe Ka tanum tatah \ rajo-mdtrotkatd jdtd manushyd 
dvija-sattama \ tdm apy dsu sa tatydja tanum ddyah Prajdpatih \ 
jyotsnd samalhavat sd 'pi prdk-sandhyd yd 'Ihidhlyate \ 34. Jyotsno- 
dgame tu lalino manushydh pitaras tathd \ Maitreya sandhyd-samaye 
tasmdd ete bhavanti vai \ 35. Jyotsnd-rdtry-ahanl sandhyd chatvdry 
etdni vai vibhoh \ Brahmanas tu sarlrdni trigunupdsraydni cha \ 
36. Rajo-mdtrdtmikdm eva tato 'nydm jagrihe tanum \ tatah kshud 
Brahmano jdtd jajne kopas tayd tatah \ 37. Kshut-khdmdn andhakdre 
'tha so 'srijad bhagavdms tatah \ Virupdh smasruld jdtds te 'bhyadhd- 
vams tatah prabhum \ 38. " Maivam bho rakshyatdm esha " yair uktam 
rdkshasds tu te \ uchuh "khdddma" ity anye ye te yakshds tu yakshandt \ 
"Maitreya said: 1. Tell me in detail how at the beginning of the 
creation that deity Brahma formed the gods, rishis, fathers, danava?, 
men, beasts, trees, etc., dwelling respectively on the earth, in the sky, 
and in the water; 2. and with what qualities, with what nature, and 
of what form he made the world. Parasara replied : 3. I declare to 
thee, Maitreya, how that deity created the gods and all other beings ; 
listen with attention. While he was meditating on creation, as at the 
beginnings of the (previous) Kalpas, there appeared an insentient crea- 


tion, composed of gloom (tamas). 4. Gloom, illusion, great illusion, 
darkness, and what is called utter darkness such was the five-fold 
ignorance, which was manifested from that great Being, 5. as he was 
meditating an insensible creation, 102 under five conditions, devoid of 
feeling either without or within, 108 closed up, motionless. 6. And since 
motionless objects are called the primary objects, this is called the pri- 
mary (mukhya) creation. 104 7. Beholding this creation to be ineffective, 
he again contemplated another. As he was desiring it the brute 
(tiryaksrotas) creation came forth. 8. Since (in its natural functions) 
it acts horizontally it is called Tiryaksrotas. 9. The (creatures com- 
posing it) are known as cattle, etc., distinguished mainly by darkness 
(tamas] ignorant, following irregular courses, 105 while in u state of ignor- 
ance having a conceit of knowledge, (10) self-regarding, self-esteeming, 
affected by the twenty-eight kinds of defects, endowed with inward 
feeling, and mutually closed. 1 1 . As Brahma, regarding this creation 
also as ineffective, was again meditating, another creation, the third, or 
urdhvasrotas, which was good, rose upward. 12. They (the creatures 
belonging to this creation) abounding in happiness and satisfaction, 
being unclosed both without and within, and possessed both of external 
and internal feeling, are called the offspring of the TJrdhvasrotas crea- 
tion. 13. This third creation, known as that of the gods, was one full 
of enjoyment. When it was completed, Brahma was pleased. 14. He 
then contemplated another creation, effective and most excellent, since 
he regarded as ineffective the beings sprung from the primary and 
other creations. 1 5. While he, whose will is efficacious, was so desir- 
ing, the Arvaksrotas, an effective creation, was manifested. 108 16. They 

102 The Vayu P. here inserts an additional line, sarvatas tamasa chaiva dTpah 
kumbha-vad avritah \ " and covered on all sides with darkness, as a lamp by a jar." 

103 Vahir-anto 'prakasascha appears to be the true reading, as the Commentator 
renders the last word by prakrishta-jnana-sunyah, " devoid of knowledge." But if 
this be the correct reading, it is ungrammatical, asantah and aprakasa would properly 
make antar-aprakasa, not onto 'prakasa. But the Puranas have many forms which 
are irregular (arsha, " peculiar to the rishis," " vedic," or " antiquated " as the Com- 
mentators style them). The Taylor MS. of the Vayu Purana reads in the parallel 
passage bahir-antah-prakasascha. 

101 See Dr. Hall's note p. 70 on Professor "Wilson's translation ; and also the pas- 
sage quoted above p. 16 from the Taitt. Sanh. vii. 1, 1, 4, where the word mukhya is 
otherwise applied and explained. 

105 JBhakshyadi-vivekak-h7imh \ " Making no distinction in food, etc., etc." Comm. 

106 Compare M. Bh. xiv. 1038. 


(the creatures belonging to it) are called Arvaksrotas, because (in their 
natural functions) they acted downwardly. And they abound in sen- 
sation (pralcasa) and are full of darkness (tamas] with a preponderance 
of passion (rajas). Hence they endure much suffering, and are con- 
stantly active, with both outward and inward feeling. These beings 
were men, and effective." 107 

In the next following verses, 17-22, the names of the different crea- 
tions, described in the first part of this section, and in the second chapter 
of the first book of the Vishnu Purana, are recapitulated, and two others, 
the Anugraha and the Kaumara, are noticed, but not explained. 108 

The speaker Parasara then adds : " 23. Thus have the nine creations 
of Prajapati, both Prakrita and Vaikrita, the radical causes of the world, 
been recounted. "WTiat else dost thou desire to hear regarding the crea- 
tive lord of the world ? Maitreya replies : 24. By thee, most excellent 
Muni, the creation of the gods and other beings has been summarily 
narrated : I desire to hear it from thee in detail. Parasara rejoins : 
Called into (renewed) existence in consequence of former actions, good 
or bad, and unliberated from that destination when they were absorbed 
at the (former) dissolution of the world, (25) the four descriptions of 
creatures, beginning with things immovable and ending with gods, were 
produced, o Brahman, from Brahma when he was creating, and they 
sprang from his mind. 26. Being then desirous to create these streams 
(anibhdmsi} m the four classes of Gods, Asuras, Fathers, and Men, he 
concentrated himself. 27. Prajapati, thus concentrated, received a body, 
which was formed of the quality of gloom (tamds] ; and as he desired 
to create, Asuras were first produced from his groin. 28. He then 
abandoned that body formed entirely of gloom ; which when abandoned 
by him became night. 29. Desiring to create, when he had occupied 
another body, Brahma experienced pleasure ; and then gods, full of 
the quality of goodness, sprang from his mouth. 30. That body 

107 The Vayu P. adds here : LaJcshanais taraJcadyaischa ashtadha cha vyavasthitah \ 
siddhatmano manushyas te gandharva-saha-dharminah \ ity esha taijasah sargo hy 
arvaksrotah praKtrttitah \ " Constituted with preservative(?) characteristics, and in an 
eightfold manner. These were men perfect in their essence, and in nature equal to 
Gandharvas. This was the lustrous creation known as Arvuksrotas." 

" See Dr. Hall's edition of Wilson's V. P. pp. 32 ff. ; and pp. 74 ff. 

109 This word is borrowed from the passage of the Taittiriya Brahmana, ii. 3, 8, 3, 
quoted above, p. 23. Most of the particulars in the rest of the narrative ai^e imitated 
from another passage of the same Brahmana, ii. 2, 9, o ff., also quoted above, p. 28. 


also, being abandoned by him, became day, which is almost entirely 
good. Hence the Asuras are powerful by night 110 and the gods by day 
31. He then assumed another body formed of pure goodness ; and the 
Fathers were born from him, when he was regarding himself as a 
father. 111 32. The Lord, after creating the Fathers, abandoned that 
body also ; which, when so abandoned, became twilight, existing 
between day and night. 33. He next took another body entirely 
formed of passion ; and men, in whom passion is violent, were pro- 
duced. The primeval Prajapati speedily discarded this body also, 
which became faint light (jyotsna), which is called early twilight. 
34. Hence, at the appearance of this faint light, men are strong, while 
the fathers are strong at evening-twilight. 35. Morning-twilight, 
night, day, and evening-twilight, these are the four bodies of Brahma, 
and the receptacles of the three qualities. 36. Brahma next took 
another body entirely formed of passion, from which sprang hunger, 
and through it anger was produced. 37. The Divine Being then in 
darkness created beings emaciated with hunger, which, hideous of 
aspect, and with long beards, rushed against the lord. 38. Those who 
said, ' Let him not be preserved ' (rakshyatdm] were called Rakshasas, 
whilst those others who cried, ' Let us eat (him)' were called Yakshas 
from ' eating ' (yakshanuf). 112 

It is not necessary for my purpose that I should quote at length the 
conclusion of the section. It may suffice to say that verses 39 to 51 
describe the creation of serpents from Brahma's hair ; of Bhutas ; of 
Gandharvas ; of birds (vaydmsi) from the creator's life (vayas), of sheep 
from his breast, of goats from his mouth, of kine from his belly and 
sides, and of horses, 113 elephants, and other animals from his feet ; of 
plants from his hairs; of the different metres and vedas from his 
eastern, southern, western, and northern mouths. Verses 52 ff. contain 
a recapitulation of the creative operations, with some statement of the 

110 In the Ramayana, Sundara Kanda 82, 13 f. (Gorresio's edit.) we read: Rak- 
shasam rajani-Tcalah samyugeshu prasasyate \ 14. Tasmad raj an nisa-yuddhe jayo 
'sjnakam na samsayah \ "Night is the approved time for the Rakshases to fight. We 
should therefore undoubtedly conquer in a nocturnal conflict." 

111 This idea also is borrowed from Taitt. Br. ii. 3, 8, 2. 

112 See Wilson's V. P. vol. i. p. 83, and Dr. Hall's note. 

113 See the passage from the Taitt. Sauh. vii. 1, 1, 4ff. quoted above, p. 16, where 
the same origin is ascribed to horses. 


principles according to which they were conducted. Of these verses 
I quote only the following : 55. Teshdm ye ydni karmdni prak-sristhydm 
pratipedire \ tuny evtt pratipadyante srijyamdndh punah punah | . . . 
60. Yathartdv ritu-lingdni ndndrupdni paryaye \ drisyante tdni tdnyeva 
tathd bhdvd yugddishu \ 61. Karoty evamvidhdm srishfim Icalpddau sa 
punah punah \ sisr'ikshdsakU-yukto'8au8rijya-saJiti-prachoditah\ "These 
creatures, as they are reproduced time after time, discharge the same 
functions as they had fulfilled in the previous creation . . . 60. Just 
as, in each season of the year, all the various characteristics of that 
season are perceived, on its recurrence, to be the very same as they had 
been before ; so too are the beings produced at the beginnings of the 
ages. 114 61. Possessing both the will and the ability to create, and im- 
pelled by the powers inherent in the things to be created, the deity 
produces again and again a creation of the very same description at the 
beginning of every Kalpa." 

The sixth section of the same book of the Y. P., of which I shall cite 
the larger portion, professes to give a more detailed account of the 
creation of mankind. 

Y. P. i. 6, 1. Maitreya uvdcha \ Arvdlcsrotas tu kathilo bhavatd yas tu 
mdnushah \ brahman vistarato bruhi BraJimd tarn asrijad yathd \ 2. 
Yathd cha varndn asrijad yad-gunams cJia mahdmune \ yachcha teshdm 
smritam Icarma mprddlnam, tad uchyatdm \ Pardiara uvdcha | 3. Sat- 
ydlJiidJiydyinas tasya sisriJcsJior BraJimano jagat \ ajdyanta dvijasreshtha 
sattvodrilctd mufchdt prajdh \ 4. Vaksha&o rajasodriktds tathd y nyd SraJi- 
mano 'bhavan \ rajasd tamasd chaiva samudriktds tathorutah \ 5. Pad- 
Ihydm anydh prajd BraJimd sasarjja dvij'a-sattama \ tamah-pradhdnds 
tdh sarvdi chdturvarnyam idam tatah \ brdhmandh TcsJiattriyd vaisydh 
iudrdscha dvija-sattama \ pddoru-vaJcshah-sthalato mukhoias cha samud- 
gatdh \ 6. Yajna-nishpattaye sarvam etad BraJimd chaJcdra vai \ chd- 
turvarnyam mahdbhdga yajna-sddhanam uttamam \ 1 . Yajnair dpyd- 
yitd devd vrishty-utsargena vai prajdh \ dpydyayante dharma-jna 
ydjndh halydna-hetavah \ 8. Nishpadyante narais tais tu sva-lcarmd- 
Ihirataih sadd \ viruddhdcharandpetaih sadbhih sanmarga-gdmibkih \ 
9. Stargdpavargau mdnushydt prtipnuvanti nard mune \ yach chdbhiru- 
chitam sthdnam tad ydnti manujd dvija \ 10. Prajds tdh JSrahmand 
srishtds chdturvarnya-vyavasthitau \ samyalc sraddhd-samdchdra-pra- 

1U Verses similar to this occur in Manu i. 30 ; and in the Mahabharata xii. 8550 f. 


vand muni-sattama \ 11. Yathechhd-vdsa-niratdhsarvdbddha-vwarjitdh \ 
suddhdntah-karandh suddhdh sarvdnushthdna-mrmaldh \ 14. 115 S'ud- 
dhe cha tdsdm manasi suddhe 'ntah-samsthite Harau \ suddha-jndnam 
prapasyanti Vishnv-dkhyam yena tatpadam \ 15. Tatah, kdldtmako yo 
'sau sa chdmsah kathito Hareh \ sa pdtayaty agho ghoram alpam alpdlpa- 
sdravat \ 16. Adharma-vlja-bhutam tu tamo-lobha-samudbhavam \ pra- 
Jdsu tdsu Maitreya rdgddikam asddhakam \ 17. Tatah sd sahajd siddhis 
tdsdm ndtlvajdyate \ rasolldsddayas chdnydh siddhayo 'shtau bhavanti 
yah | 18. Tdsu kshtndsv aseshdsu varddhamdne cha pdtake \ dvandvadi- 
bhava-duhkhdrttds td lhavanti tatah prajdh \ 19. Tato durgdni ids cha- 
krur vdrkshyam pdrvatam audakam \ kritimam cha tathd durgam pura- 
karvatakddi yat \ 20. Grihani cha yathanydyam teshu chakruh purd- 
dishu | sltdtapddi-bddhdndm prasamdya mahdmate \ 21. Pratikdram 
imam kritvd Sitddes tdh prajdh punah \ vdrttopayam tatas chakrur 
hasta-siddham cha karma-jam \ . . . 26. Grdmydranydh smritd hy eta 
oshadhya cha chaturdasa \ yajna-nishpattaye yajnas tathd "sdm hetur 
uttamah \ 27. Etas cha saha yajnena prajdndm kardnam param \ 
pardpara-vidah prdjnds tato yajndn vitanvate \ 28. Aliany ahany 
anushthdnam yajndndm munisattama \ upakdra-karam pumsdm kriya- 
mdndch cha sdnti-dam \ 29. Teshdm tu kdla-srishto 'sau pdpa-vindur 
mahdmate \ chetassu vavridhe chakrus te na yajneshu mdnasam \ 30. 
Feda-vuddms tathd devdn yajnakarmddikam cha yat \ tat sarvam nin- 
damdnds te yajna-vydsedha-kdrinah \ 31. Pravritti-marga-vyuchchitti- 
kdrino veda-nindakdh \ durdtmdno durdchdrd babhuvuh kutildsaydh \ 
32. Samsiddhdydm tu vdrttdydm prajdh srishtvd Prajdpatih \ maryd- 
ddm sthdpaydmdsa yathd-sthanam yathd-gunam \ 34. Varndndm dsra- 
mdndm cha dharmdn dharma-bhritdm vara \ lokdihi sarva-,varndndm 
samyag dharmdnupalindm \ 35. Prdjdpatyam brdhmandndm smritam 
sthdnam kriydvatdm \ sthdnam aindram kshattriydndm sangrdmeshv 
anivarttindm \ 36. Vaisyanam mdrutam sthdnam sva-dharmam anu- 
varttindm \ gdndharvam sudra-jdtlndm paricharyam varttindm \ 

" Maitreya says: 1. You have described to me the Arvaksrotas, or 
human, creation : declare to me, o Brahman, in detail the manner in 
which Brahma formed it. 2. Tell me how, and with what qualities, 
he created the castes, and what are traditionally reputed to he the 

115 There are no verses numbered 12 and 13, the MSS. passing from the llth to 
the 14th. 


functions of the Brahmans and others. Paras ara replies : 3. When, 
true to his design, Brahma became desirous to create the world, crea- 
tures in whom goodness (sattva] prevailed sprang from his mouth ; (4) 
others in whom passion (rajas] predominated came from his hreast; 
others in whom both passion and darkness (tamas) were strong, pro- 
ceded from his thighs ; (5) others he created from his feet, whose chief 
characteristic was darkness. Of these was composed the system of four 
castes, Brahmans, Kshattriyas, Vaisyas, and Sudras, who had respec- 
tively issued from his mouth, breast, thighs, and feet. 6. Brahma 
formed this 118 entire fourfold institution of classes for the performance 
of sacrifice, of which it is an excellent instrument. 7. Nourished by 
sacrifices, the gods nourish mankind by discharging rain. Sacrifices, 
the causes of prosperity, (8) are constantly celebrated by virtuous men, 
devoted to their duties, who avoid wrong observances, and walk in the 
right path. 9. Men, in consequence of their humanity, obtain heaven 
and final liberation ; and they proceed to the world which they desire. 
10. These creatures formed by Brahma in the condition of the four 
castes, (were) perfectly inclined to conduct springing from religious 
faith, (11) loving to dwell wherever they pleased, free from all suffer- 
ings, pure in heart, pure, spotless in all observances. 14. And in their 
pure minds, the pure Hari dwelling within them, (there existed) 
pure knowledge whereby they beheld his highest station, called (that 
of) Vishnu. 117 15. Afterwards that which is described as the portion 
of Hari consisting of Time 118 infused into those beings direful sin, in 
the form of desire and the like, ineffective (of man's end), small in 
amount, but gradually increasing in force, (16) the seed of unrighteous- 
ness, and sprung from darkness and cupidity. 17. Thenceforward their 
innate perfectness was but slightly evolved : and as all the other eight 
perfections called rasolldsa and the rest (18) declined, and sin in- 
creased, these creatures (mankind) were afflicted with suffering arising 

116 How does this agree with the statements made in the Taitt. Sanh. vii. 1, 1, 4 ff. 
as quoted ahove, p. 16, and in the Taitt. Br. iii. 2, 3, 9, p. 21, that the S'iidra is 
incapacitated for sacrifice, and that anything he milks out is no oblation? 

117 This alludes to an expression in the Rig-veda, i. 22, 20. See the 4th vol. of this 
work, p. 54. 

118 In regard to Kala, " Time," see Wilson's V. P. vol. i. p. 18f., and the passages 
from the Atharva-veda, extracted in the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society for 1865 ? 
pp. 380 ff. 


out of the pairs (of susceptibilities to pleasure and pain, etc., etc.) 
19. They then constructed fastnesses among trees, on hills, or amid 
waters, as well as artificial fortresses, towns, villages, etc. 20. And in 
these towns, etc., they built houses on the proper plan, in order to 
counteract cold, heat, and other discomforts. 21. Having thus provided 
against cold, etc., they devised methods of livelihood depending upon 
labour, and executed by their hands." The kinds of grain which 
they cultivated are next described in the following verses 22 to 25. 
The text then proceeds, verse 26: "These are declared to be the 
fourteen kinds of grain, cultivated and wild, fitted for sacrifice ; and 
sacrifice is an eminent cause of their existence. 27. These, too, 
along with sacrifice, are the most efficacious sources of progeny. 
Hence those who understand cause and eifect celebrate sacrifices. 
28. Their daily performance is beneficial to men, and delivers from 
sins committed. 29. But that drop of sin which had been created by 
time increased in men's hearts, and they disregarded sacrifice. 30. 
Reviling the Yedas, and the prescriptions of the Vedas, the gods, and 
all sacrificial rites, etc., obstructing oblations, (31) and cutting off" the 
path of activity, 119 they became malignant, vicious, and perverse in their 
designs. 32. The means of subsistence being provided, Prajapati, having 
created living beings, established a distinction according to their position 
and qualities (see verses 3 to 5 above), (and fixed) the duties of the castes 
and orders, and the worlds (to be attained after death) by all the castes 
which perfectly fulfilled their duties. 33. The world of Prajapati is 
declared to be the (future) abode of those Brahmans who are assiduous 
in religious rites ; the realm of Indra the abode of those Kshattriyas 
who turn not back in battle ; (34) that of the Maruts the abode of those 
Vaisyas who fulfil their duties ; and that of the Gandharvas the abode 
of the men of S'udra race who abide in their vocation of service." In 
the remaining verses of the chapter (35 to 39) the realms of blessedness 
destined for the reception of more eminent saints are briefly noticed, as 
well as the infernal regions, to which the wicked are doomed. 

119 Pravritti-marga-vyuchchhitti-karinah. The Commentator ascribes this to the 
human race being no longer sufficiently propagated, for he adds the explanation : 
yajnananushthane devair avarshanud annabhavena praja-vriddhcr asiddheh \ "because 
population did not increase from the want of food caused by the gods ceasing to send 
rain in consequence of the non-celebration of sacrifice." 


At the beginning of the seventh section, without any further enquiry 
on the part of Maitreya, Parasara proceeds as follows : 

Y. P. i. 7, 1. Tato 'Ihidhydyatas tasyajajnire mdnaslh prajdh \ tach- 
chhanra-samutpannaih kdryais taih kdranaih saha \ 2. Kshettrajndh 
samavarttanta gdtrebhyas tasya dhlmatah \ te sarve samavarttanta ye 
mayd prdg uddhritdh \ 3. Devddydh sthdvardntds cha traigunya- 
vishaye sthitdh \ evam bhutdni ^ srishtdni chardni sthdvardni cha \ 4. 
Yadd 'sya tdh prajdh sarvd va vyavarddhanta dhlmatah^ \ athdnydn 
mdnasdn putrdn sadrisdn dtmano 'srijat \ 5. Bhrigum Pulastyam Pu- 
laham Kratum Angirasam tathd \ MarlcMm Daksham Atrim cha Vasish- 
tham cJtaiva mdnasdn \ nava IraJimdna ity ete purdne nischayam gatdh \ 
6. Sanandanddayo ye cha purvam srislitds tu Vedhasd \ na te loke&hv , 
asajjanta nirapelcsJidh prajdsu te \ sarve te chdgata-jndnd vlta-rdgd 
vimatsardh \ 7. Teshv evam nirapeksheshu loka-srishtau mahdtmanah \ 
Brahmano 'thud mahdlcrodhas trailokya-dahana-kshamah \ 8. Tasya 
Jcrodhdt samudbhuta-jvdld-mdld-vidlpitam \ Strahmano 'Ihut tadd sarvam 
trailokyam aTcMlam mune \ 9. BJirukutl-kutildt tasya laldtdt krodha- 
dlpitdt | samutpannas tadd Rudro madhydhndrka-sama-pralhah \ ardha- 
ndri-nara-vapuh prachando 'tisarlravdn \ mbhaj'dtmdnam ity uktvd tarn 
Brahma ' ntardadhe punah \ 10. Tathokto 'sau dvidhti strltvam purmhat- 
vam tathd 'karot \ lilheda purushtvam cha dasadhd chaikadhd cha sah \ 
11. Saumydsaumyais tathd sdntdsdntaih strltvam cha sa prabhuh \ bi- 
Iheda lahudhd devah svarupair asitaih sitaih \ 12. Tato Brahma n tma- 
sambhutam purvam svdyambhuvam prabhum \ dtmdnam eva kritavdn pra- 
jdpdlam Manum dvija \ 13. S'atarupdm cha tdm ndrlm tapo^nirdhuta- 
kalmashdm \ svdyambhuvo Manur devah patnyartharn jagrihe vilhuh \ 
14. Tasmdch cha purushdd devl S'atarupd vyajdyata \ Priyavratottdna- 
pddau Prasutydkuti-sanjnitam \ kanyd-dvayam cha dharma-jna rupau- 
ddrya-gundnvitam \ 15. Dadau Prasutiih Dakshdydthdkutim Ruchaye 
purd ityddi \ 

"1. Then from him, as he was desiring, there were born mental 
sons with effects and causes 120 derived from his body. 2. Embodied 
spirits sprang from the limbs of that wise Being. All those creatures 
sprang forth which have been already described by me, (3) beginning 

120 The Commentator explains these words karyais taih karanaih saha to mean 
" bodies and senses." 


with gods and ending with motionless objects, and existing in the con- 
dition of the three qualities. Thus were created beings moving and 
stationary. 4. When none of these creatures of the Wise Being multi- 
plied, he next formed other, mental, sons like to himself, (5) Bhrigu, 
Pulastya, Pulaha, Kratu, Angiras, Marlchi, Daksha, Atri, and Vasish- 
tha, all born from his mind. These are the nine Brahmas who have 
been determined in the Puranas. 6. But Sanandana and the others who 
had been previously created by Yedhas (Brahma) had no regard for the 
worlds, and were indifferent to offspring. They had all attained to 
knowledge, were freed from desire, and devoid of envy. 7. As they 
were thus indifferent about the creation of the world, great wrath, 
sufficient to burn up the three worlds, arose in the mighty Brahma. 
8. The three worlds became entirely illuminated by the wreath of flame 
which sprang from his anger. 9. Then from his forehead, wrinkled by 
frowns and inflamed by fury, arose Rudra, luminous as the midday sun, 
with a body half male and half female, fiery, and huge in bulk. After 
saying to him, ' Divide thyself,' Brahma vanished. 10. Being so ad- 
dressed, Rudra severed himself into two, into a male and a female form. 
The god next divided his male body into eleven parts, (11) beautiful 
and hideous, gentle and ungentle ; and his female figure into numerous 
portions with appearances black and white. 12. Brahma then made 
the lord Svayambhuva, who had formerly sprung from himself, and 
was none other than himself, to be Manu the protector of creatures. 
13. The god Manu Svayambhuva took for his wife the female S'atarupa, 
who by austere fervour had become freed from all defilement. 14. To 
that Male the goddess S'atarupa bore Priyavrata and Uttanapada, and 
two daughters called Prasuti and Akuti, distinguished by the qualities 
of beauty and magnanimity. 15. He of old gave Prasuti in marriage 
to Daksha, and Akuti to Ruchi." 

From a comparison of the preceding narratives of the creation of 
mankind, extracted from the fifth and sixth chapters of the First Book 
of the Vishnu Purana, it will be seen that the details given in the 
different accounts are not consistent with each other. It is first of all 
stated in the fifth chapter (verse 16) that the arvaksrotas, or human 
creation was characterized by the qualities of darkness and passion. In 
the second account (verse 33) we are told that Brahma assumed a body 
composed of passion, from which men, in whom that quality is power- 


ful, were produced. 121 In neither of these narratives is the slightest al- 
lusion made to there having been any primeval and congenital distinc- 
tion of classes. In the third statement given in the sixth chapter 
(verses 3 to 5) the human race is said to have been the result of a four- 
fold creation ; and the four castes, produced from different parts of the 
creator's body, are declared to have been each especially characterized 
by different qualities (gunas), viz., those who issued from his mouth by 
goodness (sattva), those who proceeded from his breast by passion (rajas'), 
those who were produced from his thighs br both passion and darkness 
(tamas), and those who sprang from his feet by darkness. In the sequel 
of this account, however, no mention is made of any differences of con- 
duct arising from innate diversities of disposition having been mani- 
fested in the earliest age by the members of the different classes. On 
the contrary, they are described (verses 10 ff.) in language applicable to 
a state of perfection which was universal and uniform, as full of faith, 
pure-hearted and devout. In like manner the declension in purity and 
goodness which ensued is not represented as peculiar to any of the 
classes, but as common to all. So far, therefore, the different castes 
seem, according to this account, to have been undistinguished by any 
variety of mental or moral constitution. And it is not until after the 
deterioration of the entire race has been related, that we are told (in 
verses 32 f.) that the separate duties of the several castes were fixed in 
accordance with their position and qualities. This sketch of the moral 
and religious history of mankind, in the earliest period, is thus deficient 
in failing to explain how beings, who were originally formed with veiy 
different ethical characters, should have been all equally excellent dur- 
ing their period of perfection, and have also experienced an uniform 
process of decline. 

In regard to the variation between the two narratives of the creation 
found in the fifth chapterof the Yishnu Purana, Professor "Wilson remarks 
as follows in a note to vol. i. p. 80 : " These reiterated, and not always 
very congruous, accounts of the creation are explained by the Puranas 
as referring to different Kalpas or renovations of the world, and there- 
fore involving no incompatibility. A better reason for their appearance 

121 Compare the passage given above at the close of Sect. V. pp. 41 ff., from Mann 
xii. 39 if. and the remarks thereon. 


is the probability that they have been borrowed from different original 
authorities." 122 

As regards the first of these explanations of the discrepancies in 
question, it must be observed that it is inapplicable to the case before 
us, as the text of the Vishnu Purana itself says nothing of the dif- 
ferent accounts of the creation having reference to different Kalpas : 
and in absence of any intimation to the contrary we must naturally 
assume that t!he various portions of the consecutive narration in the 
fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh chapters, which are connected with 
each other by a series of questions and answers, must all have reference 
to the creation which took place at the commencement of the existing 
or Varaha Kalpa, as stated in the opening verse of the fourth chapter. 
Professor "Wilson's supposition that the various and discrepant accounts 
" have been borrowed from different original authorities " appears to 
have probability in its favour. I am unable to point out the source 
from which the first description of the creation, in the early part of the 
fifth chapter, verses 1 to 23, has been derived. But the second account, 
given in verses 26 to 35, has evidently drawn many of its details from 
the passages of the Taittiriya Brahmana ii. 2, 9, 5-9, and ii. 3, 8, 2f., 
and S'atapatha Brahmana xi. 1, 6, 6 ff. which 1 have quoted above. And 
it is possible that the references which are found in the former of these 
descriptions in the Vishnu Purana to different portions of the creation 

122 The discrepancies between current legends on different subjects are occasionally 
noticed in the text of the Vishnu Purana. Thus in the eighth chapter of the first book, 
v. 12, Maitreya, who had been told by Parits'ara that S'ri was the daughter of Bhrigu 
and Khyati, enquires : KsJitrabdhau S'rih purotpanna sruyate' mrita-manthane \ Shri- 
ffoh Khyatyam samutpannety etad aha Jcatham bhavan \ " It is reported that S'ri was 
produced in the ocean of milk when ambrosia was churned. How do you say that 
she was born to Bhrigu by Khyati ?" He receives for answer : 13. Nityaiva sajagan- 
mata Vishnoh S'rlr anapayim (another MS. reads anuyayim) yatha sarvagato VisJmus 
lathaiveyum dvijottama \ " S'ri, the mother of the world, and wife of Vishnu, is eternal 
and undecaying" (or, according to the other reading, "is the eternal follower of 
Vishnu"). " As he is omnipresent, so is she," and so on. The case of Daksha will 
be noticed further on in the text. On the method resorted to by the Commentators in 
cases of this description Professor Wilson observes in a note to p. 203 (4to. edition), 
" other calculations occur, the incompatibility of which is said, by the Commentators 
on our text and on that of the Bhagavata, to arise from reference being made to dif- 
ferent Kalpas ; and they quote the same stanza to this effect : Kvachit kvachit pu- 
raneshu virodho yadi lakshyate \ kalpa-bhedadibhis tatra virodhah sadbhir ishyate \ 
1 Whenever any contradictions in different Puranas are observed, they are ascribed by 
the pious to differences of Kalpas and the like.' " 


being ineffective may have been suggested by some of the other details 
in the Brahmanas, which I shall now proceed to cite. At all events 
some of the latter appear to have given rise to the statement in the 
fourth verse of the seventh chapter of the Yishnu P. that the creatures 
formed by Brahma did not multiply, as well as to various particulars in 
the narratives which will be quoted below from the Vayu and Markan- 
deya Puranas. The Brahmanas describe the creative operations of Pra- 
japati as having been attended with intense effort, and often followed 
by great exhaustion ; and not only so, but tljey represent many of these 
attempts to bring living creatures of various kinds into existence, to 
sustain them after they were produced, and to ensure their propagation, 
as having been either altogether abortive, or only partially successful. 
The following quotations will afford illustrations of these different 
points : 

Taitt. Br. i. 1, 10, 1. Prajdpatih prajdh asrijata \ saririchdno'man- 
yata \ sa tapo 'tapyata \ sa dtman mryam apatyat tad avarddhata \ 

" Prajapati created living beings. He felt himself emptied. He 
performed austere abstraction. He perceived vigour in himself. It 
increased, etc." 

Taitt. Br. i. 2, 6, 1. Prajdpatih prajah srishtvd vritto 'ayat \ tarn 
devdh Ihutdndm rasam tejah sambhritya tena enam abhishajyan " mahdn 
avavartti" iti \ 

11 Prajapati after creating living beings lay exhausted. The gods, 
collecting the essence and vigour of existing things, cured him there- 
with, saying he has become great, etc." 

Taitt. Br. ii. 3, 6, 1. Prajupatih prajah srishfv d vyasramsata \ sa hri- 
dayam Ihiito 'sayat \ 

" Prajapati, after creating living beings, was paralysed. Becoming a 
heart, he slept." 

S'. P. Br. iii. 9, 1, 1. Prajdpatir vai prajah sasrijdno ririchdnah wa 
amanyata \ tasmdt pardchyah prajdh dsuh \ na asya prajdh Sriye 'nndd- 
yayajajnire \ 2. Sa aikshata " arikshy aham asmai (? yasmai] u Icdmdya 
asrikshi na me sa kdmah samdrdhi pardchyo mat-prajdh abhuvan na me 
prajdh sriye 'nnddydya asthishata " iti \ 3. Sa aikshata Prajdpatih 
11 katham nu punar dtmdnam dpydyayeya upa md prajdh samdvartterams 
tishtheran me prajdh sriye annddydya" iti I so 'rchhan srdmyams chn- 
123 Srantah Comm, 


chdra prajd-kdmah \ sa etdm elcddasinlm apasyat \ sa ekddasinyd ishtvd 
Prajdpatih punar dtmdnam dpydyayata upa enam prajdh samdvarttanta 
atishthanta asy a prajdh sriye 'nnddydya sa vaslydn eva ishfvd 'bhavat \ 

" Prajapati when creating living beings felt himself as it were emp- 
tied. The living creatures went away from him. They were not pro- 
duced so as to prosper and to eat food. 2. He considered : 'I have 
become emptied : the object for which I created them has not been 
fulfilled : the*y have gone away, and have not gained prosperity and 
food.' 3. He considered: 'how can I again replenish, myself; and 
how shall my creatures return to me, and acquire prosperity and food?' 
Desirous of progeny, he went on worshipping and performing religious 
rites. He beheld this Ekadasini (Eleven) ; and sacrificing with it, lie 
again replenished himself; his creatures returned to him, and gained 
prosperity and food. Having sacrificed, he became more brilliant." 

S'. P. Br. x. 4, 2, 2. So 'yam sanwatsarah Prajdpatih sarvdni bhutdni 
sasrije yach cha prdni yach cha aprdnam ubhaydn deva-manushydn \ sa 
sarvdni bhutdni srishtcd ririchdna ivamene \ sa mrityor bibhiydnchakdra \ 
2. Sa ha Ikshdnchakre " katham nv aham imtini sarvdni bhutdni punar 
dtmann dvapeya punar dtman dadhlya katham nv aham eva eshdm sar- 
veshdm bhutdndm punar dtmd sydm " iti \ 

" This Year, (who is) Prajapati, created all beings, both those which 
breathe and those that are without breath, both gods and men. Having 
created all beings he felt himself as it were emptied. He was afraid of 
death. 2. He reflected, ' How can I again unite all these beings with 
myself, again place them in myself? How can I alone be again the 
soul of all these beings ? ' ' 

S'. P. Br. x. 4, 4, 1. Prajapatim vai prajdh srijamdnam pdpmd mrit- 
yur abhiparijaghdna \ sa tapo 'tapyata sahasram samvatsardn pdpmdnaiJi 
vijihdsan \ 

" Misery, death, smote Prajapati, as he was creating living beings. 
He performed austere abstraction for a thousand years, with the view 
of shaking off misery." 

S'. P. Br. ii. 5, 1, 1. Prajdpatir ha vai idam agre ekah eva dsa \ sa 
aikshata "katham nu prajdyeya" iti \ so 'srdmyat sa tapo 'tapyata \ sa 
prajdh asrijata \ tdh asya prajdh srishtdh pardlalhiivuh \ tdni imdni 
vaydmsi \ purusho vai Prajdpater nedishfham \ dvipdd vai ayam puru- 
shah | tasmdd dvipddo vaydmsi \ 2. Sa aikshata Prajdpatih \ " yathd 


nv eva pur d eko 'Ihuvam evam u nv eva apy etarhy eka eva asmi " Hi \ sa 
dvitlydh sasrije \ tdh asya para eva labhuvuh \ tad idam kshudram sarl- 
sripam yad anyat sarpebhyah \ tritlydh sasrije ity dhus tuh asya para eva 
labhuvuh \ te ime sarpdh . . . . | 3 So 'rchhan srdmyan Prajdpatir 
ikshdnchakre " kathaih nu me prajdh srishtdh pardbhavanti" iti \ sa ha 
etad eva dadarsa " anasanatayd vai me prajdh pardlhavanti" iti \ sa 
dtmanah eva agre stanayoh paya dpydyaydnchakre \ sa prajdh asrijata \ 
tdh asya prajdh srishtdh standv eva abhipadya tds tatah sambahhuvuh \ 
tdh imdh apardlhutdh \ ^ 

" 1. Prajapati alone was formerly this universe. He reflected, ' How 
can I be propagated ? ' He toiled in religious rites, and practised austere 
fervour. He created living beings. After being created by him they 
perished. They were these birds. Man is the thing nearest to Praja- 
pati. This being, man, is two-footed. Hence birds are two-footed 
creatures. Prajapati reflected, ' As I was formerly but one, so am I 
now also only one.' He created a second set of living beings. They 
also perished. This was the class of small reptiles other than serpents. 
They say he created a third set of beings, which also perished. They 
were these serpents ... 3. Worshipping and toiling in religious rites, 
Prajapati reflected, ' How is it that my creatures perish after they have 
been formed?' He perceived this, 'they perish from want of food.' 
In his own presence he caused milk to be supplied to breasts. He 
created living beings, which resorting to the breasts were then pre- 
served. These are the creatures which did not perish." 

Taitt. Br. i. 6, 2, 1. Vaisvadevena vai Prajdpatih prajdh asrijata \ tdh 
srishtdh na prdjdyanta \ so'gnir alcdmayata " aham imdh prajanayeyam" 
iti | sa Prajdpataye sucham adadhdt \ so 'sochat prajdm ichhamdnah \ 
tasmdd yam cha prajd llmnakti yam cha na tdv ulhau sochatah prajdm 
ichhamdnau \ tdsv Agnim apy asrijat \ td Agnir adhyait (2) Somo 
reto 'dadhdt Savitd prdjanayat \ Sarasvatl vdcham adadlidt \ Pushd 
'poshayat \ te vai ete trih samvatsarasya prayujyante ye devdh pushti- 
patayah \ samvatsaro vai Prajdpatih \ samvatsarena eva asmai prajdh 
prdjanayat \ tdh prdjdh jdtdh Maruto 'ghnan " asmdn api na prdyuk- 
shata" iti \ 3. Sa etam Prajdpatir mdrutam saptalcapdlam apasyat \ 
tarn niravapat \ tato vai prajdlhyo 'Ical/pata \ . . . sa Prajdpatir asochat 
"yah purvdh prajdh asrilcshi Marutas tdh avadhishuh Itatham apardh 


srijeya" iti\ tasya sushma dndam Ihutam niravarttata \ tad vyudaharat \ 
tad aposhayat \ tat prdjdyata \ 

" Prajapati formed living creatures by the vaisvadeva (offering to the 
Visvedevas). Being created they did not propagate. Agni desired' 
'let me beget these creatures.' He imparted grief to Prajapati. He 
grieved, desiring offspring. Hence he whom offspring blesses, and he 
whom it does not bless, both of them grieve, desiring progeny. Among 
them he created Agni also. Agni desired (?) them. Soma infused seed. 
Savitri begot them. Sarasvatl infused into them speech. Pushan nour- 
ished them. These (gods)who are lords of nourishment are employed 
thrice in the year. Prajapati is the Tear. It was through the year 
that he generated offspring for him. The Maruts killed those creatures 
when they had been born, saying ' they have not employed us also. 
3. Prajapati saw this Maruta oblation in seven platters. He offered it. 
In consequence of it he became capable of producing offspring .... 
Prajapati lamented, (saying) ' the Maruts have slain the former living 
beings whom I created. How can I create others?' His vigour sprang 
forth in the shape of an egg. He took it up. He cherished it. It 
became productive." 

Taitt. Br. iii. 10, 9, 1. Prajdpatir devdn asrijata \ te pdpmand sandi- 
tdh ajdyanta \ tan vyadyat \ 

"Prajapati created gods. They were born bound by misery. He 
released them." 

Taitt. Br. ii. 7, 9, 1. Prajdpatih prajdh asrijata \ tdh asmdt srishtdh 
pardchlr dyan \ sa etam Prajdpatir odanam apasyat \ so 'nnam Ihuto 
'tishthat | tdh anyatra annddyam avitvd Prajdpatim prajdh updvart- 
tanta \ 

" Prajapati created living beings. They went away from him. He 
beheld this odana. He was turned into food. Having found food no- 
where else, they returned to him." 

Taitt. Br. i. 6, 4, 1. Prajdpatih Savitd Ihutvd prajdh asrijata \ td 
enam atyamanyanta \ ta asmdd apdkrdman \ td Varuno Ihutvd prajdh 
Varunena agrdhayat \ tdh prajdh Varuna-grihltdh Prajdpatim punar 
upddhdvan ndtham ichhamdndh \ 

" Prajapati, becoming Savitri, created living beings. They disre- 
garded him, and went away from him. Becoming Yaruna he caused 
Varuna to seize them. Being seized by Varuna, they again ran to 
Prajapati, desiring help." 


Taitt. Br. ii. 2, 1, 1. Tato vai sa (Prajdpatih} prajdh asrijata \ tdh 
asmat srishtd apdkrdman \ 

11 Prajapati then created living beings. They went away from him." 

I have perhaps quoted too many of these stories, which are all similar 
in character. But I was desirous to afford some idea of their number 
as well as of their tenor. 

As regards the legend of S'atarupa, referred to in the seventh chapter 
of the first book of the Vishnu Purana, I shall make some further 
remarks in a future section, quoting a more detailed account given 
in the Matsya Purana. 

Of the two sons of Manu Svayambhuva and Satarupa, the name of 
the second, Uttanapada, seems to have been suggested by the appear- 
ance of the word Uttanapad in Rig-veda x. 72, 3, 4, as the designation 
(nowhere else traceable, I believe) of one of the intermediate agents in 
the creation. 124 A Priyavrata is mentioned in the Aitareya Brahmana 
vii. 34, and also in the S'atapatha Brahmana x. 3, 5, 14, (where he has 
the patronymic of Rauhinayana) but in both these texts he appears 
rather in the light of a religious teacher, who had lived not very long 
before the age of the author, than as a personage belonging to a very 
remote antiquity. Daksha also, who appears in this seventh chapter 
as one of the mindborn sons of Brahma, is named in R. V. ii. 27, 1, as 
one of the Adityas, and in the other hymn of the R.V. just alluded to, 
x. 72, w. 4 and 5, he is noticed as being both the son and the father 
of the goddess Aditi. In the S'. P. ii. 4, 4, he is identified with Praja- 
pati. 125 In regard to his origin various legends are discoverable in the 
Puranas. Besides the passage before us, there are others in the V. P. 
in which he is mentioned. In iv. 1, 5, it is said that he sprang from 
the right thumb of Brahma, and that Aditi was his daughter (Brah- 
manascha dakshindngushtha-janmd DaJcsfiah \ Prajdpater Dakshasyapy 
AditiK). In another place, V. P. i. 15, 52, it is said that Daksha, al- 
though formerly the son of Brahma, was born to the ten Prachetases 
by Marisha (Dasalhyas tu Prachetolhyo Mdrishdydm Prajdpatih \ jajne 
Daksho mahdlhdgo yah purvam Brahmano 'lhavat \ ). This double pa- 

124 See the 4th vol. of this work, pp. 10 f. 

1; See the 4th vol. of this work, pp. 10 ff. 24, 101 ; Journal of the Eoyal Asiatic 
Society, for 1865, pp. 72 ff. ; Roth in the Journal of the German Oriental Society, 
vi. 75. 


rentage of Daksha appears to Maitreya, one of the interlocutors in the 
Purana, to require explanation, and he accordingly enquires of his in- 
formant, vv. 60 ff. : Angustyhdd dakshinad Dakshah purvam j'dtah 
srutam mayd \ katham Prdchetaso bhuyah sa sambhuto mahdmune \ esha 
me sam&ayo brahman sumahdn Jiridi varttate \ yad dauhitras cha somasya 
punah svasuratdm gatah \ Parasara utacJia \ utpattis cha mrodha& cha 
nityau bhuteshu vai mune \ rishayo 'tra na muhyanti ye chanye divya- 
chakshushah | J 61. Yuge yuge bhavanty ete Dakshddyd muni-sattama \ 
punas chaiva nirudhyante vidvams tatra na muhyati \ 62. Kanishthyam 
jyaisJitJiyam apy eshdm purvam ndbhiid dvijottama \ tapa eva garlyo 
'bhut prabhavas chaiva Jcdranam \ 

" 60. I have heard that Daksha was formerly horn from the right 
thumb of Brahma. How was he again produced as the son of the 
Prachetases ? This great doubt arises in my mind ; and also (the 
question) how he, who was the daughter's son of Soma, 128 afterwards 
became his father-in-law. Parasara answered : Both birth and de- 
struction are perpetual among all creatures. Bishis, and others who 
have celestial insight, are not bewildered by this. In every age Daksha 
and the rest are born and are again destroyed : a wise man is not be- 
wildered by this. Formerly, too, there was neither juniority nor 
seniority : austere fervour was the chief thing, and power was the 
cause (of distinction)." 

The reader who desires further information regarding the part played 
by Daksha, whether as a progenitor of allegorical beings, or as a creator, 
may compare the accounts given in the sequel of the seventh and in the 
eleventh chapters of Book I. of the Y. P. (pp. 108 ff. and 152 ff.) with 
that to be found in the fifteenth chapter (vol. ii. pp. 10 ff.). 

I will merely add, in reference to Akuti, the second daughter of Manu 
Svayambhuva and Satarupa, that the word is found in the Big-veda 
with the signification of " will" or "design;" but appears to be per- 
sonified in a passage of the Taittirlya Brahmana, iii. 12, 9, 5 (the con- 
text of which has been cited above, p. 41), where it is said: Ira 
patnl visvasrijdm dkutir apinad havih \ " Ira (Ida) was the wife of the 
creators. Akuti kneaded the oblation." 

128 See "Wilson's Y. P. vol. ii. p. 2, at the top. 


SECT. VIII. Account of the different creations, including that of the 
castes, according to the Vayu and Mdrkandeya Purdnas. 

I now proceed to extract from the Vayu and Markandeya Puranas 
the accounts which they supply of the creation, and which are to the 
same effect as those which have been quoted from the Vishnu Purana, 
although with many varieties of detail. 

I shall first adduce a passage from, the ilfth chapter of the Vayu 
(which to some extent runs parallel with the second chapter of the 
Vishnu Purana 127 ), on account of its containing a different account 
from that generally given of the triad of gods who correspond to the 
triad of qualities (gunas}. 

Vayu Purana, chapter v. verse 11. Ahar-mukhe pravritte cha par ah 
prakriti-sambhavah \ ksholhaydmdsa yogena parena paramesvarah \ 12. 
Pradhdnam purmham chaiva pravisydndam Mahesvarah \ 13. Pradhdndt 
ksholhyamdndt tu rajo vai samavarttata \ rajah pravarttakam tatra 
vljeshv api yathd jalam \ 14. Guna-vaishamyam dsddya prasuyante hy 
adhishthitdh \ gunelhyah ksholhyamdnebhyas trayo devd vijajnire \ 15. 
Asritdh paramd guhydh sarvdtmdnah sarlrinah \ rajo Brahma tamo hy 
Agnih sattvam Vishnur ajdyata \ 16. Rajah-prakdsako Brahma srash- 
tritvena vyavasthitah \ tamah-prakdsalta 'gnis tu Jcdlatvena vyavasthitah \ 
17. Sattva-praktisako Vishnur auddslnye vyavasthitah \ ete eva trayo lokd 
ete eva trayo gundh \ 18. Ete eva trayo vedd ete eva trayo 'gnayah \ 
paraspardsritdh hy ete parasparam anuvratdh \ 19. Parasparena vart- 
tante dhdrayanti parasparam \ anyonya-mithund hy ete hy anyonyam 
upajlvinah \ 20. ITshanam viyogo na hy eshdm na tyajanti parasparam \ 
Isvaro hi paro devo Vishnm tu mahatah par ah \ 21. Brahma tu rajosa- 
driktah sargdyeha pravarttate \ parascha purusho jneyah prakritischa 
pard smritd \ 

"11, 12. At the beginning of the day, the supreme Lord Mahes- 
vara, sprung from Prakriti, entering the egg, agitated with ex- 
treme intentness both Pradhana (= Prakriti) and Purusha. 13. From 

I 2 ? See pp. 27 and 41 f. of Wilson's V. P. vol. i. 

128 The Gaikowar MS. of the India office, No. 2102, reads asthitah, instead of 
asritah, the reading of the Taylor MS. 


Pradhana, when agitated, the quality of passion (rajas) arose, which 
was there a stimulating cause, as water is in seeds. 14. When an in- 
equality in the Gunas arises, then (the deities) who preside over them 
are generated. From the Gunas thus agitated there sprang three gods 
(15), indwelling, supreme, mysterious, animating all things, embodied. 
The rajas quality was born as Brahma, the tamas as Agni, 1M the sattva 
as Vishnu. 16. Brahma, the manifester of rajas, acts in the character 
of creator ; ^gni, the manifester of tamas, acts in the capacity of time ; 
17. Yishnu, the manifester of sattva, abides in a condition of in- 
difference. These deities are the three worlds, the three qualities, 
(18) the three Vedas, the three fires ; they are mutually dependent, mu- 
tually devoted. 19. They exist through each other, and uphold each 
other ; they are twin-parts of one another, they subsist through one 
another. 20. They are not for a moment separated ; they never aban- 
don one another. Isvara (Mahadeva) is the supreme god ; and Vishnu 
is superior to Mahat (the principle of intelligence) ; while Brahma, 
filled with rajas, engages in creation. Purusha is to be regarded as 
supreme, as Prakriti is also declared to be." 

The sixth section of the Vayu P., from which the next quotation will 
be made, corresponds to the fourth of the Yishnu P. quoted above. 

1. Apo Jiy agre samalhavan nashte 'gnau prithivl-tale \ sdntardlaika- 
llne 'smin nashte sthdvara-jangame \ 2. Ekdrnave tadd tasmin na prdjnd- 
yata kinchana \ tadd sa bhagavdn Brahma sahasrdkshah sahasra-pdt \ 
3. Sahasra-sirshd Purusho rukma-varno liy atlndriyah \ Brahma Ndrd- 
y andkhy ah sa sushvdpa salile tadd \ 4. Sattvodrekdt prabuddhas tu sun- 
yam lokam udlkshya sah \ imam choddharanty atra slokam Ndrdyanam 
prati | 5. Apo ndrd vai tanavah 18 ity apdm ndma susruma \ apsu sete 
cha yat tasmdt tena Ndrdyanah smritah \ 6. Tulyam yuga-sahasrasya 
naisam kdlam updsya sah \ sarvary-ante prakurute Irahmatvam sarga- 
kdrandt \ 7. Brahma tu salile tasmin vdyur bhutvd tadd 'charat \ nisdydm 
iva khadyotih prdvrit-kdle tatas tatah \ 8. Tatas tu salile tasmin vijnd- 
ydntargatdm mahlm \ anumdndd asammudho Ihumer uddharanam prati \ 

129 The Mark. P. chap. 46, verse 18, has the same line, hut substitutes Rudra for 
Agni, thus : Rajo Brahma tamo Eudro Vishnuh sattvam jagat-patih \ The two are 
often identified. See Vol. IV. of this work, 282 ff. 

130 See "Wilson's Vishnu Purana, p. 57, with the translator's and editor's notes. 
Verses 1 to 6 are repeated towards the close of the 7th section of the Vayu P. with 


9. Akarot sa tanum hy any am kalpadishu yathd purd \ tato mahdtmd 
manasd divyam rupam achintayat \ 10. Salilendplutdm Ihumtm drishtvd 
sa tu samantatah \ " kim nu rupam mahat Jcritvd uddhareyam aham ma- 
7m" | 11. Jala-krlda-suruchiram vdrdham rupam asmarat \ adhrishyam 
sarva-bhutdndm vdnmayam dharma-sanjnitam \ 

"1. When fire had perished from the earth, and this entire world 
motionless and moving, together with all intermediate things, had been 
dissolved into one mass, and had been destroyed waters first were 
produced. As the world formed at that time but one ocean, nothing 
could be distinguished. Then the divine Brahma, Purusha, with a 
thousand eyes, a thousand feet, (3) a thousand heads, of golden hue, 
beyond the reach of the senses Brahma, called Narayana, slept on the 
water. 4. But awaking in consequence of the predominance (in him) of 
the sattva quality, and beholding the world a void : Here they quote 
a verse regarding Narayana : 5. ' The waters are the bodies of Nara : 
such is the name we have heard given to them ; and because he sleeps 
upon them, he is called Narayana.' 6. Having so continued for a noc- 
turnal period equal to a thousand Yugas, at the end of the night he 
takes the character of Brahma in order to create. 7. Brahma then 
becoming Yayu (wind) moved upon that water, 131 hither and thither, 
like a firefly at night in the rainy season. 8. Discovering then by in- 
ference that the earth lay within the waters, but unbewildered, (9) he 
took, for the purpose of raising it up, another body, as he had done at 
the beginnings of the (previous) Kalpas. Then that Great Being de- 
vised a celestial form. 10. Perceiving the earth to be entirely covered 
with water, (and asking himself) ' what great shape shall I assume in 
order that I may raise it up?' he thought upon the form of a boar, 
brillant from aquatic play, invincible by all creatures, formed of speech, 
and bearing the name of righteousness." 

The body of the boar is then described in detail, and afterwards the 
elevation of the earth from beneath the waters, and the restoration of 
its former shape, divisions, etc. 1 * 2 the substance of the account being 

131 This statement, which is not in the corresponding passage of the Vishnu P., is 
evidently horrowed, along with other particulars, from the text of the Taittiriya San- 
hita, vii. 1, 5, 1, quoted above p. 52. 

132 Following the passage of the Taittiriya Sanhita, quoted above, the writer in one 
verse ascribes to Brahma as Vis'vakarman the arrangement of the earth, tatas teshu 
tis'rneshti lokodadhi-giriihv atha \ Visvakarma, vibhajate kalpadishu punah punah \ 


much the same, but the particulars different from those of the parallel 
passage in the Vishnu Purana. 

Then follows a description of the creation coinciding in all essential 
points 13S with that quoted above, p. 55, from the beginning of the fifth 
chapter of the Vishnu Purana. 

The further account of the creation, however, corresponding to that 
which I have quoted from the next part of the same chapter of that 
Purana, is ndt found in the same position in the Vayu Purana, 134 but is 
placed at the beginning of the ninth chapter, two others, entitled Prati- 
sandhi - klrttana and Chaturdsrama - vibhdga, being interposed as the 
seventh and eighth. With the view, however, of facilitating com- 
parison between the various cosmogonies described in the two works, 
I shall preserve the order of the accounts as found in the Vishnu 
Purana, and place the details given in the ninth chapter of the Vayu 
Purana before those supplied in the eighth. 

The ninth chapter of the Vayu Purana, which is fuller in its details 
than the parallel passage in the Vishnu Purana, begins thus, without 
any specific reference to the contents of the preceding chapter : 

Suta uvdcha \ 1. Tato 'bhidhydyatas tasya jajnire mdnaslh prajdh \ 
tach - chharlra - samutpannaih kdryais taih kdranaih sdha \ 2. Kshe- 
trajndh samavarttanta gdtrelhyas tasya dhlmatah \ tato devdsura-pitrm 
mdnavam cha chatushtayam \ 3. SisriksJiur ambhdmsy etdni svdtmand 
samayuyujat \ yuktdtmanas tatas tasya tamomdtrd svayambhuvah \ 
4. Tarn alhidhydyatah sargam prayatno 'bhut Prajdpateh \ tato 'sya 
jaghandt purvam asurd jajnire sutdh \ 5. Asuh prdnah smrito viprais 
taj-janmdnas tato 'surdh \ yayd srishtdsurds tanvd tarn, tanum sa 
vyapohata \ 6. Sd 'paviddhd tanus tena sadyo rdtrir ajdyata \ 8d 
tamo-bahuld yasmdt tato rdtris triydmikd \ 7. Avritds tamasd rdtrau 
prajds tasmdt svapanty uta \ drishtvd 'surdms tu devesas tanum anydm 
apadyata \ 8. Avyaktdm sattva-bahuldfii tatas tdm so 'bhyayuyu/at \ 
tatas tdm yunjatas tasya priyam dslt prabhoh kila \ 9. Tato muklie 
samutpannd dlvyatas tasya devatdh \ yato 'sya dlvyato jdtds tena devdh 

133 This is also the case with the details given in the Mark. P. xlvii. 15-27 and if. 
131 The Mark. P. however observes the same order as the Vishnu P. 

134 The reading in the passage of the Taitt. Br. ii. 2, 9, 6, from which this narra- 
tive is borrowed (see above, p. 28), is apahata, which, however, does not prove that 
that verb with vi prefixed should necessarily be the true reading here ; as the Taylor 
and Gaikowar MSS. have vyapohata throughout, and in one place vyapohat. 


praklrttitdh \ 10. Dhdtur divtti yah proktah krlddydm sa vilhdvyate \ 
tasmdt Q yasmdf) tanvdm tu divydydm jajnire tena devatdh \ 11. Devdn 
srishtvd 'tha devesas tanum anydm apadyata \ sattva - mdtrdtmikdm 
devas tato 'nydm so 'Ihy apadyata \ 12. Pitrivad manyamdnas tan 
putrdn prddhydyata pralhuh \ pitaro hy upapakshdlhydm 137 rdtry-ahnor 
antard 'srijat \ 13. Tasmdt te pitaro devdh putratvam tena teshu tat \ 
yayd srishtds tu pitaras turn tanum sa vyapohata \ 14. Sd 'paviddhd 
tanus tena sadyah sandhyd prajdyata \ tasmdd ahas tu devdndm rdtrir 
yd sd "sun smritd I 15. Tayor madhye tu vai paitrl yd tanuh sd gari- 
yasl | tasmdd devdsurdh sarve rishayo manavas tathd \ 16. Te yuktds 
turn updsante rdtry-ahnor 1 madhyamdm tanum \ tato 'nydm sa punar 
Srahmd tanum vai praty apadyata \ 17. Rajo-mdtrdtmiJtdm ydm tu ma- 
nasd so 'srijat prabhuh \ rajah-prdydn tatah so 'tha mdnasdn asrijat 
sutdn | 18. Manasas tu tatas tasya mdnasd Jajnire prajdh \ drishtvd 
punah prajdi c hdpi svdm tanum tdm apohata \ 19. Sd'paviddhd tanus 
tenajyotsnd sadyas tv ajdyata \ tasmdd lhavanti samhrishtd jyotsndydm 
udbhave prajdh \ 20. Ity etds tanavas tena vyapaviddhd mahatmand \ 
sadyo rdtry-ahani chaiva sandhyd jyotsnd cha jajnire \ 21. Jyotsnd 
sandhyd tathd 'hascha sattva-mdtrdtmalcam svayam \ tamo-mdtrdtmikd 
rdtrih sd vai tasmdt triydmilcd \ 22. Tasmdd devd divya-tanvd 189 drish- 
tdh srishfd mukhdt tu vai \ yaxmdt teshdm diva janma lalinas tena te 
diva | 23. Tanvd yad asurdn rdtrau jaghandd asrijat punah \ prdnelhyo 
rdtri-janmdno hy asahyd nisi tena te \ 24. Etdny evam hhavishydndm 
devdndm asuraih saha \ pitrlndm mdnavdndm cha atltdndgateshu vai \ 
25. Manvantareshu sarveshu nimittdni lhavanti hi \ jyotsnd rdtry-ahanl 
sandhyd chatvdry ambhdmsi tdni vai \ 26. Bhdnti yasmdt tato 'mohdmsi 
hhd-sabdo 'yam manlshibhih \ vydpti-dlptydm nigadito pumdms chdha 
Prajdpatih \ 27. So ''mbhdmsy etdni drishtvd tu deva-ddnava-mdnavdn \ 
pitrlms chaivdsrijat so 'nydn dtmano vividhdn punah \ 28. Tdm utsrijya 
tanum kritsndm tato 'nydm asrijat prabhuh \ murttim rajas-tama-prdydm 
punar evdohyayuyujat \ 29. Andhakdre Icshudhdvishtas tato 'nydm srijate 
punah \ tena srishtdh kshudhdtmunas te 'mbhdmsy dddtum udyatdh \ 
30. " Ambhdmsy etdni ralcshdma" uktavantascha teshu ye \ rdlcshasds te 
smritdh loke krodhdtmdno nisdchardh \ 

116 This line is omitted in the Gaikowar MS. 

137 The Gaikowar MS. seems to read upaparsvabhyam. 

138 The Gaikowar MS. reads Brahmano madhyamam tanum. 

139 The Guikowar MS. reads diva tanva. 


"Sutasays: 1. Then, as he was desiring, there sprang from him 
mind-born sons, with those effects and causes derived from his body. 

2. Embodied spirits were produced from the bodies of that wise Being. 

3. Then willing to create these four streams (amlkdmsi} gods, Asuras, 
Fathers, and men, he fixed his spirit in abstraction. As Svayambhu 
was thus fixed in abstraction, a body consisting of nothing but dark- 
ness (invested him). 4. While desiring this creation, Prajapati put 
forth an effort. Then Asuras were first produced as sons from his 
groin. 5. Asu is declared, by Brahmans to mean breath. From it these 
beings were produced ; hence they are Asuras. 140 He cast aside the body 
with which the Asuras were created. 6. Being cast away by him, that 
body immediately became night. Inasmuch as darkness predominated 
in it, night consists of three watches. 7. Hence, being enveloped 
in darkness, all creatures sleep at night. Beholding the Asuras, how- 
ever, the Lord of gods took another body, (8) imperceptible, and having 
a predominance of goodness, which he then fixed in abstraction. While 
he continued thus to fix it, he experienced pleasure. 9. Then as he 
was sporting, gods were produced in his mouth. As they were born 
from him, while he was sporting (dlvyatah), they are known as Devas 
(gods). 10. The root dw is understood in the sense of sporting. As 
they were born in a sportive (divya) in body, they are called Devatas. 
11. Having created the deities, the Lord of gods then took another 
body, consisting entirely of goodness (sattva). 12. Regarding himself 
as a father, he thought upon these sons : he created Fathers (Pitris) 
from his armpits in the interval between night and day. 13. Hence 
these Fathers are gods : therefore that sonship belongs to them. He 
cast aside the body with which the Fathers were created. 14. Being 
cast away by him, it straightway became twilight. Hence day belongs 
to the gods, and night is said to belong to the Asuras. 15. The body 
intermediate between them, which is that of the Fathers, is the most 
important. Hence gods, Asuras, Fathers, and men (16) worship in- 
tently this intermediate body of Brahma. He then took again another 
body. But from that body, composed altogether of passion (rajas'), 

140 This statement, which is not found in the parallel passage of the Vishnu Purana, 
is borrowed from Taitt. Br. ii. 3, 8, 2, quoted above. 

141 Divya properly means " celestial." But from the play of words in the passage, 
the writer may intend it to have here the sense of " sportive." 


which he created by his mind, he formed mind-born 142 sons who had 
almost entirely a passionate character. 18. Then from his mind sprang 
mind-born sons. Beholding again his creatures, he cast away that body 
of his. 19. Being thrown off by him it straightway became morning twi- 
light. Hence living beings are gladdened by the rise of early twilight. 20. 
Such were the bodies which, when cast aside by the Great Being, became 
immediately night and day, twilight and early twilight. 21. Early twi- 
light, twilight, and day have all the character of pure gooMness. Night 
has entirely the character of darkness (tamas^ ; and hence it consists of 
three watches. 22. Hence the gods are beheld with a celestial body, 
and they were created from the mouth. As they were created during 
the day, they are strong during that period. 23. Inasmuch as he 
created the Asuras from his groin at night, they, having been born 
from his breath, during the night, are unconquerable during that 
season. 24, 25. Thus these four streams, early twilight, night, day, and 
twilight, are the causes of gods, Asuras, Fathers, and men, in all the 
Manvantaras that are past, as well as in those that are to come. 26. As 
these (streams) shine, they are called ambhdmsi. This root bhd is used 
by the intelligent in the senses of pervading and shining, and the Male, 
Prajapati, declares (the fact). 27. Having beheld these streams (am- 
bhamsi), gods, Danavas, men, and fathers, he again created various 
others from himself. 28. Abandoning that entire body, the lord created 
another, a form consisting almost entirely of passion and darkness, and 
again fixed it in abstraction. 29. Being possessed with hunger in the 
darkness, he then created another. The hungry beings formed by him 
were bent on seizing the streams (ambhamsi). 30. Those of them, who 
said 'let us preserve (rakshdma) these streams,' are known in the world 
as Kakshasas, wrathful, and prowling about at night." 

This description is followed by an account of the further creation 
corresponding with that given in the same sequence in the Vishnu 
Purana ; and the rest of the chapter is occupied with other details 
which it is not necessary that I should notice. I therefore proceed to 
make some quotations from the eighth chapter, entitled Chaturd&rama- 

vibhtiga, or " the distribution into four orders," which corresponds, in 

!* 2 Manasan. "We might expect here however, manavan or manushan, " human," 
in conformity with the parallel passages hoth in the Vishnu Purana (see ahove, p. 56), 
and the Markandeya Purana, xlviii. 11. 


its general contents, with the sixth chapter of the Vishnu Parana, 
book i., but is of far greater length, and, in fact, extremely prolix, as 
well as confused, full of repetitions, and not always very intelligible. 

The chapter immediately preceding (i.e. the seventh), entitled Pra- 
tisandhi-klrttanam, ends with the words : "I shall now declare to you 
the present Kalpa ; understand." Suta accordingly proceeds at the 
opening of the eighth chapter to repeat some verses, which have been 
already quoted* from the beginning of the sixth chapter, descriptive of 
Brahma's sleep during the night after the universe had been dissolved, 
and to recapitulate briefly the elevation of the earth from beneath the 
waters, its reconstruction, and the institution of Yugas. At verse 22 
the narrative proceeds : 

Kalpasyddau kritayuge prathame so ' srijat prajdh \ 23. Prdg uktd yd 
mayd tubhyam purva-kdle prajds tu tdh \ tasmin samvarttamdne tu Jcalpe 
dagdhds tadd 'gnind \ 24. Aprdptd yds tapo-lokam jana-lokam samdsri- 
tdh | pravarttati punah surge vijartham tu bhavanti hi \ 25. Vijdrthena 
sthitds tatra punah sargasya kdrandt \ tatas tdh srjjyamdnds tu san- 
tdndrtham bhavanti hi \ 26. Dharmdrtha-kdtna-mokshdndm iha tdh sd- 
dhikdh smritdh \ devds cha pitaraschaiva rishayo manavas tatha \ 27. 
Tatas te tapasd yuktdh sthdndny dpurayanti hi \ Erahmano mdnasds te 
vai siddhdtmdno Wiavanti hi \ 28. Ye sangddvesha-yiiktena karmand te 
diuam gatdh \ dvarttamdnd iha te sambhavanti yuge yuge \ 29. Sva- 
Tcarma-phala-seshena khydtyd chaiva tathdtmikd (? tathdtmakdh) \ sam- 
Ihaianti jandl lokdt karma-samsaya-bandhandt \ 30. Asayah kdranant 
tatra boddhavyam karmand tu sah \ taih karmabhis tu jay ante jandl lokdt 
subhdsubhaih \ 31. Grihnanti te sarlrdni ndnd-rupdni yonishu \ devtid- 
ydh sthdvardntds cha utpadyante parasparam (? paramparam) \ 32. 
Teshdfii ye ydni karmdni prdk-srishtau pratipedire \ tdny eva pratipad- 
y ante srijyamdndh punah punah \ 33. Hiiiiisrdhimsre mridu-krure dhar- 
mddharme ritdnrite \ tadbhdvitdh prapcdyante tasmdt tat tasya rochate \ 
34. Kalpeshv dsan vyatlteshu rupa-ndmdni ydni cha \ tdny evdndgate kale 
prdyasah pratipedire \ 35. Tasmdt tu ndma-rupdni tdny eva pratipe- 
dire | punah punas te kafyeshuj 'dyante ndma-rupatah \ 36. Tatah sarge 
hy avashtabdhe sisrilshor Brahmanas tu vai \ 37. 143 Prajds td dhydyatas 

143 The narrative in the 49th chapter of the Markandeya Purana' (verses 3-13) 
begins at this verse, the 37th of the Yayu Purana, and coincides, though with verbal 
differences, with what follows down to verse 47. After that there is more variation. 



tasya satydbhidhydyinas tadd \ mithundnum sahasram tu so 'srij'ad vai 
muklidt tadd \ 38. Janus te hy upapadyante sattvodriktdh suchetasah u * \ 
sahasram anyad vakshasto mithundndm sasarja Jia \ 39. Te sarve rajaso- 
driktdh sushminas chdpy asushminah l ' a \ srishtvd sahasram anyat tu 
dvandvdndm urutah punah \ 40. Rajas-tamolhydm udriktd ihdsilds tu 
te smritdh \ padbhydm sahasram anyat tu mithundndm sasarja ha \ 41. 
Udriktds tamasd sarve nihsrlkd hy alpa-tejasdh \ tato vai harshamdnds 
te dvandvotpannds tu prdninah \ 42. Anyonya-hrichhay&vishtd maithu- 
ndyopachakramuh \ tatahprabhriti kalpe 'smin maithunotpattir uchyate \ 
43. Musi mdsy drttavam yat tu na tadd ''sit \u yoshitdm 146 \ tasmdt tadd 
na sushuvuh sevitair api maithunaih \ 44. AyusJio 'nte prasuyante mi- 
thundny eva tdh sakrit \ kunthakdh kunthikas chaiva utpadyante mumur- 
shatdm 1 * 7 | 45. Tatah prabhriti kalpe 'smin mithundndm hi sambhavah \ 
dhydne tu manasd tdsdm prajdndm Jdyate sakrit \ 46. S'abdtidi-vishayah 
suddhah pratyekam pancha-lakshanah \ ity evam mdnasl 14S purvam prdk- 
srishtir yd Prajdpateh \ 47. Tasydnvavdye sambhutd yair idam puritam 
jagat \ sarit-sarah-samudrdms cha sevante parvatdn api \ 48. Tadd 
ndtyanta-sltoshnd yuge tasmin charanti vai \ prithvl-rasodbhavam ndma 
dhdram hy dharanti vai li9 \ 49. Tdh prajdh kdma-chdrinyo mdnaslm 
siddhtm dsthitdh \ dharmddharmau na tdsv dstdm nirviseshah prajds tu 
tdh | 50. Tulyam dyuh sukham rupam tdsdm tasmin krite yuge \ dhar- 
mddharmau na tdsv dstdm kalpddau tu krite yuge \ 51. Svena svenddhi- 
kdrena jajnire te krite yuge \ chatvuri tu sahasrdni varshdndm divya- 
sankhyayd \ 52. Adyam krita-yugam prdhuh sandhydndm tu cJiatuh- 
satam \ tatah sahasrasas tdsa prajdsu prathitdsv api \ 53. 150 Na tdsdm 
pratighdto 'sti na dvandvam ndpi cha klamah, \ parvatodadhi-sevinyo hy 
aniketdsrayds tu tdh \ 54. Visokdh sattva-baJmldh hy ekdnta-sukJiitdh 
prajdh | tdh vai nishkdma-chdrinyo nityam mudita-mdnasdh \ 55. Pasa- 

ul For suchetasah the Mark. P. reads sutejasah. 

115 For asushminah the Mark. P. reads amarshinah, "irascible." 

146 I have corrected this line from the Markandeya Purana, 49, 9 b. The reading 
of the M SS. of the Vayu Purana cannot be correct. It appears to be : incise mase 
'ritavam yad yat tat tadasld hi yoshitam \ The negative particle seems to be indis- 
pensable here. 

147 This half verse is not found in the Mark. P. 

148 The Mark. P. has manushl, "human," instead of manas7, "mental." 

149 This verse is not in the Mark. P. ; and after this point the verses which are 
common to both Puranas do not occur in the same places. 

150 Verses 53-56 coincide generally with verses 14-18 of the Mark. P. 


rah pakshinas chaiva na taddsan sarlsripdh \ nodbhijjd ntirakai chaiva 
te hy adharma-prasutayah \ 56. Na mula-phala-pushpam cha ndrttavam 
ritavo na cha \ sarva-kdma-sukhah kdlo ndtyartham hy ushna-sltatd 18S I 
57. Manobhilashitdh kdmds tdsdm sarvatra sarvadd \ uttishthanti prithiv- 
ydm vai tdbhir dhydtd rasolvandh \ 58. Balavarna-karl tdsdm siddhih 
sd roga-ndsinl \ asafhskdryyaih sarlrais cha pro/jus tdh stMrayaiivandh \ 
59. Tdsdm visuddhdt sankalpdj jdyante mithtmdh prajdh \ samamjanma 
cha rupam chd mriyante chaiva tdh samam \ 60. Tadd satyam alobhab 
cha Jishamd tushtih sulcham^damah \ nirviseshds tu tdh sarvd rupdyuh- 
slla-cheshtitaih \ 61. AluddhipurvaJcam vrittam prajdndm jdyate svayam \ 
apravrittih krita-yuge Jcarmanoh sulhapdpayoh \ 62. Yarndsrama-vya- 
vasthds cha na tadd "sw na sanJcarah \ anichhddvesha-yuktds te vartta- 
yanti parasparam \ 63. Tulya-rupdyushah sarvdh adhamottama-varj- 
litdh \ sukha-prdyd hy asokds cha udpadyante Icrite yuge \ 64. Nitya- 
prahrishta-manaso mahdsattvd mahdhaldh \ Idlhdldbhau na tdsv dstdm 
mitrdmitre priydpriye \ 65. Manasd vishayas tdsdm nirihdndm pravart- 
tate | na lipsanti hi ta'nyoyam ndnugrihnanti chaiva hi \ 66. J)hydnam 
par am krita-yuge tretdydm jndnam uchyate \ pravrittam dvdpare yajnam 
ddnam kali-yuge varam \ 67. Sattvaih kritam rajas tretd dvdparam tu 
rajas-tamau \ kalau tamas tu vijneyam yuga-vritta-vasena tu \ 68. Kdlah 
krite yuge tv esha tasya sankhydm nihodhata \ chatvdri tu sahasrdni var- 
shdndm tat kritam yugam \ 69. Sandhydmsau tasya divydni satdny 
ashtau cha sankhyayd \ tadd tdsdm babhiivdyur na cha klesa-vipat- 
tayah 134 | 70. Tatah kritayuge tasmin sandhydmse hi gate tu vai \ pddd- 
vasishto lhavati yuga-dharmas tu sarvasah \ 71. Saiidhydydm apy atltd- 
ydm anta-kdle yugasya vai \ pdda&as chdvasishte tu sandhyd-dharme 
yugasya tu \ 72. Evam krite tu nihseshe siddhis tv antardadhe tadd \ 
tasydm cha siddhau Ihrashtdydm mdnasydm alhavat tatah \ 73. Siddhir 

151 The Mark. P. has nakrah, " crocodiles," in its enumeration. 

152 The Mark. P. here inserts some other lines, 186-21 , instead of 57 and 5Sa of 
the Vayu P. 

153 The Mark. P. inserts here the following verses : 24. Chaivari tu sahasrani 
rarshanam manushani tu \ ayuh-pramanam jlvanti na cha klesad vipattayah \ 25 . 
Kvachit kvachit punah sa bhut Tcshitir bhagyena sarvasah \ kalena gachhata riasam. 
upayanti yatha prajcih \ 26. Tatha tuh kramnsah nasaihjagmuh sarvatra siddhayali \ 
tasu sarvasu nashtasu nabhasah prachyuta narah (latahin one MS.) \prayasah kalpa- 
rrikshas te sambhuta griha-samsthitah \ 

154 Instead of babhuvciyuh, etc., the Gaikowar MS. has prayuktani na cha Icleso 
babhuva ha I 


anyd yuge tasmims tretdydm antare kritd \ sargddau yd mayd 'shtau tu 
mdnasyo vai praklrttitdh \ 74. Ashtau tdh krama-yogena siddhayo ydnti 
sankshayam \ kalpddau mdnasl hy ekd siddhir bhavati sd krite \ 75. 
Manvantareshu sarveshu chatur-yuga-vibhdgasah \ varndsramdchdra-kritah 
karma-siddhodbhavah (karma-siddhyudbhavaht} smritah \ 76. Sandhyd 
kritasya pddena sandhyd pddena chdmsatah \ krita-sandhydmsakd Jiy ete 
trims trln pdddn parasparam \ 77. Urasanti yuga-dharmais te tapah- 
sruta-baldyushaih \ tatah kritdmse kshme tu babhuva tud-anantaram \ 
78. Tretd-yugam amanyanta kritdmsam rishi-sattamdh \ tasmin kshme 
kritdmse tu tach-c hhishtdsu pra/jdsv iha \ 79. Kalpddau sampravrittdyds 
tretdydh pramukhe tadd \ pranasyati tadd siddhih Icdla-yogenandnyathd \ 
80. Tasydm siddhau pranashtdytim anyd siddhir avarttata \ apdm sauk- 
shmye pratigate tadd megJidtmand tu vai \ 81. Meghebhyah slanayitnu- 
bhyah pravrittam vrishti-sarjjanam \ sakrid eva tayd vrislityd samyukte 
prithivl-tale \ 82. Prddurdsams tadd tdsdm vrikshds tu griha-samsthi- 
tdh 155 | sarva-pratyupabhogas tu tdsdm tebhyah prajdyate \ 83. Vart- 
tayanti hi tebhyas tds tretd-yuga-muhhe prajdh \ tatah Icdlena mahatd 
tdsdm eva viparyaydt \ 84. Rdgalobhdtmako bhdvas tadd hy dkasmiko 
'bhavat | yat tad bhavati ndrlndm jivittinte tad drtavam \ 85. Tadd tad 
vai na bhavati punar yuga-balena tu \ tdsdm punah pravritte tumdse muse 
tad drttavam (-vet} \ 86. Tatas tenaiva yogena varttatdm maithune tadd \ 
tdsdm tdt-kdla-bhdvitvdd mdsi mdsy upayachhatdm \ 87. Akdle hy drttavot- 
pattir garbhotpattir ajdyata \ viparyyayena tdsdih tu tena kdlena bhdvind\ 
88. Pranasyanti tatah sarve vrikshds te grihasamsthitdh \ tatas teshu 
pranashteshu vibhrdntd vydkulendriydh \ 89. Abhidhydyanti turn siddhim 
satydbhidhydyinas tadd \ prddurbabhuvus tdsdm tu vrikshds te griha- 
samsthitdh | 90. 156 Vastrdni cha prasuyante phaleshv dbharandni cha \ 
teshv eva jay ate tdsdm gandha-varna-rasdnvitam \ 91. Amdkshikam ma- 
hdvlryam putake putake madhu \ tena td varttayanti sma mukhe tretd- 
yugasya vai \ 92. Hrishta-tushtds tayd siddhyd prajd vai vigata-jvardh \ 
punah kdldntarenaiva punar lobhdvritds tu tdh \ 93. Vrikshdms tun 
paryagrihnanta madhu chdmdkshikam baldt \ tdsdm tendpachdrena punar 
lobha-kritena vai \ 94. Pranashtd madhtmd sdrdham kalpa-vrikshdh kva- 

155 Verses 27-35 of the Mark. P. correspond more or less to this and the following 
verses down to 98. 

158 This and the following verses correspond more or less closely to the Mark. P. 
30 ff. 


chit kvachit \ tasydm evdlpa-sishtdydm sandhyd-kdla-vasdt tadd \ 95. 
varttatdm tu tadd tdsdm dvandvdny abhyutthitdni tu \ sltavdtdtapais 
tlvrais tatas tdh duhkhitd bhrisam \ 96. Dvandvais tdh pldyamdnds tu 
chakrur dvarandni cha \ kritvd dvandva-pratlkdram niketdni hi bhejire \ 
97. Purvam nikdma-chdrds te aniketd&rayd bhrisam \ yathd-yogyam 
yathd-prlti niketeshv avasan punah \ 98. Maru-dhanvasu nimneshu par- 
rateshu darlshu cha l57 | samsrayanti cha durgdni dhanvdnam sdsvatoda- 
kam | 99. Yathd-yogam yathd-kdmam sameshu vishameshu cha \ drabdhds 
te niketd vai karttum lto$hna-pdranam \ 100. Tatas td mdpaydmdsuh 
khetdni cha purtini cha, \ grdmdmi chaiva yathd-bhdgam tathaivdntah- 
purdni cha | . . . 123. 158 Eriteshu teshu sthdneshu punas chakrur gri- 
hdni cha \ yathd cha purvam dsan vai vrikshds tu griha-samsthitdh \ 
124. Tathd karttum samdrabdhds chintayitvd punah punah \ vridahtis 
chaiva gatdh sdkhd natds chaitdpard gatdh \ 125. Ata urdhvam gatds 
chdnyd enam tiryaggatdh pardh \ luddhyd 'nvishya tathd 'nyd yd vrik- 
sha-sdJchd yathd gatdh \ 126. Tathd kritds tu taih sdkhds tdsmdch 
chhdlds tu tdh smritdh \ evam prasiddhdh sdkhdbhyah sdlds chaiva 
grihdni cha \ 127. Tasmdt td vai smritdh idldh sdldtvam chaiva 
tdsu tat | prasldati manas tdsu manah prdsddayams cha tdh \ 128. 
Tasmdd grihdni sdlds cha prdsddus chaiva sanjnitdh I kritvd dvan- 
dvopaghdtdms tun vdrttopdyam achintayan \ 129. 159 Nashteshu ma- 
dhund sdrddham kalpa-vriksheshu vai tadd \ vishdda-vydkulds td vai 
prajds trishnd-kshudhdnvitdh \ 130. Tatah prddurbabhau tdsdm sid- 
dhis tretd-yuge punah \ vdrttdrtha-sddhikd hy anyd vrishtis tdsdm hi 
kdmatah \ 131. Tdsdih vrishty-udakdmha ydni nimnair gatdni tu \ 
vrishfyfi nimndQ} nirabhavan srotah-khdtdni nimnagdh \ 132. Evam 
nadyah pratrittds tu dvitlye vrishti-sarjane \ ye purastdd apdm stokd 
dpanndh prithivltale \ 133. Apdm bhumes cha samyogdd oshadhyas tdsu 
chdbhavan \ pushpa-mulaphalinyas tv oshadhyas tdh prajajnire \ 134. 
Aphdla-krishfds chdnuptd grdmydranyas chaturdasa \ ritu-pushpa-pha- 
Idschaiva vrikshdh gulmds cha jajnire \ 135. Prddurbhavas cha tretdydm 
ddyo 'yam aushadhasya tu \ tenausJtadliena varttante prajds tretdyuge 
tadd | 136. Tatah punar abhut tdsdm rdgo lobhas chasarvasah \ avasyam- 

157 I have corrected this line from Mark. P. xlix. 35. 

158 Verses 52-54 of the Mark. P. correspond in subst* 
ayu P. 

159 Verses 55-62 of the Mark. P. correspond to verses 129-137 of the Vayu P. 

158 Verses 52-54 of the Mark. P. correspond in substance to verses 123-128 of the 
Vavu P. 


bhdvind 'rthena tretd-yuga-vasena tu \ 137. Tatas tdh paryagrihnanta 
nadih kshetrdni parvatdn \ vrikshdn gulmaushadhis chaiva prasahya tu 
yathd-balam \ 138. Siddhdtmdnas tu ye purvam vydkhydtah prdk krite 
may a \ Brahmano mdnasds te vai utpannd ye jandd iha \ 139. S'dntds 
cha iushminas chaiva karmino duhkhinas tadd \ tatah pravarttamdnds te 
tretdydm jajnire punah \ 140. Brdhmandh kshattriyd vaisy&h sudrii 
drohijands tathd \ bhdvitdh purva-jdtlshu karmabhis cha subhdsubhaih \ 
141. Jtas tebhyo 'bald ye tu satyaslld hy ahimsakdh \ vlta-lobhd jitdt- 
mdno nivasanti sma teshu vai \ 142. Pratigrihnanti kurvanti tebhyas 
chdnye 'Ipa-tejasah \ evam vipratipanneshu prapanneshu parasparam \ 
143. Tena doshena teshdtJi td oshadhyo mishatdm tadd 169 \ pranashtd hriya- 
mdnd vai musJitibhydm sikatd yathd \ 144. 161 Agrasad bhur yuga-baldd 
grdmydranyds chaturdasa \ phalam grihnanti pushpaischa phalaih patraih 
punah punah \ 145. 162 Tatas tdsu vibhrdntds tdh prajds 
tadd | Svayamlhuvam pralhum jagmuh kshudhdvishtdh prajdpatim \ 146. 
critty-artham abhilipsantah ddau tretd-yugasya tu \ Brahma Svayambhur 
bhagavdn jndtvd tdsdm manlshitam \ 147. Yitktam pratyaksha-drishtena 
darsanena mchdryya cha \ grastdh prithivyd oshadhyo jndtvd pratyaduhat 
punah | 148. Kritvd vatsam sumerum tu dudoha prithivlm imam \ dugdhe- 
yam gaus tadd tena vljdni prithivl-tale \ 149. Jajnire tdni v ydni grdmyd- 
ranyds tu tdh punah \ oshadhyah phala-pdkdntdh sana-saptadasds tu tdh \ 
.... 155. Utpanndh prathamam hy etd ddau tretd-yugasya tu \ 156. 
-Aphdla-krishtd oshadhyo grdmydranyds tu sarvasah \ vrikshd gulma- 
latd-vallyo virudhas trina-jdtayah \ 157. Mulaih phalais cha rohinyo 
'grihnan pushpais cha yah phalam \ prithvl dugdhd tu vljdni ydni pur 
vam Svayambhuvd \ 158. Ritu-pushpa-phalds td vai oshadhyo jajnire tv 
iha | 18S yadd prasrishtd oshadyo na prarohanti tdh punah \ 159. Tatah 
sa tdsdm vritty-artham vdrttopdyam chakdra ha \ Brahmd Svayambhur 
bhagavdn hasta-siddham tu karma-jam \ 160. Tatah-prabhrity athau- 
shadhyah krishta-pachyds tu jajnire \ samsiddhdydm tu vdrttdydm tatas 
tdsdm Svayambhuvah \ 161. Marydddh sthdpaydmdsa yathdrabdhdh 
parasparam \ m ye vai parigrihltdras tdsdm dsan badhdtmakdh \ 162. 
Itareshdm knta-trdndn sthdpaydmdsa kshattriydn \ upatishthanti ye tun 

160 Mark. P. verse 63. i Mark. P. verse 686. 

162 Verses 64-67 of the Mark. P. correspond to verses 145-149 of the Vayu P. 

163 Verses 73-75 of the Mark. P. correspond to verses 158J-160a of the Vayu P. 

161 This with all what follows down to verse 171 is omitted in the Mark. P. 


vat ydvanto nirbhayds tathd \ 163. Satyam brahma yathd bhutam bru- 
vanto brdhmands tu te \ ye chilnye 'py abalds teshdm vaisasam karma 
samsthitdh \ 164. Klndsd ndsayanti sma prithivydm prdg atandritdh \ 
vaisydn eva tu tun dhuh klndsdn vritti-sddhakdn \ 165. S'ochantas cha 
dravantas cha paricharyydm ye ratdh \ nistejaso 'Ipa-vlryyds cha sudrdn 
tan abravlt tu sah \ 166. Teshdm karmdni dharmdms cha Brahma' 'nu- 
vyadadhdt prabhuh \ samsthitau prakritdydih tu chdturvarnyasya sar- 
vasah \ 167. 'Funah prajds tu td mohdt tan dharmdn ndnvapdlayan \ 
varna-dharmair ajlvantyo vyarudhyanta parasparam \ 168. Brahma tarn 
artham buddhvd tu ydtliutathyena tai prabhuh \ kshattriydndm balam 
dandam yuddham djwam ddisat \ 169. Ydjanddhyayanam chaiva tritl- 
yam cha parigraham \ brdhmandndm vilhus teshdm karmdny etdny athd- 
disat \ 170. Pdsupdlyam vanijyaiii cha krishim chaiva visdm dadau \ 
silpdjlvam bhritim chaiva sudrdndm vyadadhdt prabhuh \ 171. Sdmdn- 
ydni tu karmdni brahma- fahattra-visdm punah \ ydjanddhyayanam ddnam 
sdmdnydni tu teshu vai \ 172. Karmdjlvam tato datvd tebhyas chaiva 
parasparam \ lokdntareshu sthdndni teshdm siddhydy m addt prabhuh \ 
17 3. m Prdjdpatyam brdhmandndm smritam sthdnaih kriydvatdm \ sthd- 
nam aindram kshattriydndm sangrdmeshv apaldyindm \ 174. Vaisyanant 
mdrutam sthdnam sva-dharmam upajlvindm \ gdndharvam sudra-jdtlndm 
pratichdrena (parichdrena:} tishthatdm \ 175. Sthdndny etdni varndndm 
vyasydchdravatdm svayatn \ tatah sthiteshu varneshu sthdpaydmdsa chdsra- 
mdn | 176. Grihastham brahmachdritvam vanaprastham sabhikshukam \ 
dsramdms chaturo hy etdn purvam asthdpayat prabhuh \ 177. Varna-kar- 
mdni yekechit teshdm iha na kurvate \ krita-karmakshitihfi} prdhurdsra- 
ma-sthdna-vdsinah \ 178. Brahma tan sthdpdydmdsa dsramdn ndmand- 
matah \ nirdesdrtham tatas teshdm Brahma dharmdn prabhdshata \ 179. 
Prasthdndni cha teshdm vaiyamdmscha niyamdms cha ha \ chdturvarnydt- 
makah purvam grihasthas tv dsramah smritah \ 180. Trdydndm tisram- 
dndm cha pratisJithd yonir eva cha \ yathdkramam pravakshydmi yamais 
cha niyamais cha taih | . . . . 190. Teddh sdnads cha yajnds cha vra- 
tdni niyamds cha ye \ 191. Na siddhyanti prddushtasya bhdvadoshe upd- 
gate \ bahih-karmdni sarvdni prasiddhyanti (na siddhyanti t} kaddchana \ 

165 I conjecture siddhyay adat to be the proper reading. The MSS. have siddhya- 
dadat, or siddhyadadat, etc. 

166 Verses 173 f. are found in the Mark. P. verses 77 f. ; but all that follows down 
to verse 193 is omitted there. 

192. Antar-bhdva-pradmhtasya kurvato'hi pardkramdt \ sarvasvam api 
yo dadydt kalushendntardtmand \ 193. Na tena dharma-bhdk sa sydd 
bhdva eva hi kdranam | . . . . 199. Evam varndsramdnam vai prati- 
bhdge krite tacld \ 200. Yadd 'sya na vyavardhanta prajd varndsramat- 
mikdh \ tato 'nyti mdnaslhso 'tha tretd-madhye 'snjat prajdh \ 201. At- 
manas tuh sarlrdchcha tulyds chaivdtmand tu vai \ tasmin tretd-yuge 
prdpte madhyam prdpte kramena tu \ 202. Tato 'nyd manasls tatra pra- 
jdh srashtum prachakrame \ tatah satva-rajodriktdh praju.h so 'thdsrijat 
prabhuh \ 203. Dharmdrtha-Mma-mokshdnam vdrttdyds chaiva sadhi- 
kdh \ devds cha pitaras chaiva rishayo manavas tathd \ 204. Yugtinu- 
rupd dharmena yair ima vichitdh prajdh \ upasthite tadd tasmin prajti- 
dharme (-sarge ?) Svayambhuvah \ 205 Abhidadhyau prajdh sarvd ndnd- 
rupds tu mdnaslh \ purvoktd yd mayd tubhyam jana-lokam samdsritdh \ 
206. Ealpe'tlte tu td hy dsan devddyds tu prajd iha \ dhydyatas tasya tuh 
sarvdh sambhuty -artham upasthitdh \ 207. Manvantara-krameneha ka- 
nishthe prathame matdh \ khydtyd 'nubandhais tais tais tu sarvdrthair 
iha bhdvitdh \ 208. Kusaldkusala-prdyaih karmabhis taih sadd prajdh \ 
tat-karma-phala-seshena upashtabdhdh prajajnire \ 209. Devdsura-pitri- 
tvais tu pasu-pakshi-sarisripaih \ vriksha-ndraka-kltatvais tais tair bhd- 
vair upasthitdh \ ddhindrtham prajdndih cha dtmand vai mnirmame \ 

"22. At the beginning of the Kalpa, in the first Krita age, he 
created those living heings (23) which I have formerly described to 
thee ; but in the olden time, at the close of the Kalpa, those crea- 
tures were burnt up by fire. 24. Those of them who did not reach 
the Tapoloka took refuge in the Janaloka; and when the creation 
again commences, they form its seed. 25. Existing there as a seed 
for the sake of another creation, they then, as they are created, are 
produced with a view to progeny. 26. These are declared to accom- 
plish, in the present state (the four ends of human life, viz.), duty, 
the acquisition of wealth, the gratification of love, and the attain- 
ment of final liberation, both gods, Fathers, Eishis, and Manus. 
27. They, then, filled with austere fervour, replenish (all) places. 
These are the mental sons of Brahma, perfect in their nature. 28. 
Those who ascended to the sky by works characterized by devotion to 
external objects, but not by hatred, return to this world and are born 
in every age. 29. As the result of their works, and of their destination, 
(returning) from the Janaloka, they are born of the same character (as 


before), in consequence of the (previous) deeds by which they are 
bound. 167 30. It is to be understood that the cause of this is their 
tendency (or fate), which itself is the result of works. In consequence 
of these works, good or bad, they return from Janaloka and are born, 
(31) and receive various bodies in (different) wombs. They are pro- 
duced again and again in all states, from that of gods to that of 
motionless substances. 32. These creatures, as they are born time 
after time, receive the same functions as they had obtained in each 
previous creation. 33. .Destructiveness and undestructiveness, mild- 
ness and cruelty, righteousness and unrighteousness, truth and false- 
hood actuated by such dispositions as these, they obtain (their several 
conditions) ; and hence particular actions are agreeable to particu- 
lar creatures. 34. And in succeeding periods they for the most part 
obtain the forms and the names which they had in the past Kalpas. 
35. Hence they obtain the same names and forms. In the different 
Kalpas they are born with the same name and form. 36. Afterwards, 
when the creation had been suspended, as Brahma was desirous to 
create, (37) and, fixed in his design, was meditating upon offspring, 
he created from his mouth a thousand couples of living beings, (38) who 
were born with an abundance of goodness (sattva) and full of intel- 
ligence. 188 He then created another thousand couples from his breast : 
(39) they all abounded in passion (rajas) and were both vigorous and 
destitute of vigour. 189 After creating from his thighs another thousand 
pairs, (40) in whom both passion and darkness (tamas) prevailed, and 
who are described as active, he formed from his feet yet another 
thousand couples (41) who were all full of darkness, inglorious, and 
of little vigour. Then the creatures sprung from the couples (or thus 
produced in couples) rejoicing, (42) and filled with mutual love, began 
to cohabit. From that period sexual intercourse is said to have 
arisen in this Kalpa. 43. But at that time women had no monthly 
discharge : and they consequently bore no children, although cohabit- 

167 Karma-samsaya-bandhanat. I am unable to state the sense of samsaya in this 

16Sl Suchetasah. The reading of the Mark. P. mtejasah, " full of vigour," is recom- 
mended, as an epithet of the Brahmans, by its being in opposition to alpa-tejasah, 
" of little vigour," which is applied to the S'udras a few lines below. 

169 The reading of the Mark. P. amarshinah, "irascible," gives a better sense than 
asushminah, "devoid of vigour," which the Yayu P. has. 


ation was practised. 44. At the end of their lives they once bore 
twins. Weak-minded boys and girls were produced when (their parents) 
were on the point of death. 45. Prom that period commenced, in 
this Kalpa, the birth of twins; and such offspring was once only 
born to these creatures by a mental effort, in meditation (46), (offspring 
which was) receptive (?) of sound and the other objects of sense, pure, 
and in every case distinguished by five marks. Such was formerly the 
early mental creation of Prajapati. 47. Those creatures by whom the 
world was replenished, born as the descendant^ of this stock, frequented 
rivers, lakes, seas, and mountains. 48. In that age (yuga) they lived 
unaffected by excessive cold or heat, and appropriated the food which 
was produced from the essences of the earth. 49. They acted according 
to their pleasure, existing in a state of mental perfection. They were 
characterized neither by righteousness nor unrighteousness; were marked 
by no distinctions. 50. In that Krita yuga, in the beginning of the 
Kalpa, their age, happiness, and form were alike : they were neither 
righteous nor unrighteous. 51. In the Krita age they were produced 
each with authority over himself. Four thousand years, according to 
the calculation of the gods, (52) and four hundred years for each of the 
morning and evening twilights, are said to form the first, or Krita, 
age. 170 Then, although these creatures were multiplied by thousands, 
(53) they suffered no impediment, no susceptibility to the pairs of oppo- 
sites (pleasure and pain, cold and heat, etc.) and no fatigue. They fre- 
quented mountains and seas, and did not dwell in houses. 54. They 
never sorrowed, were full of goodness (sattva), and supremely happy ; 
acted from no impulse of desire, 171 and lived in continual delight. 55. 
There were at that time no beasts, birds, reptiles, or plants, 172 (for 
these things are produced by unrighteousness), 173 (56) no roots, fruits, 

170 The first of the verses, which will be quoted below, in a note on verse 63, from 
the Mark. P., seems to be more in place than the description of the Krita age given 
here, of which the substance is repeated in verses 68 and 69. 

171 Perhaps we should read here nikama-charinyo instead of nishkama- : if so, the 
sense will be, " they moved about at will." 

173 The text adds here riarakah or narakah, which may mean "hellish creatures." 
173 This, although agreeing with what is said further on in verses 82, 133, and 
155, does not seem in consonance with what is stated in the Vishnu Purana, verse 45, 
where it is declared : oshadhyah phala-mulinyo romabhyas tasyajajnire \ treta-yuga- 
mukhe Brahma kalpasyadau dvijottama \ srishtva pasv-oshadhlh samyag yuyoja sa 
tada 'dhvare \ " Plants bearing roots and fruits sprang from his hairs. At the com- 


flowers, productions of the seasons, nor seasons. The time brought 
with it every object of desire and every enjoyment. There was no 
excess of heat or cold. 57. The things which these people desired 
sprang up from the earth everywhere and always, when thought of, 
and had a powerful relish. 58. That perfection of theirs both produced 
strength and beauty, and annihilated disease. "With bodies, which 
needed no decoration, they enjoyed perpetual youth. 59. Prom their 
pure will alone twin children were produced. Their form was the 
same. They were born an4 died together. 60. Then truth, contentment, 
patience, satisfaction, happiness, and self-command prevailed. They 
were all without distinction in respect of form, term of life, disposition 
and actions. 6 1 . The means of subsistence were produced spontaneously 
without forethought on their parts. In the Krita age they engaged in 
no works which were either virtuous or sinful. 62. And there were 
then no distinctions of castes or orders, and no mixture of castes. Men 
acted towards each other without any feeling of love or hatred. 63. In 
the Krita age they were born alike in form and duration of life, with- 
out any distinction of lower and higher, 17 * with abundant happiness, 
free from grief, (64) with hearts continually exulting, great in dignity 

mencement of the Treta age Brahma having at the beginning of the Kalpa created 
animals and plants employed them in sacrifice." Although the order of the words 
renders the sense in some degree uncertain, it appears to be that which Prof. "Wilson 
assigns in his translation (i. 84), " Brahma, having created, in the commencement of 
the .Kalpa, various [animals and] plants, employed them in sacrifices in the beginning 
of the Treta age." This interpretation is supported by the Commentator, who remarks : 
Tad evaih kalpasyadav eva pasun oshadhis cha srishtva 'nantaram treta-yuga-mukhe 
prapte sati sumyag gramyaranya-vyasthaya tada 'dhvare sanataya (samyaktaya ?) 
yuyoja krita-yuge yajnasyapravritteh \ " Having then thus at the very beginning of 
the Kalpa created animals and plants, he afterwards, when the commencement of the 
Treta age arrived, employed them properly, according to the distinction of domestic 
and wild, in sacrifice, since sacrifice did not prevail in the Krita age." This agrees 
with the course of the preceding narrative which makes no allusion to plants and 
animals having been produced in a different Yuga from the other beings whose 
creation had been previously described. (See Wilson i. 82-84.) The parallel passage 
in the Vayu P. x. 44-46, is confused. 

171 The Mark. P. xlix. 24 inserts here the following lines : " They lived for four 
thousand years of mortals, as the measure of their existence, and suffered no calamities 
from distress. 25. In some places the earth again enjoyed prosperity in every respect. 
As through lapse of time the creatures were destroyed, so too those perfections every- 
where gradually perished. 26. When they had all been destroyed, creeping-plants 
fell from the sky, which had nearly the character of Kalpa-trees (i.e. trees which yield 
all that is desired), and resembled houses." 


and in force. There existed among them no such things as gain or loss, 
friendship or enmity, liking or dislike. 65. It was through the mind 
(alone, i.e. without passion?) that these disinterested heings acted to- 
wards each other. They neither desired anything from one another ; 
nor shewed any kindness to each other. 178 Contemplation is declared to 
be supreme in the Krita age, knowledge in the Treta ; sacrifice began 
in the Dvapara; liberality is the highest merit in the Kali. 67. The 
Krita age is goodness (sattva), the Treta is passion (rajas), the Dvapara 
is passion and darkness (tamas\ in the Kali ij is to be understood that 
darkness (prevails), according to the necessary course of these ages. 
68. The following is the time in the Krita age : understand its amount. 
Four thousand years constitute the Krita ; (69) and its twilights endure 
for eight hundred divine years. Then their life was (so long ?) 178 and no 
distresses or calamities befel them. 70. Afterwards, when the twilight 
in the Krita was gone, the righteousness peculiar to that age was in all 
respects reduced to a quarter (of its original sum). 71. When further 
the twilight had passed^ at the close of the Yuga, and the righteousness 
peculiar to the twilight had been reduced to a quarter, (72) and when 
the Krita had thus come altogether to an end, then perfection 
vanished. "When this mental perfection had been destroyed, there 
arose (73) another perfection formed in the period of the Treta age. 
The eight mental perfections, which I declared (to have existed) 
at the creation, (74) were gradually extinguished. At the beginning < 
of the Kalpa mental perfection alone (existed), viz., that which existed 
in the Krita age. 75. In all the Manvantaras there is declared to 
arise a perfection proceeding from works, produced by the discharge of 
the duties belonging to castes and orders, according to the fourfold 
division of Yugas. 76. The (morning) twilight (deteriorates) by a 
quarter of the (entire) Krita, and the evening twilight by (another) 
quarter ; (thus) the Krita, the morning twilight, and the evening 

175 This representation of the condition of mankind during the Krita age, the period 
of ideal goodness, was no doubt sketched in conformity with the opinions which pre- 
vailed at the period when the Puruna was compiled ; when dispassiou was regarded 
as the highest state of perfection. 

176 It would seem as if the writer here meant to state that the period of life was 
that which in the verse of the Murk. P. (xlix. 24), quoted in the note on verse 63, it 
is declared to have been. But the expression here ifc, from some cause or other, im- 


twilight (together) deteriorate successively to the extent of three 
quarters, in the duties peculiar to the Tuga, and in austere fervour, 
sacred knowledge, strength, and length of life. 177 Then after the 
evening of the Krita had died out, (78) the Treta age succeeded, 
(which) the most excellent rishis regarded as the evening of the Krita. 
But when the evening of the Krita had died out, (79) from the in- 
fluence of time, and for no other reason, perfection disappeared from 
among the creatures who survived at the commencement of the Treta 
age which ensue.d at the beginning of the Kalpa. 80. "When that per- 
fection had perished, another perfection arose. The subtile form of 
water having returned in the form of cloud (to the sky), 178 (81) rain 
began to be discharged from the thundering clouds. The earth having 
once received that rain, (82) trees resembling houses 179 were provided 
for these creatures. From them all means of enjoyment were pro- 
duced. 83. Men derived their subsistence from them at the beginning 
of the Treta. Subsequently, after a great length of time, owing to 
their ill fortune, (84) the passions of desire and covetousness arose in 
their hearts uncaused. The monthly discharge, which occurred at the 
end of women's lives, (85) did not then take place : but as it com- 
menced again, owing to the force of the age (yuga), (86) and as the 
couples, in consequence of it, began to cohabit, and approached each 
other monthly, from necessity occasioned by the time, (87) an un- 
seasonable 179 * production of the monthly discharge, and of pregnancy 
ensued. Then through their misfortune, and owing to that fated time, 
(88) all those house-like trees perished. When these had been de- 
stroyed, men disturbed and agitated, (89) but genuine in their desire, 
longed after that perfection (which they had lost). Then those house- 
like trees appeared to them ; (90) and among their fruits yielded 
clothes and jewels. On these trees too, in the hollow of every leaf, 
there was produced, (91) without the aid of bees, honey of great po- 
tency, having scent, colour, and flavour. By this means they sub- 
sisted at the beginning of the Treta, (92) delighted with this per- 

177 Such is the only sense I can extract from these rather obscure lines. 

178 Such is the only sense of the words here rendered which occurs to me. 

179 Griha-samsthitah. Professor Wilson, in his Dictionary,' gives " like, resembling," 
among the meanings of saiiisthita. 

i79 Instead of akiile, "out of season," Professor Aufrecht suggests akale, "in 
season," as the proper reading. 


fection and free from trouble. Again, through the lapse of time, 
becoming greedy, (93) they seized by force those trees, and that honey 
produced without bees. And then, owing to that misconduct of theirs, 
occasioned by cupidity, (94) the Kalpa trees, together with their honey, 
were in some places destroyed. As but little of it 180 remained, owing 
to the effects of the period of twilight, (95) the pairs (of opposites, as 
pleasure and pain, etc.) arose in men when existing (in this state) ; 
and they became greatly distressed by sharp cold winds', and heats. 
96. Being thus afflicted by these opposites, they adopted means of 
shelter : and to counteract the opposites they resorted to houses. 97. 
Formerly they had moved about at their will, and had not dwelt at all 
in houses : but subsequently they abode in dwellings, as they found 
suitable and pleasant, (98) in barren deserts, in valleys, on mountains, 
in caves ; and took refuge in fortresses, (in a) desert with perpetual 
water. 181 99. As a protection against cold and heat they began to con- 
struct houses on even and uneven places, according to opportunity and 
at their pleasure. 100. They then measured out towns, cities, villages, 
and private apartments, according to the distribution of each." The 
following verses 101-107 give an account of the different measures of 
length and breadth, which is followed, in verses 108-122, by a descrip- 
tion of the various kinds of fortresses, towns, and villages, their shapes 
and sizes, and of roads. The author then proceeds in verse 123 :] 
"These places having been made, they next constructed houses; and 
as formerly trees existed, formed like houses, 182 (124) so did they (now) 
begin to erect them, after repeated consideration. (Some) boughs are 
spread out, others are bent down, (125) others rise upwards, while 
others again stretch horizontally. After examining thus by reflection 
how the different boughs of trees branch out, (126) they constructed 
in like manner the apartments (sakJiali) (of their houses) : hence they 

IRQ "Perfection" seems to be here intended. If so, it would seem as if this line 
had been separated from its proper context. 

181 Dhanvanam saivatodakam. Perhaps we should read here with the Mark. P. 
xlix. 35, varkshyam parvatam audakam " (fortresses) protected by trees, built on 
mountains, or surrounded by water." 

182 Whatever may be thought of this rendering of the phrase, vrilcshah grihasam- 
sthitah, the Mark. P. (xlix. 52), at least, is quite clear: grihaTcara yatha purvafh 
tesham asan maliiruhah \ tatha samsmritya tat sarvam chaknir vesmani tah prajah \ 
"As they had formerly had trees with the shape of houses, so recalling all that to 
mind, these people built their dwellings." 


are called rooms (safeA). 188 In this way rooms and houses derive their 
appellation from branches. 127. Hence rooms are called idld, and in 
that their character as rooms (saldtvam) consists. And inasmuch as 
the mind takes pleasure in them, and as they have gladdened (prdsd- 
dayan\ the mind, (128) houses, rooms, and palaces are termed respec- 
tively griha, dld, and prdsada. Having adopted these means of 
defence against the ' opposites,' they devised methods of subsistence. 
129. The kajpa-trees having been destroyed along with their honey, 
those creatures, afflicted with thirst and hunger, became disquieted by 
dejection. 130. Then ag&in another perfection arose for them in the 
Treta age, which fulfilled the purpose of subsistence, viz., rain at 
their pleasure. 131. The rain-water, which flowed into the hollows, 
burst out in the form of springs, water- courses, and rivers, 181 through 
the rain. 132. Thus at the second fall of rain rivers began to flow. 
"When the drops of water first reached the ground, then (133) from the 
conjunction of the waters and the earth plants sprang up among them, 
which bore both flowers, roots, and fruits. 134. Fourteen kinds of 
plants, cultivated and wild, were produced without ploughing or sow- 
ing, as well as trees and shrubs which bore flowers and fruit at the 
proper season. 135. This was the first appearance of plants in the 
Treta age, and by them men subsisted at that period. 136. Then there 
again arose among them, universally, desire and cupidity, through a ne- 
cessary process, and as a result of the Treta age. 137. They then 
appropriated to themselves, by force and violence, rivers, fields, hills, 
trees, shrubs, and plants. 138. Those perfect beings, who were de- 
scribed by me as existing formerly in the Krita, the mind-born 
children of Brahma, who had been produced in this world when they 
came from the Janaloka, (139) who were (some) tranquil, (some) fiery, 
(some) active, and (others) distressed, were again born in the Treta, 
(140) as Brahmans, Kshattriyas, Vaisyas, Suclras, and injurious men, 
governed by the good and bad actions (performed) in former births. 141. 
Then those who were weaker than they, being truthful and innocent, 
dwelt among them, free from cupidity, and self-restrained; (142) whilst 

183 The reasoning here does not seem very cogent, as the two words sakha and sola 
do not appear to have any close connection. But such unsuccessful attempts at ety- 
mology are frequent in Sanskrit works. 

184 The text here does not seem to be in a satisfactory state. The Calc. edition of 
the Mark. P. reads vrishtyavaruddhalr abhavat, etc. 


others, less glorious than they, took and did. 18 * When they had thus be- 
come opposed to each other, (143) through their misconduct, while they 
struggled together, the plants were destroyed, being seized with their 
fists like gravel. 144. Then the earth swallowed up the fourteen kinds 
of cultivated and wild plants, in consequence of the influence exerted 
by the Yuga : for men had seized again and again the fruit, together 
with the flowers and leaves. 145. After the plants had perished, 
the famished people, becoming bewildered, repaired to- Svayambhu 
the lord of creatures, (146) in the beginning of the Treta age, seeking 
the means of subsistence. 186 Learning what they desired, (147) and 
determining by intuition what was proper to be done, the Lord Brah- 
ma Svayambhu, knowing that the plants had been swallowed up by 
the earth, milked them back. 148. Taking Sumeru as a calf, he milked 
this earth. When this earth (or cow) 187 was milked by him, roots were 

195 It is difficult to extract any satisfactory sense out of this line. 

ls6 The S'. P. Br. ii. 4, 2, 1, also speaks of different classes of creatures applying to 
the creator for food : Prajapatim vai bhutany upasldan \ prajah vai bhutani \ " vi no 
dhehi yatha jivama" iti \ tato deva yajnopavltino bhutva dakshinam janv achya upa- 
sldan | tan abravld " yajno vo 'nnam amritatvam va urg vah suryo vo jyotir " iti \ 
2. Atha enam pitarah prachlnavllinah savyam janv achya upasldan \ tan abravld 
"masi niasi vo 'sanam svadha vo manojavo vas chandrama vo jyotir" iti \ 3. Atha 
enam manushyah pravritah upastham kritva upasldan \ tan abravlt "sat/am pratar 
vo 'sanam prajah vo mrityur vo 'gnir vo jyotir " iti \ 4. Atha enam pasavah upasldan \ 
tebhyah svaisham eva chalcara " yada eva yuyam kadacha labhadhvai yadi kale yady 
anakfile atlia eva asnatha" iti \ tasmad ete yada Jcadacha labhante yadi kale yady 
anakale atJia eva asnanti \ 5. Atha ha enam sas'vad apy asurah upasedur ity ahuh \ 
tebhyas tamas cha may am cha pradadau \ asty aha eva asura-maya iti iva \ parabhuta 
ha iv eva tah prajah \ tah imah prajas tathaiva upajlvanti yathaiva abhyah Praju- 
patir adadat \ "All beings resorted to Prajapati, (creatures are beings), (saying) 
' provide for us that we may live.' Then the gods, wearing the sacrificial cord, and 
bending the right knee, approached him. To them he said, ' let sacrifice be your food, 
your immortality your strength, the sun your light.' 2. Then the Fathers, wearing 
the sacrificial cord on their right shoulders, and bending the left knee, approached him. 
To them he said, ' you shall eat monthly, your oblation (svadha} shall be your ra- 
pidity of thought, the moon your light.' 3. Then men, clothed, and inclining their 
bodies, approached him. To them he said, ' ye shall eat morning and evening, your 
offspring shall be your death, Agni your light.' 4. Then cattle repaired to him. To 
them he accorded their desire, (saying), ' "Whensoever ye find anything, whether at 
the proper season or not, eat it.' Hence whenever they find anything, whether at the 
proper season or not, they eat it. 5. Then they say that the Asuras again and again 
resorted to him. To them he gave darkness (tamas} and illusion. There is, indeed, 
such a thing as the illusion, as it were, of the Asuras. But those creatures succumbed. 
These creatures subsist in the very manner which Prajapati allotted to them." 

187 Gauh means both. 


produced again in the ground, (149) those plants, whereof hemp is 
the seventeenth, which end with the ripening of fruits." [The plants 
fit for domestic use, and for sacrifice are then enumerated in verses 
150-155.] " 155. All these plants, domestic and wild, were for the 
first time 188 produced at the beginning of the Treta age, (156) without 
cultivation, trees, shrubs, and the various sorts of creepers and grasses, 
both those which produce roots as their fruits, and those which bear 
fruit after flo'wering. The seeds for which the earth was formerly 
milked by Svayambhu (l^) now became plants bearing flowers and 
fruits in their season. When these plants, though created, did not 
afterwards grow, (159) the divine Brahma Svayambhu devised for the 
people means of subsistence depending on labour effected by their 
hands. 160. From that time forward the plants were produced and 
ripened through cultivation. The means of subsistence having been 
provided, Svayambhu (161) established divisions among them according 
to their tendencies. 189 Those of them who were rapacious, and destruc- 
tive, (162) he ordained to be Kshattriyas, protectors of the others. 190 
As many men as attended on these, fearless, (163) speaking truth and 
propounding sacred knowledge (Irahma) with exactness, (were made) 
Urahmans. Those others of them who had previously been feeble, en- 
gaged in the work of slaughter, 191 who, as cultivators (kinasah), had 
been destructive, and were active in connection with the ground, were 
called Vaisyas, husbandmen (klndsdn], providers of subsistence. 165. 
And he designated as Sudras those who grieved (socJiantah], and ran 
(dravantah}, m who were addicted to menial tasks, inglorious and feeble. 

188 See the note on verse 55, above. 

189 Yathararabhah. The Mark. P. has yatha-nyayaTn yathd-gunam, " according 
to fitness and their qualities." 

190 Itaresham krita-tranan. The M. Bh. xii. 2247, thus explains the word Kshat- 
triya : brahmananath kshata-tranat tatah kshattriya uchyate \ " (a king) is called 
Kshattriya because he protects Brahinans from injuries." 

191 Vaisasam karma. The former word has the senses of (1) "hindrance, impedi- 
ment," and (2) "slaughter," assigned to it in Wilson's Dictionary. 

192 The reader who is familiar with the etymologies given in Yaska's Nirukta, or in 
Professor Wilson's Dictionary on Indian authority, will not be surprised at the ab- 
surdity of the attempts made here by the Purana-writer to explain the origin of the 
words Kshattriya, Vais'ya and S'udra. To account for the last of these names he 
combines the roots such, " to grieve," and dru, " to run," dropping, however, of ne- 
cessity the last letter (ch) of the former. The word kshattriya is really derived from 
kshattra, "royal power;" and vaisya comes from vis, "people," and means "a man 
of the people." 



166. Brahma determined the respective functions and duties of all these 
persons. But after the system of the four castes had been in all respects 
established, (167) those men from infatuation did not fulfil their several 
duties. Not living conformably to those class-duties, they came into 
mutual conflict. 168. Having become aware of this fact, precisely as 
it stood, the Lord Brahma prescribed force, criminal justice, and war, 
as the profession of the Kshattriyas. 169. He then appointed these, 
viz., the duty of officiating at sacrifices, sacred study, arfd the receipt 
of presents, to be the functions of Brahmans. 170. The care of cattle, 
traffic, and agriculture, he allotted as the work of the Vaisyas ; and 
the practice of the mechanical arts, and service, he assigned as that of 
the S'udras. 171. The duties common to Brahmans, Kshattriyas, and 
Vaisyas were the offering of sacrifice, study, and liberality. 172. Hav- 
ing distributed to the classes their respective functions and occupations, 
the Lord then allotted to them abodes in other worlds for their per- 
fection. 173. The world of Prajapati is declared to be the (destined) 
abode of Brahmans practising rites ; Indra's world that of Kshattriyas 
who do not flee in battle; (174) the world of the Maruts that of 
Vaisyas who fulfil their proper duty ; the world of the Gandharvas 
that of men of Sudra birth who abide in the work of service. 175. 
Having allotted these as the future abodes of (the men of the different) 
classes, who should be correct in their conduct, he ordained orders (asra- 
mas] in the classes which had been established. 176. The Lord for- 
merly instituted the four orders of householder, religious student, dweller 
in the woods, and mendicant. 177. To those of them who do not in 
this world perform the duties of their castes, the men who dwell in 
hermitages apply the appellation of ' destroyer of works.' 178. Brahma 
established these orders by name, and in explanation of them he de- 
clared their duties, (179) their methods of procedure, and their various 
rites. First of all there is the order of householder, which belongs to 
all the four classes, (180) and is the foundation and source of the other 
three orders. I shall declare them in order with their several obser- 
servances." [The following verses 181-189, which detail these duties, 
need not be cited here. I shall, however, quote verses 190 ff. for their 
excellent moral tone.] "190. The Vedas, with their appendages, sa- 
crifices, fasts, and ceremonies, (191) avail not to a depraved man, 
when his disposition has become corrupted. All external rites are 


fruitless (192) to one who is inwardly debased, however energetically 
he may perform them. A man who bestows even the whole of his 
substance with a defiled heart will thereby acquire no merit of which 
a good disposition is the only cause." [After giving some further par- 
ticulars about the celestial abodes of the righteous, verses 194-198, the 
writer proceeds:] "199. When after the division into castes and 
orders had thus been made (200) the people living under that system 
did not multiply, Brahma formed other mind-born creatures in the 
middle of the Treta (201} from his own body and resembling himself. 
When the Treta age had arrived, and had gradually reached its middle, 
(202) the Lord then began to form other mind-born creatures. He 
next formed creatures in whom goodness (sattvd) and passion (rajas) 
predominated, (203) and who were capable of attaining (the four ob- 
jects of human pursuit) righteousness, wealth, love, and final liberation, 
together with the means of subsistence. Gods, too, and Fathers, and 
Eishis, and Manus (were formed), (204) by whom these creatures were 
classified (?) according to their natures in conformity with the Yuga. 
When this character(?) of his offspring had been attained, Brahma (205) 
longed after mental offspring of all kinds and of various forms. Those 
creatures, whom I described to you as having taken refuge in Janaloka, 
(206) at the end of the Kalpa, all these arrived here, when he thought 
upon them, in order to be reproduced in the form of gods and other 
beings. 207. According to the course of the Manvantaras the least 
were esteemed the first (?), being swayed by destiny, and by connec- 
tions and circumstances of every description. 208. These creatures 
were always born, under the controuling influence of, and as a recom- 
pence for their good or bad deeds. 209. He by himself formed those 
creatures which arrived in their several characters of gods, asuras, 
fathers, cattle, birds, reptiles, trees, and insects, in order that they 
might be subjected (anew) to the condition of creatures." 193 

The substance of the curious speculations on the origin and primeval 
condition of mankind contained in the preceding passage may be stated 
as follows : In verses 22-34 we are told that the creatures, who at the 
close of the preceding Kalpa had been driven by the mundane confla- 
gration to Janaloka, now formed the seed of the new creation, which 
took place in the Krita Yuga, at the commencement of the present 

193 1 confess that I have had great difficulty in attaching any sense to the last words. 


Kalpa. These were mind-born sons of Brahma, perfect in nature, and 
they peopled the world. As a rule, we are informed, those beings who 
have formerly been elevated from the earth to higher regions, return 
again and again to this world, and, as a result of their previous works, 
are born in eveiy age, in every possible variety of condition, exhibiting 
the same dispositions and fulfilling the same functions as in their former 
states of existence. It is next stated, verses 35-40, that when creation 
had, in some way not explained, come to a stand-still, four classes of 
human beings, consisting each of a thousand pairs of males and females, 
characterized respectively by different qualities, physical and moral, 
were produced from different members of the Creator's body. 194 These 
creatures sought to propagate the race, but abortively, for the reason 
specified (43). Children however were produced by mental effort 
(45 and 59), and in considerable numbers (52). The state of physical 
happiness, absolute and universal equality, moral perfection, and com- 
plete dispassion, in which mankind then existed, is depicted (48-65). 
The means of subsistence and enjoyment, which they are said to have 
drawn from the earth (48 and 57), were not of the ordinary kind, as 
we are informed (55 f.) that neither animals nor plants, which are the 
products of unrighteousness, existed at that period. No division into 
castes or orders prevailed during that age of perfection (62). A gradual 
declension, however, had been going on, and at the end of the Krita 
Yuga, the perfection peculiar to it had altogether disappeared (70-79). 
Another kind of perfection, peculiar to the Treta, however, subse- 
quently arose (73 and 80), and in the different Tu gas there has existed 
a perfection springing from the performance of the duties belonging to 
each caste and order (75). The perfection described as prevailing in 
the Treta was of a physical kind, consisting in the production of rain 
and the growth of trees, shaped like houses, which at the same time 
yielded the materials of all sorts of enjoyments (80-82). Passion, 
however, in its various forms began to take the place of the previous 
dispassion (84). The constitution of women, which had formerly in- 
capacitated them for effective impregnation, became ultimately so modi- 
fied as to ensure the successful propagation of the species, which 

194 This statement agrees with that in the Mark. P. xlix. 3 ff. but differs from that 
already given from the Vishnu P. in so far as the latter does not specify the numbers 
created, or say anything about pairs being formed. 


accordingly proceeded (84-8 7 ). 195 We have then the destruction, and 
subsequent reproduction of the trees, formed like" houses, described 
(88-9 1 ). These trees now produced clothes and jewels, as well as honey 
without bees, and enabled mankind to live in happiness and enjoyment. 
Again, however, the trees disappeared in consequence of the cupidity 
which led to their misuse (92-94). The absence of perfection occa- 
sioned suffering of various kinds, from moral as well as physical causes, 
and men wero now driven to construct houses, which they had hitherto 
found unnecessary (96-99 and 123), and to congregate in towns and 
cities (100). Their houses were built after the model furnished by 
trees (123-128). The hunger and thirst which men endured from the 
loss of the trees which had formerly yielded all the means of subsist- 
ence and enjoyment, were relieved by means of a new perfection 
which appeared in the shape of rain, and the streams thereby gene- 
rated, and by the growth of plants, which now sprang up for the first 
time as a result of the conjunction of water and earth (130-135 and 
155). Desire and cupidity, however, now again arose and led to acts 
of violent appropriation (136 f.). At this juncture the perfect miiid- 
born sons of Brahma, of different dispositions, who had formerly existed 
in the Krita age, were reproduced in the Treta as Brahmans, Kshat- 
triyas, Vaisyas, Sudras, and destructive men, as a result of their actions 
in their former existence (138-140). But in consequence of their dis- 
sensions and rapacity, the earth swallowed up all the existing plants 
(142-144). Under the pressure of the distress thus occasioned the 
inhabitants of the earth resorted to Brahma, who milked the earth, 
through the medium of mount Sumeru acting as a calf, and recovered 
the plants which had disappeared (145-149). As, however, these plants 
did not propagate themselves spontaneously, Brahma introduced agri- 
culture (158-160). Having thus provided the means of subsistence, 
he divided the people into classes according to their characteristics 
(160-165). But as these classes did not perform their several duties, 
and came into mutual conflict, Brahma prescribed their respective func- 
tions with greater precision (166-171) ; and assigned the future celestial 
abodes which the members of each class might attain by their fulfilment 
(172-174). He then ordained the four orders of householder, religious 

195 It is not quite clear, however, what is intended by the word akale, " out of 
season," in verse 87. See the emendation proposed above in the note on that verse. 


student, etc. (175-190). After a few verses in praise of moral purity 
(190-193), the abodes and destinies of the eminently righteous are set 
forth (194-199). Just when we had arrived at a point in the narra- 
tive, from which we might have imagined that it had only to be earned 
on further to afford us a sufficient explanation of the state of things 
existing up to the present age, we are suddenly arrested (199-202) by 
being informed that the people distributed according to the system of 
castes and orders did not multiply, and are introduced to a new mind- 
born creation, which took place in the Treta age, to remedy this 
failure. We are next told (203) of what appears to be another crea- 
tion of beings endowed with goodness and passion. And, finally, a yet 
further re-incorporation of previously existing souls is described as hav- 
ing taken place (205-209). It would thus seem that after all we are 
left without any account of the origin of the system of castes which 
prevailed when the Parana was compiled. The only suppositions on 
which this conclusion can be avoided are either (1) that the cessation 
in the increase of the generation alluded to in verse 200, which led to 
the new creation, was not universal, that the race than existing did not 
entirely die out, but that the old blood was re-invigorated by that of the 
newly created beings ; or (2) that the other set of creatures, mentioned 
in verse 203, as characterized by goodness and passion, were the pro- 
genitors of the present race of men. On these points, however, the 
text throws no light. 

The preceding account of the creation of mankind and of the vicissi- 
tudes and deterioration of society, is in some places obscure and con- 
fused, and its several parts do not appear to be consistent with each other. 
At the outset the writer describes the creation of four thousand pairs 
of human beings, of whom each separate set of one thousand is distin- 
guished by widely different innate characters, the first class having the 
quality of goodness, the second that of passion, the third those of passion 
and darkness, and the fourth that of darkness. Nevertheless (as in the 
parallel passage of the Vishnu Purana) we cannot find in the narrative 
the least trace of those inherent differences of character having for a long 
time manifested themselves by producing dissimilarity either of moral 
conduct or of physical condition ; for the perfection, which is described 
as existing in the Krita age, is spoken of as if it was universal ; and 
not only is no distinction alluded to as prevailing at this period between 


the component parts of society, but we are expressly told that no castes 
or orders then existed. The deterioration also, which ensued towards 
the end of the Krita age, is described as general, and not peculiar to 
any class. How is this complete uniformity, first of perfection, and 
afterwards of declension, which, for anything that appears to the con- 
trary, is predicated of the descendants of the whole of the four thousand 
pairs, to be reconciled with the assertion that each thousand of those 
pairs was characterized by different innate qualities ? The difficulty is 
not removed by saying that the writer supposed that these inherent 
varieties of character existed in a latent or dormant state in the 
different classes, and were afterwards developed in their descendants; 
for he distinctly declares (verse 54) in general terms that mankind 
were at that period sattva-bahuldh, i.e. " possessed the quality of 
goodness in abundance;" and in the earlier part of the subsequent 
narrative no allusion is made to the different qualities at first as- 
cribed to the four sets of a thousand pairs being separately deve- 
loped in the members of the four classes respectively. In verse 74, 
indeed, it appears to be assumed that the division into castes had 
existed from the creation ; for we there find an assertion that in " all 
the Hanvantaras, according to the division of the four yugas," (includ- 
ing apparently the Krita) " there is declared to have existed a perfec- 
tion effected by the observances of the castes and orders, and arising 
from the fulfilment of works ; " but how is this to be reconciled with 
the express statement of verses 60 and 61, that " in the Krita age no 
works were performed which were either virtuous or sinful,'' and that 
" there then existed neither distinctions of caste or order, nor any mix- 
ture of castes? " In the Treta age the state of deterioration continued, 
but no reference is made of any separation of classes till we come to 
verse 138, where it is said that the beings who in the Krita age had 
existed as the perfect mind-born sons of Brahma, were now, as a con- 
sequence of their former actions, recalled into human existence, and in 
conformity with their previous characters as calm, fiery, laborious, or 
depressed, became Brahmans, Kshattriyas, Vaisyas, Sudras, and men 
of violence. These creatures, after they had been furnished with the 
means of subsistence, were eventually divided into classes, according to 
their varieties of disposition, character, and occupation ; and as at first 
they did not fulfil their proper duties, but encroached upon each others' 


provinces, their functions were afterwards more stringently defined and 
the means of enforcing obedience were provided. Here it is intimated 
that different sets of beings were born as Brahmans, Kshattriyas, Yais- 
yas, and Sudras, on account of the different qualities which they had 
manifested in a previous existence, and that in conformity with those 
same characteristics they were afterwards formally distributed into castes. 
This description is therefore so far consistent with itself. The difference 
of caste is made to depend upon the dispositions of the soul. But how are 
we to reconcile this postulation of different characters formerly exhibited 
with the description given in the previous part of the narrative, where 
we are informed that, in the earlier parts, at least, of the Krita age, 
all men were alike perfect, and that no actions were performed which 
were either virtuous or vicious ? If such was the case at that period, how 
could the beings who then existed have manifested those differences of 
disposition and character which are asserted to have been the causes of 
their being subsequently reborn as Brahmans, Kshattriyas, STidras, and 
Vaisyas ? It may be admitted that the differences of character, which 
are attributed in the Purana to the four primeval sets of a thousand 
pairs of human beings, correspond to those qualities which are described 
as having subsequently given rise to the division into castes ; but the 
assertion of such a state of uniform and universal perfection, as is said 
to have intervened between the creation of mankind and the realization 
of caste, seems incompatible with the existence of any such original 
distinctions of a moral character. 

As regards this entire account when compared with the other two 
descriptions of the creation given in the previous part of this section, 
the same remarks are applicable as have been made in the last section, 
p. 65 f., on the corresponding passages from the Vishnu Purana. 

The chapter which I have just translated and examined, is followed 
immediately by the one of which I have already in a preceding page 
quoted the commencement, descriptive of the creation of Asuras, Gods, 
Fathers, etc., from the different bodies assumed and cast off successively 
by Brahma. 

I shall now give an extract from the following, or tenth chapter, in 
which the the legend of Satarupa is related. 

Suta uvdcha \ 1. Evambhuteshu lokeshu Brahmana loka-lcarttrina \ 

196 This form karttrina (one which, as is well known, may be optionally employed in 


yadd tdh na pravarttante prajdh kendpi hetund \ 2. Tamo-mdtrdvrito 
Brahma tadd-prabhriti duhkhitah \ tatah sa vidadhe buddhim artha- 
nischaya-gdminlm \ 3. Athdtmani samasrdkshit tamo-mdtrdm ny'dt- 
mikdm \ rajah-sattvam pardjitya varttamdnam sa dharmatah \ 4. 
Tapyate tena duhkhena sokam chakre jagat-patih \ tamas tu vyanudat 
tasmdd rajas tach cha samdvrinot \ 5. Tat tamah pratinuttam vai mi- 
thunam samvyajdyata \ adharmas charandj jajne himsd sokdd ajdyata \ 
6. Tatas tasmin samudbhute mithune cJiarandtmani \ tatas cha bhagavdn 
dslt prltischainam asisriyat \ 7. Svdm tanum sa tato Brahma tarn 
apohad abhdsvardm \ dvidhd 'karot sa tarn deham ardhena purmho 
'lhavat | 8. Ardhena ndrl sa tasya S'atarupd vyajdyata \ prdlcritdm 
Ihuta-dhdtrim tarn kdmdd vai srishtavdn vibhuh \ 9. Sd divam prithi- 
vim chaiva mahimnd vydpya dhishthitd \ Brahmanah sd tanuh puri'd 
divam dvritya tishthati \ 10. Yd tv ardhdt srijate ndrl S'atarupd vyajd- 
yata | sd devl niyatam taptvd tapah parama-duscharam \ lharttdram 
diptaya&asam Purmham pratyapadyata \ 11. Sa vai Svdyambhuvah 
purvam Purmho Manur uchyate \ tasyaikasaptati-yugam Manvanta- 
ram ihochyate \ 12. Laldhvd tu purmhah patriim S'atarupdm ayonijdm \ 
tayd sa ramate sdrddham tasmdt sd Ratir uchyate \ 13. Prathamah 
samprayogah sa kalpddau samavarttata \ Virdjam asrijad Brahma so 
'bhavat Purusho Virdt \ 14. ^a samrdt mdsarupdt tu vairdjas tuManuh 
smritah \ sa vairdjah prajd-sargah sa sarge purusho Manuh \ 15. Vai- 
rdj'dt purushdd vlrdch chhatarupd vyajdyata \ Priyavratottdnapddau 
ptitrau putravatdm varau \ 

" 1. When the worlds had thus been formed by Brahma their creator, 
but the creatures, for some reason did not engage in action, 197 (2) Brahma, 
enveloped in gloom, and thenceforward dejected, formed a resolution 
tending to ascertain the fact. 3. He then created in himself (a body) 
of his own, formed of pure gloom (tamas\ having overpowered the 
passion (rajas] and goodness (sattva] which existed (in him) naturally. 
4. The Lord of the world was afflicted with that suffering, and la- 

the neuter, but not in the masculine) is here used for metrical reasons. Such irregu- 
larities are, as we have seen, designated by the Commentators as arsha. It is unlikely 
that Brahman should be here used in a ueuter sense. 

197 The true reading here may be pravarddhante, in which case the sense will be 
" did not multiply." Compare the parallel passage in the Vishnu Purana, i. 7, 4, 
p. 64. 


mented. 193 He then dispelled the gloom, and covered over the passion. 

5. The gloom, when scattered, was formed into a pair. 199 Unright- 
eousness arose from activity (?), and mischief sprang from sorrow. 

6. That active (?) pair having been produced, he became glorious (?) 
and pleasure took possession of him. 7. Brahma after that cast off 
that body of his, which was devoid of lustre, and divided his person 
into two parts ; with the half he became a male (purmha) (8) and 
with the half a female : it was S'atarupa who was so produced to him. 
Under the impulse of lust he created her a material supporter of 
beings. 9. By her magnitude she pervaded both heaven and earth. 
That former body of Brahma invests the sky. 10. This divine female 
S'atarupa, who was born to him from his half, as he was creating, by 
incessantly practising austere fervour of a highly arduous description, 
acquired for herself as a husband a Male (purusJia) of glorious renown. 
He is called of old the Male, Manu Svayambhuva ; and his period 
(manvantara] is declared to extend to seventy-one Yugas. 12. This 
Male, having obtained for his wife, S'atarupa, not sprung from any 
womb, lived in dalliance with her (ramate) ; and from this she is called 
Rati (the female personification of sexual love). 13. This was the 
first cohabitation practised in the beginning of the Kalpa. Brahma 
created Viraj ; he was the Male, Viraj. 14. He is the sovereign 
(samruj], from his having the form of a month ; and Manu is known as 
the son of Viraj. 200 This creation of living beings is called that of 
Yiraj. In this creation Manu is the male. 15. S'atarupa bore to the 
heroic Purusha, son of Viraj, two sons, Priyavrata and Uttanapada, the 
most eminent of these who have sons." This is followed by a further 
genealogy, into which I will not enter. 

By comparing this account with the one extracted above, p. 64 f., 
from the Vishnu Purana, i. 7, 1 ff., it will be seen that while it makes 
no allusion to the production of Rudra, as related in the Vishnu Purana 
(which, as well as the birth of the mental sons of Brahma, the Vayu 
Purana had described in the preceding chapter, verses 67-83), it is 
somewhat fuller in regard to the legend of S'atarupa ; and although it 

198 "\jVith this account of Brahma's dejection and grief the accounts quoted above 
pp. 68 ff. from the Brahmanas may be compared. 

199 Compare the narrative of the Vishnu Puranu i. 7, 9 ff. quoted in p. 64 f. 

200 Compare the account given in Manu's Institutes, above, p. 36. 


does not allow that Brahma cohabited with his daughter, and assigns 
to her another husband, Manu S'vayambhuva, it describes the creator 
as having been actuated by carnal desire in generating her. I shall 
give further illustrations of this story in the next section. 

SECT. IX. Legend of Brahma and his daughter, according to the Aita- 
reya Brahmana, and of Satarupd, according to the Matsya Purdna. 

The story which forms the subject of the present section is noticed 
at some length in the fourth volume of this work, pp. 38-46, where 
one of the oldest passages in which it is related, is quoted from the 
S'atapatha Brahmana, i. 7, 4, 1 ff., together with one of a comparatively 
late age from the Bhagavata Purana, iii. 12, 28 ff. As however the 
legend,' though repulsive in its character, is not without interest as 
illustrating the opinions which Indian mythologists have entertained 
regarding their deities, I shall quote two other texts in which it is 

The first, from the Aitareya Brahmana, iii. 33, has, no doubt 
(along with the passage of the S'atapatha Brahmana just referred to, 
and another from the same work, xiv. 4, 2, 1 ff., quoted above, in 
p. 24 ff.), furnished the ideas which are expanded in the later versions 
of the story. It is as follows : 

Prajdpatir vai svdm duhitaram abhyadhydyat \ Divain ity anye dhiir 
Ushasam ity anye \ tdm risyo bhutvd rohitam bhutdm dbhyait \ tarn 
dei'd apasyan \ " akritam vai Prajdpatih karoti" iti \ te tarn aichhan 
yah enam drishyati \ etam anyonyasmin na avindan \ teshdm yd eva 
ghoratamds tanvah dsams tdh ekadhd samabharan \ tdh sambhritdh esha 
devo 'bhavat \ tad asya etad bhutavan-numa \ bharati vai sa yo 'sya etad 
evam ndma veda \ tain devd abruvann " ayam vai Prajdpatir akritam 
akar imam vidhya'* iti \ sa " tatha" ity alravlt \ " sa vai ro varam 
vrinai" iti \ "rrimshva" iti \ sa etam eva varam avrinlta pasundm 
ddhipatyam \ tad asya etat pasuman-ndma \ pasumdn bhavati yo 'sya 
etad evam ndma veda \ tarn abhydyatya avidhyat \ sa viddhah urddhve 
udaprapatad ityddi \ 

201 See the translation of this passage given by Dr. Haug_in his Aitareya Brahmana 


"Prajapati lusted after his own daughter. Some call her the Sky, 
others Ushas. Becoming a buck, he approached her after she had be- 
come a doe. The gods saw him; (and said) Prajapati does a deed 
which was never done (before). 202 They sought some one who should 
take vengeance on him. Such a person they did not find among them- 
selves. They then gathered together their most dreadful bodies. These 
when combined formed this god (Rudra). Hence (arises) his name con- 
nected with Bhuta (Bhutapati}. That man flourishes 205 who thus knows 
this name of his. The gods said to him, ' This Prajapati has done a 
deed which was never done before: pierce' him.' He replied, ' so be 
it,' (adding), ' let me ask a boon of you.' They rejoined, ' ask.' He 
asked for this boon, viz., lordship over cattle. Hence arises his name 
connected with Pasu (Pasupati}. He who thus knows his name, be- 
comes the owner of cattle. He then attacked (Prajapati) and pierced 
him. He, when pierced, soared upwards," etc. etc. 

The second passage I proposed to cite is from the Matsya Purana, 
chapter iii. verses 32 ff. : Etad tattvdtmalcam kritva jagad dvedhd 
ajyanat \ 33. Sdvitrlm lolca-siddhyartham hridi kritva samdsthitah \ 
tatah sanjapatas tasya Ihitvd deham akalmasham \ 34. stri-rupam 
arddham aJcarod arddham purusha-rupavat \ S'atarupd cha sd khydtd 
Sdvitrl cha nigadyate \ 35. Sarasvaty atha Gdyatrl Brahmdnl cha 
parantapa \ tatah sa Brahmadevas tdm dtmajdm ity akalpayat \ 36. 
Drishtvd tdm vyathitas tdvat kdma-vdndrdito vibhuh \ " aho rupam aho 
rupam " ity uvdcha tadd 'vyayah \ 37. Tato Vasishtha-pramukha 
"bhaginim" iti chukrusuh \ Brahma na kinchid dadrise tun-mukhdlo- 
kandd rite \ 38. " Aho rupam aho rupdm" iti dha punah punah \ tatah 
prandma-namrdm tdm punas tdm abhyalokayat \ 39. Atha pradakshindm 
chakre sd pitur varavarnirii \ putrehhyo lajjitasydsya tad-rupdloka- 
nechhayd \ 40. Avirbhutam tato vaktram dakshinam pdndu-gandavat \ 

voL ii. pp. 21 8 ff. ; and the remarks on this translation by Professor Weber, Indische 
Studien, ix. 2l7ff. ; and also Professor Eoth's explanation of the word bhutavat in 
his Lexicon. 

202 This seems to be imitated in the line of the Bhagavata Purana iii. 12, 30, 
quoted in vol. iv. of this work, p. 40 : naitat purvaih Jcritam tvad ye na karishyanti 
chapare \ " This was never done by those before thee, nor will those after thee do it." 

203 Bhavati. In the BrShmanas this verb has frequently the sense of prospering, 
as opposed to parab/iavati, " he perishes." See Bothlingk and Roth's Lexicon, s. v., 
and the passages there referred to. 


vismaya-sphurad-oshtham cha pdschdtyam udagdt tatah \ 41. Chatur- 
thum abhavat paschdd vdmam kdma-sardturam \ tato 'nyad abhavat 
tasya kdmdturatayd tathd \ 42. TTtpatantyds tadd "kdse dlokena kutu- 
haldt | srishty-artham yat kritam tena tapah paramaddrunam \ 43. Tat 
sarvam ndsam agamat sva-sutopagamechhayd \ tendsu** vaklram abhavat 
panchamarn tasya dhlmatah \ 44. Avirbhavaj jatdbhischa tad vaktranchd- 
vrinot prabhuh \ tatas tan abravld Brahma putrdn dtma-samudlhavdn \ 
45. " Prajdh snjadhvam abhitah sa-devdsura-mdnushdh" \ evam uktds 
tatah sarve sasrijur vividhdh prajdh \ 46. Gateshu teshu srishtyartham 
prandmdvanatdm imam \ upayeme sa msvdtmd S'atarupdm aninditdm \ 
47. Sambabhuva tayd sdrddham atikdmdturo vilhuh \ salajjdm chakame 
devah kamalodara-mandire \ 48. Ydvad abda-satam diryam yathd 'nyah 
prdkrito janah \ tatah kdlena mahatd tasydh putro 'bhavad Manuh \ 49. 
Svdyambhuva iti khydtah sa Virdd Hi nah srutam \ tad-rupa-guna-sdmd- 
nydd adhipurusha uchyate \ 50. Vairdjd yatra te jdtdh lahavah samiita- 
vratdh | Svdyambhuvd mahdbhdgdh sapta sapta tathd 'pare \ 51. Svd- 
rochishddydh sarve te Brahma-tulya-svarupinah \ Auttami-pramukhds 
tadvad yeshdm tvafh saptamo 'dhund \ (Adhydya. 4.) Manur uvdcha \ 
1. Aho kashtataram chaitad angajdgamanam nbhoh \ Katham na dosham 
agamat karmand tena Padmajah \ 2. Parasparancha sambandhah sago- 
trdndm abhut katham \ vaivdhikas tat-sutdndm chhindi me samsayam 
vibho | Matsya uvdcha \ 3. Divyeyam ddi-srishtis tu rajo-guna-samud- 
bhavd | atlndriyendriyd tadvad atlndriya-sarlrikd \ 4. Divya-tejomayl 
Ihupa dtiya-jndna-samudbhavd \ na chdnyair abhitah sakyd jndlum vai 
mdmsa-chakshushd \ 5. Yathd bhujangdh sarpdndm dkdse sarva-pakshi- 
ndm | vidanti mdrgdm divydndm divyd eva na mdnavdh \ 6. Kdryd- 
kdryena devdscha sulhdsubha-phala-praddh \ yasmdt tasmdd na rdjendra 
tad-vichdro nrindrn subhah \ 7. Anyachcha sarva-devundm adhishthdtd 
chaturmukhah \ gdyatrl Brahmanas tadvad anga-lhutd nigadyate \ 8. 
Amurtta-murttimad vdpi mithunancha prachakshate I Viranchir . yatra 
bhagavdns tatra devl Sarasvatl \ 9. Bhdratl yatra yatraiva tatra tatra 
Prajdpatih \ yathdtapena rahitd chhdyd vai (? na} drisyate kvachit \ 
10. Gdyatrl Brahmanah pdrsvam tathaiva na vimunchati \ veda-rdsih 
smrito Brahma Sdvitrl tad-adhishthitd \ 11. Tasmdd na kaschid doshah 
strut Sdmtrl-gamane vibhoh \ tathdpi lajjdvanatah Prajdpatir abhut purd \ 
12. Sva-sutopagamdd Brdhmd sasdpa Kusumdyudham \ yasmdd mamdpi 
204 Instead of tenastt tbe Gaikowar MS. reads tenordhva. 


bhavatd manah samJcshobhitam saraih \ 13. Tasmdt tvad-deham achirdd 
Rudro bhasmikarishyati \ tatah prasddaydmdsa Kdmadevas Chaturinu- 
kham | 14. " Na mam akdranam saptum tvam ihdrhasi mdm ava \ aham 
evam-vidhah srishtas tvayaiva chaturdnana \ 15. Indriya-lcsholha-janahah 
sarveshdm eva dehinam \ stri-pumsor avichdrena mayd sarvatra sarvadd \ 
16. JTshobhyam manah prayatnena tvayaivoktam purd vtbho \ tasmdd 
anaparddhena tvayd iaptas tathd vibho \ 17. Kuru prasddam bhagavan 
sva-&arlrdptaye punah \ Brahma uvdcha \ 18. Vaivasvate 'ntare prdpte 
Yddavdnvaya-sambhavah \ Rdmo ndma ya^d martyo mat-sattva-balam 
dsritah \ 19. Avatlryydsura-dhvamsi Dvdralcdm adhivatsyati \ tad- 
dhdtus tat-samascha m tvam tadd putratvam esliyasi ityddi \ 

" 32. Having thus formed the universe, consisting of the principles, 
he generated a twofold creation, (33) having, with a view to the 
completion of the world, placed and kept Savitri in his heart. Then 
as he was muttering prayers, he divided his spotless body (34) and 
gave to the half the form of a woman, and to the half that of a male. 
(This female) is called S'atarupa, Savitri, (35) Sarasvati, Gayatri, and 
Brahmam. Brahma then took her for his daughter. 36. Beholding 
her, the imperishable deity, distressed, tortured with the arrows of 
love, exclaimed, ' o what beauty ! o what beauty ! ' 37. Then (his 
sons) headed by Yasishtha, cried aloud, '(our) sister.' Brahma saw 
nothing else, looking only at her face; (38) and exclaimed again and 
again, ' o what beauty ! o what beauty ! ' He then again gazed upon 
her, as she bend forward in obeisance. 39. The fair woman then made 
a circuit round her father. As on account of his sons he felt ashamed ; 
from his desire of gazing on her beauty (40) there appeared (on his 
head) a southern face with pale cheeks ; and there was afterwards ma- 
nifested a western face with lips quivering with astonishment. 41. A 
fourth was subsequently formed, beautiful, disquieted by the arrows of 
love. Then another was produced from the disturbing influence of the 
same passion, (42) and from eagerness in gazing after her as she rose 
upwards in the sky. That austere fervour, extremely dreadful, which 
Brahma had practised with a view to creation, (43) was entirely lost 
through his desire to approach his daughter (carnally) . Through this 
was produced speedily the fifth face (or, according to one MS., the upper, 

205 Such appears to be the reading of the Gaikowar MS. The original reading of 
the Taylor MS. has been erased, and another substituted, tatas tat-samaye tvam cha. 


the fifth face) of the wise deity, (44) which appeared with matted hair, 
and which he covered up. Brahma then said to the sons who had 
sprung from him, (45) ' create living heings everywhere, gods, asuras, 
and men.' They, being thus addressed, created heings of various kinds. 
46. When they had gone away for the purpose of creating, he, who is 
the universe, took for his wife the unblamed S'atarupa. 47. Sickened 
with love, he cohabited with her : like any ordinary being, he loved 
her, though she was full of shame embowered in the hollow of a 
lotus, (48) for a hundred, years of the gods. A long time after, a son 
was born to her, Manu (49) called Svayambhuva, who, as we have 
heard, is Viraj. From their community of form and qualities he is 
called Adhipurusha. 208 50. From him were sprung those numerous 
Vairajas, steadfast in religious observances, those seven glorious sons of 
Svayambhu, and those other seven Manus, (51) beginning with Svaro- 
chisha and Auttami, in form equal to Brahma, of whom thou w art now 
the seventh. (4th chapter) 1. Manu says : ' Ah ! this is most afflicting, 
this entrance of love into the god. How was it that the lotus-born did 
not incur guilt by that act? 2. And how did a matrimonial connection 
take place between persons of the same family who were sprung from 
him? Solve this doubt of mine, o Lord. The Fish replied: 3. This 
primeval creation was celestial, produced from the quality of passion 
(rajas') ; it had senses removed beyond the cognizance of sense, and 
bodies of the same description, (4) was possessed of celestial energy, 
derived from celestial knowledge, and cannot be perfectly perceived 
by others with the eye of flesh. 5. Just as serpents know the path 
of serpents, and (beings living) in the sky know the path of all sorts 
of birds, so too the celestials alone, and not men, know the way of 
celestials. 6. And since it is the gods who award the recompence, 
favourable or unfavourable, according as good or bad deeds have been 
done, it is not good for men to examine this (question). 7. Further- 
more, the four-faced (Brahma) is the ruler of all the gods, and in like 
manner the Gayatri is delared to be a member of Brahma. 8. And, as 

200 Compare the Purusha Sukta, above p. 8, in the fifth verse of which the words 
Virajo adhi purushah occur. If the last two words are combined they give the name 
in the text. 

20 ? This account is given by the deity represented as incarnate in a Fish, to Manu 

they say, there is a pair consisting of the formless, and of that which 
has form. Wherever the divine Viranchi (Brahma) is, there is also 
the goddess Sarasvati. 9. Wherever Bharati (a name of SarasvatI) is, 
there is also Prajapati. Just as shadow is nowhere seen, without sun- 
shine, (10) so Gayatri never forsakes the side of Brahma. He is called 
the collected Veda, and Savitri rests upon him ; (11) there can therefore 
be no fault in his approaching her. Nevertheless, Brahma, the lord of 
creatures, was bowed down with shame, (12) because he had ap- 
proached his own daugther, and cursed Kijsumayudha m (Kama), (in 
these words) ' As even my mind has been agitated by thy arrows, 
Kudra shall speedily reduce thy body to ashes.' Kamadeva then pro- 
pitiated the four- faced deity, saying, (14) ' Thou oughtest not to curse 
me without cause : preserve me. It is by thee thyself that I have 
been created with such a character, (15) an agitator of the organs of 
sense of all embodied creatures. The minds both of men and women 
must always and everywhere (16) be energetically stirred up by me with 
out hesitation : this thou thyself hast formerly declared. It is therefore 
without any fault of mine that I have been thus cursed by thee. 17. 
Be gracious, lord, that I may recover my body.' Brahma answered : 
18. 'When the Vaivasvata Manvantara shall have arrived, a mortal, 
named Rama, sprung from the Yadava race, deriving force from my 
essence, (19) and, becoming incarnate as a destroyer of Asuras, shall 
inhabit Dvaraka. Thou shalt then become a son of his substance and 
like to him," etc. 

The narrator of this legend does not hesitate to depict in the strongest 
colours (though without the least approach to grossness) the helpless 
subjection of Brahma to the influence of sexual desire. This illicit in- 
dulgence was regarded by the authors of the S'atapatha and Aitareya 
Brahmanas as in the highest degree scandalous, and they do not at- 
tempt to palliate its enormity by any mystical explanation, such as 
that which we find in the Matsya Purana. Whether this apology pro- 
ceeded from the original narrator, or from a later writer of a more sen- 
sitive disposition, who perceived its inconsistency with any elevated 
idea of the superior powers, is difficult to say. It is quite possible that 
the same writer who gave his fancy scope in describing the unbecoming 
scene, of which the substance had been handed down in works regarded 
203 The word means " He whose weapons are flowers." 


as authoritative, may also have thought it necessary to discover some 
device for counteracting the scandal. On the other hand, the original 
writer seems to cut himself off from the privilege of resorting to any 
mystical refinements to explain away the offence, by having in the first 
instance represented Brahma's indulgence as on a level with that of 
ordinary beings. And even after the apology has been concluded, we 
are still told that Brahma could not help feeling ashamed of what he 
had done. The writer of the explanation ought to have perceived that 
if his defence was of any value, the deity for whom he was apologizing 
had no ground for humiliation. But he did not venture to expunge the 
popular features of the story. The grounds on which the apology pro- 
ceeds are partly of the same character as those which the writer of 
the Bhagavata Purana assumes in the passage (x. 33, 27 ff.) which is 
given in the fourth volume of this work, pp. 42 f., viz., that the gods 
are not to be judged on the same principles as men, that " the celestials 
have laws of their own" (sunt supcris sua jura}. The Bhagavata 
Purana has, however, different measures for Brahma and for Krishna ; 
for whilst the adultery of the latter is defended in the verses just re- 
ferred to, no desire is shown to vindicate the former in the other pas- 
sage, iii. 12, 28 ff., adduced in the same volume, page 40. 

As regards the details of the story according to the different Puranas, 
I may observe that while the Vishnu, the Vayu (see above, pp. 65, 
and 106), and the Markandeya Puranas, xl. 13 f., represent S'atarupa as 
the wife of Manu Svayambhuva, the Matsya Purana, as we have just 
seen, declares her to have been the spouse of Brahma himself, and the 
mother of Manu Svayambhuva. 209 This is repeated in the twenty- 
sixth verse of the fourth chapter : 

Yd sd dehdrddha-sambhutd Gdyatrl brahma-vddml \ janarii yd Manor 
devi S'atarupd S'atendriyd \ 27. Raiir Manas Tapo Buddhir mahad-ddi- 
samudbhavd 21 | tatah sa S'atarupdydm saptdpatydny ajljanat \ 28. Ye 
Marlchyddayah putrdh mdnasds tasya dhlmatah \ teshdm ayam abhul 
lokah sarva-jndndtmakah purd \ 29. Tata 'srijad Vdmadevam trisula- 
vara-dhdrinam \ Sanatkumdrancha vilhum purveshdm api purvajatn \ 30. 

209 Compare the account given in Manu's Institutes (above, p. 36), which does not 
coincide in all particulars with any of the Puranas here quoted. 

210 In this line the original readings are in several places erased in the Taylor MS. 
I have endeavoured to restore it with the help of the Gaikowar MS. 



Vdmadevas tu lhagavtin asrijad mukhato dvijdn \ rdjanydn asrijad bdhvor 
Vit-iudrdv m uru-pddayoh | . . . . 35. Svdyambhuvo Manur dhlmdms 
tapas taptvd suduscharam \ patnlm avdpa rupddhydm Anantdm ndma 
ndmatah \ Priyavratottdnapddau Hanm tasydm ajljanat \ 

11 She who was produced from the half of his body, Gayatri the de- 
clarer of sacred science, she who was the mother of Manu, the goddess 
S'atarupa (i.e. having a hundred forms), S'atendriya (i.e. having a 
hundred senses), (27) (was also) Eati, Mind, Austere Fervour, Intel- 
lect, sprung from Mahat and the other principles. He then begot upon 
S'atarupa seven sons. 28. This world, composed of all knowledge, 
sprang from Marlchi, and the others who were the mind-born sons of 
that wise Being. He next created Vamadeva (Mahadeva), the wielder 
of the excellent trident, and the lord Sanatkumara, born before the 
earliest. 30. Then the divine Vamadeva created Brahmans from his 
mouth, Rajanyas from his breast, the Vis and the Sftdra from his 
thighs and feet." [After describing in the following verses some other 
creations of Vamadeva, the writer proceeds in verse 35 :] " The wise 
Manu Svayambhuva, having practised austere fervour of the most 
arduous kind, obtained a beautiful wife named Ananta. On her he 
begot Priyavrata and Uttanapada." 

Having made Manu the son of S'atarupa, the writer was obliged to 
give him another female for a wife, as we see he has here done. 

It will be observed that in this passage Vamadeva and not Brahma, 
as in the other Puranas is described as the creator of the four castes. 

SECT. X. Quotations from the Rtimdyana on the Creation, and on the 
Origin of Castes. 

The substance of the first of the following passages has already been 
stated above in a note on page 36. Part of it is also quoted in p. 54, 
and it is more fully cited in the fourth volume of this work, p. 29, but 
for facility of reference I repeat it here. 

Ramayana (Bombay edition) ii. 110, 1. JTruddham djndya Rdmam tu 
Vasishthah pratyuvdcha ha \ Jdtdlir api jdnlte lolcasydsya yatdgatim \ 
2. Nivarttayitu-Mmas tu tvdm etad vdkyam alravlt \ imam loka-samut- 


pattim lolca-ndtha nibodha me \ 3. Sarvam salilam evdslt prithhi tatra 
nirmitd \ tatah samabhavat Brahma, Svayambhur daivataih sttha \ 4. Sa 
vardhas tato bhutvd projjahdra vasundhardm \ asrijach cha jagat sarvaih 
saha putraih Icritdtmabhih \ 5. Akdsaprabhavo Brahma sdsvato nitya 
avy ayah \ tasmdd Marlchih sanjajne Maricheh Kasyapah sutah \ 6. Vivas- 
van Kasyapdj jajne Manur Vaivasvatah svayam \ sa tu prajdpatih pur- 
vam Ikshvdkus tu Manoh sutah \ 7. Yasyeyam prathamam dattd samrid- 
dhd Manund mahl \ tarn Ikshvdkum Ayodhydydm rdjdnam viddht pur- 
vakam \ 

"1. Perceiving Kama to be incensed su Yasishtlia replied: 'Jabali 
also knows the destruction and renovation of this world. 2. But he 
spoke as he did from a desire to induce you to return. Learn from 
me, lord of the earth, this (account of) the origin of the world. 3. The 
universe was nothing but water. In it the earth was fashioned. Then 
Brahma Svayambhu came into existence, with the deities. He next,, 
becoming a boar, raised up the earth, and created the entire world, with 
the saints his sons. 5. Brahma, the eternal, unchanging, and unde- 
caying, was produced from the asther (dlcdsa). From him sprang 
Marichi, of whom Kasyapa was the son. 6. Prom Kasyapa sprang 
Vivasvat : and from him was descended Manu, who was formerly the 
lord of creatures (prajdpati], Ikshvaku 212 was the son of Manu (7) 
and to him this prosperous earth was formerly given by his father. 
Know that this Ikshvaku was the former king in Ayodhya." 

The account which I next quote does not agree with the last in its 
details, as, besides representing the Prajapatis or sons of Brahma to be 
seventeen in number, it places Marichi, Kasyapa, and Yivasvat in the 
same rank as contemporaries, while the former narrative declares them 
to have been respectively father, son, and grandson. 

Eamayana iii. 14, 5. Rdniasya vachanam srutvd kulam dtmdnam eva 
cha | dchachahshe dvijas tasmai sarva-bhuta-sa/nmdlhavam \ 6. Purva- 
kdle mahdbdho ye prujdpatayo 'bhavan \ tan me nigadatah sarvdn dditah 
srinu Rdghava \ 7. Kardamah prathamas teshtim Vikritas tad-anan- 
taram \ S'eshas cha Samsrayas chaiva Bahuputras cha vlryavdn \ 8. 

211 On account of a materialistic and immoral argument which had been addressed 
to him by Jabali to induce him to disregard his deceased father's arrangements 
regarding the succession to the throne. See Journ. Roy. As. Soc. vol. xix. pp. 303 ff. 

212 The name Ikshvaku occurs in R. V. x. 60, 4. See Professor Max Miillev's 
article in Journ. Roy. As. Soc. for 1866, pp. 451 and 462. 


Sthdnur Marlckir Atris cha Kratus chaiva mahdlalah \ Pulastyas chdn- 
girds chaiiyi Prachetdh Pulahas tathd \ 9. DaTcsho Vivasvdn aparo 'rish- 
(anemis cha Rdghava \ Kasyapas cha mahatejds teshdm dslch cha paschi- 
mah | 10. Prajdpates tu Dakshasya babhuvur iti visrutdh \ shashtir 
duhitaro Rdma yaSasvinyo mahdyasah \ 11. Kasyapah pratijagrdha 
tdsdm ashtau sumadhyamdh \ Aditim cha Ditim chaiva Danum api cha 
Kdlakdm \ 12. Tdmrdm Krodhavasdih chaiva Mamim m chdpy Analdm 
api | ids tu kanyds tatah prltah Kasyapah punar abravlt \ 13. Putrdms 
trailokya-bhartrin vai janayishyatha mat-samdn \ Aditis tan-tndndh 
Rdma Ditischa Danur eva cha \ 14. Kdldkd cha mahdldho seshds tv 
amanaso m 'bhavan \ Aditydm jajnire devds trayastrimsad arindama \ 
15. Adityd Vasavo Rudra Asvinau cha parantapa | . . . . 29. Manur 
manushydn janayat Kdsya/pasya mahdtmanah \ brdhmandn Icshattriydn 
vaisydn sudrdns cha manujarshabha \ 30. Mukhato Irdhmand jdtdh ura- 
sah kshattriyds tathd \ urubhydm jajnire vaiiydh padbhydm sudrd iti 
srutih | 31. Sarvdn punya-phaldn vrikshdn Anald 'pi vyajdyata \ 

" 5. Having heard the words of Rama, the bird (Jatdyus) made known 
to him his own race, and himself, and the origin of all beings. 6. 
' Listen while I declare to you from the commencement all the Praja- 
patis (lords of creatures) who came into existence in the earliest time. 
7. Kardama was the first, then Vikrita, S'esha, Samsraya, the energetic 
Bahuputra, (8) Sthanu, Marlchi, Atri, the strong Kratu, Pulastya, 
Angiras, Prachetas, Pulaha, (9) Daksha, then Vivasvat, Arishtanemi, 
and the glorious Kasyapa, who was the last. 10. The Prajapati Dak- 
sha is famed to have had sixty daughters. 11. Of these Kasyapa took 
in marriage eight elegant maidens, Aditi, Diti, Danii, Kalaka, (12) 
Tamra, Krodhavasa, Manu, 215 and Anala. Kasyapa, pleased, then said 

213 Balam Atibalam api. Gorr. 2U Manoratha-Klnah. Comm. 

215 I should have doubted whether Manu could have been the right reading here, 
but that it occurs again in verse 29, where it is in like manner followed in verse 31 
by Anala, so that it would certainly seem that the name Manu is intended to stand 
for a female, the daughter of Daksha. The Gauda recension, followed by Signor Gor- 
resio (iii. 20, 12), adopts an entirely different reading at the end of the line, viz. 
Balam Atibalam api, " Bala and Atibala," instead of Manu and Anala. I see that 
Professor Eoth s.v. adduces the authority of the Amara Kosha and of the Commen- 
tator on Panini for stating that the word sometimes means " the wife of Manu." 
In the following text of the Mahabharata i. 2553, also, Manu appears to be the 
name of a female : Anavadyam Manum Vandam Asuram Marganapriyam \ Anupam 
Subhagam Bhaslm iti Pradha vyajayata \ " Pradha (daughter of Daksha) bore Ana- 
vadya, Manu, Vans'a, Asura, Marganapriya, Anupa, Subhaga, and Bhasl. 


to these maids, (13) 'ye shall bring forth SODS like to me, preservers 
of the three worlds.' Aditi, Diti, Danu, (14) and Kalaka assented; 
but the others did not agree. Thirty-three gods were borne by Aditi, 
the Adityas, Yasus, Rudras, and the two Asvins." [The following 
verses 15-28 detail the oifspring of Diti, Danu, Kalaka, Tamra, Kro- 
dhavasa, as well as of KraunchI, Bhasi, Syeni, Dhritarashtri, and 
S'uki the daughters of Kalaka, and of the daughters of Krodhavas'a. 
(Compare the Mahabharata, i. 2620-2635 ; and "Wilson's Vishnu Pu- 
rana, vol. ii. pp. 72 f.) After this we come upon Manu and the 
creation of mankind.] "$9. Manu, (wife) of Kasyapa, 218 produced 
men, Brahmans, Eshattriyas, Vaisyas, and Sudras. 30. 'Brahmans 
were born from the mouth, Kshattriyas from the breast, Vaisyas from 
the thighs, and S'udras from the feet,' so says the Veda. 31. Anala 
gave birth to all trees with pure fruits." 

It is singular to observe that in this passage, after having repre- 
sented men of all castes as sprung from Manu r the writer next adds 
a verse to state, on the authority of the Veda, that the different 
castes were produced from the different parts of the body out of which 
they issued. Unless Manu's body be here meant, there is a contra- 
diction between the two statements. If Manu's body is meant, the 
assertion conflicts with the common account. And if the Manu here 
mentioned is, as appears from the context, a woman, we should na- 
turally conclude that her offspring was born in the ordinary way; 
especially as she is said to have been one of the wives of Kas"yapa. 

The next passage from the TJttara Kanda of the Eamayana, 74, 8 f., 
describes the condition of men in the Krita age, and the subsequent 
introduction of the caste system in the Treta. The description pur- 
ports to have been occasioned by an incident which had occurred just 
before. A Brahman had come to the door of llama's palace in Ayodhya, 
carrying the body of his dead son, 217 and bewailing his loss, the blame 

216 The text reads Kas'yapa, " a, descendant of KSsyapa," who, according to Ram. 
ii. 110, 6, ought to he Vivasvat. But as it is stated in the preceding part of this 
passage iii. 14, 11 f. that Manu was one of Kas'yapa' s eight wives, we must here 
read KSs'yapa. The Gauda recension reads (iii. 20, 30) Manur manushyams cha 
talha janayamasa Baghava, instead of the corresponding line in the Bombay edition. 

21 7 The boy is said, in 73, 5, to have been aprapta-yauvanam balam pancha -varshu- 
sahasrakam \ " a boy of five thousand years who had not attained to puberty !'' The 
Commentator says that varsha here means not a year, but a day (varsha-sabdo'tra 


of which (as he was himself unconscious of any fault) he attributed to 
some misconduct on the part of the king. Rama in consequence con- 
voked his councillors, when the divine sage Narada spoke as follows : 

8. S'rinu rdjan yathd 'kale prdpto Mlasya, sankshayah \ srutvd kart- 
tavyatdih rdjan kurushva Raghunandana \ 9. purd hrita-yuge rdjan 
Irdhmand vai tapasvinah \ 10. Alrdhmanas tadd rdjan na tapasvl ka- 
thanchana \ tasmin yuge prajvalite Irahmalhute tv andvrite \ \\.Amri- 
tyavas tadd sarve jajnire dlrgha-darsinah \ tatas tretd-yugam ndma md- 
navdndm vapushmatdm \ 12. Kshattriyd yatra jay ante purvena tapasd 
'nvitdh | vlryyena tapasd chaiva te ' dhikdh purva-janmani \ mdnavd ye 
mahdtmdnas tatra tretd-yuge yuge \ 13. Brahma kshattram cha tat sar- 
vam yat purvam ma/ram cha yat \ yugayor ulhayor aslt sama-vlryya- 
samanvitam \ 14. Apasyantas tu te sarve visesham adhikam tatah \ sthd- 
panam chakrire tatra chaturvarnyasya sammatam \ 15. Tasmin yuge 
prajvalite dharrnabhute hy andvrite \ adharmah pddam ekam tu pdtayat 
prithivltale | .... 19. Pdtite tv anrite tasminn adharmena mahltale \ 
&ulhdny evdcharal lokah satya-dliarma-pardyanah \ 20. Tretd-yuge cha 
varttante Irdhmandh kshattriydi cha ye \ tapo 'tapyanta te sarve susru- 
shdm apare jandh \ 21. Sva-dharmah paramas teshdm vaisya-sudram 
tadd v gamat \ pujdrfi cha sarva-varndndm sudrds chakrur viseshatah \ 

23. Tatah pddam adharmasya dvitlyam avdtdrayat \ tato 

dvdpara-sankhyd sd yugasya samajdyata \ 24. Tasmin dvdpard-sankhye 
tu varttamdne yuga-kshaye \ adharmas chdnritam chaiva vavridhe puru- 
sharshalha \ 25. Asmin dvdpara-sankhydte tapo vaisydn samdvisat \ 
trilhyo yugebhyas trln varndn kramdd vai tapa dvisat \ 26. Tribhyo 
yugebhyas trln varndn dharmascha parinishthitah \ na sudro lalhate 
dharmam yugatas tu nararshalha \ 27. Hlna-varno nripa-sreshtha 
tapyate sumahat tapah \ Ihavishyachchhudrayonydm hi tapas-charyd 
kalau yuge \ 28. adharmah paramo rdjan dvdpare sudra-janmanah \ 
sa vai vishaya-paryante tava rdjan mahdtapdh \ 29. Adya tapyati 
durluddhis tena Idla-ladho hy ayam \ 

Narada speaks : 8. "Hear, o king, how the hoy's untimely death 
occurred : and having heard the truth regarding what ought to be 

dinaparah), just as it does in the ritual prescription that a man should perform a 
sacrifice lasting a thousand years (*' sahasra-samvatsaraih satram upasita" iti vat), 
and that thus some interpreters made out the boy's age to be sixteen, and others under 
fourteen. But this would be a most unusual mode of reckoning age. 


done, do it. 9. Formerly, in the Krita age, Brahmans alone practised 
austere fervour (tapas). 10. None who was not a Brahman did so in 
that enlightened age, instinct with divine knowledge (or, with Brahma), 
unclouded (by darkness). 11. At that period all were born immortal, 
and far-sighted. Then (came) the Treta age, the era of embodied men, 
(12) in which the Kshattriyas were born, distinguished still by their 
former austere fervour ; although those men who were great in the Treta 
age had been greater, both in energy and austere fervour, in the former 
birth. 13. All the Brahmans and Kshattriyas, both the former and the 
later, were of equal energy in both Yugas. 218 14. But not perceiving 
any more distinction (between the then existing men) they all 219 next 
established the approved system of the four castes. 15. Yet in that 
enlightened age, instinct with righteousness, unclouded (by darkness), 
unrighteousness planted one foot upon the earth." [After some other 
remarks (verses 16-18), which are in parts obscure, the writer pro- 
ceeds :] 19. "But, although this falsehood had been planted upon the 
earth by unrighteousness, the people, devoted to true righteousness, 
practised salutary observances. 20. Those Brahmans and Kshattriyas 
who lived in the Treta practised austere fervour, and the rest of man- 
kind obedience. 21. (The principle that) their own duty was the chief 
thing pervaded the Vaisyas and S'udras among them : and the S'udras 

especially paid honour to all the (other) classes 23. Next the 

second foot of unrighteousness was planted on the earth, and the number 
of the Dvapara (the third yuga) was produced. 24. When this deterior- 
ation of the age numbered as the Dvapara, had come into existence, 

218 The Commentator says, this means that in the Krita age the Brahmans were 
superior, and the Kshattriyas inferior (as the latter had not then the prerogative of 
practising tapas), but that in the Treta both classes were equal (ubhayor yuyayor 
madhye krita-yuge brahma purvam tapo-vlryabhyam utkrishtam hshattram chavaram 
cha tabhyam tapo-viryabhyam nyunam asit \ tat sarvam brahma-kshattra-rupam 
ubhayam tretayam sama-vlrya-samanvitam asit \ krite kshattriyanam tapasy anadhi- 
karat tadyugiyebhyo brahmanebhyas tesham nyunata \ tretayam tu ubhayo rapt tapo- 
'dhikarad ubhav api tapo-viryabhyam samau | But in the previous verse (12) it is said 
that the Kshattriyas were born in the Treta distinguished by their former tapas. But 
perhaps they were formerly Brahmans, according to verses 9, 10, and 12. 

*i Manu and other legislators of that age, according to the Commentator (Manv- 
adayah sarve tatkalikah dharma-pravarttanadhikritah). He adds that in the Krita 
age all the castes were spontaneously devoted to their several duties, although no fixed 
system had been prescribed (krite tu vinaiva sthapanam svayam eva^sarve varnuh sva- 
sva-dharma-ratah] . 


unrighteousness and falsehood increased. 25. In this age, numbered as 
the Dvapara, austere fervour entered into the Yaisyas. Thus in the 
course of three ages it entered into three castes ; (26) and in the three 
ages righteousness (dharma] was established in three castes. But the 
S'udra does not attain to righteousness through the (lapse of these 
three) ages. 27. A man of low caste performs a great act of austere 
fervour. Such observance will belong to the future race of S'udras in 
the Kali age, (28) but is unrighteous in the extreme if practised by 
that caste in the Dvapara. On the outskirts of thy territory such a 
foolish person, of intense fervour, is practising austerity. Hence this 
slaughter of the boy." 

Here then was a clue to the mystery of the young Brahman's death. 
A presumptuous S'udra, paying no regard to the fact that in the age 22 
in which he lived the prerogative of practising self-mortification had 
not yet descended to the humble, class to which he belonged, had been 
guilty of seeking to secure a store of religious merit by its exercise. 
Rama mounts his car Pushpaka, makes search in different regions, and 
at length comes upon a person who was engaged in the manner alleged. 
The S'udra, on being questioned, avows his caste, and his desire to 
conquer for himself the rank of a god by the self-mortification he was 
undergoing. Rama instantly cuts off the offender's head. The gods 
applaud the deed, and a shower of flowers descends from the sky 
upon the vindicator of righteousness. Having been invited to solicit 
a boon from the gods, he asks that the Brahman boy may be resusci- 
tated, and is informed that he was restored to life at the same moment 
when the S'udra was slain. (Sections 75 and 76. ) 221 

The following curious account of the creation of mankind, among 
whom it states that no distinction of class (or colour) originally existed, 
is given in the TJttara Kanda, xxx. 19 ff., where Brahma says to Indra : 

Amarendra mayd buddhyd prajdh srishtds tathd prabho \ eka-varnuh 
sama-bhdshd elca-rupds cha sarvasah \ 20. Tdsdm ndsti visesho hi darsane 
lalcshane 'pi vd \ tato 'ham ekdgramands tali prajdh samacJiintayam \ 
21. So 'ham tdsdm viseshdrtham striyam ekdm vinirmame \ yad yat 
prajanam pratyangam msishtam tat tad uddhritam \ 22. Tato maya 

22 The Treta, according to the Commentator. 

221 See the Rev. Professor Banerjea's Dialogues on the Hindu philosophy, pp. 44 ff., 
where attention had previously been drawn to the story. 


rupa-gunair ahalyd strt vinirmitd \ Jialam ndmeha vairupyam halyaih 
tat-prabhavam bhavet \ 23. Yasyd na vidyate Jialyam tendhalyeti visrutd \ 
Ahalyety eva cha mayd tasyd ndma praklrttitam \ 24. Nirmitdydm cha 
devendra tasydm ndrydm surarshabha \ Ihavishyatlti kasyaishd mama 
chtntd tato 'bhavat \ 25. Tvam lu S'alcra tadd ndrlm jdnishe manasd 
prabho \ sthdnddhikatayd patnl mamaisheti purandara \ 26. Sa mayd 
nydsa-bhutd tu Gautamasya mahdtmanah \ nyastd bahuni varshdni tena 
nirydtitd cha ha \ 27. Tatas tasya parijndya mahdsthairyam maJidmu- 
neh | j'ndtvd tapasi siddhim cha patny-artham spar&itd tadd \ 28. Sa 
tayd saha dharmdtmd ramate sma mahdmunih \ dsan nirdsd devds hi 
Gautame dattayd tayd \ 29. Tvam kruddhas tv iha kdmdtmd gatvd 
tasydsramam muneh \ drishtavdms cha tadd tdm strlm dlptdm agni- 
Sikhdm wa \ 30. ^a tvayd dharshitd S'akra Icdmdrttena samanyund j 
drishtas tvam cha tadd tena dsrame paramarshind \ 31. Tatah kruddhena 
tendsi saptah paramatejasd \ gato 'si yena devendra dasd-lJidga-vipar- 
yayam \ 

"19. chief of the immortals (Indra) all creatures were formed by 
my will of one class (or colour), with the same speech, and uniform in 
every respect. 20. There was no distinction between them in ap- 
pearance, or in characteristic marks. I then intently reflected on these 
creatures. 21. To distinguish between them I fashioned one woman. 
Whatever was most excellent in the several members of different crea- 
tures was taken from them, (22) and with this (aggregate) I formed a 
female, faultless in beauty and in all her qualities. Sola means ' ugli- 
ness,' and halya, ' what is produced from ugliness/ 23. The woman in 
whom there is no halya, is called Ahalyd. And this was her name to 
which I gave currency. .24. "When this female had been fashioned, I 
anxiously considered to whom she should belong. 25. Thou, Indra, 
didst, from the eminence of thy rank, determine in thy mind, ' She 
must be my spouse.' 26. I, however, gave her in trust to the great 
Gautama ; and after having retained her in charge for many years, he 
restored her. 27. Knowing then the great steadfastness of that distin- 
guished Muni, and the perfection of his austere fervour, I, in due form, 
gave her to him for his wife. 28. The holy sage lived with her in the 
enjoyment of connubial love. But the gods were filled with despair 
when she had been given away to Gautama. 29. And thou, Indra, 
angry, as well as inflamed with lust, wentest to the Muni's hermitage, 


and didst behold that female brilliant as the flame of fire. 30. She 
was then corrupted by thee who wert tormented by lust, as well as 
heated by anger. 222 But thou wert then seen by the eminent rishi in 
the hermitage, (31) and cursed by that glorious being in his indignation. 
Thou didst in consequence fall into a reverse of condition and fortune," 
etc., etc. 

SECT. XI. Extracts from the Mahdbhdrata on the same subjects. 

The first passage which I shall adduce is from the Adi Parvan, or 
first book, verses 2517 ff. : 

Yaisampdyana uvdcha \ hanta te kathayishydmi namaskritya Svayam- 
bhuve | surddlndm aham samyak lokdndm pralhavdpyayam \ Brahmano 
mdnasdk putrdh viditdh shan-maharshayah \ Marlchir A.try-angirasau 
Pulastyah Pulahah Kratuh \ Marlcheh Kasyapah putrah JTasyapdt tu 
prajd imdh \ prajajnire mah&bhagd Daksha-kanyds trayodasa \ 2520. 
Aditir Ditir Danuh JTdld Dandyuh Simhikd tatha \ Krodhd Pradhd eha 
Visva cha Vinatd Kapild Munih \ Kadrus cha manujavydghra Daksha- 
kanyaiva Bharata \ etdsdm virya-sampannam putra-pautram anantakam \ 

" Yaisampayana said: I shall, after making obeisance to Svayam- 
bhu, relate to thee exactly the production and destruction of the gods 
and other beings. Six 228 great rishis are known as the mind-born sons 

222 In regard to this story of Indra and Ahalya, as well as to that of Brahma and 
his daughter, above referred to, see the explanation given by Kumiirila Bhatta, as 
quoted by Professor Max Miiller in his Hist, of Anc. Sansk. Lit. p. 529 f. The name 
of Ahalya is there allegorically interpreted of the night, to which this name is said 
to have been given because it is absorbed in the day (ahani llyamanataya). Indra is 
the sun. 

223 Another passage (S'anti-p. 7569 ff.) raises the number of Brahma's sons to seven 
by adding Vasishtha : Ekah Svayambhur bhagavan adyo Brahma sanatanah \ Brah- 
manah sapta vai putra mahatmanah Svayambhuvah \ Marlchir Atry-Angirasau Pu- 
lastyah Pulahah Kratuh \ Vasishthascha mahabhagah sadriso vai Svayambhuva \ 
sapta Brahmana ity ete pwrane nischayam gatah \ " There is one primeval eternal lord, 
Brahma Svayambhu; who had seven great sons, Marichi, Atri, Angiras, Pulastya, 
Pulaha, Kratu, and Vasishtha, who was like Svayambhu. These are the seven Brah- 
mas who have been ascertained in the Puranic records." In another part of the same 
S'antiparvan, verses 12685 ff., however, the Prajapatis are increased to twenty-one : 
Brahma Sthanur Manur Daksho Bhrigur Dharmas tatha Yamah \ Marlchir Angira 
'trischa, Pulastyah Pulahah Kratuh \ Vasishthah Parameshtln cha Vivasvan Soma 
eva cha \ Kardamas chapi yah proktah Kroclho Vikrlta eva cha \ ekavimsatir utpanrias 
te prajapatayah smritah \ " There are reputed to have been twenty-one Prajapatis 
produced, viz. Brahma, Sthanu, Manu, Daksha, Bhrigu, Dharma, Yarna, Marichi, 


of Brahma, viz., Marichi, Atri, Angiras, Pulastya, Pulaha, and Kratu. 
Kasyapa was the son of Marlchi ; and from Kasyapa sprang these 
creatures. There were born to Daksha thirteen daughters of eminent 
rank, (2520) Aditi, Diti, Danu, Kala, Danayu, Simhika, Krodha, 
Pradha, Yisva, Vinata, Kapila, and Muni. 224 Kadru also was of the 
number. These daughters had valorous sons and grandsons innu- 

Daksha, however, had other daughters, as we learn further on in 

verses 2574 ff., where the manner of his own birth also is related : 

Dakshas tv ajdyatdngushthdd dafahindd bhagavdn rishih \ Brahmanah 
prithivipdla sdntdtmd sumahdtapdh \ vdmdd ajdyatdngmhthtid bhdryd 
tasya mahdtmanah \ tasydm panchdsatam Icanydh sa evdjanayad munih \ 
.... 2577. Dadau cha dasa Dharmdya saptavimsatim Indave \ divyena 

vidhina rdjan Kasyapdya trayodasa \ 2581. Paitdmahah Manur 

devas tdsya putrah prajdpatih \ tasydshtau Yasmah putrds teshdm vak- 

shydmi vistaram \ 2595. Stanam tu dakshinam bhitvd rah- 

mano nara-vigraJiah \ nissrito bhagavdn Dharmak sarva-loka-sukhdvahah \ 
trayas tasya vardh putrdh sarva-bhuta-manohardh \ 8' amah Kdmas cha 

Harshas cha tejasd lolta-dhdrinah \ 2610. Arushl to Manoh 

kanyd tasya patnl mamshinah \ 2614. Dvau putrau Brahmanas 

tv anyau yayos tishthati lakshanam \ loke Dhdtd Vidhdtd cha yau sthitau 
Manund saha \ tayor eva svasd devl Lakshml padma-grihd subhd \ tasyds 

tu mdnasdh putrds turagdh vyoma-chdrinah \ 2617. Prajdndm 

annaMmdndm anyonya-paribhakshandt \ Adharmas tatra sanjdtah sarva- 
bhuta-vindsakah \ tasydpi Nirritir bhdryd nairritd yena Rdhshasdh \ 
ghords tasyds trayah putrdh pdpa-ltarma-ratdh sadd \ Bhayo Mahd- 
bhayas chaiva Mrityur bhutdntakas tathd \ na tasya bhdryd putro vd 
Tcaschid asty antako hi sah \ 

Angiras, Atri, Pulastya, Pulaha, Kratu, Vas'ishtha, Parameshthin, Vivasvat, Soma, 
the person called Kardama, Krodha, and Viki-ita." (Here, however, only twenty 
names are specified including Brahma, himself.) Compare this list with those quoted 
above, p. 116, from the Ramayana, iii. 14, 7 ff., from Manu in p. 36, and from the 
Vishnu P. in p. 65. 

224 That Muni is a name, and not an epithet, is shown (1) by the fact that we have 
otherwise only twelve names ; and (2) by her descendants, both gods and gandharvas, 
being afterwards enumerated in verses 2550 ff. (ity ete deva-gandharva Mauneyah 
pariJclrltitah). Kapila, another of the thirteen daughters of Daksha is said to have 
been the mother of Ambrosia, Brahmans, kine, Gandharvas and Apsarasas (amrilam 
brahmana gaw gandharvapsarasas tatha \ apatyam kapilayas tu purane pariklrt- 
titam | ). 


"2574. Daksha, the glorious rishi, tranquil in spirit, and great in 
austere fervour, sprang from the right thumb of Brahma. 225 From the 
left thumb sprang that great Muni's wife, on whom he begot fifty 226 
daughters. Of these he gave ten to Dharma, twenty-seven to Indu 
(Soma), 227 and according to the celestial system, thirteen to Kasyapa." 
I proceed with some other details given in the verses I have extracted : 
2581. " Pitamaha's descendant, Manu, the god and the lord of creatures, 
was his (it does not clearly appear whose) son. The eight Vasus, whom 

I shall detail, were his sons 2595. Dividing the right breast of 

Brahma, the glorious Dharma (Righteousness), issued in a human form, 
bringing happiness to all people. He had three eminent sons, S'ama, 
Kama, and Harsha (Tranquillity, Love, and Joy), who are the delight 

of all creatures, and by their might support the world 2610. 

Arushi, the daughter of Manu, was the wife of that sage (Chyavana, 

son of Bhrigu) 2614. There are two other sons of Brahma, 

whose mark remains in the world, Dhatri, 228 and Vidhatri, who re- 
mained with Manu. Their sister was the beautiful goddess Lakshml, 220 
whose home is in the lotus. Her mind-born sons are the steeds who 
move in the sky 2617. "When the creatures who were de- 
sirous of food, had devoured one another, Adharma (Unrighteousness) 
was produced, the destroyer of all beings. His wife was Mrriti, and 
hence the Rakshasas are called Nairritas, or the offspring of Nirriti. 
She had three dreadful sons, continually addicted to evil deeds, Bhaya 
Mahabhaya (Fear and Terror) and Mrityu (Death) the ender of beings. 
He has neither wife, nor any son, for he is the ender." 230 

The next passage gives a different account of the origin of Daksha ; 
and describes the descent of mankind from Manu : 

Adip. 3128. Tejolhir uditah sane maharshi-sama-tefasah \ dasa Pra- 

225 See above, p. 72 f. The Matsya P. also states that Daksha sprang from Brah- 
ma's right thumb, Dharma from his nipple, Kama from his heart, etc. 

228 The passage of the Ramayana, quoted above, p. 116, affirms that they were 
sixty in number. Compare "Wilson's Vishnu P. vol. i. pp. 109 ff., and vol. ii. pp. 19 ff. 

22 ? The Taitt. Sanhita, ii. 3, 5, 1, says Prajapati had thirty-three daughters, whom 
he gave to King Soma (Prajapates trayastrimsad duhitara asan \ tah Somaya rajne 

228 Dhatri had been previously mentioned, in verse 2523, as one of the sous of 
Aditi. See also "Wilson's Vishnu P. ii. 152. 

2 > See Wilson's Vishnu P. i. pp. 109, 118 ff., 144 ff. and 152. 

230 The Vishnu P. (Wilson, i. 112) says he had five children. 


chetasah putrdh santah punya-jandh smritdh \ mukhajendgnind yais te 
purvam dagdhd mahaujasah \ tebhyah Prdchetaso jajne Daksho Dakshdd 
imdh prajdh \ sambhutdh purusha-vydghra so, hi loka-pitdmahah \ 
Vlrinyd saha sangamya Dakshah Prdchetaso munih \ dtma-tulydn aja- 
nayat sahasram samsita-vratdn \ sahasra-sankhydn sambhutdn Daksha- 
putrdms cha Ndradah \ moksham adhydpaydmdsa sdnkhya-jndnam anut- 
tamam \ tatah panchdsatam kanydh putrikdh abhisandadhe \Prajdpatih 
prajah Dakshah sisrikshur Janamejaya \ dadau cha dasa Dharmdya 
Kasyapdya trayodasa I kdlasya nayane yuktdh saptavimsatim Indave \ 
3135. Trayodasdndm pdtriindm yd tu Ddkshdyanl vard \ Mdrlchah 
Kasyapas tasydm Aditydn samajyanat \ Indrddln vlryya-sampanndn 
Vivasvantam athdpi cha \ Vivasvatah suto jajne Tamo Vaivasvatah pra- 
bhuh | Mdrtandasya Manur dhlmdn ajdyata, sutah prabhuh \ Yamas 
chdpi suto jajne khydtas tasydnujah prabhuh \ dharmdtmd so, Manur 
dhlmdn yatra vamsah pratisht hitah \ Manor vamso mdnavdndm tato 'yam 
prathito 'bhavat \ brahma-kshatrddayas tasmdd Manor jdtds tu mdnavdh \ 
tato 'bhavad mahdrdja brahma kshattrena sangatam \ 3140. Brdhmand 
mdnavds teshdm sdngam vedam adhdrayan \ Venam Dhrishnum Narish- 
yantam Ndbhdgekshvdkum eva cha \ Kdrusham atha Sdryatim tathd 
chaifdshtamim Ildm \ Prishadhram navamam prdhuh kshattra- dharma- 
pardyanam \ Ndbhdgdrishta-dasamdn Manoh putrdn prachakshate \ pan- 
chdsat tu Manoh putrds tathaivdnye 'bhavan kshitau \ anyonya-bheddt te 
sarve mnesur iti nah srutam \ Pururavas tato vidvdn Ildyam samapad- 
yata \ sd vat tasydbhavad mdtd pitd chaiveti nah srutam \ 

" 3128. Born all with splendour, like that of great rishis, the ten sons 
of Prachetas are reputed to have been virtuous and holy ; and by them 
the glorious beings 231 were formerly burnt up by fire springing from their 
mouths. From them was born Daksha Prachetasa ; 232 and from Daksha, 
the Parent of the world (were produced), these creatures. Cohabiting 
with Vlrini, the Muni Daksha begot a thousand sons like himself, famous 

231 " Trees and plants," according to the Commentator (mahaprabhava vrikshau- 
shadhayah}. Compare "Wilson's Vishnu P. ii. p. 1. 

232 The same account of' Daksha's birth is given in the S'antip. 7573: Das'anani 
tanayas tv eko Daksho nama prajapatih \ tasya dve naman! lake Dakshah Ka iti cho- 
chyate \ "These ten Prachetases had one son called Daksha,^the lord of creatures. He 
is commonly called by two names, Daksha and Ka." (Compare vol. iv. of this work, 
p. 13, note 30, and p. 24; and the S'atapatha Brahmana, vii. 4, 1, 19, andii. 4, 4, 1, 
there quoted.) The following verse 7574 tells us that Kas'yapa also had two names, 
the other being Arisbtanemi. See Ram. iii. 14, 9, quoted above. 


for their religious observances, to whom Narada taught the doctrine of 
final liberation, the unequalled knowledge of the Sankhya. Desirous of 
creating offspring, the Prajapati Daksha next formed fifty daughters, of 
whom he gave ten to Dharma, thirteen to Kasyapa, and twenty-seven, 

devoted to the regulation of time, 235 to Indu (Som a) 3135. On 

Dakshayam, 234 the most excellent of his thirteen wives, Kasyapa, the 
son of Marlchi, begot the Adityas, headed by Indra and distinguished 
by their energy, and also Vivasvat. 285 To Yivasvat was born a son, the 
mighty Tama Yaivasvata. To Martanda (i.e. Yivasvat, the Sun) was 
born the wise and mighty Manu, and also the renowned Yama, his 
(Manu's) younger brother. Eighteous was this wise Manu, on whom 
a race was founded. Hence this (family) of men became known as the 
race of Manu. Brahmans, Kshattriyas, and other men sprang from this 
Manu. From him, o king, came the Brahman conjoined with the Kshat- 
triya. 3140. Among them the Brahmans, children of Manu, held the 
Yeda with the Yedangas. The children of Manu are said to have been 
Yena, Dhrishnu, Narishyanta, Nabhaga, Ikshvaku, Karusha, Skryati, 
Ila the eight, Prishadra the ninth, who was addicted to the duties of a 
Kshattriya, and Nabhagarishta the tenth. Manu had also fifty other 
sons ; but they all, as we have heard, perished in consequence of mutual 
dissensions. Subsequently the wise Pururavas was born of Ila, who, 
we heard, was both his mother and his father." 

The tradition, followed in this passage, which assigns to all the 
castes one common ancestor, removed by several stages from the 
creator, is, of course, in conflict with the account which assigns to 
them a fourfold descent from the body of Brahma himself. 

The S'antiparvan, verses 2749 ff., contains an account of the origin 
of castes which has evidently proceeded from an extreme assertor of 
the dignity of the Brahmanical order. The description given of the 
prerogatives of the priestly class is precisely in the style, and partly in 
almost the identical words, of the most extravagant declarations of 

Z3S This phrase kalasya nayane yuktah had previously occurred in verse 2580, 
where it is followed by the words sarva nakshatra-yoginyo loTca-yatra-vidhanatah \ 
" all identified with the lunar asterisms, and appointed to regulate the life of men." 
See also Vishnu P. i. 15, 56, and Professor Wilson's translation ii. p. 10, note 1, 
and p. 28, note 1. 

*a i.e. Aditi. See verses 2520, 2522, and 2600 of this same hook. 

23 5 The account in the Eamayana, ii. 110, 5ff., agrees with this in making Ka- 
s'yapa son of Marichi, and father of Vivasvat. 


Manu (i. 99 f.) on the same subject. In other places, however, the 
Mahabharata contains explanations of a very different character re- 
garding the origin of the distinctions, social and professional, which 
prevailed at the period of its composition. A comparison of these 
various passages will afford an illustration of the fact already intimated 
in p. 6, m that this gigantic poem is made up of heterogeneous elements, 
the products of different ages, and representing widely different dog- 
matical tendencies, the later portions having been introduced by suc- 
cessive editors of the work to support their own particular views, with- 
out any regard to their inconsistency with its earlier contents. In fact, a 
work so vast, the unaided compilation of which would have taxed all the 
powers of a Didymus Chalkenterus, could scarcely have been created in 
any other way than that of gradual accretion. And some supposition 
of this kind is certainly necessary in order to explain such discrepancies 
as will be found between the passages I have to quote, of which the 
three first are the productions of believers (real or pretended) in the 
existence of a natural distinction between their own Brahmanical order 
and the other classes of the community, while the two by which these 
three are followed have emanated from fair and moderate writers who 
had rational views of the essential unity of mankind, and of the supe- 
riority of moral and religious character to any factitious divisions of a 
social description. 

In the first passage, BhTshma, the great uncle of the Pandus, when 
describing to Yudhishthira the duties of kings, introduces one of those 
ancient stories which are so frequently appealed to in the Mahabharata. 
"Without a minute study of the poem it would be difficult to say 
whether these are ever based on old traditions, or are anything more 
than mere vehicles invented to convey the individual views of the 
writers who narrate them. Bhishma says, S'antiparvan, 2749 : 

Ya eva tu sato rakshed asatas cha nivarttayet \ sa eva rdjnd karttatfyo 
rdjan rdja-purohitah \ 2750. Atrdpy uddharantlmam itihusam purd- 
tanam \ Pururavasa Ailasya samvddam Mdtarisvanah \ Pururavd macho, \ 
Kutah svid brdhmano jdta varnds chdpi Icutas tray ah \ Jtasmdchcha lhavati 
sreshthas tan me vydkhydtum arhasi \ Mdtarisvovdcha \ Brahmano mu- 
khatah srishto brdhmano rdja-sattama \ hdhubhydm Icshattriyah srishta 
urulhydm vaisya eva cha \ varndndm parichdryydrtham traydndm Bha- 
238 See also the fourth volume of this work, pp. 141 ff. and 152. 


ratarshalha \ varnas chaturthah samlhutah padlhydm sudro vinirmitah \ 
Irdhmano jdyamdno hi pfithivydm anujayate-^ \ Isvarah sarva-bhutdndm 
dharma-koshasya guptaye \ 2755. Atah prithivyd yantdram kshattriyam 
danda-dhdrane \ dvitlyam Dandam akarot prajdndm anutriptaye \ vaisyas 
tu dhana-dhdnyena trln varndn lilhriydd imdn \ sudro hy etdn pari- 
cJiared iti Brahmdnusdsanam \ Aila uvdcha \ dvijasya kshattralandhor 
vd kasyeyam prithivl bhavet \ dharmatah saha vittena samyag Vdyo pra- 
chakshva me \ Vdyur uvdcha \ viprasya sarvam evaitad yat kinchij jagatl- 
gatam \ jyeshthendlhijaneneha tad dharma-kusald viduh \ svam eva brdh- 
mano bhunkte svam vaste svam daddti cha f gurur hi sarva-varndndm 
jyeshthah sreshthas cha vai dvijah \ 2760. Paty-abhdve yathaiva strl 
devaram kurute patim \ esha te prathamah kalpah dpady anyo lhaved 
atah I 

" 2749. The king should appoint to be his royal priest 288 a man 
who will protect the good, and restrain the wicked. 2750. On this 
subject they relate this following ancient story of a conversation 
between Pururavas the son of Ila, and Matarisvan (Vayu, the Wind- 
god). Pururavas said : You must explain to me whence the Brahman, 
and whence the (other) three castes were produced, and whence the 
superiority (of the first) arises. Matarisvan answered : The Brahman 
was created from Brahma's mouth, the Kshattriya from his arms, the 
Yaisya from his thighs, while for the purpose of serving these three 

M 7 Manu, i. 99, has adhijayate. 

238 Raja-purohitah. The king's priest (raja-purohitali} is here represented as one who 
should be a confidential and virtuous minister of state. Such is not, however, the cha- 
racter always assigned to this class of persons. In Manu xii. 46, quoted above (p. 41f.), 
the purohita is placed in a lower class than other Brahmans. And in the following 
verse (4527) of the Anus'asanaparvan, taken from a story in which the Eishis utter 
maledictions against anyone who should have stolen certain lotus roots, part of the 
curse spoken by Vis'vamitra is as follows : varshacharo 'stu bhritako rajnas chastupuro- 
hitah | ayajyasya bhavatv ritvig visa-stainyam karoti yah \ " Let the man who steals 
lotus roots be a hireling trafficker in rain incantations (?) and the domestic priest of a 
king, and the priest of one for whom no Brahman should officiate." Again, in verse 
4579, the same person says : karotubhritako'varsham rajnas chastu purohitah \ ritvig 
astu hy ayajyasya yas te harati pushkaram \ " Let him who steals thy lotus perform 
as a hireling incantations to cause drought, and be a king's domestic priest, and the 
priest of one for whom no Brahman should officiate." I have had partly to guess at 
the sense of the words varshacharah and avarsham. The Commentator does not ex- 
plain the former ; and interprets the latter (for which the Edinburgh MS. reads avar- 
shah) by vrishti-nibandham, " causing drought." He adds, papishthah eva avarshah, 
" those who cause drought are most wicked." 


castes was produced the fourth class, the S'udra, fashioned from his 
feet. The Brahman, as soon as born, becomes the lord of all beings 
upon the earth, for the purpose of protecting the treasure of righteous- 
ness. 2755. Then (the creator) constituted the Kshattriya the con- 
trouler of the earth, a second Yama to bear the rod, for the satisfaction 
of the people. And it was Brahma's ordinance that the Yaisya should 
sustain these three classes with money and grain, and that the S'udra 
should serve them. The son of Ila then enquired : Tell me, Yayu, to 
whom the earth, with its wealth, rightfully belongs, to the Brahman 
or the Kshattriya ? Ya^u replied : All this, whatever exists in the 
world, is the Brahman's property 239 by right of primogeniture : this is 
known to those who are skilled in the laws of duty. It is his own 
which the Brahman eats, puts on, and bestows. He is the chief of all 
the castes, the first-born and the most excellent. Just as a woman 
when she has lost her (first) husband, takes her brother in law for a 
second ; so the Brahman is thy first resource in calamity ; afterwards 
another may arise." 

A great deal is shortly afterwards added about the advantages of 
concord between Brahmans and Kshattriyas. Such verses as the fol- 
lowing (2802) : " From the dissensions of Brahmans and Kshattriyas 
the people incur intolerable suffering " (mitho bheddd Irdhmana-kshat- 
triydndm prajd duhkhaih dussaham chdvisanti] afford tolerably clear 
evidence that the interests of these two classes must frequently have 

In the same strain as the preceding passage is the following : 
Yanaparvan, 13436. Nddhydpandd ydjandd vd anyasmdd vd prati- 
yrahdt \ dosho lhavati viprdndm jvalitdgni-samd dvijdh \ durvedd vd su- 
vedd vd prdkritdh samskritds tathd \ bruhmand ndvamantavyd bhasma- 
channd ivdgnayah \ yathd smasdne dlptaujdh pdvako naiva dushyati \ 
evam vidvdn avidvdn vd brdhmano daivatam mahat \ prdkdrais cha pura- 
dvdraih prdsddais cha prithag-vidhaih \ nagardni na sobhante hmdni 
brdhmanottamaih \ vedddhyd rritta-sampannd jndnavantas tapasvinah \ 
yatra tishtlianti vai viprds tan-ndma nagaram nripa \ vraje va, py athawd 

239 Kulluka, the Commentator on Manu (i. 100), is obliged to admit that this is 
only spoken in a panegyrical or hyperbolical way, and that property is here used 
in a figurative sense, since theft is afterwards predicated by Manu of Bruhmans a 
well as others ("warn" iti stutya uchyute \ svam iva svam na tu sram eva \ brah- 
manasyapi Manuna steyasya vakshyamunatvat). 



'ranye yatra santi bahu-srutdh \ tat tad nagaram ity uhuh pdrtha tlr- 
tham cha tad bhavet \ 

" No blame accrues to Brahraans from teaching or sacrificing, or from 
receiving money in any other way : Brahraans are like flaming fire. 
Whether ill or well versed in the Veda, whether untrained or accom- 
plished, Brahmans must never be despised, like fires covered by ashes. 
Just as fire does not lose its pui ity by blazing even in a cemetery, so 
too, whether learned or unlearned, a Brahman is a great deity. Cities 
are not rendered magnificent by ramparts, gates, or palaces of various 
kinds, if they are destitute of excellent Brahraans. 13440. The place 
where Brahmans, rich in the Yeda, perfect in their conduct, and aus- 
terely fervid, reside, is (really) a city (nagara). Wherever there are 
men abounding in Vedic lore, whether it be a cattle-pen, or a forest, 
that is called a city, and that will be a sacred locality." 

The following verses from the Anusasanap. 2160 ff. are even more 
extreme in their character, and are, in fact, perfectly sublime in their 
insolence : 

Brdhmandndm paribhavdd asurdh salile saydh \ Irtihmandndm prasd- 
ddcJi cha devdh svarga-nivdsinah \ asakyam srashtum dkdsam achdlyo 
himavdn girih \ adhdryyd setund Gangd durjayd brdhmand Ihuvi \ na 
brdhmana-virodhena salcyd sdstum vasundhard \ brdhmand hi mahdtmdno 
devdndm api devatdh \ tan pujayasva satatam ddnena paricharyyayd \ 
yadlchhasi mahim bhoktum imam sdgara-melchaldm \ 

"Through the prowess of the Brahmans the Asuras were prostrated 
on the waters ; by the favour of the Brahmans the gods inhabit heaven. 
The ether cannot be created ; the mountain Himavat cannot be shaken ; 
the Ganga cannot be stemmed by a dam; the Brahmans cannot be 
conquered by any one upon earth. The world cannot be ruled in op- 
position to the Brahmans; for the mighty Brahmans are the deities 
even of the gods. If thou desire to possess the sea-girt earth, honour 
them continually with gifts and with service." 

The next passage seems to be self- contradictory, as it appears to set 
out with the supposition that the distinction of castes arose after the 
creation ; while it goes on to assert the separate origin of the four classes : 
S'antiparvan, 10861. Janaka uvdcha \ varno visesha-varndndm ma- 
harshe kenajdyate \ etad ichhdmy ahamjndtum tad bruhi vadatdm vara \ 
yad etaj jdyate 'patyam sa evdyam iti srutih \ Jcatham brdhmanato jdto 


viseshe grahanam gatah \ Pardsara uvdcha \ JSvam etad mahdrdja yena 
Jdtah sa eva sah \ tapasas tv apakarshena jdtigrahanatdm gatah \ suk&het- 
trdchcha suvljdch cha punyo bhavati sambhavah \ ato 'nyatarato hlndd 
avaro ndma jdyate \ 10865. Vaktrdd bhujdbhydm urubhydm padbhydfh 
chaivdtha jajnire \ srijatah Prajdpater lokdn iti dharmavido viduh \ mu- 
khajd brdhmands tufa bdhujdh kshattriydh smritdh \ urujdh dhanino 
rdjan pddajdh parichdrakdh \ chaturndm eva varndndm dgamah puru- 

sharshabha \ ato 'nye vyatiriktd ye te vai sankarajdh smritdh \ 

10870. Janaka uvdcha \ Brahmanaikena jdtdndm nandtvam gotratah 
katham \ bahuriiha hi loke vai gotrdni muni sattama \ yatra tatra kathaih 
jdtdh svayonim (? suyonim} munayo gatah \ suddha-yonau samutpannd 
viyonau cha tatha, 'pare \ Pardsara uvdcha \ rdjan naitad bhaved grdhyam 
apakrishtena janmand \ matdtmandm samutpattis tapasd bhdvitatmandm \ 
utpddya putrdn munayo nripate yatra tatra ha \ svenaiva tapasd teshdm 
rishitvam pradadhuh punah \ .... 10876. Ete svdm prakritim prdptd 
Vaideha tapasoiraydt \ pratishthitd veda-vido damena tapasaiva hi \ 

"Janaka asks: 10861. How, o great rishi, does the caste of the 
separate classes arise ? Tell me, as I desire to know. According to 
the Veda, the offspring which is born (to any one) is the very man 
himself. How does offspring born of a Brahman fall into distinct 
classes ? Parasara replied : It is just as you say, o great king. A son 
is the very same as he by whom he was begotten ; but from decline of 
austere fervour, (men) have become included under different classes. 
And from good soil and good seed a pure production arises, whilst 
from those which are different and faulty springs an inferior pro- 
duction. Those acquainted with duty know that men were born from 
the mouth, arms, thighs, and feet of Prajapati when he was creating 
the worlds. The Brahmans sprang from his mouth, the Kshattriyas 
from his arms, the merchants from his thighs, and the servants from 
his feet. The scriptural tradition speaks only of four classes. The 
men not included in these are declared to have sprung from a mixture 

(of the four) 10870. Janaka asked : How is there a difference 

in race between men sprung from one and the same Brahma ? for there 
are now many races in the world. How have Munis born anywhere 
(indiscriminately) entered into a good family ; some of them having 
sprung from a pure source and others from an inferior stock ? Parasara 
replied: It would not be credible that noble-minded men, whose souls 


had been perfected by austere fervour, should have been the offspring of a 
degraded birth. Munis who had begotten sous in an indiscriminate way 
conferred on them the position of rishis by their own austere fervour." 
The speaker then names a number of sages (10876) "famed for their 
acquaintance with the Yeda, and for their self-command and austere 
fervour," as " having all attained to their respective conditions by 
practising the latter observance." 

In the latter verses the speaker appears to admit, at the very mo- 
ment that he denies, the degraded origin of some of the renowned 
saints of Indian antiquity. What else is th meaning of the verse, 
" Munis who had begotten sons in an indiscriminate way conferred 
on them the position of rishis by their own austere fervour?" No 
doubt it is intended to represent those as exceptional times : but while 
we refuse to admit this assumption, we may find some reason to sup- 
pose that the irregularities, as they were afterwards considered to be, 
which this assumption was intended to explain away, were really 
samples of the state of things which commonly prevailed in earlier 

The next extract declares that there is a natural distinction between 
the Brahmans and the other castes ; and appears to intimate that the 
barrier so constituted can only be overpassed when the soul re-appears 
in another body in another birth : 

Anusasana-parva, 6570. Deva uvdcha \ Brdhmanyam devi dushprdp- 
yam nisargdd brdhmanah subhe \ kshattriyo vaisyasudrau vd nisargdd 
iti me matih \ karmand dmhkriteneha sthdndd bhrasyati vai dvijah \ 
jyeshtham varnam anuprdpya tasmdd raksheta vai dvijah \ sthito brdh- 
mana-dharmena brdhmanyam upajlvati \ kshattriyo vd 'tha vaisyo vd 
brahmabhuyam sa gachhati \ yas tu brahmatvam utsrijya kshdttram 
dharmam nishevate \ Irdhmanydt sa paribhrashtah kshattra-yonau prajd- 
yate \ vaisya-karma cha yo vipro lolha-moha-vyapdsrayah \ brdhmanyam 
durlabham prdpya karoty alpa-matih sadd \ sa dvijo vaisyatdm eti vaisyo 
vd sudratdm iyat \ sva-dharmdt prachyuto vipras tatah sudratvam dp- 
nute | .... 6590. Ebhis tu karmabhir devi subhair dcharitais tathd \ 
sudro brdhtnanatdm ydti vaisyah kshattriyatdm vrajet \ sudra-karmdni 
sarvdni yathdnydyam yathdvidhi \ susrushdm paricharyydm chajyeshthe 
varne prayatnatah \ kurydd ityddi \ 

Mahadeva says : 6570. " Brahmanhood, o fair goddess, is difficult to 


be attained. A man, whether he be a Brahman, Kshattriya, 
or S'udra, is such by nature ; this is my opinion. By evil deeds a twice- 
born man falls from his position. Then let a twice-born man who has 
attained to the highest caste, keep it. The Kshattriya, or Vaisya, who 
lives in the condition of a Brahman, by practising the duties of one, at- 
tains to Brahmanhood. But he who abandons the state of a Brahman 
and practises the duty of a Kshattriya, falls from Brahmanhood and is 
born in a Kshattriya womb. And the foolish Brahman, who, having 
attained that Brahmanhopd which is s hard to get, follows the pro- 
fession of a Vaisya, under the influence of cupidity and delusion, falls 
into the condition of a Vaisya. (In like manner) a Vaisya may sink 
into the state of a S'udra. A Brahman who falls away from his own 
duty becomes afterwards a S'udra ..... 6590. But by practising the 
following good works, o goddess, a S'udra becomes a Brahman, and a 
Vaisya becomes a Kshattriya : Let him actively perform all the func- 
tions of a S'udra according to propriety and rule, i.e. obedience and 
service to the highest caste," etc. 

The next passage is the first of those which I have already noted, as 
in spirit and tenor very different from the preceding. The conversation 
which it records arose as follows : Yudhishthira found his brother Bhi- 
masena caught in the coils of a serpent, which, it turned out, was no 
other than the famous king Nahusha, who by his sacrifices, austerities, 
etc., had formerly raised himself to the sovereignty of the three worlds ; 
but had been reduced to the condition in which he was now seen, as a 
punishment for his pride and contempt of the Brahmans. He promises 
to let Bhlmaseva go, if Yudhishthira will answer certain questions. 
Yudhishthira agrees, and remarks that the serpent was acquainted with 
whatever a Brahman ought to know. Whereupon the Serpent proceeds : 

Vana-parva, verses 12469ff : Sarpa uvucha \ bruhmanah ko bhaved 
rdjan vedyam kirn cha Yudhishthira \ 12470. Bravlhy atimatim tvdm hi 
rukyair anumimimahe \ Yudhishthira uvucha \ satyam dunam kshamii 
sllam unrisamsyam tapo ghrind \ drisyante yatra nagendra sa bruhmanah 
iti smritih \ vedyam sarpa param Brahma nirduhkham asukham cha yat \ 
yatra aatvu na socJuinti bhavatah kim vivakshitam \ Sarpa uvucha \ chu- 
turvarnyam pramdnam cha satyam cha brahma chaiva hi \ Sudreshv api 
cha satyam cha danam akrodha eva cha \ anrisamsyam ahimsu cha ghrina, 
chaiva Yudhishthira \ vedi/um yach chutra nirduhkham asukham cha na- 


rddhipa \ tdbhyam hlnam padam chdnyad na tad astlti lakshaye \ Yu- 
dhishthira uvucha \ 12475. S'udre tu yad bhavel lakshma dvije tach cha 
na vidyate \ na vai sudro bhavech chhudro brdhmano na cha brdhmanah \ 
yatraital lakshyate sarpa vrittam sa brdhmanah smritah \ yatraitad na 
bhavet sarpa tarn siidram iti nirddiset \ yat punar bhavatd proktam 
na vedyam vidyatlti cha \ tdbhyam hlnam ato 'nyatra padam ndstlti 
ched api \ ewm etad matam sarpa tdbhyam hlnam na vidyate \ yathd 
s'doshnayor madhye bhaved noshnam na sltatd \ evam vai sukha-duh- 
khdbhydm hlnam ndsti padam kvachit \ eshd mama matih sarpa yathd 
va mandate bhavdn \ Sarpa uvucha ) 12480. Yadi te vrittato rdjan 
brdhmanah prasamlkshitah \ vrithd jdtis tada "ymhman kritir ydvad 
na vidyate \ Yudhishthira uvdcha \ jdtir atra mahdsarpa manwhyatve 
mahdmate \ sankardt sarva-varndndm dushparlkshyeti me matih \ sarve 
sarwsv apatydni janayanti sadd nardh \ van maithunam atho janma 
maranam cha samam nrindm \ idam drsham pramdnam cha " ye ya- 
jdmahe" ity api \ tasmdch chhllam pradhdneshtam vidur ye tattva- 
darsinah \ " prdn ndbhi-varddhandt pumso jdta-karma vidhlyate" \ 
"tada 'syamdtd sdvitrl pita tv dchdryya uchyate" \ 12485. " Tdvach 
chhudra-samo hy esha ydvad vede najdyate" \ tasminn evam mati-dvaidhe 
Manuh Svdyambhuvo 'bravlt \ krita-kritydh punar varnd yadi vrittam na 
vidyate \ sankaras tatra ndgendra balavdn prasamlkshitah \ yatreddnlm 
mahdsarpa samskritam vrittam ishyate \ tarn brdhmanam aham purvam 
uktavdn bhujagottama \ 

"12469. The Serpent said: Who may be a Brahman, and what is 
the thing to be known, o Yudhishthira; tell me, since by thy words 
I infer thee to be a person of extreme intelligence. Yudhishthira 
replied : 12470. The Smriti declares, o chief of Serpents, that he is a 
Brahman, in whom truth, liberality, patience, virtue, innocence, austere 
fervour, and compassion are seen. And the thing to be known is the 
supreme Brahma, free from pain, as well as from pleasure, to whom, 
when men have attained, they no longer sorrow. What is your 
opinion ? The Serpent replied : The Yeda (brahma} is beneficial to 
all the four castes and is authoritative and true. 240 And so we find in 

210 Such is the sense assigned by the Commentator to this line, the drift of which 
is not very clear. The comment runs thus : Sarpas tu brahmana-padena jati-niatram 
vivaJcshitva iudre tal lakshanaih vyabhicharayati " chaturvarnyam " iti sarddhena \ 
chaturndm varnanam hitam \ satyam pramdnam cha dharma-vyapasthapakam brahma 
t-edah \ sudrachara-smriter api veda-mulakatvat sarvo 'py aeharadih sruti-mulakak 


S'udras also truth, liberality, calmness, innocence, harmlessness, and 
compassion. And as for the thing to be known, which is free from 
pain and pleasure, I perceive that there is no other thing free from 
these two influences. Yudhishthira rejoined : 12475. The qualities 
characteristic of a S'udra do not exist in a Brahman (nor vice versd). 
(Were it otherwise) the S'udra would not be a S'udra, nor the Brah- 
man a Brahman. 241 The person in whom this regulated practice is per- 
ceived is declared to be a Brahman ; and the man, in who* it is absent, 
should be designated as a S'udra. And as to what you say further, that 
there is nothing other than this (Brahma) to be known, which is free 
from the susceptibilities in question ; this is also (my own) opinion, 
that there is nothing free from them. Just as between cold and heat 
there can be neither heat nor cold, so there is nothing free from the 
feeling of pleasure and pain. Such is my view ; or how do you con- 
sider? The Serpent remarked : 12480. If a man is regarded by you 
as being a Brahman only in consequence of his conduct, then birth is 
vain until action is shown. Yudhishthira replied : most sapient 
Serpent, birth is difficult to be discriminated in the present condition 

ity arthah \ evaih cha satyadikam yadi kudre 'py asti tarhi so 'pi brahmana eva syad 
Hi aha "sudreshv api" iti \ "The serpent, however, understanding by the terra 
Brahman mere birth, shows in a sloka and a half that Yudhishthira's definition fails 
by being applicable also to a S'udra. Chdturvarnya means ' beneficial to the four 
castes.' (Such is the Veda), which is also ' true' and ' authoritative,' as establishing 
what is duty. Inasmuch as the Smriti which prescribes a S'udra's conduct is itself 
founded on the Veda; all conduct, etc., is based on the Veda. And so if (the cha- 
racters of) truth, etc., are found also in a S'udra, he too must be a Brahman such is 
his argument in the words ' In S'udras also.' " According to this explanation the 
connection between the first line and the second and third may be as follows : The 
Veda is beneficial to all the castes, and therefore S'udras also, having the advantage 
of its guidance, although at second hand, may practise all the virtues you enumerate ; 
but would you therefore call them Brahmans? 

241 This verse is not very lucid; but the sense may be that which I have as- 
signed. The Commentator says : Ilaras tu brahmana- padena brahma-vidaih vivakshi- 
tva s'udrader api brahmanatvam abhyupagamya pariharati " Sudre tv " iti \ S'udra- 
lakshya-kamadilcam tia bruhmane 'sti na brahmana -lakshya-saniadikam sudre 'sti ity 
arthah | sudro'pi samady-upeto brdhmanah \ brahmano 'pi kamady-upetah sudra eva 
ity arthah \ " The other (Yudhishthira), however, understanding by the word Brah- 
mana one who knows the Veda (or, Brahma), and conceding the fact of a S'udra's Brah- 
manhood, obviates by the words 'but in a S'udra,' etc. (the objection thence drawn). 
The qualities, lust, etc., distinctive of a S'udra, do not exist in a Brahman, nor do 
the qualities tranquillity, etc., characteristic of a Brahman exist in a S'udra. A 
S'udra distinguished by the latter is a Brahman ; while a Brahman characterized by 
lust, etc., is a S'udra." 


of humanity, on account of the confusion of all castes. 242 All (sorts of) 

-*- In the tenth vol. of his Indische Studien, p. 83, Professor Weber adduces some 
curious evidence of the little confidence entertained in ancient times by the Indians in 
the chastity of their women. He refers to the following passages : (1) Nidana Sutra, 
iii. 8. Uchchavacha-charanah striyo bhavanti \ saha deva-sakshye cha manushya-sak- 
shye cha yesham putro vakshye tesham pufro bhavishyami \ yam.icha pu'ran vakshye 
te me put rah bhavishyanti \ "Women are irregular in their conduct. Of whatsoever 
men, I, taking gods and men to witness, shall declare myself to be the son, I shall be 
their son ; and they whom I shall name as my sons shall be so." (2) S'atapatha 
Brahmaya, iii. 2, 1, 40. Atlia yad " brahmanah" ilyaha \ anaddha iva vai asya atnh 
purajanam bhavati \ idam hy ahuh " rakshamsi yoshitam anusachante tad uta rak- 
shamty eva reta adadhati iti \ atha atra addha jay ate yo brahmano yo yajnaj jnyate \ 
tasmad api rajanyaih va vais'yam va "brahmanah" ity eva briryat \ brahmano Jii 
jay ate yo yajnaj jayate \ tasmad ahuh " na savana-kritam hanyad enasvl ha eva 
savana-krita " iti \ " Now as regards what he says ' (this) Brahman (has been conse- 
crated) :' before this his birth is uncertain. For they say this that ' Rakshases follow 
after women, and therefore that it is Rakshases who inject seed into them.'" (Compare 
what it said of the Gandharvas in Atharva V. iv. 37, 116, and Journ. Roy. As. Soc. 
for 1865, p. 301.) So then he is certainly born who is born from sacred science 
(brahma) and from sacrifice. Wherefore also let him address a Rajanya or a Vais'ya 
as ' Brahman,' for he is born from sacred science (brahma, and consequently a Brah- 
man) who is born from sacrifice. Hence they say ' let no one slay an offerer of a 
libation, for he incurs (the) sin (of Brahmanicide ?) by so doing." (3) On the next 
passage of the S'. P. Br. ii. 5, 2, 20, Professor Weber remarks that it is assumed that 
the wife of the person offering the Vanma praghasa must have one or more para- 
mours : Atha pratipras'hata pratiparaiti \ sa patnJm udaneshyan prichhati ' kena 
(jarena Comm.) charasi' iti \ Varunyam vai etat strt karoti yad anyasya saty anyena 
charati \ atho " na id me 'ntah-salpa juhuvad" iti tawiat prichhati \ niruktam vai 
enah fcawyo bhavati \ salt/am hi bhavati \ tasmad va iva prichhati \ sa yad na prati- 
jariita jnatibhyo ha asyai tad nhitam syat \ " The pratiprasthatri (one of the priests) 
returns. Being about to bring forward the wife, he asks her, ' with what (paramour) 
dost thou keep company ?' For it is an offence incurring punishment from Varuna 
that being the wife of one man she keeps company with another. He enquires ' in 
order that she may not sacrifice with me while she feels an inward pang.' For a sin 
when declared becomes less : for it is not attended with falsehood. Therefore he 
enquires. If she does not confess, it will be ill for her relations." (This passage is 
explained in Kiityayana's S'rauta Sutras, v. 5, 6-11.) (4) S'. P. Br. i. 3, 2, 21. Tad 
ti ha uvacha Yajnavalkyo " yathadishtam patnyah astu \ Ttas tad cidriyeta yat para- 
pumsa va patn'i syat" \ " Yajnavalkya said this (in opposition to the doctrine of some 
other teachers) : ' let the prescribed rule be followed regarding a wife. Who would 
mind his wife consorting with other men?'" The last clause has reference to the 
consequence which the other teachers said would follow from adopting the course they 
disapproved, viz., that the wife of the man who did so would become an adulteress. 
(5) Taitt. S. v. 6, 8, 3. Na agniih chitva ramam upeyad "ayonau reto dhasyami" iti \ 
na dvitJyam chitva 'nyasya striyam upeyat \ na tritlyam chitva kanchana upeyat \ reto 
vai etad nidhatte yad agnim ehinute \ yad upeyad retasa vi/rid/iyeta \ " Let not a man, 
after preparing the altar for the sacred fire, approach a woman (a S'udra- woman, 
according to the Commentator), (considering) that in doing so, he would be discharging 
geed into an improper place. Let no man, after a second time preparing the fire- 


men are continually begetting children on all (sorts of) women. The 
speech, the mode of propagation, the birth, the death of all mankind 
are alike. The text which follows is Vedic and authoritative : ' "We 
who (are called upon) we recite the text.' 21S Hence those men who 
have an insight into truth know that virtuous character is the thing 
chiefly to be desired. ' The natal rites of a male are enjoined to be 
performed before the section of the umbilical cord (Manu, ii. 29). 
Then Savitri (the Gayatrl, Manu ii. 77) becomes his mother and his 

altar, approach another man's wiife. Let no man, after a third time preparing the 
fire-altar, approach any woman : for in preparing the fire-altar he is discharging seed. 
Should he approach (a woman in these forbidden cases) he Avill miscarry with his 
seed." This prohibition of adultery in a certain case, seems to prove that it was no 
uncommon occurrence, and is calculated, as Professor "Weber remarks, to throw great 
doubt on the purity of blood in the old Indian families. 

243 To explain the last elliptical expression I will quote part of the Commentator's 
remarks on the beginning of Yudhishthira's reply : Vagndlriam iva maithunasyapi 
sadharanyaj jatir durjneya \ tatha cha srutih "na chaitad vidmo brahmanah smo 
vayam abrahmana va " iti brahmanya-samsayam upanyasyati \ nanu jaty-anischaye 
katham " brahmano 'ham" ityady abhimana-purassaram yagudau pravartteta ity 
asankyaha " idam arsham" iti \ atra "ye yajamahe" ity anena cha ye vayam sn:o 
brahmanah anye va te vayam yajamahe iti brahmanye ' navadharanam darsitam \ 
mantra-ling am api"ya evasmi m san yaje" iti | . . . . Tasmad achara eva brah- 
manya-ntichayahettir veda-pranianyad ity upasaihharati \ " As the mode of propa- 
gation is common to all the castes, just as speech, etc. are, birth is difficult to be 
determined. And accordingly, by the words : ' We know not this, whether we are 
Brahmans or no Brahmans,' the Veda signifies a doubt as to Brahmanhood. Then, 
having raised the difficulty 'how, if birth is undetermined, can a man engage in 
sacrifice, etc., with the previous consciousness that he is a Brahman, etc. ?' the author 
answers in the words ' this text is Vedic, etc.' It is both shewn by the words ' we 
who .... recite,' (which mean) ' we, whoever we are, Brahmans or others, we 
recite,' that the fact of Brahmanhood is unascertained ; and this is also a cha- 
racteristic of the formula, ' whosoever I am, being he who I am, I recite.' " The 
comment concludes : " Hence he briefly infers from the authoritative character of 
the Veda, that conduct is the cause of certainty in regard to Brahmanhood." Prof. 
Aufrecht has pointed out to me that the words ye yajamahe occur in S'. P. Br. i. 5, 2, 
16, and in Taitt. S. i. 16, 11, 1. The Commentator on the last-named passage refers 
in explanation of them to As'valayana's S'rauta Sutras, i. 5, 4 f., where it is said that 
these two words constitute the formula called aatth, which comes in at the beginning 
of all the yajyas which are unaccompanied by any anuyaja. The Commentator in- 
terprets the two words thus : sarve " ye " vayam hotaro 'dhvaryuna " yaja " iti pre- 
shitas te vayam, " yajamahe" yajyam pathamah \ " All we hotri priests who are called 
upon by t}ie adhvaryu by the word ' recite,' we recite, i.t. repeat the yajya." (See 
Haug's Ait. Br. ii. p. 133, and note 11.) Prof. Aufrecht thinks the words in the 
Commentator's note ya evasmi sa san yaje may be a free adaptation of Atharva V. vi. 
123, 3, 4. It does not appear from what source the words no, chaitad vidmah etc. are 


religious teacher his father (Manu, ii. 170, 225). 12485. Until he 
is born in the Veda, he is on a level with a S'udra' (Manu, ii. 
172); so, in this diversity of opinions did Manu Svayambhuva de- 
clare. The castes (though they have done nothing) will have done all 
they need do, 2M if no fixed rules of conduct are observed. In such a 
case there is considered to be a gross confusion of castes. I have 
already declared that he is a Brahman in whom purity of conduct is 

The next passage from the S'antiparvau, verses 6930 ff., is even more 
explicit than the last in denying any natural distinction between the 
people of the different castes : 

Bhrigur uvdcha \ Asrijad brdhmandn evam purvam Brahma prajd- 
patm | dtma-tejo'bhinirvrittdn bhdskardgni-sama-prabhdn \ tatah satyam 
cha dharmam clia tapo brahma cha sdsvatam | dchdram chaiva sauchaih 
cha svargdya vtdadhe prabhuh \ deva-ddnava-gandharvd daitydsura-ma- 
horagdh \ yaksha-rdkshasa-ndgds cha pisdchd manujds tathd \ brdhmandh 
kshattriyd vaisydh sudrds cha dvija-sattama \ ye chdnye Ihuta-sanghdndm 
varnds tarns chdpi nirmame \ brdhmandndm sito varnah kshattriydnaih 
cha lohitah \ vaisydndm pitako varnah sudrdndm asitas tatha \ 6935. 
Bharadvtija uvdcha \ Chdturvarnyasya varnena yadi varno vibhidyate \ 
sarveshdm hhalu varndndfh drityate varna-sankarah \ Icdmah krodho bha- 
yam lobhah sokas chintd kshudhd sramah \ sarveshdm nah prabhavati 
kasmdd varno mlihidyate \ sveda-mutra-purlshdni sleshmd pittam sa-soni- 
tam | tanuh ksharati sarveshdm kasmdd varno vibhajyate \ jangamdndm 
asamkhyeydh sthdvardndm cha jdtayah \ teshdih vividha-varndntim kuto 
varna-vinischayah \ Bhrigur uvdcha \ Na visesho 'sti varndndm sarvam 
brdhmam idamjayat \ Brahmand purva srishtam hi karmabhir varnatdm 
gatam \ 6940. Kdma-bhoga-priyds tlkshndh krodha,nuh priya-sdhasdh \ 

244 The Commentator thus explains the word krita-kritya : Krita-krityah sudra- 
tulyah | tatha cha smritih " sudre pa takam kinchid na cha samskaram arhati" iti 
tesham samskaranarhatva-nishpapatvabhidanat krita-krityatvam darsayati \ tadvat 
traivarnika api syur ity arthah \ " Krita krityah (lit. having done what was to be 
done) means, like S'udras ; so the Smriti (when it says), ' No sin exists in a S'udra, 
nor is he fit for purificatory rites,' shews, by declaring the unfitness of this class for 
such rites, and its freedom from sin, that it has the character of krita-krityatvatva, 
i.e. of having done all it had to do. And such (in the event supposed) would be the 
case with men of the three (upper) classes also." 

245 The Calcutta edition reads na, "not," which cannot be right. The MS. in the 
Library of the Edinburgh University has nah, " of us." 


tyakta-svadharmd raktdngds te dvijdh kshattratdih gatdh \ gobhyo vrittiih 
samdsthdya pltdh krishy-upajlcinah \ sva-dharmdn ndnutishthanti te 
dvijd vaisyatdm gatdh \ hiihsdnrita-priyd lubdhdh sarva-karmopajivinah \ 
krishndh saucha-paribhrashtds te dvijah sudratdm gatdh \ ity etaih kar- 
mabhir vyastd dvijd. varndntaram gdtdh \ dharmo yajna-kriyd teshum 
nityam na pratishidhyate \ ity ete chaturo varnd yeshdm brdhml saras- 
vatl | vihitd Brahmana purvam lobhdt tv ajndnatdm gdtdh \ 6945. 
Brdhmand brahma-tantra-sthds to/pas teshdm na nasyati \ brahma dhd~ 
rayatdih nityam vratdni niyamdms tathd \ brahma chaiva param srishtam 
ye na jdnanti te 'dmjdh \ teshdm bahuvidhds tv anyds tatra tatra hi 
jdtayah \ pisdchd rdkshasdh pretd vividhd mlechha-jdtayah \ pranashta- 
jndna-vijndndh svachhanddchdra-cheshtitdh \ prajd brdhmana-samskdrdh 
sva-karma-krita-nischaydh \ rishibhih svena tapasd srijyante chdpare 
paraih \ ddi-deva-samudbhutd brahma-muld 'kshayd 'vyayd \ sd srishtir 
mdnasl ndma dharma-tantra-pardyand \ 6950. JBharadvdja uvacha \ 
Brdhmanah kena bhavati kshattriyo vd dvijottama \ vaisyah sudras cha 
viprarshe tad bruhi vadatdm vara \ Bhrigur uvdcha \ Jata-karmddibhir 
yas tu samskdraih samskritah suchih \ vedadhyayana-sampannah shatsu 
karmasv avasthitah \ sauchdchdra-sthitah samyag vighasdsl gum-priyah \ 
nitya-vratl satyaparah sa vai brdhmana uchyate \ satyam ddnam athd- 
droha dnrisamsyam trapd ghrind \ tapas cha drisyate yatra sa brdhmana 
iti smritah \ kshattra-jam sevate karma vedddhyayana-sangatah \ ddnd- 
ddna-ratir yas tu sa vai kshattriya uchyate \ 6955. Fisaty dsu pasubhyas 
cha krishy-dddna-ratih suchih \ vedddhyayana-sampannah sa vaisyah iti 
sanjnitdh \ sarva-bhakshya-ratir nityam sarva-karma-karo 'suchih \ 
tyakta-vedas tv andchdrah sa vai sudrah iti smritah \ sudre chaitad 
bhavel lakshyam dvije tach cha na vidyate \ sa vai sudro bhavech chhudro 
brdhmano brdhmano na cha \ 

"Bhrigu replied: 6930. ' Brahma thus formerly created the Praja- 
patis, Brahmanic, 817 penetrated by his own energy, and in splendour 
equalling the sun and fire. The lord then formed truth, righteousness, 
austere fervour, and the eternal veda (or sacred science), virtuous 
practice, and purity for (the attainment of) heaven. Ha also formed 
the gods, Danavas, Gandharvas, Daityas, Asuras, Mahoragas, Yakshas, 

246 Brahma -tantrum = vedoktanushthanam \ Comm. 

24 ? Brahmandn, " Brahmans," is the word employed. It may mean here " sons of 


Rakshasas, Nagas, Pisachas, and men, Brahmans, Kshattriyas, Yaisyas, 
and S'udras, as well as all other classes (varnuh) of beings. The colour 
(varna) of the Brahmans was white ; that of the Kshattriyas red ; that 
of the Yaisyas yellow, and that of the S'udras black.' 248 6935. Bhara- 
dvaja here rejoins : ' If the caste (varna) of the four classes is dis- 
tinguished by their colour (varna}, then a confusion of all the 
castes is observable. Desire, anger, fear, cupidity, grief, appre- 
hension, hunger, fatigue, prevail over us all : by what, then, is caste 
discriminated? Sweat, urine, excrement, phlegm, bile, and blood (are 
common to all) ; the bodies of all decay : by what then is caste dis- 
criminated ? There are innumerable kinds of things moving and sta- 
tionary : how is the class (varna) of these various objects to be deter- 
mined ? ' Bhrigu replies : ' There is no difference of castes : 249 this 
world, having been at first created by Brahma entirely Brahmanic, 250 

248 It is somewhat strange, as Professor "Weber remarks in a note to p. 215 of his 
German translation of the Vajra SuchI, that in the passage of the Kathaka Brahmana 
xi. 6, which he there quotes, a white colour is ascribed to the Vais'ya and a dark hue 
to the Rajanya. The words are these : Yach chhuklanam (brihmani) adityebhyo nir- 
vapati tasmach chhukla iva vaisyo jayate \ yat krishnanam varunam tasmad dhumra 
iva rajanyah \ " Since the Vais'ya offers an oblation of white (rice) to the Adityas, he 
is born as it were white ; and as the Varuna oblation is of black (rice) the Rajanya 
is as it were dusky." 

249 Compare with this the words attributed in S'antiparvan, verses 2819 ff., to King 
Muchukunda, who had been reproached by the god Kuvera with trusting for victory 
to the aid of his domestic priest instead of to his own prowess : Muchukundas tatah 
krtiddhah pratyuvacha Dhanesvaram \ nyaya-pitrvam asamrabdham asambhrantam 
idaih vachah \ brahma kshattram idam srishtam eka-yoni svayambhuva \ prithag-bala- 
vidJwnam tanna lokam paripalayet \ tapo-mantra-balam nityam brahmaneshu pratish- 
thitam \ astra-bahu-balam nityam kshattriyeshu pratishthitam \ tnbhyam sambhuya 
karttavyam prajanam paripalanam \ "Muchukunda then, incensed, addressed to the 
Lord of riches these reasonable words, which did not partake of his anger or excite- 
ment : ' Brahmans and Kshattriyas were created by Brahma from the same womb (or 
source) with different forces appointed to them : this cannot (neither of these separate 
forces can ?) protect the world. The force of austere fervour and of sacred texts 
abides constantly in the Brahmans ; and that of weapons and their own arms in the 
Kshattriyas. By these two forces combined the people must be protected." 

250 Brahmam is the word employed. That it is to be understood in the sense of 
" Brahmanical " appears from the following lines in which the word dvijah must be 
taken in the special signification of Brahmans and not of " twice-born men " (who 
may be either Brahmans, Kshattriyas, or Vais'yas) in general. The Brahman is con- 
sidered to have been formed of the essence of Brahma, and to represent the original 
tvpe of perfect humanity as it existed at the creation. The Commentator takes the 
word brahmam as = brahmana-jatimat, " having the caste of Brahmans ; " and he 
explains the different colours mentioned in the next verses as follows : red (rakta) 


became (afterwards) separated into castes in consequence of works. 
6940. Those Brahmans (lit. twice-born men), who were fond of sensual 
pleasure, fiery, irascible, prone to violence, who had forsaken their 
duty, and were red-limbed, fell into the condition of Kshattriyas. 
Those Brahmans, who derived their livelihood from kine, who were 
yellow, who subsisted by agriculture, and who neglected to practise 
their duties, entered into the state of Yaisyas. Those Brahmans, who 
were addicted to mischief and falsehood, who were covetous, who lived 
by all kinds of work, who were black and had fallen from purity, sank 
into the condition of S'udrasl Being separated from each other by these 
works, the Brahmans became divided into different castes. Duty and 
the rites of sacrifice have not been always forbidden to (any of) them. 
Such are the four classes for whom the Brahmanic 231 Sarasvati was at first 
designed by Brahma, but who through their cupidity fell into ignor- 
ance. 6945. Brahmans live agreeably to the prescriptions of the 
Veda ; while they continually hold fast the Veda, and observances, and 
ceremonies, their austere fervour (tapas) does not perish. And sacred 
science was created the highest thing : they who are ignorant of it 
are no twice-born men. Of these there are various other classes in dif- 
ferent places, Pisachas, Itakshasas, Pretas, various tribes of Mlechhas, 
who have lost all knowledge sacred and profane, and practise whatever 
observances they please. And different sorts of creatures with the 
purificatory rites of Brahmans, and discerning their own duties, are 
created by different rishis through their own austere fervour. This 
creation, sprung from the primal god, having its root in Brahma, un- 
decaying, imperishable, is called the mind-born creation, and is devoted 
to the prescriptions of duty.' 6950. Bharadvaya again enquires : 
' What is that in virtue of which a man is a Brahman, a Kshattriya, 

means " formed of the quality of passion " (rajo-guna-maya) ; yellow (pita) " formed 
of the qualities of passion and darkness" (rajas-(amo-maya), and black (krishna 
or asita) " formed of darkness only " (kevala-tamomaya), 

231 Brahml. This word is thus interpreted by the Commentator : vedamayl j chatur- 
nam api varnanam Srahmana purvam vihita \ lobha-doshena tu ajnanalafii tamo- 
bhavam gatah sudrah anadhikarino vede jatah \ " Sarasvati, consisting of the Veda, 
was formerly designed by Brahma for all the four castes : but the S'udras having 
through cupidity fallen into ' ignorance,' i.e. a condition of darkness, lost their right 
to the Veda." See Indische Studien, ii. 194, note, where Professor "Weber under- 
stands this passage to import that in aucient times the S'udras spoke the language of 
the Aryas. 


a Vaisya, or a S'udra; tell me, o most eloquent Brahman rishi.' 
Bhrigu replies : ' He who is pure, consecrated by the natal and other 
ceremonies, who has completely studied the Veda, lives in the practice 
of the six ceremonies, performs perfectly the rites of purification, who 
eats the remains of ohlations, is attached to his religious teacher, is 
constant in religious observances, and devoted to truth, is called a 
Brahman. 6953. He in whom are seen truth, liberality, inoffensive- 
ness, harmlessness, modesty, compassion, and austere fervour, is de- 
clared to be a Brahman. He who practises the duty arising out of 
the kingly office, who is addicted to the ^tudy of the Veda, and who 
delights in giving and receiving, 252 is called a Kshattriya. 6955. He 
who readily occupies himself with cattle, 253 who is devoted to agri- 
culture and acquisition, who is 'pure, and is perfect in the study of the 
Veda, is denominated a Vaisya. 6956. He who is habitually addicted 
to all kinds of food, performs all kinds of work, who is unclean, who 
has abandoned the Veda, and does not practise pure observances, is 
traditionally called a S'udra. And this (which I have stated) is the 
mark of a S'udra, and it is not found in a Brahman : (such) a S'udra 
will remain a S'udra, while the Brahman (who so acts) will be no 
Brahman." 254 

The passage next to be quoted recognizes, indeed, the existence of 
castes in the TCrita age, but represents the members of them all as 
having been perfect in their character and condition, and as not differ- 
ing from one another in any essential respects. 

It is related in the Vanaparvan that Bhimasena, one of the Pandus, 

252 Danam viprebhyah \ adanam prajabhyah, " Giving to Brahmans, receiving from 
his subjects." Comm. 

253 Pasun vcinijyaya upayoginah upalabdhva visati pratishtham labhate \ "Who 
perceiving cattle to be useful for trade, ' enters,' obtains a basis (for his operations)." 
Comm. As we have seen above p. 97, these etymologies are frequently far-fetched 
and absurd. 

254 On this verse the Commentator annotates as follows: etat satyadi-saptakam 
dvije traivarnike \ dharma eva varna-vibhage karanaih najTitir ity arthah \ "These 
seven virtues, beginning with truth (mentioned in verse 6953), exist in the twice-born 
man of the first three classes. The sense is that righteousness, and not birth, is the 
cause of the division into classes." This explanation is not very lucid. But the 
sense seems to be that the seven good qualities referred to are the proper characteris- 
tics of the three upper castes, while the defects specified in verse 6956 are the proper 
distinctive marks of the S'udras. Thus the S'udra who has the four defects will 
remain a S'udra, but a Brahman who has them will be no Brahman. 


in the course of a conversation with his brother 255 Hanumat the mon- 
key chief, had requested information on the subject of the Yugas and 
their characteristics. Hanumat's reply is given in verses 11234 ff. : 

Kritam ndma yugam tdta yatra dharmah sandtanah \ kritam eva na 
karttavyam tasmin kale yugottame \ na tatra dharmah sldanti kshlyante 
na cha vai prajdh \ tatah krita-yugam numa kdlena gunatdm gatam \ 
deva-ddnava-gandharva-yaksha-rdkshasa-pannagdh \ ndsan krita-yiige tdta 
tadd na kraya-vikrayah 258 j na sdma-rig-yajur-varndh? S! kriyd ndslch cha 
mdnavl \ abhidhydya phalam tatra dharmah sannydsa eva cha \ na tasmin 
yuga-samsarge vyddhayo nendriya-kshayah \ ndsuyd ndpi ruditam na 
darpo ndpi vaikritam \ na vigrahah kutas tandrl na dvesho na cha pa i- 
sunam \ 11240. Na lhayam ndpi santdpo na cJtershyd na cha matsarah \ 
tatah paramakam Brahma sd gatir yogindm para \ dtmd cha sarva-bhu- 
tdndm suklo Ndrdyanas tadd \ brdhmandh kshattriydh vaisyah sudrdscha 
krita-lakshandh \ krite yuge samabhavan sva-karma-niratdh prajdh \ sa- 
mdsrayam samdchdrafh sama-jndnam cha kevalam \ tadd hi sdmakarmdno 
varnd dharmdn avdpnuvan \ eka-deva-sadd-yuktdh eka-mantra-vidhi-kri- 
ydh | prithagdharmds tv eka-vedd dharmam ekam anuvratdh \ chdturai- 
ramya-yuktena karmand kdla-yogind \ 11245. Akdma-phala-samyogdt 
prdpnuvanti pardm gatim \ dtma-yoga-samdyukto dharmo 'yam krita- 
lakshanah \ krite yuge chatushpddus chdturvarnyasya sdsvatah \ etat krita- 
yugam ndma traigunya-parivarjjitam \ tretdm api nibodha tvam tasmin 
sattram pravarttate \ pddena hrasate dharmo raktatdm ydti chdchyutah \ 
satya-pravrittds cha nardh kriyd-dharma-pardyandh \ tato yajndh pra- 
varttante dharmdscha vividhdh kriydh \ tretdydm bJidva - sankalpdh 
kriyd-ddna-phalopagdh \ pracnalanti na vai dharmdt tapo-ddna-pard- 
yandh \ 11250. Sva-dharma-stlidh kriydvanto nards tretd-yuge 'bha- 
van | dvdpare tu yuge dharmo dvibhdgonah prararttate \ Vishnur vai 
pltatdm ydti chaturdhd veda eva cha \ tato 'nye cha chatur-vedds tri- 
vedds cha tathd pare \ dvi-vedds chaika-vedds chdpy anrichas cha tathd 
pare \ evam sdstreshu bhinneshu bahudhd nlyate kriyd \ tapo-ddna-pra- 
rrittu cha rdjasl bhavati prajd \ eka-vedasya chdjndndd vedds te bahavah 

556 Both were sons of Vayu. See verses 11134, 11169 f. and 11176f. of this same 
hook. The RSmiiyana is mentioned in verse 11177. 

258 The MS. in the Edinburgh University Library reads as the last pada: duna- 

-W The Edinburgh MS. reads vedah instead varnnh. 

253 Kapatam Comm. 2 s9 Vairam Comm. 


kritdh | sattvasya cheha vibhramsdt satye kaschid avasthitah \ satttdt 
prachyavamdndndm vyddhayo bahavo 'bhavan \ 11255. Kdmds chopadra- 
vdschaiva tadd vai daiva-kdritdh \ yair ardyamdndh subhrisam tapas 
tapyanti mdnavdh \ kdma-kdmdh svarga-kdmd yajndms tanvanti chdpare \ 
evam dvdparam dsddya prajdh kshlyanty adharmatah \ pddenaikena Kaun- 
teya dharmah kali-yuge sthitah \ tdmasam yugam dsddya krishno bhavati 
Kesavah\ veddchdrdh prasdmyanti dharma-yajna-kriyds tathd \ liayovyd- 
dhayas trandrl doshuh krodhddayds tathd \ upadravds cha varttante 
ddhayah kshud bhayam tathd \ yugeshv dvarttamdneshu dharmo vydvart- 
ttte punah \ dharme vydvarttamdne tu loko vydvarttate punah \ loke 
kshlne kshayam ydnti bhdvd loka-pravarttakdh \ yuga-kshaya-kritd dhar- 
mdh prdrthandni vikurvate \ etat kaliyugam ndma achirdd yat pravart- 
tate | yugdnuvarttanafh tv etat kurvanti chirajlvinah \ 

"11234. The Krita is that age in which righteousness is eternal. 
In the time of that most excellent of Yugas (everything) had been 
done (krita], and nothing (remained) to be done. Duties did not 
then languish, nor did the people decline. Afterwards, through (the 
influence of) time, this yuga fell into a state of inferiority. 281 In 
that age there were neither Gods, 263 Danavas, Gandharvas, Yakshas, 
Rakshasas, nor Pannagas ; no buying or selling went on ; the 
Yedas were not classed 263 as Saman, Rich, and Yajush; no efforts 
were made by men : 261 the fruit (of the earth was obtained) by their 
mere wish : righteousness and abandonment of the world (prevailed). 

260 The Edinburgh MS. reads satlve instead of satye. 

281 In thus rendering, I follow the Commentator, whose gloss is this : Mukh- 
yam apy amukhyatum gatam \ " although the chief, it fell into inferiority." In 
Bohtlingk and Roth's Lexicon this line is quoted under the vfordgunata, to which the 
sense of " superiority, excellence," is assigned. 

262 Compare with this the verses of the Yayu Parana quoted in p. 90, which state 
that in the Krita age there were neither plants nor animals ; which are the products 
of unrighteousness. 

263 I do not venture to translate " there was then no [division of the Yeda into] 
Saman, Rich, and Yajush, nor any castes," (1) because the Edinburgh MS. reads 
vedah instead of varnah, and the Commentator does not allude to the word varnah ; and 
(2) castes (varnah) are referred to below (verses 11242 f.) as existing, though without 
much distinction of character. The Commentator explains : trayl-dharmasya chitta- 
siiddhy-arthatvat tasyas cha tadariim svabhavatvat na samad'iny asan \ " As the ob- 
jsct of the triple veda is purity of heart, and as that existed naturally at that period, 

there were no (divisions of) Saman, etc." 

264 I follow the Commentator whose gloss is : " Manaal Jcriya" krishy-ady-aram- 
bha-bhuta \ kinlu " abhidhyaya phalam," sankalpad eva sarvam sampadyate \ 


No disease or decline of the organs of sense arose through the in- 
fluence of the age ; there was no malice, weeping, pride, or deceit ; 
no contention, and how could there be any lassitude ? no hatred, 
cruelty, (11240) fear, affliction, jealousy, or envy. Hence the supreme 
Brahma was the transcendent resort of those Togins. Then Narayana, 
the soul of all beings, was white. 285 Brahmans, Kshattriyas, Yaisyas 
and Sudras possessed the characteristics of the Krita. 288 In that age 
were born creatures devoted to their duties. They were alike in the 
object of their trust, in observances and in their knowledge. At that 
period the castes, alike in' their functions, fulfilled their duties, were 
unceasingly devoted to one deity, and used one formula (mantra), one 
rule, and one rite. Though they had separate duties, they had but 
one Yeda, and practised one duty. 287 fiy works connected with the four 
orders, and dependent on conjunctures of time, 268 (11245) but un- 
affected by desire, or (hope of) reward, they attained to supreme 
felicity. This complete and eternal righteousness of the four castes 
during the Krita was marked by the character of that age and sought 
after union with the supreme soul. The Krita age was free from the 
three qualities. 289 Understand now the Treta, in which sacrifice com- 
menced, 270 righteousness decreased . by a fourth, Yishnu became red ; 

265 In verse 12981 of this same Vanaparvan the god says of himself : svetah krita- 
yuge varnah pitas tretayuge mama \ rakto dvaparam asadya krishnah kali-yuge tatha \ 
" My colour in the Krita age is white, in the Treta yellow, when I reach the Dvapara 
it is red, and in the Kali hlack." 

288 The Commentator's gloss is : kritani svatah aiddhani lakshanani samo damas 
tapa Hy-admi yesham te \ " They were men whose characteristics, tranquillity, etc , 
were effected, spontaneously accomplished." On verse 11245 he explains the same 
term krita-lakshanah by krita-yuga-suchakah, "indicative of the Krita age." 

28 ? The different clauses of this line can only be reconciled on the supposition that 
the general principle of duty, and the details of the duties are distinguished. Dharma 
is the word used in both parts of the verse for " duty." 

288 Kala-yogina. The Commentator explains : kalo darsadih \ tad-yuktena \ " con- 
nected with time, i.e. the appearance of the new moon, etc." 

263 And yet we are told in the Vayu P. that the creation itself proceeded from the 
influence of the quality of passion (see above, p. 75), and that the four castes when 
originally produced were characterized in different ways by the three qualities, pp. 62 
and 89. 

2 ? c Compare S'anti-parva, 13088. Idam krita-yugam nama kalah sreshthah pra- 
varttitah \ ahiihsya yajna-pas'avo yuge 'stnin na tad anyatha \ chatushpat sakalo dhar- 
mo bhavishyaty atra vai surah \ tatas treta-yugam nama tray! yatra bhavishyati \ 
prokshita yatra pasavo badham prapsyanti vai makhe \ "This Krita age is the most 
excellent, of periods : then victims are not allowed to be slaughtered; complete and 



and men adhered to truth, and were devoted to a righteousness de- 
pendent on ceremonies. Then sacrifices prevailed, with holy acts and a 
variety of rites. In the Treta men acted with an object in view, seeking 
after reward for their rites and their gifts, and no longer disposed to 
austerities and to liberality from (a simple feeling of) duty. 11250. 
In this age, however, they were devoted to their own duties, and to 
religious ceremonies. In the Dvapara age righteousness was diminished 
by two quarters, Vishnu became yellow, and the Veda fourfold. Some 
studied four Yedas, others three, others two, others one, and some none 
at all. 271 The scriptures being thus divided, 'ceremonies were celebrated 
in a great variety of ways ; and the people being occupied with aus- 
terity and the bestowal of gifts, became full of passion (rdjasl). Owing 
to ignorance of the one Veda, Vedas were multiplied. And now from 
the decline of goodness (sattva} few only adhered to truth. When men 
had fallen away from goodness, many diseases, (11255) desires and 
calamities, caused by destiny, assailed them, by which they were 
severely afflicted, and driven to practice austerities. Others desiring 
enjoyments and heavenly bliss, offered sacrifices. Thus, when they 
had reached the Dvapara, men declined through unrighteousness. In 
the Kali righteousness remained to the extent of one-fourth only. Ar- 
rived in that age of darkness, Vishnu became black : practices enjoined, 
by the Vedas, works of righteousness, and rites of sacrifice, ceased. 
Calamities, diseases, fatigue, faults, such as anger, etc., distresses, 
anxiety, hunger, fear, prevailed. As the ages revolve, righteousness 
again declines. When this takes place, the people also decline. When 
they decay, the impulses which actuate them also decay. The practices 
generated by this declension of the Yugas frustrate men's aims. Such 
is the Kali Yuga which has existed for a short time. Those who are 
long-lived act in conformity with the character of the age." 

The next passage from the same book (the Vana-parvan) does not 
make any allusion to the Yugas, but depicts the primeval perfection of 
mankind with some traits peculiar to itself, and then goes on to describe 
their decline. Markandeya is the speaker. 

perfect righteousness will prevail. Next is the Treta in which the triple veda will 
come into existence ; and animals will be slain in sacrifice." See note 65, page 39, 

s? 1 Tbe Commentator explains anrichas ("without the Rig-veda") by krita- 
Jerityah. On the sense of the latter word see above. 


12619. Nirmaldni sarirdni visuddhdni sarlrindm \ sasarja dharma- 
tantrdni purvotpannah Prajdpatih \ amogha-phala-sankalpdh suvratdh 
satyavddinah \ brahma-bhutd nardh puny dh pur dndh kuru-sattama \ sarv? 
devaih samdh ydnti svachhandena nabhas-talam \ tatas cha punar dydnli 
sarve svachhanda-chdrinah \ svachhanda-marands chdsan nardh svachhan- 
da-chdrinah \ aJpa-bddhd nirdtankdh siddhdrthd nirupadravdh \ drash- 
tdro deva-sangJidndm rishlndm cha mahdtmandm \ pratyalcshdh sarva- 
dharmdndm ddntd vigata-matsardh \ dsan varsha-sahasrlyds tathd putra- 
sahasrinah \ 12625. Tatah kdldntare 'nyasmin prithivl-tala- chdrinah \ 
Mtna-krodhddhtbhutds te mdyd-vydjopajlvinah \ lobha-mohdbhibhutds te 
saktd dehais tato nardh \ asubhaih karmabhih papas tiryan-niraya- 
gdminah \ 

" The first-born Prajapati formed the bodies of corporeal creatures 
pure, spotless, and obedient to duty. The holy men of old were not 
frustrated in the results at which they aimed; they were religious, 
truth- speaking, and partook of Brahma's nature. Being all like gods 
they ascended to the sky and returned at will. They died too when 
they desired, suffered few annoyances, were free from disease, accom- 
plished all their objects, and endured no oppression. Self-subdued and 
free from envy, they beheld the gods 272 and the mighty rishis, and had 
an intuitive perception of all duties. 273 They lived for a thousand years, 
and had each a thousand sons. Then at a later period of time, the in- 

*w See the passage from S'ankara's Commentary on the Brahma Sutras i. 3, 32, in 
the 3rd vol. of this work, pp. 49 f., and note 49 in p. 95 ; and S'atapatha Brahmana, 
ii. 3, 4, 4, ubhaye ha vai id/im agre saha astir devas cha manushyas 1 cha \ tad yad ha 
sma manushyanam na bhavati tad ha devan yachante " idam vai no nasti idam no 
'stv " iti | te tasyai eva yachnyayai dveshena devas tirobhuta " na id hinasani na 
id dveshyo 'sani" iti | "Gods and men, together, were both originally (component 
parts of) this world. Whatever men had not they asked from the gods, saying, 
' We have not this ; let us have it.' From dislike of this solicitation the gods dis- 
appeared, (saying each of them) ' let me not hurt (them), let me not be hateful.' " 
Compare also the passage of the S'. P. Br. iii. 6, 2, 26, referred to by Professor Weber 
in Indische Studien, x. 158 : Te ha stna ete ubhaye deva-manttshyah pitarah sampi- 
bante \ sa esha sampa \ te ha sma drisyamana eva pura sampibante uta etarhy adris- 
yamanah \ " Both gods, men, and fathers drink together. This is their symposium. 
Formerly they drank together visibly : now they do so unseen." Compare also Plato, 
Philebus, 18 : Kal &t> iraAajoi, Kpflrrovts rip.S>v KCU tyyvrepu OfSiv oucovvres, 
ravrriv (j>r)/j.r}v irap&oaav, " And the ancients who were better than ourselves, and 
dwelt nearer to the gods, have handed down this tradition." 

273 Compare the passage of the Nirukta, i. 2U, beginning, saltshat-krita-dharmitna 
rishayo babhuvuh, quoted in the 2nd vol. of this work, p. 174. 


habitants of the earth became subject to desire and anger, and subsisted 
by deceit and fraud. Governed by cupidity and delusion, devoted to 
carnal pursuits, sinful men by their evil deeds walked in crooked paths 
leading to hell," etc., etc. 

At the end of the chapter of the Bhishmaparvan, entitled Jambu- 

Jchanda-mrmdna, there is a paragraph in which Sanjaya gives an account 

of the four yugas in Bharatavarsha (Hindustan), and of the condition 

' of mankind during each of those periods. After stating the names and 

order of the yugas, the speaker proceeds : 

389. Chatvdri iu sahasrdni varshdndm Kuru-sattama \ dyuh-sankhyd 
krita-yuge sankhydtd rdja-sattama \ tathd trini sahasrdni tretdydm ma- 
nujddhipa \ dve sahasre dvdpare cha Ihuvi tishthanti sdmpratam \ na 
pramdna-sthitir hy asti tishye 'smin Bharatarshabha \ garbha-sthds cha 
mriyante cha tathd jdtd mriyanti cha \ mahdbald mahdsattvdh prajnd- 
guna-samanvitdh \ prajdyante cha jdtds cha sataso 'tha sahasrasah \ jdtdh 
krita-yuge rdjan dhaninah priya-darinah \ prajdyante cha jdtds cha mu- 
nayo vai tapodhandh \ mahotsdhdh mahdtmdno dhdrmikdh satya-vddinah \ 
priyadarsand vapmhmanto mahdvlryd dhanurdhardh \ vardrhd yudhijd- 
yante kshattriydh sura-sattamdh \ tretdydm kshattriyd rdjan sarve vai 
chakra/varttinah \ dyushmanto mahdmrd dhanurdhara-vard yudhi \ jdyante 
kshattriyd vlrds tretdydm vasa-varttinah \ sarve varnd mahdrdja jdyante 
dvdpare sati \ mahotsdhd vlryavantah paraspara-jayaishinah \ tejasd 
'Ipena samyuktdh krodhandh purushd nripa \ lubdhd anritakds chaiva 
tishye jdyanti Shdrata \ Irshd mdnas tathd krodho mdyd 'suyd tathaiva 
cha | tishye lhavati bhutdndm rdgo lobhas cha Shdrata \ sanksJiepo vart- 
rdjan dvdpare 'smin narddhipa \ 

"389. Four thousand years are specified as the duration of life in 
the Krita age, 274 three thousand in the Treta, and two thousand form 
the period at present established on earth in the Dvapara. There is no 
fixed measure in the Tishya (Kali) : embryos die in the womb, as well 
as children after their birth. Men of great strength, goodness, wisdom, 
and virtue were born, and born too in hundreds and thousands. In the 
Krita age men were produced opulent and beautiful, as well as munis 
rich in austere fervour. Energetic, mighty, righteous, veracious, beau- 
tiful, well-formed, valorous, bow-carrying, (395) heroic Kshattriyas, 

274 See above, p. 91, note 174. 


distinguished in battle, were born. 275 In the Treta all sovereigns were 
Kshattriyas. Heroic Kshattriyas were born in the Treta, long-lived, 
great warriors, carrying bows in the fight, and living subject to au- 
thority. During the Dvapara all castes are produced, energetic, valor- 
ous, striving for victory over one another. In the Tishya age are born 
men of little vigour, irascible, covetous, and mendacious. During that 
period, envy, pride, anger, delusion, ill-will, desire, and cupidity pre- 
vail among all beings. During this Dvapara age there is some re- 

As it is here stated that men of all castes were born in the Dvapara, 
while Brahmans and Kshattriyas only are spoken of as previously 
existing, it is to be presumed that the writer intends to intimate that 
no Vaisyas or Sudras existed during the Krita and Treta ages. This 
accords with the account given in the passage quoted above from the 
Uttara Kanda of the Ramayana, chapter 74, as well as with other texts 
which will be quoted below. 

The following verses might be taken for a rationalistic explanation 
of the traditions regarding the yugas ; but may be intended as nothing 
more than a hyperbolical expression of the good or bad effects of a 
king's more or less active discharge of his duties : 

S'anti-parva, 2674. Kdlo vd karanam rdjno raja vd kdla-kdranam \ 
iti te samsayo ma Ihud raja kdlasya karanam \ danda-nltydm yadd raja 
samyak kdrtsnyena varttate \ tadd krita-yiigam ndma kdla-srishtam pra- 
varttate | . . . . 2682. Danda-nltydm yadd raja trln amsdn anuvarttate \ 
chaturtftam amsam utsrijya tadd tretd pravarttate | . . . . 2684. Ard- 
dham tyaktvd yadd rdjd nlty-artham anuvarttate \ tatas tu dvdparam 
ndma sa kdlah sampravarttate | . . . . 2686. Danda-nltim parityajya 
yadd kdrttsnyena Ihumipah \ prajdh klisndty ayogena pravartteta tadd 
kalih | .... 2693. Raja krita-yuga-srashtd tretdyd dvdparasya cha \ 
yugasya cha chaturthasya rdjd bhavati karanam \ 

" 2674. The time is either the cause of the king, or the king is the 
cause of the time. Do not doubt (which of these alternatives is true) : 
the king is the cause of the time. When a king occupies himself fully 
in criminal justice, then the Krita age, brought into existence by time, 

476 It does not appear clearly whether we are to suppose them to have been pro- 
duced in the Krita, or in the Treta, as in the passage of the Ramayana, quoted in 
page 119. 


prevails." [Then follows a description of the results of such good 
government: righteousness alone is practised; prosperity reigns; the 
seasons are pleasant and salubrious ; longevity is universal ; no widows 
are seen ; and the earth yields her increase without cultivation.] 
" 2682. When the king practises criminal justice only to the extent of 
three parts, abandoning the fourth, then the Treta prevails." [Then 
evil is introduced to the extent of a fourth, and the earth has to be 
tilled.] " 2684. When the king administers justice with the omission 
of a half, then the period called the Dvapara prevails." [Then evil is 
increased to a half, and the earth even when tilled yields only half her 
produce.] " 2686. When, relinquishing criminal law altogether, the 
king actively oppresses his subjects, then the Kali age prevails." 
[Then the state of things, which existed in the Krita age, is nearly 
reversed.] " 2693. The king is the creator of the Krita, Treta, and 
Dvapara ages, and the cause also of the fourth yuga." 

The next extract is on the same subject of the duties of a king, and 
on the yugas as forms of his action (see Manu, ix. 301, quoted above, 
p. 49): 

S'anti-parvan, 3406. Karma sudre krishir vaitye danda-mtis cha rdjani \ 
Irahmacharyyam tapo mantrdh satyam chdpi dvijdtishu \ teshdm yah 
Jcshattriyo veda vastrdndm wa sodhanam^ 6 \ frla-doshdn mnirharttum sa 
pita sa prajdpatih \ kritam tretd dvdparam cha kalis Bharatarshabha \ 
rdja-vrittdni sarvdni rdjaiva yugam uchyate \ chdturvarnyam tathd vedds 
chdturdsramyam eixt cha \ sarvam pramuhyate hy etad yadd rdjd pra- 
mddyati \ 

" 3406. Labour (should be found) in a Sudra, agriculture in a Vaisya, 
criminal justice in a King, continence, austere fervour, and the use of 
sacred texts in a Brahman. The Kshattriya, who knows how to sepa- 
rate their good and bad qualities, (as (a washerman) understands the 
cleansing of clothes), is a father and lord of his subjects. The Krita, 
Treta, Dvapara, and Kali, are all modes of a King's action. It is a 
King who is called by the name of Yuga. The four castes, the Vedas, 
and the four orders, are all thrown into disorder when the king is re- 

2 ?8 This .comparison is more fully eipressed in a preceding verse (3404) : Yo na 
janati nirharttum vastranam rajako malam \ raktanam va dodhayilurh yatha nasti 
tathaiva sah \ 


In two of the preceding passages different colours are represented as 
characteristic either of particular castes (S'anti-p. verses 6934 ff.), or of 
particular yugas (Yana-p. verses 11241 ff.). Colours (though not ranked 
in the same order of goodness) are similarly connected with moral and 
physical conditions in verses 10058 ff. of the S'antiparvan, of which 1 
shall offer a few specimens : 

Shad jlva-varndh paramam pramdnam krishno dhumro riilam athdsya 
madhyam \ raktam punah sahyata/ram sukham tu hdridra-varnam smu- 
kham cha suklam \ parantu suklam vimalam visokam gata-klamam sid- 
dhyati ddnavendra- \ gatvd lu yoni-prabhavani daitya sahasrasah siddhim 

upaitijlvah \ 10060 Gatih punar varna-kritd prajdndih varnas 

tathu kdla-krito 'surendra | . . . . 10062. Krishnasya varnasya gatir 
nikrishta sa sajate narake pacJiyamanah \ 

" 10058. Six colours of living creatures are of principal importance, 
black, dusky, and blue which lies between them; then red is more 
tolerable, yellow is happiness, and white is extreme happiness. White 
is perfect, being exempted from stain, sorrow, and exhaustion; (pos- 
sessed of it) a being going through (various) births, arrives at perfection 

in a thousand forms. 10060 Thus destination is caused by 

colour, and colour is caused by time 10062. The destination 

of the black colour is bad. When it has produced its results, it clings 
to hell." 

The next passage, from the Harivansa, assigns to each of the four 
castes a separate origin, but at the same time gives an explanation of 
their diversity which differs from any that we have yet encountered : 
unless, indeed, any one is prepared to maintain that the four principles, 
out of which the castes are here represented to have arisen, are respec- 
tively identical with the mouth, arms, thighs, and feet of Brahma ! 
This passage, however, corresponds with one of those already quoted 
in associating different colours with the several castes. The question 
with which the passage opens refers to an account which had been 
given in the preceding section (verses Il799ff.) of the creation of 
Bhrigu and Angiras, to both of whom the epithet " progenitor of Brah- 
mans " (brahma-vamsa-kara] is applied. No mention is made there of 
Kshattriyas or any other castes. M. Langlois, the French translator of 
the Harivansa, remarks that the distinction between the age of the 
Brahmans and that of the Kshattriyas is an unusual one, and receives 


no explanation in the context. But in two of the passages which have 
been quoted above (1) from the Uttara Kanda of the Ramayana, 
chapter 74 (p. 11 9), and (2) from the Bhishma-parva of the Maba- 
bharata, verses 393 ff. (p. 149), I think we find indications that the 
Krita Yuga was regarded as an age in which Brahmans alone existed, 
nd that Kshattriyas only began to be born in the Treta. 

Harivaihsa, 11808. Janameya uvdcha \ S'rutam brahma-yugam brah- 
man yugdndm prathamam yugam \ kshattranydpi yugam brahman srotum 
ichhdmi tattvatah \ sasamskshepam savistaram niyamaih bahubhis chitam \ 
updya-jnais cha kathitam Jcratubhis chopasobhitam \ Vaisampdyana 
uvdcha \ 11810. Etat te kathayishydmi yajna-lcarmabhir or chitam \ 
ddna-dharmais cha vividhaih prajdbhir upasobhitam \ te ' ' ngushtha-mdtrd 
munayah ddattdh surya-rasmilhih \ moksha-prdptena vidhind nirdbd- 
dhena karmana \ prai-ritte chdpravritte cha nityam rahma-pardyandh \ 
pardyanasya sangamya Brahmanas tu mahipate \ srl-vrittdh pdvands 
ehaiva brahmands cha maMpate \ chdrita-lrahmacharyyds cha brahma- 
fndnena bodhitdh \ purne yuga-sahasrdnte prabhdve pralaydm gatdh \ 
brdhmand vritta-sampannd jndna-siddhdh samdhittih \ 11815. Vyatirilc- 
tendriyo Vishnur yogdtmd brahma-sambhavah \ Dakshah prajdpatir bhu- 
tvd srijate vipuldh prajdh \ akshardd brdhmandh saumydh Icshardt kshat- 
triya-bdndhavdh \ vaisyd vikdratas ehaiva sudrdh dhuma-viledratah \ 
sveta-lohitalcair varnaih pltair riilais cha brdhmandh \ abhinirvarttitdh 
varndms chintaydnena Vishnund \ tato varnatvam dpanndh prajd loke cha- 
turvidhdh \ brdhmandh "kshattriya vaisydh sudrds ehaiva mahipate \ eka- 
lingdh prithag-dharmd dvipdddh paramddbhutdh \ yatanayd 'bhisam- 
pannd gati-jndh sarva-lcarmasu \ traydndm varna-jdtdndm veda-proJctdh 
Tcriydh smritdh \ tena brdhmana-yogena vaishnavena mahipate \ prajnayd 
tejasd yogdt tasmdt Prdchetasah prabhuh \ Yishnur eva mahdyogl Jcar- 
mandm antaram gatah \ tato nirvdna-sambhuidh sudrdh Icarma-vivarji- 
tdh | tasmdd ndrhanti samskdram na hy atra brahma vidyate \ yathd 
'gnau dhuma-sanghdto hy aranyd mathyamdnayd \ prddurbhuto visarpan 
vai nopayujyati karmani \ evam sudrd visarpanto Ihuvi kdrtsnyena j'an- 
mand \ na samslcritena 277 dharmena veda-proktena karmand \ 

" Janamejaya says : 11808. I have heard, o Brahman, the (descrip- 
tion of the) Brahma Yuga, the first of the ages. I desire also to be 
accurately informed, both summarily and in detail, about the age of the 
OT The printed text reads nasamskritena ; but na samskritena seems necessary. 


Kshattriyas, with its numerous observances, illustrated as it was by 
sacrifices, and described as it has been by men skilled in the art of 
narration. Vaisarapayana replied : 11810. I shall describe to you that 
age revered for its sacrifices and distinguished for its various works of 
liberality, as well as for its people. Those Munis of the size of a 
thumb had been absorbed by the sun's rays. Following a rule of life 
leading to final emancipation, practising unobstructed ceremonies, both 
in action and in abstinence from action constantly intent upon Brahma, 
united to Brahma as the highest object, Brahmans glorious and sanc- 
tified in their conduct, leading a life of continence, disciplined by the 
knowledge of Brahma, Brahmans complete in their observances, per- 
fect in knowledge, and contemplative, when at the end of a thousand 
yugas, their majesty was full, these Munis became involved in the dis- 
solution of the world. 11815. Then Vishnu sprung from Brahma, re- 
moved beyond the sphere of sense, absorbed in contemplation, became 
the Prajapati Daksha, and formed numerous creatures. The Brahmans, 
beautiful (or, dear to Soma), 278 were formed from an imperishable 
(akskara), the Kshattriyas from a perishable (kshara), element, the 
Vaisyas from alteration, 'the S'udras from a modification of smoke. 
While Vishnu was thinking upon the castes (varnan), Brahmans were 
formed with white, red, yellow, and blue colours (varnaih}.* 79 Hence in 
the world men have become divided into castes, being of four descrip- 
tions, Brahmans, Kshattriyas, Vaisyas, and STidras, one in form, distinct 
in their duties, two-footed, very wonderful, full of energy(?), skilled in 
expedients in all their occupations. 11820. Uites are declared to be 
prescribed by the Vedas for the three (highest) castes. By that con- 
templation practised by the being sprung from Brahma (see v. 11815) 
by that practised in his character as Vishnu, the Lord Prachetasa 
(Daksha), i.e. Vishnu the great contemplator (yogiri), passed through 
his wisdom and energy from that state of meditation into the sphere 
of works. 280 Next the S'udras, produced from extinction, are destitute 

178 In verse 11802, we read abhishichya tu Somaih cha yauvarojye Fitamahah \ 
brahmananam cha rajanam s'advataih rajam-charam \ " Brahma also inaugurated Soma 
as the heir to the kingdom, as the king of the Brahmans who walks eternally through 
the night." 

279 This play upon the two senses of the word varna will he noticed. 

280 I do not profess to be certain that I have succeeded in discovering the proper 
meaning of this last sentence. 


of rites. Hence they are not entitled to be admitted to the purifi- 
catory ceremonies, nor does sacred science belong to them. Just as the 
cloud of smoke which rises from the fire on the friction of the fuel, 
and is dissipated, is of no service in the sacrificial rite, so too the 
Sudras wandering over the earth, are altogether (useless for purposes 
of sacrifice) owing to their birth, their mode of life devoid of purity 
and their want of the observances prescribed in the Veda." 

The next extract gives an account at variance with all that precedes, 
as it does not assign to all the Brahmans themselves the same origin, 
but describes the various kinds of officiating priests as having been 
formed from different members of Yishnu's body : 

Harivamsa, 11355. Evam ekdrnave bhute sete loke mahddyutih \ pra- 
chhddya salilam sarvam Harir Ndrdyanah pralhuh \ maJiato rajaso madhye 
mahdrnava-samasya vai \ virajasko mahdldhur aksharam brdhmand viduh \ 
dtma-rupa-praMsena tapasd samvritah pralhuh \ trikam dchhddya kdlam 
tu tatah sushvdpa sas tadd \ purusho yajna ity evam yat param, pariklrt- 
titam | yach chdnyat purushdkhyam tu tat sarvam purushottamah \ ye 
cha yajnapard viprd ritvijd iti sanjnitdh \ dtma-dehdt purd bhutd yajne- 
IJiyah sruyatdm tadd \ 11360. Brahmdnam paramam vaktrdd udgdtdram 
cha sdma-gdm \ hotdram atJia chddJivaryyum Idhubhydm asrijat pralhuh \ 
brdhmano brdhmanatvdch cha prastotdram cha sarvasah \ tarn maitrd- 
varunam srishtvd pratishthdtdram eva cha \ udardt pratiharttdram po- 
tdram chaiva Bhdrata \ achhdvdlcam athorubhydm neshtdram chaiva 
Bhdrata \ pdnibhydm athachdgnldhram brahmanyam chaiva yajniyam \ 
grdvdnam atha Idhulhydm unnetdram cha ydjnikam \ evam evaisha Iha- 
gavdn shodasaitdn jagatpatih \ pravalctrin sarva-yajndndm ritvijo 'srijad 
uttamdn \ tad esha vai yajnamayah purusho veda-samjnitah \ vedds cha 
tanmaydh sarve sdngopanishada-kriydh \ 

Yaisampayana said : 1135. " Thus the glorious Lord Hari N"arayana, 
covering the entire waters, slept on (the world) which had become one 
sea, in the midst of the vast expanse of fluid 281 (rajas'), resembling a 
mighty ocean, himself free from passion (virajaskah], with mighty 
arms : Brahmans know him as the undecaying. Invested through 
austere fervour with the light of his own form, and clothed with triple 
time (past, present, and future), the Lord then slept. Purusho ttama 

281 Rajas is said in two places of the Nirukta, iv. 19, and x. 44, to have the sense 
of " water." 


(Vishnu) is whatever is declared to he the highest, Purusha the sacri- 
fice, and everything else which is known by the name of Purusha. 
Hear how the Brahmans devoted to sacrifice, and called ritvijes, were 
formerly produced by him from his own body for offering sacrifices. 
11360. The Lord created from his mouth the brahman, who is the chief, 
and the udgatri, who chaunts the Saman ; from his arms the hotri and 
the adhvaryu. He then . . . . ^ created the prastotri, the maitravaruna, 
and the pratishthatri ; from his belly the pratiharttri and the potri, 
from his thighs the achhavaka and the neshtri, from his hands the 
agnldhra and the sacrificial brahmanya, from his arms the gravan and 
the sacrificial unnetri. Thus did the divine Lord of the world create 
these sixteen excellent ritvijes, the utterers of all sacrifices. There- 
fore this Purusha is formed of sacrifice and is called the Veda ; and all 
the Vedas with the Vedangas, Upanishads, and ceremonies, are formed 
of his essence." 

SECT. XII. Extracts from the Bhdgavata Pur ana on the same subject. 

I will conclude my quotations from the Puranas on the subject of 
the origin of mankind and of castes with a few passages from the Bha- 
gavata Purana. The first extract reproduces some of the ideas of the 
Purusha Sukta 288 more closely than any of the Puranic accounts yet 

ii. 5, 34. Varsha-puga-sahasrdnte tad andam udake sayam \ kdla- 
karma-svabhdva-stho jlvo 'jlvam ajlvayat \ 35. Sa eva Purushas tasmdd 
andam nirbhedya nirgatah \ sahasrorv-anghri-bdhv-akshah sahasrdnana- 
slrshavdn \ 36. Yasyehdvayavair lokdn kalpayanti manlshinah \ katy- 

282 I am unable to make a proper sense out of the words brahmano brahmanalvach 
cha, which, however, as I learn from Dr. FitzEdward Hall, are found (with only a 
difference of long and short vowels) in the best MSS. to which he has access, as well 
as in the Bombay edition. One of the sixteen priests, the Brahmanachhamsin, is not 
found in the enumeration, and his name may therefore have stood at the beginning of 
the line. Instead of the inept reading sarvas'ah, at the end, the author may perhaps 
have written vakshatah, "from his chest," as, indeed, one MS. reads in the next line. 
The Bombay edition reads prishthat, " from the back," instead of srishtva. 

283 M. Burnouf remarks in the Preface to the first vol. of his edition of the Bhaga- 
vata, pp. cxxii. ff., on the manner in which its author has gone back to Vedic 
sources for his materials. The same thing is noticed by Professor "Weber, Indische 
Studien, i. 286, note. 


ddibhir adhah sapta saptordhvamjaghanddihhih \ Sl.Purushasya mukham 
brahma kshatram etasya bdhavah \ ilrvor vaisyo lhagavatah padbhydm 
sudro vyajayata \ 38. BhurloJcah kalpitah padbhydm bhuvarloJco 'sya 
ndbhitah \ hridd svarloka wrasd maharloko mahdtmanah \ 

" 34. At the end of many thousand years the living soul which 
resides in time, action, and natural quality gave life to that lifeless egg 
floating on the water. 35. Purusha then having burst the egg, issued 
from it with a thousand thighs, feet, arms, eyes, faces, and heads. 36. 
With his members the sages fashion the worlds, the seven lower worlds 
with his loins, etc., and the seven upper worlds with his groin, etc. 
37. The Brahman (was) the mouth of Purusha, the Kshattriya his 
arms, the Yaisya was born from the thighs, the S'udra from the feet of 
the divine being. The earth was formed from his feet, the air from his 
navel ; the heaven by the heart, and the maharloka by the breast of the 
mighty one." 

In the following verse the figurative character of the representation 
is manifest : 

ii. 1, 37. Brahmdnanam hhattra-bhujo mahdtmd vid-urur angJvri- 
srita-krishna-varnah \ 

"The Brahman is his mouth; he is Kshattriya-armed, that great 
One, Vaisya-thighed, and has the black caste abiding in his feet." 

The next passage is more in accord with the ordinary representation, 
though here, too, the mystical view is introduced at the close : 

iii. 22, 2. Brahma 'srijat sva-mukhato yushmdn dtma-paripaayd \ 
chhandomayas tapo-vidya-yoga-yuktan alampatan \ 3. Tat-trdndyd- 
srijach chdsmdn doh-sahasrdt sahasra-pat \ hridayam tasya hi brahma 
kshattram angam prachakshate \ 

"Brahma, who is formed of the Veda (chhandas], with a view to the 
recognition of himself, created you (the Brahmans) who are charac- 
terized by austere fervour, science, devotion and chastity, from his 
mouth. For their protection he, the thousand-footed, created us (the 
Kshattriyas) from his thousand arms : for they declare the Brahman to 
be his heart, and the Kshattriya his body." 

iii. 6, 29 ff. contains another reference to the production of the castes : 

29. Mukhato \arttata brahma Purushasya ITurudvaha \ yastun- 
mukhatvdd varndndm mukhyo 'bhud brdhmano guruh \ 30. Buhubhyo 
'varttata kshattram kshattriyas tad-amtvratah \ yojdtas tray ate varndn 


paurmhah kantaka-kshatdt \ 31. Viso 'varttanta tasyorvor loka-vritti- 
karir vibhoh \ vaisyas tad-udbhavo vdrttdm nrindm yah samavarttayat \ 
32. Padbhydm lhagavato jajne susrushd dharma-siddhaye \ tasydmjdtah 
purd sudro yad-vrittyd tushyate Harih \ 33. Ete varndh sva-dharmena 
yajanti sva-gurum Harim \ sraddhayd "tma-visuddhyartham yaj jdtdh 
saha vrittibhih \ 

"29. From the mouth of Purasha, o descendant of Kuru, issued 
divine knowledge (brahma), and the Brahman, who through his pro- 
duction from the mouth became the chief of the castes and the pre- 
ceptor. 30. From his arms issued kingly power (kshattra], and the 
Kshattriya devoted to that function, who, springing from Purusha, as 
soon as born defends the castes from the injury of enemies. 31. From 
the thighs of the Lord issued the arts, 234 affording subsistence to the 
world ; and from them was produced the Yaisya who provided the 
maintenance of mankind. 32. From the feet of the divine Being 
sprang service for the fulfilment of duty. In it the Sudra was formerly 
born, with whose function Hari is well satisfied. By fulfilling their 
own duties, with faith, for the purification of their souls, these castes 
worship Hari their parent, from whom they have sprung together with 
their functions." 

In viii. 5, 41, we find the following: 

Vipro mukhdd brahma cha yasya yuhyarh rdjanya dsld bhujayor 
balam cha \ iirvor vid ojo 'nghrir aveda-sudrau prasldatdm nah sa mahd- 
vibhutih \ 

"May that Being of great glory be gracious to us, from whose 
mouth sprang the Brahman and the mysterious Yeda, from whose arms 
came the Raj any a and force, from whose thighs issued the Vis and 
energy, and whose foot is no-veda (aveda) and the Sudra." 

The same work gives the following very brief account of the Arvdk- 
srotas creation, which is described with somewhat more detail in the 
passages extracted above from the Vishnu and Vayu Puranas : 

iii. 20, 25. Arvdk-srotas tu navamah kshattar eka-vidho nrindm \ rajo 
'dliikdh karma-pardh duhkJie cha sukha-mtininah \ 

284 The word so rendered is visah, which in the hymns of the Rig-veda has always 
the sense of "people." Here, however, it seems to have the sense assigned in the 
text, if one may judge from the analogy of the following verse, in which the S'udra 
is said to be produced from his special function, susrusha, "service." The Commen- 
tator explains visah = krishy-adi-vyavasayah, " the professions of agriculture," etc. 


" The Aryaksrotas creation was of one description, 285 viz., of men, in 
whom the quality of passion abounded, who were addicted to works, 
and imagined that in pain they experienced pleasure." 

In vi. 6, 40, a new account is given of the origin of mankind. We 
are there told : 

Aryamno Mdtrika patnl tayo Charshanayah sutdh \ yatra vai md- 
nushi jdtir Brahmand chopakalpitd \ 

" The wife of Aryaman (the son of Aditi) was Matrika. The Char- 
shanis were the sons of this pair, and among them the race of men 
was formed by Brahma." The word charshani signifies "men," or 
" people " in the Veda. 

In the following verse (which forms part of the legend of Pururavas, 
quoted in the 3rd vol. of this work, pp. 27 ff.) it is declared that in the 
Krita age there was only one caste : 

ix. 14, 48. Eka eva purd vedah pranavah sarva-vdnmayah \ devo 
Ndrdyano ndnya elco ' 'gnir varna eva cha \ Pururavasa evdstt trayl 
tretd-mukhe nripa \ 

" There was formerly but one Veda, the pranava (the monosyllable 
Om], the essence of all speech ; only one god, Narayana, one Agni, and 
(one) caste. From Pururavas came the triple Veda, in the beginning 
of the Treta." 

Some of the Commentator's remarks on this text will be found in 
vol. iii. p. 29. He says the one caste was called " Hansa " (varnas 
cha eka eva hamso ndma\ and concludes his note by remarking : "The 
meaning is this: In the Krita age when the quality of goodness pre- 
dominated in men, they were almost all absorbed in meditation ; but in 
the Treta, when passion prevailed, the method of works was manifested 
by the division of the Vedas, etc." 

285 The Sfmkhya Karika, 53, says : ashta-vikalpo daivas tairyagyonyas' cha pan- 
chadha bhavati manushyas, chaika-vidhah samasato bhautikah sargah ; which is thus 
translated by Mr. Colebrooke (in Wilson's Sankhya Karika, p. 164) : "The divine 
kind is of eight sorts ; the grovelling is five-fold ; mankind is single -in its class. 
This, briefly, is the world of living beings." The Commentator Gaudapada shortly 
explains the words manushyas' chaikavidhah by manushayonir ekaiva, " the source of 
production of mankind is one only." Vijnana Bhikshu, the Commentator on the 
Sankhya Pravachana, iii. 46, paraphrases the same words thus, manushya-sargas 
chaika-prakarah, "the human creation IB of one sort." 


SECT. XIII. Results of this Chapter. 

The details which I have supplied in the course of this chapter must 
have rendered it abundantly evident that the sacred books of the Hindus 
contain no uniform or consistent account of the origin of castes ; but, on 
the contrary, present the greatest varieties of speculation on this. sub- 
ject. Explanations mystical, mythical, and rationalistic, are all offered 
in turn ; and the freest scope is given by the individual writers to fan- 
ciful and arbitrary conjecture. 

First : we have the set of accounts in which the four castes are said 
to have sprung from progenitors who were separately created ; but in 
regard to the manner of their creation we find the greatest diversity of 
statement. The most common story is that the castes issued from the 
mouth, arms, thighs, and feet of Purusha, or Brahma. The oldest ex- 
tant passage in which this idea occurs, and from which all the later 
myths of a similar tenor have no doubt been borrowed, is, as we have 
seen, to be found in the Purusha Sukta ; but it is doubtful whether, in 
the form in which it is there presented, this representation is any- 
thing more than an allegory. In some of the texts which I have 
quoted from the Bhagavata Purana, traces of the same allegorical cha- 
racter may be perceived ; but in Manu and the Puranas the mystical 
import of the Yedic text disappears, and the figurative narration is 
hardened into a literal statement of fact. In other passages, where a 
separate origin is assigned to the castes, they are variously said to have 
sprung from the words Bhuh, Bhuvah, Svah ; from different Vedas ; 
from different sets of prayers ; from the gods, and the asuras; from 
nonentity (pp. 17-21), and from the imperishable, the perishable, and 
other principles (Harivamsa, 11816). In the chapters of the Yishnu, 
Yayu, and Markandeya Puranas, where castes are described as coeval 
with the creation, and as having been naturally distinguished by 
different gunas, or qualities, involving varieties of moral character, we 
are nevertheless allowed to infer that those qualities exerted no in- 
fluence on the classes in whom they were inherent, as the condition 
of the whole race during the Krita age is described as one of uniform 
perfection and happiness ; while the actual separation into castes did 


not take place, according to the Yayu Parana, until men had become 
deteriorated in the Treta age. 

Second : in various passages from the Brahmanas, Epic poems, and 
Puranas, the creation of mankind is, as we have seen, described with- 
out the least allusion to any separate production of the progenitors of 
the four castes (pp. 23-27, and elsewhere). And whilst in the chapters 
where they relate the distinct formation of the castes, the Puranas, as 
has been observed, assign different [natural dispositions to each class, 
they elsewhere represent all mankind as being at the creation uniformly 
distinguished by the quality of passion. In one of the texts I have 
quoted (p. 26 f.) men are said to be the offspring of Yivasvat ; in 
another his son Manu is said to be their progenitor ; whilst in a third 
they are said to be descended from a female of the same name. The pas- 
sage which declares Manu to have been the father of the human race 
explicitly affirms that men of all the four castes were descended from 
him. In another remarkable text the Mahabharata categorically asserts 
that originally there was no distinction of classes, the existing distri- 
bution having arisen out of differences of character and occupation. 
Similarly, the Bhagavata Purana in one place informs us that in the 
Krita age there was but one caste ; and this view appears also to be 
taken in some passages which I have adduced from the Epic poems. 

In these circumstances we may fairly conclude that the separate 
origination of the four castes was far from being an article of belief 
universally received by Indian antiquity. 

I shall now proceed to enquire what opinion the writers of the older 
Vedic hymns appear to have entertained in regard to the origin of the 
race to which they themselves belonged. 




It appears from the considerations urged in the preceding chapter 
that in all probability the Purusha Sukta belongs to the most recent 
portion of the Rig-veda Sanhita, and that it is at least doubtful whether 
the verse in which it connects the four castes with the different mem- 
bers of the creator's body is not allegorical. And we have seen that 
even if that representation is to be taken as a literal account of the 
creation of the different classes, it cannot, in the face of many other 
statements of a different tenor, and of great antiquity, be regarded as 
expressing the fixed belief of the writers of the period immediately 
succeeding the collection of the hymns in regard to the origin of the 
social divisions which prevailed in their own time. But the notions 
entertained of the origin of caste at the date of the Purusha Sukta, 
whatever they may have been, will afford no criterion of the state of 
opinion on the same subject in an earlier age; and it therefore remains 
to enquire whether those hymns of the Rig-veda, which appear to be 
the most ancient, contain either ( 1 ) any tradition regarding the origin 
of mankind, or of the Indian tribes ; or (2) any allusion to the exist- 
ence, in the community contemporary with their composition, of sepa- 
rate classes corresponding to those afterwards known as Brahmans, 
Kshattriyas, Yaisyas, and S'udras ; and if they embrace any reference 
of the latter kind, whether they afford any explanation of the manner 
in which these orders of men came to occupy their respective positions 

1 On the subjects treated in this chapter compare my article in the Journal of the 
Royal Asiatic Society, vol. xx. for 1863, pp. 406 ff., where a reference is made to 
the other writers who had previously treated of them, such as M. Neve, Mythe des 
Ribhavas, etc. 



in society. We shall find on examination that the hymns supply some 
information on both these branches of enquiry. 

Numerous references are undoubtedly to be found in all parts of the 
hymn-collection to a variety of ranks, classes, and professions ; of which 
an account will be given in the next chapter ; but no hint is anywhere 
discoverable, except in the single text of the Purusha Sukta, of those 
classes being distinguished from each other by any original difference 
of race. If, however, the early Vedic Indians had all along believed in 
the quadruple production of their nation from the different members of 
Purusha, one might naturally have expected to find allusions to such a 
variety of birth running through the hymns. But nothing, I repeat, 
of this kind is to be traced. On the contrary it appears from a con- 
siderable number of passages that at least the superior ranks of the 
community were regarded as being of one stock, the Aryan, and as 
having one common ancestor. This chapter will therefore embrace, 
First, the texts which are found in the hymns regarding the origin of 
the Indian tribes, and the history of their progenitor, and Secondly 
those passages which occur in the Brahmanas, and other later works in 
which the statements of the early Yedic poets on these subjects are re- 
echoed or developed. 

SECT. I. Manu as the progenitor of the Aryan Indians and the in- 
stitutor of religious rites according to the Hymns of the Rig-veda. 

In this section I shall first quote the texts which allude to Manu as 
father (which must of course be understood to designate him as the 
actual human progenitor of the authors of the hymns, and of the bulk 
of the people to whom they addressed themselves) ; and then adduce 
those which speak of him as the institutor of religious rites, or as the 
object of divine protection. 

(1) The following texts are of the first class : 

i. 80, 16. Yam Atharva Manush pita Dadhyan dhiyam atnata \ tas- 
min orahmdm ' purvathd Indre uktha samagmata \ 

" Prayers and hymns were formerly congregated in that Indra, in the 
eeremony which Atharvan, father Manu, and Dadhyan ch celebrated."* 

2 This verse is quoted in the Nirukta, xii. 34, where the words Manush pita, 


i. 114, 2. Yat sam cha yo& cha Manur dyeje pita tad asydma tava 
Rudra pranltishu \ 

" Whatever prosperity or succour father Manu obtained by sacrifice, 
may we gain all that under thy guidance, Rudra." 

ii. 33, 13. Yd. vo IhesJiajd Marutah suchmi yd Santamd vrishano yd 
mayobhu \ ydni Manur avrimta pita nah td sam cha yoi cha Rudrasya 
vasmi \ 

" Those pure remedies of yours, Maruts, those which are most 
auspicious, ye vigorous gods, those which are beneficent, those which 
our 3 father Manu chose,' those, and the blessing and succour of Rudra, 
I desire." 

viiL 52, 1 (Sama-veda, i. 355). Sa purvyo mahdndm veno kratubhir 
dnaje \ yasya dvdrd Manush pita deveshu HMyah dnaje \ 

"That ancient friend hath been equipped with the powers of the 
mighty (gods). Father Manu has prepared hymns to him, as portals 
of access to the gods."* 

" father Manu," are explained as meaning ManuscJia pita manavanam, " Manu the 
father of men." Sayana, the Commentator on the Rig-veda, interprets them as 
meaning sarvasam prajanam pitribhuto Manuscha, " Manu the father of all crea- 
tures." In R.V., x. 82, 3, the words " our father and generator " (yo nah pita 
yrtw7a),.are applied to Vis'vakarman, the creator of the universe. The word "father" 
in the R.V. is often applied to Dyaus, the Sky, and " mother " to the Earth, as in 
vi. 51 5. (Compare Journ. Roy. As. Soc. for 1864, pp. 55 ff.) But in these passages 
it is not necessary to suppose that the words are employed in any other than a figu- 
rative sense ; although in a hymn to the Earth in the Atharva-veda, xii. 1, we find 
the following verse (the 15th) : Tvaj-jatas tvayi charanti martyas tvam bibhar&hi 
dvipadas tvam chatushpadah \ taveme prithivi pancha-manavah yebhyo jyotir amritam 
martyebhyah udyan suryo rasmibhir atanoti \ " Mortals horn of thee live on thee : 
thou supportest hoth bipeds and quadrupeds. Thine, o Earth, are these five races of 
men, these mortals on whom the sun rising, sheds undying light with his rays ;" 
where it might almost appear as if the poet meant to represent mankind as actually 
generated by the earth. Brihaspati (iv. 50, 6 ; vi. 73, 1) and the other gods, as Indra, 
are called " father," or compared to fathers (vii. 52, 3) ; as are Rudra, vi. 49, 10 ; 
and the Rishi, R.V., x. 81, 1 ; x. 82, 1, 3, 4. S'. P. Br., i. 5, 3, 2, has Prajapatau 
pitari; and Taitt. Br. iii. 9, 22, 1, Prajapatim pitaram. In both the last places 
Prajapati is referred to as the father of the gods, 

3 It is to be observed that while in the two preceeding passages Manu is styled 
merely " father Manu," he is here called " our father Manu" (Manuh pita nah). 

4 I am indebted to Professor Aufrecht for the above translation of this, to me, 
obscure verse. Sayana explains it thus : Sa purvyo mukhyo mahanam pujyanam 
yajaniananam Jcratubhih karmabhir nimittabhutair venah kantas tesham havih katna- 
yamanah anaje agachhati \ yasyendrasya dvara dvarnni praptyupayani dhiynh kar- 
mani deveshv eteshu madhye pita sarvesham palako Manur anaje prapa \ anajih prapti- 


The sense of the next text is less clear, but it appears at least to 
allude to the common designation of Manu as a father : 

x. 100, 5. Yajno Manuh pramatir nah pita hi kam \ 

" Sacrifice is Manu, our protecting father." 

The following verse, according to the Commentator at least, speaks 
of the paternal or ancestral path of Manu. Professor Aufrecht thinks 
it need not mean more than the ancestral human path : 

viii. 30. 3. Te nas trddhvam te avata te u no adhi vochata \ md nah 
pathah pitrydd mdnavdd adhi duram naishta paravatah \ 

" Do ye (gods) deliver, protect, and intercede for us ; do not lead us 
far away from the paternal path of Manu. 5 

As in the preceding passages Manu is spoken of as the progenitor of 
the worshippers, so in the following the same persons may perhaps be 
spoken- of as his descendants, although it is also true that the phrases 
employed may be merely equivalent to " children of men." 

i. 68, 4. Hotd nishatto Manor apatye sa chit nu dsdm patih raylndm \ 

" He (Agni) who abides among the offspring of Manu as the invoker 
(of the gods), is even the lord of these riches." 6 

karma \ " This chief one, in consequence of the rites of the venerable sacrificers, 
desiring their oblation, comes, he (Indra) as means of attaining whom Manu the 
preserver of all has obtained rites among these gods." Professor Benfey renders the 
verse, where it occurs in the Sama-veda, thus : " He is the chief of the rich, through 
works the dear one enlightens him, whose doors father Manu has, and illuminates 
observances towards the gods." From Prof. Benfey's note to the passage (p. 230) it 
appears that the Commentator on the Sama-veda explains anaje by vyaktlkaroti at- 
manam, " makes himself distinct " (herein differing from Sayana), Manu by jnata 
sarvasya = Indrah, "the knower of all, Indra," and anaje, where it occurs the second 
time, by agamayati, " causes to come." Such are the differences of opinion regarding 
the interpretation of some parts of the hymns. 

6 On this verse Sayana comments thus : Sarvesham Manuh pita latah agatat \ 
paravatah \ pita Manur duram margam chakre \ tasmat patho margat no asman ma 
naishta ma nayata \ apanayanam ma kuruta ity arthah \ sarvada brahmaeharyyagni- 
holradi-karmani yma margena bhavanti tarn evn asman nayata \ kintu duram ya 
etad-vyatirikto viprakrishto margo 'sti tasmad adhi adhikam ity arthah asman apa- 
nayata \ " ' Of Manu ' means, come from Manu who is the father of all. 'Distant : ' 
Father Manu journeyed along a distant path. Do not lead us away from that path. 
Lead us along that path in which continence, the agnihotra sacrifice, and other 
duties have always been practised. But lead us away from the distant path which 
is different from that." 

6 The Commentator here explains " the offspring of Manu " as offspring or crea- 
tures in the form of worshippers (yajamaiia~svarupayam prajayani) ; and adds that 
according to a Brahmana " creatures are sprung from Manu" ("Manavyo hiprajah" 


iii. 3, 6. Agnir devebhir manushascha jantulhis tanvdno yajnam puru- 
pesasam dhiyd \ 

"Agni, together with the gods, and the children (jantubhiJi) of 
Manush, celebrating a multiform sacrifice with hymns," etc. 

In the following texts reference is made to the people of Mann, the 
word for "people" being vii, from which vaisya, "a man of the 
people," is derived : 

iv. 37, 1. Upa no Vdjdh adhvaram Itibhukshdh devdh ydta pathibhir 
devaydnaih \ yathd yajnam manusho vikshu dsu dadhidve ranvdh sudine- 
shu ahndm \ 

"Ye gods, Vajas, and Ribhukshans, come to our sacrifice by the 
path travelled by the gods, that ye, pleasing deities, may institute a 
sacrifice among these people of Manush (Manusho vikshu} on auspicious 

vi. 14, 2. Agnim hotdram l^ate yajneshu manusho visah \ 

" The people of Manush praise in the sacrifices Agni the invoker." 

viii. 23, 13. Tad vai u vispatih iitalj, suprlto manusho viii \ vtevd id 
Agnih prati rakshdmsi sedJiati \ 

"Whenever Agni, lord of the people, 7 kindled, abides gratified 
among the people of Manush, he repels all Rakshases." 

(2.) From the preceding texts it appears that the authors of the 
hymns regarded Manu as the progenitor of their race. But (as is clear 
from many other passages) they also looked upon him as the first 
person by whom the sacrificial fire had been kindled, and as the in- 
stitutor of the ceremonial of worship; though the tradition is not 
always consistent on this subject. In one of the verses already quoted 
(i. 80, 1 6) Manu is mentioned in this way, along with Atharvan and 

iti hi brahtnanam). Yaska (Nir. iii. 7) gives the following derivations of the word 
manushya, "man:" Manushyah kasmat \ matva karmani sivyanti \ manasyamdnena 
srishtah . . . . | Manor apatyam Manusho va \ ''From what are men (named) ? Be- 
cause after reflection they sew together works ; (or) because they were created by one 
who reflected (or, according to Durga, " rejoiced ") . . . . (or) because they are the 
offspring of Manu, or Manush." 

7 Vispati. Compare vi. 48, 8, where it is said : visvasam grihapatir visam asi 
tvam Agne manushmam \ " Agni, thou art the master of the house of all human 
people (or, people sprung from Manush) ;" and x. 80, 6, Agnim visah llate inanush'r 
yah Agnim Manusho Nahusho vi jdtah \ " Human people (or, people descended from 
Manush) praise Agni : (people) sprung from Manush, from Nahush, (praise) Agni." 
Or if manushah be the nom. plur. the last clause will run thus : " men sprung from 
Nahush (praise) Agni." 


Dadhyanch, as having celebrated religious rites in ancient times. The 

following further passages refer to him as a kindler of fire, and offerer 

of oblations : 

i. 36, 19. Ni tvdm Agne Manur dadhe jyotir jandya sasvate \ 

" Manu has placed (or ordained) thee, Agni, a light to all the people.'' 

i. 76, 5. Yathd viprasya Manusho havirlhir devdn ayajah kavilhih 

kavih san \ eva hotah satyatara tvam adya Agne mandrayd juhvd yajasva \ 
" As thou, thyself a sage, didst, with the sages, worship the gods 

with the oblations of the wise Manush, so to-day, Agni, most true in- 

voker, worship them with a cheerful flame." 

y. 45, 6. A ita dhiyam Icrinavdma sakhdyah .... yayd Manur Visi- 

"Come, friends, let us perform the prayer .... whereby Manu 
conquered Visisipra .... 

viii, 10. 2. Yad vd yajnam Manave sammimikshathur eva it Kdnvasya 
lodhatam \ 

"Or if ye (Asvins) sprinkled the sacrifice for Manu, think in like 
manner of the descendant of Kanva." 

ix. 96, 11. Tvayd hi nah pitarah Soma purve karmdni chakruh pava- 
mdna dhlrdh \ .... 12. Yathd apavathdh Manave vayodhdh amitrahd 
varivovid havishmdn I eva pavasva .... 

" For through thee, pure Soma, our early fathers, who were wise, 
performed their rites . . . 12. As thou didst flow clear for Manu, thou 
upholder of life, destroyer of foes, possessor of wealth, rich in oblations, 
so (now) flow clear." .... 

x. 63, 7. Yebhyo hotrdm prathamdm dyeje Mamih samiddhdgnir ma- 
nasd sapta hotribhih \ td Adityd alhayam sarma yachhata .... 

" ye Adityas, to whom Manu, when he had kindled fire, presented 
along with seven hotri priests the first oblation with a prayer, bestow 
on us secure protection." 

x. 69^ 3. " Yat te Manur yad arilkam Sumitrah samdhe Agne tad 
idam navlyah " 8 | 

8 The S'atapatha Brahmana (i. 4, 2, 5) thus explains the words deveddho Manvid- 
dhah : Manviddhah iti \ Manur hy etam agre ainddha \ tastnad aha " Manviddhah" 
iti | " The gods formerly kindled it (fire) : hence it is called ' god-kindled.' Manu 
formerly kindled it : and hence it is called ' kindled by Manu.' " The Aitareya 
Brabmana (ii. 34), however, explains the word Manv-iddhah from the fact that " men 
kindle it " (imam hi manushya indhate}. 


" That lustre of thine which Manu, which Sumitra, kindled is this 
same which is now renewed." 

In conformity with the preceding texts, the following may be under- 
stood as declaring that the sacrificial fire had been first kindled by 
Manu : 

i. 13, 4 (= S.V. ii. 700). Ague sukhatame rathe devan llitah a vaha \ 
asi hota Manurhitah \ 

" Agni, lauded, bring the gods hither in a most pleasant chariot. 
Thou art the invoker (of the gods) placed by Manush." 9 

i. 14, 11. Tvam hota Manurhito 'gne yajneshu sldasi \ sah imam no 
adhvaram yaja \ 

"Thou, Agni, the invoker placed by Manush, art present at the 
sacrifices : do thou present this our oblation." (See also K.Y. iii. 2, 15.) 

vi. 16, 9. Tvam hota Manurhitah .... 

" Thou art the invoker placed by Manush . . . . " 

viii. 19, 21. lie giro, Manurhitam yam deva dutam aratim ni erire \ 
yajishtham havya-vahanam \ 

" With a hymn I laud that adorable bearer of oblations placed by 
Manush, 10 whom the gods have sent as a ministering messenger." 

9 The compound word which I have here rendered " placed by Manush " is in 
the original Manur-hita. Professor Aufrecht would render it " given to man," 
and quotes i. 36, 10, in support of this view. The sense I have given is supported 
by i. 36, 19, where the same root, dha, from which hita (originally dhita) comes, is 
used, joined with the particle ni. The same participle hita is used in vi. 16, 1, where 
it is said : TV am Agne yajnanam hota sarvesham hitah \ devebhir mdnushe jane \ 

' ' Thou, Agni, hast been placed, or ordained, among the race of Manush by the gods as 
the invoker at all sacrifices." The fact that Agni is here said to have been placed by 
the gods among the race of Manush does not forbid us to suppose that there are other 
passages in which, either inconsistently, or from a different point of view, Agni may 
have been said to be placed by Manu. The compound manur-hita occurs also in the 
following texts, where, however, it has probably the sense of "good for man," viz. : 
i. 106, 5. Erihaspate sadam id nah sugam kridhi sam yor yat te manur-hitam tad 
Imahe \ "Brihaspati, do us always good : we desire that blessing and protection of 
thine which is good for man." (Sayana says that here manur-hitam means either 
"placed in thee by Manu, i.e., Brahma," or, "favourable to man." Benfey, in loco, 
renders " destined for man.") vi. 70, 2. Rajantl asya bhwanasya rodasl asme retah 
sinchatam yad manur-hitam \ " Heaven and earth, ruling over this world, drop on us 
that seed which is good for man." x. 26, 5. Rishih sa yo manur-hitah \ " He (Pushan) 
who is a rishi kind to man" etc. Professor Roth s.v. gives only the latter sense. 

10 Though the word manur-hita is here interpreted by Sayana as meaning "placed 
by Manu Prajapati who sacrificed," it might also signify " friendly to men," as Agni 
is also said to have been sent by the gods. 


viii. 34, 8. A tva hotd Manurhito devatrd vakshad idyah \ 

"May the adorable invoker placed by Manu bring thee (Indra) 
hither among the gods," etc. 

There is also a class of passages in which the example of Manush 
may be referred to by the phrase manmh-vat, "like Manush," or, "as 
in the case of Manush." " Thus in i. 44, 11, it is said : 

Ni tvd yafnasya sddhanam Agne hotdram ritvyam manushvad deva 
dhimahi . . . . | 

"Divine Agni, we, like Manush, place thee, the accomplisher of the 
sacrifice, the inyoker, the priest," etc. 

v. 21, 1. Manushvat tva ni dhimahi Manushvat sam idhlmahi \ Agne 
Manushvad Angiro devdn devayate yaja \ 

" Agni, we place thee like Manush, we kindle thee like Manush. 
Agni, Angiras, worship the gods like Manush, for him who adores 

vii. 2, 3. Manuskvad Agnim Manund samiddham sam adhvardya sadam 
in mahema \ 

" Let us, like Maiiush, continually invoke to the sacrifice Agni who 
was kindled by Manu." 

viii. 27, 7. Suta-somdso Varuna havfimahe Manushvad iddhdgnayah \ 

""We invoke thee, Varuna, having poured out soma, and having 
kindled fire, like Manush." 

viii. 43, 13. Uta tvd Bhriguvat suche Manushvad Agne dhuta \ Angi- 
rasvad havdmahe | .... 27. Yam tvdjandsa indhate Manushvad Angi- 
rastama \ Agne sa lodhi me vachah \ 

"Like Bhrigu, like Manush, like Angiras, we invoke thee, bright 

Agni, who hast been invoked 27. Agni, most like to Angiras, 

whom men kindle like Manush, attend to my words." 

The S'atapatha Brahmana, i. 5, 1, 7, explains thus the word Manush- 
vat : 12 Manur ha vai agre yajnena Ije \ tad anuJcritya imah prajdh ya- 

11 I should observe that Prof. Aufrecht thinks the phrase except perhaps with 
the single exception of viii. 43, 13 means " amongst men." Prof. Eoth gives only 
the sense " like men," "as among, or for, men." 

12 The same wgrk in the same passage thus explains the phrase Bharata-vat. "He 
hears (bharati} the ohlation to the gods ; wherefore men say, Bharata (or ' the bearer ') 
is Agni. Or, he is called Bharata (the ' sustainer ') because, being breath, he sustains 
these creatures." This phrase may, however, refer to the example of King Bharata. 
See S'atapatha Brahmana, xiii. 5, 4, 14. 


jante \ tasmdd aha " Manush-vad" iti \ "Manor yajnah" Hi u vai 
ahuh | tasmdd vd iva dhur " Manushvad " iti \ " Manu formerly sacri- 
ficed with a sacrifice. Imitating this, these creatures sacrifice. He 
therefore says, Manushvat, 'like Manu.' Or, they say 'like Manu,' 
because men speak of the sacrifice as being Manu's." 

It must, however, be admitted that Manu is not always spoken of 
in the hymns of the first, or only, kindler of fire or celebrator of 
religious rites. In i. 80, 16, already quoted, Atharvan and Dadhyanch 
are specified along with him as having oifered sacrifice in early times. 

In the following verses Atharvan is mentioned as having generated 
fire : 

vi. 16, 13. Imam tu tyam Atharva-vad Agnim mathanti vedhasah \ 

" The wise draw forth this Agni, as Atharvan did." 

vi. 16, 13 (= S. V. i. 9; Vaj. Sanh. xi. 32). Team Agne pushkardd 
adhy Atharvd nir amanthata . . . . | 14. Tarn u tvd Dadhyann rishih 
putrah idhe Atharvanah \ 

"Agni, Atharvan drew thee forth from the lotus leaf," etc. 14. 
"Thee the rishi Dadhyanch, son of Atharvan, kindled," etc. 

[In the Vajasaneyi Sanhita, the first of these verses is immediately 
preceded by the following words (xi. 32) : Atharvd tvd prathamo nir 
amanthad Agne \ "Atharvan was the first who drew thee forth, 

Again it is said in the Big-veda, x. 21, 5. Agnir jdto Atharvand 
vidad visvdni ltdvyd \ Ihuvad duto Fivasvatak \ "Agni, produced by 
Atharvan, knows all wisdom, and has become the messenger of Vi- 
vas wat." 

In i. 83, 5, Atharvan is mentioned as the earliest institutor of sacri- 
fice : Yajnair Atharvd prathamah pathas tate tatah suryo vratapah 
venah djani \ "Atharvan was the first who by sacrifices opened up 
paths ; then the friendly Sun, the upholder of ordinances, was pro- 
duced," etc.: so too in x. 92, 10. Yajnair Atharvd prathamo vi dhdrayad 
devd dakshair Bhrigavah sam chikitrire \ " Atharvan, the first, estab- 
lished (all things) with sacrifices. The divine Bhrigus co-operated with 
their powers." 1S 

13 These two texts might, though not very probably, be understood to mean not 
that Atharvan was the first to employ sacrifice, but to use it for the purpose referred 
to in the context. 


The next texts speak of the Bhrigus as the institutors of sacrifice 
by fire : 

i. 58, 6. Dadhus tvd Bhrigavo mdnusheshv d rayim na chdrum suhavam 
janelhyah \ hotdram Ague \ 

"The Bhrigus have placed thee, o Agni, among men, as an invoker, 
like a beautiful treasure, and easily invoked for men," etc. 

ii. 4, 2. Imam vidhanto apdm sadasthe dvitd adadhur Bhrigavo vihhu 
Ayoh | 

" Worshipping him (Agni) in the receptacle of waters, the Bhrigus 
placed him among the people of Ayu." 

x. 46, 2. Imam vidhanto apdm sadasthe pasum na nashtam padair ami 
gman \ guhd chatantam usijo namolhir ichhanto dhlrd Bhrigavo avindan \ 

""Worshipping him in the receptacle of waters, and desiring him 
with prostrations, the wise and longing Bhrigus followed him with 
their steps, like a beast who had been lost, and found him lurking in 
concealment" u (i. 65, 1). 

In other places, the gods, as well as different sages, are mentioned 
as introducing or practising worship by fire, or as bringing down the 
sacred flame from heaven : 

i, 36, 10. Yam tvd devdso manave dadhur iha yajishtham havyavdhana \ 
yam Kanvo Medhydtithir dhanaspritam yam Vrishd yam Upastutah \ 

" Thou, o bearer of oblations, whom the gods placed here as an 
object of adoration to man (or Manu),; whom Kanva, whom Medhya- 
tithi, whom Yrishan, whom Upastuta (have placed) a bringer of 
wealth," etc. Compare vi. 16, 1, quoted above, p. 167, note 9. 

iii. 5, 10. Yadl Bhrigulhyah pari Mdtarisvd guhd santam havt/avdham 
samldhe \ 

" When llatariswan kindled for the Bhrigus Agni, the bearer of ob- 
lations, who was in concealment." 

x. 46, 9. Dydvd yam Agnim prithivl janishtdm dpas Tvashta Bhri- 
gavo yam sahobhih \ llenyam prathamam Mdtarisvd devds tatalcshur ma- 
nave yajatram \ 

"Matariswan and the gods have made, as the first adorable object of 
worship to man (or Manu), that Agni whom heaven and earth, whom 

14 In the following passages also the Bhrigus are mentioned as connected with the 
worship of Agni: i. 71, 4 ; i. 127, 7 ; i. 143, 4 ; iii. 2, 4 ; iv. 7, 1 ; vi. 15, 2 ; viii. 
43, 13; viii. 91,4; x. 122,5. 


the waters, whom Tvashtri, whom the Bhrigus, have generated by 
their powers." 

In the 8th verse the Ayus, and in the 10th the gods, as well as men, 
are said to have placed Agni. 

In i. 60, 1 ; i. 93, 6 ; i. 148, 1 ; iii. 2, 13; iii. 5, 10; iii. 9, 5; vi. 
8, 4, Matarisvan is again spoken of as the hringer or generator of fire. 
(Compare note 1, in p. 416, of my article " On Manu the progenitor of 
the Aryan Indians," in the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, vol. xx. 
for 1863.) 

But to return to Manu. Although the distinction of having been the 
first to kindle fire is thus, in various passages, ascribed to Atharvan 
or the Bhrigus, this does not disprove the fact that in other places, it 
is, somewhat inconsistently, assigned to Manu ; and none of these other 
personages is ever brought forward as disputing with Manu the honour 
of having been the progenitor of the Aryan race. In this respect the 
Vedic tradition exhibits no variation, except that Yama also seems in 
some places to be represented as the first man. (See my article in the 
Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, for 1865, pp. 287 ff., and espe- 
cially the words of the Atharva-veda, xviii. 3, 14. Yo mamdra prathamo 
marttydndm \ "Who (Yama) died first of men.") 

(III.) The following passages describe Manu as being the object of 
special favour or intervention on the part of some of the gods : 

i. 112, 16. Ydlhir nard S'ayave ydlJiir Atraye ydbhih purd Manave 
gdtum ishatliuh \ ydhhih sdrlr djatam, S'yumarasmaye tdbJiir u shu uli- 
Uiir Asvind gatam \ 18 Yalhir Manum suram isJid samdvatam \ 

" Come, As wins, with those succours, whereby, o heroes, ye effected 
deliverance for S'ayu, for Atri, and formerly for Manu, whereby ye shot 

arrows for S'yumarasmi. 18 whereby ye preserved the hero 

Manu with food." 15 

viii. 15, 5. Yena jyotimshi Ay me Manave cha viveditha \ manddno 
asya barhisho vi rdjasi \ 

" Exulting in this (exhilaration), wherewith thou didst make known 
the luminaries to Ayu, and to Manu, thou art lord of the sacrificial 

15 This passage, as far as it concerns Manu, is thus explained by Sayana : " And 
with those succours, whereby ye made a path, a road which was the cause of escape 
from poverty, by sowing barley and other kinds of grain, etc., for Manu, the royal 
rishi of that name ; according to another text" (i. 117, 21). 


"When compared with the preceding verse it seems not improbable 
that the following text may refer to the same tradition, and that instead 
of Vdyave we should read Ayave : 

vii. 91, 1. Kuvid anga namasti ye vridhdsah pur a devd anavadydsah 
dsan | te Vdyave (Ayave ?) Manave Iddhitdya avdsayan Ushasam 
Suryena \ 

" Certainly those gods who were magnified by worship were of old 
faultless. They displayed the dawn with the sun to Vayu (Ayu ?), to 
Manu when distressed. 

There is also a reference to the sky being displayed to Manu in the 
following verse, unless the word (manu) is to be there taken as an 
epithet of Pururavas, which does not seem a probable supposition : 

i. 31, 4. Tvam Agne Manave dydm avasayafy Pururavase sukrite su- 
krittarah \ 

" Thou, Agni, didst display the sky to Manu, to the beneficent Pu- 
ruravas, (thyself) more beneficent." 

If Manu be taken for a proper name in vii. 91, 1, it may reason- 
ably be understood in the same way in vi. 49, 13, where the person 
referred is similarly spoken of as distressed : 

vi. 49, 13. Yo rqjdmsi vimame pdrthivani tri chid Vishnur Manage 
IddUtdya \ 

" Yishnu who thrice measured the terrestrial regions for Manu when 

And in that case the word Manu may perhaps also be taken to denote 
a person in vii. 1 00, 4, Vicliakrame prithivlm esha etdm Icshetrdya Vish- 
nur Manave dasasyan \ " This Vishnu strode over this earth, bestowing 
it on Manu for an abode." Although here the general sense of "man " 
would make an equally good sense. 

I may introduce here another text in which, from its conjunction 
with other proper names, it must be held that the word Manu denotes 
a person . 

i. 139, 9. Dadhyan ha me janusham purvo Angirdh Priyamedhah 
Kanvo Atrir Manur vidm te me purve Manur mduh \ 

" Dadhyanch, the ancient Angiras, Priyamedha, Kanva, Atri, Manu, 
know my (Paruchhepa's?) birth ; they, my predecessors, Manu, know it.' 

There are, as we have seen, some passages in the hymns in 
which it is doubtful whether the words manu and manush denote an 


individual, or stand for man in general ; and there are also texts in 
which the latter sense is clearly the only one that can be assigned. 
Such are the following : 

(1.) Manu in the singular: 

i. 130, 5 Dhenur iva mana/ve visvadohaso jandya visvadohasah \ 

" All- productive as a cow to man, all-productive to a person." 

v. 2, 12. Barhishmate manave sarma yamsad havishmate manave iarma 
yamsat \ 

" That he may bestow protection on the man who sacrifices, on the 
man who offers oblations." 

viii. 47, 4. Manor visvasya gha id ime Aditydh rdya isate . . . . | 

" These Adityas are lords of every man's riches " . . . . 

(2.) Manu in the plural : 

viii. 18, 22. Ye chid hi mrityubandhavah Aditydh manavah smasi \ 
pra su nah dyur jlvase tiretana \ 

" ye Adityas, prolong the days of us who are men who are of kin 
to death, that we may live." 

x. 91, 9. Yad devayanto dadJiati praydmsi te havishmanto manavo 
vrikta-larhishah \ 

"When these pious men sacrificing, and spreading the sacrificial 
grass, offer thee oblations." 

(3.) Manush in the singular : 

i. 167, 7. Guhd charanti manusho na yoshd \ 

" Like the wife of a man moving secre'tly." 

vii. 70, 2. ... atdpi gharmo manusho durone \ 

"Fire has been kindled in the man's abode." 

The same phrase manusho durone occurs also in viii. 76, 2 ; x. 40, 
13; x. 104, 4; x. 110, 1. In x. 99, 7, we find the words druhvane 
manushe, " against the injurious man." 

(4.) Manush in the plural : 

iv. 6, 11. Hotdram Agnim manusho nishedur namasyanta usijah sam- 
sam dyoh \ 

"Men offering worship, and eager, attend upon Agni the invoker, 
the object of man's (or Ayu's) praises." 

In the following passages, if the word Manu is not to be understood 
as denoting a person, the progenitor of men, it seems, at all events, to 
designate his descendants, the favoured race to which the authors of 


the hymns believed themselves to belong, and appears to he in some 
cases at least nearly synonymous with Arya, the name by which they 
called men of their own stock and religion, in contradistinction to the 
Dasyus, a term by which we are either to understand hostile demons, 
or the rude aboriginal tribes : 

i. 130, 8. Indrah samatsu yajamdnam dry am prdvad visveshu satamutir 
djishu .... | manave sdsad avratdn tvacham krishndm arandhayat \ 16 

" Indra who bestows a hundred succours in all conflicts .... has 
preserved the Arya in the fights. Chastising the lawless, he has sub- 
jected the black skin to the man (manave)." 

Compare i. 117, 21, where instead of manu, or manusJi, the word 
manusha is employed : 

Yavam vrikena Asvind vapantd isJiam duhantd manushdya dasrd \ 
abhi dasyum lakurena dhamantd urujyotii chakrathur drydya \ 

"Sowing barley with the wolf, ye, o potent As vins, milking out 
food for man (manusha'), blowing away the Dasyu with the thunder- 
bolt (?), have made a broad light for the Arya." " 

i. 175, 3. Tvam hi surah sanitd chodayo manusho ratham \ sahdvdn 
dasyum avratam oshah pdtram na sochishd \ 

"Thou, a hero, a benefactor, hast impelled the chariot of man : vic- 
torious, thou hast burnt up the rite-less Dasyu, as a vessel is consumed 
by a blaze." 

ii. 20, 6. Sa ha Sruta Indro ndma deva urddhvo Ihuvad manushe das- 
matamah \ ava priyam arsasdnasya sahvtin siro bharad ddsasya svadhd- 
vdn | 7. Sa vrittrahd Indrah krishnayonih purandaro ddslr air ay ad vi \ 
ajanayad manave kshdm apacha satrd samsam yajamdnasya tutot \ 

" The god renowned as Indra hath arisen most mighty for the sake 
of man. Yiolent, self-reliant, he has smitten down the dear head of 
the destructive Dasa. 7. Indra, the slayer of Vrittra, the destroyer of 
cities, has scattered the Dasyu (hosts) sprung from a black womb. He 

16 A similar opposition between the word ayu, " man," and dasyu is to be noted in 
the following passage, vi. 14, 3 : nana hi Agne avase spardhante rayo aryah \ tur- 
vanto dasyum ayavo vrataih sikshanto avratam \ " In various ways, o Agni, the riches 
of the enemy emulously hasten to the help (of thy worshippers). The men destroy the 
Dasyu, and seek by rites to overcome the riteless." 

17 See Prof. Roth's explanation of this passage as given in a note to the article on 
Manu the progenitor of the Aryan Indians, Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, 
vol. xx. p. 418. 


has produced for man the earth 18 and the waters ; he has perfectly ful- 
filled the aspiration of his worshipper." 

vi. 21, 11. Nu me a vdcham upa ydhi mdvdn visvebhih suno sahaso 
yajatraih \ ye agnijihvdh ritasdpah dsur ye manum chakrur uparam 
dasdya \ 

11 Do thou, o wise god, son of strength, approach my hymn with all 
the adorable (deities), who were fire-tongued, rite-frequenting, and 
made man superior to the Dasa." 

viii. 87, 5. Abhi Id satya somapdh ulhe labhutha rodasi \ Indrdsi 
sunvato vridhah patir divah \ 6. Tvam hi Sasvatindm Indra dartd pu- 
rdm asi \ hantd dasyor manor vridhah patir divah \ 

"5. For thou, o true soma-drinker, hast overcome both worlds. 
Indra, thou art the prosperer of him who makes libations, the lord of 
the sky. 6. Thou, Indra, art the destroyer of all the cities, the slayer 
of the Dasyu, the prosperer of man, the lord of the sky." 

ix. 92, 5. Tan nu satyam pavamdnasja astu yatra visve kdravah sam- 
nasanta \ jyotir yad ahne akrinod u lokam prdvad manum dasyave Jcar 
abhlJcam \ 

"Let this be the true (abode) of the pure god (Soma) where all the 
sages have assembled ; since he has made light and space for the day, 
has protected man, and< repelled the Dasyu." 

x. 49, 7. Yad md sdvo manmhah aha nirnije ridhak Jcrishe dusam Jcrit- 
vyam hathaih \ 

" "When the libation of man calls me to splendour, I tear in pieces (?) 
with blows the vigorous Dasa." 

x. 73, 7. Tvam jaghantha Namuchim makhasyum ddsam krinvdnah 
rishaye vimdyam \ tvam chakartha manave syondn patho devatrd anjasd 
iv'a ydndn \ 

" Thou hast slain the lusty Namuchi, making the Dasa bereft of 
magic against the rishi : thou made for man beautiful paths leading as 
it were straightway to the gods." 

It is to be observed that in none of these passages is the Brahmanical, 
or any other, caste singled out as having been the special object of di- 
vine protection. Men, or Aryas, are the favourites of the gods. And 

18 In iv. 26, 7, Indra says : " Aham bhumim adadam aryaya aham vrishtim da- 
sushe martyaya | " I gave the earth to the Arya ; I gave rain to the sacrificing 


even in such hymns as R.V. i. 112 ; i. 116 ; i. 117 ; i. 119, etc., where 
the Asvins are celebrated as having interposed for the deliverance of 
many of their worshippers, whose names are there specified, we are 
nowhere informed that any of these were Brahmans, although reference 
is often made to their being rishis. 19 

There is one other text of considerable interest and importance, R.V. 
iii. 34, 9, which, although it is unconnected with Manu, may be here 
cited, as it connects the word dry a with the term varna, "colour," 
which in later times came to signify "caste," as applied to the Brah- 
mans and other classes. It is this : 

Sasdndtydn uta suryam sastina Indrah sasdna purulhojasaih gam \ 
Mranyayam uta Ihogam sasdna hatvl dasyun pra dryam varnam dvat \ 

"Indra bestowed horses, he bestowed the sun, he bestowed the 
many-nourishing cow, he bestowed golden wealth : having slain the 
Dasyu, he protected the Aryan colour." 

It is to be observed that here* the word varna is used in the singular. 
Thus all the persons coming under the designation of Arya, are in- 
cluded under one class or colour, not several. 20 

We shall see in the next chapter that, irrespective of the verse of the 
Purusha Sukta, there are in the Rig-veda Sanhita a few texts in which 
the Brahmans are mentioned alone of all the four castes, without any 
distinct reference being found anywhere to the second class as Rajanyas, 
or Kshattriyas, or to the third and fourth as Vaisyas and S'udras. 

In the mean time I shall advert to some other phrases which are 
employed in the hymns, either to denote mankind in general, or to 
signify certain national or tribal divisions. The most important 
of these is that of the "five tribes," who are frequently referred to 
under the appellations of pancha-kriskfayah, pancha-kshitayah, pancJia- 
kshitayo mdnushyyah (vii. 97, 1), pancha-charshanayah, pancha-jandh, 
pdnchajanyd vis (viii. 52, 7), pancha bhiima (vii. 69, 2), pancha jdtd 
(vi. 61, 12). 21 

19 See Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society for 1866, pp. 7 ff. 

20 Sayana, indeed, interprets the word ciryam varnam by uttamam varnam traivar- 
nikam \ "the most excellent class consisting of the three upper castes ;" but he of 
course explains according to the ideas of his own age. In the S'atapatha Brahmana, 
Kanva S'akha (Adhvara Kanda, i. 6) it is stated that the upper three castes only were 
Aryas and fit to offer sacrifice (arya eva brahmano va kshattriyo va vaisyo va te hi 
yajniyah) see Journ. Roy. As. Soc. for 1866, p. 281. 

21 In iii. 49, 1, mention is made not of the five tribes, but of all the tribes : S'amsa 


Some of these terms are occasionally used of the gods, as in x. 53, 4 : 
urjdda uta yajniydsah panchajand mama hotram jushadhvam \ " Ye five 
tribes who eat (sacrificial) food, and are worthy of adoration, receive 
my oblation with favour." 23 

On this verse Yaska remarks, Nirukta, iii. 8 : " Gandharvdh pitaro 
devd asurd ratcshdmsi" ity eke | " chatvdro varnd nishddah panchamah " 
ity Aupamanyavah \ " Some say the word denotes the Gandharvas, 
fathers, gods, asuras, and rakshases. Aupamanyava says it denotes the 
four castes and the Nishadas." 28 

If Aupamayava was right, the Nishadas also were admissible to the 
worship of the gods in the Yedic age, as the " five classes " are repre- 
sented in various texts as votaries of Agni. Such are the following : 

vi. 11, 4. Ayum na yam namasd rdtahavydh anjanti mprayasam pan- 
chajandh \ 

" Agni, whom, abounding in oblations, the five tribes, bringing offer- 
ings, honour with prostrations, as if he were a man." 

Sayana here defines the five tribes as "priests and offerers of sacri- 
fices " (ritvig-yajamdna-lakshandlj). 

ix. 65, 22. Ye somdsah . . sunvire . . I 23. Ye vd janeshu panchasu \ 

maham Indram yasmin visva a krishtayah somapah kamam avyan \ " Praise the great 
Indra, in whom all fhe tribes drinking soma have obtained their desire." 

2 - Compare x. 60, 4. " In whose worship Ikshvaku prospers, wealthy and foe- 
destroying, like the five tribes in the sky (divlva pancha krishtayah]. Sayana, how- 
ever, renders " His five tribes (the four castes and the Nishadas) are as (happy as) if 
in heaven." Prof. Miiller, Journ. Roy. As. Soc. for 1866, p. 462, readers, "as the 
five tribes in heaven." 

23 In his note on this passage in his " Illustrations of the Nirukta," p. 28, Prof. 
Roth remarks : " The conception of the five races which originally comprehended all 
mankind ... is here transferred to the totality of the divine beings. Hence also 
arises the diversity of understanding, when the number has to be indicated." Prof. 
Roth then quotes part of Aitareya Brahmana, iii. 31, which I give a little more fully 
from Dr. Haug's edition : Panchajanyam vaietadulcthamyadvaisvadevam \ sarvesham 
vai etat panchojananam ukthafh deva-mamishyanam gandharvapsarasam sarpanam 
cha pitrinam cha \ etesham vai etat panchajananam uktham \ sarve enam panchajana 
viduh \ a enam panchinyai janatayai havino gachhanti ya evam veda \ " This Vais'va- 
deva uktha belongs to the five classes of beings. It belongs to all the five classes of 
gods, men, gandharvas and apsarases, serpents, and fathers. To these five classes 
belongs this uktha. All these five classes know him (who uses it). Those of this 
five-fold set of beings who are skilled in invocation come to the man who knows this." 
See Dr. Haug's Ait. Br. ii. 214, where it is said that Gandharvas and Apsarases are 
counted as one class. 



" Or those soma-libations which have been poured out . . (23) among 
the five tribes." 

x. 45, 6. Vllum chid adrim abhinat parayan jandh yad agnim aya- 
janta pancha \ . 

"He (Agni), travelling afar, clove even the strong mountain, when 
the five tribes worshipped Agni." 

vii. 15, 2. Yah pancha charshanlr abhi nishasdda dame dame \ Icavir 
grihapatir yuvd \ 

"The wise and youthful master of the house (Agni) who has taken 
up his abode among the five tribes in every house." 

In vi. 61, 12, Sarasvati is spoken of as "augmenting or prospering 
the five tribes" (pancha jdtd vardhayantl}. 

In viii. 52, 7, it is said : Yat pdnchajanyayd visa Indre ghoshdh 
asrikshata \ " When shouts were uttered to Indra by the people of the 
five tribes," etc. 

In E.V. i. 117, 3, Atri is styled rishim panchajanyam, " a rishi be- 
longing to the five tribes." In v. 32, 11, the epithet satpatih pdncha- 
janyah, " the good lord of the five tribes," is applied to Indra. And in 
ix. 66, 20, Agni is called the purified rishi, the priest of the five tribes 
(pdnchajayah purohitah}. u 

In other passages, however, it is far from clear that the " five races " 
are intended to be identified with the Aryas, or people of honourable 
race, to whom the authors of the hymns belonged. Such, perhaps, is 
the case in the following verse: ii. 2, 10. Asmdkam dyumnam adhi 
pancha Jcrishtishu uchchd svar na susuchlta dushtaram \ "May our glory 
shine aloft among the five tribes, like the heaven unsurpassable." See 
also vi. 46, 7, to be quoted below. 

On the same subject, Professor Eoth remarks as follows in his Lexicon 
under the word Icrishti : " The phrase Jive races is a designation of all 
nations, not merely of the Aryyan tribes. It is an ancient enume- 
ration, of the origin of which we find no express explanation in the 
Vedic texts. We may compare the fact that the cosmical spaces or 
points of the compass are frequently enumerated as Jive, especially in 

24 See Mahabharata, iii. 14160, as referred to by Roth under jana, where the birth 
of a being of five colours, apparently a form of Agni, is described, who was generated 
by five ribhis, and who was known as the god of the five tribes (panchajanya) and the 
producer of five races. 


the following text of the A.V. iii. 24, 2 : imd yah pancha pradiso ma- 
navlh pancha, krishtayah \ ' these five regions ; the five tribes sprung 
from Manu ' ; among which (regions) we should have here to reckon 
as the fifth the one lying in the middle (dhruvd dik, A.V. iv. 14, 8 ; 
xviii. 3, 34), that is, to regard the Aryyas as the central point, and 

round about them the nations of the four regions of the world 

According to the Yedic usage, five cannot be considered as designating 
an indefinite number." 

"We cannot therefore regard the use of the term "five races" as 
affording any evidence of the existence of a rigidly defined caste-system 
at the period when it was in frequent use. The frequent reference to 
such a division, which fell into disuse in later times, rather proves the 
contrary. The caste-system was always a quadruple, not a quintuple, 
one ; and although the Nishadas are added by Aupamanyava as a fifth 
division of the population, this class was esteemed too degraded to 
allow us to suppose that they could ever have formed part of a uni- 
versally recognized five-fold division, of which all the parts appear to 
be regarded as standing on an equal, or nearly equal, footing. 

It is supposed by Dr. Kuhn 25 that the " five tribes " are to be iden- 
tified with the clans whose names are mentioned in the following verse : 

i. 108, 8. Yad Indragni Tadushu Turvaseshu yad Druhyushv Anushu 
Purushu sthah \ atah pari vrishandv a hi ydtam atha somasya pHatafn 
sutasya \ 

"If, o Indra and Agni, ye are abiding among the Yadus, Turvasas, 
Druhyus, Anus, Purus, come hither, vigorous heroes, from all quar- 
ters, and drink the Soma which has been poured out." 

Although, however, these tribes are often mentioned separately in 
the Big-veda, this is either the only, or almost the only, text in which 
they are all connected with one another. Their identity with the 
"five classes" is therefore doubtful. 

There is another word employed in the Big-veda to designate a race 
well known to the authors of the hymns, viz., nahush. We have 
already met with this term in a verse (x. 80, 6) I have quoted above, 
where it appears clearly to denote a tribe distinct from the descendants 
of Manush; and the adjective derived from it occurs in vi. 46, 7 (= 

25 See "Weber's Indische Studien, i. 202, where Dr. Kuhn's paper in the Hall. 
Allg. Lit. Z. for 1846, p. 1086, is referred to. 


S.Y. i. 262), where also the tribes of Nahush appear to be discriminated 
from the five tribes, whoever these may be supposed to be. The words 
are these : Yad Indra ndhushlshv a oj'o nrimnam cha TcrisJitishu \ yad vd 
pancha kshitlndm dyumnam a bhara satrd visvdni paumsyd \ "Indra, 
whatever force or vigour exists in the tribes of Nahush, or whatever 
glory belongs to the five races, bring it (for us) j yea all manly energies 

Professor Both (see his Lexicon, s. v.) regards the people designated 
by the word nahush as denoting men generally, but with the special 
sense of stranger, or neighbour, in opposition to members of the 
speaker's own community ; and he explains the words of x. 80, 6, 
twice referred to above, as signifying " the sons of our own people, 
and of those who surround us." 

These descendants of Nahush, whoever they may have been, are, 
however, distinctly spoken of in x. 80, 6 (the passage just adverted to), 
as worshippers of Agni, and can scarcely, therefore, have been regarded 
by the Aryas as altogether aliens from their race and worship. 

Setting aside, as before, the Purusha Sukta, there are few distinct 
references in the hymns of the Big-veda to the creation of men, and 
none at all to the separate creation of castes. The following text 
ascribes the generation of mankind to Agni, K.V. i. 96, 2 : Sa purvayd 
nividd kavyatd dyor imdh prajdh ajanayad manundm \ vivasvatd cha- 
kshasd dydm apas cha devd Agnim dhdrayan dramnoddm \ " By the first 
nivid, by the wisdom of Ayu, he (Agni) created these children of men ; 
by his gleaming light the earth and the waters : the gods sustained 
Agni the giver of riches." 36 

The Aitareya Brahmana introduces this verse by the following pas- 
sage : Prajdpatir vai idam eJca eva agre dsa \ so 'kdmayata " prajdyeya 
bhuydn sydm " iti \ sa tapo 'tapyata \ sa vdcham ayachhat \ sa samvat- 
sarasya parastdd vydharad dvadasa kritvah \ dvddasapadd vai eshd 
nivit | etdm vdva turn nwidam vydharat \ taih sarvdni Ihutdny anvas- 
rijyanta \ tad etad rishih pasyann abhyanuvacha "sapurvayd " ityddind \ 
" Prajapati alone was formerly this universe. He desired 'may I be 
propagated, and multiplied.' He practised austere fervour. He sup- 
pressed his voice. After a year he spoke twelve times. This nivid 

26 See Dr. Haug's translation in his Ait. Br. ii. 143; and Benfey's German version 
in his Orient und Occident, ii. 512. 


consists of twelve words. This nivid he uttered. After it all beings 
were created. Beholding this the rishi uttered this verse, ' hy the first 
nivid,' " etc. 

The generation of " creatures" (prajdh) is ascribed in various texts 
to different gods, in iii. 55, 19 27 to Tvashtri Savitri; in ix. 86, 28 to 
Soma; in viii. 85, 6 (ya imdjajdna visvd jdtdni) to Indra. In x. 54, 3 
Indra is said to have "generated the father and mother (heaven and 
earth) from his own body " (yan mdtaram cha pitaram cha sdkam aja- 
nayathds tanvah svdydh] ; while Yisvakarman, who in x. 81, 2, 3 is 
said to have generated heaven and earth, is also in x. 82, 3 called 
" our father and generator " (yo na h pita janita]. All these passages 
are, however, too vague to afford us any insight into the ideas of their 
authors regarding the creation of the human race. 

SECT. II. Legends and Notices regarding Manu from the S'atapatha, 
Aitareya, and Taittirlya Brdhmanas, the Taittirlya Sanhitd, and 
the Chhdndogya Upanishad. 

The first passage which I adduce contains the very important legend 
of the deluge, which has already been quoted in the 2nd vol. of this 
work, pp. 324 ff., and which has also been rendered into English by 
Professor Max Miiller (Anc. Sansk. Lit. pp. 425 ff.) and by Professor 
M. "Williams (Ind. Epic Poetry, p. 34), as well as into German by its 
earliest translator, Professor Weber, in the year 1849 (Ind. Studien, i. 
163 f.). 

S'atapatha Brahmana, i. 8, 1, 1. Manave ha vai prdtar avanegyam 
udakam djahrur yathd idam pdnibhydm avanejandya dharanti \ evam 
tasya avanenijdnasya matsyah pdnl dpede \ 2. Sa ha asmai vdcham uvdda 
"bibhrihi md pdrayishydmi tvd n iti \ "kasmdd md pdrayishyasi" iti \ 
" aughah imdh sarvdh prajdh nirvodhd tatas tvd pdrayitdsmi" iti \ 
" Katham te bhritir" iti \ 3. Sa ha uvdcha " ydvad vai kshuttakdh bha- 
vdmo bahvl vai nas tdvad ndshtrd lhavaty uta matsya eva matsyam gilati \ 
Itumbhydm md agre bibhardsi \ sa yadd tdm ativardhd atha karshum 
khdtvd tasydm md bibhardsi \ sa yadd tdm ativardhd atha md samudram 
abhyavahardsi \ tarhi vai atindshtro bhavitdsmi" iti \ 4. S'asvad ha 

27 Perhaps, however, we are to understand Tvashtri's function of aiding in pro- 
creation to be here referred to. 

28 S'awat-s'abdo 'tra samarthyat kshipra-vachanah, Comm. 


dsa sa hijyeshtham vardhate \ " atha itithlm samdm tad aughah 
dgantd tad ma ndvam upakalpya updsdsai \ sa aughe utthite ndvam 
dpadydsai tatas tvd pdrayitdsmi" Hi \ 5. Tarn evam Ihritvd samudram 
abhyavajahdra \ sa yatithlm tat samdm parididesa tatithlm samdm ndvam 
upakalpya updsdnchakre \ sa aughe utthite ndvam dpede \ tarn sa matsyah 
upanydpupluve \ tasya sringe ndvah pdsam pratimumocha \ tena etam ut- 
taram girim* 1 atidudrdva' \ 6. Sa ha uvdcha " apiparam vai tvd vrikshe 
ndvam pratibadhnlshva \ tarn tu tvd md girau santam udakam antaschhait- 
sld ydvad ydvad udakam samavdydt tdvat tdvad anvavasarpdsi" iti \ Sa 
ha tdvat tdvad eva anvavasasarpa \ tad api etad uttarasya girer " Manor 
avasarpanam" iti \ augho ha tdh sarvdh prajdh niruvdha atha iha Manur 
eva ekah parUisishe \ 7. Sah archan srdmyams chachdra prajdkdmah \ 
tatra api pdka-yajnena ye \ sa ghritam dadhi mastv dmikshdm ity apsu 
Juhuvdnchakdra \ tatah samvatsare yoshit sambalhuva \ sd ha pildamdnd^ 
wa udeydya \ tasyai ha sma ghritam pade santishthate \ tayd Mitrd- Va- 
runau sanjagmdte \ 8. Tdm ha uchatuh " kd asi" iti \ " Manor duhitd " 
iti | " dvayor brushva" iti \ "na" iti ha uvdcha "yah eva mum ajya- 
nata tasya eva aham asmi " iti \ tasydm apitvam M Ishdte \ tad vd jajnau 
tad vd najajndv K ati tu eva iydya \ sd Manum djagdma I 9. Tdm ha 
Manur uvdcha " kd asi" iti \ " tava duhitd " iti \ " katham hhagavati 
mama duhitd " iti \ " ydh amur apsu dhutlr ahaushlr ghritam dadhi 
mastv dmikshdm tato mdm ajljanathdh \ sd dsir asmi tarn md yajne ava- 
kalpaya \ yajne ched vai md avakalpayishyasi lahuh prajayd pasulhir Iha- 
vishyasi yam u mayd kdncha dsisham dsdsishyase sd te sarvd samardhi- 
shyate" iti \ tdm etad madhye yajnasya avdkal/payat \ madhyam hi etad 
yajnasya yad antard praydjdnuydjdn \ 10. Tayd archan srdmyams 
chachdra prajdkdmah \ tayd imam prajdtim prajajne yd iyam Manoh 
prajdtih \ yam u enayd kdncha dsisham dsdsta sd asmai sarvd samdr- 
dhyata \ sd eshd niddnena yad Ida \ sa yo ha evam vidvdn Idayd cha- 
rati etam ha eva prajdtim prajdyate yarn Manuh prdjdyata \ yam u 
enayd kdncha dsisham dsdste sd asmai sarvd samridhyate j 

" 1. In the morning they brought to Hanu water for washing, as 

29 Jhasho maha-matsyah. Comm. so Jyeshtham vriddhatamam.Comm. 

31 Uttaram girim Himavantam. Comm. 32 Some MSS. read adhidudrava. 
83 Pibdamatia . . . ghrita-prabhavatvat ghrilam sravant'i susnighd/ta udaTcad ut- 
thita. Comm. 

31 Apitvam bhdgah \ tarn prarthitavantau. Comm. 
35 Pratynatavafi cha na cha pratijnatavafi. Comm. 


men are in the habit of bringing it to wash with the hands. As he 
was thus washing, a fish 36 came into his hands, (2) (which spake to him) 
' preserve me ; I shall save thee.' (Manu enquired) ' From what wilt 
thou save me ? ' (The fish replied) ' A flood shall sweep away all these 
creatures; 87 from it I will rescue thee.' (Manu asked) 'How (shall) 
thy preservation (be effected) ? ' 3. The fish said : ' So long as we are 
small, we are in great peril, for fish devours fish ; thou shalt preserve 
me first in a jar. "When I grow too large for the jar, then thou shalt 
dig a trench, and preserve me in that. "When I grow too large for the 
trench, then thou shalt cany me away to the ocean. I shall then be 
beyond the reach of danger.' 4. Straightway he became a large fish ; 
for he waxes to the utmost. (He said) ' Now in such and such a year, 
then the flood will come ; thou shalt,' therefore, construct a ship, and 
resort to me ; thou shalt embark in the ship when the flood rises, and I 
shall deliver thee from it.' 5. Having thus preserved the fish, Manu 
carried him away to the sea. Then in the same year which the fish 
had enjoined, he constructed a ship and resorted to him. When the 
flood rose, Manu embarked in the ship. The fish swam towards him. 
He fastened the cable of the ship to the fish's horn. By this means he 
passed over M this northern mountain. 39 6. The fish said, ' I have de- 
livered thee : fasten the ship to a tree. But lest the water should 
cut thee off whilst thou art on the mountain, as much as the water 
subsides, so much shalt thou descend after it.' He accordingly de- 
scended after it as much (as it subsided). "Wherefore also this, viz., 
' Manu's descent' is (the name) of the northern mountain. Now the 
flood had swept away all these creatures ; so Manu alone was left here. 
7. Desirous of offspring, he lived worshipping and toiling in arduous 
religious rites. Among these he also sacrificed with the paka offering. 
He cast clarified butter, thickened milk, whey and curds, as an oblation 
into the waters. Thence in a year a woman was produced. She rose 

$6 Bhavino'rthasya siddhyartham devata eva matsya-rupenaajagama \ "To accom- 
plish what was to follow, it was a deity which came in the form of a fish." Uomm. 

87 Aughah udaka-sanghatah \ sa imah Bharatavarsha-nivasinlh prajah nihsesham 
vodha | desantaram prapayita \ " The flood will entirely carry these creatures abiding 
in Bharatavarsha ; will convey them to another country." Comm. I do not see 
why the verh nirvodha should have the sense here assigned to it : at all events we are 
afterwards told that Manu alone was left after the flood. 

38 Or, if adhidudrava be the true reading, " he hastened to." 

59 The Himavat or Himalaya, according to the Commentator. 


up as it were unctuous. 40 Clarified butter adheres to her steps. Mitra 
and Varuna met her. They said to her, 'Who artthou?' ' Manu's 
daughter,' (she replied). ' Say (thou art) ours,' (they rejoined). 'No,' 
she said, ' I am his who begot me.' They desired a share in her. She 
promised that, or she did not promise that ; but passed onward. She 
came to Manu. 9. Mann said to her, 'Who art thou?' ',Thy 
daughter,' she replied. ' How, glorious one,' asked Manu, ' (art thou) 
my daughter?' 'Thou hast generated me,' she said, 'from those ob- 
lations, butter, thick milk, whey and curds, which thou didst cast into 
the waters. I am a benediction. Apply me in the sacrifice. If thou 
wilt employ me in the sacrifice, thou shalt abound in offspring and 
cattle. Whatever benediction thou wilt ask through me, shall accrue 
to thee.' He (accordingly) introduced her (as) that (which comes 
in) the middle of the sacrifice ; for that is the middle of the sacrifice 
which (comes) between the introductory and concluding forms. 10. 
With her he lived worshipping and toiling in arduous religious rites, 
desirous of offspring. With her he begot 41 this offspring which is this 
offspring of Manu. 42 Whatever benediction he asked with her, was all 
vouchsafed to him. This is essentially that which is Ida. Whosoever, 
knowing this, lives with Ida, begets this offspring which Manu begot. 
Whatever benediction he asks with her, is all vouchsafed to him." 

40 Such is the rendering oipibdamana given by the Commentator, who is followed 
by Professors "Weber and Miiller. Professor Roth in his Lexicon, *. v., explains it by 
" firm," i.e. " the woman arose solid out of the fluid mass." 

41 I should observe that the same verb (prajajne) by which the generative act of 
Manu is here described, is in other passages of the same Brahmana (ii. 2, 4, 1 ; ii. 5, 
1, 1 ; vi. 1, 1, 8 ; vi. 1, 3, 1 ; vii. 5, 2, 6 ; xi. 5, 8, 1) applied in another tense to 
the god Prajapati, of whom it is said that he considered how he should beget progeny 
(sa aikshata ' katham nu prajayeya). (Compare xi. 1, 6, 1.) In other parts of the same 
work, however, it is said that Prajapati created (asrijata) the waters (vi. 1, 1, 9), or 
creatures (prajah asrijata, vii. 4, 3, 5 ; x. 2, 2, 1) ; and the fact of the word " beget" 
being applied to Prajapati, either in a figurative, or anthropomorphic sense, does not 
authorize us to suppose that the author of the S'atapatha Brahmana, in the passage 
before us (the legend of the deluge), intended to represent Manu as the creator of the 
human race, and not as their progenitor in the natural sense. (In R.V. ii. 33, 1 ; 
vi. 70, 3, we find the phrase prajayemahi prajabhih \ pra prajabhir jayate | " let us 
beget children," " he begets children.") 

43 Compare Taitt. Sanhita, v. 1, 5, 6. "S'ivo bhava prajabhyam" ity ahaprajabhya 
eva enam samayati \ " manushlbhyas tvam angirah" ity aha manavyo hi prajah \ 
" He says, ' be auspicious to the twain offspring ; ' for he pacifies him from (injuring) 
the offspring. He says, ' (We pacify) thee from (injuring) the human offspring, o 
Angiras.' For creatures are descended from Manu." 


From this interesting legend we learn that, according to its Author's 
belief, Manu was not the creator of mankind, as some later accounts 
considered him to have been, but himself belonged to an earlier race of 
living beings, which was entirely destroyed by the deluge which is 
described. The legend regards him as a representative of his generation, 
who, for some reason, perhaps his superior wisdom, or sanctity, or po- 
sition, was selected out of the crowd of ordinary mortals to be rescued 
from the impending destruction. That he was regarded as a mere man, 
and not as a being of a superior order, is shown by the fact of his 
requiring the aid of a higher power to preserve him. A supernatural 
fish, apparently some divine person, conceived as taking the form of a 
creature which would be perfectly secure and at home in the midst of 
the raging waters, undertook to deliver him, and guided the ship on 
which he was directed to embark, through all dangers to its destined 
haven. "N"o one but Manu took refuge in the ship, for he alone, the 
story expressly records, was preserved, while all the other living 
beings were overwhelmed. Finding himself the sole surviver when 
the waters subsided, he became desirous of progeny ; and with in- 
tense devotion performed certain religious rites in the hope of realiz- 
ing his wish through their efficacy. As a result of his oblations, a 
woman arose from the waters into which they had been cast. A 
male and a female now existed, the destined parents of a new race 
of men who sprang from their union, a union the fruitfulness of 
which was assured by their assiduous practice of sacred ceremonies. 
From Manu and Ida, we are expressly told, the race known as that 
of Manu, i.e. the race of men, was produced. The legend says nothing 
whatever of this race being originally characterized by any distinction 
of castes, or about four sons, the ancestors of Brahmans, Kshattriyas, 
Vaisyas, and S'udras being born to Manu and Ida. We must there- 
fore suppose that the author of the legend intends to represent the 
early race of mankind, or at least the first inhabitants of Bharata- 
varsha, as descended from one common progenitor without any original 
varieties of caste, however different the professions and social position 
of their descendants afterwards became. We are consequently entitled 
to regard this legend of the S'atapatha Brahmana as at variance with 
the common fable regarding the separate origin of the Brahmans, 
Kshattriyas, Yaisyas, and S'udras. 


The flowing are some other passages in which Manu and Ida are 
both referred to : 

Taitt. S. ii. 6, 7, 1. Manuh prithivydh yajniyam aichhat \ sa ghritam 
nishiktam avindat \ so 'bravlt " Tco 'sya isvaro yajne 'pi karttor " iti \ tdv 
abrutdm Mitrd-Varunau " gor eva dvdm isvarau karttoh svah " iti \ tau 
tato gam iamairayatam \ sa yatra yatra nyakrdmat tato ghritam apld- 
yata \ tasmdd ghritapadl uchyate \ tad asyai janma | .... 3. Iddm 
upahvayate \ pasavo vai Ida \ pasun eva upahvayate \ chatur upahvayate \ 
chatushpddo hi pasavah \ "Mdnavl^ity aha \ Manur hy etdm agre 
'pasyat \ "ghritapadl" ity aha \ yad eva asyai paddd ghritam apldyata 
tasmdd evam aha \ " Maitrdvamni " ity aha \ Mitrdvarunau hy endm 
samairayatdm \ 

" Manu sought whatever upon earth was fit for sacrifice. He found 
butter poured out. He said, ' Who has power to employ this in sacri- 
fice also ? ' Mitra and Yaruna replied, ' "We two have power to employ 
the cow.' They then sent forth the cow. Wherever she went forth, 
butter was pressed out. Hence she is called the 'butter-footed.' This 
is her birth .... 3. He calls upon Ida. Animals are Ida. He calls 
upon animals. He calls upon them four times. For animals are four- 
footed. He says ' Manavi.' For Manu first saw her. He says ' Butter- 
footed.' He says so, because butter was pressed from her foot. He 
says ' Maitravaruni.' For Mitra and Varuna sent her forth." (Comp. 
Taitt. Br. iii. 7, 5, 6.) 

Taitt. Br. i. 1, 4, 4. Ida vai Mdnavl yajndnukdsiny^ 1 dslt \ sd 'srinod 
" Asurd agnim adadhate" iti .... | 6. Sd 'brand Ida Manum " tathd 
vai aham tava agnim ddhdsydmi yathd pra prajayd pasulhir mithunair 
janishyase praty asmin lake sthdsyasi alhi suvargam lokam jeshyasi" 
iti | gdrhapatyam agre ddadhdt | . . . . gdrhapatyena eva asmai prajdm 
pasun prdjanay at \ 

"Ida, the daughter of Manu, was a revealer of sacrifice. She heard, 
' the Asuras are placing fire.' .... 6. Ida said to Manu, ' I shall so 
place thy fire that thou shalt increase in offspring, cattle, and twins ; 
thou shall be firmly established in this world, and shalt conquer the 
heavenly world.' 44 She first placed the garhapatya fire. It was 

43 Yaj'na-tattva-prakasana-samartha. Comm. 

44 Compare the Kathaka Br. viii. 4, quoted in "Weber's Indische Studien, iii. 463, 
where Ida is said to have promised to Manu : tatha te Agnim Mhasyami yatha ma- 


through the garhapatya that she produced for him offspring and 

Taitt. S. i. 7. 1, 3. Sarvena vai yajnena devdh suvargam lokam dyan \ 
pdkayajnena Manur asrdmyat \ sd Ida Manum updvarttata \ turn devd- 
surdh vyahvayanta pratlchlm devdh pardchlm Asurdh \ sd devdn upd- 
varttata | 

" The gods arrived at the heavenly world by the whole sacrifice. 
Manu worshipped with the pdltayajna. That Ida came to Manu. The 
gods and asuras called her away in different directions, the gods in 
front, the asuras behind. She came to the gods." 

The following texts refer to Manu alone, as a celebrator of religious 
ceremonies : 

Taitt. S. ii. 5, 9, 1. " Agne mahtin asi" ity aha \ mahdn liy esha 
yad Agnih \ "brdhmana" ity aha \ brdhmano hy esha \ " bhdrata " 
ity aha \ esha hi devebhyo havyam bharati \ " deveddha" ity dha \ devdh 
hy etam aindhata \ " Manviddha" ity dha \ Manur hy etam uttaro deve- 
bhyah aindha \ 

" He says, ' Agni, thou art great.' For this Agni is great. He 
says, ' o Brahman.' For Tie is a Brahmam. He says, ' o Bharata.' For 
he bears the oblation to the gods. He says, ' kindled by the gods.' For 
the gods kindled him. He says, 'kindled by Manu.' For Manu 
kindled him after the gods.' 

Taitt. S. vi. 2, 5, 2 f. Trivrato vai Manur asld dvivratd asurd eiavratd 
devdh | prdtar madhyandine sdyam tad Manor vratam dslt pdlcayajnasya 
rupam pushtyai \ prdtascha sdydncha asurdndih nirmadhyam kshudho 
rupam \ tatas te pardbhavan \ madhyandine madhyardttre devdndm tatas 
te 'bhavan suvargam lokam dyan \ 

" Manu performed three rites ; the asuras two ; the gods one. 
Manu's rite was in the morning, at noon, and in the evening, the 
form of a pakayajna for nourishment. That of the asuras was in the 
morning and evening, without any midday rite, a form of hunger. 
Hence they perished. That of the gods was at midday and midnight. 
Hence they prospered, and arrived at the heavenly world." 

Taitt. S. vii. 5, 15, 3, Etayd (i.e. abhijityd] vailndram devdh aydjayan | 
tasmdd "Indrasavah"} etayd Manum manushydh \ tasmdd"Manu-savah" \ 

nushya devan upaprajanishyante | " I will so place Agni for thee, than men shall be 
born among the gods." 


yathd Indro devdndm yathd Manur manushydndm eva lhavati yah evam 
vidvdn etayd ishtyd yajate \ 

" With this (abhijiti} the gods sacrificed for Indra. Hence it is 
called ' Indra-sava.' Men sacrificed with it for Manu. Hence it is 
called ' Manu-sava.' As Indra is among gods, and Manu among men, 
so he becomes who thus knowing sacrifices with this oblation." 

In Taitt. S. ii. 2, 10, 2, we find nearly the words which Kulluka 
quotes on Manu's Institutes, i. 1 : Tad vai kincha Manur avadat tad 
bheshajam \ " Whatever Manu said was a remedy." 

In S'atapatha Br. vi. 6, 1, 19, Manu is called a Prajapati : " Prajd- 
pataye Manave sidhd " iti \ Prajdpatir vai Manuh \ sa hi idam sarvam 
amanuta \ Prajdpatir vai etad agre karma akarot \ " Svaha to Manu 
the lord of creatures. Manu is a lord of creatures (prajd-pati} for he 
thought (amanuta) all this. The lord of creatures (prajd-pati] formerly 
did all this work." 

The following story in its different versions also connects Manu with 
religious observances and represents him as very devout : 

S'. P. Br. i. 1, 4, 14 ff. Manor ha vai rishabhah dsa \ tasminn asura- 
ghrii sapatna-ghnl vdk pravishtd dsa \ tasya J'a sma Svasathdd ravathdd 
asura-rakshasdni mridyamdndni yanti \ te ha asurdh samudire " pdpam 
vata no 'yam rishabhah sachate Tcatham nv imam dabhnuydma " iti \ 
" Eildtdlcull" iti ha asura-lrahmdv dsatuh \ tau ha uchatuh " sraddhd- 
devo vai Manuh \ dc&m nu veddva" iti \ tau ha dgatya uchatur " Mano 
ydjaydva tvd" iti \ "kena" iti \ " anena rishabhena " iti \ "tathd" iti\ 
tasya dlabdhasya sd vug apachalcrdma \ sd Manor eva jdydm Mandvim 
pravivesa \ tasyai ha sma yatra vadantyai srinvanti tato ha sma eva 
asura-rakshasdni mridyamdndni yanti \ te ha asurdh samudire " ito vai 
nah pdplyah sachate bhuyo hi mdnushi vdg vadati " iti \ Kildtdkuli ha 
eva uchatuh " sraddhd-devo vai Manur dvam nv eva veddva " iti \ tau 
ha dgatya uchatur "Mano ydjaydva tvd" iti \ "kena" iti \ " enayd 
evajdyayd" iti \ " tathd" iti \ tasyai dlabdhdyai sd vdg apachakrdma 
sd yajnam eva yajna-pdtrdni pravivesa \ tato ha endm na sekatur nirhan- 
tum | sd eshd asura-ghnl vdg udvadati \ sa yasya ha evam vidushah etdm 
atra vdcham pratyudvddayanti pdplydmso ha eva asya sapatndh bhavanti \ 

" Manu had a bull. Into it an Asura-slaying, enemy-slaying voice 
had entered. In consequence of this (bull's) snorting and bellowing, 
Asuras and Rakshasas were continually destroyed. Then the Asuras 


said : * This bull, alas, does us mischief; how shall we overcome him ? ' 
Now there were two priests of the Asuras called Kilata and Akuli. 
They said : ' Harm is a devout believer : let us make trial of him.' 
They went and said to him, ' let us sacrifice for thee.' ' With what 
(victim)?' he asked. 'With this bull,' they replied. 'Be it so,' he 
answered. "When it had been slaughtered, the voice departed out of it, 
and entered into Manu's wife Manavl. "Wherever they hear her speak- 
ing, the Asuras and Rakshasas continue to be destroyed in consequence 
of her voice. The Asuras said : ' She does us yet more mischief; for the 
human voice speaks more.' Kilata and Akuli said, ' Manu is a devout 
believer: let us make trial of him.' They came and said to him, 
'Manu, let us sacrifice for thee.' '-With what (victim)?" he asked. 
' "With this (thy) wife/ they replied. ' Be it so,' he answered. "When 
she had been slaughtered the voice departed out of her and entered into 
the sacrifice and the sacrificial vessels. Thence they were unable to 
expel it. This is the Asura-slaying voice which speaks out (when 
the two stones are struck with the samyd, as a part of the ceremonial). 
"Wretched become the enemies of that man for whom, when he knows 
this, they cause this voice here to reverberate." 

Taitt. Br. iii. 2, 5, 9. Manoh Sraddhd-devasya yajamdnasya asura-ghnl 
vug yajndyudheshu pravishtd dsit \ te 'surah ydvanto yajnuyudJidndm 
udvadatdm updsrinyans te pardbhavan \ 

"An asura-slaying voice had entered into the sacrificial implements 
of the devoiit believer and sacrificer Manu. The Asuras, as many as 
heard the sacrificial implements sounding, were overcome.*' 

Kathaka Br. ii. 30, I. 45 Manor vai kapdluny dsan \ tair ydvato ydvato 
'surdn abhyupddadhdt te pardbhavan \ atha tarhi Trishthd-varutrl * 
dstdm asura-brahmau \ td asurdh abruvann " imdni sJiat kapdldni ydche? 
thdm" iti \ tau prataritvdnd abhiprdpadyetdm " Vtiyave Agne Vuyave 
Indra" iti \ " kimkdmau slhah" ity abravU \ "imdni nau kapdldni 
deJii " iti \ tuny dbhydm adaddt \ tuny aranydm pardhritya sama- 
pimshtum \ tad Manor gdvo 'bhivyattshthanta \ tdni rishabhah sa- 
malet \ tasya ruvato yavanto Asurdh updsrinvams te pardbhavan I 

45 Extracted from Weber's Indische Studien, iii. 461 f. A translation of this, as 
well as of the next passage, is givert by Prof. Weber in the Journal of the German 
Oriental Society, vol. xviii. 284 ff. 

46 Roth in his Lexicon s. v. reads Trishnavarutn. 


tau prdtaritvdnd alJiiprdpadyetdm " Vayave Agne Vayave Indra" 
Hi | " kimkdmau sthah" ity abravlt \ " anena tvd rishabhena ydjaydva" 
iti | tat patnlm yajur vadantim pratyapadyata \ tasyah dydm vug dtish- 
that | tasyah vadantydh ydvanto 'surah updsrimams te pardbhavan \ 
tasmdd naktam strl chandrataram vadati \ tau prdtaritvdnd abhiprd- 
padyetdm "Vdyave Agne Vayave Indra" iti \ " kimkdmau sthah" ity 
abravlt \ " anayd tvd patnyd ydjayava" iti \ sd paryagnikritd dslt \ 
atha Indro 'chdyad " Manvam sraddhddevam Trishthdvarutrl asura-brah- 
mau jay ay d vyardhayatam" iti \ sa dgachhat \ so 'bravld " dbhydm tvd 
ydjaydni" iti \ "na" ity abravld tl na vai aham anayor Ise" iti \ 
atithipatir vdva atither lie " ity abravlt \ td asmai prdyaschhat \ sa pra- 
tiveso vedim Icurvann dsta \ td aprischhatam, "ko 'si" iti \ (l brdhmanah' 
iti | " Jcatamo brtihmanah" iti \ " kim brdhmanasya pitaram kirn u pri- 
chhasi mdtaram \ srutam ched asmin vedyam sa pita sa pitdmahah " 
iti \ td avittdm "Indro vai" iti \ tau prdpatatdm \ tayor yah proksJianlr 
dpah dsams tdbhir anuvisrijya slrshe aschhinat \ tau vrishas cha yavdshas 
cha abhavatdm \ tasmdt tau varsheshu Sushyatah \ adbhir hi hatau \ tarn 
paryagnikritdm uddsrijat \ tayd "rdhnot \ tdh imdh Mdnavyah prajdh \ 
yat paryagni-kritam pdtnlvatam utsrijati yarn eva Manur riddhim 
drdhnot tarn ridhnoti \ 

" Manu had platters. All the Asuras, against whom he laid out the 
sacrifice with these were destroyed. J^ow Trishtha and Yarutri were 
at that time the priests of the Asuras. The Asuras said to them, ' ask 
for these six platters.' These two arrived as morning guests, repeating 
the formula, 'To Yayu, o Agni, to Vayu, o Indra.' 'What do you 
desire ? ' asked Manu. ' Give us these platters,' they replied. He gave 
them to them. Taking them they smashed them in the forest. Then 
Manu's cattle were standing round. The bull licked the platters. As 
many Asuras as heard him bellowing were destroyed. The two Asura 
priests came as morning guests, repeating the formula, 'To Vayu, o Agni, 
to Vayu, o Indra.' ' What do you desire ? ' enquired Manu. ' Let us 
sacrifice for thee with this bull,' they answered. He then came to his 
wife who was uttering a yajush. Her voice reached to the sky. As 
many Asuras as heard her speaking were destroyed. Hence a woman 
speaks more pleasantly by night. The two Asura priests arrived as morn- 
ing guests, repeating the formula, ' To Vayu, o Agni, to Vayu, o Indra.' 
' What do you desire ? ' asked Manu. ' Let us sacrifice for thee with 


this thy wife (as the victim),' they replied. The fire was carried round 
her. Then Indra perceived, ' Trishtha and Varutri, the two Asura 
priests are depriving the devout believer Manu of his wife.' He came 
and said (to Manu), ' Let me sacrifice for thee with these two Asura 
priests (for victims).' ' No,' answered Manu, ' I am not their master.' 
' The host is master of the guest,' rejoined Indra. Manu then gave 
them to him. (Standing) near them he was making an altar. They 
asked ' Who art thou ? ' 'A Brahman,' he replied. ' "What (class of) 
Brahman,' they enquired. He rejoined (with a verse), ' "Why askest 
thou the father or the mother of a Brahman ? If Vedic tradition is to 
be discovered in him, that is his father, that his grandfather.' They 
knew, ' this is Indra.' They fled. He threw after them the water 
which was there for consecration, and' therewith cut off their heads. 
They became, (the one) a vrisha, (the other) a yavdsha plant. Hence 
these (two plants) wither in the rains, because they were killed with 
water. He released her (Manu's wife) after the fire had been carried 
round her. By her he prospered. These are the creatures sprung from 
Manu. Whenever a man releases the victim offered to Agni Patmvata, 
after fire has been carried round it, he prospers with the same prosperity 
with which Manu prospered." 

Compare with this a passage of the Taitt. Sanh. vi. 6, 6, 1. Indrah 
patniyd Manum aydjayat \ tarn paryagnikritdm udasrijat \ tayd Manur 
drdhnot \ yat paryagniJcritam pdtnlvatam utsrijati yam era Manur rid- 
dhim drdhnot tarn eva yajamdna ridhnoti \ 

" Indra was sacrificing for Manu with his wife (as the victim). He 
released her after the fire had been carried round her. By her Manu 
prospered. Whenever the worshipper releases the victim offered to 
Agni Patmvata after fire has been carried round it, he prospers with 
the same prosperity with which Manu prospered." 

I quote the following passages also from the interest which they 
possess as relating to a personage so ancient and venerable as Manu is 
reputed to be : 

Aitareya Brahmana, v. 14. Ndbhdnedishtham vai Mdnavatn brahma- 
charyyam vasantam bhrdtaro nirabhajan \ so 'bravld etya " Jcim mahyam 
abhdkta" iti \ " etam eva nishthdvam avavaditdram" ity abruvan \ tas- 
mdd ha apy etarhi pitaram putrdh " nishthdvo 'vavaditd " ity eva dcha- 
kshate \ sa pitaram etya abravlt "tvdm ha vdva mahyam tata abhdkskur" 


iti \ tarn pita 'bravld " md putraka tad ddrithdh \ Angiraso vai ime 
svaradya lokdya satram dsate \ te shashtham shashtham eva ahar dgatya 
muhyanti \ tan ete sukte shashthe 'hani samsaya \ teshdm yat sahasram 
satra-pariveshanam tat te svar yanto ddsyanti" iti \ " tathd" iti \ tan 
upait " pratigribhnlta Mdnavam sumedhasah " iti \ tarn abruvan " Icim- 
kdmo vadasi" iti \ "idam eva vah shashtham ahah prqj'ndpaydni" ity 
abravld " atha yad vai etat sahasram satra-pariveshanam tad me svar 
yanto datta" iti \ " tathd " iti \ tan ete sukte shashthe 'hany asamsayat \ 
tato vai te pra yajnam aj'dnan pra svaraam lolcam \ tad yad ete sukte 
shashthe 'hani samsati yajnasya prajndtyai svargasya lokasya anukhydt- 
yai | tarn svar yanto 'bruvann " etat te brdhmana sahasram" iti \ tad 
enam samdkurvdnam purushah Jcrishnasa-vdsy uttaratah upotthdya alravid 
11 mama vai idam mama vai vdstuham" iti \ so 'bravld tf mahyam vai 
idam adur" iti \ tarn abravlt "tadvai nau tava eva pitari pra&nah" iti \ 
sapitaram ait \ tarn pita 'Iravld " nanu te putraka adur " iti \ "adur 
eva me" ity abravit " tat tu me purushah krishnasa-vdsy uttaratah upo- 
datishthat ' mama vai idam mama vai vdstuham ' iti ddita " iti \ tarn pita 
'bravlt " tasya eva putraka \ tat tubhyam sa ddsyati" iti \ sa punar etya 
abravit " tava ha vdva kila lhagavah idam iti me pita aha " iti \ so 
'bravlt " tad aham tubhyam eva daddmi yah eva satyam avddlr " iti \ 
tasmdd evam vidushd satyam eva vaditavyam \ sa esha sahasra-sanir man- 
tro yad ndbhdnedishtham \ upa enam sahasram namati pra shashthena 
ahnd svar gam lokamjdndti yah evam veda \ 47 

" The brothers of Nabhanedishtha disinherited him whilst he was 
living in the state of a Brahmacharin. Coming (to them) he said : 
' "What share have you given to me ? ' They replied, ' (we have given 
thee) this judge and divider (as thy share).' In consequence sons even 
now speak of their father as the 'judge and divider.' He came to his 
father and said, ' Father, they have given thee to me as my share.' 
His father answered, ' Do not, my son, care about that. These Angirases 
are performing a sacrifice in order to (secure) the heavenly world ; but 
as often as they come to the sixth day (of the ceremony) they become 
perplexed. Make them recite these two hymns (R.V. x. 61 and 62) 
on the sixth day ; and when they are going to heaven, they will give 

*7 This passage has been already translated into German by Prof. R. Roth, 
Journal of the German Oriental Society, vi. 244, and into English by Prof. Max 
Miiller in his Anc. Sansk. Lit. p. 423 f., and by Dr. M. Hang in his Ait. Br. vol. ii. 
p. 341 f. 


thee that provision of a thousand tt which has been made for the sacri- 
fice.' He said, ' So be it.' * He approached them, saying, ' Eeceive me, 
the son of Manu, ye sages.' They replied, ' With what object dost 
thou speak ? ' He said, ' Let me make known to you this sixth day ; 
and then you shall give me this sacrificial provision of a thousand, 
when ye are going to heaven.' ' Let it be so,' they answered. He 
made them repeat these two hymns on the sixth day. They then 
knew the sacrifice, and the heavenly world. Hence when any one 
repeats these two hymns on the sixth day, it is with a view to a 
knowledge of the sacrifice, and to the revelation of the heavenly world. 
"When they were going to the heavenly world, they said to him, ' This 
thousand, o Brahman, 49 is thine.' As he was collecting (the thousand) 
a man in dark clothing rose up before him from the north, and said, 
' This is mine ; what remains on the spot is mine.' Nabhanedishtha 
replied : ' But they have given it to me.' (The man) rejoined : ' It 
belongs to (one of) us ; let thy father be asked.' He went to his 
father, who enquired : ' Have they not given thee (the thousand), my 
son ? ' ' They did give it to me,' he replied, ' but a man in dark 
clothes rose up before me from the north, and took it from me, saying, 
' This is mine ; what remains on the spot is mine." His father said : 
' It is his ; but he will give it to thee.' He returned, and said (to the 
man): 'This is thine, reverend sir, so my father says.' (The man) 
replied : ' I will give it to thee, who hast spoken the truth.' Where- 
fore one who has this knowledge should speak only truth. That is a 
hymn which bestows a thoussnd, that Nabhanedishtha hymn. A 
thousand falls to his lot, he knows the heavenly world on the sixth 
day the man who knows this." 

Taittinya Sanhita, iii. 1, 9, 4. Manuh putrelhyo day am vyabhajat \ 
sa Noiblianedishtham brahmacharryam vasantam nirabhajat \ sa agachhat \ 
so 'bravlt " Jcatfid ma nirabhdg " iti \ " na tva mrabhtiksham " ity 
abravld " Angirasah ime satram dsate te suvargam lokam na prajd- 
nanti'\ tebhyah idam brdhmanam bruhi \ te suvargam lokam yanto ye 
eshdm pasavas tarns te ddsyanti" iti \ tad ebhyo J bravlt \ te suvargam 

See R.V. x. 62, 7. 

49 The application of this title to Nahhanedishtha is to be remarked, as his father 
Manu is recorded in the Puranic legends as ancestor of the solar race of kings. See 
the passage from the M. Bh. i. 3135 ff., quoted above, p. 126. 



lokam yanto ye eshdm pasavah dsams tan asmai adaduh \ tarn pa&ubhis 
charantam yajna-vdstau Rudrah dgachhat \'so''lravlt "mama vai ime 
paSavah " Hi \ " adur vai mahyam man " ity abravlt \ " na vai tasya te 
late" ity abravlt \ " yad yajnavdstau hlyate mama vai tad" Hi \ tas- 
mdd ydjnavdstu na alhyaveiyam \ so 'bravlt \ " yajm md lhaja atJia te 
paiun na alhimamsye " iti \ tasmai etam manthinah samsrdvam ajuhot \ 
tato vai tasya Rudro pasun na abhyamanyata \ yatra etam eva widvan 
manthinah samsrdvam juhoti na tatra Rudrah pasun alhimanyate \ 

" Manu divided his property among his sons. He disinherited his 
son Nabhanedishtha who was living as a Brahmacharin. He came and 
said, ' How hast thou disinherited me?' 'I have not disinherited 
thee,' replied (his father) ; ' these Angirases are celebrating a sacrifice ; 
they do not know the heavenly world; declare to them this Brah- 
mana; and when they are going to heaven, they will give thee the 
cattle they have.' He declared the Brahmana to them, and when they 
were going to heaven they gave him the cattle they had. Rudra came 
to him as he was on the place of sacrifice employed with the cattle and 
said: 'These are my cattle.' ' But,' replied Nabhanedishtha, 'they 
have given them to me.' ' They have not power to do so ; that which 
is left on the place of sacrifice is mine,' answered Rudra. Hence the 
place of sacrifice must not be approached. (Rudra further) said : ' Give 
me a share in the sacrifice, and I shall not injure thy cattle.' He 
offered him this libation of soma and flour. Then Rudra did not injure 
his cattle. Whenever any one knows this libation of soma and flour 
and offers it up, Rudra does not injure his cattle." 50 

A passage, quoted above, p. 26 f., from the Taittinya Sanhita, vi. 5, 

50 The reader who knows German, and wishes to see an able discussion of the 
question, whether the legend of Nabhanedishtha, as given in the Aitareya Brahmana, 
has any real connection with the two hymns of the Rig-veda (x. 61 and 62) which 
are referred to in it, and whether it contains any reminiscence, or symbolical repre- 
sentation, of ancient historical events, may consult Prof. Roth's paper on the subject, 
in the 6th vol. of the Journal of the German Oriental Society, pp. 243 if. The learned 
writer settles both questions in the negative, maintaining that the legend is manu- 
factured out of certain misinterpreted allusions in the hymns, with the view of assert- 
ing the superiority of priestly knowledge to earthly power and worldly wealth, and 
that there never existed either a Nabhanedishtha or a Manu. The object which I 
have in view in the collection of these texts does not require that I should express 
any opinion on these points. I only seek to ascertain what were the traditions re- 
ceived by the most ancient Indian writers themselves regarding the origin of their 
race, and not what was the historical value of those traditions. 


6, 1 ff., may perhaps also be considered as affirming the descent of men 
from Manu when it declares them to be the offspring of Vivasvat; 
since the latter is regarded as the father of Manu. 

In the Chhandogya Upanishad, iii. 11, 4 (p. 178 of Bibliotheca In- 
dica, vol. iii.) the following reference to Manu occurs : 

Tad ha etad Brahma Prajdpataye Prajdpatir Manave Manuh prajd- 
bhyah } tad ka etad Udddlakdya Arunaye putrdya jyeshthdya pita brah- 
ma provdcha \ 

" This (doctrine) Brahma declared to Prajapati, Prajapati to Manu, 
Manu to (his) offspring. This sacred truth was declared to his eldest 
son Uddalaka Aruni by his father." 

The first half of this passage is repeated in viii. 15, 1, of the same 
work (p. 625). 

In his commentary on the former of the two passages, S'ankara 
Acharyya gives this explanation : 

Brahma Hiranyagarlho Virdje Prajdpataye uvdcha \ so 'pi Manave \ 
Manur Ihhvdkv-ddilhyah prajdlhyah provdcha \ 

"Brahma Hiranyagarbha declared it to the Prajapati Viraj ; he to 
Manu ; and Manu declared it to his descendants Ikshvaku and the rest." 

In his note on the second passage, viii. 15, 1, he varies somewhat in 
his explanation of the personages by whom the doctrine was trans- 
mitted : 

Brahma Hiranyagarlhah Paramesvaro vd tad-dvdrena Prajdpataye 
Kasyapdya iivdcha \ asdv api Manave sva-putrdya \ Manuh prajdlhyah \ 

"Brahma Hiranyagarbha, or the supreme Lord (Paramesvara) through 
his instrumentality, declared it to the Prajapati Kasyapa ; he to his son 
Manu ; Manu to his descendants." 

In these two passages of the Chhandogya Upanishad Brahma is dis- 
tinguished from Prajapati, and Prajapati from Manu, who again is said 
to have handed down the doctrine, not to any one person in particular, 
but "to the offspring," or "descendants" (prajdbhyah), apparently 
his own descendants. This Upanishad therefore seems to coincide in 
the doctrine of the hymns, and of the S'atapatha Brahmana, that Manu 
was the progenitor of mankind. The Commentator, it will have been 
noticed, in one place delares that Prajapati is identifiable with Viraj, 
and again that Kasyapa is to be understood under that appellation. 
Viraj and Kasyapa are not, however, generally regarded as the same. 


Nor is Kasyapa commonly considered to be Manu's father. In the 
passages from the Ramayana, ii. 110, and Mahabharata, quoted above, 
pp. 115 and 126, Kasyapa is said to be the father of Vivasvat, and he 
again of Manu. 

However this may be, as Manu is said to have handed down the 
sacred tradition to his descendants, we must suppose that those descend- 
ants included the whole of the progenitors of the Aryan Indians who 
were worthy of being made the depositaries of such a tradition ; and 
must therefore conclude that the Chhandogya TJpanishad agrees with 
the passage quoted above, p. 126, from the Mahabharata, in recognizing 
Manu as the progenitor of the Brahmans, as well as the other castes. 

SECT. III. Extracts from the Mahdlhdrata regarding Manu. 

I have already adduced in the preceding chapter, page 126, an im- 
portant passage of the Mahabharata, Adiparvan verses 3128 ff., in which 
Manu Yaivasvata is expressly declared to have been the progenitor of 
mankind including the four castes. A legend of the deluge, correspond- 
ing to the one which has been adduced from the S'atapatha Brahmana, 
in the last section, is also to be found in the Yana-parvan of the Maha- 
bharata, and although it does not represent Manu as the parent from 
whom the human race was reproduced, but as the creator by whom the 
world was renewed, after the flood, I shall extract the entire text. 
Its style of narration is tedious, when compared with the quaint bre- 
vity of the Brahmana ; but I shall condense it as much as possible in 
the translation. It begins thus, verse 12747 : 

Mdrkandeya uvdcha \ Vivasvatah suto rdjan maharshih suprdtdpavdn \ 
labhuva nara-sdrdula Prajdpati-sama-dyutih \ ojasd tejasd lakshmyd 
tapasd cha viseshatah \ atichakrdma pitaram Manuh svaih cha pitdmaham \ 
urddhva-ldhur visdldydm Badarydm sa narddhipah \ eka-pdda-sthitas 
tivram chachdra sumahat tapah, \ 12750. Avdk-sirds tathd chdpi netrair 
animishair dridham \ so 'tapyata tapo ghoraih varshdndm ayutam tadd \ 
tarn kaddchit tapasyantam drdrachlram jatd-dharam \ Chlrini-tlram 
dgamya matsyo vachanam alravit \ " lhagavan kshudra-matsyo 'smi lala- 
vadbhyo lhayam mama \ matsyebliyo hi tato mam tvam trdtum arhasi su- 
vrata \ durbalam balavanto hi matsyam matsyd viseshatah \ dsvadanti sadd 
vrittir vihitd nah sandtarii \ tasmdd lhayaughdd mahato majjantam mdm 
vieshatah \ trdtum arhasi Icarttdsmi krite pratikritam tava" \ 12755. 


Sa matsya-vachanam srutvd Icripayd 'bhipariplutah \ Manur Taivasvato 
'grihndt tarn matsyam pdnind svayam \ udakdntam updniya matsyam 
Vaivasvato Manuh \ alinjire prdkshipat tarn chandrdmsu - sadrisa - 
prabhe \ sa tatra vavridhe rdjan matsyah parama - satkritah \ pu- 
travat svlkarot tasmai Manur bhdvam viseshatah \ atha kdlena mahatd 
sa matsyah sumahdn abhut \ alinjire yathd chaiva ndsau samabhavat 
Icila | atha matsyo Manum drishtvd punar evdbhyabhdshata \ " bha- 
gavan sddhu me 'dydnyat sthdnam sampratipddaya " | 12760. Uddhri- 
tydlinjirat tasmdt tatah sa bhagavdn Manuh \ tarn matsyam anayad 
vdplm maJiatlm sa Manus tadd \ tatra tarn prdksMpach chdpi Manuh 
para-puranjaya \ athdvarddhata matsyah sa punar varsha-gandn ba- 
hun | dvi-yojandyatd vdpl vistritd chdpi yojanam \ tasydm ndsau sama- 
bhavat matsyo rdjiva-lochanah \ vicheshtitum cha Kaunteya matsyo va- 
pyam visdmpate \ Manum matsyas tato drishtvd punar evdbhyabhdshata \ 
"nayamdm lhagavan sddho samudra-mahishlm priydm \ Gangdm tatra 
nivatsydmi yathd vd tdta mdnyase \ 12765. Nidee hi mayd tubhyam 
sthdtavyam anasuyatd \ vriddhir hi paramd prdptd tvat-Tcrite hi mayd 
'nagha" \ evam ukto Manur matsyam anayad bhagavdn vail \ nadlm 
Gangdm tatra chainam svayam prdkshipad achyutah \ sa tatra vavridhe 
matsyah kanchit Icdlam arindama \ tatah punar Manum drishtvd mat- 
syo vachanam alravlt \ "Gangdydm na hi iaknomi brihatvdch cheshtitum 
prabho | samudram nay a mdm dsu praslda bhagavann " iti \ uddhritya 
Gangd-salildt tato matsyam Manuh svayam \ samudram anayat pdrtha 
tatra chainam avdsrijat \ 12770. Sumahdn api matsyas tu sa Manor 
nayatas tadd \ dsld yatheshta-hdryyaicha spara-gandha-sukhascha va^ \ 
yadd samudre prakshiptah sa matsyo Manund tadd \ tata enam idam 
vdltyam smayamdna ivdbravtt \ " bhagavan hi kritd rakshd tvayd sarvd 
viseshatah \ prdpta-lcdlam tu yat kdryyam tvayd tach chhruyalum 
mama \ achirdd bhagava,n bhaumam idam sthdvara-jangamam \ sarvam 
eva mahdbhdga pralayam vai gamishyati \ samprakshdlana-Jcdlo 'yam 
loJcdndm samupasthitah \ tasmdt tvdm bodhaydmy adya yat te hitam 
anuttamam \ trasdndm sthdvardndm cha yach chengam yach cha nen- 
gati | tasya sarvasya samprdptah Tcdlah parama-ddrunah \ naus cha 
karayitavyd te dridhd yukta-vatdrakd \ tatra saptarshibhih sdrddham 
druhethd mahdmune \ vljdni chaiva sarvdni yatholctdni dvijaih purd \ 
tasydm drohayer ndvi susanguptdni bhdga&ah \ nau-sthas cha mdm 
pratlkshethds tato muni-jana-priya \ dgamishydmy aham sringl vijne- 


yas tena tdpasa \ evam etat tvayd kdryam dprishto 'si vrajdmy aham \ 
td na sakyd mahatyo vai dpas tarttum mayo, vind \ 12780. Ndbhi- 
sankyam idam chdpi vachanam, me tvayd vibho" \ " evam karishye" 
iti tarn sa matsyam pratyabhdshata \ jagmatus cha yathdkdmam anu- 
jndpya parasparam \ tato Manur mahdrdja yathoktam matsyakena ha \ 
vljdny dddya sarvdni sdgaram pupluve tadd \ naukayd subhayd vira 
mahorminam arindama \ chintaydmdsa cha Manus tarn matsyam pri- 
thivipate \ sa cha tach-chintitam jndtvd matsyah parapuranjaya \ sringl 
tatrdjagdmdsu tadd Bharata-sattama \ tarn drishtvd manuja-vydghra 
Manur matsyam jaldrnave \ 12785. S'ringinam tarn yathoktena rupend- 
drim ivochhritam \ vatdrakamayam pdsam atha matsyasya murdhani \ 
Manur manuja-sdrdula tasmin sringe nyavesayat \ samyatas tena pd&ena 
matsyah para-puranjaya \ vegena mahatd ndvam prdkarshal lavandm- 
Ihasi | sa cha tdms tdrayan ndvd samudram manujesvara \ nrityamdnam 
ivormllhir garjamdnam ivdmbhasd \ kshobhyamdnd mahdvdtaih sd naus 
tasmin mahodadhau \ ghurnate chapaleva strl mattd para-puranjaya \ 
naiva Ihumir na cha disah pradiso vd chakdsire \ 12790. Sarvam dm- 
Ihasam evdslt kham dyau cha narapungava \ evambhute tadd loke sankule 
Bharatarshabha \ adrisyanta saptarshayah Manur matsyas tathaiva cha \ 
evam bahun varsha-gandn tdm ndvam so 'tha matsyakah \ chalcarshdtandrito 
rdjan tasmin salila-sanchaye \ tatoHimavatah sringam yatparamBharatar- 
shabha \ tatrdlcarshat tato ndvam sa matsyah Kurunandana \ athdbravlt 
tadd matsyas tun rishln prahasan sanaih \ " asmin Himavatah sringe ndvam 
badhnlta mdchiram" \ sd baddhd tatra tais turnam rishibhir Bharatarsha- 
bha | 12795. Naur matsyasya vachah srutvd sringe Himavatas tadd \ tach 
cha Naubandhanam ndma sringam Himavatah param \ khydtam adydpi 
Kaunteya tad viddhi Bharatarshabha \ athdbravld anismishas tan rishln 
sa hitas tadd \ " aham Prajdpatir Brahmd yat-param nddhigamyate \ 
matsya-rupena yuyam cha mayd 'smdd molcshitd lhaydt \ Manund cha 
prajdh sarvdh sa-devdsura-mdnushdh \ srashtavydh sarva-lokds cha yach 
chengam yach cha nengati \ tapasd chdpi tlvrena pratibhd 'sya bhavish- 
yati \ mat-prasdddt prajd-sarge na cha moham gamishyati " \ 12800. Ity 
uktvd vachanam matsyah kshanenddarsanam gatah \ srashtu-kdmah prajds 
chdpi Manur Vaivasvatah svayam \ pramudho 'bhut prajd-sarge tapas tepe 
mahat tatah \ tapasd mahatd yuktah so ''tha srashtum prachakrame \ sar- 
vdh prajd Manuh sdkshdd yathdvad Bharatarshabha \ ity etad mdtsyakam 
ndma purdnam pariklrttitam \ 


" 12747. Markandeya said: There was a great rishi Manu, son of 
Vivasvat, majestic, in lustre equal to Prajapati. In energy, fiery 
vigour, prosperity, and austere fervour he surpassed both his father 
and his grandfather. Standing with uplifted arm, on one foot, on the 
spacious Badari, he practised intense austere fervour. 12750. This 
direful exercise he performed, with his head downwards, 51 and with 
unwinking eyes, for 10,000 years. Once, when, clad in dripping rags, 
with matted hair, he was so engaged, a fish came to him on the banks 
of the Chirini, and spake : ' Lord, I am a small fish ; I dread the 
stronger ones, and from them you must save me. For the stronger 
fish devour the weaker ; 'this has been immemorially ordained as our 
means of subsistence. Deliver me from this flood of apprehension in 
which I am sinking, and I will requite the deed.' 12755. Hearing 
this, Manu, filled with compassion, took the fish in his hand, and 
bringing him to the water threw him into a jar bright as a moon- 
beam. In it the fish, being excellently tended, grew ; for Manu 
treated him like a son. After a long time he became very large, and 
could not be contained in the jar. Then, seeing Manu, he said again : 
' In order that I may thrive, remove me elsewhere.' 12760. Manu 
then took him out of the jar, brought him to a large pond, and threw 
him in. There he continued to grow for very many years. Although 
the pond was two yojanas long, and one yojana broad, the lotus-eyed 
fish found in it no room to move ; and again said to Manu : ' Take me 
to Ganga, the dear queen of the ocean-monarch ; in her I shall dwell ; 
or do as thou thinkest best, (12765) for I must contentedly submit to 
thy authority, as through thee I have exceedingly increased.' Manu 
accordingly took the fish and threw him into the river Ganga. There 
he waxed for some time, when he again said to Manu : ' From my 
great bulk I cannot move in the Ganga ; be gracious and remove me 
quickly to the ocean.' Manu took him out of the Ganga ; and cast him 
into the sea. 12770. Although so huge, the fish was easily borne, and 
pleasant to touch and smell, as Manu carried him. When he had been 
thrown into the ocean he said to Manu : ' Great lord, thou hast in every 
way preserved me : now hear from me what thou must do when the 

61 He could not have stood on one foot and with his head downwards (if this means 
standing on his head) at one and the same time. The text may mean that these atti- 
tudes were successively adopted. 


time arrives. Soon shall all these terrestrial objects, both fixed and 
moving, be dissolved. The time for the purification of the worlds has 
now arrived. I therefore inform thee what is for thy greatest good. 
12775. The period dreadful for the universe, moving and fixed, has 
come. Make for thyself a strong ship, with a cable attached ; embark 
in it with the seven rishis, and stow in it, carefully preserved and as- 
sorted, all the seeds which have been described of old by Brahmans. 52 
"When embarked in the ship, look out for me : I shall come recognizable 
by my horn. So shalt thou do ; I greet thee and depart. These great 
waters cannot be crossed over without me. 12780. Distrust not my 
word.' Manu replied, ' I shall do as thou hast said.' After taking 
mutual leave they departed each on his own way. Manu then, as en- 
joined, taking with him the seed's, floated on the billowy ocean in the 
beautiful ship. He then thought on the fish, which, knowing his de- 
sire, arrived with all speed, distinguished by a horn. When Manu saw 
the horned leviathan, lofty as a mountain, he fastened the ship's cable 
to the horn. Being thus attached, the fish dragged the ship with great 
rapidity, transporting it across the briny ocean which seemed to dance 
with its waves and thunder with its waters. Tossed by the tempests, 
the ship whirled like a reeling and intoxicated woman. Neither the earth, 
nor the quarters of the world appeared ; (12790) there was nothing but 
water, air, and sky. In the world thus confounded, the seven rishis, 
Manu, and the fish were beheld. So, for very many years, the fish, 
unwearied, drew the ship over the waters ; and brought it at length to 
the highest peak of Himavat. He then, smiling gently, said to the 
rishis, ' Bind the ship without delay to this peak.' They did so accord- 
ingly. 12795. And that highest peak of Himavat is still known by 
the name of JSTaubandhana (' the Binding of the Ship '). The friendly 
fish (or god, animisha] then said to the rishis, 'I am the Prajapati 
Brahma, than whom nothing higher can be reached. In the form of a 
fish I have delivered you from this great danger. Manu shall create 
all living beings, gods, asuras, MEN, with all worlds, and all things 
moving and fixed. By my favour and through severe austere fervour, 
he shall attain perfect insight into his creative work, and shall not be- 

62 The S'atapatha Brahmana is silent as to these seeds, as well as to the seven 
rishis ; but it is possible that the reference here made to them may have been bor- 
rowed from some other ancient source. 


come bewildered.' 12800. Having thus spoken, the fish in an instant 
disappeared. Manu, desirous to call creatures into existence and be- 
wildered in his work, performed a great act of austere fervour ; and 
then began visibly to create all living beings. This which I have 
narrated is known as the Matsyaka Purana (or ' Legend of the Fish ').' 

It will be observed that towards the close of this narrative it is stated 
that Manu (not Brahma himself ) was the creator of Men, as well of 
gods and asuras ; and that no reference is made to the formation of 
separate castes. 

The commentators seem disinclined to take this legend in its literal 
sense. We shall see below what reason the scholiast on the Bhagavata 
Purana assigns for this procedure. The following are some of the 
remarks of the Commentator Nilakantha on the above passage of the 
Mahabharata : 

" Manoh n manute ity abhimdndtmako 'hankdro Manuh \ viseshena 
vaste dchhddayati chit-prakdsam iti vweka-jndnam tad-van vivasvdn ma- 
yam Isvarah " mdyinam tu mahesvaram" iti sruteh \ tasya Vaivasvatasya 
charitam sancharanam \ " avidy saty dvidyako 'hankdrah katham 
sancharati \ nahi tantu-ddhe patas tishthati" ity dkshepah | . . . . air a 
para-brahmana eva rupdntaram matsydkhyo jlvah \ so 'hankdrena Manund 
uttarottara-sreshtheshu alinjirddi-rupeshu sthula-deheshu tapo-laldd ni- 
pdtyate \ sa cha samudrdkhye vairdje dehe nipatitas cha kalpdnte avidyd- 
ndsa-rupe saty api dddha- (dagdha ?) -pata-nydyena anuvarttamdnam 
ahankdram saptarshi-sanjnakaih prdnddilhih vlja-sanjnaih prdraldha- 
karmabhis cha sahitam charama-deha-ndvy drudham vdsand-varatraydjiva- 
matsyena pralaya-kdle 'py uhyamdnam meru-sringa same 'chale lhavato 
(Himavad-t} rupe sadvdsanayd laldhdspadam mllnam anulakshya jlva- 
matsyo 'darsanam prdptah \ ati-villne hy ahankare jlvatvam nasyati \ 
sa punar nirasta-jtva-bhdvo 'hanJcdro brahma-rupatdm dpanno yathd 
purvam vdsanayd jagat srijati \ nashte ''py avidydkhye kdrane samsdra- 
Ihdna-lakshanam kdryam chakra-lhramam iva kanchit kdlam anuvart- 
tate ity adhydya-tdtparyam \ akshardrthas tv ityddi \ 

" ' Manu,' that which imagines, denotes the consciousness of self 
(ahankdra}, consisting in the idea that objects refer to one's self (abhi- 
mdna}.^ ( Vivasvat ' is he who possesses the discriminating know- 
ledge that (such and such a thing) obscures the light of' the mind, i.e. 
53 See Colebrooke's Misc. Essays, vol. i. 242. 


he is the Hinder, Isvara, for the Veda 5 * speaks of ' Mahesvara the 
Illuder.' It is the ' history,' the action, of this son of Vivasvat, that 
is related. It is objected, 'how can Ahankara, which arises from 
ignorance, operate when ignorance is destroyed ? ' for when the threads 
are hurnt the cloth no longer remains ' . . . . Here the embodied soul, 
called in this passage a 'Fish,' is only another form of the supreme 
Brahma. This 'Fish' is thrown by 'Manu,' who is Ahankara, through 
the power of austere fervour, into gross bodies, here represented by ' a 
jar,' 'a pond,' etc., which gradually rise in excellence. Being at last 
cast into the body of Viraj, called ' the ocean,' although ' the close of 
the Kalpa ' means the destruction of ignorance, still the embodied soul 
denoted by the 'Fish,' contemplating Ahankara still remaining like the 
ashes of burnt cloth, then entering, along with the breath and other 
vital airs named ' the seven rishis,' and the works of a former birth 
designated as ' seeds,' into the ship which signifies its last body, and 
then borne along even in the period of dissolution by the embodied 
soul itself symbolized as a ' Fish,' by means of the ' rope ' of the re- 
maining consciousness of past perceptions (vtisand), obtaining at length 
through a consciousness of former perceptions, which were pure (sad- 
vdsana), a resting-place on a mountain like the peak of Meru, repre- 
sented by the Himavat (?), and finally dissolved ; the embodied soul 
under the figure of a 'Fish' having contemplated all this, vanishes. 
For when Ahankara has become entirely dissolved, the state of the 
embodied soul ceases. Then Ahankara, after the state of the embodied 
soul has been dispelled, obtains the condition of Brahma ; but by its 
consciousness of past perceptions creates the world as before. Even 
when the cause called ignorance has been destroyed, the effect in the 
shape of the semblance of the world continues for some time, like the 
revolution of a wheel. Such is signification of the section." 

According to this allegorial interpretation "Vivasvat," father of 
Manu, represents Isvara, the Hinder. " Manu " is Ahankara, or self- 
consciousness. The "Fish" is the embodied soul, which fancies itself 
to be, but is not, distinct from the Supreme spirit. Ahankara, denoted 
by 'Manu,' places the embodied soul, symbolized by the " Fish," in a 
variety of bodies gradually increasing in excellence, which are signified 

5* The words are taken from one of the TJpanishads, to which, at the time of cor- 
recting this sheet, I am unahle to give the necessary reference. 


by the "jar," "pond," "Ganga," and "ocean." Although the end 
of the Kalpa means the removal of ignorance, still Ahankara continues 
for a time ; and along with the " seven rishis," who stand for the vital 
airs, and the " seeds," which are former works, embarks on the " ship," 
which is its last body, and is drawn over the ocean by the embodied 
soul by means of a " rope," which signifies the consciousness of former 
perceptions. Ahankara at length finds a resting-place, denoted by 
Mount Himavat ; and when it has been destroyed, the embodied soul 
vanishes. Ahankara, however, passes into the form of Brahma, and, 
through the operation of the cause explained by the Commentator, 
creates the world anew. 

It is scarcely necessary to remark that the narrator of the legend 
himself appears to have had no idea 6f making it the vehicle of any 
Vedantic allegory such as is here propounded. 

The following is another version of the same legend from the Matsya 
Parana : 

i. 12. 65 Pur a raja Manur ndma chlrnavdn vipulam tapah \ putre raj- 
yam samdropya kshamdvdn Ravi-nandanah \ 13. Malay asyaika-dese tu 
sarvdtm&guna-samyutah \ sama-duhkha-sukho vlrah prdptavdn yogam 
uttamam \ 14. Vachanam** varadas chdsya varshdyuta-sate gate \ " va- 
ram vrimshva " provdcha prltdtmd Kamaldsanah \ 15. Evam uJcto 'bra- 
vld raja pranamya sa Pitdmaham \ "ekam evdham ichhdmi tvatto varam 
anuttamam \ 16. Shuta-grdmasya sarvasya sthdvarasya charasya cha \ 
bhaveyam rakshanaydlam pralaye samupasthite " | 17. "Evam astv" iti 
visvdtmd tatraivdntaradhlyata \ pustya-vrishtis cha mahati Ithdt papdta 
surdrpitd \ 18. Kaddchid dsrame tasya Jcurvatah pitri-tarpanam \ pa- 
pdta panyor upari saphari jala-samyutd \ 19. Drishtvd tach-chhapharl- 
rupaih sa daydlur mahlpatih \ rakskandydkarod yatnam sa tasmin ka. 
rakodare \ 20. Ahordtrena cJiailcena shodasdngula-vistritah \ so 'lhavad 
matsya-rupena " pdjii pdhlti " chdbravzt \ 21. Sa tarn dddya manike prd- 
kshipaj jala-chdrinam \ tatrdpi chaikardtrena hasta-trayam avarddhata \ 
22. Punah prdhdrttanddena Sahasralcirandtmajam \ sa matsyah M pdhi 
pallia" " tvdm aham saranam gatah" \ 23. Tatah sa kupe tarn mat- 
syam prdhinod Ravi-nandanah \ yadd na mdti tatrapi kupe matsyah 

55 This passage is extracted in Professor Auftecat's Catalogue of the Bodleian 
Sanskrit MSS. p. 347. 
M The Taylor MS. reads babhuva, instead of vachanam. 


sarovare \ 24. Kshiptah sa prithutdm dgdt punar yojana-sammitdm \ 
tatrdpy aha punar dmah "pdhi pdhi nripottama" \ 25. Tatah sa 
Manund kshipto Gangdydm apy avarddhata \ yadd tadd samudre tarn 
prdkshipad medinipatih \ 26. Yadd samudram akhilam vydpydsau 
samavasthitah \ tadd prdha Manur bhltah " ko.'pi tvam asuretarah \ 
27. Athavd Vdsudevas tvam anya idrik katham bhavet \ yojandyuta- 
vimiatyd kasya tulyam bhaved vapuh \ 28. Jndtas tvam matsya-ru- 
pena mdm klwdayasi Kesava \ Hrishlkeia jaganndtha jagad-dhdma 
namo 'stu te " | 29. Evam uktah sa lhagavdn matsya-rupl Jandrdanah \ 
" sddhu sddhv" Hi chwdcha " samyag jndtam tvayd 'nagha \ 30. Achire- 
naiva kdlena medinl medinipate \ lihavishyati jale magnd sd-saila-vana- 
Itdnand | 31. Naur iyam sarva-devdndm nikdyena vinirmitd \ mahd-jwa- 
nikdyasya rakshandrtham mahipate \ 32. Sveddndajodbhtjd jwd ye cha 
jlvd jardyujdh \ asyam nidhdya sarvdms tan anarthdt 81 pdhi suvrata \ 
33. Yugdnta-vdtdlhihatd yadd chalati naur nripa \ iringe 'smin mama 
rdjendra tademdm samyamishyasi \ 34. Tato lay ante sarvasya sthdvarasya 
charasya cha \ prajdpatis tvam bhavitd jagatah prithivl-pate \ 35. Evam 
krite mahdrdja 55 sarvajno dhritimdn rishih \ manvantarddhipai chdpi 
deva-pujyo lhavishyasi \ 36. Adhyaya ii. Suta uvdcha \ 1. Evam ukto 
Manus tena paprachhdsura-sudanam \ varshair kiyadbhir lhagavan bhavish- 
yaty antara-kshayah \ 2. Sattvdni cha katham ndtha rakshishye Madhu- 
sudana \ tvayd saha punar yog ah katham vd lhavitd mama \ 3. S'rl-matsya 
uvdcha | adya-prabhrity andvrishtir bhavishyati mahltale \ ydvad varsha- 
katam sdgram durbhiksham narakdvaham \ 4. Tato 'Ipa-sattva-kshayadd 
ramayah sapta ddrundh \ sapta-sapter bhavishyanti prataptdngdra-var- 
shinah \ 5. Aurvdnalo ''pi vikritim gamishyati yuga-kshaye \ vishdgnis 
chdpi pdtdldt sankarshana-mukha-chyutah \ 6. Bhavasydpi laldtotthas 
tritlya-nayandnalah \ jagad dagdham tathd kshobham gamishyati mahd- 
mate \ 7. Evam dagdhd mahl sarvd yadd sydd bhasma-sannibhd 59 \ dkdsam 
ushmand taptam bhavishyati parantapa \ 8. Tatah sa-deva-nakshatram 
jagad ydsyati sankshayam \ samvartto bhlmanddas cha dronas chando 60 ba- 
Idhakah \ 9. Vidyutpatdkah sondmbuh saptaite laya-vdriddh \ agni-pra- 
sveda-sam bhutdh pldvayishyanti medinlm \ 10. Samudrdh kshobham dgatya 

w Instead of anarthat the Taylor MS. reads anathan. 
5 8 The Taylor MS. reads here evam krita-yugasyadau. 
B Kurma-sannibha \ Taylor MS. 
60 The Taylor and Gaikowar MSS. have chandro. 


chaikatvena vyavasthitdh \ etad ekdrnavam sarvam karishyanti jagat-tra- 
yam \ 11. Divydm ndvam 61 imam grihya sarva-vydni sarvasah \ dropya 
rajjvd yogena mat-prayuktena suvrata \ 12. Samyamya ndvam much- 
chhringe mat-pralhdvdlhirakshitah \ ekah sthdsyasi deveshu dagdheshv api 
parantapa \ 13. Soma-surydv aham Brahma chatur-loka-samanvitah \ 
Narmadd cha nadl puny a Mdrkandeyo mahdn rishih \ 14. Jthavo veddh 
purdnam cha vidydbhih sarvato vritam \ tvayd sdrddham idam sarvam 
sthdsyaty antara-sankshaye \ 15. Evam ekdrnave jdte Chdkshushdntara- 
sankshaye \ veddn pravarttayishydmi tvat-sargddau mahipate \ 16. Suta 
uvdcha | Evam uktvd sa Ihagavdms tatraivdntaradhlyata \ Manur apy 
dsthito yogam Vdsudeva-prasddajam \ 17. Athdbhuch cha tathd-lhutah 
samplavah puna-suchitah \ kale yathokte sanjdte Vdsudeva-mukhodyate \ 
18. S'ringl prddurlabhuvdtha matsya-fupl Jandrdanah \ Ananto rajju- 
rupena Manoh pdrsvam updgamat \ 19. Bhuta-sangdn samdkrishya yoge- 
ndropya dharmavit \ Ihujanga-rajjvd matsyasya sringe ndvam ayojayat \ 
20. JJparyy upasthitas tasydh pranipatya Jandrdanam \ dlhuta-samplave 
tasminn atite yoga-sdyind \ 21. Prishtena Manund proktam purdnam 
matsyarupind \ tad iddnlm pravakshydmi srinudhvam rishi-sattamdh \ 

"12. Formerly a heroic king called Manu, the patient son of the 
Sun, endowed with all good qualities, indifferent to pain and pleasure, 
after investing his son with the royal authority, practised intense aus- 
tere fervour, (13) in a certain region of Malaya (Malabar), and attained 
to transcendent union with the Deity (yoga}. 14. When a million 
years had elapsed, Brahma became pleased and disposed to bestow a 
boon, which he desired Manu to choose. 15. Bowing before the father 
of the world the monarch said, ' I desire of thee this one incomparable 
boon, tbat when the dissolution of the universe arrives I may have power 
to preserve all existing things, whether moving or stationary.' 17. 
' So be it,' said the Soul of all things, and vanished on the spot ; when a 
great shower of flowers, thrown down by the gods, fell from the sky. 
18. Once as, in his hermitage, Manu offered the oblation to the Manes, 
there fell, upon his hands, along with some water, a S'aphari fish (a 
carp), (19) which the kind-hearted king perceiving, strove to preserve 
in his water-jar. 20. In one day and night the fish grew to the size 
of sixteen fingers, and cried, 'preserve me, preserve me.' 21. Manu 
then took and threw him into a large pitcher, where in one night be 
61 The Taylor MS. reads veda-navam, " the ship of the Vedas." 


increased three cubits, (22) and again cried, with the voice of one dis- 
tressed, to the son of Yivasvat, 'preserve me, preserve me, I have 
sought refuge with thee.' 23. Manu next put him into a well, and 
when he could not he contained even in that, (24) he was thrown into 
a lake, where he attained to the size of a yojana; but still cried in 
humble tones, ' preserve me, preserve me.' 25. When, after being flung 
into the Ganga he increased there also, the king threw him into the 
ocean. 26. When he filled the entire ocean, Manu said, in terror, 
' Thou art some god, (27) or thou art Vasudeva ; how can any one else 
be like this? Whose body could equal 200,000 yojanas? 28. Thou 
art recognised under this form of a fish, and thou tormentest me, Ke- 
sava ; reverence be to thee, Hrishlkesa, lord of the world, abode of the 
universe !' 29. Thus addressed, 'the divine Janardana, in the form of a 
fish, replied: 'Thou hast well spoken, and hast rightly known me. 
30. In a short time the earth with its mountains, groves, and forests, 
shall be submerged in the waters. 31. This ship has been constructed 
by the company of all the gods 62 for the preservation of the vast host 
of living creatures. 32. Embarking in it all living creatures, both 
those engendered from moisture and from eggs, as well as the vivi- 
parous, and plants, preserve them from calamity. 33. When driven by 
the blasts at the end of the yuga, the ship is swept along, thou shalt 
bind it to this horn of mine. 34. Then at the close of the dissolution thou 
shalt be the Prajapati (lord of creatures) of this world, fixed and moving. 
35. When this shall have been done, 63 thou, the omniscient, patient rishi, 
and lord of the Manvantara, shalt be an object of worship to the gods." 
2nd Adhyaya: " 1. Suta said: Being thus addressed, Manu asked the 
slayer of the Asura, ' In how many years shall the (existing) Manvan- 
tara come to an end ? 2. And how shall I preserve the living crea- 
tures? or how shall I meet again with thee?' The fish answered: 
' From this day forward a drought shall visit the earth for a hundred 
years and more, with a tormenting famine. 4. Then the seven direful 
rays of the son, of little power, destructive, shall rain burning char- 
coal. 5. At the close of the yuga the submarine fire shall burst forth, 

62 The reading of the Taylor MS. here is partially erased ; hut it may have been 
sarva-vedanam, "of all the Vedas." Compare the various reading in verse 11 of 
the next a dhyaya. 

63 According to the reading of the Taylor MS. we should have to substitute the 
words, " Thus at the beginning of the Krita age, thou" etc. 


while the poisonous flame issuing from the mouth of Sankarshana (shall 
blaze) from Patala, and the fire from Mahadeva's third eye shall issue 
from his forehead. Thus kindled the world shall become confounded. 
7. When, consumed in this manner, the earth shall become like ashes, 
the aether too shall be scorched with heat. 8. Then the world, together 
with the gods and planets, shall be destroyed. The seven clouds of 
the period of dissolution, called Samvartta, Bhlmanada, Drona, Chanda, 
Balahaka, (9) Vidyutpataka, and S'onambu, produced from the steam 
of the fire, shall inundate the earth. 10. The seas agitated, and joined 
together, shall reduce these entire three worlds to one ocean. 1 1 . Taking 
this celestial ship, embarking on it all the seeds, and through contem- 
plation fixed on me fastening it by a rope (12) to my horn, thou alone 
shalt remain, protected by my power, when even the gods are burnt up. 
13. The sun and moon, I Brahma with the four worlds, the holy river 
Narmada," 4 the great rishi Markandeya, (14) Mahadeva, the Yedas, the 
Purana with the sciences, these shall remain with thee at the close of 
the Manvantara. 15. The world having thus become one ocean at the 
end of the Chakshusha manvantara, I shall give currency to the Vedas 
at the commencement of thy creation.' 16. Suta continued: Having 
thus spoken, the divine Being vanished on the spot ; while Manu fell 
into a state of contemplation (yoga) induced by the favour of Vasudeva. 
1 7. When the time announced by Vasudeva had arrived, the predicted 
deluge took place in that very manner. Then Janardana appeared in 
the form of a horned fish ; (the serpent) Ananta came to Manu in the 
shape of a rope. 19. Then he who was skilled in duty (i.e. Manu) 
drew towards himself all creatures by contemplation (yoga) and stowed 
them in the ship, which he then attached to the fish's horn by the 
serpent-rope, (20) as he stood upon the ship, and after he had made 
obeisance to Janardana. 21. I shall now declare the Purana which, 
in answer to an enquiry from Manu, was uttered by the deity in the 
form of the fish, as he lay in a sleep of contemplation till the end of the 
universal inundation : Listen." The Matsy a Purana gives us no further 
information here about the progress and results of the deluge ; and this 
narrative does not appear to be ever afterwards resumed. 

61 In the opinion of this writer, therefore, the Narmada (Nerbudda) must have 
been a holier stream than the Ganga : otherwise we should have expected him to 
select the latter as the river to be preserved at the dissolution. 


The Bhagavata P. viii. 24, 7, gives the same story with variations 
as follows : 

Asld atlta-kalpdnte brdhmo naimittiko layah \ samudropaplutds tatra 
lokd bhur-ddayo nripa \ 8. Kdlendgata-nidrasya Dhdtuh sisayishor ball \ 
mukhato nissritdn veddn Hayagrlvo 'ntike 'harat \ 9. Jndtvd tad ddna- 
vendrasya Hayagrlvasya cheshtitam \ dadhdra sapharl-rupam bhagavdn 
Harir isvarah \ 10. Tatra rdja-rishih kaschid ntimnd Satyavrato mahdn \ 
Ndrdyana-paro 'tapyat tapah sa salilasanah \ 11. Yo 'sdv asmin maTia- 
kalpe tanayah sa Vivasvatah \ S'rdddhadeva iti Ichydto manutve Harina 
'rpitah \ 12. Ekadhd Kritamdldydm Jcurvato jala-tarpanam \ tasydnjaly- 
udalce Mchich chhaphary ekd 'bhyapadyata \ 13. Satyavrato 'njali-gatdm 
saha toyena BJidrata \ utsasarja nadl-toye sapharlm Dravidesvarah \ tarn 
aha sdtikarunam mahdkdrunikam nripam \ yadolhyo jnati-ghdtilhyo 
dinam mam dlnavatsala \ katham msrijase rdjan bhltdm asmin sarij-jale \ 

32. Saptame 'dyatandd urddhvam ahany etad arindama \ ni- 

mankshyaty apyaydmbhodhau trailokyam bhur-bhuvddilcam \ 33. Trilok- 
ydm llyamandydm samvarttdmlhasi vai tadd \ upasthdsyati nauh kdchid 
visdld tvdm mayeritd \ ^34. Tvam tdvad oshadtdh sarvd vijdny uchchd- 
vachani cha \ saptarshibhih parivritah sarva-sattvopavrimhitah \ 45. 
Aruhya vrihatlm ndvam vicharishyasy aviklavah \ ekdrnave nirdloke 
rishlndm eva varchasd \ 36. Dodhuyamdndm tdm ndvam samlrena ball- 
t/asd | upasthitasya me fringe nihadhriihi mahdhind \ 37. Aham tvdm 
nshibhih sdkam sahandvam udanvati \ vikarshan vicharishydmi ydvad 
BrdJiml nisd prabho | . . . . 41. Tatah samudrah udvelah sarvatah 
pldvayan maTiim \ vardhamdno mahdmeghair varshadbhih samadrisyata \ 
42. Dhydyan bhagavad-ddesam dadrise ndvam dgatdm \ tdm druroha 
viprendrair dddyaushadhi-vlrudhah \ 43. Tarn uchur m^lnayah pritd 
rdjan dhydyasva Kesavam \ sa vai nah sankatdd asmdd avitd sam vidhd- 
syati | 44. So 'nudhydtas tato rdjnd prddurdsld mahdrnave \ eka-sringa- 
dharo matsyo haimo niyuta-yojanah \ 45. Nibadhya ndvam. tach-chhringe 
yathokto Harind purd \ varatrendhind tushtas tushtdva Madhusudanam \ 

54. Ity uktavantam nripatim lhagavdn Adipurushah \ matsya- 

rupl mahdmbhodhau viharams tattvam abravlt \ 55. Purdna-samJiitdm 
divydm Sdnkhya-Yoga-kriydvatlm \ Satyavratasya rdjarsher dtma-guh- 
yam aseshatah \ 56. Asraushid rishibhih sdkam dtma-tattvam asam- 
sayam \ navy dsino bhagavatd proktam IraJima sandtanam \ 57. Atlta- 
pralaydpdye utthitdya sa Vedhase \ hatvdsuram Hayagrlvam veddn prat- 


yakarad Harih \ 58. Sa tu Satyavrato raja jnana-vijnana-samyutah \ 
Vishnoh prasuddt Jcalpe 'smin asld Vaivasvato Manuh \ 

" 7. At the close of the past Kalpa there occurred an occasional M 
dissolution of the universe arising from Brahma's nocturnal repose ; in 
which the Bhurloka and other worlds were submerged in the ocean. 
8. When the creator, desirous of rest, had under the influence of time 
been overcome by sleep, the strong Hayagriva coming near, carried off 
the Vedas which had issued from his mouth. 9. Discovering this deed 
of the prince of the Danavas, the divine Hari, the Lord, took the form 
of a S'aphari fish. 10. At that time a certain great royal rishi, called 
Satyavrata, who was devoted to Narayana, practised austere fervour, 
subsisting on water. 1 1 . He was the same who in the present great 
Kalpa is the son of Visvasvat, called 'S'raddhadeva, 66 and was appointed 
by Hari to the office of Manu. 12. Once, as in the river Kritamala he 
was offering the oblation of water to the Pitris, a S'apharl fish came 
into the water in the hollow of his hands. 13. The lord of Dravida, 
Satyavrata, cast the fish in his hands with the water into the river. 
14. The fish very piteously cried to the merciful king, ' Why dost thou 
abandon me poor and terrified to the monsters who destroy their kindred 
in this river ?' " [Satyavrata then took the fish from the river, placed it 
in his waterpot, and as it grew larger and larger, threw it successively 
into a larger vessel, a pond, various lakes, and at length into the sea. The 
fish objects to be left there on the plea that it would be devoured ; but 
Manu replies that it can be no real fish, but Yishnu himself ; and with 
various expressions of devotion enquires why he had assumed this dis- 
guise, verses 15-31.] The god replies : 32. " On the seventh day 
after this the three worlds Bhurloka, etc., shall sink beneath the 
ocean of the dissolution. 83. When the universe is dissolved in that 
ocean, a large ship, sent by me, shall come to thee. 34. Taking with 
thee the plants and various seeds, surrounded by the seven rishis, 
and attended by all existences, (35) thou ^shalt embark on the great 
ship, and shalt without alarm move over the one dark ocean, by the 
sole light of the rishis. When the ship shall be vehemently shaken by 

65 Naimittika. See above p. 45. 

66 Manu is called S'raddhadeva in the Mahabharata also, S'antip. 4507. In the 
Brahmanas, however, he receives the appellation, or epithet, not of tS'raddhadeva, but 
of Sraddhadeva. See above, p. 188 ff. 



the tempestuous wind, fasten it by the great serpent to my horn for 
I shall come near. 37. So long as the night of Brahma lasts, I shall 
draw thee with the rishis and the ship over the ocean." [The god 
then disappears after promising that Satyavrata shall practically know 
his greatness and experience his kindness, and Satyavrata awaits the 
predicted events, verses 38-40.] 41. " Then the sea, augmenting as 
the great clouds poured down their waters, was seen overflowing its 
shores and everywhere inundating the earth. 42. Meditating on the 
injunctions of the deity, Satyavrata beheld the arrival of the ship, on 
which he embarked with the Brahmans, taking along with him the 
various kinds of plants. 43. Delighted, the Munis. said to him, 'me- 
ditate on Kesava ; he will deliver us from this danger, and grant us 
prosperity.' 44. Accordingly when the king had meditated on him, 
there appeared on the ocean a golden fish, with one horn, a million 
yojanas long. 45. Binding the ship to his horn with the serpent for a 
rope, as he had been before commanded by Hari, Satyavrata lauded 
Madhusudana." [Verses 46-53 contain the hymn.] 54. When the 
king had thus spoken, the divine primeval Male, in the form of a fish, 
moving on the vast ocean declared to him the truth ; (55) the celestial 
collection of Puranas, with the Sankhya, Toga, the ceremonial, and the 
mystery of the soul. 56. Seated on the ship with the rishis, Satya- 
vrata heard the true doctrine of the soul, of the eternal Brahma, de- 
clared by the god. 57. "When Brahma arose at the end of the past 
dissolution, Hari restored to him the Vedas, after slaying Hayagriva. 
58. And King Satyavrata, master of all knowledge, sacred and profane, 
became, by the favour of Vishnu, the son of Vivasvat, the Manu in this 

Before adducing the remarks of the commentator S'rldhara Svamin 
on the passage last cited from the Bhagavata Purana, I shall quote one 
more version of the same legend from the Agni Purana. 67 It is not of 
any great consequence,, as, though more condensed, it coincides in pur- 
port with that in the Bhagavata Purana : which of the two has bor- 

67 This has been copied by Professor Aufrecht from a MS. of the Agni Purana, 
belonging to the Eoyal Asiatic Society of London. I am informed by Prof. Aufrecht 
that the East India Office Library has two MSS. of the Vahni Purana, which (although 
Vahni is, in later Sanskrit, synonymous with Agni) differ entirely in their contents 
from the Agni Purana. 


rowed from the other, or whether both are derived from a common 
source, I am unable to say. 

Pasishfha uvdcha \ 1. Matsyddi-rupina.m Vishnum bruhi sargddi-kd- 
ranam \ purdnam Irahma chdgneyam yathd Vishnoh purd srutam \ Agnir 
uvdcha \ 2. Matsydvatdram vakshye 'ham Vasishtha srinu vai Hareh \ 
avatar a-kriy dm dushta-nashtyai sat-pdlandya hi \ 3. Asld atlta-Tcalpdnte 
brdhmo naimittiko lay ah \ sanudropaplutds tatra lokd Ihurddikd mune \ 
4. Manur Vaivasvatas tepe tapo vai Ihukti-muktaye \ elcadd Kritalmdla- 
ydm kurvato jala-tarpanam \ 5. Tasydnjaly-udalce matsyah svalpa eko 
'bhyapadyata \ ksheptu-kdmctm jale prdha " na mum kshipa narottama \ 
6. Grahddilhyo lhayam me 'tra " tach chhrutvd Icalase 'Icshipat \ Manum 
vriddhah punar matsyah prdJia tarn " dehi me vrihat " | 7. Tasya tad 
vachanam irutvd rdjd HJia vandane 'h'hipat \ tatra vriddho 'travld bhu- 
pam " prithii dehi padam mama" \ 8. Sarovare punah kshipto vavridhe 
tat-pramdnavdn \ uehe " dehi vrihat sthdnam " prdkshipach chdmludhau 
tatah | 9. Laksha-yojana-mstlrnah Icshana-mdtrena so 'bhavat \ matsyam 
tarn adbhutam drishtvd vismitah prdlravld Manuh \ 10. " Ko bhavdn 
nanu vai Vishnur Ndrdyana namo 'stu te \ may ay d mohayasi mdm kimar- 
tham cha Jandrdana" \ 11. Manur-ukto 68 'bravld matsyo Manum vai 
pdlane ratam \ avatlrno lhavdydsya jagato dushta-nashtaye \ 12. "Sap- 
tame divase tv abdhih pldvayishyati vai jagat \ upasthitdydm ndvi tvam 
vijadlni vidhdya cha \ 13. Saptarshilhih parivrito nisdm brdhmlm cha- 
rishyasi \ upasthitasya me sringe niladhnlhi mahdhina " | 14. Ity ulctvd 
'ntardadhe matsyo Manuh kdla-pratlkshaJcah \ stitah samudra udvele 
ndvam druruhe tadd \ 15. Eka-sringa-dharo matsyo haimo niyuta- 
yojanah \ ndvam babandha tach-chhringe matsydlehyam cha purdnakam \ 
16. S'usrdva matsydt pdpa-ghnam sa-irutam srutilhih Srutam (?) | brah- 
ma-veda-praharttdram Hayagrlvam cha ddnavam \ 17. Avadhld veda- 
mantrddydn pdlaydmdsa Kesavah \ 

11 Yasishtha said : 1. Declare to me Yishnu, the cause of the creation, 
in the form of a Fish and his other incarnations ; and the Puranic 
revelation of Agni, as it was originally heard from Vishnu. Agni 
replied: 2. Hear, o Vasishtha, I shall relate to thee the Fish -incar- 
nation of Vishnu, and his acts when so incarnate for the destruction of 

68 Professor Aufrecht's transcript has this reading Manur-ukto ; which I have re- 
tained, although I was not aware that Manus was commonly used for Manu, except 
iu the Vedic period. 


the wicked, and protection of the good. 3. At the close of the past 
Kalpa there occurred an occasional dissolution of the universe caused 
by Brahma's sleep, when the Bhurloka and other worlds were inun- 
dated by the ocean. 4. Manu, the son of Vivasvat, practised austere 
fervour for the sake of worldly enjoyment as well as final liberation. 
Once, when he was offering the libation of water to the Pitris in the 
river Kritamala, (5) a small fish came into the water in the hollow of 
his hands, and said to him when he sought to cast it into the stream, 
'Do not throw me in, (6) for I am afraid of alligators and other 
monsters which are here.' On hearing this Manu threw it into a jar. 
Again, when grown, the Fish said to him, ' Provide me a large place.' 
7. Manu then east it into a larger vessel (?). When it increased there, 
it said to the king, ' Give me a wide space.' 8. "When, after being 
thrown into a pond, it became as large as its receptacle, and cried out 
for greater room, he flung it into the sea. 9. In a moment it became 
a hundred thousand yojanas in bulk. Beholding the wonderful Fish, 
Manu said in astonishment: (10) 'Who art thou? Art thou Yishnu? 
Adoration be paid to thee, o Narayana. Why, o Janardana, dost thou 
bewilder me by thy illusion ? ' 11. The Fish, which had become in- 
carnate for the welfare of this world and the destruction of the wicked, 
when so addressed, replied to Manu, who had been intent upon its pre- 
servation : (12) ' Seven days after this the ocean shall inundate the 
world. A ship shall come to thee, in which thou shalt place the seeds, 
(13) and accompanied by the rishis shalt sail during the night of Brah- 
ma, Bind it with the great serpent to my horn, when I arrive. 14. 
Having thus spoken the Fish vanished. Manu awaited the promised 
period, and embarked on the ship when the sea overflowed its shores. 
15. (There appeared) a golden Fish, a million yojanas long, with one 
horn, to which Manu attached the ship, (16) and heard from the Fish 
the Matsya Purana, which takes away sin, together with the Veda. 
Kesava then slew the Danava Hayagriva who had snatched away the 
Vedas, and preserved its mantras and other portions." 

The following is S'rldhara's comment, before referred to, on the 
legend of the deluge, as told in the Bhagavata Purana. These remarks 
have been well translated and explained in the preface to the 3rd volume 
of his edition of this Purana (pp. xxxviii ff.) by M. Burnouf, whose 
elaborate discussion of the legend extends from p. xxiii to p. liv. 


Atra idam chintyafh " kirn a/yam maJidpralayo dainandino vd " iti \ 
tatra tdvad "brdhmo layah" (v. 7) iti " yo 'sdv asmin mahd-kalpe" 
(v. 11) iti cha ulcter <l mahdpralayah " iti prdptam "na" iti brumah \ 
maMpralaye prithivy-ddlndm avaseshdsamlhavdd " ydvad brdhml nisd " 
(v. 37) ity-ddy-ukti- virodhdch cha \ ato " dainandana " iti yulctam \ na 
cha etad api sangachhate \ samvarttakair andvrishty-adilhir vind akasmdd 
eva " saptame 'hani trailokyafh nimankshyati " (v. 32) iti matsyokter 
anupapatteh \ yathoktam prathama-skandhe "rupam" (i. 3, 15) ity ddi 
tad api tadd durghafam \ na hi pralaya-dvaye 'pi " mahlmayydm navy" 
drohah sambhavati na cha Chdkshusha-manvantare pralayo 'sti \ tathd 
cha sati saptamo Manur Vaivasvatah ity api durghatam sydt \ " tvam 
tdvad oshadhih sarvah " (viii. 24, 34) ity-ddi-nirdeio 'pi na sangachhate \ 
na hi tadd oshadhy-ddlndm sattvdndm* cha avaieshah sambhavati \ tasmdd 
anyathd varnyate \ naivayam vdstavah ko 'pi pralayah \ kintu Satyavra- 
tasya jnanopadesaya dvirbhuto bhagavdn vairdgydrtham akasmdt prala- 
yam iva darsaydmdsa yathd 'sminn eva Vaivasvata-manvantare Mdrkan- 
deydya darsitavdn \ tad-apelcshayd eva cha " mahd-kalpe 'sminn " iti 
vi&eshanam sangachhate \ tathd cha " tatah samudrah udvelah sarvatah 
samadrisyata" (v. 41) iti tasyaiva yathd darsanam uTctam ity eshd dik \ 

" Here we have to consider whether this was a great dissolution of 
the universe, or one of those which occur at the close of each day of 
Brahma. If it be supposed from the expressions ' a dissolution pro- 
ceeding from Brahma' (v. 7), and 'he is the same who in this Maha- 
kalpa' (v. 11), that it was a great dissolution, we reply, no; because 
in a great dissolution the earth and other worlds cannot possibly remain 
in existence, and because this would be opposed to the words ' so long 
as the night of Brahma lasts' (v. 37). Hence it might appear that it 
must be one of the dissolutions which occur at the end of a day of 
Brahma. But this also is impossible, because it would be at variance 
with the Fish's words that ' the three worlds should be submerged on 
the seventh day,' (v. 32) suddenly, without the drought and other cala- 
mities which precede a dissolution. What is stated in the first book 
(iii. 15), ' at the deluge, in the Chakshusha Manvantara, he took the 
form of a Fish, and preserved Manu Vaivasvata, whom he placed in a 
ship formed of the earth,' 69 would also in that case be inconceivable ; for 

69 Bhagavata Purana, i. 3. 15. Rupam sa jagrihe matsyam Chakshushodadhi-sam- 
plave | navy aropya mahlmayyam apad Vaivasvatam Manum \ Oil this passage also 


(1.) in neither of the two dissolutions could any one be placed ' in a 
ship in the form of the earth ' (as the earth is submerged in the one 
case and altogether destroyed in the other) ; (2.) there is no dissolution 
of the world in the Chakshusha Manvantara ; (3.) in the case supposed 
the existence of a seventh Manu, the son of Vivasvat would be im- 
possible (for the fourteen Manus succeed each other in one Kalpa 
without the intervention of any dissolution). And in that case, 
the command to take 'all the plants into the ship' (viii. 24, 34), 
would be inconceivable, since no plants or other such substances are 
left at such a period. Such being the fact, the narrative must be 
otherwise explained. It was in fact nd real dissolution which is 
here related. But the deity, who appeared to teach Satyavrata 
knowledge, shewed him suddenly the semblance of a dissolution to 
instil into him dispassion, just as in the Vaivasvata Manvantara 
he shewed to Markandeya. And if referred to this, the words ' in 
this Mahakalpa' will be conceivable. And consequently the words 
' Then the sea was beheld overflowing its shores on every side ' are 
spoken with reference to what Satyavrata saw (in the vision). Such is 
an indication of the purport of the Section." 

S'ridhara Svamin here reasons only upon the data supplied by the 
particular version of the story which he found before him in the Bha- 
gavata, and does not seem to have extended his researches so far as to 
ascertain whether the legend might not exhibit some variations as nar- 
rated in other Puranas. If he had turned to the Matsya Purana he 
would have found that one of his objections, viz., that drawn from the 
absence of any reference to the calamities supposed to precede a disso- 
lution, did not apply to the account there given ; since that narrative 
expressly asserts that these premonitory signs were manifested. Others 
of his objections apply no doubt to the other narratives as well as to 
that in the Bhagavata. According to the ordinary Puranic theory (see 
above, pp. 43 ff.) fourteen Manus exist in each Kalpa, and one succeeds 
another without the intervention of any pralaya or dissolution. It is 
obviously inconsistent with this theory to represent such a dissolution 

S'ridhara remarks : Yadyapi manvantaravasane pralayo nasti tathapi kenachit kau- 
tukena Satyavrataya maya pradarsita \ yatha " akande Markandeyaya " Hi drash- 
tavyam \ " Although there is no dissolution at the end of a Manvantara, yet, through 
a certain sport an illusion was shown to Satyavrata, as in the other passage where it 
is said ' Suddenly to Markandeya,' etc." 


as taking place either during the life of any of the Manus, or after his 
disappearance. It is even doubtful, or more than doubtful (Wilson's 
Vish. P. i. p. 50 f. and p. 44, above) whether one Manu can exist con- 
temporaneously with another, and yet, according to the Matsya and Agni 
Puranas (see above, pp. 205 ff., 211 f.) Manu Vaivasvata is said to have 
lived during his predecessor's period, although the Bhagavata avoids 
this difficulty by making Satyavrata the hero of the story and by re- 
presenting him as being born again as Manu Yaivasvata at the begin- 
ning of the next Manvantara. (M. Burnouf's Preface above referred to 
may be consulted for further remarks on this subject.) The authors of 
the Mahabharata and the Puranas do not, however, appear to have been 
so sensitively alive to inconsistencies of this description as S'ridhara. 
Perhaps the system of' Kalpas and Manvantaras may not have been so 
clearly defined, or so generally current, when the older parts, at least of 
the Mahabharata, were composed, as at a later period. 70 And even the 
Puranic writers may not have cared very much to preserve a strict 
congruity in all that they wrote. In fact they may have had no great 
faith in the authority of speculations so arbitrary and artificial as those 
relating to the great mundane periods to which I refer, speculations 
which were derived from no higher source than previous writers of 
their own class. The case, however, was different with the Commen- 
tators, who lived at a later period, and who seem to have regarded the 
established doctrine regarding Kalpas and Manvantaras as an article 
of faith. 

There is, however, no doubt that, for the reasons above assigned, this 
legend of a Flood, such as is described in the Mahabharata and the 
Puranas, does not fit into the system of Kalpas and Manvantaras. But 
what is the inference which we ought to draw from this circumstance ? 
M. Burnouf believes (1.) that the theory of great mundane periods and 
periodical dissolutions of the universe was received in India from very 
early times (Bhag. P. iii. Pref. p. xliii.) and (2) that it was older than 
the legend of a deluge, as, although the latter may have been derived 
from ancient tradition, the style in which it is related in the Mahabha- 
rata and the Puranas has nothing of the archaic colouring of the Iti- 
hasas contained in the Brahmanas, and it had not, so far as he knew, 

70 The Svayambhuva Manvantara is mentioned in the S'antip. verse 12658, but no 
details are given (krite yuge maharaja pura Svayambhuve 'ntare}. 


been found in any work of the class last named(p. xxvii.), and was not, 
he anticipated, likely to be discovered there (lii.). The conclusion which 
he deduces from these premises, and from the absence of any tradition 
of any great local inundation (pp. xlviii. and li.), is that, although, as 
related in the Mahabharata and the Puranas, the legend of the deluge 
has received in some respects an Indian character (xxxi. ff. ; xlv. ff.), 
it is not in its origin Indian, (li.), but was most probably imported 
into Hindustan from a Semitic source, whether Hebrew or Assyrian 
(lii.-liv.). The first of M. Burnouf's premises, regarding the great 
antiquity of the system of Kalpas, Manvantaras, and mundane disso- 
lutions, is not borne out by the Yedic hymns, or anything that has yet 
been found in the Brahmanas (see above, pp. 45 if.). And -his antici- 
pation that no reference to a deluge would be discovered in any of the 
older Indian records has proved incorrect, as is shewn by the legend of 
Manu quoted above (p. 181 ff.) from the S'atapatha Brahmana. 

Professor Weber, by whom attention was first drawn (in his Indische 
Studien, i. 160 ff.) to this passage, shows how materially it interferes 
with Burnouf's results. If there is no proof of the great antiquity of 
the cosmical theory which that great scholar supposes to be inconsistent 
with the early existence in India of any tradition of a deluge, whilst on 
the other hand there is distinct evidence that that tradition was actually 
current there at a much earlier period than he imagined, it is clear that 
his supposition of its having been introduced into that country from an 
exclusively Semitic source loses much of its probability. 

The explanation by which S'ridhara endeavours to maintain the con- 
sistency of the Puranic narratives and theories seems to be altogether 
unfounded. There is no appearance of the authors either of the Bha- 
gavata, or Matsya, or Agni Puranas having intended to represent the 
deluge as a mere vision. They evidently meant this narrative to be 
taken literally, just as much as anything else that they describe. 

I shall now compare the versions of the legend given in the Maha- 
bharata and Puranas with each other, and with that quoted above from 
the S'atapatha Brahmana. 

I. The following are the peculiarities of the narrative in the S'ata- 
patha Brahmana : 

(1.) It makes no reference to any great mundane periods, such as 
Kalpas or Manvantaras. 


(2.) It does not speak of a dissolution of the world (pralaya), but of 
a flood (augJia) which swept away all living creatures except Manu. 

(3.) It does not fix the number of days or years after which the flood 
should come. 

(4.) It speaks of Manu simply, without assigning to him any patro- 
nymic, such as Vaivasvata. 71 

(5.) It contains no allusion to the locality in which he was when the 
fish came to him. 

(6.) It makes no mention of the fish being thrown into any river. 

(7.) It is silent as to Manu being accompanied by any rishis when he 
embarked on the ship, and as to his taking any seeds along with him. 

(8.) It speaks of the ship as having rested on the " Northern moun- 
tain," and of a place called " Manu' s Descent." 

(9.) It does not say anything of any deity being incarnate in the 

(10.) It represents Ida as produced from Manu's oblation, and as the 
mother of his offspring, begotten apparently in the natural way. 

It is manifest from this abstract, when compared with what follows, 
that the flood described in the Brahmana is distinguishable in various 
respects from the dissolution, or pralaya, of the later works. 

II. The legend as told in the Mahabharata agrees with that of the 
S'. P. Br. in some, and differs from it in other particulars : 

(1.) It does not specify any Kalpa or Manvantara. 

(2.) It speaks of a dissolution of the universe (pralaya), and of the 
time of its purification by water (samprahhdlana-kalah} having arrived. 

(3.) It makes the fish declare that this event should take place 
speedily (achirat\ and alludes to no antecedent calamities. 

71 Manu Vaivasvata is however mentioned in S'. P. Br. xiii. 4, 3, 3. " Manur Vai- 
vasvaio raja. " ity aha \ tasya manushya visah \ " He says ' Manu Vaivasvata king.' 
Men are his subjects." Further on, xiii. 4, 3, 6, Yama Vaivasvata is spoken of as 
King of the Pitris. Compare R.V. x. 14, 1 ; 17, 1. In the Valakhilya hymns 
attached to the R.V. iv. 1, Indra is mentioned as drinking Soma in the house of 
Manu Vivasvat (not Vaivasvata). In the Atharva-veda, viii. 10, 24, Manu Vaivas- 
vata is spoken of as the calf of the cow Viraj (tasya Manur Vaivasvato vatsah), 
Yama is similarly spoken of in the preceding verse. In ViUakhilya, iii. 1, Indra is 
said to have drunk Soma in Manu Samvarani's house. The connection of the 
words Savarnya and Savarni with the word manu, " man," in R.V. x. 68, 8 f. and 
It, no doubt gave rise to the idea of a Manu Savarni. See Wilson's Vishnu P. 
4to. ed. pp. 266 if., and Roth's remark in Journal Germ. Or. Soc. vi. 245 f., and 
E.V. x. 17, 2. 


(4.) It assigns to Manu the patronymic of Vaivasvata, but mentions 
no other Manu. 

(5.) It represents the fish as coming to him when on the banks of 
the Chirini river. 

(6.) It describes the fish as thrown into the Ganges before it was 
taken to the sea. 

(7.) It speaks of Manu as embarking on the ship with the seven 
rishis, and as taking with him all the seeds described by the Brahmans. 

(8.) It declares that the ship rested on the highest peak of the Hi- 
malaya, which was thence called Naubandhana. 

(9.) It makes the fish reveal himself as Brahma Prajapati. 

(10.) It describes Manu not as begetting offspring but as creating all 
sorts of living beings including 1 MEN". 

III. The Matsya Purana agrees in some points, and differs in others 
from the above details. 

(1.) It states that Manu, whom it styles the son of the Sun (Sahas- 
rakiranatmaja, and Ravi-nandana), i.e. Manu Vaivasvata, practised 
austerity after making over his kingdom to his son (v. 12). One might 
have supposed that he could only have done this in his own Manvan- 
tara ; but it is said further on (v. 34 f.) that he was informed by the fish 
that when the dissolution should come to an end, he should become a 
Prajapati and lord of the Manvantara; and he receives a promise that he 
should be preserved during the dissolution (ii. 12), which, as appears 
from v. 15, was to take place at the end of the Chakshusha Manvantara. 
After this he was to create the world anew. We must therefore sup- 
pose the writer to have regarded Manu Yaivasvata as existing during 
the period of his predecessor, but as then occupying the inferior po- 
sition of a king. This difficulty is, as I have already remarked, avoided 
in the Bhagavata, which makes King Satyavrata the hero of the story. 

(2 ) This Purana speaks of a dissolution (pralaya] and yet (i. 15 ff.) 
represents Manu as asking and receiving from Brahma as a boon that 
when that dissolution should arrive, he should be the preserver of all 
things stationary and moving. 

(3.) It states that a hundred years and more would elapse before the 
dissolution, which was to be preceded by famine and various terrific 

(4.) It represents Manu as the son of the Sun. See under head (1.). 


(5.) It mentions Malaya (Malabar) as the scene of Manu's austerity, 
and of the apparition of the fish. 

(6.) It agrees with the Mahabharata in describing the fish as thrown 
into the Ganges, though at so great a distance from Malabar. 

(7.) It is silent as to the seven rishis embarking on the ship, but 
speaks of Manu taking with him all sorts of creatures (living ap- 
parently) as well as seeds (chap. ii. v. 11). 

(8.) It does not bring the narrative to a conclusion (see above, p. 207), 
and thus has no opportunity of saying anything of the place where the 
ship rested. 

(9.) It speaks of Janardana (Vishnu) as the god who was manifested 
in the Fish. 

(10.) It refers to Manu as about to effe'ct a creation (ii. 15), but also as 
preserving the existing animals and plants (ch. i. 15 if., 31 f. ; ii. 2, 19). 

IV. According to the Bhagavata Purana : 

(1.) The event described was an " occasional dissolution " (naimittiko 
layah, see above, p. 45) at the end of a Kalpa (viii. 24, 7) ; and yet in 
contradiction with this it had previously been alluded to (i. 3, 15) as 
occurring at the close of the Chakshusha Manvantara. 

(2.) See head (I.). 

(3.) The dissolution was to take place after seven days (viii. 24, 32) ; 
and no premonitory calamities are referred to. 

(4.) The hero of the story is Satyavrata, king of Dravida, who was born 
again in the present mahakalpa as the son of Vivasvat (vv. 10, 11, 58). 

(5.) The scene of the incidents, with which the narrative begins, was 
the river Kritamala, in the country of Dravida. 

(6.) The fish is not thrown into any river after it had been once 
taken out of the Kritamala, and had grown large. 

(7.) Satyavrata is commanded to take with him into the ship the 
seven rishis, as well as plants, seeds, and all beings (sarva-sattvopa- 

(8.) Nothing is said of the place where the ship rested. 

(9.) Vishnu is the deity who took the form of a^ fish with the view 
of recovering the Vedas carried away by the Danava Hayagriva 
(vv. 9, 57). 

(10.) No mention is made in this chapter of any creation effected by 
Manu ; but in ix. i. an account is given of his descendants. 


V. The narrative in the Agni Parana agrees with that in the Bhaga- 
vata, except in its much greater conciseness, and in making Manu 
Vaivasvata, and not Satyavrata, the hero of the story. 

SECT. IV. Legendary Accounts of the Origin of Castes among the De- 
scendants of Manu and Atri, according to the Puranas. 

"We have already* seen that it is distinctly affirmed in a passage 
quoted above (p. 126) from the Adiparvan of the Mahabharata, verses 
3138ff., that men of all classes, Brahmans, Kshattriyas, Vaisyas, and 
S'udras were descended from Manu, a statement which is clearly at 
variance with the notion of their having been separately created from 
different members of Brahma.' This tallies with the account of the 
origin of castes which is found in those parts of the Puranas which 
profess to record the history of the two royal races, the solar and the 
lunar, which are said to have sprung from Manu Vaivasvata and Atri. 

The Vishnu Parana (which is here written in prose) makes the fol- 
lowing statement regarding Manu's descendants : 

iv. 1. 4. Sakala-jagatdm anddir ddilhutah rig-yajuh-sdmddimaya-lha- 
gavad- VishnumayasyaBrahmano murttirupam Hiranyagarlho brahmdnda- 
to lhagavdn Brahma prdg lalhuva \ Brahmanas cha dalcshindngushtha- 
janmd Dakshah prajdpatih \ DaTcshasydpy Aditih \ Aditer Vivasvdn \ 
Vivasvato Manuh \ Manor ITcshvdku-Nriga-Dhrishta-S'arydti-Narish- 
yanta-Prdmsu-Ndlhaganedishta-Karusha-Prishadhrdlchydh putrdh ba- 
Ihuvuh | 6. Ishtim cha Mitrd- Varunayor Manuh putra-kdmas chaJcdra \ 
7. Tatrdpahute hotur apachdrad lid ndma kanyd lalhuva \ 8. Saiva 
Mitra- Varuna-prasdddt Sudyumno ndma Manoh putro Maitreydsit \ 
punas cha Isvara-lcopdt strl sail Soma-sunor Budhasya dsrama-samlpe 
labhrdma \ 9. Sdnurdgas cha tasydm Budhah Pururavasam dtmajam ut- 
pddaydmdsa \ 10. Jdte cha tasminn amita-tejolhih paramarshilhir ishti- 
mayah rinmayo yajurmayah sdmamayo 'tharvamayah sarvamayo mano- 
mayo jndnamayo 'kinchinmayo bhaaavdn yajna-purusha-svarupl Sudyum- 
nasya pumstvam >abhilashadlhir yathdvad ishtah \ tatprasdddd lid punar 
api Sudyumno 'bhavat \ 

" Before the mundane egg existed the divine Brahma Hiranyagarbha, 
the eternal originator of all worlds, who was the form and essence of 
Brahma, who consists of the divine Vishnu, who again is identical with 


the Rik, Yajush, Saman and Atharva-Vedas. From Brahma's right 
thumb 72 was born the Prajapati Daksha; Daksha had a daughter 
Aditi; from her was born Yivasvat; and from him sprang Manu. 
Manu had sons called Ikshvaku, Nriga, Dhrishta, S'aryati, Narishyanta, 
Pramsu, Nabhaganedishta, Karusha, and Prishadhra. 73 Desirous of a 
son, Manu sacrificed to Mitra and Varuna ; but in consequence of a 
wrong invocation through an irregularity of the hotri-priest, a daughter 
called Ila was born. Then through the favour of Mitra and Varuna 
she became to Manu a son called Sudyumna. But being again changed 
into a female through the wrath of Isvara (Mahadeva) she wandered 
near the hermitage of Budha the son of Soma (the Moon) ; who be- 
coming enamoured of her had by her a son called Pururavas. After 
his birth, the god who is formed of sacrifice, of the Eik, Yajush, Saman, 
and Atharva Yedas, of all things, of mind, of nothing, 74 he who is in 
the form of the sacrificial Male, was worshipped by the rishis of infinite 
splendour who desired that Sudyumna should recover his manhood. 
Through the favour of this god Ila became again Sudyumna." 

Regarding the different sons of Manu the Puranas supply the follow- 
ing particulars : 

(1.) Prishadhra. The Vishnu Purana says : 
Prishadhras tu guru-go-ladhuch chhudratvam dgamat \ 
" Prishadhra became a S'udra in consequence of his having killed 
his religious preceptor's cow." 

On the same subject the Harivafhsa tells us, verse 659 : 
Prishadhro hiihsayitva tu guror gam Janamejaya \ supuch chhudratvam 
dpannah \ 

" Prishadhra having killed his Guru's cow, became a S'udra in con- 
sequence of his curse." 

This story is variously amplified in the Markandeya Purana, section 
cxii., and in the Bhagavata Purana ix. 2, 3-14. See Professor "Wilson's 
note, Yishnu Purana, 4to. edit. p. 351, where the author remarks that 
See above, p. 72 f. 

73 Compare with this the list of Manu's sons given in the passage from the M. Bh. 
Adip. quoted above, p. 126. Nabhanedishta (not Nabhaganedishta) is mentioned in 
the Aitareya Brahmana, and Taittiriya Sanhita (see above, *p. 191), and S'aryatain the 
S'. P. Br. iv. 1, 5, 1. See Journ. Eoy. As. Soc. for 1866, p. 11 ff. The Mark. P. cxi. 3 ff., 
and the Bhag. P. ix. 1, 11 ff. treat also of Manu's sons and of the birth of Ila. See 
Wilson's Vishnu P. 4to. ed. pp. 348-58, and Burnouf 's Bhag. P. vol. iii. pref. Ixx. ff. 

74 Akinchinmayah, " not consisting of anything." 


"the obvious purport of this legend, and of some that follow, is to 
account for the origin of the different castes from one common ancestor." 
(2.) Karusha. The Vishnu Purana says, iv. 1, 13: 
Karushdt Karusha mahdbaldh Kshattriya lalhuvuh \ 
"From Karusha the Karushas, Kshattriyas of great power, were 

The Bhagavata Purana, ix. 2, says : 

Karushdd Mdnavdd dsan Kdrushdh Kshattra-jdtayah \ uttarapatha- 
goptaro Irahmanyd dharma-vatsalah \ 

11 From Karusha, son of Manu, came the Karushas of the Kshattriya 
caste, protectors of the northern region, devout, and lovers of duty." 
(3.) Nabhaga. The Vishnu Purana says : 
Ndbhdgo Nedishta-putras tu' vaisyatam agamat \ 
" Nabhaga, the son of Nedishta, became a Vaisya." 
The Markandeya Purana says he was the son of Dishta, and relates 
how he became a Vaisya, by marrying the daughter of a man of that 
class (section cxiii. and Wilson, p. 352, note). The Bhagavata Purana, 
ix. 2, 23, says he became a Vaisya in consequence of his works (Na- 
lhago Dishta-putro 'nyah karmalhir vaisyatam gatah}. And yet a long 
list of his descendants is given, and among them occurs Marutta who 
was a Chakravarttin, or universal monarch (Vishnu P. iv. 1. 15-17 ; 
Bhag. P. ix. 2, 23-28 ; Mark. P. cxxviii.-cxxxii.). He had a grandson 
called Dama, of whom the Markandeya Purana relates that at a Sva- 
yamvara he was chosen by the daughter of the King of Dasarna for her 
husband (cxxxiv. 8), and that when the bride had been seized by three of 
his rejected rivals (verse 16) she was rescued by him after he had slain 
one of them and vanquished another (verse 53) ; that subsequently that 
same vanquished rival in revenge killed Dama's father, who had retired 
into the wilderness as an ascetic (cxxxv. 18). The Purana in one of its 
recensions ends with the following curious particulars : 

Tolas chakdra tdtasya ralctenaivodalca-kriydm \ dnrinyam prdpya sa 
pituh punah prdydt sta-mandiram \ Vapushmatai cha mdmsena pinda- 
ddnam chaJcdra ha \ brdhmandn bhojdytimdsa rakshah-kula-samudbhavdn \ 
evamvidha hi rdj'dno babhucuh surya-vamsa-jdh \ anye 'pi sudhiyah sura 
yajvdnah sastra-kovidah \ veddntam pathamdndms tdn na sankhydtum 
ihotsahe \ 

" Dama then (after tearing out the heart of Vapushmat) performed 


with blood the rites to the manes of his father ; and having thus dis- 
charged his debt to his parent, he returned home. "With the flesh of 
Vapushmat he formed the oblation which he offered, and fed the Brah- 
mans who were of Rakshasa descent. Of such character were the 
kings of the Solar race. There were also others who were wise, brave, 
priests, and skilled in the scriptures. I am unable here to enumerate 
those of them who studied the Yedanta." 75 

The Harivamsa (section xi. verse 658) tells us that " two sons of 
Kabhagarishta, who were Vaisyas, became Brahmans " (Ndlhdgdrishta- 
putrau dvau vaisyau brdhmanattim gatau}. 

(4.) Dhrishta. Of him the Yishnu Purana relates, iv. 2, 2 : 

Dhrishtasydpi Dhdrshtakam Kshattram samabhavat \ 

" From Dhrishta sprang the Dharshtak'a Kshattriyas." 

The Bhagavata Purana says, ix. 2,17: 

Dhrishtud Dhdrshtam abhut Kshattram brahma-bhuyam gatam kshitau \ 

" From Drishta were descended the Dharshta Kshattriyas, who ob- 
tained Brahmanhood 76 on earth." 

(5.) The last-named Purana enumerates in verses 19 ff. of the same 
section the descendants of Narishyanta, among whom was Agnivesya, 
verse 21 : 

Tato 'gnivesyo lhagavdn Agnih svayam abhut sutah \ Kdriina iti 
vikhydto Jdtukarnyo mahdn rishih \ tato brahma-kulam jdtam Agnive- 
sydyanam nripa \ Narishyantdnvayah proktah \ 

" From him (Devadatta) sprang a son Agnivesya, who was the lord 
Agni himself, and who was also called Kamna and Jatukarnya the 
great rishi. From him was descended the Agnivesyayana race of 

75 This quotation, which will be partly found in Prof. "Wilson's note 22, p. 353, is 
taken from the section given separately by Prof. Banerjea at the end of his edition of 
this Purana from a Maithila MS. which differs from that followed in his text (see his 
Preface, p. 30). In verses 6 f. of section cxxxvi. however, of Prof. Banerjea's text, 
Dama threatens to do something of the same sort as in the other recension he is de- 
scribed to have actually done : 6. Yad aham tasya raktena dehotthena Vapushmatah \ 
na karomi guros triptiih tat pravekshye hutas'anam \ 7. Tachchhonitenodaka-karma 
tasya tatasya mnkhye vinipatitasya \ mamsena samyag dvija-bhojanam cha na diet 
pravekshyami hutasanam tat \ " 6. If I do not satiate my father with the blood from 
Vapushmat's body, then I shall enter the fire. 7. If I do not celebrate with his 
blood the obsequial rites of my father prostrated in the fray, and feed the Brahmans 
with (his) flesh, I shall enter the fire." 

76 The Commentator explains brahma-bhuyam by Irahmanatvam, " the state of 


Brahmans. The offspring of Narishyanta has been declared." That of 
Dishta is next taken up. 

Some of the names of Manu's sons are repeated in the subsequent 
narrative. Thus we find a second Pransu named among the descendants 
of Nabhaga ("Wilson, 352). And in the Vishnu Purana, iv. 2, 2, a 
second Nabhaga is mentioned as follows : 

Nabhdgasydtmajo Ndlhdgas tasya Ambaruhah \ Amlarlshasydpi 
Virupo'bhavat Virupdt Prishadasvo jajne tatas cha Rathltarah \ tatrdyam 
slokah | " ete kshattra-prasutd vai punas chdngirasah smritdh \ Rathita- 
rdndm pravardh kshattropetd dvydtayah" \ 

" The son of Nabhaga was Nabhaga ; his son was Ambarisha. From 
him sprang Viriipa ; from him Prishadasva ; and from him Rathitara ; 
regarding whom this verse is current: 'These persons sprung from 
a Kshattriya, and afterwards called Angirases, were the chief of the 
Rathltaras, twice-born men (Brahmans) of Kshattriya race." " 

The Bhagavata thus explains the circumstance, ix. 6, 2 : 

Rathltarasydprajasya bhdrydydm tantave 'rthitah \ Angird janayd- 
mdsa brahmavarchasinah sutdn [ ete kshetre prasutd vai punas tv Angi- 
rasdh smritdh \ Rathltardndm pravardh kshattropetd dvydtayah \ 

"Angiras being solicited for progeny, begot sons possessing Brah- 
manical glory on the wife of Eathltara who was childless. These per- 
sons being born of a (Kshattriya' s) wife, but afterwards called descend- 
ants of Angiras, were the chief of the E-athitaras, twice-born men (Brah- 
mans) of Kshattriya lineage." 

It will be observed that in this last verse the Bhagavata reads kshettre 
prasutdh "born of the wife (of a Kshattriya)," instead of kshattra-pra- 
sutdh, " sprung from a Kshattriya," and thus brings this verse into a 
closer conformity with the one preceding it. Professor Wilson (p. 359, 
note) considers that the form given to the legend in the Bhagavata 
"is an afterthought, not warranted by the memorial verse cited in our 
text." It is difficult to determine whether or not this may be the 
case without knowing which of the two readings in that verse is the 
original one. 

(6.) The Vishnu Purana next proceeds to enumerate the descendants of 
Ikshvaku son of Manu. The representative of his line in the twenty- 
first generation was Harita, of whom it is said, iv. 3, 5 : 
77 See Prof. "Wilson's note in p. 359 on tLis passage. 


Ambaruhasya Mdndhdtm tanayasya Yuvandsvah putro 'bhut \ tasmdd 
Harito yato 'ngiraso Hdritdh \ 

" The son of Ambansha 78 son of Mandhatri was Yuvanasva. From 
him sprang Harita, from whom the Harita Angirases were descended." 

These words are thus paraphrased by the Commentator : " from him 
sprang the Harita Angirases, Brahmans, chief of the family of Harita" 
(tasmad Harita Angiraso dvijdh Harita-gotra-pravardK). 

The Linga Parana, quoted by Prof. Wilson, states the same thing : 

Harito Yuvandsvasya Harita yata dtmajdh \ ete hy Angirasah pakshe 
kshattropetd dvijdtayah \ 

" The son of Yuvanasva was Harita, of whom the Haritas were sons. 
They were on the side of Angiras, twice-born men (Brahmans) of 
Kshattriya lineage." 

And the Vayu Purana tells us with some variation : 

Harito Yuvanasvasya Harita. Wturayah smritdh \ ete hy Angirasah 
putrdh Jcshattropetd dvijdtayah \ 

" Harita was the son of Yuvanasva : (after whom) many persons were 
called Haritas. These were the sons of Angiras, twice-born men (Brah- 
mans) of Kshattriya race." 

This may mean that they were begotten by Angiras, as is said by 
the Bhagavata (see above) to have been the case with Rathitara's sons. 
In that case, however, as Nabhaga and Ikshvaku were brothers and Ra- 
thitara was only the fifth in descent from Nabhaga, whilst Harita was 
the twenty-first after Ikshvaku, Angiras (if we suppose one and the 
same person be meant in both cases) must have lived for sixteen gene- 
rations ! 

Such are the remarkable notices given in the Puranas of the rise of 
different castes among the descendants of some of the sons of Manu 
Vaivasvata the legendary head of the solar line of kings. I shall now 
add some similar particulars connected with the lunar dynasty. 

According to the Yishnu Purana (iv. 6, 2ff.) Atri was the son of 
Brahma, and the father of Soma (the moon), whom Brahma installed 
as the sovereign of plants, Brahmans and stars 79 (aseshaushadhi-dvija- 
nakshtrundm ddhipatye 'bhyasechayaf). After celebrating the rajasuya 
sacrifice, Soma became intoxicated with pride, and carried off Tara 

78 We have already had a person of this name the son of Nabhaga. See above. 

79 See Journ. Roy. As. Soc. for 1865, p. 135 ff. 



(Star), the wife of Brihaspati the preceptor of the gods, whom, although 
admonished and entreated by Brahma, the gods, and rishis, he refused 
to restore. Soma's part was taken by TJsanas ; and Rudra, who had 
studied under Angiras, aided Brihaspati (Angirasascha sakasopalabdha- 
vidyo bhagavan Rudro Brihaspateh sahayyam akarot}. 60 A fierce con- 
flict ensued between the two sides, supported respectively by the gods 
and the Daityas, etc. Brahma interposed, and compelled Soma to 
restore Tara to her husband. She had, however, in the mean time 
become pregnant, and bore a son Budha (the planet Mercury), of whom, 
when strongly urged, she acknowledged Soma to be the father. Puru- 
ravas, as has been already mentioned, was the son of this Budha by 
Ila, the daughter of Manu. The loves of Pururavas and the Apsaras 
TJrvasI are related in the S'atapatha Brahmana, xi. 5, 1, 1 ; 81 in the 
Vishnu Purana, iv. 6, 19 ff.j in the Bhagavata Purana, ix. 14 ; 82 and 
in the Harivamsa, section 26. The Mahabharata, Adip. sect. 75, alludes 
to Pururavas as having been engaged in a contest with the Brahmans. 
This passage will be quoted hereafter. According to the Vishnu 
Purana, iv. 7, 1, Pururavas had six sons, of whom the eldest was 
Ayus. Ay us had five sons : Nahusha, Kshattravriddha, Eambha, Raji, 
and Anenas. The narrative proceeds (iv. 8, 1) : 

Ksliattravriddhdt Sunahotrah* 3 putro 'bhavat \ Kasa-Lesa-Oritsama- 
dus trayo 'sydbhavan \ Gritsamadasya S'aunakas chdturvarnya-pravartta- 
yitd 'bhut \ Kasasya Kusirdjas tato Dlrghatamah putro 'bhavat \ Dhan- 
vantaris DlrgJtatamaso 'bhut \ 

" Kshattravriddha had a son Sunahotra, who had three sons, Kasa, 
Lesa, and Gritsamada. Prom the last sprang S'aunaka, who originated 
the system of four castes. 84 Kasa had a son Kasiraja, of whom again 
Dirghatamas was the son, as Dhanvantari was of Dlrghatamas." 

8() This is the only mention I have ever happened to encounter of the great Ma- 
hadeva having been at school ! 

81 This passage is translated by Professor Miiller in the Oxford Essays for 185G, 
pp. 62 f. ; and the legend has been formed on the basis of the obscure hymn in the 
K.V. x. 95, in which the two names of Pumravas and Urvas'I occur as those of the 
interlocutors in a dialogue. 

82 A short quotation has been already made from this narrative. See above, p. 158. 

83 Both my MSS. read Sunahotra. Professor "Wilson has Suhotra. 

81 The Commentator . explains the words chatunarnya-pravarttayita by saying 
that the four castes were produced among his descendants (t<id-vam$e cliatvaro varna 
abhavan). This explanation agrees with the statement of the Yayu Purana given in 
the text. 


The Vayu Purana, as quoted by Professor Wilson (V. P. 4to. ed. p. 
406), expresses the matter differently, thus : 

Putro Gritsamadasya cha S'unako yasya Saunakah \ brdhmandh kshat- 
triya chaiva vaisydh Guards tathaiva cha \ etasya vamse samudbhutd 
vichitraih karmabhir dvijdh \ 

" The son of Gritsamada was S'unaka, from whom sprang S'aunaka. 
In his family were born Brahmans, Kshattriyas, Vaisyas, and S'udras, 
twice-born men with various functions." 85 

In like manner the Harivamsa states in section 29, verse 1520 : 

Putro Gritsamadasydpi Sunako yasya Saunakdh \ brdhmandh kshat- 
triyds chaiva vaisydh sudrds tathaiva cha \ 

" The son of Gritsamada was S'unaka, from whom sprang the S'au- 
nakas, Brahmans, Kshattriyas, Vaisya's, and S'udras." 

Something similar is said of Gritsamati (who was the son of a Su- 
hotra, although not the grandson of Kshattravriddha) in a following 
section, the 32nd of the same work, verse 1732 : 

Sa chdpi Vitathah putrdn janaydmdsa pancha vai \ Suhotram cha Su- 
hotdram Gayam Gargam tathaiva cha \ Kapilam cha mahdtmdnam SuJto- 
trasya suta-dvayam \ Kdsakas cha mahdsattvas tathd Gritsamatir nripah \ 
tathd Gritsamateh putrd brdhmandh kshattriydh visah \ 

" Vitatha was the father of five sons, Suhotra, Suhotri, Gaya, Garga, 
and the great Kapila. Suhotra had two sons, the exalted Kasaka, and 
King Gritsamati. The sons of the latter were Brahmans, Kshattriyas, 
and Vaisyas." 

The Bhagavata Purana, ix. 17, 2 f., has the following notice of 
Kshattravriddha's descendants : 

Kshattravriddha-sutasydsan Suhotrasydmajds trayah \ Kdsyah Kuso 
Gritsamadah Hi Gritsamaddd abhut \ S'unako S'aunako yasya bahvri- 
chah pravaro munih \ 

" Suhotra, son of Kshattravriddha, had three sons, Kasya, Kusa, and 
Gritsamada. From the last sprang S'unaka, and from him S'aunaka, the 
eminent Muni, versed in the Pdg-veda." 

85 On this Professor Wilson remarks, note, p. 406 : " The existence of but one 
caste in the age of purity, however incompatible with the legend which ascribes the 
origin of the four tribes to Brahma, is everywhere admitted. Their separation is 
assigned to different individuals, whether accurately to any one may be doubted ; but 
the notion indicates that the distinction was of a social or political character." 


It is to be observed that this Gritsamada, who is here described as 
belonging to the regal lineage of Pururavas, is the reputed rishi of 
many hymns in the second Mandala of the Rig-veda. Regarding him 
the Commentator Sayana has the following remarks in his introduction 
to that Mandala : 

Mandala-drashtd Gritsamadah rishih \ sa cha purvam Angirasa-kule 
S'unahotrasya putrah san yajna-kdle-'surair grihltah Indrena mochitah \ 
paschdt tad-vachanenaiva Bhrigu-kule S' unaka-putro Gritsamada-ndmd 
'bhut | tathd chdnukramanikd "Yah Angirasah S'aunahotro bhutvd Bhdr- 
gavah S'aunako 'bhavat sa Gritsamado dvitlyam mandalam apasyad " iti \ 
tathd tasyaiva SaunaJcasya vachanam rishy-anukramane " tvam Agne" 
iti | "Gritsamadah Saunako Bhrigutdm gatah \ S'aunohotro prakritya tu 
yah Angirasa uchyate " iti \ tasmad mandala-drashta S'aunako Gritsa- 
madah rishih \ 

" The seer (i.e. he who received the revelation) of this Mandala was 
the rishi Gritsamada. He, being formerly the son of S'unahotra in the 
family of the Angirasas, was seized by the Asuras at the time of sacri- 
fice and rescued by Indra. Afterwards, by the command of that god, 
he became the person named Gritsamada, son of S'unaka, in the family 
of Bhrigu. Thus the Anukramanika (Index to the Big-veda) says of 
him : ' That Gritsamada, who, having been an Angirasa, and son of 
S'unahotra, became a Bhargava and son of S'unaka, saw the second Man- 
dala.' So, too, the same S'aunaka says in his Eishi-anukramana regarding 
the Mandala beginning with' Thou, o Agni ' : ' Gritsamada son of S'u- 
naka who is declared to^have been naturally an Angirasa, and the son of 
S'unahotra, became a Bhrigu.' Hence the seer of the Mandala is the 
rishi Gritsamada son of S'unaka." 

It will be noticed that (unless we are to suppose a different Gritsa- 
mada to be intended in each case) there is a discrepancy between the 
Puranas on the one hand, and Sayana and the Anukramanika on the 
other ; as the Puranas make Gritsamada the son of S'unahotra or Su- 
hotra, and the father of S'unaka ; whilst the Anukramanika, followed 
by Sayana, represents the same personage as having been, indeed, ori- 
ginally the son of S'unahotra of the race of Angiras, but as having 
afterwards become, by what process does not appear, the son of S'unaka 
of the race of Bhrigu. 

In his translation of the Rig-veda (ii. 207 f.) Professor Wilson refers 


to a legend about King VHahavya in the Anusasana-parvan of the Ma- 
habharata (verses 1944-2006) which gives a different account of Grit- 
samada's parentage. It hegins : S'rinu rdjdn yathd raja Tltahavyo 
mahdyasdh \ rdjarshir durlabham prdpto brdhmanyam loka-satkritam \ 
"Hear, o king, how the renowned Vltahavya, the royal rishi, attained 
the condition of Brahmanhood venerated by mankind, and so difficult 
to be acquired." It happened that Divodasa, King of KasI (Benares) 
was attacked by the sons of Vltahavya, and all his family slain by them 
in battle. The afflicted monarch thereupon resorted to the sage Bhara- 
dvaja, who performed for him a sacrifice in consequence of which a son , 
named Pratardana was born to him. Pratardana, becoming an accom- 
plished warrior, was sent by his father to take vengeance on the Vlta- 
havyas. They rained upon him showers of arrows and other missiles, 
"as clouds pour down upon the Himalaya" 86 (abhyavarshanta rdjdnam 
himavantam ivdmbudtih}; but he destroyed them all, and "they lay with 
their bodies besmeared with blood, like kinsuka-trees 87 cut down 5 ' 
(apatan rudhirtirdrdngd nikrittd iva kimsukdh}. Vltahavya himself 
had now to fly to another sage, Bhrigu, who promised him protection. 
The avenger Pratardana, however, followed and demanded that the 
refugee should be delivered up : 

Asyeddriim badhdd adya bhamshydmy anrinah pituh \ tarn uvdcha kri- 
pdvishto Bhrigur dharma-lhritdih varah \ " nehdsti kshattriyah ka&hit 
sane hlme dvi/dtayah" \ etat tu vachanam srutva Bhrigos tathyam Pra- 
tardanah \ pdddv upaspritya sanaih prahrishto vdkyam abravlt \ evam 

apy asmi lhagavan kritakrityo na samsayah \ tydjito hi mayd 

jdtim esha rdjd Bhrigudvaha \ tatas tendbhyanujndto yayau rdjd Pra- 
tardanah \ yathd-gatam mahdrdja muktvd msham ivoragah \ Bhrigor 
vachcma-mdtrena sa cha Irahmarshitdm gatah \ Vltahavyo mahdrdja brah- 
mavdditvam eva cha \ tasya Gritsamadah putro rupenendra ivdparah \ 
"S'akras tvam " iti yo daityair nigrihltah kildbhavat \ rigvede varttate 
chdgryd srutir yasya mahdtmanah \ yatra Gritsamado "brahman" brdh- 
manaih sa mahiyate \ sa brahmachurl viprarshih srlmdn Gritsamado 
'bhavat \ 

"Pratardana says: 'By the slaughter of this (Vltahavya) I shall 

86 This simile seems to indicate a familiarity with the manner in which the clouds 
collect, and discharge their contents on the outer range of the Himalaya. 
b7 The Kins' uka is a tree bearing a red blossom (Buteafrondosa). 


now, to-day, be acquitted of my debt to my father.' Bhrigu, the most 
eminent of religious men, filled with compassion, answered : ' There is 
no Kshattriya here : all these are Brahmans.' Hearing this true as- 
sertion of Bhrigu, Pratardana was glad, and gently touching the sage's 
feet, rejoined: 'Even thus, o glorious saint, I have gained my object 
.... for I have compelled this King (i.e. Rajanya) to relinquish his 
caste.' King Pratardana then, after receiving the sage's salutations, 
departed, as he came, like a serpent which has discharged its poison : 
while Yitahavya by the mere word of Bhrigu became a Brahman-rishi, 
and an utterer of the Yeda. Gritsamada, in form like a second Indra, 
was his son ; he was seized by the Daityas, who said to him, ' Thou 
art Sakra' (Indra). In the Rig-veda the texts (srnti'] of this great 
rishi stand first. 88 There Gritsamada is honoured by the Brahmans 
(with the title of) 'Brahman.' This illustrious personage was a Brah- 
macharin, and a Brahman-rishi." 

According to the enumeration of Gritsamada' s family, which follows 
here, S'unaka was his descendant in the twelfth generation, and S'aunaka 
in the thirteenth. The story concludes with these words : 

Evam vipratvam agamad Vltahavyo narddhipah \ Bhrigoh prasdddd 
rdjendra Icshattriyah Icshattriyarshabha \ 

" Thus did King Yitahavya, a Kshattriya, enter into the condition 
of Brahmanhood by the favour of Bhrigu." 

In the next chapter we shall again notice Yitahavya among the Kshat- 
triyas who are declared by tradition to have been the authors of Yedic 

King Divodasa was the sixth in descent from Kasa brother of Grit- 
samada. Of him the Harivamsa states, section 32, verse 789 f. : 

Divoddsasya ddyddo brahmarshir Mitrdyur nripah \ Maitrdyanas 
tatah Somo Maitreyds tu tatah smrituh \ ete vai samsritdh paksham 
kshattropetds tu Bhdrgavah \ 

"The son of Divodasa was the King Mitrayu a Brahman-rishi. 
From him sprang Soma Maitrayana, from whom the Maitreyas received 
their name. They, being of Kshattriya lineage, adhered as Bhargavas 
to the side (of the latter)." 

88 Tf I have correctly interpreted this verse, and if by " first " we are to under- 
stand first in order, it does not accurately represent the state of the case : as the 
hymns of Gritsamada only appear in the second Mandala. 


The twentieth in descent from the same Kasa, brother of Gritsamada, 
was Bhargabhumi, of whom the Vishnu Purana says, iv. 8, 9 : 

Bhdrgasya Bhdrgabhumih \ tatas chdturvarnya-pravrittih \ ity ete 
Kdiayo bhupatayah kathitdh \ 

" The son of Bharga was Bhargabhumi, from whom the four castes 
originated. Thus have the kings called Kasis been declared." 

In two passages of the Harivamsa, names identical, or nearly so, are 
found, but with a different progenitor in each case, in reference to 
which a similar statement is made. The first is in section 29, verse 1596: 

Venuhotra-mtas chdpi Bhargo ndma prajesvarah I Vatsasya Vatsa- 
bhumis tu Bhrigubhumis tu Bhdrgavdt \ ete hy Angirasah putrd jdtd 
ramse 'tha Bhdrgave \ brdhmanah kshattriyd vaisyds tray ah putrdh S9 
sahasraiah \ 

" The son of Venuhotra was King Bharga. From Yatsa sprang 
Yatsabhumi, and Bhrigubhumi from Bhargava. These descendants of 
Angiras were then born in the family of Bhrigu, Brahmans, Kshattriyas, 
and Yaisyas three (classes of) descendants in thousands." 

The second passage is in the 32nd section, verse 1752 : 

Sukumdrasya putras tu Satyaketur mahdrathah \ suto 'bhavad maJtd- 
tejd rdjd parama-dhdrmikah \ Vatsasya Vatsalhumis tu Bhdrgabhumis 
tu Bhdrgavdt \ ete hy Angirasah putrd jdtd vamse 'tha Bhargave \ brdh- 
manah kshattriyd vaisydh sudrds cha Bharatarshabha \ 

11 The warrior Satyaketu was the son of Sukumara, and a prince of 
great lustre and virtue. From Yatsa sprang Yatsabhumi, and Bharga- 
bhumi from Bhargava. These descendants of Angiras were then born 
in the family of Bhrigu, Brahmans, Kshattriyas, Yaisyas and S'udras." 

The parallel passage in the Yayu Purana, as quoted by Professor 
Wilson, p. 409, has names which are mostly different 

Venuhotra-sutai chdpi Gdrgyo vai ndma visrutah \ Gdrgyasya Gar- 
gabhumis tu Vatso Vatsasya dhimatah \ brdhmanah kshattriyds chaica 
tayoh putrdh sudhdrmikdh \ 

tl The son of Yenuhotra was the renowned Gargya. Gargabhumi 
was the son of Gargya j and Yatsa of the wise Yatsa. Brahmans and 
Kshattriyas were the virtuous sons of these two." 90 

89 Professor Wilson, p. 410, note, gives tejoyuktah, "glorious," instead of trayah 
pittrah, as the reading either of the Brahma Purana, or of the Harivaiiis'a, or both. 

90 In regard to, these passages the reader may consult the remarks of Professor 


Another son of Ayus (son of Pururavas) was Kambha, of whom the 
Bhagavata Purana says, ix. 17, 10 : 

Rambhasya Rabhasah putro Gabhlras chakriyas tatah \ tasya hhettre 
brahmajajne srinu vamsam Anenasah \ 

" The son of Rambha was Rabhasa, from whom sprang Gabhira and 
Akriya. From his wife Brahmans were born : here now the race of 
Anenas " (another son of Ayus). 

Of the same Eambha the Vishnu Purana says (iv. 9, 8), Ramlhas tv 
anapatyo 'bhavat \ " Rambha was childless." 

Another son of Ayus, as we have seen, Vishnu Purana, iv. 8, 1, was 
Nahusha. He had six sons (V. P. iv. 10, 1), of whom one was Yayati. 
The sons of the latter were Yadu, Turvasu, Druhyu, Anu, and Puru 
(Ibid. iv. 10, 2). 91 One of these five, Anu, had, as we are told, in the 
twelfth generation a son called Bali, of whom the Vishnu Purana, iv. 
18, 1, relates : 

Hemat Sutapas tasmdd Balir yasya kshettre Dirghatamasa Anga- 
Banga-Kalinga-Suhma-PundraJchyam Baleyam hhattram ajanyata \ 

" From Hema sprang Sutapas ; and from him Bali, on whose wife 9 ' 2 
Baleya Kshattriyas (i.e. Kshattriyas of the race of Bali), called Anga, 
Banga, Kalinga, Suhma, and Pundra were begotten by Dirghatamas." 

Professor Wilson (p. 445, note 12) quotes from the Vayu Purana a 
statement regarding the same person that he had " sons who founded 
the four castes" (putrdn chdturvarnya-kardn] ; and refers to a passage 
in the Matsya Purana, in which Bali is said to have obtained from 

"Wilson, p. 409, note 16, where a commentator (on the Brahma Purana, or the Hari- 
vams'a) is quoted, who says that in the passage from these works " another son of 
Vatsa the father of Alarka is specified, viz., Vatsabhumi ; while Bhargava is the 
brother of Vatsa ; and that (the persons referred to were) Angirases because Galava 
belonged to that family, and (were born in the family) of Bhrigu, because Vis'vamitra 
belonged to it " ( Vatsasya Alarka-pituh putrantaram aha " Vatsabhumir " iti \ 
" Bhargava d" Vatsa-bhratuh \ " Angiraso" Galavasya Angirasatvat \ " Bliargave " 
Visvamitrasya jBliargavatvaf). The Vishnu Purana, iv. 8, 6, says that Vatsa was 
one of the names of Pratardana, son of Divodasa, a descendant of Kas'a, and a remote 
ancestor of Bhargabhumi. See however Professor "Wilson's note 13, p. 408. It is 
possible that the resemblance of the word Bharga to Bhargava may have occasioned 
the descendants of the former to be connected with the family of Bhrigu. 

91 These five names occur together in the plural in a verse of the Eig-veda, i. 109, 
quoted above, p. 179. 

92 Eshettrf. bharyayam jatatvad Bcileyah \ " They were called descendants of Bali 
because they were born of his wife." 


Brahma the boon that he should " establish the four fixed castes " (cha- 
turo niyatdn varndms tvam sthdpayeti}. 

The Harivamsa gives the following account of Bali, in the course of 
which the same thing is stated ; section 31, verses 1682 ff. : 

Phendt tu Sutapdjajne sutah Sutapaso Balih \ jdto mdnusha-yonau tu 
sa rdjd Icdnchaneshudhih \ mahdyogl sa tu Balir labhuva nripatih purd \ 
putrdn utpddaydmdsa pancha vaihsa-kardn Ihuvi \ Angah pfathamato 
jajne Vangah Suhmas tathaiva cha \ Pundrah Kalingas cha tathti Bale- 
yam kshattram uchyute \ Bdleyd Irdhmands chaiva tasya vamsakard 
Ihuvi | Bales tu Brahmand datto varah prltena Bhdrata \ mahdyogitvam 
dyus cha Jcalpasya parimdnatah \ sangrdme chdpy ajeyatvam dharme 
chaiva pradhdnatd \ trailokya-darsanam chdpi prddhdnyam prasave 
tathd | lale chapratimatvam vai dharnta-tattvdrtha-darsanam \ chaturo 
niyatdn varndms tvam cha sthdpayiteti cha \ ity ukto vilhund rdjd Balih 
sdntim pardm yayau \ tasyaite tanaydh sarve kshettrajd muni-pungavdt \ 
sambhutd Dirghatapasah Sudeshndydm mahaujausah \ 

"From Phena sprang Sutapas; and the son of Sutapas was Bali. 
He was born of a human mother, this prince with the golden quiver ; 
but King Bali was of old a great yogin. He begot five sons, who were 
the heads of races upon the earth. Anga was first born, then Yanga, 
Suhma, Pundra and Kalinga ; such are the names of the Kshattriyas 
descended from Bali (BdleydK). There were also Baleya Brahmans, 
founders of his race upon the earth. By Brahma, who was pleased, the 
boon was granted to Bali that he should be a great yogin, should live 
the entire length of a Kalpa, should be invincible in battle, should have 
pre-eminence in virtue, should have the power of beholding the whole 
three worlds, should have a superiority in begetting progeny, should be 
unequalled in strength, and should comprehend the essential principles 
of duty. And being thus addressed by the Lord in these words, ' Thou 
shalt establish the four regulated castes,' King Bali attained supreme 
tranquillity. All these sons, the offspring of his wife, were begotten 
on Sudeshna by the glorious muni Dirghatapas." 9Z 

* M. Langlois must have found in his MS. a different reading of the last line, as 
he renders it otherwise. Professor "Wilson remarks (V.P. pp. 444, note 12) : "The 
Matsya calls Bali the son of Virochana, and ayu-kalpa-pramanikah, ' existing for a 
whole Kalpa ; ' identifying him, therefore, only in a different period and form, with 
the Bali of the Vamana Avatara" (Dwarf-incarnation). (See Wilson's Vishnu P. 
p. 265, note, and the Bhagavata P. ix. sects. 15-23, and other works quoted in the 
4th vol. of this work, pp. 116 ff. 


Apratiratha is recorded as being a descendant of Puru (another of 
Yayati's sons), in the thirteenth generation (Wilson, p. 448). Of him 
it is related, Vishnu Purana, iv. 19, 2 : 

Riteyoh Rantindrah putro 'bhut \ Tamsum Apratiratham Dhruvam cha 
Rantindrah putrdn avdpa \ Apratirathat Kanvah \ tasydpi Medhdtithih \ 
yatah Kanvayana dvijd babhubhuh \ Tamsor Anilas tato Dushyantddyds 
chatvdrah putrd babhuvuh \ Dushyantdch chakravarttl Bharato 'bhavat \ 

" Biteyu had a son Rantinara, who had Tansu, Apratiratha and 
Dhruva for his sons. From Apratiratha sprang Kanva. His son was 
Medhatithi; from whom the Kanvayana Brahmans were descended. 
From Tansu sprang Anila, who had four sons, Dushyanta, and others. 
From Dushyanta sprang the emperor Bharata." 

With some variations the Bhagavata Purana says, ix. 20, 1 : 

Pur or vamiam pravakshyami yatrajdto 'si Bharata \ yatra rdjarsJiayo 
vamsyd brahma-vamsyas chajajnire | .... 6. Riteyoh Rantilhdro 'bhut 
trayas tasydtmajd nripa \ Sumatir Dhruvo 'pratirathah Kanvo 'pratira- 
thdmajah \ tasya Medhdtitithis tasmdt Praskanvddyd dvijatayah \ putro 
'bhut Sumater Raibhyo Dushyantas tat-suto matah \ 

" I shall declare the race of Puru from which thou hast sprung, o 
Bharata ; and in which there have been born royal rishis, and men of 
Brahmanical family .... 6. From Biteyu sprang Rantibhara ; who 
had three sons, Sumati, Dhruva, and Apratiratha. Kanva was the son 
of the last ; and the son of Kanva was Medhatithi, from whom the 
Praskanvas and other Brahmans were descended." 

A little further on, in the chapter of the Yishnu Purana just quoted 
(iv. 19, 10), Kanva and Medhatithi are mentioned as having had a 
different parentage from that before assigned, viz., as being the son and 
grandson of Ajamidha, who was a descendant in the ninth generation 
of Tansu, the brother of Apratiratha : 

Ajamldhat Kanvah \ Kanvdd Medhdtithir yatah Kdmdyand dvljdh \ 
Ajamldhasydnyah putro Brihadishuh \ 

"From Ajamidha sprang Kanva: from Kanva Medhatithi, from 
whom were descended the Kanvayana Brahmans. Ajamidha had 
another son Brihadishu." 91 

* On this the Commentator remarks : Ajamldhasya Kanvadir eko vainso Briha- 
dishv-adir aparo vainso Nlladir aparah Rikshadis chaparah \ " Ajamidha had one 
set of descendants, consisting of Kanva, etc., a second consisting of Brihadishu, etc., 


On this last passage Professor Wilson observes, p. 452, note : " The 
copies agree in this reading, yet it can scarcely be correct. Kanva has 
already been noticed as the son of Apratiratha." But the compiler of 
the Purana may here be merely repeating the discordant accounts 
which he found in the older authorities which he had before him. 

Regarding Ajamidha the Bhagavata says, ix. 21, 21 : 

Ajamldhasya vamsydh syuh Priyamedhddayo dvijdh \ Ajamldhdd Bri- 
hadishuh \ 

" Priyamedha and other Brahmans were descendants of Ajamidha. 
From Ajamidha sprang Brihadishu." 

The Vishnu Purana (iv. 19, 16) gives the following account of Mud- 
gala, a descendant of Ajamidha in the seventh generation : 

Mudgaldch cha Maudgalydh Icshattropetd dvijdtayo babhuvuh \ Mud- 
yaldd Bahvasw Bahvasvdd Divoddso 'halyd cha mithunam abhut \ S'arad- 
vato 'halydydm S'atdnando 'bhavat \ 

"From Mudgala were descended the Maudgalya Brahmans of Kshat- 
triya stock. From Mudgala sprang Bahvasva ; from him again twins, 
Divodasa and Ahalya. S'atananda was born to S'aradvat 95 by Ahalya." 

Similarly the Bhagavata Purana says, iv. 21, 33 f. : 

Mudgaldd brahma nirvrittam gotram Maudgalya-sanjnitam \ mithunam 
Mwlgaldd Bhdrmydd Divoddsah pumdn abhut \ Ahalya Icanyakd yasydm 
S'atdnandas tu Gautamdt \ 

11 From Mudgala sprang Brahmans, the family called Maudgalyas. 
To the same father, who was son of Bharmyasva, were born twins, 
Divodasa, a male, and Ahalya, a female child, who bore S'atananda to 

The words of the Matsya Purana on the same subject, as quoted by 
Professor Wilson, p. 454, note 50, are : 

Mudgalasydpi Maudgalydh kshattropetd dvijatdyah \ ete hy Angira&ah 
pakshe samsthitdh Kanva-Mudgaldh \ 

11 From Mudgajp, sprang the Maudgalyas, Brahmans of Kshattriya 
stock. These Kanva and Mudgalas stood on the side of Angiras." 

a third consisting of Nlla, etc., and a fourth consisting of Riksha, etc." The last two 
sons of Ajamidha are mentioned further on, Nlla in v. 15, and Riksha in y. 18, of the 
same chapter of the V. P. 

85 The Commentator says this is a name of Gautama. Regarding Ahalya and 
Gautama see the story extracted ahove, p. 121, from the Ramayaua. 


The Harivamsa, section 32, verse 1781, thus notices the same family : 

Mudgalasya tu day ado Maudgalyah sumahdyasdh \ ete sarve mahdt- 
mdno kshattropetd dvijdtayah \ ete Tiy Angirasah paksham samsritdh 
Ednva-Mudgaldh \ Maudgalyasya suto jyeshtho Irahmarshih suma- 
hdyasdh | 

" The renowned Haudgalya was the son of Mudgala. All these 
great personages were Brahmans of Kshattriya descent. These Kanvas 
and Mudgalas adhered to the side of Angiras. Haudgalya' s eldest son 
was a celebrated Brahman-rishi." 

Eegarding Kshemaka, a future descendant of Ajamldha in the 31st 
generation, the Vishnu Purana says, iv. 21, 4 : 

Tato Niramitras tasmdch cha Kshemakah \ tatrdyam slokah \ " brah- 
ma-fohattrasya yo yonir " v amso rdjarshi-satkritah \ Kshematcam prdpya 
rdjdnam sa samsthdm prdpsyate kalau \ 

" From him (Khandapani) shall spring Niramitra ; and from him 
Kshemaka ; regarding whom this verse (is current) : ' The race, con- 
secrated by royal rishis, which gave birth to Brahmans and Kshattriyas, 
shall terminate in the Kali age, after reaching King Kshemaka.' " 

The corresponding verse quoted by Professor Wilson (p. 462, note 24) 
from the Matsya and Vayu Pur anas substitutes devarshi, "divine rishis," 
or " gods and rishis," for the rdjarshi, " royal rishis," of the Vishnu Pu- 
rana. The verse in question is there described as anuvamsa-sloJeo 'yamglto 
vipraih purdtanaih, "a genealogical verse sung by ancient Brahmans." 

According to the details given from the Puranas in this section 
several persons, Gritsamada, Kanva, Medhatithi, and Priyamedha, to 
whom hymns of the Rig-veda are ascribed by Indian tradition as their 
rishis, were of Kshattriya descent. 

In the line of the same Tansu, brother of Apratiratha, we find in 
the sixth generation a person named Garga, of whom the Vishnu Pu- 
rana relates, iv. 1 9, 9 : 

Gargdt S'inih \ tatoGdrgyah S'ainydh kshattropetd dvydtayo balhuvuh \ 

"From Garga sprang S'ini; from them were descended the Gargyas 
and S'ainyas, Brahmans of Kshattriya race." 97 

96 On this -words the Commentator has this note : Brahmanah brahmanasya Eshat- 
trasya, kshatlriyasya cha yonih karanam purvam yatholctatvat \ " ' Brahma ' and 
' Kshattra ' stand for Brahman and Kshattriya. This race is the ' source,' cause (of 
these), as has heen declared ahove." 

97 On this the Commentator only remarks : Tatas tabhyain Gargyah S'ainyas cha 


Similarly the Bhagavata Parana, ix. 21, 19, says: 

Gargdt S'inis tato Gdrgyah Icshattrdd brahma hy avarttata \ 

"From Garga sprang S'ini; from them Gargya, who from a Kshat- 
triya became a Brahman." 98 

The Vishnu Purana records a similar circumstance regarding the 
family of Mahaviryya, the brother of Garga (iv. 19, 10) : 

Mahdvlryydd Urukshayo ndma putro 'bhut \ tasya Trayyaruna-Push- 
karinau Eapis cha, putra-trayam abhut \ tach cha tritayam api paschdd 
vipratdm upajagdma \ 

" Mahaviryya had a son named TJrukshaya ; who again had three sons, 
Trayyaruna, Puskarin, and Kapi ; and these three " afterwards entered 
into the state of Brahmans (i.e. became such)." 

The Bhagavata states, ix. 21, 19 f. : 

Duritakshayo Mahdvlryytit tasya Trayydrunih Kamh \ Pushkardrunir 
ity atra ye Irdhmana-gatim gatdh \ 

" From Mahaviryya sprang Duritakshaya. From him were descended 
Trayyaruni, Kavi, and Puskararuni, who attained to the destination of 
Brahmans." 10 

According to the Matsya Purana also, as quoted by Professor Wilson 
(451, note 22), "all these sons of TJruksha (sic) attained the state of 
Brahmans " ( Urukshatah sutd hy ete sane brdhmanatdm gatdh) ; and in 
another verse of the same Purana, cited in the same note, it is added : 
Kdvytindm tu vard hy ete trayah proktd maharshayah \ Gargdh Sankri- 
tayah Kdvyd kshattropetd dvijdtayah \ " These three classes of great 
rishis, viz. the Gargas, Sankritis, and Kavyas, Brahmans of Kshattriya 
race, are declared to be the most eminent of the Kavyas, or descend- 
ants of Kavi." The original Garga was, as we have seen, the brother 
of Mahaviryya, the father of Kavi, or Kapi ; while, according to the 

Garga-vamsyatvat S'ini-vamsyatvach cha saniaTtJiyatah \ kshatlriya eva kenachit 
karanena brahmanas cha babhuvuh \ " They were called GSrgyas and S'ainyas because 
they were of the race of Garga and S'ini. Being indeed Kshattriyas they became 
Brahmans from some cause or other." 

98 The Commentator does not say how this happened. 

99 Unless Professor "Wilson's MSS. had a diiferent reading from mine, it must 
have been by an oversight that he has translated here, " The last of whom became a 

100 On this the Commentator annotates : Ye atra Tcshattra-vamse brahmana-gatim 
brahmana-rupatam galas te \ " Who in this Kshattriya race attained the destination 
of Brahmans, the form of Brahmans." 


Vishnu Purana (iv. 19, 9), and Bhagavata Parana (ix. 21, 1), Sankriti 
was the son of Nara, another brother of Mahavlryya. 

The series of passages just quoted is amply sufficient to prove that 
according to the traditions received by the compilers of the ancient 
legendary history of India (traditions so general and undisputed as to 
prevail over even their strong hierarchical prepossessions), Brahmans, 
Kshattriyas, and even Vaisyas and Sudras, were, at least in many cases, 
originally descended from one and the same stock. The European critic 
can have no difficulty in receiving these obscure accounts as true in their 
literal sense ; though the absence of precise historical data may leave 
him without any other guide than speculation to assist him in determin- 
ing the process by which a community originally composed for the most 
part of one uniform element, was broken up into different classes and 
professions, separated from each other by impassable barriers. On the 
other hand, the possibility of this common origin of the different castes, 
though firmly based on tradition, appeared in later times so incredible, 
or so unpalatable, to some of the compilers of the Puranas, that we find 
them occasionally attempting to explain away the facts which they 
record, by statements such as we have encountered in the case of the 
Kings E-athitara and Bali, that their progeny was begotten upon their 
wives by the sages Angiras and Dlrghatamas, or Dirghatapas ; or by the 
introduction of a miraculous element into the story, as we have already 
seen in one of the legends regarding Gritsamada, and as we shall have 
occasion to notice in a future chapter in the account of Vis vamitra. 




In the last chapter I have attempted to shew that in general the 
authors of the hymns of the Rig-veda regarded the whole of the Aryan 
people, embracing not only the priests and chiefs, but the middle 
classes also of the population, as descended from one common father, or 
ancestor, whom they designate by the name of Manu. This reference 
to a common progenitor excludes, of course, the supposition that the 
Avriters by whom it is made could have had any belief in the myth 
which became afterwards current among their countrymen, that their 
nation consisted of four castes, differing naturally in dignity, and sepa- 
rately created by Brahma. 

In that chapter I proposed to leave for further consideration any spe- 
cific notices which the Rig-veda might contain regarding the different 
classes of which the society contemporary with its composition was 
made up. On this consideration I now enter. As that great collection 
of hymns embodies numerous references, both to the authors themselves 
and to the other agents in the celebration of divine worship, it may 
be expected to supply, incidentally or indirectly, at least, some inform- 
ation respecting the opinion which these ministers of religion enter- 
tained of themselves, and of the ecclesiastical and civil relations in 
which they stood to the other sections of the community. I shall now 
endeavour to shew how far this expectation is justified by an examin- 
ation of the Rig-veda. 

It will be understood, from what I have already (pp. 7 and 11 ff.) 
written on the subject of that one hymn of the Rig-veda in which the 


four castes are distinctly specified, i.e. the Purusha Sukta, that in the 
enquiry, which I am now about to undertake, I confine myself in the 
first instance to those hymns which for any reason (see p. 4, above) 
appear to be the most ancient, leaving out of account until afterwards, 
all those compositions which, -like the one just mentioned, are presum- 
ably of a later age. 

It will, I think, be found on investigation that not only the older 
hymns, but the great bulk of the hymns, supply no distinct evidence 
of the existence of a well defined and developed caste-system at the 
time when they were composed. 

SECT. I. On the signification of the words Ir&hman, Irahmana, etc., 
in the Rig-veda. 

As the Eig-veda Sanhita is made up almost entirely of hymns in 
praise of the gods, it was not to be anticipated that it should furnish 
any systematic or detailed explanations on the points which form the 
object of our enquiry. But as was natural in compositions of the early 
and simple age to which these hymns belong, they do not always con- 
fine themselves to matters strictly connected with their principal sub- 
ject, but indulge in occasional references to the names, families, personal 
merits, qualifications, relations, circumstances, and fortunes of the poets 
by whom they were produced, or of their patrons or other contempo- 
raries, or of their predecessors. 

I have, in another volume of this work, 1 enquired into the views 
which the authors of the hymns appear to have held on the subject of 
their own authorship. The conclusion at which I arrived was, that 
they did not in general look upon their compositions as divinely in- 
spired, since they frequently speak of them as the productions of their 
own minds (vol. iii. pp. 128-140). But although this is most com- 
monly the case (and especially, as we may conjecture, in regard to the 
older hymns), there is no doubt that they also attached a high value to 
these productions, which they describe as being acceptable to the gods 
(R.Y. v. 45, 4 ; v. 85, 1 ; vii. 26, 1,2; x. 23, 6 ; x. 54, 6 ; x. 105, 

1 Original Sanskrit Texts, vol. iii. pp. 116-16 1. 


8), whose activity they stimulated (iii. 34, 1 ; vii. 19, 11), and whose 
blessing they drew down. In some of the hymns a supernatural cha- 
racter or insight is claimed for the rishis (i. 179, 2 ; vii. 76, 4 ; iii. 53, 
9; vii. 33, 11 ff. ; vii. 87, 4; vii. 88, 3 ff . ; x. 14, 15; x. 62, 4, 5), 
and a mysterious efficacy is ascribed to their compositions (vol. iii. 
pp. 173 f.) The rishis called their hymns by various names, as arka, 
uktha, rich, gir, dhl, riitha, nivid, mantra, mati, sukta, stoma, vach, vachas, 
etc. etc.; and the also applied. to them the appellation of brahma in 
numerous passages. 2 That in the passages in question brahma has 
generally the sense of hymn or prayer is clear from the context of some 
of them (as in i. 37, 4 ; viii. 32, 27, where the word is joined with the 
verb guyata. " sing," and in vi. 69, 7, where the gods are supplicated 
to hear the brahma}, as well as from' the fact that the poets are said 
(in i. 62, 13 ; v. 73, 10 ; vii. 22, 9; vii. 31, 11 ; x. 80, 7) to have 
fashioned or generated the prayer, in the same way as they are said to 
have fashioned or generated hymns in other texis (as i. 109, 1 ; v. 2, 
11 ; vii. 15, 4; viii. 77, 4 ; x. 23, 6; x. 39, 14), where the sense is 
indisputable ; while in other places (iv. 16, 21; v. 29, 15 ; vi. 17, 13; 
vi. 50, 6 ; vii. 61, 6 ; x. 89, 3) new productions of the poets are spoken 
of under the appellation of brahma. 

That brahma has the sense of hymn or prayer is also shown by the 
two following passages. In vii. 26, 1, it is said : Na somah Indram 
asuto mamdda na abrahmdno maghavdnam sutdsah \ tasmai uktham janayc 
yaj Jujoshad nrivad navlyah srinavad yathd nah \ 2. Ukthe ukthe somah 
Indram mamdda nlthe nlthe maghavdnam sutdsah \ yad Im sabddhah 
pitaram naputrdh samdna-dakshdh avase havante \ " Soma unless poured 
out does not exhilarate Indra ; nor do libations without hymns (abrah- 
mdnah}. I generate for him a hymn (uktha] which he will love, so 
that like a man he may hear our new (production). 2. At each hymn 
(uktha} the soma exhilarates Indra, at each psalm (nltha} the libations 
(exhilarate) Maghavat, when the worshippers united, with one effort, 
invoke him for help, as sons do a father." 3 Again in x. 105, 8, it is 

z For a list of these texts and other details which are here omitted, I refer to my 
article " On the relations of the priests to the other classes of Indian Society in the 
Vedic age," in the Journal of the Roy. As. Soc. for 1866 (from which this section is 
mostly borrowed). 

3 It is clear from the context of this passage that abrahmanah means "unattended 
hy hymns," and not " without a priest." After saying that soma-libations without 



said : Ava no vrijind sislhi richd vanema anrichah \ na abrahmd yajnah 
ridhag joshati tve \ "Drive away our calamities. With a hymn (richd} 
may we slay the men who are hymnless (anrichah}. A sacrifice without 
prayer (abrahmd} does not please thee well." 

I have said that great virtue is occasionally attributed by the poets to 
their hymns and prayers ; and this is true of those sacred texts when 
called by the name of brahma, as well as when they receive other ap- 
pellations, such as mantra. Thus it is said, iii. 53, 12, Visvdmitrasya 
raJcshati brahma idam Bhdratam j'anam \ " This prayer (brahma} of Visva- 
mitra protects the Jribe of Bharata ; " v. 40, 6, Gulham suryam tamasd 
apavratena turlyena brahmand avindad Atrih \ " Atri with the fourth 
prayer (brahmand} discovered the sun concealed by unholy darkness ; " 
vi. 75, 19, Brahma varma mama antaram \ "Prayer (brahma} is my 
protecting armour ; " vii. 33, 3, Eva id nit kam ddsardjne Suddsam prd- 
vad Indro brahmand vo Vasishthdh \ " Indra preserved Sudas in the 
battle of the ten kings through your prayer, o Vasishthas." In ii. 23, 
1, Brahmanaspati is said to be the " great king of prayers " (jyeshtha- 
rdj'am brahmandm) (compare vii. 97, 3), and in verse 2, to be the " gene- 
rator of prayers" (janitd Irahmandm)', whilst in x. 61, 7, prayer is 
declared to have been generated by the gods (svddhyo ajanayan brahma 
devdh}. Compare vii. 35, 7. 

Brahman in the masculine is no doubt derived from the same root as 
brahman neuter, and though differing from it in accent 4 as well as 
gender, must be presumed to be closely connected with it in signifi- 
cation, just as the English " prayer " in the sense of a petition would 
be with "prayer," a petitioner, if the word were used in the latter 
sense. As, then, brahman in the neuter means a hymn or prayer, 
brahman in the masculine must naturally be taken to denote the person 
who composes or repeats a hymn or prayer. We do not, however, find 
that the composers of the hymns are in general designated by the word 

hymns are unacceptable to Indra, the poet does not add that he is himself a priest, or 
that he is attended hy one, but that he generates a hymn ; and the same sense is 
required by what follows in the second verse. Accordingly we find that Suyana 
explains abrahmanah by stotra-Kinah, " destitute of hymns." The same sense is 
equally appropriate in the next passage cited, x. 105, 8. On iv. 16, 9, where abrah- 
nia is an epithet of dasyu, "demon," Sayana understands it to mean." without a 
priest," but it may mean equally well or better, " without devotion, or prayer." 

* In brahman neuter the accent is on the first syllable ; in brahman masculine on 
the last. 


br&hman, the name most commonly applied to them being rishi, though 
they are also called vipra, vedhas, Icavi, etc. (see vol. iii. of this work, 
pp. 116 if.). There are, however, a few texts, such as i. 80, 1 ; i. 164, 
35; ii. 12, 6; ii. 39, 1 ; v. 31, 4 ; v. 40, 8; ix. 113, 6, etc., in which 
the brdhmdn may or must be understood as referred to in the capacity 
of author of the hymn he utters. So, too, in ii. 20, 4, and vi. 21, 8, a 
new- composer of hymns seems to be spoken of under the appellation of 
nutdnasya brahmanyatah ; and in ii. 19, 8, the Grritsamadas are referred 
to both as the fabricators of a new hymn (manma navlyah] and as (brdh- 
manydntaK) performing devotion. 5 In three passages, vii. 28, 2 ; vii. 70, 
5, and x. 89, 16, the brdhmd and Ir&hmani, "prayer" and "prayers," 
or "hymn" and " hymns," of the rishis are spoken of; and in vii. 22, 
9, it is said, "that both the ancient and 'the recent rishis have generated 
prayers" (ye chapurve rishayo ye cha nutndh Tndra Irahmdni janayanta 
viprdh}. In i. 177, 5, we find brahmdni Mroh, "the prayers of the 
poet." The fact that in various hymns the authors speak of themselves 
as having received valuable gifts from the princes their patrons, and 
that they do not there allude to any class of officiating priests as separate 
from themselves, would also seem to indicate an identity of the poet and 
priest at that early period. 

The term brahman must therefore, as we may conclude, have been 
originally applied (1) to the same persons who are spoken of elsewhere 
in the hymns as rishi, kavi, etc., and have denoted devout worshippers 
and contemplative sages who composed prayers and hymns which they 
themselves recited in praise of the gods. Afterwards when the cere- 
monial gradually became more complicated, and a division of sacred 
functions took place, the word was more ordinarily employed (2) for a 
minister of public worship, and at length came to signify (3) one par- 
ticular kind of priest with special duties. I subjoin a translation of 
the different passages in which the word occurs in the Big-veda, and I 
have attempted to classify them according as it seems to bear, in each 
case, the first, second, or third of the senses just indicated. This, how- 
ever, is not always an easy task, as in many of these texts there is 
nothing to fix the meaning of the term with precision, and one signi- 

6 In another place (x. 96, 5) Indra is said to have been lauded by former wor- 
shippers, purvebhir yajvab/iih, a term usually confined (as brahman was frequently 
applied) in after times to the offerers of sacrifice. 


fication easily runs into another, and the same person may be at once the 
author and the reciter of the hymn. 

I. Passages in which brahman may signify " contemplator, sage, or 

(In all these texts I shall leave the word untranslated.) 

i. 80, 1. Itthd hi some id made brahmd chakdra varddhanam \ 

" Thus in his exhilaration from soma juice the brahman has made 
(or uttered) a magnifying 6 (hymn)." 

i. 164, 34. Prichhami tvd param antam prithivydh prichhami yatra 
bhuvanasya ndbhih \ prichhami tvd vrishno asvasya retah prichhami 
vdchah pdramam vyoma \ 35. lyam vedih paro antah prithivyah ayaiit 
yajno bhmanasya ndbhih ayam somo vrishno asvasya reto brahmd ayam 
vdchah paramam vyoma \ 

" I ask thee (what is) the remotest end of the earth ; I ask where is 
the central point of the world : I ask thee (what is) the seed of the 
vigorous horse ; I ask (what is) the highest heaven 7 of speech. 35. 
This altar is the remotest end of the earth ; this sacrifice is the central 
point of the world ; this soma is the seed of the vigorous horse ; this 
brahman is the highest heaven of speech. 8 

ii. 12, 6. Yo radhrasya choditd yah krisasya yo brahmano nddhamd- 
nasya klreh \ 

"He (Indra) who is the quick ener of the sluggish, of the emaciated, 
of the suppliant brahman who praises him," etc. 

vi. 45, 7. Brahmdnam brahma-vdhasam glrbhih sakhdyam rigmiyam \ 
gam na dohase huve \ 

"With hymns I call Indra, the brahman, the carrier of prayers 
(brahmd-vdhasam), the friend who is worthy of praise, as men do a 
cow which is to be milked." 

vii. 33, 11. Uta asi Maitrdvaruno Vasishtha Urvasydh brahman manaso 
'dhi jdtah \ drapsam skannam brahmand daivyena visve deudh pushkare 
tvd 'dadanta \ 

"And thou, o Yasishtha, art a son of Mitra and Varuna (or a Mai- 
travaruna-priest), born, o brahman, from the soul of TJrvasI. All the 

6 Varddhanam = vriddhi-karam stotram (Sayana). 

7 Compare R.V. iii. 32, 10 ; x. 109, 4, below, and the words, the highest heaven of 

8 Compare R.V. i. 71 and x. 125. 


gods placed in the vessel thee, the drop which had fallen through 
divine contemplation." 

viii. 16, 7. Indro brahmd Indrah rishir Indrah puru puruhutah \ ma- 
hdn mahlbhih Sachlbhih \ 

" Indra is a brdhmdn, Indra is a rishi, 9 Indra is much and often in- 
voked, great through his mighty powers." 

x. 71, 11. (See the translation of the entire hymn below. The sense 
of brahman in verse 11 will depend on the meaning assigned to jdta- 

x. 77, 1. (In this passage, the sense of which is not very clear, the 
word brahman appears to be an epithet of the host of Maruts.) 

x. 85, 3. Somam manyate papivdnyat sampimshanti oshadhim \ somani 
yam brahmdno vidur na tasya asndti kaschana \ 16. Dve te chakre Surye 
brahmdno rituthd viduh \ atha ekam chakram yad guhd tad addhatayah 

id viduh \ 34 Surydm yo brahmti vidydt sa id vddhuyam 

arhati \ 

" A man thinks he has drunk soma when they crush the plant (so 
called). But no one tastes of that which the brdhmdns know to be 
soma (the moon). 16. The brdhmdns rightly know, Surya, that thou 
hast two wheels ; but it is sages (addhatayah] alone who know the one 
wheel which is hidden. 34. The Irahmdn who knows Surya deserves 
the bride's garment." 10 

x. 107, 6. Tarn eva rishim tarn u brahmdnam ahur yajnanyam sdma-gdm 
nktha-sdsam \ sa sukrasya tanvo veda tisrah yah prathamo dakshinayd 
rarddha \ 

"They call him a rishi, him a brdhmdn, reverend, a chanter of 
Sama verses (sdma-gdm\ and reciter of ukthas, he knows the three 
forms of the brilliant (Agni) the man who first worshipped with a 

Even in later times a man belonging to the Kshattriya and Vaisya 
castes may perform all the Vedic rites. Any such person, therefore, 
and consequently a person not a Brahman might, according to this 
verse, have been called, though, no doubt, figuratively, a priest 

9 Different deities are called rishi, kavi, etc., in the following texts : v. 29, 1 ; vi. 
14, 2; viii. 6, 41 ; ix. 96, 18 ; ix. 107, 7 ; x. 27, 22 ; x. 112, 9. 

10 See Dr. Haug's Ait. Br. vol. i. Introduction, p. 20. 


x. 117, 7. ... Vadan brahmd avadato variiydn prinann dpir aprinan- 
tam abhi sydt \ 

"A brahman 11 who speaks is more acceptable than one who does not 
speak : a friend who is liberal excels one who is illiberal." 12 

x. 125, 5. Yam kdmaye tarn tarn ugram krinomi tarn brahmdnam tarn 
rishim tarn sumedhdm \ 

"I (says Vach) make him whom I love formidable, him a brahman, 
him a rishi, him a sage." 

This would seem to prove that sometimes, at least, the brahman was 
such not by birth or nature, but by special favour and inspiration of 
the goddess. In this passage, therefore, the word cannot denote the 
member of a caste, who would not be dependent on the good will of 
Vach for his position. 

II. In the passages which follow the word brahman does not seem to 
signify so much a " sage or poet," as a " worshipper or priest." 

i. 10, 1. Gdyanti tvd gdyatrino archanti arkam arkinah \ brahmdnas 
tod S'atakrato ud vamsam iva yemire \ 

"The singers sing thee, the hymners recite a hymn, the brdhmans, 
o S'atakratu, have raised thee up like a pole." ls 

i. 33, 9. Amanyamdndn abhi manyamdnair nir brahmabhir adhamo 
dasyum Indra \ 

" Thou, Indra, with the believers, didst blow against the unbelievers, 
with the brdhmans thou didst blow away the Dasyu." 14 

i. 101, 5. Yo visvasya jagatah prdnatas patir yo brahmane prathamo 
gdh avindat \ Indro yo dasyun adhardn avdtirat . . . 

"Indra, who is lord of all that moves and breathes, who first found 
the cows for the brahman, who hurled down the Dasyu." 

i. 1 08, 7. Yad Indrdgrii madathah sve durone yad brahmani rdjani vd 
yajatrd \ atah pari vrishandv d hi ydtam athd somasya pibatam sutasya \ 

" When, o adorable Indra and Agni, ye are exhilarated in your own 

11 The word here seems clearly to indicate an order or profession, as the silent 
priest is still a priest. 

13 See Dr. Haug's remark on this verse, Ait. Br. Introd. p. 20. The contexts of 
the two last passages are given in my article " Miscellaneous Hymns from the E,. and 
A. Vedas," pp. 32 f. 

13 Compare i. 5, 8 ; i. 7, 1 ; viii. 16, 9. See Dr. Haug's remark on this verse, 
Ait. Br. Introd. p 20. 

11 See on this verse the remarks of M. Breal, Hercule et Cacus, etc. p. 152. 


abode, or with a brahman or a rdjan, 15 come thence, ye vigorous 
(deities), and then drink of the poured out soma." I6 

i. 158, 6. Dlrghatamdh Mamateyo jujurvdn dasame yuge \ apdm artham 
yatlndm brahmd bhavati sdrathih \ 

" Dirghatamas, son of Mamata, being decrepit in his tenth lustre, 
(though) a brahman, becomes the charioteer of (or is borne upon) the 
waters which are hastening to their goal." 

(Professor Aufrecht understands this to mean that Dirghatamas is 
verging towards his end, and thinks there is a play on the word 
" charioteer " as an employment not befitting a priest.) 

ii. 39, 1. ... Gridhrd iva vriksham nidhimantam acha \ brahmdnd iva 
vidathe ukthasdsd . . . | 

" Ye (Asvins) (cry) like two vultures on a tree which contains their 
nest; like two brahmans singing a hymn at a sacrifice." 

iv. 50, 7. Sa id rdj'd pratijanydni visvd sushmena tasthdv abhi viryena \ 
Brihaspatim yah subhritam bibhartti valguyati vandate purva-lhdjam \ 
8. Sa it fcsheti sudhitah okasi sve tasmai ild pinvate visvaddriim \ tasmai 
visah svayam eva namante yasmin brahmd rdjani purvah eti \ 9. Aprattto 
jayati sam dhandni pratijanydni uta yd sajanyd \ avasyave yo varivah 
krinoti brahmane rdjd tarn avanti devdh \ 

" That king overcomes all hostile powers in force and valour who 
maintains Brihaspati in abundance, who praises and magnifies him as 
(a deity) enjoying the first distinction. 8. He dwells prosperous in his 
own palace, to him the earth always yields her increase, 17 to him the 

15 A distinction of orders or professions appears to be here recognised. But in v. 54, 7, 
a ruhi and a rajan are distinguished much in the same way as a brahman and rafan 
are in i. 108, 7 : Sa najlynieMaruto na hanyate na tredhati na vyathate na rishyati \ 
na asya rayah upa dasyanti na utayah rishim va yam rajanam va sushudatha \ " That 
man, whether rishi or prince, whom ye, o Maruts, support, is neither conquered nor 
killed, he neither decays nor is distressed, nor is injured ; his riches do not decline, 
nor his supports." Compare v. 14, where it is said : Yugam rayim marutah sparha- 
viram yuyam rishim avatha sama-vipram | yuyam arvantam Bharataya vajath yuyam 
dhattha rajanam srmhtimantam \ " Ye, o Maruts, give riches with desirable men, ye 
protect a rishi who is skilled in hymns ; ye give a horse and food to Bharata, ye make 
a king prosperous." In iii. 43, 5, reference is found to Vis'vamitra, or the author, 
being made by Indra both a prince and a rishi (kuvid ma gopaih karase janasya kuvid 
rajanam maghavann rijishin \ kuvid ma rishim papivamsam nutasya). 

16 See on this verse Prof. Benfey's note, Orient und Occident, 3, 142. 

17 Compare R.V. v. 37, 4 f. : Na sa raja vyathate yasminn Indras tlvram somam 
pwati go-sakhayam \ " That king suffers no distress in whose house Indra drinks the 
pungent soma mixed with milk," etc. 


people bow down of themselves, that king in whose house a brahman 
walks first. 18 9. Unrivalled, he conquers the riches both of his enemies 
and his kinsmen the gods preserve the king who bestows wealth on 
the brahman who asks his assistance." 19 

iv. 58, 2. Vayam nama pra bravdma ghritasya asmin yajne dhdraydma 
namobhih \ upa Brahma srinavat sasyamdnam chatuh-sringo avamld gau- 
rah etat \ 

" Let us proclaim the name of butter ; let us at this sacrifice hold it 
(in mind) with prostrations. May the brahman (Agni ?) hear the praise 
which is chanted. The four-horned bright-coloured (god) has sent this 

v. 29, 3. Uta brahmdno Ma/ruto me asya Indrah somasya susTiutasya 
peydh \ 

" And, ye Maruts, brahmans, may Indra drink of this my soma which 
has been poured out," etc. 

v. 31, 4. Anavas te ratham asvdya takshan Tvashtd vajram puruhuta 
dyumantam \ brahmdnah Indram mahayanto arkair avarddhayann Ahaye 
hantavai u \ 

" The men 20 have fashioned a car for thy (Indra' s) horse, and Tvashtri 
a gleaming thunderbolt, o god greatly invoked. The brahmans, magni- 
fying Indra, have strengthened him for the slaughter of Ahi." 

v. 32, 12. Eva hi tvdm rituthd ydtayantam maghd viprebhyo dadatam 
srinomi \ kim te brahmdno grihate sakhdyo ye tvdydh nidadhuh kdmam 

Indra \ 

" I hear of thee thus rightly prospering, and bestowing wealth on, 

the sages (yiprebhyaK). "What, o Indra, do the brahmans, thy friends, 
who have reposed their wishes on thee, obtain ? " 

v. 40, 8. Grdvno brahmd yuyujdnah saparyan kirind devdn namasu 
ttpasikshan \ Atrili suryasya dim chakshur d adhdt Svarbhdnor apa md- 
ydh ctffhukshat \ 

" Applying the stones (for pressing soma), performing worship, 
honouring the gods with praise and obeisance, the brahman Atri placed 

18 Compare viii. 69, 4 ; x. 39, 11 ; x. 107, 5; and the word purohita, used of a 
ministering priest as one placed in front. Prof. Aufrecht, however, would translate 
the last words, " under whose rule the priest receives the first or principal portion." 

19 See on this passage Roth's article, " On Brahma and the Brahmans," Journ. 
Germ. Or. Soc. i. 77 ff. See also Aitareya Brahmana, viii. 26. 

20 Are the Ribhus intended r 


the eye of the sun in the sky, and swept away the magical arts of 

vii. 7, 5. Asddi vrito vahnir djaganvdn Agnir brahmd nri-shadane 
cidJiarttd \ 

" The chosen bearer (of oblations), Agni, the brdfimdn, having arrived, 
has sat down in a mortal's abode, the upholder." 

vii. 42, 1. Pro, brahmtino Angiraso nakshanta \ 

" The brahmdns, the Angirases, have arrived," etc. 

viii. 7, 20. Kva nunam suddnavo madatha vrikta-barhishah \ brahmd 
ko vah saparyati \ 

11 Where now, bountiful (Maruts), are ye exhilarated, with the sacri- 
ficial grass spread beneath you ? "What brahman is serving you ? " 

viii. 17, 2. A tvd Irahma-yujd hari vdhatdm Indra Icesind \ upa brah- 
mdni nah srinu \ 3. Brahmdnas tvd vayam yujd somapdm Indra sominah I 
sutdvanto havdmahe \ 

"Thy tawny steeds with flowing manes, yoked hy prayer (brahma- 
yuja}* 1 bring thee hither, Indra ; listen to our prayers (brahmdm). 3. 
We brahmdns, offerers of soma, bringing oblations, continually invoke 
the drinker of soma." 

viii. 31, 1. Yo yajdti yajdte it sunavach cha, pachdti cJia \ brahmd id 
Indrasya chdkanat \ 

" That brahman is beloved of Indra who worships, sacrifices, pours 
out libations, and cooks offerings." 

viii. 32, 16. Na nunam brahmandm rinam prdsundm asti sunvatdm \ 
na somo a/pratd pape \ 

11 There is not now any debt due by the active brahmdns who pour 
out libations. Soma has not been drunk without an equivalent." 

viii. 33, 19. Adhah pasyasva md upari santaram pddalcau Tiara \ md 
te kasa-plakau drisan stri hi brahmd babhuvitha \ 

" Look downward, not upward ; keep thy feet close together ; let 
them not see those parts which should be covered ; thou, a brdhmdn, 
hast become a woman." 

viii. 45, 39. A te etd vacho-yujd harl gribJine sumadrathd \ yad Im 
brahmabhyah id dadah \ 

21 Compare viii. 45, 39, below: brahma-yuj occurs also in i. 177, 2; iii. 35, 4 ; 
viii. 1, 24 ; viii. 2, 27. 


" I seize these thy tawny steeds, yoked by our hymn (vacho-yujd} 
to a splendid chariot, since thou didst give (wealth) to the brahmans. 

viii. 53, 7. ITva sya vrishabho yuvd tuvi-grlvo andnatah \ Brahma leas 
tarn saparyati \ 

" "Where is that vigorous, youthful, large-necked, unconquered (In- 
dra) ? "What brahman serves him ? 

viii. 66, 5. Abhi Gandharvam atrinad abudhneshu rajassu a \ Indro 
brahmabhyah id vridhe \ 

" Indra clove the Gandharva in the bottomless mists, for the pros- 
perity of the brahmans." 

viii. 81, 30. Mo su brahmd iva tandrayur bhuvo vdjdndm pate \ matsva 
sutasya gomatah \ 

11 Be not, o lord of riches (Ihdra), sluggish like a brahman. Be ex- 
hilarated by the libation mixed with milk." 

viii. 85, 5. A yad vajram bdhvor Indra dhatse mada~chyutam Ahave 
hantavai u \ pra parvatdh anavanta pra brahmdno abhinakshanta Indram \ 

""When, Indra, thou seizest in thine arms the thunderbolt which 
brings down pride, in order to slay Ahi, the (aerial) hills and the cows 
utter their voice, and the brahmans draw near to thee." 

ix. 96, 6. Brahma devdndm padavlh Icavlnam rishir viprdndm mahisho 
mrigdndm \ iyeno gridhrdndm svadhitir vananam somah pavitram ati eti 
rebhan \ 

" Soma, resounding, overflows the filter, he who is a brahman among 
the gods, a leader among poets, a rishi among the wise, a buffalo among 
wild beasts, a falcon among kites, an axe among the woods." 

ix. 112, 1. Ndndndm vai u no dhiyo vi vratdni jandndm \ tdkshd rish- 
tam rutam Wiishag brahma, sunvantam ichhati. 

" Various are the thoughts and endeavours of us different men. The 
carpenter seeks something broken, the doctor a patient, the brahman 
some one to offer libations." 24 

22 Compare yiii. 87, 9, yunjanti hart ishirasya gathaya urau rathe uruyuge \ 
Indra-vaha vaclioyuja ; i. 7, 2, vachoyuja ; i. 14, 6, manoyuja ; vi. 49, 5, ratho 
.... manasa yujanah. 

23 Dr. Haug (Introd. to Ait. Br. p. 20) refers to Ait. Br. v. 34, as illustrating this 
reproach. See p. 376 of his translation. This verse clearly shows that the priests 
formed a professional body. 

24 This verse also distinctly proves that the priesthood already formed a profession. 
Verse 3 of the same hymn is as follows : " I am a poet, my father a physician, my 


ix. 113, 6. Yatra brahmd pavamdna chhandasydm vdcham vadan \ 
grdvnd some mahlyate somena dnandam janayann Indrdya Indo pari 
srava -\ 

" pure Soma, in the place where the brahman, uttering a metrical 
hymn, is exalted at the soma sacrifice through (the sound of) the crush- 
ing-stone, producing pleasure with soma, o Indu (Soma) flow for Indra." 

x. 28, 11. Tebhyo godhd ayatham karshad etad ye brahmanah pratipl- 
yanti annaih \ sime ukshnah avasrishtdn adanti svayam baldni tanvah 
srindndh \ (The word brahmanah occurs in this verse, but I am unable 
to offer any translation, as the sense is not clear.) 

x. 71, 11. (See translation of this verse below, where the entire 
hymn is given.) 

x. 85, 29. Para dehi sdmulyam brahmabhyo vi bhaja vasu \ . . . 35. 
Surydydh pasya rupdni tdni brahmd tu iundhati \ 
. " Put away that which requires expiation (?). Distribute money to 
the brdhmans. ... 35. Behold the forms of Surya. But the brahman 
purifies them." 

x. 141, 3. Somam rdjdnam avase Agnim girlhir havdmahe \ Aditydn 
Vi&hnum Suryam brahmdnam cha Brihaspatim \ 

11 "With hymns we invoke to our aid king Soma, Agni, the Adityas, 
Yishnu, Surya, and Brihaspati, the brahmdn. 

III. In the following passages the word brahman appears to designate 
the special class of priest so called, in contradistinction to hotri, udgdtri, 
and adhvaryu. 

ii. 1, 2 (= x. 91, 10). Tava Agne hotram tava potram ritviyam ta/va 
neshtraffi tvam id agnid ritdyatah \ tava prasdstram tvam adhvanyasi 
Irahmd cha asi grihapatis cha no dame \ 2. Tvam Agne Indro vrishalhah 
satdm asi tvam Vishnur urugdyo namasyah \ tvam brahmd rayivid JBrah- 
manaspate tvam vidharttah sachase purandhyd \ 

" Thine, Agni, is the office of hotri, thine the regulated function of 
potri, thine the office of neshtri, thou art the agnidh of the pious man, 
thine is the function of prasdstri, thou actest as adhvaryu, thou art the 
brtihman, and the lord of the house in our abode. 2. Thou, Agni, art 
Indra, the chief of the holy, thou art Vishnu, the wide-stepping, the 

mother a grinder of corn " (karur aham tato bhishag upala-prakshim nana). Unfor- 
tunately there is nothing further said which could throw light on the relations in 
which the different professions and classes of society stood to each other. 


adorable, thou, o Brahmanaspati, art the brahman, the possessor of 
wealth, thou, o sustainer, art associated with the ceremonial." 

iv. 9, 3. Sa sadma pari niyate hotd mandro divishtishu \ uta potd ni 
shldati | 4. Uta gnd Agnir adhvare uta grihapatir dame \ uta brahmd ni 
shldati | 

" He (Agni) is led round the house, a joyous hotri at the ceremonies, 
and sits a potri. 4. And Agni is a wife (i.e. a mistress of the house) 
at the sacrifice, and the master of the house in our abode, and he sits a 

x. 52, 2. Aham hotd ni asidam yajlydn visve devdh maruto mdjunanti \ 
ahar ahar Asvind ddhvaryavam vdm brahmd samid bhavati sd ahutir vdm \ 

(Agni says) "I have sat down an adorable hotri; all the gods, the 
Maruts, stimulate me. Day by day, ye Asvins, I have acted as your 
adhvaryu ; the brahman is he who kindles the fire : this is your invo- 

I shall now bring forward the whole of the texts in which the word 
brdhmana, which, no doubt, originally meant a son, or descendant, of 
a brahman, occurs in the Eig-veda. 25 They are the following : 

i. 164, 45. Chatvdri vdk parimitd paddni tdni vidur brdhmandh ye 
manishinah \ guhd trini nihitd na ingayanti turlyam vdcho manushydh 
vadanti \ 

" Speech consists of four defined grades. These are known by those 
brdhmans who are wise. They do not reveal the three which are eso- 
teric. Men speak the fourth grade of speech." 

This text is quoted and commented upon in Nirukta xiii. 9. 

vi. 75, 10. rdhmanasah pitarah somydsah sue no dydvd-prithivl ane- 
hasd | Pushd nah pdtu duritdd ritdvridhah . . . . j 

''May the brahman fathers, drinkers of soma, may the auspicious, 
the sinless, heaven and earth, may Pushan, preserve us, who prosper by 
righteousness, from evil, etc." 

25 There are two more texts in which the word Irahmana is found, viz. i. 15, 5, and 
ii. 36, 5, on which see the following note. The word brahmapntra (compare As'v. 
S'. S, ii. 18, 13) " son of a brahman," is found in ii. 43, 2 : Udgatd iva sakune sama 
gayasi brahma-putrah iva savaneshu samsasi \ " Thou, o bird, singest a sama verse 
like an udgatri; thou singest praises like the son of a brahman at the libations." 
(Ind. Stud. ix. 342 ft .) Vipra, used in later Sanskrit as synonymous with Brahman, has 
in the R.V. the sense of " wise," " sage " assigned by Nigh. 3, 15 (=medhavi-nama), 
and in Nir. 10, 19,=medhavinah. It is often applied as an epithet to the gods. 


vii. 103, 1 (= Nirukta 9, 6). Samvatsaram sasaydndh brdhmandh 
vrata-chdrinah \ vdcham Parjanya-jinvitdm pro, mandukdh avddishuh 
.... | 7. Brdhmanaso atirdtre na some saro na purnam abhito vadan- 
tah | samvatsarasya tad ahah pari shtha yad mandukdh prdvrishlnam 
babhuva \ 8. Brdhmandsah somino vdcham akrata brahma krinvantah 
parivatsarlnam \ adhvaryavo gharminah sishviddndh dvir bhavanti guhyd 
na ke chit \ 

" After lying quiet for a year, those rite-fulfilling brdhmans 28 the 
frogs have (now) uttered their voice, which has been inspired by Par- 
janya .... 7. Like brdhmans at the Atiratra soma rite, like (those 
brdhmans} speaking round about the full pond (or soma-bowl ^ ), you, 
frogs, surround (the pond) on this day of the year, which is that of the 
autumnal rains. 8. These soma-offeririg brdhmans (the frogs) have 
uttered their voice, performing their annual devotion (brahma} ; these 
adhvaryu priests sweating with their boiled oblations (or in the hot 
season) come forth from their retreats like persons who have been 

x. 16, 6. Yat te krishnah sakunah dtutoda pipllah sarpah uta vd vd- 
padah \ Agnis tad visvdd agadam karotu Somas cha yo brdhmandn dvwesa \ 

" Whatever part of thee any black bird, or ant, or serpent, or wild 
beast has mutilated, may Agni cure thee of all that, and Soma who has 
entered into the brdhmans." K 

26 In the Nighantus, iii. 13, these words brahmanah vrata-charinah are referred to 
as conveying the sense of a simile, though they are unaccompanied by a particle of 
similitude. In his Illustrations of the Nirukta, p. 126, Roth thus remarks on this 
passage : " This is the only place in the first nine mandalas of the R.V. in which the 
word Brahmana is found with its later sense, whilst the tenth mandala offers a number 
of instances. This is one of the proofs that many of the hymns in this book were com- 
posed considerably later (than the rest of the R.V.). The word brahmana has another 
signification in i. 15, 5 ; ii. 36, 5 ; and vi. 75, 10." (In the first of these texts, Roth 
assigns to the word the sense of the Brahman's soma-vessel. See his Lexicon, s.v. 
It does not appear what meaning he would give to the word in vi. 75, 10. He has in 
this passage overlooked R.V. i. 164, 45, which, however, is duly adduced in his 
Lexicon). See "Wilson's translation of the hymn ; as also Miiller's, in his Anc. Sansk. 
Lit. p. 494 f. 

27 Saras. See R.V. viii. 66, 4, quoted in Nirukta, v. 11, where Yaska says, "The 
ritualists inform us that at the mid-day oblation there are thirty uJctha platters 
destined for one deity, which are then drunk at one draught. These are here called 
saras." (Compare Roth's Illustrations on the passage. See also R.V. vi. 17, ll f and 
viii. 7, 10, with Sayana's explanations of all three passages). 

28 Compare A.V. vii. 115, 1 f. ; xii. 5, 6. 


x. 71, I. 29 Brihaspate prathamam vdcho agram yat prairata ndmadhe- 
yam dadhdndh \ yad eshdm sreshtham yad aripram aslt prend tad eshdm 
nihitam guhd dvih \ 2. (= Nimkta iv. 10) Saktum iva titaund punanto 
yatra dhirdh manasd vdcham alcrata \ atra sakhdyah sakhydni jdnate 
bhadrd eshdm lakshmir nihitd adhi vdchi \ 3. Yajnena vdchah padaviyam 
dyan tarn anv avindann rishishu pravishtdm \ tarn dbhritya vi adadhuh 
purutrd tdrh sapta rebhdh abM sam navante \ 4. (= Nir. i. 19) TJta 
tvah pasyan na dadarsa vdcham uta tvah srinvan na irinoti endm \ 
uto tvasmai tanvam vi sasre jdyd iva patye usatl suvdsdh \ 5. (= Nir. 
i. 20) Uta tvam sakhye sthirapitam dhur na enam himanty api vdji- 
neshu \ adhenvd charati mdyayd esha vdcham sufruvdn aphaldm apush- 
pdm \ 6. Yas titydja sachi-mdam saJchdyam na tasya vdchi api bhago 
asti | yad Im srinoti alakam irinoti na hi praveda sulcritasya panthdm \ 

7. Akshanvantah Tcarnavantah salchdyo manojaveshu asamdh babhuvuh \ 
ddaahndsah upahakshdsah u tve hraddh iva sndtvdh u tve dadrisre \ 

8. (= Nir. xiii. 13) Hridd tashteshu manaso javeshu yad brdhmandh 
samyajante sakhdyah \ atra aha tvam vi jahur vedydbhir ohabrahmdno 
vi charanti u tve \ 9. Tme ye na arvdn na paras charanti na brdh- 
mandso na sute-Tcardsah \ te ete vdcham abhipadya papaya, siris tantram 
tanvate aprajajnayah \ 10. Sarve nandanti yasasd dgatena sabhd-sahena 
sakhyd sakhdyah \ kilbisha-sprit pitu-shanir hi eshdm aram hito bhavati 
vdjindya \ 11. (= Mr. i. 8) Richdm tvah posham dste pupushvdn gdya- 
tram tvo adyati sakvarlshu \ Brahma tvo vadati jdta-vidydm yajnasya ma- 
tram vi mimlte u tvah \ 

"When, o Brihaspati, men first sent forth the earliest utterance of 
speech, giving a name (to things), then all that was treasured within 
them, most excellent and pure, was disclosed through love. 2. Where- 
ever the wise, as if cleansing meal with a sieve, have uttered speech 
with intelligence, there friends recognize acts of friendliness; good 
fortune dwells in their speech. 30 3. Through sacrifice they came upon 

29 I cannot pretend that I am satisfied with some parts of the translation I have 
attempted of this very difficult hymn ; but I give it such as it is, as the interpretation 
of the Vedic poems is still to a certain extent tentative. Verses 4 and o are explained 
in Sayaua's Introduction to the Rig-veda, pp. 30 f. of Miiller's edition. I am in- 
debted here, as elsewhere, to Prof. Aufrecht for his suggestions. 

30 I quote here, as somewhat akin to this hymn, another from the A.V. vi. 108, 
being a prayer for wisdom or intelligence : 1. Tvam no medhe prathama gobhir as'vebhir 
a gahi \ tvam suryasya raimibhis tvam no asi yajniya \ 2. Medham aham prathamam 


the track of speech, and found her entered into the sishis. Taking, 
they divided her into many parts : sl the seven poets celebrate her in 
concert. 4. And one man, seeing, sees not speech, and another, hear- 
ing, hears her not ; S2 while to a third she discloses her form, as a loving 
well-dressed wife does to her husband. 5. They say that one man ha.s 
a sure defence in (her M ) friendship ; he is not overcome even in the con- 
flicts (of discussion). But that person consorts with a barren delusion 
who has listened to speech without fruit or flower. 6. He who aban- 
dons a friend who appreciates friendship, has no portion whatever in 
speech. All that he hears, he hears in vain, for he knows not the 
path of righteousness. 7. Friends gifted both with eyes and ears have 
proved unequal in mental efforts. Some have been (as waters) reaching 
to the face or armpit, while others have been seen like ponds in which 
one might bathe. 8. "When Irahmans who are friends strive (?) together 
in efforts of the mind produced by the heart, 81 they leave one man 
behind through their acquirements, whilst others walk about boasting 
to be Irahmans. (This is the sense Professor Aufrecht suggests for the 
word ohabrahmdnah. Professor Eoth s.v. thinks it may mean "real 
priests." The author of Nirukta xiii. 13, explains it as meaning 
"reasoning priests," or "those of whom reasoning is the sacred 
science.") 9. The men who range neither near nor far, who are neither 
(reflecting) Irahmans nor yet pious worshippers at libations, these, 
having acquired speech, frame their web imperfectly, (like) female 

brahmanvaflm brahma-juiam rishishtutam \ prapltam brahmacharibhir devanam avase 
huve | 3. Tarn medham Ribhavo vidur yam medham asurah viduh \ rishayo bhadram 
medham yam vidus tarn mayy a vesayamasi \ 4. Yam rishayo bhuta-krito medham me- 
dhavino viduh \ taya mam adya medhaya Agne medhavinani krinu \ 5, Medham sayam 
medham pratar medham madhyandinam pari \ medham suryasya rasmibhir vachata "vesa- 
yamahe 1 . ".Come to us, wisdom, the first, with cows and horses ; (come) thou with the 
rays of the sun ; thou art to us an object of worship. 2. To (obtain) the succour of the 
gods, I invoke wisdom the first, full of prayer, inspired by prayer, praised by rishis. 
imbibed by Brahmacharins. 3, "We introduce within me that wisdom which Ribhus 
know, that wisdom which divine beings (asurah} know, that excellent wisdom which 
rishis know. 4. Make me, o Agni, wise to-day with that wisdom which the wise 
rishis the makers of things existing know. 5. We introduce wisdom in the 
evening, wisdom in the morning, wisdom at noon, wisdom with the rays of the sun, 
and with speech " (vachasa}. Regarding the rishayo bhutakrilah see above, p. 37, note. 

31 Compare x. 125, 3; i. 164, 45 ; (x. 90, 11); and A.V. xii. 1, 45. 

32 Compare Isaiah vi. 9, 10; and St. Matthew xiii. 14, 15. 
53 Vak-sakhye, Yaska. 

s* Compare i. 171, 2; ii. 35, 2; vi. 16, 47. 


weavers, 55 being destitute of skill. 10. All friends rejoice at the ar- 
rival of a renowned friend who rules the assembly; for such a one, 
repelling evil,- and bestowing nourishment upon them, is thoroughly 
prepared for the conflict (of discussion). 11. One man possesses a 
store of verses (richdm) ; a second sings a hymn (gayatra) during (the 
chanting of) the sakvarls; one who is a brahman declares the science 
of being (jdta-vidydm), whilst another prescribes the order of the cere- 
monial." * 

R.V. x. 88, 19 (= Nir. vii. 31). Ydvan-mdtram ushaso na pratlkatit 
suparnyo vasate Mdtarisvah \ tdvad dadhati upa yajnam dyan brdhmano 
hotur avaro nishldan \ 

" As long as the fair- winged Dawns do not array themselves in light, 
o Matarisvan, so long the brahman coming to the sacrifice, keeps (the 
fire), sitting below the hotri-priest." 

(See Professor Eoth's translation of this verse in his Illustrations of 
the Nirukta, p. 113). 

x. 90, 11 (= A.Y. xix. 5, 6; Vaj. S. xxxi.). See above, pp. 8-15. 

x. 97, 22. Oshadhayah samvadante Somena saha rdjnd \ yasmai krinoti 
brdhmanas tarn rdjan paraydmasi \ 

" The plants converse with king Soma, 87 (and say), for whomsoever 
a brahman acts (krinoti, officiates), him, o king, we deliver." 

x. 109, 1. Te 'vadan prathamdh brahma-killishe akupdrah salilo Md- 
tarisvd \ viluharas tapa ugro mayobhur dpo devlr prathamajdh ritena \ 
Soma rdjd pratliamo Irahma-jaydm punah prayachhad ahrimyamdnah \ 
anvartitd Varuno Mitrah dsld Agnir hotd hastagrihya nindya \ 3. Has- 
tena eva grdhyah ddhir asydh " brahma-jdyd iyam " iti cha id avochan \ 
na dutdya prahye tasthe eshd tatJid rdshtram gupitam kshattriyasya \ 
4. Devdh etasydm avadanta piirve sapta rishayas tapase ye nisheduh \ 
bhlmd jdyd brdhmanasya upamtd durdhdm dadhati parame vyoman \ 

85 Such is the sense which Prof. Aufrecht thinks may, with probability, be assigned 
to sins, a word which occurs only here. 

86 According to Yaska (Nir. i. 8), these four persons' are respectively the hotri, 
udgatri, brahman, and adhvaryu priests. The brahman, he says, being possessed of 
all science, ought to know everything; and gives utterance to his knowledge as 
occasion arises for it (j'ate jate). See Dr. Haug's remarks on this verse, Ait. Br. 
Introd. p. 20. 

37 Compare oshadhlh Soma-rajriih, " the plants whose king is Soma," inverses 18 
and 19 of this hymn. 


5. JJrahmachdrl charati vevishad vishah sa devdndm lhavati ekam angam \ 
tena jdyam anv avindad Brihaspatih Somena nitam juhvaih na devah \ 

6. Punar vai devdh adaduh punar manushydh uta \ 'rdjdnah satyam 
krinvdnah brahma-jdydm punar daduh \ 7. Punarddya brahma-jdydm 
kritvl devair nikilbisham \ urjam prithivydh bhaktvdya urugdyam updsate \ 

" These (deities), the boundless, liquid Matarisvan (Air), the fiercely- 
flaming, ardently-burning, beneficent (Fire), and the divine primeval 
Waters, first through righteousness exclaimed against the outrage on 
a brahman. 2. King Soma, 38 unenvious, first gave back the brahman s 
wife ; Varuna and Mitra were the inviters ; .Agni, the invoker, brought 
her, taking her hand. 3. When restored, she had to be received back 
by the hand, and they then proclaimed aloud, ' This is the brahman's 
wife ; ' she was not committed to a messenger to be sent : in this way 
it is that the kingdom of a ruler (or Kshattriya) remains secured to 
him. 89 4. Those ancient deities, the Bishis, who sat down to perform 
austerities, spoke thus of her, ' Terrible is the wife of the brahman ; 
when approached, she plants confusion-in the highest heaven. 40 5. The 
Brahmacharin 41 (religious student) continues to perform observances. 
He becomes one member 42 of the gods. Through him Brihaspati obtained 
his wife, as the gods obtained the ladle which was brought by Soma. 
6. The gods gave her back, and men gave her' back ; kings, performing 
righteousness, gave back the brahman's wife. 7. Giving back the brah- 
man's wife, delivering themselves from sin against the gods, (these 
kings) enjoy the abundance of the earth, and possess a free range of 

38 Compare R.V. x. 85, 39 ff. (=A.V. xiv. 2, 2 ff.) Punah patnlm Agnir adad 
ayushii saha varchasa \ dirghayur asyah yah patir jivati saradah satam \ 40. S&mah 
prathamo vivide Gandharvo vivide uttarah (the A.V. reads : Somasyajaya prathamam 
Gandharvas te 'parah patih) \ trifiyo Agnish te patis turlyas te manmhyajah \ Somo 
dadad Gandharvaya Gandharvo dadad Agnaye \ ruyi7n cha putrams ehadad Agnir 
mahyam atho imam \ " Agni gave back the wife with life and splendour : may he who 
is her husband live to an old age of 100 years! Soma was thy first, the Gandharva 
was thy second, Agni thy third, husband ; thy fourth is one of human birth. Soma 
gave her to the Gandharva, the Gandharva to Agni, Agni gave me wealth and sons, 
and then this woman." The idea contained in this passage may possibly be referred 
to in the verse before us (x. 109, 2). 

39 I am indebted to Prof. Aufrecht for this explanation of the verse. 

40 See R.V. i. 164, 34, 35, above. 

41 See my paper on the Progress of the Vedic Religion, in the Journal of the Royal 
Asiatic Society for 1865, pp. 374 ff. 

See A.V. x. 7, 1 ff. ; 9, 26. 



This hymn is repeated in the Atharva-veda with the addition of ten 
more verses which I shall quote in the next section. 

I shall here state summarily the remarks suggested by a perusal of 
the texts which I have quoted, and the conclusions which they appear 
to authorize regarding the relation of the Vedic poets and priests to the 
other classes of the Indian community at the time when the earlier 
hymns of the Big-veda were composed. 

First: Except in the Purusha Sukta (translated above in pp. 9ff.) 
there is no distinct reference in the hymns to any recognised system 
of four castes. 

Second: In one text (iii. 34, 9, see p. 176) where mention is made 
of the Aryan " colour," or " race," all the upper classes of the Indian 
community are comprehended under one designation, as the Kshattriyas 
and Vaisyas as well as the Brahmans were always in after-times re- 
garded as Aryas (see above, p. 176.) 

Third : The term brdhmdna occurs only in eight hymns of the Eig- 
veda, besides the Purusha Sukta, whilst brahman occurs in forty-six. 
The former of these words could not therefore have been in common 
use at the time when the greater part of the hymns were composed. 
The term rdjanya is found only in the Purusha Sukta ; and kshattriya 
in the sense of a person belonging to a royal family, a noble, occurs 
only in a few places, such as x. 109, S. 48 The terms Vaisya and Sudra 
are only found in the Purusha Sukta, although vis, from which the 
former is derived, is of frequent occurrence in the sense of "people" 
(see p. 14, above). 

Fourth : The word brahman, as we have seen, appears to have had 
at first the sense of " sage," " poet ; " next, that of " officiating priest; " 
and ultimately that of a " special description of priest." 

Fifth : In some of the texts which have been quoted (particularly 
i. 108, 7 ; iv. 50, 8f. ; viii. 7, 20; viii. 45, 39; viii. 53, 7; viii. 81, 
30; ix. 112, 1; x. 85, 29) brahman seems to designate a " priest by 

Sixth : In other places the word seems rather to imply something 
peculiar to the individual, and to denote a person distinguished for 

This text is quoted above. In viii. 104, 13, Kshattriya is perhaps a neuter sub- 
stantive : Na vai u Somo vrijinam hinoti na kshattriyam mithuya dharayantam \ 
" Soma does not prosper the sinner, nor the man who wields royal power deceitfully." 


genius or virtue (x. 107, 6), or elected by special divine favour to 
receive the gift of inspiration (x. 125, 5). 

Seventh : BrdJimana appears to be equivalent to brtihma-putra, " the 
son of a brahman " (which, as we have seen, occurs in ii. 4.3, 2), and 
the employment of such a term seems necessarily to presuppose that, at 
the time when it began to become current, the function of a brdhman, 
the priesthood, had already become a profession. 

The Big-veda Sanhita contains a considerable number of texts in 
which the large gifts of different kinds bestowed by different princes 
on the authors of the hymns are specified, and these instances of bounty 
are eulogized. 

Of these passages R.V. i. 125 ; i. 126; v. 27 ; v. 30, 12 ff. ; v. 61, 
10; vi. 27, 8 ; vi. 45, 31 ff. ; vi. 47| 22 ff. may be consulted in Prof. 
"Wilson's translation ; and a version of R.V. x. 107, which contains a 
general encomium on liberality will be found in the article entitled 
" Miscellaneous Hymns from the Rig- and Atharva-vedas," in the 
Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society for 1866, p. 32 f. The following 
further texts, which describe the presents given by different princes 
to the rishis, viz. vii. 18, 22 ff. ; viii. 3, 21 ff. ; viii. 4, 19 ff. ; viii. 5, 
37 ff.; viii. 6, 46 ff.; viii. 19, 36 f. ; viii. 21, 17 f.; viii. 24, 29 f. ; 
viii. 46, 21 ff.; viii. 54, 10 ff.; viii. 57, 14 ff. ; x. 33, 4ff.; x. 62, 
6 ff. ; x. 93, 14 f. are translated in the article " On the relations of the 
priests to the other classes of Indian Society in the Vedic age " in the 
same Journal for 1866, pp. 272 ff., to which I refer. 

On the other hand the hymns of the Rig-veda contain numerous 
references to persons who, if not hostile, were at least indifferent and 
inattentive to the system of worship which the rishis professed and in- 
culcated ; and niggardly in their offerings to the gods and their gifts to 
the priests. The article to which I have just referred contains (pp. 
286 ff.) a long list of such passages, from which I extract the 
following : 

i. 84, 7. Yah ekah id vidayate vasu marttdya ddsushe \ Isdno apratish- 
hitah Indro anga \ 8. Kadd martyam arddhasam padd kshumpam iva 
sphurat \ Icadd nah su&ruvad girah Indro anga \ 

" Indra, who alone distributes riches to the sacrificing mortal, is lord 
and irresistible. 8. "WTien will Indra crush the illiberal man like a 
bush with his foot ? when will he hear our hymns ? " 


i. 101, 4. . . . vilos chid Indro yo asunvato vadhah | 

" Indra, who is the slayer of him, however strong, who offers no 

i. 122, 9. Jano yo Mitrd-varundv abhidhrug apo na vdm sunoti akshna- 
yddhruk \ svayam sa yakshmam hridaye ni dliatte dpa yad Im hotrdbhir 
ritdvd \ 

"The hostile man, the malicious enemy, who pours out no libations 
to you, o Mitra and Varuna, plants fever in his own heart, when the 
pious man has by his offerings obtained (your blessing)." 

i. 125, 7. Ma prinanto duritam enah a aran ma jdrishuh surayah 
suvratdsah \ anyas teshdm paridhir astu has chid aprinantam abhi sam 
yantu sokdh \ 

" Let not the liberal suffer ef il or calamity ; let not devout sages 
decay ; let them have some further term ; let griefs befall the illiberal 

i. 182, 3. Kim atra dasrd krinuthah kim dsdthejano yah kaschidahavir 
mahlyate \ ati kramishtam juratam paner asum jyotir viprdya krinutaih 
vachasyave \ 

"What do ye here, o powerful (Asvins)? why do ye sit (in the 
house of) a man who offers no oblation, and (yet) is honoured ? Assail, 
wear away the breath of the niggard, and create light for the sage who 
desires to extol you." 

ii. 23, 4. Sunltibhir nayasi trdyase janam yas tubhyam ddsad na tarn 
amho asnavat \ brahma-dvishas tapano manyumlr asi Brihaspate mahi tat 
ie mahitvanam \ 

"By thy wise leadings thou guidest and protectest the man who 
worships thee ; no calamity can assail him. Thou art the vexer of him 
who hates devotion (brahma-dvishah}, and the queller of his wrath : 
this, o Brihaspati, is thy great glory." 

iv. 25, 6. . . . na asushver dpir na sakhd na j'dmir dmhprtityo aca- 
hantd id avtichah \ 1 . Na revatd panind sakhyam Indro asumatd suta- 
j)dh sam grinlte \ d asya vedah khidati hanti naynam vi suslwaye paktaye 
kevalo 'bhut \ 

"Indra is not the relation or friend or kinsman of the man who 
offers no libations ; he is the destroyer of the prostrate irreligious man. 
7. Indra, the soma-drinker, accepts not friendship with the wealthy 
niggard who makes no soma-libations j but robs him of his riches, and 


slays him when stripped bare, whilst he is the exclusive patron of the 
man who pours out soma and cooks oblations." 

vi. 44, 11. . . . jahi asushvln pro, vriha aprinatah \ 
" Slay (o Indra) those who offer no libations ; root out the illiberal.' 
viii. 53, 1. Ut tvd mandantu stomdh krinushva rddho adrivah \ ava 
brahma-dvisho jahi \ pddd panln arddhaso ni ladhasva mahdn asi \ na hi 
tva, kaschana prati \ 

" Let our hymns gladden thee ; give us wealth, o thunderer. Slay 
the haters of devotion. 2. Crush with thy foot the niggards who 
bestow nothing. Thou art great ; no one is comparable to thee." 

It seems evident, then, from these texts (and there are many more 
of the same tenor), that the irreligious man, the par cm deorum cultor 
et mfrequens, was by no means a rare character among the Aryas of 
the Vedic age, and that the priests often found no little difficulty in 
drawing forth the liberality of their contemporaries towards themselves 
and in enforcing a due regard to the ceremonials of devotion. And if 
we consider, on the other hand, that the encomiums on the liberality of 
different princes to the poets and priests which are contained in the 
passages to which I before adverted, are the production of the class 
whose pretensions they represent, and whose dignity they exalt, we 
shall, no doubt, see reason to conclude that" the value of the presents 
bestowed has been enormously exaggerated, and make some deduction, 
from the impression which these texts are calculated to convey of the 
estimation in which the priests were held at the time when they were 
composed. But after every allowance has been made for such consider- 
ations, and for the state of feeling indicated by the complaints of irre- 
ligion and illiberality of which I have cited specimens, it will remain 
certain that the brahman, whether we look ijipon him as a sage and poet, 
or as an officiating priest, or in both capacities, was regarded with 
respect and reverence, and even that his presence had begun to be con- 
sidered as an important condition of the efficacy of the ceremonial. 
Thus, as we have already seen, in i. 164, 35, the brahman is described 
as the highest heaven of "speech;" in x. 107, 6, a liberal patron is 
called a rishi and a brahman, as epithets expressive of the most dis- 
tinguished eulogy; in x. 125, 5, the goddess Vae,h is said to malse the man 
who is the object of her special affection a brahman and a rishi ; in vi. 45 
7; vii. 7, 5; viii. 16, 7; and ix. 96, 6, the term brahman is applied 


honorifically to the gods Indra, Agni, and Soma ; in iv. 50, 8, 9, great 
prosperity is declared to attend the prince by whom a brahman is em- 
ployed, honoured, and succoured; and in iii. 53, 9, 12; v. 2, 6; vii. 
33, 2, 3, 5 ; and vii. 83, 4, the highest efficacy is ascribed to the inter- 
vention and intercession of this class of functionaries. 

Again, whatever exaggeration we may suppose in the texts which 
eulogize the liberality of princely patrons, in regard to the value of the 
presents bestowed, there is no reason to doubt that the ministers of 
public worship, who possessed the gift of expression and of poetry, who 
were the depositaries of all sacred science, and who were regarded as 
the channels of access to the gods, would be largely rewarded and 
honoured. 44 

44 It is to be observed that, in these eulogies of liberality, mention is nowhere made 
of Brahmans as the recipients of the gifts. In two places, "mi. 4, 20, and x. 33, 4, 
a rishi is mentioned as the receiver. In later works, such as the S'atapatha Brah- 
mana, on the contrary, the presents are distinctly connected with Brahmans. Thus 
it is said in that work, ii. 2, 2, 6 : Dvayah vai devah devah aha eva devah atha ye 
brahmandh sumwaniso 'nuchanas te manushya-devah \ teshath dvedha vibhaktah eva 
yajnah ahutayah eva devanam dakshinah manushya-devandm brahmananam susruvu- 
sham anuchananam \ ahutibhir eva devan prmati dakshinabhir manushya-devan brah- 
nianan sus'ruvmho 'nuchanan | te enam ubhaye devah prltah sudhayaih dadhati \ 
" Two kinds of gods are gods, viz. the gods (proper), whilst those Brahmans who 
have the Vedic tradition, and are learned, are the human gods. The worship (yajna) 
of these is divided into two kinds. Oblations constitute the worship offered to the 
gods, and presents (dakshina) that offered to the human gods, the Brahmans, who 
possess the Vedic tradition add are learned. It is with oblations that a man gratifies 
the gods, and with presents that he gratifies the human gods, the Brahmans, who 
possess the Vedic tradition, and are learned. Both these two kinds of gods, when 
gratified, place him in a state of happiness " (sudhayam) ; (or " convey him to the 
heavenly world," as the expression is varied in the parallel passage of the same 
work, iv. 3, 4, 4). It is similarly said in the Taitt. Sanh. i. 7, 3, 1 : Paroksham vai 
anye devah ijyante pratyaksham anye \ yad yajate ye eva devah paroksham ijyante tan 
eva tad yajati \ yad anvaharyam aharaty. ete vai devah pratyaksham yad brahmanas 
tan eva tena prlnati \ atho dakshina eva asya esha \ atho yajnasya eva chhidram api- 
dadhati yad vai yajnasya kruram yad vilishtam tad anvaharyena anvaharati \ tad 
anvaharyasya anvaharyatvam \ devadutah vai ete yad ritvijo yad anvaliaryam aharati 
devadutan eva prlnati \ '.' Some gods are worshipped in their absence, and others in 
their presence. It is to those gods who are worshipped in their absence that the 
sacrificer offers the oblation which he presents. And it is these gods who are visible, 
i.e. the Brahmans, whom he gratifies with the anvaharya (present of cooked rice) 
which he afterwards brings. Now this anvaharya is the present (dakshina) con- 
nected with it (the sacrifice). Then he covers over the faults of the sacrifice. What- 
ever in it is excessive or defective, that he removes by means of the anvaharya. In 
this consists the nature of that offering. These officiating priests are the messengers 
of the gods ; and it is the messengers of the gods whom the sacrificer gratifies with 
this anvaharya gift which he presents." 


It is further clear, from some of the texts quoted above (ii. 1,2; iv. 
9, 3; x. 52, 2), as well as i. 162, 5, and from the contents of hymns ii. 36 ; 
ii. 37 ; ii. 43 ; and x. 124, I, 45 that in the later part of the Vedic era, to 
which these productions are probably to be assigned, the ceremonial of 
worship had become highly developed and complicated, and that dif- 
ferent classes of priests were required for its proper celebration. 46 It is 
manifest that considerable skill must have been required for the due 
performance of these several functions ; and as such skill could only be 
acquired by early instruction and by practice, there can be little doubt 
that the priesthood must at that period have become a regular pro- 
.fession. 47 The distinction of king or noble and priest appears to be 
recognized in i. 108, 7, as well as in iv. 50, 8, 9; whilst in v. 47, 
7, 14, a similar distinction is made between king and rishi; and it is 
noticeable that the verse, in other respects nearly identical, with which 
the 36th and 37th hymns of the eight mandala respectively conclude, 
ends in the one hymn with the words, "Thou alone, Indra, didst 
deliver Trasadasyu in the conflict of men, magnifying prayers " (brah- 
mani vardhayari) ; whilst in the other the last words are, " magnifying 
(royal) powers " (Miattrani vardhayan), as if the former contained a 
reference to the functions of the priest, and the latter to those of the 
prince. (Compare viii. 35, 16, 17.) 

"While, however, there thus appears to be every reason for supposing 
that towards the close of the Vedic period the priesthood had become a 
profession, the texts which have been quoted, with the exception of the 
verse in the Purusha Sukta (x. 90, 12), do not contain anything which 
necessarily implies that the priests formed an exclusive caste, or, at 
least, a caste separated from all others by insurmountable barriers, as in 
later times. There is a wide difference between a profession, or even a 
hereditary order, and a caste in the fully developed Brahmanical sense. 

45 See also i. 94, 6, where it is said : " Thou (Agni) art an adhvaryu, and the 
earliest hotri, a pras'astri, a potri, and by nature a puro\iita. Knowing all the 
priestly functions (artvijya) wise, thou nourishest us," etc. (tvam adhvaryur uta 
koto, 'si purvyah prasasta pota janusha pttrohitah \ vis'va vidvan artijya dhlra 
pushy asy Agne ity adi). 

48 See Prof. Huller's remarks on this subject, Anc. Sansk. Lit. pp. 485 if. ; and 
Dr. Haug's somewhat different view of the same matter in his Introd. to Ait. Br. 
pp. 11 ff. 

43 In regard to the great importance and influence of the priests, see Muller's Anc. 
Sansk. Lit. pp. 485 ff. 

Even in countries where the dignity and exclusive prerogatives of the 
priesthood are most fully recognized (as 'in Eoman Catholic Europe), 
the clergy form only a profession, and their ranks may be recruited 
from all sections of the community. So, too, is it in most countries, 
even with a hereditary nobility. Plebeians may be ennobled at the 
will of the sovereign. There is, therefore, no difficulty in supposing 
that in the Yedic era the Indian priesthood even if we suppose its 
members to have been for the most part sprung from priestly families 
may have often admitted aspirants to the sacerdotal character from 
dther classes of their countrymen. Even the employment of the word 
brdhmana in the Eig-veda does not disprove this. This term, derived 
from brahman, "priest," need not, as already intimated, signify anything 
further than the son or descendant of a priest (the word brahmaputra, 
" son of a priest," is, as we have seen, actually used in one text), just 
as the rujanya means nothing more than the descendant of a king or 
chief (rdjan), a member of the royal family, or of the nobility. 

The paucity of the texts (and those, too, probably of a date compara- 
tively recent) in which the word brdhmana occurs, when contrasted 
with the large number of those in which brahman is found, seems, as I 
have already observed, to prove conclusively that the former word was 
but little employed in the earlier part of the Yedic era, and only came 
into common use towards its close. In some of these passages (as in vii. 
103, 1, 7, 8 ; x. 88, 19) there is nothing to shew that the Brahman is 
alluded to as anything more than a professional priest, and in vii. 103, 
the comparison of frogs to Brahmans may seem even to imply a want of 
respect for the latter and their office. 48 In other places (i. 164, 45, 
and x. 71, 8, 9) a distinction appears to be drawn between intelligent 
and unintelligent Brahmans, between such as were thoughtful and 
others who were mere mechanical instruments in carrying on the cere- 
monial of worship, 49 which, certainly points to the existence of a sacer- 
dotal class. In another passage (x. 97, 22) the importance of a Brah- 
man to the proper performance of religious rites appears to be clearly 
expressed. In x. 109, where the words brahman (passim] and brdk- 

48 See M tiller's remarks on this hymn in his Anc. Sansk. Lit. p. 494. 

49 In E.V. viii. 50, 9, it is said : " Whether an unwise or a wise man, o Indra, has 
offered to thee a hymn, he has gladdened (thee) through his devotion to thee (avipro 
va yad avidhad vipro va Indra te vachah \ sa pro mamandat tvciya ity ad$)." 


mana (in verse 4) seem to be used interchangeably the inviolability 
of Brahman's wives, the peril of interfering with them, and the blessing 
attendant on reparation for any outrage committed against them, are 
referred to in such a way as to shew at once the loftiness of the claim 
set up by the Brahmans on their own behalf, and to prove that these 
pretensions were frequently disregarded by the nobles. In x. 16, 6, 
the Brahmans are spoken of as inspired by Soma, and in vi. 75, 10, the 
manes of earlier Brahmans are reckoned among those divine beings who 
have power to protect the suppliant. But in none of these texts is any 
clear reference made to the Brahmans as constituting an exclusive caste 
or race, and nothing whatever is said about their being descended from 
an ancestor distinct from those of the other classes of their countrymen. 

SECT. II. Quotations from the Rig-veda, the NiruUa, the Mahdohdrata, 
and other works, to shew that according to ancient Indian tradition, 
persons not of priestly families were authors of Vedic hymns, and 
exercised priestly functions. 

But in addition to the negative evidence adduced in the preceding 
section, that during the age to which the greater part of the hymns of 
the Big-veda are referable, the system of castes* had, to say the least, 
not yet attained its full development, we find also a considerable amount 
of proof in the hymns themselves, or in later works, or from a com- 
parison of both, that many of the hymns either were, or from a remote 
antiquity were believed to be, the productions of authors not of sacer- 
dotal descent ; and that some of these persons also acted as priests. 
The most signal instance of this kind is that of Yisvamitra ; but from 
the abundance of the materials which exist for its illustration I shall 
reserve it for the next chapter, where I shall treat of the contests be- 
tween the Brahmans and the Kshattriyas. 

In later times, when none but Brahman priests were known, it 
seemed to be an unaccountable, and as contradicting the exclusive 
sacerdotal pretensions of the Brahmans an inconvenient circumstance, 
that priestly functions should have been recorded as exercised by per- 
sons whom tradition represented as Kajanyas ; and it therefore became 
necessary to explain away the historical facts, by inventing miraculous 
legends to make it appear that these men of the royal order had been 


in reality transformed into Brahmans, as the reward of their super- 
human merits and austerities an idea of which we shall meet with 
various illustrations in the sequel. The very existence, however, of such 
a word as rdjarshi, or " royal rishi," proves that Indian tradition re- 
cognized as rishis or authors of Yedic hymns persons who were con- 
sidered to belong to Rajanya families. A number of such are named 
(though without the epithet of rdjarshi} in the Anukramanika or index 
to the Rig-veda ; but Sayana, who quotes that old document, gives them 
this title. Thus, in the introduction to hymn i. 100, he says: Atra 
anukramyate "sa yo vrishd 'ekond Vdrshdgirdh Ryrdsvamlaruha-Saha- 
deva-hayamana~Surddhasah" Hi \ VrisMgiro mahdrdjasya putralhutdh 
Rijrd&vddayah pancha rdjarshayah sadeham suktam dadrisuh \ atas te a$ya 
suktasya rishayah \ ulttam hy drshdnukramanydm, " suktam sa yovrishety 
etat pancha Vdrshdgirdh viduh \ niyuktdh ndmadheyaih svair api ' chaitat 
tyad ' Hi richi " iti \ " It is said in the Anukramanika, ' Of this hymn 
(the rishis) are Rijrasva, Ambarisha, Sahadeva, Bhayamana, and Sura- 
dhas, sons of Vrishagir.' Rijrasva and others, sons of King Vrishagir, 
in all five rajarshis, saw this hymn in a bodily form. Hence they are 
its rishis (or seers). For it is declared in the Arsha Anukraman! : 
' The five sons of Vrishagir, who are mentioned by name in the verse 
beginning " this praise " (the 17th), know this hymn.' " The 17th verse 
is as follows : Etat tyat te Indra vrishne uTdliam VdrsTiagirdh abhi gri- 
nanti rddhah \ Rijrdsvah prashtilMr Ambarlshah Sahadevo Bhayamu- 
nah Surddhdh \ " This hymn the Varshagiras, Rijrasva, with his at- 
tendants, and Ambarisha, Sahadeva, Bhayamana, and Suradhas, utter 
to thee, the vigorous, o Indra, as their homage ; " on which Sayana 
repeats the remark that these persons were rajarshis (etad uktham sto- 
tram rddhah samrddhakam tvat -priti - lietum Vdrshdgirdh Vrishdgiro 
rdj'nah putrdh Rijrdsvddayo 'Ihi grinanti dlhimukhyena vadanti | . . . . 
Rijrdsvah etat-sanjno rdjarshih prashtilhih pdrsva-sthair any air rishibhih 
saha Indram astaut \ ke te pdrsva-sthdh \ Amlarlshddayas chatvtiro rd- 
jarshayah'). Ambarisha is also said to be the rishi of ix. 98. Again, 
" Trasadasyu, son of Purukutsa, a Rajarshi," is said by Sayana on R.V. 
iv. 42, to be the rishi of that hymn (PuruMtsasya putras Trasadasyuh 
rdjarshih | . . . atranukramanika l mama dvitd' dasa Trasadasyuh Pauru- 
kutsyah). In the 8th and 9th verses Trasadasyu is thus mentioned : 
Asmdkam atra pitaras te dsan sapta rishayo Daurgahe ladhyamdne \ te d 


ayajanta Trasadasyum asydh Indraih na vrittraturam arddhadevam \ 9. 
Purukutsdm hi vdm addsad havyebhir Indrd-varund namobhih \ atha ra- 
jdnafii Trasadasyum asydh vrittrahanam dadathur arddhadevam \ 8. 
" These seven rishis were our fathers. "When the son of Durgaha was 
bound they gained by sacrifice for her (Purukutsani) a son Trasadasyu, a 
slayer of foes, like Indra, a demigod. 9. Purukutsani worshipped you, o 
Indra and Varuna, with salutations and obeisances ; then ye gave her king 
Trasadasyu, a slayer of enemies, a demigod." I give Sayana' s note on 
these verses : " Purukutsasya mahishl Daurgahe bandhana-sthite \ patydv 
ardjakam drishtvd rdshtram putrasya lipsayd \ yadrichhayd samdydtdn 
saptarshln paryapujayat \ te cha prltdh punah prochur ( yajendrd-varunau 
bhrisam' \ sd chendra-varundv ishtvd Trasadasyum ajljanat \ itihdsam 
imamjdnann risJiir brute richdv iha" \ ath&asmdkam atra asminn ardjake 
dese asydm prithivydm vd pitarah pdlayitdrah utpddakds te dsann abha- 
van | ete saptarshayah prasiddhdh Daurgahe Durgahasya putre Purukutse 
ladhyamdne dridham pdsair yasmdd asydh asyai Purukutsdnyai Trasa- 
dasyum dyajanta prddur Indrd-Varunayor anugrahdt \ " 'The queen of 
Purukutsa, when her husband, the son of Durgaha, was imprisoned, 
seeing the kingdom to be destitute of a ruler, and desirous of a son, of 
her own accord paid honour to the seven rishis who had arrived. And 
they, again, being pleased told her to sacrifice to Indra and Varuna. 
Having done so she bore Trasadasyu. Knowing this story, the rishi utters 
these two verses; '" which Sayana then explains. Similarly Sayana says 
on v. 27 : " Tryaruna son of Trivrishna, Trasadasyu son of Purukutsa, 
and Asvamedha son of Bharata, these three kings conjoined, are the 
rishis of this hymn ; or Atri is the rishi " (Atrdnukramanikd \ " Anas- 
vantd shat Traivrislma-paurukutsyau dvau Tryaruna- Trasadasyu rdjdnau 
Bhdratas cha Asvamedhah | . . . . ' na dtmd dtmane dadydd ' iti sarvdsv 
Atrim kechit" . . . Trivrishnasya putras Tryarunah Purukutsasya putras 
Trasadasyur BJiaratasya putro Asvamedhah ete trayo 'pi rdjdnah sambhuya 
asya suktasya rishayah \ yadvd Atrir eva rishih"). The Anukramanika, 
however, adds that according to some, as "no one would give gifts to 
himself, none of the princes mentioned as donors could be the author; but 
Atri must be the rishi." As the hymn is spoken by a fourth person, iu 
praise of the liberality of these kings, it is clear they cannot well be its 
authors. And a similar remark applies to iv. 42, 8 f. However, the 
Hindu tradition, being such as it is, is good proof that kings could, in 


conformity with ancient opinion, be rishis. Trasadasyu and Trayaruna 
are also mentioned as the rishis of ix. llO. 50 The rishis of iv. 43 and 
iv. 44 are declared by Sayana, and by the Anukramanika, to be Puru- 
milha, and Ajamllha, sons or descendants of Suhotra (iv. 43, Atrdnulcra- 
mamka ' leak u sasvat ' sapta Purumilhdjamilhau Sauhotrau tv Asvinam 
hi'\ iv. 44, Purumilhdjamllhdv eva rishi}. Though these persons are 
not said by either of these authorities to be kings, yet in the Vishnu 
and Bhagavata Puranas the latter is mentioned as being of royal race, 
and a tribe of Brahmans is said to have been descended from him (see 
above p. 227). In the sixth verse of iv. 44, the descendants of Aja- 
milha are said to have come to the worship of the Asvins (naro yad 
fdm Asvind stomam dvan sadhastutim Ajamllhdso agmati}. The follow- 
ing hymns, also, are said by tradition to have had the undermentioned 
kings for their rishis, viz. : vi. 15, Vitahavya (or Bharadvaja) ; x. 9, 
Sindhudvipa, son of Ambarisha (or Trisiras, son of Tvashtri) ; x. 75, 
Sindhukshit, son of Priyamedha ; x. 133, Sudas, son of Pijavana ; 
x. 134, Mandhatri, son of Yuvanasva (see above, p. 225); x. 179, 
S'ibi, son of Usmara, Pratardana, son of Divodasa and king of Kasi 
(see above, p. 229), and Vasumanas, son of Rohidasva ; and x. 148 is 
declared to have had Prithl Vainya 51 as its rishi. In the fifth verse of 
that hymn it is said : Srudhi havam Indra sura Prithydh uta stavase 
Venyasya arkaih \ " Hear, o heroic Indra, the invocation of Prithi ; 
and thou art praised by the hymn of Venya." In viii. 9, 10, also, 
Prithi Yainya is mentioned at the same time with three rishis : Tad 
vdm Kakshlvdn uta yad Vyasvah rishir yad vdm Dlrghatamdh juhdva [ 
Prithl yad vdm Vainyah sadaneshu eva id ato Asvind chetayetham \ 
11 Whatever oblation (or invocation) Kakshivat has made- to you, or the 
rishi Yyasva, or Dlrghatamas, or Prithi, son of Vena, in the places of 

50 In the Vishnu Purana, as we have seen above, p. 237, Trayyaruna, Pushkarin, 
and Kapi are said to have been sons of Urukshaya, and all of them to have become 
Brahmans ; and in the Bhagavata Purana, Trayyaruni, Pushkararuni, and Kapi are 
said to have all become Brahmans. 

si The S'. P. Br. v. 3, 5, 4, refers to Prithi as " first of men who was installed as 
a king " (Prithi ha vai Vainyo manushyanam prathamo 'bhishishiche). I extract 
from Dr. Hall's edition of Prof. "Wilson's Vishnu Purana, vol. iii. the following verse, 
adduced by the editoi from the Vayu Purana about royal rishis : Manave Vainave (?) 
vamseAidevamsecha yenripah \ Aida Aikslwaka Nabhaga jneya rajarshayas tu te \ 
''Kings in the race of Manu, Vena (?), and Ida, the descendants of Ida, Ikshvaku, 
and Nabhaga are to be known as having been rajarshis." 


sacrifice, take notice of that, o Asvins." Here Sayana refers to Prithl 
as "the royal rishi of that name." 

From the details I have supplied it is clear that in many cases the 
evidence is against the supposition that the princes to whom the hymns 
are ascribed were in reality their authors. The only instances in which 
the authorship seems to be established by the tenor of the hymns them- 
selves are those of the Yarshagiras, or, at all events, that of Prithl. 
But, as has been already remarked, the fact that ancient Hindu tra- 
dition recognizes royal rishis as the authors of hymns is sufficient to 
prove that such cases were not unknown. Even if we were to suppose 
that flattery had any share in the creation of these traditions, it no 
doubt proceeded upon the belief of those who put them into cir- 
culation, that in earlier times the distinction between the priests and 
other classes was not so sharply defined as in their own day. 

I proceed, however, to the case of Devapi, - in which the ma- 
terials for forming a judgment are more adequate and satisfac- 
tory, and prove that he was not merely a rishi but an officiating 

In the Anukramanika, E.V. x. 98 is ascribed to him as its author ; 
and Yaska states as follows in the Nirukta, ii. 10 : 

Tatra itihdsam dchakshate \ Devdpis cha, Arshlishenah S'antanus cha 
Kauravyau Ihrdtarau labhuvatuh \ sa S'antanuh kanlydn alhishechaydn- 
chakre \ Devapis tapah pratipede \ tatah S'antanoh rdjye dvddasa var- 
shdni devo na vavarsha \ tarn uchur Irdhmandh " adharmas tvaya charito 
jyeshtham bhrdtaram antaritya alhishechitam \ tasmdt te devo na var- 
shati " iti \ sa S'antanur Devdpim sisihslia rdjyena \ tarn uvdcha Devd- 
pih "purohitas te 'sdni ydjaydni cha tvd" iti \ tasya etad varsha-kama- 
suTctam | tasya eshd lhavati \ 

" Here they relate a story. Devapi son of Rishtishena, and Santanu, 
belonged to the race of Kuru and were brothers. S'antanu, who was 
the younger, caused himself to be installed as king, whilst Devapi 
betook himself to austere fervour. Then the god did not rain for 
twelve years of S'antanu' s reign. The Brahmans said to him : ' Thou 
hast practised unrighteousness in that, passing by thy elder brother, 
thou hast caused thyself to be installed as king. It is for this reason 
that the god does not rain.' S'antanu then sought to invest Devapi 
with the sovereignty ; but the latter said to him : Let me be thy 


purohita and perform sacrifice for thee.' This hymn, expressing a 
desire of rain, is his. The following verse is part of it." 

Yaska then quotes a verse of E.Y. x. 98, the whole of which is as 
follows : 

Brihaspate prati me devatdm ihi Mitro vd yad Varuno vd asi Pushd \ 
Adityair vd yad Vasubhir Marutvdn sa Parjanyam S'antanave vrishdya \ 
2. A devo duto ajirai chikitvdn tvad Devdpe alhi mum agachhat \ pratl- 
chlnah prati mum d vavritsva dadhdmi te dyumatlm vdcham dsan \ 3. 
Asme dhehi dyumatlm vdcham dsan Brihaspate anamlvdm ishirdm \ 
yayd vrishtim S'antanave vandva divo drapso madhumdn d vivesa \ 4. A 
no drapsdh madhumanto visantu Indra deM adhiratham sahasram | ni 
sJtlda hotram 52 rituthd yajasva devdn Devdpe hamshd saparya \ 5. ArsJi- 
tislieno hotram rishir nishldan Devdpir deva-mmatim chikitvdn \ sa utta- 
rasmdd adharam samudram apo divyah asrijad varshydh alhi \ 6. Asmin 
samudre adhi uttarasmin dpo develhir nivritdh atishthan I tdh adravann 
Arsht ishenena srishtdh Devdpind preshitdh mrifahimshu \ 7. Yad Devd- 
pih S'antanave purohito hotrdya vritah Jcripayann adldhet \ deva-srutam 
vrishti-vanim rardno Brihaspatir vdcham asmai ayaclihat \ 8. Yam tvd 
Devdpify susuchtino Agne Arshtisheno manushyah samidhe \ visvebhir 
devair anumadyamdnah pra Parjanyam Iraya vrishtimantam \ 9. Tvdm 
purve rishayo glrlhir dyan tvdm adhvareshu puruhuta visve \ saJiasrdni 
adhirathdni asme d no yajnam rohidaiva wpa ydlii \ 10. Etdni Agni na- 
vatir nava tve dhutdni adhiratJid sahasrd \ tclJiir vardhasva tanvah sura 
purvlr divo no vrishtim ishito ririJii \ 11. Etdni Agne navatim sahasrd 
sam pra yachha vrishne Indrdya Ihdgam \ vidvdn pathah rituio devayd- 
ndn apy auldnam dim devesJiu dhehi \ 12. Agne fiddhasva vi mridho vi 
duraahd apa amlvdm apa rakshdmsi sedha \ asmdt samudrdd brihato divo 
no apdm Ihumdnam upa naji srij'a iha \ 

"Approach, Brihaspati, 53 to my worship of the gods, whether thou 
art Mitra, Varuna, Pushan, or art attended by the Adityas, Yasus, or 
Maruts : cause Parjanya to rain for S'antanu. 2. The god, a rapid 
messenger, has become aware, and has come from thee, o Devapi, to 
me, (saying) ' approach towards me ; I will place a brilliant hymn 

52 Compare R.V. ii. 1, 2. 

53 It looks as if Agni were here to be understood by Brihaspati, see verses 9-12. 
In R.V. ii. 1, 4 ff. Agni is identified with Yaruna, Mitra, Aryaman, Ams'a, Tvashtri, 
Rudra, Pushan,- Savitri, Bhaga. 


in thy mouth.' 3. Place in our mouth, o Brihaspati, a brilliant hymn, 
powerful, and spirited, whereby we two may solicit rain for S'antanu. 
The drop full of sweetness has descended on us from the sky. 4. May 
the drops full of sweetness come down upon us : give us, o Indra, a 
thousand waggon-loads (of them ?). Perform the function of a hotri, 
sacrifice in due form, worship the gods with an oblation, o Devapi. 5. 
The rishi Devapi, son of Eishtishena, performing the function of a 
hotri, knowing (how to gain) the goodwill of the gods, has discharged 
from the upper to the lower ocean those waters of the sky which fall 
in rain. 6. The waters remained shut up by the gods in this upper 
ocean : they rushed forth when released by the son of Eishtishena, 
when discharged by Devapi into the torrents. 51 7. When Devapi, 
placed in front of S'autanu (as his purohita), chosen for the office of 
hotri, fulfilling his function, kindled (the fire), then, granting the 
prayer for rain which was heard by the gods, Brihaspati gave him a 
hymn. 8. Do thou, o Agni, whom the man 55 Devapi the son of Rish- 
tishena has inflamed and kindled, de thou, delighted, with all the 
the gods, send hither the rain-bearing Parjanya. 9. Former rishis have 
approached thee with their hymns ; and all (approach) thee, o god, 
much-invoked, in their sacrifices : give us thousands of waggon-loads : 
come, thou who art borne by red horses, 56 to our sacrifice. 10. These 
ninety-nine thousands of waggon-loads (of wood and butter ?) have been 
thrown into thee, o Agni, as oblations. Through them grow, hero, to 
(the bulk of) thy former bodies ; 57 and stimulated, grant us rain from 
the sky. 11. (Of) these ninety thousands give, o Agni, a share to the 
vigorous Indra. Knowing the paths which rightly lead to the gods, 
convey the oblation (?) to the deities in the sky. 12. Overcome, o 
Agni, our enemies, our calamities ; drive away sickness, and rakshases. 
From this great ocean of the sky discharge upon us an abundance of 

The fact of Devapi being reputed as the author of this hymn, and as 
the purohita and hotri of his brother, seems to have led the legendary 
writers to invent the story of his becoming a Brahman, which (as men- 

s* So the \vord mrifcshintis explained in Bohtlingk and Roth's Lexicon. 

45 Or, "descendant of Manush" (manushya), 

56 This is a common epithet of Agni. 

s? This means, I suppose, " burst forth into vast flames." 


tioned by Professor "Weber, Indische Studien, i. p. 203) is recorded in 
the S'alya-parvan of the Mahabharata, verses 2281 if. where he is there 
said to have attained this distinction at a certain place of pilgrimage 
called Prithudaka ; where Sindhudvlpa and Visvamitra also were re- 
ceived into the higher caste : 

Tatrdrshtishenah Sauravya brdhmanyam samsita-vratah \ tapasd ma. 
hatd rdjan prdptavdn rishi-sattamah \ Sindhudvipas cha r ajar shir Devdpis 
cha mahdtapdh \ brdhmanyam labdhavdn yatra Visvdmitras tathd munih \ 
mahdtapasvl lhagavdn ugra-tejdh mahdtapdh | . . . . 2287. Purd Tcrita- 
yuge rajann Arshtisheno dvijottamah \ vasan guru-Jtule nityam nityam 
adJiyayane ratah \ tasya rdjan guru-Tcule vasato nityam eva cha \ samdptim 
ndgamad vidyd ndpi veddh viidmpate \ sa nirvinnas tato rdjams tapas 
tepe mahdtapdh \ tato vai tapasd tena prdpya veddn anuttamandn \ sa 
vidvdn veda-yuktas cha siddhas chdpy rishi-sattamah | . . . . | evam siddhah 
sa Wmgavdn Arshtishenah pratdpavdn \ tasminn eva tadd tlrthe Sindhu- 
dvlpah pratdpavdn \ Devdpii cha mahdrdja brdhmanyam prdpatur 
mahat \ 

2281. "There the most excellent rishi Arshtishena, constant in his 
observances, obtained Brahmanhood by great austere fervour ; as did 
also the royal rishi Sindhudvlpa, 5S and Devapi great in austere fervour, 
and the glorious muni Visvamitra, of great austere fervour and fiery 
vigour." Some other particulars of Arshtishena are given further on : 
2287. " Formerly in the Krita age the most excellent Brahman Arsh- 
tishena dwelt constantly in his preceptor's family, devoted to incessant 
study ; but could not complete his mastery of science or of the vedas. 59 
Being in consequence discouraged, he betook himself to intense austere 
fervour. By this means he acquired the incomparable Vedas, and be- 
came learned and perfect At the same place of pilgrimage the 

majestic Sindhudvlpa and Devapi obtained the great distinction of 

It will be observed that here Arshtishena is, in opposition to the 
authority of the Nirukta, made a distinct person from Devapi. 

58 This prince also, as we have seen above, is mentioned among those Rajanyas who 
composed Vedic hymns. 

59 The Vedas are here spoken of in the plural, although Arshtishena is said to have 
lived in the Krita age. But the M. Bh. itself says elsewhere (see above, p. 145) that 
there was then tyit one Veda. 


In a note to his (French) translation of the Big-veda, M. Langlois 
(vol. iv. 502) supposes that the hymn above translated (x. 98), like the 
Purusha Sukta, is very much posterior in date to the other hymns in 
the collection. The names of Devapi and S'antanu indicate, he thinks, 
as the date of its composition, a period not far preceding that of the 
great war of the Mahabharata. Professor Weber, on the other hand, 
considers (Indische Studien, i. 203) that the S'antanu and Devapi men- 
tioned in that work (Adi-parvan, 3750 f.) cannot be the same as the 
persons alluded to in the Eigveda, because their father was Pratipa, 
not Eishtishena ; and because he thinks it doubtful whether a prince 
who preceded the Pandavas by only two generations could have been 
named in the Eig-veda, and appear there as an author of hymns. 

The verses of the Adi-parvan just referred to are as follows : 

Pratlpasya trayah putrdh jajnire Bharatarshabha \ Devdpih S'dntanus 
chaiva Vdhlilcas mahdrathah \ Devdpis cha pravavrdja teshdm dharma- 
hitepsayd \ S'dntanus cha mahlm lebhe Vdhllkas cha maharathah \ 

"Three sons were born to Pratipa, viz. Devapi, S'antanu, and Yah- 
lika the charioteer. Of these Devapi, desiring the benefits of religious 
excellence, became an ascetic ; whilst S'antanu and Yahlika obtained 
(the rule of) the earth." 

The Harivamsa gives a different story about'the same Devapi, verse 

Pratlpo Bhimasendt tu Pratlpasya tu S'dntanuh \ Devdpir Vdhlikas 
chaiva trayah eva maharathah | . . . . 1822. Upddhydyas tu devdndw- 
Devdpir alhavad munih \ Chya/vanasya Jcritah putrah ishta$ chasld ma- 
hdtmanah \ 

"Pratipa sprang from Bhimasena ; and S'antanu, Devapi, and Yah- 
lika were the three chariot- driving sons of Pratipa 1822. De- 
vapi became a muni, and preceptor of the gods, being the adopted son 
of Chyavana, by whom he was beloved." 

The Yishnu Purana (iv. 20, 7 ff.) concurs with the preceding au- 
thorities in making Devapi and S'antanu to be sons of Pratipa, and 
descendants of Kuru, and his son Jahnu. It repeats the legend given 
in the Mrukta of the country of S'antanu being visited by a drought of 
twelve years duration, in consequence of his having assumed the royal 
authority while his elder brother lived. And although, as will be seen, 
the sequel of the story is widely different from that recorded by the 



Nirukta, the earlier incidents in the two narratives are so similar, that it 
would appear to have been the intention of the Puranic writer to identify 
the Devapi and S'antanu whose history he relates with the persons of the 
same names, although of different parentage, mentioned in Yaska's 
work. He may, however, possibly have transferred an older legend to 
more recent personages. The passage of the Yishnu Purana is as 
follows : 

Rikshdd Bhlmasenas tatas cha Dillpah \ Dilipdt Pratipas tasydpi De- 
vapi S'antanu- Vdhllka^sanjnds trayah putrdh labhuvuh \ Devdpir Idlah 
eva aranyani vivesa \ S'dntanur avanlpatir alhavat \ ayam cha tasya 
slokah prithivydm glyate " yam yam kardlhydm sprisati jirnam yau- 
vanam eti sah \ sdntim chdpnoti yendgrydm Itarmand tena S'dn- 
tamih " | tasya S'dntanoh rdshfre dvddasa varshdni devo na vavarsha \ 
tatasclia asesha-rdshfra-vindsam a/cekshya asau rdjd firdhmandn aprichhaA 
"Ihoh kasmdd asmin rdshtre devo na rarshati \ Ico mama aparddhah" 
Hi \ te tarn uchur " agrgjasya te 'rhd iyam avanis ttayd IJiujyate pari- 
vettti tvam" \ ity uktah sa punas tan aprichhat "kirn may a vidheyam" 
Hi | tena turn uchur " ydrad Devdpir na patanddilhir doshair abhilhu- 
yate tax at tasya arham rdjyam \ tad alam etena tasmai dlyatdm " | ity 
ukte tasya mantri-pravarena Aimasdrind tatra aranye tapasvino veda- 
vdda-rirodJia-vaktdrahp'fayojitdh \ tair ati-ryu-mater malnpati-putrasya 
buddhir veda-virodha-mdrgdnusdriny aJcriyata \ rdjd cha S'dntanur dvija- 
rachanotpanna-parivedana-sokas tdn Irdhmandn agranil;ritya agraja-rdjya- 
praddndya aranyam jagdma \ tad-diramam upagatds cha tarn avanlpati- 
putram Devdpim upatastfaih \ te brdhmandh veda-vdddnurriddhdni va- 
chdmsi " rdjyam agrajena Icarttavyam " ity arthavanti tam ucJiuh \ asdv 
api veda-vuda-virodha-yukti-dmhitam aneka-prakdram tdn alia \ tatas te 
brdhmandh S'dntanum uchur " dgachha hho rdjann alam atra ati-nir- 
landltena \ prasdntah eva asdv andvrishti-doshah \ patito 'yam anddi- 
kdla-mahita-teda-vachana-duxhinochchdrandt \ patite cha agraje naiva 
pdrhettryam bhai'ati" \ ity uktah S'dntanuh sra-puram dgatya rdjyam 
akarot \ veda-vdda-virodhi-i-achanochchdrana-dushite cha jyeshthe 'smm 
Ihrdtari tisJtthaty api DevapSv akhila-sasya-nishpattaye vavarsha Ihaga- 
vdn Parjanyah \ 

""From Eiksha sprang Bhimasena; from him Dillpa; from him 
Pratipa, who again had three sons called Devapi, S'antanu, and Vahlika. 
Devapi while yet a boy retired to the forest ; and S'antanu became 


king. Regarding him this verse is current in the world: 'Every 
decrepit man whom he touches with his hands becomes young. He is 
called S'antanu from that work whereby he obtains supreme tranquility 
(santi).' The god did not rain on the country of this S'antanu for 
twelve years. Beholding then the ruin of his entire realm, the king 
enquired of the Brahmans: 'Why does not the god rain on this 
country ; what is my offence ? ' The Brahmans replied : ' This earth, 
which is the right of thy elder brother, is now enjoyed by thee ; thou 
art a parivettri (one married before his elder brother).' 80 Receiving 
this reply, he again asked them : ' What must I do ? ' They then 
answered : ' So long as Devapi does not succumb to declension from or- 
thodoxy and other offences, the royal authority is his by right ; to him 
therefore let it be given without further question.' When they had so 
said, the king's principal minister Asmasarin employed certain ascetics 
propounding doctrines contrary to the declarations of the Vedas to 
proceed into the forest, by whom the understanding of the very simple- 
minded prince (Devapi) was led to adopt a system at variance with 
those sacred books. King S'antanu being distressed for his offence in 
consequence of what the Brahmans had said to him, went, preceded by 
those Brahmans, to the forest in order to deliver over the kingdom to 
his elder brother. Arriving at the hermitage, they came to prince 
Devapi. The Brahmans addressed to him statements founded on the 
declarations of the Veda, to the effect that the royal authority should 
be exercised by the elder brother. He, on his part, expressed to them 
many things that were vitiated by reasonings contrary to the tenor of 
the Veda. The Brahmans then said to S'antanu, ' Come hither, o king : 
there is no occasion for any excessive hesitation in this affair: the 
offence which led to the drought is now removed. Your brother has 
fallen by uttering a contradiction of the words of the Veda which 

60 This is illustrated by Manu iii, 171 f . : Daragnihotra-samyogam Jcitrute yo 'graje 
ithite | parivetta sa vijneyah parivittis tu purvajah \ 172. Parivittih parivetta yaya 
cha parividyate \ sarve te naraJcam yanti datri-yujaka-panchamuh \ " 171. He who, 
while his elder brother is unwedded, marries a wife with the nuptial fires, is to he 
known as a parwetlrf, and his elder brother as a parivitti, 172. The parivitti, the 
parivettri, the female by whom the offence is committed, he who gives her away, and 
fifthly the officiating priest, all go to hell." The Indian writers regard the relation 
of a king to his realm as analogous to that of a husband to his wife. The earth is 
the king's bride. 


have been revered from time without beginning; and when the 
elder brother has fallen, the younger is no longer chargeable with 
the offence of pdrivettrya (i.e. of marrying before his elder brother).' 
When he had been so addressed, S'antanu returned to his capital, and 
exercised the royal authority. And although his eldest brother Devapi 
continued to be degraded by having uttered words opposed to the 
doctrines of the Veda, the god Parjanya rained in order to produce a 
harvest of all sorts of grain." 

Can the compiler of the Purana have deviated from the conclusion 
of this history as found in the Mrukta, and given it a new turn, in 
order to escape from the conclusion that a Raj any a could officiate as a 
purohita ? 

The same story is briefly told in the Bhagavata Purana, ix. 22, 14-17. 

In the TTdyogaparvan of the Mahabharata, on the other hand, 
Devapi's virtues and orthodoxy are extolled in the highest terms, and 
his exclusion from the throne is ascribed solely to his being a leper, 
v. 5054 : 

Devdpis tu mahdtejds tvag-doshl rdja-sattamah \ dhdrmikah satya-vddl 
cJia pituh susrushane ratah \ paura-jdnapaddndm cha sammatah sddhu- 
satkritah \ sarveshdm bdla-vriddhdndm Devdpir hridayangamah \ vaddn- 
yah satyasandhas cha sdrva-lhuta-hite ratah \ varttamdnah pituh sdstre 

Irdhmandndm tathaiva cha \ | tarn brdhmands cha vriddhds cha 

paura-jdnapadaih saha \ sarve nwdraydmdsur Devdper abhisechanam \ sa 
tack chhrutvd tu nripatir alhisheka-nivdranam \ asru-Tcantho 'bhavad rdjd 
paryasochata chdtmajam \ evam vaddnyo dharmajnah satyasandhas cha so 
'bhavat \ priyah prajdndm api sa tvag-doshena pradushitah \ " hlndngam 
prithivipdlam, ndbhinandanti devatdh" \ iti kritvd nripa-sreshtham pra- 
tyashedhan dvyarshabhdh | . . . . | nivdritam nripam drishtvd Devdpih 
samsrito vanam \ 

" But the glorious Devapi, a most excellent prince, righteous, vera- 
cious, and obedient to his father, was a leper. He was esteemed by 
the inhabitants both of town and country, honoured by the good, be- 
loved by all, both young and old, eloquent, true to his engagements, 
devoted to the welfare of all creatures, and conformed to the commands 
of his father, and of the Brahmans." [The king his father grew old 
and was making preparations for the investiture of his successor ; but 
public opinion was opposed to the devolution of the royal authority on 


a leper, however virtuous]. " The Brahmans and aged men, together 
with the dwellers both in town and country, all restrained him from 
the investiture of Devapi. The king, learning their opposition, was 
choked with tears, and bewailed his son's fate. Thus Devapi was 
eloquent, acquainted with duty, true to his promise, and beloved by 
the people, but vitiated by leprosy. The Brahmans forbade the king 
(to make Ifevapi his successor), saying, ' the gods do not approve .a 
king who labours under any corporeal defect.' .... Perceiving that 
the king (his father) was hindered (from carrying out his wishes) 
Devapi retired to the forest." 

On the same subject, the Matsya Purana, 49, v. 39 f., states as 
follows : 

Dillpasya Pratipastu tasya, putrds trdyah smritdh \ Devdpih S'antanus 
chaiva Bdhllkas chaiva te trayah \ Bdhllkasya tu ddydddh sapta dhlis- 
vardh nripdh \ Devdpis tu apadhvastah prajalhir abha/oad munih \ 
rishayah uchhuh \ prajdbhis tu kimartham vai apadhvasto janesvarah \ 
ke doshuh rdjaputrasya prajdbhih samuddhritdh \ Suta uvdcha \ kildsld 
rdjaputras tu kushtl tarn ntilhyapujayan \ ko 'rthun vai atra (? vetty 
atra) devdndm kshattram prati dvijottamdh \ 

" The son of Dillpa was Pratipa, of whom three sons are recorded, 
Devapi, S'antanu, and Bahlika. The sons of 'the last were the seven 
Bahlisvara kings. But the Muni Devapi was rejected by the people. 
The rishis enquired: 'why was that prince rejected by the people? 
what faults were alleged against him?' Suta replied: 'the prince 
was leprous, and they paid him no respect. Who knows the designs 
of the gods towards the Kshattriya race ? ' ' 

Xo more is said of Devapi in this passage. 61 The Vishnu Purana 
has the following further curious particulars regarding him, iv. 24, 44 if. : 

Devdpih Pauravo rdjd Ma/rus cTiekshvdku-vaihsajah \ mahdyoga-lalo- 
petau Kaldpa-grdma-samsrayau \ krite yuge iJidgatya kshattra-prdvart- 
takau hi tau \ lhavishyato Manor vamse vya-lhutau vyavasthitau \ etena 
krama-yogena Manu-putrair vasundhard \ krita-tretddi-sanjndni yugdni 
trini llmjyate \ Kalau tu vlja-lhutds te kechit tishthanti Ihutale \ yathaiia 
Devdpi-Maru sdmpratam samavasthitau \ 

" King Devapi of the race of Puru, 62 and Maru of the family of 

81 See Prof. Wilson's note, 4to. ed. p. 458. 

62 In the twentieth chapter, as we have seen, he is said to be of the race of Kuru. 


Ikshvaku, filled with the power of intense contemplation (mahdyoga) 
are abiding in the village of Kalapa, continuing to exist as seeds in the 
family of Mann ; they shall come hither in the (next) Krita age, and 
re-establish the Kshattriya race. According to this order the earth is 
enjoyed by the sons of Manu throughout the three ages called Krita, 
Treta, and Dvapara. But during the Kali certain persons remain upon 
earth as seeds (of a future race), as Devapi and Maru now 8xist." 

According to the Bhagavata Parana, ix. 22, 17, it is the lunar race, 
which had perished in the Kali age, that Devapi is to restore in the 
future Krita (soma-vamse Icalau nashte Jcritddau sthdpayishyati}. 

I shall quote here from the 132nd section of the Matsya Purana, 
entitled Nanvantara-varnanam (a description of the Manvantaras) some 
of the particulars about the rishis with which it concludes : 

98. Bhriguh Kdsydh Prachetds cha Dadhlcho hy Atmavdn a/pi \ 
99. Aurvo 'tha JamadagniS cha Kripah S'dradvatas tatkd \ Arshtisheno 
Tudhdjich cha Vltahavya-Suvarchasau \ 100. Vainah Prithur Divoddso 
Brahmd&vo Gritsa- S'aunakau \ ekonavimsatir Jiy ete Bhrigavo mantra- 
krittamah \ 101. Angirah Vedhasas chaiva Bharadvajo Bhalandanah \ 
Ritaladhas tato Gargah Sitih Sankritir eva cha \ 102. Gurudhlras cha 
Mdndhata Ambarlshas iathaiva cha \ Yuvandsvah Puruh Kutsah Pra- 
dyumnah S'ravanasya cha \ 103. Ajamldho 'tha Haryasvas Tahhapah 
Kavir eva cha \ Prishadasvo Firupas cha JTanvas chaivdtha Mudgalah \ 
104. Uiathyas cha S'aradvdms cha tathd Vajafrava iti \ Apasyo 'tha 
Suvittai cha Vamadevas tathaiva cha \ 105. Ajito BrihaduTcthas cha 
rishir Dlrghatama api \ Kalshlvanis cha trayastrimsat smritd hy Angiraso 
uarah \ 106. Ete mantra kritah sarve Kaiyapdms tu nilodhata I ... I 
111. Visvamitras cha Gddlwyo Devardjas tathd Balah \ tathd vidvdn 
Madhuchhanddh Rishalhas chdghamarshanah \ 112. Ashtako Lohitas 
chaiva Bhritakllas cha tdv ulihau \ Veddsravdh Devardtah Purdndsvo 
Dhananjayah | 113. Nithilas cha mahdtejdh Sdlankdyana eva cha \ tra- 
yodasaite vijneydh brahmishthdh KausiJcdh vardh , .... | 115. Manur 
Vaivasvatas chaiva Ida rdjd Pururavdh \ Kshattriyandm vardh hy ete 
vijneydh vnantra-vddinah \ 116. Bhalandai chaiva Vandyas cha San- 
klrttii** chaiva te tray ah \ ete mantra-lcrito jneydh Vaisydndm pravardh 
sadd \ 117. Ity elca-navatih proktah mantrdh yais cha lahih kritah \ 

65 Various readings Bhalatidakas cha Vasas'cha Sanfsalascha. 


Irahmanahfohattriyah vaiiyah rishiputran nibodhata (118. RishlkanUm 
sutdh hy ete rishi-putrah srutarshayah \ M 

" 98. Bhrigu, Kasya, Prachetas, Dadhlcha, Atmavat, (99) Aurva, 
Jamadagni, Kripa, S'aradvata, Arshtishena, Yudhajit, Vltahavya, 
Suvarchas, (100) Vaina, Prithu, Divodasa, Brahmasva, Gritsa, S'aunaka, 
these are the nineteen 95 Bhrigus, composers of hymns. 101. Angiras, 
Vedhasa, Bharadvaja, Bhalandana, 88 Ritabadha, Garga, Siti, Sankriti, 
Gurudhira, 87 Mandhatri, Ambarlsha, Yuvanasva, Purukutsa, 68 Prad- 
yumna, S'ravanasya, 69 Ajamldha, HaryaSva, Takshapa, Kavi, Prisha- 
dasva, Virupa, Kanva, Mudgala, Utathya, S'aradvat, Vajasravas, 
Apasya, Suvitta, Vamadeva, Ajita, Brihaduktha, Dlrghatamas, Kaksh!- 
vat, are recorded as the thirty-three eminent Angirases. These were 

all composers of hymns. Now learn the Kasyapas 111. Visva- 

mitra, son of Gadhi, Devaraja, Bala, the wise Madhuchhandas, Bishabha, 
Aghamarshana, (112) Ashtaka, Lohita, Bhritakila, Vedasravas, Deva- 
rata, Puranasva, Dhananjaya, the glorious (113) Mithila, Salankayana, 
these are to be known as the thirteen devout and eminent Kusikas. 70 

115. Manu Vaivasvata, Ida, king Pururavas, these are to be 

known as the eminent utterers of hymns among the Kshattriyas. 
116. Bhalanda, Yandya, and Sanklrtti, 71 these are always to be known 
as the three eminent persons among the Vaisyas who were composers 
of hymns. 117. Thus ninety-one 73 persons have been declai-ed, by 
whom hymns have been given forth, Brahmans, Kshattriyas, and 
Vaisyas. Learn the sons of the rishis. 118. These are the offspring 
of the rishikas, sons of rishis, secondary rishis (irutarshis)" 

The section ends here. 

6* I am indebted for an additional copy of this section of the Matsya Parana (of which 
some account is given by Prof. Aufrecht in his Catalogue, p. 41), to the kindness of Mr. 
Griffith, Principal of Queen's College, Benares, who, at my request, has caused it to 
be collated with various other MSS. existing in Benares. I have not thought it 
necessary to exhibit all the various readings in the part I have quoted. 

65 The number of nineteen is only obtained by making Vaina and Prithu two 

M Instead of this word, one Benares MS. has Lakshmana. 

W Two MSS. have Turavlta. * This word is divided into two in the MS. 

89 Two MSS. have, instead, Svas'ravas and Tamasyavat. 

7 Unless some of the words I have taken as names are really epithets, fifteen per. 
sons are enumerated here. 

71 Some MSS. have Bhalandaka, Vandha or Vasas, and Sankala or Sanklrna. 

7S This is the total of several lists, some of which I have omitted. 


It will be observed from a comparison of this extract with the details 
previously given, that some of the rajarshis, or rishis of royal blood, 
such as Arshtishena, Vitahavya, Prithu (the same as Prithi) are spoken 
of as belonging to the family of Bhrigu, while others of the same class, 
such as Mandhatri, Ambarisha, Yuvanasva, Purukutsa, are reckoned 
among the Angirases. Visvamitra and his descendants are merely 
designated as Kusikas without any specific allusion to their Rajanya 
descent ; but Manu, Ida, and Pururavas, are distinctly recognized as 
being as once authors of hymns and Kshattriyas ; and, what is more 
remarkable, three Vaisyas are also declared to have been sacred poets. 
These traditions of an earlier age, though scanty in amount, are yet 
sufficient to show that in the Vedie times the capacity for poetical com- 
position, and the prerogative of officiating at the service of the gods, 
was not regarded as entirely confined to men of priestly families. 

SECT. III. Texts from the Atharva-veda illustrating the progress of 
Brahmanical pretensions. 

I have already quoted (in pp. 21 and 22) three short passages from 
the Atharva-veda regarding the origin of the Brahman and Kshattriya 
castes. I shall now bring forward some other texts from the same 
collection which show a much greater development of the pretensions 
of the priests to a sacred and inviolable character than we meet in any 
part of the Big-veda, if the 109th hymn of the tenth book (cited above) 
be excepted. 

I shall first adduce the 17th hymn of the fifth book, to which I have 
already alluded, as an expansion of R.V. x. 109. 

Atharva-veda v. 17. (Verses 1-3 correspond with little variation to 
verses 1-3 of R.Y. x. 109). 4. Tarn dhus "tdrakd eshd vikesl" iti 
duchchhundih grdmam avapadyamdndm \ sd Irahma-jdyd vi dunoti rash- 
tram yatra prdpddi sasah ulkushimdn \ (verses 5 and 6 = verses 5 and 
4 of R.V. x. 109). 7. Ye garlhdh avapadyante jagad yach cMpalupyate \ 
virdh ye trihyante mitho Irahma-jdyd hinasti tan \ 8. Uta yat patayo 
dasa striydh purve abrdhmandh \ IraJimd cJied hastam agraJilt sa eva 
patir ekadhd '\ 9. Brdhmanah eva, patir na rdjanyo na vaisyah \ tat 
suryah pralruvann eti panchabhyo mdnavebhyah \ (Verses 10 and 11 = 
verses 6 and 7 of Pt.V. x. 109). 12. Nasya jdyd satavdhl kalytinl talpam 


d saye \ yasmin rdshtre nirudhyate Irahma-jdyd acnittyd \ 1 3. No, 
vikarnah prithusirds tasmin vesmani jdyate \ yasminn ityddi \ 14. Ndsya 
kshattd nishka-grlvah sundndm eti agratah \ yasminn ityddi \ 15. Nusya 
tvetah krishna-karno dhuri yukto mahlyate \ yasminn ityddi \ 16. Nasya 
kehettrepushkaranlndndikamjdyatevisam \ yasminn ityddi \ tf.Ndsmai 
prisnim vi dunanti ye 'sydh doham updsate \ yasminn ityddi \ 18. Ndsya 
dhenuh kalydnl ndnadvdn sahate yugam \ vvjdnir yatra Irdhmano rdtrim 
vasati papaya \ 

" 4. That calamity which falls upon the village, of 

which they say, ' this is a star with dishevelled hair,' is in truth the 
Irahmtin's wife, who ruins the kingdom ; (and the same is the case) wher- 
ever (a country) is visited by a hare attended with meteors 

7. "Whenever any miscarriages take place, or any moving things are 
destroyed, whenever men slay each other, it is the braJtman's wife who 
kills them. 8. And when a woman has had ten former husbands not 
Irdhm&ns, if a brahman take her hand (i.e. marry her), it is he alone 
who is her husband. 9. It is a Brahman only that is a husband, and 
not a Eajanya or a Vaisya. That (truth) the Sun goes forward pro- 
claiming to the five classes of men (panchabhyo mdnavelhyah\ 

12. His (the king's) wife does not repose opulent (satavdhi) and hand- 
some upon her bed in that kingdom where a firdhmdn's wife is foolishly 
shut up. 13. A son with large ears (viTcarnaK) and broad head is not 
born in the house in that kingdom, etc. 14. A charioteer with golden 
neckchain does not march before the king's hosts 7S in that kingdom, 
etc. 15. A white horse with black ears does not make a show yoked 
to his (the king's) chariot in that kingdom, etc. 16. There is no pond 
with blossoming lotuses 74 in his (the king's) grounds in that kingdom 
where, etc. 17. His (the king's) brindled cow is not milked by his 
milkmen in that kingdom, etc. 18. His (the king's) milch cow does 
not thrive, nor does his ox endure the yoke, in that country where a 
Brahman passes the night wretchedly without his wife." 

This hymn appears to show that, however extravagant the preten- 
sions of the Brahmans were in other respects, they had, even at the 
comparatively late period when it was composed, but little regard to 

78 The word here in the original is sunanam, with which it is difficult to make any 
sense. Should we not read senamm ? 
7* Compare R.V. x. 107, 10. 


the purity of the sacerdotal blood, as they not only intermarried with 
women of their own order, or even with women who had pre- 
viously lived single, but were in the habit of forming unions with the 
widows of Eajanyas or Vaisyas, 75 if they did not even take possession 
of the wives of such men while they were alive. 76 Even if we suppose 
these women to have belonged to priestly families, this would only 
show that it was no uncommon thing for females of that class to be 
married to Eajanyas or Vaisyas a fact which would, of course, imply 
that the caste system was either laxly observed, or only beginning 
to be introduced among the Indians of the earlier Vedic age. 
That, agreeably to ancient tradition, Brahmans intermarried with 
Rajanya women at the period in question, is also distinctly shewn 

T 5 That the remarriage of women was customary among the Hindus of those days 
is also shewn by A.V. ix. 5, 27 f., quoted in my paper on Yama, Jour. R. A. S. for 
1865, p. 299. 

76 This latter supposition derives a certain support from the emphasis with which 
the two verses in question (A.V. v. 17, 8, 9) assert that the Brahman was the only 
true hushand. Whence, it may be asked, the necessity for this strong and repeated 
asseveration, if the Rajanya and Vais'ya husbands were not still alive, and prepared 
to claim the restoration of their wives ? The verses are, however, explicable without 
this supposition. 

It is to be observed, however, that no mention is here_ made of S'udras as a class 
with which Brahmans intermarried. S'udras were not Aryas, like the three upper 
classes. This distinction is recognised in the following verse of the A.V. six. 62, 1 : 
" Make me dear to gods, dear to princes, dear to every one who beholds me, both to 
S'udra and to Arya." (Unless we are to suppose that both here and in six. 32, 8, 
arya=a Vais'ya, and not arya, is the word). In S'atapatha Brahmana, Kanva 
Sakha (Adhvara Karida, i. 6), the same thing is clearly stated in these words (already 
partially quoted above, p. 176), for a copy of which I am indebted to Prof. Miiller .- 
Tan no, sarva eva prapadyeta na hi devah sarvenaiva sangachhante \ arya eva bmhmano 
va kshattriyo va vais'yo va te hi yajniyah \ no eva sarvenaiva samvadeta na hi devah 
sarvenaiva samvadante aryenaiva brahmanena va kshattriyena va vais'yena va te hi 
yajniyah \ yady enam sudrena samvado vindet " ittham enam nichakshva" ity any am 
bruyad esha dikshitasyopacharah. " Every one cannot obtain this (for the gods do 
not associate with every man), but only an Arya, a Brahman, or a Kshattriya, or a 
Vais'ya, for these can sacrifice. Nor should one talk with everybody (for the gods do 
not talk with every body), but only with an Arya, a Brahman, or a Kshattriya, or a 
Vais'ya, for these can sacrifice. If any one have occasion to speak to a S'udra, let 
him say to another person, ' Tell this man so and so.' This is the rule for an initiated 

In the corresponding passage of the Madhyandina S'akha (p. 224 of Weber'a 
edition) this passage is differently worded. 

From Manu (ix. 149-157 ; x. 7 ff.) it is clear that Brahmans intermarried with 
S'udra women, though the offspring of those marriages was degraded. 


by the story of the rishi Chyavana and Sukanya, daughter of king 
S'aryata, narrated in the S'atapatha Brahmana, and quoted in my paper 
entitled " Contributions to a Knowledge of Vedic Mythology," No. ii., 
in the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society for 1866, pp. 11 ff. See 
also the stories of the rishi S'yavasva, who married the daughter of 
king Eathavlti, as told by the commentator on Eig-veda, v. 61, and 
given in Professor Wilson's translation, vol. iii. p. 344. 

The* next hymn, from the same work, sets forth with great live- 
liness and vigour the advantages accruing to princes from the employ- 
ment of a domestic priest. 

Atharva-veda, iii. 19, 1. Samsitam me idam brahma samsitam vlryam 
lalam \ samsitam JcsJiattram ajaram astu jishnur (? jishnti] yeshdm 
asmi purohitah \ 2. Sam aham eshdm msktram sydmi sam oj'o vlryam 
lalam \ vrischdmi t satrundm bdhun anena havishd aham \ 3. Nlcliaih 
padyantam adhare lhavantu ye nah surim maghavdnam pritanydn \ 
kshindmi Irahmand 'mitrdn unnaydmi svdn aham \ 4. Tlkshmydmsah 
parasor agnes tlTcthnatardh uta \ Indrasya vajrat tlkshnlyaniso yeshani 
asmi purohitah \ 5. Esham aham ayudha sam syami eshdm rdshtram 
suvlram vardhayumi \ eshdm Jcshattram ajaram astujishnu eshdm chittam 
visve avantu devdh \ 6. Uddharshantdm Maghavan vdjindni ud vzrdndm 
jayatdm etu ghoshah \ prithagghoshdh ululayah'ketumantah udlratdm \ 
devdh Indra-jyeshthdh Haruto yantu senayd \ 7. Preta jayata narah 
itgrdh vah santu Idhavah \ tlkshneshavo alala-dhanvano hata ugrdyudhah 
abaldn ugra-bdhavah \ 8. Avasrishtd para pata saravye brahma-samsite 
| jaydmitrdn pra padyasva jahy eshdm varam-varam md 'mlshdm mochi 
kaschana \ 

"1. May this prayer of mine be successful; may the vigour and 
strength be complete, may the power be perfect, uudecaying, and 
victorious of those of whom I am the priest (purohitd). 2. I fortify their 
kingdom, and augment their energy, valour, and force. I break the 
arms of their enemies with this oblation. 3. May all those who fight 
against our wise and prosperous (prince) sink downward, and be pros- 
trated. "With my prayer I destroy his enemies and raise up his friends. 
4. May those of whom I am the priest be sharper than an axe, sharper 
than fire, sharper than Indra's thunderbolt. 5. I strengthen their 
weapons; I prosper their kingdom rich in heroes. May their power 
be undecaying and victorious. May all the gods foster their' designs. 


6. May their valorous deeds, o Maghavat, burst forth ; may the noise 
of the conquering heroes arise ; may their distinct shouts, their clear 
yells, go up ; may the gods, the Maruts, with Indra as their chief, 
march forward with their host. 7. Go, conquer, ye warriors; may 
your arms be impetuous. Ye with the sharp arrows, smite those whose 
bows are powerless ; ye whose weapons and arms are terrible (smite) 
the feeble. 8. When discharged, fly forth, o arrow, sped by prayer. 
Vanquish the foes, assail, slay all the choicest of them ; let not one 

The two following hymns from the same collection declare the guilt, 
the peril, and disastrous consequences of oppressing Brahmans, and 
robbing them of their property. The threats and imprecations of 
haughty sacerdotal insolence could scarcely be expressed more ener- 

Atharva-veda, v. 18. 1. Naitdm te devdh adadus tulhyam nripate 
attave \ ma Irdhmanasya rdjanya gam jighatso anddydm \ 2. Aksha- 
drugdho rdjanyo pdpah dtma-pardjitah \ sa lrdhman_asya gdm adydd 
" adya jlvdni md svah" \ 3. Avishtitd agha-vishd priddltur iva charmand \ 
md Irdhmanasya rdjanya tri&hta eshd gaur. anddyd \ 4. Nir vai Icshattram 
nayati lianti varcho agnir drabdho vi dunoti sarvam \ yo Irdhmanam 
many ate annam eva sa'vishasya pilati taimdtasya \ 5. Yah enam hanti 
mridum manyamdno deva-plyur dJiana-Mmo na chittdt \ sam tasya Indro 
hridaye agnim indhe ulhe enam dvisJito nalhasi charantam \ 6. Na 
Irdhmano himsitavyo agnih priyatanor iva \ Somo M asya ddyddah Indro 
asydlhisastipdh \ 7. S'atdpdshtMm ni girati tdni na saknoti nihhhidam \ 
annam yo Irahmandm malvah svddu admlti manyate \ 8. Jihvd jyd 
bhavati kulmalam van nddilcdh dantds tapasd 'bMrfagdhdh \ tebhir Brahma 
vidhyati deva-plyun hrid-lalair dhanurlhir deva-jutaih \ 9. Tlkshnesliavo 
Irdhmandh hetimanto yam asyanti saravyam na sd mnshd \ anuhdya 
tapasd manyund cha uta durdd ava Ihindanti enam \ 10. Ye sahasram 
ardjann dsan dasa-satd uta \ te Irdhmanasya gain jagdhvd Vaitahavydh 
pardlnavan \ 11. Gaur eva tdn hanyamdnd Vaitahavydn avdtirat \ 
ye Kesaraprdlandhdyds charamdjdm apecMran \ 12. Eka-atam tdh 
janatdh ydh Ihumir vyadhunuta \ prajdm himsitvd IrdJimanim asam- 
Ihavyam pardlhavan \ 13. Deva-plyui cnarati marttyeshu gara-glrno 
Ihavati asthi-'bhuydn \ yo Irdhmanam deva-landhum ninasti na sa pitri- 
ydnam apyetiloTcam \ 14. Agnir vai nah padavdyah Somo ddydda uchyata \ 


Jtantdlhisastd Indras tathd tad vedhaso viduh \ 15. IsJiur iva digdhd 
nripate priddkur iva gopate \ sd Irdhmanasya ishur ghord tayd vidhyati 
plyatah \ 

" 1. King, the gods have not given thee (this cow) to eat. Do not, 
o Raj any a (man of royal descent), seek to devour the Brahman's cow, 
which is not to be eaten. 2. The wretched Rajanya, unlucky in play, 
and self-destroyed, will eat the Brahman's cow, saying, ' Let me live 
to-day, (if I can) not (live) to-morrow.' 3. This cow, clothed with a 
skin, contains deadly poison, like a snake. Beware, Eajanya, of this 
Brahman's (cow) ; she is ill-flavoured, and must not be eaten. 4. She 
takes away his regal power, destroys his splendour, consumes him entire 
like a fire which has been kindled. The man who looks upon the Brah- 
man as mere food to be eaten up, drinks serpent's poison. 5. Indra 
kindles a fire in the heart of that contemner of the gods who smites the 
Brahman, esteeming him to be inoffensive, and foolishly covets his pro- 
perty. Heaven and earth abhor the man who (so) acts. 6. A Brahman is 
not to be wronged, as fire (must not be touched) by a man who cherishes 
his own body. Soma is his (the Brahman's) kinsman, and Indra 
shields him from imprecations. 7. The wicked (?) man who thinks 
the priests' food is sweet while he is eating it, swallows (the cow) 
bristling with a hundred sharp points, but cann'ot digest her. 8. The 
priest's tongue is a bow-string, his voice is a barb, and his windpipe is 
arrow-points smeared with fire. "With these god-directed, and heart- 
subduing bows, the priest pierces the scorners of the gods. 9. Brahmans 
bearing sharp arrows, armed with missiles, never miss their mark when 
they discharge a shaft. Shooting with fiery energy and with 
anger, they pierce (the enemy) from afar. 10. The descendants of 
Vitahavya, who ruled over a thousand men, and were ten hundred in 
number, were overwhelmed after they had eaten a Brahman's cow." 1 1 . 
The cow herself, when she was slaughtered, destroyed them, those 
men who cooked the last she-goat of Kesaraprabandha. 12. Those 
hundred persons whom the earth shook off, after they had wronged the 
priestly race, were overwhelmed in an inconceivable manner. 13. He 
lives among mortals a hater of the* gods; infected with poison he 
becomes reduced to a skeleton ; he who wrongs a Brahman the kins- 

77 I am not aware whether any traces of this story are discoverable in the Puranas 
or Mahabharata. See the first verse of the hymn next to be quoted. 


man of the deities, fails to attain to the heaven of the Forefathers. 
14. Agni is called our leader; Soma our kinsman. Indra neutralizes 
imprecations (directed against us) ; this the wise understand. 15. Like 
a poisoned arrow, o king, like a serpent, o lord of cows, such is the 
dreadful shaft of the Brahman, with which he pierces his enemies." 

Atharva-veda, v. 19, 1. Atimdtram avardhanta nod iva divam aspriSan \ 
Bhrigum himsitvd 8'rinjaydh Vaitahavydh pardbhavan \ 2. Brihatsd- 
mdnam Angirasam drpayan brdhmanam jandh \ petvas teshdm ubhayddam 
avis tokdnydvayat \ 3. Ye brdhmanam pratyashthlvan ye vd 'smin suUam 
Ishire \ asnas te madhye kulydydh Jcesdn khddanta dsate \ 4. Brahmagavl 
pachyamdnd ydvat sd 'bhi vijangahe \ tejo rdshtrasya nirlianti na viro 
jay ate vrishd \ 5. Kruram asydh dsasanam trishtam pisitam asyate \ 
kshlram yad asydh plyate tad vai pitrishu killisham \ 6. Ugro rdjd 
manyamdno Irdhmanam yaj jighutsati \ pard tat sichyate rdshtram 
brdhmano yatrajlyate \ 7. Ashjdpadl chaturakslil chatuh-srotrd chatur- 
hamih \ dvydsyd dvijihvd Ihutvd sd rdshtram avadhunute brahmajyasya \ 
8. Tad vai rdshtram dsravati ndvam bliinndm ivodalcam \ Irtihmdnam 
yatra himsanti tad rdshtram hanti duchchhund \ 9. Tarn vrikshdh apa 
sedhanti "chhdydm no mopa gdh" iti \ yo Irukmanasya saddhanam abhi 
Ndrada many ate \ 10. Visham etad deva-kritam rdjd Varuno abravlt \ 
na brdJimanasya, gdmjagdhvd rdshtrejdgdra kaschana \ 11. Navaiva tdh 
navatayo ydh bhumir vyadhunuta \ prajdih Mmsitvd brdhmamm asam- 
bhavyam pardbhavan \ 12. Yarn mritdydnubadhnanti Icudyam pada- 
yopanim \ tad vai brahmqfya te devdh upastaranam abruvan \ 13. Asruni 
kripamdnasya ydni jltasya vdvrituh \ tarn vai brahmajya te devdh apdm 
bhdgam adJidrayan \ 14. Yena mritam snapayanti smasruni yena undate \ 
tarn vai braJimajya te devdh apdm bhdgam adhdrayan \ 15. Na varsham 
Maitrdvarunam brahmajyam abhi varshati \ ndsmai samitih Icalpate na 
mitram nayate vasam \ 

"1. The S'rinjayas, descendants of Vltahavya, waxed exceedingly; 
they almost touched the sky; but after they had injured Bhrigu, they 
were overwhelmed. 2. When men pierced Brihatsaman, a Brahman 
descended from Angiras, a ram with two rows of teeth swallowed their 
children. 3. Those who spit, or throw filth (?) upon a Brahman, sit 
eating hair in the midst of a stream of blood. 4. So long as this 
Brahman's cow is cut up (?) and cooked, she destroys the glory 
of the kingdom; no vigorous hero is born there. 5. It is cruel to 


slaughter her ; her ill-flavoured flesh is thrown away. When her milk 
is drunk, that is esteemed a sin among the Forefathers. 6. Whenever 
a king, fancying himself mighty, seeks to devour a Brahman, that 
kingdom is broken up, in which a Brahman is oppressed. Becoming 
eight-footed, four-eyed, four-eared, four-jawed, two-faced, two-tongued, 
she (the cow) shatters the kingdom of the oppressor of Brahmans. 8. 
(Ruin) overflows that kingdom, as water swamps a leaky boat : calamity 
smites that country in which a priest is wronged. 9. Even trees, 
o Narada, repel, and refuse their shade to, the man who claims a right 
to the property of a Brahman. This (property), as king Varuna hath 
said, has been turned into a poison by the gods. No one who has eaten 
a Brahman's cow continues to watch {i.e. to rule) over a country. 
11. Those nine nineties (of persons) whom the earth shook off, when 
they had wronged the priestly race, were overwhelmed in an incon- 
ceivable manner (see verse 12 of the preceding hymn). 12. The gods 
have declared that the cloth wherewith a dead man's feet are bound 
shall be thy pall, thou oppressor of priests. 13. The tears which flow 
from a persecuted man as he laments, such is the portion of water 
which the gods have assigned to thee, thou oppressor of priests. 
14. The gods have allotted to thee that portion of water wherewith 
men wash the dead, and moisten beards. 15. The rain of Mitra 
and Varuna does not descend on the oppressor of priests. For him the 
battle has never a successful issue ; nor does he bring his friend into 

The, attention of the reader is directed to the intensity of contempt 
nnd abhorrence which is sought to be conveyed by the coarse imagery 
contained in verses 3, and 12-14, of this last hymn. 

There is another section of the same Veda, xii. 5, in which curses 
similar to those in the last two hymns are fulminated against the 
oppressors of Brahmans. The following are specimens : 

Atharva-veda, xii. 5, 4. Brahma padavdyam Irdhmano 'dhipatih \ 

5. Tarn ddaddnasya Irahma-gavlm jinato Irdhmandn kshattriyasya \ 

6. Apa Icrdmati sunritd vlryam punyd lakshmih \ 7. Ojascha tejas cJia 
sahas cha lalam cha vak cha mdriyani cha sris cha dharmas cha \ 
8. Brahma cha Jcshattram cha rdshtram cha visas cha tvishis cha yasas cha 
varchas cha dravinam cha \ 9. Ayus cha rupam cha ndma cha klrttis cha 
prCinas cha apdnas cha chakshus cha trotram cha \ 10. Payas cha rasa& 


cha annam cha annddyam cha ritam cha satyam cha ishtam cha purttam 
cha prajd cha pasavas cha \ 11. Tdni sarvdni apakrdmanti brahma-gavlm 
ddaddnasya jinato brdhmanam kshattriyasya \ 12. Sd eshd bhlmd brahma- 

gavl agha-vishd | 13. Sarvdny asydm ghordni sarve cha mritya- 

vah | 14. Sarvdny asydm krurdni sarve purusha-vadhdh \ 15. Sd 
brahma-jyam deva-plyum brahmagavl ddlyamdnd mrityoh padblse d 
dyati \ 

" 4. Prayer (brahman) is the chief (thing) ; the Brahman is the 
lord (adhipati). 5. From the Kshattriya who seizes the priest's cow, 
and oppresses the Brahman, (6) there depart piety, valour, good fortune, 

(7) force, keenness, vigour, strength, speech, energy, prosperity, virtue, 

(8) prayer (brahman), royalty, kingdom, subjects, splendour, renown, 
lustre, wealth, (9) life, heauty, name, fame, inspiration and expiration, 
sight, hearing, (10) milk, sap, food, eating, righteousness, truth, 
oblation, sacrifice, offspring, and cattle; (11) all these things depart 
from the Kshattriya who seizes the priest's cow. 12. Terrible is the 
Brahman's cow, filled with deadly poison. . . . 13. In her reside all 
dreadful things, and all forms of death, (14) all cruel things, and all 
forms of homicide. 15. When seized, she binds in the fetters of death 
the oppressor of priests and despiser of the gods."- 

A great deal more follows to the same effect, which it would be 
tiresome to quote. 

I subjoin some further texts, in which reference is made to brdhmans. 

In xix. 22, 21 (= xix. 23, 30) it is said: 

Brahma-jyeshthd sambhritd mrydni Irahmdgrejyeshtham divam dttutdna \ 
bhutdndm Irahmd prathamo ha jajne tendrhati brahmand sparddhitum 
Icah | 

"Powers are collected, of which prayer (or sacred science, brahman} 
is the chief. Prayer, the chief, in the beginning stretched out the sky. 
The priest (brahman) was born the first of beings. "Who, then, ought 
to vie with the brahman. 

A superhuman power appears to be ascribed to the brahman in 
the following passages, unless by brahman we are to understand 
Brihaspati : 

xix. 9, 12. Brahma Prajdpatir Dhdtd loltdh veddh sapta-rishayo 
'gnayah \ tair me Jcritam swstyayanam Indro me sarma yachhatu brahmd 
me sarma yachhatu \ 


" May a prosperous journey be granted to me by prayer, Prajapati, 
Dhatri, the worlds, the Yedas, the seven rishis, the fires ; may Indra 
grant me felicity, may the brahman grant me felicity." 

xix. 43, 8. Yalra brahma-vido ydnti dlkshayd tapasd saha \ brahma 
ma tatra nayatu brahma brahma dadJidtu me \ brahmane svdhd. 

" May the brahman conduct me to the place whither the knowers of 
prayer (or of sacred science) go by initiation with austerity. May the 
brahman impart to me sacred science. Svdhd to the brahman." 

The wonderful powers of the Brahmacharin, or student of sacred 
science, are described in a hymn (A.V. xi. 5), parts of which are 
translated in my paper on the progress of the Yedic Religion, pp. 374 ff. 

And yet with all this sacredness of his character the priest must be 
devoted to destruction, if, in the interest of an enemy, he is seeking 
by his ceremonies to effect the ruin of the worshipper. 

v. 8, 5. Yam ami puro dadhire brahmdnam apabhutaye \ Indra sa me 
adhaspadam tarn pratyasydmi mrityave \ 

" May the brahman whom these men have placed in their front (as a 
purohita] for our injury, fall under my feet, o Indra j I hurl him away, 
to death (compare A.V. vii. 70, 1 ff.). 

SECT. IV. Opinions of Professor R. Roth and Dr. M. Haug regarding 
the origin of caste among the Hindus. 

I shall in this section give some account of the speculations of.Prof. 
R. Roth and Dr. M. Haug on the process by which they conceive the 
system of castes to have grown up among the Indians. 

The remarks which I shall quote from Prof. Roth are partly drawn 
from his third "Dissertation on the Literature and History of the 
Veda," p. 117, and partly from his paper on "Brahma and the Brah- 
mans," in the first volume of the Journal of the German Oriental 
Society. 78 He says in the latter essay : " The religious development of 
India is attached through the course of three thousand years to the word 
brahma. This conception might be taken as the standard for estimat- 
ing the progress of thought directed to divine things, as at every step 
taken by the latter, it has gained a new form, while at the same time 

78 The reader vrho is unacquainted with German will find a fuller account of this 
article in the Benares Magazine for October 1851, pp. 823 ff. 


it has always embraced in itself the highest spiritual acquisition of the 

nation The original signification of the word brdhmn^ as we 

easily discover it in the Yedic hymns, is that of prayer ; not praise 
or thanksgiving, but that invocation which, with the force of the will 
directed to God, seeks to draw him to itself, and to receive satisfaction 

from him From this oldest sense and form of brahma (neuter) 

was formed the masculine noun brahma, which was the designation of 
those who pronounced the prayers, or performed the sacred cere- 
monies ; and in nearly all the passages of the Big-veda in which it 
was thought that this word must refer to the Brahmanical caste, this 
more extended sense must be substituted for the other more limited 

one From this sense of the word brahma, nothing was more 

natural than to convert this offerer of prayer into a particular description 
of sacrificial priest : so soon as the ritual began to be fixed, the func- 
tions which were before united in a single person, who both prayed to 
the gods and sacrificed to them, became separated, and a priesthood 
interposed itself between man and God." 79 

Then further on, after quoting E.V. iv. 50, 4 ff. (see above, p. 247), 
Prof. Roth continues : " In this manner here and in many places of the 
liturgical and legal books, the promise of every blessing is attached to 
the maintenance of a priest by the king. Inasmuch as he supports and 
honours the priest, the latter ensures to him the favour of the gods. 
So it was that the caste of the Brahmans arose and attained to power 
and consideration : first, they were only the single domestic priests of 
the kings; then the dignity became hereditary in certain families; 
finally a union, occasioned by similarity of interests, of these families 
in one larger community was effected ; and all this in reciprocal action 
with the progress made in other respects by theological doctrine and 
religious worship. Still the extension of the power which fell into the 
hands of this priestly caste would not be perfectly comprehensible 

79 In his third Dissertation on the Literature and History of the Veda, Prof. Roth " 
remarks : " In the Vedic age, access to the gods by prayer and sacrifice was open to 
all classes of the community ; and it was only the power of expressing devotion in a 
manner presumed to be acceptable to the deities, or a readiness in poetical diction, 
that distinguished any individual or family from the mass, and led to their being 
employed to conduct the worship of others. The name given to such persons was 
purohita, one ' put forward ; ' one through whose mediation the gods would receive 
the offering presented. But these priests had as yet no especial sanctity or exclusive 
prerogative which would render their employment imperative." 


from this explanation alone. The relation of spiritual superiority in 
which the priests came to stand to the kings was aided hy other 
historical movements." 

Professor Roth then proceeds: "When at a period more recent 
than the majority of the hymns of the Rig-veda the Vedic people, 
driven by some political shock, advanced from their abodes in the 
Punjab further and further to the south, drove the aborigines into the 
hills, and took possession of the broad tract of country lying between 
the Ganges, the Jumna, and the Vindhya range ; the time had arrived 
when the distribution of power, the relation of king and priest, could 
become transformed in the most rapid and comprehensive manner. 
Principalities separated in such various ways, such a division into 
tribes as had existed in the Punjab, 1 were no longer possible here, 
where nature had created a wide and continuous tract with scarcely 
any natural boundaries to dissever one part from another. Most of 
those petty princes who had descended from the north with their 
tribes must here of necessity disappear, their tribes become dissolved, 
and contests arise for the supreme dominion. This era is perhaps 
portrayed to us in the principal subject of the Mahabharata, the con- 
test between the descendants of Pandu and Kuru. In this stage of 
disturbance and complication, power naturally fell into the hands of 
those who did not directly possess any authority, the priestly races 
and their leaders, who had hitherto stood rather in the position of 
followers of the kings, but now rose to a higher rank. It may easily 
be supposed that they and their families, already honoured as the con- 
fidential followers of the princes, would frequently be able to strike a 
decisive stroke to which the king would owe his success. If we take 
further into account the intellectual and moral influence which this 
class possessed in virtue of the prerogative conceded to, or usurped by, 
them, and the religious feeling of the people, it is not difficult to com- 
prehend how in such a period of transition powerful communities 
should arise among the domestic priests of petty kings and their 
families, should attain to the highest importance in every department 
of life, and should grow into a caste which, like the ecclesiastical order 
in the middle ages of Christianity, began to look upon secular authority 
as an effluence from the fulness of their power, to be conferred at their 
will ; and how, on the other hand, the numerous royal families should 


sink down into a nobility which possessed, indeed, the sole right to the 
kingly dignity, but at the same time, when elected by the people, 
required inauguration in order to their recognition by the priesthood, 
and were enjoined above all things to employ only Brahnians as their 

In order to render the probability of this theory still more apparent, 
Professor Roth goes on to indicate the relations of the other castes to 
the Brahmans. The position which the three superior classes occupied 
in the developed Brahmanical system was one of gradation, as they 
differed only in the extent of their religious and civil prerogatives, the 
Kshattriya being in some respects less favoured than the Brahman, and 
the Vaisya than the Kshattriya. With the S'udras, on the other haud, 
the case was quite different. They were not admitted to sacrifice, to 
the study of the Vedas, or to investiture with the sacred cord. From 
this Professor Eoth concludes that the three highest castes stood in a 
closer connection with each other, whether of descent, or of culture, 
than any of them did to the fourth. The Indian body politic, more- 
over, was complete without the S'udras. The Brahman and Kshattriya 
were the rulers, while the Vaisyas formed the mass of the people. 
The fact of the latter not being originally a sepaiate community is 
confirmed by the employment assigned to them, as well as by their 
name Vaisya, derived from the word Vis, a word which in the Yeda 
designates the general community, especially considered as the pos- 
sessor of the pure Aryan worship and culture, in contradistinction to 
all barbarian races. Out of this community the priesthood arose in 
the manner above described, while the Kshattriyas were the nobility, 
descended in the main from the kings of the earlier ages. The fourth 
caste, the S'udras, consisted, according to Prof. Roth, of a race subdued 
by the Brahmanical conquerors, whether that race may have been a 
branch of the Arian stock which immigrated at an earlier period into 
India, or an autochthonous Indian tribe. 

In his tract on the origin of Brahmanism, from which I have already 
quoted (see above, pp. 11 and 14), Dr. Haug thus states his views on 
this question : "It has been of late asserted that the original parts of 
the Vedas do not know the system of caste. But this conclusion was 
premaUirely arrived at without sufficiently weighing the evidence. It 
is true the caste system is not to be found in such a developed state j 


the duties enjoined to the several castes are not so clearly defined as 
in the Law Books and Puranas. But nevertheless the system is already 
known, in the earlier parts of the Vedas, or rather presupposed. The 
barriers only were not so insurmountable as in later times." (p. 6). 
This view he supports by a-reference to the Zend Avesta, in which he 
finds evidence of a division of the followers of Ahura Mazda into the 
three classes of Atharvas, Rathaesthas, and Vastrya fshuyans, which 
he regards as corresponding exactly to the Brahmans, Kshattriyas, and 
Taisyas of India. The Atharvas, or priests, in particular formed a 
class or even a caste ; they had secrets which they were prohibited 
from divulging ; they were the spiritual guides of their nation, and 
none but the son of a priest could become a priest a rule which the 
Parsls still maintain. From these facts, Dr. Haug deduces the con- 
clusion that the nation of which both the Indo-Arians and the Perso- 
Arians originally formed a part had been divided into three classes 
even before the separation of the Indians from the Iranians ; and he 
adds (p. 7): "From all we know, the real origin of caste appears 
to go back to a time anterior to the composition of the Vedic 
hymns, though its development into a regular system with insur- 
mountable barriers can be referred only to the latest period of the 
Vedic times." 

I shall furnish a short analysis of some other parts of Dr. Haug's 
interesting tract. He derives (p. 7) the word Irdhmana from brahman 
(neuter), which originally meant "a sacred song, prayer," as an effu- 
sion of devotional feeling. Brahma was the "sacred element" in the 
sacrifice, and signified "the soul of nature, the productive power." 
The Brahmanic sacrifices had production as their object, and embraced 
some rites which were intended to furnish the sacrifice! 1 with a new 
spiritual body wherewith he might ascend to heaven, and others cal- 
culated to provide him with cattle and offspring (p. 8). The symbol 
of this brdhmti, or productive power, which must always be present at 
the sacrifice, was a bunch of kusa grass, generally called Yeda (a word 
alternating with lrdhmd\ which, at the sacrifice, was passed from one 
priest to another, and given to the sacrificer and his wife. The cor- 
responding symbol of twigs used by the Parsls was called in Zend 
bdresma, which Dr. Haug considers to have been originally the same as 
brdhmd (p. 9). As it was essential to the success of these sacrifices 


that every portion of the complicated ceremonial should be accurately 
performed, and as mistakes could not be avoided, it became necessary 
to obviate by an atonement (prdyaschitti) the mischief which would 
otherwise have ensued ; and the priest appointed to guard against or 
expiate such mistakes, when committed by the other priests the hotri, 
adhvaryu, and udgatri was called, " from the most ancient times," the 
brahman (masculine), Jwho was a functionary pre-eminently supplied with 
brahma (neuter) or sacred knowledge, and thereby connected " with the 
soul of nature, the cause of all growth, the last cause of all sacrificial 
rites" (p. 10). The office of brahman was not one to which mere birth 
gave a claim, but had to be attained by ability and study. The descend- 
ants of these brahman priests were the Brahmans, and the speculations 
of the most eminent brahman priests on divine things, and especially on 
sacrificial rites, are contained in the works called -Brahmanas (p. 12). 
Dr. Haug considers that no such a class as that of the brahman priests 
existed at the early period when the ancestors of the Hindus separated 
from those of the Parsis in consequence of religious differences. The 
few rites preserved by the Parsis as relics of the remotest antiquity 
closely resemble those of the Brahmans. Dr. Haug finds that in the 
Homa ritual of the former (corresponding to the Soma ceremony of the 
latter) only two priests, called Zota and Raspi or Bathwi, are required, 
whom he recognises as corresponding to the Hotri and Adhvaryu of the 
latter. So long as the rites were simple, no brahman priest was wanted ; 
but when they became complicated and multiform, the necessity for 
such a functionary arose. And it was only then that the sons of the 
brahmans, i.e. the Brahmans, could rise through the possession of sacred 
knowledge, derived from their fathers, to great power, and form them- 
selves into a regular caste. The development of these ceremonies out 
of their primitive simplicity into the complexity and multiformity which 
they ultimately assumed must, Dr. Haug thinks, have been the work 
of many centuries. This transformation must have taken place in the 
region bordering on the Sarasvati, where the expansion of the Brah- 
manical system, and the elevation of the Brahmans to full spiritual 
supremacy, is to be sought, before the Indo-Arians advanced south- 
eastwards into Hindostan proper (p. 14). The ascendancy of the 
Brahmans was not however attained without opposition on the part 
of the kings (p. 18). Dr. Haug concludes by relating the reception 


of Visvamitra into the order of Brahmans, and by giving some ac- 
count of the rishis and the several classes into which they were 

As the question is generally stated by Dr. Haug in pages 6 and 12 ff., 
the difference between him and other European scholars is one of 
age and not of principle, for neither party admits any distinction of 
race or congenital diversity between the three superior castes or classes. 




I proceed to give some legendary illustrations of the struggle which 
no doubt occurred in the early ages of Hindu history between the 
Brahmans and the Kshattriyas, after the former had begun to con- 
stitute a fraternity exercising the sacerdotal profession, but before the 
respective provinces of the two classes had been accurately defined by 
custom, and when the members of each were ready to encroach on the 
prerogatives claimed as their own exclusive birthright by the other. 

SECT. I. Mands Summary of refractory and submissive monarchs. 

I shall begin with the following passage, which we find in the 
Institutes of Manu, vii. 38 ff., regarding the impious resistance, as the 
lawgiver considered it, of certain monarchs to the legitimate claims of 
the priests, and the dutiful behaviour of others. 

38. Vriddhdms cha nityam seveta viprdn veda-vidah suchln \ vriddha- 
sevl hi satatam rakshobhir api pujyate \ 39. Tebhyo 'dhigachhed vina- 
yam mnitatma, 'pi nityasah \ vinltdtmd hi nripatir na vinasyati Icarchi- 
chit | 40. Bahavo 'vinaydd nashtdh rdjdnah sa-parichhaddh \ vanasthah 
api rdjydni vinayat pratipedire \ 41. Veno vinqshto 'vinaydd NahusJias 
ckaiva parthivah \ Suddh Paijavanas 80 chaiva Sumukho Nimir eva cha \ 
42. Prithm tu vinayad rdjyam prdptavdn Manur eva cha \ Kuveras cha 
dhanaisvaryyam Irdhmanyam chaiva Oudhijah \ 

"Let the king constantly reverence ancient Brahmans skilled in the 
Vedas, and pure in conduct ; for he who always respects the aged is 
honoured even by the Bakshases. 39. Let him, even though humble- 

80 In support of this reading, see M. Loiseleur Deslongchamps's and Sir G. C. 
Hauo'hton's notes on the passage. 


minded, be continually learning submissiveness from them : for a sub- 
missive monarch never perishes. 40. Through want of this character 
many kings have been destroyed with all their possessions ; whilst by 
humility even hermits have obtained kingdoms. 41. Vena perished 
through want of submissiveness, and king Nahusha, and Sudas the son 
of Pijavana, and Sumukha, and Nimi. 42. But through submissive- 
ness Prithu and Manu attained kingly power, Kuvera the lordship of 
wealth, and the son of Gadhi (Visvamitra) Erahmanhood." 8l 

Vena is again referred to in Manu ix. 6'6 f. : Ayam dvijair hi vid- 
vadbhih pasudharmo nigarhitah \ manusliydndm api prolcto Vene rdjyam 
prasdsati \ >7 '. Sa mahim aJchildm Ihunjan rdjarshi-pravarah purd \ 
varndndm sankaram cliakre kdmopahata-chetanah \ 

" This custom (of raising up seed to a deceased brother or kinsman 
by his widow) fit only for cattle, was declared to be (law) for men also, 
when Vena held sway. This eminent royal rishi, who in former times 
ruled over the whole earth, having his reason destroyed by lust, 
occasioned a confusion of castes." 

The legendary history of nearly all the kings thus stigmatized or 
celebrated can be traced in the Puranas and other parts of Indian 
literature. I shall supply such particulars of the refractory monarchs 
as I can find. 

It will be observed that Manu is spoken of as an ordinary prince ; 
and that even Kuvera, the god of wealth, is said to have attained his 
dignity by the same species of merit as the other persons whom the 
writer eulogizes. I am not aware whether any legends exist to the 
same effect. Something of a contrary tendency is found with regard 
to the deity in question in the passage of the Mahabharata, of which 
an extract is given above, in p. 140, note 249. 

81 Kulluka remarks on this passage : Gadhi-putro Vtivamitras' cha hshattriyah sams 
'pi vinayotkarshartham ukta \ Jdriso 'yam sastranushthana-nishiddha-varjana-rupa- 
vinayodayena Jcshattriyo 'pi durlabham brahmanyam leblie \ " Visvamitra, the son of 
Gadhi, being a Kshattriya, obtained Brahmanhood in the same body (i.e. without 
being again born in another body). The attainment of Brahmanhood by one who at the 
time held kingly authority, although an unusual occurrence, is mentioned to show the 
excellence of submissiveness. Through that quality, as exhibited in the observance of 
scriptural injunctions, and in abstinence from things forbidden, he, being a Kshat- 
triya, obtained Brahmanhood, so difficult to acquire." 


I have not met with any story of Sumukha's contest with the 
Brahmans. Some MSS. read Suratha instead of Sumukha. 

The name of Sudas, the son of Pijavana, occurs in several parts of 
the Rig-veda. I shall return to him in relating the contest between 
Vasishtha and Visvamitra. I begin with the story of Vena. 

SECT. II. Legend of Vena. 

According to the Vishnu Purana, i. 1 3, Vena was the son of Anga, 
and the descendant in the ninth generation of the first Manu, Svayam- 
bhuva; the line of ancestors from the latter downwards being as 
follows : Uttanapada, Dhruva, . S'lishti, Ripu, Chakshusha, the sixth 
Manu called Chakshusha, Uru, Anga (see Wilson's Yishnu P. vol. i.). 
Yena thus belongs to a mythical age preceding by an enormous interval 
that of the descendants of Manu Yaivasvata mentioned in the preced- 
ing chapter of this volume; five Manvantaras, or periods of 308,571 
years each, having intervened in the present Kalpa between the close 
of the Svayambhuva, and the beginning of the existing, or Yaivasvata, 

Yishnu Purana, i. 13J 7 : Pardsara uvdcha \ Sunithd ndma yd kanyd 
Mrityoh prathama-jd 'bhavat \ Angasya bhdryyd sa dattd tasydm Venas 
tv ajdyata \ 8. Sa mdtdmaha-doshena tena Mrityoh sutdtmajah \ nisargdd 
iva Maitreya dushtah eva vy ajdyata \ 9. Abhishikto yadd rdjye sa Venah 
paramarshibhih \ ghoshaydmdsa sa tadd prithivydm prithivipatih I "na 
yashtavyam na ddtavyam hotavyam na kaddchana \ Ihoktd yajnasya kas 
tv anyo hy aham yajna-patih sadd \ 10. Tatas tarn rishayah sarve sam- 
pujya prithivipatim \ uchuh sdmakalam samyan Maitreya samupasthitdh \ 
rishayah uchuh \ 11. " Bho bho rdjan srinushva tvarh yad vaddmas tava 
prabho \ rdjya-dehopahdre yah prajdndm cha hitam par am \ 12. Dlrgha- 
sattrena devesam sarva-yajnesvaram Harim \ pujayishydmo lhadram te 
tatrdmsas te bhavishyati \ 13. Yajnena yajna-purusho Vishnuh samprlnito 
vibhuh | asmdbhir bhavatah Icdmdn sarvdn eva praddsyati \ yajnair 
yajnesvaro yeshdm rdshtre sampujyate Harih \ teshdm sarvepsitdvdptim 
daddti nripa bhubhujdm" \ Venah uvdcha \ " mattah Ico 'bhyadhiko 'nyo 
'sti kas chdrddhyo mamdparah \ Ico 'yam Harir iti khydto yo vo yajnes- 
varo matah \ Brahma Jandrdano Rudrah Indro Vdyur Tamo Ravih \ 


Hutalhug Varuno Dhdtd Pushd Bhumir Nisdkarah \ ete chdnye cha ye 
devdh sdpdnugraha-kdrinah \ nripasya te sarlra-sthdh sarva-devamayo 
nripah \ etaj jndtvd may a "jnaptam yad yathd kriyatdm tathd \ na 
ddtavyam na hotavyam na yashtavyam cha vo dvijdh \ 14. Bharttuh sus- 
rushanam dharmo yathd strmdm paro matah \ mamdjnd-pdlanani dharmo 
bhavatdm cha tathd dvijdh" \ rishayah uchuh \ " dehy anujndm mahd- 
rdja md dharmo ydtu sankshayam \ havishdm parindmo 'yam yad etad 
akhilam jagat \ 15. Dharme cha sankshayam ydte kshlyate chdkhilam 
jagat" \ Pardsarah uvdcha \ iti vijndpyamdno 'pi sa Venah paramar- 
shibhih \ yadd daddti ndnujndm proTctah proktah punah punah \ tatas te 
munayah sarve kopdmarsha-samanvitdh \ " hanyatam hanyatdm pdpah" 
ity -uchm te parasparam \ 16. "Yo yajna-purwham devam anddi-ni- 
dhanam prabhum \ vmindaty adhamdchdrd na sayogyo Ihuvah patih" \ ity 
uJctvd mantra-putais te Icusair muni-gandh nripam \ nirjaghnur nihatam 
purvam lhagavan-nindanddind \ tatas cha munayo renum dadrisuh sar- 
vato dvija \ "him etad" iti chdsannam paprachhm te janam tada \ 
17. Akhydtam cha janais teshdm " chaurlbhutair ardjake \ rdshtre tu 
lokair draldham para-svdddnam dturaili \ 18. Teshdm udlrna-vegdndm 
chaurdndm muni-sattamdh \ sumahdn drisyate renuh para-mttdpahd- 
rindm" \ tatah sammantrya te sarve munayas tasya bhubhritah \ maman- 
thur urum putrdrtham anapatyasya yatnatah \ mathyatas cha samuttas- 
thau tasyoroh purushah kila \ dagdha-sthundpratlkdsah kharvdtdsyo 
'tihrasvakah \ 19. Kim karomlti tun sarvdn viprdn aha sa chdturah \ 
nishldeti tarn uchm te nishddas tena so 'bhavat \ 20. Tatas tat-sambhavdh 
jdtdh Vindhya-saila-nivdsinah \ nishdddh muni-sdrdula pdpa-karmo- 
palakshandh | 21. Tena dvdrena nishkrdntam tat pdpam tasya Ihupateh \ 
nishddds te tathd jdtdh Vena-kalmasha-sambhavdh \ 22. Tato 'sya dak- 
shinam hastam mamanthus te tadd dvijdh \ mathyamdne cha tatrdbhut 
Prithur Vainyah pratdpavdn \ dipyamdnah sva-vapushd sdkshdd Agnir 
ivojjvalan \ 23. Adyam djagavam ndma khdt papdta tato dhanuh \ sards 
cha divydh nabhasah kavachaih cha papdta ha \ tasmin jdte tu bhutdni 
samprahrishtdni sarvasah \ satputrena cha jdtena Veno ''pi tridivam 
yayau \ pun-ndmno narakdt trdtah sa tena sumahdtmand \ 

"7. The maiden named Sunltha, who was the first-born of Mrityu 
(Death) 82 was given as wife to Anga; and of her Vena was born. 
8. This son of Mrityu' s daughter, infected with the taint of his ma- 
82 See above, p. 124, and note 230. 


ternal grandfather, was born corrupt, as if by nature. 9. When Vena 
was inaugurated as king by the eminent rishis, he caused this pro- 
clamation to be made on the earth : ' Men must not sacrifice, or give 
gifts, or present oblations. Who else but myself is the enjoyer of 
sacrifices? I am for ever the lord of offerings.' 10. Then all the 
rishis approaching the king with respectful salutations, said to him in 
a gentle and conciliatory tone : 11. 'Hear, o king, what we have to 
say: 12. We shall worship Hari, the monarch of the gods, and the 
lord of all sacrifices, with a Dirghasattra (prolonged sacrifice), from 
which the highest benefits will accrue to your kingdom, your person, 
and your subjects. May blessings rest upon you ! You shall have a 
share in the ceremony. 13. Vishnu the lord, the sacrificial Male, being 
propitiated by us with this rite, will grant all the objects of your 
desire. Hari, the lord of sacrifices, bestows on those kings in whose 
country he is honoured with oblations, everything that they wish.' Vena 
replied : ' What other being is superior to me ? who else but I should 
be adored ? who is this person called Hari, whom you regard as the 
lord of sacrifice ? Brahma, Janardana, lludra, Indra, Vayu, Yama, 
Ravi (the Sun), Agni, Varuna, Dhatri, Pushan, Earth, the Moon, 
these and the other gods who curse and bless are all present in a king's 
person : for he is composed of all the gods. 83 Knowing this, ye must 

83 The orthodox doctrine, as stated by Maim, vii. 3 ff., coincides very nearly with 
Vena's estimate of himself, although the legislator does not deduce from it the same 
conclusions : 3. Rakshartham asya sarvasya rajanam asrijat prabhuh \ 4. Indranila- 
yamarkanam Agnes cha Varunasya cha \ Chandra- Vittesayos chaivamatrah nirhritya 
sasvatlh \ 5. Yasmad esham surendranam matrabhyo nirmito nripah \ tasmad abhi- 
bhavaty esha sarva-bhutani tejasa \ 6. Tapaty aditya-vach chaisha chakshumshi 
cha manamsi cha' \ na chainam bhuvi saknoti kaschid apy abliivlkshitum \ 7. So 
'gnir bhavati Vayud cha so 'rkah Somah sa Lharmarat \ sa Kuverah sa Varunah sa 
Mahendrah prabhavatah \ 8. Balo 'pi ncivamantavyo " manushyah" iti bhumipah \ 
mihatl dei-atci hy esha nara-rvpena tishthati \ " 3. The lord created the king for the 
preservation of this entire world, (4) extracting the eternal essential particles of Indra, 
Vayu, Yama, Surya, Agni, Varuna, Chandra, and Kuvera. 5. Inasmuch as the king 
is formed of the particles of all these gods, he surpasses all beings in brilliancy. 
6. Like the Sun, he distresses both men's eyes and minds ; and no one on earth can 
ever gaze upon him. 7. He is Agni, Vayu, Surya, Soma, Yama, Kuvera, Varuna, 
and Indra, in majesty. 8. Even when a child a king is not to be despised under the 
idea that he is a mere man ; for he is a great deity in human form." 

In another passage, ix. 303, this is qualified by saying that the king should imitate 
the functions of the different gods : Indrasyarkasya Vayoscha Yamasya Varunasya 
cha | Chandrasyngneh Frithivyas cha tejo vrittam nripas' charet \ This expanded in 
the next verses. 


act in conformity with my commands. Brahmans, ye must neither 
give gifts, nor present oblations nor sacrifices. 14. As obedience to 
their husbands is esteemed the highest duty of women, so is the obser- 
vance of my orders incumbent upon you.' The rishis answered : ' Give 
permission, great king : let not religion perish : this whole world is 
but a modified form of oblations. 15. When religion perishes the whole 
world is destroyed with it.' When Vena, although thus admonished 
and repeatedly addressed by the eminent rishis, did not give his per- 
mission, then all the munis, filled with wrath and indignation, cried 
out to one another, * Slay, slay the sinner. 16. This man of degraded 
life, who blasphemes the sacrificial Male, the god, the lord without 
beginning or end, is not fit to be lord of the earth.' So saying the 
munis smote with blades of kusa grass consecrated by texts this king 
who had bee/i already smitten by his blasphemy of the divine Being and 
his other offences. The munis afterwards beheld dust all round, and 
asked the people who were standing near what that was. 17. They 
were informed : ' In this country which has no king, the people, being 
distressed, have become robbers, and have begun to seize the property 
of others. 18. It is from these robbers rushing impetuously, and 
plundering other men's goods, that this great dust is seen? Then all 
the munis, consulting together, rubbed with "force the thigh of the 
king, who was childless, in order to produce a son. From his thigh 
when rubbed there was produced a man like a charred log, with flat 
face, and extremely short. 19. 'What shall I do?' cried the man, in 
distress, to the Brahmans. They said to him, ' Sit down' (mshlda) ; 
and from this he became a Nishada. 20. From him sprang the 
Nishadas dwelling in the Vindhya mountains, distinguished by their 
wicked deeds. 21. By this means the sin of the king departed out of 
him ; and so were the Nishadas produced, the offspring of the wicked- 
ness of Vena. 22. The Brahmans then rubbed his right hand ; and 
from it, when rubbed, sprang the majestic Prithu, Vena's son, re- 
splendent in body, glowing like the manifested Agni. 23. Then the 
primeval bow called Ajagava fell from the sky, with celestial arrows, 
and a coat of mail. At Prithu's birth all creatures rejoiced. And 
through the birth of this virtuous son, Vena, delivered from the hell 
called Put 81 by this eminent person, ascended to heaven." 

81 This alludes to the fanciful derivation ofputlra, "son," horn put + tra. 


The Harivamsa (sect. 5) relates the same story thus, with little 
variation from the Vishnu Purana : 

Vaisampdyanah uvdcha \ A&lA dharmasya aoptd vai purvam Atri-samah 
prabhuh \ Atri-vamsa-samutpannas tv Ango ndma prajdpatih \ tasya 
putro 'bhavad Veno ndtyartham dharma-Jcovidah \ jdto Mrityu-sutdydm 
vai Sumthdydm prajapatih \ sa mdtdmaha-doshena tena kdldtmajdtmajah \ 
sva-dharmdn prishthatah kritvd kdmdl lobheshv avarttata \ marydddm 
sthdpaydmdsa dharmdpetdm sa pdrthivah \ veda-dharmdn atikramya so 
'dharma-nirato 'bhavat \ nih-svddhydya-vashatkdrds tasmin rdjani sdsati I 
prdvarttan na papuh somam hutam yajneshu devatdh \ " na yashtavyam 
na hotavyam" iti tasya prajdpateh,\ dslt pratijnd Jcrureyam vindse 
samupasthite \ aham ijya& cha yashtd cha yajnai cheti kurudvaha \ 
11 may i yafndh vidhdtavydh mayi hotavyam" ity apt \ .tarn atiTcrdnta- 
.maryddam ddaddnam asdmpratam \ uchur maharshayah sarve Marichi- 
pramukhds tadd \ "vayaih dlkshdm pravekshydmah samvatsara-gandn 
bahun ] adharmam kuru md Vena naisha dharmah sandtanah \ anvaye 
'treh prasutas tvam prajdpatir asamsayam \ 'prajds cha pdlayishye 
'ham' iti te samayah kritah n \ tarns tathd bruvatah sarvdn maharshln 
abravit tadd \ Venah prahasya durbuddhir imam artham anartha-vit \ 
Fenah uvdcha \ " srashtd dharmasya kas chdnyah srotavyam kasya vd 
mayd \ fruta-vtrya-tapah-satyair mayd vd kah samo bhuvi \ prabhavam 
sarva-bhutdndm dharmdndm cha viseshatah \ sammudhdh na yidur nunam 
bftavanto mam achetasah \ ichhan daheyam prithivlm pldvayeyam jalais 
tathd | dydm bhuvam chaiva rundheyam ndtra kdryd vichdrand " \ yadd 
na sakyate mohdd avalepdch cha pdrthivah \ anunetum tadd Venas tatah 
kruddhdh maharshayah \ niarihya tarn mahdtmdno visphurantam mahd- 
balam \ tato 'sya savyam urum te mamanthur jdta-manyavah \ tasmims tu 
mathyamdne vai rdjnah urau vijajnivdn \ hrasvo Himdtrah purushah 
krishnaG chdpi babhuva ha \ sa bhltah prdnjalir bhutvd sthitaudn Jana- 
mejaya \ tarn Atrir vihvalam drishtvd nishldety abravit tadd \ nishdda- 
vama-karttd 'sau babhuva vadatdm vara \ dhivardn asrij'ach chdpi Vena- 
kalmasha-sambhavdn \ ye chdnye Vindliya-nilayds Tukhdrds Tumburds 
tathd | adharma-ruchayas tdta viddhi tan Fena-sambhavdn \ tatah punar 
mahdtmdnah pdnim Venasya dakshinam \ aranlm iva samrabdhdh maman- 
thur jdta-manyavah \ Prithus tasmdt samuttasthau kardj jvalana-sanni- 
bhah | dlpyamanah sva-vapushd sdkshdd Agnir ivajvalan \ 

11 There was formerly a Prajapati (lord of creatures), a protector of 


righteousness, called Anga, of the race of Atri, and resembling him in 
power. His son was the Prajapati Vena, who was hut indifferently skilled 
in duty, and was born of Sumtha, the daughter of Mrityu. This son 
of the daughter of Kala (^Death), owing to the taint derived from his 
maternal grandfather, threw his duties behind his back, and lived in 
covetousness under the influence of desire. This king established an 
irreligious system of conduct : transgressing the ordinances of the Veda, 
he was devoted to lawlessness. In his reign men lived without study 
of the sacred books and without the vashatkara, and the gods had no 
Soma-libations to drink at sacrifices. ' No sacrifice or oblation shall be 
offered,' such was the ruthless determination of that Prajapati, as the 
time of his destruction approached. 'I,' he declared, 'am the object, 
and the performer of sacrifice, and the sacrifice itself : it is to me that 
sacrifice should be presented, and oblations offered.' This transgressor 
of the rules of duty, who arrogated to himself what was not his due, 
was then addressed by all the great rishis, headed by Marichi : ' We 
are about to consecrate ourselves for a ceremony which shall last for 
many years : practise not unrighteousness, o Vena : this is not the 
eternal rule of duty. Thou art in very deed a Prajapati of Atri's race, 
and thou hast engaged to protect thy subjects.' The foolish Vena, 
ignorant of what was right, laughingly answered those great rishis 
who had so addressed him : ' "Who but myself is the ordainer of duty ? 
or whom ought I to obey ? Who on earth equals me in sacred know- 
ledge, in prowess, in austere fervour, in truth ? Ye who are deluded 
and senseless know not that I am the source of all beings and duties. 
Hesitate not to believe that I, if I willed, could burn up the earth, or 
deluge it with water, or close up heaven and earth.' When owing to his 
delusion and arrogance Vena could not be governed, then the mighty 
rishis becoming incensed, seized the vigorous and struggling king, and 
rubbed his left thigh. From this thigh, so rubbed, was produced a 
black man, very short in stature, who, being alarmed, stood with joined 
hands. Seeing that he was agitated, Atri said to him ' Sit down ' 
(nishlda). He became the founder of the race of the Mshadas, and also 
progenitor of the Dhlvaras (fishermen), who sprang from the corruption 
of Vena. So too were produced from him the other inhabitants of the 
Vindhya range, the Tukharas, and Tumburas, who are prone to law- 
lessness. Then the mighty sages, excited and incensed, again rubbed 


the right hand of Vena, as men do the arani wood, and from it arose 
Prithu, resplendent in body, glowing like the manifested Agni." 

Although the Harivamsa declares Yena to he a descendant of Atri, 
yet as the Prajapati Atri is said in a previous section to have adopted 
TTttanapada, Yena's ancestor, for his son (Hariv. sect. 2, verse 60, Utta- 
napddam jagrdha putram Atrih prajdpatih] there is no contradiction 
hetween the genealogy given here and in the Vishnu Pur ana. 

The story of Vena is told in the same way, but more briefly, in the 
Mahabharata, S'antip. sect. 59. After narrating the birth of Prithu, 
the writer proceeds, verse 2221 : 

Tatas tu prdnjalir Vainyo mahar -shims tan uvdcha ha \ " susukshmd 
me samutpannd buddhir dharmdrtha-darsirii \ anayd kim mayd kdryyant 
tad me tattvena samsata \ yad mam bhavanto vakshyanti kdryam artha- 
samanvitam \ tad aham rai karishydmi ndtra kdryd vichdrand " | tarn 
uchus tattra devds te te chaiva paramarshayah \ " niyato yattra dharmo 
vai tvam asankah samdchara \ priydpriye parityajya samah sarveshu jan- 
tushu | kdma-krodhau chu lobham cha mdnam chotsrijya duratah \ yas cha 
dharmdt parichalel loke kaschana mdnavah \ nigrdhyds te sva-ldhulhydm 
sasvad dharmam avekshatd \ pratijndm chddhirohasva manasd karmand 
gird \ ' pdlayishydmy aham bhaumam brahma' ity eva chdsakrit | . . . . 
adandydh me dvijds cheti pratijdriihi he vibho \ lokam cha sankardt kritsnam 
trdtdsmlti parantapa" \ Vainyas tatas tan uvdcha devdn rishi-purogamdn \ 
" Irdhmandh me mahdbhdgdh namasydh purusharshabhdh " \ " evam 
astv " iti Vainyas tu tair ukto brahmavddibhih \ purodhds chdbhavat 
tasya S'ukro brahmarnayo nidhih \ mantrino Bdlakhilyds cha Sdrasvatyo 
ganas tathd \ maharshir bhagavdn Garyas tasya sumvatsaro 'bfiatat \ 

" The son of Vena (Prithu) then, with joined hands, addressed the 
great rishis : ' A very slender understanding for perceiving the prin- 
ciples of duty has been given to me by nature : tell me truly how I 
must employ it. Doubt not that I shall perform whatever you shall 
declare to me as my duty, and its object.' Then those gods and great 
rishis said to him: 'Whatever duty is enjoined perform it without 
hesitation, disregarding what thou mayest like or dislike, looking on all 
creatures with an equal eye, putting far from thee lust, anger, cupidity, 
and pride. Restrain by the strength of thine arm all those men who 
swerve from righteousness, having a constant regard to duty. And in 
thought, act, and word take upon thyself, and continually renew, the 


engagement to protect the terrestrial Brahman (Veda, or Brahmans ? ) 
.... And promise that thou wilt exempt the Brahmans from punish- 
ment, and preserve society from the confusion of castes.' The son of 
Vena then replied to the gods, headed by the rishis : ' The great Brah- 
mans, the chief of men, shall be reverenced by me.' ' So be it,' re- 
joined those declarers of the Veda. S'ukra, the depository of divine 
knowledge, became his purohita ; the Balakhilyas and Sarasvatyas his 
ministers ; and the venerable Grarga, the great rishi, his astrologer." 

The character and conduct of Prithu, as pourtrayed in the last pas- 
sage presents a strong, and when regarded from a Brahmanical point of 
view, an edifying, contrast to the contempt of priestly authority and 
disregard of Vedic observances which his predecessor had shewn. 

In legends like that of Vena we see, I think, a reflection of the 
questions which were agitating the religious world of India at the 
period when the Puranas in which they appear were compiled, viz., 
those which were then at issue between the adherents of the Veda, and 
the various classes of their opponents, Bauddha, Jaina, Charvaka, etc. 
These stories were no doubt written with a purpose. They were in- 
tended to deter the monarchs contemporary with the authors from tam- 
pering with those heresies which had gained, or were gaining, circu- 
lation and popularity, by the example of the' punishment which, it 
was pretended, had overtaken the princes who had dared to deviate 
from orthodoxy in earlier times. Compare the account given of the rise 
of heretical doctrines in the Vishnu Purana (pp. 209 ff. vol. iii. of 
Dr. Hall's edition of Professor Wilson's translation), which the writer 
no doubt intended to have something more than a merely historical 

The legend of Vena is told at greater length, but with no material 
variation in substance, in the Bhagavata Purana, iv. sections 13-15. 
See also Professor "Wilson's note in his Vishnu Purana, vol. i. in loco. 

In ascribing to Vena an irreligious character and a contempt for the 
priests, the Puranas contradict a verse in the Rig-veda x. 93, 14, in 
which (unless we suppose a different individual to be there meant) 
Vena is celebrated along with Duhsima, Prithavana, and Kama for his 
conspicuous liberality to the author of the hymn (pra tad Dutmme 
Prithavdne Vene pra Rdme vocham asure maghavatsu \ ye yuktvaya 
paneha said asmayu patha visrdvi eshdni). The two other passages, 



viii. 9, 10, and x. 148, 5, in which he is alluded to as the father of 
Prithu have been quoted above, p. 268. 

I observe that a Vena, called Bhargava (or a descendant of Bhrigu), 
is mentioned in the list of traditional authors of hymns, given at the 
end of Professor Aufrecht's Rig-veda, vol. ii., as the rishi of R.V. 
ix. 85, and x. 123. 


SECT. III. Legend of Pururavas. 

Pururavas has been already alluded to (in pp. 158, 221, 226, 268, 
and 279 f.) as the son of Ida (or Ida), and the grandson of Manu Vaivas- 
vata ; as the author of the triple division of the sacred fire ; and as a 
royal rishi. We have also sefen (p. 172) that in Ilig-veda i. 31, 4, he 
is referred to as sukrite, a "beneficent," or "pious," prince. Rig-veda 
x. 95 is considered to contain a dialogue between him and the Apsaras 
TJrvasT (see above, p. 226). In verse 7 of that hymn the gods are 
alluded to as having strengthened Pururavas for a great conflict for the 
slaughter of the Dasyus (make yat tvd PurUravo randya avarddhayan 
dasyu-hatydya devdh] and in the 1 8th verse he is thus addressed by 
his patronymic : Iti tvd devdh ime dhur Aila yathd im etad bhavasi 
mrityubandhuh \ prajd te devdn Jiavishd yajdti svarge u tvam api mdda- 
ydse | " Thus say these gods to thee, o son of Ila, that thou art indeed 
nothing more than a kinsman of death : (yet) let thy offspring worship 
the gods with an oblation, and thou also shalt rejoice in heaven." 

It thus appears that in the Yedic hymns and elsewhere Pururavas is 
regarded as a pious prince, and Manu does not include him in his list 
of those who resisted the Brahmans. But the M. Bh., Adiparvan 3143 
speaks of him as follows : 

Pururavds tato vidvdn Ildydm samapadyata \ sd vai tasydbhavad mtitd 
pita chaiveti nah srutam \ trayodasa samudrasya dvipdn asnan Purura- 
vah | amdnushair rritah sarvair mdnushah san mahdyasdh \ vipraih sa 
vigraham chakre viryyonmattah Pururavdh \ jahura cha sa viprdndm 
ratndny utkrosatdm api \ Sanatlcumdras tarn rujan Brahma-lokdd upetya 
Tia \ anudarsam tatas chakre pratyagrihndd na chdpy asau \ tato maliar- 
shibhih kruddhaih sadyah sapto vyanasyata \ lobhdnvito lala-maddd 
nashta-sanjno narddhipah \ sa hi gandharva-loka-sthdn Urvasyd sahito 
viral | dnindya kriydrthe 'gnln yathdvad vihitdms tridhd \ 


" Subsequently the wise Pururavas was born of Ila, who, as we 
have heard, was both his father and his mother. Euling over thirteen 
islands of the ocean, and surrounded by beings who were all super- 
human, himself a man of great renown, Pururavas, intoxicated by his 
prowess, engaged in a conflict with the Brahmans, and robbed them of 
their jewels, although they loudly remonstrated. Sanatkumara came 
from Brahma's heaven, and addressed to him an admonition, which, 
however, he did not regard. Being then straightway cursed by the 
incensed rishis, he perished, this covetous monarch, who, through 
pride of power, had lost his understanding. This glorious being (yirat\ 
accompanied by UrvasT, brought down for the performance of sacred 
rites the fires which existed in the heaven of the Gandharvas, properly 
distributed into three." (See "Wilson's Yishnu Purana, 4to. ed. pp. 350 
and 394 if. with note p. 397.) 

I cite from the Harivamsa another passage regarding Pururavas, 
although no distinct mention is made in it of his contest with the 
Brahmans : 

Harivamsa 8811. Pita Budhasyottama-virya-karmd Pururavdh yasya 
suto nri-devah \ prdndgnir Idyo 'gram ajyanad yo nashtam saml-garlha- 
bhavam bhavdtmd \ tathaiva paschdch chakame mahdtmd purorvaslm ap- 
sarasdm varishthdm \ pitah purd yo 'mrita-sarva-deho muni-pravirair 
vara-gdtri-ghoraih \ nripah kusdgraih punar eva yas cha dhlmdn krito 
'gnir did pujyate cha \ 

II He (the Moon) was the father of Budha (Mercury), whose son was 
Pururavas, a god among men, of distinguished heroic deeds, the vital 
fire, worthy of adoration, the generator, who begot the lost fire which 
sprang from the heart of the saml-wood, the great personage, who, 
placed to the west, loved TJrvasi, the paragon of Apsarases, who was 
placed to the east. This king with his entire immortal body was formerly 
swallowed up with the points of Kusa grass by the munis terrible with 
their resplendent forms ; but was again made wise, and is worshipped 
in heaven as fire." 

SECT. IV. Story of NahusJia. 

The legend of Nahusha, 85 grandson of Pururavas (see above, p. 226), 
85 The name of Nahush occurs in the Rig-veda as that of the progenitor of a race. 


the second prince described by Manu as having come into hostile col- 
lision with the Brahmans is narrated with more or less detail in dif- 
ferent parts of the Mahabharata, as well as in the Puranas. The fol- 
lowing passage is from the former work, Adip. 3151 : 

Ayusho Nahushah putro dhimdn satya-pardkramah \ rdjyam sasdsa 
mmahad dharmena prithwlpate \ pitrln devdn rishln viprdn gandharvo- 
raga-rdkshasdn \ Nahushah pdlaydmdsa Irahma kshattram atho visah \ 
sa hatvd dasyu-sanghdtdn rishln karam addpayat \ pasuvach cJiaiva tdn 
prishthe vdhaydmdsa vlryyavdn \ Tcdraydmdsa chendratvam alhibhuya 
divaukasah \ tejasd tapasd chaiva vikramenaujasd tathd \ 

"Nahusha the son of Ayus, wise, and of genuine prowess, ruled 
with justice a mighty empire. He protected the pitris, gods, rishis, 
wise men, gandharvas, serpents (uraga), and rokshasas, as well as 
Brahmans, Kshattriyas, and Vaisyas. This energetic prince, after 
slaying the hosts of the Dasyus, compelled the rishis to pay tribute, 
and made them carry him like beasts upon their backs. After subduing 
the celestials he conquered for himself the rank of Indra, through his 
vigour, austere fervour, valour and fire." 

The story is thus introduced in another part of the same work, the 
Yanaparvan, section 180. Yudhishthira found his brother Bhimasena 
seized by a serpent in a forest (see above, p. 133). This serpent, it 
appears, was no other than king Nahusha, who on being questioned 
thus relates his own history : 

Nahusho ndma rdjd 'ham dsam punas tavdnagha \ prathitah panchamah 
Somdd Ayoh putro narddhipa \ kratubhis tapasd chaiva svddhydyena 
damena cha \ trailohyaisvaryam avyagram prdpto 'ham vikramena cha \ 
tad aisvaryyam samdsddya darpo mdm agamat tadd \ sahasram hi dvijd- 
tintim uvdha sivikdm mama \ aisvaryya-mada-matto 'ham avamanya tato 
dvy'dn \ imam Agastyena dasdm dnitah prithivlpate | . . . . aham hi 
divi divyena vimdnena charan purd \ alhimdnena mattah san kanchid 
ndnyam achintayam \ Irahmarshi-deva-gandharva-yaksha-rdkshasa-pan- 
nagdh \ kardn mama prayachhanti sarve trailokya-vdsinah \ chakshushd 
yam prapasydmi prdninam prlthimpate \ tasya tejo hardmy diu tad hi 
drishter balam mama \ maharshlndm sahasram hi uvdha sivikdm mama \ 

See above, p. 165, note 7, and pp. 179 f. Nahusha Manava is the traditional rishi of 
Eig-veda ix. 101, verses 7-9, and Yayati Nahusha of verses 4-6 of the same hymn. 
See list of rishis in Professor Aufrecht's Eig-veda ii. 464 ff. 


sa mum apanayo rtijan bhramiaydmdsa vai sriyah \ tatra hy Agastyah 
pddena vahan sprishto mayd munih \ Agastyena tato 'smy ukto dhvamsa 
sarpeti vai rttshd \ tatas tasmdd vimdndgrydt pracJiyutas chyuta-laksha- 
nah | prapatan bubudhe "tmdnam vydlibhutam adhomukham \ aydcham 
tarn aham vipram " sdpasydnto bhaved" iti \ " pramdddt sampramudha- 
sya bhagavan Icshantum arhasi" \ tatah sa mdm uvdchedam pra/patantam 
kripdnvitah \ " Yudhishthiro dharma-rdjah sdpdt tvdm mochayishyati" \ 
.... ity uktvd "jagaram deham muktvd na Nahwho nripah \ divyath 
vapuh samdsthdya gatas tridwam eva cha \ 

" I was a king called Nahusha, more ancient than thou, known as the 
son of Ayus, and fifth in descent from Soma. By my sacrifices, austere 
fervour, sacred study, self-restraint, and valour, I acquired the undis- 
turbed sovereignty of the three worlds. When I had attained that 
dominion, pride took possession of my soul: a thousand Brahmans 
bore my vehicle. Becoming intoxicated by the conceit of my lordly 
power, and contemning the Brahmans, I was reduced to this condition 
by Agastya." The serpent then promises to let Bhimasena go, if Yu- 
dhishthira will answer certain questions (above referred to in p. 133 ff.). 
Yudhishthira afterwards enquires how delusion had happened to take 
possession of so wise a person as their conversation shewed Nahusha to 
be. The latter replies that he had been perverted by the pride of 
power, and proceeds: "Formerly, as I moved through the sky on a 
celestial car, intoxicated with self-conceit, I regarded no one but my- 
self. All the inhabitants of the three worlds, brahmanical rishis, gods, 
gandharvas, yakshas, rakshasas, pannagas, paid me tribute. Such was 
the power of my gaze that on what creature soever I fixed my eyes, I 
straightway robbed him of his energy. A thousand of the great sages 
bore my vehicle. That misconduct it was, o king, which hurled me 
from my high estate. For I then touched with my foot the muni 
Agastya who was carrying me. Agastya in his wrath cried out to me 
'Fall, thou serpent.' Hurled therefore from that magnificent car, and 
fallen from my prosperity, as I descended headlong, I felt that I had 
become a serpent. I entreated the Brahman (Agastya), ' Let there be 
a termination of the curse : thou, o reverend rishi, shouldest forgive 
one who has been deluded through his inconsideration.' He then com- 
passionately replied to me as I fell, ' Yudhishthira, the king of right- 
eousness, will free thee from the curse.' " And at the close of the 


conversation between Yudhishthira and the serpent, we are told that 
" King Nahusha, throwing of his huge reptile form, became clothed in 
a celestial body, and ascended to heaven." 

The same story is related in greater detail in the Udyogaparvan, 
sections 10-16, as follows : 

After his slaughter of the demon Yrittra, Indra became alarmed at 
the idea of having taken the life of a Brahman (for Yrittra was re- 
garded as such), and hid himself in the waters. In consequence of the 
disappearance of the king of the gods, all affairs, celestial as well as 
terrestrial, fell into confusion. The rishis and gods then applied to 
Nahusha to be their king. After at first excusing himself on the plea 
of want of power, Nahusha at length, in compliance with their solici- 
tations, accepted the high function. Tip to the period of his elevation 
he had led a virtuous life, but he now became addicted to amusement 
and sensual pleasure ; and even aspired to the possession of Indrani, 
Indra's wife, whom he had happened to see. The queen resorted to 
the Angiras Yrihaspati, the preceptor of the gods, who engaged to 
protect her. Nahusha was greatly incensed on hearing of this inter- 
ference ; but the gods endeavoured to pacify him, and pointed out the 
immorality of appropriating another person's wife. Nahusha, however, 
would listen to no renionstrance, and insisted that in his adulterous 
designs he was no worse than Indra himself: 373. AJialyd dharsMtti 
purvam rishi-patrii yasasvini \ jlvato lharttur Indrena sa vah Mm na 
nivaritah \ 374. Bahuni cha nrisamsani Icritariindrena vai puru \ vai- 
dharmyuny upadus chaiva sa vah kirn na nivaritah \ " 373. The renowned 
Ahalya, a rishi's wife, was formerly corrupted by Indra in her husband's 
lifetime (seep. 121 f.) : Why was he not prevented by you ? 374. And 
many barbarous acts, and unrighteous deeds, and frauds, were perpetrated 
of old by Indra : Why was he not prevented by you ?" The gods, urged 
by Nahusha, then went to bring Indrani ; but Yrihaspati would not 
give her up. At his recommendation, however, she solicited Nahusha 
for some delay, till she should ascertain what had become of her hus- 
band. This request was granted. The gods next applied to Yishnu on 
behalf of Indra ; and Yishnu promised that if Indra would sacrifice to 
him, he should be purged from his guilt, and recover his dominion, 
while Nahusha would be destroyed. Indra sacrified accordingly ; and 
the result is thus told : 419. Vilhajya Irahma-hatydm tu vriksheshu 


cha nadlshu cha \ parvateshu prithivydm cha strlshu chaiva Yudhish- 
thira | sa vilhajya cha bhuteshu visrijya cha suresvarah \ vijvaro 
dhuta-pdpmd cha Vdsavo 'bhavad dtmavdn \ "Having divided the guilt 
of brahmanicide among trees, rivers, mountains, the earth, women, 
and the elements, Yasava (Indra), lord of the gods, became freed from 
suffering and sin, and self-governed." Nahusha was by this means 
shaken from his place. But (unless this is said by way of prolepsis, 
or there is some confusion in the narrative) he must have speedily 
regained his position, as we are told that Indra was again ruined, and 
became invisible. Indram now went in search of her husband ; and by 
the help of TJpasruti (the goddess of night and revealer of secrets) dis- 
covered him existing in a very subtile form in the stem of a lotus 
growing in a lake situated in a continent within an ocean north of the 
Himalaya. She made known to him the wicked intentions of Nahusha, 
and entreated him to exert his power, rescue her from danger, and 
resume his dominion. Indra declined any immediate interposition on 
the plea of Nahusha's superior strength ; but suggested to his wife 
a device by which the usurper might be hurled from his position. She 
was recommended to say to Nahusha that "if he would visit her on a 
celestial vehicle borne by rishis, she would with pleasure submit herself 
to him" (449. Rishi-ydnena divyena mam upaihi jagatpate \ evam tava 
vase prltd Ihavishydmlti tarn vada}. The queen of the gods accordingly 
went to JSTahusha, by whom she was graciously received, and made this 
proposal: 457. Ichhdmy aham athdpurvam vdhanam te surddhipa \ yad 
na Vishnor na Rudrasya ndsurdndm na rakshasdm \ vahantu tvdm mahd- 
bhdffdh rishayah sangatdh vibho \ sarve sivikayd rtijann etad hi mama 
rochate \ "I desire for thee, king of the gods, a vehicle hitherto un- 
known, such as neither Yishnu, nor Rudra, nor the asuras, nor the rak- 
shases employ. Let the eminent rishis, all united, bear thee, lord, in a 
car : this idea pleases me." Nahusha receives favourably this appeal 
to his vanity, and in the course of his reply thus gives utterance to his 
self-congratulation : 463. Na hy alpa-vlryo bhavati yo vdhdn kurute mu- 
riin | aham tapaui balavdn bhuta-bhavya-bhavat-prabhuh \ mayi kruddhe 
jagad na sydd mayi sarvam pratishthitam | . . . . tasmdt te vachanam 
devi karishydmi na samsayah \ saptarshayo mum valtshyanti sarve brah- 
marshayas tathd \ pasya mdhdtmyam asmdkam riddhim cha varavarnini \ 
.... 468. Vimdne yojayitvd sa rishln niyamam dsthitdn \ alrahmanyo 


lalopeto matto mada-balena cha \ kdma-vrittah sa dushtdtmd vdhaydmdsa 
tun rishln \ " He is a personage of no mean prowess who makes the 
munis his bearers. I am a fervid devotee of great might, lord of the 
past, the future, and the present. If I were angry the world would 

no longer stand; on me everything depends Wherefore, o 

goddess, I shall, without doubt, carry out what you propose. The 
seven rishis, and all the brahman-rishis, shall carry me. Behold, 
beautiful goddess, my majesty and my prosperity." The narrative 
goes on : " Accordingly this wicked being, irreligious, violent, intoxi- 
cated by the force of conceit, and arbitrary in his conduct, attached to 
his car the rishis, who submitted to his commands, and compelled them 
to bear him." Indrani then again resorts to Vrihaspati, who assures 
her that vengeance will soon overtake Nahusha for his presumption ; 
and promises that he will himself perform a sacrifice with a view to 
the destruction of the oppressor, and the discovery of Indra's lurking 
place. Agni is then sent to discover and bring Indra to Yrihaspati ; 
and the latter, on Indra's arrival, informs him of all that had occured 
during his absence. While Indra, with Kuvera, Yama, Soma, and 
Varuna, was devising means for the destruction of Nahusha, the sage 
Agastya came up, congratulated Indra on the fall of his rival, and pro- 
ceeded to relate how it had occurred : 527. S'ramdrttdscha vahantas 
tarn Nahusham pdpakdrinam \ devarshayo mahdbhdgas tathd brahmar- 
shayo 'maldh \ paprachhur Nahusham devam sani&ayani jayatdm vara \ 
ye ime brdhmandh prdktuli mantrdh vai prokshane gavdm \ ete pramdnam 
bhavatah utuho neti Vdsava \ Nahu&ho neti tun dha tamasd mudha-che- 
tanah \ risJiayah uchuh \ adharme sampravrittas tvam dharmam na prati- 
padyase \ pramdnam etad asmdkam purvam proktam maharshibhih \ 
Agastyah uvticha \ Tato vivadamdnah sa munibhih saJia Vdsava \ atha 
mum aspriad murdhni pudenddharma-yojitah \ tendlhud hata-tejds cha 
nihsrikas cha mahipatih \ tatas tarn sahasd mgnam avocham bhaya-pldi- 
tam | " yasmdt purvaih kritam Irahma brahmarsliibhir anushthitam | 
adushtam dushayasi vai yach cha murdhny asprisah padd \ yach cJidpi 
tvam, rishln mudJia brahma-kalpdn durdsaddn \ vdhdn Icritvd vdhayasi 
tena svargdd hata-prabhah \ dhvamsa pupa paribhrashtah kshlna-punyo 
mahltalam \ dasa-varsha-sahasrdni sarpa-rupa-dharo mahdn \ vichari- 
shyasi purneshu punah svargam avdpsyasi" \ evam bhrashto durdtmd sa 
deva-rdjydd a/rindama \ dishtyd varddhdmahe sakra hato Irdhmana-kan- 


takah \ tripishtapam prapadyasva pahi lokan sachlpate \ jetendriyo jita- 
mitrah stuyamdno maharshilhih \ "Wearied with carrying the sinner 
Nahusha, the eminent divine-rishis, and the spotless brahman-rishis, 
asked that divine personage Nahusha [to solve] a difficulty : ' Dost 
thou, o Vasava, most excellent of conquerors, regard as authoritative or 
not those Brahmana texts which are recited at the immolation of kine ?' 
'No,' replied Nahusha, whose understanding was enveloped in darkness. 
The rishis rejoined : ' Engaged in unrighteousness, thou attainest not 
unto righteousness : these texts, which were formerly uttered by great 
rishis, are regarded by us as authoritative.' Then (proceeds Agastya) 
disputing with the munis, Nahusha, impelled by unrighteousness, 
touched me on the head with his foot. In consequence of this the 
king's glory was smitten and his prosperity departed. When he had 
instantly become agitated and oppressed with fear, I said to him, 
' Since thou, o fool, contemnest that sacred text, always held in honour, 
which has been composed by former sages, and employed by brahman- 
rishis, and hast touched my head with thy foot, and employest the 
Brahma-like and irresistible rishis as bearers to carry thee, therefore, 
shorn of thy lustre, and all thy merit exhausted, sink down, sinner, 
degraded from heaven to earth. For ten thousand years thou shalt 
crawl in the form of a huge serpent. When that period is completed, 
thou shalt again ascend to heaven.' So fell that wicked wretch from 
the sovereignty of the gods. Happily, o Indra, we shall now prosper, 
for the enemy of the Brahmans has been smitten. Take possession of 
the three worlds, and protect their inhabitants, o husband of S'achi 
(Indram), subduing thy senses, overcoming thine enemies, and cele- 
brated by the great rishis." 86 

Indra, as we have seen above, was noted for his dissolute character. 
The epithet " subduing thy senses," assigned to him in the last sen- 
tence by Agastya, is at variance with this indifferent reputation. Is 
it to be regarded as a piece of flattery, or as a delicate hint that the 
god would do well to practise a purer morality in future ? 

This legend appears, like some others, to have been a favourite with 
the compilers of the Mahabharata; for we find it once more related, 
though with some variety of detail, (which may justify its repetition in 

86 Further on, in verse 556, Nahusha is called " the depraved, the hater of hrah- 
man, the sinful-minded (duracJmras cha Nahusho brahma-dvit papachetanaK)* 


a condensed form), in the Anusasanaparvan, verses 4745-4810. We 
are there told that Nahusha, in recompense for his good deeds, was 
exalted to heaven; where he continued to perform all divine and 
human ceremonies, and to worship the gods as before. At length he 
became puffed up with pride at the idea that he was Indra, and all his 
good works in consequence were neutralized. For a great length of 
time he compelled the rishis to carry him about. At last it came to 
Agastya's turn to perform the servile office. Bhrigu then came and 
said to Agastya, ' "Why do we submit to the insults of this wicked king 
of the gods ? ' Agastya answered that none of the rishis had ventured 
to curse Nahusha, because he had obtained the power of subduing to 
his service everyone upon whom he fixed his eyes ; and that he had 
amrita (nectar) for his beverage. However, Agastya said he was pre- 
pared to do anything that Bhrigu might suggest. Bhrigu said he had 
been sent by Brahma to take vengeance on Nahusha, who was that day 
about to attach Agastya to his car, and would spurn him with his foot > 
and that he himself (Bhrigu), " incensed at this insult, would by a curse 
condemn the transgressor and hater of Brahmans to become a serpent " 
(yyutkrdnta-dharmam tarn ahaiiii dharshandmarshito bhrisam \ dhir bha- 
vasveti rushd sapsye pdpam dvifa-druham). All this accordingly hap- 
pened as follows : 

Athdgastyam rishi-sreshtham vdhandydjuhdva ha \ drutam Sarasvatl- 
kuldt smayann iva mahdbalah \ tato Bhrigur mahdtejdh Maitrdvarunim 
abramt \ " nimllayasva nayanejatdm ydvad visdmi te " \sthdnubhutasya 
tasydtha jatdm prdvisad achyutah \ Bhriguh sa sumahatejah putanuya 
nripasya cha \ tatah sa deva-rut pruptas tarn rishim vdhandya vai \ tato 
'gastyah surapatim vdkyam aha visdmpate \ " yojayasveti mum Icshipram 
kam cha desaih vahumi te \ yattra vakshyasi tattra tvdm nayishydmi surd- 
dhipa " | ity ukto Nahushas tena yojaydmdsa tarn munim \ Shrigus tasya 
jatdntah-stho lalhuva hrishito bhrisam \ na chdpi darsanam tasya chakdra 
sa Bhrigus tadd \ vara-ddna-pralhdva-jno Nahushasya mahdtmanah \ na 
chukopa tadd 'gastyo yukto 'pi Nahushena vai \ tarn tu rdja pratodena 
chodaydmdsa Bhdrata \ na cliukopa sa dharmdtmd tatah pddena deva-rdt \ 
Agastyasya tadd Jcruddho vdmendbhyahanach chhirah \ tasmin sirasy abhi- 
hate sa jatdntargato Bhriguh \ sastipa balavat kruddho Nahusham pdpa- 
chetasam \ " yasmdt padd 'hanah krodhdt siraslmam mahdmunim \ tasmdd 
dsu mahlm gachha sarpo bhutvd sudurmate" \ ity ulctah sa tadd tena 


sarpo Ihutva papdta ha \ adrishtendtha Bhrigund Ihutale BharatarsJia- 
Iha | Bhrigurn hi yadi so 'drakshyad Nahushah prithivipate \ sa na saJcto 
'bhavishyad vai pdtane tasya tejasd \ 

"The mighty Nahusha, as it were smiling, straightway summoned 
the eminent rishi Agastya from the banks of the Sarasvati to carry him. 
The glorious Bhrigu then said to Maitravaruni (Agastya), ' Close thy 
eyes whilst I enter into the knot of thy hair.' With the view of over- 
throwing the king, Bhrigu then entered into the hair of Agastya who 
stood motionless as a stock. Nahusha then came to be carried by 
Agastya, who desired to be attached to the vehicle and agreed to carry 
the king of the gods whithersoever he pleased. Nahusha in consequence 
attached him. Bhrigu, who was lodged in the knot of Agastya's hair, 
was greatly delighted, but did not venture to look at Nahusha, as he 
knew the potency of the boon which had been accorded to him (of sub- 
duing to his will everyone on whom he fixed his eyes). Agastya did not 
lose his temper when attached to the vehicle, and even when urged by 
a goad the holy man remained unmoved. The king of the gods, incensed, 
next struck the rishi' s head with his left foot, when Bhrigu, invisible 
within the knot of hair, became enraged, and violently cursed the 
wicked Nahusha : ' Since, fool, thou hast in thine anger smitten this 
great muni on the head with thy foot, therefore become a serpent, and 
fall down swiftly to the earth.' Being thus addressed, Nahusha be- 
came a serpent, and fell to the earth, through the agency of Bhrigu, 
who remained invisible. For if he had been seen by Nahusha, the 
saint would have been unable, in consequence of the power possessed 
by the oppressor, to hurl him to the ground." 

Bhrigu, on Nahusha's solicitation, and the intercession of Agastya, 
placed a period to the effects of the curse, which, as in the other version 
of the legend, Yudhishthira was to be the instrument of terminating. 

From several phrases which I have quoted from the version of this 
legend given in the TJdyogaparvan, as well as the tenor of the whole, 
it appears to be the intention of the writers to hold up the case of 
Nahusha as an example of the nemesis awaiting not merely any gross 
display of presumption, but all resistance to the pretensions of the 
priesthood, and contempt of their persons or authority. 


SECT. V. Story of Nimi. 

Nimi (one of Ikshvaku's sons) is another of the princes who are stig- 
matized by Manu, in the passage above quoted, for their want of de- 
ference to the Brahmans. The Vishnu P. ("Wilson, 4to. ed. p. 388) relates 
the story as follows : Nimi had requested the Brahman-rishi Vasishtha 
to officiate at a sacrifice, which was to last a thousand years. Yasishtha 
in reply pleaded a pre-engagement to Indra for five hundred years, hut 
promised to return at the end of that period. The king made no 
remark, and Yasishtha went away, supposing that he had assented to 
this arrangement. On his return, however, the priest discovered that 
Mmi had retained Gautama (who was, equally with Yasishtha, a 
Brahman-rishi) and others to perform the sacrifice ; and being incensed 
at the neglect to give him notice of what was intended, he cursed the 
king, who was then asleep, to lose his corporeal ' form. When Nimi 
awoke and learnt that he had been cursed without any previous warn- 
ing, he retorted, by uttering a similar curse on Yasishtha, and then 
died. " In consequence of this curse " (proceeds the Vishnu Purana, 
iv. 5, 6) "the vigour of Yasishtha entered into the vigour of Mitra and 
Varuna. Yasishtha, however, received from them another body when 
their seed had fallen from them at the sight of TJrvasi " (tach-chhcipdch 
cha Mitra-varunayos tejasi Tasishtha-tejah pravishtam \ Urva&-darsanad 
udlhuta-vlryya-prapatayoh sakdsdd Vaiishtho deJiam aparam lehhe}. 61 
Nimi's body was embalmed. At the close of the sacrifice which he had 
begun, the gods were willing, on the intercession of the priests, to 
restore him to life, but he declined the offer ; and was placed by the 
deities, according to his desire, in the eyes of all living creatures. It is 
in consequence of this that they are always opening and shutting 
(nimisha means "the twinkling of the eye"). 

The story is similarly related in the Bhagavata Purana, ix. 13, 1-13. 
A portion of the passage is as follows : 

3. Nimis cJialam idam vidvun sattram arabhatatmavan \ ritviglhir 

aparats tavad nugamad ydvatti guruh \ sishya-vyatilcramam vlTcshya nir- 

rarttya gurur agatah \ a&apat "patatad deho Nimeh pandiia-mdninah " ] 

Nimih pratidadau sapam guruve ' ' dharma-varttine \ " tavapi patatad deho 

87 This story will be further illustrated in the next section. 


lobhtid dharmam ajdnatah " | ity utsasarjja svam deham Nimir adhydt- 

ma-kovidali \ Mitrd-varunayor jajne Urvasydm prapitdmahak \ 

"Nimi, who was self-controlled, knowing the world to be fleet- 
ing, commenced the sacrifice with other priests until his own spiritual 
instructor should come hack. The latter, on his return, discovering the 
transgression of his disciple, cursed him thus : ' Let the body of Nimi, 
who fancies himself learned, fall from him.' Nimi retorted the curse 
on his preceptor, who was acting unrighteously : ' Let thy body also 
fall from thee, since thou, through coveteousness, art ignorant of duty.' 
Having so spoken, Nimi, who knew the supreme spirit, abandoned his 
body : and the patriarch (Vasishtha) was born of TJrvasI to Mitra and 
Varuna." 88 

The offence of Nimi, as declared in these passages, is not that of con- 
temning the sacerdotal order in general, or of usurping their functions ; 
but merely of presuming to consult his own convenience by proceeding 
to celebrate a sacrifice with the assistance of another Brahman (for Gau- 
tama also was a man of priestly descent) when his own spiritual pre- 
ceptor was otherwise engaged, without giving the latter any notice of 
his intention. The Bhagavata, as we have seen, awards blame impar- 
tially to both parties, and relates (as does also the Vishnu Purana) that 
the king's curse took effect on the Brahman, as well as the Brahman's 
on the king. 

SECT. VI. Vasishtha. 

One of the most remarkable and renowned of the struggles between 
Brahmans and Kshattriyas which occur in the legendary history of 
India is that which is said to have taken place between Vasishtha and 
Vis vamitra. I propose to furnish full details of this conflict with its fa- 
bulous accompaniments from the Bamayana, which dwells upon it at con- 
siderable length, as well as from the Mahabharata, where it is repeatedly 

88 On the last verse the commentator S'ridhara has the following note : Urvasi- 
darsfanat skannam reias tabhytim kumbhe nlshiktam \ ta-smat prapitamaho Vasishtho 
jajne \ tatha eha srutih "kumbhe retah sishichituh samanam" iti \ "Seed fell from 
them at the sight of Urvas'i and was shed into a jar : from it the patriarch, Vasishtha, 
was born. And so says the s'ruti" (R.V. vii. 33, 13, which will be quoted in the 
next section). 


introduced ; but before doing so, I shall quote the passages of the Eig- 
veda which, appear to throw a faint light on the real history of the two 
rivals. It is clear from what has been said in the Introduction to this 
volume, pp. 1-6, as well as from the remarks I have made in pp. 139 f., 
that the Vedic hymns, being far more ancient than the Epic and Puranic 
compilations, must be more trustworthy guides to a knowledge of the 
remotest Indian antiquity. "While the Epic poems and Puranas no 
doubt embody numerous ancient traditions, yet these have been freely 
altered according to the caprice or dogmatic views of later writers, and 
have received many purely fictitious additions. The Vedic hymns, on 
the contrary, have been preserved unchanged from a very remote 
period, and exhibit a faithful reflection of the social, religious, and 
ecclesiastical condition of the age in which they were composed, and of 
the feelings which were awakened by contemporary occurrences. As 
yet there was no conscious perversion or colouring of facts for dogmatic 
or sectarian purposes ; and much of the information which we derive 
from these nai've compositions is the more trustworthy that it is deduced 
from hints and allusions, and from the comparison of isolated parti- 
culars, and not from direct and connected statements or descriptions. It 
is here therefore, if anywhere, that we may look for some light on the 
real relations between Yasishtha and Visvamitra. After quoting the 
hymns regarding these two personages, I shall adduce from the Brah- 
manas, or other later works, any particulars regarding their birth and 
history which I have discovered. The conflict between Yasishtha and 
Visvamitra has been already discussed at length in the third of Dr. 
Rudolf Eoth's "Dissertations on the literature and history of the 
Veda," 89 where the most important parts of the hymns bearing upon 
the subject are translated. The first hymn which I shall adduce is 
intended for the glorification of Vasishtha and his family. The latter 
part relates the birth of the sage, while the earlier verses refer to his 
connection with king Sudas. Much of this hymn is very obscure. 

R.V. vii. 33, 1. S'vityancho ma dakshinatas-kapardah dhiyamjinvaso 
alhi hi pramanduh \ uttishthan voce pari barhisho nrln na me durud 
avitave Vasishthah \ 2. Durud Indram anayann u sutena tiro vaisantam 
ati pdntam ugram I Pusadyumnasya Vuyatasya somut sutud Indro avri- 
nlta Vasishthun \ 3. Eva in nu Team sindhum ebhis tatura eva in nu kam 
89 Zur Litteratur und Geshichte des Weda. Stuttgart. 1846. 


Bhedam elhir jaghdna \ eva in nu kam dasarajne Suddsam prdvad Indro 
brahmand vo Vasishthah \ 4. Jushtl naro brahmand vah pitrlndm aksham 
avyayaih na kila rishdtha \ yat sakvanshu brihatd ravena Indre sush- 
matn adadhdta Vasishthah \ 5. Ud dydm iva it trishnajo ndthitdso adi- 
dhayur dasarajne vritdsah \ Vasishthasya stuvatah Indro asrod urum 
Tritsulhyo akrinod u lokam \ 6. Dandd iva goajandsah dsan parichhin- 
ndh Bharatdh arbhakdsah \ abhavach cha pura-etd Vasishthah dd it 
Tritsundih viso aprathanta \ 7. Trayah krinvanti Ihuvaneshu retas 
tisrah prajdh drydh jyotir-agrdh \ trayo gharmdsah ushasaih sachante 
sarvdn it tan anu vidur Vasishthah \ 8. Suryasya iva vahhatho jyotir 
eshdm samudrasya iva mahimd gabhlrah \ vdtasya iva prajavo na anyena 
stomo Vasishthah anu etave vah \ 9. Te in ninyaih hridayasya praketaih sa- 
hasra-valsam abhisam charanti \ yamena tatam paridhim vayanto apsarasah 
upa sedur Vasishthah \ 10. Vidyuto jyotih pari sam jihdnam Mitrd-varund 
yad apasyatdm tvd \ tat tejanma uta eTcam Vasishtha Agastyo yat tvd visah 
djabhdra \ 11. Uta asi Maitrdvaruno Vasishtha Urvasyah brahman ma- 
naso 'dhi jdtah \ drapsam skannam brahmand daivyena visve devdh push- 
kare tvd 'dadanta \ 12. Sa praketah ulhayasya pravidvdn sahasra- 
ddnah uta vd saddnah \ yamena tatam paridhim vayi>>hyann apsarasah 
pari jajne Vasishthah \ 1 3. Satire ha jdtdv ishitd namobhih kumbhe 
retah sishichatuh samdnam \ tato ha Mdnah 'ud iydya madhydt tato 
jdtam rishim dhur Vasishtham \ 

" 1. The white-robed (priests) with hair-knots on the right, stimu- 
lating to devotion, have filled me with delight. Rising from the sacri- 
ficial grass, I call to the men, ' Let not the Vasishthas (stand too) far 
off to succour [or gladden] me. 90 2. By their libation they brought 
Indra hither from afar across the Yaisanta away from the powerful 
draught. 91 Indra preferred the Yasishthas to the soma offered by 
Pasadyumna, 92 the son of Yayata. 3. So too with them he crossed the 
river; so too with them he slew Bheda ; so too in the battle of the 
ten kings 93 Indra delivered Sudas through your prayer, o Yasishthas. 

90 Sayana thinks that Vasishtha is the speaker, and refers here to his' own sons. 
Professor Both (under the word av) regards Indra as the speaker. May it not be 
Sudas ? 

91 This is the interpretation of this clause suggested by Professor Aufrecht, vrho 
thinks Vais'anta is probably the name of a river. 

92 According to Sayana, another king who Avas sacrificing at the same time as Sudus. 

93 See verses 6-8 of ll.V. vii. 83, to be next quoted. 


4. Through gratification caused by the prayer of your fathers, o men, 
ye do not obstruct the undecaying axle (?), since at (the recitation of 
the) S'akvari verses M with a loud voice ye have infused energy into 
Indra, o Vasishthas. 5. Distressed, when surrounded in the fight of 
the ten kings, they looked up, like thirsty men, to the sky. Indra 
heard Vasishtha when he uttered praise, and opened up a wide space 
for the Tritsus. 95 6. Like staves for driving cattle, the contemptible 
Bharatas were lopped all round. Vasishtha marched in front, and 
then the tribes of the Tritsus were deployed. 7. Three deities 
create a fertilizing fluid in the worlds. Three are the noble creatures 
whom light precedes. Three fires attend the dawn. 96 All these the 
Yasishthas know. 8. Their lustre is like the full radiance of the 
sun ; their greatness is like the depth of the ocean ; like the swift- 
ness of the wind, your hymn, o Yasishthas, can be followed by no 
one else. 9. By the intuitions of their heart they seek out the mys- 
tery with a thousand branches. "Weaving the envelopment stretched 
out by Tama, the Yasishthas sat down by the Apsaras. 10. "When Mitra 
and Yaruna saw thee quitting the flame of the lightning, that was thy 
birth ; and thou hadst one (other birth), o Vasishtha, when Agastya 
brought thee to the people. 11. And thou art also a son of Mitra and 
Yaruna, o Yasishtha, bom, o priest, from the soul of TJrvasi. All the 
gods placed thee a drop which fell through divine contemplation in 
the vessel. 12. He, the intelligent, knowing both (worlds ?), with a 
thousand gifts, or with gifts he who was to weave the envelopment 
stretched out by Yama he, Yasishtha, was born of the Apsaras. 13. 
They, two (Mitra and Yaruna ?), born at the sacrifice, and impelled by 
adorations, dropped into the jar the same amount of seed. From the 

9* See R.V. x. 71, 11, above, p. 256. 

95 This is evidently the name of the tribe which the Vasishthas favoured, and to 
which they themselves must have belonged. See vii. 83, 4. The Bharatas in the 
next verse appear to be the hostile tribe. 

96 In explanation of this Sayana quotes a passage from the S'atyayana Brahmana, 
as follows : " Trayah krinvanti bhuvaneshu retah" ity Agnih prithivyam retah krinoti 
Vayur antarikshe Adityo divi \ " tisrah prajah aryyah jyotir-agrah " iti Vasavo Ru- 
drah Adityas tasaihjyotir yad asav Adityah \ " trayo gfiarmasah ushasam sachante" 
ity Agnir Ushasam sachate Vayur Ushasam sachate Adityah Ushasam sachate \ (1) 
" Agni produces a fertilizing fluid on the earth, Vayu in the air, the Sun in the sky. 
(2) The ' three noble creatures ' are the Vasus, Rudras, and Adityas. The Sun is 
their light. (3) Agni, Vayu, and the Sun each attend the Dawn." 


midst of that arose Mana (Agastya ?) ; and from that they say that the 
rishi Vasishtha sprang." 97 

There is another hymn (R.V. vii. 18) which relates to the connection 
between Vasishtha and Sudas (verses 4, 5, 21-25) and the conflict 
between the latter and the Tritsus with their enemies (verses 6-18); 
but as it is long and obscure I shall content myself with quoting a few 
verses. 98 

R.V. vii. 18, 4. Dhenum na tvd suyavase dudhukshann upa brahmdni 
sasrije Vas'ishthah \ tvdm id me gopatim visvah aha a nah Indrah suma- 
tim gantu achha \ 5. Arndmsi chit paprathand Suddse Indro gddhdni 

97 Whatever may be the sense of verses 11 and 13, the Nirukta states plainly 
enough v. 1 3 ; Tasyah darsanad Mitra-varunayoh retas chaskanda \ tad-abhivadiny 
esha rig bhavali \ " On seeing her (Urvas'I) the seed of Mitra and Varuna fell from 
them. To this the following verse (R.V. vii.33, 11) refers." And Sayana on the 
same verse quotes a passage from the Brihaddevata. : Tayor adityayoh satire drishtva 
'psarasam Urvas'tm \ retas chaskanda tat kumbhe nyapatad vasafivare \ tenaiva tu 
muhurttena vlryavantau tapasvinau] Agastyas cha Vasishthas cha tatrarsht sambabhu- 
vatuh \ bahudha patitam retail kalase chajale sthale \ sthale Vasishthas tu munih samba- 
bhTivarshi-sattamah \ kumbhe tv Agastyah sambhuto jale matsyo mahadyutih \ udiyaya 
tato 'gastyo samya-matro mahatapah \ manena sammito yasmat tasmad Manyah 
ihochyate \ yadva kumbhad rishirjatah kumbhenapi hi mlyate j kumbhah ity abhidha- 
nafn cha parimanasya lakshyate \ tato 'psu grihyamanasu Vasishthah pushkare sthi- 
tah | sarvatah pushkare tarn hi vis've devah adharayan \ " When these two Adityas 
(Mitra and Varuna) heheld the Apsaras Urvas'I at a sacrifice their seed fell from them 
into the sacrificial jar called vasativara. At that very moment the two energetic and 
austere rishis Agastya and Vasishtha were produced there. The seed fell on many 
places, into the jar, into water, and on the ground. The muni Vasishtha, most 
excellent of rishis, was produced on the ground ; while Agastya was horn in the jar, 
a fish of great lustre. The austere Agastya sprang thence of the size of a samya 
(i.e. the pin of a yoke ; see Wilson, s.v., and Professor Roth, s.v. mana). Since 
he was measured by a certain standard (mana) he is called the ' measurable ' 
(many a). Or, the rishi, having sprung from a jar (humbha}, is also measured by a 
jar, as the word kumbha is also designated as the name of a measure. Then when the 
waters were taken, Vasishtha remained in the vessel (pushkara) ; for all the gods 
held him in it on all sides." In his Illustrations of the Nirukta, p. 64, Prof. Roth 
speaks of the verses of the hymn which relate to Vasishtha's origin as being a more 
modern addition to an older composition, and as describing the miraculous birth of 
the sage in the taste and style of the Epic mythology. Professor Max Miiller 
(Oxford Essays for 1856, pp. 61 f.) says that Vasishtha is a name of the Sun; and 
that the ancient poet is also " called the son of Mitra and Varuna, night and day, an 
expression which has a meaning only in regard to Vasishtha, the sun ; and as the 
sun is frequently called the offspring of the dawn, Vasishtha, the poet, is said to owe 
his birth to Urvas'I" (whom Miiller identifies with Ushas). For M. Langlois's view 
of the passage, see his French version of the R.V. vol. iii. pp. 79 f. and his note, 
p. 234. 

98 See Roth's Litt. u. Gesch. des Weda, pp. 87 ff. where it is translated into German. 



akrinot supdrd \ 21. Pro, ye grihdd amamadus tvdyd Pardsa- 

rah S'ataydtur Vasishthah \ net te Ihojasya sakhyam mrishanta adha 
surilhyah sudind vi uchhdn \ 22. Dve naptur Devavatah sate gor dvd 
rathd vadhumantd Suddsah \ arhann Ague Paijavanasya dtinam hoteva 
sadma pari emi rebhan \ 23. Chatvdro md Paijavanasya ddndh smad- 
dishtayah Jcrisanino nireke \ rijraso md prithivishthdh Stiddsas tokam 
tokaya sravase vahanti \ 24. Tasya sravo rodasi antar unl ilrshne 
slrsJine vibabJiaja vibhaktd \ sapta id Indram na sravato grinanti ni 
Yudhydmadhim asisdd abJilJce \ imam naro Marutah saschatdnu Divo- 
ddsam na pitaram Suddsah \ avishtana Paijavanasya ketam dundsam 
Jcshattram ajaram duvoyu \ 

"4. Seeking to milk thee (Indra), like a cow in a rich meadow, 
Vasishtha sent forth his prayers to thee ; for every one tells me that 
thou art a lord of cows; may Indra come to our hymn. 5. However 
the waters swelled, Indra made them shallow and fordahle to Sudas. 

21. Parasara," S'atayatu, and Yasishtha, devoted to thee, who 

from indifference have left their home, have not forgotten the friendship 
of thee the bountiful; therefore let prosperous days dawn for these 
sages. 22. Earning two hundred cows and two chariots with mares, 
the gift of Sudas the son ofoPijavana, and grandson of Devavat, 100 
I walk round the house, o Agni, uttering praises, like a hotri priest. 
23. The four brown steeds, bestowed by Sudas the son of Pijavana, 
vigorous, decked with pearls, standing on the ground, carry me on 
securely to renown from generation to generation. 24. That donor, 
whose fame pervades both worlds, has distributed gifts to every person. 
They praise him as the seven rivers 101 praise Indra ; he has slain Yu- 
dhyamadhi in battle. 25. Befriend him (Sudas), ye heroic Maruts, as 

99 Parusara is said in Nir. vi. 30, which refers to this passage, to have been a son of 
Vasishtha horn in his old age (Parasarah paraslrnasya Vasishthasya sthamrasya, 
jajne) ; or he was a son of S'akti and grandson of Vasishtha (Roth s.v.) 

100 Devavat is said by Sayana to be a proper name. He may be the same as Divo- 
dasa in verse 25. Or Divodasa may be the father, and Pijavana and Devavat among 
the forefathers of Sudas. In the Vishnu PurSna Sarvakama is said to have been the 
father and Rituparna the grandfather of Sudasa, Wilson's V.P. 4to. ed. p. 380. At 
p. 454 f. a Sudasa is mentioned who was son of Chyavana, grandson of Mitrayu and 
great-grandson of Divodasa. 

101 Professor Roth (Litt. u. Gesch. des Weda, p. 100) compares R.V. i. 102, 2, asya 
s'ravo nadyah sapta bibhrati, " the seven rivers exalt his (Indra' s) renown." These 
rivers are, as Roth explains, the streams freed by India from Vrittra's power. 


ye did Divodasa the (fore)father of Sudas ; fulfil the desire of the son 
of Pijavana (by granting him) imperishable, undecaying power, worthy 
of reverence (?)." 

Although the Vasishthas are not named in the next hymn, it must 
refer to the same persons and circumstances as are alluded to in the 
first portion of R.V. vii. 33, quoted above. 

R.V. vii. 83, 1. Yuvdm nard pasyamdndsah dpyam prdchd gavyantah 
prithu-parsavo yayuh \ ddsd cha vrittrd hatam drydni cha Suddsam 
Indrd-varund 'vasd 'vatam \ 2. Yatra narah samayante krita-dhvajo 
yasminn dj'd bhavati kinchana priyam \ yatra lhayante bhuvand svar- 
drisas tatra nah Indrd-varund 'dhi vochatam \ 3. Sam bhumydh antdh 
dhvasirdh adrikshata Indrd-varund divi ghoshah druhat \ asthur jandndm 
upa mdm ardtayo arvdg avasd havana-srutd dgatam \ 4. Indrd-varund 
vadhandbhir aprati Bhedam vanvantd pra Suddsam dvatam \ brahmdni 
eshdm srinutam havlmani satyd Tritsundm abhavat purohitih \ 5. Indrd- 
varundv abhi d tapanti md aghdni aryo vanushdm ardtayah \ yuvam hi 
vasvah ubhayasya rdjatho adha sma no avatam pdrye divi \ 6. Yuvdm ha- 
vante ulhaydsah djishu Indram cha vasvo Varunam cha sdtaye I yatra 
rdjabhir dasabhir nibddhitam pra Suddsam dvatam Tritsubhih saha \ 
7. Dasa rdjdnah samitdh ayajyavah Suddsam Indrd-varund na yuyu- 
dhuh | satyd nrindm adma-saddm upastutir devdh eshdm abhavan deva- 
hutishu | 8. Ddsardjne pariyattdya visvatah Suddse Indra-varundv 
asikshatam \ svityancho yatra namasd Icaparddino dhiyd dhwanto asa- 
panta Tritsavah \ 

11 Looking to you, o heroes, to your friendship, the men with broad 
axes advanced to fight. Slay our Dasa and our Arya enemies, and 
deliver Sudas by your succour, o Indra and Varuna. 2. In the battle 
where men clash with elevated banners, where something which we 
desire 102 is to be found, where all beings and creatures tremble, there, 
o Indra and Varuna, take our part. 3. The ends of the earth were 
seen to be darkened, o Indra and Varuna, a shout ascended to the sky ; 
the foes of my warriors came close up to me ; come hither with your 
help, ye hearers of our invocations. 4. Indra and Varuna, unequalled 
with your weapons, ye have slain Bheda, and delivered Sudas; ye 
heard the prayers of these men in their invocation ; the priestly agency 

102 Sayana divides the kinchana of the Pada-text into kineha na, which gives the 
sense " where nothing is desired, but everything is difficult." 


of the Tritsus 103 was efficacious. 5. Indra and Varuna, the injurious 
acts of the enemy, the hostilities of the murderous, afflict me on every 
side. Ye are lords of the resources of both worlds : protect us there- 
fore (where ye live) in the remotest heavens. 6. Both parties 101 invoke 
you, both Indra and Varuna, in the battles, in order that ye may 
bestow riches. (They did so in the fight) in which ye delivered Sudas 
when harassed by the ten kings together with the Tritsus. 7. The 
ten kings, who were no sacrificers, united, did not vanquish Sudas, o 
Indra and Varuna. The praises of the men who officiated at the sacri- 
fice were effectual ; the gods were present at their invocations. 8. Ye, 
o Indra and Varuna, granted succour to Sudas, hemmed in on every 
side in the battle of the ten kings, 105 where the white-robed Tritsus, 106 
with hair-knots, reverentially praying, adored you with a hymn." 

From these hymns it appears that Vasishtha, or a Vasishtha and his 
family were the priests of king Sudas (vii. 18, 4f., 21 ff.; vii. 33, 3f.); 
that, in their own opinion, these priests were the objects of Indra' s 
preference (vii. 33, 2), and had by the efficacy of their intercessions 
been the instruments of the victory gained by Sudas over his enemies 
in the battle of the ten kings. It seems also to result from some of the 
verses (vii. 33, 6 ; vii. 83, 4, .6 ; and vii. 33, 1, compared with vii. 83, 
8) that both the king 'and the priests belonged to the tribe of the 
Tritsus. 10 * Professor Roth remarks that in none of the hymns which 

163 Compare verses 7 and 8. Sayana, however, translates the clause differently : 
" The act of the Tritsus for whom I sacrificed, and who put me forward as their 
priest, was effectual : my priestly function on their behalf was successful " (Tritsunam 
etot-sanjnanam mama yajyanam purohitir mama purodhanam satya satya-phalam 
abhavat \ teshu yad mama paurohityam tat saphalam jatam \ 

10 * According to Sayana the two parties were Sudas and the Tritsus his allies 
(ttbhaya-vidhah Sudah-sanjno raja tat-sahaya-bhutasTritsavas cha evaiit dvi-prakarah 
janah). It might have been supposed that one of the parties meant was the hostile 
kings ; but they are said in the next verse to be ayajyarah, " persons who did not 
sacrifice to the gods." 

105 Lasarajne. This word is explained by Sayana in his note on vii. 33, 3, dasa- 
VKi rajabhih saha yuddhe pravritte, " battle having been joined with ten kings." In 
the verse before us he says " the lengthening of the first syllable is a Vedic peculiarity, 
and that the case-ending is altered, and that the word merely means ' by the ten 
kings ' " (dasa-sabdasya chhandaso dlrghah | vibhakti-vyatyayah \ dasabhl rajabhih 
.... pariveshtitaya"). 

Ul6 Here Sayana says the Tritsus are " the priests so called who were Vasishtha's 
disciples" (Tritsavo Vasishtha-sishyah etat-sanjnah ritvijah). 

See Koth, Litt. u. Gesch. des Weda, p. 120. 


he quotes is any allusion made to the Vasishthas being members of any 
particular caste ; but that their connection with Sudas is ascribed to 
their knowledge of the gods, and their unequalled power of invocation 
(vii. 33, 7 f.) 

In the Aitareya Brahmana, viii. 21, we have another testimony to 
the connection of Vasishtha with Sudas, as he is there stated to have 
" consecrated Sudas son of Pijavana by a great inauguration similar to 
Indra's ; los in consequence of which Sudas went round the earth in 
every direction conquering, and performed an asvamedha sacrifice " 
(etena ha vai aindrena mahdbhishekena Fasishthah Suddsam' Paijavanam 
alhishishecha \ tasmdd u Suddh Paijavanah samantam sarvatah prithivlm 
jay an parly ay a asvena cha medhyena ije). 

The following passages refer to Vasishtha having received a reve- 
lation from the god Varuna, or to his being the object of that god's 
special favour : 

vii. 87, 4. Uvdcha me Varuno medhirdya trih sapta ndma aghnyd bi- 
bhartti \ vidwn padasya guhyd na vochad yugdya viprah updraya 
sikshan \ 

" Varuna has declared to me 109 who am intelligent, ' The Cow uo 
possesses thrice seven names. The wise god, though he knows them, 
has not revealed the mysteries of (her) place, which he desires to grant 
to a future generation." 

R.V. vii. 88, 3. A yad ruhdva Varunas cha ndvam pra yat samudram 
iraydva madhyam \ adhi yad apdih snulhis chardva pra pra Inkhe inklia- 
ydvahai iulhe Icam \ 4. Vasishtham ha Varuno ndvi d adhdd rishim cha-. 
kdra svapdh maholhih \ stotujram viprah sudinatve ahndih ydd nu dydvas 
tatanan ydd ushasah \ 5. Kva tydni nau salchyd labhuvuh sachdvahe yad 

108 Colebrooke's Misc. Essays, i. 40. 

109 Vasishtha is not named in this hymn, but he is its traditional author. 

lll> Sayana says that either (1) Vach is here meant under the figure of a cow having 
the names of 21 metres, the Gayatri, etc., attached to her breast, throat, and head, or 
(2) that Vach in the form of the Veda holds the names of 21 sacrifices; but that (3) 
another authority says the earth is meant, which (in the Nighantu, i. 1) has 21 
names, go, gma,jma, etc. (Faff atra gaur uchyate \ sa cha urasi kanthe sirasi cha 
baddhani gayatry-adlni sapta chhandasam namani bibhartti \ yadva vcdatmika vag 
eJcavimsati-samsthanam yajnanam namani bibhartti \ dharayati \ aparah aha " gauh 
prithivt | tasyas cha 'gaur gmcijma' iti pathitany eJcavimsati-namani" iff). I have, 
in translating the second clause of the verse, followed for the most part a rendering 
suggested by Professor Aufrecht. 


avrikam purd chit \ Irihantam mdnam Varuna svadhdvah sahasra-dvdram 
jagama grihaih te \ 6. Yah dpir nityo Varuna priyah san tvdm dgdihsi 
krinavat sakhd te \ md te enasvanto yakshin Ihujema yandhi sma viprah 
stuvate varutham \ 

"When Yaruna and I embark on the boat, when we propel it into 
the midst of the ocean, when we advance over the surface of the 
waters, may we rock upon the undulating element till we become 
brilliant. 4. Varuna took Vasishtha into the boat ; by his mighty acts 
working skilfully he (Yaruna) has made him a rishi ; the wise (god 
has made) him an utterer of praises in an auspicious time, that his 
days and dawns may be prolonged. 111 5. Where are (now) our friend- 
ships, the tranquil! ty which we enjoyed of old ? We have come, o self- 
sustaining Yaruna, to thy vast. abode, to thy house with a thousand 
gates. 6. Whatever friend of thine, being a kinsman constant and 
beloved, may commit offences against thee ; may we not, though sin- 
ful, suffer (punishment), o adorable being ; do thou, o wise god, grant 
us protection." 

R.V. vii. 86 is a sort of penitential hymn in which Vasishtha refers 
to the anger of Varuna against his old friend (verse 4) and entreats for- 
giveness of his offences. This hymn, which appears to be an earnest 
and genuine effusion df natural feeling, is translated in Professor 
Miiller's Anc. Sansk. Lit. p. 540. 

The passage which follows is part of a long hymn, consisting chiefly 
of imprecations directed against Rakshases and Yatudhanas, and said in 
the Brihaddevata (as quoted by Sayana in his introductory remarks) to 
have "been ' seen' by the rishi (Vasishtha) when he was overwhelmed 
with grief and anger for the loss of his hundred sons who had been slain 
by the sons of Sudas " (rishir dadarsa ralcsho-ghnam puttra-solca-pariplu- 
tdh | hate puttra-sate kruddhah Sauddsair duhkhitas tada). I shall cite 
only the verses in which Vasishtha repels the imputation (by whom- 
soever it may have been made) that he was a demon (Rakshas or Yatu- 

R.V. vii. 104, 12. Suvijndnam chilcitushe jandya sach cha asach cha 
vachasi paspridhdte \ tayor yat satyam yatarad rijlyas tad it Somo avati 
hanti asat \ 13. Na vai u Somo vrijinam hinoti na kshattriyam mithuyd 

111 Professor Aufrecht renders the last clause, " As long as days and dawns shall 


dhdrayantam \ hanti raksho hanti asad vadantam ubhdv Indrasya prasitau 
say ate \ 14. Yadi vd aham anrita-devalp dsa mogham vd devdn api uhe 
Agne \ kirn asmabhyam Jdtavedo hrimshe droghavdchas te nirritham 
sachantdm \ 15. Adya muriya yadi ydtudhdno asmi yadi va dyus tatapa 
purushasya \ adha sa vlrair dasabhir vi yuydh yo ma moghafii "Ydtu- 
dhdna" ity aha \ 16. To md aydtum " ydtiidhdna " ity aha yo vd 
rakshdh " suchir asmi" ity dha \ Indras tarn Jiantu mahatd vadhena vis- 
vasyajantor adhamas padlshta \ 

" The intelligent man is well able to discriminate (when) true and 
false words contend together. Soma favours that one of them which 
is true and right, and annihilates falsehood. 13. Soma does not prosper 
the wicked, nor the man who wields power unjustly. He slays the 
Rakshas ; he slays the liar: they both lie. (bound) in the fetters of Indra. 
14. If I were either a follower of false gods, or if I erroneously con- 
ceived of the gods, o Agni: Why, o Jatavedas, art thou incensed 
against us? Let injurious speakers fall into thy destruction. 15. May 
I die this very day, if I be a Yatudhana, or if I have destroyed any 
man's life. May he be severed from his ten sons who falsely says to 
me, 'o Yatudhana.' 16. He who says to me, who am no Yatu, 'o 
Yatudhana,' or who (being himself) a Eakshas, says, 'I am pure,' 
may Indra smite him with his great weapon ; j may he sink down the 
lowest of all creatures. 

In elucidation of this passage Sayana quotes the following lines : 

Hatvd puttra-satam purvam Vasishthasya mahdtmanah \ Vasishtham 
" rdkshaso'si tvaih" Vdsishtham rupam dsthitah \ "aham Vasishthah " 
ity evam jiglidmsuh rdlcshaso 'bravit \ atrottardh richo drishtdh Vasish- 
theneti nah srutam \ 

" Having slain the hundred sons of the great Vasishtha, a murderous 
Eakshasa, assuming the form of that rishi, formerly said to him, ' Thou 
art a llakshasa, and I am Yasishtha.' In allusion to this the latter 
verses were seen by Yasishtha, as we have heard." 

We may, however, safely dismiss this explanation resting on fabu- 
lous grounds. 

The verses may, as Professor Max Miiller supposes, 112 have arisen out 

112 Vasishtha himself, the very type of the Arian Brahman, when in feud with 
Vis'vamitra, is called not only an enemy, hut a ' Yatudhana,' and other names which 
in common parlance are only bestowed on barbarian savages and evil spirits. "NYe 


of Yasishtha's contest with Yisvamitra, and it may have been the 
latter personage who brought tnese charges of heresy, and of murderous 
and demoniacal character against his rival. 118 

Allusion is made both in the Taittiriya Sanhita and in the Kaushl- 
taki Brahmana to the slaughter of a son of Yasishtha by the sons or 
descendants of Sudas. The former work states, Ashtaka vii. (p. 47 
of the India Office MS. No. 1702) : 

Vasishtho hataputro 'Icamayata " vindeya prajdm abhi Sauddsan bha- 
veyam " iti \ sa etam elcasmtinnapanchdsam apasyat tarn dharat tendya- 
jata | tato vai so 'vindata prajdm abM Sauddsan abhavat \ 

" Yasishtha, when his son had been slain, desired, ' May I obtain 
offspring ; may I overcome the Saudasas.' He beheld this ekasmanna- 
panchdsa (?), he took it, and satrificed with it. In consequence he ob- 
tained offspring, and overcame the Saudasas." 

The passage of the Kaushitaki Brahmana, 4th adhyaya, as quoted 
by Professor "Weber (Ind. St. ii. 299) is very similar : 

Vasishtho 'kdmayata hata-putrah " prajdyeya prajayd pa^ulhir abhi 
Sauddsan bhaveyam " iti \ sa etam yajna-kratum apasyad Vasishtha- 
yajnam .... tena ishtvd .... abJii Sauddsan abhavat \ 

" Yasishtha, when his son had been slain, desired, ' May I be fruit- 
ful in offspring and cattle, and overcome the Saudasas.' He beheld 
this form of offering, the Yasishtha- sacrifice ; and having performed it, 
he overcame the Saudasas." 

In his introduction to Rig-veda, vii. 32, Sayana has the following 
notice from the Anukramanika : 

" Sauddsair agnau prakshipyamdnah S'alctir antyam pragdtham dlelhe 
so 'rdharche ukte 'dahyata \ tarn putroktam Fasishthah samapayata " iti 
Sdtyuyanakam \ " Vasishthasya eva hata-putrasya drsham " iti TdndaTcam \ 

"The S'atyayana Brahmana says that ' S'akti (son of Yasishtha), 
when being thrown into the fire by the Saudasas, received (by inspira- 
tion) the concluding pragatha of the hymn. He was burnt after he 
had spoken half a rich ; and Yasishtha completed what his son was 

have still the very hymn in which Vasishtha deprecates such charges with powerful 
indignation." Prof. M tiller then quotes verses 14-16 of the hymn before us (" Last 
Eesults of the Turanian Researches," in Bunsen's " Outlines of the Philosophy of 
Univ. History," i. 344. 

113 See my article " On the relations of the priests to the other classes of Indian 
society in the Yedic age," in the Journal Roy. As. Soc. for 1866, pp. 295 ff. 


uttering. The Tandaka says that 'it was Vasishtha himself who spoke 
the whole when his son was slain.' " ' 

The words supposed to have been spoken by S'akti, viz. " Indra, 
grant to us strength as a father to his sons " (Indra Jcratum nah d bhara 
pita putrebhyo yatha] do not seem to be appropriate to the situation in 
which he is said to have been placed ; and nothing in the hymn 
appears to allude to any circumstances of the kind imagined in the 
two Brahmanas. 

Manu says of Vasishtha (viii. 110): MaharshibhiS cha devais cha 
kdryydrtham Sapathdh kritdh \ Vasishthas chdpi sapatham sepe Paiya- 
vane nripe \ " Great rishis and gods too have taken oaths for particular 
objects. Vasishtha also swore an oath to king Paiyavana." The oc- 
casion on which this was done is stated, by the Commentator Kulluka 
Vasishtho 'py anena puttra-satam bhakshitam iti Visvdmitrena dltrushto 
sva-parisuddhaye Piyavandpatye Suddmni rdjani sapatham chakdra \ 
" Vasishtha being angrily accused by Visvamitra of having eaten (his) 
hundred sons, took an oath before king Sudaman (Sudas, no doubt, is 
meant) the son of Piyavana in order to clear himself." This seems to 
refer to the same story which is alluded to in the passage quoted by 
the Commentator on Big-veda vii. 104, 12. 

In the Ramayana, i. 55, 5 f., a hundred soils of Visvamitra are said 
to have been burnt up by the blast of Vasishtha' s mouth when they 
rushed upon him armed with various weapons ( Visvdmitra-sutdndm tu 
satam nand-vidhayudham \ abhyadhdvat susankruddham Vasishtham japa- 
tdm varam \ hunkarenaiva tan sarvdn nirdaddha mahdn rishih}. 

Vasishtha is also mentioned in Rig-veda, i. 112, 9, as having received 
succour from the Asvins ( Vasishtham ydbhir ajardv ajinvatam}. 

Vasishtha, or the Vasishthas, are also referred to by name in the 
following verses of the seventh Mandala of the Rig-veda : 7, 7 ; 9, 6 ; 
12, 3; 23, 1, 6; 26, 5; 37, 4; 39, 7; 42, 6 ; 59, 3; 70, 6; 73, 3; 
76, 6, 7 ; 77, 6 ; 80, 1 ; 90, 7 ; 95, 6 ; 96, 1, 3 ; but as no information 
is derivable from these texts, except that the persons alluded to were 
the authors or reciters of the hymns, it is needless to quote them. 114 

111 Another verse of a hymn in which the author is not referred to (vii. 72, 2) 
is as follows : A. no devebhir upa yatam arvak sajoshasha nasatya rathena \ yuvor 
hi nah sakhya pitryani samano bandhur uta tasya vittam \ " Come near to us, 
Asvins, on the same car with the gods : for we have ancestral friendships with you, 
a common relation ; do ye recognize it." Although this has probahly no mythological 


In the Atharva-veda, iv. 29, 3 and 5, Vasishtha and Visvamitra are 
mentioned among other persofciges, Angiras, Agasti, Jamadagni, Atri, 
Kasyapa, Bharadvaja, Gavishthira, and Kutsa, as being succoured by 
Mitra and Varuna (. . . . yav Angirasam avatho ydv Agastim Mitra- Va- 
runa Jamadagnim Atrim \ yau Katyapam avatho yau Vasishtham .... 
yau Sharadvdjam avatho yau Gavishthiram Visvdmitram Varuna Mitra 
Eut&arn). And in the same Veda, xviii. 3, 15 f., they are invoked as 
deliverers : Visvdmitro ''yam Jamadagnir Atrir avantu nah Kasyapo Vd- 
madevah \ Yisvamitra Jamadagne Vasishtha Bharadvaja Gotama Vdma- 
deva ... | "15. May this Yisvamitra, may Jamadagni, Atri, Kasyapa, 
Vamadeva preserve us. 16. Yisvamitra, o Jamadagni, o Vasishtha, o 
Bharadvaja, o Gotama, o Vasmadeva." The second passage at least 
must be a good deal more recent than the most of the hymns of the 

Sudas is mentioned in other parts of the Big-veda without any refer- 
ence either to Vasishtha or to Visvamitra. In some cases his name is 
coupled with that of other kings or sages, which appears to shew that 
in some of these passages at least a person, and not a mere epithet, 
"the liberal man," is denoted by the word Sudas. 

B.V. i. 47, 6. (The traditional rishi is Praskanva.) Suddse dasrd vasu 
bilhratd rathe priksho vtihatam Asvind \ rayim samudrdd uta vd divas 
pari asme dhattam puru-spriham \ 

" impetuous Asvins, possessing wealth in your car, bring susten- 
ance to Sudas. Send to us from the (aerial) ocean, or the sky, the 
riches which are much coveted." 

Sayana says the person here meant is " king Sudas, son of Pijavana " 
(Suddse .... rdjne Pijavana-puttrdya'). 

i. 63, 7. (The rishi is Nodhas, of the family of Gotama.) Team ha 
tyad Indra sapta yudhyan puro vajrin Purukutsdya dardah \ larhir na 
yat Suddse vrithd varg anho rdjan varivah Purave kah \ 

" Thou didst then, o thundering Indra, war against, and shatter, the 
seven cities for Purukutsa, when thou, o king, didst without effort hurl 

reference, Sayana explains it as follows : Vivasvan Varunas cha ubhav api Kasyapad 
A.diter jatau \ Vivasvan Asvinor janaTco Varuno Vasislithasya ity evam samana-ban- 
dhutvam \ " Vivas vat and Varuna were both sons of Kasyapa andAditi. Vivasvat 
was the father of the Asvins and Varuna of Vasishtha ; such is the affinity." Sayana 
then quotes the Brihaddevata to prove the descent of the As'vins from Vivasvat. 
Compare K.V. x. 17, 1, 2, and Nirukta, xii. 10, 11. 


away distress from Sudas like a bunch of grass, and bestow wealth, on 
Puru. 115 ' 

i. 112, 19. (The rishi is Kutsa.) .... ydlhir Sudase uhathuh sude- 
vyam tdbliir u shu utilhir Asvind gatam \ 

11 Come, o Asvins, with those succours whereby ye brought glorious 
power to Sudas" ['son of Pijavana' Sayana]. 118 

The further texts which follow are all from the seventh Mandala, of 
which the rishis, with scarcely any exception, are said to be Vasishtha 
and his descendants : 

vii. 19, 3. Tvam dhrishno dhrishatd vltahavyam prdvo visvd blrir utilhih 
Suddsam \ pra Paurukutsim Trasadasyum dvah kshettrasdtd vrittrahat- 
yeshu Purum \ 

" Thou, o fierce Indra, hast impetuously protected Sudas, who offered 
oblations, with every kind of succour. Thou hast preserved Trasadasyu 
the son of Purukutsa, and Puru in his conquest of land and in his 
slaughter of enemies." 

vii. 20, 2. Hantd Vrittram Indrah susuvdnah prdvid nu vlro jari- 
tdram utl \ karttd Sudase aha vai u lokafh data vasu muhur u ddsushe bhut \ 

"Indra growing in force slays Vritra; the hero protects him who 
praises him ; he makes room for Sudas [or the liberal sacrificer Ical- 
ydna-ddndya yajamdndya. Sayana] ; he gives' riches repeatedly to his 

vii. 25, 3. S'atam te siprinn utayah Sudase sahasram samsdh uta 
rdtir astu \ jahi vadhar vanusho marttyasya asme dyumnam adhi ratnam 
cha dhehi \ 

" Let a hundred succours come to Sudas, a thousand desirable (gifts) 
and prosperity. Destroy the weapon of the murderous. Confer renown 
and wealth on us." 

(Sayana takes sudds here and in all the following citations to signify 
a "liberal man.") 

115 Professor Roth renders this passage differently in his Litt. u. Gesch. des "Weda, 
p. 132 ; as does also Prof. Benfey, Orient und Occident, i. p. 590. 

116 In E.V. i. 185, 9, vre find the word sudds in the comparative degree sudastara, 
where it must have the sense of " very liberal " : bhuri chid aryah sudastaraya \ 
" (give the wealth) of my enemy, though it be abundant to (me who am) most liberal." 
In v. 53, 2, the term sudas appears to be an adjective : a etan ratheshu tasthushah 
kah s'usrava fcatha yayuh \ Tcasmai sasruh sudase emu apayah ilabhir vrishtayah saha\ 
" Who has heard them (the Maruts) mounted on their cars, how they have gone ? To 
what liberal man have they resorted as friends, (in the form of) showers with 


vii. 32. 10. NaTcih Suddso ratham pari dsa na rlramat \ Indro yasya 
avitd yasya Maruto gamat sa gtmati vfiaje \ 

" !N\> one can oppose or stop the chariot of Sudas. He whom Indra, 
whom the Maruts, protect, walks in a pasture filled with cattle." 

vii. 53, 3 : Uto hi vain ratnadheydni santi puruni dydvd -prithivl 
Suddse | 

"And ye, o "Heaven and Earth, have many gifts of wealth for Sudas 
[or the liberal man]." 

vii. 60, 8. Yad gopdvad Aditili arma lhadram Mitro yachhanti Va- 
runah Suddse \ tasminn d tokam tanayam dadhdndh md karma Aeva- 

helanam turdsah \ 9 pari dvesholhir Aryamd vnnaktu urum 

Suddse vrishanau u lokam \ 

"Since Aditi, Mitra, and Yaruna afford secure protection to Sudas 
(or the liberal man), bestowing on him offspring ; may we not, o 

mighty deities, commit any offence against the gods. 9 May 

Aryaman rid us of our enemies. (Grant) ye vigorous gods, a wide 
space to Sudas." 

There is another passage, vii. 64, 3 (Iravad yathd nah dd arih Su- 
ddse], to which I find it difficult to assign the proper sense. 

Yasishtha is referred to in the following passages of the Brahman as : 

Kathaka 37, 17 7 17 Rihayo vai Indram pratyaksham na apasyams tarn 
Vasishthah eva pratyasham apasyat \ so 'libhed " itarelhyo md rishi- 
bhyah pravakshyati " iti \ so 'bravld " brdhmanam te vakshydmi yathd 
tvat-purohitdh prajdh prajanishyante \ atha md itarebhyah rishibhyo md 
pravochah" iti \ tasmai etdn stoma-lhdgdn abravit tato Vasishtha-puro- 
hitdh prajdh prdjdyanta \ 

" The rishis did not behold Indra face to face ; it was only Yasishtha 
who so beheld him. He (Indra) was afraid lest Yasishtha should reveal 
him to the other rishis ; and said to him, 'I shall declare to thee a Brah- 
mana in order that men may be born who shall take thee for their puro- 
hita. Do not reveal me to the other rishis.' Accordingly he declared to 

117 Quoted by Professor "Weber, Indische Studien, iii. 478. 

118 The words from so 'bibhet down to iti are omitted in the Taitt. Sanhita, iii. 5, 
2, 2, where this passage is also found. Weber refers in Ind. St. ii. to another part of 
the Knthaka, ii. 9, where Vasishtha is alluded to as having "seen " a text beginning 
Avith the word purovata during a time of drought (" Purovata " iti vrishty-apete 
bhuta-grame Vasishtho dadars'a). 


him these parts of the hymn. In consequence men were born who took 
Vasishtha for their purohita." 

Professor Weber refers in the same place to a passage of the S'ata- 
patha Brahmana relating to the former superiority of Vasishtha's 
family in sacred knowledge and priestly functions : 

xii. 6, 1, 38. Vasishtho ha virdjam viddnchalcdra tarn ha Indro 'bhida- 
dhyau \ sa ha uvdcha " rishe virdjam ha vai vettha turn me Iruhi" iti \ 
sa ha uvdcha "kirn mama tatah sydd" iti \ " sarvasya cha te yajnasya 
prdyaschittim Iruydm rupam cha tvd darsayeya" iti \ sa ha uvdcha 
" yad nu me sarvasya yajnasya prdyaschittim bruydh kirn u sa sydd yam 
tvam rupam darsayethdh" iti \ jlva-svarga eva asmdl lokdt preydd" 
iti | tato ha etdm rishir Indrdya mrdjam uvdcha " iyam vai virdd " iti \ 
tasmdd yo 'syai bhuyishtham labhate*sa eva sreshtho bhavati \ atha ha 
etdm Indrah rishaye prdyaschittim uvdcha agnihotrdd agre d mahatah 
ukihdt | tdh ha sma etdh purd vydhritlr Vasishthdh eva viduh \ tasmdd 
ha sma purd Vdsishthah eva Irahmd lhavati \ 

" Vasishtha was acquainted with the Viraj (a particular Vedic metre). 
Indra desired it ; and said, ' rishi, thou knowest the Viraj : declare 
it to me.' Vasishtha asked : ' What (advantage) will result to me 
from doing so ? ' (Indra replied) ' I shall both explain to thee the 
forms for rectifying anything amiss (prdyaschltti} 11Q in the entire sacri- 
fice, and show thee its form.' Vasishtha further enquired, ' If thou 
declarest to me the remedial rites for the entire sacrifice, what shall 
he become to whom thou wilt show the form ? ' (Indra answered) 
' He shall ascend from this world to the heaven of life.' The rishi then 
declared this Viraj to Indra, saying, 'this is the Viraj.' Wherefore it 
is he who obtains the most of this (Viraj) that becomes the most 
eminent. Then Indra explained to the rishi this remedial formula 
from the agnihotra to the great uktha. Formerly the Vasishthas alone 
knew these sacred syllables (vydhriti}. Hence in former times a 
Vasishtha only was a (priest of the kind called) brahman." 

Professor Weber quotes also the following from the Kathaka 32, 2. 
Yam abrdhmanah prdsndti sd skannd dhutis tasyd vai Vasishthah eva 
prdyaschittam viddnchahdra \ "The oblation of which a person not a 
brahman partakes is vitiated. Vasishtha alone knew the remedial rite 
for such a case." 

119 See above, p. 294. 


In the Shadvimsa Brahmana of the Sama-veda, quoted by the same 
writer (Ibid. i. 39, and described p. 37, as possessing a distinctly formed 
Brahmanical character indicating a not very early date), we have the 
following passage : 

i. 5. Indro ha Visvdmitrdya uktham uvdcha Vasishthdya Irahma vdg 
uktham ity eva Visvdmitrdya mano Irahma Vasishthdya \ tad vai etad 
Vdsishtham Irahma \ api ha evamvidham va Vdsishtham vd brahmdnam 
kurvlta \ 

"Indra declared the uktha (hymn) to Yisvamitra, and the brahman 
(devotion) to Yasishtha. The uktha is expression (vdk] that (he made 
known) to Yisvamitra; and the Irahman is the soul; that (he made 
known) to Yasishtha. Hence this Irahman (devotional power) belongs 
to the Yasishthas. Moreover, let either a person of this description, or 
a man of the family of Yasishtha, be appointed a Jrafowaw-priest." 

Here the superiority of Yasishtha over Yisvamitra is clearly as- 
serted. 120 

Yasishtha is mentioned in the Mahabharata, S'antip. verses 11221 ff., 
as having communicated divine knowledge to king Janaka, and as 
referring (see verses 11232, 11347, 11409, 11418, 11461, etc.) to the 
Sankhya and Yoga systems. The sage is thus characterized : 

11221. Vasishtham sreshtham dsmam rishindm Ihdskara-dyutim \ pa- 
prachha Janako raja jndnam naissreyasam param \ param adhydtma- 
kusalam adhdtma-gati-nischayam \ Maitravarunim dslnam abhivddya 
kritdnjalih \ 

"King Janaka with joined hands saluted Yasishtha the son of Mitra 
and Yaruna, the highest and most excellent of rishis, resplendent as 
the sun, who was acquainted with the Supreme Spirit, who had ascer- 
tained the means of attaining to the Supreme Spirit ; and asked him 
after that highest knowledge which leads to final beatitude." 

The doctrine which the saint imparts to the king he professes to 
have derived from the eternal Hiranyagarbha, i.e. Brahma (avdptam 
etad hi mayd sandtandd Hiranyagarlhdd gadato narddhipa}. 

I have already in former parts of this volume quoted passages from 
Manu, the Yishnu Purana, and the Mahabharata, regarding the creation 

120 Professor "Weber mentions (Ind. St. i. 53) that in the commentary of Rama- 
krishna on the Paraskara Grihya Sutras allusion is made to the " Chhandogas who 
follow the Sutras of the Vasishtha family" Vasishtha-sutranucharinas' chhandogaK). 


of Yasishtha. The first-named work (see above, p. 36) makes him one 
of ten Maharshis created by Manu Svayambhuva in the first (or Sva- 
yambhuva) Manvantara. The Vishnu Parana (p. 65) declares him to 
have been one of nine mind-born sons or Brahmas created by Brahma 
in the Manvantara just mentioned. The same Purana, however, iii. 
1, 14, makes him also one of the seven rishis of the existing or 
Vaivasvata Manvantara, of which the son of Vivasvat, S'raddhadeva, 1 " 
is the Manu ( Vivasvatah suto vipra S'rdddhadevo mahddyutih \ Manuh 
samvarttate dhimdn sdmpratam saptame 'ntare .... Vasishthah Kd- 
syapo 'thdtrir Jamadagnih sa-Gautamah \ Visvdmitra-Bharadvdjau sapta 
saptarshayo 'bhavan). The Mahabharata (see p. 122) varies in its ac- 
counts, as in one place it does not include Vasishtha among Brahma's 
six mind-born sons, whilst in a second passage it adds him to the 
number which is there raised to seven, 122 and in a third text describes 
him as one of twenty-one Prajapatis. 

According to the Vishnu Purana, i. 10, 10, "Yasishtha had by his 
wife IJrjja " (one of the daughters of Daksha, and an allegorical per- 
sonage, see Y. P. i. 7, 18), seven sons called Rajas, Gatra, tlrddhva- 
bahu, Savana, Anagha, Sutapas, and Sukra, who were all spotless 
rishis" (TTrjjdydm cha Vasishthasya saptdjdyanta vai sutdh \ Rajo- 
Gdtrordhhvaldhuscha Savanas chunaghas tathd ' \ Sutapdh S'ukrah ity 
ete sarve saptarshayo 'maldK). This must be understood as referring to 
the Svayambhuva Manvantara. The Commentator says these sons 
were the seven rishis in the third Manvantara (saptarshayas tritlya- 
manvantare). In the description of that period the Y. P. merely says, 
without naming them (iii. 1, 9) that "the seven sons of Yasishtha 
were the seven rishis" (Vasishtlia-tanayas tatra sapta saptarshayo 
'bhavan). m The Bhagavata Purana (iv. 1, 40 f.) gives the names of 
Yasishtha's sons differently ; and also specifies S'aktri and others as the 
offspring of a different marriage. (Compare Professor Wilson's notes 
on these passages of the Yishnu Purana.) 

121 See above p. 209, note 66, and pp. 188 ff. 

122 In another verse also (Adip. 6638, which will be quoted below in a future 
section) he is said to be a mind-born son of Brahma. 

123 Urjja, who in the Vishnu P. iii. 1, 6, isj stated to be one of the rishis of the 
second or Svarochisha Manvantara, is said in the Vayu P. to be a son of Vasishtha. 
See Professor "Wilson's note (vol. iii. p. 3) on Vishnu P. iii. 1, 6. The Vayu P. also 
declares that one of the rishis in each of the fourth and fifth Manvantaras was a son. 
of Vasishtha. (See Prof. Wilson's notes (vol. iii. pp. 8 and 11) on Vishnu P. iii. 1.) 


In Manu, ix. 22 f., it is said that " a wife acquires the qualities of 
the husband with whom she is duly united, as a river does when 
blended with the ocean. 23. Akshamala, though of the lowest origin, 
became honourable through her union with Yasishtha, as did also 
Sarangl through her marriage with Handapala" (Yddrig-gunenalhart- 
trd strl samyujyate yathdvidhi \ iddrig-gund sd bhavati samudreneva nim- 
naffd | 23. Akshamala Vasishthena samyuktd ' dhama-yoni-jd \ S'drangl 

Yasishtha' s wife receives the same name (Vasishthas chdkshamdlaya] 
in a verse of the Hahabharata (Udyogaparvan, v. 3970) ; m but in two 
other passages of the same work, which will be adduced further on, 
she is called Arundhati. 125 

According to the Yishnu Purana (ii. 10, 8) Yasishtha is one of the 
superintendents who in -the month of Ashadha abide in the Sun's 
chariot, the others being Yaruna, Rambha, Sahajanya, Huhu, Budha, 
and Rathachitra ( Vasishtho Varuno Rambha Sahajanya Huhur Budhah \ 
Rathachitras tatha S'uJcre vasanty Ashadha-sanjnite] ; whilst in the 
month of Phalguna (ibid. v. 16) the rival sage Yisvamitra exercises the 
same function along with Yishnu, Asvatara, Rambha, Suryavarchas, 
Satyajit, and the Rakshasa Yajnapeta (sruyatdm chdpare surye phdl- 
gune nivasanti ye \ Vi&hnur Asvataro Eambhd Suryavarchas cha Sat- 
yajit | Visvdmitras tatha raJcsho Yajndpeto mahdtmanah'). 

At the commencement of the Yayu Purana Yasishtha is charac- 
terized as being the most excellent of the rishis (rishmdm cha varish- 
thdya Vasishthdya mahdtmane}. 

It is stated in the Yishnu Purana, iii. 3, 9, that the Yedas have 
been already divided twenty-eight times in the course of the present or 
Yaivasvata Manvantara ; and that this division has always taken place 
in the Dvapara age of each system of four yugas. In the first Dvapara 
Brahma Svayambhu himself divided them ; in the sixth Mrityu (Death, 
or Tama) ; whilst in the eighth Dvapara it was Yasishtha who was the 
Yyasa or divider (Ashtdvimsatikritvo vai veddh vyastdh maharshibhih \ 
Vaivasvate 'ntare tasmin dvtipareshu .punah punah \ .... 10. Dvdpare 
prathame vyastdh svayam veddh Svayambhuvd | . . . . 1 1 .... Mrityuh 
shashthe smritah prabhuh \ .... Vasishthas chdshtame smritah]. 

124 Two lines below Haimavatlis mentioned as the wife of Visvamitra (Haimavatya 
cha KausikaK). 

125 In the St. Petersburg Lexicon akshatnala is taken for an epithet of Arundhati. 


Vasishtha was, as we have seen above, the family-priest of Nimi, 
son of Ikshvaku, who was the son of Manu Vaivasvata, and the first 
prince of the solar race of kings ; and in a passage of the Mahabha- 
rata, Adip. (6643 f.), which will be quoted in a future section, he is 
stated to have been the purohita of all the kings of that family. He 
is accordingly mentioned in Vishnu Purana, iv. 3, 18, as the religious 
teacher of Sagara, the thirty-seventh in descent from Ikshvaku (iat- 
kula-gurum Vasishtham saranam jagmuK] ; and as conducting a sacrifice 
for Saudasa or Mitrasaha, a descendant in the fiftieth generation of the 
same prince (Vishnu P. iv. 4, 25, Kulena gaclihata sa Sauddso yajnam 
ayajat \ parinishtMta-yajne cha acharyye VasishtTie nishkrante ityddi}. 

Vasishtha is also spoken of in the Ramayana, ii. 110, 1 (see above, 
p. 115), and elsewhere (ii. Ill, 1, etc.)} as the priest of Rama, who 
appears from the Vishnu Purana, (iv. 4, 40, !md the preceding narra- 
tive), to have been a descendant of Ikshvaku in the sixty-first gene- 
ration. 128 

Vasishtha, according to all these accounts, must have been possessed 
of a vitality altogether superhuman ; for it does not appear that any of 
the accounts to which I have referred intend under the name of Vasish- 
tha to denote merely a person belonging to jthe family so called, but 
to represent the founder of the family himself as taking part in the 
transactions of many successive ages. 

It is clear that Vasishtha, although, as we shall see, he is frequently 
designated in post-vedic writings as a Brahman, was, according to some 
other authorities I have quoted, not really such in any proper sense of 
the word, as in the accounts which are there given of his birth he is 
declared to have been either a mind-born son of Brahma, or the son of 
Mitra, Varuna, and the Apsaras UrvasI, or to have had some other 
supernatural origin. 

> SECT. VII. Visvamitra. 

Visvamitra is stated in the Anukramanika, as quoted by Sayana at 
the commencement of the third Mandala of the Rig-veda, to be the 
rishi, or " seer," of that book of the collection : Asya mandala-drashta 

126 Rama's genealogy is also given in the Ramayana, i. 70, and ii. 110, 6 ff., where, 
however, he is said to be only the thirty-third or thirty-fourth from Ikshvaku. 



Visvdmitrah rishih \ " The rishi of this (the first hymn) was Visva- 
mitra, the 'seer' of the Mandala." This, however, is to be understood 
with some exceptions, as other persons, almost exclusively his descend- 
ants, are said to be the rishis of some of the hymns. 

I shall quote such passages as refer, or are traditionally declared to 
refer, to Visvamitra or his family. 

In reference to the thirty-third hymn the Nirukta states as follows : 

ii. 24. Tatra itihdsam dchakshate \ Visvdmitrah rishih Suddsah Paija- 
vanasya purohito labhuvd . . . . | sa vittam grihltva Vipdt-chhutudryoh 
sambhedam dyayau \ anuyayur itare \ sa Visvdmitro nadls tushtdva " gd- 
dhdh lhavata " Hi \ 

" They there relate a story. The rishi Visvamitra was the purohita 
of Sudas, the son of Pijavana. (Here the etymologies of the names 
Visvamitra, Sudas, and ?ijavana are given.) Taking his property, he 
came to the confluence of the Vipas and S'utudri (Sutlej); others 
followed. Visvamitra lauded the rivers (praying them to) become 

Sayana expands the legend a little as follows : 

Purd Tcila Visvamitrah Paijavanasya Suddso rdjnah purohito labhuva \ 
sa cha paurohityena labdha-dhanah sarvam dhanam dddya Vipdt-chhutu- 
dryoh sambhedam dyayau \ anuyayur itare \ athottitlrshur Visvdmitro 
'gddha-jale te nadyau drishtvd uttarandrtham ddydbhis tisribhis tushtdva \ 

" Formerly Visvamitra was the purohita of king Sudas, the son of 
Pijavana. He, having obtained wealth by means of his office as puro- 
hita, took the whole of it, and came to the confluence of the Vipas and 
the S'utudri. Others followed. Being then desirous to cross, but,per- 
ceiving that the waters of the rivers were not fordable, Visvamitra, 
with the view of getting across lauded them with the first three verses 
of the hymn." 

The hymn makes no allusion whatever to Sudas, but mentions the 
son of Kusika (Visvamitra) and the Bharatas. It is not devoid of ( 
poetical beauty, and is as follows : 

R.V. iii. 33, 1 (=. Nirukta, ix. 39). Pra parvatdndm usatl upasthdd 
asve iva vishite hdsamdne \ gdveva subhre mdtard rihdne Vipdt Chhutudrl 
payasd javete \ 2. Indreshite prasavam Ihikshamdne achha samudram 
rathyd iva ydthah \ samdrdne urmibhih pintamdne anyd vdm anydm api 
eti Subhre \ 3. Achha sindhum mdtritamdm aydsam Vipdsam urvlm 


subhagdm aganma \ vatsam iva mdtard samrihdne samdnam yonim anu 
sancharantl \ 4. End vayam payasd pinvamdnd anu yonim deva-kritam 
charantlh \ na varttave prasavah sarga-taktah Itimyur vipro nadyo johavlti \ 
5 (= Mrukta, ii. 25). Ramadhvam me vachase somydya ritdvarir upa 
muhurttam evaih \ pra sinaTium achha brihati manlshd avasyur aJive 
Kusika&ya sunuh \ 6 (= Mr. ii. 26). Indro asmdn aradat vajra-bdhur 
apdhan Vrittram paridhim nadlndm \ devo 'nayat Savitd supdnis tasya 
vayam prasave ydmah urvih \ 1. Pravdchyam &asvadhd vlryam tad 
Indrasya karma yad Ahim vivrischat \ vi vajrena parishado jagkdna 
dyann dpo ayanam ichhamdndh \ 8. Etad vacho jaritar md 'pi mrishtdh 
d yat te ghoshdn uttard yugdni \ uktheshu Mro prati no jushasva md no 
ni kah purushatra namas te \ 9. su svasdrah Jcdrave srinota yayau yo 
durdd anasd raihena \ ni su namadhvtffti bhavata supdrd adhoaJcsnah 
sindhavah srotydlhih \ 10 (=Nir. ii. 27). A te'hdro srinavama vachdmsi 
yaydtha durdd anasd ratJiena \ ni te namsai pipy and iva yosnd marydya 
iva kanyd sasvachai te \ 11. Yad anga tvd Bharatdh santareyur gavyan 
grdmah ishitah Indra-jutah \ arshdd aha prasavah sarga-taktah d vo 
vrine sumatim yajniydndm \ 12. Atdrishur Bharatdh gavymah sam 
abhalita viprah sumatim nadlndm \ pra pinvadhvam ishayantlh surddhdh 
d valcshandh prinadhvam ydta sllham \ 

" 1. (Yisvamitra speaks) : Hastening eagerly from the heart of the 
mountains, contending like two mares let loose, like two bright mother- 
cows licking 127 (each her calf), the Yipas and S'utudri rush onward with 
their waters. 2. Impelled by Indra, seeking a rapid course, ye move 
towards the ocean, as if mounted on a car. Running together, as ye 
do, swelling with your waves, the one of you joins the other, ye bright 
streams. 3. I have come to the most motherly stream; we have arrived 
at the broad and beautiful Yipas ; proceeding, both of them, like two 
mother(-cows) licking each her calf, to a common receptacle. 4. (The 
rivers reply) : Here swelling with our waters we move forward to the re- 
ceptacle fashioned by the gods (the ocean) ; our headlong course cannot 
be arrested. What does the sage desire that he invokes the rivers ? 5. 
(Yisvamitra says) : Stay your course for a moment, ye pure streams, 
(yielding) to my pleasant words. 128 With a powerful prayer, I, the son 

127 Prof. Roth (Illustr. of Nirukta, p. 133) refers to vii. 2. 5 (purvi sis'um na ma- 
tara rihane) as a parallel passage. 

128 Prof. Roth (Litt. u. Gesch. des "Weda, p. 103) renders: " Listen joyfully for a 


of Kusika, 129 desiring succour, invoke the river. 6. (The rivers answer) : 
Indra, the wielder of the thunderbolt, has hollowed out our channels ; 
he has smitten Ahi who hemmed in the streams. Savitri the skilful- 
handed has led us hither ; by his impulse we flow on in our breadth. 
7. For ever to be celebrated is the heroic deed of Indra, that he has split 
Vrittra in sunder. He smote the obstructions with his thunderbolt ; 
and the waters desiring an outlet went on their way. 8. Do not, o 
utterer of praises, forget this word, which future ages will re-echo to 
thee. In hymns, o bard, show us thy devotion ; do not humble us 
before men ; reverence be paid to thee. 9. (Visvamitra says) : Listen, 
o sisters, to the bard who has come to you from afar with waggon and 
chariot. Sink down ; become fordable ; reach not up to our chariot-axles 
with your streams. 1 0. (The rivers answer) : We shall listen to thy words, 
o bard ; thou hast come from far with waggon and chariot. I will bow 
down to thee like a woman with full breast 130 (suckling her child); as a 
maid to a man will I throw myself open to thee. 11. (Visvamitra says) : 
When the Bharatas, 131 that war-loving tribe, sent forward, impelled by 
Indra, have crossed thee, then thy headlong current shall hold on its 
course. I seek the favour of you the adorable. 12. The war-loving 
Bharatas have crossed ; the Sage has obtained the favour of the rivers. 
Swell on impetuous, and fertilizing ; fill your channels; roll rapidly." 

The next quotation is from the fifty-third hymn of the same third 
Mandala, verses 6 ff. : 

6. ApaTi somam astam Indra pra yahi kalydmr jay a suranam grihe 

moment to my amiable Speech, ye streams rich in water ; stay your progress ; " and 
adds in a note : " I do not connect the particle upa with ramadhvam, as the Nirukta 
and Sayana do ; the fact that upa stands in another Pada (quarter of the verse) 
requires a different explanation. The most of those interpretations of the Commen- 
tator which destroy the sense have their ultimate ground in the circumstance that he 
combines the words of different divisions of the verse ; and any one may easily con- 
vince himself that every Pada has commonly a separate sense, and is far more inde- 
pendent of the others than is the case in the sloka of later times." In his Lexicon 
Roth renders ritavarl'm this passage by " regular," "equably flowing." 

129 " Kusika was a king " (Kwiko raja babhuva. Nir. ii. 25). Sayana calls him 
a royal rishi. 

130 This is the sense assigned by Prof. Roth, g.v. pi to pipyana. Sayana, following 
Ynska, ii. 27, gives the sense " suckling her child." Prof. Aufrecht considers that the 
word means "pregnant." In the next clause sasvachai is rendered in the manner 
suggested by Prof. A., who compares R.V. x. 18, ] 1, 12. 

131 " The men of the family of Bharata, my people " (Bharata-kula-jah madiyah 
sarve." Sayana). 


te | yatra rathasya brihato nidhdnam vimochanam vdjino dakshindvat \ 
7. Ime bhojdh angiraso virupdh divas putrdso asurasya vlrdh \ Visvd- 
mitrdya dadato maghdni sahasra-sdve pratirante dyuh \ 8. Rupam rupam 
maghavd bobhavlti may ah krinvdnas tanvam pari svdm \ trir yad divah 
pari muhurttam dgdt svair mantrair anritupdh ritdvd \ 9. Mohan rishir 
deva-jdh deva-jilto astabhndt sindhum arnavam nrichakshdh \ Visvdmitro 
yad avahat Suddsam apriydyata Kusikebhir Indrah \ 10. Hamsdh iva 
krinutha slokam adrilhir madanto glrbhir adhvare sute sachd \ devebhir 
viprdh rishayo nrichakshaso vi pibadhvaih Kusikdh somyam madhu \ 
1 1 . Upa preta Kusikds clietayadhvam asvam rdye pra munchata Su- 
ddsah | raja vrittram janghanat prdg apdg udag atha yajdte vare a 
prithivytih \ 12. Yah ime rodasl ubhe aham Indram atushtavam \ Visva- 
mitrasya rak&hati Iralima idam Bhdratam janam \ 13. Visvdmitrdh 

t7 / I 

ardsata brahma Indrdya vajrine \ karad in nah surddhasah \ 14 (Mr. 
vi. 32'). Kim te kurvanti Klkateshu gdvo ndsiram duhre na tapanti gJiar- 
mam \ d no lhara Pramagandasya vedo Naichdsakharn maghavan randhaya 
nah \ 15. Sasarparlr amatim Iddhamdnd brihad mimdya Jamadagni- 
dattd \ d Suryasya duhitd tatdna sravo deveshu amritam ajuryam \ 16. 
Sasarparlr abharat tuyam ebhyo adhi sravah panchajanydsu krishtishu \ 
sd pakshyd navyam dyur dadhdnd yam me palasti-jamadagnayo daduh \ 
21. Indra utilhir bahuldbhir no adya'ydchchhreshthdbhir ma- 
ghavan sura jinva \ yo no dveshti adharah sas padlshta yam u dvishmas 
tarn u prdno jahdtu \ 22. parasum chid vi tapati simbalam chid vi vris- 
chati \ ukhd chid Indra yeshantl prayastd phenam asyati. 23. Na sdya- 
kasya chikite jandso lodham nayanti pasu manyamdndh \ ndvdjinam 
vdjindh hdsayanti na gardabham puro asvdn nayanti \ 24. Ime Indra 
Bharatasya putrdh apapitvam chikitur na prapitvam \ hinvanti asvam 
aranam na nityam jydvdjam pari nayanti djau \ 

"6. Thou hast drunk soma ; depart, Indra, to thy abode : thou hast a 
handsome wife and pleasure in thy house. In whatever place thy great 
chariot rests, it is proper that the steed should be unyoked. 7. These 
bountiful Virupas of the race of Angiras, 132 heroic sons of the divine 

132 Sayana says that the liberal men are the Kshattriyas, sons of Sudas, that 
virupah means their different priests of the race of Angiras, Medhatithi, and others, 
and that the sons of the sky are the Maruts, the sons of Rudra (Ime yagam kurvanah 
bhojah Saudasah kshattriyuh teshani yajakah virupah nanarupah Medhatilhi-prabhri- 
tayo 'ngirasas cha divo 'surasya devebhyo 'pi balavato Rudrasya putraso .... Ma- 
rutah). The Virupas are connected with Angiras in R.V. x. 62, 5; and a Virupa is 
mentioned in i. 45, 3 ; and viii. 64, 6. 


Dyaus (sky), bestowing wealth upon Visvamitra at the sacrifice with a 
thousand libations, prolong their lives. 8. The opulent god (Indra) 
constantly assumes various forms, exhibiting with his body illusive 
appearances ; since he came from the sky thrice in a moment, drinking 
(soma) according to his own will, at other than the stated seasons, and 
yet observing the ceremonial. 9. 1SS The great rishi, god-born, god-im- 
pelled, leader of men, stayed the watery current ; when Visvamitra 
conducted Sudas, Indra was propitiated through the Kusikas. 10. 
Like swans, ye make a sound with the (soma-crushing) stones, exult- 
ing with your hymns when the libation is poured forth ; ye Kusikas, 
sage rishis, leaders of men, drink the honied soma with the gods. 134 
11. Approach, ye Kusikas, be alert; let loose the horse of Sudas to 
(conquer) riches ; let the king.smite strongly his enemy in the east, the 
west, and the north : and then let him sacrifice on the most excellent 
(spot) of the earth. 185 12. I Visvamitra have caused both heaven and 
earth to sing the praises of Indra ; 136 and my prayer protects the race 
of Bharata. 13. The Visvamitras have offered up prayer to Indra the 
thunderer. May he render us prosperous ! 14. What are thy cows 
doing among the Kikatas, 137 who neither draw from them the milk (which 
is to be mixed with soma), nor heat the sacrificial kettle. Bring to us 
the wealth of Pramaga'uda ; subdue to us to the son of Nichasakha. 
15. Moving swiftly, removing poverty, brought by the Jamadagnis, 
she has mightily uttered her voice : this daughter of the sun has con- 
veyed (our) renown, eternal and undecaying, (even) to the gods. 16. 
Moving swiftly she has speedily brought down (our) renown from them 
to the five races of men ; this winged 138 goddess whom the aged Jama- 
dagnis brought to us, has conferred on us new life." Omitting verses 

us Verses 9-13 are translated by Prof. Roth, Litt. u. Gesch. des "Weda, p. 106 f. 

134 Comp. M. Bh. Adip. v. 6695. Apibach cha tatah somam Indrena saha Kausikah \ 
" And then the Kaus'ika drank soma with Indra." 

135 Compare R.V. iii. 23, 4, which will be quoted below. 
J 36 Compare R.V. iv. 17, I. 

137 Kikatah nama deso'naryya-nivasah \ " Kikajfais a country inhabited by people 
who are not Aryas." See the second vol. of this work, p. 362, and Journ. Royal As. 
Soc. for 1866, p. 340. 

138 Pakshya. This word is rendered by Sayana " the daughter of the sun who 
causes the light and dark periods of the moon, etc." (Pakshasya pakshadi-nirvaha- 
kasya Suryasya duhita}. Prof. Roth s.v. thinks the word may mean "she who 
changes according to the (light and dark) fortnights." 


1 7-20 we have the following : "21. Prosper us to-day, o opulent Indra, by 
numerous and most excellent succours. May he who hates us fall down 
low; and may breath abandon him whom we hate." This is succeeded by 
three obscure verses, of which a translation will be attempted further on. 
Sayana prefaces verses 15 and 16 by a quotation from Shadguru- 
sishya's Commentary on the Anukramanika, which is given with an 
addition in Weber's Indische Studien i. 119f. as follows: Sasarparl- 
dv-riche prdhur itihdsam purdmdah j Sauddsa-nripater yajne Vasishthdt- 
maja-S'aktind \ Visvdmitrasydbhibhtitam balam vdk cha samantatah \ 
Vdsishthendbhibhutah sa Jiy avdsldach cha Gddhi-jah \ tasmai JBrdhmlm 
tu Saurlm vd ndmnd vdcham Sasarparlm \ Surya-vesmana dhritya 
dadur vai Jamadagnayah \ Kusikdndm tatah sd van mandk chintdm 
athdnudat \ upapreteti Kusikdn Visvdinfi^tro 'nvachodayat \ labdhvd vd- 
cham cha hrishtdtmd Jamadagnm apujayat \ " Sasarparlr " iti dvdlhydm 
rigbhytim Vdcham stuvam svayam \ " Regarding the two verses beginning 
" Sasarparih" those acquainted with antiquity tell a story. At a 
sacrifice of king Saudasa 139 the power and speech of Visvamitra were 
completely vanquished by S'akti, son of Vasishtha; and the son of 

Gadhi (Visvamitra) being so overcome, became dejected. The Jamad- 

agnis drew from the abode of the Sun a Voice called " Sasarpari," the 
daughter of Brahma, or of the Sun, and gave 'her to him. Then that 
voice somewhat dispelled the disquiet of the Jamadagnis [or, according 
to the reading of this line given by Sayana (Kusikdndm matih sd vdg 
amatim tarn apdnudat} " that Voice, being intelligence, dispelled the 
unintelligence of the Kusikas."]. Visvamitra then incited the Kusikas 
with the words upapreta 'approach' (see verse 11). And being glad- 
dened by receiving the Voice, he paid homage to the Jamadagnis ; 
praising them with the two verses beginning ' Sasarparlh.' " 

In regard to the verses 21-24 Sayana has the following remarks : 
"Indra utibhir ity ddyds chatasro Vasishtha-dveshinyah \ pur a, khalu 
Visviimitra-sishyah Suddh ndma rdjarshir dslt \ sa cha kenachit kdranena 
Vasi&htha-dveshyo 'bhut \ Visvdmitras tu iishyasya rakshdrtham dbhir 
riglhir Vasishtham asapat \ imdh abhisdpa-rupdh \ tdh richo Vasishthdh 
na srinvanti \ " The four verses beginning ' o Indra, with succours ' 
express hatred to Vasishtha. There was formerly a royal rishi called 

139 The Brihaddevata, which has some lines nearly to the same effect as these I 
have quoted (see Ind. Stud. i. 119), gives Sudas instead of Saudasa. 


Sudas, a disciple of Visvamitra ; who for some reason had incurred the 
ill-will of Yasishtha. For his disciple's protection Yisvamitra cursed 
Yasishtha in these verses. They thus consist of curses, and the Yasish- 
thas do not listen to them." 

In reference to the same passage the Brihaddevata iv. 23 f., as quoted 
in Indische $tudien, i. 120, has the following lines: Paras chatasro yds 
tattra Vasishtha-dveshinlr viduh \ Visvdmitrena tdh proktdh abhisdpdh 
iti smritdh \ dvesha-dveshds tu tdh proktdh vidydch cliaivdbhichdrikdh \ 
Pasishthds tu na srinvanti tad dcJidrryaka-sammatam \ kirttandch chhra- 
vandd vd 'pi mahdn doshah prajdyate \ satadhd Ihidyate murdhd kirtti- 
tena srutena vd \ tesJidm Idldh pramiyante ta&mdt ids tu na kirttayet \ 
" The other four verses of that hymn, which are regarded as expressing 
hatred to Yasishtha, were uttered by Yisvamitra, and are traditionally 
reported to contain imprecations. They are said to express hatred in 
return for (?) hatred, and should also be considered as incantations. 
The descendants of Yasishtha do not listen to them, as this is the will 
of their preceptor. Great guilt is incurred by repeating or hearing 
them. The heads of those who do so are split into a hundred frag- 
ments ; and their children die. Wherefore let no one recite them." 

Durga, the commentator on . the Nirukta, 140 in accordance with this 
injunction and warning, cays in reference to verse 23 : Yasmin nigame 
esha sabdah (lodhah] sd VasishtJia-dveshinl rile \ aham cha lEdpishthalo 
Vdsishthah \ atas turn na nirlravlmi \ " The text in which this word 
(lodha) occurs is a verse expressing hatred of Yasishtha. But I am a 
Kapishthala of the family of Yasishtha ; and therefore do not inter- 
pret it." 

The following text also may have reference to the personal history of 
Yisvamitra : K.Y. iii. 43, 4. A. cha tvdm etd vrishand vahdto hart sakhdyd 
sudhurd svangd \ dhdndvad Indrah savanam jmhdnah sakhd sakhyuh 
srinavad-vandandni \ 5. Kuvid md gopam karase janasya Jcuvid rdjdnam 
maghavann rijlshin \ kuvid md rishim papivdmsam sutasya kuvid me 
vasvo amritasya sikshdh \ "4. May these two vigorous brown steeds, 
friendly, well-yoked, stout-limbed, convey thee hither. May Indra 
gratified by our libation mingled with grain, hear (like) a friend, the 
praises of a friend. 5. "Wilt thou make me a ruler of the people ? wilt 

140 As quoted both by Prof. Eotb, Litt. u. Gesch. des "Weda, p. 108, note, and by 
Prof. Mtiller, Pref. to Eig-veda, vol. ii. p. Ivi. 


thou make me a king, o impetuous lord of riches? wilt thou make me 
a rishi a drinker of soma ? wilt thou endow me with imperishable 
wealth ? " 

The next passage refers to Devasravas and Devavata, of the race of 
Bharata, who are called in the Anukramanika, quoted by Sayana, 
"sons of Bharata" (Sharatasya putrau}\ but one of whom at least is 
elsewhere, as we shall see, said to be a son of Visvamitra : R. V. iii. 
23, 2. Amanthishtdm Bhdratd revad Agnim Devasravdh Devavdtah sudak- 
sham | Agne vi pasya Irihatd 'bhi ray a ishdm no netd bhavatdd anu 
dyun | 3. Dasa It&hipah purvyam slm ajyanan sujdtam mdtrishu pri- 
yam \ Agnim stuhi Daivavdtam Devasravo yojandndm asad vasl \ 4. Ni 
tvd dadJie vare d prithivydh ildyds pade sudinatve ahndm \ Drishadvatydm 
mdnushe Apaydydm Sarasvatydm revad Agne didlM \ " 2. The two Bha- 
ratas Devasravas and Devavata have brilliantly created by friction the 
powerful Agni. Look upon us, o Agni, manifesting thyself with much 
wealth ; be a bringer of nourishment to us every day. 3. The ten 
fingers (of Devavata) have generated the ancient god, happily born and 
dear to his mothers. Praise, o Devasravas, Agni, the offspring of Deva- 
vata, who has become the lord of men. 4. I placed (or he placed) thee 
on the most excellent spot- of earth on the place of worship, 1 " at an 
auspicious time. Shine, o Agni, brilliantly on'the (banks of the) Dri- 
shadvati, on (a site) auspicious for men, on (the banks of) the Apaya, 
of the Sarasvati." 

Visvamitra is mentioned along with Jamadagni in the fourth verse of 
the 167th hymn of the tenth Mandala, which is ascribed to these two 
sages as its authors : Prasuto bhaksham akaram chardv api stomam che- 
mam prathamah surir un mrije \ sute sdtena yadi tigamam vdm prati 
Visvdmitra-Jamadagni dame \ " Impelled, I have quaffed this draught 
of soma when the oblation of boiled rice was presented ; and I, the first 
bard, prepare this hymn, whilst I have come to you, o Visvamitra and 
Jamadagni in the house, with that which has been offered as a libation." 

The family of the Visvamitras has, as we have seen, been already 
mentioned in R.V. iii. 53, 13. They are also named in the following 
passages : 

iii. 1, 21. Janman janman nihito Jdtaveddh Visvdmitrelhir idhyate 
ajasrah \ 

111 Compare R.V. iii. 29, 3, 4. 


" The undecaying Jatavedas (Agni) placed (on the hearth) is in every 
generation kindled by the Yisvamitras." 

iii. 18, 4. Uch chhochishd sahasas putrah stuto brihad vayah sasamd- 
neshu dhehi \ revad Agne Visvamitreshu sam yor marmrijma te tanvarn 
bhuri Jcritvah \ 

"Son of strength, when lauded, do thou with thy upward flame 
inspire vigorous life into thy worshippers; (grant) o Agni, brilliant 
good fortune and prosperity to the Visvamitras ; many a time have we 
given lustre to thy body." 

x. 89, 1 7. Eva te vayam Indra IJiunjatindm vidyama sumatlndm nava- 
ndm | vidyama vastor avasd grinanto Visvdmitrdh uta te Indra nunam \ 

"Thus may we obtain from thee new favours to delight us: and 
may we, Visvamitras, who praise thee, now obtain riches through thy 
help, o Indra." 

This hymn is ascribed in the Anukramam to Renu, the son or 
descendant of Visvamitra; and the 18th verse is identical with the 
22nd of the 30th hymn of the third Mandala, which is said to be Vis- 
vamitra's production. 

In a verse already quoted (R.V. iii. 33, 11) Visvamitra is spoken of 
as the son of Kusika; at least the Nirukta regards that passage as 
referring to him ; and "the Kusikas, who no doubt belonged to the 
same family as Visvamitra, are mentioned in another hymn which I 
have cited (iii. 53, 9, 10). They are also alluded to in the following 

R.V. iii. 26, 1. Yaisvana/ram manasd 'gniih nichayya havishmanto anu- 
shatyam svarvidam \ sudanum devam rathiram vasuya/vo glrbhih ranvam 

Kusikaso havdmahe \ 3. Asvo na krandan janibhih sam idhyate 

Vaisvdnarah Kusikebhir yuge yuge \ sa no Agnih mvlryam svasvyam da- 
dhdtu ratnam amriteshu jdgrivih \ 

" We, the Kusikas, presenting oblations, and desiring riches, revering 
in our souls, as is meet, 142 the divine Agni Vaisvanara, the heavenly, 
the bountiful, the charioteer, the pleasant, invoke him with hymns. 
.... 3. Vaisvanara, who (crackles) like a neighing horse, is kindled 
by the Kusikas with the mothers (i.e. their fingers) in every age. May 

143 This is the sense of anushatyam according to Prof. Aufrecht. Sayana makes it 
one of the epithets of Agni " he who is true to his promise in granting rewards 
according to works" (satyenanugatam karmanurupa-phala-pradane satya-pratijnani). 


this Agni, who is ever alive among the immortals, bestow on us wealth, 
with vigour and with horses." 

iii. 29, 15. Amitrdyudho Marutdm iva praydh prathamajdh Irahmano 
visvam id viduh \ dyumnavad brahma Kusikdsah d Irire ekah eko dame 
Agnim sam idhire \ 

"Combating their enemies like the hosts of the Maruts, (the sages) 
the first-born of prayer 113 know everything; the Kusikas have sent 
forth an enthusiastic prayer ; they have kindled Agni, each in his own 

iii. 30, 20. Imam kdmam mandaya gobhir asvais cJiandrdvatd rddhasil 
paprathas cha \ svaryavo matibhis tubhyam viprdh Indrdya vdhah Kusi- 
kdso akran \ 

"Gratify this (our) desire with kine and horses; and prosper us 
with brilliant wealth. The wise Kusikas, desiring heaven, have with 
their minds composed for thee a hyinn." 

iii. 42, 9. Tvdm sutasya pltaye pratnam Indra havdmahe \ Kusikdso 
avasyavah \ 

11 We, the Kusikas, desiring succour, summon thee the ancient Indra 
to drink the soma libation." 

It will be seen from these passages that the Yisvamitras and the 
Kusikas assert themselves to have been ancient worshippers of Agni, 
and to be the composers of hymns, and the possessors of all divine 

In the eleventh verse of the tenth hymn of the first Mandala of the 
R.V., of which the traditional author is Madhuchhandas of the family 
of Visvamitra, the epithet Kausika is applied to Indra : A tu nah 
Indra Kausika mandasdnah sutam pib& \ navy am dyuh pra sutira kridhi 
sahasra-sdm rishim \ " Come, Indra, Kausika, drink our oblation with 
delight. Grant me new and prolonged life ; make the rishi the pos- 
sessor of a thousand boons." 

Sayana explains the epithet in question as follows : Kausika Kusi- 
kasya putra . . . yadyapi Visvdmitro Kusikasya putras tathdpi tad- 
rupena Indrasya eva utpannatvdt Kuika-putratvam aviruddham \ ayam 
vrittdnto 'nukramanikdydm uktah \ "Kusikas tv Aishiraihir Indra- 

143 Compare with this the epithet of devajah, " god-born," applied to Vis'vamitra 
in iii. 53, 9 (above p. 342) ; and the claim of knowledge made for the Vasishthas in 
vii. 33, 7 (above p. 320). 


tulyam putram ichhan ^rahmacharyam cJiacTidra \ tasya Indrah eva Gdthl 
jputro jajne " Hi \ " Kausika means the son of Kusika . . . Although 
Visvamitra was the son of Kusika, yet, as it was Indra who was born 
in his form, there is nothing to hinder Indra being the son of Kusika. 
This story is thus told in the Anukramanika : ' Kusika, the son of 
Ishiratha desiring a son like Indra, lived in the state of a Brahmacharin. 
It was Indra who was born to him as his son Grathin.' " To this the 
Anukramanl (as quoted by Prof. Miiller, Rig-veda, vol. ii. pref. p. xl.) 
adds the words : Gdthino VisvdmitraU \ sa tritiyam mandalam apasyat \ 
" The son of Gathin was Visvamitra, who saw the third Man dala." In 
quoting this passage Professor Miiller remarks: "According to Shad- 
gurusishya this preamble was meant to vindicate the Rishitva of the 
family of Visvamitra : 144 Saty apuvdde svayam rishitvam anubhavato Vis- 
vamitra-gotrasya mvakshayd itihasam aha " | "Wishing to declare the 
rishihood of the family of Visvamitra which was controverted, although 
they were themselves aware of it, he tells a story." 

Professor Roth in his Lexicon (s.v. Kausika} thinks that this term 
as originally applied to Indra meant merely that the god "belonged, 
was devoted to," the Kusikas ; and Professor Benfey, in a note to his 
translation of R.V. i. 10, II, 145 remarks that "by this family-name 
Indra is designated as the sole or principal god of this tribe." 

144 Prof. Miiller states that " Sayana passes over what Katyayana (the author of 
the Anukramanl) says ahout the race of Visvamitra ; " and adds " This (the fact of 
the preamble being ' meant to vindicate the Rishitva of the family of Visvamitra') 
was probably the reason why Sayana left it out." It is true that Sayana does not 
quote the words of the Anukramanl in his introductory remarks to the third Mandala; 
but as we have seen he had previously adduced the greater part of them in his note 
oni. 10, 11. 

145 Orient und Occident, vol. i. p. 18, note 50. We have seen above, p. 345, that in 
R.V. iii. 23, 3, another god, Agni, is called Daivavata, after the rishi Devavata, by whom 
he had been kindled. Compare also the expression Daivodaso Agnih in R.V. viii. 92, 2, 
which Sayana explains as = Divodasenaahuyamano'gnih, "Agiii invoked by Divodasa;" 
while Prof. Roth s.v. understands it to mean " Agni who stands in relation to Divodasa." 
In R.V. vi. 16, 19, Agni is called Divodasasya satpatih, " the good lord of Divodasa." 
Agni is also called Bharata in R.V. ii. 7, 1, 5 ; iv. 25, 4 ; vi. 16, 19. On the first 
text (ii. 7, 1) Sayana says Bharatah ritvijah \ tesham sambandlii Bharatah, " Bharatas 
are priests. Bharata is'he who is connected with them." On ii. 7, 5 he explains the 
word by ritvijam putra-sthanlya, " Thou who art in the place of a son to the priests." 
On the second text (iv. 25, 4) tasmai Agnir Bharatah sarma yamsal, " may Agni 
Bharata give him protection ") Sayana takes Bharata to mean '' the bearer of the 
oblation" (havisho bhartta) ; but also refers to the S'.P.Br. i. 4, 2, 2, where it is said, 
"or Agni is called ' Bharata,' because, becoming breath, he sustains all creatures" 


According to the Vishnu Purana (pp. 398-400, "Wilson, 4to. ed.) 
Visvamitra was the twelfth in descent from Pururavas, the persons in- 
termediate being (1) Amavasu, (2) Bhlma, (3) Kanchana, (4) Suhotra, 
(5) Jahnu, (6) Sumantu, (7) Ajaka, (8) Valakasva, (9) Kusa, (10) 
Kusamba, and (11) Gadhi. The birth of Yisvamitra' s father is thus 
described, Y.P. iv. 7, 4 : Teshdm KuSdmbah " sakra-tulyo me putro Iha- 
ved" iti tapas chachara \ tarn cha ugra-tapasam avalokya " md lhavatv 
anyo ' smat-tulya-vlryyah " ity dtmand eva asya Indrah putratvam aga- 
chhat | Gddhir ndma saKausiko'lhavat \ " Kusamba (one of Kusa' s four 
sons) practised austere fervour with the view of obtaining a son equal 
to Indra. Perceiving him to be very ardent in his austere fervour, 
Indra, fearing lest another person should be born his own equal in vigour, 
became himself the son of Kusamba, wth the name of Gadhi the Kau- 
sika." Regarding the birth of Yisvamitra himself, the Vishnu Purana 
relates the following story : Gadhi's daughter Satyavati had been given 
in marriage to an old Brahman called Richika, of the family of Bhrigu. 
In order that his wife might bear a son with the qualities of a Brah- 
man, Richika had prepared for her a dish of charu (rice, barley, and 
pulse, with butter and milk) for her to eat ; and a similar mess for her 
mother, calculated to make her conceive a son with the character of a 
warrior. Satyavati' s mother, however, persuaded her to exchange 
messes. She was blamed by her husband on her return home for what 
she had done. I quote the words of the original : 

V.P. iv. 7, 14. " Ati pdpe kirn idam akdryyam bhavatyd kritam \ 
atiraudram te vapur dlakshyate \ nunam tvayd tvan-matri-satkritas 
charur upaynldah (? upabJiuktaK] \ na yuktam etat \ 15. Maya hi tattra 
charau salcalti eva sauryya-tiryya-ba^a-sampad dropitd tvadiye chardv 
apy akhila-sdnti-jndna-titikshddikd IrdJimana-sampat \ etach cha vipa- 

(esha u vai imah prajah prano bhutva bibhartti tasmad va iva aha " Bharata " iff). 
Another explanation had previously been given that the word Bharata means " he 
who bears oblations to the gods." On the third text (vi. 16, 19) Sayana interprets 
the term in the same way. Eoth, s.v., thinks it may mean " warlike." In R.V. vii. 
8, 4, (V.S. 12, 34) we find the words pro, pra ayam Agnir Bharatasya srinve, " this 
Agni (the son ?) of Bharata has been greatly renowned." Sayana makes bharatasya 
= yajamanasya, "the worshipper," and pra pra srinve = prathilo bhavati, "is 
renowned." The Comm. on the Vaj. S. translates "Agni hears the invocation of 
the worshipper" (srinve s'rinute ahvanam). The S'. P. Br. vi. 8, 1, 14, quotes the 
verse, and explains Bharata as meaning " Prajapati, the supporter of the universe " 
(Prajapatir vai Bharatah sa hi idam sarvam bibhartti). 


ritarn kurvatyds tava atiraudrdstra-dhdrana-mdrana-nishtha-kshattri- 
ydehdrah puttro lhavishyaty asyds cha upasama - ruchir brdhmand- 
chdrah " \ ity dkarnya eva sd tasya pddau jagrdha pranipatya cha enam 
aha "bhagavan may a etad ajndndd anushthitam \ prasddam me kuru \ 
md evamvidah putro bhavatu \ Jcdmam evamvidhah pautro bhavatu" \ ity 
ulcto munir apy aha " evam astv" iti \ 16. Anantaram cha sd Jamad- 
agnim ajijanat tan-mdtd cha Visvdmitram janaydmdsa \ Satyavati cha 
Kausikl ndma nady abhavat \ Jamadagnir Ikshvdku-vanisodlhavasya Renos 
tanaydm Renukdm upayeme tasydm cha asesha-kshattra-vamsa-hantdram 
Parasurama- sanjnam bhagavatah sakala-loka-guror Ndrdyanasya amsam 
Jamadagnir ajijanat \ Visvdmitra-putras tu Bhargavah eva S'unahsepo 
ndma devair dattah \ tatak cha Devardta-ndmd 'bhavat \ tatas cha anye 
Madhuchhanda - Jayakrita - Devadwa -Ashtalca - Kachhapa -Hdrltakdkhydh 
Vtivdmitra-putrdh babhuvuh \ 17. Teshdm cha bahuni Kausika-gotrdni 
rishyantareshu vaivdhydni bhavanti \ 

" ' Sinful woman, what improper deed is this that thou hast done ? 
I behold thy body of a very terrible appearance. Thou hast certainly 
eaten the cham prepared for thy mother. This was wrong. For into 
that charu I had infused all the endowments of heroism, vigour, and 
force, whilst into thine I had introduced all those qualities of quietude, 
knowledge, and patience which constitute the perfection of a Brahman. 
Since thou hast acted in contravention of my design a son shall be -born 
to thee who shall live the dreadful, martial, and murderous life of a 
Kshattriya ; and thy mother's offspring shall exhibit the peaceful dis- 
position and conduct of a Brahman.' As soon as she had heard this, 
Satyavati fell down and seized her husband's feet, and said, ' My lord, 
I have acted from ignorance ; shew kindness to me ; let me not have 
a son of the sort thou hast described ; if thou pleasest, let me have a 
grandson of that description.' Hearing this the muni replied, ' Be it 
so.' Subsequently she bore Jamadagni, and her mother gave birth to 
Visvanaitra. Satyavati became the river called Kausikl. Jamadagni 
wedded Eenuka, the daughter of Eenu, of the family of Ikshvaku ; and 
on her he begot a son called Parasurama, the slayer of the entire race 
of Kshattriyas, who was a portion of the divine Narayana, the lord of 
the universe. 146 To Yisvamitra a son called S'unassepa, of the race of 

146 According to the Bhugavata Purana, i. 3, 20, Parasurama was the sixteenth 
incarnation of Vishnu : Avatar e shodasame pas y an brahma-druho nripan \ trissapta- 


Bhrigu, was given by the gods, who in consequence received the name 
of Devarata (" god- given"). And then other sons, Madhuchhandas, 
Jayakrita, Devadeva, Ashtaka, Kachhapa, Haritaka, etc., were born 
to Visvamitra. From them sprang many families of Kausikas, which 
intermarried with those of other rishis." 

The Harivarnsa, verses 1425 ff., gives a similar account, but makes 
Kusika, not Kusamba, the grandfather of Visvamitra : 

Kusa-putrdh balhuvur Jii chatvdro deva-varchasah \ Kusikah Kusand- 
Ihas cha Kusdmbo Murtimdms tathd \ Pahlavaih saha samvriddho raja 
vana-charais tadd \ Eusikas tu tapas tepe puttram Indra-samam vibhuh \ 
labheyam iti tarn S'akras trdsdd abhyetyajajnivdn \ purne varsha-sahasre 
vai tarn tu S'akro hy apasyata \ aty ugra-ta/pasam drishtvd sahasrdkshah 
purandarah \ samarthah putra-janane smm evdmsam avdsayat \ putratve 
kalpaydmdsa sa devendrah surottamah \ sa Gddkir abhavad rdjd Magha- 
vdn Kausikah svayam \ Pauruhutsy abhavad Ihdryyd Gddhis tasydm 
ajdyata \ 

"Kusa had four sons, equal in lustre to the gods, Kusika, Kusana- 
bha, Kusamba, and Murttimat. Growing up among the Pahlavas, who 
dwelt in the woods, the glorious king Kusika practised austere fervour, 
with the view of obtaining a son equal to Indra ; and Indra from ap- 
prehension came and was born. When a thousand years had elapsed 
S'akra (Indra) beheld him. Perceiving the intensity of his austere 
fervour, the thousand-eyed, city-destroying, god of gods, highest of the 
deities, powerful to procreate offspring, introduced a portion of himself, 
and caused it to take the form of a son ; and thus Maghavat himself 
became Gadhi, the son of Kusika. Paurukutsi was the wife (of the 
latter), and of her Gadhi was born." r 

The Harivamsa then relates a story similar to that just extracted 
from the Vishnu Purana regarding the births of Jamadagni and Visva- 
mitra, and then proceeds, verse 1456 : 

Aurrasyaivam Richlkasya Satyavatydm mahdyasdh \ Jamadagnis tapo- 
vlryydj jajne Irahma-viddrn varah \ madhyamas cha S'unassephah S'unah- 
puchhah Jcanishthakah \ Visvamitram tu ddyddam Gudhih Kusika-nan- 
danah \ janaydmdsa putram tu tapo-vidyd-iamdtmakam \ prtipya brah- 

kritvah kupito nihkshattram akarod mahlm \ " In his sixteenth, incarnation, perceiv- 
ing that kings were oppressors of Brahmans, he, incensed, made the earth destitute 
of Kshattriyas one and twenty times." 


marshi-samatdm yo 'yam saptarshitdih gatah \ Visvdmitras tu dharmdtmd 
ndmnd Visvarathah smritah \ jajne Bhrigu-prasddena Kausikdd vamsa- 
varddhanah \ Visvdmitrasya cha sutdh Devardtddayah smritah \ vikhydtds 
trishu lokeshu teshdm ndmdni vai srimt \ Devasravdh Katis chaiva yasmdt 
Kdtydyandh smritah \ S'dldvatydm Hiranydksho Renor jajne 'tha Renu- 
mdn \ Sdnkritir Gdlavas chaiva Mudgalas cheti visrutdh \ Madhuchhando 
Jayas chaiva Devalas cha tathd 'shtakah \ Kachhapo Hdritas chaiva Visvu- 
mitrasya te sutdh | teshdm khydtdni gotrdni Kau&ikdndm mahdtmandm \ 
Pdnino Babhravas chaiva Dhydnajapyds tathaiva cha \ Pdrthivdh Deva- 
rdtds cha S'dlankdyana- Vuskaldh, \ Lohitdh Tdmadutds cha tathd Kdrl- 
shayah smritah \ Sausrutdh KausikdTi rdjams tathd 'nye Saindhavdya- 
ndh | Devaldh Renavas chaiva Ydjnavalkydghamarshandh \ Audumbardh 
hy Ahhishndtds Tdrakdyana-chamchuldh \ S'dldvatydh Hiranydkshdh 
Sdnkritydh Gdlavas tathd \ Ndrdyanir Naras chdnyo Viivdmitrasya 
dhlmatah \ rishy-antara-vivdhyds cha JZausikdh lahavah smritah \ Pau- 
ravasya mahdrdja hrdhmarsheh Kausikasya cha \ sanibandho 'py asya 
vamse 'smin Irahma-kshattrasya visrutah \ 

" Thus was the renowned Jamadagni, the most excellent of those 
possessed of sacred knowledge, born by the power of austere fervour to 
Eichika, the son of TJrva, by Satyavati. Their second son was S'unas- 
sepha m and the youngest S'unahpuchha. And Gadhi, son of Kusika, 
begot as his son and inheritor Visvamitra, distinguished for austere 
fervour, science, and quietude ; who attained an equality with Brah- 
man-rishis, and became one of the seven rishis. The righteous Yisva- 
mitra, who was known by name as Visvaratha, 148 was by the favour of 
a Bhrigu born to the son of Kusika, an augmenter (of the glory) of his 
race. The sons of Visvamitra are related to have been Devarata and 
the rest, renowned in the three worlds. Hear their names : Devasravas, 
Kati (from whom the Katyayanas had their name) ; Hiranyaksha, born 
of S'alavati, and Eenumat of Renu ; Sankriti, Galava, Mudgala, Madhu- 
chhanda, Jay a, Devala, Ashtaka, Kachhapa, Harita these were the 

147 The Aitareya Brahmana, as we shall shortly see, makes ' S'unas's'epa ' a son of 
Ajigartta. The Mahabharata Anusasanap. verse 186, coincides with the Harivamsa. 

148 In another passage of the Harivamsa (verses 1764 if.), which repeats the par- 
ticulars given in this passage, it appears to be differently stated, verse 1766, that 
besides a daughter Satyavati, and his son Yis'vamitra, Gadhi had three other sons, 
Visvaratha, Vis'vakrit, and Vis'vajit ( Ft 'vamitras tu Gadheyo raja Visvarathas tada \ 
Visvakrid Vis'vajich chaiva tatha Satyavati nripa}. 


sons of Visvamitra. From them the families of the great Kausikas are 
said to have sprung : the Panins, Babhrus, Dhanajapyas, Parthivas, 
Devaratas, S'alankayanas, Vaskalas, Lohitas, Yamadiitas, Karishis, Sau- 
srutas, Kausikas, Saindhavayanas, Devalas, Kenus, Yajnavalkyas, Agha- 
marshanas, Audumbaras, Abhishnatas, Tarakayanas, Chunchulas, S'ala- 
vatyas, Hiranyakshas, Sankrityas, and Galavas. 149 Narayani and Nara 
were also (descendants) of the wise Visvamitra. Many Kausikas are 
recorded who intermarried with the families of other rishis. In this 
race of the Paurava and Kausika Brahman-rishi, there is well known 
to have been a connection of the Brahmans and Kshattriyas. S'unas- 
sepha, who was a descendant of Bhrigu, and obtained the position of 
a Kausika, is recorded to have been the eldest of Visvamitra's sons." 

It will be observed that in this passage, Devasravas is given as one 
of Visvamitra's sons. A Devasravas, as we have already seen, is men- 
tioned in R.V. iii. 23, 2, as a Bharata, along with Devavata. Here 
however in the Harivamsa we have no Devavata, but a Devarata, who 
is identified with S'unassepha. This, as we shall find, is also the case 
in the Aitareya Brahmana. 

In the genealogy given in both of the preceding passages, from the 
Vishnu Purana, and the 27th chapter of the Harivamsa respectively, 
Visvamitra is declared to be the descendant of Amavasu the third son 
of Pururavas. In the 32nd chapter of the Harivamsa, however, we 
find a different account. Visvamitra's lineage is there traced up to a 
Jahnu, as in the former case ; but Jahnu is no longer represented as a 
descendant of Amavasu, the third sor. of Pururavas ; but (as appears 
from the preceding narrative) of Ayus, the eldest son of that prince, and 
of Puru, the great-grandson of Ayus. Professor Wilson (Vishnu Purana, 
4to. ed. p. 451, note 23) is of opinion that this confusion originated in 
the recurrence of the name of Suhotra in different genealogical lists, 
and in the ascription to one king of this name of descendants who were 

149 Professor Wilson (V.P. 4to. ed. p. 405, note) gives these names, and remarks 
that the authorities add " an infinity of others, multiplied by intermarriages with 
other tribes, and who, according to the Vayu, were originally of the regal caste like 
Vis'vamitra ; but like him obtained Brahmanhood through devotion. Now these 
gotras, or some of them at least, no doubt existed, partaking more of the character of 
schools of doctrine, but in which teachers and scholars were very likely to have 
become of one family by intermarrying ; and the whole, as well as their original 
founder, imply the interference of the Kshattriya caste with the Brahmanical mono- 
poly of religious instruction and composition." 



really sprung from another. It is not, however, clear that the genealogy 
of Visvamitra given in the Vishnu Purana is the right one. For in the 
Rig-veda, as we have seen, he is connected with the Bharatas, and in 
the passage about to be quoted from the Aitareya Brahmana, he is 
called a Bharata and his sons Kusikas ; and Bharata is said both in the 
Vishnu Puraria (Wilson's V.P. 4to. ed. p. 449) and in the Harivamsa 
(sect. 32, v. 1723, and preceding narrative) to be a descendant of Ayus 
and of Puru. Accordingly we have seen that the Harivamsa styles 
Visvamitra at once a Paurava and a Kausika. 

A similar genealogy to that in the 32nd section of the Harivamsa is 
given in the Mahabharata, Anusasanaparvan, verses 201 ff., where it is 
said that in the line of Bharata there was a king called Ajamidha who 
was also a priest (Bharatasyanvaye chaivajaniidho ndma purthivah I 
lalhuva Bharata-sreshtha yajvu dharma-fihritdm varah], from whom 
Visvamitra was descended through (1) Jahnu, (2) Sindhudvlpa, (3) 
Balakasva, (4) Kusika, (5) Gadhi. 

One of the names applied to Visvamitra and his race, as I have just 
noticed, is Bharata. 150 The last of the four verses at the close of the 
53rd hymn of the third Mandala of the Rig-veda, which are supposed 
to contain a malediction directed by Visvamitra against Vasishtha (see 
above) is as follows : iii.' 53, 24. Ime Indra Bharatasya putruh apapitvam 
chikitur na prapitvam \ " These sons of Bharata, o Indra, desire to avoid 
(the Vasishthas), not to approach them." These words are thus explained 
bySayana: Bharatasya putrah Bharata-vamsyuh ime Visvamitrah apapi- 
tvam apagamanam VasishthelhyaS chikitur na prapitvam \ [ Va~]sishtaih 
saha tesham sangatir nusti \ Iruhmanuh eva ity arthah \ "These sons of 
Bharata, persons of his race, kp.ow departure from, and not approach 
to, the Vasishthas. They do not associate with the Vasishthas. This 
means they are Brahmans." 

The persons who accompanied Visvamitra when he wished to cross 
the Vipas and the S'utudrl are, as we have seen above, called Bharatas ; 
and Devasravas and Devavata are designated in E.V. iii. 23, 2, as Bha- 
ratas. On the other hand in one of the hymns ascribed to Vasishtha 
(R.V. vii. 33, 6) the Bharatas are alluded to as a tribe hostile to the 
Tritsus, the race to which Vasishtha belonged. 

150 See Roth's Lexicon, s.v. Bharata, (7) " the name of a hero, the forefather of a 
tribe. His sons are called Vis'vamitras and the members of his family Bharatas." 


In the legend of S'unassepa, told in the Aitareya Brahmana, vii. 
13-18, 151 Visvamitra is alluded to as being the hotri -priest of king 
Harischandra, and as belonging to the tribe of the Bharatas. He is 
also addressed as rdjaputra, and his sons are called Kusikas. The out- 
lines of the story are as follows : King Harischandra of the family of 
Ikshvaku having no son, promised to Varuna, by the advice of Narada, 
that if a son should be born to him he would sacrifice him to that god. 
A son was accordingly born to the king, who received the name of 
Rohita ; but Harischandra, though called upon by Varuna, put off from 
time to time, on various pleas, the fulfilment of his promise. When the 
father at length consented, the youth himself refused to be sacrificed 
and went into the forest. After passing six years there he met a poor 
Brahman rishi called Ajlgartta who had three sons, the second of whom, 
S'unassepa, he sold for a hundred cows to Rohita, who brought the 
young Brahman to be sacrificed instead of himself. Varuna accepted 
the vicarious victim, and arrangements were made accordingly, "Visva- 
mitra being the hotri-priest, Jamadagni the adhvaryu, Vasishtha the 
brahman, and Ayasya the udgatri (tasya ha Fisvdmitro hotd dslj Jamad- 
agnir adhvaryur Vasishtho Irahmd Aydsyah udgdtd}" The sacrifice was 
not, however, completed, although the father received a hundred more 
cows for binding his son to the sacrificial post, and a third hundred for 
agreeing to slaughter him. By reciting verses in honour of different 
deities in succession S'unassepa was delivered ; and at the request of 
the priests took part in the ceremonial of the day.. I shall quote the 
remainder of the story at length : 

17. Atha ha S'unahsepo Visvdmitrasydnkam dsasdda \ sa ha uvdcha 
Ajigarttah Sauyavasir "rishe punar -me puttram dehi" iti \ " Na" iti 
ha uvdcha Visvdmitro " devdh vai imam mahyam ardsata" iti \ sa ha 
Devardto Vaisvdmitrah dsa \ tasya ete Kdpileya-Bdlhravdh \ sa ha 
uvdcha Ajigarttah Sauyavasis " tvam vehi mhvaydvahai " iti \ sa ha 
uvdcha Ajigarttah Sauyavasir " Angiraso janmand \y Ajigarttih sru- 
tah kavih \ rishe paitdmahdt tantor md 'pagdh punar ehi mum " iti \ sa 

151 This legend is translated into German by Prof. Roth in Weber's Ind. Stud, 
i. 457 ff., into English by Prof. Wilson, Journ. Roy. As. Soc. vol. xiii. for 1851, 
pp. 96 ff., by Dr. Hang in his Ait. Brahmana, vol. ii. 460 ff., by Prof. Miiller 
in his Anc. Sansk. Lit. pp. 408 ff., and into Latin by Dr. Streiter in his " Diss. de 


ha uvucha S'unahsepah " adarsus tvd sdsa-hastam na yacJi chhudreshv 
alapsata \ go/cam trlni satdni tvam avrinlthuh mad Angirah " iti \ sa 
ha uvucha Ajlgarttah Sauyavasis " tad vai ma tuta tapati pdpam karma 
mayd kritam \ tad aham nihnave tubhyam pratiyantu satd gavdm" iti \ 
sa ha uvucha S'unahsepah "yah sakrit pdpakam kurydt kurydd enat tato 
1 par am \ ndpdgdh saudrdnydydd asandheyam tvayd kritam " iti \ " asan- 
dheyam " iti ha Visvdmitrah upapapdda \ sa ha uvucha Visvdmitrah 
" Bhlmah eva Sauyavasih sdsena visisdsishuh \ asthdd maitasya putro 
bhur mamaivopehi putratam" iti \ sa ha uvucha S'unahsepah " sa vai 
yathd no jnup&yd rdjaputra tathd vada \ yathaivdngirasah sann upeyum 
tava putraldm" iti \ sa ha uvucha Visvumitro "Jyeshtho me tvam putrd- 
num syds tava sreshthd prajd sydt \ upeydh daivam me ddyam tena vai 
tvopamantraye" iti \ sa ha tivacfia S'unahsepah " sanjndndneshu vai bru- 
yut sauhurdydya me sriyai \ yathd 'ham Bharata-rishabha upeydih tava 
putratdm" iti \ atha ha Visvdmitrah putrdn dmantraydmdsa " Madhu- 
chhanddh srinotana RishabJio Renur Ashtakah \ ye ke cha bhrdtarah 
sthana asmai jyaishthydya kalpadhvam" iti \ 18. Tasya ha Visvdmi- 
trasya eka-satam putrdh usuh panchusad eva jydydmso Madhuchhandasah 
panchdsat kanlydmsah \ tad ye jydydmso na te kusalam menire \ tan 
anuvydjahdra " antun vah prajd bhakshlshta " iti \ te ete 'ndhrdh Pun- 
drdh S'abardh Pulinddh Mutibdh ity udantydh bahavo bhavanti \ Vais- 
vdmitruh Dasyunum bhuyishthdh \ sa ha uvucha Hadhuchhanddh panchd- 
satd sardham " yad nah pitd sanjdnlte tasmims tishthdmahe vayam \ pur as 
tvd sarve kurmahe tvdm anvancho vayam smasi" iti \ atha ha Visvdmitrah 
pratltah putrdms tushtdva " te vai putrdh pasumanto vwavanto bhavishya- 
tha | ye mdnam me 'nugrihnanto vlravantam akartta md \ pura-etrd vira- 
vanto Devardtena Gdthindh \ sarye rddhydh stha putrdh esha vah sad- 
vivdchanam \ esha vah Kusikdh vlro Devardtas tam anvita \ yushmdms 
ddyam me upetd vidydm yum u cha vidmasi \ te samyancho Vaiivdmitrdh 
sarve sukam sardtayah \ Devardtdya tasthire dhrityai sraishtftydya Gd- 
thindh | adhlyata Devardto rikthayor ubhyayor rishih \ Jahnundm chd- 
dhipatye daive vede cha Gdthindm \ 

" S'unassepa came to the side of Yisvamitra. Ajigartta, the son of 
Suyavasa, said, 'Eishi, give me back my son.' 'No,' said Visvamitra, 
' the gods have given him to me ' (devdh ardsata} ; hence he became 
Devarata the son of Visvamitra. The Kapileyas and Babhravas are 
his descendants. Ajigartta said to Visvamitra, ' Come ; let us both call 


(him) to us.' 1M He (again) said (to his son), ' Thou art an Angirasa, 
the son of Ajigartta, reputed a sage ; do not, o rishi, depart from the 
line of thy ancestors ; come back to me.' S'unassepa replied, 'They 
have seen thee with the sacrificial kiiife in thy hand a thing which 
men have not found even among the S'udras ; thou didst prefer three 
hundred cows to me, o Angiras.' Ajigartta rejoined, ' That sinful deed 
which I have done distresses me, my son; I abjure it to thee. Let the 
[three] hundreds of cows revert (to him who gave them).' 183 S'unassepa 
answered, ' He who one* does a sinful deed, will add to it another ; 
thou hast not freed thyself from that iniquity, fit only for a S'udra. 
Thou hast done what cannot be rectified.' ' What cannot be rectified,' 
interposed Visvamitra ; who continued, ' Terrible was the son of Suya- 
vasa as he stood about to immolate (thee) with the knife : continue not to 
be his son j become mine.' S'unassepa replied, ' Speak, o king's son (rafa- 
putra), whatever thou hast to explain to us, in order that I, though an, 
Angirasa, may become thy son.' Visvamitra rejoined, ' Thou shalt be 
the eldest of my sons, and thy offspring shall be the most eminent. 
Thou shalt receive my divine inheritance ; with this (invitation) I ad- 
dress thee.' S'unassepa answered, ' If (thy sons) agree, then for my 
welfare enjoin on them to be friendly, that so, o chief of the Bharatas, 
I may enter on thy sonship.' Visvamitra then addressed his sons, 
' Do ye, Madhuchhandas, Eishabha, Renu, Ashtaka, and all ye who 
are brothers, listen to me, and concede to him the seniority.' 18. Now 
Visvamitra had a hundred sons, fifty of whom were older than Madhu- 
chhandas and fifty younger. Then those who were older did not 
approve (their father's proposal). Against them he pronounced (this 

152 I follow here the tenor of the interpretation (which is that of the Commentator 
on the S'ankhayaua Brahmana) given by Prof. Weber in his review of Dr. Haug's 
Aitareya Brahmana, in Indische Studien, ix. 316. Prof. Weber remarks that in the 
Brahmanas the root hu + vi is employed to denote the opposing invitations of two 
persons who are seeking to bring over a third person to their own side ; in proof of 
which he quotes Taitt. S. 6, 1, 6, 6, and S'. P. Br. 3, 2, 4, 4, and 22. Profs. Roth, 
Wilson, and Miiller, as well as Dr. Haug, understand the words to be addressed to 
S'unassepa by his father, and to signify " we, too (I and thy mother), call, or will 
call (thee to return to us).' But it does not appear that S'unas's'epa's mother was 
present. And it is to be observed that the next words uttered by Ajigartta, which 
are addressed to S'unas's'epa, are preceded by the usual formula sa ha uvacha Aji- 
garttah Sauyavasih, " Ajigartta the son of S. said," which perhaps would not have 
been the case if both sentences had been addressed to the same person. 

!53 Here too I follow Weber, Ind. St. ix. p. 317. 


doom), 'Let your progeny possess the furthest ends (of the country).' 
These are the numerous border-tribes, the Andhras, Pundras, S'abaras, 
Pulindas, Mutibas. Most of the Dasyus are sprung from Visvamitra. 154 
Madhuchhandas with the (other) fifty said, ' Whatever our father 
determines, by that we abide. "We all place thee in our front, and 
follow after thee.' Then Visvamitra was pleased, and said to his sons, 
' Ye, my children who, shewing deference to me, have conferred upon 
me a (new) son, shall abound in cattle and in sons. Te, my sons, the 
offspring of Gathin, who possess in Devarata a man who shall go before 
you, are all destined to be prosperous ; he is your wise instructor. 
This Devarata, o Kusikas, is your chief; follow him. He will receive 
you as my inheritance, and obtain all the knowledge which we possess.' 
All these sons of Visvamitra, descendants of Gathin, submitted together 
in harmony and with good will to Devarata' s control and superiority. 
The rishi Devarata was invested with both possessions, with the lordly 
authority of the Jahnus, and with the divine Veda of the Gathins." 155 
On this legend Professor Miiller (Anc. Sansk. Lit. pp. 415 f.) remarks, 
amongst other things, as follows : "So revolting, indeed, is the descrip- 

154 See "Weber, Ind. St. ix. p. 317 f., and Roth in his Lexicon, s.vv. anta and udantya. 

155 This legend is perhaps 'alluded to in the Kathaka Brahmana, 19, 11, quoted 
by Prof. Weber, Ind. St. iii. 478 : S'unas'sepo vai etam Ajlgarttir Varuna-grihlto 'pa- 
syat | taya sa vai Varuna-pasad amuchyata \ " S'unas's'epa the son of Ajigartta, when 
seized by Yaruna, saw this (verse) ; and by it he was released from the bonds of 
Yaruna." Manu also mentions the story, x. 105: Ajigarttah sutam hantum upa- 
sarpad bubhukshitah \ na chalipyata papena khitt-pratlkaram acharan \ " AjTgartta, 
when famished, approached to slay his son ; and (by so doing) was not contaminated 
by sin, as he was seeking the means of escape from hunger." On this Kulluka anno- 
tates : Rishir Ajlgarttakhyo bubhukshitah san puttram S'unassepha-namanam svayani 
vikrltavan yajne go-sata-labhaya yajna-yupe baddhva vis asita' bhutva hantum pracha- 
krame \ nachakhut-pratlkarartham tatha kurvan papena liptah \ etach cha Bahvricha- 
brahmane S'unadsephakhyaneshu vyaJctam uktam \ " A rishi called AjTgartta, having, 
when famished, himself sold his son called S'unas's'epha, in order to obtain a hundred 
cows at a sacrifice, bound him to the sacrificial stake, and in the capacity of immoiator 
was about to slay him. By doing so, as a means of escape from hunger, he did not 
incur sin. This is distinctly recorded in the Bahvricha (Aitareya) Brahmana in the 
legend of S'unas's'epa." The speakers in the Brahmana, however, do not take by 
any means so lenient a view of Ajlgartta's conduct as Manu. (See Miiller's Anc. 
Sansk. Lit. p. 415.) The compiler of the latter work lived in an age when it was 
perhaps thonght that a rishi could do no wrong. The Bhagavata Purana, ix. sect. 7, 
and sect. 16, verses 30-37 follows the Ait. Br. in the version it gives of the story; 
but, as we shall see in a subsequent section, the Ramayana relates some of the circum- 
stances quite differently. 


tion given of Ajigartta's behaviour in the Brahmana, that we should 
rather recognize in him a specimen of the un-Aryan population of India. 
Such a supposition, however, would be in contradiction with several of 
the most essential points of the legend, particularly in what regards 
the adoption of S'unahsepha by Visvamitra. Visvamitra, though ar- 
rived at the dignity of a Brahman, clearly considers the adoption of 
S'unahsepha Devarata, of the famous Brahmanic family of the Angi- 
rasas, as an advantage for himself and his descendants ; and the Deva- 
ratas are indeed mentioned as a famous branch of the Visvamitras 
(V.P. p. 405, 23). S'unahsepha is made his eldest son, and the leader 
of his brothers, evidently as the defender and voucher of their Brahma- 
hood, which must have been then of very recent date, because Visva- 
mitra himself is still addressed by S'unahsepha as Raja-putra and Bha- 
rata-rishabha." It must, however, be recollected that the story, as 
told in the Brahmana, can scarcely be regarded as historical, and that 
it is not unreasonable to suppose that the incidents related, even if 
founded on fact, may have been coloured by the Brahmanical prepos- 
sessions of the narrator. But if so, the legend can give us no true idea 
of the light in which Visvamitra's exercise of priestly functions was 
looked upon either by himself or by his contemporaries. 

In Indische Studien, ii. 112-123, this story forms the subject of an 
interesting dissertation by Professor Roth, who arrives at the following 
conclusions : 

" (i.) The oldest legend about S'unahsepa (alluded to in R.V. i. 24, 
11-13, 156 and R.V. v. 2, 7) knows only of his miraculous deliverance 
by divine help from the peril of death. 

" (ii.) This story becomes expanded in the sequel into a narrative of 
S'unahsepa's threatened slaughter as a sacrificial victim, and of his 
deliverance through Visvamitra. 

" (iii.) This immolation-legend becomes severed into two essentially 
distinct versions, the oldest forms of which are respectively represented 
by the stories in the Aitareya Brahmana, and the Ramayana. 

" (iv.) The latter becomes eventually the predominant one; but its 
proper central-point is no longer the deliverance from immolation, but 

156 Compare also Eosen's remarks on the hymns ascribed to S'unas's'epa ; Rig-veda 
Sanhita, Annotationes, p. Iv. He thinks they contain nothing which would lead to 
the belief that they have any connection with the legend in the Ramayana and Ait. Br. 


the incorporation of S'unahsepa, or (with a change of persons) of 
Kichika, into the family of the Kusikas. It thus becomes in the end 
a family-legend of the race of Visvamitra. 

" There is thus no historical, perhaps not even a genealogical, result 
to be gained here. On the other hand the story obtains an important 
place in the circle of those narratives in which the sacerdotal literature 
expressed its views regarding the character and agency of Visvamitra." 

In a passage of the Mahabharata, Adip. verses 3694 if., 157 where the 
descendants of Puru are recorded, we find among them Bharata the son 
of Dushyanta (verse 3709) from whom (1) Bhumanyu, (2) Suhotra, 
(3) Ajamidha, and (4) Jahnu are said to have sprung in succession 
(verses 3712-3722) ; and the last-named king and his brothers Vrajaua 
and Rupin are said to have been the ancestors of the Kusikas (verse 3723 : 
anvaydh Kusikdh rdjan Jahnor amita-tejasah \ Vrajana-Rupinoh\ who 
were therefore, according to this passage also, descended from Bharata 
(see above, p. 354). The Mahabharata then goes on to relate that 
during the reign of Samvarana, son of Jahnu's eldest brother Riksha, 
the country over which he ruled was desolated by various calamities 
(verses 3725 f.). The narrative proceeds, verse 3727 : 

Abhyaghnan Bhdratdms chaiva sapatndndm baldni cha \ chdlayan 
vasudhdm chemdm balena ohaturangind \ abhyaydt tarn cha Pdnchdlyo 
vijitya tarasd mahlm \ akshauhinlbhir dasabhih sa enam samare 'jayat \ 
tatah sa-ddrah sdmdtyah sa-puttrah sa-suhrijjanah \ rdjd Samvaranas 
tasmdt paldyata mahdbhaydt I 3730. Sindhor nadasya mahato nikunje 
nyavasat tadd \ nadl-vishaya-paryyante parvatasya samlpatah \ tattrd- 
vasan bahun kdldn Bhdratdh durgam asritdh \ teshdm nivasatdm tattra 
sahasram parivatsardn \ athdbhyagachhad Bhdratan Vasishtho bhagavdn 
rishih | tarn dgatam prayatnena pratyudgamydbhivddya cha \ arghyam 
abhydharams tasmai te sarve Bhdratds tadd \ nivedya sarvam rishaye 
satkdrena suvarchchase \ tarn dsane chopavishtam rdjd vavre svayatn tadd \ 
" purohito bhacdn no'stu rdjydya prayatetnahi " \ 3735. "Om" ity 
evaifi Vasishtho 'pi Bhdratan pratyapadyata \ athdbhyasinchat sdmrdjye 
sarva-kshattrasya Pauravam \ vishdna-bhutam sarvasydm prithivydm iti 
nah srutam \ Bharatddhyushitam purvam so 'dhyatishthat purottamam \ 
punar balibhritas chaiva chakre sarva-mahlkshitah \ 

J 37 Referred to by Roth, Litt. u. Gesch. des Weda, pp. 142 ff., and Wilson, Rig- 
veda, iii. p. 86. 


" 3727. And the hosts of their enemies also smote the Bharatas. 
Shaking the earth with an army of four kinds of forces, the Panchalya 
chief assailed him, having rapidly conquered the earth, and vanquished 
him with ten complete hosts. Then king Samvarana with his wives, 
ministers, sons, and friends, fled from that great cause of alarm ; (3730) 
and dwelt in the thickets of the great river Sindhu (Indus), in the 
country bordering on the stream, and near a mountain. There the 
Bharatas abode for a long time, taking refuge in a fortress. As they 
were dwelling there, for a thousand years, the venerable rishi Vasishtha 
came to them. Going out to meet him on his arrival, and making 
obeisance, the Bharatas all presented him with the arghya offering, 
shewing every honour to the glorious rishi. When he was seated the 
king himself solicited him, ' Be thou our priest ; let us strive to 
regain my kingdom.' 3735. Vasishtha consented to attach himself to 
the Bharatas, and, as we have heard, invested the descendant of Puru 
with the sovereignty of the entire Kshattriya race, to be a horn (to have 
mastery) over the whole earth. He occupied the splendid city formerly 
inhabited by Bharata, and made all kings again tributary to himself." 

It is remarkable that in this passage the Bharatas, who, as we have 
seen, are elsewhere represented as being so closely connected with 
Visvamitra, and are in one text of the Big-veda (vii. 33, 6) alluded 
to as the enemies of Vasishtha' s friends, should be here declared to 
have adopted the latter rishi as their priest. The account, however, 
need not be received as historical, or even based on any ancient tra- 
dition ; and the part referring to Vasishtha in particular may have 
been invented for the glorification of that rishi, or for the honour of 
the Bharatas. 

The llth and 12th khandas of the second adhyaya of the Sarvasara 
Upanishad (as we learn from Professor Weber's analysis in Ind. St. 
i. 390) relate that Visvamitra was instructed on the identity of breath 
(prdna) with Indra, by the god himself, who had been celebrated by 
the sage on the occasion of a sacrifice, at which he officiated as hotri- 
priest, in a thousand Brihati verses, and was in consequence favourably 
disposed towards him. 

It is abundantly clear, from the details supplied in this section, that 
Visvamitra, who was a rajanya of the Bharata and Kusika families 
(Ait. Br. vii. 17 and 18), is represented by ancient Indian tradition as 


the author of numerous Yedic hymns, as the domestic priest (puro- 
hita) of king Sudas (Mr. ii. 24), and as officiating as a hotri at a 
sacrifice of king Harischandra (Ait. Br. vii. 16). The Hamayana 
also, as we shall see in a future section, connects him with Trisanku, 
the father of Harischandra, and makes him also contemporary with 
Ambarisha ; and in the first book of the same poem he is said to have 
visited king Dasaratha, the father of Rama (Balakanda, i. 20, Iff.). 
As these kings were separated from each other by very long intervals, 
Trisanku being a descendant of Ikshvaku in the 28th, Ambarisha in 
the 44th, 158 Sudas in the 49th, and Dasaratha in the 60th generation 
(see Wilson's Yishnu Purana, vol. iii. pp. 284, 303, 304, 313), it is 
manifest that the authors of these legends either intentionally or 
through oversight represented Yisvamitra, like Yasishtha (see above), 
as a personage of miraculous longevity ; and on either supposition 
a great deal that is related of him must be purely fabulous. All the 
authorities describe him as the son of Gathin or Gadhi, the Anu- 
kramani, the Yishnu Purana, and the Harivamsa declaring also that 
Gathin was an incarnation of Indra, and thus asserting Yisvamitra to 
be of divine descent. It is not clear whether this fable is referred to 
in E.Y. iii. 53, 9, where Yisvamitra is styled deva-juh, "born of a god," 
or whether this verse may not have led to the invention of the story. 
In either case the verse can scarcely have emanated from the rishi 
himself; but it is more likely to be the production of one of his de- 
scendants. 159 

158 According to the Ramayana, i. 70, 41 ; ii. 110, 32, Ambarisha was only 28th 
from Ikshvaku. Compare Prof. Wilson's note on these genealogies, V.P. iii. 313 ff. 

159 The word devajah, -which, following Roth, s.v., I have translated " god.born," 
is taken by Sayana as = dyotamcinanam tfjasam janayita, " generator of shining 
lights," and appears to be regarded by him as referring to the creation of constel- 
lations by Yisvamitra, mentioned in the Ramayana, i, 60, 21. Prof. Wilson renders 
the phrase by "generator of the gods; " and remarks that "the compound is not 
devaja, ' god-born,' nor was Yis'vamitra of divine parentage " (R.V. iii. p. 85, note 4). 
This last remark overlooks the fact above alluded to of his father Gadhi being repre- 
sented as an incarnation of Indra, and the circumstance that Prof. Wilson himself 
(following Sayana) had shortly before translated the words prathama-jah brahmanah 
in R.V. iii. 29, 15, as applied to the Kus'ikas, by " the first-born of Brahma," although 
from the accent brahman here must be neuter, and the phrase seems to mean, as 
I have rendered above, "the first-born of prayer." The word jd is given in the 
Nighantu as one of the synonymes of apatya, " offspring ; " and in R.V. i. 164, 15, 
where it is coupled with rishayah, the compound devajah is explained by Sayana as 
"born of the god," i.e. the sun, and by Prof. Wilson as "born of the gods." See 


This verse (E.V. iii. 53, 9) which claims a superhuman origin for 
Yisvamitra, and the following verses 11-13 of the same hymn, which 
assert the efficacy of his prayers, form a sort of parallel to the contents 
of R.Y. vii. 33, where the supernatural birth of Vasishtha (vv. 10 if.), 
the potency of his intercession (vv. 2-5), and the sacred knowledge of 
his descendants (vv. 7 and 8), are celebrated. 

As the hymns of Yisvamitra and his descendants occupy so prominent 
a place in the'Rig-veda Sanhita, and as he is the alleged author of the 
text reputed the holiest in the entire Veda (iii. 62, 10), the G&yatfipar 
excellence, there is no reason to doubt that, although he was a rdjanya, he 
was unreservedly acknowledged by his contemporaries to be both a 
rishi and a priest. Nothing less than the uniform recognition and 
employment of the hymns handed down under his name as the produc- 
tions of a genuine " seer," could have sufficed to gain for them a place 
in the sacred canon. 160 It is true we possess little authentic information 
regarding the process by which the hymns of different families were 
admitted to this honour ; but at least there is no tradition, so far as I 
am aware, that those of Yisvamitra and his family were ever treated as 
antilegomena. And if we find that later works consider it necessary to 
represent his priestly character as a purely exceptional one, explicable 
only on the ground of supernatural merit acquired by ardent devotion, we 
must recollect that the course of ages had brought about a most material 
change in Indian society, that the sacerdotal function had at length 
become confined to the members of an exclusive caste, and that the 
exercise of such an office in ancient times by persons of the regal or 
mercantile classes had ceased to be intelligible, except upon the suppo- 
sition of such extraordinary sanctity as was alleged in the case of 

It is worthy of remark that although the Aitareya Brahmana (see 
above) declares that S'unassepa, as belonging to a priestly family, was 
called on to exercise the sacerdotal office immediately after his release, 
yet the anterior possession of divine knowledge is also ascribed to 
Yisvamitra and the Gathins, and that S'unassepa is represented as sue- 
also II. V. ix. 93, 1 = S.V. i. 538. (Compare Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, 
for 1866, p. 387 ff.) 

160 That many at least of these compositions were really the work of Vis'vamitra, or 
his descendants, is proved, as we have seen, by the fact that their names are mentioned 
in them. 


ceeding to this sacred lore, as well as to the regal dignity of the race 
on which he became engrafted. 

The fact of Visvamitra having been both a rishi and an officiating 
priest, is thus, as we have seen, and if ancient tradition is to be believed, 
undoubted. In fact, if we look to the number of Vedic hymns ascribed 
to him and to his family, to the long devotion to sacerdotal functions 
which this fact implies, and to the apparent improbability that a person 
who had himself stood in the position of a king should afterwards have 
become a professional priest, we may find it difficult to believe that 
although (as he certainly was) a scion of a royal stock, he had ever him- 
self exercised regal functions. Professor Roth remarks (Litt. u. Gesch. 
p. 125) that there is nothing either in the Aitareya Brahmana, or in the 
hymns of the Rig-veda to shew that he had ever been a king. 161 But 
on the other hand, as the same writer observes (p. 126), and as we 
shall hereafter see, there are numerous passages in the later authorities 
in which the fact of his being a king is distinctly, but perhaps untruly, 

It is so well known, that I need scarcely adduce any proof of the 
fact, that in later ages Rajanyas and Vaisyas, though entitled to sacri- 
fice and to study the Vedas, were no longer considered to have any 
right to officiate as priests on behalf of others. I may, however, cite a 
few texts on this subject. Manu says, i. 88 : 

Adhydpanam adhyayanam ydjanam ydjanam tathd \ ddnam prati- 
graham chaiva Brdhmandndm akalpayat \ 89. Prajdndm rakshanam 
ddnam ijyd Adhyayanam eva cha \ vishayeshv aprasaktim cha kshattri- 
yasya samdsatah \ 90. Pasundm rakshanam ddnam ijyd Adhyayanam eva 
cha | vanikpatham kusldam cha Va^syasya krishim eva cha \ 91. Ekam 
eva tu S'udrasya prabhuh karma samddisat \ eteshdm eva varndndm susru- 
shdm anasuyayd \ 88. He (Brahma) ordained teaching, study, sacrificing, 
officiating for others at sacrifices, and the giving and receiving of gifts, 
to be the functions of Brahmans. 89. Protection of the people, the 
giving of gifts, sacrifice, study, and non-addiction to objects of sense he 
assigned as the duties of the Kshattriya. 90. The tending of cattle, 
giving of gifts, sacrifice, study, commerce, the taking of usury, and agri- 
culture he appointed to be the occupations of the Yaisya. 91. But the 

161 May not R.V. iii. 43, 5 (quoted above), however, be understood to point to 
something of this kind ? 


lord assigned only one duty to the S'udra, that of serving these other 
three classes without grudging." 

Similarly it is said in the second of the Yajna-paribhasha Sutras, 
translated by Professor M. Miiller (at the end of the ninth volume of 
the Journal of the German Oriental Society, p. xliii.), " that sacrifice 
is proper to the three classes, the Brahman, Rajanya, and also the 
Vaisya." 162 Prof. Miiller also refers to Katyayana's S'rauta Sutras, of 
which i. 1, 5 and 6 are as follows : 

5. Angahlnarotriya-shanda-udra-varjam \ 6. Brahmana-rdjanya- 
vaisyanam sruteh \ " Men, 163 with the exception of those whose members 

163 Prof. Mtiller does not give the original text. 

163 In one of these Sutras of Katyiiyana (i. 1, 4) and its commentary a curious 
question (one of those which the Indian authors often think it necessary to raise and 
to settle, in order that their treatment of a Subject may be complete and exhaustive) 
is argued, viz. whether the lower animals and the gods have any share in the practice 
of Vedic observances; or whether it is confined to men. The conclusion is that the 
gods cannot practise these rites, as they are themselves the objects of them, and as 
they have already obtained heaven and the other objects of desire with a view to 
which they are practised (tatra devanam devatantarabhavad anadhikarah \ na hy 
atmanam uddisya tyagah sambhavati \ kincha \ devas cha prapta-svargadi-kamah \ 
na cha tesham kinchid avaptavyam asti yad-artham karmani kurvate | ). As regards 
the right of the lower animals to sacrifice, although the point is decided against them 
on the ground of their only " looking to what is near at hand, and not to the rewards 
of a future world " (te hy asannam eva chetayante n& paralaukikam phalam) ; still it 
is considered necessary seriously to obviate a presumption in their favour that they 
seek to enjoy pleasure and avoid pain, and even appear to indicate their desire for the 
happiness of another world by seeming to observe some of the Vedic prescriptions : "JVa- 
nu uktaih sunas' chaturdasyam upavasa-darsanat syenasya cha ashtamyam upavasa- 
darsanach cha te 'pi paralaukikam jananti" iti \ tat katham av agamy ate " te dhar- 
martham upavasanti" iti \ ye hi veda-smriti-puranadikam pathanti te eva jananti yad 
" anena karmana idam phalam amutra prapsyate" iti \ na cha ete vedadikam pathanti 
napy anyebhyah agamayanti I tena sastrarthamavvlvamsah phalam amushmikamaka- 
mayantah katham tat-sadhanam karma kufyuh \ tasmad na dharmcirtham upavasanti 
iti | kimartham tarhy etesham upavasah \ uchyate \ rot/ad aruchir esham \ tarhi niyata- 
kale katham rogah \ uchyate \ niyata-kalah api rogcih bhavanti yatha triflyaka-clia 
turthikadi-jvarah \ adhanas cha ete \ " But do not some say that ' from a dog having 
been noticed to fast on the fourteenth day of the month, and a hawk on the eighth, 
they also have a knowledge of matters connected with a future life ? ' But how is it 
known that these dogs and hawks fast from religious motives ? For it is only those who 
read the Vedas, Smritis, Puranas, etc., who are aware that by means of such and such 
observances, such and such rewards will be obtained in another world. But these animals 
neither read the sacred books for themselves, nor ascertain their contents from others. 
How then, ignorant as they are of the contents of the scriptures, and devoid of any 
desire for future rewards, can they perform those rites which are the means of attain- 
ing them ? It is therefore to be concluded that they do not fast from religious motives. 
But why, then, do they fast ? "We reply, because from sickness they have a disinclin- 


are defective, those who have not read the Veda, eunuchs, and S'udras, 
have a right to sacrifice. 6. It is Brahmans, Rajanyas, and Yaisyas 
(only who) according to the Yeda (possess this privilege)." m 

ation for food. But how do they happen to be sick on certain fixed days ? "We answer, 
there are also certain diseases which occur on fixed days, as tertian and quartan agues. 
Another reason why the lower animals cannot sacrifice is that they are destitute of 
wealth (and so unable to provide the necessary materials)." 

lei "And yet," Prof. Miiller remarks (ibid), "concessions were made (to other and 
lower classes) at an early period. One of the best known cases is that of the Eatha- 
kara. Then the Nishadasthapati, though a Nishada chief and not belonging to the 
three highest classes was admitted to great sacrifices, e.g. to the gavedhukacharu." 
The S'atap. Br. i. 1, 4, 12, has the following words: Tani vai etani chatvari vachah 
"ehi" iti brahmanasya "agahi" "adrava" vaisyasya cha rajanyabandhos cha "adha- 
va " iti sudrasya \ " [In the formula, havishkrid ehi, ' come, o oblation-maker,' referred 
to in the previous paragraph, and its modifications] these four (different) words are 
employed to express ' come : ' ehi, ' confe,' in the case of a Brahman ; agahi, ' come 
hither,' in the case of a Vais'ya; adrava, 'hasten hither," in the case of a Eajanya- 
bandhu, and adhava, ' run hither,' in the case of a S'udra." On this Prof. Weber 
remarks, in a note on his translation of the first adhyaya of the first book of the 
S'. P. Br. (Journ. Germ. Or. Soc. iv. p. 301) : " The entire passage is of great im- 
portance, as it shews (in opposition to what Eoth says in the first vol. of this Journal, 
p. 83) that the S'udras were then admitted to the holy sacrifices of the Arians, and 
understood their speech, even if they did not speak it. The latter point cannot 
certainly be assumed as a necessary consequence, but it is highly probable ; and I 
consequently incline to the view of those who regard the S'udras as an Arian tribe 
which immigrated into India before the others." See above, p. 141, note 251, and 
Ind. Stud. ii. 194, note, where Prof. Weber refers to the Mahabharata, S'antip. verses 
2304 ff. which are as follows : Svahakara-vashatkarau mantrah s'udre na vidyate \ 
tasmach chhudrah paltayajnair yajetavratavan svayam \ purnapatramayim ahuh 
pakayajnasya dakshinam \ sudrah Paijavano nama sahasranaffi satam dadau ] Ain- 
dragnyena vidhanena dakshinam iti nah s'rutam \ " The svahakara, and the vashat- 
kara, and the mantras do not belong to a S'udra. Wherefore let a man of this class 
sacrifice with pakayajnas, being incapacitated for (Vedic) rites (srauta-vratopaya-hlnah \ 
Comm.). They say that the gift (dakshina) proper for a pakayajna consists of a 
full dish (purnapatramayi'). A S'udra called Paijavana gave as a present a hundred 
thousand (of these purnapiitras) after the Aindragnya rule." Here, says Prof. Weber, 
" the remarkable tradition is recorded that Paijavana, i.e. Sudas, who was so famous 
for his sacrifices, and who is celebrated in the Eig-veda as the patron of Vis'vamitra 
and enemy of Vasishtha, was a S'udra." In the Bhagavata Purina, vii. 11, 24, the 
duties of a S'udra are described to be " submissiveness, purity, honest service to his 
master, sacrifice without mantras, abstinence from theft, truth, and the protection of 
cows and Brabmans" {sudrasya sannatih sauchani seva svaminy amayaya \ amantra- 
yajno hy asteyam satyam go-vipra-rakshanam |). The Commentator defines amantra- 
yajnah thus: namaskarenaiva pancha-yajnanushthanam, "the practice of the five 
sacrifices with obeisance," and quotes Yajnavalkya. See also Wilson's Vishnu Purana, 
vol. iii. p. 87, and notes ; Miiller's Anc. Sansk. Lit. p. 203 ; the same author's Essay, 
at the end of the ninth vol. of the Journ. Germ. Or. Soc. p. Ixxiii, ; and Bohtlingk and 
Eoth's Lexicon, s.v. pakayajna. 


According to the Ait. Br. vii. 19, "the Brahman alone of the four 
castes has the right of consuming things offered in sacrifice " (etdh vai 
prajdh hutddo yad brdhmandh \ atha etdh ahutddo yad rdjanyo vaisyah 
sudrah). And yet, as Prof. Miiller observes, it is said in the S'atap. 
Br. v. 5, 4, 9 : Chatvdro vai varndh Irdhmano rdjanyo vaisyah sudro na 
ha eteshdm ekaschana lhavati yah somam vamati \ sa yad ha eteshdm 
ekaschit sydt sydd ha eva prdyaschittih \ "There are four classes, the 
Brahman, Rajanya, Yaisya, and S'udra. There is no one of these who 
vomits (i.e., I suppose, dislikes) the soma. If anyone of them how- 
ever should do so, let there he an atonement." 

Professor "Weber, by whom also these words are quoted (Ind. St. 
x. 12), remarks that "they leave open the possibility of Kajanyas, 
Vaisyas, and even S'udras partaking of the soma, the only consequence 
being that they must as an expiation perform the Sautramam rite." 

In the twenty-first of the Yajna-paribhasha Sutras, translated by 
Miiller, p. xlvii., it is declared that the priestly dignity belongs to the 
Brahmans ; and it is laid down by the Indian authorities that even when 
the sacrifice is of a kind intended exclusively for Kshattriyas, the priest 
must still be a Brahman and not a Kshattriya, the reason being that 
men of the former class only can eat the remains of the sacrifice (see 
Katyayana's S'r. Sutras, i. 2, 8): Brdhmandhritvijo bhahsha-pratishedhdd 
itarayoh, "the Brahmans only are priests, because the other two castes are 
forbidden to eat (the remains of the sacrifice "). See also Weber, Ind. 
St. x. pp. 17 and 31, and the passages of the Ait. Br. viii. 24 and 27, 
referred to in pages 30 and 31 : 24. Na ha vai apurohitasya rdjno 
devdh annam adanti \ tasmdd rdjd 'yakshamdno brdhmanam puro dadhlta \ 
" The gods do not eat the food offered by a king who has no purohita. 
Wherefore (even) when not about to sacrifice, the king should put 
forward a Brahman (as his domestic priest)." 27. Yo ha vai trln 
purohitdms trln purodhdtrln veda sa brdhmanah purohitdh \ sa vadeta 
purodhdyai \ Agnir vdva purohitah prithivl purodhdtd vdyur vdva puro- 
hito ' ntariksham purodhdtd ddityo vdva purohito dyauh purodhdtd \ esha 
ha vai purohito yah evaih veda atha sa tirohito yah evam na veda \ tasya 
rdjd mitram lhavati dvishantam apabddhate \ yasyaivaih vidvdn Irdh- 
mano rdshtra-gopah purohitah \ hshattrena kshattram jayati lalena lalam 
asnute \ yasyaivam vidvdn Irdhmano rdshtra-gopah purohitah \ tasmai 
visah sanjdnate sammukhdh ekamanasah \ yasyaivafh vidvdn brdhmano 


rdshtra-gopah purohitah \ "The Brahman who knows the three puro- 
hitas, and their three appointers, is a (proper) purohita, and should be 
nominated to this office. Agni is one purohita, and the earth appoints 
him ; Yayu another, and the air appoints him ; the Sun is a third, and 
the sky appoints him. He who knows this is a (proper) purohita ; and 
he who does not know this is to be rejected. (Another) king becomes 
the friend of the prince who has a Brahman possessing such knowledge 
for his purohita and the protector of his realm ; and he vanquishes his 
enemy. He who has a Brahman possessing etc. (as above) conquers 
(another's) regal power by (his own) regal power, and acquires another's 
force by (his own) force. With him who has a Brahman etc. (as above) 
the people are openly united and in harmony." 

I add another passage from the same Brahmana, which might also 
have been properly introduced in an earlier chapter of this work 
(chapt. i. sect, iii.) as it relates to the creation of the four castes : 

Ait. Br. vii. 19. Prajdpatir yajnam asrijata \ yajnam srishtam anu 
brahma-kshattre asrijyetdm \ brahma-kshattre anu dvayyah prajdh asrij- 
yanta hutddas cha ahutddas cha brahma eva anu hutddah kshattram anv 
ahutddah \ etdh vai prajdh hutddo yad brdhmandh \ atha etdh ahutddo 
yad rdjanyo vaisyah sudrah \ tdbhyo yajnah udakrdmat \ tarn brahma- 
kshattre anvaitdm ydny evco brahmanah dyudJidni tair braJima anvait ydni 
kshattrasya tarn (? taih) kshattram \ etdni vai brahmanah dyudhdni yad 
yajndyudhdni \ atha etdni kshattrasya dyudhani yad asva-rathah kavachah 
ishu-dhanva \ tarn kshattram ananvdpya nyavarttata \ dyudhebhyo ha 
sma asya vijamanah pardn eva eti \ atha enam brahma anvait \ tarn dpnot \ 
tarn dptvd parastdd nirudhya atishthat \ sa dptah parastdd niruddhaa 
tishthan j'nutid sfdny dyudhdni brahma updtarttata \ tasmdd ha apy 
etarhi yajno brahmany eva brdhmaneshu pratishthitah \ atha enat kshattram 
anvdgacMat tad abravld " upa md asmin yajne hvayasva" iti \ tat 
" tathd " ity abravit ll tad vai nidhaya svany dyudhdni brahmanah eva 
dyudhair brahmano rupena brahma bhiitva yajnam upardrttasva" iti \ 
"tathd" iti tat kshattram nidhaya svdny dyudhdni brahmanah eva dyudh- 
air brahmano rupena brahma bhutvd yajnam updvarttata \ tasmdd ha 
apy etarhi kshattriyo yajamdno nidhaya eva svdny dyudhdni brah- 
manah eva dyudhair brahmano rupena brahma bhutvd yajnam upd- 
varttate \ 

"Prajapati created sacrifice. After sacrifice, Brahman (sacred know- 


ledge) and K.shattra (regal power) 165 were created. After these, two 
kinds of creatures were formed, viz. those who eat, and those who do 
not eat, oblations. After Brahman came the eaters of oblations, and 
after Kshattra those who do not eat them. These are the eaters of 
oblations, viz. the Brahmans. Those who do not eat them are the 
Rajanya, the Yaisya, and the S'iidra. From these creatures sacrifice 
departed. Brahman and Kshattra followed it, Brahman with the im- 
plements proper, to itself, and Kshattra with those which are proper to 
itself. The implements of Brahman are the same as those of sacrifice, 
while those of Kshattra are a horse-chariot, 166 armour, and a bow and 
arrows. Kshattra turned back, not having found the sacrifice ; which 
turns aside, afraid of the implements of Kshattra. Brahman followed 
after it, and reached it ; and having done so, stood beyond, and inter- 
cepting it. * Being thus found and intercepted, sacrifice, standing still 
and recognizing its own implements, approached to Brahman. "Where- 
fore now also sacrifice depends upon Brahman, upon the Brahmans. 
Kshattra then followed Brahman, and said, ' invite me 167 (too to par- 
ticipate) in this sacrifice.' Brahman replied, ' so be it : then laying 
aside thy own implements, approach the sacrifice with the implements 
of Brahman, in the form of Brahman, and having become Brahman. 168 

165 The two principles or functions represented by the Brahmans and Kshattriyas 

166 See "Weher, Indische Studien, ix. p. 318. 

167 See "Weber, in the same page as last quoted. 

169 This idea may be further illustrated by a reference to several passages adduced 
by Professor Weber, Ind. St. x. 1 7, who remarks : " Hence every Rajanya and Vais'ya 
becomes through the consecration for sacrifice (d7ksha) a Brahman during its con- 
tinuance, and is to be addressed as such in the formula employed," and cites S'. P. Br. 
iii. 2, 1, 39 f., part of which has been alreiJdy quoted above, in p. 136, note; and 
also Ait. Br. vii. 23 : Sa ha d^kshamanah eva bfahmanatam abhyupaiti \ " He a king, 
when consecrated, enters into the condition of a Brahman." See the rest of the section 
and sections 24, 25, and 31 in Dr.Haug's translation. The S'.P.Br. xiii. 4, 1, 3, says, 
in opposition to the opinion of some, that an as'vamedha, which is a sacrifice proper 
to Rajanyas, should be begun in summer, which is their season : tad vai vasante eva 
abhyarabheta \ vasanto vai brahmanasya rituh \ yah u vai has cha yajate brahmani- 
bhuya wa eva, yajate \ " Let him commence in spring, which is the Brahman's season. 
"Whosoever sacrifices does so after having as it were become a Brahman." So too 
Katyayana says in his S'rauta Sutias vii. 4, 12 : " Brahmana" ity eva vaisya-rajan- 
yayor api \ " The word Brahmana is to be addressed to a Vais'ya and a Rajanya also." 
On which the Commentator annotates : Vaisya-rajanyayor api yajne " dikshito 'yam 
brahmanah" ity eva vaktavyam \ na "dlkshito 'yam kshattriyo vaisyo va " iti \ " The 
formula ' This Brahman has been consecrated ' is to be used at the sacrifice of a Vais'ya 



Kshattra rejoined, ' Ee it so,' and, laying aside its own implements, 
approached the sacrifice with those of Brahman, in the form of Brah- 
man, and having become Brahman. Wherefore now also a Kshattriya 
when, sacrificing, laying aside his own implements, approaches the 
sacrifice with those of Brahman, in the form of Brahman, and having 
hecome Brahman." 

The Mahabharata, S'antip. verses 2280 f. distinctly defines the duty 
of a Kshattriya in reference to sacrifice and sacred study : Kshattriya- 
sydpi yo dkarmas tarn te vdkshyami Hharata \ dadydd rdjan na ydcheta 
yajeta na cha ydjayet \ nadhydpayed adhiylta prajds cha paripdlayet \ 
" I will tell thee also the duties of a Kshattriya. Let him give, and 
not ask (gifts) ; let him sacrifice, but not officiate for others at sacri- 
fices ; let him not teach, but study ; and let him protect the people." 

It is clear that these passages which restrict the right o'f officiating 
ministerially at sacrifices to the members of the Brahmanical order, 169 
represent a very different state of opinion and practice from that which 
prevailed in the earlier Yedic age, when Yisvamitra, a Rajanya, and 
his relatives, were highly esteemed as the authors of sacred poetry, and 
were considered as perfectly authorized to exercise sacerdotal functions. 

The result of the conflict between the opposing interests represented 
by Yasishtha and Yisvamitra respectively, is thus described by Professor 

and a Rajanya also ; and not the words ' this Rajanya, or this Vais'ya, has been con- 
secrated.' " 

169 It appears from Arrian that the Greeks were correctly informed of this prero- 
gative of the Brahmans. He says, Indica, ch. xi. : Kol Saris Se iSia dvti, ffryr)ri)s 
otrnp -rijs Ovcrlys rwv rts ffotywruiv rovrcav yiverat, cos OVK &v &\\us Kexapi<r/ie'j/a 
rols Beoii Bixravras. "And whosoever sacrifices in private has one of these sophists " 
(so the highest of the classes, here said to be seven in number, is designated) " as 
director of the ceremony, since sacrifice could not otherwise be offered acceptably to 
the gods." Arrian makes another assertion (ibid, xii.) which, if applied to the time 
when he wrote (in the second Christian century), is not equally correct. After observ- 
ing that the several classes were not allowed to intermarry, nor to practice two pro- 
fessions, nor to pass from one class into another, he adds : t/iovvov afyicriv avfi-rai 
ffotpiffrfyv fK Ttavrbs ytvfos y(Vf<r6ai ' on ov fj.a\6aKa roiffi aotyiffrfjffiv etoi rci 
irp-fiyfj.a.Ta, a\\a Travraiv ra\anrcap6rara. " Only it is permitted to a person of any 
class among them to become a sophist ; for the life of that class is not luxurious, but 
the most toilsome of all." However indubitably true the first part of this sentence 
may have been in the age of Vis'vamitra, it cannot be correctly predicated of the age 
of Arrian, or even of the period when India was invaded by Alexander the Great. 
The mistake may have arisen from confounding the Buddhists with the Brahmans, or 
from supposing that all the Brahmanical Indians, who adopted an ascetic life, were 
regarded as " sophists." 


Hoth at the close of his work on the literature and history of the Veda, 
which has been so often quoted, p. 141 : "Vasishtha, in whom the future 
position of the Brahmans is principally foreshadowed, occupies also a far 
higher place in the recollections of the succeeding centuries than his 
martial rival ; and the latter succumhs in the conflict out of which the 
holy race of Brahmavartta was to emerge. Vasishtha is the sacerdotal 
hero of the new order of things. In Visvamitra the ancient condition 
of military shepherd-life in the Punjab is thrown back for ever into 
the distance. This is the general historical signification of the contest 
between the two Vedic families, of which the literature of all the suc- 
ceeding periods has preserved the recollection." 

SECT. VII. Do the details in the last two sections enable us to decide 
in what relation Vasishtha and Visvamitra stood to each other as 
priests of Sudds ? 

It appears from the data supplied in the two preceding sections that 
both Vasishtha and Visvamitra are represented as priests of a king called 
Sudas. .This is shewn, as regards the former rishi (see pp. 319 ff., 
above), by E.V. vii. 18, 4, 5, and 21-25 ; and vii. 33, 1-6, where he is 
said to have interceded with Indra for Sudas, who, as appears from 
verse 25 of the second of these hymns, was the son of Pijavana. A 
similar relation is shewn by R.V. iii. 53, 9-13 to have subsisted between 
Visvamitra and Sudas (see above, p. 342) ; and although Sudas is not 
in that passage identified with the king who was Vasishtha' s patron, 
by the addition of his patronymic, we, are told in the Mrukta, ii. 24, 
that he was the same person, the son of Pijavana. There is therefore 
no doubt that, according to ancient tradition, the two rishis were both 
priests of the same prince. It further appears that the Bharatas, with 
whom, as we have seen, Visvamitra was connected, are in H.V. vii' 
33, 6 referred to as in hostility with Sudas and his priest. Are we 
then to conclude that the one set of facts excludes the other that the 
two rishis could not both have been the family-priests of Sudas ? 

There is no reason to arrive at such an inference. Vasishtha and 
Visvamitra could not, indeed, have been the domestic priests of Sudas 
at one and the same period. But they may have been so at different 


times ; and the one may have supplanted the other. It is, however, very 
difficult to derive from the imperfect materials supplied in the passages 
to which I have referred any clear conception of the shape and course 
which the contest between these two rivals took, or to fix the periods 
at which they respectively enjoyed their patron's favour. Prof. Roth 
thinks 170 that some light is thrown on this obscure subject by the 
different parts of the 53rd hymn of the third mandala of tbe Rig-veda. 
This composition, as it stands, contains, as he considers, fragments of 
hymns by Visvamitra or his descendants, of different dates ; and the 
verses (9-13), in which that rishi represents himself and the Kausikas 
as being the priests of Sudas, are, in his opinion, earlier than the con- 
cluding verses (21-24), m which consist of imprecations directed against 
Yasishtha. These last verses,, he remarks, contain an expression of 
wounded pride, and threaten vengeance against an enemy who had 
come into possession of some power or dignity which Yisvamitra him- 
self had previously enjoyed. And as we find from one of his hymns 
(the 53rd) that he and his adherents had at one time led Sudas to 
victory, and enjoyed a corresponding consideration ; while from Yasish- 
tha' s hymns it is clear that he and his family had also been elevated in 
consequence of similar claims to a like position; it would seem to 
result that Yisvamitra had cursed Yasishtha for this very reason that he 
had been supplanted by him. The former with his Kusikas had through 
the growing influence of his rival been driven away by Sudas to the 
Bharatas the enemies of that prince and of the Tritsus; and then 

See Litt. und Gesch. des Weda, pp. 121 ff. 

171 I have (above, p. 343) characterized these verses as obscure and have left them 
untranslated. The portions of the following version which are printed in italics are 
doubtful : verse 22. " He (or, it) vexes (turns the edge of] even an axe ; and breaks 
even a sword. A seething cauldron, even, o Indra, when over-heated, casts out foam. 
23. men, no notice is taken of the arrow. They lead away the intelligent (lodha) 
looking upon