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Summary Description of the Mahāpuruṣa

In the context of worship, this chapter describes the Mahāpuruṣa and the various expansions of the sun in each month. Śrī Sūta first tells Śaunaka Ṛṣi about the material objects through which one can understand the major limbs, the secondary limbs, the weapons and the garments of Lord Śrī Hari. Then he outlines the process of practical service by which a mortal soul can attain immortality. When Śaunaka shows further interest in learning about the expansion of Lord Hari in the form of the sun-god, Sūta replies that Lord Śrī Hari the indwelling controller of the universe and its original creator manifests Himself in the form of the demigod of the sun. Sages describe this sun-god in many features according to his different material designations. To sustain the world, the Personality of Godhead manifests His potency of time as the sun and travels throughout the twelve months, beginning with Caitra, along with twelve sets of personal associates. One who remembers the opulences of the Personality of Godhead Śrī Hari in His form as the sun will become free of his sinful reactions.

Text 1: Śrī Śaunaka said: O Sūta, you are the best of learned men and a great devotee of the Supreme Lord. Therefore we now inquire from you about the definitive conclusion of all tantra scriptures.

Texts 2-3: All good fortune to you! Please explain to us, who are very eager to learn, the process of kriyā-yoga practiced through regulated worship of the transcendental Lord, the husband of the goddess of fortune. Please also explain how the Lord’s devotees conceive of His limbs, associates, weapons and ornaments in terms of particular material representations. By expertly worshiping the Supreme Lord, a mortal can attain immortality.

Text 4: Sūta Gosvāmī said: Offering obeisances to my spiritual masters, I shall repeat to you the description of the opulences of Lord Viṣṇu given in the Vedas and tantras by great authorities, beginning from lotus-born Brahmā.

Text 5: The universal form [virāṭ] of the Personality of Godhead includes the nine basic elements of creation, starting with the unmanifest nature, and their subsequent transformations. Once this universal form is instilled with consciousness, the three planetary systems become visible within it.

Texts 6-8: This is the representation of the Supreme Lord as the universal person, in which the earth is His feet, the sky His navel, the sun His eyes, the wind His nostrils, the demigod of procreation His genitals, death His anus and the moon His mind. The heavenly planets are His head, the directions His ears, and the demigods protecting the various planets His many arms. The god of death is His eyebrows, shame His lower lip, greed His upper lip, delusion His smile, and moonshine His teeth, while the trees are the almighty Puruṣa’s bodily hairs, and the clouds the hair on His head.

Text 9: Just as one can determine the dimensions of an ordinary person of this world by measuring his various limbs, one can determine the dimensions of the Mahāpuruṣa by measuring the arrangement of the planetary systems within His universal form.

Text 10: Upon His chest the almighty, unborn Personality of Godhead bears the Kaustubha gem, which represents the pure spirit soul, along with the Śrīvatsa mark, which is the direct manifestation of this gem’s expansive effulgence.

Texts 11-12: His flower garland is His material energy, comprising various combinations of the modes of nature. His yellow garment is the Vedic meters, and His sacred thread the syllable om composed of three sounds. In the form of His two shark-shaped earrings, the Lord carries the processes of Sāṅkhya and yoga, and His crown, bestowing fearlessness on the inhabitants of all the worlds, is the supreme position of Brahmaloka.

Text 13: Ananta, the Lord’s sitting place, is the unmanifest phase of material nature, and the Lord’s lotus throne is the mode of goodness, endowed with religion and knowledge.

Texts 14-15: The club the Lord carries is the chief element, prāṇa, incorporating the potencies of sensory, mental and physical strength. His excellent conchshell is the element water, His Sudarśana disc the element fire, and His sword, pure as the sky, the element ether. His shield embodies the mode of ignorance, His bow, named Śārṅga, time, and His arrow-filled quiver the working sensory organs.

Text 16: His arrows are said to be the senses, and His chariot is the active, forceful mind. His external appearance is the subtle objects of perception, and the gestures of His hands are the essence of all purposeful activity.

Text 17: The sun globe is the place where the Supreme Lord is worshiped, spiritual initiation is the means of purification for the spirit soul, and rendering devotional service to the Personality of Godhead is the process for eradicating all one’s sinful reactions.

Text 18: Playfully carrying a lotus, which represents the various opulences designated by the word bhaga, the Supreme Lord accepts service from a pair of cāmara fans, which are religion and fame.

Text 19: O brāhmaṇas, the Lord’s umbrella is His spiritual abode, Vaikuṇṭha, where there is no fear, and Garuḍa, who carries the Lord of sacrifice, is the threefold Veda.

Text 20: The goddess of fortune, Śrī, who never leaves the Lord’s side, appears with Him in this world as the representation of His internal potency. Viṣvaksena, the chief among His personal associates, is known to be the personification of the Pañcarātra and other tantras. And the Lord’s eight doorkeepers, headed by Nanda, are His mystic perfections, beginning with aṇimā.

Text 21: Vāsudeva, Saṅkarṣaṇa, Pradyumna and Aniruddha are the names of the direct personal expansions of the Supreme Godhead, O brāhmaṇa Śaunaka.

Text 22: One can conceive of the Supreme Personality of Godhead in terms of awakened consciousness, sleep and deep sleep — which function respectively through external objects, the mind and material intelligence — and also in terms of the fourth, transcendental level of consciousness, which is characterized by pure knowledge.

Text 23: The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Hari, thus appears in four personal expansions, each exhibiting major limbs, minor limbs, weapons and ornaments. Through these distinct features, the Lord maintains the four phases of existence.

Text 24: O best of brāhmaṇas, He alone is the self-luminous, original source of the Vedas, perfect and complete in His own glory. By His material energy He creates, destroys and maintains this entire universe. Because He is the performer of various material functions, He is sometimes described as materially divided, yet He always remains transcendentally situated in pure knowledge. Those who are dedicated to Him in devotion can realize Him to be their true Soul.

Text 25: O Kṛṣṇa, O friend of Arjuna, O chief among the descendants of Vṛṣṇi, You are the destroyer of those political parties that are disturbing elements on this earth. Your prowess never deteriorates. You are the proprietor of the transcendental abode, and Your most sacred glories, which are sung by Vṛndāvana’s cowherd men and women and their servants, bestow all auspiciousness just by being heard. O Lord, please protect Your devotees.

Text 26: Anyone who rises early in the morning and, with a purified mind fixed upon the Mahāpuruṣa, quietly chants this description of His characteristics will realize Him as the Supreme Absolute Truth residing within the heart.

Texts 27-28: Śrī Śaunaka said: Please describe to us, who have great faith in your words, the different sets of seven personal features and associates the sun-god exhibits during each month, along with their names and activities. The associates of the sun-god, who serve their lord, are personal expansions of the Supreme Personality of Godhead Hari in His feature as the presiding deity of the sun.

Text 29: Sūta Gosvāmī said: The sun travels among all the planets and thus regulates their movements. It has been created by Lord Viṣṇu, the Supreme Soul of all embodied beings, through His beginningless material energy.

Text 30: The sun-god, being nondifferent from Lord Hari, is the one soul of all the worlds and their original creator. He is the source of all the ritualistic activities prescribed in the Vedas and has been given many names by the Vedic sages.

Text 31: Being the source of the material energy, the Personality of Godhead Lord Hari in His expansion as the sun-god is described in nine aspects, O Śaunaka: the time, the place, the endeavor, the performer, the instrument, the specific ritual, the scripture, the paraphernalia of worship and the result to be achieved.

Text 32: The Supreme Personality of Godhead, manifesting His potency of time as the sun-god, travels about in each of the twelve months, beginning with Madhu, to regulate planetary motion within the universe. Traveling with the sun-god in each of the twelve months is a different set of six associates.

Text 33: My dear sage, Dhātā as the sun-god, Kṛtasthalī as the Apsarā, Heti as the Rākṣasa, Vāsuki as the Nāga, Rathakṛt as the Yakṣa, Pulastya as the sage and Tumburu as the Gandharva rule the month of Madhu.

Text 34: Aryamā as the sun-god, Pulaha as the sage, Athaujā as the Yakṣa, Praheti as the Rākṣasa, Puñjikasthalī as the Apsarā, Nārada as the Gandharva and Kacchanīra as the Nāga rule the month of Mādhava.

Text 35: Mitra as the sun-god, Atri as the sage, Pauruṣeya as the Rākṣasa, Takṣaka as the Nāga, Menakā as the Apsarā, Hāhā as the Gandharva and Rathasvana as the Yakṣa rule the month of Śukra.

Text 36: Vasiṣṭha as the sage, Varuṇa as the sun-god, Rambhā as the Apsarā, Sahajanya as the Rākṣasa, Hūhū as the Gandharva, Śukra as the Nāga and Citrasvana as the Yakṣa rule the month of Śuci.

Text 37: Indra as the sun-god, Viśvāvasu as the Gandharva, Śrotā as the Yakṣa, Elāpatra as the Nāga, Aṅgirā as the sage, Pramlocā as the Apsarā and Varya as the Rākṣasa rule the month of Nabhas.

Text 38: Vivasvān as the sun-god, Ugrasena as the Gandharva, Vyāghra as the Rākṣasa, Āsāraṇa as the Yakṣa, Bhṛgu as the sage, Anumlocā as the Apsarā and Śaṅkhapāla as the Nāga rule the month of Nabhasya.

Text 39: Pūṣā as the sun-god, Dhanañjaya as the Nāga, Vāta as the Rākṣasa, Suṣeṇa as the Gandharva, Suruci as the Yakṣa, Ghṛtācī as the Apsarā and Gautama as the sage rule the month of Tapas.

Text 40: Ṛtu as the Yakṣa, Varcā as the Rākṣasa, Bharadvāja as the sage, Parjanya as the sun-god, Senajit as the Apsarā, Viśva as the Gandharva and Airāvata as the Nāga rule the month known as Tapasya.

Text 41: Aṁśu as the sun-god, Kaśyapa as the sage, Tārkṣya as the Yakṣa, Ṛtasena as the Gandharva, Urvaśī as the Apsarā, Vidyucchatru as the Rākṣasa and Mahāśaṅkha as the Nāga rule the month of Sahas.

Text 42: Bhaga as the sun-god, Sphūrja as the Rākṣasa, Ariṣṭanemi as the Gandharva, Ūrṇa as the Yakṣa, Āyur as the sage, Karkoṭaka as the Nāga and Pūrvacitti as the Apsarā rule the month of Puṣya.

Text 43: Tvaṣṭā as the sun-god; Jamadagni, the son of Ṛcīka, as the sage; Kambalāśva as the Nāga; Tilottamā as the Apsarā; Brahmāpeta as the Rākṣasa; Śatajit as the Yakṣa; and Dhṛtarāṣṭra as the Gandharva maintain the month of Iṣa.

Text 44: Viṣṇu as the sun-god, Aśvatara as the Nāga, Rambhā as the Apsarā, Sūryavarcā as the Gandharva, Satyajit as the Yakṣa, Viśvāmitra as the sage and Makhāpeta as the Rākṣasa rule the month of Ūrja.

Text 45: All these personalities are the opulent expansions of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Viṣṇu, in the form of the sun-god. These deities take away all the sinful reactions of those who remember them each day at dawn and sunset.

Text 46: Thus, throughout the twelve months, the lord of the sun travels in all directions with his six types of associates, disseminating among the inhabitants of this universe purity of consciousness for both this life and the next.

Texts 47-48: While the sages glorify the sun-god with the hymns of the Sāma, Ṛg and Yajur Vedas, which reveal his identity, the Gandharvas also sing his praises and the Apsarās dance before his chariot. The Nāgas arrange the chariot ropes and the Yakṣas harness the horses to the chariot, while the powerful Rākṣasas push from behind.

Text 49: Facing the chariot, the sixty thousand brāhmaṇa sages known as Vālakhilyas travel in front and offer prayers to the almighty sun-god with Vedic mantras.

Text 50: For the protection of all the worlds, the Supreme Personality of Godhead Hari, who is unborn and without beginning or end, thus expands Himself during each day of Brahmā into these specific categories of His personal representations.

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