Viṣṇu Purāṇa | Book 1 - Chapter 7

Chapter VII

Creation continued. Production of the mind-born sons of Brahmā; of the Prajāpatis; of Sanandana and others; of Rudra and the eleven Rudras; of the Manu Svāyambhūva, and his wife Śatarūpā; of their children. The daughters of Dakṣa, and their marriage to Dharma and others. The progeny of Disarms and Adharma. The perpetual succession of worlds, and different modes of mundane dissolution.


From Brahmā, continuing to meditate, were born mind-engendered progeny, with forms and faculties derived from his corporeal nature; embodied spirits, produced from the person of that all-wise deity.

All these beings, from the gods to inanimate things, appeared as I have related to you, being the abode of the three qualities: but as they did not multiply themselves, Brahmā created other mind-born sons, like himself; namely, Bhrigu, Pulastya, Pulaha, Kratu, Aṅgiras, Marīchi, Dakṣa, Atri, and Vasiṣṭha: these are the nine Brahmas (or Brahma Ṛṣis) celebrated in the Purāṇas.

Sanandana and the other sons of Brahmā were previously created by him, but they were without desire or passion, inspired with holy wisdom, estranged from the universe, and undesirous of progeny.

This when Brahmā perceived, he was filled with wrath capable of consuming the three worlds, the flame of which invested, like a garland, heaven, earth, and hell.

Then from his forehead, darkened with angry frowns, sprang Rudra, radiant as the noon-tide sun, fierce, and of vast bulk, and of a figure which was half male, half female.

Separate yourself, Brahmā said to him; and having so spoken, disappeared.

Obedient to Brahma’s command, Rudra became twofold, disjoining his male and female natures. His male being he again divided into eleven persons, of whom some were agreeable, some hideous, some fierce, some mild; and he multiplied his female nature manifold, of complexions black or white.

Then Brahmā created himself the Manu Svāyambhūva, born of, and identical with, his original self, for the protection of created beings; and the female portion of himself he constituted Śatarūpā, whom austerity purified from the sin (of forbidden nuptials), and whom the divine Manu Svāyambhūva took for a wife.

From these two were born two sons, Priyavrata and Uttānapāda, and two daughters, named Prasūti and Ākūti, graced with loveliness and exalted merit.

Prasūti he gave to Dakṣa, after giving Ākūti to the patriarch Ruchi, who espoused her.

Ākūti bore to Ruchi twins, Yajña and Dakṣiṇā, who afterwards became husband and wife, and had twelve sons, the deities called Yāmas, in the Manvantara of Svāyambhūva.

The patriarch Dakṣa had by Prasūti twenty-four daughters: hear from me their names:

Śraddhā (faith), Lakṣmī (prosperity), Dhriti (steadiness), Tuṣṭi (resignation), Puṣṭi (thriving), Medhā (intelligence), Kriyā (action, devotion), Buddhi (intellect), Lajjā (modesty), Vapu (body), Śānti (expiation), Siddhi (perfection), Kīrti (fame):

- these thirteen daughters of Dakṣa, Dharma (righteousness) took to wife.

The other eleven bright-eyed and younger daughters of the patriarch were:

Khyāti (celebrity), Sati (truth), Sambhūti (fitness), Smriti (memory), Prīti (affection), Kṣamā (patience), Sannati (humility), Anasūyā (charity), Ūrjjā (energy), with Svāhā (offering), and Svadhā (oblation).

- These maidens were respectively wedded to the Munis, Bhrigu, Bhava, Marīchi, Aṅgiras, Pulastya, Pulaha, Kratu, Atri, and Vasiṣṭha; to Fire (Vahni), and to the Pitris (progenitors).

The progeny of Dharma by the daughters of Dakṣa were as follows:

by Sraddhā he had Kāma (desire); by Lakṣmī, Darpa (pride); by Dhriti, Niyama (precept); by Tuṣṭi, Santoṣa (content); by Puṣṭi, Lobha (cupidity); by Medhā, Śruta (sacred tradition); by Kriyā, Daṇḍa, Naya, and Vinaya (correction, polity, and prudence); by Buddhi, Bodha (understanding); by Lajjā, Vinaya (good behaviour); by Vapu, Vyavasāya (perseverance). Śānti gave birth to Kṣema (prosperity); Siddhi to Sukha (enjoyment); and Kīrti to Yasas (reputation). - These were the sons of Dharma; one of whom, Kāma, had Hersha (joy) by his wife Nandi (delight).

The wife of Adharma (vice) was Hiṁsā (violence), on whom he begot a son Anrita (falsehood), and a daughter Nikriti (immorality): they intermarried, and had two sons, Bhaya (fear) and Naraka (hell); and twins to them, two daughters, Māyā (deceit) and Vedanā (torture), who became their wives.

The son of Bhaya and Māyā was the destroyer of living creatures, or Mrityu (death); and Dukkha (pain) was the offspring of Naraka and Vedanā. The children of Mrityu were Vyādhi (disease), Jarā (decay), Soka (sorrow), Tṛṣṇā (greediness), and Krodha (wrath).

- These are all called the inflictors of misery, and are characterised as the progeny of Vice (Adharma).

- They are all without wives, without posterity, without the faculty to procreate; they are the terrific forms of Viṣṇu, and perpetually operate as causes of the destruction of this world.

- On the contrary, Dakṣa and the other Ṛṣis, the elders of mankind, tend perpetually to influence its renovation:

- whilst the Manus and their sons, the heroes endowed with mighty power, and treading in the path of truth, as constantly contribute to its preservation.

MAITREYA: Tell me, Brāhman, what the essential nature of these revolutions - perpetual preservation, perpetual creation, and perpetual destruction is.


Madhusūdana, whose essence is incomprehensible, in the forms of these (patriarchs and Manus), is the author of the uninterrupted vicissitudes of creation, preservation, and destruction.

The dissolution of all things is of four kinds; Naimittika, 'occasional;' Prākṛtika, 'elemental;' Atyantika, 'absolute;' Nitya, 'perpetual:

The first, also termed the Brāhma dissolution, occurs when the sovereign of the world reclines in sleep.

In the second, the mundane egg resolves into the primary element, from whence it was derived.

Absolute non-existence of the world is the absorption of the sage, through knowledge, into supreme spirit.

Perpetual destruction is the constant disappearance, day and night, of all that are born. The productions of Prakriti form the creation that is termed the elemental (Prākrita).

That which ensues after a (minor) dissolution is called ephemeral creation: and the daily generation of living things is termed, by those who are versed in the Purāṇas, constant creation.

In this manner the mighty Viṣṇu, whose essence is the elements, abides in all bodies, and brings about production, existence, and dissolution.

The faculties of Viṣṇu to create, to preserve, and to destroy, operate successively, Maitreya, in all corporeal beings and at all seasons;

and he who frees himself from the influence of these three faculties, which are essentially composed of the three qualities (goodness, foulness, and darkness), goes to the supreme sphere, from whence he never again returns.