Viṣṇu Purāṇa | Book 3 - Chapter 1

Chapter I

Account of the several Manus and Manvantaras. Svārochiṣa the second Manu: the divinities, the Indra, the seven Ṛṣis of his period, and his sons. Similar details of Auttami, Tāmasa, Raivata, Chākṣuṣa, and Vaivaswata. The forms of Viṣṇu, as the preserver, in each Manvantara. The meaning of Viṣṇu.

MAITREYA: The disposition of the earth and of the ocean, and the system of the sun and the planets, the creation of the gods and the rest,

the origin of the Ṛṣis, the generation of the four castes, the production of brute creatures, and the narratives of Dhruva and Prahlāda, have been fully related by thee, my venerable preceptor.

I am now desirous to hear from you the series of all the Manvantaras, as well as an account of those who preside over the respective periods, with Śakra, the king of the gods, at their head.

PARĀŚARA: I will repeat to you, Maitreya, in their order, the different Manvantaras; those which are past, and those which are to come.

The first Manu was Svāyambhūva, then came Svārochiṣa, then Auttami, then Tāmasa, then Raivata, then Chākṣuṣa: these six Manus have passed away. The Manu who presides over the seventh Manvantara, which is the present period, is Vaivaswata, the son of the sun.

The period of Svāyambhūva Manu, in the beginning of the Kalpa, has already been described by me, together with the gods, Ṛṣis, and other personages, who then flourished.

I will now, therefore, enumerate  the presiding gods, Ṛṣis, and sons of the Manu, in the Manvantara of Svārochiṣa:

The deities of this period (or the second Manvantara) were the classes called Pārāvatas and Tuṣitas; and the king of the gods was the mighty Vipaśchit.

The seven Ṛṣis were Ūrja, Stambha, Prāṇa, Dattoli, Riṣabha, Niśchara, and Arvarīvat; and Chaitra, Kimpuruṣa, and others, were the Manu's sons.

In the third period, or Manvantara of Auttami, Suśānti was the Indra, the king of the gods; the orders of whom were the Sudhāmas, Satyas, Śivas, Pradarśanas, and Vasavertis; each of the five orders consisting of twelve divinities. The seven sons of Vasiṣṭha were the seven Ṛṣis; and Aja, Paraśu, Divya, and others, were the sons of the Manu.

The Surūpas, Haris, Satyas, and Śudhīs were the classes of gods, each comprising twenty-seven, in the period of Tāmasa, the fourth Manu. Śivi was the Indra, also designated by his performance of a hundred sacrifices (or named Śatakratu).

The seven Ṛṣis were Jyotirdhāmā, Prithu, Kāvya, Chaitra, Agni, Vanaka, and Pivara. The sons of Tāmasa were the mighty kings Nara, Khyāti, Śāntahaya, Jānujangha, and others.

In the fifth interval the Manu was Raivata: the Indra was Vibhu: the classes of gods, consisting of fourteen each, were the Amitābhas, Abhūtarajasas, Vaikunthas, and Sumedhasas:

the seven Ṛṣis were Hiraṇyaromā, Vedasrī, Urddhabāhu, Vedabāhu, Sudhāman, Parjanya, and Mahāmuni: the sons of Raivata were Balabandhu, Susambhāvya, Satyaka, and other valiant kings.

These four Manus, Svārochiṣa, Auttamī, Tāmasa, and Raivata, were all descended from Priyavrata, who, in consequence of propitiating Viṣṇu by his devotions, obtained these rulers of the Manvantaras for his posterity.

Chākṣuṣa was the Manu of the sixth period: in which the Indra was Manojava: the five classes of gods were the Ādyas, Prastūtas, Bhavyas, Prithugas, and the magnanimous Lekhas, eight of each: Sumedhas, Virajas, Havishmat, Uttama, Madhu, Abhināman, and Sahiṣṇu were the seven sages: the kings of the earth, the sons of Chākṣuṣa, were the powerful Uru, Puru, Śatadyumna, and others.

The Manu of the present period is the wise lord of obsequies, the illustrious offspring of the sun:

the deities are the Ādityas, Vasus, and Rudras; their sovereign is Purandara: Vasiṣṭha, Kaśyapa, Atri, Jamadagni, Gautama, Viśvāmitra, and Bharadvāja are the seven Ṛṣis:

and the nine pious sons of Vaivaswata Manu are the kings Ikṣvāku, Nabhaga, Dhṛṣṭa, Sanyāti, Naṛṣyanta, Nābhanidiṣṭa, Karuṣa, Pṛṣadhra, and the celebrated Vasumat.

The unequalled energy of Viṣṇu combining with the quality of goodness, and effecting the preservation of created things, presides over all the Manvantaras in the form of a divinity.

Of a portion of that divinity Yajna was born in the Svāyambhūva Manvantara, the will-begotten progeny of Ākūtī. When the Svārochiṣa Manvantara had arrived, that divine Yajna was born as Ajita, along with the Tuṣita gods, the sons of Tushita.

In the third Manvantara, Tuṣita was again born of Satyā, as Satya, along with the class of deities so denominated. In the next period, Satya became Hari, along with the Haris, the children of Harī.

The excellent Hari was again born in the Raivata Manvantara, of Sambhūti, as Mānasa, along with the gods called Abhūtarajasas. In the next period, Viṣṇu was born of Vikunthi, as Vaikuṇṭha, along with the deities called Vaikuṇṭhas.

In the present Manvantara, Viṣṇu was again born as Vāmana, the son of Kaśyapa by Aditī. With three paces he subdued the worlds, and gave them, freed from all embarrassment, to Purandara.

These are the seven persons by whom, in the several Manvantaras, created beings have been protected.

Because this whole world has been pervaded by the energy of the deity, he is entitled Viṣṇu, from the root Vis, 'to enter' or 'pervade;' for all the gods, the Manus, the seven Ṛṣis, the sons of the Manus, the Indras the sovereigns of the gods, all are but the impersonated might of Viṣṇu.