Viṣṇu Purāṇa | Book 3 - Chapter 2

Chapter II

Of the seven future Manus and Manvantaras. Story of Sanjñā and Chhāyā, wives of the sun. Sāvarṇi, son of Chhāyā, the eighth Manu. His successors, with the divinities, etc. of their respective periods. Appearance of Viṣṇu in each of the four Yugas.

MAITREYA: --You have recapitulated to me, most excellent Brahman, the details of the past Manvantaras; now give me some account of those which are to come.


Sanjñā, the daughter of Viśvakarma, was the wife of the sun, and bore him three children, the Manu (Vaivaswata), Yama, and the goddess Yamī (or the Yamunā river).

Unable to endure the fervours of her lord, Sanjñā gave him Chhāyā as his handmaid, and repaired to the forests to practise devout exercises.

The sun, supposing Chhāyā to be his wife Sanjñā, begot by her three other children, Śanaiśchara (Saturn), another Manu (Sāvarṇi), and a daughter Tapatī (the Tapti river).

Chhāyā, upon one occasion, being offended with Yama, the son of Sanjñā, denounced an imprecation upon him, and thereby revealed to Yama and to the sun that she was not in truth Sanjñā, the mother of the former.

Being further informed by Chhāyā that his wife had gone to the wilderness, the sun beheld her by the eye of meditation engaged in austerities, in the figure of a mare (in the region of Uttara Kuru).

Metamorphosing himself into a horse, he re-joined his wife, and begot three other children, the two Aśvīns and Revanta, and then brought Sanjñā back to his own dwelling.

To diminish his intensity, Viśvakarma placed the luminary on his lathe, to grind off some of his effulgence; and in this manner reduced it an eighth, for more than that was inseparable.

The parts of the divine Vaiṣṇava splendour, residing in the sun, that were filed off by Viśvakarma, fell blazing down upon the earth, and the artist constructed of them the discus of Viṣṇu, the trident of Śiva, the weapon of the god of wealth, the lance of Kārtikeya, and the weapons of the other gods: all these Viśvakarma fabricated from the superfluous rays of the sun.

The son of Chhāyā, who was called also a Manu, was denominated Sāvarṇi, from being of the same caste (Savarṇa) as his elder brother, the Manu Vaivaswata. He presides over the ensuing or eighth Manvantara; the particulars of which, and the following, I will now relate.

In the period in which Sāvarṇi shall be the Manu, the classes of the gods will be Sutapas, Amitābhas, and Mukhyas; twenty-one of each. The seven Ṛṣis will be Dīptimat, Gālava, Rāma, Kripa, Drauṇi; my son Vyāsa will be the sixth, and the seventh will be Riṣyaśriṇga.

The Indra will be Bali, the sinless son of Virochana, who through the favour of Viṣṇu is actually sovereign of part of Pātāla. The royal progeny of Sāvarṇi will be Virajas, Arvarīvas, Nirmoha, and others.

The ninth Manu will be Dakṣa-sāvarṇi. The Pāras, Marīchigarbhas, and Sudharmas will be the three classes of divinities, each consisting of twelve; their powerful chief will be the Indra Adbhuta.

Savana, Dyutimat, Bhavya, Vasu, Medhatithi, Jyotishmān, and Satya will be the seven Ṛṣis. Dhritaketu, Driptiketu, Panchahasta, Mahāmāyā, Prithuśrava, and others, will be the sons of the Manu.

In the tenth Manvantara the Manu will be Brahmā-sāvarṇi: the gods will be the Sudhāmas, Viruddhas, and Śatasankhyas: the Indra will be the mighty Śānti:

the Ṛṣis will be Havishmān, Sukriti, Satya, Apāmmūrtti, Nābhāga, Apratimaujas, and Satyaketu: and the ten sons of the Manu will be Sukṣetra, Uttarnaujas, Haṛṣeṇa, and others.

In the eleventh Manvantara the Manu will be Dharma-sāvarṇi: the principal classes of gods will be the Vihangamas, Kāmagamas, and Nirmānaratis, each thirty in number; of whom Vṛṣa will be the Indra:

the Ṛṣis will be Niśchara, Agnitejas, Vapushmān, Viṣṇu, Āruni, Havishmān, and Anagha: the kings of the earth, and sons of the Manu, will be Savarga, Sarvadharma, Devānīka, and others.

In the twelfth Manvantara the son of Rudra, Sāvarṇi, will be the Manu: Ritudhāmā will be the Indra: and the Haritas, Lohitas, Sumanasas, and Sukarmas will be the classes of gods, each comprising fifteen.

Tapasvī, Sutapas, Tapomūrtti, Taporati, Tapodhriti, Tapodyuti, and Tapodhana will be the Ṛṣis: and Devavān, Upadeva, Devaśreṣṭa, and others, will be the Manu's sons, and mighty monarchs on the earth.

In the thirteenth Manvantara the Manu will be Rauchya: the classes of gods, thirty-three in each, will be the Sudhāmans, Sudharmans, and Sukarmans; their Indra will be Divaspati:

the Ṛṣis will be Nirmoha, Tatwadersīn, Nishprakampa, Nirutsuka, Dhritimat, Avyaya, and Sutapas: and Chitrasena, Vichitra, and others, will be the kings.

In the fourteenth Manvantara, Bhautya will be the Manu; Suchi, the Indra: the five classes of gods will be the Chākṣuṣas, the Pavitras, Kaniṣṭhas, Bhrājiras, and Vāvriddhas:

the seven Ṛṣis will be Agnibāhu, Śuchi, Śukra, Magadhā, Gridhra, Yukta, and Ajita: and the sons of the Manu will be Uru, Gabhīra, Bradhna, and others, who will be kings, and will rule over the earth.

At the end of every four ages there is a disappearance of the Vedas, and it is the province of the seven Ṛṣis to come down upon earth from heaven to give them accordingly again.

In every Krita age the Manu (of the period) is the legislator or author of the body of law, the Smriti: the deities of the different classes receive the sacrifices during the Manvantaras to which they severally belong: and the sons of the Manu themselves, and their descendants, are the sovereigns of the earth for the whole of the same term.

The Manu, the seven Ṛṣis, the gods, the sons of the Manu, who are the kings, and Indra, are the beings who preside over the world during each Manvantara.

An entire Kalpa, oh Brahman, is said to comprise a thousand ages, or fourteen Manvantaras;

and it is succeeded by a night of similar duration; during which, he who wears the form of Brahmā, Janārdana, the substance of all things, the lord of all, and creator of all, involved in his own illusions, and having swallowed up the three spheres, sleeps upon the serpent Śeṣa, amidst the ocean.

Being after that awake, he, who is the universal soul, again creates all things as they were before, in combination with the property of foulness (or activity):

and in a portion of his essence, associated with the property of goodness, he, as the Manus, the kings, the gods, and their Indras, as well as the seven Ṛṣis, is the preserver of the world.

In what manner Viṣṇu, who is characterised by the attribute of providence during the four ages, effected their preservation, I will next, Maitreya, explain.

In the Krita age, Viṣṇu, in the form of Kapila and other inspired teachers, assiduous for the benefit of all creatures, imparts to them true wisdom. In the Tretā age he restrains the wicked, in the form of a universal monarch, and protects the three worlds.

In the Dvāpara age, in the person of Vedavyāsa, he divides the one Veda into four, and distributes it into innumerable branches: and at the end of the Kāli or fourth age he appears as Kalki, and re-establishes the iniquitous in the paths of rectitude.

In this manner the universal spirit preserves, creates, and at last destroys, all the world.

Thus, Brahman, I have described to you the true nature of that great being who is all things, and besides whom there is no other existent thing, nor has there been, nor will there be, either here or elsewhere.

I have also enumerated to you the Manvantaras, and those who preside over them. What else do you wish to hear?