Essence of Brahmanda Purana


Essence Of
Brahmanda Purana


8    Mystery of ‘Jyotishmandala’, ‘Sishumara’, Dhruva, Clouds and Chariots of ‘Grahaas’

Asked as to how the various planets and luminaries revolved on the Sky on their own without any clash or confusion and whether some divine hand was performing the act so aptly, Suta Maha Muni replied:

Bhuta sammohanam hyotadvadato mey nibodhata,

Pratyakshamapi drushyam cha sammohayati yatprajaa/

Yoham chaturdisham pucchey Shaishumarey vyavasthitah,

Utaanadada Putrosou medhibhuto Dhruvodivi/

Sa vai bhraamayatey nityam Chandraadityo grahaih sah/

Vaataaneekamayairbandhair Dhruveybandhaani taani vai,

Teshaam Yogascha bhedascha Kaalaschaarastathaiva cha/

Astodayou tathotpaataa Ayaney Dakshinottarey,

Vishuvadgrahavarnaashcha Dhuruvaatatsarvam pravartatey/

Varshaa gharmo himam Raatrih Sandhyaachaiva dinam tathaa,

Shubhaashubham prajaanaamcha Dhruvaatsarvam pravartatey/

(Indeed this is a mystery that defies  imagination although the entire humanity visions and feels it. There is a Sishumara-literally meaning the killing of a Child- or a Dolphin-like Formation on the Sky and at the end of the animal’s tail is situated Dhruva, the illustrious son of Prajapati Uttanapada [who as a boy of tender age felt hurt as to why he could not be seated on his father’s lap while his step brother could, apparently beacause his father liked his step mother more than his own mother; out of anguish the boy resorted to rigourous Tapasya and pleased Vishnu Deva who blessed Dhruva to make him a Pole Star on the sky]; Dhruva  became the fulcrum of all the planets and Stars  bound to him by the might of Vayu Deva thus controlling all the Luminaries; all the Celestial Beings like Sun- Moon-other Planets  are thus controlled by Dhruva). Clasped firmly by rows of winds thus, Dhruva regulates the movements of the luminaries and their cohesion, differences, timings, schedules, risings and settings; forebodings, Dakshinaayana-Uttaraayana-Vishuvats/ Equinoxes and Solistices. Dhruva is also responsible to rainfalls, high temperature, snowfalls, days and nights, twilights, and so on. Prompted by Dhruva, Surya Deva receives water from various sources by the aid of his powerful rays, passes it on to Chandra Deva and with the interaction of the Powerful Wind God materialises clouds and  thus  create rains and the emergent water to one and all. Thus water is recycled and again and Again. At no stage thus  there woud be distturbancs in the supply of water. Suta Muni states :

Na naasha Udaka -syaasti tadeva parivartatey,

Sandhaaranaartham LokaanalmMaayaisha Vishwa nirmitaa/

Anayaa Maayaya Vyaptam Trailokyam cha Charaacharam,

Vishvesho Lokakruddevah Sahasraakshah Prajaapatih/

(There cannot be total destruction of water resource in the Universe as it gets transformed again again to preserve all the Beings. Parmatma created Maya to protect the Three Worlds always).

 Indeed it was the Almighty who ensured that Surya provided  radiance to one and all and  likewise supply coolness from Chandra; these are the two major sources of virility or the power of procreation to humanity and other beings. Aside from the mutual coordination of Surya and Chandra, there are other  sourcers of water like Ganges, other great Rivers and a number of Water-Bodies including Oceans. The heat generated by the sharp rays of Surya on  the water on Earth gets converted as water fumes and travels up to the skies which eventually generate Clouds. The water content of the clouds turns into rains by the interaction of Winds for the welfare of all the ‘Charachara Jagat’or the mobile and immobile Beings on Earth. Invariably, rains occur in scheduled Rithus or Seasons. The sounds of thunders occur due to the animations of wind likewise lightenings occur due to Agni. There are three kinds of Clouds: ‘Agneyaas’ or the fiery ones, ‘Brahmajas’ or those born of Brahma and ‘Pakshajas’ or those born of wings. Agneyas originate from heat producing vapour and occur on cold days creating images of elephants, boars and buffalos wandering on skies; they are known as ‘Jeemutaas’devoid of lightnings with showers ranging from one to two Kilometres. Brahmajas are stated due to Brahma’s breathing and are coupled with lightnings and rumblings of thunders causing freshness in air and facilitating sproutings on Earth; these clouds are carried by Vayu ‘Pravaha’ or fierce winds capable of continous and heavy rains of long ranges upto ten to twelve km of distance. These clouds are called ‘Pushkaravardhanas’ causing heavy  down pours with reverberating thunders. The third variety of clouds is ‘Antyakalpas’ which are the most violent and of unbearable magnitude of sound as though the Cosmic Egg was breaking. ‘Parjanya’ / ‘Diggaja’the  other variety of Meghas are conducive to the growth of vegetation and crops and shower mist in winter. ‘Parivaha’ is yet  another type of cloud arising out of the winds from the Sacred ‘Akasha Ganga’ on the firmanent materialised as snow drops on Himalayas benefiting herbs and crops of grains.

Surya Ratha: Surya Deva travels by a Golden Chariot with a single wheel, five spokes, three nabhis or naves, single rim with six phases, two pole shafts called two Ayanas or transits called Uttarayana and Dakshinayana,  with a girth and extent of ten thousand yojanas driven by seven green horses called ‘Sapta Chandas’ or Vedic Meters viz. Gayatri, Trishtubh, Anushtubh, Jagati, Pankti, Brihati, and Ushnik.  Each day of the week is considered as the nave of a single wheel; the ‘Artavaas’are the five spokes and the Rithus or the rim. The wheel of the chariot is fixed to its axis and is anchored to Dhruva who propels the chariot to move in the Orbit.The Chariot is occupied by designated sets of Devas, Adityas, Maharshis, Gandharvas, Apsaras, Gramanas and Serpents during each Ritu or Season. During Madhu and Madhava Maasas or Chaitra and Vaishakha months for instance, the representative Devas situated on the Chariot are Dhata and Aryama; the Munis are Pulastya and Pulaha; Prajapati; the Serpents are Vasuki and Iravata; Rakshasas Kharsha and Bhima; Yakshas Rathakrut and Rathoujasa; Gandhavas Tumbura and Narada; Apsaras Susthala and Punjakasthala and Gramanas Heti and Praheti. Like wise, in each set of two months, the designated representatives reside on the Chariot and enhance the significance of Surya Deva by ascribing their positive traits to him; Devas provide their own characteristics to Surya; Munis render Stotras to him; Gandharvas and Apsaras sing and dance for him; Gramanas, Yakshas and Rakshasaas worship the Sun rays and  the Valakhilya Sages lead him proceeding ahead of him. Thus Devas accord their own strengths to Surya, Maharshis provide their Tapobala or the power of their meditation to him, and like wise all others on and around the chariot pass on their virtues, capabilities and positive characteristics to him; they would enhance rains, provide coolness, provide fertility, lessen the influence of the Evil to the Living Beings and  augment auspicious to the ‘Praja’ (Public) all around during their respective time slots of two months of their stay on the Chariot.     

Chandra Ratha: The chariot of Moon has three wheels driven by ten horses with the colour of white jasmine flowers and the horses are called Yajur, Chandamanasa, Vrisha, Vaaji, Nara, Haka, Gavishna, Hamsa, Vyoma and Mriga. The Chandra Ratha passes through the Star-Way towards Dhruva’s grip. Chandra is accompanied by Devas and Pitra Devatas; white serpents are circled on the wheels of his chariot. Though lean and thin, his chariot’s horses have   unending stamina and have the speed of a person’s thoughts. At the end of Krishna Paksha and at the beginning of Shukla Paksha, Surya would be in the opposite situation of Chandra and would gradually fill up Chandra with his virility. As Devataas absorb Chandra’s brightness, the latter would be left with only Kala out of sixteen Kalaas / features by the fifteenth day of the fortnight.  One of Surya’s bright ray called Sushumna fills up with Chandra and the latter improves his splendour. Thus during the Krishna Paksha,Chandra’s illumination gets reduced and in Sukla Paksha, his Kalaas get enhanced by Surya’s virility. In the Krishna Paksha from Vidiya or the second day upto Chaturdasi or the Fourteenth day, Devataas absorb the water form of Chandra’s Rasa (Juice) which is Amrita or Nectar-like as that is the food of  Devatas. Along with Devas, Pitru Devas also consume the Sudha Rasa on the Purnima day.  It is stated that as many as three thirty crore Devas plus absorb the Soma                                    Rasa daily upto Amavasya and Pitru Devas surround Chandra and consume the left over Soma Rasa by the mid-day of Amavasya to their full satisfaction. The Pitru Devas are of three types viz. Sowmyas, Barhishadas, and Agnishwaads. Kavyaas are also known as Piratas but they are ‘Samvatsarakaas’ or ‘Panchabdaas’or those who return by the Year ends. Sowmyas are of the Form of Ritus and Barhidas are of the Form of Maasaas or months; Agnishvaads are also called Artavaas who are engaged in Pitru Deva Srishti.       

Chariots of other Grahas: Budha is the illustrious son of Chandra who is known for his ‘Sowmyata’ or placidity and his chariot is like of the characteristics of water and its transparency and of wisdom. Bhargava (Shukra)  is an Emblem of Prosperity, Brilliant like Surya, possessive of the Voice of Clouds, a ‘Pataaka’ or Flag and a ‘Dhwaja’. His chariot has ten horses generated from Bhumi and has variegated colours of brightness; the horses are smart and of the speed of winds.The Chariot of Kuja (Bhauma) has eight horses generated from Agni possessive of ‘Vidyut Kanti’ or of Electric Light; his horses have knack of running forward and backward or  clock-wise and anti clock-wise as also straight. Angirasa Vamsodbhava Brihaspati the Guru of Devas and Rishis has a Golden chatiot set with eight Divine horses that could run as fast as wind. Shani Deva has a chariot made of iron drawn by mighty horses born of firmament moving at a slow speed. Rahu is carried by a dark chariot drawn by eight black horses tied together only once ever. Having left Surya, Rahu reaches Chandra on Amavasyas and Purnimas; Chandra travels to Surya on Amavasyas and that is called Suryendu Sangama or the union of Surya and Chandra. Ketu has a chariot of eight horses that could as fast as Vayu and these have Dhumra Varna or of the colour of burnt smoke of grass; these horses have the colour of donkeys with red tinge.

Now, all the Planets are fastened to Dhruva, including Sun and Moon. It is believed that any kind of sins that human and other Beings tend to commit consciously or inadvertently are vanished once Dhruva’s vision is viewed on the Sky.

Reverting back to Simsumara or the Dolphin-like Formation on the Sky, its limb-wise description is as under:

Aouttaanpadastasyaatha vijneyo hyutturo hanuh,

Yajnaha parastu vigjneyo Dharmo Murthaanamaashritah/

Hridi Narayanah Saadhyohyaswinow purvapaadayoh,

Varunaschaaryama chaiva Paschimey tasya Sakthini/

Shishnam Samvatsarastasya Mitropaanam samaashritah,

Puccheegnischa Mahendrascha Maarichah Kashyapo Dhurvah/

Taarakaah Sishumaarasya naastam yaanti chatushtayam,

Nakshatra Chandra Suryascha Grahaastaaraaganaih sah/

Unmukhaa Vimukhaah Sarvey Vakribhutaah Shritaadivi, 

Dhruvenaadhishthaaschaiva Dhuvameva pradakshinam/

Pariyaanteeshwara sreshtham medibhutam Dhruvam divi,

Agnindrakashyapaanaam tu Charamosou Dhrhuvah smritah/

Eka yeva bhranmatyesha Meruparvata murdhani,

Jyotishaam Chakrametaddhi gadaa karshannavaan mukhah/

Merumaalokayatyesha paryantey hi pradakshinam/

(Aouttanapaada as his upper jay , Yagna Deva as the lower jay and Dharma Deva as the head; Narayana as his heart; Ashwini Kumars as his forelegs; Varuna and Aryama were his inner thighs; Samvatsara is his private part and Mitra his anus; Mahendra, Maricha and Dhruva arein his tail. The Four Stars in the Milky Way never set; Nakshatras, Chandra, Surya, Grahas, Taraa-ganas or constellations of Stars are faced up or down or curved; they are all presided by Dhruva and go around him. Dhruva is the principal hinge in the heavens next only to Indra, Agni and Kashyapa. On top of the Meru, Dhruva pulls one and all towards him and circumambulates the Great Meru Mountain).

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