Essence Of Maha Bhagavatha Purana
Sisumara Planetary System
Some 13,00,000 yojanas ( 10,400,000 miles) above the ‘Great Bear’ shines high the Pole Star and the‘Sisumara System’ or the Great Machine, comprising the Stars and Planets, resembling a Dolphin in water. Scholars of the Science of Astronomy compare the Formation as an Illustration or an Image of The Supreme Almighty Vasudava Himself, as this ‘Jyothi anekam’( Multi-Splendour par excellence) or ‘Sisumara Samsthanam’(The Grand Wheel Establishment) is clearly visible on the Sky, and as the The Supreme Almighty is invisible anyway! In other words, it would never be possible to comprehend the Portrait of ‘Virat Purusha’, let alone by human beings but by Sages and even by Gods or Trinity too, but one could visualise the similarity of God- Head with the Sisumara and be contented with it atleast.
The various planets and a multitude of Stars revolve around the Pole Star or the Dhruva Star, each moving around in theier own Orbits at their own heights and are not clustered due to law of gravity.The body of Dolphin-like Sisumara Chakra is coiled with its head downward, the Pole Star (Dhruva) at its tail, on the body of its tail are the Planets of demi-Gods viz.Prajapati, Agni, Indra and Dharma; the base of the tail are the Planets of Dhata and Vidhata; at the hip position are the Sapta Rishis; the right side of the Sisumara Chakra are the Constellations of fourteen Stars beginning from Abijit to Punarvasu; on the left side of the coiled body are the Stars of Pushya to Uttarashadha, thus balancing the body with equal weight of the Stars; on the back side of the body is the Group of Stars known as Ajaviti and on the abdomen flows the Ganges that flows in the Sky (the Milky Way Galaxy), which is the home of Solar System with an estimated 400 billion Stars and planets and thousands of clusters and nebulae); on the upper chin of Sisumara is Agasti; on the lower chin Yamaraja; on its mouth Mars; Genitals Saturn; on the back of its neck Jupiter; on its chest the Sun and the core of heart Narayana Himself; within its mind the Moon; navel the Venus; breasts Aswini Kumars; within its life-air or Pranapana is Mecury; neck Rahu; all over body the comets and pores innumerable Stars. Thus Sisumara Chakra is a mini version of the Supreme Almighty Himself. [Vishnu Sahasranamam ( Slokam 47 states:
Anirvinnah Stavishtho bhur_dharma yupo Mahamakhah/
Anirvannah ( He Who Is Never Unhappy); Stavishtho: ( He Who Is Colossal); Bhuh: The Supporter Of All; Dharma Yupah :( He Who Is United With Dharma or Virtue); Maha makhah:
etat uha eva bhagavathah vishnoh srava Devata mayam rupum ahah ahah sandhayam prayatah vagyatah niriksamana upatistheta namo jyotir-lokaya kalayanayanimisam pataye maha-purusayabhidhimahiti:
etat—this; u ha--indeed; eva--certainly; bhagavatah--of the Supreme personality of Godhead; vishnoh--of Lord Visnu; sarva-devata-mayam--consisting of all the demi-gods; rupam--form; ahah-ahah--always; sandhyayam--in the morning, noon and evening; prayatah--meditating upon; vagyatah--controlling the words; niriksamanah--observing; upatistheta--one should worship; namah--respectful obeisances; jyotih-lokaya--unto the resting place of all the planetary systems; kalayanaya--in the form of supreme time; animisam--of the demigods; pataye--unto the master; maha-purushaya--unto the Supreme person; abhidhimahi--let us meditate; iti--thus.The body of the sisumara, thus described, should be considered the external form of Lord Vishnu, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Morning, noon and evening, one should silently observe the form of the Lord as the Sisumara-chakra and worship Him with the above mantra.
Having explained the Concept of Sisumara, Suta Maharshi described the Subterranian Heavenly Planets. Beneath Sun-God, about 10,000 Yojanas ( 80, 000 miles) is situated the Planet of Rahu, basically an ‘Asura’ who had surreptitiously taken drops of ‘Amritha’, the everlasting life- giving ambrosia while the Divine Drink was being distributed by ‘Mohini’the Feminine Incarnation of Lord Vishnu after the churning of Oceans by Demi-Gods and Demons.Similarly Ketu was another clandestine benificiary of a few drops of ‘Amritha’ and both Sun and Moon were the Demi-Gods who complained about the distribution of ‘Amritha’ by Mohini, who had used the Sudarsani wheel to deform both Rahu and Kethu.As the latter were inimical to Sun and Moon, they cause periodical eclipses. Below Rahu by 10,000 Yojanas (80,000 miles) are Siddha Loka, Karana Loka and Vidyadhar Loka and below that level is the Sky, the Antariksha where Yakshas, Rakshasas, Pisachas and Ghosts reside and hover around. There is no movement of air beyond that level and the Planet of Earth is situated some 100 yojanas or 800 miles thereunder.Large birds like eagles and Swans can fly upto that limit.
Underneath the Earth are the Seven Lokas in the sub trerrain heavens named Bilwa Swarga and the eapanse of Earth equals the Seven Lokas, viz. Atala, Vitala, Suthala, Talatala, Mahatala, Rasatala and Patala.The residents are Daityas, Danavas and Nagas, all of them highly fond of material enjoyments, excellent living conditions and luxurious palaces, gardens and such other comforts. Wine, women, food and various sensuous pleasures are common.There is no Sun, no concept of day and night, no light nor time and such other set regulations pertaining to weeks, months, years, or seasons. There is lot of illumination from the precious gems carried on the hoods of the Serpent residents. There are no physical ailmemts as the usage of herbs and vegetable based medicines is plenty. There is no bad odour of the body or surroundings.Feelings of poverty, frustration, disease and envy are alien and excepting at the set timings of death; life is worth living otherwise. In Atala, there is a Demon, named Bala who has perfected mystic powers and by simply yawning created three kinds of women, viz. Swarinis, Kaminis and Pumskalies. Vitala is the Loka where Goblins, Ghosts and other followers of God Siva inhabit, and is strongly believed that the Lord is responsible for the Gold Mines and the consequent pleasures of possession of Jewellery. Sutala is the place of residence of Bali Maharaja, universally acclaimed as the King of Charity ( stated to be still alive); it is well known that out of an apprehension of Lord Indra and other Demi-Gods, Lord Narayana Himself had to take the Incarnation as ‘Vamana’ and asked for three steps of land as Guru Dakshina and in the bargain, occupied the entire Universe with His three steps of land in charity,ie. one foot on the Earth, another the Skies and Heavens and the third on his head which was pushed down by Vamanadeva’s big toe by eighty thousand miles to the Planet of Sutala.Talatala is another planet ruled by Demon Maya, who is noted for his expertise in sorcery and black magic. But Lord Siva, who is Tripurari and the Super Tantric Himself, destroyed the Kingdom of Demon Maya, who not only surrendered to the Lord but also pleased Him by his devotion subsequently and thus had the security of the Kingdom by Lord Siva Himself. Mahatala is the Planet underneath Talatala which is inhabited by many-hooded snake sons of Kadru and descendants, facing always a big threat from Garuda, the carrier of Vishnu. Underneath the Mahatala is Rasatala, which is inhabited by the most heinous and powerful snakes hiding in holes, as they were cursed by a messenger of Lord Indra not to stay open. Finally, Patala or Nagaloka is the abode of very ferocious clans of snakes headed by Vasuki. The inhabitants are multi- headed ones carrying precious gems on their hoods, some with five gems, some ten, some hundred and a few with thousand or more gems emanating radiance of extra-ordinary nature to such an extent that the gems of these ‘nagas’light up the entire Bilwa Swarga or even beyond! Nearly 240,000 miles under Patala is the Incarnation of Vishnu, the enormous Lord Ananta with countless hoods, bearing the fantastic weight of the entire Universe. Also known as Lord Sankarshana, the Incarnation is worshipped by Lord Siva, who is the embodiment of ‘Tamas’ or darkness.The massive Universe is like a tiny mustard seed on just one of the thousands of hoods of Ananta. At the time of Pralay or the Final Destructin of the Universe, the Super Power or the Greatest and the Best Ananta makes a slight move between His Eye Brows and then comes out the Three Eyed Rudra who actually manifests ‘Ekadasa Rudras’to perform the task of terminating the Universe. That is the Grand Finale as well as the Beginning of Creation afresh!
Commencing from the description of Priyavrata’s (the Son of Manu’s) chariot travel of Bhuloka and its organised division into Seven Regions, Maha Muni Suka thus provided to King Parikshith a brief glimpse of the Great Lord’s Creation of the entire Universe, including the Loka loka, Bhur-Bhuvar- Swar lokas, the Planets, the Great Susumara Chakra / Wheel, the Sub- terranian Heavenly Planets and the Bilwa Swarga and the finality of the Universe’s existence and re- creation. Now would be an Account of Hellish Planets that the Maha Muni delineated:
Depending on the positive or negative activities of human beings pursuing various material forces, in different of modes of existence like Virtue, Passion or Ignorance, the end results are reflected in the punishments or rewards prearranged. The punishments allotted are executed in the Hellish Planets, stated to exist in the intermediate space beneath Bhu Loka and Gharbodaya Ocean. There are an estimated 28 Narakas, including Tamisra, Ardhamisra,Raurava, Maha Rourava, Kambhipaka, Kalasutra,Asi Patravani; Sukuramukha, Andha Kupa;Karmibhojana; Taptasurmi;Vajra Kantaka; Vatarani; Pranarodha; Raktaksha Bhojana and so on. The kind of cruelties inflicted on the sinners are not only severe but for long durations, some of these are for several years, depending on the severity of the sins.
King Parikshith expressed his unreserved gratitude to Maha Muni Suka that both the ‘Nivrutti Marga’ ( Liberation Route ) and Pravritti Marga ( Natural Route) of realising the Supreme Force had been enlightened. Yet, the awareness of Godhead notwithstanding, human beings continue to indulge in sins and are not able to overcome temptations even though they sure know that death is inevitable and its aftermath is indeed hell-bent. The process of repeated sinning and atonement might be infructuous.As is often stated: prevention is far better and ideal than cure, just as an elephant having been cleaned up once tends to play with mud again and the process of sinning and atonement is endless; the real root needs to be axed; lest the plant of sin would grow again and again. Maha Muni Suka replied to the King: Indeed the crux of the problem lies in axing thr root, lest the plant of sin would grow again and again.. In this context, Maha Muni provided a grand example as to how sincere atonement and complete surrender to the Almighty should be deemed as dismissal of temporary sins, as the real root is the axing the plant of sin, even before the plant grows well before it becomes a big tree!
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