Maharishi Maitreya continued, “Chit (consciousness) appeared within that Universal form. Immediately Brahma, the Lord of Mahat and all other principles, entered into it together with his fractional aspect ‘chit śakti’ (intelligence). Due to intelligence, the individual being is able to understand the object.
From the head of this Universal form, heaven emerged. From His navel, outer space emerged. From His legs, earth emerged. In them, the presiding deities who manifested due to the transformations within the three attributes of Nature (triguna) were visible.
Due to predominance of the traits of goodness (sattva), Devatas reached heaven. Human beings, who predominantly possess traits of action/ passion (rajo guna) together with cows and other living entities which depend upon them, obtained earth.
The bhūta gaṇas, who are aspects of Lord Rudra, are ruled predominantly by traits of ignorance and inertia (tamas). Bhoota gaṇas reside within this space which emerged from the navel of the Universal Lord and which is situated between heaven and earth.
O Vidura! Along with Vedas, Brahmins also emerged from the face of the Universal Lord. As they emerged from His face, Brahmins are classified under the first order of the society and are considered as Gurus for others.
Kshatriyas (warrior clan) emerged from the hands of the Universal Lord. They became the kings of the land who were totally bound to righteously ruling these planes of existence. They protect everyone from thieves and other fears.
From the thighs of the Universal Lord, Vysyas were born. For the survival of the society this job is most critical. These people undertake jobs such as farming, trading, herding etc. and offer employment opportunities for people at large.
From the feet of the Universal Lord the dharma of offering service (seva), which leads to the fructification of all other dharmas, was born. From this dharma, śudra (the fourth caste) was born. This seva-dharma (offering devotional service) is supremely dear to the Universal Lord”.
In future this will be explained in greater detail. Why were the people of a particular order born from a particular limb of that Lord? This division of society was apt for those time periods. In accordance with the situations, this creation takes place.
“Ete varṇāḥ sva-dharmeṇa yajanti sva-guruṁ harim
Śraddhaya-ātma-viśuddhy-arthaṁ yaj-jātāḥ saha vṛttibhiḥ
People of all the four social castes who are thus born from the Universal Lord are equal in all aspects. Lord Srihari is the Guru for all people belonging to all the four orders. People of these four orders, through diligent execution of the duties laid down for their particular caste and stage of life, obtain purity and continue to worship Lord Srihari.
The Lord used his illusion to combine time, destiny of living beings, energy (śakti) that existed within Him to manifest as the Universal form. As such it is impossible for anyone to try to describe it in entirety.
Even then, in accordance with what I have learnt from my Guru and without overstepping my limits, I will explain to the best of my ability, the glories of Lord Srihari. By doing so, my speech, which becomes impure due to improper usage, will turn pure.
Ekānta-lābhaṁ vacaso nu puṁsāṁ suśloka-mauler guṇa-vādam āhuḥ
śruteś ca vidvadbhir upākṛtāyāṁ kathā-sudhāyām upasamprayogam
The Supreme Lord is the crown jewel amongst those who possess purest reputation. Glorifying His activities brings auspiciousness to human speech. Engaging the ears in listening to the glories of the Supreme Lord that are being narrated by learned scholars causes well-being to the ears. This is undoubtedly true. This is what Mahatmas state.
Lord Brahma, the original poet, obtained a matured intellect due to intense austerities performed by him for a thousand years. Even after obtaining a matured intellect he could not completely understand the glories of that Supreme Lord, who is the form of the Self.
It can be said that the transcendental power of the Lord causes illusion to illusion itself. This is because the Supreme Lord Srihari himself cannot fathom the movements of his illusory energies. What more needs to be said about others?
Yato ’prāpya nyavartanta vācaś ca manasā saha
Ahaṁ cānya ime devās tasmai bhagavate namaḥ
Speech fails to describe completely the Supreme Lord. Mind is unable to comprehend his infinite capacity. Ahamkara (sense of I-ness) and other Devatas also fail in understanding the greatness of this Supreme Lord. To such Lord I offer my obeisance.
With this prayer, the sixth chapter of the third canto comes to an end.
There is a reason behind ending a chapter with a prayer. The topics covered in this chapter are the most secretive subjects. Although it appears as if they are easy to comprehend, in reality they are not. Therefore through this prayer we pray to the Lord to give us the required devotion (bhakti) that will enable us to grasp this subject and in this way to bless us with Self-realization. Hence this chapter concludes with this prayer.
Third Canto Chapter Seven
In this chapter, Vidura questioning the emergence of action and traits in the Lord who is devoid of attributes and actions, Maitreya Maharishi’s response to it and Vidura’s further inquiry in this connection are covered.
Vidura, who was listening attentively to this description of the Universal Lord now questioned Maitreya Maharishi as follows, “O Maharishi! The Supreme Lord who is Pure Consciousness is changeless. He is devoid of attributes. As such involvement with action and traits cannot even slightly emerge in Him. How then did this Supreme Lord get involved with attributes of Nature and actions? I seek to know. Please be compassionate to explain this to me.”