Śrīmad Bhāgavatam |Canto 8 Chapter 24
Matsya, the Lord’s Fish Incarnation
bhagavañ chrotum icchāmi
śrī-rājā uvāca — King Parīkṣit said; bhagavan — O most powerful; śrotum — to hear; icchāmi — I desire; hareḥ — of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Hari; adbhuta-karmaṇaḥ — whose activities are wonderful; avatāra-kathām — pastimes of the incarnation; ādyām — first; māyā-matsya-viḍambanam — which is simply an imitation of a fish.
Mahārāja Parīkṣit said: The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Hari, is eternally situated in His transcendental position, yet He descends to this material world and manifests Himself in various incarnations. His first incarnation was that of a great fish. O most powerful Śukadeva Gosvāmī, I wish to hear from you the pastimes of that fish incarnation.
yad-artham adadhād rūpaṁ
etan no bhagavan sarvaṁ
yathāvad vaktum arhasi
yat-artham — for what purpose; adadhāt — accepted; rūpam — form; mātsyam — of a fish; loka-jugupsitam — which is certainly not very favorable in this world; tamaḥ — in the mode of ignorance; prakṛti — such behavior; durmarṣam — which is certainly very painful and condemned; karma-grastaḥ — one who is under the laws of karma; iva — like; īśvaraḥ — the Supreme Personality of Godhead; etat — all these facts; naḥ — unto us; bhagavan — O most powerful sage; sarvam — everything; yathāvat — properly; vaktum arhasi — kindly describe; uttamaśloka-caritam — the pastimes of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; sarva-loka-sukha-āvaham — by hearing of which everyone becomes happy.
What was the purpose for which the Supreme Personality of Godhead accepted the abominable form of a fish, exactly as an ordinary living being accepts different forms under the laws of karma? The form of a fish is certainly condemned and full of terrible pain. O my lord, what was the purpose of this incarnation? Kindly explain this to us, for hearing about the pastimes of the Lord is auspicious for everyone.
ity ukto viṣṇu-rātena
uvāca caritaṁ viṣṇor
matsya-rūpeṇa yat kṛtam
śrī-sūtaḥ uvāca — Śrī Sūta Gosvāmī said; iti uktaḥ — thus being questioned; viṣṇu-rātena — by Mahārāja Parīkṣit, known as Viṣṇurāta; bhagavān — the most powerful; bādarāyaṇiḥ — the son of Vyāsadeva, Śukadeva Gosvāmī; uvāca — said; caritam — the pastimes; viṣṇoḥ — of Lord Viṣṇu; matsya-rūpeṇa — by Him in the form of a fish; yat — whatever; kṛtam — was done.
Sūta Gosvāmī said: When Parīkṣit Mahārāja thus inquired from Śukadeva Gosvāmī, that most powerful saintly person began describing the pastimes of the Lord’s incarnation as a fish.
chandasām api ceśvaraḥ
rakṣām icchaṁs tanūr dhatte
dharmasyārthasya caiva hi
śrī-śukaḥ uvāca — Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī said; go — of the cows; vipra — of the brāhmaṇas; sura — of the demigods; sādhūnām — and of the devotees; chandasām api — even of the Vedic literature; ca — and; īśvaraḥ — the supreme controller; rakṣām — the protection; icchan — desiring; tanūḥ dhatte — accepts the forms of incarnations; dharmasya — of the principles of religion; arthasya — of the principles of the purpose of life; ca — and; eva — indeed; hi — certainly.
Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī said: O King, for the sake of protecting the cows, brāhmaṇas, demigods, devotees, the Vedic literature, religious principles, and principles to fulfill the purpose of life, the Supreme Personality of Godhead accepts the forms of incarnations.
caran vāyur iveśvaraḥ
nirguṇatvād dhiyo guṇaiḥ
ucca-avaceṣu — having higher or lower bodily forms; bhūteṣu — among the living entities; caran — behaving; vāyuḥ iva — exactly like the air; īśvaraḥ — the Supreme Lord; na — not; ucca-avacatvam — the quality of higher or lower grades of life; bhajate — accepts; nirguṇatvāt — because of being transcendental, above all material qualities; dhiyaḥ — generally; guṇaiḥ — by the modes of material nature.
Like the air passing through different types of atmosphere, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, although appearing sometimes as a human being and sometimes as a lower animal, is always transcendental. Because He is above the material modes of nature, He is unaffected by higher and lower forms.
brāhmo naimittiko layaḥ
lokā bhūr-ādayo nṛpa
āsīt — there was; atīta — past; kalpa-ante — at the end of the kalpa; brāhmaḥ — of Lord Brahmā’s day; naimittikaḥ — because of that; layaḥ — inundation; samudra — in the ocean; upaplutāḥ — were inundated; tatra — there; lokāḥ — all the planets; bhūḥ-ādayaḥ — Bhūḥ, Bhuvaḥ and Svaḥ, the three lokas; nṛpa — O King.
O King Parīkṣit, at the end of the past millennium, at the end of Brahmā’s day, because Lord Brahmā sleeps during the night, annihilation took place, and the three worlds were covered by the water of the ocean.
dhātuḥ śiśayiṣor balī
mukhato niḥsṛtān vedān
hayagrīvo ’ntike ’harat
kālena — because of time (the end of Brahmā’s day); āgata-nidrasya — when he felt sleepy; dhātuḥ — of Brahmā; śiśayiṣoḥ — desiring to lie down to sleep; balī — very powerful; mukhataḥ — from the mouth; niḥsṛtān — emanating; vedān — the Vedic knowledge; hayagrīvaḥ — the great demon named Hayagrīva; antike — nearby; aharat — stole.
At the end of Brahmā’s day, when Brahmā felt sleepy and desired to lie down, the Vedas were emanating from his mouth, and the great demon named Hayagrīva stole the Vedic knowledge.
jñātvā tad dānavendrasya
bhagavān harir īśvaraḥ
jñātvā — after understanding; tat — that; dānava-indrasya — of the great demon; hayagrīvasya — of Hayagrīva; ceṣṭitam — activity; dadhāra — accepted; śapharī-rūpam — the form of a fish; bhagavān — the Supreme Personality of Godhead; hariḥ — the Lord; īśvaraḥ — the supreme controller.
Understanding the acts of the great demon Hayagrīva, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Hari, who is full of all opulences, assumed the form of a fish and saved the Vedas by killing the demon.
tatra rāja-ṛṣiḥ kaścin
nāmnā satyavrato mahān
tapaḥ sa salilāśanaḥ
tatra — in that connection; rāja-ṛṣiḥ — a king equally qualified as a great saintly person; kaścit — someone; nāmnā — by the name; satyavrataḥ — Satyavrata; mahān — a great personality; nārāyaṇa-paraḥ — a great devotee of Lord Nārāyaṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead; atapat — performed austerities; tapaḥ — penances; saḥ — he; salila-āśanaḥ — only drinking water.
During the Cākṣuṣa-manvantara there was a great king named Satyavrata who was a great devotee of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Satyavrata performed austerities by subsisting only on water.
yo ’sāv asmin mahā-kalpe
tanayaḥ sa vivasvataḥ
śrāddhadeva iti khyāto
yaḥ — one who; asau — he (King Satyavrata); asmin — in this; mahā-kalpe — great millennium; tanayaḥ — son; saḥ — he; vivasvataḥ — of the sun-god; śrāddhadevaḥ — by the name Śrāddhadeva; iti — thus; khyātaḥ — celebrated; manutve — in the position of Manu; hariṇā — by the Supreme Personality of Godhead; arpitaḥ — was situated.
In this [the present] millennium King Satyavrata later became the son of Vivasvān, the king of the sun planet, and was known as Śrāddhadeva. By the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he was given the post of Manu.
ekadā — one day; kṛtamālāyām — on the bank of the Kṛtamālā River; kurvataḥ — executing; jala-tarpaṇam — the offering of oblations of water; tasya — his; añjali — palmful; udake — in the water; kācit — some; śapharī — a small fish; ekā — one; abhyapadyata — was generated.
One day while King Satyavrata was performing austerities by offering water on the bank of the river Kṛtamālā, a small fish appeared in the water in his palms.
saha toyena bhārata
satyavrataḥ — King Satyavrata; añjali-gatām — in the water held in the palms of the King; saha — with; toyena — water; bhārata — O King Parīkṣit; utsasarja — threw; nadī-toye — in the water of the river; śapharīm — that small fish; draviḍa-īśvaraḥ — Satyavrata, the King of Draviḍa.
Satyavrata, the King of Draviḍadeśa, threw the fish into the water of the river along with the water in his palm, O King Parīkṣit, descendant of Bharata.
tam āha sātikaruṇaṁ
dīnāṁ māṁ dīna-vatsala
kathaṁ visṛjase rājan
bhītām asmin sarij-jale
tam — unto him (Satyavrata); āha — said; sā — that small fish; ati-karuṇam — extremely compassionate; mahā-kāruṇikam — extremely merciful; nṛpam — unto King Satyavrata; yādobhyaḥ — to the aquatics; jñāti-ghātibhyaḥ — who are always eager to kill the smaller fish; dīnām — very poor; mām — me; dīna-vatsala — O protector of the poor; katham — why; visṛjase — you are throwing; rājan — O King; bhītām — very much afraid; asmin — within this; sarit-jale — in the water of the river.
With an appealing voice, the poor small fish said to King Satyavrata, who was very merciful: My dear King, protector of the poor, why are you throwing Me in the water of the river, where there are other aquatics who can kill Me? I am very much afraid of them.
tam ātmano ’nugrahārthaṁ
śapharyāḥ sa mano dadhe
tam — unto the fish; ātmanaḥ — personal; anugraha-artham — to show favor; prītyā — very much pleased; matsya-vapuḥ-dharam — the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who had assumed the form of a fish; ajānan — without knowledge of this; rakṣaṇa-arthāya — just to give protection; śapharyāḥ — of the fish; saḥ — the King; manaḥ — mind; dadhe — decided.
To please himself, King Satyavrata, not knowing that the fish was the Supreme Personality of Godhead, decided with great pleasure to give the fish protection.
tasyā dīnataraṁ vākyam
āśrutya sa mahīpatiḥ
dayālur ninya āśramam
tasyāḥ — of the fish; dīna-taram — pitiable; vākyam — words; āśrutya — hearing; saḥ — that; mahī-patiḥ — the King; kalaśa-apsu — in the water contained in the water jug; nidhāya — taking; enām — the fish; dayāluḥ — merciful; ninye — brought; āśramam — to his residence.
The merciful King, being moved by the pitiable words of the fish, placed the fish in a water jug and brought Him to his own residence.
sā tu tatraika-rātreṇa
idam āha mahīpatim
sā — that fish; tu — but; tatra — therein; eka-rātreṇa — in one night; vardhamānā — expanding; kamaṇḍalau — in the waterpot; alabdhvā — without attaining; ātma-avakāśam — a comfortable position for His body; vā — either; idam — this; āha — said; mahī-patim — unto the King.
But in one night that fish grew so much that He could not move His body comfortably in the water of the pot. He then spoke to the King as follows.
nāhaṁ kamaṇḍalāv asmin
kṛcchraṁ vastum ihotsahe
yatrāhaṁ nivase sukham
na — not; aham — I; kamaṇḍalau — in this waterpot; asmin — in this; kṛcchram — with great difficulty; vastum — to live; iha — here; utsahe — like; kalpaya — just consider; okaḥ — residential place; su-vipulam — more expanded; yatra — wherein; aham — I; nivase — can live; sukham — in pleasure.
O My dear King, I do not like living in this waterpot with such great difficulty. Therefore, please find some better reservoir of water where I can live comfortably.
sa enāṁ tata ādāya
tatra kṣiptā muhūrtena
saḥ — the King; enām — unto the fish; tataḥ — thereafter; ādāya — taking out; nyadhāt — placed; audañcana-udake — in a well of water; tatra — therein; kṣiptā — being thrown; muhūrtena — within a moment; hasta-trayam — three cubits; avardhata — immediately developed.
Then, taking the fish out of the waterpot, the King threw Him in a large well. But within a moment the fish developed to the length of three cubits.
na ma etad alaṁ rājan
sukhaṁ vastum udañcanam
pṛthu dehi padaṁ mahyaṁ
yat tvāhaṁ śaraṇaṁ gatā
na — not; me — unto Me; etat — this; alam — fit; rājan — O King; sukham — in happiness; vastum — to live; udañcanam — reservoir of water; pṛthu — very great; dehi — give; padam — a place; mahyam — unto Me; yat — which; tvā — unto you; aham — I; śaraṇam — shelter; gatā — have taken.
The fish then said: My dear King, this reservoir of water is not fit for My happy residence. Please give Me a more extensive pool of water, for I have taken shelter of you.
tata ādāya sā rājñā
kṣiptā rājan sarovare
tad āvṛtyātmanā so ’yaṁ
tataḥ — from there; ādāya — taking away; sā — the fish; rājñā — by the King; kṣiptā — being thrown; rājan — O King (Mahārāja Parīkṣit); sarovare — in a lake; tat — that; āvṛtya — covering; ātmanā — by the body; saḥ — the fish; ayam — this; mahā-mīnaḥ — gigantic fish; anvavardhata — immediately developed.
O Mahārāja Parīkṣit, the King took the fish from the well and threw Him in a lake, but the fish then assumed a gigantic form exceeding the extent of the water.
naitan me svastaye rājann
hrade mām avidāsini
na — not; etat — this; me — unto Me; svastaye — comfortable; rājan — O King; udakam — water; salila-okasaḥ — because I am a big aquatic; nidhehi — put; rakṣā-yogena — by some means; hrade — in a lake; mām — Me; avidāsini — perpetual.
The fish then said: O King, I am a large aquatic, and this water is not at all suitable for Me. Now kindly find some way to save Me. It would be better to put Me in the water of a lake that will never reduce.
ity uktaḥ so ’nayan matsyaṁ
jalāśaye ’sammitaṁ taṁ
samudre prākṣipaj jhaṣam
iti uktaḥ — thus being requested; saḥ — the King; anayat — brought; matsyam — the fish; tatra — therein; tatra — therein; avidāsini — where the water never diminishes; jala-āśaye — in the reservoir of water; asammitam — unlimited; tam — unto the fish; samudre — in the ocean; prākṣipat — threw; jhaṣam — the gigantic fish.
When thus requested, King Satyavrata took the fish to the largest reservoir of water. But when that also proved insufficient, the King at last threw the gigantic fish into the ocean.
kṣipyamāṇas tam āhedam
iha māṁ makarādayaḥ
adanty atibalā vīra
māṁ nehotsraṣṭum arhasi
kṣipyamāṇaḥ — being thrown in the ocean; tam — unto the King; āha — the fish said; idam — this; iha — in this place; mām — Me; makara-ādayaḥ — dangerous aquatics like sharks; adanti — will eat; ati-balāḥ — because of being too powerful; vīra — O heroic King; mām — Me; na — not; iha — in this water; utsraṣṭum — to throw; arhasi — you deserve.
While being thrown in the ocean, the fish said to King Satyavrata: O hero, in this water there are very powerful and dangerous sharks that will eat Me. Therefore you should not throw Me in this place.
evaṁ vimohitas tena
tam āha ko bhavān asmān
evam — thus; vimohitaḥ — bewildered; tena — by the fish; vadatā — speaking; valgu-bhāratīm — sweet words; tam — unto him; āha — said; kaḥ — who; bhavān — You; asmān — us; matsya-rūpeṇa — in the form of a fish; mohayan — bewildering.
After hearing these sweet words from the Supreme Personality of Godhead in the form of a fish, the King, being bewildered, asked Him: Who are You, sir? You simply bewilder us.
naivaṁ vīryo jalacaro
dṛṣṭo ’smābhiḥ śruto ’pi vā
yo bhavān yojana-śatam
na — not; evam — thus; vīryaḥ — powerful; jala-caraḥ — aquatic; dṛṣṭaḥ — seen; asmābhiḥ — by us; śrutaḥ api — nor heard of; vā — either; yaḥ — who; bhavān — Your Lordship; yojana-śatam — hundreds of miles; ahnā — in one day; abhivyānaśe — expanding; saraḥ — water.
My Lord, in one day You have expanded Yourself for hundreds of miles, covering the water of the river and the ocean. Before this I had never seen or heard of such an aquatic animal.
nūnaṁ tvaṁ bhagavān sākṣād
dharir nārāyaṇo ’vyayaḥ
dhatse rūpaṁ jalaukasām
nūnam — certainly; tvam — You (are); bhagavān — the Supreme Personality of Godhead; sākṣāt — directly; hariḥ — the Lord; nārāyaṇaḥ — the Personality of Godhead; avyayaḥ — inexhaustible; anugrahāya — to show mercy; bhūtānām — to all living entities; dhatse — You have assumed; rūpam — a form; jala-okasām — like an aquatic.
My Lord, You are certainly the inexhaustible Supreme Personality of Godhead, Nārāyaṇa, Śrī Hari. It is to show Your mercy to the living entities that You have now assumed the form of an aquatic.
namas te puruṣa-śreṣṭha
bhaktānāṁ naḥ prapannānāṁ
mukhyo hy ātma-gatir vibho
namaḥ — I offer my respectful obeisances; te — unto You; puruṣa-śreṣṭha — the best of all living entities, the best of all enjoyers; sthiti — of maintenance; utpatti — creation; apyaya — and destruction; īśvara — the Supreme Lord; bhaktānām — of Your devotees; naḥ — like us; prapannānām — those who are surrendered; mukhyaḥ — the supreme; hi — indeed; ātma-gatiḥ — the supreme destination; vibho — Lord Viṣṇu.
O my Lord, master of creation, maintenance and annihilation, O best of enjoyers, Lord Viṣṇu, You are the leader and destination of surrendered devotees like us. Therefore let me offer my respectful obeisances unto You.
sarve līlāvatārās te
jñātum icchāmy ado rūpaṁ
yad-arthaṁ bhavatā dhṛtam
sarve — everything; līlā — pastimes; avatārāḥ — incarnations; te — of Your Lordship; bhūtānām — of all living entities; bhūti — of a flourishing condition; hetavaḥ — the causes; jñātum — to know; icchāmi — I wish; adaḥ — this; rūpam — form; yat-artham — for what purpose; bhavatā — by Your Lordship; dhṛtam — assumed.
All Your pastimes and incarnations certainly appear for the welfare of all living entities. Therefore, my Lord, I wish to know the purpose for which You have assumed this form of a fish.
na te ’ravindākṣa padopasarpaṇaṁ
mṛṣā bhavet sarva-suhṛt-priyātmanaḥ
yathetareṣāṁ pṛthag-ātmanāṁ satām
adīdṛśo yad vapur adbhutaṁ hi naḥ
na — never; te — of Your Lordship; aravinda-akṣa — My Lord, whose eyes are like the petals of a lotus; pada-upasarpaṇam — worship of the lotus feet; mṛṣā — useless; bhavet — can become; sarva-suhṛt — the friend of everyone; priya — dear to everyone; ātmanaḥ — the Supersoul of everyone; yathā — as; itareṣām — of others (the demigods); pṛthak-ātmanām — living entities who have material bodies different from the soul; satām — of those who are spiritually fixed; adīdṛśaḥ — You have manifested; yat — that; vapuḥ — body; adbhutam — wonderful; hi — indeed; naḥ — unto us.
O my Lord, possessing eyes like the petals of a lotus, the worship of the demigods, who are in the bodily concept of life, is fruitless in all respects. But because You are the supreme friend and dearmost Supersoul of everyone, worship of Your lotus feet is never useless. You have therefore manifested Your form as a fish.
iti bruvāṇaṁ nṛpatiṁ jagat-patiḥ
satyavrataṁ matsya-vapur yuga-kṣaye
vihartu-kāmaḥ pralayārṇave ’bravīc
cikīrṣur ekānta-jana-priyaḥ priyam
śrī-śukaḥ uvāca — Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī said; iti — thus; bruvāṇam — speaking like that; nṛpatim — unto the King; jagat-patiḥ — the master of the entire universe; satyavratam — unto Satyavrata; matsya-vapuḥ — the Lord, who had assumed the form of a fish; yuga-kṣaye — at the end of a yuga; vihartu-kāmaḥ — to enjoy His own pastimes; pralaya-arṇave — in the water of inundation; abravīt — said; cikīrṣuḥ — desiring to do; ekānta-jana-priyaḥ — most beloved by the devotees; priyam — something very beneficial.
Śukadeva Gosvāmī said: When King Satyavrata spoke in this way, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who at the end of the yuga had assumed the form of a fish to benefit His devotee and enjoy His pastimes in the water of inundation, responded as follows.
saptame hy adyatanād ūrdhvam
ahany etad arindama
śrī-bhagavān uvāca — the Supreme Personality of Godhead said; saptame — on the seventh; hi — indeed; adyatanāt — from today; ūrdhvam — forward; ahani — on the day; etat — this creation; arimdama — O King who can subdue your enemies; nimaṅkṣyati — shall be inundated; apyaya-ambhodhau — in the ocean of destruction; trailokyam — the three lokas; bhūḥ-bhuva-ādikam — namely Bhūrloka, Bhuvarloka and Svarloka.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: O King, who can subdue your enemies, on the seventh day from today the three worlds — Bhūḥ, Bhuvaḥ and Svaḥ — will all merge into the water of inundation.
saṁvartāmbhasi vai tadā
upasthāsyati nauḥ kācid
viśālā tvāṁ mayeritā
tri-lokyām — the three lokas; līyamānāyām — upon being merged; saṁvarta-ambhasi — in the water of destruction; vai — indeed; tadā — at that time; upasthāsyati — will appear; nauḥ — boat; kācit — one; viśālā — very big; tvām — unto you; mayā — by Me; īritā — sent.
When all the three worlds merge into the water, a large boat sent by Me will appear before you.
tvaṁ tāvad oṣadhīḥ sarvā
bījāny uccāvacāni ca
āruhya bṛhatīṁ nāvaṁ
ṛṣīṇām eva varcasā
tvam — you; tāvat — until that time; oṣadhīḥ — herbs; sarvāḥ — all kinds of; bījāni — seeds; ucca-avacāni — lower and higher; ca — and; sapta-ṛṣibhiḥ — by the seven ṛṣis; parivṛtaḥ — surrounded; sarva-sattva — all kinds of living entities; upabṛṁhitaḥ — surrounded by; āruhya — getting on; bṛhatīm — very large; nāvam — boat; vicariṣyasi — shall travel; aviklavaḥ — without moroseness; eka-arṇave — in the ocean of inundation; nirāloke — without being illuminated; ṛṣīṇām — of the great ṛṣis; eva — indeed; varcasā — by the effulgence.
Thereafter, O King, you shall collect all types of herbs and seeds and load them on that great boat. Then, accompanied by the seven ṛṣis and surrounded by all kinds of living entities, you shall get aboard that boat, and without moroseness you shall easily travel with your companions on the ocean of inundation, the only illumination being the effulgence of the great ṛṣis.
dodhūyamānāṁ tāṁ nāvaṁ
upasthitasya me śṛṅge
dodhūyamānām — being tossed about; tām — that; nāvam — boat; samīreṇa — by the wind; balīyasā — very powerful; upasthitasya — situated nearby; me — of Me; śṛṅge — to the horn; nibadhnīhi — bind; mahā-ahinā — by the large serpent (Vāsuki).
Then, as the boat is tossed about by the powerful winds, attach the vessel to My horn by means of the great serpent Vāsuki, for I shall be present by your side.
ahaṁ tvām ṛṣibhiḥ sārdhaṁ
yāvad brāhmī niśā prabho
aham — I; tvām — unto you; ṛṣibhiḥ — with all the saintly persons; sārdham — all together; saha — with; nāvam — the boat; udanvati — in the water of devastation; vikarṣan — contacting; vicariṣyāmi — I shall travel; yāvat — as long as; brāhmī — pertaining to Lord Brahmā; niśā — night; prabho — O King.
Pulling the boat, with you and all the ṛṣis in it, O King, I shall travel in the water of devastation until the night of Lord Brahmā’s slumber is over.
madīyaṁ mahimānaṁ ca
paraṁ brahmeti śabditam
vetsyasy anugṛhītaṁ me
sampraśnair vivṛtaṁ hṛdi
madīyam — pertaining to Me; mahimānam — glories; ca — and; param brahma — the Supreme Brahman, the Absolute Truth; iti — thus; śabditam — celebrated; vetsyasi — you shall understand; anugṛhītam — being favored; me — by Me; sampraśnaiḥ — by inquiries; vivṛtam — thoroughly explained; hṛdi — within the heart.
You will be thoroughly advised and favored by Me, and because of your inquiries, everything about My glories, which are known as paraṁ brahma, will be manifest within your heart. Thus you will know everything about Me.
ittham ādiśya rājānaṁ
so ’nvavaikṣata taṁ kālaṁ
yaṁ hṛṣīkeśa ādiśat
ittham — as aforementioned; ādiśya — instructing; rājānam — the King (Satyavrata); hariḥ — the Supreme Personality of Godhead; antaradhīyata — disappeared from that place; saḥ — he (the King); anvavaikṣata — began to wait for; tam kālam — that time; yam — which; hṛṣīka-īśaḥ — Lord Hṛṣīkeśa, the master of all the senses; ādiśat — instructed.
After thus instructing the King, the Supreme Personality of Godhead immediately disappeared. Then King Satyavrata began to wait for that time of which the Lord had instructed.
āstīrya darbhān prāk-kūlān
niṣasāda hareḥ pādau
āstīrya — spreading; darbhān — kuśa grass; prāk-kūlān — the upper portion facing east; rāja-ṛṣiḥ — Satyavrata, the saintly King; prāk-udak-mukhaḥ — looking toward the northeast (īśāna); niṣasāda — sat down; hareḥ — of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; pādau — upon the lotus feet; cintayan — meditating; matsya-rūpiṇaḥ — who had assumed the form of a fish.
After spreading kuśa with its tips pointing east, the saintly King, himself facing the northeast, sat down on the grass and began to meditate upon the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Viṣṇu, who had assumed the form of a fish.
tataḥ samudra udvelaḥ
sarvataḥ plāvayan mahīm
tataḥ — thereafter; samudraḥ — the ocean; udvelaḥ — overflowing; sarvataḥ — everywhere; plāvayan — inundating; mahīm — the earth; vardhamānaḥ — increasing more and more; mahā-meghaiḥ — by gigantic clouds; varṣadbhiḥ — incessantly pouring rain; samadṛśyata — King Satyavrata saw it.
Thereafter, gigantic clouds pouring incessant water swelled the ocean more and more. Thus the ocean began to overflow onto the land and inundate the entire world.
dadṛśe nāvam āgatām
tām āruroha viprendrair
dhyāyan — remembering; bhagavat-ādeśam — the order of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; dadṛśe — he saw; nāvam — a boat; āgatām — coming near; tām — aboard the boat; āruroha — got up; vipra-indraiḥ — with the saintly brāhmaṇas; ādāya — taking; auṣadhi — herbs; vīrudhaḥ — and creepers.
As Satyavrata remembered the order of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he saw a boat coming near him. Thus he collected herbs and creepers, and, accompanied by saintly brāhmaṇas, he got aboard the boat.
tam ūcur munayaḥ prītā
rājan dhyāyasva keśavam
sa vai naḥ saṅkaṭād asmād
avitā śaṁ vidhāsyati
tam — unto the King; ūcuḥ — said; munayaḥ — all the saintly brāhmaṇas; prītāḥ — being pleased; rājan — O King; dhyāyasva — meditate; keśavam — upon the Supreme Lord, Keśava; saḥ — His Lordship; vai — indeed; naḥ — us; saṅkaṭāt — from the great danger; asmāt — as now visible; avitā — will save; śam — auspiciousness; vidhāsyati — He will arrange.
The saintly brāhmaṇas, being pleased with the King, said to him: O King, please meditate upon the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Keśava. He will save us from this impending danger and arrange for our well-being.
so ’nudhyātas tato rājñā
saḥ — the Lord; anudhyātaḥ — being meditated upon; tataḥ — thereafter (hearing the words of the saintly brāhmaṇas); rājñā — by the King; prādurāsīt — appeared (before him); mahā-arṇave — in the great ocean of inundation; eka-śṛṅga-dharaḥ — with one horn; matsyaḥ — a big fish; haimaḥ — made of gold; niyuta-yojanaḥ — eight million miles long.
Then, while the King constantly meditated upon the Supreme Personality of Godhead, a large golden fish appeared in the ocean of inundation. The fish had one horn and was eight million miles long.
nibadhya nāvaṁ tac-chṛṅge
yathokto hariṇā purā
nibadhya — anchoring; nāvam — the boat; tat-śṛṅge — onto the horn of the big fish; yathā-uktaḥ — as advised; hariṇā — by the Supreme Personality of Godhead; purā — before; varatreṇa — used as a rope; ahinā — by the great serpent (of the name Vāsuki); tuṣṭaḥ — being pleased; tuṣṭāva — he satisfied; madhusūdanam — the Supreme Lord, the killer of Madhu.
Following the instructions formerly given by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the King anchored the boat to the fish’s horn, using the serpent Vāsuki as a rope. Thus being satisfied, he began offering prayers to the Lord.
yadṛcchayopasṛtā yam āpnuyur
vimuktido naḥ paramo gurur bhavān
śrī-rājā uvāca — the King offered prayers as follows; anādi — from time immemorial; avidyā — by ignorance; upahata — has been lost; ātma-saṁvidaḥ — knowledge about the self; tat — that is; mūla — the root; saṁsāra — material bondage; pariśrama — full of miserable conditions and hard work; āturāḥ — suffering; yadṛcchayā — by the supreme will; upasṛtāḥ — being favored by the ācārya; yam — the Supreme Personality of Godhead; āpnuyuḥ — can achieve; vimukti-daḥ — the process of liberation; naḥ — our; paramaḥ — the supreme; guruḥ — spiritual master; bhavān — Your Lordship.
The King said: By the grace of the Lord, those who have lost their self-knowledge since time immemorial, and who because of this ignorance are involved in a material, conditional life full of miseries, obtain the chance to meet the Lord’s devotee. I accept that Supreme Personality of Godhead as the supreme spiritual master.
jano ’budho ’yaṁ nija-karma-bandhanaḥ
sukhecchayā karma samīhate ’sukham
yat-sevayā tāṁ vidhunoty asan-matiṁ
granthiṁ sa bhindyād dhṛdayaṁ sa no guruḥ
janaḥ — the conditioned soul subjected to birth and death; abudhaḥ — most foolish because of accepting the body as the self; ayam — he; nija-karma-bandhanaḥ — accepting different bodily forms as a result of his sinful activities; sukha-icchayā — desiring to be happy within this material world; karma — fruitive activities; samīhate — plans; asukham — but it is for distress only; yat-sevayā — by rendering service unto whom; tām — the entanglement of karma; vidhunoti — clears up; asat-matim — the unclean mentality (accepting the body as the self); granthim — hard knot; saḥ — His Lordship the Supreme Personality of Godhead; bhindyāt — being cut off; hṛdayam — in the core of the heart; saḥ — He (the Lord); naḥ — our; guruḥ — the supreme spiritual master.
In hopes of becoming happy in this material world, the foolish conditioned soul performs fruitive activities that result only in suffering. But by rendering service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one becomes free from such false desires for happiness. May my supreme spiritual master cut the knot of false desires from the core of my heart.
yat-sevayāgner iva rudra-rodanaṁ
pumān vijahyān malam ātmanas tamaḥ
bhajeta varṇaṁ nijam eṣa so ’vyayo
bhūyāt sa īśaḥ paramo guror guruḥ
yat-sevayā — the Supreme Personality of Godhead, by serving whom; agneḥ — in touch with fire; iva — as it is; rudra-rodanam — a block of silver or gold becomes purified; pumān — a person; vijahyāt — can give up; malam — all the dirty things of material existence; ātmanaḥ — of one’s self; tamaḥ — the mode of ignorance, by which one performs pious and impious activities; bhajeta — may revive; varṇam — his original identity; nijam — one’s own; eṣaḥ — such; saḥ — He; avyayaḥ — inexhaustible; bhūyāt — let Him become; saḥ — He; īśaḥ — the Supreme Personality of Godhead; paramaḥ — the supreme; guroḥ guruḥ — the spiritual master of all other spiritual masters.
One who wants to be free of material entanglement should take to the service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and give up the contamination of ignorance, involving pious and impious activities. Thus one regains his original identity, just as a block of gold or silver sheds all dirt and becomes purified when treated with fire. May that inexhaustible Supreme Personality of Godhead become our spiritual master, for He is the original spiritual master of all other spiritual masters.
anye ca devā guravo janāḥ svayam
kartuṁ sametāḥ prabhavanti puṁsas
tam īśvaraṁ tvāṁ śaraṇaṁ prapadye
na — not; yat-prasāda — of the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; ayuta-bhāga-leśam — only one ten-thousandth; anye — others; ca — also; devāḥ — even the demigods; guravaḥ — the so-called gurus; janāḥ — the total population; svayam — personally; kartum — to execute; sametāḥ — all together; prabhavanti — can become equally able; puṁsaḥ — by the Supreme Personality of Godhead; tam — unto Him; īśvaram — unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead; tvām — unto You; śaraṇam — shelter; prapadye — let me surrender.
Neither all the demigods, nor the so-called gurus nor all other people, either independently or together, can offer mercy that equals even one ten-thousandth of Yours. Therefore I wish to take shelter of Your lotus feet.
acakṣur andhasya yathāgraṇīḥ kṛtas
tathā janasyāviduṣo ’budho guruḥ
tvam arka-dṛk sarva-dṛśāṁ samīkṣaṇo
vṛto gurur naḥ sva-gatiṁ bubhutsatām
acakṣuḥ — one who does not have his power of sight; andhasya — for such a blind person; yathā — as; agraṇīḥ — the leader, who goes first; kṛtaḥ — accepted; tathā — similarly; janasya — such a person; aviduṣaḥ — who has no knowledge of the goal of life; abudhaḥ — a foolish rascal; guruḥ — the spiritual master; tvam — Your Lordship; arka-dṛk — appear like the sun; sarva-dṛśām — of all sources of knowledge; samīkṣaṇaḥ — the complete seer; vṛtaḥ — accepted; guruḥ — the spiritual master; naḥ — our; sva-gatim — one who knows his real self-interest; bubhutsatām — such an enlightened person.
As a blind man, being unable to see, accepts another blind man as his leader, people who do not know the goal of life accept someone as a guru who is a rascal and a fool. But we are interested in self-realization. Therefore we accept You, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, as our spiritual master, for You are able to see in all directions and are omniscient like the sun.
jano janasyādiśate ’satīṁ gatiṁ
yayā prapadyeta duratyayaṁ tamaḥ
tvaṁ tv avyayaṁ jñānam amogham añjasā
prapadyate yena jano nijaṁ padam
janaḥ — a person who is not a bona fide guru (an ordinary person); janasya — of an ordinary person who does not know the goal of life; ādiśate — instructs; asatīm — impermanent, material; gatim — the goal of life; yayā — by such knowledge; prapadyeta — he surrenders; duratyayam — insurmountable; tamaḥ — to ignorance; tvam — Your Lordship; tu — but; avyayam — indestructible; jñānam — knowledge; amogham — without material contamination; añjasā — very soon; prapadyate — achieves; yena — by such knowledge; janaḥ — a person; nijam — his own; padam — original position.
A materialistic so-called guru instructs his materialistic disciples about economic development and sense gratification, and because of such instructions the foolish disciples continue in the materialistic existence of ignorance. But Your Lordship gives knowledge that is eternal, and the intelligent person receiving such knowledge is quickly situated in his original constitutional position.
tvaṁ sarva-lokasya suhṛt priyeśvaro
hy ātmā gurur jñānam abhīṣṭa-siddhiḥ
tathāpi loko na bhavantam andha-dhīr
jānāti santaṁ hṛdi baddha-kāmaḥ
tvam — You, my dear Lord; sarva-lokasya — of all planets and their inhabitants; suhṛt — the most well-wishing friend; priya — the most dear; īśvaraḥ — the supreme controller; hi — also; ātmā — the supreme soul; guruḥ — the supreme teacher; jñānam — the supreme knowledge; abhīṣṭa-siddhiḥ — the fulfillment of all desires; tathā api — still; lokaḥ — persons; na — not; bhavantam — unto You; andha-dhīḥ — because of blind intelligence; jānāti — can know; santam — situated; hṛdi — in his heart; baddha-kāmaḥ — because of being bewildered by material lusty desires.
My Lord, You are the supreme well-wishing friend of everyone, the dearmost friend, the controller, the Supersoul, the supreme instructor and the giver of supreme knowledge and the fulfillment of all desires. But although You are within the heart, the foolish, because of lusty desires in the heart, cannot understand You.
tvaṁ tvām ahaṁ deva-varaṁ vareṇyaṁ
prapadya īśaṁ pratibodhanāya
chindhy artha-dīpair bhagavan vacobhir
granthīn hṛdayyān vivṛṇu svam okaḥ
tvam — how exalted You are; tvām — unto You; aham — myself; deva-varam — worshiped by the demigods; vareṇyam — the greatest of all; prapadye — fully surrendering; īśam — unto the supreme controller; pratibodhanāya — for understanding the real purpose of life; chindhi — cut off; artha-dīpaiḥ — by the light of purposeful instruction; bhagavan — O Supreme Lord; vacobhiḥ — by Your words; granthīn — knots; hṛdayyān — fixed within the core of the heart; vivṛṇu — kindly explain; svam okaḥ — my destination in life.
O Supreme Lord, for self-realization I surrender unto You, who are worshiped by the demigods as the supreme controller of everything. By Your instructions, exposing life’s purpose, kindly cut the knot from the core of my heart and let me know the destination of my life.
ity uktavantaṁ nṛpatiṁ
viharaṁs tattvam abravīt
śrī-śukaḥ uvāca — Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī said; iti — thus; uktavantam — being addressed by Mahārāja Satyavrata; nṛpatim — unto the King; bhagavān — the Supreme Personality of Godhead; ādi-pūruṣaḥ — the original person; matsya-rūpī — who had assumed the form of a fish; mahā-ambhodhau — in that water of inundation; viharan — while moving; tattvam abravīt — explained the Absolute Truth.
Śukadeva Gosvāmī continued: When Satyavrata had thus prayed to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who had assumed the form of a fish, the Lord, while moving in the water of inundation, explained to him the Absolute Truth.
purāṇa — the subject matter explained in the Purāṇas, the old histories, especially the Matsya Purāṇa; saṁhitām — the Vedic instructions contained in Brahma-saṁhitā and other saṁhitās; divyām — all transcendental literatures; sāṅkhya — the philosophical way of sāṅkhya-yoga; yoga — the science of self-realization or bhakti-yoga; kriyāvatīm — practically applied in life; satyavratasya — of King Satyavrata; rāja-ṛṣeḥ — the great king and saint; ātma-guhyam — all the mysteries of self-realization; aśeṣataḥ — including all branches.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead thus explained to King Satyavrata the spiritual science known as sāṅkhya-yoga, the science by which one distinguishes between matter and spirit [in other words, bhakti-yoga], along with the instructions contained in the Purāṇas [the old histories] and the saṁhitās. The Lord explained Himself in all these literatures.
aśrauṣīd ṛṣibhiḥ sākam
nāvy āsīno bhagavatā
proktaṁ brahma sanātanam
aśrauṣīt — he heard; ṛṣibhiḥ — the great saintly persons; sākam — with; ātma-tattvam — the science of self-realization; asaṁśayam — without any doubt (because it was spoken by the Supreme Lord); nāvi āsīnaḥ — sitting in the boat; bhagavatā — by the Supreme Personality of Godhead; proktam — explained; brahma — all transcendental literatures; sanātanam — eternally existing.
While sitting in the boat, King Satyavrata, accompanied by the great saintly persons, listened to the instructions of the Supreme Personality of Godhead in regard to self-realization. These instructions were all from the eternal Vedic literature [brahma]. Thus the King and sages had no doubt about the Absolute Truth.
utthitāya sa vedhase
vedān pratyāharad dhariḥ
atīta — passed; pralaya-apāye — at the end of the inundation; utthitāya — to bring him to his senses after sleeping; saḥ — the Supreme Lord; vedhase — unto Lord Brahmā; hatvā — after killing; asuram — the demon; hayagrīvam — by the name Hayagrīva; vedān — all the Vedic records; pratyāharat — delivered; hariḥ — the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
At the end of the last inundation [during the period of Svāyambhuva Manu] the Supreme Personality of Godhead killed the demon named Hayagrīva and delivered all the Vedic literatures to Lord Brahmā when Lord Brahmā awakened from sleeping.
sa tu satyavrato rājā
viṣṇoḥ prasādāt kalpe ’sminn
āsīd vaivasvato manuḥ
saḥ — he; tu — indeed; satyavrataḥ — Satyavrata; rājā — the King; jñāna-vijñāna-saṁyutaḥ — enlightened in full knowledge and its practical use; viṣṇoḥ — of Lord Viṣṇu; prasādāt — by the mercy; kalpe asmin — in this period (ruled by Vaivasvata Manu); āsīt — became; vaivasvataḥ manuḥ — Vaivasvata Manu.
King Satyavrata was illuminated with all Vedic knowledge by the mercy of Lord Viṣṇu, and in this period he has now taken birth as Vaivasvata Manu, the son of the sun-god.
śrutvā mucyeta kilbiṣāt
satyavratasya — of King Satyavrata; rāja-ṛṣeḥ — of the great king; māyā-matsyasya — and the fish incarnation; śārṅgiṇaḥ — who had one horn on His head; saṁvādam — the description or dealings; mahat-ākhyānam — the great story; śrutvā — by hearing; mucyeta — is delivered; kilbiṣāt — from all sinful reactions.
This story concerning the great King Satyavrata and the fish incarnation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Viṣṇu, is a great transcendental narration. Anyone who hears it is delivered from the reactions of sinful life.
avatāraṁ harer yo ’yaṁ
kīrtayed anvahaṁ naraḥ
saṅkalpās tasya sidhyanti
sa yāti paramāṁ gatim
avatāram — incarnation; hareḥ — of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; yaḥ — whoever; ayam — he; kīrtayet — narrates and chants; anvaham — daily; naraḥ — such a person; saṅkalpāḥ — all ambitions; tasya — of him; sidhyanti — become successful; saḥ — such a person; yāti — goes back; paramām gatim — back home to Godhead, the supreme place.
One who narrates this description of the Matsya incarnation and King Satyavrata will certainly have all his ambitions fulfilled, and he will undoubtedly return home, back to Godhead.
pralaya-payasi dhātuḥ supta-śakter mukhebhyaḥ
śruti-gaṇam apanītaṁ pratyupādatta hatvā
ditijam akathayad yo brahma satyavratānāṁ
tam aham akhila-hetuṁ jihma-mīnaṁ nato ’smi
pralaya-payasi — in the water of inundation; dhātuḥ — from Lord Brahmā; supta-śakteḥ — who was inert because of sleeping; mukhebhyaḥ — from the mouths; śruti-gaṇam — Vedic records; apanītam — stolen; pratyupādatta — gave back to him; hatvā — by killing; ditijam — the great demon; akathayat — explained; yaḥ — one who; brahma — Vedic knowledge; satyavratānām — for the enlightenment of Satyavrata and the great saintly persons; tam — unto Him; aham — I; akhila-hetum — unto the cause of all causes; jihma-mīnam — appearing as and pretending to be a great fish; nataḥ asmi — I offer my respectful obeisances.
I offer my respectful obeisances unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who pretended to be a gigantic fish, who restored the Vedic literature to Lord Brahmā when Lord Brahmā awakened from sleep, and who explained the essence of Vedic literature to King Satyavrata and the great saintly persons.