Maha-bharata, Adi Parva, Anukramanika Parva, Adhyaya 1, verses 22-28

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Adhyaya 1
Sauti begins narrating


Sauti then said
Bowing (most reverentially) my head to the original first being Ishana, who is adored by all and to whom all make offerings, who is the true unchangeable One, who is manifested and unmanifested, eternal and everlasting Brahma. – 22

The Supreme Lord. The name Isana often it is used to denominate Lord Siva, but in this case it must refer to somebody else. In all the scriptures it is said that at the beginning of the material universe only Visnu was present in it.


Who is both non-existing and existing, who is the (existing) universe and still distinct from both the existing and the non-existing world, who is the originator of all, both high and low, who is ancient, great and undecaying. – 23

Vishnu, who is pleasing and auspicious one, who is worthy of all worship, pure and sinless, who is Hari, the lord of the faculties, the guide of all the movable and the immovable. – 24

(O Rishis), I shall now describe to you the holy thoughts of the great Rishi of the wonderful deeds, (the sage) Vyasa, who is worshipped by all of you here. – 25

Kavis have already sung this history; and some again are teaching it to others; others will no doubt do the same hereafter on earth. – 26

It refers to Lord Visnu, not Brahma, the first being born in this universe. We can not apply words like “aksaram” (imperishable) and “sanatanam” (eternal) that we find in this verse to Lord Brahma, the architect of the universe. As a matter of fact we know that he was born and will leave his body in due course of time. As a matter of fact in a few line we find the name Visnu and Hari. So this Supreme Lord is Sri Visnu.

It is a great source of knowledge all through the thretf’worlds. It is possessed by the twice-bom in detailed and compendious forms. – 27

It is embellished with elegant expressions, with human and divine conversations and with various poetical metres. It is, therefore, the great delight of the learned. – 28



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