Canto 5: The Creative Impetus

Details of the history of the descent of the River Ganges from the celestial realm to the studies of the actual Structure of the Universe as well as other planetary systems according to the Vedic perspective. 

Table of contents

  1. The Activities of Mahārāja Priyavrataplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigSB 5.1: The Activities of Mahārāja Priyavrata

    The Activities of Mahārāja Priyavrata

    This chapter describes how King Priyavrata enjoyed royal opulence and majesty and then returned to full knowledge. King Priyavrata was detached from worldly opulence, and then he became attached to his kingdom, but finally he again became detached from material enjoyment and thus achieved liberation. When King Parīkṣit heard about this, he was struck with wonder, but he was somewhat bewildered as to how a devotee with no attachment for material enjoyment c…
  2. The Activities of Mahārāja Āgnīdhraplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigSB 5.2: The Activities of Mahārāja Āgnīdhra

    The Activities of Mahārāja Āgnīdhra

    In this chapter, the character of Mahārāja Āgnīdhra is described. When Mahārāja Priyavrata went off for spiritual realization, his son Āgnīdhra became the ruler of Jambūdvīpa, in accordance with Mahārāja Priyavrata
  3. Ṛṣabhadeva's Appearance in the Womb of Merudevī, the Wife of King Nābhiplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigSB 5.3: Ṛṣabhadeva’s Appearance in the Womb of Merudevī, the Wife of King Nābhi

    Ṛṣabhadeva’s Appearance in the Womb of Merudevī, the Wife of King Nābhi

    In this chapter the spotless character of King Nābhi, the oldest son of Āgnīdhra, is described. Wanting to have sons, Mahārāja Nābhi underwent severe austerities and penances. He performed many sacrifices along with his wife and worshiped Lord Viṣṇu, master of all sacrifices. Being very kind to His devotees, the Supreme Personality of Godhead was very pleased with the austerities of Mahārāja Nābhi. He personally appeared b…
  4. The Characteristics of Ṛṣabhadeva, the Supreme Personality of Godheadplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigSB 5.4: The Characteristics of Ṛṣabhadeva, the Supreme Personality of Godhead

    The Characteristics of Ṛṣabhadeva, the Supreme Personality of Godhead

    In this chapter, Ṛṣabhadeva, the son of Mahārāja Nābhi, begot a hundred sons, and during the reign of those sons the world was very happy in all respects. When Ṛṣabhadeva appeared as the son of Mahārāja Nābhi, He was appreciated by the people as the most exalted and beautiful personality of that age. His poise, influence, strength, enthusiasm, bodily luster and other transcendental qualities were beyond compare. The word…
  5. Lord Ṛṣabhadeva's Teachings to His Sonsplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigSB 5.5: Lord Ṛṣabhadeva’s Teachings to His Sons

    Lord Ṛṣabhadeva’s Teachings to His Sons

    In this chapter there is a description of bhāgavata-dharma, religious principles in devotional service that transcend religious principles for liberation and the mitigation of material misery. It is stated in this chapter that a human being should not work hard like dogs and hogs for sense gratification. The human life is especially meant for the revival of our relationship with the Supreme Lord, and to this end all kinds of austerities and penances shou…
  6. The Activities of Lord Ṛṣabhadevaplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigSB 5.6: The Activities of Lord Ṛṣabhadeva

    The Activities of Lord Ṛṣabhadeva

    This chapter tells how Lord Ṛṣabhadeva left His body. He was not attached to His body even when it was being burned up in a forest fire. When the seed of fruitive activity is burned by the fire of knowledge, the spiritual properties and mystic powers are automatically manifest, yet
  7. The Activities of King Bharataplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigSB 5.7: The Activities of King Bharata

    The Activities of King Bharata

    In this chapter, the activities of King Bharata Mahārāja, the emperor of the whole world, are described. Bharata Mahārāja performed various ritualistic ceremonies (Vedic yajñas
  8. A Description of the Character of Bharata Mahārājaplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigSB 5.8: A Description of the Character of Bharata Mahārāja

    A Description of the Character of Bharata Mahārāja

    Although Bharata Mahārāja was very elevated, he fell down due to his attachment to a young deer. One day after Bharata Mahārāja had taken his bath as usual in the River Gaṇḍakī and was chanting his
  9. The Supreme Character of Jaḍa Bharataplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigSB 5.9: The Supreme Character of Jaḍa Bharata

    The Supreme Character of Jaḍa Bharata

    In this chapter Bharata Mahārāja’s attainment of the body of a brāhmaṇa is described. In this body he remained like one dull, deaf and dumb, so much so that when he was brought before the goddess Kālī to be killed as a sacrifice, he never protested but remained silent. After having given up the body of a deer, he took birth in the womb of the youngest wife of a
  10. The Discussion Between Jaḍa Bharata and Mahārāja Rahūgaṇaplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigSB 5.10: The Discussion Between Jaḍa Bharata and Mahārāja Rahūgaṇa

    The Discussion Between Jaḍa Bharata and Mahārāja Rahūgaṇa

    In this chapter Bharata Mahārāja, now Jaḍa Bharata, was successfully accepted by King Rahūgaṇa, ruler of the states known as Sindhu and Sauvīra. The King forced Jaḍa Bharata to carry his palanquin and chastised him because he did not carry it properly. A carrier of King Rahūgaṇa
  11. Jaḍa Bharata Instructs King Rahūgaṇaplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigSB 5.11: Jaḍa Bharata Instructs King Rahūgaṇa

    Jaḍa Bharata Instructs King Rahūgaṇa

    In this chapter the brāhmaṇa Jaḍa Bharata instructs Mahārāja Rahūgaṇa in detail. He tells the King: “You are not very experienced, yet you pose yourself as a learned person because you are very proud of your knowledge. Actually a person who is on the transcendental platform does not care for social behavior that sacrifices spiritual advancement. Social behavior comes within the jurisdiction of
  12. Conversation Between Mahārāja Rahūgaṇa and Jaḍa Bharataplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigSB 5.12: Conversation Between Mahārāja Rahūgaṇa and Jaḍa Bharata

    Conversation Between Mahārāja Rahūgaṇa and Jaḍa Bharata

    Because Mahārāja Rahūgaṇa was still doubtful about his enlightenment, he asked the brāhmaṇa Jaḍa Bharata to repeat his instructions and clarify ideas he could not understand. In this chapter, Mahārāja Rahūgaṇa offers his respectful obeisances to Jaḍa Bharata, who was concealing his real position. The King could understand by his speech how exalted and advanced he was in spiritual knowledge. He very much regretted his offense against him. …
  13. Further Talks Between King Rahūgaṇa and Jaḍa Bharataplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigSB 5.13: Further Talks Between King Rahūgaṇa and Jaḍa Bharata

    Further Talks Between King Rahūgaṇa and Jaḍa Bharata

    The brāhmaṇa Jaḍa Bharata became very kind to King Rahūgaṇa, and to disassociate him from the material world, he spoke figuratively of the forest of the material world. He explained that this material world is like a great forest in which one becomes entangled due to association with material life. In this forest there are plunderers (the six senses) as well as carnivorous animals like jackals, wolves and lions (wife, children and other rela…
  14. The Material World as the Great Forest of Enjoymentplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigSB 5.14: The Material World as the Great Forest of Enjoyment

    The Material World as the Great Forest of Enjoyment

    The direct meaning of the forest of material existence is given in this chapter. Merchants sometimes enter the forest to collect many rare things and sell them at a good profit in the city, but the forest path is always bedecked with dangers. When the pure soul wants to give up the Lord
  15. The Glories of the Descendants of King Priyavrataplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigSB 5.15: The Glories of the Descendants of King Priyavrata

    The Glories of the Descendants of King Priyavrata

    In this chapter the descendants of Bharata Mahārāja and many other kings are described. The son of Mahārāja Bharata was named Sumati. He followed the path of liberation given by Ṛṣabhadeva. Some people mistakenly thought Sumati to be the direct incarnation of Lord Buddha. The son of Sumati was Devatājit, and his son was Devadyumna. Devadyumna
  16. A Description of Jambūdvīpaplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigSB 5.16: A Description of Jambūdvīpa

    A Description of Jambūdvīpa

    While describing the character of Mahārāja Priyavrata and his descendants, Śukadeva Gosvāmī also described Meru Mountain and the planetary system known as Bhū-maṇḍala. Bhū-maṇḍala is like a lotus flower, and its seven islands are compared to the whorl of the lotus. The place known as Jambūdvīpa is in the middle of that whorl. In Jambūdvīpa there is a mountain known as Sumeru, which is made of solid gold. The height of this mountain is 84,000
  17. The Descent of the River Gangesplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigSB 5.17: The Descent of the River Ganges

    The Descent of the River Ganges

    The Seventeenth Chapter describes the origin of the Ganges River and how it flows in and around Ilāvṛta-varṣa. There is also a description of the prayers Lord Śiva offers to Lord Saṅkarṣaṇa, part of the quadruple expansions of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Lord Viṣṇu once approached Bali Mahārāja while the King was performing a sacrifice. The Lord appeared before him as Trivikrama, or Vāmana, and begged alms from the King in the form of three steps of land…
  18. The Prayers Offered to the Lord by the Residents of Jambūdvīpaplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigSB 5.18: The Prayers Offered to the Lord by the Residents of Jambūdvīpa

    The Prayers Offered to the Lord by the Residents of Jambūdvīpa

    In this chapter Śukadeva Gosvāmī describes the different varṣas of Jambūdvīpa and the incarnation of the Supreme Lord worshiped in each. The predominating ruler of Bhadrāśva-varṣa is Bhadraśravā. He and his many servants always worship the incarnation known as Lord Hayagrīva. At the end of each
  19. A Description of the Island of Jambūdvīpaplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigSB 5.19: A Description of the Island of Jambūdvīpa

    A Description of the Island of Jambūdvīpa

    This chapter describes the glories of Bhārata-varṣa, and it also describes how Lord Rāmacandra is being worshiped in the tract of land known as Kimpuruṣa-varṣa. The inhabitants of Kimpuruṣa-varṣa are fortunate because they worship Lord Rāmacandra with His faithful servant Hanumān. Lord Rāmacandra exemplifies an incarnation of Godhead who descends for the mission of
  20. Studying the Structure of the Universeplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigSB 5.20: Studying the Structure of the Universe

    Studying the Structure of the Universe

    In this chapter there is a description of various islands, beginning with Plakṣadvīpa, and the oceans that surround them. There is also a description of the location and dimensions of the mountain known as Lokāloka. The island of Plakṣadvīpa, which is twice as broad as Jambūdvīpa, is surrounded by an ocean of salt water. The master of this island is Idhmajihva, one of the sons of Mahārāja Priyavrata. The island is divided into seven regions, each with a m…
  21. The Movements of the Sunplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigSB 5.21: The Movements of the Sun

    The Movements of the Sun

    This chapter informs us of the movements of the sun. The sun is not stationary; it is also moving like the other planets. The sun’s movements determine the duration of night and day. When the sun travels north of the equator, it moves slowly during the day and very quickly at night, thus increasing the duration of the daytime and decreasing the duration of night. Similarly, when the sun travels south of the equator, the exact opposite is true-the duration of the day de…
  22. The Orbits of the Planetsplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigSB 5.22: The Orbits of the Planets

    The Orbits of the Planets

    In this chapter the orbits of the planets are described. According to the movements of the moon and other planets, all the inhabitants of the universe are prone to auspicious and inauspicious situations. This is referred to as the influence of the stars.
  23. The Śiśumāra Planetary Systemsplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigSB 5.23: The Śiśumāra Planetary Systems

    The Śiśumāra Planetary Systems

    This chapter describes how all the planetary systems take shelter of the polestar, Dhruvaloka. It also describes the totality of these planetary systems to be Śiśumāra, another expansion of the external body of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Dhruvaloka, the abode of Lord Viṣṇu within this universe, is situated 1,300,000
  24. The Subterranean Heavenly Planetsplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigSB 5.24: The Subterranean Heavenly Planets

    The Subterranean Heavenly Planets

    This chapter describes the planet Rāhu, which is 10,000 yojanas (80,000 miles) below the sun, and it also describes Atala and the other lower planetary systems. Rāhu is situated below the sun and moon. It is between these two planets and the earth. When Rāhu conceals the sun and moon, eclipses occur, either total or partial, depending on whether Rāhu moves in a straight or curving way.
  25. The Glories of Lord Anantaplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigSB 5.25: The Glories of Lord Ananta

    The Glories of Lord Ananta

    In this chapter, Śukadeva Gosvāmī describes Ananta, the source of Lord Śiva. Lord Ananta, whose body is completely spiritual, resides at the root of the planet Pātāla. He always lives in the core of Lord Śiva
  26. A Description of the Hellish Planetsplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigSB 5.26: A Description of the Hellish Planets

    A Description of the Hellish Planets

    The Twenty-sixth Chapter describes how a sinful man goes to different hells, where he is punished in various ways by the assistants of Yamarāja. As stated in the