Mahabharata Santi Parva - Translation by KM Ganguly

Mahabharata Adiparva


"Bharadwaja said, 'Tell me, O best of Brahmanas, how the puissant Brahman residing within Meru, created these diverse kinds of objects.'

"Bhrigu said, 'The great Manasa (in his form of Brahman) created the diverse kinds of objects by fiat of Will. For the protection then of all creatures, he first created water. Water is the life of all creatures, and it is water which aids their growth. If there be no water, all creatures would perish. The whole universe is pervaded by water. Earth, mountains, clouds, and all things which have form, should all be known as transformations of water. They have all been produced by the solidification of that element.'

Bharadwaja said, 'How did water spring? How Fire and Wind? How also was the earth created? I have great doubts on these points.'

"Bhrigu said, 'O regenerate one, in very ancient times called the Brahma-kalpa, the high-souled Rishis of the regenerate order, when they assembled together, felt this very doubt about the creation of the universe. Re-straining speech, they remained immovable, engaged in (ascetic) contemplation. Having given up all food, they subsisted upon air alone, and remained thus for a thousand celestial years. At the end of that period, certain words as sacred as those of the Vedas simultaneously reached the ears of all. Indeed, this celestial voice was heard in the firmament to say, 'Formerly there was only infinite Space, perfectly motionless and immovable. Without sun, moon, stars, and wind, it seemed to be asleep. Then water sprang into existence like something darker within darkness. Then from the pressure of water arose wind. As an empty vessel without a hole appears at first to be without any sound, but when filled with water, air appears and makes a great noise, even so when infinite Space was filled with water, the wind arose with a great noise, penetrating through the water.  That wind, thus generated by the pressure of the ocean of water, still moveth. Coming into (unobstructed) Space, its motion is never stopped. Then in consequence of the friction of wind and water, fire possessed of great might and blazing energy, sprang into existence, with flames directed upwards. That fire dispelled the darkness that had covered Space. Assisted by the wind, fire drew Space and Water together. Indeed, combining with the wind, fire became solidified. While failing from the sky, the liquid portion of fire solidified again and became what is known as the earth. The earth or land, in which everything is born, is the origin of all kinds of taste, of all kinds of scent, of all kinds of liquids, and of all kinds of animals.'"