in attributes. He is Vishnu, because of his pervading
the universe. He is irresistible. Endued
with spiritual vision, He is possessed of supreme
Energy. He sees all things with the eye of Yoga.
It is in consequence of the devotion of the high-souled
Krishna to the illustrious Rudra whom he gratified.
O Bharata, in the retreat of Vadari, by penances,
that he has succeeded in pervading the entire universe.
O king of kings, it is through Maheswara of celestial
vision that Vasudeva has obtained the attribute of
universal agreeableness,—an agreeableness
that is much greater than what is possessed by all
articles included under the name of wealth. For
a full thousand years this Madhava underwent the austerest
penances and at last succeeded in gratifying the illustrious
and boon giving Siva, that Master of all the mobile
and the immobile universe. In every new Yuga has
Krishna (by such penances) gratified Mahadeva.
In every Yuga has Mahadeva been gratified with the
great devotion of the high-souled Krishna. How
great is the puissance of the high-souled Mahadeva,—that
original cause of the universe,—has been
seen with his own eyes by Hari who himself transcends
all deterioration, on the occasion of his penances
in the retreat of Vadari undergone for obtaining a
son. I do not, O Bharata, behold any one that
is superior to Mahadeva. To expound the names
of that god of gods fully and without creating the
desire of hearing more only Krishna is competent.
This mighty-armed one of Yadu’s race is alone
competent to tell the attributes of the illustrious
Siva. Verily, O king, only he is able to discourse
on the puissance, in its entirety of the Supreme deity?’
“Vaisampayana continued, ’Having said
these words, the illustrious Bhishma, the grandsire
of the Kurus, addressing Vasudeva, said the following
words, dealing with the subject of the greatness of
Bhava, O monarch.
“Bhishma said, ’Thou art the Master of
all the deities and the Asuras. Thou art illustrious.
Thou art Vishnu in consequence of thy pervading the
whole universe. It behoveth thee to discourse
on those subjects connected with Siva of universal
form about which Yudhishthira has asked me. In
days of yore, the Rishi Tandin, sprung from Brahma,
recited in Brahma’s region and before Brahma
himself the thousand names of Mahadeva. Do thou
recite those names before this conclave so that these
Rishis endued with wealth of asceticism, observant
of high vows, possessed of self-restraint, and numbering
the Island-born Krishna among them, may hear thee.
Do thou discourse on the high blessedness of Him who
is immutable, who is always cheerful and happy, who
is Hotri, who is the universal Protector, who is Creator,
of the universe, and who is called Mundin and Kaparddin.’
“Vasudeva said, ’The very deities with
Indra, and the Grandsire Brahma numbering among them,
and the great Rishis also, are incompetent to understand
the course of Mahadeva’s acts truly and in all
their details. Even He is the end which all righteous
people attain. The very Adityas who are endued
with subtile sight, are unable to behold his abode.
How then can one that is merely a man succeed in comprehending
Him? I shall, therefore, truly recite to you some
of the attributes of that illustrious slayer of Asuras,
who is regarded as the Lord of all sacrifices and