» Matsya

Matsya

Matsya

 The Lord’s Fish Incarnation

Once, at the end of the previous kalpa, a demon named Hayagriva wanted to take the Vedic knowledge away from Lord Brahma at the time of annihilation. Therefore the Supreme Personality of Godhead took the incarnation of a fish at the beginning of the period of Svayambhuva Manu and saved the Vedas. During the reign of Caksusa Manu there was a king named Satyavrata, who was a great pious ruler. To save him, the Lord appeared as the fish incarnation for a second time. King Satyavrata later became the son of the sun-god and was known as Sraddhadeva. He was established as Manu by the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

To receive the favor of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, King Satyavrata engaged in the austerity of subsisting only by drinking water. Once, while performing this austerity on the bank of the Krtamala River and offering oblations of water with the palm of his hand, he found a small fish. The fish appealed to the King for protection, asking the King to keep Him in a safe place. Although the King did not know that the small fish was the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself, as a king he gave shelter to the fish and kept Him in a water jug. The fish, being the Supreme Personality of Godhead, wanted to show His potency to King Satyavrata, and thus He immediately expanded His body in such a way that He could no longer be kept in the jug of water.

The King then put the fish in a big well, but the well was also too small. Then the King put the fish in a lake, but the lake was also unsuitable. Finally the King put the fish in the sea, but even the sea could not accommodate Him.

Thus the King understood that the fish was no one else but the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and he requested the Lord to describe His incarnation as a fish. The Personality of Godhead, being pleased with the King, informed him that within a week there would be an inundation throughout the universe and that the fish incarnation would protect the King, along with the rishis, herbs, seeds and other living entities, in a boat, which would be attached to the fish’s horn. After saying this, the Lord disappeared. King Satyavrata offered respectful obeisances to the Supreme Lord and continued to meditate upon Him. In due course of time, annihilation took place, and the King saw a boat coming near. After getting aboard with learned brahmanas and saintly persons, he offered prayers to worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The Supreme Lord is situated in everyone’s heart, and thus he taught Maharaja Satyavrata and the saintly persons about Vedic Knowledge from the core of the heart.

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.

This story concerning the great King Satyavrata and the fish incarnation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Visnu, is a great transcendental narration. Anyone who hears it is delivered from the reactions of sinful life.

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