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8. He, desiring to produce beings of many kinds from his own body, first with a thought created the waters, and placed his seed in them.

9. That (seed) became a golden egg, in brilliancy equal to the sun; in that (egg) he himself was born as Brahman, the progenitor of the whole world.

10. The waters are called nârâh, (for) the waters are, indeed, the offspring of Nara; as they were his first residence (ayana), he thence is named Nârâyana.


 


 

8. Besides the passages quoted under verse 5, compare also the Paurânik story of the mundane egg, Wilson, Vishnu-purâna I, pp. 39–40 (ed. Hall). 'He' is according to Medh. and Râgh. 'Hiranyagarbha,' according to the other commentators, 'the supreme soul.' Medh. refers to Rig-veda X, 121, 1. According to Medh. (verse 11) those who understood the whole passage to refer to the unintelligent prakriti, explained abhidhyâya, 'with a thought,' to mean 'independently of all external action, just as a man performs an act merely by a thought.' They also asserted that the waters were produced as the first element only, but not before the great one and the other principles. Kull., on the other hand, sees in the expressions, used in this verse, the proof that Manu was an adherent of the non-dualistic Vedânta.

9. Medh., Kull., and Râghava take the epithet 'golden' figuratively, and consider it to be intended to convey the idea of purity or, as Râgh. also proposes, of brilliancy. Instead of 'he himself was born as Brahman (masc.),' the translation may also be 'Brahmâ himself was born.' Medh. gives both explanations. The other commentators adopt that given in the text. The being produced is, according to all except Râgh., Hiranyagarbha. Râgh., as a strict Vedântin, thinks that it is Virât. All the commentators point out that pitâmaha, 'the progenitor,' lit. the grandfather, is a common name of Brahman (masc).

10. This punning explanation of Brahman's name Nârâyana occurs in most of the Purânas, see Wilson, Vishnu-purâna I, p. 56 (ed. Hall). Both Medh. and Gov. seem to have read âpo narâh, 'the waters are called narâh.' Nara is another name of the supreme soul.