In the previous episode, we had witnessed the commencement of the next important incarnation of Bhagawan Vishnu – The “Matsya Avatara”. We had set up the context nicely for an elaborate discussion on this event, wherein we witnessed how “Shraadha Manu”, also called “Satyavrata” was engaged in an interesting conversation and activity with a “mysterious fish”. Initially he found that fish amidst the river wherein he was performing his daily spiritual practices. When the fish came into his hands, it was a tiny one and requested his protection from bigger fishes that might swallow it. Emotionally moved by the fervent request of the little fish, Satyavrata brings it home and tries to put it into a small vessel. Eventually the fish starts to grow and had to be shifted subsequently to a bigger vessel, a bigger tank, a well, the river again, and finally the fish grows into a mammoth size and requests Satyavrata to leave it in the ocean.
As this is unfolding quickly, Satyavrata realizes that this is not an ordinary fish in any case. There is something that is going on, which is beyond his understanding. How can a small fish grow into a mammoth size within just a single day? Also, how can it grow immediately, the moment he puts it into a container or well or a river? Notwithstanding thus, Satyavrata asks the fish thus, “I sense something very different with you. I’m sure you’re not an ordinary fish. First of all, fishes do not talk, but you do! Secondly, how can a living being grow this fast, and even then, I find your growth to be intentional and not by the natural phenomenon! So tell me who you are, and what do you want to convey to me?” As Satyavrata asks thus, the fish starts its reply:
“Saptamedathanaadurdhvam mahanyetat arindhama!
Nimangranyabhyaathyam bhodhau trilokyam bhoor bhuvaadhikam!!”
The fish replies to Satyavrata thus, “Oh Satyavrata! Please realize that this entire world is going to be taken over by the ocean on the seventh day from today. There is going to be a huge natural disaster. At that point when the oceans start taking over the land, a huge boat would come towards you. I will also come towards you as a huge fish. Use the snake called “Vaasuki” as the rope to tie the boat on to my huge fins. Thus, you can get into the boat and along with you, take all the Vedas, the seven important Sages (Sapta-Rishis), and other important people on the boat. Please be patient till the ocean waters recede. I shall protect you for sure. You don’t need to worry about your safety!”
Upon hearing this from the fish, Satyavrata was stunned beyond words! He was shell-shocked! He never expected such an answer from the fish! As Satyavrata is speechless thus, the fish transforms itself quickly into Bhagawan Vishnu and stands in front of him! The message is now loud and clear! Bhagawan Vishnu wants to use Satyavrata to protect the Vedas and important Sages amidst a raging natural disaster. Upon worshipping Bhagawan Vishnu, Satyavrata gets himself prepared to face the huge ordeal.
As per Bhagawan’s words, on the seventh day, the disaster commences. There are shrieking sounds everywhere and the rains are starting to pour down! Winds are blowing at extremely high speeds! The ocean levels are rising, not withstanding the heavy intensity of rains and winds. It was like a super cyclone or a typhoon or a hurricane that we see today too in some parts of the world. Also, the waves in the ocean start pounding the coast like never before, just like tsunamis that we currently see in the present day. At one point, the ocean waves breach the coastline and the water enters inland. Slowly and steadily the ocean starts swallowing up all the landmasses and the rain continues unabated! Winds are blowing at an unimaginable speed!
It is at this time, people are running here and there for help and scouting for shelter, but in vain! Thousands of people lose their lives! Satyavrata too is patiently waiting for Bhaagwan’s words to come true. As expected, a big boat makes its way towards him, as the water level around him starts rising to alarming heights! Along with the big boat, a huge fish and the snake Vaasuki also make their way towards Satyavrata. The length of the fish was around 100,000 Yojanas! We can imagine how long the fish would have been! As instructed by Bhagawan, Satyavrata ties the Vaasuki snake to the boat and the fin of the fish, making the boat stable. Thus, Satyavrata gets on to the boat, and brings alongside, all the Vedas and the Sapta-Rishis. As all of them get on board the boat, Bhagwaan Vishnu elaborately describes the “Matsya-Puraana” to Satyavrata and Co. on the boat. This continues till the disaster comes to an end and all the waters recede back into the oceans. Satyavrata is saved, along with the Vedas and the Rishis!
Thus, Bhagwan Vishnu takes an incarnation of a fish (“Matsya”) to protect the world along with the Vedas, Satyavrata and the Sapta-Rishis from a raging natural disaster. With this, we come to the end of the “Matsya-Avatara” and also the eighth Skandha of Shrimad Bhaagawatha Puraana. So for today, let us worship Bhagawan Vishnu as Bhagawan Matsya-Moorthi and obtain His divine grace by enjoying the story of the Matsya-Avatara. We shall wait till the next episode to commence the nineth Skandha! Stay tuned! 😊