As discussed here, Bhagavan took on the form of a fish at the time of deluge after the lapse of the Chakshusha Manvanatara, the one before the present. For the purpose of propagating the Vedas in the present Manvantara, he accepts the role of an Acharya and teaches King Satyavrata the import of the Vedas (next verse mentioning even Purana, Sankhya and Yoga (like karma yoga)):

इत्युक्तवन्तं नृपतिं भगवानादिपूरुष:। मत्स्यरूपी महाम्भोधौ विहरंस्तत्त्वमब्रवीत्

When Satyavrata had thus prayed to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who had assumed the form of a fish, the Lord, while moving in the water of inundation, explained to him the Absolute Truth.
-ŚB 8.24.54

However, this puranic lore seems to be in apparent contradiction with the Bhagavad Gita wherein Bhagavan says that the knowledge was passed to Manu through Vivasvan i.e. the sun deity:

इमं विवस्वते योगं प्रोक्तवानहमव्ययम्। विवस्वान् मनवे प्राह मनुरिक्ष्वाकवेऽब्रवीत्॥

I taught this imperishable Yoga to Vivasvan; Vivasvan taught it to Manu; Manu declared it to Iksvaku
- Srimad Bhagavadgita 4.1

As can be seen, the puranic lore states that knowledge was passed on directly from Bhagavan to Satyavrata (who becomes Manu), but the Gita places Vivasvan between the two.

One one hand, the Matsya avatara is famous for happening to give Manu knowledge to propagate in the current Manvantara. If we say that the Gita is correct, an entire story and purana (concept of Matsya purana, not the one available today) would have to be negated. It is to be remembered that there is no puranic story of Bhagavan giving any knowledge to the sun deity Vivasvan

On the other hand, the Gita verse too cannot said to be wrong as it has been quoted by many acharyas.

How do we solve this contradiction?

  • 1
    @Athrey, what’s the point of receiving the knowledge at the time of his previous birth when there was going to be a deluge anyway? If he got moksha I can understand, but he’s taking rebirth to become Manu. So why would god teach him knowing that everything would be destroyed and he would have to be taught again, that too at the time of destruction. If it was a case of teaching him some 5-7 yugas before destruction then one can argue it was for his benefit? And then where is the story of Vivasvan receiving the knowledge?? I’m sure Puranas would’ve done justice to that.
    – Adiyarkku
    Apr 17, 2023 at 10:59
  • 1
    A cross-reference given by Dr Radhakrishnan, in his commentary on BG 4.1 , suggests, that the knowledge was imparted by Vivaswan to Manu in the beginning of the treta yuga(which treta yuga of vaisvatha manvantra is not clear though, in the ref. MB SP) , however there is a possibility that so many chaturyugas might ve got surpassed since the first teaching .
    – Athrey
    Apr 17, 2023 at 12:51
  • 1
    This is yet another occurence cited in Mahabharata Shanti Parva. treta-yugadau ca tato vivasvan manave dadau manus ca loka-bhrty-artham sutayeksvakave dadau iksvakuna ca kathito vyapya lokan avasthitah (Mahabharat Shanti parva 348.51,52)
    – Athrey
    Apr 17, 2023 at 12:51
  • 2
    SB 9.1.2-3 asserts, King Satyavrata (who received the spritual knowledge), is reborn as Vaivasvata manu. However (by 8.24.61), King Satyavrata seems to have incidentally received the spritual knowledge (in a secondary sense )by the causeless mercy of the lord ,as he and other sages had acquired the qualifiedness for the same.But the primary purport of Matsya Avatara is to annihilate demon Hayagriva, who had stolen the Vedas , and restore them to Brahma
    – Athrey
    Apr 17, 2023 at 15:29
  • 1
    @Athrey deviating a little, that begs the question how was there a demon when everything was destroyed and Diti Danu were products of the next Manvantara? As opposed to Madhu Kaitabha who were supposed to be the Lord’s earwax and stole the Veda’s and were killed by the Lord’s avatara Hayagriva😁
    – Adiyarkku
    Apr 18, 2023 at 6:00


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