See for the online version with illustrations, music and links to the previous translation: http://bhagavata.org/
'The Story of the Fortunate One'
Third revised version 2012
The Creation of the Fourth Order, The Lord's Protection
Chapter 1 Genealogical Table of the Daughters of Manu
Chapter 2 Daksha Curses Lord S'iva
Chapter 3 The Talk Between Lord S'iva and Satī
Chapter 4 Satī Quits Her Body
Chapter 5 Frustration of the Sacrifice of Daksha
Chapter 6 Brahmā Satīsfies Lord S'iva
Chapter 7 The Sacrifice Performed by Daksha
Chapter 8 Dhruva Leaves Home for the Forest
Chapter 9 Dhruva Returns Home from the Forest
Chapter 10 Dhruva Mahārāja's Fight with the Yakshas
Chapter 11 Svāyambhuva Manu Advises Dhruva Mahārāja to Stop Fighting
Chapter 12 Dhruva Mahārāja Goes Back to Godhead
Chapter 13 Description of the Descendants of Dhruva Mahārāja
Chapter 14 The Story of King Vena
Chapter 15 King Prithu's Appearance and Coronation
Chapter 16 King Prithu extolled
Chapter 17 Prithu Mahārāja Gets Angry with the Earth
Chapter 18 Prithu Mahārāja Milks the Earth
Chapter 19 King Prithu's One Hundred Horse Sacrifices
IntroductionThis book relates the story of the Lord and His incarnations since the earliest records of Vedic history, the history of the original culture of knowledge of India. It is verily the Krishna 'bible' [in Sanskrit called a Samhitā] of the Hindu universe. The Bhagavad Gītā relates to this book like the sermon on the mountain by Lord Jesus relates to the full Bible. It has about 18.000 verses contained in 335 chapters and consists of 12 subdivisions of books that are called Cantos. These books together tell the complete history of the Vedic culture and cover the essence of the classical collections of stories called the Purānas. This specific collection of Vedic stories is considered the most important one of all the great eighteen classical Purānas of India. It includes the cream of the Vedic knowledge compiled from all the Vedic literatures as also the story of the life of Lord Krishna in full (Canto 10). Lord Krishna constitutes a watershed in history between the old Vedic culture and the 'modern' political culture in which the rule of state no longer automatically is guided by the spiritual order. The book tells the story of His birth, His youth, all wonderful proofs of His divine nature, and His superhuman feats of defeating all kinds of demons, up to the great Mahābhārata war at Kurukshetra. In this war the Vedic culture fell down to be replaced by the fragmented religiosity we these days call Hinduism. This leading Purāna also called the 'perfect Purāna', is a brilliant story that has been brought to the West by S'rīla A.C. Bhaktivedānta Swami Prabhupāda, a Caitanya Vaishnava, a bhakti (devotional) monk of Lord Vishnu [the name for the transcendental form of Lord Krishna]. He undertook the daring task of enlightening the materialist westerners, the advanced philosophers and theologians, in order to help them to overcome the perils and loneliness of impersonalism and the philosophy of emptiness.
The representative of Vishnu on earth is named the Fortunate One in this book. We know Him specifically by the names of Lord Rāma and Lord Krishna. The Fortunate One is thus the Lord who is known in different forms or incarnations, the so-called avatāras, but also the devotees are part of His reality and are also called bhāgavata when they are of pure devotion. On top of that the book is also called bhāgavata. Thus there is the Lord in His many appearances, the devotee with as many faces and the book. They are all called bhāgavata or fortunate. The word bhāga means fortune or luck while the term bhaga refers to gracious lord, happiness and wealth. To be fortunate Vedically means to be of the opulence, or to carry, or live by, the fullness of God's riches, beauty, fame, power, knowledge and detachment.
The writer of this book is named Krishna Dvaipāyana Vyāsadeva, and is also called Bādarāyana. He is the Lord, the Bhagavān or venerable one, among the philosophers, who in India assembled all the holy texts. He compiled the Vedas, four basic scriptures known as the S'ruti, meaning that what is heard, containing the basic wisdom, the mantras for the rituals and the hymns. The Purānas together with the Itihāsas (separate stories) belong to the so-called smriti, that what is remembered. This knowledge is sometimes considered a fifth Veda. He also wrote the Mahābhārata, which is the greatest epic poem in the world. It describes the history (Itihāsa) of the great fall that the Vedic culture once made. The Bhagavad Gītā is the most important part of it. Vyāsa also wrote the rest of the eighteen great story books (the Purānas) of India as also the Brahma-sūtra, his masterpiece on the Absolute Truth. Vyāsa was a grandfather of the Kuru dynasty. He lived a very long time. His long duration of life enabled him to write the story of the Fortunate One and all the other books. He had a son called S'ukadeva who handed the message of this bible in the presence of other sages down to another member of the family, Emperor Parīkshit, who had difficulty respecting the classical wisdom. This emperor is there in this book, which presents the classical Vedic wisdom in the form of a frame story, as a model for us normal people who seek their stability in the wisdom. This knowledge was by S'uka conveyed to him in disciplic succession (paramparā), for the sake of those who teach by example (the ācāryas) the science of devotional service (bhakti). Swami A. C. Bhaktivedanta Prabhupāda from this disciplic succession, commissioned to disseminate this book in the West, together with his pupils (known as the Hare Krishnas of ISKCON), realized a verse by verse commented series of books covering the entire Bhāgavatam. The site bhagavata.org offers not all these texts (see for that purpose vedabase.io) but it does offer, under the Creative Commons copyright, an as-it-is translation, independent from ISKCON, of the verses in a concatenated form, complete with the previous version. This text is regularly updated and maintained by me, the undersigned, who received instruction in the temples of ISKCON and elsewhere. His predecessor in this duty in the Netherlands was S'rī Hayas'var das (Hendrik van Teylingen), initiated by him, who covered most of the translations into Dutch.
For this translation, this digital version of the book, the author has consulted the translations of C.L. Goswami, M.A., Sāstrī (from the Gītā Press, Gorakhpur), the paramparā version of S'rīla Vishvanātha Cakravarti Thhākura and the later version of this book by S'rīla A.C. Bhaktivedānta Swami Prabhupāda. The latter translators, as ācāryas of the age-old Indian Vaishnava tradition, are representatives of a culture of reformation in devotion for the Supreme Personality of God, or bhakti yoga, the way it has been practiced in India since the 16th century. This reformation asserts that the false authority of the caste system and single dry book knowledge is to be rejected. S'rī Krishna Caitanya, also called Caitanya Mahāprabhu (1486-1534), the avatāra [an incarnation of the Lord] who heralded this reform, restored the original paramparā purpose of developing devotion unto the person of God, and endeavored in particular for the dissemination of the two main sacred scriptures expounding on that devotion in relation to Krishna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. These scriptures are the Bhagavad Gītā and this Bhāgavata Purāna, also called the S'rīmad Bhāgavatam, from which all the Vaishnava ācāryas of Lord Caitanya derived their wisdom for the purpose of instruction and the shaping of their devotion. The word for word translations as also the full text and commentaries of this book were studied within and without the Hare Krishna temples where the teaching of this culture takes place.
The purpose of this translation is first of all to make this glorious text available to a wider audience over the Internet. Since the Bible, the Koran and numerous other holy texts are readily available on the internet, I, the translator, meant that this book could not stay behind on the shelf of his own bookcase as a token of material possessiveness. When I started with this endeavor in the year 2000, there was no proper web presentation of this book. Knowledge not shared is knowledge lost, and certainly this type of knowledge, which stresses the yoga of non-possessiveness and devotion as its main values, could not be left out. The version of Swami Prabhupāda is very extensive covering some 2400 pages of plain fine printed text, including his commentaries. And that were only the first ten Cantos. The remaining two Cantos were posthumously published by his pupils in the full of his spirit. I thus was faced with two daring challenges: one was to concatenate the text, or make a readable running narrative, of the book that had been dissected and commented to the single word, and the second challenge was to put it into a language that would befit the 21st century with all its modern and postmodern experience and digital progress of the present cultural order of the world, without losing anything of its original verses. Thus another verse to verse as-it-is translation came about in which Vishvanātha's, Prabhupāda's and Sāstrī's words were pruned, retranslated and set to the understanding and realization of today. This realization in my case originated first of all directly from the disciplic line of succession of the Vaishnava line of ācāryas, as also from the complete field of the Indian philosophy of enlightenment, liberation and yoga discipline, as was brought to the West by also non-Vaishnava gurus and maintained by their pupils. Therefore I have to express my gratitude to all these great heroes who dared to face the adamantine of western philosophy with all its doubts, concreticism and skepticism. Especially the pupils of Prabhupāda, members of the renounced order - sannyāsīs (or samnyāsīns), who instructed me in the independence and maturity of the philosophy of the bhakti-yogis of Lord Caitanya, need to be mentioned. I was already initiated in India by a non-Vaishnava guru and was given the name Swami Anand Aadhar ('teacher of the foundation of happiness'). That name the Krishna community converted into Anand Aadhar Prabhu ('master of the foundation of happiness'), without further ceremonies of Vaishnava initiation (apart from a basic training). With the name Anand Aadhar I am a withdrawn devotee, a so-called vānaprashta, who does his devotional service independently in the silence and modesty of his local adaptations of the philosophy.
In most cases the word for word translations and grammatical directions of S'rīla A.C. Bhaktivedānta Swami Prabhupāda/ISKCON, Vishvanātha Cakravarti Thhākura and C.L. Goswami, M.A., Sāstrī, have been followed as they were used in their translations, and I have checked them with the help of the Monier-Williams Sanskrit Dictionary (see the file of the terms used). In footnotes and between square brackets [ ] sometimes a little comment and extra info is given to accommodate the reader when the original text is drawing from a more experienced approach. Terms in italics are explained in the glossary. On the internetsite bhagavata.org of this book, my version directly refers to the version of Prabhupāda, by being linked up at each verse, so that it is possible to retrace at any moment what I have done with the text. This is in accordance with the scientific tradition of the Vaishnava community.
For the copyright, on this translation and the podcast spoken version of the book, has been chosen the so-called Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License. This means that one is free to copy, distribute and alter the text on the condition of attribution (refer to the name of Anand Aadhar and to my website address bhagavata.org), that the resulting work can only be distributed under the same or similar license to this one, and that one cannot use the text for commercial purposes. For all other usage one will have to contact the translator. Donations are welcome!
With love and devotion,
Anand Aadhar Prabhu,
Enschede, The Netherlands, September 16, 2020.
Chapter 1: Genealogical Table of the Daughters of Manu
(1) S'rī Maitreya said: 'Svāyambhuva Manu begot in his wife S'atarūpā [two sons, as] also three daughters named Ākūti, Devahūti and Prasūti, as you know [see 3.12: 56]. (2) Despite the fact that Ākūti had brothers * she was handed over to the great sage Ruci on the condition that the king would get the resultant son. This was settled with the support of religious rites and the consent of his wife. (3) Ruci, the most powerful great sage who was entrusted with the procreation, begot, in his supreme concentration, a pair of children with her who were of the greatest spiritual and brahminical strength. (4) The male child of the two, Yajńa ['the One of Sacrifice'], was a direct personification of Vishnu while the other female child Dakshinā was His inseparable plenary portion, the Goddess of Fortune [Lakshmī]. (5) The very powerful son the daughter gave birth to was taken to the home of the most happy Svāyambhuva Manu, while Dakshinā was kept by Ruci. (6) The Lord and master of all sacrifice married her who always longed for Him. She most happy to have Him for her husband who Himself was also most pleased with her, thereupon gave birth to twelve sons. (7) The twelve were: Tosha, Pratosha, Santosha, Bhadra, Sānti, Idaspati, Idhma, Kavi, Vibhu, Svahna, Sudeva and Rocana. (8) In the period of Svāyambhuva Manu they were known as the Tushita demigods. Marīci headed the sages then and Yajńa was the king of the demigods [Indra]. (9) The two sons of Manu, Priyavrata and Uttānapāda, were in that period the greatest of all kings and their sons, grandsons, great-grandsons and their offspring followed in his footsteps during that period of Manu. (10) Dear Vidura, about Svāyambhuva handing over his daughter to Kardama, you have heard me speak extensively [see 3.12: 57]. (11) The great personality Svāyambhuva gave Prasūti to Daksha, the son of Brahmā, whose offspring spread enormously over the three worlds. (12) I told you already about the nine daughters of Kardama who became the wives of the nine great sages [see 3.24: 21-25]. Now hear from me my description of the generations stemming from them. (13) The daughter of Kardama, the wife of Marīci also named Kalā, gave birth to Kas'yapa and to Pūrnimā whose children spread all over the world. (14) Pūrnimā got sons named Viraja, Vis'vaga, oh conqueror, and a daughter named Devakulyā who became the water that washed from the Lord's lotus feet and later constituted the heavenly river the Ganges. (15) The wife of Atri Muni, named Anasūyā, gave birth to three very famous sons: Dattātreya, Durvāsā and Soma [the moon god], who are [partial] incarnations of respectively the Supersoul [Vishnu], Lord S'iva and Lord Brahmā.'
(16) Vidura said: 'Oh spiritual master, tell me how in the house of Atri the chief demigods responsible for maintenance, creation and destruction, could appear with a desire to do something.'
(17) Maitreya said: 'Being inspired by Lord Brahmā to procreate, Atri, the chief of the scholars of spiritual knowledge, together with his wife went to the great mountain named Riksha to stay there for austerities. (18) In the forest there were many as'oka and palās'a trees and flowers, with everywhere the sound of the flowing waters of the river the Nirvindhyā. (19) Controlling the mind by regulating his breath the sage remained there for a hundred years subsisting on air while standing on the one leg of non-duality. (20) He thought: 'By taking shelter of Him I surrendered myself to Him, may He who is the master of the universe give me a son like Himself.' (21) Issuing from the head of the sage there was a fire being fueled by his breath control, that, while practicing his austerities, was noticed by the three principal gods of the three worlds. (22) [Together with] the Apsaras, the munis, the Gandharvas, the Siddhas, the Vidyādharas and Nāgas [they] came to the hermitage of him who thus gained renown. (23) When he saw all these demigods and great personalities appear at the same moment, the mind of the sage, who had awakened on his one leg, lightened up. (24) Recognizing the symbols of their personal paraphernalia [drum, kus'a grass and discus] as also the bull, the swan and the bird Garuda they sat upon, he with folded hands fell down prostrating before them to offer his obeisances. (25) Dazzled by the glaring effulgence of their smiling faces and their merciful satisfied glances, the sage closed his eyes. (26-27) Absorbed by that vision he ecstatically expressed his prayers before those who are most appreciated in all the worlds. Atri said: 'Let me bow before You, oh Lord Brahmā, Lord S'iva and Lord Vishnu, oh You who, as You always do in the different millennia, have accepted Your bodies according to the division of the modes of nature, for the sake of the creation, destruction and maintenance of the universe. Whom of You did I actually call for? (28) Be as merciful to please explain to me, so full of serious doubt, how it can be that You, despite being far elevated above the minds of the embodied souls, all have appeared here, with me having fixed my mind on the One Great Lord of all Fortune for the sake of begetting a child?'
(29) Maitreya said: Oh mighty one, after thus having heard the words of the great sage, all the three chief demigods smiled at him and replied with gentle voices. (30) The gods said: It shall be done as you decided, and not otherwise. To you who never lost your resolve, dear brahmin, we are all the one and same [person] you were meditating on. (31) Therefore our plenary expansions - the sons to be born to you - will be very famous in the world, dear sage, and spread your glory to your great fortune.'
(32) The chief demigods, who perfectly being worshiped thus had offered the desired benediction, then, with the couple looking on, returned to their places. (33) Soma appeared as a partial expansion of Lord Brahmā, Dattātreya as a very powerful yogi of Lord Vishnu, and Durvāsā as a partial expansion of S'ankara [S'iva]. Hear now about the generations that appeared from Angirā. (34) S'raddhā, the wife of Angirā, gave birth to the four daughters Sinīvālī, Kuhū, Rākā and Anumati. (35) Next to them he begot two sons who were very famous in the millennium of Svārocisha Manu [the second Manu after Svāyambhuva]: they were the mighty Utathya and Brihaspati, the foremost knower of the Absolute Truth. (36) Pulastya begot in his wife Havirbhū, Āgastya, who in his next birth would be Dahrāgni ['of the digestive fire'], and Vis'ravā, who was great in austerity. (37) The demigod Kuvera, the king of the Yakshas [his supernatural attendants], appeared from Vis'ravā. He was born from Idavidā while the sons Rāvana, Kumbhakarna and Vibhīshana were born from another wife [named Kes'inī]. (38) Gati, the wife of Pulaha, oh devoted one, gave birth to three chaste sons [Karmas'reshthha, Varīyān and Sahishnu] who knew all about karma and were very respectable and tolerant. (39) Kriyā, the wife of sage Kratu, gave birth to sixty thousand sages who lived in accord with the Vālakhilya [some Rig Veda verses about retired life]. They most brilliantly excelled in the brahminical perspective. (40) From Ūrjā [also called Arundhatī], Citraketu was begotten by the sage Vasishthha, oh great soul. He appeared as the first of seven sons who were all great and pure sages of Brahman, the Absolute Truth. (41) They were Citraketu, Suroci, Virajā, Mitra, Ulbana, Vasubhridyāna and Dyumān. Born from another wife of his, there were also S'akti and other sons. (42) Also Citti [also known as Sānti], the wife of Atharvā, gave fully dedicated to the Dadhyańca vow [the vow of meditation] birth to a son who was called As'vas'irā. Now hear about the generation begotten by Bhrigu. (43) Bhrigu, most fortunately, begot in his wife Khyāti, the sons Dhātā and Vidhātā and a daughter named S'rī, who was very devoted to the Lord. (44) To these two sons were given in marriage Āyati and Niyati, two daughters of sage Meru, from whom appeared Mrikanda as also Prāna. (45) Mārkandeya Muni was born from the seed of Mrikanda and from Prāna the great sage Vedas'irā appeared whose greatly powerful son named Kavi Bhārgava was also known as Us'anā [or S'ukrācārya]. (46-47) Oh Vidura, I have spoken to you about how, from the offspring of sage Kardama, all the great sages with their descendants populated the three worlds with the grandsons born to them. With faith hearing about this is the best way to drive away immediately all sins.
Prasūti, a daughter of Manu, married the son of Brahmā called Daksha. (48) With her Daksha begot sixteen lotus-eyed daughters. Thirteen were given in marriage to Dharma and one was given to Agni. (49-52) One daughter he gave to the combined forefathers and one he gave to Lord S'iva, the deliverer of the sinners. S'raddhā, Maitrī, Dayā, Sānti, Tushthi, Pushthi, Kriyā, Unnati, Buddhi, Medhā, Titikshā, Hrī and Mūrti are the names of the daughters of Daksha who were given to Dharma. S'raddhā gave birth to S'ubha, Maitrī got Prasāda, Dayā got Abhaya, Sānti got Sukha, Tushthi got Muda, Pushthi got Smaya, Kriyā got Yoga, Unnati got Darpa, Buddhi got Artha, Medhā got Smriti, Titikshā got Kshema and Hrī got Pras'raya. Mūrti, a reservoir of all good qualities, gave birth to the two sages Nara and Nārāyana. (53) The appearance of the both of Them gladdened the universe and filled everyone's mind with peace. In all directions the rivers, mountains and the atmosphere became pleasant. (54-55) The demigods, Brahmā and the others, all full of respect offered prayers. From the heavens musical instruments sounded, flowers were showered from the sky, the sages satisfied chanted Vedic hymns, the Gandharvas and Kinnaras began to sing, the heavenly damsels danced and thus all signs of good fortune were seen. (56) The gods said: 'Our obeisances unto the Supreme Original Personality who by His external energy created the variety of everything existing that resides in Him the way masses of clouds are found in the sky, in Him who today has appeared in the house of Dharma in the form of these sages. (57) May He, whom we know on the basis of the Vedas and who - in order to put an end to the misfortune of the created world - from the mode of goodness brought about the lives of us, the demigods, bestow upon us His merciful glance that supersedes the spotless lotus known as the home of the Goddess of Fortune.'
(58) Oh Vidura, after thus having been praised by the assembled demigods who found the mercy of His glance, the Supreme Lord left for Gandhamādana Hill. (59) These two [Nara-Narāyana] partial [ams'a] incarnations of the Supreme Lord Hari have now, for mitigating the burden of the world, appeared here in the form of the two of Krishna [Krishna and Arjuna] who are the most eminent souls of the Kuru and Yadu dynasty. (60) Svāhā [the daughter of Daksha and] the wife of the fire god Agni, produced three sons: Pāvaka, Pavamāna and S'uci who feed on the oblations of the sacrifice. (61) They in their turn produced forty-five fire gods, so that, taken together, there are forty-nine of them, including the fathers and the grandfather. (62) They constitute the names of the  fires in which the knowers of Brahman offer their oblations [ishthis] for Agni during Vedic ceremonies. (63) The forefathers are the Agnishvāttas, Barhishadas, Saumyas and Ājyapas; they are approached [with libations of water in combination] with or without fire and Svadhā, Daksha's daughter is their wife. (64) They gave her two daughters, Vayunā and Dhārinī, who both were expert in the knowledge and the [transcendental] wisdom of the impersonal path of Brahman. (65) The wife of Bhava [a name of S'iva] named Satī, served the demigod faithfully, but could not give birth to a child with her qualities and character. (66) That was because her father [Daksa] in anger had behaved unfavorably towards the faultless one [S'iva], so that she had to give up her body in the connectedness of yoga before she attained maturity. '
*: Normally when a woman has brothers she is not given away in marriage on these conditions. The grandson is adopted for the sake of securing the inheritance in the male line. This is called putrikā-dharma: to get a son by means of a religious ritual. S'rīla Vis'vanātha Cakravartī Thhākura offers in this connection the explanation that Manu knew that the Supreme Personality would appear as the son of Ākūti. So He would become his son.
Chapter 2: Daksha Curses Lord S'iva
(1) Vidura said: 'Why exhibited Daksha enmity towards Lord S'iva, the best among all gentle souls, while he neglected his daughter Satī whom he cared so much about? (2) How could he hate him who is the spiritual master of the entire world and who, being satisfied within with a peaceful personality and free from enmity, is the greatest demigod of the universe? (3) Satī gave up the life that is so difficult to give up. So please tell me the reason why, oh brahmin, the father-in-law and son-in-law quarreled?'
(4) Maitreya said: 'Once in the past at a sacrifice held by the ruler of creation [the Prajāpati], all the immortal ones of creation, the great sages along with the philosophers, the demigods and the gods of the sacrificial fire together with all their followers had assembled. (5) When he [Daksha] arrived at that great assembly, the sages could see him as someone who, free from the darkness of ignorance, shone like the sun. (6) The members of the assembly along with those taking care of the fire, impressed by his luster, all stood up from their seats, with the exception of Lord Brahmā and Lord S'iva. (7) Daksha, the great lord, who was properly welcomed by the leaders of the assembly, made his obeisances towards the one unborn [Brahmā], the master of the world, and sat down upon his order. (8) Before he took his seat though, he felt insulted by Lord S'iva who showed no sign of respect. He lost his temper and with an angry look in his eyes said the following. (9) 'Listen to me, oh wise among the brahmins, oh godly souls and fire gods, as I speak to you about the manners of the gentle-minded, and this I do not out of ignorance or jealousy. (10) He [S'iva] lacking in manners, has shamelessly spoilt the fame of the rulers of the universe and polluted the path of proper conduct. (11) Acting like an honest man, he [as a son of mine] has accepted to be of a lower position by taking the hand of my daughter in the presence of fire and brahmins. (12) Accepting the hand of her who has eyes like that of a deer cub and himself having the eyes of a monkey, he has not, as it should, honored me with a word of welcome and by standing up from his seat. (13) Contrary to what I want I gave my daughter to someone with no respect for the rules and regulations, to someone who impure and proud has broken with the code of conduct, as if I gave the message of the Vedas to a s'ūdra! (14-15) In the company of ghosts and demons he wanders around at the burial places where corpses are burned and laughs and cries there like a madman, with scattered hair smearing himself with the ashes of the funeral pyre. He has a garland of skulls and is ornamented with dead man's bones; he is only in name S'iva or auspicious. He is in fact inauspicious, crazy and dear to the crazy, he is their leader and Lord engrossed in the mode of ignorance! (16) To him, the Lord of the Ghosts void of all cleanliness with a heart full of awkward matters, I alas, upon the request of the supreme teacher [Brahmā], have given away Satī.'
(17) Maitreya said: 'Thus having abused S'iva who remained without hostility, Daksha next rinsed his hands and mouth with water and began to curse him angrily: (18) 'The portion of the sacrifice to God that the demigods along with Indra, Upendra [the younger brother of Indra] and others are entitled to, is there not for the lowest of the demigods.' (19) Even though the members of the assembly urged him not to, Daksha, having cursed S'iva, left the place and went home, oh Vidura, for he had gotten very angry. (20) Understanding that Lord S'iva had been cursed, one of his principal associates Nandīs'vara, turned red. Blind with anger he harshly condemned Daksha and the brahmins who had allowed the cursing to take place.
(21) 'May he who in the physical presence of him, the non-envious Lord S'iva, bears envy and thus is stupefied by a dual vision, lose all his grip on reality. (22) He who is attracted to a householder's life of pretentious religiosity and in a desire for material happiness performs fruitive activities, will see his intelligence concerning the Vedic word fail. (23) He who, with the intelligence of taking the body for one's self, has forgotten the knowledge of Vishnu and as an animal is attached to his sex life, let that excessive Daksha, soon get the head of a goat! (24) May those who follow Daksha in his insults and dulled in the ignorance of their fruitive activities have lost their intelligence and knowledge, time and again end up here in the ocean of material suffering. (25) May those who are so envious with Lord S'iva and whose minds became slow because of the enchanting flowery words of the Vedas that are so pervaded with the scent of honey, for ever be stupefied. (26) Let those brahmins who have taken to education, austerity and vows for the purpose of acquiring money and satisfying their physical senses, as beggars wander from door to door, eating whatever!'
(27) When Bhrigu heard the words of this curse against the class of the twice-born, he in response pronounced an insurmountable curse following the brahminical way of chastising: (28) 'May anyone who takes a vow to please Lord S'iva and follows such principles, become an atheist straying away from the scriptural injunctions. (29) May those who took initiation to worship S'iva and abandoning cleanliness, foolishly have their hairs long, wear bones and are covered by ashes, find their destiny in intoxication. (30) Because you [Nandīs'vara], blaspheme the Vedas and the brahmins who support the established rules of society, you have sought your refuge in atheism. (31) In the Vedas, which in the past have always been rigidly followed for being the auspicious, eternal path for all people, one finds the evidence of Janārdana [the Lord as the well-wisher of all]. (32) Blaspheming that supreme and pure spirit constituting the eternal path of the truthful souls, you are doomed to end up in atheism wherein the Lord of matter and death [S'iva as Bhūtapati] is your deity!'
(33) Maitreya said: 'After one thus had spoken about S'iva with the curse of Bhrigu, the Supreme One, somewhat downcast, left the place together with his followers. (34) And so did the fathers of mankind for a thousand years settle for the sacrifice, oh great master, in which the chief of all gods is Hari, the Supreme Personality. (35) After purifying their hearts by taking a ceremonial, concluding bath at the place where the Ganges meets the Yamunā, they all left from there to return to their own places.'
Chapter 3: Talks Between Lord S'iva and Satī
(1) Maitreya said: 'Thus the heartily enmity that existed between the son-in-law and father-in-law, continued for a very long time. (2) When Daksha by Brahmā was appointed the chief of all the progenitors of mankind, the supreme teacher, he became very arrogant. (3) Neglecting S'iva and his followers he, after first performing a Vājapeya sacrifice ['the drink of strength or battle'], began the best of all sacrifices called the Brihaspati-sava sacrifice [the initiatory sacrifice to the honor of the chief offerer of prayers and sacrifice]. (4) To that occasion all the God-conscious and learned souls of wisdom, the ancestors and the demigods including the nicely decorated wives who accompanied their husbands, came together. (5-7) Satī, the daughter of Daksha and wife of S'iva, heard the denizens of heaven talk in the sky about the great festival to be performed by her father. When she thereupon near her residence from all sides saw the beautiful wives of the godly souls with glittering eyes, in nice dresses with golden earrings and ornaments around their necks, move about in their heavenly vehicles to go there together with their husbands, she highly anxious addressed her husband, the Lord and master of the Bhūtas [those in favor of matter and the dead]. (8) Satī said: 'Your father-in-law, Daksha, has initiated a great sacrifice where all the God-conscious souls are going and where we surely thus also may go to, my dearest, if you like. (9) I am sure that my sisters together with their husbands will also be going there, eager to see their relatives. I would like to attend that gathering together with you and all the ornaments given to me. Do you consent? (10) I will meet my sisters there with their husbands as also my sweet aunts and my mother. I have been waiting for a long time to see them including the sacrificial flags raised by the great sages, oh merciful one. (11) This manifestation of His external energy, that was created as an interaction of the three modes, appears so wonderful to you, oh unborn one. But I am just your poor woman, not conversant with the truth, who would like to see her place of birth, oh Bhava [S'iva as the Lord of existence]. (12) Oh never-born blue-throated one, all the other women, ornamented and with their husbands and friends, are flocking in large numbers going there, standing beautifully out against the sky with their white swans that carry them high. (13) How can I as a daughter be emotionally unaffected, oh best of the demigods, as I hear about the festival taking place in the house of my father? Even not being invited one can go to the house of a friend, one's husband, one's father or one's spiritual master, is it not? (14) Be therefore so kind to me, oh immortal one, and fulfill my desire, oh you honorable compassionate Lord with your unlimited vision. See me as the [full] other half of your body, please be so gracious to consent to my request.'
(15) The sage said: 'The deliverer from mount Kailāsa [Lord S'iva] thus being addressed by his sweetheart, amiable to his relatives as he was, replied with a smile, as he remembered the heart-piercing, malicious words spoken by Daksha in the presence of the masters of creation. (16) The great Lord said: 'What you said my dear beauty, is perfectly true; one may, even uninvited, visit friends, provided they are not finding fault with you or, more important, when they are free from anger in being proud of their material achievements. (17) Those who are arrogant, are blinded in their pride over the six qualities of pious education, austerity, wealth, beauty, youth and heritage. Not of respect for the glories of the great souls they, to the contrary, get entangled in untruth and lose their sense of reality. (18) One should not go to the house of relatives and friends who, in their suppositions, do not see things as they are and thus offer their guests a cold reception by regarding them with raised eyebrows and anger in their eyes. (19) One is not hurt as much by the arrows of an enemy as one is aggrieved in the core of one's heart by the deceitful, harsh words of relatives, for such grief makes the one hurt suffer day and night. (20) It is clear that you with your pretty face and good behavior are the darling of the daughters of the Prajāpati [Daksha], yet, you will, because of being connected to me, meet with pain because your father does not honor me. (21) Someone upset with a burning heart is not directly capable of rising to merely the standard of the exemplary pious behavior of those whose minds are always turned to the Original Person, just as demons envious of the Lord cannot act piously. (22) My dear young wife, to stand up and welcome one another with obeisances is a virtue of the wise who, with intelligence unto the Supreme, do so for the sake of the Original Person residing within the body and not for the person identified with the body. (23) The pure consciousness known as Vasudeva ['God's goodness'] is revealed there [within the heart] because the person in that position is in goodness and is not covered [by darkness]. The Supreme Lord as such I always respect by the name of Vāsudeva [the 'God of the Soul'] because He is the transcendence. (24) We should therefore not go and see your father Daksha and his Vis'vasrik followers present at the sacrifice. Even though he gave you your body, oh Satī, [remember that] he with cruel words enviously has insulted me who was innocent. (25) When you decide to go there ignoring my words, matters will not turn out good for you. The moment that you, being so most respectable, are insulted by your relative, that insult will be equal to dying on the spot.'
Chapter 4: Satī Quits Her Body(1) S'rī Maitreya said: 'After saying this much about the [possible] end of his wife's physical existence, Lord S'iva fell silent. Since she from S'iva understood that she had the choice between being anxious to see her relatives and being afraid to meet her relatives, she was in doubt whether she should go or not. (2) Denied in her desire to see her relatives she felt very sorry and shed tears in her affliction. Trembling she angrily looked at her Bhava, the unequaled one, as if she wanted to burn him. (3) Breathing heavily she walked away from him, the saintly one so dear to her to whom she out of love had given half of her body. Being upset because of the grief and anger in her heart she, with her intelligence clouded by her female nature, left for the house of her father. (4) Rapidly leaving on her own accord, Satī was quickly followed by the thousands of associates and Yakshas of the three eyed one [Lord S'iva] who were headed by Manimān and Mada. Not afraid [to leave S'iva behind] they had put the bull Nandī in front. (5) Having placed her on the decorated bull they took along her pet bird, ball, mirror, lotus flower, white umbrella, mosquito net, garlands and other stuff, being accompanied by the music of drums, conch shells and flutes. (6) She [thus] entered the sacrificial arena where, with the help of sacrificial animals, pots, clay, wood, iron, gold, grass and skins to sit upon and in the presence of the great sages and authorities, the sacrifice was performed all around graced by the sounds of Vedic hymns. (7) But when she arrived there she was, out of fear for the performer of the sacrifice [Daksha], not respected by anyone with a welcome, except of course for her own sisters and mother who embraced her with reverence, gladdened faces and throats choked by tears of affection. (8) But Satī, not being welcomed by her father, did not respond to the reverence shown with the greetings of her sisters, mother and aunts who with due respect properly informed her and offered her gifts and a seat. (9) Realizing that her father with no oblations for S'iva, out of contempt for the godhead, had not invited the mighty one for the assembly of the sacrifice, Satī got very angry with a furious look as if she wanted to burn the fourteen worlds with her eyes. (10) The goddess [next] for everyone present to hear began to condemn with words filled with anger the opponents of S'iva who were so proud of their troublesome sacrifices, meanwhile ordering his Bhūtas to hold back, who stood prepared to attack. (11) The goddess said: 'No one in this world is his [S'iva's] rival, his enemy or [particularly] dear to him. Who else but you [oh father] would be envious of him, he, the most beloved being in the universe, who is free from all enmity? (12) Unlike you, oh twice-born one, he does not find fault in the qualities of those who seek the truth. He rather promotes any little good he finds in others. And now you are finding fault with him, the greatest of all persons! (13) It is not very surprising, this constant deriding of glorious persons by those who take the transient body for the true self. It is an ugly evil to be envious with great personalities, examples by the dust of whose feet one - to one's fortune - sees one's fire tempered. (14) Persons who only once from their heart pronounce the two syllables of his name, see their sinful activities immediately defeated. That S'iva, whose order is never neglected and who is of an impeccable renown, you now strangely envy. (15) Engaged at his lotus feet the higher personalities exercise their bee-like minds aspiring the nectar of transcendental bliss, while he for the common man is the one sought for fulfilling all desires. That you, of all people, now have to be against him, the friend of all living entities in all the three worlds! (16) Do you really think that others than you, like Brahmā and his brahmins, are not familiar with the inauspicious call of him who is associated with the demons and who, with his scattered, matted hair, is garlanded with skulls and is smeared with the ashes of the crematorium? Yet they take on their heads the flowers that fell from the feet of him who is called S'iva or auspicious! (17) When one is confronted with people who irresponsibly blaspheme the controller of the religion, one should block one's ears and walk away, if nothing else can be done. But if one can do something, one should by force cut out the tongue of the vilifying blasphemer and next give up one's life. That is the way to deal with such matters! (18) Therefore I shall no longer bear this body I received from you who blasphemed S'iva ['with the dark neck']. To purify oneself from mistakenly having eaten poisonous food it is best to vomit, so one says. (19) Elevated transcendentalists who enjoy their lives do not always follow the rules and regulations of the Vedas, the ways of the gods differ from those of man. Therefore a man should not criticize another man [like S'iva] by the standard of his own unique sense of duty [see also B.G. 18: 47]. (20) In truth the Vedas distinguish between activities performed in attachment and activities performed in detachment [pravritti and nivritti dharma]. On the basis of these two characteristics of dharma one therefore has two choices. To be of both at the same time is contradictory and thus it can happen that none of these activities satisfies a transcendentalist. (21) Oh father, the ways we follow are not your ways, they are not recommended by those who, satisfied by the food of the sacrifice, follow the ritual path and thus get their fill. They constitute the path of the fully renounced souls who follow the non-manifest form of sacrificing. (22) With your offenses against S'iva and denial of this body that was produced from your body, I say: enough is enough! I am ashamed to have taken this contemptible birth. What a shame it is to be related by birth to a bad person, to someone who is an offender of great personalities. (23) Because of the family tie I have with you it makes me very sad when my great Lord S'iva calls me 'daughter of Daksha'. All my joy and smiles vanish immediately when he does so. Therefore I will give up this bag of bones that was produced from your body.'
(24) Maitreya said: 'Oh annihilator of the enemy, speaking thus to Daksha in the arena of sacrifice, she sat down in silence on the ground with her face to the north. After touching water she, dressed in saffron garments, then closed her eyes to find absorption in the process of yoga. (25) Balancing the inward and outward going breath she, the blameless one, in the control of her yogic posture with intelligence directed her life air upward. She raised it gradually up from the navel cakra to the heart, from the heart to the windpipe and from the throat to the place between her eyebrows. (26) In her desire to give it up because of her anger towards Daksha, she who time and again full of respect sat on the lap of the most worshipful one of all saints, thus by the exercise of her own will focussed on the air and fire within her body. (27) When she meditating right there within her mind saw nothing but the nectarean lotus feet of her husband, the supreme spiritual teacher of the universe, and was freed from all impurities, soon the body of Satī was ablaze because of the fire that originated from her absorption.
(28) From the side of those who witnessed it a loudly, in the sky and on the earth reverberating, wondrous tumult originated: 'Ohhh..., alas Satī, the beloved goddess of the most respectable demigod, has given up her life in anger about Daksha. (29) Oh, just see the great soullessness of him, the Prajāpati from whom all the generations sprang. Because of his disrespect she voluntarily gave up her body, she, his own daughter Satī worthy of our repeated respect. (30) He so hard-hearted and unworthy of the brahminical status, will gain extensive ill fame in the world because he in his offenses, as an enemy of Lord S'iva, could not prevent his own daughter from preparing herself for death!' (31) While the people thus were talking among themselves after having witnessed the wondrous death of Satī, the attendants of S'iva stood up with their weapons lifted in order to kill Daksha. (32) But as soon as he saw them approaching Bhrigu quickly offered oblations in the southern fire and recited hymns from the Yajur Veda to ward off the destroyers of a sacrifice. (33) From the oblations being offered by Bhrigu, the demigods named the Ribhus, who by dint of the moon [Soma] and by penance had achieved great strength, manifested by the thousands. (34) All the ghosts and Guhyakas [guardians of S'iva] were attacked by them with pieces of firewood from the fire. Thus [being haunted] by the glow of sheer brahminical power, they fled in all directions.'
Chapter 5: Frustration of the Sacrifice of Daksha
(1) Maitreya said: 'When Lord S'iva heard from Nārada about the death of Satī because of the impudence shown by the Prajāpati and that the soldiers of his associates had been driven away by the Ribhus produced from Daksha's sacrificial fire, his anger knew no bounds. (2) Angrily clenching his lips with his teeth he snatched from a cluster of hair on his head one hair that blazed terribly like an electric fire. Briskly standing up Rudra laughed with a deep sound and dashed the hair to the ground. (3) Thereupon a great black man appeared with a sky-high body that had a thousand arms upholding several kinds of weapons. He radiated as bright as three suns combined, had fearful teeth, a garland of skulls around his neck and hair on his head that looked like a burning fire. (4) When he [Vīrabhadra] asked the great Lord with folded hands: 'What can I do for you, oh Lord of the Ghosts?', the Lord told him: 'You as the chief of my associates, oh Rudra, oh expert in combat born from my body, go and put an end to Daksha and his sacrifice!'
(5) Thus being ordered he, as the anger of the anger of the god of the gods, circumambulated the mighty S'iva. Invested with the irresistible power of the mightiest one he considered himself to be all-powerful, my dear Vidura, and thus capable of coping with any force. (6) With bangles on his ankles that made a loud sound and carrying a frightening trident that could even kill death, he with a loud roar hurried away, being followed by S'iva's soldiers roaring [along] with a tumultuous noise. (7) At that moment the priests, Daksha the leader of the yajńa and all the persons assembled, saw the darkness of a dust storm emerging from the north, whereupon the brahmins and their wives began to speculate about where this dust came from: (8) ''The winds do not blow, it cannot be plunderers since old King Barhi is still alive to punish them and the cows are not herded either; so where is this dust coming from? Does it mean that the world is about to end?'
(9) The women of Daksha headed by Prasūti said most afraid: 'This now is the danger resulting from the sin of Daksha who, as Satī's lord and creator, has insulted his completely innocent daughter in the presence of her sisters. (10) Or would it be he who, at the time of dissolution, dances with his weapons raised like flags in his hands and with the bunch of his hair scattered, while he pierces the rulers with his pointed trident and sends his loud laughter in all directions like a clap of thunder? (11) How can there be happiness when one, being of Brahmā, angers him, raises the fury of him who with an unbearable effulgence full of anger now darkens the luminaries with the terrible sight of his fearful teeth and the movement of his eyebrows?'
(12) While the people of Daksha [assembled at the sacrifice] all were talking like this they, looking around nervously, could observe everywhere and repeatedly the countless fearful omens in the sky and on the earth [as a result of the anger] of the great Lordship. (13) Soon, oh Vidura, the arena of the sacrifice was surrounded by the followers of Rudra who with al kinds of raised weapons were running all around with their short, blackish and yellowish, shark-like bodies and faces.
(14) Some pulled down the pillars of the pandal while others invaded the quarters of the women, the sacrificial arena, the residence of the priests and the place where one was cooking. (15) Some shattered the pots used for the sacrifice, some extinguished the fires burning for the sacrifice, some tore down the boundary lines demarcating the arena and some urinated there. (16) Others blocked the sages their way and some threatened the women and arrested the godly souls who sat nearby and fled. (17) Manimān got hold of Bhrigu Muni, Vīrabhadra ['the great one'] caught Prajāpati Daksha, Candes'a captured Pūshā and Nandīs'vara seized the demigod Bhaga. (18) Suffering a hail of stones, all the priests, godly souls and other members of the sacrifice who saw all of this happening, utterly agonized spread in all directions. (19) S'iva's mighty appearance [Vīrabhadra], in the midst of the assembly, tore off the mustache of Bhrigu Muni who had held the sacrificial ladle for doing oblations, for he with his [proud] mustache had dared to laugh at S'iva. (20) Bhaga's eyes were by the great warlord, who in great fury had thrust him to the ground, plucked out in the presence of the Vis'vasriks, because he with the movement of his eyebrows had encouraged the cursing of Lord S'iva. (21) Like Baladeva did with the king of Kalinga [during the gambling match at the marriage ceremony of Aniruddha], he [Vīrabhadra] knocked out the teeth of Pūshā who had shown his teeth as he smiled during the cursing of S'iva. (22) But when he, with his foot on Daksha's chest with a sharp blade, tried to sever his head from his body, the three eyed giant could not get it done. (23) Nor with weapons, nor with the help of mantras being able to even scratch his skin, Vīrabhadra was struck with wonder and had to think deeply. (24) Then he spotted the device used for killing the sacrificial animals and managed therewith to sever the head from the body of Daksha, the lord ruling the sacrifice, who now was an animal of sacrifice himself.
(25) All the Bhūtas, Pretas and Pis'ācas of S'iva joyfully cheered the very moment they saw him doing that, while the followers of Daksha suffered the opposite. (26) Out of his great anger with Daksha, Vīrabhadra threw the head as an oblation in the southern sacrificial fire and set ablaze all the arrangements for the sacrifice of the godly souls. Then they departed for their master's abode ['where the Guhyakas reside' or Kailāsa].'
Chapter 6: Brahmā Satisfies Lord S'iva(1-2) Maitreya said: 'After all the demigods by the soldiers of Rudra were defeated with tridents, spears, swords, bludgeons and hammers, they, wounded all over their bodies, together with all the priests and other members of the assembly in great fear offered Lord Brahmā their obeisances and reported the events to him in detail. (3) Knowing beforehand of the certainty of these events, the Lord born from the lotus flower [Brahmā] and Nārāyana, the Supersoul of the entire universe [Vishnu], had not attended Daksha's sacrifice. (4) Hearing what had happened Lord Brahmā said: 'A great personality has been offended and that is, given the wish to live in peace, generally not conducive for well-being. (5) Despite having committed these offenses in denying Lord S'iva his share of the offerings, you will all quickly find his mercy when you, without any mental reservations, satisfy him by taking shelter of his lotus feet. (6) Do not think you can continue with the sacrifice without forthwith begging for the pardon of the god of all worlds and their controllers you have angered; being deprived of his wife, his heart was most upset by the unkind words [spoken to him]. (7) Neither I, nor Indra, nor all of you and others who have a material body, nor even the sages who know the real extent of his strength and power, have an inkling of what it means to dare a thing like that with him who relies on the soul only.'
(8) After thus having instructed the godly souls Lord Brahmā went away with in his wake the forefathers and the leaders of the people whom he took from his own place to the abode of Lord S'iva, Kailāsa, the best of all mountains that is so dear to the master. (9) The place, enjoyed by Kinnaras, Gandharvas, and Apsaras [the residents and singers of heaven and their wives] is populated by the perfected ones [or Siddhas] who differ from other people [or are gifted] by birth, by austerity, by their use of herbs or by practicing mantras in yoga. (10) The mountain range, home to a diversity of deer, is replete with all kinds of precious stones and minerals and is grown by trees, creepers and a diversity of other plants. (11) The mountain peaks with their crystal clear waterfalls have various caves pleasing to the wives of the mystics who sport there with their husbands. (12) Resounding with the cries of peacocks and the humming of bees mad about the nectar, there is the continuous song of cuckoos and chirping of other birds. (13) By the elephants moving around the mountain itself seems to be moving, by the sounds of the waterfalls the mountain itself seems to resound and by the trees that yield to all desires the mountain seems to be stretching its arms calling for the birds. (14-15) The mountain is further beautified by mandāra, pārijāta, sarala (pine) and tamāla trees, s'āla and tāla, kovidāra, āsana and arjuna trees, cūtas (mango), kadambas, dhūli-kadambas and nāgas, punnāgas and campakas and one also sees there trees like pāthalas, as'okas, bakulas, kundas and kurabakas. (16) It is also adorned with golden colored lotuses, the cinnamon tree and the mālatī, kubja, mallikā and mādhavī. (17) With kata, jackfruit, julara and banyan trees, plakshas, nyagrodhas and trees producing asafoetida, there are also betelnut trees, pūgas, rājapūgas and jambus [black berries and greenery alike]. (18) Offering a variety of trees like kharjūras, āmrātakas, āmras and such and others like priyālas, madhukas and ingudas, it is further enriched with venu-kīcakaih and kīcaka [different sorts of bamboo]. (19-20) Kumuda, utpala, kahlāra and s'atapatra lotuses cover the lakes of the forests that, filled with the sweet whispers of flocks of birds, harbor deer, monkeys, boars, cats, bears, s'alyakas, forest cows and asses, tigers, smaller deer and buffaloes and such. (21) It is enjoyed by different types of deer like the karnāntras, ekapadas, as'vāsyas, vrikas and kastūrīs and has groups of banana trees near the sandy banks of the beautiful hillside lakes filled with lotuses. (22) The devoted souls saw the waters of lake Alakanandā still carrying the flavor of Satī who bathed there and they were struck with wonder about that mountain of the Lord of Ghosts. (23) There at Alakā ['uncommonly beautiful'] they saw the region with the forest named Saugandhika ['full of fragrance'], that carried that name because of the species of lotus flowers one finds there. (24) The two rivers the Nandā and Alakanandā flowing close to the abode of the master, were supremely sanctified because of the dust of the lotus feet. (25) Dear ruler, in these two rivers the celestial damsels descended from their dwellings to play there after making love to their husbands and splatter each other with the water. (26) The two streams having turned yellow because of the kunkum powder [that washed from their breasts] make the elephants and their females who take a bath there drink from the water, despite not being thirsty. (27) The heavenly homes enjoyed by the wives of the virtuous souls were bedecked with countless valuable jewels, pearls and gold, that made them look like clouds in the sky brightened by flashes of lightening.
(28) Passing through the Saugandhika forest that was so attractive with its variety of trees yielding to all desires with its flowers, fruits and leaves, they reached the abode of the Lord of the Yakshas. (29) There they saw the beauty of many birds with red necks whose sounds mixed with the humming of bees as also lakes filled with lotus flowers attractive to groups of swans. (30) The breeze of the sandalwood trees made the wild elephants flock together and continuously stimulated the minds of the wives of the virtuous souls. (31) The staircases leading to the bathing places full of lotuses that were used by the ones faithful to the divine personality [the Kimpurushas], were made of vaidūrya stone. Having seen them they nearby spotted a banyan tree. (32) At a height of thousands of feet it spread out its branches over a quarter of the foot of the mountain, casting a fine cooling shadow. It had no birds nesting in it. (33) Underneath the tree the godly souls saw Lord S'iva, the shelter of many a great sage desiring liberation, who, in having given up his wrath, sat there as grave as eternal time. (34) Saintly liberated souls like the Kumāras headed by Sanandana and Kuvera, the master of the Guhyakas and Rākshasas, sat there worshipful around the solemn and serene Lord. (35) They saw him there as the master of the senses, the knowledge of austerity and the path of yoga; as the friend of the entire world who with his complete love is a blessing to each. (36) One could recognize him as the one desired by the ascetics: with ashes, a staff, matted hair, seated on an antelope skin, the reddish hue of his body and the crescent moon on his head. (37) With a mattress of darbha straw below him he, before an audience of all sages, conversed with Nārada about eternality and the Absolute Truth. (38) He had placed his left foot over his right thigh and, with his right hand resting on his knee, holding his prayer beads, he gesticulated in argument. (39) Thus leaning with his knee fixed and absorbed in the trance of spiritual bliss he, as the first thinker among the wise, received there the respects of the other sages and rulers of the different worlds who had folded their hands. (40) But when Lord S'iva saw that the self born one, Lord Brahmā, had arrived accompanied by the best of the enlightened and unenlightened, he whose feet were worshiped stood up and bowed his head just like Vishnu did when He as Vāmanadeva welcomed Kas'yapa. (41) And so did the other perfected souls and great rishis who from all sides followed the example of their Lord and offered their obeisances. After that tribute to Lord S'iva, Lord Brahmā addressed him with a smile.
(42) Brahmā said: 'I know you as the controller of the entire manifestation of the cosmic creation, as the potency of both the seed [of the father] and the womb [of the mother] and as the one auspicious and supreme who is immaterial and free from change. (43) The way a spider manages its web, oh Fortunate One, you create, maintain and destroy this universe with the embodiment of your auspicious energy. (44) In order to protect the benefits of dharma and artha [religion and economy] you empowered Daksha to realize [the system of] sacrifices and settle the respect for that what binds the people [the varnās'rama system] and to which the brahmins are vowed with the highest regard. (45) Oh auspicious one, the deeds of him who strives to do good lead to the higher worlds, the heavens and the transcendental realm, while someone of inauspicious deeds awaits a ghastly hell. How can it be that for some these results turn out exactly opposite [with the good ones suffering and the bad ones prospering]? (46) Among devotees, who in full surrender at your feet perfectly recognize you as present in all kinds of living beings and who - from the Supreme position - make no difference between living beings, one practically never finds the anger that one does find among animalistic types of people. (47) Those who gave up on the heart, who look for results and make a difference between people, cannot tolerate it when others are faring well and thus are always angry with others and hurtful with harsh words. They do not need to be killed by you because they are killed by providence already. (48) When materialists at some places [allotted to Kalī see 1.17: 36], being bewildered by the insurmountable, illusory energy of the Great Blue One [the Lord as Pushkaranābha] see matters [of right and wrong] differently, saintly persons out of their compassion will never use their prowess [against them] but be merciful instead, for everything is arranged by fate. (49) Oh Lordship, since the intelligence of you, the seer and knower of all, is never affected by that great potency of the material energy of the Supreme Person [or māyā], you in this case should strive to have mercy with those who are bewildered at heart because of that same illusory energy that attracts them to karmic activities. (50) Lord S'iva, you who would partake in the result of Daksha's now unfinished sacrifice, did what you had to do in putting an end to the sacrificial ceremony of his bad priests and destroying everything. Because they did not grant you, who bestow the results, your share of the sacrifice, you have the right to take what is yours. (51) Let the performer Daksha get his life back, let Bhagadeva get his eyes back, let Bhrigu grow his mustache back and let Pūsā have his row of teeth as before. (52) Let the God-conscious souls whose limbs were broken and the priests who suffered from the weapons and stones, this very moment by your grace, oh angered one, recover from their injuries. (53) Oh Rudra, let the portion of whatever is left of this sacrifice be yours, my dear Lord, so that the sacrificial ceremony today can be completed, oh destroyer of the yajńa.'
Chapter 7: The Sacrifice Performed by Daksha
(1) Maitreya said: 'Lord S'iva, thus being pacified by Lord Brahmā, fully being satisfied spoke with a smile, oh mighty-armed one. (2) Mahādeva said: 'I do not take offense at those whom I regard as children, I do not want to talk about or think about it, oh Lord of the created beings, I corrected the ones who were deluded by the external energy of God. (3) Let there for the Prajāpati whose head was burned to ashes be the head of a goat and let Bhaga look at his share of the sacrifice through the eyes of Mitra. (4) Pūshā who led the sacrifice will have to eat chickpea dough or food chewed for him, but the godly souls who did grant me a share of the sacrifice will fully recover. (5) The two arms of the As'vins [the twin protectors of medicine] and the hands of Pūshā are there for the priests and the others who have to miss their limbs and let Bhrigu have the beard of the goat.'
(6) Maitreya said: 'All who at that moment heard what the best of the benedictors said, were fully satisfied, oh dear one. They said: 'Well spoken, well spoken!' (7) Thereupon Lord S'iva was invited by the godly souls and the sages headed by Bhrigu and together they, with the Liberal One [S'iva] and the Lord of the Veda [Brahmā], for the second time headed for the sacrifice they wanted to perform for God. (8) After having performed all that Lord Bhava had told them to do, they joined the head of the animal of sacrifice with the body of Daksha. (9) Proceeding thus under the supervision of Rudra, King Daksha immediately regained consciousness like awakening from sleep and saw the compassionate Lord standing before him. (10) The very moment the Prajāpati saw the Lord who rides the bull, his by hatred polluted heart became as clean as a lake [filled by the rains] in autumn. (11) Even though he wanted to pray to Bhava, he with his eyes full of tears could not do so because of the great surge of feelings upon remembering the death of his daughter. (12) After he with great effort managed to pacify his mind that was overwhelmed by love, the Prajāpati having come to his senses prayed to the Lord with praise and straightforward feelings. (13) Daksha said: 'What a great favor you have done me by punishing me. Despite the fact that you defeated me, you, nor Vishnu, oh Fortunate One, ever deny an unqualified brahmin [like me], so why would he who keeps to his vows [and performs sacrifices, suffer want]? (14) Oh great one, the brahmins were first created from the mouth of Brahmā in order to disseminate the teachings of self-realization, vows and austerity. Therefore you with a stick in your hand protect them every time they are in danger, just like someone who protects his herd. (15) You who, by me unaware of your reality, were insulted in the assembly with the arrows of [my] unkind words, do not really take heed of that. Seeing me sliding down to hell because I defamed the most respectable one, you saved me out of compassion. I wish you to be pleased about what you did out of your own mercy, your Lordship.'
(16) Maitreya said: 'Daksha thus being forgiven by Lord S'iva, with the permission of Lord Brahmā resumed the performance of the sacrifice together with the priests, the ones of learning and the others. (17) In order to be purified from having been in touch with Vīrabhadra and his men and to perform the sacrifice meant for Vishnu, the best among the brahmins settled for the oblation called purodās'a offered in three vessels. (18) Oh Vidura, the moment the leader of the Yajńa [Daksha] thus sanctified in meditation offered the clarified butter with the hymns of the Yajur Veda, Lord Hari appeared, the Supreme Personality. (19) The effulgence of all souls present there was at that time overshadowed by the brightness [spreading] in all the ten directions of Him who was carried by the enormous wings of Garuda [or Stotra]. (20) With a dark complexion, garments yellow as gold, a helmet dazzling like the sun, curling hair bluish like black bees, a face decorated with earrings, with a conch shell, a lotus flower, a disc and arrows, a bow, a club, a sword and shield in His hands and with His many golden ornaments, He looked like a blossoming tree. (21) Garlanded with forest flowers He had His consort [Lakshmī] on His chest [in the form of His S'rīvatsa mark] and only a small glimpse of His magnanimous smiling glance was enough to please the entire world. At His side yak-tail fans looking like swans were being waved and above Him one saw a beautiful, moonlike white royal canopy. (22) Seeing Him arriving, all the demigods and the others led by Brahmā, Indra and the three-eyed S'iva, immediately stood up from their seats and offered their obeisances. (23) Overshadowed by the luster of His glaring effulgence they all fell silent and full of awe touched their heads while bowing down to pray to Adhokshaja, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. (24) Even though His glory is beyond the comprehension of even Brahmā and such, they now by His grace could see His transcendental form and offer their prayers according to their different capacities. (25) Daksha seeking shelter was accepted with his honorable oblations of sacrifice for the master of all sacrifices, the supreme preceptor of all progenitors of mankind who is attended by Nanda and Sunanda [the most important servants of Nārāyana in Vaikunthha]. With great pleasure, with a subdued mind and with folded hands he then offered Him his prayers. (26) Daksha said: 'You Lordship now fully present here have returned from the purity of Your heavenly abode in a perfect transcendence above all mental speculation. You are the one without a second, the fearless controller of all matter, who seemingly impure are engaged with her [with Māyā] as the overseer and self-sufficient One.'
(27) The priests said: 'All of us, not conversant with the truth of You who are free from the influence of the material world, we who are of an intelligence that because of S'iva's curse is of a too great attachment to fruitive activities, oh Supreme Lord, now know about Your name [Yajńa] that stands for the arrangement of religious sacrificing operating with the three departments [of the three Vedas] for the sake of which we are engaged in the worship of demigods [like the divinity of the sun and the moon].'
(28) The members of the assembly said: 'On the path of repeated birth and death we have no place to take shelter. We are greatly troubled by being bound to this formidable fort of the king of death [Yama] that is infested by ugly snakes and in which the mirage of the material happiness of having a home and a body constitutes a heavy burden. When we have to live by the double ditch of distress and so-called happiness, the fear for wild animals, the forest fire of lamentation over the interest of the ignorant souls and are afflicted with all sorts of desire, we, with You who gives shelter, enjoy the protection of Your lotus feet.'
(29) Rudra said: 'Oh supreme benefactor, when I, desiring fulfillment in the material world, have fixed my mind on Your precious lotus feet that are cherished and worshiped by the liberated sages, I, with a compassion like Yours, attach no value to it when ignorant people speak against me.'
(30) Bhrigu said: 'From Lord Brahmā down to every other embodied being, all who, under the influence of the insurmountable material energy, are bereft of the knowledge of their original self, are submerged in the darkness of illusion. They, not seeing You as situated in the self, cannot understand Your situation as the absolute of reality. Oh Lord, You, as the friend of the surrendered soul, be kind to us.'
(31) Brahmā said: 'When one tries to see Your person, this original form of Yours cannot be perceived with the help of the different [sensual] virtues of respect for acquiring knowledge, for You, who constitute the basis of the knowledge and objectivity of the material qualities, must be regarded as differing from that what is made of material energy.'
(32) Indra said: 'This transcendental form, oh Infallible One, which is there for the welfare of the universe, constitutes a cause of pleasure to the mind and eye. You [after all], possessing the eight weapons held up by Your arms, chastise those who are hostile towards Your devotees.'
(33) The wives of the attendants of the sacrifice said: 'This worshiping in sacrifice as arranged by Brahmā was devastated by Lord S'iva. May today the beauty of Your lotus-like glance, oh Lord of sacrifice, sanctify the sacrifice that by the anger against Daksha became as still as the dead bodies of the sacrificial animals.'
(34) The sages said: 'How wonderful, oh Supreme Lord, are Your activities to which You, in the exercise of Your potencies, are never attached. Nor is Your Lordship attached to the mercy of Your obedient servant, the Goddess of Fortune Lakshmī, for the grace of whom one is of worship.'
(35) The perfected souls said: 'The elephant of the mind that, being scorched by the forest fire of [sensual] afflictions, is thirsty, having plunged in the river of the pure nectar of Your pastimes no longer remembers that misery and never wishes to come out, just like someone who merged with the Absolute.'
(36) The wife of Daksha said: 'Be pleased my Lord with my respects for Your auspicious appearance, oh abode of the Goddess. With Lakshmī as Your wife You protect us. Our arena knows no beauty without Your arms, oh Lord, just like a headless person does not look very good with only a trunk.'
(37) The local rulers said: 'We doubt whether we can see You with our material senses. You, revealing Your eternal form, we regard as the inner witness by whose grace the entire illusory world can be seen, oh possessor of all, for You appear with the five elements as the sixth one.'
(38) The masters of yoga said: 'They who deem no one as dear as You and see themselves as existing in You and not as separate from You, the Supersoul of all beings, oh master, are very dear to You. And how much more do You, oh loving parent, not value absolutely the faith of those souls, oh Lord, who devoted therewith are of worship? (39) We offer our obeisances to Him who by His personal appearance by means of His material potency determined the fate of each living entity depending his specific inclinations. Him we honor who appeared differently with the many material qualities for the sake of the creation, maintenance and annihilation of the material world and who in His absolute state turned away from the interaction of the basic qualities of matter.'
(40) The Vedas in person declared: 'Our respects unto You transcendental to the modes of nature who constitute the shelter of the quality of goodness and are the source of the austerity and penance in all religions. I nor anyone else really knows You or Your situation.'
(41) Agni, the fire god said: 'By Your effulgence I am as luminous as the greatest fire and may accept in sacrifice the five kinds of offerings mixed with butter. I offer my obeisances to Yajńa, the protector of the sacrifices, worshiped by means of the five kinds of hymns of the Veda.'
(42) The demigods said: 'Formerly at the time of the devastation of the era [kalpa] when You as the Original Personality rested in the water and lay down on the snake bed Ananta S'esha, You withdrew into Your abdomen that what You had created and was estranged from You. You upon whom the liberated souls in their hearts meditate in philosophical speculations, we now see present here before our two eyes moving on the path of the protection of us Your servants.'
(43) The denizens of heaven said: 'Marīci and the great sages under the direction of Brahmā as also Indra and the divinity led by S'iva, are to be considered parts and parcels of Your body, oh Godhead. May we unto the Supreme Almighty One for whom this whole creation is just a plaything, oh Lord, always be of respect and offer You our obeisances.'
(44) The Vidyādharas [basing themselves on knowledge] said: 'After with Your external potency having obtained the human body and with dwelling in the body, thinking in terms of 'I 'and 'mine', having misidentified himself with it, the ignorant person who takes the body for himself and is distracted by material possessions, also follows the wrong roads of seeking happiness in sense objects. But relishing the nectar of Your topics he can be delivered, even when he drifted far away from that position.'
(45) The brahmins said: 'You are the sacrifice, the offering of the clarified butter, the fire in person; You are the mantras, the fuel, the kus'a grass [to sit on] and the pots; You are the members of the assembly, the priests, the leader of the Yajńa and his wife, the demigods and the sacred fire ceremony, the offering to the forefathers, the soma plant, the clarified butter itself and the sacrificial animal [see also B.G. 4: 24]. (46) In the past it was You who as the great boar incarnation [see canto 3.13] from within the waters lifted the world up on Your tusks as easy as an elephant picks up a lotus. Your sound vibration was by great sages like Sanaka arranged as an offering of prayers in the form of a sacrifice, oh knowledge of the Vedas in person. (47) You as that same person we ask to be pleased with us who, failing in performing the sacrifices, are awaiting Your audience. When one sings Your holy names, oh Lord of Sacrifice, one manages to overcome obstacles. Unto You our respectful obeisances.'
(48) Maitreya said: 'Oh blessed one, with Hrishīkes'a [Vishnu as the Lord of the senses], the protector of sacrifices, thus being glorified, Daksha, having learned, arranged to resume the sacrifice that was devastated by Vīrabhadra. (49) Oh sinless one, Lord Vishnu, the Supersoul of all beings and enjoyer of all sacrifices having received His share, was satisfied and then addressed Daksha. (50) The Supreme Lord [Vishnu] said: 'I, Brahmā and also Lord S'iva, do not differ [essentially] in being the supreme cause and Supersoul, the witness and the self-sufficient one of the material manifestation. (51) I, having entered my own external energy that is composed of the modes of nature, oh twice-born soul, [thus] create, maintain and annihilate the cosmic manifestation and have a name appropriate to My activities. (52) Someone not conversant with this thinks that Brahmā, S'iva and the living beings exist in separation and departs [impersonally in disregard of Me] from the notion of the one Supreme Self, the Supreme Brahman that is without a second. (53) The way a person never supposes that his head, hands and other parts of his body would have a separate existence, My devotee neither supposes that the living beings would exist separately. (54) He who does not consider the three [of Us] - who constitute the one nature of the Supersoul of all living beings - as separate [entities], oh brahmin, achieves peace.'(55) Maitreya said: 'The foremost of all progenitors [Daksha] thus being addressed by the Supreme Lord Hari, after worshiping Him with due ceremony next worshiped the demigods [Brahmā and S'iva] individually. (56) After with a concentrated mind having granted Lord S'iva his share of the sacrifice and after he also together with the priests, in order to round it off, had paid respect to the God-conscious souls and the others assembled there, he took the concluding [avabhritha] bath. (57) When he thus on the basis of his own belief had achieved the perfection of religious dutifulness, those three servants of God, who thus had inspired with intelligence, left for their heavenly abodes. (58) Satī, Daksha's daughter, was, after formerly having given up her body, (re)born from the wife of Menā [or Menakā] who lives in the Himalayas, so I have heard. (59) Because she felt no attraction for an other man, Ambikā [Durgā or Satī] as S'iva's beloved one, made sure to accept him again as her husband. For her he was the one goal, the original masculinity of the person that lies dormant in the external, feminine energy [of matter]. (60) This story about S'ambhu [Lord S'iva as the Lord of all living beings] who destroyed Daksha's sacrifice, I heard from a great devotee and disciple of Brihaspati: Uddhava. (61) The person who, after repeatedly having heard about these pure activities of the Lord, with faith and devotion also recounts them, will find fame and longevity and will, being freed from material contamination, find the destruction of his sins, oh descendant of Kuru.'
Chapter 8: Dhruva Leaves Home for the Forest
(1) Maitreya said: 'None of those headed by Sanaka [the Kumāras] nor the other sons of Brahmā: Nārada, Ribhu, Hamsa, Aruni and Yati, lived a householder's life [being married]; they were celibates [ūrdhva retasah, who send their seed upwards]. (2) Oh slayer of enemies, Mrishā, the wife [and sister] of [another son of Brahmā called Irreligion or] Adharma produced the two [children] Dambha [Bluffing] and Māyā [Cheating], but they were taken by [a demon ruling the south-west called] Nirriti who had no children. (3) From those two Lobha [Greed] and Nikrita [Cunning] were born,, oh great soul. And from the both of them there were Krodha [Anger] and Himsā [Malice]. From these two [irreligiously being bound in incest] Kali and the sister called Durukti [Harsh Speech] were born. (4) Oh best of the truthful, bound to Durukti Kali produced Bhaya [Fearfulness] and Mrityu [Death] and of those two combined Yātanā [Excessive Pain] and Niraya [Hell] took birth. (5) I thus explained to you in short the cause of the devastation [of landing in hell because of irreligion]. Anyone who hears this description three times, oh pure one, will lead a pious life and see the contamination of his mind being washed away.
(6) I shall now describe the dynasty famous for its virtuous activities, oh best of the Kurus, that evolved from the Manu called Svāyambhuva, who was a part of a plenary portion of the Personality of Godhead [viz. Brahmā]. (7) Uttānapāda and Priyavrata, the two sons of Queen Satārūpa and her husband were there, as parts of [Brahmā's plenary expansion] of the Supreme Lord Vāsudeva, for the protection and maintenance of the world. (8) Of the two wives of Uttānapāda, Sunīti ['the one of good conduct'] and Suruci ['the one delighting'], Suruci was more dear to the husband than the other one who had a son called Dhruva ['the immovable one']. (9) When the king one day was patting the son of Suruci named Uttama ['the one of excel'] whom he had placed on his lap, he turned away Dhruva who also tried to get on his lap. (10) Queen Suruci who was very proud [of the king's attentions] enviously spoke to Dhruva, the child of the co-wife that tried to get on his lap, in such a way that the king could hear it. (11) 'My dear child, you do not deserve to seat yourself where the king sits because, even though you were born as a son of the king, you were not born from my womb. (12) Oh child, you do not understand that, because you are not my own but were born from the womb of another woman, the thing you desire is out of your reach. (13) You can seat yourself on the throne of the king if you want, but only if you, by means of penance, have satisfied the Original Person of God and thus by His mercy have secured a place for yourself in my womb [to be born again].'
(14) Maitreya said: 'Pierced by the harsh words of his stepmother, he out of anger began to breathe as heavily as a snake struck by a stick and with his father silently looking on, he began to weep and ran away to his mother. (15) Having heard from the others what had happened Sunīti lifted her panting son whose lips were trembling on her lap, feeling very sorry over what was said by the co-wife. (16) Losing her self-control she cried with a fire of grief that burned like dry leaves and upon remembering the things said by the other wife she spoke through the haze of tears that fell from her lotus like face. (17) Not knowing how to curb the danger the lady breathed heavily and said to her son: 'Do not think evil of others, my dear son, for someone will have to suffer himself from the pain he wishes others. (18) The truth of what mother Suruci has told you about having taken birth from the womb of me as the unfortunate one, and that you grew up on the milk from my breast, is that the king feels ashamed. He regrets it to have accepted me for his wife. (19) What your stepmother told you is not false. If you want to sit on the throne just like Uttama, then just engage yourself, without being envious, my dear son, in worshiping the lotus feet of Adhokshaja, the Lord of Transcendence. (20) The unborn One [your great-grandfather Brahmā] no doubt acquired his supreme position in the universe and his qualifications to create, from worshiping the One whom we know by His lotus feet and who can be approached by those who in self-regulation have subdued the mind. (21) Likewise Manu, your worshipable grandfather, achieved liberation and the heavenly and earthly happiness that is so difficult to achieve by other means, because he, in worship executing sacrifices, was of an unflinching devotion and of great charity. (22) Take shelter of Him, the Kindhearted Caretaker, dear boy, for people who desire liberation follow the path of His lotus feet. Worship the Supreme Personality by fixing your mind upon His image, by thinking of nothing else and by being faithful to your original sense of duty with Him. (23) Looking for someone else, there is no one but the Lord with the lotus eyes who can mitigate your sorrow. Even the Goddess of Fortune who is worshiped by others, my dear boy, is always looking for Him with a lotus flower in her hand.'
(24) Maitreya said: 'Thus having heard the purposeful words of the mother he, mindfully keeping himself under control, left his father's house. (25) Nārada who came to hear about it and understood his intentions, was surprised and, with the hand that could expel all sin touching his head, he exclaimed: (26) 'Oh that might of the rulers! Unable to tolerate any infringement on their prestige, he here being only a child, took to heart the unpalatable words of his stepmother.' (27) Nārada then said: 'Why is it that you, a child normally fond of sports and games, presently feel insulted for not being respected? (28) Even though you do not see it differently [but from your honor], what else but being illusioned would the reason be that people are dissatisfied in this world wherein one, because of one's karma, is separated from each other? (29) Be therefore satisfied [in turning away from illusion], my dear one. Whatever it is that fate has in stall for a person, is by someone intelligent recognized as a path leading to the Supreme. (30) But the yoga your mother told you to do for elevating yourself to His mercy, is in my opinion hard to perform for a person like you. (31) Even to sages for many births on the path of detachment, it may happen that they never come to understand what they are looking for in the absorption of their strict yoga practice. (32) Therefore give up your insistence, it takes you nowhere. Save it for the future, you will find ample opportunity then. (33) Any embodied soul having peace with whatever happiness or distress provided by destiny, can reach beyond the darkness. (34) With something [or someone] better one should be pleased, with something [or someone] of a lesser quality one should be compassionate and with something [or someone] equal one should be friendly. Thus fostering no desires one is never affected by tribulations.'
(35) Dhruva said: 'This balance of mind you talk about, oh Lordship, is [a quality] of people merciful with those who, with their happiness and distress, have lost track of the soul, but for persons like us it is very difficult to see it the way you said it. (36) Because I was born a ruler I am not that tolerant. Pierced by the harsh words of mother Suruci I cannot be as merciful [as you]. (37) Please tell me an honest way to pursue my desire for a superior position in the three worlds, oh brahmin. How can I reach a position not even attained by others like my father, grandfather and forefathers? (38) You as a worthy descendant of Lord Brahmā playing the vīnā, just like the sun travel around the world for the sake of its welfare.'
(39) Maitreya said: 'Nārada was very pleased to hear what Dhruva said, whereupon he compassionately replied to give the boy good advice. (40) Nārada told him: 'The path mentioned by your mother of fully absorbing yourself in rendering service to the Supreme Lord Vāsudeva, constitutes the highest perfection in life. (41) For the one who seeks the supreme benefit of the self by what is known as dharma, artha, kāma and moksha [the civil virtues of religious righteousness, economic activity, regulation of sense gratification and finding liberation], the worship of the Lord's lotus feet constitutes the only motive. (42) For that purpose, my dear boy, go with my blessing to the bank of the Yamunā and be purified by the sacredness of the Madhuvana forest where the Lord is always present. (43) When you have taken a bath in that river, [also called] the Kālindī [according to the name of the mountain where the Yamunā springs from] - which correctly performed three times a day is a most auspicious thing to do - you should sit down on a sitting place you have prepared. (44) By means of the three types of breath control [of prānāyāma: controlling the ingoing, the outgoing and balanced breath] you must, step by step giving up the impurities of your mind and controlling your life breath and senses, meditate on the Supreme Spiritual Master with an undisturbed mind. (45) Always willing to be of mercy, He with His pleasing mouth and typical look, His straight nose, arched eyebrows and intelligent forehead, is the beauty of the demigods. (46) Youthful, attractive in all His limbs and with lips and eyes as reddish as a rising sun, He is the shelter of the surrendered souls, the strength of man and an ocean of mercy. (47) Marked with the S'rīvatsa [a few white hairs on His chest] and of a deeply bluish [gray] color, He is the original Personality garlanded with flowers, showing the conch shell, the disc, the club and lotus flower in His four hands. (48) The garments of yellow silk He wears, are complemented by a helmet, pearl earrings, a necklace, bracelets and the Kausthuba jewel. (49) Pleasing both the eye and the mind, He has small bells of gold around His waist and His ankles and is of a superior calm, peace and serenity. (50) Standing on the whorl of the lotus of their hearts, He occupies the minds of those who worship His lotus feet by the light of His glittering nails. (51) This way you regularly must envision the smiling of the Lord who is so affectionate with the devotees, and thus fully attentive let your mind meditate on the greatest of all benedictors. (52) When you thus meditate on the very auspicious form of the Supreme Lord, your mind, being transcendentally enriched, very soon will be freed from all material contamination and never wander off.
(53) Please hear from me the most confidential mantra, oh prince, whereupon meditating a person in seven days can see what is moving in the ether [planets, heavenly beings, thoughts]. (54) 'Om namo bhagavate vāsudevāya' [my respects for the Supreme Lord Vāsudeva]. With this mantra [called the dvādas'ākshara mantra] a wise person, conversant with the divisions of time and place [des'a-kāla-vibhāgavit], should exercise respect for the physical appearance of the Lord, as should with the different paraphernalia. (55) You should be of worship with the help of pure water, garlands of forest flowers, roots, different fruits and vegetables, fresh grass, buds, bark and by offering tulsī leaves that are very dear to the Lord, your master. (56) You can [being alone in the forest] begin with procuring and worshiping a deity made of physical elements like earth and water [clay], and therewith, as a sage, be of full self-control in peace checking your speech and eat frugally whatever the forest offers. (57) Meditate therewith on the inconceivable activities that by the Supreme Lord of Wisdom were performed in the form of an avatāra to exercise His supreme will and potencies. (58) In service of the Supreme Lord you should respect Him in your heart with the mantras that embody Him. Do that the prescribed way with the devotional service of the teachers of the past. (59-60) When the Supreme Lord thus, by your engagement of being of service with your body, mind and words, is worshiped according to the regulative principles of bhakti, He will strengthen the devotion of you as a sincerely and seriously engaged devotee. He will award you with that what you, as a conditioned soul, desire for your spiritual life and everything that belongs to it [for the fulfillment of the so-called purushārthas]. (61) Free from attachment to sensual matters making serious work of uniting in devotion unto Him, one must always filled with love, directly be of worship for the sake of [one's own] liberation [and the liberation of others].'
(62) Thus being addressed by Nārada, the son of the king circumambulated him offering his obeisances and went to the Madhuvana forest that, imprinted by the lotus feet of the Lord, was the right place to be. (63) After Dhruva had entered the forest for penance, the sage thought it wise to pay the king a visit in his palace. Respectfully being welcomed he, seated there comfortably, spoke to him. (64) Nārada said: 'Dear King, your face looks withered, what are you thinking so deeply about? Have you lost your way with the gratification of your senses, the religion or the economy?'
(65) The king replied: 'Oh brahmin, my son, my sweet boy who is only five years old and actually is a great personality and devotee, I have, being too attached to my wife and too hard-hearted, banished from here together with his mother. (66) I worry whether the helpless boy whose face is like a lotus, without being protected by anyone in the forest, oh brahmin, is starving or being tired having laid down, has been devoured by wolves. (67) Alas, how cruel I was being conquered by a woman. Just imagine how utterly hard-hearted I was denying him all affection when he out of love tried to climb on my lap.'
(68) Nārada said: 'Do not, I say, do not be aggrieved about your son. He is well protected by the Lord, oh master of men. As yet you have no idea of his glory that will spread all over the world. (69) The boy is a master. After performing what is impossible for even the greatest personalities around, he, in favor of your reputation, will come straight back to you, dear King.'
(70) Maitreya Muni said: 'The king, having heard what Nārada told him, began to think about his son and neglected his opulent kingdom. (71) [Dhruva] meanwhile, after taking a bath and fasting that night, worshiped the Original Personality with perfect attention, the way Nārada had advised it. (72) The first month worshiping the Lord he after every third night, to the bare necessity of preserving his body, only ate fruits and berries in the morning. (73) The next month the boy continued with his respect for the Almighty Lord by eating every sixth day his food consisting of dried grasses and leaves. (74) He, fully being absorbed in his respect for the Lord of Wisdom, Uttamas'loka, passed the third month with drinking water only every ninth day. (75) Likewise continuing the fourth month, he, by controlling his breath while meditating in worship of the Lord, only ate air every twelfth day. (76) By the fifth month in full control of his breath, the son of the king, meditating upon the Creator, motionless stood on one leg like a column. (77) With his mind fully controlled concentrating, he meditated with no other thought than the form of the Supreme Lord, of Him, the resting place for the senses and their objects in his heart. (78) When he kept his mind focussed on the foundation, the cosmic intelligence of the reality, the Lord and Master of the primal ether [pradhāna] and the person, the Supreme Spirit, the three worlds began to tremble. (79) While standing on his one leg, the child of the king with the one half [of his body] pressed down the earth with his big toe bent, like the king of the elephants does when he like a boat balances left and right with every step. (80) Because he in the full of his meditation on the complete of the universal form, had stopped his breathing and had closed all the gates of his body, he thus, by confining the life air, suffocated all the worlds. For that reason soon the great souls from all places sought their refuge with the Lord.
(81) The godly souls said: 'We cannot understand this, oh Supreme Lord, the flow of the universal breath is obstructed! Therefore, oh reservoir of goodness so kind to the needy, we all approach You for shelter in order to be saved from this calamity.'
(82) The Supreme Lord replied: 'Fear not, this choking of your life air happens on account of the son of King Uttānapāda who is fully absorbed in thoughts of Me. I will ask the boy so strong in his determination of penance to stop with this. Please return to your homes.'
Chapter 9: Dhruva Returns Home from the Forest
(1) Maitreya said: 'Thus being freed from all fear, they [the demigods] offered the Lord of the wide strides [Urukrama, Vishnu] their obeisances, whereupon they returned to their three worlds. The Lord with the thousand faces [Sahasras'īrshā, the original Vishnu] then on the back of Garuda went to the Madhuvana forest with the wish to see His servant [Dhruva]. (2) Dhruva, ripened and strong by his meditation in yoga, saw Him brilliant as lightening manifested on the lotus of his heart. All of a sudden he noticed that He had disappeared, but looking around he saw Him standing straight in front of him in the same form. (3) With Him present before him he, confounded, fell to the ground prostrating like a rod to offer Him his obeisances. As he looked at Him, it was as if the boy was drinking Him with his eyes, like he was kissing Him with his mouth and embracing Him with his arms. (4) Seeing that he wanted to glorify Him but did not know how, the Lord, who is the prayer in accord with the scripture in the heart of each, understanding the boy, mercifully touched his forehead with His conch shell. (5) Thus being inspired with the ability to say just what he wanted, he, slowly offering his prayers in the love of his devotion, could understand what the supreme of the soul was all about and that he would be the Dhruva of renown and fame whose world could not be denied.
(6) Dhruva said: 'Let me offer my obeisances to You, the Supreme Lord and Original Person, who as the One within, from Your internal potency commanding the universal energy, entering my words and breath, has brought to life my passive senses as also my arms, legs, hands and skin. (7) You are the One, Supreme Lord who, after by His own potency creating this vast outer world called māyā - that unlimited completeness of reality with its modes - next as the Original Personality has entered here to appear differently in the time-bound qualities the way fire does in fire wood. (8) Like a man awakening from sleep, the one of surrender to You [Brahmā] could see this entire universe by dint of the knowledge You gave, oh my Lord. How can anyone conversant with Your actions forget Your lotus feet that are the shelter of all who desire liberation, oh friend of the distressed? (9) It suffers no doubt that You, the cause of liberation from birth and death, are like a desire tree to those who, under the influence of the outer world, miss the proper concept of life and worship You with ulterior motives in their desire for the gratification of the senses of this bag of bones, a gratification that is even available to persons in hell. (10) The bliss of Your magnificence, that for embodied souls may happen when they meditate on Your lotus feet or when they hear the stories of Your devotees, is never found with the impersonal supreme [Brahman], nor does it compare to what is experienced in occupying [personally] elevated positions from which one is doomed to fall down, being destroyed by the sword of time. (11) Let it be so that I, mad about drinking the nectar of the stories about Your qualities, may enjoy the intimate association of those who are constantly engaged in Your devotional service, oh Unlimited One, of those great devotees by whose purified hearts one can easily cross the terrible and vast ocean of dangers constituting material existence. (12) They, my dear Lord, never think of the material body held so very dear in the relationship with sons, friends, home, wealth and wife. They, oh Lord with the Lotus Navel, have achieved the association with those who in their hearts always carry the fragrance of Your lotus feet. (13) I know that the diverse animals, trees, birds, reptiles, gods, demons and men, who on the basis of Your cosmic intelligence then are visible and then again are not manifested, move around in Your gross material form, oh Unborn One, but I had no idea of this transcendental form, oh Supreme One. Now all my arguments have come to an end. (14) At the end of each epoch the Supreme Person withdraws all of this universe into His belly, lying down in self-reflection in the company of Ananta S'esha for His bed. From the ocean of His navel the golden abode sprouts, with Brahmā on the whorl of the lotus. Him, that Supreme Lordship, I offer my obeisances. (15) You are the eternally liberated, pure Supreme Soul full of knowledge, the changeless, authentic Original Person, the Supreme Lord and ruler of the three modes, the continuing intelligence throughout all actions of the intellect, the transcendental vision and witness, the maintainer, enjoyer and the one whose position differs from all the others. (16) You, in whose nature the different opposing energies of knowledge and ignorance are always found, You who are that continuing Brahman, You, the cause of the material manifestation, the original and unlimited One always blissful, I offer my respects. (17) Compared with other benedictions Your lotus feet are the true benediction, oh my Lord, and thus You as such are the personification of the goal of life of each person, oh beloved Fortunate One. You, eager to bestow Your mercy, maintain the ones poor of heart like me, the way a cow keeps a calf.'
(18) Maitreya said: 'After thus truly being worshiped by means of the fine intelligence of his good intentions only, the Supreme Lord, who is always there in favor of His devotees, spoke to him, after first having congratulated him. (19) The Supreme Lord said: 'I know about the determination within your heart, oh son of the king. Since you swear by piety, I shall grant you all fortune, even though it is a wish difficult to fulfill. (20-21) Never before, My good boy, there was anyone who managed to settle for such a brightly glowing place known as the planet of Dhruva, around which all the other planets and constellations of stars are circling like a group of bulls does running stationary around a central pole [for crushing grain]. It is the planet around which, keeping it to their right, along with the stars, all great sages of the forest move circumambulating like Dharma, Agni, Kas'yapa and S'ukra, whose lives stretch beyond a millennium. (22) The moment your father leaves for the forest, you will be awarded the entire world. Under the pious protection of your rule it will for thirty-six thousand years uninterrupted be in full control of your faculties. (23) When your brother Uttama, who will be killed during a hunt, is sought in the forest by his most afflicted mother, she will run into a forest fire. (24) After performing great sacrifices for Me, the heart of all sacrifice, and having distributed great charities, you will, upon having enjoyed the blessings of this world, at the end of your life be able to remember Me. (25) Thereafter you will head for My abode that is worshiped on all planets and is situated above those of the rishis. Having attained that place, you will never return.'
(26) Maitreya said: 'After thus having assured the boy of His personal protection [and residence], He, the honored and worshiped Supreme Lord who carries Garuda in His flag, before the eyes of Dhruva returned to His heavenly abode. (27) Even though Dhruva had achieved the feet of Lord Vishnu as a result of his service, he was not very pleased with the satisfaction he derived from his determination and then returned home.'
(28) Vidura said: 'With the very focussed worship of His lotus feet he in one lifetime had obtained the rarely achieved supreme position of the Lord. How can it be that he, having reached that far and being that wise, nevertheless innerly felt dissatisfied?'
(29) Maitreya replied: 'He was by his stepmother's harsh words pierced in his heart. Remembering it all he did not desire to be liberated by the Lord of salvation and thus suffered grief. (30) Dhruva said to himself: 'That what the four Kumāras, those infallible celibates, in their absorption never could achieve in one birth, I achieved within six months, but achieving the shelter of His lotus feet I fell down because I set my mind on other things. (31) Just see how foolish and unfortunate I am in my bodily interest. I approached the lotus feet of Him who can cut all bonds, but prayed for that what is perishable. (32) My intelligence was contaminated by the inability of the demigods to endure a return to an earthly existence. For that reason I, feeling wretched, failed to accept the truth of Nārada's instructions. (33) Just like dreaming while asleep, I sought my refuge in the Lord's illusory energy and was full of self-pity. Caught in duality I, under the influence of the outer world, lamented that my brother was my enemy, even though he belonged to the temporary world. (34) This what I prayed for, is as useless as giving medicine to someone deceased. After satisfying the Soul of the Universe with penances - which is something very difficult to achieve - I, being unlucky, prayed with the Lord, with whom one cuts with the world, for material satisfaction. (35) Him who was willing to offer me His full independence, I alas out of foolishness asked for material prosperity. It is like a poor man who asks a great and charitable emperor impressed by his virtue, for a few broken grains of husked rice.'
(36) Maitreya continued: 'My dear Vidura, persons like you who delight to be of service in the dust of the lotus feet of the Lord of Liberation, do not act out of self-interest. With that what they automatically attain by it, they consider themselves very rich. (37) When he heard that his son had returned, as if he had risen from death, king Uttānapāda could not believe why a sinner like him would befall such a good fortune. (38) With his faith in the words of devarishi Nārada [confirmed], he was overwhelmed by the tidings the messenger brought. Most satisfied he offered him a highly valuable pearl necklace. (39-40) Very eager to see his son, he in great haste mounted a gold ornamented chariot drawn by the finest horses and thereupon, being accompanied by the sound of conch shells, kettledrums, flutes and the chanting of hymns, left the city together with the brahmins, the elderly and his officers, ministers and friends. (41) Both his queens Sunīci and Suruci got, decorated with gold, together with Uttama on a palanquin and joined the procession. (42-43) Meeting his son in a small forest nearby, the king hurried down from his chariot and was, as he approached him, immediately overwhelmed by love. Heavily breathing because of his great anxiety, he for a long time with both his arms embraced him whose bondage of endless material contamination was destroyed by the Lord's lotus feet. (44) Over and over thereupon smelling his head, he, who now saw his greatest desire fulfilled, bathed his son with the cool water from his eyes. (45) After having respected his father's feet and by him being blessed and honored with questions, he, the best of all noble souls, bowed his head to his two mothers. (46) Suruci, picking up the innocent boy who had fallen at her feet, embraced him and spoke, choked with tears, to him the words: 'May you live long.' (47) Unto anyone with whose qualities and friendship the Supreme Personality, Lord Hari, is pleased, all living beings offer their respect, [as naturally] as water that out of its own flows to the lowest position. (48) Uttama and Dhruva, both overwhelmed with affection, embraced one another over and over with their hairs standing on end and let their tears run freely. (49) Sunīti, his mother, embracing her son more dear to her than her life air, satisfied to touch his body, forgot all her grief. (50) There and then, oh heroic soul, he was wetted auspiciously by the incessant tears from the eyes of the mother of this hero and the milk that began to flow from her breasts. (51) The people around her offered the queen praise: 'The fortune of your son will vanquish all your pains, now that he, after being lost for such a long time, has returned in order to protect the face of the earth. (52) You must have worshiped Him, the Supreme Lord who can deliver you from the greatest danger and upon whom meditating the wise conquer death which is so very difficult to overcome.'
(53) Dhruva, thus praised by the people around him, was by the king together with his brother placed on the back of a she-elephant. Therewith being pleased and glorified, he returned to his capital. (54) Here and there brilliant shark-teeth shaped arched gateways were set up as also young betel nut trees and columns of banana trees carrying bunches of flowers and fruits. (55) At each gate there was a decoration of hanging mango leaves, cloth, flower garlands and strings of pearls, together with pots filled with water and burning lamps. (56) The city gates with the surrounding walls, the houses and palace domes glittered on all sides, beautifully being decorated with valuable golden ornaments. (57) The crossroads, streets and the market-place were thoroughly cleansed, sprinkled with sandalwood water and provided with auspicious presentations of fried rice, barley, flowers and fruits. (58-59) Seeing Dhruva on the road, the women of the houses uttered affectionate blessings and showered him here and there with white mustard seeds, barley, curd, water, fresh grass, flowers and fruits. With their very pleasant songs ringing in his ears he thus entered his father's palace. (60) In that fine mansion, bedecked with mosaics of precious stone, he, who under the constant care of his father was elevated to the highest status, lived like a god. (61) The palace was furnished with seats and furniture embellished with gold, very valuable ivory beds and bedding white as milk foam. (62) The walls, made of marble, had precious gems in them and also the lamps that shone with jewels were held by female figurines made of precious stones as well. (63) Also the gardens were very beautiful with various heavenly trees, pairs of singing birds and the humming of mad bumblebees. (64) Emerald staircases led to ponds full of lilies and blue lotuses, swans and ducks, flocks of geese and cranes that dwelt nearby.
(65) When the saintly king Uttānapāda heard about and witnessed the most remarkable influence of his son, he felt extremely happy about that great miracle. (66) The moment he saw that Dhruva had come of age and also carried the approval of his ministers and was loved by his subjects, he made him the lord and master of the world. (67) He, this king of Vishnu, then considered himself also old enough and went, for the sake of the salvation of his soul, detached into the forest.'
Chapter 10: Dhruva Mahārāja's Fight with the Yakshas
(1) Maitreya said: 'Dhruva ['the immovable one'] married Bhrami [meaning 'turning around'] the daughter of Prajāpati S'is'umāra ['the dolphin', 'the galaxy'] and named her sons Kalpa ['epoch'] and Vatsara ['tropical year']. (2) With another wife called Ilā ['the comfort'], a daughter of Vāyu [the demigod of the air], the powerful ruler begot a son called Utkala ['the one who carries the load'] and a jewel of a girl. (3) Uttama ['the one of excel'] however, Dhruva's brother who did not marry, was during a hunt in the Himalaya range killed by a very powerful Yaksha [an evil spirit]. He was [soon] followed by his mother [Suruci]. (4) When Dhruva heard about the death of his brother, he filled with lamentation angrily swore revenge and got on his victorious chariot to leave for the city of the Yakshas.
(5) Heading in the northern direction the king saw in a valley of the Himalayas that was inhabited by followers of Lord S'iva, a city full of ghostly people. (6) Oh ruler, the mighty-armed one blew his conch shell that resounded fearfully in all directions in the sky so that the wives of the Yakshas became most afraid. (7) Out of resentment against the sound of the conch shell, thereupon the very powerful soldiers of Kuvera appeared and attacked him with all kinds of weapons. (8) He, the hero and powerful bowman with all of them attacking, could fight many adversaries simultaneously and killed them one after another, shooting three arrows at a time. (9) Being convinced that they, because of these arrows aimed at their heads, all without fail surely would be defeated, they lauded his action. (10) But incapable of accepting to be trampled under his feet like serpents, they tried to retaliate by shooting twice as much arrows at the same time. (11-12) Eager to counter both his actions and his charioteer, they, 130.000 men strong, most angrily showered thereupon all kinds of feathered arrows, bludgeons, swords, tridents, pointed lances, spears and fire weapons. (13) The master of war vanished completely from sight behind that constant shower of weapons, just like a mountain covered by a downpour.
(14) In the sky a tumult of disappointment resounded from the Siddhas who, witnessing the fight, assumed that this grandson of Manu had been killed because he, like the sun, had set in the ocean of Yakshas. (15) The Yakshas exclaimed that the victory was theirs, but then his chariot reappeared from the fighting lot like the sun emerges from the mist. (16) His twanging divine bow created lamentation among his enemies as he scattered the different weapons with his arrows, just like the wind scatters an array of clouds. (17) The sharp arrows released from his bow pierced the shields and entered the bodies of the demons, just like thunderbolts hitting the mountains. (18-19) The battlefield that bewilders the minds of heroes, began to glimmer from the by the arrows severed heads complete with garlands and turbans beautiful with earrings and helmets, and the cut off thighs and arms that with beautiful bracelets and armlets shone like golden palm trees. (20) The remaining soldiers, the most of whom had wounded limbs because of the arrows of the greatest of all warriors, fled in all directions like elephants defeated by a lion.
(21) When he saw that none of the enemy soldiers were left standing, the best of all men wanted to see their city, but he did not enter it for one cannot be sure of the plans of a mystical enemy. (22) While he who had the finest chariot, apprehensive about a counterattack of his enemies, was talking to his charioteer, a loud sound like that of the ocean was heard that could be recognized as the wind of a dust storm rising from all directions. (23) In a moment the sky was covered by a mass of dense clouds that everywhere glittered with lightening accompanied by thunder that threatened on all sides. (24) Oh faultless one, there was an inundation of blood, mucus, pus, stool, urine, marrow and trunks of bodies falling from the sky in front of him. (25) Then from the sky a downpour from everywhere could be observed of a mountain of clubs, bludgeons, swords and maces, together with a hail of big stones. (26) Serpents breathing like thunder vomited fire with angry eyes and groups of mad elephants, lions and tigers were encroaching. (27) As if the last of days had arrived the sea flooded the earth in all directions with fierce rolling waves, producing a tremendous sound.
(28) These kinds of phenomena are created by heinous demons who with demonic illusions try to frighten the less intelligent soul. (29) The great sages cognizant of the highly dangerous mystic power that by the demons was directed against Dhruva, then assembled to support him and help him out. (30) They said: 'Oh son of Uttānapāda, may the Supreme Lord carrying the bow called S'ārnga, be the Godhead that kills all the enemies of the surrendered souls in order to remove their distress. For it is the chanting and hearing of His holy name that forthwith helps men fully to overcome insurmountable death, oh Dhruva.'
Chapter 11: Svāyambhuva Manu Advises Dhruva Mahārāja to Stop Fighting(1) Maitreya said: 'After having heard the words of the sages Dhruva touched water and fixed on his bow an arrow made by Nārāyana. (2) Joining this weapon of Nārāyana to his bow, quickly the illusions created by the Yakshas were vanquished, oh Vidura, just like anger and pain are dispelled by the rise of spiritual knowledge. (3) With the weapon that was given to him fixed on his bow, golden arrows with feathers like the wings of swans sprang forward that pierced the enemy soldiers with the tumultuous sound of peacocks entering a forest. (4) Because of those sharp pointed arrows from everywhere on the battlefield, the Yakshas got terribly excited so that they full of anger with uplifted weapons rushed towards him, just like serpents with raised hoods do when they wage against Garuda. (5) With his arrows he cut through the arms, legs, necks and bellies of all the Yakshas who came forward in battle. He sent them all to the abode above the sun where all those who send their seed upwards [the celibates] are going. (6) When he saw those Yakshas being killed in great numbers by the man with the wonderful chariot while they factually had not committed any offense, the grandfather, the Manu, in his mercy approached the son of Uttānapāda together with the great sages in order to instruct him. (7) Manu said: 'Enough my son, stop the killing of these good guys who never wronged you. With this escalation of anger you are treading the path of ignorance and sin. (8) My dear, this undertaking to kill the Yakshas who have not sinned, is not befitting a member of our family and is forbidden by the sages. (9) Surely my best, you are aggrieved at the death of the brother you care about, but now the offense of one Yaksha has led to the killing of his many associates. (10) This killing of living beings is certainly never the way of those who honestly follow the path of the Lord of the Senses. Taking the body for the self one is like the animals. (11) With your meditation on the Supersoul within all living beings, you have reached the abode of Lord Hari who is so difficult to propitiate. You thus being of worship attained the supreme position of Vishnu. (12) How can someone like you who, enjoying the esteem of the devotees of the Lord, always are remembered by them, how can you who, as an example to others, are vowed to the saintly cause, engage in such an abomination?
(13) When one is of tolerance, friendship, mercy and equanimity towards all living beings, the Soul of All, the Supreme Lord will be very pleased. (14) Pleasing the Supreme Lord a person, being liberated from the modes of material nature and freed from the worries of his individual existence, will achieve unlimited spiritual bliss [brahma nirvāna]. (15) Man and woman evolved [by the impelling force of Time] from the five elements of matter and by their sexual behavior even more men and women came about in this world. (16) With the illusory energy of the Supreme Self thus, oh King, the creation, maintenance and annihilation takes place as a consequence of the interaction of the basic qualities of nature. (17) The way iron is moved [by a magnet] this world of cause and effect must be considered as being moved by the remote cause [of] the original and most exalted Person who is free from the basic qualities of nature. (18) Under the influence of the, no doubt hard to fathom, potency of the Almighty One in the form of the force of Time, the interaction [or disturbance of the equilibrium] of the modes of nature resulted in this diversity of energies. The Supreme Personality exerts His influence upon this diversity, even though He is not the one acting, and in this diversity He leads to death, even though He is not the one who kills. (19) He to whom there is no end puts in the form of Time everything to an end, He who knows no beginning constitutes the beginning of everything, He who is inexhaustible gives life to one living being by means of another one and He as death puts an end to everything that kills. (20) As death entering everyone's life no one is His ally or enemy. All the combinations of the elements [organic and inorganic] helplessly follow His movement like dust particles moved by the wind. (21) Free from a short or long lifespan like with beings that are born, the Almighty One is ever situated in His transcendental position and awards to the covetous ones the results of their actions. (22) Some, oh king, explain this karma [the work load of fruitive activities] as arising from one's particular nature or as brought about by others, oh protector of men. Some say it is due to time, others refer to fate, while still others ascribe it to the desire of the living entity. (23) Who, my dear man, can ever understand the intentions of Him who is our origin, He of transcendence who from the non-manifest reality [pradhāna] gives rise to the different energies and natural forces?
(24) The same way, my son, all these followers of Kuvera [the divine treasurer] are not the murderers of your brother. Only God is the cause of the birth and death of a living being, my dear. (25) He creates the universe and also maintains and annihilates it. Moreover He does not get entangled by the activities of the modes of nature, for He [being free from false ego] does not identify Himself with a material body. (26) This Supersoul, the controller and maintainer of all beings, brings forth, fosters and devours, making use of the force of His external energy. (27) For Him, my dearest, He the Supreme One of death and immortality who in every respect is the ultimate goal of surrender for all the world, all the devotees and important personalities of creation bring their offerings, being controlled by Him the way bulls are controlled by a rope through their nose. (28) Only five years old you left your mother, aggrieved at heart by the words of your stepmother and went to the forest to worship the Lord with austerities. Thus you attained the highest position in the three worlds. (29) Keeping Him in mind, my best one, turn yourself free from anger to the one infallible spiritual self [the Brahman] situated in the beyond and try, looking at the soul, to discover the uncontaminated state from which all that is divided is understood as falsehood [a mere covering]. (30) When you thereupon render transcendental service to the Soul Inside of the Supreme Lord who, endowed with all potencies, is the unlimited reservoir of all pleasure, you will very soon untie the knot of illusion of 'I' and 'mine' and thus be firmly fixed.
(31) Just control your anger - the foremost enemy of goodness - and all good fortune will be yours. By constantly keeping to this lesson, my dear King, this [directive] will work like a medicinal treatment for a disease. (32) An intelligent person who wishes his soul to be free from fear, must never be led by anger, for everyone is fearful of the person ruled by it. (33) By angrily killing the Yakshas you thought to be the killers of your brother, you have slighted S'iva's brother, Kuvera. (34) Go and pacify him immediately, my son. Offer him respectfully with gentle words your obeisances, before the wrath of the[se] great souls will defeat our family.'
(35) Manu Svāyambhuva, after thus giving instruction to his grandson, received from him his obeisances and departed together with the sages for his abode.'
Chapter 12: Dhruva Mahārāja Goes Back to Godhead
(1) Maitreya said: 'Having learned that Dhruva's anger had lingered and that he had refrained from killing, Kuvera, the master of the treasury who is worshiped by the Cāranas, Kinnaras [singers and indwellers of heaven] and Yakshas, appeared there and spoke to Dhruva who stood with folded hands before him. (2) The master of the treasury said: 'Oh son of the ruler, I am very glad with you, oh sinless one, because you under the instruction of your grandfather gave up the enmity that is so difficult to avoid. (3) Factually, you did not kill the Yakshas, nor did the Yakshas kill your brother; it is the Time that is the master of annihilation and generation of all living beings. (4) One's intelligence is of ignorance with the misconceptions of 'I' and 'you'. To a person following the bodily concept life appears to be just like in a dream; it [the physical approach] constitutes the cause of bondage and misfortune. (5) I wish you all good fortune, oh Dhruva, keeping that in mind, live for the worship of the Supreme Lord Beyond the Senses of all living beings and think of Him in the form of the one Supersoul residing within all that lives. (6) Be of devotion unto Him whose lotus feet deserve it to be worshiped, for they deliver you from a material existence and cut through the knot of being materially entangled. Even though He in His potency of ruling the modes is connected to them, He by His inconceivable nature is aloof from them. (7) Oh King, please ask without hesitation from me whatever you deem desirable, oh son of Uttānapāda. We heard, dear man, about your endurance at the lotus feet of Him from whose navel the lotus sprouted, and that you thus deserve the benediction.'
(8) Maitreya said: 'He, who by the treasure king of all kings [the ruler of the Yakshas] was offered a benediction, asked, as a first class intelligent and thoughtful devotee of the Lord, for the continuous remembrance by which one without difficulty crosses over the unsurpassable ocean of nescience. (9) Kuvera, the son of Idavidā, who was very pleased with Dhruva's mentality, granted him that remembrance and next disappeared from sight. Dhruva then also returned to his capital. (10) He thereafter worshiped, by means of sacrificial ceremonies and great charities, with all that he had, he could accomplish and the divine support that he could find, the Ruler of all Sacrifices, the objective [of one's life] who awards all results. (11) Uninterruptedly rendering service unto the one infallible Soul above all, he saw all living beings as present in Him alone and Him Almighty as the one and only present within all living beings. (12) Thus endowed with godly qualities he, who as a kind protector of the principles of dharma had respect for the brahmins and the poor, was considered the father of the people. (13) During the thirty-six thousand years of his rule over the planet Earth he by enjoyment exhausted his merits and by austerity diminished his misfortune. (14) Thus free from agitating his senses the great soul [life after life] for many, many years favorably executed the three kinds of civil duties [the regulation of religion, economy and sense gratification], after which he handed the royal throne over to his son. (15) He realized that this universe, consisting of His external energy, was a phantasmagoria to the soul, something that, just like a dream, is a result of ignorance. (16) He considered everything created comprising his body, his wives, children, friends, his influence, riches, the pleasure grounds, the facilities for his women and the complete of the beauty of the earth with its oceans, as something bound to time and for that reason he left for Badarikās'rama [the Himalayan forest]. (17) There he purified his body by bathing in pure water and, fixed in yogic postures, controlled the breathing process by withdrawing the mind from his physical senses. Concentrating on the exact form of the Lord he constantly kept in mind, he thus meditating became fully absorbed. (18) Constantly engaged in his devotion for Lord Hari, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he was of an everlasting bliss and was time and again overcome by a stream of tears that made his heart melt and made all the hairs of his body stand on end. He no longer remembered that he had a body and was thus liberated from [also the subtlety of] being materially bound [mukta-linga].
(19) Dhruva saw a very beautiful heavenly vehicle [a vimāna] descending from the sky that illumined him and the ten directions as if the full moon itself had appeared. (20) Therein he discerned two beautiful demigods with four arms, a blackish skin, being quite young and with eyes as pink as a lotus flower. They held clubs and were attractively dressed and decorated with helmets, bracelets, necklaces and earrings. (21) Understanding them to be two servants of the Renown One, he stood up, but being puzzled he did not know anymore how to receive them with proper respect and thus he respectfully joined his hands offering his obeisances by chanting the names of the chief of these associates, the Enemy of Madhu. (22) He whose heart was always absorbed in thoughts of the feet of Lord Krishna, very humbly folded his hands and bowed his head, while Nanda and Sunanda, the two chief servants of the One with the Lotus navel, smilingly approached and addressed him. (23) Nanda and Sunanda said: 'Oh best of kings! All good fortune to you. Listen attentively to our words. You are the one who, being five years old, greatly satisfied the Lord by doing penance. (24) We, as the associates of the creator of this entire universe, of the Godhead who carries the bow named S'ārnga, have approached you to take you with us to the abode of the Lord. (25) You have achieved the world of Vishnu, so difficult to achieve that not even the greatest souls of enlightenment can reach there. Come and see the supreme abode around which to the right the moon, the sun, the other planets and the stars are circumambulating. (26) This has never been achieved by your forefathers nor by others, oh dear man, come and live there in that supreme abode of Lord Vishnu who is so worshipable for the inhabitants of the universe. (27) Oh immortal soul, you deserve it to board this unique heavenly vehicle that was sent to you by the One Praised in the Verses, the head of all living beings.'
(28) Sage Maitreya said: 'Having heard the words that like honey poured from the chief associates of the Lord, he who was so dear to Him, took a purifying bath and performed his daily duties. Thereupon he greeted the sages and accepted their blessings. (29) After with prayers having circumambulated that excellent heavenly vehicle and also having paid the two associates his obeisances, he, whose form shone with a golden effulgence, was ready to get on board. (30) The son of Uttānapāda thereupon saw death personified approaching him. He put his foot on his head and thus ascended the wonder that was as big as a house. (31) At that moment kettledrums, mridangas [drums of worship] and small drums and such resounded, while the chief heavenly singers sang and flowers showered like rain. (32) When he was about to ascend to the heavenly abode, Dhruva remembered his mother Sunīti and thought: 'How can I go to the difficult to attain world above all worlds and leave my poor mother behind?' (33) Understanding Dhruva's worries, the two superior beings of enlightenment pointed out to him that she in her divinity had preceded him on the path. (34) On his way being covered by flowers that here and there by the demigods full of praise were showered upon him from their heavenly vehicles, he passed one after the other all the heavenly spheres [or planets]. (35) In his vimāna rising above the three worlds and even going beyond the great sages, Dhruva, who had attained eternal life, then reached the abode of Lord Vishnu. (36) Radiating by its effulgence that place illumines from within all the three worlds everywhere and also makes them radiate. It can only be reached by those who constantly engage in welfare activities and not by those who are not merciful with other living beings. (37) Peaceful, equipoised, pure and pleasing to all living beings do they, who are befriended with His devotees, easily reach the abode of the Infallible One. (38) Dhruva, the son of Uttānapāda who, fully devoted to Krishna, found his purity, thus became the crown-jewel of the three worlds. (39) The sphere of the luminaries [the galaxy], being connected with great force and speed, unceasingly encircles that place, oh Kaurava [Vidura's family name], like being a herd of bulls moving around a central pole.
(40) Having observed Dhruva's glories, the wise and great lord Nārada played his stringed instrument in the sacrificial arena of the Pracetās, chanting [the following] verses. (41) Nārada sang: 'Due to his austerity this son of Sunīti, who served her husband so devotedly, could attain that position. Not even those whom one calls the followers of the Vedas are, despite their awareness of the means, certain of such an attainment, not to mention the chances of regular human beings. (42) He who at the age of five years, aggrieved about the harsh words of the wife of his father, in pursuance of my instruction, deeply pained in his heart went to the forest, won over the Supreme Master, winning with the qualities of His devotees. (43) After pleasing the Lord of Vaikunthha he, only five or six years old, in the shortest possible time attained His protection. Any other person cannot even expect to attain, after many, many of such years [of renunciation] on earth, the exalted position that Dhruva, this kshatriya son, attained.'
(44) Maitreya said: 'I have told you everything you asked me here about the great and famous character of Dhruva, who is so very much appreciated by many [a devotee]. (45) [To hear] this bestows wealth and repute, increases one's lifespan and is so greatly sacred and auspicious that one can even attain Dhruva's heaven with it, pleasing as it is to the mind and glorious in counteracting all kinds of sin. (46) Repeatedly listening to it with faith one will develop devotional activities dear to the Infallible One and therefrom there is bound to be the full defeat of all hindrances. (47) For the one who hears it there are the qualities of his good conduct and such; the story constitutes [a source of] strength for souls seeking strength and is [a breeding ground for] the honor of those who are thoughtful. (48) Carefully sing, in the company of twice-born souls, in the morning and the evening, the glories of the sacred renown and great character of Dhruva. (49-50) At the time of a full moon or a new moon, on the day after Ekādas'ī [the twelfth day of a lunar month], when the S'ravana star appears, at the end of a tithi [a lunar day], on a day called Vyatīpāta, at the end of the month or on a holiday [relative to the sun] you should recount the story to a receptive audience without desiring remuneration and take shelter of the lotus feet of Him who is the Refuge of the Seeker. You will find your mind then pacified by the soul and thus become perfect. (51) He who imparts this knowledge to souls unaware of the original reality, walks the path of truth and immortality and will be blessed by the gods for being a kind protector of the seekers. (52) Oh best among the Kurus, thus was my description of the activities, the fame and the great purity of Dhruva who, as a child forsaking his toys and his mother, left home and found the shelter of Lord Vishnu.' "
Chapter 13: Description of the Descendants of Dhruva Mahārāja
(1) Sūta said [to the rishis at Naimishāranya]: "Hearing Maitreya's description of Dhruva's ascent to the abode of Vaikunthha, Vidura's love for the Supreme Lord in the beyond grew and again he began to question Maitreya Muni.
(2) Vidura asked: 'Who were they, you called the Pracetās? Which family they were known by, whose sons were they, oh best among the sworn and where performed they their sacrifice? (3) I think that Nārada is the greatest of all the devotees; he saw God before his eyes and described the procedure of rendering devotional service to the Lord [in kriyā-yoga or the pāńcarātrika-method]. (4) When these men were performing their sacrificial duties in worship of the Supreme Lord, the Enjoyer of All Sacrifices was by Nārada described with devotion. (5) Oh brahmin, be so kind to tell me, so very eager to hear, in full all the stories about the Lord that were narrated there by the devarishi.'
(6) Maitreya said: 'Utkala, the son of Dhruva, after his father departed for the forest, did not desire the throne of the emperor, his father, with all the lands and opulence belonging to it. (7) From the day he was born he was a most satisfied, unattached soul, who equipoised saw the Supersoul as spread everywhere in the world and all the world as resting in the Supersoul. (8-9) Because of his single-minded resolve about the spirit of the Absolute, the separation from heaven had ended in the oneness of the Self. A consequent yoga practice had increased his bliss that as fire burned away the karmic impurities of his mind. Thus realizing his constitutional position all his thoughts were devoted to the Soul of all Souls. (10) Out on the road he to the less intelligent appeared to be like a fool, blind, deaf, dumb and mad, but actually his intelligence was more like a fire with its flames tempered. (11) Thinking that Utkala had no intelligence and was mad, the elders of the family and the ministers of state appointed Vatsara, the younger son of Bhrami, ruler of the world. (12) Svarvīthi, King Vatsara's dearest wife, gave birth to six sons: Pushpārna, Tigmaketu, Isha, Ūrja, Vasu and Jaya. (13) Pushpārna had two wives Doshā and Prabhā. Of Prabhā there were the sons Prātar, Madhyandinam and Sāyam. (14) Pradosha, Nis'itha and Vyushtha were the three sons of Doshā. Vyushtha begot in his wife Pushkarinī a son named Sarvatejā [the all powerful one]. (15-16) His wife, called Ākūti, gave birth to a son named Cākshusha who was the [sixth] Manu. His queen Nadvalā bore him [twelve] pure sons: Puru, Kutsa, Trita, Dyumna, Satyavān, Rita, Vrata, Agnishthoma, Atīrātra, Pradyumna, S'ibi and Ulmuka. (17) Ulmuka begot six very good sons in Pushkarinī [who had the same name as her predecessor]: Anga, Sumanā, Khyāti, Kratu, Angirā and Gaya. (18) The wife of Anga, Sunīthā gave birth to Vena who was very crooked. Disappointed about his bad character the wise king Anga left the city [to live in the forest]. (19-20) He [Vena] was cursed by the sages whose angry words struck him like thunder. After that had happened he died. Being without a king all the inhabitants of the world were pestered by thieves and rogues. They then churned his right arm [his 'hand'], upon which a partial incarnation [ams'a-avatāra] of Nārāyana descended called Prithu, who became the original Lord of the Earth.
(21) Vidura said: 'With King Anga being such a reservoir of good qualities and a saintly person, a lover of brahminical culture and a great soul, how could his son be so bad that he became indifferent and left? (22) Why did the sages conversant with the religious principles who saw Vena's faults, desire to pronounce the brahmin's curse against him, while it was the king who carried the rod of punishment? (23) The king is never to be insulted by the citizens however sinful he may be, because he by his personal influence maintains the power of all the local officials. (24) Please describe to me, your faithful devotee, oh brahmin, all there is to say about the activities of the son of Sunīthā, for you are well conversant with [the things of] heaven and earth.'
(25) Maitreya replied: 'King Anga once executed a great as'vamedha sacrifice, but to that great offering all the godly ones never attended despite the fact that they were invited by the officiating brahmins. (26) Puzzled about it they then told the instigator of the sacrifice: 'The godly ones do not accept the oblations in the fire of the priests. (27) Oh King, there is nothing impure about the offerings that you with great care collected, nor is there anything wrong with the proper execution of the mantras by the qualified brahmins. (28) In this connection we cannot find the least insult or neglect in respect of the godly ones because of which the God-conscious who are to witness the sacrifice, wouldn't accept their share.'
(29) Maitreya said: 'King Anga, the performer of the sacrifice, was very depressed after hearing what the twice-born said. He then with their permission addressed the priests to be informed by them: (30) 'Being invited the ones of God are not going to [attend the sacrificial ceremony and] accept their share of the offerings. My dear priests, please tell me what offense I have committed.'
(31) The leading priests said: 'Oh god of man, in this life you haven't even committed the slightest sin, but in your previous life there was a sin because of which you in this life are without a son. (32) Therefore we who wish you all good fortune say to you: execute the sacrifice to get good offspring oh King, when you worship the Lord, the enjoyer of the sacrifice, with the desire to get a son, He will grant you one. (33) Thereupon all the men of God will accept their share of the sacrifice, because for the purpose of [getting] a son then evidently the Supreme Personality has been invited. (34) The Lord being worshiped will award the person whatever he desires; according to the way He is respected by the people they will reap the fruits.'
(35) Thus having decided the learned ones offered rice cake in the fire of the Lord of the Flames, for the king to get a son. (36) From the sacrificial fire a person in white garments appeared with a golden garland and a golden pot in which he carried rice boiled in milk. (37) He, the king, firmly rooted in the noble mind, with the permission of the learned took the in milk boiled rice in his joined palms and offered it, after smelling with great delight, to his wife. (38) The childless queen eating from the food that would give her a child, indeed was impregnated by the husband and thus she in due time gave birth to a son. (39) That boy appeared partly following in the footsteps of his death-oriented, maternal, irreligious grandfather. He therefore became an offender of the holy duty. (40) He used to take up his bow as a hunter and go into the forest to kill innocent deer. Thus all the people cried: 'There he is, the cruel Vena!' (41) While playing in the playground with boys of his age he very cruelly violently killed them mercilessly as if he slaughtered animals. (42) Seeing how cruel his son was, the king by different means of punishment couldn't get a grip on him and thus he became greatly aggrieved thinking: (43) 'They who are without a son probably have worshiped God [in a previous life], they do not have to suffer this unbearable sorrow to live at home with such a bad son. (44) From a bad son's sinful reputation and unrighteousness there will be a great discord among the people who all constantly will live in fear. (45) Who would want such a so-called son? What he no doubt means to the soul is bondage to illusion; which intelligent man would value a son who brings misery to one's family life? (46) I think it's better to have a bad son than a good one. The grief one has because of him will lead to detachment from one's household that is the source of all misery, for it turns the life of a mortal man into a lot of trouble.'
(47) Thus grown indifferent the king, unable to sleep, got up in the middle of the night to forsake his home that was so opulent because of the blessings of the great souls. Not noticed by anyone he left Vena's mother who was fast asleep. (48) As soon as was understood that the king, no longer caring, had left, all the citizens, priests and ministers, friends and the rest of the people searched the earth in great bereavement, just like inexperienced yogis looking for what's hidden within the person. (49) Not finding a trace of their father of state, oh Kaurava, the citizens returned disappointed to their city and informed with tears in their eyes, after offering their respects, the assembled sages about the absence of the king.'
Chapter 14: The Story of King Vena
(1) Maitreya said: 'The sages headed by Bhrigu who always aspired the welfare of all the people, understood that the citizens with King Anga being absent were doomed to live on the level of animals. (2) The men of wisdom called for the mother of Vena Sunīthā and then enthroned him [Vena] as the master over the world, even though the ministers did not agree. (3) Hearing that King Vena had ascended the throne the thieves, knowing that he was a most severe punisher, hid themselves immediately like they were rats afraid of a snake. (4) King Vena having ascended the royal seat was very proud of the eight kind of opulences [bhaga, see 3.24: 32] and considered himself to be the greatest. Impudently he began to insult the great personalities. (5) Thus blinded by power he, as proud as an uncontrolled elephant, mounted a chariot and traveled around, creating fear in heaven and on earth. (6) Not permitting the brahmins the performance of any sacrifice, that charities were given or that any butter was offered in the fire, he thus beating his kettledrums everywhere put an end to all religious rituals. (7) When the sages, who always had performed the sacrifices, saw what the great rogue Vena did, they considered it a threat to the common people and out of compassion talked about it. (8) 'Like a log burning from both sides, the common people alas from both the sides of the king and the thieves and rogues are in great danger. (9) Because we were afraid to be without a king Vena has been crowned although he was not qualified and now there is also the threat of danger from his side. How can the living beings be happy now? (10) Vena, born from the womb of Sunīthā, has grown into a mischievous character, just like a snake that maintained with milk even attacks the one who feeds it. (11) With him appointed king there is no doubt that he desires to harm the citizens, but in order not to suffer the consequences of his sins we nevertheless should try to pacify him. (12) Despite knowing Vena's unrighteousness we have made him king. With him not responsive to our pacifying words, he, for his evildoing, will be condemned by the public and will have to burn, just as he will have to burn by our own fierce opposition.' (13) Thus having decided the sages approached Vena, while concealing their anger. They pacified him with kind words and then spoke with him.
(14) The sages said: 'Oh best of the royals! Please try to understand what we are about to tell you, oh King. It will increase your lifespan, strength and good repute, oh best one. (15) Persons who, in their words, mind, body and intelligence are free from attachment and acted according to the religious principles, will be granted the worlds that are free from misery; they will find liberation and lasting happiness. (16) May that not be lost by you, oh hero of the people, the king who misses that what is the root cause of prosperity, will lose his sway. (17) Oh King, the royal rule that protects the people against mischievous officials, thieves and rogues may for that reason collect taxes and enjoy this world as also the next. (18) It is in those kingdoms in the cities of which the Supreme Lord, the enjoyer of all sacrifices, is worshiped, that the people following the varnās'rama system [of vocations and age groups] will act according to their nature. (19) The Fortunate One, the original cause of the cosmic manifestation, will be pleased with that king, oh noble one, who in his position of power is of the Soul that keeps the entire universe together. (20) With Him, the Controller of the Controllers, being satisfied, one can achieve the impossible and therefore the people are everywhere, with their preferred lead [their gods, kings and idols], by all means with the greatest pleasure, all performing sacrifices for Him. (21) It is He who with all the deities that are worshiped is the recipient. He is the sum total of the Vedas, the owner of all means of worship and the goal of all austerity. Therefore, oh King, you should, to your greater honor and self-interest, direct your countrymen to perform worship by means of the different kinds of sacrifices. (22) When the brahmins in the kingdom are of devotional service, all the enlightened souls who are part of the Lord, are properly respected and will, most satisfied, grant the desired result. Oh hero, you should not fail to respect them.'
(23) Vena replied: 'Oh how childish you all are in taking irreligious principles for religious ones. In fact you forsake the father who feeds you being unfaithful with another love. (24) They who out of ignorance failing in respect do not realize that the Lord is there in the form of the king, cannot find happiness in this world nor after they died! (25) What now is the name of that enjoyer of sacrifice unto whom you direct your great devotion? Just like a bad woman with her paramour you fail in your affection for [your king,] the husband! (26-27) The creator, the maintainer, the destroyer, the king of heaven, the god of the wind and the god of death; the god of the sun, the god of the rains, the god of the treasury and the god of the moon; the god of the earth, the god of the fire and the god of the waters; all these and also other powers capable of blessing and cursing abide in the body of the king, the king comprises all the gods. (28) For that reason, oh learned souls, you should worship me in your rituals and not be envious. Use those means for my sake, there is no one else to worship as the prime enjoyer of what is offered.'
(29) Maitreya said: 'With all respects offered not acceding to the request of the sages, he whose intelligence was perverted and who most sinfully had strayed from the path, thus was bereft of all good fortune. (30) All the brahmins as a consequence felt insulted by him who considered himself so very learned. Frustrated in their polite request, oh Vidura, they became very angry with him: (31) 'Put him to death, to death, this king, this sinner, this dreadful character who very soon will turn the whole world into a heap of ash if we let him live. (32) This man full of impiety, does not deserve the exalted throne as a god of man. He shamelessly insults Lord Vishnu, the master of all sacrifices! (33) Who else but that miserable Vena would be such a blasphemer of Him by whose mercy all opulence is received?' (34) Thus decided to put him to death they showed their anger and by the sound of their reproach [saying 'Hum'] ended the life of Vena, [the king] who was destroyed by blaspheming the Infallible One. (35) After the sages had returned to their hermitages, lamenting Sunīthā preserved the body of her son by means of chanting mantras.
(36) Once, when the sages were bathing in the waters of the Sarasvatī and offered oblations in the fire, they sat down on the bank of the river and began to discuss the question of truth. (37) They then told each other that they had noticed that disturbances were developing that created fear among the people; would the citizens without a ruler not suffer the misfortune of having a world full of thieves and rogues? (38) And indeed, while the wise were considering this, wherever one looked dust clouds could be seen in the sky that were caused by the running of plundering criminals. (39-40) They then realized their fault: the disturbance of the common people whose riches were plundered, was due to the death of their protector. With the state full of thieves and murderers in chaos being bereft of a king, they, despite their knowledge, were not able to subdue the rogues. (41) An equipoised and peaceful brahmin with a disregard for afflicted souls, loses his strength of mind, just like a broken pot loses its water. (42) The family line of the saintly king Anga should not be broken, for the semen of the kings of this family was so productive that they enjoyed the shelter of Kes'ava ['He with the beautiful curls']. (43) The wise men thus decided to churn the thighs of the dead king with great force. Thereupon a person named Bāhuka [the dwarf] was born. (44) He was as black as a crow, very short in every way with very short legs and arms, had big jaws, a flat nose, reddish eyes and copper red hair. (45) Having appeared he meekly bowed before the sages inquiring: 'What can I do for you?' 'Please sit down', they replied and thus, oh best one, he became thereafter known as Nishāda. (46) His descendants were thereupon called the Naishādas. They inhabited the hills and forests because they, being born from Vena, were feared because of all his sins.'
Chapter 15: King Prithu's Appearance and Coronation
(1) Maitreya said: 'Thus the brahmins again churned the arms of the king who had no son and from that action a child couple took birth. (2) About that child couple being born the sages conversant with the Vedas said that they were very happy, knowing that it concerned an ['āves'a'-]expansion of the Supreme Lord. (3) The sages said: 'This man is an expansion of the Supreme Lord Vishnu who maintains the world and this woman is Lakshmī, the Goddess of Fortune who is an inseparable, integral part of the Original Person. (4) This male will be the first among the kings and will spread his reputation under the name of Prithu ['the one of the earth'], becoming widely renown as the Great King. (5) This female will, as a goddess of all good qualities, enhance the beauty of her ornaments with the magnificence of her teeth; she will be named Arci and will attract Prithu with her great beauty. (6) He, as a partial, direct representative of the Lord, is born with the desire to protect the entire world and she took birth as the inseparable goddess who is very attracted to him.'
(7) Maitreya said: 'The brahmins praised him, the singers of heaven chanted, the perfected ones showered flowers and the girls of heaven were dancing. (8) Filling the air with vibrating conches, bugles, drums and kettledrums and such, all the godly souls, the sages and the elderly of all sections of society gathered there. (9-10) Brahmā, the master of the universe, accompanied by the godly arriving there together with all the leaders of the enlightened world, saw on the right hand of that son of Vena, the mark of Vishnu carrying the club. His two feet also showed the [marks of the] lotus flower and thus he was certain that he dealt with a partial appearance of the Lord who with His invincible disc [as a mark in His hand] as a plenary portion represents the Supreme Interest. (11) The brahmins attached to the rituals arranged for his coronation and thus the people for his sake from everywhere collected the different means for performing the ceremony. (12) The rivers, the seas, the mountains, the serpents, the cows, the birds and the animals, the sky, the earth and all living beings contributed with different kinds of gifts. (13) He was thus crowned the Mahārāja. Exquisitely dressed and fully ornamented he, together with his nicely jeweled wife Arci, appeared like a fire beyond compare. (14) The keeper of wealth Kuvera, donated a royal throne made of gold, oh hero, and Varuna gave him an umbrella as brilliant as the moon from which constantly a mist of water droplets showered. (15) Vāyu in his turn gave him two camāras [whisks] made of hair, Dharma gave a garland that added to his name and fame, Indra gave a very valuable helmet while Yama gave him a scepter to rule the world. (16) Brahmā armed him with spiritual knowledge, his wife Bhāratī, the Goddess of Learning [Sarasvatī], gave a transcendental necklace, the Supreme Personality [Hari, Vishnu] gave him a Sudars'ana disc and His wife Lakshmī gave him imperishable opulence. (17) Lord S'iva came with a sword decorated with ten moons and Durgā gave a likewise shield showing a hundred moons. The moon god gave horses of the finest breed and the demigod Vis'vakarmā presented a very beautiful chariot. (18) Agni gave a bow made of horn, Sūrya gave arrows as brilliant as sunlight, Bhūmi [the Goddess of the Earth] gave slippers that empowered him with mystic union and the gods of the heavenly planets gave him flowers day after day. (19) The art of drama, singing the finest songs, playing musical instruments as also the ability to make things appear and disappear, were given to him by those moving through the ether. The great sages blessed him with infallibility and the god of the ocean produced a conch shell for him. (20) The seas, the mountains and the rivers provided him passage for his chariot and professed bards and officials of prayer presented themselves praising him in verses. (21) Seeing them engaged in their offerings, the greatly powerful son of Vena spoke as follows, smiling with a voice as grave as the thunder of clouds.
(22) King Prithu said: 'Oh dear bards, men of prayer and men of praise, the words of your address are misplaced. The way I am now present in this world I do not stand out with these qualities. Why should I be praised as the refuge when these words do not apply to me? Your words for my sake should not go in vain. (23) Offer those prayers therefore some future time, when the qualities you mentioned are actually manifest in me, oh gentle reciters. The proper way is to discuss the qualities of the Supreme Lord glorified in the scriptures. Being civilized one should not offer prayers to a lowly human being. (24) Someone who causes followers to praise him for talents that he as a lord and master could have but in reality lacks, deceives himself in being a fool unaware of the fact that the people are insulting him. (25) The ones in power certainly do not like it to be praised. Despite being very famous, they are modest: [they very well know] that they, magnanimous as they are in their heroic deeds, are just as well reprehensible. (26) Oh you people led by practices of praise, when we at present are not of any fame in the world or of any praiseworthy action, then how can I engage you in songs of praise for me like you were children?'
Chapter 16: King Prithu Extolled
(1) Maitreya said: 'The professional reciters, pleased with hearing the king speak these nectarine words, praised him therefore according to the instructions of the sages: (2) 'We are at a loss to describe in full the glories of you who as the foremost godhead has descended out of your own mercy. Despite the fact that you appeared from the body of Vena, your glories bewilder the minds of the leading speakers. (3) Nevertheless we will, in accord with what the wise have told us to do, try to put the name of King Prithu, [of you who are] famed for being a partial incarnation of Lord Vishnu, in the sweetest words. Encouraged in our attention for the liberality and praiseworthiness of your activities, we shall do our best to sing your praises. (4) This king, being the protector of the regulative principles of human nature is also the chastiser of all who act against them; as the best defender of the faith he will incite the entire world to follow dutifully. (5) He is the one and only who carries all the forms of all local deities within himself. Based upon that justice each and everyone high and low in due course will receive his proper share and prosper therefrom. (6) All the riches this king exacts will by him in due time be equally distributed over all living beings, just like the all-powerful sun god distributes his rays. (7) He as the king will take up the duty of mother earth to be always kind to the aggrieved and tolerant towards the people who trample her face. (8) As easy as Indra answers with rain when there is a shortage of water and the living entities have to suffer, that divine man of God, this embodiment of the Lord, will protect the citizens. (9) The whole world will thrive on the glances and bright smiles of his beautiful and affectionate moonlike face. (10) The policies of this king are unseen, his actions are confidential and secret, his accomplishments are hidden and there is no limit to his treasury. His soul, as the only reservoir of all good qualities, will be covered just as it is with [the position of] Varuna, the king of the seas. (11) Born from Vena like fire from firewood, he is difficult to approach and unbearable [for his enemies]. When one approaches him he stays at a distance. No one can defeat him. (12) He as the neutral witness oversees the activities inside and outside of all living beings, just [as inseparable] as the life breath is of all the embodied beings. (13) He will never punish someone not deserving punishment, not even when it concerns the son of his enemy, nevertheless he following the path of righteousness will punish his own son if he deserves it. (14) Like the sun god shining his light everywhere, the circle of influence of Prithu will unimpeded remain the most powerful one up to Mānasa mountain [the arctic region]. (15) The entire world will be pleased by his personal activities and will therefore call him 'the King Happy to the Mind of the Citizens'. (16) Firm in his determination and always truthful, he in favor of the brahminical and of service to the elderly, is the one of respect and the caring parent for the poor with whom all living beings seek their shelter. (17) He is as respectful towards other women as he is towards his mother, unto his own wife he is like the other half of his body, unto the citizens he is like an affectionate father and he is a servant unto those who preach the word of God. (18) All embodied beings are as dear to him as his own self, he increases the pleasure of his friends and he intimately associates with those who are free from attachment. This king is the hand chastising the wicked. (19) He who is unmistakably the unchanging Supreme Lord over the three worlds, descended as a partial [s'aktyāves'a] expansion of the Supersoul. He regards [the false security of confiding in] the variegation of matter as meaningless, for such a notion is born from nescience. (20) From the earliest light of day over the hills on, he uniquely heroic will protect the globe as the king of the world, the master of all gods of men. From his victorious chariot upholding the bow, he will reach everywhere from the south [to the north] like the sun does passing [every year] from the south [to the north]. (21) For certain all kings of all places will offer him presentations. With the locally worshiped deities the wives of these kings will consider him the Original King who wields the weapon of his disc in defense of his [His] reputation. (22) He will milk the earth whom one knows in the form of a cow, as an extraordinary king and progenitor [the Prajāpati] he will provide facilities for the populace and for a pastime he will simply by the pointed end of his bow level the mountains by breaking them apart in preparing the earth [for agriculture], just like Indra, the king of heaven did [hitting the mountains with his thunderbolt]. (23) When he vibrating his bow of horn, like a lion keeping his tail high, personally travels the earth, he, invincible in battle, will drive all warmongers everywhere into retreat. (24) The moment this king will have performed a hundred as'vamedha [horse] sacrifices at the source of the Sarasvatī river, his horse during the last of the hundred sacrifices there will be stolen away by Lord Indra. (25) He will meet the worshipable Sanat-kumāra alone in the garden of his palace and will, with his devotion being of worship, achieve the uncontaminated, transcendental knowledge by which the Spirit of the Absolute Truth is enjoyed. (26) He will hear about the widespread reputation of his chivalry as Prithu, the king of supreme power, being put in so many words in the form of songs and narrations. (27) Conquering [his opponents] everywhere with no one checking him he will, by his own prowess, uproot the miseries of the citizens. He will be glorified as the greatest soul by the leaders of the godly and the godless and become the lord of the world.'
Chapter 17: Prithu Mahārāja Gets Angry with the Earth
(1) Maitreya said: 'After the son of King Vena thus had been glorified for his qualities and actions as a manifestation of the Supreme Lord, he pleased those who had spoken with gifts and honored them with praises. (2) The leaders of the brahmins and the other castes, the servants, the ministers, the priests, the citizens, all his subjects, the different communities and his admirers he all properly respected.'
(3) Vidura said: 'Why did Mother Earth who has so many forms, assume the form of a cow? And with King Prithu milking her, who was there as the calf and what was the milking pot? (4) How leveled he her [the goddess] who by nature is sloped and for what reason stole the godhead (Indra) the sacrificial horse? (5) Oh brahmin, what state was attained by the saintly king after he from the mighty Sanat-kumāra*, who is so well versed in Vedic lore, had received the practical knowledge? (6-7) Please, your goodness, narrate to this so very attentive devotee everything else about the Supreme Personality of Krishna whom we know as Adhokshaja [the One beyond the senses] and who as the son of Vena milked the earth in the form of that cow. It undoubtedly is a pleasure to listen to the stories about him who from the piety of his previous incarnation arrived at such powerful and glorious activities.'
(8) Sūta said: "Maitreya, very pleased with Vidura being so inspired by the narrations about Vāsudeva, thereupon praised him and replied. (9) Maitreya said: 'When King Prithu was enthroned by the brahmins, my best, and declared to be the protector of the people, the citizens suffered a shortage of food. They then, with their bodies emaciated because of the hunger, approached him, the protector of the surface of the earth, in order to inform him.
(10-11) 'Oh King, suffering a hunger that burns like a fire in the hollow of a tree, we today have come to you to take shelter with you. For you are the appointed person and master to be consulted who must give the orders. Please, your Majesty, try therefore to provide us, who suffer from hunger, with food, oh master over all rulers of men. If you do not act as the protector of the people and the leader of the food supply, we will perish!'
(12) Maitreya said: 'Prithu hearing the citizens lament their pitiable condition, for a long time contemplated, oh best of the Kurus, and discovered the cause. (13) With intelligence having arrived at that conclusion he took up his bow and aimed an arrow at the earth, like he was the angry Lord of the three Cities [Lord S'iva who once pierced three fortresses with one arrow]. (14) When the earth saw that he had taken up his bow and arrows, she trembling turned into a cow and fled away, as afraid as a deer chased by a hunter. (15) With his eyes turned red out of anger chasing the cow, the son of Vena then laid an arrow on his bow wherever she fled. (16) Seeing the king coming after her with his weapons raised, the goddess ran randomly in all the four directions, fleeing hither and thither wherever heaven meets earth. (17) Just like man unable to escape from death, she nowhere in the world could escape from the hand of the son of Vena and finally turned back, most scared and very saddened at heart.
(18) She said: 'Since you are now the great one of fortune, oh knower of the dharma, oh shelter of the afflicted souls, please save me. Your Majesty after all, is there for the protection of the living beings. (19) Why do you want to kill someone who is poor and sinless? How can you, whom one considers a knower of the religious principles, wish to kill a woman like me? (20) If no one should ever strike a woman, not even when she is sinful, then what to speak of a personality like you, oh King, a human being so merciful and affectionate to the poor? (21) If you break me, this very strong boat carrying all the world, how can you hold yourself and your people afloat then?'
(22) King Prithu replied: Oh dear source of wealth, if you do not obey my rules, I will have to kill you because you, while accepting your share of the offerings, do not provide us the produce. (23) You eat the greenest grass daily but we are never certain of the milk provided by your udder. Is it not demanded to administer punishment to a cow that is thus indubitably in offense? (24) Not very intelligent disobeying me you do not yield the seeds for the plants, herbs and grains for us, that originally were formed by the Creator but now are hidden by you inside of you. (25) To put an end to the misery of all the distressed who suffer from hunger, I will now cut your flesh to pieces with my arrows. (26) Whether it concerns a man, a woman or an eunuch, kings who kill those who with no compassion for other living beings, as the lowest of all, care only for themselves, do not really kill. (27) You, so foolish and conceited, prove yourself to be a cow of illusion. I will thus with my arrows cut you to pieces as small as grains, for I, by the power of my yoga, will personally uphold all these citizens.'
(28) Being that angry he had assumed the form of death personified. The surrendered planet earth who had to tremble all over, then with folded hands spoke. (29) The earth said: 'My respects for the Transcendence, the Original Person who with the material energy expanded into a variety of forms. Unto that source of qualities I offer my obeisances, unto that original form of Him who, with all of His love and actions, as a doer, Himself is never affected because He is not bewildered by the waves of the ocean of matter. (30) He who created me as an abode for all living beings, as a combination of the different modes and elements, He standing before me now who, in His own right, wishes to kill me with His weapons ready, to what other shelter should I resort but to Him? (31) You as the One who in the beginning by His inconceivable potency created all these moving and nonmoving entities and offered them the protection of His shelter, You who by that same māyā now proves to be this king, wishing to offer protection as someone strictly following the principles, how can you desire to kill me? (32) Because of His unconquerable potency the plan of the Supreme Master is never clear to human beings who always fall short. He indeed who by His inconceivable powers and lordship caused the Creator and his creation, is the One within the many. (33) I offer Him my obeisances who is the cause of the creation, dissolution and maintenance of this world, unto Him who by dint of His powers is the cause of the physical elements, the senses and the controlling demigods, the intelligence and the identification with matter, unto Him who manifests and restricts these energies and is the transcendental Original Personality and Cause of all Causes. (34) It was You who factually created this world consisting of the elements, the senses, the mind and the heart, oh Powerful One, oh Unborn One. It was You who as the original boar [Varāha] maintaining me, lifted me from the lower regions out of the water. (35) Having put me on top of the water with the living entities standing upon me as in a boat, You, who indeed want to offer protection, as a hero have become the keeper of the earth. And now You want to kill me with sharp arrows because of [missing] my milk! (36) The ways and activities of Your divine incarnations can surely never be fully understood by living beings like me or by common people whose minds as a consequence of Your energy are bewildered by the modes. My obeisances for all that You are, You who bring renown to the heroes themselves.'
*: Today there are four main disciplic successions in India: the Kumāra-, Brahmā-, Lakshmī- and S'iva-sampradāyas. This present translation has originated from the Brahmā-sampradāya.
Chapter 18: Prithu Mahārāja Milks the Earth
(1) Maitreya said: 'After mother earth thus had offered King Prithu prayers, his lips were still trembling of anger. She, in fear, then managed to come to her senses and spoke again: (2) 'Please pacify your anger, oh King, understand that what I said, I have said as someone who as an intelligent person, just like a bumblebee, gathers the essence from everywhere. (3) By the great sages who realized the truth, methods were found and applied for the common people to have a better life in both this world and the next. (4) For anyone who fully follows the principles, that are traditionally taught to the inexperienced who live by their faith, it is very easy to enjoy life. (5) He who in neglect [of the traditions] not properly versed engages on his own initiative, will, in pursuing his goals, see himself fail time and again. (6) Oh King, I see that all the plants that in the past were created by Lord Brahmā and are cherished by me, are now in the hands of irresponsible people with no respect for the spiritual practice. (7) [With me] not being taken care of and neglected by local rulers like your goodness, I have for this world, that has fallen into thievery, hidden all the herbs and seeds that are needed for the offerings. (8) Because of being hidden within me for such a long time, those plants, fruits and seeds have deteriorated and therefore your Majesty should take them out the way it is prescribed. (9-10) Oh hero, arrange for a calf for me. And if you also arrange for a milking pot and a milkman, I will, from my affection for it, fulfill all your desires in the form of milk for each of you. I will also, oh mighty-armed one, oh protector of the living beings, if you want, provide for the food you desired to feed yourself. (11) You will also have to engage in leveling me, the earth, oh King, so that the water that fell from the sky by the mercy of the godhead, after the rainy season has not flown away, oh mighty one.'
(12) Thinking of the pleasing and good words of the earth, the king engaged with a calf so that the representative of mankind thus milking obtained all the crops. (13) Everywhere else other men of intelligence also acquired the wealth by likewise caring [for a calf] and thus milking from Prithu's planet earth, whatever they wanted. (14) Oh good one, the sages milking the goddess with their senses [as the milking pot], produced, by dint of sage Brihaspati as the calf, milk in the pure form of the Vedic hymns. (15) Producing from Indra, the king of heaven, as the calf, the godly milked into a golden pot the nectar of the milk of mental power and the strength of the body and the senses. (16) The sons of Diti, the enemies of God, produced with Prahlāda as the calf, with the most important [devotee] among the godless, the milk of fermented and distilled beverages in an iron pot. (17) The singers and denizens of heaven produced with him who was named Vis'vāvasu as the calf, into a vessel in the form of a lotus, the milk of sweet music and beauty. (18) The most fortunate demigods responsible for the funeral rites, with great faith produced, with Aryamā, from the realm of the ancestors the milk of the offerings of food into an unbaked earthen pot. (19) The perfected souls and the scholars and such [the Vidyādharas], appointing Kapila as the calf, produced with the ether [as the milking pot] the knowledge of proceeding at will with yogic mystic powers [siddhis]. (20) Others endowed with magical and mystical powers [the Kimpurushas] produced with Maya [a demon] as the calf and with concentration [or dhārana as the milking pot], the milk of the wondrous ability of making the body invisible. (21) The descendants of Kuvera, the demons, the ghosts and the witches [respectively the Yakshas, Rākshasas, Bhūtas and Pis'ācas], who are all habituated to eating meat, with Lord S'iva's incarnation Rudra [Bhūtanātha] as the calf, milked out a beverage made of blood in a pot of skulls. (22) So also the snakes with and without hoods, the scorpions and the constrictor snakes, produced with Takshaka as the calf, their chief, the milk of poison in the pot of the snake pit. (23-24) The four-legged creatures produced, with the bull carrier of Lord S'iva [Nandi] as the calf, from the green grasses their milk in the pot of the wilderness. The other sharp toothed animals, the predators, with the lion as their calf milked out the flesh of other beings and the birds, with Garuda as their calf, produced in the pot of their own body the milk of the moving [insects and worms] and nonmoving living beings [the plants and grasses]. (25) With the banyan tree as their calf the different trees produced milk in the form of their juices while the hills and mountains, with the Himalayas as the calf, produced the various minerals of their peaks. (26) With the leaders as the calves and with each his own specific milking pot, from the planet Earth ruled by King Prithu the milk was produced of everything needed.
(27) Oh chief of the Kurus, milking the earth with the different calfs, pots and milkers, thus by Prithu and the others following his example, the milk was obtained of all the different forms of food needed by the living entities. (28) King Prithu, being very pleased with all desirables produced as milk, full of affection thereafter treated the planet earth as if she was his own daughter. (29) The emperor, the mighty son of Vena, with the power of his bow had broken up all the hilltops of the entire earth and thus had leveled [cultivated] her almost completely. (30-31) And so the Supreme Lord, present on this earth as the son of Vena, was as a father to the citizens in employing them and in preparing at different locations for numbers of suitable dwellings according to the need: villages, cities, settlements and forts of different kinds as also habitations for the milkmen, pens for livestock, camps, mines, agricultural towns and mountain hamlets. (32) Before Prithu there was on this earth certainly never this kind of planning of towns and villages; one used to live everywhere unrestricted as one liked.'
Chapter 19: King Prithu's One Hundred Horse Sacrifices
(1) The sage Maitreya said: 'Thereafter he, the king, in the land of Manu known as Brahmāvarta, where the Sarasvatī flows to the east, then initiated the performance of a hundred horse sacrifices. (2) Faced with this most powerful excel in fruitive action King Indra, who himself had performed a hundred sacrifices, could not tolerate the great ceremonies of sacrifice of King Prithu. (3) It was there that directly the enjoyer of all sacrifice, the Supreme Lord Vishnu, the transcendental controller who is the proprietor, the teacher of all the world and everyone's soul, would show Himself. (4) Together with Brahmā and S'iva and all the local rulers with their followers, He is praised by the inhabitants and singers of heaven and the wise. (5) The perfected souls and those rooted in learning, the descendants of Diti, the fruitive workers and the guardians of wealth attended there headed by Nanda and Sunanda, the most respectful associates of the Lord. (6) All the great devotees who always serve Him with diligence assembled there: the masters of yoga led by Sanaka [the Kumāras], Kapila, Nārada and Dattātreya. (7) Dear son of Bharata, because of that meeting the land fulfilled, alike the cow that produces all the milk, all wishes by yielding as desired every matter needed by the sacrificer. (8) The rivers carried all the water needed, there was milk, curd and the food of other dairy products and the trees with their big bodies bore fruits and dripped with honey. (9) The people of all places along with their governors brought forward presentations of the four kinds of foodstuff [what is chewed, licked, sucked and drunk] and heaps of jewels from the hills and oceans. (10) Thus King Prithu, abiding by the Lord beyond the Senses, was the most opulent person, but the great Lord Indra, being envious, formed a hindrance. (11) Full of envy he unseen stole the sacrificial animal when the son of Vena was performing the last horse sacrifice meant to please the Lord of All Sacrifices. (12) Indra, impersonating as a liberated soul and thus most confusingly presenting irreligion as religion, was spotted by sage Atri and then hurried away into the sky. (13) The son of King Prithu, a great hero, was by sage Atri encouraged to kill him. He most angry shouted: 'Wait, just wait!' (14) But when he saw that he was wearing the dress that is considered religious, had knotted hair and a body smeared all over with ashes, he could not release an arrow at him. (15) My best one, the son of Prithu, having refrained from killing, was by sage Atri admonished to do it nevertheless since the great Indra had sunken as low as to impede the performance of a yajńa. (16) Thus being ordered the son of Prithu, who was as angry as the king of the vultures was with Rāvana, began to chase Indra who hastily moved away at a distance. (17) With him in pursuit, Indra vanished, abandoning both the horse and his false dress. The great hero then brought the animal of his father back to the sacrificial arena.
(18) Oh master [Vidura], seeing the reality of his wonderful action the great sages honored him accordingly with the name Vijitās'va ['he who won the horse']. (19) But not being seen under the cover of a dense darkness he had created, the mighty King Indra again took the horse away from the sacrificial block where it was chained in golden shackles. (20) When Atri pointed out that he hurried away in the open, the hero this time seeing him holding a staff with a skull at the top, [again] could not kill him. (21) By Atri admonished to go after him, he in anger had fixed an arrow, but the independent Indra, who gave up the horse and the apparel [for the second time], kept himself out of reach. (22) The hero then took the horse and went back to the sacrificial arena of his father. Ever since those with a poor fund of knowledge adopt that false show of the lord of heaven. (23) Those forms that Indra assumed with the desire to steal the horse are all sign and symbol of sinful activities. For this the word deficient is used [with khanda or deficient one speaks of pākhanda or pāshanda, the false preacher or heretic]. (24-25) With Indra, who in his desire to stop the sacrifice stole away the horse from the son of Vena and thus adopted and abandoned the religious garb, the common man, foolishly enough, got attracted to this falsehood of faith in red robes, going naked etc., because it is generally done with great cunning and a good command of speech. (26) The incarnation of the Lord, King Prithu celebrated as the all-powerful one, understood this and, very angry with Indra, took an arrow and lifted his bow.
(27) The priests who saw that Prithu thus prepared to kill the king of heaven, could not tolerate the mental leap of his terrifying display of power and objected: 'Oh great soul, as it is said in the scriptures, it is not proper to kill others in matters like these. (28) Indra, your enemy who in fact already lost his power as the destroyer of your interest, we will summon with mantras never used before and forthwith by force sacrifice him in the fire, oh King.'
(29) After thus having advised the leader of the ceremony, oh Vidura, the priests grim-faced with the sacrificial ladle in their hands stood prepared to perform the sacrifice, but when they were about to begin Lord Brahmā asked them to stop: (30) 'Indra should not be killed by you, for he whose end you wish is also the offering himself, he is an integral part of the Supreme Lord. And so too the ones of God you wish to please by the sacrificing are all part of Indra! (31) And then, oh twice-born souls, beware of this great violation of dharma committed by Indra in his desire to impede these proceedings of the king. (32) Let it be so that from the side of the widely renown King Prithu there are the ninety-nine sacrifices he performed. There is no use [oh King] for more correctly performed sacrifices, for you know the path of liberation very well. (33) You surely should not act in anger against Lord Indra, it suffers no doubt that it will be to the good fortune of the both of you to stand together for the multiformity of the Lord celebrated in the scriptures. (34) Oh great King, please listen to what I tell you with the greatest esteem: do not - as you did - get into the mind of anger because of a twist of fate, because from the king who is of such a consideration, one will enter the darkest regions. (35) Let this sacrificing end, it was by what Indra has created that among the souls of God so many principles of religion were violated and bad habits rooted. (36) Just see how Indra, as the one who broke your sacrifice by stealing the horse, introduced this deception that is so alluring to the common man that he is carried away by it. (37) Your Majesty, you incarnated according to time and circumstance in this world in order to deliver us, because the system of religion by the misdeeds of King Vena had almost vanished. And now you are there as a part and parcel of the body of Vishnu, oh son of Vena. (38) Therefore, in consideration of the welfare of the world, oh protector of the people, respond to the determination of the progenitors of this earth [to respect you as an expansion of the Supreme One] and foil the illusion that was created by Indra in the form of the moralizing without servitude [the pseudo religion, the hypocrisy] that is the mother of the dangerous path of heresy.'
(39) Maitreya continued: 'Thus being advised by the teacher of all, Prithu, the king and master, acted according to what was told and concluded, moved by sympathy, to peace with Indra. (40) After having done so he took a customary bath and received for his glorious actions the blessings of the God-conscious whom he had pleased with the performance of his sacrifices. (41) All the men of learning, whose blessings are effective, were most contented with the great respect and rewards they received from the original king, oh royal soul. They offered their blessings [and said]: (42) 'Oh mighty-armed one, we, the forefathers, gods, sages and also the common people, have all assembled because you invited us and now we feel very honored by your gifts and expressions of respect.'
Thus ends the first part of Canto 4 of the S'rīmad Bhāgavatam
Translation: Anand Aadhar Prabhu, http://bhagavata.org/c/8/AnandAadhar.html
Production: the Filognostic Association of The Order of Time, with special thanks to Sakhya Devi Dasi for proofreading and correcting the manuscript. http://theorderoftime.com/info/guests-friends.html
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