From: Srimad Bhagavatam, Canto 3.
The pregnancy of Diti
Jaya and Vijaya cursed by the four Kumaras
The appearance of Lord Varaha
The victory of Hiranyaksha and his death at the hands of Lord Varaha.
After describing the appearance of the white Boar Incarnation that had appeared during the Svayambhuva devastation, Maitreya next described the red Boar Incarnation that had appeared during the Chakshusha devastation. Maitreya related these pastimes to Vidura in the same manner in which he had heard them long ago when Lord Brahma had narrated them to the demigods.
Once upon a time, at sunset, Kashyapa, the son of Marichi, was offering oblations to Lord Vishnu into the sacrificial fire. At this time, his wife, Diti, approached him due to being greatly afflicted by sex desire. Without trying to attract him gradually by her bodily expressions, the beautiful Diti frankly begged her husband, “O learned one, Cupid is forcibly distressing me with his arrows, just as an elephant troubles a banana tree. I want to have sons like my co-wives and so you should be merciful to me.” “My father, Daksha, had separately asked each of his daughters, whom we preferred to marry. Then, after understanding our intentions, he handed over thirteen of his daughters to you, and we have been faithful to you ever since that time. O lotus-eyed one, when someone in distress approaches a great person, his pleas should never go in vain.”
The hen-pecked Kashyapa could have strongly refused his wife, but because he was also sexually inclined, he tried to pacify Diti, who had become very poor-hearted and talkative, due to the contamination of lust. Kashyapa said, “O afflicted one, I shall soon gratify your desire. It is only due to having a good wife that a man like me can cross over the great ocean of material existence. Indeed, a wife is so helpful that she is called the better half of a man’s body. Just as a military commander can easily conquer invaders while remaining protected within a fort, so a man can conquer his senses by taking shelter of a good wife. For this reason, a man could never repay his wife for all the benefit that he derives from her, even if he were to try to do so during his entire lifetime, or even after death.”
“My dear Diti, although I cannot sufficiently repay you, I will satisfy your sex desire for the purpose of begetting children. I only request you to wait for a few minutes so that I may not become subject to criticism. The present moment is most inauspicious because at this time Lord Shiva rides upon his bull carrier, accompanied by his horrible ghostly companions. He gives such ghosts the chance of getting a gross material body by placing them into the wombs of women that indulge in sexual intercourse during this forbidden period. Lord Shiva is your sister’s husband, and with his three eyes, he will see your forbidden act.”
In spite of receiving such good instructions from her husband, Diti was so oppressed by sex desire that she caught hold of Kashyapa’s clothes just like a shameless prostitute, and thus she practically forced him to gratify her lusty urge. After offering obeisances unto worshipful fate, Kashyapa lay down with Diti in a secluded place. After finishing the forbidden act, Kashyapa purified himself by bathing and once again sat down to chant the Gayatri mantra, while meditating upon the impersonal aspect of the Absolute. Meanwhile, after having gratified her lust, Diti came to her senses. With her head lowered in shame, she approached her husband and said, “My dear brahmana, please insure that my embryo is not killed by Lord Shiva, because of the great offense that I have committed against him.”
Diti then prayed for Lord Shiva’s mercy in a very clever manner: “Let me offer my obeisance unto the angry Lord Shiva. He is so great that he can immediately destroy my embryo, but at the same time he is so merciful and forgiving. Lord Shiva is known as the lord of all women, who are excused even by uncivilized hunters, and therefore I beg him to spare me from his wrath.”
As Diti stood before him, trembling due to fear of his anger, Kashyapa said, “Because of your polluted mind, the improper time, your disobedience, and your neglect of the demigods, your conception will produce two abominable sons who will create havoc within the world by killing innocent persons, torturing women, and enraging the great souls. As a result, the Supreme Lord will incarnate to kill them, just as Indra smashes mountains with his thunderbolt.”
Diti replied, “O my husband, it is a great relief for me to know that my sons will be killed by the all-merciful Supreme Lord, rather than the wrath of the brahmanas. One who offends the brahmanas or causes fear to others is so condemned that even those who are already in hell, or who are of the degraded species in which he will later on appear, feel no compassion toward him.”
Kashyapa then informed Diti, “Due to your repentance and firm faith in the Supreme Lord, as well as your adoration for Lord Shiva and myself, one of your grandsons will be a greatly exalted devotee whose fame will rival that of the Lord Himself. Because of his great devotion for the Supreme Personality of Godhead, others will follow in his footsteps, and because of his having satisfied the Supreme Lord, everyone will become pleased with him. As a first-class devotee, your grandson will be able to see the Supreme Lord, within and without; he will be a reservoir of all good qualities; and he will feel very pained to see the suffering of the conditioned souls in this material world.”
After hearing about the glories of Prahlada, Diti became very pleased. But, because she could understand that her sons would cause great disturbances to the demigods, she continued to bear the powerful embryos for one hundred years without giving birth. Still, the force of Diti’s pregnancy disturbed the entire universe, and the light of sun and moon became impaired.
After observing this fearful condition, the demigods approached Lord Brahma and submitted, “O lord, just see this darkness that is expanding in all directions. O sustainer of the universe, who knows the intentions of all living entities, Diti’s pregnancy has caused this great disturbance, and thus our work has become suspended. Please be merciful unto us, for we have fallen into a very miserable condition.”
In response, Lord Brahma informed the demigods of what had happened long ago. After having travelled all over the material creation, the four sages Sanaka, Sanatana, Sanandana and Sanat-kumara, entered the spiritual sky, wherein the Vaikuntha planets are situated. They were able to do this due to being freed from all material contamination. In the abode of Lord Narayana, the residents have forms similar to that of the Supreme Lord, and everyone is engaged in His unalloyed devotional service. There are many forests full of desire-trees, and throughout all seasons they are filled with fruit and flowers.
While flying in their airplanes, along with their consorts, the inhabitants of Vaikuntha eternally sing of the character and pastimes of the Supreme Lord. Although the consorts that crowd the airplanes have large hips and beautifully smiling faces, they cannot stimulate the passion of the residents of Vaikuntha. This means that in Vaikuntha there is the enjoyment of the association with the opposite sex, but there is no sexual relationship, because everyone is fully absorbed in Krishna consciousness. When the king of bees hums in a high pitch, singing the glories of the Lord, the cuckoos, cranes, chakravakas, swans, parrots and peacocks temporarily stop their singing to listen. Although flowers, such as the champaka, bakula, parijata and lotus are transcendentally fragrant, they are still conscious of tulasi’s austerities, and of how the Lord prefers to garland Himself with her leaves. The ladies of Vaikuntha are as beautiful as the goddess of fortune, and yet they are sometimes seen cleaning the marble walls, just to receive the grace of the Supreme Lord, even though there is practically no dust.
Upon reaching the outskirts of Vaikuntha, the four Kumaras felt an unprecedented transcendental happiness. Then, after easily passing through six gates, the sages saw two doormen at the seventh gate that had similar bodily features and carried strong maces. They were four-armed and of bluish complexion, and due to their arched eyebrows, discontented nostrils and reddish eyes, they appeared somewhat agitated. The four Kumaras had opened doors everywhere without any conception of “ours” and “theirs”, and so they innocently began to pass through the seventh gate. The sages, who had nothing to cover their bodies but the atmosphere, looked just like five-year-old boys, although they were the oldest created beings, next to Brahma.
Due to possessing a disposition quite unpalatable to the Lord, the two gatekeepers rudely blocked the Kumaras’ entrance with their staffs. The Lord is always anxious to serve great sages, and thus the Kumaras were never to be prohibited from entering Vaikuntha. The boy-sages had been very eager to see the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and so upon being checked by the Lord’s two chief doorkeepers, they immediately became agitated. Their eyes red with rage, the Kumaras exclaimed, “Who are these persons who are engaging in the Lord’s service and yet have developed a discordant mentality? They must be imposters, and so they suspect others to be just like themselves. In Vaikuntha there is perfect harmony between the Supreme Lord and the other inhabitants. These two persons are dressed like the residents of Vaikuntha, but where has this seed of disharmony come from? Because of seeing duality, they have become contaminated. Therefore, they should be put into the material world, where everyone is conceived of as being either a friend or an enemy.”
When the gatekeepers realized that they were being cursed by the brahmanas, they at once became very afraid. After falling down at the Kumaras’ feet, they begged, “You are correct in punishing us for having neglected such great souls as yourselves. Still, in consideration of our repentance, we pray that you mercifully insure that the illusion of forgetting the Supreme Personality of Godhead will not overwhelm us as we fall down.”
Just at that moment, the Supreme Lord, having learned of this incident, came there on foot accompanied by the goddess of fortune. Thus, the four Kumaras saw Lord Vishnu before them, Whom they had formerly seen only within their hearts while being absorbed in the ecstatic trance of meditation.
The Lord’s beautiful blackish body was dressed in bright yellow cloth, and around His neck hung a garland of fresh flowers that was encircled by humming bees. While resting one of His hands upon Garuda’s shoulder, the Lord twirled a lotus flower in another. Indeed, His beauty was so excellent that it defeated the pride of the goddess of fortune, and thus the Kumaras looked at Him with unsated eyes.
As the Kumaras joyfully bowed their heads, the breeze that carried the aroma of tulasi leaves from the toes of the Lord’s lotus feet entered their nostrils, causing a spiritual transformation in their body and mind, even though they had been fully attached to the impersonal Brahman. In other words, the Kumaras became converted from impersonalists that had desired to merge into the Lord’s brahmajyoti, to devotees who desire to render service to the Lord.
After seeing the Lord’s transcendental body, the Kumaras advanced to the stage of constant meditation upon His personal feature. Their anger having subsided, the four sages prayed, “Our dear Lord, whatever we had heard about You from our father, Lord Brahma, has now been confirmed by Your kind appearance before us. We now understand that the most elevated transcendentalists are those that constantly engage in hearing about Your pastimes, without caring for any other benediction, including liberation.” “O Lord, we don’t mind being born in any hellish condition, as long as our hearts and minds are always engaged in Your devotional service.”
By dint of the Lord’s presence, the Kumaras realized that it had been improper for them to curse the doorkeepers, in spite of the offense that had been committed.
The Supreme Lord then said, “These attendants of Mine, Jaya and Vijaya, have committed a great offense against you by ignoring My desire. I approve of the punishment that you have awarded to My servants. Indeed, since these doormen are My servants, I consider Myself to be the one that has offended you, and for this reason, I seek your forgiveness. Whatever wrong a servant commits causes people in general to blame the master, just as a single spot of white leprosy is considered to pollute the whole skin.”
“For Me, the brahmanas are the most worshipable personalities, and so I am prepared to cut off My arm if its conduct proves to be hostile toward you. Because I am the servant of My devotees, My lotus feet have become so sacred that they immediately purify one of all sins. I do not enjoy the offerings that are made into the sacrificial fire with as much relish as I enjoy the delicacies cooked in ghee that are offered to the mouths of the brahmanas who have dedicated their lives unto Me.” “The Ganga is the remnants of water left after washing My feet, and it sanctifies the three worlds. If I can take the dust of the Vaishnavas’ feet upon My head, then who would refuse to do the same? These servants of Mine have offended you due to not knowing My mind. Still, I will consider it a great favor if you allow them to return to My presence soon, after reaping the consequences of their transgression.”
After hearing with wide-open ears, the Lord’s extremely humble and beautiful speech, which was difficult to comprehend due to its profound import, the Kumaras pondered over its meaning for some time. Although the sages could not understand the Lord’s actual intention, a thrill passed through their bodies due to the delight of simply beholding Him. Understanding their fault in cursing the Lord’s faultless servants, the Kumaras said, “O Lord, we cannot understand Your plans, for You have spoken as if we had done something good for You. Your adoration of the brahmanas is meant to teach others, for it is You who are the supreme worshipable Deity.” “O Lord, whatever punishment You wish to award to these two innocent persons, or to us, we shall accept without duplicity.”
The Lord replied, “O brahmanas, I have already ordained the punishment that you inflicted upon Jaya and Vijay, and thus they will have to accept birth in a demoniac family. But, by concentration of their minds upon Me in anger, they will always remain connected with Me, and soon thereafter, they will return to My abode.”
It is to be understood that the Lord Himself engineered the cursing of Jaya and Vijaya. Ordinarily, there is no possibility that the Kumaras could become so angry, that the Lord could neglect His gatekeepers, or that anyone could return to the material world after reaching Vaikuntha. Sometimes, the Lord desires to fight, and because there are no enemies in Vaikuntha, He incarnates into the material world for this purpose. The Lord only likes to perform His pastimes along with His associates, however, and so He chooses a devotee to play the part of His enemy. Then, after making a temporary show of fighting, the Lord recalls His devotee to the spiritual world.
Thereafter, the four Kumaras circumambulated the Lord, offered their obeisances, and departed from the gates of Vaikuntha. The Lord then ordered Jaya and Vijaya, “Depart from here, but do not be afraid. I could have nullified the brahmanas’ curse, but I chose not to do so. Lakshmi, whom you had once stopped at the gate while I was sleeping, already predicted your fall. Although seven births in the material world are your designated punishment, I want you to accept three demoniac births instead. By practicing mystic yoga in anger, you will become quickly cleansed of your sinful reactions, and thus be able to return to Me in a very short time.”
After saying this, the Lord departed, and Jaya and Vijaya, who had become morose and pale because of the brahmanas’ curse, fell down from Vaikuntha. As they were falling, the Kumaras reassured them that after three demoniac births, they would once again return to Vaikuntha. The demigods, who were observing all of this from their celestial airplanes, let out a great roar of disappointment, and thereafter, Jaya and Vijaya entered Diti’s womb, after being covered by Kashyapa’s powerful semen.
Lord Brahma then concluded by informing the demigods, “It is the prowess of these twin demons that has disturbed you, by minimizing your own potency. I have no remedy for this situation, however, for all of this is taking place by the desire of the Lord. Rest assured that the Supreme Lord will come to our rescue, and so do not bother to speculate any longer about the dense darkness that is covering all directions.”
After hearing this, the demigods became relieved from their fear and returned to their respective abodes. Meanwhile, after bearing her embryos for one hundred years, Diti gave birth to twin sons who were great demons. At this time, there were many fearful natural disturbances, such as earthquakes, and raging fires were seen burning everywhere. The inauspicious planets, such as Saturn and Mars, outshone the auspicious ones like Venus and Jupiter; and comets, meteors and thunderbolts appeared in the sky. Fierce winds made a displeasing hissing noise and uprooted great trees; and due to the covering of clouds, all became shrouded in darkness. The ocean became highly agitated, and all of the lotuses that grew within the rivers and lakes withered.
Solar and lunar eclipses occurred repeatedly, and from the mountain caves came sounds like the rattling of chariots. She-jackals vomited fire while crying out ominously, and asses ran here and there in herds, striking the earth with their hard hooves and braying loudly. Being frightened by the braying asses, birds flew shrieking from their nests, and cows passed stool and urine due to fear. Indeed, the terrified cows yielded blood instead of milk, and the clouds rained puss instead of water. The deities in the temples shed tears, and trees fell down even though there were no gusts of wind.
Upon seeing all of these evil omens, everyone except the four Kumaras became seized by fear. Not knowing about the fall of Jaya and Vijaya and their subsequent birth as demons, everyone thought that the dissolution of the universe was at hand.
Kashyapa named the first-born, who was formerly Jaya, Hiranyaksha and the one who was conceived first, who was formerly Vijaya, was named Hiranyakashipu. Soon after their birth, the demoniac twins exhibited uncommon bodily features, and their steel-like frames became so tall that they seemed to touch the sky. Indeed, they blocked the view in all directions, and as they walked, the earth shook with every step.
After performing great austerities, Hiranyakashipu received benedictions from Lord Brahma, and as a result, he became unafraid of death and very proud. Being most powerful, Hiranyakashipu was able to bring the entire three worlds under his control. His brother, Hiranyaksha, had also received Brahma’s benediction of near-immortality, and so he became similarly powerful and conceited.
To satisfy his elder brother, Hiranyaksha took his club and began to travel all over the universe, with a fighting spirit. Because no one was able to kill him due to Brahma’s benediction, even the demigods fearfully hid upon seeing Hiranyaksha, just as snakes hide out of fear of Garuda.
When Hiranyaksha thus saw Indraloka vacant, he roared loudly, understanding that the demigods had admitted defeat without even fighting. After returning from heaven, Hiranyaksha sportingly dove deep into the ocean, and upon seeing him, all of the great aquatics panicked and fled. Finally, after moving about in the ocean for many years, Hiranyaksha reached Vibhavari, Varuna’s capital. Just to make fun of the lord of the waters, Hiranyaksha fell at his feet and smilingly begged, “Give me battle, O supreme lord!”
Upon seeing Hiranyaksha’s arrogance, Varuna became enraged. Still, he curbed his anger by means of intelligence and replied, “O dear one, I have given up fighting because I am too old. You are so skilled in battle that I can see no one else but the most ancient person, Lord Vishnu, who can satisfy you.”
“O chief of the Daityas, I suggest that you approach Him, and thus become rid of your pride by lying down dead upon the battlefield, surrounded by carnivorous animals.”
Without paying any more heed to Varuna, Hiranyaksha departed. Then, when he happened to meet the great sage Narada, the demon learned the whereabouts of the Supreme Lord. After once again entering the depths of the ocean, Hiranyaksha saw the all-powerful Supreme Lord in His boar incarnation bearing the earth upwards, while keeping her on the ends of His tusks. Upon seeing the Lord, the demon laughingly exclaimed, “An amphibious beast! O best of the demigods, dressed in the form of a boar, the earth belongs to us, the inhabitants of the lower regions, and so I cannot allow You to take it away from my presence. You rascal! Today I shall enliven my kinsmen by killing You. When You fall down dead with Your skull smashed by my mace, the demigods and rishis who offer You oblations in sacrifice will also cease to be, just like a tree that can no longer live without roots.”
Although the Lord was certainly pained to hear such abusive language, He tolerated it so that He could continue carrying the earth, which had become very frightened.
As Lord Varaha rose out of the water, Hiranyaksha chased Him and roared, “Are You not ashamed of Yourself for running away after being challenged by an adversary? There is nothing that is reproachable for shameless creatures like You!”
Despite these harsh words, Lord Varaha calmly placed the earth upon the surface of the water and then empowered her with the capacity to float. At this time, Lord Brahma and the other demigods praised the Lord for His wonderful act of lifting up the earth, and they showered flowers upon Him. Then, to express His terrible anger, the Lord replied, “Indeed, We are creatures of the jungle and are searching for hunting dogs like you. One who is freed from the entanglement of death has no fear from the loose talk in which you are indulging, for you are bound up by the laws of death. Now, give up your foolish talk and attempt to kill Me. One may be very proud, but he does not deserve a seat in an assembly if he fails to fulfill his promise.”
Being thus challenged, Hiranyaksha became very angry and agitated, and his whole body began to tremble. While hissing indignantly, the demon sprang at the Lord and tried to strike Him with his powerful mace. By moving aside, however, the Lord dodged the blow, and then with His own mace, He attempted to smash Hiranyaksha’s forehead. Being an expert fighter, the demon blocked the blow with his own mace, however, and thereafter, a fierce encounter took place.
As both combatants struck one another repeatedly with their strong clubs, the smell of blood that flowed from their wounds made them more and more furious. Being very eager for victory, both the Lord and the demon exhibited wonderful maneuvers, so that the battle looked like a contest between two powerful bulls for the sake of a cow.
Lord Brahma had been staying in the sky, along with all of the demigods and celestial rishis, so that he could witness the terrible fight that was being waged for the sake of the earth. Becoming somewhat anxious, he addressed Lord Varaha, “My dear Lord, Hiranyaksha has always oppressed the demigods, brahmanas, cows and other innocent creatures. There is no need for You to play with this serpentine demon any longer, for he is very skilled in utilizing mystic powers, and he is most arrogant and wicked.” “My dear infallible Lord, please kill him before the demoniac hour of twilight arrives and thus increases his strength. The auspicious period called abhijit began at noon and has almost passed. Therefore, please dispose of Your formidable enemy quickly and thus establish peace within the world.”
In response, the Lord heartily laughed, while at the same time He accepted Brahma’s prayers with a glance that was laden with love. Then, as Hiranyaksha fearlessly stood nearby, Lord Varaha suddenly sprang at him while aiming His mace at the demon’s chin.
Hiranyaksha blocked the blow with his own mace, however, and as a result, the Lord’s club slipped from His hand. That blazing mace looked splendid while whirling around and around as it fell, and a great cry of alarm arose from the onlooking demigods and rishis. Still, even though he had an excellent opportunity to strike his unarmed foe, Hiranyaksha respected the etiquette for single-combat by refraining from doing so. This kindled the Lord’s fury even more, however, and He invoked His Sudarshana chakra. As this wonderful disc revolved in the Lord’s hand, while He was at close quarters with His enemy, the demigods and rishis exclaimed, “May victory be Yours!” “Dispatch him at once!” “Don’t play with the demon any longer!”
Seeing Lord Varaha before him with the Sudarshana chakra in His hand, Hiranyaksha resentfully bit his lip and began to hiss like a serpent. Then, that great demon with fearful tusks suddenly sprang into the air while wielding his club, and while doing so, he shouted, “You are slain!”
As Hiranyaksha tried to strike Him, Lord Varaha playfully kicked the mace from his hand with His left foot and then said, “Pick up your weapon, since you are so eager to conquer Me.”
Being so challenged, Hiranyaksha picked up his mace and then hurled it impetuously while roaring loudly. Without even flinching, however, Lord Varaha easily caught the mace in His hand, and so the demon felt greatly humiliated. Being reluctant to take back his weapon when the Lord offered it to him, Hiranyaksha instead picked up a flaming trident and violently hurled it. As the trident blazed brightly while soaring through the sky, Lord Varaha tore it to pieces by releasing His Sudarshana chakra. At this, the demon became more enraged, and while letting out a loud roar, he rushed at Lord Varaha impetuously. After striking the Lord on the chest with his hard fist, Hiranyaksha immediately disappeared.
The Lord was not disturbed in the least by the blow, however, any more than an elephant would feel hurt being struck by a flower garland. Thereafter, Hiranyaksha employed many conjuring tricks against the Lord, Who is Yogeshvara, and all who saw the magical display thought that the dissolution of the universe was at hand.
Fierce winds began blowing and the dust that was raised created darkness in all directions. Torrents of stones fell from the sky, along with showers of puss, hair, blood, stool, urine and bones- accompanied by lightning and thunder. Mountains discharged various weapons, and naked demonesses with their hair hanging loose suddenly appeared, carrying tridents. Hosts of Yakshas and Rakshasas were heard uttering cruel and savage slogans as they marched on foot or rode upon horses, elephants and chariots.
By releasing His Sudarshana chakra, however, the Lord was able to dispel all of these illusions, and at that moment, a shudder of terror passed through Diti’s heart. While recalling the words of her husband, blood began to flow from her breasts.
When Hiranyaksha saw that his magical creations had been dispelled, he once again made himself visible. In a fit of rage, he tried to crush the Lord within his arms as a last resort. But, to his great surprise, after trying to grab the Lord, the demon found that He was still outside the circle of his arms. Then, as Hiranyaksha angrily struck Him with his fists, Lord Varaha slapped him indifferently at the root of the ear, making him stagger backwards. With his eyeballs bulging out of their sockets, his hair scattered, and his limbs broken, the great demon fell down dead, like an uprooted tree.
Lord Brahma and the other demigods quickly arrived at that spot, to see the slain body of the demon close up. Still biting his lip, Hiranyaksha’s bodily luster had not faded, in spite of the absence of the soul, because the Lord’s lotus foot remained touching it. Lord Brahma admiringly said, “Oh, who could meet with such a blessed death? This fortunate demon was struck by the lotus foot of the Lord, upon Whom yogis meditate in mystic trance in the hopes of gaining liberation from their unreal, material bodies.”
Thereafter, the demigods expressed their great appreciation for the Lord’s having assumed His Varaha form and relieving them of their agonizing fear of the demon. After receiving the demigods’ praises, the Lord returned to His own abode in the spiritual world, where there is always an uninterrupted festival going on.
Suta Gosvami concluded his narration by saying, “O brahmanas, anyone who hears, chants, or takes pleasure in the wonderful description of Lord Varaha’s killing of Hiranyaksha is at once relieved from the results of all kinds of sinful activities, including the killing of a brahmana.”
The Lead up to he Appearance of Lord Varahadeva
Srimad Bhagavaam 3rd Canto 16th Chapter.
The Two Doorkeepers of Vaikuntha, Jaya and Vijaya, Cursed by the Sages
Transations and purports by His Divine Grace Srila A.C. Bhaktvedanta Swami Prabhupada.
iti tad grinatam tesham
Lord Brahma said: After thus congratulating the sages for their nice words, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, whose abode is in the kingdom of God, spoke as follows.
etau tau parshadau mahyam
jayo vijaya eva ca
kadarthi-kritya mam yad vo
bahv akratam atikramam
The Personality of Godhead said: These attendants of Mine, Jaya and Vijaya by name, have committed a great offense against you because of ignoring Me.
To commit an offense at the feet of a devotee of the Lord is a great wrong. Even when a living entity is promoted to Vaikuntha, there is still the chance that he may commit offenses, but the difference is that when one is in a Vaikuntha planet, even if by chance one commits an offense, he is protected by the Lord. This is the remarkable fact in the dealings of the Lord and the servitor, as seen in the present incident concerning Jaya and Vijaya. The word atikramam used herein indicates that in offending a devotee one neglects the Supreme Lord Himself.
By mistake the doormen held the sages from entering Vaikunthaloka, but because they were engaged in the transcendental service of the Lord, their annihilation was not expected by advanced devotees. The Lord’s presence on the spot was very pleasing to the hearts of the devotees. The Lord understood that the trouble was due to His lotus feet not being seen by the sages, and therefore He wanted to please them by personally going there. The Lord is so merciful that even if there is some impediment for the devotee, He Himself manages matters in such a way that the devotee is not bereft of having audience at His lotus feet. There is a very good example in the life of Haridasa Thakura. When Caitanya Mahaprabhu was residing at Jagannatha puri, Haridasa Thakura, who happened to be Muhammadan by birth, was with Him. In Hindu temples, especially in those days, no one but a Hindu was allowed to enter. Although Haridasa Thakura was the greatest of all Hindus in his behavior, he considered himself a Muhammadan and did not enter the temple. Lord Caitanya could understand his humility, and since he did not go to see the temple, Lord Caitanya Himself, who is nondifferent from Jagannatha, used to come and sit with Haridasa Thakura daily. Here in Srimad-Bhagavatam we also find this same behavior of the Lord. His devotees were prevented from seeing His lotus feet, but the Lord Himself came to see them on the same lotus feet for which they aspired. It is also significant that He was accompanied by the goddess of fortune. The goddess of fortune is not to be seen by ordinary persons, but the Lord was so kind that although the devotees did not aspire for such an honor, He appeared before them with the goddess of fortune.
yas tv etayor dhrito dando
bhavadbhir mam anuvrataih
sa evanumato ’smabhir
O great sages, I approve of the punishment that you who are devoted to Me have meted out to them.
tad vah prasadayamy adya
brahma daivam param hi me
tad dhity atma-kritam manye
yat sva-pumbhir asat-kritah
To Me, the brahmana is the highest and most beloved personality. The disrespect shown by My attendants has actually been displayed by Me because the doormen are My servitors. I take this to be an offense by Myself; therefore I seek your forgiveness for the incident that has arisen.
The Lord is always in favor of the brahmanas and the cows, and therefore it is said, go-brahmana-hitaya ca. Lord Krishna, or Vishnu, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is also the worshipable Deity of the brahmanas. In the Vedic literature, in the rig-mantra hymns of the Rig Veda, it is stated that those who are actually brahmanas always look to the lotus feet of Vishnu: om tad vishnoh paramam padam sada pasyanti surayah. Those who are qualified brahmanas worship only the Vishnu form of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, which means Krishna, Rama and all Vishnu expansions. A so-called brahmana who is born in the family of brahmanas but performs activities aimed against the Vaishnavas cannot be accepted as a brahmana, because brahmana means Vaishnava and Vaishnava means brahmana. One who has become a devotee of the Lord is also a brahmana. The formula is brahma janatiti brahmanah. A brahmana is one who has understood Brahman, and a Vaishnava is one who has understood the Personality of Godhead. Brahman realization is the beginning of realization of the Personality of Godhead. One who understands the Personality of Godhead also knows the impersonal feature of the Supreme, which is Brahman. Therefore one who becomes a Vaishnava is already a brahmana. It should be noted that the glories of the brahmana described in this chapter by the Lord Himself refer to His devotee-brahmana, or the Vaishnava. It should never be misunderstood that the so-called brahmanas who are born in brahmana families but have no brahminical qualifications are referred to in this connection.
yan-namani ca grihnati
loko bhritye kritagasi
so ’sadhu-vadas tat-kirtim
hanti tvacam ivamayah
A wrong act committed by a servant leads people in general to blame his master, just as a spot of white leprosy on any part of the body pollutes all of the skin.
A Vaishnava, therefore, should be fully qualified. As stated in the Bhagavatam, anyone who has become a Vaishnava has developed all the good qualities of the demigods. There are twenty-six qualifications mentioned in the Caitanya-caritamrita. A devotee should always see that his Vaishnava qualities increase with the advancement of his Krishna consciousness. A devotee should be blameless because any offense by the devotee is a scar on the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The devotee’s duty is to be always conscious in his dealings with others, especially with another devotee of the Lord.
sadyah punati jagad asvapacad vikunthah
so ’ham bhavadbhya upalabdha-sutirtha-kirtis
chindyam sva-bahum api vah pratikula-vrittim
Anyone in the entire world, even down to the candala, who lives by cooking and eating the flesh of the dog, is immediately purified if he takes bath in hearing through the ear the glorification of My name, fame, etc. Now you have realized Me without doubt; therefore I will not hesitate to lop off My own arm if its conduct is found hostile to you.
Real purification can take place in human society if its members take to Krishna consciousness. This is clearly stated in all Vedic literature. Anyone who takes to Krishna consciousness in all sincerity, even if he is not very advanced in good behavior, is purified. A devotee can be recruited from any section of human society, although it is not expected that everyone in all segments of society is well behaved. As stated in this verse and in many places in Bhagavad-gita, even if one is not born in a brahmana family, or even if he is born in a family of candalas, if he simply takes to Krishna consciousness he is immediately purified. In Bhagavad-gita, Ninth Chapter, verses 30–32, it is clearly stated that even though a man is not well behaved, if he simply takes to Krishna consciousness he is understood to be a saintly person. As long as a person is in this material world he has two different relationships in his dealings with others—one relationship pertains to the body, and the other pertains to the spirit. As far as bodily affairs or social activities are concerned, although a person is purified on the spiritual platform, it is sometimes seen that he acts in terms of his bodily relationships. If a devotee born in the family of a candala (the lowest caste) is sometimes found engaged in his habitual activities, he is not to be considered a candala. In other words, a Vaishnava should not be evaluated in terms of his body. The sastra states that no one should think the Deity in the temple to be made of wood or stone, and no one should think that a person coming from a lower-caste family who has taken to Krishna consciousness is still of the same low caste. These attitudes are forbidden because anyone who takes to Krishna consciousness is understood to be fully purified. He is at least engaged in the process of purification, and if he sticks to the principle of Krishna consciousness he will very soon be fully purified. The conclusion is that if one takes to Krishna consciousness with all seriousness, he is to be understood as already purified, and Krishna is ready to give him protection by all means. The Lord assures herein that He is ready to give protection to His devotee even if there is need to cut off part of His own body.
* All Seasons
* Bathing And
* The Association
sadyah kshatakhila-malam pratilabdha-silam
na srir viraktam api mam vijahati yasyah
preksha-lavartha itare niyaman vahanti
The Lord continued: Because I am the servitor of My devotees, My lotus feet have become so sacred that they immediately wipe out all sin, and I have acquired such a disposition that the goddess of fortune does not leave Me, even though I have no attachment for her and others praise her beauty and observe sacred vows to secure from her even a slight favor.
The relationship between the Lord and His devotee is transcendentally beautiful. As the devotee thinks that it is due to being a devotee of the Lord that he is elevated in all good qualities, so the Lord also thinks that it is because of His devotion to the servitor that all His transcendental glories have increased. In other words, as the devotee is always anxious to render service to the Lord, so the Lord is ever anxious to render service to the devotee. The Lord admits herein that although He certainly has the quality that anyone who receives a slight particle of the dust of His lotus feet becomes at once a great personality, this greatness is due to His affection for His devotee. It is because of this affection that the goddess of fortune does not leave Him and that not only one but many thousands of goddesses of fortune engage in His service. In the material world, simply to get a little favor from the goddess of fortune, people observe many rigid regulations of austerity and penance. The Lord cannot tolerate any inconvenience on the part of the devotee. He is therefore famous as bhakta-vatsala.
naham tathadmi yajamana-havir vitane
scyotad-ghrita-plutam adan huta-bhun-mukhena
yad brahmanasya mukhatas carato ’nughasam
tushtasya mayy avahitair nija-karma-pakaih
I do not enjoy the oblations offered by the sacrificers in the sacrificial fire, which is one of My own mouths, with the same relish as I do the delicacies overflowing with ghee which are offered to the mouths of the brahmanas who have dedicated to Me the results of their activities and who are ever satisfied with My prasada.
The devotee of the Lord, or the Vaishnava, does not take anything without offering it to the Lord. Since a Vaishnava dedicates all the results of his activities to the Lord, he does not taste anything eatable which is not first offered to Him. The Lord also relishes giving to the Vaishnava’s mouth all eatables offered to Him. It is clear from this verse that the Lord eats through the sacrificial fire and the brahmana’s mouth. So many articles—grains, ghee, etc.—are offered in sacrifice for the satisfaction of the Lord. The Lord accepts sacrificial offerings from the brahmanas and devotees, and elsewhere it is stated that whatever is given for the brahmanas and Vaishnavas to eat is also accepted by the Lord. But here it is said that He accepts offerings to the mouths of brahmanas and Vaishnavas with even greater relish. The best example of this is found in the life of Advaita Prabhu in his dealings with Haridasa Thakura. Even though Haridasa was born of a Muhammadan family, Advaita Prabhu offered him the first dish of prasada after the performance of a sacred fire ceremony. Haridasa Thakura informed him that he was born of a Muhammadan family and asked why Advaita Prabhu was offering the first dish to a Muhammadan instead of an elevated brahmana. Out of his humbleness, Haridasa condemned himself a Muhammadan, but Advaita Prabhu, being an experienced devotee, accepted him as a real brahmana. Advaita Prabhu asserted that by offering the first dish to Haridasa Thakura, he was getting the result of feeding one hundred thousand brahmanas. The conclusion is that if one can feed a brahmana or Vaishnava, it is better than performing hundreds of thousands of sacrifices. In this age, therefore, it is recommended that harer nama [Cc. Adi 17.21]—chanting the holy name of God—and pleasing the Vaishnava are the only means to elevate oneself to spiritual life.
yesham bibharmy aham akhanda-vikuntha-yoga-
maya-vibhutir amalanghri-rajah kiritaih
viprams tu ko na vishaheta yad-arhanambhah
sadyah punati saha-candra-lalama-lokan
I am the master of My unobstructed internal energy, and the water of the Ganges is the remnant left after My feet are washed. That water sanctifies the three worlds, along with Lord Siva, who bears it on his head. If I can take the dust of the feet of the Vaishnava on My head, who will refuse to do the same?
The difference between the internal and external energies of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is that in the internal energy, or in the spiritual world, all the opulences are undisturbed, whereas in the external or material energy, all the opulences are temporary manifestations. The Lord’s supremacy is equal in both the spiritual and material worlds, but the spiritual world is called the kingdom of God, and the material world is called the kingdom of maya. Maya refers to that which is not actually fact. The opulence of the material world is a reflection. It is stated in Bhagavad-gita that this material world is just like a tree whose roots are up and branches down. This means that the material world is the shadow of the spiritual world. Real opulence is in the spiritual world. In the spiritual world the predominating Deity is the Lord Himself, whereas in the material world there are many lords. That is the difference between the internal and external energies. The Lord says that although He is the predominating factor of the internal energy and although the material world is sanctified just by the water that has washed His feet, He has the greatest respect for the brahmana and the Vaishnava. When the Lord Himself offers so much respect to the Vaishnava and the brahmana, how can one deny such respect to such personalities?
ye me tanur dvija-varan duhatir madiya
bhutany alabdha-saranani ca bheda-buddhya
drakshyanty agha-kshata-driso hy ahi-manyavas tan
gridhra rusha mama kushanty adhidanda-netuh
The brahmanas, the cows and the defenseless creatures are My own body. Those whose faculty of judgment has been impaired by their own sin look upon these as distinct from Me. They are just like furious serpents, and they are angrily torn apart by the bills of the vulturelike messengers of Yamaraja, the superintendent of sinful persons.
The defenseless creatures, according to Brahma-samhita, are the cows, brahmanas, women, children and old men. Of these five, the brahmanas and cows are especially mentioned in this verse because the Lord is always anxious about the benefit of the brahmanas and the cows and is prayed to in this way. The Lord especially instructs, therefore, that no one should be envious of these five, especially the cows and brahmanas. In some of the Bhagavatam readings, the word duhitriih is used instead of duhatih. But in either case, the meaning is the same. Duhatih means “cow,” and duhitriih can also be used to mean “cow” because the cow is supposed to be the daughter of the sun-god. Just as children are taken care of by the parents, women as a class should be taken care of by the father, husband or grown-up son. Those who are helpless must be taken care of by their respective guardians, otherwise the guardians will be subjected to the punishment of Yamaraja, who is appointed by the Lord to supervise the activities of sinful living creatures. The assistants, or messengers, of Yamaraja are likened here to vultures, and those who do not execute their respective duties in protecting their wards are compared to serpents. Vultures deal very seriously with serpents, and similarly the messengers will deal very seriously with neglectful guardians.
ye brahmanan mayi dhiya kshipato ’rcayantas
sambodhayanty aham ivaham upahritas taih
On the other hand, they captivate My heart who are gladdened in heart and who, their lotus faces enlightened by nectarean smiles, respect the brahmanas, even though the brahmanas utter harsh words. They look upon the brahmanas as My own Self and pacify them by praising them in loving words, even as a son would appease an angry father or as I am pacifying you.
It has been observed in many instances in the Vedic scriptures that when the brahmanas or Vaishnavas curse someone in an angry mood, the person who is cursed does not take it upon himself to treat the brahmanas or Vaishnavas in the same way. There are many examples of this. For instance, the sons of Kuvera, when cursed by the great sage Narada, did not seek revenge in the same harsh way, but submitted. Here also, when Jaya and Vijaya were cursed by the four Kumaras, they did not become harsh towards them; rather, they submitted. That should be the way of treating brahmanas and Vaishnavas. One may sometimes be faced with a grievous situation created by a brahmana, but instead of meeting him with a similar mood, one should try to pacify him with a smiling face and mild treatment. Brahmanas and Vaishnavas should be accepted as earthly representatives of Narayana. Nowadays some foolish persons have manufactured the term daridra-narayana, indicating that the poor man should be accepted as the representative of Narayana. But in Vedic literature we do not find that poor men should be treated as representatives of Narayana. Of course, “those who are unprotected” are mentioned here, but the definition of this phrase is clear from the sastras. The poor man should not be unprotected, but the brahmana should especially be treated as the representative of Narayana and should be worshiped like Him. It is specifically said that to pacify the brahmanas, one’s face should be lotuslike. A lotuslike face is exhibited when one is adorned with love and affection. In this respect, the example of the father’s being angry at the son and the son’s trying to pacify the father with smiling and sweet words is very appropriate.
tan me sva-bhartur avasayam alakshamanau
yushmad-vyatikrama-gatim pratipadya sadyah
bhuyo mamantikam itam tad anugraho me
yat kalpatam acirato bhritayor vivasah
These servants of Mine have transgressed against you, not knowing the mind of their master. I shall therefore deem it a favor done to Me if you order that, although reaping the fruit of their transgression, they may return to My presence soon and the time of their exile from My abode may expire before long.
From this statement we can understand how anxious the Lord is to get his servitor back into Vaikuntha. This incident, therefore, proves that those who have once entered a Vaikuntha planet can never fall down. The case of Jaya and Vijaya is not a falldown; it is just an accident. The Lord is always anxious to get such devotees back again to the Vaikuntha planets as soon as possible. It is to be assumed that there is no possibility of a misunderstanding between the Lord and the devotees, but when there are discrepancies or disruptions between one devotee and another, one has to suffer the consequences, although that suffering is temporary. The Lord is so kind to His devotees that He took all the responsibility for the doormen’s offense and requested the sages to give them facilities to return to Vaikuntha as soon as possible.
atha tasyosatim devim
tesham atmapy atripyata
Brahma continued: Even though the sages had been bitten by the serpent of anger, their souls were not satiated with hearing the Lord’s lovely and illuminating speech, which was like a series of Vedic hymns.
satim vyadaya srinvanto
na vidus tac-cikirshitam
The Lord’s excellent speech was difficult to comprehend because of its momentous import and its most profound significance. The sages heard it with wide-open ears and pondered it as well. But although hearing, they could not understand what He intended to do.
It should be understood that no one can surpass the Supreme Personality of Godhead in speaking. There is no difference between the Supreme Person and His speeches, for He stands on the absolute platform. The sages tried with wide open ears to understand the words from the lips of the Supreme Lord, but although His speech was very concise and meaningful, the sages could not completely comprehend what He was saying. They could not even comprehend the purport of the speech or what the Supreme Lord wanted to do. Nor could they understand whether the Lord was angry or pleased with them.
procuh pranjalayo viprah
The four brahmana sages were nevertheless extremely delighted to behold Him, and they experienced a thrill throughout their bodies. They then spoke as follows to the Lord, who had revealed the multiglories of the Supreme Personality through His internal potency, yogamaya.
The sages were almost too puzzled to speak before the Supreme Personality of Godhead for the first time, and the hairs of their bodies stood erect due to their extreme joy. The highest opulence in the material world is called parameshthya, the opulence of Brahma. But that material opulence of Brahma, who lives on the topmost planet within this material world, cannot compare to the opulence of the Supreme Lord because the transcendental opulence in the spiritual world is caused by yogamaya, whereas the opulence in the material world is caused by mahamaya.
na vayam bhagavan vidmas
tava deva cikirshitam
krito me ’nugrahas ceti
yad adhyakshah prabhashase
The sages said: O Supreme Personality of Godhead, we are unable to know what You intend for us to do, for even though You are the supreme ruler of all, You speak in our favor as if we had done something good for You.
The sages could understand that the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is above everyone, was speaking as if He were in the wrong; therefore it was difficult for them to understand the words of the Lord. They could understand, however, that the Lord was speaking in such a humble way just to show them His all-merciful favor.
brahmanyasya param daivam
brahmanah kila te prabho
O Lord, You are the supreme director of the brahminical culture. Your considering the brahmanas to be in the highest position is Your example for teaching others. Actually You are the supreme worshipable Deity, not only for the gods but for the brahmanas also.
In the Brahma-samhita it is clearly stated that the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the cause of all causes. There are undoubtedly many demigods, the chiefs of whom are Brahma and Siva. Lord Vishnu is the Lord of Brahma and Siva, not to speak of the brahmanas in this material world. As mentioned in Bhagavad-gita, the Supreme Lord is very favorable towards all activities performed according to brahminical culture, or the qualities of control of the senses and mind, cleanliness, forbearance, faith in scripture, and practical and theoretical knowledge. The Lord is the Supersoul of everyone. In Bhagavad-gita it is said that the Lord is the source of all emanations; thus He is also the source of Brahma and Siva.
tvattah sanatano dharmo
rakshyate tanubhis tava
dharmasya paramo guhyo
nirvikaro bhavan matah
You are the source of the eternal occupation of all living entities, and by Your multimanifestations of Personalities of Godhead, You have always protected religion. You are the supreme objective of religious principles, and in our opinion You are inexhaustible and unchangeable eternally.
The statement in this verse dharmasya paramo guhyah refers to the most confidential part of all religious principles. This is confirmed in Bhagavad-gita. The conclusion of Lord Krishna in His advice to Arjuna is: “Give up all other religious engagement and just surrender unto Me.” This is the most confidential knowledge in executing religious principles. In the Bhagavatam also it is stated that if one does not become Krishna conscious after very rigidly executing one’s specified religious duties, all his labor in following so-called religious principles is simply a waste of time. Here also the sages confirm the statement that the Supreme Lord, not the demigods, is the ultimate goal of all religious principles. There are many foolish propagandists who say that worship of the demigods is also a way to reach the supreme goal, but in the authorized statements of Srimad-Bhagavatam and Bhagavad-gita this is not accepted. Bhagavad-gita says that one who worships a particular demigod can reach the demigod’s planet, but one who worships the Supreme Personality of Godhead can enter into Vaikuntha. Some propagandists say that regardless of what one does he will ultimately reach the supreme abode of the Personality of Godhead, but this is not valid. The Lord is eternal, the Lord’s servitor is eternal, and the Lord’s abode is also eternal. They are all described here as sanatana, or eternal. The result of devotional service, therefore, is not temporary, as is the achievement of heavenly planets by worshiping the demigods. The sages wanted to stress that although the Lord, out of His causeless mercy, says that He worships the brahmanas and Vaishnavas, actually the Lord is worshipable not only by the brahmanas and Vaishnavas but also by the demigods.
taranti hy anjasa mrityum
yoginah sa bhavan kim svid
anugrihyeta yat paraih
Mystics and transcendentalists, by the mercy of the Lord, cross beyond nescience by ceasing all material desires. It is not possible, therefore, that the Supreme Lord can be favored by others.
Unless one is favored by the Supreme Lord, one cannot cross over the ocean of the nescience of repeated birth and death. Here it is stated that yogis or mystics cross beyond nescience by the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. There are many kinds of mystics, such as the karma-yogi, jnana-yogi, dhyana-yogi and bhakti-yogi. The karmis particularly search after the favor of the demigods, the jnanis want to become one with the Supreme Absolute Truth, and the yogis are satisfied simply by partial vision of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Paramatma, and ultimately by oneness with Him. But the bhaktas, the devotees, want to associate with the Supreme Personality of Godhead eternally and serve Him. It has already been admitted that the Lord is eternal, and those who want the favor of the Supreme Lord perpetually are also eternal. Therefore yogis here means devotees. By the mercy of the Lord, devotees can easily pass beyond the nescience of birth and death and attain the eternal abode of the Lord. The Lord is therefore not in need of another’s favor because no one is equal to or greater than Him. Actually, everyone needs the favor of the Lord for successful understanding of his human mission.
yam vai vibhutir upayaty anuvelam anyair
artharthibhih sva-sirasa dhrita-pada-renuh
lokam madhuvrata-pater iva kama-yana
The goddess of fortune, Lakshmi, the dust of whose feet is worn on the head by others, waits upon You, as appointed, for she is anxious to secure a place in the abode of the king of bees, who hovers on the fresh wreath of tulasi leaves offered at Your feet by some blessed devotee.
As previously described, tulasi has attained all superior qualities due to being placed at the lotus feet of the Lord. The comparison made here is very nice. As the king of bees hovers over the tulasi leaves offered to the lotus feet of the Lord, so Lakshmi, the goddess who is sought by the demigods, brahmanas, Vaishnavas and everyone else, always engages in rendering service to the lotus feet of the Lord. The conclusion is that no one can be the benefactor of the Lord; everyone is actually the servant of the servant of the Lord [Cc. Madhya 13.80].
yas tam vivikta-caritair anuvartamanam
sa tvam dvijanupatha-punya-rajah-punitah
srivatsa-lakshma kim aga bhaga-bhajanas tvam
O Lord, You are exceedingly attached to the activities of Your pure devotees, yet You are never attached to the goddesses of fortune who constantly engage in Your transcendental loving service. How can You be purified, therefore, by the dust of the path traversed by the brahmanas, and how can You be glorified or made fortunate by the marks of Srivatsa on Your chest?
It is said in the Brahma-samhita that the Lord is always served by many hundreds of thousands of goddesses of fortune in His Vaikuntha planet, yet because of His attitude of renunciation of all opulences, He is not attached to any one of them. The Lord has six opulences—unlimited wealth, unlimited fame, unlimited strength, unlimited beauty, unlimited knowledge and unlimited renunciation. All the demigods and other living entities worship Lakshmi, the goddess of fortune, just to get her favor, yet the Lord is never attached to her because He can create an unlimited number of such goddesses for His transcendental service. The goddess of fortune, Lakshmi, is sometimes envious of the tulasi leaves which are placed at the lotus feet of the Lord, for they remain fixed there and do not move, whereas Lakshmiji, although stationed by the chest of the Lord, sometimes has to please other devotees who pray for her favor. Lakshmiji sometimes has to go to satisfy her numerous devotees, but tulasi leaves never forsake their position, and the Lord therefore appreciates the service of the tulasi more than the service of Lakshmi. When the Lord says, therefore, that it is due to the causeless mercy of the brahmanas that Lakshmiji does not leave Him, we can understand that Lakshmiji is attracted by the opulence of the Lord, not by the brahmanas’ benedictions upon Him. The Lord is not dependent on anyone’s mercy for His opulence; He is always self-sufficient. The Lord’s statement that His opulence is due to the benediction of the brahmanas and Vaishnavas is only to teach others that they should offer respect to the brahmanas and Vaishnavas, the devotees of the Lord.
dharmasya te bhagavatas tri-yuga tribhih svaih
padbhis caracaram idam dvija-devatartham
nunam bhritam tad-abhighati rajas tamas ca
sattvena no varadaya tanuva nirasya
O Lord, You are the personification of all religion. Therefore You manifest Yourself in three millenniums, and thus You protect this universe, which consists of animate and inanimate beings. By Your grace, which is of pure goodness and is the bestower of all blessings, kindly drive away the elements of rajas and tamas for the sake of the demigods and twice-born.
The Lord is addressed in this verse as tri-yuga, or one who appears in three millenniums—namely the Satya, Dvapara and Treta yugas. He is not mentioned as appearing in the fourth millennium, or Kali-yuga. It is described in Vedic literature that in Kali-yuga He comes as channa-avatara, or an incarnation, but He does not appear as a manifest incarnation. In the other yugas, however, the Lord is a manifest incarnation, and therefore he is addressed as tri-yuga, or the Lord who appears in three yugas.
Sridhara Svami describes tri-yuga as follows: yuga means “couple,” and tri means “three.” The Lord is manifested as three couples by His six opulences, or three couples of opulences. In that way He can be addressed as tri-yuga. The Lord is the personality of religious principles. In three millenniums religious principles are protected by three kinds of spiritual culture, namely austerity, cleanliness and mercy. The Lord is called tri-yuga in that way also. In the age of Kali these three requisites to spiritual culture are almost absent, but the Lord is so kind that in spite of Kali-yuga’s being devoid of these three spiritual qualities, He comes and protects the people of this age in His covered incarnation as Lord Caitanya. Lord Caitanya is called “covered” because although He is Krishna Himself, He presents Himself as a devotee of Krishna, not directly Krishna. The devotees pray to Lord Caitanya, therefore, to eliminate their stock of passion and ignorance, the most conspicuous assets of this yuga. In the Krishna consciousness movement one cleanses himself of the modes of passion and ignorance by chanting the holy name of the Lord, Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, as introduced by Lord Caitanya.
The four Kumaras were cognizant of their situation in the modes of passion and ignorance because, although in Vaikuntha, they wanted to curse devotees of the Lord. Since they were conscious of their own weakness, they prayed to the Lord to remove their still-existing passion and ignorance. The three transcendental qualifications—cleanliness, austerity and mercy—are the qualifications of the twice-born and the demigods. Those who are not situated in the quality of goodness cannot accept these three principles of spiritual culture. For the Krishna consciousness movement, therefore, there are three sinful activities which are prohibited—namely illicit sex, intoxication, and eating food other than the prasada offered to Krishna. These three prohibitions are based on the principles of austerity, cleanliness and mercy. Devotees are merciful because they spare the poor animals, and they are clean because they are free of contamination from unwanted foodstuff and unwanted habits. Austerity is represented by restricted sex life. These principles, indicated by the prayers of the four Kumaras, should be followed by the devotees who are engaged in Krishna consciousness.
na tvam dvijottama-kulam yadi hatma-gopam
gopta vrishah svarhanena sa-sunritena
tarhy eva nankshyati sivas tava deva pantha
loko ’grahishyad rishabhasya hi tat pramanam
O Lord, You are the protector of the highest of the twice-born. If You do not protect them by offering worship and mild words, then certainly the auspicious path of worship will be rejected by people in general, who act on the strength and authority of Your Lordship.
In Bhagavad-gita it is stated by the Lord Himself that the acts and character of great authorities are followed by people in general. Leaders of ideal character are therefore needed in society. Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, appeared in this material world just to show the example of perfect authority, and people have to follow His path. The Vedic injunction is that one cannot understand the Absolute Truth simply by mental speculation or logical argument. One has to follow the authorities. Mahajano yena gatah sa panthah [Cc. Madhya 17.186]. Great authorities should be followed; otherwise, if we simply depend on the scriptures, we are sometimes misled by rascals, or else we cannot understand or follow the different spiritual injunctions. The best path is to follow the authorities. The four brahmana-sages stated that Krishna is naturally the protector of the cows and brahmanas: go-brahmana-hitaya ca. When Krishna was on this planet, He set a practical example. He was a cowherd boy, and He was very respectful to the brahmanas and devotees.
It is also affirmed herein that the brahmanas are the best of the twice-born. Brahmanas, kshatriyas and vaisyas are all twice-born, but the brahmanas are the best. When there is a fight between two persons, each of them protects the upper part of his body—the head, the arms and the belly. Similarly, for the actual advancement of human civilization, the best part of the social body, namely the brahmanas, the kshatriyas and vaisyas (the intelligent class of men, the military class and the mercantile men) should be given special protection. Protection of the laborers should not be neglected, but special protection should be given to the upper orders. Of all classes of men, the brahmanas and the Vaishnavas should be given special protection. They should be worshiped. When their protection is performed, it is just like worshiping God. That is not exactly protection; it is a duty. One should worship the brahmanas and Vaishnavas by offering them all kinds of endowments and sweet words, and if one has no means to offer anything, he must at least use sweet words to pacify them. The Lord personally exhibited this behavior towards the Kumaras.
If this system is not introduced by the leaders, then human civilization will be lost. When there is no protection and special treatment for persons who are devotees of the Lord, who are highly intelligent in spiritual life, then the whole society is lost. The word nankshyati indicates that such a civilization becomes spoiled and is annihilated. The kind of civilization recommended is called deva-patha, which means the “royal road of the demigods.” Demigods are supposed to be fully fixed in devotional service, or Krishna consciousness; that is the auspicious path that should be protected. If the authorities or the leaders of society do not give special respect to the brahmanas and Vaishnavas and do not offer them not only sweet words but all facilities, then the path of progress will be lost to human civilization. The Lord personally wanted to teach this, and therefore He offered so much praise to the Kumaras.
tat te ’nabhishtam iva sattva-nidher vidhitsoh
kshemam janaya nija-saktibhir uddhritareh
naitavata try-adhipater bata visva-bhartus
tejah kshatam tv avanatasya sa te vinodah
Dear Lord, You never want the auspicious path to be destroyed, for You are the reservoir of all goodness. Just to benefit people in general, You destroy the evil element by Your mighty potency. You are the proprietor of the three creations and the maintainer of the entire universe. Therefore Your potency is not reduced by Your submissive behavior. Rather, by submission You exhibit Your transcendental pastimes.
Lord Krishna was never reduced in His position by becoming a cowherd boy or by offering respect to Sudama Brahmana or His other devotees like Nanda Maharaja, Vasudeva, Maharaja Yudhishthira and the Pandavas’ mother, Kunti. Everyone knew that He was the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna, yet His behavior was exemplary. The Supreme Personality of Godhead is sac-cid-ananda-vigraha [Bs. 5.1]; His form is completely spiritual, full of bliss and knowledge, and it is eternal. Because the living entities are His parts and parcels, originally they also belong to the same quality of eternal form as the Lord, but when they come in contact with maya, the material potency, due to their forgetfulness their existential constitution is covered. We should try to understand the appearance of Lord Krishna in this spirit, as the Kumaras pray to Him. He is eternally a cowherd boy at Vrindavana, He is eternally the leader of the Battle of Kurukshetra, and He is eternally the opulent prince of Dvaraka and the lover of the damsels of Vrindavana; all His appearances are meaningful because they show His real characteristics to the conditioned souls, who have forgotten their relationship with the Supreme Lord. He does everything for their benefit. The force exhibited in the Battle of Kurukshetra by the desire of Krishna and through the agency of Arjuna was also necessary because when people become too irreligious, force is required. Nonviolence in this respect is rascaldom.
yam vanayor damam adhisa bhavan vidhatte
vrittim nu va tad anumanmahi nirvyalikam
asmasu va ya ucito dhriyatam sa dando
ye ’nagasau vayam ayunkshmahi kilbishena
O Lord, whatever punishment You wish to award to these two innocent persons or also to us we shall accept without duplicity. We understand that we have cursed two faultless persons.
The sages, the four Kumaras, now reject their cursing of the two doorkeepers, Jaya and Vijaya, because they are now conscious that persons who engage in the service of the Lord cannot be at fault at any stage. It is said that anyone who has implicit faith in the service of the Lord, or who actually engages in transcendental loving service, has all the good qualities of the demigods. Therefore, a devotee cannot be at fault. If sometimes it is found that he is in error by accident or by some temporary arrangement, that should not be taken very seriously. The cursing of Jaya and Vijaya is here repented. Now the Kumaras are thinking in terms of their position in the modes of passion and ignorance, and they are prepared to accept any kind of punishment from the Lord. In general, when dealing with devotees, we should not try to find faults. In Bhagavad-gita also it is confirmed that the devotee who faithfully serves the Supreme Lord, even if found to commit a gross mistake, should be considered a sadhu, or saintly person. Due to former habits he may commit some wrong, but because he is engaged in the service of the Lord, that wrong should not be taken very seriously.
etau suretara-gatim pratipadya sadyah
bhuyah sakasam upayasyata asu yo vah
sapo mayaiva nimitas tad aveta viprah
The Lord replied: O brahmanas, know that the punishment you inflicted on them was originally ordained by Me, and therefore they will fall to a birth in a demoniac family. But they will be firmly united with Me in thought through mental concentration intensified by anger, and they will return to My presence shortly.
The Lord stated that the punishment inflicted by the sages upon the doorkeepers Jaya and Vijaya was conceived by the Lord Himself. Without the Lord’s sanction, nothing can happen. It is to be understood that there was a plan in the cursing of the Lord’s devotees in Vaikuntha, and His plan is explained by many stalwart authorities. The Lord sometimes desires to fight. The fighting spirit also exists in the Supreme Lord, otherwise how could fighting be manifested at all? Because the Lord is the source of everything, anger and fighting are also inherent in His personality. When He desires to fight with someone, He has to find an enemy, but in the Vaikuntha world there is no enemy because everyone is engaged fully in His service. Therefore He sometimes comes to the material world as an incarnation in order to manifest His fighting spirit.
In Bhagavad-gita (4.8) also it is said that the Lord appears just to give protection to the devotees and to annihilate the nondevotees. The nondevotees are found in the material world, not in the spiritual world; therefore, when the Lord wants to fight, He has to come to this world. But who will fight with the Supreme Lord? No one is able to fight with Him! Therefore, because the Lord’s pastimes in the material world are always performed with His associates, not with others, He has to find some devotee who will play the part of an enemy. In Bhagavad-gita the Lord says to Arjuna, “My dear Arjuna, both you and I have appeared many, many times in this material world, but you have forgotten, whereas I remember.” Thus Jaya and Vijaya were selected by the Lord to fight with Him in the material world, and that was the reason the sages came to see Him and accidentally the doorkeepers were cursed. It was the Lord’s desire to send them to the material world, not perpetually, but for some time. Therefore, just as on a theatrical stage someone takes the part of enemy to the proprietor of the stage, although the play is for a short time and there is no permanent enmity between the servant and the proprietor, so the sura janas (devotees) were cursed by the sages to go to the asura jana, or atheistic families. That a devotee should come into an atheistic family is surprising, but it is simply a show. After finishing their mock fighting, both the devotee and the Lord are again associated in the spiritual planets. That is very explicitly explained here. The conclusion is that no one falls from the spiritual world, or Vaikuntha planet, for it is the eternal abode. But sometimes, as the Lord desires, devotees come into this material world as preachers or as atheists. In each case we must understand that there is a plan of the Lord. Lord Buddha, for example, was an incarnation, yet he preached atheism: “There is no God.” But actually there was a plan behind this, as explained in the Bhagavatam.
atha te munayo drishtva
vikuntham ca svayam-prabham
Lord Brahma said: After seeing the Lord of Vaikuntha, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, in the self-illuminated Vaikuntha planet, the sages left that transcendental abode.
The transcendental abode of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, as stated in Bhagavad-gita and confirmed in this verse, is self-illuminated. In Bhagavad-gita it is said that in the spiritual world there is no need of sun, moon or electricity. This indicates that all the planets there are self-illuminated, self-sufficient and independent; everything there is complete. Lord Krishna says that once one goes to that Vaikuntha planet, he never returns. The inhabitants of Vaikuntha never return to the material world, but the incident of Jaya and Vijaya was a different case. They came to the material world for some time, and then they returned to Vaikuntha.
samsanto vaishnavim sriyam
The sages circumambulated the Supreme Lord, offered their obeisances and returned, extremely delighted at learning of the divine opulences of the Vaishnava.
It is still a respectful practice to circumambulate the Lord in Hindu temples. Especially in Vaishnava temples there is an arrangement for people to offer their respects to the Deity and circumambulate the temple at least three times.
bhagavan anugav aha
yatam ma bhaishtam astu sam
brahma-tejah samartho ’pi
hantum necche matam tu me
The Lord then said to His attendants, Jaya and Vijaya: Depart this place, but fear not. All glories unto you. Though I am capable of nullifying the brahmanas’ curse, I would not do so. On the contrary, it has My approval.
As explained in connection with text 26, all the incidents that took place had the approval of the Lord. Ordinarily, there is no possibility that the four sages could be so angry with the doorkeepers, nor could the Supreme Lord neglect His two doorkeepers, nor can one come back from Vaikuntha after once taking birth there. All these incidents, therefore, were designed by the Lord Himself for the sake of His pastimes in the material world. Thus He plainly says that it was done with His approval. Otherwise, it would have been impossible for inhabitants of Vaikuntha to come back to this material world simply because of a brahminical curse. The Lord especially blesses the so-called culprits: “All glories unto you.” A devotee, once accepted by the Lord, can never fall down. That is the conclusion of this incident.
etat puraiva nirdishtam
ramaya kruddhaya yada
visanti mayy uparate
This departure from Vaikuntha was foretold by Lakshmi, the goddess of fortune. She was very angry because when she left My abode and then returned, you stopped her at the gate while I was sleeping.
pratyeshyatam nikasam me
The Lord assured the two Vaikuntha inhabitants, Jaya and Vijaya: By practicing the mystic yoga system in anger, you will be cleansed of the sin of disobeying the brahmanas and within a very short time return to Me.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead advised the two doorkeepers, Jaya and Vijaya, that by dint of bhakti-yoga in anger they would be delivered from the curses of the brahmanas. Srila Madhva Muni remarks in this connection that by practicing bhakti-yoga one can become free from all sinful reactions. Even a brahma-sapa, or curse by a brahmana, which cannot be overcome by any other means, can be overcome by bhakti-yoga.
One can practice bhakti-yoga in many rasas. There are twelve rasas, five primary and seven secondary. The five primary rasas constitute direct bhakti-yoga, but although the seven secondary rasas are indirect, they are also counted within bhakti-yoga if they are used in the service of the Lord. In other words, bhakti-yoga is all-inclusive. If one somehow or other becomes attached to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he becomes engaged in bhakti-yoga, as described in Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.29.15): kamam krodham bhayam. The gopis were attracted to Krishna by bhakti-yoga in a relationship of lusty desire (kama). Similarly, Kamsa was attached to bhakti-yoga by dint of fear of his death. Thus bhakti-yoga is so powerful that even becoming an enemy of the Lord and always thinking of Him can deliver one very quickly. It is said, vishnu-bhaktah smrito daiva asuras tad-vipanyayah: “Devotees of Lord Vishnu are called demigods, whereas nondevotees are called asuras.” But bhakti-yoga is so powerful that both demigods and asuras can derive its benefits if they always think of the Personality of Godhead. The basic principle of bhakti-yoga is to think of the Supreme Lord always. The Lord says in Bhagavad-gita (18.65), man-mana bhava mad-bhaktah: “Always think of Me.” It doesn’t matter which way one thinks; the very thought of the Personality of Godhead is the basic principle of bhakti-yoga.
In the material planets there are different grades of sinful activities, of which disrespecting a brahmana or a Vaishnava is the most sinful. Here it is clearly stated that one can overcome even that grave sin simply by thinking of Vishnu, not even favorably but in anger. Thus even if those who are not devotees always think of Vishnu, they become free from all sinful activities. Krishna consciousness is the highest form of thought. Lord Vishnu is thought of in this age by chanting Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. From the statements of the Bhagavatam it appears that if one thinks of Krishna, even as an enemy, that particular qualification—thinking of Vishnu, or Krishna—cleanses one of all sins.
dvahsthav adisya bhagavan
jushtam svam dhishnyam avisat
After thus speaking at the door of Vaikuntha, the Lord returned to His abode, where there are many celestial airplanes and all-surpassing wealth and splendor.
It is clear from this verse that all the incidents took place at the entrance of Vaikunthaloka. In other words, the sages were not actually within Vaikunthaloka, but were at the gate. It could be asked, “How could they return to the material world if they entered Vaikunthaloka?” But factually they did not enter, and therefore they returned. There are many similar incidents where great yogis and brahmanas, by dint of their yoga practice, have gone from this material world to Vaikunthaloka—but they were not meant to stay there. They came back. It is also confirmed here that the Lord was surrounded by many Vaikuntha airplanes. Vaikunthaloka is described here as having splendid opulence, far surpassing the splendor of this material world.
All other living creatures, including the demigods, are born of Brahma, and Brahma is born of Lord Vishnu. Krishna states in Bhagavad-gita, in the Tenth Chapter, aham sarvasya prabhavah: [Bg. 10.8] Lord Vishnu is the origin of all manifestations in the material world. Those who know that Lord Vishnu is the origin of everything, who are conversant with the process of creation and who understand that Vishnu, or Krishna, is the most worshipable object of all living entities, engage themselves in Vishnu worship as Vaishnavas. The Vedic hymns also confirm this: om tad vishnoh paramam padam. The goal of life is to understand Vishnu. The Bhagavatam also confirms this elsewhere. Foolish people, not knowing that Vishnu is the supreme worshipable object, create so many worshipable objects in this material world, and therefore they fall down.
tau tu girvana-rishabhau
But those two gatekeepers, the best of the demigods, their beauty and luster diminished by the curse of the brahmanas, became morose and fell from Vaikuntha, the abode of the Supreme Lord.
haha-karo mahan asid
Then, as Jaya and Vijaya fell from the Lord’s abode, a great roar of disappointment arose from all the demigods, who were sitting in their splendid airplanes.
tav eva hy adhuna praptau
kasyapam teja ulbanam
Lord Brahma continued: Those two principal doorkeepers of the Personality of Godhead have now entered the womb of Diti, the powerful semen of Kasyapa Muni having covered them.
Here is clear proof of how a living entity coming originally from Vaikunthaloka is encaged in material elements. The living entity takes shelter within the semen of a father, which is injected within the womb of a mother, and with the help of the mother’s emulsified ovum the living entity grows a particular type of a body. In this connection it is to be remembered that the mind of Kasyapa Muni was not in order when he conceived the two sons, Hiranyaksha and Hiranyakasipu. Therefore the semen he discharged was simultaneously extremely powerful and mixed with the quality of anger. It is to be concluded that while conceiving a child one’s mind must be very sober and devotional. For this purpose the Garbhadhana-samskara is recommended in the Vedic scriptures. If the mind of the father is not sober, the semen discharged will not be very good. Thus the living entity, wrapped in the matter produced from the father and mother, will be demoniac like Hiranyaksha and Hiranyakasipu. The conditions of conception are to be carefully studied. This is a very great science.
tayor asurayor adya
tejasa yamayor hi vah
akshiptam teja etarhi
bhagavams tad vidhitsati
It is the prowess of these twin asuras [demons] that has disturbed you, for it has minimized your power. There is no remedy within my power, however, for it is the Lord Himself who desires to do all this.
Although Hiranyakasipu and Hiranyaksha, formerly Jaya and Vijaya, became asuras, the demigods of this material world could not control them, and therefore Lord Brahma said that neither he nor all the demigods could counteract the disturbance they created. They came within the material world by the order of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and He alone could counteract such disturbances. In other words, although Jaya and Vijaya assumed the bodies of asuras, they remained more powerful than anyone, thus proving that the Supreme Personality of Godhead desired to fight because the fighting spirit is also within Him. He is the original in everything, but when He desires to fight He must fight with a devotee. Therefore by His desire only were Jaya and Vijaya cursed by the Kumaras. The Lord ordered the gatekeepers to go down to the material world to become His enemies so that He could fight with them and His fighting desires would be satisfied by the service of His personal devotees.
Brahma showed the demigods that the situation created by the darkness, for which they were disturbed, was the desire of the Supreme Lord. He wanted to show that even though these two attendants were coming in the forms of demons, they were very powerful, greater than the demigods, who could not control them. No one can surpass the acts of the Supreme Lord. The demigods were also advised not to try to counteract this incident, because it was ordered by the Lord. Similarly, anyone who is ordered by the Lord to perform some action in this material world, especially preaching His glories, cannot be counteracted by anyone; the will of the Lord is executed under all circumstances.
visvasya yah sthiti-layodbhava-hetur adyo
yogesvarair api duratyaya-yogamayah
kshemam vidhasyati sa no bhagavams tryadhisas
tatrasmadiya-vimrisena kiyan iharthah
My dear sons, the Lord is the controller of the three modes of nature and is responsible for the creation, preservation and dissolution of the universe. His wonderful creative power, yogamaya, cannot be easily understood even by the masters of yoga. That most ancient person, the Personality of Godhead, will alone come to our rescue. What purpose can we serve on His behalf by deliberating on the subject?
When something is arranged by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one should not be disturbed by it, even if it appears to be a reverse according to one’s calculations. For example, sometimes we see that a powerful preacher is killed, or sometimes he is put into difficulty, just as Haridasa Thakura was. He was a great devotee who came into this material world to execute the will of the Lord by preaching the Lord’s glories. But Haridasa was punished at the hands of the Kazi by being beaten in twenty-two marketplaces. Similarly, Lord Jesus Christ was crucified, and Prahlada Maharaja was put through so many tribulations. The Pandavas, who were direct friends of Krishna, lost their kingdom, their wife was insulted, and they had to undergo many severe tribulations. Seeing all these reverses affect devotees, one should not be disturbed; one should simply understand that in these matters there must be some plan of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The Bhagavatam’s conclusion is that a devotee is never disturbed by such reverses. He accepts even reverse conditions as the grace of the Lord. One who continues to serve the Lord even in reverse conditions is assured that he will go back to Godhead, back to the Vaikuntha planets. Lord Brahma assured the demigods that there was no use in talking about how the disturbing situation of darkness was taking place, since the actual fact was that it was ordered by the Supreme Lord. Brahma knew this because he was a great devotee; it was possible for him to understand the plan of the Lord.
Thus end the Bhaktivedanta purports of the Third Canto, Sixteenth Chapter, of the Srimad-Bhagavatam, entitled “The Two Doorkeepers of Vaikuntha, Jaya and Vijaya, Cursed by the Sages.”
SB 3.17: Victory of Hiranyaksha Over All the Directions of the Universe
Victory of Hiranyaksha Over All the Directions of the Universe
tatah sarve nyavartanta
Sri Maitreya said: The demigods, the inhabitants of the higher planets, were freed from all fear upon hearing the cause of the darkness explained by Brahma, who was born from Vishnu. Thus they all returned to their respective planets.
The demigods, who are denizens of higher planets, are also very much afraid of incidents such as the universe’s becoming dark, and so they consulted Brahma. This indicates that the quality of fear exists for every living entity in the material world. The four principal activities of material existence are eating, sleeping, fearing and mating. The fear element exists also in the demigods. On every planet, even in the higher planetary systems, including the moon and the sun, as well as on this earth, the same principles of animal life exist. Otherwise, why are the demigods also afraid of the darkness? The difference between the demigods and ordinary human beings is that the demigods approach authority, whereas the inhabitants of this earth defy authority. If people would only approach the authority, then every adverse condition in this universe could be rectified. Arjuna was also disturbed on the Battlefield of Kurukshetra, but he approached the authority, Krishna, and his problem was solved. The conclusive instruction of this incident is that we may be disturbed by some material condition, but if we approach the authority who can actually explain the matter, then our problem is solved. The demigods approached Brahma for the meaning of the disturbance, and after hearing from him they were satisfied and returned home peacefully.
ditis tu bhartur adesad
purne varsha-sate sadhvi
putrau prasushuve yamau
The virtuous lady Diti had been very apprehensive of trouble to the gods from the children in her womb, and her husband predicted the same. She brought forth twin sons after a full one hundred years of pregnancy.
utpata bahavas tatra
divi bhuvy antarikshe ca
On the birth of the two demons there were many natural disturbances, all very fearful and wonderful, in the heavenly planets, the earthly planets and in between them.
sahacala bhuvas celur
disah sarvah prajajvaluh
solkas casanayah petuh
There were earthquakes along the mountains on the earth, and it appeared that there was fire everywhere. Many inauspicious planets like Saturn appeared, along with comets, meteors and thunderbolts.
When natural disturbances occur on a planet, one should understand that a demon must have taken birth there. In the present age the number of demoniac people is increasing; therefore natural disturbances are also increasing. There is no doubt about this, as we can understand from the statements of the Bhagavatam.
vavau vayuh suduhsparsah
phut-karan irayan muhuh
There blew winds which were most uninviting to the touch, hissing again and again and uprooting gigantic trees. They had storms for their armies and clouds of dust for their ensigns.
When there are natural disturbances like blowing cyclones, too much heat or snowfall, and uprooting of trees by hurricanes, it is to be understood that the demoniac population is increasing and so the natural disturbance is also taking place. There are many countries on the globe, even at the present moment, where all these disturbances are current. This is true all over the world. There is insufficient sunshine, and there are always clouds in the sky, snowfall and severe cold. These assure that such places are inhabited by demoniac people who are accustomed to all kinds of forbidden, sinful activity.
na sma vyadrisyate padam
The luminaries in the heavens were screened by masses of clouds, in which lightning sometimes flashed as though laughing. Darkness reigned everywhere, and nothing could be seen.
cukrosa vimana vardhir
sodapanas ca saritas
The ocean with its high waves wailed aloud as if stricken with sorrow, and there was a commotion among the creatures inhabiting the ocean. The rivers and lakes were also agitated, and lotuses withered.
muhuh paridhayo ’bhuvan
Misty halos appeared around the sun and the moon during solar and lunar eclipses again and again. Claps of thunder were heard even without clouds, and sounds like those of rattling chariots emerged from the mountain caves.
vamantyo vahnim ulbanam
pranedur asivam sivah
In the interior of the villages she-jackals yelled portentously, vomiting strong fire from their mouths, and jackals and owls also joined them with their cries.
vyamuncan vividha vaco
grama-simhas tatas tatah
Raising their necks, dogs cried here and there, now in the manner of singing and now of wailing.
kharas ca karkasaih kshattah
khurair ghnanto dhara-talam
O Vidura, the asses ran hither and thither in herds, striking the earth with their hard hooves and wildly braying.
Asses also feel very respectable as a race, and when they run in flocks hither and thither in so-called jollity, it is understood to be a bad sign for human society.
nidad udapatan khagah
ghoshe ’ranye ca pasavah
Frightened by the braying of the asses, birds flew shrieking from their nests, while cattle in the cowsheds as well as in the woods passed dung and urine.
gavo ’trasann asrig-dohas
drumah petur vinanilam
Cows, terrified, yielded blood in place of milk, clouds rained pus, the images of the gods in the temples shed tears, and trees fell down without a blast of wind.
grahan punyataman anye
bhaganams capi dipitah
yuyudhus ca parasparam
Ominous planets such as Mars and Saturn shone brighter and surpassed the auspicious ones such as Mercury, Jupiter and Venus as well as a number of lunar mansions. Taking seemingly retrograde courses, the planets came in conflict with one another.
The entire universe is moving under the three modes of material nature. Those living entities who are in goodness are called the pious species—pious lands, pious trees, etc. It is similar with the planets also; many planets are considered pious, and others are considered impious. Saturn and Mars are considered impious. When the pious planets shine very brightly, it is an auspicious sign, but when the inauspicious planets shine very brightly, this is not a very good sign.
drishtvanyams ca mahotpatan
brahma-putran rite bhita
Marking these and many other omens of evil times, everyone but the four sage-sons of Brahma, who were aware of the fall of Jaya and Vijaya and of their birth as Diti’s sons, was seized with fear. They did not know the secrets of these portents and thought that the dissolution of the universe was at hand.
According to Bhagavad-gita, Seventh Chapter, the laws of nature are so stringent that it is impossible for the living entity to surpass their enforcement. It is also explained that only those who are fully surrendered to Krishna in Krishna consciousness can be saved. We can learn from the description of the Srimad-Bhagavatam that it is because of the birth of two great demons that there were so many natural disturbances. It is to be indirectly understood, as previously described, that when there are constant disturbances on the earth, that is an omen that some demoniac people have been born or that the demoniac population has increased. In former days there were only two demons—those born of Diti—yet there were so many disturbances. At the present day, especially in this age of Kali, these disturbances are always visible, which indicates that the demoniac population has certainly increased.
To check the increase of demoniac population, the Vedic civilization enacted so many rules and regulations of social life, the most important of which is the garbhadhana process for begetting good children. In Bhagavad-gita Arjuna informed Krishna that if there is unwanted population (varna-sankara), the entire world will appear to be hell. People are very anxious for peace in the world, but there are so many unwanted children born without the benefit of the garbhadhana ceremony, just like the demons born from Diti. Diti was so lusty that she forced her husband to copulate at a time which was inauspicious, and therefore the demons were born to create disturbances. In having sex life to beget children, one should observe the process for begetting nice children; if each and every householder in every family observes the Vedic system, then there are nice children, not demons, and automatically there is peace in the world. If we do not follow regulations in life for social tranquillity, we cannot expect peace. Rather, we will have to undergo the stringent reactions of natural laws.
tav adi-daityau sahasa
These two demons who appeared in ancient times soon began to exhibit uncommon bodily features; they had steellike frames which began to grow just like two great mountains.
There are two classes of men in the world; one is called the demon, and the other is called the demigod. The demigods concern themselves with the spiritual upliftment of human society, whereas the demons are concerned with physical and material upliftment. The two demons born of Diti began to make their bodies as strong as iron frames, and they were so tall that they seemed to touch outer space. They were decorated with valuable ornaments, and they thought that this was success in life. Originally it was planned that Jaya and Vijaya, the two doorkeepers of Vaikuntha, were to take birth in this material world, where, by the curse of the sages, they were to play the part of always being angry with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. As demoniac persons, they became so angry that they were not concerned with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but simply with physical comforts and physical upliftment.
gam kampayantau caranaih pade pade
katya sukancyarkam atitya tasthatuh
Their bodies became so tall that they seemed to kiss the sky with the crests of their gold crowns. They blocked the view of all directions and while walking shook the earth at every step. Their arms were adorned with brilliant bracelets, and they stood as if covering the sun with their waists, which were bound with excellent and beautiful girdles.
In the demoniac way of civilization, people are interested in getting a body constructed in such a way that when they walk on the street the earth will tremble and when they stand it will appear that they cover the sun and the vision of the four directions. If a race appears strong in body, their country is materially considered to be among the highly advanced nations of the world.
prajapatir nama tayor akarshid
yah prak sva-dehad yamayor ajayata
tam vai hiranyakasipum viduh praja
yam tam hiranyaksham asuta sagratah
Kasyapa, Prajapati, the creator of the living entities, gave his twin sons their names; the one who was born first he named Hiranyaksha, and the one who was first conceived by Diti he named Hiranyakasipu.
There is an authoritative Vedic literature called Pinda-siddhi in which the scientific understanding of pregnancy is very nicely described. It is stated that when the male secretion enters the menstrual flux in the uterus in two successive drops, the mother develops two embryos in her womb, and she brings forth twins in a reverse order to that in which they were first conceived; the child conceived first is born later, and the one conceived later is brought forth first. The first child conceived in the womb lives behind the second child, so when birth takes place the second child appears first, and the first child appears second. In this case it is understood that Hiranyaksha, the second child conceived, was delivered first, whereas Hiranyakasipu, the child who was behind him, having been conceived first, was born second.
dorbhyam brahma-varena ca
vase sa-palal lokams trin
The elder child, Hiranyakasipu, was unafraid of death from anyone within the three worlds because he received a benediction from Lord Brahma. He was proud and puffed up due to this benediction and was able to bring all three planetary systems under his control.
As will be revealed in later chapters, Hiranyakasipu underwent severe austerity and penance to satisfy Brahma and thus receive a benediction of immortality. Actually, it is impossible even for Lord Brahma to give anyone the benediction of becoming immortal, but indirectly Hiranyakasipu received the benediction that no one within this material world would be able to kill him. In other words, because he originally came from the abode of Vaikuntha, he was not to be killed by anyone within this material world. The Lord desired to appear Himself to kill him. One may be very proud of his material advancement in knowledge, but he cannot be immune to the four principles of material existence, namely birth, death, old age and disease. It was the Lord’s plan to teach people that even Hiranyakasipu, who was so powerful and strongly built, could not live more than his destined duration of life. One may become as strong and puffed up as Hiranyakasipu and bring under his control all the three worlds, but there is no possibility of continuing life eternally or keeping the conquered booty forever. So many emperors have ascended to power, and they are now lost in oblivion; that is the history of the world.
hiranyaksho ’nujas tasya
priyah priti-krid anvaham
gada-panir divam yato
yuyutsur mrigayan ranam
His younger brother, Hiranyaksha, was always ready to satisfy his elder brother by his activities. Hiranyaksha took a club on his shoulder and traveled all over the universe with a fighting spirit just to satisfy Hiranyakasipu.
The demoniac spirit is to train all family members to exploit the resources of this universe for personal sense gratification, whereas the godly spirit is to engage everything in the service of the Lord. Hiranyakasipu was himself very powerful, and he made his younger brother, Hiranyaksha, powerful to assist him in fighting with everyone and lording it over material nature as long as possible. If possible, he wanted to rule the universe eternally. These are demonstrations of the spirit of the demoniac living entity.
tam vikshya duhsaha-javam
vaijayantya sraja jushtam
Hiranyaksha’s temper was difficult to control. He had anklets of gold tinkling about his feet, he was adorned with a gigantic garland, and he rested his huge mace on one of his shoulders.
bhita nililyire devas
His mental and bodily strength as well as the boon conferred upon him had made him proud. He feared death at the hands of no one, and there was no checking him. The gods, therefore, were seized with fear at his very sight, and they hid themselves even as snakes hide themselves for fear of Garuda.
The asuras are generally strongly built, as described here, and therefore their mental condition is very sound, and their prowess is also extraordinary. Hiranyaksha and Hiranyakasipu, having received the boon that they would not be killed by any other living entity within this universe, were almost immortal, and thus they were completely fearless.
sa vai tirohitan drishtva
mahasa svena daitya-rat
sendran deva-ganan kshiban
apasyan vyanadad bhrisam
On not finding Indra and the other demigods, who had previously been intoxicated with power, the chief of the Daityas, seeing that they had all vanished before his might, roared loudly.
tato nivrittah kridishyan
vardhim matta iva dvipah
After returning from the heavenly kingdom, the mighty demon, who was like an elephant in wrath, for the sake of sport dived into the deep ocean, which was roaring terribly.
tasmin pravishte varunasya sainika
yado-ganah sanna-dhiyah sasadhvasah
ahanyamana api tasya varcasa
pradharshita durataram pradudruvuh
On his entering the ocean, the aquatic animals who formed the host of Varuna were stricken with fear and ran far away. Thus Hiranyaksha showed his splendor without dealing a blow.
Materialistic demons sometimes appear to be very powerful and are seen to establish their supremacy throughout the world. Here also it appears that Hiranyaksha, by his demoniac strength, actually established his supremacy throughout the universe, and the demigods were afraid of his uncommon power. Not only were the demigods in space afraid of the demons Hiranyakasipu and Hiranyaksha, but so also were the aquatic animals within the sea.
sa varsha-pugan udadhau maha-balas
caran mahormin chvasaneritan muhuh
maurvyabhijaghne gadaya vibhavarim
asedivams tata purim pracetasah
Moving about in the ocean for many, many years, the mighty Hiranyaksha smote the gigantic wind-tossed waves again and again with his iron mace and reached Vibhavari, the capital of Varuna.
Varuna is supposed to be the predominating deity of the waters, and his capital, which is known as Vibhavari, is within the watery kingdom.
yado-gananam rishabham pracetasam
smayan pralabdhum pranipatya nicavaj
jagada me dehy adhiraja samyugam
Vibhavari is the home of Varuna, lord of the aquatic creatures and guardian of the lower regions of the universe, where the demons generally reside. There Hiranyaksha fell at Varuna’s feet like a lowborn man, and to make fun of him he said with a smile, “Give me battle, O Supreme Lord!”
The demoniac person always challenges others and tries to occupy others’ property by force. Here these symptoms are fully displayed by Hiranyaksha, who begged war from a person who had no desire to fight.
tvam loka-palo ’dhipatir brihac-chrava
vijitya loke ’khila-daitya-danavan
yad rajasuyena purayajat prabho
You are the guardian of an entire sphere and a ruler of wide fame. Having crushed the might of arrogant and conceited warriors and having conquered all the Daityas and Danavas in the world, you once performed a Rajasuya sacrifice to the Lord.
sa evam utsikta-madena vidvisha
dridham pralabdho bhagavan apam patih
rosham samuttham samayan svaya dhiya
vyavocad angopasamam gata vayam
Thus mocked by an enemy whose vanity knew no bounds, the worshipful lord of the waters waxed angry, but by dint of his reason he managed to curb the anger that had sprung up in him, and he replied: O dear one, we have now desisted from warfare, having grown too old for combat.
As we see, war mongering materialists always create fighting without reason.
pasyami nanyam purushat puratanad
yah samyuge tvam rana-marga-kovidam
aradhayishyaty asurarshabhehi tam
manasvino yam grinate bhavadrisah
You are so skilled in war that I do not see anyone else but the most ancient person, Lord Vishnu, who can give satisfaction in battle to you. Therefore, O chief of the asuras, approach Him, whom even heroes like you mention with praise.
Aggressive materialistic warriors are actually punished by the Supreme Lord for their policy of unnecessarily disturbing world peace. Therefore Varuna advised Hiranyaksha that the right course to satisfy his fighting spirit would be to seek to fight with Vishnu.
tam viram arad abhipadya vismayah
sayishyase vira-saye svabhir vritah
yas tvad-vidhanam asatam prasantaye
rupani dhatte sad-anugrahecchaya
Varuna continued: On reaching Him you will be rid of your pride at once and will lie down on the field of battle, surrounded by dogs, for eternal sleep. It is in order to exterminate wicked fellows like you and to show His grace to the virtuous that He assumes His various incarnations like Varaha.
Asuras do not know that their bodies consist of the five elements of material nature and that when they fall they become objects of pastimes for dogs and vultures. Varuna advised Hiranyaksha to meet Vishnu in His boar incarnation so that his hankering for aggressive war would be satisfied and his powerful body would be vanquished.
Thus end the Bhaktivedanta purports of the Third Canto, Seventeenth Chapter, of the Srimad-Bhagavatam, entitled “Victory of Hiranyaksha Over All the Directions of the Universe.”
SB 3.18: The Battle Between Lord Boar and the Demon Hiranyaksha
The Battle Between Lord Boar and the Demon Hiranyaksha
tad evam akarnya jalesa-bhashitam
maha-manas tad viganayya durmadah
harer viditva gatim anga naradad
rasatalam nirvivise tvaranvitah
Maitreya continued: The proud and falsely glorious Daitya paid little heed to the words of Varuna. O dear Vidura, he learned from Narada the whereabouts of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and hurriedly betook himself to the depths of the ocean.
Materialistic warmongers are not even afraid to fight with their mightiest enemy, the Personality of Godhead. The demon was very encouraged to learn from Varuna that there was one fighter who could actually combat him, and he was very enthusiastic to search out the Supreme Personality of Godhead just to give Him a fight, even though it was predicted by Varuna that by fighting with Vishnu he would become prey for dogs, jackals and vultures. Since demoniac persons are less intelligent, they dare to fight with Vishnu, who is known as Ajita, or one who has never been conquered.
dadarsa tatrabhijitam dhara-dharam
mushnantam akshna sva-ruco ’runa-sriya
jahasa caho vana-gocaro mrigah
He saw there the all-powerful Personality of Godhead in His boar incarnation, bearing the earth upward on the ends of His tusks and robbing him of his splendor with His reddish eyes. The demon laughed: Oh, an amphibious beast!
In a previous chapter we have discussed the incarnation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead as Varaha, the boar. While Varaha, with His tusks, engaged in uplifting the submerged earth from the depths of the waters, this great demon Hiranyaksha met Him and challenged Him, calling Him a beast. Demons cannot understand the incarnations of the Lord; they think that His incarnations as a fish or boar or tortoise are big beasts only. They misunderstand the body of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, even in His human form, and they deride His descent. In the Caitanya-sampradaya there is sometimes a demoniac misconception about the descent of Nityananda Prabhu. Nityananda Prabhu’s body is spiritual, but demoniac persons consider the body of the Supreme Personality to be material, just like ours. Avajananti mam mudhah: [Bg. 9.11] persons who have no intelligence deride the transcendental form of the Lord as material.
ahainam ehy ajna mahim vimunca no
rasaukasam visva-srijeyam arpita
na svasti yasyasy anaya mamekshatah
The demon addressed the Lord: O best of the demigods, dressed in the form of a boar, just hear me. This earth is entrusted to us, the inhabitants of the lower regions, and You cannot take it from my presence and not be hurt by me.
Sridhara Svami, commenting on this verse, states that although the demon wanted to deride the Personality of Godhead in the form of a boar, actually he worshiped Him in several words. For example, he addressed Him as vana-gocarah, which means “one who is a resident of the forest,” but another meaning of vana-gocarah is “one who lies on the water.” Vishnu lies on the water, so the Supreme Personality of Godhead can be properly addressed in this way. The demon also addressed Him as mrigah, indicating, unintentionally, that the Supreme Personality is sought after by great sages, saintly persons and transcendentalists. He also addressed Him as ajna. Sridhara Svami says that jna means “knowledge,” and there is no knowledge which is unknown to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Indirectly, therefore, the demon said that Vishnu knows everything. The demon addressed Him as suradhama. Sura means “the demigods,” and adhama means “Lord of all there is.” He is Lord of all the demigods; therefore He is the best of all demigods, or God. When the demon used the phrase “in my presence,” the implied meaning was, “In spite of my presence, You are completely able to take away the earth.” Na svasti yasyasi: “unless You kindly take this earth from our custody, there can be no good fortune for us.”
tvam nah sapatnair abhavaya kim bhrito
yo mayaya hanty asuran paroksha-jit
tvam yogamaya-balam alpa-paurusham
samsthapya mudha pramrije suhric-chucah
You rascal, You have been nourished by our enemies to kill us, and You have killed some demons by remaining invisible. O fool, Your power is only mystic, so today I shall enliven my kinsmen by killing You.
The demon used the word abhavaya, which means “for killing.” Sridhara Svami comments that this “killing” means liberating, or, in other words, killing the process of continued birth and death. The Lord kills the process of birth and death and keeps Himself invisible. The activities of the Lord’s internal potency are inconceivable, but by a slight exhibition of this potency, the Lord, by His grace, can deliver one from nescience. Sucah means “miseries”; the miseries of material existence can be extinguished by the Lord by His potential energy of internal yogamaya. In the Upanishads (Svetasvatara Upanishad 6.8) it is stated, parasya saktir vividhaiva sruyate [Cc. Madhya 13.65, purport]. The Lord is invisible to the eyes of the common man, but His energies act in various ways. When demons are in adversity, they think that God is hiding Himself and is working by His mystic potency. They think that if they can find God they can kill Him just by seeing Him. Hiranyaksha thought that way, and he challenged the Lord: “You have done tremendous harm to our community, taking the part of the demigods, and You have killed our kinsmen in so many ways, always keeping Yourself hidden. Now I see You face to face, and I am not going to let You go. I shall kill You and save my kinsmen from Your mystic misdeeds.”
Not only are demons always anxious to kill God with words and philosophy, but they think that if one is materially powerful he can kill God with materially fatal weapons. Demons like Kamsa, Ravana and Hiranyakasipu thought themselves powerful enough to kill even God. Demons cannot understand that God, by His multifarious potencies, can work so wonderfully that He can be present everywhere and still remain in His eternal abode, Goloka Vrindavana.
tvayi samsthite gadaya sirna-sirshany
asmad-bhuja-cyutaya ye ca tubhyam
balim haranty rishayo ye ca devah
svayam sarve na bhavishyanty amulah
The demon continued: When You fall dead with Your skull smashed by the mace hurled by my arms, the demigods and sages who offer You oblations and sacrifice in devotional service will also automatically cease to exist, like trees without roots.
Demons are very much disturbed when devotees worship the Lord in the prescribed ways recommended in the scriptures. In the Vedic scriptures, the neophyte devotees are advised to engage in nine kinds of devotional service, such as to hear and chant the holy name of God, to remember Him always, to chant on beads Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare, to worship the Lord in the form of His Deity incarnation in the temples, and to engage in various activities of Krishna consciousness to increase the number of godly persons for perfect peace in the world. Demons do not like such activity. They are always envious of God and His devotees. Their propaganda not to worship in the temple or church but simply to make material advancement for satisfaction of the senses is always current. The demon Hiranyaksha, upon seeing the Lord face to face, wanted to make a permanent solution by killing the Personality of Godhead with his powerful mace. The example of an uprooted tree mentioned here by the demon is very significant. Devotees accept that God is the root of everything. Their example is that just as the stomach is the source of energy of all the limbs of the body, God is the original source of all energy manifested in the material and spiritual worlds; therefore, as supplying food to the stomach is the process to satisfy all the limbs of the body, Krishna consciousness, or developing love of Krishna, is the sublime method for satisfying the source of all happiness. The demon wants to uproot this source because if the root, God, were to be checked, the activities of the Lord and the devotees would automatically stop. The demon would be very much satisfied by such a situation in society. Demons are always anxious to have a godless society for their sense gratification. According to Sridhara Svami, this verse means that when the demon would be deprived of his mace by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, not only the neophyte devotees but also the ancient sagacious devotees of the Lord would be very much satisfied.
sa tudyamano ’ri-durukta-tomarair
damshtragra-gam gam upalakshya bhitam
todam mrishan niragad ambu-madhyad
grahahatah sa-karenur yathebhah
Although the Lord was pained by the shaftlike abusive words of the demon, He bore the pain. But seeing that the earth on the ends of His tusks was frightened, He rose out of the water just as an elephant emerges with its female companion when assailed by an alligator.
The Mayavadi philosopher cannot understand that the Lord has feelings. The Lord is satisfied if someone offers Him a nice prayer, and similarly, if someone decries His existence or calls Him by ill names, God is dissatisfied. The Supreme Personality of Godhead is decried by the Mayavadi philosophers, who are almost demons. They say that God has no head, no form, no existence and no legs, hands or other bodily limbs. In other words, they say that He is dead or lame. All these misconceptions of the Supreme Lord are a source of dissatisfaction to Him; He is never pleased with such atheistic descriptions. In this case, although the Lord felt sorrow from the piercing words of the demon, He delivered the earth for the satisfaction of the demigods, who are ever His devotees. The conclusion is that God is as sentient as we are. He is satisfied by our prayers and dissatisfied by our harsh words against Him. In order to give protection to His devotee, He is always ready to tolerate insulting words from the atheists.
tam nihsarantam salilad anudruto
hiranya-keso dviradam yatha jhashah
karala-damshtro ’sani-nisvano ’bravid
gata-hriyam kim tv asatam vigarhitam
The demon, who had golden hair on his head and fearful tusks, gave chase to the Lord while He was rising from the water, even as an alligator would chase an elephant. Roaring like thunder, he said: Are You not ashamed of running away before a challenging adversary? There is nothing reproachable for shameless creatures!
When the Lord was coming out of the water, taking the earth in His arms to deliver it, the demon derided Him with insulting words, but the Lord did not care because He was very conscious of His duty. For a dutiful man there is nothing to fear. Similarly, those who are powerful have no fear of derision or unkind words from an enemy. The Lord had nothing to fear from anyone, yet He was merciful to His enemy by neglecting him. Although apparently He fled from the challenge, it was just to protect the earth from calamity that He tolerated Hiranyaksha’s deriding words.
sa gam udastat salilasya gocare
vinyasya tasyam adadhat sva-sattvam
abhishtuto visva-srija prasunair
apuryamano vibudhaih pasyato ’reh
The Lord placed the earth within His sight on the surface of the water and transferred to her His own energy in the form of the ability to float on the water. While the enemy stood looking on, Brahma, the creator of the universe, extolled the Lord, and the other demigods rained flowers on Him.
Those who are demons cannot understand how the Supreme Personality of Godhead floated the earth on water, but to devotees of the Lord this is not a very wonderful act. Not only the earth but many, many millions of planets are floating in the air, and this floating power is endowed upon them by the Lord; there is no other possible explanation. The materialists can explain that the planets are floating by the law of gravitation, but the law of gravitation works under the control or direction of the Supreme Lord. That is the version of Bhagavad-gita, which confirms, by the Lord’s statement, that behind the material laws or nature’s laws and behind the growth, maintenance, production and evolution of all the planetary systems—behind everything—is the Lord’s direction. The Lord’s activities could be appreciated only by the demigods, headed by Brahma, and therefore when they saw the uncommon prowess of the Lord in keeping the earth on the surface of the water, they showered flowers on Him in appreciation of His transcendental activity.
marmany abhikshnam pratudantam duruktaih
pracanda-manyuh prahasams tam babhashe
The demon, who had a wealth of ornaments, bangles and beautiful golden armor on his body, chased the Lord from behind with a great mace. The Lord tolerated his piercing ill words, but in order to reply to him, He expressed His terrible anger.
The Lord could have chastised the demon immediately while the demon was deriding the Lord with ill words, but the Lord tolerated him to please the demigods and to show that they should not be afraid of demons while discharging their duties. Therefore His toleration was displayed mainly to drive away the fears of the demigods, who should know that the Lord is always present to protect them. The demon’s derision of the Lord was just like the barking of dogs; the Lord did not care about it, since He was doing His own work in delivering the earth from the midst of the water. Materialistic demons always possess large amounts of gold in various shapes, and they think that a large amount of gold, physical strength and popularity can save them from the wrath of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
satyam vayam bho vana-gocara mriga
yushmad-vidhan mrigaye grama-simhan
na mrityu-pasaih pratimuktasya vira
vikatthanam tava grihnanty abhadra
The Personality of Godhead said: Indeed, We are creatures of the jungle, and We are searching after hunting dogs like you. One who is freed from the entanglement of death has no fear from the loose talk in which you are indulging, for you are bound up by the laws of death.
Demons and atheistic persons can go on insulting the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but they forget that they are subjected to the laws of birth and death. They think that simply by decrying the existence of the Supreme Lord or defying His stringent laws of nature, one can be freed from the clutches of birth and death. In Bhagavad-gita it is said that simply by understanding the transcendental nature of God one can go back home, back to Godhead. But demons and atheistic persons do not try to understand the nature of the Supreme Lord; therefore they remain in the entanglement of birth and death.
ete vayam nyasa-hara rasaukasam
gata-hriyo gadaya dravitas te
tishthamahe ’thapi kathancid ajau
stheyam kva yamo balinotpadya vairam
Certainly We have stolen the charge of the inhabitants of Rasatala and have lost all shame. Although bitten by your powerful mace, I shall stay here in the water for some time because, having created enmity with a powerful enemy, I now have no place to go.
The demon should have known that God cannot be driven out of any place, for He is all-pervading. Demons think of their possessions as their property, but actually everything belongs to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who can take anything at any time He likes.
tvam pad-rathanam kila yuthapadhipo
ghatasva no ’svastaya asv anuhah
samsthapya casman pramrijasru svakanam
yah svam pratijnam natipiparty asabhyah
You are supposed to be the commander of many foot soldiers, and now you may take prompt steps to overthrow Us. Give up all your foolish talk and wipe out the cares of your kith and kin by slaying Us. One may be proud, yet he does not deserve a seat in an assembly if he fails to fulfill his promised word.
A demon may be a great soldier and commander of a large number of infantry, but in the presence of the Supreme Personality of Godhead he is powerless and is destined to die. The Lord, therefore, challenged the demon not to go away, but to fulfill his promised word to kill Him.
so ’dhikshipto bhagavata
pralabdhas ca rusha bhrisam
kridyamano ’hi-rad iva
Sri Maitreya said: The demon, being thus challenged by the Personality of Godhead, became angry and agitated, and he trembled in anger like a challenged cobra.
A cobra is very fierce before ordinary persons, but before an enchanter who can play with him, he is a plaything. Similarly, a demon may be very powerful in his own domain, but before the Lord he is insignificant. The demon Ravana was a fierce figure before the demigods, but when he was before Lord Ramacandra he trembled and prayed to his deity, Lord Siva, but to no avail.
srijann amarshitah svasan
asadya tarasa daityo
gadaya nyahanad dharim
Hissing indignantly, all his senses shaken by wrath, the demon quickly sprang upon the Lord and dealt Him a blow with his powerful mace.
bhagavams tu gada-vegam
The Lord, however, by moving slightly aside, dodged the violent mace-blow aimed at His breast by the enemy, just as an accomplished yogi would elude death.
The example is given herein that the perfect yogi can overcome a deathblow although it is offered by the laws of nature. It is useless for a demon to beat the transcendental body of the Lord with a powerful mace, for no one can surpass His prowess. Those who are advanced transcendentalists are freed from the laws of nature, and even a deathblow cannot act on them. Superficially it may be seen that a yogi is attacked by a deathblow, but by the grace of the Lord he can overcome many such attacks for the service of the Lord. As the Lord exists by His own independent prowess, by the grace of the Lord the devotees also exist for His service.
punar gadam svam adaya
abhyadhavad dharih kruddhah
The Personality of Godhead now exhibited His anger and rushed to meet the demon, who bit his lip in rage, took up his mace again and began to repeatedly brandish it about.
tatas ca gadayaratim
dakshinasyam bhruvi prabhuh
ajaghne sa tu tam saumya
gadaya kovido ’hanat
Then with His mace the Lord struck the enemy on the right of his brow, but since the demon was expert in fighting, O gentle Vidura, he protected himself by a maneuver of his own mace.
evam gadabhyam gurvibhyam
haryaksho harir eva ca
In this way, the demon Haryaksha and the Lord, the Personality of Godhead, struck each other with their huge maces, each enraged and seeking his own victory.
Haryaksha is another name for Hiranyaksha, the demon.
tayoh spridhos tigma-gadahatangayoh
vicitra-margams carator jigishaya
vyabhad ilayam iva sushminor mridhah
There was keen rivalry between the two combatants; both had sustained injuries on their bodies from the blows of each other’s pointed maces, and each grew more and more enraged at the smell of blood on his person. In their eagerness to win, they performed maneuvers of various kinds, and their contest looked like an encounter between two forceful bulls for the sake of a cow.
Here the earth planet is called ila. This earth was formerly known as Ilavrita-varsha, and when Maharaja Parikshit ruled the earth it was called Bharata-varsha. Actually, Bharata-varsha is the name for the entire planet, but gradually Bharata-varsha has come to mean India. As India has recently been divided into Pakistan and Hindustan, similarly the earth was formerly called Ilavrita-varsha, but gradually as time passed it was divided by national boundaries.
daityasya yajnavayavasya maya-
kauravya mahyam dvishator vimardanam
didrikshur agad rishibhir vritah svarat
O descendant of Kuru, Brahma, the most independent demigod of the universe, accompanied by his followers, came to see the terrible fight for the sake of the world between the demon and the Personality of Godhead, who appeared in the form of a boar.
The fight between the Lord, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and the demon is compared to a fight between bulls for the sake of a cow. The earth planet is also called go, or cow. As bulls fight between themselves to ascertain who will have union with a cow, there is always a constant fight between the demons and the Supreme Lord or His representative for supremacy over the earth. Here the Lord is significantly described as yajnavayava. One should not consider the Lord to have the body of an ordinary boar. He can assume any form, and He possesses all such forms eternally. It is from Him that all other forms have emanated. This boar form is not to be considered the form of an ordinary hog; His body is actually full of yajna, or worshipful offerings. Yajna (sacrifices) are offered to Vishnu. Yajna means the body of Vishnu. His body is not material; therefore He should not be taken to be an ordinary boar.
Brahma is described in this verse as svarat. Actually, full independence is exclusive to the Lord Himself, but as part and parcel of the Supreme Lord, every living entity has a minute quantity of independence. Each and every one of the living entities within this universe has this minute independence, but Brahma, being the chief of all living entities, has a greater potential of independence than any other. He is the representative of Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and has been assigned to preside over universal affairs. All other demigods work for him; therefore he is described here as svarat. He is always accompanied by great sages and transcendentalists, all of whom came to see the bullfight between the demon and the Lord.
vilakshya daityam bhagavan sahasra-nir
jagada narayanam adi-sukaram
After arriving at the place of combat, Brahma, the leader of thousands of sages and transcendentalists, saw the demon, who had attained such unprecedented power that no one could fight with him. Brahma then addressed Narayana, who was assuming the form of a boar for the first time.
esha te deva devanam
bhutanam apy anagasam
agas-krid bhaya-krid dushkrid
lokan atati kantakah
Lord Brahma said: My dear Lord, this demon has proved to be a constant pinprick to the demigods, the brahmanas, the cows and innocent persons who are spotless and always dependent upon worshiping Your lotus feet. He has become a source of fear by unnecessarily harassing them. Since he has attained a boon from me, he has become a demon, always searching for a proper combatant, wandering all over the universe for this infamous purpose.
There are two classes of living entities; one is called sura, or the demigods, and the other is called asura, or the demons. Demons are generally fond of worshiping the demigods, and there are evidences that by such worship they get extensive power for their sense gratification. This later proves to be a cause of trouble to the brahmanas, demigods and other innocent living entities. Demons habitually find fault with the demigods, brahmanas and innocent, to whom they are a constant source of fear. The way of the demon is to take power from the demigods and then tease the demigods themselves. There is an instance of a great devotee of Lord Siva who obtained a boon from Lord Siva that the head of whomever he touched with his hand would come off its trunk. As soon as the boon was offered to him, the demon wanted to touch the very head of Lord Siva. That is their way. The devotees of the Supreme Personality of Godhead do not, however, ask any favor for sense gratification. Even if they are offered liberation, they refuse it. They are happy simply engaging in the transcendental loving service of the Lord.
mainam mayavinam driptam
akrida balavad deva
Lord Brahma continued: My dear Lord, there is no need to play with this serpentine demon, who is always very skilled in conjuring tricks and is arrogant, self-sufficient and most wicked.
No one is unhappy when a serpent is killed. It is a practice among village boys to catch a serpent by the tail and play with it for some time and then kill it. Similarly, the Lord could have killed the demon at once, but He played with him in the same way as a child plays with a snake before killing it. Brahma requested, however, that since the demon was more wicked and undesirable than a serpent, there was no need to play with him. It was his wish that he be killed at once, without delay.
na yavad esha vardheta
svam velam prapya darunah
svam deva mayam asthaya
tavaj jahy agham acyuta
Brahma continued: My dear Lord, You are infallible. Please kill this sinful demon before the demoniac hour arrives and he presents another formidable approach favorable to him. You can kill him by Your internal potency without doubt.
esha ghoratama sandhya
suranam jayam avaha
My Lord, the darkest evening, which covers the world, is fast approaching. Since You are the Soul of all souls, kindly kill him and win victory for the demigods.
adhunaisho ’bhijin nama
yogo mauhurtiko hy agat
sivaya nas tvam suhridam
asu nistara dustaram
The auspicious period known as abhijit, which is most opportune for victory, commenced at midday and has all but passed; therefore, in the interest of Your friends, please dispose of this formidable foe quickly.
dishtya tvam vihitam mrityum
ayam asaditah svayam
vikramyainam mridhe hatva
lokan adhehi sarmani
This demon, luckily for us, has come of his own accord to You, his death ordained by You; therefore, exhibiting Your ways, kill him in the duel and establish the worlds in peace.
Thus end the Bhaktivedanta purports of the Third Canto, Eighteenth Chapter, of the Srimad-Bhagavatam, entitled “The Battle Between Lord Boar and the Demon Hiranyaksha.”
SB 3.19: The Killing of the Demon Hiranyaksha
The Killing of the Demon Hiranyaksha
tad apangena so ’grahit
Sri Maitreya said: After hearing the words of Brahma, the creator, which were free from all sinful purposes and as sweet as nectar, the Lord heartily laughed and accepted his prayer with a glance laden with love.
The word nirvyalika is very significant. The prayers of the demigods or devotees of the Lord are free from all sinful purposes, but the prayers of demons are always filled with sinful purposes. The demon Hiranyaksha became powerful by deriving a boon from Brahma, and after attaining that boon he created a disturbance because of his sinful intentions. The prayers of Brahma and other demigods are not to be compared to the prayers of the demons. Their purpose is to please the Supreme Lord; therefore the Lord smiled and accepted the prayer to kill the demon. Demons, who are never interested in praising the Supreme Personality of Godhead because they have no information of Him, go to the demigods, and in Bhagavad-gita this is condemned. Persons who go to the demigods and pray for advancement in sinful activities are considered to be bereft of all intelligence. Demons have lost all intelligence because they do not know what is actually their self-interest. Even if they have information of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, they decline to approach Him; it is not possible for them to get their desired boons from the Supreme Lord because their purposes are always sinful. It is said that the dacoits in Bengal used to worship the goddess Kali for fulfillment of their sinful desires to plunder others’ property, but they never went to a Vishnu temple because they might have been unsuccessful in praying to Vishnu. Therefore the prayers of the demigods or the devotees of the Supreme Personality of Godhead are always untinged by sinful purposes.
tatah sapatnam mukhatas
hanav asuram akshajah
The Lord, who had appeared from the nostril of Brahma, sprang and aimed His mace at the chin of His enemy, the Hiranyaksha demon, who was stalking fearlessly before Him.
sa hata tena gadaya
tad adbhutam ivabhavat
Struck by the demon’s mace, however, the Lord’s mace slipped from His hand and looked splendid as it fell down whirling. This was miraculous, for the mace was blazing wonderfully.
sa tada labdha-tirtho ’pi
na babadhe nirayudham
manayan sa mridhe dharmam
Even though the demon had an excellent opportunity to strike his unarmed foe without obstruction, he respected the law of single combat, thereby kindling the fury of the Supreme Lord.
manayam asa tad-dharmam
sunabham casmarad vibhuh
As the Lord’s mace fell to the ground and a cry of alarm arose from the witnessing crowd of gods and rishis, the Personality of Godhead acknowledged the demon’s love of righteousness and therefore invoked His Sudarsana discus.
tam vyagra-cakram diti-putradhamena
citra vaco ’tad-vidam khe-caranam
tatra smasan svasti te ’mum jahiti
As the discus began to revolve in the Lord’s hands and the Lord contended at close quarters with the chief of His Vaikuntha attendants, who had been born as Hiranyaksha, a vile son of Diti, there issued from every direction strange expressions uttered by those who were witnessing from airplanes. They had no knowledge of the Lord’s reality, and they cried, “May victory attend You! Pray dispatch him. Play no more with him.”
sa tam nisamyatta-rathangam agrato
rusha sva-danta-cchadam adasac chvasan
When the demon saw the Personality of Godhead, who had eyes just like lotus petals, standing in position before him, armed with His Sudarsana discus, his senses were overpowered by indignation. He began to hiss like a serpent, and he bit his lip in great resentment.
sancakshano dahann iva
hato ’sity ahanad dharim
The demon, who had fearful tusks, stared at the Personality of Godhead as though to burn Him. Springing into the air, he aimed his mace at the Lord, exclaiming at the same time, “You are slain!”
pada savyena tam sadho
lilaya mishatah satroh
O saintly Vidura, while His enemy looked on, the Lord in His boar form, the enjoyer of all sacrificial offerings, playfully knocked down the mace with His left foot, even as it came upon Him with the force of a tempest.
aha cayudham adhatsva
ghatasva tvam jigishasi
ity uktah sa tada bhuyas
tadayan vyanadad bhrisam
The Lord then said: “Take up your weapon and try again, eager as you are to conquer Me.” Challenged in these words, the demon aimed his mace at the Lord and once more loudly roared.
tam sa apatatim vikshya
jagraha lilaya praptam
garutman iva pannagim
When the Lord saw the mace flying toward Him, He stood firmly where He was and caught it with the same ease as Garuda, the king of birds, would seize a serpent.
naicchad gadam diyamanam
His valor thus frustrated, the great demon felt humiliated and was put out of countenance. He was reluctant to take back the mace when it was offered by the Personality of Godhead.
jagraha tri-sikham sulam
He now took a trident which was as rapacious as a flaming fire and hurled it against the Lord, the enjoyer of all sacrifices, even as one would use penance for a malevolent purpose against a holy brahmana.
tad ojasa daitya-maha-bhatarpitam
cakasad antah-kha udirna-didhiti
cakrena ciccheda nisata-nemina
harir yatha tarkshya-patatram ujjhitam
Hurled by the mighty demon with all his strength, the flying trident shone brightly in the sky. The Personality of Godhead, however, tore it to pieces with His discus Sudarsana, which had a sharp-edged rim, even as Indra cut off a wing of Garuda.
The context of the reference given herein regarding Garuda and Indra is this. Once upon a time, Garuda, the carrier of the Lord, snatched away a nectar pot from the hands of the demigods in heaven in order to liberate his mother, Vinata, from the clutches of his stepmother, Kadru, the mother of the serpents. On learning of this, Indra, the King of heaven, hurled his thunderbolt against Garuda. With a view to respect the infallibility of Indra’s weapon, Garuda, though otherwise invincible, being the Lord’s own mount, dropped one of his wings, which was shattered to pieces by the thunderbolt. The inhabitants of higher planets are so sensible that even in the process of fighting they observe the preliminary rules and regulations of gentleness. In this case, Garuda wanted to show respect for Indra; since he knew that Indra’s weapon must destroy something, he offered his wing.
vrikne sva-sule bahudharina hareh
pratyetya vistirnam uro vibhutimat
pravriddha-roshah sa kathora-mushtina
The demon was enraged when his trident was cut to pieces by the discus of the Personality of Godhead. He therefore advanced toward the Lord and, roaring aloud, struck his hard fist against the Lord’s broad chest, which bore the mark of Srivatsa. Then he went out of sight.
Srivatsa is a curl of white hair on the chest of the Lord which is a special sign of His being the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In Vaikunthaloka or in Goloka Vrindavana, the inhabitants are exactly of the same form as the Personality of Godhead, but by this Srivatsa mark on the chest of the Lord He is distinguished from all others.
tenettham ahatah kshattar
nakampata manak kvapi
sraja hata iva dvipah
Hit in this manner by the demon, O Vidura, the Lord, who had appeared as the first boar, did not feel the least quaking in any part of His body, any more than an elephant would when struck with a wreath of flowers.
As previously explained, the demon was originally a servitor of the Lord in Vaikuntha, but somehow or other he fell as a demon. His fight with the Supreme Lord was meant for his liberation. The Lord enjoyed the striking on His transcendental body, just like a fully grown-up father fighting with his child. Sometimes a father takes pleasure in having a mock fight with his small child, and similarly the Lord felt Hiranyaksha’s striking on His body to be like flowers offered for worship. In other words, the Lord desired to fight in order to enjoy His transcendental bliss; therefore He enjoyed the attack.
yam vilokya prajas trasta
The demon, however, employed many conjuring tricks against the Personality of Godhead, who is the Lord of yogamaya. At the sight of this the people were filled with alarm and thought that the dissolution of the universe was near.
The fighting enjoyment of the Supreme Lord with His devotee, who had been converted into a demon, appeared severe enough to bring about the dissolution of the universe. This is the greatness of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; even the wavering of His little finger appears to be a great and very dangerous movement in the eyes of the inhabitants of the universe.
pravavur vayavas candas
tamah pamsavam airayan
digbhyo nipetur gravanah
kshepanaih prahita iva
Fierce winds began to blow from all directions, spreading darkness occasioned by dust and hail storms; stones came in volleys from every corner, as if thrown by machine guns.
The luminaries in outer space disappeared due to the sky’s being overcast with masses of clouds, which were accompanied by lightning and thunder. The sky rained pus, hair, blood, stool, urine and bones.
O sinless Vidura, mountains discharged weapons of various kinds, and naked demonesses armed with tridents appeared with their hair hanging loose.
himsra vaco ’tivaisasah
Cruel and savage slogans were uttered by hosts of ruffian Yakshas and Rakshasas, who all either marched on foot or rode on horses, elephants or chariots.
prayunkta dayitam tri-pat
The Lord, the personal enjoyer of all sacrifices, now discharged His beloved Sudarsana, which was capable of dispersing the magical forces displayed by the demon.
Even famous yogis and demons can sometimes enact very magical feats by their mystic power, but in the presence of the Sudarsana cakra, when it is let loose by the Lord, all such magical jugglery is dispersed. The instance of the quarrel between Durvasa Muni and Maharaja Ambarisha is a practical example in this matter. Durvasa Muni wanted to display many magical wonders, but when the Sudarsana cakra appeared, Durvasa himself was afraid and fled to various planets for his personal protection. The Lord is described here as tri-pat, which means that He is the enjoyer of three kinds of sacrifices. In Bhagavad-gita the Lord confirms that He is the beneficiary and enjoyer of all sacrifices, penances and austerities. The Lord is the enjoyer of three kinds of yajna. As further described in Bhagavad-gita, there are sacrifices of goods, sacrifices of meditation and sacrifices of philosophical speculation. Those on the paths of jnana, yoga and karma all have to come in the end to the Supreme Lord because vasudevah sarvam iti [Bg. 7.19]—the Supreme Lord is the ultimate enjoyer of everything. That is the perfection of all sacrifice.
tada diteh samabhavat
sahasa hridi vepathuh
smarantya bhartur adesam
stanac casrik prasusruve
At that very moment, a shudder suddenly ran through the heart of Diti, the mother of Hiranyaksha. She recalled the words of her husband, Kasyapa, and blood flowed from her breasts.
At Hiranyaksha’s last moment, his mother, Diti, remembered what her husband had said. Although her sons would be demons, they would have the advantage of being killed by the Personality of Godhead Himself. She remembered this incident by the grace of the Lord, and her breasts flowed blood instead of milk. In many instances we find that when a mother is moved by affection for her sons, milk flows from her breasts. In the case of the demon’s mother, the blood could not transform into milk, but it flowed down her breasts as it was. Blood transforms into milk. To drink milk is auspicious, but to drink blood is inauspicious, although they are one and the same thing. This formula is applicable in the case of cow’s milk also.
bhuyas cavrajya kesavam
dadrise ’vasthitam bahih
When the demon saw his magic forces dispelled, he once again came into the presence of the Personality of Godhead, Kesava, and, full of rage, tried to embrace Him within his arms to crush Him. But to his great amazement he found the Lord standing outside the circle of his arms.
In this verse the Lord is addressed as Kesava because He killed the demon Kesi in the beginning of creation. Kesava is also a name of Krishna. Krishna is the origin of all incarnations, and it is confirmed in Brahma-samhita that Govinda, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the cause of all causes, exists simultaneously in His different incarnations and expansions. The demon’s attempt to measure the Supreme Personality of Godhead is significant. The demon wanted to embrace Him with his arms, thinking that with his limited arms he could capture the Absolute by material power. He did not know that God is the greatest of the great and the smallest of the small. No one can capture the Supreme Lord or bring Him under his control. But the demoniac person always attempts to measure the length and breadth of the Supreme Lord. By His inconceivable potency the Lord can become the universal form, as explained in Bhagavad-gita, and at the same time He can remain within the box of His devotees as their worshipable Deity. There are many devotees who keep a statue of the Lord in a small box and carry it with them everywhere; every morning they worship the Lord in the box. The Supreme Lord, Kesava, or the Personality of Godhead, Krishna, is not bound by any measurement of our calculation. He can remain with His devotee in any suitable form, yet He is unapproachable by any amount of demoniac activities.
tam mushtibhir vinighnantam
karena karna-mule ’han
yatha tvashtram marut-patih
The demon now began to strike the Lord with his hard fists, but Lord Adhokshaja slapped him in the root of the ear, even as Indra, the lord of the Maruts, hit the demon Vritra.
The Lord is explained here to be adhokshaja, beyond the reach of all material calculation. Akshaja means “the measurement of our senses,” and adhokshaja means “that which is beyond the measurement of our senses.”
sa ahato visva-jita hy avajnaya
yatha nagendro lulito nabhasvata
Though struck indifferently by the Lord, the conqueror of all, the demon’s body began to wheel. His eyeballs bulged out of their sockets. His arms and legs broken and the hair on his head scattered, he fell down dead, like a gigantic tree uprooted by the wind.
It does not take even a moment for the Lord to kill any powerful demon, including Hiranyaksha. The Lord could have killed him long before, but He allowed the demon to display the full extent of his magical feats. One may know that by magical feats, by scientific advancement of knowledge or by material power one cannot become the equal of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. His one signal is sufficient to destroy all our attempts. His inconceivable power, as displayed here, is so strong that the demon, despite all his demoniac maneuvers, was killed by the Lord when the Lord desired, simply by one slap.
kshitau sayanam tam akuntha-varcasam
ajadayo vikshya sasamsur agata
aho imam ko nu labheta samsthitim
Aja [Brahma] and others arrived on the spot to see the fearfully tusked demon lying on the ground, biting his lip. The glow of his face was yet unfaded, and Brahma admiringly said: Oh, who could meet such blessed death?
Although the demon was dead, his bodily luster was unfaded. This is very peculiar because when a man or animal is dead, the body immediately becomes pale, the luster gradually fades, and decomposition takes place. But here, although Hiranyaksha lay dead, his bodily luster was unfaded because the Lord, the Supreme Spirit, was touching his body. One’s bodily luster remains fresh only as long as the spirit soul is present. Although the demon’s soul had departed his body, the Supreme Spirit touched the body, and therefore his bodily luster did not fade. The individual soul is different from the Supreme Personality of Godhead. One who sees the Supreme Personality of Godhead when he quits his body is certainly very fortunate, and therefore personalities like Brahma and the other demigods eulogized the death of the demon.
yam yogino yoga-samadhina raho
dhyayanti lingad asato mumukshaya
tasyaisha daitya-rishabhah padahato
mukham prapasyams tanum utsasarja ha
Brahma continued: He was struck by a forefoot of the Lord, whom yogis, seeking freedom from their unreal material bodies, meditate upon in seclusion in mystic trance. While gazing on His countenance, this crest jewel of Diti’s sons has cast off his mortal coil.
The process of yoga is very clearly described in this verse of Srimad-Bhagavatam. It is said here that the ultimate end of the yogis and mystics who perform meditation is to get rid of this material body. Therefore they meditate in secluded places to attain yogic trance. Yoga has to be performed in a secluded place, not in public or in a demonstration on stage, as nowadays practiced by many so-called yogis. Real yoga aims at ridding one of the material body. Yoga practice is not intended to keep the body fit and young. Such advertisements of so-called yoga are not approved by any standard method. Particularly mentioned in this verse is the word yam, or “unto whom,” indicating that meditation should be targeted on the Personality of Godhead. Even if one concentrates his mind on the boar form of the Lord, that is also yoga. As confirmed in Bhagavad-gita, one who concentrates his mind constantly in meditation upon the Personality of Godhead in one of His many varieties of forms is the first-class yogi, and he can very easily attain trance simply by meditating upon the form of the Lord. If one is able to continue such meditation on the Lord’s form at the time of one’s death, one is liberated from this mortal body and is transferred to the kingdom of God. This opportunity was given to the demon by the Lord, and therefore Brahma and other demigods were astonished. In other words, the perfection of yoga practice can be attained by a demon also if he is simply kicked by the Lord.
etau tau parshadav asya
sapad yatav asad-gatim
punah katipayaih sthanam
prapatsyete ha janmabhih
These two personal assistants of the Supreme Lord, having been cursed, have been destined to take birth in demoniac families. After a few such births, they will return to their own positions.
namo namas te ’khila-yajna-tantave
dishtya hato ’yam jagatam aruntudas
tvat-pada-bhaktya vayam isa nirvritah
The demigods addressed the Lord: All obeisances unto You! You are the enjoyer of all sacrifices, and You have assumed the form of a boar, in pure goodness, for the purpose of maintaining the world. Fortunately for us, this demon, who was a torment to the worlds, has been slain by You, and we too, O Lord, are now at ease, in devotion to Your lotus feet.
The material world consists of three modes—goodness, passion and ignorance—but the spiritual world is pure goodness. It is said here that the form of the Lord is pure goodness, which means that it is not material. In the material world there is no pure goodness. In the Bhagavatam the stage of pure goodness is called sattvam visuddham. Visuddham means “pure.” In pure goodness there is no contamination by the two inferior qualities, namely passion and ignorance. The form of the boar, therefore, in which the Lord appeared, is nothing of the material world. There are many other forms of the Lord, but none of them belong to the material qualities. Such forms are nondifferent from the Vishnu form, and Vishnu is the enjoyer of all sacrifices.
The sacrifices which are recommended in the Vedas are meant to please the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In ignorance only, people try to satisfy many other agents, but the real purpose of life is to satisfy the Supreme Lord, Vishnu. All sacrifices are meant to please the Supreme Lord. The living entities who know this perfectly well are called demigods, godly or almost God. Since the living entity is part and parcel of the Supreme Lord, it is his duty to serve the Lord and please Him. The demigods are all attached to the Personality of Godhead, and for their pleasure the demon, who was a source of trouble to the world, was killed. Purified life is meant to please the Lord, and all sacrifices performed in purified life are called Krishna consciousness. This Krishna consciousness is developed by devotional service, as clearly mentioned here.
evam hiranyaksham asahya-vikramam
sa sadayitva harir adi-sukarah
jagama lokam svam akhanditotsavam
Sri Maitreya continued: After thus killing the most formidable demon Hiranyaksha, the Supreme Lord Hari, the origin of the boar species, returned to His own abode, where there is always an uninterrupted festival. The Lord was praised by all the demigods, headed by Brahma.
The Lord is spoken of herewith as the origin of the boar species. As stated in the Vedanta-sutra (1.1.2), the Absolute Truth is the origin of everything. Therefore it is to be understood that all 8,400,000 species of bodily forms originate from the Lord, who is always adi, or the beginning. In Bhagavad-gita Arjuna addresses the Lord as adyam, or the original. Similarly, in the Brahma-samhita the Lord is addressed as adi-purusham, the original person. Indeed, in Bhagavad-gita (10.8) the Lord Himself declares, mattah sarvam pravartate: “From Me everything proceeds.”
In this situation the Lord assumed the shape of a boar to kill the demon Hiranyaksha and pick up the earth from the Garbha Ocean. Thus He became adi-sukara, the original boar. In the material world a boar or pig is considered most abominable, but the adi-sukara, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, was not treated as an ordinary boar. Even Lord Brahma and the other demigods praised the Lord’s form as a boar.
This verse confirms the statement in Bhagavad-gita that the Lord appears as He is from His transcendental abode for the sake of killing the miscreants and saving the devotees. By killing the demon Hiranyaksha He fulfilled His promise to kill the demons and always protect the demigods headed by Brahma. The statement that the Lord returned to His own abode indicates that He has His own particular transcendental residence. Since He is full of all energies, He is all-pervasive in spite of His residing in Goloka Vrindavana, just as the sun, although situated in a particular place within the universe, is present by its sunshine throughout the universe.
Although the Lord has His particular abode in which to reside, He is all-pervasive. The impersonalists accept one aspect of the Lord’s features, the all-pervasive aspect, but they cannot understand His localized situation in His transcendental abode, where He always engages in fully transcendental pastimes. Especially mentioned in this verse is the word akhanditotsavam. Utsava means “pleasure.” Whenever some function takes place to express happiness, it is called utsava. Utsava, the expression of complete happiness, is always present in the Vaikunthalokas, the abode of the Lord, who is worshipable even by demigods like Brahma, to say nothing of other, less important entities such as human beings.
The Lord descends from His abode to this world, and therefore He is called avatara, which means “one who descends.” Sometimes avatara is understood to refer to an incarnation who assumes a material form of flesh and bone, but actually avatara refers to one who descends from higher regions. The Lord’s abode is situated far above this material sky, and He descends from that higher position; thus He is called avatara.
maya yathanuktam avadi te hareh
kritavatarasya sumitra ceshtitam
yatha hiranyaksha udara-vikramo
maha-mridhe kridanavan nirakritah
Maitreya continued: My dear Vidura, I have explained to you the Personality of Godhead’s coming down as the first boar incarnation and killing in a great fight a demon of unprecedented prowess as if he were just a plaything. This has been narrated by me as I heard it from my predecessor spiritual master.
Here the sage Maitreya admits that he explained the incident of the killing of Hiranyaksha by the Supreme Personality of Godhead as a straight narration; he did not manufacture anything or add interpretation, but explained whatever he had heard from his spiritual master. Thus he accepted as bona fide the system of parampara, or receiving the transcendental message in disciplic succession. Unless received by this bona fide process of hearing from a spiritual master, the statement of an acarya or preceptor cannot be valid.
It is also stated here that although the demon Hiranyaksha was unlimited in prowess, he was just like a doll for the Lord. A child breaks so many dolls without real endeavor. Similarly, although a demon may be very powerful and extraordinary in the eyes of an ordinary man in the material world, to the Lord, killing such a demon is no difficulty. He can kill millions of demons as simply as a child plays with dolls and breaks them.
kshattanandam param lebhe
Sri Suta Gosvami continued: My dear brahmana, Kshatta [Vidura] the great devotee of the Lord achieved transcendental bliss by hearing the narration of the pastimes of the Supreme Personality of Godhead from the authoritative source of the sage Kausharava [Maitreya], and he was very pleased.
If anyone wants to derive transcendental pleasure by hearing the pastimes of the Lord, he must hear from the authoritative source, as explained here. Maitreya heard the narration from his bona fide spiritual master, and Vidura also heard from Maitreya. One becomes an authority simply by presenting whatever he has heard from his spiritual master, and one who does not accept a bona fide spiritual master cannot be an authority. This is clearly explained here. If one wants to have transcendental pleasure, he must find a person with authority. It is also stated in the Bhagavatam that simply by hearing from an authoritative source, with the ear and the heart, one can relish the pastimes of the Lord, otherwise it is not possible. Sanatana Gosvami, therefore, has especially warned that one should not hear anything about the personality of the Lord from the lips of a nondevotee. Nondevotees are considered to be like serpents; as milk is poisoned by a serpent’s touch, so, although the narration of the pastimes of the Lord is as pure as milk, when administered by serpentlike nondevotees it becomes poisonous. Not only does it have no effect in transcendental pleasure, but it is dangerous also. Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu has warned that no description of the pastimes of the Lord should be heard from the Mayavada, or impersonalist, school. He has clearly said, mayavadi-bhashya sunile haya sarva nasa: if anyone hears the Mayavadis’ interpretation of the pastimes of the Lord, or their interpretation of Bhagavad-gita, Srimad-Bhagavatam or any other Vedic literature, then he is doomed. Once one is associated with impersonalists, he can never understand the personal feature of the Lord and His transcendental pastimes.
Suta Gosvami was speaking to the sages headed by Saunaka, and therefore he addressed them in this verse as dvija, twice-born. The sages assembled in Naimisharanya hearing Srimad-Bhagavatam from Suta Gosvami were all brahmanas, but to acquire the qualifications of a brahmana is not everything. Merely to be twice-born is not perfection. Perfection is attained when one hears the pastimes and activities of the Lord from a bona fide source.
upasrutya bhaven modah
srivatsankasya kim punah
What to speak of hearing the pastimes of the Lord, whose chest is marked with Srivatsa, people may take transcendental pleasure even in hearing of the works and deeds of the devotees, whose fame is immortal.
Bhagavatam literally means the pastimes of the Lord and the Lord’s devotees. For example, there are pastimes of Lord Krishna and narrations of devotees like Prahlada, Dhruva and Maharaja Ambarisha. Both pastimes pertain to the Supreme Personality of Godhead because the devotees’ pastimes are in relation with Him. The Mahabharata, for example, the history of the Pandavas and their activities, is sacred because the Pandavas had a direct relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
yo gajendram jhasha-grastam
kricchrato ’mocayad drutam
The Personality of Godhead delivered the king of the elephants, who was attacked by an alligator and who meditated upon the lotus feet of the Lord. At that time the female elephants who accompanied him were crying, and the Lord saved them from the impending danger.
The example of the elephant in danger who was saved by the Supreme Lord is especially cited here because even if one is an animal he can approach the Personality of Godhead in devotional service, whereas even a demigod cannot approach the Supreme Person unless he is a devotee.
tam sukharadhyam rijubhir
kritajnah ko na seveta
What grateful soul is there who would not render his loving service to such a great master as the Personality of Godhead? The Lord can be easily pleased by spotless devotees who resort exclusively to Him for protection, though the unrighteous man finds it difficult to propitiate Him.
Every living entity, especially persons in the human race, must feel grateful for the benedictions offered by the grace of the Supreme Lord. Anyone, therefore, with a simple heart of gratefulness must be Krishna conscious and offer devotional service to the Lord. Those who are actually thieves and rogues do not recognize or acknowledge the benedictions offered to them by the Supreme Lord, and they cannot render Him devotional service. Ungrateful persons are those who do not understand how much benefit they are deriving by the arrangement of the Lord. They enjoy the sunshine and moonshine, and they get water free of charge, yet they do not feel grateful, but simply go on enjoying these gifts of the Lord. Therefore, they must be called thieves and rogues.
yo vai hiranyaksha-vadham mahadbhutam
srinoti gayaty anumodate ’njasa
vimucyate brahma-vadhad api dvijah
O brahmanas, anyone who hears, chants, or takes pleasure in the wonderful narration of the killing of the Hiranyaksha demon by the Lord, who appeared as the first boar in order to deliver the world, is at once relieved of the results of sinful activities, even the killing of a brahmana.
Since the Personality of Godhead is in the absolute position, there is no difference between His pastimes and His personality. Anyone who hears about the pastimes of the Lord associates with the Lord directly, and one who associates directly with the Lord is certainly freed from all sinful activities, even to the extent of the killing of a brahmana, which is considered the most sinful activity in the material world. One should be very eager to hear about the activities of the Lord from the bona fide source, the pure devotee. If one simply gives aural reception to the narration and accepts the glories of the Lord, then he is qualified. The impersonalist philosophers cannot understand the activities of the Lord. They think that all His activities are maya; therefore they are called Mayavadis. Since everything to them is maya, these narrations are not for them. Some impersonalists are reluctant to hear Srimad-Bhagavatam, although many of them are now taking an interest in it just for monetary gain. Actually, however, they have no faith. On the contrary, they describe it in their own way. We should not hear, therefore, from the Mayavadis. We have to hear from Suta Gosvami or Maitreya, who actually present the narrations as they are, and only then can we relish the pastimes of the Lord; otherwise the effects on the neophyte audience will be poisonous.
etan maha-punyam alam pavitram
dhanyam yasasyam padam ayur-asisham
pranendriyanam yudhi saurya-vardhanam
narayano ’nte gatir anga srinvatam
This most sacred narrative confers extraordinary merit, wealth, fame, longevity, and all the objects of one’s desire. On the field of battle it promotes the strength of one’s vital organs and organs of action. One who listens to it at the last moment of his life is transferred to the supreme abode of the Lord, O dear Saunaka.
Devotees are generally attracted by the narratives of the pastimes of the Lord, and even though they do not prosecute austerities or meditation, this very process of hearing attentively about the pastimes of the Lord will endow them with innumerable benefits, such as wealth, fame, longevity and other desirable aims of life. If one continues to hear Srimad-Bhagavatam, which is full of narratives of the pastimes of the Lord, at the end of this life, one is sure to be transferred to the eternal, transcendental abode of the Lord. Thus hearers are benefited both ultimately and for as long as they are in the material world. That is the supreme, sublime result of engaging in devotional service. The beginning of devotional service is to spare some time and listen to Srimad-Bhagavatam from the right source. Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu also recommended five items of devotional service, namely to serve the devotees of the Lord, to chant Hare Krishna, to hear Srimad-Bhagavatam, to worship the Deity of the Lord and to live in a place of pilgrimage. Just performing these five activities can deliver one from the miserable condition of material life.
Thus end the Bhaktivedanta purports of the Third Canto, Nineteenth Chapter, of the Srimad-Bhagavatam, entitled “The Killing of the Demon Hiranyaksha.”
Text courtesy of Bhaktivedanta VedaBase
Note:: Special thanks to Jaya Tirtha Caran prabhu from NZ for allowing us to use some of the content from his site to compile these pages.