The Killing of the Demon Hiraṇyākṣa
tad apāṅgena so ’grahīt
maitreyaḥ uvāca—Maitreya said; avadhārya—after hearing; viriñcasya—of Lord Brahmā; nirvyalīka—free from all sinful purposes; amṛtam—nectarean; vacaḥ—words; prahasya—heartily laughing; prema-garbheṇa—laden with love; tat—those words; apāṅgena—with a glance; saḥ—the Supreme Personality of Godhead; agrahīt—accepted.
Śrī Maitreya said: After hearing the words of Brahmā, 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 nirvyalīka 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 Hiraṇyākṣa became powerful by deriving a boon from Brahmā, and after attaining that boon he created a disturbance because of his sinful intentions. The prayers of Brahmā 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-gītā 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 Kālī for fulfillment of their sinful desires to plunder others’ property, but they never went to a Viṣṇu temple because they might have been unsuccessful in praying to Viṣṇu. Therefore the prayers of the demigods or the devotees of the Supreme Personality of Godhead are always untinged by sinful purposes.
tataḥ sapatnaṁ mukhataś
hanāv asuram akṣajaḥ
tataḥ—then; sapatnam—enemy; mukhataḥ—in front of Him; carantam—stalking; akutaḥ-bhayam—fearlessly; jaghāna—struck; utpatya—after springing up; gadayā—with His mace; hanau—at the chin; asuram—the demon; akṣa-jaḥ—the Lord, who was born from the nostril of Brahmā.
The Lord, who had appeared from the nostril of Brahmā, sprang and aimed His mace at the chin of His enemy, the Hiraṇyākṣa demon, who was stalking fearlessly before Him.
sā hatā tena gadayā
tad adbhutam ivābhavat
sā—that mace; hatā—struck; tena—by Hiraṇyākṣa; gadayā—with his mace; vihatā—slipped; bhagavat—of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; karāt—from the hand; vighūrṇitā—whirling; apatat—fell down; reje—was shining; tat—that; adbhutam—miraculous; iva—indeed; abhavat—was.
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 tadā labdha-tīrtho ’pi
na babādhe nirāyudham
mānayan sa mṛdhe dharmaṁ
saḥ—that Hiraṇyākṣa; tadā—then; labdha-tīrthaḥ—having gained an excellent opportunity; api—although; na—not; babādhe—attacked; nirāyudham—having no weapon; mānayan—respecting; saḥ—Hiraṇyākṣa; mṛdhe—in battle; dharmam—the code of combat; viṣvaksenam—the Supreme Personality of Godhead; prakopayan—making angry.
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.
mānayām āsa tad-dharmaṁ
sunābhaṁ cāsmarad vibhuḥ
gadāyām—as His mace; apaviddhāyām—fell; hāhā-kāre—a cry of alarm; vinirgate—arose; mānayām āsa—acknowledged; tat—of Hiraṇyākṣa; dharmam—righteousness; sunābham—the Sudarśana cakra; ca—and; asmarat—remembered; vibhuḥ—the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
As the Lord’s mace fell to the ground and a cry of alarm arose from the witnessing crowd of gods and ṛṣis, the Personality of Godhead acknowledged the demon’s love of righteousness and therefore invoked His Sudarśana discus.
taṁ vyagra-cakraṁ diti-putrādhamena
citrā vāco ’tad-vidāṁ khe-carāṇāṁ
tatra smāsan svasti te ’muṁ jahīti
tam—unto the Personality of Godhead; vyagra—revolving; cakram—whose discus; diti-putra—son of Diti; adhamena—vile; sva-pārṣada—of His associates; mukhyena—with the chief; viṣajjamānam—playing; citrāḥ—various; vācaḥ—expressions; a-tat-vidām—of those who did not know; khe-carāṇām—flying in the sky; tatra—there; sma āsan—occurred; svasti—fortune; te—unto You; amum—him; jahi—please kill; iti—thus.
As the discus began to revolve in the Lord’s hands and the Lord contended at close quarters with the chief of His Vaikuṇṭha attendants, who had been born as Hiraṇyākṣa, 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 taṁ niśāmyātta-rathāṅgam agrato
ruṣā sva-danta-cchadam ādaśac chvasan
saḥ—that demon; tam—the Supreme Personality of Godhead; niśāmya—after seeing; ātta-rathāṅgam—armed with the Sudarśana disc; agrataḥ—before him; vyavasthitam—standing in position; padma—lotus flower; palāśa—petals; locanam—eyes; vilokya—after seeing; ca—and; amarṣa—by indignation; paripluta—overpowered; indriyaḥ—his senses; ruṣā—with great resentment; sva-danta-chadam—his own lip; ādaśat—bit; śvasan—hissing.
When the demon saw the Personality of Godhead, who had eyes just like lotus petals, standing in position before him, armed with His Sudarśana discus, his senses were overpowered by indignation. He began to hiss like a serpent, and he bit his lip in great resentment.
sañcakṣāṇo dahann iva
hato ’sīty āhanad dharim
karāla—fearful; daṁṣṭraḥ—having tusks; cakṣurbhyām—with both eyes; sañcakṣāṇaḥ—staring; dahan—burning; iva—as if; abhiplutya—attacking; sva-gadayā—with his own club; hataḥ—slain; asi—You are; iti—thus; āhanat—struck; harim—at Hari.
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!”
padā savyena tāṁ sādho
līlayā miṣataḥ śatroḥ
padā—with His foot; savyena—left; tām—that mace; sādho—O Vidura; bhagavān—the Supreme Personality of Godhead; yajña-sūkaraḥ—in His boar form, the enjoyer of all sacrifices; līlayā—playfully; miṣataḥ—looking on; śatroḥ—of His enemy (Hiraṇyākṣa); prāharat—knocked down; vāta-raṁhasam—having the force of a tempest.
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.
āha cāyudham ādhatsva
ghaṭasva tvaṁ jigīṣasi
ity uktaḥ sa tadā bhūyas
tāḍayan vyanadad bhṛśam
āha—He said; ca—and; āyudham—weapon; ādhatsva—take up; ghaṭasva—try; tvam—you; jigīṣasi—are eager to conquer; iti—thus; uktaḥ—challenged; saḥ—Hiraṇyākṣa; tadā—at that time; bhūyaḥ—again; tāḍayan—striking at; vyanadat—roared; bhṛśam—loudly.
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.
tāṁ sa āpatatīṁ vīkṣya
jagrāha līlayā prāptāṁ
garutmān iva pannagīm
tām—that mace; saḥ—He; āpatatīm—flying toward; vīkṣya—after seeing; bhagavān—the Supreme Personality of Godhead; samavasthitaḥ—stood firmly; jagrāha—caught; līlayā—easily; prāptām—entered into His presence; garutmān—Garuḍa; iva—as; pannagīm—a serpent.
When the Lord saw the mace flying toward Him, He stood firmly where He was and caught it with the same ease as Garuḍa, the king of birds, would seize a serpent.
naicchad gadāṁ dīyamānāṁ
sva-pauruṣe—his valor; pratihate—frustrated; hata—destroyed; mānaḥ—pride; mahā-asuraḥ—the great demon; na aicchat—desired not (to take); gadām—the mace; dīyamānām—being offered; hariṇā—by Hari; vigata-prabhaḥ—reduced in splendor.
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.
jagrāha tri-śikhaṁ śūlaṁ
jagrāha—took up; tri-śikham—three-pointed; śūlam—trident; jvalat—flaming; jvalana—fire; lolupam—rapacious; yajñāya—at the enjoyer of all sacrifices; dhṛta-rūpāya—in the form of Varāha; viprāya—unto a brāhmaṇa; abhicaran—acting malevolently; yathā—as.
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 brāhmaṇa.
tad ojasā daitya-mahā-bhaṭārpitaṁ
cakāsad antaḥ-kha udīrṇa-dīdhiti
cakreṇa ciccheda niśāta-neminā
harir yathā tārkṣya-patatram ujjhitam
tat—that trident; ojasā—with all his strength; daitya—among the demons; mahā-bhaṭa—by the mighty fighter; arpitam—hurled; cakāsat—shining; antaḥ-khe—in the middle of the sky; udīrṇa—increased; dīdhiti—illumination; cakreṇa—by the Sudarśana disc; ciccheda—He cut to pieces; niśāta—sharpened; neminā—rim; hariḥ—Indra; yathā—as; tārkṣya—of Garuḍa; patatram—the wing; ujjhitam—abandoned.
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 Sudarśana, which had a sharp-edged rim, even as Indra cut off a wing of Garuḍa.
The context of the reference given herein regarding Garuḍa and Indra is this. Once upon a time, Garuḍa, the carrier of the Lord, snatched away a nectar pot from the hands of the demigods in heaven in order to liberate his mother, Vinatā, from the clutches of his stepmother, Kadrū, the mother of the serpents. On learning of this, Indra, the King of heaven, hurled his thunderbolt against Garuḍa. With a view to respect the infallibility of Indra’s weapon, Garuḍa, 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, Garuḍa wanted to show respect for Indra; since he knew that Indra’s weapon must destroy something, he offered his wing.
vṛkṇe sva-śūle bahudhāriṇā hareḥ
pratyetya vistīrṇam uro vibhūtimat
pravṛddha-roṣaḥ sa kaṭhora-muṣṭinā
vṛkṇe—when cut; sva-śūle—his trident; bahudhā—to many pieces; ariṇā—by the Sudarśana cakra; hareḥ—of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; pratyetya—after advancing toward; vistīrṇam—broad; uraḥ—chest; vibhūti-mat—the abode of the goddess of fortune; pravṛddha—having been increased; roṣaḥ—anger; saḥ—Hiraṇyākṣa; kaṭhora—hard; muṣṭinā—with his fist; nadan—roaring; prahṛtya—after striking; antaradhīyata—disappeared; asuraḥ—the demon.
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 Śrīvatsa. Then he went out of sight.
Śrīvatsa 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 Vaikuṇṭhaloka or in Goloka Vṛndāvana, the inhabitants are exactly of the same form as the Personality of Godhead, but by this Śrīvatsa mark on the chest of the Lord He is distinguished from all others.
tenettham āhataḥ kṣattar
nākampata manāk kvāpi
srajā hata iva dvipaḥ
tena—by Hiraṇyākṣa; ittham—thus; āhataḥ—struck; kṣattaḥ—O Vidura; bhagavān—the Supreme Personality of Godhead; ādi-sūkaraḥ—the first boar; na akampata—did not feel quaking; manāk—even slightly; kva api—anywhere; srajā—by a garland of flowers; hataḥ—struck; iva—as; dvipaḥ—an elephant.
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 Vaikuṇṭha, 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 Hiraṇyākṣa’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.
yāṁ vilokya prajās trastā
atha—then; urudhā—in many ways; asṛjat—he cast; māyām—conjuring tricks; yoga-māyā-īśvare—the Lord of yogamāyā; harau—at Hari; yām—which; vilokya—after seeing; prajāḥ—the people; trastāḥ—fearful; menire—thought; asya—of this universe; upasaṁyamam—the dissolution.
The demon, however, employed many conjuring tricks against the Personality of Godhead, who is the Lord of yogamāyā. 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 vāyavaś caṇḍās
tamaḥ pāṁsavam airayan
digbhyo nipetur grāvāṇaḥ
kṣepaṇaiḥ prahitā iva
pravavuḥ—were blowing; vāyavaḥ—winds; caṇḍāḥ—fierce; tamaḥ—darkness; pāṁsavam—caused by dust; airayan—were spreading; digbhyaḥ—from every direction; nipetuḥ—came down; grāvāṇaḥ—stones; kṣepaṇaiḥ—by machine guns; prahitāḥ—thrown; iva—as if.
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.
dyauḥ—the sky; naṣṭa—having disappeared; bha-gaṇa—luminaries; abhra—of clouds; oghaiḥ—by masses; sa—accompanied by; vidyut—lightning; stanayitnubhiḥ—and thunder; varṣadbhiḥ—raining; pūya—pus; keśa—hair; asṛk—blood; viṭ—stool; mūtra—urine; asthīni—bones; ca—and; asakṛt—again and again.
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.
girayaḥ—mountains; pratyadṛśyanta—appeared; nānā—various; āyudha—weapons; mucaḥ—discharging; anagha—O sinless Vidura; dik-vāsasaḥ—naked; yātudhānyaḥ—demonesses; śūlinyaḥ—armed with tridents; mukta—hanging loose; mūrdhajāḥ—hair.
O sinless Vidura, mountains discharged weapons of various kinds, and naked demonesses armed with tridents appeared with their hair hanging loose.
hiṁsrā vāco ’tivaiśasāḥ
bahubhiḥ—by many; yakṣa-rakṣobhiḥ—Yakṣas and Rākṣasas; patti—marching on foot; aśva—on horses; ratha—on chariots; kuñjaraiḥ—or on elephants; ātatāyibhiḥ—ruffians; utsṛṣṭāḥ—were uttered; hiṁsrāḥ—cruel; vācaḥ—words; ati-vaiśasāḥ—murderous.
Cruel and savage slogans were uttered by hosts of ruffian Yakṣas and Rākṣasas, who all either marched on foot or rode on horses, elephants or chariots.
prāyuṅkta dayitaṁ tri-pāt
prāduṣkṛtānām—displayed; māyānām—the magical forces; āsurīṇām—displayed by the demon; vināśayat—desiring to destroy; sudarśana-astram—the Sudarśana weapon; bhagavān—the Supreme Personality of Godhead; prāyuṅkta—threw; dayitam—beloved; tri-pāt—the enjoyer of all sacrifices.
The Lord, the personal enjoyer of all sacrifices, now discharged His beloved Sudarśana, which was capable of dispersing the magical forces displayed by the demon.
Even famous yogīs and demons can sometimes enact very magical feats by their mystic power, but in the presence of the Sudarśana cakra, when it is let loose by the Lord, all such magical jugglery is dispersed. The instance of the quarrel between Durvāsā Muni and Mahārāja Ambarīṣa is a practical example in this matter. Durvāsā Muni wanted to display many magical wonders, but when the Sudarśana cakra appeared, Durvāsā himself was afraid and fled to various planets for his personal protection. The Lord is described here as tri-pāt, which means that He is the enjoyer of three kinds of sacrifices. In Bhagavad-gītā 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 yajña. As further described in Bhagavad-gītā, there are sacrifices of goods, sacrifices of meditation and sacrifices of philosophical speculation. Those on the paths of jñāna, yoga and karma all have to come in the end to the Supreme Lord because vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti [Bg. 7.19]—the Supreme Lord is the ultimate enjoyer of everything. That is the perfection of all sacrifice.
tadā diteḥ samabhavat
sahasā hṛdi vepathuḥ
smarantyā bhartur ādeśaṁ
stanāc cāsṛk prasusruve
tadā—at that moment; diteḥ—of Diti; samabhavat—occurred; sahasā—suddenly; hṛdi—in the heart; vepathuḥ—a shudder; smarantyāḥ—recalling; bhartuḥ—of her husband, Kaśyapa; ādeśam—the words; stanāt—from her breast; ca—and; asṛk—blood; prasusruve—flowed.
At that very moment, a shudder suddenly ran through the heart of Diti, the mother of Hiraṇyākṣa. She recalled the words of her husband, Kaśyapa, and blood flowed from her breasts.
At Hiraṇyākṣa’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.
bhūyaś cāvrajya keśavam
dadṛśe ’vasthitaṁ bahiḥ
vinaṣṭāsu—when dispelled; sva-māyāsu—his magic forces; bhūyaḥ—again; ca—and; āvrajya—after coming into the presence; keśavam—the Supreme Personality of Godhead; ruṣā—full of rage; upagūhamānaḥ—embracing; amum—the Lord; dadṛśe—saw; avasthitam—standing; bahiḥ—outside.
When the demon saw his magic forces dispelled, he once again came into the presence of the Personality of Godhead, Keśava, 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 Keśava because He killed the demon Keśī in the beginning of creation. Keśava is also a name of Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa is the origin of all incarnations, and it is confirmed in Brahma-saṁhitā 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-gītā, 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, Keśava, or the Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, 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.
taṁ muṣṭibhir vinighnantaṁ
kareṇa karṇa-mūle ’han
yathā tvāṣṭraṁ marut-patiḥ
tam—Hiraṇyākṣa; muṣṭibhiḥ—with his fists; vinighnantam—striking; vajra-sāraiḥ—as hard as a thunderbolt; adhokṣajaḥ—Lord Adhokṣaja; kareṇa—with the hand; karṇa-mūle—at the root of the ear; ahan—struck; yathā—as; tvāṣṭram—the demon Vṛtra (son of Tvaṣṭā); marut-patiḥ—Indra (lord of the Maruts).
The demon now began to strike the Lord with his hard fists, but Lord Adhokṣaja slapped him in the root of the ear, even as Indra, the lord of the Maruts, hit the demon Vṛtra.
The Lord is explained here to be adhokṣaja, beyond the reach of all material calculation. Akṣaja means “the measurement of our senses,” and adhokṣaja means “that which is beyond the measurement of our senses.”
sa āhato viśva-jitā hy avajñayā
yathā nagendro lulito nabhasvatā
saḥ—he; āhataḥ—having been struck; viśva-jitā—by the Supreme Personality of Godhead; hi—though; avajñayā—indifferently; paribhramat—wheeling; gātraḥ—body; udasta—bulged out; locanaḥ—eyes; viśīrṇa—broken; bāhu—arms; aṅghri—legs; śiraḥ-ruhaḥ—hair; apatat—fell down; yathā—like; naga-indraḥ—a gigantic tree; lulitaḥ—uprooted; nabhasvatā—by the wind.
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 Hiraṇyākṣa. 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.
kṣitau śayānaṁ tam akuṇṭha-varcasaṁ
ajādayo vīkṣya śaśaṁsur āgatā
aho imaṁ ko nu labheta saṁsthitim
kṣitau—on the ground; śayānam—lying; tam—Hiraṇyākṣa; akuṇṭha—unfaded; varcasam—glow; karāla—fearful; daṁṣṭram—teeth; paridaṣṭa—bitten; dat-chadam—lip; aja-ādayaḥ—Brahmā and others; vīkṣya—having seen; śaśaṁsuḥ—admiringly said; āgatāḥ—arrived; aho—oh; imam—this; kaḥ—who; nu—indeed; labheta—could meet; saṁsthitim—death.
Aja [Brahmā] 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 Brahmā 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 Hiraṇyākṣa 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 Brahmā and the other demigods eulogized the death of the demon.
yaṁ yogino yoga-samādhinā raho
dhyāyanti liṅgād asato mumukṣayā
tasyaiṣa daitya-ṛṣabhaḥ padāhato
mukhaṁ prapaśyaṁs tanum utsasarja ha
yam—whom; yoginaḥ—the yogīs; yoga-samādhinā—in mystic trance; rahaḥ—in seclusion; dhyāyanti—meditate upon; liṅgāt—from the body; asataḥ—unreal; mumukṣayā—seeking freedom; tasya—of Him; eṣaḥ—this; daitya—son of Diti; ṛṣabhaḥ—the crest jewel; padā—by a foot; āhataḥ—struck; mukham—countenance; prapaśyan—while gazing on; tanum—the body; utsasarja—he cast off; ha—indeed.
Brahmā continued: He was struck by a forefoot of the Lord, whom yogīs, 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 Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. It is said here that the ultimate end of the yogīs 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 yogīs. 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-gītā, 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 yogī, 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 Brahmā 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 pārṣadāv asya
śāpād yātāv asad-gatim
punaḥ katipayaiḥ sthānaṁ
prapatsyete ha janmabhiḥ
etau—these two; tau—both; pārṣadau—personal assistants; asya—of the Personality of Godhead; śāpāt—because of being cursed; yātau—have gone; asat-gatim—to take birth in a demoniac family; punaḥ—again; katipayaiḥ—a few; sthānam—own place; prapatsyete—will get back; ha—indeed; janmabhiḥ—after births.
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-yajña-tantave
diṣṭyā hato ’yaṁ jagatām aruntudas
tvat-pāda-bhaktyā vayam īśa nirvṛtāḥ
devāḥ—the demigods; ūcuḥ—said; namaḥ—obeisances; namaḥ—obeisances; te—unto You; akhila-yajña-tantave—the enjoyer of all sacrifices; sthitau—for the purpose of maintaining; gṛhīta—assumed; amala—pure; sattva—goodness; mūrtaye—form; diṣṭyā—fortunately; hataḥ—slain; ayam—this; jagatām—to the worlds; aruntudaḥ—causing torment; tvat-pāda—to Your feet; bhaktyā—with devotion; vayam—we; īśa—O Lord; nirvṛtāḥ—have attained happiness.
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 Bhāgavatam the stage of pure goodness is called sattvaṁ viśuddham. Viśuddham 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 Viṣṇu form, and Viṣṇu 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, Viṣṇu. 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 Kṛṣṇa consciousness. This Kṛṣṇa consciousness is developed by devotional service, as clearly mentioned here.
evaṁ hiraṇyākṣam asahya-vikramaṁ
sa sādayitvā harir ādi-sūkaraḥ
jagāma lokaṁ svam akhaṇḍitotsavaṁ
maitreyaḥ uvāca—Śrī Maitreya said; evam—thus; hiraṇyākṣam—Hiraṇyākṣa; asahya-vikramam—very powerful; saḥ—the Lord; sādayitvā—after killing; hariḥ—the Supreme Personality of Godhead; ādi-sūkaraḥ—the origin of the boar species; jagāma—returned; lokam—to His abode; svam—own; akhaṇḍita—uninterrupted; utsavam—festival; samīḍitaḥ—being praised; puṣkara-viṣṭara—lotus seat (by Lord Brahmā, whose seat is a lotus); ādibhiḥ—and the others.
Śrī Maitreya continued: After thus killing the most formidable demon Hiraṇyākṣa, 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 Brahmā.
The Lord is spoken of herewith as the origin of the boar species. As stated in the Vedānta-sūtra (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 ādi, or the beginning. In Bhagavad-gītā Arjuna addresses the Lord as ādyam, or the original. Similarly, in the Brahma-saṁhitā the Lord is addressed as ādi-puruṣam, the original person. Indeed, in Bhagavad-gītā (10.8) the Lord Himself declares, mattaḥ sarvaṁ pravartate: “From Me everything proceeds.”
In this situation the Lord assumed the shape of a boar to kill the demon Hiraṇyākṣa and pick up the earth from the Garbha Ocean. Thus He became ādi-sūkara, the original boar. In the material world a boar or pig is considered most abominable, but the ādi-sūkara, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, was not treated as an ordinary boar. Even Lord Brahmā and the other demigods praised the Lord’s form as a boar.
This verse confirms the statement in Bhagavad-gītā 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 Hiraṇyākṣa He fulfilled His promise to kill the demons and always protect the demigods headed by Brahmā. 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 Vṛndāvana, 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 akhaṇḍitotsavam. 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 Vaikuṇṭhalokas, the abode of the Lord, who is worshipable even by demigods like Brahmā, 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 avatāra, which means “one who descends.” Sometimes avatāra is understood to refer to an incarnation who assumes a material form of flesh and bone, but actually avatāra 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 avatāra.
mayā yathānūktam avādi te hareḥ
kṛtāvatārasya sumitra ceṣṭitam
yathā hiraṇyākṣa udāra-vikramo
mahā-mṛdhe krīḍanavan nirākṛtaḥ
mayā—by me; yathā—as; anūktam—told; avādi—was explained; te—to you; hareḥ—of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; kṛta-avatārasya—who assumed the incarnation; sumitra—O dear Vidura; ceṣṭitam—the activities; yathā—as; hiraṇyākṣaḥ—Hiraṇyākṣa; udāra—very extensive; vikramaḥ—prowess; mahā-mṛdhe—in a great fight; krīḍana-vat—like a plaything; nirākṛtaḥ—was killed.
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 Hiraṇyākṣa 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 paramparā, 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 ācārya or preceptor cannot be valid.
It is also stated here that although the demon Hiraṇyākṣa 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.
kṣattānandaṁ paraṁ lebhe
sūtaḥ—Sūta Gosvāmī; uvāca—said; iti—thus; kauṣārava—from Maitreya (son of Kuṣāru); ākhyātām—told; āśrutya—having heard; bhagavat-kathām—the narration about the Lord; kṣattā—Vidura; ānandam—bliss; param—transcendental; lebhe—achieved; mahā-bhāgavataḥ—the great devotee; dvija—O brāhmaṇa (Śaunaka).
Śrī Sūta Gosvāmī continued: My dear brāhmaṇa, Kṣattā [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 Kauṣārava [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 Bhāgavatam 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. Sanātana Gosvāmī, 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 Mahāprabhu has warned that no description of the pastimes of the Lord should be heard from the Māyāvāda, or impersonalist, school. He has clearly said, māyāvādi-bhāṣya śunile haya sarva nāśa: if anyone hears the Māyāvādīs’ interpretation of the pastimes of the Lord, or their interpretation of Bhagavad-gītā, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 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.
Sūta Gosvāmī was speaking to the sages headed by Śaunaka, and therefore he addressed them in this verse as dvija, twice-born. The sages assembled in Naimiṣāraṇya hearing Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam from Sūta Gosvāmī were all brāhmaṇas, but to acquire the qualifications of a brāhmaṇa 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.
upaśrutya bhaven modaḥ
śrīvatsāṅkasya kiṁ punaḥ
anyeṣām—of others; puṇya-ślokānām—of pious reputation; uddāma-yaśasām—whose fame is spread everywhere; satām—of the devotees; upaśrutya—by hearing; bhavet—may arise; modaḥ—pleasure; śrīvatsa-aṅkasya—of the Lord, who bears the mark Śrīvatsa; kim punaḥ—what to speak of.
What to speak of hearing the pastimes of the Lord, whose chest is marked with Śrīvatsa, people may take transcendental pleasure even in hearing of the works and deeds of the devotees, whose fame is immortal.
Bhāgavatam literally means the pastimes of the Lord and the Lord’s devotees. For example, there are pastimes of Lord Kṛṣṇa and narrations of devotees like Prahlāda, Dhruva and Mahārāja Ambarīṣa. Both pastimes pertain to the Supreme Personality of Godhead because the devotees’ pastimes are in relation with Him. The Mahābhārata, for example, the history of the Pāṇḍavas and their activities, is sacred because the Pāṇḍavas had a direct relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
yo gajendraṁ jhaṣa-grastaṁ
kṛcchrato ’mocayad drutam
yaḥ—He who; gaja-indram—the king of elephants; jhaṣa—an alligator; grastam—attacked by; dhyāyantam—meditating upon; caraṇa—feet; ambujam—lotus; krośantīnām—while crying; kareṇūnām—the female elephants; kṛcchrataḥ—from danger; amocayat—delivered; drutam—quickly.
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.
taṁ sukhārādhyam ṛjubhir
kṛtajñaḥ ko na seveta
tam—unto Him; sukha—easily; ārādhyam—worshiped; ṛjubhiḥ—by the unpretentious; ananya—no other; śaraṇaiḥ—who take shelter; nṛbhiḥ—by men; kṛta-jñaḥ—grateful soul; kaḥ—what; na—not; seveta—would render service; durārādhyam—impossible to be worshiped; asādhubhiḥ—by the nondevotees.
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 Kṛṣṇa 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 hiraṇyākṣa-vadhaṁ mahādbhutaṁ
śṛṇoti gāyaty anumodate ’ñjasā
vimucyate brahma-vadhād api dvijāḥ
yaḥ—he who; vai—indeed; hiraṇyākṣa-vadham—of the killing of Hiraṇyākṣa; mahā-adbhutam—most wonderful; vikrīḍitam—pastime; kāraṇa—for reasons like raising the earth from the ocean; sūkara—appearing in the form of a boar; ātmanaḥ—of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; śṛṇoti—hears; gāyati—chants; anumodate—takes pleasure; añjasā—at once; vimucyate—becomes freed; brahma-vadhāt—from the sin of killing a brāhmaṇa; api—even; dvijāḥ—O brāhmaṇas.
O brāhmaṇas, anyone who hears, chants, or takes pleasure in the wonderful narration of the killing of the Hiraṇyākṣa 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 brāhmaṇa.
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 brāhmaṇa, 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 māyā; therefore they are called Māyāvādīs. Since everything to them is māyā, these narrations are not for them. Some impersonalists are reluctant to hear Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, 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 Māyāvādīs. We have to hear from Sūta Gosvāmī 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 mahā-puṇyam alaṁ pavitraṁ
dhanyaṁ yaśasyaṁ padam āyur-āśiṣām
prāṇendriyāṇāṁ yudhi śaurya-vardhanaṁ
nārāyaṇo ’nte gatir aṅga śṛṇvatām
etat—this narrative; mahā-puṇyam—conferring great merit; alam—very; pavitram—sacred; dhanyam—conferring wealth; yaśasyam—bearing fame; padam—the receptacle; āyuḥ—of longevity; āśiṣām—of the objects of one’s desire; prāṇa—of the vital organs; indriyāṇām—of the organs of action; yudhi—on the field of battle; śaurya—the strength; vardhanam—increasing; nārāyaṇaḥ—Lord Nārāyaṇa; ante—at the end of life; gatiḥ—shelter; aṅga—O dear Śaunaka; śṛṇvatām—of those who listen.
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 Śaunaka.
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 Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, 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 Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam from the right source. Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu also recommended five items of devotional service, namely to serve the devotees of the Lord, to chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, to hear Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, 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 Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, entitled “The Killing of the Demon Hiraṇyākṣa.”
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