King Pṛthu’s One Hundred Horse Sacrifices
athādīkṣata rājā tu
brahmāvarte manoḥ kṣetre
yatra prācī sarasvatī
maitreyaḥ uvāca—the sage Maitreya said; atha—thereafter; adīkṣata—took initiation; rājā—the King; tu—then; haya—horse; medha—sacrifices; śatena—to perform one hundred; saḥ—he; brahmāvarte—known as Brahmāvarta; manoḥ—of Svāyambhuva Manu; kṣetre—in the land; yatra—where; prācī—eastern; sarasvatī—the river named Sarasvatī.
The great sage Maitreya continued: My dear Vidura, King Pṛthu initiated the performance of one hundred horse sacrifices at the spot where the River Sarasvatī flows towards the east. This piece of land is known as Brahmāvarta, and it was controlled by Svāyambhuva Manu.
tad abhipretya bhagavān
śata-kratur na mamṛṣe
tat abhipretya—considering this matter; bhagavān—the most powerful; karma-atiśayam—excelling in fruitive activities; ātmanaḥ—of himself; śata-kratuḥ—King Indra, who had performed a hundred sacrifices; na—not; mamṛṣe—did tolerate; pṛthoḥ—of King Pṛthu; yajña—sacrificial; mahā-utsavam—great ceremonies.
When the most powerful Indra, the King of heaven, saw this, he considered the fact that King Pṛthu was going to exceed him in fruitive activities. Thus Indra could not tolerate the great sacrificial ceremonies performed by King Pṛthu.
In the material world everyone who comes to enjoy himself or lord it over material nature is envious of others. This envy is also found in the personality of the King of heaven, Indra. As evident from revealed scriptures, Indra was several times envious of many persons. He was especially envious of great fruitive activities and the execution of yoga practices, or siddhis. Indeed, he could not tolerate them, and he desired to break them up. He was envious due to fear that those who performed great sacrifices for the execution of mystic yoga might occupy his seat. Since no one in this material world can tolerate another’s advancement, everyone in the material world is called matsara, envious. In the beginning of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam it is therefore said that Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is meant for those who are completely nirmatsara (nonenvious). In other words, one who is not free from the contamination of envy cannot advance in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. In Kṛṣṇa consciousness, however, if someone excels another person, the devotee who is excelled thinks how fortunate the other person is to be advancing in devotional service. Such nonenvy is typical of Vaikuṇṭha. However, when one is envious of his competitor, that is material. The demigods posted in the material world are not exempt from envy.
yatra yajña-patiḥ sākṣād
bhagavān harir īśvaraḥ
yatra—where; yajña-patiḥ—the enjoyer of all sacrifices; sākṣāt—directly; bhagavān—the Supreme Personality of Godhead; hariḥ—Lord Viṣṇu; īśvaraḥ—the supreme controller; anvabhūyata—became visible; sarva-ātmā—the Supersoul of everyone; sarva-loka-guruḥ—the master of all planets, or the teacher of everyone; prabhuḥ—the proprietor.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Viṣṇu, is present in everyone’s heart as the Supersoul, and He is the proprietor of all planets and the enjoyer of the results of all sacrifices. He was personally present at the sacrifices made by King Pṛthu.
In this verse the word sākṣāt is significant. Pṛthu Mahārāja was a śaktyāveśa-avatāra incarnation of Lord Viṣṇu. Actually Pṛthu Mahārāja was a living entity, but he acquired specific powers from Lord Viṣṇu. Lord Viṣṇu, however, is directly the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and thus belongs to the category of viṣṇu-tattva. Mahārāja Pṛthu belonged to the jīva-tattva. The viṣṇu-tattva indicates God, whereas the jīva-tattva indicates the part and parcel of God. When God’s part and parcel is especially empowered, he is called śaktyāveśa-avatāra. Lord Viṣṇu is herein described as harir īśvaraḥ. The Lord is so kind that He takes all miserable conditions away from His devotees. Consequently He is called Hari. He is described as īśvara because He can do whatever He likes. He is the supreme controller. The supreme īśvara puruṣottama is Lord Kṛṣṇa. He exhibits His powers as īśvara, or the supreme controller, when He assures His devotee in Bhagavad-gītā (18.66): “Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reaction. Do not fear.” He can immediately make His devotee immune from all the reactions caused by sinful life if the devotee simply surrenders unto Him. He is described herein as sarvātmā, meaning that He is present in everyone’s heart as the Supersoul, and as such He is the supreme teacher of everyone. If we are fortunate enough to take the lessons given by Lord Kṛṣṇa in Bhagavad-gītā, our lives immediately become successful. No one can give better instructions to human society than Lord Kṛṣṇa.
anvitaḥ—being accompanied; brahma—by Lord Brahmā; śarvābhyām—and by Lord Śiva; loka-pālaiḥ—by the predominating chiefs of all different planets; saha anugaiḥ—along with their followers; upagīyamānaḥ—being praised; gandharvaiḥ—by the residents of Gandharvaloka; munibhiḥ—by great sages; ca—also; apsaraḥ-gaṇaiḥ—by the residents of Apsaroloka.
When Lord Viṣṇu appeared in the sacrificial arena, Lord Brahmā, Lord Śiva and all the chief predominating personalities of every planet, as well as their followers, came with Him. When He appeared on the scene, the residents of Gandharvaloka, the great sages, and the residents of Apsaroloka all praised Him.
siddhā vidyādharā daityā
siddhāḥ—the residents of Siddhaloka; vidyādharāḥ—the residents of Vidyādhara-loka; daityāḥ—the demoniac descendants of Diti; dānavāḥ—the asuras; guhyaka-ādayaḥ—the Yakṣas, etc.; sunanda-nanda-pramukhāḥ—headed by Sunanda and Nanda, the chief of Lord Viṣṇu’s associates from Vaikuṇṭha; pārṣada—associates; pravarāḥ—most respectful; hareḥ—of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
The Lord was accompanied by the residents of Siddhaloka and Vidyādhara-loka, all the descendants of Diti, and the demons and the Yakṣas. He was also accompanied by His chief associates, headed by Sunanda and Nanda.
kapilo nārado datto
tam anvīyur bhāgavatā
ye ca tat-sevanotsukāḥ
kapilaḥ—Kapila Muni; nāradaḥ—the great sage Nārada; dattaḥ—Dattātreya; yoga-īśāḥ—the masters of mystic power; sanaka-ādayaḥ—headed by Sanaka; tam—Lord Viṣṇu; anvīyuḥ—followed; bhāgavatāḥ—great devotees; ye—all those who; ca—also; tat-sevana-utsukāḥ—always eager to serve the Lord.
Great devotees, who were always engaged in the service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, as well as the great sages named Kapila, Nārada and Dattātreya, and masters of mystic powers, headed by Sanaka Kumāra, all attended the great sacrifice with Lord Viṣṇu.
yatra dharma-dughā bhūmiḥ
dogdhi smābhīpsitān arthān
yatra—where; dharma-dughā—producing sufficient milk for religiosity; bhūmiḥ—the land; sarva-kāma—all desires; dughā—yielding as milk; satī—the cow; dogdhi sma—fulfilled; abhīpsitān—desirable; arthān—objects; yajamānasya—of the sacrificer; bhārata—my dear Vidura.
My dear Vidura, in that great sacrifice the entire land came to be like the milk-producing kāma-dhenu, and thus, by the performance of yajña, all daily necessities for life were supplied.
In this verse the word dharma-dughā is significant, for it indicates kāma-dhenu. Kāma-dhenu is also known as surabhi. Surabhi cows inhabit the spiritual world, and, as stated in Brahma-saṁhitā, Lord Kṛṣṇa is engaged in tending these cows: surabhīr abhipālayantam [Bs. 5.29]. One can milk a surabhi cow as often as one likes, and the cow will deliver as much milk as one requires. Milk, of course, is necessary for the production of so many milk products, especially clarified butter, which is required for the performance of great sacrifices. Unless we are prepared to perform the prescribed sacrifices, our supply of the necessities of life will be checked. Bhagavad-gītā confirms that Lord Brahmā created human society along with yajña, the performance of sacrifice. Yajña means Lord Viṣṇu, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and sacrifice means working for the satisfaction of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In this age, however, it is very difficult to find qualified brāhmaṇas who can perform sacrifices as prescribed in the Vedas. Therefore it is recommended in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (yajñaiḥ saṅkīrtana-prāyaiḥ) that by performing saṅkīrtana-yajña and by satisfying the yajña-puruṣa, Lord Caitanya, one can derive all the results derived by great sacrifices in the past. King Pṛthu and others derived all the necessities of life from the earthly planet by performing great sacrifices. Now this saṅkīrtana movement has already been started by the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. people should take advantage of this great sacrifice and join in the Society’s activities; then there will be no scarcity. If saṅkīrtana-yajña is performed, there will be no difficulty, not even in industrial enterprises. Therefore this system should be introduced in all spheres of life—social, political, industrial, commercial, etc. Then everything will run very peacefully and smoothly.
ūhuḥ sarva-rasān nadyaḥ
ūhuḥ—bore; sarva-rasān—all kinds of tastes; nadyaḥ—the rivers; kṣīra—milk; dadhi—curd; anna—different kinds of food; go-rasān—other milk products; taravaḥ—trees; bhūri—great; varṣmāṇaḥ—having bodies; prāsūyanta—bore fruit; madhu-cyutaḥ—dropping honey.
The flowing rivers supplied all kinds of tastes—sweet, pungent, sour, etc.—and very big trees supplied fruit and honey in abundance. The cows, having eaten sufficient green grass, supplied profuse quantities of milk, curd, clarified butter and similar other necessities.
If rivers are not polluted and are allowed to flow in their own way, or sometimes allowed to flood the land, the land will become very fertile and able to produce all kinds of vegetables, trees and plants. The word rasa means “taste.” Actually all rasas are tastes within the earth, and as soon as seeds are sown in the ground, various trees sprout up to satisfy our different tastes. For instance, sugarcane provides its juices to satisfy our taste for sweetness, and oranges provide their juices to satisfy our taste for a mixture of the sour and the sweet. Similarly, there are pineapples and other fruits. At the same time, there are chilies to satisfy our taste for pungency. Although the earth’s ground is the same, different tastes arise due to different kinds of seeds. As Kṛṣṇa says in Bhagavad-gītā (7.10), bījaṁ māṁ sarva-bhūtānām: “I am the original seed of all existences.” Therefore all arrangements are there. And as stated in Īśopaniṣad: pūrṇam idam [Īśopaniṣad, Invocation]. Complete arrangements for the production of all the necessities of life are made by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. People should therefore learn how to satisfy the yajña-puruṣa, Lord Viṣṇu. Indeed, the living entity’s prime business is to satisfy the Lord because the living entity is part and parcel of the Lord. Thus the whole system is so arranged that the living entity must do his duty as he is constitutionally made. Without doing so, all living entities must suffer. That is the law of nature.
The words taravo bhūri-varṣmāṇaḥ indicate very luxuriantly grown, big-bodied trees. The purpose of these trees was to produce honey and varieties of fruit. In other words, the forest also has its purpose in supplying honey, fruits and flowers. Unfortunately in Kali-yuga, due to an absence of yajña, there are many big trees in the forests, but they do not supply sufficient fruits and honey. Thus everything is dependent on the performance of yajña. The best way to perform yajña in this age is to spread the saṅkīrtana movement all over the world.
girayo ’nnaṁ catur-vidham
sarve lokāḥ sa-pālakāḥ
sindhavaḥ—the oceans; ratna-nikarān—heaps of jewels; girayaḥ—the hills; annam—eatables; catuḥ-vidham—four kinds of; upāyanam—presentations; upājahruḥ—brought forward; sarve—all; lokāḥ—the people in general of all planets; sa-pālakāḥ—along with the governors.
King Pṛthu was presented with various gifts from the general populace and predominating deities of all planets. The oceans and seas were full of valuable jewels and pearls, and the hills were full of chemicals and fertilizers. Four kinds of edibles were produced profusely.
As stated in Īśopaniṣad, this material creation is supplied with all the potencies for the production of all necessities required by the living entities—not only human beings, but animals, reptiles, aquatics and trees. The oceans and seas produce pearls, coral and valuable jewels so that fortunate law-abiding people can utilize them. Similarly, the hills are full of chemicals so that when rivers flow down from them the chemicals spread over the fields to fertilize the four kinds of foodstuffs. These are technically known as carvya (those edibles which are chewed), lehya (those which are licked up), cūṣya (those which are swallowed) and peya (those which are drunk).
Pṛthu Mahārāja was greeted by the residents of other planets and their presiding deities. They presented various gifts to the King and acknowledged him as the proper type of king by whose planning and activities everyone throughout the universe could be happy and prosperous. It is clearly indicated in this verse that the oceans and seas are meant for producing jewels, but in Kali-yuga the oceans are mainly being utilized for fishing. Śūdras and poor men were allowed to fish, but the higher classes like the kṣatriyas and vaiśyas would gather pearls, jewels and coral. Although poor men would catch tons of fish, they would not be equal in value to one piece of coral or pearl. In this age so many factories for the manufacture of fertilizers have been opened, but when the Personality of Godhead is pleased by the performance of yajñas, the hills automatically produce fertilizing chemicals, which help produce edibles in the fields. Everything is dependent on the people’s acceptance of the Vedic principles of sacrifice.
pṛthos tu paramodayam
asūyan bhagavān indraḥ
iti—thus; ca—also; adhokṣaja-īśasya—who accepted Adhokṣaja as his worshipable Lord; pṛthoḥ—of King Pṛthu; tu—then; parama—the topmost; udayam—opulence; asūyan—being envious of; bhagavān—the most powerful; indraḥ—the King of heaven; pratighātam—impediments; acīkarat—made.
King Pṛthu was dependent on the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is known as Adhokṣaja. Because King Pṛthu Performed so many sacrifices, he was superhumanly enhanced by the mercy of the Supreme Lord. King Pṛthu’s opulence, however, could not be tolerated by the King of heaven, Indra, who tried to impede the progress of his opulence.
In this verse there are three significant purposes expressed in the words adhokṣaja, bhagavān indraḥ and pṛthoḥ. Mahārāja Pṛthu is an incarnation of Viṣṇu, yet he is a great devotee of Lord Viṣṇu. Although an empowered incarnation of Lord Viṣṇu, he is nonetheless a living entity. As such, he must be a devotee of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Although one is empowered by the Supreme Personality of Godhead and is an incarnation, he should not forget his eternal relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In Kali-yuga there are many self-made incarnations, rascals, who declare themselves to be the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The words bhagavān indraḥ indicate that a living entity can even be as exalted and powerful as King Indra, for even King Indra is an ordinary living entity in the material world and possesses the four defects of the conditioned soul. King Indra is described herein as bhagavān, which is generally used in reference to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In this case, however, King Indra is addressed as bhagavān because he has so much power in his hands. Despite his becoming bhagavān, he is envious of the incarnation of God, Pṛthu Mahārāja. The defects of material life are so strong that due to contamination King Indra becomes envious of an incarnation of God.
We should try to understand, therefore, how a conditioned soul becomes fallen. The opulence of King Pṛthu was not dependent on material conditions. As described in this verse, he was a great devotee of Adhokṣaja. The word adhokṣaja indicates the Personality of Godhead, who is beyond the expression of mind and words. However, the Supreme Personality of Godhead appears before the devotee in His original form of eternal bliss and knowledge. The devotee is allowed to see the Supreme Lord face to face, although the Lord is beyond the expression of our senses and beyond our direct perception.
vainye yajña-paśuṁ spardhann
carameṇa—by the last one; aśva-medhena—by the aśvamedha sacrifice; yajamāne—when he was performing the sacrifice; yajuḥ-patim—for satisfaction of the Lord of yajña, Viṣṇu; vainye—the son of King Vena; yajña-paśum—the animal meant to be sacrificed in the yajña; spardhan—being envious; apovāha—stole; tirohitaḥ—being invisible.
When Pṛthu Mahārāja was performing the last horse sacrifice [aśvamedha-yajña], King Indra, invisible to everyone, stole the horse intended for sacrifice. He did this because of his great envy of King Pṛthu.
King Indra is known as śata-kratu, which indicates that he has performed one hundred horse sacrifices (aśvamedha-yajña). We should know, however, that the animals sacrificed in the yajña were not killed. If the Vedic mantras were properly pronounced during the sacrifice, the animal sacrificed would come out again with a new life. That is the test for a successful yajña. When King Pṛthu was performing one hundred yajñas, Indra became very envious because he did not want anyone to excel him. Being an ordinary living entity, he became envious of King Pṛthu, and, making himself invisible, he stole the horse and thus impeded the yajña performance.
tam atrir bhagavān aikṣat
āmuktam iva pākhaṇḍaṁ
yo ’dharme dharma-vibhramaḥ
tam—King Indra; atriḥ—the sage Atri; bhagavān—most powerful; aikṣat—could see; tvaramāṇam—moving very hastily; vihāyasā—in outer space; āmuktam iva—like a liberated person; pākhaṇḍam—imposter; yaḥ—one who; adharme—in irreligion; dharma—religion; vibhramaḥ—mistaking.
When King Indra was taking away the horse, he dressed himself to appear as a liberated person. Actually this dress was a form of cheating, for it falsely created an impression of religion. When Indra went into outer space in this way, the great sage Atri saw him and understood the whole situation.
The word pākhaṇḍa used in this verse is sometimes pronounced pāṣaṇḍa. Both of these words indicate an imposter who presents himself as a very religious person but in actuality is sinful. Indra took up the saffron-colored dress as a way of cheating others. This saffron dress has been misused by many imposters who present themselves as liberated persons or incarnations of God. In this way people are cheated. As we have mentioned many times, the conditioned soul has a tendency to cheat; therefore this quality is also visible in a person like King Indra. It is understood that even King Indra is not liberated from the clutches of material contamination. Thus the words āmuktam iva, meaning “as if he were liberated,” are used. The saffron dress worn by a sannyāsī announces to the world that he has renounced all worldly affairs and is simply engaged in the service of the Lord. Such a devotee is actually a sannyāsī, or liberated person. In Bhagavad-gītā (6.1) it is said:
“One who is unattached to the fruits of his work and who works as he is obligated is in the renounced order of life, and he is the true mystic, not he who lights no fire and performs no work.”
In other words, one who offers the results of his activities to the Supreme Personality of Godhead is actually a sannyāsī and yogī. Cheating sannyāsīs and yogīs have existed since the time of Pṛthu Mahārāja’s sacrifice. This cheating was very foolishly introduced by King Indra. In some ages such cheating is very prominent, and in other ages not so prominent. It is the duty of a sannyāsī to be very cautious because, as stated by Lord Caitanya, sannyāsīra alpa chidra sarva-loke gāya: a little spot in a sannyāsī’s character will be magnified by the public (Cc. Madhya 12.51). Therefore, unless one is very sincere and serious, he should not take up the order of sannyāsa. One should not use this order as a means to cheat the public. It is better not to take up sannyāsa in this age of Kali because provocations are very strong in this age. Only a very exalted person advanced in spiritual understanding should attempt to take up sannyāsa. One should not adopt this order as a means of livelihood or for some material purpose.
atriṇā codito hantuṁ
tiṣṭha tiṣṭheti cābravīt
atriṇā—by the great sage Atri; coditaḥ—being encouraged; hantum—to kill; pṛthu-putraḥ—the son of King Pṛthu; mahā-rathaḥ—a great hero; anvadhāvata—followed; saṅkruddhaḥ—being very angry; tiṣṭha tiṣṭha—just wait, just wait; iti—thus; ca—also; abravīt—he said.
When the son of King Pṛthu was informed by Atri of King Indra’s trick, he immediately became very angry and followed Indra to kill him, calling, “Wait! Wait!”
The words tiṣṭha tiṣṭha are used by a kṣatriya when he challenges his enemy. When fighting, a kṣatriya cannot flee from the battlefield. However, when a kṣatriya out of cowardice flees from the battlefield, showing his back to his enemy, he is challenged with the words tiṣṭha tiṣṭha. A real kṣatriya does not kill his enemy from behind, nor does a real kṣatriya turn his back on the battlefield. According to kṣatriya principle and spirit, one either attains victory or dies on the battlefield. Although King Indra was very exalted, being the King of heaven, he became degraded due to his stealing the horse intended for sacrifice. Therefore he fled without observing the kṣatriya principles, and the son of Pṛthu had to challenge him with the words tiṣṭha tiṣṭha.
taṁ tādṛśākṛtiṁ vīkṣya
mene dharmaṁ śarīriṇam
tasmai bāṇaṁ na muñcati
tam—him; tādṛśa-ākṛtim—in such dress; vīkṣya—after seeing; mene—considered; dharmam—pious or religious; śarīriṇam—having a body; jaṭilam—having knotted hair; bhasmanā—by ashes; ācchannam—smeared all over the body; tasmai—unto him; bāṇam—arrow; na—not; muñcati—he did release.
King Indra was fraudulently dressed as a sannyāsī, having knotted his hair on his head and smeared ashes all over his body. Upon seeing such dress, the son of King Pṛthu considered Indra a religious man and pious sannyāsī. Therefore he did not release his arrows.
vadhān nivṛttaṁ taṁ bhūyo
hantave ’trir acodayat
jahi yajña-hanaṁ tāta
vadhāt—from killing; nivṛttam—stopped; tam—the son of Pṛthu; bhūyaḥ—again; hantave—for the purpose of killing; atriḥ—the great sage Atri; acodayat—encouraged; jahi—kill; yajña-hanam—one who impeded the performance of a yajña; tāta—my dear son; mahā-indram—the great heavenly King Indra; vibudha-adhamam—the lowest of all demigods.
When Atri Muni saw that the son of King Pṛthu did not kill Indra but returned deceived by him, Atri Muni again instructed him to kill the heavenly King because he thought that Indra had become the lowliest of all demigods due to his impeding the execution of King Pṛthu’s sacrifice.
evaṁ vainya-sutaḥ proktas
rāvaṇaṁ gṛdhra-rāḍ iva
evam—thus; vainya-sutaḥ—the son of King Pṛthu; proktaḥ—being ordered; tvaramāṇam—Indra, who was moving hastily; vihāyasā—in the sky; anvadravat—began to chase; abhikruddhaḥ—being very angry; rāvaṇam—Rāvaṇa; gṛdhra-rāṭ—the king of vultures; iva—like.
Being thus informed, the grandson of King Vena immediately began to follow Indra, who was fleeing through the sky in great haste. He was very angry with him, and he chased him just as the king of the vultures chased Rāvaṇa.
so ’śvaṁ rūpaṁ ca tad dhitvā
tasmā antarhitaḥ svarāṭ
vīraḥ sva-paśum ādāya
pitur yajñam upeyivān
saḥ—King Indra; aśvam—the horse; rūpam—the false dress of a saintly person; ca—also; tat—that; hitvā—giving up; tasmai—for him; antarhitaḥ—disappeared; sva-rāṭ—Indra; vīraḥ—the great hero; sva-paśum—his animal; ādāya—having taken; pituḥ—of his father; yajñam—to the sacrifice; upeyivān—he came back.
When Indra saw that the son of Pṛthu was chasing him, he immediately abandoned his false dress and left the horse. Indeed, he disappeared from that very spot, and the great hero, the son of Mahārāja Pṛthu, returned the horse to his father’s sacrificial arena.
tat tasya cādbhutaṁ karma
nāmadheyaṁ dadus tasmai
vijitāśva iti prabho
tat—that; tasya—his; ca—also; adbhutam—wonderful; karma—activity; vicakṣya—after observing; parama-ṛṣayaḥ—the great sages; nāmadheyam—the name; daduḥ—they offered; tasmai—to him; vijita-aśvaḥ—Vijitāśva (he who has won the horse); iti—thus; prabho—my dear Lord Vidura.
My dear Lord Vidura, when the great sages observed the wonderful prowess of the son of King Pṛthu, they all agreed to give him the name Vijitāśva.
upasṛjya tamas tīvraṁ
jahārāśvaṁ punar hariḥ
upasṛjya—creating; tamaḥ—darkness; tīvram—dense; jahāra—took away; aśvam—the horse; punaḥ—again; hariḥ—King Indra; caṣāla-yūpataḥ—from the wooden instrument where the animals were sacrificed; channaḥ—being covered; hiraṇya-raśanam—tied with a gold chain; vibhuḥ—very powerful.
My dear Vidura, Indra, being the King of heaven and very powerful, immediately brought a dense darkness upon the sacrificial arena. Covering the whole scene in this way, he again took away the horse, which was chained with golden shackles near the wooden instrument where animals were sacrificed.
atriḥ sandarśayām āsa
vīro nainam abādhata
atriḥ—the great sage Atri; sandarśayām āsa—caused to see; tvaramāṇam—going very hastily; vihāyasā—in the sky; kapāla-khaṭvāṅga—a stag with a skull at the top; dharam—who carried; vīraḥ—the hero (King Pṛthu’s son); na—not; enam—the King of heaven, Indra; abādhata—killed.
The great sage Atri again pointed out to the son of King Pṛthu that Indra was fleeing through the sky. The great hero, the son of Pṛthu, chased him again. But when he saw that Indra was carrying in his hand a staff with a skull at the top and was again wearing the dress of a sannyāsī, he still chose not to kill him.
atriṇā coditas tasmai
sandadhe viśikhaṁ ruṣā
so ’śvaṁ rūpaṁ ca tad dhitvā
tasthāv antarhitaḥ svarāṭ
atriṇā—by the great sage Atri; coditaḥ—inspired; tasmai—for Lord Indra; sandadhe—fixed; viśikham—his arrow; ruṣā—out of great anger; saḥ—King Indra; aśvam—horse; rūpam—the dress of a sannyāsī; ca—also; tat—that; hitvā—giving up; tasthau—he remained there; antarhitaḥ—invisible; sva-rāṭ—the independent Indra.
When the great sage Atri again gave directions, the son of King Pṛthu became very angry and placed an arrow on his bow. Upon seeing this, King Indra immediately abandoned the false dress of a sannyāsī and, giving up the horse, made himself invisible.
vīraś cāśvam upādāya
tad avadyaṁ hare rūpaṁ
vīraḥ—the son of King Pṛthu; ca—also; aśvam—the horse; upādāya—taking; pitṛ-yajñam—to the sacrificial arena of his father; atha—thereafter; avrajat—went; tat—that; avadyam—abominable; hareḥ—of Indra; rūpam—dress; jagṛhuḥ—adopted; jñāna-durbalāḥ—those with a poor fund of knowledge.
Then the great hero, Vijitāśva, the son of King Pṛthu, again took the horse and returned to his father’s sacrificial arena. Since that time, certain men with a poor fund of knowledge have adopted the dress of a false sannyāsī. It was King Indra who introduced this.
Since time immemorial, the sannyāsa order has carried the tridaṇḍa. Later Śaṅkarācārya introduced the ekadaṇḍi-sannyāsa. A tridaṇḍi-sannyāsī is a Vaiṣṇava sannyāsī, and an ekadaṇḍi-sannyāsī is a Māyāvādī sannyāsī. There are many other types of sannyāsīs, who are not approved by Vedic rituals. A type of pseudo-sannyāsa was introduced by Indra when he tried to hide himself from the attack of Vijitāśva, the great son of King Pṛthu. Now there are many different types of sannyāsīs. Some of them go naked, and some of them carry a skull and trident, generally known as kāpālika. All of them were introduced under some meaningless circumstances, and those who have a poor fund of knowledge accept these false sannyāsīs and their pretenses, although they are not bona fide guides to spiritual advancement. At the present moment some missionary institutions, without referring to the Vedic rituals, have introduced some sannyāsīs who engage in sinful activities. The sinful activities forbidden by the śāstras are illicit sex, intoxication, meat-eating and gambling. These so-called sannyāsīs indulge in all these activities. They eat meat and flesh, fish, eggs and just about everything. They sometimes drink with the excuse that without alcohol, fish and meat, it is impossible to remain in the cold countries near the Arctic zone. These sannyāsīs introduce all these sinful activities in the name of serving the poor, and consequently poor animals are cut to pieces and go into the bellies of these sannyāsīs. As described in the following verses, such sannyāsīs are pākhaṇḍīs. Vedic literature states that a person who puts Lord Nārāyaṇa on the level with Lord Śiva or Lord Brahmā immediately becomes a pākhaṇḍī. As stated in the Purāṇas:
In Kali-yuga the pākhaṇḍīs are very prominent. However, Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu has tried to kill all these pākhaṇḍīs by introducing His saṅkīrtana movement. Those who take advantage of this saṅkīrtana movement of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness will be able to save themselves from the influence of these pākhaṇḍīs.
yāni rūpāṇi jagṛhe
tāni pāpasya khaṇḍāni
liṅgaṁ khaṇḍam ihocyate
yāni—all those which; rūpāṇi—forms; jagṛhe—accepted; indraḥ—the King of heaven; haya—the horse; jihīrṣayā—with a desire to steal; tāni—all those; pāpasya—of sinful activities; khaṇḍāni—signs; liṅgam—the symbol; khaṇḍam—the word khaṇḍa; iha—here; ucyate—is said.
Whatever different forms Indra assumed as a mendicant because of his desire to seize the horse were symbols of atheistic philosophy.
According to Vedic civilization, sannyāsa is one of the essential items in the program of the varṇa-āśrama institution. One should accept sannyāsa according to the paramparā system of the ācāryas. At the present moment, however, many so-called sannyāsīs or mendicants have no understanding of God consciousness. Such sannyāsa was introduced by Indra because of his jealousy of Mahārāja Pṛthu, and what he introduced is again appearing in the age of Kali. practically none of the sannyāsīs in this age are bona fide. No one can introduce any new system into the Vedic way of life; if one does so out of malice, he is to be known as a pāṣaṇḍī, or atheist. In the Vaiṣṇava Tantra it is said:
Although it is forbidden, there are many pāṣaṇḍīs who coin terms like daridra-nārāyaṇa and svāmi-nārāyaṇa, although not even such demigods as Brahmā and Śiva can be equal to Nārāyaṇa.
evam indre haraty aśvaṁ
pākhaṇḍeṣu matir nṛṇām
dharma ity upadharmeṣu
prāyeṇa sajjate bhrāntyā
peśaleṣu ca vāgmiṣu
evam—thus; indre—when the King of heaven; harati—stole; aśvam—the horse; vainya—of the son of King Vena; yajña—the sacrifice; jighāṁsayā—with a desire to stop; tat—by him; gṛhīta—accepted; visṛṣṭeṣu—abandoned; pākhaṇḍeṣu—towards the sinful dress; matiḥ—attraction; nṛṇām—of the people in general; dharmaḥ—system of religion; iti—thus; upadharmeṣu—towards false religious systems; nagna—naked; rakta-paṭa—red-robed; ādiṣu—etc.; prāyeṇa—generally; sajjate—is attracted; bhrāntyā—foolishly; peśaleṣu—expert; ca—and; vāgmiṣu—eloquent.
In this way, King Indra, in order to steal the horse from King Pṛthu’s sacrifice, adopted several orders of sannyāsa. Some sannyāsīs go naked, and sometimes they wear red garments and pass under the name of kāpālika. These are simply symbolic representations of their sinful activities. These so-called sannyāsīs are very much appreciated by sinful men because they are all godless atheists and very expert in putting forward arguments and reasons to support their case. We must know, however, that they are only passing as adherents of religion and are not so in fact. Unfortunately, bewildered persons accept them as religious, and being attracted to them, they spoil their life.
As stated in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, men in this age of Kali are short-lived, devoid of spiritual knowledge, and susceptible to accept false religious systems due to their unfortunate condition. Thus they always remain mentally disturbed. The Vedic śāstras practically prohibit the adoption of sannyāsa in the age of Kali because less intelligent men may accept the sannyāsa order for cheating purposes. Actually the only religion is the religion of surrender unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead. We must serve the Lord in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. All other systems of sannyāsa and religion are actually not bona fide. In this age they are simply passing for religious systems. This is most regrettable.
tad abhijñāya bhagavān
indrāya kupito bāṇam
tat—that; abhijñāya—understanding; bhagavān—the incarnation of Godhead; pṛthuḥ—King Pṛthu; pṛthu-parākramaḥ—celebrated as very powerful; indrāya—upon Indra; kupitaḥ—being very angry; bāṇam—an arrow; ādatta—took up; udyata—having taken up; kārmukaḥ—the bow.
Mahārāja Pṛthu, who was celebrated as very powerful, immediately took up his bow and arrows and prepared to kill Indra himself, because Indra had introduced such irregular sannyāsa orders.
It is the duty of the king not to tolerate the introduction of any irreligious systems. Since King Pṛthu was an incarnation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, certainly his duty was to cut down all kinds of irreligious systems. Following in his footsteps, all heads of state should themselves be bona fide representatives of God and should cut down all irreligious systems. Unfortunately they are cowards who declare a secular state. Such a mentality is a way of compromising religious and irreligious systems, but because of this citizens are generally becoming uninterested in spiritual advancement. Thus the situation deteriorates to such an extent that human society becomes hellish.
tam ṛtvijaḥ śakra-vadhābhisandhitaṁ
vicakṣya duṣprekṣyam asahya-raṁhasam
nivārayām āsur aho mahā-mate
na yujyate ’trānya-vadhaḥ pracoditāt
tam—King Pṛthu; ṛtvijaḥ—the priests; śakra-vadha—killing the King of heaven; abhisandhitam—thus preparing himself; vicakṣya—having observed; duṣprekṣyam—terrible to look at; asahya—unbearable; raṁhasam—whose velocity; nivārayām āsuḥ—they forbade; aho—oh; mahā-mate—O great soul; na—not; yujyate—is worthy for you; atra—in this sacrificial arena; anya—others; vadhaḥ—killing; pracoditāt—from being so directed in the scriptures.
When the priests and all the others saw Mahārāja Pṛthu very angry and prepared to kill Indra, they requested him: O great soul, do not kill him, for only sacrificial animals can be killed in a sacrifice. Such are the directions given by śāstra.
Animal killing is intended for different purposes. It tests the proper pronunciation of Vedic mantras, and an animal being put into the sacrificial fire should come out with a new life. No one should ever be killed in a sacrifice meant for the satisfaction of Lord Viṣṇu. How then could Indra be killed when he is actually worshiped in the yajña and accepted as part and parcel of the Supreme Personality of Godhead? Therefore the priests requested King Pṛthu not to kill him.
vayaṁ marutvantam ihārtha-nāśanaṁ
hvayāmahe tvac-chravasā hata-tviṣam
prasahya rājan juhavāma te ’hitam
vayam—we; marut-vantam—King Indra; iha—here; artha—of your interest; nāśanam—the destroyer; hvayāmahe—we shall call; tvat-śravasā—by your glory; hata-tviṣam—already bereft of his power; ayātayāma—never before used; upahavaiḥ—by mantras of invocation; anantaram—without delay; prasahya—by force; rājan—O King; juhavāma—we shall sacrifice in the fire; te—your; ahitam—enemy.
Dear King, Indra’s powers are already reduced due to his attempt to impede the execution of your sacrifice. We shall call him by Vedic mantras which were never before used, and certainly he will come. Thus by the power of our mantra, we shall cast him into the fire because he is your enemy.
By chanting the Vedic mantras properly in a sacrifice, one can perform many wonderful things. In Kali-yuga, however, there are no qualified brāhmaṇas who can chant the mantras properly. Consequently no attempt should be made to perform such big sacrifices. In this age the only sacrifice recommended is the saṅkīrtana movement.
ity āmantrya kratu-patiṁ
srug-ghastāñ juhvato ’bhyetya
iti—thus; āmantrya—after informing; kratu-patim—King Pṛthu, the master of the sacrifice; vidura—O Vidura; asya—of Pṛthu; ṛtvijaḥ—the priests; ruṣā—in great anger; sruk-hastān—with the sacrificial ladle in hand; juhvataḥ—performing the fire sacrifice; abhyetya—having begun; svayambhūḥ—Lord Brahmā; pratyaṣedhata—asked them to stop.
My dear Vidura, after giving the King this advice, the priests who had been engaged in performing the sacrifice called for Indra, the King of heaven, in a mood of great anger. When they were just ready to put the oblation in the fire, Lord Brahmā appeared on the scene and forbade them to start the sacrifice.
na vadhyo bhavatām indro
yad yajño bhagavat-tanuḥ
yaṁ jighāṁsatha yajñena
yasyeṣṭās tanavaḥ surāḥ
na—not; vadhyaḥ—ought to be killed; bhavatām—by all of you; indraḥ—the King of heaven; yat—because; yajñaḥ—a name of Indra; bhagavat-tanuḥ—part of the body of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; yam—whom; jighāṁsatha—you wish to kill; yajñena—by performing sacrifice; yasya—of Indra; iṣṭāḥ—being worshiped; tanavaḥ—parts of the body; surāḥ—the demigods.
Lord Brahmā addressed them thus: My dear sacrificial performers, you cannot kill Indra, the King of heaven. It is not your duty. You should know that Indra is as good as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Indeed, he is one of the most powerful assistants of the Personality of Godhead. You are trying to satisfy all the demigods by the performance of this yajña, but you should know that all these demigods are but parts and parcels of Indra, the King of heaven. How, then, can you kill him in this great sacrifice?
tad idaṁ paśyata mahad-
tat—then; idam—this; paśyata—just see; mahat—great; dharma—of religious life; vyatikaram—violation; dvijāḥ—O great brāhmaṇas; indreṇa—by Indra; anuṣṭhitam—performed; rājñaḥ—of the King; karma—activity; etat—this sacrifice; vijighāṁsatā—desiring to impede.
In order to make trouble and impede the performance of King Pṛthu’s great sacrifice, King Indra has adopted some means that in the future will destroy the clear path of religious life. I draw your attention to this fact. If you oppose him any further, he will further misuse his power and introduce many other irreligious systems.
pṛthu-kīrteḥ pṛthor bhūyāt
alaṁ te kratubhiḥ sviṣṭair
yad bhavān mokṣa-dharma-vit
pṛthu-kīrteḥ—of wide renown; pṛthoḥ—of King Pṛthu; bhūyāt—let it be; tarhi—therefore; eka-ūna-śata-kratuḥ—he who performed ninety-nine yajñas; alam—there is nothing to be gained; te—of you; kratubhiḥ—by performing sacrifices; su-iṣṭaiḥ—well performed; yat—because; bhavān—yourself; mokṣa-dharma-vit—the knower of the path of liberation.
“Let there be only ninety-nine sacrificial performances for Mahārāja Pṛthu,” Lord Brahmā concluded. Lord Brahmā then turned towards Mahārāja Pṛthu and informed him that since he was thoroughly aware of the path of liberation, what was the use in performing more sacrifices?
Lord Brahmā came down to pacify King Pṛthu regarding his continual performance of one hundred sacrifices. King Pṛthu was determined to perform one hundred sacrifices, and King Indra took this very seriously because Indra himself was known as the performer of one hundred sacrifices. Just as it is the nature of all living entities within this material world to become envious of their competitors, King Indra, although King of heaven, was also envious of King Pṛthu and therefore wanted to stop him from performing one hundred sacrifices. Actually there was great competition, and King Indra, to satisfy his senses, began to invent so many irreligious systems to obstruct King Pṛthu. To stop these irreligious inventions, Lord Brahmā personally appeared in the sacrificial arena. As far as Mahārāja Pṛthu was concerned, he was a great devotee of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; therefore it was not necessary for him to perform the prescribed Vedic ritualistic ceremonies. Such ceremonies are known as karma, and there is no need for a devotee in the transcendental position to execute them. As the ideal king, however, it was King Pṛthu’s duty to perform sacrifices. A compromise was therefore to be worked out. By the blessings of Lord Brahmā, King Pṛthu would become more famous than King Indra. Thus Pṛthu’s determination to perform one hundred sacrifices was indirectly fulfilled by the blessings of Lord Brahmā.
roṣam āhartum arhasi
ubhāv api hi bhadraṁ te
na—not; eva—certainly; ātmane—nondifferent from you; mahā-indrāya—upon the King of heaven, Indra; roṣam—anger; āhartum—to apply; arhasi—you ought; ubhau—both of you; api—certainly; hi—also; bhadram—good fortune; te—unto you; uttama-śloka-vigrahau—incarnations of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
Lord Brahmā continued: Let there be good fortune to both of you, for you and King Indra are both part and parcel of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Therefore you should not be angry with King Indra, who is nondifferent from you.
māsmin mahārāja kṛthāḥ sma cintāṁ
yad dhyāyato daiva-hataṁ nu kartuṁ
mano ’tiruṣṭaṁ viśate tamo ’ndham
mā—do not; asmin—in this; mahā-rāja—O King; kṛthāḥ—do; sma—as done in the past; cintām—agitation of the mind; niśāmaya—please consider; asmat—my; vacaḥ—words; ādṛta-ātmā—being very respectful; yat—because; dhyāyataḥ—of him who is contemplating; daiva-hatam—that which is thwarted by providence; nu—certainly; kartum—to do; manaḥ—the mind; ati-ruṣṭam—very angry; viśate—enters; tamaḥ—darkness; andham—dense.
My dear King, do not be agitated and anxious because your sacrifices have not been properly executed due to providential impediments. Kindly take my words with great respect. We should always remember that if something happens by providential arrangement, we should not be very sorry. The more we try to rectify such reversals, the more we enter into the darkest region of materialistic thought.
Sometimes the saintly or very religious person also has to meet with reversals in life. Such incidents should be taken as providential. Although there may be sufficient cause for being unhappy, one should avoid counteracting such reversals, for the more we become implicated in rectifying such reversals, the more we enter into the darkest regions of material anxiety. Lord Kṛṣṇa has also advised us in this connection. We should tolerate things instead of becoming agitated.
kratur viramatām eṣa
kratuḥ—the sacrifice; viramatām—let it stop; eṣaḥ—this; deveṣu—amongst the demigods; duravagrahaḥ—addiction to unwanted things; dharma-vyatikaraḥ—violation of religious principles; yatra—where; pākhaṇḍaiḥ—by sinful activities; indra—by the King of heaven; nirmitaiḥ—manufactured.
Lord Brahmā continued: Stop the performance of these sacrifices, for they have induced Indra to introduce so many irreligious aspects. You should know very well that even amongst the demigods there are many unwanted desires.
There are many competitors in ordinary business affairs, and the karma-kāṇḍa chapters of the Vedas sometimes cause competition and envy amongst karmīs. A karmī must be envious because he wishes to enjoy material pleasures to their fullest extent. That is the material disease. Consequently there is always competition amongst karmīs, either in ordinary business affairs or in the performance of yajña. Lord Brahmā’s purpose was to end the competition between Lord Indra and Mahārāja Pṛthu. Because Mahārāja Pṛthu was a great devotee and incarnation of God, he was requested to stop the sacrifices so that Indra might not further introduce irreligious systems, which are always followed by criminal-minded people.
pākhaṇḍair hāribhir janam
yas te yajña-dhrug aśva-muṭ
ebhiḥ—by these; indra-upasaṁsṛṣṭaiḥ—created by the King of heaven, Indra; pākhaṇḍaiḥ—sinful activities; hāribhiḥ—very attractive to the heart; janam—the people in general; hriyamāṇam—being carried away; vicakṣva—just see; enam—these; yaḥ—one who; te—your; yajña-dhruk—creating a disturbance in the performance of the sacrifice; aśva-muṭ—who stole the horse.
Just see how Indra, the King of heaven, was creating a disturbance in the midst of the sacrifice by stealing the sacrificial horse. These attractive sinful activities he has introduced will be carried out by the people in general.
“Whatever action is performed by a great man, common men follow in his footsteps. And whatever standards he sets by exemplary acts, all the world pursues.”
For his own sense gratification, King Indra thought to defeat Mahārāja Pṛthu in the performance of one hundred horse sacrifices. Consequently he stole the horse and hid himself amid so many irreligious personalities, taking on the false guise of a sannyāsī. Such activities are attractive to the people in general; therefore they are dangerous. Lord Brahmā thought that instead of allowing Indra to further introduce such irreligious systems, it would be better to stop the sacrifice. A similar stance was taken by Lord Buddha when people were overly engrossed in the animal sacrifices recommended by Vedic instructions. Lord Buddha had to introduce the religion of nonviolence by contradicting the Vedic sacrificial instructions. Actually, in the sacrifices the slaughtered animals were given a new life, but people without such powers were taking advantage of such Vedic rituals and unnecessarily killing poor animals. Therefore Lord Buddha had to deny the authority of the Vedas for the time being. One should not perform sacrifices that will induce reversed orders. It is better to stop such sacrifices.
As we have repeatedly explained, due to a lack of qualified brahminical priests in Kali-yuga, it is not possible to perform the ritualistic ceremonies recommended in the Vedas. Consequently the śāstras instruct us to perform the saṅkīrtana-yajña. By the saṅkīrtana sacrifice, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, in His form of Lord Caitanya, will be satisfied and worshiped. The entire purpose of performing sacrifices is to worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Viṣṇu. Lord Viṣṇu, or Lord Kṛṣṇa, is present in His form of Lord Caitanya; therefore people who are intelligent should try to satisfy Him by performing saṅkīrtana-yajña. This is the easiest way to satisfy Lord Viṣṇu in this age. people should take advantage of the injunctions in different śāstras concerning sacrifices in this age and not create unnecessary disturbances during the sinful age of Kali. In Kali-yuga men all over the world are very expert in opening slaughterhouses for killing animals, which they eat. If the old ritualistic ceremonies were observed, people would be encouraged to kill more and more animals. In Calcutta there are many butcher shops which keep a deity of the goddess Kālī, and animal-eaters think it proper to purchase animal flesh from such shops in hope that they are eating the remnants of food offered to goddess Kālī. They do not know that goddess Kālī never accepts nonvegetarian food because she is the chaste wife of Lord Śiva. Lord Śiva is also a great Vaiṣṇava and never eats nonvegetarian food, and the goddess Kālī accepts the remnants of food left by Lord Śiva. Therefore there is no possibility of her eating flesh or fish. Such offerings are accepted by the associates of goddess Kālī known as bhūtas, piśācas and Rākṣasas, and those who take the prasāda of goddess Kālī in the shape of flesh or fish are not actually taking the prasāda left by goddess Kālī, but the food left by the bhūtas and piśācas.
bhavān paritrātum ihāvatīrṇo
dharmaṁ janānāṁ samayānurūpam
venāpacārād avaluptam adya
tad-dehato viṣṇu-kalāsi vainya
bhavān—Your Majesty; paritrātum—just to deliver; iha—in this world; avatīrṇaḥ—incarnated; dharmam—religious system; janānām—of the people in general; samaya-anurūpam—according to the time and circumstances; vena-apacārāt—by the misdeeds of King Vena; avaluptam—almost vanished; adya—at the present moment; tat—his; dehataḥ—from the body; viṣṇu—of Lord Viṣṇu; kalā—part of a plenary portion; asi—you are; vainya—O son of King Vena.
O King Pṛthu, son of Vena, you are the part-and-parcel expansion of Lord Viṣṇu. Due to the mischievous activities of King Vena, religious principles were almost lost. At that opportune moment you descended as the incarnation of Lord Viṣṇu. Indeed, for the protection of religious principles you have appeared from the body of King Vena.
The way in which Lord Viṣṇu kills the demons and protects the faithful is mentioned in Bhagavad-gītā (4.8):
“In order to deliver the pious and to annihilate the miscreants, as well as to reestablish the principles of religion, I advent Myself millennium after millennium.”
In two hands Lord Viṣṇu always carries a club and a cakra to kill demons, and in His other two hands He holds a conchshell and a lotus to give protection to His devotees. When His incarnation is present on this planet or in this universe, the Lord kills the demons and protects His devotees simultaneously. Sometimes Lord Viṣṇu appears in His person as Lord Kṛṣṇa or Lord Rāma. All of these appearances are mentioned in the śāstras. Sometimes He appears as a śaktyāveśa-avatāra like Lord Buddha. As explained before, these śaktyāveśa-avatāras are incarnations of Viṣṇu’s power invested in a living entity. Living entities are also part and parcel of Lord Viṣṇu, but they are not as powerful; therefore when a living entity descends as an incarnation of Viṣṇu, he is especially empowered by the Lord.
When King Pṛthu is described as an incarnation of Lord Viṣṇu, it should be understood that he is a śaktyāveśa-avatāra, part and parcel of Lord Viṣṇu, and is specifically empowered by Him. Any living being acting as the incarnation of Lord Viṣṇu is thus empowered by Lord Viṣṇu to preach the bhakti cult. Such a person can act like Lord Viṣṇu and defeat demons by arguments and preach the bhakti cult exactly according to the principles of śāstra. As indicated in Bhagavad-gītā, whenever we find someone extraordinary preaching the bhakti cult, we should know that he is especially empowered by Lord Viṣṇu, or Lord Kṛṣṇa. As confirmed in Caitanya-caritāmṛta (Antya 7.11), kṛṣṇa-śakti vinā nahe tāra pravartana: one cannot explain the glories of the holy name of the Lord without being specifically empowered by Him. If one criticizes or finds fault with such an empowered personality, one is to be considered an offender against Lord Viṣṇu and is punishable. Even though such offenders may dress as Vaiṣṇavas with false tilaka and mālā, they are never forgiven by the Lord if they offend a pure Vaiṣṇava. There are many instances of this in the śāstras.
sa tvaṁ vimṛśyāsya bhavaṁ prajāpate
saṅkalpanaṁ viśva-sṛjāṁ pipīpṛhi
aindrīṁ ca māyām upadharma-mātaraṁ
pracaṇḍa-pākhaṇḍa-pathaṁ prabho jahi
saḥ—the aforesaid; tvam—you; vimṛśya—considering; asya—of the world; bhavam—existence; prajā-pate—O protector of the people; saṅkalpanam—the determination; viśva-sṛjām—of the progenitors of the world; pipīpṛhi—just fulfill; aindrīm—created by the King of heaven; ca—also; māyām—illusion; upadharma—of the irreligious system of so-called sannyāsa; mātaram—the mother; pracaṇḍa—furious, dangerous; pākhaṇḍa-patham—the path of sinful activities; prabho—O Lord; jahi—please conquer.
O protector of the people in general, please consider the purpose of your being incarnated by Lord Viṣṇu. The irreligious principles created by Indra are but mothers of so many unwanted religions. Please therefore stop these imitations immediately.
Lord Brahmā addresses King Pṛthu as prajāpate just to remind him of his great responsibility in maintaining the peace and prosperity of the citizens. Mahārāja Pṛthu was empowered by the Supreme Personality of Godhead for this purpose only. It is the duty of the ideal king to see that people are properly executing religious principles. Lord Brahmā especially requested King Pṛthu to conquer the pseudoreligious principles produced by King Indra. In other words, it is the duty of the state or king to put a stop to pseudoreligious systems produced by unscrupulous persons. Originally a religious principle is one, given by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and it comes through the channel of disciplic succession in two forms. Lord Brahmā requested Pṛthu Mahārāja to desist from his unnecessary competition with Indra, who was determined to stop Pṛthu Mahārāja from completing one hundred yajñas. Instead of creating adverse reactions, it was better for Mahārāja Pṛthu to stop the yajñas in the interest of his original purpose as an incarnation. This purpose was to establish good government and set things in the right order.
itthaṁ sa loka-guruṇā
tathā ca kṛtvā vātsalyaṁ
maghonāpi ca sandadhe
maitreyaḥ uvāca—the great sage Maitreya continued to speak; ittham—thus; saḥ—King Pṛthu; loka-guruṇā—by the original teacher of all people, Lord Brahmā; samādiṣṭaḥ—being advised; viśām-patiḥ—the king, master of the people; tathā—in that way; ca—also; kṛtvā—having done; vātsalyam—affection; maghonā—with Indra; api—even; ca—also; sandadhe—concluded peace.
The great sage Maitreya continued: When King Pṛthu was thus advised by the supreme teacher, Lord Brahmā, he abandoned his eagerness to perform yajñas and with great affection concluded a peace with King Indra.
varān dadus te varadā
ye tad-barhiṣi tarpitāḥ
kṛta—having performed; avabhṛtha-snānāya—taking a bath after the sacrifice; pṛthave—unto King Pṛthu; bhūri-karmaṇe—famous for performing many virtuous acts; varān—benedictions; daduḥ—gave; te—all of them; vara-dāḥ—the demigods, bestowers of benedictions; ye—who; tat-barhiṣi—in the performance of such a yajña; tarpitāḥ—became pleased.
After this, Pṛthu Mahārāja took his bath, which is customarily taken after the performance of a yajña, and received the benedictions and due blessings of the demigods, who were very pleased by his glorious activities.
Yajña means Lord Viṣṇu, for all yajña is meant to please the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Viṣṇu. Since the demigods automatically become very pleased with the performance of sacrifice, they bestow benediction upon the executors of yajñas. When one pours water on the root of a tree, the branches, trunk, twigs, flowers and leaves are all satisfied. Similarly, when one gives food to the stomach, all parts of the body are rejuvenated. In the same way, if one simply satisfies Lord Viṣṇu by the performance of yajña, one satisfies all the demigods automatically. In turn, the demigods offer their benedictions to such a devotee. A pure devotee therefore does not ask benedictions directly from the demigods. His only business is to serve the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Thus he is never in need of those things supplied by the demigods.
viprāḥ satyāśiṣas tuṣṭāḥ
āśiṣo yuyujuḥ kṣattar
viprāḥ—all the brāhmaṇas; satya—true; āśiṣaḥ—whose benedictions; tuṣṭāḥ—being very satisfied; śraddhayā—with great respect; labdha-dakṣiṇāḥ—who obtained rewards; āśiṣaḥ—benedictions; yuyujuḥ—offered; kṣattaḥ—O Vidura; ādi-rājāya—upon the original king; sat-kṛtāḥ—being honored.
With great respect, the original king, Pṛthu, offered all kinds of rewards to the brāhmaṇas present at the sacrifice. Since all these brāhmaṇas were very much satisfied, they gave their heartfelt blessings to the King.
sarva eva samāgatāḥ
tvayā—by you; āhūtāḥ—were invited; mahā-bāho—O great mighty-armed one; sarve—all; eva—certainly; samāgatāḥ—assembled; pūjitāḥ—were honored; dāna—by charity; mānābhyām—and by respect; pitṛ—the inhabitants of Pitṛloka; deva—demigods; ṛṣi—great sages; mānavāḥ—as well as common men.
All the great sages and brāhmaṇas said: O mighty King, by your invitation all classes of living entities have attended this assembly. They have come from Pitṛloka and the heavenly planets, and great sages as well as common men have attended this meeting. Now all of them are very much satisfied by your dealings and your charity towards them.
Thus end the Bhaktivedanta purports of the Fourth Canto, Nineteenth Chapter, of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, entitled “King Pṛthu’s One Hundred Horse Sacrifices.”
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