Frustration of the Sacrifice of Dakṣa
bhavo bhavānyā nidhanaṁ prajāpater
asat-kṛtāyā avagamya nāradāt
sva-pārṣada-sainyaṁ ca tad-adhvararbhubhir
vidrāvitaṁ krodham apāram ādadhe
maitreyaḥ uvāca—Maitreya said; bhavaḥ—Lord Śiva; bhavānyāḥ—of Satī; nidhanam—the death; prajāpateḥ—because of Prajāpati Dakṣa; asat-kṛtāyāḥ—having been insulted; avagamya—hearing about; nāradāt—from Nārada; sva-pārṣada-sainyam—the soldiers of his own associates; ca—and; tat-adhvara—(produced from) his (Dakṣa’s) sacrifice; ṛbhubhiḥ—by the Ṛbhus; vidrāvitam—were driven away; krodham—anger; apāram—unbounded; ādadhe—showed.
Maitreya said: When Lord Śiva heard from Nārada that Satī, his wife, was now dead because of Prajāpati Dakṣa’s insult to her and that his soldiers had been driven away by the Ṛbhu demigods, he became greatly angry.
Lord Śiva understood that Satī, being the youngest daughter of Dakṣa, could present the case of Lord Śiva’s purity of purpose and would thus be able to mitigate the misunderstanding between Dakṣa and himself. But such a compromise was not attained, and Satī was deliberately insulted by her father by not being received properly when she visited his house without being invited. Satī herself could have killed her father, Dakṣa, because she is the personified material energy and has immense power to kill and create within this material universe. In the Brahma-saṁhitā her strength is described: she is capable of creating and dissolving many universes. But although she is so powerful, she acts under the direction of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, as His shadow. It would not have been difficult for Satī to punish her father, but she thought that since she was his daughter, it was not proper for her to kill him. Thus she decided to give up her own body, which she had obtained from his, and Dakṣa did not even check her.
When Satī passed away, giving up her body, the news was conveyed by Nārada to Lord Śiva. Nārada always carries the news of such events because he knows their import. When Lord Śiva heard that his chaste wife, Satī, was dead, he naturally became exceedingly angry. He also understood that Bhṛgu Muni had created the Ṛbhudeva demigods by uttering the mantras of the Yajur Veda and that these demigods had driven away all of his soldiers who were present in the arena of sacrifice. Therefore, he wanted to reply to this insult, and thus he decided to kill Dakṣa because he was the cause of the death of Satī.
kruddhaḥ sudaṣṭauṣṭha-puṭaḥ sa dhūr-jaṭir
utkṛtya rudraḥ sahasotthito hasan
gambhīra-nādo visasarja tāṁ bhuvi
kruddhaḥ—very angry; su-daṣṭa-oṣṭha-puṭaḥ—pressing his lips with his teeth; saḥ—he (Lord Śiva); dhūḥ-jaṭiḥ—having a cluster of hair on his head; jaṭām—one hair; taḍit—of electricity; vahni—of fire; saṭā—a flame; ugra—terrible; rociṣam—blazing; utkṛtya—snatching; rudraḥ—Lord Śiva; sahasā—at once; utthitaḥ—stood up; hasan—laughing; gambhīra—deep; nādaḥ—sound; visasarja—dashed; tām—that (hair); bhuvi—on the ground.
Thus Lord Śiva, being extremely angry, pressed his lips with his teeth and immediately snatched from his head a strand of hair which blazed like electricity or fire. He stood up at once, laughing like a madman, and dashed the hair to the ground.
tato ’tikāyas tanuvā spṛśan divaṁ
sahasra-bāhur ghana-ruk tri-sūrya-dṛk
tataḥ—at this time; atikāyaḥ—a great personality (Vīrabhadra); tanuvā—with his body; spṛśan—touching; divam—the sky; sahasra—a thousand; bāhuḥ—arms; ghana-ruk—of black color; tri-sūrya-dṛk—as bright as three suns combined; karāla-daṁṣṭraḥ—having very fearful teeth; jvalat-agni—(like) burning fire; mūrdhajaḥ—having hair on his head; kapāla-mālī—garlanded with men’s heads; vividha—various kinds; udyata—upraised; āyudhaḥ—equipped with weapons.
A fearful black demon as high as the sky and as bright as three suns combined was thereby created, his teeth very fearful and the hairs on his head like burning fire. He had thousands of arms, equipped with various weapons, and he was garlanded with the heads of men.
taṁ kiṁ karomīti gṛṇantam āha
baddhāñjaliṁ bhagavān bhūta-nāthaḥ
dakṣaṁ sa-yajñaṁ jahi mad-bhaṭānāṁ
tvam agraṇī rudra bhaṭāṁśako me
tam—to him (Vīrabhadra); kim—what; karomi—shall I do; iti—thus; gṛṇantam—asking; āha—ordered; baddha-añjalim—with folded hands; bhagavān—the possessor of all opulences (Lord Śiva); bhūta-nāthaḥ—the lord of the ghosts; dakṣam—Dakṣa; sa-yajñam—along with his sacrifice; jahi—kill; mat-bhaṭānām—of all my associates; tvam—you; agraṇīḥ—the chief; rudra—O Rudra; bhaṭa—O expert in battle; aṁśakaḥ—born of my body; me—my.
When that gigantic demon asked with folded hands, “What shall I do, my lord?” Lord Śiva, who is known as Bhūtanātha, directly ordered, “Because you are born from my body, you are the chief of all my associates. Therefore, kill Dakṣa and his soldiers at the sacrifice.”
Here is the beginning of competition between brahma-tejas and śiva-tejas. By brahma-tejas, brahminical strength, Bhṛgu Muni had created the Ṛbhu demigods, who had driven away the soldiers of Lord Śiva stationed in the arena. When Lord Śiva heard that his soldiers had been driven away, he created the tall black demon Vīrabhadra to retaliate. There is sometimes a competition between the mode of goodness and the mode of ignorance. That is the way of material existence. Even when one is situated in the mode of goodness, there is every possibility that his position will be mixed with or attacked by the mode of passion or ignorance. That is the law of material nature. Although pure goodness, or śuddha-sattva, is the basic principle in the spiritual world, pure manifestation of goodness is not possible in this material world. Thus, the struggle for existence between different material qualities is always present. This quarrel between Lord Śiva and Bhṛgu Muni, centering around Prajāpati Dakṣa, is the practical example of such competition between the different qualitative modes of material nature.
ājñapta evaṁ kupitena manyunā
sa deva-devaṁ paricakrame vibhum
mahīyasāṁ tāta sahaḥ sahiṣṇum
ājñaptaḥ—being ordered; evam—in this manner; kupitena—angry; manyunā—by Lord Śiva (who is anger personified); saḥ—he (Vīrabhadra); deva-devam—he who is worshiped by the demigods; paricakrame—circumambulated; vibhum—Lord Śiva; mene—considered; tadā—at that time; ātmānam—himself; asaṅga-raṁhasā—with the power of Lord Śiva that cannot be opposed; mahīyasām—of the most powerful; tāta—my dear Vidura; sahaḥ—strength; sahiṣṇum—capable of coping with.
Maitreya continued: My dear Vidura, that black person was the personified anger of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and he was prepared to execute the orders of Lord Śiva. Thus, considering himself capable of coping with any power offered against him, he circumambulated Lord Śiva.
anvīyamānaḥ sa tu rudra-pārṣadair
bhṛśaṁ nadadbhir vyanadat subhairavam
udyamya śūlaṁ jagad-antakāntakaṁ
anvīyamānaḥ—being followed; saḥ—he (Vīrabhadra); tu—but; rudra-pārṣadaiḥ—by the soldiers of Lord Śiva; bhṛśam—tumultuously; nadadbhiḥ—roaring; vyanadat—sounded; su-bhairavam—very fearful; udyamya—carrying; śūlam—a trident; jagat-antaka—death; antakam—killing; samprādravat—hurried towards (the sacrifice of Dakṣa); ghoṣaṇa—roaring; bhūṣaṇa-aṅghriḥ—with bangles on his legs.
Many other soldiers of Lord Śiva followed the fierce personality in a tumultuous uproar. He carried a great trident, fearful enough to kill even death, and on his legs he wore bangles which seemed to roar.
athartvijo yajamānaḥ sadasyāḥ
kakubhy udīcyāṁ prasamīkṣya reṇum
tamaḥ kim etat kuta etad rajo ’bhūd
iti dvijā dvija-patnyaś ca dadhyuḥ
atha—at that time; ṛtvijaḥ—the priests; yajamānaḥ—the chief person performing the sacrifice (Dakṣa); sadasyāḥ—all the persons assembled in the sacrificial arena; kakubhi udīcyām—in the northern direction; prasamīkṣya—seeing; reṇum—the dust storm; tamaḥ—darkness; kim—what; etat—this; kutaḥ—from where; etat—this; rajaḥ—dust; abhūt—has come; iti—thus; dvijāḥ—the brāhmaṇas; dvija-patnyaḥ—the wives of the brāhmaṇas; ca—and; dadhyuḥ—began to speculate.
At that time, all the persons assembled in the sacrificial arena—the priests, the chief of the sacrificial performance, and the brāhmaṇas and their wives—wondered where the darkness was coming from. Later they could understand that it was a dust storm, and all of them were full of anxiety.
vātā na vānti na hi santi dasyavaḥ
prācīna-barhir jīvati hogra-daṇḍaḥ
gāvo na kālyanta idaṁ kuto rajo
loko ’dhunā kiṁ pralayāya kalpate
vātāḥ—the winds; na vānti—are not blowing; na—not; hi—because; santi—are possible; dasyavaḥ—plunderers; prācīna-barhiḥ—old King Barhi; jīvati—is living; ha—still; ugra-daṇḍaḥ—who would sternly punish; gāvaḥ—the cows; na kālyante—are not being driven; idam—this; kutaḥ—from where; rajaḥ—dust; lokaḥ—the planet; adhunā—now; kim—is it; pralayāya—for dissolution; kalpate—to be considered ready.
Conjecturing on the origin of the storm, they said: There is no wind blowing, and no cows are passing, nor is it possible that this dust storm could be raised by plunderers, for there is still the strong King Barhi, who would punish them. Where is this dust storm blowing from? Is the dissolution of the planet now to occur?
Specifically significant in this verse is prācīna-barhir jīvati. The king of that part of the land was known as Barhi, and although he was old, he was still living, and he was a very strong ruler. Thus there was no possibility of an invasion by thieves and plunderers. Indirectly it is stated here that thieves, plunderers, rogues and unwanted population can exist only in a state or kingdom where there is no strong ruler. When, in the name of justice, thieves are allowed liberty, the state and kingdom are disturbed by such plunderers and unwanted population. The dust storm created by the soldiers and assistants of Lord Śiva resembled the situation at the time of the dissolution of this world. When there is a need for the dissolution of the material creation, this function is conducted by Lord Śiva. Therefore the situation now created by him resembled the dissolution of the cosmic manifestation.
prasūti-miśrāḥ striya udvigna-cittā
ūcur vipāko vṛjinasyaiva tasya
yat paśyantīnāṁ duhitṝṇāṁ prajeśaḥ
sutāṁ satīm avadadhyāv anāgām
prasūti-miśrāḥ—headed by Prasūti; striyaḥ—the women; udvigna-cittāḥ—being very anxious; ūcuḥ—said; vipākaḥ—the resultant danger; vṛjinasya—of the sinful activity; eva—indeed; tasya—his (Dakṣa’s); yat—because; paśyantīnām—who were looking on; duhitṝṇām—of her sisters; prajeśaḥ—the lord of the created beings (Dakṣa); sutām—his daughter; satīm—Satī; avadadhyau—insulted; anāgām—completely innocent.
Prasūti, the wife of Dakṣa, along with the other women assembled, became very anxious and said: This danger has been created by Dakṣa because of the death of Satī, who, even though completely innocent, quit her body as her sisters looked on.
Prasūti, being a softhearted woman, could immediately understand that the imminent danger approaching was due to the impious activity of hardhearted Prajāpati Dakṣa. He was so cruel that he would not save her youngest daughter, Satī, from the act of committing suicide in the presence of her sisters. Satī’s mother could understand how much Satī had been pained by the insult of her father. Satī had been present along with the other daughters, and Dakṣa had purposely received all of them but her because she happened to be the wife of Lord Śiva. This consideration convinced the wife of Dakṣa of the danger which was now ahead, and thus she knew that Dakṣa must be prepared to die for his heinous act.
yas tv anta-kāle vyupta-jaṭā-kalāpaḥ
vitatya nṛtyaty uditāstra-dor-dhvajān
yaḥ—who (Lord Śiva); tu—but; anta-kāle—at the time of dissolution; vyupta—having scattered; jaṭā-kalāpaḥ—his bunch of hair; sva-śūla—his own trident; sūci—on the points; arpita—pierced; dik-gajendraḥ—the rulers of the different directions; vitatya—scattering; nṛtyati—dances; udita—upraised; astra—weapons; doḥ—hands; dhvajān—flags; ucca—loud; aṭṭa-hāsa—laughing; stanayitnu—by the thundering sound; bhinna—divided; dik—the directions.
At the time of dissolution, Lord Śiva’s hair is scattered, and he pierces the rulers of the different directions with his trident. He laughs and dances proudly, scattering their hands like flags, as thunder scatters the clouds all over the world.
Prasūti, who appreciated the power and strength of her son-in-law, Lord Śiva, is describing what he does at the time of dissolution. This description indicates that the strength of Lord Śiva is so great that Dakṣa’s power could not be set in comparison to it. At the time of dissolution, Lord Śiva, with his trident in hand, dances over the rulers of the different planets, and his hair is scattered, just as the clouds are scattered over all directions in order to plunge the different planets into incessant torrents of rain. In the last phase of dissolution, all the planets become inundated with water, and that inundation is caused by the dancing of Lord Śiva. This dance is called the pralaya dance, or dance of dissolution. Prasūti could understand that the dangers ahead resulted not only from Dakṣa’s having neglected her daughter, but also because of his neglecting the prestige and honor of Lord Śiva.
amarṣayitvā tam asahya-tejasaṁ
manyu-plutaṁ durnirīkṣyaṁ bhru-kuṭyā
syāt svasti kiṁ kopayato vidhātuḥ
amarṣayitvā—after causing to become angry; tam—him (Lord Śiva); asahya-tejasam—with an unbearable effulgence; manyu-plutam—filled with anger; durnirīkṣyam—not able to be looked at; bhru-kuṭyā—by the movement of his brows; karāla-daṁṣṭrābhiḥ—by his fearful teeth; udasta-bhāgaṇam—having scattered the luminaries; syāt—there should be; svasti—good fortune; kim—how; kopayataḥ—causing (Lord Śiva) to be angry; vidhātuḥ—of Brahmā.
The gigantic black man bared his fearful teeth. By the movements of his brows he scattered the luminaries all over the sky, and he covered them with his strong, piercing effulgence. Because of the misbehavior of Dakṣa, even Lord Brahmā, Dakṣa’s father, could not have been saved from the great exhibition of anger.
bahv evam udvigna-dṛśocyamāne
janena dakṣasya muhur mahātmanaḥ
utpetur utpātatamāḥ sahasraśo
bhayāvahā divi bhūmau ca paryak
bahu—much; evam—in this manner; udvigna-dṛśā—with nervous glances; ucyamāne—while this was being said; janena—by the persons (assembled at the sacrifice); dakṣasya—of Dakṣa; muhuḥ—again and again; mahā-ātmanaḥ—stronghearted; utpetuḥ—appeared; utpāta-tamāḥ—very powerful symptoms; sahasraśaḥ—by the thousands; bhaya-āvahāḥ—producing fear; divi—in the sky; bhūmau—on the earth; ca—and; paryak—from all sides.
While all the people talked amongst themselves, Dakṣa saw dangerous omens from all sides, from the earth and from the sky.
In this verse Dakṣa has been described as mahātmā. The word mahātmā has been commented upon by different commentators in various manners. Vīrarāghava Ācārya has indicated that this word mahātmā means “steady in heart.” That is to say that Dakṣa was so stronghearted that even when his beloved daughter was prepared to lay down her life, he was steady and unshaken. But in spite of his being so stronghearted, he was perturbed when he saw the various disturbances created by the gigantic black demon. Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura remarks in this connection that even if one is called mahātmā, a great soul, unless he exhibits the symptoms of a mahātmā, he should be considered a durātmā, or a degraded soul. In Bhagavad-gītā (9.13) the word mahātmā describes the pure devotee of the Lord: mahātmānas tu māṁ pārtha daivīṁ prakṛtim āśritāḥ. A mahātmā is always under the guidance of the internal energy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and thus how could such a misbehaved person as Dakṣa be a mahātmā? A mahātmā is supposed to have all the good qualities of the demigods, and thus Dakṣa, lacking those qualities, could not be called a mahātmā; he should instead be called durātmā, a degraded soul. The word mahātmā to describe the qualifications of Dakṣa is used sarcastically.
tāvat sa rudrānucarair mahā-makho
nānāyudhair vāmanakair udāyudhaiḥ
piṅgaiḥ piśaṅgair makarodarānanaiḥ
tāvat—very quickly; saḥ—that; rudra-anucaraiḥ—by the followers of Lord Śiva; mahā-makhaḥ—the arena of the great sacrifice; nānā—various kinds; āyudhaiḥ—with weapons; vāmanakaiḥ—of short stature; udāyudhaiḥ—upraised; piṅgaiḥ—blackish; piśaṅgaiḥ—yellowish; makara-udara-ānanaiḥ—with bellies and faces like sharks’; paryādravadbhiḥ—running all around; vidura—O Vidura; anvarudhyata—was surrounded.
My dear Vidura, all the followers of Lord Śiva surrounded the arena of sacrifice. They were of short stature and were equipped with various kinds of weapons; their bodies appeared to be like those of sharks, blackish and yellowish. They ran all around the sacrificial arena and thus began to create disturbances.
kecid babhañjuḥ prāg-vaṁśaṁ
sada āgnīdhra-śālāṁ ca
kecit—some; babhañjuḥ—pulled down; prāk-vaṁśam—the pillars of the sacrificial pandal; patnī-śālām—the female quarters; tathā—also; apare—others; sadaḥ—the sacrificial arena; āgnīdhra-śālām—the house of the priests; ca—and; tat-vihāram—the house of the chief of the sacrifice; mahā-anasam—the house of the kitchen department.
Some of the soldiers pulled down the pillars which were supporting the pandal of sacrifice, some of them entered the female quarters, some began destroying the sacrificial arena, and some entered the kitchen and the residential quarters.
tathaike ’gnīn anāśayan
kuṇḍeṣv amūtrayan kecid
rurujuḥ—broke; yajña-pātrāṇi—the pots used in the sacrifice; tathā—so; eke—some; agnīn—the sacrificial fires; anāśayan—extinguished; kuṇḍeṣu—on the sacrificial arenas; amūtrayan—passed urine; kecit—some; bibhiduḥ—tore down; vedi-mekhalāḥ—the boundary lines of the sacrificial arena.
They broke all the pots made for use in the sacrifice, and some of them began to extinguish the sacrificial fire. Some tore down the boundary line of the sacrificial arena, and some passed urine on the arena.
abādhanta munīn anye
eke patnīr atarjayan
apare jagṛhur devān
abādhanta—blocked the way; munīn—the sages; anye—others; eke—some; patnīḥ—the women; atarjayan—threatened; apare—others; jagṛhuḥ—arrested; devān—the demigods; pratyāsannān—near at hand; palāyitān—who were fleeing.
Some blocked the way of the fleeing sages, some threatened the women assembled there, and some arrested the demigods who were fleeing the pandal.
bhṛguṁ babandha maṇimān
caṇḍeśaḥ pūṣaṇaṁ devaṁ
bhagaṁ nandīśvaro ’grahīt
bhṛgum—Bhṛgu Muni; babandha—arrested; maṇimān—Maṇimān; vīrabhadraḥ—Vīrabhadra; prajāpatim—Prajāpati Dakṣa; caṇḍeśaḥ—Caṇḍeśa; pūṣaṇam—Pūṣā; devam—the demigod; bhagam—Bhaga; nandīśvaraḥ—Nandīśvara; agrahīt—arrested.
Maṇimān, one of the followers of Lord Śiva, arrested Bhṛgu Muni, and Vīrabhadra, the black demon, arrested Prajāpati Dakṣa. Another follower, who was named Caṇḍeśa, arrested Pūṣā. Nandīśvara arrested the demigod Bhaga.
sarva evartvijo dṛṣṭvā
tair ardyamānāḥ subhṛśaṁ
sarve—all; eva—certainly; ṛtvijaḥ—the priests; dṛṣṭvā—after seeing; sadasyāḥ—all the members assembled in the sacrifice; sa-divaukasaḥ—along with the demigods; taiḥ—by those (stones); ardyamānāḥ—being disturbed; su-bhṛśam—very greatly; grāvabhiḥ—by stones; na ekadhā—in different directions; adravan—began to disperse.
There was a continuous shower of stones, and all the priests and other members assembled at the sacrifice were put into immense misery. For fear of their lives, they dispersed in different directions.
śmaśrūṇi bhagavān bhavaḥ
bhṛgor luluñce sadasi
yo ’hasac chmaśru darśayan
juhvataḥ—offering sacrificial oblations; sruva-hastasya—with the sacrificial ladle in his hand; śmaśrūṇi—the mustache; bhagavān—the possessor of all opulences; bhavaḥ—Vīrabhadra; bhṛgoḥ—of Bhṛgu Muni; luluñce—tore out; sadasi—in the midst of the assembly; yaḥ—who (Bhṛgu Muni); ahasat—had smiled; śmaśru—his mustache; darśayan—showing.
Vīrabhadra tore off the mustache of Bhṛgu, who was offering the sacrificial oblations with his hands in the fire.
bhagasya netre bhagavān
pātitasya ruṣā bhuvi
ujjahāra sada-stho ’kṣṇā
yaḥ śapantam asūsucat
bhagasya—of Bhaga; netre—both eyes; bhagavān—Vīrabhadra; pātitasya—having been thrust; ruṣā—with great anger; bhuvi—on the ground; ujjahāra—plucked out; sada-sthaḥ—while situated in the assembly of the Viśvasṛks; akṣṇā—by the movement of his eyebrows; yaḥ—who (Bhaga); śapantam—(Dakṣa) who was cursing (Lord Śiva); asūsucat—encouraged.
Vīrabhadra immediately caught Bhaga, who had been moving his eyebrows during Bhṛgu’s cursing of Lord Śiva, and out of great anger thrust him to the ground and forcibly put out his eyes.
pūṣṇo hy apātayad dantān
kāliṅgasya yathā balaḥ
yo ’hasad darśayan dataḥ
pūṣṇaḥ—of Pūṣā; hi—since; apātayat—extracted; dantān—the teeth; kāliṅgasya—of the King of Kaliṅga; yathā—as; balaḥ—Baladeva; śapyamāne—while being cursed; garimaṇi—Lord Śiva; yaḥ—who (Pūṣā); ahasat—smiled; darśayan—showing; dataḥ—his teeth.
Just as Baladeva knocked out the teeth of Dantavakra, the King of Kaliṅga, during the gambling match at the marriage ceremony of Aniruddha, Vīrabhadra knocked out the teeth of both Dakṣa, who had shown them while cursing Lord Śiva, and Pūṣā, who by smiling sympathetically had also shown his teeth.
Here a reference is made to the marriage of Aniruddha, a grandson of Lord Kṛṣṇa’s. He kidnapped the daughter of Dantavakra, and thereafter he was arrested. Just as he was to be punished for the kidnapping, the soldiers from Dvārakā arrived, headed by Balarāma, and a fight ensued amongst the kṣatriyas. This sort of fight was very common, especially during marriage ceremonies, when everyone was in a challenging spirit. In that challenging spirit, a fight was sure to occur, and in such fights there was commonly killing and misfortune. After finishing such fighting, the parties would come to a compromise, and everything would be settled. This Dakṣa yajña was similar to such events. Now all of them—Dakṣa and the demigods Bhaga and Pūṣā and Bhṛgu Muni—were punished by the soldiers of Lord Śiva, but later everything would come to a peaceful end. So this spirit of fighting between one another was not exactly inimical. Because everyone was so powerful and wanted to show his strength by Vedic mantra or mystic power, all these fighting skills were very elaborately exhibited by the different parties at the Dakṣa yajña.
chindann api tad uddhartuṁ
nāśaknot tryambakas tadā
ākramya—having sat; urasi—on the chest; dakṣasya—of Dakṣa; śita-dhāreṇa—having a sharp blade; hetinā—with a weapon; chindan—cutting; api—even though; tat—that (head); uddhartum—to separate; na aśaknot—was not able; tri-ambakaḥ—Vīrabhadra (who had three eyes); tadā—after this.
Then Vīrabhadra, the giantlike personality, sat on the chest of Dakṣa and tried to separate his head from his body with sharp weapons, but was unsuccessful.
śastrair astrānvitair evam
vismayaṁ param āpanno
dadhyau paśupatiś ciram
śastraiḥ—with weapons; astra-anvitaiḥ—with hymns (mantras); evam—thus; anirbhinna—not being cut; tvacam—the skin; haraḥ—Vīrabhadra; vismayam—bewilderment; param—greatest; āpannaḥ—was struck with; dadhyau—thought; paśupatiḥ—Vīrabhadra; ciram—for a long time.
He tried to cut the head of Dakṣa with hymns as well as weapons, but still it was hard to cut even the surface of the skin of Dakṣa’s head. Thus Vīrabhadra was exceedingly bewildered.
dṛṣṭvā saṁjñapanaṁ yogaṁ
paśūnāṁ sa patir makhe
kāyāt tenāharac chiraḥ
dṛṣṭvā—having seen; saṁjñapanam—for the killing of the animals in the sacrifice; yogam—the device; paśūnām—of the animals; saḥ—he (Vīrabhadra); patiḥ—the lord; makhe—in the sacrifice; yajamāna-paśoḥ—who was an animal in the form of the chief of the sacrifice; kasya—of Dakṣa; kāyāt—from the body; tena—by that (device); aharat—severed; śiraḥ—his head.
Then Vīrabhadra saw the wooden device in the sacrificial arena by which the animals were to have been killed. He took the opportunity of this facility to behead Dakṣa.
In this connection it is to be noted that the device used for killing animals in the sacrifice was not designed to facilitate eating their flesh. The killing was specifically intended to give a new life to the sacrificed animal by the power of Vedic mantra. The animals were sacrificed to test the strength of Vedic mantras; yajñas were performed as a test of the mantra. Even in the modern age, tests are executed on animal bodies in the physiology laboratory. Similarly, whether or not the brāhmaṇas were uttering the Vedic hymns correctly was tested by sacrifice in the arena. On the whole, the animals thus sacrificed were not at all the losers. Some old animals would be sacrificed, but in exchange for their old bodies they received other, new bodies. That was the test of Vedic mantras. Vīrabhadra, instead of sacrificing animals with the wooden device, immediately beheaded Dakṣa, to the astonishment of everyone.
sādhu-vādas tadā teṣāṁ
karma tat tasya paśyatām
sādhu-vādaḥ—joyful exclamation; tadā—at that time; teṣām—of those (followers of Lord Śiva); karma—action; tat—that; tasya—of him (Vīrabhadra); paśyatām—seeing; bhūta-preta-piśācānām—of the bhūtas (ghosts), pretas and piśācas; anyeṣām—of the others (in the party of Dakṣa); tat-viparyayaḥ—the opposite of that (an exclamation of grief).
Upon seeing the action of Vīrabhadra, the party of Lord Śiva was pleased and cried out joyfully, and all the bhūtas, ghosts and demons that had come made a tumultuous sound. On the other hand, the brāhmaṇas in charge of the sacrifice cried out in grief at the death of Dakṣa.
juhāvaitac chiras tasmin
juhāva—sacrificed as an oblation; etat—that; śiraḥ—head; tasmin—in that; dakṣiṇa-agnau—in the sacrificial fire on the southern side; amarṣitaḥ—Vīrabhadra, being greatly angry; tat—of Dakṣa; deva-yajanam—the arrangements for the sacrifice to the demigods; dagdhvā—having set fire; prātiṣṭhat—departed; guhyaka-ālayam—to the abode of the Guhyakas (Kailāsa).
Vīrabhadra then took the head and with great anger threw it into the southern side of the sacrificial fire, offering it as an oblation. In this way the followers of Lord Śiva devastated all the arrangements for sacrifice. After setting fire to the whole arena, they departed for their master’s abode, Kailāsa.
Thus end the Bhaktivedanta purports of the Fourth Canto, Fifth Chapter, of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, entitled “Frustration of the Sacrifice of Dakṣa.”
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