daksa uvaca
bhuyan anugraha aho bhavata krto me
dandas tvaya mayi bhrto yad api pralabdhah
na brahma-bandhusu ca vam bhagavann avajna
tubhyam hares ca kuta eva dhrta-vratesu
daksah—King Daksa; uvaca—said; bhuyan—very great; anugrahah—favor; aho—alas; bhavata—by you; krtah—done; me—upon me; dandah—punishment; tvaya—by you; mayi—unto me; bhrtah—done; yat api—although; pralabdhah—defeated; na—neither; brahma-bandhusu—unto an unqualified brahmana; ca—also; vam—both of you; bhagavan—my lord; avajna—negligence; tubhyam—of you; hareh ca—of Lord Visnu; kutah—where; eva—certainly; dhrta-vratesu—one who is engaged in the performance of sacrifice.
King Daksa said: My dear Lord Siva, I committed a great offense against you, but you are so kind that instead of withdrawing your mercy, you have done me a great favor by punishing me. You and Lord Visnu never neglect even useless, unqualified brahmanas. Why, then, should you neglect me, who am engaged in performing sacrifices?
Although Daksa felt defeated, he knew that his punishment was simply the great mercy of Lord Siva. He remembered that Lord Siva and Lord Visnu are never neglectful of the brahmanas, even though the brahmanas are sometimes unqualified. According to Vedic civilization, a descendant of a brahmana family should never be heavily punished. This was exemplified in Arjuna’s treatment of Asvatthama. Asvatthama was the son of a great brahmana, Dronacarya, and in spite of his having committed the great offense of killing all the sleeping sons of the Pandavas, for which he was condemned even by Lord Krsna, Arjuna excused him by not killing him because he happened to be the son of a brahmana. The word brahma-bandhusu used here is significant. Brahma-bandhu means a person who is born of a brahmana father but whose activities are not up to the standard of the brahmanas. Such a person is not a brahmana but a brahma-bandhu. Daksa proved himself to be a brahma-bandhu. He was born of a great brahmana father, Lord Brahma, but his treatment of Lord Siva was not exactly brahminical; therefore he admitted that he was not a perfect brahmana. Lord Siva and Lord Visnu, however, are affectionate even to an imperfect brahmana. Lord Siva punished Daksa not as one does his enemy; rather, he punished Daksa just to bring him to his senses, so that he would know that he had done wrong. Daksa could understand this, and he acknowledged the great mercy of Lord Krsna and Lord Siva towards the fallen brahmanas, including even himself. Although he was fallen, his vow was to execute the sacrifice, as is the duty of brahmanas, and thus he began his prayers to Lord Siva.

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