The Sacrifice Performed by Dakṣa
prahasya śrūyatām iti
maitreyaḥ—Maitreya; uvāca—said; iti—thus; ajena—by Lord Brahmā; anunītena—pacified; bhavena—by Lord Śiva; parituṣyatā—fully satisfied; abhyadhāyi—said; mahā-bāho—O Vidura; prahasya—smiling; śrūyatām—listen; iti—thus.
The sage Maitreya said: O mighty-armed Vidura, Lord Śiva, being thus pacified by the words of Lord Brahmā, spoke as follows in answer to Lord Brahmā’s request.
nāghaṁ prajeśa bālānāṁ
daṇḍas tatra dhṛto mayā
mahādevaḥ—Lord Śiva; uvāca—said; na—not; agham—offense; prajā-īśa—O lord of created beings; bālānām—of the children; varṇaye—I regard; na—not; anucintaye—I consider; deva-māyā—the external energy of the Lord; abhibhūtānām—of those deluded by; daṇḍaḥ—rod; tatra—there; dhṛtaḥ—used; mayā—by me.
Lord Śiva said: My dear father, Brahmā, I do not mind the offenses created by the demigods. Because these demigods are childish and less intelligent, I do not take a serious view of their offenses, and I have punished them only in order to right them.
There are two types of punishment. One is that which a conqueror imposes on an enemy, and the other is like that a father imposes on his son. There is a gulf of difference between these two kinds of punishment. Lord Śiva is by nature a Vaiṣṇava, a great devotee, and his name in this connection is Āśutoṣa. He is always satisfied, and therefore he did not become angry as if he were an enemy. He is not inimical to any living entity; rather, he always wishes the welfare of all. Whenever he chastises a person, it is just like a father’s punishment of his son. Lord Śiva is like a father because he never takes seriously any offense by any living entities, especially the demigods.
bhavatv aja-mukhaṁ śiraḥ
bhāgaṁ svaṁ barhiṣo bhagaḥ
prajāpateḥ—of Prajāpati Dakṣa; dagdha-śīrṣṇaḥ—whose head has been burned to ashes; bhavatu—let there be; aja-mukham—with the face of a goat; śiraḥ—a head; mitrasya—of Mitra; cakṣuṣā—through the eyes; īkṣeta—may see; bhāgam—share; svam—his own; barhiṣaḥ—of the sacrifice; bhagaḥ—Bhaga.
Lord Śiva continued: Since the head of Dakṣa has already been burned to ashes, he will have the head of a goat. The demigod known as Bhaga will be able to see his share of sacrifice through the eyes of Mitra.
pūṣā tu yajamānasya
dadbhir jakṣatu piṣṭa-bhuk
ye ma uccheṣaṇaṁ daduḥ
pūṣā—Pūṣā; tu—but; yajamānasya—of the performer of the sacrifice; dadbhiḥ—with the teeth; jakṣatu—chew; piṣṭa-bhuk—eating flour; devāḥ—the demigods; prakṛta—made; sarva-aṅgāḥ—complete; ye—who; me—unto me; uccheṣaṇam—a share of the sacrifice; daduḥ—gave.
The demigod Pūṣā will be able to chew only through the teeth of his disciples, and if alone, he will have to satisfy himself by eating dough made from chickpea flour. But the demigods who have agreed to give me my share of the sacrifice will recover from all their injuries.
The demigod Pūṣā became dependent on his disciples for chewing. Otherwise he was allowed to swallow only dough made of chickpea flour. Thus his punishment continued. He could not use his teeth for eating, since he had laughed at Lord Śiva, deriding him by showing his teeth. In other words, it was not appropriate for him to have teeth, for he had used them against Lord Śiva.
bāhubhyām aśvinoḥ pūṣṇo
bhavantv adhvaryavaś cānye
basta-śmaśrur bhṛgur bhavet
bāhubhyām—with two arms; aśvinoḥ—of Aśvinī-kumāra; pūṣṇaḥ—of Pūṣā; hastābhyām—with two hands; kṛta-bāhavaḥ—those in need of arms; bhavantu—they will have to; adhvaryavaḥ—the priests; ca—and; anye—others; basta-śmaśruḥ—the beard of the goat; bhṛguḥ—Bhṛgu; bhavet—he may have.
Those who have had their arms cut off will have to work with the arms of Aśvinī-kumāra, and those whose hands were cut off will have to do their work with the hands of Pūṣā. The priests will also have to act in that manner. As for Bhṛgu, he will have the beard from the goat’s head.
Bhṛgu Muni, a great supporter of Dakṣa, was awarded the beard of the goat’s head which was substituted for the head of Dakṣa. It appears from the exchange of Dakṣa’s head that the modern scientific theory that the brain substance is the cause of all intelligent work is not valid. The brain substance of Dakṣa and that of a goat are different, but Dakṣa still acted like himself, even though his head was replaced by that of a goat. The conclusion is that it is the particular consciousness of an individual soul which acts. The brain substance is only an instrument which has nothing to do with real intelligence. The real intelligence, mind and consciousness are part of the particular individual soul. It will be found in the verses ahead that after Dakṣa’s head was replaced by the goat’s head, he was as intelligent as he had previously been. He prayed very nicely to satisfy Lord Śiva and Lord Viṣṇu, which is not possible for a goat to do. Therefore it is definitely concluded that the brain substance is not the center of intelligence; it is the consciousness of a particular soul that works intelligently. The whole movement of Kṛṣṇa consciousness is to purify the consciousness. It doesn’t matter what kind of brain one has because if he simply transfers his consciousness from matter to Kṛṣṇa, his life becomes successful. It is confirmed by the Lord Himself in Bhagavad-gītā that anyone who takes up Kṛṣṇa consciousness achieves the highest perfection of life, regardless of whatever abominable condition of life he may have fallen into. Specifically, anyone in Kṛṣṇa consciousness goes back to Godhead, back to home, on leaving his present material body.
tadā sarvāṇi bhūtāni
sādhu sādhv ity athābruvan
maitreyaḥ—the sage Maitreya; uvāca—said; tadā—at that time; sarvāṇi—all; bhūtāni—personalities; śrutvā—after hearing; mīḍhuḥ-tama—the best of the benedictors (Lord Śiva); uditam—spoken by; parituṣṭa—being satisfied; ātmabhiḥ—by heart and soul; tāta—my dear Vidura; sādhu sādhu—well done, well done; iti—thus; atha abruvan—as we have said.
The great sage Maitreya said: My dear Vidura, all the personalities present were very much satisfied in heart and soul upon hearing the words of Lord Śiva, who is the best among the benedictors.
In this verse Lord Śiva is described as mīḍhuṣṭama, the best of the benedictors. He is also known as Āśutoṣa, which indicates that he is very quickly satisfied and very quickly angered. It is said in Bhagavad-gītā that less intelligent persons go to the demigods for material benedictions. In this connection, people generally go to Lord Śiva, and because he is always quickly satisfied and gives benedictions to his devotees without consideration, he is called mīḍhuṣṭama, or the best of the benedictors. Materialistic persons are always anxious to get material profit, but they are not serious about spiritual profit.
Sometimes, of course, it so happens that Lord Śiva becomes the best benedictor in spiritual life. It is said that once a poor brāhmaṇa worshiped Lord Śiva for a benediction, and Lord Śiva advised the devotee to go to see Sanātana Gosvāmī. The devotee went to Sanātana Gosvāmī and informed him that Lord Śiva had advised him to seek out the best benediction from him (Sanātana). Sanātana had a touchstone with him, which he kept with the garbage. On the request of the poor brāhmaṇa, Sanātana Gosvāmī gave him the touchstone, and the brāhmaṇa was very happy to have it. He now could get as much gold as he desired simply by touching the touchstone to iron. But after he left Sanātana, he thought, “If a touchstone is the best benediction, why has Sanātana Gosvāmī kept it with the garbage?” He therefore returned and asked Sanātana Gosvāmī, “Sir, if this is the best benediction, why did you keep it with the garbage?” Sanātana Gosvāmī then informed him, “Actually, this is not the best benediction. But are you prepared to take the best benediction from me?” The brāhmaṇa said, “Yes, sir. Lord Śiva has sent me to you for the best benediction.” Then Sanātana Gosvāmī asked him to throw the touchstone in the water nearby and then come back. The poor brāhmaṇa did so, and when he returned, Sanātana Gosvāmī initiated him with the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra. Thus by the benediction of Lord Śiva the brāhmaṇa got the association of the best devotee of Lord Kṛṣṇa and was thus initiated in the mahā-mantra, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare.
tato mīḍhvāṁsam āmantrya
bhūyas tad deva-yajanaṁ
tataḥ—thereafter; mīḍhvāṁsam—Lord Śiva; āmantrya—inviting; śunāsīrāḥ—the demigods headed by King Indra; saha ṛṣibhiḥ—with all the great sages, headed by Bhṛgu; bhūyaḥ—again; tat—that; deva-yajanam—place where the demigods are worshiped; sa-mīḍhvat—with Lord Śiva; vedhasaḥ—with Lord Brahmā; yayuḥ—went.
Thereafter, Bhṛgu, the chief of the great sages, invited Lord Śiva to come to the sacrificial arena. Thus the demigods, accompanied by the sages, Lord Śiva, and Lord Brahmā, all went to the place where the great sacrifice was being performed.
The whole sacrifice arranged by King Dakṣa had been disturbed by Lord Śiva. Therefore all the demigods present there, along with Lord Brahmā and the great sages, specifically requested Lord Śiva to come and revive the sacrificial fire. There is a common phrase, śiva-hīna-yajña: “Any sacrifice without the presence of Lord Śiva is baffled.” Lord Viṣṇu is Yajñeśvara, the Supreme Personality in the matter of sacrifice, yet in each yajña it is necessary for all the demigods, headed by Lord Brahmā and Lord Śiva, to be present.
vidhāya kārtsnyena ca tad
yad āha bhagavān bhavaḥ
sandadhuḥ kasya kāyena
vidhāya—executing; kārtsnyena—all in all; ca—also; tat—that; yat—which; āha—was said; bhagavān—the Lord; bhavaḥ—Śiva; sandadhuḥ—executed; kasya—of the living (Dakṣa); kāyena—with the body; savanīya—meant for sacrifice; paśoḥ—of the animal; śiraḥ—head.
After everything was executed exactly as directed by Lord Śiva, Dakṣa’s body was joined to the head of the animal meant to be killed in the sacrifice.
This time, all the demigods and great sages were very careful not to irritate Lord Śiva. Therefore whatever he asked was done. It is specifically said here that Dakṣa’s body was joined to the head of an animal (a goat).
sadyaḥ supta ivottasthau
dadṛśe cāgrato mṛḍam
sandhīyamāne—being executed; śirasi—by the head; dakṣaḥ—King Dakṣa; rudra-abhivīkṣitaḥ—having been seen by Rudra (Lord Śiva); sadyaḥ—immediately; supte—sleeping; iva—like; uttasthau—awakened; dadṛśe—saw; ca—also; agrataḥ—in front; mṛḍam—Lord Śiva.
When the animal’s head was fixed on the body of King Dakṣa, Dakṣa was immediately brought to consciousness, and as he awakened from sleep, the King saw Lord Śiva standing before him.
The example given here is that Dakṣa got up as if he were awakened from deep sleep. In Sanskrit this is called supta ivottasthau. The meaning is that after a man awakens from sleep, he immediately remembers all the duties which he must execute. Dakṣa was killed, and his head was taken away and burned to ashes. His body was lying dead, but by the grace of Lord Śiva, as soon as the head of a goat was joined to the body, Dakṣa came back to consciousness again. This indicates that consciousness is also individual. Dakṣa actually took another body when he took on the head of a goat, but because consciousness is individual, his consciousness remained the same although his bodily condition changed. Thus bodily construction has nothing to do with the development of consciousness. Consciousness is carried with the transmigration of the soul. There are many instances of this in Vedic history, such as the case of Mahārāja Bharata. After quitting his body as a king, Mahārāja Bharata was transferred to the body of a deer, but he retained the same consciousness. He knew that although formerly he was King Bharata, he had been transferred to the body of a deer because of his absorption in thinking of a deer at the time of his death. In spite of his having the body of a deer, however, his consciousness was as good as it was in the body of King Bharata. The arrangement by the Lord is so nice that if a person’s consciousness is turned into Kṛṣṇa consciousness, there is no doubt that in his next life he will be a great devotee of Kṛṣṇa, even if he is offered a different type of body.
tadā—at that time; vṛṣa-dhvaja—Lord Śiva, who rides on a bull; dveṣa—envy; kalila-ātmā—polluted heart; prajāpatiḥ—King Dakṣa; śiva—Lord Śiva; avalokāt—by seeing him; abhavat—became; śarat—in the autumn; hradaḥ—lake; iva—like; amalaḥ—cleansed.
At that time, when Dakṣa saw Lord Śiva, who rides upon a bull, his heart, which was polluted by envy of Lord Śiva, was immediately cleansed, just as the water in a lake is cleansed by autumn rains.
Here is an example of why Lord Śiva is called auspicious. lf anyone sees Lord Śiva with devotion and reverence, his heart is immediately cleansed. King Dakṣa was polluted by envy of Lord Śiva, and yet by seeing him with a little love and devotion, his heart immediately became cleansed. In the rainy season, the reservoirs of water become dirty and muddy, but as soon as the autumn rain comes, all the water immediately becomes clear and transparent. Similarly, although Dakṣa’s heart was impure because of his having slandered Lord Śiva, for which he was severely punished, Dakṣa now came to consciousness, and just by seeing Lord Śiva with veneration and respect, he became immediately purified.
samparetāṁ sutāṁ smaran
bhava-stavāya—for praying to Lord Śiva; kṛta-dhīḥ—although decided; na—never; aśaknot—was able; anurāgataḥ—by feeling; autkaṇṭhyāt—because of eagerness; bāṣpa-kalayā—with tears in the eyes; samparetām—dead; sutām—daughter; smaran—remembering.
King Dakṣa wanted to offer prayers to Lord Śiva, but as he remembered the ill-fated death of his daughter Satī, his eyes filled with tears, and in bereavement his voice choked up, and he could not say anything.
kṛcchrāt saṁstabhya ca manaḥ
kṛcchrāt—with great endeavor; saṁstabhya—pacifying; ca—also; manaḥ—mind; prema-vihvalitaḥ—bewildered by love and affection; su-dhīḥ—one who has come to his real senses; śaśaṁsa—praised; nirvyalīkena—without duplicity, or with great love; bhāvena—in feeling; īśam—to Lord Śiva; prajāpatiḥ—King Dakṣa.
At this time, King Dakṣa, afflicted by love and affection, was very much awakened to his real senses. With great endeavor, he pacified his mind, checked his feelings, and with pure consciousness began to offer prayers to Lord Śiva.
bhūyān anugraha aho bhavatā kṛto me
daṇḍas tvayā mayi bhṛto yad api pralabdhaḥ
na brahma-bandhuṣu ca vāṁ bhagavann avajñā
tubhyaṁ hareś ca kuta eva dhṛta-vrateṣu
dakṣaḥ—King Dakṣa; uvāca—said; bhūyān—very great; anugrahaḥ—favor; aho—alas; bhavatā—by you; kṛtaḥ—done; me—upon me; daṇḍaḥ—punishment; tvayā—by you; mayi—unto me; bhṛtaḥ—done; yat api—although; pralabdhaḥ—defeated; na—neither; brahma-bandhuṣu—unto an unqualified brāhmaṇa; ca—also; vām—both of you; bhagavan—my lord; avajñā—negligence; tubhyam—of you; hareḥ ca—of Lord Viṣṇu; kutaḥ—where; eva—certainly; dhṛta-vrateṣu—one who is engaged in the performance of sacrifice.
King Dakṣa said: My dear Lord Śiva, 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 Viṣṇu never neglect even useless, unqualified brāhmaṇas. Why, then, should you neglect me, who am engaged in performing sacrifices?
Although Dakṣa felt defeated, he knew that his punishment was simply the great mercy of Lord Śiva. He remembered that Lord Śiva and Lord Viṣṇu are never neglectful of the brāhmaṇas, even though the brāhmaṇas are sometimes unqualified. According to Vedic civilization, a descendant of a brāhmaṇa family should never be heavily punished. This was exemplified in Arjuna’s treatment of Aśvatthāmā. Aśvatthāmā was the son of a great brāhmaṇa, Droṇācārya, and in spite of his having committed the great offense of killing all the sleeping sons of the Pāṇḍavas, for which he was condemned even by Lord Kṛṣṇa, Arjuna excused him by not killing him because he happened to be the son of a brāhmaṇa. The word brahma-bandhuṣu used here is significant. Brahma-bandhu means a person who is born of a brāhmaṇa father but whose activities are not up to the standard of the brāhmaṇas. Such a person is not a brāhmaṇa but a brahma-bandhu. Dakṣa proved himself to be a brahma-bandhu. He was born of a great brāhmaṇa father, Lord Brahmā, but his treatment of Lord Śiva was not exactly brahminical; therefore he admitted that he was not a perfect brāhmaṇa. Lord Śiva and Lord Viṣṇu, however, are affectionate even to an imperfect brāhmaṇa. Lord Śiva punished Dakṣa not as one does his enemy; rather, he punished Dakṣa just to bring him to his senses, so that he would know that he had done wrong. Dakṣa could understand this, and he acknowledged the great mercy of Lord Kṛṣṇa and Lord Śiva towards the fallen brāhmaṇas, including even himself. Although he was fallen, his vow was to execute the sacrifice, as is the duty of brāhmaṇas, and thus he began his prayers to Lord Śiva.
vidyā-tapo-vrata-dharān mukhataḥ sma viprān
brahmātma-tattvam avituṁ prathamaṁ tvam asrāk
tad brāhmaṇān parama sarva-vipatsu pāsi
pālaḥ paśūn iva vibho pragṛhīta-daṇḍaḥ
vidyā—learning; tapaḥ—austerities; vrata—vows; dharān—the followers; mukhataḥ—from the mouth; sma—was; viprān—the brāhmaṇas; brahmā—Lord Brahmā; ātma-tattvam—self-realization; avitum—to disseminate; prathamam—first; tvam—you; asrāk—created; tat—therefore; brāhmaṇān—the brāhmaṇas; parama—O great one; sarva—all; vipatsu—in dangers; pāsi—you protect; pālaḥ—like the protector; paśūn—the animals; iva—like; vibho—O great one; pragṛhīta—taking in hand; daṇḍaḥ—a stick.
My dear great and powerful Lord Śiva, you were created first from the mouth of Lord Brahmā in order to protect the brāhmaṇas in pursuing education, austerities, vows and self-realization. As protector of the brāhmaṇas, you always protect the regulative principles they follow, just as a cowherd boy keeps a stick in his hand to give protection to the cows.
The specific function of a human being in society, irrespective of his social status, is to practice control of the mind and senses by observing the regulative principles enjoined in the Vedic śāstras. Lord Śiva is called paśupati because he protects the living entities in their developed consciousness so that they may follow the Vedic system of varṇa and āśrama. The word paśu refers to the animal as well as to the human entity. It is stated here that Lord Śiva is always interested in protecting the animals and the animalistic living entities, who are not very advanced in the spiritual sense. It is also stated that the brāhmaṇas are produced from the mouth of the Supreme Lord. We should always remember that Lord Śiva is being addressed as the representative of the Supreme Lord, Viṣṇu. ln the Vedic literature it is described that the brāhmaṇas are born from the mouth of the universal form of Viṣṇu, the kṣatriyas are born from His arms, the vaiśyas from His abdomen or waist, and the śūdras from His legs. In the formation of a body, the head is the principal factor. The brāhmaṇas are born from the mouth of the Supreme Personality of Godhead in order to accept charity for worship of Viṣṇu and to spread Vedic knowledge. Lord Śiva is known as paśupati, the protector of the brāhmaṇas and other living entities. He protects them from the attacks of non-brāhmaṇas, or uncultured persons who are against the self-realization process.
Another feature of this word is that persons who are simply attached to the ritualistic portion of the Vedas and do not understand the situation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead are not any more advanced than animals. In the beginning of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam it is confirmed that even though one performs the rituals of the Vedas, if he does not develop a sense of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then all his labor in performing Vedic rituals is considered to be simply a waste of time. Lord Śiva’s aim in destroying the Dakṣa yajña was to punish Dakṣa because by neglecting him (Lord Śiva), Dakṣa was committing a great offense. Lord Śiva’s punishment was just like that of a cowherd boy, who keeps a stick to frighten his animals. It is commonly said that to give protection to animals, a stick is needed because animals cannot reason and argue. Their reasoning and argument is argumentum ad baculum; unless there is a rod, they do not obey. Force is required for the animalistic class of men, whereas those who are advanced are convinced by reasons, arguments and scriptural authority. Persons who are simply attached to Vedic rituals, without further advancement of devotional service, or Kṛṣṇa consciousness, are almost like animals, and Lord Śiva is in charge of giving them protection and sometimes punishing them, as he punished Dakṣa.
yo ’sau mayāvidita-tattva-dṛśā sabhāyāṁ
kṣipto durukti-viśikhair vigaṇayya tan mām
arvāk patantam arhattama-nindayāpād
dṛṣṭyārdrayā sa bhagavān sva-kṛtena tuṣyet
yaḥ—who; asau—that; mayā—by me; avidita-tattva—without knowing the actual fact; dṛśā—by experience; sabhāyām—in the assembly; kṣiptaḥ—was abused; durukti—unkind words; viśikhaiḥ—by the arrows of; vigaṇayya—taking no notice of; tat—that; mām—me; arvāk—downwards; patantam—gliding down to hell; arhat-tama—the most respectable; nindayā—by defamation; apāt—saved; dṛṣṭyā—seeing; ārdrayā—out of compassion; saḥ—that; bhagavān—Your Lordship; sva-kṛtena—by your own mercy; tuṣyet—be satisfied.
I did not know your full glories. For this reason, I threw arrows of sharp words at you in the open assembly, although you did not take them into account. I was going down to hell because of my disobedience to you, who are the most respectable personality, but you took compassion upon me and saved me by awarding punishment. I request that you be pleased by your own mercy, since I cannot satisfy you by my words.
As usual, a devotee in an adverse condition of life accepts such a condition to be the mercy of the Lord. Factually, the insulting words used by Dakṣa against Lord Śiva were enough to have him thrown perpetually into a hellish life. But Lord Śiva, being kind toward him, awarded him punishment to neutralize the offense. King Dakṣa realized this and, feeling obliged for Lord Śiva’s magnanimous behavior, wanted to show his gratitude. Sometimes a father punishes his child, and when the child is grown up and comes to his senses, he understands that the father’s punishment was not actually punishment but mercy. Similarly, Dakṣa appreciated that the punishment offered to him by Lord Śiva was a manifestation of Lord Śiva’s mercy. That is the symptom of a person making progress on the path of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. It is said that a devotee in Kṛṣṇa consciousness never takes any miserable condition of life to be condemnation by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He accepts the miserable condition to be the grace of the Lord. He thinks, “I would have been punished or put into a more dangerous condition of life due to my past misdeeds, but the Lord has protected me. Thus I have received only a little punishment as token execution of the law of karma.” Thinking of His grace in that way, a devotee always surrenders to the Supreme Personality of Godhead more and more seriously and is not disturbed by such so-called punishment.
kṣamāpyaivaṁ sa mīḍhvāṁsaṁ
karma santānayām āsa
maitreyaḥ—the sage Maitreya; uvāca—said; kṣamā—forgiveness; āpya—receiving; evam—thus; saḥ—King Dakṣa; mīḍhvāṁsam—unto Lord Śiva; brahmaṇā—along with Lord Brahmā; ca—also; anumantritaḥ—being permitted; karma—the sacrifice; santānayām āsa—began again; sa—along with; upādhyāya—learned sages; ṛtvik—the priests; ādibhiḥ—and others.
The great sage Maitreya said: Thus being pardoned by Lord Śiva, King Dakṣa, with the permission of Lord Brahmā, again began the performance of the yajña, along with the great learned sages, the priests and others.
vaiṣṇavam—meant for Lord Viṣṇu or His devotees; yajña—sacrifice; santatyai—for performances; tri-kapālam—three kinds of offerings; dvija-uttamāḥ—the best of the brāhmaṇas; puroḍāśam—the oblation called puroḍāśa; niravapan—offered; vīra—Vīrabhadra and other followers of Lord Śiva; saṁsarga—contamination (doṣa) due to his touching; śuddhaye—for purification.
Thereafter, in order to resume the activities of sacrifice, the brāhmaṇas first arranged to purify the sacrificial arena of the contamination caused by the touch of Vīrabhadra and the other ghostly followers of Lord Śiva. Then they arranged to offer into the fire the oblations known as puroḍāśa.
Lord Śiva’s followers and devotees, headed by Vīrabhadra, are known as vīras, and they are ghostly demons. Not only did they pollute the entire sacrificial arena by their very presence, but they disturbed the whole situation by passing stool and urine. Therefore, the infection they had created was to be first purified by the method of offering puroḍāśa oblations. A viṣṇu-yajña, or an offering to Lord Viṣṇu, cannot be performed uncleanly. To offer anything in an unclean state is called a sevāparādha. The worship of the Viṣṇu Deity in the temple is also viṣṇu-yajña. In all Viṣṇu temples, therefore, the priest who takes care of the arcanā-vidhi must be very clean. Everything should be always kept neat and clean, and the foodstuffs should be prepared in a neat and clean manner. All these regulative principles are described in The Nectar of Devotion. There are thirty-two kinds of offenses in discharging arcanā service. It is required, therefore, that one be extremely careful not to be unclean. Generally, whenever any ritualistic ceremony is begun, the holy name of Lord Viṣṇu is first chanted in order to purify the situation. Whether one is in a pure or impure condition, internally or externally, if one chants or even remembers the holy name of the Supreme Personality of Godhead Viṣṇu, one immediately becomes purified. The yajña arena was desecrated by the presence of Lord Śiva’s followers, headed by Vīrabhadra, and therefore the entire arena had to be sanctified. Although Lord Śiva was present and he is all-auspicious, it was still necessary to sanctify the place because his followers had broken into the arena and committed so many obnoxious acts. That sanctification was possible only by chanting the holy name of Viṣṇu, Trikapāla, which can sanctify the three worlds. In other words, it is admitted herein that the followers of Lord Śiva are generally unclean. They are not even very hygienic; they do not take baths regularly, they wear long hair, and they smoke gāñjā. Persons of such irregular habits are counted amongst the ghosts. Since they were present in the sacrificial arena, the atmosphere became polluted, and it had to be sanctified by trikapāla oblations, which indicated the invocation of Viṣṇu’s favor.
dhiyā viśuddhayā dadhyau
tathā prādurabhūd dhariḥ
adhvaryuṇā—with the Yajur Veda; ātta—taking; haviṣā—with clarified butter; yajamānaḥ—King Dakṣa; viśām-pate—O Vidura; dhiyā—in meditation; viśuddhayā—sanctified; dadhyau—offered; tathā—immediately; prāduḥ—manifest; abhūt—became; hariḥ—Hari, the Lord.
The great sage Maitreya said to Vidura: My dear Vidura, as soon as King Dakṣa offered the clarified butter with Yajur Veda mantras in sanctified meditation, Lord Viṣṇu appeared there in His original form as Nārāyaṇa.
Lord Viṣṇu is all-pervading. Any devotee who, in sanctified meditation, following the regulative principles, chants the required mantras in service and in a devotional mood can see Viṣṇu. It is said in the Brahma-saṁhitā that a devotee whose eyes are anointed with the ointment of love of Godhead can see the Supreme Personality of Godhead always within his heart. Lord Śyāmasundara is so kind to His devotee.
tadā sva-prabhayā teṣāṁ
dyotayantyā diśo daśa
muṣṇaṁs teja upānītas
tadā—at that time; sva-prabhayā—by His own effulgence; teṣām—all of them; dyotayantyā—by brightness; diśaḥ—directions; daśa—ten; muṣṇan—diminishing; tejaḥ—effulgence; upānītaḥ—brought; tārkṣyeṇa—by Garuḍa; stotra-vājinā—whose wings are called Bṛhat and Rathantara.
Lord Nārāyaṇa was seated on the shoulder of Stotra, or Garuḍa, who had big wings. As soon as the Lord appeared, all directions were illuminated, diminishing the luster of Brahmā and the others present.
A description of Nārāyaṇa is given in the following two ślokas.
śyāmo hiraṇya-raśano ’rka-kirīṭa-juṣṭo
vyagrair hiraṇmaya-bhujair iva karṇikāraḥ
śyāmaḥ—blackish; hiraṇya-raśanaḥ—a garment like gold; arka-kirīṭa-juṣṭaḥ—with a helmet as dazzling as the sun; nīla-alaka—bluish curls; bhramara—big black bees; maṇḍita-kuṇḍala-āsyaḥ—having a face decorated with earrings; śaṅkha—conchshell; abja—lotus flower; cakra—wheel; śara—arrows; cāpa—bow; gadā—club; asi—sword; carma—shield; vyagraiḥ—filled with; hiraṇmaya—golden (bracelets and bangles); bhujaiḥ—with hands; iva—as; karṇikāraḥ—flower tree.
His complexion was blackish, His garment yellow like gold, and His helmet as dazzling as the sun. His hair was bluish, the color of black bees, and His face was decorated with earrings. His eight hands held a conchshell, wheel, club, lotus flower, arrow, bow, shield and sword, and they were decorated with golden ornaments such as bangles and bracelets. His whole body resembled a blossoming tree beautifully decorated with various kinds of flowers.
The face of Lord Viṣṇu as described in this verse appears like a lotus flower with bees humming over it. All of the ornaments on the body of Lord Viṣṇu resemble molten gold of the reddish-gold color of the morning sunrise. The Lord appears, just as the morning sun rises, to protect the whole universal creation. His arms display different weapons, and His eight hands are compared to the eight petals of a lotus flower. All the weapons mentioned are for the protection of His devotees.
Generally in the four hands of Viṣṇu there are a wheel, club, conchshell and lotus flower. These four symbols are seen in the four hands of Viṣṇu in different arrangements. The club and the wheel are the Lord’s symbols of punishment for the demons and miscreants, and the lotus flower and conchshell are used to bless the devotees. There are always two classes of men, the devotees and the demons. As confirmed in Bhagavad-gītā (paritrāṇāya sādhūnām), the Lord is always ready for the protection of the devotees and annihilation of the demons. There are demons and devotees in this material world, but in the spiritual world there is no such distinction. In other words, Lord Viṣṇu is the proprietor of both the material and spiritual worlds. In the material world almost everyone is of the demoniac nature, but there are also devotees, who appear to be in the material world although they are always situated in the spiritual world. A devotee’s position is always transcendental, and he is always protected by Lord Viṣṇu.
vakṣasy adhiśrita-vadhūr vana-māly udāra-
hāsāvaloka-kalayā ramayaṁś ca viśvam
vakṣasi—on the chest; adhiśrita—situated; vadhūḥ—a woman (the goddess of fortune, Lakṣmī); vana-mālī—garlanded with forest flowers; udāra—beautiful; hāsa—smiling; avaloka—glance; kalayā—with a small part; ramayan—pleasing; ca—and; viśvam—the whole world; pārśva—side; bhramat—moving back and forth; vyajana-cāmara—white yak-tail hair for fanning; rāja-haṁsaḥ—swan; śveta-ātapatra-śaśinā—with a white canopy like the moon; upari—above; rajyamānaḥ—looking beautiful.
Lord Viṣṇu looked extraordinarily beautiful because the goddess of fortune and a garland were situated on His chest. His face was beautifully decorated with a smiling attitude which can captivate the entire world, especially the devotees. Fans of white hair appeared on both sides of the Lord like white swans, and the white canopy overhead looked like the moon.
The smiling face of Lord Viṣṇu is pleasing to the whole world. Not only devotees but even nondevotees are attracted by such a smile. This verse nicely describes how the sun, moon, eight-petalled lotus flower and humming black bees were represented by the fans of hair, the overhead canopy, the moving earrings on both sides of His face, and His blackish hair. All together, accompanied by the conchshell, wheel, club, lotus flower, bow, arrows, shield and sword in His hands, these presented a grand and beautiful audience for Lord Viṣṇu which captivated all the demigods there, including Dakṣa and Lord Brahmā.
tam upāgatam ālakṣya
tam—Him; upāgatam—arrived; ālakṣya—after seeing; sarve—all; sura-gaṇa-ādayaḥ—the demigods and others; praṇemuḥ—obeisances; sahasā—immediately; utthāya—after standing up; brahma—Lord Brahmā; indra—Lord Indra; tri-akṣa—Lord Śiva (who has three eyes); nāyakāḥ—led by.
As soon as Lord Viṣṇu was visible, all the demigods—Lord Brahmā and Lord Śiva, the Gandharvas and all present there—immediately offered their respectful obeisances by falling down straight before Him.
It appears that Lord Viṣṇu is the Supreme Lord even of Lord Śiva and Lord Brahmā, what to speak of the demigods, Gandharvas and ordinary living entities. It is stated in a prayer, yaṁ brahmā varuṇendra-rudra-marutāḥ: all the demigods worship Lord Viṣṇu. Similarly, dhyānāvasthita-tad-gatena manasā paśyanti yaṁ yoginaḥ: [SB 12.13.1] yogīs concentrate their minds on the form of Lord Viṣṇu. Thus Lord Viṣṇu is worshipable by all demigods, all Gandharvas and even Lord Śiva and Lord Brahmā. Tad viṣṇoḥ paramaṁ padaṁ sadā paśyanti sūrayaḥ: Viṣṇu is therefore the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Even though Lord Śiva was previously referred to in prayers by Lord Brahmā as the Supreme, when Lord Viṣṇu appeared, Śiva also fell prostrated before Him to offer respectful obeisances.
tat-tejasā—by the glaring effulgence of His body; hata-rucaḥ—having faded lusters; sanna-jihvāḥ—having silent tongues; sa-sādhvasāḥ—having fear of Him; mūrdhnā—with the head; dhṛta-añjali-puṭāḥ—with hands touched to the head; upatasthuḥ—prayed; adhokṣajam—to Adhokṣaja, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
In the presence of the glaring effulgence of the bodily luster of Nārāyaṇa, everyone else’s luster faded away, and everyone stopped speaking. Fearful with awe and veneration, all present touched their hands to their heads and prepared to offer their prayers to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Adhokṣaja.
apy arvāg-vṛttayo yasya
mahi tv ātmabhuv-ādayaḥ
yathā-mati gṛṇanti sma
api—still; arvāk-vṛttayaḥ—beyond the mental activities; yasya—whose; mahi—glory; tu—but; ātmabhū-ādayaḥ—Brahmā, etc.; yathā-mati—according to their different capacities; gṛṇanti sma—offered prayers; kṛta-anugraha—manifested by His grace; vigraham—transcendental form.
Although the mental scope of even demigods like Brahmā was unable to comprehend the unlimited glories of the Supreme Lord, they were all able to perceive the transcendental form of the Supreme Personality of Godhead by His grace. Only by such grace could they offer their respectful prayers according to their different capacities.
The Supreme Lord, the Personality of Godhead, is always unlimited, and His glories cannot be completely enumerated by anyone, even by a personality like Lord Brahmā. It is said that Ananta, a direct incarnation of the Lord, has unlimited mouths, and with each mouth He has been trying to describe the glories of the Lord for an unlimited span of time, yet the glories of the Lord remain unlimited, and He therefore never finishes. It is not possible for any ordinary living entity to understand or to glorify the unlimited Personality of Godhead, but one can offer prayers or service to the Lord according to one’s particular capacity. This capacity is increased by the service spirit. Sevonmukhe hi jihvādau means that the service of the Lord begins with the tongue. This refers to chanting. By chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, one begins the service of the Lord. Another function of the tongue is to taste and accept the Lord’s prasāda. We have to begin our service to the Unlimited with the tongue and become perfect in chanting, and accepting the Lord’s prasāda. To accept the Lord’s prasāda means to control the entire set of senses. The tongue is considered to be the most uncontrollable sense because it hankers for so many unwholesome eatables, thereby forcing the living entity into the dungeon of material conditional life. As the living entity transmigrates from one form of life to another, he has to eat so many abominable foodstuffs that finally there is no limit. The tongue should be engaged in chanting and in eating the Lord’s prasāda so that the other senses will be controlled. Chanting is the medicine, and prasāda is the diet. With these processes one can begin his service, and as the service increases, the Lord reveals more and more to the devotee. But there is no limit to His glories, and there is no limit to engaging oneself in the service of the Lord.
yajñeśvaraṁ viśva-sṛjāṁ paraṁ gurum
sunanda-nandādy-anugair vṛtaṁ mudā
gṛṇan prapede prayataḥ kṛtāñjaliḥ
dakṣaḥ—Dakṣa; gṛhīta—accepted; arhaṇa—rightful; sādana-uttamam—sacrificial vessel; yajña-īśvaram—unto the master of all sacrifices; viśva-sṛjām—of all the Prajāpatis; param—the supreme; gurum—preceptor; sunanda-nanda-ādi-anugaiḥ—by associates like Sunanda and Nanda; vṛtam—surrounded; mudā—with great pleasure; gṛṇan—offering respectful prayers; prapede—took shelter; prayataḥ—having a subdued mind; kṛta-añjaliḥ—with folded hands.
When Lord Viṣṇu accepted the oblations offered in the sacrifice, Dakṣa, the Prajāpati, began with great pleasure to offer respectful prayers unto Him. The Supreme Personality of Godhead is actually the master of all sacrifices and preceptor of all the Prajāpatis, and He is served even by such personalities as Nanda and Sunanda.
śuddhaṁ sva-dhāmny uparatākhila-buddhy-avasthaṁ
cin-mātram ekam abhayaṁ pratiṣidhya māyām
tiṣṭhaṁs tayaiva puruṣatvam upetya tasyām
āste bhavān apariśuddha ivātma-tantraḥ
dakṣaḥ—Dakṣa; uvāca—said; śuddham—pure; sva-dhāmni—in Your own abode; uparata-akhila—completely turned back; buddhi-avastham—position of mental speculation; cit-mātram—completely spiritual; ekam—one without a second; abhayam—fearless; pratiṣidhya—controlling; māyām—material energy; tiṣṭhan—being situated; tayā—with her (Māyā); eva—certainly; puruṣatvam—overseer; upetya—entering into; tasyām—in her; āste—is present; bhavān—Your Lordship; apariśuddhaḥ—impure; iva—as if; ātma-tantraḥ—self-sufficient.
Dakṣa addressed the Supreme Personality of Godhead: My dear Lord, You are transcendental to all speculative positions. You are completely spiritual, devoid of all fear, and You are always in control of the material energy. Even though You appear in the material energy, You are situated transcendentally. You are always free from material contamination because You are completely self-sufficient.
tattvaṁ na te vayam anañjana rudra-śāpāt
karmaṇy avagraha-dhiyo bhagavan vidāmaḥ
dharmopalakṣaṇam idaṁ trivṛd adhvarākhyaṁ
jñātaṁ yad-artham adhidaivam ado vyavasthāḥ
ṛtvijaḥ—the priests; ūcuḥ—began to say; tattvam—truth; na—not; te—of Your Lordship; vayam—all of us; anañjana—without material contamination; rudra—Lord Śiva; śāpāt—by his curse; karmaṇi—in fruitive activities; avagraha—being too much attached; dhiyaḥ—of such intelligence; bhagavan—O Lord; vidāmaḥ—know; dharma—religion; upalakṣaṇam—symbolized; idam—this; tri-vṛt—the three departments of knowledge of the Vedas; adhvara—sacrifice; ākhyam—of the name; jñātam—known to us; yat—that; artham—for the matter of; adhidaivam—for worshiping the demigods; adaḥ—this; vyavasthāḥ—arrangement.
The priests addressed the Lord, saying: O Lord, transcendental to material contamination, by the curse offered by Lord Śiva’s men we have become attached to fruitive activities, and thus we are now fallen and therefore do not know anything about You. On the contrary, we are now involved in the injunctions of the three departments of the Vedic knowledge under the plea of executing rituals in the name of yajña. We know that You have made arrangements for distributing the respective shares of the demigods.
The Vedas are known as traiguṇya-viṣayā vedāḥ (Bg. 2.45). Those who are serious students of the Vedas are very much attached to the ritualistic ceremonies mentioned in the Vedas, and therefore these veda-vādīs cannot understand that the ultimate goal of the Vedas is to understand Lord Kṛṣṇa, or Viṣṇu. Those who have transcended the qualitative Vedic attractions, however, can understand Kṛṣṇa, who is never contaminated by the material qualities. Therefore Lord Viṣṇu is addressed here as anañjana (free from material contamination). In Bhagavad-gītā (2.42) the crude Vedic scholars have been deprecated by Kṛṣṇa as follows:
“Men of small knowledge are very much attached to the flowery words of the Vedas, and they say that there is nothing more than this.”
utpatty-adhvany aśaraṇa uru-kleśa-durge ’ntakogra-
vyālānviṣṭe viṣaya-mṛga-tṛṣy ātma-gehoru-bhāraḥ
dvandva-śvabhre khala-mṛga-bhaye śoka-dāve ’jña-sārthaḥ
pādaukas te śaraṇada kadā yāti kāmopasṛṣṭaḥ
sadasyāḥ—the members of the assembly; ūcuḥ—said; utpatti—repeated birth and death; adhvani—on the path of; aśaraṇe—not having a place to take shelter; uru—great; kleśa—troublesome; durge—in the formidable fort; antaka—termination; ugra—ferocious; vyāla—snakes; anviṣṭe—being infested with; viṣaya—material happiness; mṛga-tṛṣi—mirage; ātma—body; geha—home; uru—heavy; bhāraḥ—burden; dvandva—dual; śvabhre—holes, ditches of so-called happiness and distress; khala—ferocious; mṛga—animals; bhaye—being afraid of; śoka-dāve—the forest fire of lamentation; ajña-sa-arthaḥ—for the interest of the rascals; pāda-okaḥ—shelter of Your lotus feet; te—unto You; śaraṇa-da—giving shelter; kadā—when; yāti—went; kāma-upasṛṣṭaḥ—being afflicted by all sorts of desires.
The members of the assembly addressed the Lord: O exclusive shelter for all who are situated in troubled life, in this formidable fort of conditional existence the time element, like a snake, is always looking for an opportunity to strike. This world is full of ditches of so-called distress and happiness, and there are many ferocious animals always ready to attack. The fire of lamentation is always blazing, and the mirage of false happiness is always alluring, but one has no shelter from them. Thus foolish persons live in the cycle of birth and death, always overburdened in discharging their so-called duties, and we do not know when they will accept the shelter of Your lotus feet.
Persons who are not in Kṛṣṇa consciousness are living a very precarious life, as described in this verse, but all these circumstantial conditions are due to forgetfulness of Kṛṣṇa. The Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is meant to give relief to all these bewildered and distressed persons; therefore it is the greatest relief work for all human society, and the workers thereof are the greatest well-wishers, for they follow in the footsteps of Lord Caitanya, who is the greatest friend to all living entities.
tava varada varāṅghrāv āśiṣehākhilārthe
hy api munibhir asaktair ādareṇārhaṇīye
yadi racita-dhiyaṁ māvidya-loko ’paviddhaṁ
japati na gaṇaye tat tvat-parānugraheṇa
rudraḥ uvāca—Lord Śiva said; tava—Your; vara-da—O supreme benefactor; vara-aṅghrau—precious lotus feet; āśiṣā—by desire; iha—in the material world; akhila-arthe—for fulfillment; hi api—certainly; munibhiḥ—by the sages; asaktaiḥ—liberated; ādareṇa—with care; arhaṇīye—worshipable; yadi—if; racita-dhiyam—mind fixed; mā—me; avidya-lokaḥ—the ignorant persons; apaviddham—unpurified activity; japati—utters; na gaṇaye—do not value; tat—it; tvat-para-anugraheṇa—by compassion like Yours.
Lord Śiva said: My dear Lord, my mind and consciousness are always fixed on Your lotus feet, which, as the source of all benediction and the fulfillment of all desires, are worshiped by all liberated great sages because Your lotus feet are worthy of worship. With my mind fixed on Your lotus feet, I am no longer disturbed by persons who blaspheme me, claiming that my activities are not purified. I do not mind their accusations, and I excuse them out of compassion, just as You exhibit compassion toward all living entities.
Lord Śiva expresses herein his regret at having been angry and having disturbed the sacrificial activities of Dakṣa. King Dakṣa had insulted him in many ways, and thus he had become angry and had frustrated the entire sacrificial ceremony. Later, when he was pleased, the yajña performances were reinstituted, and therefore he regretted his activities. Now he says that because his mind is fixed on the lotus feet of the Supreme Lord, Viṣṇu, he is no longer disturbed by the ordinary critics of his way of life. From this statement by Lord Śiva it is understood that as long as one is on the material platform one is affected by the three modes of material nature. As soon as one is in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, however, one is no longer affected by such material activities. One should therefore always be fixed in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, busy in the transcendental loving service of the Lord. It is guaranteed that such a devotee will never be affected by the actions and reactions of the three modes of material nature. This fact is also corroborated in Bhagavad-gītā: anyone who is fixed in the transcendental service of the Lord has surpassed all the material qualities and is situated in the status of Brahman realization, in which one is not afflicted by hankering for material objects. The recommendation of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is that one should always be Kṛṣṇa conscious and should never forget his transcendental relationship with the Lord. This program has to be followed strictly by everyone. From the statement of Lord Śiva it is understood that he was always in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, and thus he remained free from material affliction. The only remedy, therefore, is to continue Kṛṣṇa consciousness rigidly, in order to get out of the contamination of the material modes.
yan māyayā gahanayāpahṛtātma-bodhā
brahmādayas tanu-bhṛtas tamasi svapantaḥ
nātman-śritaṁ tava vidanty adhunāpi tattvaṁ
so ’yaṁ prasīdatu bhavān praṇatātma-bandhuḥ
bhṛguḥ uvāca—Śrī Bhṛgu said; yat—who; māyayā—by illusory energy; gahanayā—insurmountable; apahṛta—stolen; ātma-bodhāḥ—knowledge of the constitutional position; brahma-ādayaḥ—Lord Brahmā, etc.; tanu-bhṛtaḥ—embodied living entities; tamasi—in the darkness of illusion; svapantaḥ—lying down; na—not; ātman—in the living entity; śritam—situated in; tava—Your; vidanti—understand; adhunā—now; api—certainly; tattvam—absolute position; saḥ—You; ayam—this; prasīdatu—be kind; bhavān—Your Lordship; praṇata-ātma—surrendered soul; bandhuḥ—friend.
Śrī Bhṛgu said: My dear Lord, all living entities, beginning from the highest, namely Lord Brahmā, down to the ordinary ant, are under the influence of the insurmountable spell of illusory energy, and thus they are ignorant of their constitutional position. Everyone believes in the concept of the body, and all are thus submerged in the darkness of illusion. They are actually unable to understand how You live in every living entity as the Supersoul, nor can they understand Your absolute position. But You are the eternal friend and protector of all surrendered souls. Therefore, please be kind toward us and forgive all our offenses.
Bhṛgu Muni was conscious of the scandalous behavior exhibited by each and every one of them, including Brahmā and Lord Śiva, in the sacrificial ceremony of Dakṣa. By mentioning Brahmā, the chief of all living entities within this material world, he wanted to state that everyone, including also Brahmā and Lord Śiva, is under the concept of the body and under the spell of material energy—all but Viṣṇu. That is the version of Bhṛgu. As long as one is under the concept of the body as self, it is very difficult to understand the Supersoul or the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Conscious that he was not greater than Brahma-, Bhṛgu included himself in the list of offenders. Ignorant personalities, or conditioned souls, have no choice but to accept their precarious condition under material nature. The only remedy is to surrender to Viṣṇu and always pray to be excused. One should depend only on the causeless mercy of the Lord for deliverance and not even slightly on one’s own strength. That is the perfect position of a Kṛṣṇa conscious person. The Lord is everyone’s friend, but He is especially friendly to the surrendered soul. The simple process, therefore, is that a conditioned soul should remain surrendered to the Lord, and the Lord will give him all protection to keep him out of the clutches of material contamination.
naitat svarūpaṁ bhavato ’sau padārtha-
bheda-grahaiḥ puruṣo yāvad īkṣet
jñānasya cārthasya guṇasya cāśrayo
māyāmayād vyatirikto matas tvam
brahmā uvāca—Lord Brahmā said; na—not; etat—this; svarūpam—eternal form; bhavataḥ—Your; asau—that other; pada-artha—knowledge; bheda—different; grahaiḥ—by the acquiring; puruṣaḥ—person; yāvat—as long as; īkṣet—wants to see; jñānasya—of knowledge; ca—also; arthasya—of the objective; guṇasya—of the instruments of knowledge; ca—also; āśrayaḥ—the basis; māyā-mayāt—from being made of material energy; vyatiriktaḥ—distinct; mataḥ—regarded; tvam—You.
Lord Brahmā said: My dear Lord, Your personality and eternal form cannot be understood by any person who is trying to know You through the different processes of acquiring knowledge. Your position is always transcendental to the material creation, whereas the empiric attempt to understand You is material, as are its objectives and instruments.
It is said that the transcendental name, qualities, activities, paraphernalia, etc., of the Supreme Personality of Godhead cannot be understood with our material senses. The attempt of the empiric philosophers to understand the Absolute Truth by speculation is always futile because their process of understanding, their objective and the instruments by which they try to understand the Absolute Truth are all material. The Lord is aprākṛta, beyond the creation of the material world. This fact is also accepted by the great impersonalist Śaṅkarācārya: nārāyaṇaḥ paro ’vyaktād aṇḍam avyakta-sambhavam. Avyakta, or the original material cause, is beyond this material manifestation and is the cause of the material world. Because Nārāyaṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is beyond the material world, one cannot speculate upon Him by any material method. One has to understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead simply by the transcendental method of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. This is confirmed in Bhagavad-gītā (18.55). Bhaktyā mām abhijānāti: only by devotional service can one understand the transcendental form of the Lord. The difference between the impersonalists and the personalists is that the impersonalists, limited by their speculative processes, cannot even approach the Supreme Personality of Godhead, whereas the devotees please the Supreme Personality of Godhead through His transcendental loving service. Sevonmukhe hi: due to the service attitude of the devotee, the Lord is revealed to him. The Supreme Lord cannot be understood by materialistic persons even though He is present before them. In Bhagavad-gītā, Lord Kṛṣṇa therefore condemns such materialists as mūḍhas. Mūḍha means “rascal.” It is said in the Gītā, “Only rascals think of Lord Kṛṣṇa as an ordinary person. They do not know what Lord Kṛṣṇa’s position is or what His transcendental potencies are.” Unaware of His transcendental potencies, the impersonalists deride the person of Lord Kṛṣṇa, whereas the devotees, by dint of their service attitude, can understand Him as the Personality of Godhead. In the Tenth Chapter of Bhagavad-gītā, Arjuna also confirmed that it is very difficult to understand the personality of the Lord.
idam apy acyuta viśva-bhāvanaṁ
vapur ānanda-karaṁ mano-dṛśām
bhuja-daṇḍair upapannam aṣṭabhiḥ
indraḥ uvāca—King Indra said; idam—this; api—certainly; acyuta—O infallible one; viśva-bhāvanam—for the welfare of the universe; vapuḥ—transcendental form; ānanda-karam—a cause of pleasure; manaḥ-dṛśām—to the mind and the eye; sura-vidviṭ—envious of Your devotees; kṣapaṇaiḥ—by punishment; ud-āyudhaiḥ—with uplifted weapons; bhuja-daṇḍaiḥ—with arms; upapannam—possessed of; aṣṭabhiḥ—with eight.
King Indra said: My dear Lord, Your transcendental form with eight hands and weapons in each of them appears for the welfare of the entire universe, and it is very pleasing to the mind and eyes. In such a form, Your Lordship is always prepared to punish the demons, who are envious of Your devotees.
It is generally understood from revealed scriptures that Lord Viṣṇu appears with four hands, but in this particular sacrificial arena Lord Viṣṇu arrived with eight hands. King Indra said, “Even though we are accustomed to see Your four-handed Viṣṇu form, this appearance with eight hands is as real as the four-handed form.” As Lord Brahmā had said, to realize the transcendental form of the Lord is beyond the power of the senses. In reply to that statement by Brahmā, King Indra said that even though the transcendental form of the Lord is not perceivable by the material senses, His activities and His transcendental form can be understood. The Lord’s uncommon features, uncommon activities and uncommon beauty can be perceived even by an ordinary man. For example, when Lord Kṛṣṇa appeared just like a six- or seven-year-old boy in Vṛndāvana, He was approached by the residents there. There were torrents of rain, and the Lord saved the residents of Vṛndāvana by lifting Govardhana Hill and resting it on the little finger of His left hand for seven days. This uncommon feature of the Lord should convince even materialistic persons who want to speculate to the limit of their material senses. The activities of the Lord are pleasing to experimental vision also, but impersonalists will not believe in His identity because they study the personality of the Lord by comparing their personality to His. Because men in this material world cannot lift a hill, they do not believe that the Lord can lift one. They accept the statements of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam to be allegorical, and they try to interpret them in their own way. But factually the Lord lifted the hill in the presence of all the inhabitants of Vṛndāvana, as corroborated by great ācāryas and authors like Vyāsadeva and Nārada. Everything about the Lord—His activities, pastimes and uncommon features—should be accepted as is, and in this way, even in our present condition, we can understand the Lord. ln the instance herein, King Indra confirmed: “Your presence with eight hands is as good as Your presence with four hands.” There is no doubt about it.
yajño ’yaṁ tava yajanāya kena sṛṣṭo
vidhvastaḥ paśupatinādya dakṣa-kopāt
taṁ nas tvaṁ śava-śayanābha-śānta-medhaṁ
yajñātman nalina-rucā dṛśā punīhi
patnyaḥ ūcuḥ—the wives of the executors of the sacrifice said; yajñaḥ—the sacrifice; ayam—this; tava—Your; yajanāya—worshiping; kena—by Brahmā; sṛṣṭaḥ—arranged; vidhvastaḥ—devastated; paśupatinā—by Lord Śiva; adya—today; dakṣa-kopāt—from anger at Dakṣa; tam—it; naḥ—our; tvam—You; śava-śayana—dead bodies; ābha—like; śānta-medham—the still sacrificial animals; yajña-ātman—O Lord of sacrifice; nalina—lotus; rucā—beautiful; dṛśā—by the vision of Your eyes; punīhi—sanctify.
The wives of the performers of the sacrifice said: My dear Lord, this sacrifice was arranged under the instruction of Brahmā, but unfortunately Lord Śiva, being angry at Dakṣa, devastated the entire scene, and because of his anger the animals meant for sacrifice are lying dead. Therefore the preparations of the yajña have been lost. Now, by the glance of Your lotus eyes, the sanctity of this sacrificial arena may be again invoked.
Animals were offered in sacrifice in order to give them renewed life; that was the purpose of having animals there. Offering an animal in sacrifice and giving him renewed life was the evidence of the strength of chanting mantras. Unfortunately, when Dakṣa’s sacrifice was devastated by Lord Śiva, some of the animals were killed. (One was killed just to replace the head of Dakṣa.) Their bodies were lying about, and the sacrificial arena was turned into a crematorium. Thus the real purpose of yajña was lost.
Lord Viṣṇu, being the ultimate objective of such sacrificial ceremonies, was requested by the wives of the priests to glance over the yajña arena with His causeless mercy so that the routine work of the yajña might be continued. The purport here is that animals should not be unnecessarily killed. They were used to prove the strength of the mantras and were to have been rejuvenated by the use of the mantras. They should not have been killed, as they were by Lord Śiva to replace the head of Dakṣa with an animal’s head. It was pleasing to see an animal sacrificed and rejuvenated, and that pleasing atmosphere had been lost. The wives of the priests requested that the animals be brought back to life by the glance of Lord Viṣṇu to make a pleasing yajña.
ananvitaṁ te bhagavan viceṣṭitaṁ
yad ātmanā carasi hi karma nājyase
vibhūtaye yata upasedur īśvarīṁ
na manyate svayam anuvartatīṁ bhavān
ṛṣayaḥ—the sages; ūcuḥ—prayed; ananvitam—wonderful; te—Your; bhagavan—O possessor of all opulences; viceṣṭitam—activities; yat—which; ātmanā—by Your potencies; carasi—You execute; hi—certainly; karma—to such activities; na ajyase—You are not attached; vibhūtaye—for her mercy; yataḥ—from whom; upaseduḥ—worshiped; īśvarīm—Lakṣmī, the goddess of fortune; na manyate—are not attached; svayam—Yourself; anuvartatīm—to Your obedient servant (Lakṣmī); bhavān—Your Lordship.
The sages prayed: Dear Lord, Your activities are most wonderful, and although You do everything by Your different potencies, You are not at all attached to such activities. You are not even attached to the goddess of fortune, who is worshiped by the great demigods like Brahmā, who pray to achieve her mercy.
In Bhagavad-gītā it is said that the Lord has no desire to achieve any result from His wonderful activities, nor has He any need to perform them. But still, in order to give an example to people in general, He sometimes acts, and those activities are very wonderful. He is not attached to anything. Na māṁ karmāṇi limpanti: although He acts very wonderfully, He is not at all attached to anything (Bg. 4.14). He is self-sufficient. The example is given here that the goddess of fortune, Lakṣmī, is always engaged in the service of the Lord, but still He is not attached to her. Even great demigods like Brahmā worship the goddess of fortune in order to win her favor, but although the Lord is worshiped by many hundreds and thousands of goddesses of fortune, He is not at all attached to any one of them. This distinction concerning the exalted transcendental position of the Lord is specifically mentioned by the great sages; He is not like the ordinary living entity, who is attached to the results of pious activities.
tṛṣārto ’vagāḍho na sasmāra dāvaṁ
na niṣkrāmati brahma-sampannavan naḥ
siddhāḥ—the Siddhas; ūcuḥ—prayed; ayam—this; tvat-kathā—Your pastimes; mṛṣṭa—pure; pīyūṣa—of nectar; nadyām—in the river; manaḥ—of the mind; vāraṇaḥ—the elephant; kleśa—sufferings; dāva-agni—by the forest fire; dagdhaḥ—burned; tṛṣā—thirst; ārtaḥ—afflicted; avagāḍhaḥ—being immersed; na sasmāra—does not remember; dāvam—the forest fire or the miseries; na niṣkrāmati—not come out; brahma—the Absolute; sampanna-vat—like having merged; naḥ—our.
The Siddhas prayed: Like an elephant that has suffered in a forest fire but can forget all its troubles by entering a river, our minds, O Lord, always merge in the nectarean river of Your transcendental pastimes, and they desire never to leave such transcendental bliss, which is as good as the pleasure of merging in the Absolute.
This statement is from the Siddhas, the inhabitants of Siddhaloka, where the eight kinds of material perfection are complete. The residents of Siddhaloka have full control in the eight kinds of yogic perfection, but from their statement it appears that they are pure devotees. They always merge in the nectarean river of hearing of the pastimes of the Lord. Hearing of the pastimes of the Lord is called kṛṣṇa-kathā. Similarly, there is a statement by Prahlāda Mahārāja that those who are always merged in the ocean of the nectar of describing the Lord’s pastimes are liberated and have no fear of the material condition of life. The Siddhas say that the mind of an ordinary person is full of anxieties. The example is given of the elephant who has suffered in a forest fire and who enters into a river for relief. If persons who are suffering in the forest fire of this material existence will only enter into the nectarean river of the description of the pastimes of the Lord, they will forget all the troubles of the miserable material existence. The Siddhas do not care for fruitive activities, such as performing sacrifices and achieving the good results. They simply merge in the transcendental discussions of the pastimes of the Lord. That makes them completely happy, without care for pious or impious activities. For those who are always in Kṛṣṇa consciousness there is no need to perform any kind of pious or impious sacrifices or activities. Kṛṣṇa consciousness is itself complete, for it includes all the processes praised in the Vedic scriptures.
svāgataṁ te prasīdeśa tubhyaṁ namaḥ
śrīnivāsa śriyā kāntayā trāhi naḥ
tvām ṛte ’dhīśa nāṅgair makhaḥ śobhate
śīrṣa-hīnaḥ ka-bandho yathā puruṣaḥ
yajamānī—the wife of Dakṣa; uvāca—prayed; su-āgatam—auspicious appearance; te—Your; prasīda—become pleased; īśa—my dear Lord; tubhyam—unto You; namaḥ—respectful obeisances; śrīnivāsa—O abode of the goddess of fortune; śriyā—with Lakṣmī; kāntayā—Your wife; trāhi—protect; naḥ—us; tvām—You; ṛte—without; adhīśa—O supreme controller; na—not; aṅgaiḥ—with bodily limbs; makhaḥ—the sacrificial arena; śobhate—is beautiful; śīrṣa-hīnaḥ—without the head; ka-bandhaḥ—possessed of only a body; yathā—as; puruṣaḥ—a person.
The wife of Dakṣa prayed as follows: My dear Lord, it is very fortunate that You have appeared in this arena of sacrifice. I offer my respectful obeisances unto You, and I request that You be pleased on this occasion. The sacrificial arena is not beautiful without You, just as a body is not beautiful without the head.
Another name of Lord Viṣṇu is Yajñeśvara. In Bhagavad-gītā it is said that all activities should be performed as Viṣṇu-yajña, for the pleasure of Lord Viṣṇu. Unless we please Him, whatever we do is the cause of our bondage in the material world. This is confirmed herein by the wife of Dakṣa: “Without Your presence, the grandeur of this sacrificial ceremony is useless, just as a body without the head, however decorated it may be, is useless.” The comparison is equally applicable to the social body. Material civilization is very proud of being advanced, but it is actually the useless trunk of a body without a head. Without Kṛṣṇa consciousness, without an understanding of Viṣṇu, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, any advancement in a civilization, no matter how sophisticated, is of no value. There is a statement in the Hari-bhakti-sudhodaya (3.11):
The purport is that sometimes when a friend or relative dies, especially among lower class men, the dead body is decorated. Dressed and ornamented, the body is taken in procession. That sort of decoration of the dead body has no actual value because the life force is already gone. Similarly, any aristocracy, any social prestige or any advancement of material civilization without Kṛṣṇa consciousness is as good as the decoration of a dead body. The name of the wife of Dakṣa was Prasūti, and she was the daughter of Svāyambhuva Manu. Her sister, Devahūti, was married to Kardama Muni, and Kapiladeva, the Personality of Godhead, became her son. Prasūti, then, was the aunt of Lord Viṣṇu. She was asking the favor of Lord Viṣṇu in an affectionate mode; since she was His aunt, she sought some special favor. Also significant in this verse is that the Lord is praised with the goddess of fortune. Wherever Lord Viṣṇu is worshiped, naturally there is the favor of the goddess of fortune. Lord Viṣṇu is addressed as amṛta, transcendental. The demigods, including Brahmā and Lord Śiva, were produced after the creation, but Lord Viṣṇu existed before the creation. He is addressed, therefore, as amṛta. Lord Viṣṇu is worshiped with His internal energy by the Vaiṣṇavas. Prasūti, the wife of Dakṣa, implored the Lord to turn the priests into Vaiṣṇavas instead of simply fruitive workers performing sacrifices for some material benefits.
dṛṣṭaḥ kiṁ no dṛgbhir asad-grahais tvaṁ
pratyag-draṣṭā dṛśyate yena viśvam
māyā hy eṣā bhavadīyā hi bhūman
yas tvaṁ ṣaṣṭhaḥ pañcabhir bhāsi bhūtaiḥ
loka-pālāḥ—the governors of the different planets; ūcuḥ—said; dṛṣṭaḥ—seen; kim—whether; naḥ—by us; dṛgbhiḥ—by the material senses; asat-grahaiḥ—revealing the cosmic manifestation; tvam—You; pratyak-draṣṭā—inner witness; dṛśyate—is seen; yena—by whom; viśvam—the universe; māyā—material world; hi—because; eṣā—this; bhavadīyā—Your; hi—certainly; bhūman—O possessor of the universe; yaḥ—because; tvam—You; ṣaṣṭhaḥ—the sixth; pañcabhiḥ—with the five; bhāsi—appear; bhūtaiḥ—with the elements.
The governors of various planets spoke as follows: Dear Lord, we believe only in our direct perception, but under the circumstances we do not know whether we have actually seen You with our material senses. By our material senses we can simply perceive the cosmic manifestation, but You are beyond the five elements. You are the sixth. We see You, therefore, as a creation of the material world.
The governors of the various planets are certainly materially opulent and very puffed up. Such persons are unable to understand the transcendental, eternal form of the Lord. In the Brahma-saṁhitā it is stated that only persons who have anointed their eyes with love of Godhead can see the Personality of Godhead in every step of their activities. Also, in the prayers of Kuntī (Bhāg. 1.8.26) it is stated that only those who are akiñcana-gocaram, who are not materially puffed up, can see the Supreme Personality of Godhead; others are bewildered and cannot even think of the Absolute Truth.
preyān na te ’nyo ’sty amutas tvayi prabho
viśvātmanīkṣen na pṛthag ya ātmanaḥ
athāpi bhaktyeśa tayopadhāvatām
yoga-īśvarāḥ—the great mystics; ūcuḥ—said; preyān—very dear; na—not; te—of You; anyaḥ—another; asti—there is; amutaḥ—from that; tvayi—in You; prabho—dear Lord; viśva-ātmani—in the Supersoul of all living entities; īkṣet—see; na—not; pṛthak—different; yaḥ—who; ātmanaḥ—the living entities; atha api—so much more; bhaktyā—with devotion; īśa—O Lord; tayā—with it; upadhāvatām—of those who worship; ananya-vṛttyā—unfailing; anugṛhāṇa—favor; vatsala—O favorable Lord.
The great mystics said: Dear Lord, persons who see You as nondifferent from themselves, knowing that You are the Supersoul of all living entities, are certainly very, very dear to You. You are very favorable toward those who engage in devotional service, accepting You as the Lord and themselves as the servants. By Your mercy, You are always inclined in their favor.
It is indicated in this verse that the monists and the great mystics know the Supreme Personality of Godhead as one. This oneness is not the misunderstanding that a living entity is equal in every respect to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This monism is based on pure knowledge as described and confirmed in Bhagavad-gītā (7.17): priyo hi jñānino ’tyartham ahaṁ sa ca mama priyaḥ. The Lord says that those who are advanced in transcendental knowledge and know the science of Kṛṣṇa consciousness are very dear to Him, and He also is very dear to them. Those who are actually in perfect knowledge of the science of God know that the living entities are superior energy of the Supreme Lord. This is stated in Bhagavad-gītā, Seventh Chapter: the material energy is inferior, and the living entities are superior energy. Energy and the energetic are nondifferent; therefore, energies possess the same quality as the energetic. Persons who are in full knowledge of the Personality of Godhead, analyzing His different energies and knowing their own constitutional position, are certainly very, very dear to the Lord. Persons, however, who may not even be conversant with knowledge of the Supreme Personality but who always think of the Lord with love and faith, feeling that He is great and that they are His parts and parcels, ever His servitors, are even more favored by Him. The particular significance of this verse is that the Lord is addressed as vatsala. Vatsala means “always favorably disposed.” The Lord’s name is bhakta-vatsala. The Lord is famous as bhakta-vatsala, which means that He is always favorably inclined to the devotees, whereas He is never addressed anywhere in the Vedic literature as jñānī-vatsala.
jagat—the material world; udbhava—creation; sthiti—maintenance; layeṣu—in annihilation; daivataḥ—destiny; bahu—many; bhidyamāna—being variegated; guṇayā—by material qualities; ātma-māyayā—by His material energy; racita—produced; ātma—in the living entities; bheda-mataye—who produced different inclinations; sva-saṁsthayā—by His internal potency; vinivartita—caused to stop; bhrama—interaction; guṇa—of material modes; ātmane—unto Him in His personal form; namaḥ—obeisances.
We offer our respectful obeisances unto the Supreme, who has created varieties of manifestations and put them under the spell of the three qualities of the material world in order to create, maintain and annihilate them. He Himself is not under the control of the external energy; in His personal feature He is completely devoid of the variegated manifestation of material qualities, and He is under no illusion of false identification.
Two situations are described in this verse. One is the creation, maintenance and annihilation of the material world, and the other is the Lord’s own establishment. There is also quality in the Lord’s own establishment, the kingdom of God. lt is stated here that Goloka is His personal situation. There is also quality in Goloka, but that quality is not divided into creation, maintenance and annihilation. In the external energy, the interaction of the three qualities makes it possible for things to be created, maintained and annihilated. But in the spiritual world, or the kingdom of God, there is no such exhibition, since everything is eternal, sentient and blissful. There is a class of philosophers who misunderstand the appearance of the Personality of Godhead within this material world. They are under the impression that when the Supreme Personality of Godhead appears, He is under the spell of the three qualities, like all the other living entities who appear within this material world. That is their misunderstanding; as it is clearly stated here (sva-saṁsthayā), by His internal potency He is transcendental to all these material qualities. Similarly, in Bhagavad-gītā the Lord says, “I appear by My internal potency.” Both the internal and external potencies are under the control of the Supreme, so He does not come under the control of either of these potencies. Rather, everything is under His control. In order to manifest His transcendental name, form, quality, pastimes and paraphernalia, He brings into action His internal energy. On account of the variegatedness of the external potency, there are manifestations of many qualitative demigods, beginning with Brahmā and Lord Śiva, and people are attracted to these demigods according to their own material quality. But when one is transcendental or surpasses the material qualities, he is simply fixed in the worship of the Supreme Personality. This fact is explained in Bhagavad-gītā: anyone engaged in the service of the Lord is already transcendental to the variegatedness and interaction of the three material qualities. The summary is that the conditioned souls are being pulled by the action and reaction of the material qualities, which create a differentiation of energies. But in the spiritual world the worshipable one is the Supreme Lord and no one else.
namas te śrita-sattvāya
dharmādīnāṁ ca sūtaye
nirguṇāya ca yat-kāṣṭhāṁ
nāhaṁ vedāpare ’pi ca
brahma—the personified Vedas; uvāca—said; namaḥ—respectful obeisances; te—unto You; śrita-sattvāya—the shelter of the quality of goodness; dharma-ādīnām—of all religion, austerity and penance; ca—and; sūtaye—the source; nirguṇāya—transcendental to material qualities; ca—and; yat—of whom (of the Supreme Lord); kāṣṭhām—the situation; na—not; aham—I; veda—know; apare—others; api—certainly; ca—and.
The personified Vedas said: We offer our respectful obeisances unto You, the Lord, the shelter of the quality of goodness and therefore the source of all religion, austerity and penance, for You are transcendental to all material qualities and no one knows You or Your actual situation.
In the material world there is the trinity of the three material qualities. Lord Viṣṇu has accepted the superintendence of the quality of goodness, which is the source of religion, knowledge, austerity, renunciation, opulence, etc. Because of this, actual peace, prosperity, knowledge and religion can be attained when the living entities are under the control of the quality of goodness in the material world. As soon as they are subjected to the control of the other two qualities, namely passion and ignorance, their precarious conditional life becomes intolerable. But Lord Viṣṇu, in His original position, is always nirguṇa, which means transcendental to these material qualities. Guṇa means “quality,” and nir means “negation.” This does not indicate, however, that He has no qualities; He has transcendental qualities by which He appears and manifests His pastimes. The positive transcendental qualitative manifestation is unknown to the students of the Vedas as well as to the great stalwart demigods like Brahmā and Śiva. Actually, the transcendental qualities are manifested only to the devotees. As confirmed in Bhagavad-gītā, simply by discharging devotional service one can understand the transcendental position of the Supreme Lord. Those who are in the mode of goodness can partially enter into the transcendental understanding, but it is advised in Bhagavad-gītā that one has to surpass this. The Vedic principles are based on the three qualities of the material modes. One has to transcend the three qualities, and then one can be situated in pure and simple spiritual life.
havyaṁ vahe svadhvara ājya-siktam
taṁ yajñiyaṁ pañca-vidhaṁ ca pañcabhiḥ
sviṣṭaṁ yajurbhiḥ praṇato ’smi yajñam
agniḥ—the fire-god; uvāca—said; yat-tejasā—by whose effulgence; aham—I; su-samiddha-tejāḥ—as luminous as blazing fire; havyam—offerings; vahe—I am accepting; su-adhvare—in the sacrifice; ājya-siktam—mixed with butter; tam—that; yajñiyam—the protector of the sacrifice; pañca-vidham—five; ca—and; pañcabhiḥ—by five; su-iṣṭam—worshiped; yajurbhiḥ—Vedic hymns; praṇataḥ—offer respectful obeisances; asmi—I; yajñam—to Yajña (Viṣṇu).
The fire-god said: My dear Lord, I offer my respectful obeisances unto You because by Your favor I am as luminous as blazing fire and I accept the offerings mixed with butter and offered in sacrifice. The five kinds of offerings according to the Yajur Veda are all Your different energies, and You are worshiped by five kinds of Vedic hymns. Sacrifice means Your Supreme Personality of Godhead.
In Bhagavad-gītā it is clearly said that yajña should be performed for Lord Viṣṇu. Lord Viṣṇu has one thousand popular, transcendental names, out of which one name is Yajña. lt is clearly said that everything should be done for the satisfaction of Yajña, or Viṣṇu. All other actions a person may take are only causes for his bondage. Everyone has to perform yajña according to the Vedic hymns. As stated in the Upaniṣads, fire, the altar, the auspicious full moon, the period of four months called cāturmāsya, the sacrificial animal, and the beverage called soma are necessary requisites, as are the specific hymns mentioned in the Vedas and composed of four letters. One hymn is as follows: āśrāvayeti catur-akṣaraṁ astu śrauṣaḍ iti catur-akṣaraṁ yajeti dvābhyāṁ ye yajāmahaḥ. These mantras, chanted according to the śruti and smṛti literatures, are only to please Lord Viṣṇu. For the deliverance of those who are materially conditioned and attached to material enjoyment, performing yajña and following the rules and regulations of the four divisions of society and of spiritual life are recommended. It is said in the Viṣṇu Purāṇa that by offering sacrifice to Viṣṇu one can gradually be liberated. The whole target of life, therefore, is to please Lord Viṣṇu. That is yajña. Any person who is in Kṛṣṇa consciousness has dedicated his life for the satisfaction of Kṛṣṇa, the origin of all Viṣṇu forms, and by offering worship and prasāda daily, he becomes the best performer of yajña. In the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam it is clearly stated that in this age of Kali the only successful performance of yajña, or sacrifice, is yajñaiḥ saṅkīrtana-prāyaiḥ: the best type of sacrifice is simply to chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare. This yajña is offered before the form of Lord Caitanya, as other yajñas are offered before the form of Lord Viṣṇu. These recommendations are found in the Eleventh Canto of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Moreover, this yajña performance confirms that Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu is Viṣṇu Himself. As Lord Viṣṇu appeared at the Dakṣa yajña long, long ago, Lord Caitanya has appeared in this age to accept our saṅkīrtana-yajña.
purā kalpāpāye sva-kṛtam udarī-kṛtya vikṛtaṁ
tvam evādyas tasmin salila uragendrādhiśayane
pumān śeṣe siddhair hṛdi vimṛśitādhyātma-padaviḥ
sa evādyākṣṇor yaḥ pathi carasi bhṛtyān avasi naḥ
devāḥ—the demigods; ūcuḥ—said; purā—formerly; kalpa-apāye—at the devastation of the kalpa; sva-kṛtam—self-produced; udarī-kṛtya—having drawn within Your abdomen; vikṛtam—effect; tvam—You; eva—certainly; ādyaḥ—original; tasmin—in that; salile—water; uraga-indra—on Śeṣa; adhiśayane—on the bed; pumān—personality; śeṣe—taking rest; siddhaiḥ—by the liberated souls (like Sanaka, etc.); hṛdi—in the heart; vimṛśita—meditated on; adhyātma-padaviḥ—the path of philosophical speculation; saḥ—He; eva—certainly; adya—now; akṣṇoḥ—of both eyes; yaḥ—who; pathi—on the path; carasi—You move; bhṛtyān—servants; avasi—protect; naḥ—us.
The demigods said: Dear Lord, formerly, when there was a devastation, You conserved all the different energies of material manifestation. At that time, all the inhabitants of the higher planets, represented by such liberated souls as Sanaka, were meditating on You by philosophical speculation. You are therefore the original person, and You rest in the water of devastation on the bed of the Śeṣa snake. Now, today, You are visible to us, who are all Your servants. Please give us protection.
The devastation indicated in this verse is the partial devastation of the lower planets within the universe when Lord Brahmā goes to sleep. The higher planetary systems, beginning with Maharloka, Janaloka and Tapoloka, are not inundated at the time of this devastation. The Lord is the creator, as indicated in this verse, because the energies of creation are manifested through His body, and after annihilation, He conserves all the energy within His abdomen.
Another significant point in this verse is that the demigods said, “We are all Your servants (bhṛtyān). Give us Your protection.” The demigods depend on the protection of Viṣṇu; they are not independent. Bhagavad-gītā, therefore, condemns the worship of demigods because there is no need of it and clearly states that only those who have lost their sense go asking favors of the demigods. Generally, if anyone has material desires to be fulfilled, he can ask Viṣṇu instead of going to the demigods. Those who worship demigods are not very intelligent. Besides that, the demigods say, “We are Your eternal servants.” So those who are servants, or devotees of the Lord, are not very much concerned with fruitive activities, the performance of the prescribed yajñas, or mental speculation. They simply serve the Supreme Personality of Godhead sincerely, with love and faith, performing everything with that loving service, and the Lord gives such devotees direct protection. In Bhagavad-gītā Lord Kṛṣṇa says, “Simply surrender unto Me, and I will give you protection from all the reactions of sinful activities.” This material world is so created that one has to act sinfully, knowingly or unknowingly, and unless his life is dedicated to Viṣṇu, he has to suffer all the reactions of sinful activities. But one who surrenders and dedicates his life for the service of the Lord has direct protection from the Lord. He has no fear of suffering from sinful activities, nor does he desire, willingly or unwillingly, to do anything which is sinful.
aṁśāṁśās te deva marīcy-ādaya ete
brahmendrādyā deva-gaṇā rudra-purogāḥ
krīḍā-bhāṇḍaṁ viśvam idaṁ yasya vibhūman
tasmai nityaṁ nātha namas te karavāma
gandharvāḥ—the Gandharvas; ūcuḥ—said; aṁśa-aṁśāḥ—parts and parcels of Your body; te—Your; deva—dear Lord; marīci-ādayaḥ—Marīci and the great sages; ete—these; brahma-indra-ādyāḥ—headed by Brahmā and Indra; deva-gaṇāḥ—the demigods; rudra-purogāḥ—having Lord Śiva as the chief; krīḍā-bhāṇḍam—a plaything; viśvam—the whole creation; idam—this; yasya—of whom; vibhūman—the Supreme Almighty Great; tasmai—unto Him; nityam—always; nātha—O Lord; namaḥ—respectful obeisances; te—unto You; karavāma—we offer.
The Gandharvas said: Dear Lord, all the demigods, including Lord Śiva, Lord Brahmā, Indra and Marīci and the great sages, are all only differentiated parts and parcels of Your body. You are the Supreme Almighty Great; the whole creation is just like a plaything for You. We always accept You as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and we offer our respectful obeisances unto You.
In the Brahma-saṁhitā it is said that Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. There may be many gods, from Brahmā, Lord Śiva, Indra and Candra down to the rulers of the lower planetary systems, the presidents, ministers, chairmen and kings. In fact, anyone can think that he is God. That is the false, puffed-up conviction of material life. Actually Viṣṇu is the Supreme Lord, but there is even one above Viṣṇu, for Viṣṇu is also the plenary portion of a part of Kṛṣṇa. In this verse this is referred to by the word aṁśāṁśāḥ, which refers to part and parcel of a part and parcel. There are similar verses in the Caitanya-caritāmṛta which indicate that the Supreme Lord’s parts and parcels again expand into other parts and parcels. As described in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, there are many manifestations of Viṣṇu and many manifestations of living entities. Viṣṇu manifestations are called svāṁśa, partial manifestations, and the living entities are called vibhinnāṁśa. The demigods like Brahmā and Indra have been promoted to such exalted positions by pious activities and austerities, but actually Viṣṇu, or Kṛṣṇa, is the master of everyone. ln the Caitanya-caritāmṛta it is said, ekale īśvara kṛṣṇa, āra saba bhṛtya. This means that Kṛṣṇa alone is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and all others, even the viṣṇu-tattva and certainly the living entities, are His servitors. Baladeva is the immediate expansion of Kṛṣṇa. He also engages in the service of Kṛṣṇa, and certainly the ordinary living entities are serving. Everyone is created, constitutionally, for serving Kṛṣṇa. Here the Gandharvas acknowledge that although the demigods may represent themselves as the Supreme, actually they are not supreme. Real supremacy belongs to Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam is the statement of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam: “Kṛṣṇa is the only Supreme Lord.” Worship of Kṛṣṇa alone, therefore, includes worship of all the parts and parcels, just as watering the root of a tree also waters all the branches, twigs, leaves and flowers.
tvan-māyayārtham abhipadya kalevare ’smin
kṛtvā mamāham iti durmatir utpathaiḥ svaiḥ
kṣipto ’py asad-viṣaya-lālasa ātma-mohaṁ
vidyādharāḥ—the Vidyādharas; ūcuḥ—said; tvat-māyayā—by Your external potency; artham—the human body; abhipadya—after obtaining; kalevare—in the body; asmin—in this; kṛtvā—having misidentified; mama—mine; aham—I; iti—thus; durmatiḥ—the ignorant person; utpathaiḥ—by wrong roads; svaiḥ—by one’s own belongings; kṣiptaḥ—distracted; api—even; asat—temporary; viṣaya-lālasaḥ—having his happiness in sense objects; ātma-moham—the illusion of the body as the self; yuṣmat—Your; kathā—topics; amṛta—nectar; niṣevakaḥ—relishing; ut—from a long distance; vyudasyet—can be delivered.
The Vidyādharas said: Dear Lord, this human form of body is meant for attaining the highest perfectional objective, but, impelled by Your external energy, the living entity misidentifies himself with his body and with the material energy, and therefore, influenced by māyā, he wants to become happy by material enjoyment. He is misled and always attracted by temporary, illusory happiness. But Your transcendental activities are so powerful that if one engages in the hearing and chanting of such topics, he can be delivered from illusion.
The human form of life is called arthada because the body can very nicely help the embodied soul to achieve the highest perfection. Prahlāda Mahārāja said that even though temporary, the body can give us the highest perfectional achievement. In the process of evolution from the lower to the higher grade of living, the human form of life is a great boon. But māyā is so strong that in spite of achieving this great boon of the human form of life, we are influenced by temporary material happiness, and we forget our goal of life. We are attracted by things which will cease to exist. The beginning of such attraction is the temporary body. In this horrible condition of life there is only one way of liberation—to engage in the activities of transcendental chanting and hearing of the holy name of the Supreme Lord: Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare. The words yuṣmat-kathāmṛta-niṣevakaḥ mean “those who engage in relishing the nectar of the topics of Your Lordship.” There are two narrative books which especially concern the words and activities of Kṛṣṇa. Bhagavad-gītā is the instruction given by Kṛṣṇa, and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the book containing topics exclusively about Kṛṣṇa and His devotees. These two books are the special nectar of the words of Kṛṣṇa. For those who engage in the preaching of these two Vedic literatures it is very easy to get out of the illusory conditional life imposed upon us by māyā. The illusion is that the conditioned soul does not try to understand his spiritual identity. He is more interested in his external body, which is only a flash and which will be finished as soon as the time is designated. The whole atmosphere will change when the living entity has to transmigrate from one body to another. Under the spell of māyā, he will again be satisfied in a different atmosphere. This spell of māyā is called āvaraṇātmikā śakti because it is so strong that the living entity is satisfied in any abominable condition. Even if he is born as a worm living within the intestine or abdomen in the midst of urine and stool, still he is satisfied. This is the covering influence of māyā. But the human form of life is a chance to understand, and if one misses this opportunity, he is most unfortunate. The way to get out of illusory māyā is to engage in the topics of Kṛṣṇa. Lord Caitanya advocated a process whereby everyone may remain in his present position without change but simply hear from the proper authoritative sources about Kṛṣṇa. Lord Caitanya advised everyone to spread the word of Kṛṣṇa. He advised, “All of you become spiritual masters. Your duty is simply to talk to whomever you meet of Kṛṣṇa or of the instructions given by Kṛṣṇa.” The International Society for Krishna Consciousness is operating for this purpose. We do not ask anyone to first change his position and then come to us. Instead, we invite everyone to come with us and simply chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare, because we know that if one simply chants and hears the topics of Kṛṣṇa, one’s life will change; he will see a new light, and his life will be successful.
tvaṁ kratus tvaṁ havis tvaṁ hutāśaḥ svayaṁ
tvaṁ hi mantraḥ samid-darbha-pātrāṇi ca
tvaṁ sadasyartvijo dampatī devatā
agnihotraṁ svadhā soma ājyaṁ paśuḥ
brāhmaṇāḥ—the brāhmaṇas; ūcuḥ—said; tvam—You; kratuḥ—sacrifice; tvam—You; haviḥ—offering of clarified butter; tvam—You; huta-āśaḥ—fire; svayam—personified; tvam—You; hi—for; mantraḥ—the Vedic hymns; samit-darbha-pātrāṇi—the fuel, the kuśa grass and the sacrificial pots; ca—and; tvam—You; sadasya—the members of the assembly; ṛtvijaḥ—the priests; dampatī—the chief person of the sacrifice and his wife; devatā—demigods; agni-hotram—the sacred fire ceremony; svadhā—the offering to the forefathers; somaḥ—the soma plant; ājyam—the clarified butter; paśuḥ—the sacrificial animal.
The brāhmaṇas said: Dear Lord, You are sacrifice personified. You are the offering of clarified butter, You are the fire, You are the chanting of Vedic hymns by which the sacrifice is conducted, You are the fuel, You are the flame, You are the kuśa grass, and You are the sacrificial pots. You are the priests who perform the yajña, You are the demigods headed by Indra, and You are the sacrificial animal. Everything that is sacrificed is You or Your energy.
In this statement Lord Viṣṇu’s all-pervasiveness is partially explained. It is said in the Viṣṇu Purāṇa that as a fire situated in one place emanates its heat and illumination everywhere, so whatever we see within the material or spiritual worlds is nothing but a manifestation of different energies emanating from the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The brāhmaṇas’ statement is that Lord Viṣṇu is everything—the fire, the offering, the clarified butter, the utensils, the place of sacrifice and the kuśa. He is everything. It is confirmed herein that the performance of saṅkīrtana-yajña in this age is as good as all other yajñas in all other ages. If one performs saṅkīrtana-yajña by chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare, there is no need to arrange elaborate paraphernalia for the prescribed sacrificial ceremonies recommended in the Vedas. In the chant of the holy names, Hare and Kṛṣṇa, Hare means the energy of Kṛṣṇa, and Kṛṣṇa is the viṣṇu-tattva. Combined together they are everything. In this age, persons are harassed by the influence of Kali-yuga and cannot arrange for all the requisite paraphernalia for performing sacrifice as recommended in the Vedas. But if one simply chants Hare Kṛṣṇa, it is to be understood that he is performing all kinds of yajña because there is nothing within our vision except Hare (the energy of Kṛṣṇa) and Kṛṣṇa. There is no difference between Kṛṣṇa and His energies. Thus since everything is a manifestation of His energy, it is to be understood that everything is Kṛṣṇa. One simply has to accept everything in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, and he is a liberated person. One should not misunderstand that because everything is Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa has no personal identity. Kṛṣṇa is so full that in spite of keeping Himself separate from everything by His energy, He is everything. This is confirmed in Bhagavad-gītā, Ninth Chapter. He is spread throughout the creation as everything, but still He is not everything. The philosophy recommended by Lord Caitanya is that He is simultaneously one and different.
tvaṁ purā gāṁ rasāyā mahā-sūkaro
daṁṣṭrayā padminīṁ vāraṇendro yathā
stūyamāno nadal līlayā yogibhir
vyujjahartha trayī-gātra yajña-kratuḥ
tvam—You; purā—in the past; gām—the earth; rasāyāḥ—from within the water; mahā-sūkaraḥ—the great boar incarnation; daṁṣṭrayā—with Your tusk; padminīm—a lotus; vāraṇa-indraḥ—an elephant; yathā—as; stūyamānaḥ—being offered prayers; nadan—vibrating; līlayā—very easily; yogibhiḥ—by great sages like Sanaka, etc.; vyujjahartha—picked up; trayī-gātra—O personified Vedic knowledge; yajña-kratuḥ—having the form of sacrifice.
Dear Lord, O personified Vedic knowledge, in the past millennium, long, long ago, when You appeared as the great boar incarnation, You picked up the world from the water, as an elephant picks up a lotus flower from a lake. When You vibrated transcendental sound in that gigantic form of a boar, the sound was accepted as a sacrificial hymn, and great sages like Sanaka meditated upon it and offered prayers for Your glorification.
A significant word used in this verse is trayī-gātra, which means that the transcendental form of the Lord is the Vedas. Anyone who engages in the worship of the Deity, or the form of the Lord in the temple, is understood to be studying all the Vedas twenty-four hours a day. Simply by decorating the Deities of the Lord, Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa, in the temple, one very minutely studies the injunctions of the Vedas. Even a neophyte devotee who simply engages in the worship of the Deity is understood to be in direct touch with the purport of Vedic knowledge. As confirmed in Bhagavad-gītā (15.15), vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyaḥ: the purport of the Vedas is to understand Him, Kṛṣṇa. One who worships and serves Kṛṣṇa directly has understood the truths of the Vedas.
sa prasīda tvam asmākam ākāṅkṣatāṁ
darśanaṁ te paribhraṣṭa-sat-karmaṇām
kīrtyamāne nṛbhir nāmni yajñeśa te
yajña-vighnāḥ kṣayaṁ yānti tasmai namaḥ
saḥ—that same person; prasīda—be pleased; tvam—You; asmākam—upon us; ākāṅkṣatām—awaiting; darśanam—audience; te—Your; paribhraṣṭa—fallen down; sat-karmaṇām—of whom the performance of sacrifice; kīrtyamāne—being chanted; nṛbhiḥ—by persons; nāmni—Your holy name; yajña-īśa—O Lord of sacrifice; te—Your; yajña-vighnāḥ—obstacles; kṣayam—destruction; yānti—attain; tasmai—unto You; namaḥ—respectful obeisances.
Dear Lord, we were awaiting Your audience because we have been unable to perform the yajñas according to the Vedic rituals. We pray unto You, therefore, to be pleased with us. Simply by chanting Your holy name, one can surpass all obstacles. We offer our respectful obeisances unto You in Your presence.
The brāhmaṇa priests were very hopeful that their sacrifice would be carried out without obstacles now that Lord Viṣṇu was present. It is significant in this verse that the brāhmaṇas say, “Simply by chanting Your holy name we can surpass the obstacles, but now You are personally present.” The performance of yajña by Dakṣa was obstructed by the disciples and followers of Lord Śiva. The brāhmaṇas indirectly criticized the followers of Lord Śiva, but because the brāhmaṇas were always protected by Lord Viṣṇu, Śiva’s followers could not do any harm to their prosecution of the sacrificial process. There is a saying that when Kṛṣṇa protects someone, no one can do him harm, and when Kṛṣṇa wants to kill someone, no one can protect him. The vivid example was Rāvaṇa. Rāvaṇa was a great devotee of Lord Śiva, but when Lord Rāmacandra wanted to kill him, Lord Śiva could not protect him. If some demigod, even Lord Śiva or Lord Brahmā, wants to do harm to a devotee, Kṛṣṇa protects the devotee. But when Kṛṣṇa wants to kill someone, such as Rāvaṇa or Hiraṇyakaśipu, no demigod can protect him.
iti dakṣaḥ kavir yajñaṁ
maitreyaḥ—Maitreya; uvāca—said; iti—thus; dakṣaḥ—Dakṣa; kaviḥ—being purified in consciousness; yajñam—the sacrifice; bhadra—O Vidura; rudra-abhimarśitam—devastated by Vīrabhadra; kīrtya-māne—being glorified; hṛṣīkeśe—Hṛṣīkeśa (Lord Viṣṇu); sanninye—arranged for restarting; yajña-bhāvane—the protector of sacrifice.
Śrī Maitreya said: After Lord Viṣṇu was glorified by all present, Dakṣa, his consciousness purified, arranged to begin again the yajña which had been devastated by the followers of Lord Śiva.
bhagavān svena bhāgena
dakṣaṁ babhāṣa ābhāṣya
bhagavān—Lord Viṣṇu; svena—with His own; bhāgena—with the share; sarva-ātmā—the Supersoul of all living entities; sarva-bhāga-bhuk—the enjoyer of the results of all sacrifices; dakṣam—Dakṣa; babhāṣe—said; ābhāṣya—addressing; prīyamāṇaḥ—being satisfied; iva—as; anagha—O sinless Vidura.
Maitreya continued: My dear sinless Vidura, Lord Viṣṇu is actually the enjoyer of the results of all sacrifices. Yet because of His being the Supersoul of all living entities, He was satisfied simply with His share of the sacrificial offerings. He therefore addressed Dakṣa in a pleasing attitude.
In Bhagavad-gītā (5.29) it is said, bhoktāraṁ yajña-tapasām: Lord Viṣṇu, or Kṛṣṇa, is the supreme enjoyer of all the results of sacrifices, austerities and penances; in whatever one may engage, the ultimate goal is Viṣṇu. If a person does not know that, he is misled. As the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Viṣṇu has nothing to demand from anyone. He is self-satisfied, self-sufficient, but He accepts the offerings of yajña because of His friendly attitude toward all living entities. When His share of the sacrificial results was offered to Him, He appeared very pleased. It is said in Bhagavad-gītā (9.26), patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyaṁ yo me bhaktyā prayacchati: if any devotee offers Him even a small leaf, or a flower or water, if it is offered with love and affection, the Lord accepts it and is pleased. Although He is self-sufficient and does not need anything from anyone, He accepts such offerings because, as Supersoul, He has such a friendly attitude toward all living entities. Another point here is that He does not encroach upon another’s share. ln the yajña there is a share for the demigods, Lord Śiva, and Lord Brahmā, and a share for Lord Viṣṇu. He is satisfied with His own share and does not encroach upon others’. Indirectly, He indicated that He was not satisfied with Dakṣa’s trying to deny Lord Śiva his share. Maitreya addressed Vidura as sinless because Vidura was a pure Vaiṣṇava and never committed any offense to any demigod. Although Vaiṣṇavas accept Lord Viṣṇu as the Supreme, they are not prone to offend demigods. They give the demigods proper respect. Vaiṣṇavas accept Lord Śiva as the best Vaiṣṇava. For a Vaiṣṇava there is no possibility of offending any demigods, and the demigods are also pleased with the Vaiṣṇava because they are faultless devotees of Lord Viṣṇu.
ahaṁ brahmā ca śarvaś ca
jagataḥ kāraṇaṁ param
śrī-bhagavān—Lord Viṣṇu; uvāca—said; aham—I; brahmā—Brahmā; ca—and; śarvaḥ—Lord Śiva; ca—and; jagataḥ—of the material manifestation; kāraṇam—cause; param—supreme; ātma-īśvaraḥ—the Supersoul; upadraṣṭā—the witness; svayam-dṛk—self-sufficient; aviśeṣaṇaḥ—there is no difference.
Lord Viṣṇu replied: Brahmā, Lord Śiva and I are the supreme cause of the material manifestation. I am the Supersoul, the self sufficient witness. But impersonally there is no difference between Brahmā, Lord Śiva and Me.
Lord Brahmā was born out of the transcendental body of Lord Viṣṇu, and Lord Śiva was born out of the body of Brahmā. Lord Viṣṇu, therefore, is the supreme cause. In the Vedas also it is stated that in the beginning there was only Viṣṇu, Nārāyaṇa; there was no Brahmā or Śiva. Similarly, Śaṅkarācārya confirmed this: nārāyaṇaḥ paraḥ. Nārāyaṇa, or Lord Viṣṇu, is the origin, and Brahmā and Śiva are manifested after creation. Lord Viṣṇu is also ātmeśvara, the Supersoul in everyone. Under His direction, everything is prompted from within. For example, in the beginning of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam it is stated, tene brahma hṛdā: He first educated Lord Brahmā from within.
In Bhagavad-gītā (10.2) Lord Kṛṣṇa states, aham ādir hi devānām: Lord Viṣṇu, or Kṛṣṇa, is the origin of all demigods, including Lord Brahmā and Lord Śiva. In another place in Bhagavad-gītā (10.8) Kṛṣṇa states, ahaṁ sarvasya prabhavaḥ: “Everything is generated from Me.” This includes all the demigods. Similarly, in the Vedānta-sūtra: janmādy asya yataḥ [SB 1.1.1]. And in the Upaniṣads is the statement yato vā imāni bhūtāni jāyante. Everything is generated from Lord Viṣṇu, everything is maintained by Him, and everything is annihilated by His energy. Therefore, by their actions and reactions, the energies which come from Him create the cosmic manifestations and also dissolve the whole creation. Thus the Lord is the cause and also the effect. Whatever effect we see is the interaction of His energy, and because the energy is generated from Him, He is both cause and effect. Simultaneously, everything is different and the same. It is said that everything is Brahman: sarvaṁ khalv idaṁ brahma. In the highest vision, nothing is beyond Brahman, and therefore Lord Brahmā and Lord Śiva are certainly nondifferent from Him.
so ’haṁ guṇamayīṁ dvija
sṛjan rakṣan haran viśvaṁ
dadhre saṁjñāṁ kriyocitām
ātma-māyām—My energy; samāviśya—having entered; saḥ—Myself; aham—I; guṇa-mayīm—composed of the modes of material nature; dvi-ja—O twice-born Dakṣa; sṛjan—creating; rakṣan—maintaining; haran—annihilating; viśvam—the cosmic manifestation; dadhre—I cause to be born; saṁjñām—a name; kriyā-ucitām—according to the activity.
The Lord continued: My dear Dakṣa Dvija, I am the original Personality of Godhead, but in order to create, maintain and annihilate this cosmic manifestation, I act through My material energy, and according to the different grades of activity, My representations are differently named.
As explained in Bhagavad-gītā (7.5), jīva-bhūtāṁ mahā-bāho: the whole world is energy released from the supreme source, the Personality of Godhead, who, it is further stated in Bhagavad-gītā, acts in superior energies and inferior energies. The superior energy is the living entity, who is part and parcel of the Supreme Lord. As parts and parcels, the living entities are not different from the Supreme Lord; the energy emanated from Him is not different from Him. But in the actual activity of this material world, the living entity is under the different qualities of material energy and in different forms. There are 8,400,000 life forms. The same living entity acts under the influence of the different qualities of material nature. The entities have different bodies, but originally, in the beginning of creation, Lord Viṣṇu is alone. For the purpose of creation, Brahmā is manifested, and for annihilation there is Lord Śiva. As far as the spiritual entrance into the material world is concerned, all beings are part and parcel of the Supreme Lord, but under the covering of different material qualities they have different names. Lord Brahmā and Lord Śiva are qualitative incarnations of Viṣṇu, as guṇa-avatāras, and Viṣṇu with them accepts control of the quality of goodness; therefore He is also a qualitative incarnation like Lord Śiva and Lord Brahmā. Actually the different names exist for different directions, otherwise the origin is one only.
tasmin brahmaṇy advitīye
brahma-rudrau ca bhūtāni
tasmin—Him; brahmaṇi—the Supreme Brahman; advitīye—without a second; kevale—being one; parama-ātmani—the Supersoul; brahma-rudrau—both Brahmā and Śiva; ca—and; bhūtāni—the living entities; bhedena—with separation; ajñaḥ—one who is not properly conversant; anupaśyati—thinks.
The Lord continued: One who is not in proper knowledge thinks that demigods like Brahmā and Śiva are independent, or he even thinks that the living entities are independent.
The living entities, including Brahmā, are not independently separated, but are counted within the marginal potency of the Supreme Lord. The Supreme Lord, being the Supersoul in every living entity, including Lord Brahmā and Lord Śiva, is directing everyone in the activities of the material modes of nature. No one can act independently of the sanction of the Lord, and therefore, indirectly, no one is different from the Supreme Person—certainly not Brahmā and Rudra, who are incarnations of the material nature’s modes of passion and ignorance.
yathā pumān na svāṅgeṣu
evaṁ bhūteṣu mat-paraḥ
yathā—as; pumān—a person; na—not; sva-aṅgeṣu—in his own body; śiraḥ-pāṇi-ādiṣu—between the head and the hands and other parts of the body; kvacit—sometimes; pārakya-buddhim—differentiation; kurute—make; evam—thus; bhūteṣu—among living entities; mat-paraḥ—My devotee.
A person with average intelligence does not think the head and other parts of the body to be separate. Similarly, My devotee does not differentiate Viṣṇu, the all-pervading Personality of Godhead, from any thing or any living entity.
Whenever there is disease in any part of the body, the whole body takes care of the ailing part. Similarly, a devotee’s oneness is manifested in His compassion for all conditioned souls. Bhagavad-gītā (5.18) says, paṇḍitāḥ sama-darśinaḥ: those who are learned see everyone’s conditional life equally. Devotees are compassionate to every conditioned soul, and therefore they are known as apārakya-buddhi. Because devotees are learned and know that every living entity is part and parcel of the Supreme Lord, they preach Kṛṣṇa consciousness to everyone so that everyone may be happy. If a particular part of the body is diseased, the whole attention of the body goes to that part. Similarly, devotees care for any person who is forgetful of Kṛṣṇa and therefore in material consciousness. The equal vision of the devotee is that he works to get all living entities back home, back to Godhead.
yo na paśyati vai bhidām
sa śāntim adhigacchati
trayāṇām—of the three; eka-bhāvānām—having one nature; yaḥ—who; na paśyati—does not see; vai—certainly; bhidām—separateness; sarva-bhūta-ātmanām—of the Supersoul of all living entities; brahman—O Dakṣa; saḥ—he; śāntim—peace; adhigacchati—realizes.
The Lord continued: One who does not consider Brahmā, Viṣṇu, Śiva or the living entities in general to be separate from the Supreme, and who knows Brahman, actually realizes peace; others do not.
Two words are very significant in this verse. Trayāṇām indicates “three,” namely Lord Brahmā, Lord Śiva and Lord Viṣṇu. Bhidām means “different.” They are three, and therefore they are separate, but at the same time they are one. This is the philosophy of simultaneous oneness and difference, which is called . The example given in the Brahma-saṁhitā is that milk and yogurt are simultaneously one and different; both are milk, but the yogurt has become changed. In order to achieve real peace, one should see everything and every living entity, including Lord Brahmā and Lord Śiva, as nondifferent from the Supreme Personality of Godhead. No one is independent. Every one of us is an expansion of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This accounts for unity in diversity. There are diverse manifestations, but, at the same time, they are one in Viṣṇu. Everything is an expansion of Viṣṇu’s energy.
arcitvā kratunā svena
devān ubhayato ’yajat
maitreyaḥ—Maitreya; uvāca—said; evam—thus; bhagavatā—by the Supreme Personality of Godhead; ādiṣṭaḥ—having been instructed; prajāpati-patiḥ—the head of all the Prajāpatis; harim—Hari; arcitvā—after worshiping; kratunā—with the sacrificial ceremonies; svena—his own; devān—the demigods; ubhayataḥ—separately; ayajat—worshiped.
The sage Maitreya said: Thus Dakṣa, the head of all Prajāpatis, having been nicely instructed by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, worshiped Lord Viṣṇu. After worshiping Him by performing the prescribed sacrificial ceremonies, Dakṣa separately worshiped Lord Brahmā and Lord Śiva.
Lord Viṣṇu should be offered everything, and His prasāda should be distributed to all the demigods. This practice is still followed in the temple of Jagannātha at Purī. There are many temples of demigods around the main temple of Jagannātha, and the prasāda which is offered first to Jagannātha is distributed to all the demigods. The deity of Bhagālin is worshiped with the prasāda of Viṣṇu, and also, in the famous Lord Śiva temple of Bhuvaneśvara, the prasāda of Lord Viṣṇu or Lord Jagannātha is offered to the deity of Lord Śiva. This is the Vaiṣṇava principle. The Vaiṣṇava does not deride even ordinary living entities, including the small ant; everyone is offered proper respect according to his position. The offering, however, is in relation to the center, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, or Viṣṇu. The devotee who is highly elevated sees the relationship to Kṛṣṇa in everything; he does not see anything as being independent of Kṛṣṇa. That is his vision of oneness.
rudraṁ ca svena bhāgena
hy upādhāvat samāhitaḥ
somapān itarān api
sasnāv avabhṛthaṁ tataḥ
rudram—Lord Śiva; ca—and; svena—with his own; bhāgena—share; hi—since; upādhāvat—he worshiped; samāhitaḥ—with concentrated mind; karmaṇā—by the performance; udavasānena—by the act of finishing; soma-pān—demigods; itarān—other; api—even; udavasya—after finishing; saha—along with; ṛtvigbhiḥ—with the priests; sasnau—bathed; avabhṛtham—the avabhṛtha bath; tataḥ—then.
With all respect, Dakṣa worshiped Lord Śiva with his share of the remnants of the yajña. After finishing the ritualistic sacrificial activities, he satisfied all the other demigods and the other people assembled there. Then, after finishing all these duties with the priests, he took a bath and was fully satisfied.
Lord Rudra, Śiva, was properly worshiped with his share of the remnants of the yajña. Yajña is Viṣṇu, and whatever prasāda is offered to Viṣṇu is offered to everyone, even to Lord Śiva. Śrīdhara Svāmī also comments in this connection, svena bhāgena: the remnants of the yajña are offered to all the demigods and others.
tasmā apy anubhāvena
dharma eva matiṁ dattvā
tridaśās te divaṁ yayuḥ
tasmai—unto him (Dakṣa); api—even; anubhāvena—by worshiping the Supreme Lord; svena—by his own; eva—certainly; avāpta-rādhase—having attained perfection; dharme—in religion; eva—certainly; matim—intelligence; dattvā—having given; tridaśāḥ—demigods; te—those; divam—to the heavenly planets; yayuḥ—went.
Thus worshiping the Supreme Lord Viṣṇu by the ritualistic performance of sacrifice, Dakṣa was completely situated on the religious path. Moreover, all the demigods who had assembled at the sacrifice blessed him that he might increase his piety, and then they left.
Although Dakṣa was considerably advanced in religious principles, he awaited the blessings of the demigods. Thus the great sacrifice conducted by Dakṣa ended in harmony and peace.
evaṁ dākṣāyaṇī hitvā
jajñe himavataḥ kṣetre
menāyām iti śuśruma
evam—thus; dākṣāyaṇī—the daughter of Dakṣa; hitvā—after giving up; satī—Satī; pūrva-kalevaram—her former body; jajñe—was born; himavataḥ—of the Himalayas; kṣetre—in the wife; menāyām—in Menā; iti—thus; śuśruma—I have heard.
Maitreya said: I have heard that after giving up the body she had received from Dakṣa, Dākṣāyaṇī (his daughter) took her birth in the kingdom of the Himalayas. She was born as the daughter of Menā. I heard this from authoritative sources.
Menā is also known as Menakā and is the wife of the king of the Himalayas.
tam eva dayitaṁ bhūya
āvṛṅkte patim ambikā
śaktiḥ supteva pūruṣam
tam—him (Lord Śiva); eva—certainly; dayitam—beloved; bhūyaḥ—again; āvṛṅkte—accepted; patim—as her husband; ambikā—Ambikā, or Satī; ananya-bhāvā—without attachment for others; eka-gatim—the one goal; śaktiḥ—the feminine (marginal and external) energies; suptā—lying dormant; iva—as; pūruṣam—the masculine (Lord Śiva, as representative of the Supreme Lord).
Ambikā [goddess Durgā], who was known as Dākṣāyiṇī [Satī], again accepted Lord Śiva as her husband, just as different energies of the Supreme Personality of Godhead act during the course of a new creation.
According to a verse of the Vedic mantras, parāsya śaktir vividhaiva śrūyate: the Supreme Personality of Godhead has different varieties of energies. Sakti is feminine, and the Lord is puruṣa, masculine. It is the duty of the female to serve under the supreme puruṣa. As stated in Bhagavad-gītā, all living entities are marginal energies of the Supreme Lord. Therefore it is the duty of all living entities to serve this Supreme Person. Durgā is the representation in the material world of both the marginal and external energies, and Lord Śiva is the representation of the Supreme Person. The connection of Lord Śiva and Ambikā, or Durgā, is eternal. Satī could not accept any husband but Lord Śiva. How Lord Śiva remarried Durgā as Himavatī, the daughter of the Himalayas, and how Kārttikeya was born, is a great story in itself.
etad bhagavataḥ śambhoḥ
śrutaṁ bhāgavatāc chiṣyād
uddhavān me bṛhaspateḥ
etat—this; bhagavataḥ—of the possessor of all opulences; śambhoḥ—of Śambhu (Lord Śiva); karma—story; dakṣa-adhvara-druhaḥ—who devastated the sacrifice of Dakṣa; śrutam—was heard; bhāgavatāt—from a great devotee; śiṣyāt—from the disciple; uddhavāt—from Uddhava; me—by me; bṛhaspateḥ—of Bṛhaspati.
Maitreya said: My dear Vidura, I heard this story of the Dakṣa yajña, which was devastated by Lord Śiva, from Uddhava, a great devotee and a disciple of Bṛhaspati.
idaṁ pavitraṁ param īśa-ceṣṭitaṁ
yaśasyam āyuṣyam aghaugha-marṣaṇam
yo nityadākarṇya naro ’nukīrtayed
dhunoty aghaṁ kaurava bhakti-bhāvataḥ
idam—this; pavitram—pure; param—supreme; īśa-ceṣṭitam—pastime of the Supreme Lord; yaśasyam—fame; āyuṣyam—long duration of life; agha-ogha-marṣaṇam—destroying sins; yaḥ—who; nityadā—always; ākarṇya—after hearing; naraḥ—a person; anukīrtayet—should narrate; dhunoti—clears off; agham—material contamination; kaurava—O descendant of Kuru; bhakti-bhāvataḥ—with faith and devotion.
The great sage Maitreya concluded: If one hears and again narrates, with faith and devotion, this story of the Dakṣa yajña as it was conducted by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Viṣṇu, then certainly one is cleared of all contamination of material existence, O son of Kuru.
Thus end the Bhaktivedanta purports of the Fourth Canto, Seventh Chapter, of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, entitled “The Sacrifice performed by Dakṣa.”
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