sureśa kasmān na hinoṣi vajraṁ
puraḥ sthite vairiṇi mayy amogham
mā saṁśayiṣṭhā na gadeva vajraḥ
syān niṣphalaḥ kṛpaṇārtheva yācñā
sura-īśa—O King of the demigods; kasmāt—why; na—not; hinoṣi—you hurl; vajram—the thunderbolt; puraḥ sthite—standing in front; vairiṇi—your enemy; mayi—at me; amogham—which is infallible (your thunderbolt); mā—do not; saṁśayiṣṭhāḥ—doubt; na—not; gadā iva—like the club; vajraḥ—the thunderbolt; syāt—may be; niṣphalaḥ—with no result; kṛpaṇa—from a miserly person; arthā—for money; iva—like; yācñā—a request.
O King of the demigods, since I, your enemy, am standing before you, why don’t you hurl your thunderbolt at me? Although your attack upon me with your club was certainly useless, like a request of money from a miser, the thunderbolt you carry will not be useless. You need have no doubts about this.
When King Indra threw his club at Vṛtrāsura, Vṛtrāsura caught it in his left hand and retaliated by using it to strike the head of Indra’s elephant. Thus Indra’s attack was a disastrous failure. Indeed, Indra’s elephant was injured and thrown back fourteen yards. Therefore even though Indra stood with the thunderbolt to hurl against Vṛtrāsura, he was doubtful, thinking that the thunderbolt might also fail. Vṛtrāsura, however, being a Vaiṣṇava, assured Indra that the thunderbolt would not fail, for Vṛtrāsura knew that it had been prepared in accordance with the instructions of Lord Viṣṇu. Although Indra had doubts because he could not understand that Lord Viṣṇu’s order never fails, Vṛtrāsura understood Lord Viṣṇu’s purpose. Vṛtrāsura was eager to be killed by the thunderbolt manufactured according to Lord Viṣṇu’s instructions because he was sure that he would thus return home, back to Godhead. He was simply waiting for the opportunity of the thunderbolt’s being released. In effect, therefore, Vṛtrāsura told Indra, “If you want to kill me, since I am your enemy, take this opportunity. Kill me. You will gain victory, and I shall go back to Godhead. Your deed will be equally beneficial for both of us. Do it immediately.”
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