evam jihasur nrpa deham ajau
mrtyum varam vijayan manyamanah
sulam pragrhyabhyapatat surendram
yatha maha-purusam kaitabho ’psu
sri-rsih uvaca—Sri Sukadeva Gosvami said; evam—thus; jihasuh—very eager to give up; nrpa—O King Pariksit; deham—the body; ajau—in battle; mrtyum—death; varam—better; vijayat—than victory; manyamanah—thinking; sulam—trident; pragrhya—taking up; abhyapatat—attacked; sura-indram—the King of heaven, Indra; yatha—just as; maha-purusam—the Supreme Personality of Godhead; kaitabhah—the demon Kaitabha; apsu—when the whole universe was inundated.
Sukadeva Gosvami said: Desiring to give up his body, Vrtrasura considered death in the battle preferable to victory. O King Pariksit, he vigorously took up his trident and with great force attacked Lord Indra, the King of heaven, just as Kaitabha had forcefully attacked the Supreme Personality of Godhead when the universe was inundated.
Although Vrtrasura repeatedly encouraged Indra to kill him with the thunderbolt, King Indra was morose at having to kill such a great devotee and was hesitant to throw it. Vrtrasura, disappointed that King Indra was reluctant despite his encouragement, took the initiative very forcefully by throwing his trident at Indra. Vrtrasura was not at all interested in victory; he was interested in being killed so that he could immediately return home, back to Godhead. As confirmed in Bhagavad-gita (4.9), tyaktva deham punar janma naiti: after giving up his body, a devotee immediately returns to Lord Krsna and never returns to accept another body. This was Vrtrasura’s interest.
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