TEXT 1
śrī-ṛṣir uvāca
evaṁ jihāsur nṛpa deham ājau
mṛtyuṁ varaṁ vijayān manyamānaḥ
śūlaṁ pragṛhyābhyapatat surendraṁ
yathā mahā-puruṣaṁ kaiṭabho ’psu
SYNONYMS
śrī-ṛṣiḥ uvāca—Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī said; evam—thus; jihāsuḥ—very eager to give up; nṛpa—O King Parīkṣit; deham—the body; ājau—in battle; mṛtyum—death; varam—better; vijayāt—than victory; manyamānaḥ—thinking; śūlam—trident; pragṛhya—taking up; abhyapatat—attacked; sura-indram—the King of heaven, Indra; yathā—just as; mahā-puruṣam—the Supreme Personality of Godhead; kaiṭabhaḥ—the demon Kaiṭabha; apsu—when the whole universe was inundated.
TRANSLATION
Śukadeva Gosvāmī said: Desiring to give up his body, Vṛtrāsura considered death in the battle preferable to victory. O King Parīkṣit, he vigorously took up his trident and with great force attacked Lord Indra, the King of heaven, just as Kaiṭabha had forcefully attacked the Supreme Personality of Godhead when the universe was inundated.
PURPORT
Although Vṛtrāsura 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. Vṛtrāsura, disappointed that King Indra was reluctant despite his encouragement, took the initiative very forcefully by throwing his trident at Indra. Vṛtrāsura 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-gītā (4.9), tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti: after giving up his body, a devotee immediately returns to Lord Kṛṣṇa and never returns to accept another body. This was Vṛtrāsura’s interest.

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