Chapter Six
The Demigods and Demons Declare a Truce
This chapter describes how the Lord appeared before the demigods when they offered Him their prayers. Following the advice of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the demigods executed a truce with the demons for the purpose of churning nectar from the sea.
Because of the prayers offered by the demigods in the previous chapter, Lord Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu was pleased with the demigods, and thus He appeared before them. The demigods were almost blinded by His transcendental bodily effulgence. At first, therefore, they could not even see any part of His body. After some time, however, when Brahmā could see the Lord, he, along with Lord Śiva, began to offer the Lord prayers.
Lord Brahmā said: “The Supreme Personality of Godhead, being beyond birth and death, is eternal. He has no material qualities. Yet He is the ocean of unlimited auspicious qualities. He is subtler than the most subtle, He is invisible, and His form is inconceivable. He is worshipable for all the demigods. Innumerable universes exist within His form, and therefore He is never separated from these universes by time, space or circumstances. He is the chief and the pradhāna. Although He is the beginning, the middle and the end of the material creation, the idea of pantheism conceived by Māyāvādī philosophers has no validity. The Supreme Personality of Godhead controls the entire material manifestation through His subordinate agent, the external energy. Because of His inconceivable transcendental position, He is always the master of the material energy. The Supreme Personality of Godhead, in His various forms, is always present even within this material world, but the material qualities cannot touch Him. One can understand His position only by His instructions, as given in Bhagavad-gītā.” As stated in Bhagavad-gītā (10.10), dadāmi buddhi-yogaṁ tam. Buddhi-yoga means bhakti-yoga. Only through the process of bhakti-yoga can one understand the Supreme Lord.
When offered prayers by Lord Śiva and Lord Brahmā, the Supreme Personality of Godhead was pleased. Thus He gave appropriate instructions to all the demigods. The Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is known as Ajita, unconquerable, advised the demigods to make a peace proposal to the demons, so that after formulating a truce, the demigods and demons could churn the ocean of milk. The rope would be the biggest serpent, known as Vāsuki, and the churning rod would be Mandara Mountain. Poison would also be produced from the churning, but it would be taken by Lord Śiva, and so there would be no need to fear it. Many other attractive things would be generated by the churning, but the Lord warned the demigods not to be captivated by such things. Nor should the demigods be angry if there were some disturbances. After advising the demigods in this way, the Lord disappeared from the scene.
Following the instructions of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the demigods established a peace with Mahārāja Bali, the King of the demons. Then both the demons and the demigods started for the ocean, taking Mandara Mountain with them. Because of the great heaviness of the mountain, the demigods and demons became fatigued, and some of them actually died. Then the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Viṣṇu, appeared there on the back of His carrier, Garuḍa, and by His mercy He brought these demigods and demons back to life. The Lord then lifted the mountain with one of His hands and placed it on the back of Garuḍa. The Lord sat on the mountain and was carried to the spot of the churning by Garuḍa, who placed the mountain in the middle of the sea. Then the Lord asked Garuḍa to leave that place because as long as Garuḍa was present, Vāsuki could not come there.
śrī-śuka uvāca
evaṁ stutaḥ sura-gaṇair
bhagavān harir īśvaraḥ
teṣām āvirabhūd rājan
śrī-śukaḥ uvāca—Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī said; evam—in this way; stutaḥ—being worshiped by prayers; sura-gaṇaiḥ—by the demigods; bhagavān—the Supreme Personality of Godhead; hariḥ—the vanquisher of all inauspiciousness; īśvaraḥ—the supreme controller; teṣām—in front of Lord Brahmā and all the demigods; āvirabhūt—appeared there; rājan—O King (Parīkṣit); sahasra—of thousands; arka—of suns; udaya—like the rising; dyutiḥ—His effulgence.
Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī said: O King Parīkṣit, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Hari, being thus worshiped with prayers by the demigods and Lord Brahmā, appeared before them. His bodily effulgence resembled the simultaneous rising of thousands of suns.
tenaiva sahasā sarve
devāḥ pratihatekṣaṇāḥ
nāpaśyan khaṁ diśaḥ kṣauṇīm
ātmānaṁ ca kuto vibhum
tena eva—because of this; sahasā—all of a sudden; sarve—all; devāḥ—the demigods; pratihata-īkṣaṇāḥ—their vision being blocked; na—not; apaśyan—could see; kham—the sky; diśaḥ—the directions; kṣauṇīm—land; ātmānam ca—also themselves; kutaḥ—and where is the question of seeing; vibhum—the Supreme Lord.
The vision of all the demigods was blocked by the Lord’s effulgence. Thus they could see neither the sky, the directions, the land, nor even themselves, what to speak of seeing the Lord, who was present before them.
viriñco bhagavān dṛṣṭvā
saha śarveṇa tāṁ tanum
svacchāṁ marakata-śyāmāṁ
sumukhīṁ sundara-bhruvam
keyūrābhyāṁ ca bhūṣitām
kaustubhābharaṇāṁ lakṣmīṁ
bibhratīṁ vana-mālinīm
sudarśanādibhiḥ svāstrair
mūrtimadbhir upāsitām
tuṣṭāva deva-pravaraḥ
saśarvaḥ puruṣaṁ param
sarvāmara-gaṇaiḥ sākaṁ
sarvāṅgair avaniṁ gataiḥ
viriñcaḥ—Lord Brahmā; bhagavān—who is also addressed as bhagavān because of his powerful position; dṛṣṭvā—by seeing; saha—with; śarveṇa—Lord Śiva; tām—unto the Supreme Lord; tanum—His transcendental form; svacchām—without material contamination; marakata-śyāmām—with a bodily luster like the light of a blue gem; kañja-garbha-aruṇa-īkṣaṇām—with pinkish eyes like the womb of a lotus flower; tapta-hema-avadātena—with a luster like that of molten gold; lasat—shining; kauśeya-vāsasā—dressed in yellow silk garments; prasanna-cāru-sarva-aṅgīm—all the parts of whose body were graceful and very beautiful; su-mukhīm—with a smiling face; sundara-bhruvam—whose eyebrows were very beautifully situated; mahā-maṇi-kirīṭena—with a helmet bedecked with valuable jewels; keyūrābhyām ca bhūṣitām—decorated with all kinds of ornaments; karṇa-ābharaṇa-nirbhāta—illuminated by the rays of the jewels on His ears; kapola—with cheeks; śrī-mukha-ambujām—whose beautiful lotuslike face; kāñcī-kalāpa-valaya—ornaments like the belt on the waist and bangles on the hands; hāra-nūpura—with a necklace on the chest and ankle bells on the legs; śobhitām—all beautifully set; kaustubha-ābharaṇām—whose chest was decorated with the Kaustubha gem; lakṣmīm—the goddess of fortune; bibhratīm—moving; vana-mālinīm—with flower garlands; sudarśana-ādibhiḥ—bearing the Sudarśana cakra and others; sva-astraiḥ—with His weapons; mūrtimadbhiḥ—in His original form; upāsitām—being worshiped; tuṣṭāva—satisfied; deva-pravaraḥ—the chief of the demigods; sa-śarvaḥ—with Lord Śiva; puruṣam param—the Supreme Personality; sarva-amara-gaṇaiḥ—accompanied by all the demigods; sākam—with; sarva-aṅgaiḥ—with all the parts of the body; avanim—on the ground; gataiḥ—prostrated.
Lord Brahmā, along with Lord Śiva, saw the crystal-clear personal beauty of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, whose blackish body resembles a marakata gem, whose eyes are reddish like the depths of a lotus, who is dressed with garments that are yellow like molten gold, and whose entire body is attractively decorated. They saw His beautiful, smiling, lotuslike face, crowned by a helmet bedecked with valuable jewels. The Lord has attractive eyebrows, and His cheeks are adorned with earrings. Lord Brahmā and Lord Śiva saw the belt on the Lord’s waist, the bangles on Mis arms, the necklace on His chest, and the ankle bells on His legs. The Lord is bedecked with flower garlands, His neck is decorated with the Kaustubha gem, and He carries with Him the goddess of fortune and His personal weapons, like His disc and club. When Lord Brahmā, along with Lord Śiva and the other demigods, thus saw the form of the Lord, they all immediately fell to the ground, offering their obeisances.
guṇāya nirvāṇa-sukhārṇavāya
aṇor aṇimne ’parigaṇya-dhāmne
mahānubhāvāya namo namas te
śrī-brahmā uvāca—Lord Brahmā said; ajāta-janma-sthiti-saṁyamāya—unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is never born but whose appearance in different incarnations never ceases; aguṇāya—never affected by the material modes of nature (sattva-guṇa, rajo-guṇa and tamo-guṇa); nirvāṇa-sukha-arṇavāya—unto the ocean of eternal bliss, beyond material existence; aṇoḥ aṇimne—smaller than the atom; aparigaṇya-dhāmne—whose bodily features are never to be conceived by material speculation; mahā-anubhāvāya—whose existence is inconceivable; namaḥ—offering our obeisances; namaḥ—again offering our obeisances; te—unto You.
Lord Brahmā said: Although You are never born, Your appearance and disappearance as an incarnation never cease. You are always free from the material qualities, and You are the shelter of transcendental bliss resembling an ocean. Eternally existing in Your transcendental form, You are the supreme subtle of the most extremely subtle. We therefore offer our respectful obeisances unto You, the Supreme, whose existence is inconceivable.
The Lord says in Bhagavad-gītā (4.6):
ajo ’pi sann avyayātmā
bhūtānām īśvaro ’pi san
prakṛtiṁ svām adhiṣṭhāya
sambhavāmy ātma-māyayā
“Although I am unborn and My transcendental body never deteriorates, and although I am the Lord of all sentient beings, I still appear in every millennium in My original transcendental form.” In the following verse in Bhagavad-gītā (4.7), the Lord says:
yadā yadā hi dharmasya
glānir bhavati bhārata
abhyutthānam adharmasya
tadātmānaṁ sṛjāmy aham
“Whenever and wherever there is a decline in religious practice, O descendant of Bharata, and a predominant rise of irreligion—at that time descend Myself.” Thus although the Supreme Lord is unborn, there is no cessation to His appearance in different forms as incarnations like Lord Kṛṣṇa and Lord Rāma. Since His incarnations are eternal, the various activities performed by these incarnations are also eternal. The Supreme Personality of Godhead does not appear because He is forced to do so by karma like ordinary living entities who are forced to accept a certain type of body. It is to be understood that the Lord’s body and activities are all transcendental, being free from the contamination of the material modes of nature. These pastimes are transcendental bliss to the Lord. The word aparigaṇya-dhāmne is very significant. There is no limit to the Lord’s appearance in different incarnations. All of these incarnations are eternal, blissful and full of knowledge.
rūpaṁ tavaitat puruṣarṣabhejyaṁ
śreyo ’rthibhir vaidika-tāntrikeṇa
yogena dhātaḥ saha nas tri-lokān
paśyāmy amuṣminn u ha viśva-mūrtau
rūpam—form; tava—Your; etat—this; puruṣa-ṛṣabha—O best of all personalities; ijyam—worshipable; śreyaḥ—ultimate auspiciousness; arthibhiḥ—by persons who desire; vaidika—under the direction of Vedic instructions; tāntrikeṇa—realized by followers of Tantras, like Nārada-pañcarātra; yogena—by practice of mystic yoga; dhātaḥ—O supreme director; saha—with; naḥ—us (the demigods); tri-lokān—controlling the three worlds; paśyāmi—we see directly; amuṣmin—in You; u—oh; ha—completely manifested; viśva-mūrtau—in You, who have the universal form.
O best of persons, O supreme director, those who actually aspire for supreme good fortune worship this form of Your Lordship according to the Vedic Tantras. My Lord, we can see all the three worlds in You.
The Vedic mantras say: yasmin vijñāte sarvam evaṁ vijñātaṁ bhavati. When the devotee sees the Supreme Personality of Godhead by his meditation, or when he sees the Lord personally, face to face, he becomes aware of everything within this universe. Indeed, nothing is unknown to him. Everything within this material world is fully manifested to a devotee who has seen the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Bhagavad-gītā (4.34) therefore advises:
“Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master. Inquire from him submissively and render service unto him. The self-realized soul can impart knowledge unto you because he has seen the truth.” Lord Brahmā is one of these self-realized authorities (svayambhūr nāradaḥ śambhuḥ kumāraḥ kapilo manuḥ [SB 6.3.20]). One must therefore accept the disciplic succession from Lord Brahmā, and then one can understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead in fullness. Here the word viśva-mūrtau indicates that everything exists in the form of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. One who is able to worship Him can see everything in Him and see Him in everything.
tvayy agra āsīt tvayi madhya āsīt
tvayy anta āsīd idam ātma-tantre
tvam ādir anto jagato ’sya madhyaṁ
ghaṭasya mṛtsneva paraḥ parasmāt
tvayi—unto You, the Supreme Personality of Godhead; agre—in the beginning; āsīt—there was; tvayi—unto You; madhye—in the middle; āsīt—there was; tvayi—unto You; ante—in the end; āsīt—there was; idam—all of this cosmic manifestation; ātma-tantre—fully under Your control; tvam—Your Lordship; ādiḥ—beginning; antaḥ—end; jagataḥ—of the cosmic manifestation; asya—of this; madhyam—middle; ghaṭasya—of an earthen pot; mṛtsnā iva—like the earth; paraḥ—transcendental; parasmāt—because of being the chief.
My dear Lord, who are always fully independent, this entire cosmic manifestation arises from You, rests upon You and ends in You. Your Lordship is the beginning, sustenance and end of everything, like the earth, which is the cause of an earthen pot, which supports the pot, and to which the pot, when broken, finally returns.
tvaṁ māyayātmāśrayayā svayedaṁ
nirmāya viśvaṁ tad-anupraviṣṭaḥ
paśyanti yuktā manasā manīṣiṇo
guṇa-vyavāye ’py aguṇaṁ vipaścitaḥ
tvam—Your Lordship; māyayā—by Your eternal energy; ātma-āśrayayā—whose existence is under Your shelter; svayā—emanated from Yourself; idam—this; nirmāya—for the sake of creating; viśvam—the entire universe; tat—into it; anupraviṣṭaḥ—You enter; paśyanti—they see; yuktāḥ—persons in touch with You; manasā—by an elevated mind; manīṣiṇaḥ—people with advanced consciousness; guṇa—of material qualities; vyavāye—in the transformation; api—although; aguṇam—still untouched by the material qualities; vipaścitaḥ—those who are fully aware of the truth of śāstra.
O Supreme, You are independent in Your self and do not take help from others. Through Your own potency, You create this cosmic manifestation and enter into it. Those who are advanced in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, who are fully in knowledge of the authoritative śāstra, and who, through the practice of bhakti-yoga, are cleansed of all material contamination, can see with clear minds that although You exist within the transformations of the material qualities, Your presence is untouched by these qualities.
The Lord says in Bhagavad-gītā (9.10):
mayādhyakṣeṇa prakṛtiḥ
sūyate sacarācaram
hetunānena kaunteya
jagad viparivartate
“This material nature, working under My direction, O son of Kuntī, is producing all moving and unmoving beings. By its rule this manifestation is created and annihilated again and again.” The material energy creates, maintains and devastates the entire cosmic manifestation because of directions given by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who enters this universe as Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu but is untouched by the material qualities. In Bhagavad-gītā the Lord refers to māyā, the external energy, which creates this material world, as mama māyā, “My energy,” because this energy works under the full control of the Lord. These facts can be realized only by those who are well versed in Vedic knowledge and advanced in Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
yathāgnim edhasy amṛtaṁ ca goṣu
bhuvy annam ambūdyamane ca vṛttim
yogair manuṣyā adhiyanti hi tvāṁ
guṇeṣu buddhyā kavayo vadanti
yathā—as; agnim—fire; edhasi—in wood; amṛtam—milk, which is like nectar; ca—and; goṣu—from cows; bhuvi—on the ground; annam—food grains; ambu—water; udyamane—in enterprise; ca—also; vṛttim—livelihood; yogaiḥ—by practice of bhakti-yoga; manuṣyāḥ—human beings; adhiyanti—achieve; hi—indeed; tvām—You; guṇeṣu—in the material modes of nature; buddhyā—by intelligence; kavayaḥ—great personalities; vadanti—say.
As one can derive fire from wood, milk from the milk bag of the cow, food grains and water from the land, and prosperity in one’s livelihood from industrial enterprises, so, by the practice of bhakti-yoga, even within this material world, one can achieve Your favor or intelligently approach You. Those who are pious all affirm this.
Although the Supreme Personality of Godhead is nirguṇa, not to be found within this material world, the entire material world is pervaded by Him, as stated in Bhagavad-gītā (mayā tatam idaṁ sarvam). The material world is nothing but an expansion of the Lord’s material energy, and the entire cosmic manifestation rests upon Him (mat-sthāni sarva-bhūtāni). Nonetheless, the Supreme Lord cannot be found here (na cāhaṁ teṣv avasthitaḥ). A devotee, however, can see the Supreme Personality of Godhead through the practice of bhakti-yoga. One ordinarily does not begin to practice bhakti-yoga unless he has practiced it in previous births. Moreover, one can begin bhakti-yoga only by the mercy of the spiritual master and Kṛṣṇa. Guru-kṛṣṇa-prasāde pāya bhakti-latā-bīja. The seed of devotional service is obtainable by the mercy of guru, the spiritual master, and Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
Only by the practice of bhakti-yoga can one achieve the favor of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and see Him face to face (premāñjana-cchurita-bhakti-vilocanena santaḥ sadaiva hṛdayeṣu vilokayanti [Bs. 5.38]). One cannot see the Lord by other methods, such as karma, jñāna or yoga. Under the direction of the spiritual master, one must cultivate bhakti-yoga (śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ smaraṇaṁ pāda-sevanam [SB 7.5.23]). Then, even within this material world, although the Lord is not visible, a devotee can see Him. This is confirmed in Bhagavad-gītā (bhaktyā mām abhijānāti yāvān yaś cāsmi tattvataḥ [Bg. 18.55]) and in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (bhaktyāham ekayā grāhyaḥ). Thus by devotional service one can achieve the favor of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, although He is not visible or understandable to materialistic persons.
In this verse, the cultivation of bhakti-yoga is compared to many material activities. By friction one can get fire from wood, by digging the earth one can get food grains and water, and by agitating the milk bag of the cow one can get nectarean milk. Milk is compared to nectar, which one can drink to become immortal. Of course, simply drinking milk will not make one immortal, but it can increase the duration of one’s life. In modern civilization, men do not think milk to be important, and therefore they do not live very long. Although in this age men can live up to one hundred years, their duration of life is reduced because they do not drink large quantities of milk. This is a sign of Kali-yuga. In Kali-yuga, instead of drinking milk, people prefer to slaughter an animal and eat its flesh. The Supreme Personality of Godhead, in His instructions of Bhagavad-gītā, advises go-rakṣya, which means cow protection. The cow should be protected, milk should be drawn from the cows, and this milk should be prepared in various ways. One should take ample milk, and thus one can prolong one’s life, develop his brain, execute devotional service, and ultimately attain the favor of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. As it is essential to get food grains and water by digging the earth, it is also essential to give protection to the cows and take nectarean milk from their milk bags.
The people of this age are inclined toward industrial enterprises for comfortable living, but they refuse to endeavor to execute devotional service, by which they can achieve the ultimate goal of life by returning home, back to Godhead. Unfortunately, as it is said, na te viduḥ svārtha-gatiṁ hi viṣṇuṁ durāśayā ye bahir-artha-māninaḥ [SB 7.5.31]. People without spiritual education do not know that the ultimate goal of life is to go back home, back to Godhead. Forgetting this aim of life, they are working very hard in disappointment and frustration (moghāśā mogha-karmāṇo mogha jñānā vicetasaḥ [Bg. 9.12]). The so-called vaiśyas—the industrialists or businessmen—are involved in big, big industrial enterprises, but they are not interested in food grains and milk. However, as indicated here, by digging for water, even in the desert, we can produce food grains; when we produce food grains and vegetables, we can give protection to the cows; while giving protection to the cows, we can draw from them abundant quantities of milk; and by getting enough milk and combining it with food grains and vegetables, we can prepare hundreds of nectarean foods. We can happily eat this food and thus avoid industrial enterprises and joblessness.
Agriculture and cow protection are the way to become sinless and thus be attracted to devotional service. Those who are sinful cannot be attracted by devotional service. As stated in Bhagavad-gītā (7.28):
“Persons who have acted piously in previous lives and in this life, whose sinful actions are completely eradicated and who are freed from the duality of delusion, engage themselves in My service with determination.” The majority of people in this age of Kali are sinful, short-living, unfortunate and disturbed (mandāḥ sumanda-matayo manda-bhāgyā hy upadrutāḥ [SB 1.1.10]). For them, Caitanya Mahāprabhu has advised:
harer nāma harer nāma
harer nāmaiva kevalam
kalau nāsty eva nāsty eva
nāsty eva gatir anyathā
[Adi 17.21]
“In this age of quarrel and hypocrisy the only means of deliverance is chanting the holy name of the Lord. There is no other way. There is no other way. There is no other way.”
taṁ tvāṁ vayaṁ nātha samujjihānaṁ
dṛṣṭvā gatā nirvṛtam adya sarve
gajā davārtā iva gāṅgam ambhaḥ
tam—O Lord; tvām—Your Lordship; vayam—all of us; nātha—O master; samujjihānam—now appearing before us with all glories; saroja-nābha—O Lord, whose navel resembles a lotus flower, or from whose navel grows a lotus flower; ati-cira—for an extremely long time; īpsita—desiring; artham—for the ultimate goal of life; dṛṣṭvā—seeing; gatāḥ—in our vision; nirvṛtam—transcendental happiness; adya—today; sarve—all of us; gajāḥ—elephants; dava-artāḥ—being afflicted in a forest fire; iva—like; gāṅgam ambhaḥ—with water from the Ganges.
Elephants afflicted by a forest fire become very happy when they get water from the Ganges. Similarly, O my Lord, from whose navel grows a lotus flower, since You have now appeared before us, we have become transcendentally happy. By seeing Your Lordship, whom we have desired to see for a very long time, we have achieved our ultimate goal in life.
The devotees of the Lord are always very eager to see the Supreme Lord face to face, but they do not demand that the Lord come before them, for a pure devotee considers such a demand to be contrary to devotional service. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu teaches this lesson in His Śikṣāṣṭaka. Adarśanān marma-hatāṁ karotu . The devotee is always eager to see the Lord face to face, but if he is brokenhearted because he cannot see the Lord, even life after life, he will never command the Lord to appear. This is a sign of pure devotion. Therefore in this verse we find the word ati-cira-īpsita-artham, meaning that the devotee aspires for a long, long time to see the Lord. If the Lord, by His own pleasure, appears before the devotee, the devotee feels extremely happy, as Dhruva Mahārāja felt when he personally saw the Supreme Personality of Godhead. When Dhruva Mahārāja saw the Lord, he had no desire to ask the Lord for any benediction. Indeed, simply by seeing the Lord, Dhruva Mahārāja felt so satisfied that he did not want to ask the Lord for any benediction (svāmin kṛtārtho ’smi varaṁ na yāce). A pure devotee, whether able or unable to see the Lord, always engages in the Lord’s devotional service, always hoping that at some time the Lord may be pleased to appear before him so that he can see the Lord face to face.
sa tvaṁ vidhatsvākhila-loka-pālā
vayaṁ yad arthās tava pāda-mūlam
samāgatās te bahir-antar-ātman
kiṁ vānya-vijñāpyam aśeṣa-sākṣiṇaḥ
saḥ—that; tvam—Your Lordship; vidhatsva—kindly do the needful; akhila-loka-pālāḥ—the demigods, directors of different departments of this universe; vayam—all of us; yat—that which; arthāḥ—purpose; tava—at Your Lordship’s; pāda-mūlam—lotus feet; samāgatāḥ—we have arrived; te—unto You; bahiḥ-antaḥ-ātman—O Supersoul of everyone, O constant internal and external witness; kim—what; —either; anya-vijñāpyam—we have to inform You; aśeṣa-sākṣiṇaḥ—the witness and knower of everything.
My Lord, we, the various demigods, the directors of this universe, have come to Your lotus feet. Please fulfill the purpose for which we have come. You are the witness of everything, from within and without. Nothing is unknown to You, and therefore it is unnecessary to inform You again of anything.
As stated in Bhagavad-gītā (13.3), kṣetra jñaṁ cāpi māṁ viddhi sarva-kṣetreṣu bhārata. The individual souls are proprietors of their individual bodies, but the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the proprietor of all bodies. Since He is the witness of everyone’s body, nothing is unknown to Him. He knows what we need. Our duty, therefore, is to execute devotional service sincerely, under the direction of the spiritual master. Kṛṣṇa, by His grace, will supply whatever we need in executing our devotional service. In the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, we simply have to execute the order of Kṛṣṇa and guru. Then all necessities will be supplied by Kṛṣṇa, even if we do not ask for them.
ahaṁ giritraś ca surādayo ye
dakṣādayo ’gner iva ketavas te
kiṁ vā vidāmeśa pṛthag-vibhātā
vidhatsva śaṁ no dvija-deva-mantram
aham—I (Lord Brahmā); giritraḥ—Lord Śiva; ca—also; sura-ādayaḥ—all the demigods; ye—as we are; dakṣa-ādayaḥ—headed by Mahārāja Dakṣa; agneḥ—of fire; iva—like; ketavaḥ—sparks; te—of You; kim—what; —either; vidāma—can we understand; īśa—O my Lord; pṛthak-vibhātāḥ—independently of You; vidhatsva—kindly bestow upon us; śam—good fortune; naḥ—our; dvija-deva-mantram—the means of deliverance suitable for the brāhmaṇas and demigods.
I [Lord Brahmā], Lord Śiva and all the demigods, accompanied by the prajāpatis like Dakṣa, are nothing but sparks illuminated by You, who are the original fire. Since we are particles of You, what can we understand about our welfare? O Supreme Lord, please give us the means of deliverance that is suitable for the brāhmaṇas and demigods.
In this verse, the word dvija-deva-mantram is very important. The word mantra means “that which delivers one from the material world.” Only the dvijas (the brāhmaṇas) and the devas (the demigods) can be delivered from material existence by the instructions of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Whatever is spoken by the Supreme Personality of Godhead is a mantra and is suitable for delivering the conditioned souls from mental speculation. The conditioned souls are engaged in a struggle for existence (manaḥ ṣaṣṭhānīndriyāṇi prakṛti-sthāni karṣati [Bg. 15.7]). Deliverance from this struggle constitutes the highest benefit, but unless one gets a mantra from the Supreme Personality of Godhead, deliverance is impossible. The beginning mantra is the Gāyatrī mantra. Therefore, after purification, when one is qualified to become a brāhmaṇa (dvija), he is offered the Gāyatrī mantra. Simply by chanting the Gāyatrī mantra, one can be delivered. This mantra, however, is suitable only for the brāhmaṇas and demigods. In Kali-yuga, we are all in a very difficult position, in which we need a suitable mantra that can deliver us from the dangers of this age. Therefore the Supreme Personality of Godhead, in His incarnation as Lord Caitanya, gives us the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra.
harer nāma harer nāma
harer nāmaiva kevalam
kalau nāsty eva nāsty eva
nāsty eva gatir anyathā
[Adi 17.21]
“In this age of quarrel and hypocrisy the only means of deliverance is chanting the holy name of the Lord. There is no other way. There is no other way. There is no other way.” In His Śikṣāṣṭaka, Lord Caitanya says, paraṁ vijayate śrī-kṛṣṇa-saṅkīrtanam: “All glories to the chanting of śrī-kṛṣṇa-saṅkīrtana!” The mahā-mantraHare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare—is directly chanted by the Lord Himself, who gives us this mantra for deliverance.
We cannot invent any means to be delivered from the dangers of material existence. Here, even the demigods, such as Lord Brahmā and Lord Śiva, and the prajāpatis, such as Dakṣa, are said to be like illuminating sparks in the presence of the Supreme Lord, who is compared to a great fire. Sparks are beautiful as long as they are in the fire. Similarly, we have to remain in the association of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and always engage in devotional service, for then we shall always be brilliant and illuminating. As soon as we fall from the service of the Lord, our brilliance and illumination will immediately be extinguished, or at least stopped for some time. When we living entities, who are like sparks of the original fire, the Supreme Lord, fall into a material condition, we must take the mantra from the Supreme Personality of Godhead as it is offered by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. By chanting this Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, we shall be delivered from all the difficulties of this material world.
śrī-śuka uvāca
evaṁ viriñcādibhir īḍitas tad
vijñāya teṣāṁ hṛdayaṁ yathaiva
jagāda jīmūta-gabhīrayā girā
baddhāñjalīn saṁvṛta-sarva-kārakān
śrī-śukaḥ uvāca—Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī said; evam—thus; viriñca-ādibhiḥ—by all the demigods, headed by Lord Brahmā; īḍitaḥ—being worshiped; tat vijñāya—understanding the expectation; teṣām—of all of them; hṛdayam—the core of the heart; yathā—as; eva—indeed; jagāda—replied; jīmūta-gabhīrayā—like the sound of clouds; girā—by words; baddha-añjalīn—unto the demigods, who stood with folded hands; saṁvṛta—restrained; sarva—all; kārakān—senses.
Śukadeva Gosvāmī continued: When the Lord was thus offered prayers by the demigods, headed by Lord Brahmā, He understood the purpose for which they had approached Him. Therefore, in a deep voice that resembled the rumbling of clouds, the Lord replied to the demigods, who all stood there attentively with folded hands.
eka eveśvaras tasmin
sura-kārye sureśvaraḥ
vihartu-kāmas tān āha
ekaḥ—alone; eva—indeed; īśvaraḥ—the Supreme Personality of Godhead; tasmin—in that; sura-kārye—the activities of the demigods; sura-īśvaraḥ—the Lord of the demigods, the Supreme Personality of Godhead; vihartu—to enjoy pastimes; kāmaḥ—desiring; tān—unto the demigods; āha—said; samudra-unmathana-ādibhiḥ—by activities of churning the ocean.
Although the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the master of the demigods, was capable of performing the activities of the demigods by Himself, He wanted to enjoy pastimes in churning the ocean. Therefore He spoke as follows.
śrī-bhagavān uvāca
hanta brahmann aho śambho
he devā mama bhāṣitam
śṛṇutāvahitāḥ sarve
śreyo vaḥ syād yathā surāḥ
śrī-bhagavān uvāca—the Supreme Personality of Godhead said; hanta—addressing them; brahman aho—O Lord Brahmā; śambho—O Lord Śiva; he—O; devāḥ—demigods; mama—My; bhāṣitam—statement; śṛṇuta—hear; avahitāḥ—with great attention; sarve—all of you; śreyaḥ—good fortune; vaḥ—for all of you; syāt—shall be; yathā—as; surāḥ—for the demigods.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: O Lord Brahmā, Lord Śiva and other demigods, please hear Me with great attention, for what I say will bring good fortune for all of you.
yāta dānava-daiteyais
tāvat sandhir vidhīyatām
kālenānugṛhītais tair
yāvad vo bhava ātmanaḥ
yāta—just execute; dānava—with the demons; daiteyaiḥ—and the asuras; tāvat—so long; sandhiḥ—a truce; vidhīyatām—execute; kālena—by a favorable time (or kāvyena—by Śukrācārya); anugṛhītaiḥ—receiving benedictions; taiḥ—with them; yāvat—as long as; vaḥ—of you; bhavaḥ—good fortune; ātmanaḥ—of yourselves.
As long as you are not flourishing, you should make a truce with the demons and asuras, who are now being favored by time.
One word in this verse has two readings—kālena and kāvyena. Kālena means “favored by time,” and kāvyena means “favored by Śukrācārya,” Śukrācārya being the spiritual master of the Daityas. The demons and Daityas were favored in both ways, and therefore the demigods were advised by the Supreme Lord to execute a truce for the time being, until time favored them.
arayo ’pi hi sandheyāḥ
sati kāryārtha-gaurave
ahi-mūṣikavad devā
hy arthasya padavīṁ gataiḥ
arayaḥ—enemies; api—although; hi—indeed; sandheyāḥ—eligible for a truce; sati—being so; kārya-artha-gaurave—in the matter of an important duty; ahi—snake; mūṣika—mouse; vat—like; devāḥ—O demigods; hi—indeed; arthasya—of interest; padavīm—position; gataiḥ—so being.
O demigods, fulfilling one’s own interests is so important that one may even have to make a truce with one’s enemies. For the sake of one’s self-interest, one has to act according to the logic of the snake and the mouse.
A snake and a mouse were once caught in a basket. Now, since the mouse is food for the snake, this was a good opportunity for the snake. However, since both of them were caught in the basket, even if the snake ate the mouse, the snake would not be able to get out. Therefore, the snake thought it wise to make a truce with the mouse and ask the mouse to make a hole in the basket so that both of them could get out. The snake’s intention was that after the mouse made the hole, the snake would eat the mouse and escape from the basket through the hole. This is called the logic of the snake and the mouse.
amṛtotpādane yatnaḥ
kriyatām avilambitam
yasya pītasya vai jantur
mṛtyu-grasto ’maro bhavet
amṛta-utpādane—in generating nectar; yatnaḥ—endeavor; kriyatām—do; avilambitam—without delay; yasya—of which nectar; pītasya—anyone who drinks; vai—indeed; jantuḥ—living entity; mṛtyu-grastaḥ—although in imminent danger of death; amaraḥ—immortal; bhavet—can become.
Immediately endeavor to produce nectar, which a person who is about to die may drink to become immortal.
TEXTS 22–23
kṣiptvā kṣīrodadhau sarvā
manthānaṁ mandaraṁ kṛtvā
netraṁ kṛtvā tu vāsukim
sahāyena mayā devā
nirmanthadhvam atandritāḥ
kleśa-bhājo bhaviṣyanti
daityā yūyaṁ phala-grahāḥ
kṣiptvā—putting; kṣīra-udadhau—in the ocean of milk; sarvāḥ—all kinds of; vīrut—creepers; tṛṇa—grass; latā—vegetables; auṣadhīḥ—and drugs; manthānam—the churning rod; mandaramMandara Mountain; kṛtvā—making; netram—the churning rope; kṛtvā—making; tu—but; vāsukim—the snake Vāsuki; sahāyena—with a helper; mayā—by Me; devāḥ—all the demigods; nirmanthadhvam—go on churning; atandritāḥ—very carefully, without diversion; kleśa-bhājaḥ—sharetakers of sufferings; bhaviṣyanti—will be; daityāḥ—the demons; yūyam—but all of you; phala-grahāḥ—gainers of the actual result.
O demigods, cast into the ocean of milk all kinds of vegetables, grass, creepers and drugs. Then, with My help, making Mandara Mountain the churning rod and Vāsuki the rope for churning, churn the ocean of milk with undiverted attention. Thus the demons will be engaged in labor, but you, the demigods, will gain the actual result, the nectar produced from the ocean.
It appears that when different kinds of drugs, creepers, grass and vegetables are put into this milk and the milk is churned, as milk is churned for butter, the active principles of the vegetables and drugs mix with the milk, and the result is nectar.
yūyaṁ tad anumodadhvaṁ
yad icchanty asurāḥ surāḥ
na saṁrambheṇa sidhyanti
sarvārthāḥ sāntvayā yathā
yūyam—all of you; tat—that; anumodadhvam—should accept; yat—whatever; icchanti—they desire; asurāḥ—the demons; surāḥ—O demigods; na—not; saṁrambheṇa—by being agitated in anger; sidhyanti—are very successful; sarva-arthāḥ—all desired ends; sāntvayā—by peaceful execution; yathā—as.
My dear demigods, with patience and peace everything can be done, but if one is agitated by anger, the goal is not achieved. Therefore, whatever the demons ask, agree to their proposal.
na bhetavyaṁ kālakūṭād
viṣāj jaladhi-sambhavāt
lobhaḥ kāryo na vo jātu
roṣaḥ kāmas tu vastuṣu
na—not; bhetavyam—should be afraid; kālakūṭāt—of kālakūṭa; viṣāt—from the poison; jaladhi—from the ocean of milk; sambhavāt—which will appear; lobhaḥ—greed; kāryaḥ—execution; na—not; vaḥ—unto you; jātu—at any time; roṣaḥ—anger; kāmaḥ—lust; tu—and; vastuṣu—in the products.
A poison known as kālakūṭa will be generated from the ocean of milk, but you should not fear it. And when various products are churned from the ocean, you should not be greedy for them or anxious to obtain them, nor should you be angry.
It appears that by the churning process many things would be generated from the ocean of milk, including poison, valuable gems, nectar and many beautiful women. The demigods were advised, however, not to be greedy for the gems or beautiful women, but to wait patiently for the nectar. The real purpose was to get the nectar.
śrī-śuka uvāca
iti devān samādiśya
bhagavān puruṣottamaḥ
teṣām antardadhe rājan
svacchanda-gatir īśvaraḥ
śrī-śukaḥ uvāca—Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī said; iti—thus; devān—all the demigods; samādiśya—advising; bhagavān—the Supreme Personality of Godhead; puruṣa-uttamaḥ—the best of all persons; teṣām—from them; antardadhe—disappeared; rājan—O King; svacchanda—free; gatiḥ—whose movements; īśvaraḥ—the Personality of Godhead.
Śukadeva Gosvāmī continued: O King Parīkṣit, after advising the demigods in this way, the independent Supreme Personality of Godhead, the best of all living entities, disappeared from their presence.
atha tasmai bhagavate
namaskṛtya pitāmahaḥ
bhavaś ca jagmatuḥ svaṁ svaṁ
dhāmopeyur baliṁ surāḥ
atha—after this; tasmai—unto Him; bhagavate—unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead; namaskṛtya—offering obeisances; pitā-mahaḥ—Lord Brahmā; bhavaḥ ca—as well as Lord Śiva; jagmatuḥ—returned; svam svam—to their own; dhāma—abodes; upeyuḥ—approached; balim—King Bali; surāḥ—all the other demigods.
Then Lord Brahmā and Lord Śiva, after offering their respectful obeisances to the Lord, returned to their abodes. All the demigods then approached Mahārāja Bali.
dṛṣṭvārīn apy asaṁyattāñ
jāta-kṣobhān sva-nāyakān
nyaṣedhad daitya-rāṭ ślokyaḥ
dṛṣṭvā—observing; arīn—the enemies; api—although; asaṁyattān—without any endeavor to fight; jāta-kṣobhān—who became agitated; sva-nāyakān—his own captains and commanders; nyaṣedhat—prevented; daitya-rāṭ—the Emperor of the Daityas, Mahārāja Bali; ślokyaḥ—very respectable and prominent; sandhi—for making negotiations; vigraha—as well as for fighting; kāla—the time; vit—completely aware of.
Mahārāja Bali, a most celebrated king of the demons, knew very well when to make peace and when to fight. Thus although his commanders and captains were agitated and were about to kill the demigods, Mahārāja Bali, seeing that the demigods were coming to him without a militant attitude, forbade his commanders to kill them.
Vedic etiquette enjoins: gṛhe śatrum api prāptaṁ viśvastam akutobhayam. When enemies come to their opponent’s place, they should be received in such a way that they will forget that there is animosity between the two parties. Bali Mahārāja was well conversant with the arts of peacemaking and fighting. Thus he received the demigods very well, although his commanders and captains were agitated. This kind of treatment was prevalent even during the fight between the Pāṇḍavas and the Kurus. During the day, the Pāṇḍavas and Kurus would fight with the utmost strength, and when the day was over they would go to each other’s camps as friends and be received as such. During such friendly meetings, one enemy would offer anything the other enemy wanted. That was the system.
te vairocanim āsīnaṁ
guptaṁ cāsura-yūtha-paiḥ
śriyā paramayā juṣṭaṁ
jitāśeṣam upāgaman
te—all the demigods; vairocanim—unto Balirāja, the son of Virocana; āsīnam—sitting down; guptam—well protected; ca—and; asura-yūtha-paiḥ—by the commanders of the asuras; śriyā—by opulence; paramayā—supreme; juṣṭam—blessed; jita-aśeṣam—who became the proprietor of all the worlds; upāgaman—approached.
The demigods approached Bali Mahārāja, the son of Virocana, and sat down near him. Bali Mahārāja was protected by the commanders of the demons and was most opulent, having conquered all the universes.
mahendraḥ ślakṣṇayā vācā
sāntvayitvā mahā-matiḥ
abhyabhāṣata tat sarvaṁ
śikṣitaṁ puruṣottamāt
mahā-indraḥ—the King of heaven, Indra; ślakṣṇayā—very mild; vācā—by words; sāntvayitvā—pleasing Bali Mahārāja very much; mahā-matiḥ—the most intelligent person; abhyabhāṣata—addressed; tat—that; sarvam—everything; śikṣitam—that was learned; puruṣa-uttamāt—from Lord Viṣṇu.
After pleasing Bali Mahārāja with mild words, Lord Indra, the King of the demigods, who was most intelligent, very politely submitted all the proposals he had learned from the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Viṣṇu.
tat tv arocata daityasya
tatrānye ye ’surādhipāḥ
śambaro ’riṣṭanemiś ca
ye ca tripura-vāsinaḥ
tat—all those words; tu—but; arocata—were very pleasing; daityasya—to Bali Mahārāja; tatra—as well as; anye—others; ye—who were; asura-adhipāḥ—the chiefs of the asuras; śambaraḥ—Śambara; ariṣṭanemiḥ—Ariṣṭanemi; ca—also; ye—others who; ca—and; tripura-vāsinaḥ—all the residents of Tripura.
The proposals submitted by King Indra were immediately accepted by Bali Mahārāja and his assistants, headed by Śambara and Ariṣṭanemi, and by all the other residents of Tripura.
It appears from this verse that politics, diplomacy, the propensity to cheat, and everything that we find in this world in individual and social negotiations between two parties are also present in the upper planetary systems. The demigods went to Bali Mahārāja with the proposal to manufacture nectar, and the Daityas, the demons, immediately accepted it, thinking that since the demigods were already weak, when the nectar was produced the demons would take it from them and use it for their own purposes. The demigods, of course, had similar intentions. The only difference is that the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Viṣṇu, was on the side of the demigods because the demigods were His devotees, whereas the demons did not care about Lord Viṣṇu. All over the universe there are two parties—the Viṣṇu party, or God-conscious party, and the godless party. The godless party is never happy or victorious, but the God-conscious party is always happy and victorious.
tato devāsurāḥ kṛtvā
saṁvidaṁ kṛta-sauhṛdāḥ
udyamaṁ paramaṁ cakrur
amṛtārthe parantapa
tataḥ—thereafter; deva-asurāḥ—both the demons and the demigods; kṛtvā—executing; saṁvidam—indicating; kṛta-sauhṛdāḥ—an armistice between them; udyamam—enterprise; paramam—supreme; cakruḥ—they did; amṛta-arthe—for the sake of nectar; parantapa—O Mahārāja Parīkṣit, chastiser of enemies.
O Mahārāja Parīkṣit, chastiser of enemies, the demigods and the demons thereafter made an armistice between them. Then, with great enterprise, they arranged to produce nectar, as proposed by Lord Indra.
The word saṁvidam is significant in this verse. The demigods and demons both agreed to stop fighting, at least for the time being, and endeavored to produce nectar. Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura notes in this connection:
saṁvid yuddhe pratijñāyām
ācāre nāmni toṣaṇe
sambhāṣaṇe kriyākāre
saṅketa-jñānayor api
The word saṁvit is variously used to mean “in fighting,” “in promising,” “for satisfying,” “in addressing,” “by practical action,” “indication,” and “knowledge.”
tatas te mandara-girim
ojasotpāṭya durmadāḥ
nadanta udadhiṁ ninyuḥ
śaktāḥ parigha-bāhavaḥ
tataḥ—thereafter; te—all the demigods and demons; mandara-girimMandara Mountain; ojasā—with great strength; utpāṭya—extracting; durmadāḥ—very powerful and competent; nadanta—cried very loudly; udadhim—toward the ocean; ninyuḥ—brought; śaktāḥ—very strong; parigha-bāhavaḥ—having long, strong arms.
Thereafter, with great strength, the demons and demigods, who were all very powerful and who had long, stout arms, uprooted Mandara Mountain. Crying very loudly, they brought it toward the ocean of milk.
apārayantas taṁ voḍhuṁ
vivaśā vijahuḥ pathi
dūra—for a great distance; bhāra-udvaha—by carrying the great load; śrāntāḥ—being fatigued; śakra—King Indra; vairocana-ādayaḥ—and Mahārāja Bali (the son of Virocana) and others; apārayantaḥ—being unable; tam—the mountain; voḍhum—to bear; vivaśāḥ—being unable; vijahuḥ—gave up; pathi—on the way.
Because of conveying the great mountain for a long distance, King Indra, Mahārāja Bali and the other demigods and demons became fatigued. Being unable to carry the mountain, they left it on the way.
nipatan sa giris tatra
bahūn amara-dānavān
cūrṇayām āsa mahatā
bhāreṇa kanakācalaḥ
nipatan—falling down; saḥ—that; giriḥ—mountain; tatra—there; bahūn—many; amara-dānavān—demigods and demons; cūrṇayām āsa—were smashed; mahatā—by great; bhāreṇa—weight; kanaka-acalaḥ—the golden mountain known as Mandara.
The mountain known as Mandara, which was extremely heavy, being made of gold, fell and smashed many demigods and demons.
By constitution, gold is heavier than stone. Since Mandara Mountain was made of gold and was therefore heavier than stone, the demigods and demons could not properly carry it to the ocean of milk.
tāṁs tathā bhagna-manaso
vijñāya bhagavāṁs tatra
babhūva garuḍa-dhvajaḥ
tān—all the demigods and demons; tathā—thereafter; bhagna-manasaḥ—being brokenhearted; bhagna-bāhu—with broken arms; ūru—thighs; kandharān—and shoulders; vijñāya—knowing; bhagavān—the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Viṣṇu; tatra—there; babhūva—appeared; garuḍa-dhvajaḥ—being carried on Garuḍa.
The demigods and demons were frustrated and disheartened, and their arms, thighs and shoulders were broken. Therefore the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who knows everything, appeared there on the back of His carrier, Garuḍa.
īkṣayā jīvayām āsa
nirjarān nirvraṇān yathā
giri-pāta—because of the falling of Mandara Mountain; viniṣpiṣṭān—crushed; vilokya—observing; amara—the demigods; dānavān—and the demons; īkṣayā—simply by His glance; jīvayām āsa—brought back to life; nirjarān—without aggrievement; nirvraṇān—without bruises; yathā—as.
Observing that most of the demons and the demigods had been crushed by the falling of the mountain, the Lord glanced over them and brought them back to life. Thus they became free from grief, and they even had no bruises on their bodies.
giriṁ cāropya garuḍe
hastenaikena līlayā
āruhya prayayāv abdhiṁ
surāsura-gaṇair vṛtaḥ
girim—the mountain; ca—also; āropya—placing; garuḍe—on the back of Garuḍa; hastena—by the hand; ekena—one; līlayā—very easily as His pastime; āruhya—getting on; prayayau—He went; abdhim—to the ocean of milk; sura-asura-gaṇaiḥ—by the demigods and asuras; vṛtaḥ—surrounded.
The Lord very easily lifted the mountain with one hand and placed it on the back of Garuḍa. Then, He too got on the back of Garuḍa and went to the ocean of milk, surrounded by the demigods and demons.
Here is proof of the omnipotence of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is above everyone. There are two classes of living entities—the demons and the demigods—and the Supreme Personality of Godhead is above them both. The demons believe in the “chance” theory of creation, whereas the demigods believe in creation by the hand of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The omnipotence of the Supreme Lord is proved here, for simply with one hand He lifted Mandara Mountain, the demigods and the demons, placed them on the back of Garuḍa and brought them to the ocean of milk. Now, the demigods, the devotees, would immediately accept this incident, knowing that the Lord can lift anything, however heavy it might be. But although demons were also carried along with the demigods, demons, upon hearing of this incident, would say that it is mythological. But if God is all-powerful, why would it be difficult for Him to lift a mountain? Since He is floating innumerable planets with many hundreds and thousands of Mandara Mountains, why can’t He lift one of them with His hand? This is not mythology, but the difference between the believers and the faithless is that the devotees accept the incidents mentioned in the Vedic literatures to be true, whereas the demons simply argue and label all these historical incidents mythology. Demons would prefer to explain that everything happening in the cosmic manifestation takes place by chance, but demigods, or devotees, never consider anything to be chance. Rather, they know that everything is an arrangement of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. That is the difference between the demigods and the demons.
avaropya giriṁ skandhāt
suparṇaḥ patatāṁ varaḥ
yayau jalānta utsṛjya
hariṇā sa visarjitaḥ
avaropya—unloading; girim—the mountain; skandhāt—from his shoulder; suparṇaḥGaruḍa; patatām—of all the birds; varaḥ—the biggest or most powerful; yayau—went; jala-ante—where the water is; utsṛjya—placing; hariṇā—by the Supreme Personality of Godhead; saḥ—he (Garuḍa); visarjitaḥ—discharged from that place.
Thereafter, Garuḍa, the chief of birds, unloaded Mandara Mountain from his shoulder and brought it near the water. Then he was asked by the Lord to leave that place, and he left.
Garuḍa was asked by the Lord to leave that place because the snake Vāsuki, who was to be used as the rope for churning, could not go there in the presence of Garuḍa. Garuḍa, the carrier of Lord Viṣṇu, is not a vegetarian. He eats big snakes. Vāsuki, being a great snake, would be natural food for Garuḍa, the chief of birds. Lord Viṣṇu therefore asked Garuḍa to leave so that Vāsuki could be brought to churn the ocean with Mandara Mountain, which was to be used as the churning rod. These are the wonderful arrangements of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Nothing takes place by accident. Carrying Mandara Mountain on the back of a bird and putting it in its right position might be difficult for anyone, whether demigod or demon, but for the Supreme Personality of Godhead everything is possible, as shown by this pastime. The Lord had no difficulty lifting the mountain with one hand, and Garuḍa, His carrier, carried all the demons and demigods together by the grace of the Supreme Lord. The Lord is known as Yogeśvara, the master of all mystic power, because of His omnipotence. If He likes, He can make anything lighter than cotton or heavier than the universe. Those who do not believe in the activities of the Lord cannot explain how things happen. Using words like “accident,” they take shelter of ideas that are unbelievable. Nothing is accidental. Everything is done by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, as the Lord Himself confirms in Bhagavad-gītā (9.10). Mayādhyakṣeṇa prakṛtiḥ sūyate sacarācaram. Whatever actions and reactions occur within the cosmic manifestation all take place under the superintendence of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. However, because the demons do not understand the potency of the Lord, when wonderful things are done, the demons think that they are accidental.
Thus end the Bhaktivedanta purports of the Eighth Canto, Sixth Chapter, of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, entitled “The Demigods and Demons Declare a Truce.”

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