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Chapter I
On the questions put by Janamejaya regarding Krisna’s incarnation

1. Janamejaya said :-- O Vâsaveya! the Chief amongst the Munis, the Ocean of all knowledge, O the Sinless One! the Lord and Well Wisher of our families, I come to you with a mind to ask you certain questions.

* Vâsavî is the name of the mother of Vyâsa.

2-3. I heard of yore, but I do not know why was that illustrious son of Sûrasena, that powerful Ânakadundubhi (1), the pious and illustrious Vasudeva, the father of S’rî Krisna, the incarnation of the God Hari Himself, and who was worshipped even by the Gods, thrown into prison by Kamsa?

Note :-- (1) Ânakadundubhi is the epithet of Vasudeva, father of S’rî Krisna, since at Vasudeva's birth, drums called Ânakas and Dundubhis were resounded in the sky.

4-5. What faults had he and his wife Devakî committed? Why that Kamsa the descendant of Yayâti, killed the six infant sons of Devakî? And for what reason did the God S’rî Hari incarnate Himself as the son of Vasudeva in the prison house of Kamsa?

6-11. How was that Lord of the Universe, S’rî Bhagavân, and the Ruler of the Yâdava clan, taken to Gokula? Why was He, born of a Ksattriya family, generally recognised as of the Gopâla (cow-herd) clan? Why were His father Vasudeva and mother Devakî thrown into prison? And why did not S’rî Krisna, of indomitable prowess, and capable to create and preserve the worlds, could release instantly, father and mother from their imprisoned state? I cannot conceive that the so-called Fate could have any influence on such high souled persons, the father and mother of the Supreme Being, S’rî Krisna; who were those sons of Vasudeva that were killed by Kamsa? And who was that girl child who when struck by Kamsa on a slab of stone instantly rose up above the sky, assuming the form of Astabhujâ, the eight armed Goddess? O Sinless One! Kindly explain unto me how did S’rî Hari manage to perform the house-holder's duties, when he had married the several wives? and what were those glorious deeds that he did in His this incarnation and how did he finally pass away from his mortal physical coil? My mind sinks into an ocean of confusion, when I hear of the several things done by S’rî Hari; some times I find the deeds, not capable of being done by any other than the Supreme Being Himself and sometimes I hear of deeds that can be done by an ordinary man. And, therefore I cannot decide whether Vasudeva was the Incarnation of God or an ordinary being. Be pleased to remove these doubts from my mind and describe the life of Vâsudeva in its true light.

12-14. In days of yore, the two sons of Dharma were the two best amongst the Risis, and were the Devas Nara and Nârâyana. They were very high souled persons and they performed severe austerities for long extending years. They were born as part incarnations of Visnu; and, for the good of the world, did they, in the Vadarikâ'srama, perform penances, controlling their six passions, and free from desires.

15. The all-knowing sages Nârada and others say that the well known Arjuna and S’rî Krisna of indomitable prowess were the two part incarnations of those two ancient Munis Nara and Nârâyana.

16. How came those two Devas Nara and Nârâyana to be born in the two bodies of Krisna and Arjuna, though they did not relinquish their previous bodies!

17. And also when those two Munis had attained liberation, their goal in their Yogas, by performing severe penances, how could they again be born in other bodies!

18-19. If any S'ûdra dies performing his own religion, he takes up a Vais’ya body in his next incarnation; if any Vais'ya died so, he takes up a Ksattriya body and a Ksattriya when adhering to his own rites and ceremonies, dying takes up a Brâhman body in his next incarnation. And if a Brâhmin be free from desires and resorts to the path of peace, when he dies, he becomes free from incarnations and is saved from this disease of getting into the world.

20-21. Now the reverse seems to take place in the case of Nara and Nârâyana. In spite of withering up their bodies by hard penances, they took up Ksattriya bodies. Under what influence of Karma, did they take up up birth when they were Yogis? Or might they, the Brâhmins, become Ksattriyas owing to some curse? Whatever it may be, kindly remove my doubts, explaining to me their causes.

22. It is heard that the Yâdava clan suffered destruction through the curse of a Brâhman and in spite of S’rî Krisna being the incarnation of the Supreme Being, his family died of the effect of curse from Gândhârî.

23. How was it that Pradyumna was stolen away by S'ambara, the lord of the Asuras; and for what purpose when Vasudeva, the Deva of the Devas was present, how was it that his son was stolen away from the lying-in room? This seems impossible.

24. Why did not Vasudeva see, with His inner vision, the stealing away of his son from the impregnable walls of His fortress-like mansion in Dwârkâ? (And could thus have prevented this!)

25-39. O Muni! After Vâsudeva had gone to Heaven, his wives were plundered by the dacoits on the way. I am very much in doubt on this point. Also I cannot understand why did this event take place just after His translation to Heaven? Again how was S’rî Krisna, who was Visnu's Full incarnation, born into this world to take off the vicious load of this earth, and to destroy the evil-doers, terrified and He fled through the fear of Jarâsandha, evacuated His kingdom of Mathurâ and went with His armies and friends to Dwârkâ? Vâsudeva came here to destroy the evil miscreants and to conserve the religion; how then did He not, as He was all knowing, previously kill those dacoits, who afterward stole and plundered His wives? Was it, that He, being Omniscient did not know those dacoits? He protected the Pândavas, no doubt, who were high souled, righteous and virtuous; but I cannot understand how did He consider the high souled virtuous persons like Bhîsma, Drona and others as loads of earth and slay them. The devotees of S’rî Krisna, observing good customs, conducts and practices, Yudhisthira and his brothers performed the Râjasuya sacrifice, according to rules, giving various offerings to the Brâhmins and depended entirely on Vâsudeva; still, O Muni! they suffered terrible hardships; whither were their virtuous deeds by this time? what horrible sins did they commit that they had to suffer pains and troubles in the assembly. The highly merited Draupadî arose from the midst of sacrificial fire and is born of the part of Laksmî, pure and devoted to S’rî Krisna. How did such a glorious woman meet with incomparable terrible pains often and often; how could she be caught hold of by her hair on her head by Duh'sâsan; and carried to the royal assembly, when she was in her menses and extremely terrified and harassed? How did she come to be a slave of Matsya Râj in his kingdom Virât, and though actually crying aloud like a female osprey (eagle) she was highly insulted by Kîchaka! Alas! how could Draupadî be stolen away by Jayadratha, though latterly released by the Pândavas? What evil deeds did the Pândavas commit in their previous births, that they had to befall under so many telling difficulties?

40. O high minded Muni! My ancestors performed the Râjasûya sacrifice and still they fell under so many serious difficulties. Kindly explain the causes of these to me.

41-42. If it be urged, that they suffered so many serious calamities, due to their actions in their former lives, that seems impossible. Because they are born of the Devas; thus arises my doubt; be pleased to explain to me.

Again how the Pândavas, the sons of Kunti, of good conduct, and knowing the illusory nature of the world, why did they, out of pretence kill Bhîsma, Drona and others?

43. This appears a riddle to me that these Pândavas were led to the extermination of their race, being inspired by Hari Vâsudeva, to this horrible act.

44. Rather to live on begging alms and to live on rice, growing wild or without cultivation, or to live as an artisan or artist than to kill the valiant warriors unlawfully in a battle, simply out of voluptuous greed.

45. O Best of the Munis! You have preserved this extirpated race by producing the Goloka sons (i. e. sons born by other persons of women after their husbands are dead) of indomitable prowess.

46. And why did my honoured father, born of Uttara in this respected family , encircle a snake round the neck of a Brâhmin ascetic?

No body, born of a Ksattriya family, shews signs of hatred and jealousy towards a Brâhmin. Is it that my father shewed such feeling to that ascetic, who took the vow of silence!

O Best of the Munis -- These things and lots of others are troubling my mind with many grave doubts. O merciful saint! You know every thing; be kind enough to quell this the disturbed state of my mind.

Thus ends the First Adhyâya in the Fourth Book of S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavata Purâna of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.

Chapter II
On the supremacy of the effects of Karma

1. Sûta said :-- The learned Vyâsa, the son of Satyavatî, and the knower of the Purânas, when thus asked by Janamejaya, the son of Parîksit, whose heart had become calm, replied in the following words, capable to remove all his doubts. Vyâsa said :--

2. O king! You would better know, that in this Universe the course of Karma is not easily comprehensible; even the Devas are not capable to comprehend the wonderful effects of actions; what to speak of men!

3. When this Universe composed of the three Gunas arose, it was through Karma, that everything had its origin.

4-5. It was the seed of Karma whence the Jîvas (the individual embodied souls) arose with neither any beginning nor any end. Those Jîvas go often and often incarnating in numberless varieties of wombs and then go to dissolution. When this Karma ceases, the Jîvas then are never to have any more connection with any other body.

6. The Karmas done by Jîvas are of three kinds :-- auspicious, inauspicious and mixed (partly auspicious and partly inauspicious); of which the auspicious is the Sattvik Karma, the inauspicious is the Tamasik Karma and the mixed, is the Râjasic Karma. Thus have been said by the Sages.

7. These three again are subdivided into three. They are Sanchita (accumulated), Bhavisya (impending in future) and Prârabdha (commenced). All these Karmas are in dwelling always with the body.

8-9. O king! Everybody, even Brahmâ, Visnu and Mahes'a all under the influence of this Karma! And they experience pleasure, pain, old age, disease and death, joy and sorrow, lust, anger, greed and other bodily qualities, out of the effects of this Karma, which we call ordinarily Fate.

10-11. Therefore love, hatred and other bodily qualities all predominate equally in all bodies. Anger, jealousy, hatred, and other similar qualities arise in the Devas, men, and birds owing to some sort of dislikes on previous occasions; and love, compassion, pity, etc., arise out of some sort of likings, existing already.

12-13. O king! No individual can arise without some sort of action or other. It is through Karma that the Sun traverses in the sky; it is through Karma that the Moon was attacked with consumption disease; and it is through Karma that the Rudra holds the disc of skull bone. This Karma, therefore, has no beginning nor end (till Moksa); now that this Karma is the sole cause in the production of this Universe.

14-16. For this reason, this whole Universe, moveable and immoveable, is real; but Munis are deeply absorbed in meditation to ascertain about its reality or unreality. They cannot definitely know it for certain whether this world is real or unreal; for where Mâyâ is prevalent, the universe is there. Where there is the cause fully existing in all respects, there is no effect, how can we say? The Mâyâ is eternal and always acts as the Prime Cause of all.

17. Therefore, O king! the sages declare that the seed of Karma is eternal. This whole universe changes incessantly, being controlled by this karma.

18. O king of kings! They say, it is through the will of Visnu, of unbounded energy and splendour, that all this universe enters, again and again, into all sorts of wombs, whether good or evil.

19. Now, if the birth of Visnu, of infinite prowess, takes place according to His will, then why is it that He travels through many impious births? Why is it that Bhagavân Visnu goes, in different Yugas, to take His births in low, vile origins?

Where is that self dependent man, who, leaving his abode Vaikuntha and all sorts of pleasures and happiness, desires to live in this mortal temple, filled with urine, faeces and other filthy matters.

20. No intelligent man will leave comfortable resting places and amorous sports and gathering flowers for the sake of dwelling in this uterus in the womb?

21. Who likes to live with his face downwards in the womb, when he can enjoy fine heavenly soft downs, puffed up with cotton or silk.

22. Who will abandon singing, dancing and music, where all sorts of love feelings are being manifested, and think of coming down to this veritable Hell?

23. Who will abandon the wonderful ambrosial nectar and prosperity given by Laksmî, that cannot be easily renounced, and then like to taste this urine and faeces.

24. There is no hell more aggravating in the three worlds than this existence in the wombs. The Munis, afraid of these, perform difficult asceticisms in this wondrous world.

25. Wise, intelligent persons renounce their kingdoms and enjoyments and resort to forests. Who is there so stupid as to enter willingly in the various wombs?

26. Worms and insects torment the Jîvas in the womb; the digestive fire of the stomach heats it from below, whereas it is always fearfully tied down on all sides by the flesh, enclosing its fat or marrow. O King; Not a trace of happiness is visible there.

27. It is far better to live in a prison house, fettered by hard iron chains. Whereas it is not desirable to live for a moment in the womb.

28. It is very hard and painful to be in the womb for ten months. To come out of the hard and terrible womb is extremely troublesome.

29. Jîvas get trouble in their childhood; they cannot speak, and they do not know what to say, when they are hungry or thirsty; they depend entirely on others and they are grieved.

30. When the child becomes hungry and cries, the mother becomes anxious. When the child is afflicted with diseases and cries, the mother then knows and administers medicines.

31. Thus many troubles arise in childhood. Sages do not therefore find any happiness and do not desire, of their own accord, to come here.

32. O king, no sane man, would forego incessant heavenly pleasures and prefer before the Devas to this toilsome and painful state of being born in the womb.

33. O king of kings! All the Devas, Brahmâ and others have to enjoy full the effects of their Karmas done, whether they are pleasant or painful.

34. O best of kings! The fruits of karma must have to be experienced, whether auspicious or inauspicious, be he a Deva, or human being or an animal; any one who has embodied himself in fine or gross bodies!

35. Human beings, by dint of their practise of penance, religious austerities alms givings and sacrifices, rise to Indrahood. Indra, in his turn, when the effects of his good actions cease, comes down to inferior births! there is no doubt of it.

36. In the Rama Incarnation, the Devas had to incarnate themselves a Monkeys; and in the Krisna incarnation, the Devas had to incarnate themselves as human beings, Cow-herds (Gopas) and Yâdavas.

37. Thus being urged on by Brahmâ, Visnu Bhagavân incarnates Himself many times, yugas after yugas, to preserve the religion.

38. O king of mortals! Thus, like a carwheel, Bhagavàn Hari incarnated Himself in various wombs successively in a wonderful manner.

39. The destruction the of Daityas was done by Hari in His many secondary incarnations.

40. Now I will narrate to you the auspicious facts of the birth of Krisna, Who incarnated Himself in the family of Yadu (Yadu Kula).

41. O king! The illustrious Vâsudeva, born of the part of the Muni Kas'yapa, had to take his birth again as a human being due to his previous curse and had to maintain his livelihood by tending cows.

42. O best of kings! And the two wives Kas'yapa, Aditi and Surasâ had to take their births as the two sisters, Devaki and Rohinî, on account of the curses cast on them. O Descendant of Bharata! We have thus heard that they were greatly cursed at one time by Varuna, the water deity, who got very much angry. The king said.

43-47. What fault was committed by Kas'yapa that he had to take his birth along with his wife as cowherds. And why was it that the Everlasting uninterrupted Atman Visnu Nârâyana had to take his birth in Gokula. He whose abode is Vaikuntha, who is the Lord of Rama! who is Bhagavân and the Supreme amongst the gods, who is the upholder of the universe and the yugas! Under Whose order can such a being abandon his abode and take his birth in the world like an ordinary mortal? There is this grave doubt, then, of mine on this point.

48-51. Obtaining this depraved human coil, one is always perplexed with various thoughts, sometimes with lust, anger, jealousy, intoleration, sorrow, enmity sometimes with pleasurable feelings, happiness, fear, sufferings, penury, sometimes with straight-forwardness, good or bad deeds, faithfulness, treachery, unsteadiness, supporting others; sometimes with remorse, hesitation, bragging, greed, vain boasting, delusion, or hypocrisy and sometimes with remorse; these different feelings exist in men.

52. How then can Visnu Bhagavân abandon His eternal pleasures and have recourse to this human birth, full of many perplexing thoughts.

53. O best of Munis! What peculiar happiness is there in the pleasures of human births, that S’rî Bhagavân Hari has to undertake the burden of dwelling thus in the human wombs?

54-55. O Munîndra! The sufferings that are experienced, while in the womb, the pain during the time of delivery, the misfortunes in the early childhood, the troubles of passionate lust in youth, the greater sorrows and difficulties in the householder's life, all these are existent there; how then Bhagavân Visnu incarnate Himself often in these various human births.

56-57. What an amount of enormous difficulties had Brahmâ-born Hari to undertake in His Râma incarnation! That high souled One had to suffer for his exile in forest, for the stealing away of his wife Sîtâ, for the frequent wars, for the final separation from his wife Sîtâ.

58-59. Likewise in the Krisna Avatâra, the birth in a prison, the departure to Gokul, tending cows, the killing of Kamsa, departure to Dwârkâ with great difficulty and all sorts of household difficulties were there. Why had He to suffer all these?

60. Who amongst the wise and the emancipated, of his own accord condescends to take on his shoulders so many hard sufferings? This is the grave doubt in my mind; be graciously pleased to remove my this grave doubt and make my mind tranquil.

Here ends the Second Chapter in the Fourth Book of S’rî Mad Devî Bhagâvatam of the Mahâ Purânam of 18000 verses by Maharsî Veda Vyâsa.

Chapter III
On the former curse of Vasudeva and Devakî

1. Vyâsa said :-- O king; The incarnation of Hari and the incarnation of the Amsa Avatâras of all the other Devas are accountable to many causes. The chief cause being Karma; the minor causes being many.

2. Hear, now, the cause of the incarnations of Vasudeva (Krisna's father), Devakî and Rohinî in detail.

3. Once, on an occasion, S’rîmân Kas'yapa stole away the Kâmadhenu (the heavenly Cow, yielding all desires) of the Deva Varuna for his sacrificial purpose; and though he was entreated by Varuna often and often to return the cow, Kas'yapa did not return to him that, the best of all the cows.

4. Varuna became very sorry; he went to Brahmâ, the Lord of the creation and told him humbly all that had happened and about his sorrows.

5-6. “O Glorious One! Maharsi Kas'yapa is now almost infatuated with his sacrifice; and though I have tried all my means, he is not returning me my cow. I could not hear the pitiful cries and wailings of the calves or bereavement from their mother; and I cursed Kas'yapa saying ‘You would go down and take birth in the human world as a cow-herd; and your two wives also are to go there as human mortals, suffering under the greatest difficulties and dangers.’”

7. O Brâhmana! On seeing the distressed condition of the calves I cursed Aditi a second time that she would be put to prison, her children would be still born, and she would suffer lots of troubles.

8. O Janamejaya! Hearing this, the Lotus-born Brahmâ  called Kas'yapa before him and asked.

9. O Fortunate One! Why have you stolen away all the cows of the Varuna Deva, the Guardian of a quarter of the world? And why have you committed an offence in not returning the cows to Him?

10. Bhagavân! You are intelligent, you know everything fully; knowing that it is a sin to steal other's property, why have you committed the unlawful act of stealing away the cows.

11. Oh! What is the wonderful influence of covetousness! Even those that are great are not free from the clutches of greed. Covetousness is the source of all sins, is unapproved by the Sages and leads to hell.

12. Lo! Maharsi Kas'yapa is not able to leave this vicious habit even now; what shall I do? I will hence count greed as more powerful than even Fate, the Ruler of all destinies.

13. Blessed are those saints that have devoted themselves wholly to the attainment of peace, who are tranquil-hearted, lead a hermit life and don't ask themselves of any thing from any body. Verily those are blessed.

14. This covetousness is a powerful enemy; it is always unholy and odious. See! Its influence has overpowered the Maharsi Kas'yapa and has tied him down to an ordinary affection and has urged him to commit a sinful act.

15-16. Then the Prajâpati Brahmâ, to preserve and keep the prestige in the name of Justice and Religion, cursed his own very dear grandson Kas'yapa, the best of the Munis, and said :-- Go to the earth in your Ams'a, and take your birth in the Yadu clan, be united with your wives and work as a Cowherd.

17. Vyâsa said :-- O king! Thus was cursed the Maharsi Kas'yapa by Brahmâ and Varuna to come down to the earth as Amsâ Vatâra to relieve the earth of her burden.

18. Diti, too, becoming grieved much with sorrows, cursed Aditi that seven of her sons would be killed consecutively after their births.

19. Janamejaya said :-- O best of Munis! Why was it that Diti so cruelly cursed his sister Aditi, the mother of Indra? Kindly explain to me the cause of this and oblige. I am sorry to hear of this curse.

20. Sûta said :-- Thus asked by the son of Pariksit, Vyâsa, the son of Satyabatî, himself replied to the king about their causes in the following words :--

21. Vyâsa said :-- Daksa Prajâpati had two daughters, Diti and Aditi; these two, of high rank, were married to Kas'yapa; and they were his favourites.

22. Aditi gave birth to the very powerful Indra, the king of the Devas. Diti, too, asked for a son of the same strength, prowess, and splendour as those of Indra.

23. Diti, of beautiful dark blue eyes, entreated to her husband and said, “Give me a son, O giver of due respects to every body! who shall be a hero as strong as Indra, religious and of indomitable energy.”

24. The Muni said to her :-- O Dear! Be peaceful; I advise you to take a vow, practise a rite, and when the period of your practice will be over, you will get a son like Indra.

25. Diti promised to act according to his word and took an oath; and when she practised the vow, Maharsi Kas'yapa impregnated the seed in her womb. Diti also bore the seed in her womb according to the usual rite.

26. The excellent fair complexioned Diti remained sacred, observed all the rules and, deeply intent on her vow, subsisted only on milk and slept or the ground.

27-28. Thus when the foetus was fully developed, Diti began to look white and full of splendour. On seeing her thus, Aditi became anxious and thought if there be born of Diti a son like the powerful Indra, then my son will no doubt be deprived of his brilliancy and splendour.

29. The proud Aditi, thinking thus, said to Indra :-- O Son! There, in the womb of Diti, is your powerful enemy.

30. O Beautiful One! Even now think out how you can kill your enemy. Before the child is born of the womb, try to destroy it.

31. Since the time I have looked, on my co-wife Diti, of beautiful eyes and proud, this is the one and only thought that troubles the peace in the innermost of my hearts.

32. The enemy, if he firmly gets hold like a fully developed consumption, cannot be killed; therefore the intelligent persons should destroy the enemies, when they are in their buds.

33. O S’atakratu! My heart is being pierced wholly by an iron spoke when I see the womb of Diti; kill it by any means you can!

34. O High minded One! If you like my welfare, then destroy the foetus, in the womb of Diti, by any of the existent means, Sâma, Dâna or strength and thus remove the cause of grief in my heart.

35. Vyâsa said :-- On hearing his mother, Indra, the King of the Immortals, thought over all the means and went then to his step-mother Diti.

36. That evil minded Indra bowed down at the foot of Diti with humility and addressed her with words, sweet but full of poison.

37. O mother! You have become very weak, lean and thin in the practise your vow. I have come to serve you; order me now what I can do for you.

38. O chaste one to your husband! I want to shampoo your feet. To serve one's Guru means to earn righteousness and immortality.

39. O mother! I swear, on oath, I don't make any difference between you and my mother Aditi. Saying thus, he touched her feet and began to shampoo her legs.

40. The beautiful eyed Diti, tired of the vow, lean and thin, thus being shampooed and having full faith in Indra's words, fell to deep sleep.

41-42. Seeing her asleep, Indra, with thunderbolt in his hand, took subtle form and by the influence of his yogic power, entered carefully into her womb quickly and cut asunder the foetus in the womb into seven parts.

43-44. The child in the womb, struck by the thunder bolt, cried out. Indra spoke to the child gently :-- “Do not cry,” and in the mean while cut each of the seven parts into seven parts again. Thus, O king! The forty-nine Maruts were born.

45. When the good natured Diti awoke, she came to know that Indra has treacherously cut the foetus in her womb and became very sorry and angry.

46-47. Knowing that all these treacherous acts are really done under the advice of her sister, the truthful Diti; who was under the vow, cursed Aditi, and Indra, saying that as her son Indra has treacherously cut the foetus in her womb, Indra's kingdom over the three worlds would be destroyed.

48-49. And as the sinful Aditi has secretly caused the destruction of my son, her sons, too, would also die after their birth consecutively and she would dwell in the prison house in much trouble and anxiety and would also bear still born sons in her next birth.

50. Vyâsa said :-- O king! Maharsi Kas'yapa, the son of Marîchi, hearing the curse, allayed her anger with loving words.

51. O Blessed One! Do not be angry. Your sons would all become very powerful and would be called Maruts. They would be companions and friends to Indra.

52. O Dear! Your curse won't be fruitless; in the 28th Manvantara, at the end of the Dvâpara Yuga, your curse will bear fruit. Then Aditi, sinful for her jealousy and anger, will go down on earth to take the human birth through her Amsa (part) and suffer according to your curse.

53. Varuna, too, had become very grieved and cursed her. And, due to both these curses, this Aditi will be born as a woman.

54. O King! The fair complexioned Diti, thus consoled by her husband, became glad and did not utter any more unpleasant words.

55. O king! Thus I have narrated to you the cause of the previous curse. O best of kings! Thus Aditi was born as Devakî out of her Ams'a.

Here ends the third Chapter of the Fourth Book of the Mahâ Purânam S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam, of 18,000 verses on the former curse of Vasudeva and Devakî by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.

Chapter IV
On Adharma

1. The King spoke :-- O highly honoured and intelligent one! I have heard the anecdote just related to me by you. I am very much bewildered. This Samsâra (world) is vice incarnate. I wonder how the Jîvas, entangled in its meshes, can again be freed!

2. When the son of Kas'yapa, whose kingdom is the three worlds, can commit such an heinous act, what wonder, then, that any other ordinary person would do more blameable things!

3. On the pretence of serving and on a solemn oath, when a man, can enter into his step-mother's womb and take away the life of the son, what more heinous and dreadful can take place than this!

4. When the preserver and controller of religion, the ruler of the three worlds can do such acts, you cannot expect that any other person would desert from committing heinous, contemptible acts.

5. O World Teacher! Indeed my grandfather did unjustifiable horrible mean acts in the battle field of Kuruksettra. It is really wonderful!

6-7. Bhîsma, Drona, Kripa, Karna, even Yudhisthira, who is the part incarnate of Dharma all these were urged by Vâsudeva into this contrary religious act. These personages are all born of Devâmsas, devoted to religion, and intelligent. These know the transitory nature of this world; how can these commit such mean blameable things!

8. O Glory of the Brâhmins! What faith or regard can we have for a religion, when such high souled persons commit such irreligious acts! Indeed, there is doubt whether religion exists at all or not! O Best of the Munis! My heart is agitated very much on hearing these incidents.

9. If it be said that the word of the Âptas (seers) is a sufficient guarantee for the entity of religion, it may then be questioned where there is such an Âpta, holding such a pure religious body? All those persons who are attached to worldliness are bent on all worldly objects with their whole head and heart; these, therefore, cannot be Âptas.

10. When self interest is obstructed, jealousy and anger arise; and to secure one's self interest, out of jealousy, arise untruthful words.

11. Even the pure, excellent, virtuous S’rî Krisna, with full consciousness, had to assume under pretence a Brâhmin form for killing Jarâsandha.

12. Just as the holy S'rî Hari assumed a false appearance to kill Jarâsandha, similarly Arjuna, too, did a false sacrifice to accomplish his ends. Where is, then, one who can claim to be an Âpta? And what proof is there of the existence of such an Âpta?

13. What sort of sacrifice was this? Did it lead to heaven in the next world or did it lead to glory or did it serve the cause of any good will? Why was it deprived of that peace and rest? (It was performed with a view to kill S'isupâla and others).

14-15. The Pundits, of yore, declare that truth is the first Pâda, cleanliness, the second; compassion, the third; and charity is the fourth Pâda (foot) of Dharma (Religion). Thus, devoid of these, how can Religion stand with due regards from all?

16. How can an act bear good fruits, which has no trace of virtue in it? It seems no one had any trace of faith and steadiness in one's religion. (The Pândavas did sacrifice out of arrogance; how can they be Âptas?)

17-20. Visnu, the Lord of the Universe, assumed His Dwarf (Vâmana) Incarnation with the express object to cheat Vali, the king of the Daityas. Now, O Muni! The king Bali, performed one hundred sacrifices; he was the protector of the Vedas, virtuous, charitable, truthful and self controlled; why was such a man dislodged from his position by Visnu, the Powerful. Who was victorious in this affair? Was he the Vali, who was cheated? Or was it Vâmana Deva, the expert in making nice pretence? Who was the better of the two? I have got grave doubts on this point. O the best of the twiceborn! You are the composer of the Purânas, virtuous, and liberal hearted. Speak what is true (and thus tranquil my heart).

21-23. Vyâsa said :-- O king! The victory was certainly Bali's, in as much as he fulfilled his promise and gave over his kingdom of earth to Visnu. And in as much as Visnu in his 5th or dwarf Incarnation deceived Bali, he had to become a dwarf (i. e. a small mean person indicated even by the shortness of his body). O king! There is nothing superior in religion

to truth. See! S’rî Hari even had to become, for his falsehood, a gate keeper of Vali. O king! It is hardly possible for a human being to observe in every way the injunctions of truth.

24. Powerful, indeed, is Mâyâ, composed of the three qualities and of various forms. By Her is created this Universe, made manifold by the admixture of the three qualities (Sattwa, Rajas and Tamas).

25. How can you expect therefore, truth to be observed wholly, without the least violation, by a deceiver. This world is made up of the mixture of Rajas; O king! Know this as the every day routine of things in nature.

26-27. It is only the Munis and Hermits that can observe pure truth; and that is why they are without any attachment; they do not accept any thing from any other body; they are desireless; and they all have no rough wear and tear of the world. They exist as perfect examples; their case is quite separate. All the others are caught under the meshes of the three Mâyic Gunas.

28. O Best of kings! The Dharma S’âstras, Purânas and the Angas the Vedas are full of diverse opinions on any one point under consideration for their composers were under the influence of the different Gunas.

29. The Saguna persons (i. e. persons under Mâyâ) do Saguna works (works composed of qualities) and the Nirguna persons (i. e. persons above Mâyâ) do not do any Saguna work. And when the Gunas are mixed with one another, they cannot remain pure (i. e. they exhibit qualities of those Gunas with which they are mixed).

30. O king! One is influenced by Mâyâ no sooner one takes one's birth in this world; so that no body can remain steady in this pure, steady maxim of truth, untainted by any falsehood or deceit.

31. The sense organs, Indriyas, confound the Buddhi (reason) and make one follow the path of enjoying sensual things. Mind is attached to senses and follows diverse ways, urged on furiously by the three Gunas.

32. O king! All the beings, Brâhmâ down to the moving and non-moving things, fall under the delusion of Mâyâ; She plays with them.

33. This Mâyâ is always imposing on all; and She is incessantly making formations and transformations in this Universe; O king of kings! The man under the influence of action takes recourse to this untruth (i.e., actions arise first from this untruth) from the very moment of his birth.

34. Persons when they do not get their desired objects after they have pondered how to secure the sensual objects, take recourse to pretext, and, from that pretext do many sinful acts.

35. Lust, anger, and avarice; these three are very powerful enemies. The Jîvas under their influence cannot distinguish the right from the wrong.

36. When wealth, might and rank come to a person, he gets deep-rooted Ahamkâra, and becomes very egoistic; from Ahamkâra, delusion comes and, from delusion, insensibility and death ensue.

37-38. Here men argue mentally many plans; and thence jealousy, intolerance and enmity spring in the heart; next arise, out of delusion, hope, thirst, misery, low-spiritedness, arrogance and irreligiousness.

39. It is through Ahamkâra that people are led to perform sacrifices, charities, visit places of pilgrimages, practise vows and rules for religious rites and ceremonies.

40. Hence these sacrificial acts, etc., proceeding from Ahamkâra, are unable to remove the clouds of impurity from the mind, as observance of purity and cleanliness does. Especially when any action is done through greed or undue affection, as its motive, it cannot be pure in every respect.

41. Therefore, at the commencement of any sacrifice, the wise persons look at the purity of sacrificial things; (Dravya Suddhi); those articles that are collected without injuring others, are the best in religious acts.

42. O best of Kings! If the things, acquired by injuring others, be utilised in any auspicious act, they yield contrary results at the time of fruition.

43. It is he only, whose mind is very pure and undefiled, who gets the results wholly auspicious from any sacrificial act. Minds defiled do not acquire their proper desired objects.

44-45. When the preceptor and the priests ordained are sincere and pure; moreover, when the place, moment, act, sacrificial things, the mantras, and the sacrificer are all holy, then and there only, the full results accrue in their entirety to the sacrificer.

46. If the sacrifice be intended for the destruction of one's enemy or for a personal motive and one's gain, it converts auspicious results into those that are inauspicious and lead to ruin in the end.

47. Selfish persons are unable to ascertain, which actions are auspicious and which are not; they depend on the circumstances what they call Daiva, and the people do acts sinful instead of virtuous.

48-49. The Devas and demons all are created by Brâhmâ, the Prajâpati, the Creator; they all are selfish; hence they are at war and war with each other. The Devas are born from the Sattva Guna; the human beings are sprung from the Rajas and the birds are sprung from the Tamas.

50. O King! When the Devas, born of the Sattva Guna are always engaged in inimical actions, what wonder, then, is there, that the lower ones would be at war with one another!

51-52. O King! When the Devas are always discontented, filled with jealousy and envy, at war amongst each other, and obstructors of the ascetics and the austere persons, then know that this Universe has sprung from Ahamkâra (egoism). How can you expect them to be free from feelings of anger, jealousy; etc.!

Here ends the Fourth Chapter of the Fourth Book, the Mahâ Purânam S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses on Adharma by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.

Chapter V
On the dialogues of Nara Nârâyana

1. Vyâsa said :-- O best of kings! There is no need of dwelling at length on this point; suffice to say, that in this world, are found persons very rare that are religious, and free from egoism, jealousy, anger, etc.

2. O king of kings! Even in the Satya Yuga, the Golden age, this world, moving and unmoving, was covered with feelings of jealousy and anger. What to say in this Kali Yuga (Dark Age)! (There is no wonder that this world would be full of these vicious things.)

3. O best of kings! When the Devas are deceitful, jealous, and filled with feelings of anger, what is to be said with human beings and other lower creations!

4. O Lord of the Earth! It is natural, that injury be inflicted on those persons that commit injury; but when peaceful persons, void of any enmity, are injured, that is certainly an act wicked and mischievous.

5. Whenever, any devout ascetic, calm and quiet, is engaged in prayer and meditation, and silent muttering of one's mantrams, the king of the Immortals throws hindrance in his asceticism. (This is certainly a mischievous act.)

6. (Holy, unholy and mixed persons exist in all the yugas). To those that are holy, all the yugas are the Satya yuga; to the unholy ones always it is the Kali yuga (Dark age); and to the mixed ones, always it is Tretâ and Dvâpara.

7. You will very seldom find a few persons, following really the True Religion; otherwise, you would have found all the persons in the different yugas religious, appropriate to those yugas.

8. O king! In all cases where the conservation of religions and religious affairs are concerned, know that the original wish and desire is the cause. If this desire be impure and sullied, religion becomes also sullied for, verily, this impurity in one's desire is one's cause of ruin in every respect. (Therefore the impure desires are never to be cherished and indulged.)

9. A son, named Dharma, was born of the heart of Brahmâ; he was devoted to Brahmâjnâna (the knowledge of Brahmâ), truthful, and always engaged in rites and ceremonies and in accordance with the Vedic religion.

10. This high souled Muni Dharma was a householder and married duly, according to the proper procedure, to the ten daughters of Daksa Prajâpati.

11. This Dharma, the foremost amongst the followers of truth, impregnated them and had four sons, named respectively Hari, Krisna, Nara, and Nârâyana.

12. Hari and Krisna, amongst the four, used to remain always in the practising of the yoga.

13. Nara and Nârâyana came over to the Himâlayân mountains and, in the hermitage of Badarikâ, commenced the difficult religious asceticism and penance.

14. The foremost of the ascetics, those two ancient Munis, began to recite that highest mantra of Para Brahmâ, the Gâyatrî, on the wide spacious bank of the Ganges.

15. The two Risis named Nara and Nârâyana, born of Hari's Ams'a, practised excellent tapasyâ for full one thousand years.

16. The whole Universe, moving and unmoving, became hot through the Fire of their Tapas. Indra became also perplexed.

17-18. The thousand-eyed Indra became anxious, thought and within himself thus :-- What is to be done now? These two sons of Dharma are practising Tapas and are in meditation. If they succeed, they can occupy my excellent seat in Heaven; how can I break their Tapasyâ and what steps shall I take to hinder them.

19-20. Lust, anger, and insurmountable avarice Indra brought into existence and, intent on hindering their tapasyâ, mounted on the elephant Airâvata, went quickly to the hill Gandhamâdan, and approaching the holy hermitage, saw the two ancient Risis.

21. Their bodies were incandescent by Tapasyâ, as if they were the two rising Suns. Were they Brahmâ, Visnu manifested there or were they the two shining sources of light? These two Risis were the sons of Dharma. What would they do with their Tapasyâ?

22-23. Thinking thus, the lord of S'achî seeing them addressed thus :-- O highly fortunate ones! O two Risis the sons of Dharma! Please tell me what are your objects? I have come here to give thee excellent boons; I am very pleased with your Tapasyâ; therefore ask boons from me; and even if they be not worth giving, I will give them to you.

24-25. Vyâsa said :-- The Risis were deeply immersed in meditation and seemed very firm and resolute; they, therefore, did not reply anything, though Indra, standing before them, repeatedly urged them to ask boons from him. Seeing this, the king of the Immortals began to terrify them with his supernatural enchanting fearful mâyic powers.

26. He created lions, tigers, wolves and other murderous animals and began to terrify the two Risis with them; Indra also produced rains, hurricanes and fires very frequently so that they might yield.

27. In spite of Indra's attempt to terrify them by his wonderful Mâyâ, the two Munis, Nara Nârâyana, the two sons of Dharma, could not be brought under his control. And Indra returned to his own place.

28-31. And he became very sorry and thought thus :-- These two Munis could not be tempted away with boons, nor did they fly away from their place of worship, though terrified with fire, wind, wolves, tigers and lions. No one, I think, would be able to break their meditation. When fear and temptations have not distracted their meditation, they are certainly meditating on the Eternal Mahâ Vidyâ S'rî Bhuvanes'warî, the Prime Force of Nature, the Source of all Mâyâs, and the Goddess the Creatrix of all the worlds, the wonderful highest Prakriti; what other expert in emitting Mâyâ there can be? Who can break their meditation!

32. Indeed! how can this whole host of Mâyâs that are created by Gods and Asuras overpower those purged of all their sins, who are meditating their Creator, the Supreme Mâyâ, that Illusion by which one considers the unreal Universe as really existent and as distinct from the Supreme Spirit, whence the Gods and Asuras have derived all their supernatural powers.

33. He in whose heart reign the seed mantras of Vâk, Kâma and Mâyâ, called Vâgvîjam, Kâmavijam, Mâyâvîjam, no one is able to stand against and overpower him.

34-35. O king! Indra, enchanted by Mâyâ, did not desist from tempting the two Risis, but he went on thinking other means by which their asceticism could be baffled and asked Kâma and Vasanta (the god of Lust and the season spring) to come before him and addressed them, thus :-- O Kâma! You now be united with your wife Rati and Vasanta (the God of spring) and go to the hill Gandhamâdan, accompanied by all the Apsarâs (celestial damsels) and with all the Rasas (love sentiments).

NOTE :-- The Gandhamâdan is the mountain like unsurpassable intoxicating happiness of the senses.

36-37. There you will find the two ancient excellent Risis Nara and Nârâyana practising asceticism in solitude, in the hermitage of Badarikâ. O Manamatha! You better go before them, and with the influence of your arrows, do now my work and make their hearts extremely lustful.

38. O Fortunate One! Charm over them by means of your arrows, make them leave their asceticism by magical spells.

39. Who is there in this world of Devas, Daityas, human beings, that, being whipped by your arrows, do not come under your control?

40. When Brahmâ, I, Mahâdeva, Moon and Fire are all fascinated by your arrows, then is there any doubt that these two Risis would not be fascinated by them!

41. I am sending these public women as your assistants. Rambhâ and other beautiful celestial nymphs would all follow you.

42. You alone, or Rambhâ or Tilottamâ alone can do this work. Will there be any doubt if you all unite in this?

43. O Good One! Do this work for me; I will confer on you your desired objects.

44. O Manmatha! I tempted them with boons but these two ascetics, of controlled minds, could not be displaced from their seats. My efforts were rendered useless.

45. I frightened them very much with all the Mâyic powers; yet they could not be dislocated from their deep thoughts. It seems that they are quite heedless in the preservation of their bodies.

46. Vyâsa said :-- Kâmadeva, on hearing the king of the Devas, addressed him thus :-- O Indra! Today I will fulfill all your desires.

47. But there is one word. If these two ascetics be meditating Visnu, S’iva or Brahmâ or the Sun, then I will be able to bring them under my control.

48. And if they be meditating on the Great Seed Mantra, the root of all Mâyâ, and the great Kâmavîjam, the king of the Kâma, I will never be able to subdue such a devotee of the Highest Devî.

49. If these two ascetics have devotedly taken refuge of the Great Power Mahâ Devî, then they will not come under the sight of my arrows.

50. Indra said :-- O Blessed One! Go now with your assistants, ready to do your work. No body but you, I find, that can fulfill my this beneficial, though very difficult work.

Vyâsa said :-- Thus ordered by Indra, they all departed to where the Dharma's sons Nara, and Nârâyana were performing their hard Tapasyâs.

Here ends the Fifth Chapter in the Fourth Book of S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam, the Mahâ Purânam of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.

Chapter VI
On the origin of Urvas’î

1. Vyâsa said :-- O king! First there appeared on the mountain, the king of the seasons, Vasanta, the Spring. All the trees flowered and became very beautiful; and the bees began to hum round all sides.

2. Mangoes, Bokul trees, the beautiful Tilaka trees, the good Kimsukas, Sâl, Tâl, Tamâl and Madhuka trees assumed unequalled beauties, ornamented with their flowers.

3. Cuckoos began to coo coo (warble) beautifully on the tops of trees; the creepers flowered and began to embrace the trees.

4. The creatures became enamoured with love and began to look on their paramours with amorous eyes and began to hold pleasant sexual intercourses.

5. The southern breeze blew gently, full of pleasant odours and agreeable to touch. The sensual organs became very powerful and could no longer be brought under their control by the Munis.

6. Then Kâma, united with Rati, hurriedly entered into the Hermitage of Badarikâ with the five arrows in his hands.

7. Rambhâ, Tilottamâ, and other prominent Apsarâs all went to that beautiful hermitage and began to sing in perfect tune with gamuts, key notes and respective pauses.

8. The two Maharsis awoke on hearing the sweet music, the warbling of the cuckoos and the nice hummings of the bees.

9. Nara Nârâyana became anxious to see the untimely bursting of the Vasanta (vernal season) and the flowering of the trees.

10. How can the spring season come now at such an untimely season. I see, all the creatures are become extremely amorous with each other and infatuated with passionate lust.

11. It is very unusual that untimely things should happen. How has this come to pass? Struck with wonder, Nârâyana began to speak to Nara with eyes wide apart.

12. Nârâyana said :-- O Brother! See these trees look very elegant with flowers on them; the cuckoos are sounding sweet notes on all sides; the bees are humming on all sides.

13. The spring, the lion of the seasons, has burst asunder the fierce elephant, the winter season, by its sharp nails, as testified by the budding of Palâsa flowers.

14-18. O Brahman! See how beautiful and excellent has become this hermitage with the presence of the Goddess Spring Laksmi? O Devarsî! The Raktâs'oka flower is the palm of her hand; Kims’uka flower, her excellent feet; Nîlâsoka flowers, her black hairs on her head, the full-blown lotuses, her eyes; the bel fruits, her breast; the jolly Kunda flowers, her teeth; Manjari, her beautiful ears; red Bandhu flowers, her lips; Sindhubâra, her wonderful nails; the peacocks, her ornaments; the sounds of Sârasa birds, the jingling of her feet ornaments; the wreaths of flowers, her waist ornaments; the mad gooses, her gait; Kadamba flower's filaments, her hairs on her body; O best of ascetics! With all these, the Vasanta Laksmî has assumed a wonderful nice appearance.

19. Why has this occurred untimely? Think over it; O Devarsi! I am struck with wonder; surely this is obstructive of our penances.

20. Hear! There the Apsarâs are singing sweetly the song, tending to destroy our Tapasyâs; it seems, these are the means, no doubt, adopted by Indra to pollute our Tapasyâ.

21. Why is this spring season now generating our pleasures? It is clear that that Indra, the enemy of the Asuras, is become afraid of our Tapasyâ and is creating these obstructions to disturb our asceticisms.

22. Lo! The cool, odorous, and pleasant breezes are blowing; no other cause can be traced than the wicked deed of Indra.

23. When the best of the Brâhmins, the Deva Nârâyana was addressing thus, the whole host of Cupid became visible before their sight.

24. And the two Risis were very much surprised on seeing them.

25-27. They saw near to them the Cupid with his attendants Menakâ, Rambhâ, Tilottamâ, Puspagandhâ, Sukes'î, Mahâs'vetâ, Manoramâ, Pramodvarâ, Ghritâchî, Châruhâsinî, the expert in music, Chandra Prabhâ, the cuckoo voiced Somâ, the lotus eyed Vidyunmâlâ, Kânchana malinî, and others.

28. Eight thousand and five hundred Apsarâs and long multitudes of the hosts of Cupid, the Munis saw and were surprised.

29. Then those prostitutes of the Devas, dressed with their heavenly ornaments and the heavenly flowers, appeared before the Munis and bowed down their heads on the ground.

30. The Apsarâs began their enchanting songs, exciting much passion and rarely heard or seen in this world.

31-32. The two Munis Bhagavân Visnu-like Nara Nârâyana were pleased with their music and addressed them thus :-- O thin waisted good looking Apsarâs! You have come here as guests, I see, from your Heavenly world. Stay here in peace and all comfort; we will gladly serve you as your hosts.

33-34. Vyâsa said :-- O king! The two Munis, thinking that Indra has sent these Apsarâs to obstruct their Tapasyâ, were filled with egoism and determined to create, out of their strength of Tapasyâ a new Apsarâ, who would be very much more beautiful and possessing far more heavenly graces than the present ones, who are ordinary looking and clumsy in their behaviours.

35. And the Munis, by clapping or striking their thighs, instantly created a woman, exquisitely beautiful in all respects.

36. This good looking woman was named Urvas'î, since she was produced from the thighs. And all the other Apsarâs present there were very much thunderstruck on seeing that Urvas'î.

37. Then the Muni Nârâyana easily created as many women as there were Apsarâs to serve them.

38. The just produced Apsarâs brought with them all sorts of offering in their hands, and, singing and smiling, came before the Munis and with clasped hands bowed down before them.

39. The heavenly damsels sent by Indra, though enchanting to others were themselves now bewildered on beholding Urvas'i, beautiful in all respects and produced out of the Tapasyâ of the Munis; and their hairs over the bodies stood on their ends. Then they tried to make their faces as beautiful as they could and began to address the Munis thus :--

40. O Munis! We are ignorant girls; how can we praise you and the greatness of your Tapasyâ and at your steadiness. Oh! There is no one in this Universe, that is not burnt with the passion by the arrows of our sharp eyesight? But there is no trace of mental disturbance and defilement in you; Oh! Wonderful is your greatness, indeed!

41. We are convinced that both of you are the Amsas of Visnu and that your treasures are your incessant peace and control of mind. We have come here not to serve you but to hinder you in your penances, that we may fulfill the desires of Indra.

42. By what good luck of ours we have got a sight of thee, we do not know; we do not know also what merits we did? We have committed great offence to you; still you have not cursed us. You have considered us as those of your own family and have pardoned us. Therefore our minds are free from sorrow and anxiety. Much praise be to your forgiveness! Wise saints do not squander away their occult powers, derived from austerities, in trivial ways like cursing others.

43. Vyâsa said :-- Very pleased were those two Dharma's sons, the two Maharsis, self controlled and desireless, to hear these words of those godly behaved heavenly damsels; they then spoke to the damsels, blazing with the fire of their Tapas.

44-45. Nara and Nârâyana said :-- O Damsels! We are pleased with you; better ask from us your desired boons; we will instantly grant them to you. You better take with you to your Heaven this beautiful eyed Urvas'î, born of our thighs as a present to your Deva Râja, the Indra.

46. Now peace be to all the Devas; you better go to your own places; do not, in future, disturb the Tapasyâ of others.

47. The damsels said :-- Where will we go now? We have reached your lotus feet through our devotion, and our joy knows no bounds; O Nârâyana the Supreme amongst the Gods!

48. O Lord! O Madhusûdana! O Lotus-eyed! If Thou art pleased with us and dost want to give us our desired boons, we disclose to you our wished for object.

49. O Lord of the Devas! Thou art the Lord of the world; so beest Thou the Lord of us. O Destroyer of the foes! We will gladly put ourselves at the service of your feet.

50. Let those sixteen hundred and fifty beautiful-eyed damsels including Urvas'î, that are your creation and that are now existing here, let them go unto Heaven by your command.

51. And we, the sixteen hundred and fifty damsels that have come before, may be allowed to remain here at your service.

52. O Mâdhava! You are the Lord of the Devas; be true to your word and give us our desires. Those seers, the Munis, who know what is Dharma, declare that it is sin, equivalent to murder, to destroy the hopes of those women that are struck with passion.

53. We are very fortunate to come here from Heaven and we are filled with extreme love for you, O Deves'a! You are the Lord of the world; you can do all things; therefore do not leave us.

54. Nârâyana said :-- O thin bodied damsels! I am practising at this place the tapasyâ for full one thousand years, controlling my passions; how can I now break it by engaging myself to enjoy sensual things.

55. I have no inclination to indulge in sexual pleasures, tending to destroy the Highest Bliss as well as the Highest Dharma. What intelligent person will like to indulge like a beast in sensual pleasures.

56-57. The Apsarâs said :-- Of the five senses; sound, etc., the pleasures attained through the sensation of touch are excellent, and are reckoned as the source of Bliss; no other pleasures stand equal to it. Therefore do then fulfill our words, and enjoy incessantly this highest bliss and roam freely in this Gandhamâdan mountain.

58. If you like to go to Heaven, be pleased to know that there is no Superior Heaven to Gandhamâdan (the mountain like intoxicating happiness of the senses). Dost thou enjoy the highest bliss, the pleasant sexual intercourse with us, the heavenly damsels in this very beautiful and lovely place.

Thus ends the Sixth Chapter in the Fourth Book of S'rîmad Devî Bhâgavatam, the Mahâ Purânam of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa on the origin of Urvas'î.

Chapter VII
On Ahamkâra

1. Vyâsa said :-- O king! The Dharma's son, of excellent prowess, hearing thus, the words of these damsels, thought within himself, thus :-- what shall I do under the above circumstances.

2. If I indulge now in sexual pleasures, I will be an object of laughter amongst the Munis. This present trouble has, no doubt, arisen from my Ahamkâra (egoism). This Ahamkâra is the first and foremost in ruining one's Dharma.

3-5. The wise sages have declared this Ahamkâra as the root of this tree of world. I did not observe the vow of silence on seeing those damsels come here; I have held much conversations with them; therefore I have got into this troublesome anxiety and sorrow. I have created these damsels at the expense of my Dharma and Tapasyâ. The beautiful and lovely damsels sent by Indra are now full of lust; and are bent on ruining my tapasayâ. Now if through Ahamkâra I had not created the damsels, I would not have fallen into this difficulty. Now I am caught firmly in the meshes of my own creation like a spider; what am I to do next!

6-7. If I abandon these damsels, thinking that there is no necessity to reconsider the matter, then these would be broken hearted; and they would go away cursing me?

Yet I would be free from this present danger at least and then be able to practise excellent tapasyâ in a lonely place. Therefore, now, I will get angry and tell these damsels go away from me.

8. Vyâsa said :-- O King! The Muni Nârâyana thought that he would become thus happy; but, at the next moment, he discussed in his mind thus :--

9. The second great enemy is anger; it is greater than causing hurt to others; and it is greater than lust and avarice.

10. Out of anger people commit murder; this murder is the source of hell and is giving pains to all.

11. As trees, rubbing against each other, generate fire; and are themselves burnt up in this fire, so fire arising from this body ultimately burns this body to death.

12. Vyâsa said :-- The younger brother Nara on seeing his elder brother anxious and low-spirited, spoke out what is right, as follows :--

13. O Nârâyana! You are very intelligent and very good; therefore reliquish this feeling of anger and betake to quietude and peace, and kill the dreadful anger.

14. Do you not remember that it is through this Ahamkâra and anger that our tapasyâ was destroyed on a previous occasion; and we had to fight severely with Prahlâda, the Lord of the Asuras for one full divine thousand years.

15-16. O Lord of the Devas! We were put to much difficulties then; therefore O Lord of the Munis! Get rid of this anger; be quiet! The sages declare the peace is the root cause and the only object of Tapasyâ.

17.Vyâsa said :-- On hearing these words of his younger brother Nara, the Dharma's son Nârâyana took to peace.

18. Janamejaya said :-- O Lord of the Munis! The high souled Prahlâda was a devotee of Visnu and of a peace loving heart: how it was that, in the ancient days, the battle took place between him and these Risis; how could the Risis fight? There is this great doubt in my mind.

19-20. These two Dharma's sons were ascetics and peace loving; how the fight could come to pass between these and the Daityâsuras? How did these two Risis fight with the high souled Prahlâda?

21-22. Prahlâda was very religious, full of knowledge and very much devoted to Visnu. Nara Nârâyana were Sattvik and ascetics; therefore if there had occurred enmity between those, it appears that the religion and asceticism, Tapasyâ and Dharma were matters in name only; and the labour was spent in vain in the golden age even. What was the value of asceticism and meditation and muttering silently the mantras! No one can make out.

23. Oh! Persons like them could not conquer their hearts full of anger and egoism! Anger and jealousy cannot spring unless there be at the bottom a feeling of egoism (Ahamkâra).

24. All the passions, lust, greed, anger, etc., come out of Ahamkâra (egoism), there is no doubt of it; one hundred lakh years of severe asceticism are rendered quite useless by the cropping up afterwards of a bit of Ahamkâra.

25. As darkness is dispelled entirely on sunrise, so no trace of religious merit can exist on the rising of a bit of Ahamkâra.

26. When Prahlâda could fight with S'rî Bhagavân Hari, then, Oh! all his merits in this world are rendered of no use whatsoever.

27. Where is the religious merit and where is peace when the quiet souled persons Nara Nârâyana, the two Risis began to fight, without paying any heed to their highest end, the Tapasyâ?

28. When Ahamkâra became invincible by the two Risis, then what can be expected from the weak trivial persons like us in the matter of subjugating this Ahamkâra?

29. Who can be free from Ahamkâra in these three worlds, when the high souled persons like the above were not free from it? I am now quite confident that, in this Universe, no body was ever before free from Ahamkâra nor will there be any such in the distant future.

30. One can be free if bound by an iron or a wooden chain; but when one is pierced by Ahamkâra, one can never become free from it.

31. This whole Universe, moving and unmoving, is rolling in this Samsâra (migration and transmigration) polluted by urine and faeces, being covered by Ahamkâra.

32. Where is, then the Brahmâ Jñana? O Good One in vows! The Karma theory, according to the Mimâmsakas, seems reasonable and true.

33. O Muni! What can you expect from the weak-minded persons like me in this Kali yuga, when the great persons are always overpowered with lust, anger, etc.

34-35. Vyâsa said :-- O Descendant of Bharata! How can the effect be different from its cause? Gold and golden ear-rings though different in form owing to upâdhis, are both similar to their original cause, the metal gold.

Thread is the cause of cloth; therefore as cloth cannot be different from its thread, so this whole universe, moving and unmoving, is sprung from Ahamkâra; then how can it be free from Ahamkâra?

36. All this, moving and unmoving, including a blade of grass, are fashioned out of the three qualities of Mâyâ; so if it be formed of those qualities, what repentance can come to those who are wise and know every phenomenon as unreal?

37. O Best of kings! Brahmâ, Visnu or Mahes'a, even these are all rolling in this vast ocean of Samsâra, being bewildered and fascinated by Ahamkâra.

38. The great sages like Vas'istha, Nârada and the other Munis are frequently taking their births in this Samsâra.

39. In this Trilokî, there is not even one embodied soul, who is entirely free from this Mâyâ and has become quiet and immersed in the high bliss of the Supreme Self.

40. O Best of kings! Lust, anger, avarice, and fascination, all, arise from Ahamkâra. These do not leave any embodied person.

41-42. Studying all the Vedas and Purânas, going to all the sacred places pilgrimages, making charities, thinking on Paramâtman and worshipping the gods, doing all these, the people still get attached to sensual objects and act like a thief.

43. O Son of Kuru! In the three yugas, the Satya, Tretâ, Dwâpara, Dharma had been pierced and wounded very much; what to say of Dharma in this Kali Yuga!

44. You will find quarrels, avarice, anger raging always in this Kali yuga. Therefore there is no wonder that you will not find any one thinking and doing what is worth thinking, and doing what is not worth doing?

45. Free from envy, anger, and jealousy, such persons are rare now-a-days in this Kali yuga. Some peaceful persons exist here and there to keep up the ideal.

46. The king said :-- O Muni! They are blessed and holy who are free from this fascination of Mâyâ, self controlled, who have conquered their passions, and who follow good conduct. They have risen above the Trilokî.

47. O Best of Munis! My high minded father put a dead serpent round the neck of an ascetic without any fault; I am very sorry to think of his act.

48. Therefore, O Muni ! Kindly suggest any means by which I can now redress that act. O Bhagavan! I do not know what will be the result of this act, committed out of the bewildering of intellect.

49. Fools in search of honey see only honey before them but not the falls, whence they might tumble down and die. So the stupid men do disgraceful acts and do not get afraid of the tortures of hell.

50. Kindly describe, in detail, how the fight incurred between Prahlâda and Nârâyana in ancient times.

51. How was it that Prahlâda went out of Pâtâla (the nether regions) and went to the great holy place, the hermitage of Badarikas'rama in the Sârasvata country, the great place for pilgrimage.

52. O Muni! What was it that led the best of the Munis, the two ascetics to fight with Prahlâda?

53. The enmity springs where there is wealth, wife, or land. The two Maharsis were desireless, had nothing of these; how, then, without any cause, they fought such a battle!

54. Prahlâda was also very religious and knew that those two Risis were the Devas; knowing this, why did he fight with them?

55. So describe in detail the cause of all these.

Here ends the Seventh Chapter in the 4th Book of S’rîmad Devî Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses on Ahamkâra by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.

Chapter VIII
On going to the Tîrthas

1. Sûta said :-- Thus asked by the son of Parîksit, the king Janamejaya, the best of the Brâhmanas, the son of Satyavatî, Vyâsa spoke, in detail, the following :--

2. The virtuous Janamejaya became very much sorry and despondent when he heard in detail the improper acts of his own father Parîksit, the son of Uttarâ.

3. Owing to insulting the Brâhmin boy, his father had to go to hell; and he was constantly thinking how to release his father.

4. The son is called “Puttra” for he releases his father from the hell, named “Put”. He is the true son that can do so.

5-6. The fortunate son of Parîksit became very much tormented and bewildered with fear when he heard what was the fate of his father, who died bitten by a serpent on the top of a palace, due to the curse of a Brâhmin, void of any bathing, charities, and the purificatory acts.

7. When Vyâsa returned home, Janamejaya asked him, the whole course of events of Nara Nârâyana.

8. Vyâsa said :-- O King! When the terrible Hiranya Kas'ipoo was slain, his son Prahlâda was installed on his throne.

9. During the government of Prahlâda, the chief of the Daityas, the worshipper of the Brâhmanas and Devas, the kings on earth began with faith to do many sacrifices for the satisfaction of the Devas.

10. The Brâhmanas were engaged in their Tapasyâ, Dharma, and in frequenting the places of pilgrimages; the Vais'yas, in their trade; and the S'ûdras, in serving the other three classes.

11. The incarnation of Hari, the Nri Simha (Man-Lion) made Prahlâda, the king of the Daityas in the Pâtâla (Nether regions); and Prahlâda, engaged there, spent his time in the preservation and welfare of his subjects.

12. Once, on a time, the great ascetics Chyavana Muni, the son of Bhrigu went on his way to bathing in the river Narmada, at the place of pilgrimage, called Vyârhitîs'vara.

13. There he saw the great river Revâ and, while he was descending in the river, a dreadful snake caught hold of him and carried him to the Pâtâla. The Muni was greatly terrified and began to think of the Deva of the Devas, Janârdana Visnu.

14-15. On remembering the lotus eyed Visnu, the serpent lost his poison, and Chyavana Muni did not find any trouble, though carried to the Pâtâla.

16. Then the serpent, coming to know of the power of the Muni, left him for fear that the Muni might curse him; the snake afterwards repented very much.

17. Chyavana, the best of the Munis, worshipped by the daughters of the serpents, roamed there and entered once into a beautiful palace of the Nâgas and the Dânavas.

18. While he was walking, he was seen by the religious king of the Daityas, the Prahlâda.

19. The lord of the Daityas on seeing him worshipped him and enquired of him the cause of his coming there.

20. Are you sent here by Indra? Speak truly, O best of the Brâhmanas. Is it to pry into my kingdom out of the enmity between the Devas and the Daityas?

21. Chyavana said :-- What have I to do with Indra? That I might be sent by him, as his spy, messenger, to your city!

22. O Chief of the Daityas! Know me as Chyavana, the son of Bhrigu, prompt in religious duties and whose eye is illumined by knowledge. Do not fear that I am sent here by Indra.

23. When I went to bathe in a place of pilgrimage, in the holy Narmadâ, and dropped into the river, a poisonous snake caught hold of me (and carried me here).

24. I took the name of Visnu; and the serpent, hearing the Visnu's name, became void of poison, and left me here as you see.

25. O king! Coming here, I see you. You are a devotee of Visnu; know me, too, a devotee of the same Visnu.

26. Vyâsa said :-- O king! Prahlâda, the son of Hiranya Kas'ipu, on hearing his sweet words, gladly asked him about the various places of pilgrimages.

27. Prahlâda said :-- O Best of Munis! Kindly describe to me, in detail, which are the places of pilgrimages on the earth, Pâtâla, and in the Heavens, that verily lead to holiness.

28. Chyavana said :-- O King! He whose body, words, and mind have grown pure, to him, his every footstep is a place of pilgrimage; he, whose heart is impure and defiled, to him the holy Ganges even is a thing more hated and worse than the Kîkata country (the name of Behâr).

29. Every holy place will impart holiness to him whose mind is first pure and deprived of sin.

30-31. O Best of the Daityas! On the banks of the Ganges, are situated good many cities, towns, villages, places to assemble, mines, small villages, the living places of the aborigines, the chândâlas, and kaivartas, the Hûnas, Bangas, the Khasas and the other Mlechchas.

32. The inhabitants of the above places drink at their will the holy Ganges water, equivalent to Brâhma, and bathe therein and do other works.

33. O King! There not even a single soul becomes pure. What use is a holy place to him, whose heart becomes attached to the sensual objects and who can therefore be called the lost souls.

34. Know, O king! the mind as the principal factor in any religious act or in any holy place. He who wants purity, let him first make his own mind pure.

35. The residents in any holy place deceive others and thus incur great sins. The sins committed in a place of pilgrimage can never be removed; they become unending and inexhaustible.

36. As the fruit, Indravârunâ, is never sweet though fully ripe, so whose heart is defiled, he can never be pure though he bathes hundreds and thousands of times in the Tîrtha water.

37. He who wants welfare of his own and others, he should first make his mind pure; when his mind becomes pure, then, the purity of material things and the purity of conduct can have any effect; then and then only resorting to places of pilgrimages becomes efficacious.

38-39. Always avoid company with the lowest class of persons in the holy places; it is far better to shew one's good will and compassion to all the souls (jîvas) by one's intellect and by one's acts. You have asked me about the holy places of pilgrimages; I will now tell you those that are the best.

40. O king! The holy Naimis'âranya is the first, next Chakratîrtha; next Puskaratîrtha; there are many others besides these that cannot be counted. O Best of kings! There are lots of other holy places in this world.

41-42. Vyâsa said :-- O king! Prahlâda, the king of the Daityas, on hearing the Muni's words, became ready to go Naimis'ranya and, with very much gladness, exclaimed to his followers, the Daityas :-- O Good Ones! Get up; today we will go to Naimis'âranya and we will see the lotus eyed, yellow robed S’rî Achyutam, the Visnu.

43. Vyâsa said :-- O King! When thus addressed by Prahlâda, the Demons were exceedingly glad; and they all marched out of Pâtâla.

44. The Daityas, and Demons all united went to Naimis'âranyam and filled with much pleasure, they all bathed on reaching that holy place.

45. There, accompanied by the Daityas, Prahlâda roamed about the sacred places and saw the holy Sarasvatî river and Her pure clean water.

46. The highsouled Prahlâda bathed in the Sarasvatî river and his mind was satisfied.

47. The king of the Daityas was very much pleased and he perform ablutions and charities according to due rites in that most auspicious sacred place of pilgrimage.

Here ends the Eighth Chapter in the Fourth Book of S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam, the Mahâ Purânam of 18,000 verses by Maharsî Veda Vyâsa on going to the Tîrthas.

Chapter IX
On the fight between the Risis and Prahlâda

1. Vyâsa said :-- After performing duly his religious rites there, the son of Hiranya Kas'ipu saw before him an unbrageous peepul tree.

2-3. There he saw along with the feathers of vultures, the terrible, sharpened under a stone, various glittering arrows, arrayed in due order; and he was surprised to think who could have kept such arrows, well guarded in this very holy hermitage of the Risis.

4-5. While Prahlâda was thus meditating in his mind, he saw before him, wearing the skin of a black antelope, the two sons of Dharma, the two Munis Nara Nârâyana, loaded on their heads with high clots of hairs. Before them were placed the two white bows named S'ârngam and Âjagavam, (Pinâka) the bows of Visnu and S'iva respectively, bearing their qualified marks, as well as their two inexhaustible big quivers.

6-10. The Lord of the Daityas, then, saw those two blessed ones, the two Risis Nara Nârâyana, the two sons of Dharma, deeply absorbed in meditation. Seeing this, he became very much enraged, his eyes became red, and he began to address them thus :-- O two Ascetics! Has vain arrogance possessed your mind to destroy religion? It is never seen nor even heard, that the practice of severe asceticism and the holding of the bows and arrows, were carried into effect simultaneously by one man in any of the Four Ages. These two are contradictory things. That may be worthy in the Kali Yuga? This asceticism is fit for the Brâhmanas; why, then are the bows and arrows held by you? There is an irreconcilable difference between the holding of clotted hairs on the head and the holding in the hand of the bows and arrows. Therefore, do you practise religious rites, with feelings befitting your divine positions!

11. Vyâsa said :-- O Descendant of Bharata! On hearing thus the Prahlâda's words, the Nara Risi said :-- O Lord of the Daityas! What matters it to you? Why do you, for nothing, trouble yourself with our tapasyâ.

12. An able man can accomplish any thing. It is widely known in the three worlds, that we are able to accomplish these two things contemporaneously. O thou of weak understanding!

13. In the battle field as well as in asceticism, we can shew our prowess. What have you got to do with us in these matters? The road before you is unobstructed, you can go wherever you like; why do you brag of your own merits?

14. You are very dull and stupid; what can you understand of a Brâhmanic glory that is very rare and attained with great difficulty? Those that want happiness need not meddle with the Brâhmanas.

15-16. Prahlâda said :-- Blunt headed and vain braggarts are you! When I am present in this Tîrtha, I who am the upholder of Dharma, I won`t allow you to practise any irreligious things here! O Ascetics! Better show me your skill in fight to-day.

17-18. Vyâsa said :-- O king! The Risi Nara on hearing his words replied :-- Give us battle if you are so desirous. O wretched amongst the Asuras! In to-day's battle, I will knock your head down, and then you shall never in future desire to fight with any body.

19-20. Vyâsa said :-- On hearing these words, the chief of the Daityas was very much angry and promised to conquer these two self controlled Risi ascetics, Nara Nârâyana by any means whatsoever.

21-22. Vyâsa said :-- Thus saying, the Daitya took up his bow and quickly stretched it with arrow and the bow string made a terrible noise. Then Nara, too, too up with anger his bows and began to shoot arrows at Prahlâda lots of sharpened arrows and weapons.

23. The lord of the Daityas quickly selected the arrows, glittering like gold, and with them tore asunder the arrows thrown by Nara. Nara, seeing his arrows, cut asunder, became infuriated with anger and began to hurl as quickly lots of other arrows.

24. Prahlâda then cut asunder with arrows, of quick velocity, the Nara's weapons and struck violently on the breast of Nara. Nara, too, with anger pierced the arms of Prahlâda with five quick arrows.

25. Indra and the other Devas came on their respective aeroplanes to see their fight and began to give cheers sometimes to Nara and sometime to Prahlâda from above the skies.

26. The Lord of the Daityas taking up his bow, began out of furious anger to hurl various weapons on Nara as incessantly as clouds give rain over the mountain peaks. The Nara Muni now became very much exhausted and weary, being struck with Prahlâda's arrows.

27. Nârâyana then seeing Nara exhausted, became very much amazed and bolding his unequalled S'ârnga bow, began to quit arrows, shining with with golden lustre.

28. O Lord of the earth! Then Narâyana and Prahlâda both were desirous to win the victory, and a terrible fight ensued. The Devas gladly poured forth flowers on their heads from the skies.

29. The king of the Daityas got very much enraged and began to hurl arrows with tremendous quickness. Nârâyana, the son of Dharma, immediately cut asunder those weapons with his very sharp arrow.

30-32. Nârâyana too, threw arrows sharpened under stones with high velocity and very much troubled the lord of the Daityas, who now became very much restless.

33-34. The sky was covered over with arrows and arrows from both the parties and the day looked like the night. Then the Devas and the Daityas were very much astonished and told each other, “We never saw before a terrible fight like this.”

35. Then the Devarsis, Gandarbhas, Yaksas, Kinnaras, Pannagas, Vidyâdharas and Châranas were all very much confounded.

36-37. The two Risis Nârada and Parvata came also to witness their fight; the Devarsi Nârada told the Parvata Risi he never saw before such a dreadful fight. There were awful battles with Târakâsura and Vritrâsûra and also the battle between Hari and Madhukaitava; but they were all inferior and cannot stand in comparison.

38. It seemed that Prahlâda was very powerful; otherwise how could an equal fight last so long a time with such an accomplished person, perfect with all the supernatural powers and of such heroic deeds as Nârâyana.

39-42. Vyâsa said :-- O king! Day and night the Daityas and the ascetic Nârâyana went on fighting terribly with each other. Then Nârâyana cut off, with the arrow, the bow of Prahlâda; Prahlâda soon took another bow; the expert handed Nârâyana quickly broke into two that bow. Thus though Prahlâda's arrows were repeatedly cut asunder still he began to take up fresh bows and Nârâyana began to cut them repeatedly.

43-44. Thus, then, when all the bows of Prahlâda were destroyed, the Daitya Râjâ took up Parigha (iron club), became enraged and threw it on Nârâyana's arm. The powerful Bhagavân Nârâyana, seeing the dreadful iron club, cut it asunder with nine arrows and pierced Prahlâda with ten arrows.

45-47. Then Prahlâda, enraged, threw the iron gadâ on Nârâyana's thighs. The exceedingly powerful Dharma's son was not at all agitated and stood firm like a rock and taking up arrows quickly cut asunder the iron gadâ of the Daitya. Then the visitors were much startled.

48-49. Then Prahlâda, intent on killing his enemy, became very much angry and threw the S’akti darts, spears and missiles instantly on Nârâyana's thighs with great velocity. Nârâyana with one arrow cut that easily into seven parts and with seven arrows pierced Prâhladâ.

50. Thus for one thousand Deva years the terrible fight lasted between Prahlâda and Nârâyana in that hermitage; and the whole universe was struck with surprise.

51-52. Then Gadâdhara with yellow robes and four hands quickly came there and called Prahlâda. The son of Hiranya Kas'ipoo, Prahlâda, seeing the Lord of Laksmi, four armed, Nârâyana with lotus and disc in His hands come there, bowed low, and, with folded hands, began to speak to him with great devotion.

53-54. O Deva of the Devas! You are the Lord of the universe and devoted to your devotees. O Mâdhava! I have fought for full one hundred Deva years; still I have not not been able to defeat these ascetics. I do not know why. I am surprised at it.

55-56. Visnu said :-- O Forgiving One! These two Risis Nara Nârâyana are, the perfect ascetics, self controlled and born of my Amsas. Therefore you have not been able to defeat them. What wonder is there! O king! Better go now to your Pâtâla and keep your steadfast devotion on me. O Intelligent one! Do not quarrel any more with these two ascetics.

57. Vyâsa said :-- O king! The Daitya king Prahlâda then advised by Visnu went out of that place with his Asura followers; and the two Nara Nârâyanas began again to practise their Tapasyâs.

Here ends the Ninth Chapter of the Fourth Book of S’rî Mad Devî Bhagâvatam, the Mahâ Purânam; of 18,000 verses, on the fight between the Risis and Prahlâda by Maharsî Veda Vyâsa.

Chapter X
On the curse on Visnu by Bhrigu

1-4. Janamejaya said :-- O Son of Parâs'ara! There has arisen a great doubt in my mind on hearing just now your words. These Nara Nârâyana are the two sons of Dharma; they are ascetics, calm and quiet, the Ams'as of Visnu; they reside in a holy place of pilgrimage! They are filled with the Sattvic qualities, subsisting always on roots and fruits of the forest, the highsouled hermits and truthful. How were they addicted to such warfare? Why had they left their invaluable asceticism? And with what object were they fighting for full one thousand Deva years with Prahlâda.

5. What was the end, O Muni, of their fight with Prahlâda? Kindly explain to me in detail the cause of this warfare.

6. Women, wealth or any other worldly object can be the cause of any quarrel or fight amongst any persons; but, in this case, the two ascetics had none of these; how then this idea of fight sprung within their minds.

7-8. And why did they practise such severe austerities? Was it that they had to overpower others, or enjoy pleasures themselves or to reach Heaven that they practised tapasyâ? What fruits did they eventually obtain from such penances?

9. They became very lean and thin through their asceticism; still how could they fight full one thousand Deva years without getting fatigued.

10. They were not entangled in this fight for kingdom, or wealth or for women or for any other worldly object; then why did they fight with the high souled Prahlâda?

11. Having no attachment for any worldly object nor any desire to gain any thing therefrom, why did they engage themselves so thoroughly, in such pains giving battle?

12. Intelligent persons always do works leading to bliss; they never do painful works; this is the long standing rule of the world.

13. The two sons of Dharma were the Ams'as of Hari, all knowing and adorned with all qualities; why did they fight, subversive of religion?

14. O Mahârsi! Even the dull and stupid persons in the world won't go to these deadly battles leaving asceticism and samâdhi, leading to the purification of all desires.

15. I have heard that Yayâti, the Lord of the earth was dropped from Heaven to this world, owing to his Ahamkâra, though he was a virtuous king devoted to charities and sacrifices.

16-17. No sooner Yayâti, said the king :-- did As'vamedha sacrifice, etc., with Ahamkâra, egoism, he was dropped by Indra with thunderbolt in his hands. So one can see that, without Ahamkâra no fight can occur. The ascetics had no bodily strength; therefore if they had to fight, it is through the waste of their Tapasyâ that they could do so.

18. Vyâsa said :-- O king! The all knowing sages that have realised the truth or Dharma declare the threefold Ahamkâra arising out the Sattvic, Rajasic and Tamasic qualities respectively to be the causes of this world.

19. How, then, can these two Munis being embodied forego their Ahamkâras? Without any cause, no actions follow; this is quite certain.

20. Tapas, charities, sacrifices all originate from the Sattvic qualities. And quarrels arise from the Rajasic or Tamasic qualities.

21. All arise from Ahamkâra, whether good or bad; this is quite certain.

22. There is no other thing that enchains a soul than this Ahamkâra. It is out of Ahamkâra that this Universe is created: how can it be then free from it?

23. O King! Brahma, Visnu, Mahes'ha, even these are with Ahamkâras. Then how can you expect other ordinary Munis to be free from it?

24. Encased with Ahamkâra, this Universe is rolling. Births and death occur repectively through this Karma.

25. O Lord of the earth. The Devas, birds and men are revolving in this world like the wheel of a chariot.

26. In this wide world who can count how many Avatâras Visnu had to take in all sorts of wombs, good or low.

27. Ordained by the Lord of the Universe, Nârayâna Himself had to take the Fish, Tortoise, Boar, Man Lion and the Dwarf incarnations.

28. Vasudeva Janârdana the Lord, had to undertake countless Avatâras births in this world.

29. In the Vaivasvata manvantara, the Avatâras of Bhagavân Hari are being mentioned to you. Hear!

30. The all pervading Lord of the world, the God of the Gods, had to take several incarnations in this world, owing to the curses inflicted by Bhrigu.

31. The king said :-- There has now again arisen another fresh doubt, why was Visnu cursed by Bhrigu Muni?

32. O Muni! What injury did Hari commit to that Muni, and whereof the Muni Bhrigu cursed him.

33-34. Vyâsa said :-- Hear, O king! the cause of the curse; I will narrate to you. In days of yore, the king Hiranyakasipu, the son of Kasyapa often quarrelled with the Devas; owing to this incessant warfare, the whole universe was much alarmed and perplexed.

35. And when Hiranyakasipu was slain by the Man-Lion incarnation, Prahlâda, the tormentor of the foes, continued his enmity towards the Devas and began to annoy them.

36. Thus one hundred years dreadful battle occurred between the Devas and Prahlâda, to the astonishment of all.

37-38. O king! The Devas fought very hard and were victorious. Prahlâda was defeated and was sorely grieved. Hearing that the Eternal Religion is the best, he handed his kingdom over to his son Bali and went to the Gandhamâdan hill to practise tapasyâ.

39-40. The prosperous Bali, too, on gaining his kingdom, began to quarrel with the Devas and the war thus went on. Ultimately the powerful Indra and the Devas defeated the Asuras.

41-42. O king! Indra, of unequalled prowess, with the aid of Visnu, deprived the Daityas of their kingdom. The defeated Daityas took refuge of their family spiritual guide S'ukrâchârya and addressed him thus, O Brâhmana! You are endowed with your fiery strength of Tapasyâ and you are now powerful; why are you not lending your helping hands to your Daitya followers. O foremost of the councillors. If you do not help us and save us, we will not be able to stay in this earth and will soon have to go down to Pâtâla.

43-44. Vyâsa said :-- Thus addressed by the Daityas, the very kind hearted S'ukrâchârya said, O Daityas! Do not be afraid; I will protect you by my fire of strength and vigour; and help you with sound counsels and medicines. Be brave and energetic and cast aside your mental agony and sorrow.

45-47. Vyâsa said :-- O king! The Daityas became fearless under the patronage of S'ukrâchârya. The Devas had their spies and knew all about these. They held councils with Indra and settled that before the Daityas had time to dislodge us from our Heaven with the mantra of S'ukrâchârya, we will speedily go and attack them. Thus attacked all on a sudden, they will all be slain by us and we will drive them down to the Pâtâla.

48. Thus forming their resolves, with fully equipped arms and weapons, they went out of rage to fight with the Daityas and orderd by Indra and aided by Visnu, they began to kill the Demons.

49. When the Devas were thus slaying the Demons, they got very much terrified and exclaimed “O Lord! Protect us! Protect us!” and took the refuge of Sukra.

50. S'ukrâchârya, seeing the Daityas very much perplexed and distracted, at once cried aloud out of the influence of his Mantra “No fear, no fear,” Then the Devas on seeing S'ukrâchârya left the Daityas and fled away to their own places.

Here ends the Tenth Chapter of the Fourth Book of the Mahâ Purânam, S'rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam, of 18000 verses by Maharsî Veda Vyâsa on the curse on Visnu by Bhrigu.

Chapter XI
On S’ukrâ’s going to Mahâdeva to get the Mantra

1. Vyâsa said :-- When the Devas retired from the battlefield, S’ukrâchârya addressed the Demons thus :-- O best of the Demons! Please hear, what had been told to me by Brahmâ in days of yore.

2-3. Janârdan Visnu is coming here to slay all the Demons, He killed before Hiranyâksa, the king of the Asuras, in His Boar incarnation. He killed Hiranyakasipu by assuming His Man-Lion appearance; now too, he will kill all the Daityas, no doubt, with great enthusiasm.

4-5. Now my mantra force will not be of any avail before S’rî Hari. And without my help you will not be able to conquer the Devas. Therefore, O Demons, wait for some time for me; I will start today to the presence of S'iva Mahâdeva to obtain from him the Mantra S’akti.

6. I will return, as early as possible, getting the Mantra from S’rî Mahâdeva; and with the help of the power of those great Mantras I will be able to protect you thoroughly.

7. The Daityas said :-- O best of the Munis! We are now defeated and our forces are well nigh exhausted; how will we be able to stay on this earth and expect your return for so long a time?

8. Those who were of great strength amongst us, they all are slain; now we are left very few in number. In this crisis it is not advisable and auspicious for us to remain here in this battlefield.

9. S’ukrâchârya said :-- Better you all stay here until I return, getting the requisite Mantra; remain peaceful and engaged in asceticism.

10. The heroes apply one or other of the following four measures :-- conciliation, alliance, gifts and bribery, partitions and sowing dissensions and punishment or open attack according to the conditions of time, place strength and circumstances.

11. Intelligent and well wishing persons do serve their enemies even in time of distress; but no sooner they find that their strength and army have increased, than they try at once to kill all their enemies.

12. Now, therefore, pretend your meekness and allegiance and adopt peace and remain in your own place until my arrival.

13. O Demons! I will come back with the Mantra from Mahâdeva. I will fight again with the Devas, by that veritable mantra power.

14. O king! Thus firmly making up his mind to have the Mantra, S’ukrâchârya went to Mahâdeva.

15. The Dânavas sent Prahlâda to the Devas for conciliation. The Devas regarded Prahlâda truthful and they all trusted on him.

16. Prahlâda with Asuras addressed thus the Devas with gentleness and humility.

17. O Immortals! We all have abandoned our weapons and armour. Now we desire to wear barks of trees and practise asceticism.

18. The Devâs took Prahlâda's words to be true and deserted from further fight; were freed of anxiety and felt all delighted.

19. On the Daitya’s leaving their weapons, the Gods desisted from battle, went to their respective places and freely gave themselves up to pleasure and amusements.

20. The Daityas controlled themselves and practised asceticism in the Kas’yapa’s hermitage, expecting the return of S’ukrâchârya.

21. S’ukrâchârya went to Kailâsa and made respectful obeisance to the God Mahâdeva. Mahâdeva enquired of the cause of his coming.

22. S’ukrâchârya said :-- I ask for Mantras, O Deva! from you that are not possessed by Brihaspatî, for the defeat of the Devas, and the victory of the Asuras.

23. Vyâsa said :-- On hearing his words, the all-knowing S’ankara S’iva began to think what He would do in this matter.

24. Certainly, this is with the revengeful object of attacking the Devas, for their defeat and for the victory of the Asuras that this Muni has come.

25. The Devas ought to be protected by me; thus thinking, S’ankara Mahes’vara advised him an entirely difficult tapasyâ to practise.

26. Full one thousand years he would practise tapasyâ with feet upwards and head downwards, he will have to inhale the smoke of burnt husk. Then he will get the Mantra and his desires will be fulfilled.

27. That would be done; thus saying to S’ankara, S’ukrâchârya practised that excellent vow, peaceful and inhaling the smoke of husk to get that Mantra.

28-29. The Devas came to know that S’ukrâchârya is practising his vow and the Daityas have become arrogant. They then counselled.

30. And came to the conclusion, took up weapons and arms and went to the Daityas, ready to fight.

31. The Daityas, seeing the Devas dressed in armour and holding weapons and coming from all sides, became very much afraid and anxious.

32. The Daityas, seeing this all on a sudden, were attacked with fear and began to address the Devas, proud with their army, in words, full of good meanings and morals.

33. O Devas! We have abandoned our arms; we are now armless; our spiritual guide is in his tapasyâ, you gave us words of fearlessness; why then you have come now dressed in full armour and with armies to kill us.

34. O Devas! Where is your truth. And where is your religion acccording to S’ruti? It is stated in S’ruti never to kill the weaponless, the fear stricken, and the refugees.

35. The Devas said :-- You sent your good S’ukrâchârya, out of pretence to acquire the Mantras; your asceticism is veiled under a deceitful object. Therefore we will fight with you certainly.

36. Be ready now and dress yourself with your arms and ammunitions, “Lo! Whenever you get any loop hole in your enemies, catch hold of it and kill your enemy.” This is the eternal religion.

37. Vyâsa said :-- On thus hearing the reply from the Devas, the Daityas after consideration quitted that place and fled away with terror.

38. And they took refuge under the S’ukrâchârya’s mother. She saw the Daityas very much fearstricken and at once guaranteed to them protection from fear.

39. The mother of Kâvya S’ukrâchârya said :-- Don’t fear; don’t fear; cast away fear. O Dânavas! In my presence, no fear can overtake you.

40. The Asuras on hearing her words were free from anxiety and pain and remained in that hermitage, in no way now bewildered or agitated, though they had no arms.

41-42. Here the Devas, seeing the Daityas flying away, pursued them and entering the hermitage were ready to kill the Daityas, not taking into account what strength they gained there. The mother of S’ukrâ warned the Devas not to kill; but, inspite of her hindrance, they began to slay the Daityas.

43. Seeing the Daityas thus attacked, the mother was furiously irritated and told them she would make all of them overpowered by sleep by her tapas strength, clarified intellectual force.

Note :--Is it by the asphyxiating gas? Or, by poisonous vapours or liquids?

44. So saying she sent the Goddess of sleep who at once overpowered the Gods and made them all lie down on the grounds senseless. Indra with the other Devas lay there dumb, and miserable.

45. On seeing Indra thus stupefied by sleep, the Bhagavân Visnu told Indra to enter into His body. He would then carry him to another place and he will be better.

46-47. Indra entered into the Visnu’s body; and, under His protection, he became free from sleep and fear. On seeing Indra thus sheltered by Visnu and fearless, the mother of Kâvya spoke.

48. O Indra! I will devour you with Visnu today by my Tapas force. All the Devas will presently see all this and my extraordinary power.

N.B.: Is it by making the earth go down, causing a fissure, thus engulfing the whole army? Or by blowing them up? Or by showering jets of poisonous gas or hot water or vapour from all sides.

49. Vyâsa said :-- O king! No sooner the mother spoke thus, than both Indra and Visnu were both stupefied under her magical spell, superior thought power, and a thorough learning of the art of warfare.

50. The Devas, seeing them very much overpowered and bewildered, were greatly struck with wonder; they became desperate and began to cry aloud.

51. Indra, on hearing the Devas cry aloud, told Visnu, O Madhusûdana! I am more bewildered in particular than yourself.

52. O Mâdhava! No need of any further consideration. Before this wretch, inflated with pride by her tapasyâ, burns us, better cause her death as early as possible.

53. When thus requested by Indra who was very much perplexed, Bhagavân Visnu quickly remembered his Sudars’ana disc, casting aside the thought that it is hateful to kill a woman.

54-55. The disc, the ever obedient weapon of Visnu appeared instantly at his remembrance; and Visnu, becoming angry as prompted by Indra held the disc in His hand, and, hurling it off on the S’ukrâ’s mother, severed off her head quickly. The god Indra became very glad at this.

56. The Devas became free from sorrow, got very much pleased and heartily exclaimed victory to Hari and worshipped Him and began to chant His praises.

57. Indra and Visnu then became free from all troubles; but they began to fear that Bhrigu (S’ukrâ’s father) would curse them terribly and without fail.

Here ends the Eleventh Chapter in the Fourth Book of S’rî mad Devî Bhâgavatam, the Mahâ Purânam of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa, on S’ukrâ’s going to Mahâdeva to get the Mantra.

Chapter XII
On Bhrigu’s curse and the dialogue
between S’ukrâchârya and the Daityas

1. Vyâsa said :-- O king! On seeing Visnu killing his wife, and thus committing a dreadful atrocious act, the Bhagavân Bhrigu was very sorry and began to tremble with anger and addressed Madhusûdana thus.

2. Bhrigu said :-- O Visnu! You have done an extremely sinful act. O intelligent one! Knowing it, you have done so; what a great wonder! Nobody dreams of the murder of this Brâhman’s daughter; and you have committed it in deed, black and white.

3. O Deva! The Mahârsis declare you to be Sâttvic, engaged in preservation; Brahmâ to be Râjasic (creator) and S’ambhu S’iva to be Tâmasic (destroyer). Why then is the contrary thing visible in this case?

4. Why have you become Tâmasic? Why have you done this heinous crime? O Visnu! The females are never to be killed; this is a known fact; then why have you killed this woman without any fault.

5-6. You have done a very execrable act. What shall I do to you? It is mete that I would curse you. O Great Sinner! You have pained me very much and made me very weary. I will not curse Indra. You always assume a deceitful appearance and behave like a black cruel serpent; your mind is all full of wickedness; I will curse you.

7. O Janârdana. Those Munis who call you Sâttvic are fools; I have seen today that your ways are exceptionally vicious and Tâmasic.

8. O Visnu! I curse you now to take frequent births, suffer very frequently in different wombs, in the earth and thus suffer the pains of remaining in the wombs.

9. O king! Therefore whenever religion subsides in the world, Bhagavân Visnu incarnates frequently in this human world, due to the curse of Bhrigu.

10. The king said :-- O best of the Munis! Did that Mahâtmâ Bhrigu again marry and lead a householder’s life when his wife was thus killed by the lustrous disc Sudars’ana.

11. Vyâsa said :-- O king! The sacrificer Bhrigu angrily cursed Hari and next took that severed head and quickly placed it over the body as before and said :--

12-14. O Devî! Visnu has slain you today; I will make you regain your life just now. If I am acquainted with all the Dharmas and if I have practised these in my life and if I have spoken truth always, then dost thou regain your life by my religious merit. Let all the Devas witness my power and strength. If I know the True, if I have studied all the Vedas and if I have realised the Knowledge of the Vedas, then I, sprinkling your body with this cold water, charged with my mantras, will revive you.

15. Vyâsa said :-- O king! Sprinkled by the water by Bhrigu, his wife regained her life and rose up at once and felt herself glad and smiled.

16. All the persons and living creatures seeing her stand, as if awoken from her sleep, at once exclaimed from all sides “well done, well done!” thanked Bhrigu and his wife very much and highly praised them.

17. Thus seeing the fair complexioned wife regain her life through Bhrigu, Indra and all the Devas were very much struck with wonder.

NOTE :-- Thought power and inhalation of some medicines might have revived her.

18. Indra then adressed the Devas :-- Now the mother of S’ukra has regained her life through Bhrigu; but when S’ukrâchârya will receive the mantra after his severe tapasyâ, we do not know what terrible harm; he would do to us!

19. Vyâsa said :-- O king! Though the deep sleep that overtook Indra had now left him, yet he became very unhappy, remembering the severe asceticism of S’ukra’s tapasyâ and his receiving mantras.

20. Thinking over deeply in his mind, Indra called his daughter Jayantî and spoke to her with affection.

21-22. Go! Daughter! I have given thee over to the ascetic Kâvya. Do this service for me, go to Kâvya and help him in his asceticism and bring him under your control. By whatever acts the Muni be pleased, dost thou do at once and please him in every way and thus remove my fear.

23. The large-eyed beautiful Jayantî, hearing her father’s words, went to the hermitage and there saw the Risi inhaling or drinking the smoke.

24. On seeing the body of the ascetic, and remembering her father’s words she brought the leaves of the plantain trees and began to fan him.

25. The intelligent Jayantî with no excitement used to bring the pure, clear, cool, and well scented water and place it, with great devotion, before the sage for his drinking.

NOTE: Here Indra bribed by giving away his daughter.

26. When the sun was over his head, she used to prepare some protection, with her clothes, from the sun and thus made the shade for him. Thus, in various ways, did she begin to serve the Muni, herself remaining steady in her religion.

27. She brought sweet and ripe fruits proper according to the S’âstras and used to place them before him for his repast.

28. In the performance of his daily duties, she used to collect the Kus’a grass of the span of thumb and fore finger, and flowers, white and yellow and placed them before him.

29. For the Muni’s bedding to lie down and sleep, she used to gather soft, green leaves and with them she used to keep his bed ready; and when the Muni laid himself down, she used to fan him gently.

30. Never did she exhibit for fear of curse, any gesture or posture calculated to disturb his mind.

31. The sweet-tongued, thin lady used to praise S’ukrâchârya in pleasing and favourable terms.

32. When the Muni awoke, she placed water before him to wash his face and hands. Thus serving the Muni, did she stay in the hermitage.

33. The fear stricken Indra used to send messengers to fathom the mind of that self controlled Muni.

34. Thus did Jayantî serve for good many years the Muni, being void of anger and observing duly her celibacy.

35. In this way one thousand years passed duly, the God Mahâdeva was very pleased and addressed S’ukrâchârya that He had come to give him boons that he desire.

36-37. The God Mahâdeva said :-- Whatever there exists in this universe, whatever you see with your eyes and whatever cannot be described in words, you will be the lord of all these and the conqueror of all. There is no doubt in this. You cannot be killed by any creature; you will be the ruler of all beings and will be reckoned as the best of the Brâhmanas.

38-39. Vyâsa said :-- The God Mahâdeva disappeared then and there, after granting him the boons. Then S’ukrâchârya saw Jayantî and said to her :-- O lady of beautiful hips! Who and whose daughter art thou? What is the desire in your mind? What for you have come here? O one of beautiful thighs! what is your duty?

40. O beautiful eyed! I am very pleased with all that you have done for me. What do you want? O one of good vows! Ask boons from me; I will grant them even if they be difficult.

41. On hearing this, Jayantî’s face became bright with joy; she said :-- whatever I desire, you know that already by force of your Tapasyâ.

42. The Kâvya said :-- Your mental desires I know; still mention them yourself particularly; I will do good to you in any way you like; I am pleased with your services.

43-44. Jayantî said :-- O Brâhmin! I am the daughter of Indra and I am the younger of my brother Jayanta. Father has given me over to you; I now like to live with you. Kindly fulfil my desires now. O blessed one! You better take me and enjoy me according to Dharma. This is my desire.

45. S’ukrâchârya said :-- O thou of large and handsome hips! Better enjoy with me for ten years, according to your liking, without being visible to anybody.

46-48. Vyâsa said :-- Thus saying, S’ukrâchârya went to his home and, according to religious observances, married Jayantî and lived with her for ten years under the shade of Mâyâ and unobserved by anybody. On the other hand, the Daityas, hearing that S’ukrâchârya returned home successful getting his desired Mantra, were very glad and went to his house to pay their respects to him. But S’ukra was then living with Jayantî; hence the Asuras could not see him.

49. Then they got very much dejected, sorry and were drooped in spirits; they searched for him again and again.

50. Not being able to see S’ukra under the shade of Mâyâ, the Daityas were very sorry and got afraid and then returned to their own residences.

51. On the other hand, the Devas, knowing that S’ukra was holding intercourses with Jayantî, Indra, the God of Devas, spoke to the Deva Guru Brihaspatî. O Guru! Advise us what to do under the present circumstances and relieve us from the impending difficulties.

52. O Brâhmana. Better go today to the Dânavas and do that by which our honour may be maintained. You better put the Dânavas under some charm by your magical spell and think and do good to us.

53. On hearing Indra’s words and knowing that S’ukra is now enjoying with Jayantî, Brihaspatî went to the Dânavas, putting on the appearance of S’ukrâchârya.

54. Going to the Demons, he called on them very politely and sweetly. The Asuras said that S’ukrâchârya had come in presence of them.

55. The Demons were very glad and bowed down before S’ukrâchârya and could not make out that he was the false S’ukrâchârya, under the mâyic charm of Brihaspatî.

56. Then the false S’ukrâchârya asked the welfare of the Daityas and said :-- I went so long for your good; I performed severe tapasyâ and satisfied the God S’ambhu and acquired from him the Mantra, the sacred knowledge, and that I will frankly explain to you.

57. On hearing this, the Demons were very pleased and, knowing that the Guru had been successful, were filled with joy.

58. They saluted him with joy and began to live quietly and freely and without pains, having got rid of fear from the Devas.

Here ends the twelfth Chapter in the Fourth Book of S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam, the Mahâpurânam of 18,000 verses by Mahârsi Veda Vyâsa on Bhrigu’s curse and the dialogue between S’ukrâchârya and the Daityas.

Chapter XIII
On cheating the Daityas

1. The king said :-- What did the intelligent Brihaspatî do after he had assumed falsely the appearance of S’ukrâchârya, and lived there as the spiritual guide of the Demons.

2. O Muni! Brihaspatî is the Guru of the Devas; he also devotes his time in studying the Vedas; and is the ocean of all knowledge; he is the son of the Maharsi Angirâ and he is himself a Muni. Endorsed with all these good qualifications, how could he deceive the Demons.

3-4. In all the religious S’âstras, Truth is declared to be the essence of Dharma; and the Supreme Self is attained through Truth, so the wise sages say. How can we expect an ordinary householder to be true when such a man as Brihaspatî takes recourse to falsehood with the Demons.

5. If one acquires, as one’s wealth, the whole Universe, still one does not require anything more than what is required in feeding one’s belly; how is it that Brihaspatî could speak falsehood merely for the sake of his belly?

6. O Muni! The words sung by the ancient virtuous and respectable sages were true and had their corresponding objects denoted by those words; now they employed the term S’ista meaning that there were virtuous, respectable persons as denoted by them. When Brihaspatî can even commit such condemnable deceitful acts and speak falsehood, we can expect no virtuous respectable persons in the world. Where then do you find the S’ista persons, denoted by the word S’ista, sung by the ancient sages? The word S’ista is now meaningless!

7. The Devas are sprung from the Sâttvic qualities, men from Râjasic qualities and birds, etc. from the Tâmasic qualities.

8. When the Guru of the Immortals, the incarnate of Sâttvic qualities, can become a liar, how can one expect those who are Râjasic or Tâmasic to follow rigorously the truth?

9. Oh! This Trilokî is all pierced with falsehood! Where is the Religion! And what will be the ultimate goal of all these creatures!

10. When Bhagavân Harî, Brahmâ, Indra and the best of the Devas when all can betake to pretext, fraud and trickery and show cleverness in them; what to speak of men!

11-12. O Giver of honour! When all the Devas, Vas’istha, Vâmadeva, Vis’vamitrâ, Brihaspatî and other ascetic Munis get themselves overpowered by lust and anger, when their intelligence gets destroyed by covetousness and avarice, when they are addicted to vices and are expert in fraud, pre-text and trickery, then what fate, alas! can you expect of Dharma and what help is there of any religious persons!

13. Alas! lndra, Agni, Moon, and Brahmâ when these get overpowered by the strong influence of lust, are in illicit love with others’ wives, where is the goodness and virtuous behaviour in this Trilokî?

14. O Sinless One! To whom, then, can we look upon as our spiritual guide and our advice and law givers when all the Devas and Munis are corrupt with avarice?

15. Vyâsa said :-- O king! Be he Indra, Brihaspatî, Brahmâ, Visnu or Mahes’a, whoever is embodied or will put on bodies, he will have to be in touch with the previously mentioned Ahamkâra, and covetousness and other vices due to name and form.

16. O king! Brahmâ, Visnu and Mahes’a are all attached to sensual objects; and what improper and sinful actions there can be that cannot be committed by persons devoted to sensual objects!

17. It is through cleverness and fraud that any one devoted to sensual objects can easily make oneself as cleverly free from Mâyâ; but when difficulty comes, then his trickery gets discovered and the respective qualities hidden in him are brought to bear their respective results. Know, then, the three qualities to be conjointly the cause of all these actions; as without any cause, no action gets visible.

18. These discrepancies in the case of Brahmâ and others are caused by the three qualities; their bodies are all created from Pradhân Mahat and the other 25 Tattvas (essences).

19-20. O king! Brahmâ and others are subject to death; then how can you doubt on other things? In advising others, everybody gives, as it were, good and virtuous advices; but the burden falls upon their own heads; they fall off from their advices and act according to their hidden natures; then they yield to lust, anger, envy, egoism and fascination.

21. No one who is embodied can get rid of passions, born of the 3 qualities. O king! Thus the Trilokî goes, is the saying of the Maharsis.

22-29. This Trilokî, auspicious, inauspicious, mixed, never gets any serious change; its nature remains always uniform. See Bhagavân Visnu sometimes practises severe asceticism; Indra, the lord of the Devas sometimes follows the practices of religious sacrifices. Again you find Visnu Bhagavân, full of youth, fond of the Leela, enjoying the company of Ramâ in Vaikuntha; sometimes He is the ocean of mercy, is fighting dreadful battles with the Demons and being severely afflicted with their clusters of arrows; sometimes he gains victories, sometimes he gets defeat through the irony of Fate; thus he gets undoubtedly pleasures and pains. O king! some time Nârâyana draws all the worlds into his belly and takes his yogic sleep on the thousand headed serpent S’es’a and again he gets himself awakened by Prakriti. O king! Brahmâ, Visnu, Mahes’a, Indra, the Devas, and Munis all of them, live up to the limit of their ordained time and when the time of Pralaya, the Universal dissolution, ends, this whole Universe, moving and nonmoving, again comes into existence as before; there is no doubt in this. O king, at the expiry of the ordained time, Brahmâ and all others will die , no doubt.

30-31. Again, in due course, Brahmâ, Visnu, and Mahes’a and the other Devas come out and assume bodies and get all the passions, lust, etc., as ordained. O King! You need not be astonished; this Trilokî always goes on accompanied by lust, anger, etc.

32-34. Persons free from lust, anger and other passions are very rare in this world. He who is afraid of this world does not marry, and thus being free from the attachments to any worldly object, becomes free and roams fearless. The Moon stole away the wife of Brihaspatî, and Brihaspatî himself stole away the wife of his younger brother. Thus in this wheel of Samsâra, all the creatures are ever passioned with attachment, avarice, etc.

35. The householder can never expect to obtain freedom. Therefore those who want to be free, should carefully relinquish the idea of the stability of the world and worship the Eternal Mother Full and Sat, Chit and Ânandam.

36. This world, moving and unmoving, O Mahes’ânî, rolls in madness, overpowered by Her Mâyâ.

37. Intelligent persons worshipping Her, trample down the three qualities and become free. O king! No other Path exists for Freedom.

38-39. Until one gets the Grace from the Mahes’ânî, one never gets happiness. True mercy is not found anywhere else but from Her. Then one should worship the All merciful, being of pure heart. For Her worship leads to freedom, even in this body-hood.

40. He who getting a human frame fails to worship Mahes’ânî, gets down from the highest rung of the ladder. This is my opinion.

41-42. This Universe, composed of the three qualities, is encompassed with Ahamkâra and fastened to untruth; therefore freedom can never be expected without the worship of That Potent Goddess, O Muni! O king! Renounce every worldly object and serve the Goddess Bhuvanes’varî; this is the highest duty of all.

43. The king said :-- What did, then, the Devaguru do in the disguise of S’ukrâchârya? And when did the real S’ukrâchârya come there? O respected Muni! Speak on these points.

44. Vyâsa said :-- Please hear what the disguised Brihaspatî in the shape of S’ukrâchârya did afterwards.

45. The demons were made to understand clearly by Brihaspatî; and then they took him for S’ukrâchârya and placed implicit faith on him and began to think of him and him alone.

46. The Daityas, enchanted and deceived by the magic of Brihaspatî, took now his refuge for acquiring the knowledge from him, since they mistook him for S’ukrâchârya. Who is there that is not enchanted by the idea of gaining something?

47. On the other hand, when the term of ten years was over, S’ukrâchârya, the real Guru of the Daityas, ceased enjoying Jayantî and began to remember his disciples, the Daityas.

48. He now began to think that “My disciples, the Daityas, are expecting every instant my return; and I would now go and see them, bewildered with fear.

49-51. They are my devotees and I ought to do such that they might not be afraid of the Devas.” And then he exclaimed to Jayantî, “O beautiful one! Let my sons take the shelter of the Gods; your term of ten years is today over; I now go therefore, to see my disciples; soon I will again come to you.”

52. “Be it so”, replied Jayantî, the best of those who know religion, “you can go where you like; I am not to destroy your Dharma.”

53-54. Hearing these words, S’ukrâchârya went hurriedly to the Demons and saw the Devaguru Brihaspatî sitting before them in the guise of S’ukrâchârya. He was explaining to them the Jaina doctrines, compiled by himself and finding fault with the act of envy, taking revenge and killing and cursing the sacrifices, etc.

55. He was telling them “O Enemies of Gods! Truly, I am telling you words that will, no doubt, prove good to you. Non-killing is the highest virtue; even the enemies ought never to be killed.

56. It is the Brâhmanas, addicted to enjoyments and pleasures of the senses, who want to satisfy their tastes and pleasures that are found in the Veda’s injunctions to kill animals; but there is no virtue higher than non-killing animals.”

57-58. O king! S’ukrâchârya was perfectly astonished to hear Brihaspatî, the Guru of the Devas, speaking against the Vedas and began to think that Brihaspatî is certainly my enemy. My disciples have been duped by this cheat; there is no doubt in this.

59. Fie to Avarice! It is the seed of sin; very strong and the veritable gate to hell; Brihaspatî, even, the Guru of the Devas, is speaking lies, bound under the influence of this heinous avarice!

60. Oh! What wonder is this that the Guru of the Devas, who is the promulgator of all the religious S’âstras and whose word is accepted as the final decision, is now expounding the doctrines of atheists.

61. When Brihaspatî can become the expounder of atheistic doctrines, impelled by covetousness what to speak of those whose minds are not pure and whose intelligence is not sharp?

62. This Deva Guru, though a Brâhmin, is acting today like a rogue, wanting to take away all and is deceiving my disciples the Daityas, who have been confounded by his magic.

Here ends the Thirteenth Chapter in the Fourth Book of S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam, the Mahâpurânam of 18,000 verses on cheating the Daityas by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.

Chapter XIV
On the Daityas getting back their S’ukrâchârya

1. Vyâsa said :-- Thus arguing in his mind, S’ukrâchârya smilingly said to the Daityas :-- O Daityas! what for have you all been cheated by Brihaspatî, the Guru of the Devas, in my guise.

2. I am S’ukrâchârya; you are my disciples; this man is Brihaspatî, wanting to serve the Gods. He has cheated you, there is no doubt in this.

3. This vain villainous person has assumed my form; do not put the least faith in his words. O Daityas! You are my disciples, follow unto me; leave this Brihaspatî, vain and arrogant.

4. The Daityas, on hearing his words were struck with wonder at the resemblance of the two personages and came to the conclusion that “the person just come is the real S’ukrâchârya.”

5. Then Brihaspatî, the false S’ukrâchârya explained to the Daityas in plain and enchanting words that “the second man just come is the Deva Guru Brihaspatî; he has come here in my guise. His object is to cheat you.

6. He has come here to cheat you and serve the purpose of the Devas; do not believe in his words.

7. What knowledge I have acquired from the God S’âmbhu, I am teaching it to you; I will make you, no doubt, victorious in the battle with the Devas.”

8. Thus the Daityas, hearing the words of the false S’ukrâchârya, thought the false one to be real and placed implicit reliance in his words.

9. The real S’ukrâchârya, then explained them as much as he could; but the Daityas, owing to the magic of the false S’ukrâchârya and to the wonderful effect of time, did not hear his words.

10. The Daityas thus convinced said to the real S’ukrâchârya, “this man before us is our Guru for our welfare and enlightenment, he is the foremost religious S’ukrâchârya; for ten years continuously he is giving us advices. You are not our Guru; you appear fictitious and false; you better leave this place and go away.”

11. The dull brained Daityas repeatedly told to S’ukrâchârya the reproachful words and bowed down to the false S’ukrâchârya, and, saluting, him, gladly welcomed him as their Guru.

12-14. The real S’ukrâchârya, seeing the Daityas exceedingly attached to Brihaspatî, the Guru of the Devas, and deceived by his words, cursed them out of anger and said :--“As you have not taken my words though I have explained everything to you, you would lose your knowledge and get defeat.

15. As you have shown disrespect towards me, you will get the fruits of it at an early date and will then understand the deceitful behaviours of that Deva Guru.”

16. Vyâsa said :-- Thus saying S’ukrâchârya hurriedly went away, infuriated with anger. Brihaspatî was glad and remained there with his mind calm.

17-19. Brihaspatî then knowing the Daityas cursed by S’ukrâchârya, assumed his real appearance, left that place, and hurriedly returned to Indra. He began to say “I have undoubtedly succeeded in my undertaking; the Daityas have been cursed and left by me too. They are now helpless; so, O Good Suras! I have made them cursed, you would better now try to fight with them.”

20-21. Indra heard their Guru and became very glad; all the other Devas were glad and worshipped him. They held another cabinet, secret council, how to fight with the Daityas; and, then, all uniting together marched out in battle against the Asuras.

22. Seeing that the powerful Devas are marching towards them ready to fight and knowing their false Guru had fled, the Daityas became very anxious.

23. They told each other :-- Alas! We were enchanted by the Devaguru; the highsouled S’ukrâchârya angrily left us; now it is our incumbent duty to satisfy him.

24. That vicious, dirty inside and pure outside, hypocrite Pundit Deva Guru, who used to go to his brother’s wife, has really cheated and has quitted us.

25. What are we to do now? where to go? How to satiate now the anger of S’ukrâ so that he might be glad and help us.

26. Thus pondering over they all unitedly, shuddering with fear, again went to S’ukrâchârya, keeping Prahlâda in front of them.

27. They all bowed down at the feet of their Guru; S’ukrâ remained silent; then, bursting with anger and with eyes red, told them.

28. You were all warned by me that you were being cheated by the Mâyâ of Brihaspatî; you did not take my word, as worth hearing, though unselfish, pure and leading to your welfare.

29. Rather you were influenced by him and infatuated with vanity, you insulted me; now you will have to bear undoubtedly the effects of that Karma.

30. You are now vitiated from the path of your welfare; go now where that disguised cheat resides for the welfare of the Gods; know me not to be a cheat like him.

31. Vyâsa said :-- O king! When S’ukrâ finished saying his uncertain words, Prahlâda clasped his feet and began to say thus :--

32. Prahlâda said :-- O our Guru Bhârgava! Today we have come to you in a very distressed condition! O Omniscient! we are your disciples; we are your good sons; you ought not to quit us.

33. On your departure to get the Mantra, that hypocrite, vicious Brihaspatî getting the opportunity, assumed your false appearance and cheated us.

34. Peaceful persons do not take any offence committed with ignorance; you know everything; you know very well that our hearts are devoted to thee and to thee alone. There is no need of telling anything further to you.

35. O Highly Intelligent One! By your Tapas, you know our inner minds and relinquish your anger. The sages say that the anger of the saints is not lasting.

36. O Muni! Water is naturally cool; when in contact with fire it gets hot; but, when the heat is removed, it gets cold shortly after.

37. O observer of good vows! Anger is like chandâla; sages therefore quit it. Our prayer to you is that you leave your anger and be pleased with us.

38. If you do not quit your anger and if you make us overpowered with grief and sorrow, O blessed one! We, being abandoned by you, will go down to the Pâtâla.

39. Vyâsa said :-- Bhârgava heard Prahlâda’s words and, with his intuitioned eye, came to see the proper state of affairs and was pleased and lovingly said.

40. You will not have to fear nor to enter into the Pâtâla. You are my Yajamânas; I will certainly protect you all by my never failing Mantra power.

41. O knower of religion! What Brahmâ of yore told me, I am now telling you accordingly. Hear my truthful words, leading to your welfare.

42. Whatever is inevitable, doomed to pass, must come to pass, be it auspicious or inauspicious. No one is able in this world to go against the current of Fate.

43. Under the influence of Time you are now deprived of strength, therefore you will have to suffer defeat at the hands of the Devas and you will have to go once to the Pâtâla.

44-45. Brahmâ said :-- When your time to enjoy the sovereignty of the Trilokî had come, you enjoyed the kingdoms of the Trilokî with all its wealth and power. You attacked the Devas and, helped by Time, had been able to trample them under your feet and held your sovereignty for full ten yugas and enjoyed the pleasures without any hitch.

46. You will regain this kingdom in the Sâvarnik manvantara. Then Bali will come in your family as the grandson of Prahlâda and will conquer the Trilokî and will get name and fame throughout his kingdom.

47-48. When the Lord of Vaikuntha had incarnated as Vâmana and stolen away the kingdom of Vali, then the Janârdan Visnu told Bali, the king of the Demons that “I have taken away your kingdom by pretext to serve the purpose of the Gods; you will become Indra, no doubt, in the coming Sâvarnika manvantara.”

49. Bhârgava said :-- According to the sayings of S’rî Bhagavân Hari, your grandson Bali is now invisible to all creatures and is now passing away his time, very much terror stricken.

50-51. Being afraid of Indra, he is now staying in a lonely house as an ass. One day Indra on seeing him enquired of him, in various ways, the cause of his assuming that ass-body.

52. O Lord of the Daityas! You have always enjoyed pleasures of all the world; you are the ruler of the Daityas; you ruled over all the worlds; do you not feel shame now in thus assuming this ass body. The Lord of the Daityas, hearing him, spoke thus.

53-54. O Indra, there is nothing to be sorry in these matters. When the most powerful Visnu can assume fish and tortoise incarnations, then what wonder is there that I by virtue of the force of Time, am now staying as an ass? When you had murdered a Brâhman, you, too had hid yourself in the Mânasa lake in the lotuses; similarly today distressed, I am staying here in this ass body.

55. O Indra! What sorrow or happiness can be to a person who is under the control of Fate. To him everything is alike; for whatever the Time wishes, It can act accordingly.

56. Bhârgava said to Prahlâda! Both persons Bali and Indra got enlightenment at the mutual conversations; and they went away to their places at their own will.

57. O Lord of the Asuras! I have narrated to you this story indicating how powerful is the Time. Know that the Devas and Daityas and all the human beings and this whole universe is under that Great Fate.

Here ends the Fourteenth Chapter in the Fourth Book of S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam, the Mahâ Purânam of 18,000 verses on the Daityas getting back their S’ukrâchârya, by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.

Chapter XV
On the truce between the Daityas and the Devas

1. Vyâsa said :-- O king Janamejaya! Prahlâda was glad to hear the above words of the high souled Bhârgava.

2. Knowing Fate to be the strongest, he addressed the Daityas :-- Never, in this battle will victory be ours.

3-5. Then the victorious Demons, infatuated with pride, told Prahlâda :-- What is Fate? We do not recognise it. We ought to fight. O Lord of us :-- Fate reigns over those that are idle, not energetic. Has Fate any shape? Who has created it? Has anybody seen Fate? However let us gather strength and fight. You are very intelligent and all knowing; It is proper that you should take our lead in the fight.

6. O king! When the Daityas spoke thus, Prahlâda, the great Destroyer of enemies, became the general and challenged the Devas to fight.

7. On seeing the Asuras in the battle field, the Devas, dressed with arms and weapons, began to fight with them.

8. For full one hundred years the dreadful battle was fought between Indra and Prahlâda; on seeing this, the Munis were astonished.

9. O king! In this fearful battle, the Daityas with their general Prahlâda, the followers of S’ukrâchârya, got the victory.

10. Then Indra, advised by their Guru Brihaspatî, began to remember the Goddess of the Universe, the Most High, the Giver of welfare, the Destroyer of all sorrows and calamities, and the Bestower of freedom, worship Her, and sing hymns to Her with great devotion.

11-12. Indra said :-- Victory be to the name of the Goddess Mahâmâyâ, the Eternal Mother, the Holder of the trident! Holder of conchshell, disc, club, and lotus, the Giver of “no fear.” Salutation to Thee, the Goddess of the Universe; Thou art the Supreme Heroine in everything that relates to force, that is described in the S’akti Dars’ana S’âstras. Thou art the Ten Tattvas, Thou art the Mother, Thou art the Mahâvidyâ (the Supreme Knowledge).

13. There are many Tattvas; here the ten tattvas are according to the S’akti Dars’ana. There are many Dharma S’âstras. Here S’akti S’âstra is meant.

The Tattvas are those ultimate substances into which these gross manifestations resolve. The tattvas are Mahâvindu, Nâda S’akti, Mis'ra Vindu, etc.

O World Mother! Thou art the Mahâ Kundalinî (the great Serpent Fire); thou art the Everlasting Existence, Intelligence and Bliss; Thou art the Deity of the vital Fire (Prâna); Thou art the Deity of the Agnihotra (maintenance of the Sacred Fire and an oblation to It); Thou art the Holy Flame, burning always in the ethereal space in the Heart; Salutation to Thee!

14. Thou dwellest within the five Sheaths (the Annamâyâ, the Prânamâyâ, the Manomâyâ, the Vijñânamâyâ and the Ânandamâyâ sheaths are the five sheaths here referred to). Thou art the Indweller of the Ânanda mâyâ kosa, Thou art of the nature of Puchchha Brahmâ, the end of Brahmâ. Thou art the Deity of all, the Ânanda (bliss) unblown, O Mother! Thou art the Deity of all the Upanisadas.

15. O Mother! Be pleased unto us; we have become powerless; protect us, O Mother! we are defeated by the Daityas; O Goddess! Thou art endowed with all the powers, Thou art our Sole Refuge in this Universe, in times of distress, and Thou art the Only One, strong and capable to remove all our dangers.

16. O Goddess! Those who incessantly meditate on Thee are really happy and those that do not meditate Thee, their fear, and sorrows are never removed; those that want ultimate freedom from bondage and who meditate on Thee always; those pure souls, being free from Ahamkâra, and free from attachment go, no doubt, beyond this ocean of world.

17. O World Mother! Thy prowess is ever manifested whenever protection is demanded; You always come forward and relieve the distressed; You are the great destroyer! Thou art the Time Incarnate of all these worlds; O Mother! We are fools; how can we appreciate your qualities.

18. Brahmâ, Visnu, Mahes’a, I myself, Sun, Yama, Varuna, Fire, Air, the high minded munis, Âgama, Nigama, the Tantras and the Vedas, are quite unable to realise Your unequalled prowess; Salutation to Thy Feet.

19. Those are blessed that are devoted to Thee; They are the great souls; they always dive in the Ocean of Bliss, being always free from the fangs of this Samsâra. Those that are not Your devotees, cannot cross this Ocean of Samsâra, where the Birth and Death are the billows.

20. O Goddess! Those that are always fanned by the white châmaras and those that travel always in cars, they in their previous births worshipped Thee with various things; therefore they have acquired the effects of their meritorious deeds; this is my opinion.

21. Those that are always worshipped amongst the human beings, those that go on nice elephants, those that are surrounded by pleasures and enjoy the lovely companions of beautiful coquettish women, those that go surrounded by soldiers, O Goddess! I consider they worshipped Thee in their previous births, and they are now enjoying fruits of their past deeds.

22-23. Vyâsa said :-- Thus praised by Indra, the Goddess of the Universe with four arms hurriedly appeared there mounted on a lion. Conchshell, disc, club, and lotuses were held by the beautiful eyed Goddess in Her four hands respectively, wearing a red apparel and ornamented with divine garlands.

24. The Goddess being pleased addressed the Devas with sweet words, “Cast off your fear. O Devas! I will see presently all about your welfare.”

25. Addressing the Devas thus, the Divine Mother mounted on a lion, went hurriedly to the place where the demons were waiting, infatuated with pride.

26. All the Daityas with their general Prahlâda saw the Goddess before them and were terrified and began to address each other “What are we to do now?”

27-28. This Chandikâ Goddess has come here to protect the Devas. She destroyed Mahisâsura and Chanda Munda; it was She that killed, in days of yore, Madhukaitava with evil look.

29-30. Seeing the demons thus full of sorrowful thoughts, Prahlâda addressed the Daityas :-- “It is better not to fight but let us fly away all together.” Then the Daitya Namuchi told the Daityas ready to fly away “If you fly away, this World Mother will instantly kill you all with weapons in Her hands.

31. Do that by which we can protect us. Let us worship the Goddess of the Universe, and, getting Her permission, we will go this very day to the Pâtâla.”

32. Prahlâda said “I will worship the Goddess Mahâmâyâ, the Creatrix, Preservrix and Destructrix of the Universe, the World Mother, and the Assurer of safety to Her devotees.”

33. Vyâsa said :-- Thus saying, the knower of the highest knowledge, Prahlâda, the devotee of Visnu, began to sing hymns with folded hands in praise of the Goddess, the Upholdress of the Universe.

34. I bow down to Thee, the incarnate of the mantra “Hrîm” the Refuge of all, and within Whom this whole Universe, moving and unmoving, is appearing untruly as a snake is mistaken for a garland of flowers.

35. O Goddess! All these Universes, moving and unmoving, have sprung from Thee; Brahmâ, Visnu and others are Creators, Preservers in name only; Thou hast created them all.

36. O Mahâmâyâ! You are the Divine Mother of all! When You have created the Asuras and the Suras, how can you then see any difference between the Devas and the Daityas?

37. As a Mother makes no distinction between her good sons and bad sons, so You are not to make any difference between us and the Devas; this is our prayer to you.

38. O Goddess! You have been sung in all the Purânas as the World Mother; therefore, O Mother! We are your sons just as the Devas are.

39. O Mother! As they have got their interests, so we too have got our interests; therefore there is no difference between he Daityas and the Devas. Therefore if anyone makes any difference, it is due to the subtle error.

40. O Goddess! As we are attached to wealth, wives, and other pleasures of the senses, so the gods are; O Goddess! How then can any difference exist between them and us.

41. O Mother! They are the sons of Maharsi Kas’yapa; we also are his sons; Therefore you cannot have partiality for them before us.

42. O World Mother! In You no such difference is visible anywhere. Therefore do You here preserve equality amongst us both.

43. The Suras and Asuras all have sprung from the permutations and combinations of the 3 qualities! Then how the Devas being embodied can possess more qualities than us.

44. Every embodied soul possesses always cupidity, anger, covetousness; how then can one expect to remain without any quarrels with others.

45. We think that it is all sport with You to see our opinions different, rather contradictory, and it is You who got us involved in quarrels with each other and it is Your pleasure to witness how we fight against each other.

46. Sinless one! O Châmunde! Were You not so fond to see our fight, how then, we being brothers are at war against each other. Certainly it is Your Divine Sport.

47. O Goddess! I know what is religion, I know who is Indra. It is the very idea to enjoy these sensual pleasures that is the only cause of our incessant quarrels.

48. O Mother! You are the Sole Ruler of this Samsâra; no sensible man can carry out the words of a man who yearns for something. (i.e., O Mother, You are the only one that is desireless; so we can obey your words).

49. O Mother! Once the Devas and the Asuras conjointly churned the ocean. At that time Visnu, on the plea of distributing the jewel, and the ambrosial nectar, incurred quarrels amongst them.

50. O Mother! You have made him the Preserver and Controller of the Universe and the Spiritual Guide of the world. And it was He who took away the Goddess Laksmî, the beautiful lady amongst the Deva women.

51. Indra, the Lord of the Gods, took the elephant named Airâvat, the flower Pârijât, the Heavenly Cow yielding all desires, and the horse Uchchais’ravâ. Thus, through the desires and devices of Visnu, they got the excellent things.

52. O! What a wonder is this that the Devas were considered holy persons, after they had committed such unholy acts; no doubt the Devas had done a very heinous crime. O Goddess! You can judge Yourself what is the just and unjust thing in this case.

53. What is Religion? And where is Religion? And what are the acts done by a religious man? What is uprightness, justice, and purity? You better examine which party has observed virtue? Who has shown uprightness, justice and parity? To whom victory and defeat are due? You are the only one capable to judge all these things.

54-55. Alas! Whom to tell all the conclusions arrived at in the Mimâmsakas. If any one considers, one will find the world is the field of dissensions and quarrels; the argumentators look to the logical reasoning only; followers of the Vedas look to the rules and regulations only; these so called men of gross ideas they acknowledge that this world is created and preserved by the One only, and yet they quarrel amongst each other.

56-57. If there be One and only One Lord of this wide infinite Samsâra, then why would there be differences and quarrels amongst each other? Why is there not seen any agreement in opinion and why do the S’âstras differ and why are there so many differences in the opinions held by the knowers of the Vedas.

58. O Goddess! This whole Universe, moving and unmoving is selfish; hence arise so many differences between several opinions. There was no one unselfish in this world and there would be no unselfish persons born hereafter.

59-64. Look! The Moon stole away perforce knowingly the wife of Brihaspatî; Indra, knowing what is religion stole away the wife of Gautama; Brihaspatî enjoyed forcibly the wife of his younger; and also he outraged his elder brother’s wife in her pregnant state and cursed the boy in the womb and

made him blind. What more to say than Visnu, all full of Sâttvic qualities, severed perforce the head of Râhu. O Mother! Look to the case of my grandson Bali who used to pay due respects to all, who was the foremost amongst the virtuous, observer of rigorous truth, performer of sacrifices, liberal, peaceful, all-knowing. The pretender Hari, taking the form of a dwarf in his Vâmana incarnation, deceived Bali and took away all his kingdoms. Alas! Still the intelligent good persons reckon the Deva Visnu as the preserver of Religion. What a wonder! Those who are flatterers become victorious in this world; and defeat come to those that speak of Dharma.

65. O Goddess! You are the Mother of all the worlds; do whatever You like. But You should know that the Demons are all under Your protection; kill or save them as You like.

66. The Devî said :-- O Demons! Leave you all the anger arising from this warfare and go without any fear to Pâtâla and live there at your ease and happiness.

67. Better now wait on Time; whether you will get auspicious or inauspicious fruits for your deeds. Know whoever is desireless and unattached, to him happiness is always and everywhere.

68. Whose mind is avaricious, He does not get peace and happiness, even if he acquires the Trilokî. Even, in the golden age, avaricious persons did not get happiness, though they acquired the fruits of their actions.

69. Therefore you get yourselves freed of your sins and obey My order and leave the earth and go down to the Pâtâla.

70. Vyâsa said :-- On hearing the Devî’s words, the Demons obeyed and bowing at Her feet and preserved by Her, went to Pâtâla.

71. Then the Devî disappeared; and the Devas went away to their own homes. Thus the Devas and the Daityas, abandoning their feelings of enmity towards each other, lived in peace.

O King! He who hears this fact, gets himself freed from all sorts of calamities and reaches the Highest Peace.

Here ends the Fifteenth Chapter in the Fourth Book of S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam, the Mahâ Purânam of 18,000 verses, on the truce between the Daityas and Devas and on their departures with peace, by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.

Chapter XVI
On the Birth of the several Avatâras of Visnu and their deeds

1-2. Janamejaya spoke :-- O best of Munis! How did Visnu, of wonderful deeds, get his incarnation owing to the curse, cast on Him by Bhrigu? what were His different incarnations in different Manvantaras respectively? O Thou, well versed in religion! O Brâhmana! Kindly narrate those sin-destroying deeds of Hari in His several incarnations, that are the source of happiness, peace and welfare to all humanity.

3. Vyâsa said :-- O king! Hear, I am narrating to you the incarnations of S’rî Bhagavân Hari which He had in the several Manvantaras and in the several Yugas respectively.

4. I will tell you now, in brief, what forms He took and what deeds He did in the various incarnations.

5. In the Châksusa Manvantara, the Bhagavân Hari took the incarnation of Dharma; and the two sons of Dharma, Nara Nârâyana, were widely celebrated in this world.

6. Then, in the present Vaîvasvata Manvantara, under the reign of Vaîvasvata Manu in the second Yuga, Bhagavân Hari incarnated as Dattâtreya, in the shape of the son of Atrî Risi.

7. Anasûyâ the wife of Atrî, was desirous to have, as her sons, the three Devas Brahmâ, Visnu and Rudra; and in fulfilment of her desires, the Devas took their births in her womb.

8. Anasûyâ, was foremost amongst the chaste and virtuous women and on her praying, Brahmâ, Visnu and Rudra the Trinity at once agreed to become her sons.

9. Brahmâ was born as Soma, Hari was born as Dattâtreya and Rudra was born as Durvâsâ.

10. In the fourth Yuga, the Bhagavân assumed the beautiful double form in one, the upper part resembling a lion and the lower part a human being to accomplish the noble purpose of the Devas.

11. It was to kill Hiranyakas’ipu that the Bhagavân Hari assumed this appearance, wonderful even to the Devas.

12. In the Tretâ Yuga, the superior and the best of all the Yugas, the Bhagavân incarnated as Vâmana ( the Dwarf), the son of Maharsi Kas’yapa, to curb the power of Bali.

13. The Dwarf Hari took away by pretext, the kingdom of Bali, while he was performing a sacrifice and sent him down into the Pâtâla (the lower regions).

14. Afterwards, in the nineteenth Yuga, known as the Tretâ Yuga, S’rî Bhagavân Hari incarnated as Paras’urâma, very powerful and the son of Jamadagnî Risi.

15. He was very beautiful and graceful in his body, truthful and the conqueror of his senses. He extirpated the Ksattriya race and gave the whole world over to the high minded Risi Kas’yapa.

16. O king! He is the Paras’urâma, the sin-destroyer, the incarnation of Hari, and the doer of wonderful deeds.

17-20. After that the Bhagavân Hari incarnated as Râma, the son of Das’aratha. Next in the twenty-eighth Dvâpara Yuga, He incarnated as the very powerful Arjuna and S’rî Krisna, the Ams’as of Nara Nârâyana. To remove the load of the earth, these two were born; and they fought deadly battles in the battlefield of Kuruksettra. O king! Thus the several incarnations of Hari arose, according to the requirements of Prakriti. O King! These three worlds are under the control of Prakriti.

21. Whatever the Prakriti wishes at any time, She can fashion the world in that way. And She does this incessantly in accordance with the Word Divine, the Highest S’akti, to please the Purusa, without any cessation.

22-23. In days of yore, the most ancient Bhagavân, the Highest, above all the qualities of Mâyâ, formless, all pervading, difficult to be conceived, without any decay, self-supporting, without any want, created these worlds, moving and unmoving and He manifested Himself as the Trinity, Brahmâ, Visnu, Mahes’a in the shape of the three qualities Sâttva, Râjas and Tâmas, and which is called the Highest Prakriti.

24. This all auspicious Prakriti shines differently according to the differences in time and circumstances. This threefold Prakriti, the Great Enchantress of the world is creating, preserving the worlds and is destroying them at the end of the Kalpas.

25. O King! Whenever there takes place the union with this Prakriti, Brahmâ creates, Visnu preserves, and the all-auspicious God S’ankara destroys the worlds.

26. It was She That gave birth to Kâkutstha, the best of the kings; and to conquer the Dânavas, She placed him at a certain place.

27. O king! Thus all men controlled by the Great Law in this world, enjoy sometimes the pleasures, enjoy sometimes pains and thus exist in the world.

Here ends the Sixteenth Chapter in the Fourth Book of S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam, the Mahâpurânam of 18,000 verses, by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa, on the Birth of the several Avatâras of Visnu and their deeds.

Chapter XVII
On the questions asked by Janamejaya

1. Janamejaya said :-- O Muni! You told before that the heavenly prostitutes sent by Indra in the hermitage of Nara Nârâyana became lustful and desired to live with Nârâyana only, whose heart was calm and quiet.

2. At that moment when Nârâyana was about to curse them, his brother Nara desisted him from taking that step.

3-4. Now I ask you what did that triumphant Nârâyana Muni do, in the critical juncture, when he was repeatedly asked by those prostitutes, sent by lndra, to satisfy their lust?

5. O Grand Sire! I am very eager to know the deeds of Nârâyana, leading to one’s freedom. Kindly describe in detail and fulfill my wishes.

6. Vyâsa said :-- Hear, O king! I am describing to you in detail, what that high souled son of Dharma did.

7. When Nârâyana Hari was ready to curse them, the Risi Nara, seeing this, consoled him and desisted him.

8. Then the great sage, the ascetic son of Dharma, Nârâyana, leaving aside his anger, began to address them in sweet words with countenance smiling.

9-10. O Fair women! We have determined to practise asceticism in this life; it does not therefore behove us to accept any wife; therefore shew your kindness unto us and go back to your Heaven. You would better think that those who know what is religion, they never desire to break the vow of another.

11. O beautiful eyed ones! In the sexual pleasure, it is the delightful feeling of passionate joy that is requisite; and we are wanting in those feelings; then how can we effect that union?

12. No action can come out of no cause; this is all clear. The poets say that the sexual power and pleasure, is the feeling, the mental attitude that corresponds; and that is the only thing, that lasts. And we have no desire for that.

13. However my limbs are all very graceful, I am very fortunate and blessed in this world, otherwise how can I be the object of your sincere love towards me.

14. You all are very fortunate; therefore do now show this mercy unto me “do not break my vow.” I pray now that, in a subsequent birth, I may become your husband.

15-16. O large eyed fair women! In the twenty-eighth Dvâpara Yuga, I will certainly incarnate on earth to effect the purpose of the Devas; then you all also would respectively incarnate as the daughters of kings and would also become my wives.

17. Nârâyana thus consented to marry them in some other next birth; and consoling them, made them go back to their Heavens. They also abandoned their mental disquietude and, on reaching back to Heavens, they explained everything to Indra.

18-19. Indra heard (from these heavenly women) what the two two Risis did and saw before him Urvas’î and other women created by Nârâyana from his thighs, etc., and began to extol the merits of the high souled Nârâyana.

20. Indra said :-- O! How wonderful is the patience of the Muni? What is the wonderful influence of his Tapas! Oh! He has created, by the sheer force of his Tapas, Urvas’î and these fair women, unrivalled for their beauties, from his thighs.

21. The Lord of the Devas thus extolled his merits and became freed from his anxieties. The virtuous Nârâyana, too, devoted himself to the practice of his Tapasyâ.

23. O king! Thus I have described to you, in detail, all the wonderful accounts regarding Nara Nârâyana.

O Superior in the descendants of Bharata! These two Nara and Nârâyana afterwards incarnated themselves, due to Bhrigu’s curse as the two great heroes Arjuna and Krisna, to relieve the burden of the earth.

24. The king said :-- O respect giving Muni! Now describe in detail the life of the Avatar Krisna and dispel my mental doubt.

25-26. O best of the Munis! Why were Vâsudeva and Devakî, who were chosen by the very powerful Hari and Ananta as their parents, doomed to so many miseries and afflictions. Why had these parents to remain for good many years in the prison of Kamsa, who pleased directly by their Tapasyâ that Bhagavân Janârdana.

27. Why did Krisna taking his birth at Mathurâ, go to Gokula? Also what was his object to go to Dvârkâ, situated in the ocean, when he killed the enemy Kamsa?

28. Also why did his father, mother and relatives, leave their old holy places of residences and go abroad to live in a wretched old country?

29-31. Why was the Yadu race destroyed by the curse from a Brâhmana! How did S’rî Krisna Vâsudeva leave finally His body after He had relieved the burden of the earth and was about to enter into His Heaven? The evildoers of the earth were slain by Krisna and Arjuna, of unequalled prowess; but how was it, that those who plundered the wives of S’rî Hari, were not at all punished by Him?

32-33. The great personages Bhîsma, Drona, Karna, the king Vâlhîka, Virâta, Vikarna, Dhristadyumna, the king Somadatta were destroyed for relieving the burden of the earth; and the plunderers were acquitted! Kindly explain the cause of this.

34. How was it that those chaste and virtuous wives of S’rî Krisna go into troubles at the latter end of their lives? There has arisen a doubt in my mind on this point.

35. Why did the virtuous Vâsudeva leave his mortal coil owing to the death of his sons and why did he die an unusual death?

36. O best of Munis! The Pândavas were devoted to Krisna and they were religious; they had to suffer so many troubles!

37. Why was Draupadî so very unfortunate and she had to suffer so much miseries, and pains, who was born of Laksmî from amidst the sacrificial place and from the altar.

38-39. Why did Duhs’âsan drag Her by Her hairs while She was in Her menstruation period, in the hall of audience and why was it that Sindhu Râj Jayadratha, the king of Sindhu, gave Her exceedingly mental troubles?

40. Why was it that Her five sons residing in Her house were killed by As’vaththâmâ? What was the cause that the son of Subhadrâ had to die in the battlefield?

41. Why did the king Kamsa kill the six sons of Devakî; and why was it that S’rî Hari who was capable of averting the Fate did not at all prevent that?

42. What a wonder is this that in the matters of Brâhmana’s curse toward the Jâdavas, their being killed in the Prabhâsa, the total extermination the Jadu race and the plundering of His wives, why did He allow Fate to do these great momentous things?

43. If He was the all-powerful God and He Himself Nârâyana, that why did He incessantly act like a slave towards Ugrasena.

N.B. -- Ugrasena was the king of Mathurâ and father of Kamsa. He was deposed by his son; but Krisna after having slain Kamsa restored him to the throne.

44-45. All these bring doubt in our minds regarding Nârâyana Muni that His deeds are always like those of ordinary persons; why did his pleasures and pains resemble those of ordinary human beings? Were he God, why his actions were not Godly? (i.e., superhuman).

46. Therefore dost Thou describe in detail all the Divine Leelas (playful sports) done by Hari of superhuman powers in this world.

47. O Best of Munis! When one’s longevity expires, one dies; then I cannot understand what glory was manifested by Hari in killing the Daityas? For Fate Killed them; not Hari.

48. Was not the doing of Hari like a thief when he stole away the Lady Rukminî and fled quickly to his own place.

49. What did it mean when he fled to Dvârkâ city, and quitted his own highly prosperous town Mathurâ simply out of the fear of Jarâsandha?

50. Did not anybody at that time recognise that he was S’rî Bhagavân Hari? O Respected One! Were he Bhagavân, why did He hide himself in Vraja? Please explain the cause to me.

51. O Muni! These and many other doubts always exist in my mind; you are the best of the Dvijas and blessed; I pray, dost thou remove these doubts.

52-53. O best of Munis! Another doubt exists and is not dispelled and that is secret. Was not the taking of the five husbands by Pânchâlî for herself shameful and despised by the society? The good manners and doings are always considered by the learned as the proofs of virtue. Why did those Pândavas, then, capable in every respect, do this thing like brutes?

54. And what did Bhîsma do living like a Deva in this world? May I ask, was his act of producing two sons by a widow and thus preserving his line of ancestors worthy of his name?

55. The religious sanction advocated by the Munis “Procreate sons in any way whatsoever” is simply shameful. Fie to this religious sanction.

Here ends the 17th Chapter in the 4th Book of S’rî mad Devî Bhagavatam of 18000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa on the questions asked by Janamejaya.

Chapter XVIII
On the Devî Earth’s going to the Heavens

1. Vyâsa said :-- O king! Hear in detail the complete life and the deeds in the incarnation of S’rî Krisna and also the various wonderful achievements by the Goddess of this universe.

2. Once on a time, the Earth was very much overburdened by the load of wicked kings and She was therefore very much afraid.

3. She then assumed the appearance of a cow and went to the Devaloka crying and very much dejected.

Indra, the lord of the Devas, asked her, O Vasundhare! What is the cause of your fear now? Who has troubled you? What afflictions are you merged in? Please tell me all these.

4. On hearing Indra’s words, the Earth exclaimed :-- O Respect giver! When You have asked me, I am explaining to you the cause of all my afflictions and sorrows; at present I am overburdened with too much load.

5-8. Now is reigning in the earth Jârâsandha, the king of Magadha, a very very vicious person. Thus the other S’is’upâl, the lord of the Chedis, the uncontrollable Kâs’irâj, Rukmî, the powerful Kamsa, the strong Naraka, the Sauvapati S’âlva, the wicked Kes’î, Dhenuka, and Batsaka all these are now in royal positions. O Lord of the Devas! These kings are all devoid of the least trace of virtue, quarrelsome against each other, infatuated with vanity, and addicted to vicious deeds. These have become kings as if they were personified Yamas, the Lords of Death, and are constantly troubling me. I am now unable to carry their loads; where shall I go now? This great thought is constantly ailing me.

9-11. O Vasava! What to tell! The Bhagavân in His Boar Incarnation is the cause of all these my afflictions; O Indra! These present troubles I am fallen into only through Him; for when the cruel Daitya Hirânyâksa; the son of Ka’syapa stole me away and drowned me in the great ocean, then it was Visnu in his Boar incarnation that killed him and rescued me from the ocean and then kept me in this my stable position.

12. Had he not then lifted me up, I would have rested safe in the depths of Rasâtala; O Lord of the Devas! Now I am quite unable to bear the load of these vicious persons.

13. O Surendra! The vicious twenty eight Kali is coming quickly in front. Thinking of His influence, it seems to me that I will be very troubled then and will have to go down to Rasâtala.

14. Therefore, O Lord of the Devas! I am bowing down before Your feet, kindly relieve me of my burden and save me from these endless troubles.

15. Indra said :-- O Earth! I cannot do anything for you. You better go and take refuge of Brahmâ. I am also going to Him. He will remove all your troubles.

16. Hearing Indra’s words the Earth hurriedly went to the realm of Brahmâ and Indra and all the other Devas followed Her; and all reached the Brahmaloka.

17-18. O King! The Grand Father Brahmâ saw the Earth coming to him and through the power of meditation, found out the cause of Her coming and said :-- O Auspicious One! why are You crying? What troubles You have now? What wicked person has given You troubles.

19. The Earth said :-- O Lord of the Earth! The vicious Kali is coming before; under Its influence the subjects will be horribly vicious; therefore I am very much afraid of this Kali.

20. In the beginning of this Kali Yuga, the ancient enemies, the Asuras have now incarnated on this earth as kings. They will be extremely wicked, quarreling against each other, and will be clever in stealing others’ things. There is no doubt in these.

21. O Grand Father! Now kill these vicious kings and relieve my burden. O Lord! I am very much troubled by the armies of these kings.

22. Brahmâ said :-- O Goddess! I, too, am unable like Indra to remove your load. Let us go to that Visnu, the Holder of the disc.

23. That Janârdana will remove your burden. I thought of this well before and settled what to do.

24-25. Vyâsa said :-- Thus saying, the four faced Brahmâ, the Author of the Vedas, rode on His Hamsa Vehicle taking in front the Goddess Earth; and the Devas went to Visnu and began to praise Visnu Janârdana, the Deva of the Devas, with the words of the Vedas with full devotion.

26. Brahmâ said :-- Thou hast thousand heads, thousand faces, thousand feet. Thou art the Purusa of the Vedas, Thou art the Deva of the Devas, and Thou art Eternal.

27. O Omnipresent! Thou art the Past, Present, and Future! O Lord of Laksmî! Thou hast awarded immortality unto us.

28. Thou art the Creator of universe, the Preserver and the Destroyer; Thou art the One and the Only goal and thou art the God. Everybody knows that all these glories belong to Thee.

29. Vyâsa said :-- O king! When Brahmâ praised thus, Visnu whose sign was Garuda, was highly pleased and appeared before Brahmâ and the other Devas.

30. The Bhagavân asked them about their welfare and enquired in detail into the cause of their arrival there.

31. Brahmâ them bowed down to Him and, remembering the cause of the sorrows of the Goddess Earth, said :-- O Lord! Thou art now to relieve the burden of the Earth.

32. O Thou, Ocean of mercy! When the end of the Dvâpara yuga will come Thou art to incarnate in the world and kill the wicked kings and thus to relieve the burden of the Earth.

33-34. Visnu said :-- I am not independent in these matters; why I? Brahmâ Mahes’a, Indra, Agni, Yama, Visvakarmâ, the Sun and Varuna and other Devas, nobody is independent. This whole universe, moving and unmoving is existing under the control of the Yoga Mâyâ; and from Brahmâ up to the clot of grass, all are strung into the thread of Her Three qualities.

35. O One of good vows! Whatever that Yoga Mâyâ, the Supreme Goddess, Who is All will, Whose mouth is inward, Who does good at all times, what She wills She does that at any time. You should all know that we are entirely under Her control.

36-41. You better think that were I independent, what for would I have stayed in the great ocean, incarnating in the Fish and Tortoise Bodies! O Brâhmin! What name or pleasure is there in enjoyment in the body of lower animals! What holy merit or any other reward may I expect from being born in the wombs of lower animals? What is the reason that I assume the body of a Boar? or of a Man-Lion? or of a Dwarf? Why was I born as the son of Jamadagni. Especially why did I, being born of that highsouled Brâhman Jamadagni, and being the best of the Brâhmins, do the most atrocious act like that of a heartless brute and fill up the lakes with their blood. Alas! I killed the Ksatriyas mercilessly; to say nothing more than that I killed the sons that were then in the wombs. Were I independent, what for I would have done these horrible and cruel deeds! O Lord of the Devas! See again. In my Râma incarnation I roamed on foot, helpless and without any provision, in the fearful Dandaka forest unfrequented by anybody, wearing clotted hair, bark, rags, like a man who feels no shame, and behaved like a hunter and killed many animals.

42-44. Being under the delusion of Mâyâ, I could not make out the real nature of the golden deer; consequently leaving Janakî in the thatched cottage, I went out pursuing the deer. Though repeatedly warned by me not to leave the place, Laksmana was moved by the qualities of Prakriti, forsook her and went out on my search.

45. Then the hypocrite Râvana, the king of the Râksasas, under the garb of a beggar; stole away by force the daughter of Janaka, who had become very lean on account of sorrows.

46. I was very much distressed owing to the separation from my dear wife and roamed about weeping sorely in forest and formed friendship with Sugrîva, under the influence of the circumstances.

47. It was an act of gross injustice on my part to kill Bâlî, the king of the monkeys. I freed him from his curse; afterwards, aided by the monkeys, I had to go to Lankâ.

48. When my younger Laksmana and myself were both enchained under the chain of the serpents, Nâgapâs’a, and were senseless, the monkeys all were astonished.

49. Then Garuda came and freed us the two brothers, from those Nâgapâs’as! I considered then what adverse inauspicious circumstances Fate sometimes ordains on our lot.

50. I lost my kingdom, lived in the forest, my father died, Janakî was stolen and I had to suffer extreme troubles in very deadly battles; I could not know what worse fate still awaited for us?

51. O Suras! What more calamity can you expect to befall any person than that I was from the very first deprived of my kingdoms and wealth, and had to go to the forest with the princess Sîtâ dwelling in and taking shelter in a dense forest!

52. At the time of my going to the forest my father did not give a single penny; penniless and helpless I had to get out of Ayodhyâ on foot.

53. I was compelled to leave my Ksattriya Dharma and take up the avocation of a hunter and thus to spend fourteen years in forest.

54. After that, under the benign influence of Fate, I was able to kill that Asura Râvana and got the victory in the battle and was able to bring back dear Sîtâ to Ayodhyâ.

55. There I succeeded in becoming the ruler of the kingdom Kos’ala with its subjects and got the full kingdom and enjoyed for a few years the pleasures of the world.

56-57. The stealing away of Sîtâ took place at the first outset; next I got my kingdom; then the subjects began to circulate the bad name regarding Janakî; and I being afraid of that, deported her into exile in the forest. At that time I had to suffer again extreme pain and agony due to the separation from my wife. Then the daughter of the Goddess Earth penetrated into the Earth and got down to the Pâtâla.

58. O Devas! When I had to depend on Fate and to suffer so many troubles incessantly, where else can you dare to say that an independent man exists.

59. Afterwards under the influence of Time, I had to go to Heaven with my brothers. Let all this point to what it may, the intelligent learned people can say what an amount of mishaps takes place to one who is dependent!

60. O One born from the Lotus! You hear my word; I am in every way dependent; why I? Rudra, You and all those Suras are fully dependent.

Here ends the Eighteenth Chapter of the Fourth Book of the Mahâ Purânam S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa on the Devî Earth’s going to the Heavens.

Chapter XIX
On chanting the hymns to the Devî

1. Vyâsa said :-- The Bhagavân Visnu spoke again unto Prajâpati :-- Brâhman! All these beings fascinated by Mâyâ, cannot know the Real Essence, the Highest Truth.

2. We, too, are fascinated by that Mâyâ; and hence we also, being blinded by that, do not at all remember That Highest Eternal Purusa, calm and quiet, the World Teacher, the Highest Self, of the nature of Pure Existence, Intelligence and Bliss.

3. O Brahmâ! I am Visnu, I am Brahmâ, I am Rudra, thus our I-ness ahamkâra has blinded our eyesight; and we are made unable to recognise That Eternal Highest Self.

4. As the wooden dolls dance according to the will of the player, the magician, I also am similarly fascinated by the Mâyâ and am thus incessantly rolling about like a dependent man.

5-6. O Brahmâ :-- In the beginning of the Kalpa, Mahes’vara, You and I saw the wonderful unspeakable form and glory of that Highest Self at the time of Râsamandala in the Mâni Dvîpa where there was the Mandâra Tree and the Devas assembled. Then I also saw that wonderful thing a second time in the Sudhârnava ocean of nectar, and the most wonderful of it is this, that until we were able to See that Form, we did not hear anything of Her before!

7. Therefore, O Devas! Today do you all remember that Prime Force, the Highest Self, that all beneficent Force that yields all good and auspicious things; That Very Force will fulfill now all your desires.

8. Vyâsa said :-- O king! No sooner the Bhagavân Hari addressed thus, Brahmâ and the other Devas at once mentally began to meditate on that Eternal Yoga Mâyâ, the Goddess of the Universe.

9. Being thus meditated, at once appeared before their eyesight the Devî, the Goddess of the Universe, whose colours were like the blood red Javâ flower, holding in two of Her hands noose, hook, or goad, while the third hand indicated favour and the fourth hand bade all discard every sort of fear.

10. As the web comes out of a spider and sparks come out of fire, so this whole Universe comes out of that Goddess. We all bow down before Her with our humble hearts, full of devotion.

11. We all salute to that Goddess of the Universe, Bhuvanes’varî, under Whose Mâyic force this whole Universe, moving and unmoving, is created; Who is All-Intelligence and the Ocean of Mercy.

12. This world appears real to him who is unable to realise Her Real Essence; and the world drops off as unreal no sooner he realises Her Presence. We all meditate on that All Intelligent Goddess and we all pray to Her that She may grant unto us more strength to meditate Her and Her alone so.

13. We all want to know Mahâ Laksmî, we all meditate on the Omnipotent; May the Goddess grant unto us strength to meditate on Her so.

14. O Thou, the Remover of the world’s afflictions! Best Thou pleased unto us; O Thou, kind hearted! Do this work for us and promote our good. O Thou, Lord of the Earth! Dost Thou relieve the burden of the earth by killing these Asuras and bring on our welfare.

15. O Thou, Lotus-Eyed! If Thou dost not show Thy mercy towards the gods, they will never be able to strike their enemies with their weapons in the battlefield. O Goddess! Thou didst verify the truth of this before, when Thou didst assume the appearance of a Yaksa and utter the following sentences “O Fire! You burn this blade of grass,” etc. (in the Kena Talavakâra Upanîsada.)

16. O Mother! Kamsa, Bhauma, Kâlayavana, Kes’î, Jarâsandha, the son of Brihadratha, Vaka, Pûtanâ, Khara, S’âlva and other vicious kings respectively are dwelling on the earth. Dost Thou better kill them and relieve the burden of the Earth.

17. O Lotus-Eyed! Thou hadst killed those Asuras without any effort that were not slain by Visnu or Mahes’vara and they ended their lives, while they were beholding Thy pleasing countenance.

18. O Goddess! Holding Moon on Her forehead! These Hari, Hara, Brahmâ and the other gods are unable to move a step without the help of Force; nothing to speak any further, the thousand headed King of Serpents is unable to hold this earth even for a moment, were he not provided with the S’akti of upholding this world.

19. Indra said :-- O Bhagavatî! Would Brahmâ be ever able to create this world without the aid of Sarasvatî! Would Visnu, the Deva of the Devas, be ever able to preserve it without the aid of Laksmî or would Mahes’vara be ever able, to destroy this world without the help of His Umâ; no, never! These Devas, the Trinity, are able to take their respective parts in the keeping up of the world simply because they are united with the forces, incarnate in Sarasvatî, etc., who are again parts of Thee.

20. Visnu said :-- O Vimale! Were we deprived of Thy Force, the Creator would never have been able to create the world, I would never have been able to preserve it and Mahes’vara would never have been able to destroy. Therefore O Devî! Thou alone art reigning as the Supreme Goddess amidst all the glories in the creation, preservation, and destruction of this Universe.

21-22. Vyâsa said :-- O king! Thus praised by the Gods, the Goddess then addressed them :-- O Devas! Let all anxieties leave you all; I will do what the Devas have desired, even if it be very difficult to do in this world; now explain what is troubling the Goddess Earth.

23. The Devas replied :-- The wicked kings are troubling very much this Earth. She cannot any longer bear their burden; therefore She came crying unto us.

24. O Bhuvanes’varî! Now it is Your duty to remove this load of earth. O Auspicious One! Know this, the desire of the gods.

25-28. O Mother! In days of yore, You have killed the most powerful Dânava named Mahisa, attended by lakhs and lakhs of Dânavas and Daityas; What to speak! You have slain S’umbha, Nis’umbha, Raktavîja, the very powerful Chanda Munda, Dhumralochana, Durmukha, Duhsana, the strong Karâla and many other cruel Dânavas.

Now, similarly kill the wicked kings, the enemies of the Gods and save the Earth from their heavy loads.

29. Vyâsa said :-- Thus addressed by the Devas, the Most Auspicious One, the Devî, whose colour was black and who looked askance, said smiling in a tone, grave and deep, like that of the rumbling of a raincloud.

30. O Suras! I have already thought over how the burden of those wicked kings, the parts incarnate of Asuras, can be removed.

31. I will, by My own power, rob them of their powers, of that highly prosperous and affluent Jârasandha, the king of Magadha, and others, the parts incarnate of the wicked Asuras, that are now shining on the Earth.

32. O Devas! You would all better go down and incarnate yourselves as part incarnations, impregnated with My power, and help thus in the removal of the load of this earth.

33. The Deva Prajâpati Maharsi Kas’yapa would first of all go with his his wife and incarnate as Ânaka Dundubhi Vasudeva, in the race of Yadu.

34. The Imperishable Bhagavân Visnu will also incarnate as part, owing to the curse of Bhrigu, as the son of Vasudeva.

35. O Devas! I will be born, then, in the womb of Yas’odâ, in Gokula and will accomplish all the ends of the Gods.

36. I will send Visnu from the prison to the Gokula; also I will transfer Anântâ Deva from the womb of Devakî to the womb of Rohinî.

37. They two will grow, day by day, by My Force and at the end of the Dvâpara Yuga, will no doubt kill the wicked kings.

38-39. Arjuna too, the part incarnate of Indra, will destroy the armies of those kings. Yudhisthira, the part incarnate of Dharma, Bhîmsena, that of of Vâyu, Nakula and Sahadeva the incarnate of the two A’svins, and Bhîsma, the incarnate of Vasu as the son of the Gangâ, will take their respective births and exhaust their armies.

40. O Devas! Now be calm and quiet and go. Let the Earth be also calm and quiet; be confident that I will certainly remove the load of this earth.

41. I will make the above mentioned Gods as my instruments merely and I will destroy, by My own force, the Ksatriyas in the battlefield of Kuruksettra.

42. Malice, jealousy, foul intention, desire, attachment, vanity, covetousness, desire for victory, lust, and fascination are the vices that will destroy the Yâdavas.

43. The race of Yadu will end owing to the curse of a Brâhmana. The Bhagavân also will leave His mortal coil due to a curse.

44. Now go and incarnate in your respective parts, with your wives, in Gokula and Mathurâ, and be helpers in the work of the Lord.

45-46. Vyâsa said :-- Saying thus, the Devî the Goddess of the Universe, the Mâyâ Incarnate of the Highest Self disappeared. The Devas and the Earth went to their respective places. O king Janamejaya! the Goddess Earth was pleased with the Devî’s words, and being quiet, remained surrounded with various medicinal plants and creepers.

47. Then the subjects felt peace and pleasure, the Brâhmans also grew stronger in happiness and prosperity, and the Munis became glad and began to perform their religious acts with fresh zeal and alacrity.

Here ends the Nineteenth Chapter in the Fourth Book of S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses, the Mahâ Purânam, on chanting the hymns to the Devî by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.

Chapter XX
On Devakî’s marriage

1-2. Vyâsa said :-- O Bharata! I now narrate to you about the relief of the burden of the Earth, the destruction by the Yoga Mâyâ of the armies Kuruksettra and Prabhâsa, the two sacred places, and about the birth, due to the curse of Bhrigu, of the Bhagavân Hari, of unparalleled prowess, under the influence of Mahâmâyâ, in the race of Yadu. Now hear.

3. Visnu’s taking birth in the world was effected under the circumstances caused by Yoga Mâyâ, to relieve the burden of the Earth; this is my opinion.

N. B. :-- Prabhâsa is a well-known place of pilgrimage near Dvârkâ, in Gujerat.

4. O king! When the Goddess Mahâmâyâ, the Incarnate of the three qualities can make Brahmâ, Visnu and the other Devas dance incessantly as their Internal Controller, then what wonder, that She would appear charming to the other Jîvas and make them dance incessantly, as wooden dolls.

5. All the troubles incurred in remaining in the womb, amidst the urine, excreta and tissues, She had brought to bear finally on Visnu by Her ever famous Leelâ (Divine Sport).

6. In days of yore, in Râma incarnation, She, That Supreme Goddess made the Gods become monkeys and you know very well already, what amount of trouble Bhagavân Visnu had to undergo by the hard iron chain of bondage, “This is mine, this is I,” etc., imposed by Mâyâ.

7. The Yogis who want final liberation and who have abandoned all their attachments and who want devotion, they worship the Supreme Goddess of the Universe, the Incarnate of Auspiciousness.

8. O king! Who will not serve Her? A trace of devotion towards Whom effects at once the salvation of the Jîvas.

9. If any human being utters simply the name “Bhuvanes’varî” (the Goddess of Universe) She gives him the three worlds; and if any one cries and utters for help “Save me,” then the Goddess of the Universe, being unable to find anything that She can repay him as a fit recompense for his utterance, becomes Herself indebted to that man.

10. O King! Know Vidyâ (knowledge) and Avidyâ (non-knowledge, spiritual ignorance, lower knowledge) Her two forms; Vidyâ gives liberation; Avidyâ causes bondage.

11. Brahmâ, Visnu, Rudra, all these and their Avatâras are Her instruments and are under Her subjection, as if they are all fastened by a cord.

12-14. The Bhagavân Hari sometimes resides in Vaikuntha, sometimes resides in the sea of milk and enjoys pleasures, sometimes fights the powerful Dânavas, sometimes performs extensive sacrificial ceremonies sometimes performs severe asceticism and sometimes takes to deep sleep under the guidance of Yoga Mâyâ. Thus He never becomes free and independent.

15-16. O King! And like Visnu, Brahmâ, Rudra, the other Gods Indra, Varuna, Yama, Kuvera, Agni, the Sun, Moon and other celestial gods, the Sanaka and other Munis, Vas’istha and other Risis, all are incessantly controlled by the Supreme Goddess, as if they are the dolls in the hands of a playing magician.

17. All the Devas are controlled by the noose of Time, just as oxen are brought under control by men, by strings passed within their noses.

18. O King! Pleasure, pain, sleep, lassitude, idleness, and other passions and feelings are always found inherent in every embodied being.

19-23. The Devas are written down by authors in their books as not subject to death or decay; this statement is merely nominal and not real; for whoever is always subject to birth, growth, decay and death how can we call him immortal or beyond old age and death? Why do the Devas get into sorrows, and troubles? How can they be called gods? How can one enjoy when one is involved in a trouble? In this world, it is seen mosquitoes and other insects born from water die after a very short time; so, like these, the Devas at the expiry of their ordained life-period, die too. Then why not the Devas be treated like those insects? Why not shall we term them, “Mortal”?

24-25. Some human beings live one year; some others live upto one hundred years, the Devas live longer than men; the life of the Prâjâpatî Brahmâ exceeds those of the Devas; Rudra lives longer than Brahmâ; and Visnu lives longer than Rudra. All these are thus subject by turns to birth, growth, and decay.

26. Those who are born, they die; those that die are again born. Thus O King! In this world all the Jîvas, no doubt, move round and round like a wheel.

27. The Jîvas are deluded by the network of Moha (charms) and thus deluded. They can never gain final release. So long as Mâyâ exists in them, their delusion is not destroyed.

28. O King! At the time of creation Brahmâ and all other things came into existence, in due order, and these will duly dissolve at the time of the Great Dissolution (the Pralaya)?

29. Whatever is the cause of destruction to anybody here, that destroys the body in question. According to the Will Power of the Supreme Goddess, whatever is created by Brahmâ, no none can undo that. Know this as perfectly certain.

30. Know this the predestined law that the birth, death, old age, diseases, pain or pleasure overtake all the Jîvas according to the prescribed order of Nature; never these laws fail to operate in their actions.

31. See! The Devas that we see with our physical eyes, the Sun and Moon yield pleasure to all; still they suffer always troubles at the hands of their enemies (i.e., Râhu and Ketu, i.e., there always take place regularly solar and lunar eclipses, when they are in the ascending and descending modes.) This suffering is never removed.

32. The son of the Sun (Saturn) is always injurious to people; hence it is termed “Manda” (bad); the Moon was attacked with consumption and bears stain on his body (spots in the Moon disc). What to speak of ordinary men? The great men even are subject to the prescribed laws of Fate and Nature.

33. The Creator of the world, the four faced Brahmâ is the author of the Vedas and awarder of Intelligence. He, too, on seeing Sarasvatî, his own daughter, was afflicted with passion.

34. When Sati, the wife of S’iva, left off Her mortal coil, Mahâdeva, though He could remove the sorrows of all, was very much moved with passion and greatly afflicted.

35. Then, being burnt very much as it were by the fire of passion, he threw himself down into the water of the river Kâlindî; and the water of that river became black-coloured, as if burnt by the burning fire of the sorrows of S’iva.

36-37. O King! When Mahâdeva, being infatuated with Kâma, went into the forest of Bhrigu and becoming naked, began to copulate, the ascetic Bhrigu, seeing him in that state, exclaimed “O You are very shameless” and cursed Him thus :-- Let your penis drop off just now. Mahâdeva, then to satisfy his thirst for passion, began to drink the water of the lake Amrita Vapî, dug by the Dânavas.

38-39. Indra, too, the Lord of the Devas, turned into a bull and carried Visnu on his back on the face of the earth. What to speak where the omniscience and omnipotence disappeared of Bhagavân Visnu, Who is the First of all created beings and possessed of reason, and discrimination? Oh! What a great wonder, that He could not know about the golden deer?

40-41. Judge, O King! for yourself, the great power of Mâyâ, that even Râma Chandra was deluded by passion, and very much grieved for the separation from his dear wife Sîtâ, and wept much for Her. Greatly deluded, he began to cry aloud and ask the trees “Where has gone My Sîtâ, the daughter of Janaka? Is she devoured by the rapacious animals? or whether is she stolen by some mischievous person?

42-44. O Brother Laksmana! I am being consumed by the fire of separation from my beloved; I will commit suicide now; and you too will die due to the separation from me; our mother, too, would die when they will hear of our deaths; Satrughna, too, will be very much afflicted at our death and will not hold his life. The mother Sumitrâ, too, will destroy her life, being afflicted with her son’s demise; and then Bharata’s and his mother’s desires will certainly be fulfilled.

45. O Sîtâ! I am very much moved by your separation; where have you gone, leaving me here! O deer-eyed, O one of thin waist! come; give life unto me!

46. What shall I do? Where shall I go? My life is entirely dependent on you, O daughter of Janaka! I am your darling! Now I am very much depressed owing to your separation. Please come and speak to me words of hope and courage.

47. Though Râma, of unequalled prowess, roamed about weeping from forest to forest, yet he could not find out Sîtâ.

48-49. He, who is the Refuge of all the worlds, the lotus-eyed Râma, got entangled into the delusion of Mâyâ and had to take refuge Himself under the monkeys, and with their help, constructed the bridge across the ocean, crossed the ocean and was thus able to kill the valiant warriors Kumbhakarna and Râvana.

50. Then Râma got back His Sîtâ before him but suspecting, since she had been stolen by the vicious Râvana, made her take an oath, though it is to, be remembered that Râma was all-knowing.

51. O King! The power of Yoga Mâyâ is very great; what shall I speak of Her great power? This whole cosmos is always urged into activity by Her and thus goes rolling on and on incessantly.

52. Thus, in various incarnations, Bhagavân Visnu was always under the influence of previous curse and also under the control of Destiny and had to do various functions incessantly.

53. O King! Now I will speak to you about the birth of S’rî Krisna in the world for serving the purposes of gods, and will narrate His Leelâ.

54. In days of yore, on the delightful banks of the river Kâlindî, there was a place, called Madhuban, where lived a powerful Daitya named Lavana, the son of Madhu.

55-56. That wicked Demon was exceedingly arrogant, on getting a boon, and he used to give an enormous amount of trouble to the Dvijas. Satrughna the younger of Laksman, killed that uncontrollable Daitya and built a very beautiful city there and named it Mathurâ.

57. The intelligent Satrughna, the destroyer of enemies, installed his two lotus-eyed sons in that kingdom and, when his end came, went to Heaven.

58. Afterwards on the decline of the Solar race, the Yâdavas, born of the race of Yayâti, occupied that Mathurâ city, giving salvation to all.

59. O King! There reigned in Mathurâ city one Yâdava king, valiant warrior, named S’ûrasena; and he enjoyed all the pleasures Mathurâ.

60. Under the curse of Varuna, Vâsudeva took his birth as the son of the renowned S’ûrasena, as the part incarnate of Kas’yapa.

61. He took up the profession of a Vais’ya and engaged himself in agriculture. And on the death of his father, the prosperous and wealthy Ugrasena became the King of Mathurâ. The powerful Kamsa was the son Ugrasena.

62. On the other hand, the King Devaka had a daughter born to him named Devakî, the part incarnate of Aditi. She under the curse of Varuna, followed Kas’yapa.

63. The high souled King Devaka performed the marriage ceremony of his daughter Devakî with Vâsudeva.

64. When this marriage ceremony was over, a voice was heard from Heaven, saying :-- O fortunate Kamsa! The eighth son of this Devakî will take away your life.

65. The powerful Kamsa, hearing that voice from Heaven, was surprised and took it to be true and became very anxious.

66-67. Kamsa began to argue in his mind. Once he thought “I would today destroy her; then my death won’t take place; for I can’t see any other way of escape from this difficulty,” again he thought, “She is my sister, daughter of my paternal uncle and therefore fit to be worshipped; how can I kill her!”

68. Lastly, he came to the final conclusion, thus “She is the cause of my death, though she is my sister, fit to be worshipped; to kill her will not lead me to sin; for it is enjoined by the wise :-- Do even a sin to avert one’s own death.”

69. The sins can be remedied always by penances. Therefore to save one’s life, by committing even a sinful act, ought to be done by the wise.

70-71. The vicious Kamsa thus arguing, holding the scabbard in his hand, drew from it the sword and dragged and caught hold of the newly married handsome woman by her hair to kill her before the presence of the public.

72. A cry of universal consternation and distress arose on all sides, seeing Kamsa thus ready to kill Devakî; then the warriors, under Vâsudeva, at once raised their bows and arrows, ready to fight.

73. These wonderfully valorous warriors loudly exclaimed to Kamsa, “Leave Devakî at once” “Leave Devakî at once” and then they were finally able out of their mercy to release the Devamâtâ Devakî, from the hold of the vicious Kamsa.

74. Deadly battles ensued then between the powerful Kamsa and those valorous warriors on Vâsudeva’s side.

75-76. Seeing the exceedingly terrible battle, the old Yâdavas asked Kamsa to desist from such a battle and advised him thus. This Devakî is your sister; you ought to pay her respects. Did you not consider even for a moment that she is as yet a girl. O Hero! You ought not to kill her at the time of this joyous marriage ceremony.

77. O Valiant Warrior! The murder of a woman is intolerable! Destroyer of fame, and most heinous crime! You should also consider that learned persons ought not to commit such dastardly acts as the murdering of females, depending simply on a voice from heaven, a very ordinary thing!

78. It may be that some of your Vâsudeva’s enemy has uttered that harmful word, hiding himself from your sight. No reason can be shewn contrary to this.

79. We are of opinion that to ruin your name and to destroy the house of Vâsudeva, some magician, expert in black magic, your enemy has framed this voice from Heaven.

80. O king! You are a hero; why do you fear the words of a devil. We firmly believe, there is no doubt, that this is done by your malicious enemy to ruin your name.

81. O king! What is destined to take place, will take place; no one can stand against it otherwise. Therefore, at this marriage festivity, you ought never to kill this your respected sister.

82-83. O King Janamejaya! Though made to understand thus by the old wise Yâdavas, the king Kamsa did not desist from his purpose; S’rî Vâsudeva, versed in morals, told him “Kamsa! These three worlds are established on Truth. I say on Truth that I will hand over to you all my sons, born of the womb of Devakî, no sooner they are born.

84. And if I do not deliver to you all those sons, no sooner they are born then all my forefathers will fall down into the hell called Kumbîhpâka.”

85-86. The descendants of Puru, that were present there, hearing his truthful words, praised him repeatedly and told Kamsa “Vâsudeva is a high minded personage; he is surely not to tell a lie. Therefore, O Thou, blessed one! Now leave Devakî and be free from committing the murder of woman.”

87. O king! Thus made to understand by the aged high minded Yâdavas the king Kamsa accepted the truthful words of Vâsudeva and abandoned his anger.

88. Then the Dunduvis and other sounding instruments were sounded; and their sounds filled the place; and all repeatedly uttered jai, jai.

89. Then the famous Vâsudeva, the son of S’ûrasena, thus pleased the king Kamsa and freed Devakî; and, surrounded by his relatives, he went quickly without any fear to his own house, accompanied by Devakî.

Here ends the 20th chapter in the 4th Adhyâya of S’rîmad Devî Bhâgavatam, the Mahâ Purânam, of 18,000 verses, by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa, on Devakî’s marriage.

Chapter XXI
On the killing of the sons of Devakî

1. Vyâsa said :-- O King! Thus, in due course, Devakî, the goddess incarnate, being united according to rules with Vâsudeva, became pregnant.

2-4. When full ten months were over, a good-looking and beautiful child (male) was first born to Devakî. Then the good-natured Vâsudeva remembered his promise, and also what is ordained by Heaven; and he spoke to Devakî, the part incarnate of Aditi “O fair-looking! You know that I saved your life at your marriage by swearing on oath to deliver all your fresh-born children to Kamsa. Now has come the time to hand over your child to Kamsa.”

5. O good-haired woman! Now I will hand your this son to Kamsa. Know Kamsa is very cruel and wicked. I cannot say what step he will take, urged on by Fate, to kill your child. O Sweet One! We have no hands in the matter. The effects of Karma are exceedingly puzzling. Ordinary persons cannot know them.

6. All persons are subject to Time, the Destroyer, and enjoy the merits or demerits of their past deeds. The effects of past Karma are fashioned by the Creator; knowing this, allow me to take away your child.

7. Devakî said :-- O Lord! Certainly men have to suffer fully the effects of their past Karmas. But can that not be upset by residing in holy places, practising penances and asceticism or by making generous gifts?

8-9. The high minded Maharsis have fixed rules and penances for destroying the sins of past deeds; twelve years’ vow to observe penances can purify one from sins, e.g., Brâhminicide, stealing gold, drinking or stealing the wife of one’s preceptor and many others.

10-11. O Sinless one! Will not any one be freed from their sinful effects, if they observe practices and penances as are ordained by Manu or other Munis? If you don’t accept penances to be sufficiently purificatory, do you mean to say, then, that what the Maharsis, seers, Yâjñavalkya and other promulgators of religious doctrines have uttered, they did so, as an act of dire falsehood and villainy?

12. O My husband! “What is in the womb of Fate will surely come to pass,” if this be taken as granted, then the whole Ayurveda (medicinal books) and Mantra vâdas, the science and recitation of mantras or sacred formulae turn out utterly fruitless and false!

13-16. If all the actions are under the control of Fate, then no effect can come out of any effort; so all efforts are reduced to no effect. If what is ordained by Heaven is to come to pass then what is the use of taking recourse to any action and Agnistoma sacrifices, etc., that are declared to lead to Heavens. Judge! If Heaven or Fate you consider all-in-all, then the whole Vedas, the revelations from God’s mouth turn out false; if the Vedas be false, then there is no reason why the whole Dharma will not be destroyed.

N.B. :-- Fate is here denounced.

17. Now when it is seen that effects do come out whenever any exertion is made, then you ought to think out carefully and find out some means to avert danger. Therefore do you judge and find out a good way of preserving the life of this new born baby.

The learned people say that to tell a lie is not a sin, if you can thereby save a life, and have an honest motive for the welfare of all.

Note :-- Here is a diplomatic statement!

18. Vâsudeva said :-- O blessed one! I now tell you what is truth and the matters connected with truth.

19-20. Effort, application and manifestation of energy are certainly the duties of man; but their effects are all under the Great Destiny or Fate.

The Pundits knowing the ancient lore say that there are three kinds of Karma mentioned in the Purânas and Âgamas :-- First, the Sanchita Karma (done in past births); the Prârabdha Karma, the Karma already done; and the Vartamân Karma (Karma in hand).

21. The Karma, auspicious and inauspicious, done in many previous lives and preserved in seed forms, remains always inherent in a human soul. Urged on by this Karma, the Jîvas quitting their previous bodies, enjoy Heaven or Hell as effects of these, their own acts.

22-23. According to their good or bad works, the Jîvas acquire the higher happy body and enjoy various pleasures in the Heavens, or they take up very painful vicious bodies and suffer various pains in hell.

24-25. At the expiry of the above period in Heaven or Hell, when there comes the time of his assuming another body, the Jîva becomes conscious of the subtle body (Linga Deha) and takes his birth again. When the Linga Deha comes into existence, the part of the Karma done in various previous births that are ripe and ready to yield their fruits, gets attached to the Jîva by God (or Destiny).

26. Therefore the collective effect of Karma done in previous births always exists in a Jîva’s body. O Fair-eyed One! The effects of Prârabdha Karma, ripened and ready to yield their fruits must have to be experienced by a Jîva, whether happy or unhappy.

27. O beautiful young woman! Penances, performed according to rules, destroy the effect of Karmas that are in hand and are weak (i.e., not yet accumulated strongly as to remain in seed forms).

28. The Prârabdha Karma, those acts out of all the previous acts done in previous births that are fully mature and ready to yield their fruits, cannot be averted; their effects must have to be experienced and then they can die away; they cannot be expiated by penances or any other remedial measures. Therefore you must hand over unconditionally your new born babe unto the hands of Kamsa.

29-30. O Goddess! I have never done any blameable action, nor have I told any lie. Therefore do you fulfill your truth and hand over your baby. O Devakî! Dharma is the only thing permanent and real in this fleeting world. Even the births and deaths of high souled persons are subject to the great Destiny. Therefore the Jîvas ought not to be sorry when there is no help for it.

31. O dear one! What shall I say to you! Know this much that his life is spent in vain who is lost to Truth. O beautiful one! Whose this life is destroyed, what can he expect in the life to come!

32. Therefore, O Goddess! Give me your baby and I will hand it over to Kamsa. If we can observe this truth, we will meet with ample rewards afterwards; there is no doubt in it.

33. Where there are pains and pleasures for the Jîvas, there it is highly incumbent on us to do good and meritorious deeds. If we can act according to Truth, we will certainly get good fruits.

34. Vyâsa said :-- Thus addressed by Vâsudeva, the husband of Devakî, who was very much grieved and intelligent, gave over the newly born baby, her whole body trembling, to the hands of Vâsudeva.

35. The virtuous Vâsudeva took that baby and went out to the Kamsa’s palace. On the way, the people, seeing him thus, were very much astonished and began to praise him.

36-37. The people said :-- “O people! See how Vâsudeva is sensible to keep his words! He is taking his son to hand over to Kamsa. This truthful and highsouled man, free from malice, is going to give up his son to the hands of Kamsa who is the Death Personified. See his wonderful patience; this man’s life is really high, noble and true.”

38. Vyâsa said :-- O King! Vâsudeva, thus praised, reached at last the Kamsa’s palace and handed over his newly-born son to Kamsa.

39-41. The King Kamsa, too, was very much astonished to see this wonderful patience of Vâsudeva. Then he held aloft the child and laughed and said :-- “O son of S’ûrasena, you have been blessed today by giving me your son just now. But the voice from Heaven said that your eighth son will be the cause of my death; this your first son is not my cause of death. Therefore I will not kill this baby; you can take your baby back to your home.

O High-minded One! Let me have your eighth son brought here, when he will be born; I hope you will positively do it.”

42. The cruel and wicked Kamsa returned the child and said :-- “Let this child go back safely to his home.”

43-44. When the king Kamsa said thus, Vâsudeva, the son of S’ûrasena gladly took his child back and came home. Then the King Kamsa told his ministers that the Heavenly voice told that the eighth son would he the cause of his death; and so there was no necessity to kill that child. There was no need to incur sin by killing the first child.

45. The ministers, hearing the king Kamsa’s those words, began to praise him very much and exclaimed repeatedly “Well done” “Well done.” They went away to their respective homes, when ordered to do so by Kamsa.

46-49. Now Nârada, the best of the Munis, arrived to Kamsa. The king Kamsa, the son of Ugrasena, stood up at once and offered him water to wash his mouth and with green grass and rice worshipped him devotedly and enquired of his welfare. He then asked the Muni about the cause of his untimely arrival there. The Maharsi Nârada then smilingly and with sweet words repeatedly uttered “Kamsa,” “Kamsa” and then said, O blessed one! I went perchance to Sumeru Mountain. There Brahmâ and other gods formed an assembly and were thus thinking out plans that Visnu, the Supreme God, would take His birth in the womb of Devakî, the wife of Vâsudeva to kill Kamsa.

50. Now I ask you, you are very expert as a politician; then why have you not killed the son of Vâsudeva? Kamsa said :-- “I will kill the eighth son according to the Heavenly Voice.”

51. Nârada said :-- O King! Now I understand that you do not understand anything of politics, leading to auspicious or inauspicious results; especially when you are quite ignorant of the Mâyâ of the Devas, then what shall I say to you!

52-53. The truth is this :-- The warriors, looking after their own welfare, never overlook the weakest of their foes. What have you understood when the Heavenly Voice uttered “the eighth son.” It means the children counted from the first and then finished upto eighth; it may mean first, second, third or upto eighth. Never forego your enemies; then why have you desisted in killing your enemy when you got that enemy in your possession. Nothing is shewn of you in this act save dire foolishness, and ignorance.

54. Thus saying, the Maharsi Nârada vanished quickly. Kamsa, of little understanding brought back the son of Vâsudeva and killed him by dashing him against a stone and was relieved.

Note :-- This human body is a microcosm; the universe is the macrocosm. God resides in the centre and controls the two. In this human body also live the Devas and the Dânavas. The left half of the body, the Îdâ side, is the seat of the Devas. The right half, the Pingalâ side, is the seat of the Dânavas. In this body war is always going on between the Devas and Dânavas. Sometimes the Devas get victory; sometimes the Dânavas win. God is in the centre, the heart and controls the two.

Here ends the 21st Chapter of S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam, the Mahâ Purânam of 18,000 verses composed by Veda Vyâsa, on the killing of the sons of Devakî.

Chapter XXII
On the part incarnations of the several Devas

1. Janamejaya asked :-- O grandfather! What bad act did that child commit, that no sooner he was born than he was killed by Kamsa?

2. Especially, Maharsi Nârada is the the best amongst the Munis and foremost amongst the Brahmâ-vids (Knowers of Brahmâ), always doing virtuous acts, and learned; why did he become the agent in this very sinful act?

3. Pundits declare that the doers and stimulators of any evil deed both are equally responsible; then how is it that Nârada, being the best of the Munis, instigated the wicked Kamsa to do this evil act!

4. I am very much in doubt on this point. Kindly describe, in detail, the act that the child did as the result of which be had to meet with this fate of being killed.

5. Vyâsa said :-- The Devarsi Nârada is always fond of seeing quarrels brought about amongst parties; he always likes thus to see the fun. Here specially to serve the gods’ purpose he went to Kamsa and incited him to such an act.

6. Really he never intends to speak a lie; he is always truth speaking; pure hearted, and always ready to serve the gods.

7. Thus the six sons were born to Devakî; and Kamsa, too, killed those six sons consecutively as they were born. These six sons named Sadgarbha, were killed just after their births, owing to their having been previously cursed.

8. O King! Hear why they were cursed before. In the reign of Svâyambhuva Manu, were born to Urnâ; the wife of Maharsi Marîchi, the six powerful sons, all of a virtuous disposition.

9-11. Once, on an occasion, the Prajâpati Brahmâ, on seeing his daughter, became passionate, and was ready to hold sexual intercourse with her. At this, those six sons laughed at him. Brahmâ cursed them saying “You all go quickly and take your birth in the wombs of the asuras.” Therefore those six sons became the sons of Kâlanemi in their first birth. At their second birth, they became the sons of Hiranyakas’ipu. This second time they had the fear of curse in their minds and therefore were born endowed with knowledge.

12. In this birth they became peaceful and, collecting all their energies, they began to practise austerities. Brahmâ was pleased at this and asked the Sadgarbha to take boons.

13. Brahmâ said :-- O my sons! I was very angry to you before and cursed you; now I am very much pleased with you; ask boons from me that you all desire.

14-15. Vyâsa said :-- Hearing Brahmâ’s words, they were very glad and becoming very anxious to secure their objects of desire, said :-- O our grand sire! Today thou art pleased unto us; now favour us with our desired boons. That we may be invulnerable to all the Devas, human beings, the big serpents the Gandarbhas, and the Lord of Siddhas, (semi-divine beings supposed to be of great purity and holiness and said to be particularly characterised by eight supernatural faculties called Siddhis).

16. Vyâsa said :-- Brahmâ told them “What you have asked, you would certainly get; O blessed ones! better go now; my words will be found to be literally true. No doubt in this.”

17-19. Granting them boons, Brahmâ went away; they then became very glad. O best of Kurus! Hiranyakas’ipu began to think “My sons now have pleased the Grandsire Brahmâ and are now regardless of me” and got very angry and said :-- You all are become very proud on account of receiving boons; and since you have ceased your good feelings towards me I also henceforth cut off my connection with you. Now better go to Pâtâla; you will be known in this world as Sadgarbha.

20-21. At present you would be always involved in deep sleep and remain in Pâtâla for many years; and when you will be born one after another in the womb of Devakî, then your father Kâlanemi of previous birth will be born as Kamsa; and he would be cruel hearted and surely kill you all, no sooner you be born.

22. Vyâsa said :-- Thus because they were cursed, they took their births repeatedly and Kamsa, too, being urged on by the same curse, killed those sons of Devakî, the Sadgarbha, no sooner they were born.

23-24. In the seventh womb of Devakî, Ananta made his appearance. The foetus in the womb was attracted by Yoga mâyâ and placed in the womb of Rohinî. But there was the rumour that there was miscarriage in the womb of Devakî in the fifth month; and this became known to the public.

25. Kamsa came to know that there had been miscarriage. That wicked soul became exceedingly glad to hear this gladdening news.

26. And at about this time the Bhagavân, the Protector of the devotee appeared in the eighth womb of Devakî to serve the purpose of the gods and to relieve the load of the Earth.

27-28. The King said :-- O best of Munis! “You have described the part incarnations of (1) Kas’yapa as Vâsudeva and (2) of Bhagavân Hari to relieve the burden of the Goddess Earth as prayed by Her; and (3) of Ananta Deva; but you have not described the part incarnations of the other Devas. How the other Devas incarnated as their parts on this earth, kindly describe them now.”

29. Vyâsa said :-- The part incarnations of Suras and Asuras on this earth, and their names I am now saying to you in brief; hear.

30-32. Vâsudeva was the part incarnation of Kas’yapa, Devakî was of Aditi, Baladeva, of Ananta; Vâsudeva S’rî Krisna, of S’rîmân Nârâyana; the son of Dharma existing even at that time in his physical body; Arjuna, of Nara, the younger brother of Nârâyana.

33. Yuidhisthira was part incarnate of Dharma, Bhimasena, of Vâyu, the powerful twins of Mâdri, Nakul and Sahadeva, of As’vinî-kumâras?

34. The valiant hero Karna, born of Kuntî, was part incarnate of the Sun, and the high minded Vidura, the knower of the Supreme Essence, was incarnate of Yama, the king Dharmarâj. Drona, the Âchârya of the Kurus and the Pândavas was the part incarnate of Brihaspatî; and his son As’vatthâmâ was part incarnate of Rudra Deva.

35. S’antanu was the part incarnate of the Ocean; his wife, of the river Ganges in human farm. It is stated in the Purânas that the king Devaka was part incarnate of the Lord of Gandarvas.

36-41. The Grand-father of the Kauravas, the foremost of the heroes, Bhîsma Deva was the incarnate of Vasu; Virâta, the Lord of Matsya was the part incarnate of Maruts; Dhritarâstra, of the Daitya Hamsa, the son of Arista Nemi; Kripa and Krita Varmâ, of Maruts; Duryodhana, of Kali and S’akuni, of Dvâpara; Suvarchâkhya Somapraru, of the son of the Moon; Dhristadyumna was part incarnate of Fire and S’ikhandî of Râksasa; Pradyumna was part incarnate of Sanatkumâra; the king Drupada was part incarnate of Varuna; Draupadî, of Laksmî; Draupadî’s five sons, of Visve-devas; Kuntî was incarnate of Siddhi; Mâdri, of Dhriti; Gândhârî, of Mati; the wives of S’rî Krisna were the heavenly public women; thus all the Devas came as their part incarnations, urged on by Indra.

42-43. Amongst the Asuras, S’is’upâla was the incarnate of Hiranyakas’ipu; Jarâsandha, of Biprachitti, S’alya, of Prahlâda; Kamsa, of Kâlanemi and Kes’î, of Haya S’irâ. The Asura named Arista of the form of a cow that was killed by Krisna was the son of Bali.

44. Dhristaketu was part incarnate of Anuhrâdha, Bhagadatta, of Vâskala; Pralamba, of Lamba; Dhenuka, of Khara.

45. Chânûra and Mus’tika, the two athletes, were part incarnates of Vârâha, and Kis’ora, the two dreadful Daityas.

46-47. Kubalaya, the elephant of Kamsa, was part incarnate of Arista, the sun of Diti. Vakî was the daughter of Bali, Vaka was her younger.

The powerful son of Drona, As’vatthâmâ, though known as the part incarnate of Rudra, was really born of the four parts of Yama, Rudra, Cupidity and Anger.

48-49. The Daityas and Râksasas that were born to relieve the heavy burden of the Earth were all incarnates of Asuras. O king! I have thus narrated to you in order the incarnations of the Suras and Asuras, as they are stated duly in the Purânas.

50-51. When Brahmâ and the other Devas went to Visnu and prayed to Him then Hari gave to Brahmâ one hair of a black colour and one hair of a white colour. The Bhagavân S’rî Krisna was born of that black hair and S’ankarsana Baladeva was born of the white hair. They were both the incarnations of Visnu.

Note here the black is the younger and the stronger; and they also represent the polarities. The Jîvas are points of those hairs.

52. He who hears with devotion the story of these part incarnations becomes freed of all sins and passes away his time merrily, surrounded by his circle of friends; there is no doubt in this.

Thus ends the 22nd chapter in 4th book of S’rîmad Devî Bhâgavatam the Mahâ Purânam, of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa on the part incarnations of the several Devas.

Chapter XXIII
On the birth of S’rî Krisna

1-2. Vyâsa said :-- The six sons of Devakî being thus killed by Kamsa and the seventh womb being miscarried, Kamsa began, when Devakî was pregnant for the eighth time, to think of the cause of his own death as advised by Nârada and watched carefully, day and night, so that this time there would be born a son and there be no miscarriage.

3. On the other hand the Bhagavân Hari came down and rested on the body of Vâsudeva as part incarnate and then entered into the womb of Devakî, in due order.

4. That very time the Goddess Yogamâyâ, of Her own accord, enters into the womb of Yasodâ in order to help the workings of the gods.

5. Rohinî, the wife of Vâsudeva was anxiously dwelling at that time through the fear of Kamsa in the Nanda Gokula; Balarâma, the part incarnate of Ananta, took his birth there as Her son.

6. Kamsa then imprisoned Devakî, who was being worshipped by gods, and engaged servants to take care of her.

7. Vâsudeva, too, entered into the prison with his wife Devakî, thinking of his issue and also being attracted by his attachment towards his wife.

8. Visnu, here, the Deva of the Devas, to accomplish the purpose of the gods began to grow regularly in the womb of Devakî, being incessantly adored and praised by the gods.

9-10. When the tenth month was complete, on the eighth day of the dark fortnight, under the star Rohinî, Kamsa became much bewildered with fear and called on his Dânava followers and said “You must all carefully protect Devakî in the prison.

11-12. The son born from this eighth womb of Devakî will turn out my dire enemy; therefore do you all very carefully protect that child, my death incarnate (so that the child may not be transferred anywhere else). O Daityas! I will be able to sleep without any anxiety then, when I will be successful. Kill this eighth son of Devakî who has become the source of my constant worries and endless troubles.

13. Equipped with swords, shafts and bow and darts do you all incessantly watch with eyes open on all sides, leaving off your sleep and drowsiness.”

14. Vyâsa said :-- Thus ordering the Demons, the king Kamsa who had become worn out with this anxiety and was bewildered with fear, went quickly to his own palace room; but he could not find any trace of happiness.

15-18. On the other hand, Devakî, at dead of night, in that prison, told Vâsudeva “O king! My birth pain has come; I see here many guards, terrific, who are watching and protecting us; what shall I do now? Yasodâ, the wife of Nanda, promised me before this. O respected one! Your heart is almost burnt up with the fire of grief; therefore do you send to my house your son; I will protect it with utmost care; and especially to incur Kamsa’s faith and belief, I will give you another son. O Lord! This is now a very hard moment; what are we to do now?

19. And again how are you to exchange the two sons? However let what may come, come to pass; now the moment of child birth has come; I am possessed by a feeling of shame not liable to be overcome. You better turn away your face; there is no other remedy here.”

20. Thus saying to that blessed Vâsudeva, worshipped by the gods, Devakî, at dead of night, delivered a wonderful child.

21. The blessed Devakî looking on that exceedingly beautiful child, was struck with wonder and told her husband, her whole body being filled with joy.

22. O Lord! Look at the face of your new born child, a very rare thing to see such a face as this. Alas! The son of my paternal uncle, Kamsa, will kill my this new born child.

23. “Kamsa will do so.” Saying this, Vâsudeva took up that child in his arms and began to look amorously at the face of that child of wonderful deeds.

24. Thus looking, Vâsudeva thought “What can I do now so as to relieve me from my sorrows owing to the future destruction of this child.”

25-27. While Vâsudeva was thus anxiously pondering over, the Heaven Voice clearly said thus :-- “O Vâsudeva! Quickly go to Gokula with the child. The keepers and guards I have made dead asleep by My Mâyâ. The eight very strong doors are now lying wide open. You better free yourself from your chains and take this child, keep it in the house of Nanda and bring Yoga Mâyâ from there and come back here.”

28-29. Thus hearing the Heavenly Voice, he cast his glance at the doors and found them all wide open. O King! Very quickly then he took the child and stepped out of the prison, quite unnoticed by the guards and watchmen. Going to the banks of the Jumnâ he found there the daughter of Kalindi, flowing with great force and became anxious.

30-31. But the river Jumnâ instantaneously turned out to be easily fordable just knee deep; then Vâsudeva, guided by Yoga Mâyâ, crossed the Jumnâ and betaking to an unfrequented road arrived at Gokul at dead of night. There, at the doorway of the house of Nanda, he began to see the cows, buffaloes, the wealth and property of Nanda.

32. At that very moment, there was born of Yos’odâ, the Mahâ Devî, the part of the Divine Yoga Mâyâ, the Incarnate of the three qualities.

33. Then the Mahâdevî Yoga Mâyâ, assuming the appearance of a female artisan, taking that divine female child in her arms came there and handed her over to Vâsudeva.

34. Vâsudeva, too, delivered his child over to the lotus like hands of the Devî and, taking the female child instead, quickly returned with his heart full of joy.

35. He went unto the prison and kept that female child in the bed of Devakî and remained aside, fearful and anxious.

36-37. But that child, the moment she was lulled to sleep, began to cry in a sonorous voice; the royal guards at once woke up on that cry, and being bewildered with fear, hurriedly went to their king and said “O King! Come quickly. Devakî has brought forth a child.”

38-39. The King of the Bhojas, hearing their words, went there quickly and saw the doors open, called on Vâsudeva “O blessed one! Let me have the eighth son of Devakî, my death incarnate; I will at once kill that enemy of mine, born as part incarnate of Hari.”

40. Vyâsa said :-- O King! Hearing Kamsa’s words, Vâsudeva handed over to him the female child crying and very much bewildered with fear.

41. At the sight of the female child, the king was very much astonished and began to think that the Heavenly Voice and the Seer Nârada’s words turned out false.

42. How can Vâsudeva be able to bring about, in this dreadful place, the unnatural act of turning male into a female. Especially my guards are carefully watching the place. There is no doubt in this.

43. How has this female child come here? Where has that eighth born child gone? I ought not to doubt in this matter. For the ways of Time are mysterious!

44-46. Thinking thus, the cruel King Kamsa caught hold of that female child by her legs and, raising her high up in the air, was going to strike her against a stone, when the female child slipped out of his hands and flying into the air assumed a divine appearance and gently spoke to Kamsa, thus :-- “What will you get by killing me? Your powerful enemy is already born on the earth. O vilest of men! Disgrace to your family! He, the Excellent Human being Who is very difficult to be worshiped will certainly kill you.”

47-49. Saying thus, the auspicious female child, able to go anywhere according to her will, disappeared. Kamsa astonished returned to his own home and, becoming impatient with fear and anger, called all the Dânavas Baka, Dhenuka, Vatsa and others, and addressed them thus :-- “O Dânavas. Go all of you to serve my purpose. Kill anywhere the child whom you see just born.

50. Let Pûtanâ, expert in killing children go today to Nanda’s Gokula. My order is this :-- Any child recently born they must kill.

51. Dhenuka, Vatsaka, Kes’i, Pralamba, and Vaka, etc., all should remain in Gokula to carry out my order.”

52. The cruel king Kamsa, thus ordering the Demons, went away to his own palace, and, thinking on this matter over and over again became, very much afflicted with fear and his mind got immensely depressed.

Thus ends the 23rd Chapter in the 4th Skandha of S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam, the Mahâ Purânam, of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa, on the birth of S’rî Krisna.

Chapter XXIV
On the stealing away of Pradyûmna

1-2. Vyâsa said :-- On the other hand, there, at the house of Nanda, early in the next morning, commenced the grand birth day festivity. Kamsa came to know, afterwards, by his spies as will as by general rumour, that at Gokula, in the house of Nanda, a very joyous festival on a grand scale was being performed; he also knew before that the other wives of Vâsudeva, his animals and his servants were all staying at Nanda’s residence in Gokula.

3-4. O Bhârata! Thus all these gave reasons to Kamsa to suspect the place Gokula. Especially Nârada told him before that the residents, the cowherds at Gokula, Nanda and others, their wives, Devakî and Vâsudeva were all Devas incarnates; and consequently they were his enemies.

5-7. Thus being brought to more confidence by Nârada’s words, that vicious Kamsa, the disgrace to his family, was very angry and sent there his demons Pûtanâ, Baka, Vatsa, the great Asura, the powerful Dhenuka, Pralamba. They were all killed by Krisna, of unsurpassable prowess. S’rî Krisna held aloft also the hillock Gobardhana (to protect the cow herds and cows, etc.) Hearing all these, Kamsa became certain also of his own death.

8. Lastly when the evil minded Kamsa heard that the Daitya Kes’î was also slain, then he made arrangements for a sacrifice, known as Dhanuryajña; and under this pretext wanted to bring over there at Mathurâ the two brothers Krisna and Balarâma.

9. The evil minded Kamsa to effect the death of those two, Râma and Krisna, of unsurpassable prowess, sent Akrûra to Gokula to bring them over to Mathurâ.

10. Akrûra, the son of Gandinî, under the orders of Kamsa, went to Gokula and brought the two boys on a chariot to Mathurâ.

11-12. On arriving at Mathurâ, Râma and Krisna first broke the bow; killed Râjaka, the elephant Kubalaya, Chânûr, Mustika, S’ala, Tos’ala and other athletes and warriors. Last of all, Hari, the Lord of the Devas, holding Kamsa by his hair, killed him with utmost ease.

13. The enemy-destroyer Krisna removed the sorrows of his father and mother and released them from their prisons and gave over the kingdom of Mathurâ to Ugrasena (the father of Kamsa).

14-15. The high minded Vâsudeva, then, with the triple girdle made of Munja grass, performed the Upanayana ceremonies (wearing the sacred thread round the body) of Râma and Krisna and made them accept the vow of Brahmacharya. They then departed to the hermitage of the holy Muni S’andîpana to acquire knowledge. Learning all the vidyâs (knowledges) there, they returned quickly to Mathurâ.

16. The two sons of Ânakadundubhi stayed there and on attaining their twelfth year, became proficient in all the branches of learning and became very powerful.

17. That time Jarâsandha, being grieved at the killing of his son-in-law Kamsa, collected a strong and numerous army and marched to Mathurâ.

18. Seventeen times Jarâsandha, the king of Magadha, attacked Mathurâ and seventeen times he was defeated by the ingenuity of that highly intelligent S’rî Krisna, who was of firm resolve and was then residing in Mathurâ.

19. Lastly, Jarâsandha sent the Kâlayavana (Black Yavana) to invade Mathurâ. These Yavanas were brave and the lords of all Mlechchâs (untouchables) and extremely terrific to the Yâdavas.

Note: Kâlayavana - A king of Yavanas and enemy of Krisna and an invincible foe of the Yâdavas. Krisna finding it impossible to vanquish him in the field of battle, cunningly decoyed him to the cave where Muchukunda was sleeping who burnt him down.

Yavana means a Greek, an Ionian; then any foreigner, or barbarian (the word is applied at present to a Mahomedan or a European also).

20-21. Hearing that Kâla Yavana was coming to attack the Yâdavas, Krisna the destroyer of Mâdhu, called all the Yâdavas and Baladeva and addressed them thus :-- “O blessed ones! Now a cause of great terror has appeared amongst us; Kâla Yavana is being sent by our powerful enemy Jarâsandha to attack Mathurâ. Now what to do? It is better to save one’s life by leaving aside all our homes, wealth and army.

22. You should all know that is the place of our fathers and forefathers where we can safely and happily dwell; where there is a constant source of anxiety and uneasiness that, though the place of our fathers and forefathers, ought to be avoided; never ought anyone to dwell there.

23. If you want to dwell at ease and comfort, you ought to dwell in that country or place which is adjacent to a sea or a mountain; where there is no fear from an enemy, the sages will always remain there.

24. See! The Bhagavân Hari, being afraid, as it were, of his enemy has taken refuge on the body of the thousand headed S’esa serpent as his sleeping place and is sleeping at ease and comfort on the ocean. It seems likely that the enemy of Trîpurâ, the great S’iva is also dwelling on the Kailâs’a mountain.

25. We, too, are being constantly worried by our enemies here; therefore we ought not to live here any longer. We should all go to Dwârkâ city with our friends, relatives and wealth.

26. Garuda, the king of the birds, has given us the detailed information of the city Dwârkâ. That beautiful city is situated on the sea shore in the vicinity of the Raivataka mountain.”

27. Vyâsa said :-- The Yâdava chiefs, hearing S’rî Krisna’s utterances fraught with their welfare, were ready to depart to that place Dwârkâ, attended by their friends, relatives, and appurtenances.

28. They then collected their camels, mares, and buffaloes and filled their conveyances with wealth, gems and precious stones and marched out of their place.

29. Râma and Krisna went in front; the Yâdavas and other subjects then marched in groups (several parties).

30. Marching some days, they all reached Dvârâvatî. Then the portions of the city that were dilapidated or destroyed, S’rî Krisna had them repaired by engineers, artisans and craftsmen.

31. Placing the Yâdavas there, Kes’ava and Baladeva quickly returned to Mathurâ and began to stay in that desolated city.

32. The extremely powerful king of the Yavanas arrived then at Mathurâ. Krisna knowing that the Yavana chief had come there, went out of the city.

33. The Bhagavân Madhusûdana, the destroyer of the boastings of Asuras and other people, dressed in yellow robes, appeared on foot before the Kâlayavan with smile on his lips.

34. Seeing the lotus-eyed Krisna before him, the treacherous Lord of the Yavanas, pursued him on foot to catch hold of him.

35. Where the powerful Râjarsi Muchukunda was sleeping soundly, the Bhagavân Hari led Kâlayavana there.

36. There S’rî Krisna, saw Muchukunda and vanished away at once; the king of the Yavanas on arriving there found the Râjarsi (the royal sage) there in deep sleep.

37. The wicked Yavana mistaking Muchukunda for S’rî Krisna, gave him a good kick. The powerful king Muchukunda got up and was very angry; his eyes became red and reduced that vicious Yavana instantly into ashes.

38. When Muchukunda burnt the Yavana, he saw the lotus-eyed Krisna; he bowed down to that Supreme Deva, Vâsudeva, and went to forest.

39. S’rî Krisna then went back to the city Dwârkâ with Râma and made Ugrasena there the king and began to enjoy at his will.

40. At the marriage ceremony of S’is’upâla, at the palace of the king of Vidarbha, Janârdan Visnu carried away by force Rukminî, the bride elect from the Svayambara assembly (where the husband is self elected by the bride herself) and afterwards married her according to the rule called Râkhsasa Vidhi (one of the eight forms of marriage in Hindu Law in which a girl is forcibly seized and carried away after the defeat or destruction of her relatives in battle).

41-42. Afterwards He brought also Jâmbavatî, Satyabhâmâ, Mitravindâ, Kâlindî, Laksmanâ, Bhadrâ, and auspicious Nâgnajitî (the daughter of the king Nagnajit) on various occasions and married them. O Lord of the earth! These eight women were the best and most beautiful of S’rî Krisna’s wives.

43. Rukminî first gave birth to the beautiful child Pradyûmna and S’rî Krisna performed the religious ceremony at the birth of his child.

44. Then the powerful Dânava named S’amvara stole away the little baby from the lying-in-chamber and carried him to his own city and made him over under the charge of Mâyâvatî.

45. Coming to know that His son had been stolen away, S’rî Krisna became very much overpowered with sorrow and took the shelter of the Supreme Goddess, the Devî, with a heart full of devotion.

46-47. S’rî Krisna then began, to chant, in sweet auspicious tone, hymns in alphabets, conveying the highest meanings, in adoration of the Yoga Mâyâ, Who slew Vritrâsura and other Daityas with ease and alacrity.

48. O Mother! I, in my former birth as the son of Dharma, appeased You by my ascetic practices in the hermitage of Badari and worshipped You with various offerings; O Mother! Have you now forgotten all my devotion to You?

49. O Mother! Has any evil minded enemy stolen away my son from the lying-in chamber? Or have You Yourself done this to make a fun and see the amusement? It seems that some one of my enemies has done so to insult me; however, You, O Mother! ought not to put your devotee under this shameful condition.

50. O Mother! This Dwârakâ city is well guarded; a very strong fort is built in its middle and my place is in the midst of that again; and the lying in-chamber is again in the middle; I therefore must say that it is due to my bad luck that the child is stolen away!

51. O Mother! I did not go to the house of my enemy; the Yâdavas also did not go there; this city is guarded by valiant soldiers; then how is it, under what charm, the baby has been stolen? O Mother! Now I come to know that it is due to Your Mâyâ; such things are common due to Your Mâyâ in the three worlds.

52. O Mother! When I am ignorant of your deepest mysteries, how can there exist anyone among the little minded Jîvas that can know your doings? My watchmen could not see anything, where my child was taken away and who has stolen it. O Mother! I come to the conclusion that it is hidden behind the screen of Your Mâyâ.

53. O Mother! It is not strange with You; to the chaste woman, Rohinî Devî, though situated at a great distance and not connected with any male persons, You, in the fifth month, moved away the son to my knowledge from the womb of my mother; and thus Baladeva was born to Rohinî. This is now known to all.

54. Mother! You are incessantly creating, preserving, and destroying this whole universe by the mixture of the three qualities. Who can know Your sin-destroying doings? Mother! There is no need of dwelling at length. Suffice it to say that You, no doubt, are doing all that are being done in this whole universe.

55. You first create the joy at the birth of a child; again You load us with heavy burdens of sorrows due to the separation from that child; thus you are always sporting; otherwise how my joy at the birth of my child would thus be rendered quite useless?

56. The mother of that child is always weeping like an ewe, straying from a flock; she is giving vent to her sorrows always to me; O Kind-hearted! Being thus endowed with illimitable prowess and understanding, do You not know my troubles! O Mother! You are the only source of consolation to one, suffering from the sorrows of this world. There is no doubt in this.

57. O Goddess! The wise seers say that the birth of a child in any house is the highest bliss there, and the death of a child is the greatest sorrow that can befall to any house. Therefore, O Mother! What shall I do in this? What shall I say more than that my heart is going to burst, due to the disappearance of my child.

58. O Mother! I will perform all the necessary sacrifices, take up vows, perform all sorts of worship to the entire satisfaction of the Great Fate (Ordainer of things); You be pleased to remove my sorrow. O Mother! If my son be alive, kindly shew him once to me. Mother! There is no other than You Who is fully capable to destroy this my pain and sorrow, raging in my heart.

59. Vyâsa said :-- He who brings into practice, things that are considered impracticable for the Devas and removes the load of the Goddess Earth with ease and alacrity, the same Saviour of world, S’rî Krisna thus chanted hymns in adoration of the Great Goddess. The Devî then became visible to him and said.

60. O Lord of the Devas! Do not any longer be sorrowful and miserable; there had been a curse on you before; and, for that reason, the Daitya S’ambara has stolen away your son by his demonic magic.

61. Therefore, when your son will grow sixteen years old, then he will, by My Grace, kill the Daitya perforce and will return to you. There is no doubt in this.

62. O king! Thus saying these words full of hope and confidence, the Great Goddess Chandikâ, of formidable prowess, disappeared. Krisna too, quitted his sorrows, due to the bereavement of his child, and began to spend his time in happiness and peace.

Here ends the Twenty-fourth Chapter of the Fourth Book of S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam, the Mahâ Purânam of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa on the stealing away of Pradyûmna.

Chapter XXV
On the Devî’s Highest Supremacy

1. The King said :-- O Best of Munis! Hearing these sorrows of S’rî Krisna, the part incarnate of Visnu Bhagavân, I am in doubt on your utterances.

2. Behold! Bhagavân Vâsudeva is the part incarnate of Nârâyana; how could the Asura S’ambara steal away His son from the lying-in-chamber!

3. The beautiful Dvârakâ city is specially well-guarded; the lying-in-chamber is again within the centre of that; under these circumstances, how was it that the Daitya could enter there and steal away the child!

4. O Son of Satyavatî! How was it that Vâsudeva could not know that! This appears very strange to me!

5. O Brâhmana! Please explain to me why was that child stolen away from the lying-in-chamber, though S’rî Krisna was staying there at the city; and how was it that he was not able to know this beforehand!

6. Vyâsa said :-- O King! The Mâyâ called S’âmbhavî (Pârvatî's) is the cause; it fascinates and deludes the minds of human beings. Thus it is known to us. Who is there in this world that is not deluded by this Mâyâ?

7. The Jîvas, no sooner they are born as human beings, are immediately overcome with human qualities; the Deva or Asura qualities or their natures do not then visibly exist.

8-9. O King! Hunger, thirst, sleep, fear, lassitude, delusion, sorrow, doubt, pleasure, egoism, old age, disease, death, non-knowledge, knowledge, displeasure, envy, jealousy, pride and weariness; all these human qualities are seen to exist in human embodiments.

10-11. Behold! The night wanderer Râksasa Mâricha assumed, by his Mâyâ, the form of a golden deer and came before S’rî Râmchandra; and Râmchandra was not the least aware of it. Then the stealing away of Sîtâ, the death of Jatâyu, Râma’s going to the forest on the very day of his installation to the throne of Ayodhyâ; the death of his father due to his bereavement, all these S’rî Râmchandra did not know a bit beforehand.

12. When Râvana stole away Jânakî and carried her by force Râma did not know this before or after that event had happened. He wandered from forest to forest in search of Her, like a quite ignorant man.

13. Afterwards He killed Bâli, the son of Indra and with the help of the monkeys, erected a bridge across the ocean, and, crossing it, went to Lankâ.

14. He sent the chief monkeys to all the quarters in search of Sîtâ and had to undergo all the troubles of deadly battles in the great battlefield.

15. The most powerful Raghunandana was tied down by Nâgapâs’a (snakes) and was afterwards freed from it by Garuda.

16. Then, being furiously enraged, the great Râghava slew Kumbhakarna, Nikumbha, Megha Nâda and Râvana.

17. The Janârdan Râmchandra was not aware of the innocence of Sîtâ; and therefore He made her take an oath about the purity of Her character and even made Her undergo an ordeal of fire.

18. Afterwards Râmachandra, the son of Das’aratha, had to banish his dear blameless Sîtâ on the mere ground of bad name, imputed to her by some ignorant person and that he would be thus blamed by the public.

19. He did not know that Kus’î and Lava were His two sons, born in the forest. Afterwards when the Muni Vâlmikî told him, He came to know of them.

20. Behold also Râmachandra could not know about the departure of Sîtâ to Pâtâla; getting angry once He was about to kill his brother Laksmana even.

21. Râma, the slayer of the Râks’asa Khara did not know that Kâla Purusa was coming to him. He, incarnating in the human body, did acts all becoming to a man. Similarly S’rî Krisna, the descendant of Yadu, taking human birth did acts all like a man. What more discussion can there be in this?

22. Lo! From the very outset He fled, out of fear of Kamsa, to Gokula; afterwards he fled out of fear of Jarâsandha to the Dwârkâ city.

23. Knowing all the rites and ceremonies of the Sanâtan Dharma (the Eternal Religion) He stole away Rukminî who was chosen as bride elect by S’is’upâla. This act was very unreligious of Him.

24. S’ambara Daitya stole away his newly born child and Krisna lamented for this. Afterwards on coming to know of the real state of things from the Goddess Bhagavatî, He was very glad. Therefore it can be easily seen from all these circumstances that He had to yield to pleasures and to undergo remorse like ordinary human beings.

25. Again, under the orders of his wife Satyabhâmâ, He had to go to Heaven to bring the Pârijâta tree and He had to fight with Indra. This shows clearly that He was under the subjection of His wife.

26. In that battle Hari with disc in hand defeated Indra; the Lord of the Devas, took away the Kalpa tree and retained the prestige of His respected wife (whom He had offended).

27. Again Satyabhâmâ tied down Hari against a tree and presented Him as a gift to Nârada; afterwards she, the passionate woman, freed Krisna on paying an equivalent of gold coins.

28-29. On seeing Rukminî’s many sons, Pradyûmna and others, all qualified with diverse qualifications, His wife Jâmbavatî prayed to S’rî Krisna with humility, so that she may have also many beautiful sons. For her sake, Krisna firmly resolved to practise tapasyâ and went to the place where the great devotee of S’iva, Upamanyu, was staying.

30. Hari desiring to have sons engaged Upamanyu as His spiritual guide and obtained from him the Mantram called Pâs’upata Mantra and became a Dundee (holder of a staff) and shaved His head.

31-32. In the first month He subsisted on fruits only and meditated on S’iva and repeated silently the S’iva mantra. Thus He practised very severe austerities. In the second month He subsisted on water only and stood on only one leg. In the third month he lived on air only and stood on the end of His great toe.

33-36. Thus time passed away. In the sixth month the God Rudra, holding Moon on His forehead, was pleased with His asceticism and devotion and appeared before Him on that spot. The God Mahâ Deva came on a bull; He was attended by Brahmâ  and Visnu, Indra and the other Devas, Yakshas and Gandarbhas and addressed thus :-- “O high minded Krisna of Yadu’s descent; I am pleased with Your severe asceticism; now ask Your desired boon; I will grant it just now. I fulfil all the desires of all my devotees; what desire, then, there can be that is not fulfilled, when I am seen by the devotees!”

37-38. Vyâsa said :-- The son of Devakî was very glad to see the God S’amkara and fell prostrate at His feet. Then that eternal supreme God of the Devas began to recite hymns in praise of Him in a tone as deep as the rumbling of a cloud.

39. Krisna said :-- O Deva of the Devas! O Lord of the world! You alone destroy the misfortunes and sorrows of all the beings. O Destroyer of Asuras! You are the Cause and Creator of this universe. I salute Thee.

40. O One having a blue throat! I bow down to Thee! O Holder of trident! I again and again salute Thee! O Lord of Pârvatî! You destroyed Daksa’s sacrifice. I salute Thee.

41. I am blessed by Thy sight and think myself as having discharged all my duties and satisfied. O Virtuous One! My human birth is crowned with success by saluting Thy feet.

42. O Lord of everything! O three-eyed! I am tied down to this world by my attachment towards my wives; now I take refuge unto Thee to free me from these bonds.

43. O Destroyer of sorrows! I am very much troubled on attaining this human birth; O Bhava! I am afraid of this world; and hence I take refuge unto Thee; now save me.

44-45. O Destroyer of cupidity! I experienced a good deal of troubles in the womb; next out of fear to Kamsa I had to go to Gokula where I suffered much pains; there I had to obey the orders of cow-herds; there I had to attend as Nanda’s cow-herd, the pasturing of his cows and was constantly suffocated with the awful dust thrown up by the cows; I had to wander constantly in the wild forests of Brindâban.

46. O Omnipresent One! I had to leave my dear ancestral place, the city of Mathurâ, a rare place to be found anywhere else, out of the great fear of Kâla Yavana, the king of the Mlechchas and had to go to Dwârakâ city.

47-48. O Lord! In order to preserve the cause of religion, I had to hand over the best prosperous kingdom to Ugrasena, due to the curse of Yayâti. My elders made him the king of the Yâdavas; following their examples, I gave him the kingdom and am now serving him always like his servant.

49. O S’ambhu! The householder’s life is exceedingly troublesome; it makes one subject to one’s wife and go against his religion. There we are always dependent on others; and no word is heard or dreamt even, how to free oneself from those bondages of the world. Oh! What an irony of Fate.

50. O Destroyer of cupid! My wife Jâmbavatî, on seeing the sons of my wife Rukminî has urged me to practise this Tapasyâ so that she might get excellent sons born to her also.

51. O Lord of the Devas! O Lord of the world! I am engaged in this asceticism with the desire to get sons; O Deva! I feel shame in asking you for the sons!

52. You are the lover of your devotees; You give eternal freedom; You are the Lord of all the Devas. By worshipping and satisfying You, who is so fool as to ask for this trivial and transient thing!

53. O Omnipresent One! O S’ambhu! O Lord of the world! Knowing You as the giver of salvation, I, still deluded by Mâyâ, ask from You, being requested by my wife, this happiness that sons be born to me of my wife.

54-55. O S’amkara! This world and its concerns are the abode of all sorrows; it is the cause that brings in all sorts of pains and troubles, and it is transient and will go to destruction. I know all these; still my mind does not desist from it.

56. Vyâsa said :-- O great and powerful king! The God of Gods, Mahâ Deva, thus praised and adored by Govinda, the Destroyer of enemies, replied :-- You will get many sons.

57. You will get sixteen thousand one hundred wives and no doubt you will get ten sons of each of them. These sons will be very powerful and valorous.

58-60. The good-looking S’amkara saying these words remained silent; then S’rî Krisna bowed down at the feet of Girijâ, the wife of S’amkara. Then the Goddess Pârvatî addressed repeatedly to Vâsudeva and said :-- O mighty armed! O Krisna! O best of human beings! You will be the typical exemplary householder; (all people will try to follow you). When one hundred years will pass away, your race will be extinct, due to the curse of the Brâhmana and Gândhâri.

61. Your sons and the other Yâdavas will lose their senses on drinking liquor; they will kill each other in the battle field and thus will be extirpated.

Note: Here Visnis and Andhkas are meant.

62. Then you and your elder brother Balabhadra (Balarâma) will give up your bodies and will ascend to the Heavens; O Mighty Person! Do not grieve in matters that cannot be avoided.

63. You should know that there can be no remedy to what will inevitably come to pass; therefore no one is to grieve for them; this is all along my view.

64. O Madhusûdana! After Your death, due to the curse of Astâvakra Muni, your wives will be forcibly stolen away by indomitable robbers. There is no doubt in this.

65. Vyâsa said :-- When Devî Pârvatî thus spoke, S’ambhu, with the other gods disappeared; Krisna too, bowed down to Upamanyu and went back to the city Dvârkâ.

66-67. Therefore, O King! Though Brahmâ and the other Devas are heard to be the lords of the world, still they are all being tossed hither an thither by the waves of the ocean of Mâyâ. They are all like wooden dolls subject to Mâyâ.

68. As their previous karmas, so their several manifestations in the field of action, by the Great Mâyâ, the incarnate of Parâ Brahmâ.

69. She has no differences nor any want of mercy; That Goddess of the universe is always leading the Jîvas towards the Eternal Freedom (freedom from Mâyâ).

70. Had She not created this world, moving and unmoving and if She had not remained there as the Controller of the Jîvas in the shape of unshakeable consciousness the Kûtasthya Chaitanya, this whole world would have become devoid of any consciousness, like an insentient substance and would have dissolved in the Tâmasî Mâyâ (sheer darkness). There is no doubt in this.

71. Therefore that Goddess of the Universe has, through Her mercy, created all these worlds and Jîvas, and resting incarnate in each Jîva, is directing each and every of them according to his karmic merits and demerits.

72. Therefore it is a matter not to be doubted that Brahmâ and the other gods are all under this Mâyâ; the Suras and Asuras are subject to Her.

73. Therefore, O king! Know this as certain that the Great Goddess moves and enjoys freely according to Her will; She is not dependent on anybody. Therefore it is the duty of everyone to serve and worship, with whole head and heart, that Devî.

74. In these three worlds there is nothing higher or more excellent than Her. Therefore this birth cannot be crowned with success in any other way than remembering that Highest Force, the Parâ S’akti and Her place.

75-77. One should always think, without any difference, that Eternal World Mother, thus “Let me not be born in that family which has not that Supreme Goddess for its presiding Deity; I am that Goddess Bhagavatî and no other; I am Brahmâ, untouched by sorrows.” One should hear first from the mouth of one’s Spiritual Guide; next by hearing Vedanta and other religious scriptures, one should first form an idea of that Bhagavatî; and then if one daily meditates on That Goddess, the Highest Self incarnate with one minded devotion, one will get, within a short period, the Eternal Freedom; else there is not the least chance, even if one performs lots of innumerable good works of becoming free.

78. S’vetâs’vatara and other pure hearted Risis obtained this freedom from the bondages of Mâyâ by meditating, in their hearts, this Highest Self and nothing else.

79. Brahmâ, Visnu and the other Devas, Gaurî, Laksmî and other goddesses, all worship This Supreme Goddess, of Sachchidânanda Parâ Brahmânî.

80. O pure-hearted king! I answered all that you asked me, terrified with the fears of this world; what more do you want to hear?

81-82. O king! I have described this wonderful Purâna narrative, destructive of sins, productive of virtue. He who daily listens to this Bhâgavatam equal alike to Veda, becomes freed from all sorts of sins and goes to the region of the Highest Goddess and passes his time in the midst of the Highest Glory. There is no doubt in this.

83. Sûta said :-- “O Risis! This Srî Mad Bhâgavatam, called otherwise the Fifth Purânam was recited, in detail, in days of yore by Vyâsa. Whatsoever I heard from him, I have now told exactly the same to you.”

Here ends the 25th Chapter in the Fourth Skandha of Srî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam, the Mahâ Purânam, of 18,000 verses, by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa on the Devî’s Highest Supremacy.

Note :-- The best mantra is the whole hearted devotion to one’s Guru, and devotion and surrender of one’s Self to the Supreme Mother, doing works without attachment to the fruits thereof. This will lead to dispassion and Renunciation. To one who is faithful in this, all the other mantras will be duly revealed and all his desires will be found to be true and fulfilled.

Here ends as well as the Fourth Skandha.

â,  î,  û - are read like long a, i, u
s' - is like soft sh or z in another Sanskrit transliteration
s - is like sh or S in another Sanskrit transliteration
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