Harivamsha Purana

by Manmatha Nath Dutt | 1897 | 293,872 words | ISBN-10: 8178542188 | ISBN-13: 9788178542188

This page is entitled “the danavas described” and represents Chapter 47 of the third book (Bhavishya Parva’) of the Harivamsa (English translation in Prose). The Harivamsha Purana narrates the lineage and life-story of Krishna (Hari). Although not officially mentioned in the list of Puranas, this book includes topics such as geology, creation theory, time (manvantaras), ancient historical legends and accounts of royal dynasties.

Chapter 47 - The Danavas Described

1-12. Vaishampayana said:—Hear now of the names, forms, accomplishments and the principal weapons of the Danavas. Vipracitti, Shivi, Shanku, Ayashanku, Ayasshira, Ashvashira, the powerful Hayagriva, Ketuman, Ugra, Syogra, Vyavra, the great Asura Pushkara, Pushkala, Svashva, Ashvapati, Prahada, Ashvashira, Kumbha, Sanglhada, Gaganaprya, Anuhrada, Harihara, Varaha, Sanhara, Aruja, Vrishaparva, Virupaksha, Munindra, Candralocana, Nishprabha, Suprahva, Nirudara, Ekavaktra, Mahavaktra Dwivaktra, Sherasa, Sharabha, Kunatha, Kupatha, Kvatha, Mahagarbha, Shankukarna, Mahadhvani, Dirghajish, Arkavadana, Mriducapa, Mriduprya, Vayu, Garistha, Namachi, Shamvara, Vikshara, Candrahanta, Krodhahanta, Krodhavardhana, Kalaka, Kalakaksha, Vitra, Krodhavimokshana, Garistha, Havistha, Pralamva, Naraka, Pritha, Indratapana, Vatapi, Ketuman, Asiloma, Vitoma, Vaskala, Pramada, Mada, Shrigalavavana, Keshi, Ekaksha, Rahu, Tuhunda, Samala, Sripa—these and many other Daityas appeared before the Great Vishnu who was about to place his feet.

13-29. Of them, some took up nooses, some had their mouths wide open, some had the voice of asses, some took up Satghnis, some discus in their hands, some had thunder-bolts, some rods, some mortars, some swords, some Pattishas, some Parashvadhas, some Prashas, some clubs, some Parighas, some huge stones and some Pushalas in their hands. Some Danavas had trees in their hands, some had bows, some had clubs, some had Bhushundis, and some shook there with daggers in their hands. Those dreadful and highly powerful Danavas, dressed in various ways, were armed with diverse weapons. Some had their mouths like those of tortoises, some had like those of fowls, some had like those of swans, and some had like those of asses; some were camel-mouthed, some were boar-mouthed and some dreadful Danavas had mouths like Makaras. Some had their faces like hares, some like cats, some like Sukas, some like cows, some like deer, some like Garuda, some like swords and some like peacocks; some were horse-mouthed, some were elephant-mouthed and some had faces like those of various other weapons. They put on skins of elephant and antelope. Their persons were covered with bark. Some amongst them were adorned with gold. The Asuras put on crowns and wore Kundalas; they, clad in various raiments, were adorned with diverse garlands and pastes. Holding their burning weapons those Danavas and Asuras approached Hrishikesha who was about to place his feet. The effulgence of the Lord at that time, who was about to conquer the three worlds, was like that of the sun. Having smashed all the sons of Diti with his palms and feet the omnipotent lord possessed the three worlds with his three foot-steps. Having assumed a huge form he first attacked the earth;when he occupied the earth the sun and moon were in his heart. When he occupied the sky they were in his waist and when he occupied the heaven they were on his knees.

30-31. The twice-born thus described the form of Vishnu of incomparable prowess. Having conquered the three worlds and slain the leading Asuras, Hari, adored of the universe, conferred the earth on Indra the king of gods. The powerful Vishnu assigned to Bali the region under the earth called Sutala. Obtaining that region for his residence the foremost of Asuras Bali was pleased. Since then the king of Asuras has been living in Rasatala. Living there the greatly effulgent Bali engaged in great meditation. The intelligent Bali said to Narayana, adored of the universe "O Lord, do you command me particularly what I should do now." Thereupon Vishnu, the lord of celestials, said to the Daitya king Bali.

35-44. Vishnu said:—"O great Asura, I have been pleased with you; I am ready to grant you a boon: pray for it. May good betide you. Do you pray for desired-for objects. Never under any circumstances disobey the words of Sakra, the king of gods. This is my command to you. If you obey it you will meet with your well-being. O Daitya, the water, your offered, was taken by me in the cavity of my palm and therefore you have no fear anywhere from the gods. Along with all the Daityas and your followers, do you live by my favour in that part of the nether region which is called Sutala. Remembering my mandate do not disregard the words of Shakra of incomparable energy. O great Asura, all the gods are worshipful unto you. You will attain to all your desirable objects; you will acquire many dresses both in this world and in the next. And by my favour you will always reign supreme over the Daityas. You will enjoy various objects and celebrate sacrifices accompanied with gifts. Whenever you will transgress this my command the highly powerful serpents will bind you with their hoods. You should always bow unto Mahendra and other gods. Indra, the king of gods, is my elder brother;you should therefore obey his command".

45-46. Bali said:—"O great God, O holder of conch-shell, discus and club O God of gods, O preceptor of the gods, and Asuras, O king of gods, O foremost of celestials, what position will be mine when I will live in that nether region? How shall I live there? How will my fame be unbroken?".

47-48. The Lord said:—"O foremost of Daityas, a Sraddha without a Shrotrya, study without vows, sacrifice without presents, Homa without Ritwikas, gifts without reverence and impure Havi, these six portions will belong to you. The virtue of those who are ill-disposed towards my votaries, the virtue of persons who are engaged in buying and selling, the virtue of Agnihotras, the virtue of those who make charities without reverence and the virtue of those who officiate as priests, will be your share, O king of Daityas, by my favour".

49-56. Vaishampayana said:—Hearing the words of the high souled Vishnu, the foremost of Asuras, Bali said "So be it." And carrying out the command of the Deity, he entered into the nether region. In the meantime the Divine Vishnu, adored by the gods, made divisions of the kingdom. He conferred the eastern quarter on the king of gods of incomparable prowess, the southern quarter on the great Yama the king of the departed manes, the western quarter on the high-souled Varuna, and the northern quarter on Kuvera, the king of Yakshas; the region under the earth he gave to the king of Nagas and the region above he conferred on Soma. Having thus parcelled out the three worlds the highly powerful lord of celestials Vishnu, adored of the great saints, repaired to the heavenly region. After the departure of that irrepressible dwarf all the gods, with the performer of hundred sacrifices before them, were filled with joy.

57-58. Vaishampayana said:—After Krishna had departed having bound Virocana’s son Bali with seven hooded serpents such as Kampana, Ashvatara etc. the celestial saint Narada, of his own accord, came to him who was stricken with pain in consequence thereof.

59-61. Seeing him thus afflicted and filled with compassion he said to that king of Danavas:—"I will find out means for releasing you. O king of Daityas, with a purified soul meditate on the god of gods Vasudeva who is without beginning or end and who is eternal and undecaying; with your mind devoted to him you will in no time acquire emancipation".

62. Thereupon his soul purified and mind controlled Virocana’s son, with folded hands, learnt from Narada the means of attaining to emancipation.

63. Having learnt that celestial hymn sung by Narada the great Asura Bali began to recite the names of that Great God by whom the Earth was raised up.

64-86. Salutation unto the Eternal and Great Lord without end. Salutation unto the lotus-navelled Deity Vishnu who lay on water. Assuming a body endued with the energies of seven forms you dost invade the three worlds. O lord, you are the death of Kala. Do you release me. When the sky is divested of the sun and the moon, when sacrifices and ascetic penances are on the wane, do you think of creating the universe again. Do you release me by this your power. Markandeya, the foremost of the twice-born, saw in you Brahma, Rudra, Indra, Vayu, fire, rivers, serpents and mountains. Do you release me. In the previous Kalpa Markandeya Muni entered into your belly and saw the entire universe mobile and immobile. Do you save me by this your power. Resorting to your Yoga power supported by your learning you dost alone create the three worlds and again engage in Yoga. Do you save me by this your power. Lying in water you dost enjoy Yoga sleep and again think of the creation. Do you save me by this your power. Assuming the form of a sacrificial boar you didst formerly upraise the earth. Do you save me by that power of thine. Raising up the earth with your tusks you didst ordain three Pindas for the departed manes. Do you save me by that power of thine. Afraid of Hiranyaksha the celestials fled away. You didst however save them. Do you by that power release me. Having assumed a form with a huge mouth you didst cut off in battle Hiranyaksha’s head with your discus. Do you by that power save me. With your roaring formerly the Daitya Hiranyakshipu was killed with his head and bones smashed. Do you, by that power of thine, save me. Formerly before the very eyes of Brahma the Vedas were pilfered by the two Daityas. But you didst regain them however. Do you save me by that power of thine. Assuming the form of Hayashira you didst slay the two Danavas, Madhu and Kaitabha and return the Vedas unto Brahma. Do you save me by that power of thine. The Devas, Danavas, Gandharvas, Yakshas, Siddhas and Uragas cannot see your end. Do you save me by this power. You didst beget a son by name Apantaralama who explained the Vedas. Do you save me by this power. O lord, Agnihotra and other Vedic rites, the sacrifices in honor of the Pitris and Havi are all your mysteries. Do you save me by that power of thine. The Rishi Dirghatama was born blind on account of the imprecation of his preceptor. By your favour he regained his eye-sight; by that power of thine do you save me. You didst release your poor votary elephant possessed by Rahu. You are undecaying, eternal, devoted to Brahman and your votaries. You are the chastiser of those who wend evil ways. Do you save me. I bow unto conch-shell, discus, club, quiver, Shranga bow and Garuda: may they release me from my fetters. Thereupon conch shell, discus, club, quiver, Shranga and Garuda propitiated the Lord and requested him to release Bali from his fetters.

87-91. Thereupon pleased the Lord ordered the king of birds Garuda, the destroyer of serpents, saying "Release Bali from the fetters." Thereupon flapping his wings Garuda, of incomparable prowess, went to Patala where Bali was bound by the serpents. Informed of the arrival of Garuda, the serpents, releasing the great Asura Bali, fled away to the city of Bhagovati in fear of Vinata’s son. Garuda, who used to eat up serpents, said to Bali, who had lost his prosperity and released from the noose by Krishna’s favour who was meditating with his head hanging down. Garuda said:—"O you of large arms, O king of Danavas, the powerful Vishnu has ordered you, freed from fetters, to live in Patala with your children and friends. O Danava, do not move away an inch from this place. If you break this contract your head will be sundered into a hundred pieces".

92-96. Hearing the words of that king of birds the Danava said:—"I am obeying the orders of that Great One. O king of birds let the Lord make some arrangements for my livelihood so that I may live here happily" Hearing the words of Bali Garuda said:—"The Lord has already made arrangements for your maintenance. You will be entitled to the offerings of those sacrifices that are celebrated without priests and regulations by persons unacquainted with the means of penance. The celestials do not partake of such offerings. Nourished by such sacrificial offerings you will live here happily".

97-99. Vaishampayana said:—Kashyapa’s son Vishnu, the supporter of the three worlds, sent this message to the large armed king of Danavas. The man, who reverentially recites this hymn destructive of all sins, has his iniquities destroyed. The destroyer of a cow is freed from the sin consequent thereon and the murderer of a Brahmana is also freed from his sins. A man, having no son, gets one. A maiden acquires a husband after her heart.

98-107. A woman is soon freed from her labour pain and gives birth to a son. Kapila, the founder of Sankhya school and other Rishis, desirous of emancipation, repaired, freed from sins, to the insular continent of Shewta the seat of Moksha, by reciting this hymn. This hymn grants all heavenly objects. For sooth does a man acquire all desirable objects, who, rising up early in the morning and purifying himself, reads it with a controlled mind. This dwarf incarnation of the Lord is recounted by Vipras well read in the Vedas as a glorious deed of Vishnu. The man, who reverentially listens on every Parva to the recitation of this heavenly theme of dwarf incarnation, vanquishes all his enemies, being a powerful king like the highly powerful Vishnu himself. He acquires also unsullied fame and immense riches and objects of enjoyment. As the dwarf is the favourite so he becomes beloved of all. His sons and grand-sons multiply, enjoy freedom from diseases and are endowed with all accomplishments. The Lord Janarddana is pleased with him who reads it: and he obtains all desirable objects. So has Krishna Dvaipayana said.

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