The Bhagavata Purana

by G. V. Tagare | 1950 | 780,972 words | ISBN-10: 8120838203 | ISBN-13: 9788120838208

This page describes Appeasement of Rudra—Revival of Daksha which is chapter 6 of the English translation of the Bhagavata Purana, one of the eighteen major puranas containing roughly 18,000 metrical verses. Topics include ancient Indian history, religion, philosophy, geography, mythology, etc. The text has been interpreted by various schools of philosophy. This is the sixth chapter of the Fourth Skandha of the Bhagavatapurana.

Chapter 6 - Appeasement of Rudra—Revival of Dakṣa

Maitreya said:

1-2. Thereupon all the hosts of gods who were defeated by the armies of Rudra, had got their bodies hacked and hewn with tridents, spears (paṭṭiśa), swords, maces, iron bars and clubs. Being overwhelmed with fear, they, along with the sacrificial priests and their associates, approached god Brahmā, bowed down to him, and narrated in details this incident.

3. (As) worshipful Brahmā and Nārāyaṇa, the Soul of the universe, had long back foreseen it, they did not go to the sacrifice of Dakṣa.

4. After giving them hearing, Brahmā said, “the desire to retaliate against a person of superior might, even though he has offended you, cannot generally lead to the welfare (of the weak retaliator).

5. Here, however, you have committed the offence against Śiva, inasmuch as you excluded him from the sacrifice, even though he had a rightful share (in the sacrificial offerings). Now, with a pure chastened heart, you resort to his lotuslike feet and obtain his grace, for he can be easily propitiated.

6. You, who wish for the revival (and completion) of the sacrifice, should immediately beg the pardon of the god, who is cut to the quick, by words of abuse (by Dakṣa), and is bereaved of his beloved wife. If he is enraged, the whole world along with its protectors, will cease to be.

7. The Lord Rudra is absolutely independent. Neither I nor Yajña (Indra of that era), nor you nor sages or any embodied being, knows his real nature and the extent of his strength and power. (This being the case) who can be certain of the means to be adopted (for his propitiation)”.

8. Having advised the gods, thus, Brahmā accompanied by them (gods), Pitṛs, Prajāpatis set out from his own region (Satyaloka) to Kailāsa, the chief of the mountains, the favourite abode of god Śiva, the destroyer of the Tripuras.

9. Mount Kailāsa is inhabited by gods who have attained superhuman powers (siddhis) by their (superiority in) birth, or by drugs, penance, mantra (incantation of mystic power) or the practice of Yoga. It is always crowded with Kinnaras, Gandharvas (celestial musicians) and celestial damsels.

10. Its summits are made up of various kinds of gems; they are variegated with different kinds of metallic ores; they are covered with various kinds of trees, creepers and shrubs. They abound in different kinds of wild beasts.

11. With its streams of crystal clear water, and its peaks and caves, the mountain is a pleasure-haunt for siddha women, to sport along with their lovers.

12. It is resonant with the cries of the peacocks, melodious humming of bees intoxicated with honey, loud notes of cuckoos and warbling of birds.

13. It seems to invite birds, by the highly raised boughs of wish-yielding trees. It appears to be in motion by the wandering of elephants. It is, as if, speaking with the murmuring of flowing springs.

14-15. It is beautified with trees such as (the heavenly) Mandāra and Pārijāta; with Saralas, Tamālas, Sālas, Tālas, Kovidāras, Asanas, Arjunas, mango-trees, Kadambas, Nīpas, Nāgas, Punnāgas, Campakas, Pāṭalas, Aśokas, Bakulas, Kundas, and Kurabakas.

15-19. It is ornamented with lotus flowers of golden hue (and hundred petals), excellent cardamom creepers, Mālatī (Jasmine), Kubjas, Mallikās, Mādhavīs; and also with (fruit) trees (such as) Panasa, Audumbara, Aśvattha, Plakṣa, Nyagrodha, Hiṅgu, Bhūrja; with herbs and plants like betel nuts, Rājapūga (a kind of arecanut palm), rose-apple trees, date-palms, Jambū, mango-trees and others, with Priyāla, Madhuka, and Iṅguda (soapnut trees). It was adorned with various kinds of bamboos called Veṇu and Kīcaka; it was beautified with swarms of birds which were sweetly singing on the banks of the lakes rich in the beds of lilies and lotuses of various kinds.

20. It was abounding in deer, monkeys, boars, lions, bears and Porcupines, Gavayas (a species of ox) Sarabhas (a mythological eight-footed animal), tigers, ruru-deer, buffaloes and other beasts.

21. It was infested with a number of beasts called Karṇāntra, one-footed animals, horse-faced animals, wolves, musk- deer; and it presented a charming sight with its sandy banks of lotuslakes, surrounded by gardens of plantain trees.

22. It was surrounded by the Nandā (the Ganges) whose waters have been all the more hallowed by the ablutions of Satī. At the sight of that mountain of Lord Śiva, gods were filled with wonder.

23. There (on the mountain), they beheld the famous and beautiful city of Alakā, with its garden called Saugandhika, where grew the species of lotus, bearing the same name (Saugandhika).

24. Along the outskirts of the city, flow the two rivers Nandā and Alakanandā, which are highly sanctified with the dust of the ever-hallowed feet of Viṣṇu.

25. Oh Vidura, when celestial women get tired of their amorous sports, they descend from their heavenly cars into these rivers. They then plunge and sport therein, sprinkling their mates with water.

26. (Being tempted by the fragrance of saffron), elephants, though not thirsty, drink the waters of these rivers, yellow on account of the fresh saffron washed (from the breasts of celestial women) during their baths, and make the female elephants also drink it.

27-28. Alakā, the capital of the Yakṣa king (Kubera), which was swarmed with hundreds of aerial cars made up of silver, gold and highly precious stones, and inhabited by Yakṣa women, looked like the sky, overcast with clouds and streaks of lightning. They (Brahmā and others) bypass the capital of Kubera, and the Saugandhika forest, which was beautified with wish-yielding trees with variegated flowers, fruits and leaves.

29. (Therein) the cooking and warbling of cuckoos and other birds, harmonised with the melodious humming of bees. It was full of lakes with lotus beds, which were the most favourite haunts of swans of melodious notes.

30. (In that forest) the breeze blowing over the Haricandana trees against which wild elephants have rubbed their bodies, created frequently more agitation in the wives of Yakṣas.

31. There were tanks beautified with lotuses, with steps of vaidūrya gems, built around them. It was enjoyed by Kiṃ- puruṣas. Having seen the forest, the gods saw a banyan tree near by.

32. It was hundred Yojanas in height; its branches extended seventy-five Yojanas, on every side; it had a permanent shade on all sides; it had no nests on it, and it warded off the Sun.

33. Beneath that tree, which induced great concentration of mind (mahāyoga), and which is the resort of people seeking liberation, the gods beheld Śiva, seated like the god of Death, free from anger.

34. (They saw) Śiva of a very tranquil personality. He was attended upon by great serene Yogins like Sanandana and others and also by Kubera, his friend, and the master of Guhyakas and Rākṣasas.

35. (They saw) the Supreme Lord Śiva, the friend of the universe, who is following the path of upāsanā, concentration and Yoga meditation[1], practising it out of affection for the welfare of the people.

36. His body had the golden hue of evening clouds. He wore the marks which are desirable of ascetics e.g. sacred ashes, a club, matted hair and the hide of a deer. He bore the crescent moon (on his forehead).

37. He was seated on a seat of darbha grass. He was expounding to Nārada the nature of the eternal Brahman, while other saints were listening.

38. He placed his left lotus-like foot on the right lap, and placed his left hand on the left knee (i.e. in the Vīrāsana posture[2]). A rosary of beads was round his right wrist, and he assumed tarka mudrā[3].

39. The sages, along with the protectors of the world, folded their hands and bowed to god Śiva (Lord of Mountains). Śiva who was absorbed in the meditation of being one with the blissful Brahman; who wore a Yoga-kakṣa (a strap to secure the position of the left knee)[4]; and who was the foremost among the contemplators.

40. Knowing that god Brahmā (Self-born god) had come, he (Śiva) whose feet had been respected by the Lord of gods and asuras, rose (from his seat) and bowed to him with his head, as the most adorable Viṣṇu did to Kāśyapa (in Vāmana incarnation).

41. So also the hosts of other Siddhas, along with great sages, who were (sitting) around Śiva, did the same. God Brahmā who was thus bowed (to by them), spoke, as if with a smile, to Śiva (the god who wears the crescent moon on the head), who was still in a respectful pose (bowing).

Brahmā said:

42.[5] I know you to be the Lord of the universe. You are the same undifferentiated Brahman which is the cause of both the Śakti (prakṛti or the divine energy) and Śiva (the puruṣa) who are both the womb and the seed of the world.

43. Oh Lord, it is you who carry on your sport through Śiva and Śakti who are essentially one (sarūpayoḥ)[6], and create, protect and destroy the universe, as a spider does with his cobweb[7].

44.[8] You have created the institution of sacrifice through Dakṣa, as a string or instrument for the preservation of the three Vedas which bestow dharma and artha (religious merit and wealth)[9]. It is you who have ordained the boundaries (of the course of conduct) of the world-boundaries which Brāhmaṇas, who have adopted religious vows, follow with faith.

45. Oh auspicious Lord! You confer heaven (svarga) or final beatitude (Mokṣa) on those who perform auspicious deeds, and assign the terrible dark hell to the perpetrators of evil deeds. Why is it that the same act in the case of some persons, gives the contrary result? (Why should Dakṣa who followed the Vedic path, and accordingly tried to perform a sacrifice as per Vedic injunction, meet with that fate?)

46.[10] Verily anger cannot generally[11] overwhelm pious people as it would do in the case of brute (-like ignorant persons. For these (righteous people) have offered their hearts to your feet, and visualise you in all beings, and see all beings as one with (their Soul)[12]. (If your righteous devotees are above anger, how is it that you, their god, can be wrathful?).

47. A person (of exalted status) like you, ought not to kill those who perceive differentiation in their hearts; who fix their eyes on karmas (ritualistic acts) only; being of wicked minds, they are always jealously burning in their hearts at the prosperity of others; who being naturally disposed to hurt the feelings of others, wound them by harsh words. For such (wicked) persons are doomed by the Providence.

48.[13] If persons who have their minds deluded by the unfathomable Māyā of Viṣṇu, and who consider the universe as different from God, offend the righteous at any time or place, they regard it (the offence) as caused by the Providence. Out of compassion they (the righteous) definitely show mercy to them, but do not show their prowess for their destruction.

49. Oh Lord! you have your intellect uninfluenced (untouched) by the irresistible Māyā of the Supreme Man, and hence you are Omniscient. You should therefore show grace to persons whose minds are affected by the Māyā, and hence, whose minds follow (the path of) ritualistic karmas.

50. Oh Lord! Be pleased to revive (recommence) the sacrifice of Dakṣa, the son of Manu—the sacrifice which remained incomplete as it was wrecked by you when the petty minded priests who conducted the sacrifice did not offer you, your due share (in it).

51. May this sacrificer (Dakṣa) be alive again. May Bhaga get back his eyes as before. Let Bhṛgu grow his beard and mustaches. Let Pūṣan have his teeth as before.

52. Oh Rudra (Manyu)! By your grace may gods and sacrificial priests, the limbs of whose bodies have been wounded and broken by weapons and stones, be restored to health immediately.

53. Oh Rudra! Whatever will remain after the completion of the sacrifice shall be your share[14]. Oh destroyer of the sacrifice, let this sacrifice be consummated today, with this share assigned to you.

Footnotes and references:

[1]:

Vidyā-patha [patham]—(i) The path of bhakti supplemented by paths of knowledge (jñāna) and of karma (action)—Bhāgavata Candrikā

(ii) One who propagated (and thus resorted to) the paths of vidyā, tapas and yoga—VC.

(iii) Padaratnāvalī reads dhyāyantam for carantam and treats it as adj. qualifying Śiva and takes other adjectives to qualify Viṣṇu. So according to Padaratnāvalī: They saw Śiva who was contemplating on Nārāyaṇa who is the disinterested friend and well-wisher of the universe, and confers auspiciousness on the people, and who is the preceptor in and object of knowledge, penance and Yoga which he is practising.

(iv) Bālaprabodhini explains: Śiva practises the path of upāsanā, mental concentration and Yoga. He practises upāsanā out of affection for the world, to confer on it auspiciousness. He is the well-wisher of the world of which he is the creator, preserver and destroyer. Being the Lord of the world, he takes care of its welfare.

[2]:

It is described as under:

eka-pādam athaikasmin vinyased ūru-saṃsthitam /
itarasminstathā bāhuṃ vīrāsanam idam smṛtam //

[3]:

Tarka-mudrā or Jñāna-mudrā: Joining the tips of the thumb and the index finger, and straightening the other fingers after joining them together. This position of the hand is tarka mudrā.

[4]:

Probably it might be a wooden support called kubḍī in Marathi. Yogis keep it under their armpit to support the erect posture of their body during contemplation.

[5]:

(i) Parabrahman is the inner controller (antar-yāmin) of Rudra who is merely an āveśa type of incarnation of Parabrahman. Therefore Rudra is identified with the Parabrahman and the attributes of the latter are applied to him. Hence this is the eulogy of Parabrahman—Bhāgavata Candrikā (ii) Padaratnāvalī says that these verses are in praise of Narasiṃha (Viṣṇu) for the same reason as above, (iii) Sārārthadarśinī regards that the author has followed Śaiva-mata, in this panegyric.

[6]:

Bhāgavata Candrikā accepts the v.l. svāṃśayoḥ: Śiva and Śakti are the parts or aṃśas of the viśiṣṭa mentioned as sva. This verse is addressed to Para- brahman who is the antar-yāmin of Rudra. Prakṛti and Puruṣa form the body of Parabrahman. Bhāgavata Candrikā expounds the stand of viśiṣṭāḍvaita with reference to god and the world etc. in this com. (ii) VC. explains this reading: Śiva is god’s aṃśa. Śakti is Śiva’s shadow. Hence they are equated here. Padaratnāvalī accepts the v.l. Svarūpayoḥ. He regards this verse as addressed to Viṣṇu who is the antar-yāmin of both Śiva and Śakti. They are not one in essence with Viṣṇu. He uses them as instruments for the creation etc. of the universe.

[7]:

Cf. yathorṇa-nābhiḥ sṛjate gṛhṇate ca /Muṇḍaka Up. 1.1.7.

[8]:

Oh bestower of dharma and artha (religious merit and wealth)! For the attainment of puruṣārthas, you have created the institution of sacrifice by efficacious (dakṣa) sūtra. The bounds of varṇa, āśrama etc. are fixed by you. Brāhmaṇas adopt strict religious vows and faithfully follow these limitations or commands—Bhāgavata Candrikā

(ii) VC. and Siddhāntapradīpa state that here Brahmā implies that as Śiva had destroyed the sacrifice of Dakṣa who followed Vedic injunctions laid down by Śiva, it was Śiva’s responsibility to see to it that the sacrifice was completed.

[9]:

dharmārtha-dugha: Alternatively Bhāvāratha Dīpikā takes it as a Voc.—dugha. Oh Lord Śiva who give religious merits and wealth! For the attainment of dharma and artha you have created etc.

(ii) Padaratnāvalī takes this as instr. sing. and explains it as qualifying Dakṣa. According to Padaratnāvalī: Dakṣa’s sacrifice was disturbed by Hari, as Dakṣa treated Śiva disrespectfully. Śiva was superior to Dakṣa even as a devotee. Hence Hari disturbed the sacrifice, as the boundary or etiquette to be observed was crossed by Dakṣa.

[10]:

(i) It is impossible that your wrath can be the cause of such a contrary result. The righteous persons entertain no anger against good people (Bhāvāratha Dīpikā) (ii) Padaratnāvalī takes this verse as addressed to Viṣṇu, and explains that Brahmā does not attribute any anger to Viṣṇu. If the devotees of Viṣṇu are not overwhelmed with anger, there is no possibility of finding resentment in Viṣṇu.

[11]:

Prāyeṇa—Śiva might have been angry as there are exceptions in such people, e.g. Sanaka’s anger on Jaya & Vijaya—Sārārthadarśinī

[12]:

apṛthag-didṛkṣatam—Those who positively see things as they are—Padaratnāvalī

[13]:

Padaratnāvalī This verse is addressed to Rudra so that he should not entertain any anger against Dakṣa: ‘In this world, minds of persons like Dakṣa, are overpowered by Māyā—the binding power of Viṣṇu. How is it that when the persons of incorrect perception, offend or hate the good, righteous persons like you do not feel compassion for them, and oblige them by toleration? For the ignorant have acted so, due to their previous karmas and under compulsion of Lord’s will.

(ii) Siddhāntapradīpa & Bālaprabodhini: The righteous persons take the offence done to them as due to their own karmas and feel compassion for the wicked, for their future life in hell.

[14]:

Literally: Oh Rudra! May all that has remained of the sacrifice be your share.

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