The Padma Purana

by N.A. Deshpande | 1951 | 1,261,945 words | ISBN-10: 8120838297 | ISBN-13: 9788120838291

This page describes vishnu creates illusion for vrinda which is chapter 14 of the English translation of the Padma Purana, one of the largest Mahapuranas, detailling ancient Indian society, traditions, geography, as well as religious pilgrimages (yatra) to sacred places (tirthas). This is the fourteenth chapter of the Uttara-Khanda (Concluding Section) of the Padma Purana, which contains six books total consisting of at least 50,000 Sanskrit metrical verses.

Chapter 14 - Viṣṇu Creates Illusion for Vṛṇdā

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Yudhiṣṭhira said:

1. O brāhmaṇa, please tell me what happened after the illusive Śiva had (thus) bewildered Pārvatī.

Nārada said:

2-5a. The heart of Viṣṇu lying in the ocean was disturbed. All of a sudden, O best king, his eyes were full of tears. Seeing that sign of a great portent, the lord then getting up from the bed of Śeṣa, looked at me and Vāyu, and thinking, ‘What should be done (now)?’ remembered (Garuḍa) the enemy of the serpents. He too, merely by being remembered, stood with his palms joined before the lord. Seeing before him (Garuḍa) the son of Vinatā, Viṣṇu said:

5b-9a. “O Suparṇa, go there where the battle is going on. Seeing whether the hero Jālandhara is killed or Śiva is deluded by him, quickly come (back) and tell everything to me. You alone are capable of seeing the battle between Jālandhara and the lord. Who else after knowing (what is going on) in the great battle would come (back) alive? At times the battle there was hard to be understood due to the showers of weapons and missiles. Going there (as fast) as the movement of an arrow, and with your body covered, come back after having observed the condition of Pārvatī.”

9b-10. Lord Viṣṇu after having thought about removing the illusion caused by the demon, quickly gave a pill fully endowed with supernatural powers to Garuḍa. (He said to Garuḍa:) “O hero, due to this (pill) you will not be illusioned.” Saying, “All right”, he (i.e. Garuḍa) put it into his mouth.

11-17a. The bird (i.e. Garuḍa) thus urged by the lord went round Viṣṇu keeping him to his right, and he, of a wonderful speed, moved out, and having entered the sky, went (to the battlefield). Having gone there he saw unbearable terrible fight with the hosts of demons; but he did not know anything fully. Therefore, he flew speedily and went to (the region) Mānasot-tara, (a part of) the mountain, which was very high, inaccessible, and difficult to be reached even by gods. The lord of birds (though he tried) to see, could not see the place of Pārvatī. Having come there, (Garuḍa) the enemy of serpents heard a sound. After having gone near he saw the illusive lord of beings (i.e. Śiva). After having put into his mouth the pill, Garuḍa was not illusioned. He knew and understood that he was a demon and not Śiva. “Oh, (how) painful!” Saying so and weeping, he, having come (back) to the ocean, narrated the account to the enemy of Kaiṭabha (i.e. Viṣṇu):

17b-22. “O god, Jālandhara has imitated god Śiva. He, the sinful one, disguised (as Śiva) has deceived Pārvatī. Therefore, O Viṣṇu, if you are a god, (then now) go to the battlefield. O lord of gods, (please) fight deceitfully with Jālandhara. I have seen his queen on the auspicious seat at Jālandhara. She was sporting by playing upon musical instruments and songs on the ground of the palace. She is more beautiful than Pārvatī and a hundred (nymphs like) Rambhā and Urvaśī. Now neither in the human world nor in the nether world is there a wife like her. Therefore, O Viṣṇu, she is fit to be associated with. What then can be said about (other) ladies. A man, who would touch her with his body would be blessed. And she is the wife of your wife’s brother. Kidnap her who is dear to Lakṣmī. Do a good turn to Śiva and please yourself.”

Nārada said:

23-27. Having heard the words of Garuḍa (Viṣṇu) dear to Lakṣmī, properly designed a remedy, and quickly sent away the bird. Having deceived Lakṣmī, and having covered her with a yellow garment (as she lay) on the bed, he went out with (i.e. after having taken up) another form and through his divine magical power Viṣṇu was fascinated by the love for Vṛndārikā. Seeing Hari (i.e. Viṣṇu) going (after) having covered himself, O Yudhiṣṭhira, Śeṣa also came in another form to Viṣṇu, and devoutly said to him: “You (please) wait. Allow me (to go). O Viṣṇu, tell me what I should do, where I should go. (Tell me) the mission. It would be a pleasure (if) I shall always eat after seeing your face.”

The lord said:

28-32. I shall after covering my body, kidnap the charming wife of Jālandhara for Śiva and for helping Pārvatī. O brother, come on. We shall go to the impassable forest for accomplishing the seduction of Vṛndā.

After he said so, they both went to the forest. There Viṣṇu and Śeṣa who had matted hair and bark-garments, put up a hermitage which was auspicious and gave the fruits of all desires (i.e. gave the desired objects). They had disciples and disciples’ disciples, taking any form they liked of tigers, lions, boars, bears, monkeys and apes. Then in that forest, Viṣṇu attracted Vṛndā with a spell. He, the killer of Madhu, caused torment in her heart.

33-38. In the meantime the queen had a terrible torment. She caused the chowries to be waved by divine ladies. The slim lady, repeatedly thinking about the arrival of her lover, and with her body smeared with sandal, quickly fainted. The queen saw a dream in the fourth watch on the fourteenth (night of the month), which caused fear, and indicated the fear of widowhood. (She saw) the head of Jālandhara, which was dry, was smeared with white ash, the eyes of which were drawn out by a vulture, and the tips of the hair were loose. Kālī whose face was fierce, complexion was dark, garments were tawny, mouth was red, who had held a skull in her hand was eating him. She saw a dream like this and herself mortified. The queen saw the demon having the qualities (i.e. signs) of destruction.

39-40. Then the wife of the demon-king awoke due to songs and (the sound of) the musical instruments of the bards, so also by continuous singing, eulogies, words, praises of the race recited by kinnaras. Then having given all of them who were tired, wealth as a result of her favour, she warded them off (i.e. dismissed them), called brāhmaṇas and told them about the dream that she had seen. The brāhmaṇas, who had mastered sacred texts, said, after having heard the dream:

The brāhmaṇas said:

41-47. O queen, it is a bad dream; it is very fierce; it is inconceivable and causes fear. Give gifts which would destroy the inconceivable fear, to brāhmaṇas. (Give them) cows, garments, gems, elephants and ornaments.

The brāhmaṇas who were pleased (with the gifts) sprinkled (with holy water) the king’s wife. Though sprinkled (like that) Vṛnḍā was tormented with affliction. Dismissing the excellent brāhmaṇas, she then went to the palace. Even (after) remaining there, the lady saw her own city burning. Then being attracted by Viṣṇu due to her own acts, she could not, O king, remain in her house. So the queen went to a forest. The slim lady, having got into a chariot to which female mules were yoked and which was driven by her friend Smaradūtī, she quickly reached an auspicious forest which was having many trees and was full of various groups of birds, which was endowed with a stream of flowers, was adorned with divine ladies. There only gentle breezes could enter and nothing else.

48-52. Seeing that forest, Vṛndā remembered her husband. ‘Now shall I see the hero Jālandhara that has come in front of me?’ She did not get pleasure there. So she, with the chariot brought by her friend, and fascinated by Viṣṇu’s illusion, entered another forest. Then the fawn-eyed lady saw the forest which was crowded with trees, was blocked by large rocks, created fear, was full of the fear due to lions and tigers, was resorted to by wolves and serpents, in which the trees with their branches touching the sky filled the caves with darkness. Seeing the fearful forest, the lady of unsteady eyes was frightened. Vṛndā said to her friend Smaradūtī who was driving the chariot: “O Smaradūtī, quickly drive home my chariot.”

Smaradūtī said:

53-57a. O friend, I do not know the direction. Where should I take the chariot? The tired female mules are proceeding; and here there is no path. Let the chariot driven by destiny go anywhere. Here some flesh-eater will devour (us); (and this will) not be falsified.

Speaking like this, she who was very wonderful, quickly drove the chariot. The chariot reached (the place) where there were delighted siddhas. The siddhas were seen there, and the forest was fearful. The wind was not strong there, nor was the sound of birds (heard there). There was no lustre, no light. There was no water. There were not (seen) quarters and sub-quarters.

57b-60. Even in the characteristic of the chariot that reached there a change took place. The female mules did not neigh. There was no sound of the fellies of the wheels. The banners did not move. The bells did not tinkle. The great bells placed on the pillar of the flag did not make a sound. Seeing (things) like this, Vṛndā said to her friend: “O Smaradūtī, where shall we go? The forest is full of the fear from tigers and lions. O friend, I did not have happiness in my house, in my kingdom, and in the forest.”

Smaradūtī said:

61-66. O Queen, listen. In front (of us) see a very fearful mountain. Seeing (it) the female mules, perturbed by fear, do not go ahead.

Hearing those words of her the queen was frightened. Seeing the necklace round her neck, she quickly got up from the chariot. In the meanwhile there came a demon of a fierce form. He had three feet, five hands and seven eyes. He was extremely fearful. He was tawny; his eyes were like those of a tiger. His shoulders and his face were like those of a lion. His hair red like blood hung like the lord of birds. Seeing him, Vṛndā, having a (tender) body like the calyx of a lotus, was suddenly frightened. Having covered her eyes with her hands, she trembled like a plantain tree. Throwing the whip, the doorkeeper said to the queen: “O Queen, protect me who am frightened. This (demon) runs to eat me.”

67-71. In the meanwhile the demon reached the vicinity of the chariot. He tossed up the chariot and whirled it with the female mules (yoked to it). The queen fell on the ground like a female deer through the fear of a tiger. Smaradūtī was wounded (and lay) like an aśoka-creeper. Then the demon devoured all the female mules. He. seized the queen by her hand as a lion seizes a female young deer. Then the demon spoke to her: “I have heard that your husband is killed by Śiva in the battle. If you want to live, then taking me as your husband live long and without fear from anywhere. Also drink sweet liquor along with good flesh.” Hearing these words, the queen was as it were lifeless.

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