Chapter One : The Manus, Administrators of the Universe King Pariksit said: O my lord, my spiritual master, now I have fully heard from Your Grace about the dynasty of Svayambhuva Manu. But there are also other Manus, and I want to hear about their dynasties. Kindly describe them to us. O learned brahmana, Sukadeva Gosvami, the great learned persons who are completely intelligent describe the activities and appearance of the Supreme Personality of Godhead during the various manvantaras. We are very eager to hear about these narrations. Kindly describe them. O learned brahmana, kindly describe to us whatever activities the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who created this cosmic manifestation, has performed in the past manvantaras, is performing at present, and will perform in the future manvantaras. Sukadeva Gosvami said: In the present kalpa there have already been six Manus. I have described to you Svayambhuva Manu and the appearance of many demigods. In this kalpa of Brahma, Svayambhuva is the first Manu. Svayambhuva Manu had two daughters, named Akuti and Devahuti. From their wombs, the Supreme Personality of Godhead appeared as two sons named Yajnamurti and Kapila respectively. These sons were entrusted with preaching about religion and knowledge. O best of the Kurus, I have already described [in the Third Canto] the activities of Kapila, the son of Devahuti. Now I shall describe the activities of Yajnapati, the son of Akuti. Svayambhuva Manu, the husband of Satarupa, was by nature not at all attached to enjoyment of the senses. Thus he gave up his kingdom of sense enjoyment and entered the forest with his wife to practice austerities. O scion of Bharata, after Svayambhuva Manu had thus entered the forest with his wife, he stood on one leg on the bank of the River Sunanda, and in this way, with only one leg touching the earth, he performed great austerities for one hundred years. While performing these austerities, he spoke as follows. Lord Manu said: The supreme living being has created this material world of animation; it is not that He was created by this material world. When everything is silent, the Supreme Being stays awake as a witness. The living entity does not know Him, but He knows everything. Within this universe, the Supreme Personality of Godhead in His Supersoul feature is present everywhere, wherever there are animate or inanimate beings. Therefore, one should accept only that which is allotted to him; one should not desire to infringe upon the property of others. Although the Supreme Personality of Godhead constantly watches the activities of the world, no one sees Him. However, one should not think that because no one sees Him, He does not see, for His power to see is never diminished. Therefore, everyone should worship the Supersoul, who always stays with the individual soul as a friend. The Supreme Personality of Godhead has no beginning, no end and no middle. Nor does He belong to a particular person or nation. He has no inside or outside. The dualities found within this material world, such as beginning and end, mine and theirs, are all absent from the personality of the Supreme Lord. The universe, which emanates from Him, is another feature of the Lord. Therefore the Supreme Lord is the ultimate truth, and He is complete in greatness. The entire cosmic manifestation is the body of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the Absolute Truth, who has millions of names and unlimited potencies. He is self-effulgent, unborn and changeless. He is the beginning of everything, but He has no beginning. Because He has created this cosmic manifestation by His external energy, the universe appears to be created, maintained and annihilated by Him. Nonetheless, He remains inactive in His spiritual energy and is untouched by the activities of the material energy. Therefore, to enable people to reach the stage of activities that are not tinged by fruitive results, great saints first engage people in fruitive activities, for unless one begins by performing activities as recommended in the sastras, one cannot reach the stage of liberation, or activities that produce no reactions. The Supreme Personality of Godhead is full in opulence by His own gain, yet He acts as the creator, maintainer and annihilator of this material world. In spite of acting in that way, He is never entangled. Hence devotees who follow in His footsteps are also never entangled. The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna, works just like an ordinary human being, yet He does not desire to enjoy the fruits of work. He is full in knowledge, free from material desires and diversions, and completely independent. As the supreme teacher of human society, He teaches His own way of activities, and thus He inaugurates the real path of religion. I request everyone to follow Him. Sukadeva Gosvami continued: Svayambhuva Manu was thus in a trance, chanting the mantras of Vedic instruction known as the Upanisads. Upon seeing him, the Raksasas and asuras, being very hungry, wanted to devour him. Therefore they ran after him with great speed. The Supreme Lord, Vishnu, who sits in everyone's heart, appearing as Yajnapati, observed that the Raksasas and demons were going to devour Svayambhuva Manu. Thus the Lord, accompanied by His sons named the Yamas and by all the other demigods, killed the demons and Raksasas. He then took the post of Indra and began to rule the heavenly kingdom. The son of Agni named Svarocisa became the second Manu. His several sons were headed by Dyumat, Susena and Rocismat. During the reign of Svarocisa, the post of Indra was assumed by Rocana, the son of Yajna. Tusita and others became the principal demigods, and Urja, Stambha and others became the seven saints. All of them were faithful devotees of the Lord. Vedasira was a very celebrated rsi. From the womb of his wife, whose name was Tusita, came the avatara named Vibhu. Vibhu remained a brahmacari and never married throughout his life. From him, eighty-eight thousand other saintly persons took lessons on self-control, austerity and similar behavior. O King, the third Manu, Uttama, was the son of King Priyavrata. Among the sons of this Manu were Pavana, Srnjaya and Yajnahotra. During the reign of the third Mahu, Pramada and other sons of Vasistha became the seven sages. The Satyas, Vedasrutas and Bhadras became demigods, and Satyajit was selected to be Indra, the King of heaven. In this manvantara, the Supreme Personality of Godhead appeared from the womb of Sunrta, who was the wife of Dharma, the demigod in charge of religion. The Lord was celebrated as Satyasena, and He appeared with other demigods, known as the Satyavratas. Satyasena, along with His friend Satyajit, who was the King of heaven, Indra, killed all the untruthful, impious and misbehaved Yaksas, Raksasas and ghostly living entities, who gave pains to other living beings. The brother of the third Manu, Uttama, was celebrated by the name Tamasa, and he became the fourth Manu. Tamasa had ten sons, headed by Prthu, Khyati, Nara and Ketu. During the reign of Tamasa Manu, among the demigods were the Satyakas, Haris and Viras. The heavenly King, Indra, was Trisikha. The sages in saptarsi-dhama were headed by Jyotirdhama. O King, in the Tamasa manvantara the sons of Vidhrti, who were known as the Vaidhrtis, also became demigods. Since in course of time the Vedic authority was lost, these demigods, by their own powers, protected the Vedic authority. Also in this manvantara, the Supreme Lord, Vishnu, took birth from the womb of Harini, the wife of Harimedha, and He was known as Hari. Hari saved His devotee Gajendra, the King of the elephants, from the mouth of a crocodile. King Pariksit said: My lord, Badarayani, we wish to hear from you in detail how the King of the elephants, when attacked by a crocodile, was delivered by Hari. Any literature or narration in which the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Uttamasloka, is described and glorified is certainly great, pure, glorious, auspicious and all good. Sri Suta Gosvami said: O brahmanas, when Pariksit Maharaja, who was awaiting impending death, thus requested Sukadeva Gosvami to speak, Sukadeva Gosvami, encouraged by the King's words, offered respect to the King and spoke with great pleasure in the assembly of sages, who desired to hear him. Chapter Two : The Elephant Gajendra's Crisis Sukadeva Gosvami said: My dear King, there is a very large mountain called Trikuta. It is ten thousand yojanas [eighty thousand miles] high. Being surrounded by the ocean of milk, it is very beautifully situated. The length and breadth of the mountain are of the same measurement [eighty thousand miles]. Its three principal peaks, which are made of iron, silver and gold, beautify all directions and the sky. The mountain also has other peaks, which are full of jewels and minerals and are decorated with nice trees, creepers and shrubs. The sounds of the waterfalls on the mountain create a pleasing vibration. In this way the mountain stands, increasing the beauty of all directions. The ground at the foot of the mountain is always washed by waves of milk that produce emeralds all around in the eight directions [north, south, east, west and the directions midway between them]. The inhabitants of the higher planets--the Siddhas, Caranas, Gandharvas, Vidyadharas, serpents, Kinnaras and Apsaras--go to that mountain to sport. Thus all the caves of the mountain are full of these denizens of the heavenly planets. Because of the resounding vibrations of the denizens of heaven singing in the caves, the lions there, being very proud of their strength, roar with unbearable envy, thinking that another lion is roaring in that way. The valleys beneath Trikuta Mountain are beautifully decorated by many varieties of jungle animals, and in the trees, which are maintained in gardens by the demigods, varieties of birds chirp with sweet voices. Trikuta Mountain has many lakes and rivers, with beaches covered by small gems resembling grains of sand. The water is as clear as crystal, and when the demigod damsels bathe in it, their bodies lend fragrance to the water and the breeze, thus enriching the atmosphere. In a valley of Trikuta Mountain there was a garden called Rtumat. This garden belonged to the great devotee Varuna and was a sporting place for the damsels of the demigods. Flowers and fruits grew there in all seasons. Among them were mandaras, parijatas, patalas, asokas, campakas, cutas, piyalas, panasas, mangos, amratakas, kramukas, coconut trees, date trees and pomegranates. There were madhukas, palm trees, tamalas, asanas, arjunas, aristas, udumbaras, plaksas, banyan trees, kimsukas and sandalwood trees. There were also picumardas, kovidaras, saralas, sura-darus, grapes, sugarcane, bananas, jambu, badaris, aksas, abhayas and amalakis. In that garden there was a very large lake filled with shining golden lotus flowers and the flowers known as kumuda, kahlara, utpala and satapatra, which added excellent beauty to the mountain. There were also bilva, kapittha, jambira and bhallataka trees. Intoxicated bumblebees drank honey and hummed with the chirping of the birds, whose songs were very melodious. The lake was crowded with swans, karandavas, cakravakas, cranes, and flocks of water chickens, datyuhas, koyastis and other murmuring birds. Because of the agitating movements of the fish and tortoises, the water was decorated with pollen that had fallen from the lotus flowers. The lake was surrounded by kadamba flowers, vetasa flowers, nalas, nipas, vanjulakas, kundas, kurubakas, asokas, sirisas, kutajas, ingudas, kubjakas, svarna-yuthis, nagas, punnagas, jatis, mallikas, satapatras, jalakas and madhavi-latas. The banks were also abundantly adorned with varieties of trees that yielded flowers and fruits in all seasons. Thus the entire mountain stood gloriously decorated. The leader of the elephants who lived in the forest of the mountain Trikuta once wandered toward the lake with his female elephants. He broke many plants, creepers, thickets and trees, not caring for their piercing thorns. Simply by catching scent of that elephant, all the other elephants, the tigers and the other ferocious animals, such as lions, rhinoceroses, great serpents and black and white sarabhas, fled in fear. The camari deer also fled. By the mercy of this elephant, animals like the foxes, wolves, buffalos, bears, boars, gopucchas, porcupines, monkeys, rabbits, the other deer and many other small animals loitered elsewhere in the forest. They were not afraid of him. Surrounded by the herd's other elephants, including females, and followed by the young ones, Gajapati, the leader of the elephants, made Trikuta Mountain tremble all around because of the weight of his body. He was perspiring, liquor dripped from his mouth, and his vision was overwhelmed by intoxication. He was being served by bumblebees who drank honey, and from a distance he could smell the dust of the lotus flowers, which was carried from the lake by the breeze. Thus surrounded by his associates, who were afflicted by thirst, he soon arrived at the bank of the lake. The King of the elephants entered the lake, bathed thoroughly and was relieved of his fatigue. Then, with the aid of his trunk, he drank the cold, clear, nectarean water, which was mixed with the dust of lotus flowers and water lilies, until he was fully satisfied. Like a human being who lacks spiritual knowledge and is too attached to the members of his family, the elephant, being illusioned by the external energy of Krishna, had his wives and children bathe and drink the water. Indeed, he raised water from the lake with his trunk and sprayed it over them. He did not mind the hard labor involved in this endeavor. By the arrangement of providence, O King, a strong crocodile was angry at the elephant and attacked the elephant's leg in the water. The elephant was certainly strong, and he tried his best to get free from this danger sent by providence. Thereafter, seeing Gajendra in that grave condition, his wives felt very, very sorry and began to cry. The other elephants wanted to help Gajendra, but because of the crocodile's great strength, they could not rescue him by grasping him from behind. O King, the elephant and the crocodile fought in this way, pulling one another in and out of the water, for one thousand years. Upon seeing the fight, the demigods were very surprised. Thereafter, because of being pulled into the water and fighting for many long years, the elephant became diminished in his mental, physical and sensual strength. The crocodile, on the contrary, being an animal of the water, increased in enthusiasm, physical strength and sensual power. When the King of the elephants saw that he was under the clutches of the crocodile by the will of providence and, being embodied and circumstantially helpless, could not save himself from danger, he was extremely afraid of being killed. He consequently thought for a long time and finally reached the following decision. The other elephants, who are my friends and relatives, could not rescue me from this danger. What then to speak of my wives? They cannot do anything. It is by the will of providence that I have been attacked by this crocodile, and therefore I shall seek shelter of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is always the shelter of everyone, even of great personalities. The Supreme Personality of Godhead is certainly not known to everyone, but He is very powerful and influential. Therefore, although the serpent of eternal time, which is fearful in force, endlessly chases everyone, ready to swallow him, if one who fears this serpent seeks shelter of the Lord, the Lord gives him protection, for even death runs away in fear of the Lord. I therefore surrender unto Him, the great and powerful supreme authority who is the actual shelter of everyone. Chapter Three : Gajendra's Prayers of Surrender Sri Sukadeva Gosvami continued: Thereafter, the King of the elephants, Gajendra, fixed his mind in his heart with perfect intelligence and chanted a mantra which he had learned in his previous birth as Indradyumna and which he remembered by the grace of Krishna. The King of the elephants, Gajendra, said: I offer my respectful obeisances unto the Supreme Person, Vasudeva [om namo bhagavate vasudevaya]. Because of Him this material body acts due to the presence of spirit, and He is therefore the root cause of everyone. He is worshipable for such exalted persons as Brahma and Shiva, and He has entered the heart of every living being. Let me meditate upon Him. The Supreme Godhead is the supreme platform on which everything rests, the ingredient by which everything has been produced, and the person who has created and is the only cause of this cosmic manifestation. Nonetheless, He is different from the cause and the result. I surrender unto Him, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is self-sufficient in everything. The Supreme Personality of Godhead, by expanding His own energy, keeps this cosmic manifestation visible and again sometimes renders it invisible. He is both the supreme cause and the supreme result, the observer and the witness, in all circumstances. Thus He is transcendental to everything. May that Supreme Personality of Godhead give me protection. In due course of time, when all the causative and effective manifestations of the universe, including the planets and their directors and maintainers, are annihilated, there is a situation of dense darkness. Above this darkness, however, is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. I take shelter of His lotus feet. An artist onstage, being covered by attractive dresses and dancing with different movements, is not understood by his audience; similarly, the activities and features of the supreme artist cannot be understood even by the demigods or great sages, and certainly not by those who are unintelligent like animals. Neither the demigods and sages nor the unintelligent can understand the features of the Lord, nor can they express in words His actual position. May that Supreme Personality of Godhead give me protection. Renunciants and great sages who see all living beings equally, who are friendly to everyone and who flawlessly practice in the forest the vows of brahmacarya, vanaprastha and sannyasa desire to see the all-auspicious lotus feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. May that same Supreme Personality of Godhead be my destination. The Supreme Personality of Godhead has no material birth, activities, name, form, qualities or faults. To fulfill the purpose for which this material world is created and destroyed, He comes in the form of a human being like Lord Rama or Lord Krishna by His original internal potency. He has immense potency, and in various forms, all free from material contamination, He acts wonderfully. He is therefore the Supreme Brahman. I offer my respects to Him. I offer my respectful obeisances unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the self-effulgent Supersoul, who is the witness in everyone's heart, who enlightens the individual soul and who cannot be reached by exercises of the mind, words or consciousness. The Supreme Personality of Godhead is realized by pure devotees who act in the transcendental existence of bhakti-yoga. He is the bestower of uncontaminated happiness and is the master of the transcendental world. Therefore I offer my respect unto Him. I offer my respectful obeisances to Lord Vasudeva, who is all-pervading, to the Lord's fierce form as Lord Nrsimhadeva, to the Lord's form as an animal [Lord Varahadeva], to Lord Dattatreya, who preached impersonalism, to Lord Buddha, and to all the other incarnations. I offer my respectful obeisances unto the Lord, who has no material qualities but who accepts the three qualities goodness, passion and ignorance within this material world. I also offer my respectful obeisances unto the impersonal Brahman effulgence. I beg to offer my respectful obeisances unto You, who are the Supersoul, the superintendent of everything, and the witness of all that occurs. You are the Supreme Person, the origin of material nature and of the total material energy. You are also the owner of the material body. Therefore, You are the supreme complete. I offer my respectful obeisances unto You. My Lord, You are the observer of all the objectives of the senses. Without Your mercy, there is no possibility of solving the problem of doubts. The material world is just like a shadow resembling You. Indeed, one accepts this material world as real because it gives a glimpse of Your existence. My Lord, You are the cause of all causes, but You Yourself have no cause. Therefore You are the wonderful cause of everything. I offer my respectful obeisances unto You, who are the shelter of the Vedic knowledge contained in the sastras like the Pancaratras and Vedanta-sutra, which are Your representations, and who are the source of the parampara system. Because it is You who can give liberation, You are the only shelter for all transcendentalists. Let me offer my respectful obeisances unto You. My Lord, as the fire in arani wood is covered, You and Your unlimited knowledge are covered by the material modes of nature. Your mind, however, is not attentive to the activities of the modes of nature. Those who are advanced in spiritual knowledge are not subject to the regulative principles directed in the Vedic literatures. Because such advanced souls are transcendental, You personally appear in their pure minds. Therefore I offer my respectful obeisances unto You. Since an animal such as I has surrendered unto You, who are supremely liberated, certainly You will release me from this dangerous position. Indeed, being extremely merciful, You incessantly try to deliver me. By your partial feature as Paramatma, You are situated in the hearts of all embodied beings. You are celebrated as direct transcendental knowledge, and You are unlimited. I offer my respectful obeisances unto You, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. My Lord, those who are completely freed from material contamination always meditate upon You within the cores of their hearts. You are extremely difficult to attain for those like me who are too attached to mental concoction, home, relatives, friends, money, servants and assistants. You are the Supreme Personality of Godhead, uncontaminated by the modes of nature. You are the reservoir of all enlightenment, the supreme controller. I therefore offer my respectful obeisances unto You. After worshiping the Supreme Personality of Godhead, those who are interested in the four principles of religion, economic development, sense gratification and liberation obtain from Him what they desire. What then is to be said of other benedictions? Indeed, sometimes the Lord gives a spiritual body to such ambitious worshipers. May that Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is unlimitedly merciful, bestow upon me the benediction of liberation from this present danger and from the materialistic way of life. Unalloyed devotees, who have no desire other than to serve the Lord, worship Him in full surrender and always hear and chant about His activities, which are most wonderful and auspicious. Thus they always merge in an ocean of transcendental bliss. Such devotees never ask the Lord for any benediction. I, however, am in danger. Thus I pray to that Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is eternally existing, who is invisible, who is the Lord of all great personalities, such as Brahma, and who is available only by transcendental bhakti-yoga. Being extremely subtle, He is beyond the reach of my senses and transcendental to all external realization. He is unlimited, He is the original cause, and He is completely full in everything. I offer my obeisances unto Him. The Supreme Personality of Godhead creates His minor parts and parcels, the jiva-tattva, beginning with Lord Brahma, the demigods and the expansions of Vedic knowledge [Sama, Rg, Yajur and Atharva] and including all other living entities, moving and nonmoving, with their different names and characteristics. As the sparks of a fire or the shining rays of the sun emanate from their source and merge into it again and again, the mind, the intelligence, the senses, the gross and subtle material bodies, and the continuous transformations of the different modes of nature all emanate from the Lord and again merge into Him. He is neither demigod nor demon, neither human nor bird or beast. He is not woman, man, or neuter, nor is He an animal. He is not a material quality, a fruitive activity, a manifestation or nonmanifestation. He is the last word in the discrimination of "not this, not this," and He is unlimited. All glories to the Supreme Personality of Godhead! I do not wish to live anymore after I am released from the attack of the crocodile. What is the use of an elephant's body covered externally and internally by ignorance? I simply desire eternal liberation from the covering of ignorance. That covering is not destroyed by the influence of time. Now, fully desiring release from material life, I offer my respectful obeisances unto that Supreme Person who is the creator of the universe, who is Himself the form of the universe and who is nonetheless transcendental to this cosmic manifestation. He is the supreme knower of everything in this world, the Supersoul of the universe. He is the unborn, supremely situated Lord. I offer my respectful obeisances unto Him. I offer my respectful obeisances unto the Supreme, the Supersoul, the master of all mystic yoga, who is seen in the core of the heart by perfect mystics when they are completely purified and freed from the reactions of fruitive activity by practicing bhakti-yoga. My Lord, You are the controller of formidable strength in three kinds of energy. You appear as the reservoir of all sense pleasure and the protector of the surrendered souls. You possess unlimited energy, but You are unapproachable by those who are unable to control their senses. I offer my respectful obeisances unto You again and again. I offer my respectful obeisances unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead, by whose illusory energy the jiva, who is part and parcel of God, forgets his real identity because of the bodily concept of life. I take shelter of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, whose glories are difficult to understand. Sri Sukadeva Gosvami continued: When the King of the elephants was describing the supreme authority, without mentioning any particular person, he did not invoke the demigods, headed by Lord Brahma, Lord Shiva, Indra and Candra. Thus none of them approached him. However, because Lord Hari is the Supersoul, Purusottama, the Personality of Godhead, He appeared before Gajendra. After understanding the awkward condition of Gajendra, who had offered his prayers, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Hari, who lives everywhere, appeared with the demigods, who were offering prayers to Him. Carrying His disc and other weapons, He appeared there on the back of His carrier, Garuda, with great speed, according to His desire. Thus He appeared before Gajendra. Gajendra had been forcefully captured by the crocodile in the water and was feeling acute pain, but when he saw that Narayana, wielding His disc, was coming in the sky on the back of Garuda, he immediately took a lotus flower in his trunk, and with great difficulty due to his painful condition, he uttered the following words: "O my Lord, Narayana, master of the universe, O Supreme Personality of Godhead, I offer my respectful obeisances unto You." Thereafter, seeing Gajendra in such an aggrieved position, the unborn Supreme Personality of Godhead, Hari, immediately got down from the back of Garuda by His causeless mercy and pulled the King of the elephants, along with the crocodile, out of the water. Then, in the presence of all the demigods, who were looking on, the Lord severed the crocodile's mouth from its body with His disc. In this way He saved Gajendra, the King of the elephants. Chapter Four : Gajendra Returns to the Spiritual World Sri Sukadeva Gosvami said: When the Lord delivered Gajendra, King of the elephants, all the demigods, sages and Gandharvas, headed by Brahma and Shiva, praised this activity of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and showered flowers upon both the Lord and Gajendra. There was a beating of kettledrums in the heavenly planets, the inhabitants of Gandharvaloka began to dance and sing, while great sages and the inhabitants of Caranaloka and Siddhaloka offered prayers to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Purusottama. The best of the Gandharvas, King Huhu, having been cursed by Devala Muni, had become a crocodile. Now, having been delivered by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he assumed a very beautiful form as a Gandharva. Understanding by whose mercy this had happened, he immediately offered his respectful obeisances with his head and began chanting prayers just suitable for the transcendental Lord, the supreme eternal, who is worshiped by the choicest verses. Having been favored by the causeless mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and having regained his original form, King Huhu circumambulated the Lord and offered his obeisances. Then, in the presence of all the demigods, headed by Brahma, he returned to Gandharvaloka. He had been freed of all sinful reactions. Because Gajendra, King of the elephants, had been touched directly by the hands of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he was immediately freed of all material ignorance and bondage. Thus he received the salvation of sarupya-mukti, in which he achieved the same bodily features as the Lord, being dressed in yellow garments and possessing four hands. This Gajendra had formerly been a Vaisnava and the king of the country known as Pandya, which is in the province of Dravida [South India]. In his previous life, he was known as Indradyumna Maharaja. Indradyumna Maharaja retired from family life and went to the Malaya Hills, where he had a small cottage for his asrama. He wore matted locks on his head and always engaged in austerities. Once, while observing a vow of silence, he was fully engaged in the worship of the Lord and absorbed in the ecstasy of love of Godhead. While Indradyumna Maharaja was engaged in ecstatic meditation, worshiping the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the great sage Agastya Muni arrived there, surrounded by his disciples. When the Muni saw that Maharaja Indradyumna, who was sitting in a secluded place, remained silent and did not follow the etiquette of offering him a reception, he was very angry. Agastya Muni then spoke this curse against the King: This King Indradyumna is not at all gentle. Being low and uneducated, he has insulted a brahmana. May he therefore enter the region of darkness and receive the dull, dumb body of an elephant. Sukadeva Gosvami continued: My dear King, after Agastya Muni had thus cursed King Indradyumna, the Muni left that place along with his disciples. Since the King was a devotee, he accepted Agastya Muni's curse as welcome because it was the desire of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Therefore, although in his next life he got the body of an elephant, because of devotional service he remembered how to worship and offer prayers to the Lord. Upon delivering the King of the elephants from the clutches of the crocodile, and from material existence, which resembles a crocodile, the Lord awarded him the status of sarupya-mukti. In the presence of the Gandharvas, the Siddhas and the other demigods, who were praising the Lord for His wonderful transcendental activities, the Lord, sitting on the back of His carrier, Garuda, returned to His all-wonderful abode and took Gajendra with Him. My dear King Pariksit, I have now described the wonderful power of Krishna, as displayed when the Lord delivered the King of the elephants. O best of the Kuru dynasty, those who hear this narration become fit to be promoted to the higher planetary systems. Simply because of hearing this narration, they gain a reputation as devotees, they are unaffected by the contamination of Kali-yuga, and they never see bad dreams. Therefore, after getting up from bed in the morning, those who desire their own welfare--especially the brahmanas, ksatriyas, vaisyas and in particular the brahmana Vaisnavas--should chant this narration as it is, without deviation, to counteract the troubles of bad dreams. O best of the Kuru dynasty, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the Supersoul of everyone, being thus pleased, addressed Gajendra in the presence of everyone there. He spoke the following blessings. The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: Freed from all sinful reactions are those who rise from bed at the end of night, early in the morning, and fully concentrate their minds with great attention upon My form; your form; this lake; this mountain; the caves; the gardens; the cane plants; the bamboo plants; the celestial trees; the residential quarters of Me, Lord Brahma and Lord Shiva; the three peaks of Trikuta Mountain, made of gold, silver and iron; My very pleasing abode [the ocean of milk]; the white island, Svetadvipa, which is always brilliant with spiritual rays; My mark of Srivatsa; the Kaustubha gem; My Vaijayanti garland; My club, Kaumodaki; My Sudarsana disc and Pancajanya conchshell; My bearer, Garuda, the king of the birds; My bed, Sesa Naga; My expansion of energy the goddess of fortune; Lord Brahma; Narada Muni; Lord Shiva; Prahlada; My incarnations like Matsya, Kurma and Varaha; My unlimited all-auspicious activities, which yield piety to he who hears them; the sun; the moon; fire; the mantra omkara; the Absolute Truth; the total material energy; the cows and brahmanas; devotional service; the wives of Soma and Kasyapa, who are all daughters of King Daksa; the Rivers Ganges, Sarasvati, Nanda and Yamuna [Kalindi]; the elephant Airavata; Dhruva Maharaja; the seven rsis; and the pious human beings. My dear devotee, unto those who rise from bed at the end of night and offer Me the prayers offered by you, I give an eternal residence in the spiritual world at the end of their lives. Sri Sukadeva Gosvami continued: After giving this instruction, the Lord, who is known as Hrsikesa, bugled with His Pancajanya conchshell, in this way pleasing all the demigods, headed by Lord Brahma. Then He mounted the back of His carrier, Garuda. Chapter Five : The Demigods Appeal to the Lord for Protection Sukadeva Gosvami continued: O King, I have described to you the pastime of Gajendra-moksana, which is most pious to hear. By hearing of such activities of the Lord, one can be freed from all sinful reactions. Now please listen as I describe Raivata Manu. The brother of Tamasa Manu was the fifth Manu, named Raivata. His sons were headed by Arjuna, Bali and Vindhya. O King, in the millennium of Raivata Manu the King of heaven was known as Vibhu, among the demigods were the Bhutamyas, and among the seven brahmanas who occupied the seven planets were Hiranyaroma, Vedasira and Urdhvabahu. From the combination of Subhra and his wife, Vikuntha, there appeared the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vaikuntha, along with demigods who were His personal plenary expansions. Just to please the goddess of fortune, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vaikuntha, at her request, created another Vaikuntha planet, which is worshiped by everyone. Although the great activities and transcendental qualities of the Supreme Personality of Godhead's various incarnations are wonderfully described, sometimes we are unable to understand them. Yet everything is possible for Lord Vishnu. If one could count the atoms of the universe, then he could count the qualities of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. But no one can count the atoms of the universe, nor can anyone count the transcendental qualities of the Lord. The son of Caksu known as Caksusa was the sixth Manu. He had many sons, headed by Puru, Purusa and Sudyumna. During the reign of Caksusa Manu, the King of heaven was known as Mantradruma. Among the demigods were the Apyas, and among the great sages were Havisman and Viraka. In this sixth manvantara millennium, Lord Vishnu, the master of the universe, appeared in His partial expansion. He was begotten by Vairaja in the womb of his wife, Devasambhuti, and His name was Ajita. By churning the ocean of milk, Ajita produced nectar for the demigods. In the form of a tortoise, He moved here and there, carrying on His back the great mountain known as Mandara. King Pariksit inquired: O great brahmana, Sukadeva Gosvami, why and how did Lord Vishnu churn the ocean of milk? For what reason did He stay in the water as a tortoise and hold up Mandara Mountain? Mow did the demigods obtain the nectar, and what other things were produced from the churning of the ocean? Kindly describe all these wonderful activities of the Lord. My heart, which is disturbed by the three miserable conditions of material life, is not yet sated with hearing you describe the glorious activities of the Lord, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is the master of the devotees. Sri Suta Gosvami said: O learned brahmanas assembled here at Naimisaranya, when Sukadeva Gosvami, the son of Dvaipayana, was thus questioned by the King, he congratulated the King and then endeavored to describe further the glories of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Sukadeva Gosvami said: When the asuras, with their serpent weapons, severely attacked the demigods in a fight, many of the demigods fell and lost their lives. Indeed, they could not be revived. At that time, O King, the demigods had been cursed by Durvasa Muni, the three worlds were poverty-stricken, and therefore ritualistic ceremonies could not be performed. The effects of this were very serious. Lord Indra, Varuna and the other demigods, seeing their lives in such a state, consulted among themselves, but they could not find any solution. Then all the demigods assembled and went together to the peak of Sumeru Mountain. There, in the assembly of Lord Brahma, they fell down to offer Lord Brahma their obeisances, and then they informed him of all the incidents that had taken place. Upon seeing that the demigods were bereft of all influence and strength and that the three worlds were consequently devoid of auspiciousness, and upon seeing that the demigods were in an awkward position whereas all the demons were flourishing, Lord Brahma, who is above all the demigods and who is most powerful, concentrated his mind on the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Thus being encouraged, he became bright-faced and spoke to the demigods as follows. Lord Brahma said: I, Lord Shiva, all of you demigods, the demons, the living entities born of perspiration, the living beings born of eggs, the trees and plants sprouting from the earth, and the living entities born from embryos--all come from the Supreme Lord, from His incarnation of rajo-guna [Lord Brahma, the guna-avatara] and from the great sages [rsis] who are part of me. Let us therefore go to the Supreme Lord and take shelter of His lotus feet. For the Supreme Personality of Godhead there is no one to be killed, no one to be protected, no one to be neglected and no one to be worshiped. Nonetheless, for the sake of creation, maintenance and annihilation according to time, He accepts different forms as incarnations either in the mode of goodness, the mode of passion or the mode of ignorance. Now is the time to invoke the mode of goodness of the living entities who have accepted material bodies. The mode of goodness is meant to establish the Supreme Lord's rule, which will maintain the existence of the creation. Therefore, this is the opportune moment to take shelter of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Because He is naturally very kind and dear to the demigods, He will certainly bestow good fortune upon us. O Maharaja Pariksit, subduer of all enemies, after Lord Brahma finished speaking to the demigods, he took them with him to the abode of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, which is beyond this material world. The Lord's abode is on an island called Svetadvipa, which is situated in the ocean of milk. There [at Svetadvipa], Lord Brahma offered prayers to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, even though he had never seen the Supreme Lord. Simply because Lord Brahma had heard about the Supreme Personality of Godhead from Vedic literature, with a fixed mind he offered the Lord prayers as written or approved by Vedic literature. Lord Brahma said: O Supreme Lord, O changeless, unlimited supreme truth. You are the origin of everything. Being all-pervading, You are in everyone's heart and also in the atom. You have no material qualities. Indeed, You are inconceivable. The mind cannot catch You by speculation, and words fail to describe You. You are the supreme master of everyone, and therefore You are worshipable for everyone. We offer our respectful obeisances unto You. The Supreme Personality of Godhead directly and indirectly knows how everything, including the living force, mind and intelligence, is working under His control. He is the illuminator of everything and has no ignorance. He does not have a material body subject to the reactions of previous activities, and He is free from the ignorance of partiality and materialistic education. I therefore take shelter of the lotus feet of the Supreme Lord, who is eternal, all-pervading and as great as the sky and who appears with six opulences in three yugas [Satya, Treta and Dvapara]. In the cycle of material activities, the material body resembles the wheel of a mental chariot. The ten senses [five for working and five for gathering knowledge] and the five life airs within the body form the fifteen spokes of the chariot's wheel. The three modes of nature [goodness, passion and ignorance] are its center of activities, and the eight ingredients of nature [earth, water, fire, air, sky, mind, intelligence and false ego] comprise the rim of the wheel. The external, material energy moves this wheel like electrical energy. Thus the wheel revolves very quickly around its hub or central support, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is the Supersoul and the ultimate truth. We offer our respectful obeisances unto Him. The Supreme Personality of Godhead is situated in pure goodness [suddha-sattva], and therefore He is eka-varna--the omkara [pranava]. Because the Lord is beyond the cosmic manifestation, which is considered to be darkness, He is not visible to material eyes. Nonetheless, He is not separated from us by time or space, but is present everywhere. Seated on His carrier, Garuda, He is worshiped by means of mystical yogic power by those who have achieved freedom from agitation. Let us all offer our respectful obeisances unto Him. No one can overcome the Supreme Personality of Godhead's illusory energy [maya], which is so strong that it bewilders everyone, making one lose the sense to understand the aim of life. That same maya, however, is subdued by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who rules everyone and who is equally disposed toward all living entities. Let us offer our obeisances unto Him. Since our bodies are made of sattva-guna, we, the demigods, are internally and externally situated in goodness. All the great saints are also situated in that way. Therefore, if even we cannot understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead, what is to be said of those who are most insignificant in their bodily constitutions, being situated in the modes of passion and ignorance? How can they understand the Lord? Let us offer our respectful obeisances unto Him. On this earth there are four kinds of living entities, who are all created by Him. The material creation rests on His lotus feet. He is the great Supreme Person, full of opulence and power. May He be pleased with us. The entire cosmic manifestation has emerged from water, and it is because of water that all living entities endure, live and develop. This water is nothing but the semen of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Therefore, may the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who has such great potency, be pleased with us. Soma, the moon, is the source of food grains, strength and longevity for all the demigods. He is also the master of all vegetation and the source of generation for all living entities. As stated by learned scholars, the moon is the mind of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. May that Supreme Personality of Godhead, the source of all opulences, be pleased with us. Fire, which is born for the sake of accepting oblations in ritualistic ceremonies, is the mouth of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Fire exists within the depths of the ocean to produce wealth, and fire is also present in the abdomen to digest food and produce various secretions for the maintenance of the body. May that supremely powerful Personality of Godhead be pleased with us. The sun-god marks the path of liberation, which is called arciradi-vartma. He is the chief source for understanding of the Vedas, he is the abode where the Absolute Truth can be worshiped, He is the gateway to liberation, and he is the source of eternal life as well as the cause of death. The sun-god is the eye of the Lord. May that Supreme Lord, who is supremely opulent, be pleased with us. All living entities, moving and nonmoving, receive their vital force, their bodily strength and their very lives from the air. All of us follow the air for our vital force, exactly as servants follow an emperor. The vital force of air is generated from the original vital force of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. May that Supreme Lord be pleased with us. May the supremely powerful Personality of Godhead be pleased with us. The different directions are generated from His ears, the holes of the body come from His heart, and the vital force, the senses, the mind, the air within the body, and the ether, which is the shelter of the body, come from His navel. Mahendra, the King of Heaven, was generated from the prowess of the Lord, the demigods were generated from the mercy of the Lord, Lord Shiva was generated from the anger of the Lord, and Lord Brahma from His sober intelligence. The Vedic mantras were generated from the bodily holes of the Lord, and the great saints and prajapatis were generated from His genitals. May that supremely powerful Lord be pleased with us. The goddess of fortune was generated from His chest, the inhabitants of Pitrloka from His shadow, religion from His bosom, and irreligion [the opposite of religion] from His back. The heavenly planets were generated from the top of His head, and the Apsaras from His sense enjoyment. May that supremely powerful Personality of Godhead be pleased with us. The bramanas and Vedic knowledge come from the mouth of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the ksatriyas and bodily strength come from His arms, the vaisyas and their expert knowledge in productivity and wealth come from His thighs, and the sudras, who are outside of Vedic knowledge, come from His feet. May that Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is full in prowess, be pleased with us. Greed is generated from His lower lip, affection from His upper lip, bodily luster from His nose, animalistic lusty desires from His sense of touch, Yamaraja from His eyebrows, and eternal time from His eyelashes. May that Supreme Lord be pleased with us. All learned men say that the five elements, eternal time, fruitive activity, the three modes of material nature, and the varieties produced by these modes are all creations of yogamaya. This material world is therefore extremely difficult to understand, but those who are highly learned have rejected it. May the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is the controller of everything, be pleased with us. Let us offer our respectful obeisances unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is completely silent, free from endeavor, and completely satisfied by His own achievements. He is not attached to the activities of the material world through His senses. Indeed, in performing His pastimes in this material world, He is just like the unattached air. O Supreme Personality of Godhead, we are surrendered unto You, yet we wish to see You. Please make Your original form and smiling lotus face visible to our eyes and appreciable to our other senses. O Lord, O Supreme Personality of Godhead, by Your sweet will You appear in various incarnations, millennium after millennium, and act wonderfully, performing uncommon activities that would be impossible for us. Karmis are always anxious to accumulate wealth for their sense gratification, but for that purpose they must work very hard. Yet even though they work hard, the results are not satisfying. Indeed, sometimes their work results only in frustration. But devotees who have dedicated their lives to the service of the Lord can achieve substantial results without working very hard. These results exceed the devotee's expectations. Activities dedicated to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, even if performed in small measure, never go in vain. The Supreme Personality of Godhead, being the supreme father, is naturally very dear and always ready to act for the good of the living entities. When one pours water on the root of a tree, the trunk and branches of the tree are automatically pleased. Similarly, when one becomes a devotee of Lord Vishnu, everyone is served, for the Lord is the Supersoul of everyone. My Lord, all obeisances unto You, who are eternal, beyond time's limits of past, present and future. You are inconceivable in Your activities, You are the master of the three modes of material nature, and, being transcendental to all material qualities, You are free from material contamination. You are the controller of all three of the modes of nature, but at the present You are in favor of the quality of goodness. Let us offer our respectful obeisances unto You. Chapter Six : The Demigods and Demons Declare a Truce Sri Sukadeva Gosvami said: O King Pariksit, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Hari, being thus worshiped with prayers by the demigods and Lord Brahma, appeared before them. His bodily effulgence resembled the simultaneous rising of thousands of suns. The vision of all the demigods was blocked by the Lord's effulgence. Thus they could see neither the sky, the directions, the land, nor even themselves, what to speak of seeing the Lord, who was present before them. Lord Brahma, along with Lord Shiva, saw the crystal-clear personal beauty of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, whose blackish body resembles a marakata gem, whose eyes are reddish like the depths of a lotus, who is dressed with garments that are yellow like molten gold, and whose entire body is attractively decorated. They saw His beautiful, smiling, lotuslike face, crowned by a helmet bedecked with valuable jewels. The Lord has attractive eyebrows, and His cheeks are adorned with earrings. Lord Brahma and Lord Shiva saw the belt on the Lord's waist, the bangles on Mis arms, the necklace on His chest, and the ankle bells on His legs. The Lord is bedecked with flower garlands, His neck is decorated with the Kaustubha gem, and He carries with Him the goddess of fortune and His personal weapons, like His disc and club. When Lord Brahma, along with Lord Shiva and the other demigods, thus saw the form of the Lord, they all immediately fell to the ground, offering their obeisances. Lord Brahma said: Although You are never born, Your appearance and disappearance as an incarnation never cease. You are always free from the material qualities, and You are the shelter of transcendental bliss resembling an ocean. Eternally existing in Your transcendental form, You are the supreme subtle of the most extremely subtle. We therefore offer our respectful obeisances unto You, the Supreme, whose existence is inconceivable. O best of persons, O supreme director, those who actually aspire for supreme good fortune worship this form of Your Lordship according to the Vedic Tantras. My Lord, we can see all the three worlds in You. My dear Lord, who are always fully independent, this entire cosmic manifestation arises from You, rests upon You and ends in You. Your Lordship is the beginning, sustenance and end of everything, like the earth, which is the cause of an earthen pot, which supports the pot, and to which the pot, when broken, finally returns. O Supreme, You are independent in Your self and do not take help from others. Through Your own potency, You create this cosmic manifestation and enter into it. Those who are advanced in Krishna consciousness, who are fully in knowledge of the authoritative sastra, and who, through the practice of bhakti-yoga, are cleansed of all material contamination, can see with clear minds that although You exist within the transformations of the material qualities, Your presence is untouched by these qualities. As one can derive fire from wood, milk from the milk bag of the cow, food grains and water from the land, and prosperity in one's livelihood from industrial enterprises, so, by the practice of bhakti-yoga, even within this material world, one can achieve Your favor or intelligently approach You. Those who are pious all affirm this. Elephants afflicted by a forest fire become very happy when they get water from the Ganges. Similarly, O my Lord, from whose navel grows a lotus flower, since You have now appeared before us, we have become transcendentally happy. By seeing Your Lordship, whom we have desired to see for a very long time, we have achieved our ultimate goal in life. My Lord, we, the various demigods, the directors of this universe, have come to Your lotus feet. Please fulfill the purpose for which we have come. You are the witness of everything, from within and without. Nothing is unknown to You, and therefore it is unnecessary to inform You again of anything. I [Lord Brahma], Lord Shiva and all the demigods, accompanied by the prajapatis like Daksa, are nothing but sparks illuminated by You, who are the original fire. Since we are particles of You, what can we understand about our welfare? O Supreme Lord, please give us the means of deliverance that is suitable for the brahmanas and demigods. Sukadeva Gosvami continued: When the Lord was thus offered prayers by the demigods, headed by Lord Brahma, He understood the purpose for which they had approached Him. Therefore, in a deep voice that resembled the rumbling of clouds, the Lord replied to the demigods, who all stood there attentively with folded hands. Although the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the master of the demigods, was capable of performing the activities of the demigods by Himself, He wanted to enjoy pastimes in churning the ocean. Therefore He spoke as follows. The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: O Lord Brahma, Lord Shiva and other demigods, please hear Me with great attention, for what I say will bring good fortune for all of you. As long as you are not flourishing, you should make a truce with the demons and asuras, who are now being favored by time. O demigods, fulfilling one's own interests is so important that one may even have to make a truce with one's enemies. For the sake of one's self-interest, one has to act according to the logic of the snake and the mouse. Immediately endeavor to produce nectar, which a person who is about to die may drink to become immortal. O demigods, cast into the ocean of milk all kinds of vegetables, grass, creepers and drugs. Then, with My help, making Mandara Mountain the churning rod and Vasuki the rope for churning, churn the ocean of milk with undiverted attention. Thus the demons will be engaged in labor, but you, the demigods, will gain the actual result, the nectar produced from the ocean. My dear demigods, with patience and peace everything can be done, but if one is agitated by anger, the goal is not achieved. Therefore, whatever the demons ask, agree to their proposal. A poison known as kalakuta will be generated from the ocean of milk, but you should not fear it. And when various products are churned from the ocean, you should not be greedy for them or anxious to obtain them, nor should you be angry. Sukadeva Gosvami continued: O King Pariksit, after advising the demigods in this way, the independent Supreme Personality of Godhead, the best of all living entities, disappeared from their presence. Then Lord Brahma and Lord Shiva, after offering their respectful obeisances to the Lord, returned to their abodes. All the demigods then approached Maharaja Bali. Maharaja Bali, a most celebrated king of the demons, knew very well when to make peace and when to fight. Thus although his commanders and captains were agitated and were about to kill the demigods, Maharaja Bali, seeing that the demigods were coming to him without a militant attitude, forbade his commanders to kill them. The demigods approached Bali Maharaja, the son of Virocana, and sat down near him. Bali Maharaja was protected by the commanders of the demons and was most opulent, having conquered all the universes. After pleasing Bali Maharaja with mild words, Lord Indra, the King of the demigods, who was most intelligent, very politely submitted all the proposals he had learned from the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Vishnu. The proposals submitted by King Indra were immediately accepted by Bali Maharaja and his assistants, headed by Sambara and Aristanemi, and by all the other residents of Tripura. O Maharaja Pariksit, chastiser of enemies, the demigods and the demons thereafter made an armistice between them. Then, with great enterprise, they arranged to produce nectar, as proposed by Lord Indra. Thereafter, with great strength, the demons and demigods, who were all very powerful and who had long, stout arms, uprooted Mandara Mountain. Crying very loudly, they brought it toward the ocean of milk. Because of conveying the great mountain for a long distance, King Indra, Maharaja Bali and the other demigods and demons became fatigued. Being unable to carry the mountain, they left it on the way. The mountain known as Mandara, which was extremely heavy, being made of gold, fell and smashed many demigods and demons. The demigods and demons were frustrated and disheartened, and their arms, thighs and shoulders were broken. Therefore the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who knows everything, appeared there on the back of His carrier, Garuda. Observing that most of the demons and the demigods had been crushed by the falling of the mountain, the Lord glanced over them and brought them back to life. Thus they became free from grief, and they even had no bruises on their bodies. The Lord very easily lifted the mountain with one hand and placed it on the back of Garuda. Then, He too got on the back of Garuda and went to the ocean of milk, surrounded by the demigods and demons. Thereafter, Garuda, the chief of birds, unloaded Mandara Mountain from his shoulder and brought it near the water. Then he was asked by the Lord to leave that place, and he left. Chapter Seven : Lord Shiva Saves the Universe by Drinking Poison Sukadeva Gosvami said: O best of the Kurus, Maharaja Pariksit, the demigods and demons summoned Vasuki, king of the serpents, requesting him to come and promising to give him a share of the nectar. They coiled Vasuki around Mandara Mountain as a churning rope, and with great pleasure they endeavored to produce nectar by churning the ocean of milk. The Personality of Godhead, Ajita, grasped the front portion of the snake, and then the demigods followed. The leaders of the demons thought it unwise to hold the tail, the inauspicious portion of the snake. Instead, they wanted to hold the front, which had been taken by the Personality of Godhead and the demigods, because that portion was auspicious and glorious. Thus the demons, on the plea that they were all highly advanced students of Vedic knowledge and were all famous for their birth and activities, protested that they wanted to hold the front of the snake. Thus the demons remained silent, opposing the desire of the demigods. Seeing the demons and understanding their motive, the Personality of Godhead smiled. Without discussion, He immediately accepted their proposal by grasping the tail of the snake, and the demigods followed Him. After thus adjusting how the snake was to be held, the sons of Kasyapa, both demigods and demons, began their activities, desiring to get nectar by churning the ocean of milk. O son of the Pandu dynasty, when Mandara Mountain was thus being used as a churning rod in the ocean of milk, it had no support, and therefore although held by the strong hands of the demigods and demons, it sank into the water. Because the mountain had been sunk by the strength of providence, the demigods and demons were disappointed, and their faces seemed to shrivel. Seeing the situation that had been created by the will of the Supreme, the unlimitedly powerful Lord, whose determination is infallible, took the wonderful shape of a tortoise, entered the water, and lifted the great Mandara Mountain. When the demigods and demons saw that Mandara Mountain had been lifted, they were enlivened and encouraged to begin churning again. The mountain rested on the back of the great tortoise, which extended for eight hundred thousand miles like a large island. O King, when the demigods and demons, by the strength of their arms, rotated Mandara Mountain on the back of the extraordinary tortoise, the tortoise accepted the rolling of the mountain as a means of scratching His body, and thus He felt a pleasing sensation. Thereafter, Lord Vishnu entered the demons as the quality of passion, the demigods as the quality of goodness, and Vasuki as the quality of ignorance to encourage them and increase their various types of strength and energy. Manifesting Himself with thousands of hands, the Lord then appeared on the summit of Mahdara Mountain, like another great mountain, and held Mandara Mountain with one hand. In the upper planetary systems, Lord Brahma and Lord Shiva, along with Indra, King of heaven, and other demigods, offered prayers to the Lord and showered flowers upon Him. The demigods and demons worked almost madly for the nectar, encouraged by the Lord, who was above and below the mountain and who had entered the demigods, the demons, Vasuki and the mountain itself. Because of the strength of the demigods and demons, the ocean of milk was so powerfully agitated that all the alligators in the water were very much perturbed. Nonetheless the churning of the ocean continued in this way. Vasuki had thousands of eyes and mouths. From his mouths he breathed smoke and blazing fire, which affected the demons, headed by Pauloma, Kaleya, Bali and Ilvala. Thus the demons, who appeared like sarala trees burned by a forest fire, gradually became powerless. Because the demigods were also affected by the blazing breath of Vasuki, their bodily lusters diminished, and their garments, garlands, weapons and faces were blackened by smoke. However, by the grace of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, clouds appeared on the sea, pouring torrents of rain, and breezes blew, carrying particles of water from the sea waves, to give the demigods relief. When nectar did not come from the ocean of milk, despite so much endeavor by the best of the demigods and demons, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Ajita, personally began to churn the ocean. The Lord appeared like a blackish cloud. He was dressed with yellow garments, His earrings shone on His ears like lightning, and His hair spread over His shoulders. He wore a garland of flowers, and His eyes were pinkish. With His strong, glorious arms, which award fearlessness throughout the universe, He took hold of Vasuki and began churning the ocean, using Mandara Mountain as a churning rod. When engaged in this way, the Lord appeared like a beautifully situated mountain named Indranila. The fish, sharks, tortoises and snakes were most agitated and perturbed. The entire ocean became turbulent, and even the large aquatic animals like whales, water elephants, crocodiles and timingila fish [large whales that can swallow small whales] came to the surface. While the ocean was being churned in this way, it first produced a fiercely dangerous poison called halahala. O King, when that uncontrollable poison was forcefully spreading up and down in all directions, all the demigods, along with the Lord Himself, approached Lord Shiva [Sadasiva]. Feeling unsheltered and very much afraid, they sought shelter of him. The demigods observed Lord Shiva sitting on the summit of Kailasa Hill with his wife, Bhavani, for the auspicious development of the three worlds. He was being worshiped by great saintly persons desiring liberation. The demigods offered him their obeisances and prayers with great respect. The prajapatis said: O greatest of all demigods, Mahadeva, Supersoul of all living entities and cause of their happiness and prosperity, we have come to the shelter of your lotus feet. Now please save us from this fiery poison, which is spreading all over the three worlds. O lord, you are the cause of bondage and liberation of the entire universe because you are its ruler. Those who are advanced in spiritual consciousness surrender unto you, and therefore you are the cause of mitigating their distresses, and you are also the cause of their liberation. We therefore worship Your Lordship. O lord, you are self-effulgent and supreme. You create this material world by your personal energy, and you assume the names Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesvara when you act in creation, maintenance and annihilation. You are the cause of all causes, the self-effulgent, inconceivable, impersonal Brahman, which is originally Parabrahman. You manifest various potencies in this cosmic manifestation. O lord, you are the original source of Vedic literature. You are the original cause of material creation, the life force, the senses, the five elements, the three modes and the mahat-tattva. You are eternal time, determination and the two religious systems called truth [satya] and truthfulness [rta]. You are the shelter of the syllable om, which consists of three letters a-u-m. O father of all planets, learned scholars know that fire is your mouth, the surface of the globe is your lotus feet, eternal time is your movement, all the directions are your ears, and Varuna, master of the waters, is your tongue. O lord, the sky is your navel, the air is your breathing, the sun is your eyes, and the water is your semen. You are the shelter of all kinds of living entities, high and low. The god of the moon is your mind, and the upper planetary system is your head. O lord, you are the three Vedas personified. The seven seas are your abdomen, and the mountains are your bones. All drugs, creepers and vegetables are the hairs on your body, the Vedic mantras like Gayatri are the seven layers of your body, and the Vedic religious system is the core of your heart. O lord, the five important Vedic mantras are represented by your five faces, from which the thirty-eight most celebrated Vedic mantras have been generated. Your Lordship, being celebrated as Lord Shiva, is self-illuminated. You are directly situated as the supreme truth, known as Paramatma. O lord, your shadow is seen in irreligion, which brings about varieties of irreligious creations. The three modes of nature--goodness, passion and ignorance--are your three eyes. All the Vedic literatures, which are full of verses, are emanations from you because their compilers wrote the various scriptures after receiving your glance. O Lord Girisa, since the impersonal Brahman effulgence is transcendental to the material modes of goodness, passion and ignorance, the various directors of this material world certainly cannot appreciate it or even know where it is. It is not understandable even to Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu or the King of heaven, Mahendra. When annihilation is performed by the flames and sparks emanating from your eyes, the entire creation is burned to ashes. Nonetheless, you do not know how this happens. What then is to be said of your destroying the Daksa-yajna, Tripurasura and the kalakuta poison? Such activities cannot be subject matters for prayers offered to you. Exalted, self-satisfied persons who preach to the entire world think of your lotus feet constantly within their hearts. However, when persons who do not know your austerity see you moving with Uma, they misunderstand you to be lusty, or when they see you wandering in the crematorium they mistakenly think that you are ferocious and envious. Certainly they are shameless. They cannot understand your activities. Even personalities like Lord Brahma and other demigods cannot understand your position, for you are beyond the moving and nonmoving creation. Since no one can understand you in truth, how can one offer you prayers? It is impossible. As far as we are concerned, we are creatures of Lord Brahma's creation. Under the circumstances, therefore, we cannot offer you adequate prayers, but as far as our ability allows, we have expressed our feelings. O greatest of all rulers, your actual identity is impossible for us to understand. As far as we can see, your presence brings flourishing happiness to everyone. Beyond this, no one can appreciate your activities. We can see this much, and nothing more. Srila Sukadeva Gosvami continued: Lord Shiva is always benevolent toward all living entities. When he saw that the living entities were very much disturbed by the poison, which was spreading everywhere, he was very compassionate. Thus he spoke to his eternal consort, Sati, as follows. Lord Shiva said: My dear Bhavani, just see how all these living entities have been placed in danger because of the poison produced from the churning of the ocean of milk. It is my duty to give protection and safety to all living entities struggling for existence. Certainly it is the duty of the master to protect his suffering dependents. People in general, being bewildered by the illusory energy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, are always engaged in animosity toward one another. But devotees, even at the risk of their own temporary lives, try to save them. My dear gentle wife Bhavani, when one performs benevolent activities for others, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Hari, is very pleased. And when the Lord is pleased, I am also pleased, along with all other living creatures. Therefore, let me drink this poison, for all the living entities may thus become happy because of me. Srila Sukadeva Gosvami continued: After informing Bhavani in this way, Lord Shiva began to drink the poison, and Bhavani, who knew perfectly well the capabilities of Lord Shiva, gave him her permission to do so. Thereafter, Lord Shiva, who is dedicated to auspicious, benevolent work for humanity, compassionately took the whole quantity of poison in his palm and drank it. As if in defamation, the poison born from the ocean of milk manifested its potency by marking Lord Shiva's neck with a bluish line. That line, however, is now accepted as an ornament of the Lord. It is said that great personalities almost always accept voluntary suffering because of the suffering of people in general. This is considered the highest method of worshiping the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is present in everyone's heart. Upon hearing of this act, everyone, including Bhavani [the daughter of Maharaja Daksa], Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu, and the people in general, very highly praised this deed performed by Lord Shiva, who is worshiped by the demigods and who bestows benedictions upon the people. Scorpions, cobras, poisonous drugs and other animals whose bites are poisonous took the opportunity to drink whatever little poison had fallen and scattered from Lord Shiva's hand while he was drinking. Chapter Eight : The Churning of the Milk Ocean Sukadeva Gosvami continued: Upon Lord Shiva's drinking the poison, both the demigods and the demons, being very pleased, began to churn the ocean with renewed vigor. As a result of this, there appeared a cow known as surabhi. O King Pariksit, great sages who were completely aware of the Vedic ritualistic ceremonies took charge of that surabhi cow, which produced all the yogurt, milk and ghee absolutely necessary for offering oblations into the fire. They did this just for the sake of pure ghee, which they wanted for the performance of sacrifices to elevate themselves to the higher planetary systems, up to Brahmaloka. Thereafter, a horse named Uccaihsrava, which was as white as the moon, was generated. Bali Maharaja desired to possess this horse, and Indra, the King of heaven, did not protest, for he had previously been so advised by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. As the next result of the churning, the king of elephants, named Airavata, was generated. This elephant was white, and with its four tusks it defied the glories of Kailasa Mountain, the glorious abode of Lord Shiva. Thereafter, O King, eight great elephants, which could go in any direction, were generated. They were headed by Airavana. Eight she-elephants, headed by Abhramu, were also generated. Generated thereafter from the great ocean were the celebrated gems Kaustubha- mani and Padmaraga-mani. Lord Vishnu, to decorate His chest, desired to possess them. Generated next was the parijata flower, which decorates the celestial planets. O King, as you fulfill the desires of everyone on this planet by fulfilling all ambitions, the parijata fulfills the desires of everyone. Next there appeared the Apsaras [who are used as prostitutes on the heavenly planets]. They were fully decorated with golden ornaments and lockets and were dressed in fine and attractive clothing. The Apsaras move very slowly in an attractive style that bewilders the inhabitants of the heavenly planets. Then there appeared the goddess of fortune, Rama, who is absolutely dedicated to being enjoyed by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. She appeared like electricity, surpassing the lightning that might illuminate a marble mountain. Because of her exquisite beauty, her bodily features, her youth, her complexion and her glories, everyone, including the demigods, the demons and the human beings, desired her. They were attracted because she is the source of all opulences. The King of heaven, Indra, brought a suitable sitting place for the goddess of fortune. All the rivers of sacred water, such as the Ganges and Yamuna, personified themselves, and each of them brought pure water in golden waterpots for mother Laksmi, the goddess of fortune. The land became a person and collected all the drugs and herbs needed for installing the Deity. The cows delivered five products, namely milk, yogurt, ghee, urine and cow dung, and spring personified collected everything produced in spring, during the months of Caitra and Vaisakha [April and May]. The great sages performed the bathing ceremony of the goddess of fortune as directed in the authorized scriptures, the Gandharvas chanted all-auspicious Vedic mantras, and the professional women dancers very nicely danced and sang authorized songs prescribed in the Vedas. The clouds in personified form beat various types of drums, known as mrdangas, panavas, murajas and anakas. They also blew conchshells and bugles known as gomukhas and played flutes and stringed instruments. The combined sound of these instruments was tumultuous. Thereafter, the great elephants from all the directions carried big water jugs full of Ganges water and bathed the goddess of fortune, to the accompaniment of Vedic mantras chanted by learned brahmanas. While thus being bathed, the goddess of fortune maintained her original style, with a lotus flower in her hand, and she appeared very beautiful. The goddess of fortune is the most chaste, for she does not know anyone but the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The ocean, which is the source of all valuable jewels, supplied the upper and lower portions of a yellow silken garment. The predominating deity of the water, Varuna, presented flower garlands surrounded by six-legged bumblebees, drunken with honey. Visvakarma, one of the prajapatis, supplied varieties of decorated ornaments. The goddess of learning, Sarasvati, supplied a necklace, Lord Brahma supplied a lotus flower, and the inhabitants of Nagaloka supplied earrings. Thereafter, mother Laksmi, the goddess of fortune, having been properly celebrated with an auspicious ritualistic ceremony, began moving about, holding in her hand a garland of lotus flowers, which were surrounded by humming bumblebees. Smiling with shyness, her cheeks decorated by her earrings, she looked extremely beautiful. Her two breasts, which were symmetrical and nicely situated, were covered with sandalwood pulp and kunkuma powder, and her waist was very thin. As she walked here and there, her ankle bells jingling softly, she appeared like a creeper of gold. While walking among the Gandharvas, Yaksas, asuras, Siddhas, Caranas and denizens of heaven, Laksmidevi, the goddess of fortune, was scrutinizingly examining them, but she could not find anyone naturally endowed with all good qualities. None of them was devoid of faults, and therefore she could not take shelter of any of them. The goddess of fortune, examining the assembly, thought in this way: Someone who has undergone great austerity has not yet conquered anger. Someone possesses knowledge, but he has not conquered material desires. Someone is a very great personality, but he cannot conquer lusty desires. Even a great personality depends on something else. How, then, can he be the supreme controller? Someone may possess full knowledge of religion but still not be kind to all living entities. In someone, whether human or demigod, there may be renunciation, but that is not the cause of liberation. Someone may possess great power and yet be unable to check the power of eternal time. Someone else may have renounced attachment to the material world, yet he cannot compare to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Therefore, no one is completely freed from the influence of the material modes of nature. Someone may have longevity but not have auspiciousness or good behavior. Someone may have both auspiciousness and good behavior, but the duration of his life is not fixed. Although such demigods as Lord Shiva have eternal life, they have inauspicious habits like living in crematoriums. And even if others are well qualified in all respects, they are not devotees of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Sukadeva Gosvami continued: In this way, after full deliberation, the goddess of fortune accepted Mukunda as her husband because although He is independent and not in want of her, He possesses all transcendental qualities and mystic powers and is therefore the most desirable. Approaching the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the goddess of fortune placed upon His shoulders the garland of newly grown lotus flowers, which was surrounded by humming bumblebees searching for honey. Then, expecting to get a place on the bosom of the Lord, she remained standing by His side, her face smiling in shyness. The Supreme Personality of Godhead is the father of the three worlds, and His bosom is the residence of mother Laksmi, the goddess of fortune, the proprietor of all opulences. The goddess of fortune, by her favorable and merciful glance, can increase the opulence of the three worlds, along with their inhabitants and their directors, the demigods. The inhabitants of Gandharvaloka and Caranaloka then took the opportunity to play their musical instruments, such as conchshells, bugles and drums. They began dancing and singing along with their wives. Lord Brahma, Lord Shiva, the great sage Angira, and similar directors of universal management showered flowers and chanted mantras indicating the transcendental glories of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. All the demigods, along with the prajapatis and their descendants, being blessed by Laksmiji's glance upon them, were immediately enriched with good behavior and transcendental qualities. Thus they were very much satisfied. O King, because of being neglected by the goddess of fortune, the demons and Raksasas were depressed, bewildered and frustrated, and thus they became shameless. Next appeared Varuni, the lotus-eyed goddess who controls drunkards. With the permission of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna, the demons, headed by Bali Maharaja, took possession of this young girl. O King, thereafter, while the sons of Kasyapa, both demons and demigods, were engaged in churning the ocean of milk, a very wonderful male person appeared. He was strongly built; his arms were long, stout and strong; his neck, which was marked with three lines, resembled a conchshell; his eyes were reddish; and his complexion was blackish. He was very young, he was garlanded with flowers, and his entire body was fully decorated with various ornaments. He was dressed in yellow garments and wore brightly polished earrings made of pearls. The tips of his hair were anointed with oil, and his chest was very broad. His body had all good features, he was stout and strong like a lion, and he was decorated with bangles. In his hand he carried a jug filled to the top with nectar. This person was Dhanvantari, a plenary portion of a plenary portion of Lord Vishnu. He was very conversant with the science of medicine, and as one of the demigods he was permitted to take a share in sacrifices. Upon seeing Dhanvantari carrying the jug of nectar, the demons, desiring the jug and its contents, immediately snatched it away by force. When the jug of nectar was carried off by the demons, the demigods were morose. Thus they sought shelter at the lotus feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Hari. When the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who always desires to fulfill the ambitions of His devotees, saw that the demigods were morose, He said to them, "Do not be aggrieved. By My own energy I shall bewilder the demons by creating a quarrel among them. In this way I shall fulfill your desire to have the nectar." O King, a quarrel then arose among the demons over who would get the nectar first. Each of them said, "You cannot drink it first. I must drink it first. Me first, not you!" Some of the demons said, "All the demigods have taken part in churning the ocean of milk. Now, as everyone has an equal right to partake in any public sacrifice, according to the eternal religious system it is befitting that the demigods now have a share of the nectar." O King, in this way the weaker demons forbade the stronger demons to take the nectar. The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vishnu, who can counteract any unfavorable situation, then assumed the form of an extremely beautiful woman. This incarnation as a woman, Mohini-murti, was most pleasing to the mind. Her complexion resembled in color a newly grown blackish lotus, and every part of Her body was beautifully situated. Her ears were equally decorated with earrings, Her cheeks were very beautiful, Her nose was raised and Her face full of youthful luster. Her large breasts made Her waist seem very thin. Attracted by the aroma of Her face and body, bumblebees hummed around Her, and thus Her eyes were restless. Her hair, which was extremely beautiful, was garlanded with mallika flowers. Her attractively constructed neck was decorated with a necklace and other ornaments, Her arms were decorated with bangles, Her body was covered with a clean sari, and Her breasts seemed like islands in an ocean of beauty. Her legs were decorated with ankle bells. Because of the movements of Her eyebrows as She smiled with shyness and glanced over the demons, all the demons were saturated with lusty desires, and every one of them desired to possess Her. Chapter Nine : The Lord Incarnates as Mohini-Murti Sukadeva Gosvami said: Thereafter, the demons became inimical toward one another. Throwing and snatching the container of nectar, they gave up their friendly relationship. Meanwhile, they saw a very beautiful young woman coming forward toward them. Upon seeing the beautiful woman, the demons said, "Alas, how wonderful is Her beauty, how wonderful the luster of Her body, and how wonderful the beauty of Her youthful age!" Speaking in this way, they quickly approached Her, full of lusty desires to enjoy Her, and began to inquire from Her in many ways. O wonderfully beautiful girl, You have such nice eyes, resembling the petals of a lotus flower. Who are You? Where do You come from? What is Your purpose in coming here, and to whom do You belong? O You whose thighs are extraordinarily beautiful, our minds are becoming agitated simply because of seeing You. What to speak of human beings, even the demigods, demons, Siddhas, Gandharvas, Caranas and the various directors of the universe, the Prajapatis, have never touched You before. It is not that we are unable to understand Your identity. O beautiful girl with beautiful eyebrows, certainly Providence, by His causeless mercy, has sent You to please the senses and minds of all of us. Is this not a fact? We are now all engaged in enmity among ourselves because of this one subject matter--the container of nectar. Although we have been born in the same family, we are becoming increasingly inimical. O thin-waisted woman, who are so beautiful in Your prestigious position, we therefore request You to favor us by settling our dispute. All of us, both demons and demigods, have been born of the same father, Kasyapa, and thus we are related as brothers. But now we are exhibiting our personal prowess in dissension. Therefore we request You to settle our dispute and divide the nectar equally among us. Having thus been requested by the demons, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who had assumed the form of a beautiful woman, began to smile. Looking at them with attractive feminine gestures, She spoke as follows. The Supreme Personality of Godhead, in the form of Mohini, told the demons: O sons of Kasyapa Muni, I am only a prostitute. Mow is it that you have so much faith in Me? A learned person never puts his faith in a woman. O demons, as monkeys, jackals and dogs are unsteady in their sexual relationships and want newer and newer friends every day, women who live independently seek new friends daily. Friendship with such a woman is never permanent. This is the opinion of learned scholars. Sri Sukadeva Gosvami continued: After the demons heard the words of Mohini- murti, who had spoken as if jokingly, they were all very confident. They laughed with gravity, and ultimately they delivered the container of nectar into Her hands. Thereafter, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, having taken possession of the container of nectar, smiled slightly and spoke in attractive words. She said: My dear demons, if you accept whatever I may do, whether honest or dishonest, then I can take responsibility for dividing the nectar among you. The chiefs of the demons were not very expert in deciding things. Upon hearing the sweet words of Mohini-murti, they immediately assented. "Yes," they answered. "What You have said is all right." Thus the demons agreed to accept Her decision. The demigods and demons then observed a fast. After bathing, they offered clarified butter and oblations into the fire and gave charity to the cows and to the brahmanas and members of the other orders of society, namely the ksatriyas, vaisyas and sudras, who were all rewarded as they deserved. Thereafter, the demigods and demons performed ritualistic ceremonies under the directions of the brahmanas. Then they dressed themselves with new garments according to their own choice, decorated their bodies with ornaments, and sat facing east on seats made of kusa grass. O King, as the demigods and demons sat facing east in an arena fully decorated with flower garlands and lamps and fragrant with the smoke of incense, that woman, dressed in a most beautiful sari, Her ankle bells tinkling, entered the arena, walking very slowly because of Her big, low hips. Her eyes were restless due to youthful pride, Her breasts were like water jugs, Her thighs resembled the trunks of elephants, and She carried a waterpot in Her hand. Her attractive nose and cheeks and Her ears, adorned with golden earrings, made Her face very beautiful. As She moved, Her sari's border on Her breasts moved slightly aside. When the demigods and demons saw these beautiful features of Mohini-murti, who was glancing at them and slightly smiling, they were all completely enchanted. Demons are by nature crooked like snakes. Therefore, to distribute a share of the nectar to them was not at all feasible, since this would be as dangerous as supplying milk to a snake. Considering this, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who never falls down, did not deliver a share of nectar to the demons. The Supreme Personality of Godhead as Mohini-murti, the master of the universe, arranged separate lines of sitting places and seated the demigods and demons according to their positions. Taking the container of nectar in Her hands, She first approached the demons, satisfied them with sweet words and thus cheated them of their share of the nectar. Then She administered the nectar to the demigods, who were sitting at a distant place, to make them free from invalidity, old age and death. O King, since the demons had promised to accept whatever the woman did, whether just or unjust, now, to keep this promise, to show their equilibrium and to save themselves from fighting with a woman, they remained silent. The demons had developed affection for Mohini-murti and a kind of faith in Her, and they were afraid of disturbing their relationship. Therefore they showed respect and honor to Her words and did not say anything that might disturb their friendship with Her. Rahu, the demon who causes eclipses of the sun and moon, covered himself with the dress of a demigod and thus entered the assembly of the demigods and drank nectar without being detected by anyone, even by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The moon and the sun, however, because of permanent animosity toward Rahu, understood the situation. Thus Rahu was detected. The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Hari, using His disc, which was sharp like a razor, at once cut off Rahu's head. When Rahu's head was severed from his body, the body, being untouched by the nectar, could not survive. Rahu's head, however, having been touched by the nectar, became immortal. Thus Lord Brahma accepted Rahu's head as one of the planets. Since Rahu is an eternal enemy of the moon and the sun, he always tries to attack them on the nights of the full moon and the dark moon. The Supreme Personality of Godhead is the best friend and well-wisher of the three worlds. Thus when the demigods had almost finished drinking the nectar, the Lord, in the presence of all the demons, disclosed His original form. The place, the time, the cause, the purpose, the activity and the ambition were all the same for both the demigods and the demons, but the demigods achieved one result and the demons another. Because the demigods are always under the shelter of the dust of the Lord's lotus feet, they could very easily drink the nectar and get its result. The demons, however, not having sought shelter at the lotus feet of the Lord, were unable to achieve the result they desired. In human society there are various activities performed for the protection of one's wealth and life by one's words, one's mind and one's actions, but they are all performed for one's personal or extended sense gratification with reference to the body. All these activities are baffled because of being separate from devotional service. But when the same activities are performed for the satisfaction of the Lord, the beneficial results are distributed to everyone, just as water poured on the root of a tree is distributed throughout the entire tree. Chapter Ten : The Battle Between the Demigods and the Demons Sukadeva Gosvami said: O King, the demons and Daityas all engaged with full attention and effort in churning the ocean, but because they were not devotees of Vasudeva, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna, they were not able to drink the nectar. O King, after the Supreme Personality of Godhead had brought to completion the affairs of churning the ocean and feeding the nectar to the demigods, who are His dear devotees, He left the presence of them all and was carried by Garuda to His own abode. Seeing the victory of the demigods, the demons became intolerant of their superior opulence. Thus they began to march toward the demigods with raised weapons. Thereafter, being enlivened because of drinking the nectar, the demigods, who are always at the shelter of the lotus feet of Narayana, used their various weapons to counterattack the demons in a fighting spirit. O King, a fierce battle on the beach of the ocean of milk ensued between the demigods and the demons. The fighting was so terrible that simply hearing about it would make the hair on one's body stand on end. Both parties in that fight were extremely angry at heart, and in enmity they beat one another with swords, arrows and varieties of other weapons. The sounds of the conchshells, bugles, drums, bheris and danis [kettledrums], as well as the sounds made by the elephants, horses and soldiers, who were both on chariots and on foot, were tumultuous. On that battlefield, the charioteers fought with the opposing charioteers, the infantry soldiers with the opposing infantry, the soldiers on horseback with the opposing soldiers on horseback, and the soldiers on the backs of elephants with the enemy soldiers on elephants. In this way, the fighting took place between equals. Some soldiers fought on the backs of camels, some on the backs of elephants, some on asses, some on white-faced and red-faced monkeys, some on tigers and some on lions. In this way, they all engaged in fighting. O King, some soldiers fought on the backs of vultures, eagles, ducks, hawks and bhasa birds. Some fought on the backs of timingilas, which can devour huge whales, some on the backs of sarabhas, and some on buffalo, rhinoceroses, cows, bulls, jungle cows and arunas. Others fought on the backs of jackals, rats, lizards, rabbits, human beings, goats, black deer, swans and boars. In this way, mounted on animals of the water, land and sky, including animals with deformed bodies, both armies faced each other and went forward. O King, O descendant of Maharaja Pandu, the soldiers of both the demigods and demons were decorated by canopies, colorful flags, and umbrellas with handles made of valuable jewels and pearls. They were further decorated by fans made of peacock feathers and by other fans also. The soldiers, their upper and lower garments waving in the breeze, naturally looked very beautiful, and in the light of the glittering sunshine their shields, ornaments and sharp, clean weapons appeared dazzling. Thus the ranks of soldiers seemed like two oceans with bands of aquatics. For that battle the most celebrated commander in chief, Maharaja Bali, son of Virocana, was seated on a wonderful airplane named Vaihayasa. O King, this beautifully decorated airplane had been manufactured by the demon Maya and was equipped with weapons for all types of combat. It was inconceivable and indescribable. Indeed, it was sometimes visible and sometimes not. Seated in this airplane under a beautiful protective umbrella and being fanned by the best of camaras, Maharaja Bali, surrounded by his captains and commanders, appeared just like the moon rising in the evening, illuminating all directions. Surrounding Maharaja Bali on all sides were the commanders and captains of the demons, sitting on their respective chariots. Among them were the following demons: Namuci, Sambara, Bana, Vipracitti, Ayomukha, Dvimurdha, Kalanabha, Praheti, Heti, Ilvala, Sakuni, Bhutasantapa, Vajradamstra, Virocana, Hayagriva, Sankusira, Kapila, Meghadundubhi, Taraka, Cakradrk, Sumbha, Nisumbha, Jambha, Utkala, Arista, Aristanemi, Tripuradhipa, Maya, the sons of Puloma, the Kaleyas and Nivatakavaca. All of these demons had been deprived of their share of the nectar and had shared merely in the labor of churning the ocean. Now, they fought against the demigods, and to encourage their armies, they made a tumultuous sound like the roaring of lions and blew loudly on conchshells. Balabhit, Lord Indra, upon seeing this situation of his ferocious rivals, became extremely angry. Sitting on Airavata, an elephant who can go anywhere and who holds water and wine in reserve for showering, Lord Indra looked just like the sun rising from Udayagiri, where there are reservoirs of water. Surrounding Lord Indra, King of heaven, were the demigods, seated on various types of vehicles and decorated with flags and weapons. Present among them were Vayu, Agni, Varuna and other rulers of various planets, along with their associates. The demigods and demons came before each other and reproached one another with words piercing to the heart. Then they drew near and began fighting face to face in pairs. O King, Maharaja Bali fought with Indra, Karttikeya with Taraka, Varuna with Heti, and Mitra with Praheti. Yamaraja fought with Kalanabha, Visvakarma with Maya Danava, Tvasta with Sambara, and the sun-god with Virocana. The demigod Aparajita fought with Namuci, and the two Asvini-kumara brothers fought with Vrsaparva. The sun-god fought with the one hundred sons of Maharaja Bali, headed by Bana, and the moon-god fought with Rahu. The demigod controlling air fought with Puloma, and Sumbha and Nisumbha fought the supremely powerful material energy, Durgadevi, who is called Bhadra Kali. O Maharaja Pariksit, suppressor of enemies [Arindama], Lord Shiva fought with Jambha, and Vibhavasu fought with Mahisasura. Ilvala, along with his brother Vatapi, fought the sons of Lord Brahma. Durmarsa fought with Cupid, the demon Utkala with the Matrka demigoddesses, Brhaspati with Sukracarya, and Sanaiscara [Saturn] with Narakasura. The Maruts fought Nivatakavaca, the Vasus fought the Kalakeya demons, the Visvedeva demigods fought the Pauloma demons, and the Rudras fought the Krodhavasa demons, who were victims of anger. All of these demigods and demons assembled on the battlefield with a fighting spirit and attacked one another with great strength. All of them desiring victory, they fought in pairs, hitting one another severely with sharpened arrows, swords and lances. They severed one another's heads, using weapons like bhusundis, cakras, clubs, rstis, pattisas, saktis, ulmukas, prasas, parasvadhas, nistrimsas, lances, parighas, mudgaras and bhindipalas. The elephants, horses, chariots, charioteers, infantry soldiers and various kinds of carriers, along with their riders, were slashed to pieces. The arms, thighs, necks and legs of the soldiers were severed, and their flags, bows, armor and ornaments were torn apart. Because of the impact on the ground of the legs of the demons and demigods and the wheels of the chariots, particles of dust flew violently into the sky and made a dust cloud that covered all directions of outer space, as far as the sun. But when the particles of dust were followed by drops of blood being sprinkled all over space, the dust cloud could no longer float in the sky. In the course of the battle, the warfield became strewn with the severed heads of heroes, their eyes still staring and their teeth still pressed against their lips in anger. Helmets and earrings were scattered from these severed heads. Similarly, many arms, decorated with ornaments and clutching various weapons, were strewn here and there, as were many legs and thighs, which resembled the trunks of elephants. Many headless trunks were generated on that battlefield. With weapons in their arms, those ghostly trunks, which could see with the eyes in the fallen heads, attacked the enemy soldiers. Maharaja Bali then attacked Indra with ten arrows and attacked Airavata, Indra's carrier elephant, with three arrows. With four arrows he attacked the four horsemen guarding Airavata's legs, and with one arrow he attacked the driver of the elephant. Before Bali Maharaja's arrows could reach him, Indra, King of heaven, who is expert in dealing with arrows, smiled and counteracted the arrows with arrows of another type, known as bhalla, which were extremely sharp. When Bali Maharaja saw the expert military activities of Indra, he could not restrain his anger. Thus he took up another weapon, known as sakti, which blazed like a great firebrand. But Indra cut that weapon to pieces while it was still in Bali's hand. Thereafter, one by one, Bali Maharaja used a lance, prasa, tomara, rstis and other weapons, but whatever weapons he took up, Indra immediately cut them to pieces. My dear King, Bali Maharaja then disappeared and resorted to demoniac illusions. A giant mountain, generated from illusion, then appeared above the heads of the demigod soldiers. From that mountain fell trees blazing in a forest fire. Chips of stone, with sharp edges like picks, also fell and smashed the heads of the demigod soldiers. Scorpions, large snakes and many other poisonous animals, as well as lions, tigers, boars and great elephants, all began falling upon the demigod soldiers, crushing everything. O my King, many hundreds of male and female carnivorous demons, completely naked and carrying tridents in their hands, then appeared, crying the slogans "Cut them to pieces! Pierce them!" Fierce clouds, harassed by strong winds, then appeared in the sky. Rumbling very gravely with the sound of thunder, they began to shower live coals. A great devastating fire created by Bali Maharaja began burning all the soldiers of the demigods. This fire, accompanied by blasting winds, seemed as terrible as the Samvartaka fire, which appears at the time of dissolution. Thereafter, whirlpools and sea waves, agitated by fierce blasts of wind, appeared everywhere, before everyone's vision, in a furious flood. While this magical atmosphere in the fight was being created by the invisible demons, who were expert in such illusions, the soldiers of the demigods became morose. O King, when the demigods could find no way to counteract the activities of the demons, they wholeheartedly meditated upon the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the creator of the universe, who then immediately appeared. The Supreme Personality of Godhead, whose eyes resemble the petals of a newly blossomed lotus, sat on the back of Garuda, spreading His lotus feet over Garuda's shoulders. Dressed in yellow, decorated by the Kaustubha gem and the goddess of fortune, and wearing an invaluable helmet and earrings, the Supreme Lord, holding various weapons in His eight hands, became visible to the demigods. As the dangers of a dream cease when the dreamer awakens, the illusions created by the jugglery of the demons were vanquished by the transcendental prowess of the Supreme Personality of Godhead as soon as He entered the battlefield. Indeed, simply by remembrance of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one becomes free from all dangers. O King, when the demon Kalanemi, who was carried by a lion, saw that the Supreme Personality of Godhead, carried by Garuda, was on the battlefield, the demon immediately took his trident, whirled it and discharged it at Garuda's head. The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Hari, the master of the three worlds, immediately caught the trident, and with the very same weapon he killed the enemy Kalanemi, along with his carrier, the lion. Thereafter, two very powerful demons named Mali and Sumali were killed by the Supreme Lord, who severed their heads with His disc. Then Malyavan, another demon, attacked the Lord. With his sharp club, the demon, who was roaring like a lion, attacked Garuda, the lord of the birds, who are born from eggs. But the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the original person, used His disc to cut off the head of that enemy also. Chapter Eleven : King Indra Annihilates the Demons Sukadeva Gosvami said: Thereafter, by the supreme grace of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Hari, all the demigods, headed by Indra and Vayu, were brought back to life. Being enlivened, the demigods began severely beating the very same demons who had defeated them before. When the most powerful Indra became angry and took his thunderbolt in hand to kill Maharaja Bali, the demons began lamenting, "Alas, alas!" Sober and tolerant and well equipped with paraphernalia for fighting, Bali Maharaja moved before Indra on the great battlefield. King Indra, who always carries the thunderbolt in his hand, rebuked Bali Maharaja as follows. Indra said: O rascal, as a cheater sometimes binds the eyes of a child and takes away his possessions, you are trying to defeat us by displaying some mystic power, although you know that we are the masters of all such mystic powers. Those fools and rascals who want to ascend to the upper planetary system by mystic power or mechanical means, or who endeavor to cross even the upper planets and achieve the spiritual world or liberation, I cause to be sent to the lowest region of the universe. Today, with my thunderbolt, which has hundreds of sharp edges, I, the same powerful person, shall sever your head from your body. Although you can produce so much jugglery through illusion, you are endowed with a poor fund of knowledge. Now, try to exist on this battlefield with your relatives and friends. Bali Maharaja replied: All those present on this battlefield are certainly under the influence of eternal time, and according to their prescribed activities, they are destined to receive fame, victory, defeat and death, one after another. Seeing the movements of time, those who are cognizant of the real truth neither rejoice nor lament for different circumstances. Therefore, because you are jubilant due to your victory, you should be considered not very learned. You demigods think that your own selves are the cause of your attaining fame and victory. Because of your ignorance, saintly persons feel sorry for you. Therefore, although your words afflict the heart, we do not accept them. Sukadeva Gosvami said: After thus rebuking Indra, King of heaven, with sharp words, Bali Maharaja, who could subdue any other hero, drew back to his ear the arrows known as naracas and attacked Indra with these arrows. Then he again chastised Indra with strong words. Since Maharaja Bali's rebukes were truthful, King Indra did not at all become sorry, just as an elephant beaten by its driver's rod does not become agitated. When Indra, the defeater of enemies, released his infallible thunderbolt scepter at Bali Maharaja with a desire to kill him, Bali Maharaja indeed fell to the ground with his airplane, like a mountain with its wings cut off. When the demon Jambhasura saw that his friend Bali had fallen, he appeared before Indra, the enemy, just to serve Bali Maharaja with friendly behavior. The greatly powerful Jambhasura, carried by a lion, approached Indra and forcefully struck him on the shoulder with his club. He also struck Indra's elephant. Being beaten by Jambhasura's club, Indra's elephant was confused and aggrieved. Thus it touched its knees to the ground and fell unconscious. Thereafter, Matali, Indra's chariot driver, brought Indra's chariot, which was drawn by one thousand horses. Indra then left his elephant and got onto the chariot. Appreciating Matali's service, Jambhasura, the best of the demons, smiled. Nonetheless, he struck Matali in the battle with a trident of blazing fire. Although the pain was extremely severe, Matali tolerated it with great patience. Indra, however, became extremely angry at Jambhasura. He struck Jambhasura with his thunderbolt and thus severed his head from his body. When Narada Rsi informed Jambhasura's friends and relatives that Jambhasura had been killed, the three demons named Namuci, Bala and Paka arrived on the battlefield in great haste. Rebuking Indra with harsh, cruel words that were piercing to the heart, these demons showered him with arrows, just as torrents of rain wash a great mountain. Quickly handling the situation on the battlefield, the demon Bala put all of Indra's one thousand horses into tribulation by simultaneously piercing them all with an equal number of arrows. Paka, another demon, attacked both the chariot, with all its paraphernalia, and the chariot driver, Matali, by fitting two hundred arrows to his bow and releasing them all simultaneously. This was indeed a wonderful act on the battlefield. Then Namuci, another demon, attacked Indra and injured him with fifteen very powerful golden-feathered arrows, which roared like a cloud full of water. Other demons covered Indra, along with his chariot and chariot driver, with incessant showers of arrows, just as clouds cover the sun in the rainy season. The demigods, being severely oppressed by their enemies and being unable to see Indra on the battlefield, were very anxious. Having no captain or leader, they began lamenting like traders in a wrecked vessel in the midst of the ocean. Thereafter, Indra released himself from the cage of the network of arrows. Appearing with his chariot, flag, horses and chariot driver and thus pleasing the sky, the earth and all directions, he shone effulgently like the sun at the end of night. Indra was bright and beautiful in the vision of everyone. When Indra, who is known as Vajra-dhara, the carrier of the thunderbolt, saw his own soldiers so oppressed by the enemies on the battlefield, he became very angry. Thus he took up his thunderbolt to kill the enemies. O King Pariksit, King Indra used his thunderbolt to cut off the heads of both Bala and Paka in the presence of all their relatives and followers. In this way he created a very fearful atmosphere on the battlefield. O King, when Namuci, another demon, saw the killing of both Bala and Paka, he was full of grief and lamentation. Thus he angrily made a great attempt to kill Indra. Being angry and roaring like a lion, the demon Namuci took up a steel spear, which was bound with bells and decorated with ornaments of gold. He loudly cried, "Now you are killed!" Thus coming before Indra to kill him, Namuci released his weapon. O King, when Indra, King of heaven, saw this very powerful spear falling toward the ground like a blazing meteor, he immediately cut it to pieces with his arrows. Then, being very angry, he struck Namuci's shoulder with his thunderbolt to cut off Namuci's head. Although King Indra hurled his thunderbolt at Namuci with great force, it could not even pierce his skin. It is very wonderful that the famed thunderbolt that had pierced the body of Vrtrasura could not even slightly injure the skin of Namuci's neck. When Indra saw the thunderbolt return from the enemy, he was very much afraid. He began to wonder whether this had happened because of some miraculous superior power. Indra thought: Formerly, when many mountains flying in the sky with wings would fall to the ground and kill people, I cut their wings with this same thunderbolt. Vrtrasura was the essence of the austerities undergone by Tvasta, yet the thunderbolt killed him. Indeed, not only he but also many other stalwart heroes, whose very skin could not be injured even by all kinds of weapons, were killed by the same thunderbolt. But now, although the same thunderbolt has been released against a less important demon, it has been ineffectual. Therefore, although it was as good as a brahmastra, it has now become useless like an ordinary rod. I shall therefore hold it no longer. Sukadeva Gosvami continued: While the morose Indra was lamenting in this way, an ominous, unembodied voice said from the sky, "This demon Namuci is not to be annihilated by anything dry or moist." The voice also said, "O Indra, because I have given this demon the benediction that he will never be killed by any weapon that is dry or moist, you have to think of another way to kill him." After hearing the ominous voice, Indra, with great attention, began to meditate on how to kill the demon. He then saw that foam would be the means, for it is neither moist nor dry. Thus Indra, King of heaven, severed Namuci's head with a weapon of foam, which was neither dry nor moist. Then all the sages satisfied Indra, the exalted personality, by showering flowers and garlands upon him, almost covering him. Visvavasu and Paravasu, the two chiefs of the Gandharvas, sang in great happiness. The kettledrums of the demigods sounded, and the Apsaras danced in jubilation. Vayu, Agni, Varuna and other demigods began killing the demons who opposed them, just as lions kill deer in a forest. O King, when Lord Brahma saw the imminent total annihilation of the demons, he sent a message with Narada, who went before the demigods to make them stop fighting. The great sage Narada said: All of you demigods are protected by the arms of Narayana, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and by His grace you have gotten the nectar. By the grace of the goddess of fortune, you are glorious in every way. Therefore, please stop this fighting. Sri Sukadeva Gosvami said: Accepting the words of Narada, the demigods gave up their anger and stopped fighting. Being praised by their followers, they returned to their heavenly planets. Following the order of Narada Muni, whatever demons remained on the battlefield took Bali Maharaja, who was in a precarious condition, to the hill known as Astagirim. There, on that hill, Sukracayra brought to life all the dead demoniac soldiers who had not lost their heads, trunks and limbs. He achieved this by his own mantra, known as Samjivani. Bali Maharaja was very experienced in universal affairs. When he regained his senses and memory by the grace of Sukracarya, he could understand everything that had happened. Therefore, although he had been defeated, he did not lament. Chapter Twelve : The Mohini-murti Incarnation Bewilders Lord Shiva Sukadeva Gosvami said: The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Hari, in the form of a woman, captivated the demons and enabled the demigods to drink the nectar. After hearing of these pastimes, Lord Shiva, who is carried by a bull, went to the place where Madhusudana, the Lord, resides. Accompanied by his wife, Uma, and surrounded by his companions, the ghosts, Lord Shiva went there to see the Lord's form as a woman. The Supreme Personality of Godhead welcomed Lord Shiva and Uma with great respect, and after being seated comfortably, Lord Shiva duly worshiped the Lord and smilingly spoke as follows. Lord Mahadeva said: O chief demigod among the demigods, O all-pervading Lord, master of the universe, by Your energy You are transformed into the creation. You are the root and efficient cause of everything. You are not material. Indeed, You are the Supersoul or supreme living force of everything. Therefore, You are Paramesvara, the supreme controller of all controllers. The manifest, the unmanifest, false ego and the beginning, maintenance and annihilation of this cosmic manifestation all come from You, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. But because You are the Absolute Truth, the supreme absolute spirit soul, the Supreme Brahman, such changes as birth, death and sustenance do not exist in You. Pure devotees or great saintly persons who desire to achieve the highest goal in life and who are completely free from all material desires for sense gratification engage constantly in the transcendental service of Your lotus feet. My Lord, You are the Supreme Brahman, complete in everything. Being completely spiritual, You are eternal, free from the material modes of nature, and full of transcendental bliss. Indeed, for You there is no question of lamentation. Since You are the supreme cause, the cause of all causes, nothing can exist without You. Yet we are different from You in a relationship of cause and effect, for in one sense the cause and effect are different. You are the original cause of creation, manifestation and annihilation, and You bestow benedictions upon all living entities. Everyone depends upon You for the results of his activities, but You are always independent. My dear Lord, Your Lordship alone is the cause and the effect. Therefore, although You appear to be two, You are the absolute one. As there is no difference between the gold of a golden ornament and the gold in a mine, there is no difference between cause and effect; both of them are the same. Only because of ignorance do people concoct differences and dualities. You are free from material contamination, and since the entire cosmos is caused by You and cannot exist without You, it is an effect of Your transcendental qualities. Thus the conception that Brahman is true and the world false cannot be maintained. Those who are known as the impersonalist Vedantists regard You as the impersonal Brahman. Others, known as the Mimamsaka philosophers, regard You as religion. The Sankhya philosophers regard You as the transcendental person who is beyond prakrti and purusa and who is the controller of even the demigods. The followers of the codes of devotional service known as the Pancaratras regard You as being endowed with nine different potencies. And the Patanjala philosophers, the followers of Patanjali Muni, regard You as the supreme independent Personality of Godhead, who has no equal or superior. O my Lord, I, who am considered to be the best of the demigods, and Lord Brahma and the great rsis, headed by Marici, are born of the mode of goodness. Nonetheless, we are bewildered by Your illusory energy and cannot understand what this creation is. Aside from us, what is to be said of others, like the demons and human beings, who are in the base modes of material nature [rajo-guna and tamo-guna]? How will they know You? My Lord, You are the supreme knowledge personified. You know everything about this creation and its beginning, maintenance and annihilation, and You know all the endeavors made by the living entities, by which they are either implicated in this material world or liberated from it. As the air enters the vast sky and also enters the bodies of all moving and nonmoving entities, You are present everywhere, and therefore You are the knower of all. My Lord, I have seen all kinds of incarnations You have exhibited by Your transcendental qualities, and now that You have appeared as a beautiful young woman, I wish to see that form of Your Lordship. My Lord, we have come here desiring to see that form of Your Lordship which You showed to the demons to captivate them completely and in this way enable the demigods to drink nectar. I am very eager to see that form. Sukadeva Gosvami said: When Lord Vishnu was thus requested by Lord Shiva, who carries a trident in his hand, He smiled with gravity and replied to Lord Shiva as follows. The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: When the demons took away the jug of nectar, I assumed the form of a beautiful woman to bewilder them by directly cheating them and thus to act in the interest of the demigods. O best of the demigods, I shall now show you My form that is very much appreciated by those who are lusty. Since you want to see that form, I shall reveal it in your presence. Sukadeva Gosvami continued: After speaking in this way, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vishnu, immediately disappeared, and Lord Shiva remained there with Uma, looking for Him all around with moving eyes. Thereafter, in a nice forest nearby, full of trees with reddish-pink leaves and varieties of flowers, Lord Shiva saw a beautiful woman playing with a ball. Her hips were covered with a shining sari and ornamented with a belt. Because the ball was falling down and bouncing up, as She played with it Her breasts trembled, and because of the weight of those breasts and Her heavy flower garlands, Her waist appeared to be all but breaking at every step, as Her two soft feet, which were reddish like coral, moved here and there. The woman's face was decorated by broad, beautiful, restless eyes, which moved as the ball bounced here and there from Her hand. The two brilliant earrings on Her ears decorated Her shining cheeks like bluish reflections, and the hair scattered on Her face made Her even more beautiful to see. As She played with the ball, the sari covering Her body became loose, and Her hair scattered. She tried to bind Her hair with Her beautiful left hand, and at the same time She played with the ball by striking it with Her right hand. This was so attractive that the Supreme Lord, by His internal potency, in this way captivated everyone. While Lord Shiva observed the beautiful woman playing with the ball, She sometimes glanced at him and slightly smiled in bashfulness. As he looked at the beautiful woman and She watched him, he forgot both himself and Uma, his most beautiful wife, as well as his associates nearby. When the ball leaped from Her hand and fell at a distance, the woman began to follow it, but as Lord Shiva observed these activities, a breeze suddenly blew away the fine dress and belt that covered her. Thus Lord Shiva saw the woman, every part of whose body was beautifully formed, and the beautiful woman also looked at him. Therefore, thinking that She was attracted to him, Lord Shiva became very much attracted to Her. Lord Shiva, his good sense taken away by the woman because of lusty desires to enjoy with Her, became so mad for Her that even in the presence of Bhavani he did not hesitate to approach Her. The beautiful woman was already naked, and when She saw Lord Shiva coming toward Her, She became extremely bashful. Thus She kept smiling, but She hid Herself among the trees and did not stand in one place. His senses being agitated, Lord Shiva, victimized by lusty desires, began to follow Her, just as a lusty elephant follows a she-elephant. After following Her with great speed, Lord Shiva caught Her by the braid of Her hair and dragged Her near him. Although She was unwilling, he embraced Her with his arms. Being embraced by Lord Shiva like a female elephant embraced by a male, the woman, whose hair was scattered, swirled like a snake. O King, this woman, who had large, high hips, was a woman of yogamaya presented by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. She released Herself somehow or other from the fond embrace of Lord Shiva's arms and ran away. As if harassed by an enemy in the form of lusty desires, Lord Shiva followed the path of Lord Vishnu, who acts very wonderfully and who had taken the form of Mohini. Just as a maddened bull elephant follows a female elephant who is able to conceive pregnancy, Lord Shiva followed the beautiful woman and discharged semen, even though his discharge of semen never goes in vain. O King, wheresoever on the surface of the globe fell the semen of the great personality of Lord Shiva, mines of gold and silver later appeared. Following Mohini, Lord Shiva went everywhere--near the shores of the rivers and lakes, near the mountains, near the forests, near the gardens, and wherever there lived great sages. O Maharaja Pariksit, best of kings, when Lord Shiva had fully discharged semen, he could see how he himself had been victimized by the illusion created by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Thus he restrained himself from any further maya. Thus Lord Shiva could understand his position and that of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who has unlimited potencies. Having reached this understanding, he was not at all surprised by the wonderful way Lord Vishnu had acted upon him. Seeing Lord Shiva unagitated and unashamed, Lord Vishnu [Madhusudana] was very pleased. Thus He resumed His original form and spoke as follows. The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: O best of the demigods, although you have been amply harassed because of My potency in assuming the form of a woman, you are established in your position. Therefore, may all good fortune be upon you. My dear Lord Sambhu, who within this material world but you can surpass My illusory energy? People are generally attached to sense enjoyment and conquered by its influence. Indeed, the influence of material nature is very difficult for them to surmount. The material, external energy [maya], who cooperates with Me in creation and who is manifested in the three modes of nature, will not be able to bewilder you any longer. Sukadeva Gosvami said: O King, having thus been praised by the Supreme Personality, who bears the mark of Srivatsa on His chest, Lord Shiva circumambulated Him. Then, after taking permission from Him, Lord Shiva returned to his abode, Kailasa, along with his associates. O descendant of Bharata Maharaja, Lord Shiva, in jubilation, then addressed his wife, Bhavani, who is accepted by all authorities as the potency of Lord Vishnu. Lord Shiva said: O Goddess, you have now seen the illusory energy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is the unborn master of everyone. Although I am one of the principal expansions of His Lordship, even I was illusioned by His energy. What then is to be said of others, who are fully dependent on maya? When I finished performing mystic yoga for one thousand years, you asked me upon whom I was meditating. Now, here is that Supreme Person to whom time has no entrance and who the Vedas cannot understand. Sukadeva Gosvami said: My dear King, the person who bore the great mountain on His back for the churning of the ocean of milk is the same Supreme Personality of Godhead, known as Sarnga-dhanva. I have now described to you His prowess. The endeavor of one who constantly hears or describes this narration of the churning of the ocean of milk will never be fruitless. Indeed, chanting the glories of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the only means to annihilate all sufferings in this material world. Assuming the form of a young woman and thus bewildering the demons, the Supreme Personality of Godhead distributed to His devotees, the demigods, the nectar produced from the churning of the ocean of milk. Unto that Supreme Personality of Godhead, who always fulfills the desires of His devotees, I offer my respectful obeisances. Chapter Thirteen : Description of Future Manus Sukadeva Gosvami said: The present Manu, who is named Sraddhadeva, is the son of Vivasvan, the predominating deity on the sun planet. Sraddhadeva is the seventh Manu. Now please hear from me as I describe his sons. O King Pariksit, among the ten sons of Manu are Iksvaku, Nabhaga, Dhrsta, Saryati, Narisyanta and Nabhaga. The seventh son is known as Dista. Then come Tarusa and Prsadhra, and the tenth son is known as Vasuman. In this manvantara, O King, the Adityas, the Vasus, the Rudras, the Visvedevas, the Maruts, the two Asvini-kumara brothers and the Rbhus are the demigods. Their head king [Indra] is Purandara. Kasyapa, Atri, Vasistha, Visvamitra, Gautama, Jamadagni and Bharadvaja are known as the seven sages. In this manvantara, the Supreme Personality of Godhead appeared as the youngest of all the Adityas, known as Vamana, the dwarf. His father was Kasyapa and His mother Aditi. I have briefly explained to you the position of the seven Manus. Now I shall describe the future Manus, along with the incarnations of Lord Vishnu. O King, I have previously described [in the Sixth Canto] the two daughters of Visvakarma, named Samjna and Chaya, who were the first two wives of Vivasvan. It is said that the sun-god had a third wife, named Vadava. Of the three wives, the wife named Samjna had three children--Yama, Yami and Sraddhadeva. Now let me describe the children of Chaya. Chaya had a son named Savarni and a daughter named Tapati, who later became the wife of King Samvarana. Chaya's third child is known as Sanaiscara [Saturn]. Vadava gave birth to two sons, namely the Asvini brothers. O King, when the period of the eighth Manu arrives, Savarni will become the Manu. Nirmoka and Virajaska will be among his sons. In the period of the eighth Manu, among the demigods will be the Sutapas, the Virajas and the Amrtaprabhas. The king of the demigods, Indra, will be Bali Maharaja, the son of Virocana. Bali Maharaja gave a gift of three paces of land to Lord Vishnu, and because of this charity he lost all the three worlds. Later, however, when Lord Vishnu is pleased because of Bali's giving everything to Him, Bali Maharaja will achieve the perfection of life. With great affection, the Personality of Godhead bound Bali and then installed him in the kingdom of Sutala, which is more opulent than the heavenly planets. Maharaja Bali now resides on that planet and is more comfortably situated than Indra. O King, during the eighth manvantara, the great personalities Galava, Diptimari, Parasurama, Asvatthama, Krpacarya, Rsyasrnga and our father, Vyasadeva, the incarnation of Narayana, will be the seven sages. For the present, they are all residing in their respective asramas. In the eighth manvantara, the greatly powerful Personality of Godhead Sarvabhauma will take birth. His father will be Devaguhya, and His mother will be Sarasvati. He will take the kingdom away from Purandara [Lord Indra] and give it to Bali Maharaja. O King, the ninth Manu will be Daksa-savarni, who is born of Varuna. Among his sons will be Bhutaketu, and Diptaketu. In this ninth manvantara, the Paras and Maricigarbhas will be among the demigods. The king of heaven, Indra, will be named Adbhuta, and Dyutiman will be among the seven sages. Rsabhadeva, a partial incarnation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, will take birth from his father, Ayusman, and his mother, Ambudhara. He will enable the Indra named Adbhuta to enjoy the opulence of the three worlds. The son of Upasloka known as Brahma-savarni will be the tenth Manu. Bhurisena will be among his sons, and the brahmanas headed by Havisman will be the seven sages. Havisman, Sukrta, Satya, Jaya, Murti and others will be the seven sages, the Suvasanas and Viruddhas will be among the demigods, and Sambhu will be their king, Indra. In the home of Visvasrasta, a plenary portion of the Supreme Personality of Godhead will appear from the womb of Visuci as the incarnation known as Visvaksena. He will make friends with Sambhu. In the eleventh manvantara, the Manu will be Dharma-savarni, who will be extremely learned in spiritual knowledge. From him there will come ten sons, headed by Satyadharma. The Vihangamas, Kamagamas, Nirvanarucis and others will be the demigods. The king of the demigods, Indra, will be Vaidhrta, and the seven sages will be headed by Aruna. The son of Aryaka known as Dharmasetu, a partial incarnation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, will appear from the womb of Vaidhrta, the wife of Aryaka, and will rule the three worlds. O King, the twelfth Manu will be named Rudra-savarni. Devavan, Upadeva and Devasrestha will be among his sons. In this manvantara, the name of Indra will be Rtadhama, and the demigods will be headed by the Maritas. Among the sages will be Tapomurti, Tapasvi and Agnidhraka. From the mother named Sunrta and the father named Satyasaha will come Svadhama, a partial incarnation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He will rule that manvantara. The thirteenth Manu will be named Deva-savarni, and he will be very advanced in spiritual knowledge. Among his sons will be Citrasena and Vicitra. In the thirteenth manvantara, the Sukarmas and Sutramas will be among the demigods, Divaspati will be the king of heaven, and Nirmoka and Tattvadarsa will be among the seven sages. The son of Devahotra known as Yogesvara will appear as a partial incarnation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. His mother's name will be Brhati. He will perform activities for the welfare of Divaspati. The name of the fourteenth Manu will be Indra-savarni. He will have sons like Uru, Gambhira and Budha. The Pavitras and Caksusas will be among the demigods, and Suci will be Indra, the king of heaven. Agni, Bahu, Suci, Suddha, Magadha and others of great austerity will be the seven sages. O King Pariksit, in the fourteenth manvantara the Supreme Personality of Godhead will appear from the womb of Vitana, and His father's name will be Satrayana. This incarnation will be celebrated as Brhadbhanu, and He will administer spiritual activities. O King, I have now described to you the fourteen Manus appearing in the past, present and future. The total duration of time ruled by these Manus is one thousand yuga cycles. This is called a kalpa, or one day of Lord Brahma. Chapter Fourteen : The System of Universal Management Maharaja Pariksit inquired: O most opulent Sukadeva Gosvami, please explain to me how Manu and the others in each manvantara are engaged in their respective duties, and by whose order they are so engaged. Sukadeva Gosvami said: The Manus, the sons of Manu, the great sages, the Indras and all the demigods, O King, are appointed by the Supreme Personality of Godhead in His various incarnations such as Yajna. O King, I have already described to you various incarnations of the Lord, such as Yajna. The Manus and others are chosen by these incarnations, under whose direction they conduct the universal affairs. At the end of every four yugas, the great saintly persons, upon seeing that the eternal occupational duties of mankind have been misused, reestablish the principles of religion. Thereafter, O King, the Manus, being fully engaged according to the instructions of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, directly reestablish the principles of occupational duty in its full four parts. To enjoy the results of sacrifices [yajnas], the rulers of the world, namely the sons and grandsons of Manu, discharge the orders of the Supreme Personality of Godhead until the end of Manu's reign. The demigods also share the results of these sacrifices. Indra, King of heaven, receiving benedictions from the Supreme Personality of Godhead and thus enjoying highly developed opulences, maintains the living entities all over the three worlds by pouring sufficient rain on all the planets. In every yuga, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Hari, assumes the form of Siddhas such as Sanaka to preach transcendental knowledge, He assumes the form of great saintly persons such as Yajnavalkya to teach the way of karma, and He assumes the form of great yogis such as Dattatreya to teach the system of mystic yoga. In the form of Prajapati Marici, the Supreme Personality of Godhead creates progeny; becoming the king, He kills the thieves and rogues; and in the form of time, He annihilates everything. All the different qualities of material existence should be understood to be qualities of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. People in general are bewildered by the illusory energy, and therefore they try to find the Absolute Truth, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, through various types of research and philosophical speculation. Nonetheless, they are unable to see the Supreme Lord. In one kalpa, or one day of Brahma, there take place the many changes called vikalpas. O King, all of these have been previously described to you by me. Learned scholars who know the past, present and future have ascertained that in one day of Brahma there are fourteen Manus. Chapter Fifteen : Bali Maharaja Conquers the Heavenly Planets Maharaja Pariksit inquired: The Supreme Personality of Godhead is the proprietor of everything. Why did He beg three paces of land from Bali Maharaja like a poor man, and when He got the gift for which He had begged, why did He nonetheless arrest Bali Maharaja? I am very much anxious to know the mystery of these contradictions. Sukadeva Gosvami said: O King, when Bali Maharaja lost all his opulence and died in the fight, Sukracarya, a descendant of Bhrgu Muni, brought him back to life. Because of this, the great soul Bali Maharaja became a disciple of Sukracarya and began to serve him with great faith, offering everything he had. The brahmana descendants of Bhrgu Muni were very pleased with Bali Maharaja, who desired to conquer the kingdom of Indra. Therefore, after purifying him and properly bathing him according to regulative principles, they engaged him in performing the yajna known as Visvajit. When ghee [clarified butter] was offered in the fire of sacrifice, there appeared from the fire a celestial chariot covered with gold and silk. There also appeared yellow horses like those of Indra, and a flag marked with a lion. A gilded bow, two quivers of infallible arrows, and celestial armor also appeared. Bali Maharaja's grandfather Prahlada Maharaja offered Bali a garland of flowers that would never fade, and Sukracarya gave him a conchshell. When Maharaja Bali had thus performed the special ritualistic ceremony advised by the brahmanas and had received, by their grace, the equipment for fighting, he circumambulated the brahmanas and offered them obeisances. He also saluted Prahlada Maharaja and offered obeisances to him. Then, after getting on the chariot given by Sukracarya, Bali Maharaja, decorated with a nice garland, put protective armor on his body, equipped himself with a bow, and took up a sword and a quiver of arrows. When he sat down on the seat of the chariot, his arms decorated with golden bangles and his ears with sapphire earrings, he shone like a worshipable fire. When he assembled with his own soldiers and the demon chiefs, who were equal to him in strength, opulence and beauty, they appeared as if they would swallow the sky and burn all directions with their vision. After thus gathering the demoniac soldiers, Bali Maharaja departed for the opulent capital of Indra. Indeed, he seemed to make the entire surface of the world tremble. King Indra's city was full of pleasing orchards and gardens, such as the Nandana garden. Because of the weight of the flowers, leaves and fruit, the branches of the eternally existing trees were bending down. The gardens were visited by pairs of chirping birds and singing bees. The entire atmosphere was celestial. Beautiful women protected by the demigods sported in the gardens, which had lotus ponds full of swans, cranes, cakravakas and ducks. The city was surrounded by trenches full of Ganges water, known as Akasa-ganga, and by a high wall, which was the color of fire. Upon this wall were parapets for fighting. The doors were made of solid gold plates, and the gates were of excellent marble. These were linked by various public roads. The entire city had been constructed by Visvakarma. The city was full of courtyards, wide roads, assembly houses, and not less than one hundred million airplanes. The crossroads were made of pearl, and there were sitting places made of diamond and coral. Everlastingly beautiful and youthful women, who were dressed with clean garments, glittered in the city like fires with flames. They all possessed the quality of syama. The breezes blowing in the streets of the city bore the fragrance of the flowers falling from the hair of the women of the demigods. Apsaras passed on the streets, which were covered with the white, fragrant smoke of aguru incense emanating from windows with golden filigree. The city was shaded by canopies decorated with pearls, and the domes of the palaces had flags of pearl and gold. The city always resounded with the vibrations of peacocks, pigeons and bees, and above the city flew airplanes full of beautiful women who constantly chanted auspicious songs that were very pleasing to the ear. The city was filled with the sounds of mrdangas, conchshells, kettledrums, flutes and well-tuned stringed instruments all playing in concert. There was constant dancing and the Gandharvas sang. The combined beauty of Indrapuri defeated beauty personified. No one who was sinful, envious, violent toward other living entities, cunning, falsely proud, lusty or greedy could enter that city. The people who lived there were all devoid of these faults. Bali Maharaja, who was the commander of numberless soldiers, gathered his soldiers outside this abode of Indra and attacked it from all directions. He sounded the conchshell given him by his spiritual master, Sukracarya, thus creating a fearful situation for the women protected by Indra. Seeing Bali Maharaja's indefatigable endeavor and understanding his motive, King Indra, along with the other demigods, approached his spiritual master, Brhaspati, and spoke as follows. My lord, our old enemy Bali Maharaja now has new enthusiasm, and he has obtained such astonishing power that we think that perhaps we cannot resist his prowess. No one anywhere can counteract this military arrangement of Bali's. It now appears that Bali is trying to drink up the entire universe with his mouth, lick up the ten directions with his tongue, and raise fire in every direction with his eyes. Indeed, he has arisen like the annihilating fire known as samvartaka. Kindly inform me. What is the cause for Bali Maharaja's strength, endeavor, influence and victory? How has he become so enthusiastic? Brhaspati, the spiritual master of the demigods, said: O Indra, I know the cause for your enemy's becoming so powerful. The brahmana descendants of Bhrgu Muni, being pleased by Bali Maharaja, their disciple, endowed him with such extraordinary power. Neither you nor your men can conquer the most powerful Bali. Indeed, no one but the Supreme Personality of Godhead can conquer him, for he is now equipped with the supreme spiritual power [brahma-tejas]. As no one can stand before Yamaraja, no one can now stand before Bali Maharaja. Therefore, waiting until the situation of your enemies is reversed, you should all leave this heavenly planet and go elsewhere, where you will not be seen. Bali Maharaja has now become extremely powerful because of the benedictions given him by the brahmanas, but when he later insults the brahmanas, he will be vanquished, along with his friends and assistants. Sukadeva Gosvami continued: The demigods, being thus advised by Brhaspati for their benefit, immediately accepted his words. Assuming forms according to their desire, they left the heavenly kingdom and scattered, without being observed by the demons. When the demigods had disappeared, Bali Maharaja, the son of Virocana, entered the heavenly kingdom, and from there he brought the three worlds under his control. The brahmana descendants of Bhrgu, being very pleased with their disciple, who had conquered the entire universe, now engaged him in performing one hundred asvamedha sacrifices. When Bali Maharaja performed these sacrifices, he gained a great reputation in all directions, throughout the three worlds. Thus he shone in his position, like the brilliant moon in the sky. Because of the favor of the brahmanas, the great soul Bali Maharaja, thinking himself very satisfied, became very opulent and prosperous and began to enjoy the kingdom. Chapter Sixteen : Executing the Payo-vrata Process of Worship Sukadeva Gosvami said: O King, when Aditi's sons, the demigods, had thus disappeared from heaven and the demons had occupied their places, Aditi began lamenting, as if she had no protector. After many, many days, the great powerful sage Kasyapa Muni arose from a trance of meditation and returned home to see the asrama of Aditi neither jubilant nor festive. O best of the Kurus, when Kasyapa Muni had been properly received and welcomed, he took his seat and then spoke as follows to his wife, Aditi, who was very morose. O most gentle one, I wonder whether anything inauspicious has now taken place in regard to religious principles, the brahmanas or the people in general, who are subject to the whims of death. O my wife, who are very much attached to household life, if the principles of religion, economic development and satisfaction of the senses are properly followed in household life, one's activities are as good as those of a transcendentalist. I wonder whether there have been any discrepancies in following these principles. I wonder whether because of being too attached to the members of your family, you failed to properly receive uninvited guests, who therefore were not welcomed and went away. Homes from which guests go away without having been received even with an offering of a little water are like those holes in the field which are the homes of jackals. O chaste and auspicious woman, when I left home for other places, were you in so much anxiety that you did not offer oblations of ghee into the fire? By worshiping the fire and the brahmanas, a householder can achieve the desired goal of residing in the higher planets, for the sacrificial fire and the brahmanas are to be considered the mouth of Lord Vishnu, who is the Supersoul of all the demigods. O great-minded lady, are all your sons faring well? Seeing your withered face, I can perceive that your mind is not tranquil. How is this so? Aditi said: O my respected brahmana husband, all is well with the brahmanas, the cows, religion and the welfare of other people. O master of the house, the three principles of dharma, artha and kama flourish in household life, which is consequently full of good fortune. O beloved husband, the fires, guests, servants and beggars are all being properly cared for by me. Because I always think of you, there is no possibility that any of the religious principles will be neglected. O my lord, since you are a Prajapati and are personally my instructor in the principles of religion, where is the possibility that all my desires will not be fulfilled? O son of Marici, because you are a great personality you are equal toward all the demons and demigods, who are born either from your body or from your mind and who possess one or another of the three qualities--sattva-guna, rajo-guna or tamo-guna. But although the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the supreme controller, is equal toward all living entities, He is especially favorable to the devotees. Therefore, most gentle lord, kindly favor your maidservant. We have now been deprived of our opulence and residence by our competitors, the demons. Kindly give us protection. The demons, our formidably powerful enemies, have taken away our opulence, our beauty, our fame and even our residence. Indeed, we have now been exiled, and we are drowning in an ocean of trouble. O best of sages, best of all those who grant auspicious benedictions, please consider our situation and bestow upon my sons the benedictions by which they can regain what they have lost. Sukadeva Gosvami continued: When Kasyapa Muni was thus requested by Aditi, he slightly smiled. "Alas," he said, "how powerful is the illusory energy of Lord Vishnu, by which the entire world is bound by affection for children!" Kasyapa Muni continued: What is this material body, made of five elements? It is different from the spirit soul. Indeed, the spirit soul is completely different from the material elements from which the body is made. But because of bodily attachment, one is regarded as a husband or son. These illusory relationships are caused by misunderstanding. My dear Aditi, engage in devotional service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is the master of everything, who can subdue everyone's enemies, and who sits within everyone's heart. Only that Supreme Person--Krishna, or Vasudeva--can bestow all auspicious benedictions upon everyone, for He is the spiritual master of the universe. The Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is very merciful to the poor, will fulfill all of your desires, for devotional service unto Him is infallible. Any method other than devotional service is useless. That is my opinion. Srimati Aditi said: O brahmana, tell me the regulative principles by which I may worship the supreme master of the world so that the Lord will be pleased with me and fulfill all my desires. O best of the brahmanas, kindly instruct me in the perfect method of worshiping the Supreme Personality of Godhead in devotional service, by which the Lord may very soon be pleased with me and save me, along with my sons, from this most dangerous condition. Sri Kasyapa Muni said: When I desired offspring, I placed inquiries before Lord Brahma, who is born from a lotus flower. Now I shall explain to you the same process Lord Brahma instructed me, by which Kesava, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is satisfied. In the bright fortnight of the month of Phalguna [February and March], for twelve days ending with Dvadasi, one should observe the vow of subsisting only on milk and should worship the lotus-eyed Supreme Personality of Godhead with all devotion. If dirt dug up by a boar is available, on the day of the dark moon one should smear this dirt on his body and then bathe in a flowing river. While bathing, one should chant the following mantra. O mother earth, you were raised by the Supreme Personality of Godhead in the form of a boar because of your desiring to have a place to stay. I pray that you kindly vanquish all the reactions of my sinful life. I offer my respectful obeisances unto you. Thereafter, one should perform his daily spiritual duties and then, with great attention, offer worship to the Deity of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and also to the altar, the sun, water, fire and the spiritual master. O Supreme Personality of Godhead, greatest of all, who lives in everyone's heart and in whom everyone lives, O witness of everything, O Vasudeva, supreme and all-pervading person, I offer my respectful obeisances unto You. I offer my respectful obeisances unto You, the Supreme Person. Being very subtle, You are never visible to material eyes. You are the knower of the twenty-four elements, and You are the inaugurator of the sankhya-yoga system. I offer my respectful obeisances unto You, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who have two heads [prayaniya and udayaniya], three legs [savana-traya], four horns [the four Vedas] and seven hands [the seven chandas, such as Gayatri]. I offer my obeisances unto You, whose heart and soul are the three Vedic rituals [karma-kanda, jnana-kanda and upasana-kanda] and who expand these rituals in the form of sacrifice. I offer my respectful obeisances unto You, Lord Shiva, or Rudra, who are the reservoir of all potencies, the reservoir of all knowledge, and the master of everyone. I offer my respectful obeisances unto You, who are situated as Hiranyagarbha, the source of life, the Supersoul of every living entity. Your body is the source of the opulence of all mystic power. I offer my respectful obeisances unto You. I offer my respectful obeisances unto You, who are the original Personality of Godhead, the witness in everyone's heart, and the incarnation of Nara-Narayana Rsi in the form of a human being. O Personality of Godhead, I offer my respectful obeisances unto You. My Lord, I offer my respectful obeisances unto You, who are dressed in yellow garments, whose bodily hue resembles the marakata gem, and who have full control over the goddess of fortune. O my Lord Kesava, I offer my respectful obeisances unto You. O most exalted and worshipable Lord, best of those who bestow benediction, You can fulfill the desires of everyone, and therefore those who are sober, for their own welfare, worship the dust of Your lotus feet. All the demigods, as well as the goddess of fortune, engage in the service of His lotus feet. Indeed, they respect the fragrance of those lotus feet. May the Supreme Personality of Godhead be pleased with me. Kasyapa Muni continued: By chanting all these mantras, welcoming the Supreme Personality of Godhead with faith and devotion, and offering Him items of worship [such as padya and arghya], one should worship Kesava, Hrsikesa, Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In the beginning, the devotee should chant the dvadasaksara-mantra and offer flower garlands, incense and so on. After worshiping the Lord in this way, one should bathe the Lord with milk and dress Him with proper garments, a sacred thread, and ornaments. After offering water to wash the Lord's feet, one should again worship the Lord with fragrant flowers, incense and other paraphernalia. If one can afford to, one should offer the Deity fine rice boiled in milk with clarified butter and molasses. While chanting the same original mantra, one should offer all this to the fire. One should offer all the prasada to a Vaisnava or offer him some of the prasada and then take some oneself. After this, one should offer the Deity acamana and then betel nut and then again worship the Lord. Thereafter, one should silently murmur the mantra 108 times and offer prayers to the Lord for His glorification. Then one should circumambulate the Lord and finally, with great delight and satisfaction, offer obeisances, falling straight like a rod [dandavat]. After touching to one's head all the flowers and water offered to the Deity, one should throw them into a sacred place. Then one should feed at least two brahmanas with sweet rice. One should perfectly honor the respectable brahmanas one has fed, and then, after taking their permission, one should take prasada with his friends and relatives. For that night, one should observe strict celibacy, and the next morning, after bathing again, with purity and attention one should bathe the Deity of Vishnu with milk and worship Him according to the methods formerly stated in detail. Worshiping Lord Vishnu with great faith and devotion and living only by drinking milk, one should follow this vow. One should also offer oblations to the fire and feed the brahmanas as mentioned before. In this way, until twelve days have passed, one should observe this payo-vrata, worshiping the Lord every day, executing the routine duties, performing sacrifices and feeding the brahmanas. From pratipat until the thirteenth day of the next bright moon [sukla- trayodasi], one should observe complete celibacy, sleep on the floor, bathe three times a day and thus execute the vow. During this period, one should not unnecessarily talk of material subjects or topics of sense gratification, one should be completely free from envy of all living entities, and one should be a pure and simple devotee of Lord Vasudeva. Thereafter, following the directions of the sastra with help from brahmanas who know the sastra, on the thirteenth day of the moon one should bathe Lord Vishnu with five substances [milk, yogurt, ghee, sugar and honey]. Giving up the miserly habit of not spending money, one should arrange for the gorgeous worship of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vishnu, who is situated in the heart of every living entity. With great attention, one must prepare an oblation of grains boiled in ghee and milk and must chant the Purusa-sukta mantra. The offerings of food should be of varieties of tastes. In this way, one should worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead. One should satisfy the spiritual master [acarya], who is very learned in Vedic literature, and should satisfy his assistant priests [known as hota, udgata, adhvaryu and brahma]. One should please them by offering them clothing, ornaments and cows. This is the ceremony called visnu-aradhana, or worship of Lord Vishnu. O most auspicious lady, one should perform all the ceremonies under the direction of learned acaryas and should satisfy them and their priests. By distributing prasada, one should also satisfy the brahmanas and others who have assembled. One should satisfy the spiritual master and assistant priests by giving them cloth, ornaments, cows and also some monetary contribution. And by distributing prasada one should satisfy everyone assembled, including even the lowest of men, the candalas [eaters of dog flesh]. One should distribute visnu-prasada to everyone, including the poor man, the blind man, the nondevotee and the non-brahmana. Knowing that Lord Vishnu is very pleased when everyone is sumptuously fed with visnu-prasada, the performer of yajna should then take prasada with his friends and relatives. Every day from pratipat to trayodasi, one should continue the ceremony, to the accompaniment of dancing, singing, the beating of a drum, the chanting of prayers and all-auspicious mantras, and recitation of Srimad-Bhagavatam. In this way, one should worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This is the religious ritualistic ceremony known as payo-vrata, by which one may worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead. I received this information from Brahma, my grandfather, and now I have described it to you in all details. O most fortunate lady, establishing your mind in a good spirit, execute this process of payo-vrata and thus worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kesava, who is inexhaustible. This payo-vrata is also known as sarva-yajna. In other words, by performing this sacrifice one can perform all other sacrifices automatically. This is also acknowledged to be the best of all ritualistic ceremonies. O gentle lady, it is the essence of all austerities, and it is the process of giving charity and pleasing the supreme controller. This is the best process for pleasing the transcendental Supreme Personality of Godhead, known as Adhoksaja. It is the best of all regulative principles, the best austerity, the best process of giving charity, and the best process of sacrifice. Therefore, my dear gentle lady, follow this ritualistic vow, strictly observing the regulative principles. By this process, the Supreme Person will very soon be pleased with you and will satisfy all your desires. Chapter Seventeen : The Supreme Lord Agrees to Become Aditi's Son Sukadeva Gosvami said: O King, after Aditi was thus advised by her husband, Kasyapa Muni, she strictly followed his instructions without laziness and in this way performed the payo-vrata ritualistic ceremony. With full, undiverted attention, Aditi thought of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and in this way brought under full control her mind and senses, which resembled forceful horses. She concentrated her mind upon the Supreme Lord, Vasudeva. Thus she performed the ritualistic ceremony known as payo-vrata. My dear King, the original Supreme Personality of Godhead, dressed in yellow garments and bearing a conchshell, disc, club and lotus in His four hands, then appeared before Aditi. When the Supreme Personality of Godhead became visible to Aditi's eyes, Aditi was so overwhelmed by transcendental bliss that she at once stood up and then fell to the ground like a rod to offer the Lord her respectful obeisances. Aditi stood silently with folded hands, unable to offer prayers to the Lord. Because of transcendental bliss, tears filled her eyes, and the hairs on her body stood on end. Because she could see the Supreme Personality of Godhead face to face, she felt ecstasy, and her body trembled. O Maharaja Pariksit, the demigoddess Aditi then began offering her prayers to the Supreme Personality of Godhead in a faltering voice and with great love. She appeared as though drinking through her eyes the Supreme Lord, who is the husband of the goddess of fortune, the enjoyer of all sacrificial ceremonies, and the master and Lord of the entire universe. The goddess Aditi said: O master and enjoyer of all sacrificial ceremonies, O infallible and most famous person, whose name, when chanted, spreads all good fortune! O original Supreme Personality of Godhead, supreme controller, shelter of all holy places, You are the shelter of all poor, suffering living entities, and You have appeared to diminish their suffering. Please be kind to us and spread our good fortune. My Lord, You are the all-pervading universal form, the fully independent creator, maintainer and destroyer of this universe. Although You engage Your energy in matter, You are always situated in Your original form and never fall from that position, for Your knowledge is infallible and always suitable to any situation. You are never bewildered by illusion. O my Lord, let me offer my respectful obeisances unto You. O unlimited one, if Your Lordship is satisfied, one can very easily obtain a lifetime as long as that of Lord Brahma, a body either in the upper, lower or middle planetary systems, unlimited material opulence, religion, economic development and satisfaction of the senses, full transcendental knowledge, and the eight yogic perfections, what to speak of such petty achievements as conquering one's rivals. Sukadeva Gosvami said: O King Pariksit, best of the Bharata dynasty, when the lotus-eyed Lord, the Supersoul of all living entities, was thus worshiped by Aditi, He replied as follows. The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: O mother of the demigods, I have already understood your long-cherished desires for the welfare of your sons, who have been deprived of all opulences and driven from their residence by their enemies. O Devi, O goddess, I can understand that you want to regain your sons and be together with them to worship Me, after defeating the enemies in battle and retrieving your abode and opulences. You want to see the wives of the demons lamenting for the death of their husbands when those demons, the enemies of your sons, are killed in battle by the demigods, of whom Indra is the chief. You want your sons to regain their lost reputation and opulence and live again on their heavenly planet as usual. O mother of the demigods, in My opinion almost all the chiefs of the demons are now unconquerable, for they are being protected by brahmanas, whom the Supreme Lord always favors. Thus the use of power against them now will not at all be a source of happiness. Yet because I have been satisfied by the activities of your vow, O goddess Aditi, I must find some means to favor you, for worship of Me never goes in vain but certainly gives the desired result according to what one deserves. You have prayed to Me and properly worshiped Me by performing the great payo- vrata ceremony for the sake of protecting your sons. Because of Kasyapa Muni's austerities, I shall agree to become your son and thus protect your other sons. Always thinking of Me as being situated within the body of your husband, Kasyapa, go worship your husband, who has been purified by his austerity. O lady, even if someone inquires, you should not disclose this fact to anyone. That which is very confidential is successful if kept secret. Sukadeva Gosvami said: After speaking in this way, the Supreme Personality of Godhead disappeared from that very spot. Aditi, having received the extremely valuable benediction that the Lord would appear as her son, considered herself very successful, and with great devotion she approached her husband. Being situated in a meditational trance, Kasyapa Muni, whose vision is never mistaken, could see that a plenary portion of the Supreme Personality of Godhead had entered within him. O King, as the wind promotes friction between two pieces of wood and thus gives rise to fire, Kasyapa Muni, whose transcendental position was fully absorbed in the Supreme Personality of Godhead, transferred his potency into the womb of Aditi. When Lord Brahma understood that the Supreme Personality of Godhead was now within the womb of Aditi, he began to offer prayers to the Lord by reciting transcendental names. Lord Brahma said: O Supreme Personality of Godhead, all glories unto You, who are glorified by all and whose activities are all uncommon. I offer my respectful obeisances unto You, O Lord of the transcendentalists, controller of the three modes of nature. I offer my respectful obeisances unto You again and again. I offer my respectful obeisances unto You, the all-pervading Lord Vishnu, who have entered the cores of the hearts of all living entities. All the three worlds reside within Your navel, yet You are above the three worlds. Formerly You appeared as the son of Prsni. To You, the supreme creator, who are understood only through Vedic knowledge, I offer my respectful obeisances. O my Lord, You are the beginning, the manifestation and the ultimate dissolution of the three worlds, and You are celebrated in the Vedas as the reservoir of unlimited potencies, the Supreme Person. O my Lord, as waves attract branches and leaves that have fallen into deep water, You, the supreme eternal time factor, attract everything in this universe. My Lord, You are the original generator of all living entities, stationary or moving, and You are also the generator of the Prajapatis. O my Lord, as a boat is the only hope for a person drowning in the water, You are the only shelter for the demigods, who are now bereft of their heavenly position. Chapter Eighteen : Lord Vamanadeva, the Dwarf Incarnation Sukadeva Gosvami said: After Lord Brahma had thus spoken, glorifying the Supreme Lord's activities and prowess, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is never subject to death like an ordinary living being, appeared from the womb of Aditi. His four hands were decorated with a conchshell, club, lotus and disc, He was dressed in yellow garments, and His eyes appeared like the petals of a blooming lotus. The body of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, blackish in complexion, was free from all inebrieties. His lotus face, decorated with earrings resembling sharks, appeared very beautiful, and on His bosom was the mark of Srivatsa. He wore bangles on His wrists, armlets on His arms, a helmet on His head, a belt on His waist, a sacred thread across His chest, and ankle bells decorating His lotus feet. An uncommonly beautiful garland of flowers decorated His bosom, and because the flowers were extremely fragrant, a large group of bees, making their natural humming sounds, invaded them for honey. When the Lord appeared, wearing the Kaustubha gem on His neck, His effulgence vanquished the darkness in the home of the Prajapati Kasyapa. At that time, there was happiness in all directions, in the reservoirs of water like the rivers and oceans, and in the core of everyone's heart. The various seasons displayed their respective qualities, and all living entities in the upper planetary system, in outer space and on the surface of the earth were jubilant. The demigods, the cows, the brahmanas and the hills and mountains were all filled with joy. On the day of Sravana-dvadasi [the twelfth day of the bright fortnight in the month of Bhadra], when the moon came into the lunar mansion Sravana, at the auspicious moment of Abhijit, the Lord appeared in this universe. Considering the Lord's appearance very auspicious, all the stars and planets, from the sun to Saturn, were munificently charitable. O King, when the Lord appeared--on dvadasi, the twelfth day of the moon--the sun was at the meridian, as every learned scholar knows. This dvadasi is called Vijaya. Conchshells, kettledrums, drums, panavas and anakas vibrated in concert. The sound of these and various other instruments was tumultuous. Being very pleased, the celestial dancing girls [Apsaras] danced in jubilation, the best of the Gandharvas sang songs, and the great sages, demigods, Manus, Pitas and fire-gods offered prayers to satisfy the Lord. The Siddhas, Vidyadharas, Kimpurusas, Kinnaras, Caranas, Yaksas, Raksasas, Suparnas, the best of serpents, and the followers of the demigods all showered flowers on Aditi's residence, covering the entire house, while glorifying and praising the Lord and dancing. When Aditi saw the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who had appeared from her own womb, having accepted a transcendental body by His own spiritual potency, she was struck with wonder and was very happy. Upon seeing the child, Prajapati Kasyapa exclaimed, "Jaya! Jaya!" in great happiness and wonder. The Lord appeared in His original form, with ornaments and weapons in His hands. Although this ever-existing form is not visible in the material world, He nonetheless appeared in this form. Then, in the presence of His father and mother, He assumed the form of Vamana, a brahmana-dwarf, a brahmacari, just like a theatrical actor. When the great sages saw the Lord as the brahmacari-dwarf Vamana, they were certainly very pleased. Thus they placed before them Kasyapa Muni, the Prajapati, and performed all the ritualistic ceremonies, such as the birthday ceremony. At the sacred thread ceremony of Vamanadeva, the sun-god personally uttered the Gayatri mantra, Brhaspati offered the sacred thread, and Kasyapa Muni offered a straw belt. Mother earth gave Him a deerskin, and the demigod of the moon, who is the king of the forest, gave Him a brahma-danda [the rod of a brahmacari]. His mother, Aditi, gave Him cloth for underwear, and the deity presiding over the heavenly kingdom offered Him an umbrella. O King, Lord Brahma offered a waterpot to the inexhaustible Supreme Personality of Godhead, the seven sages offered Him kusa grass, and mother Sarasvati gave Him a string of Rudraksa beads. When Vamanadeva had thus been given the sacred thread, Kuvera, King of the Yaksas, gave Him a pot for begging alms, and mother Bhagavati, the wife of Lord Shiva and most chaste mother of the entire universe, gave Him His first alms. Having thus been welcomed by everyone, Lord Vamanadeva, the best of the brahmacaris, exhibited His Brahman effulgence. Thus He surpassed in beauty that entire assembly, which was filled with great saintly brahmanas. After Lord Sri Vamanadeva set a sacrificial fire, He offered worship and performed a fire sacrifice on the sacrificial field. When the Lord heard that Bali Maharaja was performing asvamedha sacrifices under the patronage of brahmanas belonging to the Bhrgu dynasty, the Supreme Lord, who is full in every respect, proceeded there to show His mercy to Bali Maharaja. By His weight, He pushed down the earth with every step. While engaged in performing the sacrifice in the field known as Bhrgukaccha, on the northern bank of the Narmada River, the brahminical priests, the descendants of Bhrgu, saw Vamanadeva to be like the sun rising nearby. O King, because of Vamanadeva's bright effulgence, the priests, along with Bali Maharaja and all the members of the assembly, were robbed of their splendor. Thus they began to ask one another whether the sun-god himself, Sanat-kumara or the fire-god had personally come to see the sacrificial ceremony. While the priests of the Bhrgu dynasty and their disciples talked and argued in various ways, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vamanadeva, holding in His hands the rod, the umbrella and a waterpot full of water, entered the arena of the asvamedha sacrifice. Appearing as a brahmana boy, wearing a belt of straw, a sacred thread, an upper garment of deerskin, and matted locks of hair, Lord Vamanadeva entered the arena of sacrifice. His brilliant effulgence diminished the brilliance of all the priests and their disciples, who thus stood from their seats and welcomed the Lord properly by offering obeisances. Bali Maharaja, jubilant at seeing Lord Vamanadeva, whose beautiful limbs contributed equally to the beauty of His entire body, offered Him a seat with great satisfaction. Thus offering a proper reception to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is always beautiful to the liberated souls, Bali Maharaja worshiped Him by washing His lotus feet. Lord Shiva, the best of demigods, who carries on his forehead the emblem of the moon, receives on his head with great devotion the Ganges water emanating from the toe of Vishnu. Being aware of religious principles, Bali Maharaja knew this. Consequently, following in the footsteps of Lord Shiva, he also placed on his head the water that had washed the Lord's lotus feet. Bali Maharaja then said to Lord Vamanadeva: O brahmana, I offer You my hearty welcome and my respectful obeisances. Please let us know what we may do for You. We think of You as the personified austerity of the great brahmana-sages. O my Lord, because You have kindly arrived at our home, all my forefathers are satisfied, our family and entire dynasty have been sanctified, and the sacrifice we are performing is now complete because of Your presence. O son of a brahmana, today the fire of sacrifice is ablaze according to the injunction of the sastra, and I have been freed from all the sinful reactions of my life by the water that has washed Your lotus feet. O my Lord, by the touch of Your small lotus feet the entire surface of the world has been sanctified. O son of a brahmana, it appears that You have come here to ask me for something. Therefore, whatever You want You may take from me. O best of those who are worshipable. You may take from me a cow, gold, a furnished house, palatable food and drink, the daughter of a brahmana for Your wife, prosperous villages, horses, elephants, chariots or whatever You desire. Chapter Nineteen : Lord Vamanadeva Begs Charity from Bali Maharaja Sukadeva Gosvami continued: When the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vamanadeva, heard Bali Maharaja speaking in this pleasing way, He was very satisfied, for Bali Maharaja had spoken in terms of religious principles. Thus the Lord began to praise him. The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: O King, you are indeed exalted because your present advisors are the brahmanas who are descendants of Bhrgu and because your instructor for your future life is your grandfather, the peaceful and venerable Prahlada Maharaja. Your statements are very true, and they completely agree with religious etiquette. They are in keeping with the behavior of your family, and they enhance your reputation. I know that even until now, no one taking birth in your family has been poor- minded or miserly. No one has refused to give charity to brahmanas, nor after promising to give charity has anyone failed to fulfill his promise. O King Bali, never in your dynasty has the low-minded King been born who upon being requested has refused charity to brahmanas in holy places or a fight to ksatriyas on a battlefield. And your dynasty is even more glorious due to the presence of Prahlada Maharaja, who is like the beautiful moon in the sky. It was in your dynasty that Hiranyaksa was born. Carrying only his own club, he wandered the globe alone, without assistance, to conquer all directions, and no hero he met could rival him. When delivering the earth from the Garbhodaka Sea, Lord Vishnu, in His incarnation as a boar, killed Hiranyaksa, who had appeared before Him. The fight was severe, and the Lord killed Hiranyaksa with great difficulty. Later, as the Lord thought about the uncommon prowess of Hiranyaksa, He felt Himself victorious indeed. When Hiranyakasipu heard the news of his brother's being killed, with great anger he went to the residence of Vishnu, the killer of his brother, wanting to kill Lord Vishnu. Seeing Hiranyakasipu coming forward bearing a trident in his hand like personified death, Lord Vishnu, the best of all mystics and the knower of the progress of time, thought as follows. Wheresoever I go, Hiranyakasipu will follow Me, as death follows all living entities. Therefore it is better for Me to enter the core of his heart, for then, because of his power to see only externally, he will not see Me. Lord Vamanadeva continued: O King of the demons, after Lord Vishnu made this decision, He entered the body of His enemy Hiranyakasipu, who was running after Him with great force. In a subtle body inconceivable to Hiranyakasipu, Lord Vishnu, who was in great anxiety, entered Hiranyakasipu's nostril along with his breath. Upon seeing that the residence of Lord Vishnu was vacant, Hiranyakasipu began searching for Lord Vishnu everywhere. Angry at not seeing Him, Hiranyakasipu screamed loudly and searched the entire universe, including the surface of the earth, the higher planetary systems, all directions and all the caves and oceans. But Hiranyakasipu, the greatest hero, did not see Vishnu anywhere. Unable to see Him, Hiranyakasipu said, "I have searched the entire universe, but I could not find Vishnu, who has killed my brother. Therefore, He must certainly have gone to that place from which no one returns. [In other words, He must now be dead.]" Hiranyakasipu's anger against Lord Vishnu persisted until his death. Other people in the bodily concept of life maintain anger only because of false ego and the great influence of ignorance. Your father, Virocana, the son of Maharaja Prahlada, was very affectionate toward brahmanas. Although he knew very well that it was the demigods who had come to him in the dress of brahmanas, at their request he delivered to them the duration of his life. You also have observed the principles followed by great personalities who are householder brahmanas, by your forefathers and by great heroes who are extremely famous for their exalted activities. O King of the Daityas, from Your Majesty, who come from such a noble family and who are able to give charity munificently, I ask only three paces of land, to the measurement of My steps. O King, controller of the entire universe, although you are very munificent and are able to give Me as much land as I want, I do not want anything from you that is unnecessary. If a learned brahmana takes charity from others only according to his needs, he does not become entangled in sinful activities. Bali Maharaja said: O son of a brahmana, Your instructions are as good as those of learned and elderly persons. Nonetheless, You are a boy, and Your intelligence is insufficient. Thus You are not very prudent in regard to Your self-interest. I am able to give You an entire island because I am the proprietor of the three divisions of the universe. You have come to take something from me and have pleased me by Your sweet words, but You are asking only three paces of land. Therefore You are not very intelligent. O small boy, one who approaches me to beg something should not have to ask anything more, anywhere. Therefore, if You wish, You may ask from me as much land as will suffice to maintain You according to Your needs. The Personality of Godhead said: O my dear King, even the entirety of whatever there may be within the three worlds to satisfy one's senses cannot satisfy a person whose senses are uncontrolled. If I were not satisfied with three paces of land, then surely I would not be satisfied even with possessing one of the seven islands, consisting of nine varsas. Even if I possessed one island, I would hope to get others. We have heard that although powerful kings like Maharaja Prthu and Maharaja Gaya achieved proprietorship over the seven dvipas, they could not achieve satisfaction or find the end of their ambitions. One should be satisfied with whatever he achieves by his previous destiny, for discontent can never bring happiness. A person who is not self-controlled will not be happy even with possessing the three worlds. Material existence causes discontent in regard to fulfilling one's lusty desires and achieving more and more money. This is the cause for the continuation of material life, which is full of repeated birth and death. But one who is satisfied by that which is obtained by destiny is fit for liberation from this material existence. A brahmana who is satisfied with whatever is providentially obtained is increasingly enlightened with spiritual power, but the spiritual potency of a dissatisfied brahmana decreases, as fire diminishes in potency when water is sprinkled upon it. Therefore, O King, from you, the best of those who give charity, I ask only three paces of land. By such a gift I shall be very pleased, for the way of happiness is to be fully satisfied to receive that which is absolutely needed. Sukadeva Gosvami continued: When the Supreme Personality of Godhead had thus spoken to Bali Maharaja, Bali smiled and told Him, "All right. Take whatever You like." To confirm his promise to give Vamanadeva the desired land, he then took up his waterpot. Understanding Lord Vishnu's purpose, Sukracarya, the best of the learned, immediately spoke as follows to his disciple, who was about to offer everything to Lord Vamanadeva. Sukracarya said: O son of Virocana, this brahmacari in the form of a dwarf is directly the imperishable Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vishnu. Accepting Kasyapa Muni as His father and Aditi as His mother, He has now appeared in order to fulfill the interests of the demigods. You do not know what a dangerous position you have accepted by promising to give Him land. I do not think that this promise is good for you. It will bring great harm to the demons. This person falsely appearing as a brahmacari is actually the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Hari, who has come in this form to take away all your land, wealth, beauty, power, fame and education. After taking everything from you, He will deliver it to Indra, your enemy. You have promised to give Him three steps of land in charity, but when you give it He will occupy the three worlds. You are a rascal! You do not know what a great mistake you have made. After giving everything to Lord Vishnu, you will have no means of livelihood. How then shall you live? Vamanadeva will first occupy the three worlds with one step, then He will take His second step and occupy everything in outer space, and then He will expand His universal body to occupy everything. Where will you offer Him the third step? You will certainly be unable to fulfill your promise, and I think that because of this inability your eternal residence will be in hell. Learned scholars do not praise that charity which endangers one's own livelihood. Charity, sacrifice, austerity and fruitive activities are possible for one who is competent to earn his livelihood properly. [They are not possible for one who cannot maintain himself.] Therefore one who is in full knowledge should divide his accumulated wealth in five parts--for religion, for reputation, for opulence, for sense gratification and for the maintenance of his family members. Such a person is happy in this world and in the next. One might argue that since you have already promised, how can you refuse? O best of the demons, just take from me the evidence of the Bahvrca-sruti, which says that a promise is truthful preceded by the word om and untruthful if not. The Vedas enjoin that the factual result of the tree of the body is the good fruits and flowers derived from it. But if the bodily tree does not exist, there is no possibility of factual fruits and flowers. Even if the body is based on untruth, there cannot be factual fruits and flowers without the help of the bodily tree. When a tree is uprooted it immediately falls down and begins to dry up. Similarly, if one doesn't take care of the body, which is supposed to be untruth--in other words, if the untruth is uprooted--the body undoubtedly becomes dry. The utterance of the word om signifies separation from one's monetary assets. In other words, by uttering this word one becomes free from attachment to money because his money is taken away from him. To be without money is not very satisfactory, for in that position one cannot fulfill one's desires. In other words, by using the word om one becomes poverty-stricken. Especially when one gives charity to a poor man or beggar, one remains unfulfilled in self- realization and in sense gratification. Therefore, the safe course is to say no. Although it is a falsehood, it protects one completely, it draws the compassion of others toward oneself, and it gives one full facility to collect money from others for oneself. Nonetheless, if one always pleads that he has nothing, he is condemned, for he is a dead body while living, or while still breathing he should be killed. In flattering a woman to bring her under control, in joking, in a marriage ceremony, in earning one's livelihood, when one's life is in danger, in protecting cows and brahminical culture, or in protecting a person from an enemy's hand, falsity is never condemned. Chapter Twenty : Bali Maharaja Surrenders the Universe Sri Sukadeva Gosvami said: O King Pariksit, when Bali Maharaja was thus advised by his spiritual master, Sukracarya, his family priest, he remained silent for some time, and then, after full deliberation, he replied to his spiritual master as follows. Bali Maharaja said: As you have already stated, the principle of religion that does not hinder one's economic development, sense gratification, fame and means of livelihood is the real occupational duty of the householder. I also think that this religious principle is correct. I am the grandson of Maharaja Prahlada. How can I withdraw my promise because of greed for money when I have already said that I shall give this land? How can I behave like an ordinary cheater, especially toward a brahmana? There is nothing more sinful than untruthfulness. Because of this, mother earth once said, "I can bear any heavy thing except a person who is a liar." I do not fear hell, poverty, an ocean of distress, falldown from my position or even death itself as much as I fear cheating a brahmana. My lord, you can also see that all the material opulences of this world are certainly separated from their possessor at death. Therefore, if the brahmana Vamanadeva is not satisfied by whatever gifts one has given, why not please Him with the riches one is destined to lose at death? Dadhici, Sibi and many other great personalities were willing to sacrifice even their lives for the benefit of the people in general. This is the evidence of history. So why not give up this insignificant land? What is the serious consideration against it? O best of the brahmanas, certainly the great demoniac kings who were never reluctant to fight enjoyed this world, but in due course of time everything they had was taken away, except their reputation, by which they continue to exist. In other words, one should try to achieve a good reputation instead of anything else. O best of the brahmanas, many men have laid down their lives on the battlefield, being unafraid of fighting, but rarely has one gotten the chance to give his accumulated wealth faithfully to a saintly person who creates holy places. By giving charity, a benevolent and merciful person undoubtedly becomes even more auspicious, especially when he gives charity to a person like your good self. Under the circumstances, I must give this little brahmacari whatever charity He wants from me. O great sage, great saintly persons like you, being completely aware of the Vedic principles for performing ritualistic ceremonies and yajnas, worship Lord Vishnu in all circumstances. Therefore, whether that same Lord Vishnu has come here to give me all benedictions or to punish me as an enemy, I must carry out His order and give Him the requested tract of land without hesitation. Although He is Vishnu Himself, out of fear He has covered Himself in the form of a brahmana to come to me begging. Under the circumstances, because He has assumed the form of a brahmana, even if He irreligiously arrests me or even kills me, I shall not retaliate, although He is my enemy. If this brahmana really is Lord Vishnu, who is worshiped by Vedic hymns, He would never give up His widespread reputation; either He would lie down having been killed by me, or He would kill me in a fight. Sri Sukadeva Gosvami continued: Thereafter, the spiritual master, Sukracarya, being inspired by the Supreme Lord, cursed his exalted disciple Bali Maharaja, who was so magnanimous and fixed in truthfulness that instead of respecting his spiritual master's instructions, he wanted to disobey his order. Although you have no knowledge, you have become a so-called learned person, and therefore you dare be so impudent as to disobey my order. Because of disobeying me, you shall very soon be bereft of all your opulence. Sukadeva Gosvami continued: Even after being cursed in this way by his own spiritual master, Bali Maharaja, being a great personality, never deviated from his determination. Therefore, according to custom, he first offered water to Vamanadeva and then offered Him the gift of land he had promised. Bali Maharaja's wife, known as Vindhyavali, who was decorated with a necklace of pearls, immediately came and had a large golden waterpot brought there, full of water with which to worship the Lord by washing His feet. Bali Maharaja, the worshiper of Lord Vamanadeva, jubilantly washed the Lord's lotus feet and then took the water on his head, for that water delivers the entire universe. At that time, the residents of the higher planetary system, namely the demigods, the Gandharvas, the Vidyadharas, the Siddhas and the Caranas, all being very pleased by Bali Maharaja's simple, nonduplicitous act, praised his qualities and showered upon him millions of flowers. The Gandharvas, the Kimpurusas and the Kinnaras sounded thousands and thousands of kettledrums and trumpets again and again, and they sang in great jubilation, declaring, "How exalted a person is Bali Maharaja, and what a difficult task he has performed! Even though he knew that Lord Vishnu was on the side of his enemies, he nonetheless gave the Lord the entire three worlds in charity." The unlimited Supreme Personality of Godhead, who had assumed the form of Vamana, then began increasing in size, acting in terms of the material energy, until everything in the universe was within His body, including the earth, the planetary systems, the sky, the directions, the various holes in the universe, the seas, the oceans, the birds, beasts, human beings, the demigods and the great saintly persons. Bali Maharaja, along with all the priests, acaryas and members of the assembly, observed the Supreme Personality of Godhead's universal body, which was full of six opulences. That body contained everything within the universe, including all the gross material elements, the senses, the sense objects, the mind, intelligence and false ego, the various kinds of living entities, and the actions and reactions of the three modes of material nature. Thereafter, Bali Maharaja, who was occupying the seat of King Indra, could see the lower planetary systems, such as Rasatala, on the soles of the feet of the Lord's universal form. He saw on the Lord's feet the surface of the globe, on the surface of His calves all the mountains, on His knees the various birds, and on His thighs the varieties of air. Bali Maharaja saw beneath the garments of the Lord, who acts wonderfully, the evening twilight. In the Lord's private parts he saw the Prajapatis, and in the round portion of the waist he saw himself with his confidential associates. In the Lord's navel he saw the sky, on the Lord's waist he saw the seven oceans, and on the Lord's bosom he saw all the clusters of stars. My dear King, on the heart of Lord Murari he saw religion; on the chest, both pleasing words and truthfulness; in the mind, the moon; on the bosom, the goddess of fortune, with a lotus flower in her hand; on the neck, all the Vedas and all sound vibrations; on the arms, all the demigods, headed by King Indra; in both ears, all the directions; on the head, the upper planetary systems; on the hair, the clouds; in the nostrils, the wind; on the eyes, the sun; and in the mouth, fire. From His words came all the Vedic mantras, on His tongue was the demigod of water, Varunadeva, on His eyebrows were the regulative principles, and on His eyelids were day and night. [When His eyes were open it was daytime, and when they were closed it was night.] On His forehead was anger, and on His lips was greed. O King, in His touch were lusty desires, in His semen were all the waters, on His back was irreligion, and in His wonderful activities or steps was the fire of sacrifice. On His shadow was death, in His smile was the illusory energy, and on the hairs of His body were all the drugs and herbs. In His veins were all the rivers, on His nails were all the stones, in His intelligence were Lord Brahma, the demigods and the great saintly persons, and throughout His entire body and senses were all living entities, moving and stationary. Bali Maharaja thus saw everything in the gigantic body of the Lord. O King, when all the demons, the followers of Maharaja Bali, saw the universal form of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who held everything within His body, when they saw in the Lord's hand His disc, known as the Sudarsana cakra, which generates intolerable heat, and when they heard the tumultuous sound of His bow, all of these caused lamentation within their hearts. The Lord's conchshell, named Pancajanya, which made sounds like that of a cloud; the very forceful club named Kaumodaki; the sword named Vidyadhara, with a shield decorated with hundreds of moonlike spots; and also Aksayasayaka, the best of quivers--all of these appeared together to offer prayers to the Lord. These associates, headed by Sunanda and other chief associates and accompanied by all the predominating deities of the various planets, offered prayers to the Lord, who wore a brilliant helmet, bracelets, and glittering earrings that resembled fish. On the Lord's bosom were the lock of hair called Srivatsa and the transcendental jewel named Kaustubha. He wore a yellow garment, covered by a belt, and He was decorated by a flower garland, surrounded by bees. Manifesting Himself in this way, O King, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, whose activities are wonderful, covered the entire surface of the earth with one footstep, the sky with His body, and all directions with His arms. As the Lord took His second step, He covered the heavenly planets. And not even a spot remained for the third step, for the Lord's foot extended higher and higher, beyond Maharloka, Janaloka, Tapoloka and even Satyaloka. Chapter Twenty-one : Bali Maharaja Arrested by the Lord Sukadeva Gosvami continued: When Lord Brahma, who was born of a lotus flower, saw that the effulgence of his residence, Brahmaloka, had been reduced by the glaring effulgence from the toenails of Lord Vamanadeva, he approached the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Lord Brahma was accompanied by all the great sages, headed by Marici, and by yogis like Sanandana, but in the presence of that glaring effulgence, O King, even Lord Brahma and his associates seemed insignificant. Among the great personalities who came to worship the lotus feet of the Lord were those who had attained perfection in self-control and regulative principles, as well as experts in logic, history, general education and the Vedic literature known as kalpe [dealing with old historical incidents]. Others were experts in the Vedic corollaries like Brahma-samhita, all the other knowledge of the Vedas [Sama, Yajur, Rg and Atharva], and also the supplementary Vedic knowledge [Ayur-veda, Dhanur-veda, etc.]. Others were those who had been freed of the reactions to fruitive activities by transcendental knowledge awakened by practice of yoga. And still others were those who had attained residence in Brahmaloka not by ordinary karma but by advanced Vedic knowledge. After devotedly worshiping the upraised lotus feet of the Supreme Lord with oblations of water, Lord Brahma, who was born of the lotus emanating from Lord Vishnu's navel, offered prayers to the Lord. O King, the water from Lord Brahma's kamandalu washed the lotus feet of Lord Vamanadeva, who is known as Urukrama, the wonderful actor. Thus that water became so pure that it was transformed into the water of the Ganges, which went flowing down from the sky, purifying the three worlds like the pure fame of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Lord Brahma and all the predominating deities of the various planetary systems began to worship Lord Vamanadeva, their supreme master, who had reduced Himself from His all-pervading form to His original form. They collected all the ingredients and paraphernalia for this worship. They worshiped the Lord by offering fragrant flowers, water, padya and arghya, sandalwood pulp and aguru pulp, incense, lamps, fused rice, unbroken grains, fruits, roots and sprouts. While so doing, they offered prayers indicating the glorious activities of the Lord and shouted "Jaya! Jaya!" They also danced, played instruments, sang, sounded conchshells and beat kettledrums, in this way worshiping the Lord. Jambavan, king of the bears, also joined in the ceremony. Sounding his bugle in all directions, he declared a great festival for Lord Vamanadeva's victory. When the demoniac followers of Maharaja Bali saw that their master, who had been determined in performing sacrifice, had lost all his possessions to Vamanadeva, who had taken them away on the plea of begging three paces of land, they were very angry and spoke as follows. "This Vamana is certainly not a brahmana but the best of cheaters, Lord Vishnu. Assuming the form of a brahmana, He has covered His own form, and thus He is working for the interests of the demigods. "Our lord, Bali Maharaja, because of his position in performing the yajna, has given up the power to punish. Taking advantage of this, our eternal enemy, Vishnu, dressed in the form of a brahmacari beggar, has taken away all his possessions. "Our lord, Bali Maharaja, is always fixed in truthfulness, and this is especially so at present, since he has been initiated into performing a sacrifice. He is always kind and merciful toward the brahmanas, and he cannot at any time speak lies. "Therefore it is our duty to kill this Vamanadeva, Lord Vishnu. It is our religious principle and the way to serve our master." After making this decision, the demoniac followers of Maharaja Bali took up their various weapons with a view to killing Vamanadeva. O King, the demons, aggravated by their usual anger, took their lances and tridents in hand, and against the will of Bali Maharaja they pushed forward to kill Lord Vamanadeva. O King, when the associates of Lord Vishnu saw the soldiers of the demons coming forward in violence, they smiled. Taking up their weapons, they forbade the demons to continue their attempt. Nanda, Sunanda, Jaya, Vijaya, Prabala, Bala, Kumuda, Kumudaksa, Visvaksena, Patattrirat [Garuda], Jayanta, Srutadeva, Puspadanta and Satvata were all associates of Lord Vishnu. They were as powerful as ten thousand elephants, and now they began killing the soldiers of the demons. When Bali Maharaja saw that his own soldiers were being killed by the associates of Lord Vishnu, he remembered the curse of Sukracarya and forbade his soldiers to continue fighting. O Vipracitti, O Rahu, O Nemi, please hear my words! Don't fight. Stop immediately, for the present time is not in our favor. O Daityas, by human efforts no one can supersede the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who can bring happiness and distress to all living entities. The supreme time factor, which represents the Supreme Person, was previously in our favor and not in favor of the demigods, but now that same time factor is against us. No one can surpass the time representation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead by material power, by the counsel of ministers, by intelligence, by diplomacy, by fortresses, by mystic mantras, by drugs, by herbs or by any other means. Previously, being empowered by providence, you defeated a great number of such followers of Lord Vishnu. But today those same followers, having defeated us, are roaring in jubilation like lions. Unless providence is in our favor, we shall not be able to gain victory. Therefore we must wait for that favorable time when our defeating them will be possible. Sukadeva Gosvami continued: O King, in accordance with the order of their master, Bali Maharaja, all the chiefs of the demons and the Daityas entered the lower regions of the universe, to which they were driven by the soldiers of Vishnu. Thereafter, on the day of soma-pana, after the sacrifice was finished, Garuda, king of the birds, understanding the desire of his master, arrested Bali Maharaja with the ropes of Varuna. When Bali Maharaja was thus arrested by Lord Vishnu, who is the most powerful, there was a great roar of lamentation in all directions throughout the upper and lower planetary systems of the universe. O King, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vamanadeva, then spoke to Bali Maharaja, the most liberal and celebrated personality whom He had arrested with the ropes of Varuna. Bali Maharaja had lost all bodily luster, but he was nonetheless fixed in his determination. O King of the demons, you have promised to give Me three steps of land, but I have occupied the entire universe with two steps. Now think about where I should put My third. As far as the sun and moon shine with the stars and as far as the clouds pour rain, all the land throughout the universe is in your possession. Of these possessions, with one step I have occupied Bhurloka, and with My body I have occupied the entire sky and all directions. And in your presence, with My second step, I have occupied the upper planetary system. Because you have been unable to give charity according to your promise, the rule is that you should go down to live in the hellish planets. Therefore, in accordance with the order of Sukracarya, your spiritual master, now go down and live there. Far from being elevated to the heavenly planets or fulfilling one's desire, one who does not properly give a beggar what he has promised falls down to a hellish condition of life. Being falsely proud of your possessions, you promised to give Me land, but you could not fulfill your promise. Therefore, because your promise was false, you must live for a few years in hellish life. Chapter Twenty-two : Bali Maharaja Surrenders His Life Sukadeva Gosvami said: O King, although the Supreme Personality of Godhead was superficially seen to have acted mischievously toward Bali Maharaja, Bali Maharaja was fixed in his determination. Considering himself not to have fulfilled his promise, he spoke as follows. Bali Maharaja said: O best Personality of Godhead, most worshipable for all the demigods, if You think that my promise has become false, I shall certainly rectify matters to make it truthful. I cannot allow my promise to be false. Please, therefore, place Your third lotus footstep on my head. I do not fear being deprived of all my possessions, living in hellish life, being arrested for poverty by the ropes of Varuna or being punished by You as much as I fear defamation. Although a father, mother, brother or friend may sometimes punish one as a well- wisher, they never punish their subordinate like this. But because You are the most worshipable Lord, I regard the punishment You have given me as most exalted. Since Your Lordship is indirectly the greatest well-wisher of us demons, You act for our best welfare by posing as if our enemy. Because demons like us always aspire for a position of false prestige, by chastising us You give us the eyes by which to see the right path. Many demons who were continuously inimical toward You finally achieved the perfection of great mystic yogis. Your Lordship can perform one work to serve many purposes, and consequently, although You have punished me in many ways, I do not feel ashamed of having been arrested by the ropes of Varuna, nor do I feel aggrieved. My grandfather Prahlada Maharaja is famous, being recognized by all Your devotees. Although harassed in many ways by his father, Hiranyakasipu, he still remained faithful, taking shelter at Your lotus feet. What is the use of the material body, which automatically leaves its owner at the end of life? And what is the use of all one's family members, who are actually plunderers taking away money that is useful for the service of the Lord in spiritual opulence? What is the use of a wife? She is only the source of increasing material conditions. And what is the use of family, home, country and community? Attachment for them merely wastes the valuable energy of one's lifetime. My grandfather, the best of all men, who achieved unlimited knowledge and was worshipable for everyone, was afraid of the common men in this world. Being fully convinced of the substantiality afforded by shelter at Your lotus feet, He took shelter of Your lotus feet, against the will of his father and demoniac friends, who were killed by Your own self. Only by providence have I been forcibly brought under Your lotus feet and deprived of all my opulence. Because of the illusion created by temporary opulence, people in general, who live under material conditions, facing accidental death at every moment, do not understand that this life is temporary. Only by providence have I been saved from that condition. Sukadeva Gosvami said: O best of the Kurus, while Bali Maharaja was describing his fortunate position in this way, the most dear devotee of the Lord, Prahlada Maharaja, appeared there, like the moon rising in the nighttime. Then Bali Maharaja saw his grandfather Prahlada Maharaja, the most fortunate personality, whose dark body resembled black ointment for the eyes. His tall, elegant figure was dressed in yellow garments, he had long arms, and his beautiful eyes were like the petals of a lotus. He was very dear and pleasing to everyone. Being bound by the ropes of Varuna, Bali Maharaja could not offer befitting respect to Prahlada Maharaja as he had before. Rather, he simply offered respectful obeisances with his head, his eyes being inundated with tears and his face lowered in shame. When the great personality Prahlada Maharaja saw that the Supreme Lord was sitting there, surrounded and worshiped by His intimate associates like Sunanda, he was overwhelmed with tears of jubilation. Approaching the Lord and falling to the ground, he offered obeisances to the Lord with his head. Prahlada Maharaja said: My Lord, it is Your Lordship who gave this Bali the very great opulence of the post of heavenly king, and now, today, it is You who have taken it all away. I think You have acted with equal beauty in both ways. Because his exalted position as King of heaven was putting him in the darkness of ignorance, You have done him a very merciful favor by taking away all his opulence. Material opulence is so bewildering that it makes even a learned, self- controlled man forget to search for the goal of self-realization. But the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Narayana, the Lord of the universe, can see everything by His will. Therefore I offer my respectful obeisances unto Him. Sukadeva Gosvami continued: O King Pariksit, Lord Brahma then began to speak to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, within the hearing of Prahlada Maharaja, who stood nearby with folded hands. But Bali Maharaja's chaste wife, afraid and aggrieved at seeing her husband arrested, immediately offered obeisances to Lord Vamanadeva [Upendra]. She folded her hands and spoke as follows. Srimati Vindhyavali said: O my Lord, You have created the entire universe for the enjoyment of Your personal pastimes, but foolish, unintelligent men have claimed proprietorship for material enjoyment. Certainly they are shameless agnostics. Falsely claiming proprietorship, they think they can give charity and enjoy. In such a condition, what good can they do for You, who are the independent creator, maintainer and annihilator of this universe? Lord Brahma said: O well-wisher and master of all living entities, O worshipable Deity of all the demigods, O all-pervading Personality of Godhead, now this man has been sufficiently punished, for You have taken everything. Now You can release him. He does not deserve to be punished more. Bali Maharaja had already offered everything to Your Lordship. Without hesitation, he has offered his land, the planets and whatever else he earned by his pious activities, including even his own body. By offering even water, newly grown grass, or flower buds at Your lotus feet, those who maintain no mental duplicity can achieve the most exalted position within the spiritual world. This Bali Maharaja, without duplicity, has now offered everything in the three worlds. How then can he deserve to suffer from arrest? The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: My dear Lord Brahma, because of material opulence a foolish person becomes dull-witted and mad. Thus he has no respect for anyone within the three worlds and defies even My authority. To such a person I show special favor by first taking away all his possessions. While rotating in the cycle of birth and death again and again in different species because of his own fruitive activities, the dependent living entity, by good fortune, may happen to become a human being. This human birth is very rarely obtained. If a human being is born in an aristocratic family or a higher status of life, if he performs wonderful activities, if he is youthful, if he has personal beauty, a good education and good wealth, and if he is nonetheless not proud of his opulences, it is to be understood that he is especially favored by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Although aristocratic birth and other such opulences are impediments to advancement in devotional service because they are causes of false prestige and pride, these opulences never disturb a pure devotee of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Bali Maharaja has become the most famous among the demons and nonbelievers, for in spite of being bereft of all material opulences, he is fixed in his devotional service. Although bereft of his riches, fallen from his original position, defeated and arrested by his enemies, rebuked and deserted by his relatives and friends, although suffering the pain of being bound and although rebuked and cursed by his spiritual master, Bali Maharaja, being fixed in his vow, did not give up his truthfulness. It was certainly with pretension that I spoke about religious principles, but he did not give up religious principles, for he is true to his word. The Lord continued: Because of his great tolerance, I have given him a place not obtainable even by the demigods. He will become King of the heavenly planets during the period of the Manu known as Savarni. Until Bali Maharaja achieves the position of King of heaven, he shall live on the planet Sutala, which was made by Visvakarma according to My order. Because it is especially protected by Me, it is free from mental and bodily miseries, fatigue, dizziness, defeat and all other disturbances. Bali Maharaja, you may now go live there peacefully. O Bali Maharaja [Indrasena], now you may go to the planet Sutala, which is desired even by the demigods. Live there peacefully, surrounded by your friends and relatives. All good fortune unto you. On the planet Sutala, not even the predominating deities of other planets, what to speak of ordinary people, will be able to conquer you. As far as the demons are concerned, if they transgress your rule, My disc will kill them. O great hero, I shall always be with you and give you protection in all respects along with your associates and paraphernalia. Moreover, you will always be able to see Me there. Because there you will see My supreme prowess, your materialistic ideas and anxieties that have arisen from your association with the demons and Danavas will immediately be vanquished. Chapter Twenty-three : The Demigods Regain the Heavenly Planets Sukadeva Gosvami said: When the supreme, ancient, eternal Personality of Godhead had thus spoken to Bali Maharaja, who is universally accepted as a pure devotee of the Lord and therefore a great soul, Bali Maharaja, his eyes filled with tears, his hands folded and his voice faltering in devotional ecstasy, responded as follows. Bali Maharaja said: What a wonderful effect there is in even attempting to offer respectful obeisances to You! I merely endeavored to offer You obeisances, but nonetheless the attempt was as successful as those of pure devotees. The causeless mercy You have shown to me, a fallen demon, was never achieved even by the demigods or the leaders of the various planets. Sukadeva Gosvami continued: After speaking in this way, Bali Maharaja offered his obeisances first to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Hari, and then to Lord Brahma and Lord Shiva. Thus he was released from the bondage of the naga- pasa [the ropes of Varuna], and in full satisfaction he entered the planet known as Sutala. Thus having delivered the proprietorship of the heavenly planets to Indra and having fulfilled the desire of Aditi, mother of the demigods, the Supreme Personality of Godhead ruled the affairs of the universe. When Prahlada Maharaja heard how Bali Maharaja, his grandson and descendant, had been released from bondage and had achieved the benediction of the Lord, he spoke as follows in a tone of greatly ecstatic devotion. Prahlada Maharaja said: O Supreme Personality of Godhead, You are universally worshiped; even Lord Brahma and Lord Shiva worship Your lotus feet. Yet although You are such a great personality, You have kindly promised to protect us, the demons. I think that such kindness has never been achieved even by Lord Brahma, Lord Shiva or the goddess of fortune, Laksmi, what to speak of other demigods or common people. O supreme shelter of everyone, great personalities like Brahma enjoy their perfection simply by tasting the honey of rendering service at Your lotus feet. But as for us, who are all rogues and debauchees born of an envious family of demons, how have we received Your mercy? It has been possible only because Your mercy is causeless. O my Lord, Your pastimes are all wonderfully performed by Your inconceivable spiritual energy; and by her perverted reflection, the material energy, You have created all the universes. As the Supersoul of all living entities, You are aware of everything, and therefore You are certainly equal toward everyone. Nonetheless, You favor Your devotees. This is not partiality, however, for Your characteristic is just like that of a desire tree, which yields everything according to one's desire. The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: My dear son Prahlada, all good fortune unto you. For the time being, please go to the place known as Sutala and there enjoy happiness with your grandson and your other relatives and friends. The Supreme Personality of Godhead assured Prahlada Maharaja: You shall be able to see Me there in My usual feature with conchshell, disc, club and lotus in My hand. Because of your transcendental bliss due to always personally seeing Me, you will have no further bondage to fruitive activities. Srila Sukadeva Gosvami said: Accompanied by Bali Maharaja, my dear King Pariksit, Prahlada Maharaja, the master of all the chiefs of the demons, took the Supreme Lord's order on his head with folded hands. After saying yes to the Lord, circumambulating Him and offering Him respectful obeisances, he entered the lower planetary system known as Sutala. Hari, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Narayana, thereafter addressed Sukracarya, who was sitting nearby in the midst of the assembly with the priests [brahma, hota, udgata and adhvaryu]. O Maharaja Pariksit, these priests were all brahma-vadis, followers of the Vedic principles for performing sacrifices. O best of the brahmanas, Sukracarya, please describe the fault or discrepancy in your disciple Bali Maharaja, who engaged in performing sacrifices. This fault will be nullified when judged in the presence of qualified brahmanas. Sukracarya said: My Lord, You are the enjoyer and lawgiver in all performances of sacrifice, and You are the yajna-purusa, the person to whom all sacrifices are offered. If one has fully satisfied You, where is the chance of discrepancies or faults in his performances of sacrifice? There may be discrepancies in pronouncing the mantras and observing the regulative principles, and, moreover, there may be discrepancies in regard to time, place, person and paraphernalia. But when Your Lordship's holy name is chanted, everything becomes faultless. Lord Vishnu, I must nonetheless act in obedience to Your order because obeying Your order is most auspicious and is the first duty of everyone. Sukadeva Gosvami continued: In this way, the most powerful Sukracarya accepted the order of the Supreme Personality of Godhead with full respect. Along with the best brahmanas, he began to compensate for the discrepancies in the sacrifices performed by Bali Maharaja. O King Pariksit, thus having taken all the land of Bali Maharaja by begging, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Vamanadeva, delivered to His brother Indra all the land taken away by Indra's enemy. Lord Brahma [the master of King Daksa and all other Prajapatis], accompanied by all the demigods, the great saintly persons, the inhabitants of Pitrloka, the Manus, the munis, and such leaders as Daksa, Bhrgu and Angira, as well as Karttikeya and Lord Shiva, accepted Lord Vamanadeva as the protector of everyone. He did this for the pleasure of Kasyapa Muni and his wife Aditi and for the welfare of all the inhabitants of the universe, including their various leaders. O King Pariksit, Indra was considered the King of all the universe, but the demigods, headed by Lord Brahma, wanted Upendra, Lord Vamanadeva, as the protector of the Vedas, the principles of religion, fame, opulence, auspiciousness, vows, elevation to the higher planetary system, and liberation. Thus they accepted Upendra, Lord Vamanadeva, as the supreme master of everything. This decision made all living entities extremely happy. Thereafter, along with all the leaders of the heavenly planets, Indra, the King of heaven, placed Lord Vamanadeva before him and, with the approval of Lord Brahma, brought Him to the heavenly planet in a celestial airplane. Indra, King of heaven, being protected by the arms of Vamanadeva, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, thus regained his rule of the three worlds and was reinstated in his own position, supremely opulent, fearless and fully satisfied. Lord Brahma, Lord Shiva, Lord Karttikeya, the great sage Bhrgu, other saintly persons, the inhabitants of Pitrloka and all other living entities present, including the inhabitants of Siddhaloka and living entities who travel in outer space by airplane, all glorified the uncommon activities of Lord Vamanadeva. O King, while chanting about and glorifying the Lord, they returned to their respective heavenly planets. They also praised the position of Aditi. O Maharaja Pariksit, pleasure of your dynasty, I have now described to you everything about the wonderful activities of the Supreme Personality of Godhead Vamanadeva. Those who hear about this are certainly freed from all the results of sinful activities. One who is subject to death cannot measure the glories of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Trivikrama, Lord Vishnu, any more than he can count the number of atoms on the entire planet earth. No one, whether born already or destined to take birth, is able to do this. This has been sung by the great sage Vasistha. If one hears about the uncommon activities of the Supreme Personality of Godhead in His various incarnations, he is certainly elevated to the higher planetary system or even brought back home, back to Godhead. Whenever the activities of Vamanadeva are described in the course of a ritualistic ceremony, whether the ceremony be performed to please the demigods, to please one's forefathers in Pitrloka, or to celebrate a social event like a marriage, that ceremony should be understood to be extremely auspicious. Chapter Twenty-four : Matsya, the Lord's Fish Incarnation Maharaja Pariksit said: The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Hari, is eternally situated in His transcendental position, yet He descends to this material world and manifests Himself in various incarnations. His first incarnation was that of a great fish. O most powerful Sukadeva Gosvami, I wish to hear from you the pastimes of that fish incarnation. What was the purpose for which the Supreme Personality of Godhead accepted the abominable form of a fish, exactly as an ordinary living being accepts different forms under the laws of karma? The form of a fish is certainly condemned and full of terrible pain. O my lord, what was the purpose of this incarnation? Kindly explain this to us, for hearing about the pastimes of the Lord is auspicious for everyone. Suta Gosvami said: When Pariksit Maharaja thus inquired from Sukadeva Gosvami, that most powerful saintly person began describing the pastimes of the Lord's incarnation as a fish. Sri Sukadeva Gosvami said: O King, for the sake of protecting the cows, brahmanas, demigods, devotees, the Vedic literature, religious principles, and principles to fulfill the purpose of life, the Supreme Personality of Godhead accepts the forms of incarnations. Like the air passing through different types of atmosphere, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, although appearing sometimes as a human being and sometimes as a lower animal, is always transcendental. Because He is above the material modes of nature, He is unaffected by higher and lower forms. O King Pariksit, at the end of the past millennium, at the end of Brahma's day, because Lord Brahma sleeps during the night, annihilation took place, and the three worlds were covered by the water of the ocean. At the end of Brahma's day, when Brahma felt sleepy and desired to lie down, the Vedas were emanating from his mouth, and the great demon named Hayagriva stole the Vedic knowledge. Understanding the acts of the great demon Hayagriva, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Hari, who is full of all opulences, assumed the form of a fish and saved the Vedas by killing the demon. During the Caksusa-manvantara there was a great king named Satyavrata who was a great devotee of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Satyavrata performed austerities by subsisting only on water. In this [the present] millennium King Satyavrata later became the son of Vivasvan, the king of the sun planet, and was known as Sraddhadeva. By the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he was given the post of Manu. One day while King Satyavrata was performing austerities by offering water on the bank of the River Krtamala, a small fish appeared in the water in his palms. Satyavrata, the King of Dravidadesa, threw the fish into the water of the river along with the water in his palm, O King Pariksit, descendant of Bharata. With an appealing voice, the poor small fish said to King Satyavrata, who was very merciful: My dear King, protector of the poor, why are you throwing Me in the water of the river, where there are other aquatics who can kill Me? I am very much afraid of them. To please himself, King Satyavrata, not knowing that the fish was the Supreme Personality of Godhead, decided with great pleasure to give the fish protection. The merciful King, being moved by the pitiable words of the fish, placed the fish in a water jug and brought Him to his own residence. But in one night that fish grew so much that He could not move His body comfortably in the water of the pot. He then spoke to the King as follows. O My dear King, I do not like living in this waterpot with such great difficulty. Therefore, please find some better reservoir of water where I can live comfortably. Then, taking the fish out of the waterpot, the King threw Him in a large well. But within a moment the fish developed to the length of three cubits. The fish then said: My dear King, this reservoir of water is not fit for My happy residence. Please give Me a more extensive pool of water, for I have taken shelter of you. O Maharaja Pariksit, the King took the fish from the well and threw Him in a lake, but the fish then assumed a gigantic form exceeding the extent of the water. The fish then said: O King, I am a large aquatic, and this water is not at all suitable for Me. Now kindly find some way to save Me. It would be better to put Me in the water of a lake that will never reduce. When thus requested, King Satyavrata took the fish to the largest reservoir of water. But when that also proved insufficient, the King at last threw the gigantic fish into the ocean. While being thrown in the ocean, the fish said to King Satyavrata: O hero, in this water there are very powerful and dangerous sharks that will eat Me. Therefore you should not throw Me in this place. After hearing these sweet words from the Supreme Personality of Godhead in the form of a fish, the King, being bewildered, asked Him: Who are You, sir? You simply bewilder us. My Lord, in one day You have expanded Yourself for hundreds of miles, covering the water of the river and the ocean. Before this I had never seen or heard of such an aquatic animal. My Lord, You are certainly the inexhaustible Supreme Personality of Godhead, Narayana, Sri Hari. It is to show Your mercy to the living entities that You have now assumed the form of an aquatic. O my Lord, master of creation, maintenance and annihilation, O best of enjoyers, Lord Vishnu, You are the leader and destination of surrendered devotees like us. Therefore let me offer my respectful obeisances unto You. All Your pastimes and incarnations certainly appear for the welfare of all living entities. Therefore, my Lord, I wish to know the purpose for which You have assumed this form of a fish. O my Lord, possessing eyes like the petals of a lotus, the worship of the demigods, who are in the bodily concept of life, is fruitless in all respects. But because You are the supreme friend and dearmost Supersoul of everyone, worship of Your lotus feet is never useless. You have therefore manifested Your form as a fish. Sukadeva Gosvami said: When King Satyavrata spoke in this way, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who at the end of the yuga had assumed the form of a fish to benefit His devotee and enjoy His pastimes in the water of inundation, responded as follows. The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: O King, who can subdue your enemies, on the seventh day from today the three worlds--Bhuh, Bhuvah and Svah--will all merge into the water of inundation. When all the three worlds merge into the water, a large boat sent by Me will appear before you. Thereafter, O King, you shall collect all types of herbs and seeds and load them on that great boat. Then, accompanied by the seven rsis and surrounded by all kinds of living entities, you shall get aboard that boat, and without moroseness you shall easily travel with your companions on the ocean of inundation, the only illumination being the effulgence of the great rsis. Then, as the boat is tossed about by the powerful winds, attach the vessel to My horn by means of the great serpent Vasuki, for I shall be present by your side. Pulling the boat, with you and all the rsis in it, O King, I shall travel in the water of devastation until the night of Lord Brahma's slumber is over. You will be thoroughly advised and favored by Me, and because of your inquiries, everything about My glories, which are known as param brahma, will be manifest within your heart. Thus you will know everything about Me. After thus instructing the King, the Supreme Personality of Godhead immediately disappeared. Then King Satyavrata began to wait for that time of which the Lord had instructed. After spreading kusa with its tips pointing east, the saintly King, himself facing the northeast, sat down on the grass and began to meditate upon the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vishnu, who had assumed the form of a fish. Thereafter, gigantic clouds pouring incessant water swelled the ocean more and more. Thus the ocean began to overflow onto the land and inundate the entire world. As Satyavrata remembered the order of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he saw a boat coming near him. Thus he collected herbs and creepers, and, accompanied by saintly brahmanas, he got aboard the boat. The saintly brahmanas, being pleased with the King, said to him: O King, please meditate upon the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kesava. He will save us from this impending danger and arrange for our well-being. Then, while the King constantly meditated upon the Supreme Personality of Godhead, a large golden fish appeared in the ocean of inundation. The fish had one horn and was eight million miles long. Following the instructions formerly given by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the King anchored the boat to the fish's horn, using the serpent Vasuki as a rope. Thus being satisfied, he began offering prayers to the Lord. The King said: By the grace of the Lord, those who have lost their self- knowledge since time immemorial, and who because of this ignorance are involved in a material, conditional life full of miseries, obtain the chance to meet the Lord's devotee. I accept that Supreme Personality of Godhead as the supreme spiritual master. In hopes of becoming happy in this material world, the foolish conditioned soul performs fruitive activities that result only in suffering. But by rendering service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one becomes free from such false desires for happiness. May my supreme spiritual master cut the knot of false desires from the core of my heart. One who wants to be free of material entanglement should take to the service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and give up the contamination of ignorance, involving pious and impious activities. Thus one regains his original identity, just as a block of gold or silver sheds all dirt and becomes purified when treated with fire. May that inexhaustible Supreme Personality of Godhead become our spiritual master, for He is the original spiritual master of all other spiritual masters. Neither all the demigods, nor the so-called gurus nor all other people, either independently or together, can offer mercy that equals even one ten-thousandth of Yours. Therefore I wish to take shelter of Your lotus feet. As a blind man, being unable to see, accepts another blind man as his leader, people who do not know the goal of life accept someone as a guru who is a rascal and a fool. But we are interested in self-realization. Therefore we accept You, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, as our spiritual master, for You are able to see in all directions and are omniscient like the sun. A materialistic so-called guru instructs his materialistic disciples about economic development and sense gratification, and because of such instructions the foolish disciples continue in the materialistic existence of ignorance. But Your Lordship gives knowledge that is eternal, and the intelligent person receiving such knowledge is quickly situated in his original constitutional position. My Lord, You are the supreme well-wishing friend of everyone, the dearmost friend, the controller, the Supersoul, the supreme instructor and the giver of supreme knowledge and the fulfillment of all desires. But although You are within the heart, the foolish, because of lusty desires in the heart, cannot understand You. O Supreme Lord, for self-realization I surrender unto You, who are worshiped by the demigods as the supreme controller of everything. By Your instructions, exposing life's purpose, kindly cut the knot from the core of my heart and let me know the destination of my life. Sukadeva Gosvami continued: When Satyavrata had thus prayed to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who had assumed the form of a fish, the Lord, while moving in the water of inundation, explained to him the Absolute Truth. The Supreme Personality of Godhead thus explained to King Satyavrata the spiritual science known as sankhya-yoga, the science by which one distinguishes between matter and spirit [in other words, bhakti-yoga], along with the instructions contained in the Puranas [the old histories] and the samhitas. The Lord explained Himself in all these literatures. While sitting in the boat, King Satyavrata, accompanied by the great saintly persons, listened to the instructions of the Supreme Personality of Godhead in regard to self-realization. These instructions were all from the eternal Vedic literature [brahma]. Thus the King and sages had no doubt about the Absolute Truth. At the end of the last inundation [during the period of Svayambhuva Manu] the Supreme Personality of Godhead killed the demon named Hayagriva and delivered all the Vedic literatures to Lord Brahma when Lord Brahma awakened from sleeping. King Satyavrata was illuminated with all Vedic knowledge by the mercy of Lord Vishnu, and in this period he has now taken birth as Vaivasvata Manu, the son of the sun-god. This story concerning the great King Satyavrata and the fish incarnation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vishnu, is a great transcendental narration. Anyone who hears it is delivered from the reactions of sinful life. One who narrates this description of the Matsya incarnation and King Satyavrata will certainly have all his ambitions fulfilled, and he will undoubtedly return home, back to Godhead. I offer my respectful obeisances unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who pretended to be a gigantic fish, who restored the Vedic literature to Lord Brahma when Lord Brahma awakened from sleep, and who explained the essence of Vedic literature to King Satyavrata and the great saintly persons.