Chapter 18: Diti Vows to Kill King Indra
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    Welcome, Guest · RSS 2018-11-17, 1:32 AM

    Chapter 18: Diti Vows to Kill King Indra

    (1) S'rî S'uka said: 'From Pris'ni then, the wife of Savitâ [the fifth of the twelve sons of Aditi], there were [the three daughters] Sâvitrî, Vyâhriti and Trayî and [from them the sons] Agnihotra, Pas'u, Soma, Câturmâsya and the five Mahâyajñas [were born]. (2) Siddhi the wife of Bhaga [the sixth son of the twelve sons of Aditi], my dear King, bore [the sons] Mahimâ, Vibhu and Prabhu and a very beautiful and virtuous daughter named Âs'î. (3-4) From the wives of Dhâtâ [the seventh son of Aditi] named Kuhû, Sinîvâlî, Râkâ and Anumati [respectively the sons] Sâyam, Dars'a, Prâtah and Pûrnamâsa were born. The firegods called the Purîshyas were by the next son [of Aditi: Vidhâtâ] begotten in Kriyâ and Carshanî [the wife of] of Varuna [the ninth son of Aditi] was the mother from whom Bhrigu took his birth again. (5) Vâlmîki, the great yogi, was [by the semen of Varuna] born from an ant-hill [hence his name]. And Mitra [the tenth son] and Varuna together fathered the two sages Âgastya and Vasishthha. (6) From being in the presence of Urvas'î semen was discharged [by Mitra and Varuna] in an earthen pot [and from that semen the sages were born as their two sons]. Mitra begot in Revatî [the three sons] Utsarga, Arishtha and Pippala. (7) Lord Indra [the eleventh son] begot in Paulomî [or S'acîdevî] so we heard, three sons my best, called Jayanta, Rishabha and Midhusha. (8) Lord Urukrama [or Vâmana, the twelfth son] by His inner potency appeared in the form of a dwarf. From His wife Kîrti the son Brihats'loka was born and he fathered many other sons with Saubhaga as the first one. (9) The activities, qualities and power of this great soul and how He factually descended from Aditi as the son of Kas'yapa, I will describe later on.

    (10) I will tell you now how from the seed of Kas'yapa the [demoniac] sons of Diti were born [see 3.14] and the [later members of the family, the] great and glorious devotee Prahlâda and Bali Mahârâja [who was defeated by Vâmana]. (11) The two sons of Diti who by the Daityas and Dânavas were celebrated, are named Hiranyakas'ipu and Hiranyâksha. We have talked about them [see 3.14]. (12-13) The wife of Hiranyakas'ipu named Kayâdhu, was a daughter born from Jambha and a descendant of Danu. She gave birth to four sons with Samhlâda as the first, after whom Anuhlâda, Hlâda and Prahlâda were born as also a sister called Simhikâ. She got from Vipracit the son Râhu. (14) His [Râhu's] head was severed by the Lord's disc when he drank from the nectar [of the demigods]. Samhlâda's wife Kriti gave birth to [the son] Pañcajana. (15) Dhamani, the wife of Hlâda, gave birth to [the sons] Vâtâpi and Ilvala. When Agastya once visited Ilvala he cooked and served his brother Vâtâpi [in the form of a ram]. (16) From Anuhlâda's wife Sûryâ there were [born the two sons] Bâshkala and Mahisha. Virocana was the son of Prahlâda and from his wife the son Bali was born. (17) He begot in As'anâ a hundred sons and Bâna was the eldest one. I'll describe his praiseworthy character later. (18) Bâna was a worshiper of Lord S'iva and was by him promoted to the level of his chief associates. For that reason the great Lord is the protector of his capital until the present day. The Maruts - demigods(19) The forty-nine Maruts, also sons of Diti, had no sons themselves and were by Indra all elevated to the position of demigods.'

    (20) The king said: 'Why oh guru, did they give up the atheistic mentality they were born with? Why were they by Indra turned into demigods? Was it because of their saintly activities? (21) Oh brahmin, these sages together with me here, are all eager to hear about this from you oh great one. Please explain it therefore to us.' "

    (22) S'rî Sûta said: "Hearing those respectful, brief and meaningful words of the servant of Vishnu, the omniscient son of Vyâsa praised him and calmly and focussed  gave a reply oh S'aunaka. (23) S'rî S'uka said: 'Diti, whose sons were killed by Lord Vishnu in support of Indra, burned with anger and thought, clouded by grief: (24) 'I will only rest and be happy when an end has been put to the life of [Indra,] this pleasure seeking, hard-hearted, cruel and sinful murderer of the brothers! (25) Would someone be of true knowledge when he designated a king, with his body which is doomed to end with the worms, as stool or as ashes, nevertheless hurts others in the pursuit of his own happiness? Does not such a one await the punishment of hell? (26) He, thinking that this [material covering] lasts for ever, is out of his mind. Can I count on a son who can fight this madness of Indra?' (27-28) Filled with that intention, she consequently was constantly of service unto her husband [Kas'yapa] with all kinds of pleasing activities full of love and humility, self-restraint and great devotion oh King. Knowing him very well, she with charming sweet words, smiles and sidelong glances managed to bring him under her control. (29) Although a highly expert, learned scholar he was thus enchanted by the woman. Being under her control he therefore acceded to her wishes; a thing [for a man] not at all that surprising in relating to a woman. (30) Seeing the living beings unattached in the beginning of creation, God the Father [Brahmâ] created the woman as the other half of his body and by her the mind of men is carried away. (31) Thus being served by the woman oh my best one, the mighty Kas'yapa was very pleased and approvingly addressed Diti with a smile.

    (32) Kas'yapa said: 'Ask for any benediction you want oh my beauty, for I, oh irreproachable lady, am very pleased with you. What would there for a woman with desires in this world [and a next one] be difficult to obtain when her husband is well pleased? (33-34) The husband is considered the worshipable deity of the woman. Vâsudeva who, situated in the heart of all as the husband of the Goddess of Fortune, is worshiped as the Supreme Lord by men through the forms and names of the different divinities, is there also for women in the form of the husband [see also B.G. 9: 23]. (35) Women who with respect for the will of their husbands desire a happy life oh slender-waisted lady, therefore worship with devotion their spouse as [a representative of] the Lord who is the Supersoul. (36) I, worshiped by you with such devotion my love, will as that kind of person fulfill this desire that cannot be realized by deceitful [unchaste] wives.'

    (37) Diti said: 'If you are for me the one to give benedictions oh brahmin, I in that case, with my two sons dead, ask you for an immortal son capable of killing Indra, because he is the one responsible for the death of the two.'

    (38) After hearing her words the brahmin aggrieved lamented [within himself]: 'Alas what great impiety has befallen me today [with the notion of having to arrange for the death of Indra]! (39) Regrettably I have grown too attached to sensual pleasure in the form of the woman present before me. Ruled by mâyâ I will with my mind corrupted surely land in hell. (40) lust - the problem with womenWhat would be wrong with it when the women in this world follow their nature? But damned I am if I, not knowing anymore what's good for me, [addicted to her] have no control over my senses. (41) Who knows their ways? Her face is like a blossoming lotus flower in autumn and her words are pleasing to the ear, but the heart of a woman is [as sharp] as a razor blade. (42) A woman lets no one directly into her heart, they want [to rule] their own bodies and mind and are prepared to kill or get killed even their own father, son and brother for that purpose. (43) I have to keep my promise, I have to be true to what I said, but killing Indra cannot be the proper course of action. I know something better.'

    (44) The powerful Muni thinking thus oh descendant of Kuru, got slightly angry. He condemned himself for it and then spoke. (45) S'rî Kas'yapa said: 'Your son will, as a friend of the godless ones, get even with Indra oh gentle one, provided you for that purpose for the time of a year strictly keep to a vow.'

    (46) Diti said: 'I accept such a vow my dear brahmin. Please tell me what I have to do and what is forbidden, as also what must be done not to break the vow.'

    (47) S'rî Kas'yapa said: 'Harm no living being, do not curse or speak a lie, do not cut your nails and hair nor touch impure things. (48) Do not enter water for a bath, do not get angry nor speak with wicked people. Do not wear dirty clothes or ever wear a flower garland that has been worn. (49) Do not eat leftovers nor food containing flesh that was offered to Kâlî. You must not eat food brought by a s'ûdra or food treated by a woman in her menses and do not drink water by cupping your hands. (50) Do not go out in the evening, nor after having eaten, without having washed yourself or with your hair loose, without ornaments, without being grave or without being covered. (51) Do not lie down without having washed your feet, without being purified, with your feet wet and with your head northward or westward, nor go to bed naked, together with others or during sunrise or sunset. (52) In clean clothes, always being washed and adorned with all auspicious things [like turmeric and sandelwood paste] you should worship the cows, the brahmins, the Goddess of Fortune and the Infallible One before breakfast. (53) With presentations of garlands, sandelwood pulp and ornaments you should worship women who have a [living] husband and a son and you must worship your own husband with offering prayers. You should also meditate upon his presence in your womb [in the form of a child during a pregnancy or his vital energy]. (54) Free from violations keeping to this vow of pumsavana ['of the forest person'] for a year there will be a son for you to kill Indra.'

    (55) Assenting to it Diti thus joyously received the semen from Kas'yapa oh King, and lived strictly to the vow. (56) Oh dear King of respect for all, Indra understanding what his mother's sister had in mind, then wisely approached Diti to serve her during the time she stayed in an âs'rama. (57) Every day he brought her flowers, fruits, roots and wood from the forest for the sacrificial fire as also leaves, kus'a grass, sprouts, earth and water when she needed it. (58) Oh ruler of man, serving her as deceitful as a hunter pretending to be a deer, Indra tried to find a fault in her dutiful observance of the vow. (59) But he could not discover a single failure in her practice and thus oh master of the world, he in his desire wondered anxiously: 'How can I find my well-being in this world?' (60) Once though she, weakened because of the vow, after she had eaten, did not touch water and wash her feet, and went confused about the rules, to sleep at dusk. (61) Upon noticing her mistake Indra, as a master of yoga, by the power of his mystical ability entered the womb of Diti who unconscious lay asleep. (62) With his thunderbolt he cut the embryo, that had a golden appearance, in seven pieces and cut each crying piece into seven more, telling them not to cry. (63) They all in pain with folded hands said to him: 'Oh ruler, why do you want to kill us? Oh Indra, we are your brothers, the Maruts!'

    (64) To this group of faithful souls, the Maruts, he then said: 'You should not be afraid of this my brothers.'

    (65) By the mercy of S'rînivâsa [Vishnu as the refuge of Lakshmî] Diti's embryo being cut in many pieces by the thunderbolt, did not die, just as you [my dear Parîkchit] did not from the weapon of As'vatthâmâ [see 1.8]. (66-67) When a person worships the Original Person he immediately gets a grip on his life [as for time and measure]. And so it happened with Diti who for almost a year had worshiped the Lord [see 5.18: 12]. In order to compensate for the faults made by the mother the Lord changed the forty-nine parts that Indra had created, the Maruts, into [the fifty] demigods [together with Indra] who became soma-drinkers [priests]. (68) Waking up Diti saw the children along with Indra shining as bright as fire. It was a view the goddess being purified [after her penance] was very pleased about. (69) She thereupon said to Indra: 'Desiring a son who would be the fear and end of the [twelve] Âdityas [see 6.6: 38-39], I executed this vow that is so difficult to fulfill. (70) I only prayed for one son but now there are forty-nine of them. How could that happen? If you know this my dear son, speak to me and do not tell me lies.'

    (71) Indra said: 'Oh mother, having understood what your vow was, I approached you and found a fault. In my self-interest having lost sight of the dharma, I thereupon cut the embryo to pieces. (72) The embryo was divided in seven parts by me and they became seven babies. And even though I cut each of them also in seven parts, none of them died. (73) Witnessing that great miracle I next decided that it had to be some side-effect of your worship of the Supreme Personality. (74) Those who take interest in the worship of the Supreme Lord without fostering desires and are even indifferent about [the liberation of attaining] the transcendental position, one may consider experts in enlightened self-interest [compare 2.3: 10 and B.G. 9: 22]. (75) Would an intelligent person still covet any form of material satisfaction that one even finds in hell, when he has been of the worship by which He, the Lord of the Universe and the most intimate Godhead, has given Himself to him [see also the S'rî S'rî S'ikshâshthaka]? (76) Oh best of women, please excuse me for being such a fool with this evil deed of mine. Oh mother, by your good fortune the child that I have killed within you, came to live again.'

    (77) S'rî S'uka said: 'Taking permission of her being satisfied about his good manners, Indra offered his respects and left with the Maruts for the heavenly worlds. (78) Thus I have told you all that you asked me about concerning the auspicious birth of the Maruts, what should I tell you further?'