Chapter 10: About Prahlâda, the Best Among the Exalted Devotees and the Fall of Tripura
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    Welcome, Guest · RSS 2018-11-20, 1:13 AM
     

    Chapter 10: About Prahlâda, the Best Among the Exalted Devotees and the Fall of Tripura

    (1) Nârada Muni said: 'Prahlâda, even though he was but a small boy, considered every blessing that came with his bhakti yoga an impediment on the path and this he with a smile told the Lord of the Senses.

    (2)  S'rî Prahlâda said: 'Please do not allure me. Because of my Asura birth I have a propensity for lusting over all those material blessings. It was out of fear for such material association that I, desiring liberation, for the sake of complete detachment have taken to Your shelter. (3) Oh Lord You send Your devoted servant into this world of desire in order to put his character to a test, for this lust being the root cause of one's wandering around here, is found in the heart of everyone oh Master. (4) It does not work differently with You oh guru of the universe so kind to everyone, for is someone who desires any material benefits, not more a merchant than a servitor [see also  B.G. 17: 20]? (5) Someone who for himself expects material benefits from his spiritual master is not really a servant nor is the master really of service who - for his own prestige - wants to bestow material benefits upon his servant [see also 10.88: 8-10]. (6) There is, as far as I am concerned in my full devotion for You, no question whatsoever of any desire nor do You as a real master foster any further motive for our sake like a king might have with his subject. (7) And if You want to fulfill one of my desires, then I pray for Your benediction, oh Lord of All Blessings, that no desire for any form of material happiness will grow in my heart [see also S'rî S'rî S'ikshâshthaka verse four]. (8) From the day of one's birth one's senses, mind, life air and body, one's religion, patience, intelligence, shyness, opulence, strength, memory and truthfulness are likely to be banished by them. (9) Only when one gives up all the desires that one in one's human association finds in one's mind, one is fit for an opulence equal to Yours, oh Lotus-eyed Lord. (10) Oh Master of all Opulences, oh Original Personality, oh Lord in the form of Nrisimha, oh Supreme One, oh Absolute Truth, oh Great Soul and Soul of all souls, let me offer You my respectful obeisances.'

    (11) The Supreme Lord said: 'Those persons who like you are exclusively devoted to Me do not desire any benedictions from Me in this world or in the next. Nevertheless you may until the end of Manu's reign enjoy all the opulences of the Daitya rule out here [see also 2.3: 10]. (12) Devote yourself to My pleasing stories, be absorbed in Me who resides in your heart as the One present within all living beings, worship in [yoga] uniting your consciousness the Lord who is the enjoyer of all sacrifices and give up your fruitive activities. (13) By relishing [your retirement in] exhausting your merit, by means of pious actions forsaking your impiety, by forsaking the body with the rapid progress of time and after spreading your reputation throughout even the worlds of the gods, you will, freed from all attachment, turn back to Me. (14) Anyone who chants these prayers you offered to Me, any human being who remembers both Me and you, will in due course of time become free from the bondage of his karma [see B.G. 4: 9, 6: 7, 9: 27-28, 12: 3-4 and see also 11.14: 21].'

    (15-17) S'rî Prahlâda said: 'I pray for the following benediction of You, oh Lord of Benedictions, oh Supreme Controller. My father, not knowing Your strength and supremacy, had because of a heart polluted by anger a false notion of You oh master and guru of all worlds. He considered You the murderer of his brother and condemned You. Thus he was towards me, Your devotee, of the greatest sin. May my father be purified from that greatest and most difficult to overcome sin, even though he was immediately purified when You cast Your glance upon him, oh Father full of mercy for the materialists.'

    (18) The Supreme Lord said: 'With the purification of your father, twenty-one of your forefathers in total have been purified oh sinless one. Because you, oh saintly boy, took your birth from him in this dynasty, you are indeed the purifier of the dynasty. (19) Wherever and whenever there are My devotees who full of peace and equipoise, with the best qualities are equally graceful towards all, everyone will be purified, even when it concerns the worst of societies. (20) They will never, in whatever way, act violently towards all the higher or lower living beings oh King of the Daityas, because they, in their love for Me, have forsaken all material aspirations. (21) Persons in this world following in your footsteps become My pure devotees. You are of My devotees truly the best example [see also 6.3: 20-21]. (22) My child, you should now perform the funeral rites for your father who in every respect was purified by the touch of My body and therefore will be promoted to the worlds of the good people. (23) Assume the throne of your father My dearest, fix your mind upon Me and do your duty for My supreme cause the way it is prescribed in the Vedic tradition.'

    (24) S'rî Nârada said: 'Prahlâda performed, as was ordered by the Supreme Lord, all the rituals associated with his father's death oh King [Yudhishthhira] and was crowned by the brahmins. (25) Brahmâ who had witnessed what had happened, with a face radiating because the Lord was pleased, offered with transcendental words the purest prayers to Lord Nrisimha, addressing Him in the presence of all the other gods. (26) S'rî Brahmâ said: 'Oh God of gods, oh proprietor of the entire universe, oh love of all creation, oh first among the living beings, because of Your resolve [to protect the devotees] the most sinful Asura, who was of so much trouble to everyone, has been killed. (27) I granted him the rare benediction that he would not be killed by any creature created by me and that he would not die because of any austerity, mystical or physical power. Thus  being very proud he transgressed all injunctions. (28) Because of Your decision his son, who despite of his young age was a great saint and exalted devotee, has been released from the clutches of death and enjoys now, as You wanted, Your shelter. (29) For all those who, faced with an enemy, meditate upon this physical presence of You, the Supersoul, oh omnipresent, almighty Lord, You are the protector against all kinds of fear, including even the fear of death.'

    (30) The Supreme Lord replied: 'Do not bestow blessings on demons, as you have done, oh you who were born from the lotus. To bless people of a cruel and pitiless nature is like giving milk to snakes.'

    (31) S'rî Nârada said: 'This oh King, is what the Supreme Lord said and after Hari had been worshiped by the teacher of all teachers, He who cannot be seen by all living beings disappeared from the spot. (32) Prahlâda thereupon bowed his head and offered with prayers his obeisances to Lord Brahmâ, Lord S'iva, the founding fathers and the [other] demigods who each are part of the Supreme Lord. (33) Next Lord Brahmâ together with S'ukrâcârya and other sages, appointed him ruler over all the Daityas and Dânavas. (34) Oh King, after Brahmâ and the others were properly honored, all the godly ones congratulated him, wished him all the best and then returned to their respective abodes. (35) The two associates [the gatekeepers] of Vishnu who were born as the sons of Diti and operated as His enemies, were thus killed by Him, the Lord residing in the core of the heart [see 7.1: 36-39]. (36) Being cursed by the brahmins the two were reborn as the demons Kumbhakarna and ten-head Râvana and again both killed [by Him] thanks to the special powers of Lord Râmacandra. (37) Slain laying on the battlefield with their hearts pierced by Râma's arrows, they with their minds fixed on Him gave up their bodies, just as they did in their previous birth. (38) The two again appearing in this world with their births as S'is'upâla and Dantavakra were the same way bound to the Lord in enmity and merged with Him [for the last time] in your presence. (39) All the kings inimical to S'ri Krishna were, upon their death, freed from the burden of the sins of their previous life upon reaching His Self, just like larvae that obtain a body identical to the one of the drone that guarded them. (40) Just as one by devotional service returns to the Supreme Personality, kings like S'is'upâla returned home and attained the same supreme nature of the Lord by contemplating Him [in their enmity, see also B.G. 4: 9]. (41) All of this I described to you in reply to your inquiry on how, even hating, the son of Damaghosha [S'is'upâla] and others could attain the same community of essence [see 7.1: 34-35]. (42) In this narration about the Supersoul and the Godhead of all brahmins, Krishna I spoke about His incarnations in which He e.g. put an end to the Daityas. (43-44) It describes the character of the devotion, spiritual knowledge and renunciation of that most exalted devotee Prahlâda. Try to understand each of these stories and thus discover what belongs to the Lord, the Master of maintenance, creation and destruction, what His qualities and activities are, the wisdom handed down [in disciplic succession] and how He, by the time factor, stands for the finality of all the higher and lower living beings and their cultures, however great they might be. (45) With the help of this narration, in which the transcendence is perfectly and fully described, one can get to know the Fortunate One and what the bhâgavata dharma [see 7.6: 28], the way of the devotees, entails.Shiva fights tripura (46) Anyone who after hearing this pious narration describing the Supreme Power of Vishnu, repeats it or sings about it with faith, will be liberated from being entangled in fruitive actions. (47) He who with great attention reads and listens to this story about the activities of the best of all the truthful ones, this Daitya son and how the Original Personality playing the part of the lion king killed the king of the demons who was as strong as an elephant, will attain the spiritual world where one has nothing to fear. (48) Oh you [Pândavas] in your human world, are extremely fortunate, for the Supreme One of the Absolute Truth, He who is always sought by the great saints who purify all the worlds, resides in your house in a human form. (49) He is the Brahman of the Absolute Truth all the great ones are searching for. He, who is factually your nephew [the son of your maternal uncle], He your most dear well-wisher, is the oneness of transcendental happiness and the source of all life. He who is there also as your guru of instruction in the principle, is the One who can be worshiped as the completeness of the [body, the universe and the] soul. (50) Lord S'iva, Lord Brahmâ and others could not even by meditation directly see Him or describe Him in His real form. May He, this great master of all devotees, be pleased with the silence we observe, with our devotion, our calm and our worship. (51) Oh King, this very same Supreme Lord a long time ago restored the reputation of the demigod Lord S'iva that was ruined by a demon called Maya Dânava who, because of great technical cunning, enjoyed an unparalleled power.'

    (52) The king [Yudhishthhira] said: 'Please can you tell us for what reason and by what actions Lord S'iva, he who controls the entire universe, was surpassed by Maya Dânava and how he with the help of Krishna restored his reputation?'

    (53) Nârada said: 'After all the Asuras by the God-conscious ones with the support of the Lord were defeated in battle, they took shelter of the greatest and best of them all, Maya Dânava. (54-55) The demon constructed three big and mighty cities made of gold, silver and iron. Possessing the uncommon ability to move [floating] around in formation they were difficult to discern. Thus hidden from view the Asuras, remembering their former enmity with the three worlds and their controllers oh ruler of man, started to wreak havoc in the world. (56) Thereupon the rulers of all the worlds approached Lord S'iva, fell at his feet in surrender and said: 'Please save us, your followers oh Godhead, for we have been devastated by the tripura [three-city] people.' (57) To show them his favor the All-powerful Lord said to the Suras: 'Do not fear' and fixed an arrow on his bow to launch his weapon on the cities. (58) After being released his arrows shone with a beam of light as bright as the sun, so that the cities no longer could be seen. (59) Under their attack the inhabitants of the cities fell lifeless to the ground. The great yogi Maya Dânava then dipped them one after the other in a well of [life giving] nectar [called mrita-sanjîvayitari]. (60) Touched by the divine nectar, they rose from death as strong as thunderbolts splitting the sky with flashes of light. (61) Seeing how disappointed and unhappy [S'iva] the Emblem of the Lord was at the time, the Almighty Lord Vishnu considered what measures should be taken. (62) Lord Vishnu then personally assumed the form of a cow while Lord Brahmâ assumed the form of a calf and together they entered in broad daylight Tripura to drink all the nectar of the well. (63) Even though the Asuras took notice of them they could, in their bewilderment, not stop them. The great yogi Maya aware of what happened, thought it was a thing of divine ordinance and so he addressed the ones guarding the well who had been quite content with their illusion [of victory] but were now greatly dismayed. (64) 'Neither demigods, demons, human beings, nor anybody else can reverse what for oneself, for others or for everyone in this world is ordained by fate.' (65-66) He [Lord Vishnu] thereafter equiped Lord S'iva with all that was necessary like a chariot and charioteer, a flag, horses and elephants, a bow with shield and arrows and such; all matters that derived their strength from His personal dharma, spiritual knowledge, detachment, opulence, penance, culture, actions and so on. S'iva seated on his chariot then fixed an arrow on his bow. (67) Oh ruler of man, with the arrows joined on his bow Lord S'iva thus being the Master and Controller, at noon set the so difficult to pierce three cities afire. (68) All the gods and saints, the ancestors, the perfected ones and the great personalities, then from their celestial chariots in the sky and with the assistance of countless kettledrums loudly vibrated 'Jaya, Jaya', while they showered a wealth of flowers on his head and together with the beauties of heaven danced and sang in great ecstacy. (69) Oh King, after the mighty Lord S'iva who had burned Tripura to ashes thus was glorified by Lord Brahmâ and the others, he returned to his abode. (70) What more can I tell you about the Lord, the teacher of the universe, who with His transcendental potency appears in the world of the human beings where He in the form of a normal human being performs heroic acts that are discussed by the saints and sages in narrations that purify all the worlds?'