Maharaja Prthu Becomes Angry at the Earth
evam sa bhagavan vainyah
chandayam asa tan kamaih
maitreyah uvaca--the great sage Maitreya continued to speak; evam--thus; sah--he; bhagavan--the Personality of Godhead; vainyah--in the form of the son of King Vena; khyapitah--being glorified; guna-karmabhih--by qualities and factual activities; chandayam asa--pacified; tan--those reciters; kamaih--by various presentations; pratipujya--offering all respects; abhinandya--offering prayers; ca--also.
The great sage Maitreya continued: In this way the reciters who were glorifying Maharaja Prthu readily described his qualities and chivalrous activities. At the end, Maharaja Prthu offered them various presentations with all due respect and worshiped them adequately.
pauran jana-padan srenih
brahmana-pramukhan--unto the leaders of the brahmana community; varnan--to the other castes; bhrtya--servants; amatya--ministers; purodhasah--to the priests; pauran--to the citizens; jana-padan--to his countrymen; srenih--to different communities; prakrtih--to the admirers; samapujayat--he gave proper respects.
King Prthu thus satisfied and offered all respect to all the leaders of the brahmanas and other castes, to his servants, to his ministers and to the priests, citizens, general countrymen, people from other communities, admirers and others, and thus they all became happy.
kasmad dadhara go-rupam
yam dudoha prthus tatra
ko vatso dohanam ca kim
vidurah uvaca--Vidura inquired; kasmat--why; dadhara--took; go-rupam--the shape of a cow; dharitri--the earth; bahu-rupini--who has many other forms; yam--whom; dudoha--milked; prthuh--King Prthu; tatra--there; kah--who; vatsah--the calf; dohanam--the milking pot; ca--also; kim--what.
Vidura inquired from the great sage Maitreya: My dear brahmana, since mother earth can appear in different shapes, why did she take the shape of a cow? And when King Prthu milked her, who became the calf, and what was the milking pot?
prakrtya visama devi
krta tena sama katham
tasya medhyam hayam devah
kasya hetor apaharat
prakrtya--by nature; visama--not level; devi--the earth; krta--was made; tena--by him; sama--level; katham--how; tasya--his; medhyam--meant for offering in the sacrifice; hayam--horse; devah--the demigod Indra; kasya--for what; hetoh--reason; apaharat--stole.
The surface of the earth is by nature low in some places and high in others. How did King Prthu level the surface of the earth, and why did the King of heaven, Indra, steal the horse meant for the sacrifice ?
labdhva jnanam sa-vijnanam
rajarsih kam gatim gatah
sanat-kumarat--from Sanat-kumara; bhagavatah--the most powerful; brahman--my dear brahmana; brahma-vit-uttamat--well versed in the Vedic knowledge; labdhva--after achieving; jnanam--knowledge; sa-vijnanam--for practical application; raja-rsih--the great saintly King; kam--which; gatim--destination; gatah--achieved.
The great saintly King, Maharaja Prthu, received knowledge from Sanat-kumara, who was the greatest Vedic scholar. After receiving knowledge to be applied practically in his life, how did the saintly King attain his desired destination?
There are four Vaisnava sampradayas (systems) of disciplic succession. One sampradaya comes from Lord Brahma, one from the goddess of fortune, one from the Kumaras, headed by Sanat-kumara, and one from Lord Siva. These four systems of disciplic succession are still going on. As King Prthu has illustrated, one who is serious about receiving transcendental Vedic knowledge must accept a guru, or spiritual master, in one of these four disciplic successions. It is said that unless one accepts a mantra from one of these sampradayas, the so-called mantra will not act in Kali-yuga. Many sampradayas have sprung up without authority, and they are misleading the people by giving unauthorized mantras. The rascals of these so-called sampradayas do not observe the Vedic rules and regulations. Although they are addicted to all kinds of sinful activities, they still offer the people mantras and thus mislead them. Intelligent persons, however, know that such mantras will never be successful, and as such they never patronize such upstart spiritual groups. People should be very careful of these nonsensical sampradayas. To get some facility for sense gratification, unfortunate people in this age receive mantras from these so-called sampradayas. Prthu Maharaja, however, showed by his example that one should receive knowledge from a bona fide sampradaya. Therefore Maharaja Prthu accepted Sanat-kumara as his spiritual master.
yac canyad api krsnasya
bhavan bhagavatah prabhoh
sravah susravasah punyam
bhaktaya me 'nuraktaya
tava cadhoksajasya ca
vaktum arhasi yo 'duhyad
vainya-rupena gam imam
yat--which; ca--and; anyat--other; api--certainly; krsnasya--of Krsna; bhavan--your good self; bhagavatah--of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; prabhoh--powerful; sravah--glorious activities; su-sravasah--who is very pleasing to hear about; punyam--pious; purva-deha--of His previous incarnation; katha-asrayam--connected with the narration; bhaktaya--unto the devotee; me--to me; anuraktaya--very much attentive; tava--of you; ca--and; adhoksajasya--of the Lord, who is known as Adhoksaja; ca--also; vaktum arhasi--please narrate; yah--one who; aduhyat--milked; vainya-rupena--in the form of the son of King Vena; gam--cow, earth; imam--this.
Prthu Maharaja was a powerful incarnation of Lord Krsna's potencies; consequently any narration concerning his activities is surely very pleasing to hear, and it produces all good fortune. As far as I am concerned, I am always your devotee as well as a devotee of the Lord, who is known as Adhoksaja. Please therefore narrate all the stories of King Prthu, who, in the form of the son of King Vena, milked the cow-shaped earth.
Lord Krsna is also known as avatari, which means, "one from whom all the incarnations emanate." In Bhagavad-gita (10.8) Lord Krsna says, aham sarvasya prabhavo mattah sarvam pravartate: "I am the source of all spiritual and material worlds. Everything emanates from Me." Thus Lord Krsna is the origin of everyone's appearance. As far as this material world is concerned, Lord Brahma, Lord Visnu and Lord Siva are all emanations from Krsna. These three incarnations of Krsna are called guna-avataras. The material world is governed by three material modes of nature, and Lord Visnu, Lord Brahma and Lord Siva respectively take charge of the modes of goodness, passion and ignorance. Maharaja Prthu is also an incarnation of those qualities of Lord Krsna by which one rules over conditioned souls.
In this verse the word adhoksaja, meaning "beyond the perception of the material senses," is very significant. No one can perceive the Supreme Personality of Godhead by mental speculation; therefore a person with a poor fund of knowledge cannot understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Since one can form only an impersonal idea on the strength of one's material senses, the Lord is known as Adhoksaja.
prasasya tam prita-mana
sutah uvaca--Suta Gosvami said; coditah--inspired; vidurena--by Vidura; evam--thus; vasudeva--of Lord Krsna; katham--narration; prati--about; prasasya--praising; tam--him; prita-manah--being very pleased; maitreyah--the saint Maitreya; pratyabhasata--replied.
Suta Gosvami continued: When Vidura became inspired to hear of the activities of Lord Krsna in His various incarnations, Maitreya, also being inspired and being very pleased with Vidura, began to praise him. Then Maitreya spoke as follows.
Talk of krsna-katha, or topics about Lord Krsna or His incarnations, is spiritually so inspiring that the reciter and hearer are never exhausted. That is the nature of spiritual talks. We have actually seen that one can never become satiated by hearing the conversations between Vidura and Maitreya. Both of them are devotees, and the more Vidura inquires, the more Maitreya is encouraged to speak. A symptom of spiritual talks is that no one feels tired. Thus upon hearing the questions of Vidura, the great sage Maitreya did not feel disgusted but rather felt encouraged to speak at greater length.
yadabhisiktah prthur anga viprair
amantrito janatayas ca palah
praja niranne ksiti-prstha etya
ksut-ksama-dehah patim abhyavocan
maitreyah uvaca--the great sage Maitreya said; yada--when; abhisiktah--was enthroned; prthuh--King Prthu; anga--my dear Vidura; vipraih--by the brahmanas; amantritah--was declared; janatayah--of the people; ca--also; palah--the protector; prajah--the citizens; niranne--being without food grains; ksiti-prsthe--the surface of the globe; etya--coming near; ksut--by hunger; ksama--skinny; dehah--their bodies; patim--to the protector; abhyavocan--they said.
The great sage Maitreya continued: My dear Vidura, at the time King Prthu was enthroned by the great sages and brahmanas and declared to be the protector of the citizens, there was a scarcity of food grains. The citizens actually became skinny due to starvation. Therefore they came before the King and informed him of their real situation.
Information is given herein concerning the selection of the king by the brahmanas. According to the varnasrama system, the brahmanas are considered to be the heads of the society and therefore to be situated in the topmost social position. The varnasrama-dharma, the institution of four varnas and four asramas, is very scientifically designed. As stated in Bhagavad-gita, varnasrama-dharma is not a man-made institution, but is God-made. In this narration it is clearly indicated that the brahmanas used to control the royal power. When an evil king like Vena ruled, the brahmanas would kill him through their brahminical powers and would select a proper ruler by testing his qualifications. In other words, the brahmanas, the intelligent men or great sages, would control the monarchical powers. Here we have an indication of how the brahmanas elected King Prthu to the throne as the protector of the citizens. The citizens, being skinny due to hunger, approached the King and informed him that necessary action should be taken. The structure of the varnasrama-dharma; was so nice that the brahmanas would guide the head of state. The head of state would then give protection to the citizens. The ksatriyas would take charge of protecting the people in general, and under the protection of the ksatriyas, the vaisyas would protect the cows, produce food grains and distribute them. Sudras, the working class, would help the higher three classes by manual labor. This is the perfect social system.
vayam rajan jatharenabhitapta
yathagnina kotara-sthena vrksah
tvam adya yatah saranam saranyam
yah sadhito vrtti-karah patir nah
tan no bhavan ihatu ratave 'nnam
yavan na nanksyamaha ujjhitorja
varta-patis tvam kila loka-palah
vayam--we; rajan--O King; jatharena--by the fire of hunger; abhitaptah--very much aggrieved; yatha--just as; agnina--by the fire; kotara-sthena--in the hollow of a tree; vrksah--trees; tvam--unto you; adya--today; yatah--we have come; saranam--shelter; saranyam--worth taking shelter of; yah--who; sadhitah--appointed; vrtti-karah--one who gives employment; patih--master; nah--our; tat--therefore; nah--to us; bhavan--Your Majesty; ihatu--please try; ratave--to give; annam--food grains; ksudha--with hunger; arditanam--suffering; nara-deva-deva--O supreme master of all kings; yavat na--lest; nanksyamahe--we will perish; ujjhita--being bereft of; urjah--food grains; varta--of occupational engagements; patih--bestower; tvam--you; kila--indeed; loka-palah--the protector of the citizens.
Dear King, just as a tree with a fire burning in the hollow of the trunk gradually dries up, we are drying up due to the fire of hunger in our stomachs. You are the protector of surrendered souls, and you have been appointed to give employment to us. Therefore we have all come to you for protection. You are not only a king, but the incarnation of God as well. Indeed, you are the king of all kings. You can give us all kinds of occupational engagements, for you are the master of our livelihood. Therefore, O king of all kings, please arrange to satisfy our hunger by the proper distribution of food grains. Please take care of us, lest we soon die for want of food.
It is the duty of the king to see that everyone in the social orders--brahmana, ksatriya, vaisya and sudra--is fully employed in the state. Just as it is the duty of the brahmanas to elect a proper king, it is the duty of the king to see that all the varnas--brahmana, ksatriya, vaisya and sudra--are fully engaged in their respective occupational duties. It is here indicated that although the people were allowed to perform their duties, they were still unemployed. Although they were not lazy, they still could not produce sufficient food to satisfy their hunger. When the people are perplexed in this way, they should approach the head of government, and the president or king should take immediate action to mitigate the distress of the people.
prthuh prajanam karunam
dirgham dadhyau kurusrestha
nimittam so 'nvapadyata
maitreyah uvaca--the great saint Maitreya said; prthuh--King Prthu; prajanam--of the citizens; karunam--pitiable condition; nisamya--hearing; paridevitam--lamentation; dirgham--for a long time; dadhyau--contemplated; kuru-srestha--O Vidura; nimittam--the cause; sah--he; anvapadyata--found out.
After hearing this lamentation and seeing the pitiable condition of the citizens, King Prthu contemplated this matter for a long time to see if he could find out the underlying causes.
iti vyavasito buddhya
sandadhe visikham bhumeh
kruddhas tripura-ha yatha
iti--thus; vyavasitah--having arrived at the conclusion; buddhya--by intelligence; pragrhita--having taken up; sarasanah--the bow; sandadhe--fixed; visikham--an arrow; bhumeh--at the earth; kruddhah--angry; tri-pura-ha--Lord Siva; yatha--like.
Having arrived at a conclusion, the King took up his bow and arrow and aimed them at the earth, exactly like Lord Siva, who destroys the whole world out of anger.
King Prthu found out the cause for the scarcity of food grains. He could understand that it was not the people's fault, for they were not lazy in executing their duties. Rather, the earth was not producing sufficient food grains. This indicates that the earth can produce sufficiently if everything is properly arranged, but sometimes the earth can refuse to produce food grains for various reasons. The theory that there is a scarcity of food grains due to an increase of population is not a very sound theory. There are other causes that enable the earth to produce profusely or to stop producing. King Prthu found out the proper causes and took the necessary steps immediately.
nisamyodayudham ca tam
gauh saty apadravad bhita
pravepamana--trembling; dharani--the earth; nisamya--seeing; udayudham--having taken his bow and arrow; ca--also; tam--the King; gauh--a cow; sati--becoming; apadravat--began to flee; bhita--very much afraid; mrgi iva--like a deer; mrgayu--by a hunter; druta--being followed.
When the earth saw that King Prthu was taking his bow and arrow to kill her, she became very much afraid and began to tremble. She then began to flee, exactly like a deer, which runs very swiftly when followed by a hunter. Being afraid of King Prthu, she took the shape of a cow and began to run.
Just as a mother produces various children, both male and female, the womb of mother earth produces all kinds of living entities in various shapes. Thus it is possible for mother earth to take on innumerable shapes. At this time, in order to avoid the wrath of King Prthu, she took the shape of a cow. Since a cow is never to be killed, mother earth thought it wise to take the shape of a cow in order to avoid King Prthu's arrows. King Prthu, however, could understand this fact, and therefore he did not stop chasing the cow-shaped earth.
tam anvadhavat tad vainyah
saram dhanusi sandhaya
yatra yatra palayate
tam--the cow-shaped earth; anvadhavat--he chased; tat--then; vainyah--the son of King Vena; kupitah--being very much angry; ati-aruna--very red; iksanah--his eyes; saram--an arrow; dhanusi--on the bow; sandhaya--placing; yatra yatra--wherever; palayate--she flees.
Seeing this, Maharaja Prthu became very angry, and his eyes became as red as the early-morning sun. Placing an arrow on his bow, he chased the cow-shaped earth wherever she would run.
sa diso vidiso devi
rodasi cantaram tayoh
dhavanti tatra tatrainam
sa--the cow-shaped earth; disah--in the four directions; vidisah--randomly in other directions; devi--the goddess; rodasi--towards heaven and earth; ca--also; antaram--between; tayoh--them; dhavanti--fleeing; tatra tatra--here and there; enam--the King; dadarsa--she saw; anu--behind; udyata--taken up; ayudham--his weapons.
The cow-shaped earth ran here and there in outer space between the heavenly planets and the earth, and wherever she ran, the King chased her with his bow and arrows.
loke navindata tranam
vainyan mrtyor iva prajah
trasta tada nivavrte
loke--within the three worlds; na--not; avindata--could obtain; tranam--release; vainyat--from the hand of the son of King Vena; mrtyoh--from death; iva--like; prajah--men; trasta--being very much afraid; tada--at that time; nivavrte--turned back; hrdayena--within her heart; viduyata--very much aggrieved.
Just as a man cannot escape the cruel hands of death, the cow-shaped earth could not escape the hands of the son of Vena. At length the earth, fearful, her heart aggrieved, turned back in helplessness.
uvaca ca maha-bhagam
trahi mam api bhutanam
palane 'vasthito bhavan
uvaca--she said; ca--and; maha-bhagam--unto the great, fortunate King; dharma-jna--O knower of the principles of religion; apanna-vatsala--O shelter of the surrendered; trahi--save; mam--me; api--indeed; bhutanam--of living entities; palane--in protection; avasthitah--situated; bhavan--Your Majesty.
Addressing the great, opulent King Prthu as the knower of religious principles and shelter of the surrendered, she said: Please save me. You are the protector of all living entities. Now you are situated as the King of this planet.
The cow-shaped earth addressed King Prthu as dharma jna, which refers to one who knows the principles of religion. The principles of religion dictate that a woman, a cow, a child, a brahmana and an old man must be given all protection by the king or anyone else. Consequently mother earth took the shape of a cow. She was also a woman. Thus she appealed to the King as one who knows the principles of religion. Religious principles also dictate that one is not to be killed if he surrenders. She reminded King Prthu that not only was he an incarnation of God, but he was situated as the King of the earth as well. Therefore his duty was to excuse her.
sa tvam jighamsase kasmad
ahanisyat katham yosam
dharma-jna iti yo matah
sah--that very person; tvam--you; jighamsase--want to kill; kasmat--why; dinam--poor; akrta--without having done; kilbisam--any sinful activities; ahanisyat--would kill; katham--how; yosam--a woman; dharma-jnah--the knower of religious principles; iti--thus; yah--one who; matah--is considered.
The cow-shaped earth continued to appeal to the King: I am very poor and have not committed any sinful activities. I do not know why you want to kill me. Since you are supposed to be the knower of all religious principles, why are you so envious of me, and why are you so anxious to kill a woman?
The earth appealed to the King in two ways. A king who knows religious principles cannot kill anyone who has not committed sinful activities. Apart from this, a woman is not to be killed, even if she does commit some sinful activities. Since the earth was innocent and was also a woman, the King should not kill her.
praharanti na vai strisu
krtagahsv api jantavah
kim uta tvad-vidha rajan
praharanti--strike; na--never; vai--certainly; strisu--women; krta-agahsu--having committed sinful activities; api--although; jantavah--human beings; kim uta--then what to speak of; tvat-vidhah--personalities like you; rajan--O King; karunah--merciful; dina-vatsalah--affectionate to the poor.
Even if a woman does commit some sinful activity, no one should place his hand upon her. And what to speak of you, dear King, who are so merciful. You are a protector, and you are affectionate to the poor.
mam vipatyajaram navam
yatra visvam pratisthitam
atmanam ca prajas cemah
katham ambhasi dhasyasi
mam--me; vipatya--breaking to pieces; ajaram--very strong; navam--boat; yatra--where; visvam--all worldly paraphernalia; pratisthitam--standing; atmanam--yourself; ca--and; prajah--your subjects; ca--also; imah--all these; katham--how; ambhasi--in the water; dhasyasi--you will hold.
The cow-shaped earth continued: My dear King, I am just like a strong boat, and all the paraphernalia of the world is standing upon me. If you break me to pieces, how can you protect yourself and your subjects from drowning?
Beneath the entire planetary system is the garbha water. Lord Visnu lies on this garbha water, and from His abdomen a lotus stem grows, and all the planets within the universe are floating in the air, being supported by this lotus stem. If a planet is destroyed, it must fall into the water of garbha. The earth therefore warned King Prthu that he could gain nothing by destroying her. Indeed, how would he protect himself and his citizens from drowning in the garbha water? In other words, outer space may be compared to an ocean of air, and each and every planet is floating on it just as a boat or island floats on the ocean. Sometimes planets are called dvipa, or islands, and sometimes they are called boats. Thus the cosmic manifestation is partially explained in this reference by the cow-shaped earth.
vasudhe tvam vadhisyami
bhagam barhisi ya vrnkte
na tanoti ca no vasu
prthuh uvaca--King Prthu replied; vasu-dhe--my dear earthly planet; tvam--you; vadhisyami--I shall kill; mat--my; sasana--rulings; parak-mukhim--disobedient to; bhagam--your share; barhisi--in the yajna; ya--who; vrnkte--accepts; na--not; tanoti--does deliver; ca--and; nah--to us; vasu--produce.
King Prthu replied to the earthly Planet: My dear earth, you have disobeyed my orders and rulings. In the form of a demigod you accepted your share of the yajnas we performed, but in return you have not produced sufficient food grains. For this reason I must kill you.
The cow-shaped earthly planet submitted that she not only was a woman, but was innocent and sinless as well. Thus she argued that she should not be killed. Besides, she pointed out that being perfectly religious-minded, the King could not violate the religious principles that forbade killing a woman. In reply, Maharaja Prthu informed her that first of all she had disobeyed his orders. This was her first sinful activity. Secondly he accused her of taking her share of the yajnas (sacrifices) but not producing sufficient food grains in return.
yavasam jagdhy anudinam
naiva dogdhy audhasam payah
tasyam evam hi dustayam
dando natra na sasyate
yavasam--green grass; jagdhi--you eat; anudinam--daily; na--never; eva--certainly; dogdhi--you yield; audhasam--in the milk bag; payah--milk; tasyam--when a cow; evam--thus; hi--certainly; dustayam--being offensive; dandah--punishment; na--not; atra--here; na--not; sasyate--is advisable.
Although you are eating green grass every day, you are not filling your milk bag so we can utilize your milk. Since you are willfully committing offenses, it cannot be said that you are not punishable due to your assuming the form of a cow.
A cow eats green grasses in the pasture and fills her milk bag with sufficient milk so that the cowherdsmen can milk her. Yajnas (sacrifices) are performed to produce sufficient clouds that will pour water over the earth. The word payah can refer both to milk and to water. As one of the demigods, the earthly planet was taking her share in the yajnas--that is, she was eating green grass--but in return she was not producing sufficient food grains--that is, she was not filling her milk bag. Prthu Maharaja was therefore justified in threatening to punish her for her offense.
tvam khalv osadhi-bijani
prak srstani svayambhuva
na muncasy atma-ruddhani
mam avajnaya manda-dhih
tvam--you; khalu--certainly; osadhi--of herbs, plants and grains; bijani--the seeds; prak--formerly; srstani--created; svayambhuva--by Lord Brahma; na--do not; muncasi--deliver; atma-ruddhani--hidden within yourself; mam--me; avajnaya--disobeying; manda-dhih--less intelligent.
You have so lost your intelligence that, despite my orders, you do not deliver the seeds of herbs and grains formerly created by Brahma and now hidden within yourself.
While creating all the planets in the universe, Lord Brahma also created the seeds of various grains, herbs, plants and trees. When sufficient water falls from the clouds, the seeds fructify and produce fruits, grains, vegetables, etc. By his example, Prthu Maharaja indicates that whenever there is a scarcity in food production, the head of the government should take steps to see why production is being held up and what should be done to rectify the situation.
bhinnayas tava medasa
amusam--of all of them; ksut-paritanam--suffering from hunger; artanam--of the distressed; paridevitam--the lamentation; samayisyami--I shall pacify; mat-banaih--by my arrows; bhinnayah--being cut to pieces; tava--of you; medasa--by the flesh.
Now, with the help of my arrows, I shall cut you to pieces and with your flesh satisfy the hunger-stricken citizens, who are now crying for want of grains. Thus I shall satisfy the crying citizens of my kingdom.
Here we find some indication of how the government can arrange for the eating of cow flesh. It is here indicated that in a rare circumstance when there is no supply of grains, the government may sanction the eating of meat. However, when there is sufficient food, the government should not allow the eating of cow's flesh just to satisfy the fastidious tongue. In other words, in rare circumstances, when people are suffering for want of grains, meat-eating or flesh-eating can be allowed, but not otherwise. The maintenance of slaughterhouses for the satisfaction of the tongue and the killing of animals unnecessarily should never be sanctioned by a government.
As described in a previous verse, cows and other animals should be given sufficient grass to eat. If despite a sufficient supply of grass a cow does not supply milk, and if there is an acute shortage of food, the dried-up cow may be utilized to feed the hungry masses of people. According to the law of necessity, first of all human society must try to produce food grains and vegetables, but if they fail in this, they can indulge in flesh-eating. Otherwise not. As human society is presently structured, there is sufficient production of grains all over the world. Therefore the opening of slaughterhouses cannot be supported. In some nations there is so much surplus grain that sometimes extra grain is thrown into the sea, and sometimes the government forbids further production of grain. The conclusion is that the earth produces sufficient grain to feed the entire population, but the distribution of this grain is restricted due to trade regulations and a desire for profit. Consequently in some places there is scarcity of grain and in others profuse production. If there were one government on the surface of the earth to handle the distribution of grain, there would be no question of scarcity, no necessity to open slaughterhouses, and no need to present false theories about over-population.
puman yosid uta kliba
nrpanam tad-vadho 'vadhah
puman--a man; yosit--a woman; uta--also; klibah--a eunuch; atma-sambhavanah--interested in self -maintenance; adhamah--lowest of humankind; bhutesu--to other living entities; niranukrosah--without compassion; nrpanam--for the kings; tat--of him; vadhah--killing; avadhah--not killing.
Any cruel person--be he a man, woman or impotent eunuch--who is only interested in his personal maintenance and has no compassion for other living entities may be killed by the king. Such killing can never be considered actual killing.
The planet earth is actually a woman in her constitutional form, and as such she needs to be protected by the king. Prthu Maharaja argues, however, that if a citizen within the state--be he man, woman or eunuch--is not compassionate upon his fellow men, he or she may be killed by the king, and such killing is never to be considered actual killing. As far as the field of spiritual activities is concerned, when a devotee is self-satisfied and does not preach the glories of Krsna, he is not considered a first-class devotee. A devotee who tries to preach, who has compassion upon innocent persons who have no knowledge of Krsna, is a superior devotee. In his prayer to the Lord, Prahlada Maharaja said that he was not personally interested in liberation from this material world; rather, he did not wish to be liberated from this material condition until all fallen souls were delivered. Even in the material field, if a person is not interested in others' welfare, he should be considered to be condemned by the Personality of Godhead or His incarnation like Prthu Maharaja.
tvam stabdham durmadam nitva
maya-gam tilasah saraih
dharayisyamy aham prajah
tvam--you; stabdham--very much puffed up; durmadam--mad; nitva--bringing into such a condition; maya-gam--false cow; tilasah--into small particles like grains; saraih--by my arrows; atma--personal; yoga-balena--by mystic power; imah--all these; dharayisyami--shall uphold; aham--I; prajah--all the citizens, or all the living entities.
You are very much puffed up with pride and have become almost insane. Presently you have assumed the form of a cow by your mystic powers. Nonetheless I shall cut you into small pieces like grain, and I will uphold the entire population by my personal mystic powers.
The earth informed King Prthu that if he destroyed her, he and his subjects would all fall down into the waters of the garbha ocean. King Prthu now replies to that point. Although the earth assumed the shape of a cow by her mystic powers in order to be saved from being killed by the King, the King was aware of this fact and would not hesitate to cut her to pieces, just like small bits of grain. As far as the destruction of the citizens is concerned, Maharaja Prthu maintained that he could uphold everyone by his own mystic powers. He did not need the help of the earthly planet. Being the incarnation of Lord Visnu, Prthu Maharaja possessed the power of Sankarsana, which is explained by the scientists as the power of gravitation. The Supreme Personality of Godhead is holding millions of planets in space without any support; similarly, Prthu Maharaja would not have had any difficulty supporting all his citizens and himself in space without the help of the planet earth. The Lord is known as Yogesvara, master of all mystic powers. Consequently the planet earth was informed by the King that she need not worry about his standing without her help.
evam manyumayim murtim
krtantam iva bibhratam
pranata pranjalih praha
evam--thus; manyu-mayim--very much angry; murtim--form; krta-antam--death personified, Yamaraja; iva--like; bibhratam--possessing; pranata--surrendered; pranjalih--with folded hands; praha--said; mahi--the planet earth; sanjata--arisen; vepathuh--trembling in her body.
At this time Prthu Maharaja became exactly like Yamaraja, and his whole body appeared very angry. In other words, he was anger personified. After hearing him, the planet earth began to tremble. She surrendered, and with folded hands began to speak as follows.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead is death personified to miscreants and the supreme beloved Lord to the devotees. In Bhagavad-gita (10.34) the Lord says, mrtyuh sarva-haras caham: "I am all-devouring death." Faithless unbelievers, who challenge the appearance of God, will be delivered by the Supreme Personality of Godhead when He appears before them as death. Hiranyakasipu, for example, challenged the authority of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and the Lord met him in the form of Nrsimhadeva and killed him. Similarly, the planet earth saw Maharaja Prthu as death personified, and she also saw him in the mood of anger personified. Therefore she began to tremble. One cannot challenge the authority of the Supreme Personality of Godhead in any circumstance. It is better to surrender unto Him and take His protection at all times.
namah parasmai purusaya mayaya
namah svarupanubhavena nirdhuta-
dhara--the planet earth; uvaca--said; namah--I offer my obeisances; parasmai--unto the Transcendence; purusaya--unto the person; mayaya--by the material energy; vinyasta--expanded; nana--various; tanave--whose forms; guna-atmane--unto the source of the three modes of material nature; namah--I offer my obeisances; svarupa--of the real form; anubhavena--by understanding; nirdhuta--not affected by; dravya--matter; kriya--action; karaka--doer; vibhrama--bewilderment; urmaye--the waves of material existence.
The planet earth spoke: My dear Lord, O Supreme Personality of Godhead, You are transcendental in Your position, and by Your material energy You have expanded Yourself in various forms and species of life through the interaction of the three modes of material nature. Unlike some other masters, You always remain in Your transcendental position and are not affected by the material creation, which is subject to different material interactions. Consequently You are not bewildered by material activities.
After King Prthu gave his royal command, the planet earth in the shape of a cow could understand that the King was a directly empowered incarnation of the Supreme personality of Godhead. Consequently the King knew everything--past, present and future. Thus there was no possibility of the earth's cheating him. The earth was accused of hiding the seeds of all herbs and grains, and therefore she is preparing to explain how the seeds of these herbs and grains can be again exposed. The earth knew that the King was very angry with her, and she realized that unless she pacified his anger, there was no possibility of placing a positive program before him. Therefore in the beginning of her speech she very humbly presents herself as a part and parcel of the Supreme Personality of Godhead's body. She submits that the various bodily forms manifest in the physical world are but different parts and parcels of the supreme gigantic body. It is said that the lower planetary systems are parts and parcels of the legs of the Lord, whereas the upper planetary systems are parts and parcels of the Lord's head. The Lord creates this material world by His external energy, but this external energy is in one sense not different from Him. Yet at the same time the Lord is not directly manifest in the external energy but is always situated in the spiritual energy. As stated in Bhagavad-gita (9.10), mayadhyaksena prakrtih: material nature is working under the direction of the Lord. Therefore the Lord is not unattached to the external energy, and He is addressed in this verse as guna-atma, the source of the three modes of material nature. As stated in Bhagavad-gita (13.15), nirgunam guna-bhoktr ca: although the Lord is not attached to the external energy, He is nonetheless the master of it. The philosophy of Lord Caitanya, upholding that the Lord is simultaneously one with and different from His creation (acintya-bhedabheda-tattva), is very easily understandable in this connection. The planet earth explains that although the Lord is attached to the external energy, He is nirdhuta; He is completely free from the activities of the external energy. The Lord is always situated in His internal energy. Therefore in this verse it is stated: svarupa-anubhavena. The Lord remains completely in His internal potency and yet has full knowledge of the external energy as well as the internal energy, just as His devotee remains always in a transcendental position, keeping himself in the service of the Lord without becoming attached to the material body. Srila Rupa Gosvami says that the devotee who is always engaged in the devotional service of the Lord is always liberated, regardless of his material situation. If it is possible for a devotee to remain transcendental, it is certainly possible for the Supreme personality of Godhead to remain in His internal potency without being attached to the external potency. There should be no difficulty in understanding this situation. Just as a devotee is never bewildered by his material body, the Lord is never bewildered by the external energy of this material world. A devotee is not hampered by the material body, although he is situated in a physical body that runs according to so many material conditions, just as there are five kinds of air functioning within the body, and so many organs--the hands, legs, tongue, genitals, rectum, etc.--all working differently. The spirit soul, the living entity, who is in full knowledge of his position is always engaged in chanting Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare. Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare and is not concerned with the bodily functions. Although the Lord is connected with the material world, He is always situated in His spiritual energy and is always unattached to the functions of the material world. As far as the material body is concerned, there are six "waves," or symptomatic material conditions: hunger, thirst, lamentation, bewilderment, old age and death. The liberated soul is never concerned with these six physical interactions. The Supreme Personality of Godhead, being the all-powerful master of all energies, has some connection with the external energy, but He is always free from the interactions of the external energy in the material world.
yenaham atmayatanam vinirmita
dhatra yato 'yam guna-sarga-sangrahah
sa eva mam hantum udayudhah svarad
upasthito 'nyam saranam kam asraye
yena--by whom; aham--I; atma-ayatanam--resting place of all living entities; vinirmita--was created; dhatra--by the Supreme Lord; yatah--on account of whom; ayam--this; guna-sarga-sangrahah--combination of different material elements; sah--He; eva--certainly; mam--me; hantum--to kill; udayudhah--prepared with weapons; svarat--completely independent; upasthitah--now present before me; anyam--other; saranam--shelter; kam--unto whom; asraye--I shall resort to.
The planet earth continued: My dear Lord, You are the complete conductor of the material creation. You have created this cosmic manifestation and the three material qualities, and therefore You have created me, the planet earth, the resting place of all living entities. Yet You are always fully independent, my Lord. Now that You are present before me and ready to kill me with Your weapons, let me know where I should go to take shelter, and tell me who can give me protection.
The planet earth herein exhibits the symptoms of full surrender before the Lord. As stated, no one can protect the person whom Krsna is prepared to kill, and no one can kill the person whom Krsna protects. Because the Lord was prepared to kill the planet earth, there was no one to give protection to her. We are all receiving protection from the Lord, and it is therefore proper that every one of us surrender unto Him. In Bhagavad-gita (18.66) the Lord instructs:
mam ekam saranam vraja
aham tvam sarva-papebhyo
moksayisyami ma sucah
"Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reaction. Do not fear."
Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura sings: "My dear Lord, whatever I have--even my mind, the center of all material necessities. namely my home, my body and whatever I have in connection with this body--I now surrender unto You. You are now completely independent to act however You like. If You like, You can kill me, and if You like, You can save me. In any case, I am Your eternal servant, and You have every right to do whatever You like."
ya etad adav asrjac caracaram
tayaiva so 'yam kila goptum udyatah
katham nu mam dharma-paro jighamsati
yah--one who; etat--these; adau--in the beginning of creation; asrjat--created; cara-acaram--moving and nonmoving living entities; sva-mayaya--by His own potency; atma-asrayaya--sheltered under His own protection; avitarkyaya--inconceivable; taya--by that same maya; eva--certainly; sah--he; ayam--this King; kila--certainly; goptum udyatah--prepared to give protection; katham--how; nu--then; mam--me; dharma-parah--one who is strictly following religious principles; jighamsati--desires to kill.
In the beginning of creation You created all these moving and nonmoving living entities by Your inconceivable energy. Through this very same energy You are now prepared to protect the living entities. Indeed, You are the supreme protector of religious principles. Why are You so anxious to kill me, even though I am in the form of a cow?
The planet earth argues that there is no doubt that one who creates can also annihilate by his sweet will. The planet earth questions why she should be killed when the Lord is prepared to give protection to everyone. After all, it is the earth that is the resting place for all other living entities, and it is the earth that produces grains for them.
nunam batesasya samihitam janais
na laksyate yas tv akarod akarayad
yo 'neka ekah paratas ca isvarah
nunam--surely; bata--certainly; isasya--of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; samihitam--activities, plan; janaih--by people; tat-mayaya--by His potency; durjayaya--which is unconquerable; akrta-atmabhih--who are not sufficiently experienced; na--never; laksyate--are seen; yah--he who; tu--then; akarot--created; akarayat--caused to create; yah--one who; anekah--many; ekah--one; paratah--by His inconceivable potencies; ca--and; isvarah--controller.
My dear Lord, although You are one, by Your inconceivable potencies You have expanded Yourself in many forms. Through the agency of Brahma, You have created this universe. You are therefore directly the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Those who are not sufficiently experienced cannot understand Your transcendental activities because these persons are covered by Your illusory energy.
God is one, but He expands Himself in a variety of energies--the material energy, the spiritual energy, the marginal energy and so forth. Unless one is favored and especially endowed with grace, he cannot understand how the one Supreme Personality of Godhead acts through His different energies. The living entities are also the marginal energy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Brahma is also one of these living entities, but he is especially empowered by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Although Brahma is supposed to be the creator of this universe, actually the Supreme Personality of Godhead is its ultimate creator. In this verse the word mayaya is significant. Maya means "energy." Lord Brahma is not the energetic but is one of the manifestations of the Lord's marginal energy. In other words, Lord Brahma is only an instrument. Although sometimes plans appear contradictory, there is a definite plan behind all action. One who is experienced and is favored by the Lord can understand that everything is being done according to the Lord's supreme plan.
sargadi yo 'syanurunaddhi saktibhir
namah parasmai purusaya vedhase
sarga-adi--creation, maintenance and dissolution; yah--one who; asya--of this material world; anurunaddhi--causes; saktibhih--by His own potencies; dravya--physical elements; kriya--senses; karaka--controlling demigods; cetana--intelligence; atmabhih--consisting of false ego; tasmai--unto Him; samunnaddha--manifest; niruddha--potential; saktaye--one who possesses these energies; namah--obeisances; parasmai--unto the transcendental; purusaya--Supreme Personality of Godhead; vedhase--unto the cause of all causes.
My dear Lord, by Your own potencies You are the original cause of the material elements, as well as the performing instruments (the senses), the workers of the senses (the controlling demigods), the intelligence and the ego, as well as everything else. By Your energy You manifest this entire cosmic creation, maintain it and dissolve it. Through Your energy alone everything is sometimes manifest and sometimes not manifest. You are therefore the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the cause of all causes. I offer my respectful obeisances unto You.
All activities begin with the creation of the total energy, the mahat-tattva. Then, by the agitation of the three gunas, the physical elements are created, as well as the mind, ego and the controllers of the senses. All of these are created one after another by the inconceivable energy of the Lord. In modern electronics, a mechanic may, by pushing only one button, set off an electronic chain-reaction, by which so many actions are carried out one after another. Similarly, the Supreme Personality of Godhead pushes the button of creation, and different energies create the material elements and various controllers of the physical elements, and their subsequent interactions follow the inconceivable plan of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
sa vai bhavan atma-vinirmitam jagad
samsthapayisyann aja mam rasatalad
sah--He; vai--certainly; bhavan--Yourself; atma--by Yourself; vinirmitam--manufactured; jagat--this world; bhuta--the physical elements; indriya--senses; antah-karana--mind, heart; atmakam--consisting of; vibho--O Lord; samsthapayisyan--maintaining; aja--O unborn; mam--me; rasatalat--from the plutonic region; abhyujjahara--took out; ambhasah--from the water; adi--original; sukarah--the boar.
My dear Lord, You are always unborn. Once, in the form of the original boar, You rescued me from the waters in the bottom of the universe. Through Your own energy You created all the physical elements, the senses and the heart, for the maintenance of the world.
This refers to the time when Lord Krsna appeared as the supreme boar, Varaha, and rescued the earth, which had been merged in water. The asura Hiranyaksa had dislocated the earth from its orbit and thrown it beneath the waters of the Garbhodaka Ocean. Then the Lord, in the shape of the original boar, rescued the earth.
apam upasthe mayi navy avasthitah
praja bhavan adya riraksisuh kila
sa vira-murtih samabhud dhara-dharo
yo mam payasy ugra-saro jighamsasi
apam--of the water; upasthe--situated on the surface; mayi--in me; navi--in a boat; avasthitah--standing; prajah--living entities; bhavan--Yourself; adya--now; riraksisuh--desiring to protect; kila--indeed; sah--He; vira-murtih--in the form of a great hero; samabhut--became; dhara-dharah--the protector of the planet earth; yah--one who; mam--me; payasi--for the sake of milk; ugra-sarah--with sharpened arrows; jighamsasi--you desire to kill.
My dear Lord, in this way You once protected me by rescuing me from the water, and consequently Your name has been famous as Dharadhara--He who holds the planet earth. Yet at the present moment, in the form of a great hero, You are about to kill me with sharpened arrows. I am, however, just like a boat on the water, keeping everything afloat.
The Lord is known as Dharadhara, meaning, "He who keeps the planet earth on His tusks as the boar incarnation." Thus the planet earth in the shape of a cow is accounting the contradictory acts of the Lord. Although He once saved the earth, He now wants to upset the earth, which is like a boat on water. No one can understand the activities of the Lord. Due to a poor fund of knowledge, human beings sometimes think the Lord's activities contradictory.
nunam janair ihitam isvaranam
na jnayate mohita-citta-vartmabhis
tebhyo namo vira-yasas-karebhyah
nunam--surely; janaih--by the people in general; ihitam--activities; isvaranam--of the controllers; asmat-vidhaih--like me; tat--of the Personality of Godhead; guna--of the modes of material nature; sarga--which brings forth creation; mayaya--by Your energy; na--never; jnayate--are understood; mohita--bewildered; citta--whose minds; vartmabhih--way; tebhyah--unto them; namah--obeisances; vira-yasah-karebhyah--who bring renown to heroes themselves.
My dear Lord, I am also the creation of one of Your energies, composed of the three modes of material nature. Consequently I am bewildered by Your activities. Even the activities of Your devotees cannot be understood, and what to speak of Your pastimes. Thus everything appears to us to be contradictory and wonderful.
The activities of the Supreme Personality of Godhead in His various forms and incarnations are always uncommon and wonderful. It is not possible for a tiny human being to estimate the purpose and plans of such activities; therefore Srila Jiva Gosvami has said that unless the Lord's activities are accepted as inconceivable, they cannot be explained. The Lord is eternally existing as Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, in Goloka Vrndavana. He has also simultaneously expanded Himself in innumerable forms, beginning with Lord Rama, Lord Nrsimha, Lord Varaha and all the incarnations coming directly from Sankarsana. Sankarsana is the expansion of Baladeva, and Baladeva is the first manifestation of Krsna. Therefore all these incarnations are known as kala.
The word isvaranam refers to all the Personalities of Godhead. As stated in Brahma-samhita (5.39): ramadi-murtisu kala-niyamena tisthan. In the Srimad-Bhagavatam it is confirmed that all the incarnations are partial expansions, or kala, of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. However, Krsna is the original Supreme personality of Godhead. One should not take the plural number of the word isvaranam to mean that there are many Godheads. The fact is that God is one, but He exists eternally and expands Himself in innumerable forms and acts in various ways. Sometimes the common man is bewildered by all this and considers such activities contradictory, but they are not contradictory. There is a great plan behind all the Lord's activities.
For our understanding it is sometimes said that the Lord is situated in the heart of the thief as well as in the heart of the householder, but the Supersoul in the heart of the thief dictates, "Go and steal things from that particular house," and at the same time the Lord tells the householder, "Now be careful of thieves and burglars." These instructions to different persons appear contradictory, yet we should know that the Supersoul, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, has some plan, and we should not consider such activities contradictory. The best course is to surrender unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead wholeheartedly, and, being protected by Him, remain peaceful.
Thus end the Bhaktivedanta purports of the Fourth Canto, Seventeenth Chapter, of the Srimad-Bhagavatam, entitled "Maharaja Prthu Becomes Angry at the Earth."