Chapter Three

               Hiranyakasipu's Plan to Become Immortal


   This chapter describes how Hiranyakasipu performed a severe type of austerity for material benefit, thus causing great distress throughout the universe. Even Lord Brahma, the chief personality within this universe, became somewhat disturbed and personally went to see why Hiranyakasipu was engaged in such a severe austerity.

   Hiranyakasipu wanted to become immortal. He wanted not to be conquered by anyone, not to be attacked by old age and disease, and not to be harassed by any opponent. Thus he wanted to become the absolute ruler of the entire universe. With this desire, he entered the valley of Mandara Mountain and began practicing a severe type of austerity and meditation. Seeing Hiranyakasipu engaged in this austerity, the demigods returned to their respective homes, but while Hiranyakasipu was thus engaged, a kind of fire began blazing from his head, disturbing the entire universe and its inhabitants, including the birds, beasts and demigods. When all the higher and lower planets became too hot to live on, the demigods, being disturbed, left their abodes in the higher planets and went to see Lord Brahma, praying to him that he curtail this unnecessary heat. The demigods disclosed to Lord Brahma Hiranyakasipu's ambition to become immortal, overcoming his short duration of life, and to be the master of all the planetary systems, even Dhruvaloka.

   Upon hearing about the purpose of Hiranyakasipu's austere meditation, Lord Brahma, accompanied by the great sage Bhrgu and great personalities like Daksa, went to see Hiranyakasipu. He then sprinkled water from his kamandalu, a type of waterpot, upon Hiranyakasipu's head.

   Hiranyakasipu, the King of the Daityas, bowed down before Lord Brahma, the creator of this universe, offering respectful obeisances again and again and offering prayers. When Lord Brahma agreed to give him benedictions, he prayed not be killed by any living entity, not to be killed in any place, covered or uncovered, not to die in the daytime or at night, not to be killed by any weapon, on land or in the air, and not to be killed by any human being, animal, demigod or any other entity, living or nonliving. He further prayed for supremacy over the entire universe and requested the eight yogic perfections, such as anima and laghima.


                                TEXT 1




                           sri-narada uvaca

                         hiranyakasipu rajann

                          ajeyam ajaramaram

                        atmanam apratidvandvam

                        eka-rajam vyadhitsata




   sri-naradah uvaca--Narada Muni said; hiranyakasipuh--the demoniac king Hiranyakasipu; rajan--O King Yudhisthira; ajeyam--unconquerable by any enemy; ajara--without old age or disease; amaram--immortal; atmanam--himself; apratidvandvam--without any rival or opponent; eka-rajam--the one king of the universe; vyadhitsata--desired to become.




   Narada Muni said to Maharaja Yudhisthira: The demoniac king Hiranyakasipu wanted to be unconquerable and free from old age and dwindling of the body. He wanted to gain all the yogic perfections like anima and laghima, to be deathless, and to be the only king of the entire universe, including Brahmaloka.




   Such are the goals of the austerities performed by demons. Hiranyakasipu wanted to receive a benediction from Lord Brahma so that in the future he would be able to conquer Lord Brahma's abode. Similarly, another demon received a benediction from Lord Siva but later wanted to kill Lord Siva through that same benediction. Thus self-interested persons, by demoniac austerity, want to kill even their benedictors, whereas the Vaisnava wants to remain an ever-existing servant of the Lord and never to occupy the post of the Lord. Through sayujya-mukti, which is generally demanded by asuras, one merges into the existence of the Lord, but although one sometimes thus achieves the goal of the theory of monism, one falls down again to struggle in material existence.


                                TEXT 2




                       sa tepe mandara-dronyam

                         tapah parama-darunam

                      urdhva-bahur nabho-drstih





   sah--he (Hiranyakasipu); tepe--performed; mandara-dronyam--in a valley of Mandara Hill; tapah--austerity; parama--most; darunam--difficult; urdhva--raising; bahuh--arms; nabhah--toward the sky; drstih--his vision; pada-angustha--with the big toes of his feet; asrita--resting on; avanih--the ground.




   In the valley of Mandara Hill, Hiranyakasipu began performing his austerities by standing with his toes on the ground, keeping his arms upward and looking toward the sky. This position was extremely difficult, but he accepted it as a means to attain perfection.


                                TEXT 3




                         jata-didhitibhi reje

                        samvartarka ivamsubhih

                       tasmims tapas tapyamane

                        devah sthanani bhejire




   jata-didhitibhih--by the effulgence of the hair on his head; reje--was shining; samvarta-arkah--the sun at the time of destruction; iva--like; amsubhih--by the beams; tasmin--when he (Hiranyakasipu); tapah--austerities; tapyamane--was engaged in; devah--all the demigods who were wandering throughout the universe to see Hiranyakasipu's demoniac activities; sthanani--to their own places; bhejire--returned.




   From the hair on Hiranyakasipu's head there emanated an effulgent light as brilliant and intolerable as the rays of the sun at the time of dissolution. Seeing the performance of such austere penances, the demigods, who had been wandering throughout the planets, now returned to their respective homes.


                                TEXT 4




                      tasya murdhnah samudbhutah

                       sadhumo 'gnis tapomayah

                      tiryag urdhvam adho lokan

                        pratapad visvag iritah




   tasya--his; murdhnah--from the head; samudbhutah--generated; sa-dhumah--with smoke; agnih--fire; tapah-mayah--because of severe austerities; tiryak--sideways; urdhvam--upward; adhah--downward; lokan--all the planets; pratapat--heated; visvak--all around; iritah--spreading.




   Because of Hiranyakasipu's severe austerities, fire came from his head, and this fire and its smoke spread throughout the sky, encompassing the upper and lower planets, which all became extremely hot.


                                TEXT 5




                      cuksubhur nady-udanvantah

                       sadvipadris cacala bhuh

                        nipetuh sagrahas tara

                        jajvalus ca diso dasa




   cuksubhuh--became agitated; nadi-udanvantah--the rivers and oceans; sa-dvipa--with the islands; adrih--and mountains; cacala--trembled; bhuh--the surface of the globe; nipetuh--fell; sa-grahah--with the planets; tarah--the stars; jajvaluh--blazed; ca--also; disah dasa--the ten directions.




   Because of the power of his severe austerities, all the rivers and oceans were agitated, the surface of the globe, with its mountains and islands, began trembling, and the stars and planets fell. All directions were ablaze.


                                TEXT 6




                       tena tapta divam tyaktva

                       brahmalokam yayuh surah

                        dhatre vijnapayam asur

                         deva-deva jagat-pate

                       daityendra-tapasa tapta

                       divi sthatum na saknumah




   tena--by that (fire of austerity); taptah--burned; divam--their residential quarters in the upper planets; tyaktva--giving up; brahma-lokam--to the planet where Lord Brahma lives; yayuh--went; surah--the demigods; dhatre--unto the chief of this universe, Lord Brahma; vijnapayam asuh--submitted; deva-deva--O chief of the demigods; jagat-pate--O master of the universe; daitya-indra-tapasa--by the severe austerity performed by the King of the Daityas, Hiranyakasipu; taptah--roasted; divi--on the heavenly planets; sthatum--to stay; na--not; saknumah--we are able.




   Scorched and extremely disturbed because of Hiranyakasipu's severe penances, all the demigods left the planets where they reside and went to the planet of Lord Brahma, where they informed the creator as follows: O lord of the demigods, O master of the universe, because of the fire emanating from Hiranyakasipu's head as a result of his severe austerities, we have become so disturbed that we could not stay in our planets but have come to you.


                                TEXT 7




                        tasya copasamam bhuman

                         vidhehi yadi manyase

                       loka na yavan nanksyanti

                        bali-haras tavabhibhuh




   tasya--of this; ca--indeed; upasamam--the cessation; bhuman--O great personality; vidhehi--please execute; yadi--if; manyase--you think it right; lokah--all the inhabitants of the various planets; na--not; yavat--as long as; nanksyanti--will be lost; bali-harah--who are obedient to the worship; tava--of you; abhibhuh--O chief of all the universe.




   O great person, chief of the universe, if you think it proper, kindly stop these disturbances, meant to destroy everything, before all your obedient subjects are annihilated.


                                TEXT 8




                       tasyayam kila sankalpas

                        carato duscaram tapah

                       sruyatam kim na viditas

                         tavathapi niveditam




   tasya--his; ayam--this; kila--indeed; sankalpah--determination; caratah--who is executing; duscaram--very difficult; tapah--austerity; sruyatam--let it be heard; kim--what; na--not; viditah--known; tava--of you; athapi--still; niveditam--submitted.




   Hiranyakasipu has undertaken a most severe type of austerity. Although his plan is not unknown to you, kindly listen as we submit his intentions.


                              TEXTS 9-10




                        srstva caracaram idam


                     adhyaste sarva-dhisnyebhyah

                         paramesthi nijasanam


                        tad aham vardhamanena


                       kalatmanos ca nityatvat

                        sadhayisye tathatmanah




   srstva--creating; cara--moving; acaram--and not moving; idam--this; tapah--of austerity; yoga--and mystic power; samadhina--by practicing the trance; adhyaste--is situated in; sarva-dhisnyebhyah--than all the planets, including the heavenly planets; paramesthi--Lord Brahma; nija-asanam--his own throne; tat--therefore; aham--I; vardhamanena--by dint of increasing; tapah--austerity; yoga--mystic powers; samadhina--and trance; kala--of time; atmanoh--and of the soul; ca--and; nityatvat--from the eternality; sadhayisye--shall achieve; tatha--so much; atmanah--for my personal self.




   "The supreme person within this universe, Lord Brahma, has gotten his exalted post by dint of severe austerities, mystic power and trance. Consequently, after creating the universe, he has become the most worshipable demigod within it. Since I am eternal and time is eternal, I shall endeavor for such austerity, mystic power and trance for many, many births, and thus I shall occupy the same post occupied by Lord Brahma.




   Hiranyakasipu's determination was to occupy the post of Lord Brahma, but this was impossible because Brahma has a long duration of life. As confirmed in Bhagavad-gita (8.17), sahasra-yuga-paryantam ahar yad brahmano viduh: one thousand yugas equals one day of Brahma. The duration of Brahma's life is extremely great, and consequently it was impossible for Hiranyakasipu to occupy that post. Nonetheless, his decision was that since the self (atma) and time are both eternal, if he could not occupy that post in one lifetime he would continue to execute austerities life after life so that sometime he would be able to do so.


                               TEXT 11




                       anyathedam vidhasye 'ham

                         ayatha purvam ojasa

                      kim anyaih kala-nirdhutaih

                       kalpante vaisnavadibhih




   anyatha--just the opposite; idam--this universe; vidhasye--shall make; aham--I; ayatha--inappropriate; purvam--as it was before; ojasa--by dint of the power of my austerity; kim--what use; anyaih--with other; kala-nirdhutaih--vanquished in due course of time; kalpa-ante--at the end of the millennium; vaisnava-adibhih--with planets like Dhruvaloka or Vaikunthaloka.




   "By dint of my severe austerities, I shall reverse the results of pious and impious activities. I shall overturn all the established practices within this world. Even Dhruvaloka will be vanquished at the end of the millennium. Therefore, what is the use of it? I shall prefer to remain in the position of Brahma."




   Hiranyakasipu's demoniac determination was explained to Lord Brahma by the demigods, who informed him that Hiranyakasipu wanted to overturn all the established principles. After executing severe austerities, people within this material world are promoted to the heavenly planets, but Hiranyakasipu wanted them to be unhappy, suffering because of the diplomatic feelings of the demigods, even in the heavenly planets. He wanted those who were harassed in this world by material transactions to be unhappy for the same reason, even in the heavenly planets. Indeed, be wanted to introduce such harassment everywhere. One might ask how this would be possible, since the universal order has been established since time immemorial, but Hiranyakasipu was proud to declare that he would be able to do everything by the power of his tapasya. He even wanted to make the Vaisnavas' position insecure. These are some of the symptoms of asuric determination.


                               TEXT 12




                        iti susruma nirbandham

                        tapah paramam asthitah

                       vidhatsvanantaram yuktam

                       svayam tri-bhuvanesvara




   iti--in this way; susruma--we have heard; nirbandham--strong determination; tapah--austerity; paramam--very severe; asthitah--is situated in; vidhatsva--please take steps; anantaram--as soon as possible; yuktam--befitting; svayam--yourself; tri-bhuvana-isvara--O master of the three worlds.




   O lord, we have heard from reliable sources that in order to obtain your post, Hiranyakasipu is now engaged in severe austerity. You are the master of the three worlds. Please, without delay, take whatever steps you deem appropriate.




   In the material world, a servant is provided for by the master but is always planning how to capture the master's post. There have been many instances of this in history. Especially in India during the Mohammedan rule, many servants, by plans and devices, took over the posts of their masters. It is learned from Caitanya literature that one big Zamindar, Subuddhi Raya, kept a Mohammedan boy as a servant. Of course, he treated the boy as his own child, and sometimes, when the boy would steal something, the master would chastise him by striking him with a cane. There was a mark on the boy's back from this chastisement. Later, after that boy had by crooked means become Hussain Shah, Nawab of Bengal, one day his wife saw the mark on his back and inquired about it. The Nawab replied that in his childhood he had been a servant of Subuddhi Raya, who had punished him because of some mischievous activities. Upon hearing this, the Nawab's wife immediately became agitated and requested her husband to kill Subuddhi Raya. Nawab Hussain Shah, of course, was very grateful to Subuddhi Raya and therefore refused to kill him, but when his wife requested him to turn Subuddhi Raya into a Mohammedan, the Nawab agreed. Taking some water from his waterpot, he sprinkled it upon Subuddhi Raya and declared that Subuddhi Raya had now become a Mohammedan. The point is that this Nawab had been an ordinary menial servant of Subuddhi Raya but was somehow or other able to occupy the supreme post of Nawab of Bengal. This is the material world. Everyone is trying to become master through various devices, although everyone is servant of his senses. Following this system, a living entity, although servant of his senses, tries to become master of the whole universe. Hiranyakasipu was a typical example of this, and Brahma was informed by the demigods of his intentions.


                               TEXT 13




                        tavasanam dvija-gavam

                       paramesthyam jagat-pate

                       bhavaya sreyase bhutyai

                         ksemaya vijayaya ca




   tava--your; asanam--position on the throne; dvija--of the brahminical culture or the brahmanas; gavam--of the cows; paramesthyam--supreme; jagat-pate--O master of the whole universe; bhavaya--for improvement; sreyase--for the ultimate happiness; bhutyai--for increasing the opulence; ksemaya--for the maintenance and good fortune; vijayaya--for the victory and increasing prestige; ca--and.




   O Lord Brahma, your position within this universe is certainly most auspicious for everyone, especially the cows and brahmanas. Brahminical culture and the protection of cows can be increasingly glorified, and thus all kinds of material happiness, opulence and good fortune will automatically increase. But unfortunately, if Hiranyakasipu occupies your seat, everything will be lost.




   In this verse the words dvija-gavam paramesthyam indicate the most exalted position of the brahmanas, brahminical culture and the cows. In Vedic culture, the welfare of the cows and the welfare of the brahmanas are essential. Without a proper arrangement for developing brahminical culture and protecting cows, all the affairs of administration will go to hell. Being afraid that Hiranyakasipu would occupy the post of Brahma, all the demigods were extremely disturbed. Hiranyakasipu was a well-known demon, and the demigods knew that if demons and Raksasas were to occupy the supreme post, brahminical culture and protection of cows would come to an end. As stated in Bhagavad-gita (5.29), the original proprietor of everything is Lord Krsna (bhoktaram yajna-tapasam sarva-loka-mahesvaram). The Lord, therefore, knows particularly well how to develop the material condition of the living entities within this material world. In every universe there is one Brahma engaged on behalf of Lord Krsna, as confirmed in Srimad-Bhagavatam (tene brahma hrdaya adi-kavaye). The principal creator in each brahmanda is Lord Brahma, who imparts Vedic knowledge to his disciples and sons. On every planet, the king or supreme controller must be a representative of Brahma. Therefore, if a Raksasa, or demon, were situated in Brahma's post, then the entire arrangement of the universe, especially the protection of the brahminical culture and cows, would be ruined. All the demigods anticipated this danger, and therefore they went to request Lord Brahma to take immediate steps to thwart Hiranyakasipu's plan.

   In the beginning of creation, Lord Brahma was attacked by two demons--Madhu and Kaitabha--but Krsna saved him. Therefore Krsna is addressed as madhu-kaitabha-hantr. Now again, Hiranyakasipu was trying to replace Brahma. The material world is so situated that even the position of Lord Brahma, not to speak of ordinary living entities, is sometimes in danger. Nonetheless, until the time of Hiranyakasipu, no one had tried to replace Lord Brahma. Hiranyakasipu, however, was such a great demon that he maintained this ambition.

   The word bhutyai means "for increasing opulence," and the word sreyase refers to ultimately returning home, back to Godhead. In spiritual advancement, one's material position improves at the same time that the path of liberation becomes clear and one is freed from material bondage. If one is situated in an opulent position in spiritual advancement, his opulence never decreases. Therefore such a spiritual benediction is called bhuti or vibhuti. Krsna confirms this in Bhagavad-gita (10.41). Yad yad vibhutimat sattvam. .. mama tejo-'msa-sambhavam: if a devotee advances in spiritual consciousness and thus becomes materially opulent also, his position is a special gift from the Lord. Such opulence is never to be considered material. At the present, especially on this planet earth, the influence of Lord Brahma has decreased considerably, and the representatives of Hiranyakasipu--the Raksasas and demons--have taken charge. Therefore there is no protection of brahminical culture and cows, which are the basic prerequisites for all kinds of good fortune. This age is very dangerous because society is being managed by demons and Raksasas.


                               TEXT 14




                         iti vijnapito devair

                        bhagavan atmabhur nrpa

                       parito bhrgu-daksadyair

                       yayau daityesvarasramam




   iti--thus; vijnapitah--informed; devaih--by all the demigods; bhagavan--the most powerful; atma-bhuh--Lord Brahma, who was born from the lotus flower; nrpa--O King; paritah--being surrounded; bhrgu--by Bhrgu; daksa--Daksa; adyaih--and others; yayau--went; daitya-isvara--of Hiranyakasipu, the King of the Daityas; asramam--to the place of austerity.




   O King, being thus informed by the demigods, the most powerful Lord Brahma, accompanied by Bhrgu, Daksa and other great sages, immediately started for the place where Hiranyakasipu was performing his penances and austerities.




   Lord Brahma was waiting for the austerities performed by Hiranyakasipu to mature so that he could go there and offer benedictions according to Hiranyakasipu's desire. Now, taking the opportunity of being accompanied by all the demigods and great saintly persons, Brahma went there to award him the benediction he desired.


                             TEXTS 15-16




                       na dadarsa praticchannam


                         pipilikabhir acirnam



                        tapantam tapasa lokan

                        yathabhrapihitam ravim

                       vilaksya vismitah praha

                       hasams tam hamsa-vahanah




   na--not; dadarsa--saw; praticchannam--covered; valmika--by an anthill; trna--grass; kicakaih--and bamboo sticks; pipilikabhih--by the ants; acirnam--eaten all around; medah--whose fat; tvak--skin; mamsa--the flesh; sonitam--and blood; tapantam--heating; tapasa--by a severe type of penance; lokan--all the three worlds; yatha--just as; abhra--by clouds; apihitam--covered; ravim--the sun; vilaksya--seeing; vismitah--struck with wonder; praha--said; hasan--smiling; tam--to him; hamsa-vahanah--Lord Brahma, who rides a swan airplane.




   Lord Brahma, who is carried by a swan airplane, at first could not see where Hiranyakasipu was, for Hiranyakasipu's body was covered by an anthill and by grass and bamboo sticks. Because Hiranyakasipu had been there for a long time, the ants had devoured his skin, fat, flesh and blood. Then Lord Brahma and the demigods spotted him, resembling a cloud-covered sun, heating all the world by his austerity. Struck with wonder, Lord Brahma began to smile and then addressed him as follows.




   The living entity can live merely by his own power, without the help of skin, marrow, bone, blood and so on, because it is said, asango'yam purusah--the living entity has nothing to do with the material covering. Hiranyakasipu performed a severe type of tapasya, austerity, for many long years. Indeed, it is said that he performed the tapasya for one hundred heavenly years. Since one day of the demigods equals six of our months, certainly this was a very long time. By nature's own way, his body had been almost consumed by earthworms, ants and other parasites, and therefore even Brahma was at first unable to see him. Later, however, Brahma could ascertain where Hiranyakasipu was, and Brahma was struck with wonder to see Hiranyakasipu's extraordinary power to execute tapasya. Anyone would conclude that Hiranyakasipu was dead because his body was covered in so many ways, but Lord Brahma, the supreme living being in this universe, could understand that Hiranyakasipu was alive but covered by material elements.

   It is also to be noted that although Hiranyakasipu performed this austerity for a long, long time, he was nonetheless known as a Daitya and Raksasa. It will be seen from verses to follow that even great saintly persons could not perform such a severe type of austerity. Why then was he called a Raksasa and Daitya? It is because whatever he did was for his own sense gratification. His son Prahlada Maharaja was only five years old, and so what could Prahlada do? Yet simply by performing a little devotional service according to the instructions of Narada Muni, Prahlada became so dear to the Lord that the Lord came to save him, whereas Hiranyakasipu, in spite of all his austerities, was killed. This is the difference between devotional service and all other methods of perfection. One who performs severe austerities for sense gratification is fearful to the entire world. whereas a devotee who performs even a slight amount of devotional service is a friend to everyone (suhrdam sarva-bhutanam). Since the Lord is the well-wisher of every living entity and since a devotee assumes the qualities of the Lord, a devotee also acts for everyone's good fortune by performing devotional service. Thus although Hiranyakasipu performed such a severe austerity, he remained a Daitya and a Raksasa, whereas Prahlada Maharaja, although born of the same Daitya father, became the most exalted devotee and was personally protected by the Supreme Lord. Bhakti is therefore called sarvopadhi-vinirmuktam, indicating that a devotee is freed from all material designations, and anyabhilasita-sunyam, situated in a transcendental position, free from all material desires.


                               TEXT 17





                      uttisthottistha bhadram te

                       tapah-siddho 'si kasyapa

                        varado 'ham anuprapto

                        vriyatam ipsito varah




   sri-brahma uvaca--Lord Brahma said; uttistha--please get up; uttistha--get up; bhadram--good fortune; te--unto you; tapah-siddhah--perfect in executing austerities; asi--you are; kasyapa--O son of Kasyapa; vara-dah--the giver of benediction; aham--I; anupraptah--arrived; vriyatam--let it be submitted; ipsitah--desired; varah--benediction.




   Lord Brahma said: O son of Kasyapa Muni, please get up, please get up. All good fortune unto you. You are now perfect in the performance of your austerities, and therefore I may give you a benediction. You may now ask from me whatever you desire, and I shall try to fulfill your wish.




   Srila Madhvacarya quotes from the Skanda Purana, which says that Hiranyakasipu, having become a devotee of Lord Brahma, who is known as Hiranyagarbha, and having undergone a severe austerity to please him, is also known as Hiranyaka. Raksasas and demons worship various demigods, such as Lord Brahma and Lord Siva, just to take the post of these demigods. This we have already explained in previous verses.


                               TEXT 18




                        adraksam aham etam te

                       hrt-saram mahad-adbhutam


                       prana hy asthisu serate




   adraksam--have personally seen; aham--I; etam--this; te--your; hrt-saram--power of endurance; mahat--very great; adbhutam--wonderful; damsa-bhaksita--eaten by worms and ants; dehasya--whose body; pranah--the life air; hi--indeed; asthisu--in the bones; serate--is taking shelter.




   I have been very much astonished to see your endurance. In spite of being eaten and bitten by all kinds of worms and ants, you are keeping your life air circulating within your bones. Certainly this is wonderful.




   It appears that the soul can exist even through the bones, as shown by the personal example of Hiranyakasipu. When great yogis are in samadhi, even when their bodies are buried and their skin, marrow, blood and so on have all been eaten, if only their bones remain they can exist in a transcendental position. Very recently an archaeologist published findings indicating that Lord Christ, after being buried, was exhumed and that he then went to Kashmir. There have been many actual examples of yogis' being buried in trance and exhumed alive and in good condition several hours later. A yogi can keep himself alive in a transcendental state even if buried not only for many days but for many years.


                               TEXT 19




                      naitat purvarsayas cakrur

                         na karisyanti capare

                       nirambur dharayet pranan

                       ko vai divya-samah satam




   na--not; etat--this; purva-rsayah--the sages before you, such as Bhrgu; cakruh--executed; na--nor; karisyanti--will execute; ca--also; apare--others; nirambuh--without drinking water; dharayet--can sustain; pranan--the life air; kah--who; vai--indeed; divya-samah--celestial years; satam--one hundred.




   Even saintly persons like Bhrgu, born previously, could not perform such severe austerities, nor will anyone in the future be able to do so. Who within these three worlds can sustain his life without even drinking water for one hundred celestial years?




   It appears that even if a yogi does not drink a drop of water, he can live for many, many years by the yogic process, though his outer body be eaten by ants and moths.


                               TEXT 20




                         vyavasayena te 'nena

                         duskarena manasvinam

                        tapo-nisthena bhavata

                        jito 'ham diti-nandana




   vyavasayena--by determination; te--your; anena--this; duskarena--difficult to perform; manasvinam--even for great sages and saintly persons; tapah-nisthena--aimed at executing austerity; bhavata--by you; jitah--conquered; aham--I; diti-nandana--O son of Diti.




   My dear son of Diti, with your great determination and austerity you have done what was impossible even for great saintly persons, and thus I have certainly been conquered by you.




   In regard to the word jitah, Srila Madhva Muni gives the following quotation from the Sabda-nirnaya: parabhutam vasa-stham ca jitabhid ucyate budhaih. "If one comes under someone else's control or is defeated by another, he is called jitah." Hiranyakasipu's austerity was so great and wonderful that even Lord Brahma agreed to be conquered by him.


                               TEXT 21




                        tatas ta asisah sarva

                         dadamy asura-pungava

                       martasya te hy amartasya

                        darsanam naphalam mama




   tatah--because of this; te--unto you; asisah--benedictions; sarvah--all; dadami--I shall give; asura-pungava--O best of the asuras; martasya--of one who is destined to die; te--such as you; hi--indeed; amartasya--of one who does not die; darsanam--the audience; na--not; aphalam--without results; mama--my.




   O best of the asuras, for this reason I am now prepared to give you all benedictions, according to your desire. I belong to the celestial world of demigods, who do not die like human beings. Therefore, although you are subject to death, your audience with me will not go in vain.




   It appears that human beings and asuras are subject to death, whereas demigods are not. The demigods who reside with Lord Brahma in Satyaloka go to Vaikunthaloka in their present bodily constructions at the time of the dissolution. Therefore although Hiranyakasipu had undergone severe austerities, Lord Brahma predicted that he had to die; he could not become immortal or even gain equal status with the demigods. The great austerities and penances he had performed for so many years could not give him protection from death. This was foretold by Lord Brahma.


                               TEXT 22




                           sri-narada uvaca

                        ity uktvadi-bhavo devo

                       bhaksitangam pipilikaih






   sri-naradah uvaca--Sri Narada Muni said; iti--thus; uktva--saying; adi-bhavah--Lord Brahma, the original living creature within this universe; devah--the principal demigod; bhaksita-angam--Hiranyakasipu's body, which had been almost completely eaten; pipilikaih--by the ants; kamandalu--from the special waterpot in the hands of Lord Brahma; jalena--by water; auksat--sprinkled; divyena--which was spiritual, not ordinary; amogha--wihout fail; radhasa--whose power.




   Sri Narada Muni continued: After speaking these words to Hiranyakasipu, Lord Brahma, the original being of this universe, who is extremely powerful, sprinkled transcendental, infallible, spiritual water from his kamandalu upon Hiranyakasipu's body, which had been eaten away by ants and moths. Thus he enlivened Hiranyakasipu.




   Lord Brahma is the first created being within this universe and is empowered by the Supreme Lord top create. Tene brahma hrda ya adi-kavaye: the adi deva, or adi-kavi--the first living creature--was personally taught by the Supreme Personality of Godhead through the heart. There was no one to teach him, but since the Lord is situated within Brahma's heart, Brahma was educated by the Lord Himself. Lord Brahma, being especially empowered, is infallible in doing whatever he wants. This is the meaning of the word amogha radhasa. He desired to restore Hiranyakasipu's original body, and therefore, by sprinkling transcendental water from his waterpot, he immediately did so.


                               TEXT 23




                        sa tat kicaka-valmikat



                         vajra-samhanano yuva

                        utthitas tapta-hemabho

                        vibhavasur ivaidhasah




   sah--Hiranyakasipu; tat--that; kicaka-valmikat--from the anthill and bamboo grove; sahah--mental strength; ojah--strength of the senses; bala--and sufficient bodily strength; anvitah--endowed with; sarva--all; avayava--the limbs of the body; sampannah--fully restored; vajra-samhananah--having a body as strong as a thunderbolt; yuva--young; utthitah--arisen; tapta-hema-abhah--whose bodily luster became like molten gold; vibhavasuh--fire; iva--like; edhasah--from fuel wood.




   As soon as he was sprinkled with the water from Lord Brahma's waterpot, Hiranyakasipu arose, endowed with a full body with limbs so strong that they could bear the striking of a thunderbolt. With physical strength and a bodily luster resembling molten gold, he emerged from the anthill a completely young man, just as fire springs from fuel wood.




   Hiranyakasipu was revitalized, so much so that his body was quite competent to tolerate the striking of thunderbolts. He was now a young man with a strong body and a very beautiful bodily luster resembling molten gold. This is the rejuvenation that took place because of his severe austerity and penance.


                               TEXT 24




                        sa niriksyambare devam

                        hamsa-vaham upasthitam

                         nanama sirasa bhumau





   sah--he (Hiranyakasipu); niriksya--seeing; ambare--in the sky; devam--the supreme demigod; hamsa-vaham--who rides a swan airplane; upasthitam--situated before him; nanama--offered obeisances; sirasa--with his head; bhumau--on the ground; tat-darsana--by seeing Lord Brahma; maha-utsavah--very much pleased.




   Seeing Lord Brahma present before him in the sky, carried by his swan airplane, Hiranyakasipu was extremely pleased. He immediately fell flat with his head on the ground and began to express his obligation to the lord.




   Lord Krsna says in Bhagavad-gita (9.23-24):


                      ye 'py anya-devata-bhakta

                       yajante sraddhayanvitah

                       te 'pi mam eva kaunteya

                       yajanty avidhi-purvakam


                        aham hi sarva-yajnanam

                       bhokta ca prabhur eva ca

                        na tu mam abhijananti

                       tattvenatas cyavanti te


   "Whatever a man may sacrifice to other gods, O son of Kunti, is really meant for Me alone, but it is offered without true understanding. I am the only enjoyer and the only object of sacrifice. Those who do not recognize My true transcendental nature fall down."

   In effect, Krsna says, "Persons engaged in the worship of demigods are not very intelligent, although such worship is indirectly offered to Me." For example, when a man pours water on the leaves and branches of a tree without pouring water on the root, he does so without sufficient knowledge or without observing regulative principles. The process of watering a tree is to pour water on the root. Similarly, the process of rendering service to different parts of the body is to supply food to the stomach. The demigods are, so to speak, different officers and directors in the government of the Supreme Lord. One has to follow the laws made by the government, not by the officers or directors. Similarly, everyone is to offer his worship to the Supreme Lord only. That will automatically satisfy the different officers and directors of the Lord. The officers and directors are engaged as representatives of the government, and to offer some bribe to the officers and directors is illegal. This is stated in Bhagavad-gita as avidhi-purvakam. In other words, Krsna does not approve the unnecessary worship of the demigods.

   In Bhagavad-gita it is clearly stated that there are many types of yajna performances recommended in the Vedic literatures, but actually all of them are meant for satisfying the Supreme Lord. Yajna means Visnu. In the Third Chapter of Bhagavad-gita it is clearly stated that one should work only for satisfying Yajna, or Visnu. The perfectional form of human civilization, known as varnasrama-dharma, is specifically meant for satisfying Visnu. Therefore, Krsna says, "I am the enjoyer of all sacrifices because I am the supreme master." However, less intelligent persons, without knowing this fact, worship demigods for temporary benefit. Therefore they fall down to material existence and do not achieve the desired goal of life. If, however, anyone has any material desire to be fulfilled, he had better pray for it to the Supreme Lord (although that is not pure devotion), and he will thus achieve the desired result.

   Although Hiranyakasipu offered his obeisances unto Lord Brahma, he was strongly inimical toward Lord Visnu. This is the symptom of an asura. Asuras worship the demigods as being separate from the Lord, not knowing that all the demigods are powerful because of being servants of the Lord. If the Supreme Lord were to withdraw the powers of the demigods, the demigods would no longer be able to offer benedictions to their worshipers. The difference between a devotee and a nondevotee, or asura, is that a devotee knows that Lord Visnu is the Supreme Personality of Godhead and that everyone derives power from Him. Without worshiping the demigods for particular powers, a devotee worships Lord Visnu, knowing that if he desires a particular power he can get that power while acting as Lord Visnu's devotee. Therefore in the sastra (Bhag. 2.3.10) it is recommended:


                         akamah sarva-kamo va

                        moksa-kama udara-dhih

                        tivrena bhakti-yogena

                         yajeta purusam param


   "A person who has broader intelligence, whether he be full of material desires, free from material desires, or desiring liberation, must by all means worship the supreme whole, the Personality of Godhead." Even if a person has material desires, instead of worshiping the demigods he should pray to the Supreme Lord so that his connection with the Supreme Lord will be established and he will be saved from becoming a demon or a nondevotee. In this regard, Srila Madhvacarya gives the following quotation from the Brahma-tarka:



                      visnoh pradhanyatas tatha

                        jivasya tad-adhinatvan

                       na bhinnadhikrtam vacah


   Since Visnu is the Supreme, by worshiping Visnu one can fulfill all one's desires. There is no need to divert one's attention to any demigod.


                               TEXT 25




                       utthaya pranjalih prahva

                         iksamano drsa vibhum


                         gira gadgadayagrnat




   utthaya--getting up; pranjalih--with folded hands; prahvah--in a humble manner; iksamanah--seeing; drsa--with his eyes; vibhum--the supreme person within this universe; harsa--of jubilation; asru--with tears; pulaka--with hairs standing on the body; udbhedah--enlivened; gira--by words; gadgadaya--faltering; agrnat--prayed.




   Then, getting up from the ground and seeing Lord Brahma before him, the head of the Daityas was overwhelmed by jubilation. With tears in his eyes, his whole body shivering, he began praying in a humble mood, with folded hands and a faltering voice, to satisfy Lord Brahma.


                             TEXTS 26-27




                       sri-hiranyakasipur uvaca

                        kalpante kala-srstena

                        yo 'ndhena tamasavrtam

                        abhivyanag jagad idam

                       svayanjyotih sva-rocisa


                        atmana tri-vrta cedam

                         srjaty avati lumpati


                         paraya mahate namah




   sri-hiranyakasipuh uvaca--Hiranyakasipu said; kalpa-ante--at the end of every day of Lord Brahma; kala-srstena--created by the time factor; yah--he who; andhena--by dense darkness; tamasa--by ignorance; avrtam--covered; abhivyanak--manifested; jagat--cosmic manifestation; idam--this; svayam-jyotih--self-effulgent; sva-rocisa--by his bodily rays; atmana--by himself; tri-vrta--conducted by the three modes of material nature; ca--also; idam--this material world; srjati--creates; avati--maintain s; lumpati--annihilates; rajah--of the mode of passion; sattva--the mode of goodness; tamah--and the mode of ignorance; dhamne--unto the supreme lord; paraya--unto the supreme; mahate--unto the great; namah--my respectful obeisances.




   Let me offer my respectful obeisances unto the supreme lord within this universe. At the end of each day of his life, the universe is fully covered with dense darkness by the influence of time, and then again, during his next day, that self-effulgent lord, by his own effulgence, manifests, maintains and destroys the entire cosmic manifestation through the material energy, which is invested with the three modes of material nature. He, Lord Brahma, is the shelter of those modes of nature--sattva-guna, rajo-guna and tamo-guna.




   The words abhivyanag jagad idam refer to he who creates this cosmic manifestation. The original creator is the Supreme personality of Godhead, Krsna (janmady asya yatah); Lord Brahma is the secondary creator. When Lord Brahma is empowered by Lord Krsna as the engineer to create the phenomenal world, he becomes the supremely powerful feature within this universe. The total material energy is created by Krsna, and later, taking advantage of all that has necessarily been created, Lord Brahma engineers the entire phenomenal universe. At the end of Lord Brahma's day, everything up to Svargaloka is inundated with water, and the next morning, when there is darkness in the universe, Brahma again brings the phenomenal manifestation into existence. Therefore he is described here as he who manifests this universe.

   Trin gunan vrnoti: Lord Brahma takes advantage of the three modes of material nature. prakrti, material nature, is described here as tri-vrta, the source of the three material modes. Srila Madhvacarya comments in this connection that tri-vrta means prakrtya. Thus Lord Krsna is the original creator, and Lord Brahma is the original engineer.


                               TEXT 28




                          nama adyaya bijaya



                        vikarair vyaktim iyuse




   namah--I offer my respectful obeisances; adyaya--unto the original living creature; bijaya--the seed of the cosmic manifestation; jnana--of knowledge; vijnana--and of practical application; murtaye--unto the deity or form; prana--of the life air; indriya--of the senses; manah--of the mind; buddhi--of the intelligence; vikaraih--by transformations; vyaktim--manifestation; iyuse--who has obtained.




   I offer my obeisances to the original personality within this universe, Lord Brahma, who is cognizant and who can apply his mind and realized intelligence in creating this cosmic manifestation. It is because of his activities that everything within the universe is visible. He is therefore the cause of all manifestations.




   The Vedanta-sutra begins by declaring that the Absolute Person is the original source of all creation (janmady asya yatah). One may ask whether Lord Brahma is the Supreme Absolute Person. No, the Supreme Absolute Person is Krsna. Brahma receives his mind, intelligence, materials and everything else from Krsna, and then he becomes the secondary creator, the engineer of this universe. In this regard we may note that the creation does not take place accidentally, because of the explosion of a chunk. Such nonsensical theories are not accepted by Vedic students. The first created living being is Brahma, who is endowed with perfect knowledge and intelligence by the Lord. As stated in Srimad-Bhagavatam, tene brahma hrda ya adi-kavaye: although Brahma is the first created being, he is not independent, for he receives help from the Supreme Personality of Godhead through his heart. There is no one but Brahma at the time of creation, and therefore he receives his intelligence directly from the Lord through the heart. This has been discussed in the beginning of Srimad-Bhagavatam.

   Lord Brahma is described in this verse as the original cause of the cosmic manifestation, and this applies to his position in the material world. There are many, many such controllers, all of whom are created by the Supreme Lord, Visnu. This is illustrated by an incident described in Caitanya-caritamrta. When the Brahma of this particular universe was invited by Krsna to Dvaraka, he thought that he was the only Brahma. Therefore when Krsna inquired from His servant which Brahma was at the door to visit, Lord Brahma was surprised. He replied that of course Lord Brahma, the father of the four Kumaras, was waiting at the door. Later, Lord Brahma asked Krsna why He had inquired which Brahma had come. He was then informed that there are millions of other Brahmas because there are millions of universes. Krsna then called all the Brahmas, who immediately came to visit Him. The catur-mukha Brahma, the four-headed Brahma of this universe, thought himself a very insignificant creature in the presence of so many Brahmas with so many heads. Thus although there is a Brahma who is the engineer of each universe, Krsna is the original source of all of them.


                               TEXT 29




                   tvam isise jagatas tasthusas ca

                   pranena mukhyena patih prajanam

                   cittasya cittair mana-indriyanam

                    patir mahan bhuta-gunasayesah




   tvam--you; isise--actually control; jagatah--of the moving being; tasthusah--of the being that is dull or stationed in one place; ca--and; pranena--by the living force; mukhyena--the origin of all activities; patih--master; prajanam--of all living entities; cittasya--of the mind; cittaih--by the consciousness; manah--of the mind; indriyanam--and of the two kinds of senses (acting and knowledge-gathering); patih--the master; mahan--great; bhuta--of the material elements; guna--and the qualities of the material elements; asaya--of desires; isah--the supreme master.




   Your Lordship, being the origin of the life of this material world, is the master and controller of the living entities, both moving and stationary, and you inspire their consciousness. You maintain the mind and the acting and knowledge-acquiring senses, and therefore you are the great controller of all the material elements and their qualities, and you are the controller of all desires.




   In this verse it is clearly indicated that the original source of everything is life. Brahma was instructed by the supreme life, Krsna. Krsna is the supreme living entity (nityo nityanam cetanas cetananam), and Brahma is also a living entity, but the original source of Brahma is Krsna. Therefore Krsna says in Bhagavad-gita (7.7), mattah parataram nanyat kincid asti dhananjaya: "O Arjuna, there is no truth superior to Me." Krsna is the original source of Brahma, who is the original source of this universe. Brahma is a representative of Krsna, and therefore all the qualities and activities of Krsna are also present in Lord Brahma.


                               TEXT 30




                   tvam sapta-tantun vitanosi tanva

                   trayya catur-hotraka-vidyaya ca

                     tvam eka atmatmavatam anadir

                     ananta-parah kavir antaratma




   tvam--you; sapta-tantun--the seven kinds of Vedic ritualistic ceremonies, beginning from the agnistoma-yajna; vitanosi--spread; tanva--by your body; trayya--the three Vedas; catuh-hotraka--of the four kinds of Vedic priests, known as hota, adhvaryu, brahma and udgata; vidyaya--by the necessary knowledge; ca--also; tvam--you; ekah--one; atma--the Supersoul; atma-vatam--of all living entities; anadih--without beginning; ananta-parah--without end; kavih--the supreme inspirer; antah-atma--the Supersoul within the core of the heart.




   My dear lord, by your form as the Vedas personified and through knowledge relating to the activities of all the yajnic brahmanas, you spread the Vedic ritualistic ceremonies of the seven kinds of sacrifices, headed by agnistoma. Indeed, you inspire the yajnic brahmanas to perform the rituals mentioned in the three Vedas. Being the Supreme Soul, the Supersoul of all living entities, you are beginningless, endless and omniscient, beyond the limits of time and space.




   The Vedic ritualistic ceremonies, the knowledge thereof, and the person who agrees to perform them are inspired by the Supreme Soul. As confirmed in Bhagavad-gita, mattah smrtir jnanam apohanam ca: from the Lord come remembrance, knowledge and forgetfulness. The Supersoul is situated in everyone's heart (sarvasya caham hrdi sannivistah, isvarah sarva-bhutanam hrd-dese 'rjuna tisthati), and when one is advanced in Vedic knowledge, the Supersoul gives him directions. Acting as Supersoul, the Lord gives inspiration to a suitable person to perform the Vedic ritualistic ceremonies. In this connection, four classes of priests, known as rtvik, are required. They are mentioned as hota, adhvaryu, brahma and udgata.


                               TEXT 31




                    tvam eva kalo 'nimiso jananam

                    ayur lavady-avayavaih ksinosi

                 kuta-stha atma paramesthy ajo mahams

                    tvam jiva-lokasya ca jiva atma




   tvam--you; eva--indeed; kalah--unlimited time; animisah--unblinking; jananam--of all living entities; ayuh--the duration of life; lava-adi--consisting of seconds, moments, minutes and hours; avayavaih--by different parts; ksinosi--reduce; kuta-sthah--without being affected by anything; atma--the Supersoul; paramesthi--the Supreme Lord; ajah--the unborn; mahan--the great; tvam--you; jiva-lokasya--of this material world; ca--also; jivah--the cause of life; atma--the Supersoul.




   O my lord, Your Lordship is eternally awake, seeing everything that happens. As eternal time, you reduce the duration of life for all living entities through your different parts, such as moments, seconds, minutes and hours. Nonetheless, you are unchanged, resting in one place as the Supersoul, witness and Supreme Lord, the birthless, all-pervading controller who is the cause of life for all living entities.




   In this verse the word kuta-stha is very important. Although the Supreme Personality of Godhead is situated everywhere, He is the central unchanging point. Isvarah sarva-bhutanam hrd-dese 'rjuna tisthati: the Lord is situated in full in the core of everyone's heart. As indicated in the Upanisads by the word ekatvam, although there are millions and millions of living entities, the Lord is situated as the Supersoul in every one of them. Nonetheless, He is one in many. As stated in the Brahma-samhita, advaitam acyutam anadim ananta-rupam: He has many forms, yet they are advaita--one and unchanging. Since the Lord is all-pervading, He is also situated in eternal time. The living entities are described as parts and parcels of the Lord because He is the life and soul of all living entities, being situated within their hearts as the antaryami, as enunciated by the philosophy of inconceivable oneness and difference (acintya-bhedabheda). Since the living entities are part of God, they are one in quality with the Lord, yet they are different from Him. The Supersoul, who inspires all living entities to act, is one and changeless. There are varieties of subjects, objects and activities, yet the Lord is one.


                               TEXT 32




                   tvattah param naparam apy anejad

                   ejac ca kincid vyatiriktam asti

                   vidyah kalas te tanavas ca sarva

                 hiranyagarbho 'si brhat tri-prsthah




   tvattah--from you; param--higher; na--not; aparam--lower; api--even; anejat--not moving; ejat--moving; ca--and; kincit--anything; vyatiriktam--separate; asti--there is; vidyah--knowledge; kalah--its parts; te--of you; tanavah--features of the body; ca--and; sarvah--all; hiranya-garbhah--the one who keeps the universe within his abdomen; asi--you are; brhat--greater than the greatest; tri-prsthah--transcendental to the three modes of material nature.




   There is nothing separate from you, whether it be better or lower, stationary or moving. The knowledge derived from the Vedic literatures like the Upanisads, and from all the sub-limbs of the original Vedic knowledge, form your external body. You are Hiranyagarbha, the reservoir of the universe, but nonetheless, being situated as the supreme controller, you are transcendental to the material world, which consists of the three modes of material nature.




   The word param means "the supreme cause," and aparam means "the effect." The supreme cause is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and the effect is material nature. The living entities, both moving and nonmoving, are controlled by the Vedic instructions in art and science, and therefore they are all expansions of the external energy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is the center as the Supersoul. The brahmandas, the universes, exist during the duration of a breath of the Supreme Lord (yasyaika-nisvasita-kalam athavalambya jivanti loma-vilaja jagad-anda-nathah). Thus they are also within the womb of the Supreme personality of Godhead, Maha-Visnu. Nothing, therefore, is separate from the Supreme Lord. This is the philosophy of acintya-bhedabheda-tattva.


                               TEXT 33




                  vyaktam vibho sthulam idam sariram

                  yenendriya-prana-mano-gunams tvam

                  bhunkse sthito dhamani paramesthye

                     avyakta atma purusah puranah




   vyaktam--manifested; vibho--O my lord; sthulam--cosmic manifestation; idam--this; sariram--external body; yena--by which; indriya--the senses; prana--the life air; manah--the mind; gunan--transcendental qualities; tvam--you; bhunkse--enjoy; sthitah--situated; dhamani--in your own abode; paramesthye--the supreme; avyaktah--not manifested through ordinary knowledge; atma--the soul; purusah--the supreme person; puranah--the oldest.




   O my lord, being changelessly situated in your own abode, you expand your universal form within this cosmic manifestation, thus appearing to taste the material world. You are Brahman, the Supersoul, the oldest, the Personality of Godhead.




   It is said that the Absolute Truth appears in three features--namely, impersonal Brahman, localized Supersoul and ultimately the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna. The cosmic manifestation is the gross material body of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who enjoys the taste of the material mellows by expanding His parts and parcels, the living entities, who are qualitatively one with Him. The Supreme Personality of Godhead, however, is situated in the Vaikuntha planets, where He enjoys the spiritual mellows. Therefore the one Absolute Truth, Bhagavan, pervades all by His material cosmic manifestation, the spiritual Brahman effulgence, and His personal existence as the Supreme Lord.


                               TEXT 34





                        yenedam akhilam tatam


                        tasmai bhagavate namah




   ananta-avyakta-rupena--by the unlimited, unmanifested form; yena--by which; idam--this; akhilam--total aggregate; tatam--expanded; cit--with spiritual; acit--and material; sakti--potency; yuktaya--unto he who is endowed; tasmai--unto him; bhagavate--unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead; namah--I offer my respectful obeisances.




   Let me offer my respectful obeisances unto the Supreme, who in his unlimited, unmanifested form has expanded the cosmic manifestation, the form of the totality of the universe. He possesses external and internal energies and the mixed energy called the marginal potency, which consists of all the living entities.




   The Lord is endowed with unlimited potencies (parasya saktir vividhaiva sruyate), which are summarized as three, namely external, internal and marginal. The external potency manifests this material world, the internal potency manifests the spiritual world, and the marginal potency manifests the living entities, who are mixtures of internal and external. The living entity, being part and parcel of Parabrahman, is actually internal potency, but because of being in contact with the material energy, he is an emanation of material and spiritual energies. The Supreme Personality of Godhead is above the material energy and is engaged in spiritual pastimes. The material energy is only an external manifestation of His pastimes.


                               TEXT 35




                        yadi dasyasy abhimatan

                         varan me varadottama

                     bhutebhyas tvad-visrstebhyo

                      mrtyur ma bhun mama prabho




   yadi--if; dasyasi--you will give; abhimatan--the desired; varan--benedictions; me--unto me; varada-uttama--O best of all benedictors; bhutebhyah--from living entities; tvat--by you; visrstebhyah--who are created; mrtyuh--death; ma--not; bhut--let there be; mama--my; prabho--O my lord.




   O my lord, O best of the givers of benediction, if you will kindly grant me the benediction I desire, please let me not meet death from any of the living entities created by you.




   After being created from the navel of Garbhodakasayi Visnu, Lord Brahma, the original created living being within the universe, created many other different types of living entities to reside in this universe. Therefore, from the beginning of creation, the living entities were born of a superior living entity. Ultimately, Krsna is the supreme living being, the father of all others. Aham bija-pradah pita: He is the seed-giving father of all living entities.

   Thus far, Hiranyakasipu has adored Lord Brahma as the Supreme Personality of Godhead and has expected to become immortal by the benediction of Lord Brahma. Now, however, having come to understand that even Lord Brahma is not immortal because at the end of the millennium Lord Brahma will also die, Hiranyakasipu is very carefully asking him for benedictions that will be almost as good as immortality. His first proposal is that he not be killed by any of the different forms of living entities created by Lord Brahma within this material world.


                               TEXT 36




                       nantar bahir diva naktam

                        anyasmad api cayudhaih

                       na bhumau nambare mrtyur

                       na narair na mrgair api




   na--not; antah--inside (the palace or home); bahih--outside the home; diva--during the daytime; naktam--during the night; anyasmat--from any others beyond Lord Brahma; api--even; ca--also; ayudhaih--by any weapons used within this material world; na--nor; bhumau--on the ground; na--not; ambare--in the sky; mrtyuh--death; na--not; naraih--by any men; na--nor; mrgaih--by any animal; api--also.




   Grant me that I not die within any residence or outside any residence, during the daytime or at night, nor on the ground or in the sky. Grant me that my death not be brought by any being other than those created by you, nor by any weapon, nor by any human being or animal.




   Hiranyakasipu was very much afraid of Visnu's becoming an animal to kill him because his brother had been killed by Visnu when the Lord took the shape of a boar. He was therefore very careful to guard against all kinds of animals. But even without taking the shape of an animal, Visnu could kill him by hurling His Sudarsana cakra, which can go anywhere without the Lord's physical presence. Therefore Hiranyakasipu was careful to guard against all kinds of weapons. He guarded against all kinds of time, space and countries because he was afraid of being killed by someone else in another land. There are many other planets, higher and lower, and therefore he prayed for the benediction of not being killed by any resident of any of these planets. There are three original deities--Brahma, Visnu and Mahesvara. Hiranyakasipu knew that Brahma would not kill him, but he also wanted not to be killed by Lord Visnu or Lord Siva. Consequently, he prayed for such a benediction. Thus Hiranyakasipu thought himself securely protected from any kind of death caused by any living entity within this universe. He also carefully guarded against natural death, which might take place within his house or outside of the house.


                             TEXTS 37-38




                       vyasubhir vasumadbhir va


                       apratidvandvatam yuddhe

                        aika-patyam ca dehinam


                        sarvesam loka-palanam

                        mahimanam yathatmanah


                       yan na risyati karhicit




   vyasubhih--by things that have no life; va--or; asumadbhih--by entities that have life; va--or; sura--by the demigods; asura--the demons; maha-uragaih--by the great serpents who live on the lower planets; apratidvandvatam--without a rival; yuddhe--in battle; aika-patyam--supremacy; ca--and; dehinam--over those who have material bodies; sarvesam--of all; loka-palanam--the predominating deities of all planets; mahimanam--the glory; yatha--just as; atmanah--of yourself; tapah-yoga-prabhavanam--of those whose power is obtained by austerities and the practice of mystic yoga; yat--which; na--never; risyati--is destroyed; karhicit--at any time.




   Grant me that I not meet death from any entity, living or nonliving. Grant me, further, that I not be killed by any demigod or demon or by any great snake from the lower planets. Since no one can kill you in the battlefield, you have no competitor. Therefore, grant me the benediction that I too may have no rival. Give me sole lordship over all the living entities and presiding deities, and give me all the glories obtained by that position. Furthermore, give me all the mystic powers attained by long austerities and the practice of yoga, for these cannot be lost at any time.




   Lord Brahma obtained his supreme position due to long austerities and penances, mystic yoga, meditation and so on. Hiranyakasipu wanted a similar position. The ordinary powers achieved by mystic yoga, austerities and other processes are sometimes vanquished, but the powers obtained by the mercy of the Lord are never vanquished. Hiranyakasipu, therefore, wanted a benediction that would never be vanquished.


Thus end the Bhaktivedanta purports of the Seventh Canto, Third Chapter, of the Srimad-Bhagavatam, entitled "Hiranyakasipu's Plan to Become Immortal."

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