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Srimad Bhagavatam (Bhagavata Purana) :: Conto 6

Appearance of the Demon Vritrâsura

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Srimad Bhagavatam » Conto 6   

 Appearance of the Demon Vritrâsura

(1) S'rî S'uka said: 'Vis'varûpa [see previous chapter] oh son of Bharata, had three heads. One for drinking soma [performing sacrifices], one for drinking wine [spiritual matters] and one for eating food [the material purpose] so I have heard. (2) He oh ruler, offered the gods who were there as his fathers, their proper share by publicly chanting the mantras aloud with sacrifices in the fire. (3) Even though he with his sacrifices offered the gods their share he, lead by the affection of his mother [Racanâ], behind their back [also] made offerings to the Asuras. (4) The king of the gods [Indra] seeing how he by that offense to the divinity betrayed the dharma, afraid [that the demons would gain strength] angrily quickly cut off Vis'varûpa's heads. (5) The head he used for drinking soma became a kapiñjala [a francolin partridge], the head for drinking the wine turned into a kalavinka [a sparrow] and the one used for taking food turned into a tittiri [a common partridge]. (6) However powerful he was, because of the reaction of killing a brahmin Indra with folded hands for the time of a year had to face the consequences. In order to be purified from the sin towards other living beings he then divided the burden over the four departments of the earth, the waters, the trees and the women. (7) With the benediction [by Indra] of having her hollows filled with water, the earth took one fourth of the burden of killing a brahmin by accepting the deserts as the visible sign [of the sin] on her surface.  (8) With the blessing that their branches and twigs would grow back when trimmed, the trees acceped a quarter of the burden of killing the brahmin through the sap flowing from them as the visible consequence. (9) The [youthful] women being blessed with a constant sexual appetite accepted as their quarter of the burden of sin the monthly period as the visible reaction. (10) Water blessed with the ability to increase the volume of the material it soaks, accepted one fourth of the sin with the reaction of visible bubbling and foaming because of which one has to throw it away. (11) After having lost his son, Tvashthâ [see 5.15: 14-15] performed a sacrifice for creating an enemy for Indra with the words: 'O enemy of Indra, increase in size so that you without delay can kill your opponent.'

(12) Thereupon from the anvâhârya fire [the fire to the south] a most frightening character appeared who looked like the destroyer of all the worlds at the end of the yuga. (13-17) Day after day expanding to a distance of an arrow's reach, he resembled a burned mountain or clouds amassing in the evening with the sun shining from behind. Next to his hair, beard and mustache that were as red as molten copper, he had eyes blazing like the sun at noon. Dancing and shouting loudly he kicked up the dirt as he moved around with the firmament held high on his blazing trident. With his mouth deep as a cave swallowing the three worlds, he drank the sky and licked up the stars. Over and over yawning with his massive, fierce teeth, the people who saw him fearfully fled in all the ten directions. (18) He, that most fearful personification of sin, was in truth the form the son of Tvashthâ had assumed. Now, by [dint of the power of] his previous austerity, he covered all the worlds and was thus called Vritra ['the encloser']. (19) All the defenders of wisdom together attacked him with their soldiers to strike him with each his own divine weapon, but Vritra swallowed the different weapons all at once. (20) Faced with that fact they were all struck with wonder and gathered disheartened, having lost their courage, to turn inwards to pray to the Original Person.

(21) The gods said: 'We with Lord Brahmâ first and [all the inhabitants of] the three worlds that are composed of air, fire, ether, water and earth, all trembling with fear pay tribute to the destroyer [death]. But since he himself is afraid of Him [the eternal Original Personality], we should acknowledge the Lord as our refuge. (22) One is a fool when one wants to cross an ocean holding on to a dog's tail, one is a fool when one wants to approach anyone else but Him, He who is never astonished, is always satisfied by His own achievements, is equipoised and of perfect peace. (23) Just like Manu [here: king Satyavrata] who for surviving the flood bound his boat, our world, to the sturdy horn of Matsya, the Lord in the form of a fish, we who seek our refuge, are sure to be delivered [by Him] from our abysmal fear for the son of Tvashthâ. (24) Formerly the Independent One [Svayambhû or Lord Brahmâ], alone on the lotus, was very afraid  and by His grace narrowly escaped from a fall in the so very high waves of the waters of the flood blown up by the roaring wind [see 3.8]. May that deliverance be there for us also. (25) He, the one controller who by His transcendental potency created us and by whose mercy we also may create a world of matter, can, although He stands in front of us as the actor, not in His form be recognized by us, who consider themselves separate controllers. (26-27) When we are heavily tormented by our opponents, He who exists eternally comes to our rescue age after age with His material potency in different avatâra forms among the sages, the human beings and the animals, in order to protect each and everyone near and dear to Him. He, the Godhead and True Self of us all and of every other living being, is the transcendental, original cause, the primary principle of nature [pradhâna], the Supreme Enjoyer whose energy is known in de form of the universe, from which He Himself stands apart. He is the refuge we can all surrender to. He, that Great Soul, will bless us, His devotees, with all good fortune.'

(28) S'rî S'uka said: 'Because of that prayer of the enlightened souls oh King, He with them turning inward, became visible with His conch shell, disc and club. (29-30) He was surrounded by sixteen servants with eyes blooming like lotuses in autumn, that looked just like Him except for the Kaustubha jewel and the S'rîvatsa mark. Seeing Him oh King, they all threw themselves at His feet, overwhelmed with happiness because of seeing Him directly. Thereafter they slowly stood up and offered their prayers. (31) The godly ones said: 'You, oh Lord awarding the results of sacrifice, we offer our obeisances. You using the cakra [the disc, the cyclic order of time] as a weapon are the one to set the limits. All our respect for You who are known by so many transcendental names. (32) They who appeared after You in creation, after You the controller of the three destinations [of going to hell, to heaven or the purgatory], can not understand Your supreme abode [Vaikunthha]. (33) Oh Lord, let there be our obeisances unto You oh Bhagavân Nârâyana, oh Vâsudeva,  oh Original Person,  oh Highest Personality,  oh Supreme Giver of Insight, oh Most Auspicious One,  oh Transcendental Benediction,  oh Greatness of Mercy,  oh Changeless Support of the Universe, Only Proprietor of all Worlds, Ruler over All and Husband of Lakshmî Devî. The best of the ones completely detached [the sannyâsîs] wandering all around the world,  fully purified by their transcendental absorption in devotional yoga [bhakti] push, by [the strength of] their dutiful respect of being paramahamsas ['swans of the Supreme'], open the door of this illusory existence that gives access to a consciousness in the spiritual world that is free from contaminations. Thus personally experiencing the continuity of Your Lordship [of devotion, Lord Caitanya] one finds happiness. (34) It is rather difficult to understand how You in pastimes relating to the unification of consciousness without taking shelter of anyone or anything, without having a physical body, without awaiting our cooperation, without being transformed Yourself by the modes of nature, in transcendence above the modes can be of creation, annihilation and maintenance. (35) Therefore we do not really know whether Your Lordship is there like an ordinary human being bound to actions in the material world, who under the influence of the modes thus depends on time, space, activities and nature, and thereby is forced to accept the good and bad results of his own actions, or whether You are there as a completely self-satisfied [âtmârâma] and self-controlled person who never fails in his spiritual potency and is always a neutral witness. (36) Those two positions certainly do not form a contradiction in You, the Fortunate One. For what would be impossible to You whose attributes are unlimited, You who are the Supreme Lord of unfathomable glories? You are by the present-day thinkers doubted with opinions and arguments laid down in scriptures containing judgments based upon halfhearted investigations and fallacious logic. But You are out of the range of the agitated minds of the obstinate theorists resorting to controversies. You withdrawn from all of them are hidden from view behind Your bewildering yoga potency, the incomparable and inscrutable potency [by which you make and break]. You after all, are not divided in two natures. (37) The same way one perceiving a piece of rope does not or does see a snake, one concludes [really] being intelligent to following [the person of You and the âcârya] or not. (38)  You, under closer scrutiny, are the essence of authenticity, the controller of all and everything spiritual and material. You are there as the cause of all causes of the entire universe who with all qualities is present within all, up to the minutest atom. You are [with the temporality] of all manifestations the only one who remains. (39) For that reason those exalted devotees who relating to You but once tasted a drop of the nectar of Your glories and with the continuous flow of bliss within their minds forgot about the vague and limited reflection of the sights and sounds of material happiness, have faith in You alone as the Supreme Personality, the only and dearest friend of all living entities. How can those devotees whose minds are of a complete and continuous absorption oh Killer of Madhu, or who as said, are hands-on experts in having accepted You as the dear most lover and friend, then ever give it up to serve Your lotus feet that in this life never again allow a return to the material ocean? (40) Oh loving Soul and shelter, oh power and opulence, oh maintainer and seer and most attractive beauty of the three worlds, because of Your expansions in the material energy we are sure that with Your manifestations in different forms as the Lord of the enlightened ones [Vâmana], the human beings [Râmacandra and Krishna], the animals [Varâha], a mixture of them [Nrisimhadeva] and of the aquatics [Matsya and Kûrma], all the sons of Diti and Danu and such for their conspiring are awarded the proper punishment depending the offense, oh Supreme Chastiser. May You, if You deem it necessary, likewise kill this [terrible] son of Tvashthâ. (41) With our full surrender totally relying on You, oh Father of Fathers, oh Lord Hari, our hearts are chained in love by the meditation on Your two feet that are like two blue lotuses. By the manifestation of Your own form, by Your compassionate smile which is pure, pacifying and pleasing, with the drops of nectar of the very sweet words that emanate from Your mouth, the worries melt away of the ones You have accepted as Your own. You oh Purest One we consider the one eligible to take away our deep pain. (42) Therefore oh Supreme Lord, what would we, as sparks of the original fire [the 'golden seed'], now all have to tell You who personally are amused to be engaged in creation, destruction and maintenance with Your divine energy, You who as the Supersoul and spirit of the absolute Brahman resides in the hearts of all the different living beings and externally are present according to time, place and the physical constitution, You whom one realizes as the cause of that what constitutes the [existence and consciousness of  the] living being, You, as the witness of all that is going on, as the witnessing itself and the embodiment of the eternal memory of the entire universe [the âkâs'a record]? (43) Because You are our Supreme Lord and Master of Transcendence, please arrange for us a position in the shadow of the thousand-petaled lotus flowers that are Your feet, so that we may be relieved of the pain resulting from the dangers and desires of this conditioned existence that made us approach You. (44) Please oh Controller, put an end now to this son of Tvashthâ who is devouring the three worlds and has exhausted oh Krishna, oh bliss of eternal existence [*, see B.G. 4: 4-6], all our strength, arrows and other means of defense. (45) Unto You the swanlike Lord who has His abode in the kernel of the heart where You supervise the actions of the individual soul, unto that manifestation of Krishna whose reputation as a redeemer is so bright, unto Him without a beginning who is solely understood by the pure devotee, unto the path in this world of the friend and refuge that He is, unto the ultimate goal of that elder brother to perform sacrifices for, we offer our obeisances.'

(46) S'rî S'uka said: 'After by the servants of the three worlds this way with due respect having been worshiped oh King, the Lord, pleased to hear their praises, replied. (47) The Supreme Lord said: 'I'm very happy with you oh best of the demigods. By your knowledgeable prayers unto Me man can remember Me and be of devotion unto Me as the Original Self of the opulences. (48) When I am satisfied one can achieve whatever that is difficult to attain. Still oh best of the intelligent ones, he who knows the truth, having fixed his attention exclusively on Me, does not desire for anything else but Me. (49) A miserable person [kripana] looking for the material quality of things has no knowledge of the ultimate end of the soul and he who awards the desire for them is not a whit better. (50) Someone who personally knows of the supreme goal of life will not tell an ignorant person to build up karma, just like an experienced physician wouldn't give a patient the wrong food, not even when he'd ask for it. (51) Oh patron of sacrifice [Maghavan; Indra], good fortune to all of you, go and without delay ask Dadhyañca [Dadhîci], the most exalted of all saints, for his body which is strong because of his education, vows and austerity. (52) Dadhyañca is someone who has assimilated the spiritual knowledge of purity that is called 'the head of the horse' [As'vas'ira]. He delivered that knowledge to the As'vins who then opened up to immortality [they became jivan-mukhas, liberated souls even in this life **]. (53) Dadhyañca, the son of Atharvâ, delivered his invincible armor [of mantras] controlled by Me to Tvashthâ who gave it to Vis'varûpa. He on his turn delivered this [Nârâyana-kavaca protection in prayers] to you. (54) [Dadhyañca] the knower of dharma will for your sake provide the As'vins with his limbs upon their request. With them Vis'vakarmâ will create the most powerful of all weapons [de thunderbolt] by means of which, because it is invested with My power, the head of Vritrâsura can be severed. (55) When he is killed you will all regain your wealth, power, arrows and other means of defense. All good fortune will be yours, because you, My devotees, will not be hurt.'

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SOURCE: Translation: Anand Aadhar Prabhu, http://bhagavata.org/

Production: the Filognostic Association of The Order of Time, with special thanks to Sakhya Devi Dasi for proofreading and correcting the manuscript. http://theorderoftime.com/info/guests-friends.html

The sourcetexts, illustrations and music to this translation one can find following the links from: http://bhagavata.org/