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Srimad Bhagavatam (Bhagavata Purana) :: Conto 4a

The Sacrifice Performed by Daksha

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Srimad Bhagavatam » Conto 4a   

 The Sacrifice Performed by Daksha

(1) Maitreya said: 'Lord S'iva thus being pacified by Lord Brahmâ fully satisfied spoke with a smile, o mighty-armed one. (2) Mahâdeva said: 'I do not take offense at those whom I regard as children, I don't mind o Lord of the created beings, I have [just] chastised the ones who were deluded by the external energy of God. (3) Let there for the Prajâpati whose head was burned to ashes be the head of a goat and let Bhaga look at his share of the sacrifice through the eyes of Mitra. (4) Pûshâ who led the sacrifice will have to eat chickpea dough or food chewed for him, but the godly ones who did grant me a share of the sacrifice will fully recover.  (5) The two arms of the As'vins [the twin protectors of medicine] and the hands of Pûshâ are there for those who have to miss those limbs and Bhrigu and the other priests may have the beard of the goat.'

(6) Maitreya said: 'All who at that moment heard what the best of the benedictors said, were innerly satisfied o dear one, and said: 'Well spoken, well spoken!' (7) Next Lord S'iva was invited by the godly ones and the sages headed by Bhrigu and together they with the Liberal One [S'iva] and the Lord of the Veda [Brahmâ] for the second time headed for the sacrifice they wanted to perform for God. (8) After having performed all that Lord Bhava had told them to do, they joined the head of the animal of sacrifice with the body of Daksha. (9) Proceeding thus King Daksha was under the supervision of Rudra with that head reawakened from his apparent state of unconsciousness, so that he saw the compassionate Lord standing before him. (10) The very moment the Prajâpati saw the Lord who rides the bull, his by hatred polluted heart became as clean as a lake [filled by the rains] in autumn. (11) Although decided to pray to Bhava he, with his eyes full of tears because of the great surge of feelings upon remembering the death of his daughter, couldn't do so. (12) After he with great effort managed to pacify his because of love and affection bewildered mind, the Prajâpati who had come to his senses prayed to the Lord with praise and straightforward feelings. (13) Daksha said: 'What a great favor you have done me by punishing me. Despite of the fact that you defeated me, you, nor Vishnu, o Fortunate One, ever deny an unqualified brahmin [like me], so why would he who keeps to his vows [and performs sacrifices, suffer want]? (14) O great one, the brahmins were first created from the mouth of Brahmâ in order to disseminate the teachings of self-realization, the vows and the austerity. Therefore you with a stick in your hand protect them every time they are in danger, just like someone who protects his herd. (15) You who by me unaware of your reality was insulted in the assembly with the arrows of [my] unkind words, do not really take heed of that. Seeing me sliding down to hell because I defamed the most respectable one, you saved me out of compassion. I wish you to be pleased about that what you did out of your own mercy, your Lordship.'

(16) Maitreya said: 'Daksha thus being forgiven by Lord S'iva, with the permission of Lord Brahmâ resumed the performance of the sacrifice together with the priests, the ones of learning and the others. (17) In order to be purified from having been in touch with Vîrabhadra and his men and to perform the sacrifice meant for Vishnu, the best among the brahmins settled for three kinds of offerings [belonging to] the oblation called purodâs'a. (18) O Vidura, the moment the leader of the Yajña [Daksha] thus sanctified in meditation offered the clarified butter with the hymns from the Yajur Veda, Lord Hari appeared, the Supreme Personality. (19) The effulgence of all present there was at that moment overshadowed by the brightness [spreading] in all the ten directions of Him who was carried by the enormous wings of Garuda [or Stotra]. (20) With a dark complexion, garments  yellow as gold, a helmet dazzling like the sun, curling hair bluish like black bees, a face decorated with earrings, with a conch shell, a lotus flower, a disc and arrows, a bow, a club, a sword and shield in His hands and with His many golden ornaments, He looked like a blossoming tree. (21) Garlanded with forest flowers He had His consort [Lakshmî] on His chest and only a small glimpse of His magnanimous smiling glance was enough to please the entire world. At His side yak-tail fans looking like swans were being waved and above Him one saw a beautiful, moonlike white royal canopy. (22) After they saw Him arriving, all the demigods and the others led by Brahmâ, Indra and the three-eyed S'iva, immediately stood up from their seats and offered their obeisances. (23) They all outshone by the luster of His glaring effulgence fell silent and filled with awe they touched their heads bowing down to pray to Adhokshaja, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. (24) Even though His glory is beyond the comprehension of even the powerful ones of the soul, they now by His grace seeing His transcendental form, could offer their prayers according to their different capacities. (25) Daksha seeking shelter was accepted with his honorable oblations of sacrifice for the master of all sacrifices, the supreme preceptor of all progenitors of mankind who is attended by Nanda and Sunanda [the most important servants of Nârâyana in Vaikunthha]. With great pleasure, a subdued mind and with folded hands he then offered Him his prayers. (26) Daksha said: 'You Lordship now fully present here have returned from the purity of Your heavenly abode in a perfect transcendence above all mental speculation. You are the one without a second, the fearless controller of all matter, who seemingly impure are engaged with her [with Mâyâ] as the overseer and self-sufficient One.'

(27) The priests said: 'All of us, not conversant with the truth of Your Lordship who are free from the influence of the material world, we who are of an intelligence that because of S'iva's curse is of too great an attachment to fruitive activities o Lord, now know about Your name [Yajña] that stands for the arrangement of religious sacrificing moving in the three departments [of the three Vedas] for the sake of which we are engaged in the worship of demigods [like the divinity of the sun and the moon].'

(28) The members of the assembly said: 'On the path of repeated birth and death we have no place to take shelter. We are greatly troubled by being bound to this formidable fort of time that is infested by ugly snakes and in which the mirage of the material happiness of having a home and a body constitutes a heavy burden. When we have to live by the double ditch of distress and so-called happiness, the fear for wild animals, the forest fire of lamentation over the interest of the ignorant ones and are afflicted with all sorts of desire, we, with You who gives shelter, enjoy the protection of Your lotus feet.'

(29) Rudra said: 'O supreme benefactor, when I, desiring fulfillment in the material world, have fixed my mind on Your precious lotus feet that are cherished and worshiped by the liberated sages, I, with a compassion like that of Yours, attach no value to it when ignorant people speak against me.'

(30) Bhrigu said: 'From Lord Brahmâ down to every other embodied being, all who, under the influence of the insurmountable material energy, are bereft of the knowledge of their original self, are submerged in the darkness of illusion. They not seeing You as situated in the self cannot understand Your situation as the absolute of reality. O Lord, You, as the friend of the surrendered soul, be kind to us.'

(31) Brahmâ said: 'When one tries to see Your person, this original form of Yours cannot be perceived with the help of the different [sensual] virtues of respect for acquiring knowledge, for You who constitute the basis of the knowledge and objectivity of the material qualities must be regarded as differing from that what is made of material energy.'

(32) Indra said: 'This transcendental form o Infallible One, which is there for the welfare of the universe, is a cause of pleasure to the mind and eye, for You, possessing the eight weapons held up by Your arms, punish those who are hostile towards Your devotees.'

(33) The wives of the attendants of the sacrifice said: 'This worshiping in sacrifice as arranged by Brahmâ was devastated by Lord S'iva. May today the beauty of Your lotuslike vision o Lord of sacrifice, sanctify the sacrifice that by the anger against Daksha became as still as the dead bodies of the sacrificial animals.'

(34) The sages said: 'How wonderful o Supreme Lord, are Your activities to which You, in the exercise of Your potencies, are never attached. Nor is Your Lordship attached to the mercy of Your obedient servant, the Goddess of Fortune Lakshmî, for the grace of whom one is of worship.'

(35) The perfected ones prayed: 'The elephant of the mind that scorched by the forest fire of [sensual] afflictions is thirsty, having plunged in the river of the pure nectar of Your pastimes no longer remembers that misery and never wishes to come out, just like someone who merged with the Absolute.'

(36) The wife of Daksha said: 'Be pleased my Lord with my respects for Your auspicious appearance o abode of the Goddess. With Lakshmî as Your wife You protect us. Our arena knows no beauty without Your arms o controller, just like a headless person doesn't look good with only a trunk.'

(37) The local rulers said: 'We doubt whether we can see You with our material senses. You, revealing Your eternal form, we regard as the inner witness by whose grace the entire illusory world can be seen o possessor of all, for You appear with the elements as the sixth one to the five of the senses.'

(38) The great ones of yoga said: 'They who deeming no one as dear as You, see themselves as existing in You and not as separate from You, the Supersoul of all beings o master, are very dear to You. And how much more You don't value absolutely the faith of those souls o Lord, who devoted therewith are of worship o loving parent? (39) We offer our obeisances to Him who by His personal appearance by means of His material potency determined the fate of each living entity depending his specific inclinations, He who appeared differently with the many material qualities for the sake of the creation, maintenance and annihilation of the material world and who in His absolute state turned away from the interaction of the modes of matter.'

(40) The Vedas in person declared: 'Our respects unto You transcendental to the modes of nature who are the shelter of the quality of goodness and the source of the austerity and penance in all religions. I nor anyone else really knows You or Your situation.'

(41) Agni, the fire god said: 'By Your effulgence I am as luminous as the greatest fire and may accept in sacrifice the five kinds of offerings mixed with butter; I offer my obeisances to Yajña, the protector of the sacrifices, worshiped by means of the five kinds of hymns of the Veda.'

(42) The godly ones said: 'Formerly at the time of the devastation of the era [kalpa] when You as the Original Personality rested in the water and lied down on the snake bed Ananta S'esha, You withdrew into Your abdomen that what You had created and was estranged from You. You upon whom the liberated souls in their hearts meditate in philosophical speculations, we now see present here before our two eyes moving on the path of the protection of us Your servants.'

(43) The denizens of heaven said: 'Marîci and the great sages under the direction of Brahmâ and Indra and the divinity led by S'iva, are to be seen as parts and parcels of Your body o God; may we unto the Supreme Almighty One for whom this whole creation is just a plaything o Lord, always be of respect and offer You our obeisances.'

(44) The Vidyâdharas [lovers of knowledge] said: 'After with Your external potency having obtained the human body and with dwelling in the body, thinking in terms of 'I 'and 'mine', having misidentified himself with it, the ignorant person who takes the body for himself and is distracted by material possessions, also follows the wrong roads of seeking happiness in sense objects, but relishing the nectar of Your topics he can be delivered, even when he drifted far away from that position.'

(45) The brahmins said: 'You are the sacrifice, the offering of the clarified butter, the fire in person; You are the mantras, the fuel, the kus'a grass [to sit on] and the pots; You are the members of the assembly, the priests, the leader of the Yajña and his wife, the demigods and the sacred fire ceremony, the offering to the forefathers, the soma plant, the clarified butter itself and the sacrificial animal [see also B.G. 4: 24]. (46) In the past it was You who as the great boar incarnation [see canto 3.13] from within the waters lifted the world up on Your tusks the way an elephant picks up a lotus. Very easily the vibration was caught by great sages like Sanaka as an offering of prayers in the form of a sacrifice o knowledge of the Vedas in person. (47) You as that same person we ask to be pleased with us who failing in performing the sacrifices are awaiting Your audience. When one sings Your holy names o Lord of Sacrifice, one manages to overcome obstacles. Unto You our respectful obeisances.'

(48) Maitreya said: 'O blessed one, with Hrishîkes'a [Vishnu as the Lord of the senses], the protector of sacrifices, thus being glorified, Daksha, having learned, arranged to resume the sacrifice that was devastated by Vîrabhadra. (49) O sinless one, Lord Vishnu, the Supersoul of all beings and enjoyer of all sacrifices having received His share, was satisfied and then addressed Daksha. (50) The Supreme Lord [Vishnu] said: 'I, Brahmâ and also Lord S'iva, do not differ [essentially] in being the supreme cause and Supersoul, the witness and the self-sufficient one of the material manifestation. (51) I, having entered my own external energy that is composed of the modes of nature o twice-born one, [thus] create, maintain and annihilate the cosmic manifestation and assume a name appropriate to My activities. (52) Someone not conversant with this thinks that Brahmâ, S'iva and the living beings exist in separation and departs [impersonally in disregard of Me] from the notion of the one Supreme Self, the Supreme Brahman that is without a second. (53) The way a person never supposes that his head, hands and other parts of his body would have a separate existence, My devotee neither supposes that the living beings would exist separately. (54) He who does not consider the three [of Us] who constitute the one nature of the Supersoul of all living beings as separate [entities] o brahmin, achieves peace.'
(55) Maitreya said: 'The foremost of all progenitors [Daksha] thus being addressed by the Supreme Lord Hari, after worshiping Him with due ceremony next worshiped the demigods [Brahmâ and S'iva] individually. (56) After with a concentrated mind having granted Lord S'iva his share of the sacrifice and he together with the priests in order to round it off also had paid respect to the God-conscious and the other ones assembled there, he took the concluding [avabhritha] bath. (57) When he thus on the basis of his own belief had achieved the perfection of religious dutifulness, those three servants of God who thus had inspired with intelligence, left for their heavenly abodes. (58) Satî, Daksha's daughter was, after formerly having given up her body, born from the wife of Menâ [or Menakâ] who lives in the Himalayas, so I've heard. (59) As S'iva's beloved one, Ambikâ [Durgâ or Satî], who felt no attraction for an other man, was sure to accept him again as her husband. For her he was the one goal, the original masculinity of the person that lies dormant in the external, feminine energy [of matter]. (60) This story about S'ambhu [Lord S'iva as the Lord of all living beings] who destroyed Daksha's sacrifice, I heard from a great devotee and disciple of Brihaspati: Uddhava. (61) The person who, after having heard about these pure activities of the Lord, always with faith and devotion also recounts them, will find fame, longevity and, being freed from material contamination, find the destruction of his sins, o descendant of Kuru.'

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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/