Śrīmad Bhāgavatam |Canto 10 Chapter 4
The Atrocities of King Kaṁsa
sarvāḥ pūrvavad āvṛtāḥ
tato bāla-dhvaniṁ śrutvā
śrī-śukaḥ uvāca — Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī said; bahiḥ-antaḥ-pura-dvāraḥ — the doors inside and outside the house; sarvāḥ — all; pūrva-vat — like before; āvṛtāḥ — closed; tataḥ — thereafter; bāla-dhvanim — the crying of the newborn child; śrutvā — hearing; gṛha-pālāḥ — all the inhabitants of the house, especially the doormen; samutthitāḥ — awakened.
Śukadeva Gosvāmī continued: My dear King Parīkṣit, the doors inside and outside the house closed as before. Thereafter, the inhabitants of the house, especially the watchmen, heard the crying of the newborn child and thus awakened from their beds.
te tu tūrṇam upavrajya
devakyā garbha-janma tat
yad udvignaḥ pratīkṣate
te — all the watchmen; tu — indeed; tūrṇam — very quickly; upavrajya — going before (the King); devakyāḥ — of Devakī; garbha-janma — the deliverance from the womb; tat — that (child); ācakhyuḥ — submitted; bhoja-rājāya — unto the King of the Bhojas, Kaṁsa; yat — of whom; udvignaḥ — with great anxiety; pratīkṣate — was waiting (for the child’s birth).
Thereafter, all the watchmen very quickly approached King Kaṁsa, the ruler of the Bhoja dynasty, and submitted the news of the birth of Devakī’s child. Kaṁsa, who had awaited this news very anxiously, immediately took action.
sa talpāt tūrṇam utthāya
kālo ’yam iti vihvalaḥ
sūtī-gṛham agāt tūrṇaṁ
saḥ — he (King Kaṁsa); talpāt — from the bed; tūrṇam — very quickly; utthāya — getting up; kālaḥ ayam — here is my death, the supreme time; iti — in this way; vihvalaḥ — overwhelmed; sūtī-gṛham — to the maternity home; agāt — went; tūrṇam — without delay; praskhalan — scattering; mukta — had become opened; mūrdha-jaḥ — the hair on the head.
Kaṁsa immediately got up from bed, thinking, “Here is Kāla, the supreme time factor, which has taken birth to kill me!” Thus overwhelmed, Kaṁsa, his hair scattered on his head, at once approached the place where the child had been born.
tam āha bhrātaraṁ devī
kṛpaṇā karuṇaṁ satī
snuṣeyaṁ tava kalyāṇa
striyaṁ mā hantum arhasi
tam — unto Kaṁsa; āha — said; bhrātaram — her brother; devī — mother Devakī; kṛpaṇā — helplessly; karuṇam — piteously; satī — the chaste lady; snuṣā iyam tava — this child will be your daughter-in-law, the wife of your future son; kalyāṇa — O all-auspicious one; striyam — a woman; mā — not; hantum — to kill; arhasi — you deserve.
Devakī helplessly, piteously appealed to Kaṁsa: My dear brother, all good fortune unto you. Don’t kill this girl. She will be your daughter-in-law. Indeed, it is unworthy of you to kill a woman.
bahavo hiṁsitā bhrātaḥ
bahavaḥ — many; hiṁsitāḥ — killed out of envy; bhrātaḥ — my dear brother; śiśavaḥ — small children; pāvaka-upamāḥ — all of them equal to fire in brightness and beauty; tvayā — by you; daiva-nisṛṣṭena — as spoken by destiny; putrikā — daughter; ekā — one; pradīyatām — give me as your gift.
My dear brother, by the influence of destiny you have already killed many babies, each of them as bright and beautiful as fire. But kindly spare this daughter. Give her to me as your gift.
nanv ahaṁ te hy avarajā
dīnā hata-sutā prabho
dātum arhasi mandāyā
aṅgemāṁ caramāṁ prajām
nanu — however; aham — I am; te — your; hi — indeed; avarajā — younger sister; dīnā — very poor; hata-sutā — deprived of all children; prabho — O my lord; dātum arhasi — you deserve to give (some gift); mandāyāḥ — to me, who am so poor; aṅga — my dear brother; imām — this; caramām — last; prajām — child.
My lord, my brother, I am very poor, being bereft of all my children, but still I am your younger sister, and therefore it would be worthy of you to give me this last child as a gift.
yācitas tāṁ vinirbhartsya
hastād ācicchide khalaḥ
śrī-śukaḥ uvāca — Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī said; upaguhya — embracing; ātmajām — her daughter; evam — in this way; rudatyā — by Devakī, who was crying; dīna-dīna-vat — very piteously, like a poor woman; yācitaḥ — being begged; tām — her (Devakī); vinirbhartsya — chastising; hastāt — from her hands; ācicchide — separated the child by force; khalaḥ — Kaṁsa, the most cruel.
Śukadeva Gosvāmī continued: Piteously embracing her daughter and crying, Devakī begged Kaṁsa for the child, but he was so cruel that he chastised her and forcibly snatched the child from her hands.
tāṁ gṛhītvā caraṇayor
jāta-mātrāṁ svasuḥ sutām
tām — the child; gṛhītvā — taking by force; caraṇayoḥ — by the two legs; jāta-mātrām — the newborn child; svasuḥ — of his sister; sutām — the daughter; apothayat — smashed; śilā-pṛṣṭhe — on the surface of a stone; sva-artha-unmūlita — uprooted because of intense selfishness; sauhṛdaḥ — all friendship or family relationships.
Having uprooted all relationships with his sister because of intense selfishness, Kaṁsa, who was sitting on his knees, grasped the newborn child by the legs and tried to dash her against the surface of a stone.
sā tad-dhastāt samutpatya
sadyo devy ambaraṁ gatā
sā — that female child; tat-hastāt — from the hand of Kaṁsa; sam-utpatya — slipped upward; sadyaḥ — immediately; devī — the form of a demigoddess; ambaram — into the sky; gatā — went; adṛśyata — was seen; anujā — the younger sister; viṣṇoḥ — of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; sa-āyudhā — with weapons; aṣṭa — eight; mahā-bhujā — with mighty arms.
The child, Yoga-māyā-devī, the younger sister of Lord Viṣṇu, slipped upward from Kaṁsa’s hands and appeared in the sky as Devī, the goddess Durgā, with eight arms, completely equipped with weapons.
divya-srak-ambara-ālepa — she then assumed the form of a demigoddess, completely decorated with sandalwood pulp, flower garlands and a nice dress; ratna-ābharaṇa-bhūṣitā — decorated with ornaments of valuable jewels; dhanuḥ-śūla-iṣu-carma-asi — with bow, trident, arrows, shield and sword; śaṅkha-cakra-gadā-dharā — and holding the weapons of Viṣṇu (conchshell, disc and club); siddha-cāraṇa-gandharvaiḥ — by the Siddhas, Cāraṇas and Gandharvas; apsaraḥ-kinnara-uragaiḥ — and by the Apsarās, Kinnaras and Uragas; upāhṛta-uru-balibhiḥ — who brought all kinds of presentations to her; stūyamānā — being praised; idam — these words; abravīt — she said.
The goddess Durgā was decorated with flower garlands, smeared with sandalwood pulp and dressed with excellent garments and ornaments made of valuable jewels. Holding in her hands a bow, a trident, arrows, a shield, a sword, a conchshell, a disc and a club, and being praised by celestial beings like Apsarās, Kinnaras, Uragas, Siddhas, Cāraṇas and Gandharvas, who worshiped her with all kinds of presentations, she spoke as follows.
kiṁ mayā hatayā manda
jātaḥ khalu tavānta-kṛt
yatra kva vā pūrva-śatrur
mā hiṁsīḥ kṛpaṇān vṛthā
kim — what is the use; mayā — me; hatayā — in killing; manda — O you fool; jātaḥ — has already been born; khalu — indeed; tava anta-kṛt — who will kill you; yatra kva vā — somewhere else; pūrva-śatruḥ — your former enemy; mā — do not; hiṁsīḥ — kill; kṛpaṇān — other poor children; vṛthā — unnecessarily.
O Kaṁsa, you fool, what will be the use of killing me? The Supreme Personality of Godhead, who has been your enemy from the very beginning and who will certainly kill you, has already taken His birth somewhere else. Therefore, do not unnecessarily kill other children.
iti prabhāṣya taṁ devī
māyā bhagavatī bhuvi
bahu-nāmā babhūva ha
iti — in this way; prabhāṣya — addressing; tam — Kaṁsa; devī — the goddess Durgā; māyā — Yoga-māyā; bhagavatī — possessing immense power, like that of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; bhuvi — on the surface of the earth; bahu-nāma — of different names; niketeṣu — in different places; bahu-nāmā — different names; babhūva — became; ha — indeed.
After speaking to Kaṁsa in this way, the goddess Durgā, Yoga-māyā, appeared in different places, such as Vārāṇasī, and became celebrated by different names, such as Annapūrṇā, Durgā, Kālī and Bhadrā.
devakīṁ vasudevaṁ ca
vimucya praśrito ’bravīt
tayā — by the goddess Durgā; abhihitam — the words spoken; ākarṇya — by hearing; kaṁsaḥ — Kaṁsa; parama-vismitaḥ — was struck with wonder; devakīm — unto Devakī; vasudevam ca — and Vasudeva; vimucya — releasing immediately; praśritaḥ — with great humility; abravīt — spoke as follows.
After hearing the words of the goddess Durgā, Kaṁsa was struck with wonder. Thus he approached his sister Devakī and brother-in-law Vasudeva, released them immediately from their shackles, and very humbly spoke as follows.
aho bhaginy aho bhāma
mayā vāṁ bata pāpmanā
bahavo hiṁsitāḥ sutāḥ
aho — alas; bhagini — my dear sister; aho — alas; bhāma — my dear brother-in-law; mayā — by me; vām — of you; bata — indeed; pāpmanā — because of sinful activities; puruṣa-adaḥ — a Rākṣasa, man-eater; iva — like; apatyam — child; bahavaḥ — many; hiṁsitāḥ — have been killed; sutāḥ — sons.
Alas, my sister! Alas, my brother-in-law! I am indeed so sinful that exactly like a man-eater [Rākṣasa] who eats his own child, I have killed so many sons born of you.
sa tv ahaṁ tyakta-kāruṇyas
kān lokān vai gamiṣyāmi
brahma-heva mṛtaḥ śvasan
saḥ — that person (Kaṁsa); tu — indeed; aham — I; tyakta-kāruṇyaḥ — devoid of all mercy; tyakta-jñāti-suhṛt — my relatives and friends have been rejected by me; khalaḥ — cruel; kān lokān — which planets; vai — indeed; gamiṣyāmi — shall go; brahma-hā iva — like the killer of a brāhmaṇa; mṛtaḥ śvasan — either after death or while breathing.
Being merciless and cruel, I have forsaken all my relatives and friends. Therefore, like a person who has killed a brāhmaṇa, I do not know to which planet I shall go, either after death or while breathing.
daivam apy anṛtaṁ vakti
na martyā eva kevalam
yad-viśrambhād ahaṁ pāpaḥ
svasur nihatavāñ chiśūn
daivam — providence; api — also; anṛtam — lies; vakti — say; na — not; martyāḥ — human beings; eva — certainly; kevalam — only; yat-viśrambhāt — because of believing that prophecy; aham — I; pāpaḥ — the most sinful; svasuḥ — of my sister; nihatavān — killed; śiśūn — so many children.
Alas, not only human beings but sometimes even providence lies. And I am so sinful that I believed the omen of providence and killed so many of my sister’s children.
mā śocataṁ mahā-bhāgāv
ātmajān sva-kṛtaṁ bhujaḥ
jāntavo na sadaikatra
mā śocatam — kindly do not be aggrieved (for what happened in the past); mahā-bhāgau — O you who are learned and fortunate in spiritual knowledge; ātmajān — for your sons; sva-kṛtam — only because of their own acts; bhujaḥ — who are suffering; jāntavaḥ — all living entities; na — not; sadā — always; ekatra — in one place; daiva-adhīnāḥ — who are under the control of providence; tadā — hence; āsate — live.
O great souls, your children have suffered their own misfortune. Therefore, please do not lament for them. All living entities are under the control of the Supreme, and they cannot always live together.
bhuvi bhaumāni bhūtāni
yathā yānty apayānti ca
nāyam ātmā tathaiteṣu
viparyeti yathaiva bhūḥ
bhuvi — on the surface of the world; bhaumāni — all material products from earth, such as pots; bhūtāni — which are produced; yathā — as; yānti — appear (in form); apayānti — disappear (broken or mixed with the earth); ca — and; na — not; ayam ātmā — the soul or spiritual identity; tathā — similarly; eteṣu — among all these (products of material elements); viparyeti — is changed or broken; yathā — as; eva — certainly; bhūḥ — the earth.
In this world, we can see that pots, dolls and other products of the earth appear, break and then disappear, mixing with the earth. Similarly, the bodies of all conditioned living entities are annihilated, but the living entities, like the earth itself, are unchanging and never annihilated [na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre].
saṁsṛtir na nivartate
yathā — as; an-evam-vidaḥ — of a person who has no knowledge (about ātma-tattva and the steadiness of the ātmā in his own identity, despite the changes of the body); bhedaḥ — the idea of difference between body and self; yataḥ — because of which; ātma-viparyayaḥ — the foolish understanding that one is the body; deha-yoga-viyogau ca — and this causes connections and separations among different bodies; saṁsṛtiḥ — the continuation of conditioned life; na — not; nivartate — does stop.
One who does not understand the constitutional position of the body and the soul [ātmā] becomes too attached to the bodily concept of life. Consequently, because of attachment to the body and its by-products, he feels affected by union with and separation from his family, society and nation. As long as this continues, one continues his material life. [Otherwise, one is liberated.]
tasmād bhadre sva-tanayān
mayā vyāpāditān api
mānuśoca yataḥ sarvaḥ
sva-kṛtaṁ vindate ’vaśaḥ
tasmāt — therefore; bhadre — my dear sister (all auspiciousness unto you); sva-tanayān — for your own sons; mayā — by me; vyāpāditān — unfortunately killed; api — although; mā anuśoca — do not be aggrieved; yataḥ — because; sarvaḥ — everyone; sva-kṛtam — the fruitive results of one’s own deeds; vindate — suffers or enjoys; avaśaḥ — under the control of providence.
My dear sister Devakī, all good fortune unto you. Everyone suffers and enjoys the results of his own work under the control of providence. Therefore, although your sons have unfortunately been killed by me, please do not lament for them.
yāvad dhato ’smi hantāsmī-
ty ātmānaṁ manyate ’sva-dṛk
tāvat tad-abhimāny ajño
yāvat — as long as; hataḥ asmi — I am now being killed (by others); hantā asmi — I am the killer (of others); iti — thus; ātmānam — own self; manyate — he considers; a-sva-dṛk — one who has not seen himself (because of the darkness of the bodily conception of life); tāvat — for that long; tat-abhimānī — regarding himself as the killed or the killer; ajñaḥ — a foolish person; bādhya-bādhakatām — the worldly transaction of being obliged to execute some responsibility; iyāt — continues.
In the bodily conception of life, one remains in darkness, without self-realization, thinking, “I am being killed” or “I have killed my enemies.” As long as a foolish person thus considers the self to be the killer or the killed, he continues to be responsible for material obligations, and consequently he suffers the reactions of happiness and distress.
kṣamadhvaṁ mama daurātmyaṁ
ity uktvāśru-mukhaḥ pādau
śyālaḥ svasror athāgrahīt
kṣamadhvam — kindly excuse; mama — my; daurātmyam — atrocious activities; sādhavaḥ — both of you are great saintly persons; dīna-vatsalāḥ — and are very kind to poor, cripple-minded persons; iti uktvā — saying this; aśru-mukhaḥ — his face full of tears; pādau — the feet; śyālaḥ — his brother-in-law Kaṁsa; svasraḥ — of his sister and brother-in-law; atha — thus; agrahīt — captured.
Kaṁsa begged, “My dear sister and brother-in-law, please be merciful to such a poor-hearted person as me, since both of you are saintly persons. Please excuse my atrocities.” Having said this, Kaṁsa fell at the feet of Vasudeva and Devakī, his eyes full of tears of regret.
mocayām āsa nigaḍād
devakīṁ vasudevaṁ ca
mocayām āsa — Kaṁsa released them; nigaḍāt — from their iron shackles; viśrabdhaḥ — with full confidence; kanyakā-girā — in the words of the goddess Durgā; devakīm — toward his sister Devakī; vasudevam ca — and his brother-in-law Vasudeva; darśayan — fully exhibiting; ātma-sauhṛdam — his family relationship.
Fully believing in the words of the goddess Durgā, Kaṁsa exhibited his familial affection for Devakī and Vasudeva by immediately releasing them from their iron shackles.
kṣānta-roṣā ca devakī
vyasṛjad vasudevaś ca
prahasya tam uvāca ha
bhrātuḥ — toward her brother Kaṁsa; samanutaptasya — because of his being regretful; kṣānta-roṣā — was relieved of anger; ca — also; devakī — Kṛṣṇa’s mother, Devakī; vyasṛjat — gave up; vasudevaḥ ca — Vasudeva also; prahasya — smiling; tam — unto Kaṁsa; uvāca — said; ha — in the past.
When Devakī saw her brother actually repentant while explaining ordained events, she was relieved of all anger. Similarly, Vasudeva was also free from anger. Smiling, he spoke to Kaṁsa as follows.
evam etan mahā-bhāga
yathā vadasi dehinām
sva-pareti bhidā yataḥ
evam — yes, this is right; etat — what you have said; mahā-bhāga — O great personality; yathā — as; vadasi — you are speaking; dehinām — about living entities (accepting material bodies); ajñāna-prabhavā — by the influence of ignorance; aham-dhīḥ — this is my interest (false ego); sva-parā iti — this is another’s interest; bhidā — differentiation; yataḥ — because of such a conception of life.
O great personality Kaṁsa, only by the influence of ignorance does one accept the material body and bodily ego. What you have said about this philosophy is correct. Persons in the bodily concept of life, lacking self-realization, differentiate in terms of “This is mine” and “This belongs to another.”
mitho ghnantaṁ na paśyanti
bhāvair bhāvaṁ pṛthag-dṛśaḥ
śoka — lamentation; harṣa — jubilation; bhaya — fear; dveṣa — envy; lobha — greed; moha — illusion; mada — madness; anvitāḥ — endowed with; mithaḥ — one another; ghnantam — engaged in killing; na paśyanti — do not see; bhāvaiḥ — because of such differentiation; bhāvam — the situation in relation to the Supreme Lord; pṛthak-dṛśaḥ — persons who see everything as separate from the control of the Lord.
Persons with the vision of differentiation are imbued with the material qualities lamentation, jubilation, fear, envy, greed, illusion and madness. They are influenced by the immediate cause, which they are busy counteracting, because they have no knowledge of the remote, supreme cause, the Personality of Godhead.
kaṁsa evaṁ prasannābhyāṁ
anujñāto ’viśad gṛham
śrī-śukaḥ uvāca — Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī said; kaṁsaḥ — King Kaṁsa; evam — thus; prasannābhyām — who were very much appeased; viśuddham — in purity; pratibhāṣitaḥ — being answered; devakī-vasudevābhyām — by Devakī and Vasudeva; anujñātaḥ — taking permission; aviśat — entered; gṛham — his own palace.
Śukadeva Gosvāmī continued: Thus having been addressed in purity by Devakī and Vasudeva, who were very much appeased, Kaṁsa felt pleased, and with their permission he entered his home.
tasyāṁ rātryāṁ vyatītāyāṁ
kaṁsa āhūya mantriṇaḥ
tebhya ācaṣṭa tat sarvaṁ
yad uktaṁ yoga-nidrayā
tasyām — that; rātryām — night; vyatītāyām — having passed; kaṁsaḥ — King Kaṁsa; āhūya — calling for; mantriṇaḥ — all the ministers; tebhyaḥ — them; ācaṣṭa — informed; tat — that; sarvam — all; yat uktam — which was spoken (that Kaṁsa’s murderer was already somewhere else); yoga-nidrayā — by Yoga-māyā, the goddess Durgā.
After that night passed, Kaṁsa summoned his ministers and informed them of all that had been spoken by Yoga-māyā [who had revealed that He who was to slay Kaṁsa had already been born somewhere else].
ākarṇya bhartur gaditaṁ
tam ūcur deva-śatravaḥ
devān prati kṛtāmarṣā
ākarṇya — after hearing; bhartuḥ — of their master; gaditam — the words or statement; tam ūcuḥ — replied to him; deva-śatravaḥ — all the asuras, who were enemies of the demigods; devān — the demigods; prati — toward; kṛta-amarṣāḥ — who were envious; daiteyāḥ — the asuras; na — not; ati-kovidāḥ — who were very expert in executing transactions.
After hearing their master’s statement, the envious asuras, who were enemies of the demigods and were not very expert in their dealings, advised Kaṁsa as follows.
evaṁ cet tarhi bhojendra
anirdaśān nirdaśāṁś ca
haniṣyāmo ’dya vai śiśūn
evam — thus; cet — if it is so; tarhi — then; bhoja-indra — O King of Bhoja; pura-grāma-vraja-ādiṣu — in all the towns, villages and pasturing grounds; anirdaśān — those who are less than ten days old; nirdaśān ca — and those who are just over ten days old; haniṣyāmaḥ — we shall kill; adya — beginning from today; vai — indeed; śiśūn — all such children.
If this is so, O King of the Bhoja dynasty, beginning today we shall kill all the children born in all the villages, towns and pasturing grounds within the past ten days or slightly more.
kim udyamaiḥ kariṣyanti
jyā-ghoṣair dhanuṣas tava
kim — what; udyamaiḥ — by their endeavors; kariṣyanti — will do; devāḥ — all the demigods; samara-bhīravaḥ — who are afraid of fighting; nityam — always; udvigna-manasaḥ — with agitated minds; jyā-ghoṣaiḥ — by the sound of the string; dhanuṣaḥ — of the bow; tava — your.
The demigods always fear the sound of your bowstring. They are constantly in anxiety, afraid of fighting. Therefore, what can they do by their endeavors to harm you?
asyatas te śara-vrātair
asyataḥ — pierced by your discharged arrows; te — your; śara-vrātaiḥ — by the multitude of arrows; hanyamānāḥ — being killed; samantataḥ — here and there; jijīviṣavaḥ — aspiring to live; utsṛjya — giving up the battlefield; palāyana-parāḥ — intent on escaping; yayuḥ — they fled (the fighting).
While being pierced by your arrows, which you discharged on all sides, some of them, who were injured by the multitude of arrows but who desired to live, fled the battlefield, intent on escaping.
kecit prāñjalayo dīnā
bhītāḥ sma iti vādinaḥ
kecit — some of them; prāñjalayaḥ — folded their hands just to please you; dīnāḥ — very poor; nyasta-śastrāḥ — being bereft of all weapons; divaukasaḥ — the demigods; mukta-kaccha-śikhāḥ — their garments and hair loosened and scattered; kecit — some of them; bhītāḥ — we are very much afraid; sma — so became; iti vādinaḥ — they spoke thus.
Defeated and bereft of all weapons, some of the demigods gave up fighting and praised you with folded hands, and some of them, appearing before you with loosened garments and hair, said, “O lord, we are very much afraid of you.”
na tvaṁ vismṛta-śastrāstrān
na — not; tvam — Your Majesty; vismṛta-śastra-astrān — those who have forgotten how to use weapons; virathān — without chariots; bhaya-saṁvṛtān — bewildered by fear; haṁsi — does kill; anya-āsakta-vimukhān — persons attached not to fighting but to some other subject matter; bhagna-cāpān — their bows broken; ayudhyataḥ — and thus not fighting.
When the demigods are bereft of their chariots, when they forget how to use weapons, when they are fearful or attached to something other than fighting, or when their bows are broken and they have thus lost the ability to fight, Your Majesty does not kill them.
kiṁ kṣema-śūrair vibudhair
raho-juṣā kiṁ hariṇā
śambhunā vā vanaukasā
brahmaṇā vā tapasyatā
kim — what is there to fear; kṣema — in a place where there is a scarcity of the ability to fight; śūraiḥ — by the demigods; vibudhaiḥ — by such powerful persons; asaṁyuga-vikatthanaiḥ — by boasting and talking uselessly, away from the fighting; rahaḥ-juṣā — who is living in a solitary place within the core of the heart; kim hariṇā — what is the fear from Lord Viṣṇu; śambhunā — (and what is the fear) from Lord Śiva; vā — either; vana-okasā — who is living in the forest; kim indreṇa — what is the fear from Indra; alpa-vīryeṇa — he is not at all powerful (having no power to fight with you); brahmaṇā — and what is the fear from Brahmā; vā — either; tapasyatā — who is always engaged in meditation.
The demigods boast uselessly while away from the battlefield. Only where there is no fighting can they show their prowess. Therefore, from such demigods we have nothing to fear. As for Lord Viṣṇu, He is in seclusion in the core of the hearts of the yogīs. As for Lord Śiva, he has gone to the forest. And as for Lord Brahmā, he is always engaged in austerities and meditation. The other demigods, headed by Indra, are devoid of prowess. Therefore you have nothing to fear.
tathāpi devāḥ sāpatnyān
nopekṣyā iti manmahe
tathā api — still; devāḥ — the demigods; sāpatnyāt — due to enmity; na upekṣyāḥ — should not be neglected; iti manmahe — this is our opinion; tataḥ — therefore; tat-mūla-khanane — to uproot them completely; niyuṅkṣva — engage; asmān — us; anuvratān — who are ready to follow you.
Nonetheless, because of their enmity, our opinion is that the demigods should not be neglected. Therefore, to uproot them completely, engage us in fighting with them, for we are ready to follow you.
yathāmayo ’ṅge samupekṣito nṛbhir
na śakyate rūḍha-padaś cikitsitum
yathendriya-grāma upekṣitas tathā
ripur mahān baddha-balo na cālyate
yathā — as; āmayaḥ — a disease; aṅge — in the body; samupekṣitaḥ — being neglected; nṛbhiḥ — by men; na — not; śakyate — is able; rūḍha-padaḥ — when it is acute; cikitsitum — to be treated; yathā — and as; indriya-grāmaḥ — the senses; upekṣitaḥ — not controlled in the beginning; tathā — similarly; ripuḥ mahān — a great enemy; baddha-balaḥ — if he becomes strong; na — not; cālyate — can be controlled.
As a disease, if initially neglected, becomes acute and impossible to cure, or as the senses, if not controlled at first, are impossible to control later, an enemy, if neglected in the beginning, later becomes insurmountable.
mūlaṁ hi viṣṇur devānāṁ
yatra dharmaḥ sanātanaḥ
tasya ca brahma-go-viprās
tapo yajñāḥ sa-dakṣiṇāḥ
mūlam — the foundation; hi — indeed; viṣṇuḥ — is Lord Viṣṇu; devānām — of the demigods; yatra — wherein; dharmaḥ — religious principles; sanātanaḥ — traditional or eternal; tasya — of this (foundation); ca — also; brahma — brahminical civilization; go — cow protection; viprāḥ — brāhmaṇas; tapaḥ — austerity; yajñāḥ — performing sacrifices; sa-dakṣiṇāḥ — with proper remuneration.
The foundation of all the demigods is Lord Viṣṇu, who lives and is worshiped wherever there are religious principles, traditional culture, the Vedas, cows, brāhmaṇas, austerities, and sacrifices with proper remuneration.
tasmāt sarvātmanā rājan
gāś ca hanmo havir-dughāḥ
tasmāt — therefore; sarva-ātmanā — in every respect; rājan — O King; brāhmaṇān — the brāhmaṇas; brahma-vādinaḥ — who maintain the brahminical culture, centered around Viṣṇu; tapasvinaḥ — persons who are engaged in austerities; yajña-śīlān — persons engaged in offering sacrifices; gāḥ ca — cows and persons engaged in protecting cows; hanmaḥ — we shall kill; haviḥ-dughāḥ — because they supply milk, from which clarified butter is obtained for the offering of sacrifice.
O King, we, who are your adherents in all respects, shall therefore kill the Vedic brāhmaṇas, the persons engaged in offering sacrifices and austerities, and the cows that supply milk, from which clarified butter is obtained for the ingredients of sacrifice.
viprā gāvaś ca vedāś ca
tapaḥ satyaṁ damaḥ śamaḥ
śraddhā dayā titikṣā ca
kratavaś ca hares tanūḥ
viprāḥ — the brāhmaṇas; gāvaḥ ca — and the cows; vedāḥ ca — and the Vedic knowledge; tapaḥ — austerity; satyam — truthfulness; damaḥ — control of the senses; śamaḥ — control of the mind; śraddhā — faith; dayā — mercy; titikṣā — tolerance; ca — also; kratavaḥ ca — as well as sacrifices; hareḥ tanūḥ — are the different parts of the body of Lord Viṣṇu.
The brāhmaṇas, the cows, Vedic knowledge, austerity, truthfulness, control of the mind and senses, faith, mercy, tolerance and sacrifice are the different parts of the body of Lord Viṣṇu, and they are the paraphernalia for a godly civilization.
sa hi sarva-surādhyakṣo
hy asura-dviḍ guhā-śayaḥ
tan-mūlā devatāḥ sarvāḥ
ayaṁ vai tad-vadhopāyo
yad ṛṣīṇāṁ vihiṁsanam
saḥ — He (Lord Viṣṇu); hi — indeed; sarva-sura-adhyakṣaḥ — the leader of all the demigods; hi — indeed; asura-dviṭ — the enemy of the asuras; guhā-śayaḥ — He is the Supersoul within the core of everyone’s heart; tat-mūlāḥ — taking shelter at His lotus feet; devatāḥ — the demigods exist; sarvāḥ — all of them; sa-īśvarāḥ — including Lord Śiva; sa-catuḥ-mukhāḥ — as well as Lord Brahmā, who has four faces; ayam — this is; vai — indeed; tat-vadha-upāyaḥ — the only means of killing Him (Viṣṇu); yat — which; ṛṣīṇām — of great sages, saintly persons, or Vaiṣṇavas; vihiṁsanam — suppression with all kinds of persecution.
Lord Viṣṇu, the Supersoul within the core of everyone’s heart, is the ultimate enemy of the asuras and is therefore known as asura-dviṭ. He is the leader of all the demigods because all the demigods, including Lord Śiva and Lord Brahmā, exist under His protection. The great saintly persons, sages and Vaiṣṇavas also depend upon Him. To persecute the Vaiṣṇavas, therefore, is the only way to kill Viṣṇu.
evaṁ durmantribhiḥ kaṁsaḥ
saha sammantrya durmatiḥ
brahma-hiṁsāṁ hitaṁ mene
śrī-śukaḥ uvāca — Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī said; evam — in this way; durmantribhiḥ — his bad ministers; kaṁsaḥ — King Kaṁsa; saha — along with; sammantrya — after considering very elaborately; durmatiḥ — without good intelligence; brahma-hiṁsām — persecution of the brāhmaṇas; hitam — as the best way; mene — accepted; kāla-pāśa-āvṛtaḥ — being bound by the rules and regulations of Yamarāja; asuraḥ — because he was a demon.
Śukadeva Gosvāmī continued: Thus, having considered the instructions of his bad ministers, Kaṁsa, who was bound by the laws of Yamarāja and devoid of good intelligence because he was a demon, decided to persecute the saintly persons, the brāhmaṇas, as the only way to achieve his own good fortune.
dānavān gṛham āviśat
sandiśya — after giving permission; sādhu-lokasya — of the saintly persons; kadane — in persecution; kadana-priyān — to the demons, who were very expert at persecuting others; kāma-rūpa-dharān — who could assume any form, according to their own desire; dikṣu — in all directions; dānavān — to the demons; gṛham āviśat — Kaṁsa entered his own palace.
These demons, the followers of Kaṁsa, were expert at persecuting others, especially the Vaiṣṇavas, and could assume any form they desired. After giving these demons permission to go everywhere and persecute the saintly persons, Kaṁsa entered his palace.
te vai rajaḥ-prakṛtayas
satāṁ vidveṣam ācerur
te — all the asuric ministers; vai — indeed; rajaḥ-prakṛtayaḥ — surcharged with the mode of passion; tamasā — overwhelmed by the mode of ignorance; mūḍha-cetasaḥ — foolish persons; satām — of saintly persons; vidveṣam — persecution; āceruḥ — executed; ārāt āgata-mṛtya-vaḥ — impending death having already overtaken them.
Surcharged with passion and ignorance and not knowing what was good or bad for them, the asuras, for whom impending death was waiting, began the persecution of the saintly persons.
āyuḥ śriyaṁ yaśo dharmaṁ
lokān āśiṣa eva ca
hanti śreyāṁsi sarvāṇi
āyuḥ — the duration of life; śriyam — beauty; yaśaḥ — fame; dharmam — religion; lokān — elevation to higher planets; āśiṣaḥ — blessings; eva — indeed; ca — also; hanti — destroys; śreyāṁsi — benedictions; sarvāṇi — all; puṁsaḥ — of a person; mahat-atikramaḥ — trespassing against great personalities.
My dear King, when a man persecutes great souls, all his benedictions of longevity, beauty, fame, religion, blessings and promotion to higher planets will be destroyed.