Śrīmad Bhāgavatam |Canto 6 Chapter 10
The Battle Between the Demigods and Vṛtrāsura
indram evaṁ samādiśya
śrī-bādarāyaṇiḥ uvāca — Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī said; indram — Indra, the heavenly King; evam — thus; samādiśya — after instructing; bhagavān — the Supreme Personality of Godhead; viśva-bhāvanaḥ — the original cause of all cosmic manifestations; paśyatām animeṣāṇām — while the demigods were looking on; tatra — then and there; eva — indeed; antardadhe — disappeared; hariḥ — the Lord.
Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī said: After instructing Indra in this way, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Hari, the cause of the cosmic manifestation, then and there disappeared from the presence of the onlooking demigods.
ṛṣir ātharvaṇo mahān
prahasann iva bhārata
tathā — in that manner; abhiyācitaḥ — being begged; devaiḥ — by the demigods; ṛṣiḥ — the great saintly person; ātharvaṇaḥ — Dadhīci, the son of Atharvā; mahān — the great personality; modamānaḥ — being merry; uvāca — said; idam — this; prahasan — smiling; iva — somewhat; bhārata — O Mahārāja Parīkṣit.
O King Parīkṣit, following the Lord’s instructions, the demigods approached Dadhīci, the son of Atharvā. He was very liberal, and when they begged him to give them his body, he at once partially agreed. However, just to hear religious instructions from them, he smiled and jokingly spoke as follows.
api vṛndārakā yūyaṁ
na jānītha śarīriṇām
saṁsthāyāṁ yas tv abhidroho
api — although; vṛndārakāḥ — O demigods; yūyam — all of you; na jānītha — do not know; śarīriṇām — of those who have material bodies; saṁsthāyām — at the time of death, or while quitting this body; yaḥ — which; tu — then; abhidrohaḥ — severe pain; duḥsahaḥ — unbearable; cetana — the consciousness; apahaḥ — which takes away.
O elevated demigods, at the time of death, severe, unbearable pain takes away the consciousness of all living entities who have accepted material bodies. Don’t you know about this pain?
ātmā preṣṭha ihepsitaḥ
ka utsaheta taṁ dātuṁ
jijīviṣūṇām — aspiring to remain alive; jīvānām — of all living entities; ātmā — the body; preṣṭhaḥ — very dear; iha — here; īpsitaḥ — desired; kaḥ — who; utsaheta — can bear; tam — that body; dātum — to deliver; bhikṣamāṇāya — begging; viṣṇave — even to Lord Viṣṇu.
In this material world, every living entity is very much addicted to his material body. Struggling to keep his body forever, everyone tries to protect it by all means, even at the sacrifice of all his possessions. Therefore, who would be prepared to deliver his body to anyone, even if it were demanded by Lord Viṣṇu?
kiṁ nu tad dustyajaṁ brahman
śrī-devāḥ ūcuḥ — the demigods said; kim — what; nu — indeed; tat — that; dustyajam — difficult to give up; brahman — O exalted brāhmaṇa; puṁsām — of persons; bhūta-anukampinām — who are very sympathetic toward the suffering living entities; bhavat-vidhānām — like Your Lordship; mahatām — who are very great; puṇya-śloka-īḍya-karmaṇām — whose pious activities are praised by all great souls.
The demigods replied: O exalted brāhmaṇa, pious persons like you, whose activities are praiseworthy, are very kind and affectionate to people in general. What can’t such pious souls give for the benefit of others? They can give everything, including their bodies.
nūnaṁ svārtha-paro loko
na veda para-saṅkaṭam
yadi veda na yāceta
neti nāha yad īśvaraḥ
nūnam — certainly; sva-artha-paraḥ — interested only in sense gratification in this life or the next; lokaḥ — materialistic people in general; na — not; veda — know; para-saṅkaṭam — the pain of others; yadi — if; veda — know; na — not; yāceta — would ask; na — no; iti — thus; na āha — does not say; yat — since; īśvaraḥ — able to give charity.
Those who are too self-interested beg something from others, not knowing of others’ pain. But if the beggar knew the difficulty of the giver, he would not ask for anything. Similarly, he who is able to give charity does not know the beggar’s difficulty, for otherwise he would not refuse to give the beggar anything he might want as charity.
dharmaṁ vaḥ śrotu-kāmena
yūyaṁ me pratyudāhṛtāḥ
eṣa vaḥ priyam ātmānaṁ
tyajantaṁ santyajāmy aham
śrī-ṛṣiḥ uvāca — the great saint Dadhīci said; dharmam — the principles of religion; vaḥ — from you; śrotu-kāmena — by the desire to hear; yūyam — you; me — by me; pratyudāhṛtāḥ — replied to the contrary; eṣaḥ — this; vaḥ — for you; priyam — dear; ātmānam — body; tyajantam — leaving me anyway, today or tomorrow; santyajāmi — give up; aham — I.
The great sage Dadhīci said: Just to hear from you about religious principles, I refused to offer my body at your request. Now, although my body is extremely dear to me, I must give it up for your better purposes since I know that it will leave me today or tomorrow.
yo ’dhruveṇātmanā nāthā
na dharmaṁ na yaśaḥ pumān
sa śocyaḥ sthāvarair api
yaḥ — anyone who; adhruveṇa — impermanent; ātmanā — by the body; nāthāḥ — O lords; na — not; dharmam — religious principles; na — not; yaśaḥ — fame; pumān — a person; īheta — endeavors for; bhūta-dayayā — by mercy for the living beings; saḥ — that person; śocyaḥ — pitiable; sthāvaraiḥ — by the immobile creatures; api — even.
O demigods, one who has no compassion for humanity in its suffering and does not sacrifice his impermanent body for the higher causes of religious principles or eternal glory is certainly pitied even by the immovable beings.
etāvān avyayo dharmaḥ
ātmā śocati hṛṣyati
etāvān — this much; avyayaḥ — imperishable; dharmaḥ — religious principle; puṇya-ślokaiḥ — by famous persons who are celebrated as pious; upāsitaḥ — recognized; yaḥ — which; bhūta — of the living beings; śoka — by the distress; harṣābhyām — and by the happiness; ātmā — the mind; śocati — laments; hṛṣyati — feels happiness.
If one is unhappy to see the distress of other living beings and happy to see their happiness, his religious principles are appreciated as imperishable by exalted persons who are considered pious and benevolent.
aho dainyam aho kaṣṭaṁ
yan nopakuryād asvārthair
aho — alas; dainyam — a miserable condition; aho — alas; kaṣṭam — simply tribulation; pārakyaiḥ — which after death are eatable by dogs and jackals; kṣaṇa-bhaṅguraiḥ — perishable at any moment; yat — because; na — not; upakuryāt — would help; a-sva-arthaiḥ — not meant for self-interest; martyaḥ — a living entity destined to die; sva — with his wealth; jñāti — relatives and friends; vigrahaiḥ — and his body.
This body, which is eatable by jackals and dogs after death, does not actually do any good for me, the spirit soul. It is usable only for a short time and may perish at any moment. The body and its possessions, its riches and relatives, must all be engaged for the benefit of others, or else they will be sources of tribulation and misery.
dadhyaṅṅ ātharvaṇas tanum
pare bhagavati brahmaṇy
ātmānaṁ sannayañ jahau
śrī-bādarāyaṇiḥ uvāca — Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī said; evam — thus; kṛta-vyavasitaḥ — making certain of what to do (in giving his body to the demigods); dadhyaṅ — Dadhīci Muni; ātharvaṇaḥ — the son of Atharvā; tanum — his body; pare — to the Supreme; bhagavati — Personality of Godhead; brahmaṇi — the Supreme Brahman; ātmānam — himself, the spirit soul; sannayan — offering; jahau — gave up.
Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī said: Dadhīci Muni, the son of Atharvā, thus resolved to give his body to the service of the demigods. He placed himself, the spirit soul, at the lotus feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and in this way gave up his gross material body made of five elements.
āsthitaḥ paramaṁ yogaṁ
na dehaṁ bubudhe gatam
yata — controlled; akṣa — senses; asu — the life air; manaḥ — the mind; buddhiḥ — intelligence; tattva-dṛk — one who knows the tattvas, the material and spiritual energies; dhvasta-bandhanaḥ — liberated from bondage; āsthitaḥ — being situated in; paramam — the supreme; yogam — absorption, trance; na — not; deham — the material body; bubudhe — perceived; gatam — left.
Dadhīci Muni controlled his senses, life force, mind and intelligence and became absorbed in trance. Thus he cut all his material bonds. He could not perceive how his material body became separated from his self.
athendro vajram udyamya
muneḥ śaktibhir utsikto
vṛto deva-gaṇaiḥ sarvair
trailokyaṁ harṣayann iva
atha — thereafter; indraḥ — the King of heaven; vajram — the thunderbolt; udyamya — firmly taking up; nirmitam — manufactured; viśvakarmaṇā — by Viśvakarmā; muneḥ — of the great sage, Dadhīci; śaktibhiḥ — by the power; utsiktaḥ — saturated; bhagavat — of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; tejasā — with spiritual power; anvitaḥ — endowed; vṛtaḥ — encircled; deva-gaṇaiḥ — by the other demigods; sarvaiḥ — all; gajendra — of his elephant carrier; upari — upon the back; aśobhata — shone; stūyamānaḥ — being offered prayers; muni-gaṇaiḥ — by the saintly persons; trai-lokyam — to the three worlds; harṣayan — causing pleasure; iva — as it were.
Thereafter, King Indra very firmly took up the thunderbolt manufactured by Viśvakarmā from the bones of Dadhīci. Charged with the exalted power of Dadhīci Muni and enlightened by the power of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Indra rode on the back of his carrier, Airāvata, surrounded by all the demigods, while all the great sages offered him praise. Thus he shone very beautifully, pleasing the three worlds as he rode off to kill Vṛtrāsura.
vṛtram abhyadravac chatrum
paryastam ojasā rājan
kruddho rudra ivāntakam
vṛtram — Vṛtrāsura; abhyadravat — attacked; śatrum — the enemy; asura-anīka-yūthapaiḥ — by the commanders or captains of the soldiers of the asuras; paryastam — surrounded; ojasā — with great force; rājan — O King; kruddhaḥ — being angry; rudraḥ — an incarnation of Lord Śiva; iva — like; antakam — Antaka, or Yamarāja.
My dear King Parīkṣit, as Rudra, being very angry at Antaka [Yamarāja] had formerly run toward Antaka to kill him, Indra angrily and with great force attacked Vṛtrāsura, who was surrounded by the leaders of the demoniac armies.
tataḥ surāṇām asurai
abhavat prathame yuge
tataḥ — thereafter; surāṇām — of the demigods; asuraiḥ — with the demons; raṇaḥ — a great battle; parama-dāruṇaḥ — very fearful; tretā-mukhe — in the beginning of Tretā-yuga; narmadāyām — on the bank of the river Narmadā; abhavat — took place; prathame — in the first; yuge — millennium.
Thereafter, at the end of Satya-yuga and the beginning of Tretā-yuga, a fierce battle took place between the demigods and the demons on the bank of the Narmadā.
rudrair vasubhir ādityair
marudbhir ṛbhubhiḥ sādhyair
dṛṣṭvā vajra-dharaṁ śakraṁ
rocamānaṁ svayā śriyā
nāmṛṣyann asurā rājan
rudraiḥ — by the Rudras; vasubhiḥ — by the Vasus; ādityaiḥ — by the Ādityas; aśvibhyām — by the Aśvinī-kumāras; pitṛ — by the Pitās; vahnibhiḥ — and the Vahnis; marudbhiḥ — by the Maruts; ṛbhubhiḥ — by the Ṛbhus; sādhyaiḥ — by the Sādhyas; viśve-devaiḥ — by the Viśvadevas; marut-patim — Indra, the heavenly King; dṛṣṭvā — seeing; vajra-dharam — bearing the thunderbolt; śakram — another name of Indra; rocamānam — shining; svayā — by his own; śriyā — opulence; na — not; amṛṣyan — tolerated; asurāḥ — all the demons; rājan — O King; mṛdhe — in the fight; vṛtra-puraḥsarāḥ — headed by Vṛtrāsura.
O King, when all the asuras came onto the battlefield, headed by Vṛtrāsura, they saw King Indra carrying the thunderbolt and surrounded by the Rudras, Vasus, Ādityas, Aśvinī-kumāras, Pitās, Vahnis, Maruts, Ṛbhus, Sādhyas and Viśvadevas. Surrounded by his company, Indra shone so brightly that his effulgence was intolerable to the demons.
namuciḥ śambaro ’narvā
dvimūrdhā ṛṣabho ’suraḥ
pulomā vṛṣaparvā ca
prahetir hetir utkalaḥ
daiteyā dānavā yakṣā
rakṣāṁsi ca sahasraśaḥ
mṛtyor api durāsadam
gadābhiḥ parighair bāṇaiḥ
namuciḥ — Namuci; śambaraḥ — Śambara; anarvā — Anarvā; dvimūrdhā — Dvimūrdhā; ṛṣabhaḥ — Ṛṣabha; asuraḥ — Asura; hayagrīvaḥ — Hayagrīva; śaṅkuśirāḥ — Śaṅkuśirā; vipracittiḥ — Vipracitti; ayomukhaḥ — Ayomukha; pulomā — Pulomā; vṛṣaparvā — Vṛṣaparvā; ca — also; prahetiḥ — Praheti; hetiḥ — Heti; utkalaḥ — Utkala; daiteyāḥ — the Daityas; dānavāḥ — the Dānavas; yakṣāḥ — the Yakṣas; rakṣāṁsi — the Rākṣasas; ca — and; sahasraśaḥ — by the thousands; sumāli-māli-pramukhāḥ — others, headed by Sumāli and Māli; kārtasvara — of gold; paricchadāḥ — dressed in ornaments; pratiṣidhya — keeping back; indra-senā-agram — the front of Indra’s army; mṛtyoḥ — for death; api — even; durāsadam — difficult to approach; abhyardayan — harassed; asambhrāntāḥ — without fear; siṁha-nādena — with a sound like a lion; durmadāḥ — furious; gadābhiḥ — with clubs; parighaiḥ — with iron-studded bludgeons; bāṇaiḥ — with arrows; prāsa-mudgara-tomaraiḥ — with barbed missiles, mallets and lances.
Many hundreds and thousands of demons, demi-demons, Yakṣas, Rākṣasas [man-eaters] and others, headed by Sumāli and Māli, resisted the armies of King Indra, which even death personified cannot easily overcome. Among the demons were Namuci, Śambara, Anarvā, Dvimūrdhā, Ṛṣabha, Asura, Hayagrīva, Śaṅkuśirā, Vipracitti, Ayomukha, Pulomā, Vṛṣaparvā, Praheti, Heti and Utkala. Roaring tumultuously and fearlessly like lions, these invincible demons, all dressed in golden ornaments, gave pain to the demigods with weapons like clubs, bludgeons, arrows, barbed darts, mallets and lances.
śūlaiḥ paraśvadhaiḥ khaḍgaiḥ
sarvato ’vākiran śastrair
astraiś ca vibudharṣabhān
śūlaiḥ — by spears; paraśvadhaiḥ — by axes; khaḍgaiḥ — by swords; śataghnībhiḥ — by śataghnīs; bhuśuṇḍibhiḥ — by bhuśuṇḍis; sarvataḥ — all around; avākiran — scattered; śastraiḥ — with weapons; astraiḥ — with arrows; ca — and; vibudha-ṛṣabhān — the chiefs of the demigods.
Armed with lances, tridents, axes, swords and other weapons like śataghnīs and bhuśuṇḍis, the demons attacked from different directions and scattered all the chiefs of the demigod armies.
na te ’dṛśyanta sañchannāḥ
na — not; te — they (the demigods); adṛśyanta — were seen; sañchannāḥ — being completely covered; śara-jālaiḥ — by networks of arrows; samantataḥ — all around; puṅkha-anupuṅkha — one arrow after another; patitaiḥ — falling; jyotīṁṣi iva — like the stars in the sky; nabhaḥ-ghanaiḥ — by the dense clouds.
As the stars in the sky cannot be seen when covered by dense clouds, the demigods, being completely covered by networks of arrows falling upon them one after another, could not be seen.
na te śastrāstra-varṣaughā
hy āseduḥ sura-sainikān
chinnāḥ siddha-pathe devair
na — not; te — those; śastra-astra-varṣa-oghāḥ — showers of arrows and other weapons; hi — indeed; āseduḥ — reached; sura-sainikān — the armies of the demigods; chinnāḥ — cut; siddha-pathe — in the sky; devaiḥ — by the demigods; laghu-hastaiḥ — quick-handed; sahasradhā — into thousands of pieces.
The showers of various weapons and arrows released to kill the soldiers of the demigods did not reach them because the demigods, acting quickly, cut the weapons into thousands of pieces in the sky.
cicchidus tāṁś ca pūrvavat
atha — thereupon; kṣīṇa — being reduced; astra — of the arrows released by mantras; śastra — and weapons; oghāḥ — the multitudes; giri — of mountains; śṛṅga — with the peaks; druma — with trees; upalaiḥ — and with stones; abhyavarṣan — showered; sura-balam — the soldiers of the demigods; cicchiduḥ — broke to pieces; tān — them; ca — and; pūrva-vat — as before.
As their weapons and mantras decreased, the demons began showering mountain peaks, trees and stones upon the demigod soldiers, but the demigods were so powerful and expert that they nullified all these weapons by breaking them to pieces in the sky as before.
tān akṣatān svastimato niśāmya
śastrāstra-pūgair atha vṛtra-nāthāḥ
drumair dṛṣadbhir vividhādri-śṛṅgair
avikṣatāṁs tatrasur indra-sainikān
tān — them (the soldiers of the demigods); akṣatān — not injured; svasti-mataḥ — being very healthy; niśāmya — seeing; śastra-astra-pūgaiḥ — by the bunches of weapons and mantras; atha — thereupon; vṛtra-nāthāḥ — the soldiers led by Vṛtrāsura; drumaiḥ — by the trees; dṛṣadbhiḥ — by the stones; vividha — various; adri — of mountains; śṛṅgaiḥ — by the peaks; avikṣatān — not injured; tatrasuḥ — became afraid; indra-sainikān — the soldiers of King Indra.
When the soldiers of the demons, commanded by Vṛtrāsura, saw that the soldiers of King Indra were quite well, having not been injured at all by their volleys of weapons, not even by the trees, stones and mountain peaks, the demons were very much afraid.
sarve prayāsā abhavan vimoghāḥ
kṛtāḥ kṛtā deva-gaṇeṣu daityaiḥ
kṛṣṇānukūleṣu yathā mahatsu
kṣudraiḥ prayuktā ūṣatī rūkṣa-vācaḥ
sarve — all; prayāsāḥ — endeavors; abhavan — were; vimoghāḥ — futile; kṛtāḥ — performed; kṛtāḥ — again performed; deva-gaṇeṣu — unto the demigods; daityaiḥ — by the demons; kṛṣṇa-anukūleṣu — who were always protected by Kṛṣṇa; yathā — just as; mahatsu — unto the Vaiṣṇavas; kṣudraiḥ — by insignificant persons; prayuktāḥ — used; ūṣatīḥ — unfavorable; rūkṣa — rough; vācaḥ — words.
When insignificant persons use rough words to cast false, angry accusations against saintly persons, their fruitless words do not disturb the great personalities. Similarly, all the efforts of the demons against the demigods, who were favorably situated under the protection of Kṛṣṇa, were futile.
te sva-prayāsaṁ vitathaṁ nirīkṣya
harāv abhaktā hata-yuddha-darpāḥ
patiṁ manas te dadhur ātta-sārāḥ
te — they (the demons); sva-prayāsam — their own endeavors; vitatham — fruitless; nirīkṣya — seeing; harau abhaktāḥ — the asuras, those who are not devotees of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; hata — defeated; yuddha-darpāḥ — their pride in fighting; palāyanāya — for leaving the battlefield; āji-mukhe — in the very beginning of the battle; visṛjya — leaving aside; patim — their commander, Vṛtrāsura; manaḥ — their minds; te — all of them; dadhuḥ — gave; ātta-sārāḥ — whose prowess was taken away.
The asuras, who are never devotees of Lord Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, lost their pride in fighting when they found all their endeavors futile. Leaving aside their leader even in the very beginning of the fight, they decided to flee because all their prowess had been taken away by the enemy.
vṛtro ’surāṁs tān anugān manasvī
pradhāvataḥ prekṣya babhāṣa etat
palāyitaṁ prekṣya balaṁ ca bhagnaṁ
bhayena tīvreṇa vihasya vīraḥ
vṛtraḥ — Vṛtrāsura, the commander of the demons; asurān — all the demons; tān — them; anugān — his followers; manasvī — the great-minded; pradhāvataḥ — fleeing; prekṣya — observing; babhāṣa — spoke; etat — this; palāyitam — fleeing; prekṣya — seeing; balam — army; ca — and; bhagnam — broken; bhayena — out of fear; tīvreṇa — intense; vihasya — smiling; vīraḥ — the great hero.
Seeing his army broken and all the asuras, even those known as great heroes, fleeing the battlefield out of intense fear, Vṛtrāsura, who was truly a great-minded hero, smiled and spoke the following words.
kālopapannāṁ rucirāṁ manasvināṁ
jagāda vācaṁ puruṣa-pravīraḥ
he vipracitte namuce puloman
mayānarvañ chambara me śṛṇudhvam
kāla-upapannām — suitable to the time and circumstances; rucirām — very beautiful; manasvinām — to the great, deep-minded personalities; jagāda — spoke; vācam — words; puruṣa-pravīraḥ — the hero among heroes, Vṛtrāsura; he — O; vipracitte — Vipracitti; namuce — O Namuci; puloman — O Pulomā; maya — O Maya; anarvan — O Anarvā; śambara — O Śambara; me — from me; śṛṇudhvam — please hear.
According to his position and the time and circumstances, Vṛtrāsura, the hero among heroes, spoke words that were much to be appreciated by thoughtful men. He called to the heroes of the demons, “O Vipracitti! O Namuci! O Pulomā! O Maya, Anarvā and Śambara! Please hear me and do not flee.”
jātasya mṛtyur dhruva eva sarvataḥ
pratikriyā yasya na ceha kḷptā
loko yaśaś cātha tato yadi hy amuṁ
ko nāma mṛtyuṁ na vṛṇīta yuktam
jātasya — of one who has taken birth (all living beings); mṛtyuḥ — death; dhruvaḥ — inevitable; eva — indeed; sarvataḥ — everywhere in the universe; pratikriyā — counteraction; yasya — of which; na — not; ca — also; iha — in this material world; kḷptā — devised; lokaḥ — promotion to higher planets; yaśaḥ — reputation and glory; ca — and; atha — then; tataḥ — from that; yadi — if; hi — indeed; amum — that; kaḥ — who; nāma — indeed; mṛtyum — death; na — not; vṛṇīta — would accept; yuktam — suitable.
Vṛtrāsura said: All living entities who have taken birth in this material world must die. Surely, no one in this world has found any means to be saved from death. Even providence has not provided a means to escape it. Under the circumstances, death being inevitable, if one can gain promotion to the higher planetary systems and be always celebrated here by dying a suitable death, what man will not accept such a glorious death?
dvau sammatāv iha mṛtyū durāpau
yad brahma-sandhāraṇayā jitāsuḥ
kalevaraṁ yoga-rato vijahyād
yad agraṇīr vīra-śaye ’nivṛttaḥ
dvau — two; sammatau — approved (by śāstra and great personalities); iha — in this world; mṛtyū — deaths; durāpau — extremely rare; yat — which; brahma-sandhāraṇayā — with concentration on Brahman, Paramātmā or Parabrahma, Kṛṣṇa; jita-asuḥ — controlling the mind and senses; kalevaram — the body; yoga-rataḥ — being engaged in the performance of yoga; vijahyāt — one may leave; yat — which; agraṇīḥ — taking the lead; vīra-śaye — on the battlefield; anivṛttaḥ — not turning back.
There are two ways to meet a glorious death, and both are very rare. One is to die after performing mystic yoga, especially bhakti-yoga, by which one can control the mind and living force and die absorbed in thought of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The second is to die on the battlefield, leading the army and never showing one’s back. These two kinds of death are recommended in the śāstra as glorious.