Śrīmad Devi Bhāgavatam | Book 4 Chapter 10
THE FOURTH BOOK
On the curse on Viṣṇu by Bhrigu
1-4. Janamejaya said:
O Son of Parāsara! There has arisen a great doubt in my mind on hearing just now your words.
These Nara Nārāyaṇa are the two sons of Dharma; they are ascetics, calm and quiet, the Amśas of Viṣṇu; they reside in a holy place of pilgrimage! They are filled with the Sāttvic qualities, subsisting always on roots and fruits of the forest, the high-souled hermits and truthful.
How were they addicted to such warfare? Why had they left their invaluable asceticism? And with what object were they fighting for full one thousand Deva years with Prahlāda.
5. What was the end, O Muni, of their fight with Prahlāda? Kindly explain to me in detail the cause of this warfare.
6. Women, wealth or any other worldly object can be the cause of any quarrel or fight amongst any persons; but, in this case, the two ascetics had none of these; how then this idea of fight sprung within their minds.
7-8. And why did they practise such severe austerities? Was it that they had to overpower others, or enjoy pleasures themselves or to reach Heaven that they practised tapasyā? What fruits did they eventually obtain from such penances?
9. They became very lean and thin through their asceticism; still how could they fight full one thousand Deva years without getting fatigued.
10. They were not entangled in this fight for kingdom, or wealth or for women or for any other worldly object; then why did they fight with the high souled Prahlāda?
11. Having no attachment for any worldly object nor any desire to gain anything therefrom, why did they engage themselves so thoroughly, in such pains giving battle?
12. Intelligent persons always do works leading to bliss; they never do painful works; this is the long standing rule of the world.
13. The two sons of Dharma were the Amśas of Hari, all knowing and adorned with all qualities; why did they fight, subversive of religion?
14. O Mahāṛṣi! Even the dull and stupid persons in the world won't go to these deadly battles leaving asceticism and samadhi, leading to the purification of all desires.
15. I have heard that Yayāti, the Lord of the earth was dropped from Heaven to this world, owing to his Ahaṁkāra, though he was a virtuous king devoted to charities and sacrifices.
16-17. No sooner Yayāti, said the king did Aśva-medhā sacrifice, etc., with Ahaṁkāra, egoism, he was dropped by Indra with thunderbolt in his hands. So one can see that, without Ahaṁkāra no fight can occur.
The ascetics had no bodily strength; therefore if they had to fight, it is through the waste of their Tapasyā that they could do so.
18. Vyāsa said:
O king! The all-knowing sages that have realised the truth or Dharma declare the threefold Ahaṁkāra arising out the Sāttvic, Rājasic and Tāmasic qualities respectively to be the causes of this world.
19. How, then, can these two Munis being embodied forego their Ahaṁkāras? Without any cause, no actions follow; this is quite certain.
20. Tapas, charities, sacrifices all originate from the Sāttvic qualities. And quarrels arise from the Rājasic or Tāmasic qualities.
21. All arise from Ahaṁkāra, whether good or bad; this is quite certain.
22. There is no other thing that enchains a soul than this Ahaṁkāra. It is out of Ahaṁkāra that this Universe is created: how can it be then free from it?
23. O King! Brahmā, Viṣṇu, Maheśa, even these are with Ahaṁkāras. Then how can you expect other ordinary Munis to be free from it?
24. Encased with Ahaṁkāra, this Universe is rolling. Births and death occur respectively through this Karma.
25. O Lord of the earth. The Devas, birds and men are revolving in this world like the wheel of a chariot.
26. In this wide world who can count how many Avatāras Viṣṇu had to take in all sorts of wombs, good or low.
27. Ordained by the Lord of the Universe, Nārāyaṇa Himself had to take the Lish, Tortoise, Boar, Man Lion and the Dwarf incarnations.
28. Vasudeva Janārdana the Lord, had to undertake countless Avatāras births in this world.
29. In the Vaivasvata Manvantara, the Avatāras of Bhagavān Hari are being mentioned to you. Hear!
30. The all-pervading Lord of the world, the God of the Gods, had to take several incarnations in this world, owing to the curses inflicted by Bhrigu.
31. The king said:
There has now again arisen another fresh doubt, why was Viṣṇu cursed by Bhrigu Muni?
32. O Muni! What injury did Hari commit to that Muni, and whereof the Muni Bhrigu cursed him.
33-34. Vyāsa said:
Hear, O king! The cause of the curse; I will narrate to you. In days of yore, the king Hiraṇya Kaśipu, the son of Kaśyapa often quarrelled with the Devas; owing to this incessant warfare, the whole universe was much alarmed and perplexed.
35. And when Hiraṇya Kaśipu was slain by the Man-Lion incarnation, Prahlāda, the tormentor of the foes, continued his enmity towards the Devas and began to annoy them.
36. Thus one hundred years dreadful battle occurred between the Devas and Prahlāda, to the astonishment of all.
37-38. O king! The Devas fought very hard and were victorious. Prahlāda was defeated and was sorely grieved. Hearing that the Eternal Religion is the best, he handed his kingdom over to his son Bali and went to the Gandhamādan hill to practise tapasyā.
39-40. The prosperous Bali, too, on gaining his kingdom, began to quarrel with the Devas and the war thus went on. Ultimately the powerful Indra and the Devas defeated the Asuras.
41-42. O king! Indra, of unequalled prowess, with the aid of Viṣṇu, deprived the Daityas of their kingdom. The defeated Daityas took refuge of their family spiritual guide Śukrāchārya and addressed him thus:
O Brāhmaṇa! You are endowed with your fiery strength of Tapasyā and you are now powerful; why are you not lending your helping hands to your Daitya followers. O foremost of the councillors. If you do not help us and save us, we will not be able to stay in this earth and will soon have to go down to Pātāla.
43-44. Vyāsa said:
Thus addressed by the Daityas, the very kind hearted Śukrāchārya said:
O Daityas! Do not be afraid; I will protect you by my fire of strength and vigour; and help you with sound counsels and medicines. Be brave and energetic and cast aside your mental agony and sorrow.
45-47. Vyāsa said:
O king! The Daityas became fearless under the patronage of Śukrāchārya. The Devas had their spies and knew all about these.
They held councils with Indra and settled that before the Daityas had time to dislodge us from our Heaven with the mantra of Śukrāchārya, we will speedily go and attack them.
Thus attacked all on a sudden, they will all be slain by us and we will drive them down to the Pātāla.
48. Thus forming their resolves, with fully equipped arms and weapons, they went out of rage to fight with the Daityas and ordered by Indra and aided by Viṣṇu, they began to kill the Demons.
49. When the Devas were thus slaying the Demons, they got very much terrified and exclaimed:
“O Lord! Protect us! Protect us!” and took the refuge of Śukra.
50. Śukrāchārya, seeing the Daityas very much perplexed and distracted, at once cried aloud out of the influence of his Mantra:
“No fear, no fear,”
Then the Devas on seeing Śukrāchārya left the Daityas and fled away to their own places.
Here ends the Tenth Chapter of the Fourth Book of the Mahā Purāṇam, Śrīmad Devī Bhāgavatam, of 18,000 verses by Mahāṛṣi Veda Vyāsa on the curse on Viṣṇu by Bhrigu.