Śrīmad Devi Bhāgavatam | Book 4 Chapter 13



Chapter XIII

On cheating the Daityas

1. The king said: -

What did the intelligent Brihaspati do after he had assumed falsely the appearance of Śukrāchārya, and lived there as the spiritual guide of the Demons.

2. O Muni! Brihaspati is the Guru of the Devas; he also devotes his time in studying the Vedas; and is the ocean of all knowledge; he is the son of the Mahāṛṣi Angira and he is himself a Muni. Endorsed with all these good qualifications, how could he deceive the Demons.

3-4. In all the religious Śāstras, Truth is declared to be the essence of Dharma; and the Supreme Self is attained through Truth, so the wise sages say. How can we expect an ordinary householder to be true when such a man as Brihaspati takes recourse to falsehood with the Demons.

5. If one acquires, as one’s wealth, the whole Universe, still one does not require anything more than what is required in feeding one’s belly; how is it that Brihaspati could speak falsehood merely for the sake of his belly?

6. O Muni! The words sung by the ancient virtuous and respectable sages were true and had their corresponding objects denoted by those words; now they employed the term Śiṣṭa –

meaning that there were virtuous, respectable persons as denoted by them.

When Brihaspati can even commit such condemnable deceitful acts and speak falsehood, we can expect no virtuous respectable persons in the world. Where then do you find the Śiṣṭa persons, denoted by the word Śiṣṭa, sung by the ancient sages?

The word Śiṣṭa is now meaningless!

7. The Devas are sprung from the Sāttvic qualities, men from Rājasic qualities and birds, etc. from the Tāmasic qualities.

8. When the Guru of the Immortals, the incarnate of Sāttvic qualities, can become a liar, how can one expect those who are Rājasic or Tāmasic to follow rigorously the truth?

9. Oh! This Trilokī is all pierced with falsehood! Where is the Religion! And what will be the ultimate goal of all these creatures!

10. When Bhagavān Hari, Brahmā, Indra and the best of the Devas when all can betake to pretext, fraud and trickery and show cleverness in them; what to speak of men!

11-12. O Giver of honour! When all the Devas, Vaṣiṣṭha, Vāmadēva, Viśvāmitra, Brihaspati and other ascetic Munis get themselves overpowered by lust and anger, when their intelligence gets destroyed by covetousness and avarice, when they are addicted to vices and are expert in fraud, pre-text and trickery, then what fate, alas! Can you expect of Dharma and what help is there of any religious persons!

13. Alas! Indra, Agni, Moon, and Brahmā when these get overpowered by the strong influence of lust, are in illicit love with other’s wives, where is the goodness and virtuous behaviour in this Trilokī?

14. O Sinless One! To whom, then, can we look upon as our spiritual guide and our advice and law givers when all the Devas and Munis are corrupt with avarice?

15. Vyāsa said:

O king! Be he Indra, Brihaspati, Brahmā, Viṣṇu or Maheśa, whoever is embodied or will put on bodies, he will have to be in touch with the previously mentioned Ahaṁkāra, and covetousness and other vices due to name and form.

16. O king! Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Maheśa are all attached to sensual objects; and what improper and sinful actions there can be that cannot be committed by persons devoted to sensual objects!

17. It is through cleverness and fraud that any one devoted to sensual objects can easily make oneself as cleverly free from Māyā; but when difficulty comes, then his trickery gets discovered and the respective qualities hidden in him are brought to bear their respective results. Know, then, the three qualities to be conjointly the cause of all these actions; as without any cause, no action gets visible.

18. These discrepancies in the case of Brahmā and others are caused by the three qualities; their bodies are all created from Pradhāna Mahat and the other 25 Tattvas (essences).

19-20. O king! Brahmā and others are subject to death; then how can you doubt on other things? In advising others, everybody gives, as it were, good and virtuous advices; but the burden falls upon their own heads; they fall off from their advices and act according to their hidden natures; then they yield to lust, anger, envy, egoism and fascination.

21. No one who is embodied can get rid of passions, born of the 3 qualities. O king! Thus the Trilokī goes, is the saying of the Mahāṛṣis.

22-29. This Trilokī, auspicious, inauspicious, mixed, never gets any serious change; its nature remains always uniform.

See Bhagavān Viṣṇu sometimes practises severe asceticism; Indra, the lord of the Devas sometimes follows the practices of religious sacrifices.

Again you find Viṣṇu Bhagavān, full of youth, fond of the Leelā, enjoying the company of Rāma in Vaikuṇṭha; sometimes He is the ocean of mercy, is fighting dreadful battles with the Demons and being severely afflicted with their clusters of arrows; sometimes he gains victories, sometimes he gets defeat through the irony of Fate; thus he gets undoubtedly pleasures and pains.

O king! Sometime Nārāyaṇa draws all the worlds into his belly and takes his yogic sleep on the thousand headed serpent Śeṣa and again he gets himself awakened by Prakriti.

O king! Brahmā, Viṣṇu, Maheśa, Indra, the Devas, and Munis all of them, live up to the limit of their ordained time and when the time of Pralaya, the Universal dissolution, ends, this whole Universe, moving and non-moving, again comes into existence as before; there is no doubt in this. O king, at the expiry of the ordained time, Brahmā and all others will die, no doubt.

30-31. Again, in due course, Brahmā, Viṣṇu, and Maheśa and the other Devas come out and assume bodies and get all the passions, lust, etc., as ordained. O King! You need not be astonished; this Trilokī always goes on accompanied by lust, anger, etc.

32-34. Persons free from lust, anger and other passions are very rare in this world. He who is afraid of this world does not marry, and thus being free from the attachments to any worldly object, becomes free and roams fearless.

The Moon stole away the wife of Brihaspati, and Brihaspati himself stole away the wife of his younger brother.

Thus in this wheel of Samsāra, all the creatures are ever passionate with attachment, avarice, etc.

35. The householder can never expect to obtain freedom. Therefore those who want to be free, should carefully relinquish the idea of the stability of the world and worship the Eternal Mother Full and Sat, Chit and Ānanda.

36. This world, moving and unmoving, O Maheśānī, rolls in madness, overpowered by Her Māyā.

37. Intelligent persons worshipping Her, trample down the three qualities and become free. O king! No other Path exists for Freedom.

38-39. Until one gets the Grace from the Maheśānī, one never gets happiness. True mercy is not found anywhere else but from Her. Then one should worship the All merciful, being of pure heart. For Her worship leads to freedom, even in this body- hood.

40. He who getting a human frame fails to worship Maheśānī, gets down from the highest rung of the ladder. This is my opinion.

41-42. This Universe, composed of the three qualities, is encompassed with Ahaṁkāra and fastened to untruth; therefore freedom can never be expected without the worship of That Potent Goddess, O Muni!

O king! Renounce every worldly object and serve the Goddess Bhuvaneśvarī; this is the highest duty of all.

43. The king said:

What did, then, the Devaguru do in the disguise of Śukrāchārya? And when did the real Śukrāchārya come there? O respected Muni! Speak on these points.

44. Vyāsa said:

Please hear what the disguised Brihaspati in the shape of Śukrāchārya did afterwards.

45. The demons were made to understand clearly by Brihaspati; and then they took him for Śukrāchārya and placed implicit faith on him and began to think of him and him alone.

46. The Daityas, enchanted and deceived by the magic of Brihaspati, took now his refuge for acquiring the knowledge from him, since they mistook him for Śukrāchārya. Who is there that is not enchanted by the idea of gaining something?

47. On the other hand, when the term of ten years was over, Śukrāchārya, the real Guru of the Daityas, ceased enjoying Jayantī and began to remember his disciples, the Daityas.

48. He now began to think that:

“My disciples, the Daityas, are expecting every instant my return; and I would now go and see them, bewildered with fear.

49-51. They are my devotees and I ought to do such that they might not be afraid of the Devas.”

And then he exclaimed to Jayantī:

“O beautiful one! Let my sons take the shelter of the Gods; your term of ten years is today over; I now go therefore, to see my disciples; soon I will again come to you.”

52. “Be it so”,

replied Jayantī, the best of those who know religion,

“you can go where you like; I am not to destroy your Dharma.”

53-54. Hearing these words, Śukrāchārya went hurriedly to the Demons and saw the Devaguru Brihaspati sitting before them in the guise of Śukrāchārya.

He was explaining to them the Jain doctrines, compiled by himself and finding fault with the act of envy, taking revenge and killing and cursing the sacrifices, etc.

55. He was telling them:

“O Enemies of Gods! Truly, I am telling you words that will, no doubt, prove good to you. Non-killing is the highest virtue; even the enemies ought never to be killed.

56. It is the Brāhmaṇas, addicted to enjoyments and pleasures of the senses, who want to satisfy their tastes and pleasures that are found in the Veda’s injunctions to kill animals; but there is no virtue higher than non-killing animals.”

57-58. O king! Śukrāchārya was perfectly astonished to hear Brihaspati, the Guru of the Devas, speaking against the Vedas and began to think that Brihaspati is certainly my enemy. My disciples have been duped by this cheat; there is no doubt in this.

59. Fie to Avarice! It is the seed of sin; very strong and the veritable gate to hell; Brihaspati, even, the Guru of the Devas, is speaking lies, bound under the influence of this heinous avarice!

6O. Oh! What wonder is this that the Guru of the Devas, who is the promulgator of all the religious Śāstras and whose word is accepted as the final decision, is now expounding the doctrines of atheists.

61. When Brihaspati can become the expounder of atheistic doctrines, impelled by covetousness what to speak of those whose minds are not pure and whose intelligence is not sharp?

62. This Deva Guru, though a Brahmin, is acting today like a rogue, wanting to take away all and is deceiving my disciples the Daityas, who have been confounded by his magic.

Here ends the Thirteenth Chapter in the Fourth Book of Śrīmad Devī Bhāgavatam, the Mahāpurāṇam of 18,000 verses on cheating the Daityas by Mahāṛṣi Veda Vyāsa.