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Seventh Skanda

Chapter 8: Lord Nrisimhadeva Slays the King of the Demons

(1) Nârada Muni said [to Yudhishthhira]: ‘Having heard his explanations accepted thereupon all the attending daitya sons his words because of their profundity and rejected they what their teachers taught them. (2) When the two sons of the guru [S’ukrâcârya’s sons Shanda and Amarka] realized how the intelligence was fixed on the one subject matter, contacted they in fear the king to submit to him what was going on. (3-4) All over his body trembling of anger and with a mind determined to kill his son he rebuked Prahlâda, who shouldn’t really be blamed, thereto with the harshest words staring at him in fury about his offenses. He so very mild and of restraint had folded his hands with him before him who was hissing like a vicious snake trampled by foot.

(5) Hiranyakas’ipu said: ‘O you impudence, utter stupidity, you intriguer of the family, you outcast, you obstinate one wide of my rule, today I’ll take you to Yamarâja’s. (6) When I am angry do all in the three worlds and their leaders tremble of me; by what power do you so fearlessly overstep my rule, you idiot?’ [compare B.G. 9: 31].

(7) Prahlâda said: ‘He indeed, the Strength of the Strong is not just mine or yours, o King; He is also the exalted of all others subordinate who move or do not move around, and who He, beginning with Lord Brahmâ, has brought under His control. (8) He the controller, the time-factor, is the unique Lord who is the one strength of mind and life, the steady of one’s physical power and senses; He, the Real of the self, is by all His potencies indeed the Supreme One Master of the natural modes who creates, maintains and winds up again the entire universe. (9) Just give up the asura ways. You, of yourself, be equalminded, on the path of error there is no other enemy but the mind that ran out of control, a problem for which the unlimited Lord is the best remedy. (10) Formerly there were plunderers who not in control with the six enemies [the mind and the five senses] stole away everything. They considered themselves as people who had conquered the ten directions, but where are those enemies created from one’s own illusion with the saint who is equipoised towards all embodied beings?’

(11) S’rî Hiranyakas’ipu said: ‘Apparently do you, boasting so limitless, want to die; clearly do the words of people who are about to die become nonsensical, you stupid rascal. (12) O unfortunate one, the one you describe besides me as the controller of the universe, where is He to be found? If He is omnipresent, then why don’t I see Him in this pillar before me? [see also B.G. 7: 25] (13) Let Him, that Lord you desired as your protector, now protect you as I am going to sever the head from the body of someone like you, speaking such nonsense.’

(14) Thus with a stream of abuses enraged chastising his son, that great devotee, struck Hiranyakas’ipu, rising from his throne and taking up his sword, with his hard fist a column. (15) At that very time could from within the column a most fearful sound be heard as if the covering of the universe cracked open. That sound, reaching as far as the place where the godly of Lord Brahmâ resided, my dearest, made them believe that the destruction of their abodes was at hand. (16) He who in his display of power wanted to kill his son, hearing the tumultuous sound one had never heard before, stood with the assembly present amazed about the fact that one couldn’t determine its origin, and thus were all the ones in power seized by fear. (17) To prove the words true spoken in defense of His omnipresence of pervading each and every thing, could of Him a most wonderful form be seen taking shape in a pillar in the middle of the assembly hall; it was not an animal nor a man. (18) The king, studying it from all sides, saw how a living being emerged from the middle of the pillar, and not being able to ascertain whether it was an animal or a human being said he in wonder: ‘What is this form of half a man and half the king of the animals?’

(19-22) As he was contemplating the miracle that took place in front of him, appeared the extraordinary, most frightening form of Nrisimhadev. He had flashing eyes like molten gold and deadly teeth to a face extending in manes. He waved His tongue like a sword sharp as a razor, looking with a dreadful frown. His ears stood straight up and His wide open mouth and nostrils most amazingly gaping like a mountain cave, covered the sky. His body was short and fat with a broad neck and chest over a small waist. Like the rays of the moon was His body covered with whitish hairs and hundreds of arms stretched in all directions with hard to challenge fatal nails for weapons in combination with all His personal weapons. Faced with that excellence fled the Daityas and Dânavas away. (23) ‘I guess this is what the Lord so full of mystical potency is trying in order to get me killed, but what’s the use?’ so Hiranyakas’ipu murmured to himself, and taking up his weapon threw the Daitya himself like an elephant forward attacking the loudly roaring Lord Nrisimha. (24) As invisible as an insect fallen into a fire, disappeared he, the Asura, in the effulgence of Nrisimha; a thing which at the time was not so astonishing at all considering the fact that He from within the effulgence of His own goodness formerly had swallowed all the darkness of creation. (25) Thereafter attacking struck the greatest of the demons in fury Lord Nrisimhadev with his club, showing his prowess in moving Him with great force by that club, but the Lord who also had a club, seized him just like the son of Târkshya [Garuda] would capture a great snake. (26) When the Asura slipped from His hands while He was playing with him the way Garuda plays with a snake, thought the godly and the rulers of heaven whose places he had taken, from behind the clouds that to be a bad turn of events, o son of Bharata. (27) Thinking that because of letting him go He was frightened by his display of manliness, attacked the greatest of the demons, after a pause in the battle taking up his sword and shield, with great force Nrisimhadeva again. (28) With him moving fast as a hawk, with his moonspotted shield and sword maneuvering up and down not to offer any opportunity, made the Lord a very shrill, loud sound of laughter that was so frightening that he, with his eyes closed, was captured by the Greatest of all Speed. (29) In protest with his limbs wrestling to get away placed the Lord him, whose skin couldn’t even be cut by Indra’s thunderbolt, like a snake or mouse over the edge of His thigh and pierced He him with His nails as easy as Garuda does seizing a viper. (30) He with His most fearful eyes full of anger, was difficult to behold. With His mouth wide open licking the edges with His tongue and with His manes and face smeared red with traces of blood, wore He the intestines like a garland around His neck as if He was a lion that just has killed an elephant. (31) The heart was by Him with His pointed nails ripped out completely and thrown aside, and the thousands of followers who with their weapons raised attended to their leader He all killed with His nails and the other weapons in His countless hands. (32) Shaking His manes He scattered the clouds and with His glaring glance He outshone the luminaries; the waters and oceans struck by His breathing swirled in perturbation and frightened of His roar cried the elephants that guarded the quarters. (33) With Him tossing His hair slipped the celestial chariots crowding in the sky from their place, the earth shook under the heavy weight of His feet, His intolerable force moved the mountains and hills and His effulgence outshone everything else in the ten directions of the sky.

(34) Thereafter had He, in the assembly hall seated on the highest seat of man with a most fearsome, terrible countenance, no one to challenge Him nor anyone to worship Him. (35) But upon hearing how he, the Daitya that was the headache of the three worlds, in the battle had been killed by the Lord, were there exclamations of joy, blossoming faces and showered the wives of the demigods incessantly a rain of flowers. (36) At that time was there an overcast formed by all the celestial chariots of the demigods desirous to attend and were drums and kettle drums sounded and sang and danced the greatest singers and angels of heaven. (37-39) There assembled all the godly, Brahmâ, Indra and S’iva, the sages, the ancestors, the perfected, the scientific experts, and the great serpent[ ego]s; the founding fathers came, the leaders of mankind, the residents of heaven and the best of the angels just as did the venerable ones, the keepers of the wealth and the monkey-like, o my best. So came also the goblins [the comedians, the bards], the ones of superpower and they who were Vishnu’s personal associates like Sunanda and Kumuda. With their hands folded before their heads to offer worship they each approached Him who had appeared as half a man, half a lion and now sat there on the throne displaying His effulgence.

(40) Brahmâ said: ‘I bow down before You, o Inscrutable, Unlimited One; with all Your might and prowess and the pure of Your actions are You of the Universe the creation, maintenance and destruction who by the modes playfully performs without ever changing Yourself. ‘

(41) Lord S’iva said: ‘The end of the yuga is the right time for You to kill in anger this insignificant demon; just protect his son, this bhakta of surrender next to You, o caretaker of the devotees.’

(42) S’rî Indra said: ‘Our share of the sacrifices is recovered by Your Lordship protecting us, o Supreme One; we have no words to describe how afflicted by the Daitya our lotus-like hearts were that really are Your residence. Alas o Lord, how insignificant is our world in the grip of Time, but for the sake of the devoted in Your service to find liberation from their bondage have You brought light. What else, o Nrisimhadeva, would, in considering the visible world indeed as not so important, to them be of use?’

(43) The honorable saints said: ‘You are the example of instruction for our austerity. By the power of Your self is this world, o Original Personality of Godhead, created, maintained and merged again. That all was stolen by that unwise one but is now, o Shelter of the Needy, by the protection of Your embodiment brought back to us with Your blessing.’

(44) The honorable ancestors said: ‘The demon who by force enjoyed our sacrifices of s’râddha that were offered by our sons and grandsons, he who even at the holy bathing places drank our offerings of sesame water, from piercing the intestines of his belly with the nails of Your hand have these offerings reached their final destination; unto Him our obeisances who maintains the universal principles of religion and who appeared as a man-lion.’

(45) The ones of perfection said: ‘The person most uncivilized and dishonest who took away the purpose of our perfection in yoga and who by the power of his mysticism and penance was so proud of his wealth, has been torn apart by Your nails; unto Him, unto You, we bow down o Nrisimha.’

(46) The scientific experts said: ‘Our formulas, that each by different ways of concentration are attained, were blocked by this fool puffed up about his strength and capacity; He who in battle killed him like he was an animal, unto Him who appeared as Nrisimha, we yield for sure ever obliged.’

(47) The snakepeople said: ‘That greatest sinner that took our jewels and wives away; by piercing his chest are You to all our women the Source of all Pleasure; may there be our proof of respect for You.’

(48) The honorable founding fathers said: ‘We, the inspirers of humanity are the order-carriers of Your Lordship who contrary to the codes of morality and class were disrespected, o Lord, by this son of Diti; with You having killed this rascal o master, please tell us, Your eternal servants, what we can do for You.’

(49) The leaders of mankind said: ‘We, the creators of the generations originate from You o Supreme Controller, and not from him; the living beings indeed that we put on this world were by him denied a life and of him, who now lays slain, have You split open his chest for the wellbeing of the world by means of the incarnation of the form of Your goodness.’

(50) The musicians of heaven said: ‘We o Lord are Your dancers and singers, Your performers, who were brought under the control of the valor and force of his influence. He, this one, has been reduced to this condition by You; whoever could, in the face of Your goodness, be such an upstart?’

(51) The venerable ones said: ‘O Lord, Your lotus feet are the only shelter for liberation, we duly seek shelter there because this Asura, this stake in the heart of all honest people, has been finished by You.’

(52) The keepers of the wealth said: ‘We, the foremost among Your servants will here and now try to please You with our services; by the son of Diti we were forced to carry his palanquin but he caused the poverty of each and everyone; thus we acknowledge You because You are the one that has put him to death, o twenty-fifth principle [that is the time, see 3.26: 10-15].’

(53) The monkey-like said: ‘We are but insignificant Kimpurushas Your Lordship, however, this monster of sin has been slain by You after he had been condemned by the seekers, o Supreme Personality, our Controller.’ [see also: B.G. 4: 7-8]

(54) The kings bards said: ‘In great gatherings and arenas of sacrifice in purity singing the glory of Your reputation we achieved the greatest position of respect; that crooked character that put us under his control was to our great fortune killed by You, o Supreme Lord, like he was a disease.’

(55) The ones of superpower said: ‘O Controller, we the Kinnaras are Your faithful servants; by that son of Diti we had to perform without remuneration, but by You o Lord was he being so sinful destroyed, o Nrisimha, o Master, please be with us for the sake of our happiness and welfare.’

(56) The associates of Lord Vishnu said: ‘Today have You been seen in a wondrous human-like form. For us You are the lasting shelter and good fortune of all worlds and this state-manager of Yours, o Controller, has, being cursed by the learned [see 7.1: 36], because of that been killed; we understand that to be Your special grace.’