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Along with his (Vasudeva) eighteen wives, headed by Devaki, sat before the priests to be purified by the abhiseka ceremony. While the ceremony was observed strictly according to the principles of the scriptures, he resembled the moon encircled by stars

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Expressions researched:
"along with his eighteen wives, headed by Devakī, sat before the priests to be purified by the abhiṣeka ceremony. While the ceremony was being observed strictly according to the principles of the scriptures, Vasudeva resembled the moon encircled by stars"

Other Books by Srila Prabhupada

Krsna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead

Vasudeva anointed his eyes with black cosmetic, smeared butter over his body and then, along with his eighteen wives, headed by Devakī, sat before the priests to be purified by the abhiṣeka ceremony. While the ceremony was being observed strictly according to the principles of the scriptures, Vasudeva resembled the moon encircled by stars. Because he was being initiated for the sacrifice, he was dressed in a deerskin, but all his wives were dressed with very nice saris, bangles, necklaces, ankle bells, earrings and many other ornaments. Vasudeva looked very beautiful surrounded by his wives, exactly like the King of heaven when he performs such sacrifices.

The only process to counteract all sorts of material desires is to engage oneself in the devotional service of Lord Viṣṇu. In this way a self-controlled person, even while remaining in householder life, should give up the three kinds of material desires, namely the desire for the acquisition of material opulences, for the enjoyment of wife and children, and for elevation to higher planets. Eventually he should give up householder life and accept the renounced order, engaging himself completely in the devotional service of the Lord. Everyone, even if born in a higher status as a brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya or vaiśya, is certainly indebted to the demigods, to the sages, to the forefathers and to other living entities, and in order to liquidate all these debts, one has to perform sacrifices, study the Vedic literature and generate children in religious householder life. If somehow one accepts the renounced order of life without liquidating these debts, he certainly falls down from his position. Today you have already liquidated your debts to your forefathers and the sages. Now, by performing sacrifices, you can free yourself from indebtedness to the demigods and thus take complete shelter of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. My dear Vasudeva, certainly you have already performed many pious activities in your previous lives. Otherwise, how could you be the father of Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma, the Supreme Personality of Godhead?”

Saintly Vasudeva, after hearing all the sages, offered his respectful obeisances unto their lotus feet. In this way he pleased the sages, and then he requested them to perform the yajñas. When the sages were selected as priests of the sacrifices, they in turn induced Vasudeva to collect the required paraphernalia for executing the yajñas in that place of pilgrimage. When Vasudeva was thus persuaded to start to perform the yajñas, all the members of the Yadu dynasty took their baths, dressed themselves very nicely, decorated themselves beautifully and garlanded themselves with lotus flowers. Vasudeva’s wives, dressed with nice garments and ornaments and golden necklaces, approached the arena of sacrifice carrying in their hands the required articles to offer in the sacrifice.

When everything was complete, there was heard the vibration of mṛdaṅgas, conchshells, kettledrums and other musical instruments. Professional dancers, both male and female, began to dance. The sūtas and māgadhas, who were professional singers, began to offer prayers by singing. And the Gandharvas and their wives, whose voices were very sweet, began to sing many auspicious songs. Vasudeva anointed his eyes with black cosmetic, smeared butter over his body and then, along with his eighteen wives, headed by Devakī, sat before the priests to be purified by the abhiṣeka ceremony. While the ceremony was being observed strictly according to the principles of the scriptures, Vasudeva resembled the moon encircled by stars. Because he was being initiated for the sacrifice, he was dressed in a deerskin, but all his wives were dressed with very nice saris, bangles, necklaces, ankle bells, earrings and many other ornaments. Vasudeva looked very beautiful surrounded by his wives, exactly like the King of heaven when he performs such sacrifices.

At that time, when Lord Kṛṣṇa and Lord Balarāma, along with Their wives, children and relatives, sat down in that great sacrificial arena, it appeared that the Supreme Personality of Godhead was present along with all the living entities and multienergies that are part of Him. We have heard from the śāstras that Lord Kṛṣṇa has multienergies and parts and parcels, but now, in that sacrificial arena, all could actually experience how the Supreme Personality of Godhead eternally exists with His different energies. At that time, Lord Kṛṣṇa appeared as Lord Nārāyaṇa, and Lord Balarāma appeared as Saṅkarṣaṇa, the reservoir of all living entities.

Vasudeva satisfied Lord Viṣṇu by performing different kinds of sacrifices, such as Jyotiṣṭoma and Darśa-pūrṇamāsa. Some of these yajñas are called prākṛta, and some of them are known as saurya-satra or vaikṛta. Thereafter, the other sacrifices, known as agnihotra, were also performed, and the prescribed articles were offered in the proper way. Thus Lord Viṣṇu was pleased. The ultimate purpose of offering oblations in sacrifice is to please Lord Viṣṇu. But in this Age of Kali it is very difficult to collect the different articles required for offering sacrifices. People have neither the means to collect the required paraphernalia nor the necessary knowledge or tendency to offer such sacrifices. Therefore, in this Age of Kali, when people are mostly unfortunate, full of anxieties and disturbed by various kinds of calamities, the only sacrifice recommended is the performance of saṅkīrtana-yajña. Worshiping Lord Caitanya by the saṅkīrtana-yajña is the only recommended process in this age.

After the performance of the different sacrifices, Vasudeva offered ample riches, clothing, ornaments, cows, land and maidservants to the priests. Thereafter, all the wives of Vasudeva took their avabhṛtha baths and performed the part of the sacrificial duties known as patnī-saṁyāja. After finishing the offering with all the required paraphernalia, they all took their baths together in the lakes constructed by Paraśurāma, which are known as the Rāma-hrada. After Vasudeva and his wives took their baths, all the garments and ornaments they had worn were distributed to the subordinate persons engaged in singing, dancing and similar activities. We may note that the performance of sacrifice necessitates the profuse distribution of riches. Charity is offered to the priests and the brāhmaṇas in the beginning, and used garments and ornaments are offered in charity to the subordinate assistants after the performance of the sacrifice.