Hiraṇyakaśipu conquered everyone in the ten directions and the three worlds and brought all living entities, both demigods and asuras, under his control. Becoming the master of all places, including the residence of Indra, whom he had driven out, he began enjoying life in great luxury and thus became mad. All the demigods but Lord Viṣṇu, Lord Brahmā and Lord Śiva came under his control and began serving him, but despite all his material power he was dissatisfied because he was always puffed up, proud of transgressing the Vedic regulations.
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Siva (SB cantos 7 - 9)
SB Canto 7
Blaspheming the Supreme Lord or His devotee is not at all good for the conditioned soul, but Kṛṣṇa, being very kind, punishes the conditioned soul in one life for such sinful activities and then takes him back home, back to Godhead. The vivid example for this is Vṛtrāsura, who was formerly Citraketu Mahārāja, a great devotee. Because he derided Lord Śiva, the foremost of all devotees, he had to accept the body of a demon called Vṛtra, but then he was taken back to Godhead. Thus when Kṛṣṇa punishes a demon or conditioned soul, He stops that soul's habit of blaspheming Him, and when the soul becomes completely pure, the Lord takes him back to Godhead.
Hiraṇyakaśipu wanted to receive a benediction from Lord Brahmā so that in the future he would be able to conquer Lord Brahmā's abode. Similarly, another demon received a benediction from Lord Śiva but later wanted to kill Lord Śiva through that same benediction. Thus self-interested persons, by demoniac austerity, want to kill even their benedictors, whereas the Vaiṣṇava wants to remain an ever-existing servant of the Lord and never to occupy the post of the Lord.
Rākṣasas and demons worship various demigods, such as Lord Brahmā and Lord Śiva, just to take the post of these demigods. This we have already explained in previous verses.
There are three original deities—Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Maheśvara. Hiraṇyakaśipu knew that Brahmā would not kill him, but he also wanted not to be killed by Lord Viṣṇu or Lord Śiva. Consequently, he prayed for such a benediction. Thus Hiraṇyakaśipu thought himself securely protected from any kind of death caused by any living entity within this universe.
Hiraṇyakaśipu was so powerful in the heavenly planets that all the demigods except Lord Brahmā, Lord Śiva and Lord Viṣṇu were forced to engage in his service.
Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī has compared Hiraṇyakaśipu to Mahārāja Vena, who was also atheistic and scornful of the ritualistic ceremonies mentioned in the Vedas. Yet Mahārāja Vena was afraid of some of the great sages such as Bhṛgu, whereas Hiraṇyakaśipu ruled in such a way that everyone feared him but Lord Viṣṇu, Lord Brahmā and Lord Śiva. Hiraṇyakaśipu was so alert against being burnt to ashes by the anger of great sages like Bhṛgu that by dint of austerity he surpassed their power and placed even them under his subordination.
O my dear King, Hiraṇyakaśipu was always drunk on strong-smelling wines and liquors, and therefore his coppery eyes were always rolling. Nonetheless, because he had powerfully executed great austerities in mystic yoga, although he was abominable, all but the three principal demigods—Lord Brahmā, Lord Śiva and Lord Viṣṇu—personally worshiped him to please him by bringing him various presentations with their own hands.
Hiraṇyakaśipu was so powerful that everyone but the three principal demigods—namely Lord Brahmā, Lord Śiva and Lord Viṣṇu—engaged in his service. Madhvācārya says, ādityā vasavo rudrās tri-vidhā hi surā yataḥ. There are three kinds of demigods—the Ādityas, the Vasus and the Rudras—beneath whom are the other demigods, like the Maruts and Sādhyas (marutaś caiva viśve ca sādhyāś caiva ca tad-gatāḥ). Therefore all the demigods are called tri-piṣṭapa, and the same word tri applies to Lord Brahmā, Lord Śiva and Lord Viṣṇu.
One should therefore be very careful not to commit offenses at the lotus feet of the Lord's holy name. The offenses are described as follows: (a) to blaspheme a devotee, especially a devotee engaged in broadcasting the glories of the holy name, (b) to consider the name of Lord Śiva or any other demigod to be equally as powerful as the holy name of the Supreme Personality of Godhead (no one is equal to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, nor is anyone superior to Him), (c) to disobey the instructions of the spiritual master, (d) to blaspheme the Vedic literatures and literatures compiled in pursuance of the Vedic literatures, (e) to comment that the glories of the holy name of the Lord are exaggerated, (f) to interpret the holy name in a deviant way, (g) to commit sinful activities on the strength of chanting the holy name, (h) to compare the chanting of the holy name to pious activities, (i) to instruct the glories of the holy name to a person who has no understanding of the chanting of the holy name, (j) not to awaken in transcendental attachment for the chanting of the holy name, even after hearing all these scriptural injunctions.
In the book Nāma-kaumudī it is recommended that if one is an offender at the lotus feet of a Vaiṣṇava, he should submit to that Vaiṣṇava and be excused; similarly, if one is an offender in chanting the holy name, he should submit to the holy name and thus be freed from his offenses. In this connection there is the following statement, spoken by Dakṣa to Lord Śiva: "I did not know the glories of your personality, and therefore I committed an offense at your lotus feet in the open assembly. You are so kind, however, that you did not accept my offense. Instead, when I was falling down because of accusing you, you saved me by your merciful glance. You are most great. Kindly excuse me and be satisfied with your own exalted qualities."
One must follow in the footsteps of such great personalities as Lord Brahmā, Nārada, Lord Śiva, Kapila, Manu, the Kumāras, Prahlāda Mahārāja, Bhīṣma, Janaka, Bali Mahārāja, Śukadeva Gosvāmī and Yamarāja.
Unless one is extremely expert, he cannot understand the expert management of the supreme expert. One can understand, however, if one is fortunate enough to meet a bona fide spiritual master coming in the disciplic succession from Lord Brahmā, Lord Śiva, Mother Lakṣmī or the Kumāras. These four sampradāyas, or disciplic successions of knowledge and transcendence, are called the Brahma-sampradāya, Rudra-sampradāya, Śrī-sampradāya, and Kumāra-sampradāya.
My dear King Yudhiṣṭhira, the demigods then approached the Lord. They were headed by Lord Brahmā, King Indra and Lord Śiva and included great saintly persons and the residents of Pitṛloka, Siddhaloka, Vidyādhara-loka and the planet of the snakes. The Manus approached, and so did the chiefs of various other planets. The angelic dancers approached, as did the Gandharvas, the Cāraṇas, the Yakṣas, the inhabitants of Kinnaraloka, the Vetālas, the inhabitants of Kimpuruṣa-loka, and the personal servants of Viṣṇu like Sunanda and Kumuda. All of them came near the Lord, who glowed with intense light. They individually offered their obeisances and prayers, their hands folded at their heads.
Lord Śiva said: The end of the millennium is the time for Your anger. Now that this insignificant demon Hiraṇyakaśipu has been killed, O my Lord, who are naturally affectionate to Your devotee, kindly protect his son Prahlāda Mahārāja, who is standing nearby as Your fully surrendered devotee.
During the period of annihilation, at the end of each millennium, the Lord becomes angry, and the part of anger is played by Lord Śiva, who is therefore called Rudra. When the Lord appeared in great anger to kill Hiraṇyakaśipu, everyone was extremely afraid of the Lord's attitude, but Lord Śiva, knowing very well that the Lord's anger is also His līlā, was not afraid. Lord Śiva knew that he would have to play the part of anger for the Lord. Kāla means Lord Śiva (Bhairava), and kopa refers to the Lord's anger. These words, combined together as kopa-kāla, refer to the end of each millennium. Actually the Lord is always affectionate toward His devotees, even though He may appear very angry. Because He is avyayātmā-because He never falls down—even when angry the Lord is affectionate toward His devotees. Therefore Lord Śiva reminded the Lord to act like an affectionate father toward Prahlāda Mahārāja, who was standing by the Lord's side as an exalted, fully surrendered devotee.
The prajāpatis offered their prayers as follows: O Supreme Lord, Lord of even Brahmā and Śiva, we, the prajāpatis, were created by You to execute Your orders, but we were forbidden by Hiraṇyakaśipu to create any more good progeny. Now the demon is lying dead before us, his chest pierced by You. Let us therefore offer our respectful obeisances unto You, whose incarnation in this form of pure goodness is meant for the welfare of the entire universe.
The great saint Nārada Muni continued: The demigods, headed by Lord Brahmā, Lord Śiva and other great demigods, dared not come forward before the Lord, who at that time was extremely angry.
A devotee of the Lord cannot tolerate blasphemy of the Lord or His other devotees, and the Lord also cannot tolerate blasphemy of a devotee. Thus Lord Nṛsiṁhadeva was so very angry that the great demigods like Lord Brahmā and Lord Śiva and even the goddess of fortune, who is the Lord's constant companion, could not pacify Him, even after offering prayers of glorification and praise. No one was able to pacify the Lord in His anger, but because the Lord was willing to exhibit His affection for Prahlāda Mahārāja, all the demigods and the others present before the Lord pushed Prahlāda Mahārāja forward to pacify Him.
O my Lord, O Supreme, because I was born in a family full of the hellish material qualities of passion and ignorance, what is my position? And what is to be said of Your causeless mercy, which was never offered even to Lord Brahmā, Lord Śiva or the goddess of fortune, Lakṣmī? You never put Your lotus hand upon their heads, but You have put it upon mine.
Prahlāda Mahārāja was surprised at the causeless mercy of the Supreme Lord, the Personality of Godhead, for although Prahlāda was born in a demoniac family and although the Lord had never before placed His lotus hand on the head of Brahmā, Śiva or the goddess of fortune, His constant companion, Lord Nṛsiṁhadeva kindly placed His hand on the head of Prahlāda.
This chapter describes how the Supreme Personality of Godhead Nṛsiṁhadeva disappeared, after pleasing Prahlāda Mahārāja. It also describes a benediction given by Lord Śiva.
Later, Nārada Muni described how the demon Maya Dānava constructed Tripura for the demons, who became very powerful and defeated the demigods. Because of this defeat, Lord Rudra, Śiva, dismantled Tripura; thus he became famous as Tripurāri. For this, Rudra is very much appreciated and worshiped by the demigods. This narration occurs at the end of the chapter.
As stated in Bhagavad-gītā, those who are attached to material enjoyment are mostly inclined to worship the demigods to procure various material opulences. They are especially attached to worship of the goddess Durgā and Lord Śiva because this transcendental couple can offer their devotees all material opulence. Prahlāda Mahārāja, however, was detached from all material enjoyment. He therefore took shelter of the lotus feet of Lord Nṛsiṁhadeva, and not the feet of any demigod.
The demigods, to keep their prestigious positions, bestow upon their worshipers whatever benedictions the worshipers want. For example, once it was found that an asura took a benediction from Lord Śiva by which the asura would be able to kill someone simply by placing his hands on that person's head. Such benedictions are possible to receive from the demigods. If one worships the Supreme Personality of Godhead, however, the Lord will never offer him such condemned benedictions.
In the Padma Purāṇa Lord Śiva explains to his wife, Parvatī, the goddess Durgā, that the highest goal of life is to satisfy Lord Viṣṇu, who can be satisfied only when His servant is satisfied.
Of the twelve authorized devotees—Lord Brahmā, Nārada, Lord Śiva, Kapila, Manu and so on—Prahlāda Mahārāja is understood to be the best example.
Prahlāda Mahārāja then worshiped and offered prayers to all the demigods, such as Brahmā, Śiva and the Prajāpatis, who are all parts of the Lord.
The word nṛ-loke, meaning "within the material world," indicates that before the Pāṇḍavas there had been many, many devotees, such as the descendants of the Yadu dynasty and Vasiṣṭha, Marīci, Kaśyapa, Lord Brahmā and Lord Śiva, who were all extremely fortunate. The Pāṇḍavas, however, were better than all of them because Kṛṣṇa Himself lived with them constantly.
Exalted persons like Lord Śiva and Lord Brahmā could not properly describe the truth of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa. May the Lord, who is always worshiped as the protector of all devotees by great saints who observe vows of silence, meditation, devotional service and renunciation, be pleased with us.
My dear King Yudhiṣṭhira, long, long ago in history, a demon known as Maya Dānava, who was very expert in technical knowledge, reduced the reputation of Lord Śiva. In that situation, Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, saved Lord Śiva.
Lord Śiva is known as Mahādeva, the most exalted demigod. Thus Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura says that although Lord Brahmā did not know the glories of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Śiva could have known them. This historical incident proves that Lord Śiva derives power from Lord Kṛṣṇa, the Parabrahman.
Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira said: For what reason did the demon Maya Dānava vanquish Lord Śiva's reputation? How did Lord Kṛṣṇa save Lord Śiva and expand his reputation again? Kindly describe these incidents.
Thereafter, when the demons had begun to destroy the higher planetary systems, the rulers of those planets went to Lord Śiva, fully surrendered unto him and said: Dear Lord, we demigods living in the three worlds are about to be vanquished. We are your followers. Kindly save us.
The most powerful and able Lord Śiva reassured them and said, "Do not be afraid." He then fixed his arrows to his bow and released them toward the three residences occupied by the demons.
The arrows released by Lord Śiva appeared like fiery beams emanating from the sun globe and covered the three residential airplanes, which could then no longer be seen.
Attacked by Lord Śiva's golden arrows, all the demoniac inhabitants of those three dwellings lost their lives and fell down. Then the great mystic Maya Dānava dropped the demons into a nectarean well that he had created.
Seeing Lord Śiva very much aggrieved and disappointed, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Viṣṇu, considered how to stop this nuisance created by Maya Dānava.
Nārada Muni continued: Thereafter, Lord Kṛṣṇa, by His own personal potency, consisting of religion, knowledge, renunciation, opulence, austerity, education and activities, equipped Lord Śiva with all the necessary paraphernalia, such as a chariot, a charioteer, a flag, horses, elephants, a bow, a shield and arrows. When Lord Śiva was fully equipped in this way, he sat down on the chariot with his arrows and bow to fight with the demons.
As stated in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (12.13.16): vaiṣṇavānāṁ yathā śambhuḥ: Lord Śiva is the best of the Vaiṣṇavas, the devotees of Lord Kṛṣṇa. Indeed, he is one of the mahājanas, the twelve authorities on Vaiṣṇava philosophy (svayambhūr nāradaḥ śambhuḥ kumāraḥ kapilo manuḥ, etc. (SB 6.3.20)). Lord Kṛṣṇa is always prepared to help all the mahājanas and devotees in every respect (kaunteya pratijānīhi na me bhaktaḥ praṇaśyati (BG 9.31)). Although Lord Śiva is very powerful, he lost a battle to the asuras, and therefore he was morose and disappointed. However, because he is one of the chief devotees of the Lord, the Lord personally equipped him with all the paraphernalia for war.
My dear King Yudhiṣṭhira, the most powerful Lord Śiva joined the arrows to his bow, and at noon he set fire to all three residences of the demons and thus destroyed them.
Seated in their airplanes in the sky, the inhabitants of the higher planetary systems beat many kettledrums. The demigods, saints, Pitās, Siddhas and various great personalities showered flowers on the head of Lord Śiva, wishing him all victory, and the Apsarās began to chant and dance with great pleasure.
O King Yudhiṣṭhira, thus Lord Śiva is known as Tripurāri, the annihilator of the three dwellings of the demons, because he burnt these dwellings to ashes. Being worshiped by the demigods, headed by Lord Brahmā, Lord Śiva returned to his own abode.
Śukadeva Gosvāmī continued: After hearing about the activities and character of Prahlāda Mahārāja, which are adored and discussed among great personalities like Lord Brahmā and Lord Śiva, Yudhiṣṭhira Mahārāja, the most respectful king among exalted personalities, again inquired from the great saint Nārada Muni in a mood of great pleasure.
The mind, along with all material desires, should be merged in the moon demigod. All the subject matters of intelligence, along with the intelligence itself, should be placed in Lord Brahmā. False ego, which is under the influence of the material modes of nature and which induces one to think, "I am this body, and everything connected with this body is mine," should be merged, along with material activities, in Rudra, the predominating deity of false ego. Material consciousness, along with the goal of thought, should be merged in the individual living being, and the demigods acting under the modes of material nature should be merged, along with the perverted living being, into the Supreme Being. The earth should be merged in water, water in the brightness of the sun, this brightness into the air, the air into the sky, the sky into the false ego, the false ego into the total material energy, the total material energy into the unmanifested ingredients (the pradhāna feature of the material energy), and at last the ingredient feature of material manifestation into the Supersoul.
Unfortunately, there are foolish persons who invent some process of kīrtana on the basis of a demigod's name. This is an offense. Kīrtana means glorifying the Supreme Lord, not any demigod. Sometimes people invent kālī-kīrtana or śiva-kīrtana, and even big sannyāsīs in the Māyāvāda school say that one may chant any name and still get the same result. But here we find that millions and millions of years ago, when Nārada Muni was a Gandharva, he neglected the order to glorify the Lord, and being mad in the association of women, he began to chant otherwise. Thus he was cursed to become a śūdra. His first offense was that he went to join the saṅkīrtana party in the company of lusty women, and another offense was that he considered ordinary songs, like cinema songs and other such songs, to be equal to saṅkīrtana. For this offense he was punished with becoming a śūdra.
Present here now is the same Supreme Personality of Godhead whose true form cannot be understood even by such great personalities as Lord Brahmā and Lord Śiva. He is realized by devotees because of their unflinching surrender. May that same Personality of Godhead, who is the maintainer of His devotees and who is worshiped by silence, by devotional service and by cessation of material activities, be pleased with us.
Lord Kṛṣṇa is not properly understood even by such exalted personalities as Lord Śiva and Lord Brahmā, what to speak of ordinary men, but by His causeless mercy He bestows the benediction of devotion upon His devotees, who can thus understand Kṛṣṇa as He is.
SB Canto 8
The various names of the demigods—Lord Brahmā, Lord Śiva, Lord Indra and so on—are not personal names; they are names of different posts. In this regard, we understand that Lord Viṣṇu sometimes becomes Brahmā or Indra when there is no suitable person to occupy these posts.
In this way the King of the elephants, Gajendra, offered prayers directly to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, without mistaking Him for one of the demigods. None of the demigods came to see him, not even Brahmā or Śiva. Rather, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Nārāyaṇa, seated on Garuḍa, personally appeared before him. Gajendra, by lifting his trunk, offered obeisances to the Lord, and the Lord immediately pulled him from the water along with the crocodile who had captured his leg. Then the Lord killed the crocodile and thus rescued Gajendra.
The King of the elephants, Gajendra, said: I offer my respectful obeisances unto the Supreme Person, Vāsudeva (oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya). Because of Him this material body acts due to the presence of spirit, and He is therefore the root cause of everyone. He is worshipable for such exalted persons as Brahmā and Śiva, and He has entered the heart of every living being. Let me meditate upon Him.
Lord Viṣṇu, Lord Brahmā and Lord Śiva are the supreme controllers of this universe, but Lord Viṣṇu is offered obeisances even by Lord Śiva and Lord Brahmā. Therefore this verse uses the word pareśāya, which indicates that the Supreme Personality of Godhead is worshiped by exalted demigods. Pareśāya means parameśvara. Lord Brahmā and Lord Śiva are īśvaras, great controllers, but Lord Viṣṇu is parameśvara, the supreme controller.
From the Vedic mantras we understand that the Supreme Personality of Godhead is above everything. He is supreme, above all the demigods, including Lord Brahmā and Lord Śiva. He is the supreme controller.
As confirmed in Bhagavad-gītā (10.2), aham ādir hi devānām: Kṛṣṇa is the ādi, or beginning, of the devas of this material world—Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Maheśvara. Therefore He is described here as bhagavate bṛhate. Everyone is bhagavān—everyone possesses opulence—but Kṛṣṇa is bṛhān bhagavān, the possessor of unlimited opulence. Īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ (Bs. 5.1). Kṛṣṇa is the origin of everyone. Ahaṁ sarvasya prabhavaḥ (BG 10.8). Even Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Maheśvara come from Kṛṣṇa.
Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī continued: When the King of the elephants was describing the supreme authority, without mentioning any particular person, he did not invoke the demigods, headed by Lord Brahmā, Lord Śiva, Indra and Candra. Thus none of them approached him. However, because Lord Hari is the Supersoul, Puruṣottama, the Personality of Godhead, He appeared before Gajendra.
From the description of Gajendra, he apparently was aiming at the supreme authority although he did not know who the supreme authority is. He conjectured, "There is a supreme authority who is above everything." Under the circumstances, the Lord's various expansions, such as Lord Brahmā, Lord Śiva, Candra and Indra, all thought, "Gajendra is not asking our help. He is asking the help of the Supreme, who is above all of us."
Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī said: When the Lord delivered Gajendra, King of the elephants, all the demigods, sages and Gandharvas, headed by Brahmā and Śiva, praised this activity of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and showered flowers upon both the Lord and Gajendra.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: Freed from all sinful reactions are those who rise from bed at the end of night, early in the morning, and fully concentrate their minds with great attention upon My form; your form; this lake; this mountain; the caves; the gardens; the cane plants; the bamboo plants; the celestial trees; the residential quarters of Me, Lord Brahmā and Lord Śiva; the three peaks of Trikūṭa Mountain, made of gold, silver and iron; My very pleasing abode (the ocean of milk); the white island, Śvetadvīpa, which is always brilliant with spiritual rays; My mark of Śrīvatsa; the Kaustubha gem; My Vaijayantī garland; My club, Kaumodakī; My Sudarśana disc and Pāñcajanya conchshell; My bearer, Garuḍa, the king of the birds; My bed, Śeṣa Nāga; My expansion of energy the goddess of fortune; Lord Brahmā; Nārada Muni; Lord Śiva; Prahlāda; My incarnations like Matsya, Kūrma and Varāha; My unlimited all-auspicious activities, which yield piety to he who hears them; the sun; the moon; fire; the mantra oṁkāra; the Absolute Truth; the total material energy; the cows and brāhmaṇas; devotional service; the wives of Soma and Kaśyapa, who are all daughters of King Dakṣa; the Rivers Ganges, Sarasvatī, Nandā and Yamunā (Kālindī); the elephant Airāvata; Dhruva Mahārāja; the seven ṛṣis; and the pious human beings.
Lord Brahmā said: I, Lord Śiva, all of you demigods, the demons, the living entities born of perspiration, the living beings born of eggs, the trees and plants sprouting from the earth, and the living entities born from embryos—all come from the Supreme Lord, from His incarnation of rajo-guṇa (Lord Brahmā, the guṇa-avatāra) and from the great sages (ṛṣis) who are part of me. Let us therefore go to the Supreme Lord and take shelter of His lotus feet.
Anyone who is a devotee of Lord Kṛṣṇa is called a deva, and others, even though they may be devotees of demigods, are called asuras. Rāvaṇa, for example, was a great devotee of Lord Śiva, but he is described as an asura.
Mahendra, the King of Heaven, was generated from the prowess of the Lord, the demigods were generated from the mercy of the Lord, Lord Śiva was generated from the anger of the Lord, and Lord Brahmā from His sober intelligence. The Vedic mantras were generated from the bodily holes of the Lord, and the great saints and prajāpatis were generated from His genitals. May that supremely powerful Lord be pleased with us.
Because people are embarrassed by so many material desires, they worship Lord Śiva, Lord Brahmā, the goddess Kālī, Durgā, Gaṇeśa and Sūrya to achieve different results. However, one can achieve all these results simultaneously just by worshiping Lord Viṣṇu.
The Lord manifests Himself in three features—as Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Maheśvara—to control these three qualities. He personally takes charge of sattva-guṇa as Lord Viṣṇu, and He entrusts the charge of rajo-guṇa and tamo-guṇa to Lord Brahmā and Lord Śiva.
Because of the prayers offered by the demigods in the previous chapter, Lord Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu was pleased with the demigods, and thus He appeared before them. The demigods were almost blinded by His transcendental bodily effulgence. At first, therefore, they could not even see any part of His body. After some time, however, when Brahmā could see the Lord, he, along with Lord Śiva, began to offer the Lord prayers.
When offered prayers by Lord Śiva and Lord Brahmā, the Supreme Personality of Godhead was pleased. Thus He gave appropriate instructions to all the demigods. The Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is known as Ajita, unconquerable, advised the demigods to make a peace proposal to the demons, so that after formulating a truce, the demigods and demons could churn the ocean of milk. The rope would be the biggest serpent, known as Vāsuki, and the churning rod would be Mandara Mountain. Poison would also be produced from the churning, but it would be taken by Lord Śiva, and so there would be no need to fear it.
Lord Brahmā, along with Lord Śiva, saw the crystal-clear personal beauty of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, whose blackish body resembles a marakata gem, whose eyes are reddish like the depths of a lotus, who is dressed with garments that are yellow like molten gold, and whose entire body is attractively decorated. They saw His beautiful, smiling, lotuslike face, crowned by a helmet bedecked with valuable jewels. The Lord has attractive eyebrows, and His cheeks are adorned with earrings. Lord Brahmā and Lord Śiva saw the belt on the Lord's waist, the bangles on His arms, the necklace on His chest, and the ankle bells on His legs. The Lord is bedecked with flower garlands, His neck is decorated with the Kaustubha gem, and He carries with Him the goddess of fortune and His personal weapons, like His disc and club. When Lord Brahmā, along with Lord Śiva and the other demigods, thus saw the form of the Lord, they all immediately fell to the ground, offering their obeisances.
I (Lord Brahmā), Lord Śiva and all the demigods, accompanied by the prajāpatis like Dakṣa, are nothing but sparks illuminated by You, who are the original fire. Since we are particles of You, what can we understand about our welfare? O Supreme Lord, please give us the means of deliverance that is suitable for the brāhmaṇas and demigods.
We cannot invent any means to be delivered from the dangers of material existence. Here, even the demigods, such as Lord Brahmā and Lord Śiva, and the prajāpatis, such as Dakṣa, are said to be like illuminating sparks in the presence of the Supreme Lord, who is compared to a great fire. Sparks are beautiful as long as they are in the fire. Similarly, we have to remain in the association of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and always engage in devotional service, for then we shall always be brilliant and illuminating.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: O Lord Brahmā, Lord Śiva and other demigods, please hear Me with great attention, for what I say will bring good fortune for all of you.
Then Lord Brahmā and Lord Śiva, after offering their respectful obeisances to the Lord, returned to their abodes. All the demigods then approached Mahārāja Bali.
The summary of the Seventh Chapter is as follows. As described in this chapter, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, appearing in His incarnation as a tortoise, dove deep into the ocean to carry Mandara Mountain on His back. At first the churning of the ocean produced kālakūṭa poison. Everyone feared this poison, but Lord Śiva satisfied them by drinking it.
As a result of the churning, a huge amount of poison was produced. The prajāpatis, seeing no one else to save them, approached Lord Śiva and offered him prayers full of truth. Lord Śiva is called Āśutoṣa because he is very pleased if one is a devotee. Therefore he easily agreed to drink all the poison generated by the churning. The goddess Durgā, Bhavānī, the wife of Lord Śiva, was not at all disturbed when Lord Śiva agreed to drink the poison, for she knew Lord Śiva's prowess. Indeed, she expressed her pleasure at this agreement. Then Lord Śiva gathered the devastating poison, which was everywhere. He took it in his hand and drank it. After he drank the poison, his neck became bluish. A small quantity of the poison dropped from his hands to the ground, and it is because of this poison that there are poisonous snakes, scorpions, toxic plants and other poisonous things in this world.
Manifesting Himself with thousands of hands, the Lord then appeared on the summit of Mandara Mountain, like another great mountain, and held Mandara Mountain with one hand. In the upper planetary systems, Lord Brahmā and Lord Śiva, along with Indra, King of heaven, and other demigods, offered prayers to the Lord and showered flowers upon Him.
To balance Mandara Mountain while it was being pulled from both sides, the Lord Himself appeared on its summit like another great mountain. Lord Brahmā, Lord Śiva and King Indra then expanded themselves and showered flowers on the Lord.
O King, when that uncontrollable poison was forcefully spreading up and down in all directions, all the demigods, along with the Lord Himself, approached Lord Śiva (Sadāśiva). Feeling unsheltered and very much afraid, they sought shelter of him.
Lord Viṣṇu was competent to rectify the situation, but in order to give credit to Lord Śiva, who later drank all the poison and kept it in his neck, Lord Viṣṇu did not take action.
The demigods observed Lord Śiva sitting on the summit of Kailāsa Hill with his wife, Bhavānī, for the auspicious development of the three worlds. He was being worshiped by great saintly persons desiring liberation. The demigods offered him their obeisances and prayers with great respect.
Since Lord Śiva is in charge of annihilation, why should he be approached for protection, which is given by Lord Viṣṇu? Lord Brahmā creates, and Lord Śiva annihilates, but both Lord Brahmā and Lord Śiva are incarnations of Lord Viṣṇu and are known as śaktyāveśa-avatāras. They are endowed with a special power like that of Lord Viṣṇu, who is actually all-pervading in their activities. Therefore whenever prayers for protection are offered to Lord Śiva, actually Lord Viṣṇu is indicated, for otherwise Lord Śiva is meant for destruction. Lord Śiva is one of the īśvaras, or the controllers known as śaktyāveśa-avatāras. Therefore he can be addressed as having the qualities of Lord Viṣṇu.
Actually Lord Viṣṇu maintains and accomplishes all good fortune. If one has to take shelter of Lord Viṣṇu, why should the demigods take shelter of Lord Śiva? They did so because Lord Viṣṇu acts through Lord Śiva in the creation of the material world. Lord Śiva acts on behalf of Lord Viṣṇu. When the Lord says in Bhagavad-gītā (14.4) that He is the father of all living entities (ahaṁ bīja-pradaḥ pitā), this refers to actions performed by Lord Viṣṇu through Lord Śiva. Lord Viṣṇu is always unattached to material activities, and when material activities are to be performed, Lord Viṣṇu performs them through Lord Śiva. Lord Śiva is therefore worshiped on the level of Lord Viṣṇu. When Lord Viṣṇu is untouched by the external energy He is Lord Viṣṇu, but when He is in touch with the external energy, He appears in His feature as Lord Śiva.
O lord, you are self-effulgent and supreme. You create this material world by your personal energy, and you assume the names Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Maheśvara when you act in creation, maintenance and annihilation.
This prayer is actually offered to Lord Viṣṇu, the puruṣa, who in His incarnations as the guṇa-avatāras assumes the names Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Maheśvara.
When Lord Śiva is worshiped as Parabrahman, the worship is meant for Lord Viṣṇu.
O lord, the five important Vedic mantras are represented by your five faces, from which the thirty-eight most celebrated Vedic mantras have been generated. Your Lordship, being celebrated as Lord Śiva, is self-illuminated. You are directly situated as the supreme truth, known as Paramātmā.
The five mantras mentioned in this connection are as follows: (1) Puruṣa, (2) Aghora, (3) Sadyojāta, (4) Vāmadeva, and (5) Īśāna. These five mantras are within the category of thirty-eight special Vedic mantras chanted by Lord Śiva, who is therefore celebrated as Śiva or Mahādeva. Another reason why Lord Śiva is called Śiva, which means "all-auspicious," is that he is self-illuminated, exactly like Lord Viṣṇu, who is the Paramātmā. Because Lord Śiva is directly an incarnation of Lord Viṣṇu, he is situated as Lord Viṣṇu's direct representative. This fact is corroborated by a Vedic mantra: patiṁ viśvasyātmeśvaraṁ śāśvatam. śivam acyutam. The Supersoul is called by many names, of which Maheśvara, Śiva and Acyuta are especially mentioned.
Māyāvādīs, who prefer to merge into this Brahman effulgence, worship Lord Śiva. The mantras referred to in text 29 are called mukhāni pañcopaniṣadas taveśa. Māyāvādīs take all these mantras seriously in worshiping Lord Śiva. These mantras are as follows: (1) tat puruṣāya vidmahe śāntyai, (2) mahā-devāya dhīmahi vidyāyai, (3) tan no rudraḥ pratiṣṭhāyai, (4) pracodayāt dhṛtyai, (5) aghorebhyas tamā. .., (6) atha ghorebhyo mohā. .., (7) aghorebhyo rakṣā. .., (8) aghoratarebhyo nidrā. .., (9) sarvebhyaḥ sarva-vyādhyai, (10) sarva-sarvebhyo mṛtyave, (11) namas te 'stu kṣudhā. .., (12) rudra-rūpebhyas tṛṣṇā. .., (13) vāmadevāya rajā. .., (14) jyeṣṭhāya svāhā. .., (15) śreṣṭhāya ratyai, (16) rudrāya kalyāṇyai, (17) kālāya kāmā. .., (18) kala-vikaraṇāya sandhinyai, (19) bala-vikaraṇāya kriyā. .., (20) balāya vṛddhyai, (21) balacchāyā. .., (22) pramathanāya dhātryai, (23) sarva-bhūta-damanāya bhrāmaṇyai, (24) manaḥ-śoṣiṇyai, (25) unmanāya jvarā. .., (26) sadyojātaṁ prapadyāmi siddhyai, (27) sadyojātāya vai namaḥ ṛddhyai, (28) bhave dityai, (29) abhave lakṣmyai, (30) nātibhave medhā. .., (31) bhajasva māṁ kāntyai, (32) bhava svadhā. .., (33) udbhavāya prabhā. .., (34) īśānaḥ sarva-vidyānāṁ śaśinyai, (35) īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānām abhaya-dā. .., (36) brahmādhipatir brahmaṇodhipatir brahman brahmeṣṭa-dā. .., (37) śivo me astu marīcyai, (38) sadāśivaḥ jvālinyai.
Lord Viṣṇu is omniscient, but He does not need to understand what is going on in His all-pervading expansion. Therefore in Bhagavad-gītā the Lord says that although everything is an expansion of Him (mayā tatam idaṁ sarvam (BG 9.4)), He does not need to take care of everything (na cāhaṁ teṣv avasthitaḥ), since there are various directors like Lord Brahmā, Lord Śiva and Indra.
Since Lord Śiva considers the great acts he performs to be very unimportant, what was to be said of counteracting the strong poison produced by the churning? The demigods indirectly prayed that Lord Śiva counteract the kālakūṭa poison, which was spreading throughout the universe.
Lord Śiva is the topmost Vaiṣṇava (vaiṣṇavānāṁ yathā śambhuḥ). It is therefore said, vaiṣṇavera kriyā-mudrā vijñe nā bujhaya. Even the most intelligent person cannot understand what a Vaiṣṇava like Lord Śiva is doing or how he is acting. Those who are conquered by lusty desires and anger cannot estimate the glories of Lord Śiva, whose position is always transcendental. In all the activities associated with lusty desires, Lord Śiva is an implement of ātma-rāma. Ordinary persons, therefore, should not try to understand Lord Śiva and his activities. One who tries to criticize the activities of Lord Śiva is shameless.
O greatest of all rulers, your actual identity is impossible for us to understand. As far as we can see, your presence brings flourishing happiness to everyone. Beyond this, no one can appreciate your activities. We can see this much, and nothing more.
When the demigods offered these prayers to Lord Śiva, their inner purpose was to please him so that he would rectify the disturbing situation created by the hālahala poison.
Śrīla Śukadeva Gosvāmī continued: Lord Śiva is always benevolent toward all living entities. When he saw that the living entities were very much disturbed by the poison, which was spreading everywhere, he was very compassionate. Thus he spoke to his eternal consort, Satī, as follows.
Lord Śiva said: My dear Bhavānī, just see how all these living entities have been placed in danger because of the poison produced from the churning of the ocean of milk.
In materialistic life, people must certainly engage in activities of animosity. Materialistic life is therefore compared to saṁsāra-dāvānala **, a blazing forest fire that automatically takes place. Lord Śiva and his followers in the paramparā system try to save people from this dangerous condition of materialistic life. This is the duty of devotees following the principles of Lord Śiva and belonging to the Rudra-sampradāya. There are four Vaiṣṇava sampradāyas, and the Rudra-sampradāya is one of them because Lord Śiva (Rudra) is the best of the Vaiṣṇavas (vaiṣṇavānāṁ yathā śambhuḥ). Indeed, as we shall see, Lord Śiva drank all the poison for the benefit of humanity.
Śrīla Śukadeva Gosvāmī continued: After informing Bhavānī in this way, Lord Śiva began to drink the poison, and Bhavānī, who knew perfectly well the capabilities of Lord Śiva, gave him her permission to do so.
Thereafter, Lord Śiva, who is dedicated to auspicious, benevolent work for humanity, compassionately took the whole quantity of poison in his palm and drank it.
Although there was such a great quantity of poison that it spread all over the universe, Lord Śiva had such great power that he reduced the poison to a small quantity so that he could hold it in his palm. One should not try to imitate Lord Śiva. Lord Śiva can do whatever he likes, but those who try to imitate Lord Śiva by smoking ganja and other poisonous things will certainly be killed because of such activities.
As if in defamation, the poison born from the ocean of milk manifested its potency by marking Lord Śiva's neck with a bluish line. That line, however, is now accepted as an ornament of the Lord.
Upon hearing of this act, everyone, including Bhavānī (the daughter of Mahārāja Dakṣa), Lord Brahmā, Lord Viṣṇu, and the people in general, very highly praised this deed performed by Lord Śiva, who is worshiped by the demigods and who bestows benedictions upon the people.
Scorpions, cobras, poisonous drugs and other animals whose bites are poisonous took the opportunity to drink whatever little poison had fallen and scattered from Lord Śiva's hand while he was drinking.
Mosquitoes, jackals, dogs and other varieties of dandaśūka, or animals whose bites are poisonous, drank the poison of the samudra-manthana, the churned ocean, since it was available after it fell from the palms of Lord Śiva.
After Lord Śiva drank all the poison, both the demigods and demons took courage and resumed their activities of churning. Because of this churning, first a surabhi cow was produced. Great saintly persons accepted this cow to derive clarified butter from its milk and offer this clarified butter in oblations for great sacrifices.
Śukadeva Gosvāmī continued: Upon Lord Śiva's drinking the poison, both the demigods and the demons, being very pleased, began to churn the ocean with renewed vigor. As a result of this, there appeared a cow known as surabhi.
As the next result of the churning, the king of elephants, named Airāvata, was generated. This elephant was white, and with its four tusks it defied the glories of Kailāsa Mountain, the glorious abode of Lord Śiva.
Someone may have longevity but not have auspiciousness or good behavior. Someone may have both auspiciousness and good behavior, but the duration of his life is not fixed. Although such demigods as Lord Śiva have eternal life, they have inauspicious habits like living in crematoriums. And even if others are well qualified in all respects, they are not devotees of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
Lord Brahmā, Lord Śiva, the great sage Aṅgirā, and similar directors of universal management showered flowers and chanted mantras indicating the transcendental glories of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
O Mahārāja Parīkṣit, suppressor of enemies (Arindama), Lord Śiva fought with Jambha, and Vibhāvasu fought with Mahiṣāsura. Ilvala, along with his brother Vātāpi, fought the sons of Lord Brahmā. Durmarṣa fought with Cupid, the demon Utkala with the Mātṛkā demigoddesses, Bṛhaspati with Śukrācārya, and Śanaiścara (Saturn) with Narakāsura. The Maruts fought Nivātakavaca, the Vasus fought the Kālakeya demons, the Viśvedeva demigods fought the Pauloma demons, and the Rudras fought the Krodhavaśa demons, who were victims of anger.
This chapter describes how Lord Śiva was bewildered upon seeing the beautiful Mohinī-mūrti incarnation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and how he later came to his senses. When Lord Śiva heard about the pastimes performed by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Hari, in the form of an attractive woman, he mounted his bull and went to see the Lord. Accompanied by his wife, Umā, and his servants, the bhūta-gaṇa, or ghosts, he approached the lotus feet of the Lord. Lord Śiva offered obeisances to the Supreme Lord as the all-pervading Lord, the universal form, the supreme controller of creation, the Supersoul, the resting place for everyone, and the completely independent cause of all causes. Thus he offered prayers giving truthful descriptions of the Lord. Then he expressed his desire. The Supreme Personality of Godhead is very kind to His devotees. Therefore, to fulfill the desire of His devotee Lord Śiva, He expanded His energy and manifested Himself in the form of a very beautiful and attractive woman. Upon seeing this form, even Lord Śiva was captivated. Later, by the grace of the Lord, he controlled himself. This demonstrates that by the power of the Lord's external energy, everyone is captivated by the form of woman in this material world. Again, however, by the grace of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one can overcome the influence of māyā. This was evinced by Lord Śiva, the topmost devotee of the Lord.
It is declared in this connection that only a pure devotee can restrain himself from the attractive feature of māyā. Otherwise, once a living entity is trapped by the external feature of māyā, he cannot overcome it. After Lord Śiva was graced by the Supreme Lord, he circumambulated the Lord along with his wife, Bhavānī, and his companions, the ghosts. Then he left for his own abode.
Śukadeva Gosvāmī said: The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Hari, in the form of a woman, captivated the demons and enabled the demigods to drink the nectar. After hearing of these pastimes, Lord Śiva, who is carried by a bull, went to the place where Madhusūdana, the Lord, resides. Accompanied by his wife, Umā, and surrounded by his companions, the ghosts, Lord Śiva went there to see the Lord's form as a woman.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead welcomed Lord Śiva and Umā with great respect, and after being seated comfortably, Lord Śiva duly worshiped the Lord and smilingly spoke as follows.
Lord Mahādeva said: O chief demigod among the demigods, O all-pervading Lord, master of the universe, by Your energy You are transformed into the creation. You are the root and efficient cause of everything. You are not material. Indeed, You are the Supersoul or supreme living force of everything. Therefore, You are Parameśvara, the supreme controller of all controllers.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Viṣṇu, resides within the material world as the sattva-guṇa-avatāra. Lord Śiva is the tamo-guṇa-avatāra, and Lord Brahmā is the rajo-guṇa-avatāra, but although Lord Viṣṇu is among them, He is not in the same category. Lord Viṣṇu is deva-deva, the chief of all the demigods. Since Lord Śiva is in this material world, the energy of the Supreme Lord, Viṣṇu, includes Lord Śiva. Lord Viṣṇu is therefore called jagad-vyāpī, "the all-pervading Lord." Lord Śiva is sometimes called Maheśvara, and so people think that Lord Śiva is everything. But here Lord Śiva addresses Lord Viṣṇu as Jagad-īśa, "the master of the universe." Lord Śiva is sometimes called Viśveśvara, but here he addresses Lord Viṣṇu as Jagan-maya, indicating that even Viśveśvara is under Lord Viṣṇu's control.
Lord Brahmā and Lord Śiva are also sometimes called īśvara, but the supreme īśvara is Lord Viṣṇu, Lord Kṛṣṇa.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead is not properly understood even by Lord Śiva or Lord Brahmā, what to speak of others, but He can be understood by the process of bhakti-yoga.
When Lord Śiva approached Lord Viṣṇu, Lord Viṣṇu inquired about the purpose for Lord Śiva's coming there. Now Lord Śiva discloses his desire. He wanted to see the recent incarnation of Mohinī-mūrti, which Lord Viṣṇu had assumed to distribute the nectar generated from the churning of the ocean of milk.
Śukadeva Gosvāmī said: When Lord Viṣṇu was thus requested by Lord Śiva, who carries a trident in his hand, He smiled with gravity and replied to Lord Śiva as follows.
Lord Śiva wanted to see the Mohinī-mūrti, which was captivating the entire world, and Lord Viṣṇu was gravely thinking of how to captivate Lord Śiva also. Therefore the word bhāva-gambhīram is used here. The illusory, material energy is represented by Durgādevī, who is the wife of Girīśa, or Lord Śiva. Durgādevī could not captivate Lord Śiva's mind, but now that Lord Śiva wanted to see Lord Viṣṇu's feminine form, Lord Viṣṇu, by His mystic power, would assume a form that would captivate even Lord Śiva. Therefore Lord Viṣṇu was grave and at the same time was smiling.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead knew that because Lord Śiva is not an ordinary person, he cannot be bewildered even by the most beautiful woman. Cupid himself tried to invoke Lord Śiva's lusty desires in the presence of Pārvatī, but Lord Śiva was never agitated. Rather, the blazing fire from Lord Śiva's eyes turned Cupid to ashes. Therefore, Lord Viṣṇu had to think twice about what kind of beautiful form would bewilder even Lord Śiva. Consequently He was smiling gravely, as stated in the previous verse (prahasya bhāva-gambhīram). A beautiful woman generally cannot induce Lord Śiva to be lusty, but Lord Viṣṇu was considering whether there was any form of woman who could enchant him.
Lord Śiva's desiring to see Lord Viṣṇu reveal the most attractive and beautiful form of a woman was certainly a joking affair. Lord Śiva knew that he could not be agitated by any so-called beautiful woman. "The Daityas may have been bewildered," he thought, "but since even the demigods could not be agitated, what to speak of me, who am the best of all the demigods?" However, because Lord Śiva wanted to see Lord Viṣṇu's form as a woman, Lord Viṣṇu decided to impersonate a woman and show him a form that would immediately put him in an ocean of lusty desires. In effect, therefore, Lord Viṣṇu told Lord Śiva, "I will show you My form as a woman, and if you become agitated by lusty desires, do not blame Me."
The attractive features of a woman are appreciated by those who are affected by lusty desires, but those who are above such desires, who are on the platform of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, are very difficult to bewilder. Nonetheless, by the supreme desire of the Personality of Godhead, everything can be done. This was to be a test of whether Lord Śiva could remain unagitated.
Śukadeva Gosvāmī continued: After speaking in this way, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Viṣṇu, immediately disappeared, and Lord Śiva remained there with Umā, looking for Him all around with moving eyes.
Thereafter, in a nice forest nearby, full of trees with reddish-pink leaves and varieties of flowers, Lord Śiva saw a beautiful woman playing with a ball. Her hips were covered with a shining sari and ornamented with a belt.
Lord Śambhu (Śiva) was not to be captivated by the external potency, but because Lord Viṣṇu wanted to captivate Him also, He exhibited His internal potency to act the way that His external potency acts to captivate ordinary living entities. Lord Viṣṇu can captivate anyone, even such a strong personality as Lord Śambhu.
While Lord Śiva observed the beautiful woman playing with the ball, She sometimes glanced at him and slightly smiled in bashfulness. As he looked at the beautiful woman and She watched him, he forgot both himself and Umā, his most beautiful wife, as well as his associates nearby.
The material bondage of this world is that a beautiful woman can captivate a handsome man and that a handsome man can captivate a beautiful woman. Such are the affairs that began when Lord Śiva observed the beautiful girl playing with the ball. In such activities, the influence of Cupid is very prominent. As both parties move their eyebrows and glance at one another, their lusty desires increase more and more. Such reciprocations of lusty desire took place between Lord Śiva and the beautiful woman, even though Umā and Lord Śiva's associates were by Lord Śiva's side. Such is the attraction between man and woman in the material world. Lord Śiva was supposed to be above all this attraction, but he was victimized by the captivating power of Lord Viṣṇu.
When the ball leaped from Her hand and fell at a distance, the woman began to follow it, but as Lord Śiva observed these activities, a breeze suddenly blew away the fine dress and belt that covered her.
Thus Lord Śiva saw the woman, every part of whose body was beautifully formed, and the beautiful woman also looked at him. Therefore, thinking that She was attracted to him, Lord Śiva became very much attracted to Her.
Lord Śiva was observing every part of the woman's body, and She was also glancing at him with restless eyes. Thus Śiva thought that She was also attracted to him, and now he wanted to touch Her.
Lord Śiva, his good sense taken away by the woman because of lusty desires to enjoy with Her, became so mad for Her that even in the presence of Bhavānī he did not hesitate to approach Her.
The beautiful woman was already naked, and when She saw Lord Śiva coming toward Her, She became extremely bashful. Thus She kept smiling, but She hid Herself among the trees and did not stand in one place.
His senses being agitated, Lord Śiva, victimized by lusty desires, began to follow Her, just as a lusty elephant follows a she-elephant.
After following Her with great speed, Lord Śiva caught Her by the braid of Her hair and dragged Her near him. Although She was unwilling, he embraced Her with his arms.
Being embraced by Lord Śiva like a female elephant embraced by a male, the woman, whose hair was scattered, swirled like a snake. O King, this woman, who had large, high hips, was a woman of yogamāyā presented by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. She released Herself somehow or other from the fond embrace of Lord Śiva's arms and ran away.
As if harassed by an enemy in the form of lusty desires, Lord Śiva followed the path of Lord Viṣṇu, who acts very wonderfully and who had taken the form of Mohinī.
Lord Śiva cannot be victimized by māyā. Therefore it is to be understood that Lord Śiva was being thus harassed by Lord Viṣṇu's internal potency. Lord Viṣṇu can perform many wonderful activities through His various potencies.
- parāsya śaktir vividhaiva śrūyate
- svābhāvikī jñāna-bala-kriyā ca
- (Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad 6.8)
(Cc. Madhya 13.65, purport)
The Supreme Lord has various potencies, by which He can act very efficiently. To do anything expertly, He doesn't even need to contemplate. Since Lord Śiva was being harassed by the woman, it is to be understood that this was being done not by a woman but by Lord Viṣṇu Himself.
Just as a maddened bull elephant follows a female elephant who is able to conceive pregnancy, Lord Śiva followed the beautiful woman and discharged semen, even though his discharge of semen never goes in vain.
O King, wheresoever on the surface of the globe fell the semen of the great personality of Lord Śiva, mines of gold and silver later appeared.
Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura comments that those who seek gold and silver can worship Lord Śiva for material opulences. Lord Śiva lives under a bael tree and does not even construct a house in which to dwell, but although he is apparently poverty-stricken, his devotees are sometimes opulently endowed with large quantities of silver and gold.
Following Mohinī, Lord Śiva went everywhere—near the shores of the rivers and lakes, near the mountains, near the forests, near the gardens, and wherever there lived great sages.
Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura remarks that Mohinī-mūrti dragged Lord Śiva to so many places, especially to where the great sages lived, to instruct the sages that their Lord Śiva had become mad for a beautiful woman. Thus although they were all great sages and saintly persons, they should not think themselves free, but should remain extremely cautious about beautiful women.
O Mahārāja Parīkṣit, best of kings, when Lord Śiva had fully discharged semen, he could see how he himself had been victimized by the illusion created by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Thus he restrained himself from any further māyā.
Once one is agitated by lusty desires upon seeing a woman, those desires increase more and more, but when semen is discharged in the act of sex, the lusty desires diminish. The same principle acted upon Lord Śiva. He was allured by the beautiful woman Mohinī-mūrti, but when his semen had been fully discharged, he came to his senses and realized how he had been victimized as soon as he saw the woman in the forest.
Thus Lord Śiva could understand his position and that of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who has unlimited potencies. Having reached this understanding, he was not at all surprised by the wonderful way Lord Viṣṇu had acted upon him.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, is the only master of everyone, including even Lord Śiva, what to speak of others. Lord Śiva was already aware of the supreme power of Lord Viṣṇu, but when he was actually put into bewilderment, he felt proud to have such an exalted master.
Seeing Lord Śiva unagitated and unashamed, Lord Viṣṇu (Madhusūdana) was very pleased. Thus He resumed His original form and spoke as follows.
Although Lord Śiva was aghast at the potency of Lord Viṣṇu, he did not feel ashamed. Rather, he was proud to be defeated by Lord Viṣṇu.
Although Lord Śiva is never defeated by anyone, when defeated by Lord Viṣṇu he felt proud that he had such an exalted and powerful master.
Since Lord Śiva is the best of the demigods, he is the best of all devotees (vaiṣṇavānāṁ yathā śambhuḥ). His exemplary character was therefore praised by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who gave His benediction by saying, "May all good fortune be upon you." When a devotee becomes a little proud, the Supreme Lord sometimes exhibits His supreme power to dissipate the devotee's misunderstanding. After being amply harassed by Lord Viṣṇu's potency, Lord Śiva resumed his normal, unagitated condition. This is the position of a devotee.
As confirmed in Bhagavad-gītā (6.22), yasmin sthito na duḥkhena guruṇāpi vicālyate: because of his full faith in the Supreme Personality of Godhead, a devotee is never agitated, even in the greatest trials. This pridelessness is possible only for the first-class devotees, of whom Lord Śambhu is one.
My dear Lord Śambhu, who within this material world but you can surpass My illusory energy? People are generally attached to sense enjoyment and conquered by its influence. Indeed, the influence of material nature is very difficult for them to surmount.
Of the three chief demigods—Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Maheśvara—all but Viṣṇu are under the influence of māyā. In Caitanya-caritāmṛta, they are described as māyī, which means "under māyā's influence." But even though Lord Śiva associates with māyā, he is not influenced. The living entities are affected by māyā, but although Lord Śiva apparently associates with māyā, he is not affected. In other words, all living entities within this material world except for Lord Śiva are swayed by māyā. Lord Śiva is therefore neither viṣṇu-tattva nor jīva-tattva. He is between the two.
When Lord Śiva was present, his wife, Durgā, was also there. Durgā works in cooperation with the Supreme Personality of Godhead in creating the cosmic manifestation.
Māyā happens to be the wife of Lord Śiva, and thus Lord Śiva is in association with māyā, but Lord Viṣṇu here assures Lord Śiva that this māyā will no longer be able to captivate him.
Śukadeva Gosvāmī said: O King, having thus been praised by the Supreme Personality, who bears the mark of Śrīvatsa on His chest, Lord Śiva circumambulated Him. Then, after taking permission from Him, Lord Śiva returned to his abode, Kailāsa, along with his associates.
Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura remarks that when Lord Śiva was offering obeisances unto Lord Viṣṇu, Lord Viṣṇu arose and embraced him. Therefore the word śrīvatsāṅkena is used here. The mark of Śrīvatsa adorns the chest of Lord Viṣṇu, and therefore when Lord Viṣṇu embraced Lord Śiva while being circumambulated, the Śrīvatsa mark touched Lord Śiva's bosom.
O descendant of Bharata Mahārāja, Lord Śiva, in jubilation, then addressed his wife, Bhavānī, who is accepted by all authorities as the potency of Lord Viṣṇu.
Lord Śiva said: O Goddess, you have now seen the illusory energy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is the unborn master of everyone. Although I am one of the principal expansions of His Lordship, even I was illusioned by His energy. What then is to be said of others, who are fully dependent on māyā?
In this manvantara, or reign of Manu, among the demigods are the Ādityas, Vasus, Rudras, Viśvedevas, Maruts, Aśvinī-kumāras and Ṛbhus. The king of heaven, Indra, is known as Purandara, and the seven sages are known as Kaśyapa, Atri, Vasiṣṭha, Viśvāmitra, Gautama, Jamadagni and Bharadvāja.
In the period of the tenth Manu, the Manu is Brahma-sāvarṇi. Among his sons is Bhūriṣeṇa, and the seven sages are Haviṣmān and others. Among the demigods are the Suvāsanas, and Śambhu is Indra. The incarnation in this period of Manu is Viṣvaksena, who is a friend of Śambhu and who is born from the womb of Viṣūcī in the house of a brāhmaṇa named Viśvasraṣṭā.
In this manvantara, O King, the Ādityas, the Vasus, the Rudras, the Viśvedevas, the Maruts, the two Aśvinī-kumāra brothers and the Ṛbhus are the demigods. Their head king (Indra) is Purandara.
In the home of Viśvasraṣṭā, a plenary portion of the Supreme Personality of Godhead will appear from the womb of Viṣūcī as the incarnation known as Viṣvaksena. He will make friends with Śambhu.
I offer my respectful obeisances unto You, Lord Śiva, or Rudra, who are the reservoir of all potencies, the reservoir of all knowledge, and the master of everyone.
It is the system for one to offer obeisances unto the expansion or incarnation of the Lord. Lord Śiva is the incarnation of ignorance, one of the material modes of nature.
Ārādhanānāṁ sarveṣāṁ viṣṇor ārādhanaṁ param. This is a statement made by Lord Śiva to Pārvatī. Worshiping Lord Viṣṇu is the supreme process of worship.
Even Lord Śiva accepts on his head the Ganges water generated from the toe of Lord Vāmanadeva. Therefore, after washing the Lord's feet, Bali Mahārāja immediately accepted the water from the Lord's feet on his head and felt that he and his predecessors had certainly been glorified.
When Vāmanadeva had thus been given the sacred thread, Kuvera, King of the Yakṣas, gave Him a pot for begging alms, and mother Bhagavatī, the wife of Lord Śiva and most chaste mother of the entire universe, gave Him His first alms.
Lord Śiva, the best of demigods, who carries on his forehead the emblem of the moon, receives on his head with great devotion the Ganges water emanating from the toe of Viṣṇu. Being aware of religious principles, Bali Mahārāja knew this. Consequently, following in the footsteps of Lord Śiva, he also placed on his head the water that had washed the Lord's lotus feet.
Lord Śiva is known as Gaṅgā-dhara, or one who carries the water of the Ganges on his head. On Lord Śiva's forehead is the emblem of the half-moon, yet to give supreme respect to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Śiva placed the water of the Ganges above this emblem. This example should be followed by everyone, or at least by every devotee, because Lord Śiva is one of the mahājanas.
The water of the Ganges is sanctified because it emanates from the toe of Lord Viṣṇu. Bali Mahārāja washed the lotus feet of Vāmanadeva, and the water with which he did so became equal to the Ganges. Bali Mahārāja, who perfectly knew all religious principles, therefore took that water on his head, following in the footsteps of Lord Śiva.
As stated by Lord Śiva:
- ārādhanānāṁ sarveṣāṁ
- viṣṇor ārādhanaṁ param
- tasmāt parataraṁ devi
- tadīyānāṁ samarcanam
- (Padma Purāṇa)
Although in the Vedas there are recommendations for worshiping many demigods, Lord Viṣṇu is the Supreme Person, and worship of Viṣṇu is the ultimate goal of life. The Vedic principles of the varṇāśrama institution are meant to organize society to prepare everyone to worship Lord Viṣṇu.
Śukadeva Gosvāmī continued: After speaking in this way, Bali Mahārāja offered his obeisances first to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Hari, and then to Lord Brahmā and Lord Śiva. Thus he was released from the bondage of the nāga-pāśa (the ropes of Varuṇa), and in full satisfaction he entered the planet known as Sutala.
Prahlāda Mahārāja said: O Supreme Personality of Godhead, You are universally worshiped; even Lord Brahmā and Lord Śiva worship Your lotus feet. Yet although You are such a great personality, You have kindly promised to protect us, the demons. I think that such kindness has never been achieved even by Lord Brahmā, Lord Śiva or the goddess of fortune, Lakṣmī, what to speak of other demigods or common people.
Lord Brahmā (the master of King Dakṣa and all other Prajāpatis), accompanied by all the demigods, the great saintly persons, the inhabitants of Pitṛloka, the Manus, the munis, and such leaders as Dakṣa, Bhṛgu and Aṅgirā, as well as Kārttikeya and Lord Śiva, accepted Lord Vāmanadeva as the protector of everyone. He did this for the pleasure of Kaśyapa Muni and his wife Aditi and for the welfare of all the inhabitants of the universe, including their various leaders.
Lord Brahmā, Lord Śiva, Lord Kārttikeya, the great sage Bhṛgu, other saintly persons, the inhabitants of Pitṛloka and all other living entities present, including the inhabitants of Siddhaloka and living entities who travel in outer space by airplane, all glorified the uncommon activities of Lord Vāmanadeva. O King, while chanting about and glorifying the Lord, they returned to their respective heavenly planets. They also praised the position of Aditi.
SB Canto 9
By the grace of Lord Śiva, Sudyumna received the benediction that he would live one month as a woman and one month as a man. Thus he regained his kingdom and had three sons, named Utkala, Gaya and Vimala, who were all very religious.
There in the north, at the bottom of Mount Meru, is a forest known as Sukumāra where Lord Śiva always enjoys with Umā. Sudyumna entered that forest.
Śukadeva Gosvāmī answered: Great saintly persons who strictly observed the spiritual rules and regulations and whose own effulgence dissipated all the darkness of all directions once came to see Lord Śiva in that forest.
Seeing Lord Śiva and Pārvatī engaged in sexual affairs, all the great saintly persons immediately desisted from going further and departed for the āśrama of Nara-Nārāyaṇa.
Thereupon, just to please his wife, Lord Śiva said, "Any male entering this place shall immediately become a female!"
Upon seeing Sudyumna's deplorable condition, Vasiṣṭha was very much aggrieved. Desiring for Sudyumna to regain his maleness, Vasiṣṭha again began to worship Lord Śaṅkara (Śiva).
O King Parīkṣit, Lord Śiva was pleased with Vasiṣṭha. Therefore, to satisfy him and to keep his own word to Pārvatī, Lord Śiva said to that saintly person, "Your disciple Sudyumna may remain a male for one month and a female for the next. In this way he may rule the world as he likes."
Thus being favored by the spiritual master, according to the words of Lord Śiva, Sudyumna regained his desired maleness every alternate month and in this way ruled the kingdom, although the citizens were not satisfied with this.
Nābhāga executed the order of his father, and thus Aṅgirā and other great saintly persons gave him all the money collected in that sacrifice. To test Nābhāga, Lord Śiva challenged his claim to the wealth, but when Lord Śiva was satisfied by Nābhāga's behavior, Lord Śiva offered him all the riches.
The father of Nābhāga said: Whatever the great sages sacrificed in the arena of the Dakṣa-yajña, they offered to Lord Śiva as his share. Therefore, everything in the sacrificial arena certainly belongs to Lord Śiva.
Thereupon, after offering obeisances to Lord Śiva, Nābhāga said: O worshipable lord, everything in this arena of sacrifice is yours. This is the assertion of my father. Now, with great respect, I bow my head before you, begging your mercy.
Lord Śiva said: Whatever your father has said is the truth, and you also are speaking the same truth. Therefore, I, who know the Vedic mantras, shall explain transcendental knowledge to you.
Lord Śiva said, "Now you may take all the wealth remaining from the sacrifice, for I give it to you." After saying this, Lord Śiva, who is most adherent to the religious principles, disappeared from that place.
Lord Brahmā said: At the end of the dvi-parārdha, when the pastimes of the Lord come to an end, Lord Viṣṇu, by a flick of His eyebrows, vanquishes the entire universe, including our places of residence. Such personalities as me and Lord Śiva, as well as Dakṣa, Bhṛgu and similar great saints of which they are the head, and also the rulers of the living entities, the rulers of human society and the rulers of the demigods—all of us surrender to that Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Viṣṇu, bowing our heads, to carry out His orders for the benefit of all living entities.
When Durvāsā, who was greatly afflicted by the blazing fire of the Sudarśana cakra, was thus refused by Lord Brahmā, he tried to take shelter of Lord Śiva, who always resides on his planet, known as Kailāsa.
Lord Śiva said: My dear son, I, Lord Brahmā and the other demigods, who rotate within this universe under the misconception of our greatness, cannot exhibit any power to compete with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, for innumerable universes and their inhabitants come into existence and are annihilated by the simple direction of the Lord.
There are innumerable universes in the material world, and there are innumerable Lord Brahmās, Lord Śivas and other demigods. All of them rotate within this material world under the supreme direction of the Personality of Godhead. Therefore no one is able to compete with the strength of the Lord. Lord Śiva also refused to protect Durvāsā, for Lord Śiva also was under the rays of the Sudarśana cakra sent by the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
Past, present and future are known to me (Lord Śiva), Sanat-kumāra, Nārada, the most revered Lord Brahmā, Kapila (the son of Devahūti), Apāntaratama (Lord Vyāsadeva), Devala, Yamarāja, Āsuri, Marīci and many saintly persons headed by him, as well as many others who have achieved perfection. Nonetheless, because we are covered by the illusory energy of the Lord, we cannot understand how expansive that illusory energy is. You should simply approach that Supreme Personality of Godhead to get relief, for this Sudarśana cakra is intolerable even to us. Go to Lord Viṣṇu. He will certainly be kind enough to bestow all good fortune upon you.
Thereafter, being disappointed even in taking shelter of Lord Śiva, Durvāsā Muni went to Vaikuṇṭha-dhāma, where the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Nārāyaṇa, resides with His consort, the goddess of fortune.
All the great stalwart personalities in the universe, including Lord Brahmā and Lord Śiva, are fully under the control of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but the Supreme Personality of Godhead is fully under the control of His devotee.
Great mystic yogīs are actually self-interested. The proof is that when Durvāsā Muni created a demon to kill Mahārāja Ambarīṣa, the King stayed fixed in his place, praying to the Supreme Personality of Godhead and depending solely and wholly on Him, whereas when Durvāsā Muni was chased by the Sudarśana cakra by the supreme will of the Lord, he was so perturbed that he fled all over the world and tried to take shelter in every nook and corner of the universe. At last, in fear of his life, he approached Lord Brahmā, Lord Śiva and ultimately the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He was so interested in his own body that he wanted to kill the body of a Vaiṣṇava. Therefore, he did not have very good intelligence, and how can an unintelligent person be delivered by the Supreme Personality of Godhead?
The lesson to be derived from this narration concerning Mahārāja Ambarīṣa and Durvāsā Muni is that all the demigods, including Lord Brahmā and Lord Śiva, are under the control of Lord Viṣṇu. Therefore, when a Vaiṣṇava is offended, the offender is punished by Viṣṇu, the Supreme Lord. No one can protect such a person, even Lord Brahmā or Lord Śiva.
When Durvāsā Muni was chased by the Sudarśana cakra, he wanted to take shelter of Lord Brahmā and Lord Śiva, and he was even able to go to the spiritual world, meet the Personality of Godhead and talk with Him face to face, yet he was unable to be rescued from the attack of the Sudarśana cakra. Thus he could understand the influence of a Vaiṣṇava by personal experience.
Bhagīratha replied to mother Ganges, "The Personality of Godhead Lord Śiva will be completely able to control the waves of your water, and when pure devotees bathe in your water, the sinful reactions left by sinful men will be counteracted." Bhagīratha then performed austerities to satisfy Lord Śiva, who is called Āśutoṣa because he is naturally satisfied very easily. Lord Śiva agreed to Bhagīratha's proposal to check the force of the Ganges. In this way, simply by the touch of the Ganges, Bhagīratha's forefathers were delivered and allowed to go to the heavenly planets.
Like a cloth woven of threads extending for its length and breadth, this entire universe, in all its latitude and longitude, is situated under different potencies of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Lord Śiva is the incarnation of the Lord, and thus he represents the Supersoul in the embodied soul. He can sustain your forceful waves on his head.
The water of the Ganges is supposed to rest on the head of Lord Śiva. Lord Śiva is an incarnation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who sustains the entire universe by different potencies. Lord Śiva is described in the Brahma-saṁhitā (5.45):
- kṣīraṁ yathā dadhi vikāra-viśeṣa-yogāt
- sañjāyate na hi tataḥ pṛthag asti hetoḥ
- yaḥ śambhutām api tathā samupaiti kāryād
- govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi
"Milk changes into yogurt when mixed with a yogurt culture, but actually yogurt is constitutionally nothing but milk. Similarly, Govinda, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, assumes the form of Lord Śiva for the special purpose of material transactions. I offer my obeisances at Lord Govinda's lotus feet."
Lord Śiva is the Supreme Personality of Godhead in the same sense that yogurt is also milk although at the same time it is not milk. For the maintenance of the material world there are three incarnations—Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Maheśvara (Lord Śiva). Lord Śiva is Viṣṇu in an incarnation for the mode of ignorance. The material world exists predominantly in the mode of ignorance. Therefore Lord Śiva is compared here to the longitude and latitude of the entire universe, which resembles a cloth woven of threads extending for both its length and breadth.
After saying this, Bhagīratha satisfied Lord Śiva by performing austerities. O King Parīkṣit, Lord Śiva was very quickly satisfied with Bhagīratha.
The words āśv atuṣyata indicate that Lord Śiva was satisfied very soon. Therefore another name for Lord Śiva is Āśutoṣa. Materialistic persons become attached to Lord Śiva because Lord Śiva bestows benedictions upon anyone and everyone very quickly, not caring to know how his devotees prosper or suffer. Although materialistic persons know that material happiness is nothing but another side of suffering, they want it, and to get it very quickly they worship Lord Śiva. We find that materialists are generally devotees of many demigods, especially Lord Śiva and mother Durgā. They do not actually want spiritual happiness, for it is almost unknown to them.
When King Bhagīratha approached Lord Śiva and requested him to sustain the forceful waves of the Ganges, Lord Śiva accepted the proposal by saying, "Let it be so." Then, with great attention, he sustained the Ganges on his head, for the water of the Ganges is purifying, having emanated from the toes of Lord Viṣṇu.
O King, the pastimes of Lord Rāmacandra were wonderful, like those of a baby elephant. In the assembly where mother Sītā was to choose her husband, in the midst of the heroes of this world, He broke the bow belonging to Lord Śiva. This bow was so heavy that it was carried by three hundred men, but Lord Rāmacandra bent and strung it and broke it in the middle, just as a baby elephant breaks a stick of sugarcane. Thus the Lord achieved the hand of mother Sītā, who was equally as endowed with transcendental qualities of form, beauty, behavior, age and nature. Indeed, she was the goddess of fortune who constantly rests on the chest of the Lord. While returning from Sītā's home after gaining her at the assembly of competitors, Lord Rāmacandra met Paraśurāma. Although Paraśurāma was very proud, having rid the earth of the royal order twenty-one times, he was defeated by the Lord, who appeared to be a kṣatriya of the royal order.
O King Parīkṣit, when Rāvaṇa, who had ten heads on his shoulders, heard about the beautiful and attractive features of Sītā, his mind was agitated by lusty desires, and he went to kidnap her. To distract Lord Rāmacandra from His āśrama, Rāvaṇa sent Mārīca in the form of a golden deer, and when Lord Rāmacandra saw that wonderful deer, He left His residence and followed it and finally killed it with a sharp arrow, just as Lord Śiva killed Dakṣa.
Lord Rāmacandra, whose lotus feet are worshiped by Lord Brahmā and Lord Śiva, had assumed the form of a human being. Thus He performed the funeral ceremony of Jaṭāyu, who was killed by Rāvaṇa. The Lord then killed the demon named Kabandha, and after making friends with the monkey chiefs, killing Vāli and arranging for the deliverance of mother Sītā, He went to the beach of the ocean.
The attraction between man and woman, or male and female, always exists everywhere, making everyone always fearful. Such feelings are present even among the controllers like Brahmā and Lord Śiva and is the cause of fear for them, what to speak of others who are attached to household life in this material world.
Lord Rāmacandra's spotless name and fame, which vanquish all sinful reactions, are celebrated in all directions, like the ornamental cloth of the victorious elephant that conquers all directions. Great saintly persons like Mārkaṇḍeya Ṛṣi still glorify His characteristics in the assemblies of great emperors like Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira. Similarly, all the saintly kings and all the demigods, including Lord Śiva and Lord Brahmā, worship the Lord by bowing down with their helmets. Let me offer my obeisances unto His lotus feet.
Because of enmity between Bṛhaspati and Śukra, Śukra took the side of the moon-god and was joined by the demons. But Lord Śiva, because of affection for the son of his spiritual master, joined the side of Bṛhaspati and was accompanied by all the ghosts and hobgoblins.
The moon-god is one of the demigods, but to fight against the other demigods he took the assistance of the demons. Śukra, being an enemy of Bṛhaspati, also joined the moon-god to retaliate in wrath against Bṛhaspati. To counteract this situation, Lord Śiva, who was affectionate toward Bṛhaspati, joined Bṛhaspati. The father of Bṛhaspati was Aṅgirā, from whom Lord Śiva had received knowledge. Therefore Lord Śiva had some affection for Bṛhaspati and joined his side in this fight. Śrīdhara Svāmī remarks, aṅgirasaḥ sakāśāt prāpta-vidyo hara iti prasiddhaḥ: "Lord Śiva is well known to have received knowledge from Aṅgirā."
Once Śarmiṣṭhā was sporting in the water with thousands of her girl friends, and Devayānī was also there. When the young girls saw Lord Śiva, seated on his bull with Umā, they immediately dressed themselves, but Śarmiṣṭhā mistakenly put on Devayānī's clothes. Devayānī, being very angry, rebuked Śarmiṣṭhā, who also became very angry and responded by rebuking Devayānī and throwing her into a well.
While sporting in the water, the girls suddenly saw Lord Śiva passing by, seated on the back of his bull with his wife, Pārvatī. Ashamed because they were naked, the girls quickly got out of the water and covered themselves with their garments.
Demigods like Lord Brahmā and Lord Śiva, who can satisfy all materially ambitious men by giving them the rewards they desire, then manifested their own identities before King Rantideva, for it was they who had presented themselves as the brāhmaṇa, śūdra, caṇḍāla and so on.
As stated in Bhagavad-gītā (7.20), kāmais tais tair hṛta jñānāḥ prapadyante 'nya-devatāḥ: those befooled by the illusion of the material energy worship gods other than the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Therefore, although Rantideva was personally able to see Lord Brahmā and Lord Śiva, he did not hanker to take material benefits from them. Rather, he fixed his mind upon Lord Vāsudeva and rendered devotional service unto Him.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, with the cooperation of Saṅkarṣaṇa, Balarāma, performed activities beyond the mental comprehension of even such personalities as Lord Brahmā and Lord Śiva. (For instance, Kṛṣṇa arranged the Battle of Kurukṣetra to kill many demons for the relief of the entire world.)