SHRIMAD DEVI BHAGAVATAM | BOOK 4 CHAPTER 5

THE FOURTH BOOK

Chapter V

On the dialogues of Nara Nārāyaṇa

1. Vyāsa said:

O best of kings! There is no need of dwelling at length on this point; suffice to say, that in this world, are found persons very rare that are religious, and free from egoism, jealousy, anger, etc.

2. O king of kings! Even in the Satya Yuga, the Golden age, this world, moving and unmoving, was covered with feelings of jealousy and anger. What to say in this Kali Yuga (Dark Age)! (There is no wonder that this world would be full of these vicious things.)

3. O best of kings! When the Devas are deceitful, jealous, and filled with feelings of anger, what is to be said with human beings and other lower creations!

4. O Lord of the Earth! It is natural, that injury be inflicted on those persons that commit injury; but when peaceful persons, void of any enmity, are injured, that is certainly an act wicked and mischievous.

5. Whenever, any devout ascetic, calm and quiet, is engaged in prayer and meditation, and silent muttering of one's mantrams, the king of the Immortals throws hindrance in his asceticism. (This is certainly a mischievous act.)

6. (Holy, unholy and mixed persons exist in all the yugas). To those that are holy, all the yugas are the Satya yuga; to the unholy ones always it is the Kālī yuga (Dark age); and to the mixed ones, always it is Trētā and Dvāpara.

7. You will very seldom find a few persons, following really the True Religion; otherwise, you would have found all the persons in the different yugas religious, appropriate to those yugas.

8. O king! In all cases where the conservation of religions and religious affairs are concerned, know that the original wish and desire is the cause. If this desire be impure and sullied, religion becomes also sullied for, verily, this impurity in one's desire is one's cause of ruin in every respect. (Therefore the impure desires are never to be cherished and indulged.)

9. A son, named Dharma, was born of the heart of Brahmā; he was devoted to

Brahmājñāna (the knowledge of Brahmā), truthful, and always engaged in rites and ceremonies and in accordance with the Vedic religion.

10. This high souled Muni Dharma was a householder and married duly, according to the proper procedure, to the ten daughters of Dakṣa Prajāpati.

11. This Dharma, the foremost amongst the followers of truth, impregnated them and had four sons, named respectively Hari, Kṛṣṇa, Nara, and Nārāyaṇa.

12. Hari and Kṛṣṇa, amongst the four, used to remain always in the practising of the yoga.

13. Nara and Nārāyaṇa came over to the Himalayan mountains and, in the hermitage of Badarikā, commenced the difficult religious asceticism and penance.

14. The foremost of the ascetics, those two ancient Munis, began to recite that highest mantra of Para Brahmā, the Gayatri, on the wide spacious bank of the Ganges.

15. The two Riṣis named Nara and Nārāyaṇa, born of Hari's Amśa, practised excellent tapasyā for full one thousand years.

16. The whole Universe, moving and unmoving, became hot through the Fire of their Tapas. Indra became also perplexed.

17-18. The thousand-eyed Indra became anxious, thought and within himself thus What is to be done now? These two sons of Dharma are practising Tapas and are in meditation. If they succeed, they can occupy my excellent seat in Heaven; how can I break their Tapasyā and what steps shall I take to hinder them.

19-20. Lust, anger, and insurmountable avarice Indra brought into existence and, intent on hindering their tapasyā, mounted on the elephant Airāvata, went quickly to the hill Gandhamādan, and approaching the holy hermitage, saw the two ancient Riṣis.

21. Their bodies were incandescent by Tapasyā, as if they were the two rising Suns. Were they Brahmā, Viṣṇu manifested there or were they the two shining sources of light? These two Riṣis were the sons of Dharma. What would they do with their Tapasyā?

22-23. Thinking thus, the lord of Śachī seeing them addressed thus:

O highly fortunate ones! O two Riṣis the sons of Dharma! Please tell me what are your objects? I have come here to give thee excellent boons; I am very pleased with your Tapasyā; therefore ask boons from me; and even if they be not worth giving, I will give them to you.

24-25. Vyāsa said:

The Riṣis were deeply immersed in meditation and seemed very firm and resolute; they, therefore, did not reply anything, though Indra, standing before them, repeatedly urged them to ask boons from him. Seeing this, the king of the Immortals began to terrify them with his supernatural enchanting fearful māyic powers.

26. He created lions, tigers, wolves and other murderous animals and began to terrify the two Riṣis with them; Indra also produced rains, hurricanes and fires very frequently so that they might yield.

27. In spite of Indra's attempt to terrify them by his wonderful Māyā, the two Munis, Nara Nārāyaṇa, the two sons of Dharma, could not be brought under his control. And Indra returned to his own place.

28-31. And he became very sorry and thought thus:

These two Munis could not be tempted away with boons, nor did they fly away from their place of worship, though terrified with fire, wind, wolves, tigers and lions. No one, I think, would be able to break their meditation.

When fear and temptations have not distracted their meditation, they are certainly meditating on the Eternal Mahā Vidyā Śrī Bhuvaneśvarī, the Prime Force of Nature, the Source of all Māyās, and the Goddess the Creatrix of all the worlds, the wonderful highest Prakriti; what other expert in emitting Māyā there can be? Who can break their meditation!

32. Indeed! How can this whole host of Māyās that are created by Gods and Asuras overpower those purged of all their sins, who are meditating their Creator, the Supreme Māyā, that Illusion by which one considers the unreal Universe as really existent and as distinct from the Supreme Spirit, whence the Gods and Asuras have derived all their supernatural powers.

33. He in whose heart reign the seed mantras of Vāk, Kāma and Māyā, called Vāgvījam, Kāmavījam, Māyāvījam, no one is able to stand against and overpower him.

34-35. O king! Indra, enchanted by Māyā, did not desist from tempting the two Riṣis, but he went on thinking other means by which their asceticism could be baffled and asked Kāma and Vasanta (the god of Lust and the season spring) to come before him and addressed them, thus:

O Kāma! You now be united with your wife Rati and Vasanta (the God of spring) and go to the hill Gandhamādan, accompanied by all the Apsarās (celestial damsels) and with all the Rasas (love sentiments).

NOTE: The Gandhamādan is the mountain like unsurpassable intoxicating happiness of the senses.

36-37. There you will find the two ancient excellent Riṣis Nara and Nārāyaṇa practising asceticism in solitude, in the hermitage of Badarikā.

O Manamatha! You better go before them, and with the influence of your arrows, do now my work and make their hearts extremely lustful.

38. O Fortunate One! Charm over them by means of your arrows, make them leave their asceticism by magical spells.

39. Who is there in this world of Devas, Daityas, human beings, that, being whipped by your arrows, do not come under your control?

40. When Brahmā, I, Mahādeva, Moon and Fire are all fascinated by your arrows, then is there any doubt that these two Riṣis would not be fascinated by them!

41. I am sending these public women as your assistants. Rambhā and other beautiful celestial nymphs would all follow you.

42. You alone, or Rambhā or Tilottamā alone can do this work. Will there be any doubt if you all unite in this?

43. O Good One! Do this work for me; I will confer on you your desired objects.

44. O Manamatha! I tempted them with boons but these two ascetics, of controlled minds, could not be displaced from their seats. My efforts were rendered useless.

45. I frightened them very much with all the Mayic powers; yet they could not be dislocated from their deep thoughts. It seems that they are quite heedless in the preservation of their bodies.

46. Vyāsa said:

Kāmadeva, on hearing the king of the Devas, addressed him thus:

O Indra! Today I will fulfil all your desires.

47. But there is one word. If these two ascetics be meditating Viṣṇu, Śiva or Brahmā or the Sun, then I will be able to bring them under my control.

48. And if they be meditating on the Great Seed Mantra, the root of all Māyā, and the great Kāmavījam, the king of the Kama, I will never be able to subdue such a devotee of the Highest Devī.

49. If these two ascetics have devotedly taken refuge of the Great Power Mahā Devī, then they will not come under the sight of my arrows.

50. Indra said:

O Blessed One! Go now with your assistants, ready to do your work. Nobody but you, I find, that can fulfil my this beneficial, though very difficult work.

Vyāsa said:

Thus ordered by Indra, they all departed to where the Dharmas sons Nara, and Nārāyaṇa were performing their hard Tapasyās.

Here ends the Fifth Chapter in the Fourth Book of Śrīmad Devī Bhāgavatam, the Mahā Purāṇam of 18,000 verses by Mahāṛṣi Veda Vyāsa.