Lord Varuna continued, “O demon king! I have completely given up warfare. You are an expert in warfare. To a warrior of your cadre, only Lord Srihari is the right opponent. He is the primordial being. He alone can satisfy your desire. I do not even know how to fight properly. Therefore I suggest that you approach him. Mighty warriors like you can truly appreciate his power. He too is waiting for a worthy opponent.
“Taṁ vīram ārād abhipadya vismayaḥ śayiṣyase vīra-śaye śvabhir vṛtaḥ
Yas tvad-vidhānām asatāṁ praśāntaye rūpāṇi dhatte sad-anugrahecchayā
Very shortly you will meet this supreme warrior Srihari. Then your pride will be crushed. When you sleep in the battle field, dogs will roam around you. Only for the purpose of destroying wicked beings and for blessing the noble beings, He incarnates periodically”- said Lord Varuna to Hiranyāksha.
With this the seventeenth chapter comes to an end.
Third Canto Chapter Eighteen
In this chapter, for the well-being of the universe, the Supreme Lord tackling the demon Hiranyāksha and the details of their battle are covered.
Maitreya Maharishi continued, “O Vidura! Hiranyāksha was extremely thrilled when he heard the words of Varuna. This conceited demon was excited that after all these years he was going to combat with an able opponent, who could match him in battle. He paid a deaf ear to Varuna’s prophecy that he would meet his end in Srihari’s hands.
He, who was anxious for a battle, instantly found from Maharishi Nārada the place where he would find Srihari. In lightening speeds he reached Patala (a type of hell).
Dadarśa tatrābhijitaṁ dharā-dharaṁ Pronnīyamānāvanim agra-daṁṣṭrayā
Muṣṇantam akṣṇā sva-ruco ’ruṇa-śriyā Jahāsa cāho vana-gocaro mṛgaḥ
There he saw Lord Varāha, who was the size of an unimaginably huge mountain. Lord Varāha was holding the earth on his tusks and bringing it up. In front of the Lord, who was gleaming with his bright red eyes and lustrous body, Hiranyāksha’s radiance faded.
Seeing the Lord the demon thought, “Oh, this is an animal that roams about in the forests. How come it is swimming in these waters?” Thinking thus he laughed boisterously.
Addressing the Lord he shouted, “O fool, come here! Throw away that earth. Lord Brahma who has created this universe has gifted to us the earth which is situated near the Rasātala (a type of hell). Hence earth is always under our control.
You cannot steal the earth, right under our eyes, and obtain any happiness. You who have incarnated as a boar are the lowest amongst the Devatas. O fool! Is it possible that in order to destroy us our enemies have nourished you? If not, what is the reason behind this huge form of yours?
You appear like a magician. Instead of appearing in your original form, you are appearing in this form of a boar and are attacking the demons so as to obtain victory. The power of illusion (yoga maya) is your true form. Nevertheless, your prowess is insignificant. Your valour is demeaning and lowly. I will now kill you and through this wipe the tears of my kith and kin.
When I hurl this mace your head will be smashed into pieces. O fool! The time for your death has arrived. When you die, these sages who ardently worship you, will automatically die akin to the tree whose mother root has been plucked out”.
Like sharp thorns, these words uttered by his enemy deeply pricked Lord Varaha. Earth which was resting on His tusks, trembled profusely hearing the words of the demon. Even though these harsh words pricked the Lord, He tolerated it. Just as a male elephant chased by a crocodile reaches the shore together with its female companion, Lord Varāha together with earth emerged safely from the waters.
Hiranyaksha had golden hair all over his body. His tusks were frightful. Seeing Lord Varāha emerging from the waters he roared like thunder. Just as a crocodile rushes to catch the elephant, he rushed towards Lord Varāha in great fury. He roared, “Shameless persons do not possess the discrimination between rightful or wrongful deeds. Such wicked persons escape timidly without waging war. Are you not ashamed of behaving in such a shameless manner?”
Exactly at that moment Brahma was praying to Lord Varāha, who had brought the earth safely out of the waters. The Devatas were raining flowers upon Him and were praising him profusely. Without heeding the taunting words uttered by this demon, the Lord carried the earth and deposited it safely at a suitable place. He then blessed it by transferring His own energy into it.
Now He looked at Hiranyāksha who was wearing golden ornaments, who had draped himself in multi coloured golden clothing, who held a huge iron mace in his hand and who was abusing Him and piercing His heart with harsh words. The Lord’s fury knew no bounds. Laughing boisterously He looked at the demon and said,
“Satyaṁ vayaṁ bho vana-gocarā mṛgā Yuṣmad-vidhān mṛgaye grāma-siṁhān
Na mṛtyu-pāśaiḥ pratimuktasya vīrā Vikatthanaṁ tava gṛhṇanty abhadra
O wicked demon! What you said is undoubtedly true. We are animals that roam about in the forests. Nevertheless, our task is to catch worthless dogs like you. You are wasting your time in useless talk. Valourous persons do not attach any value to worthless words.
What you have said is true! We are thieves. We have come to steal this earth which had been given to the residents of Rasātala hell by Lord Brahma. Therefore even if you chase us with your mace, we do not care. We are shameless.
I have no choice but to fight you. How can we afford to have hostile relations with powerful warriors of your stature? More importantly, you are the commander for all the land warriors. Why then do you hesitate? Why do you delay? Come now. Begin that task which is disliked by me”.