Bhagawatam 177: Nandi’s curse; Maharishi Bhrigu’s counter-curse; Daksha conducts a Yagna

Achyutāya Namah

Nandi continued, “Due to love for his body, Daksha considers his body to be the Self (atma). He thinks this body is everything. As he is filled with feelings of duality, he has forgotten the inherent form of the Self. May this ignorant fool become a womanizer! May he, at the earliest, become goat-headed!

This foolish person believes fruitive actions, which constitute spiritual ignorance (avidya), to be the ultimate goal of life. He considers ignorance to be ultimate knowledge. May all those who are in agreement with Daksha, who has insulted and cursed Shiva, be trapped in samsāra i.e. the cycle of repeated births and deaths!

The creeper called karma kānda of Vedas (the portion of Vedas that explains fruitive actions or actions done with expectation of result) bears flowers known as ‘hymns that extol the greatness of the results’. In other words the Vedic chants known as karma kānda, with their flowery scented language, extol the greatness of heavenly and other comforts that are obtained due to adherence to fruitive actions when in reality these comforts only bring grief to the mind.

May all impure people who despise Shiva and who are deeply inclined towards these comforts, fall into the trap called infatuation towards fruitive actions! May they lose the discrimination between objects permanent and impermanent (nitya anitya vastu viveka) in this creation!

May the Brahmins, who despise Shiva, lose the discrimination between what should be eaten and what should not be eaten! May they use their penance, education and dedication purely towards rituals that help in filling their bellies!

Trapped in excessive infatuation towards wealth, sensual comforts and towards their body, may they rotate continuously in this cycle of births and deaths!” In this way, Nandi cursed not only Daksha but also all the Brahmins who despise Shiva.

Hearing Nandi’s curse, Maharishi Bhrigu instantly uttered a curse. Being a curse uttered by an exponent in Vedas, it is impossible to escape from this curse. Bhrigu Maharishi cursed,

“May the persons who adhere to Pāśupata vrata (Shiva vrata) and their disciples, become atheists who condemn the dictates of the Vedas. May they be impure, deluded, foolish and decorate themselves with bones, long hair and ash on their body! May their Pāśupata vrata involve eating meat, drinking wine and other intoxicating substances! May it become their lifestyle!

Vedas uphold the individual lifestyle as well as that of the society. You are condemning in varied ways such Veda and the learned Brahmins who adhere to this Veda. It implies that this Nandi has taken shelter in atheism which is a doctrine that is against the tenets of the Vedas.

Eṣa eva hi lokānāṁ śivaḥ panthā sanātana

Yaṁ pūrve cānusantasthur yat-pramāṇa janārdana

This path of Vedas, which is eternal, brings the well-being of all the worlds! It causes auspiciousness to mankind! All our elders have sought refuge in it in the past. Srihari, who punishes the wicked, is the root support for this Veda dharma.

Veda is of ultimate purity! It is eternal. Noble beings have always adhered to this Vedic path. All of you, who condemn such pure Veda, should turn into atheists and worship Rudra, the lord of the ignorant”.

Shiva’s mind was agitated due to these curses and counter-curses. He got up from his seat and left the assembly. All his troops (Shiva gaṇās) followed him.

O Vidura! Thereafter the Prajāpatis, continued this Satra yāga for a thousand years to appease the Srihari, the Lord of all Lords. Having completed the Yagna, they bathed in the confluence of Rivers Ganga and Yamuna and with pure minds returned to their respective homes.

With this the second chapter of the Fourth Canto comes to an end.

Fourth Canto Chapter Three

In this chapter, Satidevi seeking permission from her husband to attend the Yagna being conducted by her father Daksha and Shiva, in various ways, trying to dissuade her are covered.

Maitreya Maharishi said, “O Vidura, many years passed but the enmity between father-in-law Daksha and son-in-law Shiva continued. One day Brahma appointed Daksha as the leader of all the Prajāpatis and honoured him. With this Daksha became conceited.

Daksha who had become arrogant with this power rebuked all the Brahma nishtas (those established in Brahman) and began performing the Vājapeya Yāga. Thereafter he began another Yagna named Brihaspati sava.

All supreme saints, Brahmarishis, Devarishis as well as forefathers attended this Yagna together with their spouses. They participated in this auspicious ceremony and happily accepted the gifts given to them by Daksha.

Satidevi, wife of Shiva and daughter of Daksha, heard the Gandharvas and demi-gods, who were travelling in the sky extolling the greatness and grandeur of her father’s Yagna. They were discussing the finer details of the Yagna.

She observed people from all directions going in their aircrafts to attend the Yagna. The wives of the demi-gods had worn costly saris, exquisite ornaments and glittering earrings and were beautifully dressed. Chatting joyfully with their husbands and observing their surroundings with their delicate pretty eyes, they were enthusiastically traveling to attend the Yagna.

Satidevi noticed all this commotion in the skies near her residence. In great excitement she approached Shiva and said,
“O Lord! Your father-in-law Daksha is conducting a grand yagna. If you are agreeable, we both could go and attend the Yagna. Groups of Devatas are eagerly traveling to attend the Yagna. Just see the commotion in the skies as they travel in their airplanes. I am sure all my sisters, together with their husbands, will arrive to see the Yagna and to meet all the relatives. I too am desirous of attending the Yagna along with you. I too want to accept the gifts that my parents give”.

Achyutāya namah

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