Bhagawatam 181: Satidevi gives up her life in Yogic fire; uproar in assembly thereafter

Nārasimhāya namah

Satidevi continued, “Actions are of two kinds, viz. Pravṛtti karma and Nivṛtti karma. To those who are desirous of material comforts, Vedas has prescribed fire rituals (agnihotra) and other tools which bestow heavenly and other comforts.

The same Veda prescribes disciplines such as śama, dama etc. for those who have attained detachment (vairagya). Both these paths are mutually contradictory. It is impossible for any person, to adhere to both paths simultaneously. Remember that Parabrahma Śiva, is over and beyond both these types of actions! He has no necessity to abide by any action.

O father! The supernatural powers that we possess are not outwardly exhibited. It is impossible for you to know about them. Only knowers of Brahman (Brahma vetta) acquire such transcendental powers. People like you who are deeply inclined towards sensory pleasures, perform fruitive actions like elaborate fire rituals in sacrificial halls seeking fulfillment of material desires and are satisfied after eating the rice offerings (yagnānna).

Travelling in the southern direction (dakshina marga) you enjoy petty comforts known as heavenly comforts and are again reborn thereafter. A petty person like you can never understand the glory of Śiva.

You have sinned against Śiva. For this reason, this body which has originated from you is condemnable. I have no use of such worthless body. I feel ashamed that I am talking to wicked sinner like you.

Śiva, the protector of dharma, would at times address me as Dākśāyani since I am your daughter. Hearing this name, all happiness would evaporate from my face and I would become morose. I would mentally grieve that I am your daughter. Hence this body which has originated from you is nothing but a corpse. I now give such body”.

Saying this, Satidevi, who was wearing yellow clothing, sat down facing the northern direction. She sipped acamana water, closed her eyes and through the path of Yoga attained the final state of meditation (samādhi ).

Satidevi, who are faultless, at first achieved stability in sitting posture. She performed pranāyama and merged the Prāṇa and Apāna winds in the body. She raised the Udāna vayu, the wind which enables the life-force (prāṇa shakti) to leave the body, upward from the Navel chakra (Manipura). Along with intelligence (buddhi), she raised it to the Anāhata chakra located near the heart.

From there she raised it to Viśuddha chakra located near the throat region. Then she raised it and took it to Ajna chakra, located in between the eyebrows. As prescribed by Yoga, she meditated upon fire and wind in the mind.

Thereafter the chaste woman, meditated with exclusive concentration upon the lotus feet of her husband Parama-śiva. With that meditation, in her heart she experienced ultimate nectarous bliss. She was absorbed in a deep state of meditation and lost total contact with the outer world. With this meditation her body was freed from the sin of being born to Daksha. At that point, the fire which was born purely from Yoga (yogāgni) spread rapidly and burnt down her body”.

Satidevi did not commit suicide and hence the sin of suicide did not attach to her. She did not jump into the homa fire. As she gave up her body purely through means of Yoga, she was blessed with ultimate liberation!

Bhagawatam very clearly highlights this fact. In some books, it is stated that she jumped into the fire pit. It should be understood that she invoked the fire into the pit called her body and gave up her life in that fire pit.

“Devatas and other assembled guests were initially in a state of shock. Thereafter they began screaming loudly and there was a huge uproar in the assembly. Their screams filled entire earth and space. ‘Śiva is the Lord of all Lords. Daksha Prajāpati behaved in a manned that angered His dearest wife. As a result she gave up her life’- they screamed.

‘It is shocking that Daksha Prajāpati who should have treated all living beings equally, has insulted his own daughter due to his haughtiness. She is a self-respecting woman worthy of all the greatest honours. Unable to bear his insult, the pure chaste woman gave up her life. This Daksha’s mind is a storehouse of sinful thoughts. He disliked Shiva, the Supreme Lord, and has harmed Him. For this reason, he is going to get extreme ill-fame. Even after knowing that his daughter was about to give up her life, he did not even make the least attempts to prevent her’- assembled guests began to talk in this manner.

Meanwhile, Śiva’s attendants, who had seen Satidevi entering into the Yogic fire, took up their weapons and rushed towards Daksha, with the intent of killing him.

Maharishi Bhrigu, who was the chief priest of the Yagna, possessed supreme mystical powers. He noticed Shiva’s attendants rushing towards them. In order to destroy these Shiva’s attendants, who were seeking to destroy the Yagna, in the southern fire he performed a homa with Yajur veda mantras.

As he was performing this homa, from the homa fire thousands of Devatas known as Rbhus, were born. These Rbhus had previously performed intense penance and had drunk the nectar called Soma-rasa. These celestial beings, who shone with divine radiance, rushed out of the fire pit and using burning firewood as their weapons, they drove away Shiva’s attendants from the sacrificial hall.

With this the fourth chapter from the fourth canto comes to an end.

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