“Some of Shiva’s attendants, who were led by Veerabhadra, pulled down pillars which supported the sacrificial pandal of Daksha’s Yagna. Some others broke the building where the wives of the priests conducting the homa would rest. Some destroyed the main sacrificial hall, some broke the kitchen and some broke the building where the person conducting the homa would sit.
Some destroyed the homa fire-pit while some broke the vessels used for the Yagna. Some urinated in the fire pits. While some cut the ropes tied in the hall, some troubled the sages. Some threatened the sage’s wives. Some chased the fleeing Devatas and trashed them.
Maṇimān caught hold of Maharishi Bhrigu, Veerabhadra caught Daksha Prajāpati, Chandeśa caught Puśa Devata and Nandi caught Bhaga Devata. They were trashed mercilessly. Priests, Devatas and other guests, who watched this commotion, as fast as they could, dispersed in all directions.
Shiva’s attendants chased them and rained stones upon them thereby injuring them. As easily as a person catches a cat, Veerabhadra caught hold of Maharishi Bhrigu, who was conducting the Yagna ritual.
Previously when Daksha Prajāpati was insulting Shiva, Maharishi Bhrigu had, while playfully combing his mustache and beard, scornfully laughed at Shiva. For this reason, Veerabhadra now chopped off his beard and mustache.
When Daksha Prajāpati was cursing Shiva, Bhaga Devata through the movement of his eyebrows was instigating Daksha. Therefore Veerabhadra threw Bhaga to the ground and plucked out his eyes.
When Shiva was being insulted, Puśa Devata laughed sarcastically showing all his teeth. As easily as Balarama broke the teeth of King of Kālinga, Veerabhadra knocked out the teeth of Puśa Devata.
The powerful Veerabhadra, who has three eyes, pushed Daksha on to the ground with full force and with his leg kicked him on his chest. He tried to chop off Daksha’s head with his sword. However he failed.
Veerabhadra then tried to kill Daksha, using weapons that were empowered with mantras. Even then he failed. He tried numerous ways to kill Daksha but repeatedly kept failing. He could not even injure even his skin in any way.
Confused at his inability to kill Daksha, Veerabhadra began to ponder deeply. “I have mercilessly thrashed many people here. I have pulled out the eyes of those who happily watched Shiva being insulted. I have cut off the ears of those who heard inauspicious words about Shiva. I have meted out terrible treatment to many others here. But I fail to kill this Daksha. Why? What is the right approach?”
Like a flash, suddenly a new idea dawned in him. In a Yagna, the person conducting the Yagna is the real sacrificial animal. He saw the weapon with which the sacrificial animal would be killed. He decided to use this weapon and behead Daksha, like a sacrificial animal. At lightning speed, he beheaded Daksha with this weapon.
Seeing this, Shiva’s attendants such as ghosts and spirits, surrounded Veerabhadra and began to dance merrily. They began to shout victory slogans. However Daksha’s family began to wail loudly at Daksha’s death.
Veerabhadra, whose anger was still unabated, took Daksha’s head and threw it into the southern side of the sacrificial fire pit. He broke the remaining structures in the sacrificial hall and then, having completed the task assigned to him, left for Kailasa.
With this the fifth chapter of the fourth canto comes to an end.
Fourth Canto Chapter Six
In this chapter, Brahma and other Devatas going to Kailasa seeking the welfare of Daksha and his associates and they pacifying Shiva are covered.
Maitreya Maharishi said to Vidura, “The Devatas and the priests were badly defeated in the hands of Shiva’s attendants. Having been hit with tridents, swords, spears, maces, bludgeons, iron hammers etc., all their limbs were broken. Trembling and shouting in fear and pain they ran as fast as they could and approached Lord Brahma and narrated everything to Him.
Lords Sriman Nārayana and Brahma were already aware that Daksha’s yagna would be destroyed. Hence they did not participate in the Yagna. Addressing those who were praying to him, Brahma said,
“Shiva’s radiance is unsurpassed. Although Daksha is supremely radiant, he committed a grave mistake with respect to Shiva. Even if we are offended due to actions of a Mahatma, we should never ever offend them. In this case, Shiva was actually faultless but yet Daksha offended him. Hence his mistake was unpardonable. As a result neither Daksha nor his family members could obtain auspiciousness, even though they tried. It turned out to be impossible.
As if this was not enough he insulted Satidevi. Even when he saw her burning in the fire, he did not make any attempts to stop her. All the assembled guests were at fault for eagerly listening to the insults being heaped upon Shiva. Some of them enjoyed it too. Thus, for having seen, heard or enjoyed criticisms on Shiva, all present in the gathering had to face punishments!
Shiva has a share in the Yagna offerings. Even if Shiva is not present, his share of offering must be made. However due to wickedness, you did not offer him his share of Yagna offering. This mistake of yours is definitely unpardonable.
Even then, do not worry. With absolutely pure minds hold His feet. Lord Shiva quickly blesses those who seek shelter in Him. If you truly seek that Daksha’s Yagna should be reinstated and it should be completed successfully, then right away go and seek forgiveness from Shiva. Due to your mistakes, He has been separated from his beloved Satidevi”.