“Eṣa te rudra bhāgo ’stu yad-ucchiṣṭo ’dhvarasya vai
Yajñas te rudra bhāgena kalpatām adya yajña-han
O Rudra! After completion of Yagna, may everything that remains belong exclusively to You! May it be Your share. May this Yagna be completed with Your portion of offerings”. In this way, Brahma prayed to Rudra.
With this the sixth chapter of the fourth canto comes to an end.
Fourth Canto Chapter Seven
In this chapter, Mahavishnu manifests in the sacrificial hall when Daksha, Shiva and other Devatas pray to Him. With His blessings, Daksha re-starts the Yagna.
Maitreya Maharishi continued, “O Vidura! Hearing the prayers of the self-created Lord Brahma, Shiva was pleased. Smiling cheerfully He replied,
“O Lord Brahma! Being influenced by illusory power (māya) Daksha and other persons have lost their wisdom and intelligence. I do not even consider their mistakes as serious offences. Even then, finding the appropriate time, I have punished them for their mistakes.
Due to this punishment, Daksha Prajāpati’s head was chopped off and thrown into the fire pit. Henceforth he will have a goat’s head. Bhaga Devata, who lost his eyes, will hereafter see his share of sacrifice through the eyes of Mitra Devata.
Puśa Devata will be able to chew and eat, items made of flour, through the teeth of his Yajamāni (the patron conducting the sacrifice). The Devatas have offered to me everything that remains in the Yagna, therefore all their injured limbs will be healed and they will as robust as before.
The priests who lost their hands will have to work through the hands of Ashwini Devatas and through the forearms of Puśa Devata. Bhrigu Maharishi, who lost his mustache and beard, will henceforth have a goat’s beard” -Shiva thus showered blessings upon them.
Devatas who heard this were overjoyed. They applauded and appreciated Lord Shiva, the giver of boons. They invited Shiva to the Yagna. Together with Brahma and Shiva, the Devatas and Maharishis returned to the place of Daksha’s Yagna to complete the sacrifice as instructed by Shiva.
The head of the sacrificial goat was fixed to Daksha’s headless body. Shiva showered His compassionate gaze upon Daksha, who was now goat-headed. As easily as a person wakes up from sleep, Daksha returned back to life. He opened his eyes and saw Shiva standing before him.
Previously Daksha’s mind was polluted due to his aversion for Shiva. However now due to Shiva’s compassionate gaze and due to the fact that he had the darshan of Shiva immediately upon being revived, Daksha’s mind was totally cleansed. Just like the clear autumn waters of the lake, Daksha’s mind shone with purity.
He wanted to glorify Shiva but suddenly he remembered his daughter Satidevi, who was no more. With this, his mind was engulfed with feelings of affection and agitation. He shed profuse tears and could not get himself to speak.
Although Daksha was well-learned scholar his mind had succumbed to feelings of love and affection. With great difficulty he restrained his mind. With feeling of absolute devotion, he prayed,
“O Lord Śiva, I have insulted You. I am a sinner. Even then, You first blessed me in the form of punishments. Thereby You purified me. By restoring me back to life You have blessed me once again. Thus twice You have showered limitless mercy upon me. Your action is supremely astonishing, O Lord.
Neither You nor Srihari ever disregard even the worst, useless Brahmin. This being the case, would You ever disregard those people who have diligently taken the vow towards Yagna? It is impossible.
O Parameśwara! You are all pervading. At the beginning of creation, with the intent of protecting Vedas and Self-knowledge, You manifested as Brahma. From that face You created Brahmins. Through strict adherence to the disciplines linked to austerities, through penance and through following the path of knowledge, these Brahmins have been protecting the Vedas. Hence, when they are in distress You rush and protect them.
A cowherd uses a stick to regulate the movement of cows that go astray. Thereby he ensures their protection. Likewise You punish the wicked. Through the medium of punishment You actually ensure their protection. Through this You ensure protection of the Vedic regulations. The punishment that You have awarded to people like me is for my benefit and protection!
I was an ignorant fool who had no idea of Your divine reputation. In that fully-packed gathering, I insulted You by uttering harsh words that pierced you like sharp arrows. Being an epitome of compassion, O Lord, You did not even take them seriously. You are supremely venerable. When I was about to fall into hell, because of the sin incurred by insulting You, You showered Your compassionate gaze upon me and saved me. I do not have in me the capacity to satisfy and please You. But yet, You have blessed me abundantly.
O Lord, with Your extreme broad-mindedness and out of Your own will, be happy with me since I do not in me have the capacity to please You.”In this way, Daksha Prajāpati sought pardon from Shiva for his earlier sins.
He now regretted his earlier deeds. He grieved that he lost his daughter in the process. He realized that in the form of punishment i.e. destruction of the Yagna, the Lord had actually been merciful towards him. After punishing him for his misdeeds, the Lord now restored him back to life and enabled him to continue with his yagna. Due to the Lord’s grace, his desire to complete the Yagna and to adhere to his prescribed duties was fulfilled. Towards this, the Lord’s grace was limitless. It was supreme. Hence Daksha was thankful to Him.