Brahmins prayed, “Death ceremonies and other offerings made to forefathers are also Your form. O Lord, the three Vedas form Your body. Even the intent to begin a Yagna is Your form. Previously You incarnated in the form of Varāha. Making tumultuous noise and using Your tusks You uplifted earth from hell. As playfully as an elephant plucks a lotus from the pond You completed this mammoth task. At that point great sages worshipped and glorified You.
O Yagneshwara! We seek that You should be firmly established in our minds. The Yagna that we have begun has been destroyed. We pray that You should be pleased with us. O Lord, to those who chant Your names, all obstacles in a Yagna get destroyed. We offer obeisance to You”.
In this manner, everyone in the sacrificial hall prayed to Lord Srihari, the embodiment of Yagna. Thereafter with a pure inner mind Daksha restarted the yagna that had been destroyed by Veerabhadra.
Srihari is the inner Self who resides within every being. Therefore He is the one who actually eats/accepts the offerings made to the various different Gods in the Yagna. Such Lord Srihari, who appeared as if He was pleased with just His share of offerings, looked pleasantly at Daksha and said,
“Ahaṁ brahmā ca śarvaś ca jagataḥ kāraṇaṁ param
Ātmeśvara upadraṣṭā svayan-dṛg aviśeṣaṇaḥ
Although I am the cause for the entire creation, I am beyond this creation. I am the Self for the entire creation. I am the Lord. I am Self-illuminating. I am the witness for this creation. For this reason, the qualities of this creation do not apply to Me. Brahma and Shiva are not different from Me. They are as powerful as I am. We three are one and the same.
Ātma-māyāṁ samāviśya so ’haṁ guṇamayīṁ dvija
Sṛjan rakṣan haran viśvaṁ dadhre saṁjñāṁ kriyocitām
O Daksha! I have retained My illusory energy, which is composed of the trigunas (traits of goodness, passion, ignorance), totally under My control. Using that energy I create, sustain and annihilate this universe. For performing these three tasks, I take on the names of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva.
There is nothing apart from Parabrahma. This is the eternal truth. He is non-dual. Within every living being, He exists as the inner Self. I am the one who resides within every living being.
However foolish persons consider Brahma, Vishnu, Rudra and other living beings as varied different entities. They consider these differences to be the eternal truth.
Does a human being ever consider his head, hands and other limbs to have an existence separate from him? Never. Likewise, a true devotee will never consider other living beings as different from Me.
Trayāṇām eka-bhāvānāṁ yo na paśyati vai bhidām
Sarva-bhūtātmanāṁ Brahman sa śāntim adhigacchati
The forms of Brahma, Vishnu and Rudra and the form of the Self which exists within every living being are one and the same. There is absolutely no difference. The one who realizes this profound truth attains liberation!” Thus Srihari instructed Daksha.
Daksha, the leader of Prajāpatis, strictly abided by the orders of the Lord and completed the Yāga. With utmost dedication he worshipped Lord Srihari. He worshiped other Devatas through the Anga Yāga and Pradhāna Yāga.
Thereafter, with total concentration he ensured that Shiva received his share of offerings. He diligently completed all the various rituals pertaining to the closure of the Yagna and then, together with the priests, took the final bath to mark the completion of the ritual.
Due to dedication towards the Lord, Daksha became well-versed in the rules of righteousness (dharma). While returning to heaven, all the Devatas blessed him to remain established in the path of righteousness (dharma marg).
We have heard that Satidevi, who gave up her life, was later reborn as the daughter of Menaka and Himavanta. The illusory energy, which withdraws into the Supreme Lord at the time of dissolution, returns back with full force at the beginning of creation. That energy seeks refuge only in the Supreme Lord. Likewise, Mother Goddess Parvati had, in her previous incarnation, married Lord Shiva who was most dear to her. To those who are disinterested in other objects, He is the sole shelter.
I have thus explained to you the story of Daksha’s Yagna, which was destroyed by Lord Shiva, as I have heard from Uddhava, the great devotee of the Lord and the disciple of Brihaspati” said Maitreya Maharishi to Vidura.
“Idaṁ pavitraṁ param īśa-ceṣṭitaṁ yaśasya māyuṣya maghaugha-marṣaṇam
Yo nityadākarṇya naro ’nukīrtayed dhunoty aghaṁ kaurava bhakti-bhāvataḥ
O Vidura! This story of Lord Shiva is supremely pure. This bestows longevity and fame upon the devotee. Sins will be totally destroyed in that devotee who with total faith listens to this story of Daksha’s Yagna daily and glorifies it.
With this the seventh chapter of the fourth canto comes to an end.