Bhagawatam 123: Diti fails to heed her husband’s advice; Maharishi Kaśyapa forewarns the birth of two evil demons

Govindāya Namah

Maharishi Kashyapa said to wife Diti, 

“Na yasya loke sva-janaḥ paro vā Nātyādṛto nota kaścid vigarhya

Vayaṁ vratair yac-caraāpaviddhām Āśāsmahe ’jāṁ bata bhukta-bhogām

Rudra (Lord Shiva) does differentiate between his relatives and non-relatives. Both a venerable person and a detestable person are equal in His eyes. He does not have even the least feelings of differentiation. Through various rituals we strive to worship His power of illusion (maya shakti). He however has experienced this illusory power and has now retained it far away near his feet.

The veil called spiritual ignorance (ajnana) prevents a person from knowing his real Self. Hence it is wise to remain cautious and fear spiritual ignorance. For this reason learned scholars always fear that the veil called spiritual ignorance may envelop them. To destroy spiritual ignorance they eternally sing His divine glories.

He is the sole refuge for all noble beings. There is none equal or superior to Him. Even then He appears as if He is involved in devilish activities. Even though in reality He eternally enjoys his inherent inner bliss, for the purposes of imparting lessons to ignorant human beings He gets involved in weird activities.

Unfortunate are the foolish persons who are unable to comprehend the meaning contained in his actions. They ridicule his actions. At the same time they consider this gross body, which is nothing but food for dogs and jackals after death, to be their Self (atma). They decorate it with costly clothing, flower garlands and varied different ornaments. They pamper it by applying scented perfumes. They strive to maintain this body.

Without striving to understand the Supreme Lord, they continue to mistakenly believe their gross body to be their Self (atma). In this way they while away their time.

Without even the slightest deviation Brahma and other Gods obey the rules and dictates of Rudra. It implies that it is imperative to follow the rules laid down by Rudra. He is the presiding Lord for this entire creation. Maya shakti (the power of illusion) is under His control alone! If it is said that this all-pervading Lord of the Universe acts devilishly, it should be understood that it is nothing but another of His sports. We should strive to understand His transcendental glories” -concluded Maharishi Kashyapa Diti.

However as Diti’s mind was filled with uncontrollable desire these words of wisdom failed to have any effect upon her. They could not pacify her even slightly. She behaved like a shameless prostitute. She grabbed the clothing of Maharishi Kaśyapa and held him.

Kaśyapa Maharishi saw his wife who was adamantly obsessed with this wrongful activity which was forbidden at that time. He folded his hands and offered obeisance to that Lord. He mentally implored the Lord to forgive him for his sin. He then escorted her to a secluded place and fulfilled her desire.

Thereafter he bathed and performed Pranayama. In total silence he meditated upon the changeless, formless, eternal and Self-illuminating Supreme Lord. He performed japa.

A little later Diti, remorseful of her lowly sinful deed, approached her husband. With her head lowered in shame she said, “O Maharishi! I have sinned against Rudra, the Lord of all living beings. Please protect the baby who is in my womb and ensure that this compassionate Lord does not destroy it.

Namo rudrāya mahate devāyogrāya mīḍhue

Śivāya nyasta-daṇḍāya dhṛta-daṇḍāya manyave

Angered by their wrongful deeds, the ferocious Lord Mahadeva punishes the wicked. However He keeps anger at a bay when it comes to noble saintly beings and instead fulfills their desires. I offer my obeisance to this auspicious Lord Rudra.

However cruel a person may be, in matters pertaining to women he will be compassionate. Rudra is my sister Satidevi’s husband. Hence He is my brother-in-law. He is an epitome of compassion. May Mahadeva Rudra be pleased with me!”

In this manner Diti began to pray for the welfare of her children both in this world and the next. Knowing that she had sinned, she now trembled in fear. Meanwhile Maharishi Kaśyapa completed his evening Sandhya rituals and then addressing her said,

“O form of inauspiciousness! O short-tempered woman! Your mind is impure. It is a grave mistake to have impure desires during Sandhya (twilight) times. In fact it is a terrible sin. You did not heed my advice. You have insulted the Devatas who serve Lord Rudra. What I am stating is an absolute fact.

Due to these reasons, you will beget two unworthy wretched sons who will be of inauspicious nature. In innumerable ways they will torture the inhabitants of all the three worlds and also the guardian deities of these worlds. They will torment innocent living beings who have done no sin. They will ruthlessly insult and torture women.

Due to their wretched actions they will incur the wrath of great saints. In order to destroy them, who have become terrible impediments, the Supreme Lord will incarnate. Just as Lord Indra ruthlessly chopped the wings of the mountains using his thunderbolt (vajrayudha), Lord Srihari will destroy them”.

Hearing these words, Diti prayerfully begged, “O Lord! If it is destined that my sons should necessarily meet death, then let it happen that Srihari kills them using his Sudarshana chakra (discus). My children should not meet death due to the wrath of Brahmins”.

Na brahma-daṇḍa-dagdhasya na bhūta-bhayadasya ca

Nārakāś cānugṛhanti yāṁ yonim asau gataḥ 

This is because even residents of naraka (hell) do not show any compassion towards the person who meets death due to the wrath of a Brahmin or towards the person who has caused fear to other living beings. Even if such a person is re-born in any species in future, other living entities will never show any compassion towards him”.

Mādhavāya Namah.

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