This continues from the previous section, where the Earth Goddess told King Pṛthu to end the famine and drought by mystically “milking” her.


The king, protector of the earth, was delighted by her helpful wisdom. For the calf, he brought forth the original lord of humanity– evoking the Goddess’ compassion for humans. For the pot, he used his own hands – hands which care for and protect humanity. When he milked her, all the vegetation began to grow again.

Out of love for Pṛthu, the Earth Goddess offered to grant blessings to everyone, not just to humanity. Thus many species wisely came forward with a unique milk-pot, and had their wishes fulfilled by inspiring the goddess to produce milk for their leader, who took the form of a “calf.” Each species had their hunger satiated when the earth’s milk produced the type of “food” they subsist on.

The milk of the goddess restored purity to the sacred Vedic hymns when the sages milked her using their leader, Bṛhaspati, as the calf and their own senses as the pot. The milk became soma – an elixir of heroism, virility, and strength – when the gods made Indra the calf and drew the milk into a golden pot. It became liquors for the anti-gods who made the leader of the underworld, Prahlāda, the calf, and drew the milk into an iron pot. The milk became sweetness and beauty when the celestial musicians and dancers made their leader, Viśvāvasu, the calf, and drew the milk into a pot made from a lotus flower. It became sacred ritual offerings when the Ancestors who protect the deceased made their leader, Aryamā, the calf, and drew the milk into a pot of raw dirt.

Two types of mystic technologists made their leader, Kapila, the calf and made the sky into a pot. For one type, the masterful siddhas, the milk became mystical masteries such as the ability to accomplish things by will alone. For the other type, the learned vidyādharas, the milk became scientific knowledge. Other magicians made their leader, Maya, the calf and made their inner selves the pot. For them, the milk became the amazing ability to disappear at will, and assume many shapes.

The milk became fermented blood when milked into a skull-pot by flesh-eating fiends, spirits, ghouls and witches who made the lord of monsters, Rudra, the calf. It became poison when poisonous creatures like serpents, scorpions, snakes, and dragons made their leader, Takṣaka, the calf, and drew the milk into their open mouths.

It became pasture-grass when the herbivorous animals used their leader, the cow, as a calf, and drew the milk into the fields. It became meat when the fanged carnivorous animals made their king, the lion, into a calf, and drew the milk into the forests. It became insects and fruits when the birds made their leader, Garuḍa, the calf, and drew the milk into their own bodies.

The milk became many saps and syrups when the trees made their leader, the Banyan, into a calf, and drew the milk in many different ways. It became many minerals when the hills made their leader, the Himalayan mountains, the calf, and drew the milk onto their own peaks.

– Excerpt from an early draft of Part 4 of
Beautiful Tales of the All-Attractive
A translation of Śrīmad Bhāgavatam’s fourth canto
[4.18.12 ~ 27]
By Vraja Kishor [VrajaKishor.com]

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