Curses on Shiva! Curses on the Brahmins!

Even after all this criticism, the mountain-dwelling Śiva remained quiet and did not retaliate. Angry Dakṣa, on the other hand, ritually sprinkled himself with drops of water in preparation for pronouncing a curse: “Whenever sacrifice is offered to the gods, Indra and his followers will receive portions but Bhava shall not – for he is a god unfit to be counted amongst the gods!”

The leaders of the assembly had tried to stop Dakṣa from pronouncing this curse, but this only made him more angry, and he stormed off for home.

Śiva was not angry, but his great devotee Nandīśvara became red-eyed and blinded by rage. He pronounced a terrible curse upon Dakṣa and all the Brāhmaṇas who did not protest Dakṣa’s behavior: “You who are so superficial and external that you bear hatred towards Śiva – a Blessed Being who hates no one – will become fools, completely ignorant of philosophical truth! You will make a mockery of righteousness, while actually being completely addicted to mundane pleasures common to any ordinary household. Without any true realization, your comprehension of the Veda will be limited to rituals that promise materialistic, selfish gains. Dakṣa is already such a fool! His intellect is external, and mistakes the body for the self. Not knowing his true self-interest, he is like an animal interested only in reproducing with women. Therefore, he should look like an animal! Let him soon have the head of a goat!

“He has the learning and intellect of an ignorant fool, dull and obsessed with selfish deeds. Therefore he shall suffer again and again in this world of birth and death! And those who tolerated his insults of Gentle Śiva will suffer the same fate! Anyone who bears hatred towards the Destroyer shall become a bewildered fool intoxicated by the honey-fragrance of the Veda’s enchanting promises of material power and pleasure. You foolish so-called Brāhmaṇas will eat anything and everything just to nourish your fat bellies, and you will pursue so-called learning, austerity, and vows just to earn money to lavish upon your body and senses. May you all wander in this world like beggars!”

[Bhāgavatam 4.2.17 ~ 26]

Vraja Kishor dās

PS – Nandīśvara is a synonym for Nandikeśa, who the Purāṇic Encyclopedia defines as: “Chief of the Bhūta-gaṇa of Shiva” saying that he once took the form of a monkey and cursed Rāvaṇa.

Insulting Shiva

“Great sages, please hear me,” Dakṣa exclaimed. “Divinities and fire-gods please listen, too. I will speak about the ways of good conduct.”

Seeing Dakṣa staring intensely at Śiva while saying this, everyone became nervous. Dakṣa did not want them to interrupt, so he said, “I will not speak out of hatred, but I cannot ignore the facts.”

Glaring continuously at Śiva, Dakṣa declared, “This one shamelessly ruins the glories of those who protect the worlds! His pride pollutes the paths of good behavior! He accepted a position as my dependent by pretending to be a good man and taking the hand of my daughter in a proper marriage performed by learned priests, with sacred fire and mantra – but this was all a sham! His deceitful, monkey-eyes stole the hand of my honest, doe-eyed daughter! It is obvious that he does not truly accept me as his father-in-law, for he refuses to show me any honor by rising from his seat or even saying anything at all to welcome me!

“I did not want to give my dear daughter to him – for he breaks all rules, follows no norms, and is proud and filthy. Giving my daughter to him was like giving philosophy to a construction worker! He lives amidst corpses, surrounded by horrible ghosts and spirits. He wanders naked, laughing and crying like a lunatic with disheveled hair. He ‘bathes’ in the ash of funeral pyres, and ‘dresses’ in a necklace of bones and skulls from the dead. His name is the only thing ‘auspicious’ (śiva) about this inauspicious creature! Only lunatics would love this lunatic, who protects the most insane creatures! He is dear only to those whose own soul is as dark as his!

“I gave my superb daughter to him – the ill-hearted, impure master of madness – only because our Supreme Leader, Brahmā, ordered it.”

[Bhāgavatam 4.2.9 ~ 16]

Vraja Kishor dās –

“Mahaprasada Govinde…”


I was singing before prasadam:

maha-prasade govinde
nama-brahmani vaisnave
svalpa-punya-vatam rajan
visvaso naiva jayate

I realized I have no idea what it is about. After finding a translation for it I still have no idea what it is about. Aside from having the words maha-prasade in the verse, what relevance does it have? Why is it a regular ritual before eating?

My Reply

The idea of this verse is “Please don’t eat what you about to eat in the same way you eat ordinary food. This is not ordinary food.”

Naturally, one will ask, “What’s so extraordinary about it, besides the fact that it probably tastes pretty good?”

The answer is, “It is Govinda’s mahā-prasāda – it is food that you have gotten directly as a result of feeding Govinda.”

Next, the natural instinct is to feel, “Oh… really… well, so what?” So the rest of the verse addresses the “so what?” feeling by saying, “People who say ‘so what’ about Govinda’s mahā-prasāda tend to be the same people who say ‘so what’ about other things directly connected to Govinda: his name, those who teach about him, and those who adore him. These people feel this way because they have very little faith in, very little devotion for Govinda. Try not to be like them, they are very unfortunate people.”

So the translation:

Oh King
Only the most unfortunate people
Have such meager devotion to Govinda
That they consider his name, his philosophers, his devotees, and his gifts
[like this food]
To be just like any other ordinary thing.

Govinda’s name is not an external word, it is a spiritual word; Govinda’s philosophers are not ordinary thinkers and scientists; Govinda’s devotees are not ordinary sentimentalists; Govinda’s gifts are not ordinary trinkets and morsels – but unfortunate people cannot experience this, because they don’t care enough to pay enough attention to Govinda, with their inner, spiritual mind and senses.

Dakṣa Feels Insulted by Śiva

Once, the creators of the cosmos assembled with all the greatest sages, immortals, scholar-led schools of philosophers, and fire gods. When Satī’s father, Dakṣa, entered the assembly, the sages saw that he was as brilliant and luminous as the sun, making the entire assembly shine without darkness. Even the fire gods were deeply impressed by his effulgent luster, and everyone in the assembly stood up respectfully from their seats; everyone except the Creator, Brahmā and the Destroyer, Śiva.

Being so nicely welcomed by the leaders of the assembly, the blessed, attractive Dakṣa paid his respects to Unborn Brahma, the guru of all. On Brahmā’s request, he then took a seat. But as he was sitting down he noticed that the gentle but dirty Śiva was already seated, never having stood up to respect Dakṣa. Dakṣa could not tolerate this, he glared directly at Śiva as if he was trying to burn him, and began to speak harshly.

[Bhāgavatam 4.2.4~8]

Vraja Kishor das –

The Ultimate Origin — Āśraya

The Ultimate Origin is the entity upon whom the cosmos exists, becoming manifest and unmanifest to the perception of living beings. It is known by words like Brahman and Paramātmā. [2.10.7]

Here, the words “manifest” and “unmanifest” refer to the creation and destruction of the cosmos. “Upon whom the cosmos exists” refers to the sustained existence of the cosmos.

The phrase “to the perception of living beings” indicates that the Ultimate Origin is the power which allows individual living beings to percieve the cosmos through their senses.

Thus, the Ultimate Origin is the entity whose power enables the cosmos to exist and persist through its creations and destructions, and is the entity who enables all other entities to percieve and interact with the cosmos. This superb and perfect Ultimate Origin is denoted by famous terms like “Brahman” and “Paramātmā”.

The word “like” in the phrase “known by words like” permits the existence of another word appropriate for denoting the Ultimate Origin. That word is “Bhagavān.”

Let us begin a detailed discussion of this topic: the Ultimate Origin.

[Śrī Tattva-Sandarbha 58]

Who Could Hate Shiva? Who Could Hate His Own Daughter?

When he heard that her father, Dakṣa, had ruined her marriage, Vidura asked, “Bhava is the best among the virtuous, and Dakṣa was affectionate towards his daughters. So how could he have done something so hateful and uncaring towards his own daughter, Satī?

“Bhava is calm, self-satisfied, and inimical to no one,” Vidura continued. “And even if he did have any fault, he is the guru of everyone and everything. Who could possibly feel hatred towards that great deity of the world?

“Oh brāhmaṇa,” Vidura concluded, “please tell me the story of the argument between son-in-law and father-in-law, which caused Satī to throw away the life that we all cling to.”

[Śrīmad Bhāgavata 4.2.1~3]

Destruction & Liberation — Nirodha & Mukti

Destruction occurs when living beings and their energies fall into sleep along with him. [2.10.6]

Here, “living beings” refers to the souls within the cosmos. Their “energies” are all their ambitions and self-conceptions. “Along with him” means along with Hari, Viṣṇu. When Hari falls asleep, all living beings also fall asleep. If they still cling to their ambitions and self-conceptions, this fall into sleep is known as “destruction.”

Hari “falling asleep” means that he closes his eyes towards the external world. The living being “falling asleep” means that he becomes completely inactive as a result.

Liberation occurs when a living being lets go of all external self-images and perfectly embraces its own true form. [2.10.6]

“All external self-images” refers to the ambitions and self-concepts that a living being accepts out of ignorance and foolishness. A living being who lets go of these and embraces his own true form does not experience the destruction as such, instead he gains liberation.

[This is an English rendering of Śrī Jīva Goswāmī’s Tattva Sandarbha, 57.3]