(The Search For the Lord's Mercy)
Chapter Two: Divya (The Higher Material Planets)
1 Sri Pariksit said: After glorifying the king, Narada Muni (went) to Svargaloka and in a great assembly of demigods saw Lord Vishnu,...
2 ...who was decorated with garlands of kalpa-druma flowers, anointed with fragrant scents, dressed in beautiful garments and ornaments, served palatable nectar and a host of other very splendid offerings, and was comfortably seated on Garuda's back,...
3 whom Brhaspati and the great sages were glorifying with prayers, whom Aditi was caressing and pleasing with sweet words...
4 who was pleased by the prayers, exclamations of "jaya!", instrumental music, singing, and dancing of the Siddhas, Vidyadharas, Gandharvas, and Apsaras,...
5 who emphatically assured Indra that he need not fear the demons, who gracefully accepted and chewed the betelnuts Kirti-devi offers.
6-7 whom Indra glorified, raining tears from his thousand eyes as again and again he happily described how his Lord had come to his aid, and who splendidly sat on His throne, His transcendental potencies at His side.
8 Following Lord Vishnu as He departed for His own residence, Narada returned to the assembly and, praising Indra, said:
9 Sri Narada said: You are a great leader. Surya, Candra, Yama, and all the demigods and rulers of planets, what to speak of others, obey your commands.
10 Sages like myself are under your order. The Vedas praise you as the master of the universe. You grant the results of pious and impious deeds.
11 Ah! Lord Narayana is your younger brother, born from the same womb. Honouring the path of religion, He always treats you with great respect.
12 Sri Pariksit said: Repeatedly praising Indra's great good fortune in this way, and playing his vina, Devarsi Narada began to dance.
13 Then, with great embarrassment, Indra slowly said: Devarsi Narada, O learned musician, why are you mocking me?
14 Do you not know the history of the king of Svargaloka? How many times have we not left this place out of fear of the demons?
15 Once Bali Maharaj occupied the post of Indra. He personally enjoyed Indra's portion in the Vedic sacrifices. He posted demons as the rulers of the sun, moon, and other planets.
16 Then, pleased by my parents' long and severe austerity, the infallible Supreme Personality of Godhead appeared by His plenary portion as my brother.
17 Still, the Lord did not kill my enemies. He merely pretended to beg the kingdom from them, and them embarrassed me by giving the results of His begging to me.
18 Because we are envious, embroiled in unremitting competition, and filled with many faults, and because we sometimes murder brahmanas and commit many other sins, we live in constant fear of falling down from our position. Where is there any happiness for the residents of Svargaloka?
19 You should know that Vamana treats me with contempt. He forcibly took both the Sudharma assembly house and the parijata flower from Svargaloka and brought them to the earth.
20 He stopped the cowherds' traditional worship of me, and He burned to the ground the Khandava forest, which is so dear to me.
21 When I begged Him to kill the demon Vrtra, who had terrified the three worlds, the Lord was not willing to do anything. He told me to kill the demon myself.
22 Treating me with contempt, He left my city of Amaravati and made a new home for Himself above all the worlds.
23 At the time of His departure He only accepted my worship to show kindness to my priest Brhaspati and because my parents were also worshipping Him. Very quickly He left for His own abode, far beyond the range of my sight.
24 When I said to Him, "We will be honoured if You quickly return to accept our offerings of arghya," He cheated me by speaking this instruction:
25 When I am not here you may worship Brahma or Shiva, for they are not different from Me.
26 Have you forgotten the words of scripture: "The one Supreme Lord has expanded into the three forms of Vishnu, Brahma and Shiva?"
27 Neither I nor the sages can go to His abode. He does not stay for very long in any one place. Sometimes He stays in Vaikuntha, sometimes in Dhruvaloka, and sometimes in the Ksirodaka Ocean.
28 Now He is at Dvaraka. But He does not always stay there. Sometimes He is in the palace of the Pandavas, sometimes in the city of Mathura, and sometimes going from forest to forest in Gokula. In this way it is very difficult for us to see Him. Where is His mercy to us?
29 O best son of Brahma, know that your father is the actual object of Lord Krishna's mercy. He is directly the son of Lord Narayana, the husband of Laksmi.
30 Within his day, which lasts for one thousand catur-yugas, live 14 Manus and many Indras like myself.
31 His night is as long as his day, 360 such days and nights are his one year, and 100 such years is the span of his life. This is the description of Smrti-sastra.
32 He creates both the ordinary living entities and the demigods who rule over planets, and he gives them each a specific sphere where they may act. He protects them, gives them the fruits of their work, and, on the arrival of his night, destroys them all.
33 The thousand-headed Maha-purusa incarnation of the Lord always stays on Brahma's planet, eating a great multitude of sacrificial offerings and giving transcendental bliss to all.
34 In this way I have given thousands of reasons to consider Brahma the object of Lord Krishna's mercy. What more need I say? Brahma is himself an empowered incarnation of Lord Krishna.
35 This fact is celebrated in the words of both Sruti and Smrti sastras. My lord, you know this fact and many other glories of both Brahma and those who reside on his planet.
36 Sri Pariksit said: When he heard Indra's words, Lord Narada said, "Well done! Oh, well done! and then quickly travelled to the planet of Brahma.
37 The Lord offered to the performers of sacrifices all the benedictions they requested. He then retired to His bedroom, and, as the goddess of fortune massaged His feet, He happily fell asleep.
42 Brahma ordered the sages, who were his sons, to perform sacrifices, and then, to tend to his duties in managing the universe, Brahma left for his own abode.
43 As Brahma comfortably sat on his throne and intently heard the recitation of the glories of his Lord, the Personality of Godhead, tears came to his eight eyes.
44 Approaching His father, who was served by a host of wonderful opulences, Narada fell down like a stick to offer respects and said:
45 Sri Narada said: You are certainly the object of Lord Hari's mercy. You are the master of the Prajapatis and the grandfather of all living entities.
46 You alone create, maintain, and destroy the fourteen worlds. You are eternally the master of the universe. It is said that you are parentless and self-born.
47 Born from your four mouths, the Personified Vedas, Puranas, and other scriptures that reveal the goal of life, stay in your assembly-house.
48 The saintly sages, who are free from lust and all other vices, attain your planet after faithfully and faultlessly performing their prescribed duties for a hundred births.
49 In this universe no place is superior to your abode. Even Lord Narayana's planet named Vaikuntha exists within your realm.
50 Eating the offerings of sacrifice, and granting the fruits of their sacrifices to His worshippers, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, in His form of the Maha-purusa, eternally resides in your abode.
51 At first you made a great endeavour to find the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but you could not find Him. Then, by performing austerities you were able to see Him for a moment in your heart.
52 The truth is that you are very dear to Lord Krishna. Indeed, you are the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna, who assumes many different forms for His pastimes.
53 Sri Pariksit said: Again and again singing Brahma's glories, which Indra had described, and which he now personally saw, Narada bowed down before Brahma with great devotion.
54 As he heard Narada's words, Brahma became very agitated. Covering his eight ears, through his four mouths he said, "I am only a servant," again and again.
55 Restraining with great effort the anger these unbearable words created within him, four-faced Brahma rebuked his son Narada.
56 Sri Brahma said: I am not the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna. From your earliest childhood have you not repeatedly learned this from the Vedic scriptures, from the common-sense logic, and from my own explanations?
57 His potency is Maha-maya. In His eyes Maha-maya is like a maidservant who, employing the three modes of nature, creates, maintains and destroys the material universe.
58 All of us are bewildered by this Maha-maya. We are firmly under her control. For this reason you should know that I have not received even a small portion of Lord Krishna's mercy.
59-60 I continually think: "I am the great spiritual leader, the supreme controller, and the grandfather of this universe. I was personally born from the lotus flower sprouted from the navel of Lord Krishna. I am a performer of great austerities. I am a great devotee of Lord Krishna." In this way Lord Krishna's illusory potency maya destroys me with intense pride. In addition to that I am always angry, overwhelmed by the endless duties I must perform to maintain the universe.
61 I am anxious that someday my planet will be destroyed. Afraid of all devouring time, I pray for ultimate liberation.
62 Only for this purpose I worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead and I cause others to worship Him. You may say that the Supreme Personality of Godhead personally resides on my planet, but I say: Where does the Supreme Personality of Godhead not reside?
63 He personally accepts the sacrificial offerings here only to firmly establish the Vedic revelation and also to bestow mercy on the dear devotees who make offerings to Him. (He does not do it to bestow mercy on me.)
64 O Narada Acarya, think for a moment. You should know that the Lord is pleased only by devotion. He gives His mercy only to the devotees, never to the non-devotees.
65 I am very far from having any devotion to the Lord. If I somehow avoid offending Him I think I am doing very well indeed. The Lord does not forgive my offenses as He forgives the sins of Shiva.
66 One time I gave benedictions to a demon named Hiranyakasipu, who became an enemy of the devotees and proceeded to torment the entire world.
67-70 When the Lord, in His form of Sri Nrsimha, killed that demon, I and my companions, staying far away out of fear, spoke many eloquent prayers to the Lord. But He refused to recognise us even with a momentary sidelong glance. Later, during the coronation ceremony of Maharaj Prahlad, He kindly approached me and angrily ordered: "Do not give any more benedictions like this to the demons!" In spite of this order I have since given many benedictions to Ravana and many other demons. Whose tongue has the power to describe the sins of Ravana.
71 You may remember how I gave administrative posts to Indra and many others whose good sense became completely destroyed by their inflated pride.
72 Indra offended the Lord by showering incessant rains on the Govardhana sacrifice, by fighting with the Lord over the parijata flower, and in many other ways also. Varuna, the king of the waters, kidnapped Nanda Maharaj, stole the cows from the forest, and committed many other offenses.
73 Yama terribly killed the son of the Lord's teacher, and Kuvera is partly responsible for the sins of his follower, the demon Sankhacuda.
74 Also, in the lower worlds the demons and the angry serpents who are relatives of Kaliya-naga have become enemies of the Vaishnavas.
75 When Krishna stopped for lunch I used my illusory potency to kidnap the boys and calves personally protected by Him in Vrndavana.
76 Then I saw something very wonderful. Frightened, I bowed down before Him and offered prayers. I arrogantly offended Him, and He responded by cheating me with His pastimes of a cowherd boy.
77 Because I was able to enter His dearmost land of Vraja, and because I was able to obtain His merciful lotus glance, I thought that at that moment my life was all-perfect and all successful.
78 Fearing that I would commit many more offenses if I stayed, I left Vraja. What is the use of saying anything more about my misfortunes?
79 Shiva is famous as the personal friend of Lord Vishnu. In this universe I do not see anyone who is the object of the Lord's mercy as Shiva.
80 Always intoxicated by the sweet nectar of Sri Krishna's lotus feet, Shiva has lost all interest in material goals, in supreme power and opulence, and in varieties of sense-pleasure.
81 Eating Dhustura seeds and arka leaves, decorated with a garland of skulls, and his naked body smeared with ashes, Shiva laughs at materialists like myself, who are addicted to sense-pleasures.
82 Wearing matted locks of dishevelled hair, and eager to conceal his actual nature, he staggers about like a madman. On his head he happily carries the Ganges, which has washed the lotus feet of Lord Krishna. When he dances he destroys the universe.
83 Lord Krishna is so kind to him that not only does he have the power to grant the most valuable liberation to demigods like myself, but even his wife has that power.
84 Ah! All the residents of Shivaloka are liberated souls. By Shiva's mercy how many of them are not only liberated, but are now pure devotees of Lord Krishna?
85 To consider Shiva different from Lord Krishna is a great offense. The Supreme Personality of Godhead may forgive offenses committed to Him, but He does not forgive those committed against Shiva.
86 When Tripuresvara, Vrkasura and other demons maddened by benedictions he gave them, placed Shiva in a very dangerous position, Lord Krishna at once rescued him with words as sweet as nectar.
87 Conquered by the intimate love of His devotee, Lord Krishna personally worships Shiva just to glorify him.
88-9 Lord Krishna personally asked Shiva to drink the terrible poison produced from the churning of nectar. In this way Shiva became worshipped by the Prajapatis, and showered with streams of great glory.
90 The Puranas sing of the mercy of Lord Krishna to Shiva. You know this already. O sage, please remember his glories.
91 Sri Pariksit said: O affectionate mother, Narada offered obeisances to his spiritual master and was about to depart for Kailasa Hill when Brahma glanced at his son and said:
92 Sri Brahma said: Submissive to the loving service of Kuvera, Shiva resides in Kuvera's place on Mount Kailasa in the material universe.
93 Assuming the role of the protector of the northern direction, Shiva resides there, surrounded by his associates, and keeping very little material wealth.
94 The Supreme Personality of Godhead Krishna becomes conquered by the loving service of devotees like myself, and for this reason He resides on my planet, on Svargaloka, and in many other places as well, and enjoys suitable pastimes there. (In the same way Shiva resides in Kailasa because of the devotion of Kuvera.)
95 I quote the opinion of Vayu Purana
"The planet of Shiva is beyond the seven-fold coverings of the material world. It is eternal, transcendental, and full of bliss. Only the greatest servants of Shiva may enter it."
96 In that place Shiva is decorated with splendid transcendental garments and ornaments. There He is the master of great powers and opulences, and there he is surrounded by many associates as splendid and glorious as he.
97 In that place, even though the two of them are not different, Shiva worships the supremely powerful and opulent Lord Sankarsana as his chosen Deity. Is this not very wonderful?
98 Because you are a pure devotee of Shiva you have the power to go there. Go, take shelter of Shiva, and see how he is the object of Lord Krishna's mercy.
99 Sri Pariksit said: O mother, instructed in this way, and chanting the holy names of Shiva and Krishna, Narada eagerly went to Shivaloka.