Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana Book 10 Chapter 23:1-13

Book 10: Twenty-three Chapter (First Half)

Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana: Book 10: Chapter 23: Verses 1-13
Redemption of the wives of some Brahmanas engaged in a sacrifice

The cowherd boys said : 0 Balarama, the delighter of souls and possessed of extraordinary valour, 0 Krsna, the exterminator of the wicked, this hunger is actually pinching us; (therefore) be pleased to appease it. Sri Suka resumed : Thus requested by the cowherd boys, Lord Sri Krsna (the Son of Devaki), who sought to shower His grace on certain Brahmana matrons devoted to Him, spoke as follows:- "Repair to the sacrificial hail where certain Brahmanas, who are expositors of the Vedas, are actually conducting a sacrificial session, known by the name of Angirasa with a desire to ascend to heaven (after death). Arriving there, 0 cowherd boys, as despatched by us, and mentioning the name of my venerable brother as well as my own, ask some cooked rice of them." Thus instructed by the Lord, they went and solicited the Brahmanas as directed with joined palms and tying prostrate on the ground (in the following words):- "O Brahmanas (lit., gods on the earth), listen to us! Know us, cowherd boys, to be the servants of Sri Krsna arrived (here) as directed by Balarama. May Good betide you ! Pasturing their cows not very far (from this place) and stricken with hunger, Balarama and Sri Krsna (the immortal Lord) long to have boiled rice from you. Give Them rice, O Brahmana, when They (earnestly) ask for it, provided you have it and if you possess (any) reverence for Them, foremost as you are of (all) knowers of Dharma (the principles of righteousness).
Indeed anyone eating the food cooked in the house even of a house-holder consecrated fora sacrifice other than the one involving animal slaughter and different from a sacrifice known by the name of Sautramani, 0 most righteous souls, is not defiled (thereby)." Though listening to the aforesaid solicitation of the Lord, the Brahmanas paid no heed to it, cherishing as they did petty hopes (of ascending to heaven from which one is sure to fall one day) though engaged in elaborate undertakings, and ignorant as they were, though accounting themselves advanced (in knowledge). The foolish Brahmanas, who regarded the mortal body as their own self, took no notice of Sri Krsna--who was no other than the almighty Lord Visnu, the supreme Reality, constituting as He does the place and time (for the performance of a sacrifice), the diverse substance (for being offered to the sacrificial fire), the mystic formulas (employed in invoking the various deities and recited at the time of pouring oblations), the procedure (laid down for conducting a sacrifice), the priests (officiating at a sacrifice), the (sacrificial) fires, the divinities (intended to be propitiated through a sacrifice), the sacrificer, the act of sacrifice (itself) as well as the religious merit (resulting from the performance of a sacrifice)- looking upon Him as a mere human being. When the Brahmanas neither said "yes" nor did they say "no", O chastiser of foes, the cowherd boys returned disappointed and informed Sri Krsna and Balarama accordingly. On hearing of it the almighty Lord of the universe burst into laughter and spoke to the Gopas again (as follows) in order to show (to them) the conduct of the worldly people (who would) not feel humiliated much less relax their effort even when their prayer was turned down once).



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