Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana Book 3 Chapter 17:1-17

Book 3: Chapter 17

Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana: Book 3: Chapter 17: Verses 1-17
Birth of Hiranyakasipu and Hiranyaksa and the latter's conquest of the four quarters

Maitreya continued : The gods (the denizens of heaven) were rid of fear on hearing the cause (of the darkness) as explained by Brahma (the self-born); and then they all returned to heaven. As for Diti, that virtuous lady had been very apprehensive of trouble to the gods from the children (in her womb) ever since her husband predicted the same, and brought forth two twin sons after full one hundred years. Even at the hour of their birth in that hermitage, many an evil portent, which foreboded a great calamity to the world, occurred in heaven and on earth as well as in the space between these two regions (in mid air). Parts of the globe shook along with the mountains; all the quarters appeared to be on fire, meteors and thunderbolts descended on earth and comets portending grief appeared. There blew winds which were most uninviting to the touch, hissing again and again and uprooting gigantic trees. They had storm for their army and clouds of dust for their ensigns. The luminaries in the heavens having been screened by masses of clouds in which lightnings sometimes flashed as though laughing, darkness reigned everywhere, so that nothing could be seen anywhere. The ocean with its high waves wailed aloud as if stricken with sorrow, and there was commotion among the creatures inhabiting its bowels. The rivers and lakes etc., were also agitated and their lotuses withered. Misty halos appeared round the sun and the moon during solar and lunar eclipses again and again. Claps of thunder were heard (even without clouds) and sounds like that of rattling chariots emerged from mountain caves. In the interior of villages she-jackals yelled portentously, vomiting a strong fire from their mouth; and jackals and owls also joined them with their cries. Raising their necks, dogs uttered here and there various cries in the manner now of singing and now of wailing. And donkeys in rut ran hither and thither in herds, striking the earth, 0 Vidura, with their hard hoofs and wildly braying. Frightened with the (braying of the) donkeys, birds flew shrieking out of their nests, while cattle in the cow-pens as well as in the woods passed dung and urinated. Cows yielded blood in place of milk from terror, clouds rained pus, the images of gods shed tears and trees fell down without a blast. Ominous planets (such as-Mars and Saturn) shone brighter and surpassed the auspicious ones (such as Mercury, Jupiter and Venus) as well as a number of lunar mansions and, taking a seemingly retrograde course, came into conflict with one another. Noticing these and other such mighty portents of an evil type, people other than the sons of Brahma (Sanaka and others, who were aware of the fall of Jaya and Vijaya and their birth as Diti's sons) were seized with fear inasmuch as they did not know the secret of these portents, and thought that the dissolution of the universe was at hand. The two earliest Daityas (sons of Diti) soon revealed their (former) prowess and with their steel-like frames grew to the size of two huge mountains. Kissing the sky with the crests of their gold crowns, screening the quarters (with their bodies) and shaking the earth with their footfall at every step, and their arms adorned with brilliant bracelets, they stood eclipsing the sun by their waist, which was surrounded with an excellent girdle.



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