Book 3: Chapter 20
Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana: Book 3: Chapter 20: Verses 18-35
At the very outset he evolved out of his shadow (ignorance) the five varieties of Avidya (Nescience), viz., Tamisra, Andhatamisra, Tamas, Moha and Mahamoha Brahma threw off that body of his (in the form of a shadow); for he did not like it, made up as it was of darkness (ignorance). The Yaksas and Raksasas (who had sprung therefrom) took possession of that body, which continued in the form of night and is the source of hunger and thirst. Overpowered by hunger and thirst, they ran to devour him from all sides. "Spare him not (out of compassion, thinking that he is our father); eat him upl" they all cried, oppressed as they were with hunger and thirst. The god (Brahma) grew nervous (at this unexpected turn) and pleaded with them, "Pray, eat me not; but spare me. For you have all been born as sons to me, O Yaksas and Raksasas!" Shining with glory he created, before all others, the divinities that had the element of Sattva or goodness predominant in them. When Brahma dropped (even) that effulgent form (out of which he had evolved those divinities, and) which now figured as daytime, the gods sportfully took possession of it. The glorious Brahma (next) evolved from his hinder part the demons, who are excessively fond of women. Being very lustful they came up to him for copulation. The worshipful Brahma first laughed (at their stupidity); but finding the shameless Asuras close upon him, he grew indignant and ran out of fear in great haste. He approached Sri Hari, the Bestower of boons, who dispels the agony of those running up to Him for succour, and who in order to show His grace to His devotees reveals Himself in a form answering their conception. "Protect me, 0 Supreme Spirit! I created these beings as directed by You, but these sinful creatures are out to copulate with me, my Lord. You are the only one capable of ending the affliction of distressed people as also the one inflicting agony on those who never resort to Your feet (for protection)." The Lord who can distinctly see the mind of others, perceived Brahma's distress and said to him, "Cast off this impure body of yours (impure because it has produced the libidinous Asuras and excited their passion)!" Thus commanded by the Lord, he dropped it. (The body thus shuffled off by Brahma took the form of the evening twilight, when the day and night meet, and which kindles passion. The Asuras, who are passionate by nature, dominated as they are by the element of Rajas, took it for a damsel) whose lotus-feet resounded with the tinkling of anklets, whose eyes were wild with intoxication and whose hips were covered by a fine cloth, over which shone a girdle. Her breasts were projecting upwards because of their clinging to each other, and were too contiguous to admit of any intervening space. She had a shapely nose and beautiful rows of teeth; nay, a lovely smile played on her lips and she cast a sportful glance (at the Asuras). Adorned with dark tresses, she was hiding herself as it were out of shyness. Perceiving that girl, O Vidura (an incarnation of Dharma, the god of virtue), the Asuras were all infatuated with love. "Oh ! what a beauty ! what a rare self-control! what a budding youth ! In the midst of us all, who are passionately longing for her, she is moving about like one absolutely free from passion !" Indulging in speculations of various kinds about the evening twilight, that appeared to them as endowed with the form of a young woman, the Asuras of wicked mind treated her with respect and fondly asked her:- "Who are you (by birth)? Whose daughter may you be, O pretty one (lit., having thighs smooth and tapering like the stem of a plantain tree)? And what can be the object of your coming over here, O proud damsel? Why do you tantalize us, luckless as we are, with the priceless commodity of your beauty ? Whosoever you may be, 0 tender girl, we are fortunate in having been able to see you. While playing with a ball you agitate the mind of the lookers-on.
- For the meaning of these terms see verse 2 of Discourse XII above.
- Of these two species of living beings those who said "Eat him up! (jakhshat)' were classed as Yaksa; while they who said "Spare him .." came to be known as Raksasas.
- This is corroborated by the Sruti text: 'sa jaghnadasugansrajata