Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana Book 4 Chapter 19:1-18

Book 4: Chapter 19

Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana: Book 4: Chapter 19: Verses 1-18
King Prthu performs a hundred horse-sacrifices

Maitreya continued : The king (Prthu) now consecrated himself as a preparation for (the performance of) a hundred horse-sacrifices in Brahmavarta, the land of Swayambhuva Manu, where flows the Saraswati in an easterly direction. The glorious Indra (the lord of paradise, who had attained to this exalted position by virtue of his performing a hundred sacrifices) grew jealous of the grand sacrificial festivities started by king Prthu inasmuch as he saw that the same would obscure his own achievements. For in that sacrifice Bhagavan Sri Hari; the Lord of all sacrifices and the almighty Ruler, Teacher and Soul of the whole universe, was directly perceived by all. He was accompanied by Brahma and Siva and the other protectors of the world-who came with their retinue end was being extolled by Gandharvas (celestial musicians), and hosts of Apsaras (celestial nymphs) as well as by sages. Along with the Lord came a number of (celestial and semi-celestial beings such as) Siddhas, Vidyadharas, Daityas, Danavas, Guhyakas (Yaksas) and so on, the foremost attendants of Sri Hari led by Sunanda and Nanda, and devotees of the Lord like Kapila, Narada and Dattatreya, as well as masters of Yoga like Sanaka and his three brothers, who are all eager to wait upon Him. In that sacrifice, O Vidura (a descendant of Bharata), goddess Earth attended in the form of a celestial cow, that supplies milk and clarified butter serving as oblations for the sacred fire and gratifies all one's desire, yielded to the sacrificer all the objects sought by- him. Rivers bore (as their streams) all sorts of sweet and delicious drinks (pressed out of grapes and sugarcane), as well as milk, curds, butter-milk and clarified butter together with many liquid foods. The gigantic trees, which profusely dropped honey (from their pores) bore fruit in abundance. Oceans brought him heaps of jewels and mountains brought four kinds of foods. Similarly all the worlds with their guardians brought presents (for the king). The powerful Indra grew jealous of such great prosperity of king Prthu-who looked upon Lord Visnu (who is beyond sense-perception) as his (sole) lord and master-and threw obstacles in his way. While Prthu (the son of Vena) was (therefore) engaged in worshipping Lord Visnu (the Lord of sacrifices) through the 'performance of the last (hundredth) horse-sacrifice, the jealous Indra stole away the sacrificial animal, himself remaining hidden from view. The venerable Atri detected him hurrying through the air in the garb of a heretic, which he had taken on himself as an armour, and which leads one to mistake unrighteousness for righteousness. Egged on by Atri to kill him; Prthu's son, who was a great car-warrior, gave a chase, all inflamed with rage, and shouted, "Halt ! Halt I" Indra wore elf-locks on his head and was besmeared with ashes. Seeing him in that guise, the prince took him to be piety incarnate and refrained from shooting an arrow at him. When he returned without having killed Indra, Atri urged him once more to slay the wrong-doer, saying, "Strike, dear child, the great Indra, who is (in fact) the vilest of gods, inasmuch as he has interfered with (your father's) sacrifice." Thus incited by Atri, Prthu's son gave chase to Indra as he was hastening through the sky, even as Jatayu (the king of the vultures) chased Ravana (when he was flying with Sita in his aerial car). Indra (the lord of paradise) gave up for the prince the horse as well as the guise which he had assumed and vanished (from the view of his pursuer). The hero (then) came back to (the site of) his father's sacrifice, bringing the horse with him. Witnessing the wonderful achievement of Prthu's son, the great sages (Atri and others, who had been officiating at the sacrifice) gave him the (significant) name of Vijitaswa (the conqueror of the horse), O Vidura (an incarnation of Dharma) !



Related Articles