Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana Book 4 Chapter 5:11-26

Book 4: Chapter 5

Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana: Book 4: Chapter 5: Verses 11-26
Virabhadra wrecks Daksa's sacrifice and beheads him

Nay, possessed of a dazzling splendour and filled with anger, He assumes an unbearable aspect by His knit brows, and the whole group of constellations is scattered by His frightful teeth. Having angered Him can any one fare well even if the individual provoking Him is the creator himself ?" While the people were saying many such things with perturbation in their eyes, there appeared on all sides in the heavens as well as on earth again and again thousands of ill-omens of the worst type, causing fear even to the strong-minded Daksa. By this time, O Vidura, the followers of Rudra, who were (all) armed with various uplifted had bill es and faces were dwarfish in stature, some red-brown and other tawny of hue, and resembling those of an alligator, ran up in all directions and surrounded that spacious sacrificial ground. Some broke the beam resting on the eastern and western pillars (of the sacrificial hall), while others destroyed the apartment reserved for the wives of the sacrificer and the priests (to the west of the sacrificial hall) as well as the assembly-hall (in front of the sacrificial hall), the cottage (in front of the assembly-hall) where clarified butter and other substances poured into the sacrificial fire are stored, the hut occupied by the sacrificer himself and the kitchen. Some smashed the sacrificial vessels and extinguished the sacred fires, while others urinated in the sacrificial pits and snapped the cotton threads marking the boundaries of the sacrificial dais (in the north). Some molested the hermits, while others threatened the wives (of the sacrificer and the priests) and still others seized the divinities who were sitting close to them, even though they tried to run away. Maniman bound the sage Bhrgu; Virabhadra, Daksa (the lord of created beings) himself; Candisa, the god Pusa (one of the twelve sons of Aditi who preside over the sun month by month) and Nandiwara seized Bhaga (another god presiding over the sun). Seeing this (outrage) and being most severely pelted with stones by these (attendants of Siva), all the priests officiating at the sacrifice as well as those assembled there, including the heavenly beings, ran in various directions. The worshipful Virabhadra (a part manifestation of Lord Bhava) pulled up the moustaches and beard of Bhrgu, who was pouring oblations into the sacrificial fire, holding the sacrificial ladle in his hand, and who had laughed (at Lord Siva) in open assembly, (proudly) displaying his moustaches. Lord Virabhadra angrily knocked down Bhaga to the ground and plucked his eyes inasmuch as he had in the assembly (of the lords of created beings) countenanced Daksa in his calumniation of Lord Siva by blinking. Even as Lord Balarama knocked [1] down the teeth of the king of the Kalingas (during the wedding of Aniruddha, Sri Krsna's grandson), so Virabhadra dashed off the teeth of Pusa, who had laughed showing his teeth while Siva (the most adorable) was being vilified (by Daksa). Setting his foot on Daksa's breast (after knocking him down), the three-eyed Virabhadra proceeded to cut off his head with a sharp-edged weapon but failed to sever it then. Virabhadra, who was no other than Lord Siva (the Destroyer of the universe), was filled with great wonder when he found that no weapon or missile could even cut Daksa's skin that way, and pondered fora long time. Observing the way in which animals were being slaughtered for the sacrifice, Virabhadra severed the head of Daksa from his body in the same way, treating the sacrificer as an animal to be sacrificed. There arose a shout of applause from the ghosts, spirits and fiends, who extolled that achievement of Virabhadra; while others (those belonging to Daksa's party) raised and outcry against the same. Full of anger, Virabhadra threw Daksa's head as an offering into the sacrificial fire called Daksinagni; and , setting fire to that sacrificial edifice, left for Mount Kailasa (the abode of the Yaksas, Kubera's attendants).

Thus ends the fifth discourse entitled "The Destruction of Daksa`s sacrifice" in Book Four of the great and glorious Bhagavata-Purana, otherwise known as the Paramahamsa-Samhita.


  1. Vide verse 37 of Discourse LXI of Book X.

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