Book 4: Chapter 7
Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana: Book 4: Chapter 7: Verses 1-15
Maitreya resumed : Thus supplicated by Brahma (the unborn), Lord Siva (the father of the universe) felt much pleased, and with a hearty laugh said, O Vidura (possessed of mighty arms), "Listen !" Sri Mahadeva said : I never complain of nor do I recollect the misdemeanour of fools dominated by the Lord's Maya (deluding potency), 0 lord of created beings. I have meted out punishment to them (just in order to teach them a lesson). Let Daksa (a lord of created beings), whose head has been burnt, have the head of a goat above the neck. And let the god Bhaga look on his share in the sacrificial offerings through the eyes of Mitra (another god included in the list of the twelve Adityas presiding over the sun). Let the god Pusa, who eats flour alone, chew the same with the teeth of the sacrificer and let the (other) gods have all their limbs restored to a sound condition now that they have assigned to Me the remains of a sacrifice. Let the Adhwaryus and the other priests ( who have lost their arms) use the arms of the Aswins (the twin gods who are reputed to be the physicians of heaven); while such of them as have lost their hands may use the hands of Pusa; and let the sage Bhrgu have the beard and moustaches of a goat. Maitreya continued : Hearing the words of Lord Siva (the Most Bountiful), on that occasion, all the creatures (present there) forthwith exclaimed, "Well said ! Well said!!" with their soul fully gratified. Thereafter the gods as well as the sages invited Lord Siva (who showers the desired blessings on His devotees, to grace the sacrifice) and, taking with them the bountiful Lord and Brahma (the creator) went once more to the site of the sacrifice. Having accomplished all that Lord Siva had commanded them (to do), they joined the head of the sacrificial animal (goat) to the trunk of Daksa. On the head (of the goat) being joined (to Daksa's trunk), Daksa, who (now) received a kindly glance from Rudra, immediately rose as though from slumber and beheld Lord Siva (the Delighter of all) in front of Him. Then Daksa ( a lord of created beings), whose mind had been tainted by ill-will towards Lord Siva (whose banner bears the emblem of a bull), (now) became free from malice by virtue of Siva's (gracious) look, even as a pool becomes clear in autumn. He felt inclined to offer praises (to the Lord) but could not do so on account of affection and grief as he (now) recollected his deceased daughter and his throat was choked with tears. Though overwhelmed with love, the wise Prajapati (Daksa) controlled his mind with (great) difficulty and proceeded to extol the Lord with sincere devotion. Daksa said : Oh, You did me a great favour in that You meted out punishment to me (in order to correct me), even though I slighted You. You two, Sri Hari and Yourself, have no disregard even for fallen Brahmanas; how, then, can You ignore those who have taken sacred vows? (Appearing) as Brahma You evolved first of all out of Your mouth Brahmanas rich in learning, austerity and sacred vows for preserving (the knowledge of) the spiritual Truth (through realization and instruction). It is therefore, 0 Supreme Lord, that You protect the Brahmana race in all crises, wielding the rod of punishment (to correct them if they go astray), even as the herdsman protects his cattle, staff in hand. May that Lord who, though insulted with abuses piercing as arrows in open assembly by me-ignorant as I was of His reality-overlooked that fault (of mine) and saved me from falling down through the vilification of the Most Adorable, by casting His gracious look (on me); be pleased with His own (benevolent) act (since I am utterly incapable of repaying His obligation and thus winning His pleasure).
- The function of an Adhwaryu is to measure the sacrificial ground, to build the altar, to prepare the sacrificial vessels, to fetch wood and water, to kindle the fire and so on. Whilst engaged in these duties, he is required to repeat the texts of the Yajurveda.