Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana Book 5 Chapter 24:26-31

Book 5: Chapter 24

Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana: Book 5: Chapter 24: Verses 26-31
The position of Rahu etc., and the limits of the heavenlike subterranean regions

What individual like me, whose passions have not been attenuated and who has totally rejected the Lord's grace, can possibly hope to tread in the footsteps of that noble soul?" (26) The narrative of Bali will be told at length later on (in Book Eight), at whose door stays, mace in hand, the divine Narayana Himself, the adored of the whole universe-Narayana, whose heart is full of compassion for His own devotees and by whom Ravana (the ten-headed monster) was thrown a hundred million Yojanas away with His toe (when he appeared there) in the course of his {expedition for the) conquest of the quarters. Below that, in (the region of) Talatala, resides the demon chief, Maya by name, the lord of three cities, who had all his three cities (formerly) reduced to ashes by Lord Siva (thenceforth known as the Destroyer of the enemy's city) in His eagerness to bring happiness (thereby) to all the three worlds, (but) who (later on) secured a footing (in this realm) by His grace. He is the teacher of (all) those who are expert in conjuring tricks, stands protected on sides by that great deity (Lord Siva) and (therefore) immune from the fear of Sudarsana (the discus of Lord Visnu) and is held-in great respect (by the denizens of that region).

Below that, in (the region of) Mahatala, lives a many-headed brood of serpents, born of Kadru, called the Krodhavasas, the chief of them being Kuhaka, Taksaka, Kaliya, Susena, and so on. Though possessed of a gigantic form, they are constantly afraid of Garuda (the supreme lord of all the rulers of birds)-who carries (on his back) Lord Visnu (the Supreme Person); sometimes they sport recklessly through attachment to their wives, offspring, relations and kinsmen. Below that, in (the region of) Rasatala, reside (in holes); like serpents, the (notorious) sons of Diti and Danu (two of the many wives of the sage Kasyapa, the progenitor of the various species of living beings), known as the Panis and (further) divided into three classes, viz., the Nivatakavacas, the Kaleyas, and the denizens of Hiranyapura. (Natural) enemies of the gods, they are very powerful and extremely daring by birth, their pride of strength being quelled only by the brilliant weapon (discus) of Sri Hari, the divine Lord whose glory pervades all the worlds. Thanks to the threats in the form of sacred (Vedic) texts employed by Sarama[1], the (canine) female messenger of indra, they are (terribly) afraid of that ruler of the gods. Below that, in (the region of) Patala, dwell the lords of the realm of the Naas (demon-serpents), Sankha, Kulika, Mahasankha, Sweta, Dhananjaya, Dhrtarastra, Sankhacuda, Kambala, Aswatara, Devadatta and others, (all) provided with extensive hoods an extremely furious (by nature), the chief of whom is Vasuki. The big and shining gems fixed on the hoods of these serpents-that are possessed of five, seven, ten, hundred and (in some cases even) thousand heads (respectively)-drive away by their splendour the (entire) mass of darkness prevailing in the (nethermost) region of Patala.



  1. According to a Vedic legend, the Panis once stole away the earth and hid it under water. Indra sent down a heavenly bitch (the mother of the canine race), Sarama by name, to trace out the globe. The Panis tried to confer with Sarama with a view to compromise; but Sarama spurned their offer and uttered the following words by way of a threat :-' (Killed by Indra, lie down on the battle-field, O Panis!) The Panis are terrebly afraid of Indra, the legend further tells us, ever since they heard this threat from the mouth of Sarama.

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