Book 6: Chapter 13
Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana: Book 6: Chapter 13: Verses 14-23
Indra (who is possessed of a thousand eyes located all over his body), O Pariksit (a ruler of the people), ranged through the sky and (then) in all directions and, (finally) betaking himself to the north-east, 0 king, quickly entered the Manasa lake. Pondering within (himself) the means of absolution from the sin of having slain a Brahmana and getting no subsistence, because he remained under water and had the god of fire (who could not obviously enter water ) for his purveyor (agency conveying sacrificial offerings) , Indra lived unperceived (by Brahmahatya) in the fibres of a lotus-stalk (in the Manasa lake) for a thousand years. Till then (the famous king) Nahusa (of the mortal world)-who had acquired the capacity to rule over Swarga by virtue of (his) worship, asceticism and mystical powers-ruled over (acted as the regent of) the third heaven (the celestial region). His intellect (however) having been blinded through arrogance caused by opulence and power, he was cast (through an ingenious device) into a sub-human species (the serpent race) by Saci (the virtuous spouse of Indra, whom he claimed as his wife). Called by the invocation of the Brahmanas (sages), Indra-whose sin had (in the meantime) been neutralized through meditation on Sri Hari (the Upholder of truth)-returned after that to heaven; and the sin (of having killed a Brahmana)-that had been deprived of its force by Sri Rudra (the deity presiding over the north-east)--could not assail him, protected (as he was) by Goddess Laksmi (the divine Consort of Lord Visnu, dwelling in the bed of lotuses in the Manasa lake).
Brahmana sages (now) approached him, O Pariksit (a scion of Bharata), and duly consecrated him, they say, fora horse-sacrifice intended to propitiate Sri Hari (the Supreme Person). Now, while the Supreme Person, who embodies in Himself all the divinities, was being worshipped by the mighty Indra in the course of the (aforesaid) horse-sacrifice elaborately performed through the instrumentality of sages who were (great) expositors of the Vedas, even that huge mass of sin in the shape of the slaughter of the demon Vrtra (son of the god Twasta), O king, was actually reduced to nothingness by that very sacrifice just as the hoar-frost is melted by the sun. By propitiating the most ancient Person, the Deity presiding over sacrifices, through the (said) horse-sacrifice--which was being elaborately performed according to the scriptural ordinance through the instrumentality of Marici and other sages-the aforesaid Indra was completely rid of his sins and became great (once more). This great narrative is (decidedly) instrumental in washing off all one's sins and conducive to the growth of Devotion, replete as it is with the praises of the Lord (whose holy feet enable one to ford the vast ocean of metempsychosis), containing an account of His (great) devotee (Vrtra) as well as of the absolution and decisive victory of the mighty Indra, nicknamed as Marutvan. Therefore, the wise should always recite or hear (at least) on every festival this story relating to lndra, which beings wealth, fame and longevity, is a means of ridding one of all sinful propensities, and a source of (all) blessings and helps one to conquer one's enemies.
Thus ends the thirteenth discourse entitled "The victory of lndra" in Book Six of the great and glorious Bhagavata-Purana,otherwise known as the Paramahamsa-Samhita.
- A famous commentator of Srimad Bhagavata, however, points out that the god of fire does enter water when carrying oblations to Varuna ( the god of water residing in water), so that It was not impossible for him to enter the Manasa lake and purvey food to Indra. The Manasa fake, however being closely guarded by the attendants of Sri Rudra, he could not easily enter it without disclosing the secret of Indra's hiding there.
- Swarga (Indra's paradise) is called the third heaven inasmuch as it Is the third in order of the seven upper spheres of the universe from the earth onwards, the terrestrial sphere (which has also been declared to be a place of enjoyment of the fruit of one's merits, with the exception of Bharatavarsa, which is pre-eminently a place for action-Karmabhumi vide V. xvii. II).
- Having ascended the throne of Indra, Nahusa-who was attracted by the extraordinary charms of the former's spouse, Sac', claimed her as his legitimate wife and invited her accordingly to live with him. Sad, who was the wedded wife of Indra and was, therefore, exclusively devoted to him, naturally disdained his invitation and sought the advice of the sage Brhaspati (Indra's preceptor and family priest, who had since returned and resumed his office) how to elude the grasp of Nahusa, whom she could not openly defy because of her forlorn condition. The sagacious Brhaspati, who naturally sympathized with the virtuous lady advised her that she should offer to meet Nahusa provided he should visit her in a palanquin borne by Brahmana sages, Nahusa, who was blinded with passion, readily agreed and commanded Agastya and other sages to carry him in a palanquin to Saci's palace. In his eagerness to see the celestial lady, he goaded the bearers to proceed apace, and even touched the venerable sage Agastya with his foot saying "Move on, move on , Enraged at this insolent behaviour on the part of the arrogant monarch, the sage pronounced a curse agaist him that he should fall down and be reborn in the serpent race. The execration uttered by the sage could not be otherwise and the king fell down at once from heaven and was transformed into a python and eventually redeemed in the following Dwapara age by the virtuous king Yudhisthira.