Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana Book 7 Chapter 3:1-14

Book 7: Chapter 3

Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana: Book 7: Chapter 3: Verses 1-14
Hiranyakasipu asks a number of boons (of Brahma, who is pleased with his austerities)

Narada resumed : Hiranyakasipu, O king (Yudhisthira), (now) wished to make himself invincible, free from old age and death and the sole monarch of the three worlds, having no rival. In the valley of Mount Mandara he practised asceticism of the severest type, keeping (both) his arms lifted up and his gaze fixed on the sky, and touching the ground with his great toes. With the (dazzling) splendour of his matted locks he shone as the sun with its rays at the time of final dissolution. While he was (thus) practising austerities, the gods (that had been dislodged from their home took- advantage of his absence and) returned to their (respective) abodes. The smoky fire of asceticism sprung from the crown of his head spread on all sides and began to scorch the higher and the lower worlds as well as the intermediate region. The rivers and the oceans swelled; the earth with its (seven) main divisions and mountains shook; stars and planets shot out (from their respective positions) and (all) the ten directions flamed forth. Scorched by that fire, the gods left heaven and went to the realm of Brahma and submitted to the creator (as follows):-"Tormented by the asceticism of Hiranyakasipu (the chief of the demons), O god of gods, O lord of the universe, we can no longer stay in heaven. (Pray,) devise some remedy against it, O perfect one, if you think fit, before the worlds that bear tributes to you perish, O universal lord !

The following is his avowed purpose in practising the austerities so hard to perform. Although it is not unknown to you, yet listen to what is being submitted (by us). 'Having evolved this mobile (animate) and immobile (inanimate) creation by virtue of his devotion to asceticism and Yoga (contemplation), Brahma (the supreme deity) occupies his abode (Satyaloka), higher than all (other) spheres. Through increasing devotion to austerities and Yoga (concentration of mind) and because time and the soul are eternal, 1 shall likewise secure that very position for myself. By (sheer) strength of asceticism I shall change the world order (by exalting sin and depreciating virtue and by driving away the gods and the Rsis to the subterranean regions and placing the demons in the higher spheres) so completely as to make it (look altogether) different from what it was before. What shall I do with other spheres such as the realms of Visnu and so on, which are destroyed by Time at the end of a Kalpa[1] (the period covering the entire life of the three worlds)?' We hear of his resolution in this behalf and it is with this intention that he has undertaken austerities of the severest type. (Kindly) do yourself at once what is advisable (under the circumstances), 0 lord of the three spheres ! Your supremely exalted position, O lord of the universe, is conducive to the growth, happiness, prosperity, protection and triumph of the Brahmanas and the cows. (If he succeeds in replacing you, there is no hope for the Brahmanas and the cows)" Thus addressed by the gods, O king (Yudhisthira), and accompanied by the sage Bhrgu, Daksa and others, the glorious Brahma (the self-born) went to the hermitage of Hiranyakasipu (the lord of the Daityas).



  1. Even though the divine abode of Lord Visnu and other manifestations of the Supreme Deity are all eternal, Hiranyakasipu regards them as limited by time because of his perverted intellect, which showed him everything upside down.

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