58. Deliverance of the Demon Bhaumasura
4 / Deliverance of the Demon Bhaumāsura
The story of Bhaumāsura--how he kidnapped and made captive 16,000 princesses by collecting them from the palaces of various kings and how he was killed by Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Lord of wonderful character--is all described by Śukadeva Gosvāmī to King Parīkṣit in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Generally, the demons are always against the demigods. This demon, Bhaumāsura, having become very powerful, took by force the umbrella from the throne of the demigod Varuṇa. He also took the earrings of Aditi, the mother of the demigods. He conquered a portion of heavenly Mount Meru and occupied the portion which was known as Maṇi-parvata. The king of the heavenly planets, Indra, therefore came to Dvārakā to complain about Bhaumāsura before Lord Kṛṣṇa.
Hearing this complaint by Indra, the King of heaven, Lord Kṛṣṇa, accompanied by His wife Satyabhāmā, immediately started for the abode of Bhaumāsura. Both of them rode on the back of Garuḍa, who flew them to Prāgjyotiṣapura, the capital city of Bhaumāsura. It was not a very easy task to enter into the city of Prāgjyotiṣapura, because it was very well fortified. First of all, there were four formidable forts guarding the four directions of the city, and it was well-protected on all sides by formidable military strength. The next boundary was a water canal all around the city, and in addition the whole city was surrounded with electric wires. The next fortification was of anila, a gaseous substance. After this, there was a network of barbed wiring constructed by a demon of the name Mura. It appeared that the city was well-protected even in terms of today's scientific advancements.
When Kṛṣṇa arrived, He broke all the forts to pieces by the strokes of His club, and the military strength scattered here and there by the constant onslaught of the arrows of Kṛṣṇa. With His celebrated Sudarśana-cakra He counteracted the electrified boundary; the channels of water and the gaseous boundary were made null and void, and He cut to pieces the electrified network fabricated by the demon Mura. By the vibration of His conchshell, He not only broke the hearts of great fighters, but also the fighting machines which were there. Similarly, the walls around the city were broken by His invincible club.
The vibration of His conchshell sounded like the thunderbolt at the time of the dissolution of the whole cosmic situation. The demon Mura heard the vibration of the conchshell, awakened from his sleep, and personally came out to see what had happened. He had five heads and had long been living within the water. The Mura demon was as brilliant as the sun at the time of the dissolution of the cosmic manifestation, and his temper was like blazing fire. The effulgence of his body was so dazzling that it was difficult to see him with open eyes. When he came out, he first of all took out his trident and began to rush the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The onslaught of the demon Mura was like a big snake attacking Garuḍa. His angry mood was very severe, and he appeared ready to devour the three worlds. First of all he attacked the carrier of Kṛṣṇa, Garuḍa, by whirling his trident and he began to vibrate sounds through his five faces like the roaring of a lion. The roaring produced by the vibration of his mouths spread all over the atmosphere until it extended not only all over the world, but also into outer space, up and down and out to the ten directions. In this way, the sound was rumbling throughout the whole universe.
Lord Krsna saw that the trident of the Mura demon was gradually rushing toward His carrier, Garuda.
Lord Kṛṣṇa saw that the trident of the Mura demon was gradually rushing toward His carrier, Garuḍa. Immediately, by a trick of His hand, He took two arrows and threw them toward the trident, cutting it to pieces. Simultaneously, using many arrows, He pierced the mouths of the demon Mura. When he saw himself outmaneuvered by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the Mura demon immediately began to strike Him in great anger with his club. But Lord Kṛṣṇa, with His own club, broke the club of Mura to pieces before it could reach Him. The demon, bereft of his weapon, decided to attack Kṛṣṇa with his strong arms, but by the aid of His Sudarśana-cakra, Kṛṣṇa immediately separated the demon's five heads from his body. The demon then fell into the water, just as the peak of a mountain falls into the ocean after being struck by the thunderbolt of Indra.
This demon Mura had seven sons, named Tāmra, Antarikṣa, Śravaṇa, Vibhāvasu, Vasu, Nabhasvān and Aruṇa. All of them became puffed up and vengeful because of the death of their father, and in order to retaliate, they prepared in great anger to fight with Kṛṣṇa. They equipped themselves with necessary weapons and situated Pīṭha, another demon, to act as commander in the battle. By the order of Bhaumāsura, all of them combinedly attacked Kṛṣṇa.
When they came before Lord Kṛṣṇa, they began to shower Him with many kinds of weapons, like swords, clubs, lances, arrows and tridents. But they did not know that the strength of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is unlimited and invincible. Kṛṣṇa, with His arrows, cut all the weapons of the men of Bhaumāsura into pieces, like grains. Kṛṣṇa then threw His weapons, and Bhaumāsura's commander-in-chief, Pīṭha, along with his assistants, fell down, their military dress cut off and their heads, legs, arms and thighs severed. All of them were sent to the superintendent of death, Yamarāja.
Bhaumāsura was also known as Narakāsura, for he happened to be the son of the earth personified. When he saw that all his soldiers, commanders and fighters were killed on the battlefield by the strokes of the weapons of the Personality of Godhead, he became exceedingly angry at the Lord. He then came out of the city with a great number of elephants who had all been born and brought up on the seashore. All of them were highly intoxicated. When they came out, they saw that Lord Kṛṣṇa and His wife were beautifully situated high in outer space just like a blackish cloud about the sun, glittering with the light of electricity. The demon Bhaumāsura immediately released a weapon called Śataghnī, by which he could kill hundreds of warriors with one stroke, and simultaneously all his assistants also threw their respective weapons at the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Lord Kṛṣṇa began to counteract all these weapons by releasing His feathered arrows. The result of this fight was that all the soldiers and commanders of Bhaumāsura fell to the ground, their arms, legs and heads separated from their trunks, and all their horses and elephants also fell with them. In this way, all the weapons released by Bhaumāsura were cut to pieces by the reaction of the Lord's arrows.
The Lord was fighting on the back of Garuḍa, and Garuḍa was also helping the Lord by striking the horses and the elephants with his wings and scratching their heads with his nails and sharpened beak. The elephants were feeling much pain by Garuḍa's attack on them, and they were all dispersing from the battlefield. Bhaumāsura alone remained on the battlefield, and he engaged himself in fighting with Kṛṣṇa. He saw that Kṛṣṇa's carrier, Garuḍa, was causing great disturbance to his soldiers and elephants, and in great anger he struck Garuḍa with all his strength, which defied the strength of the thunderbolt. Fortunately, Garuḍa was not an ordinary bird, and he felt the strokes given by Bhaumāsura just as a great elephant feels the impact of a garland of flowers.
Bhaumāsura thus came to see that none of his tricks would act upon Kṛṣṇa, and he became aware that all his attempts to kill Kṛṣṇa would be frustrated. Yet he attempted for the last time, taking a trident in his hand to strike Him. Kṛṣṇa was so dexterous that before Bhaumāsura could touch his trident, his head was cut off by the sharp Sudarśana-cakra. His head, illuminated by earrings and helmets, fell down on the battlefield. On the occasion of Bhaumāsura's being killed by Lord Kṛṣṇa, all the demon's relatives began to scream in disappointment, and the saintly persons began to glorify the chivalrous activities of the Lord. Taking this opportunity, the denizens of the heavenly planets began to shower flowers on the Lord.
At this time, the earth personified appeared before Lord Kṛṣṇa and greeted Him with a garland of vaijayantī jewels. She also returned the dazzling earrings of Aditi, bedecked with jewels and gold. She also returned the umbrella of Varuṇa, along with another valuable jewel, which she presented to Kṛṣṇa. After this, the earth personified began to offer her prayers to Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality and master of the world, who is always worshiped by very exalted demigods. She fell down in obeisances and, in great devotional ecstasy, began to speak.
"Let me offer my respectful obeisances unto the Lord, who is always present with four kinds of symbols, namely His conchshell, disc, lotus and club, and who is the Lord of all demigods. Please accept my respectful obeisances unto You. My dear Lord, You are the Supersoul, and in order to satisfy the aspiration of Your devotees, You descend on the earth in Your various transcendental incarnations, which are just appropriate to the devotees' worshipful desire. Kindly accept my respectful obeisances.
"My dear Lord, the lotus flower is grown out of Your navel, and You are always decorated with a garland of lotus flowers. Your eyes are always spread like the petals of the lotus flower, and therefore they are all-pleasing to the eyes of others. Your lotus feet are so soft and delicate that they are always worshiped by Your unalloyed devotees, and they pacify their lotus-like hearts. I therefore repeatedly offer my respectful obeisances unto You.
"You possess all kinds of religions, fame, property, knowledge and renunciation; You are the shelter of all five opulences. Although You are all-pervading, You have nevertheless appeared as the son of Vasudeva. Please, therefore, accept my respectful obeisances. You are the original Supreme Personality of Godhead and the supreme cause of all causes. Only Your Lordship is the reservoir of all knowledge. Let me offer my respectful obeisances unto You. Personally You are unborn; still, You are the father of the whole cosmic manifestation. You are the reservoir and shelter of all kinds of energies. The manifestive appearance of this world is caused by You, and You are both the cause and effect of this cosmic manifestation. Please therefore accept my respectful obeisances.
"My dear Lord, as for the three gods--Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Śiva--they are also not independent of You. When there is necessity of creating this cosmic manifestation, You create Your passionate appearance of Brahmā, and when You want to maintain this cosmic manifestation, You expand Yourself as Lord Viṣṇu, the reservoir of all goodness. Similarly, You appear as Lord Śiva, master of the modes of ignorance, and thus dissolve the whole creation. Your transcendental position is always maintained, in spite of creating these three modes of material nature. You are never entangled like the ordinary living entities with these modes of material nature.
"Actually, my Lord, You are the material nature, You are the father of the universe, and You are the eternal time that has caused the combination of nature and the material creator. Still, You are always transcendental to all these material activities. My dear Lord, O Supreme Personality of Godhead, I know that earth, water, fire, air, sky, the five sense objects, mind, the senses and their deities, egotism, as well as the total material energy--everything animate and inanimate in this phenomenal world is resting upon You. Since everything is produced of You, nothing can be separated from You. Yet, since You are transcendentally situated, neither can anything material be identified with Your personality. Everything is, therefore, simultaneously one and different from You, and the philosophers who try to separate everything from You are certainly mistaken in their viewpoint.
"My dear Lord, may I inform You that this boy, whose name is Bhagadatta, is the son of my son, Bhaumāsura. He has been very much affected by the ghastly situation created by the death of his father and has become very much confused, being afraid of the present situation. I have therefore brought him to surrender unto Your lotus feet. I request Your Lordship to give shelter to this boy and bless him with Your lotus feet. I am bringing him to You so that he may become relieved from the reactions of all the sinful activities of his father."
When Lord Kṛṣṇa heard the prayers of mother earth, He immediately assured her of immunity from all fearful situations. He said to Bhagadatta, "Don't be afraid." Then He entered the palace of Bhaumāsura, which was equipped with all kinds of opulences. In the palace of Bhaumāsura Lord Kṛṣṇa saw 16,100 young princesses, who had been kidnapped and held captive there. When the princesses saw the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, enter the palace, they immediately became captivated by the beauty of the Lord and prayed for His causeless mercy. Within their minds, they decided to accept Lord Kṛṣṇa as their husband without any hesitation. Each one of them began to pray to providence that Kṛṣṇa might become her husband. Sincerely and seriously, they offered their hearts to the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa with an unalloyed devotional attitude. As the Supersoul in everyone's heart, Kṛṣṇa could understand their uncontaminated desire, and He agreed to accept them as His wives. Thus, He arranged for suitable dresses and ornaments for them, and each of them, seated on a palanquin, was dispatched to Dvārakā City. Kṛṣṇa also collected unlimited wealth from the palace, along with chariots, horses, jewels and treasure. He took from the palace fifty white elephants, each with four tusks, and all of them were dispatched to Dvārakā.
After this incident, Lord Kṛṣṇa and Satyabhāmā entered Amarāvatī, the capital city of the heavenly planet, and they immediately entered the palace of King Indra and his wife, Śacīdevī, who welcomed them. Kṛṣṇa then presented Indra with the earrings of Aditi.
When Kṛṣṇa and Satyabhāmā were returning from the capital city of Indra, Satyabhāmā remembered Kṛṣṇa's promise to give her the plant of the pārijāta flower. Taking the opportunity of having come to the heavenly kingdom, she plucked a pārijāta plant and kept it on the back of Garuḍa. Once Nārada took a pārijāta flower and presented it to Kṛṣṇa's senior wife, Śrī Rukmiṇīdevī. On account of this, Satyabhāmā developed an inferiority complex; she also wanted a flower from Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa could understand the competitive womanly nature of His co-wives, and He smiled. He immediately asked Satyabhāmā, "Why are you asking for only one flower? I would like to give you a whole tree of pārijāta flowers."
Actually, Kṛṣṇa had purposely taken His wife Satyabhāmā with Him so she could collect the pārijāta with her own hand. But the denizens of the heavenly planet, including Indra, became very irritated. Without their permission, Satyabhāmā had plucked a pārijāta plant, which is not to be found on the earth planet. Indra, along with other demigods, offered opposition to Kṛṣṇa and Satyabhāmā for taking away the plant, but in order to please His favorite wife Satyabhāmā, Kṛṣṇa became determined and adamant, so there was a fight between the demigods and Kṛṣṇa. As usual, Kṛṣṇa came out victorious, and He triumphantly brought the pārijāta plant chosen by His wife to this earth planet, to Dvārakā. After this, the plant was installed in the palace garden of Satyabhāmā. On account of this extraordinary tree, the garden house of Satyabhāmā became extraordinarily beautiful. As the pārijāta plant came down to the earthly planet, the fragrance of the flower also came down, and the celestial swans also migrated to this earth in search of its fragrance and honey.
King Indra's behavior toward Kṛṣṇa was not very much appreciated by great sages like Śukadeva Gosvāmī. Out of His causeless mercy, Kṛṣṇa had gone to the heavenly kingdom, Amarāvatī, to present King Indra with his mother's earrings, which had been lost to Bhaumāsura, and Indra had been very glad to receive them. But when a flower plant from the heavenly kingdom was taken by Kṛṣṇa, Indra offered to fight with Him. This was self-interest on the part of Indra. He offered his prayer, tipping down his head to the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa, but as soon as his purpose was served, he became a different creature. That is the way of the dealings of materialistic men. Materialistic men are always interested in their own profit. For this purpose they can offer any kind of respect to anyone, but when their personal interest is over, they are no longer friends. This selfish nature is not only found among the richer class of men on this planet, but is present even in personalities like Indra and other demigods. Too much wealth makes a man selfish. A selfish man is not prepared to take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness and is condemned by great devotees like Śukadeva Gosvāmī. In other words, possession of too many worldly riches is a disqualification for advancement in Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
After defeating Indra, Kṛṣṇa arranged to marry the 16,100 girls brought from the custody of Bhaumāsura. By expanding Himself in 16,100 forms, He simultaneously married them all in different palaces in one auspicious moment. He thus established the truth that Kṛṣṇa and no one else is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. There is nothing impossible, for Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead; He is all-powerful, omnipresent and imperishable, and as such there is nothing wonderful in this pastime. All the palaces of the more than 16,000 queens of Kṛṣṇa were full with suitable gardens, furniture and other paraphernalia, of which there is no parallel in this world. There is no exaggeration in this story from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. The queens of Kṛṣṇa were all expansions of the goddess of fortune, Lakṣmījī. Kṛṣṇa used to live with them in different palaces, and He treated them in exactly the same way as an ordinary man treats his wife.
We should always remember that the Supreme Personality of Godhead Kṛṣṇa was playing exactly like a human being; although He showed His extraordinary opulences by simultaneously marrying more than sixteen thousand wives in more than sixteen thousand palaces, He behaved with them just like an ordinary man, and He strictly followed the relationship between husband and wife required in ordinary homes. Therefore, it is very difficult to understand the characteristics of the Supreme Brahman, the Personality of Godhead. Even demigods like Brahmā and others are unable to probe into the transcendental pastimes of the Lord. The wives of Kṛṣṇa were so fortunate that they got the Supreme Personality of Godhead as their husband, although their husband's personality was unknown even to the demigods like Brahmā.
In their dealings as husband and wife, Kṛṣṇa and His queens would smile, talk, joke, embrace, and so on, and their conjugal relationship ever increasingly developed. In this way, both Kṛṣṇa and the queens enjoyed transcendental happiness in their household life. Although each and every queen had thousands of maidservants engaged for her service, the queens were all personally attentive in serving Kṛṣṇa. Each one of them used to receive Kṛṣṇa personally when He entered the palace. They engaged in getting Him seated on a nice couch, presenting Him with all kinds of worshipable paraphernalia, washing His lotus feet with Ganges water, offering Him betel nuts and massaging His legs. In this way, they were giving Him relief from the fatigue of being away from home. They saw to fanning Him nicely, offering Him fragrant essential floral oil, decorating Him with flower garlands, dressing His hair, asking Him to lie down to take rest, bathing Him personally and feeding Him nice palatable dishes. All these things were done by each queen herself. They did not wait for the maidservants. In other words, Kṛṣṇa and His different queens displayed on this earth an ideal household life.
Thus ends the Bhaktivedanta purport of the Second Volume, Fourth Chapter, of Kṛṣṇa, "Deliverance of the Demon Bhaumāsura."