26 Apr Daksha Conflicts With Lord Shiva
THE FOLLOWING LECTURE ON THE SRIMAD BHAGAVATAM CANTO 4, CHAPTER 2, DAKSA CURSES LOFD SHIVA, TEXT 29, WAS GIVEN BY HIS HOLINESS BHAKTI CHARU SWAMI IN ISKCON SRIDHAMA MAYAPURA, INDIA, ON 26 APRIL 2010.
yatra daivam surasavam
nasta-saucah — cleanliness being abandoned; mudha-dhiyah — foolish; jata-bhasma-asthi-dharinah — wearing long hair, ashes and bones; visantu — may enter; siva-diksayam — into initiation of worship of Siva; yatra — where; daivam — are spiritual; sura-asavam — wine and liquor.
Those who vow to worship Lord Siva are so foolish that they imitate him by keeping long hair on their heads. When initiated into worship of Lord Siva, they prefer to live on wine, flesh and other such things.
Indulging in wine and meat, keeping long hair on one’s head, not bathing daily, and smoking ganja (marijuana) are some of the habits which are accepted by foolish creatures who do not have regulated lives. By such behavior one becomes devoid of transcendental knowledge. In the initiation into the Shiva mantra there are mudrikastaka, in which it is sometimes recommended that one makes his sitting place on the vagina and thus desire nirvana, or dissolution of existence. In that process of worship, wine is needed, or sometimes, in place of wine, palm tree juice which is converted into an intoxicant. This is also offered according to Shiva-agama, a scripture on the method of worshiping Lord Shiva.
So this is the episode describing Daksha-yajna, the sacrifice that was organised by Daksha, and this is a preview. Before that sacrifice, there was an assembly, another sacrifice where all the demigods assembled and Daksha came there, and Lord Shiva and Lord Brahma did not get up to show respects to him. All the other demigods, all the other personalities present there, they all stood up. Brahma didn’t stand up to offer respect to him because Brahma was a senior; Brahma is the father of Daksha. But Lord Shiva is the son-in-law of Daksha. So when Daksha saw this, that Lord Shiva did not stand up to offer him worship…
In that assembly, Daksha became very, very upset and he left the assembly, cursing Lord Shiva that he will not get the yajna-bhag, he will not get any share of that yajna. This yajna is something, the sacrifice, something that the demigods derive their pleasure from. Krishna says in Bhagavad-gita, saha-yajnah prajah sristva / purovaca prajapatih? (BG 3.10). At the time of creation, Krishna created the demigods as the different personalities in charge of different departments of universal affairs. That is the demigods, devas and devis. There are various departments in the universal affairs: water department, fire department, wind department, rain department, sun department, moon department, education department, finance department.
And just as in a country, in a state for the smooth operation and the benefit of the citizens, different departments are created and those departments have different personalities heading those departments, similarly, not similarly, but originally in the universal affair also there were these kinds of departmental arrangements. And Krishna appointed different demigods as in charge of those different departments, so they are the devas. And at the same time, Krishna also created the praja, the living entities.
Now, living entities derive their benefit from those departments. In order to survive, we need water, we need air, we need fire, we need the light of the sun, we need education and they need their flourishing aspects…we need wealth, we need education, living entities need those things, and those things are supplied by those departments, and as a result of that, the living entities are meant to offer their sacrifice. So that is the saha-yajnah prajah sristva, at the beginning of the creation Krishna created.
Now, this yajna, performance of yajna, is something like paying the bills to the department, like we use electricity, we consume water, we consume so many different things from the state and at the end of the month or at the end of the year in some cases, there comes a bill. We have to pay the bill, we have to pay the tax. So those departments flourish from those payments. Similarly, in the universal affairs the demigods flourish by performance of sacrifice. All the demigods have their share of the sacrifice. But Daksha, who was one of the heads of society, one of the heads of the universal affairs, very exalted personality… This is Daksha, daksha means expert, and he, because Lord Shiva did not stand up to show respect to him, he felt very insulted.
Now, this actually is an indication that Daksha, although a very exalted personality, but he was not exalted enough to understand or recognize the exalted position of a pure devotee. Please understand why Lord Shiva did not stand up. The reason Lord Shiva didn’t stand up, because he was so absorbed in his meditation and so absorbed in his thoughts of Lord Sankarshan, his worshippable Lord, that he did not have any external consciousness; he did not notice who was coming and who was going, he was sitting there completely absorbed, serving his Lord and chanting the glories of his Lord and master.
So this shows, which will be revealed later on, that Daksha was very, very gross materialist. He was very expert materially, but spiritually he was not so advanced. Therefore Daksha cursed Lord Shiva, that he won’t get any sacrifice and not only that, he harboured a very, very strong resentment towards Lord Shiva, so much so that later on when he performed his sacrifice… Two sacrifices he performed. The second one was very special sacrifice, the avabhrta yajna. In that sacrifice, where all the exalted personalities of the universe were invited, he deliberately did not invite Lord Shiva and his own daughter, youngest Sati. So that’s why Daksha…
Anyway, an uninvited Sati came to the assembly and Daksha just completely disregarded her and insulted, and started to blaspheme Lord Shiva. As a result of that, Sati left her body, that will be described in next couple of chapters, those incidents. But here, when Daksha insulted Lord Shiva, in this way, then Lord Shiva’s chief associate, Nandishvara, could not tolerate the insult to Lord Shiva. So, at that time, he actually cursed the followers of Daksha, the caste brahmanas: those who were brahmanas by birth and that curse became…and then Bhrigu also countercursed the associates of Lord Shiva. So this verse is actually describing the curse, the countercurse that Bhrigu gave to the followers of Lord Shiva.
Recordings of the class stop here.
Transcription : His Grace Nimesh Mistry
Editing : Her Grace Hemavati Radhika Dasi