Battles of the Visnu Avatars

September 26, 2007 at 6:49 pm Leave a comment

Lord Nrsimhadeva slays Hiranyakasipu
Bhagavat Purana – Nurpur, Himachal Pradesh

Lila pastimes with the transcendental demons.

“The demigods, finding no other recourse, surrendered again to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Visnu, who then appeared and counteracted all the illusions presented by the jugglery of the demons. Heroes among the demons such as Kalanemi, Mali, Sumali and Malyavan fought the Supreme Personality of Godhead and were all killed by the Lord. The demigods were thus freed from all dangers.”

Srimad-Bhagavatam 8:10 Summary

“Let me therefore offer my respectful obeisances unto the incarnation of fish, who appeared in devastation, although Your Lordship is the cause of all causes. Let me offer my respectful obeisances unto the Hayagriva incarnation, who killed the two demons Madhu and Kaitabha; let me offer my respectful obeisances unto You, who appeared as the gigantic tortoise that held up the great mountain Mandara and who appeared as the boar that rescued the earth planet which had fallen into the water of the Garbhodaka. Let me offer my respectful obeisances unto Your Lordship, who appeared as Nrsimhadeva, who delivered all kinds of devotees from the fearful condition of atheistic atrocities.

Let me offer my respectful obeisances unto You, who appeared as Vamanadeva and covered the three worlds simply by expanding Your lotus feet. Let me offer my respectful obeisances unto You who appeared as the Lord of the Bhrgus in order to kill all the infidel administrators of the world. And let me offer my respectful obeisances unto You who appeared as Lord Rama to kill demons like Ravana. You are worshiped by all devotees as the chief of the Raghu dynasty, Lord Ramacandra. Let me offer my respectful obeisances unto You, who appear as Lord Vasudeva, Lord Sankarsana, Lord Pradyumna and Lord Aniruddha. Let me offer my respectful obeisances unto You, who appear as Lord Buddha to bewilder the atheistic and demoniac. And let me offer my respectful obeisances unto You who appear as Kalki to chastise the so-called royal order degraded to the abominable condition of the mlecchas, who are below the jurisdiction of Vedic regulative principles.”

Krsna Book, Chapter 40


Madhu and Kaitaba The Madhu and Kaitaba Demons

“For example, although Lord Brahma appeared from the lotus seat that had grown from the abdomen of Garbhodakasayi Visnu, he could not understand what to do after his appearance. He was attacked by two demons, Madhu and Kaitabha, who took away Vedic knowledge, but the Lord killed them and entrusted to Lord Brahma the Vedic knowledge. Thus the Lord appears in every millennium in the societies of demigods, human beings, animals, saints and aquatics. All such incarnations are meant to protect the devotees and kill the demons, but this killing and protecting does not reflect any sense of partiality on the part of the Supreme Lord. The conditioned soul is always attracted by the external energy. Therefore he is subjected to lust and greed, and he suffers under the conditions of material nature. The Lord’s causeless mercy toward His devotee is the only means by which to get out of material existence. Anyone engaged in glorifying the Lord’s activities is always unafraid of this material world, whereas one who cannot glorify the Lord in that way is subjected to all lamentation.”

Srimad-Bhagavatam 7:9 Summary

“My dear Lord, when You appeared as Hayagriva, with the head of a horse, You killed two demons known as Madhu and Kaitabha, who were full of the modes of passion and ignorance. Then You delivered the Vedic knowledge to Lord Brahma. For this reason, all the great saints accept Your forms as transcendental, untinged by material qualities.

Purport: The Supreme Personality of Godhead in His transcendental form is always ready to give protection to His devotees. As mentioned herein, the Lord in the form of Hayagriva killed two demons named Madhu and Kaitabha when they attacked Lord Brahma. Modern demons think that there was no life in the beginning of creation, but from Srimad-Bhagavatam we understand that the first living creature created by the Supreme Personality of Godhead was Lord Brahma, who is full of Vedic understanding. Unfortunately, those entrusted with distributing Vedic knowledge, such as the devotees engaged in spreading Krsna consciousness, may sometimes be attacked by demons, but they must rest assured that demoniac attacks will not be able to harm them, for the Lord is always prepared to give them protection.”

Srimad-Bhagavatam 7:9:37

“When the demons Madhu and Kaitabha were killed by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, their kinsmen also observed the ritualistic ceremonies so that these demons could return home, back to Godhead.”

Srimad-Bhagavatam 7:10:22 Purport


Ajnana / Hayagriva Matsya Kills the Demon Ajnana

Srimad-Bhagavatam describes numerous pastimes wherein the Lord, manifesting as Matsya Avatara or Lord Hayagriva, comes to kill a demon who has stolen the Vedas. Both Matsya and Hayagriva Avatars are said to have killed the demon Ajnana but in another pastime, the demon himself was named Hayagriva and he was slain by Matsya.

“Once, at the end of the previous kalpa, a demon named Hayagriva wanted to take the Vedic knowledge away from Lord Brahma at the time of annihilation. Therefore the Supreme Personality of Godhead took the incarnation of a fish at the beginning of the period of Svayambhuva Manu and saved the Vedas.”

Srimad-Bhagavatam 8:24 Summary

“At the end of Brahma’s day, when Brahma felt sleepy and desired to lie down, the Vedas were emanating from his mouth, and the great demon named Hayagriva stole the Vedic knowledge.

Understanding the acts of the great demon Hayagriva, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Hari, who is full of all opulences, assumed the form of a fish and saved the Vedas by killing the demon.”

Srimad-Bhagavatam 8:24:8-9

“At the end of the last inundation [during the period of Svayambhuva Manu] the Supreme Personality of Godhead killed the demon named Hayagriva and delivered all the Vedic literatures to Lord Brahma when Lord Brahma awakened from sleeping.”

Srimad-Bhagavatam 8:24:57


Lord Hayagriva

“At the end of each kalpa, when the demon Ajnana steals the Vedic knowledge, Lord Hayagriva appears and preserves it. Then He delivers it to Lord Brahma.

At the end of the millennium, ignorance personified assumed the form of a demon, stole all the Vedas and took them down to the planet of Rasatala. The Supreme Lord, however, in His form of Hayagriva retrieved the Vedas and returned them to Lord Brahma when he begged for them. I offer my respectful obeisances unto the Supreme Lord, whose determination never fails.”

Srimad-Bhagavatam 5:18 Summary

“At the end of the millennium, ignorance personified assumed the form of a demon, stole all the Vedas and took them down to the planet of Rasatala. The Supreme Lord, however, in His form of Hayagriva retrieved the Vedas and returned them to Lord Brahma when he begged for them. I offer my respectful obeisances unto the Supreme Lord, whose determination never fails.

Purport: Although Vedic knowledge is imperishable, within this material world it is sometimes manifest and sometimes not. When the people of this material world become too absorbed in ignorance, the Vedic knowledge disappears. Lord Hayagriva or Lord Matsya, however, always protects the Vedic knowledge, and in due course of time it is again distributed through the medium of Lord Brahma. Brahma is the trustworthy representative of the Supreme Lord. Therefore when he again asked for the treasure of Vedic knowledge, the Lord fulfilled his desire.”

Srimad-Bhagavatam 5:16:6


Bhaktivedanta Book Trust. Excerpted from texts and purports of HDG A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada.


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