Bhagavatam - Tenth Skandha , Chapter 88

Vishnu and Siva


"Among Devas, demons and humans people worship the austere Siva and they usually enjoy riches, not those who pray to Hari , the husband of the Goddess of Riches "


Rudra Moksham

Maharaj Parikshit asked Suka Deva:

‘O Brahman! Among Devas, demons and humans, people who worship the austere Siva, they usually enjoy riches, not those who pray to Lord Hari, the husband of the Goddess of riches. We wish to understand this matter indeed we have great doubts as the characteristics of the two lords are opposite of the devotees.”

Suka Deva continued

O King, Lord Siva united with his powers manifest three features. Prayed to these are false ego in the mode of passion, ignorance and the goodness. From that false ego stem the sixteen elements. When a devotee worships Siva in any one of the manifestations he obtains all the corresponding riches. Lord Hari is independent of these modes of passion ignorance and goodness. One who worships Hari thus becomes independent of these modes.

Your grandfather after completing Rajasuyas asked Lord Krishna the same questions. This question pleased the Lord to no end and the Lord replied accordingly as follows.

“He on whom I bestow my grace I slowly deprive him of his wealth. When his wealth is gone he loses the circle of people who are attached to him because of wealth. As he sinks to despair and all his efforts to get back wealth fail, he becomes dispassionate and joins my devotees. On such a one I bestow my grace. For this reason people do not adore me. Men therefore adopt other deities who are propitiated more easily. But such worldly blessing obtained so easily also give raise to arrogance. Arrogance to the extent of disregarding the deities who gave the benediction in the first place.”

“Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Maheswara are all competent to curse or give benediction. But Brahma and Siva may be gratified quickly to give benediction, but they also become angry quickly also curse. In this regard they relate the following as an ancient example of demon Vrika obtained a choice of benediction putting the Master of Mount Kailas into difficulties.

A demon named Vrika, a son of Sakuni, once met a sage and asked him which of the three Lords is pleased most quickly. The sage told him, "You should worship Lord Siva and you will become successful quickly. Lord Siva becomes satisfied seeing the slightest good qualities, but also become angry with slightest fault .He was satisfied with ten headed Ravana and the Bana with Thousand hands. Both of whom sang his glories like minstrels. Both of them also landed him in difficulties". Thus advised the demon proceeded to perform difficult penance at the holy place of Kedarnath.

He offered pieces of his own body into the sacrificial fire. Not getting the wish fulfilled, after seven days of severe penance offering parts of his own flesh, he took bath in the holy waters of that Kedarnath. Then holding his hair in one hand prepared cut off his head and offer the same to the Lord. The supremely merciful Lord then appeared to stop him from cutting off his head. By the touch of the Lord Vrika became the normal person he was before started the sacrifice. Lord Siva told him, “My friend enough, enough! Please stop and choose whatever benediction you want from me. I will bestow on you the chosen boon. You have tormented your body excessively for no reason when I am satisfied with even water from my devotees'.

Vrika said “O Lord, may death come to one on whose head I place my hand “. Hearing this Lord Siva seemed as though displeased, but vibrating the word “om” signified approval. Then smiling broadly he gave the benediction like giving milk to a snake.

To test the Lords benediction the demon tried to put his hand on the head of the Lord Himself. Lord quickly moved away. But as the Demon persisted Lord Siva had to run to all places. He ran to the limits of the earth and the sky but could not shake off the Demon. The Devas could not help, since they also did not know what to do. Then the Lord Siva ran to Vaikuntha where Lord Vishnu is resting. Lord Vishnu could gaze from afar the predicament of Lord Siva. Then he immediately transformed himself into a Brahmacharin wearing appropriate dress with deerskin, carrying a garland of beads and came in between the demon Vrika and the Lord Siva whom he is chasing. The Brahmacharin asked the demon ,”My dear son of Sakuni, you are apparently fatigued. For what reason you have come this far. Please rest for a minute. After all this body is the one we serve. O Mighty one, if you think it is proper please tell us. Usually by taking help of persons one can accomplish his wishes.”

Thus questioned by the Lord with words sounding like nectar, Vrika felt relieved of his fatigue. Then he described to Lord all he had done.

The Lord said “if so, we cannot place faith in the words Siva. He is the same Lord of Pretas and Pisachas whom Daksha had cursed. If you have faith in him as the spiritual master, my dear friend right now put your hand on your head to just observe. If it is untrue then please kill him so that he may not speak the untruth again. ”

In this by the use of very clever words the demon was fooled and the demon without thinking put his hand on his head and true to the benediction he died instantly.

Seeing this all the celestials were pleased.

The Lord Siva was out of danger.

Then the Lord told Lord Siva, “O Mahadeva see how this wicked man has been killed by his own sinful reactions. Indeed what living being can hope to remain happy doing injury to holy persons, much less to the Lord of all such persons. “

Suka Deva concludes by saying that whoever hears this account of Lord Vishnu rescuing Lord Siva he will gain freedom from the cycle of births and deaths.


"He who narrates or hears this account of rescuing of Siva by Hari , the Supreme Soul , the Soul of all souls , the reservoir of all powers and glories , the one beyond mind and words - he will gain freedom from cycle of births and deaths as also from all enemies "