Canto 10: The Summum BonumChapter 4: The Atrocities of King Kaḿsa

Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 10.4.42

sa hi sarva-surādhyakṣo

hy asura-dviḍ guhā-śayaḥ

tan-mūlā devatāḥ sarvāḥ

seśvarāḥ sa-catur-mukhāḥ

ayaḿ vai tad-vadhopāyo

yad ṛṣīṇāḿ vihiḿsanam


saḥHe (Lord Viṣṇu); hi — indeed; sarva-sura-adhyakṣaḥ — the leader of all the demigods; hi — indeed; asura-dviṭ — the enemy of the asuras; guhā-śayaḥHe is the Supersoul within the core of everyone's heart; tat-mūlāḥ — taking shelter at His lotus feet; devatāḥ — the demigods exist; sarvāḥ — all of them; sa-īśvarāḥ — including Lord Śiva; sa-catuḥ-mukhāḥas well as Lord Brahmā, who has four faces; ayam — this is; vai — indeed; tat-vadha-upāyaḥ — the only means of killing Him (Viṣṇu); yat — which; ṛṣīṇām — of great sages, saintly persons, or Vaiṣṇavas; vihiḿsanam — suppression with all kinds of persecution.


Lord Viṣṇu, the Supersoul within the core of everyone's heart, is the ultimate enemy of the asuras and is therefore known as asura-dviṭ. He is the leader of all the demigods because all the demigods, including Lord Śiva and Lord Brahmā, exist under His protection. The great saintly persons, sages and Vaiṣṇavas also depend upon Him. To persecute the Vaiṣṇavas, therefore, is the only way to kill Viṣṇu.


The demigods and the Vaiṣṇavas especially are part and parcel of the Supreme Lord, Viṣṇu, because they are always obedient to His orders (oḿ tad viṣṇoḥ paramaḿ padaḿ sadā paśyanti sūrayaḥ). The demoniac followers of Kaḿsa thought that if the Vaiṣṇavas, saintly persons and sages were persecuted, the original body of Viṣṇu would naturally be destroyed. Thus they decided to suppress Vaiṣṇavism. The asuras perpetually struggle to persecute the Vaiṣṇavas because they do not want Vaiṣṇavism to spread. Vaiṣṇavas preach only devotional service, not encouraging karmīs, jñānīs and yogīs, because if one must liberate oneself from material, conditional life, one must ultimately become a Vaiṣṇava. Our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is directed with this understanding, and therefore the asuras always try to suppress it.

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His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda, Founder Ācārya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness
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