Canto 4: Creation of the Fourth OrderChapter 18: Pṛthu Mahārāja Milks the Earth Planet

Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 4.18.22

tathāhayo dandaśūkāḥ

sarpā nāgāś ca takṣakam

vidhāya vatsaḿ duduhur

bila-pātre viṣaḿ payaḥ


tathā — similarly; ahayaḥ — snakes without hoods; dandaśūkāḥ — scorpions; sarpāḥ — cobras; nāgāḥ — big snakes; ca — and; takṣakamTakṣaka, chief of the snakes; vidhāya — making; vatsam — calf; duduhuḥ — milked out; bila-pātrein the pot of snake holes; viṣam — poison; payaḥas milk.


Thereafter cobras and snakes without hoods, large snakes, scorpions and many other poisonous animals took poison out of the planet earth as their milk and kept this poison in snake holes. They made a calf out of Takṣaka.


Within this material world there are various types of living entities, and the different types of reptiles and scorpions mentioned in this verse are also provided with their sustenance by the arrangement of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The point is that everyone is taking his eatables from the planet earth. According to one's association with the material qualities, one develops a certain type of character. Payaḥ-pānaḿ bhujańgānām: if one feeds a serpent milk, the snake will simply increase his venom. However, if one supplies milk to a talented sage or saint, the sage will develop finer brain tissues by which he can contemplate higher, spiritual life. Thus the Lord is supplying everyone food, but according to the living entity's association with the modes of material nature, the living entity develops his specific character.

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