Canto 6: Prescribed Duties for MankindChapter 17: Mother Pārvatī Curses Citraketu

Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 6.17.15

ataḥ pāpīyasīḿ yonim

āsurīḿ yāhi durmate

yatheha bhūyo mahatāḿ

na kartā putra kilbiṣam


ataḥ — therefore; pāpīyasīm — most sinful; yonimto the species of life; āsurīm — demoniac; yāhigo; durmateO impudent one; yathāso that; ihain this world; bhūyaḥ — again; mahatāmto great personalities; na — not; kartā — will commit; putra — my dear son; kilbiṣam — any offense.


O impudent one, my dear son, now take birth in a low, sinful family of demons so that you will not commit such an offense again toward exalted, saintly persons in this world.


One should be very careful not to commit offenses at the lotus feet of Vaiṣṇavas, of whom Lord Śiva is the best. While instructing Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu described an offense at the lotus feet of a Vaiṣṇava as hātī mātā, a mad elephant. When a mad elephant enters a nice garden, it spoils the entire garden. Similarly, if one becomes like a mad elephant and commits offenses at the lotus feet of a Vaiṣṇava, his entire spiritual career is halted. One should therefore be very careful not to commit offenses at the lotus feet of a Vaiṣṇava.

Mother Pārvatī was justified in punishing Citraketu, for Citraketu impudently criticized the supreme father, Mahādeva, who is the father of the living entities conditioned within this material world. The goddess Durgā is called mother, and Lord Śiva is called father. A pure Vaiṣṇava should be very careful to engage in his specific duty without criticizing others. This is the safest position. Otherwise, if one tends to criticize others, he may commit the great offense of criticizing a Vaiṣṇava.

Because Citraketu was undoubtedly a Vaiṣṇava, he might have been surprised that Pārvatī had cursed him. Therefore the goddess Pārvatī addressed him as putra, or son. Everyone is the son of mother Durgā, but she is not an ordinary mother. As soon as there is a small discrepancy in a demon's behavior, mother Durgā immediately punishes the demon so that he may come to his senses. This is explained by Lord Kṛṣṇa in Bhagavad-gītā (7.14):

daivī hy eṣā guṇa-mayī

mama māyā duratyayā

mām eva ye prapadyante

māyām etāḿ taranti te

"This divine energy of Mine, consisting of the three modes of material nature, is difficult to overcome. But those who have surrendered unto Me can easily cross beyond it." To surrender to Kṛṣṇa means to surrender to His devotees also, for no one can be a proper servant of Kṛṣṇa unless he is a proper servant of a devotee. Chāḍiyā vaiṣṇava-sevā nistāra pāyeche kebā: without serving a servant of Kṛṣṇa, one cannot be elevated to being a servant of Kṛṣṇa Himself. Therefore mother Pārvatī spoke to Citraketu exactly like a mother who says to her naughty child, "My dear child, I am punishing you so that you won't do anything like this again." This tendency of a mother to punish her child is found even in mother Yaśodā, who became the mother of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Mother Yaśodā punished Kṛṣṇa by binding Him and showing Him a stick. Thus it is the duty of a mother to chastise her beloved son, even in the case of the Supreme Lord. It is to be understood that mother Durgā was justified in punishing Citraketu. This punishment was a boon to Citraketu because after taking birth as the demon Vṛtrāsura, he was promoted directly to Vaikuṇṭha.

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