Canto 6: Prescribed Duties for MankindChapter 8: The Nārāyaṇa-kavaca Shield

Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 6.8.18

dhanvantarir bhagavān pātv apathyād

dvandvād bhayād ṛṣabho nirjitātmā

yajñaś ca lokād avatāj janāntād

balo gaṇāt krodha-vaśād ahīndraḥ


dhanvantariḥ — the incarnation Dhanvantari, the physician; bhagavān — the Supreme Personality of Godhead; pātu — may He protect me; apathyāt — from things injurious to the health, such as meat and intoxicants; dvandvāt — from duality; bhayāt — from fear; ṛṣabhaḥ — Lord Ṛṣabhadeva; nirjita-ātmā — who fully controlled his mind and self; yajñaḥYajña; ca — and; lokāt — from the defamation of the populace; avatāt — may He protect; jana-antāt — from dangerous positions created by other people; balaḥ — Lord Balarāma; gaṇāt — from the hordes of; krodha-vaśāt — the angry serpents; ahīndraḥ — Lord Balarāma in the form of the serpent Śeṣa Nāga.


May the Supreme Personality of Godhead in His incarnation as Dhanvantari relieve me from undesirable eatables and protect me from physical illness. May Lord Ṛṣabhadeva, who conquered His inner and outer senses, protect me from fear produced by the duality of heat and cold. May Yajña protect me from defamation and harm from the populace, and may Lord Balarāma as Śeṣa protect me from envious serpents.


To live within this material world, one must face many dangers, as described herein. For example, undesirable food poses a danger to health, and therefore one must give up such food. The Dhanvantari incarnation can protect us in this regard. Since Lord Viṣṇu is the Supersoul of all living entities, if He likes He can save us from adhibhautika disturbances, disturbances from other living entities. Lord Balarāma is the Śeṣa incarnation, and therefore He can save us from angry serpents or envious persons, who are always ready to attack.

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