Srimad Bhagavatam 01.15.08 - Achieving mercy of Guru and Gauranga (download mp3)
by Dauji Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty
yat-sannidhāv aham u khāṇḍavam agnaye ’dām
indraṁ ca sāmara-gaṇaṁ tarasā vijitya
labdhā sabhā maya-kṛtādbhuta-śilpa-māyā
digbhyo ’haran nṛpatayo balim adhvare te
Because He was near me, it was possible for me to conquer with great dexterity the powerful King of heaven, Indradeva, along with his demigod associates and thus enable the fire-god to devastate the Khāṇḍava Forest. And only by His grace was the demon named Maya saved from the blazing Khāṇḍava Forest, and thus we could build our assembly house of wonderful architectural workmanship, where all the princes assembled during the performance of Rājasūya-yajña and paid you tributes.
The demon Maya Dānava was an inhabitant of the forest Khāṇḍava, and when the Khāṇḍava Forest was set on fire, he asked protection from Arjuna. Arjuna saved his life, and as a result of this the demon felt obliged. He reciprocated by building a wonderful assembly house for the Pāṇḍavas, which attracted the extraordinary attention of all state princes. They felt the supernatural power of the Pāṇḍavas, and thus without grudge all of them submitted and paid tributes to the Emperor. The demons possess wonderful and supernatural powers to create material wonders. But they are always disturbing elements of the society. The modern demons are the harmful material scientists who create some material wonders for disturbance in the society. For example, the creation of nuclear weapons has caused some panic in human society. Maya was also a materialist like that, and he knew the art of creating such wonderful things. And yet Lord Kṛṣṇa wanted to kill him. When he was chased both by the fire and by the wheel of Lord Kṛṣṇa, he took shelter of such a devotee as Arjuna, who saved him from the wrath of the fire of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa. Devotees are therefore more merciful than the Lord, and in devotional service the mercy of a devotee is more valuable than the mercy of the Lord. Both the fire and the Lord ceased from chasing the demon as soon as both of them saw that the demon was given shelter by such a devotee as Arjuna. This demon, feeling obliged to Arjuna, wanted to do him some service to show his gratefulness, but Arjuna declined to accept anything from him in exchange. Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, however, being pleased with Maya for his taking shelter of a devotee, asked him to render service unto King Yudhiṣṭhira by building a wonderful assembly house. The process is that by the grace of the devotee the mercy of the Lord is obtained, and by the mercy of the Lord a chance to serve the Lord’s devotee is obtained. The club of Bhīmasena was also a gift of Maya Dānava.