Instructions For Pregnant Woman by Srila Sukdeva Goswami
Prsni, who was the wife of Savita, the fifth of the twelve sons of Aditi, gave birth to three daughters Savitri, Vyahrti and Trayi and the sons named Agnihotra, Pashu, Soma, Caturmasya and the five Mahayajnas. O King, Siddhi, who was the wife of Bhaga, the sixth son of Aditi, bore three sons, named Mahima, Vibhu and Prabhu, and one extremely beautiful daughter, whose name was Asi. Dhata, the seventh son of Aditi, had four wives, named Kuhu, Sinivali, Raka and Anumati. These wives begot four sons, named Sayam, Darsha, Prataḥ and Purnamasa respectively. The wife of Vidhata, the eighth son of Aditi, was named Kriya. In her Vidhata begot the five fire-gods named the Purinyas. The wife of Varuna, the ninth son of Aditi, was named Carnani. Bhrgu, the son of Brahma, took birth again in her womb. By the semen of Varuna, the great mystic Valmiki took birth from an anthill.
Bhrgu and Valmiki were specific sons of Varuna, whereas Agastya and Vasistha ṛṣis were the common sons of Varuna and Mitra, the tenth son of Aditi. Upon seeing Urvashi, the celestial society girl, both Mitra and Varuna discharged semen, which they preserved in an earthen pot. The two sons Agastya and Vasistha later appeared from that pot, and they are therefore the common sons of Mitra and Varuṇa. Mitra begot three sons in the womb of his wife, whose name was Revati. Their names were Utsarga, Arista and Pippala. O King Pariksit, Indra, the King of the heavenly planets and eleventh son of Aditi, begot three sons, named Jayanta, Ṛsabha and Midhuna, in the womb of his wife, Paulomi. Thus we have heard. By His own potency, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who has multifarious potencies, appeared in the form of a dwarf as Urukrama, the twelfth son of Aditi.
In the womb of His wife, whose name was Kirti, He begot one son, named Brhatsloka, who had many sons, headed by Saubhaga. Later [in the Eighth Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam] I shall describe how Urukrama, Lord Vamanadeva, appeared as the son of the great sage Kashyapa and how He covered the three worlds with three steps. I shall describe the uncommon activities He performed, His qualities, His power and how He took birth from the womb of Aditi. Now let me describe the sons of Diti, who were begotten by Kashyapa but who became demons. In this demoniac family the great devotee Prahlada
Maharaja appeared, and Bali Maharaja also appeared in that family. The demons are technically known as Daityas because they proceeded from the womb of Diti. First the two sons named Hiranyakashipu
and Hiranyaksa took birth from Ditis womb. Both of them were very powerful and were worshiped by the Daityas and Dnavas. The wife of Hiranyakashipu was known as Kayadhu. She was the daughter of Jambha and a descendant of Danu. She gave birth to four consecutive sons, known as Samhlada, Anuhlada, Hlada and Prahlada. The sister of these four sons was known as Simhika. She married the
demon named Vipracit and gave birth to another demon, named Rahu.
While Rahu, in disguise, was drinking nectar among the demigods, the Supreme Personality of Godhead severed his head. The wife of Samhlada was named Kṛti. By union with Samhlada, Kṛti gave birth to a son named Pancajana. The wife of Hlada was named Dhamani. She gave birth to two sons, named Vatapi and Ilvala. When Agastya Muni became Ilvalas guest, Ilvala served him a feast by cooking Vatapi, who was in the shape of a ram. The wife of Anuhlada was named Surya. She gave birth to two sons, named Baskala and Mahisa. Prahlada had one son, Virocana, whose wife gave birth to Bali Maharaja. Thereafter, Bali Maharaja begot one hundred sons in the womb of Ashana. Of these one hundred sons, King Bana was the eldest. The activities of Bali Maharaja, which are very laudable, will be also be described later [in the Eighth Canto]. Since King Bana was a great worshiper of Lord Shiva, he became one of Lord Shivas most celebrated associates. Even now, Lord Shiva protects King Banas capital and always stands beside him.The forty- nine Marut demigods were also born from the womb of Diti. None of them had sons. Although they were born of Diti, King Indra gave them a position as demigods.
King Pariksit inquired: My dear lord, due to their birth, the forty-nine Maruts must have been obsessed with a demoniac mentality. Why did Indra, the King of heaven, convert them into demigods? Did they perform any rituals or pious activities?
My dear brāhmaṇa, I and all the sages present with me are eager to know about this. Therefore, O great soul, kindly explain to us the reason.
Sri Suta Goswami said: O great sage Saunaka, after hearing Maharaja Pariksit speak respectfully and briefly on topics essential to hear, Sukadeva Goswami, who was well aware of everything, praised his endeavour with great pleasure and replied.
Sri Sukadeva Goswami said: Just to help Indra, Lord Vishnu killed the two brothers Hiranyaksa and Hiranyakashipu. Because of their being killed, their mother, Diti, overwhelmed with lamentation and anger, contemplated as follows. Lord Indra, who is very much fond of sense gratification, has killed the two brothers Hiranyaksa and Hiranyakashipu by means of Lord Vishnu. Therefore Indra is cruel, hardhearted and sinful. When will I, having killed him, rest with a pacified mind? When dead, the bodies of all the rulers known as kings and great leaders will be transformed into worms, stool or ashes. If one enviously kills others for the protection of such a body, does he actually know the true interest of life?
Certainly he does not, for if one is envious of other entities, he surely goes to hell.
Diti thought: “Indra considers his body eternal, and thus he has become unrestrained. I therefore wish to have a son who can remove Indras madness. Let me adopt some means to help me in this.” Thinking in this way and harburing a desire for a son to kill Indra, Diti began constantly acting to satisfy Kashyapa by her pleasing behavior. O King, Diti always carried out Kashyapas orders very faithfully, as he desired. With service, love, humility and control, with words spoken very sweetly to satisfy her husband, and with smiles and glances at him, Diti attracted his mind and brought it under her control. Although Kashyapa Muni was a learned scholar, he was captivated by Ditis artificial behavior, which brought him under her control. Therefore he assured his wife that he would fulfil her desires. Such a promise by a husband is not at all astonishing. In the beginning of creation, Lord Brahma, the father of the living entities of the universe, saw that all the living entities were unattached. To increase population, he then created woman from the better half of the male body, for womanly behavior easily carries away a man’s mind. O my dear one, the most powerful sage Kashyapa, felt extremely pleased by the mild behavior of his wife Diti, and with a smile spoke to her as follows.
Kashyapa Muni said: O beautiful woman, O irreproachable lady, since I am very much pleased by your behaviour, you may ask me for any benediction you want. If a husband is pleased, what desires are difficult for his wife to obtain, either in this world or in the next?
A husband is the supreme demigod for a woman. The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Vasudeva, the husband of the goddess of fortune, is situated in everyones heart and is worshiped through the various names and forms of the demigods by fruitive workers. Similarly, a husband represents the Lord as the object of worship for a woman. My dear wife, whose body is so beautiful, your waist being thin, a conscientious wife should be chaste and should abide by the orders of her husband. She should very devoutly worship her husband as a representative of Vasudeva. My dear gentle wife, because you have worshiped me with great devotion, considering me a representative of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, I shall reward you by fulfilling your desires a boon unobtainable for an unchaste wife.
Diti replied: O my husband, O great soul, I have now lost my sons. If you want to give me a benediction, I ask you for an immortal son who can kill Indra. I pray for this because Indra, with the help of Vishnu, has killed my two sons Hiranyaksa and Hiranyakashipu. Upon hearing Ditis request, Kashyapa Muni was deeply aggrieved. “Alas,” he lamented, “now I face the danger of the impious act of killing Indra.”
Kashyapa Muni thought: Alas, I have now become too attached to material enjoyment. Taking advantage of this, my mind has been attracted by the illusory energy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead in the form of a woman [my own wife]. Therefore I am surely a wretched person who will glide down toward hell. This woman, my wife, has adopted a means that follows her nature, and therefore she is not to be blamed. But I am a man. Therefore, all condemnation upon me! I am not at all conversant with what is good for me, since I could not control my senses. A womans face is as attractive and beautiful as a blossoming lotus flower during autumn. Her words are very sweet, and they give pleasure to the ear, but if we study a womans heart, we can understand it to be extremely sharp, like the edge of a razor blade. In these circumstances, who could understand the dealings of a woman?
To satisfy their own interests, women deal with men as if the men were most dear to them, but no one is actually dear to them. Women are supposed to be very saintly, but for their own interests they can kill even their husbands, sons or brothers, or cause them to be killed by others. I promised to give her a benediction, and this promise cannot be violated, but Indra does not deserve to be killed. In these circumstances, the solution I have is quite suitable.
Sri Sukadeva Goswami said: Kashyapa Muni, thinking in this way, became somewhat angry. Condemning himself, O Maharaja Pariksit, descendant of Kuru, he spoke to Diti as follows.
Kashyapa Muni said: My dear gentle wife, if you follow my instructions regarding this vow for at least one year, you will surely get a son who will be able to kill Indra. However, if you deviate from this vow of following the Vaiñṇava principles, you will get a son who will be favorable to Indra.
Feeling pleased at heart Diti replied: My dear brāhmaṇa, I must accept your advice and follow the vow. Now let me understand what I have to do, what is forbidden and what will not break the vow. Please clearly state all this to me.
Kashyapa Muni said: My dear wife, to follow this vow, do not be violent or cause harm to anyone. Do not curse anyone, and do not speak lies. Do not cut your nails and hair, and do not touch impure things like skulls and bones. My dear gentle wife, never enter the water while bathing, never be angry, and do not even speak or associate with wicked people. Never wear clothes that have not been properly washed, and do not put on a garland that has already been worn. Never eat leftover food, never eat prasāda offered to the goddess Kali [Durga], and do not eat anything contaminated by flesh or fish. Do not eat anything brought or touched by a śūdra nor anything seen by a woman in her menstrual period. Do not drink water by joining your palms. After eating, you should not go out to the street without having washed your mouth, hands and feet. You should not go out in the evening or with your hair loose, nor should you go out unless youare properly decorated with ornaments. You should not leave the house unless you are very grave and are sufficiently covered.
You should not lie down without having washed both of your feet or without being purified, nor with wet feet or with your head pointed west or north. You should not lie naked, or with other women, or during the sunrise or sunset. Putting on washed clothing, being always pure and being adorned with turmeric, sandalwood pulp and other auspicious items, before breakfast one should worship the cows, the brāhmaṇas, the goddess of fortune and the Supreme Personality of Godhead. With flower garlands, sandalwood pulp, ornaments and other paraphernalia, a woman following this vow should worship women who have sons and whose husbands are living. The pregnant wife should worship her husband and offer him prayers. She should meditate upon him, thinking that he is situated in her womb.
If you perform this ceremony called puṁsavana, adhering to the vow with faith for at least one year, you will give birth to a son destined to kill Indra. But if there is any discrepancy in the discharge of this vow, the son will be a friend to Indra. O King Pariksit, Diti, the wife of Kashyapa, agreed to undergo the purificatory process known as puṁsavana. “Yes,” she said, “I shall do everything according to your instructions.” With great jubilation she became pregnant, having taken semen from Kashyapa, and faithfully began discharging the vow.
— Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam » Canto 6: Prescribed Duties for Mankind » Chapter 18. Diti Vows to Kill King Indra » Verses 1-55