Birth Of The Maruts by Srila Sukdeva Goswami
O pious King, who are ever-respectful to everyone, lord Indra understood Ditis purpose, and thus he contrived a plan to fulfill his own interests. Following the logic that self-preservation is the first law of nature, lord Indra wanted to break Ditis promise. To this end he daily engaged himself in the service of his aunt, Diti, who was now residing in an Ashrama. Indra served his aunt by bringing flowers, fruit, roots and wood for yajñas from the forest. He also brought kusha grass, leaves, sprouts, earth and water, all exactly at the proper time. As the hunter of a deer becomes like a deer by covering his body with deerskin and befriending the deer, so Indra, although at heart the enemy of the sons of Diti, became outwardly amiable and served Diti in a faithful way. All along Indras purpose was malevolent. He simply wanted to impede Diti as soon as he could find some fault in her discharge of the vows of the ritualistic ceremony. However, as he wanted to remain undetected he served her very carefully. O master of the entire world, when Indra could find no faults, he thought, “How will there be good fortune for me?” Thus
he became deeply anxious.
Having grown weak and thin because of strictly following the principles of the vow, unfortunately Diti once neglected to wash her mouth, hands and feet after eating and went to sleep during the evening twilight. Seizing the opportunity, Indra, who has all the the yogic perfections like aṇimā and laghimā, entered Ditis womb while she was unconscious, being in deep sleep. After entering Ditis womb, Indra, took up his thunderbolt and cut her fetus, which glowed like gold, into seven pieces. In seven places, seven different living beings began crying. Indra told them, “Do not cry,” and then he cut each of them into seven pieces again. O King, those very aggrieved entities pleaded to Indra with folded hands, saying, “Dear Indra, we are the Maruts, your younger brothers. Why are you trying to kill us?” When Indra saw that they were actually his devoted followers, he said to them: “If you are all my brothers, then you have nothing more to fear from me.”
Sukadeva Goswami said: My dear King Pariksit, when you were being scorched by the brahmāstra of Ashvatthama, Lord Krishna entered the womb of your mother, and you were saved. Similarly, although the one fetus was cut into Indra with 49 Maruts forty-nine pieces by the thunderbolt of Indra, the personalities thus created were all saved by the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. If one worships the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the original person, even once, he receives the benefit of being promoted to the spiritual world and possessing the same bodily features as Lord Vishnu. Diti worshiped Lord Vishnu for almost one year, adhering to a great vow. Because of this she generated sufficient spiritual strength and consequently the forty-nine Maruts were born. How, then, is it wonderful that those Maruts, although born from the womb of Diti, became equal to the demigods by the
mercy of the Supreme Lord? Because of worshiping the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Diti was completely purified. When she got up from her rest, she saw her forty nine sons along with Indra. These forty nine sons were all as brilliant as fire and were all in friendship with Indra. Seeing all this Diti was very pleased.
Diti said to Indra: My dear son, I adhered to this difficult vow just to get a son to kill you twelve Adityas. I prayed for only one son, but now I see that there are forty-nine. How has this happened? My dear son Indra, if you know, please tell me the truth. Please do not try to mislead me.
Indra replied: My dear mother, because I was blinded by grossly selfish interests, I lost sight of religion. When I understood that you were observing a great vow in spiritual life, I wanted to find some fault in you. When I found such a fault, I entered your womb and cut the fetus to pieces. First I cut the unborn child into seven pieces, which became seven children. Then I cut each of the children into a further seven pieces. However, by the grace of the Supreme Lord, none of them died. My dear mother, when I saw that all fortynine sons were alive, I was certainly struck with wonder. After some deliberation, I concludeded this was a secondary result of your executing regulated devotional service to Lord Vishnu.
Although those who are solely interested in worshiping the Supreme Personality of Godhead do not desire anything material from Him and do not want even liberation from this material world, Lord Krishna fulfills all their desires. The ultimate goal of all ambitions is to become a servant of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. If an intelligent man serves the most dear Lord, who gives Himself to His devotees, how can he desire material happiness, which is available even in hell? O my mother, O best of all women, I am a fool. Kindly excuse me for all of the offenses that I have committed. Your forty-nine sons have been born unhurt because of your devotional service. As an enemy, I cut them to pieces, but because of your great devotional service they did not die.
Sri Sukadeva Gosvami continued: Diti was extremely satisfied by Indras good behavior. Then Indra offered his respects to his aunt with profuse obeisance, and with her permission he left for the heavenly planets with his new brothers, the Maruts. My dear King Pariksit, I have replied as far as possible to the questions you have asked me, especially in regard to this pure, auspicious narration about the Maruts. Now you may inquire further, and I shall explain more.
—Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam » Canto 6: Prescribed Duties for Mankind » Chapter 18. Diti Vows to Kill King Indra » Verses 56-78.