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Hiranyakasipu, the asura king and brother of Hiranyaksha was the earthly incarnation of Vijaya, one of Vishnu’s doorkeepers (read about that story here). When Vishnu as Varaha, the boar, killed Hiranyaksha, Hiranyakasipu was enraged and began to lament the death of his brother. Addressing his associates and assembled demons, he spoke thus.
O friends, fellow demons, hear what I have to say attentively and act accordingly. Our enemies, the demigods have combined to kill my dear brother Hiranyaksha. Although the Supreme Lord Vishnu has always remained equal to both the demons and the demigods, this time around he has taken the side of the demigods, assumed the form of a boar and killed my brother.
Although he is the Supreme Power, he has allowed himself to be influenced by maya and to please his devotees, the demigods, he has killed Hiranyaksha. I take an oath to sever his head from his trunk with my trident and thus please the soul of my brother who was so fond of sucking blood.
When the root of a tree is cut and the tree falls down, its branches and twigs automatically dry up. Similarly, when I have killed this diplomatic Vishnu, the demigods, for whom Lord Vishnu is the life and soul, will lose the source of their life and wither away.
Speaking thus, Hiranyakasipu also gave instructions to his demon associates to go down to earth and kill all the Brahmins. His rationale was that the brahminical culture was to satisfy Lord Vishnu by the personification of sacrificial and ritualistic ceremonies, when they would be killed, nobody on earth would encourage the Kshatriyas to perform yagnas and please the demigods and that would automatically accelerate their demise. He specifically instructed them to go to places where there was good protection for cows and brahmanas and where the Vedas were studied in terms of the varnashrama principles. These places were to be set on fire and all the trees in these places uprooted so that the very source of the brahminical culture were uprooted from earth.
The demons being followers of the great Hiranyakasipu and also having a natural tendency to enjoy destructive activities took his instructions to heart and started engaging in destroying all brahminical related things on earth. They set fire to the cities, villages, pasturing grounds, cow pens, gardens, agricultural fields and natural forests. They burned the hermitages of the saintly persons, the important mines that produced valuable metals, the residential quarters of the agriculturalists, the mountain villages, and the villages of the cow protectors, the cowherds. They also burned the government capitals.
Some of the demons took digging instruments and broke down the bridges, the protective walls and the gates of the cities. Some took axes and began cutting the important trees that produced mango, jackfruit and other sources of food. Some of the demons took firebrands and set fire to the residential quarters of the citizens.
Thus disturbed again and again by the unnatural occurrences caused by the followers of Hiranyakasipu, all the people had to cease the activities of Vedic culture.
Observing all the occurrences and not receiving the results of yagnas, the demigods also started being disturbed. Unobserved by the demons and humans, they started wandering on earth to discover the true reason for these disturbances.
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