Skip to main content

ŚB 11.8.18


नृत्यवादित्रगीतानि जुषन् ग्राम्याणि योषिताम् ।
आसां क्रीडनको वश्य ऋष्यश‍ृङ्गो मृगीसुत: ॥ १८ ॥


juṣan grāmyāṇi yoṣitām
āsāṁ krīḍanako vaśya
ṛṣyaśṛṅgo mṛgī-sutaḥ


nṛtya — dancing; vāditra — musical performance; gītāni — songs; juṣan — cultivating; grāmyāni — related to sense gratification; yoṣitām — of women; āsām — of them; krīḍanakaḥ — a plaything; vaśyaḥ — fully controlled; ṛṣya-śṛṅgaḥ — the sage Ṛṣyaśṛṅga; mṛgī-sutaḥ — the son of a deer.


Becoming attracted to the worldly singing, dancing and musical entertainment of beautiful women, even the great sage Ṛṣyaśṛṅga, the son of a deer, fell totally under their control, just like a pet animal.


Ṛṣyaśṛṅga was intentionally brought up by his father in an atmosphere of complete innocence. The father thought that if his son were never exposed to the sight of women he would always remain a perfect brahmacārī. But by chance the inhabitants of the neighboring kingdom, who were suffering from a long-term drought, received divine advice that rain would return to their kingdom only after the brāhmaṇa named Ṛṣyaśṛṅga stepped foot in it. Therefore they sent beautiful women to Ṛṣyaśṛṅga’s hermitage to entice him and bring him back with them. Since Ṛṣyaśṛṅga had never even heard about women, he easily fell for their trap.

The name Ṛṣyaśṛṅga indicates that the young sage was born with a deerlike horn growing out of his forehead. If like the deer a ṛṣi becomes attracted to sweet musical sounds promising sense gratification, then like the deer he is quickly vanquished. A thoughtful person should humbly take instruction from the deer, who is doomed by attraction to musical sense gratification.