यज्ञोऽयं तव यजनाय केन सृष्टो
विध्वस्त: पशुपतिनाद्य दक्षकोपात् ।
तं नस्त्वं शवशयनाभशान्तमेधं
यज्ञात्मन्नलिनरुचा दृशा पुनीहि ॥ ३३ ॥
yajño ’yaṁ tava yajanāya kena sṛṣṭo
vidhvastaḥ paśupatinādya dakṣa-kopāt
taṁ nas tvaṁ śava-śayanābha-śānta-medhaṁ
yajñātman nalina-rucā dṛśā punīhi
patnyaḥ ūcuḥ — the wives of the executors of the sacrifice said; yajñaḥ — the sacrifice; ayam — this; tava — Your; yajanāya — worshiping; kena — by Brahmā; sṛṣṭaḥ — arranged; vidhvastaḥ — devastated; paśupatinā — by Lord Śiva; adya — today; dakṣa-kopāt — from anger at Dakṣa; tam — it; naḥ — our; tvam — You; śava-śayana — dead bodies; ābha — like; śānta-medham — the still sacrificial animals; yajña-ātman — O Lord of sacrifice; nalina — lotus; rucā — beautiful; dṛśā — by the vision of Your eyes; punīhi — sanctify.
The wives of the performers of the sacrifice said: My dear Lord, this sacrifice was arranged under the instruction of Brahmā, but unfortunately Lord Śiva, being angry at Dakṣa, devastated the entire scene, and because of his anger the animals meant for sacrifice are lying dead. Therefore the preparations of the yajña have been lost. Now, by the glance of Your lotus eyes, the sanctity of this sacrificial arena may be again invoked.
Animals were offered in sacrifice in order to give them renewed life; that was the purpose of having animals there. Offering an animal in sacrifice and giving him renewed life was the evidence of the strength of chanting mantras. Unfortunately, when Dakṣa’s sacrifice was devastated by Lord Śiva, some of the animals were killed. (One was killed just to replace the head of Dakṣa.) Their bodies were lying about, and the sacrificial arena was turned into a crematorium. Thus the real purpose of yajña was lost.
Lord Viṣṇu, being the ultimate objective of such sacrificial ceremonies, was requested by the wives of the priests to glance over the yajña arena with His causeless mercy so that the routine work of the yajña might be continued. The purport here is that animals should not be unnecessarily killed. They were used to prove the strength of the mantras and were to have been rejuvenated by the use of the mantras. They should not have been killed, as they were by Lord Śiva to replace the head of Dakṣa with an animal’s head. It was pleasing to see an animal sacrificed and rejuvenated, and that pleasing atmosphere had been lost. The wives of the priests requested that the animals be brought back to life by the glance of Lord Viṣṇu to make a pleasing yajña.