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Hiraṇyakaśipu’s main purpose was to disturb the demigods. He planned first to kill Lord Viṣṇu so that with Lord Viṣṇu’s death the demigods would automatically weaken and die. Another of his plans was to disturb the residents of the planet earth. The peace and prosperity of the residents of earth, and all the other planets, were maintained by the brāhmaṇas and kṣatriyas. The Lord says in Bhagavad-gītā (4.13), cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭaṁ guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ: “According to the three modes of material nature and the work ascribed to them, the four divisions of human society were created by Me.” On all the planets there are different types of residents, but the Lord recommends, referring especially to the planet earth, which is inhabited by human beings, that society be divided into four varṇas — brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya and śūdra. Before the advent of Lord Kṛṣṇa on this earth, it is understood that the earth was managed by the brāhmaṇas and kṣatriyas. The duty of the brāhmaṇas is to cultivate śamaḥ (peacefulness), damaḥ (self-control), titikṣā (tolerance), satyam (truthfulness), śaucam (cleanliness) and ārjavam (simplicity), and then to advise the kṣatriya kings how to rule the country or planet. Following the instructions of the brāhmaṇas, the kṣatriyas should engage the populace in austerity, sacrifices, Vedic study and adherence to the rules and regulations established by Vedic principles. They should also arrange for charity to be given to the brāhmaṇas, sannyāsīs and temples. This is the godly arrangement of brahminical culture.
People are inclined to offer yajña because unless sacrifices are offered there will be insufficient rain (yajñād bhavati parjanyaḥ), which will hamper agricultural activities (parjanyād anna-sambhavaḥ). By introducing brahminical culture, therefore, a kṣatriya government should engage people in performing yajña, studying the Vedas and giving charity. Thus the people will receive their necessities for life very easily, and there will be no disturbances in society. In this regard, Lord Kṛṣṇa says in Bhagavad-gītā (3.12):
iṣṭān bhogān hi vo devā
tair dattān apradāyaibhyo
yo bhuṅkte stena eva saḥ
“In charge of the various necessities of life, the demigods, being satisfied by the performance of yajña [sacrifice], supply all necessities to man. But he who enjoys these gifts, without offering them to the demigods in return, is certainly a thief.”
The demigods are authorized supplying agents who act on behalf of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Viṣṇu. Therefore, they must be satisfied by the performance of prescribed yajñas. In the Vedas, there are different kinds of yajñas prescribed for different kinds of demigods, but all are ultimately offered to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. For one who cannot understand what the Personality of Godhead is, sacrifice to the demigods is recommended. According to the different material qualities of the persons concerned, different types of yajñas are recommended in the Vedas. Worship of different demigods is also on the same basis — namely, according to different qualities. For example, the meat-eaters are recommended to worship the goddess Kālī, the ghastly form of material nature, and before the goddess the sacrifice of animals is recommended. But for those in the mode of goodness, the transcendental worship of Viṣṇu is recommended. Ultimately, all yajñas are meant for gradual promotion to the transcendental position. For ordinary men, at least five yajñas, known as pañca-mahāyajña, are necessary.
One should know, however, that all the necessities of life that human society requires are supplied by the demigod agents of the Lord. No one can manufacture anything. Consider, for example, all the eatables of human society. These eatables include grains, fruits, vegetables, milk and sugar for persons in the mode of goodness, and also eatables for the nonvegetarians, such as meats, none of which can be manufactured by men. Then again, take for example, heat, light, water and air, which are also necessities of life — none of them can be manufactured by human society. Without the Supreme Lord, there can be no profuse sunlight, moonlight, rainfall or breeze, without which no one can live. Obviously, our life is dependent on supplies from the Lord. Even for our manufacturing enterprises, we require so many raw materials like metal, sulphur, mercury, manganese and so many essentials — all of which are supplied by the agents of the Lord, with the purpose that we should make proper use of them to keep ourselves fit and healthy for the purpose of self-realization, leading to the ultimate goal of life, namely, liberation from the material struggle for existence. This aim of life is attained by performance of yajñas. If we forget the purpose of human life and simply take supplies from the agents of the Lord for sense gratification and become more and more entangled in material existence, which is not the purpose of creation, certainly we become thieves, and therefore we are punished by the laws of material nature. A society of thieves can never be happy, for they have no aim in life. The gross materialist thieves have no ultimate goal of life. They are simply directed to sense gratification; nor do they have knowledge of how to perform yajñas. Lord Caitanya, however, inaugurated the easiest performance of yajña, namely the saṅkīrtana-yajña, which can be performed by anyone in the world who accepts the principles of Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
Hiraṇyakaśipu planned to kill the inhabitants of earth so that yajña would stop and the demigods, being disturbed, would die automatically when Lord Viṣṇu, the yajñeśvara, was killed. These were the demoniac plans of Hiraṇyakaśipu, who was expert in such activities.