bahv evam udvigna-drsocyamane
janena daksasya muhur mahatmanah
utpetur utpatatamah sahasraso
bhayavaha divi bhumau ca paryak
Translation by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada:
While all the people talked amongst themselves, Daksa saw dangerous omens from all sides, from the earth and from the sky.
Purport by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada:
In this verse Daksa has been described as mahatma. The word mahatma has been commented upon by different commentators in various manners. Viraraghava Acarya has indicated that this word mahatma means “steady in heart.” That is to say that Daksa was so stronghearted that even when his beloved daughter was prepared to lay down her life, he was steady and unshaken. But in spite of his being so stronghearted, he was perturbed when he saw the various disturbances created by the gigantic black demon. Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura remarks in this connection that even if one is called mahatma, a great soul, unless he exhibits the symptoms of a mahatma, he should be considered a duratma, or a degraded soul. In Bhagavad-gita (9.13) the word mahatma describes the pure devotee of the Lord: mahatmanas tu mam partha daivim prakrtim asritah. A mahatma is always under the guidance of the internal energy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and thus how could such a misbehaved person as Daksa be a mahatma? A mahatma is supposed to have all the good qualities of the demigods, and thus Daksa, lacking those qualities, could not be called a mahatma; he should instead be called duratma, a degraded soul. The word mahatma to describe the qualifications of Daksa is used sarcastically.