See for the online version with illustrations, music and links to the previous translation: http: //



'The Story of the Fortunate One'

Third revised version 2012



The Status Quo



Chapter 20 The Beings Created by Brahmā

Chapter 21 The Conversation Between Manu and Kardama

Chapter 22  The Marriage of Kardama Muni and Devahūti

Chapter 23  Devahūti's Lamentation

Chapter 24  The Renunciation of Kardama Muni

Chapter 25  The Glories of Devotional Service

Chapter 26  Fundamental Principles of Material Nature

Chapter 27 Understanding Material Nature

Chapter 28 Kapila's Instructions on the Execution of Devotional Service

Chapter 29  Explanation of Devotional Service by Lord Kapila

Chapter 30  Lord Kapila Describes the Adverse Consequences of Fruitive Activities

Chapter 31 Lord Kapila's Instructions on the Wanderings of the Living Entities

Chapter 32 The Entanglement in Fruitive Activities

Chapter 33 The Renunciation of Devahūti




This book relates the story of the Lord and His incarnations since the earliest records of Vedic history, the history of the original culture of knowledge of India. It is verily the Krishna 'bible' [in Sanskrit called a Samhitā] of the Hindu universe. The Bhagavad Gītā relates to this book like the sermon on the mountain by Lord Jesus relates to the full Bible. It has about 18.000 verses contained in 335 chapters and consists of 12 subdivisions of books that are called Cantos. These books together tell the complete history of the Vedic culture and cover the essence of the classical collections of stories called the Purānas. This specific collection of Vedic stories is considered the most important one of all the great eighteen classical Purānas of India. It includes the cream of the Vedic knowledge compiled from all the Vedic literatures as also the story of the life of Lord Krishna in full (Canto 10). Lord Krishna constitutes a watershed in history between the old Vedic culture and the 'modern' political culture in which the rule of state no longer automatically is guided by the spiritual order. The book tells the story of His birth, His youth, all wonderful proofs of His divine nature, and His superhuman feats of defeating all kinds of demons, up to the great Mahābhārata war at Kurukshetra. In this war the Vedic culture fell down to be replaced by the fragmented religiosity we these days call Hinduism. This leading Purāna also called the 'perfect Purāna', is a brilliant story that has been brought to the West by S'rīla A.C. Bhaktivedānta Swami Prabhupāda, a Caitanya Vaishnava, a bhakti (devotional) monk of Lord Vishnu [the name for the transcendental form of Lord Krishna]. He undertook the daring task of enlightening the materialist westerners, the advanced philosophers and theologians, in order to help them to overcome the perils and loneliness of impersonalism and the philosophy of emptiness.

The representative of Vishnu on earth is named the Fortunate One in this book. We know Him specifically by the names of Lord Rāma and Lord Krishna. The Fortunate One is thus the Lord who is known in different forms or incarnations, the so-called avatāras, but also the devotees are part of His reality and are also called bhāgavata when they are of pure devotion. On top of that the book is also called bhāgavata. Thus there is the Lord in His many appearances, the devotee with as many faces and the book. They are all called bhāgavata or fortunate. The word bhāga means fortune or luck while the term bhaga refers to gracious lord, happiness and wealth. To be fortunate Vedically means to be of the opulence, or to carry, or live by, the fullness of God's riches, beauty, fame, power, knowledge and detachment.

The writer of this book is named Krishna Dvaipāyana Vyāsadeva, and is also called Bādarāyana. He is the Lord, the Bhagavān or venerable one, among the philosophers, who in India assembled all the holy texts. He compiled the Vedas, four basic scriptures known as the S'ruti, meaning ‘that what is heard’, containing the basic wisdom, the mantras for the rituals and the hymns. The Purānas together with the Itihāsas (separate stories) belong to the so-called smriti, ‘that what is remembered’. This knowledge is sometimes considered a fifth Veda. He also wrote the Mahābhārata, which is the greatest epic poem in the world. It describes the history (Itihāsa) of the great fall that the Vedic culture once made. The Bhagavad Gītā is the most important part of it. Vyāsa also wrote the rest of the eighteen great story books (the Purānas) of India as also the Brahma-sūtra, his masterpiece on the Absolute Truth. Vyāsa was a grandfather of the Kuru dynasty. He lived a very long time. His long duration of life enabled him to write the story of the Fortunate One and all the other books. He had a son called S'ukadeva who handed the message of this bible in the presence of other sages down to another member of the family, Emperor Parīkshit, who had difficulty respecting the classical wisdom. This emperor is there in this book, which presents the classical Vedic wisdom in the form of a frame story, as a model for us normal people who seek their stability in the wisdom. This knowledge was by S'uka conveyed to him in disciplic succession (paramparā), for the sake of those who teach by example (the ācāryas) the science of devotional service (bhakti). Swami A. C. Bhaktivedanta Prabhupāda from this disciplic succession, commissioned to disseminate this book in the West, together with his pupils (known as the Hare Krishnas of ISKCON), realized a verse by verse commented series of books covering the entire Bhāgavatam. The site offers not all these texts (see for that purpose but it does offer, under the Creative Commons copyright, an as-it-is translation, independent from ISKCON, of the verses in a concatenated form, complete with the previous version. This text is regularly updated and maintained by me, the undersigned, who received instruction in the temples of ISKCON and elsewhere. His predecessor in this duty in the Netherlands was S'rī Hayas'var das (Hendrik van Teylingen), initiated by him, who covered most of the translations into Dutch.

For this translation, this digital version of the book, the author has consulted the translations of C.L. Goswami, M.A., Sāstrī (from the Gītā Press, Gorakhpur), the paramparā version of S'rīla Vishvanātha Cakravarti Thhākura and the later version of this book by S'rīla A.C. Bhaktivedānta Swami Prabhupāda. The latter translators, as ācāryas of the age-old Indian Vaishnava tradition, are representatives of a culture of reformation in devotion for the Supreme Personality of God, or bhakti yoga, the way it has been practiced in India since the 16th century. This reformation asserts that the false authority of the caste system and single dry book knowledge is to be rejected. S'rī Krishna Caitanya, also called Caitanya Mahāprabhu (1486-1534), the avatāra [an incarnation of the Lord] who heralded this reform, restored the original paramparā purpose of developing devotion unto the person of God, and endeavored in particular for the dissemination of the two main sacred scriptures expounding on that devotion in relation to Krishna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. These scriptures are the Bhagavad Gītā and this Bhāgavata Purāna, also called the S'rīmad Bhāgavatam, from which all the Vaishnava ācāryas of Lord Caitanya derived their wisdom for the purpose of instruction and the shaping of their devotion. The word for word translations as also the full text and commentaries of this book were studied within and without the Hare Krishna temples where the teaching of this culture takes place.

The purpose of this translation is first of all to make this glorious text available to a wider audience over the Internet. Since the Bible, the Koran and numerous other holy texts are readily available on the internet, I, the translator, meant that this book could not stay behind on the shelf of his own bookcase as a token of material possessiveness. When I started with this endeavor in the year 2000, there was no proper web presentation of this book. Knowledge not shared is knowledge lost, and certainly this type of knowledge, which stresses the yoga of non-possessiveness and devotion as its main values, could not be left out. The version of Swami Prabhupāda is very extensive covering some 2400 pages of plain fine printed text, including his commentaries. And that were only the first ten Cantos. The remaining two Cantos were posthumously published by his pupils in the full of his spirit. I thus was faced with two daring challenges: one was to concatenate the text, or make a readable running narrative, of the book that had been dissected and commented to the single word, and the second challenge was to put it into a language that would befit the 21st century with all its modern and postmodern experience and digital progress of the present cultural order of the world, without losing anything of its original verses. Thus another verse to verse as-it-is translation came about in which Vishvanātha's, Prabhupāda's and Sāstrī's words were pruned, retranslated and set to the understanding and realization of today. This realization in my case originated first of all directly from the disciplic line of succession of the Vaishnava line of ācāryas, as also from the complete field of the Indian philosophy of enlightenment, liberation and yoga discipline, as was brought to the West by also non-Vaishnava gurus and maintained by their pupils. Therefore I have to express my gratitude to all these great heroes who dared to face the adamantine of western philosophy with all its doubts, concreticism and skepticism. Especially the pupils of Prabhupāda, members of the renounced order - sannyāsīs (or samnyāsīns), who instructed me in the independence and maturity of the philosophy of the bhakti-yogis of Lord Caitanya, need to be mentioned. I was already initiated in India by a non-Vaishnava guru and was given the name Swami Anand Aadhar ('teacher of the foundation of happiness'). That name the Krishna community converted into Anand Aadhar Prabhu ('master of the foundation of happiness'), without further ceremonies of Vaishnava initiation (apart from a basic training). With the name Anand Aadhar I am a withdrawn devotee, a so-called vānaprashta, who does his devotional service independently in the silence and modesty of his local adaptations of the philosophy.

In most cases the word for word translations and grammatical directions of S'rīla A.C. Bhaktivedānta Swami Prabhupāda/ISKCON, Vishvanātha Cakravarti Thhākura and C.L. Goswami, M.A., Sāstrī, have been followed as they were used in their translations, and I have checked them with the help of the Monier-Williams Sanskrit Dictionary (see the file of the terms used). In footnotes and between square brackets [ ] sometimes a little comment and extra info is given to accommodate the reader when the original text is drawing from a more experienced approach. Terms in italics are explained in the glossary. On the internetsite of this book, my version directly refers to the version of Prabhupāda, by being linked up at each verse, so that it is possible to retrace at any moment what I have done with the text. This is in accordance with the scientific tradition of the Vaishnava community.

For the copyright, on this translation and the podcast spoken version of the book, has been chosen the so-called Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License. This means that one is free to copy, distribute and alter the text on the condition of attribution (refer to the name of Anand Aadhar and to my website address, that the resulting work can only be distributed under the same or similar license to this one, and that one cannot use the text for commercial purposes. For all other usage one will have to contact the translator. Donations are welcome!

With love and devotion,
Anand Aadhar Prabhu,
Enschede, The Netherlands, September 16, 2020.


Chapter 20: The Beings Created by Brahmā 

(1) S'aunaka said: "After the position of the earth was restored [by Lord Varāha], oh son of Romaharshana [Sūta], what did Svāyambhuva Manu [see 2.7: 2, 3.12: 54, 3.13: 2] do to show the path to those who would be born? (2) Vidura, the great, unalloyed devotee and intimate friend of Lord Krishna, abandoned his elder brother [Dhritarāshthra] because he and his hundred sons went against Krishna. (3) Born of the body of Vyāsa and in no way inferior to him in greatness, he with all his heart took shelter of Lord Krishna and followed the souls devoted to Him. (4) What was it that this hero of purity when he visited the holy places asked Maitreya, the foremost knower of spiritual life whom he had met at Kus'āvarta [Hardwar] where he resided? (5) When the two had their conversation, oh Sūta, it resulted in the spotless narrations that, like the waters of the Ganges, vanquish all sins when one takes shelter of the lotus feet of the Lord. (6) All good fortune to you! Tell us the stories about His selfless deeds so worthy to be sung. What devotee, appreciative of the devotional mellows [rasas] one has with Him, would have enough of imbibing the nectar of the pastimes of the Lord?"

(7) Thus being questioned by the sages assembled in the Naimishāranya forest, Sūta, who had dedicated his mind to the Lord, then said to them: "Just listen to this."

(8) Sūta said: "Vidura, having heard how the Lord had assumed the body of a boar, He on His own power had uplifted the earth from the bottom of the ocean and as a good sport casually had killed Hiranyāksha, was overjoyed and addressed the sage. (9) Vidura said: 'Oh holy sage, knower of that which is beyond our scope, please tell me what Brahmā began with after bringing forth the Prajāpatis who created mankind. (10) How did the scholars headed by Marīci observe the brahminical order of Svāyambhuva Manu and how have they developed this world? (11) Did they create it together with their wives, remained they independent or brought they all of this about in cooperation?'

(12) Maitreya said: 'Because of the Transcendental [Mahā-Vishnu], the ever vigilant [Time] and difficult to fathom divine will, the equilibrium of the three basic qualities of nature got disturbed, because of which the complete of the material elements of the Fortunate One was produced. (13) From  the [cosmic intelligence of the] mahat-tattva, by the threefold of the divine ordinance dominated by the quality of passion, the original gross body [the false ego of identification] was evolved in groups of five, beginning with the [group of the] ether and so on [the five gross elements with later on the five subtle elements, the working senses and the perceiving senses]. (14) Those elements, which separately could not bring about the coherence of the material universe, produced in combination with the union of the divine, a globe that shone like gold. (15) It was lying in the waters of the causal ocean as an egg, in an unconscious state, for [quite a bit] more than a thousand [celestial] years before the Lord [as Garbhodakas'āyī Vishnu] entered it. (16) From the Lord's navel the lotus sprouted of a thousand-and-more suns with a dazzling splendor [the galaxy, see 2.2: 24-25]. It is the abode of all conditioned souls where the self-born one [Lord Brahmā, the Creator] found his existence as the first living entity. (17) When the Lord who sleeps in the causal waters entered Brahmā's heart, he from his standard, his nature and rule, created the universe as he did before.

(18) First of all he from his shadow created the five types of ignorance called tāmisra [forgetfulness], andha-tāmisra [the illusion of death], tama [not knowing oneself], moha [the illusion of being matter] and mahā-moha [mad after matter, craving; compare 3.12: 2]. (19) Dissatisfied Brahmā threw off this body of ignorance that thereupon in the form of the darkness of night - that is the source of hunger and thirst - was seized by Yakshas [evil spirits] and Rākshasas [wild men, demons]. (20) Controlled by that hunger and thirst they ran after him in order to eat him and said in their affliction: 'Do not spare him!' (21) That disturbed the godhead and he told them: 'Do not eat me, but preserve me, for you Rākshasas and Yakshas are my sons!'

(22) The demigods who shine with the glory of enlightenment and were created first, took hold of the effulgent form of the daytime that was created as the vehicle of the divine. (23) The god, from his behind, next gave birth to the godless souls who, fond of sex, approached the Creator in lust for copulation. (24) At first the worshipable Lord had to laugh about being followed by the shameless ones of darkness, but he then, terrified and annoyed, hurried to get away. (25) He turned to Him whose feet are sought and bestows all boons, the Supreme Lord who dispels distress and who, in order to show His mercy to His devotees, manifests Himself in a suitable form. (26) 'Protect me, oh Supersoul, following Your order I created those sinful living beings who approach me for having sexual intercourse, oh Master. (27) Only You are capable of relieving the people who are afflicted by material miseries, only You can stop those who do not take shelter of Your feet.'

(28) He who unerringly knows the mind of each soul, upon seeing the distress of Lord Brahmā said to him: 'Cast off your impure body'. Thus being commanded he cast it off. (29) That body [in the form of a woman] was intoxicating with tinkling ankle bells at its adorable feet, overwhelming eyes and a gold-ornamented shining girdle around the hips that were covered by fine cloth. (30) The breasts were tightly pressed together and raised high, the nose was well formed, the teeth beautiful, the smile lovely and the look defiant. (31) She hid herself out of shyness. Oh Vidura, all the godless souls fancying the braids of her dark hair were captivated by the woman: (32) 'Oh what a beauty, what a grace; oh what a budding youth! That she walks with us who are so desirous of her, as if she is free from passion!' (33) Indulging in all kinds of speculation about the evening twilight that had assumed the form of a young woman, the wicked-minded souls fond of her, full of respect asked her: (34) 'Who are you? To whom do you belong, oh pretty one? Why have you come here, oh fair lady? You are tantalizing us, unfortunate souls, with the priceless commodity of your beauty! (35) Whoever you may be, oh beautiful girl, by the fortune of seeing you playing with a ball, we onlookers have lost our head. (36) Moving your lotus feet about, oh beautiful woman, you bounce that ball with the palm of your hand. The weight of your full grown breasts must be tiresome for that waist of yours. You look as if you are tired, please loosen the tie of your hair!'

(37) The unenlightened souls, thus with their minds clouded, took the twilight of the evening for the wanton form of an alluring woman and seized her. (38) With a smile of deep significance the worshipful Lord then, by the self-awareness of His own sweetness, created the hosts of celestial musicians and dancing girls [the Gandharvas and Apsaras]. (39) The attractive form that factually was the shining moonlight He gave up and the Gandharvas headed by Vis'vāvasu gladly took possession of it. (40) After Lord Brahmā from the sloth of the self had created the ghosts and evil spirits, he saw them naked and with disorderly hair, whereupon he closed his eyes. (41) They took possession of the body thrown off by the master of creation that is known as yawning. One sees the living beings with it drooling in their sleep, which is an unclean state that [with the ghosts and evil spirits belonging to it] constitutes the bewilderment of which one speaks as insanity. (42) Recognizing himself as being full of energy the worshipful Brahmā, the master of all beings, from his invisible form created the hosts of Sādhyas and Pitās  (43) They, the Pitās, accepted that body, the source of their existence, and it is by that [unseen] body that those who are well versed in the rituals offer their oblations [called s'rāddha] to these Sādhyas and Pitās. (44) The Siddhas [the ones of special powers] and the Vidyādharas [the knowledgeable spirits] were created by his faculty of remaining hidden from vision. He gave them that wonderful form of himself known as Antardhāna [of being present but remaining unseen]. (45) From admiring himself seeing his reflection in the water, the master [Brahmā] created the Kinnaras [the ones of power] and Kimpurushas [the monkey-like]. (46) They took possession of the form of the shadow he left behind, for reason of which they every daybreak [during the brāhma-muhūrta, one and a half hours before sunrise] gather with their spouses to glorify his exploits in song. (47) Once fully stretching his body as he lay down, he to his great concern saw that the creation lacked in progress. Thereupon he out of anger gave up that body also. (48) Oh Vidura, from the hairs falling from that crawling body the snakes came into being, the vicious cobras with big hoods on their necks.

(49) When he [once] felt as if he had accomplished his life's purpose, from his mind finally the Manus [the original fathers of mankind] appeared for promoting the welfare of the world. (50) He gave them the form of his own impassioned, personal body, seeing which those who were created earlier [the demigods] welcomed the Prajāpati [the founding father] with the following eulogy: (51) 'Oh Creator of the Universe, you created everything so very well: all the ritualistic customs you have settled so firmly for us to share in the sacrificial oblations! (52) By being of penance, through worship and by connectedness in yogic discipline being immersed in the finest absorption, you, the first seer, as the controller of the senses have evolved the sages, your beloved sons. (53) Each of them you, the unborn one, have given a part of your body characterized by deep meditation, yogic union, supernatural ability, penance, knowledge and renunciation.'

Chapter 21: The Conversation Between Manu and Kardama

(1) Vidura said: 'Oh supreme one, be so good to describe the most esteemed dynasty of Svāyambhuva Manu, the procreative activity of which led to all the progeny. (2) Priyavrata and Uttānapāda, the two sons of Svāyambhuva Manu, ruled the world consisting of the seven continents according to the principles of religion. (3) The daughter of that Manu named Devahūti, oh brahmin, was the wife of the father of mankind you spoke of [see 3.12: 27] as Kardama Muni, oh sinless one. (4) Please tell me, eager as I am, the story about the many offspring that he, who in fact was a great mystic yogi endowed with the eight perfections [see 3.15: 45], begot by her? (5) And how did the worshipful Ruci, oh brahmin, and Daksha, the son of Brahmā, generate their offspring after securing the two other daughters of Svāyambhuva Manu as their wives?'

(6) Maitreya said: 'Lord Brahmā told the supreme muni Kardama to beget children after he for ten thousand years had practiced penance on the bank of the river the Sarasvatī. (7) Absorbed in that connectedness Kardama in his yoga was of devotional service unto Him, the Lord who bestows all mercy upon the surrendered souls. (8) The Supreme lotus-eyed Lord being pleased, then showed him in Satya-yuga through the process of hearing, oh Vidura, the absolute truth of His transcendental form. (9) He saw that that body of His was as effulgent and pure as the sun, with a garland of white water lilies and lotuses and an abundance of slick blackish-blue locks of hair, a lotus-like face and dressed in spotless clothes. (10) Adorned with a crown and wearing earrings He, captivating the heart with His smiling glances, held a conch, a disc and a mace and played with a white lily. (11) He saw Him in the air standing with His lotus feet on the shoulders of Garuda, with the famous Kaustubha jewel on His chest hanging down from His neck. (12) Having achieved his desire, he, whose heart had always been filled with love, jubilantly fell down with his head to the ground and with folded hands pleased [Him] with prayers.

(13) The sage said: 'Oh worshipable Lord, now we have attained the complete success of having You, the Reservoir of All Goodness, before our eyes. It is a sight that is aspired [even] by yogis who attained the perfection of yoga after gradually elevating through many births. (14) Oh Lord, You even fulfill the desires of those who, for the purpose of obtaining the trivial pleasures of life that one also finds in hell, have lost their intelligence because of Your deluding energy, but do worship Your lotus feet that are the boat for crossing over the ocean of mundane existence. (15) Desiring to marry a girl of a likewise disposition who in one's marriage is as a cow of plenty, I also with doubtful [lusty] intentions approached You, the root and source of everything and desire tree that fulfills all wishes. (16) Oh original father of all, the conditioned souls in the grip of desire are all bound by the rope of the words of You, the Lord of the living beings. I, following their example, also offer my oblations to You, oh light of eternal time. (17) But they who gave up to pursue their animalistic, earthly interests including the people belonging to them and who, by discussing Your qualities with each other, took shelter under the umbrella of Your lotus feet, put with the help of that intoxicating nectar an end to their being a servant [a slave] of their physical bodies. (18) The wheel of the universe that with a tremendous speed spins around the axle of Your imperishable [nature, Brahman] with the three naves [of the sun, the moon and the stars], the [twelve to] thirteen spokes [of the lunar months], the three hundred and sixty joints [of the days in a demigod year], the six rims [of the seasons], and the innumerable leaves [that are the moments], may be cutting short the life-span of the universe but not the lives of the devotees. (19) You, oh Supreme Lord, as the One Self without a second, are desirous to bring about in Yourself controlling by Your deluding yogamāyā potency, the universes that You by dint of Your own prowess create, maintain and again wind up like a spider does. (20) This material world with its gross and subtle elements that You manifest for us, oh Lord, is not just there because You wish it [to be an experience for] us. When we through Your causeless mercy may perceive Your Supreme Person splendid with the tulsī [of devotion], it is there also to show Your mercy for the sake of our ultimate good [the beatitude]. (21) In order to motivate us, by perceiving You, to forsake [fruitive, profit-minded] activities, You with Your energies brought about the material worlds. I continuously offer My obeisances to the worshipable lotus feet that shower all benedictions on us, small souls.'

(22) The sage [Maitreya] said: 'Thus sincerely having been praised, Lord Vishnu replied Kardama Muni with words sweet as nectar, while He, radiating affection, was standing on the shoulders of Garuda and smilingly looked at him with His expressive eyebrows. (23) The Supreme Lord said: 'Knowing your state of mind, I have arranged that for which you have exercised with Me as the only one to be worshiped. (24) The exclusive worship of Me as is performed by people like you who fixed their mind fully on Me, is never without meaning and purpose, oh leader of the people. (25) The son of the father of man [Brahmā], the emperor Svāyambhuva Manu, whose righteous actions are well known, lives in Brahmāvarta [the world as part of Brahmā's lotus] where he rules over the earth with its seven oceans. (26) He, the saintly king, oh scholar, will the day after tomorrow come to this place together with his queen S'atarūpā, wishing to meet you as an expert in religious matters. (27) He is searching for a husband for his grown-up daughter with black eyes and a character full of good qualities. He will give you her hand in marriage, oh master, for you are a suitable candidate. (28) She is the one your heart longed for all these years, she is your princess, oh brahmin, and will soon serve you to your desire. (29) She will, from the seed you sow in her, give birth to nine daughters, and by those daughters the sages will beget all their children. (30) When you have carried out My command properly and are completely purified by giving up the fruits of action for My sake, you will finally attain Me. (31) With showing compassion and offering safety to all souls, you will be self-realized and perceive yourself and the universe as residing in Me, as also Me residing in you. (32) By your semen I will [appear] as My own plenary portion, oh great sage, and instruct your wife Devahūti in the doctrine of the ultimate reality.'

Maitreya said: 'Thus having spoken to him, the Supreme Lord who could be directly perceived by the senses, departed from lake Bindu-sarovar through which the river Sarasvatī flows. (34) While He before his eyes left by the path of perfection [to the spiritual world] that is praised by all liberated souls, the sage heard the hymns, that form the Sāma Veda, being vibrated by the wings of the Lord's carrier [Garuda]. (35) After His departure, Kardama, the greatly powerful sage, stayed on the bank of lake Bindu, waiting for things to come.

(36) Svāyambhuva Manu mounted together with his wife a gold-plated chariot, placed his daughter on it and thus traveled all over the earth. (37) Oh great archer, as the Lord had foretold, he reached the hermitage of the sage on the very day he completed his vows of austerity. (38-39) That holy auspicious water of the Sarasvatī river flooding the lake, was the nectar frequented by hosts of great sages. It was verily a lake of tears, as it was called after the teardrops that fell down from the Lord's eyes when He was overwhelmed by His extreme compassion for this surrendered soul. (40) The place was holy with clusters of trees and creepers with the pleasant cries of good-natured animals and birds. Adorned by the beauty of groves of trees it was rich with fruits and flowers throughout all the seasons. (41) It teemed with the life of flocks of birds, intoxicated bees madly buzzing around, peacocks proudly dancing and merry cuckoos calling each other. (42-43) The lake was adorned by kadamba, campaka, as'oka, karańja and bakula flowers and āsana, kunda, mandāra, kuthaja trees and young mango trees and the pleasant sounds could be heard of kārandava ducks, plavas, swans, ospreys, waterfowls, cranes, cakravāka and cakora birds. (44) There were also masses of deer, boars, porcupines, gavayas [wild cows], elephants, baboons, lions, monkeys, mongooses and musk deer.

(45-47) When the first monarch with his daughter entered that eminent place, he saw the sage sitting in his hermitage, offering oblations in the sacred fire. His body shone brilliantly because of his prolonged, terrible penance of yoga and was not very emaciated, for the Lord had cast His affectionate, sidelong glance upon him and made him listen to His moonlike, nectarean words. He was tall with eyes as the petals of a lotus, had matted locks of hair and ragged clothes. Approaching him he appeared to be soiled like an unpolished gem. (48) The monarch having approached the cottage bowed before him, whereupon the sage received him with honor and gave him a welcome befitting a king. (49) After having accepted the respect offered, he then remained seated silently. He was delighted to hear what the sage, thinking of what the Lord had told him, then in a pleasant tone of voice said:

(50) 'I am sure, oh divine personality, that you tour around in order to protect the virtuous souls and put an end to the life of the wicked ones, for you are the person representing the Lord's protective potency. (51) For the sake of your continuance you [according to necessity] accept the different forms of the [organized respect for the] sun, the moon, the fire [Agni], the Lord of heaven [Indra], the wind [Vāyu], the one chastising [Yama], the religion [Dharma] and of the waters [Varuna].  I offer Lord Vishnu, who is You, my obeisances.  (52-54) If you would not have mounted the chariot of victory that is bedecked with a mass of jewels and have twanged your bow so frighteningly, threatening all the culprits with your presence, if your leading a huge army of trampling foot soldiers would not have shaken the earth with you roaming the globe like the brilliant sun, then surely all moral codes and obligations of the vocations [varna] and age groups [ās'rama] as arranged by the Lord, oh King, alas would have been broken by miscreants. (55) When you would rest, unrighteousness would flourish with a lack of control over men who are simply after the money. This world would then be seized by those rogues and come to naught [see also B.G. 3: 23]. (56) Nevertheless I ask you, oh hero, what the reason is of your visit, since that is what we without reservation will carry out with heart and soul.'

Chapter 22: The Marriage of Kardama Muni and Devahūti

(1) Maitreya said: 'After the sage this way had described the greatness of all the virtues and activities of emperor Manu, he fell silent. The emperor feeling somewhat embarrassed then addressed him. (2) Manu said: 'You [brahmins] were in your connectedness in penance, knowledge, yoga and aversion from sense gratification, by the Creator created from His mouth for the purpose of defending Him in the form of praises [Vedic hymns]. (3) And the Father with the Thousand Feet [the Lord of the Universal Form] created us from His thousand arms in order to protect them. Therefore, with us, the kshatriyas, the rulers being His arms, the brahmins are called His heart. (4) Because the godhead, He, the Imperishable One, who is both cause and effect, defends them both, do the brahmins and the kshatriyas protect each other as also the [interest of the] soul. (5) By just seeing how you, oh supreme one, personally so full of love explained what the duty of a king is to his subjects, all my doubts have resolved. (6) To my good fortune, oh powerful one, I could meet you who cannot be seen easily by those not acting in accord with the soul. I am so happy that my head could touch the dust of your feet that bring all the blessing. (7) I am lucky to have been granted the great favor of being instructed by you. How lucky I am to have listened with pricked up ears to your pure words! (8) Oh sage, your honor, oh divine mercy, now be pleased yourself to listen to the prayer of this humble person whose mind is full of worries out of love for his daughter. (9) This daughter of mine, the sister of Priyavrata and Uttānapāda, is seeking a husband suitable for her age, character and good qualities. (10) The moment she heard from Nārada Muni about your noble character, learning, appearance, youth and virtues, she fixed her mind upon you. (11) Therefore, please accept her, oh best of the twice-born souls, I offered her to you being convinced that she in every way is fit for taking charge of your household duties. (12) To deny a thing of one's desire that in fact came by itself is not commendable, not even for someone who is free from attachment to sensual pleasures, let alone someone addicted. (13) He who rejects what is offered [generously] but begs from a miser, loses his honor and will see his reputation and renown ruined. (14) Oh wise man, I heard that you intended to marry and hence have not taken the vow of perpetual celibacy. Then please accept my offer [*].'

(15) The rishi replied: 'Yes I would like to marry and your daughter has not promised herself to anyone. Based upon this a marriage of us according to the rules will be proper. (16) Let that desire of your daughter, which is recognized by scriptural authority, be fulfilled, oh King. Who would not adore your daughter? Her bodily luster alone outshines the beauty of her ornaments! (17) Was it not Vis'vāvasu [a Gandharva, a heavenly being] who, when he on the roof of the palace saw her with tinkling ankle bells and restless eyes playing with a ball, infatuated fell down from his elevated position ['his heavenly vehicle'] with a mind in disarray? (18) What man of wisdom would not welcome her, that gem of womanhood who came of her own accord [to seek my hand] as the beloved daughter of Manu and sister of Uttānapāda, a woman who cannot be seen when one is not engaged at the feet of the goddess of fortune? (19) This is therefore my condition: I will accept the chaste girl for as long as it takes her to be with child from the semen of my body. Thereafter I consider to take up the duties of service as respected by the best ones of perfection [the paramahamsas], they who are nonviolent, about whom the Lord spoke to me [in 3.21: 31]. (20) The highest authority for me is the Supreme Unlimited One, the Lord of the fathers of mankind [the Prajāpatis] from whom this wonderful creation emanated, He in whom it will dissolve and the one by whom it presently exists.'

(21) Maitreya said: 'This, oh great warrior, was all he said, whereupon he became silent with his thoughts focussed on Vishnu's lotus navel. With a beautiful smile on his face, he then captured the mind of Devahūti. (22) After Manu had confirmed the decision taken by the queen mother [S'atarūpā] and also had probed his daughter's mind about him, he was most pleased to give her away who was endowed with as many good qualities and thus was a good match for him [Kardama]. (23) S'atarūpā, the empress, lovingly gave in dowry valuable presents to the bride and bridegroom like ornaments, clothes and household articles. (24) The emperor relieved of the responsibility of giving his daughter to a suitable man then embraced her with an agitated mind full of anxiety. (25) Unable to part from her he shed tears, drenching his daughter's hair over and over with the water from his eyes and cried: 'Oh dear mother, my dearest daughter!'

(26-27) After asking and receiving permission to leave him, the best of sages, the emperor with his wife mounted his chariot and headed, along with his retinue, for his capital, on the road enjoying the tranquil scenery of the hermitages of the sages on both the charming banks of the river the Sarasvatī. (28) Elated to know who was arriving, the subjects of Brahmāvarta went to meet him with songs, praise and instrumental music. (29-30) The city, rich with all kinds of wealth, was named Barhishmatī after the hairs of the shaking body of Lord Boar that had fallen down and turned into the evergreen kus'a and kās'a grass [grasses used for sitting places and mats] with which the sages in worship of Lord Vishnu defeated the disturbers of their sacrifices. (31) Having spread that kus'a and kās'a grass, the greatly fortunate Manu had created a seat in worship of the Lord of Sacrifice [Vishnu] by whom he had achieved his position on earth. (32) After arriving in the city of Barhishmatī where he thus far had lived, the mighty one entered his palace that eradicated the threefold miseries [of one's own body and mind, as caused by others and because of nature]. (33) Together with his wife and subjects he, not disturbed by others, enjoyed the pleasures of life and was praised for his reputation of piety, for he was in his heart very drawn to listening with his wives each morning to the celestial musicians and talks about the Lord. (34) Despite being absorbed in the bewildering power of his wealth, Svāyambhuva Manu was alike a saint. As a supreme devotee of the Lord he could not be led astray by his material enjoyments. (35) He did not waste his time. Till the end of his life he spent his days with listening to, contemplating, recording and discussing the topics of Lord Vishnu. (36) Being connected by the topics of Vāsudeva he, thus transcending the three destinations [according to the modes, see B.G. chapter 18], made his era last for the time of seventy-one mahāyugas. (37) How can the miseries pertaining to one's body and mind, to the powers of nature and to other men and living beings, oh Vidura, ever trouble someone who has taken shelter of the Lord? (38) On the request of the sages he [Manu], who always cared about the welfare of all living beings, spoke about the different duties of the status orientations in society [the varnas and ās'ramas, the vocations and age groups]. (39) This is what I could tell you about the wonderful character of Manu, the first emperor, who deserves all praise. Now, please listen to the success of his daughter [Devahūti].'

*: Naishthhika-brahmacārīs vow for lifelong celibacy, upakurvāna-brahmacārīs do so up to a certain age.


Chapter 23: Devahūti's Lamentation

(1) Maitreya said: 'After the departure of the parents the chaste woman who understood the desires of her husband constantly served her spouse with a love as great as that of Pārvatī for S'iva, her Lord. (2) Intimately, with a pure soul, with great respect and sense control she was of service with love and sweet words, oh Vidura. (3) Forsaking lust, pride, envy, greed, sinful actions and vanity, she always pleased her powerful husband diligently with good sense. (4-5) She, the daughter of Manu fully devoted to him who no doubt was the foremost sage among the divine rishis, expected greater blessings from him than from providence. But he saw that she had grown weak and emaciated because of the protracted religious observance. Overcome with compassion he with a of love stammering voice spoke to her. (6) Kardama said: 'At present I am pleased with you, oh respectful daughter of Manu, because of your most excellent, supreme service and devotion. But you do not properly take care of that body so extremely dear to this embodiment; you deplete it in  my service. (7) The blessings of the Lord I have achieved in my religious life of fully being engaged in austerity, meditation and a mind fixed on knowledge, can just as well be obtained by you in your devotional service to me. I now grant you the transcendental vision to be able to see this grace, that is free from fear and lamentation. (8) What material achievements compare to this grace of the Lord of Fortune? Those enjoyments find their end in a single movement of an eyebrow of the Lord of the Great Strides. Thanks to your conscientious service you can now enjoy the success of the supernatural gifts that are so difficult to obtain for people proud of their lineage.' (9) After he this way had spoken, the woman, who heard him excel in the special knowledge of yoga, found satisfaction and then, with a voice choked with humility and love, spoke to him with a shining, smiling face and a slightly bashful glance.

(10) Devahūti said: 'Oh best of the brahmins, oh mighty husband, I know you are a master in the infallible mystical powers of yoga. Let then now your promise be fulfilled that, once we have united in the body, we may enjoy the greater glory of having progeny, which for a chaste woman is of such a great value. (11) Do for this sake, that what according to the scriptures needs to be done and by which this, because of an unfulfilled passion and by emotions struck, emaciated, poor body may be rendered fit for you. And please, oh Lord, also think of a suitable mansion.'

(12) Maitreya said: 'Seeking the pleasure of his dearest, Kardama exercised his yogic power and produced instantly a high rising palace that fulfilled her wish, oh Vidura. (13) It answered all desires and was wonderfully bedecked with all sorts of jewels, constituted a collection of all kinds of luxury and had pillars carved out of precious stone. (14-15) It was equipped with a heaven of paraphernalia and brought happiness throughout all seasons, was decorated with festoons and flags and wreaths of various colors and fabrics, charming sweet flowers humming with bees, fine cloth of linen and silk and was embellished with various tapestries. (16) In stories one over the other there were separate arrangements of beds, comfortable couches and fanned seats. (17) Here and there various artistic engravings were displayed with the extraordinary beauty of a floor with emeralds furnished with coral daises. (18) The doorways had thresholds of coral and doors beautifully bedecked with diamonds. Its domes of sapphire were crowned with golden pinnacles. (19) On the diamond walls there were the choicest rubies that seemed to give them eyes and it was furnished with various canopies and highly valuable gates of gold. (20) The many artfully crafted swans and groups of pigeons here and there made the real ones who thought to see their own kind repeatedly fly over and vibrate their sounds. (21) The pleasure grounds, resting chambers, bedrooms, inner and outer yards designed for comfort astonished the sage himself.

(22) Kardama, who could understand the heart of everyone, saw that Devahūti was not very happy to see such a mansion and then addressed her personally. (23) 'Oh fearful one, before you go up this heavenly palace, please bathe in the sacred lake created by Lord Vishnu [Bindu-sarovara] that fulfills all desires of man.' (24) She, the lotus-eyed one with her matted hair and dirty clothes, then complied with the words of her husband. (25) With her body and her breasts grubby and covered by dirt she entered the lake containing the sacred waters of the Sarasvatī river. (26) In the lake she saw a house with a thousand girls as fragrant as lotuses in the prime of youth. (27) Seeing her, all of a sudden the damsels rose and said with folded hands: 'We are your maidservants, please tell us what we can do for you.' (28) After bathing her with the most costly oils, the respectful girls gave the virtuous wife spotless fine new clothes. (29)  They also gave her most valuable ornaments, all kinds of excellent food of the best quality and sweet intoxicating beverages. (30) She then looked at the mirror image of her body that, freed from all dirt and clad in clean robes, by the utterly respectful maidservants was adorned with a garland and decorated with auspicious marks. (31) Washed from head to toe she was decorated with a golden necklace with locket and bangles and with tinkling ankle bells made of gold. (32) About her hips she wore a girdle made of gold decorated with numerous jewels. She was also adorned with a precious pearl necklace and auspicious substances [like saffron, kunkuma - which is perfumed red powder for the breasts -, mustard seed oil and sandelwood pulp]. (33) With her beautiful teeth, charming eyebrows, lovely moist eyes that defeated the beauty of lotus buds and her bluish curly hair, she shone all over. (34) While thinking about her dear husband, the foremost among the sages, she [suddenly] found herself, together with her maidservants, at the place where he, the founding father, the Prajāpati, was situated. (35) With that sudden return to her husband, being surrounded by her thousand maidens, she was in awe about his yogic power.

(36-37) Seeing her washed clean, shining forth in her original beauty beyond compare, girdled and with charming breasts, attended by a thousand celestial girls and excellently dressed, the sage, taken aback by the sight, helped her ascend that elevated place, oh destroyer of the enemy. (38) Even though [he appeared to be] attached to his dearest who was attended by the girls of heaven, he did not lose his glory. Together with her in the palace his person shone as charmingly as the moon in the sky surrounded by the stars causing rows of lilies to open in the night. (39) In that palace, in that heavenly vehicle [vimāna], he reached the pleasure grounds of the gods of heaven and the valleys of Indra, the king of the mountains, that are so beautiful with the falling waters of the Ganges and the cool breezes that arouse the passion. He who, like treasurer Kuvera, was surrounded by his damsels, thus for a long time enjoyed his life while the souls of perfection, the Siddhas, vibrated the auspicious sounds of their praises. (40) Loved by his wife he enjoyed the gardens of Vais'rambhaka, Surasana, Nandana, Pushpabhadraka, Caitrarathya and lake Mānasa-sarovara. (41) With that splendrous and grand palace answering to every desire, he moved through the worlds, just like the air that reaches everywhere, and surpassed therewith the palaces, the heavenly vehicles, of the greatest gods. (42) What would be difficult to achieve for those men who are determined, for those who have taken refuge of the lotus feet of the Supreme Personality that vanquish all danger?

(43) After having shown his wife the entire sphere of the earth with all its arrangements and its many wonders, the great yogi did not yet return to his hermitage. (44) In order to please his wife, the daughter of Manu, who was eager to have intercourse, he divided himself in nine forms and enjoyed the many years with her like in a moment. (45) In the palace lying on an excellent bed conducive to their love, she in the company of her most handsome husband lost her notion of time. (46) For the enjoying couple immersed in their love games, thus, by the power of yoga, a hundred autumns passed in a trice. (47) Powerful Kardama as a knower of the soul knew everyone's desire. He as her other half made love to her and deposited his semen in her with the body that he had divided in nine. (48) Soon thereafter Devahūti gave birth to [nine] baby girls who all in every limb were as charming as a fragrant red lotus. (49) Seeing that her husband was about to leave home, she gave a beautiful smile but was innerly upset with a heart in distress. (50) Suppressing her tears, scratching the floor with the radiant, gemlike nails of her foot she, with her head bent down, slowly expressed herself in charming words.
(51) Devahūti said: 'All that you have promised, my Lord, has been fulfilled, but you should grant the surrendered soul that I am freedom from fear also. (52) My dear brahmin, it is left to your daughters to find a suitable husband. But who is there to comfort me when you have left for the forest? (53) Disregarding the knowledge of the Supreme Soul, so much idle time has passed with us indulging in pleasing our senses, my master. (54) Attached to the gratification of our senses my love for you went without recognizing your transcendental existence. May that love nevertheless protect me against all fear. (55) Association with those engaged in sense gratification is the cause of the cycle of birth and death, while that kind of ignorant acting in association with a saintly person leads to liberation. (56) When one's work here is not performed for the sake of a higher, more righteous life, when one's righteous life does not lead to detachment and when one's detachment does not lead to devotional service at the place where the Lotus Feet are worshipped, one is a zombie, someone dead being alive. (57) It suffers no doubt that I was [the one who was] completely deceived by the outer material potency of the Lord, for despite having achieved you, the one granting liberation, I did not seek liberation from material bondage.'

Chapter 24: The Renunciation of Kardama Muni

(1) Maitreya said: 'The merciful sage who thus from his renunciation spoke to the praiseworthy daughter of Manu, replied what he remembered of what was said by Lord Vishnu. (2) The sage said: 'Do not blame yourself like this princess! Oh irreproachable lady, the infallible Supreme Lord will very soon appear in your womb. (3) Be blessed for committing yourself to the sacred vows of sense control, religious observance, austerities and giving money in charity by which you worship the Supreme Controller with great faith. (4) He, the Lord of Pure Goodness, by you being worshiped, will spread my fame. As your son He will cut the knot in your heart by teaching the knowledge of Brahman [the Absolute Truth].'

(5) Maitreya said: 'Devahūti in her great respect for the lead of this father of mankind, had full faith in him and thus worshiped the most worshipable one, the Original Personality of God who is situated in everyone's heart. (6) After many, many years the Supreme Lord, the killer of Madhu, entered the semen of Kardama and appeared the way fire does in firewood. (7) At that time musical instruments resounded from the rainclouds in the sky, the Gandharvas sang for Him and the Apsaras were dancing in joyful ecstasy. (8) The gods moving through the sky showered beautiful flowers and all directions, all the waters and everyone's mind became happy. (9) The self-born one [Brahmā] then together with Marīci and the other sages came to that place of Kardama where the Sarasvatī river flows. (10) Oh killer of the enemy [Vidura], the independent unborn one [Brahmā] knew that the Supreme Lord, the highest authority of Brahman, out of pure goodness had appeared as a plenary portion to teach the philosophy of analytical yoga [Sānkhya yoga]. (11) After with a pure heart having worshiped [the personality of] Vishnu, the unborn one glad in all his senses about His intention to engage in action, said the following to Kardama and Devahūti.

(12) Brahmā said: 'Kardama, fully accepting my instructions, oh son, you have honored me and succeeded in worshiping me without duplicity. (13) This is the exact way for sons to render service to their father. With due respect saying 'Yes sir', the son should obey the commands of his spiritual teacher [or father]. (14) These thin-waisted chaste daughters of yours, dear son, with their offspring will in different ways contribute to this creation. (15) Please give therefore today your daughters away to the foremost sages according to the temperament and taste of the girls, and thus spread your fame in the world. (16) I know that the original enjoyer, the bestower of all that is desired by the living entities, descended by dint of His internal potency and has assumed the body of Kapila Muni, oh sage. (17) By spiritual knowledge and the science of the yogic uniting of consciousness He who is known by His golden hair, His lotus eyes and lotus-marked feet, will uproot the foundation of profit-minded labor [karma]. (18) Know, oh Devahūti, that the killer of the demon Kaithabha has entered your womb. He will travel over the world, cutting the knot of ignorance and doubt. (19) This personality will be the leader of the souls of perfection, His Vedic analysis will carry the approval of the teachers of example [the ācāryas] and He will, to your greater fame, be celebrated in the world as Kapila.'

(20) Maitreya said: 'Having assured the couple this way Hamsa [another name for Brahmā as flying the transcendental swan], the creator of the universe, together with the Kumāras [his sons] and Nārada [his spokesman] returned to his supreme position over the three worlds. (21) After the departure of Brahmā, oh Vidura, Kardama according to the instruction handed his daughters over to the sages who thereupon assumed the responsibility of generating the world population. (22-23) Kalā he handed over to Marīci, Anasūyā he gave to Atri, S'raddhā he gave to Angirā and Havirbhū was given to Pulastya. Gati he gave to Pulaha and the virtuous Kriyā he found suitable for Kratu. He gave Khyāti to Bhrigu and Arundhatī was given away to sage Vasishthha. (24) Atharvā he gave to S'ānti because of whom the sacrifices are performed. This is how the foremost brahmins married their wives. They were all maintained by Kardama. (25) After thus having married, oh Vidura, the sages took leave of Kardama to return to their hermitages, filled with joy about what they had obtained.

(26) Kardama knowing that He had descended who appears in all the three yugas [Vishnu, only seen as a covered 'channa' - avatāra in the last, fourth yuga] as the supreme intelligence of the wise, then approached Him in seclusion. He offered his obeisances and spoke to Him as follows: (27) 'Oh, finally after such a long time the gods are of mercy for those who have to suffer in being entangled in their own misdeeds in this world. (28) After many births having matured, yogis perfect by their absorption in yoga, in their secluded places endeavor to see Your feet. (29) He as the support of His devotees, that very same Supreme Lordship, has today appeared in our home, not considering the fact that we, as an ordinary householder, had neglected Him. (30) To be true to Your words You, the Fortunate One, to the greater honor and glory of the devotees have descended in my house with the wish to disseminate the spiritual knowledge about You. (31) While You Yourself are without a material form, You please those who follow Your path, oh Lord, with each of the truly apt forms that You assume. (32) The seat of Your feet is always worth the worshipful respect of all men of learning who desire to understand the Absolute Truth. I surrender myself to You who are full of riches, renunciation, fame, knowledge, strength and beauty [the so-called six opulences of the Lord]. (33) I surrender myself to You Lord Kapila, who are the supreme, transcendental personality, the origin of the world, the full awareness of time and the three basic qualities of nature, the Maintainer of All the Worlds and the sovereign power who by His own potency absorbs the manifestations after their dissolution. (34) Today I ask You the following, oh father of all created beings. Since You relieved me of my debts and fulfilled my desires, I ask You to accept me as someone on the path of an itinerant mendicant, so that I may wander about free from lamentation with You in my heart.'

(35) The Supreme Lord said: 'That what I have to say from the scriptures or from My own mind, in fact constitutes the [spiritual] authority for the people. I, as promised, took My birth with you for the sake of that authority, oh sage. (36) This birth of Mine in the world is there to explain, to those who seek liberation from the troubles of a material existence, the truths [of the Sānkhya yoga system] so highly celebrated in self-realization. (37) Please know that, because it is so difficult to comprehend and has been lost in the course of time, this body was assumed by Me to reintroduce this path. (38) Now go, as you wish, to operate, with My approval, in accord with the renounced order. In order to conquer insurmountable death, please engage in My devotional service for the sake of eternal life. (39) With your mind always fixed on Me, the supreme, self-effulgent soul present in the heart of every living being, you will be able to see Me within yourself and achieve freedom from fear and lamentation. (40) For my mother also to conquer the fear, I as well will give her this knowledge that leads to a spiritual life and puts an end to all reactions to one's activities.'

(41) Maitreya said: 'The progenitor of human society after thus being addressed by Kapila, circumambulated Him most pleased and then left for the forest. (42) Taking shelter of the soul only, the sage accepted the vow of silence and traveled, unaccompanied, over the earth without having a dwelling place or making fire. (43) He fixed his mind upon the Parabrahman [the spirit of the Absolute, the essence of the Supreme Lord] beyond cause and effect, free from the modes of nature, manifesting as the modes and only perceived by devotion. (44) By not identifying with the body and taking no interest in the material affair and the duality, he saw, with an equal vision having turned inward, himself perfectly composed with a sober and undisturbed mind like an ocean with its waves pacified. (45) On the basis of his transcendental devotional service to Vāsudeva, the Personality of Godhead, the omniscient Supersoul within everyone, he, being established within, was liberated from material bondage(46) He saw the Supreme Personality of God as the soul situated in all living beings and also that all living beings have their existence in the Supreme soul. (47) Free from all like and dislike he, with a mind equal to everyone, liberated in the connectedness of his devotional service to the Supreme Lord, attained the ultimate goal of the devotee.'

Chapter 25: The Glories of Devotional Service

(1) S' S'aunaka said: "Even though being unborn, the Supreme Lord personally, from His own potency, took birth as Lord Kapila, the analyst of the ultimate truth, in order to disseminate transcendental knowledge for the human race. (2) Despite repeatedly hearing about Him, the foremost among the yogis and the godhead of the Vedas the greater of whom cannot be found among men, I am essentially not satisfied. (3) Please describe to me faithfully all the praiseworthy actions of the independent Supreme Lord, who is so full of the delight of the soul."

(4) Sūta said: "Because he as a friend of Vyāsadeva was pleased with being asked about the transcendental knowledge, the venerable sage Maitreya then spoke as follows to Vidura. (5) Maitreya said: 'After the father had left for the forest, Lord Kapila stayed behind at lake Bindu-sarovara in order to please His mother. (6) When He, her son, who could show her the path to the ultimate reality, [some day] comfortably sat before her, Devahūti remembered the words of Brahmā and addressed Him.

(7) Devahūti said: 'Oh my Lord, I am very disgusted with the prevalence of untruth of my agitated senses because of which I fell into the darkness of ignorance. (8) After so many births I, by Your mercy, have now attained You who are my transcendental eye to overcome this so difficult to defeat darkness of not knowing.  (9) He who is the origin, the Supreme Lord of all beings and the Master of the Universe has, with You, alike the sun, risen to the eye that was blinded by the darkness of ignorance. (10) You engaged me in this misconception of 'I' and 'mine' [of false ego], so now be pleased, my Lord, to dispel the delusion. (11) With the desire to know about Your material and personal aspect [prakriti and purusha], I offer You my obeisances who are the greatest of all the sages of the true nature. I have taken to the shelter of Your feet because You are the person deserving it. You are for those who depend on You the ax that cuts the tree of an existence ruled by matter.'

(12) Maitreya said: 'Thus hearing about His mother's innocent and common human wish to be successful on the path of liberation, He with a mind of approval, slightly smiling with His beautiful face, expounded on the way of the transcendentalists. (13) The Supreme Lord said: 'I am of the opinion that the ultimate benefit for mankind  consists of the discipline of yoga of relating to the soul by which complete detachment from whatever pleasure and distress can be attained. (14) Oh pious mother, I will now explain to you what I formerly explained to the sages eager to hear about the perfection of the yoga system in every respect. (15) The [state of] consciousness of the living being is held responsible for the bondage and liberation of the soul. In attraction to the three basic qualities or modes of nature one is materially conditioned, but when one attaches to the soul of the universe [the Original Person], one is of liberation. (16) From the impurities of lust and greed and such, that result from the misconception of 'I' and 'mine', one is freed when the mind is pure in being equipoised, without distress and pleasure. (17)  It is in that state that the person, who is pure and transcendental to material nature, does not consider himself as being different but, self-effulgent, sees himself as [simultaneously] complete and small. (18) With a mind full of spiritual knowledge, renunciation and connectedness in devotion, one is indifferent about one's material existence, that is then less of influence. (19) There is no yogic path as auspicious for the perfection of the spirit as the performance of devotional service for the Supreme Lord, the complete of the Soul. (20) Any man of knowledge knows that strong attachment constitutes the entanglement of the soul, but that for devotees that same attachment opens the door to liberation. (21) Being tolerant, compassionate, friendly to all living beings and inimical to no one, being peaceful and abiding by the scriptures, the sādhu [the man of virtue, of holiness, a seer] is adorned with sublime qualities. (22) They who are persistent in performing devotional service unto Me, refrain staunch for My sake from acting in desire and give up on family ties and friendships. (23) Delighted to listen to the stories about Me they fix their minds upon Me and chant [My names], without causing distress with their various penances. (24) Oh virtuous mother, try to develop a bond with these devotees who are free from all attachments, for they are the ones who compensate for the harmful effects of being materially entangled. (25) Through association with saintly souls, the stories cultivated in discussing My heroism become a joy to the ear and heart. When one is of that choice then, firmly being convinced on the path of liberation experiencing the attraction, soon devotion will follow. (26) Someone who in devotional service got detached from sensual pleasures, will, on the path of yoga uniting his consciousness, constantly thinking about everything that I arranged, in this world [that is 'seen'] and the next [world that is 'heard about'] be engaged in the endeavor of controlling his mind the proper way. (27) By not being the servant of  the basic qualities of nature, by developing spiritual knowledge on the basis of renunciation, by fixing oneself on Me in yoga and by serving Me with devotion, a person in this very life reaches Me, the True Self within all souls.'

(28) Devahūti said: 'What is the proper concept of devotion unto You that is fit for me and from which I immediately may find liberation at Your feet? (29) Oh embodiment of truth, You explained that yoga is the way to focus on the Supreme Personality. But what form of yoga do You refer to exactly, what does it entail and what all needs to be done in order to comprehend the ultimate reality? (30) Please explain this to me, so that I, with my limited understanding, oh my Lord, by Your grace, as a woman may easily understand what is so hard to fathom.'

(31) Maitreya said: 'Kapila understanding what His mother wanted, being born from her body sympathized with her and thus described the truths handed down in disciplic succession of what one calls analytical yoga, a form of yoga that in fact concerns an extension, a further development in devotional service. (32) The Fortunate One said: 'It is better to be of service to the Lord than [egocentric] to strive for fame and perfection. It is the natural inclination of the undivided mind to serve according to the scriptures that what is purely good and true, and of the senses in their detection of sense objects to be of service as gods. (33) This [devotional] service quickly dissolves the subtle internal dealings of one's material motivation [the 'subtle body'], the way food is quickly consumed by the fire of digestion. (34) Pure devotees who, engaged in the service at My lotus feet, endeavor to attain Me, never ever desire to be one with Me. They assemble to glorify My personal activities in association. (35) Oh mother, they see My smiling face and eyes that are as beautiful as the morning sun and together speak in favorable terms about the benevolence of My transcendental forms. (36) With their minds and senses captivated by those forms, who are so charming in all their limbs, exalted pastimes, smiling glances and words, their devotion secures them a place in My subtle heaven, even though they do not long for that [liberation]. (37) Because they do not desire My opulence or the eightfold mastery over the material illusion [the siddhis, see 3.15:45], nor follow a desire for the splendor of My Supreme Divinity, those devotees in this life enjoy the blissful state of My transcendence. (38) Oh mother, My devotees will never, not by time nor by a weapon of destruction, lose Me [and My opulence], who was chosen by them as their dearest self, son, friend, preceptor, benefactor and deity. (39-40) Thus wandering through both this world and the world of the more subtle experiences, they, who in relation to My embodiment in this world have given up on [the desire for] wealth, cattle, houses and everything else, unflinching in their devotion worship Me, the all-pervading Lord of liberation, for I take them to the other side of birth and death. (41) No other person or anything else but Me, the Supreme Lord and original ruler over matter and the person, the Soul of all souls, can put an end to the terrible fear [of birth and death]. (42) Out of fear of Me the wind blows and the sun shines, out of fear of Me Indra showers rain and fire burns and out of fear of Me death is all around. (43) Absorbed in spiritual knowledge and renunciation, yogis free from fear, for the ultimate benefit in bhakti yoga take shelter of My feet. (44) The only way for people to find in this world the ultimate perfection of life is to steadily focus their mind in an intensive practice of devotional service to Me.'

Chapter 26: Fundamental Principles of Material Nature

(1) The Supreme Lord said: 'I shall now describe to you the different categories of reality, knowing which anyone can be released from the [yoke of the] modes of material nature. (2) I shall explain that to you about which one speaks as the spiritual knowledge [the jńāna] that cuts the knots [of egoism] in the heart and constitutes the ultimate purpose of one's self-realization. (3) The Supreme Soul, the Original Person elevated above matter,  is beginningless and free from the basic qualities of nature. He constitutes the inner self-effulgent refuge of the entire creation He maintains. (4) That very person, the greatest of the great, accepted out of His own free will for His pastime the divine, subtle material energy characterized by the three modes. (5) By these modes nature created the variegated forms of the living entities. The living beings seeing them, were, from the first day on in this world, illusioned by them because these forms constitute the covering of their spiritual knowledge. (6) Because the living entity identifies himself with the operation of material nature, he attributes the activities performed by those basic qualities to himself. (7) Thus being bound to a conditioned life, the naturally joyful, independent witness who does not do anything, became dependent. (8) Knowers of truth state that the body and the senses one is engaged with are subject to the operation of the basic qualities of material nature and that the spirit soul, above all matter, is responsible for the experience of happiness and distress therewith [see also B.G. 13: 21].'

(9) Devahūti said: 'Kindly explain to me the characteristics of the energies and the Original Person [prakriti and purusha] who together constitute the cause of the manifest and unmanifest reality this creation consists of.'

(10) The Supreme Lord said: 'The undifferentiated, eternal reality that differentiated in the form of material nature [prakriti] as a combination of the three modes, this cause belonging to the effect [of this material manifestation], is called the primary nature [the primal ether or pradhāna]. (11) That primary nature is known as the basis from which the five gross and five subtle elements, the ten senses of perception and action and the four internal sense departments [of mind, ego, consciousness and  intelligence] evolved who together add up to a number of twenty-four [see also elements]. (12) The five gross elements are to be exact: earth, water, fire, air and ether. Of the subtle elements there are, to My notion, as many. They are the smell and so on [taste, color, touch and sound]. (13) The ten senses are the organs of [perception of] hearing, touching, seeing, tasting and smelling, with the [organs of action known as the] mouth, the hands, the legs, the genitals and the organs of excretion as the tenth. (14) Mind, intelligence, ego and consciousness are the four aspects of the internal, subtle sense one distinguishes when one pays attention to the different characteristics of the [brain] functions. (15) Thus, with the classification I provided, the material qualities of the Absolute Truth of Brahman are summed up [called saguna brahman]. One speaks thereto of time as the twenty-fifth element.

(16) Some say that the time factor constitutes the power of the Original Person that is feared by the doer, the individual soul, who is deluded by the false ego of being in touch with material nature. (17) The [expanding, accelerating] movement of material nature without the interaction of her modes and their specific qualities, oh daughter of Manu, is the [space]time [the fourth dimension] from which we in our world know Him, the Supreme Lord. (18) He, the Lord of All Entities, abides, as a consequence of His potencies, within in the form of the original person [purusha] and without in the form of time [the twenty-fifth element]. (19) She [material nature] whose equilibrium of the modes was agitated by the grace, the divine ordinance, of the Supreme Person who impregnated her womb with His semen, His internal potency, delivers the sum total of the cosmic intelligence [the mahat-tattva] of Brahmā's effulgent golden reality [known as hiranmaya]. (20) The universe that within itself contains this unchangeable root cause of the cosmic manifestation, swallowed by its own effulgence the dense darkness of the Self in its primordial slumber. (21) The mode of goodness, which is the clear and sober position of understanding the Supreme Lord, is known by the name of Vāsudeva; it is the consciousness that constitutes the nature of the intellect [see also S.B. 1.2: 23]. (22) The characteristic traits of one's [reason in this state of Krishna or natural time] consciousness thus are similar to those of the natural state of pure water: clarity, invariability and serenity.

(23-24) From the cosmic intelligence [of the mahat-tattva] that undergoes the changes caused by the Supreme Lord's energies, the in five divided elements, the material ego [or I-awareness] and the therefrom generated mind in combination with the different senses of action and perception originated. Moved by that active potency of the Lord the ego manifested itself in the three forms of goodness, passion and ignorance. (25) Consisting of the mind, the elements and the senses, they together are called the person of the Supreme Personality of Ananta with His thousands of heads [Vishnu's snake-bed] who is known by the name of Sankarshana [and also as the Supreme Lord's first plenary expansion]. (26) The false ego, the materially identified self, can thus [according to the three gunas] be characterized as being the one acting, the instrument that is handled [the body] as also the effect of the actions [or that what was realized]. One may in that context also speak of the ego as being serene, active or dull. (27) With the transformation [of the ego in three forms] from its emotions [in goodness] the principle of mind evolved that with its thoughts and reflections gives rise to desires. (28) The name of that principle is Aniruddha, He who [as the  personal expansion of the mind of Vāsudeva] is known as the supreme ruler of the senses. He is bluish like a lotus in autumn and is only gradually realized by the yogis. (29) From the brilliance of the light of the transformation the principle of intelligence arose [the primal expansion of the Lord named Pradyumna], oh virtuous lady, in order to assist in sensually ascertaining the objects that can be perceived [see also S.B. 1.5: 37]. (30) Doubt, misapprehension, correct apprehension, memory and sleep are the terms used for the different characteristics of the functions of intelligence.

(31) From the forceful action [the passion] of the ego we have the senses to arrive at actions and the senses to acquire knowledge. The senses of action belong to the vital energy [prāna] and the senses of perception depend on the intelligence. (32) Impelled by the potency of the Supreme Lord, from the ignorance of the ego in transformation the subtle element of sound manifested. From the ether thereupon the sense of hearing rose to receive the sounds. (33) Persons of learning define sound as that which is indicative of an object, as that which betrays the presence of a speaker [who remembered no longer might be present] and as the subtle element of the sky [the ether]. (34) As for its action and characteristics the ether is described as the element internally and externally giving room to the living beings and as the field of activities of the vital air [prāna], the senses and the mind. (35) From the ether evolved, from the subtlety of sound, the subtle element of touch under the transforming impulse of time. Thus the air is found as also the sense organ for it and the active perception with that sense of touch. (36) Softness and hardness as also cold and heat are in the sensual experience of the air the main characteristics of the element of touch. (37) The main characteristics of the operating air are moving, mixing, bringing together and transporting particles [of dust] and waves of sound and the stimulation of all the senses. (38) From the element of air and the subtle element of touch, the form [one has] evolved according to fate. With fire the sense of sight arose therein by which color and form can be perceived.

(39) Oh virtuous mother, the characteristics of the form element are the dimension, the quality and the individuality of an object. For fire this is the effulgence. (40) The functions of fire consist of illumining, digesting, heating, evaporating, to give rise to hunger and thirst and to serve with food and drink. (41) From the form element that by divine ordinance transforms under the influence of fire, the element of taste manifested from which, with the water, the tongue appeared that perceives the taste. (42) Even though taste is one, it is in contact with all the different substances divided into the sensations of the astringent, sweet, bitter, pungent [salt] and sour. (43) The typicality of water is to be moistening, coagulating, quenching, life-sustaining, refreshing, softening, cooling and to be available in abundance. (44) From the transformations of the taste element because of the water, manifested itself, as ordained, the sense of smell for perceiving the aromas of the earth. (45) The oneness of odor is, depending the proportions of the substances, divided in the separate realizations of odors being mixed, offensive, fragrant, mild, strong, acidic and so on. (46) The characteristic function of the earth is to be modeled into forms of the Supreme Brahman, like houses, storage pots etc., that constitute the place for the existence of everything separated in space. (47) The sense function that has the distinctive character of the sky [sound] as its object is called the auditory sense and the sense that has the different qualities of the air [touch] as its object of perception is known as the tactile sense. (48) The sense concerning the object as distinguished in the specific quality of fire [viz. form] is called the sense of sight, the function in relation to the specific quality of water is known as the sense of taste and the function for the specific quality of the earth is called the sense of smell.

(49) From the nature of the effect of something the characteristics of the cause can be derived. Hence on the basis of the earth element alone [the element created last] the specific characteristics of all the [preceding] elements can be distinguished. (50) When [in the beginning of creation] the seven primary elements [the five material elements, ego and cosmic intelligence - the mahat-tattva] were not yet mixed, [the Lord,] the origin of creation endowed with kāla, karma and guna [time, workload and the modes] entered the universe. (51) These seven elements were thereupon by Him [in the form of time] roused into activity and united in an egg-shape form of an unconscious state. From that egg the celebrated Cosmic Being [or the original 'gigantic' person, the virāth purusha] manifested.  (52) This egg is called vis'esha ['the differentiated reality']. It is the outer form of Lord Hari, the Supreme Personality that extends as the planetary systems [see S.B. 2.1: 24-37] that consist of successive layers of water and the other elements, each ten times thicker than the previous one. On the outside they are enveloped by pradhāna, the unevolved state of matter [the primal ether]. (53) From the golden [sunshine of the] universal egg arose, from within the waters that He pervaded and was lying in, the greatness of God [Mahādeva] divided in many cells [kham, ethereal apertures in control of the light]. (54) The first to appear from Him was a mouth with next the organ of speech. Thereafter the divinity of fire [Vahni, the godhead ruling the fire of digestion] appeared that was followed by the nostrils and the olfactory sense to the life breath [prāna] in them. (55) From the olfactory sense the wind god [Vāyu] appeared, then from the sense of sight of the two eyes the divinity of the sun [Sūrya] manifested and from the auditory sense of the two ears [next] the deities ruling the directions appeared. (56) Then the skin appeared of the universal form with its hair growth and such, whereupon the curative herbs appeared followed by the sexual organs. (57) From them there was semen and the manifestation of the divinity of the waters. Also an anus appeared and from that anus there was the capacity to evacuate. Then [the god of] death appeared who causes fear throughout the world. (58) Also two hands manifested together with the power they have and thereafter Lord Indra [the sovereignty] appeared. With next the manifestation of the two feet, the onward movement manifested itself with also the appearance of their Lord [Lord Vishnu]. (59-60) The veins of the universal form manifested themselves together with the blood produced with them. Therewith the rivers appeared as also a stomach by which hunger and thirst are felt. After they had appeared, the ocean and the heart of the universal form manifested. Then from the heart the mind appeared. (61) From the mind the moon [Candra] became manifest. Then the intelligence appeared and therefrom the Lord of speech [Brahmā] appeared. Next there was the false ego of identifying oneself with matter together with the appearance of Rudra [S'iva]. From the reason thus found there was the godhead ruling consciousness [Vāsudeva].

(62) All these deities thus manifesting themselves could not at all awaken the Original Person. Therefore they, one after the other, returned to the source from which they originated so as to wake Him up. (63) The god of the fire of digestion went back to the mouth, but failed to awaken Him. The god of the wind returned to the olfactory sense of the nostrils but could not wake Him up. (64) The sun god entered His two eyes with the power of sight but could not make the Great Person rise, nor could the gods of the directions wake up His Great Form.  (65) The deities of the skin with its growth and blessing of herbs could not make Him get up, nor could the deity of the waters rouse the Great Person with the procreation performed by the organs of reproduction. (66) The god of death could, by the organ of evacuation, the anus, not stir Him into action and even the two hands of Lord Indra with their capacity to manipulate could not awaken the Grand Form. (67) Vishnu, with the power of progress entering His two feet, was not capable of  stirring the Greatness of the Complete into action and the divine flow of the river, returning to His vessels with the blood and power of circulation, neither could move the Gigantic Form. (68) The ocean entering His abdomen with hunger and thirst, could not make the Great Person rise and the moon god entering His heart with the mind also failed to awaken the Grand Form. (69) Also Brahmā entered His heart with the intelligence, but could not make the Great One stand up. And Lord S'iva by sending the ego to His heart could neither awaken the complete of the Purusha. (70) But, the very moment the godhead ruling consciousness [Vāsudeva] with reason entered the heart as the knower of the field, the Cosmic Being rose from the causal waters. (71) It is like with a man asleep, whose vital air, working and knowing senses, mind and understanding, cannot wake him up on their own without Him being present. (72) Someone who practices yoga therefore should conscientiously, with the help of spiritual knowledge, detachment and devotion, consider the notion of Him, the Supersoul, as being present within.'

Chapter 27: Liberation from Falsehood

(1) The Supreme Lord [as Kapila] said: 'Even though the living entity abides in a material body, he is not affected by the basic qualities of matter when he does not claim proprietorship and thus is not subject to change, just like the sun that is not affected by being reflected in water. (2) But when this very living entity is absorbed in false ego and thus is possessed by the modes of material nature, the individual soul is bewildered and thinks: 'I am the doer'. (3) Because of the faulty actions resulting from dealing with material nature in such a way, he thus, in discontent, helplessly undergoes the repeated occurrence of birth and death in births from different wombs [or species] depending the good or bad life he led or a combination of these. (4) Like having landed in a nightmare wherein the things happening do not really exist, there is for the living entity, who [only] contemplates what occurs to his senses, no end to his materially conditioned existence [of illusion]. (5) Therefore the mind of attachment to material pleasure must consequently, free from attachment, gradually be brought under control on the path of bhakti yoga. (6) Beginning with yama [meaning the great vow of yoga of nonviolence, truth, non-stealing, celibacy and non-possessiveness in the discipline of detachment], one should practice the different forms of yoga and develop, endowed with faith, unalloyed devotion unto Me by listening to My stories. (7) Therein one must be without enmity and regard all living beings as equal, not entertain intimate relations and be celibate *, be free from chatter and offer the results of one's labor. (8) One should be satisfied with whatever comes of its own, eat little and live thoughtfully in a secluded place and be peaceful, kind, compassionate and self-realized. (9) In relating to others and to one's body one should not follow the physical concept of life but rather, from the spiritual perspective attend to the factual truth of [both] the material and the personal aspect. (10) One should transcend the stages of consciousness [of waking, dreaming and deep sleep] and stay away from other conceptions of life. Thus, with a purified intellect, the true self, the soul of one's realization within, should be seen as clear as the sun before one's eyes [outside]. (11) One should arrive at the realization of the transcendental support of the material cause [the Supreme Soul] that is manifest as a reflection within the untrue, that is there as an eye for the illusory nature of matter that penetrates everything as one without a second. (12) It is like with the sun that can be seen as a reflection on water or on a wall, but factually is situated in the sky. (13) The truth of the seer is thus revealed as a reflection of the Absolute in the threefold nature of the materially identified ego that consists of body, senses and mind. (14) Someone who in this material world falsely unites with the material elements, the objects of enjoyment, the material senses, the mind, intelligence and so on, is situated in sleep, but once he is awakened [in the devotion of yoga] he is freed from false ego. (15) Even though not being lost, still someone [who spiritually awakened, at first] unjustly considers himself lost because he, just like someone upset because of losing his fortune, as the silent witness realizes the demise of his false ego. (16) Coming to understand this, such a person, knowing the situation that he accepted under the reign of the false ego, realizes [the mercy of] the original position of his true self, his original individuality [svarūpa].'

(17) Devahūti said: 'Dear brahmin, is it not so that material nature never releases the soul because the two are eternally attracted to each other, oh Best One? (18)  Just as aroma and earth have no separate existence and taste does not exist apart from water, intelligence cannot exist independent of consciousness. (19) Then how can a soul be free from material nature? Is the soul, being a passive observer, not forced to act because of the basic qualities of matter? (20) The great fear, one may avoid by contemplating the fundamental principles, will not cease because every time its cause appears again.'

(21) The Supreme Lord said: '[One will realize the freedom,] when one, with a pure mind serious unto Me and faithfully listening to My stories in devotional service, manages to perform one's duties without desiring the fruits thereof. (22) By means of spiritual knowledge, with the vision of the Absolute Truth, in yoga strongly connected in penance, detached and firmly fixed, someone becomes absorbed in the soul. (23) Bound to its material nature a living entity is day after day consumed, like firewood by fire, disappearing gradually. (24) [But] with the damage experienced in his dependency understanding the wrong of the desire to always enjoy, he, with his [thus] forsaking sensual pleasures, [firmly] stands in his own glory. (25) The many inauspicious matters a person may dream of in his sleep, will not in the least daunt him when he has awakened. (26) Someone, who has fixed his mind upon Me, the knower of the Absolute Truth always contented within, thus has nothing to fear from material nature. (27) When someone wise thus for many years and many births is engaged in self-realization, he will develop a distaste for [enjoying] whatever, up to the heaven of the creator [brahmaloka]. (28-29) Someone devoted to Me who under My protection for the sake of awakening his intelligence, by My unlimited mercy goes for the ultimate goal of his existence that is called kaivalya [enlightenment, emancipation, beatitude], will in this life soon attain a steady self-awareness and be free from doubt. The yogi who departed for that heavenly abode will, after leaving behind both the subtle and the gross body, never return. (30) When the attention of the perfected yogi is not drawn towards yogic powers to control the material illusion, my dear mother, then, having no other purpose in his life, his progress towards Me will be unbounded, because the power of death is lost therein.'

*: Swami A.C. Bhaktivedanta Prabhupāda in his commentary says here that intimacy refers to intimacy with non-devotees and that celibacy does not exclude a modest sex life: 'Aprasangatah means “not to be in intimate touch with everyone.” ' ... 'A devotee should observe the vow of celibacy. Celibacy does not necessitate that one be absolutely free from sex life; satisfaction with one’s wife is permitted also under the vow of celibacy.'

Chapter 28: Kapila's Instructions on the Execution of Devotional Service

(1) The Supreme Lord said: 'Oh royal daughter, I will now describe the characteristics of the yoga system, the object of which is [to restrain] the mind by following the regulative principles so that one filled with joy may tread the path of the Absolute Truth. (2) One must perform one's duties to the best of one's ability and avoid everything contrary to this. One should be satisfied with whatever is achieved by the grace of the Lord and worship the feet of a self-realized soul [a spiritual master]. (3) One should desist from civil [materialistic] practices and take pleasure in duties leading to liberation. One must also eat little and pure [vegetarian food], always live in seclusion and be a servant of peace. (4) Nonviolent, truthful, free from unrighteous acquisition and not possessing more than one needs, one should, in celibacy, austerity and cleanliness studying the Vedas, exercise respect for the appearance of the Original Personality. (5) Observing silence and acquiring steadiness in control of yoga postures and one's breath, one should gradually withdraw from the objects of the senses and direct one's mind to the heart. (6) One finds oneself absorbed [or in samādhi] when one either fixes one's mind and prāna on one of the [six] cakras [or energy nodes *] or when one focusses one's mind on the pastimes of [the Lord of] Vaikunthha. (7) With these and other methods of yoga attentively engaging one's intelligence and controlling one's breathing, the mind, which is contaminated by material enjoyment, mus be gradually subdued. (8) In control of the yoga āsanas one should do this by preparing a seat in a sanctified spot and sit there straight up in a comfortable posture. (9) For the mind to become steady and free from distractions, one should clear the passage of the life breath or prāna by inhaling, holding one's breath and exhaling again - or the other way around. (10) The mind of the yogi who is of such a self-control is soon free from disturbances, just like gold that, put in fire and fanned with air, is quickly freed from contaminations. (11) By means of breath control [prānāyāma] one eradicates contaminations, by turning inward [pratyāhāra] material association recedes, by focussing the mind [dhāranā] sin is overcome and by meditation [dhyāna] one rises above the power of the modes of nature.

(12) When one's thinking is purified and controlled by the practice of yoga, one should, while looking at the tip of one's nose, meditate on the goal of the Supreme Lord [kāshthhā, His form and measure of time, e.g. represented by a mechanical clock or water clock fixed on the sun's summit with the division of time according to the Bhāgavatam]. (13) With His club, conch and discus in His hands, with ruddy eyes resembling the interior of a lotus and a dark complexion like the petals of a blue lotus, He has a cheerful lotuslike countenance. (14) Clad in silken garments as yellow as the filaments of a lotus, He has the mark of S'rīvatsa [a few white hairs] on His chest and wears the brilliant Kaustubha jewel around His neck. (15-16) There is a garland of forest flowers humming with intoxicated bees, a priceless necklace and also bracelets, a crown, armlets, anklets and a girdle of the finest quality around His waist. He who has His seat in the lotus of the heart is most charming to behold, a feast to the eyes with a serenity that gladdens the mind and the heart. (17) He is always very beautiful to see, worshipable to all people of all places, as youthful as a boy and eager to bestow His blessings upon those who serve Him. (18) His fame adding to the repute of the devotees is worth singing. One should meditate on the godhead and all His limbs until one's mind stops wandering. (19) One should visualize the beneficial acts of the beautiful pastimes of Him standing, moving, sitting and lying down or dwelling in the heart. (20) He who contemplates Him should, when he with his mind fixed on the one form distinguishes all His limbs, in his concentration attend to each and every part of the Lord separately [see also S.B. 2.2: 13]. (21) One should meditate on the lotus feet of the Lord that are adorned with the marks of the thunderbolt, the goad, the banner and the lotus, as also on the prominence of the brilliant red nails with the splendor of the crescent moon that dispel the thick darkness of the heart. (22) One should meditate on the Lord's lotus feet for a long time, for the holy water of the Ganges, that washed down from His feet, blessed Lord S'iva who bore it on his head. They became a thunderbolt that was hurled at the mountain of sin present in the mind of the meditator.

(23) One should meditate in one's heart on the Goddess of Fortune, Lakshmī, the lotus-eyed mother of the entire universe created by Brahmā. She, who with her caring fingers massages the lower legs of the Almighty Lord transcendental to material existence, is worshiped by all God-conscious souls. (24) Then follow His two beautiful legs on the shoulders of Garuda that, extending down with the luster of the [whitish blue] linseed flower, are the storehouse of all energy, with around His hips the girdle over the exquisite yellow cloth. (25) Next one meditates on the expanse of His navel, that is the foundation of all the worlds situated in His abdomen. From that navel the lotus, the residence of the self-born one [Lord Brahmā], sprang up containing all the planetary systems. One should meditate on the two most delicate nipples of the Lord that are like emeralds in the whitish light of the pearls from His necklace. (26) The chest of the Lord of Wisdom, which is the abode of Mahā-Lakshmī, bestows on the minds and eyes of persons all the transcendental pleasure. One should next direct one's mind to meditate on the neck of the One adored throughout the universe that enhances the beauty of the Kaustubha jewel. (27) One should also meditate on His arms, from which the controllers of the universe originated and of which the ornaments were polished by the revolving of Mount Mandara, as well as on the dazzling luster of the Sudarshana discus [with its thousand spokes] and the swanlike conch in the lotus hand of the Lord. (28) One should remember the Supreme Lord's mace that is named Kaumodakī and is very dear to Him, smeared as it is with the bloodstains of the soldiers of the enemy. And also attention should be paid to the garland humming with the sound of the bees around it and the necklace of pearls about His neck that represents the principle of the pure living entity [see B.G. 7: 7]. (29) One should meditate on the lotuslike countenance of the Supreme Lord who assumed His different forms in this world out of compassion for the devotees and on His glittering alligator-shaped earrings that oscillating, crystal clear illumine His prominent nose and His cheeks. (30) Then one should attentively meditate in one's mind's eye the elegance of His face adorned with an abundance of curly hair and His lotus eyes and dancing eyebrows that put to shame a lotus surrounded by bees and a pair of swimming fish. (31) He who has a heart full of devotion for long should meditate on the frequent, compassionate glances of His eyes, for these glances, which are accompanied by the abundance of His graceful, loving smiles, soothe the three fearful agonies [as caused by oneself, by others and by material nature]. (32) The most benevolent smile of the Lord, which dries up the ocean of tears of all persons who in their grief bowed before Him, must be meditated as also His arched eyebrows, for they were for all sages by His internal creative potency manifested to bewilder the god of sexuality. (33) Easy to meditate is the generous laughter of His lips revealing the splendor of His small teeth that are like a row of jasmine buds. With devotion steeped in love for Him fixing one's mind - and not wishing to see anyone else - one should meditate on Him, Lord Vishnu who resides in the core of one's heart.

(34) Because of the pure love one thus through devotion has developed towards Hari, the Supreme Lord, one's heart melts and therefrom one constantly experiences that one's hairs stand on end out of extreme joy and that there is a flow of tears out of intense love. In that state the mind like [a fish] on a hook gradually gives up. (35) The moment the mind is situated in the liberated position, it immediately turns indifferent and dies away with one's detachment from the sense objects. The person of such a mind at that time, just like a flame, is no longer separated [from the 'big fire' of the Supersoul] and experiences oneness in freedom from the interaction of the operating modes of nature. (36) When he is situated in his ultimate glory because of the cessation of the mind that responds to material impulses, he on top of that, in his position of transcendence above happiness and distress, sees that indeed the cause of pleasure and pain is found in the ignorance of falsely identifying oneself in ego. In that ego he attributed to himself [viz. the control, that] what now is realized by the form and measure of time [the kāshthhā] of the Supersoul [the localized aspect of the Lord]. (37) As for the body the perfected soul has, because he achieved his predestined real identity [svarūpa], no notion of not continuing physically, or that he would remain or again take birth. Just as it is with someone who blinded by intoxication fails to realize whether he has any clothes on or not. (38) Thus one is faced with the activities one undertook with one's body that by divine ordinance will continue for as long as it takes. One is then because of one's yoga situated in self-absorption, the state of consciousness in which he, who awakened to his constitutional position, no longer gives priority to [or worships] the body with its sensuality and 'by-products' that was born like in a dream. (39) The way a mortal man is understood as being different from his son and wealth, irrespective his natural inclination for them, so too a person in his original nature differs from his body, senses, mind and such [irrespective his identification with them]. (40) It is like with a fire that differs from its flames, sparks and smoke, although they by nature, being produced by itself, are intimately associated with it. (41) The elements, the senses, the mind and the primary nature [see 3.26: 10] of the individual soul, the same way differs from the seer, who is the Supreme Lord who is known as the spiritual complete [Brahman]. (42) The way one with an equal mind sees all creatures as being part of the same natural order, one should also see the soul as being present in all manifestations and all manifestations in the soul. (43) Just like the one fire manifests itself in different types of wood, so too the one spiritual soul, in its position in material nature, knows different births under different natural conditions. (44) When one thus has conquered one's own, difficult to comprehend [bewildering], divine material energy, that is both cause and effect, one is situated in the position of self-realization [in one's svarūpa].'

*: The energy nodes in one's body or one's six cakras for meditation are in the Monier Williams dictionary one above the other summed up as: 1 the mūlādhāra cakra in the region of the pubis, 2 the svādhishthhāna cakra in the umbilical region, 3 the manipūra cakra in the pit of the stomach, 4 the anāhata cakra at the root of the nose, 5 the vis'uddha cakra at the hollow between the frontal sinuses and 6 the ājńākhya cakra on the top of one's skull. The various faculties and divinities are supposed to be present in these hollows or circles. Other texts speak of seven or even eight cakras divided slightly differently over the lower, plexus, heart and throat region. 


Chapter 29: Explanation of Devotional Service by Lord Kapila

(1-2) Devahūti said: 'Dear master, You described the specific characteristics of the material and personal nature of the complete reality, the way they in the analytical philosophy of [Sānkhya] yoga are discussed as being the primary ones. Please elaborate now at length on the path of bhakti yoga that one calls the ultimate purpose. (3) Dear Lord, please describe to me and for the people in general, the different stages of life and forms of material existence, for someone may by the knowledge of them become completely detached. (4) And what about the nature of Eternal Time, [the drive of nature,] the form of the Supreme Lord, of You as the ruler over all the other rulers, under the influence of whom the common people act piously? (5) You have appeared as the sun of the yoga system for the sake of the living beings attached to material actions whose intelligence is blinded by false ego and who, fatigued of having no one to turn to, for a long time slumber in darkness.'

(6) Maitreya said: 'Appreciating the words of His mother, oh best of the Kurus, the great and gentle sage, contented and being moved by compassion, said the following. (7) The Supreme Lord said: 'Devotion in the discipline of yoga so diverse in its appearance, knows many paths, oh noble lady, ways proving how people follow their own course in line with their natural qualities. (8) What one does out of love for Me in a spirit of violence, pride and envy or out of anger with a fractional view, is considered as acting in the mode of ignorance.  (9) He who worships Me with idols in a sectarian way and aims at material things, fame and opulence, is in the mode of passion. (10) Someone entertaining an alternative view is in goodness when he worships Me with offering the results of his actions or when he for the sake of transcendence desires to be free from karma [profit-minded labor]. (11-12) In case of an uninterrupted flow of thoughts in the direction of Me who is present in everyone's heart - just like the water of the Ganges that continuously flows towards the ocean - and when one wishes to hear about My qualities only without losing oneself in ulterior motives, one may speak of an exhibition of pure devotional service, of bhakti unto the Supreme Person. (13) Without being of My service, pure devotees will not accept it - not even when being offered these - to live on the same planet, to have the same opulence, to be a personal associate, to have the same bodily features or to be joined in oneness [the so-called five forms of liberation of sālokya, sārshthi, sāmīpya, sārūpya and ekatva or sāyujya]. (14) When one by means of this bhakti yoga - which one calls the highest platform - succeeds in dealing with the three modes of nature the way I explained it, one attains My transcendental nature. (15) When one performs one's duties without attachment to the results one is stronger [in one's yoga] and when one without unnecessary violence [without eating meat e.g.] is regular in the performance of one's yoga exercises one will find happiness. (16) Being in touch [with the ritual of] seeing, offering respect, doing mantras and being of a positive approach with My benevolence and abode, and thinking of Me as being present in all living beings, one is of detachment by the mode of goodness. (17-19) By means of sense control and proper regulation [yama and niyama, the does and don'ts of yoga *], being of the greatest respect for the great souls, being compassionate with the poor and by being friendly in association with like-minded souls; by hearing about spiritual matters, chanting My holy names, being straightforward, by association with civilized people and not entertaining false ego, the consciousness of a person who with these qualities is dutiful towards Me is completely purified. No doubt he by simply hearing about My excellence will directly reach Me. (20) The way the sense of smell catches the aroma that is carried from its source by means of the air, similarly consciousness by means of yoga catches the Supreme Soul who is free from change.

(21) A mortal human of worship for the deity but with no respect for Me who, in the form of the Supersoul, is always situated in every living being, is nothing but a hanger-on. (22) Someone who in worship of the deity has no regard for Me as the Supreme Ruler and Supersoul present in all beings, is in his ignorance only offering oblations into the ashes. (23) He who offers Me his respects but is envious when others are present, lives in his campaigning against others with his opposing view in enmity and will never find peace of mind. (24) Oh sinless one, I am certainly not pleased when they who manage to worship Me in My deity form with all paraphernalia, are not of respect for other living beings. (25) One has to worship the idol of Me, the Lord, and such, for as long as one is of profit minded labor [is building up karma] and not of the realization that I reside in one's own heart and in the heart of others. (26) In the form of death I shall create fear in those who discriminate with regard to the body of themselves and that of others [who discriminate according to race and sex]. (27) One should  therefore, with charity, respect and in friendship regarding everyone as an equal, propitiate Me, the One True Self abiding in all.

(28) Living entities are better developed than inanimate objects, better than entities with life symptoms, oh blessed one, are entities with a developed consciousness and better than those are they who developed sense perception. (29) Among them, those who developed taste are better than those who [only] developed a sense of touch and better than they are those who developed a sense of smell. Even better are those creatures who developed the faculty to hear. (30) Better than those are the ones distinguishing differences of form and those who have teeth in both their jaws are better than these. Those who have many legs are superior to them. Of them the four-legged creatures are the ones better developed while the two-legged ones [the human beings] are even better. (31) Among human beings a society with four classes is the better one and of those classes the brahmins are developed the best. Among the brahmins the better one is he who knows the Vedas and of those the one who knows its purpose is even better [viz. to know the absolute of the truth in three phases: brahman, paramātmā and bhagavān]. (32) The one who puts an end to all doubts is better than he who knows what the purpose of the Vedas is and the brahmin among them who performs his duty is better than him. He who is free from worldly attachment is still better and the one who performs his righteous duty not for himself alone is the best developed of them all. (33) Therefore I know of no greater being than a person who with a dedicated mind has offered all of his actions, wealth and life without any reservation to Me and with persistence is of service without any other interest. (34) Such a one who regards the Supreme Lord, the Controller of the individual soul, as having entered all the living beings by His expansion in the form of the Supersoul [the Paramātmā], is therefore mindfully of respect for his fellow creatures. (35) Oh daughter of Manu, someone can attain the Original Person by following either of these two paths of bhakti and mystic yoga separately that I have described. (36) This [original] form of the Supreme Lord of Brahman [the Supreme Spirit] and Paramātmā [the personalized local aspect] is the transcendental, ethereal personality of the primal reality [pradhāna], the most important person, all of whose activities are spiritual.

(37) [Natural] time, known as the divine cause of the different manifestations of the living entities, constitutes the reason why all living beings who consider themselves as existing in separation, from the greatest on, live in fear. (38) He who from within enters all the living entities, constitutes the support of everyone and annihilates [them again] by  means of  other living beings, is named Vishnu, the enjoyer of all sacrifices who is that time factor, the master of all masters. (39) There is no one specially favored by Him, nobody is his friend or enemy. He cares for those who are attentive and of those who are inattentive He is the destroyer. (40-45) He for whom the wind out of fear blows and this sun is shining, for whom out of fear Indra sends his rains and the heavenly bodies are shining; He because of whom out of fear the trees, creepers and herbs each in their own time bear flowers and produce their fruits; He afraid of whom the rivers flow and the oceans do not overflow, because of whom fire burns and the earth with her mountains does not submerge; He because of whom the sky provides air to those who breathe and under the control of whom the universe expands its body of the complete reality [mahat-tattva] with its seven layers [**], He for whom out of fear the gods of creation and more, in charge of the basic qualities of nature, within this world carry out their functions according to the yugas [see 3.11], He of whom afraid all the animate and inanimate beings find their control; that infinite, final operator of beginningless Time is the unchangeable Creator who creates people out of people and by means of death puts an end to the rule of death.'

*: Next to yama, the vow of yoga about what one should not do as mentioned in 3.27: 6, the regulating discipline of what one should do in niyama consists of: inner and outer purity or cleanliness, contentment, penance, study of the sacred texts and engaging in activities for the person of God. See also Patańjali's Yoga-sūtra's II: 32.

**: The seven kos'as - five ones extended with sometimes two extra - or also seven dvīpas with their levels of consciousness in the field of the physical, vital, psychological, intellectual, blissful, self-aware and the true self.

Chapter 30: Lord Kapila Describes the Adverse Consequences of Fruitive Activities

(1) Kapila said: 'Just like a mass of clouds has no knowledge of the powerful wind, a person has no knowledge of this time factor, even though he is being conditioned by it. (2) Whatever the goods one with difficulty acquired for one's happiness, they are destroyed by the Supreme Lord [in the form of Time], and for this reason the person laments. (3) In his ignorance he foolishly thinks that the temporality of having a home, land and wealth for the sake of his body, would be something permanent. (4) The living being finding its satisfaction in this worldly existence, will irrespective the birth that was acquired, be in consonance with it. (5) Even being physically situated in hell a person, who in fact is deluded by the divine illusory potency of matter, does not wish to give up his hellish pleasures. (6) With his body, spouse, children, home, animals, wealth and friendships deeply rooted in his heart, he considers himself a great success. (7) Burning with anxiety about maintaining all the members of his dear family, he is always uncomfortable and with a bad mind acting like a fool. (8) With his heart and senses charmed by the woman he privately sees and by the display of the sweet words of his children, he is in the grip of the falsehood of the outer illusion [of considering non-permanent matters eternal]. (9) Engaged in the supposed duties of his family life - which cause him all kinds of trouble -, he is busy countering these miseries attentively while thinking that that will make him happy as a householder. (10) Only enjoying little of it, he maintains his family by means of the wealth that here and there with violence [and victims] was secured, but following that course he [ultimately] goes under himself. (11) When he, despite his repeated efforts, fails in his occupational engagement, he will, ruled by greed, [enviously] desire the wealth enjoyed by others and thus get into trouble. (12) No longer capable of maintaining his family the unfortunate wretch, bereft of wealth and beauty, then with a bewildered intelligence full of grief sighs over everything he tried in vain.

(13) Thus finding himself incapable of supporting his wife and so on, he is not respected as he was before, the way an old ox is not respected by its farmer. (14) Despite being nourished by those he once maintained himself, no aversion [against a family life] rises in him while he, getting deformed of old age, at home awaits his death. (15) Remaining there he, like a pet dog, eats what indifferently is placed before him, falls sick with indigestion and eats and does only little. (16) Because of the inner pressure his eyes bulge out and with his windpipe congested with mucus he coughs and has difficulty breathing, only saying 'ugha ugha'. (17) Lying down surrounded by his lamenting friends and relatives he, with the noose of time around his neck, cannot respond to the things said to him. (18) He, who was engrossed in maintaining his family and had no control over his senses, thus passes away in great pain, with his relatives in tears. (19) Witnessing the arrival of the servants of death with their terrible eyes full of wrath, he, because of the fear in his heart, passes stool and urine. (20) Like the king's soldiers they immobilize his body by binding him in ropes for his punishment, whereupon they drag him like a criminal forcefully by the neck over a long distance.  (21) Innerly broken by their threatening presence he, overtaken, trembles on the road and is bitten by dogs in the distress of remembering his sins. (22) Afflicted by hunger, thirst and the radiation of scorching forest fires and winds on hot and sandy roads, he feels how he painfully is beaten on his back with a whip, while he, unable to move, can find no refuge or water. (23) Now and then he falls, gets tired and loses consciousness, and then again he reawakens on the road of his misery where he quickly is led before the eternal ruler of death [Yamarāja]. (24) He sees his entire life passing by in a few moments [he passes 'ninety-nine thousand yojanas'] and then receives the punishment he deserves. (25) With his limbs covered by firewood he is cremated or sometimes he sees himself eating his own flesh or that other creatures do that. (26) Vividly he then witnesses how dogs pull out his entrails at his last resting place where serpents, scorpions, gnats and so on pester him to his abhorrence. (27) One by one his limbs are separated from his body by big and small animals who tear him apart, throw him from heights or drag him under water or into caves. (28) Because of the [unregulated sexual] association one has,  one must, whether one is a man or a woman, undergo the reaction in hellish states of anger, self-destruction and bewilderment [tāmisra, andha-tāmisra and raurava and such, see 5.26].

(29) Because hellish reactions are also observed in this world, oh mother, one speaks here of both heaven and hell.  (30) He who thus [in greed, attachment and infidelity] maintained his family or lived for his stomach only, will upon leaving this world in his afterlife have to face the consequences for himself and his family. (31) After quitting his vehicle of time he will enter the darkness all alone and pay the price for the harm that he out of self-interest did to others in his envy of their fortune. (32) By divine arrangement a man who sustained his family has to undergo the hellish reaction of his foul play and suffer like someone who lost all his wealth. (33) When a person in his eagerness to care for his family is simply godless in his actions, he heads for the darkest region of self-destruction [andha-tāmisra]. (34) After he, beginning from the lowest position [of an animal existence] prior to a human birth, in due order has undergone all the reactions and so on, he, thus being purged, may again return to this life.'

Chapter 31: Lord Kapila's Instructions on the Wanderings of the Living Entities

(1) The Supreme Lord said: 'Because of its karma the living entity, guided by the Lord, enters through the particle of semen of a man the womb of a woman in order to dwell there for obtaining a body. (2) On the first night the sperm and ovum mix, at the fifth night there is a bubble and in about ten days it is thereafter like a plum, lump of flesh or an egg. (3) Within a month a head appears and within two months limbs like arms and feet form. The nails, [the beginnings of] hair, bones, skin, reproductive organs and the apertures appear within three months. (4) In about four months the seven ingredients separate [body-fluids and other elements], in five months feelings like hunger and thirst occur and in six months the fetus starts to move to the right in the amnion [males to the right, females to the left so one says]. (5) From the nutrition and fluid obtained from the mother the body of the fetus grows as it stays in that impossible hollow where[about] stool and urine form a breeding ground for germs. (6) All the time aching for food, it is, being so tender, affected by infestations ['worms'] and thus has to suffer all over its body a great deal while residing there, moment after moment lapsing into unconsciousness. (7) Because of the excessive bitterness, heat, pungency, saltiness, dryness, the sourness etc. of the food taken by the mother, it is affected in every limb and thus feels pain. (8) Enclosed by the amnion in that place surrounded by the intestines it lies with a bent neck and back arched with its head in its belly. (9) Like a bird in a cage that has no freedom of movement, it still remembers - when it is lucky - what has happened in all its past hundreds of births. Remembering such a long history, it will sigh, for what peace of mind can it achieve then? (10) From the seventh month on it is endowed with consciousness, but at the same time it is pushed down by the pressure of the womb where it cannot stay, just like the worm stemming from the same belly.

(11) The fearful living entity bound to its seven constituents [nails, skin, fat, flesh, blood, bone, marrow], then, with folded hands and faltering words prays, appealing to the Lord who placed him in that womb. (12)  The human soul says: 'May He protect me who protects the entire universe and who, with assuming His different forms, walks the earth with His lotus feet. Let me take shelter of this refuge that will take my fears away, of Him who decided that I deserved this untrue condition. (13) I, the pure soul covered by the grossness of matter which consists of the elements, the senses and the mind, have fallen into this delusional state [māyā] because of my being bound to activities. Let me offer my obeisances so that I may hold on to the completely pure Changeless One of unlimited knowledge who resides in the heart of the repentant one. (14) Separated as I am by the covering of this material body that was formed from the five elements and relies on senses, material preferences [gunas], interests and identification, I offer my obeisances to You, the Supreme Person transcendental to material nature and its living entities, to You, whose glories are not obscured by such a material body. (15) By the deluding quality of Your outer appearance this body, that by the modes of nature and its karma is bound to wander on the path of repeated birth and death, has to suffer considerably with a repeatedly spoilt memory. May this soul arrive at the realization of his true nature, how else would one find Your divine mercy? (16) What else but Your divinity, that as a partial aspect [the Paramātmā] dwells in both the animate and the inanimate, would give us the knowledge of the threefold of Time, of past, present and future? In order to be freed from the threefold misery [as caused by oneself, nature and others] we, as individual souls engaged on the path of fruitive activities, have to surrender to that divinity. (17) Endowed with a body within the abdomen of another body, having fallen into a pool of blood, stool and urine and strongly scorched by gastric fire, this [individual soul with its] body, desiring to leave that place, is counting its months for when it, miserable as it is, will be released, oh Lord. (18) You granted me, [not even] ten months old, oh Lord, [the light of] Your incomparable, supreme mercy. What else can I do but to pray in return with folded hands out of gratitude for that incomparable and unique grace of You who are the refuge of the fallen souls? (19) This living being can, from its bondage to the seven layers of matter [3.29: 40-45], only understand what is agreeable and disagreeable. But by You endowed with another body of self-control within myself, I am really able to recognize inside of me You, the original person constituting the inner guidance, who resides both within my heart and outside of me. (20) Oh Almighty One, even though I, who has to live with all the miseries outside of this abdomen, rather not depart from here to land in that pitfall, I, [just as everyone else] who enters this world, at once will be captured by Your māyā and be entangled in the false identification [of the ego] that is fundamental to the eternal cycle of birth and death. (21) Therefore I will, well-disposed to the soul no longer being agitated, again deliver myself quickly from that darkness, by placing the feet of Lord Vishnu in my heart and thus save me from this fate of having to enter so many wombs.'

(22) Kapila said: 'Thus desiring from within the womb, the [almost] ten months old living entity extols the Lord at the time of being pushed downwards by the pressure of labor to take birth. (23) Because of that pressure the child, with its head turned downwards, suddenly, with great difficulty and bereft of all memory, comes out breathless. (24) Like a worm falling down to earth it, smeared with blood, moves its limbs and cries loudly now it has lost the wisdom in reaching the opposite [material] position. (25) Being maintained by its folks who do not understand what it wants, it has fallen into circumstances it did not desire and cannot refuse. (26) Lying down in fouled linen [dirty diapers etc.] the child is pestered by germs [suffering rashes on its body] it cannot scratch away from its limbs, for it is not able to sit, stand or move around. (27) Flies, mosquitos, bugs and other creatures bite the baby's tender skin. Just like vermin, it is pestered by other vermin. Deprived of wisdom it then cries. (28) This way undergoing infancy in distress and even in its childhood, out of ignorance, not achieving what it wants, it gets angry and sad.  (29) With a developing physical consciousness, the by lusts motivated person in his anger then develops enmity towards other lusty persons and thus loses sight of the interest of his soul. (30) The embodied soul, who out of ignorance holds on to non-permanent matters, that way constantly reasons from the reality of his physical existence composed of the five elements and thus foolishly thinks in terms of 'I' and 'mine'. (31) Engaged in actions in service of his body he, because of his bondage to the dark motives of fruitive labor, is haunted by trouble [consisting of the so-called kles'as] and time and again arrives at yet another birth in the material world. (32) When he, returning on the materialistic path, again [only] is interested in human association for the sake of the pleasure of his genitals and his stomach, the living entity ends up in darkness as before. (33) Because of thus being associated he loses his sense of truth, purity, compassion and gravity, his spiritual intelligence, prosperity, modesty and his good name, as also his mercy, the control over his mind and senses and his fortune. (34) One should not seek association with coarse and immoral fools bereft of self-realization who, like pitiable dogs, dance to the piping of the ladies. (35) Nothing in the world makes a man as infatuated and dependent as to associate with a man attached to women or with a company of men fond of women. (36) The father of man [Brahmā], bewildered at the sight of his own daughter, as a stag shamelessly ran after her when he saw her in the form of a deer [compare 3.12: 28]. (37) Except for sage Nārāyana, among all the living entities born from Brahmā there is not a single man whose intelligence is not distracted by māyā in the form of a woman.

(38) Behold the strength of My māyā in the shape of a woman, that even makes the conquerors of the world follow her closely by the mere movement of an eyebrow. (39) He who aspires to reach the culmination of yoga, should never become attached to [young, attractive] women. One says that, to someone who arrived at self-realization in My service, that is the gateway to hell. (40) The woman, a creation of the Lord, is as an overgrown well [one falls into when one is inattentive], she represents the slowly encroaching māyā, the illusory power of the material world, that one must consider the death of one's self. (41) When he, as the bestower of wealth, progeny and a house, out of attachment to his wife, himself has obtained the female state, she will consider My māyā, that assumed the form of a man, as her husband.  (42) She [for finding liberation] should consider that māyā in the form of her husband, children and house, as the death song of a hunter, brought about by the command of the Lord [*]. (43) Because the person constantly enjoys to engage in profit-minded labor, the individual soul, by the body thus acquired, wanders from one world to the other. (44) That is how a soul acquires a body, composed of the material elements, the senses and the mind, that befits his nature. When that body finds its end it is called death but when it manifests one speaks of birth. (45-46) When one cannot perceive the fixed position of an object, that implies that one's sense perception has died, and when one considers one's body as being oneself it implies that one has taken birth [in a material sense]. He who perceives cannot at the same time regard both the object and the perceiving witness himself, just as the eyes cannot see all the different parts of a single object in one view. (47) One should not be horrified about death, not be afraid of poverty, nor be concerned about any material gain; when one understands the true nature of the living being, one should steadfast and free from attachment move around on this planet. (48) When one relegates one's body to this world composed of māyā, one should, endowed with the right vision, on the basis of reason move around there in detachment, being connected in the science of the [three forms of] yoga.'

*: Compare this passage to the verse in the Bhakti-rasāmrita-sindhu 1.2: 255 that allows association of the sexes in a devotional setting: 'Man and woman should live together as householders relating to Krishna, only for the purpose of discharging duties in the service of Krishna. Engage the children, engage the wife and engage the husband, all in Krishna conscious duties, and then all these bodily or material attachments will disappear. Since the mediating medium is Krishna, the consciousness is pure, and there is no possibility of degradation at any time.' (Rūpa Gosvāmī in: Bhakti-rasāmrita-sindhu 1.2: 255.)


Chapter 32: The Entanglement in Fruitive Activities

(1) Kapila said: 'Well then, the person living at home doing the duties of a householder, enjoys again and again [the benefit] of sense gratification, economic gain and religious activities. (2) Moreover, he, in his faithful worship of the gods and the forefathers with sacrificial ceremonies [called pravritti-dharma], infatuated by lust has turned his face away from emancipating in devotional service to the Supreme Lord [for the sake of what one calls nivritti-dharma]. (3) Overcome by a mind of belief being vowed to those forefathers and demigods, the person, who by drinking soma [a beverage drunk by the sacrificing brahmins] thus was of respect for the lunar order [of his sacrifices], will turn back [to this world] after having deceased [see also B.G. 8: 25]. (4) When Lord Hari lies Himself down on the snake bed of Ananta S'esha, these worlds of the attached householders find their dissolution. (5) Those intelligent souls [though] who, in the performance of their personal duties, did not take advantage for the sake of sense gratification and material benefits, but rather free from material attachment gave up their fruitive activities, will find the perfection of peace because their consciousness was purified. (6) When they all the time [in nivritti-dharma] righteously are engaged for the sake of the detachment of forsaking egoism and claims of property, they, with the performance of their personal duties, are completely purified by the goodness of such a mentality. (7) By following the path of enlightenment they approach the Original Person, the cause of the manifestation and dissolution of the world, who is reflected in each his face as the Controller of the spiritual and material worlds. (8) Until the end of a period as long as two parārdhas, in which the life of Brahmā himself finds its conclusion [see 3.11], they dwell in the transcendental world immersed in thoughts about the Supreme One. (9) After having experienced for the time of two parārdhas the natural self [of creation] consisting of the three modes, the Lord of the Beyond [Brahmā], desiring to dissolve the material covering composed of earth, water, fire, ether, mind, senses, objects, ego and so on, enters the unmanifested primal state. (10) Those yogis who went all the way to become detached by controlling their breath and mind and thus entered Lord Brahmā who cannot be attained with false self conceptions, next together with him go to the Original Person, the embodiment of bliss who is the oldest, primary reality of the spirit. (11) Dear mother, therefore by means of devotional service take to the shelter of Him, the Lord you now heard about, who resides in the lotus heart of each. (12-15) [But remember that] even Brahmā, the Creator of the mobile and immobile manifestations who is the source of Vedic wisdom, as also the sages and the masters of yoga, the Kumāras and the other perfected souls and original thinkers of yoga who attained the original Person of the Absolute Truth, the first among all the souls, by dint of their detached, egoless actions, despite their independent vision and all their spiritual qualities, again take birth to assume their positions when this manifestation of the Lord is recreated through the operation of time and the three modes. And that is also true for all others who enjoyed the divine opulence that resulted from their pious deeds, they also return when the interaction of the modes again takes place.

(16) They whose minds in this world are addicted to fruitive activities, engage with conviction in their prescribed duties in attachment to the result of their labor and do that time and again. (17) Fully engaged in their households they worship their forefathers while they, being driven by passion, have minds that - aspiring for gratification - are full of anxieties with their senses out of control. (18) [Trai-vargika] persons dedicated to the three civil virtues [of economy, sense gratification and religious service] are not interested in the pastimes of Lord Hari, the killer of the demon Madhu, whose exceptional prowess is so worthy of being described. (19) Having given up on the nectar of the stories about the Infallible One, they, struck by fate, rather listen to materialistic stories, and in that respect they are just like stool eating hogs.

(20) When the sun goes through the south, they, after their cremation, go to their forefathers, to again take birth in their families for the performance of fruitive activities to the [bitter] end [compare B.G. 8: 25]. (21) By divine arrangement they directly fall down from their elevated position to return to this planet, when they have exhausted the merit of their pious deeds, oh virtuous one [compare B.G. 9: 21].

(22) Worship therefore with all your heart the Supreme Lord, your refuge, by the worshipable feet of whom your devotional service is associated with the good qualities. (23) Engaging in devotional service unto Vāsudeva the Supreme Personality of Godhead, will very soon result in the detachment and spiritual knowledge that lead to self-realization. (24) When the mind of the devotee in every circumstance is equipoised relative to the activity of the senses, he makes no distinction between like and dislike as a consequence. (25) He is then, because of the detached mindfulness of his soul, in freedom from sympathy and antipathy, of an equal vision and sees himself elevated to the transcendental position. (26) Even though the Supreme Personality constitutes the unique completeness of transcendental knowledge, He in philosophical research and other processes of understanding is differently perceived as the Spirit of the Absolute [Brahman], the Supersoul [Paramātmā] and the Lord personally present [Bhagavān, see also S.B. 1.2: 11]. (27) The only purpose for a yogi to realize in this world is to achieve, by the practice of yoga, complete detachment from everything. (28) For someone averse to the knowledge of spirituality, the pure spirit of the absolute, Brahman, that is free from the [interacting] modes, appears as a relativity of forms that can be perceived through the senses and is misconceived as being endowed with sounds and so on. (29) [But] just as from the mahat-tattva with the three modes and the five elements, the material body of the living entity was formed with its individual consciousness, eleven senses [the five senses of action and perception, including the mind] and false ego, also the universe was formed out of the cosmic egg of all universes [and may thus be concluded that no essential difference exists between the local covering of the individual soul and the gigantic universal covering of the Supersoul; or briefly stated, that the universe must be seen as a person]. (30) With faith and devotion ever being steadfast in yoga, he understands this whose mind is fixed in the detachment of disassociating oneself from material involvement.

(31) Thus, My respectful mother, I have described this spiritual knowledge that reveals the perspective of the Pure Spirit by which both the material and personal reality [prakriti and purusha] is understood. (32) Rather than by each of them alone, by means of both jńāna-yoga [the yoga of spiritual knowledge] and the freedom from the modes of being directed towards Me that is called bhakti, the purpose is achieved that is denoted by the word Bhagavān. (33) One and the same object having many qualities is differently perceived by the senses, similarly the one and only Lord of All Fortune is seen differently depending the different paths described in the scriptures. (34-36) By material actions, sacrificial ceremonies, charity, austerities, study of the scriptures, philosophical research, subduing the mind and senses, as also by renunciation and forsaking profit-minded labor, practicing the different types of yoga, performing devotional service and fulfilling one's individual duties - in case of both an active life and a contemplative life [pravritti and nivritti dharma] -, one will, with consequent detachment and knowledge of the science of self-realization, perceive the Supreme Lord in His true nature: as being present in both the material world and in transcendence [saguna and nirguna]. (37) I explained to you the four divisions of identity [svarūpa] in devotional service [three according to the modes and one for their transcendence*], as also the imperceptible action of time [the conditioning] that drives the living entities. (38) For the living entity, My dear mother, there are many ways of engaging materially in ignorance [about one's original identity]. They are all the result of working for a material outcome [karma], and he who gets entangled in it has therefore lost his way.

(39) This what I said is not meant for instructing the evil-minded and the ones of bad conduct, nor to be told to obstinate and offensive people or to anyone who only in name does his duty. (40) One must not tell this to greedy persons and neither to someone attached to hearth and home, nor to those who are not devoted to Me or detest My devotees. (41) It is meant for the faithful souls, for devotees, respectful people, for those not spiteful towards anyone, those who are friendly and eager to render their services conscientiously. (42) Tell this to those who with a peaceful mind developed detachment for what is outside of them, to those who are not envious, who are clean and to whom I am the dearest of the dear. (43) Oh mother, he who but once with faith heard about this or repeats this for himself in being fixed on Me [doing japa], will certainly attain My heaven.'

*: The four identities with the modes and their transcendence are known as the game of order the human being plays in his identifications of according to the four classes [varna], four statuses [ās'rama], the three modes [guna] and the eight levels of transcendence [ashthānga] functioning with a certain degree of experience.  

Chapter 33: The Renunciation of Devahūti

(1) Maitreya said: 'After the dear wife of Kardama, the mother named Devahūti, thus had listened to the words of Lord Kapila, she, being freed from the veil of ignorance, offered Him her obeisances and recited prayers to the author concerned with the fundamental [Sānkhya-yoga] truths that constitute the foundation of liberation. (2) Devahūti said: 'One says that the Unborn One [Brahmā] who originated from the lotus flower [sprouting] from Your abdomen, meditated on Your body lying in the water that is the source of the stream of the modes of nature and the seed pervading everything manifest of the material elements, the senses, the sense-objects and the mind. (3) As that single person of the universe who through the interaction of the modes divided the creation and all of that, You stand firm on the basis of Your heroism. You thereto with distinguishing Yourself as the infallible non-doer make the difference as the Lord of all living beings whose thousands of energies are inconceivable. (4) How can it be that You as that same person took birth from my abdomen, oh my Lord, You who with Your unimaginable powers carry the universe in Your belly, You who, at the end of the millennium all alone lying Yourself down on the leaf of a banyan tree, lick Your toe as a baby? (5) You have assumed this body to counter sinful activities, oh my Lord, and provide instructions for devotional service. Just as with incarnations of You like the boar incarnation and others, You, with this one, are there in order to reveal the path of self-realization. (6) With You even someone of the lowest birth is, by hearing the chanting of Your name, offering obeisances to You or even by simply remembering You, at any moment immediately enabled to perform the Vedic rituals. And then they have not even seen You face to face,, oh Fortunate One! (7) Oh how blessed and hence worshipable is he who has Your holy name on his tongue, even when he is but cooking dog meat. For Your sake the souls of spiritual education [the Aryans] who studied the Vedas and accepted Your holy name, perform austerities, execute fire sacrifices and take a bath in the sacred rivers. (8) I offer You my obeisances, You the Highest Spirit, the Supreme Personality, Lord Vishnu carrying the name of Kapila, He who is the source of the Vedas, to whom I turned inwards to listen, whom I perceived in my mind, meditated on and by whose potency the influence of the modes vanished.'

(9) Maitreya said: 'The Supreme Lord carrying the name of Kapila, thus being praised, full of love for His mother replied with words of gravity. (10) Lord Kapila said: 'By following this easy to execute path I instructed to you, My dear mother, you very soon will attain the supreme goal. (11) You may rest assured that with this instruction of Mine that is followed by the transcendentalists, you will reach Me free from fear, while [the cycle of birth and] death is what is attained by those not conversant with this.'

(12) Maitreya said: 'After this instruction the venerable Supreme Lord of the path of self-realization, Kapila, the teacher of the Absolute Truth, took permission from His mother and left. (13) The way her son had told her in His yoga instruction, she in that abode [Kardama's palace], which with its wealth of flowers was the jewel of the Sarasvatī river, fixed her attention to be connected in the science of uniting consciousness. (14) Regularly taking a bath, her curly matted hair turned gray and her body, clad in old garments, became thin because of the severe austerities. (15) Kardama Muni, the progenitor of mankind, had by the austerity of his yoga developed his unequaled home with all its paraphernalia, that was even envied by the denizens of heaven. (16) The ivory beds white as the foam of milk had gold filigree covers and the chairs and benches were made of gold and had cushions soft to the touch. (17) The walls were of pure marble inlaid with valuable emeralds and lamps shone with the same jewels the women decorated themselves with. (18) The garden of the house was beautiful with its flowers and fruits, many trees with pairs of singing birds and the humming of intoxicated bees. (19) When she entered the pond fragrant with lotuses, the heavenly associates sang to her about the great care of Kardama.

(20) [But] leaving that most desirable garden that was even envied by the wives of Indra, she had a sorry look on her face because she was afflicted by her being separated from her son. (21) With her husband having left for the forest and her son separated from her she, despite the truth she knew, became as sad as a caring cow that lost her calf. (22) While thinking of Him, her divine son Lord Kapiladeva, she very soon, oh dear Vidura, became detached from her fine home. (23) According to the instruction of her son meditating on the form of the Supreme Lord as the object of her spiritual absorption, she kept in mind the complete and the parts of His smiling face. (24-25) Impelled by her knowledge of the Absolute Truth performing her duties the proper way, she was continuously engaged in devotional service and very strong in renunciation. Spiritually purified by the Great Soul whose face is seen everywhere, she then in her self-realization saw the symptoms of the modes of nature disappear. (26) With her mind situated in Brahman, in the Supreme Lord as also in the Supersoul residing in all living beings, the distress of the unfortunate condition of her soul disappeared and she attained transcendental bliss. (27) Elevated to the eternal state of full absorption she, being freed from the modes, no longer was reminded of her material body, just as one forgets one's dream after waking up. (28) Her body was maintained by others [by her heavenly maidens] but, because she suffered no fear, she did not lose any [more] weight; covered by impurities she shone like a fire covered by smoke. (29) With her body subdued in the austerity of yoga she, under the divine protection of being absorbed in thoughts about Vāsudeva, no longer was aware of her hair hanging loose or that her clothes were in disarray. (30) Thus following the path as instructed by Kapila, she soon, in the spirit of the Absolute Truth of the supreme soul, achieved the cessation of her material existence and the [abode of the] Supreme Lord.

(31) That most sacred place where she attained perfection, oh brave soul, was known in the three worlds under the name of Siddhapada ['the refuge of perfection']. (32) The material elements of her mortal body that was relinquished by the practice of yoga, became a river that is the foremost of all rivers, oh gentle one. For conferring that fulfillment that river is sought by all who desire perfection. (33) After Lord Kapila, the great yogi and Supreme Lord, had taken leave of His mother and left the hermitage of His father, He headed in the northeastern direction. (34) The ocean honored Him by offering Him a residence where He is extolled by the Siddhas, Cānaras, Gandharvas, munis and Apsaras *. (35) There being worshiped by the teachers of example who practice the Sānkhya yoga system, He remains permanently in samādhi to ensure the deliverance of [all the souls in] the three worlds. (36) Dear sinless one, this what I, upon your request, told you about Kapila and His conversation with Devahūti, purifies [the one who listens to it]. (37) Whoever listens to or expounds on these confidential teachings of Kapila Muni about the union of the soul and thus has fixed his mind on the Fortunate One who carries the banner of Garuda, will attain the lotus feet of the Supreme Lord.'

*: Known and still worshiped today as Gangā-sāgara-tīrtha, the place where the Ganges joins the ocean.

 Thus the third Canto of the S'rīmad Bhāgavatam ends named: The Status Quo.



Translation: Anand Aadhar Prabhu, http: //

Production: the Filognostic Association of The Order of Time, with special thanks to Sakhya Devi Dasi for proofreading and correcting the manuscript. http: //

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