See for the online version with illustrations, music and links to the previous translation: http://bhagavata.org/
'The Story of the Fortunate One'
Third revised version 2012
CANTO 4bThe Creation of the Fourth Order, the Lord's Protection
Chapter 20 Lord Vishnu's Appearance in the Sacrificial Arena of Mahârâja Prithu
Chapter 21 Instructions by Mahârâja Prithu
Chapter 22 Prithu Mahârâja's Meeting with the Four Kumâras
Chapter 23 Mahârâja Prithu Returns Back Home
Chapter 24 The Song Sung by Lord S'iva
Chapter 25 About the Character of King Purañjana
Chapter 26 King Purañjana Goes Hunting and Finds his Morose Wife
Chapter 27 Candavega Attacks the City of King Purañjana; the Character of Kâlakanyâ
Chapter 28 Purañjana Becomes a Woman in his Next Life.
Chapter 29 The Conversation of Nârada and King Prâcînabarhi
Chapter 30 The Activities of the Pracetâs
Chapter 31 Nârada Instructs the Pracetâs
IntroductionThis book tells 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 samhitâ] of the Hindu universe. The Bhagavad Gîtâ 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 subdivisons 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 Purânas. This specific collection of Vedic stories is considered the most important one of all the great eigtheen classical Purânas 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 the history between the old Vedic culture and the 'modern' political culture in which the rule of state no longer automatically is led by the spiritual order. The book tells the story of His birth, His youth, all His wonderful proofs of His divine nature and His superhuman feats of defeating all kinds of demons up to the great Mahâbhârat war at Kurukshetra. In this war the Vedic culture fell down to be replaced by the fragmented relighiosity we these days call Hinduism. This leading Purâna also called the 'perfect Purâna', is a brilliant story that has been brought to the West by S'rîla A.C. Bhaktivedânta Swami Prabhupâda, a Caitanya Vaishnava, a bhakti (devotional) monk of Lord Vishṇu [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.
For the translation the author of this internet version has consulted the translations of C.L Goswami. M.A., Sâstrî (from the Gîtâ Press, Gorakhpur), the paramparâ [disciplic succession] version of S'rîla Vishvanâtha Cakravarti Thhâkura and the later version of this book by S'rîla A.C. Bhaktivedânta Swami Prabhupâda. The latter translators as âcâryas [guru teaching by example] of the age-old Indian Vaishnava tradition are representatives of a culture of reformation of the devotion for God or bhakti, 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'rî Krishna Caitanya, also called Caitanya Mahâprabhu (1486-1534), the avatâra [an incarnation of the Lord] who heralded this reform, restored the original purpose of developing devotion unto the person of God and endeavored in particular for 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 Gîtâ and this Bhâgavata Purâna, that is also called the S'rîmad Bhâgavatam, from which all the Vaishnava âcâryas 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 the 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, the translator meant that this book could not stay behind on the shelf of his own bookcase as a token of material possessiveness. When we 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 one of its main values could not be left out. The version of Swami Prabhupâda 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 Vishvanâtha's, Prabhupâda's and Sâstrî's words were pruned, retranslated and set to the understanding and realization of today. This realization in my case originated directly from the disciplic line of succession of the Vaishnava line of âcâryas as also from a realization of the total field of indian philosophy of enlightenment and yoga discipline as was brought to the West by also non-Vaishnava gurus and maintained by their pupils. Therefore the author has to express his 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 Prabhupâda, members of the renounced order (sannyâsîs) who instructed the author 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 have been given the name of 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 vânaprashta, 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'rîla A.C. Bhaktivedânta Swami Prabhupâda/ISKCON, Vishvanâtha Cakravarti Thhâkura and C.L. Goswami. M.A., Sâstrî 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. On the internetsite bhagavata.org of this book, my version refers to the version of Prabhupâda that is linked up at each verse together with my own previous version 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 the so-called Commons Attribution Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License has been chosen. 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 bhagavata.org), 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.
With love and devotion,
Anand Aadhar Prabhu,
Enschede, The Netherlands, April 17, 2012.
Chapter 20: Lord Vishnu's Appearance in the Sacrificial Arena of Prithu Mahârâja
(1) Maitreya said: 'The Supreme Personality, the Lord of Vaikunthha satisfied by the sacrifices unto Him, the Lord of All Sacrifices, appeared together with the mighty Indra and spoke as the enjoyer of the sacrifice to King Prithu. (2) The Supreme Lord said: 'This person [King Indra] who disturbed the hundredth horse sacrifice you performed, begs your pardon, you ought to forgive him. (3) Those considerate souls who are willing to act in favor of others in this world oh god of man, belong to the best human beings. They never resort to malice in relation to other living beings for they never forget the soul present within this vehicle of time. (4) If people like you who persistently are of service to the elders, become bewildered by the external energy of God, the only thing that is achieved is weariness. (5) Therefore he who well acquainted knows that one owes this body to one's ignorance, desires and karma, will never become the slave of it. (6) In other words, which person of life experience would in his detachment call himself the proprietor of the wealth, house and children that result from such a bodily concept? (7) The one pure self that is enlightened and free from material characteristics, constitutes the reservoir of all good qualities that transcendental to the body and the mind and pervading all is the undivided witness unrelated to the material world. (8) Anyone who thus knows about the soul that exists within this body is, despite being situated within material nature, as a person never affected by its modes. Such a one is situated in Me. (9) He who free from ulterior motives always doing his duty worships Me with faith and devotion will oh King, discover that his mind step by step finds the highest satisfaction. (10) Free from the modes of nature and with an equal vision, he who innerly free from contaminations is of peace will achieve the equipoise of My spirit of emancipation. (11) Any person who knows this changeless soul as simply being the indifferent superintendent of the physical elements, the knowing and working senses and the mind, will find all good fortune. (12) Those bound to Me in friendship and enlightenment will never become disturbed with the experience of happiness or distress to the different qualities and constant change of the material body consisting of the physical elements, the active senses, its intentions and the mind. (13) Equipoised in happiness and distress, equal to all who are greater, lower or are found in between and with the senses and mind controlled, be that way the protector of all citizens oh hero, together with the others [the officials] as arranged by Me. (14) Ruling the populace in goodness it is certain for a king in his next life to be the collector of a sixth of the results of the pious activities [of his subjects]. Being of a different approach he, solely collecting taxes, will have to do without this sixth and be faced with the sins of the citizens he didn't protect. (15) Thus being the protector of the earth as someone whose chief interest it is to be unattached in respect of the principles as approved and handed down by the foremost twice-born ones, you will soon see yourself being loved by the citizens and at home be visited by the perfected ones in person. (16) Because I've been captivated by your excellent qualities*, please request any benediction from Me you desire oh chief of the humans. I certainly cannot easily be obtained by mere sacrifices, austerities or just doing yoga. I am present in the one who is even-minded.'
(17) Maitreya said: 'The conqueror of the world thus being led by the Supreme Master of All, the Personality of Vishnu, bowed his head to the instructions of the Lord. (18) King Indra, ashamed of his own actions then lovingly touched the feet of him [Prithu] who of course with an embrace gave up his anger. (19) The Supreme Lord, the Supersoul, next received worship with all the paraphernalia from Prithu whose devotion, having taken to the lotus feet, gradually increased. (2o) Even though he was ready to depart, the Lord with the lotus eyes, the well-wisher of the devotees, detained by His kindness couldn't leave him. (21) He, the first among the kings could, with his eyes full of tears standing before the Lord with folded hands, not behold Him nor utter a word. His voice was choked up and within his heart embracing Him he remained in that position. (22) Not satisfied [just] to see Him before his eyes, he thereupon wiping the tears from his face addressed the Original Personality of Godhead who with His hand resting upon the high shoulder of Garuda, the enemy of the snakes, barely touched the ground with His lotus feet.
(23) Prithu said: 'Oh Almighty One, how can a learned man ask from You who are the master of all blessings, for benedictions that are also available to all those embodied living beings who are bewildered by the modes of nature, even when they are in hell? Nor do I ask oh Supreme One, for Your enlightenment [to be one with You]. (24) I do not desire even that oh master, because I then have to do without the nectar delivered by the mouths of the devotees at Your lotus feet. Just give me a million ears to [relish that] what rises from the core of their hearts [the stories about You]. Let that be my benediction. (25) That soothing breeze of the nectarean [saffron] particles of Your lotus feet oh Lord praised in the scriptures delivered by the mouths of the great ones, restores of those who strayed from the path of devotional service the remembrance of the forgotten truth and makes other benedictions unnecessary. (26) When someone somehow or other, even only once, in association with those who are advanced listens to the all-auspicious glorification of You oh honored one, how can someone appreciative of Your characteristics, unless he is an animal, then ever cease with that what the Goddess of Fortune in her desire to hear about You has accepted as Your quality? (27) Therefore I shall engage in the service of You, the all-inclusive Supreme, Original Personality [Pûrushottama] and reservoir of all transcendental qualities. With me, who as anxious indeed as the goddess with the lotus in her hand, competing in relation to the one Master, let there between her and me be no quarrel in the single-mindedness of acting in respect of Your feet. (28) The mother of the universe oh Ruler of the Cosmic Reality, [being jealous] might ruin my desire to be of her action. But what difference would she make with You who always favorably inclined to the poor, as a consequence of Your benevolence consider even the most insignificant service as very great? (29) Saintly persons rather worship You therefore who dispel the misconceptions produced by the modes of nature. Oh Supreme Lord I cannot think of any other purpose [in the life] of devotees than the remembrance of Your lotus feet. (30) I consider that what You said [to me] with the words 'make your choice', as a bewildering favor in the direction of the material world. How [is that supposed to work] when ordinary people [like me] who are not tied to what You say in the Vedic literatures, time and again feel attracted to engage in karmic actions? (31) The people in general oh Lord, are divided about Your illusory energy because of which they, missing the real knowledge, desire everything but the true matters of the soul. Please bestow that what You deem desirable, just like a father would do for the welfare of his child.'
(32) Maitreya said: 'Thus being worshiped by the original king He, the seer of the entire universe, said to him: 'My dear King let there be your devotion for Me. By the good fortune of intelligently having acted unto Me like this, you will certainly overcome My illusory energy that is so difficult to give up. (33) Do therefore without neglect what I ordered you to do oh protector of the citizens, anyone who acts according to My injunctions will achieve all good fortune wherever he is.'
(34) Maitreya said: 'Showing His appreciation for these words of the wise king, the son of Vena, He, the Infallible One, after sufficiently having blessed him and being worshiped by him, decided to leave. (35-36) After they [by the king] with an intelligence dedicated to the Lord and with folded hands, sweet words and riches were properly respected in a spirit of devotional service, all the followers of the Lord of Vaikunthha departed: the godly ones, the sages, the forefathers, the artisans, the perfected ones, the heavenly singers, the snakelike beings, the superhuman beings, the nymphs, the earthly humans, the birds and all the other different living entities [compare 3.10: 28-29]. (37) Having captivated the minds of the saintly king and all his priests, the protector of the living creation, the infallible Supreme Lord, also returned to His abode. (38) With offering his obeisances to the Supreme Soul, the king had [thus] received the revelation of the Unmanifested One, the God of Gods. He then returned to his home.'
*: The twenty-six qualities of a devotee: (1) kind to everyone, (2) does not quarrel with anyone, (3) fixed in the Absolute Truth, (4) equal to everyone, (5) faultless, (6) charitable, (7) mild, (8) clean, (9) simple, (10) benevolent, (11) peaceful, (12) completely attached to Krishna, (13) has no material hankering, (14) meek, (15) steady, (16) self-controlled, (17) does not eat more than required, (18) sane, (19) respectful, (20) humble, (21) grave, (22) compassionate, (23) friendly, (24) poetic, (25) expert, (26) silent.
Chapter 21: Instructions by Prithu Mahârâja
(1) Maitreya said [when King Prithu returned to his capital]: 'The city at the golden gates and everywhere around was decorated with pearls, flower garlands and cloth and there was also highly fragrant incense. (2) The streets, the parks and the lanes that were sprinkled with water scented with sandalwood and aguru [a fragrant herb] were decorated with unbroken rice, flowers, fruits in their peel, precious stones, parched grains and lamps. (3) With everything being cleansed and festooned with leaves of various trees like fresh mango leaves and the flowers and fruits hanging down from pillars of banana trees and betel nut trees, it all looked very nice. (4) The citizens and many a beautiful radiating virgin decorated with tinkling earrings, came to welcome him equipped with lamps and countless articles of worship. (5) Even though the king when he entered the palace was honored with the sounds of kettledrums, conch shells and the Vedic chants of the priests, he took no pride in it. (6) With the great glory of thus being revered and pleased everywhere by the nobles and the commoners, he in his turn wished them all the best. (7) He had been so from the beginning: magnanimous in all his actions and doing great works regularly. He had become the greatest of the great and thus ruling with the achievement of a repute that had spread all over the world, he [finally] was elevated to the Supreme lotus feet.' "
(8) Sûta said: "Oh greatest of the devotees, oh leader of the sages [S'aunaka], after Maitreya thus befittingly had expounded on the high reputation of that ideal king so qualified because of his countless qualities, Vidura proved his great respect and addressed him. (9) Vidura said: 'When he [Prithu] was enthroned by the great ones of learning, he realized the full respect of the enlightened community and by that grace of Vishnu he could expand to the strength of rule by dint of which he managed to break open [and exploit] the earth. (10) Who wouldn't enjoy to hear about his glories, about his intelligence and his chivalry to the example of which even to this day so many kings and their local rulers proceed in procuring what they desire for their livelihood? Please tell me [more] about those good deeds.'
(11) Maitreya proceeded: 'Living in the land between the two rivers the Ganges and the Yamunâ, he who was destined to enjoy the fortune of his pious deeds exhausted his merits. (12) Except for the brahmin culture and the ones in succession devoted to the Infallible One [the Vaishnavas], there was for everyone on the seven continents his irrevocable order as the one ruler holding the scepter. (13) And so he once upon a time took a vow to initiate a great sacrifice to the occasion of which the authorities of God assembled: the brahmin sages, the wise kings and all the great devotees. (14) To that occasion he offered his obeisances to all those respectable souls who deserved it according to their respective positions, standing in their midst like the moon between the stars. (15-16) He was a tall man, well built with strong arms and a lotuslike fair complexion, eyes as bright as a sunrise, a straight nose and a beautiful face with a grave expression, high shoulders and teeth brilliant at the smile. He had a broad chest, a firm waist with beautiful folds in his abdomen like the leaf of a banana tree, a coiled navel, thighs of a golden hue and an arched instep. (17) With fine, curly, slick black hair on his head and a neck like a conch he was dressed in a very valuable dhotî with over his upper body a wrapper worn like a sacred thread. (18) He with all the beauty of his physique was the one appointed to give up his garments according to the regulations. Nicely covered by a black deerskin and with a ring of kus'a grass around his finger he then performed as was required. (19) With starry eyes as moist as the dew he glanced over all the ones around him and then, for the purpose of pleasing the assembly, began to speak in terms of the following elevating discourse. (20) What he reminded them of was of a great importance and beauty, and flowery, crystal clear and free from doubt spoken to the benefit of all.
(21) The king addressing the ones present said: 'Listen carefully oh great souls present here, how I as an inquisitive man feel obliged to present to you dear nobles, my conclusions concerning the principles of dharma. (22) I, carrying the scepter as the king of all the citizens, am engaged in this world as the protector and employer of each person the way he is born in the context of his own [Vedically] established, separate social order. (23) By executing of Him, the Seer of all destiny, that what the experts in Vedic knowledge speak about, I expect to fulfill all the objectives as desired everywhere by everyone. (24) Anyone who as a king exacts taxes from the citizens without reminding them of their respective [varnâs'rama] duties, will according to the impiety of his citizens, also have to relinquish the enjoyment of his own fortune. (25) Therefore my dear citizens it suffers no doubt that whatever you without grumbling do in accord with [the varnâs'rama system of] Him beyond the senses, [not only serves your own interest, but also] constitutes a great service unto me. That way you serve the interest of the welfare of me your protector. (26) All of you present here as people faithful to the forefathers, the gods, the sages and the sinless, please take this at heart: in the hereafter the results of one's actions are equally shared by the performer, the director and the supporter of the deeds. (27) Oh respectable ones, there must be someone like Him who by some [scriptures] is called the Lord of Sacrifice, for one evidently in this material world and in the hereafter sometimes is faced with embodiments of [great] power and beauty. (28-29) Manu, Uttânapâda [Dhruva's father], Dhruva and no doubt the great king Priyavrata and my grandfather Anga, these great and saintly personalities and also others of the Unborn Soul like Prahlâda and Bali Mahârâja, give evidence of the existence of the One holding the Club. (30) Except for descendants like my father who abominably acting like death personified had lost his way on the path of religion, one as good as always ascribes the elevation to higher worlds and class to the [in dharmic action] being liberated from the material motive for the sake of the One Supreme Soul. (31) Persons of penance destroy, because of their inclination to serve at the lotus feet, immediately the dirt that accumulated in their minds in countless births. Just like the [Ganges] water that emanating from His toes vanquishes all dirt, they, day after day, see their purity increasing. (32) By particularly time and again gathering strength in seeking in a systematic, scientific way refuge at His lotus feet, the person disgusted with the endless ruminations will purify himself. But if he surrenders to a materially motivated life full of hindrances, he will never achieve such a thing. (33) All you citizens, in order to be satisfied, be sure of being devoted at His lotus feet according to your personal sense of duty. Be in your thoughts, your words and in a physical sense of the particular qualities of your own type of work and answer with an open mind in the full of your conviction to all that is wanted as far as your talents allow. (34) He who is present in this world with His various qualities and transcendence is in the science of being free from contaminations in relation to His form worshiped with different kinds of sacrifices that are performed with the physical means and the practicing of mantras, for the purpose of which there are the forms and names upon which one concentrates. (35) Just like fire manifests differently depending the shape and quality of the firewood, the Almighty One manifests differently with a body in which He accepts a consciousness and engages in activities that are the result of a certain combination of undifferentiated matter [see also 3.26: 10], the time, the mental disposition and the dutifulness. (36) Oh all of you who together with me abide by the Lord, you who enjoy the Supreme Spiritual Master His mercy, and who by dint of the godly who are of sacrifice, the Supreme Controller Himself and the occupational duties incessantly on this earth with firm determination are occupied with worship, with these activities you are relating to me. (37) Never at any time those who are of great opulence [the rulers] should exercise power over the blessed ones who are of devotion to the Unconquerable One [Vishnu], nor over the ones who exercise tolerance, do penance and are highly educated, for they personally constitute the ruling class of the twice-born ones in society. (38) The Original Personality, the oldest and eternal Lord and godhead of the brahminical culture acquired the opulence of the eternal fame of being the great elevated leader that purifies the entire universe, by exercising respect for their lotus feet. (39) The unlimited, independent Lord dwelling in each his heart is very satisfied when one wants to be of service at the feet of the learned ones who are very dear to Him, when one humbly following in His footsteps in every respect tries to be constantly engaged in serving the brahmin class. (40) A person automatically without delay achieves the greatest peace and the satisfaction of his soul when he regularly relates to them by means of delivering service, for who would be a better mouth and hand for the ghee that is offered? (41) Ananta, the Lord of the Snake bed is never as pleased to eat from sacrifices in the fire that with faith are performed by the knowers of the Absolute, as much as He is satisfied with the life force [of the offerings] that, by the different names of the demigods, is not withheld from the mouth of a devotee, for He will never abandon those transcendental swans. (42) Everything that the constant, pure and original brahminical culture is reflecting with faith, austerity, auspicious actions, silence, an absorbed mind and sense control, is carried for the sake of the true meaning and purpose of the Vedic vision in which this world appears as clear as in a mirror. (43) Oh people of culture, I will carry the dust of the lotus feet of all of them on my helmet until the end of my life. Everyone who always engages this way will soon vanquish his sins and be blessed with all qualities. (44) He whose wealth consists of good conduct and gratitude, he who seeks refuge with the learned and acquired all the good qualities, will achieve all the fortune of God. May the Maintainer of the three worlds as also His devotees be pleased with the brahmin class, the cows and with me.'
(45) Maitreya said: 'The king speaking thus was congratulated by all the saintly people: the elderly, the godly and the twice-born who satisfied and happy minded exclaimed 'sâdhu, sâdhu!' ['well done, well spoken!' They said:] (46) 'The Vedic teaching which says that someone becomes victorious in all the worlds through his son has become true now that he [Prithu] in a grand manner has delivered his most sinful father Vena from the darkness [in which he landed] after being cursed by the brahmins. (47) Also Hiranyakas'ipu, who because of repeatedly blaspheming the Supreme Lord entered the darkest regions, was delivered by the actions of his son Prahlâda. (48) Best of all warriors, dear father of the earth whose devotion unto the Infallible One, the one Maintainer of all the worlds, is so exemplary, may you life forever. (49) Today, oh Supreme One of Purity, we because of you are under the rule of the Lord of Liberation Mukunda, of Him, Vishnu who appearing in the stories of the scriptures is glorified as the worshipable Lord of the brahmins. (50) It is a common thing oh lord, to rule over citizens for one's income. What is of greatness is the nature of your affection and mercy for all living beings. (51) Today it is, because of you, more likely for us, who by the will of God are wandering and have lost their goal of life because of our past deeds, to reach the other side of the darkness of material existence. (52) Our obeisances to you whom we honor as a personality moved by the quality of goodness, as someone who by dint of his personal prowess inspires the brahmin culture and maintains [the honor of] the ruling class.'
Chapter 22: Prithu Mahârâja's Meeting with the Four Kumâras(1) Maitreya said: 'As the citizens were thus praying to the high and mighty King Prithu, four sages arrived there as bright as the sun. (2) The king and his associates could recognize the masters of yogic perfection that descended from the ethereal realm by the glaring effulgence of their all-embracing sinlessness [: they were the four Kumâras]. (3) Seeing the so very desired life of peaceful conduct before them, King Prithu with his followers jumped to their feet as if they were souls whose senses are ruled by the modes of nature. (4) After they accepting that [reverence] had taken their seats he, humble with the high civilization of their full glory, bowed before them and was of worship the way it is prescribed with all that belongs to it. (5) The water of washing their feet he sprinkled on the tuft of his hair and thus he behaved like men of respect are supposed to behave. (6) Seated on the golden throne the brothers who were older than S'iva [see 3.12: 4-7] were like fire on the altar and pleased with them, the king respectfully and with restraint addressed them. (7) Prithu said: 'To what do I owe the grace of your audience, of you who are fortune in person? It is an encounter that even for the greatest yogis is difficult to achieve. (8) He with whom the ones of learning [the brahmins and the Vaishnavas] are pleased, can achieve whatever that is difficult to achieve in this world or the hereafter, including the all-auspicious Lord S'iva and Lord Vishnu who accompany them. (9) Although you are traveling all the worlds, the people cannot see you, just as the ones causal to the creation [S'iva and Brahmâ, compare 1.1: 1] cannot see the All-knowing witness residing within everyone. (10) Despite being not that rich, those householders [may enjoy] the glory of most respectable saints [like you], who with their home can offer water, a place to sit, servants, land and the master of the house himself. (11) But a tree with venomous serpents are no doubt those houses that, abundant with all wealth, are not [blessed] with the water that washed from the feet of the great saints. (12) I welcome you, oh best of the twice-born, you who move around like children and controlled by vows with a great faith are motivated for liberation. (13) Oh masters, can persons who, having fallen into this material existence, are stricken with the illness of living to the command of their senses, all by themselves find any good fortune? (14) There is no need to ask you about your well-being for you supreme souls have no mind concerned with matters of good or bad fortune. (15) I therefore am certain that you for us who suffer the pains of a material existence, are the friend to ask how one soon in this world may find salvation. (16) Manifesting as the supreme goal in life of the transcendentalists the Supreme Lord, the Unborn One in the form of the perfected ones moves about on this earth in order to show His devotees His mercy.'
(17) Maitreya said: 'Hearing that very substantial, appropriate, concise and sweet conclusion of Prithu, the Kumâra satisfied with a smile replied as follows. (18) Sanat-kumâra said: 'What a good question for you to ask my dear King, oh you who desires the good of all living beings. Learned as you are, you nevertheless pose this question. [This speaks for you] as someone whose intelligence roots in the mind of the saintly ones. (19) An association of devotees in which there is discussion, questioning and answering is appreciated by both the parties [of the saintly ones and their pious followers], and real happiness for all will expand from it. (20) Oh King, you are evidently attached to the organized appreciation for the qualities of the Lord His lotus feet. Difficult as it is, that will free the indwelling soul, given a steady practice, from the dirt of the emotions of lust. (21) In the scriptures is defended that only the absence of attachment to other matters than the soul in combination with an intense attachment for that True Self which is transcendental to the modes of nature, constitutes the perfect conviction for the salvation of man. (22) That [is realized] when one as a dutiful devotee with faith and devotion, by means of discussion and inquiry is spiritually united in one's determination and with respect for the Lord of Yoga regularly attends and listens to the stories of the God-fearing ones. (23) Reluctant to associate with the rich and the ones who are after sense gratification and not after the acquiring of goods as approved by them, one gets rid of the bad taste of the happiness that goes without drinking the nectar of the qualities of the Self of the Supreme Personality. (24) With nonviolence [as a vegetarian], following in the footsteps of the teachers of example, by remembering the Lord of Liberation, by testifying of His activities, by the nectar of following according to the yoga principles without a material motive [yama] and by practicing in line with the precepts [of niyama] one thus being without offenses, will be living a simple life with tolerance for the worldly dualities. (25) With in one's ear constantly the discussions in relation to the transcendental qualities of the Lord it may be so that one, increasing in one's devotion and consciousness, is of an uncontaminated existence in the material world that is opposed to spiritual understanding, for when one has realized that kind of listening, it is easy to be attached to the Spirit of Transcendence. (26) When the person in respect of the teacher of example is fixed in attachment to the Spiritual Supreme, the impotence of the heart [as characterized by the five kles'as or hindrances: ignorance, egoism, attachment, dislike and death-fear] that is situated within the covering of the individual soul that consists of the five elements, will be burned by the force of detachment and spiritual knowledge like fuel being burned by fire. (27) With that immolation of the inner weakness being freed from all the [associated] material qualities, there is no difference as there was in the past between the inner action with the Supersoul and the outer action of the self. For such a one that difference has ended just like a dream ends when one wakes up. (28) The person sees of himself both the objects of his senses and his transcendence [as the witness]. In that position he knows desires and designations, but without the two [not being innerly divided] that is not the case. (29) The only reason that one sees differences between oneself and something [or someone] else is that there are different causes [for each position] everywhere, just like one has with a reflection that is different in water and another medium [like a mirror]. (30) Because the mind is agitated by the senses that are drawn towards the sense-objects, [the pure] consciousness [of one's intelligence] is easily lost, just like a lake that is overgrown with plants. (31) Scholars of the soul state that in the destructive choking of one's remembrance the constant mindfulness of one's consciousness is destroyed and that the soul bereft of real knowledge thus degrades [see B.G. 2: 62-63]. (32) In this world there is nothing as bad as the obstruction of that self-interest, in which other matters seem to be so much more interesting than the realization of one's own self that one hinders. (33) When one constantly thinks for the sake of riches and sensual pleasures all the [four] virtues of human society are destroyed [the purushârthas]. Therefrom bereft of knowledge and devotional service, one lapses into the inertia of matter. (34) They who want to cross over that ocean quickly, should never cling to the slowness of matter, for that is the great stumbling block for the virtues of religiousness, economic development, regulation of pleasures and salvation [dharma, artha, kâma, moksha]. (35) In this respect liberation is likely to be there as the most important one, because engaged in the interest of the other three paths one regularly finds oneself caught in the finality of things and in fear. (36) For all those notions of a higher or lower form of life there will never be any peace, for they depending upon the interaction of the material modes are by the ordinance of the Lord [in the form of Time] all destroyed. (37) Oh best of kings, be therefore just as I am persuaded of Him the Supreme Lord who from within the heart everywhere manifests by dominating as the Master of the Field radiating into every hair follicle and who for all the moving or nonmoving living beings covered by a body endowed with senses and a life-breath, is there for the consideration of self-realization. (38) Surrender yourself unto Him the root cause manifesting as the truth within the untruth. By this deliberate consideration one is freed from the illusions of an intelligence that wonders whether one deals with a rope or a snake. Thus one is situated in the eternal liberation of the uncontaminated, pure truth of the original nature transcendental to all the impurities of one's karmic [fruitive] activities. (39) Be unto Him, Vâsudeva, of devotion like the devotees who find Him, whose lotus toes bring them joy, worthy to take shelter of. By devotional service the hard knot of karmic desire is uprooted, but that is never so with people missing that respect, however hard they try to stop the waves of sense enjoyment. (40) In this material ocean the hardship of the non-devotees is great with the sharks of the six senses. They cannot cross the ocean without much difficulties and therefore you should make the lotus feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead your boat for passing that unconquerable expanse.'
(41) Maitreya said: 'The king thus by the son of Brahmâ, the Kumâra who was so well versed in spiritual knowledge, in full being informed about the ins and outs of spiritual advancement, praised him and then spoke. (42) The king said: 'In order to confirm what the Lord has promised [in 4.20: 15], He who from His causeless mercy is so compassionate with the ones in distress, you have all oh brahmins, oh powerful ones, arrived here. (43) With you also doing what could be expected from the most compassionate representatives of the Lord, is all that I have to offer, the remnants of the offerings to the saints! What should I give from my side? (44) My life, wife and children, oh brahmins, my home with everything belonging to it, my kingdom, power, land and treasury, I thus all offer to you. (45) The post as the commander in chief and ruler over the kingdom, the scepter of authority and the complete dominion over the planet are no doubt only reserved for those who know the purport of the Vedas. (46) The kshatriyas [the rulers] and the other departments of society all eat by the mercy of the brahmins who enjoy their own clothing, their own food and their own donations in charity. (47) You from your kind of spiritual understanding of progressing with the Fortunate One, have in your compassion explained to us the Vedic evidence as discussed. May you ever be pleased with your own actions of mercy! Who could ever repay you with anything but offering water to you with cupped hands?'
(48) Maitreya said: 'After the masters of self-realization had been worshiped by the original king they praised his character and, before the eyes of all the people, rose to the sky. (49) The son of Vena, the first among the great personalities, who according to the teachings fixed in the self had arrived at self-realization, considered himself as someone who had achieved what he desired. (50) In his actions for the sake of the Absolute Truth engaging as good as possible according to the time, the circumstances and his capacity, he did whatever he could as far as his means would allow. (51) Fully dedicated to the Supreme Spirit he free from attachments being of renunciation always thought of the superintendent of all actions, the Supersoul transcendental to material nature. (52) Even though he lived at home he never felt attracted to all the opulence of his mighty kingdom nor did he indulge in sensual pleasures, as much as the sun [never responds to what is lit]. (53) Thus always practicing yoga he by his self-realization begot five sons in his wife Arci who were the way he wanted them. (54) Their names were Vijitâs'va, Dhûmrakes'a, Haryaksha, Dravina and Vrika. With them Prithu [by his authority] alone succeeded in incorporating all the qualities of all local deities. (55) In his personal surrender to the Infallible One he, for the protection of the created universe, pleased the citizens during his time with the qualities of his kind-hearted words and actions. (56) The king thus was known as the King of the Moon, while he on the other hand was like the Sun god in his distributing, exacting and ruling over the wealth of the world. (57) In his exercise of power he was as unconquerable as fire, he was as insuperable as the King of Heaven, as tolerant as the earth itself and alike heaven in fulfilling all desires of human society. (58) He used to please as bountiful as the rain that pours as much as one likes, he was as unfathomable as the sea and occupied his position alike the King of the Hills [mount Meru]. (59) He was like the King of Righteousness [Yamarâja] in his education, he was alike the Himalayas in his opulence [because of the minerals and jewels], he was like Kuvera in keeping the wealth and alike Varuna [the ruler of the waters] in his secrecy. (60) He was as all-pervading as the air [the wind] and of a likewise physical strength, courage and power, and he was as unforbidding as the most powerful demigod Rudra [the Lord of the Ghosts, S'iva]. (61) He was as beautiful as Cupid, as thoughtful as the Lion, the King of the Animals, in his affection he was alike Svâyambhuva Manu and in matters of controlling the people he resembled the Unborn Lord, Brahmâ. (62) He understood spiritual matters alike Brihaspati, in his personal self-control he was alike the Supreme Personality, in his devotion to the cows, the spiritual master and the brahmins he was as the Vaishnavas, the followers of Vishnu, in his shyness he was the most gentle one and in matters of philanthropy he was [as caring] as he was for himself. (63) All over the three worlds the general public loudly declared - and surely all the lovers of truth and the women from everywhere came to hear about it - that his name and fame was as great as of Râmacandra [the Vishnu-avatâra].'
Chapter 23: Prithu Mahârâja Returns Back Home
(1-3) Maitreya said: 'King Prithu who fully conversant with everything concerning the soul as the protector of the people endlessly had promoted all that he had created, saw one day that he physically was getting old. Fully in accord with the instructions of the Supreme Ruler he in this world following the dharma of devotees, had provided for the maintenance of all the moving and nonmoving living beings. He left the earth to his sons and with pity towards his aggrieved citizens he alone with his wife went into the forest for his austerity. (4) As perfect as he formerly had been in his understanding when he conquered the earth, he at that place perfectly understood that he according to the rules and regulations of a retired life had to engage seriously in the practice of severe austerities. (5) At first he so now and then ate bulbs, roots, fruits and dry leaves, then he drank only water for several fortnights and finally he only breathed the air. (6) Like the great sages do the hero tolerated during the summer the five fires [of the sun above and four fires in the four directions], in autumn the torrents of rain, in winter to be up to his neck submerged in water while he [all year long] slept on the bare earth. (7) Simply longing for Krishna he tolerated it to be without words, sensuality, the discharge of semen and the freedom of his life breath, and was thus of all possible practices of the best austerity. (8) Unrelenting keeping to the Perfection [of Krishna] he thus gradually got rid of all the dirt and desires of his workload, his karma, while he by means of breath control fully stopping his mind and senses broke with all that bound him. (9) [And so he,] the best of all human beings, with the very yoga the fortunate Sanat-kumâra spoke about concerning the ultimate goal of relating to the soul, worshiped the Supreme Personalty of Godhead. (10) With him as a devotee endeavoring with faith on the path of devotional service unto the Supreme Personality, the Lord who is [the origin of] the Spirit of the Absolute became his exclusive object of worship. (11) He who was perfectly alert in the constant remembrance of a purely transcendental mind found by these devotional activities unto the Supreme Lord the perfection of wisdom. Thus not attached to whatever one could call one's own, he became free from doubt and the material conception of life that covers the soul. (12) Free from desire and firmly convinced of the ultimate goal of the soul, he had given up on all other notions of life and transcendental knowledge, [for he realized that] as long as a practitioner of the yoga system in his renunciation is not attracted to the stories about the elder brother of Gada, Krishna [Gada was another son of Vasudeva younger than Krishna] he will not be free from illusion. (13) He, the best of the heroes fixing his mind upon the Supersoul, in due course of time thus thoroughly spiritually purified gave up his vehicle of time. (14) By blocking his anus with his ankle he pushed up his life air gradually from the navel to the heart and from there upwards to the throat to fix himself [thereafter] between the eyebrows. (15) Thus step by step establishing his life breath in his head, he, freed from all material desires, merged his life breath with the complete of [the cosmic] breath, his body with the complete of the earth and his innerly fire with the fire of the complete [of the universe]. (16) After merging the different apertures of his body with the sky and his fluids with the waters and thus having merged everything with its source, [he next merged the departments] as they were divided: earth he merged with water, water with fire, fire with air and air with sky [compare 2.5: 25-29]. (17) He united the mind with the senses and the sense organs with their objects and next merged the sense objects with the five elements they had originated from. Then he returned the material ego to the mahat-tattva, the totality of the material energy. (18) On his path towards Him, the reservoir of all qualities, he placed his individuality and the lives belonging to it in the Reservoir of All Potencies and thus he, the living entity and enjoyer, as the master of the senses returned home, back to his constitutional position by dint of his insight in the spiritual knowledge of self-realization and renunciation.
(19) The queen named Arci, his wife, followed him on foot into the forest, even though she, with her delicate body, had not deserved it to contact the earth with her feet in that way. (20) Even though her body would turn lean and thin she, most determined as she was in her vow to serve her husband, saw no difficulty in living in conditions like those of the great saints and engaged with pleasure, happy to be in touch with him. (21) Seeing that the body of her husband who was of such a mercy for the world and for her, showed no signs of life, the virtuous woman after weeping a while cremated him on top of a hill. (22) After performing the funeral rites for her so very liberal husband she took a bath in the river and offered oblations of water in worship of the thirty million demigods in heaven. Three times circumambulating the fire she then, thinking of her husband's feet, entered the fire herself.
(23) The gracious gods and their wives who observed her following her husband into death, offered by the thousands prayers for the chaste wife of the great warrior King Prithu. (24) They on top of Mandara Hill showering flowers and to that occasion vibrating their musical instruments, spoke among themselves as follows. (25) The wives said: 'Oh how glorious this wife is who, just as the Goddess unto the Lord of Sacrifice [Vishnu], with heart and soul was of worship for her husband, the king of all the kings of the world. (26) Just see how she follows her chaste husband, the son of Vena, in his ascension and how she, who is named Arci, thus surpasses us by her difficult to conceive actions. (27) Among all the ones who but for a short moment live here in this human world, for those who on the path of liberation do their best for the Kingdom of God there is nothing too difficult to achieve. (28) He who having achieved the human form of life on the path of liberation gets involved in the great difficulties of all that one does for one's sense gratification in this world, is in going against his own true self no doubt cheated [by illusions].'
(29) Maitreya said: 'While Arci thus by the wives of the denizens of heaven was glorified, she reached the place for which the husband had left. It was the topmost position of the self-realized that the son of Vena under the protection of the Infallible One had attained. (30) I have thus described to you the character of Prithu, the first of the lords who was so high and mighty, as the very best in being endowed with all qualities. (31) Anyone who with faith and great attention reads and explains or hears about that very great and pious person of King Prithu, will attain the same position as he has reached. (32) The brahmin who reads it will attain spiritual splendor, a noble will become the king of the world, the trader will become the master of his trade and the laborer will attain the best unto Him. (33) When someone with great respect three times over listens to this that person, whether he is a man or a woman, when he is childless will have the best of children and when he is penniless will become the richest. (34) Without recognition he will become famous and illiterate he will become learned. This story so auspicious will drive away all bad luck of man. (35) They who desire wealth, a good repute, an increased life span, a better world [heaven], the defeat of the influence of the Age of Quarrel and who are after the higher cause of the perfection of the four [civil virtues] of religion, economy, sensual pleasure and liberation, must listen with great respect to this narration. (36) The king listening to this who on his chariot campaigns for his victory, will receive taxes from other kings like King Prithu did. (37) When one freed from all other association, is of unalloyed devotional service unto the Supreme Lord, one must hear about, make others listen to and continue to read about the pious character of the son of Vena. (38) Oh son of Vicitravîrya [Vidura], I explained to you how one thus involved in relation to this extraordinary text, may awaken to the greatness for which one should strive. (39) He who liberated in the association concerning the Supreme Lord with great reverence repeatedly listens to this narration about Prithu and also spreads it, will in full realize the attachment to His feet that constitute the boat for [crossing] the ocean of nescience.'
Chapter 24: The Song Sung by Lord S'iva
(1) Maitreya said: 'The son of Prithu who because of his great actions became known as Vijitâs'va [see 4.19: 18], became emperor and gave his younger brothers he cared a lot about, the rule over the different directions of the world. (2) The master offered Haryaksha the eastern part, the south he offered to Dhûmrakes'a, the western side was for the brother with the name Vrika and the northern direction he gave to Dravina. (3) He who from [what he did in relation to] Indra [also] was honored with the name Antardhâna ['invisibly present'], begot in his wife S'ikhandinî three children who carried the approval of everyone. (4) They were named Pâvaka, Pavamâna and S'uci. They in the past had been the gods of fire but now, because of a curse of sage Vasishthha, had taken birth again in order to regain that status by the progress of yoga. (5) Antardhâna who didn't kill Indra despite the fact that he knew that he had stolen the horse, begot in his wife named Nabhasvatî a son called Havirdhâna ['the offering won']. (6) The taxes, punishments and fines and such that make up the livelihood of kings, he considered to be something very severe and therefore he abolished them in favor of sacrifices that in the past had been given up. (7) Despite being committed to the job of ending the distress [of others], he as a realized soul always keeping to his ecstasy, by the worship of the Original Person easily attained His abode, the Supreme of the Soul. (8) Havirdhânî the wife of Havirdhâna oh Vidura, gave birth to six sons named Barhishat, Gaya, S'ukla, Krishna, Satya and Jitavrata. (9) He who by Havirdhâna was named Barhishat was that fortunate in his ritualistic actions and yoga realization, that he was considered the Prajâpati [the founding father] oh best of the Kurus. (10) With this practice of the world all over continually pleasing the gods with sacrifices, he kept the kus'a grass [of the ceremonial sitting places] facing the east. (11) On the advise of the god of gods [Brahmâ] he married the daughter of the ocean named S'atadruti. The moment the fire god Agni saw her, youthful and charming in all her limbs, circumambulating [his fire] during the marriage ceremony, he felt himself as much attracted as he [formerly] was to S'ukî. (12) The ones of learning, the ones of desire, the ones of heaven, the sages and the perfect ones, the ones of the earth and those of the snakes, were all captivated by the tinkling alone of the new bride her ankle bells that could be heard everywhere. (13) From [Prâcîna]Barhi ten sons appeared in the womb of S'atadruti who all deeply vowed to the dharma together were called the Pracetâs [from prâcîna: being turned eastward]. (14) They by their father ordered to beget children fled from home and settled for the sake of their austerity for a ten thousand years near a large lake in order to worship the Master of All Penance [S'rî Hari] by their tapas. (15) Following that path they encountered Lord S'iva who very pleased with the great command of their meditation, mantra practice and worship, spoke to them.'
(16) Vidura asked: 'Oh brahmin please clarify what happened when the Pracetâs met Lord S'iva on their path as also what the Lordship who was so pleased with them has said. (17) Oh best among the learned, in this world being caught in a physical body it rarely happens that one finds association with Lord S'iva. Even sages who with him as their object of desire fully detached are engaged in meditation [fail in this]. (18) Although he is satisfied within himself, the great Lord S'iva when he manifests in this world for the fulfillment of her wishes engages with the terror of the forces controlling her [like those of Kâlî, Durgâ or Vîrabhadra, see 4.5].'
(19) Maitreya said: 'The sons of father Prâcînabarhi all [in full surrender] accepting the words of their father piously on their heads had, serious in their hearts about doing austerities, left in the western direction. (20) They reached a very large expanse of water as vast as the nearby ocean with water that, as clear as the mind of a great soul, was a pleasure to its inhabitants. (21) In that water a multitude of red and blue, kahlâra and indîvara [during the day and the evening blossoming] lotuses was found and swans, cranes, ducks [cakravâkas] and other birds [like kârandavas] vibrated their sounds there. (22) Mad bumblebees joyfully hummed there loudly with their little hairy bodies. It was a festival of creepers, trees and lotuses the pollen of which by the wind was spread in all directions. (23) All the princes were amazed about the beautiful heavenly music accompanied by drums and kettle drums that could be heard there continually.
(24-25) That very moment they witnessed how the chief of the demigods [Lord S'iva], came out of the water accompanied by an association of great souls who glorified him. Seeing his golden hue, his bodily features, his blue throat, three eyes and merciful beautiful face, they all aroused in their amazement offered their obeisances. (26) He who dispels all dangers, the Great Lord and caretaker of the religion then talked to them, pleased as he was with their observance of the principles in the past and their gentle behavior and good manners. (27) Rudra said: 'Oh all of you sons of King Prâcînabarhi, knowing your actions and desires I wish you all the best and to prove you my mercy, I therefore grant you my audience. (28) Any living being, any individual soul so one says, who surrenders directly to Vâsudeva, the Supreme Lord and transcendental controller of the three modes, is very dear to me. (29) When someone for the time of a hundred lives is fixed on his duty he acquires the position of Brahmâ [Brahmaloka] and when he as well does not fail to [serve] the Supreme Lord he thereafter will attain me [S'ivaloka]. Devotees of Lord Vishnu at the end of time attain a position [Vaikunthhaloka] like the one of me and the other demigods. (30) That is why all of you devotees are just as dear to me as the Supreme Lord Himself and for that reason there is also never anybody else among the devotees who is loved as much as I am. (31) In particular this what I am going to tell you now is what you always should attend to and repeat for yourselves, for it is very pure, auspicious, transcendental and beneficial.'
(32) Maitreya said: 'With a heart full of compassion the Lord spoke the following words to the princes who with folded hands stood before Lord S'iva, the greatest devotee of Nârâyana. (33) S'rî Rudra said [in worship of Vâsudeva]: 'All glories unto You, the best of all self-realized souls who brings happiness to the auspicious ones. Let there be my obeisances unto You, for You are the all-perfect and worshipable soul of all, the Supersoul. (34) All my respects unto You Vâsudeva, from whose navel the lotus sprouted. You are the source of the senses and the sense objects and the immutable self-illumined state that is of an eternal peace. (35) I offer my obeisances also to [You in the form of] Sankarshana [the Lord of ego and integration] who as the origin of the subtle non-manifest matter is the unsurpassable master of disintegration [at the end of time], and to the master of all development, the soul in the beyond Pradyumna [the master of intelligence]. (36) All glories to You, I offer my respects again unto You as Aniruddha [Lord of the mind, of whom the sun god is an expansion, see also 3.1: 34], the master and director of the senses. My obeisances unto the Supreme One of perfect purity and completeness who stands apart from this material creation*. (37) Unto You as the heavenly abode, the path of liberation, the gateway of the eternal and the purest of the pure my obeisances. All my respects I offer unto You, the golden semen, who are the continuity of the Vedic sacrifices [câtur-hotra]. (38) Be praised oh You who invigorate the ancestors and the gods, oh master of the three Vedas and the sacrifices. You are the leading deity of the moon who pleases everyone. All my respects unto You, the Supersoul pervading all living beings. (39) The strength and power of all that exists, the body and Transcendental Self of the diversity of the material world [the virâth rûpa] and the maintainer of the three worlds, I offer my obeisances. (40) All glories to You who as the ether reveal the meaning, You the within and without of the self, the supreme effulgence. My obeisances unto You as the beyond of death and the purpose of all pious activities. (41) Unto the inclining as well as disinclining God of the forefathers, unto You as the final outcome of all fruitive action and as death itself, You the cause of all sorts of misery resulting from irreligion, I offer my respects. (42) Because You are the topmost bestower of benedictions, the mastermind [of all mantras], the causal self, I offer You my respects. All glory to You as the greatest of all religiosity, unto You Krishna who are the perfection of intelligence. You are the oldest of the old, the Original Personality and master of yogic analysis [sânkya-yoga]. (43) The reservoir of the three energies [of the doer, the sense-activities and the resultant workload see B.G. 18a: 18], the reason of the material identification of the soul [the egotism] named Rudra and the embodiment of knowledge, intention and the voice of all powers, I offer my obeisances. (44) Please show us who desire Your presence, the form that to the satisfaction of all the senses of the devotees is worshiped by them as the dear most. (45-46) As glistening as the rain from the dense clouds during the rainy season You are the summit of all beauty. Beautiful are the features of Your four-handed form, of the greatest is Your pleasant face, Your eyes are as beautiful as the petals in the whorl of a lotus flower, beautiful are Your eyebrows, straight nose, shining teeth, high forehead and the full decoration of Your face and equally beautiful perfect ears. (47-48) The beauty of Your merciful smile and sidelong glances, Your curly hair and clothing in the saffron color of the lotus, is supported by the glittering earrings and shiny helmet, the bangles, necklace, ankle bells, belt, conch shell, disc, club, and lotus flower, garland and the best of pearls that make You look still more beautiful. (49) The shoulders under Your coils of hair that are like those of a lion and Your neck, fortunate of bearing the jewel glittering on Your chest [named Kaustubha], give You a never decreasing beauty that exceeds [the beauty of the streaks of gold on] every norm [or touchstone]. (50) Your inhaling and exhaling stirs beautifully the folds in Your belly that looks like a banana leaf, and the whirling depression of Your navel is alike the spiraling of the galaxy. (51) The dark color of the skin below Your waist is extra attractive with the beauty of Your dress and symmetrical golden belt as well as with, lower, the great beauty of Your lotus feet, calves and thighs. (52) By the so very pleasing lotus feet that are like the petals of a lotus flower in autumn, by the effulgence of Your nails, You drive away all the trouble agitating us. Show us the path of Your lotus feet [also understood as the first two cantos of this Bhâgavatam] that reduce the fear of material existence oh teacher, oh spiritual master of all who suffer the darkness. (53) They who performing their [occupational] duties wish to purify themselves and live without fear, must meditate upon this form [of Yours] in a devotional practice of yoga [bhakti-yoga]. (54) Your grace is easily obtained by the devotee but for all other embodied souls You are difficult to reach, even for the ones belonging to the king of heaven Indra or for the self-realized souls whose ultimate goal it is to attain oneness [with You]. (55) What else would one desire but Your lotus feet, once one by pure devotional service has been of the worship that even for the most virtuous ones is difficult to attain! (56) To a soul of complete surrender the invincible time by which You in Your prowess and majesty with simply raising Your eyebrows vanquish the entire universe, constitutes no threat. (57) The advantage for someone associating even for the shortest while in the company of devotees of the Supreme Lord is unequaled. What interest would such a person have in demigod blessings, in merging with the Supreme or being a materially conditioned soul? (58) Let there for us who, in order to wash away the ruminations of sin, dip in and [purified] step out of the Ganges, therefore be the mercy and grace of this association for the glorification of Your feet of Victory over all Misfortune that blesses the normal living beings with the fullest goodness. (59) He whose heart was purified by the blessing derived from entering that [association of] bhakti-yoga, will be very happy to find therein the wisdom of Your way and never bewildered end up in the dark pit of worldly influences. (60) You are the Absolute Spirit [brahma], the transcendental light spread [everywhere] like the ether, in whom this universe of the cosmic manifestation has appeared. (61) You are the one who by His energy has created, maintains and again annihilates this variegated manifestation. That eternal, unchanging intelligence of differentiation I understand is likely to give trouble to the individual soul in relation to You as the essential [independent] self, oh Supreme Lord. (62) Experts in the field of the Vedas and their corollaries are those transcendentalists who for their perfection with faith and conviction duly, by a wide range of organized actions, glorify You who are identified by that what is created, by the senses and by the heart. (63) You are the One Original Person from whose dormant energy the diversity of the totality of the material energy that is ruled by [the natural modes of] passion, goodness and ignorance has originated: the ego, the sky, the air, fire, water and earth, the virtuous souls, the sages and all the living beings. (64) That what You created from Your own potency, You afterwards enter in the form of the four kinds of bodies [as born from embryos, eggs, perspiration and seeds, see also 2.10: 40] and then You, by Your own parts and parcels, know the person as an enjoyer of the senses, as someone who relishes the sweet honey. (65) One may guess about [the authority and order of] Your reality [of Time]. [All] we see is how You, just like the wind scattering the clouds, with Your so very great force [of Time] in the long run destroy all the planetary systems and how all living beings find their end therewith because of others. (66) The madmen [of this world] cry out loudly what all should be done, and by that desire their greed for sensual matters is rampant. But all of a sudden You vigilantly as the Destroyer seize them just like a mouse is seized by the greedy tongue of a hungry snake. (67) What man of study who knows that by not worshiping You one only sees the [useless] decay of one's body, would deride Your lotus feet, the feet that by our spiritual teacher [Brahmâ] and the fourteen Manus [after him, see Canto 2: 3: 9, 6: 30, 10: 4] were worshiped without hesitation or further arguing? (68) You therefore are for us, the ones who have learned, the Supreme Brahman, the Soul of the soul, the Supersoul, the destination were there is no fear at all for the Destroyer Rudra who is feared by the entire universe.'
(69) 'If you pray like this and [faithfully] perform your duty, there will be happiness for all of you oh purified sons of the king who have turned your minds to the Supreme Lord. (70) Be of worship and always sing for and meditate full of praise upon Him who as the Supreme Soul is situated in your hearts as well as in the hearts of all other living beings. (71) All of you, time and again read this [Yogâdes'a] instruction of yoga and close it in your heart. Take to the vow of the sages of always with intelligence being [silently] absorbed within and practice this with the greatest respect. (72) This was first taught by the great Lord [Brahmâ], the master of the creators of the universe, of the great sages headed by Bhrigu who as his sons in charge of the world were eager to create [compare 4.1: 12-15]. (73) We who as the controllers of the people were enjoined by him to procreate were by this [instruction] freed from all ignorance and thus could bring about the different kinds of people. (74) The person who thus regularly repeats this to himself with great attention, will being absorbed in this without delay achieve the auspiciousness of being devoted to Vâsudeva [Krishna as the Lord of Consciousness]. (75) Of all benedictions in this world spiritual knowledge is the supreme transcendental benefit of happiness for every person, for it is the boat of higher knowledge with which one crosses over the insurmountable ocean of danger. (76) Anyone who devotedly attached and with faith regularly studies this song of mine, this prayer offered to the Supreme Lord, the Supreme Personality who is so difficult to respect, will be able to worship Him. (77) The person fixed on the song as sung by me can by dint of the Lord of the Beyond attain whatever he desires. The Lord pleased by it constitutes the dear most of all benedictions. (78) The mortal human who rising early in the morning with faith and devotion folding his hands is absorbed in this prayer and thus personally listens and makes others listen, will be liberated from all karmic bondage. (79) Oh sons of the king ['the god of man'], by the intelligence of perfectly attentive praying and chanting this song I sang of the Supreme Person who is the Supersoul within every one, you will ultimately achieve the results you desired, for that practice equals the greatest austerities.'
* Lord Krishna, by His quadruple expansion of Vâsudeva, Sankarshana, Pradyumna and Aniruddha, is the Lord of psychic action--namely thinking, feeling, willing and acting.
Chapter 25: About the Character of King Purañjana
(1) Maitreya said: 'After thus having given instruction, the Destroyer worshiped by the sons of Barhishat vanished from there right before the eyes of the princes. (2) While they at that water for an endless number of years executed austerities, all the Pracetâs recited the prayer as sung by Lord S'iva. (3) Oh Vidura, meanwhile a compassionate Nârada as a knower of the spiritual truth instructed King Prâcînabarhi who had a mind full of attachment to fruitive activities: (4) 'Oh King, [he said] what spiritual welfare do you expect from fruitive activities? That way engaged you will not see the misery disappear nor will the ultimate good of happiness be attained.'
(5) The king replied: 'I don't know oh great transcendental soul, my intelligence is occupied by my desire for the fruits. Please enlighten me on the pure, spiritual knowledge that will relieve me of my workload. (6) In the superficial duties of one's family life with sons, a wife and wealth, transcendence is not considered to be the goal of life, and thus one discovers that one is a fool wandering around on all paths of material existence.'
(7) Nârada said: 'Oh my dearest ruler of the citizens, oh King, may I remind you of all the thousands of animals that you without pity have killed in the sacrifices? (8) Remembering the harm you did to them, they are all waiting for you boiling with anger to pierce you with horns of iron after you've died. (9) In this connection I will relate to you the very old story about the character of Purañjana ['he who is after the city that is the body']. Understand what I'm going to tell you now. (10) Once there was a king of great renown named Purañjana oh Ruler. He had a friend called Avijñâta ['the unknown one'] of whom nobody knew what he did. (11) He restlessly traveled the planet all over to hold his ground [with a residence], but when he couldn't find [that place for] himself that way, he got morose. (12) Wishing a residence that answered to all his desires he thought that none of all the places that he saw was good enough. (13) One day at the southern side of the Himalayas he spotted on its ridges a city with nine gates that offered him all facilities [compare B.G. 5: 13]. (14) Packed with houses and surrounded by walls it had towers, gates, parks, canals, windows and domes made of gold, silver and iron. (15) The floors of the palaces were bedecked with sapphires, crystal, diamonds, pearls, emeralds and rubies which gave the city a luster as radiating as the celestial town called Bhogavatî. (16) There were assembly houses, squares and streets with gambling houses, shops and places to repose which were decorated with flags, festoons and hanging gardens. (17) In the outskirts of that town one saw the nicest trees and creepers and there was a lake vibrating with the sounds of chirping birds and colonies of humming bees. (18) From the waterfall of a mountain stream the treasury of trees on the bank of the lotus-filled lake received a springtime mist of water droplets on its branches. (19) The different groups of forest animals were as tame as the wisest sages and all the cooing of its cuckoos made any passenger feel welcome. (20) There he happened to see a very beautiful woman coming towards him surrounded by ten servants who each led a hundred others. (21) Young as she was with a desirable, well-shaped figure she was looking for a husband and on all sides guarded by a five-hooded snake. (22) With an attractive nose and beautiful teeth the young woman had a nice forehead and beautiful harmoniously to her face arranged ears with dazzling earrings. (23) She wore a yellow garment and had a beautiful waist with a dark skin, a golden belt and at her feet ankle bells tinkling as she walked. She looked like a denizen of heaven. (24) Pacing as graceful as an elephant she with the end of her sârî, timidly tried to cover the equally round and full breasts speaking for her youth. (25) Moved by her sexual attraction, the arrows of her looks, the exciting love of her eyebrows and the great beauty of her coy smiles, the hero addressed her very gently.
(26) 'Who are you with those beautiful lotus petal eyes? Who do you belong to, where do you come from and what are you doing here near this city oh chaste one? Please be so kind to tell me what your plans are oh timid girl. (27) Who are all these followers, your eleven guards and all these women? Oh you with your beautiful eyes, what kind of snake is that preparing your way? (28) In your shyness you are as the wife of S'iva [Umâ] or rather Sarasvatî [of Brahmâ] or even better... the Goddess of Fortune [Lakshmî belonging to Vishnu]! Where is the lotus flower that must have fallen from the palm of your hand in your search for your husband, you as alone as a sage in the forest walking on feet from which one may expect anything one might wish for? (29) And when you are none of these [goddesses] oh fortunate one - for your feet are touching the ground - then you as someone who is so much alike the transcendental goddess of the Enjoyer of the Sacrifices, deserve it to walk to the greater beauty of this city alongside this great hero, I who am of the greatest glory in this world! (30) By your shy looks, sympathetic smiles and bewildering eyebrows you have upset me. Because of you I am pained by the almighty Cupid. Therefore have mercy with me, my dearest beauty. (31) Your face with such nice eyebrows and warm eyes, surrounded by the locks of your bluish hair hanging loose, you in your shyness haven't even lifted to grant me the vision of your look and the sweet words of your speech oh woman with the lovely smile.'
(32) Nârada said: 'Oh hero, the woman attracted by the impatient begging of Purañjana, smiled and addressed the staunch one: (33) 'I'm not sure about who has put me on this planet oh best among the men, nor from whose lineage the others were born or what their names are. (34) What I know is that all of us souls are there today, that is all. I do not know oh hero, who created this city where all beings have their residence. (35) All these men and women at my side are my male and female friends oh respectable one, and when I am asleep the snake stays awake to protect this city. (36) Fortunately you have come to this place, may you find all happiness! I and my friends oh killer of the enemy, will provide for all the sense enjoyment you desire. (37) Just be so good to stay in this city with the nine gates oh mighty one, to enjoy for a hundred years the matters of life that I have arranged here for you. (38) Who else but you would I allow to enjoy? Without the certainty of your wisdom and knowledge in this, that would be as foolish as it is for animals not seeing what lies ahead, to aspire a life in the hereafter. (39) With religious rituals, economic development and regulated pleasures one can enjoy a life here beyond the ken of the transcendentalists in having offspring, the nectar of the sacrifices, a good repute and [access to higher] worlds without lamentation and disease. (40) The forefathers, the gods, man in general, all living beings and each person for himself, will all defend that a householder's life like this constitutes the [safe and] blessed refuge [for people] in the material world. (41) Who indeed my great hero, would not accept such an easy to get magnanimous, beautiful and famous husband like you? (42) Which woman's mind in this world would not be drawn to your able body with its strong arms oh mighty man who only travels around to dissipate with your utmost effort and alluring smiles the distress of a poor woman like me?'
(43) Nârada continued: 'O King, thus at that place having agreed upon the terms of their engagement with each other, they as husband and wife entered the city to enjoy their life there for a hundred years. (44) When it was too hot he surrounded by women entered the river to sport with them there, and the singers at different places sang nice songs about it. (45) The city had seven gates above the ground and two below that were constructed for the ruler or anyone else to go to different places. (46) Five of the gates faced the east, one was at the south, one at the north and two gates where found at the western side. I will describe their names to you oh King. (47) At one place at the eastern side two gates were built named Khadyotâ ['glowworm'] and Âvirmukhî ['torchlight']. The king used them to go to the city of Vibhrâjita ['to see clearly'] with his friend Dyumân ['of the sun']. (48) At another location in the east there were built the gates called Nalinî and Nâlinî ['mystical names for the nostrils'] and they were used when he with his friend named Avadhûta ['the one who got rid'] went to a place called Saurabha ['aroma']. (49) The fifth gate on the eastern side called Mukhyâ ['of the mouth'] was used by the king of the city, accompanied by Rasajña ['the taster'] and Vipana ['the organ of speech'], to go to two places called Bahûdana ['many a gift'] and Âpana ['the market']. (50) Going through the southern city gate named Pitrihû ['invoking the ancestors'] oh King, Purañjana together with his friend S'rutadhara ['having a good memory'] visited the southern country side named Dakshina-pañcâla ['the southern territories']. (51) The city gate called Devahû ['the one to God'] in the north was used by Purañjana to visit together with S'rutadhara the northern countryside Uttara-pañcâla ['the northern fivefold']. (52) The gate on the western side called Âsurî ['the one void of light'] was used by Purañjana to go together with Durmada ['the one mad about'] to the city of pleasure called Grâmaka ['a small place']. (53) The western gate called Nirriti ['the bottom, dissolution'] was used by Purañjana to go to the place called Vais'asa ['distress, slaughter'] accompanied by his friend Lubdhaka ['the covetous one']. (54) The king belonging to those endowed with sight went through [the subterranean gates named] Nirvâk ['speechlessness'] and Pes'askrit ['the hand'] to engage in activities together with two blind citizens. (55) When he went to his private quarters, he did so accompanied by Vishûcîna ['going apart'] and then in a state of illusion to his satisfaction and happiness enjoyed the love of his wife and children. (56) Thus strongly attached to act in lust and foolishness for the sake of a certain result, he was cheated in being controlled by whatever his queen wanted him to do. (57-61) When she drank liquor, he drank and got drunk. When she ate he ate, chewing with her whatever she was chewing. When his wife sang he used to sing and when she at times had to cry, he cried too. When she had to laugh he laughed as well, when she talked chitchat, he prattled after her. Wherever she went for a walk, he followed in her footsteps, when she stood still, he stood still and when she laid herself down on her bed, he had the habit to lie down following her example. He also had the habit of sitting down when she sat and at times listened to what she was listening to. When she saw something he looked for the same and when she smelled something, he usually smelled it too. When she touched, he touched and when she was complaining he followed her in being equally wretched. He enjoyed it when she was enjoying and when she was satisfied, he was the same after her. (62) Thus captivated by the queen he was led astray, away from his own nature and as the foolish king who helplessly did what she did, as weak as a pet animal.'
Chapter 26: King Purañjana Goes Hunting and Finds his Morose Wife
(1-3) Nârada said: 'Once upon a time he [King Purañjana] went to the forest called Pañca-prastha ['the five destinations'] carrying his bow, golden armor and inexhaustible quiver. He traveled on the two wheels and one axle of a swift chariot with golden ornaments that, being drawn by five horses, had one sitting place, seven armor plates, three flags and two posts for his harnesses. He carried five weapons and two special arrows. Together with his eleventh commander and his one chariot driver who held one set of reins, he knew five objectives and five different ways of approach. (4) Having taken up his bow and arrows he was very proud of having left his wife behind, for that was a thing next to impossible for him. [But] inspired by the evil thought of hunting he went there to kill animals. (5) With the demoniac darkness of a lack of enlightenment in his heart he had taken to the horrible practice of mercilessly with sharp arrows killing the animals in the forests. (6) A king in his greed [for flesh] may, as is regulated by the directions of the Vedas, kill in the forest as many animals fit for sacrifices in holy places as are needed and not more than that. (7) Oh King, any man of learning who must do his job the way it is regulated, will by [the power of] that spiritual knowledge never be affected by such activities. (8) Or else he by his karmic actions will get entangled in a notion of false prestige and thus, having fallen under the influence of the natural modes, bereft of all knowledge be going downhill.
(9) Because of the destruction of the animal bodies that were pierced by the arrows which had different kinds of feathers, there was great sadness, it was a distress unbearable for compassionate souls. (10) From killing game like rabbits, buffaloes, bison, black deer, porcupines and various other kinds he got very tired. (11) When he was done he arrived thirsty and exhausted back home to take a bath, have a proper meal and rest to find his peace back. (12) After he [some day] as should had perfumed and smeared his body with sandalwood pulp, he, nicely garlanded and beautifully ornamented, wanted to pay attention to his queen. (13) Satisfied, joyous and very proud as well he had his mind on Cupid and didn't aim at a higher consciousness with his wife who maintained him with her royal household. (14) Oh dear King, worried a little he asked the maids of the household: 'Oh my beauties, is everything okay with you and your mistress? (15) All the matters at home at the moment appear to be not as attractive as before. To have no mother or wife at home devotedly welcoming her husband is like having a chariot without wheels. What man of learning would sit on such a poor thing? (16) Where is she now, that intelligent woman who delivers me from drowning in an ocean of worries and inspires me at every step?'
(17) The women answered: 'Oh King go and see how your beloved one lies on the bare floor oh killer of the enemies. We have no idea why she has taken to this kind of behavior!'
(18) Nârada said: 'When he saw his queen lying on the ground as if she were a mendicant, Purañjana racking his brains over the scene, was most bewildered. (19) Pacifying her with sweet words and a heart full of regrets, he couldn't notice any sign of anger that would prove any love from the side of his sweetheart. (20) Gradually first touching her feet and then embracing her on his lap, the hero experienced in flattery began to appease her. (21) Purañjana said: 'Masters unto servants who acting out of line committed an offense oh auspicious one, are with those whom they accepted as their subjects of no instruction if they wouldn't reprimand them. (22) The punishment by the master meted out to the servants constitutes the greatest favor. A fool doesn't know oh slender maiden, that to be angry is the duty of a friend! (23) That face of yours that with its beautiful teeth and eyebrows fills me with attachment and now so gloomy is hanging down, you together with your sweet voice, like a bee should lift up to me shining, smiling and glancing from under its bluish hair so beautiful to your straight nose. Please oh thoughtful one, I'm all yours. (24) Except for when he belongs to the school of the enlightened souls on this earth, I am willing to punish him who wronged you oh wife of this hero. As far as I am concerned he will not live without fear and anxiety in the three worlds or anywhere else, when he is anyone else but a servant of Vishnu ['the enemy of Mura']! (25) Your face was never without its decorations nor have I ever before seen you that dirty, morose, upset and without your luster and affection. Never I saw your nice breasts wet with tears or your lips not red of kunkum. (26) My most intimate friend, be kind to this man who did the wrong thing because he went hunting on his own accord. What woman who with her great beauty controls the lusty desires of her husband wouldn't dutifully embrace him being lost in impatience and pierced by the arrows of Cupid?'
Chapter 27: Candavega Attacks the City of King Purañjana; the Character of Kâlakanyâ
(1) Nârada said: 'Purañjana's wife by means of these love games completely bringing her husband under her control oh great King, thus enjoyed all the satisfaction she gave him. (2) Oh King, the queen perfectly happy welcomed the king who with his attractive face had approached her nicely bathed and fully decorated. (3) Intimately making fun she embraced him as he held her in his arms. Thus being captivated by the woman he lost his keenness and wasn't quite aware of how day and night the insurmountable time was passing. (4) Lying down on the precious bedstead of the queen, the hero, despite his advanced consciousness, became increasingly illusioned and having his wife's arms for his pillow he, overwhelmed by ignorance considering it to be the highest attainment, didn't realize what self-realization and the Supreme actually meant. (5) Oh best of Kings, this way lustily enjoying with an impure heart, his newly won life passed in half a moment. (6) Purañjana oh King, spending half his life that way, begot in his wife eleven sons and hundreds [of grandsons]. (7) He also had over ten daughters and a hundred [granddaughters], and all those daughters of Purañjana, oh founding father, were just as famous as their parents because of their good conduct, magnanimity and [other] qualities. (8) He the King of Pañcâla for expanding his line married his sons with the best of wives and his daughters to equally qualified husbands. (9) Also the hundreds of sons of the [grand]sons all produced hundreds and hundreds of other descendants because of which Purañjana's family increased immensely in the land of Pañcâla. (10) Because of his deep rooted attachment to material enjoyment he became fully subservient to his descendants who heavily plundered his home and treasury. (11) He, so full of desires, just like you conducted sacrifices out of respect for the forefathers, the gods and the great ones in society. But they were all equally ghastly inspired by the killing of poor animals. (12) Thus wantonly involved with a heart enslaved by kith and kin, one day the time [of old age] arrived that is not very loved by those who are fond of women.
(13) Oh King, there is a king belonging to the heavenly kingdom [Gandharvaloka] who is called Candavega ['the impetuously streaming time']. He has the lead over three hundred and sixty very powerful other Gandharvas. (14) There are also an equal amount of black and white heavenly women of Candavega [the light and dark periods of the month, see 3.11: 10]. They all surrounded the city to plunder the amenities for sensual pleasure. (15) When all the followers of Candavega began to plunder the city of Purañjana, they met with the big serpent present there for its defense [his five hoods stand for the five kinds of life air: prana, apâna, vyâna, udâna and samâna; see 4.25: 35 and list]. (16) Single-handedly he for a hundred years as the guardian of Purañjana's city valiantly fought the seven hundred and twenty Gandharvas. (17) Becoming weak all alone fighting so many warriors, his intimate friend[, the ruler] of the city state along with all his friends and relatives, got very anxious and sad. (18) He who within the city [of the five senses] Pañcâla enjoyed the sweetest love and together with his associates collected the necessary means for it, as a hen-pecked husband couldn't understand though what kind of fear he actually dealt with [the fear of death].
(19) [All of this happened during the time that] the daughter of the Almighty Time [called Kâlakanyâ, referring to Jarâ or old age] traveled the three worlds desiring someone for a husband oh King Prâcînabarhi, but there was never anyone who accepted her proposal. (20) Unhappy about it she was known in the world as Durbhagâ ['ill-fated'], but because she once had pleased a wise king who had accepted her [called Jayâti who by S'ukrâcârya had been cursed with premature old age], she granted Pûru [the son faithful to Jayâti] a boon [viz. to inherit the kingdom. See also 9.18]. (21) Once when I myself was traveling around she descended to earth from her heavenly abode [Brahmaloka] and, illusioned by lust, proposed to me while I was a vowed celibate. (22) [After I turned her down] she out of illusion having become very angry with me, cursed me saying: 'Having turned down my request thou sage, you will never be able to remain at one place.' (23) After that frustration of her plans, she on my instigation approached the ruler of the Yavanas [the untouchables also called mlecchas or meat-eaters] named Bhaya ['fear'] to accept him as her husband. (24) She said to him: 'Oh great hero, you as the best of the untouchables I accept as the husband of my desire. No one will ever see the plans foiled he made with you. (25) The following two kinds of people are of lamentation: the ignorant not following the path of charity and the foolish who never wish to accept what according to custom and the scriptures is brought about by God's grace. (26) Therefore accept me oh gentleman, I am willing to serve. Have mercy with me, for every man it is a matter of principle to be of compassion for people in distress.'
(27) When the king of the Yavanas heard the daughter of Time express herself in these words, he, according to the will of God prepared to do his duty in the private sphere, addressed her with a smile: (28) 'For being unacceptable because of the inauspiciousness you stand for you are never welcome to considerate souls. I've thought about this matter and ascertained that you must have a husband. (29) Please, oh you who move about imperceptibly, enjoy this world that is built upon karma, upon fruitive action. With the help of my soldiers you will unhindered be able to guide the people to their death. (30) I give you my brother Prajvâra ['the fever of Vishnu'] and thus you become my sister. Together with the two of you and my fearsome soldiers, I will roam about unseen in this world.'
Chapter 28: Purañjana Becomes a Woman in his Next Life
(1) Nârada said: 'Oh King Prâcînabarhi, all the forces of Bhaya, the representatives of death [who are alike the troubles of old age] roamed this earth together with Prajvâra and Kâlakanyâ. (2) But when they one day full of wrath laid siege to the city of Purañjana which was so full of sensual pleasure oh King, they discovered it was protected by the old serpent. (3) The daughter of Kâla then also participated in the violence to take hold of Purañjana's city. Overwhelmed by her someone immediately realizes how insignificant he is. (4) With her attack the Yavanas from all sides entered the gates and created severe trouble all over the city. (5) Purañjana, who as an all too eager householder was overly attached to his family, was in the troubled city thereupon plagued by all kinds of distress. (6) Embraced by the Daughter of Time he lost his beauty and because he in being addicted to sensual pleasures was a miser lacking in intelligence, he was by the Gandharvas and Yavanas [the meat-eaters] by force bereft of his opulence. (7) He saw his town fall apart in opposing fractions, that his sons and grandsons, servants and ministers were disrespectful and that his wife had become indifferent. (8) With Pañcâla being infested with insurmountable enemies he grew very anxious, but because he himself was seized by Kâlakanyâ he couldn't take any counteraction. (9) In his emotional preference for his sons and wife he had lost the real purpose of life and because of Kâlakanyâ everything the poor man had lusted for in his life had become stale. (10) The town that was overrun by the Gandharvas and Yavanas and was smashed by the Daughter of Time, the king against his will had to abandon. (11) For the sole purpose of pleasing his elder brother Bhaya [called 'the fear'], Prajvâra [being 'the fever'] present at the spot, set fire to the city. (12) When the city with all the citizens, servants and followers was ablaze Purañjana, the head of the big family, along with his wife and descendants had to suffer the heat.(22) Thus out of his wretched intelligence lamenting what should not be lamented, the one determined to bring him down called Fear approached to arrest him. (23) Purañjana was restrained like an animal by the Yavanas taken to their abode, followed by the stream of his attendants who deeply aggrieved were lost in tears. (24) As soon as the serpent who had to give up the city was arrested and following him had left, the city turned into dust. (25) Forcibly dragged by the mighty Yavana, Purañjana, covered by the darkness of his ignorance, couldn't remember his friend and well-wisher [the Supersoul within] who had been there from the beginning. (26) All the animals of sacrifice by him most unkind killed with axes and cut to pieces, very angrily remembered that sinful activity of his. (27) For an endless number of years he in the beyond was absorbed in darkness and, bereft of all intelligence, practically endless had to experience the misery of an impure life of being focussed on women. (28) Because he [till the very end] had kept her in mind he after his death became a well situated woman [a daughter] in the house of the most powerful King Vidarbha [see also B.G. 8: 5]. (29) As the daughter of Vidarbha she [he] was given in marriage as a prize of valor to Malayadhvaja ['as firm as the Malaya hill'] who as the best of the learned [a Pândya ruler] in the fight had defeated many princes and was the conqueror of all other cities. (30) He begot a daughter in her with dark eyes as also seven younger mighty sons* who became the kings of the seven provinces of the south of India [Dravida]. (31) From each of them oh King, millions and millions of descendants were born who ruled the world for the time of a manvantara and longer [see 3.11: 24]. (32) Âgastya [the sage; 'he who was born from a pot'] married the first daughter sworn to the Lord and from her was born a son called Dridhacyuta ['the infallible fortress'] who in his turn had the great sage Idhmavâha ['he who carries the wood'] for his son.
(13) With the city being attacked by the Yavanas and seized by Kâlakanyâ and the problems caused by Prajvâra, also the guardian of the city [the snake] got very aggrieved. (14) He couldn't protect the city [against the fire] and had great difficulty trying to get out of there. It was as if he had to escape from a hollow tree that was thrown into the flames. (15) With his physical strength defeated by the Gandharvas and the hostile Yavanas oh King, he frustrated had to cry aloud. (16) What fate now befell the daughters, sons, grandsons, daughters- and sons-in-law and associates, what would become of the kingdom and the palace with all its wealth and goods?
(17) At his separation the householder turned his attention to the 'I' and 'mine' of his home and it thus happened that he with a mind full of obnoxious thoughts had a hard time concerning his wife. (18) 'When I have left for another life, how must this woman exist being bereft of a husband and lamenting with all the children of the family around her? (19) I never ate when she didn't eat, I never missed a bath when she would bathe. She was always devoted to me and fearfully kept silent when I was angry, however afraid she was when I reprimanded her. (20) She gave me good counsel when I was foolish and she was saddened and put off when I was away. Will she, despite being the mother of such great heroes, be able to hold on to the path of her household duties? (21) How will my poor sons and daughters who have no one else to depend on, live when I like a broken boat in the ocean have disappeared from this world?'
(33) Having divided the entire world among his sons, the pious king called Malayadhvaja went to Kulâcala in a desire to worship Lord Krishna. (34) Giving up her home, children and material happiness, the daughter of Vidarbha with her enchanting eyes followed her lord of wisdom like the moonshine accompanying the moon. (35-36) There he cleansed himself daily both inside and outside with the holy waters of the rivers named the Candravasâ, the Tâmraparnî and the Vathodakâ. Subsisting on bulbs, seeds, roots and fruits, flowers, leaves, grasses and water, his body undergoing the austerity gradually grew thin. (37) Equipoised he thus conquered the dualities of cold and heat, wind and rain, hunger and thirst, the pleasant and the unpleasant and happiness and distress. (38) With vows [yama] and by regulation [niyama] fixing himself in his spiritual [yoga] realization he subdued his senses, life and consciousness and thus by means of the science of his austerities were all his impurities burned [in the fire of his devotion, compare 4.22: 24, 3.29: 17]. (39) Sitting as immovable at the same place as if a hundred years of the demigods [see 3.11: 12] passed, he, steady in relation to Vâsudeva, the Supreme Lord, knew nothing but that attraction. (40) Like in a dream he by the all-pervasive Supersoul could distinguish himself in perfect awareness: as the self-aware witness certain in his [divine] indifference ['the glad hero']. (41) Under the direct prompting of the Supreme Lord, of the spiritual master Hari [the so-called caitya guru or the guru from within] oh King, he found the pure light of the spiritual knowledge that enlightens all perspectives [see also the six darshanas]. (42) He who thus saw himself in the transcendental Absolute and the Absolute Self within himself, with this before his mind's eye gave up his considerations and withdrew himself [from life].
(43) Vaidarbhî, the daughter of Vidarbha, who served her husband Malayadhvaja with love and devotion, accepted her husband as her godhead, as the supreme knower of the principles, and gave up on her sense enjoyment. (44) In old rags, lean because of her vows and with her hair matted, she radiated next to her husband as peaceful as the flame of a fire. (45) As she was used to, the woman continued serving him who sat there fixed in his sitting posture, until she after he had passed away couldn't detect any sign of life anymore from her beloved husband. (46) When she serving him no longer felt the warmth of his feet, she became as anxious at heart as a doe separated from her partner. (47) Lamenting for herself how wretched it was to be without a friend, she broken-hearted began to cry loudly, wetting her breasts with her tears. (48) 'Get up, please, get up!, oh wise King. This world situated in the middle of the ocean is so very afraid of rogues and rulers full of attachment, you ought to protect her!' (49) Thus lamenting the innocent woman in that lonely place fell down at the feet of her husband with tears running down her cheeks. (50) For her husband's body she built a funeral pyre of wood and placing him on top of it she after igniting it, lamenting, focussed her mind to die [saha-marana] together with him.
(51) Just before that took place a friend of hers, a brahmin, a very learned scholar, pacified her very nicely with mitigating words, speaking to her about her master as she was crying. (52) The brahmin said: 'Who are you? To whom do you belong and who is this man lying there over whom you are lamenting? Don't you recognize Me as the friend whom you in the past have consulted? (53) Oh friend, do you still remember how you, not familiar with the Supersoul, gave Me up as your friend? You were at the time in a position of being attached to desires for material pleasure. (54) You and I oh great soul, are two swans, two friends who for thousands of years in succession walked the same path of the spirit [of devotion] and then got separated from their safe haven [that Mânasa lake of the pure spirit]. (55) You who as that swan had left me oh friend, thereupon traveled the earth as someone with a material consciousness. You then saw a city that was the love of some woman. (56) [In that abode you had] five gardens, nine gates, one protector, three store rooms, six [mercantile] families, five market places and five material elements with one woman running the place. (57) The gardens are the five objects of the senses, the gates My friend are the nine apertures of the senses, the three store rooms stand for fire, water and food and the families are the five senses. (58) The five market places represent the power of action [the five working senses] and the five elements are the fundamental elements of the material world. Man is an eternal controller of the forces, but having entered that city he is out of touch with the [original] intelligence. (59) In that situation being in contact with the outer splendor of the world you, in her company enjoying it, then had to live without the remembrance of the inexhaustible source [of your spiritual existence]. And thus you attained a state that was full of sin, My best one. (60) In fact you are not Vidarbha's daughter, nor is this hero of yours [Malayadhvaja] your well-wishing husband. Neither were you the husband of Purañjanî by whom you were captured in the body with its nine gates. (61) In reality it is so that you, by this deluding energy that I created, considered yourself a man, a woman or a nonsexual being, but you forgot about the two of us as [being united in the pure spirit of the] swans. (62) You and I are not different [in quality]. Look at yourself, you are just like Me, My friend. The imaginary distinction between the two of us is by the advanced scholars not even in the smallest degree ever acknowledged. (63) The two of us do not differ more from each other than the body that one sees of oneself in a mirror or in the eyes of someone else differs from one's own [compare 3.28: 40]. (64) An individual soul who thus like a swan lives together in the heart is, being instructed by the other swan, situated in self-realization, because he then regained the memory that was lost in that [materialistic] separateness.'
(65) 'Oh Prâcînabarhi, I have imparted this spiritual instruction in figures of speech, because the Supreme Lord our God, the Cause of All Causes, loves to be mysterious.'
*: These seven sons would stand for the initial seven processes of vidhi marga devotional service of hearing, chanting, remembering, offering worship, offering prayers, rendering transcendental loving service and serving the lotus feet of the Lord. Later on were added the raga marga processes of the balance-friendship and surrendering of everything.
Chapter 29: The Conversation of Nârada and King Prâcînabarhi
(1) King Prâcînabarhi said: 'Oh great sage, we never grasped the full meaning of your words. The wise may understand what they really mean, but we who are fascinated by fruitive activities will never fully comprehend them.'
(2) Nârada said: 'The person of Purañjana ['he who enjoys the city that is the body'] should be seen as the creator of his own situation of dwelling in a one [a ghost], two, three [as with having a stick] or four legged body or a body with many legs or no legs at all. (3) The eternal friend and master of the person is He whom I described as unknown [Avijñâta, 4. 25: 10] because He by His names, activities and qualities is never [fully] understood by the living entities [compare Adhokshaja]. (4) When the living entity wants to enjoy the totality of the modes of material nature, he thinks that [to have a human form with] nine gates, two legs and two hands is something that suits him very well. (5) The young woman [pramadâ or Purañjanî] then should be known as the intelligence responsible for the 'I' and 'mine' of taking to the shelter of the body by which this living being, sentient to the modes of material nature, suffers and enjoys. (6) Her male friends represent the senses that lead to knowledge and action, the girl friends stand for the engagements of the senses, while the serpent refers to the life air in its five forms [upgoing air (udana), downgoing (apâna), expanding (vyâna), balanced (samâna) and the breath held high (prânavâyu)]. (7) The mind one should recognize as the very powerful [eleventh] leader of the two groups of the senses and the kingdom of Pañcâla stands for the five realms [or objects] of the senses in the midst of which the city with the nine apertures is found. (8) The two eyes, two nostrils, two ears, the genitals and rectum are likewise the two by two gates with the mouth [as the ninth] that one passes when one accompanied by the senses goes outside. (9) The two eyes, the nostrils and the mouth are thus understood as the five gates in front [the east], with the right ear as the gate to the south and the left ear as the gate to the north, while downward in the west the two gates are found one calls the rectum and the genital. (10) The ones named Khadyotâ and Âvirmukhî that were created at one place are the eyes by which the master can perceive with his sense of sight the form called Vibhrâjita ['the clearly seen', see 4.25: 47]. (11) The ones named Nalinî and Nâlinî represent the two nostrils with [the city of] Saurabha named to the aroma. The [companion called] Avadhûta is the sense of smell. Mukhyâ stands for the mouth with [for his friends] the faculty of speech named Vipana and the sense of taste named Rasajña [see 4.25: 48-49]. (12) Âpana concerns the [domain of the] tongue and Bahûdana the [realm of the] variety of eatables, with [the gates of] the right ear having the name Pitrihû and the left ear being called Devahû [see 4.25: 49-51]. (13) Together with the companion of hearing called S'rutadhara following the path to [the southern and northern realms of] Pañcâla by the processes of sense enjoyment and detachment as described in the scriptures, one reaches [respectively] Pitriloka and Devaloka. (14) Next to the gate of the rectum called Nirriti there is on the lower side the sexual member called Âsurî, which is the gate for the sexuality of the common man [who in the area of Grâmaka] is attracted to the sexual act which is called [the friend] Durmada [see 4.25: 52-53]. (15) Vais'asa is [the realm of] hell and [the friend] called Lubdhaka is the organ of defecation. The blind ones you next heard about from me are the legs and hands with which the people engage in their work [see 4.25: 53-54]. (16) The private quarters are the heart and [the servant named] Vishûcîna is the mind, the material nature of which is said to result in illusion, satisfaction and jubilation. (17) As soon as the mind is agitated and activates in association with the natural modes, the individual soul, who is [actually] the observer, is carried away by those activities [just like Purañjana falling for his queen, see 4.25: 56].
(18-20) The body is the chariot that, with the senses for its horses, in fact doesn't move ahead in the course of one's years. The two wheels constitute the activities of profit minded labor and piety, the flags are the three modes of nature and the bindings stand for the five types of air. The rein is the mind, the chariot driver is the intelligence, the sitting place is the heart, the duality is formed by the posts for the harnesses, the five weapons are the sense objects and the seven armor plates are the physical elements [of nails, skin, fat, flesh, blood, bone and marrow]. The five objectives and ways of approach constitute [together with the eleventh commander] the false aspiration of the eleven processes of the senses [the mind and the five senses of action and perception] by which one in envy is engaged for the sake of sensual pleasure [see again 4.26: 1-3]. (21) The year symbolizing [the passage of] time was called Candavega to which the three hundred and sixty men and women from heaven are to be understood as the days and nights that by their footsteps reduce the lifespan that one has on this earth [see 4.27: 13]. (22) The daughter of Time who was welcomed by no one and as the sister-in-law was accepted by the king of the Yavanas in favor of death and destruction, stood for jarâ, old age [see 4.27: 19-30]. (23-25) His followers, the Yavana soldiers represent the disturbances of the mind and body who, at times when the living beings are in distress, very quickly rise to power with Prajvâra in the form of two kinds of fever [hot and cold, physical and mental conflict]. The one residing in the body which is moved by the material world is thus for a hundred years subjected to different sorts of tribulations that are caused by nature, other living beings and himself. [Therein] abiding by the fragmentary nature of sense enjoyment he meditates the 'I' and 'mine' of himself as being the doer and thus, despite his transcendental nature, wrongly attributes to the soul the characteristics of the life force, the senses and the mind. (26-27) When the person forgets the Supreme Soul, the Almighty Lord who is the highest teacher, he next surrenders himself to the modes of matter to find therein his happiness. Driven by those modes he thereupon takes to lives belonging to his karma. He therein is then helplessly controlled by the performance of fruitive activities that are of a white [a-karma or service in goodness], a black [vi-karma or ill deeds in ignorance] or a red nature [regular karma or work passionate after the profit; compare B.G. 13: 22 and 4: 17]. (28) Then ruled by the light of goodness one reaches better worlds, then with passion for one's work one ends up in distress and then at other times indulging in darkness one finds oneself in lamentation [see B.G. 18a: 37-39]. (29) Sometimes one is a man, sometimes a woman and then one is neither of both. Then one has lost one's mind and then again you're a human being, a beast or a god. One is born according to one's karma with the modes of nature. (30-31) Like a poor dog that overcome by hunger wanders from one house to an other in order to be rewarded or else be punished, the living entity similarly pursuing different types of higher and lower desires wanders high or low, or follows a middle course and thus according to his destiny reaches that what is pleasurable or not that pleasurable ['heaven' or 'hell']. (32) Even though he, being confronted with the different kinds of distress as caused by nature, others or himself, takes his countermeasures, it is for the living being not possible to stop the misery. (33-34) All that he in fact does is what a man carrying a heavy burden on his head does when he shifts his burden to his shoulder. In fact he oh sinless one, in a state of illusion thinks that he can counter a dream with a dream. Counteracting one [karmic] activity with another one doesn't arrive at a definitive solution, only in counteracting the both of them that is the case. (35) Just as there is no end to the subtle form of reflection that was created by the mind as in a dream, there is also no end to wandering around in the material world that in truth is not a fixed reality. (36-37) In order to put an end to the succession of unwanted things in material life it is therefore for the soul of essential importance to be of unalloyed devotional service with that what the spiritual teacher [the Lord] represents: to be engaged in the bhakti yoga in relation to the Supreme Personality of Godhead Vâsudeva, by which the result is found of the completeness of knowledge and detachment. (38) That, oh best of kings, will soon come about depending the cultivation of one's constant and faithful listening to the narrations about the Infallible One.
(39-40) From the place where one finds the great devotees, the broad-minded pure souls whose consciousness is bent on the regular reciting of and hearing about the qualities of the Supreme Lord oh King, flow in all directions from the mouths of the great examples the countless streams of nectar concerning the exploits of the killer of Madhu. They who eagerly drink in that nectar can never get enough of it. Hunger, thirst, fear, lamentation or illusion never get hold of those who are all ears [compare 3.25: 25]. (41) But the individual soul who is always troubled by his worldly habits, is not attracted to the nectarean ocean of stories about the Lord. (42-44) The father of the founding fathers Brahmâ, lordships like S'iva, Manu, and the rulers of mankind headed by Daksha, the strong celibates led by Sanaka, Marîci, Atri, Angirâ, Pulastya, Pulaha, Kratu, Bhrigu, Vasishthha and I myself finally, are all well versed, authoritative brahmin speakers. Even though we have insight because of our meditation, education and austerities, we cannot fathom the Seer Himself, the Controller in the beyond. (45) Engaged in listening to the unlimited spiritual knowledge and with mantras singing the glories of the greatly extended partial powers [the demigods], one still doesn't know the Supreme. [see footnote 1] (1a, 2a) What now would the difference be between animals and human beings when the intelligence of all depends upon the animalistic maintenance of the body? After so many births having attained a human life out here the individual spiritual soul will become prominent when one on the path of spiritual knowledge has broken with that physicality, when one has given up the incorrect perception of being a gross or subtle body. (46) When He who showers His grace, the Supreme Lord, by a soul is realized, such a one will give up his worldly views as well as his attachment to Vedic rituals [see also B.G. 18: 66].
(47) Oh my dear Prâcînabarhi, therefore never ignorantly take the glamour of fruitive actions for the aim of life. However nicely that [acquiring] might ring in your ears, the real interest isn't served by it [compare B.G. 2: 42-43]. (48) The less intelligent ones speak of the [four] Vedas to the interest of rituals and ceremonies, but such people do not know [the real purport of the Vedas], they have no idea where the world of Lord Janârdana is to be found [of Vishnu, Krishna as the conqueror of wealth]. (49) You who [with your sons the Pracetâs] completely covered the face of the world with the kus'a grass pointing eastward [see 4.24: 10], take great pride in all the killing [of the sacrificial animals] and consider yourself very important. But you do not know what work must be performed, what labor would satisfy the Supreme Personality of Godhead, He who constitutes the guiding principle of reason. (50) The Supreme Lord Himself is the Supersoul of all who accepted a material body; He is the controller of material nature. His feet form the shelter by which all men in this world find their fortune. (51) He indeed is the one loved the most, the Subtle One from whom there is no fear. He alone is in full knowledge, he alone who has learned this, is the spiritual master not different from the Lord.'
(52) Nârada said: 'After thus far having answered your questions oh man of wisdom, now listen to the established opinion I am going to confide to you. (53) [Think of] a deer safely grazing grass in a field of flowers. Undisturbed doing his business he has in his ears the charming song of bumblebees, but he is not quite aware that in front of him there are tigers eager to kill and that behind him there is a hunter looking for a chance to pierce him with arrows. (54) The flowers work just like a woman who with her sweet scent of flowers suggests the safety of a household existence as being the result of an innocent desire for sensual pleasures such as the plucking of flowers. Thus one fulfills one's desires [alike the deer] in always being absorbed in thoughts of sex with the wife and pleasures to the tongue. The sound of the different bumblebees that is so very attractive to the ears compares to the most attractive talks of the wife in the first place and also the children that occupy one's mind completely. The tigers together in front of him are alike all the moments of the days and nights that unnoticed in enjoying one's household take away one's life span. And from behind there is the hunter taking care not to be seen who crouches upon him like the superintendent of death by whose arrow one's heart is pierced in this world. You should see yourself in this as the one whose heart is pierced oh King. (55) Place yourself in the consciousness of the grazing deer and give up the fixation upon that what you cherish in your heart. Give up that notion and those stories of a household life so abominably filled with sexual concerns and go, gradually becoming detached, exclusively for the shelter of all liberated souls.'
(56) The king said: 'Oh brahmin, having heard what you said, I must say I had no clue. Why is it so that the honorable gentlemen [my teachers], if they knew that, didn't explain it to me? (57) But my doubts about this oh brahmin, you have cleared as you spoke. Even they who have experience are indeed bewildered about everything not pertaining to the activities of the senses. (58) Someone who forsakes his body in order to enjoy another body in a next life has to face the consequences of the karma he built up in this life. (59) One thus knows the statement of the Vedic experts that says: of everything that one in this life wants to do one does not directly see the consequences.'
(60) Nârada said: 'From the karma a person engages in the consequences are to be faced in a next life, because [having died, in his unembodied state] nothing has changed to that what belongs to him: his proof of character [the subtle body or linga] and his mind about it stay the same. (61) The way a person, lying in bed and breathing, letting go [of the gross body in a dream] in his mind has to experience the actions he [in the waking state] was engaged in, the same way he will fare in a similar or another [animal] body or world [being reincarnated after his death]. (62) Whatever all this 'my' of the mind might entail in acceptance of an 'I', is by the living being taken along as the workload he acquired and by that karma he again enters a material existence. (63) The way one derives a state of mind from one's sensual experiences and what one does in response to them, one is likewise mentally characterized by propensities that are the result of physical actions one engaged in in a previous life. (64) Sometimes arbitrary forms pop up before one's mind's eye and that may happen without ever having heard, seen or experienced those images before. (65) Oh King believe me thereby when I tell you that to a living being confronted with a proof of life that as such rises in the body, not a single thing can manifest itself in the mind which hasn't been tried, experienced or understood before. (66) The mind of a man is indicative of the forms he has accepted in the past as well as - I wish you all the best - what birth he next will take or that he will not be born again. (67) That what someone has done in another time or at another place [thus] can be derived from the images one sometimes has in the mind of things one in this life hasn't seen or heard about before. (68) Everything that is perceived through the senses, may in different ways of sequential ordering [or types of logic or individual perspectives] pop up and vanish again in the heart; all persons have a mind [filled with past impressions]. (69) With the Fortunate One constantly at one's side abiding by a spirit of pure goodness [free from passion and ignorance], the world around oneself [the so-called 'here and now'] that [with all those impressions] can be as dark as the [new] moon, thus being connected will manifest itself crystal clear. (70) A person is from this consciousness that is thus free from 'I' and 'mine' separated for as long as the eternal indweller [in the form of the subtle body of impressions, the linga] forms a distinct structure of material qualities consisting of intelligence, mind, senses and sense objects. (71) In deep sleep, when one faints or with the arrest of one's breathing in great shock one does not think of an 'I', nor is there such a notion when one has a high fever or when one dies. (72) Just like one with a new moon cannot see the moon itself, the self of typical life signs [the subtle body or the ego] cannot be observed of a young person in the womb and during [early] childhood because of the immaturity of the eleven [of the senses and the mind]. (73) Just as unwanted things in a dream have to run their own course [until one awakens], also for a soul - despite not being there for the sake of the sense objects - material life does not cease when he is contemplating the enjoyment of the senses [***]. (74) The individual soul [the jîva] is understood as a combination of the life force with the in sixteen expanded and by the three modes of nature ruled typical self of signs, the linga [expanded to the five objects of the senses, the five working and knowing senses and the mind]. (75) By means of this [linga] the person acquires material bodies and gives them up again and because he [the subtle body] thus is materially contained he finds enjoyment, lamentation, fear, misery and happiness [compare B.G. 2: 13]. (76-77) Just like a c aterpillar doesn't disappear when it has to forsake its body [to become a butterfly], a materially identified man doesn't vanish upon the termination of his karmic existence, for the mind [transported by the linga] is the ruler of man, it is the cause of the material existence of all the embodiments created. (78) When one thinking of success always [to the point of death] performs activities, one is by those actions bound to a[n other] physical body for as long as one continues to perform in ignorance [see B.G. 3: 9]. (79) In order to counteract that therefore engage in devotional service unto the Lord with all your heart and soul and consider the cosmic manifestation thereto as consisting of His being by which there is maintenance, creation and annihilation [see footnote 2]. (1b) Being of devotion unto Krishna, of mercy towards others and in perfect knowledge of the True Self, liberation from being bound to a material life will be the consequence. (2b) The great secret of it all is that material existence dissolves in what we do not see as yet and have been seeing in the past, just like during one's sleep; in other words, everything that happened in the past, happens in the present and is going to happen in the future is but a dream.'
(80) Maitreya said: 'After Nârada, the most powerful, pure and leading devotee had explained to him the position of the two swans [of the individual soul and the Supreme Soul who is the Lord], he took leave and departed for the abode of the perfected ones [Siddhaloka]. (81) After leaving orders for his sons to protect the common people, Prâcînabarhi, the wise king then left for practicing austerities in the spiritual resort of Kapila [at Gangâ-sâgara, where the Ganges flows into the bay of Bengal, see for Kapila Canto 3.24-33]. (82) There, with a one-pointed mind living soberly at the lotus feet of Govinda he, continuously chanting, by his devotion managed to free himself from his attachments and attain sameness with the One Reality. (83) Oh sinless one, anyone who listens to or recounts this authoritative, spiritual discourse as narrated by Nârada, will be delivered from the physical concept of life. (84) Taken from the mouth of the leading divinity of wisdom, this story once it is uttered, will purify anyone's heart, for it sanctifies this world with the fame of the Lord of Liberation, Mukunda. He who chants it will return to the spiritual world and freed from all bondage being liberated no longer wander around in this material world. (85) This wonderful spiritual mystery [this allegory] you've now heard from me, about a person [Purañjana] who took shelter of his wife, puts an end to all doubts about [the matter of] life after death.'
*: According to Vijayadhvaja Tîrtha, who belongs to the Madhvâcârya-sampradâya, the two following verses appear after verse 45 of this chapter.
**: According to Vijayadhvaja Tîrtha, who belongs to the Madhvâcârya-sampradâya the two following verses appear after verse 79.
***: The first two lines of this verse are repeated from the first two lines in verse 35; contextually this results in this alternative translation.
Chapter 30: The Activities of the Pracetâs
(1) Vidura said: 'The sons of Prâcînabarhi you before spoke about oh brahmin, all successfully satisfied the Lord with the song of Lord S'iva [see 4: 24]; what did they achieve that way? (2) Oh disciple of Brihaspati, what was it that the Pracetâs arrived at after meeting the god of mountain Kailâsa [S'iva] who is so dear to the Lord of Emancipation and Beatitude? They must have attained the transcendental position, but what did they by chance obtain in this life or a next one?'
(3) Maitreya said: 'The Pracetâs who at the lake carried out the orders of their father, satisfied by chanting mantras with their austerity the Indweller [the Supreme Lord]. (4) After the ten thousand years of their severe austerity [see also 4.24: 14] the Original Person of the Eternal Reality then appeared before them, satisfying and pacifying them with His beauty. (5) Sitting on the back of His carrier bird [Garuda] looking like a cloud on the summit of Mount Meru, He, wearing yellow garments and the jewel around His neck, dissipated all darkness around. (6) Shining with golden ornaments He radiated with His helmet on His head, His dazzling face and His eight weapons while assiduously being served by an entourage of sages and demigods, with Garuda singing His glories like a superhuman being [a Kinnara]. (7) With in the midst of His eight stout arms hanging a flower garland that challenged the beauty of the Goddess of Fortune, the Original Personality of Godhead glancing mercifully addressed the surrendered sons of Prâcînabarhi with a voice resounding like thunder. (8) The Supreme Lord said: 'I am very pleased about your mutual friendship, about your occupation as friends in the same sense of duty oh sons of the king. You therefore to your good fortune may ask Me for a boon. (9) The human being who consequently remembers you every day in the evening will find friendship with his brothers and equality of soul with all living beings. (10) Those persons who in the morning and the evening praise Me attentively with the song of S'iva, I shall reward with the fulfillment of all their wishes and a bright intellect. (11) Your shining glory will be known the world all over because you so gladly accepted your father's order. (12) There will be a famous son [of yours called Vis'ruta] who, in his qualities no way inferior to Lord Brahmâ, will populate the three worlds with his progeny. (13) The lotus-eyed daughter sage Kandu had from [the girl of heaven named] Pramlocâ, was left to the care of the [divinity of the] trees, oh sons of Prâcînabarhi. (14) When she distressed with hunger cried, Soma, the King of the Moon, by means of his index finger poured the nectar compassionately into her mouth. (15) To fulfill the command of your father who follows My path, to beget children, without delay marry that daughter with the beautiful hips. (16) May this well-behaved, slender-waisted girl be a wife fully dedicated to all of you, with the same character and sense of duty honoring the same righteous way as you do. (17) By My mercy, for millions of heavenly years [one year on earth is one day in heaven see 3: 11] your power will exist without interruption and you will enjoy all the pleasures of heaven and earth. (18) Be therefore steadfast unto Me by means of devotional service; with your mind free from being contaminated by the modes, you will, not attached to a material existence attain My abode. (19) Even for persons who have entered a household life such a family existence is not considered a cause of bondage, when one spends every minute of one's time on [engaging in] good works and [listening to and recounting] the stories about Me. (20) Having attained this ever fresh Knower present in the heart as the Supreme Spirit of God the knowers of the Absolute Truth speak about, one will be free from bewilderment, lamentation and jubilation.'
(21) Maitreya said: 'When they heard Him, the Lord, the remover of all obstacles, thus speak about the supreme purpose of life, the Pracetâs in His presence were liberated from the darkness of the contamination of passion whereupon they with faltering voices and folded hands offered prayers to the greatest of all friends. (22) The Pracetâs said: 'Again and again we offer the destroyer of all distress our obeisances who established His name as the magnanimous One of the qualities always ahead of the fastest mind and tongue; all glories to Him whose course cannot be perceived by means of the senses. (23) Unto the Most Peaceful and Pure One we offer our respects. With one's mind fixed on that what is His, the dual world appears meaningless. Our obeisances unto Him who, according to the modes of matter assumed the forms for the maintenance, creation and annihilation of the universe. (24) We bow before You, the perfect virtue of goodness, before You oh Lord Hari whose intelligence liberates. You are the all-pervading Lord of consciousness Vâsudeva, Krishna, the promoter of all devotees. (25) Our respects for You as the One with the lotus navel, the One with the lotus garland, the One of the lotus feet and the One with the lotus eyes. (26) We offer our obeisances unto Him whose garment with the saffron color of a lotus heart is spotless, unto the Supreme Witness, the shelter of all living beings. (27) The form You revealed to us who suffer the material condition oh Lord, puts an end to an unlimited amount of troubles; what greater mercy can one expect from You? (28) You who in Your compassion by Your expansions [and teachers] are visible to the humble devotees, are - with the necessary respect of time - only this much [ - by Your beautiful embodiment and not by thousands of mantras -] always remembered in someone's devotional service oh destroyer of all inauspiciousness. (29) Therewith [with that form] all desires of the living beings are quieted, however deep they may have fallen in their laboring; why would You, hidden in our hearts, fail to know about all [those forms] that we desire? (30) That You, oh Father of the Universe, You as the Supreme Lord and spiritual master with whom one on the path of liberation reaches the ultimate goal, are satisfied with us, is the blessing we are looking for. (31) Nevertheless we pray for a boon from You oh Lord of transcendence above everything else. There is no limit to Your greatness and thus You are celebrated as Ananta [the Unlimited One]. (32) A bee completely happy in achieving the Pârijâta tree [the honey dripping celestial wish-fulfilling tree or kalpa-vriksha] doesn't resort to another tree, so, having approached Your lotus feet, with the root of everything directly before our eyes, what, oh what would we further ask for? (33) [It is about the following request:] as long as we are contaminated by Your illusory energy [mâyâ], we have to wander around in this world according to our workload [our karma]. Grant us [therefore], for as long as that is the case, the association of Your loving devotees, whatever the life [or world] we may have found. (34) To enjoy but for a moment the company of those who are attached to the Supreme Lord bears no comparison with the attainment of heaven, nor with the love of not being born again, not even mentioning the [so-called] benedictions reserved for mortal beings. (35) In that company the delightful stories are discussed because of which all material hankering is appeased and among the members there is no question of any envy or fear. (36) There where Lord Nârâyana, the ultimate goal of the renunciates, is worshiped, the Supreme Lord is personally present by dint of the repeated conversations about the truth of the ones who managed to break free from their attachments. (37) How can meeting those devotees who on foot travel to the holy places to bring there the purity, not be a pleasure to the ones who live in fear? (38) We for a moment personally having been in the presence of Lord S'iva, Your dearest friend oh Lord, today [therewith] have achieved the destination that You are, You the expert physician to cure us by Your company from death, the most difficult to cure disease of material existence. (39-40) We who studied the scriptures, who pleased the teachers, the brahmins and the elderly; we who were good to the spiritually advanced ones [the civilized ones, the âryans] and who free from any envy honored their friends, brothers and all living beings; we who were of all that severe penance oh Lord and for a long time by the water abstained from food, did all of that only for the benediction of seeing You, the most exalted Personality of God, satisfied. (41) Manu, Brahmâ, the mighty Lord S'iva as also others purified their existence by austerity and knowledge but in the end couldn't see the full extent of Your glory. Nevertheless we offered our prayers to You to the best of our ability. (42) Our obeisances unto You, the Supreme transcendental Person equal towards everyone and always pure, the Supreme omnipresent Lord of eternal goodness.'
(43) Maitreya said: 'Thus praised by the Pracetâs the Lord, the protector of the surrendered souls, being pleased said: 'So be it [may your prayers be fulfilled]', and left for His heavenly abode, but they didn't desire His departure, for they hadn't seen enough of Him whose prowess is never defeated. (44) Thereafter the Pracetâs moved away from the water of the lake, but when they saw that the world had been covered by trees that had grown very tall as if they wanted to obstruct the way to heaven, they became frantic. (45) Like with the fire of devastation at the end of time, they then in their bitterness oh King [Vidura as a ruler over the senses], with the help of the wind started a fire in order to remove the trees from the earth. (46) Seeing that they had turned [almost] all the trees into ashes, the Great Father [Brahmâ] came to pacify the sons of Barhishmân by means of reason. (47) The remaining trees who were very afraid, then, on the advise of Brahmâ, delivered their daughter to the Pracetâs [see verse 13]. (48) By the order of Brahmâ they all married her, named Mârishâ, from whom the son of the Instigator [the son of Brahmâ] again took his birth because he had disrespected the Great One [S'iva see 4: 2]. (49) He was no one but Daksha, the one who inspired by God during the previous manvantara [period of Manu*] called Câkshusha [the present one being called Vaivasvata*] had put as much people on earth as he liked and was destroyed in the course of time. (50-51) He who just after his birth with the brilliance of his luster outshone the brilliance of everyone else, was for being a great expert in fruitive activities [sacrifices] called Daksha ['the expert']. He, appointed by the first living being, by Brahmâ, to generate and sustain all the people on earth, also made sure he engaged all the other founding fathers in the process.'
*: The Manus existing in one day of Lord Brahmâ are the following: (1) Svâyambhuva, (2) Svârocisha, (3) Uttama, (4) Tâmasa, (5) Raivata, (6) Câkshusha, (7) Vaivasvata, (8) Sâvarni, (9) Daksha-sâvarni, (10) Brahma-sâvarni, ( 11) Dharma-sâvarni, (12) Rudra-sâvarni, (13) Deva-sâvarni and (14) Indra-sâvarni [see also 3: 11].
Chapter 31: Nârada Instructs the Pracetâs(1) Maitreya said: '[The Pracetas] thereafter [after the marriage with Mârishâ] arrived at a ripened vision. Remembering what the Lord in the Beyond had said [about the value of detachment] they soon handed the care for their wife over to their son and left home. (2) Heading in the western direction for the seashore where sage Jâjali resided they, as his pupils joined in the spirit of the Absolute, arrived at the perfection of insight in the soul [residing within everyone]. (3) Mastering the sitting postures they all achieved the full control over their breath, mind, words and vision. Keeping their bodies straight with their minds freed from impurities they, pacified in being engaged in the transcendental spirit, then saw Nârada appear who [traditionally] is worshiped by the enlightened as well as the unenlightened ones. (4) When he appeared they all got up, offered their obeisances to welcome him and addressed him, after they with the necessary respect had offered him a comfortable seat. (5) The Pracetâs said: 'Be welcome, oh sage of the enlightened ones! What a fortune to have today your audience; your arrival here is like the sun moving in the sky oh great brahmin, it dispels all fear. (6) Overly attached to family matters we almost forgot oh master, what was instructed by Lord S'iva and the Lord in the Beyond [Vishnu]. (7) But seeing you now before our eyes, kindly [re]awaken in us the transcendental knowledge of the Absolute Truth by which we can easily cross over the formidable ocean of nescience.'
(8) Maitreya said: 'Thus petitioned by the Pracetâs the kings received an answer from the great Nârada who with his mind always being absorbed in thoughts about the Lord Praised in the Verses was of the greatest wisdom. (9) Nârada said: 'The Supreme Personality is the Controller of that birth, that life, that fruitive labor, that mind and those words of the people by which the Soul of All Worlds is served. (10) Whether one acts according to what is human or what the Vedas say or whether one lives as long as a demigod, what's the use of the three births in this world of being born from semen, by initiation, or by the labor of sacrifice? (11) What's the use of Vedic education, austerities or eloquence, mental speculation, a sharp intellect, physical strength or sense control? (12) Of what use would the practice of yoga be, analytic study, accepting the renounced order, reading the scriptures or all the other auspicious activities, when there is never the [true] satisfaction of the Supreme Self of the Lord? (13) It suffers no doubt that the Supreme Self is factually the goal of all auspicious activities and that the Lord is the Supersoul who delivers our original cherished identity [our self-realization]. (14) Just as one with watering the root of a tree satisfies the trunk, branches, and twigs and one likewise by offering food sustains the life of the [entire] sensory apparatus, so too each and everyone [the fellow human being, the demigods] is honored when one is of worship for the Infallible One. (15) Just as the sun gradually will evaporate the water that rained down and all the moving and non-moving living beings will return to earth ['to dust'], it unmistakably likewise will happen to the emanation of material nature [that in the end will be withdrawn] in the Lord. (16) The way sunshine belongs to the sun, the image offered by the senses in one's sleep belongs to the active forces of the sense objects and the spiritual knowledge that manifests is associated with vanquishing the different misconceptions, this creation we inhabit belongs to the transcendental Soul of the Universe from which it appeared. (17) Just as there is the consecutive existence and non-existence of the clouds and the likewise changes of darkness and illumination in the sky oh Kings, there is also the continuous change of the consecutive appearance and disappearance of the energies of passion, ignorance and goodness [the gunas] in the Supreme Absolute [of Brahman]. (18) All of you united in His quality be therefore engaged in the devotional service of directly the Supreme Lord who is the actual cause [pradhâna] of Time, the original Person and the One Supreme Soul of the unlimited number of individual souls*, He who by His spiritual power is aloof from all emanations of the self. (19) When one is of mercy for all living beings, some or another way abides by peace and has all one's senses under control, Janârdana, the torment of the atheists [a name of Lord Krishna] will soon be satisfied. (20) Called into the heart of His people who with all desires vanquished and a soul free from impurities constantly grow in their devotion, the Imperishable One [Vishnu] in His receptivity for the truthful ones will not retreat anymore than space [will retreat from the reality of matter and time]. (21) Never He accepts that what persons with an impure heart have to offer, while those who with faith in the soul and with feelings for Him are of sacrifice without striving for possessions are dear to Him. Anyone taking pride in education, a good birth, riches and fruitive labor is [factually] doing the devotees wrong who are without material interests [beyond the necessary]. (22) He never worries about the goddess of fortune who follows Him, nor about the rulers of man and the demigods who aspire her favor, for He exists for His own sake. How [then] can a grateful person give up on Him whose main interest it is to side with the servants on His path?'
(23) Maitreya said: 'Oh King [Vidura], the sage, the son of Brahmâ, after thus informing the Pracetâs about the topics concerning the Lord, then returned to his spiritual abode [Brahmaloka]. (24) After they from the mouth of Nârada had heard about the glorification of the Lord who destroys the sins of the world, they meditating the feet of Hari also attained His abode. (25) In response to what you asked me oh Vidura, I described the glories of the Lord. This is all I had to tell you about the conversation between Nârada and the Pracetâs.'
(26-27) S'rî S'ukadeva said: 'Oh best of kings [Parîkchit], after this faithful description of the dynasty of the son of Svâyambhuva Manu, Uttânapâda, now also hear from me about the dynasty of Priyavrata [the other son of Svâyambhuva, see 3.12: 56, 4.1 and 4.8: 7] who as someone who from Nârada learned about the knowledge of the soul, after again and again having enjoyed [his righteous rule] divided the earth among his sons and [in his turn] achieved the transcendental position. (28) When all of this was described by Maitreya and Vidura thus heard about the transcendental message of the stories about the Invincible One, his ecstasy intensified so much that it brought tears to his eyes. Overwhelmed with the Lord in his heart he placed the feet of the sage on his head.
(29) Vidura said: 'By that what you've shown me today so mercifully of the opposite side of darkness oh great yogi, someone free from material motives can reach the Lord.'
(30) S'uka said: 'Thus reverencing him Vidura who wished to see his family, asked permission to depart for the city of Hastinâpura, whereupon he with his mind in peace left that place. (31) Oh King, he who hears this story about kings who gave their life and soul to the Lord, will achieve the good fortune of a long life, wealth, material opulence and a good reputation as also the ultimate goal of life.'
*: Time, the ingredient and the Creator combined, are called tritayâtmaka, the three causes by which everything in this material world is created.**: There are four orders of creation: heaven, earth, the living beings and their societal order.
Thus the fourth Canto of the S'rîmad Bhâgavatam ends named: The Creation of the Fourth Order**.
Translation: Anand Aadhar Prabhu, http://bhagavata.org/c/8/AnandAadhar.html
Production: the Filognostic Association of The Order of Time, with special thanks to Sakhya Devi Dasi for proofreading and correcting the manuscript. http://theorderoftime.com/info/guests-friends.html
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