See for the online version with illustrations, music and links to the previous translation: http://bhagavata.org/
"The Story of the Fortunate One"
Chapter 1 The Curse Upon the Yadu Dynasty
Chapter 2 Mahârâja Nimi Meets the Nine Yogendras
Chapter 3 Liberation from Mâyâ and Karma Knowing and Worshiping the Lord
Chapter 4 The Activities of Nara-Nârâyana and the other Avatâras described
Chapter 5 Nârada Concludes His Teachings to Vasudeva
Chapter 6 Retirement on the Advise of Brahmâ and Uddhava Addressed in Private
Chapter 7 Krishna Speaks about the Masters of the Avadhûta and the Pigeon of Attachment
Chapter 8 What One Learns from Nature and the Story of Pingalâ
Chapter 9 Detachment from All that is Material
Chapter 10 The Soul Free, the Soul Bound
Chapter 11 Bondage and Liberation Explained and the Saintly Person His Devotional Service
Chapter 12 The Confidential Secret Beyond Renunciation and Knowledge
Chapter 13 The Hamsa-avatâra Answers the Questions of the Sons of Brahmâ
Chapter 14 The Devotional Coherence of the Methods and the Meditation on Vishnu
Chapter 15 Mystical Perfection: the Siddhis
Chapter 16 The Lord's Opulence
Chapter 17 The Varnâs'rama System and the Boat of Bhakti: the Students and the Householders
Chapter 18 The Varnâs'rama System: the Withdrawn and the Renounced
Chapter 19 The Perfection of Spiritual Knowledge
Chapter 20 Trikânda Yoga: Bhakti Surpasses Knowledge and Detachment
Chapter 21 On Distinguishing between Good and Bad
Chapter 22 Prakriti and Purusha: Nature and the Enjoyer
Chapter 23 Forbearance: the Song of the Avantî Brâhmana
Chapter 24 Analytic Knowledge, Sânkhya, Summarized
Chapter 25 The Three Modes of Nature and Beyond
Chapter 26 The Song of Purûravâ
Chapter 27 On Respecting the Form of God
Chapter 28 Jñâna Yoga or the Denomination and the Real
Chapter 29 Bhakti Yoga: the Most Auspicious way to Conquer Death
Chapter 30 The Disappearance of the Yadu-dynasty
Chapter 31 The Ascension of Lord Krishna
IntroductionThis book tells the story of the Lord and His incarnations since the earliest records of Vedic history. 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). It depicts 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. 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 Vishnu [the name for the transcendental form of Lord Krishna]. He undertook the daring task of enlightening the materialist westerners, the advanced philosophers and theologians, in order to help them to overcome the perils and loneliness of impersonalism and the philosophy of emptiness.
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 contends 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, the avatâra [an incarnation of the Lord] who heralded this reform, restored the original purpose of developing devotion to God and endeavored especially 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 in India, Europe and America. 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 author 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 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 (teachers) 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 Creative 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 author.
With love and devotion, Anand Aadhar Prabhu, Enschede, The Netherlands, April 17, 2012.
Chapter 1: The Curse Upon the Yadu Dynasty
(1) S'rî S'uka said: 'After Lord Krishna together with Balarâma and surrounded by the Yadus had realized the elimination of the Daityas and had reduced the burden of the earth, very soon a conflict arose [between the Kauravas and the Pândavas]. (2) They [the Pândavas] who time and again were angered by the duplicitous gambling, the insults, the grabbing by the hair [of Draupadî] and the other transgressions of their enemies [their nephews, the Kauravas], constituted the immediate cause [with the historical dynastic struggle, see also Yayâti and 10.49 & 10.68] for the Supreme Lord to [further] relieve the earth of her burden and [also] kill all the kings who assembled [at Kurukshetra] to take opposite sides. (3) And after the Yadus being protected by His arms had eliminated the kings who with their royal armies had burdened the earth, the Unfathomable Lord thought to Himself: 'One may say that the burden of the earth has been eliminated, but I do not think the load is gone. The intolerable burden [alas] remains with the Yadu dynasty itself. (4) They who in every respect sought their refuge in Me, were never frustrated in the exercise of their power. Since they have no defeat to fear from any other side I will arrange a quarrel within the Yadu dynasty, just like fire in a bamboo-grove [is generated by the wind through mutual friction]. That is how I will achieve [My purpose:] My abode of peace [see also 3.3: 14 and 8.8: 37].'
(5) Thus having decided oh King, the Lord, the Almighty One who realizes everything He wants, withdrew His family by means of a curse that was pronounced against them by the brahmins. (6-7) After by His form, the beauty of all the worlds, having freed the eyes of men, by His words having attracted the minds of all who remembered them and by His feet having redirected the [wrongful] activities of anyone who saw them, the Lord, who effortlessly on earth spread His glories that are praised in the most beautiful verses and by which one may cross the ocean of ignorance, achieved His [desired] position [of peace and beatitude, see also 7.5: 23-24].'
(8) The King said: 'How could it happen that this curse against the Vrishnis was pronounced by the brahmins? The Vrishnis who were fully absorbed in Krishna, were always charitable and respectful towards the brahmins and served the elders. (9) What led to that curse and what kind of curse was it oh purest among the twice-born souls? Please tell me how this dissension [could rise] among those who share the same soul [of Krishna].'
(10) The son of Vyâsa said: 'Embodied in a form that was the amalgamation of all things beautiful, on earth performing the most auspicious activities and to His full satisfaction enjoying His life as He resided in His abode [of Dvârakâ], He, so greatly famed, [now] wanted to destroy His dynasty. That was the only thing left to do for Him. (11-12) After in the house of the lord of the Yadus [Vasudeva] having performed most favorable rituals to bestow piety and take away the impurities of Kali-yuga, the sages Vis'vâmitra, Asita, Kanva, Durvâsâ, Bhrigu, Angirâ, Kas'yapa, Vâmadeva, Atri, Vasishthha, Nârada and others, were by The Soul of Time [Lord Krishna] sent away to go to Pindâraka [a pilgrimage site]. (13-15) [Having arrived there] they were approached by young boys of the Yadu dynasty in a game in which Sâmba the son of Jâmbavatî [see also 10.68] had dressed up in woman's clothes. Feigning humility they took hold of their feet and impudently asked: 'This black-eyed pregnant woman would like to ask you something oh men of learning, but she is too embarrassed to do it herself. Can you tell whether she who is about to give birth and desires a son, will get one?'
(16) Oh King, the sages thus being tricked said angrily to them: 'She oh fools, will for you give birth to a mace that will destroy the dynasty!'
(17) Most terrified to hear that, they hastily uncovered the belly of Sâmba wherein indeed a club made of iron could be seen. (18) 'What have we done? What will the family say of us? What a bad luck!' they said perturbed, took the club and went home. (19) With the beauty of their faces faded, they brought the club to an assembly of the king [Ugrasena] and told in the presence of all the Yadus what had happened. (20) When they saw the club and heard about the infallible curse of the learned souls oh King, the inhabitants of Dvârakâ were astonished and distraught with fear. (21) Âhuka [Ugrasena], the Yadu king, ordered the club to be ground to bits and next threw the iron together with the remaining pieces of the club into the water of the ocean. (22) The iron was swallowed by a certain fish while the fine dust was carried away by the waves and washed ashore where it grew into canes with sharp-edged blades [called eraka]. (23) The fish was by a fisherman in the ocean caught in a net together with others. The piece of iron contained in the fish's stomach was by a hunter [called Jarâ] fixed on a shaft [as an arrowhead]. (24) Even though the Supreme Lord very well knew what it all meant, He did not want to reverse the curse of the scholars and, in His form of Time, accepted it.'
Chapter 2: Mahârâja Nimi Meets the Nine Yogendras
(1) S'rî S'uka said: 'Desirous to worship Krishna oh best of the Kurus, Nârada continued to stay in Dvârakâ, the capital protected by the arms of Govinda [see also 6.5: 43 & 10.69]. (2) Which sensible person faced with death coming from all sides oh King, would not be of worship for the lotus feet of Mukunda who is so worshipable for even the best of the immortals? (3) One day Vasudeva said the following to the deva-rishi who came over to his house and was respectfully greeted and worshiped with paraphernalia and a comfortable seat. (4) S'rî Vasudeva said: 'Oh great lord, this visit of yours compares to the visit of a good father, for you who are there for both the misers and everyone on the path of Uttamas'loka, appear for the benefit of all embodied souls. (5) What the gods do means misery and happiness to the living beings, but what saints like you do who accepted the Infallible One as their very soul, results in happiness only [see also 1.2: 25-26, 3.25: 21]. (6) The gods behave like one's shadow. They care for their worshipers depending the obeisances one makes and the karma that one has. But the saints are of mercy for the fallen souls [irrespective of what they did. See also B.G. 3: 12, 4: 12, 7: 20-23]. (7) Oh brahmin, I nevertheless would like to ask you about the religious duties to please the Supreme Lord, [for] the mortal soul who with faith hears about them, will be freed from all fear [compare 10.2: 30-33]. (8) A long time ago [in a previous life], I, bewildered by His mâyâ, worshiped Ananta, the Lord who Awards Liberation, for begetting a child in this world and not for my liberation [see also 10.3: 32-45 and 4.1: 20]. (9) Please instruct us therefore, oh you true to the vow, so that we without much trouble by your mercy may find liberation from this world full of dangers that frightens us at every step.'
(10) S'rî S'uka said: 'Oh king, thus being asked by the intelligent Vasudeva, the deva-rishi was pleased to speak to him because his qualities reminded him of the Lord. (11) S'rî Nârada said: 'This question you asked about the bhâgavata-dharma is the correct one oh best of the Sâtvatas, for the entire universe is purified by that dharma. (12) By hearing or talking about it, by meditating upon it, accepting it with reverence or appreciating it when done by others, this dutiful respect of the truth purifies immediately even those who are averse to the gods and the entire world. (13) Today you brought the Supreme Lord, the Personality of Godhead Nârâyana to my mind [see also 10.87: 5], chanting and hearing about whom one becomes supremely blissful and pious. (14) Concerning this matter one often mentions the example of the ancient story of a conversation between the sons of Rishabha and the king of Videha who was a broad-minded soul. (15) The son of Svâyambhuva Manu named Priyavrata had a son named Âgnîdhra. From him there was Nâbhi and his son is remembered as Rishabhadeva [see also 5.3]. (16) He appeared in this world with the desire to teach the dharma of finding liberation and is considered a plenary expansion of Vâsudeva. Of Him there were one hundred sons who perfectly observed the Absolute Truth. (17) The eldest one, Bharata [see 5.7], was completely devoted to Lord Nârâyana. It is because of his name that this wonderful part of the world is called Bhârata-varsha [or India]. (18) When his earthly pleasures ended and he consequently rejected a material life, he left his home behind and achieved in three consecutive births His destination by practicing austerities in worship of Lord Hari. (19) Nine of His [Rishabha's] sons became rulers over the nine separate areas [nava-dvîpa] of this subcontinent while eighty-one other sons of him became twice-born brahmins who initated the complete of the [karma-kânda] path of fruitive Vedic sacrifices [see 5.2: 19-21]. (20-21) The nine remaining sons, Kavi, Havir, Antarîksha, Prabuddha, Pippalâyana, Âvirhotra, Drumila, Camasa and Karabhâjana were greatly fortunate sages engaged in explaining the [Vedic] purpose. They were rigorous ascetics learned in the science of spirituality who wandered around naked ['dressed by the wind only']. (22) Wandering the earth they [called the nava-yogendras] saw the entire universe consisting of the gross and the subtle, as one and the same form of the Supreme Lord and as non-different from the Self [see also 1.5: 20 and B.G. 13: 14 & 15: 7]. (23) Unimpeded moving at will, they go wherever they like and thus freely travel the worlds of the enlightened souls, the perfected ones and the ones to be propitiated, the heavenly singers, the treasure keepers, the [common] humans, the ones of superpower and the serpentine, visiting the sages, the angels, the ghostly followers of S'iva, the scientists, the twice-born ones and the cows. (24) Once in Ajanâbha [name of India before Bharata] they arrived during the soma sacrifice of the great soul Nimi [see also 9.13] that was carried out to the wishes of the seers. (25) Seeing those pure devotees whose brilliance rivaled the sun oh King, the performer of the sacrifice, the brahmins, everyone, nay even the fires, rose up in respect. (26) The ruler of Videha [Nimi] recognizing them as devotees of Nârâyana, gladly seated them and honored them with all the respect they deserved. (27) With humility bowing down to the nine of them who glowed with an effulgence like the sons of Brahmâ [the Kumâras, see 4.22: 6] the king, immersed in transcendental rapture, posed questions. (28) S'rî Videha [Nimi] said: 'I consider you to be direct associates of the Supreme Lord, the enemy of Madhu, as servants of Vishnu who travel around for the sake of purifying all the worlds. (29) I think that to achieve the association of the ones dear to the Lord of Vaikunthha, is as difficult as it is for embodied beings to achieve a human body that any moment can be lost [see also B.G. 8: 16 and 16: 19-20]. (30) I therefore ask you oh sinless ones, what the supreme good would be in this material ocean where, for human beings, the greatest treasure consists of enjoying but a second the association of the devotees. (31) Please speak about the science of devotional service, provided you deem us qualified enough to hear about it. Satisfied with that service He, the Unborn Lord, will even give Himself personally to the one who sought His refuge.'
(32) S'rî Nârada said: 'They, the greatest of the great oh Vasudeva, thus at the request of Nimi on their turn affectionately spoke with reverence to the king in the company of the priests and the members of the sacrificial assembly. (33) S'rî Kavi said: 'Someone whose intelligence in this world is constantly disturbed because he takes the temporal [body] for the true self, can in my view reach fearlessness [only] when he worships the lotus feet of the Infallible One, the Soul of the Universe in whom all fear ceases [see 3.9: 6 and e.g. B.G. 2: 56, 2: 71, 4: 10, 12: 13-14]. (34) The method thereto is discussed by the Supreme Lord and known as the bhâgavata dharma by which people who suffer from ignorance may easily realize the Supreme Soul. (35) A man accepting that dharma oh King, will never be caught in illusions nor ever trip or fall on this path, not even when he closes his eyes running [see also the catuh-s'loki of B.G. 10: 8-11 and verse 5: 17]. (36) Whatever one according to one's nature physically, verbally, mentally or sensually does with intelligence or a purified consciousness, should all be offered to the Supreme with the thought: 'This I do for Nârâyana' ['nârâyanâya iti', compare B.G. 3: 9 and 9: 27]. (37) For those who led by the illusory energy and forgetful about Him, have turned away from the Supreme Lord in falsely identifying themselves [with the body], fear will rise because they are absorbed in matters second to Him. For that reason an intelligent person should be fully and purely devoted to the Lord and consider his spiritual master as his soul and salvation [see B.G. also 4: 34, 1.5: 12 and B.G. 7: 14, 15: 7]. (38) Even though [the object of a mental image may] not [be] present in reality, to the mind of a person experiencing [the material world, its] duality can be manifest like in a dream that is moved by desire and fear [by 'its two mental chariots']. An intelligent person should therefore bring the mind under control that, because of [its reference to] material activities, is committed to positive and negative emotions. That is how one arrives at fearlessness [see also B.G. 6: 35]. (39) Hearing about the all-auspicious appearances and activities of Him with the Wheel in His Hand [see 1.9: 37], of whom the with them associated names are chanted in this world, one should, singing without the material association [of a wife, home and children], freely and without shame move in all directions. (40) Thus being vowed one, by repeating ['chanting'] His so very dear, holy name, develops the attachment of a mind dissolved in laughing and crying loudly and in getting exited like a madman in dance and song, without any concern about what others think of it [*]. (41) One should bow to ether, air, fire, water, earth and the luminaries, all living beings, the directions, the trees and other immovable beings, the rivers and oceans and whatever that might exist in the Supreme Lord's body of creation, while considering nothing as existing separately [from the Soul, **]. (42) Devotion, experiencing the presence of the Supreme Lord and detachment from everything else, are the three [characteristics] that simultaneously occur with someone who sought refuge [in Him] - just about the way things are with someone being engaged in eating who experiences satisfaction with the nourishment he gets and with the reduction of hunger with every bite. (43) For the devotee who thus in obedience [to the disciplic succession] is worshiping the feet of Acyuta, devotion, detachment and knowledge of the Supreme Lord will manifest oh king Nimi, whereupon he then directly will attain transcendental peace [see B.G. 2: 71].'
(44) The king said: 'Please tell me next about the devotee of the Fortunate One. What are his duties, what is his nature, how does he behave among men, what does he say and by which symptoms is he dear to the Lord?'
(45) S'rî Havir said: 'The one who sees this Soul [this basic principle of all existence] in all forms of existence [of matter and spirit] and is of devotional service to [the Supreme Spirit Soul,] the Lord with the notion that all forms of existence are situated within the [gigantic universal body of the] Supreme Lord, belongs to His most advanced devotees [an uttama adhikârî, see also B.G. 6: 29 & 30]. (46) In the stage before this one, on the middle platform, he [the so-called madhyama adhikâri] is of love for the Supreme Lord, of friendship with advanced persons, of mercy to the neophytes and indifferent toward [envious,] hostile souls [see also 4.24: 57, 7.9: 43, B.G. 4: 8 & 15: 7 and ***]. (47) He who in his worship of the Lord faithfully engages with the deity [the mûrti] but is neither respectful towards the devotees nor towards others, is a materialistic devotee [a prâkrita or a beginner, a so-called kanishthha adhikâri, see also B.G. 7: 20 and 3.29: 24-25 & 7.14: 40]. (48) He who despite the engagement of his senses with their objects, hates nor rejoices and recognizes this universe as the deluding material energy of Lord Vishnu, is certainly a first-class devotee [see also B.G. 5: 3]. (49) He who, because he keeps the Lord in mind [see also 6.2: 14], is not bewildered by the [inescapable] nature of a material life consisting of birth, decay, hunger, fear, thirst, sensory functions, the life air, the mind and the intelligence, is the foremost devotee [see also B.G. 2: 56-57]. (50) In the mind of someone who has Vâsudeva as His only shelter, lust [see B.G. 3: 37-43], karma and [its consequent] material desires [see also B.G. 6: 4] will never develop. Such a one is truly a first-class devotee. (51) A person who is not attached in the egotistical sentiment of a bodily concept of life - in the sense of being of a good birth, of meritorious acts or a certain varnâs'râma status orientation, caste or race, is someone dear to the Lord [see B.G. 2: 71 & 12: 13-14]. (52) He who does not think in opposites in the sense of 'mine' and 'thine' about property and the body, someone who is equal and peaceful with all living beings, no doubt belongs to the best devotees [see B.G. 13: 28-31 & 14: 22-25]. (53) He who neither is tempted by the opulence found in the three worlds, nor, not even for a moment, half a second or a split of a second, moves away from the lotus feet of the Supreme Lord that are the refuge of the enlightened souls and others, he who - undisturbed in his remembrance - regards the Unconquerable One as his very soul, is a topmost Vaishnava [see also 18: 66]. (54) Again: how can of the toes of the Supreme Lord's feet, the feet of all those great heroic acts, how can of the lunar light radiating from the jewel-like nails that takes away the pain in the hearts, there be any pain of importance with the ones who are of worship? Can the burning heat of the sun be of any effect when the moon has risen [see also 10.14: 58]? (55) He never leaves the heart of the one whom one calls His foremost devotee, however accidentally that devotee directly might have called for Him [by means of His names], He who, bound by the ropes of love, destroys the sins regardless of their number [see also B.G. 4: 36 and *4 ].'
*: S'rî Caitanya Mahâprabhu also emphasized this by quoting: 'harer nâma harer nâma harer nâmaiva kevalam kalau nâsty eva nâsty eva nâsty eva gatir anyathâ [Adi 17.21]': 'In this age of Kali there is no alternative, there is no alternative, there is no alternative for spiritual progress but the holy name, the holy name, the holy name of the Lord.' Also S'rîla Bhaktisiddhânta Sarasvatî Thhâkura recommends to this that one studies the following verse: 'parivadatu jano yathâ tathâ vâ nanu mukharo na vayam vicârayâmah hari-rasa-madirâ-madâti-mattâ bhuvi viluthhâmo nathâmo nirvis'âmah': 'Let the garrulous populace say whatever they like; we shall pay them no regard. Thoroughly maddened by the ecstasy of the intoxicating beverage of love for Krishna, we shall enjoy life running about, rolling on the ground and dancing in ecstasy.' (Padyâvalî 73) This is what defines Krishna-consciousness.
**: S'rîla Bhaktisiddhânta Sarasvatî Thhâkura has warned us that if we do not see everything as a manifestation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, we shall become victims of phalgu-vairâgya, or immature renunciation.
***: The paramparâ adds here: 'S'rîla Bhaktisiddhânta Sarasvatî Thhâkura has given a nice explanation of the difference between arcana and bhajana. Arcana refers to the platform of sâdhana-bhakti, in which one serves the Lord to carry out the rules and regulations of the process. One who has achieved the shelter of the Lord's holy name and is totally engaged in the attempt to serve the Lord should be considered to be on the platform of bhajana, even though his external activities may sometimes be less strict than those of the neophyte engaged in arcana. This apparent lack of strictness, however, refers to laxity not in the basic principles of sane behavior and renunciation of sense gratification, but rather in the details of Vaishnava ceremonies.'
*4: Nimi, the King of Videha, asked, so helps us the paramparâ, the following nine questions of the nine Yogendras, the saintly sons of Rishabha. (1) What is the highest good? (Chapter Two, verse 30); (2) What are the religious principles (dharma), natural proclivities (svabhâva), behavior (âcâra), speech (vâkya) and outward symptoms (lakshana) of a bhâgavata, a Vaishnava devotee of the Lord? (2.44); (3) What is the external energy of Vishnu, the Supreme Lord? (3.1); (4) How can one become dissociated from this mâyâ? (3.17); (5) What is the true identity of Brahman? (3.34); (6) What are the three types of karma, namely karma based on the enjoyment of the fruits of work, karma offered to the Supreme Lord, and naishkarmya? (3.41); (7) What are the various pastimes of the various incarnations of God? (4.1); (8) What is the aim or destination of one who is against the Supreme Lord and devoid of bhakti (in other words, a non-devotee)? (5.1); and (9) What are the respective colors, forms and names of the four yugâvatâras, the four incarnations of the Supreme Lord who appear in the four ages, and what is the process of worshiping each of Them? (5.19).
The transcendental answers to these inquiries were given by the great devotees Kavi, Havir, Antarîksha, Prabuddha, Pippalâyana, Âvirhotra, Drumila, Camasa and Karabhâjana. These nine paramahamsas answered the nine questions, each in turn, in the following verses: (1) 2.33-43; (2) 2.45-55; (3) 3.3-16; (4) 3.18-33; (5) 3.35-40; (6) 3.43-55; (7) 4.2-23; (8) 5.2-18; and (9) 5.20-42.
Chapter 3: Liberation from Mâyâ and Karma Knowing and Worshiping the Lord
(1) The honorable king [Nimi] said: 'My lords, please tell us about the illusory potency [or mâyâ, see also 11.2: 48] of the Supreme Lord Vishnu, we would like to understand that what bewilders even the great mystics. (2) We enjoy the nectar of your talks about Lord Hari, but we are not yet satisfied by that antidote against the pain a mortal experiences being tormented by the misery of samsâra.'
(3) S'rî Antarîksha said: 'The Soul of All Living Beings evolved, by means of the elements of the greater creation, all creatures high and low [see B.G. 13: 22 & 14: 18] oh mighty armed one, so that they, the Original Person's own [parts and parcels], could be successful with [the choice between] the sense objects and the true self, the Soul [see also 10.87: 2]. (4) Having entered the living beings that thus were created with the help of the five gross elements and having divided Himself as the one [witness] to the ten [senses of perception and action], He was pleased to engage them [in a life] with the modes of nature. (5) The living being, that by the Supreme Soul was given a life with the modes, enjoys those modes and consequently takes this created body for the true self as also himself for the master and thus becomes entangled [see also B.G. 15: 8, compare 11.2: 37]. (6) The proprietor of the body is because of the sense-motivated actions, driven by desires and engaged in different karmic - fruitive - activities from which he reaps the different fruits. And thus he moves through this world in both a state of happiness and the contrary thereof [see B.G. 2: 62]. (7) This way by his karma reaching destinations that bring him a lot of things that are not so good, the living being till the end of time helplessly experiences birth and death. (8) When the dissolution of the material elements is near the [Lord in the form of] Time that is Without a Beginning or an End, withdraws the manifest universe consisting of the gross objects and subtle modes [back] into the unmanifest [see also 3.29: 40-45, 3.26: 51]. (9) There will be a terrible drought on earth that lasts for a hundred years, so that the three worlds during that period will be seriously scorched by the accumulated heat of the sun. (10) Beginning from the lower regions [Pâtâla], the fire, with its flames fanned by the winds shooting upwards from the mouth of Sankarshana, will burn all directions. (11) Great masses of samvartaka ['end time'] clouds will rain for a hundred years with torrents as long as elephant trunks, so that everything will be inundated. (12) Oh King, the universe will thereupon, like a fire running out of fuel, be abandoned by the Personality of the Universal Form, as He [in the form of Brahmâ] enters the subtle reality of the unseen [pradhâna, see also B.G. 8: 19, 3.32: 12-15]. (13) The earth, by the wind deprived of its aroma, changes [back] into water and the water by the same process [of the wind] being deprived of its taste, becomes fire [again, see *]. (14) Fire, by darkness deprived of its [quality, its] form, turns into air and the air, losing its [quality of] touch, dissolves into the ether. When the sky [the ether], by the Supreme Soul of Time is deprived of its quality [of sound], it merges into the ego [of not-knowing]. (15) The senses, the mind and the intelligence oh King, merge together with the gods [representing the emotions] into the ego-element and the I-awareness merges together with all its guna-qualities into the Supreme Self [see also 3.6 and 3.26: 21-48]. (16) After thus for you having described the three departments of this bewildering energy, this agent of the Supreme Lord consisting of maintenance, creation and dissolution [characterized by goodness, passion and ignorance], what would you like to hear more from us?'
(17) The honorable king said: 'Oh great sage, please tell how [even] materialistic people with ease may overcome this material energy of the Lord that is so unsurpassable for those lacking in self-control.'
(18) S'rî Prabuddha said: 'One should see that people who live as husband and wife, with their endeavors to lessen the distress and to gain in happiness, achieve the opposite result. (19) What happiness can one expect from the unsteadiness of having a home, children, relatives, domestic animals and the hard to acquire wealth which always gives distress, that mean death to the soul? (20) Know that the idealized world for which one thus settles, is founded upon fruitive labor, cannot be sustained and is characterized by matters like a loss of behaving properly in groups of equals and with superiors [B.G. 8: 16]. (21) Someone eager to know about the highest good, should therefore take shelter of a spiritual master who resides in the supreme tranquility of the Absolute Truth and is also well versed in the conclusions of the Vedas [see e.g. 5.5: 10-13, 7.11: 13, 7.12: 1-16, 7.15: 25-26, 10.86: 57 and B.G. 4: 34]. (22) With the guru as one's soul and worshipable deity, one should learn the science of devotional service [the bhâgavata dharma or emancipation process, see 11.2: 34] by which, free from illusion being of faithful service, the Supreme Soul can be satisfied who bestows His own Self [**]. (23) One should first of all detach the mind from everything and properly, with mercy, friendship and reverence for all living beings, cultivate association with devotees [compare 11.2: 46]. (24) [That entails: inner and outer] cleanliness, penance, tolerance and silence, scriptural study, simplicity, celibacy, nonviolence and equanimity concerning the known opposites [see also yama & niyama and B.G. 12: 13-20]. (25) In solitude, without [attachment to] a fixed residence, wearing old rags and satisfied with anything, one should with the Lord constantly kept in mind, meditate upon the omnipresent True Self [see also 2.2: 5, 7.13: 1-10]. (26) With faith in the scriptures about the Supreme Lord and not blaspheming other scriptures, one should with respect for the truth and with one's mind, speech and activities strictly controlled, be innerly peaceful and master one's senses [see also B.G. 15: 15]. (27-28) Hearing, chanting and meditating the incarnations, pastimes and qualities of the Lord whose activities are all wonderful, one must do everything for His sake. Whatever worship, charity, penance, japa or piety one performs, everything held dear, one's wife, sons, home and very life air, one should dedicate to the Supreme [see also B.G. 9: 27]. (29) In rendering service to both [the moving and nonmoving living beings] one must be of friendship with the common man as also with the devotees, the great souls who accepted Krishna as the Lord of their heart. (30) By the glories of the Lord one may find in mutual discussions, in being attracted to each other, in pleasing one another and in one's together putting an end to material activities, the purification of [one's relation with] the soul [see also B.G. 3: 38]. (31) Remembering [Him] and reminding one another, the bhakti unto the Lord who puts an end to the chain of sins, because of that devotion leads to an awakening whereby the body responds with goose bumps [see also 11.2: 40]. (32) Sometimes one cries by the thought of Acyuta, sometimes one laughs or takes great pleasure or speaks, acts wondrously, dances and sings and sometimes one, following the example of the Unborn One, is freed from distress and becomes silent while attaining the Supreme [see also 10.35]. (33) Thus learning about the bhâgavata dharma and taking lessons from the consequent bhakti, someone aimed at Nârâyana will easily overcome the mâyâ that is so difficult to defeat [see also 1.1: 2].'
(34) The honorable king [Nimi] said: 'Please, all of you expert knowers of the Supreme, be so kind to speak to us about the transcendental position of the Supersoul of the Absolute Truth, that is associated with the name of Nârâyana [see also 1.2: 11].'
(35) S'rî Pippalâyana said: 'Oh King, know that the Supreme gives life, it is that on the basis of which the senses, the life air and the minds of the bodies of all living beings are moving. It constitutes the cause without cause of the creation, destruction and maintenance of this universe, that exists in the state of wakefulness, in the dream state and in the unconscious state as also external to these states [of consciousness]. (36) This [Supreme Truth] cannot be covered by the mind, by the faculties of speech, sight, intelligence, the life air or by the senses, just as a fire cannot be covered by its own sparks. Not even the Vedic word may express it, for the Vedas deny that the Supreme Self can be expressed in words. It can only be achieved by indirect expressions, by words that refer to that without which there would be no ultimate purpose to the scriptural restrictions [compare 10.87]. (37) In the beginning being One, it thereafter became known as the threefold of goodness, passion and ignorance [of the gunas] that is associated with the power to act and the power of consciousness of the I-awareness that one calls the individual living being [the jîva, the individual soul]. Assuming the forms of spiritual knowledge [the gods], actions [of the senses and their] objects and [good and bad] results it thus possesses a great variety of energies. It is the Supreme alone that [as the Absolute Truth or Brahman] is manifest beyond both the [relative of the] gross and the subtle [see also mahat-tattva, pradhâna, 4.29: 79, B.G. 10: 42, 13: 13 & 7: 14]. (38) This Soul, never born and never dying, grows nor decays. It is the knower of the stages of life of the living beings that are subjected to change. That Soul, omnipresent and everlasting, which is pure consciousness, became many [jîvas], even as the [one] life air [prâna] by the power of the senses resulted in a variety [of vital forms, see also B.G. 2: 23-30 and ***]. (39) [With beings that originated] from eggs, with embryos, with plants and with that what is difficult to discern in moisture [micro-organisms], the vital air accompanies the [same] individual soul [see also linga] from one [life form] to the other, even as the self, apart from the thought process invariably stays the same with a memory restoring when one awakens from a deep sleep in which the ego and the senses had merged [see B.G. 2: 22]. (40) When one desires the feet of Him with the Lotus-navel, the dirt in the heart that was generated by the modes of nature and the fruitive action, is cleansed away by the power of bhakti. After one then is purified completely, the truth of the soul is directly realized, just as the rising sun becomes visible to the naked eye [B.G. 2: 55 and 6: 20-23 and nyâyika].'
(41) The honorable king said: 'Please explain to us the karma yoga by which a person being purified in this life quickly gets rid of his fruitive actions and, freed from karmic reactions, achieves the Supreme [see also B.G. 1-6 or 3.5]. (42) In the presence of my father [Ikshvâku see also 9.6: 4] I in the past asked the sages [the Kumâras] a similar question, but the sons of Brahmâ did not reply. Can you speak about the reason for this?'
(43) S'rî Âvirhotra replied: 'Right action, non-action and wrong action [karma, akarma, vikarma] are Vedic subject matters, not a worldly subject and since Vedic knowledge comes from the Lord Himself, [even such great] enlightened souls [easily] get confused about this matter [see also B.G. 4: 16-17 and 4.29: 26-27]. (44) Offering guidance to ignorant human beings, the Vedas in covert terms prescribe material activities [duties] to be freed from karma, the way one also prescribes a medicine [see also B.G. 3: 26, see 5.5: 17, 10.24: 17-18]. (45) Someone ignorant who has not subdued his senses and fails to do what the Vedas say, will by his lack of dharma following a wrong course of action [vikarma], achieve death time and again [see also B.G. 3: 8, 16: 23-24, 17: 5-6, 18: 7]. (46) When one according to what the Vedas prescribe without attachment performs and sacrifices for the sake of the Supreme Lord, one will certainly achieve the perfection that to raise interest is put in terms of fruitive results [karma-kânda and B.G. 4: 17-23]. (47) Someone who quickly wants to cut the knot [of attachment] in the heart that binds the soul to the body, should, with [respect for] the regulative principles [the vidhi], worship Lord Kes'ava as also study the divine as described in the supplementary Vedic literatures [the tantras, see also B.G. 12: 6-7]. (48) Having obtained the mercy [the initiation] of the teacher of example [the âcârya] who shows him what is handed down by tradition, the devotee should worship the Supreme Personality in the particular form he prefers [see also B.G. 3: 35, 7: 20]. (49) Cleansed, sitting in front [of His idol], with a concentrated mind controlling his breath and such [see ashthânga-yoga] and purifying the body by invoking His protection in renunciation [by assigning the different parts of his body to Him by marking them with mantras], he should worship the Lord [see also B.G. 5: 27-28 and 6.8: 4-6]. (50-51) With all available ingredients he [thereto] prepares himself in his heart and mind. He takes the deity and everything belonging to it as also the items to be offered and sprinkles the floor and the place to sit. He prepares the water for the sacrifice and attentively puts the deity in its proper place. He draws sacred marks on His heart and the other parts of His body. Next he is of worship with the appropriate mantra [4*]. (52-53) With the mantras belonging to Him he should be of worship for each particular deity and its limbs, His special features [like His cakra] and His associates [like the pañca-tattva, see the S'is'umâra-mantra or the Ambaris'a prayers for the cakra mentioned in 5.23: 8 and 9.5]. Presenting the worship in every respect as it is enjoined with water for His feet, scented water to welcome, water for the mouth and for bathing and such, with clothing, ornaments, fragrances, necklaces, unbroken barleycorns [meant for applying tilaka] and with garlands, incense, lamps and such offerings, he should bow down to the Lord with reverence and prayer. (54) Absorbing himself in that activity [as a servant and not falsely identifying himself] he should, thus meditating, fully be of worship for the mûrti of the Lord. Then, taking the remnants to his head [for acceptance], he should put Him respectfully back where He belongs. (55) He who thus worships the Lord, the Supreme Soul, who is present in the fire, the sun, the water and so on, as also in the guest and in one's own heart [see also 2.2: 8], will soon be liberated.'
*: When a quality is removed, becomes an element nondifferent from the element that evolved earlier in the evolution of the universe, it then merges, changes, or dissolves into it. That is how the annihilation of the universe takes place.
**: S'rîla Rûpa Gosvâmî formulated four preliminary requisites for advancement in this: ' Accepting the shelter of the lotus feet of a bona fide spiritual master,  becoming initiated by the spiritual master and learning from him how to discharge the duties of devotional service,  obeying the orders of the spiritual master with faith and devotion, and  following in the footsteps of the great âcâryas [teachers] under the direction of the spiritual master.' (Bhakti-rasâmrita-sindhu 1.2.74)
***: S'rîla Madhvâcârya here quotes, from the Moksha-dharma section of Vyâsadeva's Mahâbhârata, the Lord saying:aham hi jîva-samjño vai
mayi jîvah sanâtanah
dristho jîvo mayeti ha
aham s'reyo vidhâsyâmi
'The living entity, known as jîva, is not different from Me, for he is My expansion. Thus the living entity is eternal, as I am, and always exists within Me. But you should not artificially think, 'Now I have seen the soul.' Rather, I, as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, will bestow this benediction upon you when you are actually qualified.'
*4: Just as each prâkrita, impersonalist, materialistic devotee is worshiping the Lord as the deity of his preference in His form of Time with pragmatically perverted, unleaped clocks and week divisions [see the Order of Time and kâla for correcting on this] and with mantras like 'be on time' and 'time is money', so too does classical bhakti with the kanishthha or beginning personalist devotee, more faithful to the Vedic authority, worship the personal form of the Lord in the form of a [Krishna] deity while saying 'om namo bhagavate vâsudevâya' [4.8: 54], the Gâyatrî, the Mahâmantra and other mantras. In all these cases should be remembered what Vyâsa in 11.2: 47 says about mûrti-worship in general.
Chapter 4: The Activities of Nara-Nârâyana and the other Avatâras described
(1) The honorable king [Nimi] said: 'Please speak to us about the activities of each of these self-chosen appearances by which the Lord performed, is performing and will perform in this world [see also 2.7].'
(2) S'rî Drumila said: 'Truly, he who tries to enumerate the unlimited transcendental qualities of the Unlimited One is a person with the intelligence of a child. One may somehow, in due course of time, be able to count the dust particles on earth, but one can never count the qualities of the Reservoir of all Potencies [see also 10.14: 7, 10.51: 38]. (3) When the Original Personality of Godhead Nârâyana assumed the from Himself generated body of the universe that was created out of the five material elements and entered it in His plenary expansion, He thus became known as the Purusha [see also 1.3: 1]. (4) In the vastness of this three-world body originated, from His senses, the two kinds of senses of action and perception of the embodied beings, originated from His Will the spiritual knowledge and from His breathing strength, ability and endeavor. He is the prime mover of the creation, destruction and maintenance in passion, ignorance and goodness [see B.G. 3: 27, 13: 30 and S.B. 6.17: 19, 3.26: 7, 3.27: 2, 3.32: 12-15, 10.46: 41, 10.83: 3]. (5) In the beginning He with the mode of passion became S'ata-dhriti [Lord Brahmâ] for the creation of this universe, for the maintenance of dharma and protection of the brahmins He became Vishnu, the Lord of Sacrifice, and for the annihilation in ignorance the Original Person assumed the form of Rudra [Lord S'iva]; among the created beings He is thus always of creation, maintenance and destruction [see also 2.10: 41-46, 4.29: 79, 4.30: 23].
(6) He was born from Mûrti, the daughter of Daksha and wife of Dharma [*], as Nara and Nârâyana, the best of sages perfectly of peace. They spoke in favor of performing the duty that is characterized by a cessation of all material activities, and even live today being served by the greatest of sages at Their feet [see B.G. 9: 27 and also 2.7: 6, 4.1: 49: 57, 5.19: 9]. (7) Lord Indra was afraid and thought: 'He [Nârâyana] wants to usurp my kingdom.' He engaged Cupid who went to Badarikâs'rama together with his associates the Apsaras. There he in the gentle breeze of spring with his arrows, [consisting of] the glances of the women, tried to pierce Him, not knowing His greatness. (8) The Original Godhead understood the offense committed by Indra and spoke free from pride with a smile to the ones who stood there trembling: 'Please do not fear oh mighty Madana [Lord of Love], oh god of the wind and wives of the demigods, please accept these gifts from Us and bless this âs'rama with your presence.'*: According to the Matsya Purâna (3.10), Dharma, the father of Nara-Nârâyana Rishi, was born from the right breast of Brahmâ and later married thirteen of the daughters of Prajâpati Daksha.
(9) Oh god of men [Nimi], after He who Brings Fearlessness had spoken this way, the gods full of shame bowed to Him and said, begging for compassion with their heads down: 'Oh Almighty One, with You, the Supreme Unchanging One, this [kind of respect] is not that unusual, not with You at whose feet in great numbers those bow down who are self-controlled and satisfied within [see also 1.7: 10]. (10) For those who serve You to transcend their material worlds and reach the Supreme, there exist many hindrances [temptations] created by the enlightened souls [or the demigods]. But when one allots those souls their share by means of offerings in sacrifices, there are, for this other type of devotee, no such impediments. Because of You being the Protector he can place his foot then on top of those obstacles [see also 9.4: 8 and 10.2: 33]. (11) Some people [dealing] with us in the form of [material troubles like] hunger, thirst, the three time-bound qualities [of seasonal heat, cold and rain], the wind, the tongue and the genitals, fall victim of anger finding no results and abandon their difficult austerities as being useless. Having crossed endless oceans [of hardship] they then [with their anger, so to speak] drown in [the water of] a cow's hoof print [see B.G. 17: 5-6, 6.1: 16 and compare 5.8: 23 and 10.12: 12].'
(12) As they were praising Him [Nârâyana] He before their eyes showed [a number of] women most wonderful to behold, who nicely being decorated were serving the Almighty One [see also 2.7: 6]. (13) Seeing these women who were like the Goddess of Fortune in person, the followers of the god [of love] were bewildered by the magnificence of the beauty and fragrance that humbled their own luster. (14) The Lord of All Lords with a faint smile said to those who bowed down before Him: 'Please choose from these ladies one you deem suitable as an ornament of heaven.'
(15) The servants of the demigods vibrating 'om' in consent, offered Him their obeisances, chose Urvas'î, the best of the Apsaras, and then returned to heaven with her put in front. (16) Bowing down before lord Indra in his assembly they, before an audience of all the residents of the three heavens, told him about the strength of Nârâyana. He stood amazed. (17) The Infallible Lord, Vishnu who with His expansions descends into this world for the welfare of the entire universe, spoke about self-realization assuming the forms of the [transcendental] swan [Hamsa], Dattâtreya, the Kumâras and our father, the Supreme Lord Rishabha [B.G. 14: 4]. The original texts of the Vedas were brought back by Him, the killer of Madhu, in His horse incarnation [Hayagrîva]. (18) In His fish incarnation [Matsya] He protected Vaivasvata Manu [Satyavrata], the planet earth, and the herbs during the deluge. In His boar incarnation [Varâha] He delivered the earth from the waters and killed the demoniac son of Diti [Hiranyâksha]. In the form of a tortoise [Kurma] He held the mountain [Mandara] upon His back with which the nectar was churned. He [in His transcendental form, Vishnu] freed the king of the elephants [Gajendra] who in his distress surrendered to Him because of the crocodile. (19) He delivered the ascetic sages [the tiny Vâlakhilyas] offering prayers, who had fallen [into the water of a cow's hoof print]. He delivered Indra from being absorbed in darkness after he had killed Vritrâsura. He delivered the wives of the demigods who were helplessly imprisoned in the asura palace [by Bhaumâsura]. He in the form of Nrisimhadeva killed Hiranyakas'ipu, the asura king, in order to free the saintly devotees from fear. (20) As Lord Vâmana He on the pretext of charity took the earth away from Bali and gave her to the sons of Aditi. By His various appearances [the ams'a-avatâras] He during the reign of each Manu protects the worlds. For the sake of the God-fearing souls He [seated on Garuda thus also] killed the daitya leaders in a battle between the gods and demons [see 8.10]. (21) As Lord Paras'urâma He rid the earth of the members of the ruling class and destroyed, as the fire that He descending from Bhrigu was, twenty-seven times the dynasty of Haihaya. As the husband of Sîtâ [Râmacandra] He subdued the ocean and killed Ten-head [Râvana] along with his soldiers on Lankâ. When one tells the stories about the glories of Him who is always victorious, the contamination of the entire world is annihilated. (22) The Unborn Lord will take His birth [as Krishna] in the Yadu dynasty and will, in order to diminish the burden of the earth, perform deeds that are even hard to perform for the demigods. At the end of Kali-yuga He [as the Buddha] with speculative arguments will bewilder those who perform their sacrifices apart from Him [or the traditions]. He [as Lord Kalki] will finally put an end to all low-class rulers. (23) There are of the so very glorious Lord of the Living Being [the Lord of the Universe Jagadîs'vara] we have thus described oh mighty-armed one, countless appearances and activities just like these.'
Chapter 5: Nârada Concludes His Teachings to Vasudeva
(1) The honorable king [Nimi] said: 'Oh you perfect in the knowledge of the soul, what is the destination of those who as good as never worship the Supreme Personality of Hari [see also 11.3: *4] and, with their lusts not at peace, are out of control with themselves?'
(2) S'rî Camasa said: 'From the face, arms, thighs and feet of the Original Person originated, with the different [combinations * of the] basic qualities of nature, the four spiritual orders [or âs'ramas] and vocations headed by the brahmins [or varnas, see also B.G. 4: 13]. (3) In case any member of these [orders] is not of worship or of disrespect for the Supreme Lord who is the source of his very self, he will, having strayed from his position, fall down [see B.G. 16: 23]. (4) Many people see no chance to engage in talks about the Lord and never consider Acyuta's glories. Personalities like yourself should be of mercy with [especially] women [compare 5.17: 15], with s'ûdras and others [who thus have lost their way]. (5) Even intellectuals, nobles and traders who [by initiation] got access to the lotus feet of the Lord, lose their way in their commitment to [all kinds of] philosophies of life [see also 5.6: 11, B.G. 2: 42-43]. (6) Ignorant about karmic matters they, who factually lack in experience but proudly consider themselves very learned, are enchanted by the beauty of the [Vedic] language and express themselves in flattering entreaties [to the demigods] that lead them astray [see also B.G. 9: 3]. (7) Full of passion, with evil desires and lusty, they are as angry as snakes, deceitful and conceited and sinfully make fun of the ones dear to Acyuta. (8) In their homes arranged for the sake of sexuality they speak amongst each other about the blessings of their worship of women. Killing animals without considering the consequences, they are of sacrifice for the sake of their own maintenance only and have no regard for the distribution of food and gifts in gratitude [to the spiritual leaders and their following, see also B.G. 16]. (9) With their intelligence blinded by pride about their wealth, special abilities, lineage, education, renunciation, beauty, strength and performance of rituals, they hard-hearted deride the saintly souls dear to the Lord, nor respect the Controller Himself [see also e.g. 1.8: 26, 4.2: 24, 4.31: 21, 5.1: 12, 7.15: 19, 8.22: 26 and also B.G. 2: 42-43]. (10) Less intelligent persons [preferably] do not hear about the most worshipable Lord glorified in the Vedas, the Supreme Soul who, [as separate] as the ether, is eternally situated in all embodied beings. They rather discuss the [materialistic] ideas that keep them going. (11) In the material world the conditioned soul is always led by sexual intercourse, meat-eating and intoxication [by alcohol and drugs] in disregard of the scriptural injunctions. These matters [though] are settled in [respectively] marital relationships, in sacrifices and in ritual usage with the purpose to suspend them [see also 1.17: 38-39]. (12) One only benefits with the fruit of dharma because of which there is both the knowledge and the wisdom that lead to liberation. But in their houses they [the materialists] do not see the insurmountable power of death over the body they identify themselves with [see also 3.30: 7, 7.6: 8, 4.29: 52-55 but also 4.22: 10]. (13) It is enjoined that wine should be accepted by smelling it and that likewise an animal should be killed as prescribed and not by hurting it [the 'wrong' violent way]. Sexual intercourse the same way is there [for conquering the urge] to beget children and not so much for sensual pleasure [B.G. 7: 11]. For this purest fulfillment of duty according to the rules they [the less intelligent ones] have no understanding. (14) Those who have no knowledge of these facts and most unholy presumptuously consider themselves saintly, harm innocently trusting animals. After they have left their bodies those animals will eat them [compare 5.26: 11-13 and 4.25: 7-8]. (15) Envying their own True Self, their Lord and Controller living [within their body and] in the bodies of others, they fall down who are bound in their affection to their own mortal frame and its relations. (16) They who did not achieve beatitude but managed to leave behind their ignorance, following the threefold path [of the three goals of pious living: rituals, an income and regulated desires, see also the purushârthas, 10.2: 32] will [still] ruin their life when they are not of any [reflection, meditation and] leisure [or work too hard]. (17) All those who kill their soul [by slaving without meditation] and miss the peace, presume in their ignorance to have knowledge but in due course of time suffer the destruction of all their hopes and dreams when they fail to fulfill their [spiritual] duties. (18) Those who turned their face away from Vâsudeva unintentionally enter the darkness, as is arranged by the illusory energy of the Supreme Soul, when they [at the end of their life] leave behind their homes, children, friends and wives.'
(19) The honorable king said: 'What color and form had the Supreme Lord in which time period and what are the names and methods by which He is worshiped by men? Please enlighten us about this.'
(20) S'rî Karabhâjana replied: 'Lord Kes'ava [Krishna] has in the [yugas] named Krita [or Satya], Tretâ, Dvâpara and Kali different complexions [see also 10.26: 16], names and forms, and is accordingly worshiped by various processes. (21) In Satya-yuga He is white, has four arms and matted locks and carries a tree bark garment, a black deerskin, a sacred thread, aksha-seed prayer beads, a rod and a water pot. (22) The human beings in that age are peaceful, free from envy, kind to all, equipoised and of worship for the Lord by means of both austerity and mind and sense control. (23) He is thus celebrated as Hamsa ['the Swan'], Suparna ['Beautiful Wings'], Vaikunthha ['the Lord of the Kingdom of Heaven'], Dharma ['the Maintainer of the Religion'], Yoges'vara ['the Controller of the Yoga'], Amala ['the Immaculate One'], Îs'vara ['the Supreme Controller'], Purusha ['the Original Person'], Avyakta ['the One Unmanifest'] and Paramâtmâ ['the Supersoul']. (24) In Tretâ-yuga He has a red complexion, golden locks and four arms and wears three belts [according to the initiations for the first three varnas] while carrying, as the personification of the three Vedas, sacrificial ladles [**] and such as His symbols. (25) The human beings who as seekers of the Absolute Truth are fixed in their religiosity, worship Him in that age with the rituals of sacrifice of the three Vedas as Hari, the godhead covering all the gods [see also 1.16: 20]. (26) One calls Him [in Tretâ-yuga] Vishnu ['the All-pervading One'], Yajña ['the Lord of Sacrifice'], Pris'nigarbha [the son of Pris'ni, 10.3: 32], Sarvadeva ['God of All Gods'], Urukrama ['the Lord of the Wide Strides'], Vrishâkapi [the Lord as memorable and rewarding who dispels the distress], Jayanta ['All-victorious'] and Urugâya ['Most Glorified']. (27) In Dvâpara-yuga the Supreme Lord is gray blue, wearing yellow garments and characterized by His attributes [the disc, club, lotus and conch] and His physical characteristics, like His S'rîvatsa, [peacock feather and Kaustubha gem]. (28) Oh King, mortal men who want to gain knowledge of the Supreme worship Him, the Original Person, in that age in the role of a great king, according to the Vedas and Tantras [like e.g. in 1.10: 16-18 and 10.74: 17-24 and ***] as follows. (29-30) 'We offer Sankarshana, Pradyumna, Aniruddha and You, Vâsudeva our obeisances, You Nârâyana Rishi, the Original and Supreme Personality of Godhead, the Greater Soul, the Controller of the Creation, the Very Form of the Universe and the True Self of all Living Beings [see catur-vyûha].' (31) Oh King, the Lord of the Universe is thus praised in Dvâpara-yuga. Please hear also how one in respect of the scriptural regulations is of worship in Kali-yuga [see also 7.9: 38]. (32) [in Kali-yuga] people of proper understanding worship, through sacrifices mostly consisting of congregational chanting, the Lord with a dark complexion and a bright luster [Krishna and Krishna-Caitanya], complete with His limbs, devotees, weapons and companions [see also Pañca-tattva] as follows. (33) 'Oh Supreme Personality, let me worship Your lotus feet. One always meditates upon them for they put an end to the humiliation [by the dominance of matter]. Answering to [all] the desire [of the soul] they constitute the authority and place of pilgrimage to which S'iva and Brahmâ bow down. Taking away the distress of Your servants, they are the most worthy shelter oh protector of the ones who surrender, and the boat for the ocean of birth and death. (34) Oh Supreme Personality let me honor Your lotus feet, for You fixed in dharma abandoned upon the words of a brahmin [like Akrûra, S'rî Advaita] the so hard to forsake and by the demigods anxiously desired, opulence of S'rî, oh You who, being of mercy for the ones who are caught in animal nature, [as Râma, Krishna, the Buddha, as Caitanya etc.] went to the distant land [of India, the wilderness, the forest, the desert, into sannyâsa] to pursue Your desired purpose [Your mission, Your dharma, Your presence as the Lord of the devotees, 4*].'
(35) Oh King, this is how the Supreme Lord Hari, the Lord of All Blessings, by the people of each yuga is worshiped with the names and forms belonging to that age. (36) Respectable souls knowing the value of the age praise Kali-yuga pointing out that it's essence consists of the blessing that all desired goals can be attained by the mere congregational chanting [of His names]. (37) For the embodied soul wandering around in this universe there is no greater gain than this [sankîrtana] by which the cycle of birth and death is broken and [His] Supreme Peace is attained [see also 2.1: 11, 3.33: 7, 8.23: 16 and 8.23*]. (38-40) The inhabitants of Satya-yuga and the other yugas oh King, want to take birth in Kali-yuga because one in that age oh great monarch, everywhere can find devotees of Nârâyana. One especially finds them in great numbers in the provinces of South India. The human beings there who drink from the water of the rivers the Tâmraparnî, the Kritamâlâ, the Payasvinî, the extremely pious Kâverî, the Mahânadî and the Pratîcî oh lord of men, are mostly pure-hearted devotees of the Supreme Lord Vâsudeva. (41) Oh King when someone forsakes his material duties and takes to the shelter of Mukunda, the One Affording Shelter, he is neither the servant nor the debtor of the gods, the sages, ordinary living beings, friends and relatives, society or of the forefathers [see also B.G. 3: 9]. (42) Someone who devoted to the shelter of His feet has given up his inclination for others, is very dear to the Supreme Lord Hari. Whatever misconduct [vikarma] somehow took place, will be removed by Him who is situated in everyone's heart [see 8.23: 16 and B.G. 9: 22, 9: 30, 18: 56].'
(43) S'rî Nârada said: 'After he thus had heard about the science of devotional service [king Nimi,] the master of Mithilâ felt most satisfied and offered together with the priests prayers to the wise sons of Jayantî [the Yogendras 5.4: 8]. (44) The perfected souls thereupon disappeared before the eyes of everyone present. The king faithfully followed this dharma and achieved the supreme destination. (45) You also [Vasudeva] oh most fortunate soul, will attain the Supreme when you, with faith in these religious duties, are situated in the devotional service you heard about and have abandoned your material concerns. (46) Because the Supreme Lord, the Controller Hari assumed the position of your son, the earth was fulfilled by your glories as husband and wife. (47) Showing your love for Krishna as your son, by your embracing and conversing, taking rest, sitting and eating with Him, your hearts were purified. (48) Kings like S'is'upâla, Paundraka and S'âlva who enviously competing related to His movements, glances and so on, and thus meditating fixed their minds upon Him as they laid down, sat down and such, have achieved a likewise [spiritual] position. What kind of blessings may then be expected for those who were favorably minded [see mukti and also Jaya & Vijaya]? (49) Do not think of Krishna that He would be your son. He is the Supreme Soul and Controller of All, who by the power of His illusory potency appeared as a normal human being and concealed His opulence as the Supreme Infallible One [see also B.G. 4: 6]. (50) The fame of Him who descended to award liberation spread wide over the world because He appeared for both putting an end to the asura members of the noble class who burdened the earth as for the protection of the transcendentalists devoted to Him [see also B.G. 4: 7].'
(51) S'rî S'uka said: 'Having heard this, the greatly fortunate Vasudeva and Devakî were most amazed and gave up the illusion they had cherished [of considering Krishna their son]. (52) He who one-pointed of attention meditates upon this pious, historical account, will this very life shake off his [material] contamination and achieve spiritual perfection.'
*: With the Rik-samhitâ (8.4: 19), the S'ukla-yajur Veda (34: 11) and the Atharva Veda (19: 66) all saying 'The brâhmana appeared as His face, the king as His arms, the vais'ya as His thighs, and the s'ûdra was born from His feet', according to S'rîdhara Svâmî, the brahmins are considered to be born from the mode of goodness, the kshatriyas from a combination of goodness and passion, the vais'yas from a combination of passion and ignorance and the s'ûdras from the mode of ignorance.
**: Mentioned here are the vikankata wooden sruk and the khadira wooden sruvâ that serves the sruk for pouring ghee into the fire.
***: The paramparâ, as to remind us of the degradation of devotion through the yugas [see also 1.16: 20] elucidates: 'The inhabitants of Satya-yuga were described as s'ântâh, nirvairâh, suhridah and samâh, or peaceful, free from envy, the well-wishers of every living entity, and fixed on the spiritual platform beyond the modes of material nature. Similarly the inhabitants of Tretâ-yuga were described as dharmishthhâh and brahma-vâdinah, or thoroughly religious, and expert followers of the Vedic injunctions. In the present verse, the inhabitants of Dvâpara-yuga are said to be simply jijñâsavah, desiring to know the Absolute Truth. Otherwise they are described as martyâh, or subject to the weakness of mortal beings.' One after the other age is one thus worshiping by meditation, sacrifices, temple worship and congregational chanting.
4*: The paramparâ adds to this: 'Corroborating the explanation of this verse, the followers of Caitanya Mahâprabhu also worship Him in His six-armed form of shad-bhuja. Two arms carry the waterpot and danda of the sannyâsî Caitanya Mahâprabhu, two arms carry the flute of Lord Krishna, and two arms carry the bow and arrow of S'rî Râmacandra. This shad-bhuja form is the actual purport of this verse of the S'rîmad Bhâgavatam'.
Chapter 6: Retirement on the Advise of Brahmâ and Uddhava Addressed in Private
(1) S'rî S'uka said: 'Thereafter lord Brahmâ arrived [in Dvârakâ] being surrounded by his sons, the gods and the lords of man. Lord Bhava [S'iva] also came, the for all living beings favorable controller, who was accompanied by a host of ghostly beings. (2-4) Also Indra the powerful controller and his gods [the Maruts] came, the sons of Aditi, the good ones of clarity [the Vasus], the protectors of health [the As'vins], the artists [the Ribhus], the descendants of Angirâ, the expansions of S'iva [the Rudras], the demigods of the intellect [the Vis'vedevas], of commerce [the Sâdhyas] and other demigods, the singers and dancing girls of heaven [Gandharvas and Apsaras], the ones of excel [the Nâgas], the perfected ones [Siddhas] and the venerable souls [Câranas], the treasure keepers [Guhyakas], the seers [the Rishis], the forefathers [Pitas] and the scientists [Vidyâdharas] as also the ones of special talents [the Kinnaras], all came together in Dvârakâ eager to see Krishna, the Supreme Lord who removes the impurities everywhere in the universe, who with His transcendental form enchants the entire human society and spreads His fame throughout all the worlds. (5) In that splendid city rich with a great abundance they with their hungry eyes saw Lord Krishna who is so wonderful to behold.
(6) Covering Him, the best of the Yadus, with flower garlands brought from the gardens of heaven, they praised Him, the Lord of the Living Being, and expressed themselves in all kinds of amazing ideas and words. (7) The gods said: 'We with all our intelligence, senses, vital air, mind and words bow down at Your lotus feet oh Lord, the feet upon which they meditate in their heart who are connected in the love of striving for liberation from the powerful grip of karmic consequences. (8) You, by [engaging] the material energy consisting of the three modes, create, protect and destroy the inconceivable cosmic manifestation within Yourself while being situated within those modes. [Nevertheless] You are by them not entangled in karmic activities at all oh Unconquerable One, because You, the irreproachable Lord, are always absorbed in Your unrestricted happiness [see also B.G. 3: 22]. (9) Oh Worshipable One, the purification of those persons who have a contaminated consciousness is not as much brought about by incantations, respecting injunctions, study of the scriptures, charity, penances and rituals, oh Greatest of All, as it is caused by listening to those souls who are situated in pure goodness and have a fully matured and transcendental faith in Your glories [see also 4.29: 36-38]. (10) May there for us be Your lotus feet, the fire that annihilates our inauspicious mentality and that by sages desiring the real benefit is carried in their appeased hearts, the fire of Your four forms [of soul, ego, mind and intelligence, the catur-vyûha] that three times a day is worshiped by the self-controlled devotees so as to reach beyond the [material] heavens and acquire an opulence like Yours. (11) Upon them [Your feet] they are meditating oh Lord, who, having folded their hands, pour the ghee they took into the fire of sacrifice in the [nirukta] process of understanding the three Vedas. Upon them the yoga practitioners are meditating who, inquisitive about Your [yoga-]mâyâ mystic potency, are united in the realization of the True Self. [But] they are fully attained [only] by the most elevated devotees [see uttama and 11.2: 45-47]. (12) With the withered flower garland that we offer You, Your Lordship's consort S'rî [dwelling there], oh Almighty One, feels challenged like a jealous co-wife, for You accept this offering as being properly performed [see also B.G. 9: 26]. May there always be Your lotus feet, the fire that consumes our impure desires! (13) Your feet that like flags decorating flagpoles with three mighty steps [defeat the possessiveness and bring down the water of the Ganges] in each of the three worlds [see 8.20], create fear among the armies of the demons and fearlessness among the troops of the God-fearing souls. For the virtuous souls they are there for the attainment of heaven and for the mischievous ones they are there for exactly the opposite oh Most Powerful One. May these feet oh Supreme Lord, free us Your worshipers from our sins. (14) Brahmâ and all the other embodied beings have their existence as oxen bound by a rope through their nose. Being controlled by Time they trouble each other. May the lotus feet of You, the Supreme Personality transcendental to both material nature and the individual person, bring us transcendental happiness [compare 1.13: 42, 6.3: 12]. (15) You are the cause of the creation, maintenance and annihilation of this [universe]. You are the cause of the unseen, the individual soul and the complete whole of the manifest reality. They say that You, this very same personality, are the time factor controlling all who appears as a wheel divided in three [summer, winter and spring/autumn]. One says that You are the Supreme Personality who in the form of Time uninterrupted in Your flow effects the decay of everything [*]. (16) The living being [beginning with Mahâ-Vishnu] acquires its power [potency] from that [time aspect] of Yours. You establish the vastness of matter with it [mahat-tattva]. United with that same nature You therefrom generate - the way an ordinary fetus is produced - the golden primeval egg of the universe endowed with its [seven] outer layers [see kos'a]. (17) You are therewith the original Controller of everything that moves and keeps its place. You after all, are in Your activities oh Master of the Senses, never affected Yourself by the change of the objects of the senses that presents itself because of the operating modes of nature. Others by contrast, engaged on their own accord [in austerities], having turned away live in fear [see also B.G. 16: 23-24]. (18) Your sixteen thousand wives were enchanting every time they launched the arrows of Cupid by showing their feelings with their eyebrows, smiles and glances. But they were not able to perplex Your senses by all the methods of their messages and advances of conjugal love [see also 1.11: 36]. (19) The rivers of nectar of Your stories and the rivers resulting from the bathing of Your feet, can put an end to all the impurities of the three worlds. Those who strive for purification and seek association, approach [You therefore] in two places: by making their ears listen to the stories the tradition offers [in the temples] and by bringing their bodies [in the rivers] in contact with the water that flows from Your feet.'
(20) The honorable son of Vyâsa [S'uka] said: 'After he who commands hundreds [of sages, Brahmâ] together with S'iva and the demigods thus had praised Govinda, the Supreme Lord, he addressed Him offering his obeisances from his position in the sky. (21) S'rî Brahmâ said: 'Oh Lord, we requested You previously to diminish the burden of the earth. Oh Unlimited Soul, You have fulfilled that request the way we wanted it. (22) Having established the principles of dharma among both the pious souls and the seekers of truth, it is indeed Your glory spread by You in all directions, that removes the impurity of all the worlds. (23) For the benefit of the universe assuming a form and descending in the Yadu dynasty, You with magnanimous deeds have performed incomparable activities. (24) Oh Lord, those saintly souls who in the age of Kali hear and chant about Your activities, will easily overcome the darkness [see also 10.14]. (25) Oh Supreme Personality, since Your descent in the Yadu-vams'a one hundred and twenty-five autumns have passed oh Master. (26-27) Oh You Foundation of Everything, for You there is no longer any obligation to the God-fearing souls and the remaining part of the dynasty has factually been annihilated by this curse of the brahmins [see 11.1]. Therefore we ask You whether You intend to leave for Your Supreme Abode and if You please want to protect us, the servants of Vaikunthha and the guardians of all worlds and their inhabitants.'
(28) The Supreme Lord said: 'I have understood what you said oh controller of the demigods. All the work has been accomplished for your sake, the burden of the earth has been removed. (29) This same Yadu family that [with My appearance has] expanded its power, courage and opulence, threatened to devour the entire world and has therefore been checked by Me just like an ocean is checked by its shore. (30) If I would not withdraw the vast dynasty of overly proud Yadus, this world would be destroyed by that flood. (31) Because of the brahmins' curse right now the annihilation of the family has begun. After that has taken place oh sinless Brahmâ, I will pay a visit to your abode.'
(32) S'rî S'uka said: 'Thus being addressed by the Lord of the World, the self-born one fell down at His feet to offer Him his obeisances. The godhead then returned to his abode together with the different gods. (33) The Supreme Lord thereafter observed the development of serious portents in the city of Dvârakâ. He spoke to the assembled Yadu elders. (34) The Supreme Lord said: 'These very serious disturbances appearing everywhere are a consequence of the curse the brahmins pronounced against our family, it is impossible to counteract. (35) We should not stay here if we want to continue with our lives. Let us not delay oh venerable souls, and this very day go to Prabhâsa, that so very pious place [**]. (36) The king of the stars [the moon god] who was seized by consumption because of a curse of Daksha, once took a bath there, was immediately freed from his offense and resumed the waxing of his phases. (37-38) When we also bathe there to the satisfaction of the forefathers, offer different kinds of foodstuff to the demigods and the venerable scholars and also distribute gifts with faith in them as being worth the charity, we will overcome the terrible danger, just as one with boats overcomes the ocean.'
(39) S'rî S'uka said: 'Oh child of the Kurus, the Yâdavas who were thus instructed by the Fortunate One, decided after due consideration to go to the holy site and yoked their horses to their chariots. (40-41) Oh King, Uddhava [see also 3.2 and 10.46 & 47] as an ever faithful follower of Krishna came to hear what the Lord had said. Facing the fearful evil omens [see also 1.14: 2-5] he approached the Lord of the lords of the universe in private and addressed Him with folded hands bowing down his head at His feet. (42) S'rî Uddhava said: 'Oh Lord and God of Gods, oh Master of Yoga, oh Piety of Hearing and Singing, You are about to withdraw this family now and give up this world. Even though You as the Supreme Controller are very well capable of it, You are not willing to counteract the curse of the brahmins! (43) Oh Kes'ava, I cannot even for half a moment tolerate to give up Your lotus feet, please take me also to Your abode [see also 3.29: 13]! (44) Your pastimes are supremely auspicious oh Krishna, they are nectar to the human ear. Once people have the taste of them they forsake all desire for other things. (45) How can we, who were always devoted to You when we were laying down, sitting, walking, standing, bathing, recreating and eating and such, ever abandon You, our dear most Self? (46) Eating the food remnants and adorned with the garlands, fragrances, garments and ornaments that You enjoyed, we, Your servants, will conquer the illusory energy for certain. (47) The but in air clad sinless, peaceful members of the renounced order, who as sages of strict observance always send their seed upwards, go to the abode known as Brahman [see ûrdhva retah and also 10.2: 32]. (48-49) We on the other hand oh Greatest of All Yogis, who in this world wander on the paths of fruitive labor, will together with Your devotees pass beyond the hard to conquer darkness by discussing the topics that make us remember and glorify Your deeds, words, movements, broad smiles, glances and Your amorous sports after the example of the human world.'
(50) S'rî S'uka said: 'Thus being informed oh King, the Supreme Lord, the son of Devakî, for a long time spoke in private with His dear servant Uddhava.'
*: Time in three can be regarded as the three types of seasons, summer winter and spring/autumn or as the three to the order, the cakra, of the sun, moon and the stars or the past, the present and the future and as the time of nature, culture and the psychological experience [see also tri-kâlika, 5.22: 2, time-quotes and B.G. 10: 30 & 33, 11: 32].
**: Prabhâsa is a famous holy place located near the Veraval railway station, within the region of Junagarah. At the base of the same pippala tree under which Lord Krishna was reported to have reposed there is now a temple. One mile away from the tree, on the seashore, is the Vîra-prabhañjana Mathha, and it is said that from this point the hunter Jarâ fired the arrow which marked the end of His earthly presence [as described in the last two chapters of this Canto].
Thus far version three, ......what follows is the second version.
Krishna Speaks about the Masters of the Avadhûta and the Pigeon of Attachment
(1) The Supreme Lord said: 'That what you said to Me, o greatly fortunate one [Uddhava], reflects My plan [to withdraw the dynasty]; and therefore are Brahmâ, Bhava and the leaders of the worlds, looking forward to see me back in My abode. (2) Certainly have I [in my earthly stay] in full performed My duty for the sake of the God-conscious. It is for them that I descended along with my partial expansion [Balarâma] to the prayer of Lord Brahmâ. (3) This family finished by the curse will be destroyed in a mutual quarrel and on the seventh day [from now] will the ocean inundate this city. (4) When I, o virtuous one, have abandoned this world, will she be overcome by Kali and soon be bereft of all piety [see also 1.16 & 17]. (5) Be sure not to remain in this world once I've abondoned her, for in Kali's time will the people on earth be enmeshed in sin My dearest. (6) You should factually forsaking all emotional ties, with your mind fully fixed on Me, wander around in this world with an equal mind [see B.G. 6: 9, 6: 29, 14: 22-25]. (7) This temporary world you think of, talk about, observe, hear and all that, you should recognize to be a deluding game of shadows capturing your imagination [see also 10.40: 25]. (8) Someone who is not [spiritually] connected is confounded by all the opinions about what would be right and wrong, favorable, unfavorable and defiant and is thus innerly divided about good and evil [B.G. 4: 16]. (9) Consider therefore with your senses under control and your mind connected, this world as an expanse within the Self and that Self as situated in Me, the Lord Above. (10) With knowledge and wisdom fully endowed is one, satisfied within oneself and of apprehension with the Soul that for everyone who is embodied is the object of affection, never discouraged by setbacks. (11) Risen above the two of considering bad - and refraining from - what is forbidden and considering good - and doing that - what's generally accepted, isn't one dancing to the piper like an immature child. (12) When one to all one's fellow beings acts as a well-wisher firmly rooted in peace, and one wisely knows the universe as being pervaded by Me, will one never ever be the one who time and again tastes defeat.'
(13) S'rî S'uka said: 'O King, after thus by the Supreme Lord having been instructed bowed the exalted and fortunate Uddhava, eager to learn about the supreme principle, down to the Infallible One to offer his respects. (14) S'rî Uddhava said: 'O Lord of Yoga who unites us, o Soul who connects us, o Source of the Mystical, to my advantage You spoke of renunciation the way it is known in sannyâsa. (15) This renunciation is difficult to perform my Lord when one is dedicated to material pleasure and sense gratification, especially when one is not devoted to You I think [compare B.G. 6: 33-34]. (16) I am with my consciousness merged with the body and its relations as arranged by Your mâyâ and thus foolish of the notion of 'I' and of 'mine'. Teach me therefore, so that Your dear servant may easily execute according the process that You instruct. (17) Who else is there but You who are of the Truth and reveal Yourself for me personally? What other speaker than my Lord, the Supreme Soul, does actually qualify? Not even among the ones awakened do I see such a speaker. In their consciousness are all, up to the ones lead by Brahmâ, embodied souls who, when they take the external for substantial, are bewildered by Your mâyâ. (18) Therefore do I, who with my mind in renunciation am tormented in distress, appraoch You Nârâyana, o Friend of Man for shelter, o You perfect, unlimited and omniscient Controller ever fresh in Your abode of Vaikunthha.'
(19) The Supreme Lord said: 'Generally do humans who are well acquainted with the state of affairs in this world deliver themselves with the help of their own intelligence from the inauspicious disposition [of a wanton mind]. (20) In a way constitutes the intelligence the guru of a person because he with the help of the intelligent self, or his soul, is able to benefit from his reasoning and direct perception. (21) And thus can they who are wise because of their experience, in their reasoning with the [bhakti-]yoga in their human existence, see Me clearly manifested in My full glory of being endowed with all My energies [see also Kapila]. (22) There are many types of bodies created with one, two, three, four or more legs or with none at all; of them is the human form the one most dear to Me [see also 3.29: 30, 6.4: 9]. (23) Situated in such a body is one with one's faculties of perception, through apparent and indirectly ascertained symptoms and with logical deductions directly looking for Me, the Supreme Controller beyond the grasp of sense perception [see also 2.2: 35, 2.9: 36]. (24) Concerning this is cited an ancient story of a conversation between an avadhûta and the o so mighty king Yadu.
(25) Yadu, well versed in the dharma, once saw a young brahmin mendicant wandering around unafraid of anything, and took the opportunity to ask him questions[see also 7.13]. (26) S'rî Yadu said: 'How did you acquire this extraordinary intelligence o brahmin? How can you, fully cognizant not being engaged in any work, travel the world with the confidence of a child? (27) Normally are people who are religious, work for an income, gratify their senses and pursue knowledge, endeavoring for the purpose of opulence, a good name and a long life. (28) You however, capable, learned, experienced, handsome and eloquent as you are, are not a doer; you do not desire a thing, like a stupefied, maddened, ghostly creature. (29) Everyone is burning in the forest fire of lust and greed, but you, who to be free from the fire stand in the Ganges like an elephant, do not burn at all. (30) Please o brahmin, disclose to us, who are asking you for it, what the cause is of the inner happiness that you, living all by yourself, experience without any form of material enjoyment.'
(31) The Supreme Lord said: 'This way being asked and honored by the greatly fortunate and intelligent Yadu who out of respect for the brahminical humbly bowed his head, spoke the twice-born one. (32) The honorable brahmin said: 'Rationally taking shelter of many spiritual masters o King, do I, having gained in intelligence from them, now liberated wander around in this world. Please listen to their description. (33-35) The earth, the air, the sky, the water, the fire, the moon; the sun, the pigeon, the python, the sea, the moth, the honeybee; the elephant, the honey thief, the deer, the fish, the prostitute [Pingalâ], the osprey; the child, the girl, the arrow-maker, the serpent, the spider and the wasp. These are my twenty-four spiritual masters o King. From studying their actions have I in this life learned everything about the Self. (36) Please listen o tiger among men as I explain to you, o son of Nâhusha [or Yayâti], what I so learned from each of them separately.
(37) From the earth I learned the rule that he who is in knowledge should not deviate from the path and keep steady, however harassed he is by his fellow living beings who in fact simply answer to what is arranged by fate. (38) From the mountain [that is part of the earth] learns one always to be there for others, that one must devote all one's actions to the service of others. To the example of a tree [see S'rî S'rî S'ikshâshthaka-3] to be dedicated to others is for a pious person the sole reason for his existence [see also 10.22: 31-35 and B.G. 17: 20-22].
(39) A sage should be happy with the mere movement of his vital air and not so much seek his satisfaction in things that please the senses. That way will his spiritual knowing not be lost and his mind and speech not be distracted. (40) To the example of the wind should a yogi, relating to the objects of the senses and their favorable and unfavorable qualities, as a transcendental soul not get entangled. (41) A yogi may in this world live in earthly bodies and take upon himself their characteristic qualities, but he, well aware of himself, does not get entangled in those qualities, just as the air doesn't with the different odors.
(42) Similar to the ether that is present within the moving and nonmoving living beings, should a sage who unattached - according the Supersoul that is present in all things - realizes that he himself is pure spirit, meditate upon the expansiveness as being undivided and all-pervading [see also B.G. 2: 24, 3: 15, 6: 29-30, 9: 6, 11: 17, 12: 3-4 and 13: 14]. (43) The same way as the realm of the ether is not touched by the winds that blow the clouds, is a person [in his real self] not affected by the physical bodies consisting of fire, water and earth that according the modes of nature are moved by Time.
(44) A sage, who by nature is a pure, softhearted, sweet and gentle place of pilgrimage for the human beings, sanctifies, just as water does, the ones who gather [the friends], by showing himself to them and by allowing a respectful touching and honoring of his person [see also sâkhya].
(45) Brilliant, glowing and immovable because of his austerity, is he who only eats when it is necessary connected in the soul. Even when he eats everything [and thus goes beyond necessity] is the one austere not contaminated, just as a fire isn't. (46) Sometimes [like a fire thus] concealed and sometimes manifest devours he, being worshipable to those who desire the highest, the offerings that are brought from all sides and burns he the misfortune of the past and the misfortune lying ahead [see also 10.81: 4 and B.G. 3: 14]. (47) By His own potency assuming the identity of each enters the Almighty One, just like fire appearing in firewood, the different types of bodies of higher and lower life forms ['true' and 'untrue' ones, god or animal].
(48) Enforced by the movements of Time that itself cannot be seen, changes the state of the body with the phases of life from birth to death. But that does not affect the soul, just as the moon itself is not affected by its phases [B.G. 2: 13, 2: 20]. (49) The way the soul(s) cannot be seen with the bodies that constantly are born and die again like the flames of a fire, can also the Time itself not be seen, despite its speeding, urging stream [*].
(50) A yogi accepting the sense objects renounces them at the right time [according the cakra order]. He doesn't get entangled in them just as the sun doesn't when he with his rays enters the waters. (51) When the sun seems to have fallen apart in his reflections doesn't one consider his original form as being different. So too is the soul, that for the dull-minded appears to have fallen apart in reflections [of different selves], not seen as different.
(52) One should never lose oneself in excessive affection or close association with anyone, because one thus indulging will have to suffer great distress. One then lives by the day like a pigeon [see also 7.2: 50-56]. (53) A certain pigeon once in the forest built its nest in a tree and dwelt there for some years with a female companion. (54) As attached partners in their household were they with their hearts full of affection tied together as by ropes, glance to glance, body to body and mind to mind. (55) Trusting each other as a couple were they in the trees of the forest occupied with resting, sitting, walking, standing communicating, playing, eating and so on. (56) Whatever she would like, o King, was what he, desiring to please her, tried to fulfill. Not holding back in any way, catered he mercifully to her desires, even when it was difficult. (57) The chaste she-pigeon got pregnant for the first time and delivered, in due course, in the nest the eggs in the presence of her husband. (58) From them hatched at the appropriate time the little ones with the tender limbs and feathers that were created by the inconceivable potencies of the Lord. (59) The couple most happy nourished their progeny, to which they compassionately in rapture listened to the awkward sounds of their chirping children. (60) Seeing the little ones happy with their fluffy wings, their endearing chirping and their activities of jumping up to fly, filled the parents with joy. (61) With their hearts bound together by affection nourished they completely bewildered by the illusory potency of Vishnu their children, their offspring. (62) One day went the two heads of the family away for food for the children and wandered they far most anxiously searching all around in the forest. (63) A certain hunter who happened to pass through the forest saw the young moving about near their nest and caught them with a net he had spread. (64) The he and she pigeon who were always eagerly engaged in the care of their children next returned to the nest to bring them food. (65) When the female pigeon saw that the ones born from her, her children, were trapped in the net, rushed she forward in utter distress crying out to them who were also crying. (66) Bound by her affection unrelenting looking after the captured children, forgot she herself being overwhelmed by the mâyâ of the Unborn One and was she also trapped in the net. (67) The unfortunate male pigeon most wretchedly lamented over the capture of his children who were him more dear than his life and his wife who was so much alike him: (68) 'Alas, just see how I, so unintelligent and so little of merit, find my destruction. I failed to fulfill the threefold purpose [the purushârthas] of life and have thus ruined my family! (69) She who being suitable accepted me faithfully as her husband, has, saintly having departed for heaven with her sons, left me behind with my home empty. (70) What now is the purpose of my life with my wife and children dead and me wretched suffering a miserable life of separation in the empty nest?' (71) With him distressed watching them indeed caught in the net in the grip of death, fell, even he stunned failing in intelligence, also into the net. (72) The ruthless hunter having achieved his purpose took the householder pigeon, the pigeon children and the pigeon wife with him and set off for his home.
(73) A family man who [because of neglecting the civil virtues] dissatisfied with the soul takes pleasure in material opposites, will suffer greatly together with his relatives, just like this bird that [without the religiosity, the sense control and the economic arrangements] is so miserable in maintaining his family. (74) The person who having achieved the human position, with the door of liberation wide open, in family affairs is attached like this bird, may, to whatever height he reached, be considered fallen [see also 3.30, 3.32: 1-3, 4.28: 17, 5.26: 35, 7.14, 7.15: 38-39, 7.15: 67, 8.16: 9 and 10.69: 40].'
*: This analytic method, of in this case returning to the subject of the fire after having introduced the next subject of the moon, is called simhâvalokana, or 'the lion's glance', by which one simultaneously proceeds forward and casts backward glances to see if anything has been overlooked.
What One Learns from Nature and the Story of Pingalâ
(1) The honorable brahmin said: 'Since there is sensual happiness for as well those in heaven as for those in hell o King, and because there for all the embodied beings is also the unhappiness [as a logical consequence, reaction or shadow], should an intelligent person not desire such happiness [see B.G. 16: 16].
(2) As inactive as a python should one eat what is acquired accidentally, whether it is much or little, tasteless or pure and delicious food [7.13: 37-38]. (3) Fasting for many days should one keep one's peace and patiently wait when no food comes one's way, just like the python that eats what providence provides [7.15: 15]. (4) When one as well physically as mentally being strong maintains the body without much effort, is one peaceful and not sleepy. Even though one is capable of anything, should one [in that situation refrain] from endeavoring.
(5) A sage pleasing and grave, unfathomable, unlimited and unsurpassable [in his knowing] most surely is never disturbed like the calm waters of the ocean [see also B.G. 12: 15]. (6) Destitute or flourishing with the desirable, does someone wise, with Nârâyana as the One Supreme, swell nor dry up, just like the ocean with the rivers [B.G. 2: 70].
(7) Seeing a woman does he who didn't conquer his senses, tempted by that seductive illusory energy of God, blindly fall down into the darkness, just like a moth falls into the fire. (8) Upon seeing the clothing, golden ornaments and so on of the women the way it is arranged by mâyâ, will a person lacking in discrimination with his desire for sense-gratification feel aroused by lusty desires and no doubt, the way a moth is destroyed, loose his spiritual insight [B.G. 2: 62-63].
(9) Eating little bits of food, just enough to keep the body alive, should one being wise practice [social] security [being of nonviolence] with the householders and thus be of the occupation of a honeybee [5.5: 3, 7.2: 11-13, 7.12: 6. 7.14: 5, 7.15: 15 and B.G. 4: 21]. (10) An intelligent human being should from the smallest as well as the biggest religious scriptures extract the essence, just like a honey bee does with all the flowers big and small [11.7: 23, B.G. 15: 15]. (11) Not being a collector like a honeybee is, should one with the belly as one's container and the hand as one's plate accept food in charity and not keep it for the night or the next day. (12) A mendicant should not store things for the night or the following day, because he otherwise like a honeybee collecting more and more will be lost.
(13) A mendicant must not touch a girl, not even one of wood or with his foot, because he otherwise, like an elephant is captured by a she-elephant, will be captured by the physical contact. (14) Not to find death, should a man of wisdom never chase a woman, because he otherwise will find destruction the way an elephant is defeated by others superior in strength.
(15) Riches by a greedy person accumulated with great difficulty are neither enjoyed personally nor given away to others; they are rather enjoyed by someone else who stumbles across the wealth and steals it the way one steals the honey from a beehive [see also 5.13: 10]. (16) Just as a honey thief is the first one to enjoy the honey that painstakingly was collected, is also the ascetic the first one to enjoy the eagerly desired blessings of the wealth that with a lot of trouble was acquired by householders [see e.g. 1.19: 39 and 7.14: 17].
(17) A devotee living in the forest should never listen to worldly songs and music; one should learn that by the example of the deer that was captured being bewildered by the hunter's call [see the bhajans]. (18) Taking pleasure in vulgar dancing, musical entertainment and such songs, fell Rishyas'ringa, the son of Mrigî, because he like a plaything was fully controlled by women [see *, 5.8 and 5.25: 11].
(19) The way a fish following its taste with no intelligence is hooked and finds its death, can also a person, disturbed by what the tongue dictates, against his better knowledge waste his life. (20) The learned who are of selfrestraint quickly conquer the material senses, except however for the tongue, of which the taste for food increases with the fasting [see prasâdam prayer]. (21) As long as the tongue is not conquered can of a human being, despite having conquered all the other senses, still not be said that he's of self-control; but he who has conquered the tongue, has conquered all [see also 8: 16 and B.G. 2: 59].
(22) In the city of Videha there used to be a prostitute called Pingalâ. Now learn from me o son of kings, what I learned from her. (23) She as a prostitute stood one night, to get a customer into her house, outside in the doorway to display her beautiful figure. (24) O best among men, motivated for the money regarded she all the men who passed by in the street as customers willing to pay the price. (25-26) As they came and went thought she, this way subsisting on selling her love: 'Maybe will some guy carrying plenty approach me for love and give me a lot'. With this vain hope not sleeping and leaning in the doorway, walking down the street and turning back to the house, it became midnight. (27) Morose in her desire for money dropping her face, awakened in her anxiety that moment a supreme detachment which brought her happiness. (28) Detachment works like a sword cutting through the binding network of hopes and desires. Please listen to the song she sang after this change of heart. (29) Dear King, evidently a person who doesn't know how to turn away from the world will not be willing to give up what binds physically, just as a human being lacking in wisdom never desires to give up his sense of ownership. (30) Pingalâ said: 'See how illusioned I am! I must be out of my mind imagining all this in my lust with a fake lover. (31) Having given up on the pleasure that belongs to Him, the One That is Most Near and Dear, was I, this ignoramus, most insignificantly of a service that, never taming the desire, brings misery, fear, distress, grief and illusion. (32) Oh how uselessly subjecting my soul to torture have I, busy as a prostitute - the most reprehensible of occupations - with my body desiring money and sexual pleasure, been selling out to womanizers who, lusting for my body, are lamentable themselves. (33) What other woman would devote herself this much to this house with nine doors which, constructed with the support of the bones of a spine, the ribs, the hands and legs and covered by a skin, hair and nails, is full of stool and drips urine [compare B.G. 5: 13 and 4.25-28]? (34) Among the residents of Videha am I the one of an intelligence that is really perplexed, for I am the one who most unchaste desires to please her senses with another man different from Him who gives us Soul, Acyuta. (35) By paying the price of giving myself to Him, the well-wisher that's absolutely the one most dear, the Lord and Soul of all who are embodied; I will for certain enjoy like Ramâ. (36) How much real happiness have the sensual pleasure and the men who satisfied my senses provided? To have an eye on a wife or the gods [even] has all, spread over time, a beginning and an end. (37) The person of me so desperate must therefore somehow have pleased the Supreme Lord Vishnu who brings the happiness that I now experience with my having forsaken the sense gratification! (38) A woman who is really unfortunate wouldn't have to face this kind of hindrances on the path of selfrealization, because they lead a person to shake off the detachment and find [real] peace. (39) Now that I refrain from cherishing false hope in relation to sexual intercourse, do I, with accepting upon my head the great help He offers, seek Him the Original Controller for my refuge. (40) Happily convinced without reservation that I thus will be able to cope with whatever comes my way, I will manage to appreciate it to live with only the One, the Self of Love and the Happiness free from doubt. (41) Who else but the Original Controller, who is capable of delivering the living being that is seized by the timeserpent, would there be when one like me in pleasing the senses is bereft of all insight and fell down in the dark well of the material ocean [see also 10.34]? (42) When the self thus can behold the universe as being seized by the timeserpent, becomes he, attentively detached from all that is material, for sure his own protector.'
(43) The honorable brahmin said: 'Thus having decided to cut with the desperation that was caused by her desire for lovers, sat she down on her bed having found inner peace. (44) With the insight that the greatest unhappiness consists of a constant desire and that being free from expectations is of the contrary, slept Pingalâ happily now that she had given up to hanker for lovers.'
*: Rishyas'ringa, meaning 'deer-horn' to the deer that is musically attracted, was the young son of the sage Mrigî, intentionally brought up by his father in an atmosphere of complete innocence. Mrigî Rishi thought that if his son were never exposed to the sight of women he would always remain a perfect brahmacârî. But by chance the inhabitants of the neighboring kingdom, who were suffering from a long-term drought, received divine advice that rain would return to their kingdom only after the brâhmana named Rishyas'ringa stepped foot in it. Therefore they sent beautiful women to the hermitage of Mrigî to entice Rishyas'ringa and bring him back with them. Since Rishyas'ringa had never even heard about women, he easily fell for their trap [quoted from pp 11.8: 18].
Detachment from All that is Material
(1) The honorable brahmin said: 'Attachment to whatever of the possessions held so very dear by man [house, wife, car etc.], sure leads to misery; whoever knows that will, when he frees himself from such attachment, thereupon achieve unlimited happiness.
(2) Having meat a large hawk [the osprey] was attacked by others who were very strong and without prey; at that time giving up the meat he achieved happiness.
(3) I myself, who like a child enjoys in the soul only, wander about out here. In me one finds no honor or dishonor. Living with the true self I do not know the anxiety of the one who has a home and children. (4) Of the ones free from anxiety there are two types: the one retarded who ignorant as a child has merged in great happiness and the one who has achieved the One Supreme above the Modes of Nature.
(5) At the house of a young girl who wished she was a wife and of whom all the relatives were gone to another place, once arrived a couple of men whom she received with great hospitality. (6) Being alone she beated the rice so that her guests could eat, and doing so made the conchshell bracelets on her forearms a lot of noise. (7) In her shyness ashamed about that [servant-] noise, broke she, intelligent as she was, one by one the shell bracelets from her arms, leaving but two on each wrist. (8) Still there was of the two, as she was husking the rice, the noise of course. But after she removed one from each of the two remained only one and could no sound be heard anymore. (9) O subduer of the enemy, I, wandering around in all regions searching for the truth about the world, personally witnessed the lesson taught by this girl. (10) In a place where many people are quarrels will rise, even among two people who converse alone. Therefore one should live like the young girl's bracelet. (11) The mind should be steadied by detachment and a regulated practice [vairâgya and abhyâsa] in which one conquers one's breathing in sitting postures and carefully concentrates on one point [the true self, see also B.G. 6: 10-15 and 6: 46-47]. (12) Having obtained permanence in that position one achieves with that very mind, step by step having given up the contamination of karma, nirvâna because one grew strong in sattva no longer fueling rajas and tamas [see also B.G. 6: 26 and 14: 6-8].
(13) When one thus is anchored to the soul is one unconcerned about whatever outside or inside oneself, just as when the arrowmaker being absorbed in the arrow didn't notice the king passing nearby [see B.G. 7: 27-28].
(14) Moving alone without a fixed residence [or temple] and exercising restraint not being recognized in his actions a sage, being without companions, will speak only little. (15) Building a home but failing to accomplish [a spiritual life, see B.G. 4: 18] is a miserable thing; just think of the snake that lives happily occupying a hole that was built by others.
(16) The one Self, the one Supreme Controller without a second, who became the Foundation and Reservoir of All, is Nârâyana, the Godhead who in the beginning by His own potency created the universe and by His potency of Time at the end of the kalpa withdraws His creation within Himself. (17-18) When by His potency of the time factor the material powers of sattva and so on have been balanced, exists the Original Personality, the purusha of the primary nature [pradhâna], who is the worshipable Controller of the gods and normal souls, in the purest experience of revelation that one describes as kaivalya [beatitude], the fulness of the blissful state free from material association [see also B.G. 7: 5 and *]. (19) By means of the pure potency of His Self, His own energy composed of the three modes, manifests He the plan of matter [constitutes He the sûtra, the thread, provides He the rule or direction of the mahat-tattva]. He achieves that [in the form of Time] by agitation at the onset of creation [see also 3.26: 19]. (20) To that [thread] that turns out to be the cause of the three modes that create the different categories of the manifestation, so one says, is this universe, by which the living being undergoes its existence, strung and bound [see also B.G. 7: 7]. (21) Just as the spider, expanding the thread from within himself, by his mouth with that thread enjoys [his meal] and eventually swallows that thread, the Supreme Controller operates the same way.
(22) On whatever the conditioned soul fixes his mind out of love, hate or fear, that particular state he will, because of the full concentration of his intelligence, reach thus [see B.G. 8: 6]. (23) O King, a wasp larva meditating on the fully grown wasp that has put him in the hive, keeping to its own body, reaches the same state of being fully grown.
(24) This is what I know from taking instruction from all these gurus. Now please o King, hear from me what I have to say about the knowledge I acquired learning from my own body. (25) With one's body one always has to suffer because of the inevitable burden of its maintenance and future destruction. I contemplate the truths of the world with it and thus is the body, even though it is there for the service of others, to me a teacher of renunciation and discrimination who convinces me to wander about in detachment. (26) The body is bound to the mission of pleasing all the categories of the wife, the children, the animals, the servants, the home and the relatives. Before it has to die it has expanded by begetting a likewise body and for that purpose it went at lengths to achieve a favorable financial position. In that sense the body is like a tree that before it dies produces its seeds. (27) From one side the tongue distracts thirsty the cherished body at times, from the other side the genitals do so, the sense of touch acts thus, the belly demands attention, the ears lead elsewhere, the smell goes or the fickle eyes are leading elsewhere; and so all parts of the body like co-wives pull the head of the household in many directions. (28) After the Supreme Lord had created the trees, venomous insects, mammals, birds, snakes and all other sorts of material bodies by means of His bewildering potency, created the Lord, not satisfied with it, the human being He endowed with an intelligence fit for envisioning the Absolute Truth and achieved He thus happiness. (29) After many births having attained this human form that is so difficult to attain and which, even though it is not eternal, awards great value, should a sober person as long as he, subject to death, has not fallen [in his grave], without delay in this world endeavor for the ultimate liberation that is always within reach in all conditions of sense-gratification.
(30) Thus [from all these twenty-four plus one masters] seeing it in the Soul I wander, fully having developed renunciation and wisdom, the earth being freed from attachment and false ego. (31) Assuredly can the knowledge of a single teacher not be very solid or complete [see 11.3: 21]; the Absolute Truth without a second is by the sages thus defended from many perspectives.'
(32) The Supreme Lord said: 'The so very wise brahmin [who in fact was Lord Dattâtreya, see 2.7: 4 and **] after he thus had spoken to king Yadu and properly was honored by the king offering his obeisances, bid farewell and went away, just as contented as he had come. (33) Having heard the words of the avadhûta found Yadu, the forefather of our ancestors, liberation in a consciousness equal to all.'
*: Considering verse 3.25: 34 stating that devotees do seek company to associate for Krishna, do the âcâryas after this verse say that that single mindedness for the Lord, not speculating as jnânis, is the same as being alone not to land in quarrels [see pp. 11.9: 10].
**: The paramparâ [pp. 11.9: 32] confirms: 'This verse [2.7: 4] mentions that Yadu was purified by contact with the lotus feet of Dattâtreya, and similarly the present verse states, vandito sv-arcito râjñâ - King Yadu worshiped the lotus feet of the brâhmana. Thus, according to S'rîla S'rîdhara Svâmî, the avadhûta brâhmana is the Personality of Godhead Himself, and this is confirmed by S'rîla Vis'vanâtha Cakravartî Thhâkura.'
The Soul Free, the Soul Bound
(1) The Supreme Lord said: 'A soul free from desire accepting My shelter should, in caring for the personal duties to God I spoke of [see also in e.g. 10.60: 52 and B.G. 3: 35], practice the varnâs'rama system of society [B.G. 4: 13]. (2) A purified soul should see how of the ones embodied who self-centered take the sensual for true, all endeavors are doomed to fail [see also B.G. 13: 32]. (3) What the meditator sees in the realm of sleep or in his fantasy is as futile as it is variagated. So too is one not really using one's intelligence when one is guided by the self that is separated by the modal qualities [B.G. 2: 41 & 9: 15]. (4) Devoted to Me one should perform the work that needs to be done for the detachment [nivritti] and forsake the activities in attachment [pravritti]. One shouldn't take heed of the injunctions for working for results when one is perfectly engaged in the search for spiritual truth [see 7.15: 47]. (5) The one devoted must always observe the basic rules [the commandments, the vidhi] and respect the co-ordinate ones at a suitable time [the niyama]. Also he must be of service to the peaceful guru who, knowing My form, does not differ from Me [see also 7.14: 41-42]. (6) With humility, not considering oneself the doer, be industrious, non-possessive, fixed in friendship, not hasty, interested in being inquisitive and free from spite and idle talk. (7) Remaining neutral concerning one's wife, children, home, land, folk and bank-account and such, should one recognize one's own interest in that of each [see B.G. 5: 18].
(8) The soul is the self-enlightened seer who is different from the gross and subtle body, the same way as fire emitting light with its burning differs from the firewood [see also B.G. 2: 16-24]. (9) Lodged within [the wood] assumes fire [upon ignition] its various dormant qualities that manifest as tiny or large etc. The same way assumes the spirit soul the qualities belonging to the body [see also 3.24: 6, 4.9: 7, 10.37: 10-11, 10.46: 36]. (10) That what, with this body that was formed by the modes, is tied to the samsâra ocean of matter which belongs to the Original Person [see B.G. 8: 4], is what is called the living entity of which the ties of attachment are cut by the knowledge of the Soul. (11) Therefore should one, by cultivating the knowledge of the Soul as being situated in oneself [2.2 and B.G. 9: 5], pure in one's approach with the realization of the Supreme, gradually let go of this concept of the material affair [as being an independent reality]. (12) The âcârya can be compared to the lower piece of kindling wood, the disciple to the top piece and the instructions to the stick used in between, while the knowledge is there as the fire that brings happiness [compare 9.14: 44-46]. (13) This purest intelligence that is transmitted by the experienced [the âcâryas], repels the illusion stemming from the gunas and is, in completely burning up what was established by the modes, itself pacified the way fire pacifies when it runs out of fuel [see also 11.3: 12].
(14-16) When you with this in mind think of the variegatedness of the different ways of making a living, when you think of those enjoyers of happiness and distress; if you keep in mind the perpetual existence of the material world, the time, the revealed scriptures and the soul; when you face the fact that all knowledge is subject to change because it is based upon the difference created by all the forms of existence and the changes of the sense objects; then, o Uddhava, [you must admit from merely that material vision * that] one thus always has the states of existence of being born [of being old and being diseased] and so on. For everyone embodied happens to have a body [which found its order] by the different limbs of time [knowing the divisions according the sun and moon, see 3.11]. (17) Of the performer who as the enjoyer therein furthermore is of fruitive activities, is the lack of independence clearly visible and can the happiness and unhappiness be observed; what value indeed can be derived from not [really for lasting happiness, see B.G. 9: 3 and 11.9: 1] being in control? (18) Among the embodied the foolish are not always happy and similarly even the ones intelligent are not always happy. The desire to be happy always is useless and in fact something most egotistical [see also B.G. 2: 15 and 11.9: 4]. (19) Even if they know how to achieve happiness and escape distress, they still do not know the uniting of consciousness [the yoga process] by which death will not be able to exert its power [compare B.G. 10: 34]. (20) What certainty of happiness or lust a material object would provide the person? With death never pleasing standing nearby is he like someone condemned who is led to the place of execution. (21) What we heard about [heaven] as well as what we know from our own experience [earth] is spoilt by rivalry, fault-finding, lapse and decay. Just like with agriculture many obstacles are in the way of a happy result, it is also useless to desire for perfect material happiness [see also 11.3: 20]. (22) When one in one's righteousness not is troubled by hindrances and one manages to excell in practice, even the status one thus acquired will not last forever. Please, listen therefore to the following [see also B.G. 2: 14].
(23) Out here having worshiped the gods with sacrifices the performer goes to the heavenly worlds where he like a god may enjoy the celestial pleasures he achieved [see B.G. 3: 11 and 4: 12]. (24) He shines in the temple [the 'vimâna'] because of his accumulated merit and he is, surrounded by goddesses who wear charming clothes, on his way [leaving this earth] by the singers of heaven glorified with songs. (25) While he with the women of heaven fares to his desire he with that notion of order is framed by the sounds of bells. In delight he forgets about the downfall he experienced [on earth] as he relaxes comfortably in the pleasure gardens of the God-conscious [see e.g. 7.15: 69-73]. (26) He, for long enjoying the heavens until his pious credit is used up and his piety is exhausted, against his will falls down from heaven, because he turned away from time [and thus was unsteady, compare B.G. 9: 20-22]. (27-29) If he, due to his material involvement, is engaged in actions against the dharma or, not having conquered his senses, lives wantonly as a miserable, greedy philanderer, is of violence against other living beings, kills animals against the rules and worships hordes of ghosts and spirits [compare 7.12: 12], a living being will, once he passed on, helplessly thereupon land in the deepest darkness of the hellish worlds. He will, because of what he did, again accept a material body to perform activities that [again] cause him great grief in the future. What happiness would one find in swearing by activities that invariably lead to death [see also 5.26: 37 and B.G. 16: 19-21]? (30) In all the worlds and among all their leaders there is fear of Me; the individual souls living for a kalpa fear Me and even the one supreme, Brahmâ who lives for two parârdhas, fears Me [see also 1.13: 17-20, 3.8: 20, 3.11: 33, 3.25: 42, 3.26: 16, 3.29: 37, 3.29: 40-45, 5.24: 15, 5.24: 28]. (31) The material senses stimulated by the modes of nature give rise to activities and the individual soul, the jîva, who is fully engaged by the materially oriented senses and the gunas, experiences the various karmic consequences [see also 3.32 and B.G. 3: 27]. (32) As long as there are the separate existences of the modes of nature will there be the different states of existence of the soul, and as long as there are the different states of existence of the soul, there for sure thus will be [the karmic] dependence [see also B.G. 17: 2]. (33) As long as one is not free from the dependence will there be fear of the Controller [the Time]. They who devote themselves to this [dependence] will, being bewildered, always be full of sorrow. (34) With the agitation by the modes of nature, one calls Me variously the Time, the Self, the Vedic Knowledge, the World, Nature, as also Dharma.'
(35) S'rî Uddhava said: 'Even though the one embodied is present in the midst of the modes of nature he is not necessarily bound to what forces itself upon him from the material body [the happiness and distress]. In other words, how can it happen that one as a free soul is bound by the modes, o Almighty One? (36-37) How is he situated, how does he enjoy, or by what symptoms can he be known? What would he eat or how would he evacuate, lie down or sit [compare B.G. 14: 21]? Explain to me what I ask You, o Infallible One, o Best of All who Know to Answer Questions. This at the same time being eternally bound and eternally being liberated is something that confounds me.'
*: This philosophy is known to be propounded by the the followers of Jaimini Kavi that defend the pravritti mârga of regulated sense-gratification before the nivritti-mârga of activities in renunciation; something to which the paramparâ offering this book, with this verse, strongly opposes pointing out that one thus eternally is stuck, nitya-baddha, in repeated birth, old age, disease etc.
Bondage and Liberation Explained and the Saintly Person His Devotional Service
(1) The Supreme Lord said: 'The explanation of being bound and being liberated due to My modes is that in reality they are not of the modes at all; My illusory energy is not the cause of bondage or liberation of [relating to] Me [*]. (2) Lamentation and illusion, happiness and distress and one's acceptance of a material body under the influence of mâyâ are merely notions of the intelligent self that prove the different mundane states of existence to be just as unreal as what one experiences in a dream. (3) Please, Uddhava, understand that knowledge and ignorance are two forms of My manifestation that, produced by My original potency, give rise to bondage and liberation. (4) Of the living entity, that is part and parcel of My Oneness o great intelligence, bondage is there since time immemorial because of ignorance and the opposite [of liberation] is there because of knowledge. (5) Let Me now, My dear, dilate on the different characteristics of the opposing nature of being conditioned and being liberated, that thus is found in one manifestation of character. (6) The two friends form a pair of birds of a similar nature who happen to have a nest in a tree. One of them eats the tree its fruits while the other refrains from eating, even though he is of superior strength [see also 6.4: 24]. (7) The one not eating the fruits of the tree, omniscient knows himself [Himself] as well as the other bird. The one eating doesn't give it any thought and is always bound, while the one who is full of knowledge at all times is liberated [see also B.G. : 4: 5]. (8) An enlightened person does not consider himself the body he inhabits, just like when a dreamer forgets his dream body when he rises in the morning. A foolish person though thinks differently despite being situated in the body [as its controller], he thinks like in a dream [he identifies with, see B.G. 16: 18]. (9) Free from the contamination of desire an enlightened person will not consider himself the doer, he rather considers his actions to be the operation of the by the modes of nature directed senses that respond to the by the modes created sense objects [see B.G. 3: 28]. (10) Because of the actions that factually are called down by the modes is the ignorant soul, inhabiting the body that is ruled by destiny, thus bound to [the egotistical notion of] 'I am the one who engages' [see also B.G. 3: 27]. (11) An intelligent person not attached to outer appearances is in his resting, sitting, walking, bathing, seeing, touching, smelling, eating, hearing and so on, thus never bound, regardless the direction in which he moves with his sensuality. (12-13) Even though situated in the material world, he cuts, completely aloof from its ruling powers, with all doubts with the assistance of the most expert and by detachment sharpened vision. Just as the sky, the sun and the wind are aloof, he has, like having awakened from a dream, turned away from the separateness of things. (14) The person of whom the functions of the life breath, the senses, the mind and the intelligence are not directed by desires, is completely free, despite being situated in a body that is ruled by the senses. (15) Sometimes is one's body for some reason attacked [by animals or enemies] and sometimes is one worshiped [by a lover or a follower], but an intelligent person is never affected when that happens [see B.G. 14: 22-25]. (16) With an equal vision having moved beyond the notion of good and bad a wise man will not praise those who are doing or speaking very well, nor criticize others who are doing or speaking poorly [see also B.G. 5: 18]. (17) One who is satisfied within should not act upon, speak about or contemplate matters of good and bad. A wise man should with this way of living wander around like a dull materialistic person [see also 5.9]. (18) Someone who is well versed in vedic literature but not that smart engages with the supreme interest [the Lord], will as a result of his efforts achieve a result comparable to the result of a person taking care of a cow that gives no milk. (19) O Uddhava, he who takes care of a cow that has given her milk, an unchaste wife, a body always dependent upon others, unworthy children, an unworthy recipient while donating, and he who wants to speak without any knowledge of Me [see also 10.14: 4 and 5.6: 11], suffers one misery after the other. (20) A wise person, My best, should not engage in terms of disrespect for My purifying activities or desired appearances in the form of the pastime incarnations [the lîlâ-avatâras] in service of the maintenance, creation and annihilation of the world, o Uddhava. (21) When one sorts this out and thus gives up the misconception of the material diversity as existing separately from the soul [**] should one, with fixing one's purified mind upon Me, the All-pervading One [see also B.G. 7: 19], put an end to one's materialistic life [B.G. 18: 55]. (22) And if you're not able to steady your mind on the spiritual platform, then dedicate, not deviating [from the regulative principles], all your actions to Me without expecting anything in return [B.G. 12: 11, 10: 10, 18: 54]. (23-24) A person of belief who listens to the narrations about My birth and activities, that with one's purifying, singing, constant rememberance and also dramatic expression are all-auspicious to the world, will, when he under My protection for My sake regulates his religiosity, sensual pleasure and finances [the purushârtas], develop an unflinching devotion unto Me, the Eternal One, o Uddhava. (25) By one's devotion for Me as acquired in sat-sanga [the association with devotees] becomes one My worshiper. As one can see with My devotees those people reach My abode easily.'
(26-27) S'rî Uddhava said: 'What kind of person would in Your opinion, o Uttamas'loka, be a saintly person, and what sort of worship unto You would carry the approval of Your pure devotees? Please speak about this to me, Your surrendered devotee who loves You as his only shelter, o Master of the Universe, Supervisor of the World and Commander of the Person. (28) You the Supreme God and Spirit alike the sky, the Original Person transcendental to material nature, are with Your incarnation, in which You accepted different bodies, the Supreme Lord according to the desire of the ones belonging to You.'
(29-32) The Supreme Lord said: 'When someone is merciful, causes no harm, is tolerant towards all embodied beings, is firmly anchored in the truth and an irreproachable soul; when someone is equal-minded, always acting for the better, of an intelligence that is not disturbed by material desires, is of restraint, is soft-natured, pure-hearted, non-possessive, not worldly, eating little and peaceful; when someone is steady, has Me for his shelter, is thoughtful, vigilant, a profound soul, is keeping respect, has conquered the shath-guna [the different forms of material misery], offers respect and invigorates; when someone is friendly, compassionate and learned and thus knows the qualities and shortcomings as taught by Me, is such a person, even when he gives up his own religious preferences [see also B.G. 18: 66] in his worship of all that belongs to Me, the best of the truthful ones [see also 5.18: 12, B.G. 12: 13-20]. (33) They who, whether they know it or not as to who I am and how I am, worship Me with unalloyed devotion, are by Me considered the best devotees. (34-41) Seeing, touching and worshiping My appearance in this world My devotees render personal service and offer prayers of glorification and obeisance, to which they regularly sing about My qualities and activities. In hearing the topics about Me they always with faith meditate upon Me, o Uddhava, and offer as servants in defense of the Soul all that they acquire. Discussing My birth and activities they take great delight in engaging with musical instruments and songs and dance, organizing to the order of the moon [at sundays or lunar phases] meetings and festivals in My [God's] houses. Sacrificing at all celebrations and annual festivities as mentioned in the vedic literatures and their tantra's, they observe vows and are of initiation in relation to Me. With the installation of My deity they are faithfully attached and endeavor for themselves as well as for others in working for flower gardens, orchards, playgrounds, cities and temples. Straightforward as servants they serve for My sake in thoroughly cleaning and dusting the house [the temple], washing with water [and cow-dung, see also 10.6: 20*], sprinkling scented water and making mandalas. Modestly without pride, not advertising one's devotional service and not reserving for oneself the light of the lamps presented to Me, one should offer Me the thing most dear to oneself or anything else that is most desired in the material world. With such offering one qualifies for immortality.
(42) The sun, the fire, the brahmins, the cows, the Vaishnavas, the sky, the wind, the water, the earth, the soul and all living beings, My dearest, all constitute a medium for My worship. (43-45) In the sun one can find Me by selected verses [like the Gâyatrî], with the help of worship and with obeisances [like with the Sûrya-namskar]. In fire one finds Me with offerings of ghee. One can find Me as the best among the learned when one worships Me by being hospitable to them. In the cows, My dear, you reach Me by means of offerings of grass and such. In the Vaishnava one finds Me by honoring him with loving friendship. I am found in the heart by being fixed in meditation on one's inner nature. In the air one finds Me by considering Me the life giving principle [represented in the prâna, by means of prânâyâma see B.G. 4: 29]. In water one can find Me using articles of worship that deal with water [see B.G. 9: 26]. In the earth [one finds Me] by offering food grains, applying sacred mantras from the heart [see e.g. Prasâda Sevâya and Bhoga-ârati]. And within the embodied self one can find Me as the knower of the field [see Paramâtmâ and B.G. 13: 3] by worshiping Me with a balanced mind [see niyama]. (46) Devoutly absorbed in Me thus meditating these different ways one must be of worship for My transcendental form that is equipped with the conchshell, the disc, the club and the lotus flower [see picture]. (47) Thus fully fixed upon Me being of worship with the desired and good works, one obtains by the fine quality of the service thus delivered durable bhakti and the remembrance of Me [see also B.G. 5: 29].
(48) O Uddhava, generally speaking there are, apart from the bhakti-yoga that is realized through the association with devotees, no means that actually work, because I am the true path of life for the ones of virtue [see also 4.31: 12]. (49) Thus o child of the Yadus, I will speak to you, who are willing to listen, even about the most confidential highest secret [of intimate association with Me], since you are My servant, well-wisher and friend [compare B.G. 18: 63 & 68].'
*: The paramparâ adds: 'The Supreme Personality of Godhead is not different from His potencies, yet He is always above them as the supreme controller.... Liberation means that the living entity should transfer himself to the spiritual potency of the Lord, which can be divided into three categories - hlâdinî, the potency of bliss; sandhinî, the potency of eternal existence; and samvit, the potency of omniscience.' This is another formulation of the divine in terms of sat-cit-ânanda; Krishna as being eternity, consciousness and bliss.
**: Quoting from the Viveka, S'rîla Madhvâcârya states that nânâtva-bhramam, the mistake to the material diversity, indicates the following illusions: considering the living entity to be the Supreme; considering all living entities to be ultimately one entity without separate individuality; considering that there are many Gods [independent of one another, see 5.18: 12]; thinking that Krishna is not God [is not personal as well as impersonal the complete whole, vâsudeva sarvam iti, B.G. 7: 19]; and considering that the material universe [the impersonal] is the ultimate reality [see also 1.2: 11]. All these illusions are together fought by chanting theor the Mahâmantra of Lord Caitanya, or attending to the other bhajans for two hours a day.
The Confidential Secret Beyond Renunciation and Knowledge
(1-2) The Supreme Lord said: 'Mysticism nor analysis, common piety nor the study of the scriptures; penances, renunciation, desirable and pious works nor charity; respecting vows, ceremonies, vedic hymns, pilgrimage, general discipline nor the basic rules contain Me the way the sat-sanga [see 11.11: 25] contains Me that removes all attachment to sense gratification. (3-6) By means of sat-sanga only many living entities, like the sons of Diti, the malicious ones, the animals, the birds, the singers and dancers of heaven, the excellent and perfected, the venerable and the treasure keepers, the scientific ones among the humans and the merchants, laborers and women, the uncivilized and the ones of passion and slowness, in each and every age achieve My abode. And so did Vritrâsura, the son of Kayâdhû [Prahlâda, see 6.18: 12-13] and others like them, Vrishaparvâ [see 9.18: 26], Bali, Bâna, Maya as also Vibhîshana [brother of Râvana], Sugrîva [leader of the Vânaras] and Hanumân, Jâmbavân, Gajendra, Jatâyu, Tulâdhâra, Dharma-vyâdha, Kubjâ and the gopîs in Vraja, as also the wives of the brahmins [see 10.23] and others. (7) They, not having studied the sacred scriptures, nor having worshiped the great saints, attained, without vows and not having undergone austerities, Me through My association. (8-9) Indeed through love only the gopîs, the cows, the immobile creatures, the animals, the snakes [like Kâliya] and others who were stunted in their intelligence, achieved perfection quite easily because they came to Me, I who cannot even be reached by greatly endeavoring with yoga, analysis, charity, vows, penances, ritualistic sacrifices, exegesis, personal study or taking to the renounced order. (10) When Akrûra took Me and Balarâma to Mathurâ were the inhabitants constantly attached [to Me] with minds steeped in the deepest love. With Me as the only one to make them happy were they most miserable after being separated from Me [see 10: 39]. (11) All the nights they spend in Vrindâvana with Me, their most dearly Beloved, o Uddhava seemed to them just like half a moment, but again bereft of Me they appeared to take as long as a kalpa. (12) They with their consciousness bound to Me in intimacy had lost the awareness of their own bodies, just as sages who fully absorbed lose the awareness of matters as close as names and forms, when they like rivers entering the ocean moved far [in the beyond, see also B.G. 2: 70]. (13) The women with Me, a charming lover to their desire, a lover of another man's wife, had no idea of the actual position of Me, the Absolute Truth Supreme, whom they by the hundreds of thousands achieved in association. (14-15) Therefore o Uddhava give up the injunctions, the regulations about them and the ritual culture for its own sake, give up that what you learned and will be learning; go for Me alone, the actual shelter of the soul within all the ones embodied; with that exclusive devotion you should by My mercy have nothing to fear from any side [compare B.G. 18: 66].'
(16) S'rî Uddhava said: 'Hearing Your words, o master of all yoga masters, has not dispelled the doubt that nestled in my heart and because of which my mind is bewildered.'
(17) The Supreme Lord said: 'He, the living being in person, is manifest within along with the prâna, for He entered the heart having His place in the subtle sound vibration that fills the mind in the grosser form of the different intonations of short and long vowels and consonants. (18) Just as fire confined within wood, with the help of air, kindled by friction is born very tiny and increases with ghee, I similarly manifest Myself in this spoken [vedic] word. (19) Thus there are as [My] transformations speech, the function of the hands and legs, the genitals and the anus [the karmendriyas]; smell, taste, sight, touch and hearing [the jñânendriyas] and the functions of one's determination, wisdom and self concern [or 'mind, intelligence and false ego'] as well as the primary of matter [pradhâna or the thread, see 11.9: 19] and rajas, tamas and sattva [the gunas]. (20) Indeed this living entity, one and unmanifest, that is concerned with the threefold, is the source of the lotus of creation. He, eternal as He is, in the course of time dividing His potencies in many divisions, appears just like seeds do having fallen in a fertile field. (21) Just as cloth expands along the warp and woof of its threads, is the whole of this Universe, expanding long and wide, situated in Him [on His thread, see also 6.3: 12 and B.G. 7: 7]. Of this material existence is there since time immemorial this tree [this organic body] which, blossoming producing the fruits, is naturally inclined to fruitive action [or karma]. (22-23) Of this tree extending in the sun there are two seeds [sin and piety], hundreds of roots [the living entities], three lower trunks [the modes], five upper trunks [the elements], five saps produced [sound, form, touch, taste and aroma], eleven branches [the mind and the ten indriyas]; two birds having a nest [jîva and âtmâ], three types of bark [air, bile and mucus] and two fruits [happiness and distress]. The lusty one living in a household enjoys one fruit of the tree, whereas the other swanlike ones who live in the forest with the help of the worshipable ones [the devotees, the gurus] know the Oneness of Him who by dint of His mâyâ appears in many forms. (24) Thus being of an unalloyed devotional service that developed worshiping the guru, should the sober one by means of the sharp axe of knowledge cut down the individual soul its subtle body of attachment, so that he with the greatest care living spiritually achieves the Supreme Soul. Thereafter he should relinquish the means by which he attained.'
The Hamsa-avatâra Answers the Questions of the Sons of Brahmâ
(1) The Supreme Lord said: 'The goodness, passion and ignorance we know of the gunas are matters of the mind and not of the soul; 1) The Supreme Lord said: 'The goodness, passion and ignorance we know of the gunas are matters of the mind and not of the soul; with goodness the other two may be counteracted while goodness itself is controlled by character and good sense [*]. (2) Character strengthens the religious principles that form the lead of one's devotional service to Me. The mode of goodness will result in [bhâgavata-]dharma when one seriously cultivates inner strength. (3) Dharma puts with an increase of goodnesss an end to the passion and ignorance. Godlessness, their root, is quickly vanquished when those two are superseded by goodness. (4) The doctrine followed, the way one deals with water, the people one associates with, one's surroundings and the way one behaves with time, one's occupation, one's social background, as also the type of meditation, mantras and purificatory rites one respects are the ten factors determining the prominence of a particular mode. (5) Matters which in this by the classical sages are appreciated belong to goodness, matters they critizice belong to ignorance and matters they are indifferent about belong to the mode of passion. (6) Until there is the [guna] denying self-remembrance, a person should cultivate the things belonging to the mode of goodness so that character is developed from which there is the religiousness that brings spiritual knowing. (7) The same way as fire, that in a forest of bamboos was generated by friction of the stalks, pacifies after having burned [see also 1.10: 2, 3.1: 21] pacifies the fire of the material body that was generated by the interaction of the natural modes.'
(8) S'rî Uddhava said: 'Mortals generally known with the situation of sense-gratification as a source of trouble nevertheless revel in it, o Krishna. How can it be that they aware of this behave like dogs, asses and goats?'
(9-10) The Supreme Lord said: 'Obsessed with what belongs to him the foolish person does not consider the consequences of his sense enjoyment and thus arises in his mind the so terrible mode of passion. The wayward mind, that in the mode of passion imagines all kinds of things, is with all the plans made because of that sensual appetite fully determined by the modes and thus becomes intolerable. (11) With one's senses not under control engages one, bewildered by the force of passion and under the sway of desires, in fruitive activities, despite being well aware of the resulting unhappiness. (12) Even though the intelligence of a learned person gets bewildered by passion and ignorance, rises no attachment in him because he, clearly seeing the contamination, carefuly puts his mind back on the right track. (13) Having conquered the breathing process and having mastered the sitting postures, one should attentively, step by step, without slackening gather one's mind by concentrating on Me at appointed times [to the positions of the sun and the moon, see B.G. 7: 8 and 5: 26-28]. (14) The yogasystem to this extent instructed by My pupils under the lead of Sanaka [the Kumâras] entails that the mind withdraws from everywhere and directly finds absorption in Me as should [with mantras, see also 8.3: 22-24].'
(15) S'rî Uddhava said: 'When, and in what form, dear Kes'ava, have You instructed Sanaka and the others in this yoga? That I'd like to know.'
(16) The Supreme Lord said: 'The sons headed by Sanaka who took their birth from the mind of the one who is of the inner gold [Hiranyagarbha or Brahmâ], inquired with their father about the so very subtle, supreme goal of the science of yoga. (17) Sanaka and the others said to him: 'The mind runs after the objects of the senses and the sense objects get thus imprinted on the mind. O Master, what is for someone who desires liberation, for someone who wishes to overcome the sense-gratification, the process of breaking away from that bondage [see also B.G. 2: 62-63]?'
(18) The Supreme Lord said: 'The great self-born godhead, the creator of all beings, thus questioned, seriously pondered over what was asked but could, with his mind bewildered because of his creative labor, not find the words to describe the essential truth [see also 2.6: 34, 2.9: 32-37 and 10: 13]. (19) With the desire to find closure he remembered the original God [he himself sprouted from, see 3.8], and at that time I became visible in My Hamsa form [the Swan]. (20) Seeing Me as they approached Me, they offered, with Brahmâ in front, their obeisances at the lotus feet and asked: 'Who are You?'(21) I was thus by the eager sages asked to disclose the ultimate truth. Please Uddhava, hear now what I told them at the time: (22) If you think that with the oneness of the self there wouldn't be a substantial difference between you and Me, how then would you be able to pose a question like that o sages, or how could I as a speaker then be of any authority [or constitute a refuge]? (23) Your question of 'Who are You' would be a meaningless use of words if you'd refer to the same five elements our bodies are composed of or when you'd refer to the essence we have in common. (24) That what by the mind, speech, sight and by the other senses as well is handled is what I all am. There is really nothing that exists outside of Me, that is what you have to understand clearly. (25) The mind adheres to the sense objects and the sense-objects occupy the mind dear men, but to the living entity whose Soul I am, are both the mind and the sense objects outer appearances. (26) With the mind time and again reverting to the objects of the senses enjoyed and with the sense objects [thus] giving rise to the mind must the one who is of My transcendental [Hamsa] form give up the mind as well as the objects [see also vritti and neti neti]. (27) Wakefulness, dreaming and deep sleep are the functions of the intelligence following from the modes of nature. The individual soul is with characteristics different from them known to be the witness [see also 7.7: 25 and B.G. 7: 5]. (28) The materially motivated intelligence constitutes the bondage that keeps the soul occupied with the modes of nature, but when one situated in Me, the fourth state of consciousness [turîya], succeeds in breaking away from it has one at that moment forsaken the mind and the sense objects [see 11.3: 35]. (29) The bondage of the soul as a result of identifying oneself with the body constitutes the opposite purpose. The one who detached in samsâra knows about it should, being situated in the fourth state, give up the anxiety [about those ego-matters]. (30) As long as a person is convinced of many different purposes and cannot find his peace the appropriate way [as mentioned] will he, even though awake, be sleeping with his eyes open, just as unaware as someone who sees something in a dream [see also B.G. 2: 41]. (31) The states of existence apart from the Supreme Soul will, inessential as they are, because of the separation created by them, to the seer who is filled with motives and objectives be just as deluding as what one has in a dream. (32) While awake he enjoys the qualities of the external affair at the moment. In his dreams he experiences within his mind all the sensual a similar way. In deep sleep he looses his consciousness. But being one in his remembrance becomes he in his witnessing of the functioning of the successive three states of consciousness the lord and master over the senses [see also 4.29: 60-79 and B.G. 15: 7-8]. (33) When you situated in Me consider the three states of consciousness that originate from the modes of nature of My deluding potency, then be resolute about the purpose of worshiping Me as being present in the heart. Wield for that purpose the sword of discrimination that was sharpened by the logic and instructions concerning the true, to cut through the bonds with the [ahankâra] cause of all doubts. (34) Behold this delusional state of mind which, with images popping up today that are gone tomorrow, wavers as much as the glowing end of a moving firebrand. It is the One spiritual soul who deceptively appears in many divisions which manifest as an illusion of a threefold variegated way of dreaming that was created by the transformation of the modes of nature [see also B.G. 9: 15, 15: 16, linga and siddhânta]. (35) Looking away from that [deceptive material reality] one should, being silent with the material hankering ceased, arrive at the realization of one's actual happiness. That happiness comes about when one is free from materially motivated actions. And the times one is of the earth, one should, keeping that in mind as being insubstantial, abide by relinquishing the earthly in order not to err till the end of one's days. (36) Just as someone who blinded by liquor is not aware of the clothes he wears, takes the one who is of perfection, you see, no heed whether the perishable material body sits or stands, or whether he according to the will of God leaves this earth or obtains by fate determined [a new body], for he has achieved his original position [his svarûpa]. (37) As long as the body is there to the arrangement of destiny and there is still karma, will it self-propelled continue with its life air and senses and its variety of manifestations. Situated highly though in the full absorption of yoga will the one who awakened to the essence no longer cultivate that dreaming. (38) O learned ones, now that I have explained to you this confidential analysis and yoga system, the science of uniting one's consciousness, please understand that I came as Yajña [Vishnu, the Lord of Sacrifice] in order to remind you of your actual duties. (39) O best of the twice-born, I am the Supreme Way of yoga, the analysis, the truth and the sacred law as also beauty, fame and self-control. (40) All qualities such as being free from the modes and expectations, being the Wellwisher, the Dearest, the True Self, the One Equal, the detachment and so on, do, because they have no affinity for the modes, find their shelter and service in Me.
(41) Thus I have put an end to the doubts of all the sages headed by Sanaka who fully of worship in transcendental loving devotional service with beautiful hymns chanted My glories. (42) Perfectly worshiped and glorified by the greatest of sages I then, before the eyes of Brahmâ, returned to My abode.'
* In Sanskrit is the term sattva, apart from meaning goodness, inner strength, good sense and true nature, another word for character. Character, moral backbone, is also described as s'ila or svarûpa; 'form, piety, morality, habit or custom' or 'one's own form, one's true nature' or one's constitutional position of relating to Krishna as Svâmî Prabhupâda preferred to speak of.
The Devotional Coherence of the Methods and the Meditation on Vishnu
(1) S'rî Uddhava said: 'Krishna, are the many processes for spiritual advancement that the defenders of the Absolute Truth speak of, supreme in their combination or is else one of them the most important? (2) By You has clearly been stated o Master, how bhakti-yoga, by which the mind gets fixed upon You, without cherishing desires to it in all respects removes the suffering of the [fear-arousing, temporary] material state.'
(3) The Supreme Lord said: 'This message consisting of the Vedas that by the influence of time was lost at the time of annihilation, was at the time of creation by Me spoken to Brahmâ. It contains the dharma of acting according to My will [see also 3.9: 29-43]. (4) Brahmâ spoke this to his eldest son Manu. The seven great sages of spiritual knowing headed by Bhrigu accepted it on their turn from Manu [see 8.1 & 8.13 and B.G. 4: 1-3]. (5-7) From the forefathers that they were, were there the descendants: the godly and the demoniac, the S'iva followers, the human beings, the perfected and the singers of heaven, the scientific and the venerable. From rajas, tamas and sattva [the gunas] generated the many different natures of the different humanoids [Kimdevas], the half-humans [Kinnaras], the snake-like [Nâgas], the wild men [the Râkshasas], and the ape-like [Kimpurushas]. From the living entities who by their propensities are divided in so many forms and as many leaders, flowed [like rivers from a mountain] the diversity of rituals and mantras. (8) Thus are due to the great variety of natures the philosophies of life among the human beings divided. In that constitute some of those philosophies traditions of disciplic succession while others are heretical [pâshanda]. (9) People whose intelligence is bewildered by My illusory power, o best of persons, express themselves in countless ways about what according to their own karma and taste would be better. (10) Some speak in favor of pious activities while others speak of fame, sense-gratification, truthfulness, self-control and peacefulness. Some propound self-interest, political influence, renunciation or consumption while other people defend sacrifice, penance, charity, vows and arrangements of do's and don'ts [yama-niyama]. (11) With an inevitable beginning and an end to the meager ends gained with one's karma is there the prospect of misery as a consequence. Situated in ignorance is one wretched full of complaints. (12) Someone who has fixed his consciousness upon Me, o learned one, and in every respect is free from material desires, knows the happiness of My spiritual body. How can such a happiness ever be attained by those who are attached to sense-gratification [see 4.31: 12]? (13) The one who does not desire, who's of peace controlling his senses, whose consciousness is equal whatever the circumstances and who has a mind that is completely satisfied with Me, is filled with happiness wherever he goes. (14) Someone who has fixed his consciousness on Me, Me and nothing but Me, does not desire the position of Brahmâ, nor the position of Indra, neither he wants an empire on earth or a sovereign position in the lower worlds, nor he desires the perfections [the siddhis] of yoga or a second birth does he desire who has fixed his consciousness in Me, Me and nothing else [see e.g. 5.1: 6]. (15) Nor the one born from My body [Brahmâ], nor S'ankara [S'iva], nor Sankarshana [Balarâma], nor the goddess of fortune [S'rî], nor even My own Self is as dear to Me as you are [see also B.G. 12: 20]. (16) The sage who without personal desire is of peace, not inimical to anyone and of an equal vision I always follow closely so that there is purification by the dust of the lotusfeet [see also 7.14: 17]. (17) Not after sense-gratification being of a mind that is constantly attached to Me, experience the great souls who are of inner peace and care for all individual souls whose consciousness is not ruled by lusts, My happiness that cannot be known but by complete detachment. (18) Even though being harassed by sensual desires is the devotee of Mine who did not conquer the senses - that as a rule are effective and strong - by dint of his devotion not defeated by that type of influence [see also 1.5: 17, 8.7: 44, 11.13: 12 and B.G. 9: 30, 2: 62-64]. (19) Just as firewood because of the blazing flames of a fire turns into ashes, devotion similarly with Me as the object burns the sins completely, o Uddhava. (20) The yoga system nor analytical philosophy, Uddhava, pious activities nor vedic study, austerity nor renunciation get a grip on Me as much as a strongly developed devotional service for My sake. (21) My grace is obtained by single-minded devotion with faith in the Soul as the object of love. With Me [that Supreme Soul] as the only One will the bhakti of the truthful ones even purify those who eat dogs from the matters of their birth. (22) Sure enough neither dharma endowed with truthfulness and mercy, nor knowledge endowed with austerity will purify one's consciousness fully when [one is] bereft of devotional service unto Me. (23) How can without bhakti one's hair stand on end, without loving service the heart melt, without devotion the tears flow, the bliss be and one's consciousness be purified? (24) By the one whose speech chokes up, the heart melts, there times and again are wet tears and of whom there sometimes is laughter, by the one of whom there is unashamed singing out aloud and there is dancing in the connectedness of My bhakti, is the universe purified [see also S'rî S'rî S'ikshâshthaka and 11.2: 40]. (25) Just like gold that smelted in fire gives up impurities and returns to its original state is also from the spirit soul the contamination of karma removed when one in My loving service is worshiping Me. (26) As much as the power to see restores once the eye is treated with ointment, the spirit soul that was cleansed by hearing and chanting the pious narrations about Me, the same way sees again the One Subtle Essence. (27) The consciousness of someone meditating the objects of the senses is entangled in the sense experience [see B.G. 2: 62-63]; even so is the mind systematically absorbed in Me when one keeps thinking of Me. (28) Therefore are the material preoccupations as figments a dream to be forsaken in Me, as completely absorbed in My love the mind is purified. (29) Giving up being intimate with women [to have intercourse with them, with others or otherwise] and keeping far from the company of womanizers should one, mastering the self, sit at ease in seclusion and with great care concentrate on Me [see also 11.8: 13-14 *]. (30) No other attachment brings a man as much suffering and bondage as the attachment to women and the association with those who are attached to women [see also 1.4: 25, 5.5: 2, 5.13: 16, 6.9: 9, 7.12: 9, 9.14: 36, 9.19: 17, 10.10: 8, 10.51: 51, 10.60: 44-45 & 48].'
(31) S'rî Uddhava said: 'O Lotus-eyed One, how, of what nature and of what form should one's meditation be when one desires liberation? Please, can You speak to me about meditation?'
(32-33) The Supreme Lord said: 'Sitting straight, erect and comfortable on a level seat, one should focus one's eyes on the tip of one's nose while placing one's hands in one's lap. The purifying of the different ways of breathing - one's inhaling, retaining, exhaling and the other way around - one should practice step by step while controlling one's senses [see prânâyâma, and B.G. 4: 29]. (34) With the help of one's life breath [prâna] manifesting within the mind the sound AUM, one should guide that sound upwards, like the fibre of a lotus stalk, to vibrate it loudly [in the nose] like a ringing bell so as to reunite the vibrations of recitation [anusvâra **]. (35) The breathing thus joined with the Pranava [see also 9.14: 46] should carefully be repeated ten times, at sunrise, noon and sunset, so that after one month one will be in control of one's breath [***]. (36-42) With one's eyes half closed and sitting straight one should, alert inside for the supreme of liberation, concentrate on the lotus within the heart that is directed upwards. Within the whorl of its eight petals one should one after the other picture the sun, the moon and the fire. Within the fire one should consider My harmonious form so auspicious for meditation, that gentle and cheerful as it is, is endowed with four beautiful arms. Charming of beauty are the neck and the forehead, the pure smile as also the ears with the glowing shark shaped earrings. One should meditate upon the golden dress, the complexion with the color of a rain cloud, the curl on the chest where the goddess resides, the conch and the disc, the club and the lotus as also the beauty of the forest flower garland. One should meditate upon all the beautiful and charming parts of My body: the feet with their shining bells, the richly glowing Kaustubha gem, the shining crown and bracelets, the girdle and armlets, the merciful smile and the delicate glance. This, one should do by turning the mind away from the senses. This way one should with intelligence lead the charioteer [the soul, the master of intelligence], sober and grave, [with love] in the direction of My completeness. (43) With this exercise covering all parts should one next pull back one's consciousness and, focussing on one spot with disregard for the rest, again with love meditate upon the wonderful smile of the face. (44) Thus having withdrawn the mind being established in the sky, should one with this focus give up on that also and having ascended to Me, not think of anything else anymore. (45) Thus fully absorbed in the consciousness sees the individual soul Me within the self and all selves within Me, the same way the sun's rays are united in the sun [see also B.G. 9: 29]. (46) Of the yogi who most concentrated practices the meditation as mentioned will very soon the complete of the deluded state of mind of him who considers himself the owner, the knower and the doer, find its dissolution [compare: 2.2: 8-14].'
* Not to have this verse misinterpreted with the Sanskrit word sangam that one would have to shun association with women in stead of shunning being intimate with them, was by Svâmî Prabhupâda stressed, contrary to the tradition in India, that women and men can very well associate both living within one temple or household within the culture of Krishna consciousness. This was one of his great feats of reform to the lead of a traditional temple tradition that was negative about living together with women.
** As a culture not reciting Sanskrit anymore as a regular practice and thus not having any anusvâra, no aftersound in the nose to integrate, is it the advise for this Age of Quarrel to practice theor the Mahâmantra of Lord Caitanya, to appease the wayward mind with modern time: hare Krishna, hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, hare hare, hare Râma, hare Râma, Râma Râma, hare hare and then say AUM and Gâyatrî when sitting in meditation. A practice entertained by all initiated devotees.
*** Considering the greatly variable length of day world-wide is it customary to do this at the fixed times of the regular hours of a [meditation-]clock preferably set to the sun at twelve when the sun goes through the south [see also cakra].
Mystical Perfection: the Siddhis
(1) The Supreme Lord said: 'When a yogi fixes his attention upon Me and thus being connected has conquered his senses and breathing, he achieves the mystic perfections of yoga.'
(2) Uddhava said: 'O You who bring all yogis perfection, kindly tell me which method is required for concentration and how these perfections work. And, Acyuta, how many perfections are there?'
(3) The Supreme Lord said: 'The masters of yoga speak of eighteen mystic perfections [siddhis] and meditations [leading to them], with eight of them abiding primary in Me while ten manifest [as secondary] from the quality [of goodness]. (4-5) The ability to get, as for the form, into the smallest [animâ], the biggest [mahimâ] or the lightest [laghimâ relative to garimâ, the heaviest], to acquire whatever material object [prâpti], the ability to enjoy sensually whatever can be seen or heard [prâkâmya], to have the upperhand in employing the forces [îs'itâ or îs'itvâ], to be in control - unobstructed by the modes - by means of magic [vas'itvâ] and to answer to any desire that seeks [His] favor [kâmâvasâyitâ], are the eight mystical perfections, o gentle one. Know them as the ones that originally belong to Me. (6-7) In this body not to be plagued by hunger and thirst and such, to hear and see things far away, to be transported with the speed of mind, to assume any form at will, to enter into the bodies of others, to die at will, to witness the sporting [of the heavenly girls] with the gods, to be of perfect accomplishment as one likes, and to have one's commands fulfilled unimpeded [are the ten secondary siddhis]. (8-9) To know the past, the present and the future, to be free from the dualities, to know the minds of others, to check the potency of fire, the sun, water, poison and so on and not to be conquered by others are the perfections that are described as the result of concentrating in yoga. Please learn now from Me by means of which type of meditation what perfection occurs.
(10) The one who worships Me, I who animates all subtle forms of existence, obtains the perfection of animâ [to enter the smallest] by focussing on the reality of the elements. (11) One achieves the perfection of mahimâ [to enter the greatness] by fixing the mind on the total material energy animated by Me as also on the situation of each of the material elements seperately [to be the great of the sky, the fire, the water, the air and the earth]. (12) The yogi may obtain laghimâ [lightness] by conciliating his consciousness in Me as being the subtle substance of the [natural division of] time [as the basis or primal substance] to the material elements that are there in the form of atoms [see also cakra]. (13) He who with his mind focussed upon Me narrows the mind completely down to the emotionality of the I-principle, obtains the siddhi of prâpti [mystic acquisition] by which he may call himself the proprietor of the senses of all living beings. (14) In order to obtain from Me whose appearance lies beyond perception, the superexcellent siddhi of prâkâmya [to enjoy whatever or whenever] one should firmly fix one's mental activities in Me, the Supersoul that is the thread running through the greater of matter [see also sûtra]. (15) When one establishes one's consciousness within Vishnu, the Original Controller of the Three [gunas, see also B.G. 7: 13] in the form of Time, one will obtain the siddhi of îs'itvâ [the supremacy] by means of which the conditioned body [the field] and its knower can be controlled [*]. (16) The yogi who establishes his mind in Me, Nârâyana as denoted by the word Fortunate [bhagavat] and known as the fourth [beyond the three planes **], may, being endowed with My nature, obtain the mystic potency of vas'itvâ [to subdue by magic]. (17) With the mind that is pure in Me focussing on the impersonal [brahman] that is free from material qualities [transcendental], one obtains the supreme of happiness wherein desire finds complete fulfillment [kâmâvasâyitâ].
(18) Concentrating on Me, the Lord of S'vetadvîpa, the personification of goodness, the sum total of dharma, a person obtains freedom from the six waves [anûrmi-mattvam, see also shath-ûrmi]. (19) Established in Me, the personification of the sky, concentrating on the transcendental sound present in the prâna [see 11.14: 35], the Swan is perceived [Lord Hamsa or the saintly person, see 11.13: 19] and one hears the words spoken by all living beings [dûra-s'ravana, see also divyam s'rotam]. (20) Merging one's eyes with the sun and the sun with one's eyes [thus doing so transcendentally and not staring physically] one is able, with one's mind in meditation, to see anything that is far away [dûra-dars'ana, see also 2.1: 30]. (21) Completely absorbing the mind in Me one can with the wind [the breath, the subtle air], that follows the mind to have the body focussed on Me, by the power of that meditation find the [physical] self to be going wherever the mind goes [manojava]. (22) When the mind embraces whatever form one desires to assume, may, by the shelter of the potency of My yoga [to assume any form], that very form appear that one had in mind [kâmarûpa]. (23) As a siddha desiring to enter the body of another person one must, giving up one's own gross body, project oneself into that body by, just like the wind, entering through the vital breath, just like a bee that switches flowers [para-kâya-praves'anam]. (24) With one's heel blocking the anus and carrying the vital air from the heart up to the chest and then from the throat going to the head, one should positioned at the top of the skull [the brahma-randhrena], [in order to die] give up the material body and direct oneself to the spiritual world [svacchandu-mrityu, see also 2.2: 19-21]. (25) When one desires to enjoy the heavenly places of the godly one should, situated in Me, meditate upon the mode of goodness so that one sees arrive the in goodness steeped women of the demigods in their vimânas [devânâm saha-krîdânudars'anam]. (26) When someone has full faith in Me and knows that he in Me will find his fulfillment, I who appear for the sake of the truth, he will consequently obtain what he had in mind [yathâ-sankalpa-samsiddhi]. (27) The person who came to the realization of My nature, supremacy and dominion, is someone who by no means can be frustrated because his order and command is as good as Mine [âjñâpratihatâ gatih, see also B.G. 9: 31].
(28) A yogi pure of character who by his devotion for Me knows to concentrate [dhâranâ], acquires insight into the three phases of time [past, present and future], including knowledge about matters of birth and death [see tri-kâlika]. (29) Of a sage versed in yoga whose consciousness is pacified by means of My yoga the body cannot be injured by fire and such elements, just as aquatics cannot be harmed by the water in which they live [see also 7.5: 33-50]. (30) He [my devotee] becomes unconquerable when he meditates upon My expansions that are decorated with the S'rîvatsa and weapons, flags, ceremonial umbrellas and different fans [see also B.G. 11: 32].
(31) The man of wisdom who worships Me thus by the process of concentrating in yoga will reach the mystic perfections as described, in every respect [according to the nature of his practice]. (32) What perfection would be difficult to achieve for a sage who in Me bent on meditation got a grip in conquering his senses, his breathing and his mind? (33) One says that they [siddhis], for the one who practices the highest form of yoga by means of which one obtains directly from Me all perfection in life, constitute limitations that are a waste of time. (34) The many perfections one in this world has by birth, by herbs, austerities and by mantras are all obtained by yoga; by no other method will one achieve the actual perfection of yoga [***]. (35) Of all the perfections am I indeed the cause and the protector. I am the Lord of Yoga [the final union], the Lord of the analysis, the dharma and of the community of vedic teachers. (36) The same way as the material elements exist inside and outside of the living beings, I Myself, the Soul, who cannot be covered [by something bigger], exist within and without all the embodied beings [see also B.G. 2: 29-30].'
*: Verse 15 refers to attainment of spiritual perfection by meditation on the personal, transcendental, aspect of time of Vishnu as its essential cohering substance, as opposed to meditating time as mentioned in verse 12, relating more to the impersonal aspect of the natural order belonging to the elements, of the cakra that is Vishnu's weapon.
**: Apart from the three gunas to Lord Nârâyana, there is also mention of the three planes of existence of the physical gross of the greater universe consisting of the five elements; the astral, subtle, plane of the ten senses of action and perception and their objects, the mind and intelligence, and the causal plane of the consciousness and the knower; in short: the world, the sensual body and the individual knower to which there is the Original Person of God as the fourth [see also B.G. 13: 19].
***: The actual perfection of yoga is, following verse 35 coming next, named Krishna consciousness by the Vaishnavas who defend the Bhâgavatam in the West.
The Lord's Opulence
(1) S'rî Uddhava said: 'You are the greatest, the Supreme Himself. Unrestrained You are without a beginning and an end. You are the true protector and the maintenance, destruction and creation of all in existence. (2) O, Supreme Lord, while You for the impious are hard to understand, worship the brahmins You in Your reality of abiding in the superior as well as the inferior entities of creation. (3) Please speak to me about the variety of [Your] forms [see catur vyûha] by means of which the great sages, who with devotion worship You, achieve that perfection [which is the supreme]. (4) O Maintainer of All Beings, not being visible You are engaged as the Very Soul of the living beings. You see them while they, bewildered by You[r external reality], cannot see You. (5) And, please, explain to me o greatest Might, what all the potencies are that You manifest in all directions on earth, in heaven and in hell. I offer my obeisances at Your lotus feet, the abode of all holy places.'
(6) The Supreme Lord said: 'This question, o best of all questioners, was at the time of the destruction posed by Arjuna in his desire to fight his rivals [at Kurukshetra, see B.G. 2: 54, 13: 1-2, 14: 21, 18: 1]. (7) Aware of the fact that the killing of his relatives was an irreligious, abominable act with sovereignty as a motive, he refrained saying in a worldly mind: 'Then I am the slayer and they the ones slain' [B.G. 1: 37-45, compare 2: 19]. (8) He, who just like you is a tiger among men, asked Me before the battle took place questions and was that very moment by Me with logical arguments enlightened on the matter.
(9) I am of these living entities their Soul, o Uddhava, their Well-wisher and Controller, I am the maintenance, creation and annihilation of all the living beings. (10) I am the goal of the ones seeking progress, the Time of those who exert control, of the modes of nature I am the equilibrium and the natural virtue of the pious I am as well. (11) Of everything that has quality I am the guideline, of all great things I am the totality, of the subtle I am the spirit soul and among things that are difficult to conquer I am the mind. (12) I am Hiranyagarbha [Brahmâ the original teacher] of the Vedas, of the mantras I am the three-lettered Omkâra, of the letters I am the first [the 'a'], and of the sacred metres I am the three-footed one [the Gâyatrî mantra]. (13) Among all the gods I am Indra, among the Vasus I am Agni, among the sons of Aditi I am Vishnu [Vâmana] and among the Rudras I am the One Red-Blue [S'iva, see also 3.12: 7]. (14) Bhrigu I am among the brahmin sages, among the brahmin kings I am Manu, among the brahmin demigods I am Nârada and among the cows I am Kâmadhenu [the cow of plenty]. (15) Of the perfected in control I am Kapila, Garuda I am among the birds, Daksha among the founding fathers, and Aryamâ among the forefathers. (16) O Uddhava know Me among the sons of Diti as Prahlâda, the controller of the unenlightened, know Me as the [order of the] moon to the stars and the herbs, and as Kuvera, the lord of wealth among the Yakshas and Râkshasas. (17) Airâvata I am among the lordly elephants, Varuna, the master I am among the aquatics, of things that heat and illumine I am the sun, and among the human beings I am the master of the realm. (18) Uccaihs'ravâ I am among the horses, I am gold among the metals, Yamarâja I am among the regulators and I am also Vâsuki among the serpents. (19) Anantadeva I am among the hooded snakes, the lion I am among all beasts with teeth and horns, among the spiritual orders [the status-groups, the âs'ramas] I am the fourth [the sannyâsîs] and among the vocations [varnas] I am the first [the brahmins], o sinless one. (20) Among the holy places and what flows I am the Ganges, the ocean I am among the expanses of water, the bow I am among the weapons and I am the destroyer of Tripura [S'iva] among the wielders of the bow. (21) Meru I am among the mountains, among the places that are impervious I am the Himalayas, among the trees I am the as'vattha, and among the plants I am the ones bearing grains [barley]. (22) Among the priests I am Vasishthha, among those vowed to the Veda I am Brihaspati, Kârttikeya [Skanda] I am among the military leaders and among the ones of spiritual progress I am the unborn, highest lord [Brahmâ, the Creator]. (23) Of the sacrifices I am the study of the Veda, of the vows I am the vow of nonviolence [vegetarianism], and of all purifiers I am the pure fire, wind, sun, water and speech in person. (24) Of the process of yoga I am the final stage of samâdhi, prudent counsel I am among those desiring victory, of all discrimination I am the metaphysical logic [or the spiritual science of distinguishing spirit from matter], and among the speculative philosophers I am the choice. (25) Among the ladies I am S'atarûpâ [wife of Manu, see 3.12: 54] and among the men am I Svâyambhuva Manu, sage Nârâyana [see 10.87: 4] I am among the sages as also Sanat-kumâra among the celibates. (26) Of the principles of religion I am renunciation, of all things basic I am the inner awareness, of the secrecy I am the friendliness and the silence, and of the sexual couple I am the Unborn one [the original Prajâpati who is Brahmâ]. (27) Of what's ever wakeful I am the solar year, of the seasons I am the spring, among the months I am Mârgas'îrsha [November-December], and of the lunar mansions [the twenty-seven nakshatras] I am Abhijit. (28) Of the yugas I am Satya-yuga, among the sober ones I am Devala and Asita, of the vedic editors I am Dvaipâyana [Vyâsadeva] and among the scholars learned in spirituality I am S'ukrâcârya. (29) Of those entitled to the name Bhagavân [the Supreme Lord] I am Vâsudeva, among My devotees I am indeed you [Uddhava], among the ape-like I am Hanumân, and among the scientists I am Sudars'ana. (30) Of the jewels I am the ruby, of all things beautiful I am the lotus cup, of all types of grass I am the kus'a grass and of the oblations I am the ghee of the cow. (31) Of the enterprising I am the fortune, of the cheaters I am the gambling, the forgiveness I am among the tolerant and I am the character of the ones in the mode of goodness. (32) The mental and physical strength I am of the strong. Please know that among the devotees I am the [devotional] work done and that among My nine forms [nava mûrti], by which these Sâtvatas are worshiping Me, I am the Supreme Original Form [Vâsudeva]. (33) Among the singers of heaven I am Vis'vâvasu, and among the heavenly dancing girls I am Pûrvacitti. I am the steadiness of the mountains and the aroma of the earth. (34) I am the fine taste of water and among the things most brilliant I am the sun. The effulgence I am of the moon, the stars and the sun, and I am the transcendental soundvibration in the sky [see also 11.15: 19]. (35) Among the ones devoted to brahminical culture I am Bali, of the heroes I am Arjuna and indeed I am the rising, the stability, and the final mergence of all living beings. (36) Of the power of the senses I am the walking, the speech, the evacuation, the handling and the sexual joy [the karmendriyas] as also the touch, the sight, the taste, the hearing and the smell [the jñânendriyas].
(37) All this I enumerated - the subtle form of the earth [smell], of the air [touch], of the sky [sound], of the water [taste], of the fire [light]; the totality of matter, the sixteen elements [those five basic elements, the indriyas and the mind], the person, the unmanifest and the modes of rajas, tamas and sattva - stands together with the spiritual knowledge and the steady conviction [therewith] for My person, I the One Supreme. (38) I am the Supreme Controller of the living entity, the gunas and the greater reality. I, the Soul of all, am indeed everything, the one outside of whom nothing whatsoever exists. (39) I might be able to count the atoms after some time but not so My opulences, for I created the universes by the millions [compare 10.14: 7]. (40) Whatever power, beauty, fame, dominion [see 11.15], humility, renunciation, enjoyment, fortune, strength, tolerance or wisdom there might be, they are all an integral part of Me. (41) All these spiritual potencies I briefly enumerated to you [see also B.G. 7, 9 and 10] are, with each of them [as expansions of the Lord and as] being put in corresponding words [in the scriptures, in the teachings], likewise there also as transformations of the mind. (42) Control [for that reason] the mind, control the speech, control your breathing and senses. Control yourself by your soul so that you will never again stumble on the path of material existence. (43) For sure is someone who with the help of his intelligence is not completely in control of his speech and mind, a transcendentalist whose vows, penance and charity flow away like water from an unbaked pot. (44) Therefore the one devoted to Me who fitted in with My bhakti should control his words, life air and mind and thus, with that intelligence, fulfill his life's purpose.'
The Varnâs'rama System and the Boat of Bhakti: the Students and the Householders
(1-2) S'rî Uddhava said: 'O Lotus-eyed One, You previously described the religious principles that are prescribed by bhakti and are respected by all varnâs'rama followers and even by those who do not follow this system. You should explain to me that process by means of which human beings executing their occupational duties by Your grace can achieve devotional service. (3-4) The religious principles by which there is the supreme happiness and of which You, as said [11.13], previously, dear Mâdhava, o Mighty-armed One, in the form of Lord Hamsa spoke to Brahmâ, will, the way they these days have been taught by You, after having ruled for such a very long time, o Subduer of the enemies, not be common any longer in human society [see also 5.6: 10 and 11.5: 36 and Kali-yuga]. (5-6) Dear Acyuta, there is no other speaker, creator and protector of dharma but You; not on earth, nor even in the assembly of Brahmâ where You're present in the form of a part of You [viz. the Vedas, see also 10.87]. When the earth is abandoned by Your lordship, o Madhusûdana, o Creator, Protector and Speaker, then who, o Lord, will speak about the knowledge that was lost? (7) Therefore, while You are still among us, please describe to me o Master, o Knower of All Dharma, who would be fit to execute the original duties that characterize Your bhakti and how they should be performed.'
(8) S'rî S'uka said: 'He, the Supreme Lord Hari, thus pleased to be questioned by the best of His devotees, for the sake of the highest welfare of all conditioned souls spoke about the eternal duties of dharma. (9) The Supreme Lord said: 'This dharmic question of yours constitutes for normal human beings the cause of the highest welfare. Please, Uddhava, learn from Me about the duties, the way they are executed by those who observe the varnâs'rama system. (10) In the beginning there is the age of Krita wherein the human beings belong to one class that is called hamsa. The citizens of that age are by birth well known with the duties to be performed - hence do the learned know it as Krita-yuga, the age of the fulfillment of duty. (11) First of all is the [undivided] Veda expressed with the Pranava, with which I am known as duty in the form of the bull of religion [see 1.16: 18 and 1.17: 24]. With that they, who fixed in austerity are free from sins, worship Me as Lord Hamsa. (12) At the beginning of Tretâ-yuga, o greatly fortunate one, originated from the prânâ in My heart the threefold of knowing [the three Vedas Rig, Sâma and Yajur] to the occasion of which I appeared in the three forms of sacrifice [hence the name Tretâ, see ritvik]. (13) Generated from the Original Personality the learned, the warriors, the merchants and the workers [the varnas] were born and by their personal activities recognized as [respectively] being from the mouth, the arms, the thighs and legs of the universal form [compare 2.1: 37]. (14) The householders are situated in My loins, the celibate students in My heart, in My chest the ones dwelling in the forest are found and the renounced order is situated in My head [see âs'ramas]. (15) Depending the superior or inferior position that one according to one's birth occupies in My body, developed the higher and lower human nature of the people belonging to the different societal classes [varnas] and status groups [âs'ramas]. (16) Equanimity, sense-control, austerity, cleanliness, contentment, forgiveness, sincerity, devotion to Me, compassion and truthfulness are the natural qualities of the brahmins [compare 7.11: 21 and B.G. 18: 42]. (17) Ardor, physical strength, determination, heroism, tolerance, generosity, endeavor, steadiness, being mindful of the brahminical and leadership are the natural qualities of the kshatriyas [compare 7.11: 22 and B.G. 18: 43]. (18) Belief in God and dedication to charity, straightforwardness, love for the brahminical and always being busy accumulating money constitute the natural qualities of the vais'yas [compare 7.11: 23 and B.G. 18: 44]. (19) Free from duplicity to be of service for the brahmins, the cows and the godly and to be perfectly contented with the earnings are the natural qualities of the s'ûdras [compare 7.11: 24 and B.G. 18: 44]. (20) To be unclean, deceitful, thievish, faithless, quarrelsome, lusty, fiery and of constant hankering constitutes the nature of those occupying the lowest position [the outcastes]. (21) For all the members of society it is the duty to be of nonviolence, truthfulness and honesty, to be free from lust, anger and greed and to desire the welfare and happiness of all living entities.
(22) When he in due order [with samskâras] begins a new life with performing his duties [ends his karma, sins no more and usually with initiation into the Gâyatrî receives the sacred thread], someone twice born should, residing in the spiritual community of the guru, with his senses under control follow the precept to study the scriptures [see also B.G. 16: 24]. (23) With a belt, a deerskin [or these days: simple clothes], a staff [or other means of transport], prayer beads, a brahmin thread, a waterpot, matted hair [devotees these days are shaven], with teeth well maintained and clothes properly covering [*] is he [the brahmacârî], carrying kus'a [being of the prayer mat], not after the highest seat. (24) Bathing and eating, attending sacrifices and doing the rosary, passing stool and urine, he does in silence [Vaishnavas do murmur with japa]; he should not [completely, these days] cut his nails or hair, including the hair under his arms and in the pubic area [see also s'ikhâ]. (25) Someone of the vow of celibacy should never spill his semen and, when it flowed of its own, take a bath, control his breath and chant the Gâyatrî [see also ûrdhva-retah]. (26) Purified with the consciousness fixed in respect for the fire-god, the sun [see cakra], the cows, the learned, the spiritual master, the elderly and the godfearing, should he, observing silence, do japa at the two junctions of time [morning and evening, compare: 11.14: 35]. (27) The teacher of example [the âcârya] one should know to be Me. The âcârya should never at any time enviously be disrespected with the notion of him being a mortal being, for the guru is the representative of all the gods [see also rule of thumb and compare e.g. 7.14: 17, 10.81: 39, 10.45: 32 and 11.15: 27]. (28) In the evening and morning one should bring him the food that was collected and offer it to him together with other articles. Being of self-restraint one should be pleased to accept what is allotted [by him]. (29) Always engaged in serving the âcârya one should humbly at not too great a distance with folded hands prove one's respect for his path, his resting, his sitting and his standing. (30) Thus engaged he should [the upakurvâna brahmacârî], free from [unregulated] sense gratification, carry on unbroken in the vow [of celibacy], living in the school of the guru until the education is completed [see also Kumâras]. (31) If he [naishthhika, for life] desires to climb up to the world of the verses [Maharloka] in order to be engaged in the Absolute Truth he should for the purpose studying the True Self offer his body to the guru with respect for the great vow [see yama]. (32) Vedically enlightened and sinless one should worship Me in the fire, in the spiritual master, in oneself and in all living beings as the Supreme Non-dual Conception [see also B.G. 5: 18, siddhânta and advaita]. (33) With [sexually receptive] women - or sex-minded living beings - glancing, touching, conversing and joking and such is the first thing that someone not running a household [who is not married: the sannyâsî, the vânaprastha and the brahmacârî] should forsake [see 11.14: 29 and 6.1: 56-68]. (34-35) Cleanliness, washing one's hands, bathing, in the morning and evening, being of religious service, worshiping Me, visiting holy places, doing the rosary, avoiding things untouchable, things not fit for consumption and things not to discuss - this all constitutes the voluntary penance that with Me, I who reside within all beings, in order to restrain the mind, the words and the body is enjoined for all spiritual departments [âs'ramas], o Uddhava. (36) A brahmin thus observing the great vow becomes bright like fire My spotless devotee of whom the karma was burned by the intensity of the penance. (37) Thus properly having studied the vedic literatures he should [as a brahmacârî], care for what's next [see next paragraph], offer the guru remuneration, tidy himself and leave [**] with his permission.
(38) He should found a family or else live in the forest [becoming a recluse] or, belonging to the best of the twice-born [the brahmins], become a mendicant. For someone who didn't surrender to Me there is no alternative but to move systematically from one spiritual department to the next âs'rama. (39) Desiring a household one should marry a wife with similar qualities who is beyond reproach and younger in age. With the first wife of the same vocation may follow another one [of a lower class or caste]. (40) Sacrifice, vedic study and charity are the activities of all the twice-born, but only the brahmins practice the acceptance of charity, teaching vedic knowledge and officiating in sacrifices [compare 7.11: 14]. (41)When an intellectual [a brahmin] considers the acceptance of charity as detrimental to his penance, spiritual stature and glory, he must subsist on the other two [of teaching and sacrifice] or, when he considers these two as incompatible with his spirituality, subsist on gathering ears of corn left behind in the field ['of the stones', live on the dole, see also 6.7: 36, 7.15: 30 and B.G. 9: 22]. (42) Certain is that the embodiment of a brahmin is meant for the hardship of [voluntary] penances in this world to find unlimited happiness in the hereafter and not for futile sense gratification [and the consequent involuntary penances of war, disease and incarceration, see also 11.6: 9 and B.G. 17: 14-19]. (43) Perfectly contented in being occupied with gleaning grains and magnanimously, free from passion cultivating dharma, can, even staying at home, the one who turned his mind to Me - and is thus not that attached - achieve liberation [compare B.G. 3: 22 and 10.69]. (44) Those who uplift the learned as well as the ones who having surrendered to Me are suffering [poverty and disease], will by Me, like with a boat in the ocean, very soon be delivered from all miseries. (45) Like a bull elephant who fearlessly protects himself and other elephants, protects the king himself by saving, just like a father, all citizens from difficulties [see also 4.20: 14]. (46) Thus the human ruler, who on earth removes all sins, enjoys heaven, together with Indra riding a heavenly vehicle as brilliant as the sun. (47) When a learned person is indebted the calamity must be overcome by doing business in behaving like a merchant, or else, still afflicted with misfortune, he must take up the sword [go in politics]. In no case can he behave like a dog [follow a lower master]. (48) A king suffering want may maintain himself acting like a merchant, or do so by means of hunting or by stepping forward as a man of learning. Under no condition may he follow the course of a dog. (49) A vais'ya may adopt the business of a s'ûdra and a s'ûdra may adopt the way of an artisan, making baskets and mats to deal with an awkward situation, but freed one must not desire the work of such an inferior livelihood [see also 7.11: 17]. (50) According to one's prosperity one should daily be of respect for the manifestations of My potency - the gods, the sages, the forefathers and all living entities - by vedic study and by offerings of food and such accompanied by [the mantras] svadhâ ['blessed be'] and svâhâ ['hail to', this rule thus applies to normal householders, see also 11.5: 41]. (51) Unembarrassed with one's dependents whether one is of money acquired without endeavor or of money acquired by honest work, one should be of proper respect with the help of vedic rituals. (52) One should not be attached to family members, nor go crazy [in being the controller]; nay, a wise person should see that things that lay ahead are just as temporary as matters that have happened. (53) The association of children, a wife, relatives and friends is like the being together with travelers; like a dream occurring in one's sleep are they all separated with each change of body [see also 7.2: 21, 9.19: 27-28]. (54) With that conviction a liberated soul who doesn't identify with the body and lives selflessly at home like a guest, will not get entangled in the domestic situation. (55) When one with the activities of a family life worships Me, may one as a devotee remain at home or enter the forest, or also, given responsible offspring, take to the renounced order. (56) Someone fixed on women however and whose consciousness is perturbed by the desire for a home, children and money, is in his bondage unintelligently with a miserly mentality thinking 'I am that and this is mine'. (57) 'O my poor old mom and dad, my wife with a baby in her arms and my young, unprotected children! How in the world can they live when they wretched have to suffer greatly, missing me?' [see e.g. also 11.7: 52-57]. (58) Thus will, with his home as his retreat, such a one, with his heart overwhelmed unsated ruminating about them, with a wrong point of view blinded land in darkness when he dies.'
* The term adhauta used here means, according the Monier Williams Dictionary, the negative of dhauta, which means white, washed, and purified as well as removed and destroyed. Concerning teeth and clothes this could mean as well unpolished teeth and unwashed clothes as teeth not broken or rotting and clothes properly covering the body. So it is to the context of the other values of renunciation to decide which meaning would apply. Since adhauta in the first sense would be in conflict with the value of cleanliness, s'aucam [see e.g. verse 20 of this chapter and 1.17: 24], is here, contrary to previous interpretations chosen for the second sense of teeth well-maintained and clothes properly covering the body, which is more in line with the normal code of conduct of vaishnava devotees in acceptance of a spiritual master [see also pp. 11.17: 23].
** This process of 'tidying' is called the samâvartana-samskâra that marks the completion of the studies and returning home from living with the guru.
The Varnâs'rama System: the Withdrawn and the Renounced
(1) The Supreme Lord said: 'If one in the third phase of life wants to retreat into the forest, one should proceed in peace. For the sake of that peace one must take one's wife along or else entrust her to the sons. (2) One should arrange for the pure [*] sustenance of the bulbs, roots and fruits of the forest, and dress oneself with tree bark, grass, leaves or animal skins. (3) With the hair on one's head and body, the facial hair and the nails carrying dirt, and the teeth not cleaned [at other times], one should three times a day bathe and [at night] sleep on the ground. (4) Ascetically tolerating the five fires during the summer [the sacrificial fires in four directions and the sun above], the torrents of rain during the rainy season and the cold of dipping up to one's neck one's body in water during the winter, one should, as before mentioned engaged, execute one's penance [see also 4.23: 6]. (5) Eating at the right time one should consume what's either prepared on a fire or what's grinded with a mortar, pulverized with a stone or grinded with one's teeth. (6) With a practical approach depending the place, the time and what he is capable of, he personally must collect whatever is needed for his sustenance, and not store anything for another time [see also 7.12: 19]. (7) A vânaprastha may worship Me with oblations [of rice, barley and dâl], may offer rice cakes or offer fruits according to the season, but never, even though it's scripturally defended, be of worship with sacrificing animals. (8) As before [while he was a grihastha] he performs the fire sacrifice, the sacrifice for a new moon and a full moon and he also keeps to what was enjoined for the wise by the vedic experts concerning the four months' sacrifice [of câturmâsya]. (9) Being of that practice the sage will, because of the penance, be as emaciated that one sees his veins, worshiping Me, the Goal of All Penance, reach Me in the world of the seers [see also maharloka]. (10) Is there then a greater fool, than someone who for a long time is of this difficult but glorious penance which awards liberation, but practices it for the purpose of trivial sense gratification [see also vântâs'î]? (11) When he in his regulated activities due to old age with his body trembling is no longer able to carry on [before he reaches sannyâsa], he should, fixed on Me, place the fires within his heart and enter the fire [see also 7.12: 23]. (12) When all that is obtained from the karma, including a higher world, is nothing but hell to him and complete detachment has developed, may he at that point give up the fire of sacrifice and take to the renounced order [see also B.G. 18: 2 and **].
(13) Having worshiped to the injunctions and having given all he has to the leader of the ceremony, should he, placing the sacrificial fire within his life breath, free from expectations take up sannyâsa [see also 9.6*]. (14) To the learned one who out of respect for the truth takes up sannyâsa appear the demigods in the form of his original wife [and other allurements] forming stumbling blocks; surpassing them the sannyâsî should go for the beyond [see also B.G. 6: 25, 1.19: 2-3, 5.6: 4, 11.4: 7]. (15) As far as a sage wishes to wear clothes, he covers himself with a loincloth [or kaupîna]. Carrying with him nothing but the bare necessities of a waterpot and a staff he forsakes everything else. (16) He should place his foot where his eyes are telling him it is safe [not to step on living beings], he should drink water filtered with his cloth, he should speak truthful words of purity and he should do what his mind says is pure. (17) Taciturnity, disinclination and the arrest of breath constitute the strict disciplines for the voice, the body and the mind. Of him with whom there is no question of these My dearest, one can, despite his bamboo rods, never say that he is a real sannyâsî [see also tridanda]. (18) When he goes begging with the four varnas he should avoid the impure [sinful, polluted] households, when he at random approaches seven different houses where he must be satisfied with whatever he acquires [see also cakra, compare 1.4: 8]. (19) Somewhere outside going to a reservoir of water he should, cleansed by it, in silence duly distribute what was collected and next after cleaning it eat all that remained. (20) Moving about alone on this earth free from attachment, with his senses fully under control and satisfied within in his realization of the True Self, he is, steady on the spiritual platform, of an equal vision [B.G. 5: 18, see bhajan]. (21) Dwelling in a solitary and safe place and with his consciousness purified in his love for Me, the sage should concentrate on the soul only as being non-different from Me. (22) Meditating on the soul being bound and being liberated [see 11.10] there is, when one steady in the knowledge has tied down the senses that are distracted by sense-gratification, the full control over them and the liberation. (23) With the six divisions [the senses and the mind] fully controlled by the consciousness of Me, the sage who has experienced the greater happiness of the soul, should live therefore detached from the futile matters of lust. (24) He should travel to the pure places of refuge on earth with rivers, mountains and forests. The cities, towns and pasturing grounds he should only enter to beg for alms with those who live to serve the body. (25) The order of life living in the forest should always take the position of begging because by food obtained from gleaning [or living on the dole] one quickly finds perfection, freedom from illusion and a purified existence. (26) Never should one consider the perishable that one sees in direct experience as the ultimate reality; with a consciousness free from attachment one should retire from all materially motivated actions in this world and in the next. (27) Fixed in oneself by the power of reason one must turn away from this universe, which in the Self is all knitted together with the mind, the speech and the life air [see ahankâra]. One should not keep that deluding material energy in mind. (28) Whether it concerns someone who is dedicated to the knowledge of selfrealization and is detached from external manifestations, or whether it is about someone who as My devotee does not desire liberation [as a paramahamsa], in both cases one gives up what is prescribed for rituals and paraphernalia relating to one's phase of life [the âs'rama]; such a one is supposed to be beyond the range of rules and regulations [see also 10.78: 31-32, 3.29: 25 and 5.1*]. (29) Though intelligent he should enjoy life like a child, though most skilled he should act like a stunted person, though being most learned he should speak like an absent-minded person and though very well knowing the injunctions, he should live unrestricted ['wander as a cow']. (30) He should never be strictly attentive to what the Vedas speak of [viz. the fruitive sacrifices], nor should he act against them; he shouldn't be a skeptic nor take sides simply speaking for the sake of the argument. (31) The saintly person should never feel disturbed over what other people are saying. Nor should he disturb others or ever like an animal with anyone create a negative atmosphere to the interest of the body [to be hostile about territory, food and such]. Instead he should tolerate harsh words and never belittle anyone [see also B.G. 12: 15]. (32) The One Supreme is the Soul situated within all living beings and within one's own body. Just like the moon that is reflected in different reservoirs of water are also all material bodies individual sparks [or reflections] of the One [see also B.G. 6: 29 & 13: 34]. (33) Firm in one's determination one [the sannyâsî] should not feel dejected when one at times has no [or not the right] food, nor should one rejoice when there is plenty; both matters are disposed by God. (34) One should endeavor in order to eat and to sustain properly one's personal life force, because by that strength the spiritual truth is contemplated which, being understood, gives liberation [see B.G. 6: 16]. (35) Whatever the food, clothing and bedding a sage finds on his way, he must accept, irrespective its good or poor quality [see also 7.13]. (36) General cleanliness, washing the hands, taking a bath and other regular duties are by the one of spiritual realization to be performed without any compulsion, the same way as I, the Controller, act according to My own will. (37) The notion of leading a seperate life is finished when one has realized Me. Sometimes such a notion lingers till the body dies, but everything will after all turn out to be fine with Me. (38) Unhappy about the consequences of a lusty life the one who has not yet seriously considered Me must, with the aversion that rose in the desire for spiritual perfection, be of the duty to approach a wise [bonafide] person [of proper reference], a guru [see also B.G. 16: 23-24, 4: 34 & 17: 14]. (39) The devotee should with great faith and respect, free from envy serve the spiritual master who embodies Me, for as long as it takes to arrive at a clear realization of the spiritual [see also 11.17: 27]. (40-41) He then who is not in control of the six vices [the anarthas], he who as the charioteer is lead by the senses, he who lacking in detachment is bereft of knowledge, he who uses the three-stick staff for ulterior purposes and he who denies Me, himself and the godly situated within himself, has, because he didn't overcome the contamination and thus spoils the dharma, lost his way in this world as well as in the next.
(42) The nature of a mendicant is to be equable and nonviolent, penance and discrimination characterizes the one living in the forest, the householder offers shelter and performs sacrifices and a celibate novice serves the âcârya. (43) The celibacy, austerity, cleanliness, contentment and being friendly towards all living entities that can be observed with all who worship Me, constitutes just as well the way of the householder who at the appropriate time approaches his wife [see also B.G. 7: 11]. (44) The one who thus according his nature worships Me with no one else as the object of devotion, will come to realize Me in all living entities and achieves unflinching devotional service unto Me. (45) Through his unrelenting devotional service, Uddhava, he comes to Me, the Supreme Controller of all the Worlds, the Absolute Truth and Ultimate Cause who gives rise to and also puts an end to everything. (46) Thus according to his own sense of duty having purified his existence, he will, fully understanding My supreme position and endowed with spiritual knowledge and wisdom, very soon achieve Me. (47) All followers of the varnâs'rama-system are characterized by a traditional code of conduct that settles the dharma. This sense of duty combined with my bhakti awards the highest perfection of life. (48) O saintly soul, with this I have described to you, upon your request, the means by which one as a devotee may be perfectly engaged according to one's own nature and may come to Me, the One Supreme.'
*: S'rîla Bhaktisiddhânta Sarasvatî Thhâkur quoting from the Manu-samhitâ points out that the word medhyaih or 'pure' in this context means that while residing in the forest a sage may not accept honey-based liquors, animal flesh, fungus, mushrooms, horseradish or any hallucinogenic or intoxicating herbs, not even on the pretext of a medicinal treatment.
**: Shastri C.L. Goswami comments here to his translation of the book: 'the s'ruti lays down that a brâhmana may turn out to be a recluse whenever true vairâgya appears in him in whatever stage of life'.
The Perfection of Spiritual Knowledge
(1) The Supreme Lord said: 'Someone who, endowed with knowledge according to the oral tradition, is self-realized and doesn't lose himself in speculations about what true knowledge is, must, known with the fact that this universe as well as the knowledge about it is illusory to a high degree, turn his steps towards Me. (2) For the spiritual philosopher I am the only beloved one, the only self-interest, motive and final conclusion as also the elevation and way to heaven; indeed, next to Me as the favorite one, he has no other purpose. (3) They who have fully perfected their knowledge and wisdom know My lotusfeet as the supreme object and thus is the learned transcendentalist who by means of spiritual knowledge keeps to Me, most dear to Me [see also B.G. 7: 17-18]. (4) That what by means of austerities, visiting holy places, doing japa, performing charity and being of other pious deeds is awarded cannot bear comparison with the perfection awarded by but a fraction of this spiritual knowledge [compare 10.46: 32-33]. (5) Worship for that reason Me in a loving mood with the spiritual knowledge with which you know your soul and are of success with the knowledge and wisdom. (6) With the sacrifice of vedic knowledge and wisdom the sages ensured themselves of the highest perpection by worshipping Me, the Lord of All Sacrifices who is the Supersoul inside of them. (7) O Uddhava, the manifest world which is divided in three divisions and is constantly transforming, consists of the bewildering energy which proves itself in the present. But because it is not there in the beginning nor in the end, you may wonder what their relation [the relation of the modes] would be to [the true of] you. They relate only to the birth of your material body and all of that. That what at first was not there and in the end isn't there either, is only of a temporary presence.'
(8) S'rî Uddhava said: 'O Controller of the Universe, o You in the Form of the Universe, please explain the bhakti-yoga unto You that is also sought by the great, and encompasses this extensive, thoroughly settled knowledge that is as traditional as the [original] detachment and wisdom [of Brahmâ]. (9) O Lord, for the one who, tormented on the violent material path, is overwhelmed by the threefold miseries [see 1.17: 19], I see no other shelter but the canopy of Your two lotus feet that shower the nectar. (10) Please uplift this person who, bitten by the snake of time, hopelessly fell down in this dark pit. Uplift this person craving so badly for some insignificant happiness. O Might of Understanding, pour out Your words of mercy that awaken one to liberation!'
(11) The Supreme Lord said: 'This you ask now was in the past by the king who considered no one his enemy [Yudhishthhira] inquired from Bhîshma, the best of the upholders of dharma, while we were all present attentively listening [see 1.9: 25-42]. (12) When the war between the descendants of Bharata was over, he asked, overwhelmed by the destruction of his beloved well-wishers, what, after all he had heard about the many principles of religion, the nature of liberation finally would be. (13) I'll describe to you the vedic knowledge consisting of detachment, self-realization, faith and devotional service, as it was heard from the mouth of the one vowed to God [viz. Bhîshma]. (14) When one with the nine, eleven, five and three elements one finds in all living entities truly seeing the one element [of the Absolute Spirit, the Supersoul, the Lord, see 1.2: 11] within them, carries that spiritual knowledge My approval. (15) Not being of all the elements subject to the three modes but rather seeing the One who maintains, creates and annihilates this universe, is one actually of the knowledge of self-realization [vijñâna]. (16) Only that must be considered true and eternal which is present in the beginning as well as in the middle with the changes of one form into the other, as also in the end when it remains upon the annihilation of everything. (17) With the four types of evidence - the vedic truth [s'ruti], the truth of direct experience [pratyaksha], the truth by tradition [aitihya or smriti], and the truth of logical inference [anumâna] - one develops detachment from the flickering nature of the dual reality [see pramâna]. (18) Because all material activities are transient there is up to the world of Viriñca [Brahmaloka] inauspiciousness. An intelligent person knowing that everything that was experienced is time-bound will also understand that the same is true for everything else in the universe [see also shath-ûrmi, 11.3: 20 and B.G. 8: 16]. (19) Because of your love for Me I previously spoke to you about bhakti-yoga, o sinless one. Let Me also expound now on the way in which the elevation of My devotional service is achieved. (20-24) Faith in the nectar of the narrations about Me, always chanting My glories, fixed in the attachment of ceremonial worship, to relate with hymns and prayers to Me; being of a high regard for My devotional service, with all of one's body to be offering obeisances, to be of the first-class worship of My devotees, to be conscious of Me being present in all living beings, to dedicate all one's normal activities to Me and also the with words defending of My qualities, placing the mind in Me and rejecting all material desires; for My sake giving up on money as also on sensual pleasures, material happiness and passions, being of charity and offering in sacrifice, chanting the names to achieve Me and keeping to vows and austerities; that are the ways, Uddhava, in which, with those human beings who actually commit themselves to the dharma, devotional service for Me develops - what other purpose would remain for My devotee? (25) When in peace one's consciousness is absorbed in the soul, one achieves, strengthened by the mode of goodness, religiosity, spiritual knowledge, detachment and opulence. (26) But when one being fixed upon the material variety, chases one's senses in every direction and one thus is enslaved by passion, you should know that one by that [materialist] consciousness dedicated to the impermanent will attain the opposite. (27) The dharma is said to lead to My devotional service. The spiritual is honored as the vision of the Supreme Soul being present. Detachment one calls the loss of interest in the sense-objects and the opulence is recognized by the animâ and such [perfections and powers see 11.15 & 11.16 and bhaga].'
(28-32) S'rî Uddhava said: 'How many types of don'ts [yama] or does [niyama] does one speak of, o Subduer of the Enemy, what is equilibrium, what is self-control, dear Krishna, what is tolerance and what is constancy, my Lord? What is charity, what is penance, heroism, what does one say about reality and truth, what is renunciation and wealth, what is desirable, a sacrifice and what is religious financial compensation? What do You think is the strength of a person, o Fortunate One, the opulence and gain, o Kes'ava, what is education, modesty, what is superior, what is beauty and what is happiness as also unhappiness? Who is learned, who is a fool, what is the real path and what the false path, what is heaven and what is hell and who do You say is a friend and what is home? Who is wealthy, who is poor, who a miser and who is a controller; please speak to me about these matters as also about the opposite qualities, o Lord of the Truthful.'
(33-35) The Supreme Lord said: 'Nonviolence, truthfulness, not coveting or stealing the property of others, detachment, modesty, non-possessiveness, belief in God, celibacy as also silence, steadiness, forgiveness and fearlessness on the one hand, and [inner and outer] cleanliness, doing the rosary, penance, sacrifice, trustfulness, hospitality, worship of Me, visiting holy places, acting and striving for the Supreme, contentment and serving the spiritual master on the other hand are the twelve elements one remembers of yama that together with those of niyama by human beings are cultivated with devotion, my dearest, and depending on what someone wants yield results [in the sense of beatitude or prosperity]. (36-39) Equilibrium means steady absorption of the intelligence in Me [see also 11.16: 10] and self-control is the perfect discipline of the senses; tolerance means to endure unhappiness and constancy is the conquering of the tongue and genitals. The highest charity is to give up the rod [to punish others], penance is remembered as giving up the lust, heroism is to conquer one's self-love and reality implies to see the Lord everywhere. Truthfulness means to be of the pleasing and true words that are approved by the sages, cleanliness means that one is detached from performing productive labor [see also e.g. 1.1: 2 and B.G. 18: 6] and renunciation is said to be the renounced order of sannyâsa. For human beings religiousness is the wealth to desire for, I am the Most Fortunate, religious remuneration is the donation [in return] for the spiritual knowledge enjoyed and breathcontrol is the supreme strength. (40-45) Opulence is My divine nature [see 11.16 and bhaga], gain is My bhakti, education is the nullifying of the dividedness of the self [see siddhânta and advaita] and modesty is the disgust with failing in prescribed duties [with sin]. Beauty means to be of good qualities like being detached from material desires and such, happiness means to transcend hap and mishap, unhappiness entails that one meditates on the happiness of lust, and a wise person is someone who knows to tell the difference between liberation and bondage. A fool is someone who identifies himself with the body and so on [the mind etc.], the right path is leading to Me, the wrong path is to be understood as the one leading to the perplexion of consciousness and heaven implies the predominance of the mode of goodness. Hell is the predominance of the mode of ignorance, the real friend is the spiritual master who is Me, My dear friend and the human body is one's home. A rich person for sure is called he who is enriched with good qualities while a poor person is someone who is discontented. The wretched one is the one who has not conquered his senses, a controller is someone whose intelligence is not attached to the material affair and the one attached to sense gratification is of the opposite [qualities].This, Uddhava, are the subjects of your inquiry I have thus all properly elucidated. But what's the use of describing elaborately the characteristics of good and bad qualities when seeing good and bad still means that one fails to see the true goodness [of transcendence] which stands apart from the two [compare with 3.10: 28-29, 6.16: 10-11, 11.7: 8, 11.11: 16 and B.G. 7: 5].'
Trikânda Yoga: Bhakti Surpasses Knowledge and Detachment
(1) S'rî Uddhava said: 'To the honor of You the Controller, o Lotus-eyed One, focus the sacred texts, that contain the positive and negative injunctions, upon the virtue and vice of karma [akarma and vikarma]. (2) They also discuss the varnâs'rama system wherein the father may be of a higher [anuloma] or a lower [pratiloma] class than the mother, they are about heaven and hell and expound on the subjects of having possessions, one's age, place and time [see also 4.8: 54 and *]. (3) How is it possible for human beings who cannot tell the difference between virtue and vice to find liberation without Your prohibitive and regulatory words [compare 11.19: 40-45]? (4) The Vedic knowledge emanating from You offers the forefathers, the gods as well as the human beings a superior insight in the not for everyone that evident meaning of life, that for which we strive and the means to be employed. (5) The difference between virtue and vice is realized with the help of Your Vedic knowledge, it is an insight that does not arise of its own, but it are also Your Vedas that cancel such a difference and thus clearly confuse the issue....'
(6) The Supreme Lord said: 'The three ways of yoga that I have described in My desire to grant the human being the perfection, are the path of philosophy [jñâna], the path of work [karma] and the path of devotion [bhakti]; outside of them there are no ways to be found [see also B.G. contents and trikânda]. (7) For the ones who disgusted with fruitive labor forsake that kind of activities, there is the yoga of spiritual knowledge and for those who consciously have not turned themselves away and do feel for material happiness there is the path of karma-yoga. (8) When it happens to be so that one developed belief in My narrations and everything thereto, will for such a person who is neither averse nor very attached, the path of bhakti-yoga be awarding the perfection. (9) As long as one is not fed up with profitminded labor and attaches no faith to My discourses or hearing etc. [7.5: 23-24], one will have to continue that way [see also 1.2: 7, 11.5: 41]. (10) Someone will not go to heaven, nor will he land in hell, Uddhava, if he doesn't do anything else but cling to his prescribed duties and, free from ulterior motives, worships with performing sacrifices [see also B.G. 8: 16]. (11) When one, existing in this world, free from sin clings to one's duties and is pure [in one's motives], one obtains transcendental knowledge and eventually, given the fortune, My bhakti [compare 1.5: 23-31]. (12) Just as the residents of hell, do even the residents of heaven desire for this planet earth which is so conducive to the spiritual knowledge and devotional service that in both positions appear to be of little value. (13) A human being should never desire to reach heaven or wish to go to hell, nor should a wise person desire this planet earth because based upon such an involvement with the body one becomes a fool. (14) Knowing this someone should, before he dies, dilligently endeavor for transcendence being conscious of the fact that, even though [the body is] subject to death, the perfection of one's life purpose is within reach. (15) A bird giving up the nest it built in a tree that was cut down by some messengers of death, achieves happiness on account of not being attached. (16) Knowing that with every day and night one's life span is shortened, one, beset with fear, understands the transcendental position, and reaches free from desire perfect peace. (17) The human body, which is the source of all blessings, is easily obtained even though that rarely happens [considering the enormous variety of life forms on this planet]. It is a ship extremely well equipped for its duty, given a spiritual teacher for its captain and the favorable winds that represent Me to propel it. But when someone fails to cross the ocean of material existence with it, he is a killer of his own soul. (18) A yogi, who fosters no hopes in material endeavors, is in full control of his senses and is detached. He must concentrate to steady the mind in the discipline he has with the soul. (19) Narrowed down to the spiritual platform the mind should, when it upon an impulse is drawn away from its position, carefully, according the rules of the game, be brought under the control of the self [see also B.G. 6: 26]. (20) One should, when one endowed with goodness conquers one's breath and senses, not forget what the actual purpose of the mind is. It should always with the help of one's intelligence be brought back under the control of the soul [to be its servant, see B.G. 3: 42]. (21) This truly supreme yoga process entails that one carefully and constantly observes the mind in order to achieve full control over it. It should be treated inspiring with confidence the way one tames a horse [see also B.G. 6: 33-34]. (22) Through the analytic study of how the different elements and principles of spiritual knowledge cohere and are in conflict, how they originate and how they are lost, the mind should be kept attentive until [spiritually] satisfied. (23) Of the person who sufficiently disgusted gave up on the material interest, the mind, which guided by vedic precepts is kept busy with the analysis of everything it was occupied with, will give up to falsely identify itself with that subject matter. (24) To reach the goal of yoga one must direct one's mind by no other means than the austerities and procedures of the [eightfold] yoga method, with the logical analyses of the spiritual vision or by means of the exercises of respect for My form [karma, jñâna and bhakti-yoga]. (25) If a yogi out of negligence is of a reprehensible deed, he should by the process of yoga only burn up that sin. In matters like these he should never at any time operate differently [compare B.G. 1.5: 17, 4: 19, 9: 30]. (26) The steady practice that is maintained by each with his own method constitutes a praiseworthy virtue, but because of the karmic, fruitive nature of one's activities one is not engaged in a pure way. In respect of this virtue and vice are the disciplinary observances established [of niyama] according the desire to relinquish the different kinds of attachment. (27-28) When in him the faith in my narrations has awakened and he is disgusted with all karma he [the âtmânandi bhakta] who knows about the misery that is constituted by the lust should - even though he's not fully in control of the process of renouncing - by that insight strengthened in his conviction engage in glorifying Me [bhajana]. Thus he remains happy in his faith and repents thereto the sense gratification that led to the unhappiness. (29) All the lusts a sage has in his heart are destroyed when he, constantly worshiping Me in the bhakti-yoga as described, has firmly established his heart in Me [see sthita-prajña]. (30) The knots in the heart are pierced, all misgivings are cut to pieces and the chain of his fruitive actions has ended when I am seen as the Supreme Soul of All. (31) For that reason is for a yogi who, connected in My devotional service, established his mind in Me, the path of knowledge nor the path of detachment [from fruitive actions] generally the way to become happy in this world. (32-33) When he somehow or other desires heaven, beatitude or My abode is all that is obtained by fruitive action, penance, the cultivation of knowledge and detachment, is indeed all that is attained by mystic yoga, charity, religious observances, auspicious actions or otherwise, easily by My devotee achieved in loving service unto Me. (34) The saintly who are sober, the devotees who are one of heart unto Me, indeed never desire that I grant them enlightenment or freedom from birth and death. (35) It is said that it is best not to desire anything, and thus may of him who, not seeking any personal reward, is desireless, as the highest stage of liberation the bhakti unto Me may manifest itself [see also 2.3: 10]. (36) With Me unfavorable qualities sprouting from weaknesses cannot [again] manifest in pure devotees, because they, free from desire, under all circumstances are stable in their consciousness. They now belong to those who moved beyond that what can be understood with a materially motivated intelligence [see also B.G. 9: 30]. (37) Those who follow these methods I have now instructed, achieve the security of My abode in the direct perception of that what is the Absolute Truth.'
*: The vaidehakas consist of those born of a s'ûdra father and brâhmana mother, the sûtas are those born from a kshatriya father and a brâhmana mother or from a s'ûdra father and kshatriya mother. The mûrdhâvasiktas are those born of a brâhmana father and kshatriya mother. Ambashthhas are those born from a brâhmana father and vais'ya mother [these often work in the healthcare business]. Karana indicates those born of a vais'ya father and s'ûdra mother or of a kshatriya father and vais'ya mother.
On Distinguishing between Good and Bad
(1) The Supreme Lord said: 'They who give up on these means of achieving Me, consisting of the devotion, the knowledge and the work to be done, are by the insignificance of the flickering lusts they cultivate with the senses, confronted with the finality of a material existence. (2) The steadiness each one has in his own position is declared to be the actual virtue and the opposite [of being unsteady] is indeed the vice; this is the final conclusion about the two [see also B.G. 2: 16]. (3) What would be pure or impure concerning the religion, what would be vice or virtue in normal affairs and what would be favorable or unfavorable for one's physical survival are matters one must evaluate from the same category of elements, o sinless one [what is good for the body e.g. is not necessarily good for the religion]. (4) This approach [of distinguishing between good and bad] I put forward for the sake of those who suffer the burden of religious principles. (5) Earth, water, fire, air and ether are the five basic elements that, from Lord Brahmâ down to the nonmoving creatures, constitute the bodies of the living beings who are all connected in the Supreme Soul. (6) Although they consist of the same elements and in that sense are equal, assign the Vedas different names and forms to them in service of their self-interest [see varnâs'rama].
(7) What would be the right and wrong considerations concerning the time, place, the things and so on, is established by Me with the purpose of restricting materially motivated activities. (8) Among all places are those places spoiled where there is no respect for the brahminical and the spotted antelopes are missing. And even when there are spotted antelopes [left, viz. not all being killed] is a place that is without saintly, cultured men, an uncivilized place where the practices are unclean and the earth is barren [see mleccha and *]. (9) That time is correct and suitable which either by its own nature [viz. not manipulated against nature] or understood according to the person [the Lord, but also according the season, the money - the lakshmî -, the availability of something] is suitable for executing one's prescribed duty. Wrong and not suitable is the time which impedes someone in the performance of his duty, the time that is not fit for doing work [a lust motivated, arbitrary notion of time, see 11.20: 26, kâla and kâlakûtha **]. (10) The pure or impure of a thing [or of a substance] is determined with the help of another thing, in respect of what one says about it, by means of a ritual performance, by the reference of time or according the relative magnitude [see ***]. (11) Depending one's power or impotence, intelligence and wealth, condition and place, imposes it [viz. the quality of a thing] accordingly upon a person a sinful [or pious] reaction. (12) By a combination of time, air, fire, earth and water or by each of them separately [are matters purified like] grains, things made of wood, clay and bone, thread, skins, liquids and things won from fire. (13) That is considered purifying which by touching the impure removes a bad smell or dirt and so restores the original nature of that object. (14) By bathing, charity and austerity, by virtue of his age, his heroism, ritual purification and his prescribed duties a twice-born man [being the doer] should, in the remembrance of Me, perform according to the pure, the cleanliness of the [original] self. (15) The purification derived from a mantra is a consequence of the correct knowledge about it and the purification by a certain act is the consequence of one's dedication to Me. Religiosity is achieved by [the purity of] the six factors [as mentioned: the place, the time, the substance, the mantras, the doer and the devotional act], whereas the irreligious is there as a consequence of the contrary.
(16) Sometimes a virtue turns into a vice though and a vice turns by the power of vedic instruction into a virtue. Respecting the regulative principles one is thus faced with the fact that the distinction [between that what is proper and improper] factually is effaced by them [4*]. (17) The same karma because of which someone fell down is not the cause of another falldown. Someone who fell [in love...] doesn't fall further; for such a one the natural attachment changes into a virtue. (18) Whatever one desists from one is freed from - this is for human beings the foundation of religious life that takes away the suffering, fear and delusion. (19) Presuming the objects that gratify the senses to be good rises from that assumption the attachment of a person, from that attachment originates the lust and because of lust there is quarrel among people. (20) From quarreling there is the anger difficult to handle and the consequent ignorance; thus is someone's consciousness quickly overtaken by darkness. (21) O saintly one, a living being bereft that way [of clear understanding] becomes empty-headed so that, consequently fallen away from his goals in life, he similar to dull matter is as good as dead [compare B.G. 2: 62-63]. (22) Overly absorbed in the sensual he, vainly living the lifestyle of a tree, fails in knowing himself and knowing the other so that his breathing is nothing but pumping air. (23) The awards promised in the scriptures are for man not the highest good; they are merely enticements to create a taste for the ultimate good, similar to what one says to make someone take a medicine. (24) Simply by their birth alone strive mortals against the interest of their souls, because their minds are entangled in the care for the objects of their desire, their vital functions and their loved ones. (25) Submissive [religiously] wander they unaware in regard of their real self-interest the path of disaster. Why would the intelligent [the vedic authority] lead those who enter the darkness further into sense engagement [see also 5.5: 17]? (26) Some people, they who this way with a perverted intelligence do not understand the actual conclusion, speak in flowery statements of the material awards about which he who really knows the Vedas doesn't speak [see also B.G. 2: 42-44]. (27) The lusty, miserly and greedy ones take the flowers for the ultimate truth; bewildered by the fire do they, suffocating by the smoke, not know their position [of being an individual soul instead of being a body]. (28) They, armed with their expressions, My dear, do not know Me who is seated within the heart and from whom this universe has risen that is also Me - they, self-indulgent, are like people staring in fog. (29-30) They without understanding My confidential conclusion [see also 10.87 and B.G. 9] are, being absorbed in the sensual, attached to the violence that may be [an itegral part of nature], but certainly never is encouraged for the sacrifices. In reality taking pleasure in being violent with the animals that in the desire for their own happiness were slaughtered, they are in their ritual worship of the gods, the forefathers and the leading ghosts, mischievous people. (31) That unholy world [they uphold] can be compared to a dream that, sounding nice, is about mundane achievements with which they, imagined in their hearts like they were businessmen, have forsaken the actual purpose [of realizing the soul]. (32) Established in the mode of passion, goodness or ignorance they worship the gods and others headed by Indra who likewise delight in passion, goodness and ignorance. But I am thus not worshiped the proper way [see also B.G. 9: 23 and 10: 24 & 25]. (33-34) 'When we here with our sacrifices to the gods are full of worship, we will enjoy the pleasures of heaven and next on earth all live in a barn of a house and be high-born.' With their minds thus bewildered by the flowery words [of the Vedas] they despite these words, as proud and most greedy men, are not attracted to My topics.
(35) The trikânda divided Vedas have the spiritual understanding of the true self, the soul, as their subject matter but also the vedic seers who more esoterically privately express themselves are dear to Me [the 'other gurus']. (36) The transcendental sound [the s'abda-brahman] manifesting itself in the prâna, the senses and the mind [of the self-realized, enlightened person] is something most difficult to understand, it is unlimited and is as unfathomably deep as the ocean. (37) The groundless, changeless Absolute of endless potencies that I promote [as My nature, see Omkâra], is represented within the living beings in the form of soundvibrations, the way a lotus stalk is represented by a single strand of fiber [see also 11.18: 32 and 6.13: 15]. (38-40) Just as a spider from the heart weaves its web through its opening, is the breath of God [the prâna] from the ether manifesting the soundvibration through the mind in the form of the different phonemes. Full of nectar comprising all the shapes that branch out in thousands of directions, has the Master, decorated with consonants, vowels, sibilants and semivowels, expanded from the syllable om. By the elaborated diversity of expressions and metrical arrangements that each have four more syllables, He creates and Himself withdraws again the great unlimited expanse [of the vedic manifestation of sound, see also B.G. 15: 15]. (41) For instance the metres Gâyatrî, Ushnik and Anushthup; Brihatî and Pankti as also Trishthup, Jagatî, Aticchanda, and Atyashthi, Atijagatî and Ativirâth [have each in this order four more syllables]. (42) What they [karma-kânda] enjoin [to be done], what they [upâsana-kânda] indicate [as being the object of devotion], what aspects they describe or what alternatives they [jñâna-kânda] thus literarily offer [as philosophy], the heart of this matter is in this world not known by anyone else but Me [compare 11.20, B.G. 4: 5, 7: 26, 10: 41]. (43) I am the object of worship, the concern of the enjoined action and the alternative that is offered and explained away [5*]. The transcendental sound vibration of the Vedas establishes Me as being their meaning and elaborately describes the material duality as simply being the illusory one has to emasculate to ultimately become happy.'
*: S'rîla Madhvâcârya quotes from the Skanda Purâna as follows: 'Religious persons should reside within an eight-mile radius of rivers, oceans, mountains, hermitages, forests, spiritual cities or places where the s'âlagrâma-s'îlâ [a black oval river-stone suitable for worship] is found. All other places should be considered kîkatha, or contaminated. But if even in such contaminated places black and spotted antelopes are found, one may reside there as long as sinful persons are not also present. Even if sinful persons are present, if the civil power rests with respectable authorities, one may remain. Similarly, one may dwell wherever the Deity of Vishnu is duly installed and worshiped.'
**: The paramparâ adds here: 'Political, social or economic disturbances that obstruct the execution of one's religious duties are considered inauspicious times.' Therefore is the - form of, type of - time with which one achieves the association of the Supreme Lord or the Lord's pure devotee, the most auspicious time, whereas the form of time which is politically, economically or socially determined and with which one loses such association, most inauspicious. Religous timing - to the sun and moon e.g. - is sat kâla, or true timing and proper conditioning, whereas humanly determined timing is asat kâla, or time conditioning by false authority, a karma motivated time driven by ulterior motives. Scientifically it concerns a biological conflict at the level of the nervous system between natural stimuli of time, like the regularity of daylight, and the cultural stimuli of time that oppose with linear and generalized concepts of time like mean time and zone time. The time sense of modern man is for this reason disturbed, he suffers psychological time, an unstable sense of time which is fundamental to the cultural neurosis.
***: An example to illustrate this rather abstract formulation is the clock: the clock is pure or impure relative to its object measured: the time of nature as another 'thing' of time. This is called the criterion of scientific validation or the determining of the zero point of measurement. But also speaking of it in a scientific lecture telling that the mean of time, the clock deviating from nature, is derived from and refers to nature itself through a scientific formula that expresses the socalled equation of time, is a political way of sanctifying, declaring the truth of, an obviously deviating clock. Furthermore is there also the religious ritual that presents the cross of Jesus Christ for instance, or the Mahâmantra of Lord Caitanya, to the standard of time on the clock in order to forgive the sin of the pragmatical deviating from God's nature of time and the scientific rationalization about it. Next we can simply set the clock to the nature of time, to the time of Krishna, to be true to the religious insight [see f.c.o.]. And finally, realizing that the confidentiality of Krishna's time cannot be imposed politically, there is the purity to the relative magnitude, as this verse states, that with the modern complexity of time awareness can be respected with a dual display of time offered by some clocks or else with two clocks combined: one display set to nature and one to the politics of pragmatical timekeeping. Thus we can by this verse tolerate the impurity of profit motivated karmic time manipulations and still manage with purity as devotees [Prabhupâda who on the one hand demanded punctuality, requested his devotees to further study the subject of time. 'All days and hours are the same to me. I leave that matter to you', he confided in 'A Transcendental Diary' by Hari S'auri Dâsa].
4*: According to S'rîla Madhvâcârya, persons above the age of fourteen are considered capable of distinguishing between good and bad and are thus responsible for their pious and sinful activities.
5*: This 'explaining away' is associated with the relationship between form and content. In bhakti one is faced with His form, the form of the âcârya and the form of the other devotees as the entrance gate giving access to the Vedic knowledge. Once having passed that gate on one's way inside, the gate for which the Lord stands with His form is of a lesser importance than the content taken care of by jñâna. When one has accessed the content, the form is just as obsolete as the package of a product is when one wants to use it after being bought. But Lord Krishna is of course just as well the form as the content. In that sense one rather finds Him on one's way inside. The explaining away pertains to the form thus. Thus is the necessity demonstrated of the trikânda threefoldness of yoga: karma-yoga constitutes the way, bhakti-yoga constitutes the shop and jñâna-yoga shows the contents of spiritual realization to procure there.
Prakriti and Purusha: Nature and the Enjoyer
(1-3) S'rî Uddhava said: 'O Lord of the Universe, how many basic elements of creation have been enumerated by the seers? O Master, I heard You speak about nine, eleven and five plus three basic elements [see also 11.19: 14]. Some say there are [not twenty-eight but] twenty-six, others speak of twenty-five or seven, some speak of nine, some of four and others of eleven, while some speak of sixteen, seventeen or thirteen. You should, o Eternal Supreme One, explain to us what the sages have in mind who so differently express themselves.'
(4) The Supreme Lord said: 'With them [the elements] being everywhere speak the brahmins the way it suits them, after all, what would for those who concern themselves with [the mystical potency of] My mâyâ be the wrong thing to say? (5) 'It is not the way you say it, it is the way I state it': this is what my unfathomable energies do to those who argue logically [see darshanas and 6.4: 31]. (6) Because My energies interact rise differences of opinion among the ones who talk about this subject, but when one finds peace in the control over one's senses subsides the controversy and stops the arguing [one reaches the true nature of the supreme spirit, âtmatattva]. (7) Because the various elements [subtle and gross] mutually pervade one another, o best among men, a speaker wants to provide a division of causes and consequences. (8) With those divisions refers one element to the other elements: whether it is there as a cause or a consequence, in one element [viz. the ether] one finds all the other elements and vice versa [*]. (9) When people departing from a certain division for that reason express themselves in terms of cause and effect, I accept that which is voiced with such a point of view on the condition that it is guided by reason [by scientific proof, by specificity about time and place]. (10) A person who inevitably is born in ignorance cannot all by himself figure out what the process of selfrealization all means, that knowledge is derived from someone else who is known with the principle of reality [compare 11.21: 10]. (11) There is according to this knowledge in the material mode of goodness not the slightest difference between the purusha, the original person, and îs'vara, the controller. To suppose that there would be such a difference is a useless endeavor [see B.G. 18: 20 and 9: 15 and **]. (12) Material nature [prakriti] is what binds the modes. These modes as the causes of keeping, producing and ending that accordingly are said to be of goodness, passion and ignorance, belong to the material world and not to the spirit soul [see also B.G. 3: 27]. (13) In this world is the mode of goodness of knowledge, the mode of passion of fruitive labor [karma] and the mode of darkness of ignorance; the interaction of the modes is called Time and that what's there by nature constitutes the thread [the mahat-tattva is the sûtra, see also 11.12: 19-21]. (14) The soul enjoying [purusha], material nature [prakriti], the intelligible [mahat-tattva], the identification with the form [ahankâra], ether, air, fire, water and earth are thus My nine elements of creation referred to [in verse 1]. (15) Hearing, touching, seeing, smelling and tasting are the five [senses] by which one acquires knowledge; the speech organ, the hands, the genitals, the anus and the legs constitute their operation, o dear one, and the mind is there for both. (16) Sounds, tactile qualities, tastes, fragrances, and forms [or colors] are the categories of the sense objects [see vishaya] and speech, manufacturing, excretion [by anus and genitals] and locomotion are the functions covered by them. (17) In the beginning of creation is the person of the enjoyer uninvolved given to witnessing the material nature of this universe, the universe that by the operation of sattva and the other modes assumes the forms of the gross manifestations and subtler causes [see also 2.10: 10]. (18) All the elements that received their potencies from the glance of the Lord, in the manifest reality undergo transformation and form, amalgamated by the power of nature, the egg of the universe [see also 2.5: 35, 3.20: 14-15, 3.26: 51-53, 3.32: 29, 5.26: 38, 11.6: 16]. (19) When one speaks about the creation as having only seven elements: the five of the physical elements beginning with the ether on the one hand and the individual knower with the Supreme Soul on the other hand, there are as a consequence of this fundamental, dual basis the body, the senses and the life air. (20) And when one departs from six elements: the five elements with the Transcendental Person as the sixth element that is conjoined with them, He has first projected this creation and next entered it. (21) When one speaks of four elements fire, water and earth arise from the Original Self; from these elements there is then the manifest product of this cosmos. (22) Counting seventeen there is the consideration of the five gross elements, the five objects and the five senses along with the one mind and the soul as the seventeenth. (23) So too one is counting with sixteen elements when one identifies the soul with the mind. With thirteen elements one has the five gross elements, the five senses, the mind and the [individual and supreme of the] soul. (24) Counting eleven elements in this one has the soul, the gross elements and the senses. One also knows nine of them with the eight natural elements [the five gross ones, mind, intelligence and false ego] and the Enjoyer in the beyond. (25) Thus have various enumerations of the elements been contrived by the sages. They are all logically supported by rational arguments, that is the brilliance one finds with the learned.'
(26) S'rî Uddhava said: 'Because both nature and the enjoyer, even though they are constitutionally different, cover one another o Krishna, there seems to be no difference between them: one sees the soul within nature and nature within the soul [see also B.G. 18: 16]. (27) Please, o Lotus eyed One, as the Omniscient, Very Expert in Reasoning, cut with Your words down the great doubt in my heart. (28) The living beings have from You indeed the knowledge and by the potency of Your outer illusion it is stolen away. Only You understand the ins and outs of Your illusory power and no one else [see also B.G. 15: 15].'
(29) The Supreme Lord said: 'Prakriti and purusha [nature and the enjoyer] are two distinct matters, o best of all persons, and both are subjected to the transformation that is based upon the mixing of the gunas of creation. (30) Dear Uddhava, My deluding energy consisting of the three modes is responsible for the diversity of manifestations as well as for the variety of different forms of perception. This changeable nature based upon the gunas knows three aspects: one is called adhyâtma, then there is adhidaiva and the other is called adhibhûta [see also kles'as and 1.17: 19]. (31) Alike the independently of these existing Supersoul who constitutes the actual cause of the subjective experience [adhyâtma], nature as the source of one's perception [adhidaiva] and the phenomenon one perceives [adhibhûta], is there similarly the sun in its independent position in the sky, that is responsible for the power of sight [adhyâtma], the external of nature [adhidaiva] and the distinct, reflected image [adhibhûta] that together contribute to that what can be seen through the opening of the eye. (32) Next to the eyes the same [trinity] applies to the sense of touch and what one feels with it, the ear and what one hears, the tongue and its occupation, the nose with what is smelled and with one's consciousness and its attributes. (33) The transformation effected by this agitation of the modes which rooted from the primary nature [pradhâna], leads to bewilderment and gives all kinds of trouble with the by the greater reality [the mahat-tattva] raised threefold, false ego which, subjected to change, in ignorance wants to take matters into its own hands [see also ***]. (34) When there is not the full knowledge of the Supersoul one will, eager as one is in one's desire to discuss matters, get entangled in useless speculations about the fact whether or not there would be a difference [between purusha and prakriti] with statements like 'this is real and that is not', and those speculations continue as long as one has diverted one's attention away from Me, I who am [qualitatively] equal to oneself.'
(35-36) S'rî Uddhava said: 'In what way do those whose minds diverted from You by the fruitive activities they performed, o Master, accept and give up higher and lower material bodies? Please Govinda explain that to me what by those who are not so spiritual isn't understood since they, predominantly being of material knowledge, are illusioned.'
(37) The Supreme Lord said: 'People's minds that are shaped by their fruitive labor are bound to the five senses from one world to the next. The soul, existing separately, follows that mind [see also linga, vâsanâ and B.G. 2: 22]. (38) The mind faithfully meditating on what is heard [from the traditions] or what is seen of the sense objects comes into being because of its being bound to the karma and dissolves again [with the vanishing of the sense objects]. As a consequence the remembrance [of past lives] is lost. (39) This total forgetfulness of not remembering one's previous self that for this or that reason was absorbed in the objects of the senses, is what one calls death. (40) O man of charity, what one calls birth is when a person completely identifies himself with the body he assumed, just like what one does when one dreams or when one has a fantasy. (41) And just as one in a dream or fantasy has no remembrance of a previous dream or fantasy, one has likewise no notion of a previous existence [*4 en B.G. 4: 5]. (42) Because of obtaining a new material body and a corresponding mind, the truth of the threefold reality imposes itself upon the soul, with the consequence of an inner notion that differs from the outer appearance, like one gave birth to bad natured offspring. (43) For created bodies, by the force of time which operates invisibly, that isn't seen because of its subtlety. (44) The lifespan, the circumstances and such of all created beings are determined by it, just as the flame of a candle, the stream of a river and the fruit of a tree are determined by it. (45) The way one has it wrong when one says 'this light is the same as this lamp' and 'this stream of water is the same as this river' it is also wrong to say that 'this body is the same as this person', it is a way of reasoning of men who are wasting their lives [see also 6.16: 58, 7.6: 1-2]! (46) A person doesn't die, nor is he born from the seed of his actions, he is immortal. It is because of illusion that one, like fire locked up in wood, is united [with one's material existence. See B.G. 2: 24]. (47) Impregnation, gestation, birth, infancy, childhood, youth, middle age, old age and death are the nine states of the body one thus has. (48) These more or less elevated states of the body that one owes to one's own motives, are because of his being bound to the modes by a soul accepted as one's own, while the other soul [with due effort in yoga] distances himself from them [by the grace of God]. (49) The incidence of one's own birth can be inferred from the birth of one's son and the incidence of one's death can be derived from the death of one's father [or ancestors], [but] he who remembers himself with all the things of birth and death is never subject to that what is ruled by this duality. (50) The way someone, who knows about a tree its seed and maturity, is the witness distinct from the birth and death of that tree, is one analogously the witness standing apart from the [birth and death of] the physical body. (51) An unintelligent person who fails to distinguish this way the person from his material nature, enters, completely bewildered in taking material forms for real, the material ocean [see also B.G. 9: 21-22 and 1.7: 5]. (52) Wandering around because of his karma he will, following the mode of goodness, head for the sages and the gods; following the lead of passion he will move among the common people or fall into the grip of darkness; and by the mode of ignorance he will find himself among the ghosts and spirits or reach the animal kingdom [see also B.G. 6: 41-42, 9: 25; 17: 4]. (53) Just as with observing dancing and singing persons one comes to imitate them, one is, even though being a silent witness who doesn't do anything, when one is placed before the qualities of matter the same way inclined towards a material intelligence [see also 11.21: 19-21]. (54-55) The way trees seem to be moving when they are seen in moving water and the world seems to spin when one's eyes are spinning around, one's mental impressions of the sense object are also not real. Just like the things one sees in a dream are but figments, also the soul's image of a material life in which he experiences sense gratification is a phantom. (56) For someone who meditates the objects of the senses material life will not stop, even though it is an illusory affair, just as the unpleasant things one experiences in a dream [may repeat themselves over and over *5]. (57) Therefore Uddhava, do not delight in the sense-objects that play games with the senses, just see how based upon the illusion of the material duality one fails to realize the soul. (58-59) When one is insulted, neglected, ridiculed or envied by bad people, or else chastised, held captive or deprived of his means of livelihood, or when one is repeatedly spat or urinated upon by ignorant people, someone desiring the Supreme who thus being shaken is having difficulties, should save himself by resorting to his essence [see also 5.5: 30].'
(60) S'rî Uddhava said: 'How can I keep that in mind? Please, o Best of All Speakers, tell us that. (61) The attacks of other people on my person is what I find most difficult. Except to those who fixed in Your dharma in peace reside at Your lotusfeet, even for the learned, o Soul of the Universe, no doubt the material definition constitutes the greatest burden.'
*: Two examples: pots are of the earth that existed as a prior element or belong to rubble that is there as a later resultant substance, or either time as another element took them all together by entering them. Or the elements of nature appeared expanding in the space prior to them and all belong to the physical form that came about afterwards, and the vital breath entered them all as another element.
**: The paramparâ adds here: 'S'rî Caitanya Mahâprabhu described the actual situation as acintya-bhedâbheda-tattva - the supreme controller and the controlled living entities are simultaneously one and different. In the material mode of goodness the oneness is perceived. As one proceeds further, to the stage of vis'uddha-sattva, or purified spiritual goodness, one finds spiritual variety within the qualitative oneness, completing one's knowledge of the Absolute Truth' [see also siddhânta].
*** To differentiate the basic terms used in this chapter: Prakriti is the material nature with its living beings and gunas, pradhâna is the primordial, undifferentiated state of matter without the specific creatures and gunas and the mahat-tattva is the totality of the greater reality of it all, also known as the principle of intellect or the cosmic intelligence. The purusha is the original person who is the enjoyer: the Lord and the living beings who are the same in quality.
*4 According to the well-known exception that confirms the rule says S'rîla Vis'vanâtha Cakravartî Thhâkura here that by the mystic power of jâti-smara one may remember one's previous body. Patañjali in the Yoga Sutra III.18 says: 'In the observation of the subliminal impressions or samskâras is there the knowledge of a previous life'.
*5 The classical philosophical stance defended here is: 'When one has a body one is a soul, when one is a body one is a pig', where the pig is here the fallen soul returning time and again to a materialistic life.
Forbearance: the Song of the Avantî Brâhmana.
(1) The son of Vyâsa said: 'Thus respectfully being requested by Uddhava, the greatest of the devotees, began the chief of the Dâs'ârhas whose heroism is so worthy to be discussed, to speak, praising the words of His servant. (2) The Supreme Lord said: 'O disciple of Brihaspati, there is virtually no pious soul in this world capable of keeping his mind in check when it is disturbed by the insulting words of a bad person. (3) A person is not as much pained when pierced by arrows that go through the heart as he is hurt by a load of arrows in the form of the harsh words of untruthful people. (4) In this regard Uddhava, is a most pious story told. Please listen carefuly, I shall now describe it to you. (5) It was related by a mendicant who, upon being insulted by bad people, kept his composure reminding himself that it happened as a consequence of his past deeds. (6) In Avantî [in the district of Malwa] there once lived a certain brahmin very rich with opulences who earned his livelihood doing business; but he was a miser, full of lust, greed and prone to anger [see also B.G. 2: 49]. (7) He had no respect for his relatives and guests, not even in words. Nor catered he, devoid of religiosity, at the right time to his own needs. (8) With him so ill-behaved his sons, in-laws, his wife, daughters and servants turned against the miser. Full of enmity they withheld their affection. (9) This way lacking in dharma as well as in pleasure, the five claimants of sacrifice [the deities, see pañca-bhâga] became angry with that obsessive treasurer who failed for both the worlds [this and the next]. (10) With his neglecting them depleted his stock of piety, o magnanimous one, and thus he lost all the wealth he so painstakingly had troubled himself for. (11) Because he was only in name a brahmin Uddhava, some of his wealth was seized by his relatives, some by thieves, some by providence, some by time, some by common people and some by higher authorities [see also 10.49: 22]. (12) When he thus bereft of religiosity and love had lost his wealth, arose in him being neglected by his family members, a hard to endure anxiety. (13) For a long time he, choked with tears, lamented in pain over his lost riches, whereupon a great feeling of disgust for worldly affairs came over him. (14) He then said to himself: 'Alas, how painful to trouble myself that much with all this toiling that brings me no pleasure, nor the love of God. (15) Generally the wealth of misers never ever results in any happiness: in this life it becomes a torment and when one dies one ends up in hell with it. (16) Whatever the good call of the famous might be or however praiseworthy the qualities of the virtuous are, a little bit of greed is enough to see it all destroyed, the same as what white leprosy does with an enchanting physical beauty. (17) In the building, protecting, spending, losing and rejoicing about capital, man must toil, fear, worry and live with uncertainty. (18-19) Theft, violence, lies, duplicity, lust, anger, perplexity, pride, discord, enmity, lack of faith, competition and [the three] dangers [of intoxication, promiscuity and gambling, see also 1.17: 24] are the fifteen unwanted things man knows as the consequence of fostering riches. For that reason he who wishes the ultimate benefit in life should keep at a great distance the undesirable which poses itself as wealth. (20) The brothers, wife, parents and friends who are unified in love, all from one moment to the other turn into enemies over a single penny. (21) For the smallest amount of money they give, agitated and inflamed, in to anger and forget as an adversary out for destruction just like that, in the wink of an eye, their goodwill. (22) Having attained the human birth the immortals pray for and in that life having achieved the status of the best of the twice-born, they, destructive to their own best interest, have no appreciation for it. And thus they gradually slide down [see also B.G. 16: 19-20]. (23) What person achieving this human life, which is the gateway to heaven and liberation, would become attached to property and would choose to remain in the realm of meaninglessness where he is subject to death? (24) Like a moneyminded Yaksha not sharing with the shareholders, viz. the greater family of the gods, the seers, the forefathers, one's relatives, the living entities and oneself, one falls down. (25) Maddened by my youth, strength and wealth, the means by which a smart man settles for his perfection, I wasted my life endeavoring for money. What can I, as an old man, achieve that way [see B.G. 3: 35]? (26) Why would a man of intelligence constantly have to suffer in the vain pursuit of wealth? For certain someone in this world gets most bewildered because of her illusory power. (27) What is the use of the goods or the ones providing them, or what would be the use of the objects of desire or the people who give satisfaction? Or, differently stated, of what use would it be for someone in the grip of death to be of the fruitive action which only leads to yet another birth? (28) The Supreme Lord, the Supreme Personality who comprises all the gods and who, satisfied with me, led me to this condition of detachment, constitutes assuredly the boat to carry the soul [see also 11.17: 44]. (29) With the time remaining I will, in order to live in peace with myself, not [longer] being bewildered about my real interest, restrict my body to the minimum. (30) May the gods, the controllers of the three worlds be pleased with this. Was it not Khathvânga who achieved the spiritual abode in a single moment?'
(31) The Supreme Lord said: 'Thus making up his mind became the most pious brahmin from Avantî, untying the knots in his heart, a peaceful and silent mendicant. (32) He wandered the wide world alone and inconspicuous, and entered, with his self, senses and vital air therewith controlled [see tri-danda], its cities and villages to live on charity. (33) Seeing him appearing as an old, dirty beggar, was he by the low-class people dishonored with many an insult, My dear. (34) Some of them took his triple staff away, his begging bowl, his waterpot and his seat, and some took his prayer beads and his torn rags. Showing them to him they offered them back, and then again took them away from the sage. (35) And when he at the shore of the river wanted to enjoy his share of the food he had acquired by his begging, urinated the grave sinners upon it and spat they on his head. (36) He who in accord with the vow of silence didn't speak, they would beat up and deride with their words saying: 'This one is a thief'; thus speaking they bound him in ropes while some shouted thereto: 'Tie him up, bind him!' (37) Some criticized him committing insults like: 'This one is a religious hypocrite, a cheater who, having lost his wealth after his family threw him out, now has taken to this profession'. (38-39) 'See how this person as powerful and steadfast as a solid mountain, in his silence pursuing his goal, is as firmly determined as a duck'. Some ridiculed him speaking thus, while others passed foul air and, binding him in chains, kept the twice-born one captive like a pet animal. (40) Thus subjected to all that was caused by other living beings, by higher powers and by himself [see kles'a], he understood that whatever came his way befell him because it was his destiny. (41) Being insulted by lowly people who tried to get the better of him, he sang, keeping firm to his duty and fixed in goodness, the following song [see also B.G. 18: 33].
(42) The brahmin said: 'These people are not the cause of my happiness or distress, nor can I blame the demigods, my body, the planets, my karma or the time. It is, according to the standard authorities [the s'ruti] nothing but the mind that is the cause. The mind causes someone to rotate in the cycle of material life. (43) The mind giving evidence of the activity of the modes is very strong because of them and thus gives rise to the different sorts of white [goodness], red [passion] and black [ignorance] activities that lead to the conditions [the societal classes] that correspond with the same colors. (44) The Supersoul not involved and golden [radiating in its own light] exists along with the struggling mind, My friend, and looks down upon the mind that, with the image of the world it carries, embraces the objects of desire. It is in that engagement with the modes of nature that the spark of God that is the individual soul gets entangled in attachment. (45) Charity, doing one's duty, the niyama, the yama and the hearing [from the scripture], pious works and the purification by vows all entail the subduing of the mind. Therewith the supreme of yoga, the absorption of the mind [samâdhi], constitutes the purpose of the activities. (46) Tell me what the use is of rituals and such for someone whose mind has been pacified in the perfectly being fixed in charity and assorted processes? And [inversely] how can one occupy oneself with these processes of charity and such when one has lost one's way with a mind not under control? (47) Since time immemorial everything else, the [senses and their] gods for example, has fallen under the control of the mind and the mind has never fallen under the control of any other [one but the Supreme One]. As fearsome as a god [Aniruddha] it is accordingly stronger than the strongest - indeed is He who can bring that mind under control the God of gods [see also B.G. 6: 35-36, *]. (48) Failing [when one is worldly engaged] to subdue that difficult to conquer enemy [see B.G. 6: 6] who in its urges being so unmanageable is tormenting and striking, do some therefore completely bewildered create useless quarrels and are thus with the mortals in this world friends, neuters and rivals. (49) Having accepted the material body as a part of their mind, in the sense of 'I' and 'mine', wander human beings blinded in darkness in their intelligence bewildered by this hard to overcome illusion of 'this I am' and 'that is someone else'. (50) Asserting that [adhibhautika] these or those people would be the cause of my happiness and distress, one may wonder what room there is for the soul in this conception; happiness and distress belong to the earth [and not to the soul]. With whom is one to be angry when the tongue happens to be bitten by one's own teeth? (51) If one says that [adhidaivika] the gods would be responsible for the suffering, then how would that suffering be related to the soul when that pain is fully subject to change [while the soul is not]. With whom should the living being be angry when a limb of his own body hurts another limb? (52) If the soul itself [adhyâtmika] would be the cause of one's happiness and distress, it is not possible that joy and grief would be caused by another nature apart from one's own. For nothing exists separately from the soul. Such a claim would be false. But can one be angry [with oneself or the soul] when there is no happiness or distress [in the witnessing soul, see B.G. 2: 14]? (53) If the planets would be the cause of happiness and distress, how would that relate to the soul who is unborn? The heavenly bodies relate to that what is born, as they [the astrologers] say. A planet is only troubled by other planets. With whom should the living being, when regarded as distinct from its [heavenly] body, be angry now? (54) If we assume karma to be the cause of happiness and distress, what does that karma then mean to the soul? For sure with the animating person on the one hand and this animated body endowed with consciousness [on itself] not alive on the other hand, neither of the two are the root cause of the karma of course. What is left to be upset about then? (55) If we say that time would be the cause of happiness and distress, then what for the soul in that idea; the soul belongs to time, the way fire doesn't burn the flames or the snow is not [harmed by cold] - with whom to become angry when there is no duality with the supreme [see also B.G. 18: 16 and timequotes]? (56) Not by anyone, anywhere or by any means there is for him, [the spiritual soul] superior of transcendence, the influence of the duality to which the false ego arises that shapes one's material existence. He who awakens to this intelligence has nothing to fear from other living beings. (57) By the worship of the feet of Mukunda I will cross over the hard to overcome ocean of material nescience. I am certain of this thanks to the foregoing great seers [or âcâryas] who are anchored in the worship of the Soul Supreme [see also B.G. 6: 1-2].'
(58) The Supreme Lord said: 'With his wealth destroyed getting detached, leaving home, free from moroseness traveling the earth and still being insulted by rascals, the sage unswerving in his duties sent this song up. (59) As for that what causes happiness or distress to the individual soul there is nothing besides the mind. It is the mind that bewildered out of ignorance created a material life of friends, neuters and enemies [see also 10.32: 17-22, B.G. 9: 29]. (60) Therefore in all respects, My best, bring with an intelligence absorbed in Me the mind under control and thus connected have the complete [the marriage, the comprehension] of yoga [see also S'rî S'rî S'ikshâshthaka-verse 1]. (61) Whosoever with full attention meditates on, makes others listen or listens himself to this [song] based upon the knowledge of the Absolute as sung by the mendicant, will for certain never be overwhelmed by the dualities.'
*: Some think that the essence of yoga is to stop the mind all together, but Krishna stresses in this chapter clearly that it is about the control, not the stopping. That stopping is an impersonalist mâyâvâda buddhist technique to concentrate on one's essence and constitutes a willfully created illusion [see Buddhism]. Saying neti-neti like Prahlâda e.g. will the mind indeed concentrate on the essence which exactly will boost the mind in that direction. So with the stopping of its worldly engagement, the real engagement of the mind in prayers and philosophy begins. Not going for the siddhis, the mystical perfections, the mind must so be engaged for the Fortunate One, for Krishna, by means of concentration on His names, mantras and stories. By s'ravanam, kîrtananam etc. one has to learn to listen, sing and follow according to the scripture, the guru and the co-believers. The first two yoga sûtras I.1&2 atha yogânus'ânamam, yogah citta vritti nirodah, should be translated with 'as the lesson of yoga, now curb the rumination of the mind about worldly things' and not with 'your yoga lesson now is to stop the mind from working'. Of course one has to use one's mind, in obedience to the Holy Spirit, to the voice of God; the mind is after all an aspect of the divine ruled by Aniruddha in the catur vyûha (see also vritti and siddhi).
Analytic Knowledge, Sânkhya, Summarized
(1) The Supreme Lord said: 'And now I shall discuss with you the analytic knowledge as established by the classical authorities. Knowing this a person is immediately able to give up the bewilderment that is based upon the duality. (2) In the beginning, during the epoch of dutifulness [Krita] and before that time there existed people expert in discrimination to whom the seer and the seen were simply one and the same [see also 11.22: 29]. (3) That one undifferentiated truth inaccessible to speech and mind turned into the twofold of the forms brought about by material nature on the one hand and the complete whole [the integrity of nature itself] on the other hand [prakriti and purusha, see 11.22]. (4) One of the two indeed is she, the substance of material nature, consisting of a double self [products and causes, symmetry and complementarity] while the other entity is he, the knower, who is called the original person [the enjoyer or male principle]. (5) In order to fulfill the desires of the living entity manifested from My agitation of material nature [in the form of time, of Kâla], the modes themselves: tamas, rajas and sattva [the gunas]. (6) From the realization of these arose the possibility of the lead, the thread, of primeval nature [the sûtra], because in the transformation of the greater reality [the mahat-tattva] that is associated with it the identification came about [of the purusha with it leading to ahankâra or false ego], which is the cause of bewilderment. (7) That I-awareness [or false ego] is thus of the three categories and [makes accordingly] with emotion, clarity and ignorance [alternately use of] the sense objects [tanmâtra], the senses [indriyas] and the mind [manas]. Thus it [the identified self] constitutes the cause of understanding and not understanding [the so-called conscious and unconscious]. (8) From the darkness of the false ego arose the subtle sensations of gross matter, from its clarity arose the senses and from the goodness of the identified self arose the eleven gods [see deva]. (9) Because all the elements under My influence were combined came the egg of the universe into being which serves as My supreme residence [see from 11.22: 18].
(10) Within that egg situated in the water of the causal ocean I appeared [as Nârâyana], whereupon from My navel a lotus arose that is known as the universe. On that lotus found the selfborn one his existence [Brahmâ, see 3.8]. (11) He, the soul of the universe endowed with passion, created from his penance by My mercy the three different worlds called earth, the atmosphere and heaven [bhûh, bhuvah and svaha], along with its rulers [see Gâyatrî and loka]. (12) Heaven became the home of the demigods, the atmosphere the home of the ghostly spirits, the earthly places are the home of the humans and other living beings and the beyond of these three is there for the ones of perfection [siddhaloka]. (13) The places of the underworld were by the master created as the residence of the unenlightened and the ones perfect to the ego [the 'snakes', the Nâgas]. All the destinations of the three worlds thus owe their existence to the fruitive activities of the souls who are entangled in the modes [see B.G. 4: 17, 10.1: 42-43]. (14) By penance, yoga and even by forsaking [in sannyâsa] one is of the spotless destinations of mahar, janas, tapas and satya, but My destination [Vaikunthha] is reached by devotional service. (15) As arranged by Me, the Supporter, the Self of Time, one rises up from or drowns in the mighty stream of the modes of this world in which one is bound to profit-minded labor. (16) Whatever the small, the great, the thin and the massive of the manifestation, is all brought about by the combination of the two of material nature and the enjoyer [see also B.G. 18: 16]. (17) That what constitutes the cause of something is there in the beginning, during the life as well as in the end of that what was produced. The transformation [the ingredient as well as he who transforms and not so much this or that form] is what makes the real of common utensils like matters of gold and things of clay [compare 6.16: 22, 10.87: 15, 11.22: 8]. (18) Something which operates as a previous ingredient in the production of another thing that is thus a modification of that ingredient, is called the true of something when it is present from the beginning to the end [compare B.G. 2: 13, 2: 16]. (19) Material nature constituting the basis [âdhâra] of the causal ingredient [the transformed], the real of the Original Person [He who transforms], and that what sets in operation, viz. Time [the transformation], are the three [of resp. prakriti, Purusha and kâla] who together constitute the Absolute Truth [the Brahman] that I am. (20) The bountiful creation will for the sake of the variegatedness of its qualities generation after generation continually be maintained until its dissolution for as long as I look after it [see also B.G. 3: 24]. (21) When the universal form that is pervaded by Me has manifested the planetary variety of its time periods [of creation, maintenance and decay], this variety with its different worlds [losing its synergy] becomes fit for [dissolution into] its five composing gross elements [see yugas, manvantaras, and B.G. 11: 13]. (22-27) The mortal frame [at the time of annihilation] merges with the food, the food with the grains, the grains with the earth and the earth with the fragrance. The fragrance is merged with the water, the water with its quality, that taste with the fire and the fire with the form. Form is being merged with the touch, the touch then with the ether, ether with the subtle object of sound and the senses [of sound etc.] with their sources [the gods of the sun and moon etc.]. The sources [as the ahankâra ego of passion] are merged with the emotions [the ego of goodness], My dearest, and they merge with the mind, the controller of the sound, which dissolves in the original of the elements [ego of slowness], and that all powerful primal elementary nature merges with the cosmic intelligence [mahat]. That greater nature merges in its own modes and they on their turn merge with their ultimate abode of the unmanifest which merges with the infallible Time. Time merges with the individuality [the jîva] of the Supreme in command of the illusory potency and that individuality merges with Me, the Supreme Self Unborn [âtmâ], who, characterized by creation and annihilation, perfectly being established in Himself remains alone [see also 3.11: 28, 4.23: 15-18, 11.3: 12-15]. (28) Just as the darkness cannot remain with the sun rising in the sky, the same way the bewilderment of the dual mind cannot remain in the heart of someone who seriously studies this. (29) This is what I, the Overseer of the Spiritual and Material world, had to say about this Sânkhya direction of analysis [see also 3.25 - 3.33] which breaks the bondage of doubts of people who in their lives go along with and go against the nature of things.'
The Three Modes of Nature and Beyond
(1) The Supreme Lord said: 'O best of persons, try to understand what I'm about to say about the way someone is influenced by a certain mode of My material nature [*]. (2-5) With the mode of goodness one finds equanimity, sense control, tolerance, discrimination, penance, truthfulness, compassion, remembrance, contentment, renunciation, freedom from desire, faithfulness, modesty and pleasure within. With the mode of passion there is lust, endeavor, conceit, dissatisfaction, false pride, the quest for blessings, separatism, sense-gratification, rashness, love of praise, ridicule, display of valor and hard sanctioning. With the mode of ignorance one runs into intolerance, greed, deceitfulness, violence, attention seeking [in particular with women], hypocrisy, listlessness, quarrel, lamentation, delusion, the suffering of depression, sloth, false expectations, fear and indolence. These I one after the other described, constitute the majority of effects of the modes. Now learn about their combinations [see also B.G. 14]. (6) O Uddhava, the ordinary activities in the mentality of 'I' and 'mine' are there so from their combination, just as the activities of the mind, the senses, their objects and the vital airs are there as a combination of them [see also 11.23: 49, 11.24: 7, 11.24: 13]. (7) When the person is fixed in religiosity, economic development and sense gratification brings each of the modes intermingling to this the faith, wealth and enjoyment. (8) In case someone as a householder [rajas] is of a devotion that is characterized by a materially motivated practice [tamas] and he as a consequence thereof sticks to his [religious] duties [sattva] is one clearly dealing with a combination of modes. (9) From a person his calm one can tell that he is endowed with goodness, his lust is indicative of the mode of passion and from his anger one may conclude that he is caught in ignorance. (10) When someone, with the fulfillment of his duties, worships Me irrespective the results, such a man, or woman also, should be understood as being established in the nature of goodness. (11) When one with one's duties worships Me hoping for benedictions such devotion should be understood as being of the nature of passion, and when one does it with the intention to be violent is one of ignorance [see also B.G. 17: 20-22]. (12) One may conclude that the modes of sattva, tamas and rajas relate to the individual soul and not to Me; one is bound to them because they, the way they manifest in the mind, lead to one's attachment to material results [see also B.G. 4: 14]. (13) When the mode of goodness - which is pure, luminous and auspicious - predominates over the other two, a man will be graced with happiness, religiosity, knowledge and other good qualities [see also B.G. 14: 11, 18: 37]. (14) When passion defeats both goodness and ignorance one is caught in fruitive labor, in defending one's reputation and in being opulent, because one then out of one's attachment is of separatism and impermanence and thus unhappy [see also B.G. 14: 12, 18: 38]. (15) When ignorance outdoes passion and goodness one has lost one's discrimination, one's consciousness is covered, one loses one's initiative and one lands in bewilderment and complaining, with sleeping too much, violence and false hopes [see also B.G. 14: 13, 18: 39]. (16) When one's consciousness clears up and the senses are no longer distracted, one is physically self-confident and of a detached mind; in that case one may speak of the goodness of My refuge. (17) Passion you can recognize by the following symptoms: the intelligence is disturbed by too much activity, one fails to disengage from one's senses, one is not at ease with one's body and the mind is unsteady. (18) Failing in the higher functions of consciousness, growing dull, being unable to focus, losing one's mind, groping in the dark and being gloomy you should understand to be of the mode of ignorance. (19) With an increase of the mode of goodness the strength of the God-conscious increases, with an increase of passion the unenlightened get stronger and when the mode of ignorance increases, o Uddhava, the wild man steps forward. (20) Know that the wakeful state of consciousness is there by the mode of goodness, that sleep is indicative of passion, that the deep of sleep is there by the ignorance of the living entity, while the fourth state [turîya, the transcendental] pervades the three [see also 7.7: 25 and B.G. 6: 16]. (21) In the mode of goodness spiritual persons reach higher and higher, in the mode of ignorance one goes, head first, lower and lower and in the mode of passion one is stuck in between [see also B.G. 6: 45, 16: 19]. (22) Those who die in goodness go to heaven, those who die in passion go to the human world and those who die in ignorance go to hell. They however who are free from the modes come to Me [see also B.G. 9: 25, 14: 18]. (23) Work dutifully done as a sacrifice for Me without desiring the results is in the mode of goodness, work done with an expectation of some result is in the mode of passion and when one engages with violence or jealousy and such, one is of the mode of ignorance [B.G. 17: 20-22]. (24) Knowledge in the mode of goodness is emancipatory [of enlightenment], of passion one is opinionated and in ignorance one is of a materialistic conviction. Spiritual knowledge on the other hand that is focussed upon Me is considered to be free from the modes [see also 6.14: 2]. (25) To have one's residence in the forest [to be a recluse] is of the mode of goodness, to reside among man [family] is of passion one says, and to reside in a gambling house is of the mode of ignorance, but My residence is above the modes [see also 7.12: 22, 11.18: 25]. (26) A worker free from attachment is of the mode of goodness, blinded by personal desire one is a man of passion, and a performer who lost his vision one considers a man of ignorance [see 11.22: 38-39]. He [though] who has taken shelter of Me is free from the modes. (27) Being of the soul one's faith is of goodness, but being of passion one has put faith in fruitive activities, in karma. To be irreligious is of the mode of ignorance, but that faith which is of service to Me is transcendental to the modes. (28) Beneficial, pure and attained effortlessly is food considered to be of the mode of goodness, [strongly] catering to the senses it is of the mode of passion and impure foodstuff which makes one suffer is of ignorance [see also B.G. 17: 7-10]. (29) Happiness derived from the soul is of the mode of goodness but generated from sense objects it is of passion. Happiness derived from delusion and depravity is of ignorance, but the happiness that is free from the modes one finds in Me [see 11.15: 17 & B.G. 5: 21, but also 6: 7].
(30) And thus the material substance, the place, the fruit of action, the time, the knowledge, the activity, the performer, the faith, the state of consciousness and the species and destinations of life all belong to the three gunas. (31) All states of existence, whether seen, heard or pictured in one's mind, are, being composed of the gunas, regulated and guarded by the enjoyer who is of a subtle nature, o best among men [see also linga]. (32) These forms of existence [and stages of life] of the enjoyer result from the karma one has with the modes of nature. O gentle one, the modes that manifest themselves in the mind are conquered by the individual soul who is dedicated to Me in bhakti-yoga. Such a soul qualifies for My transcendental love. (33) For that reason they who obtained this human body should be as smart to discard the modes and worship Me, the source of knowledge and wisdom. (34) A learned and unbewildered man of wisdom should worship Me free from attachment and, with his senses under control taking to the mode of goodness, conquer the modes of passion and ignorance. (35) And also the mode of goodness he must conquer thus being connected [in devotion]. The individual whose intelligence found peace in being indifferent about the modes, is liberated from them by giving up on that what constituted the cause of the covering of his soul and reaches Me. (36) The living entity who as an individual soul by Me thus was liberated from the modes of nature that nestled in his mind, thus finds, by dint of the Absolute Truth, the completeness and must no longer wander, nor to the internal nor to the external of his existence.'
* The word nature can also be taken literally as the modes in the sense of the seasons and their primary demigods. Krishna says that Vishnu, who is the original controller above the modes, the best of the gods [10.89: 14-17], is of the goodness [11.15: 15], the purest mode [B.G. 14: 6], leading to the godliness of Him [B.G. 14: 14] and that of the seasons He is the season of spring [B.G. 10: 35]. As such is autumn/spring His season of balance and of the mode of goodness. The same way the inertia of cold is representative for the mode of ignorance that is ruled by S'iva and the hyperactivity and heat of the summer is a display of the mode of passion that is ruled by Brahmâ.
The Song of Purûravâ
(1) The Supreme Lord said: 'Having acquired this human body one achieves, situated in My dharma under My direction, the Supreme Soul of Spiritual Happiness, Me who is situated in the heart. (2) The soul who by devotedly keeping to the knowledge of self-realisation was completely liberated from that what set him apart materially [his identification], does not get entangled in the midst of the material products of the modes of nature that, temporary as they are, constitute nothing essential despite the fact that they before his eyes here and now appear as something real. (3) One should never at any time seek the company of materialists devoted to the gratification of their genitals and bellies because they who follow such people, just like a blind man following a blind man, will fall into the darkest pit. (4) The descendant of Ilâ [Aila or Purûravâ, see also 9.14: 15-16], the well-known great emperor, sang the following mighty song when he managed to put an end to his bewilderment by taking heart in the detachment he felt in his separation from Urvas'î. (5) When she abandoned him he ran after her naked crying out to her like a madman as she left: 'O my wife, o you terrible woman, please stop!' (6) After all the years of gratifying his insignificant lusts still not being satisfied, he, whose mind was possessed by Urvas'î, didn't realize how many nights and days had passed that way.
(7) Aila said: 'How regrettable is the extent of my delusion! With my consciousness contaminated by lust I, by this goddess being seized by the neck, didn't notice the passing of my life time. (8) Under her spell I had, alas, for so many years comprising so many days, really no idea whether the sun was rising or setting. (9) How unfortunate is that total bewilderment of mine because of which the body of this mighty emperor, this crown jewel of kings, became a cuddly toy for women! (10) When she abandoned me, the mighty controller, with all of my kingdom as if I were a blade of grass, I ran, crying out like a madman, naked after the woman. (11) Where now is the influence, strength, sovereignty of the person who I am? I ran after this woman leaving me, just like an ass that by the hoof is being kicked in the face for punishment! (12) What's the use of knowledge, austerities and renunciation, of listening to the scriptures, of solitude and silence for him whose mind is stolen by women? (13) To hell with the fool I am who doesn't know his own best interest, I who thought he was a scholar in achieving the position of lord and controller, but just like a bullock or ass was conquered by women! (14) For so many years serving Urvas'î's lips I, with the lust born from my mind, never got enough of the nectar, just like a fire that is never satisfied by oblations. (15) Who else but the Lord of the Sages Satisfied Within, the Supreme Lord Beyond the Senses, would be capable of freeing someone else who lost his mind with a woman of pleasure? (16) Out of control with myself I, dull-minded, saw no end to my confusion, even though the goddess eloquently gave me advice [see 9.14: 20-22]. (17) What would have been her offense to a 'see r' like me who, taking a rope for a snake has no idea what he's really dealing with? I'm the one out of control with his senses isn't it? (18) What does this filthy body, unclean, full of bad odors, have to offer, what are those 'blossoming qualities' and so on anyway, they are clearly a false appearance sprouting from ignorance! (19-20) One can never decide whether this body is the property of one's parents, wife, employer, fire, the dogs and jackals, the soul or one's friends. One gets [nevertheless] attached to this abominable matter and praises it in case of a woman for having such a cute nose, beautiful smile and face, but one heads with it for the lowest destination. (21) In what sense would one differ from worms when one enjoys that what is composed of skin, flesh, blood, muscle, fat, marrow and bone, urine, stool and pus? (22) A man understanding what's best for him, should never even think to run after women or associate with men who chase women, this for the sole reason that the mind united with the senses reaches for sense-objects and thus gets agitated [compare 5.5: 2, 7.12: 9, 9.19: 17, 9.14: 36]. (23) A thing not heard or seen gives no rise to mental agitation, for someone who is not using his senses becomes pacified, he has his mind under control. (24) When the senses, with the six enemies of the spirit [shath-varga], cannot even by wise men be trusted, then what to say of persons like me? That's why one shouldn't get attached to women or seek the company of men attached to women [see also yoshita].'
(25) The Supreme Lord said: 'He who as the god of gods and men thus sang his song [of complaint], then gave up the world of Urvas'i. With realizing Me, the Supersoul, in his heart, he found peace while the transcendental knowledge put an end to his illusion. (26) Someone intelligent therefore does away with bad association. He better gets attached to devotees, because one only with the words of the saintly cuts with the deep attachment of one's mind. (27) The devoted with their minds fixed on Me do not depend [on lusts] and are with an equal minded vision completely peaceful and free from possessiveness, false ego, the dualities and greed. (28) O most fortunate one, these greatly fortunate souls are constantly discussing My stories, and these discussions have the power to completely eradicate the sins of anyone participating in them. (29) They who hear, chant and respectfully take them to heart, the faithful ones of that resolve, reach My devotional service. (30) What else would there remain [to be accomplished] for a devotee who has achieved My devotional service, the service of Me, the One of Countless Qualities who is the Absolute Truth Comprising the Experience of Spiritual Happiness. (31) The way cold, fear and darkness will dissolve for the one who resorts to the supreme grace of fire [viz. Agni], are similarly the dullness, sense of danger and ignorance removed of someone who serves the saintly. (32) For those who submerge and rise up again in the fearful ocean of material life are the saintly devotees, who are so peaceful in understanding the Absolute, a supreme shelter as good as a strong boat in the water for the drowning [compare 11.23: 28 and 11.17: 44]. (33) With food as that what gives life to the living entities, with Me as the shelter of the distressed and the religion as the asset for men passing away, are the devotees the refuge for those in fear of falling down. (34) The devotees offer one one's eyes while the sun shows the outer world after having risen; the devotees are the ones worshipable, they are one's [true] relatives, just as they are one's very soul and represent Me as well [see e.g. 1.1: 15, 3.5: 47, 3.6: 28, 11.2: 6]. (35) He [Purûravâ] who for that reason had surrendered himself to the Supreme, thus freed from desiring after the world of Urvas'î, traveled, liberated from all attachment, truly satisfied within himself this earth.'
On Respecting the Form of God
(1) S'rî Uddhava said: 'Please explain the yoga of the service unto You as a deity, o Master. Who is of that worship, in respect of what form is one of worship and in what manner are You worshiped then, o Master of the Sâtvatas [see also mûrti and 11.3: 48-55]? (2) The sages Nârada, Bhagavân Vyâsa and my preceptor the son of Angirâ [Brihaspati] repeatedly say that there is nothing as conducive to one's welfare. (3-4) The words that emanated from Your lotus mouth about this were expressed by the great unborn Lord [Brahmâ] speaking to his sons who are headed by Bhrigu, and by the great Lord S'iva speaking to the goddess [Pârvatî, see B.G. 3: 9-10]. This [service to Your deity form] is approved by all classes and spiritual orders of society and is, I think, most suitable for women and the working class, o Magnanimous One. (5) O Lord with the Lotus Eyes, please, o Controller of All Controllers in the Universe, speak to your bhakta, who is so full of attachment, about this means of liberation from the bondage of karma.'
(6) The Supreme Lord said: 'There is indeed no end to the innumerable prescriptions for acting in [bhakti-]yoga [see e.g. B.G. 1-6]; so, Uddhava, let Me in brief explain it nicely one step at a time. (7) One should properly be of worship by choosing for one of the three kinds of processes of sacrifice: according to the Vedas, according to the explanatory literatures [tantras like the Pañcarâtra] and according to a combination of them. (8) Please take faithfully notice of the way a person, who to the for him relevant sacred precepts [*] achieved the status of a second birth, with devotion should be of worship for Me. (9) With the necessary material he must, connected in bhakti, free from ulterior motives worship Me, his worshipable guru, with the help of an idol, or with an altar, a fire, the [position of the] sun, with water or with Me as being present in the twiceborn heart itself [**]. (10) Concerning the two kinds of purification one should first bathe and brush one's teeth and secondly bathe in mantras with the application of clay and such [see tilaka, kavaca and 6.8: 3-10]. (11) To be freed from his karma he who is perfectly fixed in his determination should engage in My ritual worship [pûjâ] with performing duties as prescribed in the Vedas [see also 11.14: 35 ] like being of ceremonial respect and such at the three junctures of the day.
(12) There are eight types of forms with which one remembers Me: in stone, wood, metal, smearable substances [like clay], being painted, in sand, in jewels and as an image kept in the mind. (13) The individual form which is thus of two varieties - viz. subject and not subject to change - does, when it is installed in a temple for permanent, o Uddhava, not have to be brought forward (âvâdana) or brought away (udvâsa). (14) When the form is temporarily installed one has these two options, but assigned a fixed place do the following options occur: not of a smearable substance [or of paint or wood] it is washed but in all other cases it is cleansed without water. (15) There is My worship of the different forms with excellent paraphernalia and the worship of a devotee free from material desire using whatever that's readily available, as well as certainly the worship in the heart by what was mentally conceived.
(16-17) Customary bathing and decorating is most appreciated for an idol [in the temple], Uddhava, for an altar that is an exercise of respect in mantras [tattva-vinyâsa] and for fire are oblations [of sesame, barley etc.] drenched in ghee considered the best. For the sun that is a respectful greeting with a meditation in âsanas [see Sûrya-namskar] and for water are offerings of water and such most dear [to Me]. (18) When even a bit of water that is presented by My bhakta with faith is most dear [to Me, see also B.G. 9: 26], then how much more would foodstuffs, flowers, lamps, fragrances and incense mean? By contrast the many that is being offered by non-devotees will not bring about My satisfaction [see also B.G. 16]. (19) Being clean, having collected the necessary items, with the blades [of kus'a] of the seat that was arranged to the east, and sitting down facing the east or the north, or else directly facing the deity, he should then be of worship [compare 1.19: 17, 4.24: 10, 8.9: 14-15]. (20) Chanting mantras and assigning them to his own and to My deity body should he with his hand wipe clean [the altar and deity] and properly prepare the sacred pot and vessel for sprinkling the water. (21) With the water of the vessel sprinkling the area of the deity, the utensils and his own body, he should next prepare three vessels with water and arrange for the necessary auspicious items as far as they're available [like flowers, grains, blades of grass, sesame seeds etc., see ***]. (22) With the three vessels of water present for His feet [pâdya], His hands [arghya], and His mouth [âcamana] the worshiper then should be of purification with the mantras for [respectively] the heart [hridayâya namah], the head [s'îrase svâhâ] and the tuft of hair [s'ikhâyai vashath] as also with the Gâyatrî. (23) He is expected to meditate on the Original Individuality of all Expansions, the very subtle transcendental form of Mine that, within his body that was fully purified by air and fire, is situated on the lotus of the heart and is experienced in the end vibration of the Pranava [see also 2.2]. (24) With the help of that by his own realization conceived, meditated form perfectly being of worship within his body that got charged in being pervaded by His presence, he should conscientiously carry out the worship with inviting Him by [nyâsa] touching His limbs with mantras in order to establish Him within the deity and all that is respected along with it. (25-26) One should for the achievement of both [enjoyment and liberation], in respect of both the Vedas and the tantras, together with the items of worship make the offerings of the pâdya, arghya and âcamana water to Me, after having imagined My seat with the nine s'aktis and the [deities of] dharma etc. [*4] as an effulgent lotus with eight petals with saffron filaments in its whorl. (27) He should one after the other respect the Lord His disc-weapon [the Sudars'ana cakra], His conch [the Pâñcajanya], His club [the Kaumodaki] and His arrows and bow [the S'arnga], His [Balarâma items of the] plow and pestle [hala and mushala], his gem [the Kaustubha], His garland [the Vaijayantî] and His chest mark curl of white hairs [the S'rîvatsa]. (28) Garuda, Nanda, Sunanda, Pracanda and Canda, Mahâbala, Bala, Kumuda and Kumudekshana [are the names of His carrier bird and eight associates]. (29) Durgâ, Vinâyaka [Ganes'a], Vyâsa, Vishvaksena [see 6.8: 29, 9.21: 25-26], the spiritual masters, the godly, should each in their own place facing the deity be worshiped with the sprinkling of water and other rituals [*5]. (30-31) Using waters scented with sandalwood, us'îra root, camphor, kunkuma and aguru the worshiper should every day bathe [the deity] as far as his means permit; also he should chant hymns, such as the one from the vedic chapter known as Svarna-gharma, the incantation called Mahâpurusha, the Purusha-sûkta [from the Rig Veda] and songs from the Sâma Veda such as the Râjana and such. (32) My devotee should with love decorate Me with clothing, a sacred thread, ornaments, marks of tilaka, garlands and fragrant oils as is enjoined. (33) The worshiper should present to Me with faith pâdya and âcamana water, fragrances and flowers, whole grains, incense, lamps and such items. (34) According to one's means one should arrange for offerings of foodstuffs like candy, sweet rice, ghee, rice flour cake [s'ashkulî], sweet cakes [âpûpa], sweet rice flour dumplings with coconut [modaka], spicy sweet wheat cake of ghee and milk [samyâva], yogurt and vegetable soups. (35) Massaging with ointment, cleaning the teeth before a mirror, bathing, food to be chewed and not to be chewed, singing and dancing one should have on special days or else every day. (36) In a sacrificial area set up as prescribed one should, wearing a girdle, using a fire pit and an elevation for sacrificing, by hand build and bring to a blaze a fire that is equally piled up. (37) Spreading [kus'a grass, mats] and then sprinkling and ceremonially [anvâdhâna] placing wood in the fire the way it is prescribed he should, having arranged for the âcamana water, sprinkel the items to offer and meditate on Me as residing in the fire. (38-41) Meditating in worship on Him as being brilliant with a color of molten gold, with His conch, disc, club and lotus, His four arms and tranquility; His garment with the color of the filaments of a lotus, shining helmet, bracelets, belt, the ornaments on His arms, the S'rîvatsa on His chest, the effulgent Kaustubha and a flower garland; throwing pieces of wood soaked in ghee into the fire and in the course of the arghya ritual making the two offerings of sprinkling ghee [in two ways called Âghâras] and [two different] oblations of ghee [called Âjyabhâgas], the intelligent one should offer into the fire, with root mantras and the [sixteen lines of the] Purusha-sûkta hymn, the oblations to Yamarâja and the other demigods called Swishthakrit in due order using a mantra for each [see also 11.14: 36-42, 11.19: 20-24, 11.21: 15]. (42) Thus having been of worship next offering obeisances unto His associates, he should present offerings chanting the basic mantra for the deity in question and remember the Absolute Truth as being the Original Self of Nârâyana. (43) After offering the âcamana water and giving the remnants of the food to Vishvaksena, he should present prepared betel nut and fragrant water for the mouth [see also 11.3: 48-53, 11.25: 28]. (44) He should [next] for some time [see kâla, 11.21: 9] become absorbed in celebration by listening himself and make others listen to My stories, by acting out My transcendental activities and by dancing, chanting loudly and singing along with others [see also e.g. 11.5: 36-37, 11.14: 23-24]. (45) With prayers from the Purânas, with large or small prayers from other ancient scriptures and with prayers written by others [see bhajans] and prayers from more common sources, he should prostrate and pay homage saying: 'O Lord, please show Your mercy'. (46) Placing one's head at My feet with one's palms brought together [he may say a prayer like:] 'O Lord, please protect this surrendered soul who in this material ocean is afraid of being devoured by death' [compare B.G. 11: 19]. (47) Praying thus he should put the remnants granted by Me to his head and he should do this prayer once more when the deity respectfully is to be bidden farewell so that the light [of the deity] finds its place within the light [of his heart *6].
(48) Whenever one develops faith in Me in whatever deity form or other manifestation, one should for that form be of worship since I, the Original Soul of All, am situated within all living beings as well as in oneself [see also B.G. 6: 31 and *7]. (49) This way by the processes of acting in yoga a person with respect for the Veda and more specialized texts will both in this life and the next by My grace achieve the desired perfection. (50) In order to properly establish My deity the devotee should build a strong temple and maintain beautiful flower gardens meant [to provide flowers] for daily pûjâ, festivals and yearly occasions. (51) He who puts at My disposal land, shops, cities and villages in order to assure the continuance of the daily worship and the special occasions, will achieve an opulence equal to Mine. (52) Installing the deity brings sovereignty over the entire earth, building a temple gives rulership over the three worlds and performing pûjâ and likewise services will deliver one the realm of Brahmâ. When one does all three one will attain a status equal to Mine. (53) [But] he who free from ulterior motives engages in bhakti-yoga reaches that what is the result of devotional yoga: thus being of worship he gets Me [see also 5.5: 14, 11.12: 24 and B.G. 6: 44]. (54) He who steals away the property of the gods and the brahmins that was donated by oneself or by others, is a stool-eating worm bound to take birth for a hundred million years [compare 10.64: 39]. (55) The perpetrator [of that kind of theft] as well as his accomplice, as also he who prompted it and the one who approved it, all will share the karmic reaction in the life that follows in which they, depending their commitment, will have to face the consequences.'
*: The paramparâ says to this that members of the three higher classes of society all achieve the twice-born status by initiation into the Gâyatrî mantra. To the tradition may brâhmin boys after due preparation be initiated at the age of eight, kshatriya boys when they're eleven and vais'ya boys when they're twelve.
**: The materialist devotee - almost any person thus - is of devotion with the help of an image of God in the form of a timetable, the altar in the form of the desk in his office, the fire in the stove on which one regularly has one's meals cooked, the sun with the date and the clock one is manipulating pragmatically, the water with the daily shower one takes and the dishes one washes, and the twiceborn heart in his daily contemplations to the wisdom one acquired as an adult from personal experience and one's teachers. Thus is everyone, more or less engaged in devotional service to the practices of devotion mentioned here, be it at an unconscious materialist and rather impersonal level (see prâkrita).
***: 'S'rîla S'rîdhara Svâmî gives references from Vedic literature stating that the water meant for bathing the feet should be combined with millet seeds, dûrvâ grass mixed in water, vishnukrânta flowers and other items. The water used for arghya should include the following eight items - fragrant oil, flowers, unbroken barleycorns, husked barleycorns, the tips of kus'a grass, sesame seeds, mustard seeds and dûrvâ grass. The water for sipping should include jasmine flowers, ground cloves and kakkola berries' (p.p. 11.27: 21).
*4: The seat of dharma is here imagined as consisting of the righteousness, wisdom, detachment and supremacy as its legs, its opposites as the sides and the three gunas as the three planks of the base.
*5: According to S'rîla Jîva Gosvâmî are the personalities mentioned here eternally liberated associates of the Lord who reside in the spiritual sky, beyond the material manifestation. Not so much the Ganes'a that in this world, as the son of Lord S'iva, is famous for awarding financial success, and the goddess Durgâ, the wife of Lord S'iva, who is famous as the external, illusory potency of the Supreme Lord. ' (p.p. 11.27: 29).
*6: Devotees accepting flowers, food or fire from the deity customarily take the offering first to their head as a token of respect.
*7: The paramparâ adds here: 'By regulated, faithful worship one gradually understands that the deity is completely nondifferent from the Supreme Lord Himself. At that stage, on the strength of deity worship, one rises to the second-class platform of devotional service. At this more developed stage one desires to make friendship with other devotees of the Lord, and as one becomes solidly established in the community of Vaishnavas, one completely gives up material life and gradually becomes perfect in Krishna consciousness' (p.p. 11.27: 48).
Jñâna Yoga or the Denomination and the Real
(1) The Supreme Lord said: 'When one understands that the world, this combination of matter and person, is based upon one and the same reality, one should refrain from praising and criticizing someone else's nature and activities. (2) He who praises or criticizes someone else's nature and actions quickly looses grip on that what is his own interest because he gets entangled in a self-created reality. (3) A person aware of the objective diversity is just [as unaware of the one reality] as an embodied soul whose senses overcome by sleep within the physical encasement experience the illusory [of a dream] or the deathlike of having lost consciousness. (4) How can one distinguish between good and bad with this material duality that belongs to the realm of our imagination? Musing over it with our mind and expressing it in words we do not cover the truth [*]. (5) Shadows, echoes and mirages, though mere projections, create motives [in people]; the same way the body and all of its material conceptions create fear until the day one dies. (6-7) The Supreme Soul who alone creates the universe and is created as its Lord, protects and is protected as the Self of all Creation and withdraws and is withdrawn as the Controller. Accordingly no other entity can be ascertained as existing apart from Him, and thus has this threefold appearance established within the Supreme Self and consisting of the modes no [other or independent] basis; know that the threefold [of the seen, the seeing and the seer according to resp. the tamas, the rajas and the sattva quality] is a construct of the illusory energy [under the influence of Him in the form of Time, see also B.G. 14: 19]. (8) Someone who fixed in the knowledge as laid down and realized by Me knows about this, does not blame or praise [in looking for another cause], he freely wanders the earth just like the sun does [see B.G. 2: 57, 13: 13, 13: 32, 14: 22-25]. (9) When one from direct perception, logical deduction, scriptural truth and one's self-realization knows that the inessential has a beginning and an end, one should move around in this world free from attachment [see also B.G. 2: 16].'
(10) S'rî Uddhava said: 'O my Lord, who is it actually who carries the experience of this [changing] material existence? It is not precisely the [unchanging] soul, the seer who is self-aware, nor does it belong to the body, the seen that [changing itself] has no experiencing self of its own. (11) The inexhaustible soul, free from the modes, is pure, self-luminous and uncovered just like a fire, while the material body is like firewood that is without understanding. To which of the two belongs the experience of a material life in this world?'
(12) The Supreme Lord said: 'As long as the soul is attracted to the body, the senses and the vital force, his material existence, which carries its fruit in due course, will nevertheless be meaningless because of a lack of discrimination. (13) Even though material substance has no real existence [because of its impermanence], the material condition [as for its constituent elements] does not cease to be and one has, like in a dream contemplating the objects of the senses, to face the consequent disadvantages [compare 3.27: 4, 4.29: 35 & 73, 11.22: 56, B.G. 2: 14]. (14) That [dream] what brings the one who is not awake in his sleep many undesirable experiences, will certainly not confound the one who awakened though. (15) Lamentation, elation, fear, anger, greed, confusion, hankering and such is seen upon the birth and death of one's identification with the body [ahankâra] and does not depend on the soul [that doesn't take birth or die, see 11.22: 12, 11.23: 50-56, 11.25: 30]. (16) Falsely motivated dwelling within the self of the material body, the senses, life-air and the mind, the living being assumes his form according to the gunas and the karma. He is then, depending the way he relates to the thread constituted by the greater of nature, described with different names when he under the strict control of Time wanders about in the ocean of matter. (17) This without a firm basis being represented in the many forms of the mind, the speech, the life force, the gross body and fruitive actions, will, with the sword of transcendental knowledge that was sharpened in worship, be cut down by a sober sage who walks the earth free from desires. (18) Spiritual knowledge [entails] the discrimination [of spirit and matter and is nourished by], scripture and penance, personal experience, historical accounts and logical inference. [It is based upon] that which is there equally in the beginning and in the end of this [creation] and which is the same in between, knowing the Time and Ultimate Cause [of brahman, the Absolute Truth, see also B.G. 10: 30, 33, 11: 32 and kâla]. (19) Like gold alone being present before it is processed, when it is processed and in the final product of the processing, I am present in the disguise of the different modes [of processing] of this creation. (20) My dearest, this spirit of condensed knowledge in its three conditions [of wakefulness, sleep and unconscious sleep], constitutes, manifesting itself in the form of the modes as the causing [of rajas], the caused [of tamas] and the causer [of sattva, compare 11.22: 30], the fourth factor [the 'gold'] which as an independent variable stands for the single truth of each of them. (21) That what was absent before, is absent afterwards, and isn't there [independently] in between, is but a designation; whatever that was created and is known by something else, is actually only that something else; that is how I see it. (22) The spiritual reality of God as established in its own light manifests the Absolute Truth as the variety of the senses, their objects, the mind and the transformations. For that reason is this creation, that because of the mode of rajas is subject to modification, self-luminous, even though it is not really there [see also siddhânta]. (23) When one this way by discriminating logic has achieved clarity about the Absolute of the Spiritual Truth, one must expertly speak against and cut with the doubt regarding the Self and satisfied in one's own spiritual happiness desist from all lusty [unregulated] matters [see B.G. 3: 34]. (24) The body made of earth is not the true self, nor are the senses, their gods or the life air, the external air, water, fire or a mind only interested in food; nor are the intelligence, material consciousness, the I that thinks itself the doer, the ether, the earth, material things or the restraint. (25) What's the merit of him who properly ascertained my identity and in his concentration managed to direct his - by the modes controlled - senses perfectly? And what on the other hand would be the blame for him who is diverted by his senses? Would the sun care about being covered by clouds or a sky clearing up? (26) Just as the sky is not affected by the coming and going qualities of the air, fire, water and earth or by the qualities of the seasons [of heat and cold], is likewise the Imperishable Supreme elevated above the influence of the natural modes of sattva, rajas and tamas that are responsible for the fact that he who takes his body for the true self is caught in the material world [see also 1.3: 36, 3.27: 1, B.G. 7: 13]. (27) Nevertheless, until by firmly being rooted in My bhakti-yoga one has banned the impurity of the mind of passion, one must eliminate the attachment associated with the qualities that belong to the deluding material energy [see B.G. 7: 1, 14 and **]. (28) The same way as a disease that was imperfectly treated turns back time and again and brings a man trouble, the mind that was not purified of its contamination of karma will torment the imperfect yogi who [still] is of all kinds of attachments. (29) Imperfect yogis who are commanded by impediments in the form of the human beings [family members, disciples etc., see e.g. S'rî S'rî S'ikshâshthaka-4] sent by the thirty gods [see tridas'a] will, on the strength of their perseverance in their previous life once more [in a new life] engage in the practice of yoga, but never again be entangled in fruitive labor [see also 11.18: 14, B.G. 6: 41-42]. (30) A normal living being who has to experience the consequences of his fruitive labor, remains, impelled by this or that impulse, in that position until the moment he dies. But someone intelligent is, despite being situated in the material position, not that [fickle], because he with the experience of the happiness he found gave up his material desire. (31) He whose consciousness is fixed in the true self doesn't give it a moment's thought whether he is standing, sitting, walking or lying down, urinating, eating food or doing whatever else that manifests from his conditioned nature. (32) Someone intelligent doesn't take anything else for essential. Whenever he sees the not really [independently] existing things of the senses, he from his logic denies them their separateness, so that they are like the things of a dream that lose their value when one wakes up. (33) Material ignorance which under the influence of the modes of nature assumes many forms is by the conditioned soul taken for an inextricable part of himself, but the ignorance ends by simply developing His vision, My best one. The soul on the other hand is not something one accepts or leaves behind. (34) When the sun rises is the darkness in the human eye expelled, but that rising is not creating the things that are seen then. Similarly a thorough and adroit search for the true of Me puts an end to the darkness of someone's intelligence [while that search itself is not the reason why his soul exists]. (35) This selfluminous, unborn, immeasurable Greatness of Understanding who is aware of everything is the One Without a Second in whom words find their closure, and by whom impelled the speech and the life airs move. (36) Whatever the notion of duality the self might have is but a delusion to the unique soul, as it indeed has no basis outside of that very self [compare 7.13: 7]. (37) The dualistic, imaginative interpretation [in terms of good and bad, see also 11.21: 16] by so-called scholars of this in names and forms perceivable duality which unmistakably consists of the five elements, is in vain [see also 5.6: 11].
(38) The body of the yogi who with a lack of experience tries to engage in the practice of yoga, may be overcome by rising disturbances. In that case is the following the prescribed rule of conduct: (39) Some disturbances may be overcome by postures [âsanas] combined with concentration [dhâranâ], penance [tapas, see ***], mantras and medicinal herbs. (40) Some of the inauspicious matters can be overcome step by step by constantly thinking of Me [Vishnu-smarana], by the celebration of My names and such [japa, sankîrtana] and by following in the footsteps of the masters of yoga [see also B.G. 6: 25]. (41) Some [yogis] make their self-controlled bodies suitable by fixing themselves on the youthful with the help of various methods and try that way to be perfect in their material control [siddhis]. (42) By the ones who enjoy a good condition that is not honored though, convinced as they are that such an endeavor is quite useless, because the body, like the fruit of a tree, will perish anyway [see also 11.15: 33]. (43) Someone with a devoted mind does not value it highly to practice yoga regularly with the purpose of realizing a healthy body, he who is devoted to Me gives up on the yoga [for that purpose, *4]. (44) The yogi following this process of yoga will, freed from desires having taken to the shelter of Me, not be disheartened by obstacles and [thus] experience the happiness of his soul.'
*: Contrary to popular notions that the medium would be the message, here is stated clearly that the medium is not the message. The words and the ideas, and also the so-called fixed form of things, are all false relative to the original truth, the message, the essence. That what is expressed is the essence, not the expression itself. So is the one living being of the person and the living material nature with her Time as the masculine aspect, the essence and are all ideas, fixed things of it and words about it actually false. Thus we have the paradox of the in itself false expression in words and ideas, this sentence before you as a reader e.g., of what is true on itself as the wholeness of life. So there are idols of Krishna being worshiped with the strict warning not to consider them as something material. Thus are praise and criticism, good and bad, notions missing the point of what is objectively the value free reality of brahman, the Absolute Truth of the reality free from illusion that is outside as well as inside. Or as one puts it these days: science is value-free.
**: The purport of this is that, even though material nature as His gigantic virâth-rûpa form is nondifferent from the Supreme Lord (as elaborately described in this and other chapters), one who has yet to conquer material desire must not artificially seek solace in material things, declaring them to be nondifferent from the Lord [see p.p. 11.28: 27].
***: Concerning penance the beginner is reminded of the fact that voluntary penance, voluntary suffering, is better than penance enforced from the outside in the form of a disease, legal prosecution, shortage, calamities etc. Like the Jews in Exodus would be ready to leave Egypt one should be ready for the coming of the Lord [see also 11.17: 42 and B.G. 2: 40, 12: 16].
*4: Here one is reminded of the fact that characters like Râvana and Hiranyakas'ipu also practiced yoga and attained fitness; attaining perfections that way can also be a demoniac thing and is thus not the object of belief as stated here. Rather attaining the Lord is the motive for the yogi. Control, health and order is a nice thing to achieve, but without the Lord is it just as well a thing of the devil.
Bhakti Yoga: the Most Auspicious way to Conquer Death
(1) S'rî Uddhava said: 'This process of yoga is, I think, most difficult to execute for someone not spiritual. Please o Acyuta, tell me in simple terms how a person easily may succeed [see also B.G. 6: 33-34]. (2) Generally, o Lotus-eyed One, yogis get frustrated exercising the mind and grow, unable to find absorption, weary in the attempt to subdue the mind. (3) For that reason, o Lotus eyed One, the swanlike delight to take to the source of all ecstasy, the shelter of Your lotusfeet, o Lord of the Universe. But they who take pride in the results of their yoga, do not and are defeated by Your material energy. (4) It comes as no surprise Acyuta, that You are a friend to all servants who, with no other shelter, are joined in intimacy with You, You who were affectionate with the animal-like [Vânaras] while the edges of Your footstool were covered by the effulgent helmets of the great controllers [like Brahmâ]. (5) Knowing the benefit You offer, o Supreme Soul, Bestower of All Perfections and dearest Lord to those seeking shelter, who would reject You or ever be devoted to anything else just to feel good and consequently forget [about You]? Would there be anything left for us to wish for when we serve the dust of Your feet [see also 10.44: 15, 10.47: 46]? (6) Not even with a lifetime as long as that of Brahmâ the learned - despite all their work - would be capable of expressing the gratitude [we owe You] o Lord. For You show us Your path in two ways: in the form of that [authority of the Supersoul] what is mentally conceived within in order to remember the joy and in the form of the âcârya outside of us who is there to dissipate the misfortune of one's being embodied [the caittya- and the paramparâ-guru].'
(7) S'rî S'uka said: 'Thus by Uddhava being asked who in his heart was most attached to Him, the Lord spoke lovingly with an attractive smile, He who has the universe as His plaything and by His own energies has assumed the three different personal forms of the Controllers [the guna-avatâras]. (8) The Supreme Lord said: 'Right here I will now explain to you the dharma in relation to Me that is most auspicious and by which a mortal being, executing with faith, conquers death so unconquerable. (9) Having offered one's mind and intelligence to Me, one should for My purpose stepwise [learn to] perform all work and thereto remember, by the grace of one's own loving spirit, the example of My respect of duty. (10) One should take shelter of the holy places frequented by My saintly devotees and [follow the example of] the activities of My devotees operating among the godly, the demoniac and the human beings. (11) Either alone or in assembly one should with respect for the position of the moon, at special occasions and at festivals engage in singing, dancing and such and be generous with contributions. (12) One should with a pure heart see Me within oneself as the Supreme Soul that alike the unlimited sky is present inside and outside of all living beings [see also B.G. 13: 16 and 1.7: 10]. (13-14) O brightest spirit, when one with My love thus is of respect for all living beings, one has with such an approach taken shelter of purely spiritual knowledge. When one this way regards the brahmin and the outcast, the thief and the man faithful to the brahminical culture, the sun and the spark, the gentle one and the cruel one equally, one may call oneself a wise person [see B.G. 5: 18]. (15) Of the person who constantly is meditating upon My presence in all men will quickly the rivalry, envy, disdain and false ego disappear. (16) Ignoring the laughter of one's friends and without being embarrassed about outer appearances one should throw oneself like a rod to the ground and offer obeisances to [all,] even [to] dogs, outcasts, cows and asses [see also s'ikshâshthaka-3]. (17) As long as one has not developed the vision of Me being present in all living beings, one has to be of worship this way with what one says, thinks and does with one's body [see also tridanda]. (18) For the one who by knowledge and realization sees the Supreme Soul everywhere is everything based upon the Absolute Truth. Thus being freed from doubt there is for such a person the duty of retiring from worldly activities. (19) This with the functions of one's mind, words and body going for the truth of Me within all living beings I consider the most appropriate of all processes. (20) My dear, because this by Me perfectly established method is free from the modes and has no ulterior motives there is, when one thus tries to be of service unto Me Uddhava, as a consequence not even the slightest loss [see also B.G. 2: 40]. (21) O best of the pious, of whatever worldy exertion will the fear and all of that be futile, when it in being dedicated to Me, the Supreme, is religious in leaning towards activities that are performed without an ulterior motive, o pious Uddhava! [see also B.G. 18: 6]. (22) This in one's life achieving of Me, the immortal, by means of the false and mortal, constitutes the cleverness of the clever and intelligence of the intelligent. (23) With this has both in brief and in detail the complete survey of the Absolute Truth been described to you which constitutes a science that even for the gods is difficult to access. (24) Having properly understood this knowledge that repeatedly was explained to you with clear, logical arguments, a person will see his doubts destroyed and be liberated. (25) He who but concentrates on this question of yours that was properly cleared up by Me, attains to the eternal secret of the Vedas, the Supreme Absolute of the Truth. (26) I will automatically lend him My authority who without any reservation disseminates this Supreme Spiritual Truth as the tradition for My devotees. (27) He who loudly recites this Supreme of Me that is so sanctifying and clear, will, because he with the lamp of knowledge forms My presence, day after day find purification. (28) The person who attentively and with faith regularly listens to this is of transcendental devotional service unto Me [is a bhakta] and will not get entangled in karmic reactions [see also B.G. 3: 9]. (29) Uddhava, o friend, do you have a clear understanding of the spiritual now and has this lamentation and illusion that arose in your mind been removed [see 11.6: 42-49 and also B.G. 18: 72]? (30) Do not share this with a hypocrite, an atheist or a cheat, nor with someone not willing to listen or an obstinate non-devotee [compare to B.G. 18: 67]. (31) Share it with the person free from these bad qualities, the one saintly and pure, someone kindly disposed in dedication to the welfare of the brahmins, as well as with laborers and women if they are of bhakti [compare B.G. 9: 32]. (32) For the inquisitive one fully understanding this there is nothing left to imbibe; what would there be left to imbibe once one has drunk the most palatable nectarean beverage there is? (33) Whatever people who are of success with the four goals of life [catuh-vidah] may find in spiritual knowledge, in fruitive labor, in mystic yoga, in ordinary activities or in political ruling, you can equally find in Me. (34) When a mortal offers himself to Me and gives up all his fruitive labor in his desire for the special quality of Me, he qualifies in that process of attaining immortality at that time for the opulence associated with Me.'
(35) S'uka said: 'After he had heard the words of Uttamas'loka and thus was shown the path of yoga, Uddhava with folded hands said nothing because his throat was choked up with love and his eyes overflowed with tears. (36) Completely agitated with love restraining himself to steady his mind, o King, he, feeling grateful, spoke with his hands folded to the Great Yadu Hero and touched therewith His lotusfeet with his head. (37) S'rî Uddhava said: 'The great darkness of the delusion I fell into, has in the presence of the Sun that You are, been dispelled. What cold, darkness and fear could hold sway over the one who approached You, o Unborn Primeval One? (38) By You who are so merciful in Your goodness was in return to me, Your servant, offered the torchlight consisting of Your wisdom. Who being grateful is able to abandon the base of Your feet and seek another shelter? (39) The because of Your mâyâ firmly binding rope of my affection for the creation [of the family] of the Dâs'ârhas, Vrishnis, Andhakas and Sâtvatas expanding to Your will, was severed by the sword of the correct knowledge about the soul. (40) Let there be my obeisances unto You, o Greatest of Mystics, please tell me how I may find stability with the transcendental attraction at Your lotusfeet.'
(41-44) The Supreme Lord said: 'Please, o Uddhava, accept My advice to head for My hermitage called Badârika. At the riverbanks there be purified by the touching of and bathing in the water emanating from My feet [see 5.17]. Be, with your eyes fixed upon the Alakanandâ [a tributary of the Ganges] cleansed of all impurities, wear bark My dear, eat from the forest and be happy free from desire. Exercise with your intelligence, spiritual knowledge and wisdom forbearance with all dualities, keep saintly to your principles, restrict your senses and live in peace and absorption. Believe in and meditate upon that what you from Me have learned to discriminate. When you with your words and mind absorbed in Me are devoted to realize My virtue you will, thus established crossing beyond the three destinations [the gunas], thereupon reach Me.'
(45) S'rî S'uka said: 'After thus having been addressed by the Lord of Understanding, Uddhava circumambulated Him keeping Him to the right and even though he at the time of his departure was free from the influence of material opposites, he drenched with a breaking heart with his head bowed down His feet with his teardrops. (46) Finding it most difficult to leave he was incapable of abandoning Him so that he overwhelmed by the separation in great pain besides himself took leave, again and again offering his obeisances and placing the slippers of his Maintainer on his head [*]. (47) Then installing Him in his heart the great devotee went to the illustrious place of pilgrimage [that as such is also called Vis'âlâ] the only Friend in the Universe had mentioned. There he attained, having properly executed the austerities, the Lord His destination [Vaikunthha]. (48) Whoever in this world with honest belief accepts the service of this ocean of ecstacy, this nectarean sea of knowledge that by Krishna, He whose feet are served by the masters of Yoga, was collected for His devotee, will be liberated. (49) I am bowed down to the Greatest and First Personality named Krishna, who makes His many devotees drink the nectar from the ocean consisting of de essence of the Vedas, the essence of the spiritual knowledge and wisdom that He, as the author of the Vedas, like a bee delivers in order to take away the fear of material existence.'
*: The paramparâ adds here: 'According to the S'rîmad Bhâgavatam [3.4: 5], while Uddhava was enroute to Badarikâs'rama he heard about the Lord's journey to Prabhâsa. Turning back and following Lord Krishna from behind, he saw the Lord alone just after the withdrawal of the Yadu dynasty. After being again mercifully instructed by the Personality of Godhead (along with Maitreya, who had just arrived), Uddhava felt his knowledge of the truth reawaken, and then, by the order of the Lord, he went on his way.'
The Disappearance of the Yadu-dynasty
(1) The honorable king [Parîkchit] said: 'What did the Supreme Lord and Protector of All Living Beings do in Dvârakâ after Uddhava, the great devotee, had left? (2) Please tell how He, the Chief of the Yadus Dearest to the Eyes of All, gave up His body when His family found destruction after being cursed by the brahmins [see 11.1]? (3) Attached to His form the women couldn't turn their eyes away from it, and having entered the ears of the sages the form, occupying their minds, wouldn't leave them. How attractive weren't the words that by the ambitious poets were used to express its beauty? And what to say of those who, seeing it on the battlefield on Arjuna's chariot, acquired a similar status?'
(4) The powerful rishi [S'uka] said: 'Seeing the number of great disturbances which had appeared in the sky, the earth and in outer space, Krishna addressed the Yadus seated in the Sudharmâ hall [see 10.50: 54] as follows [see also 1.14]. (5) The Supreme Lord said: 'O best of the Yadus, with these fearful, great and inauspicious omens, that are like the flags of the king of death, we shouldn't stay a moment longer here in Dvârakâ. (6) The women, the children and the old-aged should go to S'ankhoddhâra [halfway Dvârakâ and Prabhâsa] and we will leave for Prabhâsa where the Sarasvatî flows westward. (7) There we should purify by bathing, fasting and fixing our minds, and then worship the gods [the idols] with various offerings, ablutions and âlepa [smearing with sandalwood]. (8) When the brahmins full of grace have performed the ceremonies for our good fortune, we'll give them cows, land, gold, clothing, elephants, horses, chariots and houses [see also 3.3: 26-28]. (9) This is the course we have to follow in order to avert misfortune and bring about good fortune, for to worship the best among the living beings - the gods, the brahmins and the cows - brings about the supreme [compare to 10.24: 25].' (10) After they all thus had listened to the Enemy of Madhu, said the elderly Yadus 'So be it!', and crossed over by boat [to mainland] to head for Prabhâsa in chariots. (11) There, in accordance with the instructions of the Lord of the Yadus, the Supreme Personality, the Yadus performed all auspicious rituals with transcendental devotion and everything else that would strengthen them. (12) Then as destined [see 11.1: 4] they lost their intelligence drinking from a large supply of sweet tasting maireya [honey-liquor] the ingredients of which overpowered their minds [see also 6.1: 58-60]. (13) Among the heroes bewildered by Krishna's illusory potency arose a terrible quarrel because they intoxicated of the excessive drinking became arrogant. (14) Infuriated they took up their weapons - their bows, swords, bhalla-arrows [arrows with a particular arrowhead] clubs, lances and spears - and fought against each other on the shore. (15) With flying flags riding chariots, elephants and other carriers - asses, camels, bulls, buffalos, mules and even humans - they most enraged facing one another attacked with arrows, just like elephants who in the forest attack each other with their tusks. (16) With their enmity aroused in the battle fought Pradyumna ferociously against Sâmba, Akrûra against Bhoja, Aniruddha against Sâtyaki, Subhadra against Sangrâmajit, Sumitra against Suratha and the two Gadas [the brother and a son of Krishna] against each other. (17) Others as well, like Nis'athha, Ulmuka and more lead by Sahasrajit, S'atajit and Bhânu, confronted and killed each other, totally being bewildered by Mukunda and blinded by their intoxication. (18) Completely letting go of their friendship the Kuntis, the Kukuras, the Visarjanas, the Madhus and Arbudas, Vrishnis and Andhakas, the Bhojas, the Sâtvatas, the Dâs'ârhas and the inhabitants of Mâthura and S'ûrasena slaughtered each other. (19) Relatives bewildered killed relatives and friends friends; sons fought with their fathers and their brothers, nephews with uncles, paternal uncles with maternal uncles and well-wishers with well-wishers. (20) Running out of arrows and with their bows broken and missiles used, they took cane stalks [eraka, see 11.1: 22] in their fists. (21) Those stalks held in their fists turned into iron rods as strong as thunder bolts as they attacked their enemies with them, and even though Krishna tried to stop them, they attacked Him as well. (22) Confounded with their minds turned to killing, they mistook Balarâma for an enemy o King and also raised their weapons against Him. (23) The Two [of Balarâma and Krishna] then also most furiously joined the fight o son of the Kurus, and began to kill, using the stalks in Their fists as clubs as They moved about in the fight. (24) In the grip of the curse of the brahmins and with their minds clouded by Krishna's mâyâ, the anger of their rivalry now led to their destruction, just like a fire of bamboos does with a forest.
(25) When all of His own clans had been destroyed this way, concluded Krishna that as planned [11.1: 1-4] what had remained of the burden of the earth was removed. (26) Balarâma at the shore of the ocean resorted to meditation on the Original Person and, merging Himself within Himself, gave up the human world. (27) Seeing that Râma had left, the Supreme Lord, the son of Devakî, finding a pippala tree, silently sat down on the lap of the earth [see also 3.4]. (28-32) Exhibiting His four-armed form He, like a fire without smoke, with His brilliant effulgence dissipated the darkness in all directions. With the S'rîvatsa mark and gray-blue color like the clouds, He wore an all-auspicious pair of silken garments and radiated like molten gold. His face like a blue lotus smiling beautifully with His charming lotus eyes, was adorned with His locks of hair and gleaming shark-shaped earrings. Splendid with a belt, a sacred thread, a helmet and bracelets; arm-ornaments, necklaces, ankle bells and royal symbols, was there the Kaustubha gem. And so He sat there with His right foot reddish like a lotus placed on His thigh, with the forms of His personal weapons in His hands and with a garland of forest flowers around His neck. (33) His foot having the form of a deer's face was [then] pierced by an arrow of a hunter named Jarâ who thought he saw a deer. The arrow was fashioned from a fragment of the iron that had remained [from the by the brahmins cursed and destroyed club, see 11.1: 23]. (34) When he saw the four-armed personality he fell, afraid of having committed an offense, with his head down at the feet of the Enemy of the Asuras: (35) 'This was done by a sinful person acting in ignorance; o Madhusûdana, please forgive this sinner his deed, o Uttamas'loka, o Sinless One. (36) O Master, what I did against Him, Vishnu, to You, was wrong; o You, of whom the constant remembrance destroys the darkness of ignorance of all men, so they say. (37) Therefore, please kill me right now o Lord of Vaikunthha, so that I, nothing but a sinful deer hunter, may not again commit such an offense against the True One [*]. (38) What could we, impure of birth, say about Him, about You [and the destruction of the Yadus]? For Your mystic power is not even understood by Viriñca, Rudra and his other masters and sons of the vedic word, because their vision of Your being is clouded by Your bewildering potency!'
(39) S'rî Bhagavân said: 'Fear not o Jarâ, please get up, for what you did was My desire; you've My permission to leave for the spiritual realm, the abode for the ones who are of good deeds.'
(40) After thus having been instructed by Krishna, the Fortunate One who generated His own form, circumambulated he Him three times. Then bowing down to Him he departed in a higher spirit [a 'vimâna', also: a heavenly vehicle] to heaven. (41) Dâruka seeking out where Krishna had gone to, coming near Him scented the air fragrant of tulasî and approached Him. (42) He found Him there brilliant and effulgent, surrounded by His weapons and resting at the base of the As'vathha. With his heart overwhelmed by emotions he rushed down from the chariot and fell with his eyes full of tears at His feet. (43) 'O Master, not seeing Your lotus feet my power of vision is lost and I fail to know the directions, nor can I find peace; just the way one in the night of a new moon lands in darkness.'
(44) As he was speaking thus rose right before the eyes of the chariot driver the chariot, along with the horses and the flag of Garuda marking it, up into the sky, o King of kings. (45) And while Vishnu's divine weapons were following, spoke Janârdana to the driver who stood perplexed about what was happening: (46) 'O driver, head for Dvârakâ and inform Our family members about the mutual destruction of their close relatives, about My condition and about the passing away of Sankarshana. (47) You and your relatives should not remain in Dvârakâ; now the Yadu capital is abandoned by Me it will sink into the ocean. (48) Each of you taking your own family as well as Our parents with you, should together, protected by Arjuna, head for Indraprastha. (49) You however, fixed in knowledge and indifferent about My mâyâ will, remaining firm in My devotional service, understand what I arranged and make your peace with it.'
(50) Thus being addressed by Him he circumambulated Him offering his obeisances again and again, and went, after placing His lotus feet on his head, with a heavy heart to the city.'
*: S'rîla Vis'vanâtha Cakravartî Thhâkura wonders, since deer are by nature fearful and timid, how any deer could possibly be on the scene of such a huge battle, and how a hunter could calmly go about his business in the midst of such carnage. Therefore, the withdrawal of the Yadu dynasty and Lord Krishna's own disappearance from this earth were not material historical events; they are instead a display of the Lord's internal potency for the purpose of winding up His manifest pastimes on earth [p.p. 11.30: 37]. Also the name of the hunter Jarâ, meaning old age, is indicative of the metaphorical purport of this incident [see also footnote 10.87:*]. In the Mahâbhârata-tâtparya-nirnaya, S'rî Madhvâcârya-pâda wrote that the Lord for His mission created a body of material energy into which the arrow was shot. But the Lord's actual four-armed form was never touched by the arrow of Jarâ, who is actually an incarnation of the Lord's devotee Bhrigu Rishi. In a previous age Bhrigu Muni had offensively placed his foot on the chest of Lord Vishnu.
The Ascension of Lord Krishna
(1) S'rî S'uka said: 'Then Brahmâ with his consort Bhavânî arrived there, along with S'iva and the demigods led by Indra and the sages with the lords of the people. (2-3) The forefathers, the perfected and divine singers, the scientists and the great egos, the venerable, the treasure keepers and the wild men, the ones of superpower and the dancing girls of heaven and all the ones of Garuda [the dvijâs] desirous to witness the passing away of the Supreme Lord, eagerly chanted and praised the birth and activities of S'auri. (4) They, crowding the sky in a great number of vimânas, o King, joined in transcendental devotion showering flowers. (5) The Supreme Lord seeing the great father and his powerful expansions before Him, fixed His consciousness within Himself, the Almighty One, and closed His lotus eyes. (6) Without burning in a mystic trance the object auspicious to all trance and meditation, viz. His body that is most attractive in all the worlds, He entered His own abode [compare 4.4]. (7) And while in heaven kettledrums resounded and flowers fell from the sky, He was, as He left the earth, followed by Truth, Righteousness, Constancy, Fame and Beauty [see also 10.39: 53-55]. (8) The demigods and others headed by Brahmâ, not [quite] knowing what Krishna had done, didn't all see Him entering His abode, but those who did were most amazed. (9) Just as mortals cannot ascertain the path lightning describes in the sky as it finds its way through the clouds, the gods likewise couldn't trace the path of Krishna. (10) But Brahmâ, S'iva and the others witnessing, in astonishment glorified the yogic power of the Lord, after which each of them returned to his own world. (11) O King, you should understand that the appearance, the actions of His illusory potency, and the disappearance of the Supreme One, just as it happens with normal embodied beings, constitutes a performance. It is a show in which He just like an actor by means of Himself sets in motion this universe by entering it, acting in it and in the end winding it up. After having ceased He then remains in the greatness of the Supreme Self. (12) He who brought His guru's son in his selfsame body back after he had been taken to the world of Yamarâja [10.45], He who also offered protection against the superior weapon that burned you [1.12]; He who even conquered S'iva, who is the death of the agents of death [10.63], why would He, who brought the deerhunter [Jarâ] body and all to the spiritual world, be incapable of preserving Himself? (13) Despite the fact that He as the One Possessing Unlimited Potencies constitutes the exclusive cause of the maintenance, creation and annihilation of all created beings, He did not desire to keep His physical frame here in the mortal world. Why would He, who is the destination for those who fixed themselves upon Him, keep up appearances [see also 3.2: 10-11]? (14) Anyone who, rising early in the morning, with care glorifies this supreme destination of Krishna, will with the devotion undoubtedly reach that unsurpassable destination [see also B.G. 8: 6].
(15) Dâruka deprived of Krishna arriving in Dvârakâ, wet with his tears the feet of Vasudeva and Ugrasena he fell down to. (16-17) He related the destruction of the entirety of the Vrishnis, o ruler of man, and hearing that the people, with their hearts full of sorrow, were rendered senseless. They, overwhelmed by the separation from Krishna, struck their faces, and quickly went to the place where their relatives were laying lifeless. (18) When Devakî, Rohinî and Vasudeva thereupon couldn't find their sons, they pained in tears lost their consciousness. (19) Tormented by being separated from the Supreme Lord they gave up their lives on the spot. Embracing their [dead] husbands my dearest, the wives climbed upon the funeral pyre. (20) The same way the wives of Balarâma embraced His body and entered the fire, the wives of Vasudeva joined his body in the fire and the Lord His daughters-in-law to Pradyumna and the others stepped into the fire. Also the wives of Krishna led by Rukminî, His first queen, fully absorbed in Him followed that course. (21) Arjuna distressed because of his separation from Krishna, his dear friend, consoled himself with the transcendental words of Krishna's song [like 2: 11-12, 2: 20-21, 2: 27, 4: 7, 4: 6, 7: 25 and 14: 27 of the Bhagavad Gîtâ]. (22) As is prescribed Arjuna saw to it that for the relatives who had died and who had no remaining family members, the funeral rites were executed in order of the seniority of the deceased. (23) Dvârakâ, once it was abandoned by the Lord, was immediately flooded by the ocean except, o King, for the residence of the Supreme Personality of Godhead [see archeology pictures 1,2 & 3 of the site]. (24) In that very place Madhusûdana, the Supreme Lord, is eternally present. As the most auspicious of all auspicious places, its remembrance takes away everything inauspicious. (25) Arjuna, resettling the survivors - the women, the children and elders of the ones killed - in Indraprastha, placed there Vajra [Aniruddha's son] on the throne. (26) From Arjuna hearing of the death of their friend, o King, left all your grandfathers to make the great journey, after first installing you as the maintainer of the dynasty [they went northwards, see also 1.15: 34-51]. (27) Any conditioned soul who with faith sings about the birth and activities of Vishnu, the God of Gods, will be completely freed from all sins [see S'rî Das'âvatâra Stotra]. (28) The attractive and most auspicious exploits and childhood pastimes of the incarnation of the Supreme Lord Hari [with all His expansions, see 10.1: 62-63], have now been described here [in this Story of the Fortunate One] as also elsewhere [in other scriptures]. A person singing them will attain the transcendental devotional service which is the destination of all the perfect sages [the paramahamsas].'
Thus the eleventh Canto of the S'rîmad Bhâgavatam ends named: 'General History' named.
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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