The Mahabharata
  Srimad Bhagavatam

  Rig Veda
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  Bhagavad Gita
  Sankara Bhashya
  By Edwin Arnold

  Brahma Sutra
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  Ramanuja SriBhashya


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


"The story of the fortunate one" 



The Science of God

Chapter 1
The Supreme Lord Is Equal unto Everyone

Chapter 2 Hiranyakas'ipu, the King of the Demons, on Bereavement

Chapter 3 Hiranyakas'ipu's Plan to Become Immortal

Chapter 4 Hiranyakas'ipu Terrorizes the Universe

Chapter 5 Prahlâda Mahârâja, the Saintly Son of Hiranyakas'ipu

Chapter 6 Prahlâda Instructs His Asura Schoolmates

Chapter 7 What Prahlâda Learned in the Womb

Chapter 8 Lord Nrisimhadeva Slays the King of the Demons

Chapter 9 Prahlâda Propitiates Lord Nrisimhadeva with Prayer

Chapter 10 About Prahlâda, the Best Among the Exalted Devotees and the fall of Tripura.

Chapter 11 The Perfect Society: About the Four Social Classes and the Woman

Chapter 12 The Four Âs'ramas and How to Leave the Body

Chapter 13 The Behavior of a Saintly Person

Chapter 14 The Supreme of the Householders Life

Chapter 15 Nârada's Instructions on Sharing, Irreligion, Yoga and Advaita


 Chapter 1

The Supreme Lord Is Equal unto Everyone

(1) The king said: 'How could the Supreme Lord beloved as an equal friend towards all living beings, o brahmin, in support of Indra kill the demons as if He were partial Himself [see also B.G. 9.29]? (2) Being of the highest bliss there is certainly no need for Him to side personally with the enlightened community and not being of any material mode, is it for certain not in His nature to fear or compete with the ones of darkness. (3) Thus, o glorious one, is in consideration of the qualities of Nârâyana, the magnitude of the doubt that rose with us; could you please dispel it?'

(4-5) The honorable rishi said: 'What an excellent question to ask o great King! From the wonderful activities of the Lord, sung by the foremost of piety, the sages headed by Nârada, are there more and more the glories and the devotion of His devotees. I will discuss all the relating topics of the Lord with you, but let me first pay homage to the great sage of Krishna [Vyâsa]. (6) Although above the modes, surely unborn and unmanifest, does the Supreme Lord transcendental to the material world by His own potency enter the material qualities accepting obligations and responsibilities [compare B.G. 9:11]. (7) The sattva, rajas and tamas to that belong to the material of nature and not to the quality of the spirit soul, o King, to the spiritual soul there is not the on and off [one normally has with material things]. (8) All according their particular time does one when sattva [goodness] dominates find the deva's and the rishi's [the gods and sages], with the prominence of rajas [passion] has one the asuras [the unenlightened] and with tamas [inertia] finds one the yaksa's and râksasa's [the ghosts and the demons, see also B.G. 14:11-13]. (9) To the elements of light and such that appear with the differently embodied can the ones who know from the Supersoul within distinguish who of them are of discrimination and who not [see B.G. 10:10]. (10) When desiring to create material bodies for the living entities manifests the Supreme, He dominating in His own creation, the mode of passion; desiring to act in different forms is He in the mode of goodness and when the Controller is about to round it all up gives He as such rise to the mode of ignorance [see: B.G. 9.10]. (11) O Ruler of Man, the true Creator, Controller in Person of the matter and Shelter for the beings is the Time that by its movements conditions [see also B.G 11:32]. (12) It is but with this Time that the Supreme Lord His glories are widespread, o King, by which to sattva the certainty of the numbers of gods is furthered and hence with those who are covered by rajas and tamas the inimical if found whereto He as the friend of the enlightened destroys the unenlightened. (13) To this was earlier with great joy at the great sacrifice of Yudhishthhira upon his request by the Rishi of Enlightenment [Nârada] recounted the following story. (14-15) The king, the son of Pându, after having seen how at the great offering called Râjasûya the King of Cedi [Sisupâla] so wondrously had merged with the Supreme Personality of Vâsudeva, had as the ruler being struck with wonder at the sacrifice asked the following from Nârada who sat there with the sages listening. (16) Yudhishthhira had said: 'Oh how wonderful and for sure difficult to attain for even the transcendentalists the attainment is of the impudent Sisupâla to Vâsudeva, the Supreme Absolute Truth. (17) We all long to know how this could happen, o sage, how from insulting the Lord [he could merge while] Vena [for such a thing] was thrown in hell by the brahmins. (18) That sinful son of Damaghosa fostered from his earliest prattle to his last days anger towards Govinda just as did the evil-minded Dantavakra [his brother]. (19) Of both their unrelenting repetitions against the Lord of Vishnu, the Supreme Personality of Brahman [compare B.G. 10.12], didn't any white leprosy appear on their tongues nor did they land in the darkness of hell. (20) How could they with everyone looking, so easily find absorption [sâyujya-mukti] in the Supreme Lord whose nature is so hard to attain? (21) To this matter is my intelligence flickering like a candle in the wind, please o man of all knowledge tell us here about the particular cause of this great wonder. '

(22) The son of Vyâsa said: 'After hearing the words of the king questioning him on the tale in the midst of the assembly, did Nârada the greatest of sages, being satisfied, address him. (23) S'rî Nârada said: 'In order to experience insults, praise, honor and dishonor without discrimination has the Supreme of the Primary Nature [pradhâna] created this vehicle of time, o King [see also B.G. 2:14, 12:18-19]. (24) Suffering from the false notion of being this body is there thus the 'I and mine' to which there is the rod of punishment, o earthly ruler. (25) Bound in this false conception does the annihilation of bodies seem to be the same as the annihilation of living beings; not being of Him as the one without a second is one of the false idea, but how can there be any harm done by the certainty of Him, the Soul of all, the Supreme One and Highest Control? (26) Therefore, whether one is of constant enmity, of devotion, of fear, of affection or of lusty desires, should one, being of whatever way, concentrate oneself [on the Lord] and not look for something else. (27) A person may by [single] constant enmity not attain the like of being absorbed one finds in being unified in devotion, that is my definite opinion. (28-29) A larva checked by a bee in a niche may be filled with anxiety and resentment, but of that bee it attains the same form; thus also can one with Krishna who as the Supreme Lord out of His own appeared as a man be filled with obstinacy towards the Supreme while those who found purification of their sins attained by the constant thought of Him. (30) Of in lust, hatred, fear, affection and devotion having a mind absorbed in the Supreme have many given up the sin and by that attained the path of liberation. (31) The gopi's with their lusty desires, Kamsa out of fear, Sisupâla and others out of hatred, many Kings out of kinship, Krishna's family out of affection and you and us through bhakti did so o King. (32) Anyone but Vena would adopt one of these five in regard to the Original Person and therefore should one by any means fix one's mind on Krishna. (33) The sons of your mothers sister, Sisupâla and Dantavakra, o Pândava, were the two exalted attendants of Vishnu [Jaya and Vijaya, see 3.15-16] who because of a curse of the brahmins fell away from the feet.'

(34) S'rî Yudhishthhira said: 'Who did that and what kind of curse was used; a servant of the Lord thus overcome seems an incredible thing to me, how can those exclusively devoted to Him take birth again [see B.G. 4:9 and 8:16]? (35) Those who reside in Vaikunthha have nothing to do with a material body, material senses or a material life, please describe how they could thus be bound to a physical body.'

(36) S'rî Nârada said: 'Once happened the sons of Brahmâ, Sanandana and the others, who traveled around the three worlds, to arrive at that place. (37) Approaching like boys of five or six year old even though they were born before the ancients of the universe [see 1.3:6], forbade the two guards them the entrance thinking they were naked children. (38) And so they were full of anger cursed by them: 'O, the two of you undeserving ones, at the feet of the Slayer of Madhu it is most sinful not to be free from passion and ignorance and therefore, o fools, will you soon hereafter be born from an unenlightened womb [see: 3.17]. (39) Thus being cursed to fall down from their abode did they from the merciful sages hear: 'May it be so that after three births you return again to your abode'.

(40) The two thereafter were born as the sons of Diti and worshiped by all the daityas and Danava's as Hiranyakas'ipu the older one and Hiranyâksa the younger brother. (41) Hiranyakas'ipu was killed by the Lord in the form of a lion [Lord Nrisimhadeva] and Hiranyâksa by Him when He in the form of a boar had appeared to uplift the world [Lord Varâha, see 3.18-19]. (42) Hiranyakas'ipu desirous to kill his son Prahlâda, the beloved devotee of Kesava, enacted various ways of torture to cause his death. (43) With the protection by the power of the Supreme Lord, the Soul of mercy and equality towards all, was he by all the might displayed not able to kill him. (44) Next were the two demons as Râvana and Kumbhakarna born from Kes'inî as the sons of Visravâ and gave they misery to all the people. (45) To relieve them from the curse manifested thereupon Râmacandra Himself to kill them, but you better hear about the exploits of Râma [see 9: 10 &11] from the lips of Mârkandeya, my best. (46) The two in their third birth were [as Sisupâla and Dantavakra] born here as kshatriya sons to your mothers sister and are now freed from the curse with their sins destroyed by Krishna's cakra. (47) By meditation in a bond of acute hatred getting near to Him did the gate keepers of Vishnu, again attain the effulgence of the infallible Lord.'

(48) S'rî Yudhishthhira said: 'How could there be such a hatred for his own son that great soul, please tell me o exalted one how Prahlâda became so close to Acyuta [the Infallible Lord].


Chapter 2  

Hiranyakas'ipu, the King of the Demons, on Bereavement

(1) S'rî Nârada said: 'When the brother [Hiranyâksa] thus was killed by the Lord in the form of a boar [see 3.18-19] was Hiranyakas'ipu very afflicted with anger and grief o King. (2) Enraged biting his lips on this, looked he over the sky that smoked with the blazing fury of his eyes and spoke he. (3) With his terrible teeth and fierce look ghastly to behold raised he in the assembly of dânavas his trident with a frown on his face saying the following. (4-5) 'O dânavas and daityas, Dvimûrdha ['the two headed one'], Tryaksa ['the three-eyed one'] S'ambara and S'atabâhu ['the hundred-armed one']; Hayagrîva ['the horsehead'], Namuci. Pâka Ilvala and Vipracitti! Puloma, Sakuna and all others, listen to the words I have to tell you and thereafter all do quickly enact to them without delay. (6) My so very dear brother and well-wisher was with those powerless enemies, the godly, conspiring behind his back, killed by Hari who was supposed to be equal to all of us so excellently running after Him. (7-8) I will of Him who has forsaken His own love for us and is now abominable in mâyâ, behaving like a wild beast in His as a child jumping from this to that form to the like of his worshiping devotees, with my trident cut His neck and make Him swim in blood for the sake of indeed he who was so fond of drinking it; thus I'll please my brother and find my own peace. (9) When He, that most deceitful enemy of all is finished will, like with the drying up of branches and leaves of a tree cut by its roots, the same happen to those guys of God whose life belongs to Vishnu. (10) Meanwhile all of you go to that world so neatly kept by the rulers of Brahmâ and see to the destruction of all those repenting and sacrificing studyheads that to vows donate in charity. (11) Vishnu by the twice born exhaustingly worshiped, is sacrifice personified, the Supreme Person of the full of dharma; He is the one shelter of the religion of them gods and sages, forefathers and all the others. (12) Wherever the twiceborn keep their cows, study their Veda's and they are busy with their varnâs'rama ado, set all those towns afire or cut down all the trees of the place.'

(13) Showing him their respect taking the instructions of their master on their heads, pestered they, the experts of destruction, all the people. (14) The cities and villages, pasturing grounds, orchards and gardens, fields, forests, hermitages and mines, farms and mountain places, cowherd camps and the capitals as well, they all burned down. (15) While others with firebrands set the dwellings ablaze demolished some of them with picks the bridges, surrounding walls and the city gates and took some others axes to destroy the source of livelihood cutting down the fruit trees. (16) When time and again the people were thus disturbed by the followers of the daitya king gave the godly their positions up and wandered they unseen by the demons all over the earth. (17) Hiranyakas'ipu, very distressed about the loss of his brother performed the obsequies and pacified his nephews. (18-19) Sakuni, S'ambara, Dhrsti, Bhûtasantâpana,Vrka, Kâlanâbha, Mahânâbha, Haris'mas'ru and Utkaca as also their mother Rusâbhânu and Diti, his own mother he addressed as a well adapted person in sweet words saying this, o Ruler of Man.

(20) Hiranyakas'ipu said: 'O mother, mother, o sister in law, o nephews, you do not deserve this lamentation about our hero of enlightenment who in front of the enemy desired the most glorious death. (21) Of all beings in this world living together like travelers amassing about a drinking place, o my sweet mother, are by divine ordinance the ones that were brought together in one place led apart according their own karma. (22) The eternal inexhaustible soul is, free from the tinge of matter, capable of going anywhere; knowing all and transcendent takes that soul up the self of a body that under the influence of the material world gives him various qualities [see B.G. 13.22]. (23) Just as reflected in water the trees do move, seems also by optical illusion [with heat e.g.] the ground to move. (24) Likewise does the adhering mind that is confused by the modes of matter the same way agitate the changeless living entity, o my mother, making the entity despite of being formless believe that it belongs to that bodily form. (25-26) This soul confounded indeed on the formless existence falls in love with the body and has beloved ones and enemies, allies and strangers in karma about the material affair. Faced with births and dying, lamenting different ways and lacking discrimination to what the scriptures say is he full of anxiety and of forgetfulness to the right discrimination indeed. (27) To this does one in fact recite an old story of Yamarâja in discussion with the friends of a deceased one. Hear closely. (28) Once there was a king in Usînara known as Suyajña who was killed by his enemies in a war. His kinsman sat around him. (29-31) With his jeweled armor scattered here and there and his ornaments and garlands fallen down, lay he there in his blood pierced by the arrows through his heart. To his loose hair and eyes obscured had he of anger bitten lips, was his lotus face covered with dust and lay his arms and weapons cut off on the battlefield. When the queens ascertained that the master of Usînara thus hacked up by providence had been killed, were they in tears and pounded they their breast constantly with their hands, crying over and over again 'O, husband', falling down at his feet. (32) Wailing out aloud for their beloved husband moistened they the lotusfeet with the tears red of the kunkum of their breasts and with their ornaments and hair loosened lamented they heartrending sobbing pitiably:

(33) 'Alas by the merciless providence o Lord of us have you, o beloved one, been taken away beyond the range of our sight; the state and the inhabitants of Usînara you formerly provided their livelihood, but now that you're finished you give them the more lamentation. (34) You were such a grateful husband to us o King, how can we and your retinue live without you; you who art our best friend, tell us where those who were in service at your lotusfeet have to follow you in your leaving us.' (35) The queens had thus lamenting factually taken the dead husband on their lap, not wishing the corpse to be buried while the sun was setting in the west. (36) Hearing the kith and kin of the ruler lamenting so loudly came Yamarâja in person to them assuming the form of a boy and spoke he.

(37) S'rî Yamarâja said: 'Alas, from where came the bewilderment of these people advanced in age who see the law of nature ruling every day; to the same nature as to where this man returned will they themselves return, nevertheless they meaningless weep! [compare B.G. 2.28]. (38) Regrettably do we think that because at present being without the protection of our parents, we are most fortunate not to be eaten by the predators, for He who has protected us in the womb would also protect us thereafter. (39) O poor women, the Supreme Controller by His own will creates all this remaining Himself the same and it is Him who no doubt also maintains and destroys; all that moves and does not move, is, so one says, the plaything of the Lord who at all times is able to give protection or to annihilate. (40) Something lost in the street can, protected by destiny, be preserved although staying at home, with God willing, the same can be lost; despite of being unprotected can one under His protection remain alive whether one is at home or in the forest, but this one struck down did well protected not survive. (41) All embodied do according their own births by their karma appear and in course of time disappear; but all this does not apply to the soul although he, situated within this material world, by her variety of modes is sure to be bound. (42) This body of the person born of ignorance is just as separate from him as the material of a house is to its indweller; just as the conditioned soul with water, earth and fire by time took birth is he also by time transformed and overcome. (43) Just as fire in wood is observed separately, just as the air within the body has its separate position, just as the sky all pervading stays with itself, so too is the living entity under the shelter of the modes transcendental of nature. (44) This one Suyajña is there right before you, o foolish people, for him you cry, but he who is the the hearer and the speaker in this world can never be seen. (45) Although residing within this body is the great ruler of the body, the life air, not the listener, nor the speaker; with all the senseorgans locked within the body does he, the life air embodied, differ from the soul. (46) The material elements, the senses and the mind characterizing the gross body are by the high class and low class empowered souls achieved and given up indeed with the in reality also being different [in the subtle body] according their selfsame power of existence [see also B.G.29 and 9.25]. (47) One is as long covered by the subtle body [the 'linga' of mind, intelligence and false ego in one] indeed as one is of fruitive activity; from that bondage is there the reversal [of control from soul to body] and the misery following the being identified with the illusory of matter [B.G. 8.6.] (48) Just like with the seeing and talking in a daydream is clinging to the factual of the modes of nature fruitless: everything that the senses produce in a dream is false. (49) It is for this reason that having the eternal and the temporal in this world is not lamented by those who are of knowledge, otherwise, as you understand, wouldn't it be possible to deal with those who like to sob over things [see also B.G. 2.11]. (50) Some hunter in the forest who was directed to decimate the number of birds, spread a net and luring with food here and there he captured them. (51) He saw there a pair of kulinga birds wandering and as the hunter allured the female bird was it killed by surprise. (52) O queens, the male seeing how the female bird caught in the ropes of the net was seized was very aggrieved and out of affection not able to do anything began the poor thing to lament for his wife: (53) 'Alas how cruel is providence, the Almighty of Mercy, to my wife, how awkward, what but lamenting can I do for the poor one? (54) As He likes He may take me too, what, for God, is the use of the half of my body really, what a poor life it is to suffer that pain for a lifetime! (55) How unfortunate my babies waiting for their mother in their nest. How can I maintain the young unable to fly yet, now bereft of their mother?' (56) With the bird with wet eyes thus very sad lamenting at a distance the loss of his beloved, managed the relentless hunter sneaking upon him to put him out of time piercing him with an arrow.

(57) Thus, o ignorant ones, is it with you not seeing the end of your own existence; lamenting for him won't bring your husband back not even in a hundred years.'

(58) S'rî Hiranyakas'ipu said: 'The boy thus expressing philosophy astounded the hearts of all the relatives and they thought everything that the eye could meet was just temporary [see also B.G. 2.18]. (59) Yamarâja in this form having given instruction then disappeared and the relatives of King Suyajña next did what needed to be done for the funeral. (60) So what is there for you all to lament about: whether it belongs to you or to someone else, whether it concerns your self or another's, in this material world is the idea one has of oneself and of others the result of being preoccupied with the body combined with a lack of knowledge about that what is embodied.'

(61) S'rî Nârada said: 'Diti and [Rusâbhânu,] the wife of the deceased brother, hearing the speech of the king of the daityas promptly gave up their great bereavement and engaged their hearts in the real philosophy of life.


Chapter 3  

Hiranyakas'ipu's Plan to Become Immortal

(1) S'rî Nârada said: 'Hiranyakas'ipu, o King, desired to become unconquerable, free from old age and immortal himself, the only king with no rivals or opponents. (2) In a valley at Mandara Hill he performed a most difficult austerity raising his arms upwards staring into the sky, standing with the big toes of his feet on the ground. (3) Emanating from the hair on his head there was a light bright as a supernova and by the beams were all the gods in their practices of penance driven back to their own places. (4) Generated by his severe penance with smoke spreading sidewards, upwards and downwards everywhere, heated it all the worlds. (5) The rivers and oceans were in turmoil, the islands and mountains and the earth shook and the stars with their planets fell with all the ten directions ablaze. (6) Scorched therefrom gave the demigods their residences up and went they to Lord Brahmâ's place to submit to their leader: 'O Master of the Universe from the penance of the daitya king are we all afflicted and no longer capable of keeping our positions in heaven. (7) Please, if you think it's right, we would like to see the end of this, o Great One, before all obedient to the worship of you o Chief of All are lost. (8) Take notice of this intention of him executing the so very difficult austerity; what wouldn't be known to you - but nevertheless we would like to submit this: (9-10) 'Lord Brahmâ, who by austerity absorbed in yoga created the moving and unmoving [see 3.8], has his throne in all the worlds high and low and thus will I by dint of an even more severe penance absorbed in yoga, from the eternality of time and the soul, achieve just as much for myself. (11) I shall by my strength turn this world upside down reinstating what is now called inappropriate; what is the use of all those other practices of the followers of Vishnu, in the end they'll all be vanquished.' (12) This way so we learned was his determination from within his excessive penance; please take for your own sake as soon as possible the necessary steps, o master of the three worlds. (13) It is your position to be the supreme master in the universe for the better and exalted of the twice born and the cows, the salvation and opulence, the welfare and the victory.

(14) Thus informed by the godly went the most powerful one born from the lotus, o King, in the company of Bhrigu, Daksha and others to the place of penance of the daitya lord. (15-16) Covered by an anthill, grass and bamboo, with his fat, skin, flesh and blood eaten away by the ants, could he not be spotted, but he who rides the swan smiled with wonder when he saw how by his penance the heating of all the worlds was being covered like the sun is by clouds. (17) S'rî Brahmâ said: 'Please come forward, come forward, o son of Kas'yapa, all good fortune to you so perfect in your penance, I, the granter of boons have come, let what you desire from me be my blessing. (18) I've personally seen how great your power of endurance is and how wonderful it is that someone whose body is eaten away by worms and ants has managed to keep his life-air within his bones. (19) There was nothing like it performed by the sages before you, nor will anyone else do so hereafter; who indeed without taking water can sustain his life-air for a hundred celestial years [36.000 years]? (20) O son of Diti, by your resolve to perform a penance that is even for the greatest of saints very hard, have I been conquered by you. (21) From this I shall give you all benedictions, o best of the asuras, the audience of someone destined to die like you with an immortal like me will not be fruitless.'

(22) S'rî Nârada said: 'Thus speaking did the original godhead and first living being of the universe sprinkle divine, allpotent and infallible water from his kamandalu [waterpot] over the by the ants eaten body. (23) From that was he, from his anthill and bamboos, fully restored to mind, senses and strength in all his limbs; he arose, like fire springing from fire wood, with a young body as strong as a thunderbolt that had a luster of molten gold. (24) When he saw the god right before him in the sky on his swan carrier offered he, very pleased to meet Lord Brahmâ, with his head to the ground his obeisances [compare B.G. 9.23-24 and 2.3: 10 ]. (25) Rising to his feet with his own eyes seeing the Almighty began he, overwhelmed by jubilation, with tears in his eyes and his hair standing on end with folded hands and a faltering voice humbly to pray. (26-27) S'rî Hiranyakas'ipu said: 'At the end of his day when he under the influence of time is covered by the dense darkness of ignorance, is by the self-effulgence of the rays of his body this cosmic creation manifested. This world is by himself and conducted by the three modes of rajas, sattva and tamas [passion, goodness and ignorance], created, maintained and annihilated. My respectful obeisances unto that transcendental and Supreme Lord. (28) My reverential homage unto the original living being, the seed of creation, knowledge and wisdom; unto the deity of the life force, the senses, the mind and the intelligence, who through his works realized the manifestation. (29) You are the factual control of the moving beings and the immobile entities; by the life force are you the source of all activities and the master mind and source of insight of all alive; the great master of the knowing and acting senses you are, the controller of all desire, the material elements and their qualities [compare B.G. 7.7 ]. (30) By your body of the three Veda's you spread the seven kinds of rituals [beginning from the agnistoma-yajña] of the four kinds of priests [known as hotâ, adhvaryu, brahma and udgâtâ] and the knowledge required; you are the one soul of all living entities without a beginning and an end; the supreme inspirator and the True Self within. (31) Without being affected by it yourself are you verily the Time ever wakeful, that reduces the duration of life of all beings with each of its segments; of this material world are you the Great Self and Supreme Controller unborn as well as the essential cause of life. (32) Nothing exists separately from you, whether it is higher evolved or even lower, moving or not-moving while the knowledge in all its divisions makes up the different features your body; you are the one greater than the greatest, transcendental to the three modes, that keeps the universe in his abdomen. (33) Situated in your abode unseen you enjoy, as the Supreme One, the Soul and oldest person the manifested, o Almighty, this cosmic manifestation that is the external of you from which we have the senses the life-air, the mind and the qualities. (34) By this unlimited, unimaginable form of you there is this total aggregate expanded with its material and spiritual potency; unto him thus endowed, unto him that Supreme Master of God, I offer my obeisances.

(35) If you are willing to give me the boon of my desire, o granter of all benedictions, then, o my Lord, let it be so that from none of the beings created by you I will meet death. (36) Not at home nor outside, not during the day nor at night, nor from any other god even or by any known weapon, nor on the ground nor in the sky may I die, nor from any human or animal. (37-38) Lifeless things nor living entities, demigod nor demon and the great serpents either may kill me; I must have no rivals, have the supremacy in battle and the rule over all embodied including the deities of all planets; mine must be the glory equal to yours and never may the powers acquired by yogîc penance be defeated.'



Chapter 4

Hiranyakas'ipu Terrorizes the Universe

(1) S'rî Nârada said: 'Lord Brahmâ who sees everywhere, thus being solicited then, pleased by Hiranyakas'ipu's austerities, delivered him the benedictions that are so rarely achieved. (2) Lord Brahmâ said: 'My son, all the boons you asked for are very seldom by men obtained from me, but despite of the fact that these blessings are normally not available, I will grant them you, my best.'

(3) Thereupon departed the mighty Lord, whose grace knows no faults, being worshiped by the most exalted asura as the Almighty One praised by all rulers of manhood. (4) The Daitya who thus obtained his desired boon and had acquired a body with a golden luster, maintained a constant contemplation of hatred against the Lord who had killed his brother. (5-7) He, the greatest asura, conquering all places high, low and middle in all directions brought under his control the masters of all worlds: god, demon and man, the kings, the indwellers of heaven, the reciters of the verses and the serpentine, the ones of perfection, of culture and knowledge, the saints, the leading forefathers, the founding fathers, the evil spirits, the wild men and the madmen and the dead and the ghosts and their leaders; as the conqueror of the world he usurped the power of rule of all authorities everywhere. (8) In the paradise of the godly remaining in the riches of all opulence, lived he in the highest world, in the palace of the king of heaven as conceived by Visvakarmâ the great asura-architect himself, in the abode of Laxmî, in control over all the wealth of the world. (9-12) There the steps were of coral, the floors of emerald, the walls of crystal and the rows of pillars of vaidûrya stone. Also were there the most wonderful canopies and seats bedecked with rubies and was the bedding as white as the foam of milk with pearls on its borders. In the quarters, left and right, adorned with jewels and gems, made the celestial ladies sweet sounds with the jingling of their ankle bells and showed they their nice teeth to their beautiful faces. In that royal residence with the greatest might and mind enjoyed the dictator, having everyone under his control, the worship by the godly entourage at his feet under a rule far more severe than one had expected. (13) He, o best one, the harbor of austerity, yoga, strength and sense, being honored with all glory by the hands of all the important men with the exception of the three principal deities, rolled with his eyes red as copper, intoxicated by strong scented wines. (14) On the seat of Indra being glorified by Vis'vâvasu, Tumburu [the greatest gandharva's] and also by me were time and again prayers offered by all the singers and girls of heaven, the perfected, the saints and the ones of knowledge, o son of Pându. (15) And he factually being worshiped with gifts in abundance by all classes and agegroups reserved by his own prowess all portions of the oblations for himself. (16) As if she was the cow of plenty herself yielded the earth of him on all continents spontaneously crops in great abundance while in the sky all the wonders of the universe could be seen. (17) The seas and oceans of salt and sweet water, wine, ghee, cane-juice, yogurt and milk, and their wives the rivers as well, carried all kinds of precious stones in their waves. (18) The valleys between the mountains and hills were his pleasure grounds offering throughout all seasons all the good of plant and tree; he alone stood for all the different qualities of all the different gods. (19) He thus having conquered all directions as the one and only ruler enjoying all the pleasures one can think of, was not satisfied though being out of control with his senses. (20) Intoxicated in great pride of his opulence thus passed a long period of living in offense with the scriptures and was the curse of the brahmin met [see also B.G. 16.23&24].

(21) From his painful rebuke disturbed could all the worlds and their leaders find no place to hide and so did they approach the Infallible One to seek shelter with Him [compare B.G. 5.29]. (22-23) To that they prayed: 'Let there be our obeisances in that direction where the Supersoul of Hari, the Supreme Controller is found and from where, approaching Him, the peaceful, renounced and pure never return.' With their minds controlled that way they steadied and purified their intelligence, feeding on air only in worshiping the Master of the Senses without taking to sleep.

(24) To them all then appeared a loudly resonating voice without a form that, driving away their fear, stirred the saintly in all their pores: (25-26) 'Do not fear, o best of learning, may there be all good fortune to you, the presence of Me indeed is there for all living beings to attain all the good. The nefarious activities of this great demon are known to Me and I shall put an end to them, just await that time. (27) When one is averse to the gods, the Veda's, the cows, the brahmins, the saints, the regulative principles and to Me, will one indeed soon be vanquished. (28) When he unto his peace loving son who has no enemies, that great soul, Prahlâda, is of violence, shall I kill him, whatever the blessings he has received [see also 3.25:21].'

(29) S'rî Nârada said: 'Thus addressed by the spiritual master of all, went the godly, offering Him their obeisances, back being relieved of all their anxieties and considered they the asura as good as killed [2.3.10]. (30) Of him, the daitya king there were four most qualified sons of whom the one named Prahlâda was the greatest with all the qualities of a great follower [see 5.18:12]. (31-32) As a good brahmin he had all the talent of understanding the Absolute of the Truth being of the full control over the senses and the mind. Like the Supersoul was he the beloved best friend of all living beings, like a menial servant obeyed he always at the feet of the great, like a father he was kind to the poor, like a brother was he to his equals, full of affection he was for the spiritual masters whom he held as high as the Supreme Controller Himself; he was of education, purpose, beauty, nobility and completely free from pride and impudence [compare B.G. 12:13-19 and B.G. 18.42]. (33) Although born from an asura had he in the midst of danger a consciousness free from agitation and was he without desire to what is heard and what is seen [with the Vedic knowledge]; things of the modes of matter he considered insubstantial and controlling the senses and life force, were the lusts of his body and his mind always quieted; he was completely void of the demoniac nature. (34) The qualities of him are, like those found in the Supreme Lord our Controller, by the advanced always glorified as being the greatest, o King, and not so much the ones one is so confused about today [in Kali-yuga]. (35) In a gathering of the saintly interest would even the godly of enmity [with the asuric], o ruler of man, take him for an example; then why shouldn't you or others? (36) The greatness of the countless qualities of him who is known for his natural attachment to Vâsudeva, the Supreme Lord, defies all description. (37) As a boy having forsaken all child play seemed he to be idle, fully absorbed with his mind to the world of Krishna as he was; completely of that attraction had he no understanding for the world as it is. (38) As he sat and walked, ate and lied down, drank or talked, had he, embraced by Govinda, no idea of all that goes on out here. (39) Sometimes he cried thinking of Vaikunthha, sometimes he laughed to the follies of the mind and sometimes he was jubilant very loudly chanting thinking of Him. (40) Sometimes he loudly exclaimed anxiously, sometimes without shame he danced and sometimes did he, lost in thought about Him, imitate Him thinking to be Him. (41) At times with his hair standing on end and his half closed eyes filled with tears, he fell completely silent rapt with joy being caught in His loving association of transcendental bliss. (42) He by his constant service to the lotus feet as glorified in the hymns, obtained of expanding on the association with the liberated the highest ecstasy bestowing constantly from the spiritual soul peace upon the ones poor in spirit and association. (43) Unto him that exalted and most fortunate broad minded devotee, o King, that was his own son, committed Hiranyakas'ipu the greatest sin.'

(44) S'rî Yudhishthhira said: 'O saint of God vowed to the best, we would like to know from you the following: how could the father, give his own son, such a saint of purity and goodness, any trouble? (45) Sons going against the will of their fathers are chastised out of love for them, to teach them, they can't be punished like an enemy, can they? (46) Please dissipate the doubt of us o brahmin about this father being so mean in hating to the point of death his own son so obedient, a great devotee of the sort that honors his father as his guru, o master.'


Chapter 5  

Prahlâda Mahârâja, the Saintly Son of Hiranyakas'ipu

(1) S'rî Nârada said: 'To serve as their priest was by the asuras the mightiest around, S'ukrâcârya ['the seminal teacher'], chosen. His two sons Shanda and Amarka lived near the residence of the daitya king. (2) The king sent the boy Prahlâda well known with the moral code to the two of them to be instructed from the books of learning together with other asura children. (3) Hearing and repeating what the teachers instructed on what from the mind all would not be good of things of oneself and of others, he considered it a bad case of philosophy. (4) When once the asura ruler placed his son on his lap, o son of Pându, he inquired: 'Tell me my son, what do you for yourself think would be the best?'

(5) S'rî Prahlâda ['the joy of understanding'] said: 'O holiest excellency of the asuras, I think that all embodied, because of taking the temporary for real, have an intelligence that is always full of anxieties; giving up that cloaking of the soul, that household concern which is nothing but a blind well, may one be sure to go to the forest and seek refuge with the Lord.' 

(6) S'rî Nârada said: 'The daitya hearing how his son full faith with his words stood at the side of the enemy, laughed at the intelligence of the small boy and thought him to be polluted by the wrong spirit: (7) 'Let this little boy better be protected at school so that his intelligence stays free from the influence of the twice-born siding with Vishnu who pose in different guises.' 

(8) Brought back to the place [the guru-kula], called the daitya priests for Prahlâda and questioned they him, comforting him with a soft voice and pleasant words. (9) 'Dear child, Prahlâda, all fortune to you, tell us the truth and do not lie, which of the other children have given you this wrong way of thinking? (10) Tell us, did this opposing vision originate from evildoers or was it something of yourself; we, all of your teachers are eager to hear about this, o best of the family.' 

(11) S'rî Prahlâda said: 'Whether from strangers or from oneself, one thus reasons about people with a false notion; thinking about what one sees is one simply bewildered by the outer that is created by Him; the Supreme Lord whom I prove my respect [see also B.G. 5:18]. (12) When He is pleased with the person is the animal notion of this timebound way of discriminating between the 'I' of someone else and the 'I' of oneself destroyed. (13) He, this Supersoul is most difficult to ascertain for those whose intelligence and service with the 'I' and 'Thou' vision is spoilt; they, the ones of Brahmâ [here: the false teachers], of whom the followers on the vedic path are bewildered, have indeed placed my intelligence in opposition. (14) O brahmins, just as iron from itself moves to the proximity of a magnet is similarly my consciousness simply bend to the will of the cakra in His hand [see e.g. 5.14:29].' 

(15) S'rî Nârada said: 'After saying all this to the brahmins fell the great mind silent and was he harshly chastised by the servants of the king who, thinking nothing of it, were very angry: (16) 'Oh let a stick be taken for him, this cinder of the dynasty, who with his corrupted intelligence is defaming us; to him is the fourth diplomatic option of the danda [the rod] the solution called for [after dâna, legal orders of charity; sâma, pacification and bheda, dividing posts]. (17) In the sandalwood forest of the daityas is this boy born a thorn tree that serves as a handle to the ax that is Vishnu cutting us by the roots!' 

(18) This way by various means threatening him in words and deeds, taught they Prahlâda what the scriptures would say about the three goals of life [the purusârtha's of dharma, artha and kâma]. (19) After his teachers had learned him to know all there was to be known about the four principles of diplomacy was he, bathed and ornamented by his mother, taken to the daitya ruler. (20) The boy fallen at his feet was by the asura encouraged with blessings and the embracing of him for a long time with his two arms, gave him a great joy. (21) Putting him on his lap smelled he his head and wetted he him with the water of his tears with a smile on his face saying the following, o Yudhishthhira. 

(22) Hiranyakas'ipu said. 'Now tell me Prahlâda my son, now you're so well taught, something nice about all that you, o love of my life, have been learning all this time from your teachers.' 

(23-24) S'rî Prahlâda said: 'Hearing, singing, remembering Vishnu, attending to the feet, offering worship and prayers, becoming a servant, being a friend and to surrender one's soul are of all people offering the nine ways making up the bhakti that should be performed unto the Supreme Lord of Vishnu; the complete of that I consider the topmost of learning.'

(25) Hearing his son saying this told Hiranyakas'ipu, with lips trembling of anger, thereupon the son of the guru [that was Prahlâda's teacher] the following: (26) 'You degraded brahmin! What is this, are you siding with the enemy so mischievously teaching this nonsense, not taking proper care of my boy, you fool! (27) Really, there are a lot of dishonest people in this world, who, cheating friends dress up for appearances; in the course of time can one of them observe the sin manifesting itself like a disease does with people living wrong. 

(28) The son of the guru said: 'This what your son says is not what I taught him, nor did anyone else teach him that, o enemy of Indra; this is his natural inclination, o King, don't be angry with us about that obvious mistake of him.' 

(29) S'rî Nârada said: 'Thus answered by the teacher did the asura again address his son: 'If you did not hear it from the mouth of your teacher, then from where came this bad inclination, you fallen one?'

(30) S'rî Prahlâda said: 'Persons attached to their material life develop because of lacking in control over their senses, in their chewing the chewed again and again, a life that leads to hell; never are they inclined towards Krishna [see B.G. 4-5] because others say so or out of their own understanding, nor will they of a combination of the two [see also B.G. 2:44]. (31) They who think the external is of value have in their ambitions really no idea of the goal of their lives, Vishnu; although they are led are they, like blind men led by the blind, heavily bound in ropes to the dictates of material nature. (32) As long as the consciousness of these people is not in touch with the Feet of Renown, as long as they do not accept the consecration by the rule [or dust] of the feet of those who are free from the bondage, is the disappearance of the unwanted, that is the purpose of all the great, out of their reach.' 

(33) Thus having spoken stopped the son. Hiranyakas'ipu enraged and blinded to the selfrealization threw him from his lap on the ground. (34) Overpowered by indignation and anger and with eyes turning bloodred he said: 'Men, kill him immediately, take away this one sure to die! (35) This one here is the murderer of my brother, he, this lowest one giving up his own well-wishers, is like a servant to the feet of the very Vishnu who has killed his uncle. (36) And to Vishnu he's no good either only five of age so untrustworthy having given up on the hard to forsaken love of his father and mother. (37) Even stemming from others is a child as beneficial as a medicinal herb coming from elsewhere; but a son born from oneself who is ill-willing should just like a diseased limb be cut off as being deleterious to the well-being of the body that by that removal may live happily. (38) By all means must he be killed, he who eating, lying down and sitting with us, posing as a friend is as much an enemy to us as uncontrollable senses are to a sage.' 

(39-40) The henchmen having taken in all their leader had to say then verily with the sharpest tridents in their hands, their frightening teeth and faces and their red hairs and mustaches, roared fearfully 'Let's cut him in pieces' and attacked Prahlâda, sitting there silently, with their lances on his tender parts. (41) On him whose mind was absorbed in the Supreme Absolute of the Fortunate One, the Soul of Each that is not perceivable by the senses, had they no effect just as good deeds do not with an undeserving person. (42) O Yudhishthhira, the daitya ruler daunted upon seeing how the attempts ran futile, devised with determination for a variety of ways to kill him. (43-44) Crushing him with an elephant, attacking with the king's poisonous snakes, with spells of doom, throwing him from heights, conjuring tricks, imprisoning him, administering venom and subjecting him to starvation, cold, wind, fire and water and with piling rocks upon him, was the demon unable to put his son, the sinless one, to death and for that long standing effort being unsuccessful was he in great anxiety: 

(45) 'From the many of these unholy expressions and different ways devised to kill him, from all these treacheries and abominations he found relief by his own strength! (46) So near to me and only a child really he is nevertheless rooted in complete fearlessness; he'll never forget about my misbehavior just like a dog always keeping its tail curved. (47) Definitely will this unlimited glory and immortal fear for nothing, from wherever he was opposed, be the cause of my death sooner or later.'

(48) Thus ruminating face downward he lost a great deal of his splendor. Shanda and Amarka, the two sons of the preceptor, then spoke in secret to him. (49) 'Conquered by you alone do all the leaders of the three worlds tremble at the lifting of your eyebrows; you have nothing to fear from him o master, nor do we see the point really of worrying over the qualities and faults of this or that child. (50) Until our guru S'ukrâcârya returns, just keep him bound with the ropes of Varuna so that he, afraid, may not run off; helped by the more experienced the intelligence will come when a person grows older.' 

(51) This way being advised he took heed of what the sons of the spiritual master had told him and thus was Prahlâda factually taught what would be the duty of kings in their household life. (52) The formal duty, the economy and the regulation of desire were time and again systematically laid out before Prahlâda o King, who was as humble as he was submissive [compare B.G. 14:20 & 26]. (53) What the teachers related to him about the three paths - that education by people delving in a prescribed duality, he considered not a really good instruction at all [compare 6.3:20-25]. (54) When the teachers were busy with their own household duties took the boys of the same age there the opportunity to call for him. (55) He then, the great intelligence, addressed them in pleasing words telling them smilingly and learned how merciful it is to stay with God. (56-57) They, the boys, indeed all in awe for his words giving up their playthings had their minds cleared from the instructions and modeling of those taking pleasure in talks of duality. They sat around him o king of rule, with their hearts and eyes free fixed on him who was speaking compassionately as a real friend and a great example of an asura in devotion.



Chapter 6

Prahlâda Instructs His Asura Schoolmates

(1)  S'rî Prahlâda said: 'From one's childhood on should a person of intelligence practice the dharma of devotional service unto the Lord [as described in 7.5.23-24]; to be born in this human life is a temporary thing rarely achieved that is suffused with meaning. (2) That way [of meaning] indeed is of a living being here the approaching of the feet of Vishnu because this concerns the dearest and best one of all alive, the Master of the Soul [see also 3.25.38 and B.G. 5.29,]. (3) By divine ordinance is happiness to the sensual, o daityas, everywhere available to all entities united with a material body, just as there is the unhappiness without one asking for it. (4) For that there is no need to endeavor, one would only waste one's life, and there is no need either to lust about it; the ultimate goal of life are the lotus feet of Mukunda [the Lord of Liberation]. (5) Therefore should a person of reflection as long as he [from old age] is not of failure, still being stout and strong, be after the real benefit of [Mukunda in] having a material life in a human body. (6) Of the hundred years that every person has for his life is a person in service of his senses indeed wasting half of his time as one sleeps half the day in ignorance being engulfed in darkness. (7) In one's childhood one is naive, as a boy one is playing and thus twenty years do pass and another twenty years pass being unable when one physically is incapacitated of old age. (8) And bewildered by formidable material lusts that can never be satisfied is the one overly attached to family matters madly wasting the remainder of his life. (9) What man attached to his household who, with hands and feet bound by the ropes of affection, is out of control with his senses, is able to free himself [see 1.2: 6-7]? (10) Who, indeed thinking that to make money is more desirable than to live [in devotion and gratitude], would be able to give up that acquisition for which merchant, thief and public servant risk their dear lives? (11-13) How can one give up on associating privately with one's loving wife so pleasing, not support with wisdom the family bound by their affection or what person would not be attracted to the prattle of children? With one's sons and married daughters, brothers, sisters and depending parents enshrined in one's heart, with all the household matters of very nice furniture, a good income and all the pets and the groups of servants and maidservants connected with the family, how can one give up; like a silkworm is one greedily occupied with all kinds of activities in desires that can never be satisfied considering the genitals and tongue the most important; how can such a massive illusion be forsaken? (14) Not for his lifetime does he understand to desist from the maintenance of his family; maddened spoiling the true purpose, at all fronts being distressed the threefold way [see 2.10: 8], has he no regrets about simply enjoying the family. (15) With a mind set on wealth and known with the fault of cheating out here for the money he nevertheless after having died is tied to this material world [by Yamarâja taking rebirth again] as he, too fond of his kin, never in peace with his desires, was out stealing in having no control over his senses. (16) Although knowing about it, o sons of Danu, is one busy with providing the greater family indeed not capable of understanding one's true self in entering the darkness of just like animals being estranged in a mine and thine conception of life. (17-18) Because never, anyone, wherever or whenever with a poor fund of knowledge will get any better in the art of liberating himself from looking after the lust being a sexual plaything and from being someone from whose bondage families expand, must you, my daitya friends in this keep yourselves far away from hiding with the demon that is too addicted to sensual pleasure; instead one should approach Lord Nârâyana, the original godhead, who by the association of the liberated lays out the desired path of liberation. (19) It is truly no great endeavor to satisfy the Infallible One, o asura sons, because in this world of all beings so close to the soul each and every respect is already established [compare B.G. 14: 3-4]. (20-23) Within the beings high or low, beginning with simple plantlife up to Brahmâ the foremost being; within the single transformations of the elements as well as with the totality of the material energy; with the modes of nature in a balanced state as also in their perturbation, is He the One and Only of transcendence, indeed the original source that is the Supreme Lord, the Controller who is without decay Himself. By the original of His inner position and by His personal manifestations is He the pervaded to be described and the undifferentiated all-pervading that defies description. He is the entirety pure and whole whose form is full of bliss and knowledge, the Supreme Ruler covered by the illusory energy about whose unlimited opulence one is mistaken by the modes of the creation. (24) Show therefore mercy towards all living entities; with a friendly attitude will the ones of opposition, the asuras, giving it up to live that way satisfy the Lord beyond the Senses [see also B.G. 12: 13-20]. (25) When He, the Eternal and Original One, is satisfied is there nothing out of one's reach; what need would there be to those who do so in this world ruled by the modes, to work for a sense of duty [regulating the lusts, the economy and the religion] that follows [the devotion] automatically. Why would we, being above the modes, be of desire when we in defense of His qualities are relishing the essence of the Lord His feet? (26) The three prescribed ways of dharma, kâma and artha thus covered make up for the selfrealization, the ceremonies, the logic, the law and order and the different sorts of occupations that I all consider to be the [superficial] truth that is one's lesson; it is the full surrender of oneself to the Supreme Friend that leads to the ultimate personality [compare 1.2: 8]. (27) This knowledge that is without material contamination is most difficult to understand. It was explained by Lord Nârâyana unto the certain friend of all man Nârada for all those who [through him] exclusively are of surrender unto Him, the Supreme Lord; for those who do not claim material possessions, can that understanding be achieved, as their bodies bathed in the dust of the lotus feet. (28) This spiritual knowledge concerning the bhagavata dharma [the nine of devotional service unto the Lord] was together with its practical use in all its purity formerly explained to me by Nârada who always sees the Lord.'

(29-30) The daitya sons said: 'Prahlâda, a child like you as well as children as us know no other teachers but the two sons of S'ukrâcârya as their controllers. Remaining in the palace it must be difficult to find such superior association; please dispel our doubt o gentle one, on how we may find belief in that.


Chapter 7

What Prahlâda Learned in the Womb

(1)  Nârada Muni said [to Yudhishthhira, see 7.1: 13]: 'Thus being questioned by the daitya sons spoke he, the asura that was a great devotee of the Lord, smiling to them remembering what I had told him. (2) S'rî Prahlâda said: 'When our father left to Mandarâcala for his austerities, made the godly a great effort of war against the Dânavâ's. (3) 'Thanks heaven is because of his own sins the sinner, who was always oppressing everyone, now like a serpent eaten by the ants [see: 7.3: 15-16 ]', so the ones of Indra said. (4-5) Hearing how by their great display of violence one after the other was killed by them, fled the asura leaders in fear in all directions. In their great haste and desire to stay alive they forgot about their wives, children and wealth, homes, relatives, animals and the articles of their households. (6) In the heat of their victory plundered the Sura's the kings palace, while Indra to that captured the queen, my mother.

(7) The Deva-rishi who happened to arrive there at the spot saw how she on the road in great fear crying like a kukari [an osprey] was led away. (8) He said: 'O King of the Sura's, you shouldn't drag this one away, she's innocent, release her right now, o greatest of fortune, she is the chaste wife of someone else!'

(9) Indra said: 'She carries the seed of the sura enemy in her womb, let her remain in our custody until she delivers. With that objective realized I will release her.

(10) Nârada said: 'There is no wrong with this child, you should see him as a great devotee, the very best even; he, being such a stout servant, will not find his death by your hand.'

(11) Thus speaking to him, did Indra out of respect for the devarishi his words, out of respect for someone dear to the Eternal One, release her. In devotion they circumambulated her and then returned to their heaven. (12) Thereafter took the rishi my mother to his âs'rama reassuring her: 'Stay here my child, until the arrival of your husband.' (13) As he so said lived she thus with the devarishi with nothing to fear from anywhere for as long as the penance of the daitya leader was not completed. (14) For the welfare of the child she was expecting was the faithful woman in her desire to deliver it, there unto Nârada of service with great dedication. (15) The rishi as the man in control in compassion gave her, in fact the both of us, instructions on the truth of dharma and spiritual knowledge, especially pointing it out to me without a tinge of material interest [compare 1.2: 7]. (16) That all was indeed because it happened such a long time ago and because of my mothers female disposition forgotten by her, but I, blessed by the sage, did not and even today has the recollection of it not left me [see also B.G. 9: 32]. (17) You yourselves too can have it from me if you believe in my words; provided a firm faith is the intelligence of the very best there just as well for women and small children as it is there for me [see also B.G. 18: 55]. (18) Like in the course of time from the Controller of all Forms with flowers and fruits the body of a tree can be seen, can with one's body the six conditions be observed [of being born, existing as a person, growing, transforming, dwindling and dying] that one undergoes beginning with one's birth, but that does not apply to the soul [see also B.G. 2:20]. (19-20) The soul is eternal, does not dwindle, is pure, the individual, the knower of the field, the original foundation, the unchanging, self-illumined, actual cause, pervading all, independent and unmoving. From these twelve symptoms of the soul is a conscious person impelled to give up the false conception of 'I' and 'Mine' that originates from the illusion of everything that belongs to having a body [see also 6.4: 24]. (21) Just as gold from among all the stones, by the golddiggers won in different ways in the goldmines, by the experts easily is extracted, can from within the fields of organic bodies [see also B.G. 13: 1-4] likewise by spiritual processes the experts in telling the difference between matter and soul obtain the brahmin goal. (22) The eight material energies [B.G. 7: 4], so is stated by the teachers of example, and sure the three modes of the reality indeed and the sixteen transformations [consciousness, the senses of action and perception and the elements, see also 1.3: 1] are there from being conjoined to the one living entity. (23) The body that moving about and standing alone is but a combination of all of them together is thus of the dual and in this matter is it the [original of the] person that one must look for saying 'Not this, not that' [neti neti] this way giving up what is not the soul. (24) In touch with the matter and being apart from it, with the mindfulness to the soul purified by mature discrimination, are thus the ones of serious analysis to the creation, maintenance and destruction, frugal. (25) Of the intelligence there are the waking state, the dreaming, and the deep sleep; the One by whom those various modalities are perceived, that One apart from all, is the Original Person of Transcendence. (26) One should understand the constitutional position of the soul in the out of intelligence [neti neti] refuting of the dividedness produced by the different actions of the three modes of nature which are alike aroma's that are carried by the air [see also B.G. 3: 42]. (27) This ocean of matter rooting in ignorance that is without factual meaning is of the living entity the door behind which he is captivated by the operating modes of nature, like being caught in a dream.'

(28)' Therefore from the bottom of your heart you must burn the weeds of all karma of being conditioned by the modes of nature, in the yoga realizing the cessation of the stream of consciousness. (29) To that is of the thousands of processes this one, as offered by the supreme of devotion [through the Lord and devotee] that relates to the Supreme Controller, the one process that, once followed, gives the quiet quickly [consider also B.G. 18.66, and the footnote]. (30-31) Properly attend to a guru with faith and devotion, offer all that was gained, be of association with the holy and the devoted and of worship unto the Controller, take heed of the relevant discourses, sing about His qualities and activities, meditate on the feet and observe the rules exercising respect for the deities. (32) Hari, the Supreme Lord is situated in all living beings; being of the highest esteem for all those creatures and for what drives them does one understand the Supreme Controller. (33) Thus having subdued the six symptoms [of sensual weaknesses: lust, anger, greed, illusion, madness and jealousy] is devotional service rendered unto the Controller, Vâsudeva, the Supreme Lord by which the peace and love is obtained. (34) When hearing about the uncommon activities and might of His exploits and His qualities as evinced by the pastimes of His different appearances, will of great jubilation there be horripilation, tears, a faltering voice and loud aloud chanting, shouting and dancing. (35) Like when one is haunted by a ghost are there sometimes laughs, exclamations, meditative moods, exercises of respect towards other living beings, prolonged heavy breathing and utterances like: 'O Lord, Master of the World, Nârâyana!'; thus one is without shame absorbed in thoughts about the True Self. (36) At that time is one thus thinking in love about the ultimate liberated from all obstacles in one's way and is one in one's body and mind harmonized; the so very powerful seed of desire has then been burned by the exercise of bhakti of which one achieves the One Beyond it All [**]. (37) Constantly being in touch with Him, Adhoksaja, is the contaminated mind of an embodied being in this world and the repetitious of his material existence brought to a full stop; the advanced all know of that spiritual heaven of happiness and therefore, from the core of your heart, sing in devotion towards your heart's true Controller [see also B.G.18.54].

(38) What would be the problem of that, o asura sons, what would in one's own exercise of always having a place for Him in one's heart, with Him always there as the Soul to one's soul and the Friend Unlimited, all together be the need of providing for all that the sensual pleasure would require [compare 7.6: 19 and B.G. 9.26]? (39) Wealth, women, one's animals, children and all that, houses, land, elephants, a treasury, all the luxury, all that economy and sense gratification is to the one whose lifespan is but short, the one who inevitably dies, lost in a second; how much of pleasure can a thing so temporary bring? (40) Likewise are indeed the higher destinations that are achieved by great sacrifice, all perishable, however more comfortable they might be; they are not free from disturbances and therefore is He of whom one has never seen or heard any fault, with the bhakti as it is explained, the Supreme Ruler to be worshiped for self-realization [see also B.G. 8.16]. (41) From the material knowledge there for the purpose of the many activities in this world one thinks oneselves highly advanced but again and again is the unfailing result of a man waging like this to have arrived at the opposite. (42) The determination of the karmi [the person sweating for results] for happiness, for being liberated from misery out here is an ambition that always leads to the unhappiness that conceals the [lasting] happiness that follows from not craving the money. (43) The desirables one wishes for in willful actions and for which the living being entered the world result indeed in that physical body one has, but perishable is it one's enemy when one leaves to embrace the spirit. (44) What should one say, one is separated from children, wife, home, wealth and all, the realm, the treasury, the elephant, the ministers and servants and the relatives; they are all seats of the 'mine'-concept. (45) What of all these with the soul? Most trivial with the perishable body they appear to be necessary, but are unwanted for the ocean full of the nectar of eternal happiness.

(46) Let it be clear that all that someone in a material body in this world does for his personal benefit, o asura sons, beginning with lusting after sex, with the temporary leads to the heavy suffering that is the result of the workload of his karma. (47) Karma for one embodied begins with the body that one acquired as a consequence of the way one acted; by that karma one expands to another body and the both of them one indeed owes to one's ignorance. (48) Therefore does all the regulation of one's income and desires for sense gratification as well as the religion thereto depend upon the glorification of the Soul to the soul, the Lord divinely indifferent who is the Controller [of Time and karma]. (49) Of all living beings He is for sure the Lord, the original source, the one pulling the strings, the Beloved, who by His separate energies has created them as the Individual Soul of all individual entities together. (50) Whether god or demon, man or ghost or a singer of heaven indeed, rendering service at Mukunda's feet do we all become just as fulfilled with all of His! (51-52) Being a perfect brahmin, a fine godly person or a saint, o asura descendants, will not suffice for pleasing Mukunda, nor do good conduct or vast learning. Neither will charity or austerity, worship, cleanliness or vows; the Lord is satisfied by unalloyed devotional service, the rest is for laughs [see also B.G. 9.30 and 1.2:8]. (53) Therefore, unto Hari the Supreme Lord execute the bhakti, o dânavâ sons, as He, omnipresent as the Soul and Controller of all beings alive, is just as one's own self. (54) O daityas, the ghosts and demons, the women and the laborers, the cowherds, the birds, the animals and all the sinners, without doubt all can arrive at and be part of the best of the Infallible One, Acyuta [see also B.G. 4.9]. (55) This much is of the living entity in this world regarded to be the real transcendental self-interest: to see that one is of relation in the single devotion unto Govinda [He as the blessing of the cows] who is everywhere [see also bhajan 1 and 2].

* To this there is also a significant verse in the Svetâsvatara Upanishad 6.23 :
yasya deve parâ bhaktir
yathâ deve tathâ gurau
tasyaite kathitâ hy arthâh
prakâsante mahâtmanah
"Unto those great souls who have implicit faith in both the Lord and the spiritual master, all the imports of Vedic knowledge are automatically revealed." 

** : S'rîla Madhvâcârya writes as follows:
tad-bhâva-bhâvah tad yathâ svarûpam bhaktih
kecid bhaktâ vinrtyanti gâyanti ca yathepsitam
kecit tusnîm japanty eva kecit s´obhaya-kârinah
'The ecstatic condition of devotional service was completely exhibited by S'rî Caitanya Mahâprabhu, who sometimes danced, sometimes cried, sometimes sang, sometimes remained silent, and sometimes chanted the holy name of the Lord. That is perfect spiritual existence.'


Chapter 8

Lord Nrisimhadeva Slays the King of the Demons

(1) Nârada Muni said [to Yudhishthhira]: 'Following accepted all the attending daitya sons his statements about devotion because of their profundity and not so much what their teachers taught them. (2) When the two sons of the guru [S'ukrâcârya's sons Shanda and Amarka] realized how the intelligence was fixed on the one subject matter, contacted they in fear the king to submit was going on. (3-4) Trembling of anger over his whole body and with a mind determined to kill his son he rebuked Prahlâda, who shouldn't really be blamed, with the harshest words eyeing him crooked in fury about his offenses. He so very mild and of restraint had folded his hands with him in front who was hissing like a vicious snake trampled by foot.

(5) Hiranyakas'ipu said: 'O you impudence, utter stupidity, you intriguer of the family, you outcast, you obstinate one wide of my rule, today I'll take you to Yamarâja's. (6) When I am angry do all in the three worlds and their leaders tremble of me; by what power do you so fearlessly overstep my rule, you idiot?' [compare B.G. 9.31].

(7) Prahlâda said: 'He indeed, the Strength of the Strong is not just mine or yours, o King; He is also the exalted of all others subordinate that move or do not move about, whom He, beginning with Lord Brahmâ, has brought under His control. (8) He the controller, the time-factor, is the unique Lord who is the one strength of mind and life, the steady of one's physical power and senses; He, the Real of the self, is by all His potencies indeed the Supreme One Master of the natural modes who creates, maintains and winds up again the entire universe. (9) Just give up the asura ways. You, of yourself, be equalminded, on the path of error there is no other enemy except for the mind out of control for which the unlimited Lord is the best remedy. (10) Formerly there were plunderers who not in control with the six enemies [the mind and the five senses] stole away everything. They considered themselves as people who had conquered the ten directions, but where are those enemies created from one's own illusion with the saint who is equipoised towards all embodied beings?'

(11) S'rî Hiranyakas'ipu said: 'Apparently do you, boasting so limitless, want to die; clearly do the words of people who are about to meet death, you stupid rascal, become confused. (12) O unfortunate one, the one you describe besides me as the controller of the universe, where is He to be found? If He is everywhere then why don't I see Him in this pillar before me? [see also B.G. 7.25] (13) Let Him, that Lord whom you desired as your protector, now protect you as I am going to sever the head from the body of someone like you, speaking such nonsense.'

(14) Thus with a stream of abuses enraged chastising his son, that great devotee, struck Hiranyakas'ipu, rising from his throne and taking up his sword, with his hard fist a column. (15)  At that very time was there from within it a most fearful sound to be heard as if the covering of the universe cracked open and to that sound indeed reaching to where the godly of Lord Brahmâ were, my dearest, one thought that the destruction of their abodes was at hand. (16) He desirous to kill his son in his display of strength heard a tumultuous sound one had never heard before and was with the assembly present greatly wondered as one couldn't make out from where it came, and so became all the ones of might there very afraid of it. (17) To prove the words true in defense of His omnipresence of pervading each thing and every being, was of Himself seen a most wonderful form taking shape in the pillar in the midst of the assembly, that was not an animal nor a man. (18) He looking from all sides saw how a living being came out of the middle of the pillar, and not being able to make out whether it was an animal or a human being said he in wonder: 'What is this form of half a man and half the king of the animals?'

(19-22) In front of him as he contemplated the wonder that took place, appeared the extraordinary most frightening form of Nrisimhadev. He had flashing eyes like molten gold and deadly teeth to a face extending in manes. He waved His tongue like a sword sharp as a razor, looking with a dreadful frown. His ears motionless stood up and His wide open mouth and nostrils amazing like a mountain cave, gaping covered the sky. His body was short and fat with a broad neck and chest over a small waist. Like the rays of the moon was His body covered with whitish hairs and hundreds of arms stretched in all directions with hard to challenge fatal nails for weapons by whose best use the daityas and dânavas were caused to run. (23) 'I guess this is what the Lord so full of mystical potency is trying in order to get me killed, but what's the use of doing so?' so Hiranyakas'ipu murmured to himself, and taking up his weapon threw the daitya like an elephant himself forward attacking the loudly roaring Lord Nrisimha.

(24) Invisible just like an insect fallen into a fire disappeared he, the asura, in the effulgence of Nrisimha, a thing at the time not so astonishing indeed as He from within the effulgence of His own goodness formerly had swallowed up all the darkness of creation. (25) Thereafter attacking struck the greatest of the demons in fury Lord Nrisimhadev with his club, showing his prowess in moving Him with great force by that club, but the Lord who also had a club, seized him just like the son of Tâksya [Garuda] would capturing a great snake. (26) When he, the asura, slipped from His hands as He was playing with him just like Garuda does with a snake, thought the godly and the rulers of heaven whose places he had taken, from behind the clouds that to be a bad turn of events, o son of Bharata. (27) Thinking that because of letting him go He was frightened by his display of manliness, attacked the greatest of the demons, after a pause in the battle taking up his sword and shield, with great force Nrisimhadeva again. (28) With him moving fast as a hawk with his moonspotted shield and sword maneuvering up and down not to offer any opportunity, made the Lord a very shrill, loud sound of laughter that was so frightening that he, with his eyes closed, was captured by the Greatest of all Speed. (29) In protest with his limbs wrestling to get away placed the Lord him, whose skin couldn't even be cut by Indra's thunderbolt, like a snake or mouse over the edge of His thigh and pierced He him with His nails as easy as Garuda does seizing a viper. (30) From His great anger one could hardly bear the sight of how with most fearful eyes, a wide open mouth the edges of which He licked with His tongue and manes and a face reddish smeared with traces of blood, he had the intestines for a garland like a lion that just had killed an elephant. (31) He had the full of his heart torn out with His pointed nails and thrown it aside and the thousands of followers attending to their leader who had raised their weapons He all killed with His nails and the other weapons in His countless hands. (32) Shaking His manes he scattered the clouds and with his glaring glance he outshone the luminaries; the waters and oceans struck by His breathing swirled in perturbation and frightened of His roar cried the elephants on guard. (33) With Him tossing His hair slipped the celestial chariots crowding in the sky from their place and suffered the earth under the heavy weight of His feet; His intolerable force sprang up the mountains and hills and from His effulgence was there no other shining from the ten directions of the sky.

(34) Thereafter had He, in the assembly hall seated on the highest seat of man with a most fearsome terrible face, no one to challenge Him nor anyone to worship Him. (35)  But upon hearing how he, the daitya that was the headache of the three worlds, in the battle had been killed by the Lord, were there exclamations of joy, blossoming faces and showers of flowers over and over rained down from the wives of the godly. (36)  At that time got the sky crowded with all sorts of celestial chariots of the demigods desirous to attend and were drums and kettle drums sounded and sang and danced the greatest singers and angels of heaven. (37-39) There assembled all the godly, Brahmâ, Indra and S'iva, the sages, the ancestors, the perfected, the experts of science, and the great serpents [ego's..]; the founding fathers came, the leaders of mankind, the residents of heaven and the best of the angels just as did the venerable ones, the keepers of the wealth and the monkey-like, o my best. So came also the goblins [the comedians, the bards], the ones of superpower and they who were Vishnu's personal associates like Sunanda and Kumuda. With their hands folded before their heads to offer worship they each approached Him who had appeared as half a man, half a lion and now sat there on the throne exposing His effulgence.

(40) Brahmâ said: 'I bow down before You, o Inscrutable, Unlimited One; with all Your might and prowess and the pure of Your actions are You of the Universe the creation, maintenance and destruction who by the modes playfully performs without ever changing Yourself. '

(41) Lord S'iva said: 'The end of the yuga is the right time for You to kill in anger this insignificant demon; just protect his son, this bhakta of surrender next to You, o caretaker of the devotees.'

(42) S'rî Indra said: 'Our shares of the sacrifices are recovered by Your Lordship protecting us, o Supreme One; how afflicted by the daitya were our lotuslike hearts that really are Your residence. Alas o Lord how insignificant is our world in the grip of time, but You have illumined it for the sake of the devoted in Your service to find liberation from their bondage. What else, o Nrisimhadeva, would, considering the visible world as not so important indeed, to them be of use?'

(43) The honorable saints said: 'You are the example of instruction for our austerity, by the power of Your self is this world, o Original Personality of Godhead, created, maintained and merged again; that all was stolen by that unwise one but is now, o Shelter of the Needy, by the protection of Your embodiment brought back to us with Your blessing. '

(44) The honorable ancestors said: 'From the demon who by force enjoyed our sacrifices of s'râddha that were offered by our sons and grandsons, who even to the holy bathing places drank our offerings of sesame water, from piercing the intestines of his belly with the nails of Your hand have they been retrieved for us; unto Him our obeisances who maintains the universal principles of religion and appeared as a lion-man.'

(45)  The ones of perfection said: 'The person most uncivilized and dishonest who took away the purpose of our perfection in yoga and who by the power of his mysticism and penance was so proud of his wealth, has been torn apart by Your nails; unto Him, unto You, we are bowed down o Nrisimha.'

(46) The experts in science said: 'Our formula's, that each in different ways of concentration are attained, were blocked by this fool puffed up about his strength and capacity; He who in battle killed him like he was an animal, unto Him who appeared as Nrisimha, we yield for sure ever obliged. '

(47) The snake-people said: 'That greatest sinner that took our jewels and wives away; by piercing his chest are You to all our women the Source of all Pleasure; may there be our proof of respect unto You.'

(48) The honorable founding fathers said: 'We, the inspirers of humanity are the order-carriers of Your Lordship who to the codes of morality and class were disrespected, o Lord, by this son of Diti; with You having killed this rascal o master, please tell us, Your eternal servants, what we can do for You.'

(49) The leaders of mankind said: 'We, the creators of the generations originate from You o Supreme Controller, and not from him; the living beings indeed that we put on this world were by him denied a life and this one You split open his chest and now lays slain for the better of the world by the incarnation of the form of Your goodness.'

(50)  The musicians of heaven said: 'We o Lord are Your dancers and singers, Your performers, who were brought under the control of the valor and force of his influence. He, this one, has been reduced to this condition by You; whoever could, for the good of You, be such an upstart?'

(51)  The venerable ones said: 'O Lord, Your lotusfeet are the only shelter for liberation, we duly seek shelter there because this asura, this stake in the heart of all honest people, has been finished by You.'

(52) The keepers of the wealth said: 'We, the foremost among Your servants will right now try to please You with our services; by the son of Diti we were forced to carry his palanquin but he caused the poverty of each and everyone; thus we acknowledge You as You are the one that has put him to death, o twenty-fifth principle [that is the time, see 3.26: 10-15]. '

(53) The monkey-like said: 'We are but insignificant kimpurusha's Your Lordship, however, this monster of sin has been slain by You upon his being condemned by the seekers, o Supreme Personality, our Controller.' [see also: B.G. 4:7-8]

(54) The kings bards said: 'In great gatherings and arena's of sacrifice in purity singing the reputation we achieved the greatest position of respect; that crooked character that put us under his control was to our great fortune killed by You, o Supreme Lord, just like he was a disease. '

(55) The ones of superpower said: 'O Controller, we the kinnara's are Your faithful servants; by that son of Diti we had to perform without remuneration but by You o Lord was he being so sinful destroyed, o Nrisimha, o Master, please be present for the sake of our happiness and welfare.'

(56) The associates of Lord Vishnu said: 'Today have You been seen in a wondrous human-like form. For us You are the lasting shelter and good fortune of all worlds and this state-manager of Yours, o Controller, has, being cursed by the learned [see 7.1: 36], because of that been killed; we understand that to be Your special grace.'  


Chapter 9

Prahlâda Propitiates Lord Nrisimhadeva with Prayers

(1) Nârada Muni said [to Yudhishthhira again]: 'All the sura's thus represented by Brahmâ and S'iva dared not to come forward as boiling with anger He was most difficult to approach. (2) The Goddess of Fortune on the request of the gods being confronted, could, after seeing Him so huge and wonderful the way one had never seen or heard before, not come closer either as she was most frightened herself. (3) Prahlâda brought close to Lord Brahmâ was requested: 'My dear son, could you please go near the Lord and propitiate Him as He is very angry because of what your father has done.'

(4) 'So be it' he said and slowly, o King, got the great devotee, although he was only a small boy, step by step near Him and prostrated he himself offering prayers with folded hands. (5) With him, such a little boy, fallen at His lotusfeet was the godhead merciful greatly moved and with the raising of His lotushand placed on his head, He dispelled the fear from all minds about the snake of time [to its four physical necessities of âhâra, nidrâ, bhaya and maithuna; eating, sleeping, fearing or defending and mating]. (6) He because of that touch being cleansed from all impurity, manifested, in association with the Supersoul or the reality of His lotusfeet, from a heart overcome and captured in bliss the symptoms of ecstasy all over his body, with tears welling in his eyes. (7) With his mind one-pointed in great concentration and with an of love faltering voice began he in the full dedication of his heart and mind to offer prayers unto the Lord.

(8) S'rî Prahlâda said: 'All the sura's headed by Brahmâ, all the saints as well as the perfect ones of spiritual living, onepointed in the purpose were in their streams of words as yet not able to please You, however qualified they are; how can it be that He, this Lord, would be so with mine as I am but of an asura birth? (9) I think that riches, a good birth, a nice body, penance, vedic knowledge, prowess, sense, influence, strength, diligence, intelligence, and mystical power will not satisfy at all; the Supreme of the person is, like with Gajendra [the elephant] unto the Supreme Lord, content with bhakti. (10) A learned one with all the twelve qualifications [*] who doesn't care for the lotus feet of Him from whose navel sprouted the lotus, I consider not as glorious as a man of low birth of surrender to the Ultimate, as with his mind and words and everything he does, he purifies his wealth and life and family while that is not so with the one who thinks from false prestige. (11) Whatever a person who has no clue of this compassion offers is accepted by the Supreme Lord, as that for certain, with Him always being happy within, is not to His own interest; that worship indeed is there for his own good, just like the reflection in a mirror is there to the glory of one's own face. (12) It is for this reason that I must not consider myself unfit; in full surrender to the Controller shall I be after His glory to the best of my intelligence, however lowborn I am; out of ignorance having entered this material world is chanting and reciting indeed the way for a person to get purified [see also B.G. 18.55]. (13) I am certain that, unlike us [asuras], all these followers, like Brahmâ and his lot, are loyal and in fear to the principle of You always situated in goodness o Lord, but it is said that it is for the better and good of Your protection and provision and the happiness of the soul that You manifested the incarnations of Your lordship in this material world. (14) Therefore give up Your anger about the asura that You killed today, even the saints are happy when a scorpion or snake is killed; indeed all the worlds have found the pleasure and all, wishing to commemorate You, await this form of You to allay their fears. (15) I myself am not afraid, o Invincible One, of Your fearsome mouth, tongue, flashing eyes and frowning face, Your strong ferocious teeth or garland of intestines and bloody manes, Your pointed ears,Your roar that even scares the elephants or the nails that pierced the enemy. (16) I do fear, o Merciful Father of Care, that intolerable, ugly repetition of birth and death, to be thrown into the miserable condition of living among predator-people, to be bound to the actions and reactions of karma, o Insurmountable One; when will I, with You being pleased with me at the soles of Your feet, the refuge in this ocean of matter, be called back to You? (17) Because of one's pleasing or not so pleasing birth being separated from You and being fused with the world, is one residing in whatever body burnt by the fire of lamentation and suffers one just as well by the remedies against it in holding the body for the real self; I, o Greatest Being, am wandering; please initiate me in serving You in yoga. (18) To that will I of constantly hearing the narrations about Your exploits as the well-wisher and Supreme Godhead, o Nrisimha, as handed down in succession, easily cross over and be free from the modes, in wisdom and association with the liberated being liberated from all the misery in the full absorption of Your lotusfeet. (19) Of a little child in this world not being the shelter of parentage, o Nrisimha, nor of a patient either being the medicine, nor of a person drowning in the ocean being the boat nor of a person suffering being the redeemer, form all those things which out here to the like of it are cherished for a remedy, o mighty One, for the ones locked up in a body, the reason that they are overlooked and forgotten by You. (20) To any condition, for whatever reason, whatever the time, whatever the obligation or relation, by whomever or unto whomever, whatever way or of whatever nature, sure is that any of these things are but other forms of the Supreme; in other words: in nature is there under the influence of its changes separation in being but all of them are the individual energies of Your Lordship. (21) The illusory of matter is a creation of the mind [that is lived as a fixation] that produces endless actions of desire that are conditioned by the Time that stirs the three modes of nature and then is one, permitted by the glance of God under the influence of the Veda's, less victorious offered the sixteen spokes [senses, the elements and mind] of the wheel of rebirth, o Unborn One; who can get out of this missing the best of You [see also B.G. 9.25]? (22) You are indeed that one element of Time, by which one in one's intelligence, through Your personal energy, eternally is conquered; as material energy in all effects and causes brought under Your cyclic control am I thrown into loss, o Controller, and am I crushed under the wheel with the sixteen spokes; please help me out of it, o Mightiest, as I am of full surrender. (23) I witnessed o Almighty One, how all the higher placed state leaders in their desire for lifespan, opulence and glory all in that by our father with his sarcastic laughs with the single wink of an eye were baffled, yet was he by You completely vanquished. (24) Therefore, knowing where all the sensegratification of all that longevity, opulence and fineness of all the ones embodied, from Brahmâ on to the smallest ant, leads to, have I no want for being subjected by You who art so powerful as the Master of Time; please kindly lead me to the association of your faithful servants. (25) Where are the benedictions found of being happy to listen [to desires]? What is to this body hosting so many illnesses the happiness that is just like a mirage in the desert? Though the common man is never satiated do nevertheless the ones of learning try to put out that fire of desire with small drops of honey, trying to control that which is only with difficulty won. (26) What position am I in now? How can I surpass the fact of being born in the darkness of a body of passion from a family way out of the enlightened? The lotushand of Your causeless mercy You offered me on my head as a symbol of grace, wouldn't even be there for Lord Brahmâ, for Lord S'iva or even for the Goddess of Fortune! (27) In this can there of Your Lordship as the friend of the whole world factually be no discrimination between the higher and the lower living being, but nevertheless is there of You, depending on the service, just like a desire tree giving whatever wished for, the manifestation of the benediction that fits the devotion, whether or not one is of a higher or lower level [see also 2.3:10 and B G. 4.33, 9:25]. (28) People in general who of their material existence are that fallen into a blind well full of snakes, run after the objects of their desire; I as a person because of bad association also fallen into that condition was by the sura sage [Nârada], o Supreme Lord, taken in confidence; how can I ever give up on the service of Your pure devotee? (29) Saving my life o Unlimited One, with You having saved me from being killed by my father, do I consider the words of Your servant, that what the Rishi said, as true as You proved them to be so unto him who bad-minded with the sword in his hands said to me: 'Let that controller other than me save you from me now severing your head.'

(30) 'This universe all around is the One of You alone, for You where there in the beginning and in the end as well as in between separately, creating through the transformations of the three modes by Your external potency, the many of all the variety that had their experience of You entering [see also B.G 9:4]. (31) You either being the cause or effect of this entirety, o My Lord, remain Yourself separate from the matter that is the illusory potency, which we know to manifest as the substance from which we have creation, annihilation and maintenance; and of that there is the factually meaningless idea of having a different self or, stated differently, that, the earthly existence and the subtle of it, compares to what one has with a tree and a seed [from which it all sprouts at the one hand and is the result of Your manifestation in it at the other hand]. (32) To this creation of You [my father e.g. that upon annihilation has been] thrown back into the self of Your causal ocean You seem to do nothing and to be asleep as You within Yourself experience the blissful personal in having closed Your eyes in the yoga; but it is not a material slumber of darkness or the modes that You are into as by a manifestation of Yourself [this Nrisimha-form] You have curbed that kind of sleeping maintaining the transcendence. (33) From Your slumber on the bed of Ananta in the causal waters having awakened appeared the great lotus of all the worlds from Your navel like a bananatree does from its seed and that cosmic body of Yours, this universe agitated by the time-factor, shows Your way of acting [in the form and divinities of the modes] upon the matter. (34) The one of knowledge [Brahmâ] generated from that lotus could not see anyone else as Your Lordship, as the seed, had expanded into himself; he dove into the water not understanding for a hundred demigod-years how a seed once fructified o my Lord can be perceived [see 3.8]. (35) He but born from himself was greatly wondered to find himself upon that lotus. In due course of time through severe austerities purified did he then find You, o Controller, very subtly, like aroma is within earth, spread out through the sentient being so full of mind. (36) This way seeing the Greater Person with His thousands of faces, feet, heads, hands and thighs, noses, ears and eyes, endowed with all kinds of ornaments and weapons, who all together, appearing in different signs, all demonstrated the potency, achieved Lord Brahmâ transcendental bliss. (37) Towards him verily accepting the head of a horse in an incarnation, You killed two very powerful demons opposing the Veda named Madhu and Kaitabha who represented the passion and the ignorance, and delivered the sruti [the four Veda's] for which one honors Your most dear form [of Hayagrîva] as the pure of transcendental goodness [see also 5.18 and B.G. 4:7]. (38) This way according the yuga in question appearing in different incarnations as a human being, a saint, a god or an aquatic, do You protect all the worlds, sometimes killing the world its troublemakers in defense of the dharma, o Supreme Personality; in Kali yuga You are covered and therefore are You, being one and the same person, called Triyuga [from being visible in the tree other yugas, see also Canto 11,5.32]. (39) For sure is the mind that is not set to Your transcendental topics, in being removed from the Lord of Vaikunthha, polluted, dishonest and hard to control of the sins it sympathizes with; filled with desires and lusts is it of highs and lows, fears and distress under the pressure; how can I with such a mind poor and fallen understand Your Supreme Purpose? (40) The tongue pulls me this way, o Infallible One, and the genitals unsatisfied pull me that way, so do the skin, the belly and the ear go for this and does the nose go there and do the eyes go somewhere else; the many of the active senses brings one down like co-wives can bring one down as a householder. (41) This way of one's karma being fallen into the Vaitaranî river [at the door of death] do I alas, suffer one after the other birth and death, eating all kinds of stuff being ever more afraid in seeing how the living being caught in his own and with other bodies is of enmity and friendship; o You, who art at the other side, save me from this danger as we today here are all a bunch of fools. (42) What indeed would be the difficulty of Your great compassion unto friendly people like us who are always so eager to serve in this o Master of All, o Supreme Lord, to endeavor to deliver us materialistic fools from the cause of the making, keeping and losing it again, o Friend of the Needy. (43) Sure I am from being absorbed in the broadcasting of Your sweet ocean of glories not worried, o Supreme One, about the hard to cross Vaitaranî that is this world; I rather lament, despite of them being fools, for the ones missing the liberation who, for the good of their senses, plan for illusory forms of happiness and duty [see also 6.17:28]. (44) Generally, o Godhead, do the saints ambitious for their own salvation, in silence wander in remote places, not very much interested to live for the good of others, but I do not want to leave aside the ones falling short, I do not want to return back to Godhead alone, I would like to see others, caught in the vicious circle, better to find this shelter of You. (45) The concern of sex indeed is trivial like the itch relieved by rubbing one's hands; the ones falling short with this find, suffering all kinds of misery, the different feelings of sorrow never satisfied in it, but if one learns from that, recognizing it to be a figment, is one a sober person that is able to bear the itch [see also B.G. 7.14]. (46) Silence, vows, vedic knowledge, austerity, study, dutifulness, explaining the scripture, living alone, prayer and absorption, belong to the path of liberation, but often are they with them who do not control their senses the only way of living, o my Lord, and so one must say that in this connection it is nothing but false pride [see also 6.1.16]. (47) In the form of the two of cause and effect, that as the Veda's say are like seed and sprout, can the ones connected actually by the yoga before their eyes see both the ways of You [of the spiritual austere and the material concrete of actual service] like there is fire in wood; another way, always falling short of this complete, will not do. (48) You are the air, the fire, the earth, the sky and the water, the sense objects, the life force, the senses, the mind, the consciousness and all divinity belonging to it; You are all of that, the only nature of the modes as well as the One beyond it all, o My Lord; whatever that is manifested or is expressed by mind and words is no one but You. (49) Nor all the modes of nature nor their predominating deities, nor everything to the Mahat of the elements, the senses and their objects, nor those of the mind with all the godly and the mortals who all have a beginning and an end, o Lord Glorified by All the Saints, may truly understand Yours and so do the purest consider the end of their studies [and the begin of their devotional service, see also B.G. 2.52].'

(50) 'Therefore unto You, o Best of the Worshipable, do I offer my obeisances with prayers and perform I worship, do I work for You, do I remember You, attend to Your refuge and do I always listen to the talks about You; how can without such devotional service unto You in all these six forms a person attain the bhakti that is there for the best of transcendence [the paramahamsa's, compare 7.5: 23-24]?'

(51) S'rî Nârada said: 'So far I have described the transcendental qualities of the bhakta in his bhakti. The Lord above all qualities being pleased in control with the anger now, began to speak to him who surrendered at His feet. (52) The Supreme Lord said: 'Prahlâda my sweet boy, all good fortune to you, I am pleased with you, o best of the asuras, just ask any blessing from Me, for each I am the fulfillment of all desires. (53) Live a long life! Not pleasing Me, rarely seeking My presence, not having seen Me, is it the fate of the living being time and again to lament for himself. (54) Indeed be eager to please Me as from that may all the sober ones in all respects, as well-cultured people desire the best that life has to offer, o fortunate one, as I am the Master of all Benedictions.'

(55) S'rî Nârada said: 'Although he was thus allured by worldly benedictions did the best of the asuras not want any of the things he was invited to ask for, because he was only interested in being surrendered unto the Supreme Lord [see also: Siksâstaka verse four].'  

  * : The twelve qualifications of the brahmin are in the Sanat-sujâta described as follows:
jnânam ca satyam ca damah srutam ca
hy amâtsaryam hrîs titiksânasûyâ
yajñas ca dânam ca dhrtih samas ca
mahâ-vratâ dvâdasa brâhmanasya  
'Spiritual knowledge, thruthfulness, loyalty to the scripture, non-envious, forbearance, of sacrifice, of charity, equal minded, and living to the great vow [of yama that next to the truthfull mentioned entails the four of celibacy, nonviolence, nonpossesiveness and non-stealing] are the twelve qualities of the brahmin.' See also 5.5: 24 and B.G. 18.42.

 **: 11.5.32: In the age of Kali, intelligent persons perform congregational chanting to worship the incarnation of Godhead who constantly sings the names of Krishna. Although His complexion is not blackish, He is Krishna Himself. He is accompanied by His associates, servants, weapons and confidential companions.


Chapter 10

About Prahlâda, the Best Among the Exalted Devotees and the Fall of Tripura

(1) Nârada Muni said: 'Although small considered he [Prahlâda] each and every one of the blessings that came with his bhakti yoga as impediments on the path and made he sure to tell the Lord of the Senses that with a smile.

(2)  S'rî Prahlâda said: 'Please do not allure me, because of my asura birth I have a propensity for lusting over all those material blessings. It was of being afraid of such material association that, desiring liberation, for the sake of complete detachment I have taken to the shelter of You. (3) So that I may behave as a pure devotee has Your lordship sent me into this world of lust, the lust that as the root cause of being present here is found in the heart of everyone o Master. (4) Otherwise such a thing could not happen of You, o guru of all; anyone who from You, the soul of friendliness, desires any material benefits, would such a person indeed not be a merchant instead of a servitor [see also B.G. 17:20]? (5) A person for himself desiring material benefits from his spiritual master is not really a servant nor is the master really of service who for his own prestige desires to bestow material profits upon his servant [see also 10.88.8-10]. (6) As for me is there, fully devoted to You, surely no question of any desire and also do You, in our relating, as the real master, have no further motives such as one finds with a king and his subject. (7) If You want to give me anything to my desire for a blessing, then I pray for the benediction from You, o Lord of All Blessings, that no desire for any material happiness will grow in my heart [see also: Siksâstaka verse four]. (8) From one's very birth on are the senses, the mind, the life-air, the body, the religion, one's patience, intelligence, shyness, opulence, strength, memory and truthfulness overrun by lusty desires. (9) Only indeed when one gives up all the desires that one of human association finds in one's mind is one fit for an opulence equal to that of You, o Lotus-eyed Lord. (10) Let me offer my respectful obeisances unto You, o Supreme Lord, o Original Personality; all my respects for You as the Great Soul, the Lord in the form of Nrisimha, the Brahman, the Supersoul.'

(11) The Supreme Lord said: 'Unalloyed from Me towards Me, not intent on any benedictions in this world nor in the next, is it all the devoted like you nevertheless till the end of Manu's reign given to enjoy all the material wealth of the daitya rule out here [see also 2.3.10]. (12) Always ponder over my stories; being absorbed in Me as existing within you as the One within all living beings, will give you the greatest pleasure; worship with bhakti yoga the Lord that is the enjoyer of all sacrifices and give up your fruitive activities. (13) With the wealth be pious, by such devoted action are all kinds of reactions overcome. Forced by the time giving up your vehicle of time will your reputation of transcendence spread all over the universe, be sung in the highest spheres and will you, freed from all bondage, return back to Me. (14) Anyone who chants these prayers offered to Me by you, any human being who remembers Me as well as you, will in due course of time become free from the bondage of his karma [see B.G. 4: 9, 6: 7, 9: 27-28, 12: 3-4 and see also 11.14.21].'

(15-17) S'rî Prahlâda said: 'I pray for this benediction from You, o Lord of Benedictions, o Supreme Controller; my father, not knowing of Your strength and supremacy, had with a heart polluted by anger thus a false notion of You, o master and guru of all worlds, as being the killer of his brother and was so of the greatest sin towards me, Your devotee. May my father be purified from that greatest and most difficult to overcome sin, although he was already purified when You casted Your glance upon him, o Merciful Father to the Materialists.'

(18) The Supreme Lord said: 'All together twenty-one forefathers have with your father been purified, o sinless one, because, o saintly boy, the person of you has taken birth in the dynasty. You indeed are the dynasty its purifier. (19) Wherever and whenever there are my devotees so very peaceful and equipoised with the best qualities and equally graceful towards all, is even the worst of societies purified. (20) In every respect, towards all beings higher or lower, they are never of any violence, o King of the daityas, because they out of their love for Me have given up all material aspirations. (21) Persons in this world following in your footsteps become My pure devotees; of all devotees of Mine are you indeed the best example of all the different mellows [see also 6.3: 20-21]. (22) You should perform the obsequies for your father, who already in all respects was purified by My body touching him, my child, so that he will be promoted to the worlds of better men. (23) Also assume the throne of your father as prescribed by vedic injunction; be with your mind of full absorption in Me, my dearest, and do your duty just for My supreme sake.'

(24) S'rî Nârada said: 'Prahlâda as was commissioned by the Supreme Lord performed all the necessary functions to his fathers death, o King [Yudhishthhira], and was crowned by the brahmins present. (25) With his face lit of the Lord His grace did Lord Brahmâ who had witnessed what had happened, offer with transcendental words the purest of prayers unto Lord Nrisimha, addressing Him in the presence of all the godly. (26) S'rî Brahmâ said: 'O God of gods, o proprietor of the whole universe, o love of all beings, o first among all the living, by your decision has the most sinful asura of so much trouble to everyone been killed. (27) That one I have given the rare benediction of not to be killed by any creature created by me nor by any austerity, mystic power, or physical power; thus very proud he transgressed all injuctions. (28) By Your decision has his son, although a child being a great saint and exalted devotee, been released from the clutches of death and is he, as You wanted it, now under Your shelter. (29) For those who confronted with an adversary meditate upon this physical presence of Your Supersoul, o Supreme Lord all around, are You the protector against all kinds of fear and even the fear of death.'

(30) The Supreme Lord replied: 'Do not, as you did, bestow benedictions upon demons, o Meditator of the Lotus, to bless people of a cruel nature is like giving milk to snakes.'

(31) S'rî Nârada said: 'This is what the Supreme Lord said, o King, after which Hari, being worshiped by the 0ne from the beyond, from there for all the ones alive disappeared out of sight. (32) Thereafter by offering prayers worshiped Prahlâda bowing his head, the One in the beyond as did also Lord S'iva, the leading fathers and the demigods who each were parts of the Supreme Lord. (33) Next made S'ukrâcârya and others, with all the sages and the One on the Lotus, him king of all the daityas and dânavas. (34) O King, with Brahmâ and all the rest properly honored congratulated thereafter all the godly him, wishing him all the best and returned they to their respective abodes. (35) In this way were the two associates of Vishnu, who forgetful as the sons of Diti thought as enemies, both killed by the Lord residing in the core of the heart [see 7.1:36]. (36) Again being cursed by the brahmins were the two devils reborn as Kumbhakarna and ten-head Râvana and were they both killed by the special powers of Lord Râmacandra. (37) Slain laying on the battlefield with their hearts pieced by Râma's arrows, gave they their bodies up with their minds fixed on Him, just as they did in their previous birth. (38) The two this way reappearing out here, again took their births bound to the Lord in enmity as Sisupâla and Dantavakra and merged with Him in your presence. (39) Of this kind of sinful action were there many kings who, just like larvae do that are guarded by a drone, all gave up their lives in their ever opposing Lord Krishna from what they did in their previous births. (40) In their devotion undivided unto the Supreme did kings like Sisupâla with the same form as the Supreme Lord by constantly thinking of Him return back to Godhead [see also B.G. 4:9]. (41) This all I described to you in reply to your inquiry on how, even hating, the son of Damaghosa [Sisupâla] and others could be of the same kind of body [see 7.1: 34-35]. (42) With all this about the Supersoul and the God of all brahmins, Krishna, do you now have the stories about His incarnations of purification wherein He from the beginning defeated the daityas. (43-44) They deal with Prahlâda that most exalted devotee his characteristics of devotion, spiritual knowledge and renunciation; try to understand each of them and by this indeed know what is of the Lord, the Master of maintenance, creation and destruction; what are His qualities and activities, handed down wisdom and how He, by Time, is the finality of all the higher and lower living beings and their cultures, however great they might be. (45) From this narration, in which the transcendence without reservations is perfectly described, one may understand the bhâgavata dharma [see 7.6: 28] and Bhagavân Himself. (46) Anyone who after hearing this pious narration describing the Supreme Power of Vishnu, with faith repeats it, will be liberated from the entanglement in fruitive labor. (47) Anyone who with great attention reads and hears this story about the activities of the best of all the truthful, this daitya son, and how the Original Personality playing for king lion killed the king of the demons who was as strong as an elephant, will reach the spiritual world where there is never ever any fear. (48) All You Pândava's in your human world are extremely fortunate that in your house resides the Supreme One of the Absolute Truth appearing in a human form, Who is able to purify all the worlds and is always sought by the great saints. (49) [Also you may be very happy] that He is this Impersonal Brahman that all the great are searching for, the oneness of transcendental happiness, the source of all life, your dear most well-wisher who is practically the son of your maternal uncle, that He is worshipable in the complete of His body and soul and that He is there as Your guru lead of principle as well. (50) Not even by meditation could S'iva and Brahmâ and others directly envision His form; may He this great protector of all His devotees be pleased with the depth of our commitment, our devotion, our forsaking for the better and our worship. (51) That same Supreme Lord, o King, long ago expanded to the lost reputation of the divinity of S'iva because of a demon called Maya who had an infinite power of technical cunning.'

(52) The king [Yudhishthhira] said: 'Please describe for what reason and by what actions Lord S'iva, he who controls the whole universe, was outdone by Maya and how he with Krishna did regain his reputation?'

(53) Nârada said: 'All the asuras who in battle by the power of the Lord were defeated by the godly, took shelter of the greatest and best of them all, Maya Dânava. (54-55) He constructed for them three huge cities, made of gold, silver and iron, that were immensely great and of an uncommon traffic and of peculiar specialties [they were reported to hover as airships over one another in the sky]. Remembering their former enmity with all the three worlds and their controllers, o ruler of man began the asuras out of their sight to break up the order. (56) Thereupon did all the worlds with their rulers approach Îsvara S'iva, falling at his feet in surrender saying: 'Please save us who are so close to you, as we are frightened, o Godhead, we are verily smitten by the tripura [three-city] peoples. (57) To show them his favor did the All-powerful Lord tell the sura's thus: 'Do not fear', and fixed he an arrow on his bow releasing his weaponry on the cities. (58) The arrows after being released shone, as beams of light, brilliant as the sun, because of which the cities could no longer be seen. (59) From that attack came they who used to inhabit the houses of the cities all lifeless to a fall, but all of them were thanks to the great mystic powers of Maya one by one dipped in a well of [life-giving] nectar [called Mrta-sanjîvayitari]. (60) Thus touched by the all-potent nectar of the liquid, resurrected they strong as thunderbolts, splitting the sky fiery like lightening. (61) Seeing how disappointed and unhappy the Emblem of the Lord [S'iva] was at the time considered the Almighty Lord Vishnu the proper measures. (62) Brahmâ became then a calf and with Lord Vishnu Himself as a cow they in clear daylight entered tripura and drank all the nectar in the well. (63) Although the asuras surely noticed them could they from their bewilderment not forbid them and so did the great Mystic Maya who, fully aware of it, thought that too to be of divine ordinance, address the ones on guard who quite content in their illusion were in great dismay: (64) 'Demigods, demons and human beings or whomever else cannot undo what by God out here would be anyone's, one's own or someone else's, destiny.' (65-66) Thereafter did He [Lord Vishnu] from His personal potencies with all the ingredients that constituted the religion, the spiritual knowledge, the renunciation, the opulence, the austerity, the education, the activities and all of that, equip Lord S'iva with everything that was required like a chariot and charioteer, a flag, horses and elephants, a bow with shield and arrows and so on. Seated on his chariot he then fixed an arrow on his bow. (67) O ruler of man, with the arrows joined on his bow did S'iva as the Lord and Controller this way by them at the time of noon set the so difficult to pierce three cities afire. (68) From their celestial chariots in the sky vibrated, with the help of countless kettle drums, the gods and saints, the ancestors, the perfected and the great, 'Jaya, Jaya', as they showered a selection of flowers over his head and chanted and danced in great pleasure with the beauties of heaven. (69) O King, the Mighty Lord S'iva who thus with the acclaim of Brahmâ and the others had burnt Tripura to ashes, then returned to his own abode. (70) This is the way of the Lord His own potency: acting like an ordinary man within the human society are there of Him, the teacher of the universe, the narrations about His transcendental activities that, related by the saintly people, purify all the worlds; what more should I tell you?

*: "(10.88: 8-10) "The Personality of Godhead said: If I especially favor someone, I gradually deprive him of his wealth. Then the relatives and friends of such a poverty-stricken man abandon him. In this way he suffers one distress after another. When he becomes frustrated in his attempts to make money and instead befriends My devotees, I bestow My special mercy upon him. A person who has thus become sober fully realizes the Absolute as the highest truth, the most subtle and perfect manifestation of spirit, the transcendental existence without end. In this way realizing that the Supreme Truth is the foundation of his own existence, he is freed from the cycle of material life."

* *: (11.14.21) Even one born in a family of meat-eaters is purified if he engages in devotional service.


Chapter 11

The Perfect Society: About the Four Social Classes and the Woman

(1) S'rî S'uka said: 'Hearing the narration that is discussed in the assemblies of the holy did Yudhishthhira, the greatest of their lead after him [Prahlâda] the master of the daityas so loyal to the Lord that covers the word in a step [Urukrama], greatly pleased inquire again from that son of Brahmâ [Nârada]. (2) S'rî Yudhishthhira said: 'O great Lord, I would like to hear about the sanâtana dharma [the usual, eternal, common duties] of our human society belonging to the ordinance of the statusoriëntations [varnâs'rama] from which the people in general in peace may enjoy the better life. (3) You, my Lord, are directly the son of our original father, the supreme person within this universe [Brahmâ]; of all his sons are you considered the best of austerity, yoga and meditation. (4) Of the ones devoted to Nârâyana being the most learned do you know the most confidential and supreme of dharma; no one of the devoted is as merciful, exalted and peaceful as You are.'

(5) S'rî Nârada said: 'I offer my obeisances to the Supreme Lord Unborn who throughout the universe defends the dharma; I will expound on sanâtana dharma the way I heard it from the mouth of Nârâyana. (6) He who from Dharma Mahârâja announced Himself with a part of Himself [Nara-Nârâyana] in the womb of Daksha's daughter, executes for the benefit of all people austerities in Badarikâs'rama [the Himalayan resort for meditation]. (7) The root of all dharma, the essence of all vedic knowledge indeed is Bhagavân, the Supreme Being, who is scripturally commemorated [in the sruti or the Veda's and the smrti or the scriptures following] by all the knowers of the Reality, o King, and by this principle become the mind and soul fully satisfied. (8-12) Truthfulness, compassion, austerity, cleanliness, tolerance, discrimination, composure, continence, nonviolence, celibacy, generosity, scriptural study, rectitude, contentment, service to the holy, gradually cutting with the unnecessary and being critical about the waste of human opposing, gravity, self-search, to share food and drink with all beings, to consider everyone first of all as being part of God and, o Pândava, to listen and to sing with one's fellow man as well as to remember Him who is the shelter of all the great, to be of service, to worship and to propitiate, to be a servant, to be a friend and to be of surrender; for all human beings is this the highest principle: to possess all these thirty characteristics, o King, that please the Soul of All [compare B.G. 12: 13-20]. (13) They who by unbroken reform [with so called samskâra's], by accepting a guru and with the support of the Unborn One [Brahmâ], are of worship, study and charity and they whose ways were purified from their birth and activities, are the twice-born [dvija's] who are advised to follow according to status [to one's age or âs'rama]. (14) For the brahmins there are the six to the Veda's [to study and teach, worship and model and give and receive in charity] and for the rest are there the same six minus the acceptance of charity; the means of livelihood for the rulers who maintain the people consists of levying taxes and such from those who do not belong to the ones motivated inward [the brahmins]. (15) The vais'ya's [merchants] are to be engaged in agricultural activities and trade and should always follow what the brahmins teach while the s'ûdra's [the laborers] for their livelihood as their master of instruction have to accept the three of the twice-born above them. (16) Of the four different means of existence for the learned brahmin, of a livelihood achieved without effort [sâlîna], what one gets as a mendicant [yâyâvara], what one finds as leftovers in the fields [sila], or what is not wanted by others in shops [unchana] are to this the latter means better than the former. (17) Except for times of emergency, may a lower man for his livelihood when everything is secure not take to the higher of each status and certain occupation. (18-20) By rita or amrita one may live, by mrita or pramrita or even by satyânrita, but never by living as a dog. Rta is the living on leftovers one says, of amrita is what is obtained without begging, of mrita is the begging as a mendicant while pramrita so is recalled is of the eating of one's field. To be of satyânrita is to trade but to be of service to the low is for the brahmins and the kshatriya's well acquainted with the Veda the reprehensible business of dogs [s'va-vrittih] that should be given up; the wise and the leaders of state represent all the gods [see also B.G. 4:13]. (21) The brahmin is known for his control of mind and senses, his penance, cleanliness, peacefulness, forgiveness, straightforwardness, spiritual knowledge and compassion, his service to the Absolute of the Lord and his truthfulness. (22) Fighting skill, heroism, resolution, strength, charity, restraint, forgiveness, loyalty to the brahminical, well tempered and loving the truth marks out a kshatriya. (23) A vaishya is known for his devotion unto the godly, the guru and the Godhead, the three virtues [of dharma, artha and kâma], his following to the injunctions and his constant effort and expertise. (24) Of the s'ûdra is there obedience, cleanliness, service to the master, single-mindedness, sacrifice without further prayer, truthfulness, protection of cows and brahmins and certainly no misappropriation.

(25) Following him in his vows, being regular, favorably disposed to her husband as well as to his friends and relatives and readiness one finds with a woman in divine respect with her husband [see too B.G. 1: 40]. (26-27) She is of cleaning, mopping and decorating the house as a housewife and personally finely dressed with her clothes and household articles always clean; to the small and great desires of her husband is she a chaste and modest woman of sense control as well as of controlled speech and she is veritable, pleasing, loving and of respect for her husband when it is called for. (28) Of contentment, not greedy, expert in serving, knowing what is dharma, kind, speaking the truth, attentive, pure and affectionate, should she worship the husband as long as he is straight with her. (29) Any woman who accepts her husband as the Supreme Personality is of service exactly like the Goddess of Fortune; devoted is she to the spirit of Hari with her husband in the spiritual world of Vaikunthha just like Laxmi enjoying the eternal herself. (30) Of the ones born from a mix of class [pratilomaja with a lower man and anulomaja with a higher man] is there according the family tradition the duty not to be of the theft and sin of the lower outcast.

(31) In general is the dharma to one's own material position in society in every age [yuga] by the brahmin recognized, o King, as being auspicious for as well one's present life as the life hereafter [see also B.G. 3: 25]. (32) Existing from one's occupation according one's own mode of action may one with the minding of one's own business in giving up the karma that belongs to that particular way, gradually attain the transcendental position. (33-34) A field over and over cultivated may fall barren not fit for further harvesting from seeds sown as it was spoilt; this way with a mind full of lusty desires over and over enjoying the objects of one's desires can one run into the rule of Brahmâ just like, o King, small drops of ghee do in a fire. (35) And if with a person the symptoms indicating a certain class other than his own are observed, should one for sure also designate him by that [: who behaves like a brahmin e.g. must be considered so].'



Chapter 12

The Four Âs'ramas and How to Leave the Body

(1) S'rî Nârada said: 'A student [brahmacârî] living at the residence of the guru, should for the sake of his guru practice restraint, humility and obedience and be firm in friendship towards his spiritual teacher. (2) In both the evening and in the morning should he worship the guru, the fire, the sun and the Best One of Enlightenment [Lord Vishnu], silently murmuring absorbed in prayer [the Gâyatrî]. (3) When called by the spiritual master, he should orderly practice the mantra's and in the beginning and the end well-behaved offer his obeisances with his head at the lotus feet. (4) Equipped with a straw rope around his waist, garments of deerskin, matted hair, a rod, a waterpot and a sacred thread, should he take up the kus'a-gras [for sitting] as is prescribed. (5) In the morning and the evening he should go out to collect alms and offer all that he collects to the guru. He should eat when ordered or otherwise fast at times. (6) Very polite, only eating to necessity should he, industrious and full of faith, to necessity relating with the outward life of women and the men they control, be of control over his senses [compare 3.3: 5]. (7) He, not belonging to the householders life, must, to the as good as invincible senses that even take away the mind of a renunciate, give it up to address women with the observance of the great vow of celibacy [the yama of astânga-yoga]. (8) To brush the hair, massage the body, to bathe and rub it in with oil is something that the still young wife of the guru should never be allowed to do as a service if the adept is still young [see also 1.11:29]. (9) Especially the bewildered worship [of her] is like fire to the pot of butter that a man is; with other women, even with his own daughter, should he, living in seclusion, not associate more than is needed. (10) As long as reflection is ascertaining this positively in self-realization is there for that time freedom from illusion with the duality, but not detaching by that duality is there indeed of the person the inverse [see also B.G.5: 18]. (11) All this following to the directions of the guru applies to a householder as good as to a renunciate, be it that the householder can have sex for a certain period of time [also: B.G. 7.11]. (12) Those who have taken the vow of celibacy must give up to make up their eyes, massage the head and the body, crave after the female image, meat-eating, intoxication, the use of scents or scented ointments and decorating themselves with jewelry and flowers.  (13-14) This way residing under the care of a guru do the twice-born studying, to their talent, as far as possible, come to the proper understanding of the Veda's and their sastric supplements and adherent upanishad philosophies. Knowing what the guru wants do they, as far as they can, provide according to his wishes and enter they either a household life [grihastha] or the forest [vânaprastha or a withdrawn position in the community] once leaving his company, or do they stay with him [be like him, as a sannyâsî]. (15) In the fire, in the guru, in oneself and in every living entity resides Adhoksja, the One beyond it All, and one should consider Him as having as well entered as not having entered the living beings and everything that belongs to Him [pravistah/apravistah compare B.G. 9:4]. (16) This way whether being a student, withdrawn, renunciate or a householder, can one of selfrealisation fully conversant with the wisdom understand the Supreme of the Spiritual, the Absolute Truth. 

(17) Let me now explain you the rules and regulations of the retired life [vânaprastha] as recognized by the saintly of which a holy man situated in it without difficulty is promoted to the world of the sages [Maharloka]. (18) He should not eat grains from cultivated fields nor the unripe from non-cultivated fields and either grains or riped produce that was prepared; it is so enjoined that the vânaprastha should eat what has ripened naturally by the sun. (19) From the naturally grown grains and fruits the forest provides he should prepare cakes and obtaining new produce should the old stock be given up. (20) Personally enduring the snow, wind, fire, rain and the sunshine, should he take shelter of a thatched cottage or a cave only for keeping his fire. (21) Also unconcerned about the hair on his head, the hair on his body, his nails, his facial hair, his dirt and the matted of his locks, he should keep a waterpot and a deerskin, a rod and treebark [for covering him] and fire colored garments. (22) He should remain in the forest for either twelve years, eight years or four years as a saintly, thoughtful man or else for two years or one year as well, in his intelligence not being bewildered about the hardship. (23) When either diseased or too old being unable to do his duties for advancing in knowledge and the spiritual life, must he refrain from taking food. (24) Properly placing the fire element within himself he should give up the false self of being identified with the body and merge completely in, as it is, the combined of the five elements only.  (25) A person knowing the self finds the cause of his apertures in the sky; the different airs moving within in the air; the cause of the body heat he finds in fire; the blood, mucus and urine find with him their cause in the water, and the cause of the remainder [of the hard tissues] is found in the earth [compare with 1.15: 41-42 and 3.6: 12]. (26-28) The speech with its organ belongs to the God of Fire, the hands and their dexterity belong to Indra, the legs and their power to move belong to Vishnu and the genitals with the sexual desire belong to the Prajâpati. The rectum and its bowel activity is of Mrityu [Death] and also should the aural sense to the sounds be assigned to the [deities of the] directions and the touch and its organ be assigned to the windgod [Vâyu]. Eyesight with its forms, o King, one should assign to the Sun and to water and its ruler belong the tongue while smell and its odors should be consigned to the earth. (29-30) The mind with its desires belongs to Candra, the intelligence and its subject matter to the Supreme of Education, the false ego of the 'I' and 'Mine' actions with its karma belongs to Rudra [S'iva], the consciousness with its concept of existence belongs to the Knower of the Field [see B.G. 13: 1-4] and the modes and their entities belong to the Beyond. The earth to the water, the water to the lights of the luminaries, the brightness to the air, the air to the sky, the sky to the materialistic conception, the false ego to that: the material energy, that into the complete of the reality [the mahat-tattva], the reality into the primary nature [with the unmanifest the pradhâna, see 3.26: 10] and that together belongs to the Supersoul. (31) Thus is one of the Supreme of one's soul, being of the same quality in understanding the remaining balance, completely spiritual and so should one thus cease his existence like flames of which the source has burnt up.



Chapter 13  

The Behavior of a Saintly Person

(1) S'rî Nârada said: 'A person of order who of selfrealization understood what I before described, should in the end wander the earth, only keeping the body, not depending on anything, staying in no village but for a night [see also the story of king Rsabha 5.5: 28]. (2) The renunciate [sannyâsî] should not wear more clothing but some covering for his private parts and, to a society of peace, in his forsaking not take to anything else but his rod [danda] and such. (3) Resorting to Nârâyana living on alms only and fully satisfied within he moves by himself alone, fully independent, wishing each living being the best in perfect peace. (4) Such a one should then see himself as being within this universe of the true and the untrue of the eternal Absolute of the Supersoul in the beyond as also see the Supreme Brahman [in himself] as pervading the apparent and nonapparent everywhere. (5) From the movements of oneself to the unconscious and the conscious state as well as to the state in between [the dream-state, see also 6.16: 53-54] should one who actually sees himself always remember that the stages of being bound and being liberated are actually only a game of illusion. (6) One should not rejoice in the sure, or not sure either, of the death of this body and its lifespan, rather the Time Supreme ruling the manifestation and disappearance of the living beings should be observed. (7) One should not indulge in fixations on the untrue nor try to have a career in that; pointless arguing should be given up nor should one take shelter of factions [political parties]. (8) No followers for the sake of this or that, nor certainly the reading and writing of many books, nor should one try to give discourses for one's livelihood or ever try to increase on material opulences [like temples e.g.]. (9) He who advanced is of peace and an equal mind may, though as a renunciate never needing them, adopt the symbols of his spiritual position [his âs'rama, see also 5.1*] or just as well give them up. (10) Though possibly not manifest in his symbols, his purpose is manifest; such a one being a saint may present himself to the society like an excited boy or as a great orator be like a silent man.

(11) The learned recite as an example of this hidden identity a very old historical incident of a conversation between Prahlâda and a saintly man who lived as a python. (12-13) He saw the purest, most grave, spiritual power of that man at the bank of the Kâveri river a on a ridge of the mountain Sahya, with him laying on the ground covered by dirt and dust all over his body. Prahlâda, the favorite of the Supreme Lord, met him when he in the company of a couple of his royal friends was traveling all the world in an effort to understand what it was that ruled the people. (14) From what he did, how he looked, to what he said and to his age and occupation and other marks of identity could the people not make up whether or not that man was the same person they once used to know. (15) After paying his respects and honoring him to the rules, touching his lotus feet with his head, posed the great asura devotee of the Lord, eager to know him, the following question. (16-17) 'I see you are maintaining quite a fat body like someone lusting after the money; people who always worry about an income are surely of sense gratification and those being so wealthy thus as the enjoyers of this world do, not doing anything else, in effect become as fat indeed as this body of yours. (18) It is clear that with you lying down doing nothing, o man of the spirit, there can be no money really for enjoying your senses; how can, not being after the pleasure, this [fatness] be so with your body, o learned one, please tell us that if you excuse me for my impudence. (19) Despite of your being so learned, skilled and intelligent, capable of speaking nicely and equipoised do you, seeing the people engaged in fruitive labor, lie down!'

(20) S'rî Nârada said: 'This way showered with words by the daitya king smiled he, the great muni, captivated by the nectar of his words at him, willing to reply. (21) The honorable brahmin said: 'O best of the asuras hailed by all âryans, from your transcendental vision you are well acquainted with indeed all the things that the people are inclined to or desist from according their different positions. (22) He who has Nârâyana our God and Nârâyana our Lord always in his heart, can by his devotion alone clear out all the ignorance like the sun does the darkness. (23) Nevertheless I shall answer all your questions o King, in accord with the Veda's, as you indeed are, for someone who desires the purification of his self, worthy the address. (24) Because of material desires was I, under a worldly sway catering to my lusty appetites and driven from one activity to the other, born in different forms of life, struggling for my existence. (25) This human form, carried by the waves of the material ocean, achieved from his karma going here and there the heaven's gate of liberation, the lower species of life and a human life again [see also B.G. 8: 16 and **]. (26) And there has one the union of man and woman for the sake of pleasure, but seeing, always engaged in fruitive activities, how one reaches the opposite [of that pleasure], have I now ceased in order to escape that misery. (27) Happiness is the natural position of the living entity, so, definitely ceasing with all out here having seen how sense gratification is the medium of the worldly demands, have I, contemplating these matters, entered the silence. (28) Situated in this world does someone, by the false attraction of that material world very fearfully being entangled in material affairs that are strange to himself, indeed forget the interest of the living entity within himself. (29) Just like water that overgrown by grass is missed by a thirsty one in ignorance, is elsewhere similarly someone in his material self-interest pursuing a mirage. (30) With one's body and everything under the superior control of matter searches one after the happiness of the self trying to diminish one's misery and is one, being fully conditioned, baffled over and over in one's plans and actions. (31) By the threefold of the miseries created by oneself, by others and by nature, is the mortal, sometimes being of some success with the adverse consequences, still not free from them; what then is the value of such happiness, what do those desires lead to? (32) Just consider the miseries of the rich so covetous: as victims of their senses have they out of fear sleepless nights fearing danger from all sides. (33) Of the government, of thieves, of enemies, relatives, animals and birds, of beggars, of Time itself, as well as of himself, is the one living for the money always afraid. (34) What an intelligent person must give up is the original cause that leads to all the lamentation, illusion, fear, anger, attachment, poverty, toiling and so on of the human being: the desire for prestige and money [***].

(35) The bees at work and the big snakes in this world are in this our first class guru's: from what they teach do we obtain the satisfaction [in taking only what is wanted] and the renunciation [of not going anywhere]. (36) The bees have taught me to detach from all desires as for the money, that with difficulty is acquired as the honey, one even kills one another taking it away from the owner. (37) Not desiring more am I myself satisfied with what is brought about free from endeavor, and if not, then I lie down for many days to endure like a python. (38) Sometimes I eat little, sometimes I eat much food, whether it is fresh or stale at times, or of a great flavor or tasteless; sometimes it is brought with respect and sometimes it is offered in disrespect; thus eating sometimes during the night somewhere or during the day, do I eat what is available. (39) Of linen, silk or cotton, deerskin, with a loincloth, or whatever material it may concern, with a happy mind I put on what is available by destiny. (40) Sometimes I lay down on the earth, on grass, leaves, on stone or a pile of ash and sometimes, to what another wishes me, I lay down in a palace on a first class bed with pillows [see also B.G. 18: 61]. (41) Sometimes I bathe nicely smearing my body with sandalwood and do I properly dress, decorated with garlands and various ornaments, sitting on a chariot, an elephant or the back of a horse; and sometimes I wander completely naked as if haunted by a ghost, o mighty one. (42) I do not swear, nor do I praise the people who are of different natures; I pray for the ultimate benefit for them all, that in truth is the Oneness of the Greater Soul. (43) The sense of discrimination should, as an oblation, be offered in the fire of consciousness, that consciousness then in the fire of the mind that is the root of all confusion, that mind needs to be offered next in the fire of the false self and this ego of material identification should following this principle be offered in the total material energy. (44) The false of material existence is, by a thoughtful person who realized the ultimate truth for the sake of his selfrealization, offered as an oblation and because of that is he, free from desires, thus situated in loyalty to the essence of his own living self. (45) This story about myself I relay this way to you in utter confidence, although you, from your good self as a man of transcendence with the Supreme Lord, might miss the common [scriptural] explanation.'

(46) S'rî Nârada said: 'Thus hearing from the holy man what truly the dharma of the paramahamsa's is [see also 6.3.20-21] did the asura lord very pleased, after duly honoring him, take permission to leave for his home.' 

*: The four stages of sannyâs are : kuticaka, bahudaka, parivrâjakâcârya and paramahamsa [see further footnote 5.1].

**: Svâmi Prabhupâda comments: Material life is called pavarga because here we are subject to five different states of suffering, represented by the letters pa, pha, ba, bha and ma. Pa means parisrama, very hard labor. Pha means phena, or foam from the mouth. For example, sometimes we see a horse foaming at the mouth with heavy labor. Ba means byarthata, disappointment. In spite of so much hard labor, at the end we find disappointment. Bha means bhaya, or fear. In material life, one is always in the blazing fire of fear, since no one knows what will happen next. Finally, ma means mrtyu, or death. When one attempts to nullify these five different statuses of life--pa, pha, ba, bha and ma--one achieves apavarga, or liberation from the punishment of material existence.

*** S'rîla Rûpa Gosvâmî writes in his 'Nectar of Instruction' (2):
atyâhârah prayâsas ca
prajalpo niyamâgrahah
jana-sangas ca laulyam ca
sadbhir bhaktir vinasyati
"One's devotional service is spoiled when he becomes too entangled in the following six activities: (1) eating more than necessary or collecting more funds than required; (2) overendeavoring for mundane things that are very difficult to obtain; (3) talking unnecessarily about mundane subject matters; (4) practicing the scriptural rules and regulations only for the sake of following them and not for the sake of spiritual advancement, or rejecting the rules and regulations of the scriptures and working independently or whimsically; (5) associating with worldly-minded persons who are not interested in Krishna consciousness; and (6) being greedy for mundane achievements."  


Chapter 14  

The Supreme of the Householders Life

(1) S'rî Yudhishthhira said: 'Please explain to me how householders [grihasta's], like me in ignorance of the goal of life, also without difficulty can achieve this position of liberation according the scripture, o deva-rishi.'

(2) Nârada Muni replied: 'Staying at home o King, one should perform activities as prescribed by guru and sastra, in dedication unto the great devotees worshiping Vâsudeva directly. (3-4) Always faithfully to the right time hearing the nectar of the narrations about the avatâra's of the Lord, being surrounded by people and relieved of all material activities, should one with such good association gradually free oneself from one's attachment to wife and children and thus, personally set apart, awaken as from a dream [see also 5.5: 1 and B.G. 18: 54]. (5) With the body and the family of as much endeavor in making a living as is needed, should one in this form of life in the human society depict the learned one as not being as attached as he seems to be. (6) Whatever the relatives, the parents, the children, one's brothers and friends or whomever else may suggest to do, to whatever they wish, he should consent without being all too serious. (7) For this must the intelligent person utilize all that is obtained of itself: all the things which are given by God [like fruits], all that one gets from the earth [like minerals] and all that is won by chance [donations, finds]; they are all very much the same produced by the Infallible One. (8) The stomach one may fill as much as needed and not more, as claiming more than that indeed would make one who thus appropriates a thief deserving punishment. (9) Deer, camels, asses, monkeys, mice, snakes, birds and flies one should [to that] see as one's own children; how little difference is there between those animals and them? (10) On the threefold path [of dharma, artha and kâma] not overly zealous [in ugra-karma] should a person, although concerned about his household, obtain only as much as the grace of God according to the time and circumstance would provide [see also 4.8: 54]. (11) Up to the dog, the fallen one and the outcast, should the necessities be divided to the need; even one's own wife, so close to oneself, should be shared so that she can be there [as a mother] for all the people [e.g. the guests in one's house and so on]. (12) One might give up the claim of owning her for which one was ready to kill oneself or others or abandon one's parents or spiritual master, so that one indeed may conquer Him who cannot be conquered [but by sacrifice]. (13) For the insects, to stool and of ashes is in the end this attachment, this insignificant material vehicle; of what value is that attraction for the wife's body relative to the soul that is as all-pervading as the sky? (14) What the Lord gives, what sacrifice brings, should in the end be considered the means of one's livelihood. All proprietorship is given up by those who are wise; it is the position of the great in this that one should achieve. (15) In respect of the gods, the sages, unto mankind and the living beings, the forefathers and unto oneself should one, making a living, daily, with the natural subsistence, honor the Original Person separately. (16) When one of oneself becomes fully controlled by everything that is one's own, should one with all paraphernalia to the book and the principle be of worship, sacrificing in the fire [see B.G. 4: 24-29]. (17) O King, the Supreme Lord, the enjoyer of all sacrifices is not as much worshiped by the offering of ghee in the mouth of the fire as by offerings to the mouths of the learned [see also 3.16: 8]. (18) Therefore through the brahmins and demigods, mortals and other living beings, with all those, be of worship, according your ability offering all the wanted to the knower of the field [the Lord, see B.G. 13.3] that the spiritually learned are after.

(19) During [for instance] the dark fortnight of the month Âsvina (October-November) and the month Bhâdra (August-September) should the twice-born offer oblations to the forefathers as far as they can afford it and to their relatives provided they have the riches. (20-23) Also at the solstices when the sun moves to the south and north or enters Aries or Capricorn, in the yoga named Vyatîpâta, on the days covering three lunar days [tithi's] and on days of solar eclipses and new moons as well as on the twelfth day and the constellation [nakshatra] of sravana; also on the Aksaya-trtîyâ day, on the ninth lunar day of the bright fortnight of the month of Kârtika, on the four ashthakâs [the eigthdays] in the winter season and cool season, on the seventh lunar day of the bright fortnight of the month of Mâgha, during the conjunction of Maghâ-nakshatra and the full-moon day, on the days when the moon is completely full, or not quite completely full when these days are conjoined with the nakshatras from which the names of certain months are derived. On the twelfth lunar days in conjunction with any of the nakshatras named Anurâdhâ, S'ravana, Uttara-phalgunî, Uttarâshâdhâ or Uttara-bhâdrapadâ and the eleventh lunar day that is in conjunction with either Uttara-phalgunî, Uttarâshâdhâ or Uttara-bhâdrapadâ as also on days in conjunction with one's own birth star [janma-nakshatra] or the S'ravana-nakshatra, one may perform. (24) It is from these auspicious times [of being regular to natural occurrences] that the fate of human beings is improved; on those days one should perform all kinds of ceremonies and thus in all seasons have for a human being auspiciousness, success and longevity [see the full calendar of order for setting days to natural events]. (25) At all these natural times taking a holy bath, doing japa [the vedic rosary], performing fire sacrifices and keeping to vows, is whatever one offers the Supreme Lord, the twiceborn of the deities, the forefathers, the godly, the human beings in general and all other living beings indeed a definite good deed. (26) O King, the times of the purification rituals serve the interest of the wife, the children and oneself also for having funerals, memorial days and [setting days apart for] doing fruitive labor.

(27-28) In accord with that let me tell you about the truly most sacred place to engage in this: there where a follower of truth is available [a saint, a vaishnava, a guru], in a temple; there where the Supreme of the Lord and the association of the brahmins of austerity, education and mercy with each and every moving and nonmoving living entity of the entire universe is found. (29) Wherever the form of the Supreme Lord is worshiped, that site is the all auspicious refuge, wherever it may be, like the Ganges or the other rivers also celebrated in the purânas. (30-33) Lakes as Pushkara and celebrated places harboring the saints like Kurukshetra, Gayâ, Prayâg [Allahabad] and Pulaha-âs'rama; Naimishâranya [near Lucknow], Phâlgunam, Setubhanda [towards Lanka], Prabhâsa, Dvârakâ, Benares, Mathurâ, at Pampâ, Bindu-sarovara, at Badarikâs'rama, Nandâ, the places of Sîtâ Devi and Lord Râma, like Citrakûta and o King, all such hillsides as Mahendra and Malaya - all of them are of the holiest; they and all the places where the Lord and His deities are worshiped [thus also outside of India] should indeed time and again be paid a visit by the one who desires the auspiciousness as it is there that of the persons the religious activities performed are a thousand times more effective.

(34) O controller of the earth, by the scholars proficient to the receptacle has it been decided that the one and only recipient in the world indeed is the Lord, in Him truly all that moves and not moves rests [see also 4.31:14]. (35) From among the most venerable saintly personalities of God did the sons of Brahmâ as also the other loyals of truth present [at Yudhishthhira's Râjasûya sacrifice], o King, decide that as the first to be worshiped of them all, Krishna was to be selected as the best. (36) The countless souls filling the entire universe are like a giant tree and because of Him being the root of that tree satisfies the worship of the Infallible One all living entities. (37) He indeed is the Original Person lying down with the individual souls inhabiting their forms; the bodies of all those created beings, the humans, the non-humans, the saintly and the divine are His residence [see also B.G. 18.61 ]. (38) To them indeed is He, depending on their level of understanding and manifest penance, the Supreme Lord more or less present, o King, and therefore the first and most important person of reception [compare B.G. 15: 15]. (39) Witnessing how, from the beginning of Treta-yuga, among them the mutual respect in human society had turned negative o King, has by the scholars the worship of deities been introduced. [see also: 12.3: 52 *] (40) Thereafter does one with great faith and all requirements worship the deity of the Lord although that regular attendance does not do those negative people really much good [deities are for beginners, see also 3.29: 25, B.G. 18: 68 & 69]. (41) O best of kings, one should realize that the best person among the people is indeed the brahmin because he of his austerity, education and satisfaction embodies the vedic knowledge of the Supreme Personality of Hari. (42) It is namely by Him, by Lord Krishna the life and soul of the universe, o King, that the brahmins are sanctified; of the dust of their feet is there the most exalted of worship in the three worlds.

*: As it is said in S'rîmad-Bhâgavatam (12.3.52):
krte yad dhyâyato visnum
tretâyâm yajato makhaih
dvâpare paricaryâyâm
kalau tad dhari-kîrtanât
"Whatever result one obtained in Satya-yuga by meditating on Vishnu, in Treta-yuga by performing sacrifices and in Dvapara-yuga by serving the Lord's lotus feet one can also obtain in Kali-yuga simply by chanting the names of the Lord."


Chapter 15  

Nârada's Instructions on Sharing, Irreligion, Yoga and Advaita

(1) S'rî Nârada said: 'Some of the twiceborn are faithful in fruitive labor and some are faithful in austerities, o ruler of man, some are of vedic study while others exercise the rhetoric and some also do unify [the consciousness] in spiritual knowledge [in bhakti- and jnana-yoga]. (2) A person desiring liberation should donate the results of his sacrifices to the ones devout to the spiritual knowledge and also should, what is offered to the godly, apart from them, be donated to others, be it with discrimination. (3) Offering to the demigods should two of them, offering to the forefathers should three of them or at least with both occasions should one of them be fed; even though one is rich should one with one's offerings not arrange too lavishly. (4) To the appropriate time and circumstance, belief, ingredients, person of reception and the right means one must proceed, while all this is not proper if one tries to expand on it or wants to involve more of one's own folk in it. (5) To the right place and time should, as far as available, the food for the saintly with love and devotion be offered to the Supreme Personality of Godhead according the regulative principles and words of the preceptor; the offering this way unto the person of reception will become an everlasting source of prosperity. (6) To the godly, the saints, the forefathers, the living beings in general, the relatives and one's own people offering food, should one see them all as being part of the Original Personality of God. (7) Never should meat be offered [nor fish and eggs] with the ceremonies of belief, nor should the one who knows the dharma [the ruler] personally eat it; with the food for the saintly should there be the highest satisfaction with the ones worshiped who are not in favor of needless violence against animals. (8) By persons righteous to what is the true should the desire be given up that gives trouble to other living beings; there is no higher religion than to be like this in one's words, mind and body. 

(9) Well known with the purpose of the sacrifices and by self-control [samyama] freed from desires, may the ones who know about the karmic rebound of some [impure, animal] sacrifices, be of sacrifice as people enlightened in spiritual knowing. (10) Seeing the offerer engaged with animals of sacrifice do the living beings become afraid thinking: 'This one so merciless with us, will for certain being so happy to slaughter, kill us most ignorantly too!'. (11) Therefore with what is given by God, the food of the saintly, should indeed the one who is actually of dharma [see also B.G. 18.66], day after day, in the greatest happiness, perform his regular and occasional duties. (12) Vidharma, paradharma, upadharma, âbhâsa and chala-dharma are the five different forms of irreligion that by the ones loyal to the book are considered the adharma to be given up. (13) To obstruct the original purpose is vidharma [also called unlawful]; would be [or misconceived] is paradharma and heretic, concocted as something else it is upadharma; [âbhâsa, pretentious or hypocritical] it is false pride and chala, cheating, it is twisting the meaning. (14) That which indeed is whimsically conducted by persons from a different perspective as one's own order of life [âs'rama] and regulated dharma; that way not being in accord with one's own nature, would that be capable of bringing peace? (15) With religion and economy should one in fact not try to go beyond the necessity of keeping one's body and soul together or either, if destitute, to be after the money; the desirelessness of someone free from that endeavoring is like that of the python [see 7.13: 11] that lives without special effort. (16) Where is that happiness of someone contented found, not endeavoring for his subsistence and happy from within with the one who, driven by lust and greed, for that - for more wealth - wanders here, there and everywhere? (17) For a mind always of peace is everything from wherever auspicious just like it is with a person with shoes who has nothing to fear from pebbles and thorns. (18) Or, o King, why should a person of peace not live happily on even a bit of water, when from the genitals and tongue one in one's struggling becomes a man as good as a household dog? (19) For sure will of a discontented man of learning, because of his greed, gradually dwindle the strength of his senses, his education, austerity and fame and will his spiritual knowledge vanish. (20) For someone who is hungry and thirsty do the lusts come to an end indeed, of anger vented there is a relief, but a person will not get over his greed enjoying to conquer all the directions of the globe [see also B.G. 16: 21]. (21) O King, many scholars, persons of varied experience, many an expert in legal advice, or many a candidate for the office even, has fallen down in hell simply from that single lack of contentment. 

(22) With determination lust should be overcome, anger by means of forsaking the object of desire, to greed one must consider the accumulation of wealth that gives the trouble, and fear is overcome by contemplation of the truth. (23) Deliberation on spiritual matters is the cure for lamentation and illusion, false pride is cured by service to a great soul, silence overcomes the obstacles on the path of yoga and no longer to hanker after one's sense gratification is the cure for being violent [see also B.G. 4.10]. (24) Have pity with the sufferings inflicted by other living entities and by nature, in systematic yoga meditation give up what you suffer as a consequence of your own deeds and conquer sleep by exercising goodness. (25) By the mode of goodness can a person, in devotional service unto the spiritual master, easily conquer all this passion, ignorance and the goodness itself that one also should leave behind. (26) The guru that is the light on the path should directly be considered the Supreme Lord; he who considers him and all that belongs to the Veda as mortal and timebound, is like an elephant taking a dustbath. (27) He who's lotus feet are sought by all masters of yoga, He who is the Supreme Controller and Original Personality and the prime principle of nature; directly this Supreme Lord [Krishna] is by the people in general considered to be a normal human being! [see also B.G. 9: 11] (28) If all the activities and regulations as should, to the end of the once and for all subjugating of the six of the senses and the mind, do not link one positively up, has one only wasted one's time and effort. 

(29) Since occupational duties out for an income do not benefit what is of yoga are they at all times of little help and value, just as are the ritual vedic ceremonies of a person worldly entangled [compare B.G. 2: 42-44]. (30) He who is engaged in the conquering of his mind must be alone, without the dependence of an attached company [like a family], in a solitary place and as a renounced person live on the dole, eating frugally. (31) In a clean leveled place, o King, he should put himself on a seat and steady, comfortable and equipoised sit down keeping his body straight and thus do the pranava [see 1.2: 11 and B.G. 8: 11-14 and 6.11 ] (32-33) He should arrest the in- and outgoing air holding his exhaling and inhaling and for that time give up all desires in his mind while staring at the tip of his nose. With the mind wandering here and there withdrawn from whatever is the lust defeated and should a learned yogî step by step put the thinking to a stop in the heart. (34) This way of fortitude will the consequent practitioner in due course of time fast succeed to be as pure as a fire without smoke. (35) Unaffected by the various desires is one in all one's activities calm and peaceful for one is of consciousness situated in the happiness of the transcendental platform from which one never can part indeed [see also B.G. 5.17].  

(36) If a renounced person of the riverbed of the eternal again should reap from the field, again would give priority to the civil values of household life materialistic activities, is such a person indeed a shameless vântâs'î [one who eats his own vomit]. (37) Those who consider their own body apart from the soul, that is mortal and meant for stool, worms and ashes, again as something to glorify and to identify with, are indeed the dullest of the great lie. (38-39) For householders to forsake their duties, for celibates to give up on vows, for withdrawn ones to serve the commoner, for renunciates to hanker after the senses - for all these âs'rama's is it most abominable indeed to be like all of this in cheating the spiritual order; those, bewildered by the external energy of God, one should doubt and pity. (40) If one understood of the soul, if one from the beyond has cleansed his consciousness with spiritual knowledge, then what is that desire for comfort, for whom or for what reason would he maintain the addictions to the body? (41) One says that the body is the chariot, the senses are the horses, the mind, the master of the senses, is the reins, the sense-objects form the destinations, the intelligence is the charioteer and the consciousness is of the great bondage, the conditioning, created by the Lord. (42) The spokes of the wheel [see also 7.9.21 ] are the ten airs in the body [called prâna, apâna, samâna, vyâna, udâna, nâga, kûrma, krkala, devadatta and dhananjaya], the inside and outside of the wheels are religion and irreligion, the one driven is the individual soul falsely identified, the pranava is the bow and the living entity the arrow, but the target is for sure the Supreme. (43-44) Attachment and aversion, greed and lamentation, illusion, fear, madness, false prestige, insult, faultfinding and deception, violence and jealousy, unrest, bewilderment, hunger and sleep are one's enemies indeed; these and more of those conceptions sometimes are the consequence of passion and ignorance and sometimes they sprout from the mode of goodness. (45) As long as one has this human form, that as a chariot with all its subordinate parts depends on one's control, must one in service of the lotusfeet of the most venerable ones hold on to the by the strength of the Infallible One sharpened sword of knowledge until the enemy is defeated, so that satisfied of one's transcendental bliss this body can be given up for the sake of the pure uncontaminated being. (46) Not doing so inattentively and untrue, will the senses acting as the horses take the chariot driver to the road of desire throwing the sense objects into the hands of plunderers [of vishaya, eating, sleeping and mating] and will those plunderers together with the horses, driver and all be thrown into the dark blind well of material existence and its great fear of death. (47) Inclined towards or to cease from material enjoyment are to the Veda's the two options of karma [4.4: 20], materially inclined one is aimless but ceasing one enjoys the nectar of the eternal [see also B.G. 16: 7]. 

(48-49) Systematic violence [sacrificing animals] with all kinds of fire sacrifices that require so many things, is filled with desire and causes anxiety; the goal of all the darsa, pûrnamâsa, câturmâsya, pasuh, soma and other ritualistic ceremonies should be known as an attachment. Indeed the oblation and sacrifice [huta, prahuta] as also the for the benefit of the public constructing of temples, resting houses and gardens and the digging of wells and providing of food and water are such symptoms. (50-51) Everything that one offers in the fire turns into smoke that moves by the divinity of the dark half of the month, the sun going through the south and the moon that is new [compare B.G. 8: 25]; but after that are there from the vegetation on the earth's surface, the foodgrains, the seeds thus, o ruler of the earth, that this way projected through the father [of Time] lead to the time and again, one after the other, succession of over and over being born to exist to the victory of matter [see also B.G. 9: 21]. (52) A twice-born one by enlightenment in real knowledge [by the path of ceasing] is by the purification processes of the beginning of life and the end of it at death, purified [he becomes uninterested] as he offers his actions into [the meditation of] his sensuality. (53) The senses then put to the mind that is infected by words in waves of material preference, the words then delimited to the complete of its elements, the letters, those then restricted to the AUM of the pranava vibrated and that ultimate vibration next given up to the point enclosed, indeed then gives the life-air unto the Supreme of the Living entity. (54) From the fire then the sun, the day, the end of the day, the bright half of the month, the full moon, the northern path and the Supreme of Brahmâ is he, going from the gross destination to the subtle one, as a natural consequence the transcendental witness of the soul. (55) On this path towards God repeatedly been born in consecution, so one says [see also B.G. 8:16], does the one eager in self-realization heading for the peace indeed, situated within the true self, not return. (56) One who follows this way to the forefathers and the gods will on this path, as recommended by the Veda's regularly studying the scriptures, even though a material person, look through enlightened eyes and never be bewildered. 

(57) He Himself is verily there in the beginning and in the end, of all living beings, existing always internally as well as externally, transcendental to the gross, as the knowledge and the known, as the expression and the expressed and as the darkness and the light. (58) Although surely a mere reflection is rejected as being a real form, is it nevertheless accepted; likewise does one also accept the reality although it is difficult to prove it from speculation on sensual input. (59) In this world of the five elements is one of them nor the shadow [of the form] which one indeed so finds nor is one for certain a combination or transformation of them; one should not believe in the being separate from it nor in the being one with it. (60) The five elements as the cause of the bodily concept and the sense-objects can not exist without the subtle [counter]parts; the untrue is found in the fixed form of a body just as in the end that what is part of it [the sense-object] is existing either. (61) As long as one separates a substance from its [manifested] part it so becomes that one errs, that one is in illusion of the similarity; just as one in a dream is sleeping ànd waking - and that is fought by the regulative principles [vidhi see 1.17: 24]. (62) According to one's position out here [re-]considering one's own [material life] from the perspective of the oneness of existence, actions and means, gives the philosopher up on the threefold of the sleeping [compare 1.18: 26 and B.G. 6: 16]. (63) To the observation that, like with the substance of the threads of a cloth, the effect and cause [of this existence] are one because ultimately setting them apart constitutes the unreal, does one speak of the conception of oneness [bhâvâdvaita, see also B.G.: 18: 16]. (64) In all activities of the mind, the words and the body directly to be of dedication unto the Supreme of the transcendental Absolute, o Yudhishthhira, is called oneness in activities [kriyâdvaita, compare B.G. 9.27]. (65) When the ultimate goal and interest of oneself, the wife and the children, the others or whatever living beings is one, is that oneness called oneness of interest [dravyâdvaita]. (66) A person should by whatever would be allowed as for means, time and place proceed according his prescribed duties, o King, a man by that process, when everything is in order, should not try any other way. (67) By this and by other ways expressed in the vedic literatures abiding by one's occupational duties, can any human being who renders devotional service to that, even staying at home reach the destination of Him, o King [see also B.G. 9.32]. (68) It is as indeed the way all of you [Pândava's], o lord of kings, escaped from all the insurmountable danger; by serving the feet of your own Master [Krishna] did you manage to perform the sacrifices successful in defeating the strongest elephants [the burden of unrighteous kings]. 

(69) I myself a long, long time ago, in a former mahâkalpa [millennium of Brahmâ], existed as a denizen of heaven named Upabharhana and was very respected among the Gandharva's. (70) I had a beautiful body and was, most attractive, fragrant and decorated, captivating to the eye; proud like a madman in his own city was I, day by day of the natural attraction of the women, very covetous. (71) Once there was a gathering of the godly and to the occasion of glorifying the Lord in song and dance, were by those who ruled over the universe [prajâpatis] all the ghandarvas and apsaras invited. (72) I too, expert in singing the glories of the divine life, went there surrounded with women and well known with my attitude cursed the divine rulers of the universe me with great force for my contempt: 'O you, in offense with the etiquette, become a s'ûdra as from now, bereft of the beauty!' (73) Because of that I took birth from a maidservant but despite of that obtained I, rendering service to spiritually outspoken people, at the same time a life as a son of Brahmâ [see also 1.5 23-31]. (74) To you, thinking as a householder, I explained that process by which a grihasta can conquer sin and very easily obtain the position of the renounced. (75) You all are in this human world indeed so very fortunate that all saints that may purify come to visit you as in your house thus lives directly the Most Confidential of the Supreme Brahman. (76) That One known thus spiritually, sought by the great for the realization of liberation and the bliss of heaven, is the most dear well-wisher of all of you, your renown cousin [Lord Krishna], the to heart and soul most worshipable person and guru of instruction on the principles [the vidhi; see also 7.10: 48 &49]. (77) His form, beyond the purview of Lord S'iva, Lord Brahmâ and the others [see also B.G. 7.26], factually can be understood by meditation, by silence, by bhakti and by the ending of all material association; may the One, this same personality, this master of the devotees so worshiped, be pleased with us.' 

(78) S'rî S'uka said: 'The best of the Bharata dynasty in utter glee of hearing the descriptions from the deva-rishi, was also caught in the ecstasy of love and worshiped Lord Krishna. (79) With the reverence of Lord Krishna and Yudhishthhira, with that son of Prthâ [see family tree] in utter amazement about Krishna as the Parabrahman, the Supreme of the Spiritual, bade the muni them farewell and left. (80) Thus I have described to you how of the separate dynasties of the daughters of Daksha there were the gods, the demons and the human beings and so on and all the worlds with in them the moving and nonmoving living entities.


Thus ends the seventh Canto of the S'rîmad Bhâgavatam named: 'The Science of God'. 

 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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For this original translation next to the Sanskrit dictionary a one-volume printed copy has been used with an extensive commentary by A.C. Bhaktivedânta Swami Prabhupâda. ISBN: o-91277-27-7 . See the S'rîmad Bhâgavatam treasury: http://bhagavata.org/treasury/links.html for links to other sites concerning the subject.

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