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Srimad Bhagavatam (Bhagavata Purana) :: Conto 11

Bhakti Yoga: the Most Auspicious way to Conquer Death

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Srimad Bhagavatam » Conto 11   

 Bhakti Yoga: the Most Auspicious way to Conquer Death

(1) S'rî Uddhava said: 'This process of yoga is, I think, most difficult to execute for someone not spiritual. Please o Acyuta, tell me in simple terms how a person easily may succeed [see also B.G. 6: 33-34]. (2) Generally, o Lotus-eyed One, yogis get frustrated exercising the mind and grow, unable to find absorption, weary in the attempt to subdue the mind. (3) For that reason, o Lotus eyed One, the swanlike delight to take to the source of all ecstasy, the shelter of Your lotusfeet, o Lord of the Universe. But they who take pride in the results of their yoga, do not and are defeated by Your material energy. (4) It comes as no surprise Acyuta, that You are a friend to all servants who, with no other shelter, are joined in intimacy with You, You who were affectionate with the animal-like [Vânaras] while the edges of Your footstool were covered by the effulgent helmets of the great controllers [like Brahmâ]. (5) Knowing the benefit You offer, o Supreme Soul, Bestower of All Perfections and dearest Lord to those seeking shelter, who would reject You or ever be devoted to anything else just to feel good and consequently forget [about You]? Would there be anything left for us to wish for when we serve the dust of Your feet [see also 10.44: 15, 10.47: 46]? (6) Not even with a lifetime as long as that of Brahmâ the learned - despite of all their work - would be capable of expressing the gratitude [we owe You] o Lord. For You show us Your path in two ways: in the form of that [authority of the Supersoul] what is mentally conceived within in order to remember the joy and in the form of the âcârya outside of us who is there to dissipate the misfortune of one's being embodied [the caittya- and the paramparâ-guru].'

(7) S'rî S'uka said: 'Thus by Uddhava being asked who in his heart was most attached to Him, the Lord spoke lovingly with an attractive smile, He who has the universe as His plaything and by His own energies has assumed the three different personal forms of the Controllers [the guna-avatâras]. (8) The Supreme Lord said: 'Right here I will now explain to you the dharma in relation to Me that is most auspicious and by which a mortal being, executing with faith, conquers death so unconquerable. (9) Having offered one's mind and intelligence to Me, one should for My purpose stepwise [learn to] perform all work and thereto remember, by the grace of one's own loving spirit, the example of My respect of duty. (10) One should take shelter of the holy places frequented by My saintly devotees and [follow the example of] the activities of My devotees operating among the godly, the demoniac and the human beings. (11) Either alone or in assembly one should with respect for the position of the moon, at special occasions and at festivals engage in singing, dancing and such and be generous with contributions. (12) One should with a pure heart see Me within oneself as the Supreme Soul that alike the unlimited sky is present inside and outside of all living beings [see also B.G. 13: 16 and 1.7: 10]. (13-14) O brightest spirit, when one with My love thus is of respect for all living beings, one has with such an approach taken shelter of purely spiritual knowledge. When one this way regards the brahmin and the outcast, the thief and the man faithful to the brahminical culture, the sun and the spark, the gentle one and the cruel one equally, one may call oneself a wise person [see B.G. 5: 18]. (15) Of the person who constantly is meditating upon My presence in all men will quickly the rivalry, envy, disdain and false ego disappear. (16) Ignoring the laughter of one's friends and without being embarrassed about outer appearances one should throw oneself like a rod to the ground and offer obeisances to [all,] even [to] dogs, outcasts, cows and asses [see also s'ikshâshthaka-3]. (17) As long as one has not developed the vision of Me being present in all living beings, one has to be of worship this way with what one says, thinks and does with one's body [see also tridanda]. (18) For the one who by knowledge and realization sees the Supreme Soul everywhere is everything based upon the Absolute Truth. Thus being freed from doubt there is for such a person the duty of retiring from worldly activities. (19) This with the functions of one's mind, words and body going for the truth of Me within all living beings I consider the most appropriate of all processes. (20) My dear, because this by Me perfectly established method is free from the modes and has no ulterior motives there is, when one thus tries to be of service unto Me Uddhava, as a consequence not even the slightest loss [see also B.G. 2: 40]. (21) O best of the pious,  of whatever worldy exertion will the fear and all of that be futile, when it in being dedicated to Me, the Supreme, is religious in leaning towards activities that are performed without an ulterior motive, o pious Uddhava! [see also B.G. 18: 6]. (22) This in one's life achieving of Me, the immortal, by means of the false and mortal, constitutes the cleverness of the clever and intelligence of the intelligent. (23) With this has both in brief and in detail the complete survey of the Absolute Truth been described to you which constitutes a science that even for the gods is difficult to access. (24) Having properly understood this knowledge that repeatedly was explained to you with clear, logical arguments, a person will see his doubts destroyed and be liberated. (25) He who but concentrates on this question of yours that was properly cleared up by Me, attains to the eternal secret of the Vedas, the Supreme Absolute of the Truth. (26) I will automatically lend him My authority who without any reservation disseminates this Supreme Spiritual Truth as the tradition for My devotees.  (27) He who loudly recites this Supreme of Me that is so sanctifying and clear, will, because he with the lamp of knowledge forms My presence, day after day find purification. (28) The person who attentively and with faith regularly listens to this is of transcendental devotional service unto Me [is a bhakta] and will not get entangled in karmic reactions [see also B.G. 3: 9]. (29) Uddhava, o friend, do you have a clear understanding of the spiritual now and has this lamentation and illusion that arose in your mind been removed [see 11.6: 42-49 and also B.G. 18: 72]? (30) Do not share this with a hypocrite, an atheist or a cheat, nor with someone not willing to listen or an obstinate non-devotee [compare to B.G. 18: 67]. (31) Share it with the person free from these bad qualities, the one saintly and pure, someone kindly disposed in dedication to the welfare of the brahmins, as well as with laborers and women if they are of bhakti [compare B.G. 9: 32]. (32) For the inquisitive one fully understanding this there is nothing left to imbibe; what would there be left to imbibe once one has drunk the most palatable nectarean beverage there is? (33) Whatever people who are of success with the four goals of life [catuh-vidah] may find in spiritual knowledge, in fruitive labor, in mystic yoga, in ordinary activities or in political ruling, you can equally find in Me. (34) When a mortal offers himself to Me and gives up all his fruitive labor in his desire for the special quality of Me, he qualifies in that process of attaining immortality at that time for the opulence associated with Me.'

(35) S'uka said: 'After he had heard the words of Uttamas'loka and thus was shown the path of yoga, Uddhava with folded hands said nothing because his throat was choked up with love and his eyes overflowed with tears. (36) Completely agitated with love restraining himself to steady his mind, o King, he, feeling grateful, spoke with his hands folded to the Great Yadu Hero and touched therewith His lotusfeet with his head. (37) S'rî Uddhava said: 'The great darkness of the delusion I fell into, has in the presence of the Sun that You are, been dispelled. What cold, darkness and fear could hold sway over the one who approached You, o Unborn Primeval One? (38) By You who are so merciful in Your goodness was in return to me, Your servant, offered the torchlight consisting of Your wisdom. Who being grateful is able to abandon the base of Your feet and seek another shelter? (39)  The because of Your mâyâ firmly binding rope of my affection for the creation [of the family] of the Dâs'ârhas, Vrishnis, Andhakas and Sâtvatas expanding to Your will, was severed by the sword of the correct knowledge about the soul. (40) Let there be my obeisances unto You, o Greatest of Mystics, please tell me how I may find stability with the transcendental attraction at Your lotusfeet.'

(41-44) The Supreme Lord said: 'Please, o Uddhava, accept My advice to head for My hermitage called Badârika. At the riverbanks there be purified by the touching of and bathing in the water emanating from My feet [see 5.17]. Be, with your eyes fixed upon the Alakanandâ [a tributary of the Ganges] cleansed of all impurities, wear bark My dear, eat from the forest and be happy free from desire. Exercise with your intelligence, spiritual knowledge and wisdom forbearance with all dualities, keep saintly to your principles, restrict your senses and live in peace and absorption. Believe in and meditate upon that what you from Me have learned to discriminate. When you with your words and mind absorbed in Me are devoted to realize My virtue you will, thus established crossing beyond the three destinations [the gunas], thereupon reach Me.'

(45) S'rî S'uka said: 'After thus having been addressed by the Lord of Understanding, Uddhava circumambulated Him keeping Him to the right and even though he at the time of his departure was free from the influence of material opposites, he drenched with a breaking heart with his head bowed down His feet with his teardrops. (46) Finding it most difficult to leave he was incapable of abandoning Him so that he overwhelmed by the separation in great pain besides himself took leave, again and again offering his obeisances and placing the slippers of his Maintainer on his head [*]. (47) Then installing Him in his heart the great devotee went to the illustrious place of pilgrimage [that as such is also called Vis'âlâ] the only Friend in the Universe had mentioned. There he attained, having properly executed the austerities, the Lord His destination [Vaikunthha]. (48) Whoever in this world with honest belief accepts the service of this ocean of ecstacy, this nectarean sea of knowledge that by Krishna, He whose feet are served by the masters of Yoga, was collected for His devotee, will be liberated. (49) I am bowed down to the Greatest and First Personality named Krishna, who makes His many devotees drink the nectar from the ocean consisting of de essence of the Vedas, the essence of the spiritual knowledge and wisdom that He, as the author of the Vedas, like a bee delivers in order to take away the fear of material existence.'

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SOURCE: Translation: Anand Aadhar Prabhu, http://bhagavata.org/

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

The sourcetexts, illustrations and music to this translation one can find following the links from: http://bhagavata.org/