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Srimad Bhagavatam (Bhagavata Purana) :: Conto 3b

The Conversation Between Manu and Kardama

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Srimad Bhagavatam » Conto 3b   

 The Conversation Between Manu and Kardama

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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/