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Srimad Bhagavatam (Bhagavata Purana) :: Conto 11

Detachment from All that is Material

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Srimad Bhagavatam » Conto 11   

 Detachment from All that is Material

(1) The honorable brahmin said: 'Attachment to whatever of the possessions held so very dear by man [house, wife, car etc.], sure leads to misery; whoever knows that will, when he frees himself from such attachment, thereupon achieve unlimited happiness.

(2) Having meat a large hawk [the osprey] was attacked by others who were very strong and without prey; at that time giving up the meat he achieved happiness.

(3) I myself, who like a child enjoys in the soul only, wander about out here. In me one finds no honor or dishonor. Living with the true self I do not know the anxiety of the one who has a home and children. (4) Of the ones free from anxiety there are two types: the one retarded who ignorant as a child has merged in great happiness and the one who has achieved the One Supreme above the Modes of Nature.

(5) At the house of a young girl who wished she was a wife and of whom all the relatives were gone to another place, once arrived a couple of men whom she received with great hospitality. (6) Being alone she beated the rice so that her guests could eat, and doing so made the conchshell bracelets on her forearms a lot of noise. (7) In her shyness ashamed about that [servant-] noise, broke she, intelligent as she was, one by one the shell bracelets from her arms, leaving but two on each wrist. (8) Still there was of the two, as she was husking the rice, the noise of course. But after she removed one from each of the two remained only one and could no sound be heard anymore. (9) O subduer of the enemy, I, wandering around in all regions searching for the truth about the world, personally witnessed the lesson taught by this girl. (10) In a place where many people are quarrels will rise, even among two people who converse alone. Therefore one should live like the young girl's bracelet. (11) The mind should be steadied by detachment and a regulated practice [vairâgya and abhyâsa] in which one conquers one's breathing in sitting postures and carefully concentrates on one point [the true self, see also B.G. 6: 10-15 and 6: 46-47]. (12) Having obtained permanence in that position one achieves with that very mind, step by step having given up the contamination of karma, nirvâna because one grew strong in sattva no longer fueling rajas and tamas [see also B.G. 6: 26 and 14: 6-8].

(13) When one thus is anchored to the soul is one unconcerned about whatever outside or inside oneself, just as when the arrowmaker being absorbed in the arrow didn't notice the king passing nearby [see B.G. 7: 27-28].

(14) Moving alone without a fixed residence [or temple] and exercising restraint not being recognized in his actions a sage, being without companions, will speak only little. (15) Building a home but failing to accomplish [a spiritual life, see B.G. 4: 18] is a miserable thing; just think of the snake that lives happily occupying a hole that was built by others.

(16) The one Self, the one Supreme Controller without a second, who became the Foundation and Reservoir of All, is Nârâyana, the Godhead who in the beginning by His own potency created the universe and by His potency of Time at the end of the kalpa withdraws His creation within Himself. (17-18) When by His potency of the time factor the material powers of sattva and so on have been balanced, exists the Original Personality, the purusha of the primary nature [pradhâna], who is the worshipable Controller of the gods and normal souls, in the purest experience of revelation that one describes as kaivalya [beatitude], the fulness of the blissful state free from material association [see also B.G. 7: 5 and *]. (19) By means of the pure potency of His Self, His own energy composed of the three modes, manifests He the plan of matter [constitutes He the sûtra, the thread, provides He the rule or direction of the mahat-tattva]. He achieves that [in the form of Time] by agitation at the onset of creation [see also 3.26: 19]. (20) To that [thread] that turns out to be the cause of the three modes that create the different categories of the manifestation, so one says, is this universe, by which the living being undergoes its existence, strung and bound [see also B.G. 7: 7]. (21) Just as the spider, expanding the thread from within himself, by his mouth with that thread enjoys [his meal] and eventually swallows that thread, the Supreme Controller operates the same way.

(22) On whatever the conditioned soul fixes his mind out of love, hate or fear, that particular state he will, because of the full concentration of his intelligence, reach thus [see B.G. 8: 6]. (23) O King, a wasp larva meditating on the fully grown wasp that has put him in the hive, keeping to its own body, reaches the same state of being fully grown.

(24) This is what I know from taking instruction from all these gurus. Now please o King, hear from me what I have to say about the knowledge I acquired learning from my own body. (25) With one's body one always has to suffer because of the inevitable burden of its maintenance and future destruction. I contemplate the truths of the world with it and thus is the body, even though it is there for the service of others, to me a teacher of renunciation and discrimination who convinces me to wander about in detachment. (26) The body is bound to the mission of pleasing all the categories of the wife, the children, the animals, the servants, the home and the relatives. Before it has to die it has expanded by begetting a likewise body and for that purpose it went at lengths to achieve a favorable financial position. In that sense the body is like a tree that before it dies produces its seeds. (27) From one side the tongue distracts thirsty the cherished body at times, from the other side the genitals do so, the sense of touch acts thus, the belly demands attention, the ears lead elsewhere, the smell goes or the fickle eyes are leading elsewhere; and so all parts of the body like co-wives pull the head of the household in many directions. (28) After the Supreme Lord had created the trees, venomous insects, mammals, birds, snakes and all other sorts of material bodies by means of His bewildering potency, created the Lord, not satisfied with it, the human being He endowed with an intelligence fit for envisioning the Absolute Truth and achieved He thus happiness. (29) After many births having attained this human form that is so difficult to attain and which, even though it is not eternal, awards great value, should a sober person as long as he, subject to death, has not fallen [in his grave], without delay in this world endeavor for the ultimate liberation that is always within reach in all conditions of sense-gratification.

(30) Thus [from all these twenty-four plus one masters] seeing it in the Soul I wander, fully having developed renunciation and wisdom, the earth being freed from attachment and false ego. (31) Assuredly can the knowledge of a single teacher not be very solid or complete [see 11.3: 21]; the Absolute Truth without a second is by the sages thus defended from many perspectives.'

(32) The Supreme Lord said: 'The so very wise brahmin [who in fact was Lord Dattâtreya, see 2.7: 4 and **] after he thus had spoken to king Yadu and properly was honored by the king offering his obeisances, bid farewell and went away, just as contented as he had come. (33) Having heard the words of the avadhûta found Yadu, the forefather of our ancestors, liberation in a consciousness equal to all.'

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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/