(1) The brahmin said: 'With a karmic [profit-minded] vision being divided [acting differently] in passion, goodness and ignorance, the conditioned soul, having turned to the difficult and dead-end path of material life, wanders around in that forest which he entered with the purpose of gaining a higher position and cannot find [lasting] happiness [that way]. (2) He who following the wrong lead chases dreams o god of men, is in that place plundered by the six brigands. As foxes they enter and take away the maddened social climber, just as tigers seizing lambs. (3) In the bowers full of creepers, grasses and thickets where he sometimes imagines to have landed among the Gandharvas and then again in no time gets possessed, he is cruelly disturbed by biting mosquitos. (4) On that worldly path moving hither and thither to call some place, water and wealth his own o King, he having lost his direction at times is blinded because of the smoky dust raised by a whirlwind. (5) Disturbed by the noises of invisible crickets in his ear, upset in his mind and heart by the vibrations of owls, and suffering from hunger taking shelter of fruitless trees, he at times runs after the waters of a mirage. (6) One time going for rivers that ran dry and asking food from others who themselves ran out of stock, he some other time despairs about the forest fire of his material existence and the wealth that was seized by the rogues. (7) Sometimes finding himself taxed by his ruling superiors [the 'demi-gods'], he experiences grief in his heart and looses his mind getting bewildered in his complaints, and then again he for a moment enjoys having entered a heavenly kingdom [on earth] as if he would have found true happiness. (8) Sometimes wandering around his feet are hurt by thorns and small stones when he wants to climb the hills which depresses him at each step; and sometimes he as a family man is dispirited with a hungry stomach, and gets angry with his own family members. (9) At times left to his own devices in the forest the conditioned soul is swallowed by the python and doesn't understand a thing; attacked by poisonous snakes and bitten, he sometimes fallen into an unseen well then lies down blind in utter darkness. (10) Then again searching for something tasty he is disappointed by the disquieted beehive in question; or at the very moment he with great difficulty does his best to have his way, his object of desire next is harshly stolen away by a competitor. (11) Sometimes also not able to fight the cold, the heat, the wind or the rains, he feels helpless and miserable; and then again with others trying to do a little business, he lands - as is commonly known - in the mutual enmity of cheating for the profit. (12) Now and then in that forest being destitute he has to do without bedding, a place to sit, a house and family comforts and next begs from others. Not getting what he needs he desires the possessions of others and resorts to disgraceful actions. (13) When he tries to progress materially by getting married a greatly troublesome life is the result in which enmity grows as a consequence of the financial entanglement with each other. He on the path of material existence is then completely ruined by misfortune and a lack of funds. (14) Thus failing [in his self-realization] he then under those circumstances has to let go of all the children he fathered. Even until now no one following this material path, who having married for his own interest wanders around in this forest o hero, has succeeded in reaching the ultimate goal of [devotional service and beatitude in] yoga.
(15) They who without giving it much thought managed to conquer the greatest heroes around [the 'elephants'], are in this world thus caught by the concept of 'mine' and all [ultimately] lay down their lives in battle with the enmity they created. They do not reach the reality of the staff of renunciation [the voluntary penance, sannyâsa] which, free from enmity, does lead to the perfection. (16) Clinging to the shelter of the arms of the wife, the creeper, one sometimes sings a strange song in the desire to hear the song of another birdof that shelter; and once one hears the roar of the lion one seeks friendship with the cranes, the herons and the vultures. (17) Cheated by them one next contacts the swans but dissatisfied with their conduct one approaches the monkeys in the association of which one satisfied in one's sensuality stares one another in the face unaware of one's impending death. (18) Enjoying in one's tree one, attached to wife and children and poor of heart, is unable to let go being bound to the consequences of one's actions and lands at times, beset by fear for the elephant of death clasping the creeper, in a cave in the mountains where one gets trapped. (19) Somehow or other escaping from this danger o killer of the enemies, one again takes up the same life of that path of enjoyment that is followed by the soul conditioned under the influence of mâyâ and in which one unto one's death fails to understand a thing. (20) O King Rahûgana, you surely also walk this path [through the forest] of material existence, but once you've given up your political power and are acting friendly towards all living beings, you will feel no longer drawn towards the untrue and take up the by means of service to the Lord sharpened sword of knowledge to cross to the supreme reality of the other side!'
(21) The king said: 'Oh a human birth is the best of all births! Of what use is it to be of a higher birth [among the gods]? There is nothing superior about it when one in a new life can't enjoy in abundance the association with truly great souls [like you] whose hearts are purified by the glory of Hrishîkes'a [the Lord and master of the senses]. (22) Isn't it wonderful indeed to be completely freed from all contamination by the dust of your lotus feet of love and devotion unto Adhokshaja [the Lord in the Beyond]? In association with you in just a moment the root of the ignorance of my false reasoning was completely vanquished. (23) My obeisances unto all the great personalities, whether they appear as boys, as young men or as total forsakers. Let there because of these self-realized souls of transcendence who walk this earth in different guises, be good fortune for all the dynasties!'
(24) S'rî S'uka said: 'Thanks to the quality of his great kindness and supreme spiritual realization o son of Uttarâ [Parîkchit], that son of brahmin wisdom, despite of being insulted, was thus of instruction for the ruler of Sindhu about the reality of the soul. He whose lotus feet by Rahûgana were worshiped so full of pity and who was of a heart in which, like in a full ocean, all the waves of [sensory input of] the senses were completely silenced, [thereafter in freedom] continued to roam this earth [compare 3.25: 21]. (25) O King, the king of Sauvîra who from [being instructed by] an elevated person had arrived at the full understanding of the reality of the supreme soul, thus managed to completely give up on the conception of the bodily self that he in his ignorance had mistaken for his person, and faithfully followed the path of disciplic succession originating from the Lord.'
(26) The king [Parîkchit] said: 'That what you described here so knowledgeable o greatest of devotion, in figures of speech about the individual soul his path in material existence, is set in words comprehensible to those who developed their minds, not so much directly to common people of a lesser experience; therefore, for the sake of a full understanding of this subject matter which is so hard to grasp, could you please tell us what it exactly means by using different words?'