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Srimad Bhagavatam (Bhagavata Purana) :: Conto 6

Indra Offends His Spiritual Master, Brihaspati

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Srimad Bhagavatam » Conto 6   

 Indra Offends His Spiritual Master, Brihaspati

(1) The king [Parîkchit] said: 'Please oh great one, can you describe for what reason the God-conscious ones were rejected by their âcârya [the teacher of example Brihaspati]? What was the offense the disciples committed unto the spiritual master?'

(2-8) The son of Vyâsadeva said: 'King Indra, enjoying the wealth of the three worlds, due to pride had strayed from the path of truth. Surrounded oh King, by the Maruts [of the luster] the Vasus [of excellence], the Rudras [of anger], the Âdityas [of what's untrue], the Rihbus [of invention, see also 4.4: 33], the Vis'vadevas [of royal riches], the Sâdhyas [of refinement], the As'vinî-kumâras [of helpfulness] and the Kumâras [of celibacy] and being served by the Siddhas [of perfection], the Câranas [of the theater], the Gandharvas [of song], the Munis [of wisdom], the Brahmavâdis [of learning], the Vidyâdharas [of science], Apsaras [of heaven] and Kinnaras [of superpower], the Patagas [of the birds] and the Uragas [of the snakes], King Indra was served and glorified with sweet songs oh son of Bharata [compare 2.3: 2-7]. In his assembly hall he [one day] was sitting on his throne enjoying the royal opulence of a white parasol as beautiful as the moon disc and other regalia and amenities such as yak-tails for fanning him. Shining with his wife S'acî who shared the throne with him, he thought he was the one supreme. But when his exalted teacher of example, the spiritual master of all the godly ones, appeared in the assembly, he wasn't welcomed by him. He didn't stand up from his throne to offer him a seat or greet the great priest of the godly ones, the best one of the sages who was equally respected by the enlightened and the unenlightened souls. Even though Indra saw him enter, he failed to pay him any respect.

(9) Brihaspati the learned sage and master, thereupon left immediately to return home in silence, well-known as he was with the alienation of being puffed up in wealth. (10) Indra instantly realized that he had disrespected his guru and criticized himself publicly: (11) 'Alas, how disrespectful it was what I have done. I must be out of my mind. Now I have mad about my wealth, mistreated the preceptor in the midst of this assembly! (12) What man of knowledge would be in favor of opulence! Despite of being the king above all, I, the leader of the demigods, now with this wealth have been carried away by a demoniac mentality. (13) He who says that to sit on the royal throne means that one shouldn't stand up for someone else, has no idea of the higher [meaning] of dharma [compare 4.2]. (14) They who lead the way on the false path will land in darkness themselves and anyone who puts faith in their words, will go down also, sinking like a boat made of stone. (15) Therefore let me propitiate the spiritual leader, the immaculate brahmin [Brihaspati] whose knowledge is unfathomable and touch without duplicity his lotus feet with my head.'

(16) While Indra the mightiest god of all thus was ruminating, Brihaspati, in order not to be seen [by the king], disappeared from his house by the power of his elevated state. (17) Vigorously searching all around not finding a trace of his guru, the mighty Indra could, helped by his associates and contemplating his wisdom, not find any peace of mind. (18) When the mass of unenlightened souls who kept to the precepts of S'ukrâcârya heard about it, they took, not that intelligent, up their weapons and declared war against the godly ones. (19) With their trunks, arms and legs being pierced by the sharp arrows that were shot, the godly ones together with Indra took refuge with Lord Brahmâ and bowed their heads before him. (20) Seeing them weighed down by their worries the godhead Brahmâ, the supreme unborn one, out of his causeless, infinite mercy spoke to them in order to comfort them. (21) Lord Brahmâ said: 'Alas, what an unpleasant surprise, oh supreme enlightened souls. Because you [being too proud] with your opulence failed in your hospitality, you have committed a serious offense against a faithful servant of the Absolute Truth, a brahmin of full control. (22) Because of your negligence with the wealth you enjoy, the others, your enemies, however weak they were [being defeated by you in the past], managed to defeat you [now] oh enlightened ones. (23) Indra Maghavan, oh Honor of Wealth, just see how your enemies who formerly were so weak because of neglecting their preceptor, have regained their power now they with great devotion are of respect for their sage the son of Bhrigu [S'ukrâcârya]. As such they can even obtain my heavenly abode! (24) Undivided in their resolve to follow the instructions of the disciples of Bhrigu [viz. S'ukrâcârya] they are unconcerned about [the opposition of] heaven dwellers [up to Lord Brahmâ]. They who put first the brahmins, the cows and the Protector of the Cows [Govinda, Vishnu], will find nothing inauspicious on their way, whether they are human or divine. (25) Therefore devote yourselves forthwith to Vis'varûpa, the son of Tvashthâ. He is a self-possessed, incorruptible man of austerity and penance. Given your understanding for his workload [of supporting the Daityas] he that way being honored will hearten your interests.'

(26) S'rî S'uka said: 'Thus being advised by Lord Brahmâ oh King, they relieved of their pain, went to the rishi, the son of Tvashthâ. They embraced him and told him the following. (27) The godly said: 'We, arriving as guests at your abode, wish you all good fortune and would like to express the desire oh dear son, to have, concerning the present situation of us the elder ones of your [spiritual] family, some things straightened out. (28) The highest duty of sons is to serve their parents as good as they can despite of having sons of their own oh brahmin, and what to say about celibate sons? (29-30) The teacher of example [the âcârya] personifies the Vedic knowledge, the father stands for the Original Father [Brahmâ], the brother is the representative of the king of the demigods [Indra] and the mother is the direct embodiment of the earth. The sister personifies the mercy, the guest is there as the true self of dharma, the one invited is there as the representative of the god of the sacrificial fire [Agni] and all living beings are there to the example of the Supreme one of the Soul [Vishnu]. (31) Therefore, by the power of the austerity that is in you dear son, take away the grief of us, your troubled elders, who were defeated by our enemies. We recognize you as the one who can do this. (32) We have chosen you as our preceptor concerning the Supreme Brahman, as our brahmin and spiritual master, so that based upon your prowess we can defeat our rivals with ease. (33) It is by no means forbidden to offer for one's self-interest one's obeisances at the feet of someone younger like you. It is important to be of praise oh brahmin, to be advanced in age doesn't really count in such matters [*].'

(34) The honorable rishi [S'uka] said: 'Thus on the request of the different enlightened souls accepting the priesthood as the great example of austerity, Vis'varûpa, pleased with their honest words addressed them. (35) Vis'varûpa said: 'Even though it is condemned by those faithful to religious principles as being detrimental to one's brahminical power, I oh lords, oh controllers of all, as someone whose self-worth it is to be a disciple so one says, cannot decline this request. (36) Persons withdrawing from the world may count on the wealth of grains left behind in the field or the marketplace [s'iloñchana, to live 'on the dole']. That is how the sâdhus, acting piously in this world, succeed. But how reproachable it is for me oh rulers of the worlds, to be of the duty of the priesthood, a duty designed for the bewildered ones to exult! (37) Nevertheless I cannot turn down the request of you altogether, you as persons as good as the guru. Because the desire for my own life and welfare is of little value, I will concede.'

(38) The son of Vyâsa said: 'Vis'varûpa, the master of penance, thus promising them to be their priest, performed as requested his duty with the greatest attention. (39) Even though the riches of the enemies of the God-conscious ones were protected by the science of S'ukrâcârya, the mighty sage managed by means of a prayer unto Lord Vishnu [called Nârâyana-kavaca] to collect the wealth and hand it over to the great Indra [compare B.G. 9: 31]. (40) The liberal minded Vis'varûpa spoke that hymn to Mahendra ['the great Indra']. It protected the god with the thousand eyes and defeated the military power of the Asuras [the demons] that had become a great threat.'

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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/