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Srimad Bhagavatam (Bhagavata Purana) :: Conto 5

Lord Rishabhadeva's Activities

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Srimad Bhagavatam » Conto 5   

 Lord Rishabhadeva's Activities

(1) The king said: 'O Supreme One, by those self-satisfied souls of whom the seed of fruitive action has been burned by the spiritual knowledge that was acquired by the practice of yoga, mystical powers are automatically achieved; how can they become a hindrance?'

(2) The sage said: 'You're quite right [in saying that yoga leads to certain powers], but in this world one, just like a cunning hunter, doesn't directly put faith in the mind that [just like game] always runs off. (3) Therefore one says that one should never make friends with the restless mind. Even the greatest ones [like Lord S'iva and sage Saubhari] were disturbed by it after for a long time having put faith in practicing austerities. (4) Just as a husband with an adulterous wife must guard against competitors, also yoga adepts will have to wake against putting faith in the mind that so easily is carried away by lust motives. (5) Which man of wisdom would confide in the [undirected] mind that is the breeding ground for the lust, anger, pride, greed, lamentation, illusion and fear that together constitute the bondage to one's karma? (6) Even though He [Rishabha] was the head of all kings and rulers of this universe, He in terms of this logic acted in the dress, with the language and the character of an avadhûta [5.5: 29] as if He was dumb. He concealed His supreme lordship in order to be able to teach the yogis by the example of His own personal vehicle of time how to forsake in yoga. As if He was a normal mortal being who tries to forsake his physical body He, according to the supreme command of the Soul, not hindered by the illusory of matter always kept to Himself the vision from within of the love transcendental to all vice and put an end to His material existence. (7) With Him the Supreme Lord Rishabhadeva who was free from any vital self-interest, we thus saw the apparent physical presence, the motivated appearance of His body in this illusory world. He all by Himself traveled the lands of South India: Konka, Venka and Kuthaka in the province of Karnâtha, and reached a forest nearby Kuthakâcala. There He with a handful of stones in His mouth, wandered around naked and with scattered hair like He was a madman. (8) In a fierce forest fire blazing all around that was caused by the friction of bamboo stalks tossed about by the force of the wind, His body in that forest then burned to ashes.

(9) Hearing about His pastimes of being free from all ritual and custom, the king of Konka, Venka and Kuthaka who carried the name Arhat [the Jain, the venerable one] took to an imitation of them. Bewildered by an increase of irreligious life that forbode the arrival of the Kali-yuga Age of Quarrel, he gave up the safe path of religion that would ward off all fear and adopted a non-conformistic, wrong, heretical view by introducing most foolishly a concoction of His own. (10) The lowest of mankind in this age of Kali who, lacking in character, cleanliness and dutifulness with the rules and regulations are bewildered by the illusory energy of God, will because of this [kind of practice] in neglect of the divine, self-willed and with wrong principles follow strange rules as not bathing, not cleaning the mouth, being dirty and plucking out the hair. With their consciousness spoiled by an abundance of modern time adharma [or forsaking of duties] they will fall into blaspheming the Vedas, the brahmins, rituals such as sacrifices and the Supreme Personality and the devotees. (11) They who encouraged by blind predecessors with a deviating practice have built their own little world [or cult] will themselves being blinded land in darkness [compare B.G. 16: 16, 16: 23]. (12) This avatâra of the Lord was there for the purpoe of instructing the people who are overwhelmed by passion in the matter of emancipation or how they should reach eternal happiness [or final beatitude, kaivalya]. (13) About Him the people in line with these teachings sing the following verses: 'Oh, of all the lands on the continents of this world with its seven seas, this land [of Bhârata-varsha, India] is the most meritorious, for their people sing about the all-auspicious activities of Murâri in His many incarnations [Krishna as the enemy of the foolish one, Mura].' (14) 'Oh what should one say about the pure and renown dynasty of King Priyavrata wherein the Original Person, the Supreme Personality descended as an incarnation? He, the Unparalleled One performed the religious duty that puts an end to profit-minded labor [the dharma that leads to akarma].' (15) 'Is there any other yogi of perseverance and determination who, desiring the perfections that were rejected by Rishabha for being insubstantial, can follow but even in his mind the example of this unborn Godhead?

(16) I have thus expounded on the pure activities of the Supreme Lord named Rishabha, who is the most worshipable master of all Vedic knowledge for the common man, the God-conscious ones, the brahmins and the cows. He who following in the footsteps of the great [the paramparâ], with a growing faith and devotion attentively listens to, speaks to others about or personally attends to this refuge of His great and supreme auspiciousness that puts an end to all the sins of every living being, will unto Him, the Supreme Lord Vâsudeva, be favorably disposed with unflinching devotion in both the forms of listening and speaking. (17) But in that devotion incessantly bathing themselves in order to be freed from suffering the various troublesome conditions of material existence, the ones of wisdom [among them] do not endeavor for that beatitude of retreat, that supreme and eternal purpose of all human beings, because having entered a relationship with the Supreme Personality all their material desires found their completion. (18) Dear King [Parîkchit], He undoubtedly was the maintainer and teacher, the worshipable deity, friend and master of your Yadu line and sometimes He even acted as a servant. Thus my best one He indeed was Mukunda, the Supreme Lord who grants liberation [mukti], but to [confidentially] engage someone in His devotional service [like Arjuna on the battlefield] He did [nor does] not that easily. (19) All glories to Him, the Supreme Lord Rishabhadeva, He who always directed at His true identity, complete within Himself and without desires, was as graceful to expand for the true welfare of man His activities in the material field and in that capacity, for the materially identified human being whose intelligence slept a long time, was of instruction about the true self free from fear.'

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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/