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Srimad Bhagavatam (Bhagavata Purana) :: Conto 11

The Devotional Coherence of the Methods and the Meditation on Vishnu

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Srimad Bhagavatam » Conto 11   

 The Devotional Coherence of the Methods and the Meditation on Vishnu

(1) S'rî Uddhava said: 'Krishna, are the many processes for spiritual advancement that the defenders of the Absolute Truth speak of, supreme in their combination or is else one of them the most important? (2) By You has clearly been stated o Master, how bhakti-yoga, by which the mind gets fixed upon You, without cherishing desires to it in all respects removes the suffering of the [fear-arousing, temporary] material state.'

(3) The Supreme Lord said: 'This message consisting of the Vedas that by the influence of time was lost at the time of annihilation, was at the time of creation by Me spoken to Brahmâ. It contains the dharma of acting according to My will [see also 3.9: 29-43]. (4) Brahmâ spoke this to his eldest son Manu. The seven great sages of spiritual knowing headed by Bhrigu accepted it on their turn from Manu [see 8.1 & 8.13 and B.G. 4: 1-3]. (5-7) From the forefathers that they were, were there the descendants: the godly and the demoniac, the S'iva followers, the human beings, the perfected and the singers of heaven, the scientific and the venerable. From rajas, tamas and sattva [the gunas] generated the many different natures of the different humanoids [Kimdevas], the half-humans [Kinnaras], the snake-like [Nâgas], the wild men [the Râkshasas], and the ape-like [Kimpurushas]. From the living entities who by their propensities are divided in so many forms and as many leaders, flowed [like rivers from a mountain] the diversity of rituals and mantras. (8) Thus are due to the great variety of natures the philosophies of life among the human beings divided. In that constitute some of those philosophies traditions of disciplic succession while others are heretical [pâshanda]. (9) People whose intelligence is bewildered by My illusory power, o best of persons, express themselves in countless ways about what according to their own karma and taste would be better. (10) Some speak in favor of pious activities while others speak of fame, sense-gratification, truthfulness, self-control and peacefulness. Some propound self-interest, political influence, renunciation or consumption while other people defend sacrifice, penance, charity, vows and arrangements of do's and don'ts [yama-niyama]. (11) With an inevitable beginning and an end to the meager ends gained with one's karma is there the prospect of misery as a consequence. Situated in ignorance is one wretched full of complaints. (12) Someone who has fixed his consciousness upon Me, o learned one, and in every respect is free from material desires, knows the happiness of My spiritual body. How can such a happiness ever be attained by those who are attached to sense-gratification [see 4.31: 12]? (13) The one who does not desire, who's of peace controlling his senses, whose consciousness is equal whatever the circumstances and who has a mind that is completely satisfied with Me, is filled with happiness wherever he goes. (14) Someone who has fixed his consciousness on Me, Me and nothing but Me, does not desire the position of Brahmâ, nor the position of Indra, neither he wants an empire on earth or a sovereign position in the lower worlds, nor he desires the perfections [the siddhis] of yoga or a second birth does he desire who has fixed his consciousness in Me, Me and nothing else [see e.g. 5.1: 6]. (15) Nor the one born from My body [Brahmâ], nor S'ankara [S'iva], nor Sankarshana [Balarâma], nor the goddess of fortune [S'rî], nor even My own Self is as dear to Me as you are [see also B.G. 12: 20]. (16) The sage who without personal desire is of peace, not inimical to anyone and of an equal vision I always follow closely so that there is purification by the dust of the lotusfeet [see also 7.14: 17]. (17) Not after sense-gratification being of a mind that is constantly attached to Me, experience the great souls who are of inner peace and care for all individual souls whose consciousness is not ruled by lusts, My happiness that can not be known but by complete detachment. (18) Even though being harassed by sensual desires is the devotee of Mine who did not conquer the senses - that as a rule are effective and strong - by dint of his devotion not defeated by that type of influence [see also 1.5: 17, 8.7: 44, 11.13: 12 and B.G. 9: 30, 2: 62-64]. (19) Just as firewood because of the blazing flames of a fire turns into ashes, devotion similarly with Me as the object burns the sins completely, o Uddhava. (20) The yoga system nor analytical philosophy, Uddhava, pious activities nor vedic study, austerity nor renunciation get a grip on Me as much as a strongly developed devotional service for My sake. (21) My grace is obtained by single-minded devotion with faith in the Soul as the object of love. With Me [that Supreme Soul] as the only One will the bhakti of the truthful ones even purify those who eat dogs from the matters of their birth. (22) Sure enough neither dharma endowed with truthfulness and mercy, nor knowledge endowed with austerity will purify one's consciousness fully when [one is] bereft of devotional service unto Me. (23) How can without bhakti one's hair stand on end, without loving service the heart melt, without devotion the tears flow, the bliss be and one's consciousness be purified? (24) By the one whose speech chokes up, the heart melts, there times and again are wet tears and of whom there sometimes is laughter, by the one of whom there is unashamed singing out aloud and there is dancing in the connectedness of My bhakti, is the universe purified [see also S'rî S'rî S'ikshâshthaka and 11.2: 40]. (25) Just like gold that smelted in fire gives up impurities and returns to its original state is also from the spirit soul the contamination of karma removed when one in My loving service is worshiping Me. (26) As much as the power to see restores once the eye is treated with ointment, the spirit soul that was cleansed by hearing and chanting the pious narrations about Me, the same way sees again the One Subtle Essence. (27) The consciousness of someone meditating the objects of the senses is entangled in the sense experience [see B.G. 2: 62-63]; even so is the mind systematically absorbed in Me when one keeps thinking of Me. (28) Therefore are the material preoccupations as figments a dream to be forsaken in Me, as completely absorbed in My love the mind is purified. (29) Giving up being intimate with women [to have intercourse with them, with others or otherwise] and keeping far from the company of womanizers should one, mastering the self, sit at ease in seclusion and with great care concentrate on Me [see also 11.8: 13-14 *]. (30) No other attachment brings a man as much suffering and bondage as the attachment to women and the association with those who are attached to women [see also 1.4: 25, 5.5: 2, 5.13: 16, 6.9: 9, 7.12: 9, 9.14: 36, 9.19: 17, 10.10: 8, 10.51: 51, 10.60: 44-45 & 48].'

(31) S'rî Uddhava said: 'O Lotus-eyed One, how, of what nature and of what form should one's meditation be when one desires liberation? Please, can You speak to me about meditation?'

(32-33) The Supreme Lord said: 'Sitting straight, erect and comfortable on a level seat, one should focus one's eyes on the tip of one's nose while placing one's hands in one's lap. The purifying of the different ways of breathing - one's inhaling, retaining, exhaling and the other way around - one should practice step by step while controlling one's senses [see prânâyâma, and B.G. 4: 29]. (34) With the help of one's life breath [prâna] manifesting within the mind the sound AUM, one should guide that sound upwards, like the fibre of a lotus stalk, to vibrate it loudly [in the nose] like a ringing bell so as to reunite the vibrations of recitation [anusvâra **]. (35) The breathing thus joined with the Pranava [see also 9.14: 46] should carefully be repeated ten times, at sunrise, noon and sunset, so that after one month one will be in control of one's breath [***]. (36-42) With one's eyes half closed and sitting straight one should, alert inside for the supreme of liberation, concentrate on the lotus within the heart that is directed upwards. Within the whorl of its eight petals one should one after the other picture the sun, the moon and the fire. Within the fire one should consider My harmonious form so auspicious for meditation, that gentle and cheerful as it is, is endowed with four beautiful arms. Charming of beauty are the neck and the forehead, the pure smile as also the ears with the glowing shark shaped earrings. One should meditate upon the golden dress, the complexion with the color of a rain cloud, the curl on the chest where the goddess resides, the conch and the disc, the club and the lotus as also the beauty of the forest flower garland. One should meditate upon all the beautiful and charming parts of My body: the feet with their shining bells, the richly glowing Kaustubha gem, the shining crown and bracelets, the girdle and armlets, the merciful smile and the delicate glance. This, one should do by turning the mind away from the senses. This way one should with intelligence lead the charioteer [the soul, the master of intelligence], sober and grave, [with love] in the direction of My completeness. (43) With this exercise covering all parts should one next pull back one's consciousness and, focussing on one spot with disregard for the rest, again with love meditate upon the wonderful smile of the face. (44) Thus having withdrawn the mind being established in the sky, should one with this focus give up on that also and having ascended to Me, not think of anything else anymore. (45) Thus fully absorbed in the consciousness sees the individual soul Me within the self and all selves within Me, the same way the sun's rays are united in the sun [see also B.G. 9: 29]. (46) Of the yogi who most concentrated practices the meditation as mentioned will very soon the complete of the deluded state of mind of him who considers himself the owner, the knower and the doer, find its dissolution [compare: 2.2: 8-14].'

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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/