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Srimad Bhagavatam (Bhagavata Purana) :: Conto 7

Nârada's Instructions on Sharing, Irreligion, Yoga and Advaita

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Srimad Bhagavatam » Conto 7   

 Nârada's Instructions on Sharing, Irreligion, Yoga and Advaita

(1) S'rî Nârada said: 'Some of the twiceborn are devoted to fruitive labor and some are decided about austerities, o ruler of man, some are of vedic study while others exercise rhetoric, and some also do unify [the consciousness] in spiritual knowledge [in bhakti- and jñâna-yoga]. (2) A person desiring liberation should donate the results of his sacrifices to the ones devoted to spiritual knowing and should also, apart from that what is offered to the God-conscious, donate to others, be it with discrimination. (3) Offering to the demigods should two of them be fed, offering to the forefathers should three of them be fed, or one should at least in both cases feed one of them; however rich one might be, one should with one's offerings not arrange too lavishly. (4) Concerning a suitable place and time, the belief, the person worshiped and the method used, will with one's sacrificing in belief [with the s'râddha ceremony] not everything be as perfect as it should if one has invited a large group of guests. (5) To the right place and time should, as far as available, the food for the saintly with love and devotion be offered to the Supreme Personality of Godhead according the regulative principles and words of the preceptor; what one this way offers to the one who is worshiped will become an everlasting source of prosperity. (6) Offering food to the godly, the saints, the forefathers, the living beings in general, the relatives and one's own family members, should one see them all as being part of the Original Personality of God. (7) Someone who knows the dharmic principles should never offer meat [nor fish and eggs] in the ceremonies of belief, nor should he apart from that be a meat eater; with the ones who are worshiped achieves one the greatest satisfaction with the [vegetarian] food of the sages and not so much with food that is offered with needless violence against animals. (8) For persons desiring true righteousness is there no religion higher than this: to forsake in one's mind, words and actions all violence against other living beings.

(9) Persons free from material desires who very well know about the purpose of sacrifices, are enlightened in jñâna of sacrifice by staying fixed on the true self [in samyama]; they, advanced in spiritual knowledge, know that some sacrifices, [animal sacrifices] have karmic consequences.  (10) The animals seeing the offerer engaged in his material ado become afraid thinking: 'This person not being so nice to us will, not really knowing how or what, certainly quickly want to achieve a result by putting us to death!' (11) Therefore should indeed the one who is really of the dharma [see also B.G. 18: 66], day after day, in the greatest happiness, perform his regular and occasional duties with the food that is given by God, the [vegetarian] food of the sages. (12) Vidharma, paradharma, upadharma, âbhâsa and chala-dharma are the five different forms of irreligion that by those who are faithful to the scripture are considered the adharma, the unrighteously being engaged, that is to be given up. (13) What obstructs the original purpose of one's own duty is vidharma, misconceived or strange to one's own is it paradharma, directions that are turned against one's purpose in life are upadharma and one speaks of chala when by an opponent the words of the scripture are twisted and covered with pretense. (14) That what by persons whimsically, as a dim reflection, is done in defiance of the purpose of one's own order of life [one's âs'rama] is âbhâsa; [to all of this one has to pose the question:] in what respect would that what to one's own nature as being the appropriate dharma is arranged not be capable of bringing peace? (15) So should someone who is not wealthy not try to acquire money; with the religion and economy should one not go beyond what is necessary to keep one's body and soul together. The desirelessness of someone free from that endeavoring is like that of the python [see 7.13: 11] which lives without special effort. (16) Where would he, who driven by lust and greed for the sake of riches wanders here, there and everywhere, find the happiness of the contented person who not endeavoring for his maintenance is happy from within? (17) For a mind always of peace is every path followed just as auspicious, just like it is with a person who with shoes on his feet has nothing to fear from pebbles and thorns. (18) Or, o King, why should a person of peace not live happily on even a bit of water, when he from troublesome dealings with his genitals and tongue becomes a man not better than a household dog? (19) For sure will of a discontented man of learning, because of his greed, gradually dwindle the strength of his senses, his education, austerity and fame and will his spiritual knowledge vanish. (20) For someone who is hungry and thirsty do the lusts come to an end, of anger vented there is a relief, but a person will not get over his greed when he enjoys it to conquer all the directions of the globe [see also B.G. 16: 21]. (21) O King, many scholars, many persons of varied experience, many an expert in legal advice, or many a candidate for the office even, has landed in hell simply from lacking in contentment.

(22) With determination lust should be overcome, anger by means of forsaking the object of desire, to greed one must consider the accumulation of wealth which gives the trouble, and fear is overcome by contemplation of the truth. (23) Deliberation on spiritual matters is the cure for lamentation and illusion, false pride is cured by service to a great soul, silence overcomes the obstacles on the path of yoga and no longer hankering after one's sense gratification remedies hostility [see also B.G. 4: 10]. (24) Have pity with the sufferings inflicted by other living entities and by nature, in systematic yoga meditation give up what you suffer as a consequence of your own deeds and conquer sleep by exercising goodness. (25) By the mode of goodness can a person, in devotional service unto the spiritual master, easily conquer all this passion, ignorance and the goodness itself that one also should leave behind. (26) The guru who is the light on the path should directly be considered the Supreme Lord; he who considers him and all that belongs to the Veda as mortal and timebound, is like an elephant taking a dustbath. (27) This Supreme Lord who evidently is the original nature of the person, the Controller whose feet are sought by the masters of yoga, is by the common people taken for a normal human being! [see also B.G. 9: 11] (28) If all the activities and regulations the way they should be, to the end of the once and for all subjugating of the six of the senses and the mind, do not lead to a positively being unified in the consciousness, has one only wasted one's time and effort.

(29) Since the occupational duties in desiring an income do not serve the interest of yoga, are they at all times of little help and value, just as are the ritual vedic ceremonies of a person who is worldly entangled [compare B.G. 2: 42-44]. (30) He who is engaged in the conquering of his mind must be alone in a solitary place, without the dependence of an attached company [like a family] and as a renounced person live on the dole, eating frugally. (31) In a clean leveled place, o King, must he arrange for a seat and steady, comfortable and equipoised sit down, keeping his body straight and thus do the Pranava [see 1.2: 11 and B.G. 8: 11-14 and 6: 11-12]. (32-33) He should arrest the in- and outgoing air holding his exhaling and inhaling and for that time give up all desires in his mind while staring at the tip of his nose. With the mind that wanders here and there withdrawn from whatever is the lust defeated and should a learned yogi step by step from within his heart put an end to the thinking. (34) Of fortitude will the consequent practitioner this way in due course of time quickly manage to be as pure as a fire without smoke. (35) Not drawn by the various desires is one calm and peaceful in all one's activities in a consciousness that is situated in the happiness of the transcendental platform from which one factually can never separate oneself [see also B.G. 5: 17]. 

(36) When someone who first left his home behind to wander around then again returns to the field of the threefold practice of the materially oriented [economic, religious and sense-oriented] activities in which he was formerly engaged, can such a shameless mendicant be compared to someone who eats his own vomit [a vântâs'î]. (37) Those who consider their body as something separate from the soul, as something mortal meant for stool, worms and ashes, and then again glorify that body and identify with it, are indeed the dullest of the great lie. (38-39) For householders to forsake their duties, for celibates to give up on vows, for withdrawn ones to submit as a servant of the commoner, for renunciates to hanker after the senses - for all these âs'ramas is it most abominable indeed to behave like this in cheating the spiritual order; those, bewildered by the external energy of God, one should doubt and pity. (40) Once one understood what the soul entails, once one from the beyond has cleansed one's consciousness with spiritual knowledge, how can one then hanker for comfort, why would one then stay a slave to the demands of the body? (41) One says that the body is the chariot, that the senses are the horses, that the mind - the master of the senses - is there as the reins, that the sense-objects form the paths followed, that reason constitutes the charioteer and that character is the great bond created by the Lord. (42) The spokes of the wheel [see also 7.9: 21] are the ten airs in the body [called prâna, apâna, samâna, vyâna, udâna, nâga, kûrma, krikala, devadatta and dhanañjaya], the inside and outside of the wheels are religion and irreligion, the one driven is the individual soul who is falsely identified, the Pranava is the bow and the living entity the arrow, but the target is for sure the Supreme. (43-44) Attachment and aversion, greed and lamentation, illusion, fear, madness, false prestige, insult, fault-finding and deception, violence and jealousy, unrest, bewilderment, hunger and sleep are one's enemies indeed; these and more are sometimes the consequence of passion and ignorance and sometimes they sprout from the mode of goodness. (45) As long as one has this human form, which as a chariot with all its subordinate parts depends on one's control, must one in service of the lotusfeet of the most venerable ones hold on to the, by the strength of the Infallible One, sharpened sword of knowledge until the enemy is defeated, so that satisfied of one's transcendental bliss this body can be given up for the sake of the pure, uncontaminated being. (46) Not doing so being inattentive and of the untrue, will the senses that act as the horses lead the charioteer on the road of desire. There falls he into the hands of the plunderers, the sense objects [who rule with vishaya, eating, sleeping and mating] and will the driver because of them, together with the horses and all, land in the dark, blind well of material existence and the great fear of death. (47) To be inclined towards or to cease from material enjoyment [pravritti and nivritti], are according the Vedas the two options of proceeding [4.4: 20], materially inclined is one aimless, but ceasing enjoys one the nectar of the eternal [see also B.G. 16: 7].

(48-49) Systematically being of violence [in sacrificing animals] with all kinds of fire sacrifices that require so many things, is something filled with desire which causes anxiety; the purpose of all the dars'a, pûrnamâsa, câturmâsya, pas'uh, soma and other ritualistic ceremonies one should consider an attachment. Even so are the oblation and sacrifice [huta, prahuta] as also the, for the benefit of the public, constructing of temples, resting houses and gardens and the digging of wells and providing of food and water, to be recognized as such symptoms. (50-51) Everything that one offers in the fire turns into the smoke belonging to the divinity of the dark half of the month, the sun going through the south and the moon that is new [compare B.G. 8: 25]; that way are there from the vegetation on the earth's surface, the foodgrains, are there the seeds thus, o ruler of the earth, that thus projected through the father [of Time] lead to the, one after the other, repeated succession of over and over being born to exist to the victory of matter [see also B.G. 9: 21]. (52) A twice-born one by enlightenment in real knowledge [by the path of ceasing] is by the purification processes of the beginning of life and the end of it at death, purified [he loses interest in material results] as he offers his actions into [the meditating on] his sensuality. (53) The senses then merged in the mind that is infected by words that move in waves of material preference, the words then delimited to the complete of its elements, the letters, those then restricted to the AUM of the Pranava vibrated and that ultimate vibration next given up to the point enclosed [the 'echo'], indeed then results in the fact that the life air is sacrificed in the Supreme of the Living entity [in brahman]. (54) The individual soul following the nature of the fire, the sun, the day, the end of the day, the bright half of the month, the full moon, the northern path and the Supreme of Brahmâ then reaches, moving in the natural connectedness of the gross destination with the subtle one, the transcendental state [turya] of intelligence. (55) On this path towards God, as one calls it, repeatedly been born again [see also B.G. 8: 16], does the one eager in self-realization heading for the peace indeed, not return, established as he is in the true self. (56) The one who this way is faithful to the forefathers and the gods will, on this path as recommended by the Vedas regularly studying the scriptures, even though being a material person, with an enlightened vision never be bewildered.

(57) He Himself is verily there in the beginning and in the end, of all living beings, existing always internally as well as externally, transcendental to the gross, as the knowledge and the known, as the expression and the expressed and as the darkness and the light. (58) Even though a mere reflection is rejected as being a real form, is it nevertheless accepted; likewise is also the substance of the purpose accepted although it is difficult to prove from speculating on one's sensual input. (59) In this world of the five elements is one of them nor the counterpart, the reflection, one appears to be, nor is one a combination or transformation of them; one should not believe that one as a soul would have an independent existence, nor that one would be one with the elements [see also B.G. 18: 66]. (60) The five elements as the cause of the bodily concept and the sense-objects can not exist without their subtle [counter]parts; the untrue is found in the fixed form of a body, which, just as that what is part of it [the sense-object], in the end turns out to be a temporary appearance. (61) It can be compared with what one has when one dreams: one is awake while one sleeps; [the sleeping as] a part of the reality cannot be seen apart from the complete [of de dream] without being mistaken. Even so can that what is scripturally prohibited [yama] not be seen apart from that what is prescribed [niyama]. (62) Considering the oneness in matter, the oneness in action and the oneness in thought, turns a soul of wisdom, from his selfrealization in life, away from the three of them as being three separate forms of sleep [compare 1.18: 26 and B.G. 6: 16]. (63) To the observation that, like with the substance of the threads of a cloth, the effect and cause [of this existence] are one because ultimately setting them apart constitutes the unreal, does one speak of the conception of oneness [bhâvâdvaita, see also B.G. 18: 16]. (64) In all activities of the mind, the words and the body directly to be dedicated to the Supreme of the transcendental Absolute, o Yudhishthhira, is called oneness in activities [kriyâdvaita, compare B.G. 9.27]. (65) When the ultimate goal and interest of oneself, the wife and the children, the others or whatever living beings is one, is that oneness called oneness of interest [dravyâdvaita]. (66) A person should, by whatever would be allowed as for means, time and place, proceed according his prescribed duties, o King; someone operating by that process should, when everything is in order, not try any other way. (67) By this and by other ways expressed in the vedic literatures abiding by one's occupational duties, can any human being who renders devotional service according that notion, even staying at home reach the destination of Him, o King [see also B.G. 9: 32]. (68) It is as indeed the way all of you [Pândavas], o lord of kings, escaped from all the insurmountable danger; by serving the feet of your own Master [Krishna] managed you to perform the sacrifices successfully in defeating the strongest elephants [the burden of unrighteous kings].

(69) I myself a long, long time ago, in a former mahâkalpa [in another age of Brahmâ], existed as a denizen of heaven named Upabarhana and was very respected among the Gandharvas. (70) I had a beautiful body and was, most attractive, fragrant and decorated, captivating to the eye; proud like a madman in his own city was I, day by day under the influence of the natural attraction of women, very covetous. (71) Once there was a gathering of the godly and to the occasion of glorifying the Lord in song and dance, were by those who ruled over the universe [the Prajâpatis] all the Ghandarvas and Apsaras invited. (72) I too, expert in singing the glories of the divine life, went there surrounded by women and well known with my attitude cursed the divine rulers of the universe me with great force for my contempt: 'O you, in offense with the etiquette, become a s'ûdra as from now, bereft of the beauty!' (73) Because of that I took birth from a maidservant but despite of that obtained I, rendering service to spiritually outspoken people, at the same time a life as a son of Brahmâ [see also 1.5: 23-31]. (74) To you, an attached householder, I explained that process by which a grihastha can conquer sin and very easily obtain the position of the renounced. (75) You are of such a great fortune in the world that all saints that may purify come to visit you in your house because the Most Confidential One of the Supreme Brahman can be directly met there in the form of a normal person. (76) He, the One Brahman, sought by the great for the realization of liberation and the bliss of heaven, is the most dear well-wisher of all of you, your renown cousin [Lord Krishna], the, to as well the heart as the soul, most worshipable person and guru of instruction on the principles [the vidhi; see also 7.10: 48 & 49]. (77) His form, beyond the purview of Lord S'iva, Lord Brahmâ and the others [see also B.G. 7: 26], factually can be understood by meditation, by silence, by bhakti and by putting an end to all material association; may the One, this same personality, this master of the devotees so worshiped, be pleased with us.'

(78) S'rî S'uka said: 'The best of the Bhârata dynasty, in utter glee of hearing the descriptions of the devarishi, was caught in the ecstasy of love and worshiped him as well as Lord Krishna. (79) With the reverence he received from Lord Krishna and from Yudhishthhira, who as the son of Prithâ [see family tree] was utterly amazed about Krishna being the Parabrahman, the Supreme of the Spiritual, bade the muni them farewell and left. (80) Thus I have described to you how, from the separate dynasties of the daughters of Daksha, there were the gods, the demons and the human beings and such, as well as all the worlds with their moving and nonmoving living entities.'

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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/