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Srimad Bhagavatam (Bhagavata Purana) :: Conto 5

Prayers to the Different Avatâras

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Srimad Bhagavatam » Conto 5   

 Prayers to the Different Avatâras

(1) S'rî S'uka said: 'The son of Dharmarâja known as Bhadras'ravâ, along with the leading nobles and all the inhabitants of Bhadrâs'va-varsha, directly worships the same way [as Lord S'iva does] the Supreme Lord Vâsudeva in His dearmost form as the director of the religion: His incarnation as Hayagrîva [or Hayas'îrsha]. Approaching Him they, absorbed in transcendence, chant the following. (2) The ruler Bhadras'ravâ and his subjects say: 'My obeisances unto the Supreme Lord whom we worship because He is the source of all religious principles and the One who purifies us from all material contamination. (3) Alas! How wondrous the ways of the Lord are. Sure to be faced with death someone nevertheless doesn't see this and thinks of material happiness. When he does the wrong things he tries to enjoy and when he cremates his father or his sons he wishes to live for ever! (4) The great sages traditionally insist that the universe is perishable and the philosophers and the scholars who see and know their real self state that as well. Still they are overcome by illusion o Unborn One, by Your outer energy, by Your miraculous ways. I offer You, the One Unborn, my obeisances. (5) The Vedic literatures defend You as being aloof from Your activities of the creation, the maintenance and the annihilation of the entire universe. That You are not touched by them nevertheless does not amaze us, for we are united in You, the original cause of all causes and essence [the primal substance] in all respects. (6) At the end of the Yuga the four Vedas were stolen by the personification of ignorance [the demon Madhu] and [retreiving them] from the lowest worlds they were by You, assuming the form of half a horse, half a man [Hayagrîva], returned to the supreme poet [Brahmâ] when he asked for them. Him, You whose resolve never fails, I offer my obeisances.

(7) In Hari-varsha, there is also the Supreme Personality of the Lord in a human form [as Nrisimhadeva]. The reason why He assumed that form most satisfying to the great personality of all good qualities Prahlâda, I'll explain to you later [see seventh canto]. That topmost devotee because of whose exalted character and qualities all the Daityas in his family were delivered, is, together with the people of that varsha, of an uninterrupted, unflinching devotional service and they worship Him chanting this: (8) 'O Supreme Lord Nrisimha, I bow for You, my obeisances to the power of all power that You are. Please manifest Yourself fully, o You whose nails and teeth are like thunderbolts. Please take away the desire to enjoy the untrue, be so good to drive away o Lord, the ignorance in the material world. May, with my oblations, there be freedom from all fear, I beg You o Lord, source of my prayer, to appear before my mind's eye. (9) Let there be good fortune for the entire universe, may all mischief turn into virtue, let all living beings find consciousness in a reciprocating mindfulness and may the mind be calm. Give us the experience of the Lord in the beyond, let our intelligence be absorbed in this without another motive.  (10) Let there no longer be the attachment to one's house, wife, children, a bank balance, friends and relatives, but rather the association with persons who cherish the Lord, with people satisfied with the bare necessities of life who - contrary to those who cherish the senses - quickly succeed in self-realization. (11) From having achieved the repeated association with those whose influence is uncommon and coming in touch with the holy places, the impurities of the mind are overcome. The unborn one who entered the core of the heart through the ears would indeed not be of service to impure matters - such is the way of Mukunda [the Lord of Liberation]. (12) In those who free from ulterior motives are of service to the Fortunate One all the demigods manifest themselves and all good qualities are found - but where are the good qualities of a person who is not devoted to the Lord and with a busy mind constantly runs after the temporary matters of the outside world? (13) As desirable as water is to aquatics, the  Supreme Lord is desirable as the true self, the (Super)soul, of all embodied beings. If one gives up on a personality as great as He is, one will get attached to a household life which for a couple having aged is then the [entire] greatness [that was accomplished]. (14) Household life is the root cause of fear and depression, passion, attachment, disappointment, anger, the desire for prestige and the cycle of repeated birth and death. Therefore one should give it up [to be attached this way] and thus be of worship for the feet of Lord Nrisimhadev who is the refuge of fearlessness.'

(15) The Supreme Lord resides in Ketumâla in the form of Kâmadeva [or also Pradyumna, see 4.24: 35] according to His wish to satisfy the Goddess of Fortune as well as the sons [the days] and the daughters [the nights] of the founding father [Samvatsara, the deity of the year] who rule the land and of whom there are as many as there are days and nights in a human lifetime. The fetuses of these daughters whose minds are upset by the radiation of the mighty weapon [the cakra] of the Supreme Personality, are ruined and after one year expelled dead [from the womb] as miscarriages. (16) So very beautiful in His movements and manifested pastimes, He with His mild smiles, playful glances, slightly raised attractive eyebrows and charming lotuslike face is a pleasure to the Goddess of Fortune and all the senses. (17) To that highest form of the Supreme Lord so affectionate to all, the Goddess of Splendor, in the absorption of yoga recites the following in her all year through - during the nights with the daughters of the Prajâpati, and during the days with the husbands - being of worship for Him: (18) 'O Lord, hrâm hrîm hrûm [a mantra of propitiation], in respect of  all Your qualities and properties I offer You, the Supreme Lord of the senses my obeisances. You are the Soul of all and master of action, knowing, function and relation; the One known as the sixteenfold [of the working, the knowing senses, the elements and the mind]. You as the Enjoyer of all rituals, the supplier of the food, He who awards eternal life, the All-pervading One of Power, the strength of the body and the senses, the Supreme Husband fulfilling all desires, I offer my respects - may there always be Your good fortune! (19) Women ask in this world for another, self-sufficient husband by propitiating You, the Lord of the senses by means of sacred vows, because the dependent husbands are not capable to protect the sweet children, wealth and life of these women. (20) That man would be a husband who is fearless and self-sufficient and fully capable of offering protection. You are that person [depending on no one else] for otherwise people would fear each other [in their dependence]. There is no attainment held higher in this world than the attainment of You. (21) A woman who, with that notion of You in mind, eagerly worships Your lotus feet, is by You, despite of all the desires she is addicted to, rewarded for just that wish; but when she wishing to worship You aims at something else o Supreme Lord, she having broken [with the original purpose], will feel pain. (22) In order to obtain me [the Goddess of Fortune], the unborn one [Brahmâ], the mighty master [Îs'a or S'iva], the other gods as well as the unenlightened ones, undergo severe penances; but because I have my heart always in You, no one with a mind turned to the senses will obtain me, unless he with heart and soul is of service at Your feet o Unconquerable One. (23) I pray that You o Infallible one, place on my head the worshipable lotus hand that You also placed on the heads of the devotees. You carry my mark on Your chest o worshipable one, but that is misleading [that doesn't guarantee Your mercy]. Who can ever understand by reason and argument the motives of You, the Supreme Lord?'

(24) In Ramyaka in the past He was worshiped by [Vaivasvata] Manu [at the end of the Câkshusha-manvantara] as the foremost [living being], the Supreme Personality in the form of Matsya, the fish incarnation. He, the ruler of that land is even today in his devotional service of worship with the following prayer: (25) 'The Supreme Lord appearing in His first incarnation [as the mantra AUM] I offer my obeisances. My obeisances for Him who is pure goodness, the origin of life, the source of the vitality, the origin of all mental power and bodily strength in the form of the great fish. (26) Not seen by the leaders of the different worlds You are present within as well as without and one hears loudly the sounds [the mantras by which man, indicated by his different [varnâs'rama] names [for status and occupation], is brought under Your control like he was a wooden doll o Supreme Controller. (27) The leaders of the world suffer in politics from the fever of envy. They, separately or combined, endeavoring apart from You also try to offer protection, but they are not capable of realizing that, whatever two-legged, four-legged, crawling or non-moving creatures it might concern in this world. (28) O Lordship, when this earth, the storehouse of all kinds of medicinal herbs, was in the stormy waves of the waters of devastation at the end of the Yuga, You with all Your power very quickly were there for [the rescue of] her and me o Unborn One. I offer You, the ultimate source of life of the entire universe, therefore my respectful obeisances [see also 8.24].'

(29) Residing in Hiranmaya the Supreme Lord manifests with the body of a tortoise [Kurma]. Aryamâ, the leader of the forefathers, worships together with the people of that realm that dearmost embodiment of Him, singing the following hymn. (30) 'My Lord, our respects for You, the Supreme Lord in the form of a tortoise. You are the embodiment of all good qualities, again and again we offer You our obeisances whose position cannot be discerned, You the greatest one, He who reaches everywhere and the Shelter of All. (31) This form of You of the visible cosmic complete which You manifested by Your creative potency and is known by so many appearances, is beyond any measure and we therefore cannot perceive it as it is - unto You, whose actual form cannot be expressed in words, our respects. (32) What is born from a womb, born from humidity, born from an egg, born from the earth; what moves or does not move around, a god, a sage or forefather; what exists as the material elements, the senses, the higher worlds, the sky, the earthly worlds, the hills and mountains, the rivers, the oceans, the islands, the stars and the planets, thus are all different notions of one and the same [form of You]. (33) From You, with Your countless different names, forms and features, the learned ones derive their notion of numerical proportions, enumerations and compositions, the truth of which they verify by observation. Unto Him who thus discloses Himself in analysis, You, I offer my obeisances [see also Kapila 3.28-33].'

(34) Also in the northern territory called Kuru there is the Supreme Lord, the Original Person of Sacrifice, in His boar form [Varâha, see 3.13]. There He is over and over worshiped by the Goddess and this planet earth, together with the inhabitants of [Uttara-]Kuru who are unrelenting in their devotional service unto Him. In this worship the following Upanishad verses are repeated: (35) 'We offer the Supreme Lord our obeisances who is understood by means of the different mantras for the sacrifices, the rituals and all the great ceremonies that are part of His body. That great personality, the purifier of our karma who manifested Himself in all the three [previous] ages we offer our respects. (36) For the great scholars full of wisdom material nature with her modes constitutes Your form. Just like with fire that manifests itself in wood when one spins a stick, they in their spiritual investigations seeking the cause find You who remain hidden when one endeavors for results. Unto You, that Soul manifesting Himself, my respects. (37) Those whose intelligence stabilized, because of carefully considering all the different limbs of the yoga system, are thus completely freed from the mâyâ of Your external form, the illusion that is raised by the objects of the senses, the demigods [of the sun, the moon, the fire etc] who rule the senses, the body, the Time that rules [the Ruler], the doer [the ego] and the modes of nature, whom one all perceives as matters of fact. My repeated obeisances unto that Sublime Soul. (38) You entertaining no desires with maintaining, annihilating and creating the universe, You who in Your supervision with guna and karma - like iron moving towards a magnet - wants to [take care of the souls] but does not desire [Your manifestation], You who are there as the witness to the actions and reactions, I offer my obeisances. (39) Before Him who in the original form of a boar, playful like an elephant, after killing the most formidable daitya opponent in the fight, emerged from the water of the Garbhodaka ocean keeping me, the earth, on top of His tusks [Hiranyâksha see 3.19] - before that Almighty Lord, I bow down.'

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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/