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Srimad Bhagavatam (Bhagavata Purana) :: Conto 5

Lord Rishabhadeva's Teachings to His Sons

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Srimad Bhagavatam » Conto 5   

 Lord Rishabhadeva's Teachings to His Sons

(1) Lord Rishabha said: 'My dear sons, this body you carry along within this material world, does not deserve it to suffer under the difficulties of a sense gratification of dogs and hogs. It is rather worth the trouble of undergoing the divine austerity by which the heart finds its purification and one thus achieves infinite spiritual happiness. (2) Serving the great souls, so one says, is the way of liberation and to seek the association of those who are attached to women is the gateway to darkness. Truly advanced are they who [in their spirituality] have an equal regard for all, are peaceful, take no offense, wish all the best and know how to behave. (3) They who are eager to live in a loving relationship with Me*, and who are not so attached to people only interested in the physical aspect of life consisting of a home, spouse, children, wealth, friends and making money, engage only in the world insofar it is necessary. (4)  I consider the madly being engaged in unwanted activities for the sake of this material satisfaction as not befitting the soul who therefrom arrived at this temporary body despite of the misery associated with it. (5)  As long as one doesn't want to know about the reality of the soul, as long as one's mind is absorbed in fruitive activities, one is factually defeated by one's own ignorance, for being entangled in one's karma one is bound to this material body.  (6) For as long as unto Me, Vâsudeva, there is no love, a soul thus being ruled by ignorance will have a mind following the lead of fruitive activities, and as long as that is the case one will not be free from the [miseries of the] body one is identified with. (7) When one even properly educated doesn't see how inefficient [and inappropriate] the endeavor of gratifying the senses [in an unregulated manner] is, one will, not thinking properly about [heartening] one's self-interest, very soon be crazy about it and as a fool find nothing but material miseries in a homely existence ruled by sexual intercourse. (8) Because of the sexual attraction between man and woman both their hearts are tied to together and therefrom they call for a home, a territory, children, wealth and relatives. This now is the illusion of the living being known as 'I' and 'mine'. (9) The moment the tight mental knot in the heart of such a person bound by the consequences of his karma is slackened, the conditioned soul turns away from this [false conception of] 'us' and then, forsaking that cause [of egoism], being liberated returns to the transcendental world. (10-13) With the use of one's intelligence one can give up the false identification with the material world, the cause of material bondage by following a spiritually advanced person, a guru as also by devotional service unto Me, by not desiring, by exercising tolerance with the dual world and by inquiries; by realizing the truth of the miseries of the living beings everywhere; by practicing austerities and penances and by giving up on sensual pleasures; by working for Me, listening to stories about Me as also by always keeping company with the ones devoted; by singing about My qualities, by freedom from enmity, by being equal to all, by subduing one's emotions o sons; by trying to forsake the identification with one's home and body, by studying yoga literatures; by living alone, by entirely controlling the breath, the senses and the mind; by developing faith, by continually observing celibacy, by constant vigilance, by restraint of speech; by thinking of Me, seeing Me everywhere, by developing knowledge and through wisdom in being illumined by the practice of yoga; and by being endowed with determination, enthusiasm and goodness. (14) When one by means of this yoga practice completely being liberated from desiring results, as I've told you, has untied the knot of the bondage in one's heart that was caused by ignorance, one [finally also] must desist from this method of detachment [this yoga] itself. (15) The king or guru who desiring My abode considers reaching Me to be the goal of life, should in this manner relating to his sons or disciples, be of instruction not to engage in fruitive activities and not get angry with them when they lacking in spiritual knowledge want to. For what can one achieve [spiritually] when one engages someone simply in laboring for the profit? In fact such a king or guru would cause the ones whose vision is clouded [by material motives] to fall down in the pit [of falsehood. Compare B.G. 3: 26]. (16) People who obsessed in their desire for material goods have lost sight of their real welfare, live with their efforts for the sake of temporary happiness in enmity with each other and run, foolish as they are, without having a clue, into all kinds of trouble [see also B.G. 7: 25]. (17) What man of learning and mercy well versed in spiritual knowledge would facing someone with such bad intelligence engage him again in that ignorance? That would be like leading a blind man on the wrong path. (18) Someone not capable of delivering his dependants from the cycle of rebirth must not evolve into a father, a mother, a spouse, a spiritual teacher or a worshipable godhead. (19) I who am inconceivable have a heart of pure goodness filled with dharma [devotional service]. Because I left adharma [the non-devotional] far behind Me the faithful ones truthfully call me The Best One or Rishabha. (20) You are all born from My heart, therefore try with a pure intelligence to be of service to your brother Bharata, he who rules the people as the most exalted one.

(21-22) Among the manifested forms of existence the living ones are superior to the ones without life and among them the ones who move around are far superior to the plants. Of those the ones who developed intelligence are better and the best ones among them are the human beings. The spiritual beings [the meditators of S'iva] are the better ones among the humans and the singers of heaven [the Gandharvas] are superior to them again. Next one finds the perfected ones [the Siddhas] above whom the superhuman beings [the Kinnaras] are situated. The unenlightened ones [the Asuras who can master the ones before mentioned] are dominated by the gods lead by Indra and above them the sons of Brahmâ like Daksha are situated. Lord S'iva is the best of them and above him we find Lord Brahmâ from whom he originated. He on his turn is a devotee of Mine, I [Vishnu] the god of the gods of [spiritual] rebirth [the brahmins]. (23) No other entity compares to the brahmin. I do not know o learned ones, anyone who is superior to him. With him I eat with more satisfaction from the food that by the people with faith and love in proper ceremony was offered [to the mouth of Me and those belonging to Me], than from the food which  [without them] was offered in [the mouth of] the fire. (24) It is the brahmin who maintains my eternal and shining body [in the form of the Vedas] in this world. In him one finds the belief and authority of the [eight brahminical] qualities of supreme goodness [sattva], purification [pavitra], control over the mind [s'ama] and the senses [dama], truthfulness [satya], mercy [anugraha], penance [tapasya] and tolerance [titikshâ]. (25) From Me, the One of unlimited prowess who higher than the highest is capable of redemption and bestowing all the heavenly happiness, they want nothing at all. To whom else would they who perform their devotional service without claiming worldly possessions turn to then? (26) My dear sons, with your vision cleared be at all times of respect for all living beings that move and not move, for I reside in all of them. That is the way you should respect Me. (27) Engage all of your mind, your words and the perception of all your active and receptive senses directly in My worship, for without doing so a person will not be able to free himself from the great illusion which is Yama's deathtrap.'

(28) S'rî S'uka said: 'After for the sake of mankind personally thus having instructed His sons in spite of their high spiritual standard of living, the great personality, the well-wisher and Supreme Lord of all who was celebrated as The Best One or Rishabha, placed Bharata, the eldest of His hundred sons, a topmost devotee and follower of the divine order, on the throne to rule the planet. This instruction describes the dharma of those who free from material desires no longer engage for the profit and as great sages, as the best of the human beings [paramahamsas] are characterized by devotional service, spiritual insight and detachment. While Rishabha [at first] remained home, He [in the course of time, in order to set an example for His teachings] like a madman with His hair dishevelled, accepted nothing but the sky for His dress [nakedness thus] and then, keeping the Vedic fire burning inside, left Brahmâvarta to wander around. (29) Even though He to the people appeared as idle, blind, deaf and dumb as a ghost or a madman, He as someone unconcerned about the world [an avadhûta] having taken the vow of silence kept Himself from speaking. (30) Passing through cities, villages, mines, lands, gardens, valley communities, military encampments, cowsheds, farms, resting places for pilgrims, hills and forests, hermitages and so on, He was here and there surrounded by bad people like flies and was, just like an elephant appearing from the forest, beaten away and threatened, urinated and spit upon, pelted with stones, stool and dirt, farted at and abused, but He didn't care about it because He, from His understanding how the body relates to the soul, knew that this dwelling place of the body that is called real, was just an illusory covering. He instead in negation of the 'I' and 'mine' remained situated in His personal glory and wandered unperturbed alone all over the earth. (31) With His very delicate hands, feet, chest, long arms, shoulders, neck and face etc., with the lovely nature of His well proportioned limbs, His natural smile, beautiful lotus petal like graceful mouth, the marvel of His reddish widespread eyes and the great beauty of His forehead, ears, neckline, nose and expressive lip, because of which His face was like a festival to all household women in whose hearts He would have aroused Cupid everywhere, He, with His great abundance of curly brown hair which was matted, dirty and neglected, made his body appear as of someone haunted by a ghost. (32) When He, the Supreme Lord, saw that the common people directly opposed His yoga practice, He, in order to counteract that negativity [that karma], resorted to the abominable behavior of lying down as a python. Smearing His body with the food He chewed and the drink  He drank, He rolled Himself in the stool and urine that He passed. (33) The smell of His stool was that pleasant that the fragrance penetrated the air of the countryside for ten yojanas around with a pleasant aroma. (34) Thus with His actions moving, standing, sitting and lying down with the cows, the crows and the deer, He, exactly like the cows, crows and deer do, ate, drank and passed urine. (35) Thus practicing the various ways of mystical yoga Rishabha, the Supreme Lord, the Master of Enlightenment, incessantly enjoyed the Supreme in great bliss. He experienced the symptoms of loving emotions unto Vâsudeva, the Supreme Personality of Godhead who is situated in the heart of all living beings and achieved by His fundamental indifference the complete perfection in the Supreme Self. But o King Parîkchit, the fullness of the mystical powers of yoga He thus accidentally achieved - like traveling through the air, moving with lightening speed, the ability to stay unseen, the ability to enter the bodies of others, the power to see without difficulty things from afar and other perfections [the siddhis, see also 2.2: 22; 2.9: 17; 3.15: 45; 3.25: 37] -, He could never fully accept in His heart.'

*: The five main loving relationships or rasas by which with the Lord all higher human emotions are experienced, are the neutral one (santa), the servant-master relation (dâsya), the relation of friendship (sakhya), the parent-child relation (vâtsalya) and the amorous relation (sringâra).

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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/