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Srimad Bhagavatam (Bhagavata Purana) :: Conto 5

The Activities of Mahârâja Priyavrata

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Srimad Bhagavatam » Conto 5   

 The Activities of Mahârâja Priyavrata

(1) The King [Parîkchit] said: 'Why o sage was Priyavrata, the great devotee content with the soul, so happy to stay at home, that place which is the root cause of bondage in karma and contempt [for the renounced order]? (2) Surely such a thing as indulgence in family affairs o wisest of the twice-born, can't be desirable for persons who are free from attachments. (3) It suffers no doubt that the consciousness of great souls finds its satisfaction in the shade of the feet of the Lord praised in the verses, and not so much in the mind of attachment to kith and kin. (4) This is my great doubt o brahmin: how can on account of the forces of one's wife, home, children and so on, perfection and an unfailing determination unto Krishna come about?'

(5) S'rî S'uka said: 'You are perfectly right in what you said about the hearts of liberated persons and devotees that are absorbed in the nectarean honey of the talks at the lotus-like feet of their beloved Lord praised in the scriptures. Despite of the setbacks they sometimes encounter, they practically never give up their most exalted position. (6) It is a well-known fact o King, that prince Priyavrata indeed was a supreme devotee who in his service at Nârada's feet, very quickly became aware of the complete truth concerning the spiritual purpose which he constantly discussed in dedicated enthusiasm. Even though his father asked him to rule over the surface of the earth because he incorporated so many of the best qualities, he couldn't be happy with it. He didn't want to be distracted in his great liking for with all of  his senses and actions in yoga being absorbed in the Supreme Lord of the Soul of the Universe, but for no reason he could refuse to accept that post because when he in any other way would forgo the untrue, that certainly would lead to decay. (7) So it happened that the Lord and first among the demigods [Brahmâ] surrounded by all of his personal associates and the Vedas, descended from his abode, he who is always thinking of the welfare of the complete of this universal creation consisting of the three modes and of whom one knows the ultimate purpose as being the Supreme Soul from which he originated himself. (8) Alike the moon in the sky among the stars, he on his way here and there by the leaders of the demigods was worshiped from their heavenly carriers. And the same was done by groups of perfected ones, inhabitants of heaven, refined ones, singers and  sages [respectively the Siddhas, the Gandharvas, the Câranas, the Sâdhyas and the Munis] when he thus as the radiating center reached the vicinity of the Gandhamâdana mountains [where Priyavrata was meditating]. (9) Recognizing the swan-carrier of his almighty father Lord Hiranyagarbha [Brahmâ] the devarshi [Nârada], Priyavrata and his father [Svâyambhuva Manu] present there immediately rose to their feet with their hands folded in order to be respectfully of worship with all the paraphernalia. (10) O son of Bhârata, the Lord, the original person of the universe, thus out of gratitude for the glory of his descend according to the customs being confronted with all the articles of worship and the praise in high language of his qualities, then addressed Priyavrata while he looked at him with a compassionate smile.

(11) The great Lord said: 'My son, pay attention to the truth I'm telling you, you should not be jealous of the Godhead who is beyond our ken. We, Lord S'iva, your father and this great Rishi [Nârada] all carry out His order and cannot deviate. (12) No living entity in acceptance of a material body can undo the order of His creation; not by austerity nor by education, not by yoga nor by one's strength or intelligence, nor can one ever by one's opulence, the virtue of one's duty, with the help of someone else or by any personal endeavor. (13) Directed by the One Unseen, the living entities in acceptance of a material body are always bound to birth and death, sadness and illusion, fear, happiness, distress and to whatever they have to do according to their karma. (14) My son, in our inevitable bondage to guna and karma we are, like the four-legged [bull] that with a rope through his nose is bound to the two-legged [driver], tied to the long rope of Vedic instruction and all [within the varnâs'rama system] engaged in contributing to please the Lord. (15) Like blind men led by someone who can see my best one, we inevitably [submitted to His Vedic rope] have to face the distress or happiness associated with the qualities and the work related to the situation we are in with the body that our Protector gave us. (16) Even a liberated person must for a lifetime maintain his body that he obtained as a consequence of the past. Without empty passion and pride he has to accept what he went through as someone who awakened from sleep, but as far as another material body is concerned [a repeated birth] he will never again follow the lead of the material qualities. (17) Someone who doesn't care [who doesn't control his senses] even when he resides in the forests must be afraid because of the six co-wives [of the five senses and the mind], but what harm [on the other hand] can a householder's existence do to a self-satisfied, learned man who has conquered the senses? (18) Having entered a household existence anyone who wants to conquer those six adversaries must first try to master them from within that stronghold, because only when the unregulated desires of those firm enemies have lost their strength one can ripened with experience move about freely. (19) When you, sheltered in this fortress by the safe haven of the lotus feet of Him with the lotus-like navel, have conquered the six opponents and are liberated from attachments through these special orders of the Original Person, you can enjoy everything pleasurable in this world and thus find your way.'

(20) S'rî S'uka said: 'The great devotee of [Brahmâ] the mighty Lord who is the spiritual master of the three worlds, thus being fully instructed, as a humble soul bowed his head in acceptance of his order and said: 'Yes I will' and respectfully carried out what he said. (21) With Priyavrata and Nârada in peace taking notice, the great Lord was also duly respected by Manu. Thereupon he left to return to his abode, the place above all places which is indescribable and unfathomable. (22) Manu who also supported by him executed his plan and with the permission of Nârada by means of his son established the maintenance and protection of all the worlds in the universe, was [therewith] personally relieved from his desires in the so very dangerous, poisonous ocean of the material world. (23) [Priyavrata, Manu's son who as] the emperor according to the order of the Lord thus was fully engaged in material affairs, by constantly meditating upon the two lotus feet of the Supreme Lord, the Original Person whose transcendental influence destroys all bondage, was with all the dirt washed from his heart completely purified and ruled the material world with the only wish to honor the great ones. (24) He thereafter married Barhishmatî, the daughter of Vis'vakarmâ, one of the founding fathers, and begot in her, next to a daughter who as the youngest of his children carried the name Ûrjasvatî, ten sons who were of a greatness equal to his in their character, qualities, activities, beauty and prowess. (25) All of his sons he gave the names of Agni, the god of fire: Âgnîdhra, Idhmajihva, Yajñabâhu, Mahâvîra, Hiranyaretâ, Ghritaprishthha, Savana, Medhâtithi, Vîtihotra and Kavi. (26) Three of them, Kavi, Mahâvîra and Savana were [celibates who] motivated from within, from the beginning of their childhood lived for the transcendental knowledge on the basis of which they, well conversant with the highest spiritual perfection, took to the renounced order [the paramahamsa-âs'rama]. (27) The transcendental sages live by the peace of the qualities of that celebrated order (*) for the sake of the complete of all the living beings who in fear and anxiety about their material existence take to the lotus feet of the Supreme Lord Vâsudeva who is the only shelter. In their constant remembrance they observe, free from contaminations being purified by virtue of the highest yoga of devotion, in their hearts the Supreme Lord of all living beings. They then see Him directly as situated within themselves and realize that they are equal in quality, that they do not differ from the Lord of the Supersoul. (28) In another wife he begot three more sons named Uttama, Tâmasa and Raivata. They became the rulers of the Manu period [of 71 mahâyugas long]. (29) After his sons were trained in the renounced order [Priyavrata] thus became the master of the universe where he endowed with powerful arms of command together with them pulled the bowstring loudly to defeat all who opposed the dharma. Without interruption for 110 million years there was the rule of the great soul who with the daily increasing amiability, femininity, shyness, laughs, glances and exchanges of love [in his repeated births] with his wife Barhishmatî enjoyed a life of pleasure, but confounded and defeated by it he lost his power of discernment. (30) Not appreciating that the sun god, as long as he circumambulated mount Meru, lit up one side of the earth and left the other half in the dark, he who in his worship of the Fortunate One was of a supernatural power then said: 'I'll make the night as brilliant as the day', and to enforce that he followed the orbit of the sun in a chariot, exactly seven times and with the same speed, like he was a second sun. (31) Thus proceeding with the wheels of his chariot that created trenches with their rims, the seven oceans came about which divided the earth [Bhû-mandala] into the seven dvîpas [the continents or 'islands']. (32) Known as Jambû, Plaksha, S'âlmali, Kus'a, Krauñca, S'âka and Pushkara each of them is twice the size of the preceding ocean in the beyond of which it all around is situated. (33) Those seven oceans consisting of salt water, sugarcane juice, liquor, clarified butter, milk, fluid yogurt and sweet water are of the same size as the islands they as the trenches [of his wheels] one after the other consecutively fully enclose. For each of the dvîpas separately the husband of Barhishmatî, beginning with Jambûdvîpa, installed one of his faithful sons named Âgnîdhra, Idhmajihva, Yajñabâhu, Hiranyaretâ, Ghritaprishthha, Medhâtithi and Vîtihotra as their king.

(34) He further gave the daughter named Ûrjasvatî in marriage to the great sage Us'anâ [S'ukrâcârya who is also called Kavi or Kavya]. She gave birth to a daughter named Devayânî. (35) For the devotees of the Lord of the Great Strides [Urukrama, see 1.3: 19] who by resorting to the dust of His feet are able to conquer the six qualities [of material life: hunger, thirst, lamentation, illusion, old age and death **] such a[n achievement of] personal power is not that surprising at all, for even a fifth-class person [an outcaste] will  immediately forsake his material attachment when he only once utters the name of the Lord. (36) He [Priyavrata] thus unparalleled in strength and influence, one day understood that he despite of his surrender to the feet of the devarshi [Nârada] had fallen down because of his concern with the modes of matter in which he had never found satisfaction [compare 1.5: 17]. In a spirit of renunciation he then said to himself: (37) 'Oh what a wrong I've done, for I was completely absorbed in the nescience of a life of sense gratification! The dark well of material pleasure made me guilty of a lot of distress and look like a dancing monkey, insignificant and of no importance in the hands of my wife. Doomed and damned I am indeed!' Thus he criticized himself. (38) With his self-realization achieved by the mercy of the deity in the beyond, with handing over the earth to his faithfully following sons, with dividing the inheritance, with forsaking his queen he had enjoyed so much, with giving up the dead corpus of his great opulence and with his heart in perfect surrender having taken to renunciation, he was certain to be on the path again of the great saint Nârada and the stories about the Lord. (39) The following verses apply to him: 'What was done by Priyavrata no one could have done except for the Supreme Controller.' 'He dissipated the darkness and created by the impressions of the rims of the wheels of his chariot the seven seas.' (40) 'It was he who in order to stop the fighting of the nations on the different continents, created the situation of the boundaries in this world in the form of rivers, mountain ranges and forests and such [compare 4.14: 45-46].' (41) 'He as the most beloved follower of the Original Person, considered all opulence of the lower worlds, the heavens and the earth, as also that what is acquired by fruitive action and by yoga [the siddhis], as nothing but hell.'

*: There are four stages in accepting the renounced order: 1) Kuthîcaka: one stays outside one's village in a cottage, and one's necessities, especially one's food, are supplied from home. 2) Bahûdaka: one no longer accepts anything from home: instead, one, mâdhukarî, with the "profession of the bumblebees", collects one's necessities, especially one's food, from many places.  3) Parivrâjakâcârya: one travels all over the world to preach the glories of Lord Vâsudeva collecting one's necessities, especially one's food, from many places, and 4) Paramahamsa: he finishes his preaching work and sits down in one place, strictly for the sake of advancing in spiritual life.

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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/