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Srimad Bhagavatam (Bhagavata Purana) :: Conto 4b

The Conversation of Nârada and King Prâcînabarhi

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Srimad Bhagavatam » Conto 4b   

 The Conversation of Nârada and King Prâcînabarhi

(1) King Prâcînabarhi said: 'O great sage, we never grasped the full meaning of your words. The wise may understand what they really mean, but we who are fascinated by fruitive activities will never fully comprehend them.'

(2) Nârada said: 'The person of Purañjana ['he who enjoys the city that is the body'] should be seen as the creator of his own situation of dwelling in a one [a ghost], two, three [as with having a stick] or four legged body or a body with many legs or no legs at all. (3) The eternal friend and master of the person is He whom I described as unknown [Avijñâta, 4. 25: 10] because He by His names, activities and qualities is never [fully] understood by the living entities [compare Adhokshaja]. (4) When the living entity wants to enjoy the totality of the modes of material nature, he thinks that [to have a human form with] nine gates, two legs and two hands is something that suits him very well. (5) The young woman [pramadâ or Purañjanî] then should be known as the intelligence responsible for the 'I' and 'mine' of taking to the shelter of the body by which this living being, sentient to the modes of material nature, suffers and enjoys. (6) Her male friends represent the senses that lead to knowledge and action, the girl friends stand for the engagements of the senses, while the serpent refers to the life air in its five forms [upgoing air (udana), downgoing (apâna), expanding (vyâna), balanced (samâna) and the breath held high (prânavâyu)]. (7) The mind one should recognize as the very powerful [eleventh] leader of the two groups of the senses and the kingdom of Pañcâla stands for the five realms [or objects] of the senses in the midst of which the city with the nine apertures is found. (8) The two eyes, two nostrils, two ears, the genitals and rectum are likewise the two by two gates with the mouth [as the ninth] that one passes when one accompanied by the senses goes outside. (9) The two eyes, the nostrils and the mouth are thus understood as the five gates in front [the east], with the right ear as the gate to the south and the left ear as the gate to the north, while downward in the west the two gates are found one calls the rectum and the genital. (10) The ones named Khadyotâ and Âvirmukhî that were created at one place are the eyes by which the master can perceive with his sense of sight the form called Vibhrâjita ['the clearly seen', see 4.25: 47]. (11) The ones named Nalinî and Nâlinî represent the two nostrils with [the city of] Saurabha named to the aroma. The [companion called] Avadhûta is the sense of smell. Mukhyâ stands for the mouth with [for his friends] the faculty of speech named Vipana and the sense of taste named Rasajña [see 4.25: 48-49]. (12) Âpana concerns the [domain of the] tongue and Bahûdana the [realm of the] variety of eatables, with [the gates of] the right ear having the name Pitrihû and the left ear being called Devahû [see 4.25: 49-51]. (13) Together with the companion of hearing called S'rutadhara following the path to [the southern and northern realms of] Pañcâla by the processes of sense enjoyment and detachment as described in the scriptures, one reaches [respectively] Pitriloka and Devaloka. (14) Next to the gate of the rectum called Nirriti there is on the lower side the sexual member called Âsurî, which is the gate for the sexuality of the common man [who in the area of Grâmaka] is attracted to the sexual act which is called [the friend] Durmada [see 4.25: 52-53]. (15) Vais'asa is [the realm of] hell and [the friend] called Lubdhaka is the organ of defecation. The blind ones you next heard about from me are the legs and hands with which the people engage in their work [see 4.25: 53-54]. (16) The private quarters are the heart and [the servant named] Vishûcîna is the mind, the material nature of which is said to result in illusion, satisfaction and jubilation. (17) As soon as the mind is agitated and activates in association with the natural modes, the individual soul, who is [actually] the observer, is carried away by those activities [just like Purañjana falling for his queen, see 4.25: 56].

(18-20) The body is the chariot that, with the senses for its horses, in fact doesn't move ahead in the course of one's years. The two wheels constitute the activities of profit minded labor and piety, the flags are the three modes of nature and the bindings stand for the five types of air. The rein is the mind, the chariot driver is the intelligence, the sitting place is the heart, the duality is formed by the posts for the harnesses, the five weapons are the sense objects and the seven armor plates are the physical elements [of nails, skin, fat, flesh, blood, bone and marrow]. The five objectives and ways of approach constitute [together with the eleventh commander] the false aspiration of the eleven processes of the senses [the mind and the five senses of action and perception] by which one in envy is engaged for the sake of sensual pleasure [see again 4.26: 1-3]. (21) The year symbolizing [the passage of] time was called Candavega to which the three hundred and sixty men and women from heaven are to be understood as the days and nights that by their footsteps reduce the lifespan that one has on this earth [see 4.27: 13]. (22) The daughter of Time who was welcomed by no one and as the sister-in-law was accepted by the king of the Yavanas in favor of death and destruction, stood for jarâ, old age [see 4.27: 19-30]. (23-25) His followers, the Yavana soldiers represent the disturbances of the mind and body who, at times when the living beings are in distress, very quickly rise to power with Prajvâra in the form of two kinds of fever [hot and cold, physical and mental conflict]. The one residing in the body which is moved by the material world is thus for a hundred years subjected to different sorts of tribulations that are caused by nature, other living beings and himself. [Therein] abiding by the fragmentary nature of sense enjoyment he meditates the 'I' and 'mine' of himself as being the doer and thus, despite of his transcendental nature, wrongly attributes to the soul the characteristics of the life force, the senses and the mind. (26-27) When the person forgets the Supreme Soul, the Almighty Lord who is the highest teacher, he next surrenders himself to the modes of matter to find therein his happiness. Driven by those modes he thereupon takes to lives belonging to his karma. He therein is then helplessly controlled by the performance of fruitive activities that are of a white [a-karma or service in goodness], a black [vi-karma or ill deeds in ignorance] or a red nature [regular karma or work passionate after the profit; compare B.G. 13: 22 and 4: 17]. (28) Then ruled by the light of goodness one reaches better worlds, then with passion for one's work one ends up in distress and then at other times indulging in darkness one finds oneself in lamentation [see B.G. 18a: 37-39]. (29) Sometimes one is a man, sometimes a woman and then one is neither of both. Then one has lost one's mind and then again you're a human being, a beast or a god. One is born according to one's karma with the modes of nature. (30-31) Like a poor dog that overcome by hunger wanders from one house to an other in order to be rewarded or else be punished, the living entity similarly pursuing different types of higher and lower desires wanders high or low, or follows a middle course and thus according to his destiny reaches that what is pleasurable or not that pleasurable ['heaven' or 'hell']. (32) Even though he, being confronted with the different kinds of distress as caused by nature, others or himself, takes his countermeasures, it is for the living being not possible to stop the misery. (33-34) All that he in fact does is what a man carrying a heavy burden on his head does when he shifts his burden to his shoulder. In fact he o sinless one, in a state of illusion thinks that he can counter a dream with a dream. Counteracting one [karmic] activity with another one doesn't arrive at a definitive solution, only in counteracting the both of them that is the case. (35) Just as there is no end to the subtle form of reflection that was created by the mind as in a dream, there is also no end to wandering around in the material world that in truth is not a fixed reality. (36-37) In order to put an end to the succession of unwanted things in material life it is therefore for the soul of essential importance to be of unalloyed devotional service with that what the spiritual teacher [the Lord] represents: to be engaged in the bhakti yoga in relation to the Supreme Personality of Godhead Vâsudeva, by which the result is found of the completeness of knowledge and detachment. (38) That, o best of kings, will soon come about depending the cultivation of one's constant and faithful listening to the narrations about the Infallible One.

(39-40) From the place where one finds the great devotees, the broad-minded pure souls whose consciousness is bent on the regular reciting of and hearing about the qualities of the Supreme Lord o King, flow in all directions from the mouths of the great examples the countless streams of nectar concerning the exploits of the killer of Madhu. They who eagerly drink in that nectar can never get enough of it.  Hunger, thirst, fear, lamentation or illusion never get hold of those who are all ears [compare 3.25: 25]. (41) But the individual soul who is always troubled by his worldly habits, is not attracted to the nectarean ocean of stories about the Lord. (42-44) The father of the founding fathers Brahmâ, lordships like S'iva, Manu, and the rulers of mankind headed by Daksha, the strong celibates led by Sanaka, Marîci, Atri, Angirâ, Pulastya, Pulaha, Kratu, Bhrigu, Vasishthha and I myself finally, are all well versed, authoritative brahmin speakers. Even though we have insight because of our meditation, education and austerities, we can not fathom the Seer Himself, the Controller in the beyond. (45) Engaged in listening to the unlimited spiritual knowledge and with mantras singing the glories of the greatly extended partial powers [the demigods], one still doesn't know the Supreme. [see footnote 1] (1a, 2a) What now would the difference be between animals and human beings when the intelligence of all depends upon the animalistic maintenance of the body? After so many births having attained a human life out here the individual spiritual soul will become prominent when one on the path of spiritual knowledge has broken with that physicality, when one has given up the incorrect perception of being a gross or subtle body. (46) When He who showers His grace, the Supreme Lord, by a soul is realized, such a one will give up his worldly views as well as his attachment to Vedic rituals [see also B.G. 18: 66].

(47) O my dear Prâcînabarhi, therefore never ignorantly take the glamour of fruitive actions for the aim of life. However nicely that [acquiring] might ring in your ears, the real interest isn't served by it [compare B.G. 2: 42-43]. (48) The less intelligent ones speak of the [four] Vedas to the interest of rituals and ceremonies, but such people do not know [the real purport of the Vedas], they have no idea where the world of Lord Janârdana is to be found [of Vishnu, Krishna as the conqueror of wealth]. (49) You  who [with your sons the Pracetâs] completely covered the face of the world with the kus'a grass pointing eastward [see 4.24: 10], take great pride in all the killing [of the sacrificial animals] and consider yourself very important. But you do not know what work must be performed, what labor would satisfy the Supreme Personality of Godhead, He who constitutes the guiding principle of reason. (50) The Supreme Lord Himself is the Supersoul of all who accepted a material body; He is the controller of material nature. His feet form the shelter by which all men in this world find their fortune. (51) He indeed is the one loved the most, the Subtle One from whom there is no fear. He alone is in full knowledge, he alone who has learned this, is the spiritual master not different from the Lord.'

(52) Nârada said: 'After thus far having answered your questions o man of wisdom, now listen to the established opinion I am going to confide to you. (53) [Think of] a deer safely grazing grass in a field of flowers. Undisturbed doing his business he has in his ears the charming song of  bumblebees, but he is not quite aware that in front of him there are tigers eager to kill and that behind him there is a hunter looking for a chance to pierce him with arrows.  (54) The flowers work just like a woman who with her sweet scent of flowers suggests the safety of a household existence as being the result of an innocent desire for sensual pleasures such as the plucking of flowers. Thus one fulfills one's desires [alike the deer] in always being absorbed in thoughts of sex with the wife and pleasures to the tongue. The sound of the different bumblebees that is so very attractive to the ears compares to the most attractive talks of the wife in the first place and also the children that occupy one's mind completely. The tigers together in front of him are alike all the moments of the days and nights that unnoticed in enjoying one's household take away one's life span. And from behind there is the hunter taking care not to be seen who crouches upon him like the superintendent of death by whose arrow one's heart is pierced in this world. You should see yourself in this as the one whose heart is pierced o King. (55) Place yourself in the consciousness of the grazing deer and give up the fixation upon that what you cherish in your heart. Give up that notion and those stories of a household life so abominably filled with sexual concerns and go, gradually becoming detached, exclusively for the shelter of all liberated souls.'

(56) The king said: 'O brahmin, having heard what you said, I must say I had no clue. Why is it so that the honorable gentlemen [my teachers], if they knew that, didn't explain it to me? (57) But my doubts about this o brahmin, you have cleared as you spoke. Even they who have experience are indeed bewildered about everything not pertaining to the activities of the senses. (58) Someone who forsakes his body in order to enjoy another body in a next life has to face the consequences of the karma he built up in this life.  (59) One thus knows the statement of the Vedic experts that says: of everything that one in this life wants to do one does not directly see the consequences.'

(60) Nârada said: 'From the karma a person engages in the consequences are to be faced in a next life, because [having died, in his unembodied state] nothing has changed to that what belongs to him: his proof of character [the subtle body or linga] and his mind about it stay the same. (61) The way a person, lying in bed and breathing, letting go [of the gross body in a dream] in his mind has to experience the actions he [in the waking state] was engaged in, the same way he will fare in a similar or another [animal] body or world [being reincarnated after his death]. (62) Whatever all this 'my' of the mind might entail in acceptance of an 'I', is by the living being taken along as the workload he acquired and by that karma he again enters a material existence. (63) The way one derives a state of mind from one's sensual experiences and what one does in response to them, one is likewise mentally characterized by propensities that are the result of physical actions one engaged in in a previous life. (64) Sometimes arbitrary forms pop up before one's mind's eye and that may happen without ever having heard, seen or experienced those images before. (65) O King believe me thereby when I tell you that to a living being confronted with a proof of life that as such rises in the body, not a single thing can manifest itself in the mind which hasn't been tried, experienced or understood before. (66) The mind of a man is indicative of the forms he has accepted in the past as well as - I wish you all the best - what birth he next will take or that he will not be born again. (67) That what someone has done in another time or at another place [thus] can be derived from the images one sometimes has in the mind of things one in this life hasn't seen or heard about before. (68) Everything that is perceived through the senses, may in different ways of sequential ordering [or types of logic or individual perspectives] pop up  and vanish again in the heart; all persons have a mind [filled with past impressions]. (69) With the Fortunate One constantly at one's side abiding by a spirit of pure goodness [free from passion and ignorance], the world around oneself [the so-called 'here and now'] that [with all those impressions] can be as dark as the [new] moon, thus being connected will manifest itself crystal clear. (70) A person is from this consciousness that is thus free from 'I' and 'mine' separated for as long as the eternal indweller [in the form of the subtle body of impressions, the linga] forms a distinct structure of material qualities consisting of intelligence, mind, senses and sense objects. (71) In deep sleep, when one faints or with the arrest of one's breathing in great shock one does not think of an 'I', nor is there such a notion when one has a high fever or when one dies. (72) Just like one with a new moon cannot see the moon itself, the self of typical life signs [the subtle body or the ego] can not be observed of a young person in the womb and during [early] childhood because of the immaturity of the eleven [of the senses and the mind]. (73) Just as unwanted things in a dream have to run their own course [until one awakens], also for a soul - despite of not being there for the sake of the sense objects - material life does not cease when he is contemplating the enjoyment of the senses [***]. (74) The individual soul [the jîva] is understood as a combination of the life force with the in sixteen expanded and by the three modes of nature ruled typical self of signs, the linga [expanded to the five objects of the senses, the five working and knowing senses and the mind]. (75) By means of this [linga] the person acquires material bodies and gives them up again and  because he [the subtle body] thus is materially contained he finds enjoyment, lamentation, fear, misery and happiness [compare B.G. 2: 13]. (76-77) Just like a c  aterpillar doesn't disappear when it has to forsake its body [to become a butterfly], a  materially identified man doesn't vanish upon the termination of his karmic existence, for the mind [transported by the linga] is the ruler of man, it is the cause of the material existence of all the embodiments created. (78) When one thinking of success always [to the point of death] performs activities, one is by those actions bound to a[n other] physical body for as long as one continues to perform in ignorance [see B.G. 3: 9]. (79) In order to counteract that therefore engage in devotional service unto the Lord with all your heart and soul and consider the cosmic manifestation thereto as consisting of His being by which there is maintenance, creation and annihilation [see footnote 2]. (1b) Being of devotion unto Krishna, of mercy towards others and in perfect knowledge of the True Self, liberation from being bound to a material life will be the consequence. (2b) The great secret of it all is that material existence dissolves in what we do not see as yet and have been seeing in the past, just like during one's sleep; in other words, everything that happened in the past, happens in the present and is going to happen in the future is but a dream.'

(80) Maitreya said: 'After Nârada, the most powerful, pure and leading devotee had explained to him the position of the two swans [of the individual soul and the Supreme Soul who is the Lord], he took leave and departed for the abode of the perfected ones [Siddhaloka]. (81) After leaving orders for his sons to protect the common people, Prâcînabarhi, the wise king then left for practicing austerities in the spiritual resort of Kapila [at Gangâ-sâgara, where the Ganges flows into the bay of Bengal, see for Kapila Canto 3.24-33]. (82) There, with a one-pointed mind living soberly at the lotus feet of Govinda he, continuously chanting, by his devotion managed to free himself from his attachments and attain sameness with the One Reality. (83) O sinless one, anyone who listens to or recounts this authoritative, spiritual discourse as narrated by Nârada, will be delivered from the physical concept of life. (84) Taken from the mouth of the leading divinity of wisdom, this story once it is uttered, will purify anyone's heart, for it sanctifies this world with the fame of the Lord of Liberation, Mukunda. He who chants it will return to the spiritual world and freed from all bondage being liberated no longer wander around in this material world. (85) This wonderful spiritual mystery [this allegory] you've now heard from me, about a person [Purañjana] who took shelter of his wife, puts an end to all doubts about [the matter of] life after death.'

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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/