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Srimad Bhagavatam (Bhagavata Purana) :: Conto 3b

The Entanglement in Fruitive Activities

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Srimad Bhagavatam » Conto 3b   

 The Entanglement in Fruitive Activities

(1) Kapila said: 'Well then, the person living at home doing the duties of a householder, enjoys again and again the advantages of sense gratification, economic benefits and religious activities. (2) Moreover he in his faithful worship of the gods and the forefathers with sacrificial ceremonies [called pravritti-dharma], infatuated by lust has turned his face away from emancipating in devotional service to the Supreme Lord [for the sake of what one calls nivritti-dharma]. (3) Overcome by a mind of belief being vowed to those forefathers and demigods, the person who thus by drinking soma [a beverage drunk by the sacrificing brahmin] left this world in respect of the lunar order [of his sacrifices], will again return [see also B.G. 8: 25]. (4) When Lord Hari lies Himself down on the snake bed of Ananta S'esha those worlds of the attached householders find their end. (5) Those intelligent ones [though] who in the performance of their personal duties did not take advantage for the sake of sense gratification and material benefits, but rather free from material attachment gave up on their fruitive activities, will find the perfection of peace because their consciousness was purified. (6) When one without fail [in nivritti-dharma] is righteously engaged for the sake of the detachment of forsaking claims of property and egoism, one is in the performance of one's personal duties completely purified by the goodness of consciousness. (7) By following the path of enlightenment they approach the Original Personality of God, the cause of the manifestation and dissolution of the world who is reflected in the faces of all as the Controller of the spiritual and material worlds. (8) Until the end of the long time period of two parârdhas in which the life of Brahmâ himself finds its conclusion [see 3.11], they dwell in the transcendental world immersed in thoughts about the Supreme One. (9) After having experienced for the time of two parârdhas the natural self [of creation] consisting of the three modes, the Lord of the Beyond [Brahmâ] desiring to dissolve the material covering composed of earth, water, fire, ether, mind, senses, objects, ego and so on, at that time enters the changeless spiritual sky. (10) The yogis who did not forsake the responsibility for their bodies in controlling their breath and mind, after having spent such a long period of time with Lord Brahmâ, enter thus detached together with him the Original Person, the embodiment of happiness who is the oldest, primary reality of the spirit. (11) Dear mother, therefore take by devotional service to the shelter of Him you now heard about, He who resides in each his lotus heart. (12-15) [But remember that] even Brahmâ, the Creator of the mobile and immobile manifestations who is the source of Vedic wisdom, as also the sages and the masters of yoga, the Kumâras and the other perfected ones and original thinkers of yoga who attained the original Person of the Absolute Truth, the first one of all the souls, by dint of their detached, egoless actions, despite of their independent vision and all their spiritual qualities, again take birth to assume their positions when this manifestation of the Lord is recreated through the operation of time and the three modes. And that is also true for all others who enjoyed the divine opulence that resulted from their pious deeds, they also return when the interaction of the modes again takes place.

(16) They whose minds in this world are addicted to fruitive activities engage with conviction in their prescribed duties in attachment to the result of their labor and do that time and again. (17) Fully engaged in their households they engage in the worship of their forefathers and, being driven by passion, have minds that aspiring for gratification are full of anxieties and senses they cannot control. (18) Those [trai-vargika] persons dedicated to the three civil virtues [of economy, sense gratification and religious service] are not interested in the pastimes of Lord Hari, the killer of the demon Madhu, whose transcendental excellence is so worthy of being described. (19) Having given up on the nectar of the stories about the Infallible One, they repelled by God rather listen to the stories of materialism, and in that respect they are just like stool eating hogs.

(20) When the sun goes through the south, they after their cremation along with their families again take birth in the world of their forefathers in order to perform their fruitive activities to the [bitter] end [compare B.G. 8: 25]. (21) When they have exhausted the merit of their pious deeds, they directly by divine arrangement fall down from their elevated position to return  to this planet, o virtuous one [compare B.G. 9: 21].

(22) Worship therefore with all your heart the Supreme One of your refuge by whose feet devotional service is connected with good qualities. (23) The discharge of devotional service unto Vâsudeva the Supreme Personality of Godhead, will very soon result in the detachment and spiritual knowledge that lead to self-realization. (24) When the mind of the devotee in every circumstance is equipoised to the activity of the senses, it thus makes no distinction between like and dislike. (25) He who then because of the detached mindfulness of his soul is of an equal vision, is free from likes and dislikes and sees himself elevated to the transcendental position. (26) Even though the Supreme Personality constitutes the unique completeness of transcendental knowledge, He in philosophical research and other processes of understanding is differently perceived as the Spirit of the Absolute [Brahman], the Supersoul [Paramâtmâ] and the Lord personally present [Bhagavân, see also S.B. 1.2: 11]. (27) The only purpose for a yogi to realize in this world is to achieve by the practice of yoga complete detachment from everything. (28) For someone averse to the knowledge of spirituality the Absolute Truth beyond the modes appears as a relativity of forms that can be perceived through the senses [but is] misconceived in all kinds of [speculative] considerations. (29) [But] just as from the mahat-tattva with the three modes and the five elements, the material body of the living entity was formed with its individual consciousness, eleven senses [the five senses of action and perception, including the mind] and false ego, also the universe was formed out of the cosmic egg of all universes [and may thus be concluded that no essential difference exists between the local covering of the individual soul and the gigantic universal covering of the Supersoul; or briefly stated, that the universe must be seen as a person]. (30) With faith and devotion ever being steadfast in yoga he understands this whose mind is fixed in the detachment of disassociating oneself from material involvement.

(31) Thus My respectful mother, I have described this spiritual knowledge that reveals the vision of the Absolute Truth by which the reality of the material and personal aspect [prakriti and purusha] is understood. (32) By means of both jñâna-yoga [the yoga of spiritual knowledge] and the freedom from the modes that is directed towards Me and is called bhakti, - rather than by each of them alone - the purpose is achieved that is denoted by the word Bhagavân. (33) Just as one and the same object having many qualities is differently perceived by the senses, similarly the one and only Lord of All Fortune is seen differently depending the different paths described in the scriptures. (34-36) Through material actions, sacrifices, charity, austerities, study of the scriptures, philosophical research, subduing the mind and senses, as also through renunciation and forsaking profit-minded labor, practicing the different types of yoga, doing devotional service and fulfilling one's individual duties - in case of an active life as well as a contemplative life [pravritti- and nivritti-dharma] -, one will with consequent detachment and knowledge of the science of self-realization, perceive the Supreme Lord in His true nature: as being present in the material world as well as in transcendence [saguna and nirguna]. (37) I explained to you the four divisions of identity [svarûpa] in devotional service [in combination with the modes and their transcendence *], as also the imperceptible action of time [the conditioning] that drives the living entities. (38) For the living entity My dear mother, there are many ways of engaging in material action in ignorance [about one's original identity]. They are all the result of working for a material outcome [karma], and he who gets entangled in it has therefore lost his way.

(39) This what I said is not meant for instructing the wicked ones and the ones of bad conduct, nor to be told to obstinate and offensive people or to anyone who only in name does his duty. (40) One mustn't tell this to greedy persons and neither to someone attached to hearth and home, nor to those who are not devoted to Me or detest My devotees. (41) It is meant for the faithful, the devotees, the respectful, those not spiteful towards anyone, the friendly eager to render their services conscientiously. (42) Tell this to those who with a peaceful mind developed detachment for what's outside of them, to those who are not envious, who are clean and to whom I am the dearest of the dear. (43) O mother, he who but once with faith heard about this or repeats this for himself in being fixed on Me [doing japa], will certainly attain My heaven.'


* The four identities with the modes and their transcendence are known as the game of order the human being plays in his identifications of according to the four classes [varna], four statuses [âs'rama], the three modes [guna] and the eight levels of transcendence [ashthânga] functioning with a certain degree of experience.  

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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/