Home | Bhagavatam Mahabharatam |

Srimad Bhagavatam (Bhagavata Purana) :: Conto 7

The Four Asramas and How to Leave the Body

Srimad Bhagavatam, Bhagavata Purana, Bhagavatam Stories, Bhagavatam PDF, Bhagavatam Download, Bhagavatam Videos, Bhagavatam in Telugu, Bhagavatam in English, Bhagavatam Slokas, Srimad Bhagavatam Audio, Srimad Bhagavatam MP3, Bhagavatam in Telugu
Srimad Bhagavatam » Conto 7   

 The Four Asramas and How to Leave the Body

(1) S'rî Nârada said: 'A student [brahmacârî] living at the residence of the guru, should for the sake of his guru practice restraint, humility and obedience and be firm in friendship with his spiritual teacher. (2) In both the evening and in the morning should he worship the guru, the fire, the sun and the Best One of Enlightenment [Lord Vishnu], silently murmuring absorbed in prayer [the Gâyatrî]. (3) When called by the spiritual master, he should orderly practice the mantras and in the beginning and the end well-behaved offer his obeisances with his head at the lotus feet. (4) Equipped with a straw rope around his waist, garments of deerskin, matted hair, a rod, a waterpot and a sacred thread, should he take up the kus'a grass [for sitting] as is prescribed. (5) In the morning and the evening he should go out to collect alms and offer all that he collects to the guru. He should eat when ordered or otherwise fast at times. (6) Very polite, only eating as far as needed should he, industrious and full of faith, to necessity relating with the outer life of women and the men they control, be of control over his senses [compare 3.3: 5]. (7) He, not belonging to the householders life, must, to the as good as invincible senses that even take away the mind of a renunciate, give it up to address women with the observance of the great vow of celibacy [the yama of astânga-yoga]. (8) To brush the hair, massage the body, to bathe and rub it with oil is something that the still young wife of the guru should never be allowed to do as a service if the adept is still young [see also 1.11: 29]. (9) Especially the bewildered worship [of her] is like fire to the pot of butter that a man is; with other women, even with his own daughter, should he, living in seclusion, not associate more than is needed. (10) As long as one in one's reflection is ascertaining this positively in self-realization is there, for that time, freedom from illusion with the duality, but not detaching with that duality arrives one with the person at the contrary [see also B.G. 5: 18]. (11) It is for a householder as necessary as for a renunciate to follow all the directions of the guru, be it that the householder can have sex for a certain period of time [also: B.G. 7: 11]. (12) Those who have taken the vow of celibacy must give it up to make up their eyes, massage the head and the body, crave after the female image, to eat meat, indulge in intoxicating beverages, make use of scents or scented ointments and to decorate themselves with jewelry and flowers.  (13-14) This way residing under the care of a guru do those who started a new life studying, to their talent, as far as possible, come to the proper understanding of the Vedas and their s'astric supplements and adherent upanishad philosophies. Knowing what the guru wants do they, as far as they can, provide according to his wishes and enter they either a household life [grihastha] or the forest [vânaprastha or a withdrawn position in the community] once leaving his company, or do they stay with him [be like him, as a sannyâsî]. (15) In the fire, in the guru, in oneself and in every living entity resides Adhokshaja, the One beyond it All, and one should consider Him as having as well entered as not having entered the living beings and everything that belongs to Him [pravistah/apravistah compare B.G. 9: 4]. (16) This way whether being a student, withdrawn, renunciate or a householder, can one, of one's selfrealisation being fully conversant with the wisdom, understand the Supreme of the Spiritual, the Absolute Truth.

(17) Let me now explain you the rules and regulations of the retired life [vânaprastha] as recognized by the saintly of which a holy man situated in it without difficulty is promoted to the world of the sages [Maharloka]. (18) He should not eat grains from cultivated fields nor the unripe from non-cultivated fields and either grains or riped produce that was prepared; it is so enjoined that the vânaprastha should eat what has ripened naturally by the sun. (19) From the naturally grown grains and fruits the forest provides he should prepare cakes and obtaining new produce should the old stock be given up. (20) Personally enduring the snow, wind, fire, rain and the sunshine, should he take shelter of a thatched cottage or a cave only for keeping his fire. (21) Also unconcerned about the hair on his head, the hair on his body, his nails, his facial hair, his dirt and the matted of his locks, he should keep a waterpot and a deerskin, a rod and treebark [for covering him] and fire colored garments. (22) He should remain in the forest for either twelve years, eight years or four years as a saintly, thoughtful man or else for two years or one year as well, in his intelligence not being bewildered about the hardship. (23) When either diseased or too old being unable to do his duties for advancing in knowledge and the spiritual life, must he refrain from taking food. (24) Properly placing the fire element within himself he should give up the false self of being identified with the body and merge completely in, as it is, the combined of the five elements only.  (25) A person knowing the self finds the cause of his apertures in the sky; the different airs moving within in the air; the cause of the body heat he finds in fire; the blood, mucus and urine find with him their cause in the water, and the cause of the remainder [of the hard tissues] is found in the earth [compare with 1.15: 41-42 and 3.6: 12]. (26-28) The speech with its organ belongs to the God of Fire, the hands and their dexterity belong to Indra, the legs and their power to move belong to Vishnu and the genitals with the sexual desire belong to the Prajâpati. The rectum and its bowel activity is of Mrityu [Death] and also should the aural sense to the sounds be assigned to the [deities of the] directions and the touch and its organ be assigned to the windgod [Vâyu]. Eyesight with its forms, o King, one should assign to the Sun and to water and its ruler belong the tongue while smell and its odors should be consigned to the earth. (29-30) The mind with its desires belongs to Candra, the intelligence and its subject matter to the Supreme of Education, the false ego of the 'I' and 'mine' actions with its karma belongs to Rudra [S'iva], the consciousness with its concept of existence belongs to the Knower of the Field [see B.G. 13: 1-4] and the modes and their entities belong to the Beyond. The earth to the water, the water to the lights of the luminaries, the brightness to the air, the air to the sky, the sky to the materialistic conception, the false ego to that: the material energy, that into the complete of the reality [the mahat-tattva], and the reality into the primary nature [with the unmanifest the pradhâna, see 3.26: 10], and that together belongs to the Supersoul. (31) Thus is one of the Supreme of one's soul, being of the same quality in understanding the equilibrium that remains, completely spiritual and so should one thus cease his existence like flames of which the source has burnt up.

Next: The Behavior of a Saintly Person »   

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/