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Srimad Bhagavatam (Bhagavata Purana) :: Conto 11

The Soul Free, the Soul Bound

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Srimad Bhagavatam » Conto 11   

 The Soul Free, the Soul Bound

(1) The Supreme Lord said: 'A soul free from desire accepting My shelter should, in caring for the personal duties to God I spoke of [see also in e.g. 10.60: 52 and B.G. 3: 35], practice the varnâs'rama system of society [B.G. 4: 13]. (2) A purified soul should see how of the ones embodied who self-centered take the sensual for true, all endeavors are doomed to fail [see also B.G. 13: 32]. (3) What the meditator sees in the realm of sleep or in his fantasy is as futile as it is variagated. So too is one not really using one's intelligence when one is guided by the self that is separated by the modal qualities [B.G. 2: 41 & 9: 15]. (4) Devoted to Me one should perform the work that needs to be done for the detachment [nivritti] and forsake the activities in attachment [pravritti]. One shouldn't take heed of the injunctions for working for results when one is perfectly engaged in the search for spiritual truth [see 7.15: 47]. (5) The one devoted must always observe the basic rules [the commandments, the vidhi] and respect the co-ordinate ones at a suitable time [the niyama]. Also he must be of service to the peaceful guru who, knowing My form, does not differ from Me [see also 7.14: 41-42]. (6) With humility, not considering oneself the doer, be industrious, non-possessive, fixed in friendship, not hasty, interested in being inquisitive and free from spite and idle talk. (7) Remaining neutral concerning one's wife, children, home, land, folk and bank-account and such, should one recognize one's own interest in that of each [see B.G. 5: 18].

(8) The soul is the self-enlightened seer who is different from the gross and subtle body, the same way as fire emitting light with its burning differs from the firewood [see also B.G. 2: 16-24]. (9) Lodged within [the wood] assumes fire [upon ignition] its various dormant qualities that manifest as tiny or large etc. The same way assumes the spirit soul the qualities belonging to the body [see also 3.24: 6, 4.9: 7, 10.37: 10-11, 10.46: 36]. (10) That what, with this body that was formed by the modes, is tied to the samsâra ocean of matter which belongs to the Original Person [see B.G. 8: 4], is what is called the living entity of which the ties of attachment are cut by the knowledge of the Soul. (11) Therefore should one, by cultivating the knowledge of the Soul as being situated in oneself [2.2 and B.G. 9: 5], pure in one's approach with the realization of the Supreme, gradually let go of this concept of the material affair [as being an independent reality]. (12) The âcârya can be compared to the lower piece of kindling wood, the disciple to the top piece and the instructions to the stick used in between, while the knowledge is there as the fire that brings happiness [compare 9.14: 44-46]. (13) This purest intelligence that is transmitted by the experienced [the âcâryas], repels the illusion stemming from the gunas and is, in completely burning up what was established by the modes, itself pacified the way fire pacifies when it runs out of fuel [see also 11.3: 12].

(14-16) When you with this in mind think of the variegatedness of the different ways of making a living, when you think of those enjoyers of happiness and distress; if you keep in mind the perpetual existence of the material world, the time, the revealed scriptures and the soul; when you face the fact that all knowledge is subject to change because it is based upon the difference created by all the forms of existence and the changes of the sense objects; then, o Uddhava, [you must admit from merely that material vision * that] one thus always has the states of existence of being born [of being old and being diseased] and so on. For everyone embodied happens to have a body [which found its order] by the different limbs of time [knowing the divisions according the sun and moon, see 3.11]. (17) Of the performer who as the enjoyer therein furthermore is of fruitive activities, is the lack of independence clearly visible and can the happiness and unhappiness be observed; what value indeed can be derived from not [really for lasting happiness, see B.G. 9: 3 and 11.9: 1] being in control? (18) Among the embodied the foolish are not always happy and similarly even the ones intelligent are not always happy. The desire to be happy always is useless and in fact something most egotistical [see also B.G. 2: 15 and 11.9: 4]. (19) Even if they know how to achieve happiness and escape distress, they still do not know the uniting of consciousness [the yoga process] by which death will not be able to exert its power [compare B.G. 10: 34]. (20) What certainty of happiness or lust a material object would provide the person? With death never pleasing standing nearby is he like someone condemned who is led to the place of execution. (21) What we heard about [heaven] as well as what we know from our own experience [earth] is spoilt by rivalry, fault-finding, lapse and decay. Just like with agriculture many obstacles are in the way of a happy result, it is also useless to desire for perfect material happiness [see also 11.3: 20]. (22) When one in one's righteousness not is troubled by hindrances and one manages to excell in practice, even the status one thus acquired will not last forever. Please, listen therefore to the following  [see also B.G. 2: 14].

(23) Out here having worshiped the gods with sacrifices the performer goes to the heavenly worlds where he like a god may enjoy the celestial pleasures he achieved [see B.G. 3: 11 and 4: 12]. (24) He shines in the temple [the 'vimâna'] because of his accumulated merit and he is, surrounded by goddesses who wear charming clothes, on his way [leaving this earth] by the singers of heaven glorified with songs. (25) While he with the women of heaven fares to his desire he with that notion of order is framed by the sounds of bells. In delight he forgets about the downfall he experienced [on earth] as he relaxes comfortably in the pleasure gardens of the God-conscious [see e.g. 7.15: 69-73]. (26) He, for long enjoying the heavens until his pious credit is used up and his piety is exhausted, against his will falls down from heaven, because he turned away from time [and thus was unsteady, compare B.G. 9: 20-22]. (27-29) If he, due to his material involvement, is engaged in actions against the dharma or, not having conquered his senses, lives wantonly as a miserable, greedy philanderer, is of violence against other living beings, kills animals against the rules and worships hordes of ghosts and spirits [compare 7.12: 12], a living being will, once he passed on, helplessly thereupon land in the deepest darkness of the hellish worlds. He will, because of what he did, again accept a material body to perform activities that [again] cause him great grief in the future. What happiness would one find in swearing by activities that invariably lead to death [see also 5.26: 37 and B.G. 16: 19-21]? (30) In all the worlds and among all their leaders there is fear of Me; the individual souls living for a kalpa fear Me and even the one supreme, Brahmâ who lives for two parârdhas, fears Me [see also 1.13: 17-20, 3.8: 20, 3.11: 33, 3.25: 42, 3.26: 16, 3.29: 37, 3.29: 40-45, 5.24: 15, 5.24: 28]. (31) The material senses stimulated by the modes of nature give rise to activities and the individual soul, the jîva, who is fully engaged by the materially oriented senses and the gunas, experiences the various karmic consequences [see also 3.32 and B.G. 3: 27]. (32) As long as there are the separate existences of the modes of nature will there be the different states of existence of the soul, and as long as there are the different states of existence of the soul, there for sure thus will be [the karmic] dependence [see also B.G. 17: 2]. (33) As long as one is not free from the dependence will there be fear of the Controller [the Time]. They who devote themselves to this [dependence] will, being bewildered, always be full of sorrow. (34) With the agitation by the modes of nature, one calls Me variously the Time, the Self, the Vedic Knowledge, the World, Nature, as also Dharma.'

(35) S'rî Uddhava said: 'Even though the one embodied is present in the midst of the modes of nature he is not necessarily bound to what forces itself upon him from the material body [the happiness and distress]. In other words, how can it happen that one as a free soul is bound by the modes, o Almighty One? (36-37) How is he situated, how does he enjoy, or by what symptoms can he be known? What would he eat or how would he evacuate, lie down or sit [compare B.G. 14: 21]? Explain to me what I ask You, o Infallible One, o Best of All who Know to Answer Questions. This at the same time being eternally bound and eternally being liberated is something that confounds me.'

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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/