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Srimad Bhagavatam (Bhagavata Purana) :: Conto 7

The Supreme of the Householder's Life

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Srimad Bhagavatam » Conto 7   

 The Supreme of the Householder's Life

(1) S'rî Yudhishthhira said: 'Please explain to me how householders [grihasthas], like me ignorant about the goal of life, without difficulty also may achieve this position of liberation according the scripture, o devarishi.'

(2) Nârada Muni said: 'O King someone staying home should, in service of the great devotees, perform the duties prescibed for him [by guru and sastra] in dedication to Vâsudeva's visible form. (3-4) Always in the midst of people and relieved from all material duties should one faithfully at the right time hearing the nectar of the narrations about the avatâras of the Lord, thus well being associated gradually free oneself from one's attachment to one's wife and children and thus, personally removed from them, awaken as from a dream [see also 5.5: 1 and B.G. 18: 54]. (5) A man of that learning, he who thus living in the human society is of no more endeavor in making a living than would be strictly necessary, must be depicted as someone who is not as attached as he seems to be. (6) Whatever the relatives, the parents, the children, one's brothers and friends or whomever else may suggest to do, to whatever they wish, he should consent without being all too serious. (7) For this purpose must the intelligent person utilize all that is obtained without effort: all the things which are given by God [like fruits], all that one gets from the earth [like minerals] and all that is won by chance [donations, finds]; they are all the same produced by the Infallible One. (8) The stomach one may fill as much as needed and not more, because claiming more than that would make the one who thus appropriates a thief deserving punishment. (9) Deer, camels, asses, monkeys, mice, snakes, birds and flies one should [to that] see as one's own children; how little difference is there between those animals and children? (10) On the threefold path [of dharma, artha and kâma] not overly zealous [in ugra-karma] should a person, notwithstanding his concerns about his household, obtain only as much as the grace of God according to the time and circumstance would provide [see also 4.8: 54]. (11) Up to the dog, the fallen one and the outcast, should the necessities be divided to the need; even one's own wife, so close to oneself, should be shared so that she can be there [as a mother] for all the people [e.g. the guests in one's house and so on]. (12) One might give up the claim of owning her for which one was ready to kill oneself or others or abandon one's parents or spiritual master, so that one indeed may conquer Him who cannot be conquered [but by sacrifice]. (13) For the insects, to stool and of ashes is in the end this attachment, this insignificant material vehicle; of what value is that attraction for the wife's body relative to the soul that is as all-pervading as the ether? (14) What the Lord gives, what sacrifice brings, should in the end be considered the means of one's livelihood. All proprietorship is given up by those who are wise; it is the position of the great in this that one should achieve. (15) With the respect for the gods, the sages, unto mankind and the living beings, the forefathers and for oneself separately should one, making a living with what is obtained without effort, daily honor the Original Person. (16) The moment one [as a householder] has everything under control - not only the requisites but also oneself - should one with sacrifices in the fire according the regulations as laid down in the scriptures be of worship with all the means available for pleasing the Lord [see B.G. 4: 24-29]. (17) O King, the Supreme Lord, the enjoyer of all sacrifices is not as much worshiped by the offering of ghee in the mouth of the fire as by offerings to the mouths of the learned [see also 3.16: 8]. (18) Be therefore of worship, putting the brahmins first, via all the brahmins and demigods, all the mortals and other living beings, and offer this way according your ability all that is desired to the knower of the field [the Lord, see B.G. 13: 3].

(19) During [for instance] the dark fortnight of the month Âs'vina [October-November] and the month Bhâdra [August-September] should the twice-born offer oblations to the forefathers as far as they can afford it and to their relatives provided they have the riches. (20-23) Also at the solstices when the sun moves to the south and north or enters Aries or Capricorn, in the yoga [12.3 degrees of arc] named Vyatîpâta, on the days covering three lunar days [tithis] and on days of solar eclipses and new moons as well as on the twelfth day and the constellation [nakshatra] of S'ravana; also on the Akshaya-tritîyâ day, on the ninth lunar day of the bright fortnight of the month of Kârtika, on the four ashthakâs [the eigth days] in the winter season and cool season, on the seventh lunar day of the bright fortnight of the month of Mâgha, during the conjunction of Maghâ-nakshatra and the full-moon day, on the days when the moon is completely full, or not quite completely full when these days are conjoined with the nakshatras from which the names of certain months are derived. On the twelfth lunar days in conjunction with any of the nakshatras named Anurâdhâ, S'ravana, Uttara-phalgunî, Uttarâshâdhâ or Uttara-bhâdrapadâ and the eleventh lunar day that is in conjunction with either Uttara-phalgunî, Uttarâshâdhâ or Uttara-bhâdrapadâ as also on days in conjunction with one's own birth star [janma-nakshatra] or the S'ravana-nakshatra, is one advised to perform. (24) It is from these auspicious times [of being regular to natural occurrences] that the fate of human beings is improved; on those days one should perform all kinds of ceremonies and thus in all seasons have for a human being auspiciousness, success and longevity [see the full calendar of order for setting days to natural events]. (25) At all these natural times taking a holy bath, doing japa [the vedic rosary], performing fire sacrifices and keeping to vows, is whatever one offers the Supreme Lord, the twice-born managing the deities, the forefathers, the godly, the human beings in general and all other living beings indeed a definite good deed. (26) O King, the times of the purification rituals serve the interest of the wife, the children and oneself as also the interest of having funerals, memorial days and [setting days apart for] doing fruitive labor.

(27-28) In accord with that let me tell you about the truly most sacred place suitable to engage in this: there where a follower of truth is available [a saint, a Vaishnava, a guru], in a temple; there where the Supreme of the Lord and the association of the brahmins is found who are of austerity, education and mercy with each and every moving and nonmoving living entity of the entire universe. (29) Wherever the form of the Supreme Lord is worshiped, that site is the all auspicious refuge, wherever it may be, like the Ganges or the other rivers also celebrated in the Purânas. (30-33) Lakes as Pushkara and celebrated places harboring the saints like Kurukshetra, Gayâ, Prayâg [Allahabad] and Pulaha-âs'rama; Naimishâranya [near Lucknow], Phâlgunam, Setubhanda [towards Lankâ], Prabhâsa, Dvârakâ, Benares, Mathurâ, at Pampâ, Bindu-sarovara, at Badarikâs'rama, Nandâ, the places of Sîtâ Devî and Lord Râma, like Citrakûtha and o King, all such hillsides as Mahendra and Malaya - all of them are of the holiest; they and all the places where the Lord and His deities are worshiped [thus also outside of India] should indeed time and again be paid a visit by the one who desires the auspiciousness as it is there that of the persons the religious activities performed are a thousand times more effective.

(34) O controller of the earth, by the scholars proficient in respect of the receptacle has it been decided that the one and only recipient in the world indeed is the Lord, in Him truly all that moves and not moves rests [see also 4.31: 14]. (35) From among the most venerable saintly personalities of God did the sons of Brahmâ as also the other ones faithful to the truth [at Yudhishthhira's Râjasûya sacrifice], o King, decide that as the first to be worshiped of them all, Krishna was to be selected as the best. (36) The countless souls filling the entire universe are like a giant tree and because of Him being the root of that tree satisfies the worship of the Infallible One all living entities. (37) He indeed is the Original Person who resting with the individual souls inhabits their forms; the bodies of all those created beings, the humans, the non-humans, the saintly and the divine are His residence [see also B.G. 18: 61]. (38) To them indeed is He, depending on their level of understanding and manifest penance, the Supreme Lord who is more or less clearly present, o King, and for that reason is He the first and most important person of reception [compare B.G. 15: 15]. (39) When they saw how, from the beginning of Tretâ-yuga, the mutual respect in human society was turning to the negative o King, was by the scholars the worship of deities introduced [see also: 12.3: 52]. (40) Since then is one with great faith and all requirements of worship for the deity of the Lord, even though that regular attendance [for the external of God] is not much of use to those negative people [for the real benefit is found in the wisdom the idols give access to, see also 3.29: 25, B.G. 18: 68 & 69]. (41) O best of kings, one should realize that the best person among the people is indeed the brahmin because he of his austerity, education and satisfaction embodies the vedic knowledge of the Supreme Personality of Hari. (42) It is namely by Him, by Lord Krishna the life and soul of the universe, o King, that the brahmins are sanctified; by the dust of their worshipable feet is there the most exalted in the three worlds.

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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/