Vidura asked, “O Maitreya Maharishi! Why did Rudra, the Lord of Kailasa, bless Pracetās with His darshan? What was the reason for Him to be pleased with the Pracetās? Where and why did this meeting take place? What was the knowledge preached by Rudra? Please be kind enough to explain this to me.
Saṅgamaḥ khalu viprarṣe śiveneha śarīriṇām
Durlabho munayo dadhyur asaṅgād yam abhīpsitam
O Maharishi! In this creation, it is almost impossible for a living entity to meet Shiva. Great saints who have given up all worldly desires and who eternally meditate upon Shiva, with the intent of meeting Him personally, find it difficult.
Ātmārāmo ’pi yas tv asya loka-kalpasya rādhase
Śaktyā yukto vicarati ghorayā bhagavān bhavaḥ
Lord Shiva is eternally soaked in the Self’s bliss. He is permanently established in the Self. In order to protect the created world He eternally wanders along with his powerful and fearful energies (śakti)”.
Maitreya Maharishi replied, “Desirous of fulfilling their father’s command, Pracetās travelled in the western direction. They had deep regard for penance. As they were thus travelling they came across a lake that was as huge as an ocean. Its water was crystal clear and pure just like the minds of great Mahatmas.
The aquatic animals in the pond were calm and composed. The pond was filled with black water-lilies. The many lilies and lotuses that were a mixture of bluish- black colours, the plentiful fragrant red lotuses and black lilies could be seen everywhere. Swans, cranes and ducks filled the lake. The entire lake reverberated with the melodious chirping of the birds.
Intoxicated bees were melodiously buzzing as they flew about freely. It appeared as if the tender glowing shoots of the climbers, which were leaning on to the trees for support, had developed goose-bumps upon listening to this melodious buzzing! It appeared as if the lake was sprinkling the saffron from its lotuses into the air and thus showing its excitement.
Pracetās, the 10 brothers, were deeply astonished to hear melodious divine singing replete with many varied notes accompanied by kettle-drums and other instruments. Exactly at that moment Lord Rudra together with his attendants arose from the waters of that lake.
Rudra is the supreme-most amongst Devatas. Gandharvas, who always follow the footsteps of the Devatas, were profusely extolling Him. At that moment, Lord Shiva, who is famous as Neelakanta due to his bluish-black neck, was shining like polished gold. His charming and pleasant face was ready to shower blessings upon His devotees.
In full anxiety and excitement, Pracetās bowed reverentially before Him. Lord Shiva always dispels difficulties of those who seek shelter in Him. He loves righteousness. Pracetās were well-versed in the rules of righteousness. In addition, they were filled with good, noble qualities. They were extremely happy to be blessed with the Lord’s darshan.
Pleased with them Lord Rudra said,
“Yūyaṁ vediṣadaḥ putrā viditaṁ vaś cikīrṣitam
Anugrahāya bhadraṁ va evaṁ me darśanaṁ kṛtam
I am aware that you all are great Vedic scholars. I am also aware that you are the sons of King Prācinabarhi, who is also an exponent in Vedas. I also know your intentions. May you all be blessed with auspiciousness! Purely with the intention of blessing you all, I have arrived here.
The Supreme Lord Vāsudeva is beyond even the subtle principle of Nature (Prakriti) and its three attributes (trigunas). He is also beyond the life-principle (jeeva-tattva). The person who has totally surrendered unto Him is always dear to me.
The person who strictly abides by his dharmic duties for a hundred births obtains the position of Brahma. The person who obtains more merit (punya) than this i.e. one who acquires even more qualification reaches My abode. However the devotee of Lord Srihari reaches the supreme abode called Vaikunta (vaishnava dhāma). All Gods including me will, after the completion of the duties allotted to us and after the destruction of our subtle bodies, reach the same supreme abode which is beyond this creation.
Atha bhāgavatā yūyaṁ priyāḥ stha bhagavān yathā
Na mad bhāgavatānāṁ ca preyān anyo ’sti karhicit
All of you are devoted towards that Supreme Lord. I love you all as much as I love that Supreme Lord. At any point of time, the devotees of the Lord are dearer to me than they are to others.
I will impart to you that knowledge which is very pure, which bestows auspiciousness and which blesses the person with everything including liberation. Please be attentive”.