August 2017 archive

Bhagawatam 237: Lord Rudra blesses the Pracetās and imparts them Supreme Knowledge

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 cikīritam

Anugrahāya bhadraṁ va evaṁ me darśana ktam

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”.

Haraye namah

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Bhagawatam 236: Emperor Prithu’s descendants; birth of Pracetās

Each and every word in Bhagawatam we have to listen attentively. All these are very significant lineages within Bhagawatam. We have to know about these important family trees. Bhagawatam itself is a very vast tree. It contains the lineage of ardent devotees. By listening to this, all forms of difficulties will be washed away. We will achieve sense-control.


Anudinam idam ādareṇa śṛṇvan Pṛthu-carita prathayan vimukta-saga

Bhagavati bhava-sindhu-pota-pāde sa ca nipuṇā labhate rati manuṣyaḥ

The spiritual aspirant should discard inclination towards worldly bondages. If he listens to this Prithu’s story daily and explains it to 10 people his devotion towards the Lord will become firm. His devotion will surge. The lotus feet of the Lord are the boat which enable the person to cross this ocean of samsāra. The devotee of the Lord has the ability to acquire everything.

With this the twenty-third chapter of the fourth canto comes to an end.


Fourth Canto Chapter Twenty-four

In this chapter, the birth of Prithus’ grandsons and great-grandsons Prachinabarhi and Pracetās, and the initiation they receive from Rudra is covered.

Maitreya Maharishi continued, “Vijitāśva, who inherited the kingdom from his father Prithu, earned great fame like his father. He became the emperor of the land. He was very affectionate towards his four younger brothers. He established four kingdoms in the four directions and entrusted those responsibilities to his brothers.

His brother Haryakśa was given the eastern direction. Dhumrakeśa was given the southern direction. Vṛka was given the western direction and Dravina the northern direction.

When his father Prithu was performing the Yagna, Indra tried to steal the horse. Vijitāśva witnessed this. However, he did not confront Indra nor did he kill him. Pleased with this Indra blessed him with the mystical power of becoming invisible. He therefore was titled Antardhāna. From wife Shikhanḍini he begot three worthy sons who were revered and respected by one and all.

In the past Maharishi Vashishta had cursed the three fires viz., Pāvaka, Pavamāna and Śuci. These three fires were born as the sons of Vijitāśva. They were situated in the Yogic fire (yogāgni) and through the strength of their Yoga they reached their loka. Antardhāna had another wife Nabhasvati. Through Nabhasvati he had another son Havirdhāna.

It is the duty of the king to levy taxes, punish the wicked or fine them. Antardhāna pondered upon these kingly duties. He concluded that they were cruel. With the excuse that he wants to spend his entire lifetime performing Satra-yāga, he gave up kingly duties and engaged himself in Yagna rituals.

In the process of conducting this Satra-yāga, Antardhāna became inward facing (antarmukha). With absolute concentration of mind, he worshipped the Supreme Lord who could dispel spiritual ignorance and grant Spiritual Knowledge. He obtained Self-realization and finally reached the supreme abode.

Havirdhāna was the son of Antardhāna. From wife Hāvirdhāni he begot six sons viz., Barhiśat, Gayā, Śukla, Krishna, Satya and Jitavrata.  Among them Emperor Brahiśat was very powerful. He executed his duties exactly as stipulated by the Vedas. He was an expert in the aśtānga yoga (eight limbs of yoga).

Simultaneously he began innumerable Yagnas in adjacent fire-pits and ensured their smooth conduct. Due to his Yagnas, the entire earth was covered with Kuśa grass (darbha) with east-pointing ends, which are used for Yagna. For this reason, he acquired fame as Prāchinabarhi.

In accordance with Lord Brahma’s command, he married Śatadruti, daughter of the ocean-king. She was an epitome of beauty. At the time of her marriage when she was circumambulating around the fire, Lord Agni, the Lord of fire, was attracted by her beauty. Just as he had lustily desired Śuki in the past, he now desired to possess her.

As the bride was walking, the bells on her anklets melodiously echoed in all the directions. With her anklet bells, she captivated the minds of all Devatas, demons, Gandharvas, Maharishis, Siddhas, humans and Nagās. All of them fell in her sway.

Prācinabarhi begot 10 sons from Śatadruti. They were collectively known as Pracetās. They were steadfast in dharmic austerities and were diligent in execution of their religious activities.

Prāchinabarhi commanded his sons to get married so as to continue the lineage. They decided to obtain the Lord’s grace so that they could properly execute their father’s command. They entered into the ocean and performed penance for 10,000 years.

The Lord is reachable through the means of penance. They meditated upon Srihari, who bestows the fruits for penance. When they left home for penance, Lord Rudra blessed them with his darshan. He taught them the Supreme Truth.

With absolute sense-control, Pracetās meditated upon the Supreme Essence as taught by Lord Rudra and worshipped Srihari” said Maitreya Maharishi.

Each and every word in Bhagawatam we have to listen attentively. All these are very significant lineages within Bhagawatam. We have to know about these important family trees. Bhagawatam itself is a very vast tree. It contains the lineage of ardent devotees. By listening to this, all forms of difficulties will be washed away. We will achieve sense-control.

At this point Vidura got a doubt. When listening to such stories sometimes doubts arise. However the person who listens to entire Bhagawatam or who explains it in detail will be freed from all forms of doubts. Only the Lord’s message will remain imprinted.

Haraye namah.

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Bhagawatam 235: Arci follows her husband Prithu to heaven

Thereafter Prithu merged earth into water; water into fire; fire into wind and wind into space. He now merged the mind into the senses. The senses were merged into the five sensory perceptions (subtle elements). These were merged into ahamkara (egoism). Ahamkara was merged into Mahat tattva (cosmic intelligence). He then merged it into the Supreme Lord who takes on illusion (maya) as His carrier.

Previously, due to the existence of the subtle body, he had the feelings ‘I am an individual’. Now as he had attained dispassion and Supreme Knowledge, he was situated in his original Self. As such he discarded even the carrier known as subtle body.

His wife Arci, was a very famous queen. She was so delicate that her legs would ache when she placed them on the ground. Such queen had walked behind her husband when he went into the forest. While Prithu was engaged in severe austerities, Arci served him. She lived a quiet ascetic life in the forests, along with him.

By living exclusively on leaves, fruits and roots, she became lean and emaciated. Even then she was very happy to serve her husband. She was never sorrowful or dejected.

Arci, the chaste wife, saw her husband and realized that there were no signs of life in him. She lamented for a while. Then she arranged a pyre on top of the mountain and arranged her husband’s body upon it.

She lit the pyre and then bathed in the river. She gave the necessary water oblations to her husband. She then offered her obeisance to the Devatas who reside in heaven. She circumambulated thrice around the fire and then meditating exclusively upon her husband’s lotus feet, she too entered the fire. In this way this chaste woman, followed her husband.

Thousands of Devatas together with their wives witnessed this brave act of Arci. They praised her profusely. Beating celestial drums they assembled at the top of the Mandara Mountain. From there they showered flowers upon her. They then discussed amongst themselves as follows:

“How astonishing are the deeds of this chaste woman! She is truly fortunate. Her husband was the leader of all the kings of the world. Just as devout Goddess Lakshmi serves her husband Srihari, who is the embodiment of Yagna, this lady served her husband in mind, word and speech.

The services that she offered to her husband are beyond imagination. She is now following him as he travels. She is crossing us and is travelling to higher planes.

Even though the inhabitants of earth have a short existence, they understand that the Self is devoid of action. With the intention of obtaining liberation, they adhere to the moksha dharma (path of liberation) and merge into Him. Is there anything that such human beings cannot accomplish?

Sa vañcito batātma-dhruk kṛcchrea mahatā bhuvi

Labdhvāpavargyaṁ mānuyaṁ viṣayeu viajjate

Human birth is the birth that grants liberation! The person who, after having obtained this precious human birth with great difficulty, gets trapped in sensory pleasures will be cheated by them. It should be understood that he has harmed himself”.

While the celestial women-folk were thus praising her, Arci arrived in that supreme divine plane where her husband had reached.

Srihari is the foremost amongst the Self-realized. He is permanent. By fixing his mind steadily upon Him, Prithu obtained the most supreme plane. Arci who served her husband also obtained the same plane as her husband.

Prithu possessed supreme opulence. His prowess was super-natural. I have narrated to you his entire story in great detail” said Maharishi Maitreya.

Ya idaṁ sumahat puṇyaṁ śraddhayāvahitaḥ pahet

Śrāvayec chṛṇuyād vāpi sa pṛtho padavīm iyāt

This story of Prithu is supreme. It is very pure. The person who chants this with utmost dedication and devotion, who narrates it to others and the person who listens attentively to it will obtain the supreme plane which Prithu reached.

The Brahmin who recites this story will obtain divine splendor. The warrior (Kshatriya) who recites this will become a supreme emperor. The trader (Vysya) will become the leader for the entire community of traders. The Shudra will become the most supreme amongst all persons of his caste.

Any man or woman who listens to this story thrice with devotion will become fortunate. Childless couples who listen to this will obtain many worthy progeny. The poor who listen to this will become one of the richest in the land. The person with no fame will obtain supreme fame. A fool will turn into a learned scholar.

Idaṁ svasty-ayanaṁ puṁsām amaṅgalya-nivāraṇam

Dhanyaṁ yaśasyam āyuṣyaṁ svargyaṁ kali-malāpaham

This story of Prithu drives away all ill-luck. It drives away sorrows and blesses the person with wealth, fame, longevity. It washes away the Kali-dosham (impurities of Kali) and blesses with accession to heaven.

Persons who wish to accomplish all the four-fold aims of life (puruśārthas) should listen to this story daily from the mouth of a learned Pundit. Among the tools that help in accomplishing the four-fold aims of life, this story is the most supreme.

When Prithu travelled through any kingdom, the king of that land would come forward and accost him with various tributes. Therefore, the king who wants to conquer lands by undertaking victory-tour should read this story before setting off on his tour. Then the kings of those lands through which he travels will come forward and offer him tributes.

The spiritual aspirant should give up inclination towards other materialistic objects. He should develop selfless and pure love towards the Supreme Lord. With such devotion he should listen or chant the story of Prithu or should narrate this story to others.

O Vidura I have narrated to you this story which explains the glory of Srihari. The person who is devoted towards this story will obtain the highest planes that Prithu obtained.

Krishnāya namah.

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234: Prithu retires to the forests and gives up his body using the Yogic procedure

Srikrishnāya namah.

In contemplation about Supreme Brahman, he was like Brihaspati. In sense-control he was exactly like Srihari. In devotion, disciplines, humility and good behavior shown towards cows, Gurus, Vedic scholars and devotees of Lord Srihari, Prithu was unrivaled. In helping other living beings, he could be compared only with himself.

His fame spread across all the three worlds. Just as Srirama enters into the hearts of noble saints, his glories which were sung loudly by the inhabitants of all the three worlds entered into the hearts of the ladies engaged in household chores.

With this the twenty second chapter of the fourth canto comes to an end.


Fourth Canto Chapter Twenty-three

In this chapter, Prithu’s accession to heaven is explained.

Vena’s son Prithu was supremely courageous. He ruled righteously and wisely. He established settlements known as villages and ensured their prosperity. He provided livelihood for all moving and non-moving entities. He protected the dharma of noble beings. The purpose for which he had incarnated upon earth was duly completed.

To Prithu, Earth was a daughter. He realized that his time on earth was coming to an end. He felt as if Earth was crying due to imminent separation from him. He entrusted the kingdom to his sons and together with his wife went into the forests for penance. All these years the king had attendants to serve him. When he left behind these attendants and got ready to leave for the forests, the citizens grieved profusely.

In the forest, Prithu took great precautions to ensure that his disciplines remain unbroken. He undertook severe austerities which are loved by Vanaprasthas. His resolve towards intense austerities was at par with the resolve that he had used in the past to conquer and maintain the entire earth.

The couple Arci and Prithu, survived on roots and fruits. At times, they ate only dried leaves. For some months they lived only on water. After this for some period of time they lived only on air. Prithu continued his austerities sincerely.

Prithu perfectly executed the Vanaprastha dharmas. In summer, he withstood intense heat and continued his austerities. During rainy season, he withstood the torrential rainfall but continued his austerities relentlessly. During winter, he stood neck-deep in waters and undertook his austerities. He would sleep on the bare floor.

Due to his perfection in sense-control he could withstand the dualities of heat and cold alike.  He controlled his speech. He adhered to rules of celibacy and practiced Pranayama. Desiring to worship Lord Srikrishna, he performed supreme penance. The penance gradually fructified. All his subtle impressions were cleansed and his mind was rendered totally pure.

Through the process of Pranayama, he perfectly controlled the senses and mind. He was totally liberated from worldly bondages. The venerable Maharishi Sanat-kumāra had imparted to Prithu the ultimate Supreme Knowledge, which is the best of all forms of knowledge. With this, the spiritual aspirant becomes inward facing and sees the Lord who resides within in the form of the Self.

Through this Yoga Emperor Prithu, the foremost amongst all human beings, served the Supreme Lord. Being a noble person, he sought only to worship the Lord at every moment. With this dedication, he continued his austerities.

He was established in supreme devotion towards Srihari which was unconnected to this world and its bondages. Due to offering devotional service to the Lord, his mind turned completely pure. Due to endlessly contemplating upon the Lord, his devotion surged enormously. Due to this devotion he developed total detachment and obtained Self-knowledge.

Due to Self-knowledge, he could destroy the illusion known as body, mind, life, intelligence and egoism (sense of I-ness). He cut the knot called worldly bondages. All his doubts were totally destroyed. These doubts, after all, emerge only because of the deluded feeling – ‘I am an individual being’.

The moment Self-knowledge arose, feelings of duality was totally washed away. Desires were destroyed in totality. At that moment, he discarded even the spiritual knowledge which dissolves feelings of ‘I-ness’ in the person.

The spiritual aspirant cannot give up inclination towards mystical powers (siddhi) until and unless the mind totally establishes in listening to divine glories. As Prithu was totally desirous of listening to divine stories, he was not inclined towards Yogic accomplishments.

In this way Emperor Prithu, the most supreme among the valourous persons, fixed his buddhi totally upon the Self and became liberated (Brahmi-bhuta).

When it was time to depart from earth, he left behind this strong sturdy body. With the sole of his feet he pressed the anus, which is located near the Mooladhara chakra. He gradually lifted the life-force upwards. He pushed the life-force upwards through Swādhisthāna chakra which is located near the intestines, Manipura Chakra which is located near the navel, Anahata chakra which is located near the chest, Viśuddha chakra located near the lower neck region and the Ajna chakra which is located in between the eyebrows. He then took it up into the Brahmarandhra, located at the top of the head.

He was now absolutely devoid of any desire. He merged the earth, wind and fire that existed within his body into the total earth, total air and total fire respectively. Here it means he gave up individual existence.

He merged the senses into space (mahākāśa). He merged the various liquids within the body with the total waters. He merged earth into earth, water into water, fire into fire, wind into wind and space into space. Thus he merged the five bodily elements into their respective principles however the merger was exactly in the opposite direction of their birth.

Krishnāya namah

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Bhagawatam 233: The rule of Prithu, after he obtained Self-realization

Maharishi Sanat-kumara continued, “O King Prithu, Subtle impressions of all past actions exist in the form of ahamkara granthi i.e. knot of egoism. Saints are eternally devoted to the illumination emitted from the toe nails of the Lord. Due to its influence they easily cut this knot of egoism and fulfill the life’s purpose. However spiritual aspirants are unable to totally control the senses and restrain the mental modifications (thought waves). As such they are unable to easily cut this knot of egoism. Therefore, surrender to such Lord Vāsudeva and serve Him.

The ocean called repeated re-births (samsāra) is made up of 6 alligators known as 5 senses and mind. Some persons aspire to conquer it through stringent Yogic austerities. They do not seek shelter under the boatman called Iśwara. It is nearly impossible for such persons to cross this ocean. Therefore, use the lotus feet of Lord Srihari as the boat to cross this terrible ocean, from which otherwise there is no escape.”

In this way Maharishi Sanatkumara, who was a mind born son of Brahma, preached Self-knowledge. Emperor Prithu glorified him profusely and said, “O venerable great saint! Lord Srihari, who is compassionate towards the helpless, has already blessed me in the past. Your preaching now will enable His grace to flow completely through me.

You are most worthy of worship. You are supremely accomplished. Including this body, everything that is mine has been given to me as a blessing by God. Hence, what is it that I can offer to you? O Mahatma, I offer to You everything that I have i.e. my life, my wife, children, my treasury, my palace, my kingdom, my army and my land.

Only a scholar well-versed in Vedas possesses the eligibility to hold the positions of commander-in-chief, of a judge who delivers justice by punishing the wicked, and of a ruler. Moreover, only that Vedic scholar who possesses the eligibility to independently rule over the three worlds enjoys his own food and wears clothes from his own wealth. Irrespective of his wealth and fame, he eats only that much food as destined. He gives away his own wealth in charity. He obtains clothing per his destiny. On the other hand, Kshatriya and other classes of people enjoy luxuries and comforts only due to the blessings of these Vedic Brahmins.

O great saints, you possess limitless compassion under all circumstances. You are exponents in Veda. It is my fortune that you have come and have preached to me the Supreme Essence. You have given me lessons on spirituality. You have thus helped me. May this help that you have done to me bring great joy to you!

Apart from folding my hands and offering obeisance, there is nothing that I can offer you. Not only me, none can ever repay you for the kindness shown and help given by you. The person who seeks to repay you will be a joker”.

Thereafter Emperor Prithu honoured these four Kumāra saints, who were exponents in Self-knowledge. The saints glorified his exemplary character and as everyone was watching them, they left through the path of the skies.

Vena’s son Prithu was the greatest among the great personalities. He established himself in the Self as taught by Maharishi Sanat-kumāra. He believed that he had attained completeness and liberation.

Without transgressing his financial position or his strength and while working in accordance to the limitations of time and place, he continued to perform meritorious deeds with feelings of total surrender to God. He offered the results of all his actions to God. He gave up the thought ‘I am the doer of the action’ and with absolute concentration performed his duties.

He remained like a witness who is over and above the body, senses and mind. His kingdom was very opulent. Even then he was devoid of the feelings of egoism. Even though he lived a householder’s life amidst all luxuries in his palace, he was unattached to them. Just like the Sun is untouched by objects, he was unattached to any sensory comforts. While remaining established in the Self he dutifully executed the actions specified by the Shastras.

From wife Arci he begot 5 sons viz., Vijitāśva, Dhumraketu, Haryāksha, Draviṇa and Vṛka. Being a partial incarnation of Lord Srihari, Emperor Prithu had in him all the qualities of all the guardian-deities. He protected all the living entities in the creation.

Moon, who is the presiding deity for herbs, is famous as Somayaji. Like him Prithu was always anxious to ensure the well-being of all his citizens and hence with his exemplary qualities he pleased them all. He was said to be a king who was second-best after the Moon.

Through the processes of evaporation and condensation the Sun absorbs water from Earth and showers it back as rain. Likewise, valourous King Prithu used to collect food grains from Earth in form of taxes. He used those taxes for the welfare of the kingdom and its citizens.

In patience he was comparable to Mother Earth. Just as the heaven fulfills all desires, he would fulfill all desires of his citizens. Clouds shower adequate rainfall and satisfy people on earth. Likewise, he would ensure that people received wealth in proportion to their desires. In this way, he ensured their satisfaction.

It is impossible to know the depth of the ocean. Similarly it was impossible to understand the depths of his mind. In valour, he was like the mountain that does not move even under tremendous pressure. In punishing the wicked he was impartial and intelligent like Yama-dharmaraja, the Lord of death. He was like the wonderous Himalayan Mountains. Like Kubera he was the owner of limitless riches. He would not disclose his future plans until and unless they transformed into suitable actions. In maintaining secrets he was comparable to Varuna.

Wind controls every living being in the form of life-force. It also energizes their mind, body and senses. Similarly, Prithu with his mental strength, bodily strength and with the strength of his senses controlled everyone.

Emperor Prithu’s radiance was unlimited. He was Self-illuminating like Lord Rudra. In beauty he was like Manmatha, the Lord of desires. In gait he was like a lion. He was comparable to Swāyambhuva Manu in the affection shown to his subjects. He ruled like Lord Brahma.

Haraye namah

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