Bhagawatam 129: Conversation between Lord Srihari and the four Kumāras

Vishṇave namah

The Supreme Lord continued, “O great saints! Self-realized persons, orphans and cows are parts of my body and are indistinguishable from me. Sinners with a spoilt intellect however consider them i.e. Self-realized persons, cows and orphans, to be different from me and thereby insult them. I myself have authorized Yama, the Lord of death, to punish them adequately for such sins. Like hissing serpents the attendants of Yama will be furious with them. Like eagles they will shred them apart.

Even if they are insulted by Brahmavettas (knower of Brahman), human beings should happily think of me and should whole-heartedly continue to worship them. In addition, with a charming nectarous smile, a happy cheerful face and with words that are totally filled with love, they should glorify such Brahma-vettas (Self-realized persons).

As an obedient son would lovingly pacify his angry father or as a father would lovingly pacify his angry son, they should pacify these Brahma-vettās. This is what I am now doing. It pleases me when human beings adopt this approach. I will be totally under the sway of such persons.

O Maharishis! These two servants of mine could not understand my mind. They have insulted you and are about to reap its consequences. Please bless these servants to quickly complete their period of punishment and separation from me. I bless that they should quickly return to me”- thus Srihari very sweetly and respectfully uttered words which would cause the welfare of saints and Brahmins.

The minds of these saints had been bitten by the snake called anger. Even then they drank in the Lord’s words considering them to be nectarous. But yet they were not totally satisfied. The thirst of a person bitten by a snake is not quenched even after continuously drinking the sweet waters of River Saraswati, isn’t it? These saints were in a similar situation. The Lord had uttered dry words and it was impossible for them to grasp the inner significance contained within those words.

Those words were profound in meaning. With wide open ears the saints heard everything He said. They pondered upon them but still could not figure out what the Lord was trying to convey. They could not understand His mind or His intention.

The Lord, through His illusory power (yoga māya) manifested His greatness, which causes the welfare of all beings. The saints were soaked in bliss seeing such Lord in front of them. They experienced horripilation throughout their body. They folded their palms and said,

“O Lord! You are the master of this entire universe. Even then in all humility You speak as if we have blessed You. We are unable to understand what You plan to do. We are unable to understand Your opinions and intention.

O Lord! You are the one who causes the well-being of the Self-realized persons and Brahmins. Yet You state that You consider them to be God. However the truth is that not only for the Self-realized beings and Brahmins, but also for Brahma and all other Gods, You are the Supreme Lord. You are the inner Self. You are truly worthy of worship.

Dharma continues till eternity only due to You. You periodically incarnate to restore and protect it. The ultimate fruit of dharma is Parabrahma, who is also the absolute essence of entire Vedas. Shastras authoritatively state that it is You alone!

Beings who are Self-realized as well as those who are totally dedicated towards the Nivrtti dharma (the path of return) exit from this wheel of repeated births and deaths, which is known as samsāra, purely through Your grace.

Indra and other Devatas who are desirous of prosperity and wealth retain the dust of Goddess Lakshmi’s feet on their head. Such Goddess Lakshmi seeks to remain beside Your feet eternally serving You. To such holy feet, devotees offer shining Tulasi garland. Attracted by this garland, the king of bees encircles it. You have more love towards devotees of the highest order (bhāgavattotama) than towards Goddess Lakshmi, who offers services to You with absolute purity and total dedication.

Where is the necessity to purify yourself with the dust from the feet of your dedicated devotees, O Lord when You are the one who purifies everyone?

You state that with the dust of the devotees’ feet You have been able to retain Goddess Lakshmi on your chest and that You have become complete in every aspect. O Lord, where is the truth in such statement? How can the dust from your devotees’ feet purify You? Can Lakshmi Devi or Your devotees or their worship and austerities purify You? It is impossible because You alone purify everything. You alone are the ever pure Lord of the universe.

dharmasya te bhagavatas tri-yuga tribhiḥ svaiḥ

padbhiś carācaram idaṁ dvija-devatārtham

nūnaṁ bhta tad-abhighāti rajas tamaś ca

sattvena no varadayā tanuvā nirasya 

O Supreme Lord! You visibly manifest only in the three Yugas viz., Krta, Treta and Dwapara. Penance (tapas), compassion (daya) and charity (dāna) are Your three feet since You are the personification of righteousness (dharma). For the sake of Devatas and Self-realized beings, You rule this universe which comprises of animate and inanimate objects. O Lord, kindly destroy the traits of action (rajas) and inertia (tamas) which stand as obstacles in the path of penance, compassion and charity i.e. the three feet of dharma. Please make Yourself visible in a form that is replete with traits of goodness and purity (sattva guna) and bestow boons upon us.

O Lord! In this universe You talk very lovingly to Brahmins and respect them. You honour them. You remain as the protector of all Brahmins. If you do not adopt this approach, the path of dharma that has been laid down by You, will be destroyed. This is because You are the most supreme being and this world simply walks on Your footsteps. Whatever practices You follow, the world will consider them to be satisfactory proof and abide by them. You are a repository of the traits of goodness and purity (sattva guna).

Vishṇave namah.

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