Bhagawatam 139, 140: Swayambhuva Manu visits Maharishi Kardama

Sankarshanāya namah

The water in this pure lake called Bindu-sarovara is nectarous. Great sages serve this holy lake with utmost devotion. The ashrama of Maharishi Kardama, which was situated on the banks of this lake, was exquisitely decorated with various creepers, flowering plants, and varied fruit and flower bearing trees.

The area reverberated with the sounds of animals and birds that are considered auspicious. Trees that had grown naturally had aligned themselves in beautiful designs. These trees were laden with the flowers and fruits belonging to all seasons. Intoxicated bees buzzed while flying freely amidst these trees. Flocks of intoxicated birds were chirping loudly in excitement. Peacocks were dancing merrily. The melodious calls of the Cuckoos appeared to be welcoming guests into the hermitage.

The hermitage was glowing resplendently with Kadamba, the fragrant jasmine and champaka flowers, pagoda, mango and other trees as well as with hibiscus and plentiful other shrubs.

Deer, ducks, water-hens, swans, cranes and many other birds belonging to different species chirped melodiously. Wild boars, pigs, elephants, mongoose, lions, monkeys, langurs, kasturi and other deer species were wandering leisurely in the precincts of the hermitage.

Manu, the first emperor, who was travelling around the world together with his daughter, arrived at this meritorious and sacred place. As he entered the ashrama of Maharishi Kardama, he saw the saint who was relaxing after having completed the obligatory fire ritual for that day.

Due to his intense austerities undertaken for a very long period of time, Kardama Maharishi’s body was glowing radiantly. With deep love, Srihari had cast His most affectionate glance upon him. Drenched in that loving glance the great sage was totally purified. More importantly, he had heard the nectarous words spoken by the Lord. For all these reasons, even after having performing intense austerities for many many years, he was not emaciated.

Kardama Maharishi was very tall. He had lotus like eyes and long curly braids. He was wearing clothing made of tree barks. Due to his intense austerities he was shining like a polished gem stone.

Emperor Manu entered the hermitage and offered reverential obeisance to the sage. Kardama Maharishi also welcomed the emperor with the customary honours. The King accepted the offerings made by the sage. He then sat on the seat offered to him and in great reverence waited eagerly to hear the saint speak.

Kardama recollected the command issued to him by the Lord. Then lovingly he addressed the emperor and spoke wonderful words, hearing which the emperor was extremely joyful. He said, “O Emperor! Srihari’s power of governance is now in your form. Due to this travel of yours, the tasks of punishing the wicked and protecting the righteous are getting properly executed. This is undoubtedly true.

Yo ’rkendv-agnīndra-vāyūnāṁ yama-dharma-pracetasām

Rūpāṇi sthāna ādhatse tasmai śuklāya te namaḥ

You have assumed the forms of Sun, Moon, Fire, Wind, Indra, Yama, Dharma and Varuna. You are none other than Vishnu. I offer obeisance to you!

O king! When you mount on your gem-studded chariot and travel holding the powerful bow in your hand, sinners shiver. Like the Sun, when you take your limitless army and travel, the earth trembles unable to bear the weight.

If the king abstains from such travel, the wicked begin to rule leading to growth of unrighteousness. The rules of righteousness laid by the Lord for the sustenance of the different castes and stages of life will then get destroyed. Intoxicated by power and royal comforts, if you disregard your kingly duties, then there will be none to control the citizens who, chasing comforts would behave as they please. Unrighteousness will rule under such circumstances. This will lead to destruction of the world.

O Valourous one! I now ask you to tell me the purpose for your visit. What brings you here? Whatever be the task given to me, I shall accept it with a pure heart”.

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

Third Canto Chapter Twenty two

In this chapter, the conversation between Manu and Kardama, the marriage of Kardama and Devahuti and Manu returning back to his capital city are covered.

Maitreya Maharishi said to Vidura, “Kardama Prajāpati greatly extolled the good noble deeds and the qualities of the emperor who was his guest. The emperor who was deeply touched by all these praises, lowered his head and in all humility addressed the sage and said,

“O great sage! Lord Brahma, the embodiment of Vedas, wanted to ensure the protection of the Vedas in this universe. For this reason, from His face He created you, who are an exponent in penance, knowledge and yoga. You have absolute dispassion towards all forms of comforts. For the well-being and protection of saints like you, the Lord who possesses innumerable feet, has created from his innumerable hands, warriors (kshatriyas) like us.

It is said that Brahmins are the heart and Kshatriyas are the arms of the Universal Lord. Hence Brahmins and Kshatriyas while protecting each other, ensure the protection of the entire universe. The truth however is that the Supreme Lord, who is indestructible and who is both the cause and the effect, is the only one who protects.

O great sage! By merely seeing you, all my doubts have been dispelled. This is because you have directly preached the kingly duties, to me, who am responsible for the protection of the citizens.

Diṣṭyā me bhagavān dṛṣṭo durdarśo yo ’kṛtātmanām

Diṣṭyā pāda-raja spṛṣṭaṁ śīrṣṇā me bhavata śivam

Those who have not conquered the mind cannot be blessed with your darshan. It is purely God’s grace that I have been able to meet you. It is purely God’s grace that I am able to put the dust of your holy feet upon my head. It is purely due to God’s grace that you have blessed me by imparting the knowledge of kingly duties to me. It is purely God’s grace that the ability to listen attentively to your words has accrued to my ears.

O great saint! Please listen to the prayer of this humble being. This is my daughter. She is the sister of Priyavrata and Uttānapāda. My mind is agitated due to my love for my daughter. She desires to marry a person who matches her in age, character and qualities.

O sage! My daughter heard about your age, qualities, character, youthfulness and handsomeness from Maharishi Nārada. From then on she is determined to marry only you. O supreme amongst Brahmins! She will support you in totality in all activities pertaining to the householder’s life. With great dedication I offer her to you. Please oblige”.

Sankarshanāya namah

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