Bhagawatam 178: Sati seeks permission to visit her father’s home; Shiva tries to dissuade her.

Achyutāya namah

Satidevi continued, “O embodiment of auspiciousness! O Shiva! From a very long time, I have been longing to meet all my relatives. If I go there I can meet all my sisters. In addition I can also meet my mother, who has great affection towards me. I will also be able to witness the auspicious Yagna being conducted by supreme Maharishis. I will be able to see the Yagna flag that is flying high.

Tvayy etad āścaryam ajātma-māyayā Vinirmitaṁ bhāti gua-trayātmakam

Tathāpy ahaṁ yoid atattva-vic ca te Dīnā didṛke bhava me bhava-kitim

O birthless Lord Shiva! This world which is created due to interactions between the attributes of goodness, passion and ignorance is wondrous! It has been created by You through the medium of Your illusory power. It exists within You and situated there, it shines resplendently.

However I am a poor ignorant woman who is unable to understand Your supreme essence. Therefore I seek to visit my parents’ home.

O Lord, being birthless You do not know the agony of being separated from kith and kin. You are that compassionate Lord who is ready to swallow even poison for ensuring the safety of others. Your bluish-black neck symbolizes this.

O Lord, please look once at the sky. Celestial women, attired beautifully, are thronging to the Yagna hall, accompanied by their spouses. When they thus travel, their white airplanes decorate the sky and add to its beauty.

O supreme amongst Lords! After coming to know of the festivities in my father’s home, how can this body of mine sit here without moving? My mind is eager to go there. Even without invitation people visit the home of a friend, husband, Guru and father.

O Lord, you are an epitome of compassion. Please listen to my request. Please fulfill my desire. You are omniscient. Lovingly you have given me half of your body. Therefore bless me by fulfilling this desire of mine”.

Shiva heard all that his loving wife had to say to him. He recollected all the heart wrenching, vicious insults that his father-in-law Daksha had uttered in the presence of all other Prajāpatis in the past. Shiva, who seeks the well-being of the noble-hearted, smiled lovingly and said,

“O beautiful one! What you have said is true. It is correct that we can visit the relative’s homes uninvited. However there are some who, due to body identification, are conceited, proud and filled with feelings of anger and hatred.  When relatives do not belong to this category, it is right to visit their homes uninvited.

Knowledge, penance, wealth, beauty, youth and birth in a good family are the six qualities of noble persons. These same qualities lead to arrogance in the wicked. They cause depletion in their discriminatory intelligence. Such conceited persons, who bloat in their self-importance, cannot understand the glories of noble persons and Mahatmas.

Daksha does not have a stable mind. He maintains feelings of differentiation. One should not go even near the threshold of such homes, even if they are our relatives. Even eye contact should be avoided with them. This is because they look at their guests with a wicked mind. With raised eyebrows and angry eyes that are filled with hatred, they look into the eyes of the guest and insult him.

When with a wicked mind, close relatives utter harsh malicious words that like arrows pierce the heart, one undergoes unbearable agony. That grief will torment them night and day. Even a warrior who is grievously injured in battle does not suffer as much agony as is experienced by a person who has been insulted by his closest relative. Such is the pain that malicious insulting words cause!

O beautiful lady! It is undoubtedly true that Daksha Prajāpati has extreme love towards his daughters. I am also aware that amongst all his daughters, you are most dear to him. Even then, my dear, at this point of time you will not be welcomed lovingly.

The fact that I am your husband is the sole reason behind this. He is upset with me. The inner consciousness is the witness for the mental activities of every living being. Daksha’s heart is filled with hatred. His senses are tormented by unending grief.

His material prosperity will never help him achieve the ultimate state called liberation, which Mahatmas obtain merely by being established in the Self (atma nishta). This helplessness has fuelled feelings of jealousy and hatred in him. As such, just as demons despise Srihari, Daksha despises me.

O beautiful one! In this world, when relatives meet they stand up and welcome each other lovingly. They greet and offer obeisance to each other. Mahatmas mentally perform these same actions, towards the Supreme Lord who is situated in every heart. They do not however acknowledge ignorant persons, who have totally identified themselves with their body.

When mind is full of goodness (sattva guna), without even a trace of passion and ignorance (rajas, tamo gunas), then such mind is totally pure. In such pure mind, the veil of ignorance would have been totally shred. The Supreme Lord shines in the form of the Self (atma) in such mind. Such pure inner mind is called Vasudeva. The Lord who shines within such pure mind is known as Vāsudeva.

He cannot be known through the senses. Only when the senses are totally withdrawn and the mind merges into its own form, this Lord can be known as the inner Self. Hence He is Adhokśaja”.

Adhokśajāya namah.

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