Bhagawatam 185: Description of Kailasa; Devatas see Shiva who is imparting Spiritual Knowledge to Narada

Haraye namah

All the lakes in Kailasa are ornamented with different kinds of white lilies, blue water lilies, chengalva lilies and lotuses. Groups of birds flock to these lakes chirping melodiously rendering the place divine. Deer, monkeys, wild pigs, lions, bears, wild boars, sharvas, wild bulls, tigers, foxes and many other species of animals wander about in the vicinity of these lakes. Rows of banana plants decorate the river banks and lake-beds. River Nanda, which has attained ultimate purity due to Satidevi bathing in it, flows all around Kailasa.

The Devatas, who arrived at Kailasa to seek pardon from Shiva, were deeply wonder-struck seeing its beauty and richness. They saw the beautiful city called Alakapuri and the forests known as ‘sougandhika’. The lotuses that bloom in this forest are known as sougandhika (fragrant). Rivers Alakananda and Nanda flow on either side of this Alakapura. Due to the dust of the sacred lotus feet of Shiva, these rivers have become extremely pure.

Celestial ladies, who are tired after excessive sensory pleasures, come down from their planets to play in these rivers. Together with their husbands, they play in these waters, to drive away the tiredness.

As they playfully enter the waters, the kumkum from the forehead of the ladies, mixes into the waters causing the waters of the river to appear crimson yellow. The male elephants, intoxicated due to the fragrance of the waters, flock to these rivers together with the female elephants to drink water even though they are not thirsty.

In the skies above Alakapuri, hundreds of celestial airplanes, made of gold, precious stones and gems, fly about. Seated within them are female Yakshas. In this way the sky above Alakapuri, illumines with the beautiful female Yakshas and airplanes that dazzle like clouds.

The Devatas crossed this city called Alakapuri, which is the residence of Kubera, the king of Yakshas. They now arrived at the gardens known as Sougandhika. This garden, filled with wish-fulfilling trees known as Kalpavrikshas, appears pleasant. All the trees here glow with their multi-coloured leaves, tender shoots and fruits.

In this garden, the melodious chirps of the cuckoos are accompanied by the tuneful buzzing of the bees. The lakes in this garden are filled with beautiful lotuses which attract royal swans. Yellow sandalwood trees are found in great abundance here. In order to relieve themselves from the itching sensations, wild elephants rub their backs against the trees. With this the barks of the trees fall off. The aroma of these sandalwood trees, carried by the wind, torments the minds of the female Yakshas and makes them crave for more sensual pleasures.

The steps leading to the lakes are made of sapphires and rubies. With rows of black water lilies, these lakes appear divinely beautiful. Devatas observed these lakes and the Kimpuruśas, who were wandering about in these lakes.

Then they saw a huge banyan tree that was located near the lake. That tree was 100 yojanās long (1 yojana is 8 miles approx.). Its branches were 75000 yojanās wide. The shadow of this tree was spreading over hundreds of miles and it appeared never ending. Bird nests could not be found on this tree. Under the tree it was pleasantly cool.

Tasmin mahā-yogamaye mumukṣu-śarae surā

Dadṛśu śivam āsīnaṁ tyaktāmarṣam ivāntakam

This tree is the repository of the various supernatural powers such as Anima. Sanaka and other maha-yogis frequently visit this tree. Spiritual aspirants desirous of liberation seek refuge under this tree. Brahma and other Devatas saw Lord Shiva, who was seated under this tree. At that moment He appeared like Lord Yama (lord of death) who had given up all anger.

He was surrounded by Sanaka, Sananda and other saints, who were totally free from dualities such as likes-dislikes. They were meditating upon this peaceful and calm form of Lord Shiva. Shiva’s friend Kubera, who is also the Lord of the Yakshas, was serving Him.

Shiva is the Lord who causes well-being of the entire creation. He is the friend of the universe. He is a personification of love. He is filled with knowledge, penance and Yoga. For bringing about the welfare of the world and to guide the spiritual aspirants, He adheres to meditation, total concentration of mind and other disciplines of ashtānga yoga.

Lord Shiva’s body glows like the red evening-twilight cloud. He has decorated himself with ash, stick, animal skin and long braids. For those who are on the path of penance, these symbols are extremely dear. He adorns His head with a crescent moon.

Upaviṣṭaṁ darbhamayyāṁ bṛsyā brahma sanātanam

Nāradāya pravocantaṁ pṛcchate śṛṇvatā satām

Seated on a cushion made of grass He was teaching the Supreme Knowledge to Narada, who had enquired of the same from Him. Sanaka and other saints were keenly listening to this preaching.

Kṛtvorau dakṣiṇe savyaṁ pāda-padmaṁ ca jānuni

Bāhuṁ prakoṣṭhe ’ka-mālām āsīnaṁ tarka-mudrayā

He had placed his left leg on his right thigh. In His left hand He held the japamala (rosary) and it was resting on the left thigh. With His right hand He depicted the Jnana-mudra. His mind was totally immersed in absolute bliss. He is the foremost among those who are established in the Self.

Seeing this Supreme Lord Paramaśiva, all the Devatas, Maharishis and the guardian deities of the world, folded their hands and offered obeisance. Devatas and demons, together with their leaders, worship the lotus feet of this Lord.

Just as Mahavishnu offered obeisance to Maharishi Kaśyapa, this Lord Shiva, immediately upon seeing Lord Brahma, stood up and offered obeisance to Him.

Haraye namah

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