Maharishi Śuka continued, “In the earlier period Lord Brahma worshipped Supreme Lord Vāsudeva and enquired about instantaneous liberation (sadyomukti) and progressive liberation (krama mukti) which were eternal and which had been specified in the Vedas. Lord Vāsudeva explained them to Brahma.
na hy ato ‘nyaḥ śivaḥ panthā viśataḥ saṁsṛtāv iha
vāsudeve bhagavati bhakti-yogo yato bhavet
For those who are drowned in these worldly bondages (samsāra), there is no greater method than developing supreme devotion towards Lord Vāsudeva. There is no other path which is superior to the path of devotion (bhakti marga).
Lord Brahma with absolute concentration thoroughly scrutinized the Vedas thrice. Then through the medium of His intelligence He determined that the method through which devotion towards Supreme Lord Srihari, who is the form of the Self, is intensified is in itself the most superior dharma.
Srihari shines within every being as the inner Self, as an embodiment of consciousness and as an inner witness. The senses and other inner instruments, through their acts, ensure that we are able to deduce about this consciousness, whose presence is being made known through them.
Therefore O King! In all times and in all circumstances, the human beings should listen to glories of Srihari with rapt attention and total concentration. They should praise Him and meditate upon Him.
Pibanti ye bhagavata ātmanaḥ satāṁ
kathāmṛtaṁ śravaṇa-puṭeṣu sambhṛtam
Punanti te viṣaya-vidūṣitāśayaṁ
Mahatmas eternally distribute the nectarous stories of Srihari, who is the Universal soul. Those who drink these nectarous stories through the medium of their ears purify their inner mind that has thus far been contaminated due to worldly objects and enjoyments. They then reach the lotus feet of the Supreme Lord.
With this the second chapter of the second Canto comes to an end.
Third Chapter Second Canto
In this third chapter, worship of various different deities for the fulfillment of desires, Maharishi Śounaka’s question and glorifying those senses (indriyas) that are solely dedicated towards the worship of the Supreme Lord are covered.
Maharishi Śuka said, “O Emperor Parikshit! Your question was, ‘What are the duties to be completed by an intelligent and wise human being before his death?’ In response to this, I have explained to you the relevant message which is contained in the Shastras.
Intelligent persons should dedicate themselves to listening to the glories of the Supreme Lord in the method prescribed so far. Shastras state that this is how time should be spent.
One who desires supreme effulgence should worship Lord Brahma, who is the presiding deity of the Vedas. One who desires strong sense organs should worship Indra, the Lord of heaven. One who is desirous of good progeny should worship Daksha and other Prajāpatis. One who seeks prosperity should worship the Mother Goddess. One seeking powerful radiance should worship Fire. One who seeks only money should worship Vasus.
One who is desirous of great valour should, with great enthusiasm, worship the 11 Rudras. One who wishes to have plentiful foodgrains and obtain excellent digestive capacities should worship Mother Aditi. Those who want to attain Heaven should worship the 12 Adityas. He who desires powerful emperorship and kingdom should worship Viśvadeva. Those who seek to hold people under their sway, who seek successful completion of their task and who seek success in trading activities should worship Sādhya Devatas. Those who, without any desire, seek only the ultimate liberation should worship Srihari, the primordial being”.
Have you noticed the different types of desires entertained? There are so many sections of Devatas who are responsible for fulfilling these desires. There are so many departments. For every department and for every form of desire there are separate Gods. Many people listen to this chapter attentively. Perhaps they will note it down too. Perhaps they will listen to it again and again. This is because they are a storehouse of desires. So they will print this sheet and distribute to others.
akāmaḥ sarva-kāmo vā mokṣa-kāma udāra-dhīḥ
tīvreṇa bhakti-yogena yajeta puruṣaṁ param
The wise intelligent person irrespective of whether he has no desires or desires liberation or has any other material desires should, with total devotion worship and serve the Supreme Lord Srihari! Remember this always.
The spiritual aspirant, who develops devotion towards the Supreme Lord and worships Him in the manner described above, will get a chance to associate and live amongst supreme devotees of the Lord.
This is the greatest fruit.