Chapter 3: Rishabhadeva's Appearance in the Womb of Merudevî, the Wife of King Nâbhi
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    Welcome, Guest · RSS 2019-07-17, 9:51 PM
    Chapter 3: Rishabhadeva's Appearance in the Womb of Merudevî, the Wife of King Nâbhi

    (1) S'rî S'uka said: 'Nâbhi, the son of Âgnîdhra, desiring to have sons with Merudevî who was childless, together with her with great attention offered prayers in worship of the Supreme Lord Vishnu, the enjoyer of all sacrifices. (2) As he with great faith and devotion and a pure mind was of worship, the Supreme Lord out of His love to fulfill the desires of His devotees, manifested Himself in His most beautiful, unconquerable form pleasing to the mind and eyes. He saw Him with all of His captivating, beautiful limbs, even though that [normally] cannot be achieved by the means for performing the pravargya ceremony he was engaged in: the place and time, hymns, priests, gifts to the priests and the regulative principles. (3) When He manifested Himself very bright in His four-handed form as the topmost of all living beings with a yellow silk garment and the beauty of the S'rîvatsa mark on His chest, His conch shell, lotus flower, disc, flower garland, the Kaustubha jewel and His club that characterize Him, He radiating brilliantly with His helmet, earrings, bracelets, girdle, necklace, armlets, ankle bells etc. that ornamented His body, made king Nâbhi, the priests and the others feel like poor people who have obtained a great treasure whereupon they with great regard and all paraphernalia of worship reverentially bent their heads. (4-5) The priests said: 'Please accept oh Most Exalted One, the repeated offerings of respect of our worship. By that worship we, Your servants, are able to act, provided we follow the instructions of the exalted ones. Whoever not in control of his mind because of being absorbed completely by the fickleness of natural phenomena [the gunas], would be capable of knowing all the names, forms and qualities belonging to the position in this world of You, the Supreme Controller above and beyond the influence of the material world! We can only partly know You by dint of most auspiciously expressing in words the excellence of Your transcendental qualities that wipe out all the sinful actions of mankind. A Vishnu to worship(6) You are propitiated by Your servants who in great ecstasy do their prayers with faltering voices and perform their worship with water, fresh twigs of green, tulasî leaves and sprouts of grass. (7) Of what use would it otherwise be for Your sake to be encumbered with performing sacrifices and all the articles of worship? (8) You as the direct, self-sufficient embodiment of the civil virtues [the purushârthas] are of an endless and unlimited constant increase, but oh Lord, our craving in this matter for the blessings of material pleasure, can only be for the purpose of obtaining Your grace. (9) Even though You personally wishing to open up with Your causeless and inexhaustible mercy and glory the path of liberation [called apavarga], and for that purpose have come here and are present for any ordinary man to see, we  fail in our worship for You. For we oh Lord of Lords, are but fools unaware of Your ultimate welfare. (10) This before the eyes of Your devotees appearing of You here in this sacrifice of King Nâbhi, constitutes oh Best of the Benefactors, really the greatest blessing oh most worshipable one. (11) To those sages of whom strengthened by detachment countless impurities were removed by the fire of knowledge, to those sages satisfied within who attained Your qualities by incessantly reiterating Your stories and discussing Your many attributes, You [being present in person] are the highest blessing to arrive at. (12) When we happen to stumble and fall down, suffer hunger, are bored, find ourselves in an awkward position and such or when we have a fever or lie on our deathbed and thus are not capable of remembering You, then let it be so that Your names, activities and qualities are discussed that have the potency to drive away all our sins. (13) Moreover this pious king [Nâbhi] nevertheless aspires to be blessed by You with offspring, a son that he hopes to be exactly like You: a supreme controller of the benedictions of heaven and the path leading there.  He with the notion of children as the ultimate goal of life asking this in worship of You, thus behaves like a poor man who asks a wealthy person willing to donate for a bit of grain! (14) Whoever not of respect for the feet of the great ones is within this world of Yours not defeated by the unconquerable illusory energy [of mâyâ] because of which one cannot find the path? Whose intelligence would not be bewildered by the sensual pleasure that works like poison? Whose nature is not checked by that stream [that chain of consequences]? (15) Please excuse us in Your [divine indifference  of] sameness with each and all, for having invited You again in this arena of sacrifice as the performer of many wonders, please tolerate us ignorant ones who, less intelligent being of disrespect for the divinity of You as the God of Gods, are aspiring a material outcome.'

    (16) S'rî S'uka said: 'The Supreme Lord, the leader of the wise, whose feet thus bowed down by means of other words than the usual verses were extolled by them who were [even] worshiped by [Nâbhi] the emperor of Bhâratavarsha [India], then kindly addressed them. (17) The Supreme Lord said: 'Alas, pleased as I am by you oh sages whose words are all true, that benediction you have been asking for - that there may be a son of Nâbhi alike Me -, is a thing most difficult to achieve. Being One without a second there cannot exist anyone else equal to Me. But the words of you brahmins cannot prove to be false [either], for the class of the twice-born godly ones [represents] My mouth. (18) Since I can't see anyone equal to Me, I shall therefore by personally expanding into a plenary portion of Myself descend in [Merudevî,] the wife of Âgnîdhra's son.'

    (19) S'rî S'uka said: 'After He thus, clearly for her to hear, had spoken to the husband of Merudevî,  the Supreme Lord disappeared. (20) Oh grace of Vishnu [Parîkchit], in order to please King Nâbhi the Supreme Lord, who in this sacrificial arena was propitiated by the best of the wise, appeared in His original avatâra form of pure goodness in his wife Merudevî with the desire to show the sages of renunciation  - who barely clothe themselves, lead an ascetic life and are of a continuous celibacy - the way to perform the dharma [the righteousness, the religion, the true nature].'