Chapter 19: The Prayers of Hanumân and Nârada and the Glories of Bhârata-varsha
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    Welcome, Guest · RSS 2019-07-19, 11:31 AM

    Chapter 19: The Prayers of Hanumân and Nârada and the Glories of Bhârata-varsha

    (1) S'rî S'uka said: 'In the land of Kimpurusha the supreme and greatest devotee Hanumân delighting in service at His feet is together with the people always engaged there in worship of the Supreme Lord Râmacandra, the Original Personality who as the elder brother of Lakshmana is so pleasing to Sîtâ. (2) Together with Ârshthishena [the leader of Kimpurusha] attentively listening to the stories about his most auspicious master and Lordship being chanted by a company of Gandharvas, he [Hanumân] himself prays this: (3) 'Oh my Lord, my obeisances unto You, the Sweet Lord discussed in the scriptures. All my respects for You who possess all the good qualities one also finds with the advanced devotees. My reverence for You as the One who is in control of His senses and is always remembered and worshiped by the people of all places. My salutations unto You as the touchstone of quality for any seeker of truth. I bow before You, the great personality and godhead of the brahmins, the King of Kings. (4) Let me worship Him, the absolutely pure, supreme truth, that one measure for understanding the world who by His spiritual potency vanquishes the influence of the modes of nature. He is the inner peace of wisdom to be attained when one, beyond name and form, is free from ego. (5) Incarnated as a human being He was not only there as the Almighty One to kill the demon [Râvana], but also as the One instructing the mortals of this material world. For what other reason would there have been all the misery of Sîtâ's being separated from Him, the Supreme Lord, but to [offer the opportunity to] serve the One satisfied within, the original spiritual soul? (6) In truth He, the Supreme Soul and best friend of the ones self-realized, is never attached to whatever within the three worlds. He is the Supreme Lord Vâsudeva who in fact never suffered from being separated from His wife Sîtâ or could be disturbed by [what happened with] Lakshmana [His brother and eternal associate]. (7) It is not one's birth, one's fortune, one's eloquence, one's wit or one's physique that creates the satisfaction of the greatest One, for the brother of Lakshmana even accepted for His friends us the forest dwellers who miss all these qualities. (8) Therefore, being enlightened or not, a beast or a human being, anyone who's of the soul should worship Râma, the foremost one who is so easy to please, the Lord who appeared as a human being and thus led the inhabitants of Kosala [Ayodhyâ, northern India] back to heaven.'

    (9) The Supreme Lord also present in the land of Bhârata is till the end of the millennium [*] known there as Nara-Nârâyana. He whose glories are inconceivable shows His causeless mercy there to those who aspire self-realization and practice austerities which are conducive to the religion, the spiritual knowledge, the detachment, the yogic mastery, the control over the senses and the freedom from false ego. (10) The practice of analytic yoga on how one should understand the Personality of God as formulated by the Lord [Kapila, see 3.28 & 29], was instructed to Sâvarni Manu by the fortunate Nârada, who together with the followers of the system of status orientations [the varnâs'rama system, see B.G. 4: 13] living in the land of Bhârata [India] with great ecstatic love serves the Lord while he chants this: (11) 'My respectful obeisances unto You oh Lord, oh master of the senses and freedom from attachment in person, my respects unto You who are the only asset of a person living in [voluntary] poverty. You Nara-Nârâyana, are the most exalted one of all the wise, the supreme spiritual master of all the paramahamsas [the swanlike realized masters] and the original person of the self-realized; again and again I thus offer You my reverential homage.' (12) And he sings thereto: 'You are the doer overseeing this cosmic creation, the One who is not attached to being the master, nor do You, although You appear as a human being, suffer from hunger, thirst and fatigue. Nor is the vision of You, who are the seer of everything, ever polluted by the material qualities. I offer You, the unattached and pure, profound witness, my respects. (13) Having forsaken one's identification with the body, one must, at the end of one's time [of living], with a devotional attitude concentrate one's mind upon You who are transcendental to the material qualities. This forsaking constitutes the perfection of the practice of yoga as explained by the almighty Lord Brahmâ. (14) A person driven by desire thinks in fear about the present and future of his children, wife and wealth, but anyone who knows about the hopelessness of this vehicle of time, considers such endeavors only a waste of time because the body is lost in the end. (15) Therefore our master, oh Lord in the beyond, I pray that we by dint of the [bhakti] yoga unto You very soon may forsake this fixed notion of 'I' and 'mine' about the banality of this vehicle of time, this illusory reality of  Yours wich is so difficult to overcome, so that we may realize our original nature.'

    (16) Also in this land of Bhârata there are many mountains and rivers. There are mountains like the Malaya, Mangala-prastha, Mainâka, Trikûtha, Rishabha, Kûthaka, Kollaka, Sahya, Devagiri, Rishyamûka, S'rî-s'aila, Venkatha, Mahendra, Vâridhâra, Vindhya, S'uktimân, Rikshagiri, Pâriyâtra, Drona, Citrakûtha, Govardhana, Raivataka, Kakubha, Nîla, Gokâmukha, Indrakîla and Kâmagiri, as well as hundreds and thousands of other peaks with innumerable big and small rivers streaming down their slopes. (17-18) The minds of the residents of Bhârata find purification by all these waters by touching [and bathing in] them or just mentioning their name. The big rivers are the Candravasâ, Tâmraparnî, Avathodâ, Kritamâlâ, Vaihâyasî, Kâverî, Venî, Payasvinî, S'arkarâvartâ, Tungabhadrâ, Krishnâvenyâ, Bhîmarathî, Godâvarî, Nirvindhyâ, Payoshnî, Tâpî, Revâ, Surasâ, Narmadâ, Carmanvatî, Sindhu [the present Indus], the two main rivers the Andha and the Sona, the Mahânadî, Vedasmriti, Rishikulyâ, Trisâmâ, Kaus'ikî, Mandâkinî, Yamunâ, Sarasvatî, Drishadvatî, Gomatî, Sarayû, Rodhasvatî, Saptavatî, Sushomâ, S'atadrû, Candrabhâgâ, Marudvridhâ, Vitastâ, Asiknî and the Vis'vâ. (19) In this tract of land the people, who took birth there out of goodness, passion ['redness'] or ignorance, lead a divine, human or hellish life according to the karma they acquired. Thus there are as a consequence of what one did in the past for each soul many goals demarcated in the sense of different [varnâs'rama] castes [or status orientation groups] who all [individually] may lead to the path of liberation. (20) By performing devotional service for the Fortunate One, the soul of all living beings - who is free from all attachment, cannot be expressed in words and who depends on no one -, by serving the Supersoul Vâsudeva free from ulterior motives and in bhakti-yoga doing that what belongs to all the different goals [of status], one can thus associating with the people [with devotees] of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, cut with the cause of the bond of ignorance.

    (21) This is what the demigods chant: 'Oh, what kind of pious deeds have these people performed or what blessing has the Lord Himself pronounced being pleased with them, that they obtained a birth in the land of Bhârata-varsha, a birth favorable for serving Lord Mukunda that is our aspiration? (22) What's the use of being engaged in difficult rituals, austerities, vows, charitable deeds or achieving the heavenly kingdom when one due to an excessive sensuality has lost the remembrance of the lotus feet of Lord Nârâyana? (23) Of greater value than achieving a position in life that lasts endlessly and leads to repeated births, is to be born in the land of Bhârata for a life of only hundred years. That is so because they who, as a mortal for such a short time being engaged, know to fix their mind attentively [on His feet] in full detachment [thus actually know to value life itself and then] achieve the Lord's abode where there is no fear. (24) Those places - even those inhabited by the gods - where there is not the sweet stream of talks about Vaikunthha, nor the devotees are found who, always engaged in His service, take to His shelter, nor the performance takes place of those sacrifices for the Lord that are true festivals, are places not to be frequented. (25) Those souls who having achieved a human birth, with all the knowledge they have, their capacity of engaging in action and with all means at their disposition, despite of these attainments not endeavor for the elevation of not returning to this life again, will fall, just like birds [returning from their migration], back into bondage. (26) They are by their faith divided in their performance of the rituals. With the oblations offered to the ruling deity reciting mantras according to the proper method, the One God is separately addressed with different names. He, complete in Himself, accepts that most happily because He is the bestower of all benedictions in person [B.G. 7: 19-25]. (27) Even though He grants that what man prayed for, He [with the majority] is not the bestower of benedictions one asks for time and again [B.G. 7: 3], for He personally, even unasked, grants to those engaged in His service the lotus flower of His feet that put an end to all desires. (28) If there [after our heavenly pleasures] remains any merit from our perfect sacrifices, conscientious formulations and good deeds, then bless us with a birth in the land of Bhârata, the land that inspires us to remember the Lord of that place from where, through the devotees, all good fortune expands.'

    (29-30) S'rî S'uka continued: 'To the continent known as Jambûdvîpa oh King [the Eurasian continent, see 5.1: 32], there are also, as some learned scholars describe it, eight smaller dvîpas [subsections or provinces] which were formed by the digging all around in the earth of the sons of Mahârâja Sagara [the Indian part or Bhârata-varsha] when they tried to retrieve their lost horse of sacrifice [see 9.8]. They carry the following names: Svarnaprastha, Candras'ukla, Âvartana, Ramanaka, Mandara-harina, Pâñcajanya, Simhala and Lankâ. (31) I have thus explained to you the divisions of the lands of Jambûdvîpa oh best of the descendants of Bharata,  just as they have been explained to me.'