Chapter 7: What Prahlâda Learned in the Womb
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    Welcome, Guest · RSS 2018-11-16, 7:11 PM


    Chapter 7: What Prahlâda Learned in the Womb

    (1) Nârada Muni said [to Yudhishthhira, see 7.1: 13]: 'Thus being requested by the Daitya sons he, the Asura who was a great devotee of the Lord, with a smile addressed them, remembering what I had told him. (2) S'rî Prahlâda said: 'When our father left for Mandarâcala to perform austerities, the godly ones made a great war effort in opposing the Dânavas. (3) The ones headed by Indra said: 'Luckily the sinner paining everyone, has now, like a serpent being eaten by the ants, been consumed by his own sins [so that we can defeat the Daityas. See 7.3: 15-16].' (4-5) When the Asura leaders heard how they by their great display of violence one after the other were killed, they fearfully fled in all directions. And none of them all in his great haste and desire to stay alive took any heed of his wife, children or wealth, home, relatives, animals or the articles of his household. (6) In the rush of their victory the Suras then plundered the king's palace, during which Indra captured the queen, my mother.

    (7) The devarishi who happened to arrive there on the spot saw how she, being led away on the road, trembling with fear screamed like a kurarî [an osprey]. (8) He said: 'Oh King of the Suras, you should not lead this woman away, she is innocent, release her right away oh greatest one of fortune, she is the chaste wife of someone else!'

    (9) Indra said: 'She carries the seed of this impossible Sura enemy in her womb, let her remain in our custody until she delivers. With that objective being realized I will release her.'

    (10) Nârada said: 'This child is evidently sinless. He is [in fact] a very great saintly devotee, a powerful servant of the Eternal One. You will not cause his death.'

    (11) Thus addressing him, Indra released her out of respect for the words of the devarishi and out of respect for someone [like me] dear to the Eternal Personality. He devoutly circumambulated her and then returned to his heaven. (12) The rishi thereafter took my mother to his âs'rama reassuring her with the words: 'Stay here my child, until your husband arrives.' (13) She, like he had said, thus lived with the devarishi with nothing to fear from any side for as long as the penance of the Daitya leader was not completed. (14) For the welfare of the child that she expected the faithful woman in that place where she wanted to deliver, with great dedication rendered service unto Nârada. (15) The rishi mercifully instructed her and [through her] specifically me in both the principles of dharma of relating to the Lord and the pure spiritual knowledge [concerning the difference between soul and matter, compare 1.2: 7]. (16) Because she is a woman and because it happened such a long time ago she has forgotten all this knowledge, but I, blessed by the sage, have not, the memory of it has not left me even to this day [see also B.G. 9: 32]. (17) If you confide in my words that knowledge is also within your reach. Provided a firm faith the intelligence of the very best is there just as well for [even] women and small children as it is there for me [see also B.G. 18: 55]. (18) One observes all the six conditions of the body beginning with birth, just like they are seen with the fruits of the Lord in the form of a tree [that come about, exist materially, grow, transform, dwindle and perish], but these changes do not apply to the soul [see also B.G. 2: 20]. (19-20) The soul is eternal, does not dwindle, is pure, is an individual, is the knower of the field and the original foundation, the unchanging, self-illumined, actual cause that pervades all, independently and immutably. By [contemplating] these twelve transcendental symptoms of the soul a conscious person is impelled to give up the false conception of 'I' and 'mine' originating from the illusion that is attached to everything that belongs to having a body [see also 6.4: 24]. (21) Gold being locked up in stones is by the gold-diggers in different ways won in the gold mines and easily extracted by the experts. The experts concerning the difference between spirit and matter can the same way from within the fields constituted by organic bodies [see also B.G. 13: 1-4] with the help of spiritual processes extract the brahmin essence that is the goal. (22) The teachers of example speak of eight types of material energy [B.G. 7: 4], three modes  of nature and sixteen modifications [the senses of action and perception, the elements and the mind, see also 1.3: 1]. The individual living entity, the person, is the one element connecting all the others. (23) The body that moves about or stands still combines all these [24] elements and is thus characterized by this duality [of spirit and matter]. Thus equipped one for the sake of [the authenticity of the] person has to say 'not this, not that' [neti neti]. That is the way to turn away from everything that is not the soul. (24) Sober and thoughtful persons are of a mind that is purified on the basis of discriminating that connectedness within and independence from the material world that is ruled by creation, maintenance and destruction. (25) The Original Person of Transcendence is He who oversees the movements of the intelligence in the waking state, the dream state, and deep sleep. (26) One should ascertain the original position of the soul by [neti neti] turning away from the dividedness [of the mind] that is produced by the different actions of the intelligence in touch with the three modes of material nature, even as one can notice the [presence of] air by its different odors [see also B.G. 3: 42]. (27) This constitutes the entrance [to the transcendental position] within this ocean of matter in which one is caught in the operating modes of material nature, the same way one is caught in a dream.

    (28) Therefore from the bottom of your heart you must burn the weeds of all karma of being conditioned by the modes of nature, in the yoga realizing the cessation of the stream of consciousness. (29) Of the thousands of processes this method as offered by the bhâgavata [the Lord, the pure devotee and the book] offers the process of yoga that once being followed quickly will bring about the love for the Lord, the Supreme Personality of Godhead [see also B.G. 18: 66, and the footnote]. (30-31) Properly wait upon a guru with faith and devotion, offer all that you acquired, be of association with the saintly and devoted ones and be of worship for the Lord. Have faith in the discourses about the Lord, sing about His qualities and activities, meditate on the feet and exercise respect in worship of the deities. (32) Understanding that Hari, the Supreme Lord is situated in all living beings, one should be of the highest regard for all creatures and their needs. (33) When one thus manages to subdue the six symptoms [of sensual weakness: lust, anger, greed, illusion, madness and jealousy] devotional service is rendered to the Lord, to Vâsudeva, the Supreme Personality with whom one finds love. (34) Hearing about the uncommon activities and great power of His exploits and His qualities as demonstrated by the pastimes of His different appearances, there will be horripilation, tears, a faltering voice and loud chanting, shouting and dancing because of the great jubilation associated with it. (35) Like being haunted by a ghost there are sometimes laughs, exclamations, meditative moods, exercises of respect towards other living beings, prolonged heavy breathing and utterances like: 'Oh Lord, Master of the World, Nârâyana!' That way being absorbed in thoughts about the True Self one is free from shame. (36) When one is immersed in thoughts of love about Him one is freed from all obstacles on one's path and harmonized in one's body and mind. This happens because the so very powerful seed of desire is burned by the exercise of bhakti. That is how one achieves Adhokshaja, the Lord Beyond the Senses [**]. (37) When one constantly keeps in touch with Adhokshaja, the contaminated mind of an embodied being in this world is halted and the cycle of this material existence is ended. Those who are advanced know everything about that spiritual heaven of happiness. Be therefore, from the core of your heart, of devotional service to the Lord of Hearts residing in your heart [see also B.G. 18: 54].

    (38) And why would the worship of the Lord as the space [for others] in one's heart, be a problem oh Asura sons? With Him always present there as the Soul to one's soul and the friend of all possible living beings, why would it be necessary to endeavor for ordinary sensual pleasures [compare 7.6: 19 and B.G. 9: 26]? (39) Wealth, women, one's animals, children and all of that; houses, land, elephants, a treasury, luxury and all the money and that sense gratification is by the one whose lifespan is but short and inevitably has to die, lost in a second. What pleasure can one derive from such a temporary thing? (40) Similarly the [higher] worlds that are achieved by great sacrifice are all perishable. However comfortable they might be, they are not flawless and therefore He whom one never heard or saw making a mistake, the Supreme Lord, is the one to be worshiped for one's self-realization with the bhakti we talked about [see also B.G. 8: 16]. (41) Because of the material knowledge in support of the many activities in which one is engaged in this world, one may consider oneself highly advanced, but time and again man achieves the inescapable result of the opposite [of having degraded for the sake of a material purpose]. (42) The determination of the karmi [the achievement-oriented person] to be happy and to be free from misery out here, is an ambition that always leads to unhappiness because that desire obscures the [interest of the lasting] happiness that is the result of a more laconic attitude [concerning material outcomes]. (43) For the purpose of obtaining the desired objects that he wants in his ambitions, the living being in this material world needs to be embodied. This perishable body embraces the soul, but serving other purposes [than lasting happiness] it is directed elsewhere. (44) What can one say? One is ultimately separated from that upon which one based one's self-esteem: one's children, wife, home, wealth and all of that, the realm, the treasury, the elephant, the ministers and servants and the relatives. (45) Of what value to the soul is all of this? These trivial matters concerning the perishable body, appear to be necessary, but they are useless for attaining the nectar ocean of eternal happiness.

    (46) Just ask yourselves oh Asura sons, of what interest it would be for someone to be embodied in this world and from the time of his conception in all stages of life suffer the consequences of his karma. (47) Someone embodied engages in result-motivated actions with the body he acquired as a consequence of what he did in the past and because he performs these actions in ignorance he obtains yet another body. (48) Therefore worship selflessly the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the Lord, the Soul of the soul who is free from desire and upon whom depends [the fulfillment of the desire to regulate] one's sensual pleasure, religion and income. (49) The Lord and Master of all living beings is the beloved, original source of life who with the [five] elements of nature created all these individual souls as manifestations of His cosmic intelligence. (50) Whether one is a god, a demon, a man, a ghost or a singer of heaven, all who render service to Mukunda's feet will find the fulfillment that we have found! (51-52) Being a perfect brahmin, a fine godly person or a saint, oh Asura descendants, will not suffice for pleasing Mukunda, nor will good conduct or vast learning. Neither will charity, austerity, worship, cleanliness nor vows suffice. The Lord is satisfied by unalloyed devotional service, the rest is pretentious display [see also B.G. 9: 30 and 1.2: 8]. (53) Oh Dânava sons, recognize Him, the Soul and Master of all living beings, everywhere in each and all as your self interest and then be of devotional service unto Him the Lord, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. (54) Oh Daityas, the ghosts and demons, the women and the laborers, the cowherds, the birds, the animals and the sinners without any doubt all can arrive at and be part of the qualities of the Infallible One, of Acyuta [see also B.G. 4: 9]. (55) The supreme self-interest of a person in this world is to see Govinda everywhere and to be of unalloyed devotional service unto Him [see also bhajan 1 and 2].'