Chapter 15: Nârada's Instructions on Vegetarian Sharing, Irreligion, Healing, Yoga and Advaita
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    Welcome, Guest · RSS 2019-07-17, 9:52 PM

    Chapter 15: Nârada's Instructions on Vegetarian Sharing, Irreligion, Healing, Yoga and Advaita

    (1) S'rî Nârada said: 'Some of the twice-born souls are devoted to fruitive labor, some are engaged in austerities oh ruler of man, some excel in Vedic study while others exercise rhetoric, some also unify [their consciousness] in spiritual knowledge [in bhakti- and jñâna-yoga]. (2) A person desiring liberation should donate the result of his sacrifices to someone devoted to spiritual knowledge [usually a brahmin or a jñânî]. If it happens that such a person cannot be found, one should donate to others according to their merit. (3) Offering to the demigods one should feed two of them and offering to the forefathers three of them should be fed, or else in any case at least one should be nourished. One must not involve a great number of them, despite of having the means for it. (4) In case one entrusts the sacrificing in faith [the s'raddha ceremony] to a greater number of them and their [accompanying] relatives, things will not work out perfectly as for the most suitable time and place, the paraphernalia, the person to receive the honor and the method applied. (5) When the sacred food, that was obtained by offering it at the proper time and place with love and devotion to the deity of the Lord, is given to the person who deserves the honor, such a practice will be a source of everlasting welfare [see also B.G. 3: 10]. (6) In offering [sanctified] food to the godly ones, the saints, the forefathers, the living beings in general, oneself and one's family members, one should consider them all as being part of the Original Personality of God. (7) Someone who knows the dharmic principles should never offer meat [fish or eggs] during the ceremonies of belief, nor should he in his normal life be a meat eater. One derives the greatest satisfaction from the [vegetarian] food of the sages and not so much from food [obtained] by [needless] violence against animals. (8) For persons desiring true righteousness there is no religion higher than this: to forsake in one's mind, words and actions all violence against other living beings. 

    (9) Persons who by fixing themselves on the true self [in samyama] are free from material desires, know very well the purpose of the sacrifices. Enlightened by spiritual knowledge these transcendentalists know that some sacrifices, [animal sacrifices] have karmic consequences. (10) Living beings seeing a sacrificer, become afraid when a creature is to be sacrificed. They think: 'This ignorant, unfriendly person most certainly will very soon kill us!'  (11) He who knows what dharma means [see also B.G. 18: 66is therefore supposed to perform, day after day, with satisfaction, his regular and occasional duties with the food that is given by God, the [vegetarian] food of the sages. (12) A knower of dharma speaks of five branches of adharma that as kinds of unrighteousness must be given up: vidharma, paradharma, upadharma, âbhâsa and chala-dharma. (13) Vidharma should be [understood as] that what constitutes an objection or a detriment to dharma [to righteousness, naturalness or religiousness, the original purpose of one's duty]. Paradharma is the encouragement to engage in duties strange to one's own, upadharma is the way of a pretender of dutifulness, a hypocrite and chala refers to feigning the duty with word jugglery. (14) Âbhâsa is that what persons self-willed, obstinately do in defiance of their spiritual department [their âs'rama, their civil status]. Why would acting in line with the regulations for one's natural duty not bring peace? (15) In religious matters one should not endeavor for the purpose of one's livelihood [that is to say: expect no income from religious activities, see B.G. 2: 47 and 18: 9], nor should one being poor strive for possessions. The desirelessness of someone free from such endeavoring is like that of the python [see 7.13: 11] that lives effortlessly. (16) Where would he, who driven by lust and greed runs from pillar to post for the sake of riches, find the happiness typical of the contented person who not endeavoring for his maintenance is happy from within? (17) For an ever contented mind every path followed is equally auspicious, just like it is with a person who with shoes on his feet has nothing to fear from pebbles and thorns. (18) Oh King, why would an innerly contented person not live happily on just a little bit of water when he because of the ado with his genitals and tongue becomes a man who is not better than a household dog? (19) An educated but discontented man will because of his restlessness see how the strength of his senses, his education, austerity, fame and spiritual insight will gradually dwindle and vanish. (20) With someone who is hungry and thirsty desires find their end [upon eating], one is relieved of anger once it is expressed in a certain way but a person will not get over his greed when he delights in conquering all the directions of the globe [see also B.G. 16: 21]. (21) Oh King, many scholars with a lot of knowledge, many counselors and many political leaders, landed in hell simply because of lacking in [spiritual] contentment.

    (22) Lusts are defeated by determination, anger is overcome by forsaking the object of one's desire, for greed to disappear one must consider the fact that possessions make one possessed and fear is overcome by contemplating the principles [the reality, the truth]. (23) Deliberation [on spiritual matters] is the cure for lamentation and illusion, false pride is cured by service to a great soul, silence defeats the obstacles on the path of yoga and violence [evil, hostility] is overcome by giving up sense gratification [see also B.G. 4: 10]. (24) With compassion, [pity and concern] for others one can alleviate distress as caused by other living entities or by nature and by systematic meditation in yoga one can end one's own [karmic] suffering. Sleep one can conquer by practicing goodness. (25) By serving the spiritual master with devotion one can easily in the mode of goodness conquer all these [symptoms] of being attached in passion, in ignorance and in goodness also. (26) The guru who is the light on the path must be considered the Supreme Lord in person and he who considers him and what he heard from him as mortal and time-bound is like an elephant that has bathed [and thereafter takes a dust bath]. (27) He [the teacher] who is the Supreme Lord in person, the ruler over the original cause of matter [pradhâna, the primal ether] who is the original person as also the Lord of Yoga whose feet are sought by the masters of yoga, is by the common man taken for a normal human being [see also B.G. 9: 11]! (28) One has wasted one's time when all the prescribed activities and observances, designed for the definite subjugation of the six departments [of the five senses and the mind], have not lead to the ultimate goal: the connectedness in yoga [of the individual consciousness with Him]. 

    (29) Just as occupational duties performed with the interest of acquiring an income do not serve the interest of yoga, do also traditional public works of piety that are performed by a materialistic person, not contribute [to the necessary unification of consciousness. Compare B.G. 2: 42-44]. (30) He who wants to conquer his mind must alone and in a solitary place, without the dependence of an attached company [like a family] as a renounced person live on charity and eat little. (31) In a clean, leveled place oh King, he must arrange for a seat and steadily, comfortably and equanimously sit down, keep his body straight and thus practice the Pranava [see 1.2: 11 and B.G. 8: 11-14 and 6: 11-12]. (32-33) He should arrest the incoming and outgoing air by stopping his exhalation and inhalation and that very moment give up all desires that occupy his mind. While staring at the tip of his nose he must turn the mind, that wanders here and there, away from whatever. A learned yogi should from the core of his heart step by step put an end to the mind that was defeated by lust. (34) Persevering like this the practitioner, [with his mind] like a fire that extinguishes without fuel, will soon succeed in attaining the pure state [nirvâna](35) Not being drawn away by the various desires the mind becomes calm and peaceful in all its movements. [One will then be] of a consciousness that is touched by the happiness of the transcendental platform, a position from which one factually can never separate oneself [see also B.G. 5: 17].  

    (36) When someone first leaves behind his home to wander around and then again returns to live from the field of the threefold practice of materially oriented [economic, religious and sense-oriented] activities, such a shameless mendicant may be compared to someone who eats his own vomit [a vântâs'î]. (37) They who first consider their body as something separate from the soul, as something mortal meant for stool, worms and ashes, and then again glorify that body and identify themselves with it, are useless fools. (38-39) For householders to forsake their duties, for celibates to give up on vows, for withdrawn persons to submit themselves as a servant of the common man and for renunciates to hanker after the senses, is for all the âs'ramas a most abominable form of behavior in which one cheats the spiritual order. One should be indifferent about those who are thus bewildered by the external energy of the Lord, they are pitiful. (40) Once one has understood what the soul [and the Supersoul] entails, once one from the beyond has cleansed one's consciousness with spiritual knowledge, what is there left to hanker for, why would one still be a slave of the body that one maintains? (41) One says that the body is the chariot, that the senses are the horses, that the mind - the master of the senses - is there as the reins, that the sense objects constitute the paths followed, that intelligence [reason] is the charioteer and that consciousness [goodness, character] is the great bond created by the Lord. (42) The spokes of the wheel [see also 7.9: 21] are the ten airs in the body [called prâna, apâna, samâna, vyâna, udâna, nâga, kûrma, krikala, devadatta and dhanañjaya], the inside and outside of the wheels are religion and irreligion, the one being driven is the individual self that is falsely identified, the Pranava is the bow and the individual soul is the arrow, but final beatitude is the target. (43-44) Attachment and aversion, greed and lamentation, illusion, fear, madness, false prestige, insult, fault-finding and deception, violence and jealousy, unrest, bewilderment, hunger and sleep are one's enemies; these and others are the consequence of passion and ignorance but sometimes they sprout from [being attached to] the mode of goodness. (45) As long as one has this human form, that as a chariot with all its subordinate parts depends on one's control, one must, being of service at the lotus feet of the most venerable ones, hold on to the, by the strength of the Infallible One, sharpened sword of knowledge until the enemy is defeated. When one thus found satisfaction in one's transcendental bliss, this body can be given up. (46) Not doing so being inattentive and motivated for what is untrue, the senses that act as the horses will lead the charioteer on the road of desire. There the driver falls into the hands of rogues, the sense objects [who rule with vishaya, eating, sleeping and mating] because of whom he, together with the horses and the rest, will land in the dark, blind well of material existence and suffer the great fear of death. (47) To be inclined towards or to cease from material engagement [pravritti and nivritti], are the two types of activities mentioned in the Vedas [4.4: 20]. Being materially inclined one keeps returning [to a worldly existence], but ceasing one enjoys the nectar of eternity [see also B.G. 16: 7]. 

    (48-49) Systematically being of violence [with the sacrificing of animals] with all kinds of fire sacrifices that require so many things, are actions filled with desire and cause anxiety. To be directed towards dars'a, pûrnamâsa, câturmâsya, pas'uh, soma and other ritualistic ceremonies is called pravritti. Even so the fire sacrifices and the distribution of the offerings [huta, prahuta] as also the for the sake of the public constructing of temples, resting houses and gardens and the digging of wells and distribution of food and water, are to be recognized as forms of pravritti engagement. (50-51) The fine substances [of the sacrifice] result in the smoke [that is associated with] the divinity of the night, the dark half of the month, the sun going through the south and the new moon [compare B.G. 8: 25]. By this divinity [one finds] the food grains that are the seeds of the vegetation on the earth's surface oh ruler of the earth. Thus called into existence by the father [of Time] they [by feeding us through the sacrifices] lead to one after the other birth, to the again and again, regular assuming of a physical form to be present in this world [see also B.G. 9: 21]. (52) [But] a twice-born soul [a brahmin] who from his conception till his funeral is purified by means of different rites, offers by the light of spiritual knowledge his engagement in sacrifices into the [fire of his] sensual apparatus [and is thus of nivritti actions]. (53) Merging the senses with the mind - that is infected by words that move in waves of material predilection - he restricts the words to the collection of their constituent elements, the letters. Those elements are then restricted to the AUM of the Pranava, which is restricted to a point [the bindu, a point between the eyes], this he withdraws in his sound reflection [the nâdi] which he sacrifices into his life air [prâna] that he merges with the complete of the Lord [in brahman]. (54) [In nivritti progressing with] the fire, the sun, the day, the end of the day, the bright half of the month, the full moon, the passage of the sun through the north and the Independent Ruler [Brahmâ], he who is of discernment and who moves from the gross realm to the subtle destination, arrives in regular order at the transcendental state of intelligence, the soul [turya, the original state of consciousness]. (55) Repeatedly being born again in following what one calls the path of God [this nivritti process], he who endeavors for self-realization and desires the peace of the soul, will not return once he has found his position in the true self [see also B.G. 8: 16]. (56) He who on this in the Vedas recommended path of the ancestors and the gods, keeps his eyes focussed on the scriptures, is versed and will not get bewildered, despite of being a material person.

    (57) Being present inside and outside and always there for all living beings from the beginning till the end, this Lord transcendental to the gross of matter, is personally found in this world as the knowledge and the known, as the expression and the expressed and as the darkness and the light. (58) Despite of being rejected as a real form, a mere reflection [of a form in the mirror] is nevertheless accepted as being real. The same way one accepts the [substance of the] purpose [of life as real] even though that is difficult to prove from speculations on one's sensual input. (59) One is neither the reflected image of the objects of sense perception that consist of the earth element and such, nor is one a combination or transformation of these elements. Even though one has no existence separate from them, to consider oneself [and the soul] a part of them is also a false notion [see also B.G. 18: 16]. (60) The body consisting of the five elements cannot exist without the sense-objects belonging to it. The untrue is found in the fixed form of a body which, just like that what belongs to it, in the end turns out to be a temporary appearance. (61) It compares to the same confusion - and likewise breaking away from the regulative principles - as one has in a dream: as long as one in one's sleep is separated by that dream from the substance of the waking state, one is led astray by that part [of existence]. (62) A wise soul rejects from his self-realization and his chosen unity of thought content, actions and matter in this world, the three forms [of ignorance associated with it as being three forms] of sleep [compare 1.18: 26 and B.G. 6: 16]. (63) One speaks of oneness of thought content [called bhâvâdvaita] when one thinks of cause and effect [as being part of one and the same reality], similar to the warp and woof of a piece of cloth. Considering them separately is then recognized as constituting the unreal [see also B.G. 18: 16]. (64) One speaks of oneness in actions [called kriyâdvaita] when one in all the activities of one's mind, words and body directly is devoted to the transcendence of the absolute spirit [Brahman] oh Yudhishthhira [compare B.G. 9.27]. (65) One speaks of oneness in a material sense [dravyâdvaita] when the ultimate goal and desired situation of oneself, one's wife and  children, other people or whatever living beings is one and the same [this is also called the 'golden rule']. (66) Oh king, a person should perform his duties according to his [varnâs'rama] position in society, engaging with the means, the place and the time that are not [scripturally] forbidden and he should not follow any other course unless there is an emergency [see also 7.11: 17 en B.G. 3: 35]. (67) Any human being who with respect for these and other principles described in the Vedic literatures is of devotional service in following the example and thereto abides by his occupational duties, can even staying at home reach His heavenly kingdom oh King [see also  B.G. 9: 32]. (68) It is the way all of you [Pândavas], oh lord of kings, escaped from all that insurmountable danger. By serving the feet of your Master [Krishna] you managed to perform the rituals successfully and defeated the strongest elephants [the burden of unrighteous kings]. 

    (69) I myself a long, long time ago, in a former mahâkalpa [in another epoch of Brahmâ], existed as a denizen of heaven named Upabarhana and was most respected among the Gandharvas. (70) I had a beautiful body and was most attractive, smelled nicely, was decorated and captivating to the eye. Always attracted to the women I was in the excitement of my desires a debauchee [though]. (71) Once there was a gathering of the gods and to the occasion of glorifying the Lord in song and dance, all the Ghandarvas and Apsaras were invited by the rulers of the universe [the Prajâpatis]. (72) I also, as an expert in singing [the glories of the divine life], went there surrounded by women. But learning about my attitude the divine rulers of the universe cursed me with great force for my dalliance: 'May you acting contrary to good manners, as from now become a s'ûdra bereft of the beauty!' (73) Thereupon having taken birth from a maidservant, I nevertheless obtained a life as a son of Brahmâ because I that time could render service to spiritual propounders [Vaishnavas, see also 1.5: 23-31]. (74) I have explained to you the dharma by which an attached householder can conquer sin and quickly attain the position of the renounced order. (75) You [Pândavas] are so very lucky that in this world all the saints come to visit your place because in your home, most confidentially, the Supreme Brahman in person can be found in the form of a normal human being [Krishna, see also 7.10: 48]. (76) He is the One Brahman sought by the great ones in order to realize their liberation and bliss of heaven. He, your renown cousin [Lord Krishna] is the beloved well-wisher, the most worshipable person, the heart and soul and the [original] guru of instruction on the regulative principles of all of you [the vidhi; see also 7.10: 48 and  49]. (77) His form, beyond the purview of Lord S'iva, Lord Brahmâ and the others [see also B.G. 7: 26], can factually be understood by meditation, by silence, by bhakti and by putting an end to all material association. May the One Lord, this same personality, this guru of instruction and object of devotion of the devotees, be pleased with us.'

    (78) S'rî S'uka said: '[King Yudhishthhira] the best of the Bhârata dynasty, in utter glee because of hearing the descriptions of the devarishi, was caught in the ecstasy of love and worshiped both him and Lord Krishna. (79) After the reverence he had received from Lord Krishna and from Yudhishthhira - who as the son of Prithâ  [see family tree] was utterly amazed about the fact that Krishna was the Parabrahman, the Supreme of the Spirit - the muni bade them farewell and left. (80) Thus I gave a description of the different dynasties of the daughters of Daksha, in which all the worlds and their moving and non-moving living beings consisting of gods, demons, human beings and so on, came about.'

    Thus the seventh Canto of the S'rîmad Bhâgavatam ends named: The Science of God.