Śrīmad Bhāgavatam |Canto 1 Chapter 19
The Appearance of Śukadeva Gosvāmī
mahī-patis tv atha tat-karma garhyaṁ
vicintayann ātma-kṛtaṁ sudurmanāḥ
aho mayā nīcam anārya-vat kṛtaṁ
nirāgasi brahmaṇi gūḍha-tejasi
sūtaḥ uvāca — Sūta Gosvāmī said; mahī-patiḥ — the King; tu — but; atha — thus (while coming back home); tat — that; karma — act; garhyam — abominable; vicintayan — thus thinking; ātma-kṛtam — done by himself; su-durmanāḥ — very much depressed; aho — alas; mayā — by me; nīcam — heinous; anārya — uncivilized; vat — like; kṛtam — done; nirāgasi — unto one who is faultless; brahmaṇi — unto a brāhmaṇa; gūḍha — grave; tejasi — unto the powerful.
Śrī Sūta Gosvāmī said: While returning home, the King [Mahārāja Parīkṣit] felt that the act he had committed against the faultless and powerful brāhmaṇa was heinous and uncivilized. Consequently he was distressed.
dhruvaṁ tato me kṛta-deva-helanād
duratyayaṁ vyasanaṁ nāti-dīrghāt
tad astu kāmaṁ hy agha-niṣkṛtāya me
yathā na kuryāṁ punar evam addhā
dhruvam — sure and certain; tataḥ — therefore; me — my; kṛta-deva-helanāt — because of disobeying the orders of the Lord; duratyayam — very difficult; vyasanam — calamity; na — not; ati — greatly; dīrghāt — far off; tat — that; astu — let it be; kāmam — desire without reservations; hi — certainly; agha — sins; niṣkṛtāya — for getting free; me — my; yathā — so that; na — never; kuryām — shall I do it; punaḥ — again; evam — as I have done; addhā — directly.
[King Parīkṣit thought:] Due to my neglecting the injunctions of the Supreme Lord I must certainly expect some difficulty to overcome me in the near future. I now desire without reservation that the calamity come now, for in this way I may be freed of the sinful action and not commit such an offense again.
adyaiva rājyaṁ balam ṛddha-kośaṁ
dahatv abhadrasya punar na me ’bhūt
pāpīyasī dhīr dvija-deva-gobhyaḥ
adya — this day; eva — on the very; rājyam — kingdom; balam ṛddha — strength and riches; kośam — treasury; prakopita — ignited by; brahma-kula — by the brāhmaṇa community; analaḥ — fire; me dahatu — let it burn me; abhadrasya — inauspiciousness; punaḥ — again; na — not; me — unto me; abhūt — may occur; pāpīyasī — sinful; dhīḥ — intelligence; dvija — brāhmaṇas; deva — the Supreme Lord; gobhyaḥ — and the cows.
I am uncivilized and sinful due to my neglect of brahminical culture, God consciousness and cow protection. Therefore I wish that my kingdom, strength and riches burn up immediately by the fire of the brāhmaṇa’s wrath so that in the future I may not be guided by such inauspicious attitudes.
sa cintayann ittham athāśṛṇod yathā
muneḥ sutokto nirṛtis takṣakākhyaḥ
sa sādhu mene na cireṇa takṣakā-
nalaṁ prasaktasya virakti-kāraṇam
saḥ — he, the King; cintayan — thinking; ittham — like this; atha — now; aśṛṇot — heard; yathā — as; muneḥ — of the sage; suta-uktaḥ — uttered by the son; nirṛtiḥ — death; takṣaka-ākhyaḥ — in relation with the snake-bird; saḥ — he (the King); sādhu — well and good; mene — accepted; na — not; cireṇa — very long time; takṣaka — snake-bird; analam — fire; prasaktasya — for one who is too attached; virakti — indifference; kāraṇam — cause.
While the King was thus repenting, he received news of his imminent death, which would be due to the bite of a snake-bird, occasioned by the curse spoken by the sage’s son. The King accepted this as good news, for it would be the cause of his indifference toward worldly things.
atho vihāyemam amuṁ ca lokaṁ
vimarśitau heyatayā purastāt
upāviśat prāyam amartya-nadyām
atho — thus; vihāya — giving up; imam — this; amum — and the next; ca — also; lokam — planets; vimarśitau — all of them being judged; heyatayā — because of inferiority; purastāt — hereinbefore; kṛṣṇa-aṅghri — the lotus feet of the Lord, Śrī Kṛṣṇa; sevām — transcendental loving service; adhimanyamānaḥ — one who thinks of the greatest of all achievements; upāviśat — sat down firmly; prāyam — for fasting; amartya-nadyām — on the bank of the transcendental river (the Ganges or the Yamunā).
Mahārāja Parīkṣit sat down firmly on the banks of the Ganges to concentrate his mind in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, rejecting all other practices of self-realization, because transcendental loving service to Kṛṣṇa is the greatest achievement, superseding all other methods.
yā vai lasac-chrī-tulasī-vimiśra-
punāti lokān ubhayatra seśān
kas tāṁ na seveta mariṣyamāṇaḥ
yā — the river which; vai — always; lasat — floating with; śrī-tulasī — tulasī leaves; vimiśra — mixed; kṛṣṇa-aṅghri — the lotus feet of the Lord, Śrī Kṛṣṇa; reṇu — dust; abhyadhika — auspicious; ambu — water; netrī — that which is carrying; punāti — sanctifies; lokān — planets; ubhayatra — both the upper and lower or inside and outside; sa-īśān — along with Lord Śiva; kaḥ — who else; tām — that river; na — does not; seveta — worship; mariṣyamāṇaḥ — one who is to die at any moment.
The river [by which the King sat to fast] carries the most auspicious water, which is mixed with the dust of the lotus feet of the Lord and tulasī leaves. Therefore that water sanctifies the three worlds inside and outside and even sanctifies Lord Śiva and other demigods. Consequently everyone who is destined to die must take shelter of this river.
iti vyavacchidya sa pāṇḍaveyaḥ
prāyopaveśaṁ prati viṣṇu-padyām
dadhau mukundāṅghrim ananya-bhāvo
iti — thus; vyavacchidya — having decided; saḥ — the King; pāṇḍaveyaḥ — worthy descendant of the Pāṇḍavas; prāya-upaveśam — for fasting until death; prati — toward; viṣṇu-padyām — on the bank of the Ganges (emanating from the lotus feet of Lord Viṣṇu); dadhau — gave himself up; mukunda-aṅghrim — unto the lotus feet of Lord Kṛṣṇa; ananya — without deviation; bhāvaḥ — spirit; muni-vrataḥ — with the vows of a sage; mukta — liberated from; samasta — all kinds of; saṅgaḥ — association.
Thus the King, the worthy descendant of the Pāṇḍavas, decided once and for all and sat on the Ganges’ bank to fast until death and give himself up to the lotus feet of Lord Kṛṣṇa, who alone is able to award liberation. So, freeing himself from all kinds of associations and attachments, he accepted the vows of a sage.
tatropajagmur bhuvanaṁ punānā
mahānubhāvā munayaḥ sa-śiṣyāḥ
svayaṁ hi tīrthāni punanti santaḥ
tatra — there; upajagmuḥ — arrived; bhuvanam — the universe; punānāḥ — those who can sanctify; mahā-anubhāvāḥ — great minds; munayaḥ — thinkers; sa-śiṣyāḥ — along with their disciples; prāyeṇa — almost; tīrtha — place of pilgrimage; abhigama — journey; apadeśaiḥ — on the plea of; svayam — personally; hi — certainly; tīrthāni — all the places of pilgrimage; punanti — sanctify; santaḥ — sages.
At that time all the great minds and thinkers, accompanied by their disciples, and sages who could verily sanctify a place of pilgrimage just by their presence, arrived there on the plea of making a pilgrim’s journey.
atrir vasiṣṭhaś cyavanaḥ śaradvān
ariṣṭanemir bhṛgur aṅgirāś ca
parāśaro gādhi-suto ’tha rāma
medhātithir devala ārṣṭiṣeṇo
bhāradvājo gautamaḥ pippalādaḥ
maitreya aurvaḥ kavaṣaḥ kumbhayonir
dvaipāyano bhagavān nāradaś ca
atriḥ to nāradaḥ — all names of the different saintly personalities who arrived there from different parts of the universe.
From different parts of the universe there arrived great sages like Atri, Cyavana, Śaradvān, Ariṣṭanemi, Bhṛgu, Vasiṣṭha, Parāśara, Viśvāmitra, Aṅgirā, Paraśurāma, Utathya, Indrapramada, Idhmavāhu, Medhātithi, Devala, Ārṣṭiṣeṇa, Bhāradvāja, Gautama, Pippalāda, Maitreya, Aurva, Kavaṣa, Kumbhayoni, Dvaipāyana and the great personality Nārada.
anye ca devarṣi-brahmarṣi-varyā
rājarṣi-varyā aruṇādayaś ca
abhyarcya rājā śirasā vavande
anye — many others; ca — also; devarṣi — saintly demigods; brahmarṣi — saintly brāhmaṇas; varyāḥ — topmost; rājarṣi-varyāḥ — topmost saintly kings; aruṇa-ādayaḥ — a special rank of rājarṣis; ca — and; nānā — many others; ārṣeya-pravarān — chief amongst the dynasties of the sages; sametān — assembled together; abhyarcya — by worshiping; rājā — the Emperor; śirasā — bowed his head to the ground; vavande — welcomed.
There were also many other saintly demigods, kings and special royal orders called aruṇādayas [a special rank of rājarṣis] from different dynasties of sages. When they all assembled together to meet the Emperor [Parīkṣit], he received them properly and bowed his head to the ground.
sukhopaviṣṭeṣv atha teṣu bhūyaḥ
kṛta-praṇāmaḥ sva-cikīrṣitaṁ yat
vijñāpayām āsa vivikta-cetā
upasthito ’gre ’bhigṛhīta-pāṇiḥ
sukha — happily; upaviṣṭeṣu — all sitting down; atha — thereupon; teṣu — unto them (the visitors); bhūyaḥ — again; kṛta-praṇāmaḥ — having offered obeisances; sva — his own; cikīrṣitam — decision of fasting; yat — who; vijñāpayām āsa — submitted; vivikta-cetāḥ — one whose mind is detached from worldly affairs; upasthitaḥ — being present; agre — before them; abhigṛhīta-pāṇiḥ — humbly with folded hands.
After all the ṛṣis and others had seated themselves comfortably, the King, humbly standing before them with folded hands, told them of his decision to fast until death.
aho vayaṁ dhanyatamā nṛpāṇāṁ
rājñāṁ kulaṁ brāhmaṇa-pāda-śaucād
dūrād visṛṣṭaṁ bata garhya-karma
rājā uvāca — the fortunate King said; aho — ah; vayam — we; dhanya-tamāḥ — most thankful; nṛpāṇām — of all the kings; mahat-tama — of the great souls; anugrahaṇīya-śīlāḥ — trained to get favors; rājñām — of the royal; kulam — orders; brāhmaṇa-pāda — feet of the brāhmaṇas; śaucāt — refuse after cleaning; dūrāt — at a distance; visṛṣṭam — always left out; bata — on account of; garhya — condemnable; karma — activities.
The fortunate King said: Indeed, we are the most grateful of all the kings who are trained to get favors from the great souls. Generally you [sages] consider royalty as refuse to be rejected and left in a distant place.
tasyaiva me ’ghasya parāvareśo
vyāsakta-cittasya gṛheṣv abhīkṣṇam
yatra prasakto bhayam āśu dhatte
tasya — his; eva — certainly; me — mine; aghasya — of the sinful; parā — transcendental; avara — mundane; īśaḥ — controller, the Supreme Lord; vyāsakta — overly attached; cittasya — of the mind; gṛheṣu — to family affairs; abhīkṣṇam — always; nirveda-mūlaḥ — the source of detachment; dvija-śāpa — cursing by the brāhmaṇa; rūpaḥ — form of; yatra — whereupon; prasaktaḥ — one who is affected; bhayam — fearfulness; āśu — very soon; dhatte — take place.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead, the controller of both the transcendental and mundane worlds, has graciously overtaken me in the form of a brāhmaṇa’s curse. Due to my being too much attached to family life, the Lord, in order to save me, has appeared before me in such a way that only out of fear I will detach myself from the world.
taṁ mopayātaṁ pratiyantu viprā
gaṅgā ca devī dhṛta-cittam īśe
dvijopasṛṣṭaḥ kuhakas takṣako vā
daśatv alaṁ gāyata viṣṇu-gāthāḥ
tam — for that reason; mā — me; upayātam — taken shelter of; pratiyantu — just accept me; viprāḥ — O brāhmaṇas; gaṅgā — mother Ganges; ca — also; devī — direct representative of the Lord; dhṛta — taken into; cittam — heart; īśe — unto the Lord; dvija-upasṛṣṭaḥ — created by the brāhmaṇa; kuhakaḥ — something magical; takṣakaḥ — the snake-bird; vā — either; daśatu — let it bite; alam — without further delay; gāyata — please go on singing; viṣṇu-gāthāḥ — narration of the deeds of Viṣṇu.
O brāhmaṇas, just accept me as a completely surrendered soul, and let mother Ganges, the representative of the Lord, also accept me in that way, for I have already taken the lotus feet of the Lord into my heart. Let the snake-bird — or whatever magical thing the brāhmaṇa created — bite me at once. I only desire that you all continue singing the deeds of Lord Viṣṇu.
punaś ca bhūyād bhagavaty anante
ratiḥ prasaṅgaś ca tad-āśrayeṣu
mahatsu yāṁ yām upayāmi sṛṣṭiṁ
maitry astu sarvatra namo dvijebhyaḥ
punaḥ — again; ca — and; bhūyāt — let it be; bhagavati — unto Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa; anante — who has unlimited potency; ratiḥ — attracting; prasaṅgaḥ — association; ca — also; tat — His; āśrayeṣu — with those who are His devotees; mahatsu — within the material creation; yām yām — wherever; upayāmi — I may take; sṛṣṭim — my birth; maitrī — friendly relation; astu — let it be; sarvatra — everywhere; namaḥ — my obeisances; dvijebhyaḥ — unto the brāhmaṇas.
Again, offering obeisances unto all you brāhmaṇas, I pray that if I should again take my birth in the material world I will have complete attachment to the unlimited Lord Kṛṣṇa, association with His devotees and friendly relations with all living beings.
iti sma rājādhyavasāya-yuktaḥ
prācīna-mūleṣu kuśeṣu dhīraḥ
udaṅ-mukho dakṣiṇa-kūla āste
iti — thus; sma — as in the past; rājā — the King; adhyavasāya — perseverance; yuktaḥ — being engaged; prācīna — eastern; mūleṣu — with the root; kuśeṣu — on a seat made of kuśa straw; dhīraḥ — self-controlled; udaṅ-mukhaḥ — facing the northern side; dakṣiṇa — on the southern; kūle — bank; āste — situated; samudra — the sea; patnyāḥ — wife of (the Ganges); sva — own; suta — son; nyasta — given over; bhāraḥ — the charge of administration.
In perfect self-control, Mahārāja Parīkṣit sat down on a seat of straw, with straw-roots facing the east, placed on the southern bank of the Ganges, and he himself faced the north. Just previously he had given charge of his kingdom over to his son.
evaṁ ca tasmin nara-deva-deve
prāyopaviṣṭe divi deva-saṅghāḥ
praśasya bhūmau vyakiran prasūnair
mudā muhur dundubhayaś ca neduḥ
evam — thus; ca — and; tasmin — in that; nara-deva-deve — upon the King’s; prāya-upaviṣṭe — being engaged in fasting to death; divi — in the sky; deva — demigods; saṅghāḥ — all of them; praśasya — having praised the action; bhūmau — on the earth; vyakiran — scattered; prasūnaiḥ — with flowers; mudā — in pleasure; muhuḥ — continually; dundubhayaḥ — celestial drums; ca — also; neduḥ — beaten.
Thus the King, Mahārāja Parīkṣit, sat to fast until death. All the demigods of the higher planets praised the King’s actions and in pleasure continually scattered flowers over the earth and beat celestial drums.
maharṣayo vai samupāgatā ye
praśasya sādhv ity anumodamānāḥ
maharṣayaḥ — the great sages; vai — as a matter of course; samupāgatāḥ — assembled there; ye — those who; praśasya — by praising; sādhu — quite all right; iti — thus; anumodamānāḥ — all approving; ūcuḥ — said; prajā-anugraha — doing good to the living being; śīla-sārāḥ — qualitatively powerful; yat — because; uttama-śloka — one who is praised by selected poems; guṇa-abhirūpam — as beautiful as godly qualities.
All the great sages who were assembled there also praised the decision of Mahārāja Parīkṣit, and they expressed their approval by saying “Very good.” Naturally the sages are inclined to do good to common men, for they have all the qualitative powers of the Supreme Lord. Therefore they were very much pleased to see Mahārāja Parīkṣit, a devotee of the Lord, and they spoke as follows.
na vā idaṁ rājarṣi-varya citraṁ
bhavatsu kṛṣṇaṁ samanuvrateṣu
ye ’dhyāsanaṁ rāja-kirīṭa-juṣṭaṁ
sadyo jahur bhagavat-pārśva-kāmāḥ
na — neither; vā — like this; idam — this; rājarṣi — saintly king; varya — the chief; citram — astonishing; bhavatsu — unto all of you; kṛṣṇam — Lord Kṛṣṇa; samanuvrateṣu — unto those who are strictly in the line of; ye — who; adhyāsanam — seated on the throne; rāja-kirīṭa — helmets of kings; juṣṭam — decorated; sadyaḥ — immediately; jahuḥ — gave up; bhagavat — the Personality of Godhead; pārśva-kāmāḥ — desiring to achieve association.
[The sages said:] O chief of all the saintly kings of the Pāṇḍu dynasty who are strictly in the line of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa! It is not at all astonishing that you give up your throne, which is decorated with the helmets of many kings, to achieve eternal association with the Personality of Godhead.
sarve vayaṁ tāvad ihāsmahe ’tha
kalevaraṁ yāvad asau vihāya
lokaṁ paraṁ virajaskaṁ viśokaṁ
yāsyaty ayaṁ bhāgavata-pradhānaḥ
sarve — all; vayam — of us; tāvat — as long as; iha — at this place; āsmahe — shall stay; atha — hereafter; kalevaram — the body; yāvat — so long; asau — the King; vihāya — giving up; lokam — the planet; param — the supreme; virajaskam — completely free from mundane contamination; viśokam — completely freed from all kinds of lamentation; yāsyati — returns; ayam — this; bhāgavata — devotee; pradhānaḥ — the foremost.
We shall all wait here until the foremost devotee of the Lord, Mahārāja Parīkṣit, returns to the supreme planet, which is completely free from all mundane contamination and all kinds of lamentation.
āśrutya tad ṛṣi-gaṇa-vacaḥ parīkṣit
samaṁ madhu-cyud guru cāvyalīkam
ābhāṣatainān abhinandya yuktān
śuśrūṣamāṇaś caritāni viṣṇoḥ
āśrutya — just after hearing; tat — that; ṛṣi-gaṇa — the sages assembled; vacaḥ — speaking; parīkṣit — Mahārāja Parīkṣit; samam — impartial; madhu-cyut — sweet to hear; guru — grave; ca — also; avyalīkam — perfectly true; ābhāṣata — said; enān — all of them; abhinandya — congratulated; yuktān — appropriately presented; śuśrūṣamāṇaḥ — being desirous to hear; caritāni — activities of; viṣṇoḥ — the Personality of Godhead.
All that was spoken by the great sages was very sweet to hear, full of meaning and appropriately presented as perfectly true. So after hearing them, Mahārāja Parīkṣit, desiring to hear of the activities of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the Personality of Godhead, congratulated the great sages.
samāgatāḥ sarvata eva sarve
vedā yathā mūrti-dharās tri-pṛṣṭhe
nehātha nāmutra ca kaścanārtha
ṛte parānugraham ātma-śīlam
samāgatāḥ — assembled; sarvataḥ — from all directions; eva — certainly; sarve — all of you; vedāḥ — supreme knowledge; yathā — as; mūrti-dharāḥ — personified; tri-pṛṣṭhe — on the planet of Brahmā (which is situated above the three planetary systems, namely the upper, intermediate and lower worlds); na — not; iha — in this world; atha — thereafter; na — nor; amutra — in the other world; ca — also; kaścana — any other; arthaḥ — interest; ṛte — save and except; para — others; anugraham — doing good to; ātma-śīlam — own nature.
The King said: O great sages, you have all very kindly assembled here, having come from all parts of the universe. You are all as good as supreme knowledge personified, who resides in the planet above the three worlds [Satyaloka]. Consequently you are naturally inclined to do good to others, and but for this you have no interest, either in this life or in the next.
tataś ca vaḥ pṛcchyam imaṁ vipṛcche
viśrabhya viprā iti kṛtyatāyām
sarvātmanā mriyamāṇaiś ca kṛtyaṁ
śuddhaṁ ca tatrāmṛśatābhiyuktāḥ
tataḥ — as such; ca — and; vaḥ — unto you; pṛcchyam — that which is to be asked; imam — this; vipṛcche — beg to ask you; viśrabhya — trustworthy; viprāḥ — brāhmaṇas; iti — thus; kṛtyatāyām — out of all different duties; sarva-ātmanā — by everyone; mriyamāṇaiḥ — especially those who are just about to die; ca — and; kṛtyam — dutiful; śuddham — perfectly correct; ca — and; tatra — therein; āmṛśata — by complete deliberation; abhiyuktāḥ — just befitting.
O trustworthy brāhmaṇas, I now ask you about my immediate duty. Please, after proper deliberation, tell me of the unalloyed duty of everyone in all circumstances, and specifically of those who are just about to die.
tatrābhavad bhagavān vyāsa-putro
yadṛcchayā gām aṭamāno ’napekṣaḥ
vṛtaś ca bālair avadhūta-veṣaḥ
tatra — there; abhavat — appeared; bhagavān — powerful; vyāsa-putraḥ — son of Vyāsadeva; yadṛcchayā — as one desires; gām — the earth; aṭamānaḥ — while traveling; anapekṣaḥ — disinterested; alakṣya — unmanifested; liṅgaḥ — symptoms; nija-lābha — self-realized; tuṣṭaḥ — satisfied; vṛtaḥ — surrounded; ca — and; bālaiḥ — by children; avadhūta — neglected by others; veṣaḥ — dressed.
At that moment there appeared the powerful son of Vyāsadeva, who traveled over the earth disinterested and satisfied with himself. He did not manifest any symptoms of belonging to any social order or status of life. He was surrounded with women and children, and he dressed as if others had neglected him.
taṁ dvyaṣṭa-varṣaṁ su-kumāra-pāda-
tam — him; dvi-aṣṭa — sixteen; varṣam — years; su-kumāra — delicate; pāda — legs; kara — hands; ūru — thighs; bāhu — arms; aṁsa — shoulders; kapola — forehead; gātram — body; cāru — beautiful; āyata — broad; akṣa — eyes; unnasa — high nose; tulya — similar; karṇa — ears; subhru — nice brows; ānanam — face; kambu — conchshell; sujāta — nicely built; kaṇṭham — neck.
This son of Vyāsadeva was only sixteen years old. His legs, hands, thighs, arms, shoulders, forehead and the other parts of his body were all delicately formed. His eyes were beautifully wide, and his nose and ears were highly raised. He had a very attractive face, and his neck was well formed and beautiful like a conchshell.
āvarta-nābhiṁ vali-valgūdaraṁ ca
nigūḍha — covered; jatrum — collarbone; pṛthu — broad; tuṅga — swollen; vakṣasam — chest; āvarta — whirled; nābhim — navel; vali-valgu — striped; udaram — abdomen; ca — also; dik-ambaram — dressed by all directions (naked); vaktra — curled; vikīrṇa — scattered; keśam — hair; pralamba — elongated; bāhum — hands; su-amara-uttama — the best among the gods (Kṛṣṇa); ābham — hue.
His collarbone was fleshy, his chest broad and thick, his navel deep and his abdomen beautifully striped. His arms were long, and curly hair was strewn over his beautiful face. He was naked, and the hue of his body reflected that of Lord Kṛṣṇa.
strīṇāṁ mano-jñaṁ rucira-smitena
pratyutthitās te munayaḥ svāsanebhyas
tal-lakṣaṇa-jñā api gūḍha-varcasam
śyāmam — blackish; sadā — always; apīvya — excessively; vayaḥ — age; aṅga — symptoms; lakṣmyā — by the opulence of; strīṇām — of the fair sex; manaḥ-jñam — attractive; rucira — beautiful; smitena — smiling; pratyutthitāḥ — stood up; te — all of them; munayaḥ — the great sages; sva — own; āsanebhyaḥ — from the seats; tat — those; lakṣaṇa-jñāḥ — expert in the art of physiognomy; api — even; gūḍha-varcasam — covered glories.
He was blackish and very beautiful due to his youth. Because of the glamor of his body and his attractive smiles, he was pleasing to women. Though he tried to cover his natural glories, the great sages present there were all expert in the art of physiognomy, and so they honored him by rising from their seats.
sa viṣṇu-rāto ’tithaya āgatāya
tasmai saparyāṁ śirasājahāra
tato nivṛttā hy abudhāḥ striyo ’rbhakā
mahāsane sopaviveśa pūjitaḥ
saḥ — he; viṣṇu-rātaḥ — Mahārāja Parīkṣit (who is always protected by Lord Viṣṇu); atithaye — to become a guest; āgatāya — one who arrived there; tasmai — unto him; saparyām — with the whole body; śirasā — with bowed head; ājahāra — offered obeisances; tataḥ — thereafter; nivṛttāḥ — ceased; hi — certainly; abudhāḥ — less intelligent; striyaḥ — women; arbhakāḥ — boys; mahā-āsane — exalted seat; sa — he; upaviveśa — sat down; pūjitaḥ — being respected.
Mahārāja Parīkṣit, who is also known as Viṣṇurāta [one who is always protected by Viṣṇu], bowed his head to receive the chief guest, Śukadeva Gosvāmī. At that time all the ignorant women and boys ceased following Śrīla Śukadeva. Receiving respect from all, Śukadeva Gosvāmī took his exalted seat.
sa saṁvṛtas tatra mahān mahīyasāṁ
vyarocatālaṁ bhagavān yathendur
saḥ — Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī; saṁvṛtaḥ — surrounded by; tatra — there; mahān — great; mahīyasām — of the greatest; brahmarṣi — saint among the brāhmaṇas; rājarṣi — saint among the kings; devarṣi — saint among the demigods; saṅghaiḥ — by the assembly of; vyarocata — well deserved; alam — able; bhagavān — powerful; yathā — as; induḥ — the moon; graha — planets; ṛkṣa — heavenly bodies; tārā — stars; nikaraiḥ — by the assembly of; parītaḥ — surrounded by.
Śukadeva Gosvāmī was then surrounded by saintly sages and demigods just as the moon is surrounded by stars, planets and other heavenly bodies. His presence was gorgeous, and he was respected by all.
praśāntam āsīnam akuṇṭha-medhasaṁ
muniṁ nṛpo bhāgavato ’bhyupetya
praṇamya mūrdhnāvahitaḥ kṛtāñjalir
natvā girā sūnṛtayānvapṛcchat
praśāntam — perfectly pacified; āsīnam — sitting; akuṇṭha — without hesitation; medhasam — one who has sufficient intelligence; munim — unto the great sage; nṛpaḥ — the King (Mahārāja Parīkṣit); bhāgavataḥ — the great devotee; abhyupetya — approaching him; praṇamya — bowing down; mūrdhnā — his head; avahitaḥ — properly; kṛta-añjaliḥ — with folded hands; natvā — politely; girā — by words; sūnṛtayā — in sweet voices; anvapṛcchat — inquired.
The sage Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī sat perfectly pacified, intelligent and ready to answer any question without hesitation. The great devotee, Mahārāja Parīkṣit, approached him, offered his respects by bowing before him, and politely inquired with sweet words and folded hands.
aho adya vayaṁ brahman
bhavadbhis tīrthakāḥ kṛtāḥ
parīkṣit uvāca — the fortunate Mahārāja Parīkṣit said; aho — ah; adya — today; vayam — we; brahman — O brāhmaṇa; sat-sevyāḥ — eligible to serve the devotee; kṣatra — the ruling class; bandhavaḥ — friends; kṛpayā — by your mercy; atithi-rūpeṇa — in the manner of a guest; bhavadbhiḥ — by your good self; tīrthakāḥ — qualified for being places of pilgrimage; kṛtāḥ — done by you.
The fortunate King Parīkṣit said: O brāhmaṇa, by your mercy only, you have sanctified us, making us like unto places of pilgrimage, all by your presence here as my guest. By your mercy, we, who are but unworthy royalty, become eligible to serve the devotee.
yeṣāṁ saṁsmaraṇāt puṁsāṁ
sadyaḥ śuddhyanti vai gṛhāḥ
kiṁ punar darśana-sparśa-
yeṣām — of whom; saṁsmaraṇāt — by remembrance; puṁsām — of a person; sadyaḥ — instantly; śuddhyanti — cleanses; vai — certainly; gṛhāḥ — all houses; kim — what; punaḥ — then; darśana — meeting; sparśa — touching; pāda — the feet; śauca — washing; āsana-ādibhiḥ — by offering a seat, etc.
Simply by our remembering you, our houses become instantly sanctified. And what to speak of seeing you, touching you, washing your holy feet and offering you a seat in our home?
sānnidhyāt te mahā-yogin
pātakāni mahānty api
sadyo naśyanti vai puṁsāṁ
viṣṇor iva suretarāḥ
sānnidhyāt — on account of the presence; te — your; mahā-yogin — O great mystic; pātakāni — sins; mahānti — invulnerable; api — in spite of; sadyaḥ — immediately; naśyanti — vanquished; vai — certainly; puṁsām — of a person; viṣṇoḥ — like the presence of the Personality of Godhead; iva — like; sura-itarāḥ — other than the demigods.
Just as the atheist cannot remain in the presence of the Personality of Godhead, so also the invulnerable sins of a man are immediately vanquished in your presence, O saint! O great mystic!
api me bhagavān prītaḥ
api — definitely; me — unto me; bhagavān — the Personality of Godhead; prītaḥ — pleased; kṛṣṇaḥ — the Lord; pāṇḍu-suta — the sons of King Pāṇḍu; priyaḥ — dear; paitṛ — in relation with the father; svaseya — the sons of the sister; prīti — satisfaction; artham — in the matter of; tat — their; gotrasya — of the descendant; ātta — accepted; bāndhavaḥ — as a friend.
Lord Kṛṣṇa, the Personality of Godhead, who is very dear to the sons of King Pāṇḍu, has accepted me as one of those relatives just to please His great cousins and brothers.
anyathā te ’vyakta-gater
darśanaṁ naḥ kathaṁ nṛṇām
anyathā — otherwise; te — your; avyakta-gateḥ — of one whose movements are invisible; darśanam — meeting; naḥ — for us; katham — how; nṛṇām — of the people; nitarām — specifically; mriyamāṇānām — of those who are about to die; saṁsiddhasya — of one who is all-perfect; vanīyasaḥ — voluntary appearance.
Otherwise [without being inspired by Lord Kṛṣṇa] how is it that you have voluntarily appeared here, though you are moving incognito to the common man and are not visible to us who are on the verge of death?
ataḥ pṛcchāmi saṁsiddhiṁ
yogināṁ paramaṁ gurum
puruṣasyeha yat kāryaṁ
ataḥ — therefore; pṛcchāmi — beg to inquire; saṁsiddhim — the way of perfection; yoginām — of the saints; paramam — the supreme; gurum — the spiritual master; puruṣasya — of a person; iha — in this life; yat — whatever; kāryam — duty; mriyamāṇasya — of one who is going to die; sarvathā — in every way.
You are the spiritual master of great saints and devotees. I am therefore begging you to show the way of perfection for all persons, and especially for one who is about to die.
yac chrotavyam atho japyaṁ
yat kartavyaṁ nṛbhiḥ prabho
smartavyaṁ bhajanīyaṁ vā
brūhi yad vā viparyayam
yat — whatever; śrotavyam — worth hearing; atho — thereof; japyam — chanted; yat — what also; kartavyam — executed; nṛbhiḥ — by the people in general; prabho — O master; smartavyam — that which is remembered; bhajanīyam — worshipable; vā — either; brūhi — please explain; yad vā — what it may be; viparyayam — against the principle.
Please let me know what a man should hear, chant, remember and worship, and also what he should not do. Please explain all this to me.
nūnaṁ bhagavato brahman
na lakṣyate hy avasthānam
api go-dohanaṁ kvacit
nūnam — because; bhagavataḥ — of you, who are powerful; brahman — O brāhmaṇa; gṛheṣu — in the houses; gṛha-medhinām — of the householders; na — not; lakṣyate — are seen; hi — exactly; avasthānam — staying in; api — even; go-dohanam — milking the cow; kvacit — rarely.
O powerful brāhmaṇa, it is said that you hardly stay in the houses of men long enough to milk a cow.
evam ābhāṣitaḥ pṛṣṭaḥ
sa rājñā ślakṣṇayā girā
sūtaḥ uvāca — Śrī Sūta Gosvāmī said; evam — thus; ābhāṣitaḥ — being spoken; pṛṣṭaḥ — and asked for; saḥ — he; rājñā — by the King; ślakṣṇayā — by sweet; girā — language; pratyabhāṣata — began to reply; dharma-jñaḥ — one who knows the principles of religion; bhagavān — the powerful personality; bādarāyaṇiḥ — son of Vyāsadeva.
Śrī Sūta Gosvāmī said: The King thus spoke and questioned the sage, using sweet language. Then the great and powerful personality, the son of Vyāsadeva, who knew the principles of religion, began his reply.