Śrīmad Bhāgavatam | Canto 1 Chapter 2
Divinity and Divine Service
pratipūjya vacas teṣāṁ
vyāsaḥ uvāca — Vyāsa said; iti — thus; sampraśna — perfect inquiries; saṁhṛṣṭaḥ — perfectly satisfied; viprāṇām — of the sages there; raumaharṣaṇiḥ — the son of Romaharṣaṇa, namely Ugraśravā; pratipūjya — after thanking them; vacaḥ — words; teṣām — their; pravaktum — to reply to them; upacakrame — attempted.
Ugraśravā [Sūta Gosvāmī], the son of Romaharṣaṇa, being fully satisfied by the perfect questions of the brāhmaṇas, thanked them and thus attempted to reply.
yaṁ pravrajantam anupetam apeta-kṛtyaṁ
dvaipāyano viraha-kātara ājuhāva
putreti tan-mayatayā taravo ’bhinedus
taṁ sarva-bhūta-hṛdayaṁ munim ānato ’smi
sūtaḥ — Sūta Gosvāmī; uvāca — said; yam — whom; pravrajantam — while going away for the renounced order of life; anupetam — without being reformed by the sacred thread; apeta — not undergoing ceremonies; kṛtyam — prescribed duties; dvaipāyanaḥ — Vyāsadeva; viraha — separation; kātaraḥ — being afraid of; ājuhāva — exclaimed; putra iti — O my son; tat-mayatayā — being absorbed in that way; taravaḥ — all the trees; abhineduḥ — responded; tam — unto him; sarva — all; bhūta — living entities; hṛdayam — heart; munim — sage; ānataḥ asmi — offer obeisances.
Śrīla Sūta Gosvāmī said: Let me offer my respectful obeisances unto that great sage [Śukadeva Gosvāmī] who can enter the hearts of all. When he went away to take up the renounced order of life [sannyāsa], leaving home without undergoing reformation by the sacred thread or the ceremonies observed by the higher castes, his father, Vyāsadeva, fearing separation from him, cried out, “O my son!” Indeed, only the trees, which were absorbed in the same feelings of separation, echoed in response to the begrieved father.
yaḥ svānubhāvam akhila-śruti-sāram ekam
adhyātma-dīpam atititīrṣatāṁ tamo ’ndham
saṁsāriṇāṁ karuṇayāha purāṇa-guhyaṁ
taṁ vyāsa-sūnum upayāmi guruṁ munīnām
yaḥ — he who; sva-anubhāvam — self-assimilated (experienced); akhila — all around; śruti — the Vedas; sāram — cream; ekam — the only one; adhyātma — transcendental; dīpam — torchlight; atititīrṣatām — desiring to overcome; tamaḥ andham — deeply dark material existence; saṁsāriṇām — of the materialistic men; karuṇayā — out of causeless mercy; āha — said; purāṇa — supplement to the Vedas; guhyam — very confidential; tam — unto him; vyāsa-sūnum — the son of Vyāsadeva; upayāmi — let me offer my obeisances; gurum — the spiritual master; munīnām — of the great sages.
Let me offer my respectful obeisances unto him [Śuka], the spiritual master of all sages, the son of Vyāsadeva, who, out of his great compassion for those gross materialists who struggle to cross over the darkest regions of material existence, spoke this most confidential supplement to the cream of Vedic knowledge, after having personally assimilated it by experience.
naraṁ caiva narottamam
devīṁ sarasvatīṁ vyāsaṁ
tato jayam udīrayet
nārāyaṇam — the Personality of Godhead; namaḥ-kṛtya — after offering respectful obeisances; naram ca eva — and Nārāyaṇa Ṛṣi; nara-uttamam — the supermost human being; devīm — the goddess; sarasvatīm — the mistress of learning; vyāsam — Vyāsadeva; tataḥ — thereafter; jayam — all that is meant for conquering; udīrayet — be announced.
Before reciting this Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, which is the very means of conquest, one should offer respectful obeisances unto the Personality of Godhead, Nārāyaṇa, unto Nara-nārāyaṇa Ṛṣi, the supermost human being, unto mother Sarasvatī, the goddess of learning, and unto Śrīla Vyāsadeva, the author.
munayaḥ sādhu pṛṣṭo ’haṁ
yat kṛtaḥ kṛṣṇa-sampraśno
munayaḥ — O sages; sādhu — this is relevant; pṛṣṭaḥ — questioned; aham — myself; bhavadbhiḥ — by all of you; loka — the world; maṅgalam — welfare; yat — because; kṛtaḥ — made; kṛṣṇa — the Personality of Godhead; sampraśnaḥ — relevant question; yena — by which; ātmā — self; suprasīdati — completely pleased.
O sages, I have been justly questioned by you. Your questions are worthy because they relate to Lord Kṛṣṇa and so are of relevance to the world’s welfare. Only questions of this sort are capable of completely satisfying the self.
sa vai puṁsāṁ paro dharmo
yato bhaktir adhokṣaje
saḥ — that; vai — certainly; puṁsām — for mankind; paraḥ — sublime; dharmaḥ — occupation; yataḥ — by which; bhaktiḥ — devotional service; adhokṣaje — unto the Transcendence; ahaitukī — causeless; apratihatā — unbroken; yayā — by which; ātmā — the self; suprasīdati — completely satisfied.
The supreme occupation [dharma] for all humanity is that by which men can attain to loving devotional service unto the transcendent Lord. Such devotional service must be unmotivated and uninterrupted to completely satisfy the self.
janayaty āśu vairāgyaṁ
jñānaṁ ca yad ahaitukam
vāsudeve — unto Kṛṣṇa; bhagavati — unto the Personality of Godhead; bhakti-yogaḥ — contact of devotional service; prayojitaḥ — being applied; janayati — does produce; āśu — very soon; vairāgyam — detachment; jñānam — knowledge; ca — and; yat — that which; ahaitukam — causeless.
By rendering devotional service unto the Personality of Godhead, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, one immediately acquires causeless knowledge and detachment from the world.
dharmaḥ svanuṣṭhitaḥ puṁsāṁ
notpādayed yadi ratiṁ
śrama eva hi kevalam
dharmaḥ — occupation; svanuṣṭhitaḥ — executed in terms of one’s own position; puṁsām — of humankind; viṣvaksena — the Personality of Godhead (plenary portion); kathāsu — in the message of; yaḥ — what is; na — not; utpādayet — does produce; yadi — if; ratim — attraction; śramaḥ — useless labor; eva — only; hi — certainly; kevalam — entirely.
The occupational activities a man performs according to his own position are only so much useless labor if they do not provoke attraction for the message of the Personality of Godhead.
dharmasya hy āpavargyasya
kāmo lābhāya hi smṛtaḥ
dharmasya — occupational engagement; hi — certainly; āpavargyasya — ultimate liberation; na — not; arthaḥ — end; arthāya — for material gain; upakalpate — is meant for; na — neither; arthasya — of material gain; dharma-eka-antasya — for one who is engaged in the ultimate occupational service; kāmaḥ — sense gratification; lābhāya — attainment of; hi — exactly; smṛtaḥ — is described by the great sages.
All occupational engagements are certainly meant for ultimate liberation. They should never be performed for material gain. Furthermore, according to sages, one who is engaged in the ultimate occupational service should never use material gain to cultivate sense gratification.
lābho jīveta yāvatā
nārtho yaś ceha karmabhiḥ
kāmasya — of desires; na — not; indriya — senses; prītiḥ — satisfaction; lābhaḥ — gain; jīveta — self-preservation; yāvatā — so much so; jīvasya — of the living being; tattva — the Absolute Truth; jijñāsā — inquiries; na — not; arthaḥ — end; yaḥ ca iha — whatsoever else; karmabhiḥ — by occupational activities.
Life’s desires should never be directed toward sense gratification. One should desire only a healthy life, or self-preservation, since a human being is meant for inquiry about the Absolute Truth. Nothing else should be the goal of one’s works.
vadanti tat tattva-vidas
tattvaṁ yaj jñānam advayam
bhagavān iti śabdyate
vadanti — they say; tat — that; tattva-vidaḥ — the learned souls; tattvam — the Absolute Truth; yat — which; jñānam — knowledge; advayam — nondual; brahma iti — known as Brahman; paramātmā iti — known as Paramātmā; bhagavān iti — known as Bhagavān; śabdyate — it so sounded.
Learned transcendentalists who know the Absolute Truth call this nondual substance Brahman, Paramātmā or Bhagavān.
tac chraddadhānā munayo
paśyanty ātmani cātmānaṁ
tat — that; śraddadhānāḥ — seriously inquisitive; munayaḥ — sages; jñāna — knowledge; vairāgya — detachment; yuktayā — well equipped with; paśyanti — see; ātmani — within himself; ca — and; ātmānam — the Paramātmā; bhaktyā — in devotional service; śruta — the Vedas; gṛhītayā — well received.
The seriously inquisitive student or sage, well equipped with knowledge and detachment, realizes that Absolute Truth by rendering devotional service in terms of what he has heard from the Vedānta-śruti.
ataḥ pumbhir dvija-śreṣṭhā
ataḥ — so; pumbhiḥ — by the human being; dvija-śreṣṭhāḥ — O best among the twice-born; varṇa-āśrama — the institution of four castes and four orders of life; vibhāgaśaḥ — by the division of; svanuṣṭhitasya — of one’s own prescribed duties; dharmasya — occupational; saṁsiddhiḥ — the highest perfection; hari — the Personality of Godhead; toṣaṇam — pleasing.
O best among the twice-born, it is therefore concluded that the highest perfection one can achieve by discharging the duties prescribed for one’s own occupation according to caste divisions and orders of life is to please the Personality of Godhead.
tasmād ekena manasā
bhagavān sātvatāṁ patiḥ
śrotavyaḥ kīrtitavyaś ca
dhyeyaḥ pūjyaś ca nityadā
tasmāt — therefore; ekena — by one; manasā — attention of the mind; bhagavān — the Personality of Godhead; sātvatām — of the devotees; patiḥ — protector; śrotavyaḥ — is to be heard; kīrtitavyaḥ — to be glorified; ca — and; dhyeyaḥ — to be remembered; pūjyaḥ — to be worshiped; ca — and; nityadā — constantly.
Therefore, with one-pointed attention, one should constantly hear about, glorify, remember and worship the Personality of Godhead, who is the protector of the devotees.
chindanti kovidās tasya
ko na kuryāt kathā-ratim
yat — which; anudhyā — remembrance; asinā — sword; yuktāḥ — being equipped with; karma — reactionary work; granthi — knot; nibandhanam — interknit; chindanti — cut; kovidāḥ — intelligent; tasya — His; kaḥ — who; na — not; kuryāt — shall do; kathā — messages; ratim — attention.
With sword in hand, intelligent men cut through the binding knots of reactionary work [karma] by remembering the Personality of Godhead. Therefore, who will not pay attention to His message?
syān mahat-sevayā viprāḥ
śuśrūṣoḥ — one who is engaged in hearing; śraddadhānasya — with care and attention; vāsudeva — in respect to Vāsudeva; kathā — the message; ruciḥ — affinity; syāt — is made possible; mahat-sevayā — by service rendered to pure devotees; viprāḥ — O twice-born; puṇya-tīrtha — those who are cleansed of all vice; niṣevaṇāt — by service.
O twice-born sages, by serving those devotees who are completely freed from all vice, great service is done. By such service, one gains affinity for hearing the messages of Vāsudeva.
śṛṇvatāṁ sva-kathāḥ kṛṣṇaḥ
hṛdy antaḥ stho hy abhadrāṇi
vidhunoti suhṛt satām
śṛṇvatām — those who have developed the urge to hear the message of; sva-kathāḥ — His own words; kṛṣṇaḥ — the Personality of Godhead; puṇya — virtues; śravaṇa — hearing; kīrtanaḥ — chanting; hṛdi antaḥ sthaḥ — within one’s heart; hi — certainly; abhadrāṇi — desire to enjoy matter; vidhunoti — cleanses; suhṛt — benefactor; satām — of the truthful.
Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the Personality of Godhead, who is the Paramātmā [Supersoul] in everyone’s heart and the benefactor of the truthful devotee, cleanses desire for material enjoyment from the heart of the devotee who has developed the urge to hear His messages, which are in themselves virtuous when properly heard and chanted.
bhaktir bhavati naiṣṭhikī
naṣṭa — destroyed; prāyeṣu — almost to nil; abhadreṣu — all that is inauspicious; nityam — regularly; bhāgavata — Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, or the pure devotee; sevayā — by serving; bhagavati — unto the Personality of Godhead; uttama — transcendental; śloke — prayers; bhaktiḥ — loving service; bhavati — comes into being; naiṣṭhikī — irrevocable.
By regular attendance in classes on the Bhāgavatam and by rendering of service to the pure devotee, all that is troublesome to the heart is almost completely destroyed, and loving service unto the Personality of Godhead, who is praised with transcendental songs, is established as an irrevocable fact.
kāma-lobhādayaś ca ye
ceta etair anāviddhaṁ
sthitaṁ sattve prasīdati
tadā — at that time; rajaḥ — in the mode of passion; tamaḥ — the mode of ignorance; bhāvāḥ — the situation; kāma — lust and desire; lobha — hankering; ādayaḥ — others; ca — and; ye — whatever they are; cetaḥ — the mind; etaiḥ — by these; anāviddham — without being affected; sthitam — being fixed; sattve — in the mode of goodness; prasīdati — thus becomes fully satisfied.
As soon as irrevocable loving service is established in the heart, the effects of nature’s modes of passion and ignorance, such as lust, desire and hankering, disappear from the heart. Then the devotee is established in goodness, and he becomes completely happy.
evam — thus; prasanna — enlivened; manasaḥ — of the mind; bhagavat-bhakti — the devotional service of the Lord; yogataḥ — by contact of; bhagavat — regarding the Personality of Godhead; tattva — knowledge; vijñānam — scientific; mukta — liberated; saṅgasya — of the association; jāyate — becomes effective.
Thus established in the mode of unalloyed goodness, the man whose mind has been enlivened by contact with devotional service to the Lord gains positive scientific knowledge of the Personality of Godhead in the stage of liberation from all material association.
kṣīyante cāsya karmāṇi
bhidyate — pierced; hṛdaya — heart; granthiḥ — knots; chidyante — cut to pieces; sarva — all; saṁśayāḥ — misgivings; kṣīyante — terminated; ca — and; asya — his; karmāṇi — chain of fruitive actions; dṛṣṭe — having seen; eva — certainly; ātmani — unto the self; īśvare — dominating.
Thus the knot in the heart is pierced, and all misgivings are cut to pieces. The chain of fruitive actions is terminated when one sees the self as master.
ato vai kavayo nityaṁ
bhaktiṁ paramayā mudā
ataḥ — therefore; vai — certainly; kavayaḥ — all transcendentalists; nityam — from time immemorial; bhaktim — service unto the Lord; paramayā — supreme; mudā — with great delight; vāsudeve — Śrī Kṛṣṇa; bhagavati — the Personality of Godhead; kurvanti — do render; ātma — self; prasādanīm — that which enlivens.
Certainly, therefore, since time immemorial, all transcendentalists have been rendering devotional service to Lord Kṛṣṇa, the Personality of Godhead, with great delight, because such devotional service is enlivening to the self.
sattvaṁ rajas tama iti prakṛter guṇās tair
yuktaḥ paraḥ puruṣa eka ihāsya dhatte
sthity-ādaye hari-viriñci-hareti saṁjñāḥ
śreyāṁsi tatra khalu sattva-tanor nṛṇāṁ syuḥ
sattvam — goodness; rajaḥ — passion; tamaḥ — the darkness of ignorance; iti — thus; prakṛteḥ — of the material nature; guṇāḥ — qualities; taiḥ — by them; yuktaḥ — associated with; paraḥ — transcendental; puruṣaḥ — the personality; ekaḥ — one; iha asya — of this material world; dhatte — accepts; sthiti-ādaye — for the matter of creation, maintenance and destruction, etc; hari — Viṣṇu, the Personality of Godhead; viriñci — Brahmā; hara — Lord Śiva; iti — thus; saṁjñāḥ — different features; śreyāṁsi — ultimate benefit; tatra — therein; khalu — of course; sattva — goodness; tanoḥ — form; nṛṇām — of the human being; syuḥ — derived.
The transcendental Personality of Godhead is indirectly associated with the three modes of material nature, namely passion, goodness and ignorance, and just for the material world’s creation, maintenance and destruction He accepts the three qualitative forms of Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Śiva. Of these three, all human beings can derive ultimate benefit from Viṣṇu, the form of the quality of goodness.
pārthivād dāruṇo dhūmas
tasmād agnis trayīmayaḥ
tamasas tu rajas tasmāt
sattvaṁ yad brahma-darśanam
pārthivāt — from earth; dāruṇaḥ — firewood; dhūmaḥ — smoke; tasmāt — from that; agniḥ — fire; trayī — Vedic sacrifices; mayaḥ — made of; tamasaḥ — in the mode of ignorance; tu — but; rajaḥ — the mode of passion; tasmāt — from that; sattvam — the mode of goodness; yat — which; brahma — the Absolute Truth; darśanam — realization.
Firewood is a transformation of earth, but smoke is better than the raw wood. And fire is still better, for by fire we can derive the benefits of superior knowledge [through Vedic sacrifices]. Similarly, passion [rajas] is better than ignorance [tamas], but goodness [sattva] is best because by goodness one can come to realize the Absolute Truth.
bhejire munayo ’thāgre
sattvaṁ viśuddhaṁ kṣemāya
kalpante ye ’nu tān iha
bhejire — rendered service unto; munayaḥ — the sages; atha — thus; agre — previously; bhagavantam — unto the Personality of Godhead; adhokṣajam — the Transcendence; sattvam — existence; viśuddham — above the three modes of nature; kṣemāya — to derive the ultimate benefit; kalpante — deserve; ye — those; anu — follow; tān — those; iha — in this material world.
Previously all the great sages rendered service unto the Personality of Godhead due to His existence above the three modes of material nature. They worshiped Him to become free from material conditions and thus derive the ultimate benefit. Whoever follows such great authorities is also eligible for liberation from the material world.
hitvā bhūta-patīn atha
bhajanti hy anasūyavaḥ
mumukṣavaḥ — persons desiring liberation; ghora — horrible, ghastly; rūpān — forms like that; hitvā — rejecting; bhūta-patīn — demigods; atha — for this reason; nārāyaṇa — the Personality of Godhead; kalāḥ — plenary portions; śāntāḥ — all-blissful; bhajanti — do worship; hi — certainly; anasūyavaḥ — nonenvious.
Those who are serious about liberation are certainly nonenvious, and they respect all. Yet they reject the horrible and ghastly forms of the demigods and worship only the all-blissful forms of Lord Viṣṇu and His plenary portions.
sama-śīlā bhajanti vai
rajaḥ — the mode of passion; tamaḥ — the mode of ignorance; prakṛtayaḥ — of that mentality; sama-śīlāḥ — of the same categories; bhajanti — do worship; vai — actually; pitṛ — the forefathers; bhūta — other living beings; prajeśa-ādīn — controllers of cosmic administration; śriyā — enrichment; aiśvarya — wealth and power; prajā — progeny; īpsavaḥ — so desiring.
Those who are in the modes of passion and ignorance worship those in the same category — namely the forefathers, other living beings and the demigods who are in charge of cosmic activities — for they are urged by a desire to be materially benefited with women, wealth, power and progeny.
vāsudeva — the Personality of Godhead; parāḥ — the ultimate goal; vedāḥ — revealed scriptures; vāsudeva — the Personality of Godhead; parāḥ — for worshiping; makhāḥ — sacrifices; vāsudeva — the Personality of Godhead; parāḥ — the means of attaining; yogāḥ — mystic paraphernalia; vāsudeva — the Personality of Godhead; parāḥ — under His control; kriyāḥ — fruitive activities; vāsudeva — the Personality of Godhead; param — the supreme; jñānam — knowledge; vāsudeva — the Personality of Godhead; param — best; tapaḥ — austerity; vāsudeva — the Personality of Godhead; paraḥ — superior quality; dharmaḥ — religion; vāsudeva — the Personality of Godhead; parāḥ — ultimate; gatiḥ — goal of life.
In the revealed scriptures, the ultimate object of knowledge is Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the Personality of Godhead. The purpose of performing sacrifice is to please Him. Yoga is for realizing Him. All fruitive activities are ultimately rewarded by Him only. He is supreme knowledge, and all severe austerities are performed to know Him. Religion [dharma] is rendering loving service unto Him. He is the supreme goal of life.
sa evedaṁ sasarjāgre
saḥ — that; eva — certainly; idam — this; sasarja — created; agre — before; bhagavān — the Personality of Godhead; ātma-māyayā — by His personal potency; sat — the cause; asat — the effect; rūpayā — by forms; ca — and; asau — the same Lord; guṇa-maya — in the modes of material nature; aguṇaḥ — transcendental; vibhuḥ — the Absolute.
In the beginning of the material creation, that Absolute Personality of Godhead [Vāsudeva], in His transcendental position, created the energies of cause and effect by His own internal energy.
tayā vilasiteṣv eṣu
guṇeṣu guṇavān iva
tayā — by them; vilasiteṣu — although in the function; eṣu — these; guṇeṣu — the modes of material nature; guṇavān — affected by the modes; iva — as if; antaḥ — within; praviṣṭaḥ — entered into; ābhāti — appears to be; vijñānena — by transcendental consciousness; vijṛmbhitaḥ — fully enlightened.
After creating the material substance, the Lord [Vāsudeva] expands Himself and enters into it. And although He is within the material modes of nature and appears to be one of the created beings, He is always fully enlightened in His transcendental position.
yathā hy avahito vahnir
dāruṣv ekaḥ sva-yoniṣu
nāneva bhāti viśvātmā
bhūteṣu ca tathā pumān
yathā — as much as; hi — exactly like; avahitaḥ — surcharged with; vahniḥ — fire; dāruṣu — in wood; ekaḥ — one; sva-yoniṣu — the source of manifestation; nānā iva — like different entities; bhāti — illuminates; viśva-ātmā — the Lord as Paramātmā; bhūteṣu — in the living entities; ca — and; tathā — in the same way; pumān — the Absolute Person.
The Lord, as Supersoul, pervades all things, just as fire permeates wood, and so He appears to be of many varieties, though He is the absolute one without a second.
asau guṇamayair bhāvair
bhuṅkte bhūteṣu tad-guṇān
asau — that Paramātmā; guṇa-mayaiḥ — influenced by the modes of nature; bhāvaiḥ — naturally; bhūta — created; sūkṣma — subtle; indriya — senses; ātmabhiḥ — by the living beings; sva-nirmiteṣu — in His own creation; nirviṣṭaḥ — entering; bhuṅkte — causes to enjoy; bhūteṣu — in the living entities; tat-guṇān — those modes of nature.
The Supersoul enters into the bodies of the created beings who are influenced by the modes of material nature and causes them to enjoy the effects of these modes by the subtle mind.
bhāvayaty eṣa sattvena
lokān vai loka-bhāvanaḥ
bhāvayati — maintains; eṣaḥ — all these; sattvena — in the mode of goodness; lokān — all over the universe; vai — generally; loka-bhāvanaḥ — the master of all the universes; līlā — pastimes; avatāra — incarnation; anurataḥ — assuming the role; deva — the demigods; tiryak — lower animals; nara-ādiṣu — in the midst of human beings.
Thus the Lord of the universes maintains all planets inhabited by demigods, men and lower animals. Assuming the roles of incarnations, He performs pastimes to reclaim those in the mode of pure goodness.