Śrīmad Bhāgavatam | Canto 1 Chapter 6
Conversation Between Nārada and Vyāsadeva
evaṁ niśamya bhagavān
devarṣer janma karma ca
bhūyaḥ papraccha taṁ brahman
sūtaḥ uvāca — Sūta said; evam — thus; niśamya — hearing; bhagavān — the powerful incarnation of God; devarṣeḥ — of the great sage among the gods; janma — birth; karma — work; ca — and; bhūyaḥ — again; papraccha — asked; tam — him; brahman — O brāhmaṇas; vyāsaḥ — Vyāsadeva; satyavatī-sutaḥ — the son of Satyavatī.
Sūta said: O brāhmaṇas, thus hearing all about Śrī Nārada’s birth and activities, Vyāsadeva, the incarnation of God and son of Satyavatī, inquired as follows.
vartamāno vayasy ādye
tataḥ kim akarod bhavān
vyāsaḥ uvāca — Śrī Vyāsadeva said; bhikṣubhiḥ — by the great mendicants; vipravasite — having departed for other places; vijñāna — scientific knowledge in transcendence; ādeṣṭṛbhiḥ — those who had instructed; tava — of your; vartamānaḥ — present; vayasi — of the duration of life; ādye — before the beginning of; tataḥ — after that; kim — what; akarot — did; bhavān — your good self.
Śrī Vyāsadeva said: What did you [Nārada] do after the departure of the great sages who had instructed you in scientific transcendental knowledge before the beginning of your present birth?
svāyambhuva kayā vṛttyā
vartitaṁ te paraṁ vayaḥ
kathaṁ cedam udasrākṣīḥ
kāle prāpte kalevaram
svāyambhuva — O son of Brahmā; kayā — under what condition; vṛttyā — occupation; vartitam — was spent; te — you; param — after the initiation; vayaḥ — duration of life; katham — how; ca — and; idam — this; udasrākṣīḥ — did you quit; kāle — in due course; prāpte — having attained; kalevaram — body.
O son of Brahmā, how did you pass your life after initiation, and how did you attain this body, having quit your old one in due course?
smṛtiṁ te muni-sattama
na hy eṣa vyavadhāt kāla
prāk — prior; kalpa — the duration of Brahmā’s day; viṣayām — subject matter; etām — all these; smṛtim — remembrance; te — your; muni-sattama — O great sage; na — not; hi — certainly; eṣaḥ — all these; vyavadhāt — made any difference; kālaḥ — course of time; eṣaḥ — all these; sarva — all; nirākṛtiḥ — annihilation.
O great sage, time annihilates everything in due course, so how is it that this subject matter, which happened prior to this day of Brahmā, is still fresh in your memory, undisturbed by time?
vartamāno vayasy ādye
tata etad akāraṣam
nāradaḥ uvāca — Śrī Nārada said; bhikṣubhiḥ — by the great sages; vipravasite — having departed for other places; vijñāna — scientific spiritual knowledge; ādeṣṭṛbhiḥ — those who imparted unto me; mama — mine; vartamānaḥ — present; vayasi ādye — before this life; tataḥ — thereafter; etat — this much; akāraṣam — performed.
Śrī Nārada said: The great sages, who had imparted scientific knowledge of transcendence to me, departed for other places, and I had to pass my life in this way.
ekātmajā me jananī
yoṣin mūḍhā ca kiṅkarī
mayy ātmaje ’nanya-gatau
eka-ātmajā — having only one son; me — my; jananī — mother; yoṣit — woman by class; mūḍhā — foolish; ca — and; kiṅkarī — maidservant; mayi — unto me; ātmaje — being her offspring; ananya-gatau — one who has no alternative for protection; cakre — did it; sneha-anubandhanam — tied by affectionate bondage.
I was the only son of my mother, who was not only a simple woman but a maidservant as well. Since I was her only offspring, she had no other alternative for protection: she bound me with the tie of affection.
sāsvatantrā na kalpāsīd
īśasya hi vaśe loko
yoṣā dārumayī yathā
sā — she; asvatantrā — was dependent; na — not; kalpā — able; āsīt — was; yoga-kṣemam — maintenance; mama — my; icchatī — although desirous; īśasya — of providence; hi — for; vaśe — under the control of; lokaḥ — everyone; yoṣā — doll; dāru-mayī — made of wood; yathā — as much as.
She wanted to look after my maintenance properly, but because she was not independent, she was not able to do anything for me. The world is under the full control of the Supreme Lord; therefore everyone is like a wooden doll in the hands of a puppet master.
ahaṁ ca tad-brahma-kule
aham — I; ca — also; tat — that; brahma-kule — in the school of the brāhmaṇas; ūṣivān — lived; tat — her; upekṣayā — being dependent on; dik-deśa — direction and country; kāla — time; avyutpannaḥ — having no experience; bālakaḥ — a mere child; pañca — five; hāyanaḥ — years old.
When I was a mere child of five years, I lived in a brāhmaṇa school. I was dependent on my mother’s affection and had no experience of different lands.
ekadā nirgatāṁ gehād
duhantīṁ niśi gāṁ pathi
sarpo ’daśat padā spṛṣṭaḥ
ekadā — once upon a time; nirgatām — having gone away; gehāt — from home; duhantīm — for milking; niśi — at night; gām — the cow; pathi — on the path; sarpaḥ — snake; adaśat — bitten; padā — on the leg; spṛṣṭaḥ — thus struck; kṛpaṇām — the poor woman; kāla-coditaḥ — influenced by supreme time.
Once upon a time, my poor mother, when going out one night to milk a cow, was bitten on the leg by a serpent, influenced by supreme time.
tadā tad aham īśasya
bhaktānāṁ śam abhīpsataḥ
prātiṣṭhaṁ diśam uttarām
tadā — at that time; tat — that; aham — I; īśasya — of the Lord; bhaktānām — of the devotees; śam — mercy; abhīpsataḥ — desiring; anugraham — special benediction; manyamānaḥ — thinking in that way; prātiṣṭham — departed; diśam uttarām — in the northern direction.
I took this as the special mercy of the Lord, who always desires benediction for His devotees, and so thinking, I started for the north.
sphītāñ janapadāṁs tatra
vanāny upavanāni ca
sphītān — very flourishing; jana-padān — metropolises; tatra — there; pura — towns; grāma — villages; vraja — big farms; ākarān — mineral fields (mines); kheṭa — agricultural lands; kharvaṭa — valleys; vāṭīḥ — flower gardens; ca — and; vanāni — forests; upavanāni — nursery gardens; ca — and.
After my departure, I passed through many flourishing metropolises, towns, villages, animal farms, mines, agricultural lands, valleys, flower gardens, nursery gardens and natural forests.
citra-dhātu — valuable minerals like gold, silver and copper; vicitra — full of variegatedness; adrīn — hills and mountains; ibha-bhagna — broken by the giant elephants; bhuja — branches; drumān — trees; jalāśayān śiva — health-giving; jalān — reservoirs of water; nalinīḥ — lotus flowers; sura-sevitāḥ — aspired to by the denizens of heaven; citra-svanaiḥ — pleasing to the heart; patra-rathaiḥ — by the birds; vibhramat — bewildering; bhramara-śriyaḥ — decorated by drones.
I passed through hills and mountains full of reservoirs of various minerals like gold, silver and copper, and through tracts of land with reservoirs of water filled with beautiful lotus flowers, fit for the denizens of heaven, decorated with bewildered bees and singing birds.
eka evātiyāto ’ham
adrākṣaṁ vipinaṁ mahat
nala — pipes; veṇu — bamboo; śaraḥ — pens; tanba — full of; kuśa — sharp grass; kīcaka — weeds; gahvaram — caves; ekaḥ — alone; eva — only; atiyātaḥ — difficult to go through; aham — I; adrākṣam — visited; vipinam — deep forests; mahat — great; ghoram — fearful; pratibhaya-ākāram — dangerously; vyāla — snakes; ulūka — owls; śiva — jackals; ajiram — playgrounds.
I then passed alone through many forests of rushes, bamboo, reeds, sharp grass, weeds and caves, which were very difficult to go through alone. I visited deep, dark and dangerously fearful forests, which were the play yards of snakes, owls and jackals.
snātvā pītvā hrade nadyā
pariśrānta — being tired; indriya — bodily; ātmā — mentally; aham — I; tṛṭ-parītaḥ — being thirsty; bubhukṣitaḥ — and hungry; snātvā — taking a bath; pītvā — and drinking water also; hrade — in the lake; nadyāḥ — of a river; upaspṛṣṭaḥ — being in contact with; gata — got relief from; śramaḥ — tiredness.
Thus traveling, I felt tired, both bodily and mentally, and I was both thirsty and hungry. So I took a bath in a river lake and also drank water. By contacting water, I got relief from my exhaustion.
tasmin nirmanuje ’raṇye
tasmin — in that; nirmanuje — without human habitation; araṇye — in the forest; pippala — banyan tree; upasthe — sitting under it; āśritaḥ — taking shelter of; ātmanā — by intelligence; ātmānam — the Supersoul; ātma-stham — situated within myself; yathā-śrutam — as I had heard it from the liberated souls; acintayam — thought over.
After that, under the shadow of a banyan tree in an uninhabited forest I began to meditate upon the Supersoul situated within, using my intelligence, as I had learned from liberated souls.
hṛdy āsīn me śanair hariḥ
dhyāyataḥ — thus meditating upon; caraṇa-ambhojam — the lotus feet of the localized Personality of Godhead; bhāva-nirjita — mind transformed in transcendental love for the Lord; cetasā — all mental activities (thinking, feeling and willing); autkaṇṭhya — eagerness; aśru-kala — tears rolled down; akṣasya — of the eyes; hṛdi — within my heart; āsīt — appeared; me — my; śanaiḥ — without delay; hariḥ — the Personality of Godhead.
As soon as I began to meditate upon the lotus feet of the Personality of Godhead with my mind transformed in transcendental love, tears rolled down my eyes, and without delay the Personality of Godhead, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, appeared on the lotus of my heart.
nāpaśyam ubhayaṁ mune
premā — love; atibhara — excessive; nirbhinna — especially distinguished; pulaka — feelings of happiness; aṅgaḥ — different bodily parts; ati-nirvṛtaḥ — being fully overwhelmed; ānanda — ecstasy; samplave — in the ocean of; līnaḥ — absorbed in; na — not; apaśyam — could see; ubhayam — both; mune — O Vyāsadeva.
O Vyāsadeva, at that time, being exceedingly overpowered by feelings of happiness, every part of my body became separately enlivened. Being absorbed in an ocean of ecstasy, I could not see both myself and the Lord.
rūpaṁ bhagavato yat tan
vaiklavyād durmanā iva
rūpam — form; bhagavataḥ — of the Personality of Godhead; yat — as it is; tat — that; manaḥ — of the mind; kāntam — as it desires; śucā-apaham — vanishing all disparity; apaśyan — without seeing; sahasā — all of a sudden; uttasthe — got up; vaiklavyāt — being perturbed; durmanāḥ — having lost the desirable; iva — as it were.
The transcendental form of the Lord, as it is, satisfies the mind’s desire and at once erases all mental incongruities. Upon losing that form, I suddenly got up, being perturbed, as is usual when one loses that which is desirable.
didṛkṣus tad ahaṁ bhūyaḥ
praṇidhāya mano hṛdi
vīkṣamāṇo ’pi nāpaśyam
didṛkṣuḥ — desiring to see; tat — that; aham — I; bhūyaḥ — again; praṇidhāya — having concentrated the mind; manaḥ — mind; hṛdi — upon the heart; vīkṣamāṇaḥ — waiting to see; api — in spite of; na — never; apaśyam — saw Him; avitṛptaḥ — without being satisfied; iva — like; āturaḥ — aggrieved.
I desired to see again that transcendental form of the Lord, but despite my attempts to concentrate upon the heart with eagerness to view the form again, I could not see Him any more, and thus dissatisfied, I was very much aggrieved.
evaṁ yatantaṁ vijane
mām āhāgocaro girām
śucaḥ praśamayann iva
evam — thus; yatantam — one who is engaged in attempting; vijane — in that lonely place; mām — unto me; āha — said; agocaraḥ — beyond the range of physical sound; girām — utterances; gambhīra — grave; ślakṣṇayā — pleasing to hear; vācā — words; śucaḥ — grief; praśamayan — mitigating; iva — like.
Seeing my attempts in that lonely place, the Personality of Godhead, who is transcendental to all mundane description, spoke to me with gravity and pleasing words, just to mitigate my grief.
hantāsmiñ janmani bhavān
mā māṁ draṣṭum ihārhati
durdarśo ’haṁ kuyoginām
hanta — O Nārada; asmin — this; janmani — duration of life; bhavān — yourself; mā — not; mām — Me; draṣṭum — to see; iha — here; arhati — deserve; avipakva — immature; kaṣāyāṇām — material dirt; durdarśaḥ — difficult to be seen; aham — I; kuyoginām — incomplete in service.
O Nārada [the Lord spoke], I regret that during this lifetime you will not be able to see Me anymore. Those who are incomplete in service and who are not completely free from all material taints can hardly see Me.
sakṛd yad darśitaṁ rūpam
etat kāmāya te ’nagha
mat-kāmaḥ śanakaiḥ sādhu
sarvān muñcati hṛc-chayān
sakṛt — once only; yat — that; darśitam — shown; rūpam — form; etat — this is; kāmāya — for hankerings; te — your; anagha — O virtuous one; mat — Mine; kāmaḥ — desire; śanakaiḥ — by increasing; sādhuḥ — devotee; sarvān — all; muñcati — gives away; hṛt-śayān — material desires.
O virtuous one, you have only once seen My person, and this is just to increase your desire for Me, because the more you hanker for Me, the more you will be freed from all material desires.
jātā mayi dṛḍhā matiḥ
hitvāvadyam imaṁ lokaṁ
gantā maj-janatām asi
sat-sevayā — by service of the Absolute Truth; adīrghayā — for some days; api — even; jātā — having attained; mayi — unto Me; dṛḍhā — firm; matiḥ — intelligence; hitvā — having given up; avadyam — deplorable; imam — this; lokam — material worlds; gantā — going to; mat-janatām — My associates; asi — become.
By service of the Absolute Truth, even for a few days, a devotee attains firm and fixed intelligence in Me. Consequently he goes on to become My associate in the transcendental world after giving up the present deplorable material worlds.
matir mayi nibaddheyaṁ
na vipadyeta karhicit
smṛtiś ca mad-anugrahāt
matiḥ — intelligence; mayi — devoted to Me; nibaddhā — engaged; iyam — this; na — never; vipadyeta — separate; karhicit — at any time; prajā — living beings; sarga — at the time of creation; nirodhe — also at the time of annihilation; api — even; smṛtiḥ — remembrance; ca — and; mat — Mine; anugrahāt — by the mercy of.
Intelligence engaged in My devotion cannot be thwarted at any time. Even at the time of creation, as well as at the time of annihilation, your remembrance will continue by My mercy.
etāvad uktvopararāma tan mahad
bhūtaṁ nabho-liṅgam aliṅgam īśvaram
ahaṁ ca tasmai mahatāṁ mahīyase
śīrṣṇāvanāmaṁ vidadhe ’nukampitaḥ
etāvat — thus; uktvā — spoken; upararāma — stopped; tat — that; mahat — great; bhūtam — wonderful; nabhaḥ-liṅgam — personified by sound; aliṅgam — unseen by the eyes; īśvaram — the supreme authority; aham — I; ca — also; tasmai — unto Him; mahatām — the great; mahīyase — unto the glorified; śīrṣṇā — by the head; avanāmam — obeisances; vidadhe — executed; anukampitaḥ — being favored by Him.
Then that supreme authority, personified by sound and unseen by eyes, but most wonderful, stopped speaking. Feeling a sense of gratitude, I offered my obeisances unto Him, bowing my head.
nāmāny anantasya hata-trapaḥ paṭhan
guhyāni bhadrāṇi kṛtāni ca smaran
gāṁ paryaṭaṁs tuṣṭa-manā gata-spṛhaḥ
kālaṁ pratīkṣan vimado vimatsaraḥ
nāmāni — the holy name, fame, etc; anantasya — of the unlimited; hata-trapaḥ — being freed from all formalities of the material world; paṭhan — by recitation, repeated reading, etc; guhyāni — mysterious; bhadrāṇi — all-benedictory; kṛtāni — activities; ca — and; smaran — constantly remembering; gām — on the earth; paryaṭan — traveling all through; tuṣṭa-manāḥ — fully satisfied; gata-spṛhaḥ — completely freed from all material desires; kālam — time; pratīkṣan — awaiting; vimadaḥ — without being proud; vimatsaraḥ — without being envious.
Thus I began chanting the holy name and fame of the Lord by repeated recitation, ignoring all the formalities of the material world. Such chanting and remembering of the transcendental pastimes of the Lord are benedictory. So doing, I traveled all over the earth, fully satisfied, humble and unenvious.
evaṁ kṛṣṇa-mater brahman
kālaḥ prādurabhūt kāle
taḍit saudāmanī yathā
evam — thus; kṛṣṇa-mateḥ — one who is fully absorbed in thinking of Kṛṣṇa; brahman — O Vyāsadeva; na — not; āsaktasya — of one who is attached; amala-ātmanaḥ — of one who is completely free from all material dirt; kālaḥ — death; prādurabhūt — become visible; kāle — in the course of time; taḍit — lightning; saudāmanī — illuminating; yathā — as it is.
And so, O Brāhmaṇa Vyāsadeva, in due course of time I, who was fully absorbed in thinking of Kṛṣṇa and who therefore had no attachments, being completely freed from all material taints, met with death, as lightning and illumination occur simultaneously.
prayujyamāne mayi tāṁ
śuddhāṁ bhāgavatīṁ tanum
prayujyamāne — having been awarded; mayi — on me; tām — that; śuddhām — transcendental; bhāgavatīm — fit for associating with the Personality of Godhead; tanum — body; ārabdha — acquired; karma — fruitive work; nirvāṇaḥ — prohibitive; nyapatat — quit; pāñca-bhautikaḥ — body made of five material elements.
Having been awarded a transcendental body befitting an associate of the Personality of Godhead, I quit the body made of five material elements, and thus all acquired fruitive results of work [karma] stopped.
kalpānta idam ādāya
śayāne ’mbhasy udanvataḥ
viviśe ’ntar ahaṁ vibhoḥ
kalpa-ante — at the end of Brahmā’s day; idam — this; ādāya — taking together; śayāne — having gone to lie down; ambhasi — in the causal water; udanvataḥ — devastation; śiśayiṣoḥ — lying of the Personality of Godhead (Nārāyaṇa); anuprāṇam — breathing; viviśe — entered into; antaḥ — within; aham — I; vibhoḥ — of Lord Brahmā.
At the end of the millennium, when the Personality of Godhead, Lord Nārāyaṇa, lay down within the water of devastation, Brahmā began to enter into Him along with all creative elements, and I also entered through His breathing.
prāṇebhyo ’haṁ ca jajñire
sahasra — one thousand; yuga — 4,300,000 years; paryante — at the end of the duration; utthāya — having expired; idam — this; sisṛkṣataḥ — desired to create again; marīci-miśrāḥ — ṛṣis like Marīci; ṛṣayaḥ — all the ṛṣis; prāṇebhyaḥ — out of His senses; aham — I; ca — also; jajñire — appeared.
After 4,300,000,000 solar years, when Brahmā awoke to create again by the will of the Lord, all the ṛṣis like Marīci, Aṅgirā, Atri and so on were created from the transcendental body of the Lord, and I also appeared along with them.
antar bahiś ca lokāṁs trīn
antaḥ — in the transcendental world; bahiḥ — in the material world; ca — and; lokān — planets; trīn — three (divisions); paryemi — travel; askandita — unbroken; vrataḥ — vow; anugrahāt — by the causeless mercy; mahā-viṣṇoḥ — of the Mahā-Viṣṇu (Kāraṇodakaśāyī Viṣṇu); avighāta — without restriction; gatiḥ — entrance; kvacit — at any time.
Since then, by the grace of the almighty Viṣṇu, I travel everywhere without restriction both in the transcendental world and in the three divisions of the material world. This is because I am fixed in unbroken devotional service of the Lord.
deva-dattām imāṁ vīṇāṁ
gāyamānaś carāmy aham
deva — the Supreme Personality of Godhead (Śrī Kṛṣṇa); dattām — gifted by; imām — this; vīṇām — a musical stringed instrument; svara — singing meter; brahma — transcendental; vibhūṣitām — decorated with; mūrcchayitvā — vibrating; hari-kathām — transcendental message; gāyamānaḥ — singing constantly; carāmi — do move; aham — I.
And thus I travel, constantly singing the transcendental message of the glories of the Lord, vibrating this instrument called a vīṇā, which is charged with transcendental sound and which was given to me by Lord Kṛṣṇa.
āhūta iva me śīghraṁ
darśanaṁ yāti cetasi
pragāyataḥ — thus singing; sva-vīryāṇi — own activities; tīrtha-pādaḥ — the Lord, whose lotus feet are the source of all virtues or holiness; priya-śravāḥ — pleasing to hear; āhūtaḥ — called for; iva — just like; me — to me; śīghram — very soon; darśanam — sight; yāti — appears; cetasi — on the seat of the heart.
The Supreme Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, whose glories and activities are pleasing to hear, at once appears on the seat of my heart, as if called for, as soon as I begin to chant His holy activities.
etad dhy ātura-cittānāṁ
etat — this; hi — certainly; ātura-cittānām — of those whose minds are always full of cares and anxieties; mātrā — objects of sense enjoyment; sparśa — senses; icchayā — by desires; muhuḥ — always; bhava-sindhu — the ocean of nescience; plavaḥ — boat; dṛṣṭaḥ — experienced; hari-carya — activities of Hari, the Personality of Godhead; anuvarṇanam — constant recitation.
It is personally experienced by me that those who are always full of cares and anxieties due to desiring contact of the senses with their objects can cross the ocean of nescience on a most suitable boat — the constant chanting of the transcendental activities of the Personality of Godhead.
tathātmāddhā na śāmyati
yama-ādibhiḥ — by the process of practicing self-restraint; yoga-pathaiḥ — by the system of yoga (mystic bodily power to attain the godly stage); kāma — desires for sense satisfaction; lobha — lust for satisfaction of the senses; hataḥ — curbed; muhuḥ — always; mukunda — the Personality of Godhead; sevayā — by the service of; yadvat — as it is; tathā — like that; ātmā — the soul; addhā — for all practical purposes; na — does not; śāmyati — be satisfied.
It is true that by practicing restraint of the senses by the yoga system one can get relief from the disturbances of desire and lust, but this is not sufficient to give satisfaction to the soul, for this [satisfaction] is derived from devotional service to the Personality of Godhead.
sarvaṁ tad idam ākhyātaṁ
yat pṛṣṭo ’haṁ tvayānagha
sarvam — all; tat — that; idam — this; ākhyātam — described; yat — whatever; pṛṣṭaḥ — asked by; aham — me; tvayā — by you; anagha — without any sins; janma — birth; karma — activities; rahasyam — mysteries; me — mine; bhavataḥ — your; ca — and; ātma — self; toṣaṇam — satisfaction.
O Vyāsadeva, you are freed from all sins. Thus I have explained my birth and activities for self-realization, as you asked. All this will be conducive for your personal satisfaction also.
evaṁ sambhāṣya bhagavān
āmantrya vīṇāṁ raṇayan
yayau yādṛcchiko muniḥ
sūtaḥ — Sūta Gosvāmī; uvāca — said; evam — thus; sambhāṣya — addressing; bhagavān — transcendentally powerful; nāradaḥ — Nārada Muni; vāsavī — named Vāsavī (Satyavatī); sutam — son; āmantrya — inviting; vīṇām — instrument; raṇayan — vibrating; yayau — went; yādṛcchikaḥ — wherever willing; muniḥ — the sage.
Sūta Gosvāmī said: Thus addressing Vyāsadeva, Śrīla Nārada Muni took leave of him, and vibrating on his vīṇā instrument, he left to wander at his free will.
aho devarṣir dhanyo ’yaṁ
gāyan mādyann idaṁ tantryā
ramayaty āturaṁ jagat
aho — all glory to; devarṣiḥ — the sage of the gods; dhanyaḥ — all success; ayam yat — one who; kīrtim — glories; śārṅga-dhanvanaḥ — of the Personality of Godhead; gāyan — singing; mādyan — taking pleasure in; idam — this; tantryā — by means of the instrument; ramayati — enlivens; āturam — distressed; jagat — world.
All glory and success to Śrīla Nārada Muni because he glorifies the activities of the Personality of Godhead, and so doing he himself takes pleasure and also enlivens all the distressed souls of the universe.