Śrīmad Bhāgavatam|Canto 11 Chapter 23
The Song of the Avantī Brāhmaṇa
sa evam āśaṁsita uddhavena
sabhājayan bhṛtya-vaco mukundas
tam ābabhāṣe śravaṇīya-vīryaḥ
śrī-bādarāyaṇiḥ uvāca — Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī said; saḥ — He; evam — thus; āśaṁsitaḥ — respectfully requested; uddhavena — by Uddhava; bhāgavata — of the devotees; mukhyena — by the greatest; dāśārha — of the dynasty of Dāśārha (the Yadus); mukhyaḥ — the chief; sabhājayan — praising; bhṛtya — of His servant; vacaḥ — the words; mukundaḥ — Lord Mukunda, Kṛṣṇa; tam — to him; ābabhāṣe — began to speak; śravaṇīya — most worthy of hearing about; vīryaḥ — whose omnipotency.
Śukadeva Gosvāmī said: Lord Mukunda, the chief of the Dāśārhas, having thus been respectfully requested by the best of His devotees, Śrī Uddhava, first acknowledged the fitness of his servant’s statements. Then the Lord, whose glorious exploits are most worthy of being heard, began to reply to him.
bārhaspatya sa nāsty atra
sādhur vai durjaneritaiḥ
duraktair bhinnam ātmānaṁ
yaḥ samādhātum īśvaraḥ
śrī-bhagavān uvāca — the Supreme Personality of Godhead said; bārhaspatya — O disciple of Bṛhaspati; saḥ — he; na asti — there is not; atra — in this world; sādhuḥ — a saintly person; vai — indeed; durjana — by uncivilized men; īritaiḥ — used; duruktaiḥ — by insulting words; bhinnam — disturbed; ātmānam — his mind; yaḥ — who; samādhātum — to compose; īśvaraḥ — is capable.
Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa said: O disciple of Bṛhaspati, there is virtually no saintly man in this world capable of resettling his own mind after it has been disturbed by the insulting words of uncivilized men.
na tathā tapyate viddhaḥ
pumān bāṇais tu marma-gaiḥ
yathā tudanti marma-sthā
hy asatāṁ paruṣeṣavaḥ
na — not; tathā — in the same way; tapyate — is caused pain; viddhaḥ — pierced; pumān — a person; bāṇaiḥ — by arrows; tu — however; marma-gaiḥ — going to the heart; yathā — as; tudanti — prick; marma-sthāḥ — attaching within the heart; hi — indeed; asatām — of evil persons; paruṣa — harsh (words); iṣavaḥ — the arrows.
Sharp arrows which pierce one’s chest and reach the heart do not cause as much suffering as the arrows of harsh, insulting words that become lodged within the heart when spoken by uncivilized men.
kathayanti mahat puṇyam
tam ahaṁ varṇayiṣyāmi
kathayanti — they tell; mahat — greatly; puṇyam — pious; itihāsam — story; iha — in this regard; uddhava — My dear Uddhava; tam — that; aham — I; varṇayiṣyāmi — will describe; nibodha — please listen; su-samāhitaḥ — with careful attention.
My dear Uddhava, in this regard a most pious story is told, and I shall now describe it to you. Please listen with careful attention.
kenacid bhikṣuṇā gītaṁ
kenacit — by a certain; bhikṣuṇā — sannyāsī; gītam — sung; paribhūtena — who was insulted; durjanaiḥ — by impious persons; smaratā — remembering; dhṛti-yuktena — fixing his resolution; vipākam — the consequences; nija-karmaṇām — of his own past activities.
Once a certain sannyāsī was insulted in many ways by impious men. However, with determination he remembered that he was suffering the fruit of his own previous karma. I will narrate to you his story and that which he spoke.
avantiṣu dvijaḥ kaścid
āsīd āḍhyatamaḥ śriyā
vārtā-vṛttiḥ kadaryas tu
kāmī lubdho ’ti-kopanaḥ
avantiṣu — in the Avantī country; dvijaḥ — brāhmaṇa; kaścit — a certain; āsīt — there was; āḍhya-tamaḥ — very rich; śriyā — with opulences; vārtā — by business; vṛttiḥ — earning his livelihood; kadaryaḥ — miserly; tu — but; kāmī — lusty; lubdhaḥ — greedy; ati-kopanaḥ — very prone to anger.
In the country of Avantī there once lived a certain brāhmaṇa who was very rich and gifted with all opulences, and who was engaged in the occupation of commerce. But he was a miserly person — lusty, greedy and very prone to anger.
jñātayo ’tithayas tasya
kāle kāmair anarcitaḥ
jñātayaḥ — the relatives; atithayaḥ — and guests; tasya — his; vāk-mātreṇa api — even by words; na arcitāḥ — were not shown respect; śūnya-avasathe — in his home deprived of religiosity and sense gratification; ātmā — himself; api — even; kāle — at the suitable times; kāmaiḥ — with sensory enjoyment; anarcitaḥ — not gratified.
In his home, devoid of religiosity and lawful sense gratification, the family members and guests were never properly respected, even with words. He would not even allow sufficient gratification for his own body at the suitable times.
dārā duhitaro bhṛtyā
viṣaṇṇā nācaran priyam
duḥśīlasya — having a bad character; kadaryasya — toward the miser; druhyante — they developed enmity; putra — his sons; bāndhavāḥ — and in-laws; dārāḥ — his wife; duhitaraḥ — his daughters; bhṛtyāḥ — the servants; visaṇṇāḥ — disgusted; na ācaran — they did not act; priyam — affectionately.
Since he was so hardhearted and miserly, his sons, in-laws, wife, daughters and servants began to feel inimical toward him. Becoming disgusted, they would never treat him with affection.
tasya — at him; evam — in this way; yakṣa-vittasya — who simply kept his wealth without spending it, like the Yakṣas, who guard the treasury of Kuvera; cyutasya — who was deprived; ubhaya — of both; lokataḥ — worlds (this life and the next); dharma — religiosity; kāma — and sense gratification; vihīnasya — lacking; cukrudhuḥ — they became angry; pañca-bhāginaḥ — the deities of the five prescribed household sacrifices.
In this way the presiding deities of the five family sacrifices became angry at the brāhmaṇa, who, being niggardly, guarded his wealth like a Yakṣa, who had no good destination either in this world or the next, and who was totally deprived of religiosity and sense enjoyment.
artho ’py agacchan nidhanaṁ
tat — of them; avadhyāna — because of his neglect; visrasta — depleted; puṇya — of piety; skandhasya — whose portion; bhūri-da — O magnanimous Uddhava; arthaḥ — the wealth; api — indeed; agacchat nidhanam — became lost; bahu — much; āyāsa — of endeavor; pariśramaḥ — which consisted only of the labor.
O magnanimous Uddhava, by his neglect of these demigods he depleted his stock of piety and all his wealth. The accumulation of his repeated exhaustive endeavors was totally lost.
jñātyo jagṛhuḥ kiñcit
kiñcid dasyava uddhava
daivataḥ kālataḥ kiñcid
jñātayaḥ — the relatives; jagṛhuḥ — took away; kiñcit — some; kiñcit — some; dasyavaḥ — thieves; uddhava — O Uddhava; daivataḥ — by providence; kālataḥ — by time; kiñcit — some; brahma-bandhoḥ — of the so-called brāhmaṇa; nṛ — by common men; pārthivāt — and by elevated government officials.
Some of the wealth of this so-called brāhmaṇa was taken away by his relatives, My dear Uddhava, some by thieves, some by the whims of providence, some by the effects of time, some by ordinary men and some by government authorities.
sa evaṁ draviṇe naṣṭe
upekṣitaś ca sva-janaiś
cintām āpa duratyayām
saḥ — he; evam — thus; draviṇe — when his property; naṣṭe — was lost; dharma — religiosity; kāma — and sense enjoyment; vivarjitaḥ — devoid of; upekṣitaḥ — neglected; ca — and; sva-janaiḥ — by his family members; cintām — anxiety; āpa — he obtained; duratyayām — insurmountable.
Finally, when his property was completely lost, he who never engaged in religiosity or sense enjoyment became ignored by his family members. Thus he began to feel unbearable anxiety.
tasyaivaṁ dhyāyato dīrghaṁ
nirvedaḥ su-mahān abhūt
tasya — of him; evam — thus; dhyāyataḥ — thinking; dīrgham — for a long time; naṣṭa-rāyaḥ — his wealth lost; tapasvinaḥ — experiencing agony; khidyataḥ — lamenting; bāṣpa-kaṇṭhasya — his throat choked with tears; nirvedaḥ — a sense of renunciation; su-mahān — very great; abhūt — arose.
Having lost all his wealth, he felt great pain and lamentation. His throat choked up with tears, and he meditated for a long time on his fortune. Then a powerful feeling of renunciation came over him.
sa cāhedam aho kaṣṭaṁ
vṛthātmā me ’nutāpitaḥ
na dharmāya na kāmāya
saḥ — he; ca — and; āha — spoke; idam — this; aho — alas; kaṣṭam — the painful misfortune; vṛthā — vainly; ātmā — the self; me — my; anutāpitaḥ — distressed; na — not; dharmāya — for religiosity; na — nor; kāmāya — for sense gratification; yasya — whose; artha — for wealth; āyāsaḥ — labor; īdṛśaḥ — such as this.
The brāhmaṇa spoke as follows: O what great misfortune! I have simply tormented myself uselessly, struggling so hard for money that was not even intended for religiosity or material enjoyment.
na sukhāya kadācana
mṛtasya narakāya ca
prāyeṇa — generally; arthāḥ — items of wealth; kadaryāṇām — of those who are misers; na — do not; sukhāya — lead to happiness; kadācana — at any time; iha — in this life; ca — both; ātma — of himself; upatāpāya — result in the torment; mṛtasya — and of him when he has died; narakāya — in the attainment of hell; ca — and.
Generally, the wealth of misers never allows them any happiness. In this life it causes their self-torment, and when they die it sends them to hell.
yaśo yaśasvināṁ śuddhaṁ
ślāghyā ye guṇināṁ guṇāḥ
lobhaḥ sv-alpo ’pi tān hanti
śvitro rūpam ivepsitam
yaśaḥ — the fame; yaśasvinām — of those who are famous; śuddham — pure; ślāghyāḥ — praiseworthy; ye — which; guṇinām — of those endowed with good qualities; guṇāḥ — the qualities; lobhaḥ — greed; su-alpaḥ — a little; api — even; tān — these; hanti — destroys; śvitraḥ — white leprosy; rūpam — physical beauty; iva — just as; īpsitam — enchanting.
Whatever pure fame is possessed by the famous and whatever praiseworthy qualities are found in the virtuous are destroyed by even a small amount of greed, just as one’s attractive physical beauty is ruined by a trace of white leprosy.
arthasya sādhane siddhe
utkarṣe rakṣaṇe vyaye
trāsaś cintā bhramo nṛṇām
arthaysa — of wealth; sādhane — in the earning; siddhe — in the attainment; utkarṣe — in the increasing; rakṣaṇe — in the protecting; vyaye — in the expending; nāśa — in the loss; upabhoge — and in the enjoyment; āyāsaḥ — labor; trāsaḥ — fear; cintā — anxiety; bhramaḥ — confusion; nṛṇām — for men.
In the earning, attainment, increase, protection, expense, loss and enjoyment of wealth, all men experience great labor, fear, anxiety and delusion.
steyaṁ hiṁsānṛtaṁ dambhaḥ
kāmaḥ krodhaḥ smayo madaḥ
bhedo vairam aviśvāsaḥ
saṁspardhā vyasanāni ca
hy artha-mūlā matā nṛṇām
tasmād anartham arthākhyaṁ
śreyo-’rthī dūratas tyajet
steyam — theft; hiṁsā — violence; anṛtam — lying; dambhaḥ — duplicity; kāmaḥ — lust; krodhaḥ — anger; smayaḥ — perplexity; madaḥ — pride; bhedaḥ — disagreement; vairam — enmity; aviśvāsaḥ — lack of faith; saṁspardhā — rivalry; vyasanāni — the dangers (coming from women, gambling and intoxication); ca — and; ete — these; pañcadaśa — fifteen; anarthāḥ — unwanted things; hi — indeed; artha-mūlāḥ — based on wealth; matāḥ — are known; nṛṇām — by men; tasmāt — therefore; anartham — that which is undesirable; artha-ākhyam — wealth, spoken of as if desirable; śreyaḥ-arthī — one who desires the ultimate benefit of life; dūrataḥ — at a great distance; tyajet — should leave.
Theft, violence, speaking lies, duplicity, lust, anger, perplexity, pride, quarreling, enmity, faithlessness, envy and the dangers caused by women, gambling and intoxication are the fifteen undesirable qualities that contaminate men because of greed for wealth. Although these qualities are undesirable, men falsely ascribe value to them. One desiring to achieve the real benefit of life should therefore remain aloof from undesirable material wealth.
bhidyante bhrātaro dārāḥ
pitaraḥ suhṛdas tathā
sadyaḥ sarve ’rayaḥ kṛtāḥ
bhidyante — they break off; bhrātaraḥ — the brothers; dārāḥ — wife; pitaraḥ — parents; suhṛdaḥ — friends; tathā — and; eka — as if one; āsnigdhāḥ — very dear; kākiṇinā — by a small coin; sadyaḥ — immediately; sarve — all of them; arayaḥ — enemies; kṛtāḥ — made.
Even a man’s brothers, wife, parents and friends united with him in love will immediately break off their affectionate relationships and become enemies over a single coin.
arthenālpīyasā hy ete
tyajanty āśu spṛdho ghnanti
arthena — by wealth; alpīyasā — insignificant; hi — even; ete — they; saṁrabdhāḥ — agitated; dīpta — inflamed; manyavaḥ — their anger; tyajanti — they give up; āśu — very quickly; spṛdhaḥ — becoming quarrelsome; ghnanti — they destroy; sahasā — quickly; utsṛjya — rejecting; sauhṛdam — goodwill.
For even a small amount of money these relatives and friends become very agitated and their anger is inflamed. Acting as rivals, they quickly give up all sentiments of goodwill and will reject one at a moment’s notice, even to the point of committing murder.
mānuṣyaṁ tad dvijāgryatām
tad anādṛtya ye svārthaṁ
ghnanti yānty aśubhāṁ gatim
labdhvā — having attained; janma — the birth; amara — by the demigods; prārthyam — prayed for; mānuṣyam — human; tat — and in that; dvija-āgryatām — the status of being the best of the twice-born; tat — that; anādṛtya — not appreciating; ye — those who; sva-artham — their own best interest; ghnanti — destroy; yānti — they go; aśubhām — to an inauspicious; gatim — destination.
Those who obtain human life, which is prayed for even by the demigods, and in that human birth become situated as first-class brāhmaṇas, are extremely fortunate. If they disregard this important opportunity, they are certainly killing their own self-interest and thus achieve a most unfortunate end.
prāpya lokam imaṁ pumān
draviṇe ko ’nuṣajjeta
martyo ’narthasya dhāmani
svarga — of heaven; apavargayoḥ — and liberation; dvāram — the gateway; prāpya — achieving; lokam — the human life; imam — this; pumān — a person; draviṇe — to property; kaḥ — who; anuṣajjeta — will become attached; martyaḥ — prone to death; anarthasya — of worthlessness; dhāmani — in the realm.
What mortal man, having achieved this human life, which is the very gateway to both heaven and liberation, would willingly become attached to that abode of worthlessness, material property?
jñātīn bandhūṁś ca bhāginaḥ
yakṣa-vittaḥ pataty adhaḥ
deva — the demigods; ṛṣi — sages; pitṛ — departed forefathers; bhūtāni — and living entities in general; jñātīn — one’s immediate relatives; bandhūn — extended family; ca — and; bhāginaḥ — to the shareholders; asaṁvibhajya — not distributing; ca — and; ātmānam — to oneself; yakṣa-vittaḥ — whose wealth is simply like that of a Yakṣa; patati — he falls; adhaḥ — down.
One who fails to distribute his wealth to the proper shareholders — the demigods, sages, forefathers and ordinary living entities, as well as his immediate relatives, in-laws and own self — is maintaining his wealth simply like a Yakṣa and will fall down.
pramattasya vayo balam
kuśalā yena sidhyanti
jaraṭhaḥ kiṁ nu sādhaye
vyarthayā — useless; artha — for wealth; īhayā — by the endeavor; vittam — money; pramattasya — of the maddened; vayaḥ — youth; balam — strength; kuśalāḥ — those who are discriminating; yena — by means of which; sidhyanti — become perfect; jaraṭhaḥ — an old man; kim — what; nu — indeed; sādhaye — can I achieve.
Discriminating persons are able to utilize their money, youth and strength to achieve perfection. But I have feverishly squandered these in the useless endeavor for further wealth. Now that I am an old man, what can I achieve?
kasmāt saṅkliśyate vidvān
kasyacin māyayā nūnaṁ
loko ’yaṁ su-vimohitaḥ
kasmāt — why; saṅkliśyate — suffers; vidvān — one who is wise; vyarthayā — vain; artha-īhayā — in the pursuit of wealth; asakṛt — constantly; kasyacit — of someone; māyayā — by the illusory potency; nūnam — certainly; lokaḥ — the world; ayam — this; su-vimohitaḥ — very much bewildered.
Why must an intelligent man suffer by his constant vain efforts to get wealth? Indeed, this whole world is most bewildered by someone’s illusory potency.
kiṁ dhanair dhana-dair vā kiṁ
kāmair vā kāma-dair uta
karmabhir vota janma-daiḥ
kim — of what use; dhanaiḥ — are different kinds of wealth; dhana-daiḥ — the givers of wealth; vā — or; kim — what is the use; kāmaiḥ — of the objects of sense gratification; vā — or; kāma-daiḥ — those who give such sense gratification; uta — or; mṛtyunā — by death; grasyamānasya — for one who is being seized; karmabhiḥ — by fruitive activities; vā uta — or else; janma-daiḥ — which give him his next birth.
For one who is in the grips of death, what is the use of wealth or those who offer it, sense gratification or those who offer it, or, for that matter, any type of fruitive activity, which simply causes one to again take birth in the material world?
nūnaṁ me bhagavāṁs tuṣṭaḥ
yena nīto daśām etāṁ
nirvedaś cātmanaḥ plavaḥ
nūnam — certainly; me — with Me; bhagavān — the Supreme Personality of Godhead; tuṣṭaḥ — is satisfied; sarva-deva-mayaḥ — who comprises all the demigods; hariḥ — Lord Viṣṇu; yena — by whom; nītaḥ — I have been brought; daśām — to the condition; etām — this; nirvedaḥ — detachment; ca — and; ātmanaḥ — of the self; plavaḥ — the boat (to carry me over the ocean of material suffering).
The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Hari, who contains within Himself all the demigods, must be satisfied with me. Indeed, He has brought me to this suffering condition and forced me to experience detachment, which is the boat to carry me over this ocean of material life.
so ’haṁ kālāvaśeṣeṇa
śoṣayiṣye ’ṅgam ātmanaḥ
yadi syāt siddha ātmani
saḥ aham — I; kāla-avaśeṣeṇa — with whatever time remains; śoṣayiṣye — shall reduce to the minimum; aṅgam — this body; ātmanaḥ — my; apramattaḥ — unbewildered; akhila — entire; sva-arthe — in the real self-interest; yadi — if; syāt — there remains any (time); siddhaḥ — satisfied; ātmani — within myself.
If there is any time remaining in my life, I will perform austerities and force my body to subsist on the bare necessities. Without further confusion I shall pursue that which constitutes my entire self-interest in life, and I shall remain satisfied within the self.
tatra mām anumoderan
tatra — in this regard; mām — with me; anumoderan — may they kindly be pleased; devāḥ — the demigods; tri-bhuvana — of the three worlds; īśvarāḥ — the controllers; muhūrtena — in a single moment; brahmalokam — the spiritual world; khaṭvāṅga — King Khaṭvāṅga; samasādhayat — achieved.
Thus may the presiding demigods of these three worlds kindly show their mercy upon me. Indeed, Mahārāja Khaṭvāṅga was able to achieve the spiritual world in a single moment.
ity abhipretya manasā
hy āvantyo dvija-sattamaḥ
śānto bhikṣur abhūn muniḥ
śrī-bhagavān uvāca — the Supreme Lord said; iti — thus; abhipretya — concluding; manasā — within his mind; hi — indeed; āvantyaḥ — of the district of Avantī; dvija-sat-tamaḥ — now the most pious brāhmaṇa; unmucya — untying; hṛdaya — in his heart; granthīn — the knots (of desire); śāntaḥ — peaceful; bhikṣuḥ — a mendicant sannyāsī; abhūt — he became; muniḥ — silent.
Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa continued: His mind thus determined, that most excellent Avantī brāhmaṇa was able to untie the knots of desire within his heart. He then assumed the role of a peaceful and silent sannyāsī mendicant.
sa cacāra mahīm etāṁ
asaṅgo ’lakṣito ’viśat
saḥ — he; cacāra — wandered; mahīm — the earth; etām — this; saṁyata — controlled; ātma — his consciousness; indriya — senses; anilaḥ — and vital air; bhikṣā-artham — for the purpose of taking charity; nagara — the cities; grāmān — and villages; asaṅgaḥ — without any association; alakṣitaḥ — not making himself prominent, thus unrecognized; aviśat — he entered.
He wandered about the earth, keeping his intelligence, senses and life air under control. To beg charity he traveled alone to various cities and villages. He did not advertise his advanced spiritual position and thus was not recognized by others.
taṁ vai pravayasaṁ bhikṣum
dṛṣṭvā paryabhavan bhadra
tam — him; vai — indeed; pravayasam — old; bhikṣum — the beggar; avadhūtam — unclean; asat — low-class; janāḥ — persons; dṛṣṭvā — seeing; paryabhavan — dishonored; bhadra — O kind Uddhava; bahvībhiḥ — with many; paribhūtibhiḥ — insults.
O kind Uddhava, seeing him as an old, dirty beggar, rowdy persons would dishonor him with many insults.
kecit tri-veṇuṁ jagṛhur
eke pātraṁ kamaṇḍalum
pīṭhaṁ caike ’kṣa-sūtraṁ ca
kanthāṁ cīrāṇi kecana
pradāya ca punas tāni
darśitāny ādadur muneḥ
kecit — some of them; tri-veṇum — his sannyāsī triple staff; jagṛhuḥ — they took away; eke — some; pātram — his begging bowl; kamaṇḍalum — waterpot; pīṭham — seat; ca — and; eke — some; akṣa-sūtram — chanting beads; ca — and; kanthām — rags; cīrāṇi — torn; kecana — some of them; pradāya — offering back; ca — and; punaḥ — again; tāni — they; darśitāni — which were being shown; ādaduḥ — they took away; muneḥ — of the sage.
Some of these persons would take away his sannyāsī rod, and some the waterpot which he was using as a begging bowl. Some took his deerskin seat, some his chanting beads, and some would steal his torn, ragged clothing. Displaying these things before him, they would pretend to offer them back but would then hide them again.
annaṁ ca bhaikṣya-sampannaṁ
mūtrayanti ca pāpiṣṭhāḥ
ṣṭhīvanty asya ca mūrdhani
annam — food; ca — and; bhaikṣya — by his begging; sampannam — acquired; bhuñjānasya — of him who was about to partake; sarit — of a river; taṭe — on the shore; mūtrayanti — they urinate upon; ca — and; pāpiṣṭhāḥ — most sinful persons; ṣṭhīvanti — they spit; asya — his; ca — and; mūrdhani — on his head.
When he was sitting on the bank of a river about to partake of the food that he had collected by his begging, such sinful rascals would come and pass urine on it, and they would dare to spit on his head.
tāḍayanti na vakti cet
tarjayanty apare vāgbhiḥ
steno ’yam iti vādinaḥ
badhnanti rajjvā taṁ kecid
badhyatāṁ badhyatām iti
yata-vācam — who had taken a vow of silence; vācayanti — they try to make speak; tāḍayanti — they beat; na vakti — he does not speak; cet — if; tarjayanti — they cajole; apare — others; vāgbhiḥ — with their words; stenaḥ — thief; ayam — this person; iti — thus; vādinaḥ — saying; badhnanti — they bind up; rajjvā — with rope; tam — him; kecit — some; badhyatām badhyatām — “Bind him up! Bind him up!”; iti — thus saying.
Although he had taken a vow of silence, they would try to make him speak, and if he did not speak they would beat him with sticks. Others would chastise him, saying, “This man is just a thief.” And others would bind him up with rope, shouting, “Tie him up! Tie him up!”
kṣipanty eke ’vajānanta
eṣa dharma-dhvajaḥ śaṭhaḥ
kṣīṇa-vitta imāṁ vṛttim
kṣipanti — they criticize; eke — some; avajānantaḥ — committing insults; eṣaḥ — this person; dharma-dhvajaḥ — a religious hypocrite; śaṭhaḥ — a cheater; kṣīṇa-vittaḥ — having lost his wealth; imām — this; vṛttim — occupation; agrahīt — has taken; sva-jana — by his family; ujjhitaḥ — turned out.
They would criticize and insult him, saying, “This man is just a hypocrite and a cheat. He makes a business of religion simply because he lost all his wealth and his family threw him out.”
aho eṣa mahā-sāro
dhṛtimān giri-rāḍ iva
maunena sādhayaty arthaṁ
ity eke vihasanty enam
eke durvātayanti ca
taṁ babandhur nirurudhur
yathā krīḍanakaṁ dvijam
aho — just see; eṣaḥ — this person; mahā-sāraḥ — very powerful; dhṛtimān — steadfast; giri-rāṭ — the Himālaya Mountains; iva — just like; maunena — with his vow of silence; sādhayati — he is striving; artham — for his goal; baka-vat — just like a heron; dṛḍha — firm; niścayaḥ — his determination; iti — thus speaking; eke — some; vihasanti — ridicule; enam — him; eke — some; durvātayanti — pass foul air; ca — and; tam — him; babandhuḥ — they bound in chains; nirurudhuḥ — kept captive; yathā — as; krīḍanakam — a pet animal; dvijam — that brāhmaṇa.
Some would ridicule him by saying, “Just see this greatly powerful sage! He is as steadfast as the Himālaya Mountains. By practice of silence he strives for his goal with great determination, just like a heron.” Other persons would pass foul air upon him, and sometimes others would bind this twice-born brāhmaṇa in chains and keep him captive like a pet animal.
evaṁ sa bhautikaṁ duḥkhaṁ
daivikaṁ daihikaṁ ca yat
bhoktavyam ātmano diṣṭaṁ
prāptaṁ prāptam abudhyata
evam — thus; saḥ — he; bhautikam — due to other living entities; duḥkham — suffering; daivikam — due to higher powers; daihikam — due to his own body; ca — and; yat — whatever; bhoktavyam — destined to be suffered; ātmanaḥ — his own; diṣṭam — allotted by destiny; prāptam prāptam — whatever was received; abudhyata — he understood.
The brāhmaṇa understood that all his suffering — from other living beings, from the higher forces of nature and from his own body — was unavoidable, being allotted to him by providence.
paribhūta imāṁ gāthām
pātayadbhiḥ sva dharma-stho
dhṛtim āsthāya sāttvikīm
paribhūtaḥ — insulted; imām — this; gāthām — song; agāyata — he sang; nara-adhamaiḥ — by low-class men; pātayadbhiḥ — who were trying to make him fall down; sva-dharma — in his own duty; sthaḥ — remaining firm; dhṛtim — his resolution; āsthāya — fixing; sāttvikīm — in the mode of goodness.
Even while being insulted by these low-class men who were trying to effect his downfall, he remained steady in his spiritual duties. Fixing his resolution in the mode of goodness, he began to chant the following song.
nāyaṁ jano me sukha-duḥkha-hetur
na devatātmā graha-karma-kālāḥ
manaḥ paraṁ kāraṇam āmananti
saṁsāra-cakraṁ parivartayed yat
dvijaḥ uvāca — the brāhmaṇa said; na — not; ayam — these; janaḥ — people; me — my; sukha — of happiness; duḥkha — and distress; hetuḥ — the cause; na — nor; devatā — the demigods; ātmā — my own body; graha — the controlling planets; karma — my past work; kālāḥ — or time; manaḥ — the mind; param — rather only; kāraṇaṁ — the cause; āmananti — is called by standard authorities; saṁsāra — of material life; cakram — the cycle; parivartayet — causes to rotate; yat — which.
The brāhmaṇa said: These people are not the cause of my happiness and distress. Neither are the demigods, my own body, the planets, my past work, or time. Rather, it is the mind alone that causes happiness and distress and perpetuates the rotation of material life.
mano guṇān vai sṛjate balīyas
tataś ca karmāṇi vilakṣaṇāni
śuklāni kṛṣṇāny atha lohitāni
tebhyaḥ sa-varṇāḥ sṛtayo bhavanti
manaḥ — the mind; guṇān — the activities of the modes of nature; vai — indeed; sṛjate — manifests; balīyaḥ — very strong; tataḥ — by those qualities; ca — and; karmāṇi — material activities; vilakṣaṇāni — of different varieties; śuklāni — white (in the mode of goodness); kṛṣṇāni — black (in the mode of ignorance); atha — and; lohitāni — red (in the mode of passion); tebhyaḥ — from those activities; sa-varṇāḥ — having the same corresponding colors; sṛtayaḥ — created conditions; bhavanti — arise.
The powerful mind actuates the functions of the material modes, from which evolve the different kinds of material activities in the modes of goodness, ignorance and passion. From the activities in each of these modes develop the corresponding statuses of life.
anīha ātmā manasā samīhatā
hiraṇ-mayo mat-sakha udvicaṣṭe
manaḥ sva-liṅgaṁ parigṛhya kāmān
juṣan nibaddho guṇa-saṅgato ’sau
anīhaḥ — not endeavoring; ātmā — the Supreme Soul; manasā — along with the mind; samīhatā — which is struggling; hiraṇ-mayaḥ — exhibiting transcendental enlightenment; mat-sakhaḥ — my friend; udvicaṣṭe — looks down from above; manaḥ — the mind; sva-liṅgam — which projects the image of the material world upon him (the soul); parigṛhya — embracing; kāmān — objects of desire; juṣan — engaging with; nibaddhaḥ — becomes bound; guṇa-saṅgataḥ — because of association with the modes of nature; asau — that infinitesimal spirit soul.
Although present along with the struggling mind within the material body, the Supersoul is not endeavoring, because He is already endowed with transcendental enlightenment. Acting as my friend, He simply witnesses from His transcendental position. I, the infinitesimal spirit soul, on the other hand, have embraced this mind, which is the mirror reflecting the image of the material world. Thus I have become engaged in enjoying objects of desire and am entangled due to contact with the modes of nature.
dānaṁ sva-dharmo niyamo yamaś ca
śrutaṁ ca karmāṇi ca sad-vratāni
paro hi yogo manasaḥ samādhiḥ
dānam — giving of charity; sva-dharmaḥ — carrying out one’s prescribed duties; niyamaḥ — the regulations of day-to-day life; yamaḥ — the major regulations of spiritual practice; ca — and; śrutam — listening to scripture; ca — and; karmāṇi — pious work; ca — and; sat — pure; vratāni — vows; sarve — all; manaḥ-nigrahaḥ — the subduing of the mind; lakṣaṇa — consisting of; antāḥ — their aim; paraḥ — supreme; hi — indeed; yogaḥ — transcendental knowledge; manasaḥ — of the mind; samādhiḥ — meditation on the Supreme in trance.
Charity, prescribed duties, observance of major and minor regulative principles, hearing from scripture, pious works and purifying vows all have as their final aim the subduing of the mind. Indeed, concentration of the mind on the Supreme is the highest yoga.
samāhitaṁ yasya manaḥ praśāntaṁ
dānādibhiḥ kiṁ vada tasya kṛtyam
asaṁyataṁ yasya mano vinaśyad
dānādibhiś ced aparaṁ kim ebhiḥ
samāhitam — perfectly fixed; yasya — whose; manaḥ — mind; praśāntam — pacified; dāna-ādibhiḥ — by charity and the other processes; kim — what; vada — please tell; tasya — of those processes; kṛtyam — use; asaṁyatam — uncontrolled; yasya — whose; manaḥ — mind; vinaśyat — dissolving; dāna-ādibhiḥ — by these processes of charity and so on; cet — if; aparam — further; kim — what use; ebhiḥ — of these.
If one’s mind is perfectly fixed and pacified, then tell me what need does one have to perform ritualistic charity and other pious rituals? And if one’s mind remains uncontrolled, lost in ignorance, then of what use are these engagements for him?
mano-vaśe ’nye hy abhavan sma devā
manaś ca nānyasya vaśaṁ sameti
bhīṣmo hi devaḥ sahasaḥ sahīyān
yuñjyād vaśe taṁ sa hi deva-devaḥ
manaḥ — of the mind; vaśe — under the control; anye — others; hi — indeed; abhavan — have become; sma — in the past; devāḥ — the senses (represented by their presiding deities); manaḥ — the mind; ca — and; na — never; anyasya — of another; vaśam — under the control; sameti — comes; bhīṣmaḥ — fearsome; hi — indeed; devaḥ — the godlike power; sahasaḥ — than the strongest; sahīyān — stronger; yuñjyāt — can fix; vaśe — under control; tam — that mind; saḥ — such a person; hi — indeed; deva-devaḥ — the master of all the senses.
All the senses have been under the control of the mind since time immemorial, and the mind himself never comes under the sway of any other. He is stronger than the strongest, and his godlike power is fearsome. Therefore, anyone who can bring the mind under control becomes the master of all the senses.
tam durjayaṁ śatrum asahya-vegam
arun-tudaṁ tan na vijitya kecit
kurvanty asad-vigraham atra martyair
mitrāṇy udāsīna-ripūn vimūḍhāḥ
tam — that; durjayam — difficult to conquer; śatrum — enemy; asahya — intolerable; vegam — whose urges; arum-tudam — capable of tormenting the heart; tat — therefore; na vijitya — failing to conquer over; kecit — some people; kurvanti — they create; asat — useless; vigraham — quarrel; atra — in this world; martyaiḥ — with mortal living beings; mitrāṇi — friends; udāsīna — indifferent persons; ripūn — and rivals; vimūḍhāḥ — completely bewildered.
Failing to conquer this irrepressible enemy, the mind, whose urges are intolerable and who torments the heart, many people are completely bewildered and create useless quarrel with others. Thus they conclude that other people are either their friends, their enemies or parties indifferent to them.
dehaṁ mano-mātram imaṁ gṛhītvā
mamāham ity andha-dhiyo manuṣyāḥ
eṣo ’ham anyo ’yam iti bhrameṇa
duranta-pāre tamasi bhramanti
deham — the material body; manaḥ-mātram — coming simply from the mind; imam — this; gṛhītvā — having accepted; mama — mine; aham — I; iti — thus; andha — blinded; dhiyaḥ — their intelligence; manuṣyāḥ — human beings; eṣaḥ — this; aham — I am; anyaḥ — someone else; ayam — this is; iti — thus; bhrameṇa — by the illusion; duranta-pāre — unsurpassable; tamasi — within the darkness; bhramanti — they wander.
Persons who identify with this body, which is simply the product of the material mind, are blinded in their intelligence, thinking in terms of “I” and “mine.” Because of their illusion of “this is I, but that is someone else,” they wander in endless darkness.
janas tu hetuḥ sukha-duḥkhayoś cet
kim ātmanaś cātra hi bhaumayos tat
jihvāṁ kvacit sandaśati sva-dadbhis
tad-vedanāyāṁ katamāya kupyet
janaḥ — these people; tu — but; hetuḥ — the cause; sukha-duḥkhayoḥ — of my happiness and distress; cet — if; kim — what; ātmanaḥ — for the self; ca — and; atra — in this conception; hi — indeed; bhaumayoḥ — they pertain to the material bodies; tat — that (status of being the performer and the sufferer); jihvām — the tongue; kvacit — sometimes; sandaśati — is bitten; sva — by one’s own; dadbhiḥ — teeth; tat — of that; vedanāyām — in the distress; katamāya — with whom; kupyet — can one get angry.
If you say that these people are the cause of my happiness and distress, then where is the place of the soul in such a conception? This happiness and distress pertain not to the soul but to the interactions of material bodies. If someone bites his tongue with his own teeth, at whom can he become angry in his suffering?
duḥkhasya hetur yadi devatās tu
kim ātmanas tatra vikārayos tat
yad aṅgam aṅgena nihanyate kvacit
krudhyeta kasmai puruṣaḥ sva-dehe
duḥkhasya — of suffering; hetuḥ — the cause; yadi — if; devatāḥ — the demigods (who rule over the different senses within the body); tu — but; kim — what; ātmanaḥ — for the soul; tatra — in that connection; vikārayoḥ — which pertain to the transformable (senses and their deities); tat — that (acting and being acted upon); yat — when; aṅgam — a limb; aṅgena — by another limb; nihanyate — is hurt; kvacit — ever; krudhyeta — should become angry; kasmai — at whom; puruṣaḥ — the living entity; sva-dehe — within his own body.
If you say that the demigods who rule the bodily senses cause suffering, still, how can such suffering apply to the spirit soul? This acting and being acted upon are merely interactions of the changeable senses and their presiding deities. When one limb of the body attacks another, with whom can the person in that body be angry?
ātmā yadi syāt sukha-duḥkha-hetuḥ
kim anyatas tatra nija-svabhāvaḥ
na hy ātmano ’nyad yadi tan mṛṣā syāt
krudhyeta kasmān na sukhaṁ na duḥkham
ātmā — the soul himself; yadi — if; syāt — should be; sukha-duḥkha — of happiness and distress; hetuḥ — the cause; kim — what; anyataḥ — other; tatra — in that theory; nija — his own; svabhāvaḥ — nature; na — not; hi — indeed; ātmanaḥ — than the soul; anyat — anything separate; yadi — if; tat — that; mṛṣā — false; syāt — would be; krudhyeta — one can become angry; kasmāt — at whom; na — there is no; sukham — happiness; na — nor; duḥkham — misery.
If the soul himself were the cause of happiness and distress, then we could not blame others, since happiness and distress would be simply the nature of the soul. According to this theory, nothing except the soul actually exists, and if we were to perceive something besides the soul, that would be illusion. Therefore, since happiness and distress do not actually exist in this concept, why become angry at oneself or others?
grahā nimittaṁ sukha-duḥkhayoś cet
kim ātmano ’jasya janasya te vai
grahair grahasyaiva vadanti pīḍāṁ
krudhyeta kasmai puruṣas tato ’nyaḥ
grahāḥ — the controlling planets; nimittam — the immediate cause; sukha-duḥkhayoḥ — of happiness and distress; cet — if; kim — what; ātmanaḥ — for the soul; ajasya — who is unborn; janasya — of that which is born; te — those planets; vai — indeed; grahaiḥ — by other planets; grahasya — of a planet; eva — only; vadanti — (expert astrologers) say; pīḍām — suffering; krudhyeta — should become angry; kasmai — at whom; puruṣaḥ — the living entity; tataḥ — from that material body; anyaḥ — distinct.
And if we examine the hypothesis that the planets are the immediate cause of suffering and happiness, then also where is the relationship with the soul, who is eternal? After all, the effect of the planets applies only to things that have taken birth. Expert astrologers have moreover explained how the planets are only causing pain to each other. Therefore, since the living entity is distinct from these planets and from the material body, against whom should he vent his anger?
karmāstu hetuḥ sukha-duḥkhayoś cet
kim ātmanas tad dhi jaḍājaḍatve
dehas tv acit puruṣo ’yaṁ suparṇaḥ
krudhyeta kasmai na hi karma mūlam
karma — one’s fruitive activities; astu — hypothetically granted; hetuḥ — the cause; sukha-duḥkhayoḥ — of happiness and distress; cet — if; kim — what; ātmanaḥ — for the soul; tat — that karma; hi — certainly; jaḍa-ajaḍatve — in being both material and not material; dehaḥ — the body; tu — on the one hand; acit — not living; puruṣaḥ — the person; ayam — this; su-parṇaḥ — endowed with living consciousness; krudhyeta — one should become angry; kasmai — at whom; na — are not; hi — certainly; karma — fruitive activities; mūlam — the root cause.
If we assume that fruitive work is the cause of happiness and distress, we still are not dealing with the soul. The idea of material work arises when there is a spiritual actor who is conscious and a material body that undergoes the transformation of happiness and distress as a reaction to such work. Since the body has no life, it cannot be the actual recipient of happiness and distress, nor can the soul, who is ultimately completely spiritual and aloof from the material body. Since karma thus has no ultimate basis in either the body or the soul, at whom can one become angry?
kālas tu hetuḥ sukha-duḥkhayoś cet
kim ātmanas tatra tad-ātmako ’sau
nāgner hi tāpo na himasya tat syāt
krudhyeta kasmai na parasya dvandvam
kālaḥ — time; tu — but; hetuḥ — the cause; sukha-duḥkhayoḥ — of happiness and distress; cet — if; kim — what; ātmanaḥ — for the soul; tatra — in that idea; tat-ātmakaḥ — based on time; asau — the soul; na — not; agneḥ — from fire; hi — indeed; tāpaḥ — burning; na — not; himasya — of snow; tat — that; syāt — becomes; krudhyeta — should become angry; kasmai — at whom; na — there is not; parasya — for the transcendental soul; dvandvam — duality.
If we accept time as the cause of happiness and distress, that experience still cannot apply to the spirit soul, since time is a manifestation of the Lord’s spiritual potency and the living entities are also expansions of the Lord’s spiritual potency manifesting through time. Certainly a fire does not burn its own flames or sparks, nor does the cold harm its own snowflakes or hail. In fact, the spirit soul is transcendental and beyond the experience of material happiness and distress. At whom, therefore, should one become angry?
na kenacit kvāpi kathañcanāsya
dvandvoparāgaḥ parataḥ parasya
yathāhamaḥ saṁsṛti-rūpiṇaḥ syād
evaṁ prabuddho na bibheti bhūtaiḥ
na — there is not; kenacit — by the agency of anyone; kva api — anywhere; kathañcana — by any means; asya — for him, the soul; dvandva — of the duality (of happiness and distress); uparāgaḥ — the influence; parataḥ parasya — who is transcendental to material nature; yathā — in the same way as; ahamaḥ — for the false ego; saṁsṛti — to material existence; rūpiṇaḥ — which give shape; syāt — arises; evam — thus; prabuddhaḥ — one whose intelligence is awakened; na bibheti — does not fear; bhūtaiḥ — on the basis of material creation.
The false ego gives shape to illusory material existence and thus experiences material happiness and distress. The spirit soul, however, is transcendental to material nature; he can never actually be affected by material happiness and distress in any place, under any circumstance or by the agency of any person. A person who understands this has nothing whatsoever to fear from the material creation.
etāṁ sa āsthāya parātma-niṣṭhām
adhyāsitāṁ pūrvatamair maharṣibhiḥ
ahaṁ tariṣyāmi duranta-pāraṁ
etām — this; saḥ — such; āsthāya — becoming completely fixed in; para-ātma-niṣṭhām — devotion to the Supreme Person, Kṛṣṇa; adhyāsitām — worshiped; pūrva-tamaiḥ — by previous; mahā-ṛṣibhiḥ — ācāryas; aham — I; tariṣyāmi — shall cross over; duranta-pāram — the insurmountable; tamaḥ — the ocean of nescience; mukunda-aṅghri — of the lotus feet of Mukunda; niṣevayā — by worship; eva — certainly.
I shall cross over the insurmountable ocean of nescience by being firmly fixed in the service of the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa. This was approved by the previous ācāryas, who were fixed in firm devotion to the Lord, Paramātmā, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
nirvidya naṣṭa-draviṇe gata-klamaḥ
pravrajya gāṁ paryaṭamāna ittham
nirākṛto ’sadbhir api sva-dharmād
akampito ’mūṁ munir āha gāthām
śrī-bhagavān uvāca — the Supreme Personality of Godhead said; nirvidya — becoming detached; naṣṭa-draviṇe — his wealth having been destroyed; gata-klamaḥ — free from moroseness; pravrajya — leaving home; gām — the earth; paryaṭamānaḥ — traveling; ittham — in this way; nirākṛtaḥ — insulted; asadbhiḥ — by rascals; api — even though; sva-dharmāt — from his prescribed duties; akampitaḥ — unswerved; amūm — this; muniḥ — the sage; āha — spoke; gāthām — song.
Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa said: Thus becoming detached upon the loss of his property, this sage gave up his moroseness. He left home, taking sannyāsa, and began to travel about the earth. Even when insulted by foolish rascals he remained unswerved from his duty and chanted this song.
saṁsāras tamasaḥ kṛtaḥ
sukha-duḥkha-pradaḥ — giver of happiness and distress; na — there is no; anyaḥ — other; puruṣasya — of the soul; ātma — of the mind; vibhramaḥ — bewilderment; mitra — friends; udāsīna — indifferent parties; ripavaḥ — and enemies; saṁsāraḥ — material life; tamasaḥ — out of ignorance; kṛtaḥ — created.
No other force besides his own mental confusion makes the soul experience happiness and distress. His perception of friends, neutral parties and enemies and the whole material life he builds around this perception are simply created out of ignorance.
tasmāt sarvātmanā tāta
nigṛhāṇa mano dhiyā
mayy āveśitayā yukta
tasmāt — therefore; sarva-ātmanā — in all respects; tāta — My dear Uddhava; nigṛhāṇa — bring under control; manaḥ — the mind; dhiyā — with intelligence; mayi — in Me; āveśitayā — which is absorbed; yuktaḥ — linked up; etāvān — thus; yoga-saṅgrahaḥ — the essence of spiritual practice.
My dear Uddhava, fixing your intelligence on Me, you should thus completely control the mind. This is the essence of the science of yoga.
ya etāṁ bhikṣuṇā gītāṁ
dhārayañ chrāvayañ chṛṇvan
yaḥ — whoever; etām — this; bhikṣuṇā — by the sannyāsī; gītām — sung; brahma — knowledge of the Absolute; niṣṭhām — based upon; samāhitaḥ — with full attention; dhārayan — meditating; śrāvayan — causing others to hear; śṛṇvan — himself hearing; dvandvaiḥ — by dualities; na — never; eva — indeed; abhibhūyate — will become overwhelmed.
Anyone who listens to or recites to others this song of the sannyāsī, which presents scientific knowledge of the Absolute, and who thus meditates upon it with full attention, will never again be overwhelmed by the dualities of material happiness and distress.