Śrīmad Bhāgavatam|Canto 12 Chapter 5
Śukadeva Gosvāmī’s Final Instructions to Mahārāja Parīkṣit
viśvātmā bhagavān hariḥ
yasya prasāda-jo brahmā
śrī-śukaḥ uvāca — Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī said; atra — in this Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam; anuvarṇyate — is elaborately described; abhīkṣṇam — repeatedly; viśva-ātmā — the soul of the entire universe; bhagavān — the Supreme Personality of Godhead; hariḥ — Lord Hari; yasya — of whom; prasāda — from the satisfaction; jaḥ — born; brahmā — Lord Brahmā; rudraḥ — Lord Śiva; krodha — from the anger; samudbhavaḥ — whose birth.
Śukadeva Gosvāmī said: This Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam has elaborately described in various narrations the Supreme Soul of all that be — the Personality of Godhead, Hari — from whose satisfaction Brahmā is born and from whose anger Rudra takes birth.
tvaṁ tu rājan mariṣyeti
paśu-buddhim imāṁ jahi
na jātaḥ prāg abhūto ’dya
deha-vat tvaṁ na naṅkṣyasi
tvam — you; tu — but; rājan — O King; mariṣye — I am about to die; iti — thus thinking; paśu-buddhim — animalistic mentality; imām — this; jahi — give up; na — not; jātaḥ — born; prāk — previously; abhūtaḥ — nonexistent; adya — today; deha-vat — like the body; tvam — you; na naṅkṣyasi — will not be destroyed.
O King, give up the animalistic mentality of thinking, “I am going to die.” Unlike the body, you have not taken birth. There was not a time in the past when you did not exist, and you are not about to be destroyed.
na bhaviṣyasi bhūtvā tvaṁ
na bhaviṣyasi — you will not come into being; bhūtvā — becoming; tvam — you; putra — of children; pautra — grandchildren; ādi — and so on; rūpa-vān — assuming the forms; bīja — the seed; aṅkura — and the sprout; vat — like; deha-ādeḥ — from the material body and its paraphernalia; vyatiriktaḥ — distinct; yathā — as; analaḥ — the fire (from the wood).
You will not take birth again in the form of your sons and grandsons, like a sprout taking birth from a seed and then generating a new seed. Rather, you are entirely distinct from the material body and its paraphernalia, in the same way that fire is distinct from its fuel.
svapne yathā śiraś-chedaṁ
pañcatvādy ātmanaḥ svayam
yasmāt paśyati dehasya
tata ātmā hy ajo ’maraḥ
svapne — in a dream; yathā — as; śiraḥ — of one’s head; chedam — the cutting off; pañcatva-ādi — the condition of being composed of the five material elements, and other material conditions; ātmanaḥ — one’s own; svayam — oneself; yasmāt — because; paśyati — one sees; dehasya — of the body; tataḥ — therefore; ātmā — the soul; hi — certainly; ajaḥ — unborn; amaraḥ — immortal.
In a dream one can see his own head being cut off and thus understand that his actual self is standing apart from the dream experience. Similarly, while awake one can see that his body is a product of the five material elements. Therefore it is to be understood that the actual self, the soul, is distinct from the body it observes and is unborn and immortal.
ghaṭe bhinne ghaṭākāśa
ākāśaḥ syād yathā purā
evaṁ dehe mṛte jīvo
brahma sampadyate punaḥ
ghaṭe — a pot; bhinne — when it is broken; ghaṭa-ākāśaḥ — the sky within the pot; ākāśaḥ — sky; syāt — remains; yathā — as; purā — previously; evam — similarly; dehe — the body; mṛte — when it is given up, in the liberated condition; jīvaḥ — the individual soul; brahma — his spiritual status; sampadyate — attains; punaḥ — once again.
When a pot is broken, the portion of sky within the pot remains as the element sky, just as before. In the same way, when the gross and subtle bodies die, the living entity within resumes his spiritual identity.
manaḥ sṛjati vai dehān
guṇān karmāṇi cātmanaḥ
tan manaḥ sṛjate māyā
tato jīvasya saṁsṛtiḥ
manaḥ — the mind; sṛjati — produces; vai — indeed; dehān — the material bodies; guṇān — the qualities; karmāṇi — the activities; ca — and; ātmanaḥ — of the soul; tat — that; manaḥ — mind; sṛjate — produces; māyā — the illusory potency of the Supreme Lord; tataḥ — thus; jīvasya — of the individual living being; saṁsṛtiḥ — the material existence.
The material bodies, qualities and activities of the spirit soul are created by the material mind. That mind is itself created by the illusory potency of the Supreme Lord, and thus the soul assumes material existence.
saṁyogo yāvad īyate
tāvad dīpasya dīpatvam
evaṁ deha-kṛto bhavaḥ
jāyate ’tha vinaśyati
sneha — of the oil; adhiṣṭhāna — the vessel; varti — the wick; agni — and the fire; saṁyogaḥ — the combination; yāvat — to which extent; īyate — is seen; tāvat — to that extent; dīpasya — of the lamp; dīpatvam — the status of functioning as a lamp; evam — similarly; deha-kṛtaḥ — due to the material body; bhavaḥ — material existence; rajaḥ-sattva-tamaḥ — of the modes of passion, goodness and ignorance; vṛttyā — by the action; jāyate — arises; atha — and; vinaśyati — is destroyed.
A lamp functions as such only by the combination of its fuel, vessel, wick and fire. Similarly, material life, based on the soul’s identification with the body, is developed and destroyed by the workings of material goodness, passion and ignorance, which are the constituent elements of the body.
na tatrātmā svayaṁ-jyotir
yo vyaktāvyaktayoḥ paraḥ
ākāśa iva cādhāro
dhruvo ’nantopamas tataḥ
na — not; tatra — there; ātmā — the soul; svayam-jyotiḥ — self-luminous; yaḥ — who; vyakta-avyaktayoḥ — from the manifest and the unmanifest (the gross and subtle bodies); paraḥ — different; ākāśaḥ — the sky; iva — as; ca — and; ādhāraḥ — the basis; dhruvaḥ — fixed; ananta — without end; upamaḥ — or comparison; tataḥ — thus.
The soul within the body is self-luminous and is separate from the visible gross body and invisible subtle body. It remains as the fixed basis of changing bodily existence, just as the ethereal sky is the unchanging background of material transformation. Therefore the soul is endless and without material comparison.
evam ātmānam ātma-stham
evam — in this way; ātmānam — your true self; ātma-stham — situated within the bodily covering; ātmanā — with your mind; eva — indeed; āmṛśa — consider carefully; prabho — O master of the self (King Parīkṣit); buddhyā — with intelligence; anumāna-garbhiṇyā — conceived by logic; vāsudeva-anucintayā — with meditation upon Lord Vāsudeva.
My dear King, by constantly meditating upon the Supreme Lord, Vāsudeva, and by applying clear and logical intelligence, you should carefully consider your true self and how it is situated within the material body.
na tvāṁ dhakṣyati takṣakaḥ
mṛtyūnāṁ mṛtyum īśvaram
coditaḥ — sent; vipra-vākyena — by the words of the brāhmaṇa; na — not; tvām — you; dhakṣyati — will burn; takṣakaḥ — the snake-bird Takṣaka; mṛtyavaḥ — the agents of death personified; na upadhakṣyanti — cannot burn; mṛtyūnām — of these causes of death; mṛtyum — the very death; īśvaram — the master of the self.
The snake-bird Takṣaka, sent by the curse of the brāhmaṇa, will not burn your true self. The agents of death will never burn such a master of the self as you, for you have already conquered all dangers on your path back to Godhead.
ahaṁ brahma paraṁ dhāma
brahmāhaṁ paramaṁ padam
evaṁ samīkṣya cātmānam
ātmany ādhāya niṣkale
daśantaṁ takṣakaṁ pāde
na drakṣyasi śarīraṁ ca
viśvaṁ ca pṛthag ātmanaḥ
aham — I; brahma — the Absolute Truth; param — supreme; dhāma — the abode; brahma — the Absolute Truth; aham — I; paramam — the supreme; padam — destination; evam — thus; samīkṣya — considering; ca — and; ātmānam — yourself; ātmani — in the Supreme Self; ādhāya — placing; niṣkale — which is free from material designation; daśantam — biting; takṣakam — Takṣaka; pāde — upon your foot; lelihānam — the snake, licking his lips; viṣa-ānanaiḥ — with his mouth full of poison; na drakṣyasi — you will not even notice; śarīram — your body; ca — and; viśvam — the entire material world; ca — and; pṛthak — separate; ātmanaḥ — from the self.
You should consider, “I am nondifferent from the Absolute Truth, the supreme abode, and that Absolute Truth, the supreme destination, is nondifferent from me.” Thus resigning yourself to the Supreme Soul, who is free from all material misidentifications, you will not even notice the snake-bird Takṣaka when he approaches with his poison-filled fangs and bites your foot. Nor will you see your dying body or the material world around you, because you will have realized yourself to be separate from them.
etat te kathitaṁ tāta
yad ātmā pṛṣṭavān nṛpa
harer viśvātmanaś ceṣṭāṁ
kiṁ bhūyaḥ śrotum icchasi
etat — this; te — to you; kathitam — narrated; tāta — my dear Parīkṣit; yat — which; ātmā — you; pṛṣṭavān — inquired; nṛpa — O King; hareḥ — of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; viśva-ātmanaḥ — of the Soul of the universe; ceṣṭām — the pastimes; kim — what; bhūyaḥ — further; śrotum — to hear; icchasi — do you wish.
Beloved King Parīkṣit, I have narrated to you the topics you originally inquired about — the pastimes of Lord Hari, the Supreme Soul of the universe. Now, what more do you wish to hear?