Śrīmad Bhāgavatam |Canto 5 Chapter 12
Conversation Between Mahārāja Rahūgaṇa and Jaḍa Bharata
namo namaḥ kāraṇa-vigrahāya
namo ’vadhūta dvija-bandhu-liṅga-
rahūgaṇaḥ uvāca — King Rahūgaṇa said; namaḥ — my respectful obeisances; namaḥ — obeisances; kāraṇa-vigrahāya — to one whose body emanates from the Supreme Person, the cause of all causes; svarūpa-tucchīkṛta-vigrahāya — who has completely removed all the contradictions of the scriptures by manifesting his true self; namaḥ — respectful obeisances; avadhūta — O master of all mystic power; dvija-bandhu-liṅga — by the characteristics of a person born in a brāhmaṇa family but not executing the duties of a brāhmaṇa; nigūḍha — covered; nitya-anubhavāya — to him whose eternal self-realization; tubhyam — to you.
King Rahūgaṇa said: O most exalted personality, you are not different from the Supreme Personality of Godhead. By the influence of your true self, all kinds of contradiction in the śāstras have been removed. In the dress of a friend of a brāhmaṇa, you are hiding your transcendental blissful position. I offer my respectful obeisances unto you.
jvarāmayārtasya yathāgadaṁ sat
nidāgha-dagdhasya yathā himāmbhaḥ
brahman vacas te ’mṛtam auṣadhaṁ me
jvara — of a fever; āmaya — by the disease; ārtasya — of a distressed person; yathā — just as; agadam — the medicine; sat — right; nidāgha-dagdhasya — of one scorched by the heat of the sun; yathā — just as; hima-ambhaḥ — very cold water; ku-deha — in this body made of matter and full of dirty things such as stool and urine; māna — of pride; ahi — by the serpent; vidaṣṭa — bitten; dṛṣṭeḥ — of one whose vision; brahman — O best of the brāhmaṇas; vacaḥ — words; te — your; amṛtam — nectar; auṣadham — medicine; me — for me.
O best of the brāhmaṇas, my body is filled with dirty things, and my vision has been bitten by the serpent of pride. Due to my material conceptions, I am diseased. Your nectarean instructions are the proper medicine for one suffering from such a fever, and they are cooling waters for one scorched by the heat.
tasmād bhavantaṁ mama saṁśayārthaṁ
prakṣyāmi paścād adhunā subodham
ākhyāhi kautūhala-cetaso me
tasmāt — therefore; bhavantam — to you; mama — of me; saṁśaya-artham — the subject matter that is not clear to me; prakṣyāmi — I shall submit; paścāt — afterwards; adhunā — now; su-bodham — so that it can be clearly understood; adhyātma-yoga — of mystic instruction for self-realization; grathitam — as composed; tava — your; uktam — speech; ākhyāhi — please explain again; kautūhala-cetasaḥ — whose mind is very inquisitive to understand the mystery of such statements; me — to me.
Whatever doubts I have about a particular subject matter I shall ask you about later. For the time being, these mysterious yoga instructions you have given me for self-realization appear very difficult to understand. Please repeat them in a simple way so that I can understand them. My mind is very inquisitive, and I want to understand this clearly.
yad āha yogeśvara dṛśyamānaṁ
na hy añjasā tattva-vimarśanāya
bhavān amuṣmin bhramate mano me
yat — that which; āha — have said; yoga-īśvara — O master of mystic power; dṛśyamānam — being clearly seen; kriyā-phalam — the results of moving the body here and there, such as feeling fatigue; sat — existing; vyavahāra-mūlam — whose basis is etiquette alone; na — not; hi — certainly; añjasā — on the whole, or in fact; tattva-vimarśanāya — for understanding the truth by consultation; bhavān — your good self; amuṣmin — in that explanation; bhramate — is bewildered; manaḥ — mind; me — my.
O master of yogic power, you said that fatigue resulting from moving the body here and there is appreciated by direct perception but actually there is no fatigue. It simply exists as a matter of formality. By such inquiries and answers, no one can come to the conclusion of the Absolute Truth. Because of your presentation of this statement, my mind is a little disturbed.
ayaṁ jano nāma calan pṛthivyāṁ
yaḥ pārthivaḥ pārthiva kasya hetoḥ
tasyāpi cāṅghryor adhi gulpha-jaṅghā-
aṁse ’dhi dārvī śibikā ca yasyāṁ
sauvīra-rājety apadeśa āste
yasmin bhavān rūḍha-nijābhimāno
rājāsmi sindhuṣv iti durmadāndhaḥ
brāhmaṇaḥ uvāca — the brāhmaṇa said; ayam — this; janaḥ — person; nāma — celebrated as such; calan — moving; pṛthivyām — on the earth; yaḥ — who; pārthivaḥ — a transformation of the earth; pārthiva — O King, who possesses a similar earthly body; kasya — for what; hetoḥ — reason; tasya api — of him also; ca — and; aṅghryoḥ — feet; adhi — above; gulpha — ankles; jaṅghā — calves; jānu — knees; uru — thighs; madhyora — waist; śiraḥ-dhara — neck; aṁsāḥ — shoulders; aṁse — shoulder; adhi — upon; dārvī — made of wood; śibikā — palanquin; ca — and; yasyām — on which; sauvīra-rājā — the King of Sauvīra; iti — thus; apadeśaḥ — known as; āste — there is; yasmin — in which; bhavān — Your Lordship; rūḍha — imposed upon; nija-abhimānaḥ — having a conception of false prestige; rājā asmi — I am the King; sindhuṣu — in the state of Sindhu; iti — thus; durmada-andhaḥ — captivated by false prestige.
The self-realized brāhmaṇa Jaḍa Bharata said: Among the various material combinations and permutations, there are various forms and earthly transformations. For some reason, these move on the surface of the earth and are called palanquin carriers. Those material transformations which do not move are gross material objects like stones. In any case, the material body is made of earth and stone in the form of feet, ankles, calves, knees, thighs, torso, throat and head. Upon the shoulders is the wooden palanquin, and within the palanquin is the so-called King of Sauvīra. The body of the King is simply another transformation of earth, but within that body Your Lordship is situated and falsely thinking that you are the King of the state of Sauvīra.
śocyān imāṁs tvam adhikaṣṭa-dīnān
viṣṭyā nigṛhṇan niranugraho ’si
janasya goptāsmi vikatthamāno
na śobhase vṛddha-sabhāsu dhṛṣṭaḥ
śocyān — lamentable; imān — all these; tvam — you; adhi-kaṣṭa-dīnān — poor persons suffering more pains because of their poverty-stricken position; viṣṭyā — by force; nigṛhṇan — seizing; niranugrahaḥ asi — you have no mercy in your heart; janasya — of the people in general; goptā asmi — I am the protector (king); vikatthamānaḥ — bragging; na śobhase — you do not look very good; vṛddha-sabhāsu — in the society of learned persons; dhṛṣṭaḥ — simply impudent.
It is a fact, however, that these innocent people carrying your palanquin without payment are certainly suffering due to this injustice. Their condition is very lamentable because you have forcibly engaged them in carrying your palanquin. This proves that you are cruel and unkind, yet due to false prestige you were thinking that you were protecting the citizens. This is ludicrous. You were such a fool that you could not have been adored as a great man in an assembly of persons advanced in knowledge.
yadā kṣitāv eva carācarasya
vidāma niṣṭhāṁ prabhavaṁ ca nityam
tan nāmato ’nyad vyavahāra-mūlaṁ
yadā — therefore; kṣitau — in the earth; eva — certainly; cara-acarasya — of different bodies, some moving and some not moving; vidāma — we know; niṣṭhām — annihilation; prabhavam — appearance; ca — and; nityam — regularly by the principles of nature; tat — that; nāmataḥ — than simply by name; anyat — other; vyavahāra-mūlam — cause of material activities; nirūpyatām — let it be ascertained; sat-kriyayā — by actual employment; anumeyam — to be inferred.
All of us on the surface of the globe are living entities in different forms. Some of us are moving and some not moving. All of us come into existence, remain for some time and are annihilated when the body is again mingled with the earth. We are all simply different transformations of the earth. Different bodies and capacities are simply transformations of the earth that exist in name only, for everything grows out of the earth and when everything is annihilated it again mingles with the earth. In other words, we are but dust, and we shall but be dust. Everyone can consider this point.
evaṁ niruktaṁ kṣiti-śabda-vṛttam
asan nidhānāt paramāṇavo ye
avidyayā manasā kalpitās te
yeṣāṁ samūhena kṛto viśeṣaḥ
evam — thus; niruktam — falsely described; kṣiti-śabda — of the word “earth”; vṛttam — the existence; asat — not real; nidhānāt — from the dissolution; parama-aṇavaḥ — atomic particles; ye — all of which; avidyayā — because of less intelligence; manasā — in the mind; kalpitāḥ — imagined; te — they; yeṣām — of which; samūhena — by the aggregate; kṛtaḥ — made; viśeṣaḥ — the particulars.
One may say that varieties arise from the planet earth itself. However, although the universe may temporarily appear to be the truth, it ultimately has no real existence. The earth was originally created by a combination of atomic particles, but these particles are impermanent. Actually the atom is not the cause of the universe, although some philosophers think so. It is not a fact that the varieties found in this material world simply result from atomic juxtaposition or combination.
evaṁ kṛśaṁ sthūlam aṇur bṛhad yad
asac ca saj jīvam ajīvam anyat
nāmnājayāvehi kṛtaṁ dvitīyam
evam — thus; kṛśam — skinny or short; sthūlam — fat; aṇuḥ — tiny; bṛhat — big; yat — which; asat — impermanent; ca — and; sat — existing; jīvam — the living entities; ajīvam — inanimate, lifeless matter; anyat — other causes; dravya — phenomena; sva-bhāva — nature; āśaya — disposition; kāla — time; karma — activities; nāmnā — only by such names; ajayā — by material nature; avehi — you should understand; kṛtam — done; dvitīyam — duality.
Since this universe has no real ultimate existence, the things within it — shortness, differences, grossness, skinniness, smallness, bigness, result, cause, living symptoms, and materials — are all imagined. They are all pots made of the same substance, earth, but they are named differently. The differences are characterized by the substance, nature, predisposition, time and activity. You should know that all these are simply mechanical manifestations created by material nature.
jñānaṁ viśuddhaṁ paramārtham ekam
anantaraṁ tv abahir brahma satyam
pratyak praśāntaṁ bhagavac-chabda-saṁjñaṁ
yad vāsudevaṁ kavayo vadanti
jñānam — the supreme knowledge; viśuddham — without contamination; parama-artham — giving the ultimate goal of life; ekam — unified; anantaram — without interior, unbroken; tu — also; abahiḥ — without exterior; brahma — the Supreme; satyam — Absolute Truth; pratyak — inner; praśāntam — the calm and peaceful Supreme Lord, worshiped by the yogīs; bhagavat-śabda-saṁjñam — known in the higher sense as Bhagavān, or full of all opulences; yat — that; vāsudevam — Lord Kṛṣṇa, the son of Vasudeva; kavayaḥ — the learned scholars; vadanti — say.
What, then, is the ultimate truth? The answer is that nondual knowledge is the ultimate truth. It is devoid of the contamination of material qualities. It gives us liberation. It is the one without a second, all-pervading and beyond imagination. The first realization of that knowledge is Brahman. Then Paramātmā, the Supersoul, is realized by the yogīs who try to see Him without grievance. This is the second stage of realization. Finally, full realization of the same supreme knowledge is realized in the Supreme Person. All learned scholars describe the Supreme Person as Vāsudeva, the cause of Brahman, Paramātmā and others.
rahūgaṇaitat tapasā na yāti
na cejyayā nirvapaṇād gṛhād vā
na cchandasā naiva jalāgni-sūryair
rahūgaṇa — O King Rahūgaṇa; etat — this knowledge; tapasā — by severe austerities and penances; na yāti — does not become revealed; na — not; ca — also; ijyayā — by a great arrangement for worshiping the Deity; nirvapaṇāt — or from finishing all material duties and accepting sannyāsa; gṛhāt — from ideal householder life; vā — or; na — nor; chandasā — by observing celibacy or studying Vedic literature; na eva — nor; jala-agni-sūryaiḥ — by severe austerities such as keeping oneself in water, in a burning fire or in the scorching sun; vinā — without; mahat — of the great devotees; pāda-rajaḥ — the dust of the lotus feet; abhiṣekam — smearing all over the body.
My dear King Rahūgaṇa, unless one has the opportunity to smear his entire body with the dust of the lotus feet of great devotees, one cannot realize the Absolute Truth. One cannot realize the Absolute Truth simply by observing celibacy [brahmacarya], strictly following the rules and regulations of householder life, leaving home as a vānaprastha, accepting sannyāsa, or undergoing severe penances in winter by keeping oneself submerged in water or surrounding oneself in summer by fire and the scorching heat of the sun. There are many other processes to understand the Absolute Truth, but the Absolute Truth is only revealed to one who has attained the mercy of a great devotee.
niṣevyamāṇo ’nudinaṁ mumukṣor
matiṁ satīṁ yacchati vāsudeve
yatra — in which place (in the presence of exalted devotees); uttama-śloka-guṇa-anuvādaḥ — discussion of the pastimes and glories of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; prastūyate — is presented; grāmya-kathā-vighātaḥ — due to which there is no chance of talking of worldly matters; niṣevyamāṇaḥ — being heard very seriously; anudinam — day after day; mumukṣoḥ — of persons who are very serious about getting out of material entanglement; matim — meditation; satīm — pure and simple; yacchati — is turned; vāsudeve — unto the lotus feet of Lord Vāsudeva.
Who are the pure devotees mentioned here? In an assembly of pure devotees, there is no question of discussing material subjects like politics and sociology. In an assembly of pure devotees, there is discussion only of the qualities, forms and pastimes of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He is praised and worshiped with full attention. In the association of pure devotees, by constantly hearing such topics respectfully, even a person who wants to merge into the existence of the Absolute Truth abandons this idea and gradually becomes attached to the service of Vāsudeva.
ahaṁ purā bharato nāma rājā
ārādhanaṁ bhagavata īhamāno
mṛgo ’bhavaṁ mṛga-saṅgād dhatārthaḥ
aham — I; purā — formerly (in my previous birth); bharataḥ nāma rājā — a King named Mahārāja Bharata; vimukta — liberated from; dṛṣṭa-śruta — by experiencing personally through direct association or by getting knowledge from the Vedas; saṅga-bandhaḥ — bondage by association; ārādhanam — the worship; bhagavataḥ — of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vāsudeva; īhamānaḥ — always performing; mṛgaḥ abhavam — I became a deer; mṛga-saṅgāt — because of my intimate association with a deer; hata-arthaḥ — having neglected the regulative principles in the discharge of devotional service.
In a previous birth I was known as Mahārāja Bharata. I attained perfection by becoming completely detached from material activities through direct experience, and through indirect experience I received understanding from the Vedas. I was fully engaged in the service of the Lord, but due to my misfortune, I became very affectionate to a small deer, so much so that I neglected my spiritual duties. Due to my deep affection for the deer, in my next life I had to accept the body of a deer.
sā māṁ smṛtir mṛga-dehe ’pi vīra
kṛṣṇārcana-prabhavā no jahāti
atho ahaṁ jana-saṅgād asaṅgo
viśaṅkamāno ’vivṛtaś carāmi
sā — that; mām — me; smṛtiḥ — remembrance of the activities of my previous life; mṛga-dehe — in the body of a deer; api — although; vīra — O great hero; kṛṣṇa-arcana-prabhavā — which appeared because of the influence of sincere service to Kṛṣṇa; no jahāti — did not leave; atho — therefore; aham — I; jana-saṅgāt — from the association of ordinary men; asaṅgaḥ — completely detached; viśaṅkamānaḥ — being afraid; avivṛtaḥ — unobserved by others; carāmi — I go here and there.
My dear heroic King, due to my past sincere service to the Lord, I could remember everything of my past life even while in the body of a deer. Because I am aware of the falldown in my past life, I always keep myself separate from the association of ordinary men. Being afraid of their bad, materialistic association, I wander alone unnoticed by others.
tasmān naro ’saṅga-susaṅga-jāta-
labdha-smṛtir yāty atipāram adhvanaḥ
tasmāt — for this reason; naraḥ — every person; asaṅga — by detachment from the association of worldly people; su-saṅga — by the association of devotees; jāta — produced; jñāna-asinā — by the sword of knowledge; iha — in this material world; eva — even; vivṛkṇa-mohaḥ — whose illusion is completely cut to pieces; harim — the Supreme Personality of Godhead; tad-īhā — of His activities; kathana-śrutābhyām — by the two processes of hearing and chanting; labdha-smṛtiḥ — the lost consciousness is regained; yāti — achieves; atipāram — the ultimate end; adhvanaḥ — of the path back home, back to Godhead.
Simply by associating with exalted devotees, anyone can attain perfection of knowledge and with the sword of knowledge can cut to pieces the illusory associations within this material world. Through the association of devotees, one can engage in the service of the Lord by hearing and chanting [śravaṇaṁ kīrtanam]. Thus one can revive his dormant Kṛṣṇa consciousness and, sticking to the cultivation of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, return home, back to Godhead, even in this life.