Śrīmad Bhāgavatam |Canto 7 Chapter 14
Ideal Family Life
gṛhastha etāṁ padavīṁ
vidhinā yena cāñjasā
yāyād deva-ṛṣe brūhi
śrī-yudhiṣṭhiraḥ uvāca — Yudhiṣṭhira Mahārāja said; gṛhasthaḥ — a person living with his family; etām — this (the process mentioned in the previous chapter); padavīm — position of liberation; vidhinā — according to the instructions of Vedic scripture; yena — by which; ca — also; añjasā — easily; yāyāt — may get; deva-ṛṣe — O great sage among the demigods; brūhi — kindly explain; mādṛśaḥ — such as me; gṛha-mūḍha-dhīḥ — completely ignorant of the goal of life.
Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira inquired from Nārada Muni: O my lord, O great sage, kindly explain how we who are staying at home without knowledge of the goal of life may also easily attain liberation, according to the instructions of the Vedas.
gṛheṣv avasthito rājan
kriyāḥ kurvan yathocitāḥ
śrī-nāradaḥ uvāca — Śrī Nārada Muni replied; gṛheṣu — at home; avasthitaḥ — staying (a householder generally stays home with his wife and children); rājan — O King; kriyāḥ — activities; kurvan — performing; yathocitāḥ — suitable (as instructed by the guru and śāstra); vāsudeva — unto Lord Vāsudeva; arpaṇam — dedicating; sākṣāt — directly; upāsīta — should worship; mahā-munīn — the great devotees.
Nārada Muni replied: My dear King, those who stay at home as householders must act to earn their livelihood, and instead of trying to enjoy the results of their work themselves, they should offer these results to Kṛṣṇa, Vāsudeva. How to satisfy Vāsudeva in this life can be perfectly understood through the association of great devotees of the Lord.
śṛṇvan bhagavato ’bhīkṣṇam
sat-saṅgāc chanakaiḥ saṅgam
svayaṁ svapnavad utthitaḥ
śṛṇvan — hearing; bhagavataḥ — of the Lord; abhīkṣṇam — always; avatāra — of the incarnations; kathā — narrations; amṛtam — the nectar; śraddadhānaḥ — being very faithful in hearing about the Supreme Personality of Godhead; yathā-kālam — according to time (generally a gṛhastha can find time in the evening or in the afternoon); upaśānta — completely relieved of material activities; jana — by persons; āvṛtaḥ — being surrounded; sat-saṅgāt — from such good association; śanakaiḥ — gradually; saṅgam — association; ātma — in the body; jāyā — wife; ātma-ja-ādiṣu — as well as in children; vimuñcet — one should get free from the attachment for such association; mucyamāneṣu — being severed (from him); svayam — personally; svapna-vat — like a dream; utthitaḥ — awakened.
A gṛhastha must associate again and again with saintly persons, and with great respect he must hear the nectar of the activities of the Supreme Lord and His incarnations as these activities are described in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam and other Purāṇas. Thus one should gradually become detached from affection for his wife and children, exactly like a man awakening from a dream.
dehe gehe ca paṇḍitaḥ
virakto raktavat tatra
nṛ-loke naratāṁ nyaset
yāvat-artham — as much endeavor for one’s livelihood as necessary; upāsīnaḥ — earning; dehe — in the body; gehe — in family matters; ca — also; paṇḍitaḥ — one who is learned; viraktaḥ — not at all attached; rakta-vat — as if very much attached; tatra — in this; nṛ-loke — human society; naratām — the human form of life; nyaset — one should depict.
While working to earn his livelihood as much as necessary to maintain body and soul together, one who is actually learned should live in human society unattached to family affairs, although externally appearing very much attached.
jñātayaḥ pitarau putrā
bhrātaraḥ suhṛdo ’pare
yad vadanti yad icchanti
jñātayaḥ — relatives, family members; pitarau — the father and mother; putrāḥ — children; bhrātaraḥ — brothers; suhṛdaḥ — friends; apare — and others; yat — whatever; vadanti — they suggest (in regard to one’s means of livelihood); yat — whatever; icchanti — they wish; ca — and; anumodeta — he should agree; nirmamaḥ — but without taking them seriously.
An intelligent man in human society should make his own program of activities very simple. If there are suggestions from his friends, children, parents, brothers or anyone else, he should externally agree, saying, “Yes, that is all right,” but internally he should be determined not to create a cumbersome life in which the purpose of life will not be fulfilled.
divyaṁ bhaumaṁ cāntarīkṣaṁ
tat sarvam upayuñjāna
etat kuryāt svato budhaḥ
divyam — easily obtained because of rainfall from the sky; bhaumam — obtained from the mines and the sea; ca — and; āntarīkṣam — obtained by chance; vittam — all property; acyuta-nirmitam — created by the Supreme Personality of Godhead; tat — those things; sarvam — all; upayuñjāna — utilizing (for all human society or all living beings); etat — this (maintaining body and soul together); kuryāt — one must do; svataḥ — obtained of itself, without extra endeavor; budhaḥ — the intelligent person.
The natural products created by the Supreme Personality of Godhead should be utilized to maintain the bodies and souls of all living entities. The necessities of life are of three types: those produced from the sky [from rainfall], from the earth [from the mines, the seas or the fields], and from the atmosphere [that which is obtained suddenly and unexpectedly].
yāvad bhriyeta jaṭharaṁ
tāvat svatvaṁ hi dehinām
adhikaṁ yo ’bhimanyeta
sa steno daṇḍam arhati
yāvat — as much as; bhriyeta — may be filled; jaṭharam — the stomach; tāvat — that much; svatvam — proprietorship; hi — indeed; dehinām — of the living entities; adhikam — more than that; yaḥ — anyone who; abhimanyeta — may accept; saḥ — he; stenaḥ — a thief; daṇḍam — punishment; arhati — deserves.
One may claim proprietorship to as much wealth as required to maintain body and soul together, but one who desires proprietorship over more than that must be considered a thief, and he deserves to be punished by the laws of nature.
ātmanaḥ putravat paśyet
tair eṣām antaraṁ kiyat
mṛga — deer; uṣṭra — camels; khara — asses; marka — monkeys; ākhu — mice; sarīsṛp — snakes; khaga — birds; makṣikāḥ — flies; ātmanaḥ — of one’s self; putra-vat — like the sons; paśyet — one should see; taiḥ — with those sons; eṣām — of these animals; antaram — difference; kiyat — how little.
One should treat animals such as deer, camels, asses, monkeys, mice, snakes, birds and flies exactly like one’s own son. How little difference there actually is between children and these innocent animals.
bhajeta gṛha-medhy api
tri-vargam — three principles, namely religiosity, economic development and sense gratification; na — not; ati-kṛcchreṇa — by very severe endeavor; bhajeta — should execute; gṛha-medhī — a person interested only in family life; api — although; yathā-deśam — according to the place; yathā-kālam — according to the time; yāvat — as much as; daiva — by the grace of the Lord; upapāditam — obtained.
Even if one is a householder rather than a brahmacārī, a sannyāsī or a vānaprastha, one should not endeavor very hard for religiosity, economic development or satisfaction of the senses. Even in householder life, one should be satisfied to maintain body and soul together with whatever is available with minimum endeavor, according to place and time, by the grace of the Lord. One should not engage oneself in ugra-karma.
kāmān saṁvibhajed yathā
apy ekām ātmano dārāṁ
nṛṇāṁ svatva-graho yataḥ
ā — even up to; śva — the dog; agha — sinful animals or living entities; ante avasāyibhyaḥ — unto the caṇḍālas, the lowest of men (dog-eaters and hog-eaters); kāmān — the necessities of life; saṁvibhajet — should divide; yathā — as much as (deserved); api — even; ekām — one; ātmanaḥ — own; dārām — the wife; nṛṇām — of the people in general; svatva-grahaḥ — the wife is accepted as being identical with one’s self; yataḥ — because of which.
Dogs, fallen persons and untouchables, including caṇḍālas [dog-eaters], should all be maintained with their proper necessities, which should be contributed by the householders. Even one’s wife at home, with whom one is most intimately attached, should be offered for the reception of guests and people in general.
jahyād yad-arthe svān prāṇān
hanyād vā pitaraṁ gurum
tasyāṁ svatvaṁ striyāṁ jahyād
yas tena hy ajito jitaḥ
jahyāt — one may give up; yat-arthe — for whom; svān — one’s own; prāṇān — life; hanyāt — one may kill; vā — or; pitaram — the father; gurum — the teacher or spiritual master; tasyām — unto her; svatvam — ownership; striyām — unto the wife; jahyāt — one must give up; yaḥ — one who (the Supreme Personality of Godhead); tena — by him; hi — indeed; ajitaḥ — cannot be conquered; jitaḥ — conquered.
One so seriously considers one’s wife to be his own that he sometimes kills himself for her or kills others, including even his parents or his spiritual master or teacher. Therefore if one can give up his attachment to such a wife, he conquers the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is never conquered by anyone.
kvedaṁ tucchaṁ kalevaram
kva tadīya-ratir bhāryā
kvāyam ātmā nabhaś-chadiḥ
kṛmi — insects, germs; viṭ — stool; bhasma — ashes; niṣṭha — attachment; antam — at the end; kva — what is; idam — this (body); tuccham — very insignificant; kalevaram — material tabernacle; kva — what is that; tadīya-ratiḥ — attraction for that body; bhāryā — wife; kva ayam — what is the value of this body; ātmā — the Supreme Soul; nabhaḥ-chadiḥ — all-pervading like the sky.
Through proper deliberation, one should give up attraction to his wife’s body because that body will ultimately be transformed into small insects, stool or ashes. What is the value of this insignificant body? How much greater is the Supreme Being, who is all-pervading like the sky?
kalpayed vṛttim ātmanaḥ
śeṣe svatvaṁ tyajan prājñaḥ
padavīṁ mahatām iyāt
siddhaiḥ — things obtained by the grace of the Lord; yajñā-avaśiṣṭa-arthaiḥ — things obtained after a sacrifice is offered to the Lord or after the recommended pañca-sūnā yajña is performed; kalpayet — one should consider; vṛttim — the means of livelihood; ātmanaḥ — for the self; śeṣe — at the end; svatvam — so-called proprietorship over one’s wife, children, home, business and so on; tyajan — giving up; prājñaḥ — those who are wise; padavīm — the position; mahatām — of the great personalities who are fully satisfied in spiritual consciousness; iyāt — should achieve.
An intelligent person should be satisfied with eating prasāda [food offered to the Lord] or with performing the five different kinds of yajña [pañca-sūnā]. By such activities, one can give up attachment for the body and so-called proprietorship with reference to the body. When one is able to do this, he is firmly fixed in the position of a mahātmā.
devān ṛṣīn nṛ-bhūtāni
pitṝn ātmānam anvaham
yajeta puruṣaṁ pṛthak
devān — unto the demigods; ṛṣīn — unto the great sages; nṛ — unto human society; bhūtāni — unto the living entities in general; pitṝn — unto the forefathers; ātmānam — one’s self or the Supreme Self; anvaham — daily; sva-vṛttyā — by one’s means of livelihood; āgata-vittena — money that automatically comes; yajeta — one should worship; puruṣam — the person situated in everyone’s heart; pṛthak — separately.
Every day, one should worship the Supreme Being who is situated in everyone’s heart, and on this basis one should separately worship the demigods, the saintly persons, ordinary human beings and living entities, one’s forefathers and one’s self. In this way one is able to worship the Supreme Being in the core of everyone’s heart.
yarhy ātmano ’dhikārādyāḥ
sarvāḥ syur yajña-sampadaḥ
yarhi — when; ātmanaḥ — of one’s self; adhikāra-ādyāḥ — things possessed by him under full control; sarvāḥ — everything; syuḥ — becomes; yajña-sampadaḥ — paraphernalia for performing yajña, or the means for pleasing the Supreme Personality of Godhead; vaitānikena — with authorized books that direct the performance of yajña; vidhinā — according to regulative principles; agni-hotra-ādinā — by offering sacrifices to the fire, etc; yajet — one should worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
When one is enriched with wealth and knowledge which are under his full control and by means of which he can perform yajña or please the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one must perform sacrifices, offering oblations to the fire according to the directions of the śāstras. In this way one should worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
na hy agni-mukhato ’yaṁ vai
ijyeta haviṣā rājan
yathā vipra-mukhe hutaiḥ
na — not; hi — indeed; agni — fire; mukhataḥ — from the mouth or the flames; ayam — this; vai — certainly; bhagavān — Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa; sarva-yajña-bhuk — the enjoyer of the results of all kinds of sacrifices; ijyeta — is worshiped; haviṣā — by offering of clarified butter; rājan — O King; yathā — as much as; vipra-mukhe — through the mouth of a brāhmaṇa; hutaiḥ — by offering him first-class food.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, is the enjoyer of sacrificial offerings. Yet although His Lordship eats the oblations offered in the fire, my dear King, He is still more satisfied when nice food made of grains and ghee is offered to Him through the mouths of qualified brāhmaṇas.
tais taiḥ kāmair yajasvainaṁ
kṣetra-jñaṁ brāhmaṇān anu
tasmāt — therefore; brāhmaṇa-deveṣu — through the brāhmaṇas and the demigods; martya-ādiṣu — through ordinary human beings and other living entities; yathā-arhataḥ — according to your ability; taiḥ taiḥ — with all those; kāmaiḥ — various objects of enjoyment such as sumptuous food, flower garlands, sandalwood paste, etc; yajasva — you should worship; enam — this; kṣetra-jñam — Supreme Lord situated in the hearts of all beings; brāhmaṇān — the brāhmaṇas; anu — after.
Therefore, my dear King, first offer prasāda unto the brāhmaṇas and the demigods, and after sumptuously feeding them you may distribute prasāda to other living entities according to your ability. In this way you will be able to worship all living entities — or, in other words, the supreme living entity within every living entity.
māsi prauṣṭha-pade dvijaḥ
śrāddhaṁ pitror yathā-vittaṁ
tad-bandhūnāṁ ca vittavān
kuryāt — one should perform; apara-pakṣīyam — during the fortnight of the dark moon; māsi — in the month of Āśvina (October-November); prauṣṭha-pade — in the month of Bhādra (August-September); dvijaḥ — twice-born; śrāddham — oblations; pitroḥ — unto the forefathers; yathā-vittam — according to one’s means of income; tat-bandhūnām ca — as well as relatives of forefathers; vitta-vān — one who is sufficiently rich.
A brāhmaṇa who is sufficiently rich must offer oblations to the forefathers during the dark-moon fortnight in the latter part of the month of Bhādra. Similarly, he should offer oblations to the relatives of the forefathers during the mahālayā ceremonies in the month of Āśvina.*
ayane viṣuve kuryād
dvādaśyāṁ śravaṇeṣu ca
navamyām atha kārtike
catasṛṣv apy aṣṭakāsu
hemante śiśire tathā
māghe ca sita-saptamyāṁ
rākayā cānumatyā ca
māsarkṣāṇi yutāny api
dvādaśyām anurādhā syāc
chravaṇas tisra uttarāḥ
tisṛṣv ekādaśī vāsu
ayane — on the day when the sun begins to move north, or Makara-saṅkrānti, and on the day when the sun begins to move south, or Karkaṭa-saṅkrānti; viṣuve — on the Meṣa-saṅkrānti and on the Tulā-saṅkrānti; kuryāt — one should perform; vyatīpāte — in the yoga named Vyatīpāta; dina-kṣaye — on that day in which three tithis are combined; candra-āditya-uparāge — at the time of the eclipse of either the moon or the sun; ca — and also; dvādaśyām śravaṇeṣu — on the twelfth lunar day and in the nakṣatra named Śravaṇa; ca — and; tṛtīyāyām — on the Akṣaya-tṛtīyā day; śukla-pakṣe — in the bright fortnight of the month; navamyām — on the ninth lunar day; atha — also; kārtike — in the month of Kārtika (October-November); catasṛṣu — on the four; api — also; aṣṭakāsu — on the Aṣṭakās; hemante — before the winter season; śiśire — in the winter season; tathā — and also; māghe — in the month of Māgha (January-February); ca — and; sita-saptamyām — on the seventh lunar day of the bright fortnight; maghā-rākā-samāgame — in the conjunction of Maghā-nakṣatra and the full-moon day; rākayā — with a day of the completely full moon; ca — and; anumatyā — with a full-moon day when the moon is slightly less than completely full; ca — and; māsa-ṛkṣāṇi — the nakṣatras that are the sources of the names of the various months; yutāni — are conjoined; api — also; dvādaśyām — on the twelfth lunar day; anurādhā — the nakṣatra named Anurādhā; syāt — may occur; śravaṇaḥ — the nakṣatra named Śravaṇa; tisraḥ — the three (nakṣatras); uttarāḥ — the nakṣatras named Uttarā (Uttara-phalgunī, Uttarāṣāḍhā and Uttara-bhādrapadā); tisṛṣu — on three; ekādaśī — the eleventh lunar day; vā — or; āsu — on these; janma-ṛkṣa — of one’s own janma-nakṣatra, or birth star; śroṇa — of Śravaṇa-nakṣatra; yoga — by a conjunction; yuk — having.
One should perform the śrāddha ceremony on the Makara-saṅkrānti [the day when the sun begins to move north] or on the Karkaṭa-saṅkrānti [the day when the sun begins to move south]. One should also perform this ceremony on the Meṣa-saṅkrānti day and the Tulā-saṅkrānti day, in the yoga named Vyatīpāta, on that day in which three lunar tithis are conjoined, during an eclipse of either the moon or the sun, on the twelfth lunar day, and in the Śravaṇa-nakṣatra. One should perform this ceremony on the Akṣaya-tṛtīyā day, on the ninth lunar day of the bright fortnight of the month of Kārtika, on the four aṣṭakās in the winter season and cool season, on the seventh lunar day of the bright fortnight of the month of Māgha, during the conjunction of Maghā-nakṣatra and the full-moon day, and on the days when the moon is completely full, or not quite completely full, when these days are conjoined with the nakṣatras from which the names of certain months are derived. One should also perform the śrāddha ceremony on the twelfth lunar day when it is in conjunction with any of the nakṣatras named Anurādhā, Śravaṇa, Uttara-phalgunī, Uttarāṣāḍhā or Uttara-bhādrapadā. Again, one should perform this ceremony when the eleventh lunar day is in conjunction with either Uttara-phalgunī, Uttarāṣāḍhā or Uttara-bhādrapadā. Finally, one should perform this ceremony on days conjoined with one’s own birth star [janma-nakṣatra] or with Śravaṇa-nakṣatra.
ta ete śreyasaḥ kālā
śreyo ’moghaṁ tad-āyuṣaḥ
te — therefore; ete — all these (descriptions of astronomical calculations); śreyasaḥ — of auspiciousness; kālāḥ — times; nṝṇām — for human beings; śreyaḥ — auspiciousness; vivardhanāḥ — increase; kuryāt — one should perform; sarva-ātmanā — by other activities (not only the śrāddha ceremony); eteṣu — in these (seasons); śreyaḥ — (causing) auspiciousness; amogham — and success; tat — of a human being; āyuṣaḥ — of the duration of life.
All of these seasonal times are considered extremely auspicious for humanity. At such times, one should perform all auspicious activities, for by such activities a human being attains success in his short duration of life.
eṣu snānaṁ japo homo
yad dattaṁ tad dhy anaśvaram
eṣu — in all these (seasonal times); snānam — bathing in the Ganges, Yamunā or any other sacred places; japaḥ — chanting; homaḥ — performing fire sacrifices; vratam — executing vows; deva — the Supreme Lord; dvija-arcanam — worshiping the brāhmaṇas or Vaiṣṇavas; pitṛ — unto the forefathers; deva — demigods; nṛ — human beings in general; bhūtebhyaḥ — and all other living entities; yat — whatever; dattam — offered; tat — that; hi — indeed; anaśvaram — permanently beneficial.
During these periods of seasonal change, if one bathes in the Ganges, in the Yamunā or in another sacred place, if one chants, offers fire sacrifices or executes vows, or if one worships the Supreme Lord, the brāhmaṇas, the forefathers, the demigods and the living entities in general, whatever he gives in charity yields a permanently beneficial result.
preta-saṁsthā mṛtāhaś ca
karmaṇy abhyudaye nṛpa
saṁskāra-kālaḥ — at the proper time indicated for Vedic reformatory performances; jāyāyāḥ — for the wife; apatyasya — for the children; ātmanaḥ — and one’s own self; tathā — as well as; preta-saṁsthā — funeral ceremonies; mṛta-ahaḥ — annual death ceremonies; ca — and; karmaṇi — of fruitive activity; abhyudaye — for furtherance; nṛpa — O King.
O King Yudhiṣṭhira, at the time prescribed for reformatory ritualistic ceremonies for one’s self, one’s wife or one’s children, or during funeral ceremonies and annual death ceremonies, one must perform the auspicious ceremonies mentioned above in order to flourish in fruitive activities.
atha deśān pravakṣyāmi
sa vai puṇyatamo deśaḥ
sat-pātraṁ yatra labhyate
bimbaṁ bhagavato yatra
sarvam etac carācaram
yatra ha brāhmaṇa-kulaṁ
atha — thereafter; deśān — places; pravakṣyāmi — I shall describe; dharma-ādi — religious performances, etc; śreya — auspiciousness; āvahān — which can bring; saḥ — that; vai — indeed; puṇya-tamaḥ — the most sacred; deśaḥ — place; sat-pātram — a Vaiṣṇava; yatra — wherein; labhyate — is available; bimbam — the Deity (in the temple); bhagavataḥ — of the Supreme Personality of Godhead (who is the support); yatra — where; sarvam etat — of this entire cosmic manifestation; cara-acaram — with all the moving and nonmoving living entities; yatra — wherein; ha — indeed; brāhmaṇa-kulam — association with brāhmaṇas; tapaḥ — austerities; vidyā — education; dayā — mercy; anvitam — endowed with.
Nārada Muni continued: Now I shall describe the places where religious performances may be well executed. Any place where a Vaiṣṇava is available is an excellent place for all auspicious activities. The Supreme Personality of Godhead is the support of this entire cosmic manifestation, with all its moving and nonmoving living entities, and the temple where the Deity of the Lord is installed is a most sacred place. Furthermore, places where learned brāhmaṇas observe Vedic principles by means of austerity, education and mercy are also most auspicious and sacred.
yatra yatra harer arcā
sa deśaḥ śreyasāṁ padam
yatra gaṅgādayo nadyaḥ
purāṇeṣu ca viśrutāḥ
yatra yatra — wherever; hareḥ — of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa; arcā — the Deity is worshiped; saḥ — that; deśaḥ — place, country or neighborhood; śreyasām — of all auspiciousness; padam — the place; yatra — wherever; gaṅgā-ādayaḥ — like the Ganges, Yamunā, Narmadā and Kāverī; nadyaḥ — sacred rivers; purāṇeṣu — in the Purāṇas (supplementary Vedic literature); ca — also; viśrutāḥ — are celebrated.
Auspicious indeed are the places where there is a temple of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, in which He is duly worshiped, and also the places where there flow the celebrated sacred rivers mentioned in the Purāṇas, the supplementary Vedic literatures. Anything spiritual done there is certainly very effective.
kṣetrāṇy arhāśritāny uta
naimiṣaṁ phālgunaṁ setuḥ
prabhāso ’tha kuśa-sthalī
pampā bindu-saras tathā
sarve kulācalā rājan
ete puṇyatamā deśā
harer arcāśritāś ca ye
etān deśān niṣeveta
śreyas-kāmo hy abhīkṣṇaśaḥ
dharmo hy atrehitaḥ puṁsāṁ
sarāṁsi — lakes; puṣkara-ādīni — such as Puṣkara; kṣetrāṇi — sacred places (like Kurukṣetra, Gayākṣetra and Jagannātha Purī); arha — for worshipable, saintly persons; āśritāni — places of shelter; uta — celebrated; kurukṣetram — a particular sacred place (dharma-kṣetra); gaya-śiraḥ — the place known as Gayā, where Gayāsura took shelter of the lotus feet of Lord Viṣṇu; prayāgaḥ — Allahabad, at the confluence of the two sacred rivers Ganges and Yamunā; pulaha-āśramaḥ — the residence of Pulaha Muni; naimiṣam — the place known as Naimiṣāraṇya (near Lucknow); phālgunam — the place where the Phālgu River flows; setuḥ — Setubandha, where Lord Rāmacandra constructed a bridge between India and Laṅkā; prabhāsaḥ — Prabhāsakṣetra; atha — as well as; kuśa-sthalī — Dvāravatī, or Dvārakā; vārāṇasī — Benares; madhu-purī — Mathurā; pampā — a place where there is a lake called Pampā; bindu-saraḥ — the place where Bindu-sarovara is situated; tathā — there; nārāyaṇa-āśramaḥ — known as Badarikāśrama; nandā — the place where the Nandā River flows; sītā-rāma — of Lord Rāmacandra and mother Sītā; āśrama-ādayaḥ — places of shelter like Citrakūṭa; sarve — all (such places); kulācalāḥ — hilly tracts of land; rājan — O King; mahendra — known as Mahendra; malaya-ādayaḥ — and others, like Malayācala; ete — all of them; puṇya-tamāḥ — extremely sacred; deśāḥ — places; hareḥ — of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; arca-āśritāḥ — places where the Deity of Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa is worshiped (such as big American cities like New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco, and European cities like London and Paris, or wherever there are centers of Kṛṣṇa consciousness); ca — as well as; ye — those which; etān deśān — all these countries; niṣeveta — should worship or visit; śreyaḥ-kāmaḥ — one who desires auspiciousness; hi — indeed; abhīkṣṇaśaḥ — again and again; dharmaḥ — religious activities; hi — from which; atra — in these places; īhitaḥ — performed; puṁsām — of the persons; sahasra-adhi — more than a thousand times; phala-udayaḥ — effective.
The sacred lakes like Puṣkara and places where saintly persons live, like Kurukṣetra, Gayā, Prayāga, Pulahāśrama, Naimiṣāraṇya, the banks of the Phālgu River, Setubandha, Prabhāsa, Dvārakā, Vārāṇasī, Mathurā, Pampā, Bindu-sarovara, Badarikāśrama [Nārāyaṇāśrama], the places where the Nandā River flows, the places where Lord Rāmacandra and mother Sītā took shelter, such as Citrakūṭa, and also the hilly tracts of land known as Mahendra and Malaya — all of these are to be considered most pious and sacred. Similarly, places outside India where there are centers of the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement and where Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa Deities are worshiped must all be visited and worshiped by those who want to be spiritually advanced. One who intends to advance in spiritual life may visit all these places and perform ritualistic ceremonies to get results a thousand times better than the results of the same activities performed in any other place.
pātraṁ tv atra niruktaṁ vai
harir evaika urvīśa
yan-mayaṁ vai carācaram
pātram — the true person to whom charity must be given; tu — but; atra — in the world; niruktam — decided; vai — indeed; kavibhiḥ — by learned scholars; pātra-vittamaiḥ — who are expert in finding the actual person to whom charity must be given; hariḥ — the Supreme Personality of Godhead; eva — indeed; ekaḥ — only one; urvī-īśa — O King of the earth; yat-mayam — in whom everything is resting; vai — from whom everything is coming; cara-acaram — all that is moving or nonmoving within this universe.
O King of the earth, it has been decided by expert, learned scholars that only the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, in whom all that is moving or nonmoving within this universe is resting and from whom everything is coming, is the best person to whom everything must be given.
devarṣy-arhatsu vai satsu
rājan yad agra-pūjāyāṁ
deva-ṛṣi — among the demigods and great saintly persons, including Nārada Muni; arhatsu — the most venerable and worshipable personalities; vai — indeed; satsu — the great devotees; tatra — there (at the Rājasūya-yajña); brahma-ātma-jādiṣu — and the sons of Lord Brahmā (such as Sanaka, Sanandana, Sanat and Sanātana); rājan — O King; yat — from whom; agra-pūjāyām — the first to be worshiped; mataḥ — decision; pātratayā — selected as the best person to preside over the Rājasūya-yajña; acyutaḥ — Kṛṣṇa.
O King Yudhiṣṭhira, the demigods, many great sages and saints including even the four sons of Lord Brahmā, and I myself were present at your Rājasūya sacrificial ceremony, but when there was a question of who should be the first person worshiped, everyone decided upon Lord Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Person.
jīva-rāśibhiḥ — by millions and millions of living entities; ākīrṇaḥ — filled up or spread over; aṇḍa-kośa — the whole universe; aṅghripaḥ — like a tree; mahān — very, very great; tat-mūlatvāt — because of being the root of this tree; acyuta-ijyā — worship of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; sarva — of all; jīva-ātma — living entities; tarpaṇam — satisfaction.
The entire universe, which is full of living entities, is like a tree whose root is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Acyuta [Kṛṣṇa]. Therefore simply by worshiping Lord Kṛṣṇa one can worship all living entities.
purāṇy anena sṛṣṭāni
śete jīvena rūpeṇa
pureṣu puruṣo hy asau
purāṇi — residential places or bodies; anena — by Him (the Supreme Personality of Godhead); sṛṣṭāni — among those creations; nṛ — man; tiryak — other than human beings (animals, birds, etc); ṛṣi — saintly persons; devatāḥ — and demigods; śete — lies down; jīvena — with the living entities; rūpeṇa — in the form of Paramātmā; pureṣu — within these residential places or bodies; puruṣaḥ — the Supreme Lord; hi — indeed; asau — He (the Personality of Godhead).
The Supreme Personality of Godhead has created many residential places like the bodies of human beings, animals, birds, saints and demigods. In all of these innumerable bodily forms, the Lord resides with the living being as Paramātmā. Thus He is known as the puruṣāvatāra.
teṣv eva bhagavān rājaṁs
tasmāt pātraṁ hi puruṣo
yāvān ātmā yatheyate
teṣu — among the different types of bodies (demigod, human, animal, bird, etc); eva — indeed; bhagavān — the Supreme Personality of Godhead in His Paramātmā feature; rājan — O King; tāratamyena — comparatively, more or less; vartate — is situated; tasmāt — therefore; pātram — the Supreme Person; hi — indeed; puruṣaḥ — Paramātmā; yāvān — as far as; ātmā — the degree of understanding; yathā — development of austerity and penance; īyate — is manifest.
O King Yudhiṣṭhira, the Supersoul in every body gives intelligence to the individual soul according to his capacity for understanding. Therefore the Supersoul is the chief within the body. The Supersoul is manifested to the individual soul according to the individual’s comparative development of knowledge, austerity, penance and so on.
dṛṣṭvā teṣāṁ mitho nṛṇām
tretādiṣu harer arcā
kriyāyai kavibhiḥ kṛtā
dṛṣṭvā — after practically seeing; teṣām — among the brāhmaṇas and Vaiṣṇavas; mithaḥ — mutually; nṛṇām — of human society; avajñāna-ātmatām — the mutually disrespectful behavior; nṛpa — O King; tretā-ādiṣu — beginning from Tretā-yuga; hareḥ — of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; arcā — the Deity worship (in the temple); kriyāyai — for the purpose of introducing the method of worship; kavibhiḥ — by learned persons; kṛtā — has been done.
My dear King, when great sages and saintly persons saw mutually disrespectful dealings at the beginning of Tretā-yuga, Deity worship in the temple was introduced with all paraphernalia.
tato ’rcāyāṁ hariṁ kecit
tataḥ — thereafter; arcāyām — the Deity; harim — who is the Supreme Personality of Godhead (the form of the Lord being identical with the Lord); kecit — someone; saṁśraddhāya — with great faith; saparyayā — and with the required paraphernalia; upāsate — worships; upāstā api — although worshiping the Deity (with faith and regularity); na — not; artha-dā — beneficial; puruṣa-dviṣām — for those who are envious of Lord Viṣṇu and His devotees.
Sometimes a neophyte devotee offers all the paraphernalia for worshiping the Lord, and he factually worships the Lord as the Deity, but because he is envious of the authorized devotees of Lord Viṣṇu, the Lord is never satisfied with his devotional service.
puruṣeṣv api rājendra
supātraṁ brāhmaṇaṁ viduḥ
tapasā vidyayā tuṣṭyā
dhatte vedaṁ hares tanum
puruṣeṣu — among persons; api — indeed; rāja-indra — O best of kings; su-pātram — the best person; brāhmaṇam — the qualified brāhmaṇa; viduḥ — one should know; tapasā — due to austerity; vidyayā — education; tuṣṭyā — and satisfaction; dhatte — he assumes; vedam — the transcendental knowledge known as Veda; hareḥ — of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; tanum — body, or representation.
My dear King, of all persons a qualified brāhmaṇa must be accepted as the best within this material world because such a brāhmaṇa, by practicing austerity, Vedic studies and satisfaction, becomes the counterpart body of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
nanv asya brāhmaṇā rājan
tri-lokīṁ daivataṁ mahat
nanu — but; asya — by Him; brāhmaṇāḥ — the qualified brāhmaṇas; rājan — O King; kṛṣṇasya — by Lord Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead; jagat-ātmanaḥ — who is the life and soul of the whole creation; punantaḥ — sanctifying; pāda-rajasā — by the dust of their lotus feet; tri-lokīm — the three worlds; daivatam — worshipable; mahat — most exalted.
My dear King Yudhiṣṭhira, the brāhmaṇas, especially those engaged in preaching the glories of the Lord throughout the entire world, are recognized and worshiped by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is the heart and soul of all creation. The brāhmaṇas, by their preaching, sanctify the three worlds with the dust of their lotus feet, and thus they are worshipable even for Kṛṣṇa.