The Mahabharata
  Srimad Bhagavatam

  Rig Veda
  Yajur Veda
  Sama Veda
  Atharva Veda

  Bhagavad Gita
  Sankara Bhashya
  By Edwin Arnold

  Brahma Sutra
  Sankara Bhashya I
  Sankara Bhashya II
  Ramanuja SriBhashya


  Agni Purana
  Brahma Purana
  Garuda Purana
  Markandeya Purana
  Varaha Purana
  Matsya Purana
  Vishnu Purana
  Linga Purana
  Narada Purana
  Padma Purana
  Shiva Purana
  Skanda Purana
  Vamana Purana

  Manu Smriti

  Bhagavad Gita
  Brahma Sutras

See for the online version with illustrations, music and links to the previous translation: http://bhagavata.org/ 


"The story of the fortunate one"

CANTO 1: Creation

Chapter 1 Questions by the Sages

Chapter 2 Divinity and Divine Service

Chapter 3 Krishna is the Source of all Incarnations.

Chapter 4 The Appearance of S'rî Nârada.

Chapter 5 Nârada's Instructions on S'rîmad Bhâgavatam for Vyâsadeva

Chapter 6 Conversation between Nârada and Vyâsadeva

Chapter 7 The Son of Drona Punished

Chapter 8 Prayers by Queen Kuntî and Parîkchit Saved 

Chapter 9 The Passing Away of Bhîshmadeva in the Presence of Lord Krishna

Chapter 10 The Departure of Lord Krishna for Dvârakâ

Chapter 11 Lord S'rî Krishna's Entrance into Dvârakâ

Chapter 12 The birth of Emperor Parîkchit

Chapter 13 Dhritarâshthra Quits Home

Chapter 14 The Disappearance of Lord Krishna

Chapter 15 The Pândavas Retire

Chapter 16 How Parîkchit Received the Age of Kali

Chapter 17 Punishment and Reward of Kali

Chapter 18 Mahârâja Parîkchit Cursed by a brahmin Boy

Chapter 19 The appearance of S'ukadeva Gosvâmî


 Chapter 1

 Questions by the Sages

(1) Let there be the salutation of Vâsudeva, the Fortunate One, the primeval Lord of this creation, from whom, being present here and in the beyond, for the purpose of recollection and full independence, the vedic knowledge in the heart was imparted of the one who is the original creator [Lord Brahmâ]. About Him are the enlightened [as surely also the ordinary] souls, like with a mirage of water to the [fire of the] sun, in a state of illusion wherein, through the action and reaction of the modes of material nature, there is the illusion of the factual. Upon Him I meditate who is always self-sufficient and of the transcendental, the negation free from illusion and the Absolute of the truth.

(2) Herein [in this book] is rejected deceitful religiosity [of ulterior motives], and finds one the highest, comprehensible to selfless truth-loving ones. Herein is offered the factual substance of well-being that uproots the threefold miseries [as caused by oneself, others and by nature]. What is the need of other stories when in here is found the beautiful story of the Fortunate One as compiled by the great sage [Vyâsadeva] which, with help of the ones pious and diligently of service, forthwith in the heart confines the Controller. (3) It is the ripened fruit from the desire tree of the vedic literatures that flowing from the lips of S'ukadeva manifested as sweet nectar perfect in every way; o you expert and thoughtfull ones delighting in devotion, ever relish the home of the S'rîmad Bhâgavatam!

(4) In the forest of Naimishâranya, a spot favored by Vishnu, sages headed by the sage S'aunaka performed a thousand-year sacrifice for the Lord of heaven and the devotees on earth. (5) One morning, burning the sacrificial fire, with due respect, the sages asked S'rîla Sûta Gosvâmî, who was offered a seat of honor, the following: (6) "You, free from all vice as you are and familiar with the stories and historical records, are said to be well versed in the religious scriptures that you explained as well. (7) As the eldest of the scholars of the Vedas you know Vyâsadeva, the Lord among them - and Sûta, you know as well the other ones well versed in physical and metaphysical knowledge. (8) Being so conversant, pure and simple by their grace, tell us, your honor, of the secrets you have learned from those spiritual masters as a submissive disciple. (9) Being blessed thereof with ease and a long life, from your goodness please tell us, what you could ascertain to be the absolute and ultimate good that all people deserve. (10) In general, o honorable one, are the people in this age of Kali lazy, misguided, unlucky and above all disturbed. (11) There are many scriptures with as many prescribed duties each separately demanding attention. Therefore o sage, tell us for the good of all living beings what, to the best of your knowledge, is the essence by which the soul is satisfied. (12) Be blessed Sûta, you know the purpose for which the Supreme One, the protector of the devotees, appeared in the womb of Devakî as the son of Vasudeva. (13) Please, for the good and upliftment of all living beings explain it to us, aching for it, as you should [after the tradition]. (14) Entangled in the complications of birth and death will we, even not being fully conscious, find liberation if we respect the name of the Lord who is feared by fear itself. (15) O Sûta, simply associating in devotion will sanctify us directly, as Ganges water would do but only after using it. (16) Who, eager for liberation, wouldn't rather want to hear of the Lord His worshipable virtuous deeds and His glories as the sanctifier in the Age of Quarrel [Kali]? (17) He is hailed by the great souls for His transcendental glories. Please tell us, who are eager to believe, about the pastimes of His descend in time. (18) Therefore, describe us, o sagacious one, the auspicious adventures and pastimes of the multiple incarnations of the Supreme Controller His personal energies. (19) We, relishing the palatable at every step, are never tired of associating with the One Glorified and hearing about His adventures. (20) In the guise of a human being was He with Balarâma [His elder brother] of a superhuman performance. (21) Knowing of the onset of the Age of Kali, we for a longer period have assembled to sacrifice here at this place reserved for the devotees, taking our time to listen to the stories about the Lord. (22) By providence we met your goodness to help us as the captain of the ship through this insurmountable age of Kali that is so threatening to the good qualities. (23) Please tell us with whom we should take shelter, now the Lord of Yoga S'rî Krishna, who is the Absolute Truth and the protector of the religion, has left for His own abode."


Chapter 2  

Divinity and Divine Service

(1) Completely satisfied with the correct questions of the sages there, the son of Romaharshana [Sûta] tried to reply after thanking them for their words. (2) Sûta said: "He [S'ukadeva] who went away to live with the renounced order without the prescribed ceremony of reform of the sacred thread, made Vyâsadeva, being afraid of the separation exclaim: 'O my son!', and all the trees and all living beings responded sympathizing in the heart of the sage. (3) Let me offer my obeisances to him, who from his experience of life, as the only transcendental torchlight in desiring to overcome the darkness of material existence of materialistic men, assimilated the cream of the Vedas and out of his causeless mercy conveyed the very confidential holy story as the master of the great sages. (4) After offering first one's obeisances to Nara-Nârâyana, the [Lord as the] supermost human being, the goddess of learning and Vyâsadeva, let then all be announced that is needed for the conquering.

(5) Your questions about Lord Krishna are of relevance for the welfare of the world because they satisfy the true self. (6) For mankind it is certainly the best way to attain to uninterrupted service to the transcendental without further motives. (7) Serving Krishna this way one will find detachment and causeless knowledge. (8) What mankind does in it's duties according to each his own position, is useless labor leading nowhere, if it does not lead to the message of this attraction to God. (9) One's occupational activities are certainly meant for ultimate liberation and not for the end of material gain, neither is, according to the sages, the material progress of the dutiful ones in devotional service meant for the attainment of sense-gratification. (10) One's longing is not so much there for sense-gratification, profit and self-preservation, but instead are one's occupational activities meant for no other purpose than inquiring after the Absolute Truth. (11) The learned souls say that the reality of nondual knowledge is known as Brahman, Paramâtmâ, and Bhagavân [the impersonal, localized and personal aspect]. (12) The sages who with the good of knowledge and detachment are of serious inquisition, will see within themselves and the Supersoul in devotional service, exactly that, of what they have heard from in the Vedas. (13) So by the human being, o best of the twice born, the highest perfection of occupational duties according to the divisions of status and vocation is achieved in the pleasing of the Lord. (14) With one's mind thus fixed, the Lord who protects the devotees is heard, glorified, remembered and worshiped constantly. (15) Who will not attend to this message of intelligently remembering the Lord which gives one the sword for cutting through the bonds of materially motivated labor [karma]? (16) One who listens with care and attention in respect of Vâsudeva, will find affinity with the message through the devotional service rendered to pure devotees, o learned ones, and be purified from all vice. (17) Those who developed this hearing of Krishna His own words will find virtue listening and singing and will certainly in their hearts see their desire to enjoy purified by the benefactor of the truthful. (18) By regular attention to that knowledge all the inauspicious will lose its hold, and thus serving the Supreme Lord with transcendental prayers, loving service irrevocably comes into being. (19) With the heart established like that, one will be fixed in goodness and become happy without further being affected by the lust, desire and yearning that arises from passion and ignorance. (20) The mind enlivened in that association of service to the Lord, will find the reality of liberated wisdom becoming effective. (21) Seeing the self that way as being the master will certainly cut the knots in the heart and terminate the chain and misery of materially motivated actions [karma]. (22) Therefore all transcendentalists have for certain always delighted in the service to Lord Krishna - it enlivens the soul. (23) The ultimate benefit of the transcendental personality, that is associated with as well the material qualities of nature of goodness, passion and ignorance (slowness) as with the maintainer Vishnu, the creator Brahmâ and the destroyer S'iva, is of course for the human being found in the form of the quality of goodness [Vishnu]. (24) As we have the firewood from sacrifices stemming from the earth producing smoke, so we also have passion stemming from ignorance leading to the goodness from which the essential nature is realized.

(25) Whoever follows these sages who before thus rendered service to the transcendental Lord that is above these three modes of nature, deserves the same benefit. (26) Rejecting the less attractive forms of demigods, they are devoted to the many forms of Lord Vishnu without any envy. (27) Those who are slow and of passion, desire wealth, power and progeny clinging to the forefathers and other beings of cosmic control. (28-29) But Lord Krishna is the object of knowledge, the purpose of the sacrifices and the yoga, the controller of all material activity, the supreme knowledge, the austerity, the quality of the religion and the goal of life. (30) From the beginning of the manifestation He, by this internal potency, has been the cause and effect of all forms and the transcendental Absolute of the modes of nature. (31) Although He appears from them to be just a part of the modes of the creation having entered into it, He is fully enlightened being above it in consciousness. (32) He, as the Supersoul, pervades all living beings as the source of the creation like fire does in wood and shines forth as different living entities, at the same time being the Absolute Person. (33) That Supersoul, created the subtle senses influenced by the modes of nature by entering the living beings in His own creation, causing them to enjoy those modes. (34) Thus He maintains all in the mode of goodness performing His pastimes mastering all worlds of divine, human and animalistic beings, being incarnated Himself."  


Chapter 3  

Krishna is the Source of All Incarnations.

(1) "The Lord as the purusha accepted the universal form of the material world with its sixteen principles of material action to make a start with His creation. (2) Dormant in the water, from that navel sprouted out of the lotus of manifestation Brahmâ, the father of all beings as the creator. (3) It is imagined that the purusha, from the excellence of His existence, expanded into all the worlds. (4) His form seen perfectly thus has numerous legs, thighs, arms and faces, with wonderful heads, ears, eyes and noses, all glowing with garlands and dresses. (5) These multifarious incarnations are the indestructible source from which all the godly, human and animal beings originate.

(6) At first the sons of Brahmâ [the Kumâras] were disciplined in austerity for the realization of continuation. (7) Incarnated next for the sake of its welfare, He, like a boar, uplifted the world out of the lower regions. (8) Thirdly He accepted His presence among the learned (rishis) [as Nârada Muni] for the sake of evolving vedic knowledge for service in devotion without further material motives. (9) Fourth born as the twin sons of king Dharma in the form of Nara-Nârâyana He underwent severe penances to attain control over the senses. (10) Fifth with the name of Kapila He gave an exposition to the brahmin Âsuri on the nature of metaphysics and the elements of creation as through time the knowledge was lost. (11) Sixth, born as the son of Atri [called Dattâtreya] from Anasûyâ who prayed for Him, He lectured to Alarka, Prahlâda and others about the transcendental. (12) Seventh born from Âkûti as Yajña, the son of Prajâpati Ruci He, assisted by the godly, ruled over the change of the period of Svâyambhuva Manu together with His son Yama and others. (13) Eighth, from the wife of King Nâbhi, Merudevî He took birth as King Rishabha and showed the path of perfection respected by people of all stages of life. (14) Accepting His ninth incarnation from prayers by the sages, He ruled [as Prithu] the earth for the sake of its cultivation and produces, which made it beautifully attractive. (15) Like a fish [Mâtsya] in the water He kept Vaivasvata Manu after the period of Câkshusha Manu on a boat of protection afloat the waters when the world was deeply inundated. (16) Eleventh as a tortoise [Kurma] He sustained the Mandarâcala Hill of the theists and atheists which served as a pivot in the ocean. (17) Twelfth was Dhanvantari [Lord of medicine] and thirteenth He appeared as an alluring beautiful woman to the atheists while giving nectar to the godly. (18) His fourteenth incarnation He appeared as Nrisimha, who with His nails half as a Lion on His lap tore apart the king of the atheists like a carpenter does cane. (19) Fifteenth He assumed the form of Vâmana [the dwarf-brâhmana] who, from the arena of sacrifice of Mahârâja Bali, begged only for three steps of land, while at heart willing to return to the kingdom of the three worlds. (20) In His sixteenth incarnation [as Bhrigupati] He acted twenty-one times against the ruling class that negated the intelligentsia. (21) Seeing the common people as being less intelligent He seventeenth incarnated as Vyâsadeva from Satyavatî by Parâs'ara Muni, to divide the desire tree of the Veda into several branches. (22) Next He performed superhuman in controlling the Indian Ocean having assumed the form of a divine human being [Râma] in order to act for the sake of the Godly. (23) Nineteenth as well as twentiest He appeared as Balarâma and Krishna from the Vrishni-family and thus Bhagavân removed the burden from the world. (24) Thereafter in the Age of Kali His birth as Lord Buddha from Añjanâ in Gayâ will take place in order to delude the ones envious with the theists. (25) Following that at the conjunction of two Yugas when there is hardly a ruler found that is not a plunderer, the Lord of Creation will take birth with the name of Kalki as the son of Vishnu Yas'â.

(26) O Twice-born, from the ocean of goodness the incarnations of the Lord are innumerable like the countless streams from thousands of lakes. (27) All the powerful sages, the godly, the Manus and their progeny, as well as the Prajâpatis [founding fathers] are aspects of the Lord. (28) All these are part of Lord Krishna, the Supreme Lord [Bhagavân] in person who gives protection in all ages and worlds against the enemies of the King of Heaven [Indra]. (29) Those who in the morning and the evening carefully recite these mysterious births of the Lord, will find relief from all miseries of life. (30) All these forms of the Lord are certainly of the one without a form that is transcendental; they came about in the self from the modes of the material energy with its elements. (31) To the less intelligent seer they are as clouds in the sky and dust in the air in order to perceive. (32) This unmanifested beyond, which is without a form affected by the modes of nature and is alike that what is unseen and unheard - thàt is the living being that takes birth repeatedly. (33) Whenever one realizes that all these gross and subtle forms originate from the ignorance in the self, at that time one is in association with the divine. (34) With the illusory energy subsided there is enrichment with the full knowledge of enlightenment and knowing in the glories of the self. (35) Thus the inactive unborn Lord of the Heart with His births and activities has been described by the learned as being undetectable even in the Vedas. (36) Being within every living being He, the omnipotent master of the senses who's play is spotless, is independent and unaffected by creation, destruction and maintenance. (37) Acting like an actor in a drama, by His manipulations the ones with little knowledge cannot know Him in His activities, names and forms by means of speculation and oration. (38) Only he can know of the transcendental glories of the Creator - who is all-powerful with the wheel of the chariot in His hand - who renders unconditional, uninterrupted, favorable service to His fragrant lotusfeet. (39) In this world one can be successful if one knows in full about the Personality of Godhead who embraces all of His universes and inspires for the complete of the spirit of ecstasy in which one will never find the dreaded repetitions of the worldly interest."

(40) This book about the story of the Personality of Godhead and His devotees compiled by the wise man of God is, as a supplement to the Vedas, there for the ultimate good of all people, bringing success, happiness and perfection. (41) S'rîla Vyâsadeva delivered it to his son, the most respectful among the self-realized, having extracted the cream from all the Vedic literatures and histories. (42) He on his turn spoke it to emperor Parîkchit who sat at the Ganges surrounded by the wise in penance until his death. (43) Just after the return of Lord Krishna to His abode, with which also the sense of duty and the spiritual knowledge and such disappeared, was this brilliant story of God delivered to enlighten the people in the Age of Quarrel [Kali] who lost their vision. (44) When I heard the story from that powerful great sage, I as well managed to understand it, being perfectly attentive by his mercy, so that I can also tell it to you from my own realization."



Chapter 4

 The Appearance of S'rî Nârada.

(1) The elderly and learned S'aunaka, the head of the ceremony the sages were gathered for, congratulated Sûta Gosvâmî thanking him thus: (2) "O most fortunate one of the ones respected to speak, tell us of the message of the Bhâgavatam, as spoken by S'ukadeva Gosvâmî. (3) When, where, on what ground and wherefrom inspired could this literature be compiled by Vyâsadeva? (4) His son, a balanced monist with his mind always fixed on the One, was a great devotee, but unexposed he appeared ignorant. (5) Seeing the sage Vyâsa following his son, naked bathing beauties covered their bodies out of shyness, whereas astonishingly asked of his son they replied him that they did not do so for him as he regarded them purely without sexual discrimination. (6) How was he [S'uka], appearing like a retarded dumb madman, upon reaching the Kuru-jângala provinces recognized by the inhabitants when he entered Hastinâpura [now: Delhi]? (7) How could the discussion of this sage with king Parîkchit take place about this essence of the Vedas? (8) He, pilgrimaging, only for the time of milking a cow stayed at the door of the householders sanctifying the residence. (9) Please tell us about Parîkchit, the son of Abhimanyu, who is said to be a first class devotee whose birth and activities are all wonderful. (10) For what reason did the emperor who enriched the name of Pându, neglect the opulences of his kingdom, sitting down for penance at the Ganges until his death? (11) Why did he, at whose feet all enemies surrendered their wealth for their own sake, in full youth exclaim to give up his life of royal riches? (12) How could he, giving shelter and living for the welfare of others, being as a man unattached and unselfish by devotion to the cause, give up his mortal body? (13) Explain this all to us as we consider you fully acquainted with as good as all the meaning of the words in the scriptures."

(14) Sûta Gosvâmî said: "When the second millennium that ran into the third, ended, was the sage [Vyâsa] born to Parâs'ara from the womb of the daughter of Vasu as a full aspect of the Lord. (15) One morning at sunrise, after being cleansed by the water of his morning duties, he sat down at the bank of the river Sarasvatî to concentrate. (16) Knowing past and future, he saw from the different ages that in the religion of his time gradually anomalies were accruing. (17-18) In the dull and impatient of the faithless lacking in goodness, he saw a decline in the natural power in material actions. By his transcendence seeing the people in general being short-lived and unlucky, he who is full in knowledge contemplated for the welfare of all the vocations and stages in life. (19) After seeing that there were four sacrificial fires for purifying the work of the people, he expanded the one Veda accordingly into four. (20) Rig, Yajuh, Sâma and Atharva were the names of these four parts while the original source of knowledge, the purânas were called the fifth Veda. (21) After that the Rig Veda was propagated by the rishi Paila, the Sâma Veda by Jaimini, while Vais'ampâyana was the one well versed enough to be qualified to defend the Yajur Veda. (22) The serious respect for the Atharva Veda was with Angirâ [Sumantu Muni], while the records of history, the purânas, were defended by my father Romaharshana. (23) They in their turn handed the knowledge entrusted to them down to their disciples who did the same with their following and thus the different branches of followers of the Vedas came about. (24) In order to have the Veda assimilated as much by the less intellectual ones, the great sage of lordship Vyâsa took care to edit it for the masses. (25) Thinking this way, for the welfare of the more foolish women [see 6.9: 6 & 9], the working class and the friends of the twice-born who themselves do not work for understanding, from the mercy of the sage the benefit of the completion of the history of the Mahâbhârata was achieved.

(26) O dear twice-born, by no means could he, who was always working for the welfare of all, find satisfaction at that time.. (27) Knowing what religion is, he, purified in seclusion at the bank of the Sarasvatî, thus from the dissatisfaction of his heart said to himself: (28-29)'With strict discipline I sincerely did proper worship to the tradition of the vedic hymns, respecting the masters and doing the sacrifices. For women, s'ûdras and others I properly explained of the disciplic succession what is necessary to know of the path of religion by compiling the Mahâbhârata. (30) Although it appears that I did enough for the Supreme to the demands of the vedantists, I feel something is missing. (31) I might not have given sufficient directions about the devotional service so dear to as well the perfect as to the Infallible One.'(32) While Krishna-dvaipâyana Vyâsa was regretfully thinking this way of his shortcomings, Nârada, whom I spoke of before, reached his cottage. (33) Seeing the auspicious arrival of the muni he quickly got up and venerated him with the respect equal to the respect the godly pay Brahmâjî the creator."


Chapter 5  

Nârada's Instructions on S'rîmad Bhâgavatam for Vyâsadeva

 (1) Sûta said: "Comfortably seated next to him, the pleased rishi of God - who has a vînâ in his hands - addressed the learned wise. (2) He said: 'O greatly fortunate son of Parâs'ara, is the confrontation with the body and the mind in the selfrealization of your soul to your satisfaction? (3) You have done your full enquiries and being well versed, you have prepared the great and wonderful Mahâbhârata adding your extensive explanations. (4) Despite of the full of your deliberations about the absolute and the eternal are you, dear master, lamenting not having done enough.'(5)

 Vyâsa said: 'What you said is certainly true and my soul has found no peace with it. What is the root I missed, I ask you who originated from the soul as a man of unlimited knowledge. (6) You have the all-inclusive knowledge as a confidential devotee of the Supreme Personality, who is the Original Controller of the material and spiritual and in whose mind only, from the transcendence above its modes, the universe is created and destroyed. (7) In your goodness you travel the three worlds penetrating the heart of everyone like the all-pervading air as the selfrealized witness. Please point out my deficiency in being absorbed in the Absolute with discipline and vow concerning matters of cause and effect'.

 (8) S'rî Nârada said: 'You hardly praised the glories of the Fortunate One who is spotless and who I think is not really pleased by that inferior association. (9) Although you, great sage, repeatedly were writing for the sake of the four principles of religion [dharma, artha, kâma, moksha or righteousness, economy, sense gratification and liberation], you have not been doing so for the sake of Vâsudeva. (10) Sparsely using the words describing the glories of the Lord who sanctifies the universe, the saintly think of as pilgrimaging to a place for crows; not as something where the perfect of the transcendental take pleasure in. (11) That creation of words revolutionizing the sins of the people in which, although imperfectly composed, each verse depicts the names and glories of the unlimited Lord, is heard, sung and accepted by the purified and honest. (12) In spite of self-realization free from material motives, the transcendental knowledge of the infallible does not look well letting go of designations. What good will it bring to work for a result when one misses the Lord? (13) Therefore you as a highly fortunate, spotless and famous perfect seer being dedicated to the truth and fixed in the qualities, should from your trance think of and describe the one of supernatural activities for the sake of liberation from universal bondage.

 (14) Whatever you want to describe that is of a vision separate from Him will only lead to names and forms that agitate the mind like a boat that is taken by the wind from its place. (15) You have instructed the people for their natural inclinations which for the matter of religion is in truth reprehensible and quite unreasonable. The people fixed on such instruction of religion will not think of the prohibitions. (16) For understanding the unlimited Lord the ones qualify who are expert in withdrawing from material enjoyment and therefore those attached by the modes missing the spiritual knowledge, must by your goodness been shown the ways and activities of the Lord.

 (17) Inexperienced in devotional service one may fall down forsaking one's true nature, but then what unfavorable things will happen to the ones engaged in service who are not dedicated to Him? (18) The philosophically inclined should endeavor for that reason only for that which is not so much found wandering from high to low; in the course of time one will find - just like the miseries - the enjoyment as a result of one's work automatically everywhere thanks to the subtlety of one's progress. (19) Failing for some or another reason the devotee has a different experience than others: once having the taste remembering the divine service he will never want to give it up. (20) By your good self, you know that all of this cosmos is, although He differs from it, the Lord Himself who is the source and the end of its creation; I am only giving you a synopsis. (21) Please give a vivid description of the pastimes of the Supreme Lord, as from the perfect vision of your own soul you can search out on the transcendence of the Personality of the Supersoul of which you are a full aspect having taken birth for the wellbeing of the whole world. (22) This attainment of all to the descriptions of the transcendental qualities by means of austerities, study, sacrifice, attending lectures, fostering intelligence and charity, is according the acknowledged scholars the infallible interest of the divine verses that describe the transcendental qualities.'

 (23)'In the previous millennium I was born from the maidservant of certain followers of this conclusion [Vedânta] and was just a boy engaged in their service while living together in the months of the rainy season. (24) Being an obedient boy without sportive interests or speaking more than necessary, they, having controlled their senses and being impartial to the faithful, had no further inclinations than bestowing their immaterial mercy upon me. (25) When at that time I once was permitted to take of the remnants of their food, by that action I was freed of all my sins and thus being engaged with purity the attraction to that nature was manifested. (26) Thereafter, hearing each day the descriptions of the life of Krishna, by their mercy I could, o dear Vyâsa, attentively listen and so develop my taste at every step I took. (27) O great sage, that time achieving the taste, I found continuity with the Lord and thus I saw that all the gross and subtle is accepted in one's own ignorance concerning the Supreme of transcendence. (28) Thus for two seasons, autumn and the rainy season, constantly hearing of nothing but the glories chanted by the sages, of those great souls my devotional service began to flow with the modes of passion and ignorance receding. (29) That way attached as a boy in obedience being freed from sins, did I of the faithful manage to subjugate the senses and strictly follow the principles. (30) By the purity of those caring devotees I received, as they left, the instruction on the most confidential of knowledge that is directly propounded by the Lord Himself. (31) Through that I could easily understand the influence of the energy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, S'rî Krishna, the supreme creator, and how one through that can attain to Him.

 (32) O learned one, it was concluded that this dedication of one's prescribed duties to the Supreme Lord is needed to overcome the threefold miseries of life. (33) O good soul, isn't it so that the cure for a disease is found in the same thing that caused it? (34) The same way all the material dealings of men will finish their own materialism once becoming competent in dedication to the transcendental. (35) Whatever one does in this world to please the Lord and what thereto is done in the dependence on knowledge is bhakti-yoga [yoga of devotion]. (36) While doing one's duties thus constantly remembering to the will of the Lord, one takes on the qualities of the names of S'rî Krishna. (37) Let us meditate upon the name and glory of Vâsudeva and His full expansions [Pradyumna, Aniruddha and Sankarshana]. (38) Having the Lord without form represented in the sound of mantras, will one, worshiping the Supreme Personality of Vishnu thus in person, see perfectly. (39) This way, o learned one, knowing well of the confidential part of the vedic knowledge, the knowledge of His transcendental opulences as well as the intimate personal affection for Lord Krishna was bestowed upon me. (40) You, dear good soul, vast in your vedic knowledge, who has also heard of the Almighty of whom the wise always have found satisfaction to learn about the transcendental, please describe His activities for the mitigation of the suffering of the masses of people for whom there is no other way of relief'."  


Chapter 6

Conversation Between Nârada and Vyâsadeva

 (1) Sûta said: "Thus hearing from the great sage among the gods about his boyhood, the sage Vyâsadeva, the son of Satyavatî, asked him: (2)'After the great devotees who instructed you in transcendental wisdom departed, what did you do before the beginning of your present life? (3) How were the conditions of the life you spent after this initiation and how did you, in due course of time, attain to this body? (4) How could you, O great sage, remember this from a previous epoch in any detail, as time in due course annihilates all.'

 (5) S'rî Nârada said: 'The great sages gave me the transcendental knowledge I have at present and in my previous life I had to live by it after they had departed. (6) Having only one son, my mother, who was as a maidservant a simple woman, was tied to me, her offspring, by her affection, having no other alternative for protection. (7) Although she wanted to care properly for me, she, being dependent like a puppet on a string, could not do so. (8) While attending the school of the learned, I, being only five years old, lived depending on her, having no experience with the direction of time and the country. (9) When once she went out at night for milking a cow, she was bitten in the leg by a snake on the path and thus she fell victim of the supreme time. (10) I took it as a benediction of the Lord who always desires the best for His devotees, and thinking that way, I headed for the north. (11) There I found many flourishing big and small towns and villages with farms, mineral and agricultural fields in valleys with flowery and nursery gardens and forests. (12) I saw hills and mountains full of gold, silver and copper and elephants pulling branches from the trees nearby delightful lakes and ponds full of the lotus flowers aspired by the denizens of heaven - and my heart was pleased by the birds and a wealth of bees hovering about. (13) I passed through thickets of bamboo, sharp grass and weeds and through caves which were difficult to pass alone, and I came to deep and dangerous forests which were the playground for snakes, owls and jackals. (14) Being bodily and mentally tired, I, hungry and thirsty, took a bath and drank water in the lake of a river finding relief from my fatigue with it. (15) In that uninhabited forest I sat down under a banyan tree to meditate intelligently taking shelter of the Supersoul situated within, as I had learned from the liberated souls. (16) Thus meditating on the lotusfeet of the Supreme Personality, all thinking, feeling and willing transformed in transcendental love, and being eager, tears rolled from my eyes as I saw the Lord appear in my heart without delay. (17) Fully overwhelmed by an excess of love and transfixed in feelings of happiness all over my body, could I, o sage, being absorbed in an ocean of ecstasy, not distinguish Him from myself any longer. (18) Without thereafter seeing any longer the form of the Lord that takes all disparity out of the mind, I all of a sudden got up being perturbed as one is having lost something desirable. (19) Desiring to experience that again saw I, having the mind concentrated on the heart, despite of my waiting, Him not, and got I very depressed being frustrated that way. (20) Thus trying in that lonely place heard I from the beyond pleasing words of gravity being spoken to me that mitigated my grief: (21) 'Listen, for the duration of your life you will not acquire the vision of Me here, because it is difficult to acquire the vision when one, immature with impurities, is guilty in one's being united. (22) That form was only shown once to raise your desire, o virtuous one, as by the increase of the desire of the devotee all the being caught in sleepiness will give way. (23) By even for a few days being of service to the Absolute having attained a steady intelligence unto Me will one, having given up on the deplorable of this world, go to and be of My associates. (24) Intelligence engaged this way in devotion can at no time been separated from Me as whether beings are becoming or even waning, their remembrance will, by My mercy continue.'

 (25)'Having thus spoken, that great and wonderful sound of the Supreme authority stopped and I, being favored, bowed my head in obeisance to the great and glorified. (26) Free from formalities, exercising the holy name of the unlimited, mysterious and benedictory activities in constant remembrance, I traveled the earth liberated and contented in all modesty awaiting my time without any envy. (27) Thus being absorbed in Krishna and free from attachment to the material world, o Vyâsadeva, in due course of time death came to me as natural as the coincidence of illumination with lightening. (28) Having been awarded with that transcendental body worthy of the Lord, I quit the body composed of the five material elements seeing my acquired material activities ended. (29) At the end of the epoch the Lord, having laid Himself down in the waters of devastation took me of the creator in within in His breath. (30) A thousand ages later, when the creator was again being expired I, together with all the rishis like Marici, appeared again. (31) Traveling as well in the transcendental as in the places of the three material worlds I have, by vow unbroken in my service through the mercy of Mahâ-Vishnu, unrestricted entrance at any time. (32) This way I move constantly singing the message of the Lord, vibrating the transcendentally charged vînâ with which the Godhead has decorated Me. (33) Thus singing, the sight of the Lord of the Lotusfeet, of whom the recitations of His activities are pleasant to hear, appears soon, as if called for in the seat of my heart. (34) I experienced that for the ones so anxious in their desire for the objects of their senses, there is a boat to overcome the ocean of material nescience: the repeated recitation of the glories of the Lord. (35) Desire and lust being curbed every time by the discipline of yoga evidently will not the same way be as satisfying to the soul as the service to the Personality of Godhead. (36) I described all this about my birth and activities to you - who is without sin - as you asked for, for the satisfaction of as well your as my own soul'."

 (37) Sûta said: "After thus addressing the powerful sage, took Nârada Muni leave of the son of Satyavatî for wherever, meanwhile vibrating his enchanting vînâ. (38) All success to the sage of the Gods who takes pleasure in singing the glories of the Personality of Godhead, and thus, by his instrument, enlivens the distressed universe."  


Chapter 7

The Son of Drona Punished

 (1) S'rî S'aunaka said: "What did the great sage Vyâsadeva do after having heard from Nârada Muni what he wanted?"

 (2) Sûta replied: "At the riverbank of the Sarasvatî where sages meditate there is at S'amyâprâsa an âs'rama for the sake of transcendental activities. (3) There, in his own place sat Vyâsadeva surrounded by berrytrees concentrating his mind after his oblations of water. (4) His mind aligning in the devotion of yoga, being perfectly fixed without material concerns, he saw the purusha and the external energy in perfect control. (5) The living entities conditioned to the modes of nature take in spite of the transcendental the unwanted for granted and undergo the reactions thereof. (6) By means of devotional service in yoga one can find in transcendence the mitigation of the unwanted. For the masses unaware of this Vyâsadeva compiled the vedic literatures relating to this truth. (7) Simply attending to the literatures about the supreme personality of Krishna will make the devotional sprout that takes away lamentation, illusion and fear. (8) Having achieved that vedic literature and revising it, he taught it to his son S'ukadeva Gosvâmî, the wise engaged in selfrealization."

 (9) S'aunaka asked: "Why should he, fully on the path of self-realization, being contented within in divine indifference, undergo this vast study?"

 (10) Sûta said: "Such are His wonderful qualities that in spite of taking pleasure in the soul, as well the common people as the sages freed from all material bondage do pure devotional service to the Urukrama. (11) S'uka, as the son of Vyâsa, with the quality of being absorbed in the thought of the Supreme Lord, was beloved with the devotees in taking up the regular study of this great narration. (12) Thus I shall tell you the stories of Krishna about the birth, activities and deliverance of king Parîkchit, the rishi among the kings, as well as of the renunciation of the sons of Pându.

 (13-14)When on the battlefield of Kurukshetra the warriors of the Pândavas and the Kauravas had found their heroic fate and the son of King Dhritarâshthra was lamenting his broken spine due to being beaten by the club of Bhîma, the son of Dronâcârya [As'vatthâmâ] thought to please his master Duryodhana by delivering the heads of the sleeping sons of Draupadî as a prize - but the master disapproved of this heinous act. (15) The mother of the children [of the Pândavas], hearing of the massacre cried bitter tears in lamentation. Arjuna [who headed the Pândavas], trying to pacify her said: (16)'I can only take the tears from your eyes away o gentle lady, when the head of that fallen learned aggressor is shot of by the arrows of my bow Gândiva. I will present it to you to stand on for taking your bath, after I have burnt the bodies of your sons.'(17) Satisfying her by these words got Arjuna, he who is guided by the Infallible One, being armed and equipped on his chariot to persecute As'vatthâmâ, the son of his martial teacher. (18) Seeing him approaching furiously from a distance, the murderer of the princes panicked and fled in great speed on his chariot to save his life, like Sûrya did fleeing from S'iva [*]. (19) Seeing himself unprotected when his horses got tired, the son of the twice-born [As'vatthâmâ] resorted, only thinking of himself, to the ultimate weapon [the brahmâstra]. (20) Thereto touching water and concentrating on reciting the mantras, he put life in great danger, not knowing how to stop the process. (21) A glaring light spread in all directions that fierce, that seeing the life threat Arjuna turned to the Lord [who drove his chariot] and said: (22)'O, Krishna, Krishna, You are the Almighty that takes away the fears of the devotees, You alone are the path of liberation for those suffering in the midst of material miseries. (23) You are by transcendence the original enjoyer and direct controller of the material energy; You are the one who by His own internal potency in the bliss and knowledge of Your own Self casts off the material illusion. (24) From that position are You, in the heart of the ones materially entangled, by Your influence executing the ultimate good of the four principles that characterize the liberation [truth, cleanliness, austerity and compassion]. (25) Thus You incarnate to remove the burden of the material world for the satisfaction and remembrance of Your friends and pure devotees. (26) O Lord of Lords, I don't know where this highly dangerous, dazzling light spreading all around originates from.'(27) The Supreme Lord said: 'Take it from Me that it is of the son of Drona, who threw the weapon of mantras, not even knowing how to retract it facing the imminence of his death. (28) Nothing else can counter this weapon but another one; in fact you will have to subdue this immense glare by means of the dazzle of your own martial expertise'."

 (29) Sûta said: "After hearing what the Supreme Lord said, Arjuna in the opposition of battle, touched water himself circumambulating the Lord and took up the supreme weapon. (30) Thereupon of the combined glare of the two weapons the whole firmament and outer space was covered by an expanding ball of fire as bright as the sun. (31) Seeing the heat of both of them affecting all the inhabitants of the three worlds, reminded of the fire of annihilation at the end of time [sâmvartaka]. (32) Realizing this disturbance of the people in general and of their places, Arjuna by the command of Vâsudeva, retracted both the weapons. (33) Then Arjuna, angered with eyes red like copper, arrested the son of Gautamî, binding him skillfully with ropes as if it concerned an animal. (34) Having bound up the enemy and bringing him by force to the military camp, the Supreme Lord looking on with lotus eyes said to the angered Arjuna: (35)'Never let this relative of the learned go for he has killed innocent boys in their sleep. (36) One who knows the principles of religion is afraid to kill an enemy who is careless, intoxicated, insane, asleep, of tender age, a woman, foolish, a surrendered soul or someone who lost his chariot. (37) One who thinks he can properly maintain his own life at the cost of the lives of others by shameless and wretched killing, can certainly be killed for his own good for he will bring himself down by his own fault. (38) I personally heard you promised the daughter of the King of Pâñcâla the head of him who you consider to be the killer of your sons. (39) He, being not more than the burnt ashes of his family, an offending sinner who is responsible for the murdering of your sons and one who displeased his own master, will therefore be killed'."

 (40) Sûta said: "Although Arjuna, being examined by Krishna concerning the matter of his duty, was encouraged to do so, He didn't like to kill the son of his teacher, although it was the heinous murderer of his sons. (41) Thereafter having reached his own camp, along with his dear friend Govinda [He who enlivens the senses] and charioteer, he entrusted the assassin to his dear wife who was lamenting over her murdered sons. (42) Upon seeing the criminal thus brought in like an animal tied in ropes and being silent from his heinous act, Draupadî, of the beauty of her nature out of compassion showed the son of the teacher due respect. (43) It was unbearable for her having him brought being bound and she said: 'Release him, for he is a learned one [a brâhmana], our teacher'. (44) By his [Drona's] mercy you yourself have received the confidential knowledge of the martial arts and the release and control of all kinds of weapons. (45) The lordship of Drona for certain still exists in the form of his son, as his other half Kripî [his wife] is still living having him present. (46) Therefore, o most fortunate one of the principles of religion, by the good of your self do honor to the family by not causing grief to him, as he was always of worship and respect. (47) Do not make his mother, Drona's wife, cry the way I do in my chastity shedding tears constantly in distress over a lost child. (48) If the noble administration knows no restrictions relating to the order of the learned, that rule will burn up in no time and will, together with its family members, be put in grief'."

 (49) Sûta said: "o learned ones, the king [of the Pândavas, Yudhishthhira] supported the statements of the queen as they were in accord with the principles of religion, of justice, merciful, without duplicity and glorious in equity. (50) Nakula and Sahadeva [the younger brothers of the King] and also Sâtyaki, Arjuna, the Supreme Lord - son of Devakî, as well as the ladies and others were with him. (51) Thereupon said Bhîma indignantly: 'To his for no reason, nor for himself nor for his master, having killed sleeping children, is death declared to be the reward.' (52) The four-armed one [Lord Krishna], after hearing the words spoken by Bhîma and Draupadî and having seen the face of His friend [Arjuna], said as if smiling: (53-54) 'The relative of a learned one is not to be killed, although one kills an aggressor - this both is by Me certainly prescribed to be carried out abiding by the rules. You have to keep to the truth as promised by pacifying your wife and also act to the satisfaction of as well Bhîma as of Me'."

 (55) Sûta said: "Just then understanding the Lord His motives, by his sword he separated the jewel from the head of the twice born along with his hair. (56) After releasing him from the ropes, he [As'vatthâmâ], next to the loss of his bodily luster because of the infanticide, also lost strength being deprived of his jewel and was driven out of the camp. (57) Cutting the hair, taking the wealth and banishment are there for the relatives of the learned, and not any other method of killing concerning the matters of the body. (58) After that, the sons of Pându together with Draupadî, overtaken by grief, performed the duties that are needed to be done for the dead."  


*: When the sungod chased the demon Vidyunmâlî, darted Lord S'iva in anger against him with his trident. The sugod fleeing toppled at Kâs'î, where he became known as Lolârka.    


Chapter 8

Prayers by Queen Kuntî and Parîkchit Saved 

(1) Sûta said: "Thus headed they, along with Draupadî and the woman put in front, to the Ganges, with the wish to perform the waterduties for their relatives. . (2) After each had done his offering of water and sufficiently had mourned, took they a bath in the water of the Ganges that is purified by the dust of the lotus feet of the Lord. (3) There sat the king of the Kurus [Yudhishthhira] with his younger brothers, Dhritarâshthra and Ghândârî in deep bereavement together with Kuntî, Draupadî and the Lord Himself. (4) Lord Krishna together with the munis there pacified the shocked and affected family who had lost their friends and family members, by showing how each is subject to the Time that cannot be avoided. (5) Because of cheating Yudhishthhira [the eldest of the Pândavas], who had no enemies, had the unscrupulous [Duryodhana and brothers] been killed, who cleverly seized the kingdom and had shortened their lifespan by insulting the queen [Draupadî], mistreating her by the hair. (6) By the proper performance of three horse-sacrifices his [Yudhishthhira's] fame spread in all directions like the fame of Indra who did that sacrifice a hundredfold.

(7) Worshiped by the wise and the learned and responding to them, the Lord invited the sons of Pându along with Uddhava [another relative and friend of Krishna].(8) Seated on His chariot saw He, just as He wanted to leave for Dvârakâ, Uttarâ [the mother expecting Parîkchit] hurrying towards Him in fear. (9) She said: 'Protect me, protect me, o Greatest of the Yogîs, Worshiped of the Worshiped and Lord of the Universe, apart from You I see no one fearless in this world of death and duality. (10) O all powerful Lord, a fiery iron is coming towards me. Let it burn me, o Protector, but save my embryo'."

(11) Sûta said: "Patiently hearing her words the Supreme Lord, who is the caretaker of the devotees, understood that this was the result of a brahmâstra-weapon of the son of Drona who wanted to end the existence of all Pândava descendants. (12) O Chief of the Munis [S'aunaka], seeing the glaring brahmâstra heading towards them, the Pândavas each took up their own five weapons. (13) Seeing that they were in great danger with no other means available, the Almighty took up His Sudars'ana disc for the protection of His devotees.(14) Being within the soul of all living beings, the Supreme Lord of Yoga by His personal energy covered the embryo of Uttarâ for the protection of the progeny of the Kuru dynasty. (15) O S'aunaka, although the brahmâstra weapon went unhindered by counteractions, was it, being confronted with the strength of Vishnu, neutralized. (16) Do not think of all this as something wondrous, since, of all of the all-mysterious and infallible, it is the Lord who, unborn as He is, is considered to be the One transcendental by His own energy in creating, maintaining and destroying.

(17) Being saved from the radiation of the weapon, the chaste Kuntî along with her sons, addressed Lord Krishna who was about to leave. (18) Kuntî said: 'My obeisances to You, the Purusha, the Original Controller of the Cosmos who is invisible and beyond all existing both within and without. (19) Covered by the deluding [material] curtain, being irreproachably transcendent and not discerned by the foolish, You are like an actor dressed up as a player. (20) How is it for us, women, possible to understand You rightly so that we can be of devotional service, like the advanced transcendentalists and philosophers are who can discriminate between spirit and matter? (21) Therefore My respectful obeisances to You, the Protector of the cows and the senses, the Supreme Lord, the son of Vasudeva and Devakî, of Nanda and the cowherd men of Vrindâvana. (22) Unto You my respects, who has a lotuslike depression in His abdomen, who is always decorated with lotus flowers, whose glance is as cool as a lotus flower and whose footprints show the mark of lotusflowers. (23) You are the master of the senses and have released the distressed Devakî [mother of Krishna] from a long imprisonment by the envious [uncle] King Kamsa and o Lordship, You have protected me and my children against a constant threat. (24) Saving us in the past from poison, a great fire, man-eaters, a vicious assembly, sufferings from exile in the forest and against the weapons in battles with great generals, You have now fully protected us against the weapon of the son of Drona. (25) If we would only have more of those calamities, o Master of the Universe, so that we can meet You again and again, because meeting You means that we no longer see the repetition of births and death. (26) The ones intoxicated by striving for a good birth, opulences, education, and beauty will never ever deserve to address You, who are easily approached by the ones destitute. (27) All honor to You, as You are the property of the ones living in poverty, transcendental to the affection with the material modes, the selfcontented and most gentle one; all my respect unto You who are the Master of the Monists. (28) I consider You to be the Eternal Time that is without a beginning or an end - the All-pervasive One distributing Your mercy everywhere equally among the beings who live in the dissent of social intercourse. (29) O Lord, no one understands Your pastimes, that appear to be worldly in Your following the common man; people think You are partial, but You favor or dislike no one. (30) Being of the vital energy, o Soul of the Universe, taking birth although You are unborn and acting although You are inactive and manifesting with the animals, the human beings, the wise and beings in the water, You are veritably bewildering. (31) It bewilders me that when the gopî [Yas'odâ, the cowherd foster mother of Krishna] took up a rope to bind You because You were naughty, You were afraid and cried the make-up off Your eyes, although You are feared by fear personified. (32) Some say that You are born from the unborn for the glory of the pious kings or the pleasure of the family of dear King Yadu, like sandalwood appearing in the Malaya Hills. (33) Others say that You descended from the unborn for the good of Vasudeva and Devakî who prayed for You and the killing of the ones envious with the godly. (34) Still others say that You, like a boat on the sea, came to take away the burden of extreme worldly grief and were born from the prayers of Lord Brahmâ. (35) And yet others say that You appeared for the ones suffering from desire and nescience in the materially motivated world so that they may perform hearing, remembering and worshiping You. (36) The people in general who take pleasure in continuously hearing and chanting Your activities, certainly very soon will see Your lotus feet who put the recurrence of rebirths to an end. (37) O Lord, with all that You did for us, You are leaving us - Your intimate friends living by Your mercy alone in dependence on Your lotus feet - today to the kings engaged in enmity. (38) We, without You, will, along with the Yadus and Pândavas, be without the fame and name, like a body is without the senses after the spirit has left. (39) The land of our kingdom will no longer appear as beautiful as it does now being dazzled by the marks of Your footprints. (40) All these cities and towns flourished in their nature increasing by Your looks with a wealth of herbs, vegetables, forests, hills, rivers and seas. (41) Therefore, o Lord of the Universe, Personality of the universal form, cut my tie of deep affection for my kinsmen the Pândavas and the Vrishnis. (42) Make my attraction to You pure and continuously overflowing like the Ganges flowing down to the sea. (43) O Krishna, friend of Arjuna and chief of the Vrishnis, annihilator of the rebellious dynasties on this earth, with Your unrelenting bravery You relieve the distressed cows, brâhmanas and the godly, o Lord of Yoga incarnate, universal preceptor and original proprietor - unto You my respectful obeisances'."

 (44) Sûta said: "Thus being worshiped in His universal glories by the choice of words of queen Kuntî, the Lord mildly gave a smile as captivating as His mystic power. (45) Thus accepting all that and after further paying respects to other ladies in the palace of Hastinâpura, the Lord, upon leaving for His own residence, was stopped by the love of the king [Yudhishthhira]. (46) By the will of the learned, the sages and Lord Krishna Himself, he, distressed as he was, could - from the One of superhuman accomplishment - not be convinced nor find solace by evidence of history. (47) King Yudhishthhira, son of Dharma, thinking to the material conception of the loss of his friends, was, o learned ones, carried away by the delusion of his affection as he spoke: (48)'O, just look at me in my ignorance of heart, being immersed in the sin of having with this body, which is meant to serve others, killed many formations of warriors. (49) Having killed many boys, twice-born, caretakers, friends, parents, brothers and teachers, I for sure will never find liberation from hell, not for a million years. (50) There is no sin for a king who kills in the fight with his enemies for the right cause of protecting his people, but those words set for the satisfaction of the administration do not apply to me. (51) All the enmity that accrued because of the women and friends that I have killed, I cannot expect to be undone by dint of working for material welfare. (52) Just like one cannot filter mud through mud or clean wine stains with wine, it is of no avail to counteract killing with prescribed sacrifices of animals'."  


Chapter 9

The Passing Away of Bhîshmadeva in the Presence of Lord Krishna

 (1) Sûta said: "In fear because of having killed, Yudhishthhira for the sake of the full knowledge of the religious duty, thereafter went to the battlefield, where he found the dying Bhîshmadeva lying down. (2) All the brothers followed him there, drawn by the best horses decorated with golden ornaments, accompanied by Vyâsa, Dhaumya [the priest of the Pândavas] and other rishis. (3) The Supreme Lord also followed him with Arjuna on the chariot, O sages among the learned, and thus appearing very aristocratic he was like Kuvera [the treasurer of the demigods] and his companions. (4) Upon seeing Bhîshma lying on the ground like a demi-god fallen from heaven, Yudhishthhira together with his brothers and Lord Krishna, bowed down before him. (5) There the rishis of goodness amongst the learned, the godly and the kings were present just to see the chief of the descendants of King Bharata [the common ancestor]. (6-7) Parvata Muni, Nârada, Dhaumya, Lord Vyâsa, Brihadas'va, Bharadvâja and Paras'urâma were there with their disciples as also Vasishthha, Indrapramada, Trita, Gritsamada, Asita, Kakshîvân, Gautama, Atri and Kaus'ika as well as Sudars'ana. (8) o learned ones, also many other sages like S'ukadevaand other pure souls as Kas'yapa and Ângirasa arrived there accompanied by their disciples.

 (9) Bhîshmadeva, the best amongst the Vasus, knowing well how to behave religiously according time and circumstances, welcomed all the great and powerful ones he had received there. (10) Knowing of His glories he also in worship welcomed Lord Krishna, the Lord of the Universe situated in the heart who manifests His form through His internal potency. (11) Seeing the sons of Pându sitting silently nearby, Bhîshma, overtaken by feelings of love about the gathering, congratulated them warmheartedly, overwhelmed by tears of ecstasy. (12) He said: 'O how painful and unjust it has been that you good souls, sons of righteousness, had a life of suffering you never deserved under the protection of the learned, the religion and the Infallible One. (13) After the death of the great general Pându, Kuntî, my daughter in law, having young children, suffered a great deal and that continued, despite of having the boys grown up, on your account. (14) All the unpleasant I think, is attributable to Time, for also you, like the whole world with its ruling demigods, fall under that control like the clouds carried by the wind. (15) And where there is Yudhishthhira, the son of the ruler of religion, Bhîma with his mighty club, Arjuna carrying his Gândiva and our well-wisher Lord Krishna, is it [the effect of Time] driven away. (16) Of His plan no one knows, o King; even great philosophers engaged in exhaustive inquiries for sure are bewildered. (17) Therefore, I assure you, o best of the descendants of Bharata, that this was only the enchantment of His providence, His desire; o ruler, just take care of the helpless subjects o master. (18) This Supreme Lord S'rî Krishna is no one else but the original primordial supreme enjoyer Nârâyana who bewilders each by His energies and moves inconceivably amongst the Vrishni family. (19) Of Him, o King, we have the direct confidential knowledge of the divine glories of Lord S'iva, the rishi Nârada and Kapila. (20) He is the same person that you think of as your maternal cousin, dearest friend, ardent well-wisher, counselor, messenger, benefactor and charioteer. (21) He, being present in everyone's heart and equal to all, is from the Absolute enacting unidentified in the consciousness of differentiation and never attached at any stage. (22) Yet, being steadfast with the devotees, see, o King, how directly with the ending of my life Krishna has made His presence with me. (23) Those yoga-adepts who in their words meditate devoutly on His holy name, singing His glories, will, upon abandoning the material conception of life, find release from the desire of their materially motivated actions. (24) May He, the God of the Gods, the Supreme Lord, in the line of my meditation on the four-handed one [Vishnu], await me with His cheerful smile, His eyes red like the morning sun and His decorated lotus face, the moment I leave this material body'."

 (25) Sûta said: "Yudhishthhira hearing that from him who was lying down on a bed of arrows, asked him, with the rishis listening, about the diverse religious duties. (26) Bhîshma described to him the different stages of life and the vocations as determined by the qualities of the person next to the way how to deal systematically with both the symptoms of attachment and detachment. (27) He explained about the duties of charity, rulership and liberation by giving their divisions and gave the general outline of the duties of women and devotional service. (28) Knowing the truth, he described, o sages, the religion, the economy, the fulfillment of desires and the enlightenment, citing from the various known histories. (29) At the time when Bhîshma described the duties, the sun ran over the northern hemisphere which according to the mystics is the exact time desired for leaving this world [see B.G. 8: 24]. (30) Then Bhîshmadeva, the protector of thousands of sciences and arts, fell silent and with a mind freed from all bondage he fixed his eyes on the Original Person Lord S'rî Krishna, the Fourhanded One who was standing before him in yellow dress. (31) Simply looking at Him, the Annihilator of the Inauspicious, his meditation purified and his pain from the arrows instantly disappeared - and while praying the material tabernacle all the activities of his senses stopped as he quit for the Controller of All Living Beings. (32) S'rî Bhîshmadeva said: 'Let me, being freed from desires, put my thought, feelings and willing on the Supreme Lord, the Leader of the Devotees, the Great Self-contented One who in the realization of His transcendental joy at times takes pleasure in accepting this material world with its creation and destruction. (33) He is the most desirable from the high, low and middle worlds, bluish like a Tamâla tree, wears His dress shining like the golden rays of the sun, has a body decorated with sandalwood pulp and a face like a lotus - may my love free from material motives repose in the friend of Arjuna. (34) Let the mind be directed towards S'rî Krishna who, with His scattered hair on the battlefield turned ashen from the dust of the hoofs, His face decorated with perspiration and His skin pierced by my sharp arrows, with His protecting armor took pleasure in all of it. (35) After hearing the command of His friend He drove the chariot between the opposing powers and while staying there, He diminished the lifespan of the enemy by simply looking at them - let there be my love for that friend of Arjuna. (36) With the soldiers looking from a distance, He by transcendental knowledge eradicated the lack of knowledge from the one who, from a polluted intelligence, was reluctant to kill his kinsmen - let there be the transcendence of my attraction for His feet. (37) Against His own word got He, to nullify my promise of factually being more of it [of violence], down from His chariot, took He up it's wheel, and paced He towards me like a lion about to kill an elephant, meanwhile dropping His outer garment. (38) Wounded by the sharp arrows and without His shield, He, smeared with blood, in the angry mood of the great aggressor, began to move for the purpose of killing me - may that Supreme Lord who awards salvation become my destination. (39) Let me, at this hour of death, be of love for the Personality of Godhead who, controlling the horses with a whip in His right hand and the reins in the left, so elegant to behold by all means protected the chariot of Arjuna; it was by looking at Him that those who died in this world attained their original form. (40) Watching the attractive movements of His supremely spirited fascinating acts and sweet smiles, found the gopîs of Vrajadhâma [the village of Krishna's youth] imitating Him in ecstasy, their original nature. (41) In a royal performance of sacrifice of King Yudhishthhira, where the great sages and kings were assembled, He received the respectful worship of all the elites, with me personally present recognizing Him as my object of attraction. (42) Him, now present before me, I know, having experienced the absorption of being freed from the misconceptions of duality, to be the Unborn One of the conditioned body, who, though being One, like the sun that looks different from every angle is situated as the Supersoul in the heart of all that are created by Him."

 (43) Sûta said: "With his mind, speech, sight and activities thus fixed on Krishna only, he fell silent and stopped breathing, having merged in the living being of the Supersoul. (44) After hearing this all from Bhîshmadeva as he merged into the Supreme Absolute and Unlimited, everyone fell silent like birds at the end of the day. (45) Thereafter drums sounded beaten by gods and men from everywhere, with praise from the pious royal order and showers of flowers falling from the sky. (46) O descendants of Bhrigu [S'aunaka], after having performed the funeral rites for the dead body, was Yudhishthhira for a moment afflicted. (47) Then, the sages, satisfied and happy by the confidentiality of the glories of Lord Krishna, went with Him in their hearts back to their own hermitages. (48) King Yudhishthhira with Lord Krishna went to Hastinâpura to console his uncle [Dhritarâshthra] and ascetic aunt Ghândhârî. (49) With the approval of his uncle he thereafter executed the royal duties over the kingdom, as was confirmed by Lord Vâsudeva, to the greatness of his forefathers."  



Chapter 10

The Departure of Lord Krishna for Dvârakâ

(1) S'aunaka Muni asked: "How did King Yudhishthhira, the greatest of the strict followers of the religion, with his younger brothers rule the kingdom after killing the aggressor who wanted to usurp the legal inheritance? Surely they out of necessity had to accept restrictions."

(2) Sûta said: "After the exhausting bamboo-forest fire of the Kuru dynasty, the Lord, the Maintainer of the Creation, became contented about having reestablished the seedling of Yudhishthhira his own kingdom. (3) After having heard what Bhîshma and the Infallible One had said, was Yudhishthhira, enlightened by perfect knowledge, freed from his bewilderment and ruled he, followed by his brothers, over the earth and the seas like the king of the heavenly planet [Indra] protected by the invincible Lord. (4) All the rain that was needed showered and the land produced everything wanted to which the cows out of sheer joy moistened the pastures with their filled udders. (5) The rivers, oceans and hills assured him of all necessary vegetables, greenery and medicinal herbs. (6) Never, because of themselves, nature or others, was any living being troubled by anxieties, diseases or extreme temperatures, as always happens with a king who has no enemies.

(7) For appeasing His family and pleasing His sister [Subhadrâ, who was married with Arjuna], the Lord stayed a few months in the city of Hastinâpura. (8) Upon duly asking permission He was permitted to leave and after embracing and bowing down with the king He ascended His chariot with receiving from the others the same respects and embraces. (9-10) His sister, the wife of the Pândavas Draupadî, their mother Kuntî, Uttarâ and also the father Dhritarâshthra and mother Gândhârî of Duryodhana, their son Yuyutsu, the priest Kripâcârya, the twinbrothers Nakula and Sahadeva together with Bhîma and Dhaumya and also other ladies of the palace and Bhîshma's stepmother Satyavatî, couldn't bear the separation from the One with the conch in His hands, and almost fainted. (11-12) The one intelligent will, concerning the fame that is sung, being liberated from materialistic association by the right company, never think of giving it up, but once having heard the pleasing. How could the Pândavas who gave Him their mind then tolerate separation from Him having seen Him face to face, touching, sleeping, sitting and eating together with Him? (13) All of them, looking at Him with open eyes, melted for Him and bound as they were by pure affection, they were moving restlessly. (14) The ladies of the family who came out of the palace, had difficulty checking their tears from overflowing, as they were afraid that because of it inauspicious things might happen to the son of Devakî. (15) At that time mridangas [drums used in devotional service], conchshells, horns, strings, flutes and more drums, bells and other rhythm-instruments were sounded. (16) For onlooking the ladies of the Kuru dynasty got on the roof of the palace, from where they showered flowers upon Krishna with love and shy smiles. (17) For the Most Beloved of the Beloved the conqueror of sleep [Arjuna] took up an embroidered sun-shade decorated with perls and lace with a handle inlaid with jewels. (18) Uddhava, His cousin brother and His driver Sâtyaki fanned Him while He, as the master of Madhu, sitting on flowers scattered all around, commanded them on the road.

(19) It was being heard here and there that the respects and sayings of the twice born at that time were nor befitting nor unbefitting because it was done for the Absolute that was playing the role of a human being. (20) The ladies of the capital of the king of the Kurus were with their hearts absorbed in talking amongst each other about the Supreme, so hailed by the scriptures, in such a manner that it sounded more attractive than the hymns of the Vedas themselves: (21) 'He, as we definitely remember this Personality of Godhead, is the Original One who existed materially unmanifested in His own Self before the creation of the modes of nature - and with that Supersoul, that Supreme Lord, the living beings merge with their energies suspended as if during the night. (22) He thus entrusts, by the performance of His own personal potency, the individual soul, in the re-creation of the outer illusion in material nature, time and again as the compiler of the revealed scriptures names and forms, assigning them to that what factually is without them. (23) He by providence is the same Personality of Godhead with those great devotees who managed to control their senses and life and who, by the grace of their devotion, can see the development of a pure mind and certainly by this only, deserve a purified existence. (24) O friends, this is He who is spoken of and confidentially described in the Vedas as also by the confidential devotees, as the one and only Supreme Controller and Supersoul of the complete creation, who, by the manifestation of His pastimes creates, maintains and destroys, without ever becoming attached to it. (25) Whenever there are rulers, who ignorantly, like animals, go against the divine principles, He manifests, for sure out of goodness, His supreme power and positive truth, mercy and wonderful activities, in various forms, for the sake of maintenance in the different periods and ages. (26) O, how supremely glorified is the dynasty of King Yadu and the virtue of the land of Mathurâ, because this, of all the living beings, is the supreme leader and husband of the goddess of fortune who appeared and [in His youth] wandered here. (27) How wonderful is Dvârakâ [the island where Krishna resides], that place that, adding to the virtue and fame of the earth, defeats the glory of the heavenly worlds and whose inhabitants are used to constantly see the soul of the living being [Krishna] bestowing His grace with the benediction of His smiling glance. (28) For the wives He married to relish His lips again and again, must they certainly by vow, bath, fire-sacrifice and such have been of perfect worship with the Controller, o friend; often fainted the damsels of Vraja with their minds set on that! (29) Of the lady of Dvârakâ [Rukminî, Krishna's first wife], who with great valor was taken away by Him from the open selection of the bridegroom, as the price that had to be paid by the harassing powerful kings headed by S'is'upâla, or as with other ladies similarly brought after the killing of thousands of wicked kings [headed by Bhaumâsura], there are children like Pradyumna, Sâmba and Amba. (30) All these women of the highest stature that were bereft of their individuality and purity were auspiciously glorified and were never left alone in their homes by their lotus-eyed husband who made His presence in their endeared hearts'.

(31) While the ladies of the capital were praying and talking this way about Him, He granted them the grace of His glance and greeting them with a smile on His face the Lord departed. (32) Yudhishthhira who was without enemies, out of affection and being afraid, engaged four divisions of defense for the protection of the enemy of the atheists. (33) After thus having accompanied Him for a long distance, the Lord politely and full affection persuaded the determined Pândavas, who were overtaken by the thought of future separation, to return - upon which He proceeded for Dvârakâ with His dear companions. (34-35) Through Kurujâñgala [the province of Delhi] and Pâñcâlâ [part of Punjab] and Sûrasenâ and Brahmâvarta [Uttar Pradesh its North] and the districts along the Yamunâ river, He came along Kurukshetra where the battle was fought and the province of Matsyâ, Sârasvatân [part of Punjab] and so on. Then through the land of deserts [Rajasthan] and the land where there is hardly any water [Madhya Pradesh], and after passing through the provinces of Sauvîra [Saurastra] and Âbhîra [part of Gujarat], He, o S'aunaka, finally reached the western side of the province of Dvârakâ with His horses slightly overtaken by fatigue of the long journey. (36) At different places it so happened that the Lord was welcomed and served variously in the evening after the sun had passed the eastern sky to be gone where the ocean is."


Chapter 11

Lord S'rî Krishna's Entrance into Dvârakâ

(1) Sûta said: "Reaching the border of the land of the Ânartas [the ones free from the unwanted, Dvârakâ], He sounded for the arrival at His own prosperous city His conchshell [the Pâñcajanya], which, evidently, ended the dejection of the inhabitants. (2) The brilliant white of the big conchshell, although reddened by the lips of the Great Adventurer, as it was being loudly sounded in His hands, looked like a ducking swan at the stems of lotusflowers. (3) Having heard the sound that is the threat to the fear of material existence, all the citizens rapidly proceeded towards the protector of the devotees for the so long awaited audience. (4-5) Thereupon they made their presentation that could be considered like offering a lamp to the sun relative to the Selfcontented Satisfied One who by His own potency supplied them incessantly. With cheerfully affectionate faces they ecstatically held gladdened speeches to the Father like friends and protegees to their guardian.

(6) They said: 'We have always bowed down to Your lotusfeet like one does with the worship of Brahmâ and His sons and the king of heaven, as for the one who desires the supreme welfare in this life You are the Master of Transcendence upon whom the inevitable time has no influence. (7) Just for our welfare You became the Creator of our world and also the mother, well-wisher, husband, father and our Lord and spiritual teacher; our supreme and our idol in whose footsteps we have become successful. (8) Oh how lucky we are, now that we see Your all-auspicious form, to be again under the protection of Your good Self, as also by the demigods your affectionate, lovingly smiling face is rarely seen. (9) Whenever, o lotus-eyed One, You go away to see Your relatives and the inhabitants of Mathurâ - at that time, o Infallible One, each moment seems to be like a million years, like our eyes that are useless being without the sun. (10) How can we, with You being abroad, live without the satisfaction of Your glance that vanquishes the universal miseries and without seeing Your beautiful smiling and decorated, attractive face.'

Thus hearing of the words of the citizens, the caretaker of the devotees who teaches kindness by the distribution of His glances, approached the city of Dvârakâ. (11) Like the city Bhogavatî, protected by the Nâgas, it was protected by the strength of the descendants of Vrishni [Krishna's family-name]: Bhoja, Madhu, Das'ârha, Arha, Kukura, Andhaka etc., who were all as good as Krishna Himself. (12) With the trees, greenery and hermitages, there were all the opulences of the seasons from orchards, flower gardens and parks surrounded by ponds with lotuses, who added to the beauty. (13) The gateway of the city as well as different roads were decorated with arches and flags painted with the foremost signs casting shadows in the sunshine. (14) The lanes, alleys, the market and public meeting places were thoroughly cleansed, sprinkled with scented water and strewn with fruits, flowers and unbroken seeds. (15) At the door of each residential house there was a display of curd, unbroken fruits, sugar cane, decorations, pots of water and articles for worship like incense and lamps. (16-17) Hearing that the dearmost was coming home, His father Vasudeva and the magnanimous Akrûra, Ugrasena, Krishna's superhumanly powerful elder brother Balarâma, Pradyumna, Cârudeshna and Sâmba the son of Jâmbavatî, were all by the force of extreme happiness alerted from their resting, sitting and dining. (18) Headed by brâhmanas and elephants, with all-auspicious signs, the sound of conchshells and the glorifying chanting of hymns, they hurried on their chariots towards Him immersed in cheerfulness and an all-respectful affection. (19) Hundreds of well known courtesans very anxious to meet Him followed with their vehicles, with dazzling earrings enhancing the beauty of their foreheads. (20) There were dancers, singers, historians, genealogists and learned speakers chanting their inspiration on the superhuman activities of The Lord. (21) The Supreme Lord approached each of the friends and citizens who came to receive and welcome Him, as it should with due honor and respect. (22) He, the Almighty, bowed His head greeting them in words, embracing and shaking hands with the encouragement of His glancing smile and down to the lowest He gave His benedictions as desired. (23) Then, accompanied by the elderly relatives and invalid brâhmanas and their wives, He entered the city where He was also welcomed with blessings and praises of other admirers.

(24) While passing over the public roads of Dvârakâ the respectable ladies got on top of their palaces for looking at Krishna, o learned ones, as they considered it the greatest festival. (25) Although they always were looking at Him this way regularly, the inhabitants of Dvârakâ never tired of the compelling sight of of the Infallible One's embodiment as the reservoir of beauty. (26) In His chest the goddess of fortune resides, from His face the eyes are drinking, by His arms the ruling demigods abide, and His lotus feet are the shelter for the singing and talking devotees. (27) Being served by a white parasol, fans and a road covered by a shower of flowers, with His yellow garments and flower garlands, the Lord looked like a cloud surrounded by sun, moon, lightening and rainbow together.

(28) But after entering the houses of His father He was embraced by His own seven mothers [the real one, the wife of the priest, the guru and the king, the cow, the nurse and mother earth] gladly headed by Devakî to whom He bowed His head down in obeisance. (29) After all of them had put Him on their laps their breasts got wet of affection and delight and the water of the tears that overwhelmed them. (30) Thereafter He entered His personal palaces that answered all desires to the full with His wives that numbered over sixteen thousand. (31) With their minds rejoicing the ladies, from a distance seeing their husband now returned home, at once got up from their seats and meditations with a, according the custom, coyly looking face. (32) Sending their sons at the sight of Him, embracing Him from within their hearts in insuperable ecstasy first, they in spite of that choked up with tears that inadvertently fell like water from their eyes in shyness. (33) Although He was [always] at their side and that also in seclusion, appeared His feet nevertheless newer and newer at each step - who can be detached from the feet of the eternal that are never quit by the goddess of fortune? (34) He without being part of it Himself created the enmity between the rulers who became a burden to the earth, born as they were with their military strength and conceit about their background. He gave relief by killing them alike the wind that creates fire from friction between bamboos. (35) He appeared amongst all of these in this human world by Himself from His own causeless mercy, enjoying the worthiest of women as if it concerned an ordinary worldly affair. (36) Although they were spotless and exciting in their grave expression looking from the corners of their eyes in a way that even won Cupid to give up his bow, they as maddening women first class were never able to perturb His senses by their magical feats. (37) All of the materially conditioned souls certainly speculate that He who is unattached in spite [of being in the material world], would compare to an ordinary person like themselves that is foolish out of ignorance. (38) Such is the divinity of the Personality of Godhead that He, although He is in contact with material nature, is never affected by its qualities, as is also true for the intelligence of the ones situated in the eternal of the Lord who gives them shelter. (39) The delicate women out of simplicity took it for true that He would be like someone who is dominated and isolated by his wife in following her, being unaware of the glories of their husband the way the atheists hold Him to be not knowing Him as the Supreme Controller."




Chapter 12

The Birth of Emperor Parîkchit

 (1) S'aunaka said: "The womb of Uttarâ, that was tormented by the heat released by the invincible weapon of As'vatthâmâ, was brought back to life by the Lord. (2) How did the birth of Emperor Parîkchit, who was highly intelligent and performed as a great soul, take place? What did actually happen at his death and what did he attain thereafter? (3) Please tell us, we all want to hear everything about what you think can be told of him as we are full of respect for the one whom S'ukadeva Gosvâmî delivered the knowledge of the Supreme."

 (4) Sûta said: "King Yudhishthhira brought wealth the way his father did, pleasing all those who took birth without further motives for material gain or sense gratification, unrelenting as he was in his service to the feet of Lord Krishna. (5) His fame about his wealth, sacrifices, what he was working for, his queens, his brothers and his sovereignty over the planet earth where we are living, spread all over the three worlds. (6)His opulence was such that even the godly aspired for it, because, being a god-fearing person, o twice born, nothing else that would please could satisfy the hunger of the king.

 (7) At the time of being in the womb of his mother, could the great fighter, the child Parîkchit, suffering from the heat of the brahmâstra weapon, o son of Bhrigu, see the purusha [the original person] as someone else. (8) In the blaze he saw at the size of a thumb the transcendental Infallible Lord beautifully blackish with a golden helmet and lightening clothes. (9) He was, with the riches of His four arms, earrings of molten gold, eyes red of blood and a club in His hands, circling the club all around Himself like a shooting star, going here and there. (10) Vanquishing the radiation of the brahmâstra like the sun evaporating dew drops, He was observed by the child that wondered who He was. (11) While he observed the all-pervading Supersoul, the Supreme Lord and protector of righteousness taking away the glare, the Lord who stretches in all directions suddenly disappeared out of his sight. (12) Thereupon, with the gradual evolving of good signs and under a favorable constellation, he took birth as the heir apparent of Pându being exactly alike Pându himself in prowess. (13) King Yudhishthhira, gladdened, had priests like Dhaumya and Kripa perform the birth ritual with the recitation of auspicious hymns. (14) He, knowing where, when and how, rewarded with gifts of gold, cows, land, housing, elephants and horses, in charity, together with good food, the learned ones for the occasion. (15) Gladdened the brahmins addressed the king, the chief amongst the Purus, communicating that they felt very obliged to the descent in the line of the Purus [to the forefather King Puru of Yudhishthhira]. (16) They said: 'This son has been saved by the all-pervasive and all-powerful Lord from destruction by the all-devouring supernatural weapon, for the sake of obliging you. (17) Therefore he shall become well known in all the worlds as one protected by Vishnu; no doubt he will be a most fortunate supreme devotee endowed with all good qualities.'

(18) The good king said: 'O best of the truthful, will he follow in the footsteps of all the great souls of this family of saintly kings, of merit and true to his word by the very name in his achievements?'

 (19) The brahmins answered: 'O son of Prithâ [Kuntî], he will be the maintainer of all who are born, exactly like King Ikshvâku, son of Manu, and he will be loyal in his promises and respect for the learned ones just like Râma, the son of Das'aratha. (20) Like King S'ibi of Us'înara he will be charitable and protect the surrendered ones and like Bharata, the son of Dushyanta, who performed many sacrifices, he will spread the name and fame of his family. (21) Amongst the archers he will be as good as Arjuna, being as well irresistible as fire as unsurpassable as the ocean. (22) As powerful as a lion and as worthy for taking shelter like the Himalayas, he will be as forbearing as the earth and as tolerant as his parents. (23) With a spirit as good as that of Brahmâ, he will be as generous and equanimous as Lord S'iva and be the resort of all living beings like the Supreme Lord with whom the goddess of fortune resides. (24) Following in the footsteps of Lord Krishna he will abide by the glory of all godly attributes, he will have the greatness of King Rantideva and be like Yayâti concerning the religion. (25) Patient as Bali Mahârâja this child will be a devotee like Prahlâda unto Lord Krishna and will perform as'vamedha [horse] sacrifices and be loyal to the elderly and experienced. (26) He will bring forth kings as good as sages, will chastise the upstarts and crush the quarrelsome for the sake of worldpeace and the religion. (27) After hearing of his personal death, caused by a snakebird sent by the son of a brahmin, he will be freed from attachment and take to the shelter of the Lord. (28) Having inquired about the right self-knowledge from the son of the sage Vyâsa he, o King, will abandon his material life on the bank of the river the Ganges and will attain a life of fearlessness.'

 (29) After having thus informed the king, the ones well versed in the vedic knowledge, astrology and the ceremony of birth who had received sumptuous remuneration, returned to their respective homes. (30) He, o master [S'aunaka], would become famous in this world as Parîkchit, the examiner, because, from what he had seen before his birth, he would be examining all men in constant contemplation. (31) Very soon the royal prince under the care of his parental guardians luxuriantly grew up, the way the waxing moon grows day by day.

 (32) King Yudhishthhira, desiring to perform a horse-sacrifice to be freed from fighting his kinsmen, thought about acquiring funds as he received only from taxes and fines. (33) In respect of his mindful wishes his brothers, advised by the Infallible One, went north to collect sufficient riches. (34) With the result of that collected wealth the pious King Yudhishthhira, out of his anxiety could conduct three horse-sacrifices, with which he perfectly worshiped Lord Hari. (35) The Supreme Lord, being called for by the king, saw to it that the sacrifices on his behalf were performed by the twice-born, meanwhile residing a few months there to the pleasure of the relatives. (36) Thereafter, o learned ones, with the permission of the king, Draupadî and His relatives, He went back to Dvârakâ, accompanied by Arjuna and other members of the Yadu dynasty." 



Chapter 13  

Dhritarâshthra Quits Home

(1) Sûta said: " Vidura* while traveling to the different places of pilgrimage, had received knowledge of the destination of the self from the great sage Maitreya, and by that knowledge sufficiently acquainted with everything there was to know, returned he to the city of Hastinâpura. (2) With all the questions he had asked having grown one in devotion to Govinda in the presence of Maitreya, had Vidura refrained from questioning any further. (3-4) Arriving there, he was welcomed by Yudhishthhira with his younger brothers, Dhritarâshthra, Sâtyaki and Sañjaya, Kripâcârya, Kuntî, Gândhârî, Draupadî - o learned ones - Subhadrâ, Uttarâ, Kripî, other wives of the family members of the Pândavas, and other ladies with their sons. (5) They went towards him in great delight as if life had returned to their bodies, approaching him with due respect with embraces and obeisances. (6) In their affection they emotionally shed tears because of the anxiety and grief they had felt from the separation. King Yudhishthhira then arranged for a reception getting him seated.

(7) After being fed sumptuously, having rested and being seated comfortably, the king from his gentle nature meekly began to speak to him with all of the others listening. (8) He said: 'Do you remember how we, being educated under your wings, along with our mother were released from various calamities like poisoning and arson? (9) By which means of your good self did you maintain your livelihood traveling the surface of the earth and at what holy places of pilgrimage did you serve here on this planet? (10) Devotees like your goodness are converted into holy places themselves, o powerful one; having the Supreme Personality in your heart, you turn all places into places of pilgrimage. (11) O my uncle, can you tell us from seeing or hearing about our friends and well-wishers, if the descendants of Yadu, who are rapt in the service of Krishna, are all happy in their respective abodes?'

(12) Thus being asked by the king, he properly described all that he had experienced one after another, without mentioning the destruction of the dynasty. (13) Unable to see them distressed he compassionately did not expound on this in fact unpalatable and unbearable manifestation of mankind its own ways. (14) He resided thus for a few days being treated with the amenities befitting a god, doing good to the eldest brother and this way bringing happiness to all the others. (15) As long as Vidura played the part of a s'ûdra [a working class man], because of a 100-year curse of the sage Mandûka Muni [who under his responS'ibility was treated unjustly], Aryamâ** administered punishment as was suitable for the sinful ones. (16) By his seeing the grandson of the dynasty being suitable for ruling over the paternal kingdom together with his capable co-administering brothers, they enjoyed life in great opulence.

(17) Insurmountable, imperceptible eternal Time supremely surpasses all those who are mad and engrossed in their thoughts of attachment to family affairs. (18) Vidura, knowing this well, said to Dhritarâshthra: 'O King, please withdraw yourself from here without delay, just see how fear has taken over. (19) In this material world there is no remedy of any measure or anyone, for that fear concerns the Supreme Lord of eternal Time who arrives for all of us. (20) Inevitably overtaken by the pull of time must a person, just like that, give up this life, dear as it is to everyone, not to mention the other things he has acquired. (21) With your father, brother, well-wishers and sons all dead, your life expended and your body invalid of old age, you live in another man's home. (22) You have been blind from the beginning, don't hear so well, your memory fails and recently your teeth loosened, your liver gives you trouble, and you are loudly coughing up mucus. (23) Alas, how powerful are the hopes of living beings for life, under the influence of which you, just like a household-dog, eat the remnants of food left by Bhîma [a Pândava brother] (24) What use has it to subsist on the grace of those whom you tried to set afire, poison and whose wife you insulted usurping their kingdom? (25) Whether you like it or not will you, who desires to live, see this miserly body dwindle and deteriorate like an old garment. (26) He is considered wise who, being without the proper use of this body and indifferent of being freed from all obligations, gives up this body, having left for an unknown destination. (27) Anyone who in this world by his own understanding or by hearing from others awakens from his material attachment to consciousness and leaves home with the Lord installed in his heart, is certainly a first class human being. (28) Therefore, please go away heading for the north, without letting your relatives know where you are going to, as soon after this the time will come of the general diminishing of the qualities of men [kali-yuga].'(29) Thus the old king of the Ajamîdha family, urged by the wisdom of his younger brother Vidura, by his steadfastness broke with the strong network of familial affection and left in the [northern] direction set for the path of liberation. (30) He was followed by the chaste and worthy daughter of King Subala [Gândhârî] who went along with her husband to the Himalayas - the place that is the delight for those who took up the staff of renunciation, like fighters accepting the legitimate of a good beating.

(31) Returning to the palace, he who considered no one his enemy [Yudhishthhira], having worshiped the demigods with oblations, obeisances and gifts to the learned ones, wanted to pay respects to the elderly, but did not find his two uncles or aunt Gândhârî. (32) Anxious, he turned to Sañjaya the son of Gavalgana [the assistant who gave the blind Dhritarâshthra the account of the battle], saying: 'Where is our old and blind uncle? (33) Where is my well-wisher Vidura and mother Gândhârî who was in grief of losing her offspring? Has the old king, ungrateful to me of having lost his sons, in a doubtful mind of my offenses, drowned himself with his wife in the Ganges in his distress? (34) After the fall down of my father King Pându, they were the well-wishers of all of us small children protecting us - where have my uncles gone from here?' "

(35) Sûta said: "Sañjaya anxious out of compassion and distressed in separation of not seeing his master, could, being too aggrieved, not reply. (36) Wiping the tears of his face with his hands and regaining his mind with intelligence he began to reply King Yudhishthhira while thinking of the feet of his master. (37) Sañjaya said: 'I do not know of the determination of your uncles or Gândhârî, o descendant of the Kuru dynasty - o great King, I've been cheated by those great souls.' (38) At that time the supreme personality Nârada appeared on the scene with his musical instrument and after Yudhishthhira and his younger brothers had gotten up from their seats and had offered him their due obeisances, thus receiving the sage properly, the king said: (39) 'O Supreme One, I do not know whereto my uncles and my ascetic aunt so aggrieved of the loss of her sons, have left for from here. (40) Like the captain on a ship in the extensive ocean you are the Lord to direct us to the other side.'

Thus addressed the divine personality Nârada, greatest among the wise philosophers of the eternal, began to speak: (41)'O King, never lament for whatever reason, as you are under the control of the Supreme Lord. All living beings and their leaders in this world therefore do carry on worship for their protection. He is the one who brings all together and also disperses them. (42) The way a cow is strung by a rope through the nose, likewise one is conditioned by the hymns and precepts of the Veda to carry on with the orders of control of the caring Lord. (43) As playthings that are brought together and set apart again at will in this world, does, just to have them play their part, the will of the caring Lord so also for certain direct the human beings. (44) Whether you think of the absolute impersonal truth or of persons as a non-reality or of both as such, in all circumstances, never give in to lamentation out of affection or otherwise out of bewilderment. (45) Therefore, o King, give up your anxiety due to the ignorance of the self, [all the while] thinking how these helpless poor creatures would be able to survive without you. (46) How can this body and mind made up of the five elements [fire, water, air, earth and ether] that is under the control of time, action and the material modes of nature [kâla, karma and gunas] protect others when it is as well bitten by that snake as all others? (47) Those without hands are of those with hands, without legs one is of the four-legged, the weak are of the powerful and one living being is the subsistence for the other. (48) Therefore look only at this outer form of the Supreme Personality, o King, who is one without a second and the Supersoul who by His energies manifests qualitatively alike Himself within and without, although He appears to be different. (49) That Unborn One, the Father of Creation, has, o King, at present descended in this world in a form of time, in order to eliminate all those who are against His will. (50) For the godly has been performed what needed to be done and the rest is awaited - till that time all of you may observe and wait for Him as long as He is in this world.'

(51)'Dhritarâshthra, his brother Vidura and his wife Gândhârî have gone to the southern side of the Himalayas where sages take shelter. (52) The place is known as Saptasrota [seven sources] as the sacred Ganges there sprouted to the satisfaction of the respective wise from seven currents into seven branches. (53) By bathing regularly there, sacrificing in the fire according the regulative principles and fasting with water only, Dhritarâshthra has the senses and mind completely controlled and is thus freed from His family concerns. (54) From sitting postures, breath-control and turning inward from the six senses one can, absorbed in the Lord, conquer the contaminations of passion, goodness and ignorance. (55) Perfectly fixing his intelligence in the wisdom of the living being and merging in the reservoir of the pure spirit of the Supreme [Brahman], he, from his clouded vision, will rise to the spiritual sky. (56) With the ending of the material modes and the suspension of their effects, his senses and mind will stop from being fed while sitting immovably fixed, of no hindrances renouncing all duties. (57) Probably he will quit his body five days from today, o King, and will turn to ashes. (58) While outside observing the body of her husband being [mystically set] afire along with his cottage, the chaste lady will follow him in full consciousness. (59) Vidura, witnessing that wonderful incident, o son of the Kuru dynasty, will, affected by delight and grief, leave from that place on an enlivening pilgrimage. (60) After thus having addressed the king, Nârada took out into space along with his stringed instrument. Yudhishthhira, keeping his instructions in his heart, then gave up all lamentations."


*: Vidura is a younger brother of Dhritarâshthra. He was born as a s'ûdra, a laborer, because of being conceived by Vyâsa from a maidservant of the mother of Pându.

** Aryamâ was a son of Aditi and Kas'yapa officiating for Yamarâja the Lord of punishment. Vidura is considered the s'ûdra incarnation of Yamarâja.    


Chapter 14  

The Disappearance of Lord Krishna

 (1) Sûta said: "Arjuna went to the city of Dvârakâ to see his friends and Krishna, the One Glorified by the Vedic Hymns, in order to know what His further plans were. (2) After a few months, when Arjuna did not return from there, Yudhishthhira observed various fearful signs. (3) He saw a fearful reversal of the direction of eternal time, observed seasonal irregularities and saw that the people in their human sins turned to anger, greed and falsehood in heartening their means of livelihood. (4) There was cheating in ordinary transactions, deception mixed in the regard of well-wishers, fathers, mothers and brothers and also between man and wife there was quarrel. (5) As the king saw how in the course of time the people were acquiring godless habits as wantonness and such, spoke he, facing these serious causes and bad omens, to his younger brother.

 (6) Yudhishthhira said [to Bhîma]: 'Arjuna went to see his friends and wanted to know what Krishna has planned to do. (7) It is now seven months that your younger brother is gone, o Bhîmasena, for reasons I do not factually know. (8) Is it so, as Nârada instructed, that the time has arrived that the Supreme Personality will quit from the manifestation out of His own will? (9) From Him we have our wealth, kingdom and wives - through Him the existence of the dynasty and the life of our subjects has become possible and by His mercy we could defeat our enemies and live for a better world. (10) Just look, o man with the strength of a tiger, at the position of the planets, how things are going on earth and what is happening to the body and the mind; all these signs, that threaten to delude our intelligence, indicate a great danger in the near future. (11) Again and again my thighs, eyes, arms and the left of my body are quivering and I have heart palpitations due to fear. This is all indicative of undesirable happenings. (12) See, o Bhîma, how the jackal cries to the rising sun with a face full of fire and how the dog barks at me without any fear. (13) O tiger among man, cows keep me on their left and asses and such are turning around me while my horses seem to weep. (14) The pigeon appears like a messenger of death and the shrieks of the owls and their rivals the crows make my heart tremble as if they wish the void of the cosmos. (15) O Bhîma, see how smoke circles in the sky and how the earth is throbbing along with the hills and mountains with loud thunderbolts out of the blue of a cloudless sky. (16) The wind blows sharply creating darkness with the dust and rain pours like blood from the clouds as an omnipresent disaster. (17) The sun is shining less - see how the stars in the sky seem to clash into one another and how the living beings are confused and agitated as if they are crying. (18) Rivers and their tributaries, lakes and the mind are all perturbed while with the help of butter the fire doesn't ignite - what is this extraordinary time? What is going to happen? (19) The calves don't suck the teats and the cows don't want to be milked looking afraid as if weeping while the bulls don't take pleasure in the pasture ground. (20) The deities seem to be crying and perspiring as if they want to leave the temple and also the cities, villages, towns, gardens, mines and hermitages have lost their beauty, bereft of all happiness - what sort of calamities shall manifest to us? (21) I think that all these great upsurges manifest out of the need for the marks of the lotusfeet of the Supreme Personality - the earth bereft of the extraordinary of the Supreme Person will be unfortunate without those auspicious signs.

 (22) O learned one, while King Yudhishthhira, observing the bad omens, was thus thinking to himself, Arjuna returned from the kingdom of the Yadus. (23) While he bowed at the feet of the king his dejection was unprecedented with tears falling from the lotus eyes of his downward face. (24) Seeing the anxious heart and pale appearance of Arjuna, the king, remembering what Nârada had said, questioned him in the midst of friends. (25) Yudhishthhira said: 'Are our relatives Madhu, Bhoja, Das'ârha, Ârha, Sâtvata, and Andhaka of the Yadus all happy passing their days in Dvârakâ? (26) Is my respectable [maternal] grandfather S'ûrasena all good in passing his last days and are my [maternal] uncle Vasudeva and his younger brothers all well? (27) Are my aunts, his wives, all seven sisters headed by Devakî in person, with their sons and daughters-in-law all happy? (28) Are King Ugrasena, whose son was the mischievous one [Kamsa], and his younger brother, Hridîka and his son Kritavarmâ and Akrûra, Jayanta, Gada, Sârana and heading S'atrujit all happy? Is also the Supreme Personality Balarâma, who is the protector of the devotees, all right? (30) Are the great warrior Pradyumna [a son of Krishna] and all others of the Vrishni family happy - and is the plenary expansion of Krishna Aniruddha [a grandson of Krishna] faring well? (31) And how are Sushena, Cârudeshna and Sâmba, the son of Jâmbavatî, and others - the chieftain sons of Krishna and their sons doing? (32-33) And are likewise the constant companions of Krishna like S'rutadeva, Uddhava and others, Sunanda, Nanda and other leaders - are all of them and other liberated souls, who are the best of men, doing well? And are all who are bound in friendship under the protection of Balarâma and Krishna also remembering our well-being? (34) Does the Supreme Lord, who is the pleasure of the cows and the senses and always cares for the devoted and the brahmins [the ones verse in sacred knowledge], enjoy the pious assembly of His friends around Him in Dvârakâ? (35-36) For the protection and elevation of the good of all and all their worlds there, in the ocean of the Yadu dynasty, is the Original, Supreme Enjoyer in the company of Ananta [Balarâma], whose family members in His own city are protected by His arms as they deserve, relishing the transcendental pleasure like the residents of heaven. (37) By most importantly managing the comforts at the feet, the sixteen thousand companions of the fair sex headed by Satyabhâmâ made the Lord subdue the denizens of heaven, so that they, as the wives of the Controller of the thunderbolt, could enjoy what is normally the privilege of the demigods. (38) The Yadus, living in the prosperity of His arms, always fearlessly tread the Sudharmâ assembly hall that, procured by force [from Indra], was worthy of the best of gods'.

 (39)'My dear brother, are you all healthy? It appears to me that you have lost your luster. Is it because of missing the respect being neglected or, my brother, because you were away so long? (40) Weren't you able because you were addressed unfriendly or threatened, or couldn't you give in charity or keep to the hope of doing so? (41) Couldn't you, being approached for the protection of the learned ones, the children, the cows, the old aged, the diseased and the women, give shelter to any living being deserving your care? (42) Did you contact a reprehensible woman or have you improperly treated an acceptable woman, or has your good self on the road been defeated after all by a superior power or by equals? (43) Did you leave aside old men or boys deserving to dine with you together or did you do something abominable which is unpardonable? (44) Or is it that to the most dear one, my brother Arjuna, your hearts friend Lord S'rî Krishna, you feel a void missing Him all the time? I can think of no other reason why you should be in such mental distress'."  



Chapter 15  

The Pândavas Retire

 (1) Sûta said: "While Arjuna, the friend of Krishna, was thus subjected to the various forms of doubt and speculation by his elder brother the king, he turned out to be very aggrieved of his feelings of separation. (2) From his grief his mouth and lotuslike heart had dried up and his bodily luster had vanished. Thinking of the Supreme Lord S'rî Krishna he wasn't able to reply properly. (3) While with great difficulty checking the force of his sadness, wiping the tears of his eyes, the more he eagerly thought about Him out of his affection, the more distressed he became. (4) Remembering Him as well-wisher, benefactor, intimate associate and charioteer, Arjuna, heavily breathing of being overwhelmed, began to speak to his eldest brother the king. (5) He said: 'O my King, the Personality of Godhead Hari who treated me like His intimate friend has left me. Now I am bereft of the astounding power that even astonished the gods. (6) I lost Him of whom being separated but for a moment certainly would make all universes appear unfavorable and void of all life, like they were all dead bodies. (7) By the strength of His mercy I could vanquish all the princes who lusted for power at the selection of the bridegroom at King Drupada's palace where I gained Draupadî's hand by piercing the fish-target with my bow. (8) Of His standing by my side I had the dexterity to conquer over Indra and his godly associates and have his forest ablaze by the god of fire, and could I attain to the wonderful assembly house of art and workmanship built by Maya [out of gratitude for saving him from that fire in the forest named Khândava] where all the princes assembled to your honor. (9) Under His influence could your younger brother [Bhîma], who has the strength of a thousand elephants, kill him who was worshiped by the many kings [Jarâsandha] who had his power collected from them sacrificing to the Lord of the ghosts [Mahâbhairava]. They paid you tribute upon their release. (10) He took the life of the husbands [the Kurus] of the wives whose hair was condemned to be loosened because your wife [Draupadî] had her hair loosened, which was beautifully clustered and sanctified during the great ceremony, as she was caught [from a bet] by the miscreants [the Kurus headed by Duhs'âsana], upon which she in tears fell down at the Feet. (11) He protected us when we got into trouble, endangered in the forest by the intrigue of our enemies with Durvâsâ Muni, who came to eat with his ten thousand disciples. By simply beforehand accepting the remnants of the food He satisfied all the three worlds as well as giving the Munis who were bathing at that time the thought that they had been fed already. (12) Under His influence once I could astonish the Personality of God with the Trident [Lord S'iva] and his wife the daughter of the Himalaya, because of which He and other gods rewarded me with their own weapons so that in this body I definitely could obtain a half-elevated seat in the House of Indra. (13) As a guest of that heaven could I with both my arms, with my bow Gândiva, Indra and all the gods, kill the demon Nivâtakavaca, being empowered, o descendant of King Ajamîdha, by Him, the Supreme Personality whom at present I am bereft of. (14) From His friendship alone I, seated on the chariot, could cross the insurmountable ocean of the invincible existences of the military strength of the Kauravas, and from His friendship alone, I could return with the enormous wealth of the enemy; the brilliance of jewels I took from their heads by force. (15) It was He who by the power of His glance ended the mental agitation sprouting from the fruitive life of all the chariot fighters at the battlefield, o great King, in whose midst I went forward facing the immensity of great royal personalities like Bhîshma, Karna, Drona and S'alya. (16) Under His protection the very powerful invincible weapons applied by Drona, Bhîshma, Karna, Bhûris'ravâ, King Sus'armâ, S'alya, King Jayadratha, Bâhlika [a brother of Bhîshma] etc., couldn't touch me just like when Prahlâda [the famous devotee of Nrisimhadev, the lion-incarnation] was threatened by the demons. (17) Thinking erroneously of Him as only my chariot driver He, whose feet are rendered service by the intelligent for the sake of salvation, delivered me - and by His mercy my enemies were absentminded and didn't attack me when I descended for my thirsty horses. (18) With His smiling face He was joking and frank with me addressing me as'son of Prithâ','friend'and'son of the Kuru dynasty'and such; heartful sayings of my Mâdhava [Krishna] that touch and overwhelm my soul remembering them. (19) When sleeping, sitting, walking and dining together, confronting one another and so on, I took Him mistakingly for a friend alike me in truth, while He tolerated me, like a friend would or a father with a child, being great in His glory, despite my seeing Him lower in my offenses. (20) O Emperor, without the Supreme Personality, my dearmost friend and well-wisher, my heart and soul are vacant and recently I was defeated like a weak woman by infidel cowherds while protecting Krishna's wives. (21) Having the same bow, arrows, chariot and horses, I am the same Arjuna and chariot fighter whom all the kings offered their respects - all in a moment this, missing Him, became useless like butter offered to ashes, money obtained by magic or seeds sewn on barren land'.

 (22-23)'O King, as you inquired about our friends and relatives in Dvârakâ: they were cursed by the brahmins as a consequence of which they like fools killed one another with sticks being drunk with rice wine, not even recognizing each other in that intoxicated state. Only four or five of them remained. (24) It is from the will of the Supreme Personality, our Lord, that sometimes the living beings kill one another while at other times they of Him protect one another. (25-26) Like in the ocean where the bigger eat the smaller and the stronger devour the weaker, o King, so also in a duel, the Omnipotent One took the burden of all the Yadus together of the earth, by having the stronger Yadu kill the weaker one and the bigger Yadu killing the smaller one. (27) With in mind the words spoken by Govinda I remember how attractive they are, and they, imbued with importance and appropriate to the time and circumstance, put an end to the pain in the heart'."

 (28) Sûta said: "Thus thinking of the lotus feet of the Lord and what He instructed in the intimacy of deep friendship, Arjuna pacified with a mind finding freedom from all material concerns. (29) Constantly remembering the feet of Vâsudeva, Arjuna's devotion grew rapidly, ending the endless ruminations. (30) Reviving the instructions of the Supreme Lord about the transcendental in the midst of the battle and thinking of His time and actions he dispelled the darkness of his ignorance and became the master of his senses. (31) Free from lamentation, by his spiritual capacity managing to cut with the doubts of duality of being merged with matter, was he, due to the transcendence being without the material form, freed from the entanglement of birth and death. (32) Upon the deliberations about the disappearance of the Supreme Lord to His abode and the end of the Yadu dynasty, Yudhishthhira decided to withdraw himself and leave for the sake of the soul also. (33) Queen Kuntî, who had overheard what Arjuna told about the end of the Yadus and the disappearance of the Lord, as well as all others undivided in their devotion to the Lord's transcendence, found in their soulful commitment release from their material existence. (34) By taking away the burden of the world was that body [of the Yadu dynasty] relinquished by the Unborn One the way a thorn used to extract another thorn is thrown away, for to the Lord they are one and the same. (35) Like in His Matsya-incarnation e.g., as a magician giving up one body to accept another one, relinguished He the body He manifested to diminish the burden of the world. (36) When Mukunda [the Lord of Liberation] the Fortunate One so worthwhile to hear about, left this earth - manifested from that very day on Kali[-yuga] itself in full, inauspicious to all whose minds have not awakened.

 (37) Yudhishthhira keenly in his capital, state and home as also in the self seeing things grow worse with the vicious circle of avarice, falsehood, dishonesty, irreligion and violence and such, understood that it was time to leave and dressed himself accordingly. (38) The emperor to that in the capital of Hastinâpura enthroned his grandson [Parîkchit], who was properly trained and equal to himself in all respects by his qualities, as the master of all land bordered by the seas. (39) At Mathurâ he made Vajra [the son of Aniruddha] king of S'ûrasena, after which he had a Prâjâpatya-sacrifice performed for being able to find the fire in himself to attain his goal. (40) Renouncing his belt, ornaments and all of that, he became uninterested in perfect detachment from the unlimited bondage. (41) He withdrew his speech into his mind, his mind with his other senses into his breath, his breath he withdrew in death, and in full dedication he united that with the body made of the five elements. (42) Having offered those five elements to the three qualities of nature, he united the thoughtful in one indifference, fixing the sumtotal of that in the soul directed to the spiritual soul of the inexhaustible Brahman. (43) Accepting torn clothes, refusing solid food, stopping to talk and untying his hair, he began to look like a dumb madman and an unengaged urchin not listening anymore as if he had become deaf. (44) Heading for the north he treaded, as all others going there, the path of his mindful forefathers, passing his days constantly thinking from within his heart of the Supreme Beyond wherever he went.

 (45)Seeing from their friend that the Age of Kali and its irreligion had overtaken the citizens on earth, all the brothers followed the older one leaving home. (46) All of them, having performed with all virtue and knowledge of holiness, kept themselves, with the ultimate of the living being in mind, steadfast to the lotusfeet of the Lord of the place without fear [Vaikunthha]. (47-48) That is the destination of those who by positive meditation purified in devotion found liberation, being fixed in intelligence on the transcendental feet of the One Nârâyana. They attained, with their material contaminations washed off, by their selfsame bodies to the abode that for the materialists absorbed in material concerns is very difficult to attain. (49) Also Vidura after quitting his physical self at Prabhâsa went, with his mind and actions devoted to Krishna, accompanied by his manes to his own abode [Yama's realm]. (50) Draupadî at the time being without the care of her husbands, concentrated, absolute in the full knowledge of Him, herself on Lord Vâsudeva, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and obtained Him thus. (51) Anyone who hears with devotion of this departure for the ultimate goal of the sons of Pându, that are so dear to the Supreme Lord, will find nothing but good fortune and purity as he gains in perfection in devotion to the Lord."  



Chapter 16  

How Parîkchit Received the Age of Kali

 (1) Sûta said: "o learned ones, thereafter Parîkchit, the great devotee, ruled over the earth under the instructions of the twice-born, with the qualities the astrologers, predicting the future at the time of his birth, had thought he would have. (2) He married Irâvatî, the daughter of King Uttara, and begot four sons in her with Janamejaya as the first. (3) At the Ganges he performed three horse-sacrifices with proper rewards for Kripâcârya, whom he selected for his spiritual master, and the godly that came into view with it. (4) Once on a chastising campaign he, the valiant hero, by his prowess managed to punish the master of Kali-yuga who, disguised as a king, lower than a s'ûdra was hurting the legs of a cow and bull."

 (5) S'aunaka inquired: "Why did he only punish the master of Kali during his campaign - he was dressed up like a king, but as the lowest of the s'ûdras striking the legs of a cow. Please describe, o fortunate one, all that to us as far as it relates to the discourse about Krishna. (6) What would, for the ones liberated who relish the honey at His lotusfeet, be the use of wasting their life with endless illusory discussions? (7) O Sûta, only short is the life of the human beings who are sure to meet death. The eternal is of those who desire herein to call for the representative of the Lord, Yamarâja, the controller of death, to limit the performances. (8) No one will die as long as the one who causes death is present here, for the reason of which he as the great lord has been invited by the sages - let the ones under his grip drink of the nectar of the narrations about His pastimes. (9) Those who are lazy, of trivial interest and short-lived pass their days the way they sleep at night, in activities without a purpose."   (10) Sûta said: "When Parîkchit, residing in the Kuru capital, heard that the symptoms of Kali-yuga had entered the domain of his jurisdiction, he thought the news not very palatable and took he, devoted to military action, up his arrows and bow. (11) Well decorated under the protection of the lion in his flag and with black horses pulling his chariot, he left the capital accompanied by charioteers, cavalry, elephants and infantry troops for the purpose of conquering. (12) Bhadrâs'va, Ketumâla, Bhârata, the northern countries of Kuru and Kimpurus'a behind the Himalayas were the parts of the planet he conquered keeping strength exacting tribute. (13-15) Everywhere he went he continuously heard what great souls his forefathers were and he had also indications of the glorious acts of Lord Krishna from the people he saw. He as well heard of his own deliverance from the powerful rays of the weapon of As'vatthâmâ and of the devotion amongst the descendants of Vrishni and Parthâ for Lord Kes'ava [Krishna as the killer of the demon Kes'î, the mad horse]. Extremely pleased rewarded he, with eyes open of joy, the people magnanimously with clothes, necklaces and other riches. (16) Figuring as a chariot driver, presiding in assemblies, acting as a servant, being a friend and a messenger and keeping the watch at night had the one of Vishnu, who was universally obeyed Himself [Krishna], acted with prayers and obeisances relating to the godfearing sons of Pându. This filled the king with devotion unto His lotus feet."   (17)" Now you may know from me about how astonishingly he, day after day, kept himself close in being absorbed in such thoughts about the good of the forefathers. (18) The wandering personality of the religion, that stood on one leg only [the so called'bull'of dharma whose legs stand for the four fundamental human values], met with the aggrieved cow [mother Earth] who had tears in her eyes like a mother that has lost her child. (19) He said: 'Madam, are you hale and hearty? Looking aggrieved with a gloomy face you appear to be affected by a disease or to be thinking of a friend far away, o mother. (20) Are you lamenting about the diminishing of my legs as I stand on one only, or is it because the offensive meat-eaters are to exploit you? Or is it because the theists are bereft of their share due to a lack of sacrifices or because the living beings increasingly suffer from scarcity, famine and drought? (21) Are you grieving about the unhappy women and children on earth who are without the protection of their men or are you sorry about the way one speaks in the families of the learned against the principles of the goddess [of knowledge]? Or do you lament about the way most of them act against the culture of learning taking shelter with the ruling class? (22) Is it because the unworthy administrators are bewildered under the influence of Kali-yuga and here and there have messed up the affairs of the state? Or is it because of the way society is inclined to take its food and drink and how one sleeps, bathes and has intercourse? (23) Could it be, o mother Earth, that you are thinking of the salvation brought by the activities of the incarnation of the Lord who decreased your heavy load but is now out of sight? (24) Please inform me, o reservoir of all riches, about the reason of your tribulations that reduced you to such weakness. Is it mother, that your good fortune that was adored by even the godly, was forcibly taken away by the very powerful influence of time?' 

 (25) Mother Earth replied: 'O personality of religion ['Dharma'], I will certainly, one after another, reply to all that you, from your good self, have asked me, as by your four legs you exist in all the worlds to bring happiness. (26-30) Truthfulness, cleanliness, compassion, self-control, magnanimity, contentment, straightforwardness, concentration, sense-control, responS'ibility, equality, tolerance, equanimity and loyalty. And certainly also knowledge, detachment, leadership, chivalry, influence, power, dutifulness, independence, dexterity, beauty, serenity and kindheartedness, as well as ingenuity, gentility, mannerliness, determination, knowledgeability, propriety, pleasantness, joyfulness, immovability, faithfulness, fame and dignity - all these and many others are the everlasting qualities of the Supreme Lord, the never diminishing higher nature which can be attained by those worthy of that greatness. By Him am I myself, just as the goddess of fortune, such a reservoir of qualities, but in the absence of Him as the resting place, is Kali, the store of all sins, seen in all the worlds. (31) I am also lamenting for you as well as for the best of the godly, the gods and the ancestors in heaven, the sages and the devotees, as well as for all in their status orientations in society. (32-33) Lakshmî [the goddess of fortune] whose grace was sought by demigods like Brahmâ who for many days were doing penance in surrender to the Lord, has for the sake of worship forsaken her own abode in the forest of lotus flowers out of attachment to the all-blissful feet. From Him, having myself obtained the special powers of the lotusflower, thunderbolt, flag and driving rod, I could, being under the impression of the marks of the feet of the Supreme Lord, the owner of all opulence, being decorated that way beautifully supersede the three worlds - but at the end when I was feeling so fortunate, He has left me. (34) He who certainly relieved me of the burden of the hundreds of military divisions of atheist kings, incarnated also for you in the Yadu-family, as you lacking in strength had difficulty to keep yourselves standing. (35) Who therefore can tolerate it to be separated from the love, glances, smiles and hearty appeal of the Supreme Original Person who conquered the passionate wrath and gravity of women like Satyabhâmâ and made my hair [grass] stand on end out of pleasure under the imprint of His feet.'

 (36) While the earth and the personality of religion were thus conversing, arrived Parîkchit, who had the name to be the saint among the kings, at the Sarasvatî river flowing to the east."



 Chapter 17  

Punishment and Reward of Kali

 (1) Sûta said: "It was there [at the Sarasvatî river] that the king observed that a cow and bull were beaten with a club as if they had no owner, by a s'ûdra [one of the lowest class] dressed up as a king. (2) The bull, that was as white as a lotus, was terrified of being beaten by the s'ûdra and urinated and trembled out of fear, standing on one leg only. (3) The cow also, on itself a religious example but now rendered poor and distressed from the s'ûdra who had beaten her legs, was without a calf and had tears in her eyes being very weak hankering after some grass to eat. (4) From his with gold embossed chariot Parîkchit, well equipped with bow and arrows, with a thundering voice inquired: (5)'Who are you, that under my protection, at this place, you think you can violently kill the helpless! Although you appear to be of strength having dressed up like a man of God as if you're an actor, you behave like someone who never saw the light of culture [to be twice born]. (6) Do you think that because Lord Krishna and the carrier of the bow the Gândiva [Arjuna] are out of sight, you can secretly beat an innocent cow? Being a culprit that way you deserve to be killed!'

 (7)'And you', he said turning to the bull,'are you just a bull that, as white as a lotus moving on one leg, has lost three legs or are you some demigod in the form of a bull causing us grief? (8) Never under the protection of the arms of any of the kings of the Kuru dynasty has there been grieving on this earth, except with for you having tears in your eyes because of someone else. (9) O son of Surabhi [the celestial cow], in my kingdom there will be no lamentation, so do not fear the s'ûdra, and mother cow, do not cry; as long as I am alive as the ruler and subduer of the envious, everything will be good for you. (10-11) O chaste one, he will lose his fame, longevity, fortune and a good birth, in whose state the living beings are terrified of miscreants. It is certainly the supreme duty of the kings to subdue in order to end the misery of the ones who suffer and therefore I shall kill this most wretched man so violent against other living beings. (12) Who is he who could cut off your legs, o son of Surabhi - as it happened with you it has never happened before in the state of the kings that live following Lord Krishna. (13) Just tell me, o bull, for you are honest and without offenses, about him who mutilated you and tarnished the reputation of the sons of Parthâ. (14) Those who make the offenseless suffer may fear me wherever they are, as I will curb the actions of the miscreants and restore the good fortune of the honest ones. (15) The upstart who offends innocent living beings, I shall forthwith defeat, whether he's a demigod from heaven with armor and decorations or not. (16) It is certainly the holy duty of the head of state to always protect the ones who live in loyalty and rule safely according to the scriptures over others who are in fact straying,'

 (17) The personality of religion said: 'All you said speaking for the freedom from anxiety of the sufferers just befits one of the Pândava dynasty by whose qualities even Lord Krishna acted as a servant. (18) O greatest among the human beings, from the bewilderment of the person by all the differences of opinion, we cannot tell what would be the cause of all human suffering. (19) Some who deny all kinds of duality declare that it is from one self that one suffers, others say that it is from the superhuman, while still others say that it is all due to the activities of material nature or of adopting outside authorities. (20) Some also concluded that it defies explication and comprehension; which of them herein is right, o sage amongst the kings, you may judge by your own power of intelligence'."

 (21) Sûta said: "Parîkchit, who attentively heard the personality of religion thus speak, o best among the brahmins, mindfully replied. (22) The king said: 'O knower of the duties, with you in the form of a bull do you as the personality of religion profess that [just like with a guru taking up the karma] the position of the one acting against the religion also becomes the position of the one identifying the problem. (23) In other words: the Lord His ways with the material world are inconceivable and to all it is clear that nor thinking nor speaking is of avail. (24) Austerity, cleanliness, compassion and thruthfullness [tapas, s'auca, dayâ, sathya] are the legs that established the age of truth [Sathya Yuga, the'old days'], but from irreligiosity three of them broke in pride, too much association with women and intoxication. (25) At present, o personality of religion, you are hobbling along on the one leg of truthfulness while quarrel personified [Kali], flourishing on deceit, irreligiously tries to destroy that leg too. (26) A great burden was taken from the face of the earth by the Supreme Lord personally and others also - His all-auspicious footprints brought good fortune everywhere. (27) Lamenting with tears in her eyes, the unfortunate and chaste one [mother earth] deserted by Him, is now enjoyed by the lower-class who, devoid of the culture of learning, pose themself as rulers in my place.'

 (28) Thus the personalities of religion and mother earth were pacified by the great warrior, who took up his sharp sword in order to kill Kali, the root cause of irreligion. (29) Knowing that the king prepared to kill him, abandoned Kali, under the pressure of fear, the royal dress and fully surrendered himself bowing his head at the feet. (30) Out of compassion, he who is kind to the poor and capable of handling worship, with a smile refrained from killing the one fallen at the feet of the hero of whom it is said that he is worthy of being sung. (31) The king said: 'Do not fear as you surrendered with folded hands; we certainly inherited the fame of Arjuna, but there can be no question either of being allowed to stay in my kingdom as you are the friend of irreligion. (32) With you present in the body as a god of men, everywhere all the irreligion of greed, falsehood, robbery, incivility, treachery, misfortune, cheating, quarrel and vanity will be abound in the masses. (33) Therefore, o friend of irreligion, you do not deserve to remain with the religion and truth in a place of sacrifice where one duly and expertly is offering in service to the Lord of Sacrifices. (34) In such sacrificial ceremonies the Supreme Personality of God, the Lord, is being worshiped as the soul of all worshipable deities, in the form of which He spreads welfare, for He is the inviolable Supersoul to all desires being inside as well as outside like the air is to all the moving and unmoving.'

 (35) Sûta said: "That way being addressed by king Parîkchit, the personality of Kali was trembling seeing him ready with a raised sword speaking like Yamarâja, the Lord of Death. (36) Kali said: 'Wherever that I may live under your order, o Emperor, I will always see the reign of your bow and arrows as well. (37) Therefore please, o chief of the protectors of the religion, allot me a place where I for certain may find a permanent residence under your rule'."

 (38) Sûta said: "Thus being petitioned, gave he Kali at that time the permission to dwell in places where the four sinful activities of gambling, drinking, prostitution and animal slaughter [dyûtam, pânam, striyah, sûnâ] were taking place. (39) Next to that gave the master him, upon his insistent begging, the place where there is gold as gold by passion is the fifth sin bringing falsity, intoxication, lust and enmity. (40) Thus were under the direction of the son of Uttarâ the five dwelling places given to Kali where indeed irreligion is encouraged. (41) For that reason should a person desiring his well-being never resort to any of these places, especially not those on the path of liberation, the royalty, the state officials and the teachers. (42) By encouraging activities restoring the three lost legs of austerity, cleanliness and compassion of the bull, was [by King Parîkchit] the earth perfectly improved. (43-44) Of him is the present rule; the throne that was handed over by the grandfather king [Yudhishthhira] who desired to withdraw in the forest. From that rule, that sage among the kings and chief of the Kuru dynasty, is now known in Hastinâpura as the most fortunate and famous emperor. (45) Because of this experience of the son of Abhimanyu, the king, may, thanks to his rule over the earth, you all have the initiation of the performance of sacrifices like this."


Chapter 18  

Mahârâja Parîkchit Cursed by a Brâhmana Boy

 (1) Sûta said: "The one who was sure not to be burned by the weapon of the son of Drona in the womb of his mother, met his death by the mercy of the Supreme Lord S'rî Krishna who's acts are wondrous. (2) Cursed by a brahmin to die by a snake-bird, he was never overwhelmed with the great fear of death because he had consciously surrendered himself to the Supreme Lord (3) After leaving behind all the associates around him he understood the actual position of the Invincible One, giving up his own material body at the bank of the Ganges as a disciple of the son of Vyâsa [S'ukadeva Gosvâmî ]. (4) Never will those who live on and are engaged in service to the One Glorified in the Hymns suffer from misconceptions at the end of their own time, if they then also remember His lotusfeet. (5) Even though present everywhere, the personality of Kali cannot flourish as long as the great powerful Lord, the son of Abhimanyu, is the factual emperor. (6) The moment the Supreme Lord left this earth aside, at that time he, Kali, promoting irreligion, followed in this world. (7) Never being envious with the personality of Kali, the emperor was a realist going for the essence, like a bee does for the nectar, knowing that auspicious things lead to immediate success, while for the inauspicious one must perform attaining never. (8) What to the weak ones might be a powerful Kali was, to the one who existed like a tiger among men, a challenge of self-control facing the fearful and a mission of taking care facing the careless. (9) As you asked me what could be stated by me in connection with the narrations about Vâsudeva concerning the pious Parîkchit, I have now described almost everything to you about this. (10) Those desiring their own welfare ought to hear, of all the topics that I spoke of, whatever they are about, as they concern the Supreme Lord His wonders, transcendental qualities and uncommon deeds."

 (11) The sages said: "O Sûta, may you live a long, grave and particularly eternally famous life, because speaking so nicely about Lord Krishna you grant us mortals certainlYour nectar of eternity. (12) In this performance of sacrifice with an uncertain outcome, our bodies and minds are blackened by the smoke, but the pleasing by your good self of Govinda's feet is like the honey from a lotus flower. (13) Attaining higher words or the liberation from matter, not mentioning the worldly benedictions of those who are heading for their death, is of no compare to the finding of one's balance but for a moment in the association of a devotee of the Lord. (14) What man of good taste would ever have enough of relishing the nectar of the stories about the greatest and only refuge among the living beings, of whom the end of the transcendental qualities never could be established by even the greatest masters of mystic union like Lord Brahmâ and Lord S'iva? (15) Therefore describe to us who are eager to hear about it, His impartial transcendental activities, as you from your goodness for certain relate to the Supreme Lord as the greatest of the great exclusively. (16) For certain Parîkchit, who was a first-class devotee, had fixed his intelligence on liberation by means of the knowledge that was spoken by the son of Vyâsa after having taken to the feet that are the shelter of the king of the birds, Garuda [the bird by which Vishnu travels]. (17) For that reason tell us about the supreme and purifying so wonderfully contained in bhakti [devotion] and describe to us, of the Unlimited One, the activities that are so particularly dear to the pure devotees, the way it was spoken to Parîkchit."

 (18) Sûta said: "See how, being connected to the great ones in conversation, we, although we are from a mixed background, clearly are promoted in taking birth [in the Lord] today, so that in service of the ones advanced in knowledge we most quickly become purified from the sufferings of a disqualifying birth.(19) And, again, what to speak about the ones taking exclusively to the shelter of the great devotees chanting the holy name of He who is called Ananta as He is unlimited in His potency and unmeasurably great by His attributes. (20) It is now ascertained that it needs no description that by the immeasurability of His attributes there is no one equal to Him. And that leaving aside others who ask for the favor of the Goddess of Fortune who herself serves the dust of the feet of He who does not demand for that service. (21) Who else would be worth the position of carrying the name of Supreme Lord besides Mukunda [Lord Krishna as the one granting liberation] of whose toenails the water [of the Ganges] collected by Brahmâjî emanated that via Lord S'iva purifies the whole universe. (22) Those who are firmly attached to Him certainly can all of a sudden leave the attachments of the gross body and the subtle mind aside and go away to take shelter of the highest stage of perfection [sannyâsa] in the nature of which non-violence and renunciation is found. (23) To you, who are as powerful as the sun, I may, as you asked my humble self, describe the knowledge of Vishnu from the learned - as far as permitted by my knowledge herein the way similarly birds in the sky fly as far as they can."

 (24-25) "Once upon a time when Parîkchit was hunting stags with bow and arrows, he got very fatigued, hungry and thirsty. Looking for a reservoir of water he entered the hermitage of the famous rishi S'amîka where he saw the sage silently sitting down with his eyes closed. (26) Having restrained his sense organs, breath, mind and intelligence he had, in quality equal with the Supreme Absolute, ceased all activity remaining unaffected in transcendence over the three modes of consciousness [wakefulness, dream and unconsciousness]. (27) He was covered with his long compressed hair as also by the skin of a stag. The king, whose palate was dry of thirst, asked for water. (28) Not being received with a place to sit, water and nice words, he felt neglected and became angry that way. (29) Although he was distressed of the circumstance of being hungry and thirsty, his anger and envy against the brahmin was unprecedented, o learned ones. (30) Having lost his respect he picked up a lifeless snake with the tip of his bow and placed it in anger on the shoulder of the sage as he left to return to his palace. (31) There he wondered whether or not the meditative state of withdrawing from the senses with closed eyes by the sage was a false pretended trance to remain in avoidance of seeing a lower ruler.

 (32)"At the time the sage's son, who was a very powerful personality, heard, as he was playing with childish kids, of the distress the king had occasioned his father, he had said this: (33)'Just see how the irreligion of the rulers, with one who was brought up to behave like a crow and watchdog to his master, has led to what is a sin to servants. (34) To the learned the sons of the ruling class are verily watchdogs - on what grounds can he who is supposed to stay at the door think that he deserves to enter the house of the master and eat from the same pot? (35) Krishna, the Supreme Lord and ruler of those upstarts has departed being our protector - today I shall punish them myself, just witness my power.'(36) Thus speaking with red-hot eyes to his playmates, the son of the rishi touched the water of the Kaus'ika river and discharged the following thunderbolt of words: (37)'Because of breaking the etiquette, a snakebird, at the seventh day, will for certain bite the wretched one of the dynasty who offended my father.'(38) Thereafter when the boy had returned to the hermitage, he saw the snake on his fathers shoulder and of that sorry plight he cried out aloud."

 (39) O S'aunaka, on hearing his son crying in distress, the rishi who was born in the family of Angirâ, gradually opened his eyes and saw the dead snake on his shoulder also. (40) Throwing it aside, he asked'My dear son, what are you crying about? Has someone done something wrong?'Thus being asked, the boy told him everything. (41) After hearing of the cursing of the king, who should never have been condemned as he was the best among man, he did not compliment his son, but in stead lamented: 'Alas! What a great sin you have committed yourself today awarding such a heavy punishment for such an insignificant offense. (42) In fact no one may ever place a transcendental man of God on an equal footing with common man - your command of intelligence is immature... by his unsurpassable prowess his subjects enjoy prosperity being completely protected. (43) O my boy, once this monarchical representative of the Lord who carries the wheel of the chariot is abolished, this world will be full of thieves instantly vanquishing the unprotected as if they were lambs. (44) For this reason, from this day on, the reaction upon this sin will overtake us causing great social disruptions because of abolishing the monarch - the wealth will be plundered by thieves and between one another there will be killing and injuring and the stealing of animals and women. (45) At that time the righteous civilization of human progress in the vocations and stages of life to the respect of the vedic injunctions, is systematically vanquished, whereafter economic development for the sake of sense-gratification only will result in an unwanted population on the level of dogs and monkeys. (46) The protector of the religion, the king, is a highly celebrated emperor; a direct devotee first class of the Lord and a saint amongst the royal order; a great performer of horse-sacrifices - and when from hunger and thirst he is stricken with fatigue he never deserves to be cursed by us like this'.

 (47) To pardon for the great sin committed by the child immature of intelligence to a sinless, deserving and subordinate one, he then turned himself to the Supreme All-pervading Lord: (48)'Whether they are defamed, cheated, cursed, disturbed of negligence, or even being killed, for certain never for all of this will the forbearing devotees of the Lord avenge themselves.'(49) Thus the sage regretted the sin of his son while he personally did not think of the king his insulting him as a sin. (50) Generally are the saints in this world not distressed being engaged by others in duality, nor do they take pleasure in it because they are situated in the transcendence of the soul."  



Chapter 19

The Appearance of S'ukadeva Gosvâmî

 (1) Sûta said: "While going home the king thought that the act of what he had done was abominable and he was very depressed saying to himself: 'Alas, it was uncivilized and evil what I did to the faultless, grave and powerful brahmin. (2) For sure it is because of going against the injunctions that very soon I will meet with a very troublesome calamity. I certainly hope that that will happen as soon as possible, so that I shall be relieved of my sins and never do something like that again. (3) May I, on this very day, burn with my kingdom, strength and wealth of riches in the fire ignited by the brahmin community, so that the inauspiciousness of sinning against the Lord, the culture and the cows may not return to me.'(4) While he thought like this he came to hear of the curse of death of the sage's son, which he accepted as well and good to happen in the nearby future as the fire of the snakebird caused by the indifference of being too attached. (5) Thus giving up this and the next world, thinking of all that happened before as being insignificant, he sat down at the bank of the transcendental river to fast in service of Krishna's feet, considering it the greatest achievement. (6) That river, always floating mixed with tulasî-leaves (a plant used in worship], carries the auspicious water with the dust from the feet of Lord Krishna that sanctifies both the worlds inside and outside as well as the Lord of Destruction [Lord S'iva] - who else but the one about to die any moment is to worship that river? (7) Thus having decided he, the worthy decendant of the Pândavas, sat down at the feet of Vishnu to fast until the death of giving himself up to the mercy of Mukunda without deviation from the spirit of the vows of sages in being freed from all kinds of association."

 (8) "There as good as on the plea of pilgrimaging came together all the world's power of grace of great minds and thinkers along with their disciples that sanctify all places of pilgrimage by their presence: (9-10) Atri, Cyavana, S'aradvân, Arishthanemi, Bhrigu, Vasishthha, Parâs'ara, Vis'vâmitra, Angirâ, Paras'urâma, Uthathya, Indrapramada, Idhmavâhu, Medhâtithi, Devala, Ârshthisena, Bhâradvâja, Gautama, Pippalâda, Maitreya, Aurva, Kavasha, Kumbhayoni, Dvaipâyana and the great personality Nârada. (11) The many other wise of God, saintly brahmins, the best of the holy kings and Arunâdayas [a special rank of them] and many other heads of the dynasties of sages who assembled there in worship, were welcomed by the emperor who bowed his head. (12) With all sitting down in comfort and after again having offered them his obeisances, he thereupon humbly with folded hands present before them spoke, as one whose mind is detached from worldly affairs, of his decision to fast. (13) The king said: 'We indeed are grateful to be the most fortunate of all the kings trained to get favors from the great souls, as to the feet of the brahmins the royal orders are but refuse to be kept at a distance on account of condemnable activities. (14) Because of my sins, the Controller of the transcendental and mundane worlds was sure to curse me via that twice-born one because of my attachment of always thinking about family affairs - and taking that form will He inspiring with fear very soon overtake my mundane attachment. (15) Therefore just accept me, o brahmins, as one who in surrender has taken to the divine mother Ganges with the Lord in his heart. Let the snakebird, or whatever magical thing the twice-born called for, bite me forthwith; please continue reciting the deeds of Lord Vishnu. (16) And again let it be so that wherever that, unto the Supreme Unlimited Lord and the association He attracts in the material world, I may take my birth, I will find friendly relations everywhere in obeisance to the twice-born.'

 (17) "Thus, as persevering as in the past, the king sat himself on kus'a-grass laid down to the east in selfcontrol facing the north from the southern bank of the wife of the sea [the Ganges], while having given the administration over to his son. (18) To that, from the sky seeing that the king would fast until his end, all the gods in praise scattered the earth with flowers, continually beating celestial drums in pleasure. (19) All the great sages that had assembled there thus praised him wise and approvingly said, from the power of their goodness to the living beings, that is in quality as beautifull as the divine praised in the scriptures: (20)'It is not astonishing that this saintly king, the chief of all of us who are strict in following Krishna, seated on the throne decorated with the helmets of kings, immediately gave up desiring to achieve association with the Fortunate One. (21) All of us, will stay as long at this place as it takes the king to give up his body to attain to the world of the Supreme where this foremost devotee returns to complete freedom from worldy concerns and lamentation.'

 (22) After hearing the assembled sages speaking thus impartially, sweet to hear, grave and perfectly true, Parîkchit complimented them all with the appropriate presentation and, desiring to hear of the activities of Vishnu, he said: (23)'You all have assembled here as the representation of the one above the three worlds [Brahmâ], with no other purpose in this world or a world hereafter, but to act, to your innate nature, for the good of others. (24) From this, I am begging you, as trustworthy vedic learned ones, to tell me therefore what out of all the different duties of all and especially of those who are about to die, to your opinion would be the proper and befitting conduct.''

 (25) At that moment, as if called for, the powerful son of Vyâsa, S'ukadeva Gosvâmî, appeared who, satisfied in selfrealization, traveled around disinterested without any concerns of identity, surrounded by children and dressed in neglect of others [naked]. (26) Being only sixteen years of age he had delicate legs, hands, thighs, arms, shoulders, forehead and body. His eyes were beautifully wide and with a high nose and similar ears he had a face with nice brows and a neck as well formed as a conchshell. (27) With a fleshy collarbone, a broad chest and a deep navel he had a striped abdomen and was naked with curly scattered hair and elongated hands with the hue of the best among the gods [Krishna; a dark complexion]. (28) Even though he covered his nakedness, the sages, who had a keen eye for physiognomy, recognized the symptoms of the blackish skin, the beauty of young age and the attraction for the fair sex with his beautiful smiles - and they all stood up from their seats. (29) To welcome the guest arriving, the one always protected by Vishnu [Parîkchit], bowed before him offering his obeisances, upon which his less intelligent following of boys and women was sure to withdraw itself as he took his exalted seat in reception of the respect. (30) S'ukadev, surrounded there by the greatest of the great saints amongst the brahmins, the kings and the godly ones, well deserved made a supreme and able presence, that compared to the moon surrounded by planets, heavenly bodies and stars. (31) Sitting down in calm and self-assured of intelligence the sage was approached by the great devotee, the king, who properly bowed down with folded hands inquiring in sweet polite words.

 (32) Parîkchit said: 'O brahmin, today have we from the ruling class become eligible to serve the devotee and to be alike friends by your mercy - as in making your presence as a guest, your good self brings about all the good qualities. (33) Thinking of your person certainly instantly purifies all the places we inhabit, not mentioning what it means to see you, touch you, wash your feet and offer you a seat. (34) On account of your being present, o great mystic, are our sins in spite of their invulnerability immediately vanquished, just like the person not so enlightened is in the presence of Vishnu. (35) Definitely, the Supreme Lord granted us the pleasure of Krishna so dear to the sons of Pându, accepting us as a friend in relating to the father like cousins do to the satisfaction of the descent. (36) Otherwise, how could you, specifically for me in my last hours before death, out of your own free will appear here to meet us, while normally you are invisible among the common man, being all-perfect as you are? (37) Therefore I beg you, as the supreme spiritual master of all ascetics, what for a person in this life would be the perfection, the final beatitude, and what all would be the duty of someone about to die. (38) Please explain what the people in general, o master, should hear and chant about, what they should do, what they should remember and share, as also what would be against the principle. (39) This because, o supreme devotee, in the house of the householders one rarely sees you staying for longer than the exact time of milking a cow'."

 (40) Sûta said: "Thus pleasantly being adressed and questioned by the king, began the supreme son of Vyâsadeva so well versed in the knowledge of the true duty, with his reply."



Thus ends the first Canto of the S'rîmad Bhâgavatam, the story of the Fortunate One.


Translation: Anand Aadhar Prabhu, http://bhagavata.org/c/8/AnandAadhar.html

Production: the Filognostic Association of The Order of Time, with special thanks to Sakhya Devi Dasi for proofreading and correcting the manuscript. http://theorderoftime.com/info/guests-friends.html

The sourcetexts, illustrations and music to this translation one can find following the links from: http://bhagavata.org/ 

For this original translation next to the Sanskrit dictionary a one-volume printed copy has been used with an extensive commentary by A.C. Bhaktivedânta Swami Prabhupâda. ISBN: o-91277-27-7. See the S'rîmad Bhâgavatam treasury: http://bhagavata.org/treasury/links.html for links to other sites concerning the subject.

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