Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana Book 4 Chapter 25:1-18

Book 4: Chapter 25

Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana: Book 4: Chapter 25: Verses 1-18
Introductory part of the parable of Puranjana

Maitreya continued : Having thus instructed the Pracetas (the sons of Barhisad), and duly worshipped by them, Lord Siva (the Destroyer of the universe) disappeared on that very spot, while the princes stood gazing. Repeating the hymn of praise to the Lord, sung by Sri Rudra (the god of destruction), all the Pracetas practised austerities for a myriad years; standing in water. (In the meantime) O Vidura, the sage Narada, a knower of the truth of the Spirit and compassionate by nature, admonished (their father) Pracinabarhi, whose mind was attached to rituals, (as follows). "What good, 0 king, do you seek for yourself through rituals? (True) welfare lies in the cessation of sorrow and the attainment of happiness, and such welfare is not expected from them." The king (Pracinabarhi) replied : I know not the supreme good, O blessed one, my mind being distracted by (the thought of) rituals. (Therefore) pray, impart to me that pure wisdom whereby I may be freed from (the shackles of) Karma. Sticking to the life of a householder-where one performs actions prompted by interested motives-and regarding sons, wife and riches as the (only) object of human pursuit, an ignorant man fails to attain the highest good, and wanders in the path-ways leading to transmigration. Narada. said : O ruler of men, O king, behold the multitudes of creatures slaughtered by you in thousands as animals for sacrifice, merciless that you are. Retaining the memory of your cruelty, they eagerly wait for you, their anger having been roused (by the recollection), and will tear you with their horns, made of steel, when you have departed to the other world. In this connection I will narrate to you the following old legend. Hear from me as I tell you the story of Puranjana. O king, there was a monarch of wide renown, Puranjana by name. He had a friend named Avijnata (unknown), so-called because his activities were unknown. Searching for an abode, the king ranged over the (entire) globe. When (however) he did not find a suitable place, he felt dejected as it were. Seeking after pleasures, he rejected as many cities as there existed on the earth's surface, holding them unfit to yield such enjoyments. One day he saw on the southern ridges of the Himalayan range (in the land of Bharatavarsa) a city provided with nine gates and exhibiting all the marks (of a good city). Surrounded by a defensive wall, groves, watch-towers and moats, eye-holes and arched gateways, it was dense on all sides with houses having turrets of gold, silver and steel. The floor of its mansions being paved with sapphires, crystals, cat's-eye gems, pearls, emeralds and rubies, the city was radiant with splendour as Bhogavati (the city of the Nagas in the subterranean regions). It was provided with assembly halls, cross roads and highways, gambling-houses, bazaars and rest-houses, banners waving from flag-staffs and terraces built of coral. Now, there was a park in the outskirts of the city, which was full of celestial trees and creepers and spotted with lakes echoing the noise of warbling birds and humming bees. The margin of its lotus ponds was enriched with trees whose boughs and young leaves waved gently in the breeze blowing from flower-beds and charged with the spray from cool cascades.



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