Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana Book 5 Chapter 14:7-19

Book 5: Chapter 14

Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana: Book 5: Chapter 14: Verses 7-19
Jadabharata elucidated the meaning of the allegory

Now, even as one tormented with a longing to get fire may pursue ignis fatuus, they run after gold, the (mere) excreta of fire and the abode of all evils, their mind being swayed by the quality of Rajas which is of the same colour as gold and therefore bears a natural affinity to it. Again, sometimes, with their thought centred on their dwelling, water, wealth and other things essential to life, they run about here and there in the forest of worldly existence. And now placed on the lap (embraced) by a young woman throwing dust in their eyes like a whirlwind, and steeped as it were in ignorance due to the element of Rajas prevailing at the time, they abandon the path of the virtuous. And their reason being entirely clouded with passion, they-like one whose eyes are blinded with dust-no longer perceive (mind) the deities presiding over the quarters (who witness all their doings). Sometimes, in spite of their having spontaneously realized but for a moment the illusory nature of sense-objects, they are deprived of their reason by identifying themselves with the body (which is other than their self); and, guided by the same (perverted reason), they run after those very objects, which are as deceptive and tantalizing as a mirage. Now their ears and heart are extremely tormented by the threats of enemies and the royal court; conveyed in the sternest spirit and with an overbearing demeanour before their very eyes, like the hooting of owls, (by the king's servants) and behind their back, like the (shrill) notes of thecricket (by the enemies). [1]

When they have exhausted their merit earned in previous existences, and are (thus) themselves reduced to a dying state, though (actually) living, they seek the protection of men whose wealth is of no use (to them) either here or hereafter (who neither use it for their own gratification nor for the gratification of others and thus indirectly for their own benefit in the other world), and who (thus) resemble accursed trees and creepers like the Karaskara and Kakatunda (two species of poisonous trees) and wells containing poisonous water and are as good as dead, though living. On some occasion, their mind being perverted through close association with vile men, they embrace a heretic creed, which entails misery both here and hereafter like slipping into (the rocky bed of) a waterless stream. When no food is forthcoming for themselves even through persecution of others, they indeed proceed to devour their own father or sons or those who are in possession of (even) a straw belonging to these. Now, reaching their home, divested of (all) agreeable (enjoyable) objects and attended with miseries, like a forest conflagration, they are scorched with the fire of grief and give way to extreme despondency. Sometimes, robbed of their very life in the form of wealth-which is most dear to them-by the demon in the form of a king's househlold, angered by (adverse) times, they appear quite dead, destitute as they are of all symptoms of liveliness. Now, recognizing to be real their deceased father, grandfather and so on as appearing in fancy, they experience joy like that in a dream. Sometimes, eager to carry out the huge mountain-like volume of precepts relating to household duties, they are distracted by worldly calamities and feel miserable like one entering a stretch of land full of thorns and sharp-edged gravels. Now, with their energy sapped by hunger (lit., the gastral fire burning within their body) which is hard to bear, they vent their anger on their own people.



  1. [564] B. M. 19-

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