Book 5: Chapter 5
Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana: Book 5: Chapter 5: Verses 20-28
You are sprung from My heart (which as I have told you is made up of Sattva unmixed with Rajas and Tamas): therefore, with a mind free from envy, wait upon that brother of yours, Bharata, who is a very noble soul; that will be (as good as) rendering service to Me and (tantamount to) taking care of the people. Mobile creatures are higher than plants, which in their turn are by far the best among (other) created beings (such as minerals and stones); and among these (again) beasts etc., (who are endowed with intelligence) are the highest. Higher than these are human beings; while Pramathas (spirits and genii forming the retinue of Lord Rudra, the god of destruction) are higher even than human beings. Still higher are the Gandharvas (celestial musicians); the Siddhas (a class of demigods who are naturally endowed with mystic powers) come next; while higher still are the (other) attendants of gods (such as the Kinnaras).
(Still higher are the Asuras or demons;) the gods with Indra as their leader are superior (even) to the Asuras and higher still rank the (mind-born) sons of Brahma--Daksa and others. Of these (again) Lord Siva (the Source of the universe) ranks the foremost and He in His turn is an offspring of Brahma (the creator, who is, therefore, naturally higher than Siva). I am superior (even) to Brahma (the creator), while the Brahmanas (the adored of the other twice-born classes) are worthy of adoration even to Me (and therefore superior to Me). place no other living being on a par with the Brahmanas; what (other) creature, then, can I regard as higher than they, O Brahmanas (assembled here)?' I eat My fill the food offered to them by men in liberal quantities with reverence, but not so the oblations poured into the sacred fire at a sacrifice. It is by the Brahmana that My glorious and eternal body (in the form of the Vedas) has been maintained on earth and it is in him that the most sanctifying quality of Sattva, control of the mind and the senses, truthfulness and compassion, asceticism, endurance and wisdom are found. The Brahmanas who are rich in devotion to Me, though destitute of worldly possessions, have nothing to seek even from Me, the Lord possessed of infinite power and higher than the highest (Brahma and others) and the Bestower of heavenly bliss and final beatitude i What can they have to do with anything else? With a pure (ungrudging) mind all living beings, mobile (animate) as well as immobile (inanimate), My sons, ought to be respected by you at every step as (so many) abodes of Mine; that alone will be My true worship at your hands. My propitiation is the ( only) reward of the activities of the mind, tongue, eyes and the other Indriyas. For, without propitiating Me a man cannot hope to escape from the greatly confounding noose of Death. Sri Suka continued : Having thus admonished his sons, who were themselves (thoroughly) disciplined, for the guidance of the world, the most glorious Lord Rsabha, their greatest friend (and well-wisher) installed on the throne the eldest of His hundred sons, Bharata-who was not only a great devotee of the Lord but was devoted to His servants as well-for the protection of the earth (His kingdom). (Then) in order to exemplify (in Himself) the mode of life of recluses, characterized by Devotion, Self-Realization and aversion for the pleasures of sense, and followed by great ascetics given to self-control and retired from (worldly) activity, He Himself renounced even at home everything except His body, which was the only possession left with Him, and, having absorbed the sacrificial fires into Himself, and taking to the life of a recluse, departed from Brahmavarta as if mad, with dishevelled hair and having no covering on His body except the sky.
- [5641 B: M. 18--