Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana Book 5 Chapter 9:1-8

Book 5: Chapter 9

Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana: Book 5: Chapter 9: Verses 1-8
Bharata reborn for a second time in a Brahmana family

Sri Suka resumed : Now from the loins of a certain holy Brahmana---the foremost in the line of the (celebrated) sage Angira ( a mind-born son of Brahma)-who had (duly) controlled his mind and senses, was rich in asceticism and the study of the Vedas, liberality, endurance, modesty, the knowledge of rituals, freedom from jealousy, knowledge of the Spirit (as distinct from the body etc.), and felicity (arising out of piety) were born through the same mother nine sons-(all) like himself in learning, good character, purity of conduct, comeliness of form, generosity and other virtues-and a son and a daughter (born as twins) through the younger wife. Of these twins the male child was, they say, (the same as) that supreme devotee of the Lord, the foremost of royal sages, Bharata, who, having shed his bestial form, had in that last incarnation attained the state of a Brahmana. Apprehending his fall through attachment to his people in that incarnation too and (therefore) terribly afraid of such attachment-remembering as he did, by the grace of the Lord, (the story of) a series of his previous incarnations-he showed himself to the world as an insane, stupid, blind and deaf fellow, clasping firmly with his mind the Lord's lotus-feet, that break asunder the fetters of Karma in the case of those who hear of those feet, think of them or utter their praises.

The Brahmana, whose heart was knit with (ties of parental) affection to the child, actually performed all the Samskaras (purificatory rites) up to the ceremony of Samavartana[1] (returning from the house of the preceptor after finishing one's study of the Vedas) according to precept even with respect to such a (stupid) son indeed, and, on the boy being invested with the sacred thread, he further instructed him well in the method of personal purity, rinsing his mouth (after easing nature, eating something and on other similar occasions) and other rules of conduct-even though they were not liked (by the boy)-believing as he did that a son must be instructed (in the rules of good conduct) by his father. The child, however, did everything (taught by his father) topsyturvy as it were in the very presence of his father, with the result that the Brahmana, who wanted to start instructing him in the Vedas (as soon as the rains set in) was able to teach the boy the three-footed (holy) Gayatri-Mantra (sacred to the sun-god) along with the Vyahrtis (the mystic syllables Bhuh, Bhuvah and Swah, prefixed to the Gayatri-Mantra each time it is repeated) and the sacred syllable OM, the (very) crown of the Vedic texts, only. in a disjointed fashion (without proper intonation) although he learnt it continuously all the (four) months of spring and summer. Having thus fondly given his heart to his son, who was his very self, he taught him personal purity, the recitation (with proper intonation) of the Vedas, austerities, self-discipline, service of the preceptor and offering worship to the (sacred) fire and other duties of a religious student observing celibacy for a limited period only, even though they were neglected by the boy-clinging to the ill-conceived notion that a son must be taught (under all circumstances). But, before his ambition (of seeing his son a learned man) could be realized, the Brahmana, who was himself steeped in error, was snatched away by the ever-vigilant Death at his very home. Thereupon the younger wife of the Brahmana entrusted her twin-born children to (the care of) her co-wife and herself attained to the realm where her (deceased) husband had gone, by (ascending his pyre and) dying after him. On the father's death, the brothers (of the boy)-who were ignorant of his greatness and who had concluded the knowledge of the three Vedas (throwing light on rituals alone) to be the highest knowledge and attached no importance to the knowledge of the Self (which is the highest knowledge)-decided to give up their insistence on teaching their brother, taking him to be a dunce.



  1. The Brahmana had no intention to many the boy obviously because he was stupid to all appearance. Hence there was no occasion for the performance of other Samskaras beyond the ceremony of Samavartana, which is In ordinary cases closely followed by the nuptial ceremony.

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