Book 6: Chapter 7
Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana: Book 6: Chapter 7: Verses 31-40
Therefore, getting rid, by virtue of your asceticism, of the affliction of your parents in the shape of their discomfiture at the hands of their enemies, O dear child, you ought to do our bidding. We choose you, a Brahmana established in (identity with) Brahma and (therefore) worthy of adoration (for all), as our preceptor, so that we may easily and fully conquer our enemies through your (spiritual) glory. Indeed, as a means of accomplishing one's ends, the wise do not condemn the act of bowing at the feet of the younger. Setting aside (the knowledge of) the Vedas, O (holy) Brahmana, (mere) age is no criterion of seniority. The sage (Sri Suka) went on : (Thus) importuned by the hosts of gods to accept the office of their priest, the said Viwarupa, (who was) a great ascetic, felt delighted and replied to them in soft words (as follows). Viswarupa said: Priesthood has been condemned by the virtuous as involving the loss of the apiritual glory investing a Brahmana. yet how shall a perso nlike me, O masters, (venture to) turn down the solicitation of guardians of the spheres (like you), by whom he deserves to be commanded; for obedience alone is declared 9in the scriptures) as conducive to his good. Sila (glening grains left in a field after reaping the harvest) and Unchana (picking up grains lying scattered in a market-place after the piles have been removed from there) are the (only) wealth of the destitute (Brahmanas).
(All) acts 9such as pouring oblations into the sacred fire and feeding an unexpected visitor), appropriate to noble souls being accomplished in this household life by me with the aforesaid means, how shall I take, O suzerain lords, to the reproachable vocation of a priest, with which a fool alone remains pleased. Yet I dare not decline what is earnestly asked for by you (my elders), which is of no account. (On the other hand,) I shall (presently) accomplish all that you have solicited, even at the sacrifice of my life and my (highest) interests. Sri Suka resumed : Having thus promised them (the gods), Viswaropa, (who was) a great ascetic, discharged, as requested, the role of a priest with supreme diligence. Viswaropa (who wielded extraordinary power by virtue of the Lord's grace) snatched, by means of a prayer addressed to Lord Visnu (in the form of what is known as the Narayana-Kavaca and stands incorporated in Discourse viii below), the fortune of the Asuras (the enemies of the gods)-though protected by means of the prayer taught by Usana (Sukracarya)-and restored it to the great Indra (the lord of paradise). The said Viswarupa, noble-minded as he was, taught to the great Indra the above-mentioned prayer, protected by which that mighty god with a thousand eyes was able to conquer the demon hosts.
Thus ends the seventh discourse, in Book Six of the great and glorious Bhagavata-Purana, otherwise known as the Paramahamsa-Samhita.
- Sila and Unchana have been glorigied in our scriptures as the best means of llivelihood for a Brahmana.