Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana Book 7 Chapter 13:30-46

Book 7: Chapter 13

Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana: Book 7: Chapter 13: Verses 30-46
The course of conduct prescribed for a Samnyasi and a dialogue between an Avadhuta and Prahrada

(Even if they bear fruit,) what (good) will be done by riches and objects of desire (enjoyments sought after by men and procured by wealth), got with (great) hardship, to a mortal who is never free from bodily and other affliction ? I perceive (everyday) the torment of moneyed men, who are (often) avaricious, (nay) whose mind is uncontrolled and who get no (sound) sleep for fear, greatly apprehensive as they are of everybody. To those possessed of (anxious to preserve) life (virility) and wealth there is (constant) apprehension (of danger) from the king, thieves, the enemy, kinsmen, beasts and birds, beggars, death and (even) their own self (lest such wealth may be squandered given away or misplaced by themselves). A wise man should (therefore) give up the craving for life (virility) and wealth, from which follow grief, infatuation, fear, anger, attachment, unmanliness and exertion etc., to men. The very best among our teachers in this world are the bee and the python, by (following) whose example we have acquired (first) dispassion and (then) contentment. Killing the (rightful) owner, another may usurp even his hard-earned wealth like the honey that has been collected (by the bee) with great pains. (In this way) aversion from all objects of desire has been learnt by me from the bee. (Just) like a python I remain effortless and contented in mind with whatever is got by chance. (Even) if I get nothing, I remain lying (without food) for many days, depending on my own strength (power of resistance). Now I eat a scanty fare and now plentiful, no matter whether it is delicious or tasteless; now I partake of a meal rich in many qualities and now gulp worthless provender. Sometime I eat food offered with reverence , while at other times I (am compelled to) eat food which is served without (any tinge of) honour.

At some places I eat even after having eaten (once); while (at other places) I eat by day or by night according to chance. Enjoying what is ordained by fate and contented in mind I put on silk or linen, deerskin or rags, the bark of trees or even (any) other fabric that may be easily obtained. Now I lie down on the earth's surface (bare ground) and now on straws, leaves a slab of stone or ashes. (And) now I repose on a quilt stretched on a bedstead inside a palace in compliance with another's will. Sometimes having bathed and besmeared my body with sandal-paste and finely dressed, nay, wearing a garland and decked with jewels, I drive in a chariot, or ride on horse-back or on an elephant; while at other times, 0 king, I roam (about) stark-naked like an evil spirit. I neither revile. nor eulogize men who are diverse of disposition (due to the predominance of any one of the three modes of Prakrti, viz., Sattva, Rajas and Tamas). On the other hand, I (only) wish them welfare in the shape of (their) unity of being with Lord Visnu (the supreme Spirit).

(In order to attain such a state) one should (mentally) merge the notion of diversity in the mental faculty of perceiving such diversity and that faculty (itself) in the mind, which is responsible for our misconception of things (mistaking the body for the Self). (Again) merging the mind in the Sattvika aspect of the Ego, he should then merge the latter (through the Mahat-tattva) into the Maya (Prakrti or primordial Matter). A contemplative soul should merge the said Maya in the (Self-conscious) Brahma and then, fixing his eyes on the (supreme) Reality and established in that self-conscious (supreme) Spirit and devoid of effort, he should become actionless. In this way, since you are beloved of the Lord, I have told you about my own conduct, although it is very mysterious and repugnant to (all) secular and Vedic (religious) canons. Narada went on : Having (thus) attentively heard from (the lips of) the sage (Dattatreya) an account of the course of conduct prescribed for ascetics of the highest order and after (duly) worshipping him and taking his permission, Prahrada (the lord of the Asuras) returned thence to his home, full of delight.

Thus ends the thirteenth discourse, forming part of the dialogue between Emperor Yudhisthira and the sage Narada and bearing on the course of conduct prescribed for a recluse, in Book Seven of the great and glorious Bhagavata-Purana, otherwise known as the Paramahamsa-Sarrmhita.


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