Book 7: Chapter 9
Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana: Book 7: Chapter 9: Verses 1-11
Narada resumed : (Extolling the Lord) thus all the gods and other (heavenly) beings, led by Brahma (the creator) and Rudra (Lord Siva), dared not go near Him, possessed as He was by anger and (hence) most difficult to approach. Sri (the Lord's own Consort and the goddess of beauty and prosperity) was personally sent by the gods (to appease Him). Perceiving that great wonder and full of misgiving (however), She dared not go near, the form having neither been seen nor heard of (by Her) before. Brahma (then) sent Prahrada, standing close by, with the words; "Approach, dear one, and pacify the Lord, who has waxed angry at your father." Uttering the words "So be it", and slowly drawing near, O king (Yudhisthira), the great child devotee (Prahrada) bowed down with his body (lying prostrate) on the ground and his palms joined together. Overwhelmed with compassion on seeing the infant fallen at the soles of His feet, and lifting it, the Lord placed on its head His lotus hand, which has (ever) brought security to those whose mind is terribly afraid of the serpent in the shape of Time. All (traces of) evil (in the shape of dormant desires or impressions left on the mind by good or evil actions of past lives) having been wiped out by the (most auspicious and sacred) touch of His hand and direct knowledge of the Supreme Spirit instantly revealed to him, Prahrada felt (supremely) gratified and with the hair of his body standing on end, his heart moistened (with love) and tears (of joy) in his eyes, he installed (an image of) His lotus-feet in his heart. Perfectly composed, he extolled Sri Hari with a concentrated mind and in a voice choked with emotion, his heart and eyes fixed on Him.
Prahrada said : Hosts of gods headed by Brahma, contemplative souls and wise men too, whose mind is solely devoted to virtue, knowledge and asceticism (products of Sattva) have not succeeded even to this day in propitiating Sri Hari through streams of prayers abounding in many qualities. Can He (then) be pleased with me, born of a ferocious race (the demon race)? Wealth, pedigree, comeliness of form, asceticism, learning, keenness of the senses, splendour, glory, bodily strength, self-endeavour, intelligence and Yoga (concentration of mind or breath-control), I believe, are not sufficient for the propitiation of the Supreme Person. For (on the other hand) the Lord was pleased with the leader of a herd of (wild) elephants through (mere) Devotion. I account a pariah (a Candala)-who has dedicated his mind, speech, actions, wealth and life (itself) to Him-far worthier than a Brahmana that has turned away his face from (the worship of) the lotus-feet of Lord Visnu. (who has a lotus sprung from His navel), though endowed with the (aforesaid) twelve attributes. (For) the former redeems his (whole) race, but not the Brahmana, (who is) full of inordinate pride (and therefore unable to redeem his own soul, much less his race). This all-merciful Lord (present before me), who is sated with the realization of His own (blissful) nature, does not covet honour (worship) at the hands of His ignorant devotee for His own sake. (But He does it for the sake of the devotee himself.) For whatever honour the devotee offers to the almighty Lord redounds upon himself, (even) as the decoration of one's face is (immediately) reflected on its image (in a mirror, which cannot be decorated otherwise).
- ↑ Vide Disourses II to IV of Book Eight.