Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana Book 7 Chapter 9:44-55

Book 7: Chapter 9

Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana: Book 7: Chapter 9: Verses 44-55
A Eulogy of the Lord (by Prahrada)

Ascetics desirous of their own liberation, O Lord, generally practise silent meditation in solitude. They are (however) not devoted to the interest of others. (of course) do not long to be liberated alone, leaving behind these miserable creatures. (For) I find no haven of rest other than You for these people wandering in the forest of transmigration. That which goes by the name of pleasures enjoyed by a householder, such as copulation, is trivial; for it results in suffering after suffering akin to that caused by the scratching of one (itching) hand with another. (But) though undergoing a lot of trouble, the wretched people (given up to sensual gratification) do not feel sated with these pleasures. (Only) some wise man is able (by Your grace) to curb passion like the itching sensation. A vow of silence, fasting, the hearing of scriptures, asceticism, the study of sacred books, discharging one's sacred obligations, exposition of the scriptures, living in seclusion, the muttering of prayers and concentration of mind, conducive as they are to final beatitude, O Inner Controller, generally only prove to be the means of livelihood of those who have not yet been able to conquer their senses (and are prone to sell these for base gain in the shape of money and sensuous pleasures); whereas they may or may not be so in the case of hypocrites (whose pietism may or may not succeed). Like the seed and the sprout (following in unbroken succession), the Unmanifest (primordial Matter) and the manifest (the visible universe)-these are (but) Your two forms (symbols) made known by the Vedas; (for there is nothing other than You, who are devoid of (a material) form. Through Yoga (the process of Devotion) men who have controlled their mind are directly able to perceive You in both these (forms), as fire in pieces of wood (through attrition), which is not possible by any other means. You are the air, fire, earth, ether and water, the (five) objects of senses (viz., sound, touch, sight, taste and smell), the (five) vital airs (viz., Prana, Apana, Vyana, Udana and Samana), the (ten) lndriyas (the five senses of perception and the five organs of action), the mind, the intellect and the ego (or, according to another interpretation, the deities presiding over the indriyas and the mind).

That which is qualified (gross or material) and that which is unqualified (subtle or transcendental)-everything is You and You alone, O infinite One ! Whatever is revealed by mind or speech is no other than You. Neither these Gunas (modes of Prakrti, viz., Sattva, Rajas and Tamas) nor the deities who preside over the (three) Gunas (viz., Visnu, Brahma and Siva) nor the categories commencing from Mahat-tattva (and ending with the Indriyas, that is to say, Mahat-tattva or the principle of cosmic intelligence. Ahankara or the ego, the five subtle and the five gross elements and the ten Indriyas), nor the mind etc. (viz., the mind, intellect and reason), nor (the various) living beings including the gods and human beings, all of whom have a beginning and an end (too), are able to know You in truth, O much-praised One I Thinking thus, men of good sense desist[1] from the study of the Vedas and other scriptures (and devote themselves exclusively to meditation). Therefore, can a man develop devotion to You, the goal of ascetics of the highest order, except through whole-hearted service to You, O most worshipful One--service consisting of (the following) six limbs, viz., salutation, glorification, worship in the form of offering one's actions to You, waiting on You, concentrating one's mind on Your feet and listening to Your stories? Narada resumed : The Lord, who is beyond the three Gunas (modes of Prakrti) and whose so many (transcendental) virtues were celebrated with reverence by His devotee (Prahrada), and who had not only controlled His anger but was (highly) pleased (with the latter), spoke (as follows) to Prahrada, who was bent low (with respect).The Lord said : O noble Prahrada, may good betide you ! I am pleased with you, 0 chief of the demons ! Ask any boon liked by you; I am wont to gratify the desires of men. To him who is unable to propitiate Me, O long-lived one, I am difficult of perception. (And) having beheld Me (once), a living being has no longer any reason to bewail itself (to grieve). It is for this reason alone that enlightened and pious souls, who are highly fortunate and desirous of blessedness (endeavour to) propitiate Me, the Lord (bestower) of all boons, with all their being. Even on being thus tempted with boons that are so alluring to the world, Prahrada (the best of the Asuras) did not hanker after them, exclusively devoted as he was to the Lord.

Thus ends the ninth discourse entitled "A Eulogy of the Lord", forming part of the story of Prahrada, in Book Seven of the great and glorious Bhagavata-Purana, otherwise known as the Paramahamsa-Samhita.


  1. This is borne out by the Lord Himself when He says in the Bhagavadgita:-"When your mind will have fully crossed the mire of delusion, you will then grow Indifferent to what has been heard and what is yet to be-heard about this world and the next."

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