Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana Book 1 Chapter 3:32-45

Book 1: Chapter 3

Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana: Book 1: Chapter 3: Verses 32-45
The Lord's Avataras or Descents into the world of matter

Beyond this material form is a subtle (and unmanifest) form of the Lord, which is constituted of undeveloped Gunas (Gunas that have not assumed distinctive shapes) and is neither open to perception nor to hearing. It is this (subtle or astral) body which is termed as the Jiva or soul (because the soul seems to enter it or is identified with it) and goes through repeated births or transmigrations. It is through nescience that the aforesaid astral and material bodies are superimposed on the Self. When this superimposition is removed through self-knowledge, that very moment takes place the realization of Brahma. The knowers of Truth are aware that when the Lord's sportful Maya in the shape of Knowledge withdraws, the Jiva becomes one with Brahma and gets established in the glory of the Self. I n such terms do the wise describe the descents as well as the doings of the Lord, who is the Ruler of all hearts and is really without birth or actions; for His descents and doings are a guarded secret of the Vedas. The pastimes of the Lord are always purposive; by mere sport He creates, preserves and reabsorbs this universe, but never gets attached to it. Abiding unperceived in the heart of all living beings, He seems to enjoy the objects of the mind and the five senses as the ruler of all the six. But being the Master of His Self He remains aloof from these objects (they fail to bind Him). No stupid creature can know by any dialectical skill the names and forms or doings of the Lord, revealed by His thought or word (the Vedas), any more than an ignorant man can understand the performance of a conjurer, accomplished through his will and speech. The power of the Lord who wields the discus in His hand is infinite; though the Maker of this world, He remains ever beyond it. He alone can know His ways who inhales the fragrance of His lotus-feet through constant and sincere devotion to them. Now you blessed ones are lucky indeed, since you in this life and in this world (which is full of impediments and obstacles) thus cultivate that undivided love to Bhagavan Vasudeva (Sri Krsna), the Lord of the entire universe, by virtue of which one never falls again into the terrible vortex of birth and death.

The divine seer, Vedavyasa, composed this Purana, known by the name of Srimad Bhagavata, which stands on a par with the Vedas and contains the stories of the Lord of excellent renown. He taught this blessed, benedictory and great Purana, for the highest good of mankind, to his son (Sukadeva), who is the foremost among Self-realized souls. This represents the very cream extracted from all the Vedas and Itihasas (epics). Suka in his turn recited it to the great king Pariksit, who sat on the bank of the Ganga, surrounded by the foremost sages, with a vow to fast unto death. Now that Sri Krsna has left for His (divine) abode with piety, wisdom and all, this sun-like Purana has made its appearance for the benefit of those who have been blinded (by the darkness of ignorance) in this Kali age. While the glorious sage Sukadeva, O Brahmanas, was reciting this Purana there (on the bank of the Ganga), I too was present and learnt it by his grace. I will now recite the same to you even as I have learnt it, according to the best of my lights.

Thus ends the third discourse, forming part of the story relating to the Naimisa forest, in Book One of the great and glorious Bhagavata-Purana, otherwise known as the Paramahamsa-Samhita.


Related Articles