Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana Book 7 Chapter 15:16-29

Book 7: Chapter 15

Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana: Book 7: Chapter 15: Verses 16-29
An inquiry into right conduct (concluded)

How can that (supreme and lasting) happiness which falls to the lot of a contented and effortless man delighting in his own self be enjoyed by one running in all directions in quest of wealth out of greed for objects of sense? To a man ever contented in mind all directions are full of happiness, (just) as there is (complete) security from gravel and thorns etc., for him whose feet are protected by shoes. With what cannot a contented man get on, O Yudhisthira,say, even with water? It is (only) due to (his) longing for the delights of sex and the palate that a man behaves (knocks about from door to door) like a dog. The glory, learning, austerity and fame of a discontented Brahmana disappear and his wisdom gets dissipated due to the vagrancy of his senses. A man reaches the end of (is able to conquer) passion through hunger and thirst, and the end of wrath on the appearance of its sequel (in the shape of violence); but he fails to reach the end of greed (even) after conquering the (four) quarters and enjoying the sovereignty of (many) lands. Many a learned man, possessing extensive knowledge and capable of dispelling (others') doubts, O king, and even some heads of assemblies descend into depths of hell through discontent.

One should conquer desire through lack of determination to gratify it, wrath by eschewing desire, greed by looking upon wealth as an evil, fear by pondering the true nature of things (unity of life), grief and infatuation by distinguishing matter from Spirit, hypocrisy through service to exalted souls, impediments (such as worldly gossip) in the path of yoga (concentration of mind) through (a vow of) silence, violence (to others) through inactivity of body etc., (giving up all efforts for securing religious merit, worldly riches and sensuous enjoyment). He should get rid of pain resulting from (other) living beings through compassion (friendly behaviour to those very beings), suffering brought about by divine agencies (natural phenomena) by recourse to composure of mind (calm resignation to the divine will), bodily distemper by dint of Yogic practices (such as breath-control and so on) and sleep by recourse to Sattvika food etc. (Again,) a man should conquer Rajas (passion) and Tamas (inertia) by dint of Sattva and Sattva through freedom from attachment and indeed all these (the evils enumerated above) with ease through devotion to one's preceptor. Analogous to the bath of an elephant (which throws dust on its body immediately after washing it) is all sacred knowledge possessed by a man who entertains the perverted notion about the teacher-who has conferred on him the light of wisdom and (as such) is no other than the Lord-that he is a mortal (like himself). Just as Sri Krsna, present before you, is the ruler of (both) Prakrti (primordial Matter), and Purusa (the individual soul), and His feet are worthy of being sought after even by masters of Yoga (like Siva), and yet the world looks upon Him as a human being, so is the case with the preceptor, who is (invariably) the same as the Lord. All precepts of the nature of an ordinance (such as those enjoining sacrifices and works of public utility etc.) solely aim at the subjugation of the five senses and the mind. (Even) though aiming at this, they entail (only) fruitless labour if they do not bring in their train the (three) stages of contemplation on the Lord (in the shape of Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi). (Just) as (vocational) pursuits like agriculture (and their rewards in the shape of a bumper crop and so on) do not evidently contribute to Liberation (the object of Yoga or concentration of mind), (on the other hand,) they make for transmigration (which is a positive evil), so do sacrifices and works of public utility (such as digging of wells, tanks and so on) under-taken by him who has his face turned away from God lead to metempsychosis (alone rather than to Liberation).



Related Articles