Ambarisa Maharaja Offended by Durvasa Muni
This chapter describes the history of Maharaja Nabhaga, of his son Nabhaga, and of Maharaja Ambarisa.
The son of Manu was Nabhaga, and his son Nabhaga lived for many years in the gurukula. In Nabhaga's absence, his brothers did not consider his share of the kingdom, but instead divided the property among themselves. When Nabhaga returned home, his brothers bestowed upon him their father as his share, but when Nabhaga went to his father and told him about the dealings of the brothers, his father informed him that this was cheating and advised him that for his livelihood he should go to the sacrificial arena and describe two mantras to be chanted there. Nabhaga executed the order of his father, and thus Angira and other great saintly persons gave him all the money collected in that sacrifice. To test Nabhaga, Lord Siva challenged his claim to the wealth, but when Lord Siva was satisfied by Nabhaga's behavior, Lord Siva offered him all the riches.
From Nabhaga was born Ambarisa, the most powerful and celebrated devotee. Maharaja Ambarisa was the emperor of the entire world, but he considered his opulence temporary. Indeed, knowing that such material opulence is the cause of downfall into conditional life, he was unattached to this opulence. He engaged his senses and mind in the service of the Lord. This process is called yukta-vairagya, or feasible renunciation, which is quite suitable for worship of the Supreme personality of Godhead. Because Maharaja Ambarisa, as the emperor, was immensely opulent, he performed devotional service with great opulence, and therefore, despite his wealth, he had no attachment to his wife, children or kingdom. He constantly engaged his senses and mind in the service of the Lord. Therefore, to say nothing of enjoying material opulence, he never desired even liberation.
Once Maharaja Ambarisa was worshiping the Supreme Personality of Godhead in Vrndavana, observing the vow of Dvadasi. On Dvadasi, the day after Ekadasi, when he was about to break his Ekadasi fast, the great mystic yogi Durvasa appeared in his house and became his guest. King Ambarisa respectfully received Durvasa Muni, and Durvasa Muni, after accepting his invitation to eat there, went to bathe in the Yamuna River at noontime. Because he was absorbed in samadhi, he did not come back very soon. Maharaja Ambarisa, however, upon seeing that the time to break the fast was passing, drank a little water, in accordance with the advice of learned brahmanas, just to observe the formality of breaking the fast. By mystic power, Durvasa Muni could understand that this had happened, and he was very angry. When he returned he began to chastise Maharaja Ambarisa, but he was not satisfied, and finally he created from his hair a demon appearing like the fire of death. The Supreme Personality of Godhead, however, is always the protector of His devotee, and to protect Maharaja Ambarisa, He sent His disc, the Sudarsana cakra, which immediately vanquished the fiery demon and then pursued Durvasa, who was so envious of Maharaja Ambarisa. Durvasa fled to Brahmaloka, Sivaloka and all the other higher planets, but he could not protect himself from the wrath of the Sudarsana cakra. Finally he went to the spiritual world and surrendered to Lord Narayana, but Lord Narayana could not excuse a person who had offended a Vaisnava. To be excused from such an offense, one must submit to the Vaisnava whom he has offended. There is no other way to be excused. Thus Lord Narayana advised Durvasa to return to Maharaja Ambarisa and beg his pardon.
yam tatam bhratarah kavim
yavistham vyabhajan dayam
sri-sukah uvaca--Sri Sukadeva Gosvami said; nabhagah--Nabhaga; nabhaga-apatyam--was the son of Maharaja Nabhaga; yam--unto whom; tatam--the father; bhratarah--the elder brothers; kavim--the learned; yavistham--the youngest; vyabhajan--divided; dayam--the property; brahmacarinam--having accepted the life of a brahmacari perpetually (naisthika); agatam--returned.
Sukadeva Gosvami said: The son of Nabhaga named Nabhaga lived for a long time at the place of his spiritual master. Therefore, his brothers thought that he was not going to become a grhastha and would not return. Consequently, without providing a share for him, they divided the property of their father among themselves. When Nabhaga returned from the place of his spiritual master, they gave him their father as his share.
There are two kinds of brahmacaris. One may return home, marry and become a householder, whereas the other, known as brhad-vrata, takes a vow to remain a brahmacari perpetually. The brhad-vrata brahmacari does not return from the place of the spiritual master; he stays there, and later he directly takes sannyasa. Because Nabhaga did not return from the place of his spiritual master, his brothers thought that he had taken brhadvrata-brahmacarya. Therefore, they did not preserve his share, and when he returned they gave him their father as his share.
bhrataro 'bhankta kim mahyam
bhajama pitaram tava
tvam mamaryas tatabhanksur
ma putraka tad adrthah
bhratarah--O my brothers; abhankta--have you given as the share of our father's property; kim--what; mahyam--unto me; bhajama--we allot; pitaram--the father himself; tava--as your share; tvam--you; mama--unto me; aryah--my elder brothers; tata--O my father; abhanksuh--have given the share; ma--do not; putraka--O my dear son; tat--to this statement; adrthah--give any importance.
Nabhaga inquired, "My dear brothers, what have you given to me as my share of our father's property?" His elder brothers answered, "We have kept our father as your share." But when Nabhaga went to his father and said, "My dear father, my elder brothers have given you as my share of property," the father replied, "My dear son, do not rely upon their cheating words. I am not your property."
ime angirasah satram
asate 'dya sumedhasah
sastham sastham upetyahah
kave muhyanti karmani
ime--all these; angirasah--descendants of the dynasty of Angira; satram--sacrifice; asate--are performing; adya--today; sumedhasah--who are all very intelligent; sastham--sixth; sastham--sixth; upetya--after achieving; ahah--day; kave--O best of learned men; muhyanti--become bewildered; karmani--in discharging fruitive activities.
Nabhaga's father said: All the descendants of Angira are now going to perform a great sacrifice, but although they are very intelligent, on every sixth day they will be bewildered in performing sacrifice and will make mistakes in their daily duties.
Nabhaga was very simple hearted. Therefore when he went to his father, the father, in compassion for his son, suggested that as a means of livelihood Nabhaga could go to the descendants of Angira and take advantage of their misgivings in performing yajna.
tams tvam samsaya sukte dve
te svar yanto dhanam satra-
dasyanti te 'tha tan arccha
tatha sa krtavan yatha
tasmai dattva yayuh svargam
tan--to all of them; tvam--yourself; samsaya--describe; sukte--Vedic hymns; dve--two; vaisvadeve--in connection with Vaisvadeva, the Supreme Personality of Godhead; mahatmanah--to all of those great souls; te--they; svah yantah--while going to their respective destinations in the heavenly planets; dhanam--the wealth; satra-parisesitam--which remains after the end of the yajna; atmanah--their own property; dasyanti--will deliver; te--unto you; atha--therefore; tan--to them; arccha--go there; tatha--in that way (according to his father's orders); sah--he (Nabhaga); krtavan--executed; yatha--as advised by his father; tasmai--unto him; dattva--after giving; yayuh--went; svargam--to the heavenly planets; te--all of them; satra-parisesanam--remnants of yajna.
Nabhaga's father continued: "Go to those great souls and describe two Vedic hymns pertaining to Vaisvadeva. When the great sages have completed the sacrifice and are going to the heavenly planets, they will give you the remnants of the money they have received from the sacrifice. Therefore, go there immediately." Thus Nabhaga acted exactly according to the advice of his father, and the great sages of the Angira dynasty gave him all their wealth and then went to the heavenly planets.
tam kascit svikarisyantam
mamedam vastukam vasu
tam--unto Nabhaga; kascit--someone; svikarisyantam--while accepting the riches given by the great sages; purusah--a person; krsna-darsanah--black-looking; uvaca--said; uttaratah--from the north; abhyetya--coming; mama--my; idam--these; vastukam--remnants of the sacrifice; vasu--all the riches.
Thereafter, while Nabhaga was accepting the riches, a black-looking person from the north came to him and said, "All the wealth from this sacrificial arena belongs to me."
mamedam rsibhir dattam
iti tarhi sma manavah
syan nau te pitari prasnah
prstavan pitaram yatha
mama--my; idam--all these; rsibhih--by the great saintly persons; dattam--have been delivered; iti--thus; tarhi--therefore; sma--indeed; manavah--Nabhaga; syat--let there be; nau--of ourselves; te--your; pitari--unto the father; prasnah--an inquiry; prstavan--he also inquired; pitaram--from his father; yatha--as requested.
Nabhaga then said, "These riches belong to me. The great saintly persons have delivered them to me." When Nabhaga said this, the black-looking person replied, "Let us go to your father and ask him to settle our disagreement." In accordance with this, Nabhaga inquired from his father.
ucchistam rsayah kvacit
cakrur hi bhagam rudraya
sa devah sarvam arhati
yajna-vastu-gatam--things belonging to the sacrificial arena; sarvam--everything; ucchistam--remnants; rsayah--the great sages; kvacit--sometimes, in the Daksa-yajna; cakruh--did so; hi--indeed; bhagam--share; rudraya--unto Lord Siva; sah--that; devah--demigod; sarvam--everything; arhati--deserves.
The father of Nabhaga said: Whatever the great sages sacrificed in the arena of the Daksa-yajna, they offered to Lord Siva as his share. Therefore, everything in the sacrificial arena certainly belongs to Lord Siva.
nabhagas tam pranamyaha
tavesa kila vastukam
ity aha me pita brahman
chirasa tvam prasadaye
nabhagah--Nabhaga; tam--unto him (Lord Siva); pranamya--offering obeisances; aha--said; tava--yours; isa--O lord; kila--certainly; vastukam--everything in the arena of sacrifice; iti--thus; aha--said; me--my; pita--father; brahman--O brahmana; sirasa--bowing my head; tvam--unto you; prasadaye--I am begging your mercy.
Thereupon, after offering obeisances to Lord Siva, Nabhaga said: O worshipable lord, everything in this arena of sacrifice is yours. This is the assertion of my father. Now, with great respect, I bow my head before you, begging your mercy.
yat te pitavadad dharmam
tvam ca satyam prabhasase
dadami te mantra-drso
jnanam brahma sanatanam
yat--whatever; te--your; pita--father; avadat--explained; dharmam--truth; tvam ca--you also; satyam--truth; prabhasase--are speaking; dadami--I shall give; te--unto you; mantra-drsah--who know the science of mantra; jnanam--knowledge; brahma--transcendental; sanatanam--eternal.
Lord Siva said: Whatever your father has said is the truth, and you also are speaking the same truth. Therefore, I, who know the Vedic mantras, shall explain transcendental knowledge to you.
grhana dravinam dattam
ity uktvantarhito rudro
grhana--please take now; dravinam--all the wealth; dattam--is given (to you by me); mat-satra-parisesitam--the remnants of the sacrifice executed on my behalf; iti uktva--after speaking like this; antarhitah--disappeared; rudrah--Lord Siva; bhagavan--the most powerful demigod; dharma-vatsalah--adherent to the principles of religion.
Lord Siva said, "Now you may take all the wealth remaining from the sacrifice, for I give it to you." After saying this, Lord Siva, who is most adherent to the religious principles, disappeared from that place.
ya etat samsmaret pratah
sayam ca susamahitah
kavir bhavati mantra-jno
gatim caiva tathatmanah
yah--anyone who; etat--about this incident; samsmaret--may remember; pratah--in the morning; sayam ca--and in the evening; susamahitah--with great attention; kavih--learned; bhavati--becomes; mantra-jnah--well aware of all Vedic mantras; gatim--the destination; ca--also; eva--indeed; tatha atmanah--like that of the self-realized soul.
If one hears and chants or remembers this narration in the morning and evening with great attention, he certainly becomes learned, experienced in understanding the Vedic hymns, and expert in self-realization.
nabhagad ambariso 'bhun
nasprsad brahma-sapo 'pi
yam na pratihatah kvacit
nabhagat--from Nabhaga; ambarisah--Maharaja Ambarisa; abhut--took birth; maha-bhagavatah--the most exalted devotee; krti--very celebrated; na asprsat--could not touch; brahma-sapah api--even the curse of a brahmana; yam--unto whom (Ambarisa Maharaja); na--neither; pratihatah--failed; kvacit--at any time.
From Nabhaga, Maharaja Ambarisa took birth. Maharaja Ambarisa was an exalted devotee, celebrated for his great merits. Although he was cursed by an infallible brahmana, the curse could not touch him.
bhagavan chrotum icchami
rajarses tasya dhimatah
na prabhud yatra nirmukto
sri-raja uvaca--King Pariksit inquired; bhagavan--O great brahmana; srotum icchami--I wish to hear (from you); rajarseh--of the great King Ambarisa; tasya--of him; dhimatah--who was such a greatly sober personality; na--not; prabhut--could act; yatra--upon whom (Maharaja Ambarisa); nirmuktah--being released; brahma-dandah--the curse of a brahmana; duratyayah--which is insurmountable.
King Pariksit inquired: O great personality, Maharaja Ambarisa was certainly most exalted and meritorious in character. I wish to hear about him. How surprising it is that the curse of a brahmana, which is insurmountable, could not act upon him.
avyayam ca sriyam labdhva
vibhavam catulam bhuvi
mene 'tidurlabham pumsam
sarvam tat svapna-samstutam
tamo visati yat puman
sri-sukah uvaca--Sri Sukadeva Gosvami said; ambarisah--King Ambarisa; maha-bhagah--the greatly fortunate king; sapta-dvipavatim--consisting of seven islands; mahim--the whole world; avyayam ca--and inexhaustible; sriyam--beauty; labdhva--after achieving; vibhavam ca--and opulences; atulam--unlimited; bhuvi--in this earth; mene--he decided; ati-durlabham--which is rarely obtained; pumsam--of many persons; sarvam--everything (he had obtained); tat--that which; svapna-samstutam--as if imagined in a dream; vidvan--completely understanding; vibhava-nirvanam--the annihilation of that opulence; tamah--ignorance; visati--fallen into; yat--because of which; puman--a person.
Sukadeva Gosvami said: Maharaja Ambarisa, the most fortunate personality, achieved the rule of the entire world, consisting of seven islands, and achieved inexhaustible, unlimited opulence and prosperity on earth. Although such a position is rarely obtained, Maharaja Ambarisa did not care for it at all, for he knew very well that all such opulence is material. Like that which is imagined in a dream, such opulence will ultimately be destroyed. The King knew that any nondevotee who attains such opulence merges increasingly into material nature's mode of darkness.
For a devotee material opulence is insignificant, whereas for a nondevotee material opulence is the cause of increasing bondage, for a devotee knows that anything material is temporary, whereas a nondevotee regards the temporary so-called happiness as everything and forgets the path of self-realization. Thus for the nondevotee material opulence is a disqualification for spiritual advancement.
tad-bhaktesu ca sadhusu
prapto bhavam param visvam
yenedam lostravat smrtam
vasudeve--unto the all-pervading Supreme Personality; bhagavati--unto the Supreme personality of Godhead; tat-bhaktesu--unto His devotees; ca--also; sadhusu--unto the saintly persons; praptah--one who has achieved; bhavam--reverence and devotion; param--transcendental; visvam--the whole material universe; yena--by which (spiritual consciousness); idam--this; lostra-vat--as insignificant as a piece of stone; smrtam--is accepted (by such devotees).
Maharaja Ambarisa was a great devotee of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vasudeva, and of the saintly persons who are the Lord's devotees. Because of this devotion, he thought of the entire universe as being as insignificant as a piece of stone.
sa vai manah krsna-padaravindayor
karau harer mandira-marjanadisu
ghranam ca tat-pada-saroja-saurabhe
srimat-tulasya rasanam tad-arpite
padau hareh ksetra-padanusarpane
kamam ca dasye na tu kama-kamyaya
sah--he (Maharaja Ambarisa); vai--indeed; manah--his mind; krsna-pada-aravindayoh--(fixed) upon the two lotus feet of Lord Krsna; vacamsi--his words; vaikuntha-guna-anuvarnane--describing the glories of Krsna; karau--his two hands; hareh mandira-marjana-adisu--in activities like cleansing the temple of Hari, the Supreme Personality of Godhead; srutim--his ear; cakara--engaged; acyuta--of or about Krsna, who never falls down; sat-katha-udaye--in hearing the transcendental narrations; mukunda-linga-alaya-darsane--in seeing the Deity and temples and holy dhamas of Mukunda; drsau--his two eyes; tat-bhrtya--of the servants of Krsna; gatra-sparse--in touching the bodies; anga-sangamam--contact of his body; ghranam ca--and his sense of smell; tat-pada--of His lotus feet; saroja--of the lotus flower; saurabhe--in (smelling) the fragrance; srimat-tulasyah--of the tulasi leaves; rasanam--his tongue; tat-arpite--in the prasada offered to the Lord; padau--his two legs; hareh--of the Personality of Godhead; ksetra--holy places like the temple or Vrndavana and Dvaraka; pada-anusarpane--walking to those places; sirah--the head; hrsikesa--of Krsna, the master of the senses; pada-abhivandane--in offering obeisances to the lotus feet; kamam ca--and his desires; dasye--in being engaged as a servant; na--not; tu--indeed; kama-kamyaya--with a desire for sense gratification; yatha--as; uttamasloka-jana-asraya--if one takes shelter of a devotee such as Prahlada; ratih--attachment.
Maharaja Ambarisa always engaged his mind in meditating upon the lotus feet of Krsna, his words in describing the glories of the Lord, his hands in cleansing the Lord's temple, and his ears in hearing the words spoken by Krsna or about Krsna. He engaged his eyes in seeing the Deity of Krsna, Krsna's temples and Krsna's places like Mathura and Vrndavana, he engaged his sense of touch in touching the bodies of the Lord's devotees, he engaged his sense of smell in smelling the fragrance of tulasi offered to the Lord, and he engaged his tongue in tasting the Lord's prasada. He engaged his legs in walking to the holy places and temples of the Lord, his head in bowing down before the Lord, and all his desires in serving the Lord, twenty-four hours a day. Indeed, Maharaja Ambarisa never desired anything for his own sense gratification. He engaged all his senses in devotional service, in various engagements related to the Lord. This is the way to increase attachment for the Lord and be completely free from all material desires.
In Bhagavad-gita (7.1) the Lord recommends, mayy asakta-manah partha yogam yunjan mad-asrayah. This indicates that one must execute devotional service under the guidance of a devotee or directly under the guidance of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. It is not possible, however, to train oneself without guidance from the spiritual master. Therefore, according to the instructions of Srila Rupa Gosvami, the first business of a devotee is to accept a bona fide spiritual master who can train him to engage his various senses in rendering transcendental service to the Lord. The Lord also says in Bhagavad-gita (7.1), asamsayam samagram mam yatha jnasyasi tac chrnu. In other words, if one wants to understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead in completeness, one must follow the prescriptions given by Krsna by following in the footsteps of Maharaja Ambarisa. It is said, hrsikena hrsikesa-sevanam bhaktir ucyate: bhakti means to engage the senses in the service of the master of the senses, Krsna, who is called Hrsikesa or Acyuta. These words are used in these verses. Acyuta-sat-kathodaye, hrsikesa-padabhivandane. The words Acyuta and Hrsikesa are also used in Bhagavad-gita. Bhagavad-gita is krsna-katha spoken directly by Krsna, and Srimad-Bhagavatam is also krsna-katha because everything described in the Bhagavatam is in relationship with Krsna.
evam sada karma-kalapam atmanah
pare 'dhiyajne bhagavaty adhoksaje
sarvatma-bhavam vidadhan mahim imam
tan-nistha-viprabhihitah sasasa ha
evam--thus (living a devotional life); sada--always; karma-kalapam--the prescribed occupational duties as a ksatriya king; atmanah--of himself, personally (the head of the state); pare--unto the supreme transcendence; adhiyajne--unto the supreme proprietor, the supreme enjoyer; bhagavati--unto the Supreme personality of Godhead; adhoksaje--unto He who is beyond material sense perception; sarva-atma-bhavam--all different varieties of devotional service; vidadhat--executing, offering; mahim--the planet earth; imam--this; tat-nistha--who are faithful devotees of the Lord; vipra--by such brahmanas; abhihitah--directed; sasasa--ruled; ha--in the past.
In performing his prescribed duties as king, Maharaja Ambarisa always offered the results of his royal activities to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna, who is the enjoyer of everything and is beyond the perception of material senses. He certainly took advice from brahmanas who were faithful devotees of the Lord, and thus he ruled the planet earth without difficulty.
As stated in Bhagavad-gita (5.29):
jnatva mam santim rcchati
People are very much anxious to live in peace and prosperity in this material world, and here in Bhagavad-gita the peace formula is given personally by the Supreme Personality of Godhead: everyone should understand that Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is the ultimate proprietor of all the planets and is therefore the enjoyer of all activities, political, social, cultural, religious, economic and so on. The Lord has given perfect advice in Bhagavad-gita, and Ambarisa Maharaja, as the ideal executive head, ruled the entire world as a Vaisnava, taking advice from Vaisnava brahmanas. The sastras enjoin that even though a brahmana may be well versed in the occupational brahminical duties and may be very learned in Vedic knowledge, he cannot give advice as a guru until he is a Vaisnava.
avaisnavo gurur na syad
vaisnavah sva-paco guruh
Therefore, as indicated here by the words tan-nistha-viprabhihitah, Maharaja Ambarisa took advice from brahmanas who were pure devotees of the Lord, for ordinary brahmanas who are merely learned scholars or experts in performing ritualistic ceremonies are not competent to give advice.
In modern times, there are legislative assemblies whose members are authorized to make laws for the welfare of the state, but according to this description of the kingdom of Maharaja Ambarisa, the country or the world should be ruled by a chief executive whose advisors are all devotee brahmanas. Such advisors or members of the legislative assembly should not be professional politicians, nor should they be selected by the ignorant public. Rather, they should be appointed by the king. When the king, the executive head of the state, is a devotee and he follows the instructions of devotee brahmanas in ruling the country, everyone will be peaceful and prosperous. When the king and his advisors are perfect devotees, nothing can be wrong in the state. All the citizens should become devotees of the Lord, and then their good character will automatically follow.
yasyasti bhaktir bhagavaty akincana
sarvair gunais tatra samasate surah
harav abhaktasya kuto mahad-guna
manorathenasati dhavato bahih
"One who has unflinching devotion for the Personality of Godhead has all the good qualities of the demigods. But one who is not a devotee of the Lord has only material qualifications that are of little value. This is because he is hovering on the mental plane and is certain to be attracted by the glaring material energy." (Bhag. 5.18.12) Citizens under the guidance of a Krsna conscious king will become devotees, and then there will be no need to enact new laws every day to reform the way of life in the state. If the citizens are trained to become devotees, they will automatically become peaceful and honest, and if they are guided by a devoted king advised by devotees, the state will not be in the material world but in the spiritual world. All the states of the world should therefore follow the ideal of the rule or administration of Maharaja Ambarisa, as described here.
ije 'svamedhair adhiyajnam isvaram
dhanvany abhisrotam asau sarasvatim
ije--worshiped; asvamedhaih--by performing the horse sacrifice yajnas; adhiyajnam--to satisfy the master of all yajnas; isvaram--the Supreme Personality of Godhead; maha-vibhutya--with great opulence; upacita-anga-daksinaih--with all prescribed paraphernalia and contributions of daksina to the brahmanas; tataih--executed; vasistha-asita-gautama-adibhih--by such brahmanas as Vasistha, Asita and Gautama; dhanvani--in the desert; abhisrotam--inundated by the water of the river; asau--Maharaja Ambarisa; sarasvatim--on the bank of the Sarasvati.
In desert countries where there flowed the River Sarasvati, Maharaja Ambarisa performed great sacrifices like the asvamedha-yajna and thus satisfied the master of all yajnas, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Such sacrifices were performed with great opulence and suitable paraphernalia and with contributions of daksina to the brahmanas, who were supervised by great personalities like Vasistha, Asita and Gautama, representing the king, the performer of the sacrifices.
When one performs ritualistic sacrifices as prescribed in the Vedas, one needs expert brahmanas known as yajnika-brahmanas. In Kali-yuga, however, there is a scarcity of such brahmanas. Therefore in Kali-yuga the sacrifice recommended in sastra is sankirtana-yajna (yajnaih sankirtana-prayair yajanti hi sumedhasah). Instead of spending money unnecessarily on performing yajnas impossible to perform in this age of Kali because of the scarcity of yajnika-brahmanas, one who is intelligent performs sankirtana-yajna. Without properly performed yajnas to satisfy the Supreme Personality of Godhead, there will be scarcity of rain (yajnad bhavati parjanyah). Therefore the performance of yajna is essential. Without yajna there will be a scarcity of rain, and because of this scarcity, no food grains will be produced, and there will be famines. It is the duty of the king, therefore, to perform different types of yajnas, such as the asvamedha-yajna, to maintain the production of food grains. Annad bhavanti bhutani. Without food grains, both men and animals will starve. Therefore yajna is necessary for the state to perform because by yajna the people in general will be fed sumptuously. The brahmanas and yajnika priests should be sufficiently paid for their expert service. This payment is called daksina. Ambarisa Maharaja, as the head of the state, performed all these yajnas through great personalities like Vasistha, Gautama and Asita. Personally, however, he was engaged in devotional service, as mentioned before (sa vai manah krsna-padaravindayoh). The king or head of state must see that things go on well under proper guidance, and he must be an ideal devotee, as exemplified by Maharaja Ambarisa. It is the duty of the king to see that food grains are produced even in desert countries, what to speak of elsewhere.
yasya kratusu girvanaih
sadasya rtvijo janah
yasya--of whom (Maharaja Ambarisa); kratusu--in sacrifices (performed by him); girvanaih--with the demigods; sadasyah--members for executing the sacrifice; rtvijah--the priests; janah--and other expert men; tulya-rupah--appearing exactly like; ca--and; animisah--with unblinking eyes like those of the demigods; vyadrsyanta--being seen; su-vasasah--well dressed with valuable garments.
In the sacrifice arranged by Maharaja Ambarisa, the members of the assembly and the priests [especially hota, udgata, brahma and adhvaryu] were gorgeously dressed, and they all looked exactly like demigods. They eagerly saw to the proper performance of the yajna.
svargo na prarthito yasya
svargah--life in the heavenly planets; na--not; prarthitah--a subject for aspiration; yasya--of whom (Ambarisa Maharaja); manujaih--by the citizens; amara-priyah--very dear even to the demigods; srnvadbhih--who were accustomed to hear; upagayadbhih--and accustomed to chant; uttamasloka--of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; cestitam--about the glorious activities.
The citizens of the state of Maharaja Ambarisa were accustomed to chanting and hearing about the glorious activities of the Personality of Godhead. Thus they never aspired to be elevated to the heavenly planets, which are extremely dear even to the demigods.
A pure devotee who has been trained in the practice of chanting and hearing the holy name of the Lord and His fame, qualities, form, paraphernalia and so on is never interested in elevation to the heavenly planets, even though such places are extremely dear even to the demigods.
na kutascana bibhyati
"Devotees solely engaged in the devotional service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Narayana, never fear any condition of life. The heavenly planets, liberation and the hellish planets are all the same to a devotee." (Bhag. 6.17.28) A devotee is always situated in the spiritual world. Therefore he does not desire anything. He is known as akama, or desireless, because he has nothing to desire except to render transcendental loving service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Because Maharaja Ambarisa was a most exalted devotee of the Lord, he trained his subjects in such a way that the citizens in his state were not interested in anything material, including even the happiness of the heavenly planets.
samvardhayanti yat kamah
durlabha napi siddhanam
mukundam hrdi pasyatah
samvardhayanti--increase happiness; yat--because; kamah--such aspirations; sva-rajya--situated in his own constitutional position of rendering service to the Lord; paribhavitah--saturated with such aspirations; durlabhah--very rarely obtained; na--not; api--also; siddhanam--of the great mystics; mukundam--Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead; hrdi--within the core of the heart; pasyatah--persons always accustomed to seeing Him.
Those who are saturated with the transcendental happiness of rendering service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead are uninterested even in the achievements of great mystics, for such achievements do not enhance the transcendental bliss felt by a devotee who always thinks of Krsna within the core of his heart.
A pure devotee is uninterested not only in elevation to the higher planetary systems but even in the perfections of mystic yoga. Real perfection is devotional service. The happiness derived from merging in the impersonal Brahman and the happiness derived from the eight perfections of mystic yoga (anima, laghima, prapti and so on) do not give any pleasure to the devotee. As stated by Srila Prabodhananda Sarasvati:
kaivalyam narakayate tridasa-pur akasa-puspayate
visvam purna-sukhayate vidhi-mahendradis ca kitayate
yat karunya-kataksa-vaibhavavatam tam gauram eva stumah
When a devotee has achieved the position of rendering transcendental loving service to the Lord through the mercy of Lord Caitanya, he thinks the impersonal Brahman to be no better than hell, and he regards material happiness in the heavenly planets to be like a will-o'-the-wisp. As far as the perfection of mystic powers is concerned, a devotee compares it to a venomous snake with no teeth. A mystic yogi is especially concerned with controlling the senses, but because the senses of a devotee are engaged in the service of the Lord (hrsikena hrsikesa-sevanam bhaktir ucyate) there is no need for separate control of the senses. For those who are materially engaged, control of the senses is required, but a devotee's senses are all engaged in the service of the Lord, which means that they are already controlled. param drstva nivartate (Bg. 2.59). A devotee's senses are not attracted by material enjoyment. And even though the material world is full of misery, the devotee considers this material world to be also spiritual because everything is engaged in the service of the Lord. The difference between the spiritual world and material world is the mentality of service. Nirbandhah krsna-sambandhe yuktam vairagyam ucyate. When there is no mentality of service to the Supreme personality of Godhead, one's activities are material.
vairagyam phalgu kathyate
That which is not engaged in the service of the Lord is material, and nothing thus engaged should be given up. In the construction of a high skyscraper and the construction of a temple, there may be the same enthusiasm, but the endeavors are different, for one is material and the other spiritual. Spiritual activities should not be confused with material activities and given up. Nothing connected with Hari, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is material. A devotee who considers all this is always situated in spiritual activities, and therefore he is no longer attracted by material activities (param drstva nivartate).
sa ittham bhakti-yogena
sva-dharmena harim prinan
sarvan kaman sanair jahau
sah--he (Ambarisa Maharaja); ittham--in this way; bhakti-yogena--by performing transcendental loving service to the Lord; tapah-yuktena--which is simultaneously the best process of austerity; parthivah--the King; sva-dharmena--by his constitutional activities; harim--unto the Supreme Lord; prinan--satisfying; sarvan--all varieties of; kaman--material desires; sanaih--gradually; jahau--gave up.
The king of this planet, Maharaja Ambarisa, thus performed devotional service to the Lord and in this endeavor practiced severe austerity. Always satisfying the Supreme Personality of Godhead by his constitutional activities, he gradually gave up all material desires.
Severe austerities in the practice of devotional service are of many varieties. For example, in worshiping the Deity in the temple there are certainly laborious activities. Sri-vigraharadhana-nitya-nana srngara-tan-mandira-marjanadau. One must decorate the Deity, cleanse the temple, bring water from the Ganges and Yamuna, continue the routine work, perform arati many times, prepare first-class food for the Deity, prepare dresses and so on. In this way, one must constantly be engaged in various activities, and the hard labor involved is certainly an austerity. Similarly, the hard labor involved in preaching, preparing literature, preaching to atheistic men and distributing literature door to door is of course an austerity (tapo-yuktena). Tapo divyam putraka. Such austerity is necessary. Yena sattvam suddhyet. By such austerity in devotional service, one is purified of material existence (kaman sanair jahau). Indeed, such austerity leads one to the constitutional position of devotional service. In this way one can give up material desires, and as soon as one is freed from material desires, he is free from the repetition of birth and death, old age and disease.
grhesu daresu sutesu bandhusu
ananta-kosesv akarod asan-matim
grhesu--in the homes; daresu--in wives; sutesu--in children; bandhusu--in friends and relatives; dvipa-uttama--in the best of powerful elephants; syandana--in nice chariots; vaji--in first-class horses; vastusu--in all such things; aksayya--whose value never decreases; ratna--in jewels; abharana--in ornaments; ambara-adisu--in such dresses and ornaments; ananta-kosesu--in an inexhaustible treasury; akarot--accepted; asat-matim--no attachment.
Maharaja Ambarisa gave up all attachment to household affairs, wives, children, friends and relatives, to the best of powerful elephants, to beautiful chariots, carts, horses and inexhaustible jewels, and to ornaments, garments and an inexhaustible treasury. He gave up attachment to all of them, regarding them as temporary and material.
Anasaktasya visayan yatharham upayunjatah. Material possessions can be accepted as far as they can be used in devotional service. Anukulyena krsnanusilanam. Anukulyasya sankalpah pratikulyasya varjanam. In preaching, many things considered material are needed. A devotee should not have any attachment for such material involvements as house, wife, children, friends and cars. Maharaja Ambarisa, for example, had all such things, but he was not attached to them. This is the effect of bhakti-yoga. Bhaktih paresanubhavo viraktir anyatra ca (Bhag. 11.2.42). One who is advanced in devotional service has no attachment for material things for sense enjoyment, but for preaching, to spread the glories of the Lord, he accepts such things without attachment. Anasaktasya visayan yatharham upayunjatah. Everything can be used to the extent that it can be engaged in Krsna's service.
tasma adad dharis cakram
tasmai--unto him (Ambarisa Maharaja); adat--gave; harih--the Supreme Personality of Godhead; cakram--His disc; pratyanika-bhaya-avaham--the Lord's disc, which was extremely fearful to the enemies of the Lord and His devotees; ekanta-bhakti-bhavena--because of his performing unalloyed devotional service; pritah--the Lord being so pleased; bhakta-abhiraksanam--for the protection of His devotees.
Being very pleased by the unalloyed devotion of Maharaja Ambarisa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead gave the King His disc, which is fearful to enemies and which always protects the devotee from enemies and adversities.
A devotee, being always engaged in the service of the Lord, may not be expert in self-defense, but because a devotee fully depends on the lotus feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he is always sure of protection by the Lord. Prahlada Maharaja said:
naivodvije para duratyaya-vaitaranyas
A devotee is always merged in the ocean of the transcendental bliss of rendering service to the Lord. Therefore he is not at all afraid of any adverse situation in the material world. The Lord also promises, kaunteya pratijanihi na me bhaktah pranasyati: "O Arjuna, you may declare to the world that the devotees of the Lord are never vanquished." (Bg. 9.31) For the protection of the devotees, Krsna's disc, the Sudarsana cakra, is always ready. This disc is extremely fearful to the nondevotees (pratyanika-bhayavaham). Therefore although Maharaja Ambarisa was fully engaged in devotional service, his kingdom was free of all fear of adversity.
yuktah samvatsaram viro
ariradhayisuh--aspiring to worship; krsnam--the Supreme Lord, Krsna; mahisya--with his queen; tulya-silaya--who was equally as qualified as Maharaja Ambarisa; yuktah--together; samvatsaram--for one year; virah--the King; dadhara--accepted; dvadasi-vratam--the vow for observing Ekadasi and Dvadasi.
To worship Lord Krsna, Maharaja Ambarisa, along with his queen, who was equally qualified, observed the vow of Ekadasi and Dvadasi for one year.
To observe Ekadasi-vrata and Dvadasi-vrata means to please the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Those interested in advancing in Krsna consciousness must observe Ekadasi-vrata regularly. Maharaja Ambarisa's queen was equally as qualified as the King. Therefore it was possible for Maharaja Ambarisa to engage his life in household affairs. In this regard, the word tulya-silaya is very significant. Unless a wife is equally as qualified as her husband, household affairs are very difficult to continue. Canakya Pandita advises that a person in such a situation should immediately give up household life and become a vanaprastha or sannyasi:
mata yasya grhe nasti
aranyam tena gantavyam
yatharanyam tatha grham
A person who has no mother at home and whose wife is not agreeable with him should immediately go away to the forest. Because human life is meant for spiritual advancement only, one's wife must be helpful in this endeavor. Otherwise there is no need of household life.
vratante kartike masi
snatah kadacit kalindyam
harim madhuvane 'rcayat
vrata-ante--at the end of observing the vow; kartike--in the month of Kartika (October-November); masi--in that month; tri-ratram--for three nights; samupositah--after completely observing the fast; snatah--after bathing; kadacit--once upon a time; kalindyam--on the bank of the Yamuna; harim--unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead; madhuvane--in that part of the Vrndavana area known as Madhuvana; arcayat--worshiped the Lord.
In the month of Kartika, after observing that vow for one year, after observing a fast for three nights and after bathing in the Yamuna, Maharaja Ambarisa worshiped the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Hari, in Madhuvana.
pujayam asa kesavam
brahmanams ca maha-bhagan
siddharthan api bhaktitah
maha-abhiseka-vidhina--by the regulative principles for bathing the Deity; sarva-upaskara-sampada--by all the paraphernalia for worshiping the Deity; abhisicya--after bathing; ambara-akalpaih--with nice clothing and ornaments; gandha-malya--with fragrant flower garlands; arhana-adibhih--and with other paraphernalia to worship the Deity; tat-gata-antara-bhavena--his mind saturated with devotional service; pujayam asa--he worshiped; kesavam--unto Krsna; brahmanan ca--and the brahmanas; maha-bhagan--who were greatly fortunate; siddha-arthan--self-satisfied, without waiting for any worship; api--even; bhaktitah--with great devotion.
Following the regulative principles of mahabhiseka, Maharaja Ambarisa performed the bathing ceremony for the Deity of Lord Krsna with all paraphernalia, and then he dressed the Deity with fine clothing, ornaments, fragrant flower garlands and other paraphernalia for worship of the Lord. With attention and devotion, he worshiped Krsna and all the greatly fortunate brahmanas who were free from material desires.
grhesu nyarbudani sat
bhojayitva dvijan agre
svadv annam gunavattamam
tasya tarhy atithih saksad
durvasa bhagavan abhut
gavam--cows; rukma-visaninam--whose horns were covered with gold plate; rupya-anghrinam--whose hooves were covered with silver plate; su-vasasam--very nicely decorated with garments; payah-sila--with full milk bags; vayah--young; rupa--beautiful; vatsa-upaskara-sampadam--with nice calves; prahinot--gave in charity; sadhu-viprebhyah--unto the brahmanas and saintly persons; grhesu--(who arrived) in his house; nyarbudani--ten crores (one hundred million); sat--six times; bhojayitva--feeding them; dvijan agre--first the brahmanas; svadu annam--very tasteful eatables; gunavat-tamam--highly delicious; labdha-kamaih--by those brahmanas, being fully satisfied; anujnatah--by their permission; paranaya--for completing the Dvadasi; upacakrame--was just about to observe the final ceremony; tasya--of him (Ambarisa); tarhi--immediately; atithih--unwanted or uncalled-for guest; saksat--directly; durvasah--the great mystic Durvasa; bhagavan--very powerful; abhut--appeared on the scene as a guest.
Thereafter, Maharaja Ambarisa satisfied all the guests who arrived at his house, especially the brahmanas. He gave in charity sixty crores of cows whose horns were covered with gold plate and whose hooves were covered with silver plate. All the cows were well decorated with garments and had full milk bags. They were mild-natured, young and beautiful and were accompanied by their calves. After giving these cows, the King first sumptuously fed all the brahmanas, and when they were fully satisfied, he was about to observe the end of Ekadasi, with their permission, by breaking the fast. Exactly at that time, however, Durvasa Muni, the great and powerful mystic, appeared on the scene as an uninvited guest.
tam anarcatithim bhupah
tam--unto him (Durvasa); anarca--worshiped; atithim--although an uninvited guest; bhupah--the King (Ambarisa); pratyutthana--by standing up; asana--by offering a seat; arhanaih--and by paraphernalia for worship; yayace--requested; abhyavaharaya--for eating; pada-mulam--at the root of his feet; upagatah--fell down.
After standing up to receive Durvasa Muni, King Ambarisa offered him a seat and paraphernalia of worship. Then, sitting at his feet, the King requested the great sage to eat.
pratinandya sa tam yacnam
kartum avasyakam gatah
nimamajja brhad dhyayan
pratinandya--gladly accepting; sah--Durvasa Muni; tam--that; yacnam--request; kartum--to perform; avasyakam--the necessary ritualistic ceremonies; gatah--went; nimamajja--dipped his body in the water; brhat--the Supreme Brahman; dhyayan--meditating on; kalindi--of the Yamuna; salile--in the water; subhe--very auspicious.
Durvasa Muni gladly accepted the request of Maharaja Ambarisa, but to perform the regulative ritualistic ceremonies he went to the River Yamuna. There he dipped into the water of the auspicious Yamuna and meditated upon the impersonal Brahman.
dvadasyam paranam prati
cintayam asa dharma-jno
muhurta-ardha-avasistayam--was remaining only for half a moment; dvadasyam--when the Dvadasi day; paranam--the breaking of the fast; prati--to observe; cintayam asa--began to think about; dharma-jnah--one who knows the principles of religion; dvijaih--by the brahmanas; tat-dharma--concerning that religious principle; sankate--in such a dangerous condition.
In the meantime, only a muhurta of the Dvadasi day was left on which to break the fast. Consequently, it was imperative that the fast be broken immediately. In this dangerous situation, the King consulted learned brahmanas.
dvadasyam yad aparane
yat krtva sadhu me bhuyad
adharmo va na mam sprset
ahur ab-bhaksanam vipra
hy asitam nasitam ca tat
brahmana-atikrame--in surpassing the rules of respect to the brahmanas; dosah--there is a fault; dvadasyam--on the Dvadasi day; yat--because; aparane--in not breaking the fast in due time; yat krtva--after doing which action; sadhu--what is auspicious; me--unto me; bhuyat--may so become; adharmah--what is irreligious; va--either; na--not; mam--unto me; sprset--may touch; ambhasa--by water; kevalena--only; atha--therefore; karisye--I shall execute; vrata-paranam--the completion of the vow; ahuh--said; ap-bhaksanam--drinking water; viprah--O brahmanas; hi--indeed; asitam--eating; na asitam ca--as well as not eating; tat--such an action.
The King said: "To transgress the laws of respectful behavior toward the brahmanas is certainly a great offense. On the other hand, if one does not observe the breaking of the fast within the time of Dvadasi, there is a flaw in one's observance of the vow. Therefore, O brahmanas, if you think that it will be auspicious and not irreligious, I shall break the fast by drinking water." In this way, after consulting with the brahmanas, the King reached this decision, for according to brahminical opinion, drinking water may be accepted as eating and also as not eating.
When Maharaja Ambarisa, in his dilemma, consulted the brahmanas about whether he should break the fast or wait for Durvasa Muni, apparently they could not give a definite answer about what to do. A Vaisnava, however, is the most intelligent personality. Therefore Maharaja Ambarisa himself decided, in the presence of the brahmanas, that he would drink a little water, for this would confirm that the fast was broken but would not transgress the laws for receiving a brahmana. In the Vedas it is said, apo 'snati tan naivasitam naivanasitam. This Vedic injunction declares that the drinking of water may be accepted as eating or as not eating. Sometimes in our practical experience we see that some political leader adhering to satyagraha will not eat but will drink water. Considering that drinking water would not be eating, Maharaja Ambarisa decided to act in this way.
ity apah prasya rajarsis
dvijagamanam eva sah
iti--thus; apah--water; prasya--after drinking; rajarsih--the great King Ambarisa; cintayan--meditating upon; manasa--by the mind; acyutam--the Supreme Personality of Godhead; pratyacasta--began to wait; kuru-srestha--O best of the Kuru kings; dvija-agamanam--the return of Durvasa Muni, the great mystic brahmana; eva--indeed; sah--the King.
O best of the Kuru dynasty, after he drank some water, King Ambarisa, meditating upon the Supreme Personality of Godhead within his heart, waited for the return of the great mystic Durvasa Muni.
bubudhe cestitam dhiya
durvasah--the great sage; yamuna-kulat--from the bank of the River Yamuna; krta--had been performed; avasyakah--he by whom the necessary ritualistic ceremonies; agatah--returned; rajna--by the King; abhinanditah--being well received; tasya--his; bubudhe--could understand; cestitam--performance; dhiya--by intelligence.
After executing the ritualistic ceremonies to be performed at noon, Durvasa returned from the bank of the Yamuna. The King received him well, offering all respects, but Durvasa Muni, by his mystic power, could understand that King Ambarisa had drunk water without his permission.
bubhuksitas ca sutaram
manyuna--agitated by great anger; pracalat-gatrah--his body trembling; bhru-kuti--by the eyebrows; kutila--curved; ananah--face; bubhuksitah ca--and hungry at the same time; sutaram--very much; krta-anjalim--to Ambarisa Maharaja, who stood there with folded hands; abhasata--he addressed.
Still hungry, Durvasa Muni, his body trembling, his face curved and his eyebrows crooked in a frown, angrily spoke as follows to King Ambarisa, who stood before him with folded hands.
aho asya nr-samsasya
aho--alas; asya--of this man; nr-samsasya--who is so cruel; sriya unmattasya--puffed up because of great opulence; pasyata--everyone just see; dharma-vyatikramam--the transgression of the regulative principles of religion; visnoh abhaktasya--who is not a devotee of Lord Visnu; isa-maninah--considering himself the Supreme Lord, independent of everything.
Alas, just see the behavior of this cruel man! He is not a devotee of Lord Visnu. Being proud of his material opulence and his position, he considers himself God. Just see how he has transgressed the laws of religion.
Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura has diverted the entire meaning of this verse as spoken by Durvasa Muni. Durvasa Muni used the word nr-samsasya to indicate that the King was cruel, but Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura interprets it to mean that the King's character was glorified by all the local people. He says that the word nr means "by all the local people" and that samsasya means "of he (Ambarisa) whose character was glorified." Similarly, one who is very rich becomes mad because of his wealth and is therefore called sriya-unmattasya, but Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura interprets these words to mean that although Maharaja Ambarisa was such an opulent king, he was not mad after money, for he had already surpassed the madness of material opulence. Similarly, the word isa-maninah is interpreted to mean that he was so respectful to the Supreme Personality of Godhead that he did not transgress the laws for observing Ekadasi-parana, despite the thinking of Durvasa Muni, for he only took water. In this way, Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura has supported Ambarisa Maharaja and all his activities.
yo mam atithim ayatam
atithyena nimantrya ca
adattva bhuktavams tasya
sadyas te darsaye phalam
yah--this man who; mam--unto me; atithim--who, being an uninvited guest; ayatam--had come here; atithyena--with the reception of a guest; nimantrya--after inviting me; ca--also; adattva--without giving (food); bhuktavan--has himself eaten; tasya--of him; sadyah--immediately; te--of you; darsaye--I shall show; phalam--the result.
Maharaja Ambarisa, you have invited me to eat as a guest, but instead of feeding me, you yourself have eaten first. Because of your misbehavior, I shall show you something to punish you.
A devotee cannot be defeated by a so-called mystic yogi. This will be proved by the failure of Durvasa Muni's endeavor to chastise Maharaja Ambarisa. Harav abhaktasya kuto mahad-gunah (Bhag. 5.18.12). One who is not a pure devotee of the Supreme Lord has no good qualifications, however great a mystic, philosopher or fruitive worker he may be. Only a devotee emerges victorious in all circumstances, as will be shown in this incident involving the rivalry between Durvasa and Maharaja Ambarisa.
evam bruvana utkrtya
taya sa nirmame tasmai
evam--thus; bruvanah--speaking (Durvasa Muni); utkrtya--uprooting; jatam--a bunch of hair; rosa-pradipitah--being reddish because he was very angry; taya--by that bunch of hair from his head; sah--Durvasa Muni; nirmame--created; tasmai--to punish Maharaja Ambarisa; krtyam--a demon; kala-anala-upamam--appearing just like the blazing fire of devastation.
As Durvasa Muni said this, his face became red with anger. Uprooting a bunch of hair from his head, he created a demon resembling the blazing fire of devastation to punish Maharaja Ambarisa.
tam apatantim jvalatim
asi-hastam pada bhuvam
na cacala padan nrpah
tam--that (demon); apatantim--coming forward to attack him; jvalatim--blazing like fire; asi-hastam--with a trident in his hand; pada--with his footstep; bhuvam--the surface of the earth; vepayantim--causing to tremble; samudviksya--seeing him perfectly; na--not; cacala--moved; padat--from his place; nrpah--the King.
Taking a trident in his hand and making the surface of the earth tremble with his footsteps, that blazing creature came before Maharaja Ambarisa. But the King, upon seeing him, was not at all disturbed and did not move even slightly from his position.
Narayana-parah sarve na kutascana bibhyati (Bhag. 6.17.28). A pure devotee of Narayana is never afraid of any material danger. There are many examples of devotees such as Prahlada Maharaja, who was tortured by his father but was not at all afraid, although he was only a five-year-old boy. Therefore, following the examples of Ambarisa Maharaja and Prahlada Maharaja, a devotee should learn how to tolerate all such awkward positions in this world. Devotees are often tortured by nondevotees, yet the pure devotee, depending fully on the mercy of the Supreme personality of Godhead, is never disturbed by such inimical activities.
prag distam bhrtya-raksayam
dadaha krtyam tam cakram
kruddhahim iva pavakah
prak distam--as previously arranged; bhrtya-raksayam--for the protection of his servants; purusena--by the Supreme Person; maha-atmana--by the Supersoul; dadaha--burnt to ashes; krtyam--that created demon; tam--him; cakram--the disc; kruddha--angry; ahim--a serpent; iva--like; pavakah--fire.
As fire in the forest immediately burns to ashes an angry snake, so, by the previous order of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, His disc, the Sudarsana cakra, immediately burnt to ashes the created demon to protect the Lord's devotee.
As a pure devotee, Maharaja Ambarisa, although in such danger, did not move an inch from his position, nor did he request the Supreme Personality of Godhead to give him protection. He was fixed in understanding, and it was certain that he was simply thinking of the Supreme Personality of Godhead in the core of his heart. A devotee is never fearful of his death, for he meditates on the Supreme Personality of Godhead always, not for any material profit, but as his duty. The Lord, however, knows how to protect His devotee. As indicated by the words prag distam, the Lord knew everything. Therefore, before anything happened, He had already arranged for His cakra to protect Maharaja Ambarisa. This protection is offered to a devotee even from the very beginning of his devotional service. Kaunteya pratijanihi na me bhaktah pranasyati (Bg. 9.31). If one simply begins devotional service, he is immediately protected by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This is also confirmed in Bhagavad-gita (18.66): aham tvam sarva-papebhyo moksayisyami. Protection begins immediately. The Lord is so kind and merciful that He gives the devotee proper guidance and all protection, and thus the devotee very peacefully makes solid progress in Krsna consciousness without outward disturbances. A serpent may be very angry and ready to bite, but the furious snake is helpless when faced by a blazing fire in the forest. Although an enemy of a devotee may be very strong, he is compared to an angry serpent before the fire of devotional service.
sva-prayasam ca nisphalam
durvasa dudruve bhito
tat--of that disc; abhidravat--moving toward him; udviksya--after seeing; sva-prayasam--his own attempt; ca--and; nisphalam--having failed; durvasah--Durvasa Muni; dudruve--began to run; bhitah--full of fear; diksu--in every direction; prana-paripsaya--with a desire to save his life.
Upon seeing that his own attempt had failed and that the Sudarsana cakra was moving toward him, Durvasa Muni became very frightened and began to run in all directions to save his life.
tam anvadhavad bhagavad-rathangam
davagnir uddhuta-sikho yathahim
tathanusaktam munir iksamano
guham viviksuh prasasara meroh
tam--unto Durvasa; anvadhavat--began to follow; bhagavat-ratha-angam--the disc appearing from the wheel of the Lord's chariot; dava-agnih--like a forest fire; uddhuta--blazing high; sikhah--having flames; yatha ahim--as it follows a snake; tatha--in the same way; anusaktam--as if touching Durvasa Muni's back; munih--the sage; iksamanah--seeing like that; guham--a cave; viviksuh--wanted to enter; prasasara--began to move quickly; meroh--of Meru Mountain.
As the blazing flames of a forest fire pursue a snake, the disc of the Supreme Personality of Godhead began following Durvasa Muni. Durvasa Muni saw that the disc was almost touching his back, and thus he ran very swiftly, desiring to enter a cave of Sumeru Mountain.
diso nabhah ksmam vivaran samudran
lokan sapalams tridivam gatah sah
yato yato dhavati tatra tatra
sudarsanam dusprasaham dadarsa
disah--all directions; nabhah--in the sky; ksmam--on the surface of the earth; vivaran--within the holes; samudran--within the seas; lokan--all places; sa-palan--as well as their rulers; tridivam--the heavenly planets; gatah--gone; sah--Durvasa Muni; yatah yatah--wheresoever; dhavati--he went; tatra tatra--there, everywhere; sudarsanam--the disc of the Lord; dusprasaham--extremely fearful; dadarsa--Durvasa Muni saw.
Just to protect himself, Durvasa Muni fled everywhere, in all directions--in the sky, on the surface of the earth, in caves, in the ocean, on different planets of the rulers of the three worlds, and even on the heavenly planets--but wherever he went he immediately saw following him the unbearable fire of the Sudarsana cakra.
alabdha-nathah sa sada kutascit
santrasta-citto 'ranam esamanah
devam virincam samagad vidhatas
trahy atma-yone 'jita-tejaso mam
alabdha-nathah--without getting the shelter of a protector; sah--Durvasa Muni; sada--always; kutascit--somewhere; santrasta-cittah--with a fearful heart; aranam--a person who can give shelter; esamanah--seeking; devam--at last to the chief demigod; virincam--Lord Brahma; samagat--approached; vidhatah--O my lord; trahi--kindly protect; atma-yone--O Lord Brahma; ajita-tejasah--from the fire released by Ajita, the Supreme Personality of Godhead; mam--unto me.
With a fearful heart, Durvasa Muni went here and there seeking shelter, but when he could find no shelter, he finally approached Lord Brahma and said, "O my lord, O Lord Brahma, kindly protect me from the blazing Sudarsana cakra sent by the Supreme Personality of Godhead."
sthanam madiyam saha-visvam etat
bhru-bhanga-matrena hi sandidhaksoh
kalatmano yasya tirobhavisyati
aham bhavo daksa-bhrgu-pradhanah
sarve vayam yan-niyamam prapanna
murdhnyarpitam loka-hitam vahamah
sri-brahma uvaca--Lord Brahma said; sthanam--the place where I am; madiyam--my residence, Brahmaloka; saha--with; visvam--the whole universe; etat--this; krida-avasane--at the end of the period for the pastimes of the Supreme personality of Godhead; dvi-parardha-samjne--the time known as the end of a dvi-parardha; bhru-bhanga-matrena--simply by the flicking of the eyebrows; hi--indeed; sandidhaksoh--of the Supreme personality of Godhead, when He desires to burn the whole universe; kala-atmanah--of the form of destruction; yasya--of whom; tirobhavisyati--will be vanquished; aham--I; bhavah--Lord Siva; daksa--Prajapati Daksa; bhrgu--the great saint Bhrgu; pradhanah--and others headed by them; praja-isa--the controllers of the prajas; bhuta-isa--the controllers of the living entities; sura-isa--the controllers of the demigods; mukhyah--headed by them; sarve--all of them; vayam--we also; yat-niyamam--whose regulative principle; prapannah--are surrendered; murdhnya arpitam--bowing our heads; loka-hitam--for the benefit of all living entities; vahamah--carry out the orders ruling over the living entities.
Lord Brahma said: At the end of the dvi-parardha, when the pastimes of the Lord come to an end, Lord Visnu, by a flick of His eyebrows, vanquishes the entire universe, including our places of residence. Such personalities as me and Lord Siva, as well as Daksa, Bhrgu and similar great saints of which they are the head, and also the rulers of the living entities, the rulers of human society and the rulers of the demigods--all of us surrender to that Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Visnu, bowing our heads, to carry out His orders for the benefit of all living entities.
In Bhagavad-gita (10.34) it is said, mrtyuh sama-haras caham: when the Supreme Personality of Godhead approaches as death, or the supreme controller of time, He takes everything away. In other words, all opulence, prestige and everything we possess is given by the Supreme Lord for some purpose. It is the duty of the surrendered soul to execute the orders of the Supreme. No one can disregard Him. Under the circumstances, Lord Brahma refused to give shelter to Durvasa Muni from the powerful Sudarsana cakra sent by the Lord.
durvasah saranam yatah
pratyakhyatah--being refused; virincena--by Lord Brahma; visnu-cakra-upatapitah--being scorched by the blazing fire of Lord Visnu's disc; durvasah--the great mystic named Durvasa; saranam--f or shelter; yatah--went; sarvam--unto Lord Siva; kailasa-vasinam--the resident of the place known as Kailasa.
When Durvasa, who was greatly afflicted by the blazing fire of the Sudarsana cakra, was thus refused by Lord Brahma, he tried to take shelter of Lord Siva, who always resides on his planet, known as Kailasa.
vayam na tata prabhavama bhumni
yasmin pare 'nye 'py aja-jiva-kosah
bhavanti kale na bhavanti hidrsah
sahasraso yatra vayam bhramamah
sri-sankarah uvaca--Lord Siva said; vayam--we; na--not; tata--O my dear son; prabhavamah--sufficiently able; bhumni--unto the great Supreme Personality of Godhead; yasmin--in whom; pare--in the Transcendence; anye--others; api--even; aja--Lord Brahma; jiva--living entities; kosah--the universes; bhavanti--can become; kale--in due course of time; na--not; bhavanti--can become; hi--indeed; idrsah--like this; sahasrasah--many thousands and millions; yatra--wherein; vayam--all of us; bhramamah--are rotating.
Lord Siva said: My dear son, I, Lord Brahma and the other demigods, who rotate within this universe under the misconception of our greatness, cannot exhibit any power to compete with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, for innumerable universes and their inhabitants come into existence and are annihilated by the simple direction of the Lord.
There are innumerable universes in the material world, and there are innumerable Lord Brahmas, Lord Sivas and other demigods. All of them rotate within this material world under the supreme direction of the Personality of Godhead. Therefore no one is able to compete with the strength of the Lord. Lord Siva also refused to protect Durvasa, for Lord Siva also was under the rays of the Sudarsana cakra sent by the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
aham sanat-kumaras ca
narado bhagavan ajah
devalo dharma asurih
vidama na vayam sarve
sastram durvisaham hi nah
tam evam saranam yahi
haris te sam vidhasyati
aham--I; sanat-kumarah ca--and the four Kumaras (Sanaka, Sanatana, Sanat-kumara and Sananda); naradah--the heavenly sage Narada; bhagavan ajah--the supreme creature of the universe, Lord Brahma; kapilah--the son of Devahuti; apantaratamah--Vyasadeva; devalah--the great sage Devala; dharmah--Yamaraja; asurih--the great saint Asuri; marici--the great saint Marici; pramukhah--headed by; ca--also; anye--others; siddha-isah--all of them perfect in their knowledge; para-darsanah--they have seen the end of all knowledge; vidamah--can understand; na--not; vayam--all of us; sarve--totally; yat-mayam--the illusory energy of whom; mayaya--by that illusory energy; avrtah--being covered; tasya--His; visva-isvarasya--of the Lord of the universe; idam--this; sastram--weapon (the disc); durvisaham--even intolerable; hi--indeed; nah--of us; tam--to Him; evam--therefore; saranam yahi--go to take shelter; harih--the Supreme Personality of Godhead; te--for you; sam--auspiciousness; vidhasyati--certainly will perform.
Past, present and future are known to me [Lord Siva], Sanat-kumara, Narada, the most revered Lord Brahma, Kapila [the son of Devahuti], Apantaratama [Lord Vyasadeva], Devala, Yamaraja, Asuri, Marici and many saintly persons headed by him, as well as many others who have achieved perfection. Nonetheless, because we are covered by the illusory energy of the Lord, we cannot understand how expansive that illusory energy is. You should simply approach that Supreme Personality of Godhead to get relief, for this Sudarsana cakra is intolerable even to us. Go to Lord Visnu. He will certainly be kind enough to bestow all good fortune upon you.
tato niraso durvasah
padam bhagavato yayau
vaikunthakhyam yad adhyaste
srinivasah sriya saha
tatah--thereafter; nirasah--disappointed; durvasah--the great mystic Durvasa; padam--to the place; bhagavatah--of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Visnu; yayau--went; vaikuntha-akhyam--the place known as Vaikuntha; yat--wherein; adhyaste--lives perpetually; srinivasah--Lord Visnu; sriya--with the goddess of fortune; saha--with.
Thereafter, being disappointed even in taking shelter of Lord Siva, Durvasa Muni went to Vaikuntha-dhama, where the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Narayana, resides with His consort, the goddess of fortune.
tat-pada-mule patitah savepathuh
ahacyutananta sad-ipsita prabho
krtagasam mavahi visva-bhavana
sandahyamanah--being burned by the heat; ajita-sastra-vahnina--by the blazing fire of the Supreme Personality of Godhead's weapon; tat-pada-mule--at His lotus feet; patitah--falling down; sa-vepathuh--with trembling of the body; aha--said; acyuta--O my Lord, O infallible one; ananta--O You of unlimited prowess; sat-ipsita--O Lord desired by saintly persons; prabho--O Supreme; krta-agasam--the greatest offender; ma--to me; avahi--give protection; visva-bhavana--O well-wisher of the whole universe.
Durvasa Muni, the great mystic, scorched by the heat of the Sudarsana cakra, fell at the lotus feet of Narayana. His body trembling, he spoke as follows: O infallible, unlimited Lord, protector of the entire universe, You are the only desirable objective for all devotees. I am a great offender, my Lord. Please give me protection.
ajanata te paramanubhavam
krtam mayagham bhavatah priyanam
vidhehi tasyapacitim vidhatar
mucyeta yan-namny udite narako 'pi
ajanata--without knowledge; te--of Your Lordship; parama-anubhavam--the inconceivable prowess; krtam--has been committed; maya--by me; agham--a great offense; bhavatah--of Your Lordship; priyanam--at the feet of the devotees; vidhehi--now kindly do the needful; tasya--of such an offense; apacitim--counteraction; vidhatah--O supreme controller; mucyeta--can be delivered; yat--of whose; namni--when the name; udite--is awakened; narakah api--even a person fit for going to hell.
O my Lord, O supreme controller, without knowledge of Your unlimited prowess I have offended Your most dear devotee. Very kindly save me from the reaction of this offense. You can do everything, for even if a person is fit for going to hell, You can deliver him simply by awakening within his heart the holy name of Your Lordship.
hy asvatantra iva dvija
sri-bhagavan uvaca--the Supreme Personality of Godhead said; aham--I; bhakta-paradhinah--am dependent on the will of My devotees; hi--indeed; asvatantrah--am not independent; iva--exactly like that; dvija--O brahmana; sadhubhih--by pure devotees, completely free from all material desires; grasta-hrdayah--My heart is controlled; bhaktaih--because they are devotees; bhakta-jana-priyah--I am dependent not only on My devotee but also on My devotee's devotee (the devotee's devotee is extremely dear to Me).
The Supreme Personality of Godhead said to the brahmana: I am completely under the control of My devotees. Indeed, I am not at all independent. Because My devotees are completely devoid of material desires, I sit only within the cores of their hearts. What to speak of My devotee, even those who are devotees of My devotee are very dear to Me.
All the great stalwart personalities in the universe, including Lord Brahma and Lord Siva, are fully under the control of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but the Supreme Personality of Godhead is fully under the control of His devotee. Why is this? Because the devotee is anyabhilasita-sunya; in other words, he has no material desires in his heart. His only desire is to think always of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and how to serve Him best. Because of this transcendental qualification, the Supreme Lord is extremely favorable to the devotees--indeed, not only the devotees, but also the devotees of the devotees. Srila Narottama dasa Thakura says, chadiya vaisnava-seva nistara payeche keba: without being a devotee of a devotee, one cannot be released from material entanglement. Therefore Caitanya Mahaprabhu identified Himself as gopi-bhartuh pada-kamalayor dasa-dasanudasah. Thus he instructed us to become not directly servants of Krsna but servants of the servant of Krsna. Devotees like Brahma, Narada, Vyasadeva and Sukadeva Gosvami are directly servants of Krsna, and one who becomes a servant of Narada, Vyasadeva and Sukadeva, like the six Gosvamis, is still more devoted. Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura therefore says, yasya prasadad bhagavat-prasadah: if one very sincerely serves the spiritual master, Krsna certainly becomes favorable to such a devotee. Following the instructions of a devotee is more valuable than following the instructions of the Supreme Personality of Godhead directly.
naham atmanam asase
mad-bhaktaih sadhubhir vina
sriyam catyantikim brahman
yesam gatir aham para
na--not; aham--I; atmanam--transcendental bliss; asase--desire; mat-bhaktaih--with My devotees; sadhubhih--with the saintly persons; vina--without them; sriyam--all My six opulences; ca--also; atyantikim--the supreme; brahman--O brahmana; yesam--of whom; gatih--destination; aham--I am; para--the ultimate.
O best of the brahmanas, without saintly persons for whom I am the only destination, I do not desire to enjoy My transcendental bliss and My supreme opulences.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead is self-sufficient, but to enjoy His transcendental bliss He requires the cooperation of His devotees. In Vrndavana, for example, although Lord Krsna is full in Himself, He wants the cooperation of His devotees like the cowherd boys and the gopis to increase His transcendental bliss. Such pure devotees, who can increase the pleasure potency of the Supreme personality of Godhead, are certainly most dear to Him. Not only does the Supreme Personality of Godhead enjoy the company of His devotees, but because He is unlimited He wants to increase His devotees unlimitedly. Thus, He descends to the material world to induce the nondevotees and rebellious living entities to return home, back to Godhead. He requests them to surrender unto Him because, unlimited as He is, He wants to increase His devotees unlimitedly. The Krsna consciousness movement is an attempt to increase the number of pure devotees of the Supreme Lord more and more. It is certain that a devotee who helps in this endeavor to satisfy the Supreme Personality of Godhead becomes indirectly a controller of the Supreme Lord. Although the Supreme Lord is full in six opulences, He does not feel transcendental bliss without His devotees. An example that may be cited in this regard is that if a very rich man does not have sons in a family he does not feel happiness. Indeed, sometimes a rich man adopts a son to complete his happiness. The science of transcendental bliss is known to the pure devotee. Therefore the pure devotee is always engaged in increasing the transcendental happiness of the Lord.
pranan vittam imam param
hitva mam saranam yatah
katham tams tyaktum utsahe
ye--those devotees of Mine who; dara--wife; agara--house; putra--children, sons; apta--relatives, society; pranan--even life; vittam--wealth; imam--all these; param--elevation to the heavenly planets or becoming one by merging into Brahman; hitva--giving up (all these ambitions and paraphernalia); mam--unto Me; saranam--shelter; yatah--having taken; katham--how; tan--such persons; tyaktum--to give them up; utsahe--I can be enthusiastic in that way (it is not possible).
Since pure devotees give up their homes, wives, children, relatives, riches and even their lives simply to serve Me, without any desire for material improvement in this life or in the next, how can I give up such devotees at any time?
The Supreme Personality of Godhead is worshiped by the words brahmanya-devaya go-brahmana-hitaya ca. Thus He is the well-wisher of the brahmanas. Durvasa Muni was certainly a very great brahmana, but because he was a nondevotee, he could not sacrifice everything in devotional service. Great mystic yogis are actually self-interested. The proof is that when Durvasa Muni created a demon to kill Maharaja Ambarisa, the King stayed fixed in his place, praying to the Supreme Personality of Godhead and depending solely and wholly on Him, whereas when Durvasa Muni was chased by the Sudarsana cakra by the supreme will of the Lord, he was so perturbed that he fled all over the world and tried to take shelter in every nook and corner of the universe. At last, in fear of his life, he approached Lord Brahma, Lord Siva and ultimately the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He was so interested in his own body that he wanted to kill the body of a Vaisnava. Therefore, he did not have very good intelligence, and how can an unintelligent person be delivered by the Supreme Personality of Godhead? The Lord certainly tries to give all protection to His devotees who have given up everything for the sake of serving Him.
Another point in this verse is that attachment to daragara-putrapta--home, wife, children, friendship, society and love--is not the way to achieve the favor of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. One who is attached to hearth and home for material pleasure cannot become a pure devotee. Sometimes a pure devotee may have a habit or attraction for wife, children and home but at the same time want to serve the Supreme Lord to the best of his ability. For such a devotee, the Lord makes a special arrangement to take away the objects of his false attachment and thus free him from attachment to wife, home, children, friends and so on. This is special mercy bestowed upon the devotee to bring him back home, back to Godhead.
vase kurvanti mam bhaktya
sat-striyah sat-patim yatha
mayi--unto Me; nirbaddha-hrdayah--firmly attached in the core of the heart; sadhavah--the pure devotees; sama-darsanah--who are equal to everyone; vase--under control; kurvanti--they make; mam--unto Me; bhaktya--by devotional service; sat-striyah--chaste women; sat-patim--unto the gentle husband; yatha--as.
As chaste women bring their gentle husbands under control by service, the pure devotees, who are equal to everyone and completely attached to Me in the core of the heart, bring Me under their full control.
In this verse, the word sama-darsanah is significant. The pure devotee is actually equal toward everyone, as confirmed in Bhagavad-gita (18.54): brahma-bhutah prasannatma na socati na kanksati. samah sarvesu bhutesu. Universal brotherhood is possible when one is a pure devotee (panditah sama-darsinah). A pure devotee is actually learned because he knows his constitutional position, he knows the position of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and he knows the relationship between the living entity and the Supreme Lord. Thus he has full spiritual knowledge and is automatically liberated (brahma-bhutah). He can therefore see everyone on the spiritual platform. He can comprehend the happiness and distress of all living entities. He understands that what is happiness to him is also happiness to others and that what is distress to him is distressing for others. Therefore he is sympathetic to everyone. As Prahlada Maharaja said:
soce tato vimukha-cetasa indriyartha-
maya-sukhaya bharam udvahato vimudhan
People suffer from material distress because they are not attached to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. A pure devotee's chief concern, therefore, is to raise the ignorant mass of people to the sense of Krsna consciousness.
mat-sevaya pratitam te
necchanti sevaya purnah
kuto 'nyat kala-viplutam
mat-sevaya--by being engaged fully in My transcendental loving service; pratitam--automatically achieved; te--such pure devotees are fully satisfied; salokya-adi-catustayam--the four different types of liberation (salokya, sarupya, samipya and sarsti, what to speak of sayujya); na--not; icchanti--desire; sevaya--simply by devotional service; purnah--fully complete; kutah--where is the question; anyat--other things; kala-viplutam--which are finished in the course of time.
My devotees, who are always satisfied to be engaged in My loving service, are not interested even in the four principles of liberation [salokya, sarupya, samipya and sarsti], although these are automatically achieved by their service. What then is to be said of such perishable happiness as elevation to the higher planetary systems?
Srila Bilvamangala Thakura has estimated the value of liberation as follows:
muktih svayam mukulitanjalih sevate 'sman
Bilvamangala Thakura realized that if one develops his natural devotional service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, mukti stands before him with folded hands to offer all kinds of service. In other words, the devotee is already liberated. There is no need for him to aspire for different types of liberation. The pure devotee automatically achieves liberation, even without desiring it.
sadhavo hrdayam mahyam
sadhunam hrdayam tv aham
mad-anyat te na jananti
naham tebhyo manag api
sadhavah--the pure devotees; hrdayam--in the core of the heart; mahyam--of Me; sadhunam--of the pure devotees also; hrdayam--in the core of the heart; tu--indeed; aham--I am; mat-anyat--anything else but me; te--they; na--not; jananti--know; na--not; aham--I; tebhyah--than them; manak api--even by a little fraction.
The pure devotee is always within the core of My heart, and I am always in the heart of the pure devotee. My devotees do not know anything else but Me, and I do not know anyone else but them.
Since Durvasa Muni wanted to chastise Maharaja Ambarisa, it is to be understood that he wanted to give pain to the heart of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, for the Lord says, sadhavo hrdayam mahyam: "The pure devotee is always within the core of My heart." The Lord's feelings are like those of a father, who feels pain when his child is in pain. Therefore, offenses at the lotus feet of a devotee are serious. Caitanya Mahaprabhu has very strongly recommended that one not commit any offense at the lotus feet of a devotee. Such offenses are compared to a mad elephant because when a mad elephant enters a garden it causes devastation. Therefore one should be extremely careful not to commit offenses at the lotus feet of a pure devotee. Actually Maharaja Ambarisa was not at all at fault; Durvasa Muni unnecessarily wanted to chastise him on flimsy grounds. Maharaja Ambarisa wanted to complete the Ekadasi-parana as part of devotional service to please the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and therefore he drank a little water. But although Durvasa Muni was a great mystic brahmana, he did not know what is what. That is the difference between a pure devotee and a so-called learned scholar of Vedic knowledge. The devotees, being always situated in the core of the Lord's heart, surely get all instructions directly from the Lord, as confirmed by the Lord Himself in Bhagavad-gita (10.11):
aham ajnana-jam tamah
"Out of compassion for them, I, dwelling in their hearts, destroy with the shining lamp of knowledge the darkness born of ignorance." The devotee does not do anything not sanctioned by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. As it is said, vaisnavera kriya mudra vijneha na bujhaya. Even the most learned or experienced person cannot understand the movements of a Vaisnava, a pure devotee. No one, therefore, should criticize a pure Vaisnava. A Vaisnava knows his own business; whatever he does is precisely right because he is always guided by the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
tava vipra srnusva tat
ayam hy atmabhicaras te
yatas tam yahi ma ciram
sadhusu prahitam tejah
prahartuh kurute 'sivam
upayam--the means of protection in this dangerous position; kathayisyami--I shall speak to you; tava--of your deliverance from this danger; vipra--O brahmana; srnusva--just hear from me; tat--what I say; ayam--this action taken by you; hi--indeed; atma-abhicarah--self-envy or envious of yourself (your mind has become your enemy); te--for you; yatah--because of whom; tam--to him (Maharaja Ambarisa); yahi--immediately go; ma ciram--do not wait even a moment; sadhusu--unto devotees; prahitam--applied; tejah--power; prahartuh--of the executor; kurute--does; asivam--inauspiciousness.
O brahmana, let Me now advise you for your own protection. Please hear from Me. By offending Maharaja Ambarisa, you have acted with self-envy. Therefore you should go to him immediately, without a moment's delay. One's so-called prowess, when employed against the devotee, certainly harms he who employs it. Thus it is the subject, not the object, who is harmed.
A Vaisnava is always an object of envy for nondevotees, even when the nondevotee happens to be his father. To give a practical example, Hiranyakasipu was envious of Prahlada Maharaja, but this envy of the devotee was harmful to Hiranyakasipu, not to Prahlada. Every action taken by Hiranyakasipu against his son Prahlada Maharaja was taken very seriously by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and thus when Hiranyakasipu was on the verge of killing Prahlada, the Lord personally appeared and killed Hiranyakasipu. Service to a Vaisnava gradually accumulates and becomes an asset for the devotee. Similarly, harmful activities directed against the devotee gradually become the ultimate cause of the performer's falldown. Even such a great brahmana and mystic yogi as Durvasa was in a most dangerous situation because of his offense at the lotus feet of Maharaja Ambarisa, a pure devotee.
tapo vidya ca vipranam
te eva durvinitasya
kalpete kartur anyatha
tapah--austerities; vidya--knowledge; ca--also; vipranam--of the brahmanas; nihsreyasa--of what is certainly very auspicious for upliftment; kare--are causes; ubhe--both of them; te--such austerity and knowledge; eva--indeed; durvinitasya--when such a person is an upstart; kalpete--become; kartuh--of the performer; anyatha--just the opposite.
For a brahmana, austerity and learning are certainly auspicious, but when acquired by a person who is not gentle, such austerity and learning are most dangerous.
It is said that a jewel is very valuable, but when it is on the hood of a serpent, it is dangerous despite its value. Similarly, when a materialistic nondevotee achieves great success in learning and austerity, that success is dangerous for all of society. So-called learned scientists, for example, invented atomic weapons that are dangerous for all humanity. It is therefore said, manina bhusitah sarpah kim asau na bhayankarah. A serpent with a jewel on its hood is as dangerous as a serpent without such a jewel. Durvasa Muni was a very learned brahmana equipped with mystic power, but because he was not a gentleman, he did not know how to use his power. He was therefore extremely dangerous. The Supreme Personality of Godhead is never inclined toward a dangerous person who uses his mystic power for some personal design. By the laws of nature, therefore, such misuse of power is ultimately dangerous not for society but for the person who misuses it.
brahmams tad gaccha bhadram te
tatah santir bhavisyati
brahman--O brahmana; tat--therefore; gaccha--you go; bhadram--all auspiciousness; te--unto you; nabhaga-tanayam--to the son of Maharaja Nabhaga; nrpam--the King (Ambarisa); ksamapaya--just try to pacify him; maha-bhagam--a great personality, a pure devotee; tatah--thereafter; santih--peace; bhavisyati--there will be.
O best of the brahmanas, you should therefore go immediately to King Ambarisa, the son of Maharaja Nabhaga. I wish you all good fortune. If you can satisfy Maharaja Ambarisa, then there will be peace for you.
In this regard, Madhva Muni quotes from the Garuda Purana:
tathapi harir isvarah
tesam yasasa adirat
brahmadayas ca tat-kirtim
vyanjayam asur uttamam
mohanaya ca daityanam
brahmade nindanaya ca
anyartham ca svayam visnur
brahmadyas ca nirasisah
tesam bhaktyadibhir gunaih
jnapanaya ca kevalam
durvasas ca svayam rudras
tathapy anyayam uktavan
darpa-nasartham eva ca
The lesson to be derived from this narration concerning Maharaja Ambarisa and Durvasa Muni is that all the demigods, including Lord Brahma and Lord Siva, are under the control of Lord Visnu. Therefore, when a Vaisnava is offended, the offender is punished by Visnu, the Supreme Lord. No one can protect such a person, even Lord Brahma or Lord Siva.
Thus end the Bhaktivedanta purports of the Ninth Canto, Fourth Chapter, of the Srimad-Bhagavatam, entitled "Ambarisa Maharaja Offended by Durvasa Muni."