Durvasa Muni's Life Spared
In this chapter we find Maharaja Ambarisa offering prayers to the Sudarsana cakra and we find how the Sudarsana cakra became merciful to Durvasa Muni.
By the order of the Supreme personality of Godhead, Visnu, Durvasa Muni immediately went to Maharaja Ambarisa and fell at his lotus feet. Maharaja Ambarisa, being naturally very humble and meek, felt shy and ashamed because Durvasa Muni had fallen at his feet, and thus he began to offer prayers to the Sudarsana cakra just to save Durvasa. What is this Sudarsana cakra? The Sudarsana cakra is the glance of the Supreme Personality of Godhead by which He creates the entire material world. Sa aiksata, sa asrjata. This is the Vedic version. The Sudarsana cakra, which is the origin of creation and is most dear to the Lord, has thousands of spokes. This Sudarsana cakra is the killer of the prowess of all other weapons, the killer of darkness, and the manifester of the prowess of devotional service; it is the means of establishing religious principles, and it is the killer of all irreligious activities. Without his mercy, the universe cannot be maintained, and therefore the Sudarsana cakra is employed by the Supreme personality of Godhead. When Maharaja Ambarisa thus prayed that the Sudarsana cakra be merciful, the Sudarsana cakra, being appeased, refrained from killing Durvasa Muni, who thus achieved the Sudarsana cakra's mercy. Durvasa Muni thus learned to give up the nasty idea of considering a Vaisnava an ordinary person (vaisnave jati-buddhi). Maharaja Ambarisa belonged to the ksatriya group, and therefore Durvasa Muni considered him lower than the brahmanas and wanted to exercise brahminical power against him. By this incident, everyone should learn how to stop mischievous ideas of neglecting Vaisnavas. After this incident, Maharaja Ambarisa gave Durvasa Muni sumptuous food to eat, and then the King, who had been standing in the same place for one year without eating anything, also took prasada. Maharaja Ambarisa later divided his property among his sons and went to the bank of the Manasa-sarovara to execute devotional meditation.
tat-padau duhkhito 'grahit
sri-sukah uvaca--Sri Sukadeva Gosvami said; evam--in this way; bhagavata adistah--being ordered by the Supreme Personality of Godhead; durvasah--the great mystic yogi named Durvasa; cakra-tapitah--being very much harassed by the Sudarsana cakra; ambarisam--unto Maharaja Ambarisa; upavrtya--approaching; tat-padau--at his lotus feet; duhkhitah--being very much aggrieved; agrahit--he caught.
Sukadeva Gosvami said: When thus advised by Lord Visnu, Durvasa Muni, who was very much harassed by the Sudarsana cakra, immediately approached Maharaja Ambarisa. Being very much aggrieved, the muni fell down and clasped the King's lotus feet.
tasya sodyamam aviksya
astavit tad dharer astram
krpaya pidito bhrsam
tasya--of Durvasa; sah--he, Maharaja Ambarisa; udyamam--the endeavor; aviksya--after seeing; pada-sparsa-vilajjitah--being ashamed because Durvasa was touching his lotus feet; astavit--offered prayers; tat--to that; hareh astram--weapon of the Supreme personality of Godhead; krpaya--with mercy; piditah--aggrieved; bhrsam--very much.
When Durvasa touched his lotus feet, Maharaja Ambarisa was very much ashamed, and when he saw Durvasa attempting to offer prayers, because of mercy he was aggrieved even more. Thus he immediately began offering prayers to the great weapon of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
tvam agnir bhagavan suryas
tvam somo jyotisam patih
tvam apas tvam ksitir vyoma
vayur matrendriyani ca
ambarisah--Maharaja Ambarisa; uvaca--said; tvam--you (are); agnih--the fire; bhagavan--the most powerful; suryah--the sun; tvam--you (are); somah--the moon; jyotisam--of all the luminaries; patih--the master; tvam--you (are); apah--water; tvam--you (are); ksitih--earth; vyoma--sky; vayuh--the air; matra--the objects of the senses; indriyani--and the senses; ca--also.
Maharaja Ambarisa said: O Sudarsana cakra, you are fire, you are the most powerful sun, and you are the moon, the master of all luminaries. You are water, earth and sky, you are the air, you are the five sense objects [sound, touch, form, taste and smell], and you are the senses also.
sudarsana namas tubhyam
svasti bhuya idaspate
sudarsana--O original vision of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; namah--respectful obeisances; tubhyam--unto you; sahasra-ara--O you who have thousands of spokes; acyuta-priya--O most favorite of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Acyuta; sarva-astra-ghatin--O destroyer of all weapons; vipraya--unto this brahmana; svasti--very auspicious; bhuyah--just become; idaspate--O master of the material world.
O most favorite of Acyuta, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, you have thousands of spokes. O master of the material world, destroyer of all weapons, original vision of the Personality of Godhead, I offer my respectful obeisances unto you. Kindly give shelter and be auspicious to this brahmana.
tvam dharmas tvam rtam satyam
tvam yajno 'khila-yajna-bhuk
tvam loka-palah sarvatma
tvam tejah paurusam param
tvam--you; dharmah--religion; tvam--you; rtam--encouraging statements; satyam--the ultimate truth; tvam--you; yajnah--sacrifice; akhila--universal; yajna-bhuk--the enjoyer of the fruits resulting from sacrifice; tvam--you; loka-palah--the maintainer of the various planets; sarva-atma--all-pervading; tvam--you; tejah--prowess; paurusam--of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; param--transcendental.
O Sudarsana wheel, you are religion, you are truth, you are encouraging statements, you are sacrifice, and you are the enjoyer of the fruits of sacrifice. You are the maintainer of the entire universe, and you are the supreme transcendental prowess in the hands of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. You are the original vision of the Lord, and therefore you are known as Sudarsana. Everything has been created by your activities, and therefore you are all-pervading.
The word sudarsana means "auspicious vision." From Vedic instructions we understand that this material world is created by the glance of the Supreme personality of Godhead (sa aiksata, sa asrjata). The Supreme personality of Godhead glanced over the mahat-tattva, or the total material energy, and when it was agitated, everything came into existence. Western philosophers sometimes think that the original cause of creation was a chunk that exploded. If one thinks of this chunk as the total material energy, the mahat-tattva, one can understand that the chunk was agitated by the glance of the Lord, and thus the Lord's glance is the original cause of material creation.
namah--all respectful obeisances unto you; su-nabha--O you who have an auspicious hub; akhila-dharma-setave--whose spokes are considered to be a breech of the entire universe; hi--indeed; adharma-sila--who are irreligious; asura--for the demons; dhuma-ketave--unto you who are like fire or an inauspicious comet; trailokya--of the three material worlds; gopaya--the maintainer; visuddha--transcendental; varcase--whose effulgence; manah-javaya--as speedy as the mind; adbhuta--wonderful; karmane--so active; grne--I simply utter.
O Sudarsana, you have a very auspicious hub, and therefore you are the upholder of all religion. You are just like an inauspicious comet for the irreligious demons. Indeed, you are the maintainer of the three worlds, you are full of transcendental effulgence, you are as quick as the mind, and you are able to work wonders. I can simply utter the word namah, offering all obeisances unto you.
The disc of the Lord is called Sudarsana because he does not discriminate between high and low criminals or demons. Durvasa Muni was certainly a powerful brahmana, but his acts against the pure devotee Maharaja Ambarisa were no better than the activities of asuras. As stated in the sastras, dharmam tu saksad bhagavat-pranitam: the word dharma refers to the orders or laws given by the Supreme personality of Godhead. Sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja: real dharma is surrender unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Therefore real dharma means bhakti, or devotional service to the Lord. The Sudarsana cakra is here addressed as dharma-setave, the protector of dharma. Maharaja Ambarisa was a truly religious person, and consequently for his protection the Sudarsana cakra was ready to punish even such a strict brahmana as Durvasa Muni because he had acted like a demon. There are demons even in the form of brahmanas. Therefore the Sudarsana cakra does not discriminate between brahmana demons and sudra demons. Anyone against the Supreme personality of Godhead and His devotees is called a demon. In the sastras we find many brahmanas and ksatriyas who acted as demons and have been described as demons. According to the verdict of the sastras, one has to be understood according to his symptoms. If one is born of a brahmana father but his symptoms are demoniac, he is regarded as a demon. The Sudarsana cakra is always concerned with annihilating the demons. Therefore he is described as adharma-silasura-dhuma-ketave. Those who are not devotees are called adharma-sila. The Sudarsana cakra is just like an inauspicious comet for all such demons.
tvat-tejasa dharma-mayena samhrtam
tamah prakasas ca drso mahatmanam
duratyayas te mahima giram pate
tvad-rupam etat sad-asat paravaram
tvat-tejasa--by your effulgence; dharma-mayena--which is full of religious principles; samhrtam--dissipated; tamah--darkness; prakasah ca--illumination also; drsah--of all directions; maha-atmanam--of great, learned personalities; duratyayah--insurmountable; te--your; mahima--glories; giram pate--O master of speech; tvat-rupam--your manifestation; etat--this; sat-asat--manifested and unmanifested; para-avaram--superior and inferior.
O master of speech, by your effulgence, full of religious principles, the darkness of the world is dissipated, and the knowledge of learned persons or great souls is manifested. Indeed, no one can surpass your effulgence, for all things, manifested and unmanifested, gross and subtle, superior and inferior, are but various forms of you that are manifested by your effulgence.
Without illumination, nothing can be seen, especially in this material world. The illumination in this world emanates from the effulgence of Sudarsana, the original vision of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The illuminating principles of the sun, the moon and fire emanate from Sudarsana. Similarly, illumination by knowledge also comes from Sudarsana because with the illumination of Sudarsana one can distinguish one thing from another, the superior from the inferior. Generally people accept a powerful yogi like Durvasa Muni as wonderfully superior, but if such a person is chased by the Sudarsana cakra, we can see his real identity and understand how inferior he is because of his dealings with devotees.
yada visrstas tvam ananjanena vai
balam pravisto 'jita daitya-danavam
vrscann ajasram pradhane virajase
yada--when; visrstah--sent; tvam--your good self; ananjanena--by the transcendental Supreme Personality of Godhead; vai--indeed; balam--the soldiers; pravistah--entering among; ajita--O indefatigable and unconquerable one; daitya-danavam--of the Daityas and Danavas, the demons; bahu--arms; udara--bellies; uru--thighs; anghri--legs; sirah-dharani--necks; vrscan--separating; ajasram--incessantly; pradhane--in the battlefield; virajase--you stay.
O indefatigable one, when you are sent by the Supreme Personality of Godhead to enter among the soldiers of the Daityas and the Danavas, you stay on the battlefield and unendingly separate their arms, bellies, thighs, legs and heads.
sa tvam jagat-trana khala-prahanaye
nirupitah sarva-saho gada-bhrta
vidhehi bhadram tad anugraho hi nah
sah--that person; tvam--your good self; jagat-trana--O protector of the whole universe; khala-prahanaye--in killing the envious enemies; nirupitah--are engaged; sarva-sahah--all-powerful; gada-bhrta--by the Supreme Personality of Godhead; viprasya--of this brahmana; ca--also; asmat--our; kula-daiva-hetave--for the good fortune of the dynasty; vidhehi--kindly do; bhadram--all-good; tat--that; anugrahah--favor; hi--indeed; nah--our.
O protector of the universe, you are engaged by the Supreme Personality of Godhead as His all-powerful weapon in killing the envious enemies. For the benefit of our entire dynasty, kindly favor this poor brahmana. This will certainly be a favor for all of us.
yady asti dattam istam va
sva-dharmo va svanusthitah
kulam no vipra-daivam ced
dvijo bhavatu vijvarah
yadi--if; asti--there is; dattam--charity; istam--worshiping the Deity; va--either; sva-dharmah--occupational duty; va--either; su-anusthitah--perfectly performed; kulam--dynasty; nah--our; vipra-daivam--favored by the brahmanas; cet--if so; dvijah--this brahmana; bhavatu--may become; vijvarah--without a burning (from the Sudarsana cakra).
If our family has given charity to the proper persons, if we have performed ritualistic ceremonies and sacrifices, if we have properly carried out our occupational duties, and if we have been guided by learned brahmanas, I wish, in exchange, that this brahmana be freed from the burning caused by the Sudarsana cakra.
yadi no bhagavan prita
dvijo bhavatu vijvarah
yadi--if; nah--unto us; bhagavan--the Supreme Personality of Godhead; pritah--is satisfied; ekah--without any duplicate; sarva-guna-asrayah--the reservoir of all transcendental qualities; sarva-bhuta-atma-bhavena--by a merciful attitude toward all living entities; dvijah--this brahmana; bhavatu--may become; vijvarah--freed from all burning.
If the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is one without a second, who is the reservoir of all transcendental qualities, and who is the life and soul of all living entities, is pleased with us, we wish that this brahmana, Durvasa Muni, be freed from the pain of being burned.
iti samstuvato rajno
asamyat sarvato vipram
sri-sukah uvaca--Sri Sukadeva Gosvami said; iti--thus; samstuvatah--being prayed to; rajnah--by the King; visnu-cakram--the disc weapon of Lord Visnu; sudarsanam--of the name Sudarsana cakra; asamyat--became no longer disturbing; sarvatah--in every respect; vipram--unto the brahmana; pradahat--causing to burn; raja--of the King; yacnaya--by the begging.
Sukadeva Gosvami continued: When the King offered prayers to the Sudarsana cakra and Lord Visnu, because of his prayers the Sudarsana cakra became peaceful and stopped burning the brahmana known as Durvasa Muni.
sa mukto 'stragni-tapena
durvasah svastimams tatah
prasasamsa tam urvisam
sah--he, Durvasa Muni; muktah--being freed; astra-agni-tapena--from the heat of the fire of the Sudarsana cakra; durvasah--the great mystic Durvasa; svastiman--fully satisfied, relieved of the burning; tatah--then; prasasamsa--offered praise; tam--unto him; urvi-isam--the King; yunjanah--performing; parama-asisah--the highest benedictions.
Durvasa Muni, the greatly powerful mystic, was indeed satisfied when freed from the fire of the Sudarsana cakra. Thus he praised the qualities of Maharaja Ambarisa and offered him the highest benedictions.
mahattvam drstam adya me
krtagaso 'pi yad rajan
durvasah uvaca--Durvasa Muni said; aho--alas; ananta-dasanam--of the servants of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; mahattvam--greatness; drstam--seen; adya--today; me--by me; krta-agasah api--although I was an offender; yat--still; rajan--O King; mangalani--good fortune; samihase--you are praying for.
Durvasa Muni said: My dear King, today I have experienced the greatness of devotees of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, for although I have committed an offense, you have prayed for my good fortune.
duskarah ko nu sadhunam
dustyajo va mahatmanam
yaih sangrhito bhagavan
satvatam rsabho harih
duskarah--difficult to do; kah--what; nu--indeed; sadhunam--of the devotees; dustyajah--impossible to give up; va--either; maha-atmanam--of the great persons; yaih--by which persons; sangrhitah--achieved (by devotional service); bhagavan--the Supreme Personality of Godhead; satvatam--of the pure devotees; rsabhah--the leader; harih--the Lord.
For those who have achieved the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the master of the pure devotees, what is impossible to do, and what is impossible to give up?
puman bhavati nirmalah
tasya tirtha-padah kim va
yat-nama--the holy name of the Lord; sruti-matrena--simply by hearing; puman--a person; bhavati--becomes; nirmalah--purified; tasya--of Him; tirtha-padah--the Lord, at whose feet are the holy places; kim va--what; dasanam--by the servants; avasisyate--remains to be done.
What is impossible for the servants of the Lord? By the very hearing of His holy name one is purified.
rajann anugrhito 'ham
mad-agham prsthatah krtva
prana yan me 'bhiraksitah
rajan--O King; anugrhitah--very much favored; aham--I (am); tvaya--by you; ati-karuna-atmana--because of your being extremely merciful; mat-agham--my offenses; prsthatah--to the back; krtva--doing so; pranah--life; yat--that; me--my; abhiraksitah--saved.
O King, overlooking my offenses, you have saved my life. Thus I am very much obliged to you because you are so merciful.
raja tam akrtaharah
raja--the King; tam--unto him, Durvasa Muni; akrta-aharah--who refrained from taking food; pratyagamana--returning; kanksaya--desiring; caranau--the feet; upasangrhya--approaching; prasadya--pleasing in all respects; samabhojayat--fed sumptuously.
Expecting the return of Durvasa Muni, the King had not taken his food. Therefore, when the sage returned, the King fell at his lotus feet, pleasing him in all respects, and fed him sumptuously.
so 'sitvadrtam anitam
trptatma nrpatim praha
bhujyatam iti sadaram
sah--he (Durvasa); asitva--after eating sumptuously; adrtam--with great respect; anitam--received; atithyam--offered different varieties of food; sarva-kamikam--fulfilling all kinds of tastes; trpta-atma--thus being fully satisfied; nrpatim--unto the King; praha--said; bhujyatam--my dear King, you eat also; iti--in this way; sa-adaram--with great respect.
Thus the King respectfully received Durvasa Muni, who after eating varieties of palatable food was so satisfied that with great affection he requested the King to eat also, saying, "Please take your meal."
prito 'smy anugrhito 'smi
tava bhagavatasya vai
pritah--very much satisfied; asmi--I am; anugrhitah--very much favored; asmi--I am; tava--your; bhagavatasya--because of your being a pure devotee; vai--indeed; darsana--by seeing you; sparsana--and touching your feet; alapaih--by talking with you; atithyena--by your hospitality; atma-medhasa--by my own intelligence.
Durvasa Muni said: I am very pleased with you, my dear King. At first I thought of you as an ordinary human being and accepted your hospitality, but later I could understand, by my own intelligence, that you are the most exalted devotee of the Lord. Therefore, simply by seeing you, touching your feet and talking with you, I have been pleased and have become obliged to you.
It is said, vaisnavera kriya mudra vijneha na bujhaya: even a very intelligent man cannot understand the activities of a pure Vaisnava. Therefore, because Durvasa Muni was a great mystic yogi, he first mistook Maharaja Ambarisa for an ordinary human being and wanted to punish him. Such is the mistaken observation of a Vaisnava. When Durvasa Muni was persecuted by the Sudarsana cakra, however, his intelligence developed. Therefore the word atma-medhasa is used to indicate that by his personal experience he would understand how great a Vaisnava the King was. When Durvasa Muni was chased by the Sudarsana cakra, he wanted to take shelter of Lord Brahma and Lord Siva, and he was even able to go to the spiritual world, meet the Personality of Godhead and talk with Him face to face, yet he was unable to be rescued from the attack of the Sudarsana cakra. Thus he could understand the influence of a Vaisnava by personal experience. Durvasa Muni was certainly a great yogi and a very learned brahmana, but despite his being a real yogi he was unable to understand the influence of a Vaisnava. Therefore it is said, vaisnavera kriya mudra vijneha na bujhaya: even the most learned person cannot understand the value of a Vaisnava. There is always a possibility for so-called jnanis and yogis to be mistaken when studying the character of a Vaisnava. A Vaisnava can be understood by how much he is favored by the Supreme Personality of Godhead in terms of his inconceivable activities.
karmavadatam etat te
gayanti svah-striyo muhuh
kirtim parama-punyam ca
kirtayisyati bhur iyam
karma--activity; avadatam--without any tinge; etat--all this; te--your; gayanti--will sing; svah-striyah--women from the heavenly planets; muhuh--always; kirtim--glories; parama-punyam--highly glorified and pious; ca--also; kirtayisyati--will continuously chant; bhuh--the whole world; iyam--this.
All the blessed women in the heavenly planets will continuously chant about your spotless character at every moment, and the people of this world will also chant your glories continuously.
evam sankirtya rajanam
sri-sukah uvaca--Sri Sukadeva Gosvami said; evam--thus; sankirtya--glorifying; rajanam--the King; durvasah--the great mystic yogi Durvasa Muni; paritositah--being satisfied in all respects; yayau--left that place; vihayasa--by the spaceways; amantrya--taking permission; brahmalokam--to the topmost planet of this universe; ahaitukam--where there is no dry philosophical speculation.
Sri Sukadeva Gosvami continued: Thus being satisfied in all respects, the great mystic yogi Durvasa took permission and left, continuously glorifying the King. Through the skyways, he went to Brahmaloka, which is devoid of agnostics and dry philosophical speculators.
Although Durvasa Muni went back to Brahmaloka through the spaceways, he did not need an airplane, for great mystic yogis can transport themselves from any planet to any other without any machine. There is a planet named Siddhaloka whose inhabitants can go to any other planet because they naturally have all the perfection of yoga practice. Thus Durvasa Muni, the great mystic yogi, could go through the skyways to any planet, even to Brahmaloka. In Brahmaloka, everyone is self-realized, and thus there is no need of philosophical speculation to come to the conclusion of the Absolute Truth. Durvasa Muni's purpose in going to Brahmaloka was apparently to speak to the residents of Brahmaloka about how powerful a devotee is and how a devotee can surpass every living entity within this material world. The so-called jnanis and yogis cannot compare to a devotee.
samvatsaro 'tyagat tavad
yavata nagato gatah
rajab-bhakso babhuva ha
samvatsarah--one complete year; atyagat--passed; tavat--as long as; yavata--so long; na--not; agatah--returned; gatah--Durvasa Muni, who had left that place; munih--the great sage; tat-darsana-akanksah--desiring to see him again; raja--the King; ap-bhaksah--taking only water; babhuva--remained; ha--indeed.
Durvasa Muni had left the place of Maharaja Ambarisa, and as long as he had not returned--for one complete year--the King had fasted, maintaining himself simply by drinking water.
gate 'tha durvasasi so 'mbariso
rser vimoksam vyasanam ca viksya
mene sva-viryam ca paranubhavam
gate--on his return; atha--then; durvasasi--the great mystic yogi Durvasa; sah--he, the King; ambarisah--Maharaja Ambarisa; dvija-upayoga--most suitable for a pure brahmana; ati-pavitram--very pure food; aharat--gave him to eat and he also ate; rseh--of the great sage; vimoksam--release; vyasanam--from the great danger of being burned by the Sudarsana cakra; ca--and; viksya--seeing; mene--considered; sva-viryam--about his own power; ca--also; para-anubhavam--because of his pure devotion to the Supreme Lord.
After one year, when Durvasa Muni had returned, King Ambarisa sumptuously fed him all varieties of pure food, and then he himself also ate. When the King saw that the brahmana Durvasa had been released from the great danger of being burned, he could understand that by the grace of the Lord he himself was also powerful, but he did not take any credit, for everything had been done by the Lord.
A devotee like Maharaja Ambarisa is certainly always busy in many activities. Of course, this material world is full of dangers that one has to meet, but a devotee, because of his full dependence on the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is never disturbed. The vivid example is Maharaja Ambarisa. He was the emperor of the entire world and had many duties to perform, and in the course of these duties there were many disturbances created by persons like Durvasa Muni, but the King tolerated everything, patiently depending fully on the mercy of the Lord. The Lord, however, is situated in everyone's heart (sarvasya caham hrdi sannivistah), and He manages things as He desires. Thus although Maharaja Ambarisa was faced with many disturbances, the Lord, being merciful to him, managed things so nicely that in the end Durvasa Muni and Maharaja Ambarisa became great friends and parted cordially on the basis of bhakti-yoga. After all, Durvasa Muni was convinced of the power of bhakti-yoga, although he himself was a great mystic yogi. Therefore, as stated by Lord Krsna in Bhagavad-gita (6.47):
yoginam api sarvesam
sraddhavan bhajate yo mam
sa me yuktatamo matah
"Of all yogis, he who always abides in Me with great faith, worshiping Me in transcendental loving service, is most intimately united with Me in yoga and is the highest of all." Thus it is a fact that a devotee is the topmost yogi, as proved in the dealings of Maharaja Ambarisa with Durvasa Muni.
evam vidhaneka-gunah sa raja
paratmani brahmani vasudeve
kriya-kalapaih samuvaha bhaktim
yayavirincyan nirayams cakara
evam--in this way; vidha-aneka-gunah--endowed with varieties of good qualities; sah--he, Maharaja Ambarisa; raja--the King; para-atmani--unto the Supersoul; brahmani--unto Brahman; vasudeve--unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna, Vasudeva; kriya-kalapaih--by practical activities; samuvaha--executed; bhaktim--devotional service; yaya--by such activities; avirincyan--beginning from the topmost planet; nirayan--down to the hellish planets; cakara--he experienced that there is danger everywhere.
In this way, because of devotional service, Maharaja Ambarisa, who was endowed with varieties of transcendental qualities, was completely aware of Brahman, Paramatma and the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and thus he executed devotional service perfectly. Because of his devotion, he thought even the topmost planet of this material world no better than the hellish planets.
An exalted and pure devotee like Maharaja Ambarisa is in full awareness of Brahman, Paramatma and Bhagavan; in other words, a devotee of Vasudeva, Krsna, is in full knowledge of the other features of the Absolute Truth. The Absolute Truth is realized in three features--Brahman, Paramatma and Bhagavan (brahmeti paramatmeti bhagavan iti sabdyate). A devotee of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vasudeva, knows everything (vasudevah sarvam iti) because Vasudeva, Krsna, includes both Paramatma and Brahman. One does not have to realize Paramatma by the yoga system, for the devotee always thinking of Vasudeva is the topmost yogi (yoginam api sarvesam). And as far as jnana is concerned, if one is a perfect devotee of Vasudeva, he is the greatest mahatma (vasudevah sarvam iti sa mahatma sudurlabhah). A mahatma is one who has full knowledge of the Absolute Truth. Thus Maharaja Ambarisa, being a devotee of the personality of Godhead, was in full awareness of Paramatma, Brahman, maya, the material world, the spiritual world, and how things are going on everywhere. Everything was known to him. Yasmin vijnate sarvam evam vijnatam bhavati. Because the devotee knows Vasudeva, he knows everything within the creation of Vasudeva (vasudevah sarvam iti sa mahatma sudurlabhah). Such a devotee does not give much value to the highest standard of happiness within this material world.
na kutascana bibhyati
Because he is fixed in devotional service, a devotee does not regard any position in the material world as important. Srila Prabodhananda Sarasvati has therefore written (Caitanya-candramrta 5):
kaivalyam narakayate tri-dasa-pur akasa-puspayate
visvam purna-sukhayate vidhi-mahendradis ca kitayate
yat-karunya-kataksa-vaibhavavatam tam gauram eva stumah
For one who becomes a pure devotee through devotional service to great personalities like Caitanya Mahaprabhu, kaivalya, or merging into Brahman, appears no better than hell. As far as the heavenly planets are concerned, to a devotee they are like a phantasmagoria or will-o'-the-wisp, and as far as yogic perfection is concerned, a devotee does not care a fig for such perfection, since the purpose of yogic perfection is achieved automatically by the devotee. This is all possible when one becomes a devotee of the Lord through the medium of Caitanya Mahaprabhu's instructions.
athambarisas tanayesu rajyam
samana-silesu visrjya dhirah
vanam vivesatmani vasudeve
mano dadhad dhvasta-guna-pravahah
sri-sukah uvaca--Sri Sukadeva Gosvami said; atha--in this way; ambarisah--King Ambarisa; tanayesu--unto his sons; rajyam--the kingdom; samana-silesu--who were equally as qualified as their father; visrjya--dividing; dhirah--the most learned person, Maharaja Ambarisa; vanam--into the forest; vivesa--entered; atmani--unto the Supreme Lord; vasudeve--Lord Krsna, who is known as Vasudeva; manah--mind; dadhat--concentrating; dhvasta--vanquished; guna-pravahah--the waves of the material modes of nature.
Srila Sukadeva Gosvami continued: Thereafter, because of his advanced position in devotional life, Maharaja Ambarisa, who no longer desired to live with material things, retired from active family life. He divided his property among his sons, who were equally as qualified, and he himself took the order of vanaprastha and went to the forest to concentrate his mind fully upon Lord Vasudeva.
As a pure devotee, Maharaja Ambarisa was liberated in any condition of life because, as enunciated by Srila Rupa Gosvami, a devotee is always liberated.
iha yasya harer dasye
karmana manasa gira
nikhilasv apy avasthasu
jivan-muktah sa ucyate
In Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, Srila Rupa Gosvami thus instructs that if one's only desire is service to the Lord, he is liberated in any condition of life. Maharaja Ambarisa was undoubtedly liberated in any condition, but as an ideal king he accepted the vanaprastha order of retirement from family life. It is essential for one to renounce family responsibilities and fully concentrate on the lotus feet of Vasudeva. Therefore Maharaja Ambarisa divided the kingdom among his sons and retired from family life.
ity etat punyam akhyanam
bhakto bhagavato bhavet
iti--thus; etat--this; punyam akhyanam--most pious activity in history; ambarisasya--of Maharaja Ambarisa; bhupate--O King (Maharaja Pariksit); sankirtayan--by chanting, repeating; anudhyayan--or by meditating upon; bhaktah--a devotee; bhagavatah--of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; bhavet--one can become.
Anyone who chants this narration or even thinks of this narration about the activities of Maharaja Ambarisa certainly becomes a pure devotee of the Lord.
Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura herein gives a very good example. When one is very eager for more and more money, he is not satisfied even when he is a millionaire or a multimillionaire, but wants to earn more and more money by any means. The same mentality is present in a devotee. The devotee is never satisfied, thinking, "This is the limit of my devotional service." The more he engages in the service of the Lord, the more service he wants to give. This is the position of a devotee. Maharaja Ambarisa, in his family life, was certainly a pure devotee, complete in every respect, because his mind and all his senses were engaged in devotional service (sa vai manah krsna-padaravindayor vacamsi vaikuntha-gunanuvarnane). Maharaja Ambarisa was self-satisfied because all of his senses were engaged in devotional service (sarvopadhi-vinirmuktam tat-paratvena nirmalam. hrsikena hrsikesa-sevanam bhaktir ucyate). Nonetheless, although Maharaja Ambarisa had engaged all his senses in devotional service, he left his home and went to the forest to concentrate his mind fully at the lotus feet of Krsna, exactly as a mercantile man, even though complete in wealth, tries to earn more and more. This mentality of getting more and more engaged in devotional service puts one in the most exalted position. Whereas on the karma platform the mercantile man who wants more and more money becomes increasingly bound and entangled, the devotee becomes increasingly liberated.
ye srnvanti mahatmanah
muktim prayanti te sarve
bhaktya visnoh prasadatah
ambarisasya--of Maharaja Ambarisa; caritam--character; ye--persons who; srnvanti--hear; maha-atmanah--of the great personality, the great devotee; muktim--liberation; prayanti--certainly they attain; te--such persons; sarve--all of them; bhaktya--simply by devotional service; visnoh--of Lord Visnu; prasadatah--by the mercy.
By the grace of the Lord, those who hear about the activities of Maharaja Ambarisa, the great devotee, certainly become liberated or become devotees without delay.
Thus end the Bhaktivedanta purports of the Ninth Canto, Fifth Chapter, of the Srimad-Bhagavatam, entitled "Durvasa Muni's Life Spared."