Chapter Nine

                        The Dynasty of Amsuman


   This chapter describes the history of the dynasty of Amsuman, up to Khatvanga, and it also describes how Bhagiratha brought the water of the Ganges to this earth.

   The son of Maharaja Amsuman was Dilipa, who tried to bring the Ganges to this world but who died without success. Bhagiratha, the son of Dilipa, was determined to bring the Ganges to the material world, and for this purpose he underwent severe austerities. Mother Ganges, being fully satisfied by his austerities, made herself visible to him, wanting to give him a benediction. Bhagiratha then asked her to deliver his forefathers. Although mother Ganges agreed to come down to earth, she made two conditions: first, she wanted some suitable male to be able to control her waves; second, although all sinful men would be freed from sinful reactions by bathing in the Ganges, mother Ganges did not want to keep all these sinful reactions. These two conditions were subject matters for consideration. Bhagiratha replied to mother Ganges, "The Personality of Godhead Lord Siva will be completely able to control the waves of your water, and when pure devotees bathe in your water, the sinful reactions left by sinful men will be counteracted." Bhagiratha then performed austerities to satisfy Lord Siva, who is called Asutosa because he is naturally satisfied very easily. Lord Siva agreed to Bhagiratha's proposal to check the force of the Ganges. In this way, simply by the touch of the Ganges, Bhagiratha's forefathers were delivered and allowed to go to the heavenly planets.

   The son of Bhagiratha was Sruta, the son of Sruta was Nabha, and Nabha's son was Sindhudvipa. The son of Sindhudvipa was Ayutayu, and the son of Ayutayu was Rtuparna, who was a friend of Nala. Rtuparna gave Nala the art of gambling and learned from him the art of asva-vidya. The son of Rtuparna was known as Sarvakama, the son of Sarvakama was Sudasa, and his son was Saudasa. The wife of Saudasa was named Damayanti or Madayanti, and Saudasa was also known as Kalmasapada. Because of some defect in his fruitive activities, Saudasa was cursed by Vasistha to become a Raksasa. While walking through the forest, he saw a brahmana engaged in sex with his wife, and because he had become a Raksasa he wanted to devour the brahmana. Although the brahmana's wife pleaded with him in many ways, Saudasa devoured the brahmana, and the wife therefore cursed him, saying, "As soon as you engage in sex you will die." After twelve years, therefore, even though Saudasa was released from the curse of Vasistha Muni, he remained sonless. At that time, with Saudasa's permission, Vasistha impregnated Saudasa's wife, Madayanti. Because Madayanti bore the child for many years but still could not give birth, Vasistha struck her abdomen with a stone, and thus a son was born. The son was named Asmaka.

   The son of Asmaka was known as Balika. He was protected from the curse of Parasurama because of being surrounded by many women, and therefore he is also known as Narikavaca. When the entire world was devoid of ksatriyas, he became the original father of more ksatriyas. He is therefore sometimes called Mulaka. From Balika, Dasaratha was born, from Dasaratha came Aidavidi, and from Aidavidi came Visvasaha. The son of Visvasaha was Maharaja Khatvanga. Maharaja Khatvanga joined the demigods in fighting the demons and was victorious, and the demigods therefore wanted to give him a benediction. But when the King inquired how long he would live and understood that his life would last only a few seconds more, he immediately left the heavenly planets and returned to his own abode by airplane. He could understand that everything in this material world is insignificant, and thus he fully engaged in worshiping the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Hari.


                                TEXT 1




                            sri-suka uvaca

                        amsumams ca tapas tepe


                       kalam mahantam nasaknot

                       tatah kalena samsthitah




   sri-sukah uvaca--Sri Sukadeva Gosvami said; amsuman--the king named Amsuman; ca--also; tapah tepe--executed austerity; ganga--the Ganges; anayana-kamyaya--with a desire to bring the Ganges to this material world to deliver his forefathers; kalam--time; mahantam--for a long duration; na--not; asaknot--was successful; tatah--thereafter; kalena--in due course of time; samsthitah--died.




   Sukadeva Gosvami continued: King Amsuman, like his grandfather, performed austerities for a very long time. Nonetheless, he could not bring the Ganges to this material world, and thereafter, in due course of time, he died.


                                TEXT 2




                       dilipas tat-sutas tadvad

                         asaktah kalam eyivan

                       bhagirathas tasya sutas

                        tepe sa sumahat tapah




   dilipah--named Dilipa; tat-sutah--the son of Amsuman; tat-vat--like his father; asaktah--being unable to bring the Ganges to the material world; kalam eyivan--became a victim of time and died; bhagirathah tasya sutah--his son Bhagiratha; tepe--executed penance; sah--he; su-mahat--very great; tapah--austerity.




   Like Amsuman himself, Dilipa, his son, was unable to bring the Ganges to this material world, and he also became a victim of death in due course of time. Then Dilipa's son, Bhagiratha, performed very severe austerities to bring the Ganges to this material world.


                                TEXT 3




                        darsayam asa tam devi

                        prasanna varadasmi te

                      ity uktah svam abhiprayam

                         sasamsavanato nrpah




   darsayam asa--appeared; tam--unto him, King Bhagiratha; devi--mother Ganges; prasanna--being very much satisfied; varada asmi--I shall bless with my benediction; te--unto you; iti uktah--thus being addressed; svam--his own; abhiprayam--desire; sasamsa--explained; avanatah--very respectfully bowing down; nrpah--the King (Bhagiratha).




   Thereafter, mother Ganges appeared before King Bhagiratha and said, "I am very much satisfied with your austerities and am now prepared to give you benedictions as you desire." Being thus addressed by Gangadevi, mother Ganges, the King bowed his head before her and explained his desire.




   The King's desire was to deliver his forefathers, who had been burnt to ashes because of disrespecting Kapila Muni.


                                TEXT 4




                        ko 'pi dharayita vegam

                        patantya me mahi-tale

                      anyatha bhu-talam bhittva

                         nrpa yasye rasatalam




   kah--who is that person; api--indeed; dharayita--who can sustain; vegam--the force of the waves; patantyah--while falling down; me--of me; mahi-tale--upon this earth; anyatha--otherwise; bhu-talam--the surface of the earth; bhittva--piercing; nrpa--O King; yasye--I shall go down; rasatalam--to Patala, the lower part of the universe.




   Mother Ganges replied: When I fall from the sky to the surface of the planet earth, the water will certainly be very forceful. Who will sustain that force? If I am not sustained, I shall pierce the surface of the earth and go down to Rasatala, the Patala area of the universe.


                                TEXT 5




                      kim caham na bhuvam yasye

                       nara mayy amrjanty agham

                       mrjami tad agham kvaham

                       rajams tatra vicintyatam




   kim ca--also; aham--I; na--not; bhuvam--to the planet earth; yasye--shall go; narah--the people in general; mayi--in me, in my water; amrjanti--cleanse; agham--the reactions of their sinful activity; mrjami--I shall wash; tat--that; agham--accumulation of sinful reactions; kva--unto whom; aham--I; rajan--O King; tatra--on this fact; vicintyatam--please consider carefully and decide.




   O King, I do not wish to go down to the planet earth, for there the people in general will bathe in my water to cleanse themselves of the reactions of their sinful deeds. When all these sinful reactions accumulate in me, how shall I become free from them? You must consider this very carefully.




   The Supreme personality of Godhead says:


                       sarva-dharman parityajya

                        mam ekam saranam vraja

                       aham tvam sarva-papebhyo

                        moksayisyami ma sucah


   "Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reaction. Do not fear." (Bg. 18.66) The Supreme Personality of Godhead can accept the reactions of anyone's sinful deeds and neutralize them because He is pavitra, pure, like the sun, which is never contaminated by any worldly infection. Tejiyasam na dosaya vahneh sama-bhujo yatha (Bhag. 10.33.29). One who is very powerful is not affected by any sinful activity. But here we see that mother Ganges fears being burdened with the sins of the people in general who would bathe in her waters. This indicates that no one but the Supreme Personality of Godhead is able to neutralize the reactions of sinful deeds, whether one's own or those of others. Sometimes the spiritual master, after accepting a disciple, must take charge of that disciple's past sinful activities and, being overloaded, must sometimes suffer--if not fully, then partially--for the sinful acts of the disciple. Every disciple, therefore, must be very careful not to commit sinful activities after initiation. The poor spiritual master is kind and merciful enough to accept a disciple and partially suffer for that disciple's sinful activities, but Krsna, being merciful to His servant, neutralizes the reactions of sinful deeds for the servant who engages in preaching His glories. Even mother Ganges feared the sinful reactions of the people in general and was anxious about how she would counteract the burden of these sins.


                                TEXT 6




                         sri-bhagiratha uvaca

                        sadhavo nyasinah santa

                       brahmistha loka-pavanah

                     haranty agham te 'nga-sangat

                    tesv aste hy agha-bhid dharih




   sri-bhagirathah uvaca--Bhagiratha said; sadhavah--saintly persons; nyasinah--sannyasis; santah--peaceful, free from material disturbances; brahmisthah--expert in following the regulative principles of Vedic scripture; loka-pavanah--who are engaged in delivering the entire world from a fallen condition; haranti--shall remove; agham--the reactions of sinful life; te--of you (mother Ganges); anga-sangat--by bathing in the Ganges water; tesu--within themselves; aste--there is; hi--indeed; agha-bhit--the Supreme personality, who can vanquish all sinful activities; harih--the Lord.




   Bhagiratha said: Those who are saintly because of devotional service and are therefore in the renounced order, free from material desires, and who are pure devotees, expert in following the regulative principles mentioned in the Vedas, are always glorious and pure in behavior and are able to deliver all fallen souls. When such pure devotees bathe in your water, the sinful reactions accumulated from other people will certainly be counteracted, for such devotees always keep in the core of their hearts the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who can vanquish all sinful reactions.




   Mother Ganges is available to everyone for bathing. Therefore, not only will sinful persons bathe in the Ganges water, but in Hardwar and other holy places where the Ganges flows, saintly persons and devotees will also bathe in the waters of the Ganges. Devotees and saintly persons advanced in the renounced order can deliver even the Ganges. Tirthi-kurvanti tirthani svantah-sthena gadabhrta (Bhag. 1.13.10). Because saintly devotees always keep the Lord within the core of their hearts, they can perfectly cleanse the holy places of all sinful reactions. Therefore, people in general must always respectfully honor saintly persons. It is ordered that as soon as one sees a Vaisnava, or even a sannyasi, one should immediately offer respects to such a holy man. If one forgets to show respect in this way, one must observe a fast for that day. This is a Vedic injunction. One must be extremely careful to refrain from committing offenses at the lotus feet of a devotee or saintly person.

   There are methods of prayascitta, or atonement, but they are inadequate to cleanse one of sinful reactions. One can be cleansed of sinful reactions only by devotional service, as stated in regard to the history of Ajamila:


                        kecit kevalaya bhaktya


                      agham dhunvanti kartsnyena

                        niharam iva bhaskarah


   "Only a rare person who has adopted complete, unalloyed devotional service to Krsna can uproot the weeds of sinful actions with no possibility that they will revive. He can do this simply by discharging devotional service, just as the sun can immediately dissipate fog by its rays." (Bhag. 6.1.15) If one is under the protection of a devotee and sincerely renders service unto him, by this process of bhakti-yoga one is certainly able to counteract all sinful reactions.


                                TEXT 7




                        dharayisyati te vegam

                       rudras tv atma saririnam

                       yasminn otam idam protam

                        visvam sativa tantusu




   dharayisyati--will sustain; te--your; vegam--force of the waves; rudrah--Lord Siva; tu--indeed; atma--the Supersoul; saririnam--of all embodied souls; yasmin--in whom; otam--is situated in its longitude; idam--this whole universe; protam--latitude; visvam--the whole universe; sati--a cloth; iva--as; tantusu--in threads.




   Like a cloth woven of threads extending for its length and breadth, this entire universe, in all its latitude and longitude, is situated under different potencies of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Lord Siva is the incarnation of the Lord, and thus he represents the Supersoul in the embodied soul. He can sustain your forceful waves on his head.




   The water of the Ganges is supposed to rest on the head of Lord Siva. Lord Siva is an incarnation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who sustains the entire universe by different potencies. Lord Siva is described in the Brahma-samhita (5.45):


                ksiram yatha dadhi vikara-visesa-yogat

               sanjayate na hi tatah prthag asti hetoh

               yah sambhutam api tatha samupaiti karyad

                govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami


   "Milk changes into yogurt when mixed with a yogurt culture, but actually yogurt is constitutionally nothing but milk. Similarly, Govinda, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, assumes the form of Lord Siva for the special purpose of material transactions. I offer my obeisances at Lord Govinda's lotus feet." Lord Siva is the Supreme Personality of Godhead in the same sense that yogurt is also milk although at the same time it is not milk. For the maintenance of the material world there are three incarnations--Brahma, Visnu and Mahesvara (Lord Siva). Lord Siva is Visnu in an incarnation for the mode of ignorance. The material world exists predominantly in the mode of ignorance. Therefore Lord Siva is compared here to the longitude and latitude of the entire universe, which resembles a cloth woven of threads extending for both its length and breadth.


                                TEXT 8




                       ity uktva sa nrpo devam

                         tapasatosayac chivam

                         kalenalpiyasa rajams

                        tasyesas casv atusyata




   iti uktva--after saying this; sah--he; nrpah--the King (Bhagiratha); devam--unto Lord Siva; tapasa--by executing austerities; atosayat--pleased; sivam--Lord Siva, the all-auspicious; kalena--by time; alpiyasa--which was not very long; rajan--O King; tasya--upon him (Bhagiratha); isah--Lord Siva; ca--indeed; asu--very soon; atusyata--became satisfied.




   After saying this, Bhagiratha satisfied Lord Siva by performing austerities. O King Pariksit, Lord Siva was very quickly satisfied with Bhagiratha.




   The words asv atusyata indicate that Lord Siva was satisfied very soon. Therefore another name for Lord Siva is Asutosa. Materialistic persons become attached to Lord Siva because Lord Siva bestows benedictions upon anyone and everyone very quickly, not caring to know how his devotees prosper or suffer. Although materialistic persons know that material happiness is nothing but another side of suffering, they want it, and to get it very quickly they worship Lord Siva. We find that materialists are generally devotees of many demigods, especially Lord Siva and mother Durga. They do not actually want spiritual happiness, for it is almost unknown to them. But if one is serious about being happy spiritually, he must take shelter of Lord Visnu, as the Lord personally demands:


                       sarva-dharman parityajya

                        mam ekam saranam vraja

                       aham tvam sarva-papebhyo

                        moksayisyami ma sucah


   "Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reaction. Do not fear." (Bg. 18.66)


                                TEXT 9




                        tatheti rajnabhihitam

                        sarva-loka-hitah sivah

                         dadharavahito gangam

                        pada-puta-jalam hareh




   tatha--(let it be) so; iti--thus; rajna abhihitam--having been addressed by the King (Bhagiratha); sarva-loka-hitah--the Personality of Godhead, who is always auspicious to everyone; sivah--Lord Siva; dadhara--sustained; avahitah--with great attention; gangam--the Ganges; pada-puta-jalam hareh--whose water is transcendentally pure because of emanating from the toes of the Supreme Personality of Godhead Visnu.




   When King Bhagiratha approached Lord Siva and requested him to sustain the forceful waves of the Ganges, Lord Siva accepted the proposal by saying, "Let it be so." Then, with great attention, he sustained the Ganges on his head, for the water of the Ganges is purifying, having emanated from the toes of Lord Visnu.


                               TEXT 10




                       bhagirathah sa rajarsir

                        ninye bhuvana-pavanim

                        yatra sva-pitrnam deha

                       bhasmibhutah sma serate




   bhagirathah--King Bhagiratha; sah--he; raja-rsih--the great saintly king; ninye--carried or brought; bhuvana-pavanim--mother Ganges, who can deliver the whole universe; yatra--in that place where; sva-pitrnam--of his forefathers; dehah--the bodies; bhasmibhutah--having been burnt to ashes; sma serate--were lying.




   The great and saintly king Bhagiratha brought the Ganges, which can deliver all the fallen souls, to that place on earth where the bodies of his forefathers lay burnt to ashes.


                               TEXT 11




                         rathena vayu-vegena

                         prayantam anudhavati

                       desan punanti nirdagdhan

                         asincat sagaratmajan




   rathena--on a chariot; vayu-vegena--driving at the speed of the wind; prayantam--Maharaja Bhagiratha, who was going in front; anudhavati--running after; desan--all the countries; punanti--sanctifying; nirdagdhan--who had been burnt to ashes; asincat--sprinkled over; sagara-atmajan--the sons of Sagara.




   Bhagiratha mounted a swift chariot and drove before mother Ganges, who followed him, purifying many countries, until they reached the ashes of Bhagiratha's forefathers, the sons of Sagara, who were thus sprinkled with water from the Ganges.


                               TEXT 12





                        brahma-danda-hata api

                       sagaratmaja divam jagmuh

                       kevalam deha-bhasmabhih




   yat-jala--whose water; sparsa-matrena--simply by touching; brahma-danda-hatah--those who were condemned for offending brahma, the self; api--although; sagara-atmajah--the sons of Sagara; divam--to the heavenly planets; jagmuh--went; kevalam--only; deha-bhasmabhih--by the remaining ashes of their burnt bodies.




   Because the sons of Sagara Maharaja had offended a great personality, the heat of their bodies had increased, and they were burnt to ashes. But simply by being sprinkled with water from the Ganges, all of them became eligible to go to the heavenly planets. What then is to be said of those who use the water of mother Ganges to worship her?




   Mother Ganges is worshiped by the water of the Ganges: a devotee takes a little water from the Ganges and offers it back to the Ganges. When the devotee takes the water, mother Ganges does not lose anything, and when the water is offered back, mother Ganges does not increase, but in this way the worshiper of the Ganges is benefited. Similarly, a devotee of the Lord offers the Lord patram puspam phalam toyam--a leaf, flower, fruit or water--in great devotion, but everything, including the leaf, flower, fruit and water, belongs to the Lord, and therefore there is nothing to renounce or to accept. One must simply take advantage of the bhakti process because by following this process one does not lose anything but one gains the favor of the Supreme Person.


                               TEXT 13





                       svar yatah sagaratmajah

                      kim punah sraddhaya devim

                       sevante ye dhrta-vratah




   bhasmibhuta-anga--by the body which had been burnt to ashes; sangena--by contacting the water of the Ganges; svah yatah--went to the heavenly planets; sagara-atmajah--the sons of Sagara; kim--what to speak of; punah--again; sraddhaya--with faith and devotion; devim--unto mother Ganges; sevante--worship; ye--those persons who; dhrta-vratah--with vows of determination.




   Simply by having water from the Ganges come in contact with the ashes of their burnt bodies, the sons of Sagara Maharaja were elevated to the heavenly planets. Therefore, what is to be said of a devotee who worships mother Ganges faithfully with a determined vow? One can only imagine the benefit that accrues to such a devotee.


                               TEXT 14




                      na hy etat param ascaryam

                       svardhunya yad ihoditam


                       prasutaya bhava-cchidah




   na--not; hi--indeed; etat--this; param--ultimate; ascaryam--wonderful thing; svardhunyah--of the water of the Ganges; yat--which; iha--herewith; uditam--has been described; ananta--of the Supreme Lord; carana-ambhoja--from the lotus of the feet; prasutayah--of that which emanates; bhava-chidah--which can liberate from material bondage.




   Because mother Ganges emanates from the lotus toe of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Anantadeva, she is able to liberate one from material bondage. Therefore whatever is described herewith about her is not at all wonderful.




   It has actually been seen that anyone who regularly worships mother Ganges simply by bathing in her water keeps very good health and gradually becomes a devotee of the Lord. This is the effect of bathing in the water of the Ganges. Bathing in the Ganges is recommended in all Vedic sastras, and one who takes to this path will certainly be completely freed from all sinful reactions. The practical example of this is that the sons of Maharaja Sagara went to the heavenly planets when water from the Ganges merely touched the ashes of their burnt bodies.


                               TEXT 15




                        sannivesya mano yasmin

                       chraddhaya munayo 'malah

                      traigunyam dustyajam hitva

                       sadyo yatas tad-atmatam




   sannivesya--giving full attention; manah--the mind; yasmin--unto whom; sraddhaya--with faith and devotion; munayah--great saintly persons; amalah--freed from all contamination of sins; traigunyam--the three modes of material nature; dustyajam--very difficult to give up; hitva--they can nonetheless give up; sadyah--immediately; yatah--achieved; tat-atmatam--the spiritual quality of the Supreme.




   Great sages, completely freed from material lusty desires, devote their minds fully to the service of the Lord. Such persons are liberated from material bondage without difficulty, and they become transcendentally situated, acquiring the spiritual quality of the Lord. This is the glory of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.


                             TEXTS 16-17




                       sruto bhagirathaj jajne

                      tasya nabho 'paro 'bhavat

                      sindhudvipas tatas tasmad

                        ayutayus tato 'bhavat


                         rtuparno nala-sakho

                      yo 'sva-vidyam ayan nalat

                       dattvaksa-hrdayam casmai

                       sarvakamas tu tat-sutam




   srutah--a son named Sruta; bhagirathat--from Bhagiratha; jajne--was born; tasya--of Sruta; nabhah--by the name Nabha; aparah--different from the Nabha previously described; abhavat--was born; sindhudvipah--by the name Sindhudvipa; tatah--from Nabha; tasmat--from Sindhudvipa; ayutayuh--a son named Ayutayu; tatah--thereafter; abhavat--was born; rtuparnah--a son named Rtuparna; nala-sakhah--who was a friend of Nala; yah--one who; asva-vidyam--the art of controlling horses; ayat--achieved; nalat--from Nala; dattva--after giving in exchange; aksa-hrdayam--the secrets of the art of gambling; ca--and; asmai--unto Nala; sarvakamah--by the name Sarvakama; tu--indeed; tat-sutam--his son (the son of Rtuparna).




   Bhagiratha had a son named Sruta, whose son was Nabha. This son was different from the Nabha previously described. Nabha had a son named Sindhudvipa, from Sindhudvipa came Ayutayu, and from Ayutayu came Rtuparna, who became a friend of Nalaraja. Rtuparna taught Nalaraja the art of gambling, and Nalaraja gave Rtuparna lessons in controlling and maintaining horses. The son of Rtuparna was Sarvakama.




   Gambling is also an art. Ksatriyas are allowed to exhibit talent in this art of gambling. By the grace of Krsna, the Pandavas lost everything by gambling and were deprived of their kingdom, wife, family and home because they were not expert in the gambling art. In other words, a devotee may not be expert in materialistic activities. It is therefore advised in the sastra that materialistic activities are not at all suitable for the living entities, especially the devotees. A devotee should therefore be satisfied to eat whatever is sent as prasada by the Supreme Lord. A devotee remains pure because he does not take to sinful activities such as gambling, intoxication, meat-eating and illicit sex.


                               TEXT 18




                       tatah sudasas tat-putro

                        damayanti-patir nrpah

                       ahur mitrasaham yam vai

                       kalmasanghrim uta kvacit

                      vasistha-sapad rakso 'bhud

                        anapatyah sva-karmana




   tatah--from Sarvakama; sudasah--Sudasa was born; tat-putrah--the son of Sudasa; damayanti-patih--the husband of Damayanti; nrpah--he became king; ahuh--it is said; mitrasaham--Mitrasaha; yam vai--also; kalmasanghrim--by Kalmasapada; uta--known; kvacit--sometimes; vasistha-sapat--being cursed by Vasistha; raksah--a man-eater; abhut--became; anapatyah--without any son; sva-karmana--by his own sinful act.




   Sarvakama had a son named Sudasa, whose son, known as Saudasa, was the husband of Damayanti. Saudasa is sometimes known as Mitrasaha or Kalmasapada. Because of his own misdeed, Mitrasaha was sonless and was cursed by Vasistha to become a man-eater [Raksasa].


                               TEXT 19





                       kim nimitto guroh sapah

                        saudasasya mahatmanah

                        etad veditum icchamah

                        kathyatam na raho yadi




   sri-raja uvaca--King Pariksit said; kim nimittah--for what reason; guroh--of the spiritual master; sapah--curse; saudasasya--of Saudasa; maha-atmanah--of the great soul; etat--this; veditum--to know; icchamah--I wish; kathyatam--please tell me; na--not; rahah--confidential; yadi--if.




   King Pariksit said: O Sukadeva Gosvami, why did Vasistha, the spiritual master of Saudasa, curse that great soul? I wish to know of this. If it is not a confidential matter, please describe it to me.


                             TEXTS 20-21




                            sri-suka uvaca

                        saudaso mrgayam kincic

                        caran rakso jaghana ha

                       mumoca bhrataram so 'tha

                         gatah praticikirsaya


                      sancintayann agham rajnah

                         suda-rupa-dharo grhe

                         gurave bhoktu-kamaya

                        paktva ninye naramisam




   sri-sukah uvaca--Sri Sukadeva Gosvami said; saudasah--King Saudasa; mrgayam--in hunting; kincit--sometimes; caran--wandering; raksah--a Raksasa, or man-eater; jaghana--killed; ha--in the past; mumoca--released; bhrataram--the brother of that Raksasa; sah--that brother; atha--thereafter; gatah--went; praticikirsaya--for taking revenge; sancintayan--he thought; agham--to do some harm; rajnah--of the King; suda-rupa-dharah--disguised himself as a cook; grhe--in the house; gurave--unto the King's spiritual master; bhoktu-kamaya--who came there to take dinner; paktva--after cooking; ninye--gave him; nara-amisam--the flesh of a human being.




   Sukadeva Gosvami said: Once Saudasa went to live in the forest, where he killed a man-eater [Raksasa] but forgave and released the man-eater's brother. That brother, however, decided to take revenge. Thinking to harm the King, he became the cook at the King's house. One day, the King's spiritual master, Vasistha Muni, was invited for dinner, and the Raksasa cook served him human flesh.


                               TEXT 22




                       pariveksyamanam bhagavan

                        vilokyabhaksyam anjasa

                        rajanam asapat kruddho

                       rakso hy evam bhavisyasi




   pariveksyamanam--while examining the eatables; bhagavan--the most powerful; vilokya--when he saw; abhaksyam--unfit for consumption; anjasa--very easily by his mystic power; rajanam--unto the King; asapat--cursed; kruddhah--being very angry; raksah--a man-eater; hi--indeed; evam--in this way; bhavisyasi--you shall become.




   While examining the food given to him, Vasistha Muni, by his mystic power, could understand that it was unfit to eat, being the flesh of a human being. He was very angry at this and immediately cursed Saudasa to become a man-eater.


                             TEXTS 23-24




                       raksah-krtam tad viditva

                        cakre dvadasa-varsikam

                       so 'py apo-'njalim adaya

                       gurum saptum samudyatah


                         varito madayantyapo

                        rusatih padayor jahau

                       disah kham avanim sarvam

                        pasyan jivamayam nrpah




   raksah-krtam--having been done by the Raksasa only; tat--that serving of human flesh; viditva--after understanding; cakre--(Vasistha) performed; dvadasa-varsikam--twelve years of penance for atonement; sah--that Saudasa; api--also; apah-anjalim--a palmful of water; adaya--taking; gurum--his spiritual master, Vasistha; saptum--to curse; samudyatah--was preparing; varitah--being forbidden; madayantya--by his wife, who was also known as Madayanti; apah--water; rusatih--strong by chanting of a mantra; padayoh jahau--threw on his legs; disah--all directions; kham--in the sky; avanim--on the surface of the world; sarvam--everywhere; pasyan--seeing; jiva-mayam--full of living entities; nrpah--the King.




   When Vasistha understood that the human flesh had been served by the Raksasa, not by the King, he undertook twelve years of austerity to cleanse himself for having cursed the faultless King. Meanwhile, King Saudasa took water and chanted the sapa-mantra, preparing to curse Vasistha, but his wife, Madayanti, forbade him to do so. Then the King saw that the ten directions, the sky and the surface of the globe were full of living entities everywhere.


                               TEXT 25




                       raksasam bhavam apannah

                        pade kalmasatam gatah

                         vyavaya-kale dadrse

                        vanauko-dampati dvijau




   raksasam--man-eating; bhavam--propensity; apannah--having gotten; pade--on the leg; kalmasatam--a black spot; gatah--obtained; vyavaya-kale--at the time of sexual intercourse; dadrse--he saw; vana-okah--living in the forest; dam-pati--a husband and wife; dvijau--who were brahmanas.




   Saudasa thus acquired the propensity of a man-eater and received on his leg a black spot, for which he was known as Kalmasapada. Once King Kalmasapada saw a brahmana couple engaged in sexual intercourse in the forest.


                             TEXTS 26-27




                       ksudharto jagrhe vipram

                       tat-patny ahakrtarthavat

                      na bhavan raksasah saksad

                        iksvakunam maha-rathah


                        madayantyah patir vira

                       nadharmam kartum arhasi

                        dehi me 'patya-kamaya

                       akrtartham patim dvijam




   ksudha-artah--being aggrieved by hunger; jagrhe--caught; vipram--the brahmana; tat-patni--his wife; aha--said; akrta-artha-vat--being unsatisfied, poor and hungry; na--not; bhavan--yourself; raksasah--a man-eater; saksat--directly or factually; iksvakunam--among the descendants of Maharaja Iksvaku; maha-rathah--a great fighter; madayantyah--of Madayanti; patih--the husband; vira--O hero; na--not; adharmam--irreligious act; kartum--to do; arhasi--you deserve; dehi--please deliver; me--my; apatya-kamayah--desiring to get a son; akrta-artham--whose desire has not been fulfilled; patim--husband; dvijam--who is a brahmana.




   Being influenced by the propensity of a Raksasa and being very hungry, King Saudasa seized the brahmana. Then the poor woman, the brahmana's wife, said to the King: O hero, you are not actually a man-eater; rather, you are among the descendants of Maharaja Iksvaku. Indeed, you are a great fighter, the husband of Madayanti. You should not act irreligiously in this way. I desire to have a son. Please, therefore, return my husband, who has not yet impregnated me.


                               TEXT 28




                        deho 'yam manuso rajan


                        tasmad asya vadho vira

                        sarvartha-vadha ucyate




   dehah--body; ayam--this; manusah--human; rajan--O King; purusasya--of the living being; akhila--universal; artha-dah--beneficial; tasmat--therefore; asya--of the body of my husband; vadhah--the killing; vira--O hero; sarva-artha-vadhah--killing all beneficial opportunities; ucyate--it is said.




   O King, O hero, this human body is meant for universal benefits. If you kill this body untimely, you will kill all the benefits of human life.




   Srila Narottama dasa Thakura has sung:


                   hari hari viphale janama gonainu

          manusya-janama paiya,     radha-krsna na bhajiya,

                      janiya suniya visa khainu


   The body of a human being is extremely valuable because in this body one can understand the instructions of Krsna and attain the ultimate destination of the living entity. The living entity is within the material world to fulfill the mission of going back home, back to Godhead. In the material world, one hankers for happiness, but because one does not know the ultimate destination, one changes bodies one after another. However, if one gets the opportunity to possess a human form of body, in this body he can fulfill the four principles of dharma, artha, kama and moksa, and if one is properly regulated he makes further progress, after liberation, to engage in the service of Radha and Krsna. This is the success of life: to stop the process of repeated birth and death and go back home, back to Godhead (mam eti), to be engaged in the service of Radha and Krsna. Therefore, taking a human body is meant for completing one's progress in life. Throughout human society, killing of a human being is taken very seriously. Hundreds and thousands of animals are killed in slaughterhouses, and no one cares about them, but the killing of even one human being is taken very seriously. Why? Because the human form of body is extremely important in executing the mission of life.


                               TEXT 29




                       esa hi brahmano vidvams


                         ariradhayisur brahma



                      bhutesv antarhitam gunaih




   esah--this; hi--indeed; brahmanah--a qualified brahmana; vidvan--learned in Vedic knowledge; tapah--austerity; sila--good behavior; guna-anvitah--endowed with all good qualities; ariradhayisuh--desiring to be engaged in worshiping; brahma--the Supreme Brahman; maha-purusa--the Supreme Person, Krsna; samjnitam--known as; sarva-bhuta--of all living entities; atma-bhavena--as the Supersoul; bhutesu--in every living entity; antarhitam--within the core of the heart; gunaih--by qualities.




   Here is a learned, highly qualified brahmana, engaged in performing austerity and eagerly desiring to worship the Supreme Lord, the Supersoul who lives within the core of the heart in all living entities.




   The wife of the brahmana did not regard her husband as a superficial brahmana who was called a brahmana merely because he was born of a brahmana family. Rather, this brahmana was actually qualified with the brahminical symptoms. Yasya yal laksanam proktam (Bhag. 7.11.35). The symptoms of a brahmana are stated in the sastra:


                       samo damas tapah saucam

                        ksantir arjavam eva ca

                       jnanam vijnanam astikyam

                       brahma-karma svabhavajam


   "Peacefulness, self-control, austerity, purity, tolerance, honesty, wisdom, knowledge, and religiousness--these are the qualities by which the brahmanas work." (Bg. 18.42) Not only must a brahmana be qualified, but he must also engage in actual brahminical activities. Simply to be qualified is not enough; one must engage in a brahmana's duties. The duty of a brahmana is to know the param brahma, Krsna (param brahma param dhama pavitram paramam bhavan). Because this brahmana was actually qualified and was also engaged in brahminical activities (brahma-karma), killing him would be a greatly sinful act, and the brahmana's wife requested that he not be killed.


                               TEXT 30




                     so 'yam brahmarsi-varyas te

                        rajarsi-pravarad vibho

                       katham arhati dharma-jna

                        vadham pitur ivatmajah




   sah--he, the brahmana; ayam--this; brahma-rsi-varyah--not only a brahmana but the best of great sages, or brahmarsis; te--also from you; raja-rsi-pravarat--who are the best of all saintly kings, or rajarsis; vibho--O master of the state; katham--how; arhati--he deserves; dharma-jna--O you, who are quite aware of religious principles; vadham--killing; pituh--from the father; iva--like; atmajah--the son.




   My lord, you are completely aware of the religious principles. As a son never deserves to be killed by his father, here is a brahmana who should be protected by the king, and never killed. How does he deserve to be killed by a rajarsi like you?




   The word rajarsi refers to a king who behaves like a rsi, or sage. Such a king is also called naradeva because he is considered a representative of the Supreme Lord. Because his duty is to rule the kingdom to maintain brahminical culture, he never desires to kill a brahmana. Generally, a brahmana, woman, child, old man or cow is never regarded as punishable. Thus the wife of the brahmana requested the King to refrain from this sinful act.


                               TEXT 31




                        tasya sadhor apapasya

                       bhrunasya brahma-vadinah

                     katham vadham yatha babhror

                       manyate san-mato bhavan




   tasya--of him; sadhoh--of the great saintly person; apapasya--of one who has no sinful life; bhrunasya--of the embryo; brahma-vadinah--of one who is well versed in Vedic knowledge; katham--how; vadham--the killing; yatha--as; babhroh--of a cow; manyate--you are thinking; sat-matah--well recognized by higher circles; bhavan--your good self.




   You are well known and worshiped in learned circles. How dare you kill this brahmana, who is a saintly, sinless person, well versed in Vedic knowledge? Killing him would be like destroying the embryo within the womb or killing a cow.




   As stated in the Amara-kosa dictionary, bhruno'rbhake bala-garbhe: the word bhruna refers either to the cow or to the living entity in embryo. According to Vedic culture, destroying the undeveloped embryo of the soul in the womb is as sinful as killing a cow or a brahmana. In the embryo, the living entity is present in an undeveloped stage. The modern scientific theory that life is a combination of chemicals is nonsense; scientists cannot manufacture living beings, even like those born from eggs. The idea that scientists can develop a chemical situation resembling that of an egg and bring life from it is nonsensical. Their theory that a chemical combination can have life may be accepted, but these rascals cannot create such a combination. This verse refers to bhrunasya vadham--the killing of a bhruna or destruction of the embryo. Here is a challenge from the Vedic literature. The crude, atheistic understanding that the living entity is a combination of matter belongs to the grossest ignorance.


                               TEXT 32




                      yady ayam kriyate bhaksyas

                       tarhi mam khada purvatah

                         na jivisye vina yena

                       ksanam ca mrtakam yatha




   yadi--if; ayam--this brahmana; kriyate--is accepted; bhaksyah--as eatable; tarhi--then; mam--me; khada--eat; purvatah--before that; na--not; jivisye--I shall live; vina--without; yena--whom (my husband); ksanam ca--even for a moment; mrtakam--a dead body; yatha--like.




   Without my husband, I cannot live for a moment. If you want to eat my husband, it would be better to eat me first, for without my husband I am as good as a dead body.




   In the Vedic culture there is a system known as sati or saha-marana, in which a woman dies with her husband. According to this system, if the husband dies, the wife will voluntarily die by falling in the blazing funeral pyre of her husband. Here, in this verse, the feelings inherent in this culture are expressed by the wife of the brahmana. A woman without a husband is like a dead body. Therefore according to Vedic culture a girl must be married. This is the responsibility of her father. A girl may be given in charity, and a husband may have more than one wife, but a girl must be married. This is Vedic culture. A woman is supposed to be always dependent--in her childhood she is dependent on her father, in youth on her husband, and in old age on her elderly sons. According to Manu-samhita, she is never independent. Independence for a woman means miserable life. In this age, so many girls are unmarried and falsely imagining themselves free, but their life is miserable. Here is an instance in which a woman felt that without her husband she was nothing but a dead body.


                               TEXT 33




                         evam karuna-bhasinya

                         vilapantya anathavat

                       vyaghrah pasum ivakhadat

                        saudasah sapa-mohitah




   evam--in this way; karuna-bhasinyah--while the brahmana's wife was speaking very pitiably; vilapantyah--lamenting severely; anatha-vat--exactly like a woman who has no protector; vyaghrah--a tiger; pasum--prey animal; iva--like; akhadat--ate up; saudasah--King Saudasa; sapa--by the curse; mohitah--because of being condemned.




   Being condemned by the curse of Vasistha, King Saudasa devoured the brahmana, exactly as a tiger eats its prey. Even though the brahmana's wife spoke so pitiably, Saudasa was unmoved by her lamentation.




   This is an example of destiny. King Saudasa was condemned by the curse of Vasistha, and therefore even though he was well qualified he could not restrain himself from becoming a tigerlike Raksasa, for this was his destiny. Tal labhyate duhkhavad anyatah sukham (Bhag. 1.5.18). As one is put into distress by destiny, destiny can also put one in a happy situation. Destiny is extremely strong, but one can change destiny if one comes to the platform of Krsna consciousness. Karmani nirdahati kintu ca bhakti-bhajam (Brahma-samhita 5.54).


                               TEXT 34




                       brahmani viksya didhisum

                         purusadena bhaksitam

                       socanty atmanam urvisam

                          asapat kupita sati




   brahmani--the wife of the brahmana; viksya--after seeing; didhisum--her husband, who was about to give the seed of a child; purusa-adena--by the man-eater (Raksasa); bhaksitam--having been eaten up; socanti--lamenting very much; atmanam--for her body or her self; urvisam--unto the King; asapat--cursed; kupita--being angry; sati--the chaste woman.




   When the chaste wife of the brahmana saw that her husband, who was about to discharge semen, had been eaten by the man-eater, she was overwhelmed with grief and lamentation. Thus she angrily cursed the King.


                               TEXT 35




                       yasman me bhaksitah papa

                        kamartayah patis tvaya

                        tavapi mrtyur adhanad

                        akrta-prajna darsitah




   yasmat--because; me--my; bhaksitah--was eaten up; papa--O sinful one; kama-artayah--of a woman very much bereaved because of sexual desire; patih--husband; tvaya--by you; tava--your; api--also; mrtyuh--death; adhanat--when you try to discharge semen in your wife; akrta-prajna--O foolish rascal; darsitah--this curse is placed upon you.




   O foolish, sinful person, because you have eaten my husband when I was sexually inclined and desiring to have the seed of a child, I shall also see you die when you attempt to discharge semen in your wife. In other words, whenever you attempt to sexually unite with your wife, you shall die.


                               TEXT 36




                        evam mitrasaham saptva


                      tad-asthini samiddhe 'gnau

                      prasya bhartur gatim gata




   evam--in this way; mitrasaham--King Saudasa; saptva--after cursing; pati-loka-parayana--because of being inclined to go with her husband; tat-asthini--her husband's bones; samiddhe agnau--in the burning fire; prasya--after placing; bhartuh--of her husband; gatim--to the destination; gata--she also went.




   Thus the wife of the brahmana cursed King Saudasa, known as Mitrasaha. Then, being inclined to go with her husband, she set fire to her husband's bones, fell into the fire herself, and went with him to the same destination.


                               TEXT 37




                         visapo dvadasabdante

                        maithunaya samudyatah

                       vijnapya brahmani-sapam

                         mahisya sa nivaritah




   visapah--being released from the period of the curse; dvadasa-abda-ante--after twelve years; maithunaya--for sexual intercourse with his wife; samudyatah--when Saudasa was prepared to do it; vijnapya--reminding him about; brahmani-sapam--the curse given by the brahmani; mahisya--by the Queen; sah--he (the King); nivaritah--checked.




   After twelve years, when King Saudasa was released from the curse by Vasistha, he wanted to have sexual intercourse with his wife. But the Queen reminded him about the curse by the brahmani, and thus he was checked from sexual intercourse.


                               TEXT 38




                        ata urdhvam sa tatyaja

                      stri-sukham karmanaprajah

                        vasisthas tad-anujnato

                       madayantyam prajam adhat




   atah--in this way; urdhvam--in the near future; sah--he, the King; tatyaja--gave up; stri-sukham--the happiness of sexual intercourse; karmana--by destiny; aprajah--remained sonless; vasisthah--the great saint Vasistha; tat-anujnatah--being permitted by the King to beget a son; madayantyam--in the womb of Madayanti, King Saudasa's wife; prajam--a child; adhat--begot.




   After being thus instructed, the King gave up the future happiness of sexual intercourse and by destiny remained sonless. Later, with the King's permission, the great saint Vasistha begot a child in the womb of Madayanti.


                               TEXT 39




                      sa vai sapta sama garbham

                        abibhran na vyajayata

                      jaghne 'smanodaram tasyah

                       so 'smakas tena kathyate




   sa--she, Queen Madayanti; vai--indeed; sapta--seven; samah--years; garbham--the child within the womb; abibhrat--continued to bear; na--not; vyajayata--gave delivery; jaghne--struck; asmana--by a stone; udaram--abdomen; tasyah--of her; sah--a son; asmakah--by the name Asmaka; tena--because of this; kathyate--was called.




   Madayanti bore the child within the womb for seven years and did not give birth. Therefore Vasistha struck her abdomen with a stone, and then the child was born. Consequently, the child was known as Asmaka ["the child born of a stone"].


                               TEXT 40




                         asmakad baliko jajne

                      yah stribhih pariraksitah

                         nari-kavaca ity ukto

                       nihksatre mulako 'bhavat




   asmakat--from that son named Asmaka; balikah--a son named Balika; jajne--was born; yah--this child Balika; stribhih--by women; pariraksitah--was protected; nari-kavacah--having a shield of women; iti uktah--was known as such; nihksatre--when there were no ksatriyas (all ksatriyas having been vanquished by Parasurama); mulakah--Mulaka, the progenitor of the ksatriyas; abhavat--he became.




   From Asmaka, Balika took birth. Because Balika was surrounded by women and was therefore saved from the anger of Parasurama, he was known as Narikavaca ["one who is protected by women"]. When Parasurama vanquished all the ksatriyas, Balika became the progenitor of more ksatriyas. Therefore he was known as Mulaka, the root of the ksatriya dynasty.


                               TEXT 41




                        tato dasarathas tasmat

                        putra aidavidis tatah

                         raja visvasaho yasya

                     khatvangas cakravarty abhut




   tatah--from Balika; dasarathah--a son named Dasaratha; tasmat--from him; putrah--a son; aidavidih--named Aidavidi; tatah--from him; raja visvasahah--the famous King Visvasaha was born; yasya--of whom; khatvangah--the king named Khatvanga; cakravarti--emperor; abhut--became.




   From Balika came a son named Dasaratha, from Dasaratha came a son named Aidavidi, and from Aidavidi came King Visvasaha. The son of King Visvasaha was the famous Maharaja Khatvanga.


                               TEXT 42




                      yo devair arthito daityan

                        avadhid yudhi durjayah

                       muhurtam ayur jnatvaitya

                       sva-puram sandadhe manah




   yah--King Khatvanga who; devaih--by the demigods; arthitah--being requested; daityan--the demons; avadhit--killed; yudhi--in a fight; durjayah--very fierce; muhurtam--for a second only; ayuh--duration of life; jnatva--knowing; etya--approached; sva-puram--his own abode; sandadhe--fixed; manah--the mind.




   King Khatvanga was unconquerable in any fight. Requested by the demigods to join them in fighting the demons, he won victory, and the demigods, being very pleased, wanted to give him a benediction. The King inquired from them about the duration of his life and was informed that he had only one moment more. Thus he immediately left his palace and went to his own residence, where he engaged his mind fully on the lotus feet of the Lord.




   The example of Maharaja Khatvanga in performing devotional service is brilliant. Maharaja Khatvanga engaged himself for only a moment in devotional service to the Lord, but he was promoted back to Godhead. Therefore, if one practices devotional service from the beginning of his life, surely he will return home, back to Godhead, without a doubt (asamsaya).

   In Bhagavad-gita the word asamsaya is used to describe the devotee. There the Lord Himself gives this instruction:


                       mayy asakta-manah partha

                       yogam yunjan mad-asrayah

                        asamsayam samagram mam

                       yatha jnasyasi tac chrnu


   "Now hear, O son of Prtha [Arjuna], how by practicing yoga in full consciousness of Me, with mind attached to Me, you can know Me in full, free from doubt." (Bg. 7.1)

   The Lord also instructs:


                       janma karma ca me divyam

                       evam yo vetti tattvatah

                      tyaktva deham punar janma

                       naiti mam eti so 'rjuna


   "One who knows the transcendental nature of My appearance and activities does not, upon leaving the body, take his birth again in this material world, but attains My eternal abode, O Arjuna." (Bg. 4.9)

   Therefore, from the very beginning of one's life one should practice bhakti-yoga, which increases one's attachment for Krsna. If one daily sees the Deity in the temple, makes offerings by worshiping the Deity, chants the holy name of the Personality of Godhead, and preaches about the glorious activities of the Lord as much as possible, he thus becomes attached to Krsna. This attachment is called asakti. When one's mind is attached to Krsna (mayy asakta-manah), one can fulfill the mission of life in one human birth. If one misses this opportunity, one does not know where he is going, how long he will remain in the cycle of birth and death, and when he will again achieve the human form of life and the chance to return home, back to Godhead. The most intelligent person, therefore, uses every moment of his life to render loving service to the Lord.


                               TEXT 43




                      na me brahma-kulat pranah

                       kula-daivan na catmajah

                       na sriyo na mahi rajyam

                        na daras cativallabhah




   na--not; me--my; brahma-kulat--than the groups of brahmanas; pranah--life; kula-daivat--than the personalities worshipable for my family; na--not; ca--also; atmajah--sons and daughters; na--nor; sriyah--opulence; na--nor; mahi--the earth; rajyam--kingdom; na--nor; darah--wife; ca--also; ati-vallabhah--extremely dear.




   Maharaja Khatvanga thought: Not even my life is dearer to me than the brahminical culture and the brahmanas, who are worshiped by my family. What then is to be said of my kingdom, land, wife, children and opulence? Nothing is dearer to me than the brahmanas.




   Maharaja Khatvanga, being in favor of the brahminical culture, wanted to utilize one moment's time by fully surrendering unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The Lord is worshiped with this prayer:


                        namo brahmanya-devaya

                        go brahmana-hitaya ca

                        jagad-dhitaya krsnaya

                         govindaya namo namah


   "I offer my respectful obeisances to the Supreme Absolute Truth, Krsna, who is the well-wisher of the cows and the brahmanas as well as the living entities in general. I offer my repeated obeisances to Govinda, who is the pleasure reservoir for all the senses." A devotee of Krsna is very much attached to brahminical culture. Indeed, an expert personality who knows who Krsna is and what He wants is a real brahmana. Brahma janatiti brahmanah. Krsna is the Parabrahman, and therefore all Krsna conscious persons, or devotees of Krsna, are exalted brahmanas. Khatvanga Maharaja regarded the devotees of Krsna as the real brahmanas and the real light for human society. One who desires to advance in Krsna consciousness and spiritual understanding must give the utmost importance to brahminical culture and must understand Krsna (krsnaya govindaya). Then his life will be successful.


                               TEXT 44




                      na balye 'pi matir mahyam

                        adharme ramate kvacit

                        napasyam uttamaslokad

                       anyat kincana vastv aham




   na--not; balye--in childhood; api--indeed; matih--attraction; mahyam--of me; adharme--in irreligious principles; ramate--enjoys; kvacit--at any time; na--nor; apasyam--I saw; uttamaslokat--than the Personality of Godhead; anyat--anything else; kincana--anything; vastu--substance; aham--I.




   I was never attracted, even in my childhood, by insignificant things or irreligious principles. I did not find anything more substantial than the Supreme Personality of Godhead.




   Maharaja Khatvanga provides a typical example of a Krsna conscious person. A Krsna conscious person does not see anything to be important but the Supreme Personality of Godhead, nor does he accept anything within this material world as being unconnected to the Supreme Lord. As stated in Caitanya-caritamrta (Madhya 8.274):


             sthavara-jangama dekhe, na dekhe tara murti

                 sarvatra haya nija ista-deva-sphurti


   "The maha-bhagavata, the advanced devotee, certainly sees everything mobile and immobile, but he does not exactly see their forms. Rather, everywhere he immediately sees manifest the form of the Supreme Lord." Although a devotee is within the material world, he has no connection with it. Nirbandhah krsna-sambandhe. He accepts this material world in relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. A devotee may be engaged in earning money, but he uses that money for propagating the Krsna consciousness movement by constructing large temples and establishing worship of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Khatvanga Maharaja, therefore, was not a materialist. A materialist is always attached to wife, children, home, property and many other things for sense gratification, but, as stated above, Khatvanga Maharaja was not attached to such things, nor could he think of anything existing without the purpose of the Supreme Lord. Isavasyam idam sarvam: everything is related to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Of course, this consciousness is not for the ordinary person, but if one takes to the path of devotional service, as prescribed in The Nectar of Devotion, he can be trained in this consciousness and attain perfect understanding. For a Krsna conscious person, nothing is palatable without a relationship with Krsna.


                               TEXT 45




                        devaih kama-varo datto

                      mahyam tri-bhuvanesvaraih

                        na vrne tam aham kamam





   devaih--by the demigods; kama-varah--the benediction to have whatever he wanted; dattah--was given; mahyam--unto me; tri-bhuvana-isvaraih--by the demigods, the protectors of the three worlds (who can do whatever they like within this material world); na vrne--did not accept; tam--that; aham--I; kamam--everything desirable within this material world; bhutabhavana-bhavanah--being fully absorbed in the Supreme Personality of Godhead (and therefore not interested in anything material).




   The demigods, the directors of the three worlds, wanted to give me whatever benediction I desired. I did not want their benedictions, however, because I am interested in the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who created everything in this material world. I am more interested in the Supreme Personality of Godhead than in all material benedictions.




   A devotee is always transcendentally situated. param drstva nivartate: one who has seen the Supreme Personality of Godhead is no longer interested in material sense enjoyment. Even such an exalted devotee as Dhruva Maharaja went to the forest for the sake of material benefit, but when he actually saw the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he refused to accept any material benediction. He said, svamin krtartho 'smi varam na yace: "My dear Lord, I am fully satisfied with whatever You have given me or not given me. I have nothing to ask from You, for I am fully satisfied to be engaged in Your service." This is the mentality of a pure devotee, who does not want anything, material or spiritual, from the Personality of Godhead. Our Krsna consciousness movement is therefore called krsna-bhavanamrta-sangha, the association of persons who are simply satisfied in thoughts of Krsna. Being absorbed in thoughts of Krsna is neither expensive nor troublesome. Krsna says, man-mana bhava mad-bhakto mad-yaji mam namaskuru: "Engage your mind always in thinking of Me, offer obeisances and worship Me." (Bg. 9.34) Anyone can always think of Krsna, without difficulties or obstacles. This is called krsna-bhavanamrta. One who is absorbed in krsna-bhavanamrta has no material benefits to ask from Krsna. Instead, such a person prays to the Lord for the benediction of being able to spread His glories all over the world. Mama janmani janmanisvare bhavatad bhaktir ahaituki tvayi. A Krsna conscious person does not even want to stop his cycle of birth and death. He simply prays, "I may take birth as You like, but my only prayer is that I may be engaged in Your service."


                               TEXT 46




                       ye viksiptendriya-dhiyo

                      devas te sva-hrdi sthitam

                      na vindanti priyam sasvad

                         atmanam kim utapare




   ye--which personalities; viksipta-indriya-dhiyah--whose senses, mind and intelligence are always agitated because of material conditions; devah--like the demigods; te--such persons; sva-hrdi--in the core of the heart; sthitam--situated; na--not; vindanti--know; priyam--the dearmost Personality of Godhead; sasvat--constantly, eternally; atmanam--the Supreme Personality of Godhead; kim uta--what to speak of; apare--others (like human beings).




   Even though the demigods have the advantages of being situated in the higher planetary system, their minds, senses and intelligence are agitated by material conditions. Therefore, even such elevated persons fail to realize the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is eternally situated in the core of the heart. What then is to be said of others, such as human beings, who have fewer advantages?




   It is a fact that the Supreme Personality of Godhead is always situated in everyone's heart (isvarah sarva-bhutanam hrd-dese 'rjuna tisthati). But because of our material anxieties, which are inevitable in this material world, we cannot understand the Supreme Lord, although He is situated so near to us. For those always agitated by material conditions, the yogic process is recommended so that one may concentrate his mind upon the Supreme personality of Godhead within the heart. Dhyanavasthita-tad-gatena manasa pasyanti yam yoginah. Because in material conditions the mind and senses are always agitated, by the yogic procedures like dharana, asana and dhyana one must quiet the mind and concentrate it upon the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In other words, the yogic process is a material attempt to realize the Lord, whereas bhakti, devotional service, is the spiritual process by which to realize Him. Maharaja Khatvanga accepted the spiritual path, and therefore he was no longer interested in anything material. Krsna says in Bhagavad-gita (18.55), bhaktya mam abhijanati: "Only by devotional service can I be understood." One can understand Krsna, the Parabrahman, the Supreme personality of Godhead, only through devotional service. The Lord never says that one can understand Him by performing mystic yoga or by philosophically speculating. Bhakti is above all such material attempts. Anyabhilasita-sunyam jnana-karmady-anavrtam. Bhakti is uncontaminated, being unalloyed even by jnana or pious activities.


                               TEXT 47




                     athesa-maya-racitesu sangam

                     gunesu gandharva-puropamesu

                  rudham prakrtyatmani visva-kartur

                   bhavena hitva tam aham prapadye




   atha--therefore; isa-maya--by the external potency of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; racitesu--in things manufactured; sangam--attachment; gunesu--in the modes of material nature; gandharva-pura-upamesu--which are compared to the illusion of a gandharva-pura, a town or houses seen in the forest or on a hill; rudham--very powerful; prakrtya--by material nature; atmani--unto the Supersoul; visva-kartuh--of the creator of the whole universe; bhavena--by devotional service; hitva--giving up; tam--unto Him (the Lord); aham--I; prapadye--surrender.




   Therefore I should now give up my attachment for things created by the external energy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. I should engage in thought of the Lord and should thus surrender unto Him. This material creation, having been created by the external energy of the Lord, is like an imaginary town visualized on a hill or in a forest. Every conditioned soul has a natural attraction and attachment for material things, but one must simply give up this attachment and surrender unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead.




   When passing through a mountainous region in an airplane, one may sometimes see a city in the sky with towers and palaces, or one may see similar things in a big forest. This is called a gandharva-pura, a phantasmagoria. This entire world resembles such a phantasmagoria, and every materially situated person has attachment for it. But Khatvanga Maharaja, because of his advanced Krsna consciousness, was not interested in such things. Even though a devotee may engage in apparently materialistic activities, he knows his position very well. Nirbandhah krsna-sambandhe yuktam vairagyam ucyate. If one engages all material things in relation with the loving service of the Lord, one is situated in yukta-vairagya, proper renunciation. In this material world, nothing should be accepted for one's sense gratification: everything should be accepted for the service of the Lord. This is the mentality of the spiritual world. Maharaja Khatvanga advises that one give up material attachments and surrender unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Thus one achieves success in life. This is pure bhakti-yoga, which involves vairagya-vidya--renunciation and knowledge.



                   siksartham ekah purusah puranah


                  krpambudhir yas tam aham prapadye


   "Let me surrender unto the Personality of Godhead who has appeared now as Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. He is the ocean of all mercy and has come down to teach us material detachment, learning and devotional service to Himself." (Caitanya-candrodaya-nataka 6.74) Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu inaugurated this movement of vairagya-vidya, by which one detaches himself from material existence and engages in loving devotional service. The Krsna consciousness movement of devotional service is the only process by which to counteract our false prestige in this material world.


                               TEXT 48




                        iti vyavasito buddhya


                       hitvanya-bhavam ajnanam

                      tatah svam bhavam asthitah




   iti--thus; vyavasitah--having firmly decided; buddhya--by proper intelligence; narayana-grhitaya--completely controlled by the mercy of Narayana, the Supreme Personality of Godhead; hitva--giving up; anya-bhavam--consciousness other than Krsna consciousness; ajnanam--which is nothing but constant ignorance and darkness; tatah--thereafter; svam--his original position as an eternal servant of Krsna; bhavam--devotional service; asthitah--situated.




   Thus Maharaja Khatvanga, by his advanced intelligence in rendering service to the Lord, gave up false identification with the body full of ignorance. In his original position of eternal servitorship, he engaged himself in rendering service to the Lord.




   When one actually becomes purely Krsna conscious, no one has any right to rule over him. When situated in Krsna consciousness, one is no longer in the darkness of ignorance, and when freed from all such darkness, one is situated in his original position. Jivera 'svarupa' haya--krsnera 'nitya-dasa.' The living entity is eternally the servant of the Lord, and thus when he engages himself in the service of the Lord in all respects, he enjoys the perfection of life.


                               TEXT 49




                     yat tad brahma param suksmam

                        asunyam sunya-kalpitam

                         bhagavan vasudeveti

                       yam grnanti hi satvatah




   yat--that which; tat--such; brahma param--Parabrahman, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna; suksmam--spiritual, beyond all material conceptions; asunyam--not impersonal or void; sunya-kalpitam--imagined to be void by less intelligent men; bhagavan--the Supreme Personality of Godhead; vasudeva--Krsna; iti--thus; yam--whom; grnanti--sing about; hi--indeed; satvatah--pure devotees.




   The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vasudeva, Krsna, is extremely difficult to understand for unintelligent men who accept Him as impersonal or void, which He is not. The Lord is therefore understood and sung about by pure devotees.




   As stated in Srimad-Bhagavatam (1.2.11):


                       vadanti tat tattva-vidas

                      tattvam yaj jnanam advayam

                         brahmeti paramatmeti

                        bhagavan iti sabdyate


   The Absolute Truth is realized in three phases--as Brahman, Paramatma and Bhagavan. Bhagavan is the origin of everything. Brahman is a partial representation of Bhagavan, and Vasudeva, the Supersoul living everywhere and in everyone's heart, is also an advanced realization of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. But when one comes to understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead (vasudevah samam iti), when one realizes that Vasudeva is both Paramatma and the impersonal Brahman, he is then in perfect knowledge. Krsna is therefore described by Arjuna as param brahma param dhama pavitram paramam bhavan. The words param brahma refer to the shelter of the impersonal Brahman and also of the all-pervading Supersoul. When Krsna says tyaktva deham punar janma naiti mam eti, this means that the perfect devotee, after perfect realization, returns home, back to Godhead. Maharaja Khatvanga accepted the shelter of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and because of his full surrender he achieved perfection.


Thus end the Bhaktivedanta purports of the Ninth Canto, Ninth Chapter, of the Srimad-Bhagavatam, entitled "The Dynasty of Amsuman."

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