Second Skanda

The Lord in the heart: Brahmâ meditates his origin

Chapter 1: The First Step in God Realization

My obeisances unto the Supreme Lord Vâsudeva. (1) S’rî S’uka said: ‘This inquiry of yours for the good of all is the best thing you can do, because this subject of study o King, carries the approval of the transcendentalists and constitutes the supreme of all that is worth the attention. (2) There are countless subject matters to hear about in human society, o Emperor, that are the interest of those materially engrossed ones who are blind to the reality of the soul. (3) They spend their lives o King, with sleeping and having sex during the night and with making money and taking care of their family during the day. (4) All too attached to the fallible allies of the body, the children, the wife and everything thereto, they despite of their experience, do not see the finality of these matters. (5) For this reason, o descendant of Bharata, He must be discussed, glorified and remembered who as the Supersoul, the Supreme Personality, the controller and vanquishing Lord frees those who are of desire from their anxieties. (6) All this analyzing in the knowledge of yoga of one’s particular nature and how a person after being born should attain to the full awareness of the Supreme, in the end only concerns the remembrance of Nârâyana [Krishna as the Supreme Personality]. (7) It are generally those sages who went beyond the sphere of prescriptions and restrictions o King, who are the ones to take pleasure in especially describing the glories of the Lord.

(8) This story called the Bhâgavatam contains the essence of the Vedas and was by me, at the end of this Dvâpara-yuga [the age of honoring monarchs], studied under the guidance of my father Dvaipâyana Vyâsa. (9) Fully realized as I was in transcendence my attention was drawn towards the enlightened verses about the [Lord His] pastimes o saintly King, and thus I studied the narration. (10) I will recite it to you, because you, o goodness, are a most sincere devotee. They who respectfully dedicate their full attention to it very soon will realize an unflinching faith in Mukunda [Krishna as the Lord granting liberation]. (11) For those who are free from material desires as well as for those who are desirous and for all who being free from fear and doubts are united within [the yogis] o King, the, according the tradition, repeated singing of the Lord His holy name is the approved method. (12) What’s the use of spending one’s years as an ignoramus in this world without having [this] experience? The hour one deliberately spends in service of the higher cause is the better one. (13) The saintly king known as Khathvânga set aside everything when he knew that he had but a moment to live longer in this world and thus experienced the full security of the Lord. (14) O member of the Kuru family, therefore also your life’s duration that is limited to seven days, should inspire you to perform everything that traditionally belongs to the rituals for a next life. (15) Seeing the end of one’s life one should be free from the fear of death by cutting, with the help of the weapon of non-attachment, with all desires as well as with everything associated with them. (16) Piously self controlled having left one’s home for a sacred place, one should according the regulations properly cleansed and purified, in solitude sit down assuming the proper posture. (17) The mind should be turned to the practice of the three transcendental letters [A-U-M]. Thus not forgetting the seed of the absolute [Brahman, the impersonal spirit] one by regulating one’s breath realizes the control [originating] with the Supreme. (18) When one for the sake of the virtue fixes oneself in meditation, the mind withdraws from the engagement of the senses. This happens because the intelligence being absorbed in fruitive labor tends to be driven by the mind. (19) With one’s thereafter focussing of one’s mind upon the different parts and divisions [of the body and also of the logic] without losing sight of the complete, one must consequently take care not to think of anything else but that refuge of [the feet of] the Supreme Lord Vishnu who pacifies the mind. (20) From the passion and inertia of nature the mind is always agitated and bewildered, but one will find that rectified in the focus of the ones pacified that destroys all the wrong done. (21) They who fixed in the habit of such a systematic remembrance seek unification and hold on to this devotion will soon be of success in the shelter of the yoga that approves this.’

(22) The king, attentive to what was said, asked: ‘O brahmin, what is in short the idea of in which place and with which activities a person must be engaged and continue with, in order to directly escape from a polluted mind?’

(23) S’rî S’uka said: ‘When one sits down in control, has subdued one’s breath and has conquered one’s attachment as well as one’s senses, one should focus one’s attention upon the gross matter of the outer appearance of the Supreme Lord [the virâth-rûpa].

(24) His individual body is this gross material world in which we experience all that belongs to the past, the present and the future of this universe in existence. (25) This outer shell of the universe which we know as a body consisting of seven coverings [see kos’as], constitutes the notion of the object of the Universal Form of the Purusha [the Original Person] who is the Supreme Lord. (26) The lower worlds are by the ones who studied it recognized as the soles of His feet [called Pâtâla] of which His heels and toes are called Rasâtala, His ankles Mahâtala while the shanks of the gigantic person are called the Talâtala worlds. (27) The two knees of the Universal Form are called Sutala, the thighs Vitala and Atala and the hips are named Mahîtala o King. Outer space is accepted as the depression of His navel. (28) The higher, illumined worlds are His chest, with above it the neck called Mahar. His mouth is called Jana while Tapas is the name of the worlds of the forehead with Satyaloka [the world of Truth] as the uppermost of the [middle] worlds of the Original Personality who has a thousand heads. (29) The gods headed by Indra are His arms, the four directions are His ears and sound is His sense of hearing. The nostrils of the Supreme are the As’vinî-Kumâras [a type of demigods] while fragrance is His sense of smell and His mouth the blazing fire. (30) The sphere of outer space are the pits of His eyes, while the eyeball of the sun makes up His seeing. The eyelids of Vishnu are the day and night, the movements of His eyebrows are the supreme entity [Brahmâ and the other demigods], His palate is the director of water [Varuna] and His tongue is the nectarine juice. (31) They say that the Vedic hymns are the thought process of the Unlimited One, that His jaws make up Yamarâja [the Lord of death], His teeth are His affection and that His smile is the most alluring, unsurpassable material energy [mâyâ]. Material creation is but the casting of His glance. (32) Modesty is His upper lip, His chin stands for the hankering, religion is His breast, and the path of irreligion is His back. Brahmâ is His genitals, His testicles are the Mitrâ-varunas [the friends], His waist the oceans and the stack of His bones are the mountains. (33) His veins are the rivers and the plants and trees are the hairs on the body of the Universal Form, o King. The air is His omnipotent breathing, the passing of the ages, Time, is His movement and the constant operation of the modes of material nature is His activity. (34) Let me tell you that the hairs on the head of the Supreme Controller are the clouds o best of the Kurus, and that the intelligence of the Almighty is the prime cause of the material creation, so one says. His mind, the reservoir of all changes, is known as the moon. (35) The material principle constitutes His consciousness, so one says, while Lord S’iva is the cause within [His ego, His self]. The horse, mule, camel and elephant are His nails, and all other game and quadrupeds are represented in the region of His belt. (36) The singing of the birds is His artistic sense and Manu, the father of man forms the contents of His thought with humanity as His residence. The angelic and celestial beings [the Gandharvas, Vidyâdharas and Caranas] constitute His musical rhythm while the remembrance of terrorizing soldiers represents His prowess. (37) With the intellectuals [brahmins] for the face and the rulers [kshatriyas] for the arms of the Universal Form, the traders [vais’yas] are the thighs and the laborers [s’ûdras, the dark or ‘krishna’-class] those who are protected by His feet. Through the various names of the demigods He overtakes with the provision of feasible goods [that appease Him] by means of the performance of sacrifices.

(38) I explained all these locations in the Form of the Supreme Lord to you so that anyone who may concentrate the mind on this virâth-rûpa Universal Form can attain through intelligence. Beyond Him as such there is nothing else to be found in the gross of matter. (39) He who may be known in so many ways as the Supersoul present in all forms, alike a dreamer who sees himself [in different situations], is the one and only Supreme Truth and ocean of bliss. One must direct oneself to Him alone and nothing else if one doesn’t want to see oneself degraded by attachments.