Bhagavatha Dharma -7 :
CHAPTER VII (Seventh and eighth Skandas)
[Translation by Shri: P.N. Balakrishnan Nair]
536. To think and say that “I have no ego” is by itself an expression of ego.
537. It is man’s pride that makes him unhappy.
538. If a man preaches Jnana (wisdom) to others and his actions are diametrically opposite to his preaching, he is a Rakshasa( devil)
539. Bhakti cannot be experienced in actual life without Jnana (knowledge) and Vairagya(detachment)
540. Money will influence the greedy, while praise influences the egoist.
541. A wife who prevents her husband from sinful acts by reasoning is called Pathni. But the wife who persuades her husband to the path of spirituality is called Dharma pathni.
542. Normally voluptuous men are easily influenced by women. It is therefore easy for a wife to bring her husband to the right path. A righteous wife, if she so desires, can lead her husband to the path of Bhakti.
543. If the basic intention of Yogic practice is not pure, that Yogi will definitely fail in his practice. One can achieve several superhuman powers through yogic practice; but not God-realization, which is the ultimate goal of human birth.
544. Man never gets satisfaction from enjoyment of pleasures. Satisfaction comes only from renunciation.
545. This world is more akin to selfishness and deception. Even the relationship between husband and wife is often found to be full of selfishness and deception.
546. A son can by his merits uplift only his own family. But a daughter can uplift not only the family of her parents but that of her husband also.
547. It is good to work for the uplift of society; but it often gives rise to ego.
548. No one gets Bhakti from the advice of any other person; Bhakti comes only through God’s grace.
549. He, whose vision is corrupted, sees the world in a perverse manner; that is to say, he sees justice as injustice and injustice as justice.
550. In old age, man becomes more attached to his body and so he becomes totally incapable of worshipping God.
551. All living creatures have to under go many births and deaths before attaining human birth, which is very rare and difficult to get.
552. We experience happiness and unhappiness depending upon the results of our past actions.
553. Worship of God is obstructed only due to the weakness of human mind.
554. Man can get rid of his wickedness with the help of God’s grace.
555. One who does not see this world as such actually sees God in it.
556. Goddess of Sleep stands in the way of listening to God’s stories and praising His glories.
557. While singing songs in praise of God, use of the correct pitch and rhythm will add impetus to
your love of God.
558. It is a good sign if you are ashamed of committing sinful actions.
559. Impurities in your mind will be eradicated by singing songs in praise of God.
560. Without singing songs in praise of God, listening to the stories of God will not be complete. (Kathanthe keerthanam kuryad= Praise the Lordat the end of His story)
561. By praising God, your sins are destroyed and your mind becomes pure. Into that pure mind God enters instantaneously.
562. Vision of God will not occur without the grace of Guru. It is therefore the essential duty of man to seek refuge in a Guru or other great souls.
563. God is the indweller of everything. Once this wonderful fact is realized, man can see the whole world as nothing but God. Thereafter he cannot find any place to commit a sin.
564. Humility and helplessness are two trusted friends of man. God will easily accept those who possess these qualities. Humility and feeling of helplessness will remove all obstacles from the path towards God.
565. Superficial knowledge may sometimes cause obstruction to the worship of God.
566. Spend your life with this strong concept:-“Let all my actions be soaked in Bhakti”.
567. When actions are pure, it is called Bhakti.
568. “My Lord is watching whatever I do”. Remember this truth while performing your duties. 569. “My Lord is listening to whatever I talk; all my actions are supported by my Lord.” When this attitude strengthens, you attain God-realization.
570. God is all-pervading; let this be your natural attitude.
571. In this world, only those who have controlled their senses can be said to be independent. Those who are independent are self-willed. Therefore, learn how to be independent under the guidance of suitable Gurus.
572. Those who eat their God-given food, without first offering it to God, will have to meet death by starvation.
573. A lighted lamp brings light to your home and heart at the same time. Service brings happiness to the one who serves.
574. You hesitate to prostrate before the Lord at the temple, because of the fear that your beautiful cloths may get soiled.
575. Only the best among best things should be offered to God.
576. If your hairs stand on end or tears drop from your eyes while praying to God, it means God has heard your prayer.
577. Cook food for the sake of God. Offer it God before eating. Take the vow that “without offering to God I will not take anything for myself.”
578. Hearing the stories of God without observing the rules for listening and understanding the essence of the stories, is a waste of time. Retain the essence of these stories carefully in your ears and mind.
579. An image of God is better than picture for worship. First think of a form of God. Make a beautiful pedestal according to your financial capacity, for placing the God’s image. Do not speak during worship. If you become body-conscious, during worship, prostrate before the Lord. (Prostration is not allowed for women).Slavish attitude towards the Lord is best suited for worship.
580. If the presence of God is not felt in the image of God, it is not possible to feel the presence of God in other beings and things.
581. If you worship God after committing sinful deeds, you will feel that God is annoyed.
582. When the mind is impure, worship of God will not give satisfaction.
583. If you forget some lines while chanting the hymns of God, prostrate before the Lord and that will make the chanting complete.
584. God accepts even your small offerings, and makes them big.
585. However much he offers to God, the feeling that “I have been able to offer only very little to my Lord” is the nature of a Bhakta.
586. Prema (Love) puts life into the lifeless.
587. Ordinary beings do not care for God and so God also does not care for them.
588. God is the only person deserving our love. If your heart melts and tears of joy drop from your eyes during prayer, take it that God has accepted your prayer.
589. All our offerings to Him are returned to us by God after multiplying them many-fold.
590. Enjoyment of pleasures increases desires and weakens the senses. Thoughts about worldly objects reduce our powers. But thoughts about God give us all powers.
591. Man exceeds all limits while enjoying worldly pleasures. So he has to suffer all the miseries arising from that. How can God become responsible for that? How can you blame God for that?592. Man loses his power of discrimination when faced with extreme grief.
593. Drink the nectar of God’s Names and Stories. Your senses will come under control.
594. When your mind is occupied by worldliness and sinful thoughts, take recourse to the pleasure of listening to stories of God and drinking the nectar of God’s names. When NamaBrahma (cosmic energy in the form of God’s names) becomes one with NadaBrahma (cosmic energy in the form of sound) ParaBrahma (ultimate cosmic reality) becomes apparent.
595. Extremely sinful people cannot have taste or pleasure in singing the hymns of Lord Sri Krishna. To destroy their sin, they should invariably listen to the stories of God and sing the hymns of God.
596. Lingering thoughts on the enjoyment of material pleasures is more harmful than actual enjoyment of pleasures.
597. If you receive God’s mercy, you will have the desire to perform righteous actions.
598. Because the minds of people are vitiated, they madly run after ordinary material pleasures. Not being able to endure even the slightest grief, they make a hue and cry about it.
599. Do not even imagine that Samsara (material world) is sinful. You are responsible for all your sins; not the world. If you have sinful tendencies in your mind, you are the only one responsible for that.
600. To love even those who hurt them is the habit of Mahatmas(great men)
601. The pleasure you get sex and other bodily contacts, is similar to the pleasure derived by scratching the itches on the skin; meaning that the ultimate result thereof is pain only.
602. Get up from bed at Brahma muhurtha( one and a half hours before sunrise.)Meditate on God, have Darsan and say your prayers. Pay obeisance to Mother Earth also.
603. Lord Sri Krishna is the charioteer of your body-chariot. If you realize this truth, your chariot will definitely reach its goal. On the contrary, if the mind controlled by the senses happens to be the charioteer, it will fall into some deep pit and be shattered.
604. Everyday after taking bath, sit at a solitary place and worship God. The preliminary sadhanas for a beginner are the following:-(i)Service and doing pooja to God;(ii)Chanting the names of God:(iii) Singing the hymns of God;(iv) Company of holy men and listening to Stories of God.(v) Reading the scriptural texts;(vi) Surrendering all actions to God;(vii) Recompensing for all sins committed;(viii) Surrendering the fruits of all actions to God.
605. If your eyes are sparkling with love and your mind is broad, you aredearest to God
606. Do not ask for anything from God. Asking for something is nothing but trading.
607. If you ask for material gains in return to your worship of God, you are a Vaisya(trader).Giving less and taking more is the trait of a trader.
608. Lead a very humble and simple life. Keep the mind out of reach for worldly desires.
609. Vasana (innate tendency) is your greatest enemy. If you do not enjoy worldly pleasures as dictated by Vasana, your mind will get agitated. So long as you continue to enjoy the pleasures, your desire for them will go on increasing. Therefore, wrap up your mind securely in the cloth of Bhakti.
610. If the son is righteous, his parents will attain the worlds of the righteous even if they are not righteous. But if the son is unrighteous, his parents, even if they are righteous, can reach only the worlds of the unrighteous.
611. The crow is the messenger of departed souls.
612. One who becomes a father has to take up great responsibilities. A father who does not inculcate good culture into his son is the greatest enemy of that son.
613. God’s mercy is more apparent in His punishment than in protection.
614. Your position in the society, wealth or education has no value at the time of death.
615. The knowledge which is not useful at the time if death is not real knowledge.
616.To think bad about those who are living with us and to think high about those who have departed, is a common trait of all living beings.
617. Man sometimes inscribes his name on the house in which he lives, on the ring that he wears, and on his own body. Too much of publicity in this manner destroys his Punya( merits of good actions)
618. Man’s genuine friend is Dharma (righteous living). The basis of all happiness is Dharma; not Dhana (riches)
619. Truth God’s own form. There is no other greater sin than untruth.
620. The desire arising from Viveka (the power of discrimination) to see every one happy is Truth in its real form. Therefore, try to reflect this Truth always in your thought, word and actions.
621. Before going to bed each night, reflect in your mind thus:- “Today, have I been able to do anything that pleases my Lord.”
622. Mercy should be expressed with due care. Mercy expressed out of place may cause hindrance to the service of God.
623. It is the duty of everyone to maintain purity.
624. Mind follows the soul after death of the body.
625. The soul gets more and more involved in worldly affairs. It cannot therefore, have full cognition of all the sins committed by the mind.
626. Maintain purity of thought, word and action. That also is a great penance. Show goodwill even towards enemies. If you do so, God will stand by your side and punish your enemies.
627. If you feel unhappy when faced with an insult, that shows you are an egotist. On the other hand, if you take refuge at the feet of God in all humility, that shows you have not taken that insult to heart.
628. Not hurting anyone by thought, word or action is called non-violence
.629. Brahmacharya (celibacy) is broken when man thinks of female body and woman thinks of male body. Celibacy is a great spiritual practice which enables you to keep the mind undisturbed.
630. Renunciation is another expression of Dharma.
631. Those who are contented with what God has given them should be considered as rich; those who are not so, should be considered as destitute.
632. Avoiding idle talk is silence. Not talking mentally is also silence. Silence gives mental peace as a result of which all thoughts of sins are eradicated from the mind.
633. Whatever misfortunes have occurred in this world, all of them are caused by carnal desires. Those who are blind with such desires, lose their power of discrimination.
634. Read the holy texts in plenty. When detachment is complete, take Sanyasa (renunciation).
635. When husband and wife live a pure life like Sanyasins their life will be happy. When female company becomes holy company, house-holder’s life becomes most glorious.
636. A house-holder’s mind should not be too harsh or too soft. He should not be under the influence of woman.
637. When Rama is not in his heart, man becomes blind with Kama (lust)
638. Charity has a special place in the house-holder’s life. By spending money for charity, your earnings become pure.
639. A house-holder should spend at least one month in a year in solitude at the banks of holy rivers like Ganges and worship God. Worldly subjects should never be discussed at holy places.
640. Wherever on the earth any action is performed, the impact of that action will linger there as the culture of that place.
641. When Sattwa Guna prevails in us, our sleep reduces.
642. Never entertain the feeling that “I am earning”
.643. If man can recollect the sins committed by him, he will understand that the miseries so far suffered are not sufficient retribution for the sins. Actually God gives us much more than what we deserve.
644. Man becomes godly or devilish because of himself. It is his own culture that makes man godly or devilish.
645. Elevate your Vasanas (tendencies) to a higher level. Company of holy men will elevate your Vasanas.
646. Man becomes what he thinks and what he speaks.
647. Death will certainly come today or tomorrow. It first affects the legs. When the legs become cold or weak it should be understood that death is nearing. At least at this stage man should start worshipping God.
648. Death is closing in. But it should be faced with the feeling:- “When Lord Sri Krishna, who is the death of death itself, is in my heart, how can death come near me?”
649. Intellect of those devoted to sexual pleasures will eventually become blunt.
650. Before his birth as a human, there were no relatives for man. Similarly after death also, there will be no relatives.
651. Man seeks refuge in God only when he is weak. It is in extremely miserable circumstances that he calls upon God for help.
652. Instead of making the heart suffer by shouting “Hayyo Hayyo”, try to say “Hari, Hari” from this moment.
653. If you will start meditating on Hari from today, you can certainly remember and see Hari at the time of death. When the legs become cold or lose their strength, understand that you are already in the grip of death.
654. Call upon God desperately like Gajendra(king of elephants). Read the story of Gajendramoksham (liberation of the king of elephants in Sreemad Bhagavatham) daily. You will certainly see God at the time of death. Besides, nightmares and other ill-omens will be totally eliminated during your lifetime.
655. Read the story of Matsyavatara (God’s incarnation as Fish) daily. It is beneficial to read Rasapanchadhyayi (Five chapters in Bhagavatham, tenth Skandha dealing with Rasakreeda) at midnight.
656. If you worship God constantly, God will come running to your side at the time of your death. Therefore, pray to God daily to come for your rescue at the time of death.
657. Tulasi and Lotus are two things dearest to Bhagavan.
658. God’s devotees should be honored and worshipped more than God Himself.
659. When you attribute the presence of God in a stone-idol, that idol actually gets the attributes of God. By worshipping that idol with strong conviction we can reach God within no time. It is, therefore, certain that those who worship Archavataras (God incarnated as idols) with full faith will reach God.
660. When good culture takes root in us,that will make our last days and next birth pure.
661. The experience of joy on the vision of God occurs for the first time in sleep.
662. Holy men and Brahmins come to you with good intentions only. They should never be disrespected. Their advices should be accepted and obeyed implicitly.
663. Goddess Lakshmi resides in flowers.
664. Jnana (knowledge) does not remain for long in the rich. It is in destitution that knowledge remains permanently.
665. Hunger and thirst are diseases of the body. Suffer them to the extent possible.
666. If you can practice drinking the poison of insults, you will soon get Amtitha(deathless state). ‘Poison’ is the name for adversity. That is why it gives distress. If you carry Ganga in the form of Bhakti on your head, it will be easy to drink this poison.(Allusion is to the story of Lord Shiva drinking poison during the churning of Ksheerasagara(ocean of milk)
667. One who suffers sorrows for making others happy becomes Shiva (godly). On the other hand, one who makes others unhappy to get happiness for him is worldly.
668. Do not think of any insults that you may have suffered. Also do not remember anyone who has done harm to you. This will protect you from indigestion.
669. When the attack of poison (worldly miseries) becomes too much, chant the Names God. God’s names will transform poison into nectar
.670. When you are sixteen years old, Manthanam(churning or agitation) starts in your mind. If the poison in the form of Vasanas (innate tendencies) begins to appear, think of Manthara (the mount which churned the Ocean of Milk) and fix your thoughts on it. If the churning is continued in this manner nectar in the form of Bhakti will invariably make its appearance.
671. God puts you into a fire-test. Initially He tests you by giving poison (sorrows).If you pass that test, He will give you nectar.
672. If you have wealth, use it for helping others.
673. If you do not get happiness during your life time, know that you are committing sins.
674. If you receive exceptional fame, know that your punya(merits of past good actions) has declined. Those who run after name and fame will definitely not receive the nectar (of Bhakti).
675. Man begins to worship God only when his desire for riches ends.
676. Lakshmi, the Goddess of wealth will not desert those whose mind is straight forward and pure.
677. Those who have the blessings of Lakshmi shall be merciful to all. That is to say, they should use their wealth to mitigate the hardship of others to the extent possible.
678. Nectar of Bhakti will not flow through any house in which there is always quarrelling.
679. Beauty is merely your imagination. Anything that appears beautiful to you cannot be beautiful in the eyes of a dog. Therefore beauty depends on how you look at it.
680. You must necessarily give up your desire for the enchantments of the world, the desire for things which appear beautiful to your eyes and the desire for worldly objects. When the desire for God increases, desire for worldly things will reduce.
681. When you look at this world with lust in your eyes, desires will grow. If you look at it with God in your eyes, desires will soon vanish.
682. Those who keep women in their thoughts while walking along the road are Rakshasas (demons). Those who look at another’s wife with lustful eyes are really Rakshasas.
683. You should not show discrimination in serving food. If you do so, you will suffer serious stomach disorders.
684. If a bit of punya(merits of good actions) of earlier birth is left in us, we won’t suffer the results of our sins at once.
685. Do not ever take pride in or entertain the feeling that you have controlled your senses .Desire for worldly pleasures may lie hidden in your mind. When opportunity arises it may show up and pull you down.
686. Brahmacharis(celibates) who protect their semen will remain strong and healthy.
687. He who wears over his head the umbrella of righteousness cannot be hurt by anyone.
688. If worship of God is done jointly by husband and wife, God will be pleased very soon.
689. Bad company makes the householder’s life topsy-turvy.
690. Give up bodily view and take up godly view.
691. Do not look at anyone with discriminating eyes. Try to see everyone with divine eyes. If your eyes are good, the out come will also be good. Sreemad Bhagavatham gives you perfect eyes and perfect vision.
692. God sees the creation, man sees the creator.
693. The form which comes to your thoughts frequently will remain fixed in your mind permanently.
694. Man becomes subservient to fear and grief because he is not able to feel the presence of God constantly.
695. Householder’s life is not a hindrance, but is conducive to Bhakti. But too much attachment to the household is a great hindrance to Bhakti.
696. As you take food everyday, take the company of holy men also daily.
697. Brahmins should perform Sandhya vandan three times a day.
698. The young men who observe celibacy should refrain from thinking about, speaking about and touching women. (Avoid contact of women by thought, word and action)
699. Celibate men should not look at the face and hairs of women, because these are the places where lust resides.
700. Senses are powerful enough to mislead you. You must have heard the stories in which even the minds of great men had been carried away by the senses.
701. The face of one who looks at another’s wife with carnal desire will become tanned and black.
702. If your head automatically stoops in reverence on seeing an unknown person, take it that godliness is more predominant in him.
703. Donate at least one-fifth of your income for charity. It is likely that all money that comes to your possession may not be pure.
704. Mendicants do not come to your house for begging. The purpose of their visit is to give you proper guidance. Along with that, they accept and take away a part of your sin in the form of pittance offered by you.
705. Pure-hearted and righteous spiritual seers and chaste women are the supporters of this earth.
706. If a man, after having offered a gift to some one fails to give it, his place after death will be in the hell.
707. If you have anxiety about your future, there is no harm in saving one-fifth of your income.
708. Relatives and friends will be at your service, so long as you have money and wealth in your possession.
709. You can save one-fifth of your income for the old age also. If you do so, you can avoid begging from your children.
710. Selfishness dominates in this world. So people remain ignorant. Selfish people have no hesitation to do any wicked deed. The results of their wickedness are suffered by others and in turn they have to suffer the wickedness of others. Wicked people often crave for fame and happiness.
711. Telling untruth is said to be pardonable in four cases; 1) to solicit a marriage; 2) while talking to women; 3) when one’s life is in danger; and 4)for the protection of cows and Brahmins.
712. When money is spent for good causes, even if some obstructions might come in the way, the ultimate result will be peacefulness. But if money is misused, you will have no peace of mind till your death.
713. God is the master of our body and mind. Do our duties with this in mind.
714. Wicked men always say “mine, mine” and they are punished by God. Wise men always say “thine, thine” and they are protected by God.
715. The donor of a gift should not feel proud of giving it. A gift becomes futile, unless it is given with humility.
716. By surrendering himself to God man binds God in his heart. Surrender of one’s ego or pride is far better than surrender of the body
.717. Only the strong can traverse the path of God and follow God’s injunctions in life. And who is the strong? The strong is the one who has defeated his inner foes like lust, anger, greed, delusion, hatred, and egotism.
718. God visits the house of righteous men and asks for three things from them; their body mind and wealth. These three should be surrendered to God. By this total surrender they get admission to Rasaleela. The union of Jivatma (individual soul) with Paramatma (cosmic soul) is Rasaleela. Real surrender is the total surrender of Jivatma to Paramatma .God takes up the role of a gate-keeper in respect of devotees like Mahabali who surrender themselves totally to Him. 719. By worshipping God with your body, Thamoguna (quality of ignorance) in you reduces. Worship of God with wealth will reduce your Rajoguna (quality of restlessness). God will not be pleased with the surrender of your body and wealth, unless it is accompanied by the surrender of mind. Unless your mind is involved in the worship, you will not derive satisfaction from that worship. Engaging the body in the worship of God and the mind in worldly affairs at the same time, are totally incongruous activities. If you can shed a few drops of tears of joy from your eyes at the time of worship, take it that God is showering His mercy on you.
720. Acceptance of gift from anyone is bondage for the receiver.
721. If you install a Sreevigraha (image for worship) of God in your house, Lakshmi (Goddess of wealth) will come into your house uninvited. So better worship God rather than running after Lakshmi for wealth.
722. When God decides to shower His blessings on anybody, at first He will snatch away all his riches. It is only the wealth and riches that make a man egotist. It is the same wealth that insults God as well as the entire world.
(To be continued)
Bhagavatha Dharma -7 :